1 Thursday, 17th December, 1998
2 (Open session)
3 --- Upon commencing at 10.14 a.m.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Please have the accused brought
6 (The accused entered court)
7 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to the
8 interpreters, the Prosecution and the Defence and the
9 accused. I apologise for being late. It is not
10 because of my colleague, but it is my own fault. For
11 various reasons I was delayed this morning. Let us
12 resume, Mr. Nobilo.
13 MR. NOBILO: Good morning, Mr. President. We
14 have a new witness, Tomislav Rajic.
15 JUDGE JORDA: He's not a protected witness?
16 MR. NOBILO: No, Mr. President, no protection
17 measures have been envisaged.
18 (The witness entered court)
19 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me, sir? It is
20 the President who is speaking to you. Can you hear
21 me? Tell us your name, your age, your occupation, your
22 residence and then you will make the solemn
23 declaration. We're listening.
24 THE WITNESS: My name is Tomislav Rajic. I
25 was born on the 25th of May, 1959 in Travnik. I am a
1 graduate of the School of Law. I am currently living
2 as a refugee in Vitez municipality, Guca Gora 1B,
3 Travnik municipality. That is my current address.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Will you please
5 make the solemn declaration according to the text given
6 to you by the usher?
7 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
8 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You may be seated.
11 You have agreed to come and testify at the request of
12 the Defence in the trial against General Blaskic, the
13 accused who is here present. You will first be
14 answering questions by the Defence, then the
15 Prosecution, and then the Judges will probably have
16 some questions for you. Mr. Nobilo, the witness is
18 WITNESS: Tomislav Rajic
19 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Rajic. You have already
21 introduced yourself, but could you tell us, before the
22 outbreak of hostilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and
23 before the conflict, what were you doing? What was
24 your occupation?
25 A. After the first democratic and free elections
1 held in December 1990, on the 22nd of February, 1991 I
2 was appointed the municipal secretary for National
3 Defence. I held that post until the 31st of December,
4 1993, after which I became chief of staff of the
5 Travnik HVO brigade, and I held that position until the
6 20th of May, 1994, when I transferred to the
7 municipality again where I worked in the department for
8 administration and social services, and after the 27th
9 of November, '96 I was appointed head of the municipal
10 authorities of Travnik based in Nova Bila, which is the
11 Croatian part of the authorities of Travnik.
12 After the elections in 1997 for joint
13 authorities, I was appointed president of the municipal
14 council of Travnik, and I held this position until the
15 24th of November this year, when I resigned because I
16 was not satisfied with the work of the joint bodies of
17 government in Travnik.
18 Q. In the course of this testimony we will focus
19 on that period of your life when you were secretary of
20 the municipal secretariat for National Defence of
21 Travnik municipality. That is, the period of '92 and
22 '93. That is what we're going to focus on.
23 Before we discuss your functions, could you
24 tell us, after the first free elections how was the
25 civilian government in Travnik organised? Tell us the
1 structure of the civilian authorities, and were those
2 authorities formed jointly by the Serbs, Croats and
4 A. The communal structure was such -- or,
5 rather, the municipal structure was such that local
6 elections were held for the municipal assembly. The
7 municipal assembly had a total of 60 deputies
8 representing all three nations living in Travnik. The
9 president of the municipal assembly was the highest
10 representative of the municipal authorities, he had his
11 secretary, and the executive of the municipal
12 authorities was the executive board of the municipal
13 assembly. In every municipality in Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 there were these executive bodies, including Travnik.
15 Again, this executive body had its
16 department, such as the department for the economy and
17 finance, or, rather, it was called a secretariat in
18 those days. Then there was a secretariat for general
19 administrative affairs and social services. Then there
20 was a municipal secretariat for National Defence, then
21 a municipal secretariat for internal affairs, that is
22 the police, and so on.
23 Q. If we were to compare this with the state --
24 with a state, could we say that the executive board of
25 the municipal assembly of the town could be compared
1 with what is, at the state level, described as the
3 A. Yes, that was the municipal government.
4 Q. And also, the -- what are ministries at the
5 state level, at the municipal level were known as
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The only department that we'll be discussing
9 is the department or secretariat for National Defence.
10 Was this a civilian body or was it a military body?
11 A. These were exclusively civilians but it had
12 some responsibility over military structures. For
13 example, when the JNA made a call-up for regular
14 military service, then upon the request of those
15 military bodies the department would operate, even
16 though all the officials were civilians.
17 Q. Who was your immediate superior?
18 A. Our immediate superior was the president of
19 the executive board of the municipal assembly.
20 Q. So he was head of the civilian executive
21 body. Who was his superior?
22 A. His superior was the president of the
23 municipal assembly.
24 Q. Thank you. Within the municipal bodies you
25 have said that there was a secretariat for National
1 Defence. Can you describe to us the internal structure
2 of this secretariat, of which you were the head, and
3 could you tell us what individual departments within
4 the National Defence secretariat actually did?
5 A. The National Defence secretariat had three
6 entities. At the head of each of those entities was a
7 person in charge. One of those was the military
8 department, the second was the department for Civil
9 Defence, and the third was the centre for observation
10 and information as it was called then.
11 As for the competencies of each of these
12 services, the military department kept complete records
13 of men capable of military service, that is,
14 conscripts. They kept records of men as soon as they
15 reached the age of 17. When their ability to do
16 military service would be checked, that would be done
17 when he becomes 18. Then he would be sent to actually
18 do his military service in the year when he becomes
19 19. This was the rule.
20 So this department was in charge of this
21 military service. Then, also, they kept records of
22 people who had completed their regular military service
23 but were in the reserve of the former JNA and the
24 Territorial Defence. Then there were personnel files
25 of military officers in reserve, then of the reserve
1 policemen. Then there was a courier service, a
2 messenger service, which was organised in such a way
3 that they would personally deliver call-out papers to
4 conscripts. Then, also, there were records regarding
5 the enlistment to civilian bodies in state of war or
6 immediate threat of war, people would have the work
7 obligation to work in a particular enterprise under
8 those conditions. These were the responsibilities of
9 the military department.
10 The Civil Defence department did not envisage
11 any active service in the Civil Defence, but there were
12 two basic components. There were units, Civil Defence
13 units, general purpose Civil Defence units. These were
14 units that -- from which work platoons would be
16 Then there were special purpose units for
17 first-aid, for the removal of ruins and for other such
18 needs, which also determined the occupational structure
19 of the people belonging to these units, whereas the
20 third part of the National Defence secretariat was the
21 centre for observation and information. It was a
22 service which would be operative around the clock, and
23 any negative occurrences or any incidents that may
24 occur in the municipality would be reported to them.
25 They also had to monitor the air space, as far as that
1 was possible.
2 This centre actually collected information
3 that was forwarded to me, and then I would forward it
4 on to the President of the executive board or the
5 president of the municipality in case of any
6 extraordinary circumstances or any emergency that may
7 have occurred within the territory of the
9 Q. The structure of the authorities, as you have
10 described them, functioned roughly until the summer of
11 1992 when a division occurred. Before that, the
12 assembly, as the basic body, stopped operating. Can
13 you tell us how the authorities split, how it was
14 divided and what were the criteria?
15 A. You see, at the end of 1991 certain problems
16 cropped up in the work of these joint bodies of
17 authorities and the secretariats I refer to, and these
18 bodies were composed in accordance with the election
19 results. That is, the number of votes won by each of
20 the three national parties.
21 The Serbs were the first to walk out of the
22 joint bodies. They simply withdrew, and the elected
23 bodies ceased to function. In formal terms, the same
24 bodies remained in power until roughly the summer of
25 1992, at least as far as my secretariat is concerned.
1 We continued working in the same offices in which we
2 had worked until then, but each individual was working
3 in favour of members of his own people, if I can put it
4 that way.
5 The Bosniak Muslims formed their own
6 presidency, which took over the competencies of the
7 assembly, so that we had two parallel bodies with the
8 same powers. The only thing being that one was manned
9 by people of one ethnic group and the other by people
10 of the other ethnic group.
11 Q. Let us now refer to the Croatian faction of
12 the civilian authorities. You said that you remained
13 in the same premises but each one was servicing his own
14 people, to put it that way.
15 In the structure of the secretariat of
16 National Defence that we are particularly interested
17 in, which now came to be called the defence department,
18 were there any changes in the organisational structure
19 and in its practice and the implementation of
21 A. Regarding the changes that occurred, the
22 first were informal and personnel terms. The services
23 and departments remained more or less the same, only
24 the names changed. What was called the secretariat was
25 now called the department for the economy and finance,
1 the department for defence and so on. Then also there
2 were changes in personnel. We had split along ethnic
3 lines, though we did co-exist together still.
4 Q. So the organisation remained the same.
5 Before I proceed to my next questions, could
6 we, with the help of the usher, distribute an act of
7 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia? We have
8 copies for the interpreters to make their task easier,
9 and we're glad to say that we have a French copy as
11 JUDGE JORDA: I'm very happy to hear that,
12 Mr. Nobilo. You must have made our translators work
13 day and night to have it ready for you.
14 THE REGISTRAR: D492, 492A for the French
15 version, 492B for the English version.
16 MR. NOBILO: The first is in Croatian. The
17 first is the Croatian text.
18 Q. Before we go on to the text itself, tell us:
19 In the former State, there were federal and republican
20 laws; isn't that so?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And both laws were valid throughout the
23 territory of the country, that is, for the federal
24 laws, and the republican ones were applicable only to
25 the republic to which they applied; but in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, both the Yugoslav laws and the
2 republic laws of Bosnia-Herzegovina were in force.
3 Will you please look at this decree, and I
4 will read a part of Article 1. In Article 1, the
5 second sentence says:
6 "Work obligation units shall be organised by
7 assigning to them citizens subject to work obligation
8 and not assigned to the armed forces or subject to work
9 obligation in bodies of the Interior Ministry."
10 Could you explain this for us? What was the
11 principled position taken?
12 A. Yes, I can. In the former Yugoslavia, all of
13 us had a task in the case of war or the immediate
14 threat of war. All those who were not assigned to JNA
15 units - in the reserve forces, in the Territorial
16 Defence, in the Civil Defence units, or in the Interior
17 Ministry - were subject to work obligation. They could
18 have had this obligation within their own enterprises,
19 which, according to plans, were to continue to function
20 in case of war or threat of war, and some enterprises
21 were declared to be of special interest in case of war,
22 and therefore, all people working in those enterprises
23 and who held essential functions in such an enterprise,
24 they were assigned to those duties or their work
25 obligation would be executed in their own enterprises.
1 The rest, those who were not employed in such
2 enterprises, were subject to work obligation in other
3 places; for instance, to load and unload things, to
4 secure certain premises, and so on and so forth.
5 Q. Can it be said then that it was a
6 constitutional category that all citizens are
7 duty-bound to contribute to the defence of the country
8 in two forms: either by military service or work
9 service, so to speak?
10 A. Yes, it was the right and duty of each and
11 every citizen to participate in the defence of the
12 country. Through these various forms that I have
13 mentioned, each one of us had a specific assignment.
14 Q. If somebody was not in the army, he was
15 subject to work obligation?
16 A. Yes. The work obligation was the last in
17 this hierarchy because the priority was to man the JNA
18 and the reserve units, then the Civil Defence and
19 Territorial Defence, and then those who were left over
20 would be subject to this work obligation.
21 Q. So the remainder, those were not engaged,
23 So now let us move on to Article 3 of this
24 former Yugoslav decree where units are established.
25 Work obligation units. They are squads, battalions,
1 even brigades. These are military terms, but does this
2 mean that they grow into a military unit, or is this
3 still a civilian structure except that they had
4 military names, these groups of civilians had military
6 A. These were exclusively civilians, and they
7 could be attached to military units but the names
8 remained as such, so that one would know how many men
9 were needed; for example, if you would say "platoon,"
10 if you would say "company," we would know exactly how
11 many men were involved. For example, if I needed 15
12 men or if I needed 70 men, I knew what I was talking
13 about, so it is military terminology but the members
14 were civilian.
15 Q. I am going to read Article 4, and I believe
16 that it is highly relevant to this debate, and then I
17 am going to put a question to you.
18 "Article 4. Work obligation units for the
19 needs of the armed forces in war shall be organised in
20 peacetime by order of the competent municipal body
21 issued on the basis of a request of the competent
22 military-territorial authority.
23 "In war, if pressing needs of the armed
24 forces for the conduct of combat operations and other
25 needs so require, and the competent municipal body is
1 in no position to issue an order to the effect of
2 paragraph 1 of this Article, work obligation units
3 shall be organised by order of the officer in charge of
4 the competent military territorial authority, or by
5 order of a military officer holding the post of
6 commander or an equivalent or superior position
7 (hereinafter: the commanding officer)."
8 So could you please interpret this for us?
9 As a rule, who establishes work obligation units, as a
11 A. As a rule, it was the executive council of
12 the Municipal Assembly in normal conditions.
13 Q. So this is a civilian authority of
14 government; right? And when does the military directly
15 establish units, work obligation units? When?
16 A. When these civilian authorities of government
17 do not function, then, at the request of the military
18 officer in charge, a certain work obligation unit can
19 be established.
20 Q. Now let us digress in terms of this specific
21 example. To the best of your knowledge, in Vitez and
22 Busovaca, in '93, and in '92 also but primarily in
23 1993, were the civilian authorities in the municipality
24 actually operating?
25 A. As far as I know, yes.
1 Q. Article 6. I would like to read out a few
2 parts which I believe to be relevant. Article 6 reads
3 as follows:
4 "In discharging tasks and jobs for the needs
5 of the armed forces, work obligation units may be
6 assigned to the following tasks:
7 "(1) work on fortification ..."
8 And then, line 4 from the end of this
9 paragraph, not to read all of it, says that they can be
10 engaged to dig dugouts as well as carrying out "other
11 work in the directions and in the areas and zones of
12 combat which ensure the more successful execution of
13 the missions of units of the armed forces."
14 So my question to you is: In keeping with
15 this Article, could a work obligation unit be engaged
16 for fortification works where combat action is taking
18 A. Yes, but in addition to that, there is this
19 last point, 7, which always leaves the possibility of
20 using them for other purposes in terms of the needs of
21 the armed forces. That is what our legal regulations
22 were like. It directly did stipulate what was supposed
23 to be done, but other things that could not have been
24 envisaged because not all specific situations can be
25 envisaged in a legal enactment. So it was quite
1 natural for these units to be engaged in the zone of
2 combat as well.
3 Q. So let us look at it from a logical point of
4 view. After all, fortification, as a rule, is in
5 combat zones.
6 A. Yes, as a rule, and this can also be done
8 Q. Oh, yes, as a reserve position.
9 A. Yes, as a reserve position. But this was the
11 Q. Article 7, procedures referred to, and I
12 shall read it out because I believe this is important,
13 so it reads as follows:
14 "The commanding officer in charge shall
15 submit a request to the competent municipal body
16 stating all the elements needed for the organisation of
17 work obligation units (the number and strength of the
18 work obligation units; the structure and organisation
19 of each unit; for whose needs they are being organised;
20 the area and time at which the mission will be carried
21 out; the manner and place of the reception by military
22 units; the equipment, tools and machines the unit must
23 have, etc.)."
24 And Article 8:
25 "On the basis of the request of the
1 commanding officer in charge, the competent municipal
2 body shall organise work obligation units, assign
3 persons subject to work obligation to their duties,
4 assign material, supplies and animals in accordance
5 with the regulations on the material obligation of
6 citizens and basic and other organisations of
7 associated labour," et cetera, et cetera.
8 So can we say that this regulates who asks
9 for a work obligation unit and who establishes it? Do
10 we have this kind of division of duties between the
11 military and civilian authorities? What do the
12 military authorities ask for and who establishes a work
13 obligation unit? Who selects the people who are going
14 to be on this unit? Is it a civilian authority that
15 does this?
16 A. Well, it was as follows: When there is a
17 need, then the commanding officer in charge asks the
18 Department of Defence in the municipality for a certain
19 number of people in order to carry out certain tasks.
20 Since the Department of Defence has records of all
21 military-age men and are capable of military duty and
22 military service and they also have a call-up service,
23 and this call-up service can get in touch with the
24 persons concerned, then it is this municipal body that
25 calls up a specific person in order to man a work
1 obligation unit if a squad is required or a platoon or
3 Q. So let us simplify matters. Can we say that
4 the military authority gives a certain request, "We
5 need 30 people in 24 hours," and then the civilian
6 authority carries out this selection and chooses the
7 people who are going to be on this unit and sends this
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can we say that it depends on the civilian
11 authorities whether it is one man or another man who is
12 going to dig trenches, for example?
13 A. Yes, the civilian authority reaches a
14 specific person.
15 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to another
16 question now.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Document D493, D493A for the
18 French version, D493B for the English version.
19 MR. NOBILO:
20 Q. Mr. Rajic, document 493 that we have in front
21 of us, is this a republican piece of legislation from
22 the domain of National Defence, and is this a law,
23 rather, a decree, issued by the Socialist Republic of
25 A. Yes, this a republican decree regulating work
2 Q. Now, Article 2, the last point, it says that
3 the tasks and jobs that are mentioned in Article 1
4 shall also include "outfitting and building of
5 shelters, fortifications," et cetera, "and other works
6 of special importance to all-people's defence."
7 Let us be quite specific: By definition,
8 "fortification works," are they trenches,
9 communication trenches, et cetera, so in terms of the
10 former JNA terminology and the Secretariat of National
11 Defence? Was that so?
12 A. Yes, yes, trenches, communication trenches,
13 roads, et cetera, yes.
14 Q. Article 4 says that:
15 "Work duty details shall be replenished with
16 the necessary material," et cetera, and "Persons
17 subject to work duty and have no other war duty station
18 shall be assigned to work duty details."
19 Does that mean what you said, that those who
20 do not have any other duties are assigned to work
21 obligation units?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Articles 5 and 6, look at them. Let us not
24 quote all of them. Are they quite clear in terms of
25 the competence of the civilian authorities for
1 establishing work obligation units?
2 A. Yes, and I have already spoken about that, I
3 think. Every one of them had a working plan, every
4 municipality had a plan of work and a plan for wartime
5 and these units were involved, but, as I said, after
6 the war broke out, these plans fell apart, the ones
7 that we had elaborated together, I mean, the members of
8 all the ethnic groups that lived together in that
9 territory. So then everyone made out his own plans.
10 But we still had the same regulations and we all worked
11 according to the same methodology.
12 Q. I would also like to read out Article 9:
13 "The municipal secretariat for national
14 defence shall be in charge of the enlistment of,
15 maintenance of records on and notification of their
16 scheduled stations to persons assigned to work duty
17 details and the calling up of members of those details
18 when it is ordered that they be recruited to carry out
19 the jobs and tasks from Article 2 of this Decree."
20 Is that the regulation that you spoke of,
21 that the municipal department of National Defence, a
22 civilian authority, mobilises people for assignment to
23 work units?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Please, could we have the next document?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document D494, D494A for the
2 English version.
3 JUDGE JORDA: No French version now,
4 Mr. Nobilo. Obviously the translators were exhausted.
5 MR. NOBILO: One should not expect too much
6 from translators.
7 MR. KEHOE: If I may for one moment,
8 counsel. Mr. President, in Prosecutor's Exhibit 38, I
9 do believe there is a French version of this. So that
10 might help the Court. I'm almost positive there is a
11 "Decree on the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community
12 of Herceg-Bosna." This is, I believe, the first
13 document about to be discussed.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Is it a Prosecution Exhibit,
15 number 38.
16 MR. KEHOE: Yes. These are the series of
17 documents that were used during the testimony of
18 Professor Pajic, in the examination conducted by
19 Mr. Cayley. And if I'm not mistaken, Mr. Dubuisson, I
20 believe it's tab 2 in that document. That is the
21 degree on armed forces; is it not.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that's so.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much,
24 Mr. Prosecutor. Please continue, Mr. Nobilo.
25 MR. NOBILO:
1 Q. I should like to draw your attention just to
2 three relevant Articles. I believe they are relevant.
3 They're brief, and I'm going to read them to you and
4 then I'm going to put a question.
5 This is just above Article 3, and the title
6 reads: "Defence Duties of Citizens." "Every citizen
7 of the HZ H-B shall have the duty to protect and defend
8 the independence and territorial integrity of the
9 HZ H-B, and in particular;
10 1. Serve in the army.
11 2. Perform compulsory work service the army.
12 3. Participate in Civil Defence.
13 4. Participate in monitoring and reporting
15 5. Be subject to requisitioning
17 Citizens shall be assigned duties under
18 items, 1, 2 and 3 of this article in accordance with
19 defence plans and requirements."
20 Now, point 1. Compulsory Work Service,
21 Article 4: "All able-bodied citizens over the age of 16
22 who have not been assigned to the armed forces shall be
23 subject to compulsory work service. Compulsory work
24 service shall be introduced in the HZ H-B in the event
25 of war or the immediate threat of war, and shall be
1 formed in compliance with the administrative plans and
2 orders of the HVO."
3 Article 5: "Compulsory work service shall not
4 apply to:
5 - persons serving in the armed forces,
6 - women over the age of 55,
7 - pregnant women,
8 - men over the age of 65."
9 Mr. Rajic, tell us, basically was the work
10 obligation basically regulated in the same way in these
11 regulations of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
12 as it was in Bosnia and Herzegovina and previously
14 A. Yes. It was practically rewritten except for
16 Q. Did you get some more detailed bylaws or
17 other specific laws that would regulate the work
18 obligation from the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
19 or was this the only document you had?
20 A. This was the only document we had.
21 Q. In this situation what did you draw on? What
22 was the prevailing practice in your work, because
23 obviously this is a basic document, and it does not
24 regulate this area in sufficient detail.
25 A. We who had worked in defence departments had
1 sufficient experience. We know how this was done, on
2 the basis of the regulations that were relevant in the
3 former Social Republic of Bosniz-Herzegovina, in the
4 former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
5 Q. And tell me, to the best of your
6 recollection, the community of Herceg-Bosna, did it
7 suspend in any one of its decrees the laws of
9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters could not
10 hear the witness's answer.
11 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we have thus
12 concluded the examination-in-chief. Documents D493,
13 494 and 492, we offer them into evidence. But I see
14 here in the transcript that the interpreters could not
15 hear your answer, witness, so I asked you whether you
16 knew that the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna
17 suspended in any one of its decrees, the laws of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so could you please reply into the
20 A. I do not know of any suspensions of any
21 regulations of the Social Republic of
22 Bosniz-Herzegovina, because we continued to work
23 according to these regulations.
24 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. We have thus
25 concluded our examination-in-chief and we would like to
1 offer into evidence these three exhibits.
2 JUDGE JORDA: I assume there is no objection,
3 especially as one of the exhibits was already submitted
4 as a Prosecution Exhibit.
5 MR. KEHOE: There is no objection.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Rajic, it is
7 the turn of the Office of the Prosecutor to ask you
8 questions. So it's Mr. Kehoe. The witness is yours.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Kehoe:
10 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Good morning Mr. Rajic, and to a fellow
12 lawyer, welcome to the Tribunal. I would like to
13 introduce you to both myself, my name is Greg Kehoe, I
14 work in the Office of the Prosecutor. My colleagues,
15 to my immediate right is Mr. Harmon, Mr. Mark Harmon,
16 and to his right is Mr. Andrew Cayley. So we welcome
17 you. As a lawyer, Mr. Rajic, I would like to ask you a
18 few questions.
19 If we could start just briefly on the
20 Exhibit D492, which is the SFRY document that you
21 discussed just briefly. Did you have that in front of
22 you, sir? If not, if I can ask the usher to provide
24 Now, Mr. Rajic, just looking at that
25 document, that is a document that appears was published
1 in the official gazette of the SFRY on the 8th of July
2 of 1993; is that right?
3 A. 1983.
4 Q. Oh, I apologise. We've been talking about
5 1993 so much in this trial I need to drop ten years.
6 1983. Excuse me.
7 Now, tell me about this, Mr. Rajic. This
8 particular document was a document passed by the then
9 former Yugoslavia, and it was binding on all of the
10 republics; is that correct? And the republics we're
11 talking about are Slovenia, Croatia,
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Vojvodina and
13 Kosovo depending how you term that, but it was binding
14 on all those entities; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is, for the entire territory of the
16 former Yugoslavia.
17 Q. Now, there was a body of representatives for
18 all of those republics that were in existence in 1983;
19 wasn't there?
20 A. Yes. It was the republican assembly.
21 Q. And did they vote on this?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And obviously from what we know from the law,
24 this vote setting up this type of organisation for the
25 discharge of work obligations was passed by the
1 republics and came into law on the 8th of July, 1983;
2 is that right?
3 A. This is not a law, it is a decree. The law
4 was adopted earlier on total National Defence, and on
5 the basis of this the decree is a sub-legal act, and
6 the law on total National Defence led to this decree
7 regulating the method of organisation and ways in which
8 work obligations were put into practice.
9 Q. Thank you for the correction, Mr. Rajic, but
10 essentially we are talking about the passage of a
11 document in a democratic fashion, where people had the
12 opportunity to talk and debate and discuss the relative
13 benefits of this law before they decided to enact the
14 law and then the concomitant decree that we see before
15 us in Defence Exhibit 492. Would you agree with that,
16 as an attorney, that that's how it happened?
17 A. At that time that was how these decrees were
18 enacted, and I agree with you, yes.
19 Q. Let's move to -- and I should have given this
20 to you at the same time as Defence 492, but if we could
21 have Defence 493 given to the witness.
22 Do you have that, Mr. Rajic?
23 A. This is the republican decree of the Republic
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 Q. So in truly democratic fashion, the decree
1 that we saw in Defence Exhibit 492 moved from a Federal
2 level and then it was enacted on a Republic level, and
3 the document that we see before us is the Republic
4 level in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I believe that is
5 published in the official gazette of the Social
6 Republic of Bosniz-Herzegovina on 10 December, 1985; is
7 that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And again, this was done in a democratic
10 fashion, was it not, before this particular decree was
12 A. Yes. There was the procedure in the organs
13 and bodies which enact the decree.
14 Q. Now, you noted to us that in December of
15 1990, several years after both of these decrees, was
16 the first free elections.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And before we get to that, before we get to
19 the elections, I missed a point. I just want to go
20 back to these two documents.
21 In both of these decrees that you have talked
22 to us about, did you read them before you came in here
24 A. That was my work, so I had to read them
25 because, as I say, from 1991 onwards, until the end of
1 1993, I was the head of the -- a department, whose duty
2 it was to know the rules and regulations under its
3 competency and that of its secretariat.
4 Q. I assume also that as a lawyer, and as a good
5 lawyer, you were conscious of the provisions of the
6 Geneva Convention as it applied to the use of civilians
7 in labour; isn't that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You also know that the Socialist Republic of
10 the former Yugoslavia, or the Socialist Republic of
11 Yugoslavia was a signatory to the Geneva Conventions?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Now, take a look at those particular
14 documents, and I'm talking about 492 and 493, and I
15 know you have 493. If you want to take a look at 492
16 again, I invite to you ask the usher for it if you need
18 In any of these decrees does it authorise the
19 JNA, or the defence department, or the defence
20 administration or anybody of that character to use
21 civilians and to force civilians to dig trenches or
22 fortifications, as you discussed with Mr. Nobilo, to
23 force civilians to dig trenches at dangerous frontline
24 positions? Is there anything in those laws that
25 authorises that? Because I'm sure you know that that
1 is illegal under the Geneva Convention, Mr. Rajic, as
2 an attorney and has reviewed those conventions.
3 A. They were not civilians, they were citizens
4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina whose distribution work duty was
5 this type of duty. And according to our regulations,
6 which were relevant at that time in the territory of
7 the former Yugoslavia, this was legal and based on the
8 law, that is, to engage people who were to perform
9 certain duties.
10 Q. Mr. Rajic, in response to the questions by
11 Mr. Nobilo, didn't you tell these Judges that those
12 individuals on these work details were civilians?
13 Didn't you tell him that?
14 A. Well, we were all civilians in the State in
15 which there were no professional soldiers, but in the
16 case of war and the immediate threat and danger of war,
17 we had the constitutional right and duty to participate
18 in the country's defence, and each one of us, each one
19 of those civilians, every peasant, farmer, worker,
20 white collar worker had his wartime duty to perform.
21 All those who were not engaged in performing other
22 duties came under this particular work duty. So the
23 work duties here enumerated -- are enumerated here, the
24 kind of duties that were meant. So it was the legal
25 use. Whether it was an honest use, we could discuss
1 that point, but it was legal.
2 Q. Mr. Rajic, my question here is going to be
3 very simple: Did you or did you not tell Mr. Nobilo,
4 maybe 45 minutes ago, that the individuals that were
5 called upon to work in these work details were
6 civilians? Didn't you tell him that?
7 MR. HAYMAN: Asked and answered. The record
8 speaks for itself asked and answered counsel.
9 MR. KEHOE: Please.
10 MR. HAYMAN: Can I state my objection,
11 please, without interruption? Thank you. The question
12 has been asked and answered, and it is also improper as
13 to form because the record speaks for itself. What he
14 said on direct-examination is in the record.
15 MR. KEHOE: Well --
16 MR. HAYMAN: He should not be
17 questioning about, "Well, on page 4, paragraph, line."
18 If he wants to, he should show it to him. It's not a
19 memory quiz.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Please, calm down, Mr. Hayman.
21 Mr. Kehoe, please rephrase your question, and I ask the
22 witness to answer it clearly. Please put your question
23 clearly and let the witness answer it clearly. Short
24 question -- it's a short question.
25 MR. KEHOE: It's a very short question.
1 Q. During the direct testimony, in response to
2 questions by Mr. Nobilo, did you or did you the not say
3 that the individuals on these work details were
4 civilians? Didn't you tell him that?
5 JUDGE JORDA: Look at the Judges, please,
6 Mr. Rajic. You're answering the question for the
7 benefit of the Judges. So what is your answer,
9 A. My answer is that all those who were not
10 involved in the military units were civilians who were
11 engaged in other defence duties, and that was their
12 work duty, Civil Defence observation and information
13 and their material duties.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Go on to your next question,
15 Mr. Kehoe, please.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Did the Geneva Conventions prohibit the use
18 of civilians at dangerous frontline positions?
19 MR. HAYMAN: We can't -- now they want to ask
20 a question before they --
21 MR. NOBILO: You did not allow Professor
22 Degan to speak about the Geneva Conventions, and it is
23 difficult for us to accept that our witness and
24 colleague, who probably does have a certain amount of
25 knowledge on this, be asked that question either.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but the witness held an
2 official position at -- an administrative political
3 position, but I think the question can be asked,
4 because -- and please don't interrupt, otherwise, I
5 will pick up those same questions. So, please answer
6 if you know. If you don't know, you can simply say you
7 don't know. Please continue.
8 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, it's also outside
9 of the scope in the sense that as the witness is
10 testifying as to what foreign law was as a matter of
11 fact, as Judge Shahabuddeen pointed out in our earlier
12 discourse. This question is not, "What was in the
13 laws," this question was, "Well, tell us, this law
14 appears to say this, the Geneva Conventions say such
15 and such, interpret it for us." That is exactly the
16 distinction that the Court drew earlier.
17 JUDGE JORDA: You know very well that it is a
18 complex distinction. Mr. Hayman, this is not the first
19 time I'm saying it. It is a distinction that emanates
20 from our texts, and as I have said on a number of
21 occasions, it is a highly subtle distinction.
22 Secondly, we, the Judges, abide by our texts,
23 and we are -- our ultimate aim is to establish the
24 truth. We have a witness who can give us his view
25 regarding the possibility of using civilians in
1 relation to the Geneva Conventions. If it is not a
2 question put by the Prosecution, it is a question put
3 by the Judges. So please proceed, Mr. Kehoe.
4 A. First of all, I focused on the regulations of
5 former Yugoslavia in my work, and I don't think I can
6 comment on the Geneva Conventions.
7 JUDGE JORDA: The question was whether you
8 wondered at any point whether it was possible to make
9 people dig trenches, and whether you ever thought that
10 this may be outside the scope of the law. We're not
11 asking you to make a lecture on the Geneva
13 I repeat it, in my own name: In implementing
14 these texts, did you ask yourself, when sending people
15 to dig trenches, whether respecting this text to the
16 letter, whether it was possible or not to do that.
17 So it is Judge Jorda asking you this question
18 now, and please repeat it.
19 A. I thought that it was legal.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you. Please
21 put your next question, Mr. Kehoe.
22 MR. KEHOE:
23 Q. As a lawyer, Mr. Rajic, you would agree with
24 me that domestic law does not override the Geneva
25 Conventions; isn't that correct?
1 MR. HAYMAN: Outside of the scope and the
2 kind of expert legal testimony we were not allowed to
3 elicit from our earlier witness.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, go on to
5 another question. I did repeat that previous question
6 myself, but, please, put your next question.
7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. I'll move
9 Q. Now, just going back to the free elections in
10 reference to the two documents, the two Defence
11 documents that we had, Defence Exhibit 492 and Defence
12 Exhibit 493. The free elections, the free democratic
13 elections, took place in the former Yugoslavia in
14 December of 1990; isn't that right?
15 A. I don't know whether it was December, but at
16 the end of 1990, yes.
17 Q. Were there any other democratic elections
18 throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina after these free
19 elections at the latter part of 1990?
20 A. There were no other elections.
21 Q. Let me just chat with you a little bit, if I
22 could, about the next exhibit, and I know the one that
23 you were dealing with was Exhibit 494. I think it was
24 the Croatian armed forces, decree on armed forces.
25 If I could give that to Mr. Rajic?
1 Again, Mr. President, this is the -- for the
2 French purposes, this is the 38C, tab 2, French
3 version, but I'll just deal with the Defence Exhibit
4 because it's a little easier at this point.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor.
6 This allows me to follow the proceedings more easily.
7 Go on with your questions, please.
8 MR. KEHOE:
9 Q. Mr. Rajic, do you have that before you, that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, this particular document was
13 passed by the Croatian community in Herceg-Bosna I
14 believe on 3 July 1992; is that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did the Muslims vote on it?
17 A. I don't know. If anyone was a member of the
18 HVO, and there were Muslims in the HVO, and if they
19 attended the assembly of the Croatian community of
20 Herceg-Bosna, they probably voted. But I wasn't there,
21 so I can't say. But I know that there were some
22 Muslims who were in the HVO.
23 Q. Well, sir, would you agree that the
24 representatives at this time, there was a legitimate
25 government for the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina that
1 was established after the free elections in 1990 that
2 sat in Sarajevo; isn't that right?
3 A. In 1992, at this time, in my opinion, there
4 was no legitimate government because some had walked
5 out, the others had split up, and only a few members
6 remained representing the other nations in that
8 Q. Well --
9 A. So that the impression may have been that it
10 was legitimate, but that was not the government that
11 was elected at the first free democratic elections.
12 Q. Well, Mr. Rajic, this particular document,
13 this particular law, was the law that you discussed
14 with Mr. Nobilo and was the law that was used to set up
15 work units and to force Bosnian Muslims to dig trenches
16 or to build fortifications or to do other work; isn't
17 that right? Isn't this the law that you used?
18 A. No. You are saying that. That is not what I
19 said. The decree came into force in the middle of
20 '92. We had work squads even before that. These work
21 units were not formed exclusively of Muslims by the
22 Croats and vice versa. All citizens from a certain
23 area who were not assigned to any other wartime duty
24 were members of these work units.
25 Q. Before you is a Defence Exhibit, Defence
1 Exhibit 493 -- excuse me, Defence Exhibit 494, I
2 believe, that was used in evidence, and wasn't this
3 used to establish the legal authorisation for you to
4 set up these work units? Wasn't that the purpose of
5 putting this exhibit in?
6 MR. HAYMAN: Objection as to the purpose of
7 Defence counsel in offering an exhibit. That is our
8 business, it's not the business of the witness.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Objection sustained. You
10 are right.
11 MR. KEHOE: Let me change my question,
12 Mr. Rajic.
13 Q. What was the legal authority that you used
14 through 1992 and 1993 and thereafter to set up these
15 work units? What law did you base your decision on?
16 A. The work units had existed before, they were
17 formed before this decree on the armed forces was
18 passed, because the conflict, the conflict had already
19 started, but the subsequent need for certain duties
20 required new units to be formed in different places and
21 so on.
22 Q. The new units that were formed after this law
23 was passed in 1992, was this the law that was used --
24 the one that was discussed during your direct
25 examination by Mr. Nobilo -- was this the law, the
1 Decree on the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of
2 Herceg-Bosna, was that the law that you and other
3 members of the HVO used to order that work units be set
4 up using Bosnian Muslims, Romany, other Croats,
5 et cetera? Is this the law? If this is not the law,
6 what law did you use?
7 A. This decree did not regulate in detail the
8 method of formation or use of these units, but the
9 other decrees, the republic decree and the federal
10 decree, those were the ones that we used and on the
11 basis of which we worked.
12 Q. Let me take a look at what Mr. Nobilo read
13 during the course of his direct examination, and look
14 at Article 3 of that document, 494. Article 3 --
15 correct me if I'm wrong if I'm reading this
16 incorrectly :
17 "Every citizen of the (Croatian Community of
18 Herceg-Bosna) shall have the duty to protect and defend
19 the independence and territorial integrity of the
20 (Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna)" and therefore the
21 obligation to -- at number 2 -- "perform compulsory
22 work service."
23 Now, is that in part what Mr. Nobilo read
24 during the course of your direct testimony?
25 A. This was copied from the law on All Peoples
1 Defence of the Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia and the
2 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. Now, was that provision of the law, the law,
4 Mr. Rajic, that you used to set up these work units?
5 A. We acted in accordance with the Decree on the
6 Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna,
7 but in concrete terms, we based our work on the decrees
8 that more specifically dealt with the work obligation
9 because this is a Decree on the Armed Forces of
10 Herceg-Bosna, which is far broader, covering the rights
11 and duties of citizens in wartime, whereas the decree
12 on the organisation and deployment of work obligation
13 units were based on the regulations of the Socialist
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the federal decree
15 which was valid for the whole territory of the former
17 Q. So the answer to my question is "Yes," this
18 is the jurisdictional underpinning for your actions;
20 A. This was a part of the jurisdiction for our
22 Q. Well, what else was there? What other law
23 that came into effect was there that allowed you to
24 force Muslims into work units?
25 MR. HAYMAN: Asked and answered.
1 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, in the questions,
2 an allegation has been repeatedly made which the
3 witness has never supported. My learned friend keeps
4 asking, "What decrees did you use to force Muslims to
5 dig?" This witness didn't force a single Muslim to
6 dig. He was working in Travnik. And if he forced
7 anyone, he forced Croats; and the Muslim authorities
8 also forced Muslims. So why is an attempt being made
9 to impute to the witness something that he hasn't
11 JUDGE JORDA: I am going to delete your last
12 observation, Mr. Nobilo, because it is the right of the
13 Prosecutor to pursue along these lines, but it is true
14 that the first question has been repeated several
16 I have another question to ask you, a more
17 practical one: Have you got many questions, because
18 perhaps we could take a break now, or do you intend to
19 complete your cross-examination before the break?
20 MR. KEHOE: We have quite a bit, Judge.
21 JUDGE JORDA: Very well then. So we are
22 going to have a 20-minute break now.
23 --- Recess taken at 11.30 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 12.01 p.m.
25 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have
1 the accused brought in, please.
2 (The accused entered court)
3 JUDGE JORDA: We can continue with our
4 proceedings in an atmosphere of calm and tranquillity.
5 Mr. Kehoe?
6 MR. KEHOE: Always, Mr. President.
7 Q. Excuse me. I'm sorry, Mr. Rajic. We spend a
8 lot of time together, all of us, and we laugh about
9 things from time to time.
10 Mr. Usher, excuse me, before you sit down,
11 could I have 494 back with the witness, or does he
12 still have it before him? Okay.
13 Now, Mr. Rajic, take a look again at Exhibit
14 494, the document that you read with Mr. Nobilo. Let's
15 look at Article 3 of that document. Can you take a
16 look at that?
17 A. I can't follow if you just give me the
18 number. Could you just tell me which document you are
19 referring to? I have three here, but I don't know
20 their numbers.
21 Q. I'm sorry. What I am talking about is the
22 Narodni List, the Decree on the Armed Forces of the
23 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
24 JUDGE JORDA: You're talking of the document
25 of Herceg-Bosna, aren't you, Mr. Kehoe?
1 MR. KEHOE: Yes, I am, Mr. President.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Rajic, it is number 494,
3 isn't it?
4 MR. KEHOE: Yes.
5 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, let's look at the provision
6 that you read with Mr. Nobilo, specifically Article 3.
7 Could you read that first sentence from Article 3 for
9 A. "Every citizen of the (Croatian Community of
10 Herceg-Bosna) shall have the duty to protect and defend
11 the independence and territorial integrity of the
12 HZ H-B and in particular:
13 1. serve in the army;
14 2. work service;
15 3. to participate in the Civil Defence;
16 4. the obligation to participate in the
17 monitoring and reporting services;
18 5. be subject to material or requisitioning
20 Q. That says, in that first sentence, that the
21 citizens have to "protect and defend the independence
22 and territorial integrity of the (Croatian Community of
24 Now, the community of Herceg-Bosna, was it
25 ever internationally recognised as a country?
1 A. As far as I know, it was not recognised as a
3 Q. With regard to this particular Statute, this
4 particular decree on the armed forces of the Croatian
5 community of Herceg-Bosna, were the authorities in
6 Sarajevo consulted before it was enacted?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Well, what was the ultimate conclusion of the
9 legitimate government in -- or the government in
10 Sarajevo? What was their conclusion about the Decree
11 on the Armed Forces of the Croatian Community of
13 A. I don't know that the government you mention
14 took any specific position regarding this decree of the
15 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna. I think that it
16 did not comment on this decree at all, but I don't
18 Q. Mr. Rajic, where did you get your law degree,
19 sir? In what university? Was it in Sarajevo
20 University or some other locale?
21 A. Sarajevo University, but in Zenica. There
22 was a department in Zenica.
23 Q. I understand, sir. And you're aware of the
24 Constitutional Court of Bosnia-Herzegovina, are you
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Tell the Judges about the Constitutional
3 Court in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 JUDGE JORDA: I think, Mr. Kehoe -- I am
5 thinking of the previous objections -- you can't ask
6 the witness to go beyond his competencies. You can ask
7 him what he thinks about Article 3, about the
8 independence of the territory, what independence and so
9 on, that is fine; but to ask him what the
10 Constitutional Court of Bosnia did and what it has to
11 do with this, perhaps you are asking him more than he
12 can contribute to this judicial debate. Therefore,
13 rephrase your question, staying within the scope of
14 this decree of Herceg-Bosna.
15 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, and using
16 your guidance, I will go straight to the point.
17 Q. I would like to show you, Mr. Rajic, part of
18 Exhibit 38, and that would be tab 22.
19 There is a French copy of this,
20 Mr. President, which is in 38B, tab 22.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I can't believe it. I see the
22 French version on the monitor.
23 MR. KEHOE: Wonders never cease, Judge.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. I think you should
25 address yourself to the English language booth. Please
2 MR. KEHOE:
3 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, this is a decision by the
4 Constitutional Court in Bosnia-Herzegovina dated 18
5 September 1992, and in that decision -- we will go
6 straight to the point concerning this piece of
7 legislation -- is that the document that is before
8 you? Is that the decision of the Constitutional Court,
10 JUDGE JORDA: I don't think so. It is a
11 decree in French having to do with the adoption of the
12 decree with the force of law regarding nationality of
13 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We have a little
14 problem there.
15 MR. KEHOE:
16 Q. Mr. Rajic, could you tell us out? Do you
17 have the decree before you from the Official Gazette of
18 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina dated 18 September,
20 THE REGISTRAR: No. This is document 38, tab
22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, which text do you
23 want to show the witness? Let us be clear on that
25 MR. KEHOE: I am trying to show him a text of
1 this decision of the Constitutional Court of 18
2 September 1992.
3 JUDGE JORDA: It is in the Official Gazette
4 dated 18th of September, '92, and it has to do -- it
5 carries the number 38B/23.
6 Is the Defence able to keep up with the
7 debate, with the discussion now? Has the witness got
8 the right document?
9 A. I have the Official Gazette number 16/92,
10 dated 18 September, '92.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. That's it. Yes, that's
12 fine now. Please proceed.
13 MR. KEHOE:
14 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, there was a decision
15 rendered, and take a look at the decision rendered by
16 the Constitutional Court, and the following items were
17 annulled, and turn your attention to number 5 which
19 "The Decree on the Armed Forces of the
20 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna which is adopted on
21 3 July 1992 by the Presidency of the Croatian Community
22 of Herceg-Bosna."
23 Now, you agree with me that based on this
24 decision, the Constitutional Court in Sarajevo annulled
25 that decree that was passed by the Croatian community
1 of Herceg-Bosna?
2 A. First of all, I see this document for the
3 first time. Secondly, in that period, there was no
4 possible communication, or communication was not
5 possible between Sarajevo and Travnik, where I was, so
6 that not just I but none of us were able to have any
7 such documents in our hands because Sarajevo was
8 totally besieged and there were no connections with the
9 central bodies of Bosnia, as far as I know.
10 Q. You're mindful of the fact, are you not,
11 Mr. Rajic, that this particular decision was passed on
12 18 September 1992?
13 A. No, I was not mindful of that fact because I
14 didn't have time to read it, to see what it's about.
15 Q. Staying with the first point on that
16 decision, what was also annulled by this decision was
17 the decision on the establishment of the Croatian
18 community of Herceg-Bosna adopted on the 18th of
19 November, 1991, by democratically elected
20 representatives of the Croatian people in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina; that was also annulled. Do you see
22 that, point 1?
23 A. I don't see it. I'm not able to discuss with
24 any authority something that I'm seeing for the first
25 time, and I don't exactly know what you're referring
1 to, Articles 1, 2, 5.
2 Q. Well, sir, let me ask you a question. After
3 18 September, 1993, based on the decree of the armed
4 forces of the Croatia community of Herceg-Bosna, you
5 issued, and other members of the HVO issued orders to
6 set up work platoons consisting of Muslims, Croats,
7 Serbs and, I suppose, Romany well. We've heard some
8 testimony about Romanies being called to dig trenches.
9 And this is after the 18th of September, 1992. Is that
11 A. No. On the basis of the decree on the armed
12 forces of HZ H-B, I didn't order any one Muslim to be a
13 member of a work platoon, as we Croats in Travnik were
14 limited to a small area of Travnik municipality, and
15 the work platoons in the area of responsibility that I
16 covered at the time consisted exclusively of Croats and
17 one or two Serbs who happened to be there.
18 Q. Well, how about in Vitez municipality? Were
19 orders issued to compel Muslims to join these work
20 units in Vitez?
21 A. I don't know that orders were issued to
22 compel Muslims to work in Vitez, because I was working
23 in Travnik.
24 Q. Well, did you hear about that, Mr. Rajic?
25 A. I didn't hear about anyone being coerced, in
1 the sense of being physically forced, but the actual
2 idea of a mobilisation could be termed a coercive
3 measure to engage individuals in any one of these four
4 forms of All People's Defence.
5 Q. So you're saying that conceptually you could
6 see Muslims living in the Lasva Valley area being
7 compelled to dig trenches pursuant to this decree on
8 the armed forces that we've been discussing; is that
10 A. Probably some Muslims in Vitez did dig
11 trenches, but I know that on one occasion 13 or 18
12 members of a work unit who were Croats were killed in
13 the territory of Vitez. In the majority they were
14 Croats, and there may have been two or three Serbs who
15 were killed on that occasion as members of a work
16 platoon in Vitez. I did not hear that any single
17 Muslim member of a work platoon was killed, or a
19 Q. Now, when the work broke out in 1993 and
20 people were being forced to dig trenches, were
21 representatives of the ICRC, the International Red
22 Cross, complaining to authorities within the HVO about
23 compelling Bosnian Muslim to dig trenches?
24 A. I'm not aware of those complaints, but no one
25 complained to me, even though I did have contacts with
1 members of the International Red Cross.
2 Q. Do you know if they complained to
3 Colonel Blaskic?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Now, does your answer also include no
6 knowledge of complaints by either ECMM or the United
8 A. I'm not aware of any such complaints. As I
9 said, I was working in Travnik, and I did have contacts
10 with the European Monitors, and I still do. We
11 complained to them that Travnik Croats were engaged to
12 dig trenches in Travnik and not just to dig trenches.
13 Q. You complained to the international
14 authorities that you compelled Bosnia Croats to dig
15 trenches for the HVO? Is that what you just said?
16 A. No. You've made a different interpretation,
17 which is something that I didn't say. I said that we
18 had complained because -- through the European Monitors
19 we communicated with parts of our families who were
20 left behind in Travnik, and we knew that Croats were
21 engaged by members of the BH army to dig trenches, and
22 they did dig trenches but this was an obligation.
23 Q. I understand. Maybe that was a problem in
24 the translation, Mr. Rajic, but I think I understand
25 what you're saying. So you complained to the ECMM
1 because you believe that the Muslim authorities were
2 forcing Bosnian Croats to dig trenches; is that right?
3 A. We didn't think, I knew that they were doing
5 Q. And you complained, Mr. Rajic, because you
6 knew that that was illegal and wrong; isn't that
8 A. No, it wasn't illegal, it was based on the
9 law. Whether it was ethical, that's something else.
10 Q. Why did you complain? If it was legal and
11 there was nothing -- no problem under the law, why did
12 you complain to ECMM about Bosnian Croats being forced
13 to dig trenches?
14 A. Simply we were trying to protect those
15 individuals. And given conditions, that was a
16 privileged position in relation to other citizens in a
17 territory covered either by the BH army or by the HVO.
18 Q. But essentially you complained to ECMM even
19 though you maintain that the use of civilians, Bosnian
20 Croat civilians to dig trenches by the army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina was an legal act; is that correct?
22 A. Yes. Although I knew it was legal, we tried
23 to protect them somehow. They would dig trenches at
24 HVO frontlines.
25 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, you were setting up in the
1 Defence department -- by the way, are you a member of
2 the HVO?
3 A. Yes. Yes, of the civilian structures.
4 Q. In this particular structure, if a work order
5 went out to compel a Bosnian Muslim to dig trenches for
6 the HVO, what happened to a Muslim if they refused?
7 A. In the part where I was there were no such
8 cases, and if I were to engage in guesswork it would
9 only be guesswork.
10 Q. Well, let's look at the statute that we
11 talked about just previously, the one that is Defence
12 Exhibit 494. There are, in fact, penalties that are
13 imposed for failure to comply with a work order, aren't
15 A. Yes, there are some provisions relating to
17 Q. And part of those penalties contemplate
18 imprisonment; isn't that right?
19 Look at Article 59 and 60. Am I correct in
20 that reading of the law, that if a Bosnian Muslim
21 refused to comply with an order of the HVO to go to the
22 frontline and dig trenches, he could be fined or he
23 could be thrown in prison for every time he refused to
24 answer the call? Isn't that right? If I'm not right,
25 please tell us what this law says.
1 A. You're not right when you are talking about a
2 Bosnian Muslim digging for a Bosnian Croat. Reference
3 is made to individuals here. An individual has certain
4 responsibilities, and there are five in case of war or
5 immediate threat of war, and all individuals were
6 subject to this responsibility if they were on a
7 certain territory that was under anybody's control, the
8 HVO, the BH army. This was the responsibility of an
9 individual, not according to ethnic background. So the
10 individual as a citizen of that municipality and of
11 that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. Mr. Rajic, if a Bosnian Muslim in Vitez
13 refused to go and work on the frontlines digging
14 trenches in a work platoon after receiving an order
15 from the HVO pursuant to Article 3 of the decree, if he
16 refused he could be fined and he could be sent to
17 prison for every time he refused to dig trenches for
18 the HVO; isn't that right?
19 A. Theoretically that possibility did exist.
20 However, no one had any money in those days, so these
21 fines could not be imposed, and also, there was no
22 place to put them up in. Regardless of ethnic
23 background, people wanted to be in work platoons and
24 they preferred doing that, so no one could persecute
25 them because they were sitting at home and doing
1 nothing while others were waging war.
2 On the other hand, participation in a work
3 platoon or in a work obligation was, at any rate,
4 better for every individual than going to prison.
5 Therefore, there were no such persons who refused to
6 assume their work obligations and who were, therefore,
7 detained. There were some who were detained because
8 they refused to take part in the armed formations. I
9 do not know of any case that someone was punished for
10 this or -- or detained or kept in prison.
11 Q. So, Mr. Rajic, putting a Bosnian Muslim in
12 context, or putting you as a Bosnian Muslim sitting in
13 Vitez, receiving an order from the HVO to work on the
14 frontlines in a work platoon had what's known as a
15 Hobson's choice, he either had prison or he worked on
16 the frontline digging trenches. Those were his
17 choices; isn't that right?
18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Nobilo?
19 MR. NOBILO: I've been repeating the same
20 question -- I mean, rather, this question has been
21 repeated for the past 15 minutes. The witness has said
22 that the law prescribed this but it was not applied.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Kehoe. I the think
24 the witness has answered. Let's go forward a little
25 more quickly, so please move on to your next question.
1 MR. KEHOE:
2 Q. Well, Mr. Rajic, do you know any Bosnian
3 Muslims that refused to go dig trenches?
4 A. I do not.
5 Q. Now, you were talking with -- in
6 direct-examination, with my learned friend Mr. Nobilo,
7 that the position of the commanders was to put a
8 request in for work platoons to work; is that correct?
9 Did I understand your testimony in response to
10 Mr. Nobilo's questions properly?
11 A. Yes, that is correct.
12 Q. How often did Blaskic use this procedure?
13 A. Well, I don't know of Mr. Blaskic resorting
14 to this procedure. I had direct contact with the
15 commander of the brigade of the municipality of
16 Travnik, and I, as head of the defence department in
17 the municipality of Travnik, never received any direct
18 orders in this sense from Mr. Blaskic.
19 Q. Did you receive those from his immediate
20 subordinate, the commander of the respective brigades?
21 A. There were such requests.
22 Q. Now, when that request came in, Mr. Rajic,
23 did the HVO military, either the commander or the
24 brigade commander, in your case, did they designate the
25 spots that these work platoons were supposed to go dig
1 defensive fortifications?
2 A. They decided on this in keeping with their
4 Q. So the HVO military would decide what their
5 needs were, where they needed to dig trenches in the
6 frontline or else where, and then they would put a
7 request in from you to send them 50 -- you know, 20, 50
8 or a hundred people; is that right?
9 A. Yes. First, once a work platoon is formed it
10 is formed. It is not reformed every time a request is
11 submitted. One knows who the members of a work platoon
12 are, so when necessary, they go. Also, a person would
13 be appointed who would be commander of the work
14 platoon, and he would know where his men were at a
15 given point in time, and then he was supposed to notify
16 them and to call them up. So a work platoon is
17 established once and then it is used when necessary.
18 If the need arises for an additional number
19 of people, then we who kept the records on all persons
20 who were involved, then we would have a look and see
21 whether there was a sufficient number of people and
22 whether this request could be met or not.
23 Q. So just to summarise this entire procedure,
24 you were operating in concert and together with the
25 wishes of the HVO military; isn't that correct?
1 A. Yes. We were their service for these needs.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, did everybody in the Lasva
3 Valley, both in Travnik and municipality, did everybody
4 know that these work units with civilians were digging
5 trenches and fortifications on the frontline? Was that
6 a well-known fact?
7 A. Everybody knew about that, that this trench
8 digging was going on, regardless of ethnic background
9 and regardless of who controlled which part of the
11 Q. So based on what you just told us, Mr. Rajic,
12 do you assume that Colonel Blaskic knew that these
13 civilians were being used to dig trenches on the
15 A. Well, do I assume. As I said, I had contacts
16 with his subordinates, and whether he knew, you would
17 have to ask someone else that.
18 Q. I'm asking you what your assumption was,
19 operating in the Lasva Valley at the time.
20 MR. HAYMAN: Relevance of the witness's
21 assumption. If he has any knowledge, no objection
22 fine, but relevance as to his assumption.
23 JUDGE JORDA: What was that I got the from
24 the interpreter, irrelevant? I don't know. I think
25 that the question is a legitimate one. The witness has
1 said that he worked for the HVO and for the commanders,
2 so it is quite legitimate to ask what he assumes about
3 the accused. The witness, I think, said that he didn't
5 You can rephrase your question, Mr. Kehoe.
6 MR. KEHOE:
7 Q. My question is quite simple, Mr. Rajic.
8 During this period of time did you assume that Blaskic
9 knew that these civilians were being used to dig
10 trenches in frontline areas?
11 A. At that time I didn't really give it any
12 thought. Now I can think about it and now I can make
13 assumptions, but at that time I simply didn't think
14 about it because, as I said, I was in contact with
15 other persons and at other levels of command, so I
16 really didn't think about it.
17 Q. As you sit here now, what is your
19 A. Well, my assumption is probably that he might
20 have known about it.
21 Q. Now, let's talk about these individual
22 diggers on these work platoons.
23 If I might just have one moment to discuss a
24 point with my colleague before I move to the next
1 Now, if I might just go -- ask one
2 follow-up -- two follow-up questions to the issue that
3 I just discussed with you concerning the selection of
4 these people to dig trenches. You noted -- you just
5 dealt with brigade commanders and not necessarily with
6 Colonel Blaskic who put requests in for people to come
7 dig trenches.
8 During that period of time, did you get any
9 requests from members of the HV, the Croatian army, to
10 put work platoons together to dig trenches?
11 A. No, and I was not in any contact with the
12 members of the Croatian army. No requests came in and,
13 as I said, I did not have any contact with the members
14 of the Croatian army in the Lasva Valley.
15 Q. Do you recall testifying, Mr. Rajic, in the
16 case of Prosecutor versus Aleksovski, and the date you
17 testified was the 25th of August of 1998? Do you
18 recall that?
19 A. I remember the testimony. Perhaps I do not
20 remember all the details, but if I were reminded, I
21 could remember.
22 Q. Let me just read this back to you, and,
23 counsel, it's on page 3.235 of that, and you were asked
24 this question.
25 "Q. Well, who was responsible overall for
1 the function and collecting of the units
2 for work duties? Was that you?"
3 MR. HAYMAN: What line, counsel?
4 MR. KEHOE: The line we start is 18.
5 MR. HAYMAN: 3.235?
6 MR. KEHOE: 3.235. That's correct.
7 Q. The question was -- I'll read that again,
8 Mr. Rajic, in fairness, so we can put the entire matter
9 in context.
10 "Q. Well, who was responsible overall for
11 the function and collecting of the units
12 for work duties? Was that you?
13 A. Among others, I was one of them, but
14 there were the commanders of the units
15 if a situation required this."
16 And I'm pausing so the interpreters can
17 interpret this along.
18 "Q. And the commanders of the units would
19 be commanders of the HVO units?
20 A. Members of the HVO, the commanders of
21 the HVO, if it was their members. If it
22 was the HV, then it would be those
24 A. I never said that it was the Croatian army.
25 I never said that.
1 MR. HAYMAN: We'd ask for the tape. We'd ask
2 that the tape be checked, the Registrar's Office check
3 the tape, because the next question, Mr. President,
5 "Q. And isn't it true that you were
6 responsible for the HVO units?"
7 There is no reaction, there is no follow-up
8 to any comment about the HV. It seems very, very odd
9 to us.
10 MR. KEHOE: What is very, very odd is the
11 fact that this witness, in this testimony, is making a
12 distinction between HVO commanders and HV commanders --
13 MR. HAYMAN: Or he's repeating --
14 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, counsel. I didn't
15 interrupt you. The answer says:
16 "A. Members of the HVO, the commanders of
17 the HVO, if it was their members. If it
18 was the HV, then it would be those
20 There is a clear distinction, Mr. President,
21 Judge Shahabuddeen, between two different military
22 entities, the HVO and the HV.
23 MR. HAYMAN: Or a repetition. We don't
24 know. We will know from the tape.
25 MR. KEHOE: That's fine.
1 MR. HAYMAN: We would ask the Registrar's
2 Office to get the tape. Thank you.
3 JUDGE JORDA: I propose, first of all, to
4 keep calm, and I want to know whether you have a long
5 way to go yet. Do you still have many questions,
6 Mr. Kehoe?
7 MR. KEHOE: I have a little bit, Judge. Not
8 a long way to go. Probably I can finish by 1.00.
9 JUDGE JORDA: I would like us to speed up,
10 please. That is the powers of the President, to
11 require speeding-up of the process.
12 Regarding the transcript, it is up to the
13 parties, if they question what is in the transcript, to
14 verify it. You will plead on this point later on. For
15 the moment, it will suffice for us to ask the witness
16 whether he recalls having said that. If he says he
17 doesn't, we go on to your next question.
18 In your closing statements, each of you will
19 plead on the basis of that transcript if you consider
20 it to be important.
21 Did you also refer not only to the HVO but
22 also to the HV? Do you remember saying that in the
23 testimony you gave in the Aleksovski case, Mr. Rajic?
24 THE WITNESS: I never said that.
25 MR. HAYMAN: I think, Mr. President, we need
1 your authorisation to get the tape from that case. It
2 is in open session. If the Court grants --
3 JUDGE JORDA: Quite. Why not? Of course, of
4 course. It was a public hearing. We will clear up
5 that point. If the witness can't answer or, rather, he
6 cannot confirm that answer, we will postpone it for a
7 later date. But I do wish us to speed up, please.
8 Continue, Mr. Kehoe.
9 In the meantime, the registrar, during the
10 lunch break, can get the transcript for you to verify
11 this. But let's not go back to that question. You
12 will use it, both parties, in your closing statements.
13 We cannot go back to things repeatedly during the
14 hearing. This trial started in 1997 and we wish to
15 finish it, so let's continue, please.
16 MR. KEHOE:
17 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, with regard to the work
18 units, were the Muslims segregated from others in these
19 work units, i.e., were there Muslim work units and
20 Romani work units and Croat work units?
21 A. This was at the beginning of 1992, while we
22 were still working together under the same roof and in
23 the same offices because the Muslims reported to the
24 officials of the department who were Muslims and the
25 Croats reported to those who were in that department
1 and who were Croats and -- I mean, I'm talking about
2 Travnik. At that point in time, we coordinated these
3 things. Later on, in Travnik, in that small part of
4 Travnik that remained under HVO control, there weren't
5 any Muslims who were engaged in work units and work
6 platoons to dig trenches for the needs of the HVO, but
7 in Travnik, there were Croats who were engaged to dig
8 trenches for the needs of the HVO, and this was the
9 larger part of the territory --
10 THE INTERPRETER: Of the BH army, I'm sorry.
11 A. And that was the larger part of the
12 municipality of Travnik.
13 Q. Well, sir, throughout the Lasva Valley area,
14 were the work units segregated, i.e., were there
15 Romanies in one unit, Muslims in another unit, and
16 Croats in another unit, and when I say "throughout the
17 Lasva Valley," I'm talking about in addition to the
18 Travnik municipality.
19 A. I do not know about that, but I think only
20 the Romany were divided and that the rest were together
21 -- were separated.
22 Q. Now, did you receive information that Bosnian
23 Muslims working on the frontlines in these work
24 platoons had been killed?
25 A. I said that I do not know about any cases of
1 any Muslims being killed, but I know of the case of an
2 entire work platoon that was killed and it consisted of
3 Croats primarily and perhaps there were two or three
4 Serbs in that work platoon too.
5 Q. How about Bosnian Muslims that were wounded
6 on these work platoons at the frontline; did you have
7 any information about that?
8 A. I don't know. As I said, I don't know. If
9 they were wounded, they were treated like everyone else
10 in the hospital we had at Nova Bila. I assumed that it
11 was that way.
12 Q. Did you receive any information that HVO
13 soldiers were beating some of these individuals that
14 were digging trenches on these work platoons?
15 A. No, I'm not aware of such information.
16 Q. Now, sir, were you -- by the way, who was
17 your counterpart in the National Defence Secretariat in
18 Vitez after 1993 or during 1993? Would that have been
19 Mario Skopljak?
20 A. Pero Skopljak was not. That I know. I think
21 it was Stipo Zigonic who holds that post until the
22 present day.
23 Q. Now, in these work units, were these work
24 unit individuals considered to be part of the HVO?
25 A. Well, yes. In a certain sense, they were
1 considered to be members of the HVO, and now, as these
2 certificates were issued to all, regardless of ethnic
3 background, this was -- this was recognised for all as
4 their participation in the war.
5 Q. Now, let me direct your attention to the
6 indictment itself -- and this is my conclusory area of
7 questioning, Mr. President and Judge Shahabuddeen -- in
8 April, into the early part of May of 1993, Bosnian
9 Muslims were incarcerated in, among other places, the
10 Vitez cinema, the Dubravica school, Kaonik camp near
11 Busovaca, the SDK offices in Vitez, and testimony has
12 come to this Chamber that the Bosnian Muslim men in
13 those locations were taken out to dig trenches on the
14 frontline positions. Do you know about that, sir?
15 Now, this is after Ahmici, which took place on the 16th
16 of April, 1993. But do you know about these Bosnian
17 Muslims --
18 JUDGE JORDA: What part of the indictment?
19 Which count, Mr. Prosecutor? Which is the count?
20 MR. KEHOE: I am dealing with the paragraph
21 12, Mr. President, where those items are listed, those
22 individual locales. It would be Counts 15 to 20. I
23 believe they're repeated in another location as well,
24 but that just happens to be the place that I'm reading
1 A. I do not know of such cases because we, in
2 Travnik, had too many problems of our own because some
3 Croats had been killed, there were certain incidents,
4 and I was one of those who tried to calm the situation
5 down so that there wouldn't be wider conflicts.
6 Regrettably, what happened did happen, but as regards
7 the specific cases that you're asking me about, I don't
8 know of them because, as I said, every day, every day,
9 we had incidents in Travnik, and that was a far more
10 complex and bigger case than Vitez was.
11 Q. So your testimony is you don't know anything
12 about these Muslims being incarcerated in these
13 locales; is that correct? You don't know anything
14 about it at all?
15 A. That's right. But I didn't have to know
17 Q. Let me just ask you a couple of conclusory
18 questions, Mr. Rajic, and I will be through.
19 And I will be through, Mr. President, before
21 JUDGE JORDA: You see, a bit of guidance
22 achieves conciliation. You said that the
23 cross-examination will be completed by 1.00, and I'm
24 very glad that it will be before that, so please
25 proceed with your last question and then, in the
1 afternoon, Mr. Nobilo will have his right to re-examine
2 and then perhaps the Judges will have some questions.
3 MR. KEHOE:
4 Q. Now, Mr. Rajic, what rank did you hold in the
6 A. I received a rank in mid 1994. I was a
7 sergeant (sic). Up till then, I did not have any rank.
8 Q. During your period of time, did you receive
9 any awards from President Tudjman based on your service
10 during the conflict in Central Bosnia?
11 A. I did not receive anything of that kind for
12 participating in the fighting from anyone, any awards
13 or anything else.
14 Q. Did you receive any awards at all from the
15 Republic of Croatia --
16 THE INTERPRETER: The rank was Major a moment
18 A. Neither from the Republic of Croatia nor from
19 General Blaskic, so when I say "from nobody," this
20 implies neither from the Republic of Croatia, no
21 medals, no distinctions, or anything, awards for merit.
22 MR. KEHOE: If I might just clear up one item
23 in the record, Mr. President? I believe that initially
24 the translation came across that he achieved the rank
25 the sergeant in mid 1994, and I think the interpreters
1 corrected it to say that he received the rank of Major.
2 I think we all agree with that.
3 Q. By the way, Mr. Rajic, do you carry a
4 passport from the Republic of Croatia today?
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo doesn't have any
7 MR. KEHOE:
8 Q. I will re-ask the question. Do you carry and
9 travel on a passport from the Republic of Croatia
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. KEHOE: Thank you very much, Mr. Rajic.
13 You've been very helpful. Thank you for coming.
14 Mr. President, Judge Shahabuddeen, counsel, I
15 have no further questions.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. It is ten to 1.00.
17 Mr. Nobilo, do you have many questions?
18 MR. NOBILO: I haven't got many, but I don't
19 think I'll be able to complete them by 1.00. It's
20 difficult to say. But I don't have many. I can try
21 and start now.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Listen, we're going to have a
23 break which will allow us to restore calm to this
25 Mr. Registrar, can you find the part of the
1 tape that is in question so that we can achieve
2 complete harmony between the Prosecution and the
4 THE REGISTRAR: That's quite possible.
5 JUDGE JORDA: And that is why we are giving
6 you, Mr. Registrar, ten minutes extra time, so we will
7 now adjourn and resume at 2.00 p.m.
8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.52 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 2.42 p.m.
10 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing can resume now.
11 Have the accused brought in, please.
12 (The accused entered court)
13 JUDGE JORDA: Have the witness brought in
15 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, just a point of
16 order before the witness does come in. The transcript
17 itself, a tape, was reviewed by both Defence and
18 Prosecution, and the transcript, the official
19 transcript, in the Aleksovski case is incorrect. What
20 reads in the transcript: "If it was the HV, then it
21 would be those commanders." This transcript should
22 read: "When it was in the army of BiH it was those
24 Now, where the translation came between the
25 HV and army BiH, none of us were there. Nonetheless,
1 there was a discrepancy between this official
2 transcript in the Registrar's office and the tape that
3 I think everybody has listened to, and I think Defence
4 counsel will agree with that assessment.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Nobilo?
6 MR. NOBILO: Yes, yes, yes, of course we
7 agree. It was quite clear the "BH army," "Armija
8 BiH." "BiH" is a local abbreviation for
10 MR. KEHOE: Agreed.
11 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Very well. You're
12 a good sport there I can see. That's good.
13 MR. KEHOE: Judge, you know, if you're right
14 you're right, if you're wrong you're wrong. We went on
15 the basis of the transcript. This is the official
17 I do note that maybe for the Aleksovski
18 transcript, the registrar might want to notify someone
19 with regard to this transcript, that this transcript
20 is, in fact, incorrect. I don't know if it is of any
21 consequence in that trial. I don't know if it's of any
22 consequence in that trial. I'm not aware of all facts
23 in that trial, but --
24 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Fourmy would like to make a
1 MR. FOURMY: Your Honour, I think that goes
2 back to what the Prosecutor said. Apparently both
3 parties listened to the cassette in BCS. The
4 transcripts, of course, are prepared from the
5 interpretation and that is what is authoritative,
6 unless something incorrect has been discovered, but the
7 transcript in and of itself is not false because it's
8 supposed to reproduce what was heard.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but there is still a
10 problem because the transcript does not express what
11 the witness said.
12 MR. FOURMY: Well, it happens rather
13 frequently, in one of the -- either of the official
15 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Mr. Registrar, you
16 will submit all of this discussion to the Presiding
17 Judge Rodrigues.
18 THE REGISTRAR: I won't fail to do so, Your
19 Honour, and I also point out, in order for us to be
20 complete, that the French version was correct.
21 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Almost everybody is
22 right, starting with the French Judge who is satisfied
23 by the fact that his language was correct.
24 All right. That's the end of this incident,
25 which means, my dear colleagues from both sides of the
1 bench, that when you put forth arguments with such
2 certitude that one is right, you always have to be
3 careful, as all legal people must be.
4 And having said these words of wisdom, I can
5 have this witness brought in so that Mr. Nobilo can
6 exercise his re-examination right.
7 (The witness entered court)
8 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:
9 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated, Mr. Rajic.
10 Mr. Nobilo, please proceed.
11 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I
12 shall try to be brief in order to save as much time as
14 Q. Mr. Rajic, tell me, to the best of your
15 knowledge, when Bosnia and Herzegovina seceded from
16 Yugoslavia, just like when Croatia seceded from
17 Yugoslavia, these newly formed states, at the moment of
18 gaining their independence, did they take over the laws
19 of the former system of the former Yugoslavia?
20 A. I don't know about Croatia but I do know
21 about Bosnia and Herzegovina. They were mainly taken
22 over, the regulations of the former Yugoslavia, because
23 there wasn't enough time to pass new ones.
24 Q. And then tell me once again, and also tell us
25 whether your colleagues from the Muslim part of the
1 civilian authorities in Travnik applied these two
2 bylaws that you spoke of today and which elaborate in
3 detail the work obligation.
4 A. These are the regulations that we did apply.
5 Q. Tell me, the Muslim part of the civilian
6 authorities in Travnik, did they also mobilise work
7 platoons and send them to the frontlines towards
8 anyone, the Serbs or the Croats?
9 A. I know they did.
10 Q. Once again, did you ever see or ever hear
11 that the Croatian army was in the Lasva Valley?
12 A. I never saw or never heard of the Croatian
13 army being in the Lasva Valley.
14 Q. I imagine, in view of your position, that you
15 would have had to know had a unit from the Croatian
16 army come to the Lasva River Valley.
17 A. All of us would have known for sure, but I
18 know that no one did.
19 Q. And if it came, would that unit have made the
20 people thrilled, all the people thrilled?
21 A. I think so, yes.
22 Q. We're waiting a bit for the purposes of
24 You said that in '98 the work platoons got
25 the same status like the HVO, like the fighters, the
1 soldiers. And tell me, in 1993, were they considered
2 to be members of military units or were they considered
3 to be members of a special organisation that were
4 called work units?
5 A. No. They were not members of the military
6 units. They were members of -- they were citizens who
7 fulfilled their obligation through work obligation
8 units, and in this way fulfilled their work obligation,
9 and they were not those who had a military obligation.
10 And later, or, rather, during the course of this year,
11 work in work obligation units was made equal to that of
12 the status of those who were entitled to receive
13 certificates for participation in the war. All members
14 of work obligation units, regardless of whether they
15 were in the BH army or in the HVO received this
17 Q. You said that you got a rank in 1994. Before
18 that period, before 1994, was there an official system
19 of ranks in the HVO?
20 A. As far as I know, there weren't any ranks.
21 The commanders addressed each other in terms of the
22 locations where they were. I don't know of anything
23 else. So it was only after the Washington Accords that
24 I got my rank too. It was sometime in April or May. I
25 cannot remember exactly.
1 Q. Do you have dual citizenship, both of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina and of Croatia?
3 A. Yes. I'm first and foremost a citizen of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I also availed myself of the
5 opportunity of having dual citizenship and that is the
6 citizenship of the Republic of Croatia too.
7 Q. My colleague, the Prosecutor, asked you about
8 your passport. When did you have this passport
10 A. Exactly on the 23rd of January, 1993, because
11 I had to go to Switzerland. I had to travel, and I did
12 not have any other travel documents. There weren't
13 any. And I also had the old passport of the former
14 Yugoslavia. However, at that time it was no longer
15 possible to travel. I needed visas or something,
16 whereas a Croatian passport allowed me to travel
17 unimpeded in the countries of Europe.
18 Q. And today are new passports being issued of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or do you still have these
21 A. There are still some problems, because
22 agreement has not been reached yet on the design of the
23 passports. So I think that it is going to be the High
24 Representative, Mr. Carlos Westendorp, who will have to
25 rule on this.
1 Q. Just one more thing, I would like to draw
2 your attention to one more thing. You said the work
3 obligation, just like the military obligation, is a
4 form of civic obligation of every citizen, vis-a-vis
5 the defence of the country.
6 So tell us, if we were to define those who
7 are fulfilling their military obligations while serving
8 in the army, and the members of work platoons and all
9 other citizens who were not involved in terms of
10 military obligation or work obligation, so -- I'm
11 talking about children, I'm talking about old people
12 over 65, and pregnant women. So if we look at these
13 criteria, how could we divide the population?
14 I hope you've understood what I've been
15 trying to say.
16 A. Yes, I have understood you. In my opinion,
17 pure civilians were those who did not have any one of
18 the assignments that I mentioned in terms of those five
19 obligations, and those were men over 65 and younger
20 than 16, and women over 55 and pregnant women. And
21 there's one more category. So these were the persons
22 who could not be mobilised according to the law, and
23 who were not mobilised therefore.
24 And there was another category of people who
25 could not have been mobilised, and those are persons
1 who were not capable of fulfilling this obligation,
2 which they were duty bound to carry out according to
3 the law and constitution. And then there was a
4 military medical commission that had to proclaim such
5 persons either capable of or incapable of fulfilling a
6 certain obligation of this kind.
7 Q. So there is one group of citizens that you
8 defined who did not have to carry out a military duty
9 or a work duty, and if we look at it that way, how
10 would we define the members of the work units? Are
11 they soldiers, are they equal to the civilians who did
12 not have any obligations whatsoever, or are they a
13 third category?
14 A. This would have to be a third category,
15 because they are not soldiers. Soldiers are the ones
16 who fight with weapons in their hands. But there are
17 those who did not have any obligations whatsoever
19 So it is a category of citizens that in case
20 of war or immediate threat of war does have certain
21 tasks which are not of purely military nature but do
22 serve the purpose, so to speak, of these armed
23 formations and not only their purpose.
24 Q. If we look at all of this now, retirement
25 insurance, years of service, shares that were issued
1 and salaries, et cetera that a soldier is entitled to
2 and that a person who had a work obligation has, is a
3 civilian who did not have any such obligations, does he
4 have any one of these entitlements, either on the side
5 of the HVO or the BH army?
6 A. No, no. This kind of civilian does not have
7 any such entitlement.
8 Q. Also let's put another hypothetical question,
9 as my learned colleague had put. A Muslim in Vitez
10 digs trenches for a year, for example. Does he have
11 the same rights like a member of the Croat people who
12 was in the HVO? Today does he have the same
14 A. As far as I know, all have equal
15 entitlements, all of them who participated in certain
16 units, of work obligation units or military units.
17 Q. And finally, in conclusion, am I right when I
18 say that it is my understanding that there are three
19 groups. One, pure civilians, total civilians, and
20 these other two --
21 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me. We've been through
22 this just now. This has been asked and answered.
23 JUDGE JORDA: I believe that Mr. Nobilo was
24 not asking exactly the same question. I think there is
25 a difference, Mr. Kehoe. Continue, Mr. Nobilo.
1 MR. NOBILO:
2 Q. This is my last question: Did I understand
3 you correctly, and perhaps this can be a touchstone for
4 all the participants in this trial, can we say, in view
5 of one's involvement in the war, there are three groups
6 of persons; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I
9 have thus concluded the redirect.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo. Let me
11 turn to my colleague, Judge Shahabuddeen.
12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Actually, witness, I
13 don't want to ask you any questions, I only want to
14 compliment you on insisting that the record in
15 Aleksovski was not correct, and in congratulating
16 counsel on both sides for reaching agreement as to what
17 the position really was.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Thank you, Judge
19 Shahabuddeen. Yes, that's how we must proceed when one
20 is in a legal institution.
21 I have one or two questions that I'd like to
22 ask you Mr. Rajic.
23 I thought that the text of 1989 relating to
24 National Defence had been conceived at a time when
25 people thought that the danger might come from a
1 country other than the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
2 Am I wrong?
3 A. Right, sir.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Here is my question: Don't you
5 have the feeling that by -- when using those texts,
6 that is the one of 1989 or the one that was reworked by
7 the Croatian defence community, don't you have the
8 impression that they were somewhat distorted from their
9 original meaning, insofar as -- insofar as it is
10 conceivable that one can organise civilian defence and
11 military defence when you think that the homeland is in
12 danger, the homeland being the six republics, in a way,
13 isn't it distorting power the same way to use the same
14 framework, the same organisation, but to use it against
15 a brother people under the pretext that one is
16 temporarily enemies? You who have studied political
17 science, isn't that kind of a distortion of powers?
18 A. Well, I don't think there has been any actual
19 distortion, because they were regulations which were
20 applicable under such conditions as well, and there
21 weren't any others.
22 JUDGE JORDA: I notice that in 1989 people
23 thought that the Croats would fight against the
24 Chetniks or the Muslims. Is that what that meant?
25 A. No. We did not know who would be fighting
1 whom. At least I didn't know, and I don't think the
2 people knew, most of the people knew.
3 JUDGE JORDA: I was sure that nobody knew.
4 Nobody had foreseen those events. Nonetheless, it
5 remains true that when in the text one says that the
6 work platoons were going to build fortifications, I
7 think that in the mind of Marshal Tito and his
8 successors, that meant, like in other countries, I come
9 from a country which was invaded on many occasions,
10 that all resources have to be used for work, each
11 person in his own place. There needed to be people who
12 worked in communications, there needed to be soldiers,
13 there needed to be generals, there needed to be people
14 who worked in artillery, there needed to be
15 statisticians, and then people who dig trenches.
16 Therefore, my second question is to ask you
17 whether you yourself dug trenches. Did you go to dig
18 trenches yourself?
19 A. I did not dig trenches.
20 JUDGE JORDA: But you are telling us that
21 the -- that the system that was used for those people
22 who were digging trenches was a proper one?
23 A. I did not understand the question.
24 JUDGE JORDA: You are telling us that the
25 work system that governed the work that had to be done,
1 that is digging the trenches, this was a proper, this
2 was a suitable type of system?
3 A. Well, that is a point that can be discussed.
4 That is to say, what in a war, a war that nobody
5 expected, and particularly not expected it to be the
6 kind of war it was, it is difficult, as I say. We had
7 to makeshift and make do, and adjust ourselves to the
8 situation in hand, because -- and you yourself noted
9 very aptly we were preparing for an external enemy of
10 some kind, where all of us together would use all our
11 strength and force to resist that enemy, but this
12 unfortunate war that took place in our country was a
13 little different than that.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Then that's what I'm
15 saying, that texts were used that had been designed for
16 aggression coming from the outside, but they were used
17 for what could be called an internal war. I suppose
18 (sic) there is no other component.
19 My final question is to know whether these
20 work units that went to dig trenches, were they sent to
21 the frontlines against the Muslims?
22 A. The work platoons which were under my command
23 were not sent there. The Muslims were not sent to the
24 frontlines towards the Muslims. These were only the
1 JUDGE JORDA: But trenches were used on the
2 frontline against the Bosnian army. That's what it was
3 done for.
4 A. Yes, those trenches were used for that.
5 JUDGE JORDA: In the document that was
6 provided to us, the decree on the organisation of
7 Herceg-Bosna is, of course, a decree which went back to
8 the decrees of 1989. Do we agree on that?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps you don't know -- since
11 you are a member of the HVO, I guess you should know,
12 you have Croatian nationality, the decision which
13 established the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna you
14 are familiar with, I assume. That was in November of
15 1991. You know that, since you like the idea of
16 belonging to that community and you know when it was
17 established, that is, the Croatian community of
19 A. Yes, I know when it was created, when the
20 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna was created, and
21 whether it's an idea I liked, I don't know, but that
22 was the reality of the times.
23 JUDGE JORDA: That isn't my question. That's
24 a reality which became concrete. It was a decision
25 that was taken by Mr. Mate Boban on the 19th of
1 November, 1991.
2 My question is to know whether that Croatian
3 community of Herceg-Bosna was established to fight
4 against the Muslims in the Bosnian army.
5 A. As far as I know, it was not. It was created
6 to protect, first and foremost, the Croatian people
7 from the then aggression of the JNA and the Serb
9 JUDGE JORDA: I am pleased that you agree
10 with me about that because the presentation of the
11 reasons for the decision state that by organising a
12 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, it was a way of
13 fighting against the Chetnik aggression. Therefore, I
14 would be right to believe that the trenches that people
15 had to dig on the front in the struggle against the
16 army of Bosnia and Herzegovina were trenches that were
17 not legal.
18 A. Whether they were legal or not, it is up to
19 you to assess and judge, but the fact remains that
20 there was a conflict and that the trenches served the
21 function of defence in a certain area for the defence
22 of the Croatian people in that area.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore, you agree with me
24 when I say that in the end, not only the decree which
25 is covered by the 14th of November, 1994 -- 494 that
1 had been set up in order to organise in the case of a
2 conflict coming from the outside, of aggression on the
3 outside against the republic, but in addition, that the
4 decree of 1992, the one of the Croatian community of
5 Herceg-Bosna, also distorted your own organisation
6 which means a defence organisation which was supposed
7 to be used against the Chetniks. Would you be in
8 agreement with what I have just said?
9 A. In part, I do agree, yes, but at that time,
10 there was the disintegration and non-functioning of the
11 State organs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we were
12 conscious of the fact that the war which broke out in
13 Croatia would not end in Croatia but would be expanded;
14 and Herceg-Bosna, quite simply, was an instrument of
15 organisation for the Croatian people to stand up to
16 that, and the fact is that later on there was a
17 conflict with the BH army. But everything that was
18 done to fortify the lines, towards the one side first
19 and then the other side, we, in Bosnia, at one point
20 were fighting -- everybody was fighting everybody else
21 and everybody did what they could in a situation of
22 that kind.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but perhaps at that point
24 the ones who were the weakest were not able to fight in
25 the same way because, pursuant to these texts, when a
1 general mobilisation effort was being made, that is the
2 invasion of a country, when a country is invaded, all
3 of the forces have to be called in to defend the
4 country, but here you are running the risk that one of
5 the parties would not go to the trenches in very good
6 spirits, even though yesterday there was a witness who
7 appeared to be satisfied about having gone to the
8 trenches. But that's another problem.
9 All right. I think we can't say anything
10 further, but I can conclude by saying that basically,
11 when, during your testimony, you tell us that the texts
12 for you were an obligation for all citizens, would you
13 be agreeable with me when I say that a certain category
14 of citizens perhaps was not quite in agreement with the
15 objectives that you were pursuing?
16 A. They did not perhaps agree with the
17 objectives, some citizens, that is, but all citizens
18 who were capable of performing certain functions were
19 duty-bound - although they had the right as well - but
20 they were duty-bound to participate.
21 JUDGE JORDA: In any case, you have carried
22 out what you were asked to do here at the Tribunal, and
23 the Tribunal thanks you for having done so. You have
24 spoken about that part of the indictment which we
25 needed clarifications for. Thank you very much. You
1 have completed your testimony.
2 We are going to have you accompanied out of
3 the courtroom, and then we can move to the testimony of
4 the following witness who should, I believe, be the
5 last one. Thank you once again, Mr. Rajic.
6 (The witness withdrew)
7 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, the last
8 witness for this week.
9 MR. FOURMY: If you allow me, Your Honour?
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Fourmy, please go
12 MR. FOURMY: I apologise for intervening
13 again, but this is for the transcript, the English
14 transcript, from what I can read on the Live Note
15 system. On page 402 (sic), lines 12 and 13 --
16 JUDGE JORDA: How can you find the lines?
17 MR. FOURMY: Because I noted them down. But
18 I think that the Defence and the Prosecutor and myself,
19 the registrar, we have a way of going up.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Not the Judges, though. We
21 can't go up on the screen? We can't scroll up?
22 MR. FOURMY: The Judges have all powers
23 except for the one of going backwards into the
25 JUDGE JORDA: You see, we thought we had all
1 the powers, but we can't do this. What do you want to
2 say to us, Mr. Fourmy?
3 MR. FOURMY: On page 82, lines 12 and 13,
4 instead of "I suppose there is no other competent" --
5 instead of -- it should say "assuming there is no other
6 competent." And on page 84 --
7 JUDGE JORDA: Does everybody agree?
8 MR. HAYMAN: The Defence may be able to
9 scroll backwards into the transcript, but we've never
10 done it and we don't know how to do it.
11 MR. FOURMY: And on page 84 on line 20, you
12 referred, in one of your questions that you asked the
13 witness, to Exhibit D494.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that's right.
15 MR. FOURMY: And what came up was 14
16 November. The date was given instead of the number.
17 And then the court reporter said that they would have
18 to check that. So it should be 494. I can help them.
19 It was D494. Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE JORDA: You see, everyone really stands
21 in admiration for your vigilance, and once again I
22 would like to thank you for being at the hearings and
23 displaying such competence.
24 All right. Mr. Nobilo, if you could go on,
1 (The witness entered court)
2 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, sir? Do you
3 hear me?
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, I hear you.
5 JUDGE JORDA: For the Judges, please give us
6 your name, your first name, the date and place of your
7 birth, your profession, and your current residence,
8 since this is a public hearing, and after that, we will
9 ask you to remain standing to take the oath and then
10 you can sit down.
11 THE WITNESS: My name is Ivo Mlivoncic. I
12 was born in Vares, near Sarajevo, in 1931. I have been
13 living in Split for 40 years. I am a citizen of the
14 Republic of Croatia. I am a journalist by profession.
15 I live and work in Split.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Please take the oath.
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, sir. You may be
21 seated now. Thank you for having come to the
22 International Criminal Tribunal where, for some time
23 now, there has been a trial being conducted in this
24 Tribunal of Mr. Tihomir Blaskic who is in the courtroom
25 to your left. You will first be asked some questions
1 by the Defence, then by the Prosecutor.
2 Mr. Nobilo, please have the name of the
3 witness given again because I wasn't able to catch it
5 WITNESS: IVO MLIVONCIC
6 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:
7 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Mlivoncic,
8 would you, by way of introduction, tell us something
9 about your life and work? You were born in 1931 in
10 Vares, which is Central Bosnia and the region that we
11 have been dealing with for several years here now. So
12 briefly describe your life and work and your
14 A. Well, here it is. I was born in a working
15 family, worker's family, in Vares. I went to a
16 four-year elementary school at the classical gymnasium
17 in Visoko, the Franciscan classical gymnasium in
18 Visoko. After that I studied theology in Sarajevo and
19 graded in Ljubljana from the faculty of theology
20 there. After that, I graduated the history of
21 archeology at the faculty of philosophy in Zadar and
22 also graduated at the faculty of political sciences in
24 As a journalist for Slobodna Dalmacija in
25 Split, I have been working since 1940-something, I
1 dealt with history, sociological research, religion,
2 religious communities --
3 THE INTERPRETER: A little slower, please.
4 MR. NOBILO:
5 Q. We're being signalled to by our interpreters
6 who ask you to slow down, please, and please make
7 pauses because all this is being translated into two
8 languages, and it is in the interests of the Defence
9 and the Court and the Prosecutors for us to hear what
10 you are saying properly.
11 A. As a journalist, I dealt with scientific work
12 and history, sociological studies and politicalogical
13 studies and research, religion -- of religions and
14 religious communities as well, and that is how I became
15 a journalist specialising in religious matters,
16 particularly relationships between religion and
17 politics, the Church and the State, and I have written
18 many articles and comments, particularly with regard to
19 Catholicism, Orthodoxy, and Islam, and I have had a
20 series of interviews with theological scientists,
21 Catholic, Orthodox, Islamic, and with people from the
22 hierarchy of the religious communities such as bishops,
23 archbishops, muftis, and so on and so forth,
24 therefore -- and I have written two books on the
25 subject, one book is entitled "The Church in Latin
1 America," that is a book on the theology of
2 liberation. My second book is "The Pope and the
3 Croats," the State and cultural ties between the papacy
4 and the Croatian people. And my third book, the latest
5 book that I wrote, it is "Crimes with a Stamp," and it
6 was a book that came out one month ago, and it has a
7 subtitle, "The Crimes of Genocide, War Crimes, the
8 Muslim Bosniak forces against Croats in
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina." I wrote a lot about this subject
10 matter in the Balkanika, an Italian journal, three
11 years ago. This was my first research, whereas now I
12 have published my comprehensive research. So I have
13 written about this subject matter a great deal in the
14 different newspapers that I worked for and in my own
15 matrix newspaper.
16 Q. Tell us, Mr. Mlivoncic, and once again, let
17 us make some breaks between our sentences, we are
18 drawing closer to the subject that you have been called
19 here to testify about. You have written a book which
20 represents a review of crimes by Muslims over the
21 Croats in this last war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Can you
22 explain to the Trial Chamber what your motives for this
23 were, why you entered into this specific type of
24 subject matter at all?
25 A. When, in Stupni Do, the war crime was
1 committed, it was a village in the municipality in
2 which I was born, about three kilometres from the house
3 in which I was born. The first individual who
4 described this crime was me publicly, and I informed
5 the Cardinal Franjo Puharic about this, the archbishop,
6 and the President of the Mesihat of the Muslim
7 community for Bosnia and Croatia and Slovenia,
8 Mr. Zevko Efendja Omerpasic. That was a moral act on
9 my part, and I reacted to this phenomenon and I learnt
10 about the facts of that particular case.
11 But as the public kept -- there was --
12 repetition was made that there were crimes committed
13 about the Bosniaks in Ahmici and Stupni Do, this has
14 been repeated again and again, this motivated me to
15 state publicly and to caution the people of the crimes
16 that had actually taken place and had been perpetrated
17 by the Muslim Bosniak forces over the Croats in
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that was my motive for showing
19 that it was not only the extremists in my own Croatian
20 people who had committed some crimes but that crimes
21 were committed by extremists in the Muslim Bosniak --
22 amongst the Muslim Bosniak population.
23 Q. Tell us, please, before we move on to
24 concrete matters, your research, tell us which methods
25 you used to collect data? Would you explain that to
1 the Trial Chamber, please?
2 A. I'm a journalist by profession, and so I had
3 my basic five W's: who, what, where, when, and why,
4 and I tried to answer those basic journalistic
5 questions. In order to supply answers to those
6 questions, I developed my own methodology, and I myself
7 deal in scientific research work and, of course, I used
8 my own documentation as a journalist, I travelled
9 around the country to visit the places where the crimes
10 had taken place and where the fighting went on between
11 the HVO and BH army, and I covered a lot of ground.
12 I had occasion to see a grenade exploding in
13 Mostar. I was in Sarajevo when the Pope was to go
14 there on a visit in 1994 and he wasn't able to come
15 because there was shelling and a shell hit one of the
16 houses near where I was staying. And in Stolac, I was
17 arrested by the -- I was detained, I was not arrested,
18 I was detained by the Croatian police to see what I was
19 doing there, and in my native town of Vares, the Muslim
20 Bosniak police detained me and asked me to hand over my
21 camera and everything else. I did not allow this. I
22 also felt a Chetnik Kalashnikov on my own back in
23 Knin. So these are all moments and instances which
24 show that I actually moved around the terrain, and I
25 also had the possibility of gaining an insight into the
1 documentation of the commission to ascertain the crimes
2 of the Croatian community -- given me by the Croatian
3 community of Herceg-Bosna. These are a lot of
4 documents, comprising 10.000 different documents, which
5 are relevant for this subject matter, and I looked
6 through and read through all these documents. I had
7 them all in my hands.
8 Next, I collected documentation from the
9 religious communities themselves, from the Catholic
10 Church, from the Sarajevo and Bosnian bishopcy (sic),
11 from the Mostar bishopcy, and from the
12 Bosnia-Herzegovinan provinces coming under the
13 Franciscans, and I can say that these documents which I
14 asked for and sought in the religious communities, that
15 there aren't many of them.
16 According to the rules, every parish priest
17 had to record what had happened on a day-by-day report
18 for his parish, a chronicle of the parish done by the
19 parish priest. However, most of these facts and
20 figures were lacking, and when I asked Father Janko
21 Rubos, who was the parish priest in Bugojno during the
22 war and he is now in Fojnica, why he did not keep
23 records of this, he told me he was afraid and that if
24 the Muslim Bosniak authorities come and see me, keeping
25 a record of this, I might have fared the worst for it.
1 So that there was no possibility for having a testimony
2 of what was going on.
3 But I should also like to mention that many
4 documents were not accessible to me. I was not able to
5 go to certain places. For example, I was only able to
6 visit Grbavica near Mostar very recently. I could not
7 even think about going to Orasac. This is a village
8 between Travnik and Zenica, and it was impossible for
9 me to go there, because in a Catholic village there,
10 the Mujahedins came and they forbid anybody return to
11 that village.
12 MR. NOBILO: Please slow down a bit and try
13 to make a small pause when you describe all the methods
14 that you used.
15 A. I used authentic sources, and we can also say
16 that I found other documents in what was published in
17 the daily press and in weeklies, so there are quite a
18 few documents in that respect too, but these documents
19 are not always reliable because they were often under
20 the influence of different interests, what should be
21 published or what should not be published.
22 Q. You completed this research of yours in June
23 1997 and you prepared a manuscript which is based on
24 your research, and tell me, have you stopped since then
25 or have you continued your investigations?
1 A. No, I did not stop, and as I wrote in the
2 forward to my book that my book is not final, that
3 perhaps there are some inaccuracies in it too,
4 something that has not been sufficiently clarified or
5 explained, perhaps I did not have counter-documents, so
6 I continued to investigate, and I can mention a few
7 things to you.
8 In my research, I tried to touch upon the
9 question --
10 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, Mr. President and
11 counsel. I would object to the witness -- he appears
12 to be reading from a prepared text, and if he needs
13 notes to refresh his recollection, I would ask him to
14 use those notes, but to -- I have watched him for the
15 past few minutes. He appears to be reading and then
16 turning the page and going to the next page and reading
17 that page, so I object to this form of answer.
18 JUDGE JORDA: You know that in legal
19 institutions, at least in this one, the witness has to
20 testify freely. The witness can bring documents that
21 have been worked on. He may have documents, but only
22 for statistics or to refresh his memory. That's
23 natural. And he can do that with the authorisation of
24 the opposing party.
25 Therefore, I must ask you, excuse me, if you
1 are reading a pre-prepared document.
2 THE WITNESS: I beg your pardon?
3 MR. NOBILO: It seems to me that the witness
4 did not get any interpretation. Perhaps the channel
5 has been changed. Could you please check that for us?
6 Mr. President, this statement is going to
7 involve a lot of numbers, a lot of figures, a lot of
8 dates, and you can't really speak about this off the
9 cuff, you have to look it up.
10 JUDGE JORDA: I don't think that that's what
11 Mr. Harmon's objection was. The objection that I
12 sustained and support -- first of all, do you hear me,
13 sir? Do you hear me?
14 THE WITNESS: Yes. Now I do.
15 JUDGE JORDA: The objection of the opposing
16 parties is the following: You cannot read a
17 pre-prepared document. You can use personal notes with
18 the authorisation of the Trial Chamber, but you cannot
19 come in and then take a document from your briefcase
20 which you begin to read. That you cannot do. You must
21 answer the questions according to your memory. When
22 you need a date or a specific statistic, you can look
23 at the statistics on documents on the ELMO, for
24 example, you can give that to the opposing party, but
25 you cannot read a document.
1 All right. Make an effort, please. I'm sure
2 that you will be able to do so. However, if your
3 memory fails you and you need to consult your notes, I
4 will authorise you to do so. Do you agree?
5 THE WITNESS: I agree, and I apologise.
6 Perhaps you have the wrong impression. I wasn't
7 reading at all. I just kept glancing at the places
8 that I had highlighted. I wasn't reading. Perhaps it
9 looks as if I were reading, but I'm not reading.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. All right. Just
11 try not to read the document. I'm sure you're very
12 familiar with it. You're a historian, a journalist, a
13 researcher; you should be able to speak almost without
14 any documents, I'm sure of that. If you need to do so
15 with our authorisation, you can refer to your notes.
16 Perhaps we could go back to the questioning,
17 Mr. Nobilo.
18 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. My question was, and you said "Yes," that you
20 continued your research after 1997, after you finished
21 most of your research and when you started preparing
22 the manuscript of your last book. So tell me, in this
23 additional research of yours, and nothing has been
24 written about it as yet in your book, did you reach
25 some information which could be of interest for this
2 A. Naturally, I continued with my research,
3 aware of the fact that even what I had collected until
4 now was a minimum and that there will certainly be even
5 more information about all the victims, so I continued
6 my research, and after I handed in my manuscript in
7 June 1997, in July I went to Kiseljak and I got in
8 touch with the mother of General Blaskic, his sister,
9 et cetera, and I got a new piece of information this
10 way that I was unaware of; and I didn't know that
11 General Blaskic's father, Ivo Blaskic, who was born in
12 1933, was in the HVO, in the medical corps, and I think
13 that on the 12th of November, 1993, he was killed at
14 the point in time when he had a Red Cross band on his
15 arm and when he was carrying drugs for the wounded, and
16 this will be published in the second edition of my
17 book, and he will be included as one of the victims of
18 this war.
19 Then also a few words about the name of
20 General Blaskic. In the documents, we have seen Teofil
21 and things like that, and that name doesn't exist. In
22 the parish where General Blaskic was baptised, it says
23 that his name is Teofil. "Teos" is "God," "fil" is "to
24 love," and we translate that into Croat as "Bogoljub,"
25 but amongst the immediate members of his family, he was
1 always called Tihomir.
2 About his family, about his roots, and about
3 how he was brought up, his parish priest spoke of this
4 and spoke of him very nicely, and I published this in
5 one of my articles in "Nedeljna Dalmacija," weekly
6 paper, and then I asked some other people what they
7 thought about him as a person.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Please answer the questions the
9 Defence is asking you. If you're asked a question
10 about the honourable origins about the accused's
11 family, you can answer, but we don't have a great deal
12 of time. You are here to speak inter alia about the
13 substance of your book.
14 Mr. Nobilo try to focus your witness's
15 testimony on what you think essential for the Defence
16 of the accused. Thank you.
17 MR. NOBILO:
18 Q. Thank you. Mr. Mlivoncic, now we are going
19 to distribute a set of maps that will be a basis for
20 your presentation. I would like to have these maps
21 distributed, please.
22 THE REGISTRAR: This is document 495.
23 MR. NOBILO:
24 Q. All right. Please put page 1 on the ELMO.
25 Mr. Mlivoncic, could you tell us what this
1 map depicts? First let us look at Bosnia and
2 Herzegovina and the numbers that are in yellow areas.
3 Could you tell the Court what this represents?
4 A. This is a map of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The
5 green -- oh, it's yellow. Oh, all right. All right.
6 It's yellow.
7 So the areas marked in yellow are the areas
8 of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina where a
9 conflict broke out between the BH army and the HVO, and
10 where Croats were victims.
11 Q. On the left-hand side is a survey. Certain
12 numbers -- the total number of victims, could you
13 comment on that a bit?
14 A. These figures show the following: That the
15 total number of war victims, Croats, in Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, according to my research, was 1.606.
17 Q. Just a minute, please. When you say victims
18 of the war, are you referring to victims in terms of
19 persons killed in fighting, or persons who were killed
20 as a result of the fighting?
21 A. No, I'm talking about civilians and prisoners
22 of the HVO who were killed.
23 Q. Please proceed.
24 A. So one can see here that out of that number,
25 there are 968 adult civilians, 120 children, and 518
1 imprisoned soldiers of the HVO. I said that number of
2 1.606 victims is a minimal number, because I'm sure
3 that later research will show, and I have already shown
4 this, that this figure is even bigger.
5 Q. Tell me, what is the total number of Croat
6 refugees from the municipalities marked in yellow on
7 this map?
8 A. According to my investigations, during the
9 conflict between the BH army and the HVO, expellees and
10 the refugees among the Croat people number around
11 140.000. And if we compare this to the figures
12 concerning expelled Bosniak Muslims at the same time,
13 from the same area, there were 50.000 of them.
14 Speaking in terms of percentage, and compared
15 to the census from 1991, that was, out of the total
16 number of Croats, 19.5 per cent turn out to be refugees
17 and expellees, and Bosniak Muslims 2.9 per cent.
18 Q. All of that is in the area marked in yellow
19 where there was a conflict between the Croatian and
20 Muslim units?
21 A. Yes, and it is also at the time of the
22 conflict, not before and not after.
23 Q. So these figures do not include at all
24 fighting with the Chetniks on either side? Thank you.
25 A. May I just add one more interesting figure?
1 Of 120 children --
2 Q. Please answer your question -- answer the
3 question and then we're going to correct the record,
4 the transcript. Please go ahead.
5 A. This is a very interesting figure, for one
6 reason, because Alija Izetbegovic, at a rally
7 commemorating the fifth anniversary of the BH army,
8 said in public that the BH army did not kill children,
9 and old men, and women and children. So those words of
10 his are in deep contradiction to my research.
11 Q. Thank you. The transcript did not include my
12 question -- rather, your answer. These victims, these
13 refugees are only the result of the Croat Muslim
15 A. Yes, that is right. Only from the conflict
16 between the BH army and the HVO.
17 Q. Thank you. And now let us move quickly, and
18 in terms of facts, because all of this is going to be
19 tendered into evidence later, on the next page, number
20 1 is the town of Rama Prozor. Could you please tell
21 us, according to your research, in the conflict between
22 the Croats and the Muslims, what is the number of
24 A. Perhaps -- here on the map it says that the
25 total number of victims was 66 in the municipality of
1 Rama Prozor. Out of that figure 34 were HVO prisoners
2 of war, 26 adult civilians, and 6 children.
3 Q. And refugees, 3.500; right?
4 A. Right.
5 Q. Now let us move on to the next document.
6 Could you please explain to the Court what this map
8 A. This map represents locations where terrible
9 things were done to the Croat people in the village of
11 Q. What municipality was that?
12 A. The municipality of Rama Prozor. And then in
13 the municipality of Uzdol where there were 41 victims,
14 and the municipality of Hudutsko with 22 victims.
15 Q. And the dates when the crimes were committed
16 can be seen on the white spaces, together with the
17 number of victims?
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to the next map.
20 A. The next map shows the area of the
21 municipality of Jablanica, in which there was a total
22 number of 69 Croat victims, out of them 11 adults --
23 JUDGE JORDA: If you're going to take each of
24 the maps, you know, the Judges have the maps. Perhaps
25 you could ask questions about specific points that are
1 not clear. But it's clear that the Judge -- that the
2 witness is giving the Judges and the Prosecution
3 municipalities -- maps of municipalities. He's done
4 civilian censuses, refugees, HVO civilians of Croatian
5 nationality. Perhaps you might ask questions that
6 would add to the information that's on the maps.
7 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we can apply
8 different methods. It is true that these maps are
9 rather self-explanatory and clear, so perhaps in order
10 to save time, of course the Trial Chamber is going to
11 look at all these maps --
12 JUDGE JORDA: In the cross-examination the
13 Prosecution -- if the Prosecution, in the
14 cross-examination, is going to use one of the cards
15 that the witness has given, then you can go back to the
16 map in question during the redirect, but as regards the
17 way you're asking the questions, I think that the
18 Judges are satisfied with what's -- what shows up on
19 all of these detailed maps, unless you want to add
20 something either regarding the method or this or that
21 particular point.
22 MR. NOBILO: No, Mr. President, I agree that
23 we should save time. These maps are very well
24 presented, and they do provide the right kind of
25 information concerning figures. So perhaps in addition
1 to what you have already said, we could look at some of
2 the conclusions that you drew.
3 Q. So, Mr. Mlivoncic, in order to save time, we
4 are not going to go through each and every one of these
5 municipalities, because these maps are evidence in
6 their own right, and when you finish we are going to
7 tender them into evidence in this court.
8 So let us move on to some typical forms of
9 crimes that appeared to be new, on the basis of your
10 research, and what are some of the conclusions that you
11 drew from your research? So we are not going to go
12 through each and every one of the municipalities where
13 these crimes were committed, because I agree with the
14 Judges, these maps which you made and for which you
15 provided information are quite self-explanatory and
16 clearly show the time and the place of the crimes
17 committed. So please go ahead.
18 A. I agree. During my research, I tried to link
19 this up with the history of crime in
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Every country has a history of
21 crime, and so does Bosnia and Herzegovina, and as far
22 as Bosnia is concerned, the Nobel prize winner Ivo
23 Andric depicted this the best in his works.
24 And let us look at the forms of killing and
25 the ways in which persons were killed during the
1 conflict between the BH army and the HVO.
2 There is a new form of crime that can be
3 observed, which was unknown until then in the history
4 of crime in Bosnia. I call this ritual killing.
5 Perhaps I should explain this to you better
6 by giving certain examples. In the municipality of
7 Travnik, in the village of Miletici, on the 24th of
8 April, 1993, the Muslim Bosniak forces imprisoned 30
9 young persons, some of whom were civilians and some --
10 and others were HVO soldiers.
11 They were lined up, or, rather, made to stand
12 in a circle, and then they cut off the head of the
13 first one on the left-hand side, they put it on a tray,
14 and they gave it to each and every one of the others to
15 kiss it, and then the other one's turn came and then
16 the other, et cetera. And this was confirmed by
17 witnesses. And it was also confirmed by the exhumation
18 of these victims in 1996, which was carried out by the
19 commission of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
20 with the assistance of the International Community,
21 when bodies without heads were discovered.
22 At the cemetery in Kandija (phoen) near
23 Bugojno, the grave of an old man, Ilija Mostarac, was
24 discovered, and a stick was stuck into his chest,
25 another one into his neck and another one into his
1 left-hand side. And this is a form of killing that is
2 quite well known in a phenomenon which is called Dance
4 At the entrance to Bugojno, going from
5 Kupres, at a military checkpoint manned by the BH army,
6 the Mujahedin imprisoned three HVO soldiers. They then
7 killed them and knelt down into his blood and thanked
8 Allah for a job well done.
9 Those are just some examples which show that
10 crime in Bosnia-Herzegovina in this conflict, which is
11 for me an unfortunate one and an unhappy one between
12 the Croats and Muslims in -- and Bosniaks in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina. These new forms of killing were
14 brought by the Mujahedin from the Islamic countries,
15 and for the most part they took part in them. So that
16 is one of my conclusions.
17 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mlivoncic.
18 Mr. President, all these maps with all the
19 facts and figures that they contain we are tendering as
20 one piece of evidence. It's not necessary for us to
21 assign numbers to each map. So this is evidence which
22 I wish -- these are the documents which I wish to
23 tender into evidence.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Have you completed your
25 direct-examination, Mr. Nobilo?
1 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President, we have
3 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps we will take a break,
4 and then we can resume in 20 minutes for the
5 cross-examination. We will suspend the hearing until
6 quarter after four.
7 --- Recess taken at 3.55 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.22 p.m.
9 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing now.
10 Please have the accused brought in.
11 (The accused entered court)
12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, about how much time
13 are you going to need? I'm keeping you under
14 surveillance here.
15 MR. HARMON: I would imagine, Mr. President,
16 no more than a half an hour. It depends on the answers
17 given to me by the witness.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course. That's fine.
19 Mr. Harmon, proceed, please.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Harmon:
21 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mlivoncic, I believe if I
22 have pronounced your name correctly. My name is Mark
23 Harmon and my colleagues from the Prosecution bench
24 include Mr. Gregory Kehoe, to my immediate right, and
25 to his right Mr. Andrew Cayley.
1 Let me first of all begin by asking you,
2 please, to turn to the map on the Kiseljak municipality
3 in Defence Exhibit 495.
4 If that could be placed on the ELMO, please.
5 I'm asking, please, Mr. Usher, this particular map.
6 Thank you.
7 Now, Mr. Mlivoncic, let me ask you, on the
8 18th of April, 1993, which side was responsible for the
9 commencement of combat activities in the Kiseljak
10 municipality on the 18th of April, 1994 (sic), the HVO
11 or the Armija? What did your research show?
12 MR. NOBILO: Objection, Mr. President.
13 MR. HARMON: Sorry, on 18th April, 1993.
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I consider this
15 question to be outside the frameworks of the
16 examination-in-chief. Mr. Mlivoncic was called here to
17 speak to us of the victims and not responsibility for
18 the conflict and who attacked first or who is
19 responsible for the outbreak of the war.
20 MR. HARMON: Excuse me just a second, please,
21 Mr. Mlivoncic. You have to wait until the Judges
22 finish their consultation after Mr. Nobilo made his
24 JUDGE JORDA: We're going to allow Mr. Harmon
25 to ask the question. We don't know whether Mr. Harmon
1 is going back to the problem of victims. I've already
2 told you, Mr. Nobilo, and this is a guarantee for the
3 Defence, that if on any specific map or any specific
4 point the Prosecution develops a point, you, of course,
5 in your redirect, can go back to that point and ask any
6 questions you like.
7 What is the purpose of your asking that
8 question, Mr. Harmon?
9 MR. HARMON: Because, Mr. President, as you
10 will see, on the map there is a reference to the 18th
11 of April, 1993 in Kiseljak, identifying seven victims.
12 Q. And my question to Mr. Mlivoncic is: Who
13 started the conflict on the 18th of April in Kiseljak?
14 What did your research show?
15 JUDGE JORDA: I'm not sure whether the
16 witness is in a position to answer, but you are a
17 journalist, you, Mr. Mlivoncic. Would you please
18 answer if you can?
19 A. Well, I'll answer the question very happily.
20 I did not research into who began first and who in a
21 given situation began the conflicts. I did not study
22 who is to blame for the conflicts. I studied the
24 JUDGE JORDA: I think that's the answer that
25 the witness has given you. He's been called in to
1 speak only about the victims. He has done some
2 research on the Croatian victims. Would you please
3 move to another question, Mr. Harmon.
4 MR. HARMON: Gladly, Mr. President.
5 Q. In reference to the seven victims identified
6 in Kiseljak on the 18th of April, 1993, who were those
7 victims, sir?
8 A. The victims, I can't enumerate them now but I
9 have them in my book by name and surname, and perhaps
10 their date of birth as well. You have that in my
11 book. I can't tell you off the bat.
12 Q. Unfortunately I don't have a copy of your
13 book, it hasn't been published outside of the former
14 Yugoslavia, as far as I know. Would you kindly refer
15 to your book and identify the seven victims who
16 perished on the 18th of April, 1993 in the city of
18 A. Just a moment please.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Will the Judges have the
20 opportunity to have that work at the end of the
22 MR. HAYMAN: I would dare give it to the
23 translation unit after all the materials we have given
24 to them to translate. If you would like it you can
25 make it your exhibit, but we have not submitted it to
1 the translation unit because it is lengthy and
2 voluminous, and it would be a great deal of work.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Registrar, we're not going to
4 ask you to work under urgent conditions, but at the end
5 of the proceedings, or the end of this trial, the
6 Judges would like to have a translation of that work.
7 Does that seem possible to you or are we going to have
8 to pay royalties in order to do so, to re-copy it that
10 THE REGISTRAR: First of all, the document
11 has to be submitted officially to the Trial Chamber.
12 It has to be recognised as an exhibit. And further to
13 your request, we could ask for a translation of
14 relevant passages at least.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. If you agree, if
16 you want it as an exhibit, we will work in that way,
17 Mr. Nobilo, and you will indicate the relevant passages
18 so we can have them translated. All right, continue
20 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, in that respect I
21 would also ask that a copy of this book be made
22 available to the Office of the Prosecutor so we also
23 might indicate relevant passages, or at least read
24 passages that this witness has based his testimony on.
25 MR. HAYMAN: We do not have a problem with
1 that, other than a matter of principle. There were
2 works of witnesses who testified for the Office of the
3 Prosecutor that we cannot obtain. Dissertations and
4 other things that just aren't available or were
5 available somewhere where we could get them.
6 I don't think we have a problem with the book
7 but that was not the principle that was applied to the
8 Defence during the Prosecution case, and so I think if
9 Mr. Harmon has an informal request to the Defence, we
10 might well entertain it, but in terms of a motion that
11 has a legal basis, we reject the request.
12 MR. HARMON: Perhaps to counsel's
13 unwillingness to give us a copy of this freely, if he
14 would identify the publisher we would be glad to go out
15 and buy a copy at our expense, but we need to know the
16 publisher and --
17 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I think that we can
18 settle that question quickly. The Defence will have
19 the work tendered as an exhibit, that is. We ask the
20 Defence to submit that as an exhibit and it will be
21 given an exhibit number.
22 In addition, the Judges ask that it be given
23 to the Judges with the Defence number and with a copy
24 sent to the Prosecution, so that if in the
25 deliberations the Judges need it, each of the parties
1 should know that this is a book which was part of the
2 inter parte proceedings.
3 You will give it now to the -- give it to the
4 registrar but also tell us the publisher of the book.
5 THE REGISTRAR: In order to comply with what
6 you've just said, Mr. President, this will be 496,
8 JUDGE JORDA: All right. We can now go back
9 to your testimony, and in that we can find -- did you
10 find the names of the victims that you were asked to
11 find by the Prosecutor?
12 A. I have looked inside, and I see that it is a
13 document signed by the competent authorities of the
14 HVO, without name and surname. Later on in my research
15 I -- this is not in the book, but I haven't got the
16 document with me. So I cannot comply with that at the
18 MR. HARMON:
19 Q. Now, Mr. Mlivoncic, did you then verify the
20 deaths of those seven individuals? You don't have the
21 document. Did you verify, either through victim
22 testimony or witness testimony about the deaths of
23 those particular seven people before you included it in
24 your book?
25 A. Every document that I relied on I endeavoured
1 to verify it. I had documents which were opposite in
2 what they stated, opposite to each other, contrary in
3 content. Then I would go in the field to talk to the
4 families and relations of those individuals, and after
5 that I listed the names and surnames. And the document
6 that was put out by the HVO authorities with a
7 signature and stamp, that was a proper document for
9 Q. I understand, but the HVO document, as I
10 understood your testimony, didn't identify the seven
11 victims; is that correct?
12 A. When I collected material for my book I did
13 not have an identification of the victims with their
14 names and surnames, but later on, and this will be
15 included in the second edition of my book, you will
16 have the victim Ivan Blaskic. He too was a victim of
17 war, and he is not included in the book.
18 Q. My question is: Do you have and did you ever
19 ascertain the names of the seven victims who were
20 killed on the 18th of April, 1993?
21 A. Yes. I have said a moment ago I have the
22 document now in my archives, but I was not able to
23 include it in my book because I got the document in the
24 course of last year, last autumn, and I gave my
25 manuscript for publication in 1997, in June. So this
1 is a document that will be included in the second
2 edition of my book when it comes out in print.
3 Q. Mr. Mlivoncic, were the seven victims HVO
4 soldiers who were killed in combat?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know the ages of those particular
8 A. I can't remember them all, because there were
9 1.600 names and I can't remember those particular
10 seven. It's very difficult.
11 Q. Okay. Well, did you talk to the relatives of
12 those particular seven victims, and if so, when?
13 A. I talked to Father Ivan Pervan the parish
14 priest of Kiseljak, and he will do what is necessary.
15 Q. So I take it the answer to my question is you
16 did not talk to the relatives of the seven alleged
17 victims who perished in Kiseljak on 18th April, 1993,
18 instead you talked to Father Pervan.
19 A. It's the parish priest, and he records into
20 the book of deaths all the deaths of all his
21 parishioners. They are his parishioners and so it is
22 his responsibility.
23 Q. Does Father Pervan record in the book of
24 parishioners the facts and circumstances under which
25 his parishioners died?
1 A. I have said, in explaining the methodology of
2 my research, that I tried to find documents with the
3 church authorities. The church authorities did not
4 fulfil their canonic duties, that is to say, to keep
5 records and chronicles of the parish that they should
6 have done. There were rare examples. One of these
7 parish priests from Kupres did published a chronicle of
8 his parish and it contained all the relevant facts, but
9 most of them did not dare record all these facts and
10 the chronicle of their parish, because they were afraid
11 that this might fall into the hands of the Muslim
12 Bosniak forces authorities, and that afterwards they
13 would have very adverse consequences.
14 Q. I understand and you've made that perfectly
15 clear, but I'm still focusing be on these seven alleged
16 victims. You've told us you didn't interview the
17 relatives of those victims, that you saw a list of
18 parishioners of Father Pervan's that were dead. Are
19 you now saying that Father Pervan didn't include the
20 facts and circumstances under which his seven
21 parishioners died on the 18th of April, 1993?
22 A. It's not his responsibility in keeping this
23 chronicle. He just has to note that so and so died at
24 such and such a place, his parishioners.
25 Q. All right. Then, sir, how do you conclude
1 that there were seven war crimes victims in Kiseljak on
2 the 18th of April, 1993, if you haven't interviewed any
3 of the relatives of these alleged seven victims in
4 Father Pervan's log where he identified seven people of
5 his parish who had died? How do you conclude that
6 these seven people were war crimes victims?
7 A. My basis was the document given by the
8 competent authority of the HVO of Kiseljak.
9 Q. I see. Let me then change the topic and
10 perhaps the location, and if you would kindly turn to
11 the -- bear with me for just a moment.
12 May I have just a moment, Mr. President? I
13 have to find a particular map.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Go ahead. Take your
16 MR. HARMON:
17 Q. Yes. I have found it. Could you please --
18 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please.
19 Please proceed, Mr. Harmon.
20 MR. HARMON: If we could have the map that is
21 of the municipality of Novi Travnik (sic) placed on the
22 ELMO. I would like to ask you some questions about
23 that, Mr. Mlivoncic.
24 Q. Now, could you -- Mr. Usher, would you kindly
25 move that -- I'm sorry. I'm asking for the map of
1 Travnik. If I said Novi Travnik, I misspoke.
2 Now, you can see at the bottom of that
3 particular exhibit, it says Nova Bila hospital, and
4 it's not visible on the ELMO, so if the usher could
5 move that up a bit -- the other direction, please.
6 There at the bottom; it's visible now. It says 1993
7 and 1994, 30 victims. Who were those victims,
8 Mr. Mlivoncic?
9 A. These are victims who were wounded in the
10 conflicts in Busovaca, Travnik, Vitez, Novi Travnik,
11 and who passed away, passed away in the hospital, as an
12 effect of these severe wounds.
13 Q. So these were combat victims; is that
15 A. A child that is severely wounded on the 10th
16 of June, I believe, 1993, in Travnik, when five
17 children died the same day, three of them in hospital,
18 as a consequence of their serious wounds. Those were
19 not war operations, that was a shell that was fired at
20 children who were playing. That is one example.
21 Q. All right. And those were some of the people
22 who died in the Nova Bila hospital who you include
23 amongst the 30 victims.
24 A. This does not include wounded HVO soldiers
25 who were brought in as wounded from combat action.
1 Q. My question is: Can you please help us in
2 identifying the 30 victims who you have included as
3 victims of war crimes in the Nova Bila hospital between
4 1993 and 1994? Does your book identify them by name?
5 A. No, I did not identify them by name.
6 Q. What did you use to --
7 A. Just a minute. Some of those who died there
8 were included as war victims in the municipality of
9 Vitez or the municipality of Travnik, so they are not
10 part of the total number from that municipality. For
11 example, these three children who died, if they died in
12 the municipality of Vitez, in Nova Bila, they were not
13 included in the total number of persons killed in
14 Vitez, they were included in this number, but their
15 names were mentioned there. This was done for reasons
16 of methodology, that civilians and children died in
17 hospital as a consequence of their serious wounds
18 because it was necessary to state this for a reason.
19 These children were not helped, they could
20 not stay alive, and intentionally they were not
21 helped. I remember when -- I can't remember his name,
22 though -- when a doctor from Split asked for an
23 UNPROFOR helicopter to bring in a seven-year-old boy to
24 the hospital in Split because they knew that he would
25 die if he were not transferred to Split, the commander
1 of UNPROFOR just waved his hand and he would not take
2 this child.
3 Q. Sir, if there was combat activity going on
4 between the HVO and the ABiH and a shell landed in an
5 area where combat operations were taking place and a
6 civilian was killed, did you include that in your
8 A. The statistics includes true victims:
9 civilians who were killed because there was immediate
10 action against civilians, not HVO units. These
11 children who got killed in Vitez, they were children
12 playing in the street, and at that time, there were no
13 military operations going on, no military activity when
14 those children were killed.
15 Q. Were they killed by a shell that landed in
17 A. Yes, a shell, a shell. A shell landed -- I'm
18 not very well-versed in military matters, but they tell
19 me that it was a guided shell, and the children were
20 playing in a well-sheltered area, a quiet area in
21 Vitez, and Muslim and Croat children were playing
22 there; and that day, when this tragedy occurred, no
23 Muslim children were playing with the Croatian
24 children, and one may draw a conclusion on that basis.
25 Q. Now, could you please tell me about the 27
1 other victims who are included in this particular map
2 showing that 30 victims died in the Nova Bila
3 hospital? Can you tell me the facts and circumstances
4 under which those 27 victims were included in your
5 statistics of war crime victims?
6 A. It's a bit difficult without these documents
7 that I have at home and that are not included in the
8 book. At home, I have over 6.000 documents that I
9 compiled, and I cannot remember each and every
10 individual, each and every individual circumstance, and
11 each and every individual operation and example. It's
12 very difficult.
13 Q. I understand. I'm trying to get some clarity
14 on these exhibits that I have to deal with in this
15 courtroom. Are there boxes on these maps that describe
16 victims of war crimes that are not described in your
17 book but are described in your archives that you have
18 yet to make public?
19 A. I did not publish everything that I have in
20 my archives. That would have been a very voluminous
21 book. I just publish the names and surnames and the
22 circumstances that I am familiar with. Who could
23 publish all of that? And also quite a few of these
24 documents had been published already. I don't know if
25 you have these books that were published, and they
1 include witness statements that I often invoke. Some
2 of them were here, they spoke here, and their
3 statements were published.
4 Q. My question again is: Do these exhibits --
5 first of all, did you help prepare these exhibits?
6 A. In what sense?
7 Q. By providing information to the Defence so
8 the Defence or you could prepare the exhibits?
9 Alternatively, did you review these exhibits before
10 they have been presented into evidence?
11 A. Could I just take a second, please, to show
12 my book to you?
13 Q. Bear with me for just a minute, please, sir.
14 Did you review these exhibits and is there data in
15 these exhibits that is not included in your book?
16 A. In my book, there are graphs for certain
17 municipalities, and this was made on the basis of that,
18 and I must say that I did not compare the two because I
19 saw this only last night, so I did not compare each and
20 every municipality, et cetera.
21 Q. Now, let me just come back to a question I
22 asked earlier and I'm not sure of your answer.
23 If there was shelling between the Armija,
24 shelling into territory held by the HVO, and civilians
25 were killed as a result of that shelling, did you
1 include in your statistics those civilians who were
2 killed as a result of that shelling?
3 A. I did not include such data.
4 Q. Now, let me turn to the map on Zenica. Can
5 we have that, please, on the ELMO?
6 All right. Now, will you take a look at that
7 map, please, and you will see on the right-hand side of
8 that particular map it says: Zenica April 1993, 36
9 victims. Do you know the names of those victims, sir?
10 A. I do not know the names of these victims. I
11 know the names of Susanj, Cajdras, I have all those
12 names, but here I just have a document that was also
13 given by the competent body.
14 Q. What was the competent body that said that
15 there were 36 victims of war crimes who happened to be
16 Croat nationality?
17 A. I don't have the documents now, but I think
18 it's the Ministry, whatever it was called, of the
19 Interior of Herceg-Bosna.
20 Q. So the Herceg-Bosna Ministry of the Interior
21 gave you a document saying that there were 36 victims
22 in Zenica in April of 1993; is that correct?
23 A. I told you that I had all the documents that
24 the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna had in Mostar,
25 all of those that are kept in Mostar were made
1 available to me, and I took quite a few of them and
2 photocopied quite a few of them. I mean, I have them
3 at my home among my documents.
4 Q. Did that particular set of documents include
5 the identities of those 36 alleged victims who perished
6 in Zenica municipality in April of 1993? I should say
7 in Zenica city, not Zenica municipality.
8 A. I am not in a position to answer that. I
9 cannot remember.
10 Q. Did you go to Zenica and did you talk to
11 the -- can I finish my question --
12 A. I can't --
13 Q. Can I finish my question, please? Did you go
14 to Zenica and interview the relatives of those alleged
15 36 victims who perished in Zenica city in April of
17 A. I didn't talk to the relatives, but I did
18 talk to the then parish priest, Father Stjepan Radic.
19 Q. And it is Father Stjepan Radic who informed
20 you that there were 36 victims who perished in April of
21 1993 in the Zenica municipality or -- let me pose it
22 slightly differently: Did Father Stjepan show you a
23 logbook that showed that 36 of his parishioners had
24 perished in April of 1993?
25 A. No. I only talked to him on one occasion in
1 Split, and he only confirmed this to me. There were
2 other such situations that I clarified; for example,
3 that kind of situation existed in the village of Susanj
4 where, on the 15th and the 16th, there were 17
5 victims. I didn't know what all of that was about.
6 But when I talked to a Franciscan, his name is
7 Dr. Father Ivo Markovic, and recently he received an
8 international peace award in Vienna, and then he gave
9 me something that he had written, and he wrote a
10 document and he sent it to the then President of the
11 Court and he described how his father was killed in
12 Susanj and several of his close relatives, and I have
13 that document in my book, and that is how I resolved
14 things that I needed to resolve.
15 Q. I'm not talking about Susanj, I'm talking
16 about Zenica and I'm talking about the entry that is on
17 this particular exhibit. Did Father Stjepan give you
18 the details about how those 33 or 36 alleged victims
19 perished? Did he give you the facts?
20 A. No. I didn't ask him for the facts either
21 because this was towards the end of my manuscript, so I
22 did not go for the identification of each and every
23 individual because there are quite a few victims who
24 are not mentioned by name, and that is the case in this
25 particular instance too.
1 Q. So is it fair to say that in respect of this
2 particular exhibit and in respect of the 36 alleged
3 victims who were identified as victims of war crimes in
4 Zenica in April of 1993, you don't know how they died?
5 A. I found out about some of them. They were
6 victims from certain camps, like the music school.
7 They were victims of sniper fire, and victims were
8 killed under strange circumstances, all of them Croats.
9 Q. Now, let me turn to your statistic that
10 appears on the first page of your composite map, and in
11 the lower right-hand corner, it indicates that there
12 were a total of 140.000 Croat refugees.
13 Now, during the course of your research, were
14 you acquainted with the HVO doctrine espoused by the
15 various political leaders in the Herceg-Bosna political
16 structure of the humanitarian resettlement of
17 population? Have you ever heard of that term?
18 A. It's not only that I've heard of it, I wrote
19 against it.
20 Q. Okay. What was the humanitarian resettlement
21 of population that was advocated by political leaders
22 of Herceg-Bosna?
23 A. I think that that is beyond the scope, but I
24 can give you my opinion personally and privately.
25 However, this is not a consequence of ethnic cleansing
1 or the resettlement of the population, for example.
2 Take the example of my native Vares. Under
3 the attacks of the BH army on the 3rd of November,
4 1993, eight and a half thousand Croats fled from Vares
5 before the Muslims, among them my very own brother.
6 They came to Split. This was not a human resettlement
7 and this was not under the influence of politics or
8 whatever, this was under a threat that there would be
9 revenge taken for Stupni Do, and therefore, people,
10 Croats, fled.
11 So the statistics I have about refugees
12 and expellees, this is not from the official records of
13 the policymakers in Bosnia but these are church records
14 because parish priests fled, together with their
15 parishioners, hoping that they could come back as soon
16 as possible.
17 Q. Now let me ask you my question once again --
18 A. One more thing. It is a well-known thing
19 that Bosnian Franciscans, generally speaking, were
20 against the policy of human resettlement, and Cardinal
21 Puljic himself spoke against this so many times.
22 Q. Let me ask you again: What was the policy of
23 humanitarian resettlement of people that you wrote
24 against and that was advocated by the HVO? Would you
25 please tell the Judges?
1 A. I think that this is beyond what we are
2 dealing with here and now. The basis of humane
3 resettlement was the policy of those forces that wanted
4 to divide Bosnia into three parts.
5 Q. Now, was the policy of the HVO that you wrote
6 against a policy that was a policy of mono-ethnicity in
7 certain geographic areas, that Croats should live
8 together, Muslims should live separately, that Serbs
9 should live separately? Was that the ideology that you
10 wrote against?
11 A. Yes, but it was not an ideology of the
12 Croatian extremists only, so to speak, or Croatian
13 extremist policy. This ideology of humane
14 resettlement, if you really want to know, was a policy
15 of Bosniak Muslims too.
16 Q. Was it a policy of leaders of Herceg-Bosna?
17 A. I did not investigate that in great depth,
18 but deep in my heart, I'm against this, because I
19 wanted my relatives, my brother, to live in his own
20 house in Vares, so I was always opposed to that policy.
21 Q. Well, my question is: You lived in the area
22 and you did extensive research in this area and you
23 made certain conclusions in respect of the number of
24 Croat refugees that left various areas, various
25 municipalities, and my question to you is: Are you
1 familiar with the policy of humanitarian resettlement
2 of civilians, and was that policy a policy that was
3 advocated by political leaders of Herceg-Bosna?
4 A. My information on displaced persons or
5 refugees did not emerge from the policy of humanitarian
6 resettlement, and so this concept was not something I
7 was interested in in my research and did not write
8 about it. I spoke against the policy only in concrete
9 situations, when, for example, my own Croats of Vares
10 went elsewhere.
11 Q. Did you ever criticise the HVO authorities
12 for advocating such a policy?
13 A. Yes, in concrete terms, but I did not write
14 global comments. I always write on concrete matters
15 and concrete phenomena.
16 Q. Now, in advocating that particular policy, to
17 get Croats to live with Croats and Muslims to live with
18 Muslims, did the HVO encourage Croats who were living
19 in multi-ethnic areas to come to live in areas that
20 were dominated by the HVO in Herceg-Bosna?
21 A. As I said, I did not deal with this problem
22 especially, and so that subject matter is not the
23 subject of my own research.
24 Q. Do you know from your own experience, sir,
25 whether the leaders encouraged Croats, for example,
1 Croats who lived in Zenica, to come to Vitez where
2 Vitez was controlled and dominated by the HVO?
3 A. I don't know that.
4 Q. Do you know, sir, what percentage of these
5 140.000 refugees that you have identified were refugees
6 and came as a result, and left their homes as a result,
7 of hearing HVO information, propaganda, and
8 encouragement to come to areas dominated by the HVO?
9 Do you know how many of those 140.000 refugees moved
10 because of that phenomenon?
11 A. I did not do research into that. I have
12 facts and figures, data from the religious authorities
13 who said that these were their religious displaced
14 persons and refugees. I did not go into the
15 circumstances of humanitarian resettlement, HVO policy,
16 resettlement of Herceg-Bosna and so on. I did not do
17 research into that. But from the situation I do know
18 that 8.500 Croats left Bas (phoen) in one night. This
19 is not nothing that any kind of policy can do. It was
20 fear that motivated it, particularly from the BH army.
21 Q. Would you agree with me Mr. Mlivoncic that
22 the figures of 140.000 refugees include people who left
23 because they were afraid of retaliation? You
24 mentioned, for example, Stupni Do and people leaving
25 because of fear of retaliation from of the consequences
1 of Stupni Do, but would you also agree with me, sir,
2 that a large number of people, or a certain number of
3 these people who became refugees became refugees
4 because they were induced to leave their homes by the
5 HVO propaganda that encouraged people to leave and come
6 areas dominated by the Croats, or do you know?
7 A. I can suppose that there were people like
8 that, but what quantities and whether that was decisive
9 or not, I don't know. It would be a good idea to have
10 a real sociological research into the motives of the
11 refugees and displaced persons, to know the reasons why
12 they did flee and leave.
13 Q. So your study doesn't purport to do that kind
14 of research?
15 A. It's not a sociological study of refugees and
16 displaced persons.
17 Q. Now, let me turn -- if I could now next turn
18 to one more map and one final map, and that's the map
19 of the municipality of Vitez.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Are you talking about Vitez or
21 Vares? (Translation indiscernible).
22 MR. HARMON:
23 Q. Now, let's focus our attention briefly on
24 this particular map, Mr. Mlivoncic, and let me direct
25 your attention to the box -- Mr. Usher, could you move
1 that up toward -- that's correct.
2 The box that says Krizancevo Selo, and it
3 says December 22, 1993, 74 victims. Can you tell the
4 Court the circumstances under which those 74 victims
5 perished on the 22nd of December, 1993?
6 A. Well, I would have to read what I wrote in my
8 Q. Please do so.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Take your time. Perhaps I
10 could ask Mr. Fourmy: You don't have this chart?
11 Perhaps you could take it. I'm trying to do some
12 calculations, so I don't really see -- I would be
13 curious. Well, I just don't see it. Could you do the
14 additions for me? I can't seem to add things up.
15 Perhaps I've done it wrong.
16 Mr. Nobilo, in respect of the figures on the
17 maps, do they have to correspond with the figures on
18 the municipality? Do the figures indicated on the map
19 match the figures that are indicated on the graph?
20 MR. NOBILO: They should, yes.
21 JUDGE JORDA: I was curious, and I wanted to
22 add it up myself and to see if they corresponded and
23 they don't. Perhaps we could ask the witness. You
24 see, as soon as I -- it's a mania of mine. Every time
25 I see figures I want to add them up.
1 MR. NOBILO: Quite simply, we gave this book
2 to the technicians who then devised these things, and I
3 hope that they copied the figures out correctly.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Mlivoncic, I have a
5 question. As regards these numbers that appear here,
6 are they supposed to match the ones that are on the
7 other piece of paper or not at all?
8 A. They should, yes.
9 JUDGE JORDA: You have to be careful. I've
10 checked them and they don't. They don't match at all.
11 Zenica doesn't match -- well, it isn't a problem.
12 Unfortunately, we're speaking of victims, and it's a
13 dreadful thing to do this, but in a court things have
14 to be precise.
15 I can point them out to you very
17 A. A methodological comment -- .
18 JUDGE JORDA: Kondjic (phoen) doesn't
19 correspond, Mostar does correspond. I stopped at that
20 point. I really don't see how the figures match.
21 A. No, not in order. May I clarify matters?
22 JUDGE JORDA: Perhaps there is an
24 MR. NOBILO: Yes, of course. Perhaps we can
25 compare as the first method --
1 A. Let me explain, please. Here you have data
2 as to the individual municipalities. The victims
3 according to the individual municipalities. On the
4 other maps you have Krizancevo Selo, and it says such
5 and such a number. These places indicate only where
6 there have been more victims. So as a rule, there
7 should be less here, because if one person was killed
8 by a sniper that was not included. I didn't understand
9 you straight off.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you for the
11 clarification, but there is the final chart and the
12 legal officer is checking things. Excuse me for the
13 interruption, but I wanted things to be clear.
14 I interrupted you, Mr. Mlivoncic. You were
15 doing some research for the Office of the Prosecutor.
16 MR. NOBILO: The places where there was a
17 mass grave, mass graves.
18 A. Over three.
19 MR. HARMON:
20 Q. My question to you, sir, was: Can you please
21 describe the circumstances under which 74 people,
22 victims, in Krizancevo Selo are calculated as war
23 crimes victims? What does your book say?
24 A. In my book there are two pages which indicate
25 the days on which certain victims were identified.
1 Part of this is on the 22nd of January, the other on
2 the 23rd, 24th, and mostly on the 1st of February. I
3 did not, for each of these, include all the facts
4 relating to their identification. In the document each
5 individual is dealt with and says whether his leg is
6 broken, whether they were killed by -- how do you say
7 it? I'm not a soldier. Whether they were killed by
8 firearms, or a blunt object such as a knife or anything
9 with a blade. Then we can conclude whether he died in
10 battle as a soldier, whether he was killed as a soldier
11 in battle. And if the autopsy showed that somebody
12 wearing an HVO uniform but was killed by a rifle in his
13 neck, then that was not in combat, he did not die in
15 Q. Let me ask you, stay with me for a moment,
16 Mr. Mlivoncic: This box that shows 74 victims of war
17 crimes in Krizancevo Selo on the December 22, 1993, are
18 you now saying that this does not represent a single
19 event where 74 people were the victims of the ABiH on
20 December 22, 1993? Please tell us what this box
22 A. I don't think we understood each other. I
23 said that those victims were identified on different
24 days, on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th of January, 1994, and
25 most of them on the 1st of February, 1994. And they
1 were all victims of that particular night when this
2 happened, because in Krizancevo Selo, we were not able
3 to reach Krizancevo Selo immediately after the event.
4 And Sir Martin Garaud (phoen) tried to get
5 authorisation to do so, and he was told if he tried to
6 go with UNPROFOR he would be shot at. That was what
7 they told him in the 7th Corps in Zenica.
8 Q. So are these people who perished in 1994 as
9 opposed to 1993?
10 A. No, no. They died on that day, which
11 would -- on the date that was stated, the 22nd of
12 December. On the eve of Christmas 1993. Their bodies
13 were identified on the days I mentioned.
14 Q. Let me ask you, are you aware that the United
15 Nations British battalion did an exhumation at
16 Krizancevo Selo?
17 A. Those are the results of that, precisely
18 that, because I had the document relating to the
20 Q. And are you aware that the British battalion
21 concluded that most of those victims were victims of
23 A. According to the autopsies and the manner
24 which these victims died, they were not killed in
25 battle, a direct military battle.
1 Q. Now, let me turn your attention lastly to the
2 box that is above that on that very same map, and it
3 says Nadioci, February 8, 1993. Can you please
4 identify those three victims and the circumstances
5 under which they perished?
6 JUDGE JORDA: We're trying to finish
7 tonight. Can the witness come back?
8 A. It's a bit difficult for me to find all this
9 because it's an extensive text, particularly Vitez.
10 MR. HARMON: I will be finished in a moment,
11 Mr. President.
12 A. In Nadioci and the village of Poculice, Ivo
13 Vidovic, Jovo Vidovic and Pero Papic, those were the
14 ones killed there.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. And --
17 A. They were killed there but they come from the
18 village of Poculice.
19 Q. They were killed in Nadioci on February the
20 8th, 1993?
21 A. (No audible answer)
22 Q. What were the circumstances of their deaths?
23 A. Well, you would have had to engage me to give
24 you all this. There was shooting.
25 Q. Shooting between whom?
1 A. Those three males and five women. Five of
2 them in the house. Ivo Vidovic showed signs of life
3 after the shooting but he bled and died soon
4 afterwards, and five women from the village of
5 Putkovici were also wounded. They were all -- they all
6 took shelter in one house, and the Bosniak Muslim
7 forces shot at them and they were killed.
8 A doctor was called to the scene, and five
9 other medical assistants turned up, and Nelvojko --
10 they gave -- offered assistance very slowly, and the
11 wounded Ivan Vidovic died because their medical
12 assistance was not wholeheartedly given.
13 Q. Now, let me ask you briefly one last question
14 in that respect. Who identified the people who were
15 the perpetrators as being members of the Armija?
16 A. I haven't got the documents for that, but I
17 think it was the Ministry or the Prosecutor's Office of
18 the HVO or the Ministry of the Interior or Military
19 Prosecutor's Office.
20 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Mlivoncic. I
21 appreciate your patience.
22 I have no further questions, Mr. President
23 and Your Honours.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Harmon.
25 Mr. Nobilo, do you want to bring in any clarifications
1 to your redirect?
2 MR. NOBILO: Yes, very briefly.
3 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:
4 Q. Tell me, Mr. Mlivoncic, how many documents
5 did you use when you wrote this book?
6 A. The documents that exist in the War Crimes
7 Commission of the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna
8 are estimated to be around 10.000. I had a look at all
9 of these documents. Sixty per cent of them pertain to
10 the fighting between the Bosniak Muslims and the
11 Croats, and the remainder concerns the fighting with
12 the Chetniks. And there are others, thousands of
13 documents that I compiled and that I got from the
14 church authorities.
15 Q. This book is a summary of those 7.000
16 documents; is that correct?
17 A. That is correct.
18 Q. Tell me, objectively speaking, do you believe
19 that each and every one of these figures is absolutely
21 A. I wrote in the forward to my book that this
22 is not definite, that this research is not definite,
23 that this is a research in global terms showing global
24 facts, that there may be mistakes in terms of the
25 location, the number and sometimes in terms of figures
1 too, and that, therefore, further research is required,
2 and that's why I continued my research.
3 But there's one more thing I wish to add. In
4 this additional research of mine, there is a concrete
5 example that shows that I gave the exact names in
6 Grmace, the 13 Croats that were buried in a joint
7 grave. When there was an exhumation on the 4th and 5th
8 of March, 1998, exactly 13 victims were exhumed, those
9 that I mentioned in my book. And when their relatives
10 identified them I was there, I was present at the
11 exhumation, and they recognised and identified all of
12 their own folk. So the exhumations and post-mortem
13 will supplement the book and confirm that which is
14 contained in the basic documents that I used.
15 Q. So can we conclude that you do not consider
16 this document to be finished, absolutely accurate and
17 that it is possible that future research is going to
18 lead to certain changes?
19 A. I hope so, and that is my wish, out of
20 respect for the dead. All the victims have the right
21 to be known. They have the right to having a name and
22 surname, and I hope that someone is going to
23 investigate the perpetrators of the crimes committed
24 against these victims, because the names and surnames
25 of these perpetrators have to be known, not for the
1 sake of revenge but for the sake of the future.
2 Q. So could you please tell us, in conclusion,
3 who did you dedicate your research to?
4 A. Since I believe that all victims are the
5 same, that there are no greater or lesser victims and
6 that there are no victims that are mine and those that
7 belong to others, that there are no victims that belong
8 to my people and other people, I dedicated my book as
9 follows: "The book is dedicated to all victims of the
10 war conflict between Croats and Bosniak Muslims in
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina in the period from 1992 to 1994
12 regardless of their ethnic background."
13 MR. NOBILO: Thank you Mr. President. We
14 have thus concluded the redirect too.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen?
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Mlivoncic -- I want
17 to talk to you about the --
18 A. I can't hear any of this.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: It has been mended now?
20 You can hear me?
21 A. Fine, fine.
22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Then I wanted to ask a
23 little question or two about the 18 Croatian victims at
24 Kiseljak. I think counsel examined you on the point,
25 and your final answer was that you considered these
1 were crimes because that was the basis on which the
2 matter was presented to you by an HVO document. Is my
3 recollection of your testimony correct?
4 A. Yes, yes. I relied on that document.
5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You're saying it much
6 better than I did.
7 As an experienced journalist, sir, would you
8 recognise a distinction between an allegation and a
9 finding, an allegation of fact and a fact itself?
10 A. I was in such a dilemma several times because
11 I had different data concerning the same event. This
12 particularly pertains to newspaper articles that I used
13 to prepare, and then I had to confront documents and
14 seek answers to my dilemma.
15 For example, the issue I mentioned, Susanj,
16 where there were 17 victims, and there were different
17 rumours, and rumour also had it that the Croats had
18 killed their own people, and this dilemma was resolved
19 for me by Dr. Father Ivo Markovic because this is his
20 village, his relatives, and he got me this document,
21 and I published that document in my book. So these
22 were those cases.
23 But as regards the documents that were given
24 by the competent bodies of Herceg-Bosna, all these
25 documents were written by professionals. They were
1 written either by lawyers or attorneys or military
2 legal men. These were documents with a number and a
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Mlivoncic, how would
5 you like the Court to receive your evidence? Should
6 the Court receive your evidence as a set of allegations
7 or would you like the Court to receive your evidence as
8 evidence of facts?
9 A. I wrote in the forward to my book that I'm
10 not accusing anyone. I'm not accusing anyone. I am
11 trying to present the truth and let the truth be known.
12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So would I be right in
13 understanding you to mean that you are presenting firm
15 A. I wrote in the forward to my book that I
16 believe that certain facts will be corrected but not to
17 such an extent as to bring into question the entire
18 body of research.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, you have had a long
20 career as a journalist. Should I look upon the matter
21 this way? If somebody says "These are the facts," then
22 should I ask two questions: (1) Was the person
23 impartial? (2) What was the procedure which the person
25 A. I did not quite understand what you said.
1 You mean the person whose documents I took, the person
2 I communicated with?
3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You're quite right in
4 faulting me. I didn't express myself clearly. I was
5 talking about a person who was presenting the material
6 to the Court who was saying "These are the facts."
7 A. You're talking about me?
8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Exactly.
9 A. You can judge on the basis of my
10 presentation. I said that out of respect for the
11 victims, I do all of this. I would very gladly, in the
12 same way, process the victims who were victims that
13 were Muslims and who had crimes committed by Croats
14 over them if I had the right documents, so I think that
15 you will understand my answer.
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I appreciate your
17 position. But meanwhile, you have been talking to us
18 this afternoon about crimes committed against Croats;
19 is that correct?
20 A. (No audible response)
21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you investigate
22 crimes committed by Croats?
23 A. I was not in a position to obtain documents,
24 but where I did know, as in the case of Stupni Do, I
25 made public the documents that I had obtained, and I
1 publicly condemned the crime committed by individuals
2 belonging to my own people because I thought that this
3 was a Croatian shame.
4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Let me ask you one or
5 two last questions. Suppose you were served up by the
6 BiH with a document and that that document said the HVO
7 committed 18 war crimes. What would you say: that was
8 an allegation or a finding of fact?
9 A. It is a question related to the quality of
10 the document itself. If I get it from the competent
11 bodies of BH and it has all of the other qualifications
12 according to which one can believe a document, then I
13 would trust that document.
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I come now to my last
15 question. It concerns refugees. I think you said
16 there were 140.000 refugees.
17 A. Yes.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And at two minutes past
19 5.00, counsel was examining you, and you said that --
20 he was examining you about this concept of human
21 resettlement policy against which you, to your credit,
22 wrote, and you said that human resettlement was a
23 policy of Bosniak Muslims. In effect, you were saying
24 it wasn't confined to one side.
25 Now, was it a policy of the HVO?
1 A. It was of part of the HVO, but I did not
2 follow the official positions taken by the main bodies
3 of the HVO, so I cannot give you a precise answer to
4 that question because I did not show any special
5 interest in such things in such a way because humane
6 resettlement for me is primarily a moral category and
7 only then a political category. You cannot ask a
8 person to leave his home, his roots, the graves of his
9 forefathers for political reasons.
10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now I take the
11 opportunity of correcting myself. I spoke of human
12 resettlement policy. Your term was "humane"
13 resettlement policy.
14 Thank you very much, Mr. Mlivoncic. I hope
15 you have a good trip back to your home.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Mlivoncic -- actually,
17 first I'd like to thank Judge Shahabuddeen for his
18 always asking relevant questions which will allow us to
19 complete the proceedings quickly.
20 I would first like you to reverify your
21 figures that are on the general chart because they are
22 not absolutely correct, but I'm sure that that's an
23 arithmetical error, and these are rather sinister
24 calculations that we're doing here, and, of course, one
25 must pay tribute to all the victims, no matter where
1 they came from, whether they were Croatians or Muslims,
2 and I think the International Tribunal in this respect
3 always takes into consideration the victims from no
4 matter where they come.
5 Before you came to testify here --, do you
6 hear me? First of all, do you hear me well?
7 A. I do. I do.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Did you know the names of the
9 villages that are included in the indictment, that
10 appear in the indictment? Did Defence counsel have the
11 opportunity to indicate them to you?
12 A. I saw most of these places by myself, most of
13 these places where these victims came from, because
14 even as a young man, I walked on foot all over Bosnia,
15 and I have some very pleasant memories of travelling in
16 these places, talking to people, the way they welcomed
17 me there, but this is from way back.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Well, I'm not speaking to you
19 about your pleasant experiences; that's not what we're
20 speaking about here. But I just wanted to know
21 whether, when you prepared yourself to come to testify
22 here, were you given the list of the vicinities or
23 villages, according to which the Prosecution, there
24 were combatants (sic), women and children, who were
25 killed, and my question is to know whether you were
1 able to know whether there were Croatian dead. For
2 example, in the village of Ahmici; was this village
3 covered by your study?
4 A. I did not get any suggestions from anyone. I
5 had been to Ahmici, but not at the time when the crime
6 was committed. But afterwards, I would go there -- for
7 example --
8 JUDGE JORDA: I think we're misunderstanding
9 one another. What I wanted to know is, when you
10 prepared yourself to come here, did you have the
11 curiosity which would have led you to compare the
12 villages which the Prosecution claims -- in which the
13 Prosecution claims that there were dead, compare them
14 with the villages for which you did your research in
15 order to find out the numbers of Croatian deaths? For
16 example, in Nadioci, I think you concerned yourself
17 with Nadioci, but I could ask you questions about other
18 villages. Did you prepare yourself for that or not at
20 A. No, I did not. Only what I wrote in my book,
21 and I thought that I could resort to my book and to
22 data contained in the book. But in my research, as I
23 investigated, I did go to different places, starting
24 from 1994. I went to my hometown of Vares a few months
25 after the exodus.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I understand. Although
2 you did not have documents, at any point did you ask
3 yourself any kind of comparative question which would
4 allow the Judges to have a better idea of the scope of
5 the humanitarian catastrophe that took place in that
6 region? For example, when you would go to Kiseljak, to
7 Vitez, to those municipalities, did you focus only on
8 Croatian dead or did you ask yourself the question
9 which would enable you to know whether there were a
10 larger number, a smaller number on one side than on the
11 other, or was that not part of your curiosity, that was
12 not something which was of interest to you?
13 A. The subject of my interest were Muslim
14 victims too, but only in passing as I was talking to
15 people. It's not that I investigated them, compared
16 them, examined them. I did not go into numbers in
17 terms of which nation, which people had more victims,
18 because this is contrary to my scientific research
19 methods, and without comparative research, we cannot
20 make any claims of this nature, so I avoided such
21 comparisons. I only compared the numbers of refugees
22 and displaced persons because these are accurate
23 figures, both one and the other. There are official
24 statistics of the Muslim Bosniak authorities, and they
25 say that 50.000 Muslims were expelled from the area
1 where the HVO and the Muslim Bosniak armies were
2 fighting. So that's the only thing I compared, nothing
4 JUDGE JORDA: In your profession, with which
5 you're familiar, did you hear anything, did you learn
6 anything about any kind of similar works that might
7 have been written on the deaths on the other side, or
8 other sides, or not at all?
9 A. I have not heard of such an all-embracing
10 piece of work. There are partial works. For example,
11 Konjic has -- the municipality of Konjic, the Croats of
12 Konjic carried out their own research, and that was
13 included; but a general piece of research of the crimes
14 committed by Croats against the Muslims, I don't know
15 of such a piece of work being published.
16 JUDGE JORDA: I have a final question which
17 is a very simple one: This work of yours, where was it
18 printed? In Croatia or in Bosnia?
19 A. In Croatia, in Croatia. Napredak, the
20 Croatian Cultural Society in Split, the Croatian
21 Cultural Society, Napredak in Split, and their head
22 office is in Sarajevo, but as I live in Split, it is
23 only natural that this cultural society should be in
25 JUDGE JORDA: Was the Croatian government
1 interested in your work in one way or another?
2 A. I don't know. I can't tell. We did promote
3 my book in Split, it was presented by Professor
4 Separovic, a well-known scholar, and Nikola Skobic, an
5 attorney from Mostar, well-known, and he is head of the
6 war crimes commission in Herceg-Bosna. So the book was
7 published and information was given that it exists, and
8 it was carried by the media, it was on television and
9 the newspapers, and people know about this book.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. As Judge
11 Shahabuddeen said to you, the Tribunal would like to
12 congratulate you. This is a very complex subject, and
13 the Tribunal would like to express its gratitude to you
14 for having explained the meaning and the scope of the
15 work that you have carried out in such a painful area.
16 We now wish you a safe trip back home. The
17 usher will escort you out of the courtroom, and I will
18 ask us to have a very short closed session in order to
19 measure where we are now and to see what we are going
20 to do in January.
21 Thank you very much, Mr. Mlivoncic.
22 THE WITNESS: I wish to thank you too.
23 (The witness withdrew)
24 JUDGE JORDA: All right. A private session.
25 Mr. Harmon, do you have any exhibits that you want to
2 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, just briefly, I
3 would like to raise a point in the private session that
4 relates to the trial itself before we go into
5 housekeeping matters, but I will wait until we are in
6 private session, and it relates only to a piece of
7 evidence that has been previously introduced this
9 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment. We're going to
10 move into a private session first.
10--- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
11 at 6.20 p.m. to be reconvened on
12 Monday, the 11th day of January, 1999
13 at 2.00 p.m.