1 Friday, February 27, 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you please
5 call the case.
6 [The accused entered court]
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I'm
10 turning to the Prosecution for the appearances, please.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Counsel.
12 For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis, Ekkehard Withopf, and the case
13 manager, Kimberly Fleming. Mrs. Fleming, unfortunately, it's the last
14 day with us today, and I wish to thank her for the great work done.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 Appearances for the Defence, please.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
18 Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Muriel
19 Cauvin, legal assistant, representing General Hadzihasanovic.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours.
21 Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Mr. Mulalic, legal assistant,
22 representing Mr. Kubura.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Chamber would
24 like to greet everybody in the courtroom who were able to arrive despite
25 the snow that seems to have paralysed everybody, and we can start at the
1 envisaged time.
2 We are very sorry that Mrs. Fleming is leaving the Prosecution,
3 and we appreciate the work that she has done so far in order to allow the
4 efficient presentation of evidence. We would like to thank her for
5 everything that she has done, and we wish her success in her job in the
7 Today we have two witnesses on the schedule. They are at the
8 disposal of the Chamber. We shall not waste any more time. We shall
9 bring the first witness into the courtroom, if there are no particular
10 measures to apply for. I'm going to ask the usher to go and bring the
11 witness into the courtroom.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. First I
14 would like to check whether you can hear my words translated into your
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, can. Yes, I can.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You have been
18 called by the Prosecution to testify before the International Tribunal.
19 In order to do that, you have to take the solemn declaration. Before
20 that, you will introduce yourself to the Chamber. Can you please stand
21 up. What is your name?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am Zdravko Zulj.
23 I solemn declaration that I shall speak the truth, the whole truth, and
24 nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Before
1 you read the declaration, you have to tell me where and when you were
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am Zdravko Zulj. I was born in
4 Glavice near Bugojno on the 4th of September, 1966.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your profession?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a forest technician, and I
7 work in the forestry management company in Glavice.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. In 1993, what
9 did you do at the time? What was your profession at the time?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1992, I joined the HVO and I was
11 a member of the HVO at the time.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Have you ever
13 testified in court?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, never.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Now you may
16 read the solemn declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. You may
20 be seated.
21 WITNESS: ZDRAVKO ZULJ
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the procedure is
23 concerned and the way you're going to testify, the Prosecution, on your
24 right-hand side, is going to ask you questions. They will start. When
25 answering their questions, can you please be as precise and as concise as
1 possible. The aim of your testimony is to inform the Trial Chamber of
2 the events that you witnessed.
3 Once the Prosecution has asked you all the questions, then the
4 Defence, seated on your left-hand side, will also ask you questions
5 during their cross-examination. First they need to check whether you are
6 a credible witness and they need to present their case. In addition to
7 that, the Trial Chamber may also ask you questions at any moment,
8 especially when it is necessary to clarify some of your previous answers.
9 Since you have just read the solemn declaration, you have
10 promised to tell the truth. If you give a false testimony, you will be
11 liable for perjury and you may be punishable by a prison sentence up to
12 seven years or a fine.
13 If answering a question you find yourself in a situation that the
14 answer might incriminate you and that your words might be used against
15 you, if you find yourself in such a situation, you may say that you don't
16 want to answer. In that case, the Trial Chamber may compel the witness
17 to answer; however, if the witness has been forced to answer, such words
18 cannot be used against such a witness.
19 I hope you understand. If at any point in time during your
20 testimony you encounter some difficulties, please tell the Chamber so and
21 the Trial Chamber will put the matter right.
22 Having said that, I'm giving the floor to the Prosecution, who is
23 going to start with their examination-in-chief.
24 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
1 Q. Mr. Zulj, in response to a question of His Honour, you indicated
2 that in 1992 you were a member of the HVO. When did you join the HVO?
3 A. On the 4th of June, 1992.
4 Q. Upon joining the HVO, what were your primary duties or
6 A. We were on the line between Kupres and Bugojno. That's where we
7 were stationed.
8 Q. Was there a different army on the opposite side of the line from
9 where your HVO unit was stationed?
10 A. Yes, the Serb army. They were in Kupres, and we were in Bugojno
11 on the border.
12 Q. Did there later come a time, Witness, when your HVO unit had
13 involvement with the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
14 A. Later on I joined the military police of the HVO, and that is the
15 time when there were conflicts between the army and the HVO.
16 Q. Okay. Do you recall when you joined the military police of the
18 A. I think it was in May 1992 -- no, rather, 1993.
19 Q. And in May 1993, when you joined the HVO military police, where
20 were you stationed?
21 A. In the Kalin Hotel in the town of Bugojno.
22 Q. After May 1993, when you joined the HVO, what were your primary
23 responsibilities or duties?
24 A. As a member of the military police, I had to secure some
25 facilities in town. I was involved in patrols together with UNPROFOR
1 around the town. And for a while, we patrolled together with the police
2 of the BH army. However, there were some incidents, and this practice
3 was interrupted. We mainly secured facilities such as Ljubljanksa Banka,
4 the post office, the Croatian hall, and so on and so forth.
5 Q. You told us that you secured certain facilities. Where are these
6 facilities that you just mentioned located?
7 A. Most of them were in the town of Bugojno.
8 Q. A few moments ago you mentioned that there were conflicts between
9 the army and the HVO. When you said that, what army were you referring
11 A. I was referring to members of the Muslim side. Up to then, there
12 were no conflicts, but there were incidents. People were taken prisoner.
13 Q. When did the conflict begin in Bugojno after you were an HVO
14 military policeman?
15 A. I believe that it was on the 19th of July, 1993.
16 Q. And which military forces were involved in this conflict?
17 A. The HVO and the BiH army.
18 Q. When this conflict began on 19 July 1993, where were you
19 stationed at that time or where did you report for duty at that time?
20 A. I was in the Kalin Hotel at the base of the military police of
21 the HVO.
22 Q. Were you in fact in the Kalin Hotel on the day the war started in
24 A. Yes. I was at the Kalin Hotel. I arrived the night before. On
25 the 18th of July I reported for duty.
1 Q. Witness, what was the name or number of the unit, the HVO
2 military police unit, that you were a member of and which was based at
3 the Kalin Hotel in Bugojno?
4 A. The 2nd Battalion of the military police.
5 Q. At the time the war started on 19 July 1993, do you know how many
6 members of the 2nd Battalion of the HVO military police were in the Hotel
7 Kalin at the time the war started?
8 A. I think that there were approximately 30 men, not more than that.
9 I don't know the exact number.
10 Q. Other than the 30 men who were members of the 2nd Battalion of
11 the HVO military police, were there any other people in the Hotel Kalin
12 at the time the war started, to the best of your knowledge?
13 A. As far as I know, there may have been the girl who worked at the
14 front desk, maybe a few waiters.
15 Q. After the war started on the 19th of July, 1993, how long did
16 your unit, the 2nd Battalion of the HVO military police, remain in the
17 Hotel Kalin?
18 A. Some five or six days, up to the 24th or the 25th of July.
19 Q. During the period between the 19th of July, 1993 and the period
20 of time on the 24th or 25th of July, did any other people come to the
21 Hotel Kalin, other than members of your unit?
22 A. Yes. There is a village in the vicinity of the Kalin Hotel, some
23 kilometre away. It is a Croatian village that had fallen and had been
24 occupied by the Muslim forces. People withdrew, both civilians and
25 members of one unit. I believe that it was a special unit of the
1 civilian police.
2 Q. Witness, you told us that your unit remained in the Hotel Kalin
3 until the 24th or 25th of July. What happened on that day?
4 A. On that day -- I don't know -- on the 24th or on the 25th, you
6 Q. Yes.
7 A. We were encircled by the BiH army. They were calling to us on
8 the loudspeaker. They wanted us to surrender. They said that there was
9 nowhere for us to go, that we were encircled. And our commanders decided
10 that we would surrender. We left our weapons in the hotel. We raised
11 our arms, and we walked in front of the hotel. In the vicinity of the
12 hotel, there is a parking lot where there is a department store and
13 coffee house. They lined us up there. They searched us to see what we
14 have on us. They took whatever we had of any value, cigarettes,
15 jewellery, watches, and so on. And if anybody had money, they took that
16 away as well.
17 Q. Following the surrender of your unit, where did you go?
18 A. We were in the parking lot, and from the parking lot they took us
19 to the basement of the furniture store.
20 Q. Approximately how many people were taken with you to the basement
21 of the furniture store?
22 A. Some 30 of us from the military police and those people who had
23 joined us from the unit of the civilian police. There were some 20 of
24 them. So all together, there may have been 50 or 60 of us.
25 Q. Where is this furniture store that you've told us about located?
1 A. It is about a kilometre or a kilometre and a half from the hotel,
2 and it is also in the town of Bugojno.
3 Q. You told us that you were taken to the basement of the furniture
4 store. Do you recall approximately what time or what part of the day it
5 was when you arrived in the basement of the furniture store?
6 A. I believe that it was sometime in the afternoon, but I'm not
8 Q. Upon your arrival in the basement of the furniture store, were
9 there people already in that basement?
10 A. No, I don't think so. I think that we were the first ones to be
11 taken there.
12 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber the conditions in the
13 basement of the furniture store upon your arrival.
14 A. It was dark. The floor was covered with water. There were some
15 pallets on the floor, wooden pallets, that we later on used to sleep on.
16 The water level may have been anything between 5 and 10 centimetres.
17 Q. How long did you remain in the basement of the furniture store in
19 A. I think five, six, or maybe seven days. I'm not sure.
20 Q. How were you treated during the time, those five or six or seven
21 days that you were in the basement of the furniture store?
22 A. How? In the evenings, we would be visited by the troops of the
23 army. They took our uniforms and gave us some older uniforms. We didn't
24 get any food until the moment when Sister Pavka came on the second or on
25 the third day. She brought us some tins and breads. As for the hygiene
1 conditions, they were terrible. There was beating. There was
2 ill-treatment. People were taken to the upper floors and they were
3 beaten up there.
4 Q. Witness, you mentioned people taken to the upper floors, where
5 they were beaten. Do you recall the names of any of the individuals who
6 were taken to the upper floors and beaten?
7 A. I think I do. On the first evening, they took out Stipo Zelic,
8 who was the commander of the military police; also, the commander of the
9 other unit that was with us in the hotel, his name was Cubela. Then they
10 took out Dragan Brecic, Mljenko Bagaric, Zrinko Arazina, Dadic. There
11 were other people as well, but I can't remember their names.
12 Q. As for these beatings, Witness, were you ever personally the
13 victim of such beating in the furniture store?
14 A. On the first day when we were captured, I was asking to go to the
15 toilet. I saw the guard standing. I approached him and I asked him
16 whether I could be allowed to go and relieve myself. He slapped me and
17 he told me that I was supposed to relieve myself where I slept and where
18 I was being accommodated.
19 Q. And, Witness, while in the basement of the furniture store, where
20 did you sleep?
21 A. On the pallets that were on the basement floor.
22 Q. After you remained in the furniture store in Bugojno for five,
23 six, or seven days, where did you go next?
24 A. To the Vojin Paleksic Primary School, to the hall there.
25 Q. And, Witness, how -- can you tell us the circumstances under
1 which you went to the Vojin Paleksic Primary School?
2 A. They took us there in a lorry, and they drove us to the school.
3 Q. Witness, you've made reference to "they"; "they took us there in
4 a lorry." Who are you referring to when you say "they"?
5 A. I'm referring to members of the BH army.
6 Q. What were these members of the BH army wearing?
7 A. I think that most of them had ordinary camouflage uniforms.
8 Q. Do you recall, Witness, whether you knew what unit or units these
9 members of the BH army were from?
10 A. I don't know exactly which units they were from.
11 Q. Now, you also told us that "they took us to the Vojin Paleksic
12 Primary School." Who were you referring to when you said "us"?
13 A. I was referring to HVO members, the detainees, and about 20
14 people or 30 perhaps - I'm not sure - were with me in the first group.
15 Q. Do you recall the approximate day or month or week and year that
16 you arrived at the Vojin Paleksic Primary School?
17 A. I was captured around the 25th of July. I spent five or six days
18 in the furniture showroom, so it may have been at the beginning of
19 August, between the 1st and 2nd of August.
20 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened to the group of HVO
21 soldiers that you were with when you arrived at the Vojin Paleksic
22 Primary School in the beginning of August.
23 A. When we got to the school, we got out of the lorry. At the
24 entrance to the hall, BH army members were lined up. As we entered,
25 they'd kick some of us or slap some of us. They lined us up against the
1 wall in the hall. Our backs were facing them. Then there was a burst of
2 fire from an automatic rifle. You couldn't see where they were aiming.
3 You expected to be hit by a bullet, but they probably fired in the air at
4 the ceiling. I think this was to frighten us. But no one was hit.
5 Q. Do you know which unit or units the BH army members that were at
6 the Vojin Paleksic Primary School were assigned to?
7 A. I don't know the names of the unit.
8 Q. How long did you remain in the Vojin Paleksic Primary School?
9 A. I don't think I was there for more than ten days.
10 Q. Where is the Vojin Paleksic Primary School located?
11 A. In part of the town.
12 Q. Which town?
13 A. Bugojno.
14 Q. Can you describe the conditions in the Vojin Paleksic Primary
15 School for the approximately ten days that you remained there.
16 A. Well, I think they were better than the conditions in the
17 furniture showroom. It wasn't wet and it wasn't dark. At least there
18 was a little light. But as far as the maltreatment is concerned, it was
19 the same. We also didn't receive enough food. I think at one point in
20 time there were 200, 250, perhaps even 300 people in the hall. We'd get
21 15 to 20 loaves of bread for a meal and a pot of soup without any
22 additives, without any spices.
23 Q. Witness, you told us that "as far as the maltreatment is
24 concerned, it was the same." Can you please elaborate upon what you
25 meant by that statement.
1 A. I remember that people were also taken out and beaten and
2 maltreated. In the late evening hours.
3 Q. After being in the Vojin Paleksic Primary School, where did you
4 go next?
5 A. To Prusac.
6 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber the circumstances under which you
7 went to Prusac.
8 A. Well, they crammed us into some lorries again, perhaps 20 to 30
9 people. They called us out. We got into the lorry. We got into the
10 back of the lorry, and they drove us away to Prusac.
11 Q. Again, Witness, you said "they called us out." Who did you mean
12 by "they" and who did you mean by "us"?
13 A. The soldiers called us out, BH army soldiers. And when I said
14 "we," I was referring to the detainees.
15 Q. How long did you remain in Prusac?
16 A. I think we remained there for about three months in total,
17 because earlier on they returned us on one occasion. There was a camp in
18 the Iskra Stadium. They said there was going to be some sort of
19 exchange, so they sent us back and we spent four or five days there, and
20 then they returned the same group to Prusac.
21 Q. And, Witness, after you returned to Prusac, where did you go
22 after that?
23 A. When I returned to Prusac, we were placed in a house there, which
24 is where we slept. And during the day and early in the morning, we dug
25 trenches and communicating trenches facing the Serbian side. It was at
1 the demarcation line between the Serbs and the Muslims.
2 Q. After being held in Prusac, Witness, where did you go?
3 A. They sent us back to the Iskra Stadium again, to the dressing
4 rooms, which is where the majority of the detainees were kept.
5 Q. The second time you arrived at the Iskra Stadium, do you recall
6 approximately what month or season and what year that was?
7 A. I think it was autumn 1993, perhaps in October or November.
8 Q. And on this second occasion you were at Iskra Stadium, how long
9 did you remain there?
10 A. Until the day on which we were exchanged, the 19th of March,
12 Q. Witness, the English transcript says you were released or
13 exchanged on 19 March 1993. Is that the correct date?
14 A. 1994.
15 Q. So just to be clear, Witness, you were exchanged on 19 March 1994
16 and you were kept in the Iskra Stadium up until that date; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. During this second period of time that you were at the Iskra
19 Stadium, approximately how many people were detained there?
20 A. All in all, because there were some people who would sometimes go
21 to work in Gornji Vakuf or the surrounding villages, in Bugojno, but 300
22 or 294 or 5. Something like that.
23 Q. Were these people that were detained in the Iskra Stadium
24 soldiers of the HVO, civilians, or both?
25 A. I think they were mostly HVO soldiers. Perhaps there were a few
1 elderly people, but they were probably members of some sort of a home
2 guard regiment. Home guard regiments had been organised in villages in
3 order to protect the villages. People who were a little older would form
4 them, people who were 50 or 60 years old.
5 Q. Witness, can you describe the conditions at the Iskra Football
6 Stadium when you first arrived there in October or November 1993.
7 A. Well, they were terrible. I was in a room. It was perhaps 10 by
8 20. And there were 160 people sleeping in it. The sanitary conditions
9 were non-existent. It was overcrowded.
10 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber about the food or drinking water
11 that was provided to you at that stadium.
12 A. Well, at that time, there were some civilians, some Croatian
13 civilians who had remained in Bugojno, and they allowed them to bring us
14 food, which was naturally inspected at the entrance to the prison.
15 Sometimes it was confiscated too. And in particular, if the guards found
16 that they had cigarettes, they would confiscate them. At the time, a
17 pack of cigarettes in Bugojno cost perhaps about 50 German marks.
18 Q. Witness, a few moments ago you described the room, and you said
19 it was 10 by 20. I assume that was 10 by 20 metres?
20 A. Yes. That's what I think, but I'm not sure.
21 Q. And the detainees at the Iskra Football Stadium, how were they
23 A. Well, they would also be beaten, taken outside. Sometimes they
24 would let us go out to wash in groups of five or six, but the same things
1 Q. Who would take the detainees out and beat them?
2 A. These people wore masks. And as it was dark, it wasn't possible
3 to recognise them. But I think the guards were involved in that because
4 no one could get in without the guards' permission.
5 Q. And who were the guards and what were they wearing?
6 A. They were probably members of the BH army. Some of them wore
7 camouflage uniforms and some of them had black uniforms after they had
8 taken them from us. But on the whole, they wore ordinary military
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zulj.
11 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions at this
12 time for the witness, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Mundis.
14 I'll turn to the Defence now for their cross-examination.
15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President. Good day,
16 Your Honours.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Bourgon:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Zulj. My name is Stephane
19 Bourgon, and I'm assisted by my two colleagues, Mrs. Edina Residovic and
20 Ms. Muriel Cauvin. We represent General Hadzihasanovic. Following the
21 answers you provided to the questions put to you by the Prosecution, I
22 would like to ask you a number of questions. Some of them are of a
23 general nature and relate to the context in Bugojno, and others are more
24 specific and concern the events that you yourself experienced.
25 First of all, I'd like you to confirm that you met investigators
1 from the OTP on the 13th and 17th of September of the year 2001.
2 A. We met, but I'm not sure of the date, but I think that's the
3 right date.
4 Q. And you then provided a statement which you signed. You gave it
5 to the OTP investigators.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And on that occasion, you were able to discuss in detail the
8 events that you had experienced in 1993.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Mr. Zulj, in 1993 you were 27 years old.
11 A. [No interpretation]
12 Q. You come from the village of Glavice and you had studied in the
13 elementary school -- I apologise, Mr. Zulj. I've been told that your
14 answer hasn't been recorded when I asked you about your age in 1993, when
15 I asked you whether you were 27 years old.
16 A. I was born in 1966, so yes, I was 27 years old.
17 Q. Thank you. Mr. Zulj, you did your military service in the JNA in
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Your military service in the JNA lasted one year.
21 A. Up to the 14th of May, something like that.
22 Q. And you were a mechanician in an armoured unit.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. If we go back to the year 1991, you heard about what was
25 happening in Croatia and the inhabitants of your village in Glavice had
1 already established a sort of guard system in order to protect and -- to
2 protect the houses.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in 1992, or more precisely, in April 1992, the Serbian forces
5 attacked Kupres.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In response to the Serbian attack on Kupres, the HVO created the
8 Eugen Kvaternik Brigade in Bugojno.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade consisted of three battalions.
11 A. Yes, there were three battalions within the Eugen Kvaternik
13 Q. There were also some independent units, groups, and other
14 platoons which were separate.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. The 2nd Battalion was created in January 1992.
17 A. That's true.
18 Q. And that was the day, the creation of the battalion, the 4th of
19 June, 1992--
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. -- that you volunteered to join the battalion and you were sent
22 to the front lines in Kupres.
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. With the exception of this event in August 1992 when an ambush
25 was laid for you by the Serbian forces, the situation at the front was,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 one might say, calm.
2 A. That's correct. That's true.
3 Q. And as you have told my colleague, you were transferred to the
4 military police at the end of 1992 or at the beginning of 1993.
5 A. I think it was sometime in May in 1993. That's when I was
6 transferred to the military police.
7 Q. I stand corrected. Witness, you are quite right. You said May
8 1993 when answering my colleague's question. But in the statement we
9 have here, it said the end of 1992, beginning of 1993. So I apologise
10 for this error.
11 The military police headquarters was in the Kalin Hotel.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And one of your tasks consisted of manning checkpoints.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And also to secure important buildings in the town of Bugojno
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. As you told my colleague, you were part of a patrol with
20 A. Yes. Yes.
21 Q. And in spite of the tension that existed between the HVO and the
22 Muslims, you worked together at that time.
23 A. Well, sometimes we went on joint patrols in the town or with
24 UNPROFOR, and so on.
25 Q. Mr. Zulj, can you confirm that in the middle of the year 1992 a
1 number of refugees who had been expelled from Donji Vakuf, Prozor, and
2 other regions arrived in Bugojno and this considerably changed the
3 demographic composition of the town?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. And this difficult situation resulted in tension between the
6 Muslim and Croat communities, and it also created problems as far as
7 supplies and accommodation were concerned.
8 A. Yes. On the whole, it would be something to that effect.
9 Q. Could you also confirm that as of January 1993 there was fighting
10 between the HVO and the army?
11 A. Well, not from January. I think the fighting started on the 19th
12 of July.
13 Q. Mr. Zulj, I'm referring to Gornji Vakuf.
14 A. Well, there'd been fighting in Gornji Vakuf before January,
15 perhaps even in 1992.
16 Q. And as the conflict between the army and the HVO in Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina increased or increased in Central Bosnia, tension rose in
18 Bugojno too.
19 A. Yes, that's correct.
20 Q. All the inhabitants were afraid that the conflict would spread to
21 the town of Bugojno.
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. You served within the HVO. You served in the military police.
24 So you are probably familiar with certain events that led or resulted in
25 the conflict that broke out in July 1993.
1 A. On one occasion, I was assigned the task of escorting a lorry
2 transporting ammunition and weapons. It was supposed to go from Rama to
3 Bugojno. In the village of Gracanica, which is perhaps 6 or 7 kilometres
4 from the town of Bugojno, we, being the military police, went -- drove in
5 a small Lada car and the lorry was behind us. When we passed through
6 Gracanica in that small car, then four or five members of -- I think they
7 were members of the BH army. They came out and took the lorry and drove
8 off in an unknown direction. As a result, they started capturing people.
9 Both sides started doing this. And they started erecting checkpoints.
10 Members of the HVO in Bristovi captured people. BH army members did the
11 same in Vrbanja at the time. I think that Miroslav Talenta was killed in
12 Bugojno and Vucko. I can't remember his name.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zulj. Correct me if I'm wrong. The event you are
14 referring to at the moment happened in July 1993, a little before the
15 conflict broke out.
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Can you confirm that in May there were also certain problems when
18 the HVO captured army members and Emir Jusuf and Sakib Mujkic were
20 A. I don't remember that.
21 Q. And are you aware of the fact that after these events the BH army
22 captured HVO members and that is when the conflict between the two sides
24 A. I don't remember that event.
25 Q. So these events that happened in May, in your opinion, there were
1 problems before July.
2 A. Well, that's possible, but I can't remember any particular event.
3 But it's quite possible.
4 Q. And people worked together in order to avoid a conflict that
5 might break out.
6 A. Yes, that's correct. People continued working and living.
7 Q. And as of July, a number of specific incidents caused the
8 conflict to break out.
9 A. In July?
10 Q. Yes, in July.
11 A. Could you tell me when. Maybe I'll remember.
12 Q. To give you an example, Mr. Zulj, the death of your neighbour,
13 Gvozden Stipo.
14 A. Well, that was also at the beginning of July, I think.
15 Q. And after the death of your neighbour, you decided to send your
16 family to Croatia; is that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is correct. He was killed. I don't remember the date
18 when he was killed. Because around that time, Vlado Marina was also
19 killed. It was sometime later, on the eve of the conflict. Marina and
20 Talenta died around the same time. And it is true, I sent my family off
21 to Croatia after that happened, when Stipo Gvozden was killed.
22 Q. It was a good decision because a few days later Mr. Talenta was
23 killed; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. Yes, you're right.
25 Q. He was in Vrbanja at the time. He was on the way back from the
1 swimming pool.
2 A. Yes. They went swimming, both him and Vucak, and they were on
3 their way back to the base in Vrbanja and this is where they were killed,
4 in their car.
5 Q. And since you were a military policeman, you probably knew that
6 there was a joint commission that was set up in order to investigate
7 these events.
8 A. No, I didn't know anything about that. I was just a policeman,
9 an ordinary policeman.
10 Q. Do you know that sometime later -- did you know that there were
11 Muslim policemen and civilians who were also killed in Vrbanja? Are you
12 aware of that?
13 A. At that time you mean? No, I wasn't aware of that.
14 Q. Did you know that the HVO had attacked the village of Vrbanja?
15 A. If that had happened, this was during the conflict, after the
16 killing of Talenta, once the conflict spread on a larger scale.
17 Q. Mr. Zulj, would you then agree with me when I say that the
18 killing of Mr. Talenta triggered -- I'm going to repeat the question,
19 Mr. Zulj.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please. Can you repeat it
21 slowly, because the question was rather complex. Can you please rephrase
22 it, repeat it slowly.
23 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Yes. Mr. Zulj, would you agree with me that it was the death of
25 Mr. Talenta, which happened at the beginning of the conflict in
1 Vrbanja -- which led to the conflict, this event that happened in
2 Vrbanja -- and that these incidents in Vrbanja spread towards the town of
4 A. Yes. This happened within a day or two after the killing, so
5 yes, a link may be established between the killing and the beginning of
6 this conflict.
7 Q. As a matter of fact, Mr. Zulj, as you have said yourself, the
8 conflict broke out on the 19th of July.
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. And this conflict lasted until the 26th of July.
11 A. Yes, I would say so.
12 Q. And this date also corresponds with the date when the command of
13 the HVO, which was located in Tito's villa, decided to surrender.
14 A. No, they didn't surrender. They just left their position.
15 Q. At the moment when they left their position, you know that they
16 had set Tito's villa on fire.
17 A. At that time, I was already a prisoner. I heard later on that it
18 had been set on fire. I don't know who did that. I can't tell you.
19 Q. You yourself, Mr. Zulj, on the 18th of July you were at the Kalin
20 Hotel; is that correct?
21 A. I was at the burial of Vlado Marina -- either Vlado Marina or
22 Miroslav Talenta. I think it was Miroslav Talenta's funeral. I attended
23 the funeral, and in the evening I reported to the Kalin Hotel for duty.
24 I think it was the funeral of Miroslav Talenta, I'm sure.
25 Q. And when the fighting started on the 19th of July, you were in
1 front of the hotel. You were keeping guard there.
2 A. I was in the hotel, yes. We guarded some of the entrances to the
4 Q. And during the period of the conflict, you noticed that there
5 were UNPROFOR members who were evacuating people from the Kalin Hotel.
6 A. It was some three or four days after the beginning of the
7 conflict the hospital and the wounded were evacuated, because the war
8 hospital of the HVO was in the basement of the Hotel Kalin and the
9 military police was on the upper floors.
10 Q. So on the 24th of July, in the hotel there was nobody. You have
11 already said that there were only 30 military policemen at that time. Is
12 that correct?
13 A. No, it's not correct. There were some 30 military policemen.
14 There were some 20 members of the civilian police of the special platoon
15 of the civilian police. And there were some 50 or 60 civilians who had
16 arrived from Gaj village to the Kalin Hotel once the village of Gaj had
17 been occupied by the army.
18 Q. On that day, after the BiH army invited the commander to
19 surrender, your commander decided to surrender, to lay arms.
20 A. Yes, that's true.
21 Q. And at that time, at that moment, the civilians were separated
22 from the military and civilian policemen from the special unit; is that
24 A. I believe that we were the first ones to leave the Kalin Hotel.
25 The troops were the first ones to leave the hotel, and the civilians had
1 stayed behind. I don't know what happened to them after that.
2 Q. Can you please confirm that at one moment you learnt that the
3 civilians who had been there were later on taken to the cultural and
4 sports centre.
5 A. Some of the civilians later on would bring us food once we --
6 they were allowed to bring us food, and we would also go to take baths in
7 their houses. They told us that they were first taken for interrogation
8 to the cultural and sports centre and then they were all released. Most
9 of them were released to their homes.
10 Q. And you personally, together with other military policemen, were
11 transferred to the furniture store; is that correct?
12 A. To the basement of the furniture store, yes.
13 Q. And you were the first who were put in that place, you who were a
14 group consisting of some 50 men; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. And those who were in the group were either military or civilian
17 policemen; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, the group that was at the hotel. The military and the
19 civilian policemen were taken to the furniture store.
20 Q. And as the conflict continued in the town, the people who were in
21 the furniture store were joined by other people.
22 A. On the following day, the 2nd Battalion surrendered and the
23 3rd Battalion and then the 1st Battalion. So as the battalions
24 surrendered, they would take prisoners and bring them to the furniture
1 Q. During your stay in the furniture store, it would happen that
2 some of the detainees were called out and taken upstairs; is that
4 A. Yes, it is correct.
5 Q. And in conversation with some of the detainees who had been taken
6 out, you learned that they had been ill-treated. They were -- put bags
7 on their faces before that.
8 A. You could see that when they returned, when they brought them
9 back to the basement. You could see they had been beaten and worked
10 over. And in conversation with them, we learned that they had been
12 Sometimes they didn't recognise people because either the people
13 who beat them wore masks or they would be put bags on their faces. There
14 was a case when Bajica managed to take the bag off his head and he
15 recognised one of the people who were beating him. And then this person
16 said, "I'm sorry, Barica. I didn't realise it was you who I was
17 beating." So this person knew Barica's first and last names.
18 Q. And you personally, while you were in the furniture store, you
19 were never beaten; is that correct?
20 A. I said that on the first day when I asked to go to the toilet I
21 was slapped. I was never taken out and beaten. This never happened to
23 Q. If I have understood your words well, the words in your
24 statement, while you were in the furniture store you thought that the
25 persons who had been beaten were beaten in order to square some scores.
1 A. I suppose that there may have been some old grudges. I heard
2 about Havranek, who had been killed, that he had dated the girl of the
3 person who beat him. These were just rumours.
4 Q. A week after you arrived there, you were transferred to the Vojin
5 Paleksic School; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In answering to one of the
8 questions, the witness said that he had heard that the person who had
9 been killed, called Havranek, that he had dated the girlfriend of the
10 person who beat him. Can you please explain. What was it exactly that
11 you said about this guy Havranek? What exactly did you say? Can you
12 repeat your question, please -- your answer, please.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said that I heard rumours after
14 Havranek's death. And according to the rumour, both Havranek and the guy
15 who beat him dated the same girl. That was before the conflict. So the
16 person who beat Havranek and Havranek apparently dated the same girl.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Zulj, let's go back to the Vojin Paleksic School. Before the
20 conflict, this school was the base of the 1st Battalion; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is correct.
22 Q. During your detention in the school, you realised that all those
23 who had previously been detained in the furniture store were in groups in
24 the school.
25 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand your question.
1 Q. I'm going to rephrase it then. During your stay in the school,
2 you realised that all those who had previously been detained in the
3 furniture store were transferred together with you to the Vojin Paleksic
4 School; is that correct?
5 A. I was the one who was in the first group to be transferred to the
6 school. Others arrived later. But I believe that there came a day when
7 we finally ended up all together in the school -- all of us from the
8 furniture store, that is.
9 Q. And if I have understood you well, you have mentioned that while
10 you were detained there that you didn't pay too much attention either to
11 the uniforms worn by the guards or their insignia, because you were
12 preoccupied with yourself.
13 A. That's more or less true, but I can say that there were all sorts
14 of uniforms. There were camouflage uniforms, black uniforms. Some
15 guards wore civilian clothes. I didn't notice any insignia. I believe
16 that most of them were the insignia of the army.
17 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zulj. Can you please confirm the
18 following: During that period, a lot of people in Bugojno wore
19 camouflage uniforms or parts of camouflage uniform, both the HVO, as well
20 as the BiH army, even some civilians?
21 A. Yes. But it was mostly members of the two armies, the HVO and
22 the BiH army, who wore camouflage uniforms.
23 Q. There were even members of the civilian police who wore
24 camouflage uniforms or parts thereof; is that correct?
25 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct.
1 Q. During your detention in the school, there was not a lot of food
2 but you, however, received food.
3 A. We received food, but never enough. And the food was of poor
5 Q. And during that period you were never taken out for any sort of
7 A. No, I was never taken out for ill-treatment.
8 Q. You have answered to my learned friend's question that some
9 persons were taken out during the night and they were ill-treated; is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is correct.
12 Q. But you don't know who was it who ill-treated these people.
13 A. No, I wouldn't know their names. But I know that the guards were
14 the ones who called out their names and who took them out. The people
15 who guarded them entered the hall, called out names, and took them out.
16 I don't know who beat them. Even the persons who were beaten don't know
17 who beat them, because they were always masked. Some of them wore
18 uniforms, however.
19 Q. Mr. Zulj, during your stay in the school, while you were detained
20 there, a lawyer talked to you. There was a secretary with him who took
21 notes. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. And at that moment you were asked about your refusal to join the
24 BiH army; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, it is correct. The questions were why you didn't join, why
1 a thing like this had to happen, and things along the same line.
2 Q. And this interview was correct. It was -- nobody ill-treated you
3 during that conversation.
4 A. No, nobody ill-treated me.
5 Q. And as far as you know, all the detainees were interviewed in a
6 similar manner.
7 A. Yes, I believe that most of the detainees were interviewed in a
8 similar way.
9 Q. And during the interviews or after the interviews, a number of
10 the detainees were released.
11 A. I believe that the elderly people, those who were over 50 or 60,
12 they were the ones who were released after such interviews.
13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Zulj. In response to my learned friend's
14 question, you talked about the period that you spent in Prusac.
15 A. Prusac, yes. Prusac.
16 Q. And during that period, would you agree with me that you were
17 never ill-treated there?
18 A. Yes, I would agree with you. I would.
19 Q. As a matter of fact, when your names were called out in Prusac,
20 it was always during the night when there was no fighting going on.
21 A. You mean when they called our names, when ...?
22 Q. I'm going to rephrase my question. If I understood you well, you
23 were taken there to dig some trenches; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. We were told to dig trenches and communicating trenches
25 between the lines that belonged to the army, on the one hand, and the
1 Serbian forces, on the other hand.
2 Q. So you were digging those trenches during the night, when there
3 was no fighting.
4 A. Yes. They would wake us up around 3.00 or 4.00 or 5.00 in the
5 morning, and then -- when it was foggy, and when the fog lifted, they
6 would take us back to have breakfast. After breakfast, they would take
7 us to some secluded places where we would continue digging trenches or
8 dugouts. They would take us to the places where we were not exposed to
9 the enemy fire.
10 Q. None of the people who were with you were either wounded or ...?
11 A. No, nobody was wounded. Nobody was wounded.
12 Q. And after having spent some 20 days in Prusac, you were
13 transferred to the Iskra Stadium; is that correct?
14 A. Yes. They returned us there and we spent some four or five days
16 Q. And again, you could see that all those who were detained with
17 you in the school were again with you at the Iskra Stadium.
18 A. Most of us. Only those who were taken to do some working, like
19 we were taken to do work in Prusac, were not at the Iskra Stadium.
20 Q. And can you please confirm the following: In your statement
21 given to the Prosecution, you stated that there were toilets at the Iskra
22 Stadium that the detainees could use.
23 A. There was one inside, because -- but it was used rarely, because
24 there was no water, so it couldn't be flushed. And outside there were
25 three or four makeshift toilets that we would normally use either in the
1 morning or during the day.
2 Q. And after four or five days that you spent at the stadium, you
3 were taken back to Prusac; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. And again, the guards treated you correctly. They gave you food
6 there. Is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. When you returned to the Iskra Stadium -- of course, you are not
9 sure about the date when you returned; is that true?
10 A. Yes, you are right. I believe that it was sometime in the month
11 of October.
12 Q. So it could have been the end of October or the beginning of
13 November, maybe.
14 A. Yes. Yes, it is possible.
15 Q. During your detention at the Iskra Stadium, again, food was not
16 good but you did receive food.
17 A. Yes, we received food from the Croatian civilians who had stayed
18 behind. They were given permission to bring us food to the stadium.
19 Q. And when these people brought you food to the stadium, it would
20 happen that the guards confiscated cigarettes; however, the food would be
21 given to the detainees.
22 A. I said that they would always take cigarettes, but sometimes they
23 would also take food if there was some good tin. And if they found that
24 something that they wanted, they would confiscate that as well. Every
25 time the food was inspected and whatever they wanted to take, they kept.
1 Q. And, Mr. Zulj, at the Iskra Stadium, there was a routine.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. In the morning, you were taken out to the outside yard and your
4 names were called out.
5 A. Yes, they called our names out every morning. I think they first
6 let us go to wash ourselves. There was a place where there was water.
7 That's where we would go to wash. There was a toilet in the immediate
8 vicinity. We spent an hour there. That's how long it would take all of
9 us to wash ourselves. And then we'd return to the room that we stayed
11 Q. And, Mr. Zulj, some of the detainees at the stadium were
12 sometimes allowed to go home with an escort in order to have a wash or to
13 see their families.
14 A. Well, yes, I think we all went, but in some sort of order. And
15 people would go in groups of five or six.
16 Q. Is it true, Mr. Zulj, that at the Iskra Stadium there were also
17 BH army members who were detained there because they were deserters?
18 A. It was divided. We were in one part and they were in another
19 part. But I think that there was a wall separating us.
20 Q. And, Mr. Zulj, during that period, you told my colleague a while
21 ago about maltreatment that was perpetrated by masked people during the
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. You personally were never singled out for maltreatment; is that
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. And you never witnessed these events at night.
3 A. Well, you could mostly -- you could usually hear this. You could
4 hear the groans, especially when we were in the school and in the
5 furniture showroom. But at the stadium, they probably took them
6 somewhere further away so you couldn't hear it. But when people
7 returned, we could see what had happened.
8 Q. So in conclusion, Mr. Zulj, during the -- during your period of
9 detention either in the school or the furniture showroom or the stadium,
10 you were not aware of the persons in charge of these centres.
11 A. No.
12 Q. Mr. Zulj, you also know that in Bugojno there were no prisons.
13 A. No, there weren't any, apart from a small one perhaps that was
14 located in the police station.
15 Q. So, Mr. Zulj, you would agree with me if I say that since both
16 sides weren't prepared for the conflict, it was necessary to find places
17 where people could be detained?
18 A. Well, if it was necessary to take prisoners, it was also
19 necessary to have a place where these prisoners could be kept.
20 Q. And with regard to the Iskra Stadium in particular, you also
21 don't know who the person in charge of this stadium was.
22 A. Well, there was the guard commander and other people I knew. But
23 I no longer remember the names. I think there was someone called Ceti,
24 something like that.
25 Q. Before you met the investigators in September 2001, you met
1 someone called Marijanovic.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you went over certain things with him in order to try to
4 remember the names of the persons you had met in 1993.
5 A. Yes. That's a colleague of mine who was detained with me. We
6 live in the same town now. So since we both knew that we would be giving
7 statements in Sarajevo, we met up and spoke about these matters a bit and
8 tried to remember certain names and dates. So we prepared ourselves.
9 Q. And since then, you were exchanged on the 19th of March, 1994.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And since that date, you haven't given any statements or you
12 haven't told anyone about the events that you experienced in July and in
13 autumn 1993.
14 A. Do you mean in an official way or ...?
15 Q. Yes, officially, before you met investigators from the OTP.
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Zulj. I have no further questions.
18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, thank you.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Any questions for the other
20 Defence team? Mr. Dixon.
21 MR. DIXON: This once again is a witness who's testifying about
22 incident that is Mr. Kubura hasn't been charged with. Thank you.
23 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions on redirect
24 examination, Mr. President, thank you.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As we are now going to have our
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 break, I would first like to thank the witness for having come to The
2 Hague to testify. You have answered the questions put to you both by the
3 Prosecution and the Defence. We wish you a good trip home.
4 Could the usher escort the witness out of the courtroom now.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's twenty to 11.00. We will
8 resume at five past 11.00.
9 --- Recess taken at 10.39 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll now hear our second
12 witness. Has the second witness arrived? That's my first question. And
13 does the Prosecution have any comments to make beforehand?
14 MR. WITHOPF: Yes, Mr. President, the second witness is available
15 and there will be no application for protective measures.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Without wasting any
17 more time, the usher will now call the second witness into the courtroom.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, Witness. I would
20 first like to check whether you can hear what I'm saying being
21 interpreted into your own language.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As you have been called here as
24 a witness, before you start testifying you have to make a solemn
25 declaration. But first of all, I would like to ask you to tell me your
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Zoran Gvozden.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your date of birth?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 17th of June, 1961.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In which town?
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the answer.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am an electrotechnician.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 or 1993, what was your
11 profession at the time?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was an HVO soldier.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Have you already
14 testified before a national or international court, or is this the first
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is my first time.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You must now make the solemn
18 declaration. The usher will show you a text that you should read out.
19 You read it out in your own language.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
21 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may sit down.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 WITNESS: ZORAN GVOZDEN
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the Prosecution starts
2 its examination-in-chief, I would like to provide you with some
3 information about the procedure that will be followed. You will have to
4 answer questions put to you by representatives of the Prosecution, who
5 are to your right. They'll ask you some questions which you will answer.
6 To the extent that this is possible, try to answer the questions as fully
7 and precisely as possible. Don't just answer the questions by saying yes
8 or no. We need your answers in order to understand the events of which
9 you were an eyewitness.
10 Once the Prosecution has concluded its examination-in-chief,
11 representatives of the Defence, who are to your left, will conduct their
12 cross-examination and they will ask you some questions in order to check
13 that you are a credible witness and also in order to ask you questions
14 that they consider to be relevant for the defence of the accused.
15 In addition, the three Judges, who are sitting before you, may
16 also ask you questions in order to clarify any matters that might seem to
17 be ambiguous.
18 As you have just made a solemn declaration, you must not lie.
19 And if you provide information that might lead us to believe that your
20 testimony is false, you may be punished. The penalties could consist of
21 a fine or a prison sentence of up to seven years. As you have sworn to
22 tell the truth, we exclude the possibility of false testimony.
23 In the course of the questions put to you, the information you
24 might provide might incriminate you. If that is the case, you can say
25 that you don't want to answer the question. But if the Trial Chamber
1 obliges you to answer the question, the information you provide us with
2 cannot be used to prosecute you at a later date. If necessary, if you
3 encounter any difficulties, inform the Judges of the difficulties you
4 have encountered. If the questions seem to be too complicated or if you
5 don't understand a question, ask the person putting the question to you
6 to rephrase the question. Have you understood what I have said?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll now turn to Mr. Withopf.
9 I think he will be conducting the examination-in-chief.
10 Mr. Withopf, you may take the floor.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
12 Examined by Mr. Withopf:
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Gvozden.
14 A. Good morning.
15 Q. Mr. Gvozden, you said that you were born in Bugojno. Can you
16 please also inform the Trial Chamber where you grew up.
17 A. Yes. I grew up in Bugojno too.
18 Q. And where did you live in 1992 and in early 1993?
19 A. In Bugojno.
20 Q. Have you served your military service for the JNA?
21 A. Yes, I have.
22 Q. And can you please tell the Trial Chamber from when to when.
23 A. From the 5th of September, 1986 until the 5th of September, 1987.
24 Q. Whilst living in Bugojno in 1992, Mr. Gvozden, did there come a
25 time when you joined the HVO?
1 A. Yes, at the beginning of 1992.
2 Q. Do you still recall a rough date as to when?
3 A. The official date was the 23rd of May, 1992. That's when I
5 Q. And which military unit of the HVO did you join?
6 A. I was in the 1st Battalion, the Stjepan Radic Battalion.
7 Q. And to which brigade did the Stjepan Radic Battalion belong to?
8 A. It belonged to the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade.
9 Q. And where was the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade based?
10 A. In Bugojno.
11 Q. Mr. Gvozden, do you recall the 18th of July, 1993?
12 A. Yes. That was the day on which I was taken prisoner.
13 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber how you were taken
14 prisoner and who did take you prisoner.
15 A. On that day, I and three other HVO soldiers went to take up our
16 shift in a village. We had to pass through the town. And we were in a
17 car. We got to the in mosque the centre of town. Members of the BH army
18 came out at that point and took us prisoner.
19 Q. You're making reference to a town you passed through when you
20 were taken prisoner by members of the BiH army. Which town are you
21 referring to?
22 A. To Bugojno.
23 Q. Once you were taken prisoner by members of the BiH army, where
24 were you taken to?
25 A. As it was just before the mosque, they put us in a room before --
1 in front of the mosque where believers washed their feet before they
2 enter the mosque.
3 Q. And did there come a time when you were transferred from the area
4 of the mosque to somewhere else?
5 A. Yes. About an hour later they transferred us to the grammar
6 school, to the Gimnazija in the centre of the town.
7 Q. And by what means did they transport you to the Gimnazija in the
8 centre of the town?
9 A. It was in a military jeep.
10 Q. Once you arrived in the Gimnazija in the centre of the town,
11 where were you brought to?
12 A. They took us to a room before the Gimnazija, and that's where we
13 remained until evening.
14 Q. And where were you taken to in the evening?
15 A. In the evening, we were taken to the basement in the Gimnazija.
16 Q. Can you please, Mr. Gvozden, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber
17 describe the basement of the Gimnazija.
18 A. The basement in the Gimnazija dated back to the days of
19 Austro-Hungary, and in the basement it was very low and there were three
20 rooms. We were put in the middle room, which was fairly low. At the
21 front it was about 2 metres high, and at the back, a metre and a half or
22 a metre 40 centimetres, and it was about 3 metres wide and 5 or 6 metres
24 Q. Was there a window in the cell you were just describing?
25 A. As far as I can remember, there weren't any windows in the room
1 that we were in because it was right under the front entrance to the
3 Q. How many of you were detained in the basement of the Gimnazija
5 A. On that evening, there were ten of us. And then in the course of
6 the following days, they would bring in another four or five persons. So
7 in the end, there were up to about 45 of us.
8 Q. Were these 45 people in the one cell you just described?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you please describe the living conditions for the 45 people
11 in this one cell.
12 A. The conditions were terrible. It was the end of July. It was
13 very hot and humid, and the room was small. There were a lot of people
14 in it. They only let us go to the toilet on a number of occasions, but
15 we had to relieve ourselves in the room.
16 Q. Were you able to lie down?
17 A. No. We were only able to sit in a cramped position.
18 Q. For how long were the 45 people detained in this one cell?
19 A. About two weeks.
20 Q. And how did you manage to sleep, if at all?
21 A. Well, sitting in that position.
22 Q. Can you please describe for the benefit of the Trial Chamber the
23 food conditions in the cell.
24 A. When we arrived there, when we were in that room before the
25 facility, we got a tin of fish and some bread. Later they gave us mouldy
1 bread, a little bread for a lot of us, and then something that I couldn't
2 even call soup. It was just warm water with a few beans or something
3 like that, a little rice.
4 Q. Were you guarded whilst you were detained in that cell?
5 A. There were guards there, but not down where we were but at the
6 exit. In the hall on the floor, they were always up there, but there
7 were bars and this was always locked.
8 Q. And who were the guards?
9 A. BH army members.
10 Q. What was the ethnicity, Mr. Gvozden, of the people detained in
11 the basement of the Gimnazija building?
12 A. Croats.
13 Q. Were they all Croats?
14 A. As far as I know, yes.
15 Q. And were they civilians, soldiers, and/or soldiers and civilians?
16 A. As far as I can remember, there were only a few people who were
17 civilians, in my opinion. All the others were soldiers.
18 MR. WITHOPF: With the permission of the Trial Chamber, I would
19 like to use the Sanction technology to show the witness a prior
20 Prosecution exhibit; namely, Prosecution Exhibit P58.
21 Q. Mr. Gvozden, on the screen in front of you, you see a building.
22 Can you please inform the Trial Chamber what this building is about.
23 A. That is the Gimnazija building in Bugojno.
24 Q. Is this the building in whose basement you were detained?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. WITHOPF: For the transcript, the witness Gvozden identifies
2 the building on the photograph Prosecution Exhibit P58 as the Gimnazija
3 school building in which he was detained.
4 Q. For how long were you personally detained in the cell?
5 A. For about two weeks.
6 Q. In the course of these two weeks, did you become aware of any
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber who was beaten.
10 A. 13/1:18 Franjo Jezidzic, Vinko Ivkovic, Mario Subasic and Gordan
11 Rajic were beaten. They were beaten the most.
12 Q. They were beaten the most. Does this mean that others were
13 beaten as well?
14 A. Yes. Not to the same extent, but sometimes someone would be
15 slapped, but that was nothing in comparison to the beatings that the
16 others were given.
17 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber in more detail about the
18 beatings Franjo Jezidzic, Vinko Ivkovic, Mario Subasic, and Gordan Rajic
20 A. Well, they would come and take them up and send them back covered
21 in blood. They were so weak that we had to make some room for them in
22 that very small room so that they could get a little rest after these
24 Q. They were covered in blood once taken back. Can you please
25 describe in some more detail the injuries they had as a result of the
2 A. Gordan Rajic was beaten with I don't know what, and I believe
3 that his left shoulder was fractured from the beating. The beating was
4 so heavy that his whole shoulder was split.
5 Q. And Franjo Jezidzic?
6 A. He was also heavily beaten, but I can't say how heavily. He was
7 bleeding. He was all black and blue. He was physically and
8 psychologically tortured. He was in a very bad shape.
9 Q. You were saying earlier on, Mr. Gvozden, that the four
10 individuals you detailed were taken out. Who actually took them out for
11 the beatings?
12 A. One of the guards would call their names and then they had to go
13 upstairs on their own. One man would always come downstairs, call the
14 people's name, unlock the cell door, and let the men go upstairs, walk
15 upstairs on their own.
16 Q. You are saying that guards took the victims out for the beating.
17 Who actually brought them back into the cell?
18 A. Again, somebody would always accompany those persons to unlock
19 the cell and let the men go in, because we ourselves couldn't leave the
20 cells unless somebody unlocked it for us. And usually this lad who was
21 there who would lock and unlock the door -- he was from Donji Vakuf, I
22 believe. But I believe also that he was mentally handicapped, that he
23 was a bit retarded.
24 Q. And the somebody who brought the victims of the beatings back,
25 was this somebody a guard as well?
1 A. What do you mean whether he was a guard or not?
2 Q. You were saying that guards took the victims out for the
3 beatings. And the question is: Did guards bring the victims back?
4 A. Yes. This lad was always there, either on the staircase or in
5 the corridor. He was the one who brought us water. So there was this
6 lad who was always there.
7 Q. Mr. Gvozden, what's your blood type?
8 A. O-negative.
9 Q. Did the fact that your blood type is O-negative, did this fact
10 at some time you were detained in the Gimnazija school building play a
12 A. Yes, in Gimnazija -- yes.
13 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber for what reason it
14 played a role.
15 A. One day a man appeared on the staircase and he asked for at least
16 two or three volunteers with the 0-negative blood type.
17 Q. And did somebody volunteer?
18 A. No, nobody did.
19 Q. And after nobody had volunteered, what happened then?
20 A. Then they called out my name and the name of another man with the
21 same blood type. They knew what our blood types were because when we
22 were captured, they took away our military booklets from us and our blood
23 types were indicated in our military booklets.
24 Q. Once your name and the name of the other man was called out, what
25 did happen then? What did happen then?
1 A. They took us to the hall of that building, and there I found a
2 commander of the Kuljanski Sejtan BiH army unit. His name was Sabic
3 13/9:25 or so.
4 Q. And what, if anything, did this Sabic do with you and the other
6 A. There was a military policeman there together with Sabic. His
7 name was Cetin. They told us we would be taken to the hospital to give
8 blood was apparently Cetin's brother had been wounded.
9 Q. This military policeman with the name Cetin, which army did he
10 form part of?
11 A. BiH army.
12 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber whether you were
13 taken to the hospital.
14 A. Yes. The two of us were taken to the hospital very soon after
15 that, and then they took us to the basement because the conflict between
16 Croats and Muslims was still going on at the time. In the meantime, a
17 nurse was not there, so we had to wait, and Sabic said that he was going
18 to inspect some of his unit members who had been wounded as well.
19 We stayed alone with Cetin. The nurse appeared very soon after
20 that. Then they asked me if I had ever had jaundice or any other
21 infectious disease. I had -- I said no, I didn't. And the other guy who
22 was with me - his name was Lucic - he said that he had had jaundice a few
23 years back, so they said that they wouldn't take blood from him but only
24 from me. And it seems that they needed a lot of blood, so they took a
25 double dose from me. As far as I know, 300 grams would constitute a
1 single unit.
2 Q. This hospital in which your blood was taken, where was it
4 A. It is located some 100 or 150 metres away from the Gimnazija
6 Q. After your blood was taken, were you brought back to the
7 Gimnazija building?
8 A. Yes, Cetin took us back to the Gimnazija building.
9 Q. And for how long afterwards were you detained in the Gimnazija
11 A. I don't know exactly. Five or six days, I suppose.
12 Q. After these five or six days, were you brought to somewhere else?
13 A. Yes. One day they came to fetch us. They returned us to this
14 room in front of the Gimnazija building where they kept us on the first
15 day, and then they transferred us to the sports hall of the Gimnazija
17 Q. And from the sports hall of the Gimnazija building, did they
18 transfer you to somewhere else?
19 A. In the sports hall, there were people from the 2nd Battalion of
20 the HVO. On that same day, they put us in cooler trucks, all of us who
21 had been in the basement. And they took us to a part of the town where
22 there is a building that they originally wanted to put us in, but there
23 was no room. So they had to take us to the furniture store.
24 Q. Do you know the building they originally wanted you to put in?
25 A. Yes. It is a building that belonged to nuns. Later on it was
1 the Marxist Centre. They brought us behind that building. We were in
2 the cooler truck, but once the cooler truck stopped they opened the door.
3 They probably wanted to put us in that building. But since there was no
4 room, they closed the door and they drove us to the furniture store.
5 Q. Is this building that belonged to nuns, is it also known as the
6 convent building in Bugojno?
7 A. Yes, it was a convent before the Second World War. The building
8 belonged to the nuns, but it was confiscated during the Communist reign
9 and the Communists turned it into a school.
10 Q. Who brought you from the sports hall of the Gimnazija school
11 building via the convent building in Bugojno to the furniture salon?
12 A. Members of the BiH army.
13 Q. What's the distance, to your knowledge, Mr. Gvozden, between the
14 Gimnazija school building and the convent building, the convent building
15 and the Slavonija Furniture Salon, the Slavonija Furniture Salon and the
16 Gimnazija school building?
17 A. From the Gimnazija to the convent, the distance is about 200 to
18 250 metres. Between that building and the furniture store, there may be
19 300 metres approximately. And the distance between the furniture store
20 and the Gimnazija is also a couple hundred metres. Basically we're
21 talking about a triangle formed by these three buildings.
22 Q. Once you arrived at the furniture salon in Bugojno, where were
23 you brought to?
24 A. They took us behind the furniture store and they told us to go to
25 the basement of that building.
1 Q. And you're making reference to "they told us to go to the
2 basement of that building." Who are the people you are referring to as
4 A. Members of the BiH army who brought us there in the first place.
5 Q. Can you please, Mr. Gvozden, for the benefit of the Trial
6 Chamber, describe the basement in the Slavonija Furniture Salon.
7 A. There were about 10 or 15 centimetres of water on the floor, and
8 people found some pieces of furniture in the basement. They broke it
9 apart, put it on the floor so that they could use the boards, the wooden
10 boards to sleep on. It was very dark. There was no light at all. There
11 were no windows because the whole basement is under the ground level.
12 There were only a few oil lamps.
13 Q. To your recollection, what was the size of this basement?
14 A. I don't know, maybe 20 metres long and 10 or 12 metres wide.
15 That is as much as I could tell in that darkness that we were put in.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Again, with the permission of the Trial Chamber, I
17 wish to show the witness two photographs. These are again Prosecution
18 exhibits used earlier on; first Prosecution Exhibit P65.
19 Q. Mr. Gvozden, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you can
20 see on the photograph in front of you.
21 A. This is the furniture salon shown from the other side, depicting
22 the main entrance into the store.
23 Q. Is this the building in whose basement you were detained?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Why, Mr. Gvozden, are you saying that this photograph shows the
1 building from the other side?
2 A. Because this is the main entrance to the furniture store. In the
3 back, there was another side entrance that probably served to bring the
4 goods in and served as the entrance to the warehouse.
5 Q. And which entrance was used when you were brought to the
6 furniture salon?
7 A. The back-side entrance, in the back of the building.
8 MR. WITHOPF: For the transcript, the witness Gvozden identifies
9 the building shown on the photograph Prosecution Exhibit P65 as the
10 Slavonija Furniture Salon he was detained in.
11 Q. Mr. Gvozden, I'm now going to show you, with the permission of
12 the Trial Chamber, another photograph. It will again appear on the
13 screen in front of you. This is Prosecution Exhibit P66. Mr. Gvozden,
14 can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you can see on this
16 A. This is the basement in the furniture store building.
17 Q. Is this the basement in the furniture salon in which you were
19 A. Well, it is. This is exactly what it looked like. It had these
20 columns, like I see them in this photo. So yes, it is.
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gvozden.
22 MR. WITHOPF: Again, for the transcript, the witness identifies
23 the room shown on the photograph Prosecution Exhibit P66 as the cell in
24 the basement of the Slavonija Furniture Salon he was detained.
25 Q. For how long have you been detained, Mr. Gvozden, in this room?
1 A. Approximately two weeks, the same amount of time I spent in
3 Q. And how many people in addition to you were detained in this
5 A. Between 120 and 150, approximately.
6 Q. And for how long, to your knowledge, were these between 120 and
7 150 people detained in this room?
8 A. As far as I know, some were brought immediately after the fall of
9 Bugojno, which means that they had been there for two weeks prior to my
11 Q. And after your arrival?
12 A. We were there for two weeks, and then we were all transferred to
13 the Iskra Stadium.
14 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber how the detainees managed
15 to sleep in this room, if at all.
16 A. I've already told you. There was some furniture there. People
17 put pieces of the furniture on the floor, and there were also glass
18 bottles, some 25 centimetres high that used to contain saline infusion,
19 and we used those bottles to sleep on them as well.
20 Q. Whilst you were detained in the basement of the Slavonija
21 Furniture Salon, Mr. Gvozden, did you become aware of any beatings?
22 A. Yes. It happened at the beginning of August.
23 Q. And what did happen at the beginning of August?
24 A. One evening -- actually, it was around 3.00 or 4.00 in the
25 morning -- we could hear voices above us, Brecic, Kosak were called out,
1 but not both of them at once. It was first Dragan Brecic whose name was
2 called, and he had to go out and go upstairs. We could hear blunt noises
3 of him being hit, and then he started screaming. This lasted for maybe
4 five or ten minutes. Then he was returned down the stairs to the
5 basement and the other name was then called. Franc Kosak was called
6 next, and he fared the same as Dragan. Then another person was called.
7 Five names were called altogether, but I can't remember the other three
8 names. And this third person was returned to the basement very quickly
9 as well.
10 After that, Mladen Havranek was called to go out. Again, we
11 heard his screams and we could hear him saying, "What have I ever done to
12 you? Why are you doing this to me?"
13 Some five or ten minutes later he was returned. He managed to
14 negotiate the stairs on his own with great difficulty. And when he came
15 downstairs, he fell first on his knees and then sideways on the floor. A
16 few of us approached him and carried him to his place, or shall I call it
17 his bed. He was still conscious and all he kept saying was, "What have I
18 ever done to them?"
19 Very soon he stopped talking. We thought that he fainted, but
20 that was not the case. We couldn't feel his pulse or anything. We
21 couldn't feel his heartbeats. We wrapped him in a blanket. We started
22 carrying him towards the gate, and we started shouting so that the guys
23 who were upstairs could hear us. We shouted, "What have you done? You
24 have killed this man."
25 Q. May I just interrupt you here for a second, Mr. Gvozden. You
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 just said that "we couldn't feel his pulse or anything. We couldn't feel
2 his heartbeats." Were you amongst the people who tried to feel --
3 unsuccessfully tried to feel his pulse and his heartbeat?
4 A. Yes, I was. There was another person who I believe was a
5 paramedic by profession, and he was also a basketball coach in Bugojno.
6 He tried to do something, but we couldn't do anything.
7 Q. What happened after you were shouting upstairs, "What have you
8 done? You have killed this man"?
9 A. These people who were upstairs, they scattered. Only one guard
10 remained who heard us. He told us to bring him upstairs and leave him
11 there and then for us to go back downstairs to the basement.
12 Q. And did you do so?
13 A. Yes. We went back down. We left him up there. And later we
14 only heard someone arrive in a car. But we asked in the meantime that
15 guard allow us to go to the toilet at least, as the toilet was upstairs.
16 So we stood in the middle of that flight of stairs. We saw the ambulance
17 taking him away, and perhaps ten minutes later either that same vehicle
18 arrived or perhaps another ambulance. And then they took the other four
19 persons away, the other four persons who had been beaten.
20 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber who had called out for the
21 beatings the victims Dragan Brecic, Franc Kosak, and Mladen Havranek?
22 A. Members of the BH army called them out. The young guard who was
23 up there, I didn't know him personally but I knew him by sight. As far
24 as I know, when Donji Vakuf was liberated, he died. He was killed. His
25 appearance was quite remarkable. He was tall, fair. He had long hair
1 that he wore in a pony-tail. He himself said when this event happened to
2 Mladen, he said, "Why was this necessary?"
3 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Gvozden, when you became aware of the
4 objects used for the beatings?
5 A. Well, when we went to the toilet that morning in that upper area
6 behind the flight of stairs, in fact, behind the wall there were a few
7 bars, metal bars and wooden sticks. And there was blood on the floor.
8 Q. Can you please describe for the benefit of the Trial Chamber the
9 size of the metal bars and the wooden sticks.
10 A. The bars were 70 or 80 centimetres perhaps, and the wooden sticks
11 were perhaps a metre and a half to 2 metres long.
12 Q. And how thick were they?
13 A. 5 times 8 centimetres. That was the size of the wooden ones.
14 And the metal bars -- well, I don't know exactly, but they resembled the
15 metal feet that a military bed has.
16 Q. Do you still have a recollection, Mr. Gvozden, even if it's only
17 a rough one, as to the date Mladen Havranek died?
18 A. I think it was on the 6th or the 7th of August, 1993.
19 Q. Earlier on, Mr. Gvozden, you mentioned that there were about 120
20 to 150 detainees in the basement of the furniture salon. What was their
21 ethnic background?
22 A. Up to 150. They were all Croats. Perhaps there were a few
23 Serbs, but they were either HVO members or -- as far as I know, there
24 weren't any civilians.
25 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Gvozden, when you were transferred to
1 somewhere else?
2 A. After Mladen's death, they transferred all of us to the Iskra
3 Stadium in Bugojno.
4 Q. And who did transfer you to the Iskra Stadium in Bugojno?
5 A. The BH army military police and their soldiers did.
6 Q. How far is the Iskra Stadium away from the Slavonija Furniture
8 A. Well, about 500 metres, as the crow flies.
9 Q. What happened to you, Mr. Gvozden, and the others who were
10 transferred to the Iskra Stadium once you arrived there?
11 A. We were placed in a big room under the stands. There weren't any
12 windows but only bars, metal bars covered with nylon, a nylon sheet. And
13 that's where we were detained, in that big room, although there were
14 smaller rooms. But we weren't detained there.
15 Q. Whilst you were detained in the Iskra Stadium together with the
16 other detainees from the Slavonija Furniture Salon, did there come a time
17 when other people had to join you as detainees?
18 A. Yes. Members of the 1st Battalion arrived later. Up until then,
19 they'd been in the Vojin Paleksic Primary School. People who had been in
20 the Gimnazija were brought in. They took our place there. And as far as
21 I know, there were some other people who were in the town or in the flats
22 and houses. They were subsequently brought there. And I think that some
23 people who had remained in the police basement in the MUP were also
24 brought in. So almost all the detainees were in fact in one place.
25 Q. And what's the number of detainee we are talking about?
1 A. Well, a total of about 300, but not at all times because quite a
2 few people went to carry out work. As far as I know, 60 people went to
3 Gornji Vakuf. They actually spent two months up there. So the number
4 was never complete in that room.
5 Q. And the about 300 detainees, were they all soldiers or were there
6 also civilians amongst them?
7 A. As far as I know, perhaps there were a few civilians. All the
8 others were HVO members.
9 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber whether the Iskra Stadium
10 was secured, and if so, by what means.
11 A. At the beginning, we were only locked up. There was a door at
12 the entrance to the stands. Each cell had its own door. And at the
13 beginning, when we went out in the morning for our names to be called
14 out, after our names had been called out, we could walk around a bit
15 outside. And since there was a small river in the vicinity, we could
16 wash ourselves there because there wasn't any water inside. But later
17 they made a metal fence closer to the stands and we were no longer able
18 to go out.
19 Q. Do you have a recollection, Mr. Gvozden, as to when this metal
20 fence was made?
21 A. In September/October of that year.
22 Q. The year is 1993?
23 A. 1993, yes.
24 Q. Was it possible, Mr. Gvozden, to your knowledge, to enter the
25 premises of the FC Iskra Stadium without permission of the people who
1 guarded the FC Iskra Stadium?
2 A. No. They didn't even allow our people to come from the other
3 side of the river, not even close to the fence. There was a house where
4 they had some guards, and this was a sort of reception area. If someone
5 appeared and wanted to bring us something to eat, they had to go to see
6 them first and then they would perhaps grant permission.
7 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, with your permission,
8 I wish again to show the witness a photograph which has been used earlier
9 on in this proceedings. It's Prosecution Exhibit P62.
10 Q. Mr. Gvozden, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you can
11 see on the photograph in front of you.
12 A. I can see the Iskra Stadium in Bugojno.
13 Q. Is this the Iskra Stadium you were detained in?
14 A. Yes. Yes, yes.
15 MR. WITHOPF: Again, for the transcript, the witness has
16 identified the building on the photograph Prosecution Exhibit P62 as the
17 FC Iskra Stadium he was detained in.
18 Q. Mr. Gvozden, were there people who guarded the Iskra Stadium?
19 A. Yes, they were members of the BH army. There were at least three
20 of them on each shift and sometimes more.
21 Q. And can you please for the benefit of the Trial Chamber describe
22 the daily routine in the Iskra Stadium.
23 A. Well, at 7.00 every morning we had to go outside, and then one of
24 the guards or the camp warden, as they called him, read out the names of
25 the detainees from a list. Everyone had to respond. We then had to
1 spend about 10 or 15 minutes outside. And we'd prepare -- or set some
2 water aside the day before to be able to brush our teeth and so on. And
3 then we could walk around for 10 or 15 minutes perhaps, and then we were
4 taken back inside. And it was only at lunchtime at 2.00, half past 2.00
5 or 3.00 they would let us go outside again to have something to eat. And
6 then we were returned to our cells again.
7 Q. You were just mentioning that the Iskra Stadium was guarded by
8 ABiH soldiers. Are you actually able or were you actually able to
9 identify to which unit these ABiH soldiers which were the guards at the
10 FC Iskra Stadium belonged to?
11 A. As far as I know, most of them were members of the military
12 police. They had the military police and brigade police, but in general
13 they had the same insignia. They called them the brigade police. But
14 this wasn't the case for all of them. Some just had uniforms or they had
15 patches that belonged to the BH army.
16 Q. The brigade police you are referring to, which brigade is it?
17 A. The 307th Motorised Brigade that was part of the BH army. That's
18 what they called it.
19 Q. You were mentioning earlier on, Mr. Gvozden, that people were
20 taken out for quite substantial periods of time, I recall you said two
21 months, to Gornji Vakuf. To your knowledge, what had these people to do
22 in Gornji Vakuf?
23 A. The people in Gornji Vakuf, as far as I know and according to
24 what they told me later, were digging a tunnel beneath the demarcation
25 line in Gornji Vakuf and they would also dig trenches and communicating
1 trenches in Gornji Vakuf.
2 Q. To your knowledge, did all people who were digging trenches in
3 the area of Gornji Vakuf, did they all come back to the Iskra Stadium?
4 A. No. Two persons were killed and 10 or 12 of them were wounded.
5 Jezidzic Dragan was killed and Zelko Tabakovic.
6 Q. And how did you get to know that these two people were killed?
7 A. We found out about this only when all the others returned from up
9 Q. And what did you find out from the others about the circumstances
10 they were killed?
11 A. They said they had been hit by a sniper. That's all I know about
13 Q. Were you yourself, Mr. Gvozden, also taken out to do work?
14 A. Yes. But I always went in the direction of Donji Vakuf and to
15 the area where there was a demarcation line between the Serbs and the BH
17 Q. And what was -- what were you made to do at the demarcation line
18 between the Serbs and the BH army?
19 A. Whenever we went up there, we either dug trenches or made dugouts
20 for them. Or we dug out potatoes.
21 Q. The trenches you were made to dig out, were they close to the
22 demarcation line?
23 A. The trenches weren't that close to the demarcation line, but they
24 were in a very visible spot because there are fields where we worked and
25 an open area facing the Serbs.
1 Q. And did there come a time whilst you were digging out trenches at
2 the demarcation line against the Serbs that the Serbs actually shot at
4 A. Yes. On one occasion, when we were filling in a small dugout,
5 they opened fire. A sniper started shooting at us. I assume it was a
6 sniper because there were -- their trenches were quite far away. They
7 opened fire again, but the BH army soldier said that in spite of what was
8 happening we had to continue working. He sent us back there, and he took
9 shelter behind a big tree. He stood by the tree and he said, "If you
10 don't want me to kill you, let him kill you." And then the Serbian
11 sniper probably noticed. As they say in our country, he got it. He
12 realised that we were detainees. He shot at the guard a couple of times
13 and that was it. He then took us back. We didn't remain there.
14 Q. For how long were you and the others being taken out to dig
16 A. Well, I'd spent 10 or 12 days at the most doing that. Sometimes
17 three days or six days, ten days.
18 Q. Were you then brought back to the Iskra Stadium?
19 A. Well, whenever there was a new shift, then they would return us
20 to the stadium.
21 Q. And who returned you to the stadium?
22 A. The BH army soldiers returned us there. It depended on the unit
23 that was present at the demarcation line.
24 Q. Coming back to the Iskra Stadium. Did there come a time that to
25 your knowledge the Red Cross visited the Iskra Stadium?
1 A. Yes. The Red Cross appeared in September 1993, and I think that
2 they returned a few months later. On that occasion, they just gave us
3 some forms that we had to fill in ourselves. They said that we had been
4 registered by the Red Cross and that we were safe.
5 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Gvozden, when you became aware of any
6 plans to be transferred to somewhere else from the Iskra Stadium?
7 A. Yes. On one occasion, they brought three big lorries. One man
8 appeared who took a list of 150 persons. He read from the list. And
9 when the first lorry was full, they covered it with its tarpaulin. They
10 started filling the second lorry. It was half full. I was there and
11 there were two or three men behind me. Their commander then appeared -
12 the military police commander, Dautovic - and he said that everything was
13 being postponed until the following day. And we were supposedly supposed
14 to be taken to the KP Dom, the penal and correctional facility in Zenica.
15 Q. And do you have a recollection, Mr. Gvozden, as to when this
16 happened, in which month?
17 A. In 1993, October or November, but I'm not quite sure.
18 Q. For how long were you detained in the Iskra Stadium, you
20 A. From the 18th of July until the 18th of April, 1994. Until the
21 very end.
22 Q. I'm asking about the Iskra Stadium only.
23 A. From the beginning, the first half of August 1993, until April
24 1993 -- or, in fact, 1994.
25 Q. And what happened in April 1994?
1 A. There was an exchange on the 18th of April.
2 Q. And how was the exchange organised?
3 A. Well, the day before, they told us that there would be an
4 exchange the following day. And nine Red Cross lorries appeared on the
5 following day and members of the international forces were present. And
6 representatives of the International Red Cross and of the BH army read
7 through a list. People entered the lorries, got into the lorries. When
8 the people got into the lorries, they covered them with tarpaulins and
9 then we set off in the direction of Gornji Vakuf towards the territory
10 where HVO members were located.
11 Q. And where did the actual exchange take place?
12 A. In front of the stadium.
13 Q. In front of what stadium?
14 A. The Iskra Stadium in Bugojno.
15 Q. And how many detainees from the Iskra Stadium in Bugojno were
16 exchanged, if you recall?
17 A. 292.
18 Q. In preparation of the exchange, were you made to do something?
19 A. Yes. On that first day, we were told that we had to shave so
20 that we'd be clean-shaven on the following day. Only one man who hadn't
21 shaved since 1974, they didn't force him to shave. But everyone else had
22 to shave.
23 Q. Whilst you were detained in the Iskra Stadium, did you keep any
25 A. Yes. I had a little notebook, and I took notes about the people
1 who were with us, about where we were, about how long we had been there.
2 But a few days before the exchange, a BH army soldier appeared. I didn't
3 know him. And he asked me to give him the notebook. He said it would be
4 best if I did so. I gave it to him. I didn't see him again. He just
5 took the notebook and left. I don't know how he found out about it.
6 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Gvozden.
7 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, for the time being I
8 have no further questions.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's half past 12.00. We'll
10 have our usual break and we will resume at five to 1.00 for the
12 --- Recess taken at 12.29 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 12.55 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
15 [No English interpretation]
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, we are not getting any translation.
17 Obviously there's nobody in the booth, actually.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You may resume.
19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Bourgon:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Gvozden, my name is Stephane Bourgon. I'm
22 accompanied by Mrs. Residovic and Ms. Muriel Cauvin. We represent
23 General Hadzihasanovic. You have answered the questions put to you by my
24 colleagues. I have a few questions for you, both of a general and of a
25 specific nature, questions that concern the events of which you were a
1 witness in 1993.
2 First of all, Mr. Gvozden, in the year 2001 - in April, to be
3 more precise - did you meet investigators from the OTP and did you give
4 them a statement on that occasion which you signed?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. On that occasion, Mr. Gvozden, you discussed in detail the events
7 that happened in 1993.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If the information I have is correct, in 1993 you were 26, you
10 were born in Bugojno, and you went to the school in Subotica, which is
11 where you lived in 1993. Is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Your military service in the JNA was between 1986 and 1987, and
14 you were in the navy at the time.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you left, about a year later you held the rank of a soldier;
17 is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When you joined the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade, it was on the 23rd
20 of May, 1992, in order to serve in the 1st Battalion, which was created
21 on that very day; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This brigade, as you know -- or rather, could you confirm that
24 this brigade was created in response to the aggression of the Serbian
25 forces against the town of Bugojno?
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Could you also confirm that this brigade consisted of three
3 battalions, a number of independent units, and also some groups and
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And your battalion - you were a member of the 1st Battalion - was
7 called the Stjepan Radic Battalion.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And your battalion was deployed in the area of Kupres. It was
10 deployed on the front lines facing the Serbs. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gvozden. I'll now move on to the context of the
13 conflict in 1993. In 1992, Mr. Gvozden, the relations between the
14 Muslims and the Croats, if I'm not mistaken, were good. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Would it be correct to say that the two communities cooperated in
17 order to defend the town of Bugojno against the Serbian aggression?
18 A. Yes, but not at the very beginning, because the HVO held the
19 entire line in Bugojno. It was only later that the BH army took over the
20 defence in the direction of Donji Vakuf.
21 Q. In fact, Mr. Gvozden, when the Muslim forces weren't yet
22 established, the HVO occupied the entire line, both in Gornji Vakuf and
23 in Kupres; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. It was only later, after the BH army had been established, that
1 the HVO continued to occupy the line in Kupres; whereas the line in Donji
2 Vakuf was transferred --
3 A. Donji Vakuf.
4 Q. Yes, Donji Vakuf. I apologise. That line was handed over to the
5 BH army.
6 A. Yes, the BH army.
7 Q. Thank you, Witness. And in 1992, you know that the town of Jajce
8 fell into Serbian hands and the Muslim population was expelled towards
9 Bugojno; is that correct?
10 A. Not towards Bugojno. Towards Travnik. But the people from
11 Jajce, from Travnik came to Bugojno.
12 Q. And, Mr. Gvozden, are you aware of the fact that following this
13 event refugees arrived in droves from Donji Vakuf and Prozor and from
14 other regions? They came to Bugojno. They arrived in Bugojno, and this
15 had a significant effect on the demographic composition of the town of
16 Bugojno. Is that correct?
17 A. Yes, it is.
18 Q. There were also many Croats among these refugees, but they passed
19 through Bugojno in order to establish themselves further away near the
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. This increase in the number of population in Bugojno created
23 tension between the various communities and also created problems
24 concerning supplies and accommodation. Do you agree with me about this?
25 A. Yes, in principle. But the conflicts were not only due to the
1 influx of Muslims. It was also due to the fact that there had been
2 previous conflicts in Vares, Kiseljak, Novi Travnik, Stari Travnik, in
3 Uskoplje. So in all the neighbours towns, there had already been
4 conflicts between the two peoples.
5 Q. Mr. Gvozden, I myself was going to say the same thing, based on
6 the information that I have. The news from Vares, Travnik, Gornji Vakuf,
7 with regard to the conflicts Muslims and Croats reached Bugojno and
8 contributed to the tensions increasing between Muslims and Croats in
9 Bugojno. Is that the case?
10 A. Yes, of course.
11 Q. Since you were a member of the HVO during 1993, you certainly
12 know about the incidents that led to the outbreak of conflicts between
13 Muslims and Croats in Bugojno itself in 1993.
14 A. Yes, I know some things. I know that some things did happen. I
15 know that there were sporadic shootings between members of the HVO and
16 the BiH army, but this was all based on individual discords, discords
17 between individuals.
18 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gvozden. Do you know that the HVO in May 1993
19 captured members of the army of BiH and that Emir Jusuf and Sakib Mujkic
20 were killed?
21 A. No, I don't know that.
22 Q. Do you know in that same period in May the BiH army captured 20
23 members of the HVO and that from that moment on a conflict started
24 between the two sides?
25 A. Believe me, I didn't know that. I know that there were sporadic
1 arrests and exchanges, but people would be arrested in the morning and
2 released in the afternoon. So these were all rumours circulating around
3 the town and nobody paid too much attention to that.
4 Q. However, you know, Mr. Gvozden, that all the sides cooperated in
5 order to prevent the conflict spreading to Bugojno.
6 A. As far as I know, that is the fact.
7 Q. You also know that there was an incident on the 17th of July in
8 Vrbanja village when Talenta was killed. Are you aware of that?
9 A. Yes, Talenta and Vucak were killed. I know that.
10 Q. And since these two individuals were killed, do you know that
11 there was a mixed Croat-Muslim commission that was supposed to
12 investigate the circumstances of their death?
13 A. [No interpretation]
14 Q. I'm waiting for the interpretation, to see whether the
15 interpretation is completed.
16 I apologise. Mr. Gvozden, your answer has not been recorded.
17 A. Yes, I know. I know.
18 Q. Mr. Gvozden, when this commission went to Vrbanja, you know that
19 three Muslim policemen were killed on that occasion and that their bodies
20 were thrown into the river.
21 A. I heard that.
22 Q. And after that event or those events, rather, or because of these
23 events, on the following day the HVO attacked Vrbanja and the village was
24 destroyed. 54 soldiers were killed and 45 civilians were made prisoners
25 in the Kalin Hotel. Is that correct?
1 A. What date did you mention?
2 Q. 17 July.
3 A. 17 July?
4 Q. On the eve of the conflicts.
5 A. This happened before the conflicts broke out.
6 [Defence counsel confer]
7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Because of these incidents in Vrbanja, there was a conflict --
9 actually, the conflict spread to the town of Bugojno; is that correct?
10 A. I suppose so.
11 Q. And the conflict between the BiH army and the HVO started on the
12 18th or maybe 19th of July in the morning.
13 A. It was either between the 17th and the 18th or the 18th and 19th.
14 I was already detained. I was already in Gimnazija, so I wouldn't be
15 able to tell you anything about the details of what was going on outside
16 at the time.
17 Q. I totally agree with you, Mr. Gvozden; however, you do know that
18 this conflict lasted up to the 26th of July, the day when the HVO staff,
19 which was located in Tito's villa, decided to surrender.
20 A. As far as I know, they just withdrew. They didn't surrender.
21 None of them surrendered, as far as I know. They just withdrew. They
22 just abandoned that place.
23 Q. At the moment when they abandoned that place, they set it on
25 A. I don't know. I only know that it had been set on fire. I don't
1 know who did that, because I don't know. Maybe it would make sense if
2 you are abandoning a place to set documents on fire or something like
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Gvozden. Of course, don't hesitate to say that
5 you don't know if you don't know an answer to one of my questions.
6 On the 18th of July, you personally, together with three other
7 members of the HVO, were on the road to Crnice and members of the BiH
8 army stopped you; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Among those soldiers, there were persons in uniform and others in
11 civilian clothes.
12 A. Yes, that's correct.
13 Q. You surrendered your weapons and then they took you to a mosque;
14 is that correct?
15 A. They took us to a mosque, in a room in front of the mosque, not
16 to the mosque itself, as I've already explained.
17 Q. After this incident, four other Croats were taken prisoner and
18 brought to the same place.
19 A. There were four of us and then six other persons were brought in
20 one by one. There were ten of us. We were then taken to this area in
21 the Gimnazija and then two soldiers joined us. And before we were
22 finally put in the basement of the Gimnazija, the two last persons who
23 joined us were exchanged on that same day.
24 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Gvozden. During the period from the
25 moment when you were arrested and the moment you were transferred to the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Gimnazija, you were treated well.
2 A. Yes, we were treated well. And I didn't have any complaints.
3 Q. And when you arrived, they put us in the courtyard or in the
4 sports hall in the Gimnazija.
5 A. It was an area that was surrounded by the sports hall and the
6 Gimnazija. That's where we spent the entire afternoon up to the evening.
7 Q. And when you arrived, you received both food and water.
8 A. We received a tuna tin from the humanitarian aid, and we also got
9 some bread.
10 Q. Mr. Gvozden, at the moment when you arrived in the Gimnazija, in
11 the evening you were transferred to the basement, you could hear what was
12 going on outside; is that correct?
13 A. We didn't hear anything. Just a few sporadic shots. Nothing
14 else. We couldn't hear anything else because it was one day before the
15 conflict actually started.
16 Q. And in the course of the following days, you realised that the
17 conflict was getting more intense.
18 A. Yes. There was shelling and there was more intense fire. There
19 were shots on the Gimnazija as well. You could hear shots in the town.
20 The Gimnazija is in the centre of the town, and yes, we could hear rifle
22 Q. Did you know that the HVO was in the Kalin Hotel? You knew that?
23 And also in the cinema hall, and that the shots came from there?
24 A. You know what? What tell you shots came from. I couldn't see.
25 I was only inside. I wasn't outside. I can't tell you where shots came
1 from. Most probably this is where the shots came from. Those were the
2 two points held by the HVO close to the Gimnazija.
3 Q. You were also in the position to realise that the BiH army
4 deployed a number of troops there because of the conflict.
5 A. Yes. There was a lot of troops in the Gimnazija. I don't know
6 how many, but there was a relatively large number of them there.
7 Q. And you could also hear screams and shouts of people who were
8 tense, and from -- based on all that, you could conclude that war had
10 A. The guards told us that the conflict had started, yes. And then
11 they would occasionally come. At that moment, we could not know what was
12 the truth and what wasn't. They told us this place had fallen, the other
13 place had fallen, we had captured this or that. They were just giving us
14 information, and we could take the information at its face value. That's
15 all we could do. We didn't have any other information.
16 Q. And as the conflict went on, as the time passed, you realised
17 that there were more people who joined us in the cells.
18 A. Yes, of course.
19 Q. Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems to me that you have said
20 to the investigator of the OTP that there were four cells but that at the
21 beginning only one was full.
22 A. There were not four cells but three. The three cells in a row.
23 As you go downstairs, there is one cell straight in front of you and two
24 on each side.
25 Q. And in the basement in that cell where you were, it was hot but
1 still you were given water.
2 A. Yes, but not as much as we needed. It was really terribly hot.
3 It was very hot.
4 Q. In response to a question by my learned friend, you testified
5 that there were toilets that you could use.
6 A. Only when we were allowed to use them, because these toilets were
7 upstairs in the corridor. Downstairs there was no water or anything
8 else, so we couldn't use the toilets as much as we wanted to. Only when
9 we were allowed to do that.
10 Q. And you, Mr. Gvozden, during the period while you were detained
11 in the Gimnazija, you were not ill-treated.
12 A. No, I wasn't.
13 Q. You have also testified that several people's names were called
14 out to go out.
15 A. Yes. Yes, several people's names were called out. Their names
16 were called out one by one, and then they would be taken out.
17 Q. And also, that people who were in the basement were hit and
19 A. Yes, of course.
20 Q. You also mentioned to the investigators of the OTP that during
21 your detention, that the detainees could not communicate because the
22 guards were close.
23 A. Yes. We did talk, but we did not volunteer any comments about
24 the conflict or any such thing, because everybody was concerned about
25 what would happen to them.
1 Q. And the people whose names were called out, they were not
2 randomly chosen. There was a system.
3 A. I don't know what the system was, why certain people's names were
4 called. But every time a name was called, the name would be called from
5 the upstairs. The lad who was in charge of opening the cell would open
6 the cell and that person had to go out. How they selected people, I
7 don't know. Were there any old grudges involved in that or something
8 else? I really don't know.
9 Q. And the person who opened the cell door and who took the
10 detainees out and brought them back, that was always the same person?
11 A. As far as I know. This lad was from Donji Vakuf, and he was just
12 an errand boy, just a stooge. And as far as we could all seeing he was a
13 bit retarded. He did not do us any harm. He was quite benevolent.
14 Q. At one moment, Mr. Gvozden, a person came and asked whether there
15 are any detainees with a -- O-negative blood.
16 A. He didn't come downstairs. He was standing on the top of the
17 stairs and he asked for volunteers who had that blood group, yes.
18 Q. And then you were told that blood was needed for a wounded person
19 who was in the hospital.
20 A. They had taken our military booklets when we were first arrested.
21 Not at the moment of the arrest. That's when they only took our weapons.
22 When we arrived in the Gimnazija, they took all of our belongings. I had
23 a wallet. I had a Swiss pocket knife. They took that away from me.
24 They didn't touch my money or anything; they just took my military
25 booklet away. And in that military booklet, I myself put my blood type,
1 and that's how they knew that I had the same type. At least, that was my
2 case. I don't know what was the case with that other lad who had the
3 same blood type. It was only when we went upstairs that the military
4 policeman told us that his brother had been wounded and that he needed
5 the blood for his brother. And that's when they took us to the hospital.
6 Q. Since nobody volunteered, they called your name and the name of
7 Niko Lucic; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 Q. So you were informed that the blood was needed for the brother of
10 the guy called Cetin; is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You probably know, Mr. Gvozden, that your blood type is very
14 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
15 Q. Those who have O-negative blood group are universal donors.
16 A. Yes, they are universal donors but they can only receive their
17 own blood type.
18 Q. You were then taken to the hospital, where a normal medical
19 procedure was applied to give blood.
20 A. No, it was not a normal procedure. I'm not saying that I would
21 not have given blood, but they took two dosages, two amountfuls of blood.
22 It would have been humanitarian on my part to give just one dose, but to
23 take two doses from me, under those conditions, in the light of the food
24 that I had received up to then, I don't think that was very humanitarian.
25 Q. However, you are happy that you've been able to save this
1 person's life.
2 A. Yes. I know the man personally.
3 Q. And as for this other person, Lucic, he had had jaundice and he
4 didn't give blood.
5 A. Yes. He said that he had had jaundice a few years back and he
6 said, "If you don't believe me, go into my file in the hospital and you
7 will see for yourself." So they didn't take blood from him because they
8 found the record of his previous illness.
9 Q. According to the information that I have, he was even given
10 medicines at the time to treat him.
11 A. I don't know. I wouldn't be able to tell you that.
12 Q. Do you know or did you know that the blood that you gave was
13 intended for Cetin's brother?
14 A. Yes, that's what I was told.
15 Q. So this was a special case.
16 A. As a matter of fact, yes, this was a special case.
17 Q. This gentleman, Cetin, told you that Mr. Sabic whom you also
18 saw -- that he was a very dangerous person.
19 A. When we were being taken there, he said that he expected us to
20 try and escape on the way to the hospital and that for that reason we
21 shouldn't be tied or anything. This Sabic was well known as an arrogant
22 person. He used to be a policeman before the war. And as far as I know,
23 we all had very bad experiences with him.
24 Q. However, you also mentioned that Mr. Sabic was the commander of
25 the Kuljanski Sejtan unit. Is that true?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. According to my information, this used to be Mr. Baclija Sipo
4 A. I don't know. I only know that this Sabic was the commander, or
5 maybe he was the deputy commander. In any case, he was always there in
6 the old school where the base of this unit was.
7 Q. According to my information, Mr. Cetin was not a member of the
8 military police but became a member of the military police in 1995.
9 A. I don't know. I believe that he was a military policeman even
10 before that. On that very day, he was in uniform. It was ten years ago,
11 so I really can't remember any -- all the detail. I can't remember
12 whether he had insignia or not. But it did happen that a lot of people
13 did not have any insignia at all, no patches whatsoever.
14 Q. I absolutely appreciate that, Mr. Gvozden.
15 In July you were put in a refrigerator lorry and transferred from
16 the Gimnazija.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And first you were transported to the convent.
19 A. Up to the back-side of the convent, opened the door. The guards
20 came out of the convent and said that the convent was full and that we
21 should be taken somewhere else.
22 Q. So the lorry started searching for another place and then you
23 arrived in the furniture store.
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. On your arrival at the furniture store, you were put in the
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. There were already 100 people or so there when you arrived.
4 A. There were between 80 and 100. It was very dark. There was very
5 little light, so one couldn't really tell with any precision how many
6 people there were. But I believe that there were between 80 and 100.
7 Q. Mr. Gvozden, a little while ago my learned friend showed you the
8 photograph of the basement in the furniture store. You recognised the
9 columns in the basement.
10 A. I said that this room, this basement -- I knew this basement from
11 before the war. This used to serve as a showroom for kitchen units, and
12 I knew this area and I remember those columns and I remember that they
13 were there before the war. And when they brought us there on that day,
14 it was daylight and we knew where we were. Bear in mind that we all grew
15 up in the area. We were familiar with a lot of places there.
16 Q. And the photo that you were shown, I believe that you will agree
17 with me the photograph depicted just one part of the basement where you
18 were detained.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The basement was much larger, wasn't it?
21 A. I told you that it was 12 metres by 20 metres. That is
22 approximate side of it.
23 Q. And there were some wooden pallets there. There were some
24 furniture. And there were those bottles that you described, that you
25 used to sleep on them in order to avoid water that was on the floor.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The people who were in charge of the furniture salon --
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would kindly ask
4 to go into private session, because I have to mention the name of the
5 person who was a protected witness.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
7 Mr. Registrar, private session, please.
8 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. Gvozden, as far as the --
2 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry. We are back in open session.
3 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I apologise. I'll repeat the
5 Q. In the light of the difficulties with the supplies in Bugojno
6 and the fact that the detainees could not be fed regularly, the civilians
7 were allowed to come to the furniture salon and bring food to you.
8 A. Yes, from time to time. It very much depended on the guard and
9 on their mood. It was all very, very individual.
10 Q. Your mother was allowed to bring food.
11 A. Yes, the little that she had.
12 Q. And during your stay in the furniture store, you personally were
13 not ill-treated.
14 A. No, I wasn't.
15 Q. You were also telling us about a night during which about five
16 names were called and these people were ill-treated on the first floor.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Those who were ill-treated during that night told you that they
19 put plastic bags on their heads so they wouldn't be able to see those who
20 beat them; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I'd like to go back to the event concerning Mr. Havranek very
23 briefly. When he returned to the basement and you took care of him, you
24 realised that he was in a very bad state.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And in response to a question from my colleague, you said that
2 you covered Mr. Havranek and you went up crying out that they had killed
3 a man.
4 A. Yes, that's true. We put a blanket over him and took him to that
5 flight of stairs. The four of us carried him there, and we just wanted
6 to get him up there. We wanted to try to help him, but we weren't able
7 to do so.
8 Q. And when you went up, there weren't any guards there.
9 A. No. We got halfway there, because in the meantime this first
10 person, Mr. Barnjak, was being treated by them. And when we got halfway
11 there, we just saw this guard. I mentioned him before, the young man
12 whom I know by sight. He's from Prusica. It's a village near Donji
13 Vakuf. He was fair and had a pony-tail and he said, "Wait." And perhaps
14 it took a second or two, a minute at the most. We just heard some
15 footsteps. A few people went out. And then he let us take him up and he
16 said, "Put him down on the ground and go back."
17 Q. And when you saw Mr. Barnjak up on the floor, he said that the
18 people who were beating him, that they had just gone out.
19 A. He was sitting by the wall of the -- by the stairs, and he still
20 had a bag over his head.
21 Q. And following this event, you noted when you went to the toilet
22 that an ambulance had had arrived to take Mr. Havranek away.
23 A. Yes. We remained there, and we told this guard to let us go to
24 the toilet because if there are 120 or 150 people, you'd expect someone
25 to be up there at all times. And through the open door, we could see the
1 ambulance. They put the late Havranek in the ambulance. And then about
2 15 or 20 minutes later they left because the hospital was only about 100
3 metres away. They came back then and they said that the four persons who
4 had been beaten should go with them. They were taken to the hospital and
5 they must have been provided with medical treatment.
6 Q. Mr. Gvozden, after this event relating to Havranek, the
7 conditions in the furniture showroom improved.
8 A. Well, they improved in that there were no more beatings. They
9 were more liberal. They behaved more liberally towards us when they
10 brought in food and so on.
11 Q. And while you were detained in the furniture showroom, you were
12 taken to the sports and culture centre for an interview with a judge from
13 the municipal court.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And on that occasion, you weren't maltreated in any way.
16 A. No.
17 Q. And you didn't mention to this judge at the municipal court the
18 event. You didn't tell him what had happened with Havranek in the
20 A. No. In fact, I'm not sure whether I went there before Havranek
21 died or afterwards. I don't know when I went to see the judge, before or
22 after. But I said that on that morning, when all that happened, a young
23 man called Bakir - he was 16 or 17 years old and he was a guard there -
24 he approached me. I didn't know him. And he said he would take me to
25 the parish office to see the priest so I could ask him if he could help
1 us in any way, give us toilet paper or oil or food. And I said, "Well,
2 how am I to go there, given what has happened?" He said, "Don't worry.
3 Just go with me."
4 He took me there. I saw the priest. I told him what had
5 happened. I told him about Havranek and about the fact that these four
6 men had been taken away and I asked him to try and find out what had
7 happened to them, to find out whether they were in the hospital or
8 whether something else has happened to them. He said that he would try
9 to contact the international forces and others. And finally, they found
10 out that they were in the hospital.
11 Q. And then at that moment you took all the things that the priest
12 gave you to the furniture showroom.
13 A. Well, he gave me a litre of oil and some toilet paper.
14 Q. Mr. Gvozden, you never knew who was in charge of the furniture
16 A. No.
17 Q. And since you were worried about your fate as a detainee, you
18 didn't pay any attention to the insignia that the guards wore. And
19 according to what you have told the representatives of the OTP, none of
20 them had any particular signs on them.
21 A. Well, there were very few military policemen in the BH army who
22 had full uniforms and white belts and military police insignia, a white
23 patch on their arms. Usually they had a coat after arms with lilies.
24 Most of them did.
25 Q. And during this period in Bugojno, Mr. Gvozden, there were a few
1 people who wore uniforms or parts of uniforms. There were the HVO
2 members, the army members, there were civilians, and there was the
3 civilian police too.
4 A. Yes, by all means.
5 Q. On the 6th of August, you were transferred to the Iskra Stadium,
6 which had just been transferred into a prison.
7 A. Yes. It was the first half of August.
8 Q. And you have told us about your arrival there. You have
9 described the routine, the roll-call in the morning, the fact that you
10 were able to wash, and the meals you had in the afternoon. You have
11 spoken about all of this.
12 A. [No audible response]
13 Q. Mr. Gvozden, you were personally asked to carry out work on a
14 number of occasions.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. I apologise, Mr. Gvozden, I am told that your answer to my last
17 question hasn't been entered into the transcript. So my question was:
18 Following the description of your routine in the Iskra Stadium - that is
19 to say, the roll-call in the morning, the fact that you were able to
20 wash, and the fact that there were meals in the afternoon - you can
21 confirm all of this.
22 A. Yes. Yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll interrupt you at this
24 moment. You said meals in the afternoon. Where did you get this from?
25 We were under the impression that meals were distributed in the course of
1 the afternoon. Perhaps the witness could add something or explain this.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes, about 2.00 or 3.00,
3 that's when it usually happened. There wasn't a set time.
4 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have
5 almost finished with my cross-examination.
6 Q. You told representatives of the OTP that when you were carrying
7 out work there were no risks, since both sides were very well aware of
8 what was happening and that people had been asked to carry out this work.
9 A. Well, it was dangerous, but it all depended on which BH army
10 members were with us. Some just wanted to maltreat us psychologically
11 because when I worked up there, perhaps I hadn't had a shave for 60 or 70
12 days. And on that occasion, there were five of us. We all had
13 20-centimetre-long beards. And the guard who was with us said, "Whoever
14 turns up unshaven in the morning shouldn't turn up. He'll be killed."
15 But he wasn't there in the morning; someone else was there.
16 Q. But in general, the guards always treated you well.
17 A. On the whole, yes.
18 Q. When you mentioned the events in Gornji Vakuf a while ago and
19 people who were transported there to dig trenches, et cetera, it was a
20 situation that was dangerous and fire was opened.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. This isn't something that you personally experienced.
23 A. They fared far worse than I did.
24 Q. This event was something very different from your experience when
25 you were summoned to carry out work.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. When you were at the Iskra Stadium, you were not maltreated.
3 A. No.
4 Q. And you have said that the maltreatment depended on the guards
5 who were there.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And you remember a guard called Salkic, a football player.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And the Salkic guard said -- told anyone who wanted to approach
10 the detainees that he would die before they could approach the detainees.
11 Do you remember Salkic saying this?
12 A. Yes. That happened one evening while we were at the stadium. He
13 was on guard. He was one of the guards. And you could hear a lot of
14 noise outside, a few people appeared. You could hear some voices. I
15 don't know how many people there were. They asked for someone. And
16 Salkic said for as long as he was there, for as long as he was alive,
17 they wouldn't be allowed to enter. And then these quarreled and these
18 people left.
19 Q. Would it be correct to say, Mr. Gvozden, that the guards at the
20 stadium all wore uniforms?
21 A. Yes. There were civilian police jackets, camouflage jackets, or
22 just trousers. But on the whole, they were all soldiers.
23 Q. And you said that there were guards who had no insignia on them.
24 A. They didn't have insignia, but they did have uniforms.
25 Q. Some guards had military police insignia on them.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. But you didn't see anyone who had the insignia of the 307th
4 A. I wouldn't know what that patch looks like.
5 Q. You mentioned that there were military policemen who came from a
6 general section opposite the church in the centre of the town of Bugojno.
7 Do you remember having said that?
8 A. They had a command there, apparently, as far as the military
9 police is concerned. That's what I know. It was opposite the main
10 entrance to the church. It was across the road. That's where the
11 building was.
12 Q. And would you agree with me that this area across the road in the
13 centre of Bugojno was where the civilian police was located, the MUP?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Answer inaudible.
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The civilian police station, the
16 MUP station, is opposite the hospital in the town. Opposite the
17 hospital, near the furniture showroom.
18 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation]
19 Q. In response to a question from my colleague about the preparation
20 for an exchange, you said that certain detainees were placed in lorries.
21 And then you mentioned the name of Mr. Dautovic.
22 A. That wasn't for the exchange. That's when they were supposed to
23 take us to the KP Dom, the penal and correctional facility in Zenica.
24 That's what they told us.
25 Q. And Mr. Dautovic, according to you, was the commander of the
1 military police.
2 A. As far as I know, yes. But as to whether he was the top
3 commander or one of the commanders, I don't know exactly. But I know
4 that that is what he was.
5 Q. And all the people who surrounded him, the BH army members, would
6 obey Mr. Dautovic's orders.
7 A. Well, I suppose so.
8 Q. But were you in a position to see that when Mr. Dautovic issued
9 orders his orders were obeyed?
10 A. I only saw Mr. Dautovic on that day, when we were supposed to be
11 transported. He arrived and put an end to that transport. I only saw
12 him in the Gimnazija on one occasion, when they took us from the basement
13 to the room. Before they took us to the sports hall, he was present. My
14 uncle's son was with me, and I think they, he and Dautovic, went to
15 secondary school together. And the village he comes from and the village
16 from which Dautovic comes too are next to each other. My aunt remained
17 in that village and through Dautovic she managed to contact her son. She
18 just wanted to see whether he was dead or alive, because this happened
19 about 10 days or 12 days after I had been captured.
20 Q. Are you aware of the fact that Mr. Dautovic was a member of the
21 War Presidency in Bugojno?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Prisoners kept at the Iskra Stadium went home or they were
24 authorised to go home with an escort; is that true?
25 A. That was after the New Year. I think it was after the New Year.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 And they would let us go two by two with a guard in order to wash
2 ourselves. If anyone had anywhere to go to -- there was nowhere for me
3 to go. Everything had been burnt down. My mother was staying with nuns
4 in a monastery.
5 Q. Thank you. And you yourself, Mr. Gvozden, when you were at the
6 Iskra Stadium you were not maltreated at any time.
7 A. No.
8 Q. You heard about some persons who had been maltreated by people
9 with masks on, and this happened in the course of the night.
10 A. Yes. I saw that when the people returned. Nikica Kardelj was
11 among them. He's one of the 21 people who went missing.
12 Q. And, Mr. Gvozden, are you aware of the fact that in the area of
13 Bugojno, since you've been living there for a long time, there were no
14 prisons in that town?
15 A. No, there weren't.
16 Q. So as a soldier, you know that in order to guard prisoners of war
17 it's necessary to find places throughout the town where the prisoners can
18 be kept.
19 A. It would be best to release them.
20 Q. And, Mr. Gvozden, you never knew who was in charge of the Iskra
21 Stadium camp.
22 A. No.
23 Q. And since when you were exchanged in March 1994 and up until the
24 time you met investigators from the OTP, you never gave a statement to
25 anyone about what you experienced in 1993.
1 A. No.
2 Q. I thank you very much for your patience, Mr. Gvozden. I have no
3 further questions.
4 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] And, Mr. President, I would like to
5 apologise to the interpreters. I think I have used up too much time.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
7 Any questions for the other Defence team?
8 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since this
9 testimony doesn't relate to the counts in the indictment that concern
10 Mr. Kubura, we have no questions. But on behalf of both Defence teams, I
11 want to take this opportunity to thank Mrs. Fleming for all her
12 assistance and her cooperation while preparing this case and in the
13 course of these proceedings. And we wish her all the best.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Are there any additional questions?
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no questions in
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Witness, thank you for having come to The Hague to testify. You
20 have answered the questions put to you by the Prosecution and by the
21 Defence. We wish you a good trip home.
22 I will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
23 [The witness withdrew]
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could Mr. Withopf inform us
25 very rapidly of the schedule for the following week.
1 MR. WITHOPF: Very well, Mr. President. For the next week, the
2 Prosecution will call seven witnesses: One on Monday, one on Tuesday,
3 two on Wednesday, two on Thursday, and two on Friday.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Trial Chamber
5 would like to thank everyone, and I will see you next week at the
6 hearing, which will commence as usual at 2.15. Thank you.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.57 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Monday, the 1st of
9 March, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.