1 Monday, 15 December 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.15 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, could you call
6 the number, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll now ask the
10 Prosecution to introduce themselves.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
12 Counsel. For the Prosecution, I would like to introduce Mr. Chester
13 Stamp on my right-hand side; otherwise, Daryl Mundis, Ekkehard Withopf,
14 and Kimberly Fleming as the case manager.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Could we have the appearances for the Defence, please.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. My name
18 is Edina Residovic. I represent General Hadzihasanovic, and I'm assisted
19 by Stephane Bourgon, from Montreal, and Mirna Milanovic, the legal
20 assistant. Stephane Bourgon is co-counsel.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honour.
23 Fahrudin Ibrisimovic; my legal assistant, Mr. Mulalic, represent Mr.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 The Trial Chamber greets everyone who is present here, the
2 Prosecution, the Defence, and the accused.
3 Before the Prosecution takes the floor to hear the witness, I
4 have to inform you that the hearing of tomorrow will be finished at 11.00
5 because there is another trial which is scheduled for 11.30. And given
6 the schedule, we will have to stop at 11.00. There is no other way.
7 There are only three courtrooms, as you know. There are six ongoing
8 trials at the same time, and the trial tomorrow has to start at 11.30,
9 which is why we will have to conclude at 11.00.
10 As far as the Defence is concerned, I would like to address the
11 Defence with regard to the motion for access to archives of the UN. In
12 Annex B of your document - it's on page 6; it finishes at paragraph 17 -
13 was there a paragraph 18 or 19, or does it end at paragraph -- on page 6
14 of paragraph 17?
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours.
16 Unfortunately, I don't have the information with me. But I have
17 taken note of what you have said.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But I can provide you with the
19 document that I have and you will be able to examine it.
20 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] It's the last paragraph of Annex B.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there is no paragraph number
23 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] No.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, the Trial Chamber
25 shall render its decision in the course of the afternoon. We will make a
1 ruling in the course of the afternoon, which will be forwarded to the
2 Registry, and you will immediately be informed of it.
3 There is a third issue I would like to raise, which concerns
4 witnesses and protective measures required -- requested by the
5 Prosecution. I thought it would be desirable if the Prosecution, who has
6 a schedule for witnesses, knows in advance which witnesses will be
7 requiring protective measures. Without advising the Prosecution in any
8 way, it seems to me that it would be useful to point out to the
9 Prosecution that given that there is already a schedule, a witness
10 schedule, the Prosecution could contact the witnesses by phone or send
11 them a letter two or three weeks in advance to find out whether they
12 require protective measures, because, as far as I have understood the
13 matter, we will be presented with an oral request for protective measures
14 at the very last minute. Perhaps there is a reason. Obviously there are
15 financial reasons. The witnesses arrive on a day and you have an
16 interview with them, you speak to them, and they may require protective
17 measures at that time. But if there is a contact over the phone, in such
18 a case there would be no problems.
19 Secondly, as far as protective measures are concerned, the Trial
20 Chamber would like these requests to be made in writing, and it also
21 seems to me that it would be useful if these requests also stated whether
22 the witnesses in their national jurisdictions, whether they have already
23 appeared before their national courts, because if they have already
24 testified in a national court without protective measures, I do not
25 understand why they would require protective measures at this Tribunal.
1 So it would be interesting to know what their situation is, if that is
2 possible, with regard to their rights. Because you must know what their
3 personal situation is. If they have already been heard before a court
4 and protective measures were not granted, there is no reason for them to
5 be grant those measures here in this Tribunal. So it would be use to
6 know what the situation is.
7 Having read the schedule, I also see that we are a little late
8 because the witness who had been scheduled are not appearing at the time
9 they are scheduled for. So I would like to point this out to both
11 With regard to the production of -- the presentation of evidence
12 y the Prosecution, the Prosecution's case should be completed at the end
13 of May or in the course of June, but given the way we are proceeding this
14 might be delayed. So I would like to draw your attention to the fact
15 that this is an issue.
16 There is a witness who has requested -- for whom protective
17 measure wills be orally requested, so I am going to ask the Prosecution
18 to take the floor. But I would like to point out that the Defence has
19 only found out about this a few minutes ago. I don't know the reasons
20 for this but the Prosecution will tell us what the reasons for this are.
21 But I would like to ask Madam Registrar to go into private
22 session, since a request is going to be made for protective measures.
23 [Private session]
12 Pages 924 to 931 redacted, private session
17 [Open session]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can I please ask the usher to
19 bring in the witness.
20 [The witness entered court]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, can you hear me in a
22 language that you can understand? Can you hear me?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well then.
25 Witness, before you give the solemn declaration, I would like to
1 tell you that the Prosecution has requested protective measures for you.
2 The Defence has objected to that. The Trial Chamber has deliberated and
3 decided that there is no valid reason for the protective measures to be
4 granted to you. Did you understand me?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You are now
7 going to make -- to give us your name and the date of birth.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Zarko Jandric. I was born on the
9 2nd of April, 1964 in Grahovcici in Travnik.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what is your profession?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am retired, for medical grounds.
12 Before that, I was a metalworker.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
14 And where do you currently reside, or the region where you
15 currently reside.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I currently reside where I resided
17 before. I returned to Grahovcici.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Can you then read
19 the solemn declaration.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 WITNESS: ZARKO JANDRIC
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
25 be seated.
1 Witness, you are now going to be asked questions by the
2 Prosecution. And after that, the Defence is going to ask you questions.
3 And after that, the Prosecution may ask you a few questions again, and
4 the Judges also can ask you a few question. Have you understood that?
5 I would like to remind you that you have to respond in line of
6 what you know. You have to respond truthfully. You have to tell the
7 truth. If you think that the answers that you are going to give could
8 incriminate you, you can refuse to answer the question. So you are a
9 free witness. You can answer as you wish. But when you do answer, we
10 expect you to tell the truth. Did you understand that?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I give the floor to the
14 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
15 I would ask for the assistance of the usher, if he could perhaps
16 move the ELMO so that I could see the witness.
17 Thank you.
18 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
19 Q. Witness, in response to questions from the Presiding Judge, you
20 indicated you were born in Grahovcici and that you currently live in that
21 same location. Have you lived in that village your entire life?
22 A. No. I lived in that village until the beginning of the war.
23 Then I was a refugee. I lived in Nova Bila and in Vitez with my family.
24 During the war, they remained in Vitez and then for a while they lived in
1 And as for myself, after I was wounded on the 12th of June, on
2 the 20th of June I was transferred to the Republic of Croatia for
3 treatment. After that, I returned in 1995 -- that is, to Vitez. I
4 returned to Vitez. And as for Grahovcici, I returned to Grahovcici once
5 my house was refurbished, and that was in 1999.
6 Q. Witness, did you ever serve in the HVO?
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. When did you first join the HVO ?
9 A. On the 8th of April I was formally -- I formally became a member.
10 And then in May I assumed my first duties with the HVO.
11 Q. Where were you first assigned with the HVO and what were your
12 primary duties?
13 A. My first duties with the HVO concerned providing security for the
14 barracks. That was in 1992 in Travnik. I had about 15 men under me who
15 belonged to my unit. I was their commander. I was the commander to
16 these 15 soldiers.
17 Q. Can you briefly describe for the Trial Chamber where your unit
18 was based in Travnik and which other military units were based at that
20 A. The barracks is located almost in the very centre of the town,
21 looking from Turbe, and it is still there. And there were units of the
22 army and the HVO together. The military police were there as well. At
23 the same time, we also accepted and received expelled Bosnians from
24 Jajce, Krajina, and other places which had already been struck by the war
25 and which had already been the area of conflict between Bosniaks and
2 Q. The barracks that you've told us about, located in the very
3 centre of the town, was that the former JNA barracks in Travnik?
4 A. Yes. It used to belong to the JNA, and it was taken from them,
5 from the JNA.
6 Q. You also told us, Witness, that in your words, there were units
7 of the army and the HVO together. When you used the word "army," can you
8 describe what army that was.
9 A. I'm referring to the members of the Bosniak armed units that
10 belonged to different groups. They were still members of the army and of
11 the Territorial Defence of various militia units. Within the barracks,
12 there was also a detention unit. This is where -- the location that we
13 shared. The command staff was also there at the time.
14 Q. Did the HVO and the Armija have a common enemy in May 1992, when
15 you were in Travnik?
16 A. At that time, yes. There were no open conflicts in any of the
17 parts where I resided.
18 Q. How long did you remain with the HVO at the former JNA barracks
19 in Travnik?
20 A. I remained there for a very short time, less than seven days, and
21 then I was replaced by somebody else. Again, they were members of the
22 HVO. And after that, I never stayed in that barracks.
23 Q. Where did you go, Witness, after you left the JNA barracks in
25 A. We had organised shifts that involved also the former JNA
1 barracks. We also had some positions on the lines facing the Serbs. So
2 I did my regular shift, and then I returned to my place of residence,
3 that is, to the village of Grahovcici.
4 Q. I'm a bit confused, Witness. You told us that you were only in
5 Travnik for about seven days; is that right?
6 A. Yes. During that particular shift.
7 Q. Then you returned to your village of Grahovcici, after being in
8 Travnik for seven days; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What month and year was it when you returned to Grahovcici?
11 A. It was in 1992, the second half of May.
12 Q. How long did you remain in Grahovcici or its immediate vicinity
13 after returning there in the second half of May 1992?
14 A. This is where I lived at that time. And from there I would go to
15 certain front lines, to the then-positions facing the Serbs. Several
16 times I went to the positions in Godjevica [phoen], Vlasic, Stolac, and
17 other positions.
18 Q. I'll ask you about that in a moment, Witness. But first, can you
19 tell us, please, approximately how far is Grahovcici from Travnik?
20 A. The distance is about 23 kilometres, Grahovcici-Travnik. And
21 Grahovcici is on a slope on the mountain of Ovnak. This is actually at
22 the border between the municipalities of Zenica and Travnik.
23 Q. How far is Grahovcici from the city of Zenica?
24 A. The distance between the entry to Zenica and Grahovcici is about
25 14 to 15 kilometres.
1 Q. If one were to draw an imaginary line from Zenica to Travnik,
2 Grahovcici would be somewhere in between; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, a bit closer to Zenica. Before the war, we all used to go
4 to school and we all worked in Zenica, because Zenica is closer.
5 Although my village belonged to the municipality of Travnik formally.
6 Q. Witness, in May 1992, approximately how many people lived in the
7 village of Grahovcici?
8 A. According to the 1990 census, there were about 1.240 villagers
9 and about 246 households.
10 Q. What was the ethnic composition of the village of Grahovcici in
11 May 1992?
12 A. Grahovcici was inhabited by Croats. Before the war, there was
13 just one Serb family, counting -- a total of five Serbs living in
14 Grahovcici, according to the last census.
15 Q. Do you know, witness, if there were any Muslim families living in
16 Grahovcici in May of 1992?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Witness, can you please name for the Trial Chamber any villages
19 which would be between 3 and 5 kilometres away from Grahovcici.
20 A. Grahovcici has a number of neighbouring villages. If we start
21 with Travnik municipality, then there is Klarici village, Dolac Bila, Han
22 Bila, Brajkovici, Cukle, Susanj, Konjevici, further on, Pojske Paratje,
23 Versalaj [phoen], and then if you go towards Zenica there are a number of
24 bigger and smaller villages and hamlets.
25 Q. Witness, upon your arrival back in Grahovcici in late May 1992,
1 what military duties did you have with the HVO?
2 A. I was constantly engaged because I was still the platoon
3 commander. After a certain time, I became the commander of a company,
4 although I did not have the adequate training for that. However, the
5 superior command appointed me to that duty, and from then on I had daily
6 tasks with the HVO.
7 Q. Witness, you indicated that you were the commander of a company.
8 Can you tell us what company you commanded and which brigade that company
9 was a member of.
10 A. At the time of the existence of the Travnik Brigade, I was the
11 commander of a platoon. When the Frankopan Brigade was established, I
12 became company commander.
13 Q. Do you know which company you commanded?
14 A. It was the 1st Platoon of the 1st Company.
15 Q. And once the Frankopan Brigade was established, what unit did you
17 A. It was the 1st Company of the 2nd Battalion of the Frankopan
19 Q. Do you recall the approximate month and year when the Frankopan
20 Brigade was established?
21 A. The Frankopan Brigade was established sometime in April 1993. It
22 was the end of March or beginning of April. That was actually the
23 re-establishment of the Travnik Brigade. The Travnik Brigade was
24 reorganised into two different HVO brigades.
25 Q. What was the area of responsibility of the company that you
1 commanded, the 1st Company, 2nd Battalion?
2 A. In 1992 -- up to the end of 1992 and the beginning of 1993, the
3 areas of responsibility were such that we would be sent to the positions
4 facing the Serbian lines. For example, I had a shift in October 1992 on
5 the Vlasenica Plateau, in the vicinity of the BH army towards Sasici. We
6 linked up with the BH army positions at that time. Later on we would go
7 to other positions, such as Godjevica [phoen] and some other positions.
8 Q. Witness, did there come a time when your unit was more or less
9 permanently stationed in the area of Grahovcici?
10 A. Yes. The time did come when there were -- there was an increased
11 number of conflicts between the army and the HVO, and that was in April
13 Q. Can you describe briefly for the Trial Chamber what you mean by
14 "an increased number of conflicts between the army and the HVO" in April
16 A. In view of the fact that we were stationed on Ovnak, this was a
17 strategic position that was of general interest for both the HVO and the
18 army. It happened at that time that people who returned from their
19 shifts, from the lines facing the Serbs, would be searched, would be
20 stopped at checkpoints, and this escalated and thus made the relationship
21 between the army and the HVO worse by the day.
22 Q. What eventually happened between the army and the HVO in the
23 Grahovcici area, beginning from, say, May 1993?
24 A. What happened did not just happen overnight. The relationship
25 gradually got worse after the killing of Ivica Stojak, who were the
1 commander of our brigade. And then in Zenica, Totic was kidnapped. And
2 after that, all the roads were blocked. And from then on we reached an
3 impasse and we were encircled, we were constantly encircled. And from
4 then on we didn't go to the lines facing the Serbs. Rather, we started
5 digging trenches and we started reinforcing positions around our own
6 villages and around our own houses.
7 Q. Did there come a time, Witness, when there was active conflict
8 between the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO in the area of
10 A. This happened a bit later, and conflicts culminated in June 1993.
11 Before that, there were conflicts between the army and the HVO in Zenica.
12 A number of refugees, both the military and the civilians arrived in our
13 village, and some actually passed through our village to go to Vitez,
14 Nova Bila, and Travnik.
15 Q. Witness, when did the conflict begin in the city of Zenica, to
16 the best of your recollection?
17 A. The kidnapping of commander Zivko Totic happened in May 1993, and
18 conflicts started sop five days later, in the general area of Zenica.
19 Q. Can you please describe for the Chamber the situation in the
20 Grahovcici area from the time of the kidnapping of Zivko Totic onwards.
21 A. After that incident, during the night or early in the morning
22 refugees would come from Zenica municipality. Those were Croats.
23 Brigade Francetic and their commander, Ljubicic, were relocated towards
24 Osunjca and towards our village in my area of responsibility. And then
25 sometime around mid-May everybody moved to the area of Travnik
2 Q. Witness, at this point in time, late spring/early summer 1993,
3 what was the area of responsibility of your company, the company that you
5 A. I've already said that in the Frankopan Brigade I was given a
6 bigger area of responsibility as company commander. This area of
7 responsibility was my village, from Dolac, Rudnik to Ovnak, to the
8 crossroads on Ovnak. But at that time we had on our strengths several
9 smaller units from the Francetic Brigade. I'm talking about the time
10 from the month of May onwards.
11 Q. Witness, in May of 1993, was there any fighting in the area
12 around Ovnak?
13 A. Yes. There was an attack against the position in Cice, which is
14 above the inhabited places of Ovnak and Cukle. And on the 23rd of May,
15 there was a murder, Nikola Bilic was killed.
16 Q. Who was Nikola Bilic?
17 A. Nikola Bilic was a small private businessman. He had his own
18 shop. He would usually take cigars -- he would often take cigars to the
19 soldiers in the trenches. And on one such occasion he was hit from the
20 direction of Konjevici. He was hit in the head.
21 Q. Witness, at the time Nikola Bilic was shot, who controlled Ovnak?
22 A. We were still controlling Ovnak. It was under the control of the
24 Q. How long did the HVO control Ovnak?
25 A. Up until the 8th of June, when the entire area, all the inhabited
1 places, Zupa, Brajkovici and Biljanska Reka, which is where the Croats
2 lived, they -- these places were taken and they were expelled.
3 Q. At any time in late May or early June 1993, did the HVO
4 temporarily lose control of Ovnak?
5 A. Not of Ovnak, but over the position of Usce, yes, they did lose
6 control. For a very brief period of time that position was taken, but it
7 was recaptured on the same day. And on that position there were two
8 captured members of the HVO and a member of the BH army, who was killed,
9 as far as I know.
10 Q. Were you present on Usce on that day?
11 A. At the time, no, I wasn't. But I was given the commander to go
12 to the site and to see what happened in the course of the attack and
13 after the position had been recaptured.
14 Q. Do you recall anything that you discovered when you went to Use
15 on that day?
16 A. When I arrived at the position, where HV members were present,
17 again I found the dead body of a BH army member. We knew him from
18 before, because he was from the surrounding -- a surrounding Bosniak
19 village, in the vicinity of Pojske. We found some papers on him, and I
20 forwarded them to the command. There were documents, a list of Muslim
21 armed forces. There were about 15 names and surnames and certain other
22 items, reserve rations, food, a rifle, ammunition.
23 Q. Witness, do you remember or recall which unit this individual who
24 was killed was with?
25 A. He was a member of the so-called 8th Muslim Armed Forces. At the
1 time, I don't know the exact structure, but these were elite units of the
2 Muslim army. He was from the MOS.
3 Q. Do you know what the acronym MOS stands for, Witness?
4 A. All I know is that it means the Muslim Armed Forces.
5 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber the situation as it
6 existed in Grahovcici and the area surrounding that village from late May
7 1993, the military situation.
8 A. At the end of May and up to the beginning of June, the situation
9 deteriorated from day to day with regard to the positions that we held
10 and also with regard to taking in displaced Croats from the municipality
11 of Zenica and obtaining supplies of food. We frequently contacted
12 UNPROFOR forces, and on several occasions we even received food for the
13 expelled people.
14 But on the battle lines there were sporadic shooting on a daily
15 basis, either for short or long periods of time. Firearms were used.
16 And this situation continued up until the beginning of June, when the
17 attacks intensified.
18 Q. Can you please describe the attacks that intensified in the
19 beginning of June.
20 A. These attacks were mostly carried out with light and heavy
21 firearms from Tolnica, Brda, from the direction of Klajca [phoen]. There
22 was a large-scale attack carried out by the -- carried out on the 5th of
23 6th. On that occasion, I lost a soldier at that position. There were
24 eight wounded, but we managed to recapture those positions that had been
1 At that time, we were already completely surrounded, and we
2 couldn't evacuate the wounded. We would just take them to a temporary
3 clinic which was located in a house, Jozo Sika's house in Grahovcici. We
4 waited for nightfall there and then we would evacuate them to Sarici and
5 further on, in an improvised hospital in Bila and in -- in Nova Bila.
6 Q. In the first week of June 1993, where was your unit deployed? In
7 what specific area?
8 A. Up until the 8th of June, our units weren't moved from the
9 fortified lines around the village itself. Each trench that was taken
10 meant that the army forces were directly entering the village. So our
11 military forces did not move at all.
12 Q. How far were the trenches from the village of Grahovcici itself?
13 A. It depends on the position you look at it from. From the Milka
14 and Ovnak-inhabited places, these were fortified places. There were
15 trenches in front of the houses themselves, whereas at the Strmac
16 position and at Usce position, the distance from the houses was between 1
17 to 2 kilometres. It depended on the lie of the land.
18 Q. Now, witness, you mentioned "up until the 8th of June." Can you
19 tell the Trial Chamber what happened on the 8th of June, 1993.
20 A. On the 8th of June, although we knew from reconnaissance that had
21 been carried out earlier on and from observation of BH army movement,
22 there was a synchronised attack directed at the entire area of Zupa
23 Brajkovici, and all the Croatian villages in that territory of mine.
24 In the early morning hours, this attack was carried out from
25 about four directions. That attack was carried out primarily from the
1 direction of Usce, Crni Vrh, and Cukle. And the forces were directed
2 from Ovnak, and also from Petcanica [phoen] and Strmac. But as the
3 situation developed, from the direction of Pojske and Konjevici, it was
4 directed towards the centre of the village, towards Milka and Vrbica.
5 Q. Which force or forces were carrying out this attack?
6 A. It was a large-scale attack carried out by the BH army, in
7 cooperation with BH army forces from the municipality of Zenica and
8 Travnik, because the attack was carried out simultaneously from several
9 directions. I was able to follow the way the situation unfolded very
10 well because I was at an elevated position, a little less than a thousand
11 metres away, at the Strmac position.
12 Q. And what did you see happening on the morning of the 8th of June,
13 1993, from this elevated position that you've told us about?
14 A. In the early morning hours, first of all there was an attack at
15 that position in Usce from the Paratje-Pojske directions. And there was
16 an attack from the direction of Mehurici and Travnik, directed at Orasac
17 and Cukle. These positions first fell into the hands of the army, and
18 then in a short period of time there was an attack directed against
19 Sminjaca and Strmac.
20 So by about 11.00 my position -- my place and all other Croatian
21 villages -- my village and all other Croatian villages had been attacked
22 by all directions.
23 Q. And at this time, 11.00 on the 8th of June, 1993, how many HVO
24 soldiers were in the village of Grahovcici itself?
25 A. In Grahovcici there were -- the regular HVO units were there.
1 But soldiers and the civilian population were moved from the direction of
2 Cukle and Orasac, and they kept arriving in Ovnak and Grahovcici, so that
3 the number of soldiers in Grahovcici increased. And also the entire
4 civilian population, entire villages would arrive in Grahovcici and we
5 would provide them with shelter from the constant shelling during the
7 Q. What happened to this -- these refugees who had gathered in
8 Grahovcici as the armed conflict progressed on the 8th of June, 1993?
9 A. We had people who were responsible in the civilian protection,
10 and from the time that Zenica fell they took care of the displaced
11 civilians and they provided them with accommodation. They were provided
12 with accommodation, with houses and schools and in the direction of
13 Kopaca, where they weren't that exposed to the shelling the and the
14 attacks. And this was the case up until the 13th, when Marko Jerkic came
15 to see me - he became the commander of the civilian protection - and Jozo
16 Cuturic came to see me, about evacuating the civilian population towards
17 Nova Bila. There were quite a few who had been wounded and quite a few
18 who had been killed. There were women and children there too.
19 Q. Witness, how long did the fighting continue in Grahovcici on the
20 8th of June, 1993?
21 A. The fighting in Grahovcici continued until the early evening
22 hours, and that position was the last one to be taken, the Strmac
23 position. And in the early evening hours we had to withdraw from that
24 position towards Cekine Kuce, Cekine houses, towards the position of
25 inhabited places of Balance [phoen] and Brce [phoen]. And at that time,
1 the civilian population had been evacuated to those places and they were
2 fleeing and there were over 4.000 people who were fleeing.
3 Q. Witness, from the elevated position that you told us about a few
4 moments ago, were you witnessing the fighting that was going on in
5 Grahovcici throughout the day of the 8th of June, 1993?
6 A. Yes, for the most part. I had an entire part of Ovnak in my
7 field of vision and part of Cukle and the entire village of Brajkovici.
8 It was the village That's an elevated position from which you can see a
9 lot. And I also had a pair of binoculars.
10 Q. What time, roughly, did the fighting stop?
11 A. It depended on the village concerned. In Ovnak somewhere on the
12 early afternoon, whereas, in Strmac it was in the early evening, when I
13 decided to withdraw from the Strmac position in order to evacuate the
14 civilian population.
15 Q. What time did the fighting stop in Grahovcici?
16 A. It was only as night was falling, when the BH army forces carried
17 out the last attack over Cekine Kuce, which is where all the civilians
18 were located and being evacuated. But it wasn't possible to start the
19 evacuation before night fell, because if they had been moved -- well,
20 there were positions on both sides that the BH army occupied, from Han
21 Bila and Rudnik and from surrounding villages.
22 Q. Witness, you just told us that the BH army occupied. Can you
23 tell us, did the BH army -- or what area the BH army occupied by
24 nightfall, 8 June 1993.
25 A. The inhabited places, Orasac, Cukle, Ovnak; a large part of
1 Grahovcici had been taken; and in the evening hours the BH army took
2 control of the entire area of Zupa and Brajkovici. That was about 13
3 Croatian villages.
4 Q. And from your elevated position, which of these areas could you
5 physically see or were visible from where you were?
6 A. Ovnak was the place I could see the best, and Brajkovici, around
7 the church. I could also see the constant evacuation, the passage of the
8 civilians towards Rudnik.
9 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber what you saw in
10 those areas that the BH army occupied as night fell on the 8th of June,
12 A. When the civilians were being evacuated in the afternoon, the
13 shelling was very frequent. There was mortar shelling. And the BH army
14 forces moved. They had already occupied certain inhabited places, so
15 that the population was constantly under fire. The people spontaneously
16 carried old people away and the wounded, and with the help of the
17 civilian protection they evacuated the wounded in the evening. When the
18 BH army forces took part of a village, usually they would set fire to one
19 or two houses, if there was a group of five houses, and in the afternoon
20 they would arrive in lorries, take away equipment, materiel, and
21 technical equipment in the direction of Ovnak and then further on towards
23 Q. Witness, you just told us that they would usually set fire. Can
24 you be more specific about any fires that you may have personally
25 observed on the 8th of June, 1993, in what area or areas you personally
1 saw that happening.
2 A. Well, first of all, in the early morning hours houses in Cukle
3 were set on fire. I couldn't see who the owners of these houses were. I
4 couldn't see whose houses they were, because it was at quite a distance
5 afterwards, after Grahovcici and part of the Bilici hamlet had been
6 taken. As soon as they had been taken, two or three houses were set on
7 fire. And afterwards I was no longer able to see.
8 As they advanced through the centre of the village of Grahovcici,
9 they would occasionally set fire to a house or two. In each more densely
10 inhabited hamlet, this is what would happen.
11 Q. And approximately what distance were you from the locations where
12 houses were set on fire that you've described?
13 A. I was about 200 metres from Bilici, as the crow flies. After
14 moving from the position of Strmac to Plane I was again at a distance of
15 about 2 or 3 hundred metres as the crow flies from the centre of the
16 village, which is the most densely populated part of Grahovcici. And
17 that is where all the refugees from the surrounding villages were
18 located. And I saw that near Sikalo and Viktor Palavra and Zarko Bilic's
19 houses were on fire, and I saw that many other houses and secondary
20 facilities, barns, were also on fire.
21 Q. Did you have a clear line of sight as to these things which
22 you've told us -- that you observed?
23 A. It's very difficult to describe this. It's an elevated position
24 from which you can see the entire area of Bila, not just my village. It
25 was very easy to find a place from the position I was in, where I had a
1 pair of binoculars. So it wasn't possible to fire at me, because this
2 was a forested and hilly area. So for 10 or 15 minutes I would observe
3 the situation quite frequently in order to see what was happening to the
4 civilian population and how the evacuation was proceeding. And I would
5 also observe that there were houses and secondary facilities in which
6 were being torched.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, noting the time, it might be an
8 appropriate time to take our recess.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's twenty to 4.00. We'll
10 have a break of 25 minutes, and we shall resume at five past 4.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 3.41 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 4.07 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution, can you please
14 continue your examination-in-chief.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Witness, immediately prior to the recess, you mentioned seeing
17 several homes on fire. Do you know the source of the fires that you saw
18 burning on the 8th of June, 1993?
19 A. Some of those houses were torched; they were set fire to. One
20 could clearly see that as soon as the troops approached those houses,
21 they were set on fire. It is also possible that some were torched by
22 various explosives and shells. In the course of that day, in that area
23 that I could observe, about 20 houses and outbuildings were set on fire.
24 Q. Witness, when you say that "as soon as the troops approached
25 those housings, they were set on fire," can you tell us, tell the
1 Chamber, what troops you were referring to.
2 A. Those were soldiers belonging to the BH army, belonging to
3 various units. From the distance, I could not see their insignia, so I
4 couldn't tell exactly which units they belonged to.
5 Q. Did you see, Witness, while the fighting was still going on, if
6 any of the houses were on fire at that time; that is, while the fighting
7 was still going on?
8 A. Yes. I have already mentioned the owners of some of those houses
9 which were on fire during the fighting.
10 Q. Can you distinguish between which houses were on fire during the
11 fighting and which houses were set afire after the fighting had ended?
12 A. All the houses were on fire in different times on the same day,
13 and one could clearly see which houses were set ablaze once the village
14 was taken by the BH army. Once the BH army approached those houses, they
15 were set ablaze. Those that were not set ablaze by the troops could have
16 been set on fire by the explosives during the fighting. Some two or
17 three days - I couldn't see exactly, because I was wounded - but one
18 could see clearly that some houses were set on fire even after the
19 fighting in that area had stopped. We could see that from our reserve
21 Q. Do you know, Witness, approximately how many houses or the owners
22 of houses which were set on fire after the village was taken by the BH
23 army and the fighting had stopped?
24 A. In my village, the village where I resided at that time and where
25 I currently reside, out of some 200 houses, bigger or smaller, during the
1 war and after the war, only 5 per cent remained intact and the rest were
2 either torched or were completely destroyed.
3 Q. Thank you, Witness.
4 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions for the
5 witness at this time.
6 Questioned by the Court:
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
8 Defence for the cross-examination, I would like to ask the witness: What
9 was the distance between the houses that were set on fire exactly?
10 A. I was some 50 metres or less away from some houses, as the crow
11 flies. And as for the others, I was 2 or 3 hundred or even 5 hundred
12 metres away from them. I could only see smoke coming from some of these
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you see around the houses
15 that there were troops who set these houses on fire? How did the houses
16 burn? How did the houses burn?
17 A. The houses were set on fire during the taking of these settled
18 areas, such as Nikolici, where the houses -- two houses were set ablaze
19 immediately. And then there was also the village called Bilici, which
20 was closest to me. Before the houses were set on fire, cattle was driven
21 out of the outbuildings and barns. That I could see very clearly,
22 because that was the closest I was to.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before leaving the house, did
24 the witness see his house burn? What was inside the house? Was the
25 house evacuated before it was set ablaze?
1 A. The house that were set on fire immediately upon the entry of
2 the army were set ablaze with the complete interior, the contents of the
3 houses were still there.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You say that you were between
5 50 to 100 metres from those houses and you didn't fire at them, at the
6 troops that were entering the village?
7 A. Just in Nikolici, the houses where - we knew that the civilians
8 had not all been evacuated. All the civilians who were there did not
9 survive -- in Grahovcici, that is.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] That means that you fired at
11 the enemy army?
12 A. Yes, we did. But this was out of the range of the houses. That
13 was at a distance from the houses.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But still they could set these
15 houses on fire, even if you fired at them.
16 A. No, because we started withdrawing in the late afternoon hours
17 towards the place from which we evacuated the civilians and we left all
18 these houses behind. And as they approached the houses, they started
19 setting some of those houses ablaze.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well then.
21 JUDGE RASOAZANANY: [Interpretation] I would like to know whether
22 there were amongst the troops of the BH army, whether there were any
23 foreign soldiers, any mercenaries.
24 A. Yes, Mujahedins from the strength of the 7th Muslim Unit were
25 all present in the area at all times, especially around Mehurici, in the
1 Bila region. Even before the conflict they would pass across Ovnak, in
2 various vehicles that belonged to the BH army, and they would go to the
3 positions towards Turbe, Bijelo Bucje and others. They were seen very
4 often in the area.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to give the floor
6 to the Defence for the cross-examination.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
9 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Jandric.
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. I am Edina Residovic, representing General Hadzihasanovic.
12 To the Prosecutor's question, you answered that already in April
13 you joined the HVO and that from May onwards you were given a command
14 duty; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Before the war, in Travnik municipality there was the staff of
17 the Territorial Defence, which, in case of a war, together with the JNA,
18 would compose the armed forces; is that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is correct.
20 Q. The JNA and part of the Serb population in 1992 carried out an
21 attack on Bosnia and Herzegovina; are you aware of that?
22 A. Yes, I am.
23 Q. In practical terms, it was only the Territorial Defence which
24 remained as part of the legitimate defence forces, according to the
25 then-prevailing regulations; is that correct?
1 A. I don't know. What period of time are you referring to.
2 Q. The year 1992.
3 A. For a certain period of time the HVO troops also carried the
4 insignia of the Territorial Defence.
5 Q. However, the HVO was constituted as the military and political
6 structure of the Croatian people before that time, during the attack on
7 the Republic of Croatia.
8 A. The HVO was established in April 1992 as a military force of the
9 Croatian people, but there were also Bosniaks and Serbs in that
10 establishment, as far as I know.
11 Q. However, I believe that you will agree with me that although at
12 that time in April 1992 the HVO did not exist pursuant to the regulations
13 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it proclaimed the joint goals of defending
14 Bosnia against the aggressor.
15 A. I was not a politician. I wasn't a politician then, and my only
16 political option was to belong to the Reformist Party, and that's how I
17 voted in the last elections in the BH. From then on I was never
18 politically engaged, so I cannot answer that question. I cannot be the
19 judge of that.
20 Q. I appreciate that. However, since you served in the army and you
21 were a member of the HVO, you must be aware of the fact that sometime in
22 1992 the Law of Defence was passed and both the army and the HVO were
23 proclaimed the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
2 MR. MUNDIS: I'm not sure how much further my learned colleague
3 is going to go, but Prosecution would object to this line of questioning
4 on the grounds of relevance and the fact that it goes beyond the scope of
5 the direct examination.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber state that is the
7 question is of political nature and the witness is hereby asked to give
8 his opinion on the political issues. The witness has answered by saying
9 that he did have a political engagement; however, he missed one part of
10 the question.
11 You may pursue with this line of questioning; however, I believe
12 that your question has already been answered. If you were to ask him
13 whether there was the Croatian entity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, then
14 this goes beyond the competence of this witness. However, you may
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] As I have already stated, I'm
17 going to put these questions only, exceptionally, within the overall
18 context of the events which are an integral part of the defence of
19 General Hadzihasanovic, so I don't want to go into any details of this.
20 I'm going to go into what the witness may be able to answer because he is
21 aware of the facts.
22 Q. As a member of the HVO already in the barracks in Travnik and
23 later on as the commander of an HVO unit, you were absolutely aware of
24 the fact that the HVO had its own line of command -- its own chain of
25 command; isn't that correct?
1 A. During the time when I was in the barracks, we still had
2 contacts, and it lasted until the beginning of conflicts with the BH
3 army. At the higher level, commanders cooperated.
4 In 1992, in May, I took about 90 people to a line in Stolac.
5 They were from various units of the HVO Travnik, together with Major
6 Petrovic, who was manning the line next to us.
7 Q. Cooperation with the BH army units, as you have stated, in 1992
8 was still very good. However, I would like to ask you whether it is
9 correct that already in October 1992 there were disagreements and
10 discords in the relationships with the army and some armed conflicts
11 around Prozor and Gornji Vakuf. Are you aware of that?
12 A. Yes, I am.
13 Q. Are you aware of the fact that the Main Staff in autumn 1992
14 issued orders to the HVO to block roads for all the units except for the
15 units of the HVO?
16 A. That may have only been after the murder of Ivica Stojak.
17 Q. So you are aware of such orders?
18 A. No, I'm not, because up to then the BH army units would come to
19 the lines of defence facing the Serbs. Personally, I never saw any such
20 order. I never received an order to stop the BH army units.
21 Q. You were appointed the commander of the company in Grahovcici; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Since we are going to be talking
25 about the area, I would like the witness to be shown a map of the area.
1 We have enough copies for the Chamber and for the Prosecution. I believe
2 that it is going to be easier for us to follow the witness's answers if
3 we have the map before us.
4 It is upside down, I'm afraid. Can you please turn the map the
5 other way around. It is upside down. Thank you.
6 Q. Mr. Jandric, can you please show us Grahovcici on this map, where
7 your unit was. Please look at the ELMO. And if you have a pen handy,
8 can you please put a cross and a number "1" next to the village of
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. I would also kindly ask you to show us the Strmac elevation,
12 where you were during the combat activities. Can you please put a cross
13 next to it and put a number "2".
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Is it correct that we have now marked Grahovcici by number 1 and
16 that we have marked Strmac, the elevation at which you were during the
17 combat activities by a number 2?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Strmac, you said, was the highest elevation above the Bila
20 Valley. Can you please show us the Bila Valley region.
21 A. The Bila is -- the Bila region is near the Bila River, the
22 inhabited place. You can't see it from Miletici, Mehurici, and Jarsevac
23 [phoen]. It's from there, always towards Nova Bila, through Han Bila.
24 Q. Thank you. To be quite clear, this is a more depressed
25 geographical region than the one which is where you were at the time of
1 the conflict, at the time of the fighting; is that correct? That was a
2 valley that you could control, that you could view from that position; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes, I could control it visually.
5 Q. That was at the same time a direction where you could also
6 observe the civilian movements -- the civilian population which was being
7 evacuated from the area caught up in the fighting.
8 A. No. The civilian population, the direction they took when they
9 were being evacuated, was towards Gornji Cukle and Ovnak, so it was in
10 the opposite direction with regard to Grahovcici.
11 Q. Yes. But from Grahovcici, you said that they all arrived in
12 Grahovcici and that they then headed in the direction of Bila.
13 A. They came from Orasac through Cukle and arrived in Novo Selo and
14 then Ovnak and then Grahovcici. They couldn't have gone to the Bila
16 Q. Could you please tell me, where did they go from Grahovcici?
17 A. They could only go up to that collection point, which is where
18 about 4 or 5 thousand civilians gathered, including women, children, and
19 troops, and they could only continue at night. We waited for night to
20 fall because the Bila Valley, there were inhabited places of Dolac and
21 Rudnik, which were in the immediate vicinity of that collection point and
22 this valley had been caught up in the fighting.
23 Q. So the population finally set off in the direction of Dolac at
24 night and then they continued towards the Lasva Valley; is that correct?
25 A. After one final attack, which was carried out at about 2000 hours
1 since it was summer, and I managed to return with soldiers to positions
2 and to stop the BH army members and prevent them from reaching the
3 civilians -- at the same time, the people started moving towards Sarici
4 over the bridge and they continued towards Nova Bila.
5 Q. Thank you. Will you now show me on the map where Cukle is.
6 Could you mark this place with an "X" and number "3."
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. This means that the place called Cukle is next to the number 3;
9 is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Please show us where Susanj is. Please mark the place with a
12 number "4."
13 A. [Marks]
14 Q. Number 4 indicates the place called Susanj; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. As opposed to the places in the Bila Valley which were below your
17 position, is it correct to say that the north and north-eastern parts
18 from the position in which you were located, would it be correct to say
19 that these parts are mostly hilly areas, elevated areas?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Would it also be correct to say that the route you have shown
22 from Susanj crossroads and onwards is a very important road? It connects
23 Zenica and Travnik.
24 A. Yes, it's one of the roads that existed between Zenica and
25 Travnik. It's one of the roads.
1 Q. You said that as early as April, and especially in May, HVO units
2 carried out significant fortification work in the area of Ovnak and in
3 the Susanj area; is that correct?
4 A. I didn't quite hear the period mentioned. Which year?
5 Q. After the BH army took control of Zenica, in 1993. You said that
6 after that you started carrying out fortification work. And my question
7 is: Is it correct that those significant fortifications were erected in
8 the area of this crossroads, in Ovnak, in the vicinity of the place
9 called Susanj?
10 A. Yes, not only at that site but throughout the entire area
11 surrounding the Croatian villages. At that location and at that time
12 there was a military police checkpoint, an HVO military police checkpoint
13 from the Frankopan Brigade. And they controlled the Ovnak road. But at
14 the time, no one used it.
15 Q. With regard to that road, I'd like to ask you whether it would be
16 correct to say that this -- the importance of this road was even greater
17 because the road through the Lasva Valley was in fact blocked and it
18 wasn't possible to use it.
19 A. Yes. Before the conflict, in Zenica, one shift -- because of a
20 misunderstanding and agreements between the army and the HVO, it was
21 returned from the direction of Ovnak because on the certificate they had
22 a destination indicated of Beljcevica [phoen], but they were directed
23 towards Ovnak, and we only barely managed to avoid a clash.
24 Q. Thank you. We will now return to what you were saying about your
25 position. You said that in March 1993 or around that time in the area of
1 Brajkovici, Nova Bila and Guca Gora, the Frankopan Brigade was formed at
2 that time; is that correct?
3 A. No. The Frankopan Brigade was formed from the so-called lower
4 part of the municipality of Travnik, and it consisted of units from the
5 inhabited places from Doci [phoen] or to Lasva and right up to the border
6 of the municipality of Travnik. That means Grahovcici.
7 Q. Would it be correct to say that the command of the headquarters
8 of the command were in -- of the brigade were in Guca Gora?
9 A. No, the main command of the Frankopan Brigade were in Nova Bila.
10 But at the time of the conflict, the forward command post and the
11 communications centre and the brigade operative offices were located in
12 Guca Gora.
13 Q. In the monastery in Guca Gora there was a communications and
14 operations centre that belonged to the brigade; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Your unit before the brigade was established consisted of about
17 100 young armed men; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. At the beginning, these men were up to 35 or 40 years at
19 the most, and they were engaged in all the positions at that time, with
20 the Serbs too. And at the time of the conflict with the Bosniaks, a
21 general mobilisation was proclaimed, and as a result there were older
22 people who had also been engaged and assigned various tasks.
23 Q. Mr. Jandric, you are certainly aware of the fact that in the area
24 of Travnik and the villages around Travnik and Zenica, from 1992 a lot of
25 refugees who had been expelled by the Serbian army arrived from the area
1 of Krajina; is that correct?
2 A. Yes. I also took care of such people in the barracks, and at the
3 time we were at the plateau -- at the Vlasic Plateau buses would arrive
4 and then they would be allowed to carry on towards Travnik. I don't know
5 how they continued, but on the whole they were from Krajina.
6 Q. Are you also aware of the fact that as early as November or
7 December, after Jajce had fallen, there was a new wave of refugees that
8 had arrived from the area of Jajce and Kotor Varos and from other places;
9 is that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. Some of the refugees were provided with accommodation in
12 abandoned houses in Brajkovici and Grahovcici, houses of people who were
13 working abroad who left that area at the beginning of the war; is that
15 A. Most of those people did not accept accommodation in those
16 places, although we were ready to provide them with such accommodation.
17 Very few of them stayed on in the area of Brajkovici, and closer towards
18 Han Bila.
19 Q. Is it also correct to say that most of the Croatian refugees
20 continued towards the Republic of Croatia and towards other places,
21 whereas some of the Bosniak refugees stayed on in that area in Travnik
22 and in Zenica? Is that correct?
23 A. I don't have all the information. All I know is that many of
24 them remained in Busovaca, Vitez, Novi Travnik, if we're talking about
25 Croatian refugees from Jajce and the surrounding places. As far as going
1 to Croatia is concerned, I can't answer that question, since I don't have
2 the information.
3 Q. After transferring from the Brigade Jure Francetic, you said that
4 some of the soldiers came to the area that was under your control; is
5 that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. At that time, another 200 or more men under arms came to your
8 unit; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, but they didn't all stay on after they'd been accommodated
10 with families in Busovaca and Vitez. They followed their families and
11 they were assigned positions in the HVO in those places.
12 Q. You then received a significant amount of weapons, and this also
13 included mortars and recoilless cannon; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could you say that after that event your company was well armed
16 and its strength was doubled or tripled; is that correct?
17 A. My company remained my company, and the command over the soldiers
18 who had come from Zenica was Zeljko Ljubanic and the former commander of
19 those units, they commanded them. We acted in a synchronised manner.
20 They weren't under my direct command.
21 Q. With regard to your fortifications and the trenches that you
22 would dig to establish front lines, is it correct to say that there was a
23 strong front line in the Brajkovici and Vrbica direction right up to the
24 Strmica elevation, which is where you were on that day?
25 A. Yes. Those were precautionary measures that had been taken, but
1 nothing special was done, since we didn't have any heavy weapons. These
2 were ordinary, fortified trenches from Vrbica to Strmac and from Strmac
3 to Ovnak, in that direction. It was in the immediate vicinity and in one
4 part adjacent to the houses themselves.
5 Q. Mr. Jandric, let's return to the map again. You said that you
6 were at this elevation that we have marked with number 2.
7 I think the scale of this map is 1 to 100.000. Do you know more
8 about such maps than I do? The distance from Strmac to Cukle could be 5
9 or 6 centimetres on the map, and that means that in reality that would be
10 5 or 6 kilometres; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Your ability to see what was happening at such a distance was
13 limited by the distance and also by the fact that the certain elevated
14 areas in between; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. So what was happening in the clashes around Cukle are thing that
17 is you could only -- that you could just about make out. You could, as
18 you said, hear the din of fighting and you could see smoke; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Since you already were well fortified at the crossroads in Surjan
22 [phoen] and in this area towards Grahovcici, during those three days the
23 BH army used a lot of artillery; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Let me now ask you something about the population that from
1 Orasac and Podovi came towards Grahovcici. Is it correct to say that an
2 order was issued on the initiative of the civilian protection according
3 to which the population should be evacuated?
4 A. No. In the course of the attack, from the places you have
5 mentioned the people arrived spontaneously. There were constant attacks.
6 They were trying to save their lives. An order from the civilian
7 protection only arrived in the afternoon on the 8th of June.
8 Q. Yes, that's what I wanted to ask you about. On the 8th of June,
9 in the afternoon the civilian protection issued an order on evacuating
10 the population.
11 A. Yes, in the afternoon, when these people arrived in Grahovcici
12 from the places that have already been mentioned. Many people died on
13 the way from Cukle, Orasac, Podovi.
14 Q. So Mr. Jandric, you can confirm that on the 8th of June the
15 shelling was intense in that area, all day long.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You can also confirm that your units resisted the attacks and
18 returned fire and fired on the units attacking.
19 A. Yes, that's correct. But they didn't move from the fortified
20 front lines.
21 Q. Given the intense fighting which you have mentioned, as you said,
22 it was possible for many buildings to catch fire as a result of all the
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You personally did not see a single soldier setting fire to a
1 house; is that correct?
2 A. Not until they arrived in the inhabited place of Bilici and
3 Nikolici. On that occasion I could see them with my naked eye. That's
4 between 50 and 200 metres as the crow flies, and it is very visible from
5 that elevation.
6 Q. But at that time you also didn't see men setting the houses on
7 fire. You just saw the soldiers leaving the houses.
8 A. They were approaching the houses and immediately afterwards the
9 house would start burning. They would then leave -- or move away from
10 the house, approach another house, and carry on, continue.
11 Q. You said that in the course of the fighting and after the
12 fighting about 10 per cent of the houses had been set on fire; is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You also know that several days after this fighting a special
16 commission visited the area and determined what the situation in the area
17 was. Are you aware of this fact?
18 A. No.
19 Q. From the position that you were at and the reserve position, you
20 were able to see hundreds of people, civilians with civilian vehicles,
21 who were taking away -- who were leaving the houses with their goods; is
22 that correct?
23 A. Not on the first day, but there were large lorries, both civilian
24 and military lorries, and they went in the direction of Ovnak alone.
25 Afterwards, as far as what could be seen from the reserve position in
1 Sarici, as far as what we could see from there, the situation developed
2 which you have mentioned. But at the time there were very few civilians
3 who remained in Grahovcici, and unfortunately as I have already said,
4 very few civilians survived -- nobody survived, and thus it's not
5 possible to testify about this.
6 Q. You returned to Grahovcici in October 1994; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, on the 1st of November.
8 Q. Your house was still intact at the time; is that correct?
9 A. It had been plundered and shepherds from Gornja Bukovica [phoen]
10 were living in it.
11 Q. However, later on in 1995 it was destroyed.
12 A. Yes. The roof and the roof construction were removed, but the
13 users with their sheep and cattle were still in the house and they were
14 using the ground floor.
15 Q. Earlier on, you gave a statement to the Prosecution of the
16 International Tribunal; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. You were talking about things that you could best remember about
19 these events.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You stated that your company in Grahovcici, after the
22 establishment of the Frankopan Brigade, had become the 1st Company of the
23 1st Battalion of this new brigade. The headquarters of the brigade were
24 in Guca Gora and the commander was Ilija Nakic and Nakic replaced
25 Filipovic as the commander of the Travnik Brigade; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. However, it was not the headquarters that was in Guca Gora,
2 it was in Nova Bila, whereas, the forward command post and the operations
3 unit were there. Ilija Nakic was not in Guca Gora. The headquarters of
4 the Frankopan Brigade was in Nova Bila, in the sawmill.
5 Q. However, what I've just read to you was what you stated to the
6 Prosecutor during your interview, when you were giving the statement.
7 A. I read the statement before I came to testify, and in the
8 statement it says what I've just stated. Mr. Nakic would be in Guca Gora
9 from time to time, but this was not the permanent headquarters. It was
10 not in Guca Gora.
11 Q. Very well, then. However, the communications centre of the
12 brigade and the operations centre of the brigade were permanently in the
13 monastery in Guca Gora; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, in the old part, in one part at the monastery, at the very
15 entrance to the monastery.
16 Q. You also said to the OTP about the plundering of the houses that
17 during the afternoon hours, from my position in Strmac I could see that
18 the army units which passed through Brajkovici, Ovnak, and Milka were
19 followed by Muslim civilians who entered these villages. These civilians
20 came in lorries. They would load our cattle onto those lorries.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is. Not only lorries but also quite a lot of the
24 equipment, tractor and military MTS and the personal belongings of the
25 refugees had remained in Cukle, where there was the collection point of
1 these refugees. From there then onwards conveys that were moving could
2 be seen at all times moving into the villages from which the Croats had
3 been expelled.
4 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Jandric. I have no further questions.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to give the floor
6 to the Defence of Mr. Kubura.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:
8 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Jandric, I'm Fahrudin Ibrisimovic. I defend
9 Mr. Kubura. I'm just going to ask you a few questions, because most of
10 them have already been asked by me colleague. I would like you to tell
11 us something about these events.
12 As the commander of the Croatian Defence Council on the 8th of
13 June you were in the forward command post in Strmac.
14 A. I was forced to the command post and to the command post of the
15 battalion, and then I would return to Sminjaca where the attack was going
16 on throughout the day.
17 Q. Around 21.30, as you stated in your statement to the OTP, you
18 moved to the reserve position in the Sarici village; is that correct?
19 A. No, first I moved to the position in Plane, and from there I
20 evacuated the civilians. And then around 2300 hours I crossed the bridge
21 on the Bila River and I arrived in Sarici. Together with the civilians,
22 I was carrying the wounded and the dead bodies.
23 Q. This is across the Bila River, and it is about -- several
24 kilometres from Grahovcici.
25 A. Yes. And from the place where the collection point for the
1 refugee Croats was, it was about 2 kilometres.
2 Q. And from the area of Grahovcici and Brajkovici it is several
3 kilometres; more than 2, in any case.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is it correct that the Sarici village is in the Bila River
7 A. No. The Sarici village is the settled area called Kosovo Sarici
8 [phoen] and it is uphill and borders on Brajkovici village. Some houses
9 are even in the vicinity of the Bila River, but a lot of the house, most
10 of the houses, are at an elevated ground.
11 Q. Sarici village is lower than Brajkovici and Grahovcici; is that
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Is it correct that from that place you could not see -- on the
15 following day you could not see what was going on in the area of
16 Grahovcici, Brajkovici, Cukle, and those -- that area?
17 A. I could see most of Grahovcici. The only part I couldn't see was
18 the area around the school and the valley below Strmac. I could see
19 complete Brajkovici, the church, Ovnak. I could see all that very well.
20 Q. Is it correct that because of the distance that was over 2
21 kilometres you personally could not see anybody plundering the belongings
22 of the people?
23 A. No, we couldn't. We could just recognise the convoys of vehicles
24 and people who were moving about.
25 Q. Is it correct that you could not see from that distance that some
1 of the soldiers of the BH army was setting the houses on fire?
2 A. No, I couldn't. Although, on that day some houses were torched,
3 but we could no longer see whether it was the civilians or the army who
4 was setting these houses on fire.
5 Q. Is it correct that on the 9th of June you abandoned this area of
6 Brajkovici and Grahovcici and that on the 12th of June, 1993 you left the
7 area in which you were a commander and that you didn't return until the
8 year 1994?
9 A. You are talking about Brajkovici, which has nothing to do with
10 Grahovcici. Brajkovici is far from Grahovcici, some 7 kilometres away
11 from Grahovcici.
12 Q. Let me rephrase that question. After the 12th of June, 1993,
13 until October 1994, you never returned to Grahovcici.
14 A. When there was a new attack on the 11th of June on Sarici I was
15 heavily wounded and transferred to Nova Bila, to the hospital there.
16 Some 10 or 12 days later I was transferred to Rama with the help of SFOR,
17 and from there I was transferred to Split, and there I underwent surgery.
18 And I didn't return to that area until the period you have just
20 Q. If I could ask the witness to mark Sarici village on the map that
21 he has before him, Sarici being the reserve position that he has been
22 mentioning in his testimony.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel and witness make a pause
24 between their answer and question.
25 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Can you mark it by the next number in the subsequence?
2 A. On this map, I don't see Sarici. Sarici is a small village with
3 only 20 houses. There is Han Bila, there is Guca Gora. So I can just
4 approximately --
5 Q. Yes, do it approximately.
6 A. Yes, approximately it would be here.
7 Q. Can you put a number next to it.
8 A. What number? Number 5? [Marks]
9 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence will tender this
10 map into evidence, and we have no further questions for this witness.
11 Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Has the Prosecution got an
13 objection to tendering of this exhibit into evidence ?
14 MR. MUNDIS: No.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Any objection?
16 Madam Registrar, can you give me the number for this exhibit, the
17 final number for this exhibit.
18 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number is DK2.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated] --
21 Therefore, we are talking about the same document maybe --
22 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Maybe this witness could sign the
23 document and put a date on it.
24 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
1 Are there any -- is there any re-examination from the OTP,
3 MR. MUNDIS: Just a few questions, Mr. President.
4 Re-examined by Mr. Mundis:
5 Q. Witness, can you tell the Trial Chamber, please, where is the
6 area that you've mentioned as Bilici.
7 A. Bilici is in Grahovcici, in the vicinity of Strmac Hill.
8 Q. So it would be correct, then, to say that Bilici is part of
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber where Nikolici is located.
12 A. Even closer to Strmac, some 50 metres as the crow flies.
13 Q. And is Nikolici also part of Grahovcici?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Witness, in response to a question asked by the Defence for
16 Mr. Hadzihasanovic you said the following - I would like you to listen to
17 your answer, and then I have a follow-on question for you - you were
18 asked about being able to see houses burning or seeing the area of Bilici
19 and Nikolici, and you said - and this is at lines 11 through 14 of
20 today's LiveNote - you "just saw the soldiers leaving the houses. They
21 were approaching the houses and immediately afterwards the house would
22 start burning. They would then leave or move away from the house,
23 approach another house, and carry on, continue."
24 My question is, Witness, if you know: The soldiers would
25 continue doing what or carry on doing what?
1 A. Once the house started burning, they would open fire on our
2 positions or they would fire in the air. They would shout Allah-U-Ekber
3 Tekbir and then they would continue on their way.
4 Q. Thank you, Witness.
5 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since the OTP has no further
7 questions, the Chamber would like to thank you for coming to The Hague to
8 testify before this Trial Chamber and we wish you a safe return home.
9 I would kindly ask the usher to remove the headset from the
10 witness's head and to escort him out of the courtroom.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your, while we still have the
12 witness, my learned friend mentioned a page and a line on the LiveNote.
13 Can he please repeat where exactly he was reading from, because I'm
14 afraid that maybe there is a misunderstanding in the way I was being
16 MR. MUNDIS: It was the response of the witness at page 48, lines
17 14 -- or excuse me, lines 11 through 14 of today's LiveNote at page 48.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just for the record,
19 I would like to say that I never mentioned Bilici, Nikolici, or any other
20 places that were quoted by my learned friend as having been mentioned by
21 myself. Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
23 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, to the extent that I indicated that
24 it was Ms. Residovic who said that, I do stand corrected. The record
25 reflects it was the witness who mentioned the two villages in question.
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I would like to object to both
2 the question and the answer for this precise reason.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Would the Prosecutor like to
4 withdraw this question, then? Because according to what the Defence has
5 just said, these names were mentioned later on rather than at the
6 beginning. Would the Prosecution like to clarify that, or maybe you
7 would like to admit that your question has not been put in the proper
9 It seems that there has been some confusion. The Defence thought
10 that the Prosecution wanted to mention a series of names, and the witness
11 at the beginning of his testimony did not mention all of these places. I
12 believe that this is the problem. Therefore, what about the solution to
13 this problem?
14 Another solution would be for the Prosecution to rephrase and put
15 the question in a more precise manner. And the Trial Chamber will take
16 into consideration that this has been disputed and therefore allows the
17 OTP to rephrase their question, to ask the question again. And after
18 that, I'm going to give the floor to the Defence.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I don't think it's necessary to
20 rephrase the question nor to withdraw it. The point simply was that the
21 answer the witness gave in response to the question ended with the
22 witness saying "approach another house and carry on, continue." The
23 question was simply to elicit from the witness "carry on or continue
24 doing what?" And the witness in fact, in response to the question on
25 redirect examination answered that question. The sole reason for putting
1 that question to the witness in redirect was, therefore, accomplished.
2 And to the extent that I may have alluded to or did allude to a
3 question or what Ms. Residovic said, I do apologise for that. It was --
4 it was completely inadvertent. But again, the point was to simply
5 clarify from the witness "continue or carry on doing what?" And in fact,
6 he has answered that question.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to ask the Defence
8 whether they are satisfied with the Prosecutor's answer. The Prosecutor
9 has limited his question to the fact that houses were torched and the
10 Prosecution wanted to know what the troops did later on. That was the
11 sense of the question. Therefore, the Prosecution withdraws those parts
12 for which the Defence thought they were not appropriate.
13 Once again, I would like to thank the witness once again, and I
14 would like to wish him a safe return home.
15 The usher is going to escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you
16 very much.
17 [The witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. It is 12 past
19 5.00. We have to make another break. We shall resume at half past 5.00.
20 We can call the next witness now, but if we do that we have to go into
21 closed session, because the protective measures have been granted to this
23 Can I please ask the Registrar, Madam Registrar, whether we can
24 indeed go into closed session, whether the closed session conditions have
25 been set in place.
1 [Closed session]
12 Pages 980 to 1011 redacted, closed session
13 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.02 p.m.,
14 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 16th day of
15 December, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.