International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Case No IT-95-14

  1. 1 Friday, 26th September 1997

    2 (10.00 am)

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. The hearing is now

    4 resumed. Registrar, would you have the accused brought

    5 in?

    6 (Accused brought in).

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, good morning.

    8 MR. HARMON: Good morning, Mr. President.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Does everybody hear? I see the Prosecutor

    10 does. Is the Defence able to hear? Does Mr. Blaskic

    11 hear?

    12 MR. BLASKIC: Good morning, your Honour, I hear you well.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. All right then, we can resume the

    14 questioning of our last witness, who was not being

    15 covered by protective measures. I think he can be

    16 brought in and we can begin the examination, since we

    17 only did the preliminary part.

    18 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President. Good morning,

    19 Mr. President and your Honours, good morning counsel.

    20 (Witness entered court)

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning, Doctor. Do you hear me?

    22 A. Good morning, I hear you fine.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me?

    24 A. I do, sir.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Dr. Zeco, you are under oath as a Prosecution

  2. 1 witness. Did you rest well? Do you feel good?

    2 A. Yes, fine thank you. I got a good rest and everything

    3 is fine.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon.

    5 FUAD ZECO (continued)

    6 Examined by MR. HARMON (continued)

    7 A. Please, I beg your pardon, could I hear the

    8 interpretation a bit louder, please? Just a bit louder,

    9 please. That is fine. I think it is fine now. Do

    10 I hear you now? Fine, fine, thank you.

    11 Q. Good morning, Dr. Zeco.

    12 A. Good morning.

    13 Q. Yesterday, when we concluded the first portion of your

    14 examination, you told us a little bit about yourself and

    15 your life in the Vitez municipality. Now let me ask

    16 you, Dr. Zeco, can you describe what life was like in the

    17 Vitez municipality before the start of the war, and

    18 particularly between the various ethnic groups.

    19 A. Life in the territory of the municipality of Vitez,

    20 I can say in the area of the Lasva Valley too, because

    21 I was there throughout the Lasva Valley, life was

    22 very pleasant there. I usually say that it was even an

    23 idyllic life, because all the different peoples lived

    24 together there, and life was truly wonderful in the area

    25 of the Lasva Valley, namely the Vitez municipality.

  3. 1 Q. Were there harmonious relations between the various

    2 ethnic groups, Dr. Zeco?

    3 A. Absolutely. The interethnic relations I think were such

    4 that no distinctions were made between Croats,

    5 neighbours, Serbs, Muslims. I personally, who moved

    6 throughout the area, was welcomed everywhere. I had the

    7 strong feeling that I was welcomed as a very dear guest

    8 everywhere.

    9 Q. When, Dr. Zeco, did relations between the Muslims and the

    10 Croats begin to change?

    11 A. Well, after the elections in 1991 these relations were

    12 changed, in a way. Changes certainly did take place in

    13 relation to the previous system, the previous state

    14 system, which was only to be expected. However, as time

    15 went by, these relations became ever more complicated

    16 and complex, later on difficult, and finally they went

    17 through the worst thing possible.

    18 Q. Did the HVO seize control of the Vitez municipality?

    19 A. Absolutely. I think that some time at the beginning of

    20 1992, when the Serb Chetnik aggression was carried out

    21 against Bosnia-Herzegovina, namely in the immediate

    22 vicinity of the Lasva Valley, the relations were already

    23 disrupted, the relationship with the Serbs. The HDZ was

    24 already politically active, very active. Later on when

    25 the military option was there too, namely the HVO, then

  4. 1 the situation was really complicated, and profound

    2 problems were there in the territory of the municipality

    3 of Vitez.

    4 Q. After the HVO seized control in the Vitez municipality,

    5 did life for the Muslim people become more difficult?

    6 A. Yes. The Muslims who lived in the territory of the

    7 municipality of Vitez, particularly those who were in

    8 the field of communications and who knew what was going

    9 on, they were -- excuse me -- exposed to certain

    10 physical assaults even, by HVO members. They were

    11 attacked physically. Money was taken away from them,

    12 various objects were taken away from them, automobiles,

    13 they were not in control and that was the situation as

    14 concerns the members of the Muslim national group in the

    15 territory of the municipality of Vitez.

    16 Q. Did the Muslims in the Vitez municipality, as a result

    17 of what you have just described, form the Co-ordination

    18 Board for the Protection of Muslims?

    19 A. Yes, that is precisely what I wish to speak about. In

    20 the area of Rijeka, where we lived together, the Croats

    21 and Muslims together, I was in touch with my neighbours,

    22 at least with some of these people who were prominent in

    23 this area of Rijeka, both Croats and Muslims, and

    24 I asked them that we meet together, which they

    25 accepted. These were prominent people, and we managed

  5. 1 to meet at my place, at the veterinary station. There

    2 were 10 or 15 people present. Perhaps there were a bit

    3 more Croats than Muslims present. These people were

    4 intellectuals, and that is the question we raised; what

    5 was going on? What could we do? What should our

    6 attitude be in this situation?

    7 However, we did not have a special answer to all

    8 of this. At that point in time, it was the Croats who

    9 said they would see these friends of mine who were

    10 there, they said they would see, but at that point in

    11 time they could not say anything specific, but they were

    12 hoping that everything would be all right.

    13 However, nothing came out of it. The situation

    14 was getting worse and worse, and later an invitation

    15 followed, the Party of Democratic Action called upon the

    16 Muslim people, all prominent Muslims, people who were

    17 well respected in the territory of the municipality of

    18 Vitez were invited to come together to meet, and to see

    19 what could be done, regardless of their ideological

    20 orientation. This invitation was issued some time in

    21 mid 1992. I responded to that invitation, I did.

    22 The problems were presented there, the overall

    23 situation, and a civic body was set up on that occasion,

    24 which was supposed to have a certain task, a certain

    25 role. It was called the Co-ordinating Body for the

  6. 1 Protection of the Muslim People. I was also elected to

    2 that body, and I became a member of this Co-ordinating

    3 Body.

    4 Q. What role did you play, Dr. Zeco, in this Co-ordinating

    5 Body?

    6 A. Personally, I had specific tasks. Throughout my stay in

    7 the territory of the municipality of Vitez, as head of

    8 the veterinary service, from the very outset and

    9 throughout this period, I was a member of the municipal

    10 civilian defence staff. I was in charge of the

    11 development of livestock production, so I had certain --

    12 had a certain role to play in the development of

    13 agriculture, so in the Co-ordinating Body I was in

    14 charge of resolving issues related to agriculture, to

    15 livestock production and problems related to civilian

    16 defence, so this was the specific role I had to play in

    17 the Co-ordinating Body for the Protection of the Muslim

    18 People.

    19 Q. In respect of your role, being involved with

    20 agriculture, can you explain to the Trial Chamber some

    21 of the types of problems, the specific problems that you

    22 dealt with?

    23 A. I could. Regardless of all these problems that cropped

    24 up, in the structures of government, in terms of the way

    25 certain institutions and services were to function, life

  7. 1 went on nevertheless. In the area of the municipality

    2 of Vitez, namely the Lasva Valley, agriculture was the

    3 most important activity, so spring was coming up and all

    4 problems related to agriculture were supposed to be

    5 resolved and I was involved in all of this.

    6 There was already a certain division of power. It

    7 is well known that a Croatian government was set up

    8 there, of the HVO, namely the Croatian Community of

    9 Herceg-Bosna. A Co-ordinating Body was set up for

    10 protecting the Muslims, which also tried to function and

    11 to make it possible for life to go on. Afterwards a War

    12 Presidency of the municipality of Vitez was established,

    13 but agricultural activities had to be pursued too.

    14 I was personally involved in all these different

    15 commissions, both in terms of the Co-ordinating Body and

    16 also by the HVO. They were supposed to set up joint

    17 commissions for the spring and autumn planting and

    18 sowing. This commission was supposed to work on a

    19 larger scale, within the Chamber of commerce, so I was

    20 involved in all these activities.

    21 The Co-ordinating Body and later the War

    22 Presidency gave me personally explicit instructions that

    23 I pay great attention to this, when seed is distributed,

    24 for instance, that Croats should not have any kind of

    25 disadvantage, that seeds should be distributed evenly

  8. 1 and fairly, and in that situation, I think that all of

    2 us who were involved did our best and did things

    3 properly.

    4 Q. At some point in time while you were involved in the

    5 Co-ordinating Body, was a problem brought to your

    6 attention involving Muslim butchers and cattle? Could

    7 you explain what that problem was?

    8 A. Yes. On one occasion, I had a very difficult problem.

    9 In Vitez itself, and this was characteristic of the town

    10 of Vitez, there were 14 or 15 butchers who were running

    11 their own small businesses. Perhaps I could acquaint

    12 this distinguished court with the fact that Vitez was a

    13 transit area between the rural and urban areas, cities

    14 like Banja Luka and Sarajevo, so a lot of meat and meat

    15 products were going through Vitez. That is why it was a

    16 thriving business. There were 14 or 15 independent meat

    17 businesses. These butchers would buy livestock at

    18 Busovaca, Travnik, Bugojno and once they went to the

    19 market in Busovaca and all the cattle they bought at the

    20 market was taken away from them by the HVO, by HVO

    21 soldiers, namely the military police of the HVO. They

    22 came to see me, they expressed their regrets -- I was in

    23 charge of veterinary inspection too, and they asked me

    24 to help them with this problem, because they had

    25 purchased quite a bit of cattle then.

  9. 1 I went to the municipality. At that time there

    2 was an HVO government there, I told them what it was all

    3 about and they said "we will solve that". I know that

    4 after a few days, in Busovaca there is a market always

    5 on Saturday, Saturday is the market day, so this was a

    6 few days later, and some of the butchers were asked to

    7 come and to get their cattle. They went there, but none

    8 of them got all their cattle back. Perhaps a few heads

    9 of cattle, the big cattle, is what they got, but they

    10 could not get their sheep or their lamb. That is what

    11 they did not manage to get back.

    12 So this is the role I played with regard to this

    13 question, and this activity of mine within the

    14 Co-ordinating Body.

    15 Q. These butchers were Muslim butchers, is that correct?

    16 A. I did not understand you.

    17 Q. The butchers who you were intervening on their behalf,

    18 were they Muslim butchers?

    19 A. Yes, they were Muslims. I must say that when I asked

    20 them, they told me that there were a few Croats, a few

    21 Croats too whose animals were taken away, and later

    22 taken on to the Kacuni military barracks. Later on,

    23 I found out that these Croats, that is what the Muslim

    24 butchers told me, had a much better deal and that some

    25 of them even earned a profit. That is what I know, and

  10. 1 that is what I was told then.

    2 Q. Dr. Zeco, where had the cattle that the Muslim butchers

    3 had purchased, where was that taken?

    4 A. It was taken to the army that was located in Kacuni. It

    5 was taken there and handed over to that army. I got

    6 that information from these butchers, because later they

    7 went to that area where the military barracks were.

    8 Q. Later on, Dr. Zeco, did you become a member of the War

    9 Presidency, and if so, can you just explain briefly what

    10 your role was in the War Presidency?

    11 A. Yes. In January 1993, when it was established, I was

    12 appointed a member of the War Presidency as the

    13 commander of the civilian defence staff for the

    14 municipality of Vitez. I held that office until

    15 10th October 1995.

    16 Q. Dr. Zeco, did you serve in the JNA?

    17 A. I served in the JNA. Actually I was demobilised from

    18 the JNA in 1953. Immediately upon demobilisation,

    19 I went to university to study veterinary medicine.

    20 After that I graduated from university, I became a

    21 veterinarian and after that time, I was never involved

    22 in the military in any way.

    23 Q. So you were not a member of the Territorial Defence in

    24 Vitez?

    25 A. No, I was not a member of the Territorial Defence of the

  11. 1 municipality of Vitez, but I was a member of the

    2 municipal staff for civilian defence, civilian

    3 protection, and there were a few seminars, a few

    4 training courses, all in the domain of civilian

    5 protection, all the activities that are involved in the

    6 field of civilian protection, from radioactive, atomic,

    7 biological warfare, so I learned all about that.

    8 I attended these seminars at that time throughout

    9 Yugoslavia, even went to Belgrade, republican and local

    10 seminars, but my orientation was to be involved in those

    11 activities that could help people who needed help.

    12 Q. Okay. Now in your living in the Vitez municipality, did

    13 you get to know Anto Valenta?

    14 A. Yes. I often had the opportunity of meeting him. We

    15 did not have a very close relationship, but we would say

    16 hello to each other, exchange a few words. In certain

    17 situations, we even had discussions on certain matters.

    18 If this distinguished court wishes to hear about this,

    19 perhaps I could mention that he knew that I was involved

    20 in certain political activities, so he presented his

    21 views and brought up certain questions that we then

    22 discussed.

    23 There was a characteristic case. This was in the

    24 offices of the municipality. My wife worked there; she

    25 was involved in geometry and I would often meet Mr. Anto

  12. 1 Valenta there because he often sought maps, so we

    2 started discussing these maps. He was looking for

    3 certain locations there, and he said that it was

    4 desirable to have Muslims in one area, Croats in the

    5 other and Serbs yet in another area.

    6 At one point, it seemed outlandish -- perhaps I am

    7 using too crude a term, but it really seemed outlandish

    8 and we discussed this, but he said that that should be

    9 done, but he would like to say that it should be done in

    10 a humane way. I did not understand that at all. What

    11 was this "humane way" of resettling people, making them

    12 move from an area in which they lived to an area where

    13 they do not want to live? So I had the opportunity of

    14 having such discussions and conversations with Anto

    15 Valenta.

    16 Q. Dr. Zeco, did you have occasion to see the following

    17 people on television: Dario Kordic, Anto Valenta,

    18 Tihomir Blaskic, Mr. Kostroman? Did you see those people

    19 on television in the Vitez municipality prior to

    20 16th April 1993?

    21 A. Yes. In the course of 1992 or rather 1991, 1992 and

    22 1993, local television was organised by the HVO, or

    23 rather the HDZ, the Croatian Democratic Community, later

    24 Herceg-Bosna, local radio and television. In Busovaca

    25 and in Kiseljak and in Vitez. On local Vitez

  13. 1 television, they were present all the time. This was a

    2 local TV station. It only had Croats who were editors,

    3 Croats, so it was their media that made these broadcasts

    4 throughout the area.

    5 From 1992 until the fateful date of April 16th,

    6 this media campaign, as it were, was present

    7 throughout. As the Prosecutor said, you could see very

    8 often, all the time, Mr. Tihomir Blaskic, Dario Kordic

    9 Anto Valenta, Kostroman Ignjac and others too, but these

    10 people were on local TV very often.

    11 Q. How was Tihomir Blaskic presented or introduced, or

    12 described, when he would appear on these television

    13 programmes?

    14 A. Mr. Tihomir Blaskic was in uniform. He was commander of,

    15 I think it was -- he was commander of the units in the

    16 Central Bosnia region. He always was wearing uniform,

    17 that is how he appeared on the monitor.

    18 Q. Let me turn just briefly to Dario Kordic. What sorts of

    19 views was he expressing through the course of these

    20 television programmes?

    21 A. Dario Kordic was exclusively a politician, and he

    22 obviously expressed political views, and he presented

    23 himself as a representative of the Croatian people.

    24 Very often, he attacked the official authorities of

    25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He very often would single out

  14. 1 certain actions of Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, President of

    2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He said that these leaders who

    3 represented the Muslim population were not doing things

    4 right, that they were not doing things well for all

    5 people and that the Muslim population would not fare

    6 well because of that; that they should ally themselves

    7 with the Croatian people, that they should submit to the

    8 Croatian authority and that that would be good for them.

    9 On several occasions he even expressed something

    10 like threats. I remember well a statement on local

    11 television that he gave when he said that should the

    12 Muslims not comply, that they would disappear from that

    13 region. Personally, I was dismayed by such a statement,

    14 because I knew and I was very friendly with the Kordic

    15 family, with his father, who is also a veterinarian, so

    16 a colleague of mine, and his mother, and we were very

    17 good friends. We even exchanged visits very frequently

    18 during the period of time when I worked in the Vitez

    19 area, I would substitute and I would step in and replace

    20 him when he would go on vacation. He was a veterinarian

    21 for the Busovaca municipality, so I would take over his

    22 job when he was on vacation.

    23 Q. Dr. Zeco, do you remember approximately when Dario Kordic

    24 made the statement that the Muslims would disappear?

    25 A. I think that this was some time in the second half --

  15. 1 maybe September 1992.

    2 Q. Now let me turn your attention to Tihomir Blaskic. What

    3 types of subject matter would Tihomir Blaskic address?

    4 What kind of statements, as you recall, did he make?

    5 A. Mr. Tihomir Blaskic, as far as I can recall, also

    6 mentioned that the Croatian people need to become

    7 militarily capable, so that they would be prepared to

    8 defend themselves, to fight for their rights, even

    9 militarily, if needed.

    10 Q. Did he make any other comments about Croatian aims or

    11 Croatian territory?

    12 A. Since this is purely military matters, I did not enter

    13 that much into that, but he did point out the need for

    14 arming for defence the military organisation. Those

    15 were mostly his statements. But since I was not very

    16 interested in things military, I did not pay that much

    17 attention to it, but basically, he called for the

    18 Croatian people to organise themselves so that they

    19 could demand their historical rights and if necessary

    20 should realise them even militarily.

    21 Q. What kind of statements did Anto Valenta make on the

    22 television, do you recall?

    23 A. Yes, I can. Mr. Anto Valenta even made threats to the

    24 Muslim people, and was also making comparisons, saying

    25 the Croat people were armed whereas the Muslim people

  16. 1 were not. He said that they were -- they had their own

    2 army, that they were secure, and that they should be put

    3 under the command of the HVO.

    4 Q. Did he make any public statements, Dr. Zeco, about the

    5 inability of Muslims and Croats to live together?

    6 A. Yes, he did, on several occasions. He made such

    7 statements on several occasions, saying that it would be

    8 desirable to create areas for Muslims, for Serbs, for

    9 Croats, that that would be the best solution. That was

    10 the sense in which he made his statements.

    11 Q. Lastly, Mr. Kostroman. What kind of statements did he

    12 make, if you can recall?

    13 A. I think that Mr. Kostroman was making very similar

    14 statements to what Mr. Anto Valenta was stating. Those

    15 were the subject matters that he raised.

    16 Q. How often, if you can recall, did you see these four

    17 gentlemen you have just testified about appear on

    18 television? Was it once a week, was it more frequent or

    19 less frequent?

    20 A. Very frequently. As I said, these television programmes

    21 were there daily. They very frequently appeared on

    22 television, very frequently, so you could comfortably

    23 say that in a single week, all these gentlemen would

    24 appear there at least once.

    25 Q. Dr. Zeco, I would like to turn your attention to a man by

  17. 1 the name of Darko Kraljevic. Do you know Darko

    2 Kraljevic and the Kraljevic family and if so, can you

    3 explain to the court how you knew the man and the

    4 family?

    5 A. I knew Darko Kraljevic as a child, who grew up with my

    6 own children. I knew him very well from when he was

    7 very small until he grew up. I was very good friends

    8 with his family, because we were neighbours. His father

    9 was the director of the Forest Bureau. We lived in the

    10 immediate neighbourhood. We often would meet both

    11 officially, because we shared the field of forestry and

    12 agriculture, and Darko's mother was a colleague of my

    13 wife's, because they worked in the Land Registry office,

    14 and I often gave rides to Darko or his brother Slavan

    15 and mother, or I would take them to school together with

    16 my children, or their mother together with my wife, so

    17 that for years we were friends in Vitez.

    18 MR. HARMON: Now, Mr. President, if I could direct your

    19 attention and the witness's attention to exhibit 103.

    20 The court may wish to examine the exhibit at the same

    21 time the witness is. I am not sure --

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Do you have exhibit 103? Is it a map of some

    23 sort? Has it already been identified?

    24 MR. HARMON: Dr. Zeco, if you could turn your attention,

    25 please, to exhibit 103, I am going to come over next to

  18. 1 you and ask you some questions about it. Dr. Zeco, could

    2 you please approach exhibit 103? Yesterday, Dr. Zeco,

    3 you showed us the location of the veterinarian station,

    4 and your home. Could you now show us, and point with

    5 the pointer, the apartment building where Darko

    6 Kraljevic lived?

    7 A. Kraljevic lived over here, where the arrow is showing.

    8 This was the building where Darko Kraljevic lived.

    9 (Indicates).

    10 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, your Honour, I cannot hear a

    11 translation.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: You are not getting an interpretation, you are

    13 saying?

    14 MR. HARMON: I am not getting translation from this system.

    15 I am getting the Bosnian Croat translation, not the

    16 English translation -- I think it is my fault, your

    17 Honour, I do not think I had it on the right number.

    18 Could you say something please, Dr. Zeco?

    19 A. I just showed --

    20 Q. Okay. I am sorry for the interruption. Please,

    21 Dr. Zeco, you pointed to number 3 as being the apartment

    22 building of Darko Kraljevic, is that correct?

    23 A. Yes, he lived with his wife and a child that was born

    24 later and that is precisely the building where he lived,

    25 that is where the arrow is pointing.

  19. 1 Q. Can you now point out to the court where the home of

    2 Darko Kraljevic's parents was?

    3 A. (Indicates). This number 4, the arrow is pointing

    4 precisely at the building which belonged to Darko

    5 Kraljevic's house, it is their own property. I know

    6 this because I was frequently in that house.

    7 Q. Can you point out the forestry station and where that is

    8 in the Rijeka area?

    9 A. (Indicates). This is under number 1 and the arrow

    10 points directly to the forestry station building, where

    11 very often there were certain HVO units and military

    12 units, so they occupied that building.

    13 Q. Dr. Zeco, will you take a look at that once again. You

    14 indicated that it was number 1. Yesterday your

    15 testimony was number 1 was the veterinarian station.

    16 I would like you to examine closer and ask you where the

    17 forestry station was located, what number and what arrow

    18 points to the forestry station.

    19 A. That was number 5, I apologise, so number 5 is the

    20 forestry station. Can you hear me? I do not know if

    21 I was heard on this. It was number 5, so I apologise,

    22 because it was actually number 5 and number 1 is the

    23 veterinary station. Am I being heard?

    24 Q. Yes, you are. Lastly, Dr. Zeco, can you point out on

    25 this particular exhibit the location of the Hotel Vitez?

  20. 1 A. The Hotel Vitez is under number 6, and the arrow points

    2 directly at the building of the Hotel, the Hotel

    3 structure.

    4 Q. Thank you, Dr. Zeco. You can take your seat again.

    5 Dr. Zeco, was Darko Kraljevic a member of the HVO?

    6 A. Yes, he was. I know the whole situation as it

    7 developed. Darko Kraljevic at first was a member of the

    8 HOS and wore the HOS insignia, at the beginning of his

    9 military career, if I can call it that way. Later on,

    10 I think that was in the middle of 1992, the HOS units

    11 were absorbed into the HVO units, and then he was a

    12 member of the HVO units, and they were known as the

    13 Black Knights.

    14 Q. Did you have occasion to see Darko Kraljevic in an HVO

    15 uniform and can you explain to the court those

    16 occasions?

    17 A. Yes. I even remember a television programme which

    18 showed, in a rather decorous way, how the HVO units were

    19 being absorbed into the HVO. There was a line up and

    20 then there was a ceremony whereby they became the HVO

    21 units, and then later they became known under the name

    22 of the Black Knights.

    23 Q. I am just looking at your transcript right here, Doctor,

    24 and the translation says that you saw:

    25 "... a television programme which showed, in a

  21. 1 rather decorous way, how the HVO units were being

    2 absorbed into the HVO."

    3 Do you mean how the HOS units were being absorbed

    4 into the HVO?

    5 A. Yes, the members of the HOS, of the HOS, then became the

    6 HVO units. That was the television programme that was

    7 broadcast.

    8 Q. Were the Black Knights also known as the Vitezovi?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. What role did Darko Kraljevic have in the Vitezovi, if

    11 you know?

    12 A. He was the leader, he was the commander of this unit,

    13 and I frequently saw him. He always had an escort of

    14 several soldiers and entourage and I think they provided

    15 protection for him. I think that they behaved as

    16 subordinates to him, so they were something like his

    17 bodyguards.

    18 Q. Did you see him wearing HVO insignia?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Can you explain how often you would see him with an HVO

    21 uniform on?

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, the insignia on this uniform, it is

    23 a question I have about the translation here; "when was

    24 he wearing the insignia", and then I heard, "when was he

    25 wearing the uniform".

  22. 1 MR. HARMON: Let me ask another question, Mr. President.

    2 After the HOS units were absorbed into the HVO, did you

    3 see Darko Kraljevic in an HVO uniform with HVO insignia

    4 and if so, can you explain to the court when and where

    5 you saw him?

    6 A. Yes. Darko Kraljevic was wearing a camouflage military

    7 uniform with the HVO insignia on it. You asked me

    8 whether I saw him frequently; I would meet him

    9 frequently and on one occasion, if I may say so, I had

    10 taken my car to be serviced, and I drove it to this work

    11 canal and at that point, Darko Kraljevic drove in in his

    12 car. This was a private shop. My car was immediately

    13 pulled out. We greeted each other, he just nodded his

    14 head, so my car was driven out and his car was put in.

    15 They took out a machine gun, several crates of bullets

    16 were pulled out, and he told me that he needed to go out

    17 to the field and there were the HVO insignia there.

    18 Q. Dr. Zeco, I would like to focus your attention on another

    19 event. Can you explain to the court the incident when

    20 you were attacked in November 1992?

    21 A. I usually would spend most of my time out in the field,

    22 and I was coming back from Krizancevo Selo at that time

    23 and I was passing the school in Dubravica and HVO unit

    24 was stationed in that school building and after

    25 I passed, a car came up behind me with the HVO

  23. 1 soldiers. This is a very narrow road. I could not pull

    2 over and they were driving behind me. It is about 100

    3 metres away from the intersection where it feeds into

    4 the main road, so I sped up a little bit, but still

    5 cautiously enough so that I would not slide off the

    6 road, but they caught up with me and they started

    7 bumping me from behind and then I turned off and their

    8 vehicle passed me and came out on to the main road and

    9 about 50 metres later, they stopped, and three or four

    10 soldiers jumped out.

    11 There was one who pulled at the door of the

    12 passenger side, so I leaned over to open it, and then he

    13 grabbed -- he jumped in with his legs first and he hit

    14 me in the face, and I was bleeding, I realised that my

    15 nose had been broken. Then a soldier came out and

    16 pointed the automatic rifle and another soldier came and

    17 took him by the arms and said "okay, let him go" and he

    18 told me, "get going". I closed the door and I started

    19 in the direction of Vitez. I immediately, without

    20 thinking, went to the police.

    21 I came to the police station, I was all covered in

    22 blood, and at the door of the police station, the chief

    23 of the police station, Mirko Samija, was standing.

    24 I had very good relationship with him, he asked me what

    25 had happened, what was that, and I told him what it was,

  24. 1 I told him that I was attacked by the HVO soldiers, and

    2 then he said, "okay, let us go", and he got into my car

    3 and we went to the health clinic. He ordered two

    4 policemen to immediately go to that spot where this

    5 incident had happened and to determine what had

    6 happened.

    7 So I went to this health clinic with him, to the

    8 health centre and I was given medical care there, and

    9 after that, I went home. When I arrived home, about

    10 half an hour later, the same chief of police station

    11 came to my house with the two policemen, and

    12 apologised. He said that at that time, they could not

    13 do anything, that this was the military, that there was

    14 nothing he could do, that it was too dangerous, but the

    15 time would come. Then he expressly told me to go to the

    16 Travnik hospital to have a proper exam and to bring him

    17 the finding of this, so that he could have the document

    18 with him.

    19 From the experience that I already had, I realised

    20 that he was powerless to do anything and that is where

    21 it all remained, the whole incident.

    22 Q. Let me just clarify one or two points, Dr. Zeco. Mirko

    23 Samija, the policeman to whom you reported, the incident

    24 where your nose was broken, was he an HVO civilian

    25 policeman?

  25. 1 A. Please, could you repeat your question? I did not quite

    2 hear what you were saying.

    3 Q. Let me ask you this, Dr. Zeco: to what organisation did

    4 Mirko Samija belong?

    5 A. Mirko Samija was head of the police station. I know

    6 that personally, because when the representatives of the

    7 Muslim people and of the then established HVO government

    8 were trying to reach agreement on setting up joint

    9 authorities et cetera, I know this for sure, because

    10 I was one of the people who supported the appointment of

    11 Mirko Samija as head of the police station. I did this

    12 on behalf of this Co-ordinating Body for the Protection

    13 of the Muslim People. I wanted Mirko Samija to be

    14 appointed head of the police station, and he was head of

    15 the police station.

    16 Q. Was he a member of the HVO police?

    17 A. No, he was the civilian police.

    18 Q. Thank you. To your knowledge, Dr. Zeco, were any arrests

    19 ever made of any HVO soldiers who had attacked you?

    20 A. No.

    21 Q. To your knowledge, Doctor, were any HVO soldiers ever

    22 prosecuted for the attack on you?

    23 A. No, by all means no, because Mirko Samija told me that

    24 he was powerless, that he could not do anything, and

    25 that at that point in time, he would not do anything on

  26. 1 his part, and he personally apologised to me because of

    2 that, but he said that that is the way things had to be

    3 at that point.

    4 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I am prepared to break at this

    5 point.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, we are going to take our break now and

    7 resume in 20 minutes at 11.35.

    8 (11.20 am)

    9 (A short break)

    10 (11.35 am)

    11 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing now. Have the

    12 accused brought in, please.

    13 (Accused brought in)

    14 JUDGE JORDA: We can begin in now, Mr. Harmon.

    15 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President.

    16 Dr. Zeco, one question on the last subject area

    17 that you covered. The gentleman by the name of Mirko

    18 Samija, was he a Croat or a Muslim?

    19 A. Mirko Samija was a Croat.

    20 Q. Let me turn your attention, if I can, Dr. Zeco, to

    21 16th April 1993. Where were you on the morning of

    22 16th April 1993?

    23 A. On 16th April 1993, I was at home. I had spent the

    24 night there, and on the morning of 16th April, at 5.30,

    25 we could hear explosions and shooting. Only my wife and

  27. 1 I were at home. It came as quite a surprise to us. We

    2 jumped out of bed, and what followed was like a film.

    3 Everything was so fast. Everything happened so

    4 quickly. I got up at 5.30. At 6.30, I was already

    5 arrested, taken to the building of the veterinary

    6 station. In the morning, when we got up, I was still

    7 wearing my pyjamas. Soldiers came, in front of the

    8 house. They knocked at the door, my wife opened the

    9 door. Two soldiers walked in, they told me to get

    10 dressed. They were wearing full war gear. It was quite

    11 unusual, though, that their skin was all painted and

    12 black. I think it was like soot, and they told me to

    13 get ready and that they would take me away.

    14 Two soldiers walked into the house, but there were

    15 three or four of them, three or four soldiers around the

    16 building. I got ready, I got dressed, I saw that they

    17 were armed, and I went out. They took me to the

    18 veterinary station --

    19 Q. Let me ask you a question, Dr. Zeco, were these HVO

    20 soldiers?

    21 A. They were HVO soldiers with HVO insignia on their

    22 sleeves.

    23 Q. Did you ask them where they were taking you?

    24 A. Yes, I asked them "what is going on? Where are we

    25 going", and they told me that I would see. I saw that

  28. 1 there was no specific answer that they were willing to

    2 give, and that all further discussion would be

    3 superfluous. I knew these soldiers, but I just let them

    4 do what they had to do. I did what they asked me to do.

    5 Q. You testified that they took you to the vet station.

    6 Did they leave your wife at your home, or did they take

    7 your wife with you?

    8 A. No, my wife stayed at home. I wish to mention here,

    9 though, my wife's words. She said, "do not take Fuad,

    10 take me". They said that they did not have anything to

    11 do with her and that they had orders to take me.

    12 Q. Did your wife stay at your home during the entire period

    13 of your captivity?

    14 A. Yes, she stayed at home all the time, because I was

    15 taken to the veterinary station. That is about 100

    16 metres away. She had the opportunity of coming to the

    17 vet station when they allowed her to bring in food, so

    18 she stayed in our house while I was at the veterinary

    19 station.

    20 Later, when they moved me from the vet station to

    21 the school in Dubravica, she remained at home.

    22 Q. Let me ask you, you were taken to the vet station, can

    23 you explain what happened at the vet station?

    24 A. At the vet station, we were met by a man I knew, in

    25 uniform, Zeljko Matkovic, who said that he was the one

  29. 1 who decides over there, and that he is the person we

    2 were supposed to address. There were two or three other

    3 soldiers in HVO uniform too. I also knew them. When

    4 I was brought to the veterinary station, I found about

    5 10 or 15, I do not know the exact number, other people

    6 at the veterinary station. They were in the hall, in

    7 the office, and in the examination room, the room where

    8 animals were examined.

    9 At that point, there were some 10- or 15-odd

    10 people, I cannot tell. Others were being brought in

    11 too. All of them were Muslims.

    12 Q. Were they all males?

    13 A. Yes.

    14 Q. How many people ultimately were detained at the vet

    15 station while you were there?

    16 A. We were counting how many of us there were, and I know

    17 that at one point we managed to count 76 men, 76 of us.

    18 76 Muslims were detained in the veterinary station in

    19 the basement. The conditions there were very, very

    20 poor, because the basement was underground and during

    21 the winter, water could penetrate. Fortunately there

    22 was no water there then, but we had to sit on wood that

    23 we found there, so that we could protect ourselves from

    24 the dampness.

    25 Upstairs, there were two very small offices, and

  30. 1 members of the HVO were there primarily, they were

    2 coming and going. There were a few of our detainees up

    3 there too. I had the privilege to stay in these offices

    4 and the rest were in the hallway and in the room for

    5 examining animals. All of it was very small, we were

    6 crowded, we spent three nights there, and on the

    7 fourth day, we left the veterinary station.

    8 Q. What were the range of ages of the detainees?

    9 A. This is the way it was. I think that from the area of

    10 Rijeka, all the men -- I cannot say 100 per cent, but

    11 most of the men from the age of 16 to 70 were detained

    12 there in the veterinary station.

    13 Q. Dr. Zeco, after you arrived at the veterinary station,

    14 was there any interrogation or questioning about

    15 weapons?

    16 A. Yes. I think it was the next day, the day after we were

    17 brought in. The man who supervised us, under whose

    18 control we were, this Zeljko Matkovic, he summoned us

    19 and told us that now all of us who had weapons and

    20 ammunition at our homes should say so then, and that HVO

    21 soldiers would come and take each and every one of us

    22 home in order to bring in these weapons. But he told us

    23 to pay attention, and he particularly pointed out that

    24 by no means should anyone have arms and not surrender

    25 them, because members of special units would be coming

  31. 1 in, specially trained units from Herzegovina, and he

    2 said that they were capable of finding these weapons,

    3 even if someone tried to hide them, and that it was

    4 impossible to hide weapons, and that if that were done,

    5 they would burn these houses down and whoever would try

    6 to do that would bear the consequences.

    7 After that warning, some people said that that was

    8 the case, that they had weapons and then soldiers

    9 escorted them to their homes and they brought these

    10 weapons in. These were negligible quantities of weapons

    11 and ammunition. As far as I can remember, it was one

    12 rifle, a Karabin, there were some bombs, a few pistols

    13 and I think that there were two hunting guns as well.

    14 When it was all brought together, it was in a basket

    15 where people would usually keep their linen, it was a

    16 basket that big. Then one of them said "what is this?

    17 Are these all the weapons that the Muslims have", and

    18 that was the end of that.

    19 Again, he threatened us, he said that we should be

    20 very careful because the members of the special units

    21 who came in from Herzegovina specifically for that

    22 purpose were coming in.

    23 Q. While you were detained at the veterinary station, what

    24 happened to your car, Dr. Zeco?

    25 A. I had two cars. I owned both of them, because we used

  32. 1 our own cars when we were on duty, but we were

    2 compensated for that, for using our own cars, and I had

    3 one car only for family use, and the other one, the

    4 Renault 4, was used only for my work.

    5 The next day, a HVO soldier came, and he asked me

    6 to give him my car keys, because he said that my wife --

    7 is this okay, is this working? My wife said -- they

    8 first went to see my wife. They asked her to give them

    9 the key and she said she did not have the key, she said

    10 that I had the car key and that I was at the veterinary

    11 station. A soldier came and he asked me for the key to

    12 the car and I gave it to him, because I knew from the

    13 experience of others that their cars were taken away, so

    14 he took the keys and he went to the garage, which was

    15 only about 20 metres away from the building.

    16 He came back shortly and he said "I cannot turn it

    17 on". He asked me whether I knew what was wrong with my

    18 car and I said I did not know what was wrong, although

    19 I did know what was wrong, because I had disconnected a

    20 cable, because at that time during the night, people's

    21 cars would disappear, Muslims' cars, and this was a

    22 minimal precaution that I had taken.

    23 So they said, "all right", they pushed the car out

    24 and I looked through the window accidentally and I saw

    25 HVO soldiers driving my car. They realised why the car

  33. 1 did not work before. The next day, they came to take

    2 the other car. I said that this time, and that was the

    3 truth, this car that I was using for work was really out

    4 of order, and that I could not agree with the repair

    5 man, he was supposed to come in one of those days to

    6 repair the car for me, so when I told him that the car

    7 was no good, that I could not use it and he threatened

    8 me and he said "we know you and you are going to pay for

    9 this". But they went to see the car and they realised

    10 that it was partly taken apart they gave up on taking

    11 that car.

    12 Q. After your release from custody many days later, and we

    13 will get to that later in your testimony, did the HVO

    14 ever return the car that they had taken from you? Did

    15 they ever return your car to you?

    16 A. No.

    17 Q. Did they ever compensate you for the car? Did they ever

    18 give you any money for the car they had taken?

    19 A. No, no, never. I never got any compensation or anything

    20 in relation to my car.

    21 Q. Dr. Zeco, I would like to turn your attention to an event

    22 that occurred while you were in custody at the

    23 veterinary station, that is a large explosion that

    24 occurred and that you heard. Can you explain to the

    25 court what warnings, if any, you received from

  34. 1 individuals who were guarding you about that particular

    2 explosion?

    3 A. Yes. Within the building, within the area where we were

    4 detained, we tried to adjust to the situation and to

    5 help each other. But at that point, the same person

    6 came in, this person who organised this prison of ours,

    7 Zeljko Matkovic, and he said "all of you, each and every

    8 one of you, should go to the basement and that is it.

    9 Something is going to happen now". He said that we had

    10 to go to the basement. We were curious, we were

    11 surprised, wondering what it was. It was not clear at

    12 all, but he specifically asked us to hurry and to go

    13 down to the basement. The staircase was narrow and

    14 those people who got downstairs had to make room for

    15 others, so we were not moving at the speed they wanted.

    16 Nevertheless, we all did manage to get down and we

    17 huddled in there. It might be a room 3 metres by 6 to 7

    18 metres, and a few moments after we got down there, we

    19 felt an explosion, which was really strong.

    20 There had been explosions until then too, but none

    21 of them matched this one. It was long, it was strong,

    22 and to the best of our knowledge, it was pretty far

    23 away, but it was something big. We did not know what it

    24 was all about, but then we realised that that is what

    25 was supposed to happen.

  35. 1 As we were getting out, this same person, Zeljko

    2 Matkovic, said "now it is over with the Muslims".

    3 Again, this was not clear to us. He said, "now it is

    4 over with the Muslims".

    5 Q. Did you later find out the source of that explosion?

    6 A. I did not. Later, we found out, when we were

    7 transferred to Dubravica and when our families came, our

    8 wives, our children, when they would come and bring us

    9 food, they told us that in Stari Vitez there was an

    10 explosion, that the HVO had loaded fuel on to a truck,

    11 that drivers were tied up and this truck with explosives

    12 was sent to Stari Vitez, and that quite a few people

    13 were killed from the explosion, quite a few were

    14 wounded, and also that there was a lot of material

    15 damage involved.

    16 Later on, we found out about all of this, about

    17 all the effects of this, so that was the truth.

    18 Q. Dr. Zeco, you said you remained at the veterinary station

    19 for three nights and on the fourth day you left. During

    20 the time period when you and the other detainees were at

    21 the veterinarian station, I would like you to briefly

    22 describe whether men in captivity were taken out to go

    23 dig trenches and I would like you to summarise that, if

    24 you could, within just a few minutes.

    25 A. From the very first moment when we were detained, from

  36. 1 time to time HVO soldiers would come to see Zeljko

    2 Matkovic, and they asked him for five, six, ten

    3 detainees that they were supposed to take away. Later

    4 on we found out that they were taken out to dig

    5 trenches. This happened throughout those three days,

    6 and perhaps the fourth day too, although I am not too

    7 sure. I think we were taken away at 12.00, but

    8 people -- prisoners were taken every day to dig

    9 trenches, and we knew where they went, because we were

    10 curious, we wanted to know what was going on, what the

    11 situation was and we knew that they were taking them to

    12 the area of Rijeka to dig these trenches, trenches along

    13 the lines, and there were some war operations going on

    14 over there already.

    15 Q. Were any of the detainees who had been taken to dig

    16 trenches killed or wounded?

    17 A. Yes, unfortunately there were people who were killed,

    18 there were people who were wounded. According to what

    19 the people who went there told us, some were killed by

    20 bullets coming from rifles and they did not know from

    21 what side, a bullet would simply kill a person, whereas

    22 Ibrakovic Jusuf was killed by a member of the HVO who

    23 took them out there to the line where they were supposed

    24 to dig trenches. That is where Hurem was killed, his

    25 name was Hurem. I knew him very well because he was a

  37. 1 neighbour of mine over there too. I know him, he had a

    2 horse, and he would take his horse and carriage and

    3 carry goods that way and that is what he lived on. He

    4 had four children. He supported them. His horse was in

    5 very poor health, so I had to intervene often. He was

    6 killed too.

    7 As far as I can remember, Salko Salibasic was also

    8 wounded. Also after the end of the war, as I was

    9 carrying out my duties, I did my best to ensure medical

    10 treatment for him in the hospital in Tuzla. He

    11 underwent five or six operations.

    12 Q. Dr. Zeco -- do you have something else you would like to

    13 add to your testimony, before I ask the next question?

    14 A. Yes, there were also some other people who were wounded

    15 there, and then they were transported to the hospital.

    16 There were some who were lightly wounded too, but they

    17 never came back. Later, I learned that they were taken

    18 to another prisoner camp which was in Vitez, up in

    19 Vitez, very near the clinic. That is where they were

    20 given some medical care and so that is where they

    21 stayed. They never came back down there, where we were.

    22 Q. What day did you leave the veterinary station?

    23 A. We were detained on the 16th, so three nights and the

    24 fourth day was 20th April, when we were transferred. We

    25 were told to get ready, and to line up to go to the

  38. 1 forestry station, which was very close from there, about

    2 100 metres, that we would be transferred to another

    3 place. We still did not know where that was going to

    4 be, so we walked in file and then they said that this

    5 was enough. We came to the forestry station, to the

    6 courtyard there and there was a minibus there.

    7 Q. Where were you taken, Dr. Zeco?

    8 A. We were taken to the school in Dubravica. Later, after

    9 our group was transferred there, the rest of them who

    10 had stayed in the vet station were also transferred

    11 there, so we were all reassembled there, and this was in

    12 the school building in Dubravica near the railway

    13 station. In Vitez it was locally known as the area

    14 around the railway station.

    15 Q. Did you remain in captivity there until 30th April 1993?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. Approximately how many people were detained at the

    18 Dubravica school?

    19 A. When we arrived there, we found another group, a sizeable

    20 group there. There were men and there were also some

    21 women and children. We found out that these were some

    22 families, so those were wives and children of some of

    23 the men. There were no men though, they were all from

    24 Ahmici. There were other ones who were detained from

    25 Santici, Novaci, Krizancevo Selo, railway station. In

  39. 1 other words -- Sivrino Selo, so the surrounding areas,

    2 and since immediately next to that there was the

    3 wood-processing factory, and they had night shifts, so

    4 the men who were coming out of the night shift, so there

    5 were men from other outlying areas, so these were the

    6 workers there who had worked there, so they also were

    7 detained in the school in Dubravica.

    8 Further, there were some refugees from other

    9 municipalities, who, following the Serb Chetnik

    10 aggression and the JNA aggression, had been put up in

    11 Vitez from Jajce, from Mrkonjic, so in sort they were

    12 all Muslims.

    13 Q. After you arrived at the Dubravica school, did you hear

    14 any small arms fire, any gunfire in the vicinity?

    15 A. Yes, when we arrived in Dubravica, during that night,

    16 there was shooting around, all around in the area. In

    17 my assessment, it was sporadic and sometimes it was

    18 closer by, sometimes it was farther away, so we knew

    19 there was fighting going on between the army and the HVO

    20 and depending on the war, the combat situation, that is

    21 how the shooting was occurring.

    22 Q. While the shooting was going on, did the detainees --

    23 did you hear any particular threats uttered by the HVO

    24 in respect of what would happen to the detainees?

    25 A. Yes. We were hoping, we counted on the luck turning in

  40. 1 towards the BH army, that we would be liberated, and at

    2 one point, the shooting came very close, we noticed

    3 that, and we could also observe it by the behaviour of

    4 the HVO soldiers who were there with us in the school,

    5 because they came and told us expressly not to leave the

    6 school by any means, because everything around it was

    7 mined, so we would all be killed. They said "do not

    8 rejoice, do not rejoice about your army".

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. Please continue. Go ahead.

    10 MR. HARMON: Please continue, Dr. Zeco.

    11 A. "Do not rejoice", because as they said, "even if the

    12 army came, it is not going to be good for you, because

    13 down there, we have a fuel truck filled with fuel and we

    14 would blow it up so you will not fare well", so

    15 immediately we started enquiring among each other and

    16 indeed we learned from some who had seen it that there

    17 was a fuel tank or a fuel truck there which had fuel,

    18 because it was used for heating of the school, and since

    19 I had this role for -- I was involved in the civilian

    20 protection, I started immediately thinking what we could

    21 do if something like this took place, what we were to

    22 do. Somehow we started planning if this should happen

    23 that we would break some of the bars that were there and

    24 we assigned this operation to some people, so that we

    25 would -- if such a thing could come that we would keep a

  41. 1 certain order there --

    2 Q. Excuse me, Dr. Zeco. In the translation there appears to

    3 be a reference to a "fuel truck" or a "fuel tank". Was

    4 what was described to you by the HVO a fuel truck or a

    5 fuel cistern?

    6 A. Like a cistern, like a reservoir. It was a tank.

    7 Q. Now the record has been clarified. So without going

    8 into great detail about essentially the escape plan

    9 should something happen, would you continue with a

    10 description then of the events that happened after these

    11 particular threats were made to you and to the other

    12 detainees. What happened then?

    13 A. Yes. However, at one point when this shooting really

    14 drew close, we observed -- we sensed at one point that

    15 we were by ourselves, that the soldiers who used to

    16 guard us there had gone, had disappeared, so at one

    17 point, the shooting stopped and the soldiers

    18 reappeared. Then we learned that the army had advanced

    19 and that the soldiers had retreated. However, the

    20 shooting suddenly stopped and the soldiers reappeared,

    21 we were there surprised, we were disappointed, because

    22 the army did not appear, we were not liberated.

    23 Q. Did you later learn why the army, the Armija, had

    24 stopped its advance in the direction of the Dubravica

    25 school?

  42. 1 A. Yes. They had threatened us that should Armija come,

    2 that they would blow up the entire school building with

    3 that fuel that they had there. Then we found out later,

    4 when we were expelled, I had got in touch with

    5 command of the army and I asked them at that point why

    6 did they stop there, why did not liberate us then and

    7 then they told me, those officers, that they had

    8 received confirmation from the HVO that if they

    9 continued to advance towards the school building that

    10 they would blow up the Muslims who were detained in it.

    11 This is what the BH army officers told us, this is the

    12 information that they gave us, and they cited it as the

    13 reason for their not liberating us. This was later

    14 verified by the command as well.

    15 Q. Dr. Zeco, do you remember the approximate date when this

    16 advance stopped, that you have just described?

    17 A. This was on the 22nd, 22nd April, that is.

    18 Q. Now I would like to focus your attention on a different

    19 subject, and that is trench digging done by the

    20 detainees from the Dubravica school. First of all, can

    21 you explain to the court what you saw while you were

    22 there, in respect of that particular subject?

    23 A. Yes, one of the big problems that we had during our stay

    24 in the school in Dubravica was precisely the demands by

    25 the HVO soldiers to give as many prisoners as possible

  43. 1 to go to dig trenches. The soldiers would come in, they

    2 would come together with guards who were guarding us,

    3 and then it was their choice, they would choose 10 to 15

    4 prisoners. Mostly they were picking people who looked

    5 physically more fit, so a group would leave and then the

    6 next group would come in and take another group of

    7 prisoners with them, and so it would happen that within

    8 one hour three separate groups were being taken to dig

    9 trenches, and after a while, they would come back.

    10 There were situations that those who came back --

    11 because these demands for prisoners were more and more

    12 frequent, so it would happen that if a group came back,

    13 they would be turned around and taken to dig trenches

    14 again. There were those who looked physically fit but

    15 in fact were sick, so it was very hard on them. Then

    16 there were some who managed not to go, so we realised

    17 that things were not right here, and so we started

    18 talking among ourselves how to do this.

    19 Q. Dr. Zeco, before you get into this area of your

    20 testimony, let me ask you, approximately how many times

    21 a day would the HVO come to take civilian detainees and

    22 approximately what percentage of the men who were

    23 detained were taken out to dig trenches?

    24 A. I can tell you that I cannot be very far off if I say

    25 that at least a third of the total number, which

  44. 1 included the old and women, so a third would have been

    2 involved and taken to dig trenches.

    3 Q. Were you ever taken to dig trenches, Dr. Zeco?

    4 A. No, I was never taken to dig trenches. I did not go

    5 there.

    6 Q. You started to describe what you and the other detainees

    7 saw as a problem developing. Can you explain very

    8 briefly what the problem was and what you and others did

    9 to solve the particular problem?

    10 A. Right. That was a problem. We saw that certain

    11 prisoners were finding themselves in a very difficult

    12 situation, because they were completely exhausted, and

    13 they risked being taken there to dig trenches again, so

    14 we made an agreement and we established a delegation of

    15 sorts. I was part of it and Pasa Mujanovic was part of

    16 it, and Mirhat Hodzic, who used to be a mayor of Vitez

    17 before he was replaced by Ivica Santic, so the three of

    18 us were representatives of the prison Muslims and we

    19 asked to see the camp commander, Marinko Placic, to

    20 address him with respect to this problem, to explain the

    21 situation, that there were people who were not able to

    22 dig trenches and were taken there, and we had a very

    23 specific proposal for him.

    24 So we presented that problem and that proposal to

    25 him, and we said that we would put together a list of

  45. 1 people who could go to dig trenches, and that the people

    2 who were coming and asking for a certain number of

    3 people to go and dig trenches, that we would provide a

    4 list and that we would sort of arrange for them, so that

    5 we would not have situations where somebody would be

    6 overexposed to this and others would not, so we put

    7 together a list of all people up to 50 years of age,

    8 taking into account their health condition, and so we

    9 selected a group. During this time that we were there,

    10 Pasa Mujanovic was in charge of this, so in case this

    11 demand was passed on to us, he would be the one who

    12 would decide if he would assign people, and so if the

    13 HVO soldiers came in and said, "We need ten", these

    14 people would just respond themselves. This proposal was

    15 accepted by the camp commander.

    16 Q. Did you ever object to the use of civilians being used

    17 to go out and dig trenches?

    18 A. Yes, when we first went there, we told him that the

    19 situation was very difficult, that people had a lot of

    20 problems, that there were people who were at the end of

    21 their strength, that he should not be doing that, that

    22 there were sick people there, et cetera, but he said

    23 "this is a job that has to be done", because he

    24 received an order that he had to secure prisoners to go

    25 and dig trenches, and that there is no discussion

  46. 1 possible there.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me for a moment, please. I was turning

    3 to my colleague. I did not quite understand the

    4 interpretation, whether the camp commander accepted that

    5 suggestion or did not accept that suggestion.

    6 MR. HARMON: Dr. Zeco, did the camp commander, after you made

    7 your proposal, did he accept your proposal or did he

    8 reject your proposal?

    9 A. No, he accepted the proposal. This was solving the

    10 problem of involvement of prisoners in trench digging,

    11 but there was the order, it had to be done, that the

    12 prisoners had to be taken to dig trenches and it was --

    13 but it was up to us who would select the people, but we

    14 had to obey the order, that is when the demands came, we

    15 had to provide enough prisoners, so the order had to be

    16 carried out.

    17 Q. I take it, Dr. Zeco, that that is then how prisoners were

    18 selected to go dig trenches after they were -- after

    19 demands were made by the HVO?

    20 A. I am sorry, I apologise, I did not understand the

    21 question. Would you repeat it, please?

    22 Q. The system that you recommended to the commander was

    23 then followed for the remaining days while you and the

    24 others were in captivity, is that correct?

    25 A. Yes.

  47. 1 Q. Let me ask you, after prisoners had returned from the

    2 trenches where they had been taken to dig, did you have

    3 conversations with them about their experiences, where

    4 they had been, what had happened to them? You can

    5 answer that with a yes or no.

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Dr. Zeco, did they tell you where they had been taken to

    8 dig trenches? Can you identify the various locations?

    9 A. Yes. They were taken -- I am going to go from one end

    10 of the municipality. These were the border areas. This

    11 was the area where the combat operations were taking

    12 place, so this was the area of Kuber, Nadioci, Pirici,

    13 area of Sivrino Selo, Krizancevo Selo, Tolovici,

    14 Krcevine, Gornja Dubravica. For the most part that was

    15 it.

    16 Q. What about Rijeka?

    17 A. And Rijeka, yes.

    18 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, with the assistance of the usher,

    19 if I could have the photograph turned over, I would now

    20 like to have the witness's attention directed to exhibit

    21 29I, which is the large map.

    22 Dr. Zeco, if you could kindly approach the map and

    23 mark with a -- there should be a bright pink pen in

    24 front of you -- could you mark the areas with that

    25 bright pink pen -- Dr. Zeco, in front of you there is

  48. 1 a -- that is correct. Could you mark those areas with

    2 the bright pink pen where prisoners had been taken to

    3 dig trenches, starting with --

    4 A. This is the area of Nadioci, here it is, Nadioci. This

    5 is the area of Kuber, here it is, Kuber. (Indicates).

    6 Q. Dr. Zeco, could you please put a mark, at least a longer

    7 broader mark in the areas you are referring to, because

    8 this is going to be used as an exhibit and we have to

    9 see what you are marking. Would you identify by name

    10 each of the areas that you are marking.

    11 A. This is the area of Kuber; this is the border area with

    12 the municipalities of Busovaca and Zenica, so these are

    13 the territories of the other municipalities, Loncari,

    14 and then this area that goes to the north, due north

    15 towards Zenica and then Vrhovine, so these are the

    16 areas. These are the farthest points of the Vitez

    17 municipality. This is the area where they went to dig

    18 trenches. (Indicates).

    19 Q. Dr. Zeco, let me ask you --

    20 A. This is Kuber. (Indicates).

    21 Q. Let me ask you specifically, in your direct examination

    22 you testified that the prisoners told you they went to

    23 the area of Nadioci. Have you marked that area on the

    24 map?

    25 A. Yes, this is the area of Nadioci. It is right here,

  49. 1 there it is. (Indicates).

    2 Q. Dr. Zeco, you next mentioned the area of Kuber. Have you

    3 put a mark in the area of Kuber?

    4 A. Yes, here is Kuber. This is the area of Kuber. This is

    5 north of Nadioci. (Indicates).

    6 Q. You also mentioned the area of Pirici. Could you put a

    7 mark in the area of Pirici?

    8 A. Pirici.

    9 Q. You mentioned the area of Krizancevo Selo. Could you

    10 put a mark in the area of Krizancevo Selo?

    11 A. (Witness marks map). Here is where Krizancevo Selo

    12 should be. Hold on. That is that area.

    13 Q. You mentioned the area of Krcevine. Could you put a

    14 mark in the area of Krcevine?

    15 A. Krcevine is this area. (Indicates).

    16 Q. You mentioned Sivrino Selo. Could you mark that area?

    17 A. Sivrino Selo.

    18 Q. You mentioned Gornja Dubravica? Could you put a mark in

    19 that location?

    20 A. Gornja Dubravica.

    21 Q. You mentioned the area of Tolovici?

    22 A. Tolovici.

    23 Q. And lastly you mentioned the area of Rijeka. Could you

    24 put a mark in the area of Rijeka?

    25 A. (Witness marks map).

  50. 1 Q. Thank you, Dr. Zeco. You can sit down now. Dr. Zeco,

    2 those are at least the areas where the prisoners told

    3 you they had been taken to dig trenches. That does not

    4 necessarily represent the exact locations of the

    5 trenches themselves, does it?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 MR. HARMON: Your Honour, I would move that Prosecutor's

    8 exhibit 29I be admitted into evidence at this time.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: If there are no objections, that can be

    10 admitted as evidence.

    11 MR. HARMON: Now if I could have placed on the ELMO exhibit

    12 29C. Dr. Zeco, would you take the pointer, please, and

    13 with that pointer, would you please indicate the

    14 locations of the following areas. Nadioci.

    15 A. (Indicates).

    16 Q. For your information, Doctor, the centre of the first

    17 circle is the Hotel Vitez. Can you tell me, at least

    18 looking at that exhibit, how many kilometres away from

    19 the Hotel Vitez Nadioci is located?

    20 A. Six to seven kilometres.

    21 Q. Could I have that focused a little bit better? Thank

    22 you very much. All right, Doctor, now the area of Kuber

    23 which you also mentioned in your testimony. Where is

    24 that? Could you put the pointer on Kuber?

    25 A. (Indicates).

  51. 1 Q. How many kilometres is that from the Hotel Vitez,

    2 according to that exhibit 29C?

    3 A. Eight kilometres.

    4 Q. Could you place the pointer next on Pirici?

    5 A. (Indicates).

    6 Q. How many kilometres is Pirici from the Hotel Vitez?

    7 A. Five kilometres.

    8 Q. Next could you put the pointer on Krizancevo Selo?

    9 A. Sivrino Selo. (Indicates).

    10 Q. How far away is Sivrino Selo?

    11 A. Three kilometres, Sivrino Selo.

    12 Q. And the area of Krizancevo Selo?

    13 A. (Indicates).

    14 Q. How far away is that?

    15 A. Two kilometres.

    16 Q. The area of Tolovici, how far away is that from the

    17 Hotel Vitez?

    18 A. (Indicates). Four kilometres.

    19 Q. Next could you place the pointer on Gornja Dubravica?

    20 A. (Indicates).

    21 Q. How far away is that from the Hotel Vitez?

    22 A. Three kilometres.

    23 Q. Lastly, could you place the pointer on Rijeka?

    24 A. (Indicates).

    25 Q. According to that exhibit, how far away is Rijeka from

  52. 1 the Hotel Vitez?

    2 A. Two kilometres.

    3 Q. All right, thank you very much, Doctor.

    4 Mr. Usher, I am finished with that exhibit, thank

    5 you kindly.

    6 Dr. Zeco, now let me turn your attention to --

    7 actually, let me ask you one more question in respect of

    8 the trench diggers. Were trench diggers from the

    9 Dubravica school killed and wounded?

    10 A. There were people who were killed and people who were

    11 wounded. I am not sure, but I do know for sure that

    12 some people were killed and that some people were

    13 wounded. The wounded did not come to the school, they

    14 were probably taken away for medical treatment

    15 immediately. I do not know what they did with the

    16 killed people, but I do know that some people were

    17 killed and that other people were wounded.

    18 Q. Dr. Zeco, let me turn to another subject and that is your

    19 release from custody at the Dubravica school. Can you

    20 explain what happened, how you were released and the

    21 circumstances of your release?

    22 A. We received information from the people who were

    23 guarding us that we would be released, but before that

    24 we were supposed to say whether any one of us wanted to

    25 leave Vitez; if so, buses would be organised to take us

  53. 1 to Zenica, so that those who wished to go could go,

    2 whereas those who wished to stay at their homes could

    3 say so, could say that they wished to go home. But

    4 before that, we were all supposed to go to the offices

    5 that were prepared, there were two or three tables there

    6 with people who were keeping records. There were some

    7 women there too who were keeping these records, who had

    8 these lists that were already made, and before that, we

    9 were supposed to say for the record what we wished to

    10 do, to declare whether we wished to leave or whether we

    11 wished to stay. We were told to line up and to go, two

    12 by two, to one of the tables. One group was supposed to

    13 go to one of the table, the other group was supposed to

    14 go to the other table and that is what we did.

    15 I personally said that I would go home, and

    16 I should particularly like to point out here that all

    17 the young people who were sent out to dig trenches,

    18 which was obvious, each and every one of them,

    19 regardless of the commitments they had, the remaining

    20 families they had at their homes, they all said

    21 invariably that they would go to Zenica, while the older

    22 people said, as I did, that they would go to their

    23 homes, and that is what was done that day. We were told

    24 that buses would come there to take us either to Zenica

    25 or to Rijeka, and those who were in the immediate

  54. 1 vicinity of Dubravica, that is Novaci, Krizancevo Selo,

    2 Stanice, they could go on foot by themselves, whereas

    3 the people who lived in Rijeka and Vitez could wait for

    4 the bus if they so wished.

    5 Q. Dr. Zeco, were people who were being released given a

    6 free choice to go either back home or to the area

    7 outside of Vitez? Were there any suggestions made as to

    8 which choice should be taken?

    9 A. Personally, I was cautioned by a HVO soldier. He told

    10 me personally, "it would be better for you, Doctor, to

    11 leave Vitez". I knew him, and I understood that this

    12 was a friendly caution, and that it was in my interests,

    13 but I said, "no, I am going home".

    14 Q. Dr. Zeco, did you ultimately arrive at your home on

    15 30th April?

    16 A. Yes. I was waiting for other people, because we wanted

    17 to move in larger groups and I thought it would be best

    18 to take the bus after all, so I was waiting for the bus

    19 there on the side and there were HVO soldiers there and

    20 they had beer, crates of beer, they were there right

    21 next to us, they were already tipsy --

    22 Q. Dr. Zeco, excuse me just a minute. Let me move past

    23 that, because I want to move this testimony along a

    24 bit. Let me ask you, after you arrived home, did

    25 anything occur at your home the first night you were at

  55. 1 home, or did that night pass peacefully?

    2 A. That night passed peacefully. I came home, and there

    3 were no problems that night. I spent that night at

    4 home. My neighbours came, Muslims, women, Muslim

    5 women. Men did not come, because some of the detained

    6 men did not come that evening from Dubravica, and I said

    7 that we were all released and I said that we were given

    8 a choice and that we could wait for the bus, and

    9 probably there were special reasons involved, but at any

    10 rate, I know the next day that each and every one of

    11 them had left this camp which was at the Dubravica

    12 school, so that evening, nothing special happened.

    13 Q. Dr. Zeco, I am going to conclude my examination at this

    14 point, and we will pick it up again with what occurred

    15 to you on the second day.

    16 Mr. President, if this is an appropriate time, we

    17 are going to go into another area.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, this would be the proper time. I would

    19 however remind you about what was said during the status

    20 conference, which I do not want to repeat before this

    21 witness, but you know what I am alluding to.

    22 MR. HARMON: I do, your Honour.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: Specifically in terms of your own list,

    24 Mr. Harmon. I thank the witness and I appreciate his

    25 patience and calmness in answering these long questions

  56. 1 which remind him of events which are very painful, but

    2 I do permit myself to remind you of your own

    3 commitments, Mr. Harmon, and if they cannot be honoured

    4 then the Trial Chamber must take other arrangements.

    5 The court stands adjourned and will resume at 2.30.

    6 (1.00 pm)

    7 (Adjourned until 2.30 pm)



















  57. 1 (2.30 pm)

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Let us have the accused brought in, please.

    3 (Accused brought in)

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, you have the floor.

    5 MR. HARMON: Thank you, Mr. President, thank you,

    6 your Honours.

    7 Dr. Zeco, the second night after you were released

    8 from the Dubravica school, can you tell me what HVO

    9 soldiers did to you?

    10 A. The second night, some time between 9.00 and 9.30, two

    11 HVO soldiers came and they said that they had some

    12 information that there was a radio in the house, and

    13 I said, "no", and they said that they would search the

    14 house for this transmitter, and they went all around the

    15 house. They searched it for about 15 minutes and then

    16 they left. Some time around 11.00, somebody was

    17 knocking at the door again, and torch lights were turned

    18 on. They asked us to open the door, my wife opened the

    19 door and two HVO soldiers walked in with insignia on

    20 their sleeves, but they had masks on their faces, like

    21 stockings, you know, like hoods. They told me to get

    22 ready, that I was supposed to go with them. They

    23 handcuffed me, they handcuffed my hands behind my back,

    24 and they took me away. There was another soldier

    25 outside and they took me to a plateau above my house,

  58. 1 towards Kruscica. You could hear shooting up there.

    2 On this plateau, a few houses were still under

    3 construction, so we were walking between these houses,

    4 about a kilometre, less than a kilometre away from this

    5 plateau. In the meantime, they received a message that

    6 they were supposed to stop. A soldier of theirs came to

    7 speak to them, and then they told me to go back, so we

    8 went back to a little cottage. I think that it was used

    9 only for temporary housing while the big house was under

    10 construction. They told me to go in.

    11 When I walked in, what particularly struck me,

    12 because I was looking all around, I was wondering where

    13 I was and what would happen, first of all amazed when

    14 I walked in because the walls in the room were all

    15 bloody, spotted with blood. There were empty beer cans

    16 strewn about, there was a table, a bed and two chairs.

    17 When I walked in, one of them hit me immediately.

    18 He said that I would remember them. He was cursing. In

    19 the meantime, they told me to sit down. I sat down and

    20 quickly they told me to get up again. Then he hit me

    21 and he told me not to turn around. I turned around

    22 mechanically and he hit me with his pistol. He told me

    23 to lie down on the couch. He covered me with a cloth,

    24 the cloth smelled, I must say. I know the smell of

    25 blood from my profession, so the cloth smelled of

  59. 1 blood. So I lay on the couch and just above my head,

    2 I felt a pistol shot.

    3 I was wondering whether I was hit, and no, he had

    4 just shot but he did not shoot at me. He told me if

    5 I moved again, he would shoot me. While this was

    6 happening, somebody knocked at the window. I heard

    7 conversations, then they brought in my neighbour, Midhat

    8 Hodzic. Midhat Hodzic was one of my closest neighbours

    9 and at the same time, he was the President of the

    10 municipality, before Ivica Santic became President of

    11 the municipality as a HVO member. He was ill, he had a

    12 cold, and he was hit. They hit him with their fists as

    13 he was being brought in. They told us both to sit down

    14 on those chairs and they gave us paper and they told us

    15 to write, first of all to write down all our personal

    16 data, and to put the date and the time and to make a

    17 statement.

    18 They asked us the same questions, and they were

    19 masked all the time. In some situations, when they

    20 would speak, they would even put handkerchiefs into

    21 their mouths when they would speak. As we would often

    22 go through Stari Vitez, they asked us to describe the

    23 positions there to show where the machine-guns were and

    24 were the soldiers were. I said I did not know and that

    25 I did not go into all these military matters. They

  60. 1 asked me to say who the persons were who gave voluntary

    2 contributions for getting weapons for the army of

    3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but I did not have any such data, so

    4 I could not give it to them.

    5 Whenever we replied, they would hit us, they would

    6 hit me and my neighbour. They were not satisfied. In

    7 certain situations, they asked us who were the persons

    8 who were in command of certain units. Neither I nor

    9 Midhat Hodzic could provide such purely military

    10 information. After some time, I know it was 2.30 at the

    11 end, they asked me how much money I had at home, and

    12 I said that at home I did not have more than about 400

    13 Deutschmarks, that would be all. Then they said, "we

    14 will go there together, we will go down there

    15 together". They took us out. They did not handcuff me

    16 that time, but they did handcuff Midhat Hodzic. They

    17 took us down and at one point, Midhat Hodzic fell, so

    18 they took his handcuffs off too and we reached our

    19 homes.

    20 When we went into my home, I told my wife, "get

    21 the Deutschmarks we have", and this money was in an

    22 envelope. She got it, she gave it to them, and they

    23 told us that we should bear the following in mind, that

    24 until 5.00 pm the next day, we should not be there, that

    25 we have to leave the house, we have to leave our own

  61. 1 home by 5.00 pm the next day. Of course, we could not

    2 get any rest or any sleep that night, we were worried.

    3 The next morning, my daughter came with her

    4 children, she lived in the centre of the town. She came

    5 and I told her to go to the police station immediately,

    6 to notify the police and to ask the police to come, and

    7 that I was seeking police intervention, that I wanted

    8 them to make an inquiry.

    9 Q. Dr. Zeco, did the HVO police come in response to your

    10 daughter's request?

    11 A. The police came from the police station, two policemen

    12 came and they asked me to tell them what had happened.

    13 I told them all of it and I insisted that they tell me

    14 whether I should remain at home and if I stayed on,

    15 whether I would have any kind of protection. They said

    16 that they were police of the civilian authorities, and

    17 that this was the army, so I asked them to go to

    18 Sumarija, across the street from the veterinary station,

    19 where the local headquarters of the HVO was, to go to

    20 their command to tell them about this and to ask them

    21 whether my wife and I would be protected if we stayed at

    22 home. They said that they would do this and that

    23 I should stay, but as I watched them go away through the

    24 window, they did not walk towards Sumarija, towards the

    25 HVO headquarters, they went to town, to the centre of

  62. 1 town and I realised that this request of mine for

    2 protection would not be met, and I was worried, so that

    3 was about it.

    4 Also, at one point in time, a friend of ours came

    5 by car, a Croat. He said that he had heard that I was

    6 released from the camp, and he wanted to come and say

    7 hello to me. This was the brother of Ivica Santic, who

    8 was head of the Vitez municipality. He came to our home

    9 and when he heard what happened, he said that we, my

    10 wife and I, should come with him to his house, that we

    11 would be under his protection, and he said that if that

    12 is what they told me, that I should not stay at my own

    13 home; it would be better for me to do that, to move to

    14 his house, because his family had already gone to

    15 Zagreb. We tried to get some things, but he said, "no,

    16 do not take anything with you, we will come back

    17 tomorrow and we will get some of your things". We moved

    18 to his house.

    19 The next day, with my wife, they took the car and

    20 went to our house. They came back shortly after that,

    21 because they could not do a thing, they were not

    22 allowed.

    23 Q. What did they tell you happened at your house the

    24 following day?

    25 A. Yes. They came and told us that somebody had already

  63. 1 moved into our house, that Croats had already moved into

    2 our house that evening, and the people who moved in told

    3 my wife something strange, they said, "do not come in,

    4 do not rob us". She said, "how can I rob my own

    5 things?" This friend of ours intervened, so my wife

    6 walked in and she took a minimum of linen and things.

    7 In the meantime, she went to Sumarija. Soldiers

    8 came shortly after that, and they drove them away. My

    9 wife and this friend of ours, they were in front of the

    10 house, and this friend of ours says "nothing doing, we

    11 should better leave".

    12 Q. So after HVO soldiers came to the house, you were

    13 informed that your wife and this gentleman then left the

    14 house and returned to Mr. Santic's house, correct?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Let me ask one clarifying question about what you have

    17 previously testified about. When you were interrogated

    18 in this small room the night before, you said there was

    19 a man by the name of Midhat Hodzic also interrogated.

    20 Was he a Muslim?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Okay. After you returned to Zvonko Santic's house, tell

    23 me what your next contact was with the HVO.

    24 A. We were there together the next evening too, and the

    25 next day, the third day -- the first evening was the day

  64. 1 we came, the next day was the day my wife went back to

    2 our home, and the third day we were staying there,

    3 Zvonko Santic came in the morning and he said, "I have

    4 to go, you can use my apartment. Obviously somebody

    5 does not like the fact that I have helped you". He said

    6 that he had to go to the front-line. We stayed in that

    7 house, we stayed on, and six or seven days later,

    8 military policemen came with military police badges and

    9 insignia and they told me to get ready and that I was

    10 supposed to go with them. I left, my wife stayed behind

    11 in the house. They took me away, they took me to the

    12 hotel.

    13 Q. What hotel was that?

    14 A. The Vitez hotel. I did not understand what you asked.

    15 Q. What was the name of the hotel that they took you to?

    16 A. The Vitez hotel, the hotel in Vitez run by the Kruscica

    17 catering establishment.

    18 Q. What happened there?

    19 A. They took me into the hotel by the cafe restaurant.

    20 I know the hotel; I know the layout. They took me to a

    21 room near the cafe restaurant. An unknown person

    22 wearing a uniform was in there. I walked in, because

    23 I was brought in by one of the policemen, and I was

    24 there for about 10 or 15 minutes. Nobody asked me

    25 anything. They asked me what kind of military plans

  65. 1 were found in my house, and I said that I had no

    2 military plans. If I did have any plans, I only had

    3 plans for protecting the civilian population,

    4 particularly a programme of civilian protection, because

    5 it was my task -- actually, I was, at my own initiative,

    6 entrusted with this task of protecting the Muslim

    7 population if the HVO attacked. I said that I was

    8 exclusively involved in the protection of the civilian

    9 population, if there were to be an attack or war

    10 operations.

    11 Five or six minutes went by without any questions

    12 being put, and finally he called a policeman and told

    13 him to take me to the police station. I was taken to

    14 the police station. They took me to an office there,

    15 where they asked me about these plans of mine, and

    16 I assured them that the plans they had that they got

    17 when they took my car were only related to the

    18 protection of the population, how to take care of women

    19 and children and protect property, so it was protection,

    20 protection for that category of the population.

    21 After this interrogation, they put me into

    22 solitary confinement for 48 hours. After 48 hours, they

    23 took me out and they took me again with an escort to the

    24 house of Zvonko Santic. I was reunited with my wife

    25 there. They told me that I was in custody, that

  66. 1 I should not leave the house at any cost. Afterwards,

    2 with my wife, I wondered what to do, and I told her to

    3 try to get in touch with Dr. Mujezinovic, so that we

    4 could see what the possibilities were. I had heart

    5 trouble anyway. I am a heart patient, and I was

    6 wondering what the possibilities were for my leaving

    7 Vitez, because I realised that I had to do something on

    8 my own, because no help was coming. So we agreed that

    9 my wife should go to the health clinic and that she

    10 should say that I had a heart attack, to pretend that

    11 I had a heart attack, so that is what we did.

    12 She went to the health clinic, she pretended that

    13 I had had a heart attack. He sent an ambulance to my

    14 home in the morning, this was on 13th May, he sent an

    15 ambulance, the ambulance came, we got into the

    16 ambulance, and we went through villages and across the

    17 hills to Travnik, and the ambulance took me directly to

    18 the hospital in Travnik. When I came to the hospital

    19 there, I explained to them that I was not a patient,

    20 that I had to do something like that. I knew most of

    21 the doctors there, and that is what I knew from Vitez,

    22 from this fateful 16th April until 13th May, that is the

    23 time I spent in Vitez.

    24 Q. Have you ever recovered your house? Have you ever moved

    25 back to your house, Dr. Zeco? Yes or no?

  67. 1 A. No.

    2 Q. Is it still occupied by Croats?

    3 A. Fifteen days ago I received information from friends,

    4 Croats, that the family that was in my house during the

    5 war moved out, and that they went to America; that

    6 before they left they sold everything and that they even

    7 sold a concession to the person who moved into my

    8 house. Now, on 13th of this month, my wife and I went

    9 to Sumarija, that is to say the forest station, we went

    10 there to vote. We performed our duty. My wife was very

    11 shaken, because she could only look at her own house

    12 furtively, because it was only about 100 or 150 metres

    13 away. Until then, she had no opportunity of being close

    14 to our home. When the war operations stopped, I went by

    15 the house often, but I never went in.

    16 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I would move to introduce

    17 Prosecutor's exhibit 103 into evidence.

    18 MR. HAYMAN: Is that the aerial, may I enquire?

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman?

    20 MR. HARMON: That is the large aerial image, your Honour.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, I do not have any interpretation

    22 yet. I did not have the interpretation for the last

    23 thing.

    24 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, that is the large aerial image

    25 that has been referred to by the witness. It has six

  68. 1 numbered arrows on it.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: No objection?

    3 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, although they do not involve

    4 matters of great factual import, as a matter of

    5 principle the Defence objects to pre-marked exhibits

    6 where both the location and a legend is provided to the

    7 witness. We think this type of information will be more

    8 reliably obtained if the witness, him or herself,

    9 actually identifies the locations. Indeed, this witness

    10 confused two of the pre-marks, labelled with legend

    11 locations, during his testimony, so as a matter of

    12 principle, we make that objection.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: It seems to me that the witness went over to

    14 the map this morning and yes, the places are identified

    15 already, but seemingly he recognised them, he confirmed

    16 it. It is in the transcript, at least that is what

    17 I think, Mr. Hayman.

    18 MR. HAYMAN: It is a form of leading the witness. One could

    19 do all the work, all the markings for a witness, label

    20 them and have them confirm them. We just think more

    21 reliable testimony will be extracted if the witnesses

    22 themselves actually indicate what a location is, what it

    23 means and so forth. As I said, these factual matters,

    24 this is not of great import, but as a matter of

    25 principle we make the point.

  69. 1 JUDGE JORDA: It is not really very important, Mr. Hayman.

    2 The witness approached the mark, the map was

    3 pre-identified which saved us some time, which is a

    4 constant concern of the Tribunal. The witness very

    5 clearly identified the labels that were there. I do not

    6 think we are going to ask the witness to go to the map

    7 and identify them. The Tribunal considers it is

    8 perfectly well informed about what the witness did. The

    9 Tribunal overrules this objection.

    10 Have you any other questions, Mr. Harmon?

    11 MR. HARMON: No, I do not. I would just like to make the

    12 record perfectly clear, however, your Honour. The

    13 reason this particular exhibit was pre-marked was because

    14 an order that had been placed by the Prosecutor's office

    15 for copies of that particular map did not arrive in

    16 time, and in order to resolve the issue, that particular

    17 photograph cannot be marked, so it was pre-marked because

    18 we did not have a copy that the witness could approach

    19 and put circles on the particular houses. That is the

    20 reason why we pre-marked this particular exhibit.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: I think the Tribunal has already settled this

    22 issue. This is the end of the examination. Who is

    23 going to be the cross-examination, Mr. Nobilo or

    24 Mr. Hayman? Mr. Nobilo, you can begin your

    25 cross-examination. Mr. Harmon, do you have another

  70. 1 objection? I say very clearly that the procedure must

    2 be carried out within a certain amount of time and we

    3 will be careful to ensure that that is done. Anything

    4 which is delaying will be noted. Have you finished your

    5 examination, Mr. Harmon?

    6 MR. HARMON: I have no additional questions. I wanted to

    7 thank the witness for his direct examination,

    8 Mr. President.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Fine, Mr. Nobilo, you can begin the

    10 cross-examination.

    11 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO

    12 Q. Mr. President, Mr. Zeco, good afternoon, I am Anto Nobilo

    13 and I defend Mr. Tihomir Blaskic.

    14 A. Thank you.

    15 Q. On several occasions, you mentioned the HVO; do you make

    16 a distinction between the HVO as a military structure

    17 and the civilian authority?

    18 A. As far as the military aspect is concerned, there is a

    19 difference, and I do distinguish between the purely

    20 operative units of the HVO and throughout my contacts

    21 with them, the HVO were very closely linked to certain

    22 persons who were active in the civilian authority, so

    23 those were specific persons, but it was all under one

    24 name, the HVO, because the civilian authorities also

    25 bore the name the HVO, so I think it was a complex

  71. 1 organisation that combined the two and that was how

    2 I proceeded.

    3 Q. Was the HVO government of which Ivica Santic was the

    4 President military or civilian?

    5 A. That was the civilian.

    6 Q. Ivica Santic, was he a civilian official or a military

    7 one?

    8 A. The civilian.

    9 Q. When you say that the HVO took over the power in the

    10 municipality, are you also saying that the HVO as a

    11 whole took over?

    12 A. The HVO as a civilian authority, the HVO government

    13 which had the power in Vitez municipality, which

    14 organised and lead the civilian structures was also

    15 always in touch with the military structures.

    16 Q. You said that there were problems at control

    17 checkpoints, and that tensions were growing between the

    18 Muslims and the Croats and that because of that, a

    19 co-ordinating body was established, a Muslim

    20 co-ordinating body.

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Could you tell us, what incidents do you remember

    23 between the Muslims and the Croats which then led to the

    24 establishment of this?

    25 A. I can tell you what --

  72. 1 Q. We are talking about the first half of 1992.

    2 A. As a veterinarian, I moved around in my vehicle, and

    3 already in some villages there were points established

    4 for control, and I was stopped by the HVO soldiers and

    5 they asked me to stop, and they searched my car. They

    6 all knew me, they knew that I was going to carry out my

    7 duties to the Croats and so the Serbs and to everybody,

    8 but they asked me about weapons. I told them

    9 immediately that I had no weapons, that I was not

    10 involved in the military matters, but that I was only

    11 carrying out my duties and doing my job. I experienced

    12 those things.

    13 At that time, I also had a technician of mine and

    14 there was also a colleague of mine who came to help out

    15 from Travnik, and they also experienced similar things.

    16 Q. So those were the reasons?

    17 A. That was one of the reasons.

    18 Q. Right. So that was one of the reasons, for protection

    19 of -- before we continue on with the questions regarding

    20 the Co-ordinating Body, while we are still at the

    21 checkpoints, is it true that in February 1993 in Jardol,

    22 during the search of your official vehicle which you

    23 used for your official use, a large amount of ammunition

    24 was discovered which was intended to the BH army units

    25 in Jardol, is that correct?

  73. 1 A. I did hear the question, yes. No, it is not true.

    2 I know with whom this was discovered. I did not do

    3 those things and that information is not correct.

    4 Q. And with whom was it discovered?

    5 A. It was discovered with the veterinary technician. He

    6 was a member of the BH army.

    7 Q. Was that your vehicle?

    8 A. No, this was a vehicle of this technician who was the

    9 member of the army, and as I said, I never involved

    10 myself in that kind of work, and in any kind of

    11 activities relating to this situation.

    12 Q. Did you see what was discovered in that vehicle?

    13 A. No. I know exactly what you are talking about. I was

    14 informed of that.

    15 Q. Let us go back to this Co-ordinating Body for Protection

    16 of Muslims. You said that your role, your duties would

    17 involve agriculture and the livestock industry. Was it

    18 true that Mahmutovic Saban was in charge of the police

    19 and so on and so forth, not to go down the entire list?

    20 Can you tell us whether this Co-ordinating Body had

    21 certain characteristics of a government with different

    22 kinds of duties?

    23 A. During the time when this co-ordinating board was

    24 active, I can tell you, and I take responsibility for

    25 this, there was no individual on that board having any

  74. 1 ambition to create a government. This was just a desire

    2 to use people and their particular expertise to approach

    3 the authorities and to be part of resolving all problems

    4 that arose, so this was an initiative of the political

    5 structures that were active in that area, so that was

    6 the Party of Democratic Action, that was the political

    7 party of -- and then there was the HDZ party, so that

    8 was the goal. The goal was to put ourselves at disposal

    9 as an informal group.

    10 I personally was in contact very often with Ivica

    11 Santic, and I asked, simply asked, as somebody who was a

    12 friend, somebody who worked together with him, "do we

    13 really need somebody outside to resolve our problems?",

    14 so those were elements that all contributed to create

    15 this situation for this co-ordinating board. That is my

    16 view at least, and this is my reasoning.

    17 Q. You said that the official authority was suspended, the

    18 one that won the election. Who suspended it?

    19 A. It was suspended in the way that the municipal bodies

    20 appeared with new organisation and this was the Croatian

    21 Community of Herceg-Bosna. In the preamble of all the

    22 documents, in addition to the Executive Board and other

    23 bodies, there had to be this preamble containing the

    24 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which was not a

    25 legal authority, especially since they asked of all

  75. 1 people who had jobs in town to sign off a pledge of

    2 loyalty to the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. So

    3 all appointments or all the municipal -- in the

    4 municipal bodies, so all officials had to sign off on

    5 this, or else they would not be allowed to work.

    6 Shortly thereafter, the soldiers moved into the

    7 municipal building, and after that, it was suspended.

    8 Q. In the middle of 1992, was there not a Crisis Staff

    9 which was active?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. What was the division or distribution of power among

    12 them?

    13 A. At that time, all problems were being solved by the

    14 Crisis Staff. However, it is a fact that throughout

    15 this period these problems were not resolved. In fact,

    16 the problems piled up and they became bigger and bigger.

    17 Q. And then as a result of all this?

    18 A. This Co-ordinating Body was established for protection

    19 of Muslims.

    20 Q. We will move away from this topic. Kalco Nusret, was he

    21 in charge of the agriculture?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. Just so that we go quickly. Salihbasic Hasan for

    24 finances? For education, Kadir Djidic? For social

    25 questions, Kadir? Viteskic Suljo -- Salkic Suad for

  76. 1 information?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. For health, Mujezinovic, and for logistics Ahmic Cazim?

    4 A. Yes.

    5 Q. These were the members of the Co-ordinating Body for the

    6 Protection of Muslims?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Tell me, if you were to adopt any decision in any field,

    9 let us say in the police, how would that be implemented?

    10 A. That decision would have to be implemented in contact

    11 with the representatives of the government of the HVO.

    12 Q. In other words, the decision would be done in accordance

    13 with the Croatian authorities?

    14 A. Yes, and if it were only the Muslims, it was asked

    15 expressly we should keep with Croats and this was asked

    16 of all of us; in other words, to reach agreements and

    17 keep contacts with the Croats.

    18 Q. We were just informed to try to speak a bit more

    19 slowly.

    20 Can we then conclude that there were two

    21 authorities, one Croatian, one Muslim, which tried to

    22 co-operate and to keep the contact going?

    23 A. I can guarantee that there were not. The co-ordinating

    24 board was never active and was never presenting itself

    25 as an authority, body of authority.

  77. 1 Q. What was the War Presidency and who establishes it?

    2 A. The War Presidency was established pursuant to the law,

    3 and it was by recommendation of the republic and the

    4 state authorities. I do not know exactly what law this

    5 was. I do not know the name of this law, and it was

    6 pursuant to this law that the War Presidency was

    7 established. It had power of law.

    8 Q. But who appoints the War Presidency?

    9 A. The Municipal Assembly establishes it, the

    10 representatives of the assembly. The official

    11 representatives of the Parliament. In fact, they

    12 appointed the War Presidency. At the time they were

    13 called "the delegates", the delegates of the

    14 municipality, and in this particular case, they were the

    15 Muslim delegates that were in the Municipal Assembly,

    16 they appointed the War Presidency.

    17 Q. If I understood you correctly, correct me if I am wrong,

    18 the Muslims were meeting separately and they appointed a

    19 War Presidency?

    20 A. They made the appointment of the members of the War

    21 Presidency.

    22 Q. Tell me now, when the War Presidency was appointed, was

    23 that an authority?

    24 A. That was supposed to be the organ of government for this

    25 area, where Muslims were supposed to be represented

  78. 1 officially. The other authorities were suspended, they

    2 were not operating, they were not there, they did not

    3 have access at a given point in time, and that is why

    4 these representatives of the Muslim population were

    5 appointed, because in this way there was one side and

    6 another side.

    7 Q. So now we can conclude that there are two organs of

    8 government, the Muslim Bosnian on the one hand and the

    9 Croat on the other hand.

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. In the same area?

    12 A. Yes, in the same area.

    13 Q. Now, the War Presidency. Is it the political leadership

    14 of the army and the police in the municipality of

    15 Vitez? Is it superior to them?

    16 A. The War Presidency, as you said a few minutes ago, was

    17 established as yet another body which is supposed to

    18 represent the authorities in that area. However, this

    19 political body, this authority that was created through

    20 this political action, even when they reached certain

    21 decisions, it made every effort to have all these

    22 decisions that were reached by this organ accorded with

    23 the HVO government, and they were there at the same time

    24 when the War Presidency was. They tried to work things

    25 out together, they tried to reach agreement on all the

  79. 1 problems that would crop up and in view of every

    2 situation. So that is how they operated, at least I ,

    3 when I was entrusted with certain tasks, I would meet

    4 with the representatives of the Croats, we would work

    5 together, and we would pass joint decisions and as such,

    6 they were carried out in practice.

    7 Q. But you did not answer my question, whether the War

    8 Presidency had political leadership, and whether it was

    9 in charge of the police, or the Territorial Defence,

    10 I mean the Muslim part of the police?

    11 A. No. At that time, when the War Presidency was

    12 established, there was not a Muslim police, only Saban

    13 Mahmutovic was appointed, who represented it and in the

    14 police and the police station, he was together with the

    15 Croats I do not know, but I think that when the police

    16 were disarmed, when the Muslims and the police were

    17 disarmed and when they had to leave the service, later,

    18 after this political debate and discussions, it was

    19 decided that the Croats would provide the chief of

    20 police -- that was Mirko Samija -- and that the Muslims

    21 would provide a commander for the police, that was Saban

    22 Mahmutovic.

    23 So the objective was for them to co-operate, to

    24 work together. We, the Presidency, were ordered not to

    25 get into any kind of conflict with the Croats, not at

  80. 1 any cost, and to try to work things out with them and to

    2 reach common agreement.

    3 Q. Now that we are talking about the head of police, you

    4 mentioned Mirko Samija; he was your friend, a Croat?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. Tell me, when was he appointed, can you remember, 1992

    7 or the beginning of 1993?

    8 A. He was appointed in 1992.

    9 Q. Do you know when?

    10 A. Approximately in the second half.

    11 Q. Of 1992?

    12 A. Yes, of 1992.

    13 Q. How long did he hold this post?

    14 A. He stayed on after 16th April, after 13th May, rather,

    15 when I left the area.

    16 Q. Can you remember who was the head of police before him?

    17 A. I can remember, it was Skopljak, Pero Skopljak.

    18 Q. When did he stop being head of police?

    19 A. Probably when this other man took over.

    20 Q. You told us in different ways that you were a member of

    21 the headquarters for civilian protection, or commander.

    22 Could you clarify this and could you explain if you

    23 became commander, when you became commander, et cetera?

    24 A. Yes, I can do that. I can give you the exact date, too.

    25 Q. Fine.

  81. 1 A. I can tell you that I became a member of the civilian

    2 protection staff of the municipality of Vitez ever since

    3 I came to Vitez, yes. When certain problems already

    4 appeared in 1992, in the second half of 1992, then we

    5 met the municipal headquarters, the municipal staff

    6 where we still worked together within this joint staff,

    7 we worked together as the official staff for civilian

    8 protection, with all the necessary measures taken within

    9 the staff. It was agreed that that a more operative

    10 civilian protection staff should be appointed, which

    11 should be -- which should have both a military option

    12 and a civilian structure involved, so the HVO government

    13 appointed for military matters Marko Krezic was there on

    14 behalf of the Croats and Rudo Strbac, that is for the

    15 civilian structures.

    16 For the Muslims, I do not like to divide us into

    17 different sides, but I was there, I was appointed by the

    18 civilian structures and Sulejman Kalco was appointed on

    19 behalf of the military structures, the BH army, so that

    20 was this joint staff of civilian protection, which we

    21 needed at any rate, but from an operative point of view,

    22 it never came into being. If I understood you

    23 correctly, that is this activity of mine as a member of

    24 the staff, and on 14th January 1993, I was appointed by

    25 the War Presidency, and at a meeting of the War

  82. 1 Presidency, as head of the Municipal Staff for Civilian

    2 Protection. This was also the decree of the Minister of

    3 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    4 Q. Tell me, the Municipal Staff for Civilian Protection.

    5 You told me you were appointed at a meeting of the War

    6 Presidency. Did it fit into another structure, a

    7 military structure? Who was your immediate superior?

    8 A. No.

    9 Q. Could you explain this organisation to us a bit?

    10 A. The Municipal Staff for Civilian Protection exclusively

    11 functioned as a structure of representatives of civilian

    12 authorities, according to the Geneva Conventions, it was

    13 supposed to discharge its duties and responsibilities.

    14 I can tell you that immediately after the war operations

    15 I was under certain pressure from the army of

    16 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I would not allow any kind of abuse

    17 of members of the civilian protection. Civilian

    18 protection should not be used for military purposes and

    19 I insisted on that. We were so busy, and the total

    20 civilian protection was supposed to be involved, because

    21 we had all these people who were physically in poor

    22 health and we had so many problems after the war

    23 operations, given the current situation, in some

    24 situations it was a very unfavourable thing belonging to

    25 the civilian protection in those times. That is how it

  83. 1 was.

    2 Q. Thank you. Tell me, October 1992, there was that

    3 conflict in Travnik and this heightened tension in Vitez

    4 too; you were then a member of the Co-ordinating

    5 Committee for the Protection of the Muslims. Can you

    6 tell me how the HVO army was stopped in Ahmici?

    7 A. Could you please repeat your question?

    8 Q. I will repeat it. In October 1992, there were certain

    9 tensions when the Territorial Defence near the village

    10 of Ahmici put up roadblocks and stopped HVO units that

    11 were passing by there. You were then a member of the

    12 co-ordinating committee for the protection of Muslims,

    13 so I am asking you, what do you know about those events?

    14 A. I know that at that time a roadblock was put up and HVO

    15 units went that way. The roadblock prevented them from

    16 passing there, these units of the HVO. I know that,

    17 because immediately after this conflict broke out,

    18 because there was certain damage caused and also there

    19 were victims. Once this communication was

    20 re-established -- I cannot really say anything specific

    21 in terms of when this broke out. I came there when it

    22 was already all finished. My duty was to take care of

    23 things, and to do whatever I could in order to handle

    24 the situation and to alleviate all the damage that was

    25 done. That is what I was supposed to do and that is

  84. 1 what I can tell this distinguished court.

    2 We even met with the understanding of the Croats

    3 because we managed to collect funds, that was one of my

    4 tasks, to collect material and financial funds, and to

    5 compensate all of those who had suffered damage. These

    6 were 27 establishments altogether. Impregnacija was

    7 affected, Vetrenice was affected, all these different

    8 companies that were in that area. That was my concern

    9 and that is where I was involved.

    10 Q. But do you know, perhaps, as a member of the

    11 co-ordinating committee, why the roadblock was set up

    12 there?

    13 A. No.

    14 Q. You talked about some persons of Croatian nationality

    15 appearing on television. Can you tell me the following:

    16 when you told us that Tihomir Blaskic spoke, how the

    17 historic right of the Croats would be materialised, if

    18 necessary even by military means, can you tell me when

    19 this was said?

    20 A. Let me tell you, I saw Mr. Tihomir Blaskic so many times

    21 on television that it is very difficult for me to tell

    22 you when this happened.

    23 Q. Can you recall who he was sitting with when this was

    24 allegedly said?

    25 A. I could only be involved in guesswork.

  85. 1 Q. Can you remember the context, whether he was saying this

    2 in the context of the conflict with the Serbs or the

    3 conflict with the Muslims? Can you remember that?

    4 A. I think that it is possible, because Mr. Tihomir Blaskic

    5 spoke as the commander of the HVO during the time of the

    6 conflict with the JNA, the Yugoslav army too. That is

    7 the only thing I can say. I can only say that

    8 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic, in a certain way, asked for the

    9 Croat population, for the Croats to become militarily

    10 able, to be trained.

    11 Q. Can you tell me what was your impression of

    12 Tihomir Blaskic from his appearances on television; as a

    13 Croatian extremist or as a moderate soldier, now in the

    14 final analysis?

    15 A. First of all, as a soldier.

    16 Q. Tell me, do you remember the Novi Travnik Radio? Did

    17 the Bosniaks have radio stations like Novi Travnik

    18 Radio, Radio 325 Vitez?

    19 A. I never listened to Radio Novi Travnik. Radio Vitez,

    20 yes, 325. Personally, personally, on one occasion

    21 I spoke on Radio Vitez, in the capacity of the commander

    22 of the Municipal Staff for Civilian Protection.

    23 I informed the Municipal Staff for Civilian Protection

    24 in Vitez that in the case of fighting, direct conflicts,

    25 that they should become involved in protecting the

  86. 1 overall civilian population and all material goods, and

    2 that we would function together and carry out our

    3 duties. That was what I spoke of on radio in my

    4 civilian protection capacity.

    5 Q. Let us go back to television, we are still talking about

    6 radio and television. Can you remember when you were

    7 speaking about the HOS being absorbed by the HVO; did

    8 you see this personally or did somebody tell you about

    9 this?

    10 A. I personally saw a TV programme showing that the HOS

    11 joined the HVO.

    12 Q. During your direct examination, in response to the

    13 Prosecutor's questions, you said that on the morning of

    14 the 16th you were surprised by the attack. So, my

    15 question is: did you expect an attack on the 16th, or

    16 were you really surprised?

    17 A. I can present a fact to you in order to corroborate what

    18 I said, and that is that I was surprised. The fact is

    19 that in my car plans were found for protecting the

    20 Muslim population. On 15th April, I had a meeting, as

    21 the Chairman of the Commission for Spring Sowing and

    22 Planting, Chairman of the Joint Commission, that is what

    23 I was. It consisted of Croats and Muslims. So we were

    24 supposed to constitute this commission, and we were

    25 supposed to represent it before the Chamber of Commerce,

  87. 1 and that day we had a meeting at 12.00 in the municipal

    2 building in Vitez.

    3 The meeting was over some time at about 2.00, and

    4 I went back to a meeting of the War Presidency, which

    5 was nearing its end. I asked, towards the end of the

    6 meeting, I put an ultimatum to them; I said that a

    7 meeting of the War Presidency should be held the next

    8 day with only one item on the agenda, and that is the

    9 elaboration of a plan for protecting the Muslim people

    10 in case of a HVO attack. That evening I was making a

    11 draft for this, and those are the papers that were found

    12 in my car after I was detained and after they took away

    13 my car. Those are the papers, these unfortunate plans

    14 of mine that were found.

    15 Q. Can I just ask you the following: at the meeting of the

    16 Presidency, you did not expect an attack on the 16th?

    17 A. No, no attack. There was not a hint of that.

    18 Q. So at the meeting of the Presidency, did you get an

    19 ultimatum from the HVO or the Croatian Community of

    20 Herceg-Bosna, saying that, "if you do not do such and

    21 such things by 15th April, we will do the following on

    22 the 16th"?

    23 A. I do not know anything about that.

    24 Q. But you were a member of the Presidency, you would have

    25 to know that, had it occurred?

  88. 1 A. I do not know.

    2 Q. Thank you. Please tell me, how often did your wife

    3 bring food to you during your detention? Was that every

    4 day?

    5 A. Let me tell you, while I was in the vet station there

    6 was absolutely no problem for my wife to come there.

    7 She would come to the station, but I was not -- I did

    8 not have much of an appetite, I would take just a

    9 mouthful or two, but there were others who were hungry,

    10 so my wife brought food for those in need, not only my

    11 wife but other women came too. So in the vet station,

    12 as regards food for those three or four days, there was

    13 no problem.

    14 Q. Thank you. Can you say which buildings in Vitez were

    15 public buildings, I mean major buildings? What I mean

    16 by that is that were owned by the municipality. I do

    17 not mean residential buildings.

    18 A. Yes, I know. Many of these public buildings, that is

    19 public premises, were in residential buildings, but if

    20 you look at the entire structure, first of all it was

    21 the municipal building. Then next to it was the

    22 police. First it was called SUP, then the MUP

    23 building. Then it was the secondary school for craft,

    24 and then it was the post office.

    25 Q. Was the cinema also municipal?

  89. 1 A. Yes, the cinema and cultural centre.

    2 Q. What about the vet station?

    3 A. Yes, the veterinary station as well.

    4 Q. What about the school in Dubravica?

    5 A. Yes, also.

    6 Q. Thank you. Please tell me, what unit -- which unit

    7 members took your car away from you with that plan?

    8 A. I personally know that in the forestry station building,

    9 which was also a public building, there was the Rijeka

    10 HVO headquarters, and Karlo Dragavic was the commander,

    11 he was the commander of the HVO there. The Vitezovi,

    12 the Knights, the unit of Darko Kraljevic was stationed

    13 there.

    14 Q. Do you know the person, to which unit did the person who

    15 took the car away from you belong?

    16 A. I do not. I did not know of who belonged to which HVO

    17 unit.

    18 Q. Zeljko Matkovic who, as you said, was some kind of a

    19 commander, to which unit did he belong in the HVO?

    20 A. I do not know that.

    21 Q. Those who broke your nose, do you know to which unit

    22 they belonged?

    23 A. They were in uniforms and they had the HVO insignia. It

    24 is possible -- I know one last name of this one soldier

    25 who broke my nose, I know that his name was Grbavac.

  90. 1 I later obtained this information and I know that he was

    2 killed.

    3 Q. Do you know to which unit he belonged?

    4 A. I do not know to which HVO unit he belonged.

    5 Q. When you came to Samija, you met him at the entrance of

    6 the station; what exactly did you tell him, who did you

    7 tell him had hit you?

    8 A. I told him I was hit by the HVO soldiers.

    9 Q. Then Samija comes back and comes to you to apologise to

    10 you; can you tell us exactly what he told you?

    11 A. I can, yes. He escorted me to the clinic and before we

    12 went there, he went there in my vehicle, before we left,

    13 he ordered -- I know those members of the police, one of

    14 them is called Ramljak, and he gave the order expressly

    15 to him, to go down there to that spot and to check out

    16 the situation and then we went to the clinic and

    17 I received medical care there, and then I went home and

    18 Mirko Samija told me, "very well, go to Travnik tomorrow

    19 by all means, and bring an objective medical finding".

    20 He also asked me whether I needed transportation to

    21 Travnik. I told him that I would do it tomorrow, and

    22 then I went home.

    23 After about half an hour, Mirko Samija came with

    24 those two policemen and he said, with apologies, that at

    25 that time he could not do anything, that the situation

  91. 1 was difficult, that there were certain reasons, it was

    2 not advisable. And then he asked me to go tomorrow to

    3 take a X-ray, and then to bring in the results of this

    4 check-up.

    5 Q. In your direct examination to the Prosecutor, you said

    6 that the reason for his not doing anything was because

    7 there were soldiers and he was a civilian policeman and

    8 now you say something different. What was the reason he

    9 said that he could not intervene there?

    10 A. He said that he was the police, and they were the

    11 military, that there were specific threats against him

    12 doing an investigation, that he had different ways of

    13 obtaining the final results, and that I should not do

    14 anything at that time and I should leave it be.

    15 Q. So what was the main reason, because it was the military

    16 or ...

    17 A. He never explained it to me until the end and I never

    18 asked him to. He just let me know and he asked me to

    19 let it be that way, and later on he would handle the

    20 whole situation.

    21 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I would like to present a

    22 document, but if you think that this would be a good

    23 time to break?

    24 JUDGE JORDA: No, I think that we should really take our

    25 break around 4.15 or 4.20. I think we still have some

  92. 1 time.

    2 MR. NOBILO: Mr. Zeco, have you given any statements to anyone

    3 before today in connection with all the events during

    4 the war that you related?

    5 A. Yes, I gave a statement in the MUP, in the Zenica

    6 municipality. I gave a statement there when I was

    7 there.

    8 Q. Did you give a statement to the investigators of

    9 The Hague Tribunal?

    10 A. Yes, that is the one.

    11 Q. Was that one statement? Did you give two statements?

    12 A. On two occasions, I gave two statements.

    13 Q. On both occasions they were the statements to the

    14 investigators of The Hague Tribunal?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Did you give any statements to any security authorities

    17 in the BH?

    18 A. No, never. I said that I gave this statement in the MUP

    19 building, but it was the investigators of the Tribunal

    20 that I gave the statement to.

    21 Q. Who informed you of this?

    22 A. They came in person and they told me to go there at such

    23 and such an hour and that the representatives of the

    24 Tribunal were there and they would wait for me and

    25 I would give this statement.

  93. 1 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, may we have the usher -- we would

    2 first like to read to you a record of the statement you

    3 gave. I would like to read it in English --

    4 JUDGE JORDA: What statement is that, please?

    5 MR. NOBILO: This is Mr. Zeco Fuad's statement which he gave

    6 to the representatives of the Prosecutor of The Hague

    7 Tribunal on 14th July 1995. We received this statement

    8 from the Office of the Prosecutor. I will attempt to

    9 read in English.

    10 MR. HARMON: Counsel, before reading, if you could just

    11 direct me to the page?

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon?

    13 MR. HARMON: I have a copy of that statement and if counsel

    14 could direct me to the page he is reading from, it would

    15 assist me in following.

    16 MR. HAYMAN: I have a highlighting copy, your Honour. I can

    17 provide that. (Handed).

    18 MR. HARMON: Thank you.

    19 MR. NOBILO: This is on page 5, the fourth paragraph from the

    20 top, and it is highlighted in yellow and I read:

    21 "After being beaten by the Darko's soldiers, I was

    22 taken to hospital by a man called Samija Mirko, the

    23 chief of the police. He come back to see me and excused

    24 himself that he could not do anything at this moment

    25 because Darko's soldiers, who were in a cafe in Vitez

  94. 1 together with Darko, were too dangerous."

    2 That is the end of the quote. Were those the

    3 words that you used in describing why Mirko Samija could

    4 not intervene when you spoke to the investigators of the

    5 Tribunal?

    6 A. At that time, I do not deny that I said it was Darko's

    7 soldiers, because I considered those soldiers to be the

    8 HVO soldiers, and they were dangerous, those who did

    9 such things, and I thought they were Darko's soldiers.

    10 Q. So you confirm what you said in 1995 to the

    11 investigators is correct?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. I would like to read on page 6, for the Prosecutor also

    14 highlighted with yellow marker, the following text:

    15 "On 19th April 1993, soldiers of Kraljevic came to

    16 me and told me they wanted my car and I had to hand them

    17 the keys."

    18 Is that what you stated to the investigators in

    19 1995, that Darko's soldiers took the car away from you?

    20 A. I did not distinguish between them. They were both

    21 Darko's and the HVO, those were the units. In my view,

    22 it was not precluded that the ones who were the HVO were

    23 also not Darko's.

    24 Q. Is what I read correct?

    25 A. It is possible that I said something like this, yes, it

  95. 1 is possible.

    2 Q. But is it correct?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. Same page, again yellow highlights, it is the following

    5 text:

    6 "Matkovic Zeljko, who was one of the Kraljevic

    7 men."

    8 Matkovic Zeljko, you identified him as one of the

    9 Kraljevic's men, was that correct?

    10 A. No, I do not think that Zeljko Matkovic was one of Darko

    11 Kraljevic's men, that he was in his unit. That could

    12 have been a mistake. I know that he was not a member of

    13 Darko Kraljevic's unit, he was a member of the military,

    14 which was the same -- military but it was not the same

    15 unit, so he was not part of his circle.

    16 Q. But you allow that you may have said it so that it may

    17 be interpreted that way?

    18 A. It is possible, but here I say that the unit that was

    19 commanded by Darko Kraljevic, Zeljko Matkovic was not

    20 one of them.

    21 Q. Which unit was stationed in Dubravica school, under

    22 whose command?

    23 A. This was a HVO unit. It was just a HVO unit, it did not

    24 have a special name. I am not familiar with any special

    25 names, just that they were the soldiers of the HVO, so

  96. 1 they were just called the HVO soldiers.

    2 Q. Do you know that Darko Kraljevic's command was there?

    3 A. No, there was no command there.

    4 Q. You were a neighbour of Darko Kraljevic?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. Can you tell us what reputation he had among the Croats

    7 and what reputation among the Muslims at the end of this

    8 war, let us say.

    9 A. I think that Darko Kraljevic had a reputation of a

    10 somewhat undisciplined person. He had a tendency to

    11 consume alcohol. I know that Dr. Mujezinovic once went

    12 to Darko Kraljevic and he said that he was in a very bad

    13 condition, that he was under the influence of drugs, and

    14 it was he who told me and we agreed on this, that he was

    15 someone who could be influenced, who was unstable. We

    16 discussed this to friends. I thought of Darko Kraljevic

    17 as my own son, as someone who needed help, because he

    18 was somewhat out of control. Later, he became violent

    19 and after that, when he entered into -- when he got

    20 power, he became pretty dangerous. That is how

    21 I perceived him.

    22 Q. People who were in his unit, how were they in

    23 relationship to the alcohol and drugs?

    24 A. It was very bad, the way they behaved.

    25 Q. What were their tendencies?

  97. 1 A. Violence and binges, things like that.

    2 Q. Were people afraid of Darko Kraljevic?

    3 A. Especially in the latter part of 1992, the Muslims

    4 really feared all armed units that were on the Croatian

    5 side. The Muslims really feared, with a reason, because

    6 they were experiencing difficult situations.

    7 Q. Was Darko especially prominent in that?

    8 A. No more than the units that come from Herzegovina, there

    9 were other units too, so it was not much different from

    10 the units in the school, that vocational school. They

    11 were also afraid of those soldiers, and the Muslims

    12 experienced all kinds of unpleasant things from both

    13 those who were with Darko and the others.

    14 Q. Were drugs, alcohol binges and all that, were they

    15 characteristics for all these units, what you describe

    16 for Darko's unit, or was that an exception?

    17 A. No, you cannot compare them. It was an exception.

    18 Q. While you were detained in the vet station, was there

    19 any detainee who was wearing a BH army uniform there?

    20 A. I do not recall.

    21 Q. You said that there were threats that should the members

    22 of the special units from Herzegovina came they would go

    23 and search the houses. Did they ever come to search

    24 houses while you were in detention?

    25 A. No.

  98. 1 Q. You mentioned Jusuf Ibrakovic, who was killed while

    2 digging trenches. Do you know how he was killed, under

    3 what circumstances?

    4 A. On that day, which was a tragic day, the telephone in

    5 the vet station was operational, and Zeljko Matkovic

    6 called me on the phone. He called me to the telephone,

    7 he said that a woman was calling, and wanted me on the

    8 phone, so I picked up the receiver and Ibrakovic's

    9 mother, so Jusuf's mother, asked "is my Jusuf there?

    10 Please, Doctor". He was very strong, and so he had a

    11 big appetite too. We witnessed that. My wife kept

    12 bringing food and he really had a good appetite, so my

    13 wife ensured there was enough food there. Five minutes

    14 before that information came that Jusuf Ibrakovic,

    15 called Jusa, I think his full name was Jusuf, that he

    16 was killed, so I was shaken because of the mother and

    17 everything. I had received information that he was

    18 killed by the HVO members who were taking him to dig.

    19 Q. But was Jusa staying with you or in some other place?

    20 A. He was in the vet station.

    21 Q. Hurem that you mentioned, was he staying with you?

    22 A. Hurem, yes.

    23 Q. You mentioned that additional people were killed, you

    24 could not recall the names. Can you explain this to

    25 me? If there were lists of people and somebody did not

  99. 1 come back, is that not major news so that people talk

    2 about it?

    3 A. At that time, there were no lists, no registration, but

    4 it was just what people knew and what people remembered

    5 when we were in the veterinary station and in the camp

    6 in Dubravica, so that the final list of those who were

    7 killed had become big, and I cannot tell you, off the

    8 top of my head, where and how people died, but after

    9 that, a list was compiled and people were accounted for.

    10 Q. But you personally do not have particular persons in

    11 mind, apart from persons that you described in the

    12 school in Dubravica?

    13 A. No.

    14 Q. You said that you were in the school in Dubravica and

    15 that people were taken to dig in Kuber?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. But do you know that Kuber was taken by the BH army

    18 before you came to Dubravica?

    19 A. Kuber is a wider area, that is Gola Kosa and the area

    20 above Nadioci and Loncari, and the area next to Loncari,

    21 and so the people who were taken there, people who would

    22 come back, would say "we were at Kuber", and that is how

    23 I accepted it, that is how I accepted that as Kuber.

    24 Kuber was this demarcation line, this confrontation

    25 line, and even during the period when I was part of the

  100. 1 civilian protection, it was not part of the Vitez

    2 territory, so I did not know enough about Kuber, but

    3 that is the area that borders on Zenica and Busovaca

    4 municipalities. It is on that borderline between these

    5 three municipalities and it is possible that part of it

    6 was occupied by the BH army.

    7 Q. So you allow that could be Nadioci, Gola Kosa and all

    8 that. You mentioned Vrhovine; Vrhovine at that time was

    9 also with the BH army?

    10 A. I know, because I worked in that area in my capacity

    11 within the civilian protection. I know exactly that

    12 there were HVO lines next to that forest, that is the

    13 area of Vrhovine.

    14 Q. But it was ethnically cleansed of Croats.

    15 A. Yes, but only the village.

    16 Q. But the territory of Vrhovine goes all the way to

    17 Pirici.

    18 A. All the way to Pirici? No.

    19 Q. Yes, all the way down to Pirici. You also mentioned

    20 Sivrino Selo. Did not the army hold Sivrino Selo all

    21 the time?

    22 A. No, a good part of it was under the control of the HVO,

    23 from Sivrino Selo all the way up to Mahala. That was

    24 part of Sivrino Selo, so part of Sivrino Selo was under

    25 the HVO and those were the HVO lines, and that was the

  101. 1 part of Sivrino Selo which was designated as Sivrino

    2 Selo.

    3 Q. Around the school in Dubravica, did you observe any

    4 fighting or did you just hear about it? Did you observe

    5 any positions of the HVO army positions?

    6 A. I do not know where the units were on either side, but

    7 when I arrived in Dubravica, that is when I was brought

    8 there to the school, there was a machine gun nest on the

    9 very premises, in a compound of the school, which was

    10 there in the corner of the courtyard and I could only

    11 surmise during these operations, during the shooting,

    12 where the units of either side may be, because there

    13 were shots fired which you could locate and define. But

    14 personally, I have no knowledge of it.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, perhaps this might be the time to

    16 take our break, unless you have one more question in

    17 this line; otherwise we will take our break now.

    18 MR. NOBILO: No, thank you.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: We will take a 20 minute break and start after

    20 that.

    21 (4.20 pm)

    22 (A short break).

    23 (4.45 pm)

    24 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing now. Please bring

    25 the accused in and please be seated.

  102. 1 (Accused brought in)

    2 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to apologise to the

    3 interpreters. It is true -- I would like to apologise

    4 to Mr. Nobilo as well, because the break should have been

    5 a bit earlier, but we can now begin again until 5.30.

    6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Zeco, I have four

    7 or five questions left, five at the most and then we

    8 have finished. I think that there was some lack of

    9 precision in the interpretation when I asked you about

    10 Tihomir Blaskic on television, about those historic

    11 rights of the Croats which will perhaps be achieved

    12 through military means as well, and I asked you whether

    13 this was said in the context of the struggle against the

    14 Serbs, because they were the main enemy. Can you

    15 remember what you told me in response?

    16 A. When I answered that question of yours, I was talking

    17 about the situation when there were direct operations

    18 with the Serbs in this area as well. I know

    19 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic in terms of that activity of his too,

    20 and I also know that Mr. Tihomir Blaskic is a person who

    21 fights for his people, for his Croat people, and he

    22 carried out his activities as a representative of the

    23 military option, vis-à-vis the Serb Chetnik aggression,

    24 and later in terms of the achievement of the rights of

    25 the Croatian people in Central Bosnia. In that sense,

  103. 1 he is the representative of the Croatian people, a

    2 military commander. I was speaking in that sense.

    3 Q. I know what you told me, but for the benefit of the

    4 transcript, when I asked you whether it was possible

    5 that this TV programme was in the context of the war

    6 against the Serbs, what did you tell me?

    7 A. Yes, I am thinking about that now. Mr. Tihomir Blaskic

    8 appeared on television very often. I cannot say

    9 anything for sure, I can only try to remember when this

    10 was.

    11 Q. Also, do you remember when Dzemo Merdan spoke together

    12 with Tihomir Blaskic on television?

    13 A. Yes, I remember that.

    14 Q. What is your assessment of that appearance of

    15 Tihomir Blaskic on television?

    16 A. A person who tried to resolve common problems in terms

    17 of the Defence of the state of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    18 Q. Do you recall Tihomir Blaskic saying anything against

    19 the Muslim people on television? Do you recall

    20 anything?

    21 A. I did not say that.

    22 Q. Again, the English translation. Can you just say yes or

    23 no: did Tihomir Blaskic ever speak against the Muslims

    24 as a people?

    25 A. No.

  104. 1 Q. We have to be precise for the sake of the translation.

    2 When you said that you were a commander of the staff for

    3 civilian protection, you said you got orders from the

    4 Minister, what Minister?

    5 A. The assistant Minister, the assistant Minister for

    6 Defence for the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    7 Q. This plan, because of which you had problems -- I am not

    8 a military expert, or for civilian protection, but can

    9 you tell me what was in there? What does this plan

    10 mean?

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, you cannot ask a witness to answer

    12 yes or no, although you did ask that that be allowed to

    13 be asked. He has to wait for your question, but in this

    14 case, as a principle, you asked for a yes or no answer,

    15 which in theory -- and then asked a question which does

    16 not always lend itself to that kind of answer, yes or

    17 no. One answers yes or no if one is given a list of

    18 names and one says "was the person at this place" and

    19 you say yes or no, but the last questions that you asked

    20 could call for more detailed answers. I ask you to be

    21 careful when you ask for that kind of an answer.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I think there was a

    23 bit of confusion, though. I asked the witness to answer

    24 yes or no in relation to Blaskic's appearance on

    25 television against the Muslim people, whether he ever

  105. 1 spoke against the Muslim people on television, yes or no

    2 and that is what he answered. Now we have moved on to a

    3 new question, so that is what it was all about.

    4 Now my other question: this plan, what was this

    5 that you had drafted, what was this population supposed

    6 to do?

    7 A. This plan designated certain areas, especially in the

    8 urban part of Vitez where the Muslims were. Certain

    9 persons were in charge of certain buildings or certain

    10 sites; namely, they were supposed to take care of women,

    11 children, to protect them, find shelter for them in the

    12 case of war operations. They were the ones who were

    13 involved, so that was the plan. Even if the army were

    14 to break in, the civilian population was supposed to

    15 move to other areas where they could survive, so that

    16 was the essence of this plan.

    17 Q. For example, do you remember the inhabitants of Rijeka,

    18 the Muslims from Rijeka, where would they move?

    19 A. I can tell you quite specifically. They were supposed

    20 to go in the direction of Kruscica.

    21 Q. The Muslims from Kolonija, where were they supposed to

    22 go?

    23 A. They were supposed to go from Kolonija to Gradina, to

    24 Gacice, in that direction of Gacice.

    25 Q. The Muslims who were in Santici and Nadioci, where were

  106. 1 they supposed to go?

    2 A. The Muslims from Santici and Nadioci to Pirici. It was

    3 a natural shelter, if you look at the configuration of

    4 the land, so they are good natural resources there.

    5 These are not typical military targets. There are no

    6 military targets there, so that is the area where the

    7 civilian population was supposed to move to.

    8 Q. Did this plan include the Croat civilian population from

    9 these same areas I mentioned to you?

    10 A. The leadership had already made a division. The

    11 civilian population, the Croatian civilian population

    12 had their own civilian protection. They were appointed,

    13 and they were probably doing their part of the job.

    14 Q. So this plan was aimed at protecting the Muslim civilian

    15 population in case of HVO attack, in case of HVO

    16 attack. And the civilians of Ahmici, were they supposed

    17 to stay on, or were they supposed to go some place?

    18 A. The civilians of Ahmici, they are there in their own

    19 area. They have proper natural setting there. Their

    20 protection was supposed to be ensured in that area.

    21 Q. Thank you. In 1993, the War Presidency from January to

    22 April 1993, was there a special Bosniak police in

    23 Mahala, for example?

    24 A. In Mahala, I think there were two or three members of

    25 the police.

  107. 1 Q. Who were they accountable to, to the War Presidency?

    2 A. They were supposed to keep law and order to ensure

    3 safety, there was no special reasons.

    4 Q. Djidic Sefkija of the Territorial Defence, was he a

    5 member of the War Presidency?

    6 A. Sefkija Djidic was not a member of the War Presidency,

    7 but -- yes, he was. He was a member of the War

    8 Presidency.

    9 Q. So he was a member of the War Presidency?

    10 A. Yes, he was.

    11 Q. Did you ever personally see Tihomir Blaskic?

    12 A. Personally only on one occasion. I was told that

    13 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic was at the hotel, and I could see

    14 him, only his face, but personally I never --

    15 Q. You never talked to him, you never attended a meeting

    16 where he was present?

    17 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, your Honour, I would ask that the

    18 witness is permitted to conclude his answer before the

    19 next question is asked.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: I grant that objection. Let the witness

    21 answer, please.

    22 MR. NOBILO: Yes, perhaps I went a bit too fast, I am sorry.

    23 This is my last question to the witness. Did he ever

    24 attend a meeting where Tihomir Blaskic was present,

    25 where local problems of Vitez were being resolved?

  108. 1 A. I did not attend a single meeting where Mr. Tihomir

    2 Blaskic was present.

    3 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, that would be all. Thank you,

    4 Mr. President.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo. Mr. Harmon, do you want

    6 to rebut?

    7 MR. HARMON: No, your Honour, I have no additional questions,

    8 thank you.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: My colleagues, Judge Riad, have you any

    10 questions that you would like to add?

    11 JUDGE RIAD: Dr. Zeco, I would like to ask you a few

    12 questions, just to clarify things in my mind. You

    13 mentioned, and I try to quote you, that General Blaskic

    14 used to speak about the historic right of the Croat

    15 population. What was exactly the dimension of this

    16 right, in his theory, with regard to the Muslim

    17 population, as well as to the territory where they

    18 lived?

    19 A. The statements made by the top political people in the

    20 HDZ, including the military structures, were always --

    21 it was always highlighted in the statements that the

    22 areas inhabited by the Croats were areas where they had

    23 historic rights, where they were supposed to organise

    24 government, and everything else that was supposed to be

    25 done in these areas, and that this was their right,

  109. 1 which is supposed to be carried out in these times.

    2 With all their political activities, this right was

    3 supposed to be carried out, and they would exercise this

    4 right, and if necessary they would do this by resorting

    5 to military means too. This was often presented in such

    6 a way on television.

    7 MR. HAYMAN: I apologise for interrupting you --

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Has the witness completed the answer? Have

    9 you answered what you wanted to answer?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 MR. HAYMAN: I apologise for interrupting, your Honour, but

    12 I do object to the answer as non-responsive and vague as

    13 to the speaker.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: I do not know whether one of the parties

    15 should object instead of the judge who has asked the

    16 question.

    17 JUDGE RIAD: I will continue with my question in order to

    18 clarify something, to try to get the things I want.

    19 In the light of this principle, was that the

    20 reason why when you went back to your home you found

    21 that there is a Croat family living there and that other

    22 Muslims came back and found their homes occupied by

    23 Croats? Was this the application of the theory, of the

    24 principle of the historic right of the Croats?

    25 A. Practically, these structures started resolving the

  110. 1 situation in this way. Actually, their wishes, as the

    2 situation was evolving, that was our impression -- as

    3 I said, this is what we experienced in camps, we were

    4 mistreated physically and psychologically and there were

    5 victims, et cetera. If I understood your question

    6 correctly, and if this is an answer to your question.

    7 Q. To your knowledge, where did the orders come from to

    8 replace the inhabitants of Vitez by people coming from

    9 other parts of the Croatian territory?

    10 A. I know that in these activities, because I was directly

    11 told by him, that Mr. Anto Valenta was directly involved

    12 in these activities and he was President of the

    13 Executive Committee of the HDZ for Central Bosnia.

    14 Q. To which authority would he be responsible, to give

    15 account or to receive orders?

    16 A. Only the structures that were organised by the Croatian

    17 Community of Herceg-Bosna.

    18 Q. You mean the HVO or something else?

    19 A. Within the HVO too, because in this situation one could

    20 by no means distinguish between the HVO military option

    21 and the civilian structure, which was the HDZ. They

    22 worked together.

    23 Q. My second question concerns when you mentioned the

    24 attack on you and they broke your nose, and you added

    25 that when people were attacked by HVO military, no one

  111. 1 was prosecuted and no punishment was imposed on them.

    2 Do you know of any other cases of that than your case?

    3 A. Yes. I know of other cases too. I do not know of a

    4 single case when the perpetrators involved in any

    5 incident were held responsible or bore the consequences

    6 that they were supposed to bear. I am not familiar with

    7 a single such case.

    8 Q. In the same line, you mentioned that Darko Kraljevic,

    9 when he was drunk, he became fearful and brutalised the

    10 people, and you even added that other military HVO were

    11 in the habit of getting drunk. Was this almost a

    12 frequent event, that they get drunk and brutalise the

    13 people?

    14 A. In the second half of 1992, as time went by, as the

    15 fateful conflict of April 16th was getting closer, it

    16 became increasingly undesirable for Muslims to be near

    17 the members of HVO units, because one never knew how one

    18 would fare and what kind of situation one could get

    19 into. I personally had really been moving around a lot,

    20 and I was provoked a lot, I was insulted and I tried to

    21 avoid meeting them, especially in the later stage when

    22 units from other parts came to the municipality of

    23 Vitez, those that did not include soldiers from the

    24 Vitez municipality area, but from other territories,

    25 because they did not know me personally, they did not

  112. 1 know the other local people either, so the local Muslims

    2 avoided getting in touch with them.

    3 Q. In short, as a conclusion, would you consider that,

    4 considering this accident of the attack against you and

    5 the other features of brutality, do you think that the

    6 HVO were under no strict discipline and they could act

    7 with impunity towards the population?

    8 A. I cannot say that these soldiers were undisciplined.

    9 One could feel that they had a military discipline, but

    10 at any rate, there was a certain kind of discipline that

    11 they had as far as Muslims were concerned. I had the

    12 opportunity of being in the company of Croats too, but

    13 these HVO members, soldiers who did not know us, they

    14 would react and they would make me feel unwanted, but

    15 they had a military discipline, and as regards their

    16 attitude towards the Muslims, I think that they were not

    17 prevented from doing certain things that they did. That

    18 is the impression that one got.

    19 Q. You mentioned that when the detainees were given the

    20 choice after their return, they were given the choice

    21 either to leave or to stay in Vitez. What happened to

    22 those who decided to stay in Vitez? Do you have any

    23 knowledge or experience of that?

    24 A. Yes, I do. All of those who stayed on after being

    25 released from prison, all of those who stayed on, except

  113. 1 those in the urban part of Vitez, they all left the

    2 municipality of Vitez, except 90 or 100 people. Those

    3 were the Muslims that remained in the urban part of

    4 Vitez, so all the Muslims had left. They either left of

    5 their own volition or they were expelled, so only 90 to

    6 100 people were left. I am not sure, but I think 96

    7 have stayed on, 96 Muslims have stayed on only in Vitez,

    8 after the Muslims were expelled from the Vitez

    9 municipality in the area where the HVO was operating

    10 after the conflict with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    11 Q. In other words, what was the percentage of the Muslims

    12 who stayed afterwards compared to the percentage in the

    13 beginning, if you know it?

    14 A. I cannot tell, because this is the urban area, but

    15 approximately from my own point of view I could say that

    16 it could only be up to 5 per cent of the Muslims in the

    17 urban part of Vitez. When I say the urban area, I am

    18 including Rijeka too, Mlakici also, the part towards

    19 Kruscica, the part towards Gacice. Out of the total

    20 number, it is possible that the percentage was not

    21 larger, I think it was not even 5 per cent, that it was

    22 less.

    23 Q. What was it before the event?

    24 A. In the very centre of the town, the Muslims and the

    25 Croats and the Serbs, according to the census from 1991,

  114. 1 they were about 40 per cent out of the total population

    2 in that area, because the centre of Vitez had a mixed

    3 population. The members of all three ethnic groups

    4 lived there, and they were equally represented,

    5 approximately, but I think about 40 to 50 per cent in

    6 the centre of the town were Muslims, in the central part

    7 of the town of Vitez. Those are my estimates.

    8 Q. My last question concerns the warning you had concerning

    9 the explosion in Stari Vitez. You said that they told

    10 you the day before that, I think, "you have to go to

    11 protect yourself", and you discovered the next day that

    12 there was a great explosion as a result of the truck

    13 which exploded in Stari Vitez. Who warned you about

    14 that?

    15 A. We were warned that something would happen. The

    16 organiser and the person who led the detained Muslims in

    17 the vet station, he was the one who informed us of this,

    18 and he asked all of us to go to the basement, because he

    19 said that something would happen. At that time, we

    20 could not have known, we had no information as to what

    21 would happen. We went there, we were guessing, we were

    22 talking about all of it and after about an hour, we

    23 heard a strong explosion, an explosion that was strong,

    24 and we were wondering what had happened. It was unusual

    25 compared to the other detonations that we heard that day

  115. 1 and everything.

    2 After a short period of time, this same person

    3 came and said, loud and clear, "now it is over with the

    4 Muslims". During the day, as our families came, we

    5 found out that it was an explosion, that it was a truck

    6 bomb that had exploded that was in Stari Vitez.

    7 Q. You said that, thank you. I just wanted to know then

    8 that there was a preplanning of the whole thing and the

    9 leader of the detainees knew about it, knew that there

    10 was a planning and a scheme to explode Stari Vitez; is

    11 that the conclusion?

    12 A. Absolutely, that is exactly it, because he knew that

    13 this was going on, those soldiers that were present

    14 there sort of rejoiced, looked happy that this happened.

    15 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen?

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Doctor, you spoke about finding refuge

    18 for yourself and wife with the brother of Ivica Santic,

    19 who later lost his life. Did other Muslims also find

    20 refuge with other Croat families?

    21 A. I have to apologise here if I somehow mentioned this

    22 brother of Ivica Santic, Zvonko Santic -- he was not

    23 killed, but he really sincerely helped me. There were

    24 other Croats, a sizeable number of Croats who really

    25 helped the Muslims.

  116. 1 However, it is also a fact that there were some

    2 Muslims who asked Croats for help, and they would openly

    3 state that they would gladly help, but they did not dare

    4 do it, and I know of several examples personally of

    5 Croats who did help the Muslims, and I know that they

    6 suffered very grave consequences on the part of these

    7 military units, those Croats who helped. In some ways,

    8 I think they may have even suffered worse things and

    9 more brutal consequences than the Muslims themselves.

    10 Q. Do you yourself still have Croat friends in Vitez?

    11 A. I have a number of Croat friends in Vitez, and it is my

    12 hope that we are still friends. There were Croats who

    13 did try to help me in that period, but they let me know

    14 that they could not do it, and I had friends, and the

    15 friends that I had were not the ones that I selected on

    16 ethnic grounds, they were all good people, and they were

    17 my friends.

    18 Q. Let us go to these television broadcasts in which

    19 General Blaskic participated. We do not have the actual

    20 words which he might have used, we have your impressions

    21 of what he said. Was it your impression that the

    22 position which he took when he spoke of military matters

    23 only was that his conception of his task was to use the

    24 military apparatus under his command to implement the

    25 policies of the HVO, whatever they were?

  117. 1 A. My impression, precisely, as regards the statement by

    2 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic, that he was a soldier, a soldier

    3 that serves, that he is committed to the ideals and that

    4 he has a model of the professional expertise and I think

    5 that he very professionally discharged his duties. His

    6 statements were such that he as commander would ask and

    7 demand that everything is prepared and enabled to carry

    8 out the task that it is supposed to carry out and to

    9 reach the goal which was set out in all of this.

    10 Q. That goal to which you refer would have, on the basis of

    11 his statements, been set out by whom?

    12 A. That goal was set out by the policy, the policy that

    13 existed, because a significant part of all this was the

    14 involvement of the entire leadership, which even

    15 included the Republic of Croatia in Vitez; for instance

    16 when the authority was, the local government was

    17 suspended, and when the Croatian Community of

    18 Herceg-Bosna was established and when the police station

    19 and the municipal buildings were taken over, it was the

    20 flag of the Croatian state that was flown there, so that

    21 everything that was going on in the territory of Vitez

    22 came from the higher places and not within the local

    23 area which would be this municipality.

    24 Q. Doctor, forgive me for interrupting you, but I am only

    25 asking you of your own impression as to what he

  118. 1 understood to be the source from which the goal would

    2 come? Who would set the goal for him?

    3 A. I could not assess or say if anyone specifically gave

    4 him this task, but the fact is that everything boiled

    5 down to invoking the right of the Croatian people, and

    6 it was in that context that his appearances on TV came.

    7 Q. Let us go to those appearances on TV. You know

    8 sometimes you could have on TV a panel discussion in

    9 which each member of the panel speaks individually.

    10 Then you could have another kind of show in which a

    11 group of people appear to present a common programme.

    12 You said you saw General Blaskic on several occasions,

    13 together with a group of people on TV. Was the position

    14 this, that each member of the group was speaking

    15 separately and only for himself, or was the position

    16 this, that each member was presenting an aspect of the

    17 group's common policy?

    18 A. Absolutely. These were not discussions really, but in

    19 fact certain positions were expounded, positions that

    20 were clear, and its goal was to present a position that

    21 was part of that policy in this given situation, so

    22 these were not discussions during the appearances of

    23 these leaders, be they civilian or military. So they

    24 were presenting the position.

    25 Q. A last question concerns Mr. Kraljevic and the HOS.

  119. 1 I think you said that at one point the HOS came to be

    2 incorporated within the HVO. Do you remember that

    3 branch of your testimony?

    4 A. Yes, I do remember.

    5 Q. Did the HOS become incorporated in the HVO before

    6 15th April 1993?

    7 A. Yes, there was a TV broadcast, and it was shown that the

    8 HVO -- that the HOS was incorporated into the HVO and

    9 that was I think in the latter half of 1992. That is

    10 when they joined the units of the HVO.

    11 Q. One little supplementary question to that last one.

    12 After the HOS became incorporated as part of the HVO,

    13 did members of the HOS wear any insignia or other

    14 identification marks connecting them with the HVO?

    15 A. They did. They also had certain other insignia, but for

    16 the most part most of the members had the HVO insignia.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, Doctor.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Doctor, I have only one question, you must be

    19 already very tired and the Tribunal does understand your

    20 position. You were kind of a privileged witness, and

    21 I hope that you understand what I mean by "privileged".

    22 I know that you did suffer, but at the same time you

    23 were a prominent person and someone who was trusted by

    24 Croats and by Muslims as well, this is what I wanted to

    25 tell you. You who were a witness to all those events,

  120. 1 I wanted to ask you a question: do you have a feeling

    2 that that level of sufferance, level of destruction and

    3 the level of hatred, whether it was the result or the

    4 cause, could have been attenuated, alleviated by the

    5 military or politicians within the framework of

    6 historical factors and political considerations that you

    7 told about to Judge Riad? By admitting the Croatian

    8 revendications, do you think, by looking back in the

    9 field, that the level of sufferance by the population

    10 could have been lowered down somehow?

    11 A. I think that the most precise answer to your question

    12 would be by citing an example, and with your permission,

    13 that is how I would answer this question. In Mali

    14 Mosunj, which is an exclusively Croatian community, two

    15 pigs were taken ill, they were infected. I came over

    16 there and I gave them injections and so I gave them

    17 therapy and told this woman that I would come back

    18 tomorrow, because they may need additional treatment.

    19 The next day, when I came back, both pigs -- both ran

    20 high temperature and were refusing food and were

    21 completely exhausted. Now they were completely -- they

    22 were very lively now, they were vivacious and I was met

    23 by this woman and she was very joyous and she said

    24 "thank you, Doctor" and then she added "you see,

    25 Doctor, they are telling us to be against you. How can

  121. 1 I be against you and you are doing such good things to

    2 us?" Then my answer to her was that all this, whatever

    3 was being done there was being directed, was being said

    4 to be done by certain persons who told them that this

    5 should be done this way, and that it was my -- I felt

    6 honoured, and also I feel very honoured now that I have

    7 been given an opportunity to give my own contribution,

    8 as far as I could, to your mission and I wish you all

    9 the best in this mission of healing so that this would

    10 not happen to the future generations, the things that

    11 happened to all three ethnic groups in that area, the

    12 Muslims, the Croats and the Serbs, so thank you.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Doctor. This testimony is now

    14 finished and it is also the end of our hearing today.

    15 The Tribunal is thankful for your coming here, for your

    16 testimony, and we wish you all the best for the

    17 continuation. I would kindly ask the usher to escort

    18 our witness.

    19 (The witness withdrew)

    20 JUDGE JORDA: We will continue on Monday at 2.30, so Monday

    21 at 2.30, because the courtroom will be taken up by

    22 someone else.

    23 (5.40 pm)

    24 (Court adjourned until 2.30 pm on Monday,

    25 29th September 1997)