1 Thursday, 11 December 2003
2 [Appeal Proceedings]
3 [Open session]
4 [The appellant entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 a.m.
6 JUDGE POCAR: Please be seated.
7 Good morning to everybody. We are resuming our hearing. There is
8 one witness we have to hear today. May I ask, before we call the witness,
9 which is, according to the parties, the status of this witness? Because
10 it's not very clear to me whether he needs protective measures or not.
11 Mr. Hayman.
12 MR. HAYMAN: Good morning, Mr. President. Good morning,
13 Your Honours. Our information, from speaking directly to this witness, is
14 the witness would like protective measures in the form of pseudonym and
15 face distortion. We are simply a conduit for passing that information to
16 the Court. I know the Prosecutor has made an issue of this point, but we
17 are simply a conduit as to this information, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you, Mr. Hayman.
19 The Prosecution.
20 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, counsel.
21 If that is the witness's latest expression of desiring protective
22 measures, then we have no objection to it. We received direct information
23 from him of a contrary nature. But if he has changed his mind, we have no
24 objection to protective measures.
25 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you.
1 So let's go into closed session -- well, it's open session,
2 actually. But you have to close the curtains too before calling the
3 witness; otherwise he will be recognised.
4 In the meantime, may I ask for the appearances, because I see the
5 Prosecution is appearing with a different attorney.
6 MR. HARMON: My name is Mark Harmon. I'm a senior trial attorney
7 with the Office of the Prosecutor. Mr. Farrell is joining me momentarily.
8 He had to step out immediately before these proceedings started to
9 retrieve a document. To my left is Susan Grogan, the case manager.
10 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you.
11 Please, for the Defence.
12 MR. HAYMAN: Good morning, Your Honour. There are no defections
13 on the Defence side this morning. Again appearing with myself,
14 Mr. Hayman, are Mr. Nobilo to my right, Mr. Paley, and Mr. Perrin, to my
16 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Mr. Hayman.
17 Now can we call the witness.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE POCAR: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE POCAR: So please, can you read the solemn declaration that
22 the usher will give to you.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 WITNESS: WITNESS BA5
1 [Witness answered through interpreter]
2 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Witness. You may now be seated.
3 Witness, am I correct that you wish to be heard with a pseudonym and
4 facial distortion? Is that correct?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not receiving any
6 interpretation. Boost the volume, please.
7 JUDGE POCAR: I will put again my question. Witness, am I correct
8 that you wish to be heard with a pseudonym and facial distortion? Is that
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you, Witness.
12 Now, Madam Registrar, which will be the pseudonym of this witness?
13 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym for this witness will be BA5,
14 Your Honour.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] BA5. All right.
16 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. Madam Registrar. So the witness will be
17 identified with the pseudonym BA5.
18 Now I turn to the Defence, to counsel for the defence, for the
19 examination-in-chief of the witness, bearing in mind we have to identify
20 the witness for the Court and the parties.
21 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I would
22 now like the registrar to show the Witness BA5 a piece of paper with his
23 name on it, so that the witness can identify his name.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Okay.
25 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Nobilo, you can proceed to the
2 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
4 Q. [Interpretation] I will be referring to you, sir, as Witness BA5.
5 A. All right.
6 Q. Can you explain to the Court which duties did you have in Vitez in
7 late 1992 and in 1993?
17 A. Yes, precisely.
18 Q. Could you please explain to me the structure of this armed
19 military structure that was called the Territorial Defence, for instance,
20 as it was in 1993. Who was at the top, and the structure in the
21 municipality, the regional staffs, and so on?
22 A. Up until the 1st of December, 1992, the TO of the Vitez
23 municipality existed. It had 10 or 11 area staffs, located in the local
24 communes of the Vitez municipalities. It mostly consisted of Muslims, or
1 Q. On the 1st of December, when the 3rd Corps was established and
2 then the brigades were set up and the 325 Mountain Brigade was set up in
3 Vitez, did the municipal TO staffs and the area staffs in local communes
4 with their units in the villages, did they cease to exist or not?
5 A. The municipal TO staff continued to exist, with its area TO staffs
6 located in the local communes.
7 Q. Can you tell the Court: When did the Territorial Defence, in
8 other words, the system where you had the municipal TO staffs, area
9 staffs, and the units in the villages, consisting of the Muslim or Bosniak
10 people, when did it cease to exist? When was it dissolved, this
12 A. I did not understand the question.
13 Q. Okay. Once again: When did the municipal TO staff and its
14 subordinate units cease to exist for good?
15 A. After the ceasefire with the HVO, on the 25th of February, 1994.
16 Q. You said that in 1993, in the Vitez municipality, which is the
17 time that we're interested in, there was this municipal TO staff which was
18 the supreme body there.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you enumerate some of the subordinate area staffs of the
21 Territorial Defence?
22 A. Well, there was the TO staff in Stari Vitez, in Novi Vitez, in
23 Kruscica, Preocica, Dubravica, Sivrino Selo, Poculica, and so on.
24 Q. Is it true that the area staffs, which covered the area of a local
25 commune, had armed units in the villages, the size of which depended on
1 the size of the village?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Can you tell us: How large were the units, minimum to maximum?
4 What was the range of their strength?
5 A. The largest unit was the sabotage platoon, or detachment, 80 to
6 100 people, in Stari Vitez. In other local communes, it was a squad to
7 platoon strength, five to ten people, 30, 35 people.
8 Q. Can you tell me: The village of Ahmici, which area staff of the
9 Territorial Defence did it belong, or which Territorial Defence staff was
10 this unit in the village of Ahmici subordinate to?
11 A. They belonged to the area Territorial Defence staff of Dubravica
12 and Sivrino Selo, and it had a platoon of 30, 35 people, maximum. And
13 they were armed with army rifles and with hunting rifles. Not all of
14 them. 25 to 30 rifles, that's what they had.
15 Q. I will now be asking you about some events, and we will be
16 concentrating on just these events that we're interested in.
17 On the 20th of October, 1992, a roadblock was set up by the
18 Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina on the Vitez-Busovaca road.
19 Can you explain to the Chamber who set up the roadblock, where, and what
20 was its purpose?
21 A. On the orders of the 3rd Corps, the roadblock was ordered to be
22 set up by the municipal TO staff in Vitez. The order was to set it up in
23 Ahmici, across the road from the cemetery.
24 Q. What was the purpose of this roadblock?
25 A. The purpose was to make it impossible for the HVO units to move
1 from Kresevo, Fojnica, Kiseljak, and Busovaca. Allegedly they were
2 supposed to head towards Jajce to defend it. At that time, Jajce had
3 already been captured by Serb Montenegrin units.
4 Q. Why was the roadblock set up in Ahmici?
5 A. Because of the lay of the land, the main road leading from
6 Busovaca to Vitez and Travnik passes through there.
7 Q. So military reasons dictated that this roadblock be set up there?
8 A. Yes, yes. That's where the terrain was the most favourable for a
10 Q. In negotiations with Mr. Santic, the mayor of Vitez, about the
11 removal of the roadblock, he spoke to somebody on the phone, seeking
12 advice. Can you tell us who that person was and where that person was
13 that he spoke to?
14 A. Our TO staff was located in the high school in Vitez. In the
15 evening, there was this meeting. Ten of us from the TO staff were
16 present, representatives from the SDA party, and Ivica Santic, the mayor,
17 also attended. He was there with the commander of the Vitez Brigade,
18 Mario Cerkez. They demanded that we remove the roadblock so that the
19 units could move towards Jajce. We were adamant that we would not remove
20 the roadblock, and Ivica Santic picked up the phone, called somebody - I
21 don't know whom - and when he spoke to that person, he addressed him as
22 "kolonelo," colonel, saying that the staff refused to remove the
23 roadblock in Ahmici. And later on, Ivica told us that Kordic, from Novi
24 Travnik, ordered that the roadblocks be removed or there would be a war.
25 Q. So what was your understanding, even though you did not hear that
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 he -- who did he talk to?
2 A. To Kordic.
3 Q. The next event that I would like to talk about for a few minutes
4 is the attack and the conflict in the village of Ahmici. The attack on
5 the village of Ahmici.
6 A. I'm waiting for the interpretation.
7 Q. So the attack on the village of Ahmici occurred on the 16th of
8 April, 1993.
9 [Defence counsel confer]
10 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation]
11 Q. My colleague reminded me that we have to clarify one issue. Did
12 the HVO attack the roadblock in Ahmici?
13 A. Yes. Yes. Several houses were razed -- were destroyed. A young
14 man, aged 16, a child, in fact, was killed.
15 Q. We now move in time six months forward. My question is: When and
16 how did you learn that the village of Ahmici had been attacked?
17 A. At around 5.30 on the 16th, the shelling began. After that,
18 perhaps five minutes or ten minutes later, the commander of the unit from
19 Ahmici, Midhat Berbic, called and said that the HVO had attacked Ahmici,
20 that houses were on fire, and what should they do? This was phoned in.
21 We did not have radio communications. The line went down after that, and
22 it was not restored any more.
23 Now, whether he was able to inform the area staff in Dubravica,
24 Sivrino Selo, provide any more information, we don't know about that. At
25 5.45, the attack on Stari Vitez began, Veceriska. In fact all the
1 villages. I don't want to enumerate them. All the villages inhabited by
2 Muslims. There were mortar attacks, recoilless guns, and so on.
3 Q. At that time, you were in Stari Vitez. Did you at that time, in
4 the Vitez municipality, have a certain level of combat readiness?
5 A. Yes, we did. After the first conflict involving the roadblock in
6 1992, from that time on we were at an increased level of combat readiness,
7 in all units.
8 Q. I'm not a military man, and neither are the Judges. Could you
9 explain what a heightened level of combat readiness means for a soldier?
10 A. It means greater caution, more men on the front lines, more men on
11 duty during the night, et cetera.
12 Q. How many members of the Territorial Defence did you have in
13 Stari Vitez on the 16th of April, 1993?
14 A. We had about 280 men, of which 200 to 220 had weapons, barrels.
15 We had four mortars, of 60 millimetres, two machine-guns, one sniper
16 rifle, and ten or so M-48 rifles, known as Tandzara, which are a very
17 effective, so that the HVO believed that we had as many snipers. We in
18 fact had only one sniper rifle, which midway into the conflict was left
19 without any ammunition, so it couldn't be used any longer.
20 I can also list the units. There was the municipal TO staff,
21 there was a military police platoon, the civilian police, a sabotage
22 detachment of Stari Vitez. Those were the units, anyway, between 200 and
23 280 men.
24 Q. On the 16th of April, you found yourselves surrounded. Could you
25 tell us, in metres, how large this area of yours was where the 280 men
1 were present?
2 A. About 500 to 600 metres. About 500 to 600 metres, couple of
3 dulums of land.
4 Q. On this area of 500 to 600 metres there were 280 armed men, and
5 how many civilians were there surrounded?
6 A. There were 317 houses in Stari Vitez, 317. About 1.700
7 inhabitants in this area of 500 by 600. So under 2.000 men in all,
8 counting the soldiers.
9 Q. When the conflict broke out on the 16th of April, early in the
10 morning, how did you organise the defence? Did you have bunkers and
11 trenches that had been dug up? What did you use for shelter in order to
12 effectively organise the defence?
13 A. We didn't have shelters or trenches. We did later on. We had
14 everything. But we didn't expect any attack, any conflict, between the
15 HVO and the army, so that we didn't have any of those things. We used the
16 houses, some auxiliary buildings for the defence.
17 Q. How many casualties did you have on the 16th of April, when the
18 conflict with the HVO started?
19 A. Three soldiers were killed, and there were civilians wounded,
20 maybe 10 to 20, lightly wounded. And we lost those soldiers that I
22 Q. Is it true that on the 16th of April, you personally stayed behind
23 in the encirclement and fought until the 25th of February, 1994, when a
24 ceasefire was signed with the HVO, and there was no communication, no way
25 out of Stari Vitez?
1 A. Yes. For 315 days, we were under siege, and on the 316th a truce
2 was signed.
3 Q. So you personally didn't leave Stari Vitez for 315 days?
4 A. That's right. I didn't also say that we had 66 victims during the
5 period of 300 days, of whom half were soldiers and half civilians. I may
6 also say that a newborn infant also died because we were unable to take it
7 to hospital.
8 Q. But it died of natural causes, not from the war?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Let us move on to the 18th of April, 1993, when there was a large
11 explosion in Stari Vitez. Could you explain what happened, what you
12 personally saw?
13 A. A truck, a tanker truck, arrived. The HVO had three or four.
14 They took them probably from the army. It was a military tanker truck.
15 It went along the main road from Travnik to Vitez, and it reached up to
16 the church. When it got to the church, to the square there, they were
17 doing something - we don't know what - and suddenly the tanker started
18 moving along the main road through Stari Vitez. We noticed straight away
19 that the driver could neither slow it down nor accelerate the truck. We
20 noticed that the driver was probably tied, and he was tied up, and he had
21 no possibility of increasing or decreasing the speed.
22 We realised that something was wrong, and the driver, we could see
23 that he was tied to the wheel. He was waving his arms to move away, as
24 much as he could. And luckily, most of the people did move away. And on
25 the way out from Stari Vitez, there was an explosion. A fuse was probably
1 used, but the calculation wasn't right. And if it had exploded in the
2 centre of Stari Vitez, where there were more civilians and older houses,
3 there would probably have been a massacre. So that the tanker truck
4 exploded. We found a part of a leg and the genitals of the driver, and
5 later I learnt that Darko Kraljevic, from Dubravica, from the school in
6 Dubravica, had asked for a professional driver and that Sahman, who was
7 from Sipovo, who had been expelled and who had come to Vitez, volunteered
8 and probably he was the one driving the truck.
9 I have no further information about it.
10 Q. Let us be more specific. When you say Darko Kraljevic, you're
11 referring to the commander of the Vitezovi?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. Where did the tanker truck explode? Were there any casualties?
14 A. Yes. Seven civilians, or rather, three soldiers and four -- three
15 civilians, three men, and a woman.
16 Q. Let us move on to the next event. On the 18th of July, 1993,
17 there was an attack by the HVO on Stari Vitez. Can you tell us what the
18 result of the conflict was? How many dead and wounded on either side, as
19 far as you know?
20 A. We had heard earlier on that the HVO was preparing some sort of an
21 attack, and on the 18th, about 1.00, half past 1.00, at night, this
22 armoured vehicle reached the separation line between us and the HVO,
23 moving from the church along the main road. It stopped there for about
24 five or ten minutes, and then it turned back towards the church. From the
25 church, it went back to Princip, and then it tried to pass through Stari
1 Vitez, taking another route.
2 We managed to hit this armoured vehicle with a 57-millimetre
3 hand-held rocket launcher, because we hit it where the oil was, and it
4 stopped and tried to turn back towards Princip, about 50 metres, and it
5 stopped there. And that was the beginning of the all-out attack on Vitez
6 from all sides, from Princip, where this armoured vehicle or transporter
7 was. It was followed by infantry men of the HVO. I surrendered 12 HVO
8 soldiers to Boro Josic. Then, from the garages in Novi Vitez, I handed
9 over one of the commanders of the military police, Zlatko Nakic - in those
10 days, he was a champion in martial sports - and another 14 men. This was
11 the agricultural estate of the Princip farm, where this transporter was
12 moving the Crows, the gavronovi ^ were gathering there all summer.
13 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. Interpreter's correction.
14 A. Crows were gathering there because there must have been some more
15 dead bodies.
16 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
17 Q. You said you handed over 14 men. Were they alive or dead?
18 A. Dead.
19 Q. Oh, bodies, bodies. I see. Go on, please.
20 A. We didn't have any men dead. We had 15 soldiers wounded, 8 of
21 whom who were more seriously wounded were taken over by the Red Cross and
22 transported to Zenica. Out of those eight, four died in Zenica a couple
23 of days later; I don't know exactly. And the others who were lightly
24 wounded stayed on in Stari Vitez.
25 Q. Were any civilians killed on that occasion on your side?
1 A. There were a small number of injured civilians, but not seriously,
2 because by then we had dugouts and trenches, so we had prepared ourselves.
3 The civilians were in the basements. So that there were very few
4 casualties, with very light injuries.
5 Q. I have only one more question for you. On the 12th of April,
6 1993, you had an incident at the checkpoint at Dolac; is that right?
7 A. Yes. My intelligence officer from the staff was with me in
9 Q. Just tell me who manned the checkpoint at Dolac.
10 A. The police, probably of the Travnik Brigade.
11 Q. You mean the military police?
12 A. Yes. And they tied us up, and so on, with wire.
13 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] That's all, Mr. President, for this
14 witness. Thank you.
15 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you, Mr. Nobilo.
16 We now turn to the Prosecution. Mr. Harmon. Cross-examination.
17 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Your Honours.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Harmon:
19 Q. Good morning, Witness BA5.
20 A. Good morning.
21 Q. Witness BA, 5 General Blaskic asserted at his trial that on the
22 morning of the 16th of April, 1993, in Vitez and in other parts of the
23 Lasva Valley, the ABiH, the Bosnian army, initiated the conflict by
24 attacking the HVO. My question to you, sir, is: Did the Bosnian army
25 start the conflict on the 16th of April in the morning by attacking the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 HVO in Vitez?
2 A. I don't know what he stated, but I believe you that that is what
3 he said. But even the sparrows on the branches know that it was the HVO
4 who attacked the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. There's the UNPROFOR,
5 the British Battalion, that was stationed there in Stara Bila, and they
6 can confirm that. It was quite out of the question that the army had
7 attacked the HVO.
8 MR. HAYMAN: If I could just ask, Mr. President, for transcript
9 cites when counsel makes representations about the record below. Thank
11 JUDGE POCAR: Yes.
12 MR. HARMON: I would be glad to give the Court that transcript
13 cite. I don't have it. I have other transcript cites that I will
14 furnish. I can furnish the Court that transcript cite in the course of
15 today and I can furnish counsel that cite as well.
16 Q. Let me ask you, Witness BA5: Did the Bosnian army initiate the
17 conflict by starting attacks in the villages of Ahmici, Santici, Nadioci,
18 Donja Veceriska, Kruscica, Sivrino Selo, or other Muslim villages in the
19 Lasva Valley on the morning of April 16th?
20 A. I said that the HVO started the attack at 5.30 at Ahmici and all
21 the other villages inhabited by Muslims, now known as Bosniaks.
22 Sivrino Selo, Preocica, Dubravica, Bukve, Veceriska, Gacice, et cetera. I
23 don't need to list all of them.
24 MR. HARMON: Can I have the assistance of the usher, please, to
25 put an item on the ELMO. For Your Honours' information, this is
1 Prosecutor's trial exhibit in the Blaskic case. It is Prosecutor's
2 Exhibit 242. It is part of a report that was prepared by Charles McLeod
3 who was an ECMM representative who was specifically requested and sent to
4 the Lasva Valley at the request of ECMM Ambassador Thebault, to prepare an
5 appraisal for ECMM about the events that occurred in the Lasva Valley, and
6 in the course of that preparation of that report, Mr. McLeod interviewed a
7 number of significant figures, including General Blaskic, and came to
8 certain conclusions. And I would like to put on the ELMO, if we could --
9 I'm not getting the ELMO on this computer. Okay.
10 Q. Let me show you -- Witness, you can't read this particular
11 exhibit. It's in English. But let me read you a portion of the exhibit.
12 It is found at page 1 of the exhibit. There is a number at the bottom.
13 It is ERN number -- it is 020181. And in the report that Mr. McLeod makes
14 to ECMM, he says the following, and I quote, Witness: "The Croats in Vitez
15 launched a coordinated attack on 16 April against the Muslim villages
16 around Vitez and on Old Vitez, the predominantly Muslim part of the town."
17 Do you agree with Mr. McLeod's conclusion, Witness BA5?
18 A. Fully.
19 Q. Now, you mentioned, Witness, that there were simultaneous military
20 HVO offensive operations directed against Muslim villages on the 16th of
21 April, 1993. Let me ask your opinion. At what level of command was the
22 authorisation and the planning of such a complex coordinated military
23 offensive operation take place?
24 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] I apologise, Mr. President. This is
25 beyond the scope of the focus of the examination-in-chief. We inquired
1 about two places, Ahmici and Stari Vitez, on the 16th. We didn't ask any
2 questions about the whole area of Central Bosnia, and the
3 cross-examination, therefore, is beyond the scope of the
5 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, if I may be heard. This evidence
6 dealing with Ahmici is part and parcel of a large-scale attack,
7 simultaneously directed by the HVO against Vitez, about which he testified
8 about Ahmici, about which he testified, and I believe it is relevant and
9 probative in these particular proceedings. It should be admitted.
10 JUDGE POCAR: I think you should proceed, Mr. Harmon, but then try
11 to put the question to the specific.
12 MR. HARMON: Yes.
13 JUDGE POCAR: Later on.
14 MR. HARMON: I will be glad to.
15 JUDGE POCAR: Part of the -- that's fine.
16 MR. HARMON:
17 Q. Let me ask you again, Witness: At what level of command would the
18 authorisation and the planning for such a complex offensive military
19 operation take place?
20 A. I am some sort of a military expert, and the lowest possible level
21 would be the brigade level. If an attack is of a larger scale, and in
22 this case it was, then probably a higher-level command, that is, the HVO
23 command for Central Bosnia, would have had to do it, because below the
24 brigade level, not a single unit could have done it and planned it, nor
25 carried it out.
1 Q. Now, such a complex operation involving multiple targets, multiple
2 objectives and multiple units would require time to plan and prepare such
3 an operation; is that a fair statement?
4 A. Precisely so. It cannot be done overnight. It cannot be planned
5 and carried out suddenly. Preparations must have been carried out earlier
6 on, certainly much earlier on, in fact.
7 Q. All right. Now, let me focus your attention -- well, let me ask
8 you a question. When you say much earlier on, are you able to assist the
9 Appeals Chamber in giving us your opinion on how much time it would have
10 taken to prepare this simultaneous coordinated, multi-objective operation
11 on the 16th of April?
12 A. At least 15 or 20 days, at least.
13 Q. Now, let me ask you, sir: Focus your attention on the attack on
14 Vitez that took place, according to your testimony, it commenced at 5.30
15 in the morning on the 16th of April. You were there, and you experienced
16 the events. Can you tell me, Witness BA5, was this an attack that was
17 coordinated, that used multiple units of the HVO?
18 A. Yes, it was a coordinated attack, starting from the church, along
19 the main road, the Travnik-Vitez road, from Princip, from Gacice, that is,
20 rather Mlakici, rather, not Gacice, from the petrol station in
21 Stari Vitez, via the Skopljak houses and the Lasva River, and a part was
22 coming from Krcevine, from the left bank of the Lasva River, that is, from
23 Vitez itself.
24 Q. Now, which units, which HVO military and police units,
25 participated in the attack on Vitez? If you could identify them, please.
1 A. I cannot say which units they were, but it was certainly one of
2 the brigades, probably the Vitez Brigade. The police, the HVO police, the
3 Jokers, the Vitezovi, and I believe a part of the 4th Battalion of the
4 military police, under the command of Pasko Ljubicic.
5 Q. Now, let me show you three exhibits, Witness, photographs, please.
6 These are photographs that were taken by the British Battalion, members
7 who were in Vitez on the morning of the 16th of April. The first
8 photograph, Witness --
9 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Harmon, can you identify the exhibits.
10 MR. HARMON: Yes. I'm sorry. I'm sorry, Your Honour. This was
11 Prosecutor's Exhibit in the Blaskic trial 152/2. It depicts a young boy
12 who was -- whose body was seen in Vitez on the morning of the 16th by a
13 British Battalion officer who testified in the trial.
14 Could we have the next picture, please.
15 Q. This picture is an exhibit 102/1. It was identified in trial as a
16 body of an old man who had his throat cut.
17 Could I have the next picture, please. It was also taken in
19 The next picture taken in Vitez on the morning of the 16th of
20 April. It is a house that was on fire, in the background, in fact, you
21 can see a British armoured vehicle that was on patrol that morning that
22 responded to Vitez.
23 Q. Now, let me ask you, Witness BA5: During this attack on Vitez,
24 not just Stari Vitez, but other parts of Vitez where Muslims lived with
25 Croats, were Muslim civilians killed?
1 A. Yes. Yes. This is the first Muslim house in an area
2 predominantly inhabited by Croats. It is Hasan Topcic's house.
3 Q. So it is a Muslim house that appears to be standing in an area
4 where Croat house --
5 A. Yes. Behind -- behind is a church. Behind it is a church.
6 Q. Were Muslim civilians expelled from their homes during the attack
7 by the HVO on the morning of the 16th of April?
8 A. Yes. Most of them were. Those that were not, those who didn't
9 want to leave, and when the Croats would not let them go to the Muslim
10 part of Vitez, they were later killed. Sadet Basic, then another man.
11 There were quite a number of civilians who were later killed.
12 Q. Witness BA5, I'm going to -- I'm quite limited in time and I have
13 a number of subjects to cover. You are more than entitled to expand on
14 your answers, but I need to get through some of this examination fairly
15 quickly. Let me ask you another question, Witness BA5: On the attack on
16 the 16th of April, 1993, in Vitez, were Muslim civilians arrested and
17 detained in large numbers in various locations in Vitez?
18 A. About 700 to 1.000 Muslims were in the cinema in Stari Vitez, in
19 the SDK office in the veterinary station, and in the school in Dubravica,
20 the elementary school in Dubravica.
21 Q. Now, Witness BA5, the cinema was also the brigade headquarters for
22 Mario Cerkez and the Viteska Brigade; is that correct?
23 A. I met with Mario in his office in the cinema.
24 Q. And that's the same location where the civilians were detained; is
25 that correct?
1 A. Yes, exactly.
2 Q. And in a location where those civilians were detained is
3 approximately 100 metres from the Hotel Vitez, which was the command
4 headquarters for General Blaskic; is that correct?
5 A. Fifty metres, not one hundred. Fifty, perhaps even less.
6 Q. All right. Now, let's talk about the attack that occurred on the
7 18th of April, the attack with a truck bomb. You mentioned in your
8 testimony that there was a large explosion in Stari Vitez on the 18th of
9 April. You were present in Stari Vitez when that explosion took place; is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Okay. Let me ask you --
13 A. I was there.
14 Q. Let me ask you the next question. The Defence in this case has
15 suggested that the explosion was -- this tanker was filled with petroleum,
16 and that was the source of the explosion.
17 MR. HAYMAN: Could we just have cites, Your Honour, when counsel
18 makes representations about the record below. We aren't going to be able
19 to respond --
20 MR. HARMON: I'll be glad to, Your Honour. I'll be glad to. In
21 the Defence supplemental brief in this case, the Defence has suggested
22 that because Darko Kraljevic had control of the Kalen petrol station, by
23 the 18th of April, the source of the explosion could have been petroleum.
24 This witness was there. He knows. He can tell you precisely what the
25 source of that explosion was.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE POCAR: Okay. You can proceed.
2 MR. HARMON:
3 Q. Witness, let me show you some additional exhibits. They will be
4 photographs, and then I'm going to ask your opinion. These are four
5 exhibits, Your Honour. They were exhibited at the course of the trial.
6 They relate to the truck bomb. If we could have the first one on the
8 This, Your Honour, is an Office of the Prosecutor Exhibit 81/2.
9 It was taken on the 18th of April by a British officer who testified in
10 the trial. At the bottom of the photograph you can see where the truck
11 was when it exploded.
12 Q. Witness, just let me ask you a question at this point in time.
13 What is your opinion? Was petroleum the source of that explosion or was
14 it something else, and can you explain why you have come to that
16 MR. HAYMAN: Beyond the scope, Your Honour. The problem is: This
17 witness was confined to Stari Vitez for 317 days. We asked the Court to
18 hear him because he's we think an important fact witness. We
19 haven't -- we did not offer him as a military expert or a demolitions
20 expert or an explosives expert. And at this late point in the
21 proceedings, if the Court wants to hear more expert testimony, we welcome
22 it, but not solely in the form of this witness, whose qualifications have
23 not been presented. And if this witness is to become a military strategy
24 expert for the entirely Vitez municipality or a demolitions expert, we
25 want the right to recall the experts that testified below, in the trial,
1 and as to whom we were not able to present the new evidence, the new
2 reports, the new information that we have provided to Your Honours via the
3 Rule 115 motions.
4 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I am more than happy to not probe
5 further into that topic. The Defence has suggested in its filings with
6 the Appeals Chamber that this was possibly caused by petroleum. This
7 witness was there, there were physical exhibits at the trial that will
8 demonstrate that it was not petroleum, but that suggestion is something
9 that is important to rebut and it will take a matter of two minutes of
10 testimony for this witness to give you his opinion and show you and
11 base -- and tell you what his reasoning is.
12 MR. HAYMAN: That's fine, Your Honour, but it has utter disregard
13 for the scope of examinations and the material that we presented in our
14 Rule 115s. And if we're going to go down that road let's go there, but
15 not stop exactly where Mr. Harmon wants us to stop. Let's go the full
17 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Hayman, I think the question can be put to the
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 JUDGE POCAR: Sorry. I think the question can be put to the
21 witness because he witnessed the explosion of the truck. Of course, the
22 weight to be given to that testimony is in the hands of the
23 Appeal Chamber.
24 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Witness, can you tell us what your opinion is, and why?
1 A. Here, where the crater is, this is the crater caused by TNT or
2 Vitezit explosive. You can see that none of the houses around were on
3 fire at one point. Had the explosion been caused by petroleum they would
4 all have been burnt to the ground. That's all I have to say about that.
5 MR. HARMON: [Previous translation continues]... To the Court
6 three additional exhibits. This is an exhibit taken near the detonation
7 site, it is Prosecutor's Exhibit 151. If we can have the next exhibit,
8 also from Prosecutor's Exhibit 151, again near the detonation site. And
9 if we could have Prosecutor's Exhibit 81/5, taken where part of the truck
10 chassis landed.
11 Q. All right. Thank you very much. Now, Witness BA5, this truck
12 bomb exploded approximately 400 metres from General Blaskic's
13 headquarters; is that correct?
14 A. Three hundred fifty, not more than that.
15 Q. And following the detonation of this huge bomb, was there an
16 infantry attack on Stari Vitez?
17 A. Yes. An infantry attack ensued from all sides, from the gas
18 station, Skopljak, Lasva, Krcevine, the church, from the direction of
19 Princip, Matic, and so on.
20 Q. Can you identify the HVO military units that participated in that
21 coordinated attack against Stari Vitez on that day?
22 A. Well, probably it was the Vitez Brigade, the Jokers, the Vitezovi,
23 part of the 4th Battalion, Pasko Ljubicic's unit, but mostly these units.
24 I don't know exactly.
25 MR. HAYMAN: Foundation, Your Honour. We'd ask for some
2 MR. HARMON: All right.
3 MR. HAYMAN: For that testimony. Did he see patches, did he
4 recognise individuals? We need a foundation.
5 MR. HARMON:
6 Q. Did you return any bodies of people who -- HVO soldiers who had
7 been killed as a result of the attack on the 18th of April?
8 A. Yes. I've already said that we handed 14 bodies to Boro Jozic, 12
9 from the Princip farm, some were HV soldiers, Croatian army soldiers, from
10 Bjelovar and Nasice. The rest were from the Vitez Brigade and from the
11 Vitezovi unit, and from the military police, one of their members,
12 Zlatko Nakic, had been killed.
13 Q. All right. Let me turn usher's attention --
14 MR. HAYMAN: Motion to strike the prior testimony. Counsel is
15 talking about the 18th of April, the witness is talking about the 18th of
17 MR. HARMON:
18 Q. Witness, let's --
19 JUDGE POCAR: Question precisely on the dates.
20 MR. HARMON: Let's clarify this.
21 Q. Those bodies you just described, were those bodies from the 18th
22 of July or from the attack on the 18th of April?
23 A. 18th of July.
24 Q. Fine. We'll accept your answer for that. Let's turn your
25 attention -- Witness, let me turn your attention to the attack on the 18th
1 of April. Did you see any HVO soldiers in the attack, and can you
2 identify what units they were from?
3 A. We saw, because that was quite close, we saw the brigade, the
4 military police, the Jokers, the Vitezovi. They were all there.
5 Q. And the Viteska Brigade?
6 A. Yes, the Vitez Brigade. I think they played a main role.
7 Q. All right. Let me turn your attention, because my time is
8 exceptionally limited, let me turn to the attack on the 18th of July, 2003
9 [sic]. You were present in the attack; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Let me show you an exhibit, please. During that period of time,
12 sir, that was -- there was a major attack in an effort to capture and to
13 clear up Stari Vitez by the HVO; am I correct?
14 A. Yes, precisely.
15 MR. HARMON: Could I have on the ELMO PA34, tab 10, please. I
16 would like to show you an order that was prepared -- or a report prepared
17 by Mario Cerkez on the 2nd of June, 1993. I will -- it was directed to
18 Colonel Blaskic. I will direct your attention to point number 5, at the
19 end. This is a document that is dated the 2nd of July --
20 JUDGE POCAR: One second, Mr. Harmon. I see the transcript in the
21 question you put on the 18th of July shows 2003. It was 1993, I guess.
22 MR. HARMON: That's an error. It should be 1993. Thank you,
23 Your Honour.
24 Q. This document that is on the ELMO, do you see -- you've seen this
25 document before, have you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. This is a document that is dated the 2nd of July, 1993, to
3 Colonel Blaskic, and in point 5, he says to Colonel Blaskic that
4 preparations to attack Stari Vitez are in progress. Now, in the testimony
5 of Colonel Blaskic at trial, at pages 18515 and 19 -- to 18519, and also
6 on 19500 and 501, General Blaskic testified before the Trial Chamber that
7 only had the authority to issue orders to the artillery, to engage the
8 artillery. Very, very briefly, sir, can you describe the attack that took
9 place on Stari Vitez on the 18th of July? My time is limited, so if you
10 could be very succinct, I would appreciate it.
11 A. As I've already said, next to the armoured vehicle there were
12 mortars, recoilless rifles, or rather, in addition to the armoured
13 vehicle, there were also artillery pieces, from everywhere.
14 Q. And this was a coordinated infantry attack on Stari Vitez on the
15 18th of July?
16 A. Yes. Yes. Darko Kraljevic set up the armoured vehicle. He was
17 the one who mainly did that.
18 Q. Let me show you the British report. This was an exhibit at trial.
19 It is Exhibit 708 in the Blaskic case. I'll put it on the ELMO. And this
20 is a report, sir, that documents, from the British military point of view,
21 what happened. Let me read this to you and let me see if you agree. The
22 first sentence I will read you will not know anything about, but it says:
23 "A HUMINT" - means a human intelligence source - "claimed last
24 night" - that would be the night of the 17th - "that the HVO were about to
25 attack Stari Vitez." Then it goes on to say: "The night there was the
1 normal SA, small arms, and HMG fire" --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please slow down when
4 MR. HARMON:
5 Q. The night there was the normal SA, small arms, and HMG fire
6 punctuated by mortar fire, but 18" - that refers to the date -
7 "0445" - refers to the hour - "an intensive barrage of the Muslim area
8 began and involved occasional multi-barrel rocket launcher and artillery
9 fire as well as mortars. The fighting continued throughout the day."
10 Later on this document goes on to say, Your Honours: "All access
11 into Vitez has been denied by HVO checkpoints located at..." And it gives
12 two grid references. "Both checkpoints have mines laid across the road
13 and troops with camouflage cream were noted in the area of the first
14 checkpoint. Darko Gelic, the operational zone Central Bosnia," that's
15 General Blaskic's command, "liaison officer to British Battalion, has
16 confirmed that the HVO are attacking Ahmici -- or Stari Vitez and that the
17 artillery barrage was the preliminary phase."
18 In respect of the description of the attack on Stari Vitez,
19 Witness, do you agree with that description?
20 A. Yes, fully.
21 Q. I'm going to show you another exhibit, if I can. This is PA35.
22 Witness, this exhibit is a report prepared by General Blaskic four days
23 after the attack, the 22nd of July, and I'm going to refer you to the
24 fifth numbered item in that. Let me read it to you: "The attempt to
25 capture and clear up Stari Vitez by members of the special-purpose unit
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Vitezovi, Tvrtko 2 and Viteska Brigade was partially successful, but we
2 lost 15 to 18 of our most capable soldiers in that action."
3 Now, Witness, General Blaskic testified at trial, testimony is
4 found at 19497, that he "returned sometime around 1800 hours to Nova Bila,
5 the forward command post there, and there I was informed that there were
6 offensive operations on Stari Vitez carried out by the special purpose
7 unit, the Vitezovi."
8 Let me ask your opinion, sir. Given the document that you saw
9 dated the 2nd of July, informing General Blaskic that preparations to
10 attack Stari Vitez were in progress, that the attack took place at 4.45 in
11 the morning, only 300 metres from his headquarters building, that there
12 were checkpoints to deny access of the British Battalion into the area
13 around the attack, that artillery was used, and only General Blaskic could
14 authorise that artillery, that an officer named Darko Gelic informed the
15 British battalion that the artillery barrage was the preliminary phase and
16 that the attack, the ensuing infantry attack, involved multiple HVO units,
17 including the Viteska Brigade, is there any way in your opinion that
18 General Blaskic would not know about this operation that commenced on the
19 morning of the -- at 4.45 in the morning.
20 MR. HAYMAN: Beyond the scope, Your Honour. We called a fact
21 witness. We called a fact witness. This is entirely beyond the scope.
22 MR. HARMON: I'll withdraw the question. Thank you.
23 Q. Let me turn to a different topic, because his name has been
24 mentioned in this trial. It is Dario Kordic. Dario Kordic was the
25 highest political figure in Central Bosnia; am I correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Anto Valenta --
3 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this really is beyond
4 the scope of the examination-in-chief. We did not ask any questions about
5 Dario Kordic. We did not ask any questions about the HVO structures.
6 This man spent 315 days in total isolation.
7 MR. HARMON: If I may respond to that, Your Honour. This Court
8 has heard for three days that Dario Kordic is responsible for all the
9 crimes in Central Bosnia. Dario Kordic, his name was resurrected again
10 here. This witness can provide some information about Dario Kordic. It
11 isn't a one-sided proceeding where only the Defence can raise Dario Kordic
12 and the Prosecutor should be prohibited from mentioning Dario Kordic.
13 MR. HAYMAN: Then let's have a new trial, Your Honour. If it's a
14 free for all, let's have a new trial.
15 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Harmon, you can't cross-examine this witness on
16 the examination of other witnesses.
17 MR. HARMON: May I --
18 JUDGE POCAR: We heard yesterday--
19 MR. HARMON: May I be permitted, Mr. President, to go into
20 questions about Dario Kordic, since he was raised in the context of the
21 October event, where a discussion with Mr. Santic, the mayor of Vitez,
22 said he -- and claimed that the order to take down the barricades came
23 from Dario Kordic. Dario Kordic is an important figure in these
24 proceedings and this witness --
25 JUDGE POCAR: On that episode you can question the witness, of
2 MR. HARMON: Okay.
3 Q. Well, let me ask you -- I'm going to refer Your Honours to a
4 document. It is Prosecution Exhibit 647 in the case.
5 And Witness, you testified that Mr. Santic had a conversation with
6 somebody he addressed as colonel and that -- but you don't know who that
7 was. Furthermore, Mr. Santic then said that Kordic from Novi Travnik
8 ordered the roadblock removed.
9 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, let me show you 647. It is dated the
10 21st of October, 1992. On the last page of that exhibit -- on the last
11 page of the exhibit, you will see and you will confirm from this document
12 that paragraph 10 from General Blaskic as colonel, identified as a
13 colonel, and Deputy President Dario Kordic, in paragraph 10, it says:
14 "While defence operations are being conducted, the vice-president of HZ
15 HB, Dario Kordic, and I are in Novi Travnik continuously leading military
17 Now, Witness, let me turn to another subject.
18 MR. HAYMAN: What was the question, Your Honour? There was no
19 question. If there's no question it's a speech. We ask it be stricken.
20 MR. HARMON: Then I will ask a question.
21 Q. Do you know, Witness, whether Mr. Santic was speaking to
22 Colonel Blaskic or he was speaking to vice-president Kordic?
23 A. Let me tell you: I don't know who he talked to, but he told us
24 that he had spoken to Kordic, with Colonel Kordic. All of them are
25 colonels. From Filip Filipovic down to Blaskic, Dario Kordic was a
1 colonel, Kraljevic. They all became colonels overnight.
2 Q. All right. Let me ask you, Witness --
3 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Harmon, may I draw your attention to the clock.
4 MR. HARMON: I'm racing to keep up with the Court's order,
5 Your Honour. I will endeavour to finish quickly. I have some additional
6 evidence that I'd like to present through this witness, testimony.
7 Q. Witness, if I could have --
8 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, if counsel had stayed within the scope,
9 he would have been done long ago. We didn't use all our time. We used
10 about 35 minutes on direct. And we're happy to open up this case to
11 anything and everything that Mr. Harmon wants to go into, but if we're
12 going to do that, we want a new trial.
13 MR. HARMON: May I proceed?
14 JUDGE POCAR: Yes, proceed, Mr. Harmon.
15 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
16 JUDGE POCAR: You have a couple of minutes.
17 MR. HARMON: Thank you.
18 Q. Let me show you a document, Witness. This is a document that is
19 PA3. This is a document that is dated --
20 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] Mr. President, this document is
21 absolutely beyond the scope of the examination-in-chief. It talks about
22 the structure of the HVO. This man had spent 315 days in total isolation
23 in Stari Vitez. This is totally beyond the scope of the
24 examination-in-chief. These are HVO documents that this witness knows
25 nothing about. He doesn't know anything about the situation. He was in
1 an encirclement. He was in combat at that time. He doesn't know anything
2 about that.
3 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Nobilo, can we wait for the question, then
4 decide whether the question can be put to the witness?
5 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] Yes, certainly, but any questions
6 proceeding from this document can only be outside of the scope of the
8 MR. HAYMAN: The other problem, Your Honour, is we have -- now the
9 witness has read the document, so the question that might have been asked
10 and answered before he's seen the document and something has been
11 suggested to him, that question can never be asked because the water is no
12 longer clean, if you will.
13 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, let me -- I have a few minutes. I have
14 some topics that I'd like to go through. I don't want to spend the rest
15 of my time having objections on this case. I will withdraw that document.
16 It's part of the appeals record and I'm satisfied that it speaks for
18 If I could move now, sir, to three topics.
19 JUDGE POCAR: Mr. Harmon, you have just one minute and a half.
20 MR. HARMON: One minute and a half. All right. Let me select
21 very carefully which question I'm going to ask in my remaining minute and
22 a half.
23 Q. Witness, let me show you an exhibit. It is tab 56. It's PA56,
24 tab 27. And this is an exhibit that -- let me preface it by saying: In
25 your opinion, Witness, in the Lasva Valley during the period of April and
1 beyond, were there war crimes committed by the HVO against the Muslim
2 civilian population?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Let me show you this exhibit. This exhibit, Witness, is an
5 exhibit -- Witness, have you had a chance to read that exhibit? This is
6 an exhibit that is a warning issued by General Blaskic on the 22nd of May,
7 1993, to a brigade commander, warning them not to mention in their reports
8 the fact that civilian or a MOS member was killed by digging trenches at
9 HVO defence line. Because if that was the case, the international
10 community might blame the HVO for improper treatment.
11 Given that this is an attempt to conceal from the international
12 community HVO crimes, would you expect that a commander in the HVO would
13 issue written orders to kill civilians, to burn civilian homes, or to
14 expel Muslims from their homes?
15 MR. HAYMAN: Objection, Your Honour. It misstates the evidence.
16 There's no direction whatsoever in this report. Paragraph 3 was crossed
18 MR. HARMON: I said --
19 MR. HAYMAN: And it misstates the evidence by counsel and it's an
20 improper question and it's beyond the scope and counsel has used all of
21 his 90 seconds posing his question. He's done.
22 MR. HARMON: Apparently Mr. Hayman doesn't want the answer to that
23 question, Your Honour. Perhaps the witness could be permitted to give the
24 answer to that question.
25 JUDGE POCAR: I don't think the question is relevant, Mr. Harmon.
1 MR. HARMON: Fine. Thank you.
2 JUDGE POCAR: You should know.
3 MR. HARMON: Thank you very much, Your Honour, for giving me the
4 time that I had.
5 JUDGE POCAR: Well, having completed the cross-examination, we
6 will now -- it's 10.30. We will now break for half an hour, until 11.00,
7 and start later with the re-examination.
8 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 11.06 a.m.
10 JUDGE POCAR: Please be seated.
11 I give now the floor to counsel for the Defence for re-examination
12 of the witness.
13 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We shall
14 be very brief.
15 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, we shall speak about the tanker truck.
17 On the basis of your overall knowledge from that time period, who prepared
18 and organised the tanker truck attack?
19 A. According to the best of my knowledge, the truck bomb was prepared
20 by Kraljevic. Following whose orders, I don't know.
21 Q. As far as you know, could Kraljevic have done that alone, without
22 asking General Blaskic? Did he dare do that?
23 A. He shouldn't have done it without the general's knowledge, but he
24 was a general in his own right. Frequently, he was out of control.
25 Q. What was the general opinion? Could he be kept under control?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 What kind of a man was he?
2 A. Let me just say that he was thrown out of military school and the
3 JNA, as a problematic individual, who was a drug addict. He was an
4 alcoholic. And that's as much as I can say.
5 Q. Could Darko Kraljevic be ordered around?
6 A. He was not under my command, so I don't know. But if it was
7 possible, it would be very difficult to do it.
8 Q. You said that during the first days of the attack on Stari Vitez,
9 on the 16th of April, you were defending yourself from civilian houses,
10 but you said that you later on had trenches. Could you describe where
11 those trenches were?
12 A. They were along the separation line, mainly between rows of houses
13 or some other facilities in Old Vitez.
14 Q. The 280 soldiers, did they have a barracks? Did they have
15 quarters in Stari Vitez?
16 A. Yes. They were quartered -- no, they didn't have barracks. They
17 were quartered in houses, in basements, in trenches.
18 Q. I see. So with all the other people. Did they have a canteen of
19 their own?
20 A. Yes. Because of the situation, we had canteens in six different
21 places, because we couldn't really move around freely.
22 Q. Did they have their meals separately from the civilians?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You said that you were totally surrounded for 615 -- no, 315, I'm
25 sorry, 315 days. How did you resupply yourselves with ammunition?
1 A. We had three sources. A very small source came from UNPROFOR. We
2 either were given it or purchased it. A second part of our supplies came
3 from Travnik, on rafts, down the Lasva River, and this was done at
4 night-time. And a third source, the most important one, was what we
5 purchased from HVO soldiers. We would pay three to five German marks for
6 one round, for one bullet.
7 Q. You told the Prosecution that in the cinema hall, in the
8 veterinary station, in the SDK building, there were 700 to 1.000 Muslim
9 detainees. The people who were kept there, was any one of them killed?
10 A. As far as I know, no.
11 Q. In your opinion, were they safer there than they would have been
12 in the street?
13 A. It is hard to tell, but since no one was killed, there may have
14 been some sort of safety there, because many who were not detained did get
16 Q. How long did they stay in the cinema hall and these other places,
17 that is, the Muslims?
18 A. The first ceasefire between the HVO and the army was on the 30th
19 of April, when an HVO general came.
20 Q. Petkovic?
21 A. Petkovic, yes, Petkovic. Colonel Andric, and some other officers
22 came, and on the BH army there was Halilovic, Rasim Delic, and
23 Vehbija Karic.
24 Q. Were the civilians exchanged on that occasion?
25 JUDGE POCAR: One moment. I know the Prosecution is not
1 objecting, but I have the impression you are going a bit beyond the scope
2 of re-examination.
3 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] I will explain. The Prosecutor
4 inquired about civilians who were put up in the cinema hall, where Cerkez
5 had his headquarters, and he opened that question. I just wanted to prove
6 that that may have been true, but that no one was killed.
7 JUDGE POCAR: [Previous translation continues] ... This specific
8 question before, earlier you put some questions that were certainly
9 beyond. It was more a general warning. Please continue.
10 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation].
11 Q. So will you just tell us, please, whether it is true that those
12 civilians were exchanged on the 30th of April.
13 A. All of them were exchanged two or three days later, but some 15 of
14 them were taken to Kaonik in Busovaca, and then they were released 15 or
15 20 days later. And the rest were exchanged after two or three days.
16 Q. Regarding the truck bomb, you mentioned that the explosive used
17 may have been Vitezit.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was that explosive manufactured in the explosive factory in Vitez?
20 A. Yes. That was the largest factory manufacturing that explosive in
21 the Balkans, I think.
22 Q. During the --
23 A. Not during the war --
24 Q. During the war, the explosive that was to be found there, do you
25 know that it was moved out of the factory, to some other location?
1 A. Yes. In 1992, when the JNA was attacking Princip by planes, the
2 explosive was loaded and moved to the Krusik mountains. What happened to
3 it, I don't know, whether it was under HVO control. I don't know where it
4 ended up and what its fate was.
5 MR. NOBILO: [Interpretation] That's all, Mr. President. That ends
6 our re-examination.
7 JUDGE POCAR: I thank you, Mr. Nobilo.
8 May I now turn to my colleagues, inquire whether they want to put
9 any question to the witness.
10 Well, if there are no further questions, I don't have any
11 question, additional questions to put to this witness, the witness can be
13 We thank you, Witness, for your cooperation with the Tribunal.
14 You may now leave. But wait until the curtains are drawn down.
15 [The witness withdrew]
16 JUDGE POCAR: We can now go back to open session.
17 MR. FARRELL: I'm sorry, Your Honour. There's a few comments I
18 want to make and maybe it would be better in closed session, if that's
20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, we are not in closed session at the
22 MR. FARRELL: I'm sorry. If it could be closed session. I'd like
23 to make a few comments and they refer to the witnesses, so I thought it
24 would be best, just in case.
25 JUDGE POCAR: That's fine. Let's go into closed session.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE POCAR: Sorry. Let's go into closed session.
3 THE REGISTRAR: We are in private session, Your Honour.
4 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
1 JUDGE POCAR: Thank you. So if there are no other issues to be
2 addressed, this concludes the evidentiary portion of the appeals hearing.
3 I will now adjourn, and we will resume the hearing for the final arguments
4 of the parties on Tuesday, 16 December, at 9.00, and proceed according to
5 the Scheduling Order issued by the Appeals Chamber on the 2nd of December,
6 2003. The hearing stands adjourned.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 11.22 a.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 16th day of
9 December 2003, at 9.00 a.m.