1 Monday, 1 March 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are beginning our session
6 with some delay. We've had technical problems.
7 Mr. Registrar, can you please call the case.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the
9 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.
11 I'm turning towards the Prosecution for the appearances.
12 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
13 Counsel. For the Prosecution, Chester Stamp and Ekkehard Withopf, and I
14 would like to use this opportunity to introduce our new case manager,
15 Mrs. Ruth Karper.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
17 Defence teams, please, appearances.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
19 Representing General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane
20 Bourgon, co-counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian, legal assistant. Thank you.
21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
22 Representing Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and
23 Mr. Mulalic, our legal assistant.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Chamber would
25 like to greet everybody after the weekend, the representatives of the
1 Prosecution. We also greet the arrival of Mrs. Ruth Karper, who's going
2 to reinforce the Prosecution team and who is going to replace
3 Mrs. Fleming, and who is going to contribute to the smooth proceedings.
4 So Chamber would like to greet this new person on board.
5 The Chamber would also like to greet the Defence teams, as well
6 as the accused and everybody in the courtroom, not to forget the
7 interpreters, who are doing a very important job for everybody.
8 I believe that we have to go into private session because of the
9 application for protective measures. Mr. Withopf, you have the floor.
10 MR. WITHOPF: Yes, that's correct, Mr. President. The
11 Prosecution will apply for protective measures, and for that reason I
12 would suggest to go into private session.
13 [Private session]
12 Pages 3713 to 3767 – redacted – private session.
7 [Open session]
8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
10 Q. The positions we have mentioned were positions that you held when
11 the war broke out; that is to say, when JNA and Serbian forces attacked
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I did not receive the
15 interpretation of that.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] My microphone is switched on.
17 I'll repeat my question.
18 Q. Would it be correct to say that the war broke out, the Yugoslav
19 National Army and the Serbian forces attacked Bosnia and Herzegovina,
20 while you were occupying the positions that we already referred to.
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. On the 6th of April, Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognised by the
23 European Community, by the Republic of Croatia, and the USA; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. At the time in Bosnia and Herzegovina legally elected organs at
2 elections in 1990 were in power; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. As we are in open session, I have to turn off my microphone
5 whenever you answer my questions in order to make sure that your voice
6 isn't heard.
7 After this attack, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared a state of war
8 and introduced a general mobilisation; are you aware of that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. At the beginning of the war, in Bugojno municipality there was a
11 Territorial Defence staff, and at the beginning Zdravko Stanisic was its
12 commander. Were you aware of that?
13 A. Yes, I was.
14 Q. Are you aware of the fact that, as the commander of the Bugojno
15 Territorial Defence staff, Zdravko Stanisic didn't accept the invitation
16 from the Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the order from the staff
17 according to which he should subordinate the Municipal Staff to the staff
18 of the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Are you aware of
20 A. No, I'm not.
21 Q. Mr. ZH, would it be correct to say that after the beginning of
22 the war most of the Serbian population from Bugojno municipality withdrew
23 with the Serbian army from the town itself?
24 A. Well, look, the Serbian army wasn't present in the town.
25 Q. But most of the Serbian inhabitants left Bugojno.
1 A. Most of the Serbian inhabitants left Bugojno, and they weren't
2 escorted by the Serbian army because the Serbian army wasn't present in
4 Q. Thank you for this clarification.
5 Would it be correct to say that in May in Bugojno an HVO brigade
6 was formed, the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade, and the majority of the Croatian
7 population of Bugojno joined the HVO?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. However, although there were two separate military structures,
10 the Territorial Defence and the Bugojno HVO, as they were faced with the
11 same enemy, attempted in May 1992 to reach an agreement about forming a
12 joint command for the defence of the town. Are you aware of that?
14 Q. At the time, the HVO was better organised and the Territorial
15 Defence was being established a little belatedly; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. However, in spite of those attempts, nothing came of this joint
18 command. But in the course of 1992, the Territorial Defence and the HVO
19 carried out combat activities at the lines in the town facing the Serbian
20 forces. Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. All those --
23 MR. WITHOPF: Excuse me.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, this is a --
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll turn to Defence. I would
2 like to inform Defence counsel that they should turn off their microphone
3 once the question has been put to the witness. Otherwise, we have a
5 Yes, Mr. Withopf.
6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, this is a pure technical issue.
7 However, since we are in open session and the witness was saying that he
8 was personally present at a certain meeting which has been identified
9 earlier on by my learned colleague, I think this portion should be
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, could you
12 prepare an order to redact the witness's answer that concerns his
13 attendance at this meeting. His answer might make it possible to
14 identify the witness.
15 Please carry on.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm bearing this
17 in mind, but I assume that a number of persons attended the meeting so
18 that the connection with the witness wasn't direct. But my colleague is
19 quite right to point out that even slight -- minor details might reveal
20 the witness's identity.
21 Q. Would it be correct to say that in July the HVO as a civilian
22 organ of power was formed in Bugojno?
23 A. Well, yes, that was a period during which de facto and de jure
24 there were two administrative organs in Bugojno, one within the HVO and
25 the other in the BH army. So two directors were appointed to schools and
1 two directors were appointed to companies, and in all the organs of power
2 we had two directors, two persons who were in charge.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now go into private
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]
6 [Private session]
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, Your Honours, we are back in open session.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Is it true, Witness ZH, that despite the fact that there were
6 parallel bodies of power many individuals and bodies in Bugojno tried to
7 resolve all the problems that might have arose, together, jointly?
8 A. No, it's not correct.
9 Q. Is it true, Mr. ZH, that during 1992 and especially after Donji
10 Vakuf was taken by the Serb forces and after Kupres fell a lot of
11 refugees expelled from that area came into Bugojno? Is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. The increased number of refugees arrived towards the end of 1992
14 and the beginning of 1993 after the fall of Jajce; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, it is.
16 Q. Most of these refugees came without any personal belongings; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. When they arrived in such huge numbers, the situation in the town
20 was further compounded and there were problems with their accommodation
21 and provisions for them; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. Due to the vicinity of the front line and due to the war, many
24 citizens of Bugojno left the town to go either to the areas which were
25 still not affected by the war or to the third countries; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. One might say that up to the summer of 1993 a lot of local
3 Croatian population left Bugojno so that in the summer of that year there
4 were only 7.000 local Croats left.
5 A. I don't know how many Croats were there in the summer of that
6 year, but it is true that a lot of women, children, and elderly people
7 had left. That's true.
8 Q. Among the refugees who remained in the town, most of them were
9 Bosniak Muslims, so that the demographic picture of the town in mid-1993
10 was significantly changed; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, it is.
12 Q. After the beginning of war, up to the summer 1993, you were in
13 Bugojno all this time and you didn't go anywhere; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. However, you are aware of the fact that in order to leave town
16 one had to seek approval by the HVO because the HVO controlled the main
17 roads around Bugojno; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. I personally helped some Muslims to obtain those permits,
19 those who wanted to visit their families accommodated in the town of
20 Makarska and in its vicinity.
21 Q. Thank you. In 1993, the relationship between the two peoples and
22 the relationship between the HVO and the BiH army was largely affected by
23 the conflicts between the BiH army and the HVO in the territory of Gornji
24 Vakuf and in the Lasva Valley; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. However, according to your knowledge, both the BiH army command
2 and the HVO command made efforts during the months of May, June, and July
3 to peacefully resolve the situation and to avoid an open conflict. Are
4 you aware of that?
5 A. Yes, I am.
6 Q. However, on the 17th of July, in the village of Vrbanja, which is
7 some 3 kilometres away from Bugojno towards Gornji Vakuf, there was an
8 incident. Members of the BiH army killed Miroslav Talenta. Milijan
9 Vucak was also killed, and this raised tensions in the town.
10 A. Yes. And this day may be taken as the beginning of the
11 large-scale Muslim aggression against Croats in Bugojno.
12 Q. Is it true that as soon as this fact became known a joint
13 commission was set up, made of four members of the MUP Bosniaks and four
14 members of the MUP who were Croats? They were sent to the spot of the
15 tragedy in order to investigate what had happened.
16 A. I'm not aware of that.
17 Q. Are you aware of the fact that at the moment this joint
18 commission arrived there the HVO attacked Muslim members of the
19 Bosnian-Herzegovinian MUP and killed three out of four of them? Are you
20 aware of that fact?
21 A. No, I'm not.
22 Q. However, you are aware of the fact that these incidents in
23 Vrbanja spread and became a general conflict in the town of Bugojno.
24 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.
25 Q. Are you aware of the fact that during the attack on Vrbanja 54
1 civilians were killed. They were Bosniak Muslims. 45 of them were
2 arrested and detained in the Aquarium Motel.
3 A. I only learnt that once I was released from the camp. A book was
4 published two years ago depicting those events. While I was detained, I
5 didn't know anything about this incident.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go back into
7 private session, because my next questions might reveal the identity of
8 the witness.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, let's please go
10 into private session.
11 [Private session]
13 Page 3778 - redacted – private session.
15 [Open session]
16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Is it true, Mr. ZH, that at that time in 1993 the BiH army and
19 the HVO as well as the reserve units of the police wore camouflage
20 uniforms in town?
21 A. It is true, but I don't remember. There was no need for me to
22 remember who they were. There were a lot of camouflage uniforms, and the
23 members of these units recognised each other by the insignia on the
25 Q. At the moment when you were being transferred to the Iskra
1 Stadium, you could see even children wearing camouflage uniforms or parts
2 of camouflage uniforms; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. So you will agree with me that there were even some civilians who
5 had camouflage uniforms and wore them.
6 A. No, I wouldn't agree with you.
10 Q. Among the persons who were in the school, you recognised Nijaz
11 Bevrnja; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You could also see that he was the one issuing orders to other
14 soldiers, and based on that you concluded that he had a command
15 responsibility or that he played a important role.
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. You know that Nijaz Bevrnja at that time was the commander of a
18 civilian platoon in Bugojno.
19 A. I don't know what he was. I know that he was together with Besim
20 Hodzic and that the two of them are responsible for whatever happened in
21 the basement of the Gimnazija building.
22 Q. You have testified about spending a month on provisional release.
23 During July, you were not in the prison.
24 A. No, this was not in July. This was in August.
25 Q. I apologise. I stand corrected. At first you only spent seven
1 or eight days in the prison, and then for a month you were on provisional
2 release; is that correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. You stayed in the Gimnazija up to the 8th of October, and then
5 all of those who were still in the Gimnazija building were transferred to
6 the Iskra Stadium; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Are you aware of the fact that throughout all this time the
9 Gimnazija was under the control of the Bugojno MUP, the public security
10 station in Bugojno?
11 A. No, I don't believe that it was under the control of the MUP
12 Bugojno. It was under the control of the BiH army.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown a
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can, please, the Defence
16 indicate the origin and the relevance of this document.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This is a document that we found
18 in the archives of the public security station in Bugojno during our
19 investigation, and this document is directly linked with the building
20 where this witness was detained.
21 Q. Mr. ZH, is it correct that the building of the Gimnazija was
22 within the purview of the municipal bodies of the civilian authorities in
23 Bugojno before the war?
24 A. I don't understand your question. What do you mean within the
25 purview? All the schools before the territory of a municipality are
1 within the purview of their founder, and that is the municipality.
2 Q. In war conditions, the War Presidency of the municipality was
3 authorised to allocate such buildings to certain military bodies; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In that way, as early as May 1992 the War Presidency of Bugojno
7 made a decision that some parts of the Gimnazija would be given to the
8 public-security station in Bugojno.
9 A. I'm not aware of that.
10 Q. Can you please look at the document that you have in front of
11 you. Are you aware of the fact that in 1993 the chief of the
12 public-security station in Bugojno -- or the civilian police, in other
13 words -- was Mr. Senad Dautovic?
14 A. Yes, I am aware of that fact.
15 Q. Looking at this document, can you see that this document bears
16 the heading of the security services centre, public-security station
17 Bugojno? Are you familiar with that heading?
18 A. I see this for the first time, and I wouldn't be able to say
19 anything about this document because at that time I was already at the
20 stadium. However, it would be logical to say that if the building of the
21 Gimnazija according to this document is given to the MUP, it is only
22 logical that between the 8th and the 14th it was enough time to remove
23 every trace of the crime in order for the Gimnazija to be restored to its
24 original purpose.
25 Q. So you will agree with me that this document was issued only four
1 days after the last detainee left the Gimnazija.
2 A. Not four. Six days later. If this is dated the 14th of October
3 and I left the Gimnazija on the 8th of October, so we are not talking
4 about four days but six days.
5 Q. In my copy, the date is 12.
6 A. In my copy, the date is 14.
7 Q. In the heading, the date is 12 October, and the deadline for the
8 building to be handed over is the 14th.
9 A. Yes, you are right there. However, I wouldn't be able to say
10 anything about the document. I don't want to comment on this document,
11 because I see it for the first time. I allow that things happened in the
12 way described in this document.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since this
14 document was issued in order to restore the building that is mentioned in
15 the indictment to its original function - this is also the building where
16 the witness was detained - it speaks about direct responsibility of this
17 object in the given period. Therefore, I'm asking for this document to
18 be tendered into evidence as a Defence exhibit.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, you have the
21 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution
22 objects against tendering this document into evidence. The witness has
23 repeatedly -- he has repeatedly said that he has seen this document
24 never, ever before and he can't comment on the document. He can only
25 basically rephrase what is written in this document but nothing else.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to mark this
2 document for identification, and we will render our decision tomorrow
3 when we resume the hearing.
4 Mr. Registrar, can we please have a temporary number for this
5 document in B/C/S and for its translation in English.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the B/C/S document will get the
7 exhibit number DH53, marked for identification; and the English
8 translation gets the exhibit number DH53/E, marked for identification.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 You may proceed, Counsel.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. ZH, tell us, please, is it true that you personally do not
13 know who was it who decided on the places that would be temporary prisons
14 for members of the HVO and other Croats from Bugojno?
15 A. It is true. I don't know who made that decision.
16 Q. Is it true that you also don't know who is it who made the
17 decision on turning the Iskra Stadium into a temporary prison for the
19 A. Let me tell you. I believe that at that time the master of life
20 and death in Bugojno was Mr. Dzevad Mlaco, the president of the War
21 Presidency of Bugojno, with his associates. Mesud Duvnjak; Kemal Djafic;
22 Enes Handzic; Selmo Cikotic, who was the commander of the military force;
23 Tahir Granic and others. Now, who was it who made such a decision and
24 who was in command of the camps for the Croats from Bugojno, my
25 assumption would be that it was Mr. Dzevad Mlaco and Enes Handzic.
1 Q. You also don't know personally who was the person who -- or the
2 body who appointed prison wardens.
3 A. It is true that I don't know that.
4 Q. You spent three days in Duratbegovic Dolac digging the trenches
5 there. Is it correct that Duratbegovic Dolac is in Gornji Vakuf
7 A. I don't know what municipality is that. I only know that it is
8 some 10 to 12 kilometres from Bugojno. At that time, this was where the
9 separation line between the BiH army and the HVO was. I don't know the
10 exact distance from Bugojno and that place. I didn't find it important
11 at the time.
12 Q. Is it true, Mr. ZH, that you don't know which unit the soldier
13 who received you in Duratbegovic Dolac belonged to?
14 A. He belonged to a BiH army unit. I don't know which unit it was.
15 I don't know. I didn't ask. I didn't dare ask anything. I wasn't
16 allowed to ask any questions.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Let's go into
20 private session.
21 [Private session]
12 Page 3786 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 3787 – redacted – private session.
21 [Open session]
22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 Mr. Withopf, could you inform us of our schedule for tomorrow.
25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution will
1 call the witness which is named on the amended confidential witness
2 schedule which was filed last Friday.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll go back into
4 private session.
5 [Private session]
1 [Open session]
2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As we are now in open session,
4 I would like to adjourn the hearing, and I will see everyone tomorrow at
5 9.00 in the morning, as we will be having these hearings in the morning
6 this week.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.44 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of
9 March, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.