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  1. 1 Tuesday, 16th February, 1999

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.10 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Registrar,

    5 have the accused brought in.

    6 (The accused entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning to our friends,

    8 the interpreters. Now we can resume our work.

    9 Mr. Nobilo, all right.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Good morning, Mr. President,

    11 Your Honours. The next witness is Anto Plavcic.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: Anto Plavcic. Plavcic.

    13 MR. NOBILO: Yes, that's correct.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: How long is this going to take,

    15 Mr. Nobilo?

    16 MR. NOBILO: One hour at the most, perhaps a

    17 little less.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, good morning. One

    19 hour. Mr. Cayley, could you put the microphone on,

    20 please?

    21 MR. CAYLEY: My apologies. Good morning,

    22 Mr. President, Your Honours, counsel.

    23 This is a witness which, as you know,

    24 yesterday you were informed that we were given late

    25 notice, so we will be exercising our right to call the

  2. 1 witness back for cross-examination tomorrow morning

    2 because we are still pursuing inquiries in respect of

    3 this witness, and indeed as my learned friend

    4 Mr. Hayman said yesterday, he is perfectly happy to do

    5 that.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Tomorrow morning -- we are not

    7 going to go back to the discussion that we started

    8 yesterday. Tomorrow morning, there is no hearing,

    9 Mr. Cayley. We have already taken up the problem. We

    10 discussed it yesterday. How long did you know that

    11 this witness was going to be here? We have to speed

    12 things up, Mr. Nobilo, Mr. Cayley. At what point did

    13 we know that this witness was going to testify? It was

    14 in January, I believe; was it not?

    15 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, that's the case

    16 for the two witnesses this afternoon. This witness,

    17 Mr. Nobilo and I made a decision to call him on the

    18 late afternoon, as I recall, of the 9th of February,

    19 which is a week ago today, and we faxed the written

    20 notice that evening, around 9.00 or 10.00 in the

    21 evening, when I wrote it. I was working at 9.00 or

    22 10.00 on that evening of the 9th, that's a week ago

    23 today, seven days ago today, and we faxed it at that

    24 time.

    25 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, if I could

  3. 1 clarify what my learned friend has said? The

    2 notification was transmitted to us at 10.16 at night.

    3 When I say "us," the office. We received it on the

    4 morning of the 10th of February, that is, six days'

    5 notice.

    6 We have mechanisms set up to make inquiries

    7 in respect to these witnesses, and we would like to

    8 exercise our right, under the Court's order, to use

    9 that seven days to make proper inquiry with respect to

    10 witnesses.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: I would like to have the

    12 accused heard as soon as possible. I am really tired

    13 of all these quarrels about times and dates. All

    14 right. If you want, I can say that you can do your

    15 cross-examination during the day, but not tomorrow.

    16 That's not possible. We said that today we would hear

    17 the three remaining witnesses. I would like to hear

    18 the three remaining witnesses. That's all. What else

    19 can I say? You know, you have this summary about

    20 Mr. Plavcic, and you should have your arguments ready

    21 for the cross-examination.

    22 All right. For the time being, we are going

    23 to hear him testify, and then the cross-examination --

    24 even if you need an extra hour or two -- but the

    25 witness should be able to leave today. That's how

  4. 1 we're going to work.

    2 Now, with my colleagues, I don't want us to

    3 forget what we talked about yesterday. We brought in

    4 Judge Rodrigues, and very quickly he was forced to do

    5 an extraordinary amount of work in order to put himself

    6 up to date, and now we're still quarrelling about

    7 knowing whether or not the information was sent at 22

    8 hours or 23 hours. I don't really care about any of

    9 this. I want us to be finished with this witness today

    10 and that we move to hearing the evidence of the

    11 accused, who is going to testify for 35 hours, and you

    12 have 35 hours for the cross-examination, and then there

    13 is going to be the rebuttal and the sentencing hearing

    14 and perhaps witnesses that the Judges are going to call

    15 in. We're never going to finish otherwise.

    16 All right. Now I am taking the decision that

    17 we're going to speed things up. Whether you like it or

    18 whether you do not, we are going to finish with the

    19 three witnesses today.

    20 All right. If you need, I will give you some

    21 more time, but today, Mr. Plavcic is not -- he is going

    22 to testify; then he's not going to come back tomorrow.

    23 All right. Let's have the witness brought

    24 right now and begin.

    25 (The witness entered court)

  5. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Plavcic, do you hear me?

    2 It is the Presiding Judge speaking to you. Do you hear

    3 me? Please tell me your name, your first name, the

    4 date and place of your birth, your profession, your

    5 current residence, and then you're going to take an

    6 oath. After that, you may be seated.

    7 All right. Please proceed.

    8 THE WITNESS: My name is Anto Plavcic. I was

    9 born on the 22nd of August, 1954, in Jelinak of the

    10 Busovaca municipality. I am a former citizen of the

    11 SFRY. I am employed in the Mediapan company in

    12 Busovaca. Since my birth, up until the war, I have

    13 lived in the village of Jelinak with the Muslims.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Please take the

    15 both, the oath which the usher has just given you.

    16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    18 truth.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: You may be seated,

    20 Mr. Plavcic. Thank you for having come to the Tribunal

    21 in The Hague for the trial of General Blaskic or, at

    22 the time of the facts that have been alleged, was a

    23 Colonel. He is in this courtroom on your left.

    24 First, you are going to answer Mr. Nobilo's

    25 questions, and then you will answer the Prosecutor's

  6. 1 questions. We will see just when the Prosecutor will

    2 ask his questions during the day. He may need some

    3 extra time in order to prepare.

    4 All right. A maximum one hour, Mr. Nobilo.

    5 If it goes beyond one hour, I am going to stop the

    6 proceedings. Go ahead, please.

    7 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.

    8 Before we begin, I should like to have a map handed

    9 round which will facilitate our orientation during the

    10 testimony.

    11 THE REGISTRAR: This is D533.


    13 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    14 Q. Mr. Plavcic, as you said in your

    15 introduction, you lived in the village of Jelinak --

    16 A. Yes.

    17 Q. -- of the Busovaca municipality. Could you

    18 show us on the map where the village of Jelinak lies

    19 and tell us how many inhabitants or houses the village

    20 has and what the population ratio was between the

    21 Muslim population and the Croats?

    22 A. The village of Jelinak is here (indicating).

    23 It had about 100 houses. I find it very difficult to

    24 point with this hand.

    25 Q. Well, I'm sorry, but we can't change the

  7. 1 ELMO. Turn round a little bit. Perhaps that will make

    2 it easier.

    3 A. This is the village of Jelinak (indicating).

    4 The village of Jelinak had about 100 houses. Fifty

    5 per cent were Muslim inhabitants and 50 per cent were

    6 Croats, which means half-half. In the upper part of

    7 the village was the place where the Muslims lived, and

    8 in the lower part of the village of Jelinak was where

    9 the Croats lived.

    10 Q. Along with the village of Jelinak, there were

    11 two other villages that were relatively nearby, about

    12 100 metres away, Putis and Loncari. Can you explain to

    13 us how big these villages were and what the ethnic

    14 composition of those villages was?

    15 A. Putis is located here (indicating). It is at

    16 a distance from Jelinak of approximately 1.000 metres,

    17 one kilometre. There were about 70 to 80 houses

    18 comprising the village, and 20 to 30 per cent were

    19 Croatian houses.

    20 Q. What about the village of Loncari; can you

    21 point that out to us?

    22 A. The village of Loncari was also located one

    23 kilometre away from the village of Jelinak, and it is a

    24 purely Muslim village with only two or three Serbian

    25 houses in the village. About 70-odd houses; that is

  8. 1 the village.

    2 Q. Well, we can leave the map alone for a

    3 moment, and let us move on to the 15th of April, 1993.

    4 Before that period, is it true that you were the Civil

    5 Defence administrator, officer?

    6 A. Before the war broke out in these regions

    7 between the Croats and the Muslims, I was a member of

    8 the Civil Defence units in the municipality. I was the

    9 officer for the village of Jelinak.

    10 Q. What was the function of the Civil Defence?

    11 A. Well, the Civil Defence officer for the

    12 village of Jelinak was a duty that I performed as I

    13 worked in the Mediapan company, but these were my

    14 civilian duties.

    15 Q. During the war, or later on at any point,

    16 were you a member of the HVO, a soldier?

    17 A. I was never a member of the HVO. I am an

    18 invalid, and I was not able to serve the army in 1972

    19 when I was called up for military service. I underwent

    20 a medical examination and was found unfit.

    21 Q. On the 15th of April, 1993, you were in your

    22 village. Can you describe to us what happened in the

    23 course of the 15th of April, 1993?

    24 A. On the 15th of April, 1993, I was in the

    25 village of Jelinak in my own house there where I lived,

  9. 1 and in the morning hours, I heard shooting in the area

    2 of Kuber, in the vicinity of Kuber (indicating), and

    3 the civilians in the village of Jelinak were very

    4 worried as to what was happening.

    5 Q. Tell me, please, Kuber is the dominant

    6 mountain massive that is situated above the circle on

    7 the map; is that correct?

    8 A. Kuber is a mountain range. It comprises

    9 several hills or mountains, it is a range made up of

    10 several mountains and hills, and it is directly above

    11 the village of Jelinak, some two to three or four

    12 kilometres away, depending which road you take, on

    13 which hill you are referring to.

    14 Q. When did you hear, on the 15th of April,

    15 shooting on Mount Kuber?

    16 A. On the 15th of April, it was in the morning,

    17 I could hear shooting in the region of Kuber, and it

    18 was called Saracevac, that particular area. In fact,

    19 it was the region of Saracevac and the fork between

    20 Vitez, Zenica, and Busovaca.

    21 Q. Who held the positions there on Mount Kuber

    22 up until the 15th of April? Who was in control?

    23 A. On Mount Kuber, the members of the HVO were

    24 in control of the area.

    25 Q. In the course of the day, did you realise

  10. 1 that there were casualties within the HVO, that

    2 somebody had been wounded?

    3 A. In the afternoon hours of the 15th of

    4 April --

    5 Q. Yes, April.

    6 A. -- two men, two wounded men, came to the

    7 village of Jelinak, and they were Slavko Garic and

    8 Dragan Andrijasevic, and they were transferred towards

    9 Kaonik and up to the hospital there further on. That

    10 was the road that they took.

    11 Q. Those two individuals, those two wounded men,

    12 did you realise that they were coming from Mount Kuber

    13 and the fighting there?

    14 A. Well, they came from the direction of Kuber,

    15 yes, and we knew that there was fighting up there.

    16 Slavko Garic was wounded to a lesser extent, he was

    17 able to speak, and he said that the BH army had

    18 attacked the positions of the Croatian Defence Council.

    19 Q. What happened to the civilians? What effect

    20 did this have on the civilian population, that is to

    21 say, the beginning of the fighting there?

    22 A. When we heard shooting and especially when

    23 these two wounded men turned up, evacuated, the

    24 civilians were worried, and so in the afternoon hours,

    25 from the area of -- that is to say, from the village of

  11. 1 Jelinak -- no, the village of Putis, the Croatian

    2 section of the village of Putis, a certain number of

    3 civilians fled up towards Jelinak where they were

    4 lodged with their friends and relations. Some of them

    5 crossed over Jelinak and went towards Kaonik and

    6 further on towards Busovaca.

    7 Q. In the evening hours, was there a lull in the

    8 fighting or could you still hear shooting?

    9 A. In the evening hours, shooting could still be

    10 heard, and it came stronger in the area of Kuber; and

    11 in the evening hours of the 15th, heavy artillery could

    12 be heard from Kicin hill, and there was machine gun

    13 fire, and it was directed against the civilian houses

    14 and the civilians who were fleeing from Putis towards

    15 Jelinak.

    16 Q. Let us move on now to the 16th of April,

    17 1993; that is to say, the following day. Can you

    18 describe to us what that day was like? What happened

    19 on the 16th of April, 1993, in your village and in the

    20 neighbouring village of Putis?

    21 A. On the 16th of April in the early hours of

    22 the morning at about dawn, there was increased fighting

    23 and shooting and explosions, and on the 16th, another

    24 machine gun, heavy artillery, came from Zalac, another

    25 mountain, directed at the village of Jelinak and the

  12. 1 civilian houses there and the Croatian-owned houses.

    2 Q. Tell us, at that moment and both on the 15th

    3 and 16th of April, 1993, was the HVO in the village of

    4 Jelinak?

    5 A. The HVO was not in the village of Jelinak.

    6 The HVO army was at Mount Kuber.

    7 Q. The position of Zarac, which is where the

    8 heavy artillery fire was coming from, who was in

    9 control of that Zarac position?

    10 A. This was held by the BH army, as well as

    11 another position called Kicin.

    12 Q. Once again, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    13 was in control there?

    14 A. Yes. That's right.

    15 Q. Tell us, please, in addition to the heavy

    16 artillery, was there any mortar fire on the 16th of

    17 April directed at your village?

    18 A. Yes. In the late afternoon hours and early

    19 evening hours and in the course of the night, there

    20 were mortars shelling our village, the village of

    21 Jelinak, the lower part of the village of Jelinak,

    22 which is where the Croatian houses were located, and

    23 they came from the direction across the Zarac mountain

    24 from that direction, Gumanci, but that was the

    25 direction they took generally to fire at the village of

  13. 1 Jelinak and the Croatian houses in the village.

    2 Q. What happened to the civilians from Putis on

    3 the 16th of April, 1993?

    4 A. On the 16th of April, all the civilians from

    5 the village of Putis, the Croats, that is to say, fled

    6 upwards towards the village of Jelinak and went in the

    7 direction of Kaonik and further on towards Busovaca, so

    8 that the Croats and the Croatian civilians from the

    9 village of Jelinak were evacuated together with them

    10 and fled in the direction of Kaonik and Busovaca.

    11 Q. On the 17th of April, you were still in the

    12 village. Can you explain what happened on the 17th of

    13 April, 1993?

    14 A. On the 17th of April in the early hours,

    15 there was fire around Jelinak, but this decreased,

    16 apart from some shells and some machine gun fire, and

    17 so there was a decrease in the shooting around the

    18 village of Jelinak, so that in the early hours of the

    19 morning, the shooting reached a maximum. It culminated

    20 and reached the very edge of the village, and machine

    21 guns opened fire from the Busovaca, Zenica, and Vitez

    22 crossroads, from the Vran Stijene mountain.

    23 Q. So shooting grew closer to the village of

    24 Jelinak; that is what you're trying to say?

    25 A. Yes. The shooting grew closer to the village

  14. 1 of Jelinak, the very edges, and so when dawn broke, the

    2 fighting was very close to the village of Jelinak.

    3 Q. Did you come to realise at one point that the

    4 HVO was losing its positions and that you began

    5 evacuating the village, and, if so, would you describe

    6 how that happened?

    7 A. Well, we saw that the fighting was coming

    8 closer and closer to the village of Jelinak, and we

    9 realised that the HVO was losing and that it was being

    10 pushed in from all sides, and as these directions --

    11 the Vitez, Busovaca, and Zenica intersection was being

    12 taken, as well as the Vran Stijene position that had

    13 been held by the HVO --

    14 Q. Who took control of these positions?

    15 A. The BH army took control of the positions,

    16 and the fighting reached the very edge of the village,

    17 so that in the early hours of the morning, in the upper

    18 part of the village, the Muslim part of Jelinak

    19 village, we could see that something was on fire at two

    20 or three localities. I couldn't see exactly. It was

    21 just before dawn. There was machine gun fire from the

    22 Merdan area, from this hill (indicating), the upper

    23 ground above Merdan, down onto the village of Jelinak

    24 and the road from Putis to Jelinak.

    25 Q. Whose machine gun was this?

  15. 1 A. It belonged to the BH army, the army of

    2 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    3 Q. When the fighting and the front moved up

    4 close to the village of Jelinak and the first houses

    5 began to burn, what did you civilians do?

    6 A. When we saw that the HVO was losing

    7 completely and that the fighting had reached the

    8 village, we civilians who were left in the village

    9 started to flee in the direction of Loncari towards

    10 Kaonik and further on to Busovaca. While we were on

    11 this road from Jelinak to Kaonik, the section that can

    12 be seen from Vran Stijene, we were followed by heavy

    13 artillery fire on the part of the Muslims, machine gun

    14 fire from the Vran Stijene position.

    15 When we entered the Sultulja cannon up to

    16 Kaonik and the bridge and when we were at the bridge

    17 and were about to cross it, that is, this area from

    18 Kaonik to this curve in Sajtovici, there was machine

    19 gun fire from the Merdani area. When we crossed into

    20 Sajtovici, there was no shooting any more at us, but we

    21 could hear heavy fighting and could see smoke rising

    22 above the village of Jelinak.

    23 Q. You fled, you were evacuated with all the

    24 civilians, and you went towards Kaonik and then

    25 Busovaca. When you were leaving the village of

  16. 1 Jelinak, what happened to the Muslim population?

    2 A. The Muslim civilians at that time stayed on.

    3 What happened to them, I don't know. Two civilian

    4 Croats remained in the village of Jelinak, and later

    5 on, we learned that they fled too, so that beside the

    6 cemetery, they were killed by shells. Actually, one

    7 was killed and the other was wounded in the leg. Niko

    8 Plavcic was killed and Anto Andrijasevic lost a part of

    9 his leg.

    10 Q. You were in Busovaca on the 18th and 19th of

    11 April, 1993. Were you receiving any information as to

    12 what had happened to your village, Jelinak, and what

    13 happened to Putis, who had taken control of these

    14 villages?

    15 A. On the 17th in the afternoon hours, when we

    16 arrived in Busovaca, we were put up with our friends

    17 and relations and in the weekend cottages that were

    18 empty in the region. On the 18th, we learnt that the

    19 HVO had completely lost in Jelinak and that the army of

    20 Bosnia-Herzegovina had taken full control of the

    21 village of Jelinak and the village of Putis as well.

    22 We also learnt that the Croatian houses were set fire

    23 to in Putis and Jelinak.

    24 Q. From the 18th of April or the 19th of April,

    25 1993 up until the war ended with the Washington

  17. 1 Accords, who was in control of the villages or who was

    2 located in the villages of Putis and Jelinak?

    3 A. On the 18th of April, 1993, when I left the

    4 village of Jelinak and when the BH army took control of

    5 the village of Jelinak, the village of Jelinak and

    6 Putis was under its control, but I'd also like to

    7 mention that the village of Bakije was also taken

    8 control of by the BH army and ...

    9 Q. Yes, you may continue.

    10 A. In these settlements, we did not return to

    11 them to see what had happened to the houses there.

    12 After Dayton, we went to the cemetery for the day of

    13 the dead escorted by the police of the Croatian Defence

    14 Council and the BH army. Probably they had reached an

    15 agreement that we could visit the cemetery, and they

    16 had probably reached an agreement by which we were able

    17 to visit the houses.

    18 When we reached the village of Jelinak where

    19 there is a crossroads, a junction, the upper part is

    20 Muslim, the lower part is Croat, all the Croatian

    21 houses had been burnt, so that there were only two

    22 houses with roofs and windows. They belonged to Ante

    23 Vidovic and Marko Vidovic. All the other houses had

    24 been burnt to the ground and destroyed.

    25 Up until the present day, we did not manage

  18. 1 to go back there, nor can we go back because everything

    2 has been destroyed and burnt down, either Putis,

    3 Jelinak, or the village of Bakije.

    4 Q. When you withdrew from the village of Jelinak

    5 together with the other civilians on the 17th, did you

    6 pass the village of Loncari in this withdrawal?

    7 A. On the 17th before noon, when passing by the

    8 village of Loncari, the village of Loncari was to our

    9 right as we moved down towards Kaonik.

    10 Q. Did you notice whether the village was burnt?

    11 A. We did not notice anything. We didn't see

    12 anybody in the village. It was neither too close nor

    13 too far off, but we didn't see anybody. We didn't see

    14 anything on fire. We didn't see that there was any

    15 army or anybody else in the village of Loncari.

    16 Q. Later on, did you receive any information as

    17 to what had happened in the village of Loncari?

    18 A. On the 18th of April, 1993, we learnt that a

    19 defence line had been set up in the village of Loncari.

    20 Q. Until the end of the war, the frontline

    21 between the HVO and the BH army, was it by the village

    22 of Loncari?

    23 A. Yes, it was. Up until the Washington

    24 Accords, the defence line was in the village of

    25 Loncari.

  19. 1 Q. Now to wind up, for purposes of the record,

    2 we have a map here, it is Exhibit D533, and the circle

    3 denotes the villages of Jelinak, Putis, and Loncari.

    4 What do the arrows represent? Can you tell us that?

    5 What do the red arrows represent?

    6 A. You're asking me?

    7 Q. Yes, I am.

    8 A. Well, it's like this: The villages (sic)

    9 show the direction from which the firing came from,

    10 machine guns, the machine gun fire and its direction,

    11 mortar fire, and the attacks launched by the infantry,

    12 intensively and as an offensive.

    13 Q. There has been a misinterpretation. We spoke

    14 about arrows, not villages. So the arrows show the

    15 direction from which the shooting came. Who shot from

    16 these directions?

    17 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    18 Q. Once again, for purposes of the record, the

    19 red arrows, what do the red arrows on the map

    20 represent?

    21 A. The red arrows represent the directions from

    22 which the machine gun fire came from the army of

    23 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the mortar shells, the direction

    24 from which they came and the direction of the offensive

    25 attack on the village of Jelinak.

  20. 1 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. We

    2 have concluded our examination-in-chief, and we should

    3 like to tender D533 into evidence.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo, for

    5 having been as short as you were, but I'd also like to

    6 thank the witness for his brevity.

    7 All right. Mr. Cayley, are you in a position

    8 to conduct the cross-examination or do you want an

    9 extra hour or two?

    10 MR. CAYLEY: I'd like some more time, please,

    11 Mr. President. I think perhaps it's best if we proceed

    12 with the next witness, and then this witness can come

    13 back after the lunch break.

    14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, with your

    15 permission. Of course, the Defence has nothing against

    16 taking a break, and the Prosecution can take as much

    17 time as they need; however, we cannot call the next

    18 witness right now because both the next witnesses are

    19 arriving in the building in about one hour and fifteen

    20 minutes, so the two additional witnesses are only

    21 arriving in the building in about an hour and fifteen

    22 minutes.

    23 MR. HAYMAN: These are witnesses,

    24 Mr. President, who were here most of the week three

    25 weeks ago, and one of the witnesses had a birth in his

  21. 1 family a few days ago, so his return to The Hague was

    2 delayed. He just wasn't able to come with the normal

    3 advance period that we would request of a witness to be

    4 here to be on call.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: I have difficulty

    6 understanding, Mr. Cayley, how you can't be ready to

    7 conduct the cross-examination of a witness if you

    8 receive the fax on the 10th in the morning -- no, the

    9 9th, not the 10th. I don't understand why you're not

    10 prepared for the cross-examination, just because of a

    11 few hours that would make a difference here. I don't

    12 understand why the few hours make a difference.

    13 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, it does make a

    14 difference to us because we essentially base our entire

    15 inquiries around a witness on a seven-day notice

    16 period. That is what we plan around. When we are

    17 notified by the Defence, our understanding is that the

    18 witness is going to appear seven days later in

    19 accordance with the order of the Court, not six days

    20 later.

    21 We're in contact with our investigators in

    22 Sarajevo. They are still making inquiries about this

    23 witness, and they have to communicate that back us.

    24 There are few of them. They're working on other

    25 cases. They're more dedicated to this case. We have

  22. 1 limited resources. Our planning is based around the

    2 seven-day notice period. That is all I'm saying.

    3 I anticipate my cross-examination will be

    4 fairly short, but I feel that I would not be doing my

    5 job properly if I proceeded without actually speaking

    6 to individuals who are making inquiries about this

    7 gentleman at the moment.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: All right. I want to consult

    9 my colleagues, but I really insist on telling you my

    10 point of view. I really find this unacceptable, but I

    11 will consult with my colleagues. I have no pride or

    12 humility here, I really don't care, and we can begin

    13 this afternoon. But, personally, I have to tell you

    14 that I find this absolutely incredible, that one cannot

    15 be prepared to conduct a cross-examination of a witness

    16 who, for 30 minutes, spoke about the shelling and

    17 bombing of a village. After all this time in the

    18 trial, I really find that incredible. I'll consult

    19 with my colleagues.

    20 All right. We took some time because this is

    21 a question of principle. In his testimony, there were

    22 several opinions that were put forth. Each Judge has

    23 the right to his own opinion, but since this is a Trial

    24 Chamber which is always looking for consensus, we

    25 reached a consensus, and here it is: The

  23. 1 cross-examination of Mr. Plavcic will take place this

    2 afternoon at 5.00 for one hour. If I've understood

    3 things correctly, there are no other witnesses for this

    4 morning; therefore, we will resume at 2.30 this

    5 afternoon. I regret that, but that's how it is.

    6 The Court stands adjourned.

    7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 11.00 a.m.



















  24. 1 --- On resuming at 2.39 p.m.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: We can resume the hearing now.

    3 Have the accused brought in, please.

    4 (The accused entered court)

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?

    6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. I

    7 would like to suggest that we move into a private

    8 session because I have a request of you and also a

    9 clarification, and the most appropriate way to do so

    10 would be in a private session.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Since nobody knows

    12 what it's about, the Judges don't know, the Prosecution

    13 doesn't know, I don't think that, for that reason, we

    14 would be able to say that we can't have a private

    15 session. To do so would be more prejudicial than if we

    16 were to say that we won't.

    17 All right. So we will have a private

    18 session.

    19 (Private session)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  25. 1












    13 Pages 17701 redacted – in private session













  26. 1












    13 Pages 17702 – 17744 redacted – in closed session













  1. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (redacted)

    10 --- Recess taken at 3.58 p.m.

    11 --- On resuming at 4.29 p.m.

    12 (Open session)

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Have the accused brought in,

    14 please?

    15 (The accused entered court)

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, the next witness,

    17 please.

    18 MR. NOBILO: Yes. The next witness is Nikica

    19 Lovric.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: Do you have the document,

    21 Mr. Dubuisson?

    22 Have the witness brought in, please.

    23 (The witness entered court)

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, sir?

    25 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.

  2. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Please tell your name and given

    2 name to the Judges, your date and place of birth, your

    3 profession and your residence, and then you are going

    4 to take an oath. After that, you may be seated.

    5 THE WITNESS: My name is Nikica Lovric. I

    6 was born on the 19th of November, 1962, in Donja

    7 Veceriska, Vitez municipality, where I live to this

    8 day. I completed primary school in Vitez, secondary

    9 school in Novi Travnik. I am a machine technician by

    10 profession.

    11 On the 17th of April, I suffered an

    12 accident --

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Just a moment, please. That's

    14 not necessary. First we are going to ask you to take

    15 an oath. Read the form that has been given to you.

    16 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    17 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    18 truth.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You may now be

    20 seated, Mr. Lovric. You have agreed to testify in the

    21 trial at the International Criminal Tribunal of General

    22 Blaskic, the accused, who is in this courtroom to your

    23 left.

    24 Mr. Nobilo is going to ask you questions

    25 first because you are a Defence witness. After that,

  3. 1 the Prosecution will ask you questions. When you give

    2 your answers, please turn to the Judges when you

    3 answer. Thank you very much.

    4 Please proceed, Mr. Nobilo.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.


    7 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    8 Q. While this map is being distributed -- may we

    9 have the number?

    10 THE REGISTRAR: This is D535.

    11 MR. NOBILO:

    12 Q. While the map is being handed out, tell us,

    13 please, Donja Veceriska, the village in which you

    14 lived, how many Croatian and how many Muslim houses is

    15 it made up of?

    16 A. Donja Veceriska has 111 Muslim houses and 73

    17 Croatian houses.

    18 Q. On the map, and please use the indicator that

    19 you have in front of you, that metal antenna type of

    20 thing, would you point to your village, Gornja

    21 Veceriska and Donja Veceriska?

    22 A. (Indicating). This is Gornja.

    23 Q. So they are villages in the Vitez

    24 municipality, in the vicinity of the town of Vitez

    25 itself?

  4. 1 A. Yes, that's correct.

    2 Q. Tell the Court, please, what the situation

    3 was like between the Muslims and Croats before the

    4 conflict broke out in April 1993. Did you have then

    5 joint guards with the Muslims and then were these

    6 divided, did the two ethnic groups divide up and so on,

    7 and explain why, and please turn to the Judges?

    8 A. The joint guard or watch was manned from the

    9 end of October 1992 until the end of October 1993, so

    10 they lasted for about one year.

    11 Q. Just one moment, please. You said from

    12 October '92 to October '93, but what about April --

    13 A. From 1991 to 1992, I apologise. Yes, from

    14 October 1991 to October 1992.

    15 Q. Please continue.

    16 A. The reason for which this guard split up was

    17 because of the different slogans that went up in the

    18 village, and they were detrimental to the Croats,

    19 offensive to the Croats, and along the fence of the

    20 Vitezit factory, it said, "This is a Dzamahirija.

    21 Bosnia is Muslim. Croats go home to Croatia, Serbs go

    22 home to Serbia. The SDA will reign in Bosnia," and so

    23 on and so forth. For that reason, the Croats stepped

    24 down from manning the joint village guard.

    25 Soon after that, the Muslims threw two

  5. 1 explosive devices in front of a cafe owned by a Croat,

    2 Franjo Drnic, in the centre of Donja Veceriska, and on

    3 Christmas Eve, on the 24th of December, 1992, they

    4 tried to kill the karate champion, Josip Lovric, my

    5 brother, junior karate championship -- luckily they

    6 missed him -- when he was entering his house, but the

    7 bullet lodged in the wall and made a hole there the

    8 size of a human fist.

    9 Later on, incidents like this occurred

    10 frequently. For example, at night, at 2.00 or 3.00

    11 a.m., they would wake up the Croats who had a telephone

    12 in their house, and when they woke you up out of your

    13 sleep, they would say a little song which meant that

    14 the duck is swimming down the stream and that the land

    15 will be Turkish land. It rhymes in Croatian.

    16 Q. Tell us, who were the most extremist members

    17 of the Muslim people --

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me. You're reading

    19 notes. Are you making a preliminary declaration --

    20 A. These are my own notes, these are my own

    21 notes of the incidents that occurred, yes, the

    22 incidents that occurred because of several others.

    23 JUDGE JORDA: In this court, you cannot

    24 recite something that you've drafted beforehand. You

    25 can refer to the notes to refresh your memory. Do we

  6. 1 agree?

    2 All right. Continue, Mr. Nobilo.

    3 MR. NOBILO:

    4 Q. It doesn't matter if you can't remember every

    5 incident --

    6 A. There's no problem there. I have remembered

    7 all the incidents and will enumerate them.

    8 Q. Just one moment, please. Tell us whether, at

    9 one point in time, the Muslims started digging trenches

    10 in your village?

    11 A. Yes, they did. This was one month before the

    12 conflict broke out. The Muslims dug trenches in the

    13 Brdo settlement and Vodica, Besici, towards Peljakov

    14 Gai, and so on three sides they circled Donja Veceriska

    15 with these trenches. The only free side where there

    16 were no trenches was the communication line between

    17 Gornja and Donja Veceriska where the Croatian

    18 population is concentrated.

    19 Q. We are going to have a document distributed

    20 now.

    21 A. May I go on?

    22 Q. Yes, please do.

    23 A. Sometime in mid March 1993, an

    24 ultra-extremist called Fehret Haskic, in the middle of

    25 the village, shot the tractor of a Croat who was

  7. 1 passing through from Nova Bila and he also shot at the

    2 houses owned by the Croats. On the same evening,

    3 Fehret Haskic stopped Zoran Drmic, an individual who

    4 was not capable of doing military service. He cocked

    5 his rifle and swore his Ustasha mother.

    6 Q. Tell me, about 15 days before the conflict,

    7 did you see a military drill of any kind?

    8 A. Well, about 15 days prior to the conflict,

    9 there was an alert, and I happened to be in the village

    10 at the time when they ran around in full military

    11 equipment, with full military equipment, and when I say

    12 this, I mean they had boots, they had weapons, and they

    13 had helmets on their heads.

    14 I met these men. There were about 30 armed

    15 individuals in the part of the village where I happened

    16 to find myself at that moment.

    17 Q. When you say "they had," "they had" a

    18 military drill, who are "they"?

    19 A. I'm thinking the Muslims.

    20 Q. Very well. Thank you. I'd now like to ask

    21 you to take a look at this particular document dated

    22 the 14th of March, 1993, and it was compiled by the

    23 reserve formations of the Donja Veceriska, HVO Donja

    24 Veceriska, and would you look at the middle of the page

    25 towards the end where it states that an assessment of

  8. 1 the security situation and the plan to ensure the

    2 safety of the Croatian population in Donja Veceriska

    3 and the evacuation of that population, and we come to

    4 point 1: "Immediately start with the foundation of

    5 reserve group units in Donja Veceriska, elect the

    6 members of the headquarters, the commander, deputy

    7 commanders, commanders of the platoons."

    8 Number 2: "Immediately start with planning

    9 all the tasks for the soldiers of the unit from Donja

    10 Veceriska in case of an attack by the Muslim armed

    11 forces."

    12 And so on and so forth. To save time, we're

    13 not going to read through the entire document, but just

    14 tell me whether you know the contents of that document,

    15 that is to say, that on the 14th of April, this unit,

    16 reserve unit of the HVO, was set up, and whether you

    17 are aware of the contents of that document?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. Could you tell us where you received

    20 information about this document, that is to say, the

    21 incidents and events mentioned in the document?

    22 A. Well, I was in the village. This is only

    23 part of the -- that is to say, I was present in the

    24 village.

    25 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. Another document,

  9. 1 please? Would you allot a number to this document,

    2 please?

    3 THE REGISTRAR: Number D536, 536A for the

    4 English version.

    5 MR. NOBILO: I should like to ask the usher

    6 to hand round the next document, please?

    7 THE REGISTRAR: This is D537, D537A for the

    8 English version.

    9 MR. NOBILO:

    10 Q. This is a document of the reserve group of

    11 the Croatian Defence Council of Donja Veceriska dated

    12 the 16th of March, 1993, and I'm going to read several

    13 sentences from the document. "On the day, the 16th of

    14 March, 1993, at 5.00 p.m., in the cafe owned by Branka

    15 and Frano Drmic, a meeting of the HVO reserve unit from

    16 Donja Veceriska was held and the following conclusions

    17 were made: 1. That from the day, the 16th of March,

    18 1993, at 6.00 p.m. and onwards, no armed provocation or

    19 any provocation of some other kind which could disturb

    20 the Croatian population or the Muslim population or

    21 Muslim forces from the side of the Croatian Defence

    22 Council will not be tolerated," and so on and so

    23 forth. The document speaks for itself.

    24 Tell me whether you know of the meeting held

    25 in the cafe and the conclusions made at that meeting?

  10. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Let us move on. How many members of the HVO

    3 could there have been in Donja Veceriska on the eve of

    4 the conflict of the 16th of April, 1993? Explain this

    5 to the Trial Chamber, please.

    6 A. Well, 25 to 30 people with arms, having

    7 personal weapons.

    8 Q. Tell us, please, whether, in Donja Veceriska,

    9 there were units of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army or

    10 Territorial Defence, and if so, can you tell us

    11 something about those units?

    12 A. Sometime in the midsummer of 1992, they

    13 established a company, and when I say "company," there

    14 were about 100 men carrying arms, including the

    15 refugees and displaced Muslims from other regions who

    16 found safety in Donja Veceriska. Some of these

    17 displaced persons, there were between 45 and 50 -- 40

    18 to 50 of them and they all had weapons, and of the

    19 local Muslim population, I personally noted that there

    20 were 55 people of this kind carrying arms.

    21 Q. Tell us whether you know the structure, who

    22 were the commanders and so forth?

    23 A. The commander of the detachment was Peljak

    24 Fahrudin; the commander of the first platoon was Nedzib

    25 Haskic; the captain of the second platoon was Nijaz

  11. 1 Smajlkadic; the commander of the third platoon was

    2 Jasmin Besic; but later on, that is to say, two or

    3 three months later, these were -- Jasmin Besic and

    4 Nijaz Smajlkadic were replaced and Mensur Haskic and

    5 Nihad Haskic took their place, so they were all Haskic,

    6 the surname was Haskic, all three of them.

    7 Q. Let us now move on to the 15th of April,

    8 1993, that is to say, the day prior to the beginning of

    9 the conflict, and let us go to the succus of why we

    10 have called you to testify here. Tell us what happened

    11 in your village on the 15th of April, the day before

    12 the conflict broke out in 1993? Explain that to the

    13 Court, please.

    14 A. As many incidents as there were that happened

    15 in Donja Veceriska and the fact that they influenced

    16 the psychological tension and fear and disquiet that

    17 existed with the civilian part of the Croatian

    18 population, to the same extent and even more, the

    19 incidents had an affect -- the incidents on the

    20 environs had an effect on them. When I say "the

    21 environs," the surrounding areas. I would like to

    22 mention the killing of Stojak and then we had the

    23 killing of two Croats from Vitez and two -- the killing

    24 of two policemen in Cajdras, in Dusina, and on the 15th

    25 of April, 1993, Zivko Totic was captured and his

  12. 1 escorts were killed. They were massacred -- four of

    2 his escorts were massacred.

    3 The pictures of these killed soldiers

    4 appeared on television sometime in the evening

    5 programme at 7.00 p.m., and rumours began to spread

    6 throughout the village that the Muslims could attack

    7 us. Several times previously, when there were rumours

    8 of this kind, when incidents broke out with tragic

    9 consequences, the Croats would leave, they would go out

    10 four or five times and then they would return, and

    11 that's what happened on that particular evening as

    12 well. The commander of the Civil Defence force ordered

    13 the evacuation of the Croatian civilian population

    14 towards the upper part of the village which is

    15 inhabited by the Croats. Some of them left immediately

    16 towards upper Veceriska, Gornja Veceriska, which is a

    17 Croatian village, and the last of the inhabitants went

    18 when the fighting actually started.

    19 Q. When did you yourself leave Donja Veceriska?

    20 A. I left Donja Veceriska in the evening at half

    21 past two. I didn't think that there could be a

    22 conflict. But when I realised that everybody had left,

    23 then I decided to leave as well. My wife left at about

    24 half past nine. When she left with the children, in

    25 the courtyard of Fehret Haskic's house, she saw about

  13. 1 20 armed Muslims, and at the moment that she passed by

    2 the house, they turned their backs to her. When I left

    3 at 2.30, I came across their armed guard.

    4 I am married. My wife is from Gornja

    5 Veceriska, so I went to my in-laws'.

    6 Q. Let us make things a little clearer.

    7 Throughout the war in 1993 and 1994, you were a

    8 civilian, were you not?

    9 A. Yes, I was.

    10 Q. You were not a military man?

    11 A. No.

    12 Q. On the 16th of April, you said that you were

    13 at your father-in-law's in Gornja Veceriska. What did

    14 you hear and see from Gornja Veceriska? Explain that

    15 to the Court, please.

    16 A. It was about 6.00 a.m., and we could hear

    17 loud shooting in Donja Veceriska. I went out of my

    18 father-in-law's house and went up above his house into

    19 his garden some 200 metres off from where I could see

    20 Donja Veceriska down below, and I saw smoke but I was

    21 not able at that moment to ascertain which house was on

    22 fire. It was only later when I returned on the 18th,

    23 in talking to the participants, those who took part in

    24 the fighting that I learnt that on the first day of the

    25 conflict, two Muslim houses had been burned, three

  14. 1 sheds belonging to Muslims and one Croatian shed.

    2 The fighting took place throughout the day.

    3 There would be a lull and then there would be heavy

    4 shooting again and so on.

    5 Q. On the 17th of April, 1993, you were still

    6 located in Upper Veceriska, Gornja Veceriska. Was

    7 there anything special that you remember seeing on the

    8 17th of April?

    9 A. Well, I remember seeing, around 10.00 a.m.,

    10 when they began to set fire to our Croatian houses

    11 which were still in the interior of the zone of the

    12 operations, they started setting fire to them, and from

    13 the position, from my vantage point above my

    14 father-in-law's house, the houses were -- I could see

    15 them clearly, my mother's house, my brother's house,

    16 and several Croatian houses down there, they were as

    17 clear as they would be on the palm of my hand. I

    18 started smoking. That was the first time that I

    19 actually lit a cigarette.

    20 Q. Was your house set fire to?

    21 A. Yes, my house, my mother's house, my

    22 brother's house, Avgust Drmic's house, Anto Drmic's,

    23 Ante Drmic's, Srecko Filipovic's, Zdravko Filipovic's,

    24 all these houses located next to each other, and

    25 they're all owned by Croats, they're all Croatian

  15. 1 houses in that area, and it was not difficult to see

    2 that. You can see it from my vantage point. There's

    3 an excellent view of those houses and the area down

    4 below.

    5 Q. Tell me, please, when did the fighting stop?

    6 When did you no longer hear any fighting take place in

    7 Donja Veceriska?

    8 A. Well, there was fighting up until dark.

    9 There was heavy fighting throughout the day, on the

    10 17th of April, that is to say, up until the end of the

    11 day.

    12 Q. The next day, the 18th of April, was there

    13 any fighting? If not, when did you go back to your

    14 village to see what had happened to your own house

    15 there?

    16 A. On the 18th of April, there were no -- there

    17 was no fighting anymore. I went to my village -- I got

    18 there at around noon and went towards my own house

    19 straightaway to see whether anything remained

    20 standing. I was disappointed because both the floors

    21 of my house were burnt. I looked at my mother's house

    22 and my brother's house, and I went round the entire

    23 village, and I stayed there for about two hours.

    24 Q. Before you describe to the Court how you went

    25 round the village and what you saw in the village and

  16. 1 what you remember seeing, I should like to have a map

    2 of Donja Veceriska handed round, and then we'll take a

    3 look at the markings on the map and explain what they

    4 mean, and I'd like a number assigned to that exhibit,

    5 please.

    6 THE REGISTRAR: This is D538.

    7 MR. NOBILO:

    8 Q. Before you explain what you came across,

    9 would you explain what this map represents? Is that

    10 the distribution of the houses in your village?

    11 A. Yes, it is.

    12 Q. The blue triangles, what do those symbols on

    13 the map represent, the blue triangles?

    14 A. The blue triangle represents the Croatian

    15 houses.

    16 Q. What about the green squares, what do they

    17 represent?

    18 A. The green squares are the Muslim houses.

    19 Q. If we have a blue triangle or a green square

    20 filled in in red, what does that mean?

    21 A. Those are houses which were burnt during the

    22 combat operations, and some of them were burnt later

    23 on. For example, some of the houses here that have

    24 been marked in were burnt later on. I can show you

    25 which these are exactly.

  17. 1 Q. If only half of the space is coloured in red

    2 and the other half is white within a square, what does

    3 that denote?

    4 A. Those are houses which were partially

    5 destroyed.

    6 Q. Tell the Court now, please, when you arrived

    7 on the 18th to see what had happened to your houses and

    8 the other houses in the village, what did you see?

    9 Start with your own house, your house, your mother's

    10 house, your brother's house, and so on, and keep your

    11 pointer on the place you're mentioning.

    12 A. That's my house here (indicating). That's my

    13 mother's house (indicating) and my brother's house

    14 (indicating). This house here (indicating) belongs to

    15 Augustin Drmic. This is his brother's house

    16 (indicating), Anto Drmic. Here, this house here

    17 (indicating), there should be a triangle here because

    18 it belongs to Srecko Filipovic, and it should be marked

    19 in red as well because his house was burnt down to the

    20 ground.

    21 Q. Just one moment, please. We must indicate

    22 that this is on a plot of land which has the figure 352

    23 marked on it, and it is Srecko Filipovic's house?

    24 A. This is Zdravko Filipovic's house. It was

    25 partially burnt down, that is to say, one room in the

  18. 1 house was burnt. These are four Filipovic houses.

    2 Q. There's a number next to every house, so

    3 let's look at the numbers, and tell us what number your

    4 house is and what numbers your mother's and brother's

    5 houses have?

    6 A. I can't see a number next to my own house.

    7 Q. Well, it can be seen on the original map.

    8 The number isn't evident on the photocopy, but the

    9 number is 65.

    10 A. Sixty-five, the owner is Nikica Lovric.

    11 Number 64 is Miroslav Andja; my mother, 63, Ivo

    12 Lovric's house; 68, Augustin Drnic's house; 67, Anto

    13 Drnic; on plot 352, the house there was burnt down too,

    14 it belonged to Srecko Filipovic. House number 62

    15 belongs to Zdravko Filipovic.

    16 Q. Where are the Muslim houses and which houses

    17 were burnt down?

    18 A. Eighty-three, Asim Haskic's house; 82, the

    19 house belonging to Nasid Haskic. On the first day,

    20 those two houses were burnt down the first day.

    21 On the second day, the Croatian Muslim houses

    22 were set fire to; Habib Haskic, number 81; house number

    23 70, Esad Haskic; 69, Fehret Haskic; 71, Abdulah Haskic;

    24 74, Sadik Haskic; 75, Bedema Haskic; 136, Redzo Haskic;

    25 133, Isak Haskic; 111, Muharem Besic; 124, Medzid

  19. 1 Zelkanovic; 42, Sakib Zlotrg.

    2 Shall I carry on with the Croatian houses?

    3 Q. Yes. What was burnt down after the two days

    4 of fighting?

    5 A. Number 50, owned by Pero Filipovic.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Is anybody contesting these

    7 numbers? Is there any objection to these numbers,

    8 Mr. Harmon?

    9 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I'm happy to have

    10 the witness relate which numbers he believes were

    11 burned down on which particular days. I have no way,

    12 at this point in time with what I have in front of me,

    13 to check whether this witness is accurate or

    14 inaccurate. In other words, what I'm saying is we may

    15 well contest these numbers, Mr. President and Your

    16 Honours.

    17 MR. NOBILO: Very well. We can speed up.

    18 Just a moment.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: [no interpretation]

    20 MR. NOBILO: That is correct, sir.

    21 Q. Perhaps it is not most important for this

    22 Trial Chamber to learn the name of every single house

    23 owner. If Their Honours ask you, you will clarify it.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: If there is anything contested,

    25 in the redirect, you can ask for more clarification

  20. 1 from the witness. For the time being, in principle,

    2 there is no challenge to these.

    3 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Very well. Let's

    4 move on.

    5 Q. Can you tell us, after two days of fighting,

    6 how many Croatian and how many Muslim houses were

    7 burned down in total?

    8 A. After the fighting, there were 14 Muslim

    9 houses burnt down and 14 Croatian houses burnt down,

    10 and nine of the Croatian houses had burnt down

    11 completely, and the three houses had their top floors

    12 burnt down, whereas in the case of the Muslim houses,

    13 all 14 burned down completely.

    14 Q. When you returned to the village and talked

    15 to people who had been in the village during the

    16 fighting and who took part in the fighting, what did

    17 they tell you? Where was the fiercest fighting? Where

    18 did the fiercest fighting go on, and can you show us on

    19 the map where this was?

    20 A. Near the Haskics' houses, and the families

    21 living there were known from before as having extremist

    22 leanings. So if I had to point, it would be this area

    23 here (indicating). This is where the most intense

    24 fighting took place, and this is a reduced copy, so the

    25 houses extend beyond what is drawn on the map.

  21. 1 Q. Do you know what the civilian casualties were

    2 during those two days of fighting?

    3 A. I heard that seven Muslim civilians were

    4 killed and one soldier, a Muslim soldier, and there

    5 were two soldiers killed on the Croatian side, and

    6 there were ten wounded.

    7 Q. Did you hear what happened to the Muslim

    8 civilians, what happened to them?

    9 A. Yes. Nine Muslim civilians were found in the

    10 village. They were transferred to Gornja Veceriska

    11 where all the Croatian civilians were. They were in

    12 the school building. They were offered by their

    13 neighbours -- by their neighbours, they were invited

    14 into those houses. They were free to move about. They

    15 even entered Croatian homes in order to make phone

    16 calls to their relatives in Travnik and elsewhere, so I

    17 know, for instance, that Smajil Kadic entered the house

    18 of Jako Ramljak and called his cousin while I smoked

    19 with Asim Kalic.

    20 Q. So what happened to the other civilians?

    21 This accounts for only nine of them.

    22 A. The other Muslim civilians, during the night

    23 between the 17th and 18th, they left the village

    24 accompanied by UNPROFOR, and a BH army unit also pulled

    25 back with them.

  22. 1 Q. After 18 April, 1993, was anything done in

    2 order to protect the remaining Muslim houses, the ones,

    3 that is, that were not destroyed?

    4 A. Yes. Three policemen of the reserve police

    5 force were assigned to protect the Muslim properties so

    6 that no torching and no looting took place. But as you

    7 see, this is a scattered village, it's composed of four

    8 hamlets, and even though they were protected, eight to

    9 ten houses were burnt down, and the perpetrators were

    10 not found. An investigation was undertaken. There

    11 were even some underage civilians who were brought to

    12 be questioned, but there were no results.

    13 Q. These policemen were from the reserve police

    14 force?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Now, let me look at this map, it was D -- the

    17 map that shows Donja Veceriska. The structures marked

    18 in red were the ones which were destroyed during the

    19 fighting and then also the ten additional ones which

    20 were destroyed later by unknown perpetrators?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. These ten additional structures, were they

    23 destroyed at one time or over a period of time?

    24 A. Over a longer period of time. That means in

    25 the period from the 18th of April and in the next two

  23. 1 or three years. At one time, the unit which was

    2 protecting them was in Donja Veceriska, and then it was

    3 reassigned, and from that period on, the additional

    4 torching started.

    5 Q. Did you receive information that at one time

    6 Nedzad Haskic, the commander, had been captured?

    7 A. Yes. I heard from those who took part in the

    8 fighting that Nedzad Haskic, who was commander of the

    9 first platoon, had been taken prisoner and several

    10 other soldiers. They were disarmed and immediately let

    11 go.

    12 MR. NOBILO: Very well. Mr. President, this

    13 is all. I would just like to tender these maps and the

    14 two documents which I offered during the testimony.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I see there is no objection

    16 from the Prosecution.

    17 Mr. Harmon, are you going to conduct the

    18 cross-examination?

    19 MR. HARMON: Yes, I am, Mr. President. Good

    20 afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your

    21 Honours, Counsel.

    22 Cross-examined by Mr. Harmon:

    23 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Witness. My name is Mark

    24 Harmon. I am with the Prosecutor's office. My

    25 colleague is Mr. Andrew Cayley. I'm going to be asking

  24. 1 you a number of questions about your testimony today,

    2 Mr. Lovric.

    3 Now, Mr. Lovric, my first question to you,

    4 sir, is that the testimony, as I understood it, was the

    5 reason the joint guards between the Muslims and the

    6 Croats of your village was discontinued was because

    7 there was graffiti on the wall of the factory; is that

    8 your testimony?

    9 A. Yes, both in the village and on the fence at

    10 the factory. There was also graffiti in the village.

    11 The fence of the factory was alongside the road, so you

    12 could drive by and just read what was written there.

    13 Q. Was there any other reason why the joint

    14 patrols were discontinued in your village in October of

    15 1992, besides the graffiti?

    16 A. I do not know of any other reason.

    17 Q. As a result of this graffiti on the walls,

    18 was there a meeting held in which it was decided that

    19 because of the graffiti, the joint patrols would cease

    20 to exist?

    21 A. There was a series of meetings. On several

    22 occasions, there were meetings but without results --

    23 Q. Did you attend --

    24 A. -- because the Muslim extremists continued

    25 with their activities.

  25. 1 Q. Did you attend those meetings?

    2 A. No.

    3 Q. Now, how do you know, Mr. Lovric, that the

    4 sole reason for the discontinuation of joint Muslim and

    5 Croat patrols was because of the graffiti exclusively;

    6 how do you know that?

    7 A. I know from conversations with the commander,

    8 with members of the command, and even my two brothers

    9 were participants, they were there, so from my

    10 brothers. This was not a problem or some kind of a

    11 secret. Everybody could know the results of these

    12 meetings.

    13 Q. Mr. Lovric, prior to the outbreak of the

    14 conflict in April of 1993, did you see any anti-Muslim

    15 graffiti in your village?

    16 A. There wasn't a single one. The only excess

    17 on the part of the Croats, if I may call it so, was

    18 that a grenade was thrown at an intersection, and let

    19 me show you on the monitor. It was right here

    20 (indicating). There was a mejtef, which is a Muslim

    21 religious structure, and this is what some Croats did

    22 on the way back from Nova Bila. So they weren't the

    23 local Croats from Donja Veceriska. So Croats from

    24 Donja Veceriska created absolutely no incidents, and I

    25 take full responsibility for that statement.

  26. 1 Q. Now, did you go into Vitez at all and did you

    2 see any graffiti in the Vitez area that was racist and

    3 was against the Muslims?

    4 A. At that time, I was disabled, and when I came

    5 back from therapy, I stayed in Donja Veceriska. I

    6 couldn't move about without great difficulties, so I

    7 spent all my time in Donja Veceriska.

    8 Q. Other than one incident, that one anti-Muslim

    9 incident, that you just reported to us about, other

    10 than that, the Muslims in your village were not

    11 discriminated against in any way by the HVO in your

    12 village; is that correct?

    13 A. They were not, not at all.

    14 Q. Did you ever hear the pejorative term

    15 "balija" directed toward any of the Muslim residents

    16 of your village by any of the Croats in your village?

    17 A. During the period when the tensions rose,

    18 every Croat was called an Ustasha, so probably some

    19 Croats called some of them balija too because that is

    20 some kind of a rule -- it was almost an equation at

    21 that time for the Croats to be called Ustasha and

    22 Muslims to be called balija, so, yes, people did call

    23 each other those names.

    24 Q. Did you hear any Croats from your village

    25 call Muslims "balija"?

  27. 1 A. I did not hear anyone say that in my presence

    2 because I personally, for instance, never called anyone

    3 that, and in my presence, no one did either.

    4 Q. Now, was there any checkpoints coming into

    5 your village from the town of Vitez?

    6 A. I'm sorry, Mr. Prosecutor. If you want me

    7 to, I can draw and show you exactly that the Muslims

    8 were the ones who absolutely controlled the entrances

    9 to the village. Look at Besici. That is a hamlet that

    10 is exclusively Muslim. Then here (indicating), except

    11 for this enclave, they were all Muslim houses. This is

    12 the new road (indicating), and this road here

    13 (indicating) is the old road. There were two roads

    14 leading in and out of the village. The Muslims dug

    15 their trenches in such a way that they had full control

    16 of the entrances and exits from the village. As I

    17 said, I can draw in every single trench that had been

    18 dug there.

    19 Q. Mr. Lovric, I didn't ask you about trenches.

    20 I asked you about roadblocks. Were there any HVO

    21 roadblocks in the village of Donja Veceriska, either in

    22 the village or from Vitez coming toward the village?

    23 A. No.

    24 Q. At no time prior to April the 16th did you

    25 ever see an HVO checkpoint on the road between Vitez

  28. 1 and Donja Veceriska; is that your testimony?

    2 A. I affirm that there was never a checkpoint,

    3 only when there was a joint guard, when we were there

    4 at the checkpoints. When we split up, they remained

    5 there, but not our men any longer.

    6 Q. Now, let me ask you a little bit about your

    7 background. Tell me, prior to the conflict, what was

    8 your employment, sir?

    9 A. Before the conflict, I worked in the Bosna

    10 construction company, and I was working in the

    11 carpentry department in Vitez. I left the company some

    12 three months before the conflict, and I became a taxi

    13 driver.

    14 Q. So you became a taxi driver in the town of

    15 Vitez in the three months prior to the April 16th

    16 conflict?

    17 A. That is correct. No, no, not before the

    18 conflict. Before -- this was in '90 -- just a moment,

    19 in '92. I'm sorry. I left the company, the Bosna

    20 company, in January of 1992, that is, after I had a

    21 serious injury, 80 per cent injury, so that was the

    22 time.

    23 Q. You worked, I take it, until April of 1992 as

    24 a taxi driver; is that correct?

    25 A. Yes, yes, until April, until 17 April, until

  29. 1 I was injured.

    2 Q. After the 17th of April, 1992 when you ceased

    3 to work as a taxi driver, what did you do?

    4 A. On 17 April, 1992, I had an accident, and I

    5 was in different hospitals in Travnik, Split, and

    6 Pula. I returned on 24th December of 1992 and I went

    7 back to Donja Veceriska.

    8 Q. Without going into great detail, Mr. Lovric,

    9 can you tell us very briefly the nature of the

    10 accident?

    11 A. I was the coordinator, and when I say "the

    12 coordinator," that means I worked on arming the

    13 Croats. Since we had to defend ourselves against the

    14 Serbs and the Serbian aggression, the International

    15 Community had tied our hands, and so we had to do

    16 whatever we could. On 17 April, 1992, I delivered some

    17 military equipment to my neighbour, and I was

    18 accidentally shot by his underage son, and I was shot

    19 through from one side of my hip through -- the bullet

    20 exited on the other side.

    21 Q. Tell me about your job as a coordinator

    22 arming the Croats in April of 1992. First of all, tell

    23 me by whom you were employed.

    24 A. I wouldn't call it an employer. It almost

    25 sounds like an offensive way of putting it. When the

  30. 1 Serbian aggression took place, the crisis staffs were

    2 established to try to put up a successful defence

    3 against the Serbs. The commander of the crisis staff

    4 in Vitez was Marijan Skopljak, and he was my only

    5 superior in a matter of speaking, because this was all

    6 done on a friendly basis.

    7 Q. So -- I'm sorry. Please continue your

    8 answer. I didn't mean to interrupt you.

    9 A. Right. I just wanted to say that this same

    10 gentleman, Marijan Skopljak, at that time was

    11 distributing weapons, the little weapons that were

    12 arriving was also giving some to the Muslims. This was

    13 all in order to put up a successful defence against the

    14 Serbs because we were victims of that aggression, and

    15 at that time, in that period, this is how things were.

    16 Q. I'm asking you about your job at this point,

    17 not Mr. Skopljak's job. Did you deliver any weapons to

    18 Muslims while you were a coordinator?

    19 A. No, I did not because it was soon thereafter

    20 that I had this accident. During my mandate, so to

    21 speak, in Donja Veceriska, I managed to deliver about

    22 six or seven rifles, and they were distributed among

    23 the Croats.

    24 Q. Where did you get the rifles?

    25 A. But there were very few.

  31. 1 Q. Where did you get the rifles?

    2 A. I would take them from Marijan Skopljak, but

    3 my -- so my duty was only to take it from Vitez to

    4 Veceriska. I don't know where they came from to Vitez.

    5 Q. You don't know where Marijan Skopljak got the

    6 rifles?

    7 A. No.

    8 Q. Weren't you interested to know where he got

    9 those rifles?

    10 A. He never wanted to talk about that, and I

    11 didn't ask him.

    12 Q. [Question interrupted by previous answer]

    13 A. They were the so-called Sokac. At that time,

    14 I had one semiautomatic and one automatic rifle and the

    15 rest of them were the type called Sokac. That was the

    16 name given to something that was hastily put together.

    17 It was not a quality weapon. We only had one

    18 semiautomatic and one automatic rifle at the time when

    19 I was there.

    20 Q. Then you had your accident, I take it. You

    21 were in hospital until the 24th of December, 1992,

    22 wherein you returned to Donja Veceriska. Let me focus

    23 on the time from the 24th of December, 1992, until the

    24 16th of April. What did you do?

    25 A. From 24 December, '92, to 16 April? The

  32. 1 following 16 April?

    2 Q. That's correct.

    3 A. I didn't do anything because I had become a

    4 serious invalid. I had trouble walking. I had to use

    5 a cane. I could only walk for a hundred metres and

    6 then rest for ten, fifteen minutes, and then move on

    7 for another hundred metres, so I was a civilian.

    8 Q. Between the 24th of December, 1992, and the

    9 16th of April, did you ever leave the village of Donja

    10 Veceriska?

    11 A. I went to Vitez several times in a car. On

    12 one occasion, about three days before the conflict,

    13 when nobody wanted to take a Muslim woman to give

    14 birth, I drove her to Travnik and she gave birth there.

    15 Q. Let me see if I can characterise accurately

    16 what I understand to be your situation from the 24th of

    17 December to the 16th of April, and, please, don't

    18 hesitate to correct me if I mischaracterise your

    19 situation.

    20 You returned to Donja Veceriska, you were 80

    21 per cent disabled, you needed a cane to walk maybe a

    22 hundred metres or so, you infrequently left the village

    23 of Donja Veceriska to go outside its boundaries; is

    24 that a fair characterisation of your situation in the

    25 time frame I have asked you about?

  33. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. All right. Now, do you know what the

    3 situation was like for Muslims outside of your village

    4 from the 24th of December -- actually, let me rephrase

    5 that question.

    6 Do you know what the situation was like for

    7 Muslims in your community from the time that you were

    8 shot to the 24th of December? Do you know what was

    9 happening to the Muslims in Donja Veceriska?

    10 A. Can you just repeat the last part of the

    11 question?

    12 Q. While you were in the hospital, from the time

    13 you were shot until the time you returned, which was

    14 the 24th of December, 1992, do you know what was

    15 happening to the Muslims in your village?

    16 A. Nothing happened. Nothing.

    17 Q. That's what you were told -- actually, strike

    18 that question.

    19 Where was the hospital where you were located

    20 from the time you were shot to the 24th of December?

    21 A. I was first in the Travnik hospital for about

    22 a month and a half. Then I was transferred to Split,

    23 to the Firule hospital, and then to Pula, and from

    24 Pula, I returned on the 24th of December.

    25 Q. Pula is in Croatia and Split is in Croatia;

  34. 1 correct?

    2 A. Yes, that's correct.

    3 Q. Now, when you returned to your community on

    4 the 24th of December, did you sense any difference in

    5 your community between the Muslims and the Croats?

    6 A. I sensed the very evening when I arrived on

    7 the 24th of December, and I think I mentioned this

    8 earlier, there was an attempt on the life of my

    9 brother, who was a junior champion in karate, and I

    10 noticed that there were strange things going on in the

    11 village. There were separate guards and tensions had

    12 mounted.

    13 Q. Now, was an investigation ever conducted into

    14 the attempt on your brother's life?

    15 A. No.

    16 Q. Was any perpetrator of that attempt on your

    17 brother's life ever identified?

    18 A. Unfortunately, no.

    19 Q. You didn't see that particular act, did you?

    20 A. I was at my aunt's at that time, in the

    21 neighbourhood, about 200 metres from the house, from my

    22 house. It's not drawn in on that map. So I was at my

    23 aunt's. When I returned to my house down there that

    24 night, my brother told me, and he was quite upset, he

    25 said that he had been shot at, and there was a hole in

  35. 1 the wall where you could put in a fist.

    2 Q. Did he identify the perpetrator of that

    3 attempt?

    4 A. He could not identify him because it was

    5 night and he had his back to the shooter. He was about

    6 to enter the house, and I guess this perpetrator

    7 thought that he would take his shoes off at the

    8 doorstep, and accidentally he made a step forward, and

    9 this is how he avoided being shot at. As he stepped

    10 inside, the bullet followed him inside the hallway and

    11 got lodged in a wall. He threw himself on the ground,

    12 and that is how he got saved.

    13 Q. Mr. Lovric, you testified as well that

    14 Muslims threw explosives into a cafe owned by Franjo

    15 Drmic. Can you point out on this map that you have on

    16 the ELMO where the cafe of Franjo Drmic is located?

    17 A. One hundred and fifty-two.

    18 Q. Okay. Thank you very much for doing that.

    19 Now, did you ever go to the cafe of Franjo Drmic?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. What --

    22 A. It's a friend of mine.

    23 Q. Okay. Was Franjo Drmic in the HVO?

    24 A. At that time, he was not because he was left

    25 alone with three children. His wife had passed away

  36. 1 and he had three daughters to look after, and nobody

    2 engaged him at that time. He was not engaged anywhere.

    3 Q. When did he become a member of the HVO?

    4 A. When the war broke out on the 16th of April,

    5 he was mobilised, most probably.

    6 Q. Now, between the time you returned home to

    7 Donja Veceriska on the 24th of December, 1992, until

    8 the conflict started on the 16th of April, 1993, did

    9 you conduct a survey of what armaments were in the

    10 village in the possession of either the Croats or the

    11 Muslims?

    12 A. I saw some of those weapons. There were M48s

    13 and the Sokac type and the drum type, semiautomatic,

    14 automatic. The Muslims had 84s. Fehret Haskic had

    15 something that we didn't. Including the displaced

    16 Muslims and domestic Muslims, the local Muslims, I

    17 mean, of Donja Veceriska, they were three times as

    18 powerful as we were in terms of weapons.

    19 Q. Sir, you noted in your testimony that you

    20 personally noted 55 people carrying arms. When did you

    21 make that notation?

    22 A. Well, I noted that down when their patrols

    23 passed by and when they had their drills and I met

    24 them, I met some -- about 30 of them, and they were all

    25 people, Muslims, from Donja Veceriska. I know them all

  37. 1 and I saw the weapons they were carrying; and when they

    2 would go up to the frontline with the Serbs towards

    3 Visoko, Cekrcici, then one platoon would go up to that

    4 line, there were some ten members of it, 30 or 40 of

    5 them, and they were carrying rifles and full military

    6 gear.

    7 Q. When you noted these 55 people carrying arms,

    8 was that before your injury or after your injury?

    9 A. It was after my injury, when I returned

    10 home. Before this injury, we were almost equal as to

    11 the number of weapons. They had six or seven rifles

    12 just as we did, up until the time that I was wounded;

    13 and later on, they had more weapons than we did. They

    14 were better armed than we were. I can say that for

    15 certain.

    16 Q. Did you make an inventory of the number of

    17 weapons that were in the possession of the Bosnian

    18 Croats in Donja Veceriska from December 1992 until

    19 April of 1993?

    20 A. I said --

    21 JUDGE JORDA: You already asked that

    22 question, Mr. Harmon; at least it seems to me you have

    23 already answered it.

    24 THE WITNESS: Yes.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Let's move forward, please.

  38. 1 MR. HARMON:

    2 Q. Now, let me ask you some additional

    3 questions. I'd like to show you Defence Exhibit 537A,

    4 all right? If I could have the assistance of the

    5 usher?

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Look at the clock. I have

    7 asked the registrar to see how much time there is. You

    8 know, there is still the cross-examination. The

    9 interpreters are prepared to stay a little bit longer,

    10 but I would like to be able to finish our work today so

    11 that we can begin the direct examination of the accused

    12 tomorrow.

    13 How much time is left for the Prosecution?

    14 Ten minutes maximum?

    15 THE REGISTRAR: No more than fifteen minutes.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: All right. No more than

    17 fifteen minutes.

    18 MR. HARMON: I will keep in mind the time

    19 frame, Mr. President.

    20 Q. I would like to direct your attention to item

    21 number 4 on this particular document. First of all,

    22 Mr. Lovric, have you seen this document before coming

    23 into the courtroom to testify, and if so, when did you

    24 first see this document?

    25 A. I was present when it was written because

  39. 1 they are all my friends, the commander and the members.

    2 Q. Now, at this particular meeting -- first of

    3 all, can you identify the extreme individuals on the

    4 Croat side? What does this document, item number 4,

    5 refer to, and who does it refer to?

    6 A. The units of the reserve force of Donja

    7 Veceriska and the Muslim army should take over control

    8 considering the extreme individuals on both sides.

    9 As far as the Croats are concerned, from

    10 Donja Veceriska, I personally consider that there were

    11 no extremists there because they never performed any

    12 kind of extremist incident to the Muslims. However,

    13 the Muslims usually considered that a man was

    14 extremist, had extremist leanings, when the Muslims

    15 said that the time would come when they would sleep

    16 with the Croat women in the village, and if the Croat

    17 would say that that time would never come or that the

    18 time will never come for us to wear fezzes and say

    19 Lahko and Mehko, the type of Muslim talk, then they

    20 would consider that person to be an extremist, but I

    21 don't think those were extremists. Extremists are

    22 those who shot round the village and threw bombs, and

    23 this is something that the Muslims themselves did, and

    24 Fehret Haskic was foremost among these as an extremist

    25 of the ultra-extremist type. Ferid Kalca as well; he

  40. 1 was a specialist in the making of explosives. He was

    2 able to make pistols and all sorts of weapons and to

    3 lay the explosives. This was an exceptionally

    4 dangerous trio.

    5 Q. Let me ask you, on the evening of the 15th,

    6 you said that the civilian Croat population was ordered

    7 to evacuate the village, and indeed they did that.

    8 They went up to, I think, Gornja Veceriska, the

    9 Croatian part of the village, and that you personally

    10 left around 2.30 in the morning on the morning of the

    11 16th; is that correct?

    12 A. Yes. I said that they were ordered to go to

    13 the upper part of the Croatian village and that part of

    14 them went to Gornja Veceriska straightaway, the

    15 civilians, and part of the civilians remained and then

    16 left when the fighting started. I myself did go around

    17 2.30 a.m.

    18 Q. Let me ask you, Mr. Lovric: Did any soldiers

    19 of the HVO, from outside the village of Donja

    20 Veceriska, come into the village of Donja Veceriska

    21 prior to your departure on the morning of the 16th at

    22 2.30 a.m.?

    23 A. No, they did not come before, but when the

    24 fighting started in Donja Veceriska, they then came to

    25 help out some of the young men from Gornja Veceriska,

  41. 1 from Mosunj, and some 15 young men from Nova Bila who

    2 belonged to the Tvrtko company, so that a sort of

    3 balance was struck.

    4 Q. Did you see the people who were members of

    5 the HVO from outside your village come to your village?

    6 A. No, because I had gone up to Gornja

    7 Veceriska, and I returned on the 18th at about noon,

    8 and there were no foreign soldiers when I returned.

    9 Q. Had there been?

    10 A. I don't understand.

    11 Q. Had there been any soldiers from outside of

    12 Donja Veceriska who were members of the HVO in the days

    13 that you were outside of the village?

    14 A. No, not on that particular night, but when

    15 the fighting started, then there were only the members

    16 from Donja Veceriska, and they took up the fighting,

    17 and then young men from Gornja Veceriska arrived and

    18 from Mosunj and Nova Bila, they arrived to help out.

    19 How many there were, rumour had it that there were

    20 about 15 Tvrtkovci, whereas I don't know how many from

    21 Donja Veceriska there were.

    22 Q. Now, did you see any of the HVO soldiers at

    23 all during the two days of fighting that took place at

    24 Donja Veceriska? I understand, Mr. Lovric, that you

    25 were at a different vantage point. You were up at

  42. 1 Gornja Veceriska. But looking down, could you see any

    2 members of the HVO engaged in fighting?

    3 A. No, you couldn't see any individuals because

    4 Gornja Veceriska is about two kilometres away, two to

    5 two and a half kilometres from my vantage point, so it

    6 was impossible to make out and distinguish a man. You

    7 could only see houses, and they would look like small

    8 houses, very small dots, and you couldn't make out the

    9 people.

    10 Q. Okay. Now, in Defence Exhibit 538 -- did you

    11 prepare this diagram yourself?

    12 A. Yes, I did, with the help of my friends.

    13 Q. When did you prepare this particular diagram?

    14 A. The diagram. When I passed on the 18th of

    15 April, I marked in what had burnt down during the

    16 fighting because I kept records on my own, and I drew

    17 up this diagram about -- several months ago. I don't

    18 quite remember. Several months ago. I don't know

    19 exactly.

    20 Q. Now, on this diagram, Mr. Lovric, I count

    21 approximately 42 Muslim homes that are burned or

    22 partially destroyed and I count 11 Croat houses that

    23 are burned or partially destroyed. Did you see any of

    24 those houses set afire?

    25 A. I saw smoke during the combat operations in

  43. 1 this part here (indicating), that's the street I live

    2 on, and you can see this from Upper Veceriska, Gornja

    3 Veceriska, and it's just as if it was on the palm of

    4 your hand.

    5 Q. So I take it you don't know the circumstances

    6 under which any of these houses were set afire; is that

    7 correct?

    8 A. These Muslim houses were burning in the

    9 combat operation zone, these here, whereas these other

    10 ones were in the background, these here (indicating),

    11 then two houses belonging to the Miskovic family. This

    12 is well in the rear, and this was intentionally set

    13 fire to.

    14 Q. Now, I take it when you returned home on the

    15 afternoon or at noon on the 18th of April, the fighting

    16 had completely terminated in Donja Veceriska?

    17 A. Yes, yes.

    18 Q. I take it further from your testimony that

    19 all but nine of the Muslim residents of Donja Veceriska

    20 had fled the village; is that correct?

    21 A. I wouldn't say "fled." They withdrew. They

    22 went with UNPROFOR, the army withdrew following them,

    23 and during those two days of fighting, the HVO soldiers

    24 came up to the Lovric houses, which means that this was

    25 still under the control of the -- that the Muslims had

  44. 1 control, Besic and the Brdo area, and we thought it was

    2 strange --

    3 Q. Mr. Lovric, let me interrupt you for just a

    4 second. I don't mean to --

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Last question, Mr. Harmon.

    6 Then I want to ask Mr. Nobilo if he has any further

    7 questions to ask. So please ask your last question.

    8 MR. HARMON: Now I have to make a selection

    9 of which will be my last question -- if I could have,

    10 with the Court's indulgence, a few more questions,

    11 Mr. President, I would appreciate it. I will be

    12 finished within --

    13 JUDGE JORDA: No, no. The interpreters are

    14 doing additional work this evening. We have to take

    15 into account what was decided this morning. Perhaps

    16 the Judges have some questions to ask. I hope that

    17 Mr. Nobilo will be brief in his redirect. You have one

    18 more question, Mr. Harmon.

    19 MR. HARMON:

    20 Q. Did you hear that Dario Kordic was in your

    21 village on the night of the 15th of April, 1993, at the

    22 cafe that belonged to Mr. Drmic?

    23 A. He was not in Donja Veceriska at all on that

    24 day. Only during the war did Dario Kordic come to

    25 Donja Veceriska once. Perhaps half a year before the

  45. 1 war broke out. I don't remember exactly when that

    2 was. But he was not there on that evening. That is a

    3 disinformation. It is a lie. I say that

    4 categorically.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Harmon. I think

    6 that's all.

    7 Mr. Nobilo, you can have redirect time now,

    8 but be brief.

    9 MR. NOBILO: I have no questions.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Turning to my

    11 colleagues. Judge Shahabuddeen?

    12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Mr. Lovric, I understood

    13 you to be saying that some Croat houses at the back of

    14 the village were intentionally set afire.

    15 A. Yes.

    16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: But that the Muslim

    17 houses were destroyed in the course of a conflict; is

    18 that your testimony?

    19 A. Yes, it is. Fourteen Muslim houses were

    20 burnt down during the fighting in the combat operation

    21 zone, or 14 of them, whereas the Croatian houses -- you

    22 saw the map and you saw the positions of the Croatian

    23 houses -- they were well into the back of the territory

    24 under Muslim control and they were intentionally set

    25 fire to.

  46. 1 My house was also looted. They took things

    2 away. I wanted to open a small shop, and I kept my

    3 goods there, and so along the road, I found many of the

    4 things from my shop there. A house can burn down but

    5 you cannot -- the screen of a television set cannot

    6 burn down. What do I want to say? What I want to say

    7 is that they thought they were stronger and that they

    8 would wipe us out.

    9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I asked you a question.

    10 The point of the question was to clarify your answer.

    11 Do you confirm that your testimony is that the Croat

    12 houses were burnt down intentionally but that the

    13 Muslim houses were destroyed in the course of the

    14 conflict? Was that your testimony, "Yes" or "No"?

    15 A. Yes, that's right. The Croatian houses were

    16 intentionally burnt down.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well now, were any

    18 Croatian houses destroyed in the course of the

    19 conflict?

    20 A. No.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Were any Muslim houses

    22 intentionally destroyed?

    23 A. I'm not aware of how the fighting developed,

    24 and whether some were intentionally destroyed or not, I

    25 don't know.

  47. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do I take your answer to

    2 be that some Muslim houses may or may not have been

    3 intentionally destroyed?

    4 A. I don't think any of these houses were

    5 intentionally destroyed because a house can be set fire

    6 to in the zone, the fighting zone; for example, the

    7 shed catches fire and then-- with a bullet or a bomb or

    8 anything of that kind and then the house catches fire

    9 as well. But our men were not able to reach those

    10 houses when they were on fire. They didn't reach the

    11 houses, which meant that they were set fire to during

    12 the fighting.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is your testimony then

    14 that so far as you knew, no Muslim houses were

    15 intentionally set afire?

    16 A. During the combat operations, no, and after

    17 the fighting, some eight houses were set on fire.

    18 Somebody did that, some unknown perpetrator did this

    19 intentionally. I said that in the course of my

    20 testimony. In addition to the fact that the commanders

    21 tasked three policemen to guard the houses. Somebody

    22 did manage to set eight houses on fire.

    23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, your evidence was

    24 that the Croats, in some cases at any rate, protected

    25 the Muslims and Muslim houses; was that your testimony?

  48. 1 A. Three policemen from the civilian police

    2 force patrolled these houses non-stop to protect Muslim

    3 property.

    4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: So the answer is "Yes."

    5 Your answer is "Yes," the Croats protected --

    6 A. Yes, yes. We wanted to protect them, yes.

    7 We worked on it, to protect the houses, yes, yes, the

    8 Muslim houses.

    9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: [Question interrupted by

    10 interpretation of previous Answer] ... questions by

    11 recalling your testimony.

    12 A. Yes.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, were you aware of

    14 any reverse instances in which Muslims protected Croats

    15 or Croat houses?

    16 A. In Donja Veceriska, I don't know. When they

    17 left on the 18th of April, they started coming back, so

    18 in that month, I did not have occasion to contact any

    19 Muslims. Probably, probably there were individuals who

    20 did so in view of the fact that not all the houses

    21 belonging to the Miskovic family had been set on fire,

    22 which means that somebody had prevented them, somebody

    23 had prevented his fellow Muslim from setting fire to

    24 the houses. Somebody succeeded in protecting these

    25 houses.

  49. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you say that there

    2 were instances of mutual protection?

    3 A. I don't understand what you're thinking.

    4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: When asked to summarise

    5 your evidence, would you say that, so far as you knew,

    6 there were instances in which Croats protected Muslims

    7 and some reverse instances in which Muslims protected

    8 Croats?

    9 A. We're speaking about houses in the

    10 testimony. Now, as regards the protection of Croats,

    11 that is, protection by the Croats, the nine Muslim

    12 civilians were protected to a maximum degree. Nobody

    13 in the combat activities had remained where the Muslims

    14 had control over Donja Veceriska in those two days, so

    15 that in actual fact, they did not have anybody to

    16 protect from the Croats. The houses were left empty.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you hear of any

    18 instances outside of your village in which Muslims

    19 protected Croats or Croat houses?

    20 A. No, I didn't.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: What were relations like

    22 between the two communities before the conflict? Did

    23 they get on well?

    24 A. Yes, they did, while there were joint patrols

    25 until the end of October 1992. That means we worked

  50. 1 together. We would visit each other's houses. We

    2 would go visiting. We would socialise. For example,

    3 in my family, there are more mixed marriages than

    4 uni-ethnic marriages. My sister is married to a Serb,

    5 for example. My uncle's daughter is married to a

    6 Muslim. My uncle's son married a Serbian girl. My

    7 uncle's daughter is married to a Serb, once again. Two

    8 aunts have two children, and they married Serbs. So

    9 there are more mixed marriages than there are

    10 uni-nationality marriages. I don't know what the war

    11 brought with it. You are able to see for yourselves.

    12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Indeed, we are, and

    13 you're helping us. Thank you very much.

    14 Let me ask you this last question: How do

    15 you judge as to the prospect of those relations

    16 returning between the three communities to which you

    17 have referred?

    18 A. Relations can be resumed only if the

    19 extremists from amongst the Muslim people be held

    20 responsible here in The Hague and be brought to

    21 justice. If they are left to walk free, then we Croats

    22 will always fear them, and so only by taking the

    23 extremists into custody would we gradually be able to

    24 resume our relations.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: You spoke of extremists

  51. 1 amongst the Muslims. To your knowledge --

    2 A. Yes.

    3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: -- were there any

    4 extremists amongst the Croats?

    5 A. Not a single Croat from Donja Veceriska was

    6 the perpetrator of any excessive behaviour, and if you

    7 don't do any excessive behaviour, I don't consider you

    8 to be extremist. But if you shoot and if you say to

    9 somebody's very eyes -- for example, the Muslim Suad

    10 Sesid and Ferid Kalca -- for example, two cases in

    11 point, and Ferid Kalca and Nahid Haskic said that

    12 Turkish times would be upon us and that they would

    13 sleep with our wives, then that is placing human

    14 dignity in jeopardy, because the Turkish times were a

    15 period when the Turks had the right on the first night

    16 of the marriage to sleep with our wives, and for me,

    17 that is extremist conduct.

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you, Witness.

    19 Should I sum up the last phase of your evidence this

    20 way, that your testimony to the Court is that there

    21 were extremists on the Muslim side, but there were no

    22 extremists on the Croat side?

    23 A. On the Croatian side, not a single one. I

    24 said, when I testified a moment ago, that if you resist

    25 and say that the Turkish times will not come and that

  52. 1 we're not going to wear fezzes and we're not going to

    2 use the Turkish terms "lahko," "mehko," they would say

    3 that you were an extremist, and it is not extremist if

    4 you defend your own human dignity. That's what I think

    5 at least.

    6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I'm obliged to you,

    7 Witness.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge Shahabuddeen.

    9 Judge Rodrigues?

    10 I don't have any questions either. Once

    11 again, we would like to thank you. We'll ask you to

    12 remain seated for a moment. We're going to take a

    13 ten-minute break.

    14 Let me remind you that we have to finish at

    15 any cost this evening so that Mr. Plavcic can go home.

    16 Let me remind you that the examination-in-chief lasted

    17 for 26 minutes, and we will ask that you not go beyond

    18 26 minutes, Mr. Cayley.

    19 We will resume at ten after six.

    20 --- Recess taken at 6.00 p.m.

    21 --- On resuming at 6.15 p.m.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: We can now resume the hearing.

    23 Have the accused brought in, please, Mr. Dubuisson.

    24 (The accused entered court)

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Plavcic, thank you for

  53. 1 coming back. I don't think it's going to take very

    2 long. Mr. Cayley, you've got 26 minutes.

    3 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, good evening.

    4 Thank you very much for the Court's indulgence in

    5 giving me the additional time.

    6 WITNESS: ANTO PLAVCIC (recalled)

    7 Cross-examined by Mr. Cayley:

    8 Q. Mr. Plavcic, good evening. My name is

    9 Cayley. I'm from the office of the Prosecutor. This

    10 is my colleague, Mr. Harmon.

    11 If I can just confirm a few biographical

    12 details to you. Prior to working at the Mediapan, did

    13 you work as a postman for the PTT?

    14 A. Yes. I worked as a postman in 1977.

    15 Q. Subsequently, you worked as a doorman at

    16 Mediapan where your wife was a cook; is that right?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Now, prior to the break-up of the former --

    19 A. Yes. My wife worked as a cook for a period

    20 of time, and I worked as a doorman.

    21 Q. Now, can you tell me in what year the HDZ

    22 party was formed in Busovaca?

    23 MR. HAYMAN: Beyond the scope. Outside of

    24 the scope of direct. Let's at least stay within the

    25 scope if we're going to work at --

  54. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Let's not waste any time.

    2 Mr. Cayley, just go ahead. The Judges will make their

    3 evaluation. Let's not waste any time today. I really

    4 want us to be finished this evening.

    5 MR. CAYLEY:

    6 Q. Mr. Plavcic, when was the HDZ party formed in

    7 Busovaca; do you recall?

    8 A. I do not know exactly when it was formed, but

    9 it could have been in the '90s, maybe 1990. I don't

    10 know exactly when.

    11 Q. Did you join the HDZ party?

    12 A. I did not join the HDZ right away.

    13 Q. What year did you join the HDZ party?

    14 A. After the Dayton Accords. I don't know

    15 exactly when. It could have been '94/'95.

    16 Q. Your testimony is that you were never a

    17 member of the HVO political party; is that correct?

    18 A. I didn't understand.

    19 Q. Were you ever a member of the HVO political

    20 party?

    21 MR. HAYMAN: Mr. President, what is that?

    22 Could we be specific? "HVO political party"?

    23 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, the witness said

    24 earlier that he was never in the HVO military, and I

    25 believe I have a good-faith basis to ask the witness

  55. 1 whether or not he was ever a member of the HVO

    2 political party, since my learned friend has often

    3 tried to distinguish, in some way, between the army and

    4 the political party.

    5 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, there is no HVO

    6 party. Such a thing does not exist.

    7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, you can bring these

    8 questions up during the redirect.

    9 Continue, please.

    10 He's trying to find out what the witness did

    11 during the period that has to do with his testimony.

    12 All of you do that. You do that in the

    13 cross-examination and in the examination-in-chief. I'm

    14 beginning to understand the common law procedure now.

    15 Continue, Mr. Cayley.

    16 MR. CAYLEY:

    17 Q. Mr. Plavcic, let me ask you a simple

    18 question: Were you ever a member of the HVO?

    19 A. I was never a member of the HVO because I'm

    20 completely unfit for military service.

    21 Q. Do you know a man by the name of Pero

    22 Susnjar?

    23 A. Pero Susnjar, I know about this man. He's an

    24 elderly man. He's dead now.

    25 Q. Is he from your village of Jelinak?

  56. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. What year did he die?

    3 A. He died before the war. I don't know exactly

    4 when but maybe even before 1990. I don't know

    5 exactly. I really don't know.

    6 Q. Do you know a man by the name of Ivica

    7 Andrijasevic?

    8 A. Yes, I do.

    9 Q. Who is he?

    10 A. He is the son of Stipo Andrijasevic. He's

    11 married. I don't know how many children he has, four

    12 or five now. He lives in Busovaca. I don't know

    13 exactly his address. He was in the HVO.

    14 Q. In 1993, he was the commander of the HVO in

    15 Jelinak, was he not?

    16 A. That is what I say. I don't know because I'm

    17 not a member of this HVO unit, but I know -- I heard

    18 from the others that Stipo Andrijasevic was the

    19 commander of the HVO in Kiseljak.

    20 Q. Now, prior to living in Busovaca, you had

    21 lived in Jelinak for 39 years; is that correct?

    22 A. That is correct, from my birth until the

    23 conflict between the Muslims and Croats.

    24 Q. I think the village of Jelinak consists of

    25 about 100 houses; is that correct?

  57. 1 A. Approximately 100 houses. It could be a

    2 couple of houses -- a couple less, fewer than a

    3 hundred, and half of them were Croat and half of them

    4 Muslim. In the upper part of the village were the

    5 Muslims, and in the lower part of the village were the

    6 Croats.

    7 Q. Now, I think, having lived there for 39

    8 years, you would have a good knowledge of all of the

    9 families who lived in the village. You would know both

    10 the Muslims and the Croats, wouldn't you?

    11 A. That is correct.

    12 Q. Do you know Vinko Brnada?

    13 A. Vinko Brnada, I know this man. He used to

    14 live awhile ago, how shall I put it, at the very top of

    15 the village of Jelinak, just under the Kuber, and then

    16 he moved to the village of Skradno at some point.

    17 Q. In 1993, he was a member of the HVO, wasn't

    18 he?

    19 A. Vinko Brnada, actually, there are two Vinko

    20 Brnadas. There's one whom I just mentioned, and

    21 there's another Vinko Brnada who is the son of Ilko

    22 whose full name is Ilija. He lived at Gavrine Kuce.

    23 At his age, he could have been a member of the HVO, and

    24 he was born there, so occasionally he would come to the

    25 village, but after -- so I saw him at that time, but

  58. 1 after the conflict broke out, I don't know where he

    2 went and what he did.

    3 Q. Now, I want you to cast your mind back to the

    4 end of January 1993. Now, this Court has heard

    5 testimony from two witnesses that an ultimatum was

    6 given to the Muslims to hand over their weapons to the

    7 HVO. What I would like to ask you is whether or not

    8 you are aware of a meeting --

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Nobilo, do you have an

    10 objection?

    11 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the

    12 examination-in-chief was limited to only the 15th,

    13 16th, 17th, and 18th of April, 1993 and no other

    14 period.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: I answered that objection,

    16 Mr. Nobilo. You are both right and wrong. You're

    17 right because the constituent texts says that the

    18 cross-examination must be matched with the direct

    19 examination, but you're also wrong because it would be

    20 an overly simple rule. It's nothing to bring in a

    21 witness and to ask only two questions, the questions

    22 which interest you, and for the other things that the

    23 Judges might be interested in to be hidden. So my job

    24 is to adopt the Rules to each specific case. I will

    25 remind Mr. Cayley if he is moving too far away from the

  59. 1 direct examination, but for the Judges and for myself,

    2 there are certain things that we're interested in;

    3 otherwise, things would be too easy. You bring in a

    4 witness, you simply ask him about this glass of water,

    5 for example, and we never speak about the pitcher.

    6 That's not possible.

    7 All right. Mr. Cayley, I want to remind you

    8 about what you heard this morning. You have 26

    9 minutes, and I want you to focus on the questions that

    10 were asked this morning of the witness.

    11 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.

    12 Q. A meeting took place, did it not, at Pero

    13 Susnjar's house at the end of January where it was

    14 demanded that the Muslims hand over their weapons to

    15 the HVO?

    16 A. Since I was not part of the military

    17 structure, I did not have access to such information,

    18 and I don't know of this.

    19 Q. Were you present at that meeting?

    20 A. No, I was not present there.

    21 Q. Did you ever hold any political advisory

    22 function within the HVO in Jelinak?

    23 A. I did not.

    24 Q. Now, I want you to move forward in time to

    25 the 15th of April, and you stated that two HVO soldiers

  60. 1 were evacuated through Jelinak to Kaonik, do you recall

    2 that in your examination-in-chief, on the 15th of

    3 April?

    4 A. What I said about 15 April this morning was

    5 that when the shooting was heard in the area of Mount

    6 Kuber, this was early in the morning. At noon and in

    7 the afternoon, the population was being evacuated. As

    8 people who were not involved in combat operations, we

    9 did not know what was going on, and two HVO soldiers

    10 who were wounded at that time were brought through and

    11 on towards Kaonik.

    12 Q. Who did Slavko Garic tell that the Bosnian

    13 army had started the conflict on Kuber?

    14 A. I don't know exactly who asked him this

    15 question and what was going on, but there were several

    16 people there. They asked him, "What is going on? What

    17 is happening?" And he said, "We were attacked by the

    18 BH army." At that time, in fact, it was still called

    19 the TO, the Territorial Defence.

    20 Q. Did you personally speak to him about this

    21 matter, about who started the conflict?

    22 A. I did not.

    23 Q. Now, you testified yesterday in the Kupreskic

    24 case; do you recall you gave evidence yesterday?

    25 A. That I spoke to Gelic, no, I did not say that

  61. 1 and I did not talk to him. I just heard.

    2 Q. You misunderstood me, Mr. Plavcic. Did you

    3 testify in another case in this Tribunal yesterday?

    4 A. I testified because Madam Jadranka

    5 Slokovic-Glumac -- I don't know whose case I testified

    6 in. I just gave a statement what I did on the 15th,

    7 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th, what I heard and what I saw

    8 on those days.

    9 Q. I'm just clarifying matters for the purposes

    10 of the Judges so that they understand that you've

    11 testified in another case.

    12 Let me ask you this question: Did you state

    13 yesterday the following: "On the 15th of April, I

    14 don't know who attacked whom because I wasn't there, I

    15 was in the village, and who was the one to carry out

    16 the attack, but when these people were evacuated, we

    17 heard the HVO was attacked by the army from the

    18 direction of Zenica."

    19 Did you say that yesterday?

    20 A. Yesterday, I said that I heard fighting going

    21 on, this was in the early morning hours, at Mount

    22 Kuber, and over there, it was only possible for this to

    23 have been a conflict between the HVO and the BH army.

    24 I also said that those two wounded men were evacuated

    25 through Jelinak and that one of them said that they had

  62. 1 been attacked by the BH army.

    2 Q. What you're saying is that you did not say

    3 yesterday that you did not know who had attacked whom

    4 on the 15th of April?

    5 A. In the early morning hours, before they

    6 arrived, I had not known who had attacked whom. When

    7 they arrived, I learned that the BH army had attacked

    8 the HVO, and I knew that there was shooting going on up

    9 there, and I assumed, I did not know this, but I

    10 assumed that the conflict was between these two.

    11 Q. Are you aware that Muslim males were arrested

    12 in the village of Jelinak on the 16th of April of 1993?

    13 A. I am not aware of this. I don't know that

    14 they were arrested and anything in that regard.

    15 Q. Are you aware of any Muslim males being taken

    16 from the village of Jelinak to the Kaonik prison in

    17 Busovaca?

    18 A. My apologies. Are you asking me whether I

    19 knew on those days -- do I know on the 15th? No. Do I

    20 know on the 16th? No. Later on, I heard that those

    21 Muslims, I don't know how many and who, had been

    22 transferred to the Kaonik prison. That could have been

    23 on the 18th, 19th, and later.

    24 Q. So you heard that Muslim men had been taken

    25 from the village of Jelinak to the Kaonik prison?

  63. 1 A. Yes, but I heard this on the 18th and 19th

    2 after I had fled. This is what I heard in Busovaca

    3 when I had moved far away from the village of Jelinak.

    4 Q. Now, I think on the 17th of April, early in

    5 the morning, 1993, 17th of April, 1993, you saw houses

    6 burning at the upper end of the village of Jelinak, did

    7 you not?

    8 A. That is correct. In the early morning hours,

    9 that is, before the dawn, when we were being evacuated,

    10 that is, when we were fleeing the village, the Croatian

    11 civilians were fleeing, and I had not fled yet because

    12 it was easier to flee under the cover of dark, I saw

    13 the top portion of the village of Jelinak, that

    14 something was burning. I don't know whether these were

    15 houses or something else, but anyway, there was some

    16 light there because it was still dark.

    17 Q. Now, the upper end of the village is the

    18 Muslim part of the village; is it not?

    19 A. That is correct.

    20 Q. Now, a witness has testified before these

    21 Judges that, on the 17th of April, the HVO were burning

    22 houses in Loncari; do you recall seeing that?

    23 A. I did not see this. Just as I said, I did

    24 not see it in the morning hours. When we fled, when we

    25 fled Jelinak village, Loncari was to the right of us at

  64. 1 that time, and from there, we could see -- had anything

    2 been burning or had there been any military presence,

    3 we would have seen it, but we were just fleeing because

    4 we were shelled from mortars from Vran Stijene by the

    5 Muslims at that time.

    6 Q. Do you know a man by the name of Mirko Jozic?

    7 A. Mirko?

    8 Q. Jozic.

    9 A. I don't know such a man. I've never even

    10 heard of such a man.

    11 Q. Did you ever take Muslim males from Jelinak

    12 to the village of Loncari and hand them over to

    13 Mr. Jozic to dig trenches in Loncari?

    14 A. No, I did not do that.

    15 Q. Now, on the 17th of April, 1993, I think you

    16 left the village of Jelinak at noon, at midday; is that

    17 correct?

    18 A. The 17th of April in the morning hours, that

    19 is when I fled Jelinak because of the shooting and all

    20 the explosions, and the war was raging. So after that,

    21 I did not hear anything.

    22 Q. At what time in the morning hours did you

    23 leave Jelinak?

    24 A. On the 17th of April, in the morning hours, I

    25 don't know exactly the time, but it was not noon yet,

  65. 1 so it was during the morning.

    2 Q. Now, I think you said in your

    3 examination-in-chief that, on the 18th of April, you

    4 learned that the HVO had lost control of the villages

    5 of Jelinak and Putis and that Croat houses were set

    6 fire to in Putis and Jelinak; do you recall that?

    7 A. It is correct that I said that on the 18th I

    8 learned -- I learned on the 18th that the Croats, that

    9 is, the HVO, had completely lost control of Jelinak,

    10 that the BH army had taken full control of the villages

    11 of Jelinak and Putis, and we also learned on that day

    12 that those two civilians were casualties, Anto

    13 Andrijasevic was wounded and another one was killed.

    14 Q. Did you see who set fire to these Croat

    15 houses in Putis and Jelinak? Did you see that with

    16 your own eyes?

    17 A. I did not see it because I could not see it.

    18 I left in the morning hours on the 17th, and at that

    19 time, except for what I have just said, that is, that

    20 in the uppermost part of the village of Jelinak,

    21 something was burning, but beyond that, I did not see

    22 anything. I also said on the evening of the 16th, I

    23 saw that in the village of Putis, in the upper portion

    24 of the village, something was burning also, and I could

    25 not see what it was because it was dark, and during the

  66. 1 day, I did not look again. The village of Putis also

    2 has two parts, the upper and the lower part.

    3 Q. Now, yesterday in your testimony, you were

    4 asked the following question by my colleague,

    5 Mr. Blaxill, and I'll read out the question: "In fact,

    6 would it -- to the best of your knowledge, Mr. Plavcic,

    7 wasn't there, in fact, just the area," and he's

    8 referring to Jelinak and Putis, "becoming a large

    9 battle zone with damage to both Croatian and Muslim

    10 properties?" Your response was, "That is correct, that

    11 on the 18th, all houses in the villages of Jelinak and

    12 Putis, in Putis, the Croatian houses, and in the

    13 village of Jelinak, all the houses were burning on the

    14 18th. That's what I heard in Busovaca, that all the

    15 houses were on fire. Which were the ones to start

    16 burning first, I don't know. As far as I saw, it was

    17 the upper part of the village in the early morning

    18 hours that started burning first in the village of

    19 Jelinak."

    20 Do you recall saying that yesterday,

    21 Mr. Plavcic?

    22 A. Yes, that is correct. I did say that.

    23 Q. And that is --

    24 A. This is what I heard on the 18th. This is

    25 what I heard on the 18th, that all villages, that is,

  67. 1 all Croatian villages, and Putis were set on fire, and

    2 what I saw, I saw in the early morning hours on the

    3 17th, which is that something is burning, but I could

    4 not see what it was. It was still dark, and I couldn't

    5 see what it was. Also, on the 16th in the evening, in

    6 Dvor, which is the upper part of the village of Putis,

    7 I saw something burning, and the distance to there is

    8 about one kilometre, so it was a little bit above, and

    9 you could not see everything.

    10 Q. Now, Mr. Plavcic, a witness from the United

    11 Nations Protection Force has testified before these

    12 Judges that Muslim houses were plundered and looted and

    13 burned in Putis. Is that what you saw on the 16th of

    14 April, burning Muslim houses?

    15 A. I did not see this. I did not see this on

    16 the 16th of April. That wasn't there, and I didn't see

    17 it. What I saw on the 16th of April, in the upper part

    18 of the village of Putis, which is called Dvor,

    19 something was burning, and in the early morning hours

    20 of the 17th, I also saw something similar, but whether

    21 there were houses that were burning, that, I did not

    22 know at the time. Eventually, I did learn that all

    23 houses in the village of Jelinak were burned down, both

    24 Muslim and Croat.

    25 After Dayton, when I went to the cemetery on

  68. 1 the Day of the Dead, I went to light a candle on my

    2 parents' grave, I went to my house, and I saw that

    3 everything had been destroyed, except for two houses,

    4 Anto Gelic and Marko Vidovic's houses, which still had

    5 roofs and windows and doors, so they had not been

    6 burned down. They had not been destroyed.

    7 Q. Now, another witness, another United Nations

    8 Protection Force officer, testified in this Court that

    9 on the 1st of May, 1993, he visited the village of

    10 Jelinak and was shown the site of a number of

    11 atrocities that were committed, allegedly, by the HVO

    12 against Muslim civilians in Jelinak. Did you ever hear

    13 about that in Busovaca?

    14 A. I did not hear about that. I heard that

    15 there were dead on both sides because the fighting went

    16 on in the village itself, and they said that the

    17 fighting had been fierce. This is what I heard, but I

    18 did not hear specifically how many dead there were.

    19 MR. CAYLEY: I don't have any further

    20 questions, Mr. President. I think I'm dead on 26

    21 minutes.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, I admire your

    23 precision, and you have prevented me from being even

    24 more precise than you were, and I thank you for that.

    25 Mr. Nobilo, do you want to add a few things

  69. 1 quickly?

    2 MR. NOBILO: Yes, I shall also be very

    3 brief.

    4 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    5 Q. Let us return to the 15th of April, 1993 when

    6 you heard that fighting was going on at Kuber. Can you

    7 tell us, was this just shooting from artillery pieces

    8 or was there any strong detonation?

    9 A. On the 15th of April, that is to say, in the

    10 morning hours, there were no strong detonations. There

    11 was just fighting with artillery weapons -- all arms

    12 fire.

    13 Q. Do you know that before the 15th of April,

    14 that the HVO held positions on Mount Kuber?

    15 A. Yes, I did. I heard about this. They said

    16 that Kuber was under HVO control.

    17 Q. Up until the 15th, the HVO had control of

    18 Kuber, and then you heard fighting on the 15th. What

    19 were you able to conclude from that fact? Who came and

    20 who attacked whom, before you received information from

    21 the wounded.

    22 A. I said a moment ago, I don't know how far I

    23 made myself understood, on the 15th up until noon, you

    24 could hear small arms fire. As the HVO was in control

    25 up there, then the other forces, the Serbian forces,

  70. 1 for example, and the former Yugoslav army was not in

    2 existence there or in Zenica either, we were able to

    3 conclude that it was the BH army which had attacked the

    4 Croatian Defence Council on the 15th of April in the

    5 morning.

    6 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. No

    7 further questions.

    8 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo.

    9 Judge Shahabuddeen?

    10 Judge Rodrigues?

    11 I have one question. Do you confirm that the

    12 upper part of the village was 80 per cent Muslim; is

    13 that correct? Do you hear me?

    14 A. Yes, I can hear you. It's not very clear,

    15 but I can hear you. In the upper part of the Jelinak

    16 village, it was 100 per cent Muslim. There are two

    17 parts. The upper part, 100 per cent. It depends where

    18 you divide the village. But 100 per cent -- they are

    19 all Muslims up there and the lower part is only

    20 Croats. I just said, when asked about Vinko Brnada,

    21 that was a house that was far up, below Mount Kuber.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: An UNPROFOR witness says that

    23 the houses that have been set on fire that were in the

    24 upper part, in principle then, that would be the Muslim

    25 part; is that correct?

  71. 1 A. Well, the possibility exists that that is

    2 so. I saw that something was burning. I didn't know

    3 whether they were actually houses. They could have

    4 been sheds, they could have been haystacks because it

    5 was night time. All you could see was that something

    6 was burning. But what exactly was burning, I couldn't

    7 see, because it was 300, 400, 500 metres away, and the

    8 terrain is not flat. So you couldn't really determine

    9 this.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Whether they were fields or

    11 haystacks or sheds, that was in the Muslim part; you

    12 agree with me there, that's the upper part?

    13 A. Yes, absolutely, yes. I agree absolutely.

    14 JUDGE JORDA: We would like to thank you for

    15 having remained here all day long. This helped us to

    16 organise our work, and now you won't have to be here

    17 tomorrow.

    18 We have now concluded your testimony. The

    19 usher will escort you from the courtroom, but I would

    20 like to speak to the parties for a moment. So once

    21 again, thank you. We would like to express the

    22 Tribunal's gratitude to you. Thank you.

    23 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

    24 (The witness withdrew)

    25 JUDGE JORDA: I will just keep you for

  72. 1 another two or three minutes. Tomorrow we will

    2 begin -- Wednesday, we will be starting at 1.30 and not

    3 at 2.00.

    4 I would like to have things clearly confirmed

    5 by the Defence. After the testimony of the accused,

    6 there will only be two witnesses; is that correct? You

    7 asked for a video conference link testimony. This

    8 decision, has that been granted?

    9 THE REGISTRAR: Yes. Well, the decision has

    10 been given.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: So what witnesses will you have

    12 left, Mr. Hayman? Let us be very clear here.

    13 MR. HAYMAN: As to the video link witness, I

    14 believe the motion was denied. We need to make further

    15 inquiry. If the witness will not come to The Hague, as

    16 we suspect, then we will not be hearing from that

    17 witness, the Court will not be hearing from that

    18 witness.

    19 There is another witness. We are still

    20 trying to seek the ability to produce that witness. If

    21 we can get that ability, we intend to present that

    22 other witness.

    23 Those are the only two witnesses we are

    24 discussing, have any intention or hope at this time of

    25 calling in the trial. If we get a letter that informs

  73. 1 us of something critical or important tomorrow, we will

    2 raise that with the Court, but we have no such

    3 information at this time.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: It would have to really be

    5 crucial, really crucial, and then the Judges would

    6 agree.

    7 All right. We now have a schedule that I

    8 will give you in closed session at another time because

    9 it still depends on a certain number of decisions that

    10 the Judges have to take. For the time being, we will

    11 say that there are only two Defence witnesses left plus

    12 the testimony of the accused. That testimony will

    13 begin at 1.30 tomorrow.

    14 Now here is my question, Mr. Hayman: Do you

    15 confirm that you need 35 hours?

    16 MR. HAYMAN: For the direct testimony,

    17 Mr. President? What do you mean?

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, for the direct testimony.

    19 MR. HAYMAN: I do not think we can complete

    20 the direct in 35 hours, no, Mr. President.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: But that's what you said,

    22 Mr. Hayman. You've got to get into the habit of -- we

    23 have to get into the habit of carrying out what we say

    24 we're going to do; otherwise, we can't set up a

    25 schedule.

  74. 1 MR. HAYMAN: [Submission inaudible as

    2 previous comment was being interpreted]

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Well, there is a document that

    4 was provided in closed session which said that it would

    5 be 35 hours for the accused.

    6 MR. HAYMAN: You mean at the beginning of the

    7 Defence case, we estimated 35 hours for his testimony.

    8 That may well be true. That may well be true that in

    9 August, we estimated 35 hours for his direct

    10 examination, Mr. President. I can now say -- and

    11 Mr. Nobilo will be conducting the direct examination --

    12 that I estimate the direct will be on the order of two

    13 weeks, and depending upon how many hours we get per

    14 day, it could be more or fewer calendar days. But,

    15 Your Honour, you may be well right that in August, we

    16 estimated 35 hours for the direct testimony which -- 35

    17 hours at five hours a day is about seven calendar

    18 days. We think it's likely to be more like ten days,

    19 and I cannot give the Court a number of hours. It is

    20 too large a task for us to quantify specifically right

    21 now.

    22 We are going to try and go slowly so that the

    23 quality of the translation is at its absolute maximum,

    24 and it is going to take a couple of weeks, we think,

    25 for the accused to give his narrative of his

  75. 1 experiences, his work during the relevant period of

    2 time.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. I understand. I think I

    4 can speak for my colleagues, that is, as regards the

    5 rights of the accused, there is no question about

    6 limiting the testimony.

    7 I am asking the question solely so that we

    8 can set up a schedule that won't go drifting off, and

    9 all of us want to end this trial in an appropriate time

    10 period because everybody knows, you and the accused,

    11 it's been three years that he's been in detention.

    12 All right. We would agree then that we will

    13 specify the time as we go along, that is, after the

    14 first week. At that point, we will ask you to give a

    15 specific evaluation of how much time you're going to

    16 need for the accused.

    17 Would you agree with what I've just said? At

    18 the end of the first week of the accused's testimony.

    19 MR. HAYMAN: We will give the Court our best

    20 estimate at any time, Mr. President. If, at the end of

    21 five calendar days, we may well be able to give, by

    22 looking at Mr. Nobilo's notes, whether he's halfway

    23 through the volume of notes or one-third or

    24 two-thirds. That may be the most --

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.

  76. 1 MR. HAYMAN: -- specific way to estimate.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Let me now turn to the

    3 Prosecution. You, of course, will have the same amount

    4 of time for the cross-examination, that is, the same

    5 amount of time that was used for the

    6 examination-in-chief of the accused. Do we agree?

    7 MR. HARMON: In principle, yes, Mr. President

    8 and Your Honours, but if we come across a situation

    9 like occurred with Brigadier Marin and we have a stack

    10 of documents this big (indicating) that we need time to

    11 review -- Mr. President, I think the cross-examination

    12 of the accused should be robust and it should be

    13 complete and it should not be constrained by any

    14 artificial time limits. In principle, Mr. President,

    15 we agree. We will try to --

    16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, I want to tell you

    17 in principle that there must be an exceptional decision

    18 on the part of the Judges, but in principle, you will

    19 have the same amount of time for the

    20 cross-examination. You have to choose your questions,

    21 as you did today. In principle, you have the same

    22 amount of time as was used for the

    23 examination-in-chief. We will not set the time today

    24 for the redirect. I think it would be superfluous and

    25 pointless to do it today. But we will do it depending

  77. 1 upon the examination-in-chief and the

    2 cross-examination, and then we can set the time for the

    3 rebuttal.

    4 During a closed Status Conference, that is,

    5 the Judges and Mr. Olivier Fourmy will give you an

    6 evaluation of the last phase of the trial because it

    7 should include the other sequences which include the

    8 rebuttal time and the rejoinder time, all of this based

    9 on certain criteria that we will inform you of.

    10 Let me turn to my colleagues. Unless they

    11 have any further comments to make -- Judge

    12 Shahabuddeen, Judge Rodrigues? All right. Having said

    13 this, we will see one other tomorrow at 1.30.

    14 Mr. Hayman, you have a question. Go ahead,

    15 please.

    16 MR. HAYMAN: Just to posit the issue,

    17 Mr. President. We certainly expect that General

    18 Blaskic will be able to testify from the witness box so

    19 that he can have access to the ELMO, and it is most

    20 appropriate, we think, that he be there and that he not

    21 have a security guard on each arm, that he have some

    22 reasonable space so that he can concentrate and feel

    23 the opportunity to communicate fully with Your

    24 Honours. I hope that's not a problem with the security

    25 department, but I raise it this evening so that the

  78. 1 issue is out there. Thank you.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: No, no. We are totally

    3 confident in the accused. Up to this point, he has

    4 never demonstrated any desire to run away or to fight

    5 with his guards. We want him to be very comfortable so

    6 that he can express himself as well as he needs to

    7 express himself.

    8 You know, I don't come from a system that

    9 works with the accused in that way, that is, when the

    10 accused is a witness, but our rules do allow that, and

    11 once the accused is testifying as a witness, of course,

    12 his place would be there and he would not have guards.

    13 We will start tomorrow then at 1.30. Court

    14 stands adjourned.

    15 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

    16 6.55 p.m., to be reconvened on

    17 Wednesday, the 17th day of February,

    18 1999, at 1.30 p.m.