1 Monday, 8th June 1998
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Good morning. Can the
6 registrar please call the case?
7 THE REGISTRAR: The case number IT-95-17/1-T,
8 the Prosecutor of the Tribunal versus Anto Furundzija.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: Can I have appearances,
11 MS. SELLERS: Good morning, Your Honours,
12 Madam President. My name is Patricia Sellers, I am
13 representing the Prosecution, accompanied by my
14 co-counsel, Mr. Mike Blaxill and Ms. Udogaranya.
15 MR. MISETIC: Good morning, Your Honours. I
16 name is Luka Misetic. I am Defence Counsel for
17 Mr. Furundzija. I would like to introduce my
18 co-counsel, Mr. Sheldon Davidson.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Furundzija, can you hear me
20 in a language you understand?
21 THE ACCUSED: Yes, I do, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: We have a number of
23 housekeeping matters before we go into closed session
24 as requested by the Prosecution.
25 First of all, let's look at the indictment
1 itself as redacted and amended. I would like to raise
2 a matter with the Prosecution on the indictment
3 regarding paragraph 13.
4 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: Is it to the intention of the
6 Prosecutor to leave it in?
7 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, are you referring
8 to the predicate paragraph where it says "then Witness
9 A and B, a Bosnian Croat"?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. Your redacted version
11 which reads, paragraph 13 reads: "All acts or
12 omissions set forth herein as grave breaches of the
13 Geneva Conventions of 1949 (grave breaches) and
14 recognised by Article 2 of the Statute of the Tribunal
15 occurred during that armed conflict and partial
17 MS. SELLERS: No, Your Honour. That was to
18 have been withdrawn because that pertained to the
19 counts that the Prosecution would not proceed on.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: So that is ...
21 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, excuse me, if I
22 might state? We had removed that, and then we were
23 informed later on that the paragraph was to be placed
24 back in, but we are not proceeding under the Geneva
25 Conventions grave breaches.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: I think it was a mistake, a
2 misunderstanding, because we were of the view that you
3 simply showed "redacted," like the other paragraphs are
4 showing, but you leave the numbering in.
5 MS. SELLERS: I understand, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: So it is now understood. It is
7 clear, Mr. Misetic?
8 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry, Your Honours, I am
9 not clear.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Paragraph 13, which reads --
11 MR. MISETIC: Eighteen?
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Thirteen. One, three. Can you
13 see it?
14 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: Which deals with grave breaches
16 of the indictment? The redacted one. The redacted
18 MR. MISETIC: I am referring to the amended
19 indictment. Is that what we are referring to?
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. The one filed on 2nd
22 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 MR. MISETIC: My paragraph 13 does not
25 mention grave breaches.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: Then we must have a different
2 one. I think you have the original one which had
3 paragraphs --
4 MR. MISETIC: I can submit it to the court,
5 but this one took out any reference to grave breaches.
6 Perhaps if the court would like to assist me, or the
7 Prosecution, but ...
8 JUDGE MUMBA: Can you give -- yes, the
9 correct version, please, the correct one?
10 That one is supposed to have been withdrawn.
11 MR. MISETIC: Would the court mind giving me
12 just a minute to read this? I haven't seen this.
13 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
14 MR. MISETIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: It's okay?
16 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: It is actually -- the original
18 motion with the paragraph that are not required
19 redacted. Otherwise, this is the original form --
20 MR. MISETIC: Yes.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: The first one which was filed
22 was filed in error, the one with a mistake.
23 MR. MISETIC: I believe we got the one that
24 was filed in error, but I don't see any problem with it
25 at the moment.
1 JUDGE MUMBA: We move on to the second issue;
2 that is, we would like to know how many witnesses the
3 Prosecution are calling because there seems to have
4 been some changes.
5 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour, and that's
6 one of the reasons that we would like to discuss some
7 of these changes in closed session. What we could
8 inform the court today is we do have witnesses that are
9 ready to proceed. The witness list will, however,
10 change, and we would like to be able to discuss that
11 with you.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, but can't you just tell
13 the Trial Chamber how many witnesses in total.
14 MS. SELLERS: Yes, certainly.
15 JUDGE MUMBA: In open court?
16 MS. SELLERS: Yes, Your Honour. At this
17 point in time, we will be calling five witnesses.
18 There is a possibility of a sixth. We would like to
19 discuss some of the matters as to the change in our
20 witness composition with the court.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: What about the order?
22 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, this, because of
23 the changes, will affect the order, and these are among
24 the things that we would like to discuss with you.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: In closed session.
1 MS. SELLERS: Yes.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: We will first receive the
3 opening statement of the Prosecution; thereafter, we
4 will go into closed session.
5 MS. SELLERS: Certainly, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE MUMBA: I just want to ask Defence
7 counsel, anything before the opening statement?
8 MR. MISETIC: I guess one of the issues for
9 me is, since I don't know what witnesses are going to
10 be called and not going to be called, that may affect
11 what's in my opening statement, so I guess the Defence
12 would prefer to go to closed session right now so that
13 we can see what exactly we are going to be trying.
14 In addition, we received late Friday
15 afternoon some motions from the Office of the
16 Prosecutor that I think the Defence would prefer be
17 heard first, and then we can proceed with the trial
18 without having to worry about then dealing with
20 JUDGE MUMBA: All right then. We will take
21 the order preferred by Defence counsel, that we will go
22 into closed session, deal with everything, iron out
23 everything, before we formally start with an opening
25 We don't need to rise. Is there any need for
1 the court to rise? No. A couple of minutes? Okay.
2 (Closed session)
13 Pages 8 to 51 redacted in closed session
23 (Open session)
24 JUDGE MUMBA: The court is now in open
25 session, and the oral motion by the Defence on
1 sequestration of witnesses is granted as prayed.
2 We now move forward to asking the Prosecution
3 the order in which they intend to call their witnesses,
4 and since there are so many issues that have come up,
5 maybe you can repeat the approximate timing for
6 evidence in chief.
7 MR. BLAXILL: Yes, indeed. Good morning,
8 Your Honours, learned counsel.
9 Madam President, Your Honours, the present
10 situation has been described to you as regards the
11 availability of Prosecution witnesses. The order in
12 which we will now propose to call those witnesses to
13 give evidence before this Trial Chamber will commence
14 with a Dr. Muhamed Mujezinovic.
15 Would it be of assistance to the court if I
16 just gave the general parameters of that evidence, the
17 points we are trying to prove?
18 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no. Just the approximate
20 MR. BLAXILL: Just the approximate time.
21 Very well. Dr. Mujezinovic, I do anticipate, would
22 take the better part now, I think, of a day of court
23 hours. If that's, say, a six-hour period or something,
24 I would think that is probably so.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: That is the evidence in chief
2 MR. BLAXILL: That is the evidence in chief.
3 It may be a little bit less, but --
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Approximately six hours.
5 MR. BLAXILL: I would like to leave that
6 period, Your Honours, yes.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: As it is.
8 MR. BLAXILL: Yes.
9 JUDGE MUMBA: The next witness?
10 MR. BLAXILL: Witness B would then follow.
11 JUDGE MUMBA: E?
12 MR. BLAXILL: "B" for "Bravo," Ma'am, yes.
13 Madam President, Witness B we anticipate to be able to
14 deliver evidence in chief within a two-hour period;
15 Witness C will follow. Likewise, similar estimate.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Two hours?
17 MR. BLAXILL: Indeed.
18 JUDGE MUMBA: And then?
19 MR. BLAXILL: Then we propose Witness D, for
20 "Delta," and we would anticipate probably, I think,
21 four to five hours should cover that evidence, maybe a
22 little less.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
24 MR. BLAXILL: And then, finally, we have
25 Witness A. Again, we think four to five hours will
1 probably suffice.
2 I may, in fact, have been a little bit over
3 in my estimation in respect of Witness D, but I would
4 prefer to err on the side of caution for the court's
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you, Mr. Blaxill.
7 Defence counsel, anything? The order of witnesses has
8 been given, the estimated time has been given.
9 MR. MISETIC: Nothing further, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Are you prepared to go to
11 trial? The witnesses issue has been sorted out, the
12 order has been given, their identities. Is the Defence
13 prepared to go to trial?
14 MR. MISETIC: We are prepared to go to trial,
15 Your Honour, with the caveat as I stated it earlier.
16 Basically we are trying to preserve the issue for
18 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber doesn't
19 consider that relevant in view of the decisions that
20 have already been given. What we want to know is for
21 you to state unequivocally that you are prepared to go
22 to trial as per the indictment before the Trial
23 Chamber. The Trial Chamber can adjourn and give the
24 Defence sufficient time as they might need --
25 MR. MISETIC: I don't think the Trial Chamber
1 can do that with respect to the issue as we phrased
2 it. We sought relief as to their allegations for the
3 first five elements of Article 7(1) or first five
4 charges under Article 7(1). The motion was denied. So
5 any recess at this point is meaningless because nothing
6 is going to happen during that recess. So what we are
7 saying is, we cannot say we are fully prepared to go to
8 trial on those issues when we have no idea who is going
9 to address those issues, on what basis they have come
10 to the conclusion that Mr. Furundzija ordered somebody
11 to rape Witness A.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: But, Mr. Misetic, you have the
13 statements of these witnesses, including --
14 MR. MISETIC: Correct, and none of them have
15 any allegation whatsoever that Mr. Furundzija ordered
16 anybody to do anything.
17 JUDGE MUMBA: But that is a matter for
18 submission. After the Prosecution have closed their
19 case, that is a matter for submission, in which case
20 you can tailor your defence accordingly.
21 MR. MISETIC: Well, I think I have stated it
22 for the record. I don't know why they have brought the
23 charge then if there is no witness who is going to
24 address the issue.
25 JUDGE MUMBA: Isn't that for submission?
1 MR. MISETIC: Correct. But if something
2 should come out at trial where they start to call a
3 witness who is going to say, "I heard Mr. Furundzija
4 order Mr. X" --
5 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. Mr. Misetic, these
6 are the witnesses lined up and the statements have been
7 given --
8 MR. MISETIC: We are prepared to go forward,
9 Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. I think we can
11 proceed to the opening statement. We are supposed to
12 adjourn at 12.30 because we are sharing the services
13 with the other Chamber, so do you think we would finish
14 by 12.30?
15 MR. BLAXILL: I think my friend has an
17 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Misetic?
18 MR. MISETIC: With respect to that, that's
19 fine with the Defence. I wondered, just as a technical
20 matter, if we start questioning witnesses with respect
21 to Witness A, let's say, technically how do we go about
22 doing that, let's say, with Dr. Mujezinovic, who is in
23 open session? Are we to assume he has full knowledge
24 as to identities of witnesses?
25 JUDGE MUMBA: No.
1 MR. MISETIC: No, no, no. I mean --
2 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no --
3 MR. MISETIC: -- that he knows who Witness A
4 is or the name the pseudonym covers.
5 JUDGE MUMBA: You can't bring that up in open
6 session because then it will vitiate our order.
7 MR. MISETIC: Right. So how do I question?
8 Do you want me to go into closed session when we start
9 talking about that?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no. You can question a
11 witness in open session by putting the evidence or
12 whatever statement you have or other allegations
13 without necessarily identifying the witness. That is
14 possible. "There is an allegation to this aspect.
15 What did you say to that?" You put it to the witness.
16 MR. MISETIC: If I say, "Do you know
17 Witness B?" And he says, "I have no idea what
18 Witness B means ..."
19 JUDGE MUMBA: Maybe I can ask the
20 Prosecution. Maybe they can assist.
21 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, if I understand
22 correctly, I think Defence counsel is wondering, can he
23 say the names of other witnesses out during an open
24 session in his cross-examination? I would suggest, and
25 I think if this issue does come up, from the
1 Prosecution's point of view, for example, if we have to
2 refer to another witness, we would then ask the court,
3 "Could we please go into closed session?" We would
4 take all precautionary measures and certainly insist
5 that Defence counsel not mention the names of pseudonym
6 witnesses. I believe that is his concern.
7 Other than that, if he would like to know the
8 identity of witnesses in terms of purposes for
9 cross-examination or for direct examination and,
10 therefore, we would be in the opposite situation, I
11 imagine that there is a manner in which the witness's
12 name can be shown to the person --
13 JUDGE MUMBA: On a piece of paper.
14 MS. SELLERS: -- and not mention that name,
15 and then we can proceed. I believe that is his concern
16 that he has put forward to the court.
17 MR. MISETIC: That is exactly it, Your
18 Honour. I just was wondering whether the witness would
19 get a sheet of paper or something that says "Witness A
20 equals X, Witness D equals Y," et cetera. That was my
21 only concern.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. That is settled.
23 So we will go ahead with the opening statement.
24 MR. BLAXILL: Madam President, Your Honours.
25 The case before you, unlike any other that
1 has come before this Tribunal to date, focuses
2 essentially on one horrific day in the life of one
3 civilian woman, and it is upon the facts of that day
4 that you will be invited to convict the accused upon
5 the counts that are indicted.
6 The counts before you alleged against the
7 accused are torture and outrages upon personal dignity,
8 including rape.
9 The allegations embrace offences which the
10 Statute of the Tribunal and the Rules of Procedure and
11 Evidence have specifically addressed by incorporating
12 provisions for victims of sexual assaults and rape in
13 war, subsequent to the concerns that were expressed by
14 the United Nations Secretary-General in the report of
15 the 3rd of May, 1993.
16 This Honourable Trial Chamber, Your Honours,
17 is now charged with trying these two counts of serious
18 violations of international humanitarian law which are
19 charged under Article 3 of the Statute of the
20 International Tribunal.
21 The mandate of the International Tribunal
22 does include the most culpable and also the most
23 notorious war crimes during the conflict in the former
24 Yugoslavia, and the experiences of the victim in this
25 case are, indeed, notorious.
1 The case before Your Honours is focused upon
2 the events of one day, the 15th of May, 1993, and they
3 involve what happened to one female civilian taken from
4 her home by members of a military unit of the forces
5 known as the HVO, or the Croatian Defence Council,
6 armed forces in the area in Central Bosnia which had
7 become known as the Croatian Community of
8 Herceg-Bosna. This unit was called the Jokers, and
9 they took her to their headquarters building where she
10 was interrogated. The evidence will show the accused
11 was a member of that unit and that it was he who
12 conducted the interrogation along with another member
13 of his unit.
14 Shortly after the interrogation started, the
15 other member of the Jokers forced the victim,
16 Witness A, to undress, and then began what turned out
17 to be a prolonged series of physical, mental, and
18 serious sexual abuses, including repeated rapes. The
19 evidence, Your Honours, will show that the accused
20 conducted that interrogation and, after a while,
21 arranged a confrontation with another detainee during
22 which both were beaten, and the female victim was again
23 subjected to further horrendous sexual abuse in the
24 presence of her interrogator.
25 You will, in fact, hear that it was about
1 10.30 hours on the morning of that day that the members
2 of the Jokers, as I say, a well-known special unit of
3 the HVO in the area around Vitez in Central Bosnia,
4 took her to that headquarters in a hamlet called
5 Nadioci a short distance from Vitez.
6 Your Honours, I would at this time interrupt
7 this part of my address and make reference to a visual
8 aid that I have provided to the assistance of the court
9 and the Defence. There is a map you will see on the
10 easel present in the courtroom, it is a published
11 document, and it simply shows the area of Vitez and
12 surrounds. For Your Honours' assistance, however, just
13 geographically to place the events, I have had copies
14 prepared because this is not a very good visual exhibit
15 from a distance. Those copies are available to you,
16 and I have supplied them to the Defence, together with
17 a schematic just showing the location of the Vitez area
18 within Bosnia and in relation to two of the major towns
19 in the area Zenica and the capital city of Sarajevo.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: Can we have them numbered
21 before they are distributed?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Prosecution Exhibit number 1.
23 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, when you have an
24 opportunity to see that, you will see thereon that
25 marked in green is the town of Vitez; marked in pink,
1 to the other end of the geographical area known as the
2 Lasva Valley, is the town of Busovaca; and in between
3 the two, just north of the main road running out of
4 Vitez, edged in green and pink, the small village or
5 hamlet of Nadioci.
6 It is in that general geographic area that
7 the events of this day took place in the building in
8 Nadioci and that the armed conflict took place during
9 those months.
10 Your Honours, the headquarters building was a
11 small restaurant known locally as "the Bungalow,"
12 adjacent to which were a number of small summerhouses
13 which were used by the Jokers as their barrack
14 accommodation. When the victim, Witness A, arrived at
15 the Bungalow, she was placed in that barrack
16 accommodation of the Joker soldiers, a number of whom
17 were present. She heard words that they were "waiting
18 for the boss," and a short time later, she then heard
19 soldiers saying, "Furundzija is here." She says a man
20 appeared in the room, and she concluded from the
21 arrival of that man that he was the Furundzija whose
22 name she had heard.
23 Her evidence will show that the accused held
24 a piece of paper and uttered the words to the effect
25 that he had an indictment for her, or something of that
1 order, and then proceeded to interrogate her about a
2 list of Croatian names that she may know or have
3 contact with. He asked about her sons and whether they
4 were in the Bosnian army and a number of other matters.
5 Witness A will say that she answered she did
6 not know the names that he stated. Apparently this
7 appeared not to be to the liking of the accused, who
8 responded that she would soon answer. Then the
9 evidence will show she was suddenly seized by the hair,
10 and another member of the Jokers unit, who told her his
11 nickname was Cicko, said she would soon "know him." At
12 that point, this man, Cicko, demanded that Witness A
13 undress. She did so to the point of complete nudity
14 and then said that this man began to stroke her naked
15 body with a knife and threatened to insert it into her
16 vagina if she did not tell the truth, and then, after
17 that, commenced raping her by both vaginal and oral
19 During this, Your Honours, the accused is
20 alleged to have persisted with his interrogation
21 questions. He did not stop questioning her whilst this
22 was happening. And, indeed, this took place in the
23 presence of the group of Jokers soldiers.
24 Witness A will say that it seemed to her that
25 after each unsatisfactory response by her to the
1 questions put by the accused, more sexual abuse was
2 inflicted upon her by the man known as Cicko.
3 After some time, Witness A will say the
4 accused became angry at her obviously unsatisfactory
5 responses and told her he would confront her with
6 someone else. The next thing she knew is that the
7 accused and other soldiers had left the room and she
8 found herself alone with this man, Cicko. She suffered
9 further rapes and abuse at his hands before another
10 soldier came in, gave her a blanket, and took her to
11 another room, a smaller one she described as a pantry.
12 The man, Cicko, followed. In that room, there was the
13 encounter with the person who is referred to in the
14 indictment as Victim B and who, in these proceedings,
15 will be Witness D, and that person was brought in by
16 the accused, Anto Furundzija.
17 Victim B, or I should say now Witness D,
18 appeared severely bruised about the face, and it was
19 quite clear to Witness A that he had been badly
20 beaten. The man was dressed in the uniform of an HVO
21 military policeman. Witness A will then say that the
22 accused, Furundzija, said words to the effect, "Now
23 we'll see who is telling the truth."
24 So now we have a continuation, a second phase
25 to the interrogation process, in which both the accused
1 and his fellow Joker, Cicko, have been participants to
2 date and continue to be.
3 Both the victims were then beaten,
4 particularly across the feet, with a pair of batons
5 wielded by Cicko and another member of the unit, police
6 batons. Witness A then recalls Cicko using words to
7 the effect not to hit her as he had "other methods for
8 a woman."
9 Cicko is then alleged to have started raping
10 her again. On this occasion, vaginal penetration, anal
11 penetration, and oral penetration. Witness A felt that
12 she recalled some further questions about her sons from
13 the accused in the course of these events in the
15 So in that small room, Your Honours, we have
16 Witness A beaten and raped while being observed by the
17 accused, and Witness A will say that other Jokers were
18 standing by the open door of this pantry watching what
20 Eventually, it ended, and the traumatised
21 lady was taken by another Joker soldier to the original
22 barrack room and allowed eventually to dress.
23 Your Honours, these are the essential facts
24 that you will hear, and these are the facts upon which
25 Your Honours are charged to judge the guilt or
1 otherwise of the accused in respect of the counts of
2 torture and outrages upon personal dignity, including
4 Whilst Rule 96 does not require corroboration
5 of the testimony of a rape victim, the Prosecution does
6 propose to call, of course, Witness D, who will be able
7 to corroborate at least a part of the appalling abuses
8 that were suffered by Witness A that day.
9 Furthermore, the link of the crimes to the
10 armed conflict will, the Prosecution submits, be shown
11 by the fact that this was in the context of a prolonged
12 interrogation seeking information about matters of
13 relevance to the accused in the performance of a duty
14 that day. He was at work.
15 Before submitting the victim testimony of
16 Witness A and Witness D, the Prosecution will be
17 bringing evidence to establish the circumstances and
18 events which led to the armed conflict in the region.
19 We must necessarily cover, not in extenso, but the
20 political divisions, the ethnic tensions, and eventual
21 outbreaks of violence that led to the descent into
22 armed conflict within the region.
23 Your Honours, we propose to adduce this
24 evidence essentially through our witnesses de fact, our
25 civilian witnesses who were involved in the events in
1 their own region and therefore can speak to the actual
2 manifestations of the existence of an armed conflict.
3 One such witness, the first you will hear, is a medical
4 doctor who became drawn into public affairs in the
5 community and dealings between the ethnic and political
6 entities in the area before and during the armed
7 conflicts. This witness can also speak to the physical
8 manifestations of the conflict for the civilians in the
9 area and also the fact that he treated, as a doctor,
10 the wounded of all sides, military and civilian
11 persons, in a war hospital, and this being one such
12 manifestation of the existence of armed conflict and
13 its duration within the area of Vitez.
14 Other witnesses will also speak to the
15 existence of armed conflict but will, in turn, identify
16 the accused, the Jokers unit, and their headquarters,
17 as forming part of a competent entity; in other words,
18 official uniformed participants under arms in the armed
20 Accordingly, Your Honours, the accused was
21 governed by the laws and customs of war, just as
22 Witness A is, and certainly should have been then, a
23 beneficiary of their protection.
24 As stated by the Appeals Chamber in the Tadic
25 case, Your Honours, when discussing armed conflict and
1 the parameters for the application of international
2 humanitarian law to armed conflict, it was stated: "An
3 armed conflict exists whenever there is a resort to
4 armed force between states or protracted armed violence
5 between governmental authorities and organised armed
6 groups or between such groups within a state," and that
7 the international law application is that
8 "International humanitarian law applies from the
9 initiation of such armed conflicts and extends beyond
10 the cessation of hostilities until a general conclusion
11 of peace is reached or, in the case of internal
12 conflicts, peaceful settlement is achieved ... The law
13 continues to apply throughout the territory of a
14 warring state or the entire territory controlled by a
15 party to an internal conflict."
16 Your Honours, the evidence will show that a
17 state of armed conflict was ongoing in the region where
18 these crimes were committed.
19 Madam President, Your Honours, I will now
20 tend to the theory of criminal responsibility advanced
21 by the Prosecution in this case.
22 The counts against the accused allege
23 criminal responsibility for his participation in these
24 crimes under Article 7(1) of the Statute of the
25 International Tribunal. The Prosecution submits, as we
1 have set forth in the Prosecutor's reply regarding the
2 application of the Article that has been filed with
3 this Chamber, that the Article contains a number of
4 independent provisions which give rise to criminal
5 responsibility, individually or in combination.
6 Firstly, under Article 7(1), a person who
7 planned, instigated, ordered, committed a crime bears
8 individual responsibility. We say that by conducting
9 an interrogation under the circumstances described by
10 Witness A, by transferring the victim to another room,
11 by bringing in the other person for the confrontation,
12 and remaining while further beating and sexual abuse
13 occurred, marks the accused as a direct perpetrator
14 committing the crimes of torture and outrages upon
15 personal dignity, including rape.
16 You may feel that when you have heard all of
17 the evidence that others of the limbs of the article,
18 such as instigation, may be made out, but it is the
19 Prosecution case that these are independent individual
20 limbs and any one may be applied to establish criminal
22 It is our respectful submission that it is
23 open to you, as Judges of the Trial Chamber, to assess
24 that, as to whether one or more will apply at the end
25 of the evidence.
1 That article, 7(1), also includes persons who
2 aided and abetted in the planning, preparation, or
3 execution of a crime referred to in Articles 2 to 5 of
4 the Statute, and they also shall bear individual
5 criminal responsibility.
6 Again, the Prosecution submits that these are
7 individual but, at the same time, complementary limbs
8 of responsibility, and you may find one or more of them
9 fulfilled upon the evidence.
10 The Tribunal already has some jurisprudence
11 on the question of aiding and abetting, and this has
12 been set out in the Prosecution Pre-Trial brief filed
13 on the 22nd of May.
14 Here, however, the Prosecutor submits that
15 the accused, by conducting the interrogation of
16 Witness A and the confrontation with Witness B,
17 remaining present without any word or deed or, at the
18 very least, disapproval, lent sufficient support and
19 encouragement to his comrade who was committing the
20 acts of rape, and the Prosecution submits that the
21 facts will show that it constituted aiding and abetting
22 in the rape.
23 Your Honours, I will now deal briefly with
24 the elements of the specific charges and the
25 application of Article 3 of the Statute of the Tribunal
1 in determining the scope of the laws and customs of war
2 as the Prosecution will submit. I will quote, if I
3 may, from the Appeals Chamber decision in the case of
4 Tadic, stating that: "Article 3 is a general clause
5 covering all violations of humanitarian law not falling
6 under Article 2 or covered by Articles 4 and 5, more
7 specifically: (i) violations of The Hague law of
8 international conflicts; (ii) infringements of
9 provisions of the Geneva Conventions other than those
10 classified as 'grave breaches' ... (iii) violations of
11 Common Article 3 and other customary rules of internal
12 conflicts; (vi) violations of agreements binding upon
13 the parties to the conflict, considered qua treaty law,
14 i.e., agreements which have not turned into customary
15 international law."
16 It was then stated that: "Article 3
17 functions as a residual clause designed to ensure that
18 no serious violation of international humanitarian law
19 is taken away from the jurisdiction of the
20 International Tribunal."
21 The Appeals Chamber also specified
22 jurisdictional prerequisites which must be met for an
23 offence to be subject to prosecution under Article 3 of
24 the Statute, and those are likely discussed in the
25 Pre-Trial brief already filed with Your Honours. The
1 Prosecution submits that the evidence I have already
2 outlined should meet those very conditions.
3 Moreover, the Appeals Chamber also concluded
4 that so long as these conditions are met, it does not
5 matter whether the "serious" violation occurred within
6 the context of an international or an internal armed
7 conflict. Hence, Your Honours, the intention of the
8 Prosecution to fulfil its obligation by showing the
9 existence of the armed conflict without extensive
10 evidence or any, indeed, specifically directed to its
12 The Appeals Chamber in its decision on
13 jurisdiction in the Tadic case also addressed the nexus
14 between crimes and conflict which, if I may
15 paraphrase: " ... placed a broad geographic and
16 temporal frame to apply the protection to the
17 beneficiaries of Common Article 3 of the Geneva
18 Conventions outside the narrow geographical context of
19 the actual theatre of combat operations." The Appeals
20 Chamber stated that the nexus required is only this:
21 That there is "a relationship between the conflict and
22 the (acts), not that the acts occurred in the midst of
24 In the present case, the accused is charged
25 under Article 3 with violations of Common Article 3 to
1 the Geneva Conventions and of Article 4(2)(e) of
2 Additional Protocol II to those Conventions. The
3 Appeals Chamber has held that "customary international
4 law imposes criminal liability for serious violations
5 of Common Article 3, as supplemented by other general
6 principles and rules on the protection of victims of
7 internal armed conflict, and for breaches of certain
8 fundamental principles and rules regarding means and
9 methods of combat in civil strife."
10 The Prosecutor interprets those fundamental
11 guarantees protected by Article 4 of Additional
12 Protocol II as supplementing Common Article 3 of the
13 Geneva Conventions. To apply Common Article 3, there
14 are certain requirements to be fulfilled:
15 "(a) The unlawful acts were committed in
16 the context of an armed conflict." And here we say a
17 civilian falling into the hands of a party to that
19 "(b) The perpetrator was connected to one
20 side involved in the conflict." Indeed so. A serving
21 member of one of the combatant parties.
22 "(c) The victims were persons taking no
23 active part in hostilities, which includes
24 civilians --" Witness A was. "-- members of the
25 armed forces even who laid down their arms or otherwise
1 rendered hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention
2 or any other cause."
3 And finally, "(d) One of the enumerated acts
4 listed in Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions
5 were committed." And that is contained in the
7 The Prosecution submits that the evidence
8 outlined above satisfies those conditions.
9 Now, Your Honours, with your leave, I will
10 differentiate briefly between the two counts.
11 The Prosecutor has already set forth in the
12 Pre-Trial brief definitions of torture and outrages
13 upon personal dignity. As for the torture count, the
14 evidence will show, what?
15 Firstly, the accused must, by acts or
16 omissions, intentionally inflict severe physical or
17 mental pain or suffering upon the victim for one or a
18 combination of any of the following purposes. That is
19 the point, Your Honours: by acts or omissions,
20 intentionally inflicts severe physical or mental pain
21 or suffering upon the victim.
22 What purposes apply? The first, to obtain
23 information or a confession from that person or a third
24 person. This was an interrogation.
25 Secondly, to punish the victim or a third
1 person for an act committed or suspected of having been
2 committed by either of them.
3 Thirdly, for the purpose of intimidating or
4 coercing the victim or a third person. At that point,
5 we have the second phase of the interrogation,
6 Witness A and the other party, Witness D, in the
7 confrontational position. Is that intimidating,
9 And then, finally, for any reason based upon
10 discrimination of any kind.
11 You must then show that the accused was
12 himself an official or acted at the instigation of or
13 with the consent or acquiescence of an official or
14 person acting in an official capacity. Your Honours,
15 this was a uniformed soldier on duty.
16 The offence of torture is complete when
17 severe pain or suffering is inflicted and does not
18 require that serious injury to body or health result.
19 I feel confident the facts that you hear from
20 Witness A will satisfy any possible definition of
21 severe pain or suffering.
22 So, Your Honours, the evidence here is this:
23 We have a serving military official who interrogates a
24 civilian, seeking information and admissions from her,
25 intimidating her, trying to coerce her responses to his
1 satisfaction. The facts you hear from Witness A, as I
2 say, will bear out the criteria of the count of
4 With regard to the outrages on personal
5 dignity, the definitions are brief, but they encompass
6 acts which denigrate, humiliate, or attack personal
7 integrity, including the sexual integrity of the
9 In Common Article 3(1)(c), outrages upon
10 dignity include conduct which is considered, in
11 particular, humiliating or degrading.
12 Again, Your Honours, I refer to the very core
13 of this case, Witness A, and the horrendous experience
14 that she recounts having endured at the hands of the
15 accused and his Joker comrades, held naked before the
16 accused, interrogated by him, interrogated as
17 threatened by this man, Cicko, then subjected to forced
18 sexual acts of vaginal rape and oral rape in the
19 presence of other military comrades, again further
20 beaten and raped within the room when confronted with
21 Victim B, Witness D as he will be, again with the
22 accused present as the official interrogator, seemingly
23 content for all this to happen and to happen openly in
24 front of other members of their unit.
25 We suggest that even if there had been no
1 more than the interrogation of a lady in a state of
2 forced nudity, this offence of outrages would be made
3 out, but in this case, Your Honours, as you have heard
4 and will hear, much more happened.
5 As I've indicated, Madam President, Your
6 Honours, this case depends on few witnesses but they
7 are noble people who are prepared to come here, not for
8 the first time, and they are going to subject
9 themselves to reliving these events but they are going
10 to serve the international community in the cause of
11 justice for the victims of war crimes. The case is not
12 the property of the Prosecution, nor the property of
13 the Defence but, indeed, is the faith of these people
14 who are looking to Your Honours to be the arbiters of
15 the truth. That is my opening address.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. We have some 20
17 minutes before we adjourn for this afternoon, but I
18 think it would be better to start calling witnesses in
19 the afternoon.
20 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, to remind you, the
21 Defence does have an opening.
22 JUDGE MUMBA: Not at this stage because we
23 were of the view that the Defence would address the
24 court in their opening statement before they start the
25 Defence case.
1 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I believe under
2 the rules we are entitled to open right now, and we
3 would like to open right now.
4 JUDGE MUMBA: Of course. You can go ahead.
5 Yes, Mr. Misetic, you can go ahead.
6 MR. MISETIC: I'm sorry?
7 JUDGE MUMBA: I said, yes, Mr. Misetic, you
8 can go ahead.
9 MR. MISETIC: Thank you. May it please the
10 court, again, my name is Luka Misetic, along with my
11 co-counsel, Sheldon Davidson, we will be defending
12 Mr. Furundzija in this trial.
13 The Prosecution will try hard to convince you
14 that should convict Anto Furundzija. They will spin
15 tales unrelated to the 15th of May, 1993 in an attempt
16 to bias this court and divert attention from the facts
17 and issues that are before this Trial Chamber. But no
18 matter how hard they try, they cannot get around one
19 simple fact: Anto Furundzija was not present for any
20 sexual assault on Witness A.
21 The Prosecution in this case has charged Anto
22 Furundzija with interrogating a woman while she was
23 being sexually assaulted and beaten on the feet with a
24 baton. The evidence in this case will show you that
25 Anto Furundzija is not guilty of these charges.
1 Witness D will tell you that, contrary to the
2 allegations in paragraphs 25 and 26 of the amended
3 indictment, Anto Furundzija was not present for any
4 sexual assault on Witness A.
5 Part of your duties in this case will be to
6 determine whether the testimony of Witness A is so
7 reliable that her testimony, and her testimony alone,
8 convinces you beyond a reasonable doubt that Anto
9 Furundzija is guilty as charged. And make no mistake,
10 the Prosecution's entire case is based on her
12 The first few witnesses have no firsthand
13 knowledge relevant to the allegations contained in the
14 amended indictment. The fourth witness, Witness D,
15 will directly contradict Witness A as to crucial
16 allegations against Mr. Furundzija that are contained
17 in the indictment. The Prosecution's case, therefore,
18 is a one-witness case, and you must believe that one
20 You will hear testimony from Witness A who,
21 on direct examination by the Prosecution, will appear
22 sincere and she will appear confident. You, like
23 everyone else in the courtroom, will sympathise with
24 this woman because of what she has endured.
25 Confidence, however, is not a barometer of
1 reliability. The evidence will show you that Witness A
2 is wrong, not that she is a liar, but that she is
3 wrong, that the circumstances of the crime and the
4 difficulties of the identification process make it
5 impossible to share her opinion as it relates to
6 Mr. Furundzija beyond a reasonable doubt.
7 There is already reasonable doubt in this
8 case. Mr. Blaxill's opening statement varies greatly
9 from the allegations in the indictment and the 1995
10 statement upon which the indictment is based. You will
11 have the opportunity at the close of the evidence to
12 compare the 1995 statement, the indictment and its
13 allegations, and the opening statement by Mr. Blaxill.
14 Witness A will take the stand. She will be a
15 sympathetic witness. Every one of us will wish we
16 could undo her trauma and compensate her somehow for
17 her ordeal. She will come before you and she will tell
18 you a story, a story that she has been asked repeatedly
19 over the last five years to develop, to revise and to
21 Trying to recollect the events of 1993, her
22 mind has come to accept as true her reconstruction of
23 events in May, June and July of 1993. It is that
24 reconstruction of events that you will hear in this
25 courtroom. We believe that the evidence will show that
1 her reconstruction is inaccurate and unreliable. It is
2 solely upon her reconstruction of events that the
3 indictment in this case is based. We believe that
4 Witness A's lack of reliability will require you to
5 acquit Mr. Furundzija at the close of the Prosecution's
7 Witness A will testify that in 1995 she told
8 the Prosecution's investigators that on the morning of
9 the 15th of May, 1993, she was taken by three members
10 of the Jokers from her apartment in Vitez to a weekend
11 house near a bungalow in Nadioci, Bosnia. Upon
12 arrival, according to her 1995 statement, she is asked
13 questions about certain individuals about whom she
14 knows nothing. She claims in her 1995 statement that
15 she is then grabbed from behind by Bralo who puts a
16 knife to her throat and threatens her. He then
17 proceeds to sexually assault Witness A outside the
18 presence of Mr. Furundzija. You will find that in the
19 1995 statement. You will find that in the indictment
20 itself in this case.
21 After Bralo had perpetrated these acts,
22 Witness A claimed in 1995 that Anto Furundzija then
23 entered the room. She alleges that this man she
24 identifies as Anto Furundzija asked her some questions,
25 at least she did say that in 1995. She alleges that
1 while this man was asking her questions, Bralo took a
2 knife and placed it along her leg and threatened her.
3 He did not cut her, stab her or strike her in any way.
4 Witness A, in 1995, did not allege that she
5 was beaten or assaulted by anyone in this room while
6 the person she claims to be Anto Furundzija was
7 present. At most, Witness A in 1995 --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please
9 slow down for the benefit of the interpreters?
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Misetic, can you slow down
11 for the interpreters?
12 MR. MISETIC: Sorry, yes. At most, Witness A
13 will testify that she was exposed to questioning
14 combined with a verbal threat. That's according to her
15 1995 statement. She will tell you on cross-examination
16 that she was taken to another room which, in one
17 statement she referred to as the pantry, by Bralo, the
18 man she alleges to be Mr. Furundzija, and a third man.
19 She then claims that Witness D was ushered into this
20 pantry and that all of the other soldiers were in the
21 hallway. That is the way paragraph 26 of the
22 indictment reads. What happened in those few minutes
23 in the pantry is what is really in dispute here, and
24 you must decide whether Witness A convinces you beyond
25 a reasonable doubt that you should resolve that dispute
1 by convicting Anto Furundzija.
2 Witness A will testify that in that room she
3 and Witness D were both beaten by Bralo and that she
4 was, again, sexually assaulted by Bralo also in the
5 presence of Witness D. Anto Furundzija, she will tell
6 you, was present interrogating both her and Witness D.
7 It is upon that testimony that the Prosecution indicted
8 Mr. Furundzija and the indictment was confirmed. But
9 you will see that the Prosecution has now disavowed
10 that 1995 statement because Witness A gave materially
11 different evidence in a different case before this
13 The evidence will show you that even this new
14 theory collapsed two weeks ago. They located Witness D
15 and took his statement, and Witness D stated, "Witness
16 A is simply wrong." Witness D, the Prosecution's own
17 witness, will tell that you the allegations against
18 Mr. Furundzija in paragraph 26 of the amended
19 indictment are wrong. Witness D told the
20 Prosecutors, "I know for sure that during the time
21 that Witness A and I were in the room in the
22 summerhouse and Witness A was sexually mistreated by
23 Bralo, Anto Furundzija was not present in the same
25 Witness D thus directly contradicts Witness
1 A's recollection of events. That, in and of itself,
2 raises a reasonable doubt.
3 The Prosecution in their case in chief will
4 desperately try to downplay the significance of that
5 statement. The Prosecution will claim that Witness D
6 does not exculpate Anto Furundzija, but the Prosecution
7 even admitted as such by producing the statement, at
8 least partially, pursuant to Rule 68. Despite the
9 Prosecution's efforts, you will, at the very least,
10 find that Witness D's testimony creates a reasonable
11 doubt about the guilt of Anto Furundzija.
12 Witness A was exchanged, according to her, on
13 August 15th, 1993. She arrived in the town of Zenica.
14 She will tell you that she only saw the man she claims
15 as Anto Furundzija for a few minutes on the 15th of
16 May, 1993. She had never seen him before; she has
17 never seen him after. You will find that Witness A's
18 testimony, through no fault of her known, is not
19 credible, let alone convincing beyond a reasonable
21 We expect the evidence to show that Witness
22 A, as with others who have been subjected to such
23 experiences, did what she could when she arrived in
24 Zenica to suppress those memories and move on with her
25 life. But then the investigators entered her life.
1 She was now forced to retrieve from her memory whatever
2 she could from those traumatic days. You will hear how
3 her recollection changes from statement to statement.
4 The Defence will show you why her statements change
5 from day to day, from month to month, from year to
7 All of us will remember this trial for many
8 years, and when we retell it to our friends and family,
9 we will remember the Prosecution's witnesses. We will
10 probably not remember their names or whether they
11 comprised three men and two women or four women and one
12 man. We will probably not remember the names of the
13 Prosecutors or the Defence counsel. What we will
14 remember is the event and the general nature of the
15 charges and our impressions.
16 People in Witness A's situation make mistakes
17 in memory. The evidence will show that memory is not a
18 camera that takes a photograph of certain events.
19 Stress does not sharpen our memory; in fact, it dulls
20 it. And the length of time involved, five years from
21 the date of the occurrence, also weakens our image of
22 the past. Memory, the evidence will show, is actually
23 an opinion or a belief as to what occurred. The
24 Prosecution's entire case is built on Witness A's
25 ability, not just to recollect general events, but
1 specific facts such as who entered a room at what time
2 or what event happened in which order.
3 The evidence will show you, Your Honours,
4 that Witness A's memory is not reliable and that the
5 Prosecution cannot meet its burden of proof.
6 Your Honours, at the close of the
7 Prosecution's case in chief, you too will have come to
8 the same conclusion. I'm confident that, at the
9 conclusion of the Prosecutor's case, you will not be
10 able to find evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that
11 Mr. Furundzija committed these crimes. The lack of
12 evidence in this case will compel this Chamber to
13 return a verdict of not guilty. I thank you.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Misetic, would you help us
15 with this? There's going to be evidence about the
16 existence of an armed conflict at the material time.
17 Is it disputed that there was an armed conflict?
18 MR. MISETIC: It may be, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
20 JUDGE MUMBA: I think at this juncture we
21 will adjourn and start the case with the witnesses in
22 the afternoon, but I would like to give an overview of
23 the schedules.
24 This case is scheduled for this week and next
25 week. Our sittings in the mornings start at 9.30 to
1 12.30; in the afternoon 14.00 to 17.00. On Friday, we
2 will shall only up to 11.00, we have another function
3 regarding another courtroom, and then in the afternoon
4 we have proceedings in another case. So on Friday, we
5 shall adjourn at 11.00 hours. The trial will resume on
6 Monday at 09.30 and continue the hours up to Thursday.
7 We shall not sit on Friday next week. We are hoping
8 that the Prosecution's case will be completed by then.
9 Any other matters before we rise?
10 MS. SELLERS: Your Honour, might I raise one
12 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
13 MS. SELLERS: Excuse me, Your Honour, just
14 about the motion you granted in terms of sequestration,
15 would you agree that as the Prosecution has spoken to
16 its witness today, that we meet that sequestration
18 JUDGE MUMBA: As the Prosecution has done
20 MS. SELLERS: The Prosecution has already
21 spoken to its witnesses concerning the concerns that
22 were raised by learned counsel that we meet your
23 sequestration requirements.
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, the Trial Chamber has
25 already granted the motion actually.
1 MS. SELLERS: Thank you.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: The court will rise and resume
3 at 14.00 sharp.
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.26 p.m.
1 --- Upon commencing at 2.05 p.m.
2 (The witness entered court)
3 JUDGE MUMBA: Registrar, please call the
5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-17/1, the
6 Prosecutor of the Tribunal versus Anto Furundzija.
7 JUDGE MUMBA: The accused, can you hear me in
8 the language you understand?
9 THE ACCUSED: Yes, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. I take it
11 appearances are as before. The witness, please make
12 your solemn declaration.
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I shall
14 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Thank you. Please be seated.
17 Yes, the Prosecution?
18 MR. BLAXILL: Madam President, Your Honours,
19 thank you. Yes, I call now the first Prosecution
20 witness, Dr. Muhamed Mujezinovic.
21 Q. Good afternoon, Doctor. Do you hear me
23 A. Good afternoon. Yes, I do.
24 Q. Doctor, would you please give your full name
25 to the court?
1 A. I'm Dr. Muhamed Mujezinovic, son of Adem,
2 born at the village of Horvina, the
3 municipality of Vitez.
4 Q. You've given the title of doctor. What is
5 your exact profession, sir?
6 A. I'm a physician, an internal medicine
7 specialist and a specialist for occupational medicine.
8 Q. When did you, in fact, train and qualify as a
9 medical practitioner?
10 A. I graduated from the faculty in Sarajevo in
11 1978. Then I underwent specialisation in internal
12 medicine in 1984 and occupational medicine in 1989 and
13 post-graduate studies in assessment of the work
14 ability, and I was educated in Sarajevo.
15 Q. Where have you performed the majority of your
16 professional life?
17 A. My first job as a physician was in Doboj.
18 And then a year and a half later, I was invited by the
19 then authorities in Vitez to move to Vitez where I was
20 born and where I completed my primary education. In
21 Vitez, I was a general practitioner since 1st
22 September, 1979. Until occasions, I was also the head
23 of the medical centre in Vitez, the first time in 1980,
24 and then for two months I was as director in October
25 and November '92.
1 Q. May I interrupt you for a moment, Doctor?
2 Did you have any other roles in your medical work for
3 the health authorities? Did you do any voluntary work?
4 A. Yes. As a physician, I worked for sports
5 clubs in Vitez as a volunteer, completely free, that
6 is, I had all the sportsmen, all the athletes in Vitez
7 under my charge. I worked as a -- this was a kind of
8 humanitarian activity in my leisure time.
9 Q. Doctor, would you describe briefly what kind
10 of community Vitez was and what ethnic groups lived in
11 Vitez prior, say, to 1990?
12 A. Vitez is a small industrial town, a sports
13 town too. The municipality of Vitez had a population
14 of some 28,000 of different ethnic origin. The
15 majority, I think, were Croats, something around
16 12,000; then Muslims, slightly over 11,000; and I guess
17 some 5,000 Serbs, and some others too. So it was an
18 ethnically mixed community in Vitez; all together,
19 about 28,000 inhabitants. Some 8,600 of them were
20 full-time employed working either in Vitez or adjacent
21 places, that is, Zenica and Travnik, but also the
22 inhabitants of Zenica and Travnik held jobs in Vitez.
23 Q. What, up to the year of 1990, were the
24 general relations between ethnic groups within that
1 A. In that area, the inter-ethnic relations were
2 very good. I cannot remember -- ever since I got my
3 job in Vitez on the 1st of September in '79 -- I cannot
4 remember a single inter-ethnic conflict. I often
5 cooperated with the local police. When they would do
6 investigations citing cases of traffic accidents and
7 other accidents that would take place in the
8 municipality of Vitez territory, I cannot remember a
9 single inter-ethnic incident at the time.
10 Q. Now, Doctor, in the year of 1990, did any
11 specific political parties emerge in the Vitez area or
12 in Bosnia generally?
13 A. Yes. Across Bosnia and in Vitez too, new
14 parties emerged. They were called national parties.
15 Croats set up their HDZ, the Croat Democratic Alliance;
16 the Muslims, the Party for Democratic Action; and the
17 Serbs, the Serb Democratic Party. In other words, they
18 were all founded in 1990 or, perhaps, a little
19 earlier. I cannot remember exactly but, at any rate,
20 those three national parties were founded at that time
21 by people who lived in Vitez.
22 Q. Did those parties openly represent the
23 interests of the specific ethnic groups?
24 A. The programmes of all these parties which, as
25 I have said, were all national, they promoted the
1 interests of individual ethnic communities, that is,
2 Muslims, Croats and Serbs in our area, in our
4 Q. Could you tell me, please, who became the
5 leaders of the HDZ, the Croat party?
6 A. If I recollect properly, the first HDZ
7 president in Vitez was Mr. Anto Valenta; the first SDA
8 president was Hajrudin Karic; and the SDS was headed by
9 Jovica Mijatovic.
10 Q. Were elections held in the month of November
11 1990 in your region and nationally?
12 A. The elections took place in November 1990 and
13 that included our municipality. These elections were
14 won by national parties, that is, HDZ. They ranked the
15 first in terms of the number of notes; then SDA ranked
16 second. The SDS, as there were very few Serbs there,
17 had only two votes. And other parties which
18 participated in the elections won a certain number of
19 votes, that is, a certain number of seats in the local
21 For instance, LC, that is, League of
22 Communists, the Party for Democratic Change, eight; the
23 democratic party, three; HDZ, 23; SDA, 16; the
24 Socialist Alliance of Democratic Youth, two seats; and
25 the Democratic Alliance of Socialists won one seat in
1 the Vitez assembly, municipal hall. The municipality
2 assembly, that is, had some 60 delegates who were to
3 represent the local population in the hall.
4 Q. That, essentially, was the local governing
5 body, was it, the municipal assembly?
6 A. Yes. That was the local parliament. We
7 called it the assembly of the municipality. It was the
8 highest authority in the municipality.
9 Q. Did you have any political involvement in the
10 community at that time?
11 A. I was a member of SDA but I was not actively
12 involved. I became an SDA member in August 1990. I
13 was an observer at all public rallies and fora
14 organised by individual parties in our place, in our
15 locality, and I listened to the presentations by
16 representatives of the neutral parties, that is, their
17 programmes, their programme objectives.
18 Q. Doctor, did you take any active part in local
19 politics after that date, after 1990?
20 A. In September '91, I became the first
21 vice-president of the executive committee of Vitez
22 SDA. At that time, I became actively involved in the
23 Party for Democratic Action.
24 Q. I believe you said that the SDA was the party
25 that represented the interests of the Muslim population
1 at the time; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, largely.
3 Q. What was the relationship of the executive
4 board of the party to the governmental assembly, the
5 municipal assembly?
6 A. At that time, the relations were quite good.
7 Yes, at the time, they were quite good. I'm referring
8 to September '91.
9 Q. What did the executive board do in terms of
10 its powers within the community?
11 A. The executive board of the SDA, of the Party
12 for Democratic Action, would get a list of questions of
13 topics to be addressed by the assembly; that is, we
14 were supposed to take a stand or to take a position on
15 individual issues in Vitez, and the board suggested,
16 proposed to our delegates to represent, to advocate the
17 views proposed at the meetings of the executive board.
18 It was not binding on them but it was advisable.
19 Q. In the course of your duties on the executive
20 board, did you have dealings with your counterparts in
21 the other parties?
22 A. Yes. It is a small place. We regularly met
23 and I had a public job in Vitez. I knew most of its
24 inhabitants, the Vitez inhabitants, and I also met
25 councilmen who represented us on the assembly of all
1 nationalities, that is, of all ethnic origin; that is,
2 I simply cooperated with them by the nature of my job.
3 Q. Who was the president of the municipal
4 assembly at that time?
5 A. We say that at the first democratic elections
6 as reported in Vitez, a representative of HDZ, Mr. Ivan
7 Santic was elected. He is an applied chemist.
8 Q. Is Mr. Santic a -- [Note: Balance of question
9 obliterated by answer following].
10 A. An applied chemist. Yes, he is.
11 Q. Now, taking you forward towards the end of
12 1991, were relations between the ethnic communities and
13 their political representatives still harmonious?
14 A. Throughout '91, there were no, or at least I
15 do not know of any, noteworthy problems when it comes
16 to these relations. As far as I know, they were in
17 some common discussions, each one advocating his own
18 attitude. And, in the end, a vote would be cast on any
19 problem, that is, on any issue raised in the municipal
21 Q. Now, when, in the course of events in Vitez,
22 did you first hear the expression or name
24 A. The first time I heard this term
25 "Herceg-Bosna" from our delegate at the meeting of the
1 executive board of SDA, that the president of the
2 municipal assembly, Ivan Santic, had notified the
3 delegates that the community of Herceg-Bosna had just
4 been established. This was in late 1991. And then he
5 stated that this cultural community of Croats in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina would not threaten the state of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, other peoples in
9 Q. Subsequent to that, if I can move to March of
10 1992, what was the position of the municipal assembly
11 in March of '92?
12 A. In March '92, if I remember, we held our
13 assembly of all the councilmen elected to our municipal
14 assembly, and the Croat Democratic Union, the HDZ, had
15 suggested to set up the crisis committee of the
16 municipality of Vitez which would take over the powers
17 and the authority of the municipal assembly and the
18 executive board of the municipal assembly.
19 The last session of the assembly was,
20 therefore, held in March, and the SDA delegates, they
21 were asked what was that, the Croat community
22 Herceg-Bosna, and the delegates of SDP, Navinka Rajic,
23 asked whether it was true that the Croats in
24 Vitez were receiving arms. And a representative of
25 HDZ, who is also the police chief in Vitez, Pero
1 Skopljak, and Ivan Santic denied this.
2 Ivan Santic said that the Croat community of
3 Herceg-Bosna, he repeated it was a cultural community
4 of Croats, that it would not pose a threat to the state
5 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and other peoples living in it.
6 Q. What were these circumstances, Doctor, that
7 prompted the suggestion for a crisis staff? What was
8 happening in Vitez that prompted people to want to
9 suggest this?
10 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina and, therefore, in
11 Vitez too, we had very many problems, first with
12 refugees arriving from east Croatia, then from east and
13 west Bosnia. And since the assembly is a large body,
14 that is, comprising 60 councilmen represent -- the HDZ
15 members suggested an operative body which could meet
16 more easily and take decisions more easily. And one of
17 our representatives, Mila Frompa, who was a
18 lawyer and a member of the executive board of the HDZ,
19 said that it was not in line with the constitution of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that we should set up the wartime
21 presidency of Vitez. And this was accepted just for
22 the sake of peace in the House, but it was said that it
23 needed to be verified by the municipal assembly of the
24 municipality of Vitez.
25 Q. Am I correct in saying that the crisis staff
1 was, in fact, formed; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what was its composition, sir?
4 A. The crisis staff was based on a parity basis,
5 five Muslims, five Croats. It was chaired by Ivan
6 Santic, that is, the president of the municipal
7 assembly; Fuad Kaknjo, he was the vice-president of the
8 government; then Pero Skopljak, who was the chief of
9 the police; Josip Celic and Vlado Santic.
10 The Muslim side was represented by the SDA
11 president in Vitez, Mujip Kajic, Fuad Kaknjo. I was
12 made responsible for the medical side and Sulejman
13 Kasagic, and the commander of the Territorial
14 Defence, Hakija Cengic.
15 Q. So in the face of these refugees, were you
16 aware of the causes of those refugees coming to Vitez?
17 A. Well, we knew that while there was war in
18 Croatia, as far as I know, some three Croats and one
19 Muslim left to that war as volunteers. When the war
20 spread to Bosnia, then every evening we could see it on
21 television or hear on the radio that their combat
22 operations in east Bosnia and west Bosnia, and from
23 those areas refugees were arriving in Vitez. The
24 majority of them came from Knetiza near Foca,
25 then from Kozarac, from Kljuc, Sanski Most.
1 Q. Did you make any medical preparations to
2 receive people and treat people in these circumstances?
3 A. Yes. In Vitez, we had already had our Red
4 Cross organisation and all the refugees were put on
5 record with the Red Cross. Prior to that, humanitarian
6 societies were set up. The Croats founded Caritas, and
7 the Muslims set up Merhamet. So we took care of
8 accommodating those people, by and large, in summer
9 cottages or those people who had large houses and
10 therefore could accommodate them. In Vitez, as I was
11 also the vice-president of Merhamet, there were over
12 4,000 refugees, Muslim refugees, in Vitez.
13 Q. Now, during this time, you were serving on
14 the crisis staff, how often did that staff meet to deal
15 with administrative and governmental issues?
16 A. The crisis staff would meet very often,
17 almost on a daily basis, sometimes even two times a day
18 if necessary. This depended, of course, on the
19 problems that were on the agenda at that time. It was
20 Mr. Ivan Santic who would convene the meeting of the
21 crisis staff.
22 Q. Would it be true to say that the crisis staff
23 had effectively become the main authority in the area?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And what were the relations between
1 essentially the Croat element of the crisis staff and
2 the Muslim element of the crisis staff? What were
3 their relations in handling these problems?
4 A. In the first half of the year 1992, the
5 relations were correct. We would adopt decisions
7 Q. Was there a significant meeting held in April
8 or about April 1992 regarding the Croatian community of
9 Herceg-Bosna, a significant statement made?
10 A. Yes, in late April 1992, a very important
11 meeting was held of the crisis staff in Vitez. We
12 wanted to agree upon the take-over of the weapons from
13 the military base in the vicinity. The former Yugoslav
14 People's Army had, prior to that, taken the weapons
15 that belonged to the Territorial Defence in the
16 municipality of Vitez and other municipalities as well,
17 and these weapons were paid for from the public
18 budget. At the end of the meeting, Mr. Anto Valenta
19 said, and this was something that was not on the
20 agenda, that the Muslims in Vitez had to place
21 themselves under the command of the Croatian community
22 Herceg-Bosna because they stood no chance of staying --
23 remaining in Vitez.
24 During that occasion, he said that the Croats
25 had already armed themselves, that is, the HVO of the
1 Vitez, that 90 per cent of the population was armed
2 and, according to his estimate, he thought that only 10
3 per cent of Muslims were armed. There was a military
4 unit in Vitez which was called HOS, H-O-S, and he said
5 that they did not represent any kind of force for them
6 in Vitez at the time. The chairman of the crisis staff
7 said, "Anto, you always complicate things. Leave that
8 aside now." He said, "I'm not joking. You should take
9 this seriously." Anyhow, it was the chairman who ended
10 the meeting.
11 Q. Doctor, how did relations progress between
12 the Bosnian Muslim and the Bosnian Croat communities in
13 Vitez after that particular announcement by
14 Mr. Valenta?
15 A. We didn't take it seriously and, as far as I
16 could tell, neither did representatives of the Croatian
17 community. We simply went on with our work and we
18 cooperated, we worked together.
19 Q. Were there any incidents which came around in
20 about May that indicated things might not be quite so
22 A. The first incident between Croats and Muslims
23 in Vitez took place on the 20th of May. The president
24 called me around quarter past midnight, that was
25 therefore on the 21st of May, and told me that I should
1 urgently come to a meeting of the crisis staff.
2 Q. Was that Mr. Santic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. And I found other members of the crisis staff
6 in his office. They were all there, together with
7 Santic. At the meeting of the crisis staff was Mario
8 Cerkez, he was the commander of the HVO in Vitez, and
9 he was under the influence of alcohol. Mr. Ivan Santic
10 then stated the reason why we were being called to that
11 meeting, and he said that an incident had occurred in
12 the local hotel and that one young man, young Muslim,
13 was killed, a member of the Territorial Defence. He
14 said that two men were arrested.
15 Then Mario Cerkez said that these three young
16 men had come to the cafe of the Vitez Hotel, that they
17 were provoking those who were present there, and as
18 they were going out of the hotel, the HVO guard
19 apparently shot at one of them and killed him, and the
20 two others were subsequently arrested.
21 The conclusion at the meeting was that we
22 should have an investigation into the incident, that
23 the family would be told about the killing of that
24 young man, and that these two arrested Territorial
25 Defence members should be released. They were wearing
1 civilian clothes.
2 Q. This is the first -- sorry to interrupt you,
3 Doctor, but that was the first incident, was it, of
4 violence of that type?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Could I just advance you from there to, in
7 fact, the middle of June? If we look to the date of
8 the 18th of June, was there any significant event in
9 the area at that time?
10 A. Yes. On the 18th of June, sometime in the
11 afternoon, HVO formations took over the building of the
12 local police, the town hall, and the building where the
13 Vitez Territorial Defence used to be located. They
14 disarmed the civilian policemen there who were all of
15 Muslim nationality, and they raised the flag of the
16 Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna and that of the
17 Croatian State.
18 Q. What was the response to that by yourselves
19 on the crisis staff?
20 A. At that time -- well, we simply wanted to
21 know why that was happening. Ivan Santic was not in
22 Vitez at the time. We were looking for him because we
23 wanted to know what this was all about because we
24 didn't have a clue, the Commander of the Territorial
25 Defence headquarters didn't know what was going on, the
1 President of the Assembly didn't know either. All we
2 could see at the time were HVO soldiers in uniform in
3 hamlets, in the street, and also around the buildings
4 that I just mentioned.
5 As far as I remember, it was a weekend, and
6 after he returned to Vitez, Ivica Santic convened a
7 meeting of the crisis staff. During that meeting, the
8 chief of the Vitez MUP, Pero Skopljak, stated that the
9 Croatian people were losing patience and that they
10 wanted to take things into their hands. Anto Valenta,
11 as President of the Vitez HDZ, said that this had been
12 done by a group of irresponsible individuals who were
13 not under their control.
14 At the same meeting, they requested
15 representatives of the Bosniak ethnic community, the
16 Muslim ethnic community, to place themselves under the
17 command of the -- to place the Territorial Defence
18 under their command -- at that time, the Territorial
19 Defence was already called BiH army -- that the civilian
20 police should also be placed under their command, and
21 that the officials who were working at the town hall
22 should take up their posts in the newly established
23 one-nation government, the government that was actually
24 the HVO of Vitez. The representatives of the Muslim
25 population refused that. They deemed it to be an
1 attack to the legally elected authorities, those who
2 were elected in November 1990, and they thought it was
3 an attack on the State of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and
4 they refused to become part of that government. We
5 thought that it was a coup.
6 Q. After that, how were relations between the
7 communities, say between June and October of 1992?
8 A. That newly established government, the Vitez
9 HVO, set up control points at the entrance to the town
10 of Vitez, controlling every possible movement into and
11 out of the town, including passengers, goods, private
12 cars, trucks, and so on. They adopted a series of new
13 taxes. They had taken over complete control of the
14 life in Vitez, including public enterprises, and all
15 resources ended up in the hands of the new government.
16 As for the representatives of the Muslim
17 population, they were again asked to take part in the
18 new government, but it was all done with numerous
19 threats. They wanted everybody to sign a new
20 organisational scheme of the government, and they said
21 that whoever fails to do that would lose his or her
23 Q. What about the effects actually on the
24 streets for civilians? Were people still moving freely
25 around the town and not molested by anybody?
1 A. At the very beginning, after the new
2 government had been established, mistreatment and
3 harassment only took place at the checkpoints, that is,
4 at the entrance to the town. However, later on, this
5 became common in the residential parts of the town of
6 Vitez as well, especially in areas where the population
7 was mixed.
8 At one of these meetings, Mr. Pero Skopljak,
9 the then chief of the Vitez MUP, stated that the
10 Serb population of the town of Vitez was placed
11 under the protection of the HVO. On that occasion he
12 stated, and he actually showed us a list to the effect
13 that the residents of the village of Tolovici near
14 Vitez had surrendered to the HVO 120 automatic rifles,
15 two recoilless guns, and a large amount of ammunition.
16 Q. If I just may move off that for a moment to
17 an organisational matter? Did the Muslim community
18 respond with any particular organisation of its own?
19 Did you set up any kind of body?
20 A. We convened a meeting of the representatives
21 of all political parties in the area, but only Muslim
22 representatives and prominent citizens of Muslim
23 nationality, and we presented them the attitude of the
24 executive council of the SDA regarding the formation of
25 the HVO government in Vitez.
1 On that occasion, I think that this happened
2 on the 10th or 12th of July, a coordination board for
3 the protection of Muslims in Vitez was established, and
4 it consisted of 19 members, representatives of all
5 parties, prominent businessmen, and representatives of
6 the local commune.
7 We adopted a declaration on that occasion
8 stating conclusions of that meeting. That declaration
9 stated that the Muslims in Vitez did not recognise the
10 newly established one-nation government in Vitez, that
11 is, the HVO government, and that all decisions adopted
12 by that government would not be binding to Muslims.
13 An order, an instruction was issued to all
14 officials who were holding important positions, they
15 were supposed to continue working on their functions,
16 but in accordance with the results of the elections
17 that took place in November of the previous year, in
18 1990, and we stated that the Muslim population would
19 recognise only those instructions and decisions that
20 were adopted in accordance with the law. Also, that
21 the Muslims in Vitez would honour all the decisions
22 adopted by the presidency of the republic.
23 Q. In a practical sense, Doctor, as we go from
24 June through towards October of 1992, what actually
25 occurred within Vitez? What happened in particular to
1 certain Muslim-owned businesses or shops or other
2 property within the town?
3 A. The period between July 1990 and August,
4 during that period, a number of checkpoints were
5 established, so there was a lot of harassment in that
6 period; and only later on, at the beginning of November
7 1990, did a series of incidents of blowing up privately
8 owned premises started occurring.
9 Q. Doctor, could I just interrupt you a moment
10 about the date? I think you said 1990. Are you sure
11 about that?
12 A. 1992. I apologise.
13 Q. Yes. You said there were certain things that
14 happened to property. Would you please describe
15 briefly what that was?
16 A. In Vitez, at the beginning of that period,
17 the first incident took place after -- the second
18 incident happened on the 20th of October in Vitez after
19 a killing incident which happened somewhat earlier.
20 At that time, it was an open conflict in
21 Vitez. Conflicts between the HVO and the BiH army in
22 Novi Travnik happened. Members of the Territorial
23 Defence set up an obstacle; they wouldn't let the HVO
24 soldiers from Busovaca, Kiseljak, and Kresevo -- they
25 prevented them from going to Novi Travnik.
1 Q. And about how far -- sorry.
2 A. And, as I said, an open conflict occurred.
3 Q. So you say there was an open conflict between
4 the BiH forces and the forces of the HVO. That was in
5 Novi Travnik and in Vitez, you were saying?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you, in fact, go around the weekend of
8 the 17th or 18th of October to Travnik itself to work
9 in the hospital?
10 A. Yes. At that time, I had my regular job in
11 Vitez, but I also worked part time in Novi Travnik --
12 Travnik, and I worked at the internal medicine ward in
13 the Travnik hospital at that time as well.
14 Q. And over that weekend, did the patients who
15 came in, did they include military people?
16 A. I myself did not admit any patients while I
17 worked there; however, when I handed over my duty, my
18 shift, and when I went to Vitez to continue working
19 there, I saw a number of injured, wounded people that
20 were being brought in an ambulance to the surgery
21 department in Vitez, and I wanted to know who these
22 people were, and I was told that they had come from
23 Novi Travnik and that there had been a conflict between
24 the HVO and the BiH army in Novi Travnik.
25 Q. I see. So you arrived back in Vitez. Did
1 you hear anything else relating to any kind of armed
2 incidents within the area, any conflict?
3 A. No. I completed part of my duty there. At
4 that time, I was head of the medical centre in Vitez.
5 I was very tired and I went home to get some sleep.
6 As for the conflict in Vitez, I learned about
7 them only on Monday morning -- no, Tuesday morning,
8 sorry, when I went to work.
9 Q. Did you see at work people bearing injuries?
10 You said -- who had been brought into the hospital?
11 A. You mean in Vitez?
12 Q. In Vitez.
13 A. Yes, later on, but not at that time, not at
14 the moment I arrived, on that morning. I saw them
15 later on in the afternoon.
16 Q. What sort of injuries did those people -- or
17 had those people sustained?
18 A. The people who lived in the neighbourhood of
19 Kolonija had mainly sustained gunshot wounds. Most of
20 them were residents of Muslim ethnic background. None
21 of the soldiers, HVO soldiers, was admitted to the
22 hospital on that day. Mostly civilians were coming.
23 Q. Now, you've referred, Doctor, to the 20th of
24 October. Are there any other incidents that are
25 particularly relevant on that date, October '92?
1 A. I said I also worked as head of the medical
2 centre in Vitez, and I was told by my personnel that on
3 that evening, Marijan Cerkez had been to the medical
4 centre in Vitez, Marijan Cerkez was the HVO commander
5 in Vitez, and Sefkija Dzidic, commander of the
6 Territorial Defence in Vitez, and they told me that
7 they had not reached an agreement and that an open
8 conflict was likely to take place.
9 Sometime during that day, I was asked by a
10 Croat from Vitez, his name is Ilija Safradin, a
11 favour. He told me that his personal car had been
12 requisitioned, and he asked me to do something about
13 that so his car would be returned to him. So together
14 with the driver of the ambulance, Stipo Kristo,
15 I went to the Territorial Defence command in Vitez
16 which was quartered at the secondary school building,
17 and there I found about 15 soldiers, and I told them I
18 wanted to see their commander, and they told me that
19 the building of the command had been shot at during the
20 night and that it was relocated to Stari Vitez.
21 So I went to Stari Vitez in the ambulance,
22 and I found the commander, Sefkija Dzidic, there, and I
23 asked him -- I told him that the car that had been
24 requisitioned from that gentleman should be returned.
25 He did that, that is, he ordered a military policeman
1 to return the keys of the car, but he asked me to get
2 in touch with the commander, Mr. Ivica Santic. He said
3 that by order of the crisis staff in Zenica, an
4 obstacle had been set up on the road to Ahmici. He
5 said that there would be a change in shift of soldiers
6 at the front-line. That was the front-line against the
7 Serbs. And he asked me to try and organise a meeting
8 and calm down the situation in Vitez.
9 I did that. I convened a meeting with the
10 assistance of the then chief of the UNHCR office,
11 Mr. Andersen. Sefkija Dzidic came to the
12 meeting, together with Sulejman Kavazovic, who was
13 chief of the Territorial Defence in Vitez. I was
14 supposed to attend the meeting as well because the
15 politicians were not represented in any way. So when I
16 went to that meeting, I heard gunfire from the
17 direction of Gradina and I asked Ivan Santic for an
18 explanation, and he just said the Muslims are
20 So I went back to the medical centre, and the
21 headquarters of the Territorial Defence in Vitez were
22 attacked at that time.
23 The HVO soldiers took control of the
24 building, the building that belonged to the logistics
25 in Vitez, they broke into the premises of the SDA in
1 Vitez, they took possession of the documentation that
2 they found there, and later I learned that HVO soldiers
3 demolished and destroyed the Plavac Hotel in Vitez.
4 That hotel was the private property of Hakija
5 Delilovic, and Hakija Delilovic was a local commander
6 of the BiH army in Kruscica near Vitez.
7 So because of these developments, a member of
8 the Territorial Defence was killed in Kruscica, and a
9 number of HVO soldiers were arrested, and I learned for
10 the first time about Mr. Anto Furundzija who was
11 captured at the time.
12 Later on, I had contacts with representatives
13 of the army, and everybody seemed to be very surprised
14 because Anto Furundzija had been one of the commanders
15 of the military police of the Territorial Defence, and
16 he left the Territorial Defence rather late, in
17 September. He took the weapons that he had signed out
18 for, and I think that he was later on released.
19 Prisoners had been taken on both sides.
20 Q. So moving forward from the events of that
21 October, what particular steps did the Muslim community
22 take in regard to their own authorities later in 1992?
23 Did you change the way you governed your affairs or
24 tried to?
25 A. In 1992, we still maintained contact with HDZ
1 representatives, in Vitez, and it was as late as
2 November, perhaps in late November, the 25th or 26th of
3 November, the entry into the municipal hall was
4 forbidden to all Muslims who had not signed a statement
5 of loyalty to the HVO government, so that the president
6 of the local government and other officials
7 representing the Muslim side in Vitez were also
8 forbidden entrance.
9 Then I think it was after October, that is,
10 the 20th of October, the civilian police left the
11 building of the joint police and set up a police
12 station in old Vitez. Officials of the Muslim origin
13 then moved and organised their authority in old Vitez.
14 This authority, this government, was rounded off by the
15 decree of the presidency of the republic, the war
16 presidency was elected, and as of the 2nd of February,
17 '93, I became the chairman of the wartime presidency.
18 Q. When did the, if I can use the expression,
19 Muslim war presidency, when did that, in fact, come
20 into being?
21 A. It was founded on the 15th of January, 1993,
22 and they prevailed upon me to agree to consent to
23 become its president. I've never been actively
24 involved in politics before that, I was never a
25 politician, I'm not that now, and I tried to evade it.
1 But some others thought that I maintained
2 very good relations with everybody else in Vitez and I
3 would therefore manage to avoid -- to forestall a
4 conflict in Vitez. So I agreed and accepted the
5 nomination on the 2nd of February, '93, although I
6 continued my work as a physician.
7 Q. Could you explain, please, what authorities
8 and what power the war presidency exercised?
9 A. The war presidency was -- had the supreme
10 authority in the municipality for the civilian
11 protection, for the police, and for the army. It
12 issued orders which had to be put through. Adopted
13 conclusions, issued communications. So it was the
14 highest-ranking authority in the municipality.
15 Q. Did the --
16 A. For the Muslim population, for the Muslim
18 Q. Did the war presidency have any particular
19 executive authority in respect of the army, of the BiH
21 MR. DAVIDSON: Your Honour, there comes a
22 point where the leading of the witness should stop.
23 The witness was asked a question, he gave an answer, it
24 wasn't enough, and then the Prosecutor is attempting to
25 lead the witness. I would ask that the leading of the
1 witness stop. The questions being asked are of the
2 leading nature.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Davidson, the particular
4 question you chose was not, in my view, a leading
5 question. It was a general question as to whether the
6 war presidency had any particular executive authority
7 in respect to the army. That seems to me to be an open
8 question and one that is not objectionable. Of course, if
9 counsel starts to lead the witness, we will stop him,
10 but there is no reason for that objection.
11 Mr. Blaxill, I'm sure you will have all that in mind.
12 MR. BLAXILL: Yes indeed, Your Honour. Thank
14 Q. Did you, in fact, have any contact with the
15 military of the Bosnian army?
16 A. The war presidency and myself, as its
17 president, were, of course, the superiors to the army
18 in Vitez. We appointed the commander of the local
19 armed forces of the army and they could do nothing
20 without the authorisation, without the consent, of the
21 war presidency. The same holds true of the civilian
22 police. In other words, we had the authority to
23 appoint the personnel, the executive personnel, and
24 even though the army had regional territorial network
25 and there was the district command of the Territorial
1 Defence of Zenica and the commander on the statistics
2 staff was Merdan Dzemal.
3 Q. So were you aware of the location of the
4 forces of the army of the BiH at about that time?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And did you keep up any contact with
7 representatives of the HVO during this period?
8 A. (No answer translated).
9 Q. What were the conditions around Vitez, let us
10 move say to the end of January 1993, what were the
11 conditions around Vitez at that time?
12 A. The conditions, they were impossible. The
13 local population were killed; two eminent Nasaponos
14 (phoen) of Muslim nationality were killed there, Hasan
15 Skopljak and Esad Sajkic. A number of people
16 were beaten, were harassed, their money was taken away,
17 people were brought in for questioning, houses of
18 eminent Muslims were broken and entered, for instance,
19 Suad Salkic's house was broken into in the night hours,
20 they were physically harassed, and ill-treated, around
21 two or three o'clock in the morning, they broke and
22 entered the house of Dzaradzijan Rezvanovic who
23 was a doctor of technical sciences. On the 27th of
24 January, Vitez was under complete blockade by the HVO
25 forces. That is, all the access roads were blocked.
1 They were disarming mostly the members of the army and
2 civilians too, and army members and members of the
3 civilian police, and also mining individual facilities
4 were mined full of Muslims, that is either shops for
5 instance, or whatever facilities or vehicles from
6 Travnik or Zenica.
7 Q. Again, within the town of Vitez, what was it
8 like during the day by comparison to during the night
9 for the citizens living there at that time?
10 A. In the morning hours, one could bear it, it
11 was tolerable, but at night, it was really unbearable.
12 Many people complained, complained of those breaking
13 into houses, entrances into houses, harassment.
14 Q. So if I can move forward, what were the
15 conditions pertaining then from the end of January say
16 to the end of March, over that period?
17 A. The situation of -- some contact was
18 established, it was the end of January. In Vitez,
19 understanding was reached between the party for
20 democratic action, SDA, represented by Fuad and Munib
21 Kajmanovic on one hand and Ivan Santic and I think the
22 other one was Dragan Radic, they tried to calm the
23 situation down, and it was suggested that it be
24 addressed at a meeting held by both parties and to set
25 up a war government of Vitez which would not be
1 ethnically coloured.
2 But Mr. Dario Kordic, in a speech transmitted
3 by television, I did not hear it, said literally that
4 all the decrees of the Croat community of Herceg-Bosna
5 needed to be respected or else they would defend it for
6 all their worth.
7 So a contact was established insofar SD armed
8 forces were concerned, that is, the head of the chief
9 of staff of the army of BH, Sefer Halilovic, at the
10 time, and that the chief of staff, Milivoj Metkovic.
11 There was also contact between the commander for
12 western Bosnia and the commander of the third corps.
13 A joint commission was set up made of
14 civilian and military police and they were charged with
15 calming the situation down or bringing the tension
16 down. There was this so-called commission for
17 incidents, for conflict situations, and this commission
18 was supposed to report on the situation in the field
19 regularly and to account to the chief, to the main
20 commission which had its seat at the Tisa Hotel in
22 So the state of affairs improved slightly,
23 but in March and then in April, the disarmament started
24 again. First, the security personnel in special
25 purpose plants in Vitez were requested to lay down
1 their arms, to turn over, rather, their arms, and then
2 they began to disarm the soldiers of the BiH army at a
3 meeting held on the 15th of April of this commission
4 for incidents, for conflict situations.
5 I was told that the Croat representatives
6 were requesting an urgent meeting of the most
7 responsible persons in Vitez because the situation had
8 grown unbearable. And I convened the war presidency
9 and we agreed to a meeting which was to be held on the
10 16th of April at 12.00, at 1200; however, in the
11 morning of the 16th of April, the HVO in Vitez and
12 other units which were there carried a massive attack,
13 and although --
14 Q. Could I stop you there for a moment, Doctor?
15 I will, indeed, now turn your attention to the date of
16 the 16th of April but, firstly, could you tell me where
17 you were on the day before, the 15th of April, 1993?
18 A. On the 15th of April, I was in the medical
19 centre and I was doing my job. I mean, I was a
20 physician at the time. I was called, I was invited to
21 go to the office of the war presidency in Vitez and I
22 went there. The commission for conflict situation
23 composed of Sefkija Djidic, Sefet Sevro and Niaz Sevro
24 asked me to convene a meeting of the war presidency,
25 and I was told that the Croats were proposed saying a
1 meeting of the most responsible personalities, persons
2 in Vitez from the Croat and the Muslim side and
3 suggesting that a meeting be convened on April the 16th
4 at 12.00. And we agreed with this time and also agreed
5 with the agenda, that is, that all the armed forces be
6 placed under the joint commander, the same would go for
7 the police, and to create a joint command in Vitez.
8 Q. Did you observe anything on the streets of
9 Vitez when you went to go to this meeting? Was there
10 anything particular or unusual you saw?
11 A. The meeting was adjourned sometime around
12 1500 -- no, I should say 1700; that is, 5.00, 1700; and
13 I started to go -- I was on my way home but I did two
14 house visits, no, one house visit, and I also examined
15 two women. One was Mara Bekavac in Rijeka; and another
16 Croat women from Krcevina, I did not examine her, but
17 her husband came to the house of Zvonko Bekavac with
18 another Croat and asked me to help his wife.
19 So I went back home and a number of local
20 people called me at night. In Vitez at night you heard
21 explosions. It was a regular occurrence there at the
22 time, and it was also a normal occurrence for a
23 facility, for a building, to go up in air.
24 What was going on in Vitez, I kept telling
25 everybody that a joint meeting had been scheduled for
1 the 16th of April at noon, at 12.00, and that I
2 expected that we would be able to solve the problems,
3 the pressing problems.
4 Q. If I may just stop you at that point, you've
5 made a reference to hearing explosions at night. Had
6 you heard this before?
7 A. The largest number of them one could hear in
8 November and in January; in other periods, not all that
9 many, but in early November and in January, and then on
10 the 16th of April.
11 Q. Could I just stop you there at that point?
12 Did you ever see the results or affects of what these
13 explosions were?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What were they?
16 A. I saw the business bank in Vitez demolished;
17 also the selling outlet, a number of private stores,
18 private shops, demolished, destroyed around Vitez. I
19 wasn't the only one who saw that. All the inhabitants
20 there, all the locals, could see the result, the upshot
21 of the previous night.
22 Q. Thank you, Doctor. If we can return now,
23 indeed, to the night of the 15th and the 16th of April,
24 I believe you have said that you spent the night at
25 home in your apartment; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. That was '93.
2 Q. So what happened the following morning?
3 A. I was in my flat with my wife and my three
4 children and my parents-in-law, my wife's parents, who
5 were refugees. At about half past five, we were
6 awakened by detonations, explosions, so we got up to
7 see what it was all about. I called the commander of
8 the Territorial Defence in old Vitez and I asked him,
9 "What is going on?" And he told me that HVO had
10 attacked the BiH army, that it had attacked Vitez, and
11 that in old Vitez there was fighting around houses.
12 And I said, "Man, we're having a meeting
13 today." He said "Nothing doing," he told me. "So what
14 should I do," I asked him, and he told me just to stay
16 My next-door neighbour, somebody rang the
17 door, and we looked through. It was my next-door
18 neighbour, Marinko Katava. I and my wife opened the
19 door and he said, "Morning, Neighbour. I've only come
20 to tell you that you are no more, that you are gone. I
21 had already warned you that your children shouldn't
22 shout around the staircase. Long live the army of BiH,
23 and to write graffiti on the walls which you did not
24 heed to this. So just don't get surprised what can
25 happen to you, what will happen to you," and then he
1 went back to his flat which was below ours.
2 Q. What did you do after that, Doctor, after
3 that visit? Did you remain at home or did you go out
5 A. No, I stayed in. I stayed in my flat.
6 Q. What, if anything, were you able to observe
7 from your flat in the surroundings outside?
8 A. There were terrible explosions. Through the
9 window, I could see shells falling around the houses in
10 the village of Nadioci. In Vitez, I could see smoke
11 rising from the houses inhabited by Vitez Muslims in
12 the town itself, I mean.
13 Q. Did you see any kind of people actually on
14 the streets?
15 A. Through the window of my apartment, I could
16 see a street, and there were many entrances, four or
17 five, and at each of them there were armed men standing
18 there. I knew them. They were mostly of Croat ethnic
19 origin. Because it was not very far away, I could see
20 them and recognise them.
21 Q. Doctor, these armed men, were they wearing
22 any form of uniform?
23 A. Those, you mean, who were standing in the
24 entrances into buildings? No -- well, some of them,
25 some, here and there, wore a camouflage jacket but they
1 were not wearing full uniforms. They were not in
2 combat gear.
3 Q. Okay. So what happened a little later that
4 morning, say, at about half past eight?
5 A. A few hours later, that same neighbour who
6 had been there at half past five came around nine or
7 half past nine and wanted to talk to me, tête-à-tête.
8 So we moved to a room where there was no one, to an
9 empty room that was the nursery in my flat, and Marinko
10 Katava, my neighbour, asked me -- the first thing he
11 asked me was what have I done, how have I helped other
12 people so that they saved me, so that they saved my
13 life or spared my life? He also said that he would
14 tell me who had saved my life, but all that fire, all
15 that shooting and everything else and this whole adieu,
16 would calm down by Monday and then he would tell me who
17 it was. He brought me two boxes of cigarettes, two
18 packages of cigarettes.
19 As he was sitting there, another Croat
20 entered, a friend of mine, Dragan Safradin, applied
21 chemist, and he was crying and told me not to be afraid
22 anymore, that the worst was over, to stay in my flat,
23 and also brought me a package of cigarettes, and they
24 left my flat.
25 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, how long did you, in fact,
1 remain in your apartment before you went out?
2 A. In the apartment, well, I stayed there until
3 Monday. It was April the 19th until 10.00. At that
4 time, a military policeman, an HVO military policeman,
5 or at least that was the kind of uniform he was wearing
6 with the white belt, he came for me or, rather, he
7 asked for me.
8 Q. Doctor, may I ask you: What, if anything,
9 more had you observed between the 16th and the 19th
10 when the military policeman came to your apartment?
11 A. It was forbidden for us to leave our
12 apartment, to leave the building or to go to the
13 shelters, so we mostly stayed in the corridor inside
14 the apartment. That was the safest place in the
16 On the 16th, Stipo Krizanac, another of my
17 neighbours, and Safradin, whose first name I can't
18 remember, went from flat to flat, and there were about
19 12 flats in our part of the building. And they told --
20 rather, asked everyone, they wanted to know how many
21 weapons they had, and they told people to surrender
22 weapons or else the HVO policeman would come and search
23 their weapons, and whoever is found in possession of
24 any weapon would be killed.
25 I didn't have any weapons at home, and when
1 he left, my wife told me that a neighbour of ours had
2 brought to our balcony four hand grenades. This
3 neighbour's name was Harun Suljevic. So I didn't know
4 what to do and then my wife went to see Stipo Krizanac,
5 and she took him the hand grenades and she told him
6 that the grenades had been brought that morning by
7 someone else to our balcony and left there. This is
8 what happened.
9 Q. Where did you later then go with Dragan Calic
10 on the 19th?
11 A. Could you please repeat your question? I'm
12 having problems with these headphones. They keep
13 falling off. Yes, please.
14 Q. Doctor, yes, I was going to say, where did
15 you go with the man you've referred to --
16 JUDGE MUMBA: Mr. Blaxill, can we have a
17 break at this time --
18 MR. BLAXILL: Indeed, Your Honour, I'm --
19 JUDGE MUMBA: -- for 20 minutes?
20 MR. BLAXILL: Yes. In essence, we have made
21 more progress than I might have anticipated, so I'm
22 more than happy.
23 JUDGE MUMBA: We shall have a break for 20
25 --- Recess taken at 3.35 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
2 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, we may continue with the
4 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you. With your leave,
5 Madam President, Your Honours ...
6 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, I think we had reached the
7 stage of the 19th of April, 1993, and you had advised
8 the court that a gentleman called Dragan Calic, a
9 policeman, came to your apartment. Can you tell me,
10 please, what happened then?
11 A. On the 19th of April, Monday, around 10.00, a
12 military policeman of the HVO, whom I knew very well,
13 came to my flat and wanted to see me. My mother-in-law
14 wanted to know what it was all about, but he wanted to
15 see me and I came out and said, "Hello." And then he
16 told me that I should go with him, explaining that he
17 had been sent by one of the local commanders in Vitez,
18 Darko Kraljevic. He said they had a number of wounded
19 soldiers and they needed my help, and he said that I
20 should not be concerned. I took my bag and went with
22 Q. Where did you go?
23 A. I went to a shelter, which was part of the
24 local school for arts and crafts, and these premises
25 had been set up for war emergencies, and as a member of
1 the crisis staff, I participated in the preparations of
2 this particular shelter. It was an outpost of the
3 medical centre in Vitez which was supposed to be used
4 in case of war.
5 When I entered this shelter, the medical
6 staff, who happened to be there, was taken by surprise
7 when they saw me. A nurse stood up and kissed me, and
8 she said, "See? Our doctor is alive."
9 I should explain this. On Saturday, I heard
10 news on TV. According to the news, I had been killed,
11 so that's why they were surprised to see me there.
12 And, indeed, there was a lot of work to do on that
13 day. There were a lot of wounded people coming to the
14 shelter, and they gave me a white coat and all other
15 accessories and I started giving first aid to the
16 wounded people.
17 Q. Doctor, could I ask --
18 A. On the day, most of the people we admitted
19 were soldiers.
20 Q. I was going to ask you that very question.
21 Who were the people who had been admitted to the
22 hospital that day?
23 A. The majority of them were HVO soldiers, and
24 occasionally a civilian, a Muslim civilian.
25 On that day, we admitted a number of wounded
1 people from the area of the village of Dubravica and a
2 few from the village of Veceriska. I don't know
3 exactly how many there were, but we had a lot of work
4 that day. We were quite busy.
5 After my arrival in this shelter, maybe one
6 hour later, Mr. Darko Kraljevic arrived, and as I say,
7 I knew him very well, so he said "Hello" to me and he
8 asked me how I was. Then he turned to the medical
9 staff and he told them, "From now on, the head of these
10 premises is Dr. Mujezinovic. You can ask him for
11 whatever you need." And he left two telephone numbers
12 to me and told me that I should call him if necessary.
13 He had his escort with him, all these people were very
14 well-armed, and he was carrying a big knife stuck in
15 his belt.
16 After that, they left.
17 Q. Did you, Doctor, at that time learn of any of
18 the locations of the explosions and so forth you had
19 heard or seen on the 16th of April?
20 A. Yes. Two nurses who lived in the village of
21 Ahmici, one is called Ankica Ljubas, that's her maiden
22 name, she was married to a man called Pujub.
23 That nurse used to work at the internal medicine
24 department in Travnik, and I wanted her to be brought
25 into work with me because she was a very qualified
1 nurse and she was very good. And the other one didn't
2 work at our institution but --
3 Q. I don't really want to cut you short, but I
4 think the names of the staff probably are not
5 particularly relevant.
6 You say that these members of staff spoke to
7 you. What was it they mentioned to you?
8 A. These two nurses told me that during the
9 night, on the 16th of April, residents of the village
10 of Ahmici, that is, Croat residents of Ahmici, had
11 moved out and went to the Lasva River Valley, and she
12 also said that in the morning, around half past five, a
13 general attack was carried out against the village of
14 Ahmici from three directions, and she said that a
15 number of houses were set on fire in Ahmici, that a lot
16 of children and women were killed, that the cattle was
17 let loose, there was no one to take care of livestock.
18 As they were telling this story, they were both
19 crying. She said that everything that they had seen in
20 Ahmici was sheer horror and that a terrible massacre
21 had taken place in that village.
22 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, we'll just make it clear.
23 Of course, you did not witness any of this yourself,
24 did you? This was just told to you; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. These two nurses told me what had
1 happened there. I did not see it myself.
2 Q. Now, did you continue working at the war
3 hospital after the 19th of April?
4 A. I worked all day long, and around 8.00 p.m.,
5 that is after 8.00 p.m., two HVO military policemen
6 arrived, whom I also knew very well, one was Anto
7 Kovac, and the other one was Ratko Nuk, and they told
8 me to come with them, and the medical staff wanted to
9 know where they were taking me, and they simply ordered
10 me to go with them, to follow them. They were armed.
11 They took me to Vitez, to the building of what used to
12 be known as Workers University, to the office which was
13 part of the command of the Vitez brigade. That was the
14 office belonging to the commander of the brigade, Mario
16 Q. Can you tell me, please, of which armed
17 forces the Vitez brigade formed a part?
18 A. Well, I know that they were all HVO members.
19 I believe it was the HVO, yes.
20 Q. I see. And you say you were taken to an
21 office there?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And who did you encounter in that office?
24 A. In that office, I saw Mario Cerkez, Zeljko
25 Sajevic, Zvonimir Cilic, Stipo Zivoja, Dragan
1 Rebac, and Boro Jozic. All these people were known to
2 me very well.
3 Q. Were they or were they not all military
5 A. At that time, they were all wearing uniform.
6 They were members of the military personnel.
7 Q. And of what armed forces?
8 A. Well, as far as I know, they were members of
9 the Vitez brigade of the HVO.
10 Q. All right. Was anything said to you when you
11 were brought in to see these people?
12 A. I was addressed by Mario Cerkez, the
13 commander, who asked me, "Doctor, are you aware of the
14 situation you're in?" And I told him I was. And he
15 asked me whether I had heard about Ahmici, and I said I
16 had. And then he said, "Then you know everything."
17 And he told me that I should follow the orders.
18 The others kept silent, and I was just
19 listening to him and he went on. He said that the
20 units of the army had pierced HVO lines in the village
21 of Dubravica and in the area of Zabrdje as well. He
22 told me to call the 3rd Corps, that is, the commander
23 of the 3rd Corps, and to tell them that the HVO in
24 Vitez is holding captive 2.203, I believe, residents,
25 and if they should continue with their advance, that
1 they would kill all the prisoners that they were
3 Q. Doctor, could I ask you at this stage: How
4 far away from Vitez or the places you've mentioned,
5 Dubravica and Zabrdje?
6 A. Well, the distance between the headquarters
7 and Dubravica, where I was told the line had been
8 pierced, is, I believe, maybe two and a half, three
9 kilometres. As for Zabrdje, it is a summer resort, a
10 mountain resort, and it is somewhat further away from
11 Vitez. I don't know exactly how far it is. There are
12 several roads leading to Zabrdje, 9 kilometres or maybe
13 12 kilometres, depending on the road you take.
14 Q. Now, you say you received some instructions
15 to make telephone calls, one of which was to the
16 commander of the 3rd Corps. Of what force is that 3rd
18 A. The 3rd Corps of the BH army which had its
19 headquarters in Zenica. That corps at that time was
20 commanded by a person by the name of Hadzihasanovic. I
21 don't know his first name.
22 Q. Aside from being told about making telephone
23 calls, were you asked to do anything else?
24 A. Yes, I was. When I had done with these
25 telephone calls, Mario Cerkez asked me to appear in the
1 local TV and to address an appeal to Muslims in the old
2 part of Vitez, that is Stari Vitez, and to tell them to
3 surrender their weapons.
4 Q. Did you, in fact, make any -- sorry.
5 A. After that, he also wanted me to appear on
6 the local TV and to ask that the Muslims in Stari Vitez
7 surrender their weapons. After that, he wanted me to
8 set up a team that would negotiate with the
9 representatives of the HVO, and I wanted to know who he
10 had in mind, who should be a member of that team, and
11 then he said, "Doctor, in the basement here there are
12 300 prisoners who are in the basement of that
13 building," and he told me to go downstairs and to
14 select people from the basement, which I did, under the
15 escort of the military police.
16 Q. Did you make any of the telephone calls that
17 were requested of you, either before or after you went
18 to the basement?
19 A. No, it was before I went to the basement. I
20 knew the telephone number of Mr. Ramiz Dugalic who was
21 in charge of security of the 3rd Corps of the BH army.
22 He's from Vitez. So I called him, and I told him what
23 Mario Cerkez wanted me to do, that he would kill all
24 prisoners and that there were 2,200 prisoners and that
25 he would do that if the BiH army didn't stop the
1 advance, so I asked him to give me telephone numbers of
2 his commander, telephone numbers of Mr. Izetbegovic,
3 Mr. Granic, Mr. Silajdzica, because he had also wanted
4 me to report to them and to tell them what the
5 situation was. Ramiz Dugalic told me to give him the
6 number I was calling him from, and I gave him that
7 number and he said that he would call me back within
8 next half an hour. And he indeed called me back, and
9 he said that whatever Mario Cerkez was asking for
10 should be obliged, that I should do as he said, and
11 that the advance of the BH army would be stopped.
12 The commander Hadzihasanovic called me as
13 well and also Ejub Ganic who at the time was a member
14 of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. So after
15 these discussions, I went downstairs to the basement of
16 the same building.
17 Q. And what did you see when you went down to
18 the basement?
19 A. When I got there, I saw a huge number of
20 people, all of whom were Muslims, residents of the town
21 of Vitez. Among them there was a number of professors,
22 teachers, a lot of retired people, quite a few ill
23 people, disabled people, and I knew most of them, so I
24 went through that area, and I picked up -- I mean, I
25 didn't really pick up anyone, but I just told Bahtija
1 Sivro, Fuad Kaknjo, who was president of the
2 government, Mulahalilovic, director of the high school,
3 Kadir Dzidic who was a professor at the secondary
4 school, to come with me. I think that Zijad Puric also
5 came with us, and we all went together with military
6 policemen, and the owner of these premises, Muazer
7 Gerim, we went to his business premises which were
8 located within the same building.
9 Zvonko Cilic remained with us and so did Boro
10 Jozic. They wanted others to be there as well, and
11 they wanted these people too to make telephone calls
12 and to tell what kind of situation they were in and
13 what was in store for all these prisoners in case the
14 Bosnian army entered Vitez.
15 After a while, I left the office together
16 with Zvonko Cilic, and at about one o'clock I appeared
17 on the local TV as per instructions or, rather, orders
18 of Mr. Cerkez. And I gave a statement. I made an
19 appeal to both sides to the effect that they should
20 stop firing, that they were doing a stupid thing which
21 could only benefit Milosevic, and after that I went
22 back to the office and we stayed there until two
23 o'clock, that is 2.00 a.m., and at that time Zvonko
24 Cilic and Boro Jozic told us that they were threw with
25 us, and if these people had no one else to call, we
1 were advised to remain in the office or we could also
2 go back to the basement. As far as I can remember, it
3 was only Fuad Kaknjo who went back to the basement and
4 we remained in the office of Muazer Gerim.
5 Every 30 minutes a military policeman would
6 come to check on us. Zvonko Cilic and Boro Jozic also
7 told us that Ivica Santic would come the next morning,
8 around 6.00, accompanied by Pero Skopljak, and that
9 they would continue talking with us. They turned up at
10 5.00 a.m., indeed, and they discussed the situation
11 with us.
12 We were first addressed by Ivica Santic who
13 said that he was sorry that such a thing had happened,
14 he said that there was a number of wounded and killed,
15 but that it was not their fault, that Alija Izetbegovic
16 was to blame, who at the time was the president of the
17 presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, he said that his
18 policy was unrealistic, unreasonable, he said that he
19 wanted to have unitary Bosnia and Herzegovina, and he
20 stated that Bosnia and Herzegovina had fallen apart a
21 long time ago, and he also said that those who were
22 stronger would have the power in Vitez, and he
23 reiterated his threats as well as Pero Skopljak who
24 said something to the following effect -- I mean, I
25 cannot really quote him, but he said that on a number
1 of occasions, he had drawn the attention of the Muslim
2 leaders to the fact that Alija Izetbegovic was
3 leading -- was not working to the advantage of the
4 Bosnian people, and if we did not accept the existence
5 of Herceg-Bosna, that there would be a lot of fighting,
6 and I believe that one of us, and I no longer remember
7 who it was, but I remember that someone said or,
8 rather, suggested that me, as a member of the war
9 presidency, should issue a public statement, that we
10 should explain to the people what the situation was.
11 And I was given a text which had been previously typed
12 out, it consisted of five points, and I signed that
13 paper, which was also signed by Santic.
14 This text was read out for the next five days
15 several times on the local TV.
16 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, sorry to interrupt you, but
17 at that point you concluded these dealings with these
18 people, had you? What happened on the following day?
19 What did you do?
20 A. The military police took me to work and the
21 others went into the basement. The next day, they
22 almost stopped, I mean, the fire stopped, and I went to
23 the premises where the medical centre was. I was dead
24 tired and I laid down on a bed, on a cot where we
25 usually had wounded and I managed to get some sleep.
1 Nobody bothered me that day. That day and the next
2 day, we had nothing. I had no contact with anyone on
3 the Bosniak side, but we heard that the head of the
4 chief of staff of the BiH army had arrived in Vitez,
5 and the commander or the head of the staff of the HVO,
6 that is, Mr. Sefer Halilovic, Milivoj Petkovic, and
7 that the negotiations were underway.
8 Q. What sort of patients, if any, were being
9 admitted to your hospital at that time?
10 A. I have already said, the first day, there
11 were HVO soldiers and wounded Muslim civilians. Then
12 as the time went by, that is, towards the end of the
13 week, they began to bring in -- first, it was the
14 nurse, Ifeta Dzulabic, that there were women raped and
15 that they needed help.
16 Q. If I may just turn back for a moment to the
17 soldiers, you say, who had been admitted. Were there
18 any soldiers admitted after that first day?
19 A. I said there were soldiers on the first day.
20 On the second day, they were simply lying there. But
21 the next day, I told you, no, there wasn't much work to
22 do on the second day and there were other physicians
24 Q. Now, you saw, you said, a number of these
25 soldiers being from the HVO forces --
1 MR. MISETIC: Your Honour, I'm going to
2 object. He has got his answer to the question. He has
3 posed it now twice to the witness. The witness has
4 answered with respect to his recollection of the
6 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes. So?
7 MR. MISETIC: So I would ask that --
8 JUDGE MUMBA: I'm sure Mr. Blaxill is
9 building up another question. Can we hear the question
11 MR. BLAXILL: Yes.
12 Q. The second half was going to be: Were you
13 able to identify any particular units from their
15 A. Well, you see, people who came there wore
16 camouflage uniforms, army uniforms, and I really never
17 paid any attention to any insignia, to any markings.
18 They were HVO members, not mostly, but all of them.
19 But which particular unit of the HVO, I really never
20 even looked for it and never had any time for that.
21 If they stayed there on our premises and were
22 hospitalised, they took off those uniforms. As for the
23 wounded, we send them on to Travnik and Zenica by car,
24 and some even to Split. I mean, those who had more
25 severe injuries we were sending on because we simply
1 did not have an operation theatre. Only those lightly
2 wounded were kept in Vitez.
3 Q. I see. Did you, in fact, receive any visits
4 from other soldiers, not as patients, but did any
5 military people visit the hospital at all?
6 A. Yes, there were soldiers who came to see, to
7 visit. But those they knew, they came, they entered
8 with arms; I could not stop them. One day, they told
9 me that Anto Furundzija wanted to see me, and I came
10 out of the building in front of the building and the
11 gentleman --
12 Q. Can I stop you at that point for a moment,
13 please, and just say, you say "they" spoke to you. Can
14 you recall what those people were wearing?
15 A. Not "they." I said they all had camouflage
16 uniforms with HVO insignia.
17 Q. Yes, please carry on then, Doctor. I'm sorry
18 I interrupted you.
19 A. So I came out. Mr. Anto Furundzija was
20 standing there. I used to know him a little, not
21 particularly well because I never had any -- I've never
22 met him before. All I knew was that he was one of the
23 commanders of the military police of the Territorial
24 Defence. And then he asked me, "Doctor, give me the
25 keys to your car." And I said that my car had been
1 stolen and, indeed, it had been stolen, and I had
2 reported it both to the military police of the HVO and
3 the civilian police and the military police of the BiH
4 army, and that I did not have any keys of my car. And
5 he said, "Doctor, I know where your garage is and I'm
6 going there to check it personally. And if I see the
7 car there, I'll come back and kill you myself."
8 Q. Doctor, what was the man you referred to as
9 Furundzija --
10 A. I simply did not have a car.
11 Q. Doctor, what was the person named
12 Mr. Furundzija wearing when he was speaking to you?
13 A. He was wearing a uniform with weapons, a
15 Q. Can you describe that uniform a little more
16 precisely? Do you recall its colour or any attachments
17 or anything?
18 A. I remember -- all I can remember is that it
19 was a camouflage uniform, a military camouflage
21 Q. Was he armed at the time?
22 A. Yes, and other men with him were armed too.
23 Q. How close to him were you when you were
24 speaking to him?
25 A. About that (indicating). He came to me and
1 he wanted to ask -- I did not really pay any
2 attention. I mean, he had weapons on him. He was in a
3 uniform and I was afraid. I mean, he couldn't have
4 been more than 50 centimetres away. I mean, he was
5 talking to me directly.
6 Q. What were the lighting conditions at the
8 A. Daylight.
9 Q. Would you, in fact, have recognised
10 Mr. Furundzija again if you saw him?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I invite, Your Honours -- do you, in fact,
13 see anyone of that description here today? If so,
14 would you point in the room and state what the person
15 is wearing.
16 A. Well, he wears a suit like me. (Indicating).
17 Q. You are, therefore, pointing to the person
18 you know as whom?
19 A. Anto Furundzija.
20 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honours, may it please the
21 court that the record could reflect that there was a
22 visual identification and description by the witness of
23 Mr. Anto Furundzija, the accused?
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes.
25 MR. BLAXILL: I'm obliged, Ma'am.
1 Q. After that, did you continue working in that
2 hospital for a period of time?
3 A. Yes, I worked there until the 19th of May,
4 1993. At that time, I was exchanged.
5 Q. You have made reference to women being
6 brought in and complaints of rape. Did you personally
7 examine any of these people?
8 A. I had agreed with the director of the medical
9 centres, Zvonko Kajic, when we were drawn attention to
10 those women who had been raped, and there were female
11 doctors, female physicians, so we had agreed that those
12 female doctors would take over and examine those
13 women. I did not examine them personally (redacted)
15 Q. I would ask that you not mention any names of
16 these particular people, thank you.
17 MR. BLAXILL: If any names mentioned so far
18 could be redacted, Your Honour.
19 Q. Were you made aware of where these particular
20 patients came from? Where had they been brought from;
21 do you know?
22 A. I knew some of them personally, some I
23 didn't. A woman of a more advanced age, yes, I did
24 notice because she was an older woman, a peasant
25 woman. Somebody said that she came from Tjentiste and
1 she was a refugee in the village of Novaci. My
2 colleagues told me that she had been raped and that she
3 was bleeding from the vagina and anus. After that,
4 that woman had nothing feminine about her, if I may say
5 so. I mean, she was an old woman. Somebody said she
6 was 57.
7 An HVO member, I came out, I think, Stipan
8 Ramiljak, I knew him from the village of Poculica, was
9 standing across the passage and said, "Doctor, see what
10 is ill with your Muslim woman. That's what lies in
11 store for all of you." And I went back into the room.
12 As far as I know, at that time, some five or six women
13 came to us, and I must repeat I did not examine any of
14 them. It was simply agreed that if the injuries were
15 of a grave nature, of a severe nature, that they should
16 be sent to the hospital in Travnik.
17 Q. And were these people brought in,
18 essentially, at the same time and in a similar manner
19 to those who had been injured in the combat, the
21 A. We used a car that was available to us, so it
22 is possible that they were transported by that same
23 car, I don't know, and I do not know what our lady
24 doctors did with them. We had very few cars at our
25 disposal, so most of the people were simply transported
1 together. I mean, the wounded soldiers and some
3 Q. Thank you, Doctor. I would like to move on
4 to another factor. You were still, were you,
5 officially a member of the war presidency or not?
6 A. Officially, yes.
7 Q. From that day, say, the 19th of April, did
8 you perform any official duties as a member of the war
10 A. Could you repeat the question, please?
11 Q. From the date of the 19th of April, did you
12 perform any active duties as a member of the war
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did you have any contacts during that period
16 with the military forces of either side, other than the
17 one you have mentioned to us, Mr. Cerkez?
18 A. No, no, except with the wounded. Until
19 about, must have been, Friday, May 16th, 17th, 1993, we
20 had no contact, either with authorised representatives
21 of Croats, apart from what I have mentioned, and twice
22 I was taken by car to Busovaca, again, to treat the
23 wounded and examine civilians. So I went to Busovaca,
24 it was on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We took the military
25 ambulance. They would take me there and bring me
1 back. For awhile, Dr. Muristrako came with me but then
2 he left Vitez, I don't know how, and then after that I
3 went by myself.
4 Q. And so what was the work you actually carried
5 out down in Busovaca?
6 A. Well, Dr. Muristrako was with me. He is a
7 surgeon, you know, so we treated the wounds. He
8 treated those wounds and I simply examined various
9 patients. And then after that, I had to do what he
10 used to do, what he used to do before, because in
11 Busovaca, there were no other people who could do it.
12 I mean, there were no medical people there.
13 So at first, I worked in the kindergarten in
14 Busovaca. By the hospital I was accommodated until the
15 outbreak of war, and from there they took me to the
16 medical centre, to the health centre there, to examine
17 civilians. Among those civilians, there were some
18 Muslims. There were some who had been sent to dig
19 trenches and who then complained of back pain, of
20 calluses and things. I simply gave my opinion. I
21 don't know whether anyone heeded to it. All I could do
22 was give advice as to the treatment.
23 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, did you treat very many
24 people on those visits to Busovaca?
25 A. I treated -- I did only control examinations
1 of those with light wounds. All those with severe
2 wounds were being sent to Nova Bila or to Travnik, but
3 those with the most serious injuries, serious wounds,
4 were sent on to Croatia. As far as I could hear from a
5 man who was with the health ministry of Croatia, some
6 of them were transported to Split and some of the
7 wounded Croats were sent on to the hospital in Zenica.
8 Q. And what kind of wounds did these people have
9 and could you indicate the causes of those wounds?
10 A. They were injuries from firearms, mostly from
11 firearms. Some of them had been shot in their chest,
12 stomach, head. Some had lost parts of their bodies. I
13 mean, there were different kinds of injuries.
14 Q. What about the injuries to civilians whom you
15 treated; what were the causes of those injuries by your
16 diagnosis as a doctor?
17 A. I did not have any civilians. Nobody ever
18 told me that -- no, with the exception of one civilian
19 brought to me who was a member of the Territorial
20 Defence, and I had seen him in the basement in Vitez.
21 His name was Kousevic, I believe. He was the
22 only one who came to me to tell me that he had been
23 battered by HVO soldiers and broken his jaw. He was
24 the only one who had an injury which must have been
25 inflicted by some blunt instrument or something. The
1 others were other patients. I think his name was Sarif
3 Q. Thank you, Doctor. Did you, in the time you
4 were in the war presidency, understand in any way the
5 general numbers and the structure of the respective
6 forces in the region? Did you know how many BiH
7 soldiers were in the region or how many HVO?
8 A. As the chairman of the war presidency, I
9 knew -- I was informed about the forces, about the
10 numbers, equipment armaments of the BiH army. As for
11 the deployment, the chain of command in the HVO and all
12 the rest, it would be guesswork. I simply didn't know
13 about that.
14 Q. That's fine. Again, what about, can I just
15 ask you in case I've missed it, the numbers in the BiH
16 forces in the region; do you recall that?
17 A. At that time, you see, the soldiers in the
18 army of BiH from Vitez took shifts on the front. And
19 as the chairman of this war presidency, all the rest of
20 us, we never thought we had a front-line there and that
21 there would be a conflict there. There were even
22 strict orders to abstain, to prevent any conflict with
23 HVO because, on one hand, we had a terrible war. I
24 remember an occasion when the president -- when the
25 prime minister of Vitez called Alija Izetbegovic and
1 complained to him about a difficult situation, and he
2 then told us that he had been told by Mr. Izetbegovic,
3 "You may not provoke the Croats. You may not do
4 anything except in self-defence. Only if you are
5 bodily threatened, then you may defend yourselves."
6 As the chairman of the war presidency, I had,
7 evidently, to tell everybody to avoid conflict.
8 Q. Thank you, Doctor, I think we are drifting a
9 little from the question that I initially put regarding
10 the overall numbers of the BiH in the region. Can I
11 ask you this question instead: You've mentioned
12 front-lines. Can you indicate generally where any
13 front-lines may have been around the Vitez area?
14 A. After the 16th of April, because the lines
15 between HVO, I think, were re-established sometime on
16 the 17th or 18th of April, '93, and throughout '93,
17 those lines shifted very little. I could show it on
18 the map.
19 MR. BLAXILL: Well, Your Honours, that has
20 been tendered. I wonder if that map could be tendered
21 to Dr. Mujezinovic and perhaps he could give an
22 indication. I believe we do have a pointer available
24 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, it can be put on the
1 MR. BLAXILL: If you please, Your Honour,
2 yes, thank you.
3 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, we would have one
4 objection and that would be as to foundation. What is
5 his knowledge of the front-lines based on -- he says he
6 was in his apartment for three days on those dates. If
7 he could lay some foundation as to how he obtained
9 JUDGE MUMBA: He was the president of the --
10 MR. MISETIC: Through what sources did he
11 obtain this information?
12 MR. BLAXILL: I'm more than happy to ask
14 Q. Before you say anything on this subject, Dr.
15 Mujezinovic, what were the sources of your
16 information? In other words, how did you find this out
17 so that you feel that you know where these places
19 A. I learned it on the 19th of May when I left
20 Vitez, when I was exchanged. Those are the lines that
21 I can show. But as regards April and the former half
22 of May, I could not do that, because as a physician, I
23 had to be there. I mean, I was the chairman of the war
24 presidency. They had determined where the lines were.
25 Q. Doctor, let me ask you this: Only speak,
1 obviously, to the date where you feel you have that
2 knowledge. But the second thing is: Who, in fact,
3 supplied that knowledge to you? How did you learn this
4 as such? From whom?
5 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, again, I'm sorry,
6 but we would have an objection. If his knowledge
7 starts from May 19th, we would object as to relevance
9 MR. BLAXILL: I think I can --
10 JUDGE MUMBA: May 19th, 1993.
11 MR. MISETIC: I believe his testimony is:
12 "... May, when I left Vitez, when I was exchanged,
13 those are the lines that I can show. But as regards
14 April and the former half of May, I could not do that
15 because, as a physician, I had to be there."
16 So if his testimony is going to be that he
17 can place the lines after he was exchanged, which he
18 has already established is May 19th, we would object as
19 to relevance because it has no relevance then to the
20 situation in this case.
21 JUDGE MUMBA: Yes, Mr. Blaxill? That is a
22 valid point.
23 MR. BLAXILL: Your Honour, the point I would
24 make is this, that the relevance, the Prosecution say,
25 is that the existence still of an armed conflict in the
1 region by the 19th of May encompasses the time span of
2 the charge, of the 15th of May. It is not of
3 relevance, particularly, where those lines were on the
4 15th of May, but it is relevant that the establishment
5 of front-lines and the continued existence of front-lines
6 are indicators of an ongoing armed conflict. That is
7 the thrust of the question.
8 MR. MISETIC: Your Honours, again, just from
9 an evidentiary standpoint, he can't vouch that the
10 front-lines that he can draw on May 19th and beyond were
11 established prior to May 19th.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: No, no, no, because the witness
13 has already said he can only say as to what he saw
14 after being exchanged.
15 MR. MISETIC: Correct. That's our point.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: His pointing to any map
17 situation will be limited only to that time.
18 MR. MISETIC: I don't see what the relevance
19 is, but ...
20 JUDGE MUMBA: The Trial Chamber will allow
21 the evidence.
22 MR. BLAXILL: I am obliged, Your Honour.
23 Q. Then, Dr. Mujezinovic, would you please
24 indicate on the map -- if we could have the machine,
1 A. If I may -- I'll only indicate the -- for
2 Vitez, that is, the municipality of Vitez.
3 Q. Please.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could you ask the witness
5 to speak into the microphone, please? We cannot hear
7 A. The demarcation lines were Gola Kosa, up here
8 -- or, rather, Kubir, we call it Gola Kosa, Kratine,
9 Banovac, Sivrino Selo, then Tolovici, Grabak; then lies
10 beneath Bukve, Kosovo, then Sadovaca -- between
11 Sadovaca and the village of Zabilje. And then on the
12 other side, Gornja Veceriska, village of Gacice,
13 between the villages Kruscica and Rijeka, the village
14 of Podvranjska. Then here, I think, Crveno Brdce,
15 Vranjska, Rovna, and down here is the municipality of
16 Busovaca. Here, I don't know. I don't know where the
17 lines spread here.
18 So on one bank of the Lasva, I have shown you
19 above Gornja Veceriska, the village of Gacice, the
20 village of Gruscice and Rijeka -- through the
21 village, rather, the line went through the village, and
22 above the village of Vranjska and Rijeka, here on a
23 hill here, I think it was called Crveno Brdce.
24 On the other side, the line went from Kratine
25 to Banovac, beneath the Sivrino Selo, Dubravica, below
1 Tolovici, Grabak. This here is Hrasnica, and the
2 village of Sadovaca. That is as far as I know. And in
3 Vitez, there was a square kilometre -- older Vitez, it
4 was surrounded, it was besieged for ten months. In
5 Vitez, was the front-line of the BiH army.
6 MR. BLAXILL: Thank you, Doctor. Your
7 Honours, I am mindful of your announcement earlier
8 regarding timing, and it is now five after five, so I
9 wonder -- it could be a point at which, rather than
10 move to a fresh subject, you might wish to adjourn.
11 Obviously, we're in your hands, Ma'am.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: You still have more questions
13 in chief?
14 MR. BLAXILL: I have one further area. Yes,
15 indeed, I DO have some. Yes.
16 JUDGE MUMBA: No, I think we will adjourn and
17 then you can continue tomorrow morning.
18 MR. BLAXILL: Most obliged, Ma'am.
19 JUDGE MUMBA: So the court will adjourn and
20 continue tomorrow morning at 9.30 hours
21 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
22 5.05 p.m., to the reconvened on
23 Tuesday, the 9th day of June, 1998,
24 at 9.30 a.m.