1 Monday, 10th January, 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
7 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, it is with deep regret
9 that I have formally to announce that Judge Robinson's
10 wife has died recently. I'm sure we would all wish to
11 express our condolences to the Judge. In the
12 circumstances, he will be away for the next fortnight
13 and will not return until the 24th of January.
14 MR. NICE: Of course, all those present will
15 extend our sympathy and condolences to the Judge both
16 through Your Honour and maybe privately. I think I can
17 probably speak for all of us in recording the silent
18 admiration we had for what we must all have appreciated
19 was the suffering he was engaged in but silently and
20 without in any way being distracted from the work that
21 he put in on this case.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we will ensure that
23 what you've said is conveyed to the Judge.
24 I turn next to the proposed programme for the
25 next two weeks. The new Rule 15 bis provides that if a
1 Judge, for illness or other urgent personal reasons, is
2 unable to continue sitting in a part-heard case for a
3 period which is likely to be of short duration and the
4 remaining Judges of the Chamber are satisfied that it
5 is in the interests of justice to do so, those
6 remaining Judges may order the hearing of the case
7 continue in the absence of the Judge for a period of
8 not more than three days.
9 We have considered that Rule and are of the
10 view that it's in the interests of justice to continue
11 this hearing this week for three days, but we'll hear
12 any submissions that anybody wants to make about that.
13 Thursday and Friday of this week are in any event set
14 aside for hearings on ex parte matters and we will have
15 to consider in due course whether it's right to
16 continue those hearings, although at the moment we
17 would be minded if possible to do so. Next week this
18 case is listed for four days of hearings and we will
19 consider whether it's possible and hear any submissions
20 as to whether it's possible to continue for those
22 Does anybody want to make any submissions
23 about those proposals?
24 MR. NICE: Not on that point, no.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Stein.
1 MR. STEIN: Thank you, Your Honours. It's a
2 shame that we have to start the new millennium on
3 this somber note, and please, please give our
4 condolences to Judge Robinson in the appropriate way.
5 JUDGE MAY: I will see that that is done.
6 MR. STEIN: Thank you. Our position,
7 frankly, is as to the next week, that it would be a
8 hardship, it may be a hardship to proceed only because
9 it means even more of an imposition on Judge Robinson
10 to read the record, to see the record. For those
11 reasons we've pondered it, and while everyone, of
12 course, is anxious to proceed, we think it in the best
13 interest perhaps not to.
14 JUDGE MAY: As far as this week is concerned,
15 you have no objection.
16 MR. STEIN: Absolutely none. Absolutely
17 none. Three days.
18 JUDGE MAY: But you've taken the view that
19 three days the following week would impose, you say, a
20 hardship upon the Judge.
21 MR. STEIN: I don't want to speak and I
22 shouldn't speak for him, but three days plus another
23 three or four days, and there are some other days that
24 he was absent, there comes a point, and Your Honour can
25 best judge, when it's burdensome.
1 JUDGE MAY: If we took an opposite view,
2 would you have any other observations to make?
3 MR. STEIN: No, sir.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice.
5 MR. NICE: Well, if in principle we're going
6 to work next week, I have no observations to make. If
7 we're not going to be sitting next week, I have
8 witnesses to cancel.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we'll obviously have
10 to consider that and consider it in the next day or two
11 in light of the submissions made, and we will do so.
12 MR. NICE: Can I tell you what the position
13 is about witnesses because I know that informally last
14 week there was some concern that there may have been
15 inadequate witnesses to fill the three days that we
16 have for evidence this week.
17 Today there's a witness called Breljas who
18 will take some time but along with all other witnesses
19 will, I hope, be taken as quickly as possible. Then
20 there's two other witnesses called Van der Pluijm
21 and de Boer, neither of whom I hope will be
22 particularly long. There were listed for this week two
23 witnesses for whom subpoenas had been issued, and the
24 Chamber will recall, as it were, a rolling programme of
25 subpoena witnesses, two this week, two next week, and I
1 think one the week after, were the return dates for
2 those witnesses. The two for this week have not
3 responded, and there's a report before the Chamber
4 explaining why they have not responded. So this week
5 would be the time when the Chamber can take further
6 steps to secure their attendance if the Chamber judges
7 it right to do so.
8 I would rather not deal with that matter now
9 and would rather get on with the evidence of Breljas
10 for two reasons: first, so that we can consider the
11 matter a little more following the effective start of
12 the whole team being together again this week; second,
13 to ensure that any institutional opinion of the OTP
14 generally on inviting the Chamber to use its full
15 powers to bring witnesses to court can be reflected in
16 the submissions I make. Of course, I act independently
17 in this trial but I'm obliged from time to time to
18 check that there isn't an institutional view that it
19 would be desired I lay before you. Perhaps we can deal
20 with that either tomorrow or Wednesday.
21 There is the potential for additional
22 witnesses this week, three in particular, I think.
23 First, there is the aerial video of the Lasva Valley
24 taken a couple of years after incidents but when the
25 damage was still more apparent on the ground than it is
1 today, and there's a witness called J.P. Capelle, who
2 although he wasn't actually on the flight, I think
3 commissioned the flight and knows the area extremely
4 well, who would be able to sit here while the video is
5 being played, the videotape is about 40 minutes, and
6 give evidence of identification of particular villages
7 save wherever that's necessary, and it's only necessary
8 to a limited extent because the video actually has the
9 names of the villages appearing in print at the bottom
10 of the screen as the helicopter moves from one village
11 to the next. So that's one passage of evidence that we
12 could deal with but, of course, in a way it's a bit of
13 evidence that one would probably want Judge Robinson to
14 see at the same time as Your Honours were seeing it.
15 JUDGE MAY: I think that must be right and I
16 think that would be more appropriately dealt with when
17 the Judge is back.
18 MR. NICE: Very well. There are two other
19 live witnesses whose summaries were prepared last week
20 and served last week who may be available. One is
21 (redacted). I say he may be available. I haven't been
22 able to check on his availability. He was a listed
24 There is another witness called Beese, who
25 was not a listed witness and accordingly for whom there
1 is inevitably objection by the Defence, but who is
2 available and could be here on Wednesday.
3 Christopher Beese was the deputy to a witness
4 who gave evidence in closed session, but it was that
5 witness who first pointed us, both informally and
6 indeed in Court, to the extreme help that this witness
7 Beese might be able to give to the Chamber.
8 The Chamber will know that in relation to
9 that confidential witness, we had no direct access to
10 him and weren't even able to speak to him informally
11 until the moment that he came to Court. So we couldn't
12 get his guidance on where information might be most
13 usefully found. And he told us then about how we
14 should approach Beese. We did that. And indeed he is
15 a very valuable witness, potentially a very valuable
16 witness, not a particularly lengthy one, for two
17 reasons: One, he is the first-hand observer of an
18 encounter by telephone between Kordic and Petkovic,
19 which simply shows where the power lay. And since
20 there's been objection to this material whenever it
21 comes secondhand, it would be hard to see what
22 objection there can be to producing the evidence when
23 it comes first-hand.
24 Second, from his very considerable contacts
25 on the ground, he has conclusions, well founded it may
1 be thought, about the conduct and purpose of the war.
2 The Chamber may note when looking at the summary,
3 because I am going to ask that the Chamber should have
4 the summary presented to it, and we can discuss the
5 possibility of his being called, perhaps later today or
6 tomorrow. The Chamber may find that his opinions don't
7 necessarily match exactly all the other opinions that
8 have been ventured. But that, of course, is not a bad
9 thing. On the contrary, it's a good thing, because
10 what we seek to do for the Prosecution is not to argue
11 some narrowly constructed case and to be selective in
12 the material we lay before you, but to lay before you
13 the best evidence from all those who necessarily had
14 different perspectives on the conflict, having
15 confidence that the Chamber will be able to decide from
16 those opinions and general expressions of factual
17 finding where the truth lies.
18 So Beese would be available. I need to tee
19 him up probably really this afternoon. So that we will
20 serve on you, if it hasn't been done already, the
21 summary of his evidence, which was served on the
22 Defence last week. Perhaps we can discuss the
23 possibility of calling him this afternoon when we see
24 how Breljas is doing and how long he is going to take.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MR. NICE: Before Breljas is called, I should
2 say this about the tape recording that was served on
3 the Defence at the end of last year, with an invitation
4 that they might admit that the voices on it were Kordic
5 and Blaskic. No response has been made to that
6 invitation so far.
7 Breljas is a man who would probably be able
8 to identify one or other of the voices, Blaskic and
9 Kordic. For reasons to do with this institution, the
10 evidence unit in which all these important things are
11 stored hasn't been available to us last week. And I
12 haven't been able to get the tape and have it played to
13 Breljas before he starts giving evidence this morning.
14 There may come a time today, I hope, when the
15 tape will be available to me again, and I would ask the
16 opportunity that it be played to him so that we know
17 whether he will be able to help with voice
19 JUDGE MAY: Is there a dispute about the tape
20 or not?
21 MR. STEIN: The tape creates problems, Your
22 Honour, and the problems are these: First, it's an
23 incomplete tape. There obviously had been some sort of
24 interception, some sort of wire-tap interception. And
25 this is only part of it. It's our position we are
1 entitled to see all of the tape or tapes of wire-tapped
2 intercepts, first issue.
3 The second issue is it creates a legal issue
4 of the admissibility of evidence which, if I am
5 correct, was subject to a wire-tap, legally or
6 illegally, with or without a warrant. And if I read
7 the tea leaves correctly, it's without a warrant.
8 Under Bosnian law at the time, it would be illegal and
9 should not be played anywhere.
10 JUDGE MAY: That aside, of course, that will
11 be a matter of argument as to admissibility. The
12 narrow issue is whether there is any dispute about the
13 voices on the tape.
14 MR. STEIN: There is a dispute about the
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
17 MR. NICE: In those circumstances, if I may
18 have an opportunity at some stage, assuming the tape
19 becomes available to me again today, to have it played
20 to Mr. Breljas, to see if he is able to help with the
21 identification, I would be grateful. We might indeed
22 put that in at the same time as we are dealing with the
23 arguments about calling Mr. Beese, the additional
24 witness, sometime this afternoon.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll hear the arguments.
1 MR. STEIN: And the dispute is that the tape
2 is not complete. The tape we believe to be chopped.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I take that. But the issue
4 here is whoever the voices on the tape are. That's the
5 matter which is in dispute, I understand.
6 MR. STEIN: Actually, no. If you listen to
7 the tape and then compare the tape with Mr. Kordic's
8 voice on other tapes that you've seen, I think you can
9 make your own judgement. I don't think this witness is
10 needed to do that. Our issue is the accuracy of the
11 tape itself.
12 While I am on my feet --
13 JUDGE MAY: But, Mr. Stein, may I follow
14 this, because it's important as far as today's hearing
15 is concerned. Are you saying that it's accepted that
16 the voice is Mr. Kordic?
17 MR. STEIN: Yes.
18 JUDGE MAY: It is?
19 MR. STEIN: It is.
20 JUDGE MAY: So there is no need for the
21 Prosecution to call evidence on that narrow issue?
22 MR. STEIN: Correct.
23 JUDGE MAY: Whether, of course, it's
24 admissible and what's in it, those are totally
25 different issues which we will have to resolve.
1 MR. STEIN: Yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Yes.
3 MR. STEIN: As to, in reverse order,
4 Mr. Beese, again not a listed witness, not only not
5 listed but given to us kind of by surprise in our
6 packet of material over the recess. We were told there
7 would be three witnesses this week, and we certainly
8 are not prepared to deal with him this afternoon --
9 JUDGE MAY: When did you get his statement?
10 MR. STEIN: It was in my possession when I
11 came back to The Hague on Thursday, so presumably
12 before. I mean, I'll accept whatever date Ms. Verhaag
13 tells us she sent it over.
14 JUDGE MAY: As far as you are concerned, you
15 didn't receive it until Thursday?
16 MR. STEIN: That's right, sir.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
18 MR. STEIN: Last, while I'm on my feet, the
19 Prosecutor apparently has made a report on subpoenas.
20 I don't know if it's appropriate for us to see that
21 report, but we haven't, for whatever his institutional
22 reasons are. That's not been given to us.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Well, I'm not sure
24 you are entitled to it.
25 MR. NICE: I agree.
1 As to Mr. Beese, there was no statement from
2 him because we weren't on his trail until pointed to
3 him by the witness I've identified. He was seen by me
4 in London last week and, as soon as a summary was
5 prepared, I think it was Thursday, it was faxed to The
6 Hague and then delivered to the boxes of the Defence
7 counsel the same day. But, in any event, when the
8 Chamber has a look at the summary, it will be in a
9 position to decide the degree to which the factual
10 matters referred to are new and would take them by
11 surprise this week.
12 Three other points. On the tape, I
13 understand what Mr. Stein says to be an acknowledgment
14 that the voice of Kordic is Kordic where said on the
15 transcript, and Blaskic where Blaskic is identified on
16 the transcript. That being the case, then I needn't,
17 of course, have the tape played to Mr. Breljas, because
18 it's unnecessary.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 MR. NICE: On Thursday, as the Chamber knows,
21 there is a binding order application. There's been
22 quite a lot of correspondence --
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The short point, a short
24 point on Mr. Beese, so that you can take account of it,
25 is this: As Judge Bennouna points out, more time may
1 be needed before the Defence are in a position to deal
2 with this witness.
3 MR. NICE: I quite accept that, yes.
4 JUDGE MAY: And it may be that the notion of
5 calling him this week is not appropriate in any event.
6 Perhaps you would like to think about it.
7 MR. NICE: I certainly understand that.
8 Dealing with it step by step. If the Chamber has a
9 look at the summary, and if the Defence raised discrete
10 arguments about matters that are new in this witness
11 that haven't been touched on by other witnesses, then
12 indeed they may have an unarguable case for him not to
13 be dealt with this week. But I was responding in
14 making him available as a potential witness to the
15 concerns that have been informally expressed by the
17 Two other points then. Binding order
18 material on Thursday, application on Thursday. There's
19 been a considerable amount of correspondence since last
20 year about that hearing and about, frankly, who should
21 be here. I don't think I'll go into that now, because
22 we want to get on with the evidence. But the issues
23 are there still to be dealt with and they are not
24 issues that are going to go away.
25 I can, however, console the Chamber with
1 this: The binding order application material is very
2 voluminous. I hold my hand up. I think it's about
3 that thick at the moment in the way it comes, although
4 some of it is duplicative. I am having prepared a
5 chronology which so far is only about four sides in
6 tabulated form, which I hope will guide you through the
7 history of the binding order; complex, as it is,
8 covering two cases as it does. And I think that that
9 will, if not save you having to read all of the
10 material, guide you through it in a way that will be --
11 will make it economic, your disposal of time on that
12 issue. That will help.
13 We are waiting for a skeleton argument on the
14 inadmissibility of the witness Cigar that has yet to
15 arrive. There was concern by the Chamber, I think
16 possibly informally expressed, about core documents.
17 Can I inform the Court that we are
18 substantially through the exercise of identifying all
19 the remaining exhibits we would want in, including the
20 core exhibits, as, if you will, the library of
21 documents to which parties might refer in closing
22 argument; they not necessarily being documents each and
23 every one of which would have to be turned through
24 laboriously, but they would need to be available. A
25 large number of those, a large proportion of those
1 indeed has already been served on the Defence for them
2 to agree in principle that they are documents to be
3 admitted. The rest, I think, will be turned over to
4 the Defence by the end of this month. I am looking to
5 Mr. Lopez-Terres because I think he has been engaged in
6 this. I think by the end of this month, before the end
7 of this month.
8 It is hoped, one way or another, that the
9 vast majority of documents that we seek to lay before
10 the Chamber, for the purposes of the library to be
11 available, will be dealt with by consent, and that only
12 a limited number of documents will have to be the
13 subject of full argument as to provenance.
14 JUDGE MAY: There must be a distinction
15 between the library of documents, which I take to mean
16 all the exhibits which are already voluminous and in
17 numerous files. That is inconvenient from the point of
18 view of reference in Court to have this large number.
19 So I would encourage anybody to produce a core bundle
20 which we can use during argument and that sort of
21 thing. It will, of course, contain documents from both
22 sides. It's not intended that it should merely be one
24 At the end of the Prosecution it may be
25 necessary to carry out a full exercise to make sure
1 that all the exhibits are exhibited, that we have the
2 right numbers for them, and that we can proceed in an
3 orderly fashion.
4 MR. NICE: Certainly. I think that the
5 logging of exhibits already produced has been
6 comprehensive and accurate. And if we add to that, by
7 those documents served and to be served on the Defence,
8 then there is no reason to think that we shouldn't be
9 in a position to document the library accurately. The
10 notion of a core bundle for use in argument is not one
11 I had formally understood. I thought that reference to
12 core documents had been to the core documents served
13 with the opening. It seems Your Honour's idea is, if I
14 may say so, a very good one and one to which we will be
16 MR. STEIN: One nagging point relative to
17 Mr. Van der Pluijm. Apparently there are annexes to
18 his statements and we would like to have those before
19 he appears.
20 JUDGE MAY: Can we call the witness, please.
21 [The witness entered court]
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
23 declaration. Yes.
24 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
2 JUDGE MAY: Would you like to take a seat.
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I should
5 like to draw the Chamber's attention to the fact that
6 the Defence has given us a list of the paragraphs with
7 regard to which they wish us to ask questions in a
8 traditional manner rather than in a leading manner.
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
10 WITNESS: ANTO BRELJAS
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
13 Q. You are, indeed, Mr. Anto Breljas, born on
14 the 19th of January, 1940 in Sarajevo.
15 A. On the 18th of April.
16 Q. Mr. Breljas, you are a Croat from Bosnia.
17 A. Yes, I am.
18 Q. Mr. Breljas, were you sentenced for any
19 criminal offences in the past?
20 A. No, never seriously, but once in 1971 when I
21 joined the Croatian string in Zagreb, I had to flee to
22 Canada. When I reached Canada, I was provoked by a
23 priest who was plundering the Croatian people in the
24 name of Croathood, but he was really a thug. I had a
25 fight with him. Then in court he lied that I wanted to
1 physically assault him, but the court then sentenced me
2 to three months.
3 Q. Were you sentenced to prison, to a prison
4 term at the time?
5 A. Yes, I was, for three months.
6 Q. For physical assault.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Very well. Mr. Breljas, you belonged to the
9 special purpose unit known as the Vitezovi,
10 the Knights, I think, in your language.
11 A. Yes, from 1993, from the 3rd or 4th of March
12 until the end of the war.
13 Q. Until April 1994?
14 A. Yes. About the 15th of April I left the
16 Q. Mr. Breljas, at the end of March, 1993, you
17 met the accused Dario Kordic in Tisovac, outside
18 Busovaca, and you asked him whether he could give you
19 an assignment within the HVO forces; is that correct?
20 A. Not an assignment. I just reported to him; I
21 told him I had arrived and that I wanted to join.
22 Q. And Mr. Kordic told you to go and see the
23 head of the Vitezovi, Darko Kraljevic, explaining to
24 you that this one would give you a job within the HVO.
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. Could you tell the Chamber in what capacity
2 you joined the Vitezovi. What were your functions?
3 A. At first, for four or five days, there wasn't
4 anything really, I just observed things, and afterwards
5 I was a political officer in the information and
6 propaganda unit.
7 Q. An information and propaganda officer within
8 the unit; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. What rank were you given when you joined the
12 A. The rank of lieutenant. Not immediately, but
13 about ten days later.
14 Q. Could you briefly describe your duties as an
15 information and propaganda officer, in a few words,
17 A. According to the rules of international
18 organisations and international conventions, the IPD
19 officer had to make sure and monitor things that were
20 done properly and incorrectly. If possible, he should
21 prevent any errors and praise anything that was done
23 Q. You were also in charge of the social
24 problems of the soldiers in the unit, were you not?
25 A. Yes. I was also -- Jozo Buha was the
1 logistics man. He stole a lot and I prevented that and
2 threw him out. Kraljevic followed my advice, and then
3 I had to take over the logistics for the Vitezovi as I
4 had no other person to assign to that post.
5 Q. Were you also in charge of taking care of the
6 families of killed soldiers?
7 A. Yes. As far as I was able, I would
8 distribute food to them. When I received packages, I
9 would distribute those packages to the wounded and the
10 families of the killed, and on two occasions, I also
11 received some funds which I distributed to both
13 Q. You were also responsible for the treatment
14 of prisoners.
15 A. Yes, I was responsible for the prisoners; I
16 had to take care of them.
17 Q. In the course of your duties, you also acted
18 as a liaison officer with international organisations,
19 and as you spoke English, you were known as UNPROFORac,
20 that is, the liaison man with the UNPROFOR.
21 A. Yes. On a number of occasions, I was asked
22 to interpret because there weren't many people speaking
23 both English and our language.
24 Q. Could you tell us, Mr. Breljas, what was, in
25 your opinion, the total strength of the Vitezovi
1 throughout the conflict?
2 A. The number changed. There were many
3 casualties and wounded people who were put out of
4 action, and then reinforcements were brought in, and
5 these were assigned by my commander, Marinko Plavcic,
6 so that the number changed. At a maximum, there was
7 180 and at a minimum, 90.
8 Q. And these 180 soldiers were stationed at the
9 Dubravica school, the barracks that were situated in
10 the Dubravica school.
11 A. Not all of them. Some were from Krizancevo
12 Selo, and they stayed at home but they came to the
13 barracks. And others who came from other places, like
14 refugees from Travnik and others, they were regularly
15 quartered in the barracks.
16 Q. You told us that the commander of the unit
17 was Darko Kraljevic. Who was his deputy?
18 A. The deputy was Dragan Vinac.
19 Q. Could you briefly tell us how many groups
20 there were forming this unit and the names of those
22 A. I beg your pardon? I didn't quite understand
23 the question. What do you mean "groups and the names
24 of those groups"? Are you thinking of the fighters,
25 combat groups?
1 Q. Yes, combat groups that had names.
2 A. There were three main groups: the Pumas, the
3 Wolves, and the Foxes. These names sometimes changed,
4 but basically there were three combat groups.
5 Q. You noted in the course of your work that
6 soldiers of the unit wore two types of uniforms; one
7 was a black uniform and another a camouflage uniform;
8 is that correct?
9 A. Not all of them. Some wore black uniforms,
10 they were uniforms they had to make themselves, and the
11 camouflage uniforms were those that were distributed.
12 So that not only my unit but others, like Mr. Blaskic,
13 Mr. Mario Cerkez, they also wore black uniforms, and
14 the Vitez Brigade members also, some of them wore black
15 uniforms, and there were also the camouflage uniforms.
16 Q. Is this correct, that the people that were
17 considered to be the most extremist in the Vitezovi had
18 attached on their black uniforms the letter "U" which
19 was the sign of the Ustashas from the Second World
21 A. Yes. They either had the letter "U" on the
22 cap or on the side, some of them even or their belts,
23 with the letter "U" on the buckle of their belts.
24 Q. There were also official patches with the
25 words "Vitezovi" and another patch with the letters
1 "HOS" on them, with a flash.
2 A. Yes, that is correct. Those who were in the
3 HOS, and they were founded in 1990, they all had these
4 HOS patches. However, those of them who joined later,
5 the end of 1992, in December 1992, they didn't wear
6 those patches. They had the "PP Vitezovi" with the
7 flash symbol on their sleeves.
8 Q. I should like to show you two documents,
9 pictures of those patches, and will you please confirm
10 whether they correspond to the patches worn by some
11 members of the unit or all members of the unit. They
12 are Exhibit Z1530 and Z2790; these are two
14 Mr. Breljas, was this the official patch of
15 the special purpose unit, the Vitezovi, that you spoke
17 A. No. The lightning sign is missing, the
19 Q. Was there another patch with the "HOS" on it?
20 A. Yes, but the coat of arms had a white
21 background with red squares and not vice versa.
22 Q. The background was reversed?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Could you
25 show the witness, please, the second document.
1 Q. Does this symbol correspond to the letter "U"
2 for Ustasha that we referred to a moment ago?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Breljas, we're now going to
5 speak about the night between the 15th and 16th of
6 April, 1993. Could you tell us what you saw in the
7 course of that night while you were at the Dubravica
9 A. Yes. In the evening, I had been in Zenica, I
10 had just returned from Zenica, and I learned on the
11 road that Zivko Totic had been arrested. I came in the
12 afternoon, and late in the evening, they came by car to
13 the barracks, there was Mr. Kordic, Darko Kraljevic,
14 and Vinac. There was another person with them but I
15 couldn't describe him precisely for you because I only
16 saw him on one other occasion after that.
17 Q. How many people did you see exactly that
19 A. Five or six. Five or six. I couldn't tell
20 you exactly, but five or six.
21 Q. Apart from the accused Kordic, did all the
22 people in the group belong to the Vitezovi?
23 A. Except for this one person that I didn't
24 know. He was in the Vitezovi, a second time he came to
25 interrogate some prisoners, but I didn't have him
1 registered in any of my lists.
2 Q. Mr. Breljas, does the name Miso Mijic mean
3 anything to you?
4 A. Miso Mijic, yes, I always thought that he was
5 the assistant of Darko Kraljevic for SIS, but later on
6 I discovered that Darko Kraljevic was his assistant for
7 SIS. He was a colonel, and that means that he had the
8 same rank as Darko Kraljevic.
9 Q. Was Miso Mijic present that night?
10 A. Yes, he was there as well, yes.
11 Q. In the course of the meeting with the people
12 you have just referred to, Kordic, Kraljevic, Dragan
13 Vinac, Miso Mijic, and another person whose name you
14 can't recall, you were able to see these people talking
15 among themselves, conferring over something.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you tell us what they were talking
19 A. I cannot tell you what they were talking
20 about exactly. All I can say is that Mr. Kordic said,
21 "That must be done to the end." Then someone answered
22 to that, "Don't worry. Everything will be fine." Who
23 said that is not something I could tell you under
25 Q. Were there any documents that you were able
1 to see where these people were conferring?
2 A. No. There was a piece of paper with
3 something drawn on it, some kind of a map on it.
4 Whether they had drawn that map on the spot or whether
5 they had brought it with them, I couldn't tell you.
6 Q. I should like to show you a document now,
7 Mr. Breljas. You have just referred to Miso Mijic as a
8 participant in the meeting of the night of the 15th and
9 16th. I will show you a document Z1075.1, "A" for the
10 English version.
11 Mr. Breljas, this document dated the 18th of
12 June 1993, issued by the Security and Information
13 Centre for the Central Bosnia operative zone is signed
14 by Miso Mijic, who appears to be the chief of that
15 centre. Is that the same person who you have referred
16 to, and from this document is it evident that Mr. Darko
17 Kraljevic was his deputy?
18 A. Yes, I can see that. But I must repeat, I
19 always thought that the situation was the other way
20 around, that he was Kraljevic's deputy and not the
21 other way around. But now I see that I was wrong, that
22 the situation was vice versa. I don't know how I came
23 to that conclusion because Mr. Kraljevic was the
24 commander of the Vitezovi, and whenever I had a list,
25 the list was headed by Colonel Darko Kraljevic, after
1 which came Miso Mijic. And that is why I always
2 thought that Miso Mijic was his deputy. But I now see
3 that that is wrong.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, would you
5 clarify, please, what the Central Bosnia SIS Centre
7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
8 Mr. President, for your observation.
9 Q. Mr. Breljas, could you tell us once again
10 very briefly what, in your opinion, was the SIS?
11 A. Well, you see, I cannot tell you definitely.
12 All I know is that it was the secret police of the
13 Croatian army.
14 Q. Mr. Miso Mijic was, in addition to Colonel
15 Blaskic, the head of this SIS service of the Croatia
16 army of Central Bosnia?
17 A. I cannot confirm that decidedly. I didn't
18 see any contacts between him and Blaskic, but I do know
19 that he was attached to the Vitezovi. I know that he
20 was there all the time, that he always accompanied
21 Kraljevic. But it is difficult for me to confirm that
22 he had any particular contact with Blaskic. I see from
23 this document that he was, but it is not something that
24 I can confirm. I know that he was a permanent member
25 of the Vitezovi, that he was always with Kraljevic,
1 that he shared the command with Kraljevic, but I
2 couldn't say anything more than that.
3 Q. Thank you, Mr. Usher.
4 Within the framework of your duties as an
5 officer for propaganda and information, you
6 participated in the weekly press conferences held by
7 Dario Kordic. Could you tell us about that?
8 A. Yes. Every week, once I had a press
9 conference together with the Blaskic IPD chief, who was
10 the chief of all of us, and also we would go to
11 Busovaca once a week with Dario Kordic and Blaskic, and
12 some other individuals, some would come on and off.
13 Q. Did Ignac Kostroman usually participate in
14 those press conferences?
15 A. Yes, on a number of occasions. But there was
16 some occasions when he was absent.
17 Q. Where were these press conferences held,
18 Mr. Breljas?
19 A. I don't come from those parts. I come from
20 Sarajevo. But I know that it was in the Busovaca
21 municipality on the first floor in the small hall
22 there. In a hall of the Busovaca town hall.
23 Q. Thank you. In the course of those press
24 conferences you were able to note that the speeches
25 made by the accused Kordic were more or less always the
1 same. Could you tell us what you recollect of the
2 words used by the accused?
3 A. Yes. On most occasions he would say, "We
4 have been here for 1.000 years. The tombs of our
5 ancestors are here and we will defend this to the end
6 and succeed in defending it."
7 Q. Do you remember what Mr. Kordic wore at those
8 press conferences?
9 A. He was very relaxed. He would not allow
10 anyone to provoke him. In my personal opinion, I
11 believe that he wanted to encourage hatred between the
12 Croats and the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 Q. But you didn't quite answer my question. But
14 to follow up on what you have said. Did Mr. Kordic
15 regularly refer to the struggle against the Muslims in
16 his speeches at those press conferences?
17 A. Yes. That was the leitmotif. He kept
18 talking about the struggle against the Muslims; that we
19 Croats of Bosnia-Herzegovina have to fight for survival
20 in our own land, which has been Croatian for a thousand
21 years, and that we must protect the Croatian tombs.
22 That is the gist of what he said and what I said.
23 Q. The Muslims were described as the aggressors;
24 were they not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I am now going back to my earlier question.
2 That question was what kind of clothes did Mr. Kordic
3 wear? Were they civilian clothes or perhaps military?
4 A. No, he wore a uniform. He had a large cross
5 on a chain and it was, as a rule, a camouflage
6 uniform. When the weather was warm, then he would have
7 a camouflage shirt. When it grew colder, then it would
8 be a camouflage jacket.
9 Q. You told us that he had usually two persons
10 with him during those press conferences, that is
11 Mr. Blaskic and Mr. Kostroman at times, but who chaired
12 those press conferences?
13 A. From what I could see and what I knew, it was
14 Mr. Kordic who chaired them.
15 Q. And did you sometimes meet at those press
16 conferences Mr. Anto Valenta too?
17 A. Yes. He attended three times or maybe two.
18 I couldn't tell you exactly. But he was there two
19 times that I know for certain, because once I provoked
21 Q. Did Mr. Anto Valenta hold different press
22 conferences at a different place?
23 A. Yes. He started to do that somewhat later,
24 perhaps in June or July. In his hotel in Vitez, where
25 the meeting point in Vitez was, in his office. When he
1 was there, that is where he also held press
2 conferences, that is, his own press conferences.
3 Q. Mr. Breljas, we are now sometime in May 1993
4 and you went to Tisovac again accompanied by a person
5 named Zvonko or Zvonimir Cilic, who was prevalent in
6 the Vitez Brigade, and you were accompanied also by a
7 cameraman of the Vitezovi brigade. Do you remember
9 A. Quite true. I do remember.
10 Q. And the purpose of this visit was to attend
11 an interview with the accused, with Mr. Kordic?
12 A. Yes. The IPD of the Vitez Brigade was to
13 make an interview with Mr. Kordic, and the three of us
14 went there.
15 Q. I should now like to show you a document,
16 Mr. Breljas, which perhaps has to do something with
17 what I have just told you, and especially the cameraman
18 which you mentioned. It is document Z1153/1. As you
19 can see, Mr. Breljas, this document has a list of names
20 of individuals who were placed at the disposal of the
21 Vitez Brigade and who all belonged to the Radio
22 Television, Vitez.
23 A. Yes, that is correct. And I know most of
25 Q. Precisely. In this list which we will see in
1 this document, could you identify the cameraman of the
2 Vitez Brigade with whom you just mentioned?
3 A. Yes. Mr. Stipovic, Srecko Stipovic.
4 Q. You already spoke about somebody called
5 Marija. Aren't you confused, perhaps?
6 A. Yes, quite true. But later on -- mind you,
7 they all have the same first names, so very often the
8 same surnames. And since I am an outsider, that is how
9 I got confused. So I am quite sure that he is
10 Stipovic. I wasn't sure about the first name,
11 Marijan. Marjanovic was the boss and somehow I
12 connected Stipo (sic) with Marijanovic. And that is
13 what I said, Marijan Stipovic, but that is not true,
14 that is Srecko Stipovic, and I know the man very well.
15 Q. All right. Thank you very much.
16 In July 1993, or in summer 1993, you once
17 again met the accused Dario Kordic in Busovaca after a
18 press conference during a pistol handing ceremony --
19 A. Not after the conference, but during, in the
20 course of the conference, during the press conference.
21 Q. I see. And was Colonel Blaskic present too,
22 as well as a military prosecutor, and you told us that
23 his first name was Marinko?
24 A. Whether he was already a military prosecutor
25 present there, or did he come later on or was he there
1 before, I'm not quite sure. But Mr. Kordic, that is
2 Colonel Kordic and Blaskic, and the third man -- and a
3 third man. There was somebody else, but I can't really
4 say for that -- it was that. That is Mr. Marinko, he
5 was a prosecutor, but whether he was that at that time,
6 I'm not quite sure.
7 Q. And the purpose of that ceremony was to hand
8 out the pistols, which had just arrived from Croatia,
9 and which had engraved the signature of Mr. Boban, the
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You had designated two members of the Vitez
13 Brigade who should receive those pistols as a kind of
15 A. Yes. The regular units were receiving those
16 pistols for the best soldiers, and because it was up to
17 me to decide who were the best soldiers, I picked out
18 two and took them there.
19 Q. And the Vitez Brigade was also awarded a
20 prize during that ceremony?
21 A. Yes, but they were more numerous because
22 simply they numbered more men than we did.
23 Q. And a little later, in 1993 and towards the
24 end of 1993, Mr. Breljas, you had the opportunity of
25 meeting the accused Dario Kordic in Vitez. Could you
1 tell us something about the circumstances under which
2 you saw Dario Kordic then?
3 A. Well, depends when it was, because I saw him
4 twice. The first time when I had been in Vitezovi,
5 everybody was leaving slowly and I heard that Zabrdze
6 would be attacked. And since my soldiers were up
7 there, who were very good soldiers, because they did
8 not steal ammunition, they were short of ammunition.
9 So at midnight I called the rally point in Vitez where
10 Mr. Sliskovic was on duty, and I told him that I needed
11 to --
12 JUDGE MAY: I am going to interrupt you,
13 Mr. Breljas, because I am not following this evidence.
14 When was it that this occurred?
15 A. It was sometime in July. And the second time
16 in August.
17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Did you have an opportunity to meet
19 Mr. Kordic on the premises of the Impregnacija factory?
20 A. Yes. It was in December, in the latter half
21 of December, when the BiH Army attacked Krizancevo
22 Selo. Since Mr. Blaskic was in Mostar, then it was
23 Mr. Kordic who in person lead the defence of Krizancevo
24 Selo and Buhine Kuce. And I arrived with my ten men to
25 defend, that is to try to set up the front. Then I met
1 him at Impregnacija with the commanders of the Vitez
2 Brigade, and they were discussing matters concerning
3 the -- this attack.
4 Q. What was Mr. Kordic discussing with the Vitez
5 Brigade commanders at that point?
6 A. I cannot tell you that, because I was some
7 five or six metres away from them. And I was having
8 trouble with my own men. So that I can't tell you.
9 But he was one of the commanders; that is, there was
10 the area commander and he as his superior. But what
11 they were talking about, I could not hear. And I
12 wasn't really interested.
13 Q. Could it be that they were discussing the
14 counter-attack after the Muslim offensive?
15 A. Well, yes, that would be the most likely
16 explanation, because they were looking at a map,
17 discussing, so presumably they were talking about how
18 to attack, how to defend. Or what do I know?
19 JUDGE MAY: Who was it who was looking at the
20 map, please?
21 A. Kordic and the area commander.
22 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] It seems
23 to me that the word "Kordic" was omitted from the
24 French interpretation. It was said "Kordic and the
25 area commander," not "Kordic as the area commander,"
1 but "Kordic and area commander." Yes, "Kordic and area
3 Q. I should now like to show you a document,
4 Mr. Breljas, which is a document drawn up in January
5 1994 by Major Dragan Vinac, about whom you already
6 spoke to us about. It is Z1380. Will you please look
7 at the last page of that document, the one which bears
8 Mr. Vinac's signature, and where in the last part he
9 speaks about the 22nd of December 1993. Do you see
10 that passage?
11 A. Just a moment, please. I can't read it all
12 that fast.
13 Q. That is the penultimate passage above the
14 signature. It says on the 22nd of December 1993.
15 A. I can't see it. Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Yes,
16 yes, yes. 22nd December 1993. Yes, I've read it.
17 Q. What is the link between this document? Does
18 this document bear on that period of time that you have
19 mentioned when you saw Mr. Kordic at Impregnacija which
20 you just mentioned?
21 A. I don't think it was on that particular day.
22 I believe it was likely later, a day or two later.
23 Q. But, in any event, it is a period when you
24 had to provide reinforcements for the Vitez Brigade in
25 order to defend against the attack of the Muslims?
1 A. Yes, but I think this was the date of the
2 attack. Two days later, the Vitezovi were reformed so
3 as to come to the rescue of the Vitez Brigade and do a
4 part of the job.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
6 Mr. Usher.
7 Q. And that particular day when you met
8 Mr. Kordic, a representative of the Vitez Brigade, on
9 the premises of Impregnacija in December 1993, was that
10 the first time that you could see, that you realised
11 that Mr. Kordic might also be implicated in activities
12 of a military nature?
13 A. No, it was not the first time. I was
14 guessing that even before, but I am a rather good
15 strategist and I know the customs of war, and I noticed
16 that he did not really have any strategic military
17 experience but that he also had a say, that he
18 exercised an influence over the troops in that area.
19 Q. According to you, was Mr. Kordic on one or
20 another occasion issuing any orders to Darko Kraljevic,
21 your commander?
22 A. He could not issue orders to Darko Kraljevic
23 because Darko Kraljevic was a powerful man, but he
24 could indicate to Darko Kraljevic, he could suggest to
25 Darko Kraljevic what should be done and Darko Kraljevic
1 would immediately agree with that end.
2 Q. So your impression was that Darko Kraljevic
3 did not discuss those things which Kordic told him.
4 A. No, he did not discuss them. All he cared
5 about was the rifle and to launch an attack. He didn't
6 care about anything else.
7 Q. According to you, when the Vitezovi were sent
8 to the Busovaca area to fight against the Muslims, it
9 was at the request of Dario Kordic, was it?
10 A. Yes. That was in July for the first time.
11 Yes, when they went -- no, not to fight, but to prevent
12 the Muslims from Kacuni where five of our men had been
14 Q. According to the document which I just showed
15 you, which is signed by Mr. Vinac, there is another
16 passage which I should like you to look at. It is
17 still the Prosecution Exhibit Z1380. The passage I'm
18 concerned about is on page 7 of the English version.
19 This document speaks about -- no, it is page 6 of the
20 English version -- the Vitezovi Brigade which was sent
21 to Prosje, Kacuni, and Busovaca on the 5th of July,
22 1993, and it is an operation when the Vitezovi suffered
23 fatalities, that is, Miskovic, Vidovic, Kristo, and
24 Kukic were killed.
25 A. Yes, that is correct. They were killed then,
1 but it was when Kacuni had already answered with an
3 Q. And this passage from the report of
4 Mr. Vinac, is it referring to what you told us about,
5 how the Vitezovi men were sent to the area of Kacuni at
6 Kordic's request?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. Thank you. We're still in the summer of
9 1993. You met the accused Dario Kordic at the Vitez
10 Hotel, didn't you? You had to see him, you had to
11 discuss a problem with him. Do you remember that
13 A. I was not to meet him. I simply came across
14 him by chance, and then I seized the opportunity to ask
15 him something that I had been wanting to ask him for a
16 long time, that is, to send me somewhere else, to
17 remove me, to send me to trenches if need be because I
18 could not stand it any more. The Vitezovi, they were
19 sent there in order to destroy the place and
21 Q. And what did Mr. Dario Kordic answer you that
23 A. He told me, "Oh, let me be. I've got my
24 problems." When I told him that I wanted to be
25 reassigned to another place, he said, "Just leave me
1 alone. I've got my trouble about."
2 Q. But did you tell him what was the source,
3 what was the root of the problem?
4 A. Yes. I learned that later there was the
5 attack from Kacuni because they responded to the
6 provocation. There was an attack against Busovaca, and
7 at that time, Mr. Blaskic was already the commander of
8 the military district, and he was asking Blaskic
9 because only Blaskic could really set the troops in
10 motion, the heavy artillery in motion. Kordic said
11 that he should do so --
12 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry.
13 A. -- and Blaskic was the one who started the
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
16 Q. If I understood you properly, Mr. Kordic
17 asked for the reinforcements and Blaskic
18 responded, "You provoked the Kacuni attack, so you
19 manage it the way you know how."
20 A. Yes, that is how I put it.
21 Q. But let us go back a little bit, Mr. Breljas,
22 to the 16th of April, 1993. That day, you spent the
23 major part of the day with Marinko Plavcic at his
24 command post.
25 A. True.
1 Q. And he said his responsibility covered
2 Krizancevo Selo, Dubravica, and Rijeka; is that so?
3 A. No, not Rijeka really. The Muslims'
4 direction came from Rijeka and he was answering. They
5 were covering Dubravica and Krizancevo Selo, and they
6 were coming from Rijeka and that's also where he was
7 responding with fire.
8 Q. And you could also note on that day, on the
9 16th of April, that not only did the Vitezovi take part
10 in the military operation, but there were also soldiers
11 from the Vitez Brigade.
12 A. Naturally. If there were about 100, 120
13 Vitezovi at the moment and over 300 troops, then it's
14 evident who was there. Only the Vitez Brigade could
16 Q. You noted that there was a concerted action
17 on the part of the Vitezovi, the Jokers, and the Vitez
18 Brigade against the area of Stari Vitez on that day, on
19 the 16th of April.
20 A. I can't tell you about the Jokers, but I can
21 tell you about the Vitez Brigade and the Vitezovi.
22 Q. They were responsible for the attack on Stari
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. According to you, Mr. Breljas, members of the
1 Vitezovi, did they take part in the attack on Ahmici on
2 the 16th of April?
3 A. No, they did not, except perhaps some
5 Q. You say "no, except ..." So there could have
6 been some Vitezovi who went to fight in Ahmici on that
7 particular day.
8 A. I cannot claim that with certainty --
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Stein has an objection.
10 A. I cannot claim that --
11 MR. STEIN: We're within the realm of
12 speculation, and I object.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, if you could
14 establish a foundation with the witness what he knows
15 and how he knows about where the various units were
16 that day. Perhaps I could begin by asking this:
17 Whereabouts was the command post of
18 Mr. Plavcic, where you were that day?
19 A. The command post was above the Kalen, the
20 petrol pump, in a private house.
21 JUDGE MAY: In which area?
22 A. Krizancevo Selo.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Mr. Breljas, according to the information
25 that you received or conversation that you heard
1 between Vitezovi members, were there some soldiers,
2 were there some units of the Vitezovi who took part in
3 the attack on Ahmici?
4 A. Well, I could not really claim that with any
5 certainty, I would not really affirm that, but there
6 could have been two who used to live below there, that
7 is, below Ahmici.
8 Q. And how did you receive that information?
9 A. What information do you mean?
10 Q. According to which two soldiers from the
11 Vitezovi might have participated in the attack on
13 A. Yes. Because one is right beneath Ahmici,
14 and on that date he was in Dubravica, and the other
15 one, I didn't see him in Dubravica under the command of
16 Mr. Marinko Plavcic.
17 Q. Do you remember the names of those soldiers?
18 A. Sorry, I do not really wish to mention the
19 names of soldiers because they bore no responsibility
20 for anything. Only their commanders, only their
21 superiors may bear the responsibility under all the
22 rules and all the laws of war.
23 Q. What you told us, I understand that it was
24 the personal initiative of those soldiers, wasn't it?
25 A. True.
1 Q. In the course of that particular day, the
2 16th of April, you received the instructions to abandon
3 the command post at Krizancevo Selo and go to the
4 school at Dubravica and to take care of captured
5 individuals or prisoners of war.
6 A. True.
7 Q. As you went to the school in Dubravica, you
8 could note there were quite a number of dead bodies and
9 very many Muslim houses on fire in Vitez.
10 A. Yes. Now, listen, I'm not from Vitez, I'm
11 not from there. There were houses on fire. But were
12 they Muslim houses? I mean, I know that only through
13 the support of the artillery of the Vitez Brigade,
14 Marinko Plavcic asked that his house be aimed at
15 because there was a Muslim on his house, and he said,
16 "That is my house. Fire at it because there's a
17 Muslim up there."
18 Q. There was a sniper, a Muslim sniper on his
19 house that day?
20 A. That is what he assumed.
21 Q. As you went to the school and when you
22 arrived at the school, you could see that there were
23 several hundred persons, Muslim persons, who were being
24 held prisoner in that school.
25 A. Yes, that is true.
1 Q. And a large number of them were women and
3 A. There were men too.
4 Q. And there were between 300 and 400 prisoners
5 there at that moment.
6 A. Well, no, not 400, I know that, but a little
7 less. Around 350, slightly over.
8 Q. And those prisoners, were they detained in
9 the gymnasium of the school, then in the basement, and
10 in four classrooms?
11 A. Yes. Women and children were in classrooms,
12 and men and some women who would not separate from
13 their husbands and their children, they were in the
14 gymnasium. Prisoners in the cellar, they were not
15 those prisoners. Those were military prisoners, and
16 they were separated from all the other prisoners who
17 had also been brought there before.
18 Q. Those military prisoners that you mentioned,
19 could you give us a figure? Could you put a number to
20 them? How many of them were there, more or less?
21 A. Well, they came there on various occasions,
22 so I can give you a complete number of them, and that
23 is 20, and at that particular moment there were four of
25 Q. The people you are telling us about, these
1 350 prisoners or somewhat more, were detained in the
2 school until mid May 1993, were they?
3 A. Even after that date. They were there until
4 they were killed.
5 Q. When you say that they were detained until
6 they were killed, what do you mean? Those prisoners
7 were liberated; they were not all killed, were they?
8 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps we can clarify that.
9 Which of the prisoners were killed? I don't want the
10 names. Was it of a particular type, Mr. Breljas?
11 A. No. They were prisoners who were captured
12 near Bobasi. First there were three civilians who
13 apparently pretended to be military men, but in fact
14 they were civilians who wanted to buy some food. One
15 person was a craftsman in the Vitez Hotel where the
16 headquarters of the Vitezovi was located, and he was a
17 craftsman there.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We will come back to some of the detainees
20 who were killed a little later.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, it's now time
22 for a break, if that's convenient. We'll adjourn now
23 until half past.
24 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Mr. Breljas, we are going to go back to the
3 conditions of detention of the prisoners in the
4 Dubravica school. You told us that these persons were
5 held in the gym, in four classrooms, and in the
6 basement. You tried to extend aid with the means that
7 you had at your disposal. You gave them clothes, food,
8 some bottles of water, and also some hay to sleep on.
9 But nevertheless, you said that the conditions of
10 detention were far from good.
11 A. They were not good in the basement. The
12 conditions there were appalling. However, in the gym
13 there were very many people, not enough air. As for
14 water, I didn't give them bottles, but across the
15 corridor they had a toilet and they could use the tap
17 The women and the children had somewhat
18 better conditions because they were moved from the gym
19 to rooms where, after all, the situation was more
21 Q. The detainees could not receive any medical
22 aid, and the food was quite inadequate; was it not?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. You designated certain prisoners for
25 trench-digging, and you did so at the request,
1 according to your own hierarchy within the Vitezovi, or
2 at the request of a representative of the Vitez
4 A. Yes, they came to collect people for digging,
5 and so Marinko Plavcic and myself, sometimes he,
6 sometimes I, would say, "We needed ten men for
7 digging," and we'd tell them, "You get together ten
8 people," and we'd send them off.
9 Q. As regards the instructions for the
10 designation of prisoners that you received from the
11 Vitez Brigade, they came from several people, and
12 specifically you mentioned the person Mile Vinac, who
13 was a member of the brigade command. And you also
14 mentioned an officer in the brigade known as Zabac or
15 Frog, I think in your language?
16 A. That is true that Vinac would come. As for
17 Zabac, he didn't come to pick the persons. He just
18 came and took them off. But he didn't select them.
19 There were no orders they could give us. He would just
20 say, "I need ten workers," and he would take them off
21 -- take them with him.
22 Q. Did you receive any written orders from the
23 Vitez Brigade regarding the selection of prisoners for
24 this purpose?
25 A. No. No. That was not possible. The Vitez
1 Brigade could not give any such orders to Kraljevic.
2 Q. The prisoners we are talking about who had to
3 dig trenches, as far as you recollect, had to do so in
4 the regions of Buhine Kuce, Bobasi, Kula, Krizancevo
5 Selo, Zabrdze?
6 A. Well, you see, in those days I was still
7 rather new. I know for certain that they went to
8 Buhine Kuce and Krizancevo Selo. At that time I didn't
9 know that they went to Bobasi, but I learnt later that
10 they did go to Bobasi, Zabrdze and other places. But
11 at the time I only knew of Buhine Kuce and Krizancevo
12 Selo and Cucica.
13 Q. You said that these prisoners also received
14 little food; they were sometimes mistreated and beaten
15 by the guards.
16 A. Yes, that is true, and I opposed this. And
17 at our meetings I expressed my opposition. The food
18 was limited for everyone, but they were totally without
19 food. In fact, they would share one can among two
20 prisoners. I don't know how the Vitez Brigade fed its
21 prisoners. I know that I did give some cans
22 occasionally. And there were instances of people being
23 mistreated. And if I could have, I would have taken
24 them to court. Some soldiers, but I don't wish to give
25 their names, would tie the prisoners in chains, forcing
1 the prisoner to bark and bite another prisoner, in
2 response to which this other prisoner would kick him
4 Q. You were also informed that some of those
5 prisoners were used as human shields, where they were
6 digging trenches?
7 A. I couldn't describe this as a human shield,
8 even though, according to all rules, it is a human
9 shield. What they did, they put the workers in front
10 of the soldiers. So there wasn't any real intention to
11 use them as a human shield, but according to the rules
12 of war this was contrary to those rules, where the
13 soldier should come first and the workers behind the
14 soldiers. But in this case it was the other way
16 Q. You protested on a number of occasions, but
17 apparently this produced no results?
18 A. Yes, no one paid any attention to this. In
19 fact, they declared me to be a fool. And, "What was I
20 showing off about?", they would say.
21 Q. Where did you protest against the bad
22 treatment of prisoners in general and this kind of
23 behaviour in particular?
24 A. The only opportunity I had was to complain to
25 the commander of the operative zone of Vitez, the IPD
1 officer, information and propaganda officer, IPD.
2 Q. We have already referred to this issue prior
3 to the break, that is the issue of the prisoners that
4 were killed during detention by your unit. You said
5 that, as far as you know, some 15 prisoners under the
6 responsibility of the Vitezovi were killed?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. You also knew that there was a practice
9 applied by some soldiers in your unit to cut off ears
10 of members of the BiH Army. You heard about that,
11 didn't you?
12 A. This occurred in all units in the Vitez
13 area. There were soldiers who resorted to this kind of
15 Q. You remember that a member of the Vitezovi
16 brought you two ears one day and said that you should
17 give this to Kraljevic for a snack?
18 A. Yes, that is true. Not two ears, one ear.
19 He said, "Take it to Kraljevic for a snack."
20 Q. There was another member of the Vitezovi whom
21 you said would occasionally wear a garland of ears
22 around his neck.
23 A. He didn't wear it. He made this garland.
24 Let me remember whether he was there. I think that his
25 combat group was not on the positions at the time.
1 They were in the process of preparation for combat.
2 Q. In the period from the 17th to the 20th of
3 April 1993, Darko Kraljevic, your commander, issued
4 orders that should the army offensive continue, that
5 the Dubravica school should be blown up together with
6 the prisoners held there?
7 A. He didn't just say that, but this had been
8 prepared, the mining of the school at Dubravica
9 normally, with all the people inside, whoever was
11 Q. There were about 200 kilograms of explosives
12 that were placed around the school?
13 A. I can't tell you exactly, but there was quite
14 a lot of explosive, yes.
15 Q. Sometime around the 20th of April the Armija
16 launched an offensive against the school; the Vitezovi
17 put up a defence line; the area was bombed; and you
18 noted that at a certain point in time the Armija
20 A. Yes, the BiH Army -- yes, you could call it
21 the BiH Army from Poculica and from other places, they
22 attacked and they reached about 100 to 150 metres from
23 the entrance to the school. Then the Vitezovi managed
24 to push them back again and they retreated.
25 Q. Did you have the feeling at the time that the
1 BiH Army stopped its offensive because it was aware of
2 the presence of these prisoners in the school and the
3 risk that existed of the building being destroyed?
4 JUDGE MAY: The witness can't answer what the
5 BiH Army did. What was in their minds is a matter for
7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
8 Q. Mr. Breljas, in your opinion, the resistance
9 put up by the Vitezovi around the school, was that the
10 only explanation for the suspension of the army
12 A. No, I could not agree with that, because
13 according to my military expertise the Vitezovi were
14 weak to repulse such an attack. I think it was either
15 the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina that gave
16 instructions not to attack or the reason was that the
17 explosives had been placed around the school and that a
18 catastrophe might occur.
19 JUDGE MAY: That is precisely the point which
20 I had in mind. The witness can't say what was in the
21 mind of the army. It was -- it's for them to say.
22 Let's move on.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Sometime in May 1993, Mr. Breljas, members of
25 your unit, Nikola and Jako Krizanac, captured Kemal
1 Poricanan, a judge from the region of Travnik, together
2 with his driver called Jasenko; you remember that?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, if there's no
5 dispute about this evidence, it can be taken fairly
7 Q. The judge Poricanan and his driver were
8 killed during their detention, weren't they?
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. And as far as you know, their bodies were
11 thrown into the Lasva River.
12 A. Yes, correct.
13 Q. Do you also remember that the judge was to
14 have been filmed by a cameraman and that this film was
15 to be shown later on, and in view of the condition of
16 the judge who was beaten, you asked your superior for a
17 postponement so that he would be presentable before the
18 cameras; do you remember that?
19 A. Yes, that is true. He was in the cellar, and
20 to assist him -- he had been very badly beaten up, his
21 ribs had been broken -- and to help him, I told Darko
22 Kraljevic that he could only die in the cellar, that he
23 had to be transferred to a room and to a bed and that
24 he had to be treated.
25 Q. Do you remember the person who was going to
1 film the judge with a camera?
2 A. I don't know him. I saw him when he was
3 filming, when they came, but I really don't know his
4 name, nor do I know who he is. He was just a man who
5 came to make the film, and he actually did film him.
6 Q. Did he belong to a team of cameramen from the
7 Vitez zone placed at the disposal of the Vitez Brigade?
8 A. Not among those that I knew. He may have
9 been someone I didn't know.
10 Q. On November the 1st, 1993, you organised a
11 ceremony in memory of the members of the Vitezovi who
12 had been killed.
13 A. Yes, this was the Day of the Dead, and I
14 prepared the ceremony for the dead Vitezovi.
15 Q. Mr. Kraljevic and Cerkez attended the
17 A. To be able to take a decision, I lit three
18 large candles. On one I put the commander of the
19 special purpose Vitezovi, commander of the Vitez
20 Brigade, and commander of the Operative Zone Vitez, for
21 each of them to come and light those candles. Mario
22 Cerkez came to light his, but Mr. Blaskic sent his IPD
23 officer instead of him.
24 Q. Mario Cerkez was unable to exercise the
25 functions of brigade commander after the end of October
2 A. Later, after that, he was commander for
3 sometime after that. He stopped being commander when,
4 at Grobcic, the BH army infiltrated themselves and
5 destroyed 32 soldiers. That is when he was deprived of
6 his command.
7 Q. Could you indicate with greater precision the
8 date when this occurred?
9 A. I think it was the first week of December.
10 Q. In December 1993 then.
11 A. Yes, correct.
12 Q. As far as you know, Mario Cerkez and Darko
13 Kraljevic went to the same school and knew one another
14 very well, they got on very well.
15 A. Whether they went to the same school and the
16 same class, I don't know, but I do know that they knew
17 each other very well because they came from the same
18 place, the same village.
19 Q. Did they meet often, as far as you know?
20 A. Quite certainly they did, but in wartime,
21 between Darko Kraljevic and Mario Cerkez, there was a
22 dispute as to who was the more important commander.
23 That was the only disagreement between them.
24 Everything else functioned normally.
25 Q. On several occasions, you were able to note
1 that it was Mr. Cerkez who provided Darko Kraljevic
2 with fuel when he was short of it.
3 A. Not only did I note it but I was present when
4 Darko Kraljevic picked up the telephone and talked to
5 Cerkez, and then he said at the end, "We're old
6 friends. Will you give me some fuel because I haven't
7 got any?" and then he said, "Of course I will." I was
8 quite close and I could hear this conversation.
9 Q. You told us that as far as you know the
10 Vitezovi unit was not formally subordinated to the
11 Vitez Brigade, but there was an agreement, according to
12 which, for logistic reasons, the Vitezovi unit was
13 sometimes called the 4th Battalion of the Vitez
15 A. If I may, I would have to give you a more
16 detailed answer to make myself quite clear. The
17 Vitezovi and the Vitez Brigade were absolutely the same
18 unit, the only thing being that the Vitezovi were the
19 assault units, the special troops, elite troops,
20 whereas the Vitezovi [as interpreted] were defensive
21 forces. There was some disagreement over the command.
22 The command was disunited, but the troops, the
23 Vitezovi, were the storm units of the Vitez Brigade.
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I think
25 there's a small error in the transcript. The
1 distinction between the Vitezovi as the assault unit
2 and special unit, "whereas the Vitezovi," it says
3 again, but it should be "members of the Vitez Brigade
4 were defensive forces."
5 Q. You saw repeatedly that the Vitezovi and the
6 Vitez Brigade acted jointly in the Vitez sector and
7 that on those occasions, during such operations, the
8 Vitezovi received instructions from Mario Cerkez who,
9 in his turn, received them from the operative centre of
10 Central Bosnia, that is, Colonel Blaskic.
11 MR. KOVACIC: I object, Your Honour. I think
12 it is clearly too leading a question.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Breljas, would you tell us
14 how you understood the command structure to be
15 involving these people, particularly Colonel Blaskic
16 and Mr. Cerkez.
17 A. I did not say -- I never said that Colonel
18 Blaskic took part in it, but they were separated in the
19 sense that they did not fight together and they
20 couldn't because the Vitezovi PPD was a storm unit and
21 the others were defence units. But they could not
22 command the Vitezovi because Kraljevic would not let
23 them. It was said where the Vitezovi would fight,
24 along which route, and that had to be more difficult
25 and it was in the operative zone of the military
1 district of Vitez at Zavisna [phoen], and that is the
2 only place where I think they had contact with the
3 military district or, rather, Colonel Blaskic.
4 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Just to
5 round off the question that was asked by the President,
6 Judge May, could you tell the Chamber what was the
7 position of Mr. Cerkez in this command structure.
8 A. Mr. Cerkez, in the first half, he commanded
9 Vitez as a whole. In his operative zone, his
10 operatives decided what would be cleansed, what would
11 not, and what would happen. But the Vitezovi at that
12 time would be directed at a certain segment, a certain
13 part of the area which ought to be attacked, but such
14 orders could be issued by Darko Kraljevic and only by
15 Darko Kraljevic.
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Could
17 Mr. Cerkez then issue orders to the Vitezovi or was
18 that reserved only for Mr. Darko Kraljevic? Did they
19 receive their orders from anyone but Darko Kraljevic?
20 A. You're quite right, because the Vitezovi
21 would not obey him, would not do what they were told by
22 him, except that I do not know whether he and Kraljevic
23 would previously agree on an attack. He could not
24 issue any direct orders to the Vitezovi, but he could
25 not do that even though I would have liked him too.
1 But perhaps the two of them agreed about these things
2 together. I don't know.
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Thank you,
4 Mr. Breljas.
5 When military operation would be organised in
6 the command area of Mr. Mario Cerkez, it meant
7 distributing sectors among individual units. Who would
8 tell Darko Kraljevic where should the Vitezovi be
10 A. Darko Kraljevic had a deputy commander who
11 was sent to Vitezovi to destroy it, and that Dragan
12 Vinac, Dragan Vinac, he received orders because Darko
13 had already given in in 1993. He already realised that
14 the war was not a fair war. He was a good soldier,
15 perhaps a bit crude, but he was a good soldier. And he
16 was already giving in, therefore, so as to take the
17 command, Dragan Vinac, so as to take over the command.
18 And he planted all his friends, the majors, like
19 Plavcic, to be killed. And after Vinac there was also
20 this gentleman, what was his name, we call him grey
21 haired, the major, Sidi. He was a big master of Darko
22 Kraljevic, but he was trying very seriously to push
23 Darko Kraljevic in doing these things.
24 Q. I think we need a correction in the question
25 asked. I said, "Who could be issuing orders to Darko
1 Kraljevic?" Rather it was "Dario Kordic," as the
2 transcript said.
3 A. Well, such orders could have come from Mario
4 Cerkez in the former half of 1993. In the second half
5 1993 only Blaskic.
6 Q. You know from your field experience that
7 during military operations that we are talking about
8 the Vitezovi as a rule proceeded to the -- to the
9 plunder of individual houses, and there looted usually
10 small valuables, small sized valuables. Following
11 that, when the brigade units would arrive, each would
12 be larger objects of value which would be taken away by
13 the troops?
14 A. Vitezovi, as I have said, they were the storm
15 troops and they would be the first ones to enter a
16 locality. They were always on the front line. So
17 whatever they collected, they collected. Some small
18 things that you could pocket or put in your packsack or
19 whatever. But as the others came, they would take out
20 refrigerators and whatnot, and those who arrived last
21 would take off roof tiles from the roof.
22 MR. STEIN: Pardon me, Your Honour, the
23 transcript should reflect on page 60, line 15 and 13,
24 that the name is "Darko Kraljevic," not "Dario Kordic."
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I already
2 said that.
3 Q. So you are saying that there would be several
4 waves of attack, if I could call it that, of attack and
5 pillage. You said that Vitezovi would take small
6 objects and that others would help themselves to larger
7 objects. You say others. Who are they?
8 A. I mean the Vitez Brigade and those units, the
9 units of the Vitez Brigade, that is the rear units who
10 came at the second wave. Vitezovi were the ones who
11 would launch the first onslaught and who would start
12 the street fighting. And when that would be over --
13 because Vitez Brigade was a slightly more regular and
14 larger unit. And then the Vitez Brigade would come to
15 establish order -- order -- not order, disorder, but
16 also an order of some kind. And then they would
17 collect whatever they would happen to lay their hands
18 on. And then the refugees would come and would pick
19 out houses as they pleased and all the rest of it.
20 Q. And when the Vitez soldiers, when you said
21 took away refrigerators, furniture and things, I
22 suppose they used some vehicles to do that?
23 A. Vitezovi did not take those things away.
24 This was done by those from the Vitez Brigade.
25 Vitezovi would take smaller watches, gold, money, or
1 they would take passenger cars, for instance, tractors,
2 that is, things which were mobile. Otherwise with
3 trucks, that was done by the Vitez Brigade. These were
4 the ones. When these ones left, the other ones arrived
5 with a truck -- loaded trucks and left. And the war
6 was -- I mean, the attack was still raging on.
7 Q. You said that on the 18th of December 1993,
8 you had a list of Vitezovi members who were killed in
9 the conflict, at least on that particular date. I
10 should like to show this document which you signed,
11 which is Z13371. You were the one who drew up the
12 document, didn't you?
13 A. True. And that is not a complete document.
14 Two sheets are missing.
15 Q. There is a page with 33 names, I believe.
16 A. The list had to be longer, because I would
17 write in my report the fatalities, the casualties, and
18 those who could fight. But these are dead. But the
19 list is much longer. The list of the killed is much
20 longer. I mean, those killed in combat. They were
21 about 200 of them and, from what I can see here, there
22 is only -- 80. Excuse me. And here we have only 33
23 names. So it must have been lost somewhere.
24 Q. But you are confirming your signature, the
25 signature at the end of the page?
1 A. Yes. Yes. That is true. This is the seal
2 of our unit and this is my signature.
3 Q. I should like also to look at another
4 document, which is on the 10th of May 1993. And it is
5 Z871,1. Z871,1. It is a document dated 10th of May
6 1993, signed by Major Dragan Vinac. Do you see the
8 A. Yes. It's true that it was signed by Vinac
9 and this is Vinac's signature. That I can see.
10 Q. I should like to show now a third document,
11 which is Z808. It is a list compiled on the 24th of
12 April 1993, by your counterpart in the Vitez Brigade,
13 that is the officer responsible for information and
14 propaganda, Zvonimir Cilic, whom we already mentioned
16 A. Yes, I see that. I see the -- that some of
17 the names come from the Vitez Brigade.
18 Q. And as regards these three documents,
19 Mr. Breljas, you yourself said that there are several
20 names which appear on the list of the Vitez Brigade
21 members, that is on this list of Cilic, and that these
22 same names appear also on the other to a list of the
23 Vitezovi unit. I can give you these five names. They
24 are Lovro Kolak, Anto Franjic, Ivan Zuljevic, Vlado
25 Frankjovic, Zoran Ramljak.
1 A. As for the first four, from what I know, they
2 were in Vitez and in Vitezovi. As for the fifth, I'm
3 not sure because I do not have them on my files. I do
4 know about one who was killed in the attack on Mahala,
5 that is Stari Vitez, Mr. Ninko, and I wrote for him a
6 report on the casualties. But when I came to the
7 person who was sorting it out in the military district,
8 I found it again. And she also said, "How could he be
9 in two units, Vitezovi and here?" I said, "I don't
10 know. I have been given orders and he was there and he
11 was working, he was operating -- handling the motor
12 launcher, and that is why I wrote his name down." And
13 all of a sudden he turned up on the Vitezovi brigade
14 list. So he seems to have been in both places.
15 Q. And from the diaries of the documents it
16 seems that there was a certain confusion as for the
17 membership of these soldiers, in which units did they
18 belong to?
19 A. Well, yes, that's what it would look like.
20 Q. In the document which was signed by
21 Mr. Dragan Vinac, which is Z871,1. Do you have that
23 A. I do.
24 Q. And can you see in place number 2 and 3, two
25 soldiers mentioned here as men killed in combat, one of
1 them is Blaz Plavcic and the other one Goran Blazevic?
2 A. Yes. Yes, true. True.
3 Q. These two soldiers appear also on your list?
4 A. Yes, that is true.
5 Q. And you said that they were killed on the
6 23rd of October, 1992, both of them. Do you know about
7 the circumstances under which these soldiers, members
8 of this unit, were killed?
9 A. No, I wouldn't know that, because I was not
10 there at the time, why I put them -- the names here.
11 In Vitezovi, complete chaos reigned, so I tried to
12 collect all the odds and ends, and when I would find
13 somebody, that somebody had been killed, I would list
14 him down as killed from amongst the members of the
15 Vitezovi. But I don't really know anything about it
16 because there was no order in all these papers until I
17 started filing the casualties, fatalities and others.
18 Q. But do you know in what sector were the two
19 of them killed?
20 A. I do know about late Mr. Plavcic, because he
21 was my commander as brother. He was killed somewhere
22 above Novi Travnik in a village, but I really wouldn't
23 be able to give the name of the village. I know it is
24 above Novi Travnik. And he described it to me, but I
25 did not go there. And so I can't really know what the
1 name of the place is. I know it is above Novi
2 Travnik. It is said that they were -- they had a clash
3 above Novi Travnik and it was in one of those villages
4 that he was killed.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Usher, I should like to show
6 the last document to the witness. It is Z1279.
7 Mr. Breljas, will you please look at page 5
8 of the document. There is a paragraph 6 there. It is
9 called "measures taken by the administration." Can you
10 see the paragraph?
11 A. Yes, I do.
12 Q. And in this paragraph 6 there is a sub item 5
13 which relates to the Vitezovi.
14 A. Listen, this is in English, and I'd rather
15 have the translation of it --
16 Q. Oh, I'm sorry, yes. Yes, there is the
17 original version in Serbo-Croatian, page 5, paragraph 6
18 and subparagraph 5.
19 A. Except I can't find it here. Four, five.
20 Q. Can you see that passage?
21 A. I do. Yes, I can.
22 Q. Do you recall if your unit was ordered to
23 take to the front line soldiers of the Vitez Brigade
24 who were refusing to fight?
25 A. That I do recall. I can't find it here, but
1 I recall that very well indeed. And I even
2 demonstrated against that. I immediately went to the
3 district -- to the military district and said to put a
4 stop to that, because it is not up to Vitezovi to go
5 and try to round up men, but that would be only to
6 undermine the name of the Vitezovi, because before that
7 they had very high prestige. And that was meant to
8 undermine it, to smear their image so that people would
9 start hating them.
10 Q. Do you remember the order itself which was
11 issued to you at the time, and who did it come from?
12 A. No. I got the order. I know it came from
13 the Vitez Brigade, that those who'd fled from the front
14 line, that the Vitezovi should immediately proceed to
15 action, round them up in their homes and force them
16 back to the front line, but those were oral, those were
17 verbal orders only.
18 Q. Mr. Breljas, this document is of the 31st of
19 October, 1993. I merely wanted to draw your attention
20 to the fact that on that date, as you told us a moment
21 ago, Mario Cerkez was still the commander of the
23 A. The 31st, yes, true.
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Thank
25 you. We've finished with the documents.
1 Q. Mr. Breljas, for the last time, as for your
2 intervention as an interpreter at Kraljevic's request
3 when a humanitarian convoy was blocked at the
4 crossroads, at the intersection in Dubravica, do you
5 remember that?
6 A. I do, yes.
7 Q. Could you please tell us what happened when
8 you were asked to interpret on that occasion.
9 A. A soldier came to the barracks and said, "We
10 need an interpreter up there on the bridge to Vitez,"
11 and I went there. I saw there Mario Cerkez, there were
12 a number of people in trucks, and I also saw a tank and
13 a British -- rather, a U.N. APC there. And Mario
14 Cerkez then told me that I should tell them that they
15 could not proceed, because Darko Kraljevic also came
16 and I was ready to obey him, and he said, "Tell them
17 that they cannot move on," and I did to the Major, so I
18 did say that to the Major and told Mr. Major, "My
19 commander says that you may not move on or else they
20 will turn their RPGs on you and fire," and then my
21 commander, Darko Kraljevic, said, "And tell them that I
22 must search the tanks." So I told them, will they
23 allow us. They allowed us, and when he searched them
24 all, then he told the commander of the Vitez Brigade,
25 Mario Cerkez, "Tell us, what are we to do now, to let
1 them go or what?" And Mario Cerkez said, "Oh, no,
2 we're not letting them go." And then he said, "Right.
3 Then I will take a fresh leave," and he said, "You wait
4 here. Until I give you an order to withdraw, don't
5 withdraw," and I told this to the Major. The Major
6 went to sleep, and I went to a vehicle because the
7 night had fallen in the meantime. So I was there until
8 3.00 or 4.00 in the morning in that vehicle, drowsing,
9 sleeping, and then a soldier came and told me to let
10 the APC or the tank go, and I went to the Major and
11 said, "Major, you are free. You may go now."
12 Q. And this convoy, where was it headed?
13 A. It was the convoy which had been formed in
14 Split and was due for Tuzla.
15 Q. And do you know what happened to a large
16 number of vehicles in that convoy?
17 A. There is no living man who could explain it.
18 You would need at least 30 or 40 men who were in
19 different places because all of a sudden, this convoy
20 was taken and nobody knows what went where. Something
21 about 100 to 120 lorries went down to the explosive
22 factory and were there, and the others were driven
23 away, taken also in different directions, and nobody
24 knows where is what. In my barracks, I found seven
25 trucks and the rest, well, they were all over Vitez and
1 the surrounding villages. They had been driven away to
2 all sorts of places. I don't know how to explain it to
3 you really.
4 Q. After these events in September 1993, you
5 were able to see that Mario Cerkez and Colonel Blaskic
6 participated together in the capture of the village of
8 A. Yes, that is correct. Mario Cerkez and
9 Colonel Blaskic were in a church near Mosunj. The
10 artillery for the attack was on a hill above the
11 explosives factory, and the attack was to start on
12 Grbavica. That is the first and only attack
13 strategically carried out in accordance with all rules
14 of warfare. Only one man was killed, one civilian, by
15 chance, and the Jokers ran into a minefield and didn't
16 move any further.
17 Q. The units that participated in this attack
18 were the Vitezovi, the Vitez Brigade, and the Jokers.
19 A. Yes, correct. There may have been some
20 others but I'm not aware of it.
21 Q. And at the end of December 1993, Colonel
22 Blaskic demanded the disbanding of the Vitezovi unit.
23 A. Yes. This was after Christmas, just before
24 the new year, we received orders. First we received
25 congratulations from Mr. Ante Roso, the commander of
1 Herceg-Bosna, he was newly appointed, and he expressed
2 best wishes for Christmas and the new year. And
3 immediately after that, they said that every soldier
4 who was looting would be sent to prison and some
5 executed, and eventually there was an order that the
6 Vitezovi should be disbanded.
7 Q. Was that the first time that you heard this
8 type of threat made against soldiers for misbehaviour?
9 A. Yes, that is the first time since I had
10 joined those ranks that there was such a strict order
11 to that effect.
12 Q. A certain number of former members of the
13 Vitezovi unit were integrated in the new brigade set up
14 in Vitez that became the 3rd Guards Brigade of which
15 the commander was Dragan Vinac, your former deputy
16 commander; isn't that correct?
17 A. He wasn't the commander but he was the deputy
18 commander. The commander was -- I know the name but
19 for the moment I can't recollect. He was the deputy
20 and he was the founder of the Vitez Brigade. But the
21 commander, I don't know exactly who he was.
22 Q. Thank you, Mr. Breljas.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
24 Mr. President, I have finished with the
25 examination-in-chief of this witness.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Stein.
2 MR. STEIN: Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Stein:
4 Q. Mr. Breljas, my name is Bob Stein. I
5 represent Dario Kordic. If there's any question that I
6 ask you that you don't understand, will you let me
8 A. Very well.
9 Q. Now, I understand from papers supplied to us
10 by the Office of the Prosecutor that you speak English;
11 is that correct?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Greek.
14 A. Some Greek, yes, that is correct.
15 Q. Italian.
16 A. Again, a little bit. Not very well, but a
17 little bit.
18 Q. And, of course, your native tongue, Croatian
19 or B/C/S; correct?
20 A. Of course.
21 Q. Now, you spoke with officials from the
22 Prosecutor's office, did you not? Specifically, you
23 spoke with them in March of 1998 between April -- I'm
24 sorry --
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. You spent eight days with them altogether;
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. And during that interview, you spoke Bosnian
5 and English; right?
6 A. Listen, the Bosnian language is really the
7 Serbo-Croatian language, but very well, let's make it
8 Bosnian and English.
9 Q. Fair enough. In any event, sir, during that
10 eight-day interview with representatives from the
11 Prosecutor's office, they told you that they were going
12 to ask you a series of questions and that some of your
13 answers may, in fact, make you a war criminal; isn't
14 that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. And, indeed, they warned you about your
17 rights against incriminating yourself, did they not?
18 A. They said -- but I told them, "I am not
19 afraid of it. I have nothing to be afraid of. I am
20 speaking the truth and I have nothing to fear."
21 Q. Then let me ask you this, sir: At the end of
22 your statement, and I would like to hand that to you
23 now, there's room for your signature. Take a look at
24 the back page, please. There's room for your
25 signature, is there not, sir?
1 A. Yes. But now I'm reading it.
2 Q. But you didn't sign it, did you, sir?
3 A. Listen, I don't know. Whatever I was given
4 to sign, I signed, whatever was translated to me. I
5 don't know what document this is. You have to explain
6 to me what this is so that I would know. I did sign
7 some documents, but I don't know what this is.
8 Q. Well, take a look at the front page, sir.
9 This is the document that you participated in in March
10 of 1998, an interview. Sir, if you look at the first
12 A. Yes, that is correct. I don't know how I did
13 not sign this. I signed whatever I was supposed to
14 sign, and about this, I am not clear how this was not
15 also handed in to me to sign. I don't know.
16 Q. In any event, sir, you were given an
17 opportunity to read that statement before testifying
18 today; isn't that correct?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. And everything said in that statement is true
21 and correct; isn't that so, sir?
22 A. I don't know in this one, but in the one that
23 was read back to me, yes.
24 Q. All right. During your meeting before your
25 testimony with the Prosecutor, didn't they give you the
1 opportunity to look at that statement and read it and
2 make corrections to it if you wanted to?
3 A. Yes. This was during the investigation, not
4 in the court. They asked me to correct anything I had
5 to correct, and then after that everything was regular
6 and whatever I was told, that was in there and that is
7 what I signed. I don't know what this is.
8 Q. If I understand your answer, sir, when these
9 investigators from the ICTY were done with you in March
10 of 1998, they went through this with you, gave you an
11 opportunity to correct it, you made no corrections, and
12 it stands as a true and correct document; is that
13 right, sir?
14 A. Yes, that is correct. That is correct.
15 Q. Similarly, in November of 1996, November 7 to
16 be specific, you also gave a statement --
17 A. Yes, that is correct.
18 Q. -- and that was to the Bosnian authorities.
19 I'd like to give you a copy of that statement, please.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Stein, if anything --
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 JUDGE MAY: -- if anything turns on these
23 documents, we shall need copies.
24 MR. STEIN: Yes, I have them for you, Your
1 Q. Everything you told the Bosnian authorities
2 is also correct and true; yes, sir?
3 A. Yes, that is correct and true.
4 Q. And last, you appeared before the
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency State Commission for
6 Gathering Facts on War Crimes and told them the truth
7 too, did you not? And that would have been in February
9 A. That is not correct. I did say some things
10 but that was only two pages, the basic things that they
11 were interested in. They were interested in the
12 looting of the convoy and some minor things, and this
13 is what I told them, and it amounted to only two
15 Q. And here are those two pages, sir. My point
16 being that everything in these two pages is true and
17 correct; yes? That's your signature on the last page,
18 is it not, sir?
19 A. Yes, but this only states that I would give a
20 statement. But when I got -- when I made contact with
21 the War Crimes Tribunal, I stopped that, I never went
22 there and never gave a statement after that.
23 Q That two-page statement before you is true
24 and correct; is it not, sir?
25 A. Yes, those two pages. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. I understand, sir, that you were picked up --
2 strike that. Do I understand that Colonel Stewart,
3 Colonel Robert Stewart, passed you on the road to Vitez
4 and then later picked you up there and took you to
5 Vitez in April of 1993. Do you remember that?
6 A. Yes, that is when I had gone to Zenica on one
7 occasion, and on the way back from Zenica he picked me
8 up. At that time already, that was the time when Zivko
9 Totic was arrested. That was actually that very day.
10 That was the day when he picked me up there.
11 Q. Do I understand that Colonel Stewart picked
12 you up after he had actually passed by you once and
13 told you to wait there; is that right?
14 A. Yes, that is correct. Because the shooting
15 had already started and also the shelling, and I was up
16 at Sljivcica, and that was in the Muslim territory, and
17 I realised that I was in trouble because I was late. I
18 was in civilian clothes. And I said "Mr. Stewart" --
19 actually, I didn't address him like that. I said, "I
20 am a Croat. Can you drop me to the Croatian border?"
21 He said, "Yes." I had to go to Zenica then. On the
22 way back I helped him remove several anti-tank mines.
23 I did not move from that spot because I would
24 have been killed had I done so, had I moved from that
25 spot. So that when he returned, I ran into his jeep
1 and came back to Vitez.
2 Q. And he took you back to Vitez; is that
3 correct? Colonel Stewart himself?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. You sat with him in the jeep, did you?
6 A. Correct.
7 Q. And I want to ask you again, sir, that was on
8 April 16th, wasn't it, sir, the day after the Totic
10 A. That is not correct. It was on the 15th of
12 Q. I put it to you -- by the way, to make this
13 examination easier, may we have Z2781,2, the map.
14 Perhaps we can use ours. Would you put this on the
15 ELMO, please.
16 Now, would you point out for us, sir, Vitez
17 on the map? It's in the lower left-hand side. You can
18 look to your right. It might be easier for you. Did I
19 say it right? I meant left.
20 A. Yes, right. Here is Vitez. Here it is.
21 Q. You had been in Zenica; had you not?
22 A. Yes, that was in the morning, in the morning
23 around 10:00, 10.30. I was in the area where the new
24 and the old Zenica have a boundary, and the units had
25 already taken positions and did not let anyone cross.
1 I managed to get across and arrive in Sljivcica where
2 the fighting had already begun.
3 Q. All right. So you had been to Zenica and you
4 were travelling down the mountain road, were you not,
5 to try to get back to Vitez?
6 A. To Vitez.
7 Q. And you were stopped in Poculica?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 Q. That is when you first saw Colonel Stewart
10 drive by; correct?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. He was coming from Vitez to Zenica, right?
13 A. Yes, from Vitez to Zenica. That is correct.
14 Q. And then, according to you, he picked you up
15 on the way back and drove you to Vitez, right?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. You say that was on the 15th of April, the
18 day that --
19 A. Whether that was 15, 14 or 16, but it was on
20 the very day when Zivko Totic was arrested, and I don't
21 know when that was. I would like to request to ask me
22 as little as possible about the dates and days, because
23 those dates and those days I did not follow closely and
24 I was not interested in that. But I know the facts.
25 Zivko Totic had been arrested there, Colonel Stewart
1 flew over to Zenica to intervene on that. A couple of
2 hours later he drove back. He picked me up and three
3 or four -- about three or four hours back in Vitez.
4 Q. Fine, sir. Let me put it to you that Colonel
5 Stewart in his statement to the Office of the
6 Prosecutor --
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, this isn't going to assist,
8 I suggest. Now we've spent quite a time on this. No
9 doubt, the date can be established one way or another.
10 What's the point?
11 MR. STEIN: My point is this, sir. According
12 to Colonel Stewart, he stayed overnight in Zenica on 15
13 April, returned on 16 April, and so, according to the
14 witness's testimony and dovetailing that to the
15 Colonel's diary, Colonel Stewart picked this man up on
16 16 April at -- before 9.00 in the morning.
17 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Whichever day it was,
18 the witness says that he can't remember the dates
20 MR. STEIN: Yes, sir.
21 JUDGE MAY: Whichever date it was, what
22 arises from it?
23 MR. STEIN: What arises from it is allegedly
24 he heard on the night of April 15, 16, in the early
25 hours, conversations with Mr. Kordic and others
1 relative to some plan. We dispute that, and indeed it
2 is our position that he was not in Vitez or in the
3 surrounds on 15 April. He did not get back to Vitez
4 until 16 April.
5 JUDGE MAY: "He" being?
6 MR. STEIN: "He" being the witness.
7 JUDGE MAY: The witness.
8 MR. STEIN: And again, for the record, and I
9 think the record is plain on this, the Totic kidnapping
10 occurred on 15 April in the early morning hours.
11 A. May I now answer this?
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, you can answer if you want.
13 A. First of all, it is not correct that
14 Mr. Stewart went from Zenica to Vitez. Colonel Stewart
15 went to Zenica in the morning. I was in a canal and I
16 asked him. And he said, "I will pick you up on the way
17 back." Three or four hours later he came back. And
18 again I claim, and I can state under oath, that it was
19 correct that not even three hours had passed between
20 his going to Zenica and his return, because I helped
21 him, when he was going from Vitez to Zenica, I helped
22 him clear the mines which were in the middle in
23 Sljivcica, and on the way back he picked me up.
24 MR. STEIN:
25 Q. Sir, regardless of that, would you turn,
1 please, to your statement given to the ICTY on March
3 JUDGE MAY: Let us have a copy, please.
4 MR. STEIN: Yes. Here you are, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MAY: Do you want this exhibited,
6 Mr. Stein?
7 MR. STEIN: No, it's just for Your Honour's
9 Q. Turning to page 5 of the English, and that
10 would be page --
11 THE INTERPRETER: May the interpreters get a
12 copy or have the document placed on the ELMO, please.
13 MR. STEIN: We have extra copies for the
14 interpreters. Page 4 of the Croatian, and maybe we
15 could put it on the ELMO, although we will give the
16 interpreters a copy at the break.
17 Q. Follow along in your own statement, sir. It
18 would be about the last -- next to last full
19 paragraph. It says here:
20 "About ten days after joining the Vitezovi,
21 I, together with two Vitezovi scouts sent by Darko
22 Kraljevic to Zenica, to gather intelligence about the
23 Armija BiH. I spent about three days in Zenica to
24 perform the job. I started back to Dubravica, Vitez,
25 the same day when Zvonko Totic was taken prisoner and
1 his bodyguards were killed. It was, I think, April 14,
2 1993. However, I could not make it beyond Cajdras, as
3 I learned that shooting had broken out between the
4 Vitezovi and those who were defending the Muslim
5 village of Poculica from the assailant Vitezovi."
6 I'll skip the next sentence. Then it says:
7 "Getting to Cajdras at about 4.00 in the
8 afternoon on April 15, I was stranded there until about
9 10.00 or 11.00 at night the same day. I spent the time
10 at the church building in the Cajdras village. I had
11 already sent two scouts across to Vitez through the
12 woods and over the hills. In the evening of April 15,
13 1993, I set out from Cajdras towards Poculica on my way
14 to Dubravica. As I neared the upper part of Poculica
15 called Sljivcica, where a mosque is situated, I could
16 see grenades being fired."
17 I am going to skip a couple of lines because
18 I want to get to the important thing:
19 "I hid myself in a ditch near the road so
20 that I would not be hit by a bullet. Fearing that I
21 may be hit, I took out a paper and wrote, 'In case I am
22 found dead, not killed by Bosnian Armija, but a stray
23 bullet.' I spent a night in the ditch. The next day
24 was, I think, April 15.
25 At about 10.00 in the morning on April 15,
1 1993, I saw an UNPROFOR patrol approaching from the
2 direction of Vitez to Zenica."
3 And then the rest of the paragraph, sir,
4 talks about Colonel Stewart clearing mines and then
5 goes on to say:
6 "By 2.00 in the afternoon the UNPROFOR patrol
7 returned and I was taken to Vitez. I went to the
9 Sir, again I put to you that Colonel Stewart,
10 in his statement to the investigators of the ICTY, as
11 well as in his contemporaneous journal, says that he
12 spent the night in Zenica on 15 April and returned
13 early in the morning hours of 16 April 1993.
14 Therefore, sir, I say to you, you could not
15 have been at the headquarters in Dubravica on the night
16 of 15 April and the early morning hours of 16 April.
17 A. It is absolutely impossible, but neither did
18 I sleep in the ditch. I spent about three to four
19 hours in the ditch. And it is absolutely impossible
20 that he could have picked me up in the morning. He
21 could only have picked me up, even if it was 1.00 p.m.,
22 but it would have been impossible to -- it to have been
23 in the morning, because I started out in the morning
24 after 10.00 a.m. from Zenica in the direction of
25 Vitez. I arrived at Sljivcica where fierce shooting
1 had already broken out. I had to hide in this ditch,
2 and I spent there three to four hours. And even that
3 is too long.
4 But let's say it was four hours. And
5 Mr. Stewart on that very same day went to Zenica and
6 came back from Zenica. I can state that with -- and
7 take full responsibility for it.
8 Because the next day I realised that down
9 there, when I went down to the bakery, which was
10 across -- there was a ramp there with the soldiers, the
11 HVO soldiers. That morning they had left the
12 positions. I did not find them there. And that day
13 was when the war took place, and that was on the 16th
14 of April.
15 Q. Your Honour, I don't want to debate this
16 issue. When Colonel Stewart testifies next week, we
17 will point him out -- point the Colonel to his ICTY
18 statement at page 5 for these issues.
19 Now, sir, do I take it that you contend that
20 as an IPD officer you had the rank of lieutenant; is
21 that right?
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. These were informal ranks, were they not?
24 A. Yes. At that time they were not official
25 ranks. The people were given promotions on the basis
1 of your rank. I was counted as a lieutenant and so I
2 was a lieutenant. And later on the late Franjo Tudjman
3 verified this rank in order for it to be officially
5 Q. Your Honours, on this issue, without debating
6 it, I again would point Your Honours to the record of
7 Mr. Tuka's testimony on November 22nd, 1999, day 89,
8 line 16 through 17, that there were no ranks. And
9 Witness "Z."'s testimony on December 6, 1999, day 99, at
10 line 81, in a conversation with Blaskic she had again
11 stated there were no official ranks.
12 If this is a convenient time, it is for me,
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll adjourn. Mr. Breljas,
15 we are going to adjourn now for the lunch adjournment
16 until half past 2.00. Could you remember in this
17 adjournment, and any others there may be, not to speak
18 to anybody about your evidence until it's over. And of
19 course don't let anybody speak to you about it. And
20 that does include the members of the Prosecution.
21 Could you be back, please, at half past
23 THE WITNESS: I understood your direction.
24 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.34 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Stein, there's just one
3 matter I want to ask the legal officer. Yes, thank
5 MR. STEIN: Thank you, sir.
6 Q. Mr. Breljas, there are a couple of things
7 from this morning's testimony in the response to
8 questions from the Prosecutor that I want to clear up.
9 Would you please have in front of you the November 7,
10 1996 statement that you gave. Do you have that in
11 front of you?
12 A. I believe so.
13 Q. It looks like this. It looks like this.
14 A. Yes, I have it.
15 Q. Now, this morning you told us that at the end
16 of March 1993 you met Dario Kordic in Tisovac outside
17 of Busovaca and you asked him whether he could give you
18 an assignment within the HVO forces, and that's at page
19 19 of the LiveNote. Yet, I want you to take a look at
20 your November 7, 1996 statement at the first -- I'm
21 sorry, the third full paragraph after the word
22 "Statement," and you tell the public officials in 1996
23 that: "It was only on 17 February 1993, after a couple
24 of attempts, that I managed to reach Kiseljak. Upon my
25 arrival in Kiseljak, I spent seven days in a barracks,
1 and since I made reference to my acquaintance with
2 Dario Kordic, I think the people in charge of the
3 barracks informed him, so that on 1 March 1993 I was
4 assigned to RR wartime duties in the Vitezovi Special
5 Task Force PPN in Vitez."
6 In fact, sir, you didn't meet Mr. Kordic at
7 all in terms of getting an assignment to join the HVO;
8 isn't that true?
9 A. No, it is not true. It is true that I had a
10 very hard time getting out because I wanted to go to
11 Sarajevo. I knew that the HOS was not fighting against
12 the BH army. It is quite true that I came and that for
13 awhile I was in the Vitezovi barracks, not some other
14 barracks but the Vitezovi barracks. At that time, I
15 was just a plain civilian, an ordinary civilian. I was
16 lying in a room, and then after that, I went and saw
17 Mr. Dario Kordic.
18 I cannot claim with any certainty that Dario
19 Kordic would remember me from before, but I did to
20 begin with because I am a photographer in a photograph
21 shop, his pictures were developed, and then the second
22 time I saw him, it was in 1992 -- or 1989, rather, on
23 St. Anthony's Day. He delivered a speech in Busovaca
24 next to the St. Anthony's church.
25 Q. Let me be more clear. You, of your own
1 personal information or knowledge, do not know whether
2 or not Dario Kordic in any way helped you get into the
3 HVO; isn't that true?
4 A. Yes, he did help me, sure he did, because he
5 determined which direction I should take.
6 Q. You don't know of your own personal knowledge
7 whether he made any calls on your behalf, wrote any
8 letters on your behalf. All you know is he said, "Go
9 out --"
10 A. That, I don't know.
11 Q. All right. All you know is he basically went
12 off and said, "Go see Darko Kraljevic"; correct?
13 A. Yes, it is. It is. That is correct.
14 Q. Now, one other thing I was confused by,
15 Mr. Lopez-Terres asked you whether your date of birth
16 was 16 January, 1940. Is that your date of birth?
17 A. No. The 18th of January. He said "19th" and
18 I tried to rectify it but I had no time. The 18th of
19 January, 1940.
20 Q. I thought earlier this morning you told us
21 you were born in April of 1940.
22 A. Excuse me, sir, but you couldn't hear it from
23 me. Not 1944, 1940.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, 1940 was the date which I
1 MR. STEIN: Yes, the 1940 we don't quibble
2 with, Your Honour. It's the April versus January issue
3 that I'm looking at now.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, the witness probably can
5 give the best evidence of that.
6 MR. STEIN: Yes.
7 Q. At page 18 of the LiveNote, we have "18
8 April." So my question again, sir: What is your date
9 of birth?
10 A. You could not find that, because what I know,
11 and I know it from my early childhood, the 18th of
12 January, 1940, one day after St. Ante Pavelic. I hope
13 I've explained it now.
14 Q. Take a look at the document that's in front
15 of you, the 7 November 1996 record. That shows your
16 personal identification number is "16-01-1940," and
17 then there's some other numbers. Sir, you and I both
18 can agree that "16-01-1940" is to be the 16th day of
19 January, 1940; isn't that right?
20 A. It is right. In 1996, when I came to
21 Sarajevo, it is quite true, and that is why I requested
22 that it be rectified. I went there and asked them to
23 do that, and they said, "Oh, yes, of course, we shall
24 change it." But that was an error, I had it in my
25 identity card, and in a way I thought that perhaps it
1 was a deliberate error so that I would have to come
2 again to fetch my identity card -- well, be that as it
3 may, but they couldn't find it anywhere because even my
4 personal number said "18" rather than "16," at least
5 that is how it was before the war. Now, I don't know,
6 because as of 1991, everybody did as he pleased. So I
7 just don't know now.
8 Q. Well, as of 1998, your personal
9 identification number was also "16-01-1940" and then
10 some other numbers identical to that which is in your
11 November 7 statement; isn't that correct, sir? Take a
12 look at the official note from February 16, 1998.
13 You'll see it right in the first paragraph.
14 A. That, I do not have to look at because I was
15 regularly registered in two places. In Dubrovnik, that
16 is one, and all the original documents are with me. My
17 Dubrovnik identity card and my Dubrovnik driving
18 license and my passport say the 18th of January, 1940,
19 and my personal number is 18-01-1940. These are, yes,
20 the first numbers of one's personal number.
21 Q. Let's move along, sir. The duties of the IPD
22 officers were to take care of prisoners; correct?
23 A. No, not only that. I did that along with
24 some other jobs. I had different duties at the PPN
25 Vitezovi because Dragan Vinac did not want me to accept
1 some soldiers who were his bosses before the war. So
2 that I looked after the prisoners of war and after
3 soldiers and I did all sorts of things, and I really
4 think I had to play the jack of all trades there.
5 Q. All right. I didn't mean to say that was
6 your only duty. My point is IPD officers, as I
7 understand from your statement and testimony, were in
8 charge of prisoners; they were liaisons with the
9 various other military units; they were in charge of
10 logistics; and they were also in charge of the general
11 education of soldiers and morale; is that correct?
12 A. No, it is not. IPD officer was responsible
13 only for deciding on what kind of a soldier one was,
14 whether the soldiers had carried out an order wrong,
15 whether they behaved correctly or not, and things like
16 that. An IPD officer had to have a board and say:
17 This such and such soldier has committed this and that
18 mistake; such and such officer has committed this kind
19 of error. That was the official IPD's duty. And other
20 IPD's has nothing to do with that, about prisoners.
21 All they could say was whether the prisoners were
22 treated properly or not. They did not have any other
23 men. I was there. I was with Medecins Sans Frontieres
24 because I could speak English, and I interpreted there
25 and I did that. But that was not my duty.
1 An IPD officer was there to say whether
2 soldiers were properly behaving themselves and about
3 the status of prisoners. That was all, normally.
4 Q. Well, sir, with respect, the IPD officers
5 also dealt with the morale of each of the units; isn't
6 that correct?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. And you sensitised the soldiers to the Geneva
9 Conventions; did you not?
10 A. Not soldiers, because soldiers could not
11 understand it. But, yes, with some soldiers, yes, I
12 told them.
13 Q. Sir, I don't want to be picky about this, but
14 if you take a look at your statements given to the
15 officers and agents of the ICTY on page 15, the third
16 paragraph from the top:
17 "Within the units IPD officers were
18 responsible for the general education and instruction
19 of the soldiers in the units. An IPD officer would
20 instruct a soldier in his responsibilities in the
21 combat, his conduct towards others and sensitise them
22 to the Geneva Conventions. IPD officers and units were
23 also responsible for receiving orders from the IPD
24 officer of the military district office and to impart
25 the instructions contained in those orders to the
1 soldiers of the units. I also dealt with issues
2 concerning morale."
3 That was your statement to the Tribunal
4 investigators in 1998. Do you agree with that or
5 disagree with that?
6 A. That is what I just told you.
7 Q. Now, from that description, can we agree that
8 the IPD officers were military officers?
9 A. Yes, military officers.
10 Q. They weren't political officers; isn't that
12 A. They were a bridge between the military and
13 the politicians. They were that bridge who from -- who
14 were bridged over the distance, the gap between the
15 political circles and military circles.
16 Q. Your IPD officers and yourself certainly had
17 no say in political decisions; isn't that right?
18 A. Quite correct. Only transmission of
19 political messages.
20 Q. Any orders that came to the IPD officers came
21 from military superiors; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. The IPD officers met weekly with the head of
24 the IPD for the military district; correct?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. On several occasions, in fact, you met with
2 Colonel Blaskic as commander of the district; correct?
3 A. I did. I was really pestering him. I was
4 badgering him by telephone, because I wanted to keep
5 him informed about certain things.
6 Q. We'll get to that in a little while. My
7 point is, sir, when the IPD officers met weekly,
8 occasionally Colonel Blaskic himself would arrive?
10 A. No, never.
11 Q. He would send his IPD officer to these
12 meetings; correct?
13 A. Yes. It was always his IPD officer who was
14 there. I mean, he would chair such meetings.
15 Q. Dario Kordic never attended any of these IPD
16 meetings; correct?
17 A. He did not, no.
18 Q. Now, as I understand again from your
19 statement to the ICTY investigators, your unit was
20 organised with three lieutenants, one captain, three
21 majors and one colonel; isn't that right?
22 A. That was in the early days. When I was
23 there, there were two colonels, three majors, two
24 Captains, four lieutenants. And there were several
25 sergeants, I don't know how many, five, six perhaps.
1 Q. In any event, whether it was earlier or
2 later, all of these officers or all of these ranks were
3 military ranks; correct?
4 A. Quite.
5 Q. And they all had military duties; correct?
6 A. It is.
7 Q. And Darko Kraljevic appointed you as the IPD
8 officer because of your English literacy; correct?
9 A. Among other things. And also because I was
10 the eldest there, that is, I was 22, 24 years senior to
11 the oldest one of the others. And I suppose he
12 realised that. He trusted me, and that was that.
13 Q. Yes. You had his confidence; correct?
14 A. Yes. Because I drew his attention to certain
15 things, to show him how some majors of his were laying
16 traps for him so as to ruin his military career.
17 Q. On the other hand, he would bypass you
18 whenever there were any dirty dealings afoot, because
19 of your principled attitudes; correct?
20 A. It is, and he did it several times. And then
21 -- and then I told him, "Darko, you don't have to
22 bypass me. I'll tell you whether you should do
23 something or shouldn't do something, whether something
24 is ethical or not, but do not listen to everybody,"
25 because I notice there are spies in units. They wanted
1 to ruin him. He was a great name in the Vitez area and
2 he was a good and honest man. Except that he was an
3 unrefined man and he did not have enough imagination,
4 enough education to think of things. But he always
5 performed what he set out to perform.
6 Q. I want to turn our attention, if I can, to
7 the names of the combat units. You mentioned earlier
8 this morning Puma and Wolf and others. Am I correct
9 that you also said at times the names of the combat
10 units would change?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Certainly now, in the year 2000, you wouldn't
13 be able to give us the dates or the name changes as
14 they occurred while you were with the HVO, would you?
15 A. No way. It was temporary. I think the names
16 were changed about two times. I believe Puma's
17 changed. Wolf stayed Wolves 'til the end. And the
18 Puma, I think, and the Foxes changed their names, or
19 perhaps Foxes only. At any rate, I believe units
20 changed about twice and then they would revert to their
21 original name.
22 Q. Fair enough. And you can't help us with what
23 the names of the units were before you joined the
24 Vitezovi, can you?
25 A. I could tell you about three months back, but
1 not before that, because that name they had throughout,
2 I believe ever since the foundation.
3 Q. All right. Thank you. Now, additionally,
4 besides the names of the units, the soldiers themselves
5 had call signs; isn't that true?
6 A. I don't understand that question. What kind
7 of calling signs do you mean?
8 Q. Colonel Blaskic at one point, for instance,
9 his call sign was 21, and his artillery commander was
10 18. Does that remind you of the call signs we are
11 talking about?
12 A. Yes, I see now. Now I understand. Vitezovi
13 were not all that trained to think in that way. They
14 had a somewhat lower rank of communication in their
15 operational work. Say, if one of those squads or
16 something that would get away, they would call Puma 1,
17 Puma 2, or if they split into three groups, it would be
18 Puma 1, 2 and 3. I mean, it was -- after all,
19 Mr. Blaskic was the only strategist who was in Vitez,
20 and he had these things organised in a more
21 sophisticated manner.
22 Q. I don't want to make a big deal out of this.
23 My point being that there were individual soldiers who
24 had individual numbers as their call sign, such as
25 Blaskic, number 21; correct?
1 A. No, those figures, as I told you, during an
2 attack or something like that, of course they would
3 have it. They would have a code name or the figure
4 that was on their Motorolas, for instance, which they
6 Q. And those code names and figures changed over
7 time as well; isn't that true?
8 A. Yes, of course. Once I requested and
9 proposed to Colonel Darko Kraljevic: If they did it,
10 they had not done it and had realised it was
11 necessary. That is, if a soldier from that combat
12 group were captured, then this would immediately have
13 to be changed because, naturally, this one, the
14 captured one, would start singing sooner or later.
15 Q. That brings me to my next point. During your
16 tenure with the HVO in Vitez, 1200 members of the HVO
17 Vitez Brigade were killed in 1993; isn't that correct?
18 A. Yeah, well, I don't know how many. The
19 latest information I received was when we were issuing
20 some money to the families of the fatalities, and I had
21 84 families to see and they had 800. So once there,
22 IPD officer Cilic had said, "No problem for you. You
23 have 80 of them," and I said, "Well, it was easy for
24 you because you had 10 younger women who did it for
25 you." And I had to do it all by myself.
1 Q. Let me help you sir. Turning to page 19 of
2 your statement to the ICTY in March of 1998, at the
3 fourth full paragraph. And in the Croatian version it
4 would be on page 16, and it would be the last
5 paragraph. About midway through the paragraph:
6 "1200 members of the Vitez HVO brigade had
7 been killed in the course of 1993. I know that at some
8 time, when I received assistance for the bereaved
9 families of 180 dead soldiers of Vitezovi, while Zvonko
10 Cilic, brigade IPD officer, received similar assistance
11 for the 1200 soldiers of the brigade who had fallen in
13 A. That is not true. I never said that
14 anywhere. All I said was that we had been given the
15 same amount that we were then to give, and it was 50
16 marks. I never said it -- he was issued the same
17 amount of money. It was per soldier, the same amount
18 per soldier, the same kind of money that I would pay to
19 my soldiers.
20 Q. Sir, it's a very simple point. 1200 soldiers
21 had fallen; are you denying that? Are you denying you
22 said that? Take a look at your Croatian version on
23 page 16, last paragraph.
24 A. I cannot tell you, because I do not know how
25 many fell. According to him, he had 800 fatalities.
1 And I wasn't there, I wasn't a political officer with
2 them to have the list of their killed. I had the list
3 of mine killed, so I can say how many men were killed
4 with us; that it wasn't 880 but, rather, 984, to be
6 Q. All right, sir. In any event, let's take
7 another point you made during your direct examination.
8 And that was relative to the relationship between Dario
9 Kordic and Darko Kraljevic. You never heard Darko
10 Kraljevic get an order from Dario Kordic; isn't that
12 A. That is right.
13 Q. You never read an order from Darko Kraljevic
14 -- I'm sorry, from Dario Kordic to Mr. Kraljevic,
16 A. I only heard a telephone conversation once
17 about something. I can't tell what it was about, but
18 he did speak to Mr. Dario Kordic.
19 Q. So Kraljevic spoke to Kordic once, a
20 conversation you couldn't hear, and from that you
21 concluded that Kordic gave orders to Kraljevic; is that
23 A. He couldn't give orders to Kraljevic, he
24 could just inform him about something that needed to be
25 done, and Kraljevic was the one who gave orders.
1 Kraljevic could not be given orders, that is common
3 Q. So regardless of what the relationship was
4 between Kraljevic and Kordic, Kraljevic did not take
5 orders from Kordic, military orders from Kordic; is
6 that right?
7 A. I cannot say that he did or he did not. In
8 my judgement and according to my knowledge, he carried
9 out operations which only Kordic could have conceived.
10 Now, whether he gave him orders or not, whether they
11 met -- I know he went to Busovaca. Whether he went to
12 see Kordic or someone else, I don't know. I didn't see
13 them meet, but the operations that were carried out
14 could only have been planned by Dario Kordic and no one
15 else at that time.
16 Q. And you conclude that without ever seeing a
17 piece of paper or hearing a direct order or plan; isn't
18 that right?
19 A. A piece of paper in the area of Vitez until
20 sometime around the 15th of July, 1993, no one issued
21 to anyone nor paid any attention to. There were just
22 oral orders, instructions. There was a total split, a
23 disunity within the military. Everyone did whatever
24 they wanted.
25 Q. Sir, let me try it a different way. You
1 said, in your judgement and according to your
2 knowledge, Kraljevic carried out operations which only
3 Kordic could have conceived. Do you have any facts on
4 which you can base this conclusion?
5 A. I do. The first fact is that Darko Kraljevic
6 was the protector of 30 Muslim families and he
7 protected them against everyone. No one could touch
9 Secondly, whenever I spoke to Darko
10 Kraljevic, he never conceived of any operation that
11 would be done in such a way, that we would attack from
12 this side or that, but he always had the final act. He
13 was just the perpetrator, the person who executed a
14 certain operation, but not the person who conceived it
15 or strategically organised it. He never did that,
17 Q. Is that it?
18 A. That is it, yes.
19 Q. All right. Let me turn your attention to
20 something else. In December of 1993, specifically 22
21 December through 24 December, there was a major
22 offensive in Krizancevo Selo; isn't that correct, sir?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And the Muslims cut through the Croat lines;
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. Seventy Croats were killed at least; right?
3 A. No, that is not correct. Not more than 30
4 soldiers were killed on the outside. But five of
5 them -- three were killed in a traffic accident when a
6 commander of the Vitez Brigade, a lower level
7 commander, was driving two members of the Vitezovi in a
8 Mercedes, they turned over and they were killed in a
9 traffic accident, and then again Krizanac and maybe
10 some ten or so soldiers. So all in all, there were not
11 more than 30 people killed.
12 Q. In any event, whether there were 30 or 70,
13 Colonel Blaskic immediately arrived in the area and
14 stayed in the Lasva Valley until January 1st, 1994;
16 A. Colonel Blaskic was not in the Vitez
17 district. He was in Mostar at the time.
18 Q. You're saying he did not arrive in the Lasva
19 Valley at the end of December 1993?
20 A. No. I have evidence to prove that.
21 Q. Now, you claim that Mr. Kordic was seen by
22 you poring over some military orders right around this
23 time; correct?
24 A. I didn't see him issuing orders. I saw him
25 debating with the commander of the Vitez Brigade over a
1 map. I never said that he issued orders because
2 Colonel Kordic did not have the military expertise to
3 be able to issue orders. He just collected information
4 from zonal commanders and he drew on their expertise
5 and on their knowledge to say okay. He had no military
6 knowledge personally.
7 Q. You indicated to the folks at the ICTY that
8 Mr. Kordic fashioned himself a colonel; isn't that
10 A. That is how we called him. He was a
11 colonel. He was a colonel because there was no higher
12 rank than colonel in that military district.
13 Q. Well, you told specifically the officers of
14 the ICTY, at page 22 of your statement to them, page 19
15 at the Croatian, at the top of the page, first
16 paragraph: "Despite his camouflage military-fashioned
17 attire and despite the fact that Kordic fancied styling
18 himself as a colonel, he was an ignoramus in military
19 matters"; correct?
20 A. That is correct, yes.
21 Q. Indeed, during this particular period of
22 time, you point to the episode that you talked about on
23 direct examination and you give an example of Kordic
24 going over a map with the group commanders, and you
25 say: "I saw Kordic conferring with some combat group
1 commander over a map. The commander was trying to
2 explain how he was going to counterattack. One could
3 see that Kordic was completely out of his depth and did
4 not have many intelligent questions to ask. 'Okay.
5 Okay. Go ahead' was his perfunctory response."
6 You told that to the members of the ICTY; did
7 you not?
8 A. Yes, and that is correct. That is what I
9 have been saying just now. I repeat the same, that he
10 was conferring with him, and when this one explained to
11 him -- I knew this person too up to a point, and though
12 I thought it was all wrong, and this attack on
13 Krizancevo Selo was not an attack in the proper sense,
14 it was in response to a challenge, because before that
15 when Colonel Blaskic went to Mostar --
16 Q. None of that is my point. My point is simply
17 this: Mr. Kordic, although he was given the title of
18 colonel, in your opinion was not a military man; isn't
19 that right?
20 A. He was a military person because there was no
21 one else. He was the most respected person in the
22 military district of Vitez, and he performed those
24 Q. Well, sir, he didn't give you any military
25 commands, did he?
1 A. Of course not. I was so small, I was so far
2 below him that I couldn't receive orders from him.
3 Q. And you, of your own personal knowledge, have
4 no evidence that he gave a military command to anyone;
5 isn't that correct?
6 A. He headed the operation against Krizancevo
8 Q. That's it? That's the only evidence that you
9 have of him issuing a military command, that he was in
10 the command post poring over maps?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. All right. Now, when you wanted salaries for
13 your men, you didn't go to Dario Kordic to get
14 salaries, did you?
15 A. Well, you see, I did want to go to see him
16 when I got to Posusje, but he was the person who could
17 do it.
18 Q. Well, sir, with respect, turning to your ICTY
19 statement, at page 17, at the bottom, third paragraph
20 from the top -- I'm sorry, third paragraph from the
21 bottom, and that would be on the Croatian at page 14,
22 you say: "In my request for Vitezovi soldiers'
23 salaries, I next approached Lieutenant-General Milivoj
24 Petkovic. He was kind enough to respond immediately to
25 the situation and ordered that sums amounting to two
1 unspecified months' salaries be given to me according
2 to the list that I had prepared."
3 Do you remember going to Lieutenant-General
4 Petkovic? That's at page 15 of your statement in
6 A. First of all, this was not when I was in
7 Vitez. This was after I had left Vitez. I went to
8 Posusje because Colonel Darko Kraljevic had received
9 some salaries, and our salaries were suspended for a
10 whole year because we were surrounded, so each one went
11 individually to pick them up. I didn't go directly to
12 see Mr. Petkovic. I first looked for the defence
13 minister, who was Mr. Soljic at the time, I wanted a
14 meeting with him. It took me 15 days to reach him. I
15 had a list of 420 men, and I never saw more than I
16 don't know how many --
17 Q. The issue is, to get salaries for your men,
18 you went to Soljic and you went to Colonel Rupcic and
19 then finally to Lieutenant-General Petkovic; isn't that
21 A. Yes, correct.
22 Q. Indeed, as I understand it, again from your
23 statement to the ICTY, Kraljevic specifically had you
24 go to Kordic's press conferences and heckle him, ask
25 strange questions, did he not?
1 A. He didn't tell me that in reference to Kordic
2 but rather to Blaskic, that I should try to provoke
4 Q. Well, take a look at your statement to the
5 ICTY at page 35 in the English, third paragraph from
6 the bottom, the Croatian version would be page 31: "I
7 would regularly attend the weekly press conferences
8 that were held on every Friday. I attended the press
9 conferences through 1993 after I joined Vitezovi.
10 Darko Kraljevic had told me to attend the conferences
11 and to heckle Blaskic, Kordic, and the others as much
12 as I could. Darko Kraljevic was elated when I would
13 irk Blaskic and Kordic or others in the press
14 conferences. Every time I would score a good point
15 with them, and subsequently the conferences would be
16 broadcast on the television, I would receive a bottle
17 of whiskey and cigarettes from Darko. 'My IPD is
18 shagging them well' he once remarked."
19 That's what you told the ICTY when you
20 chatted with them for eight days; isn't that correct?
21 A. Yes, that is correct, but this applied mostly
22 to Mr. Blaskic. Though sometimes even when Valenta was
23 there and if I managed to heckle him, he was glad, but
24 he never said anything about Kostroman. And he liked
25 to address questions to Mr. Kordic, but it was
1 Mr. Blaskic that he aimed at most with these
3 Q. You talked with the Prosecutor about military
4 discipline and military courts, and I want to turn your
5 attention to that. There was, in fact, a military
6 prosecutor established in June of 1993; isn't that
8 A. Yes, a court and a prosecutor, yes.
9 Q. And there were four judges appointed as
11 A. I really couldn't tell. I know that there
12 were three. I don't know about the fourth. I know
13 there was a public prosecutor, his assistant, and three
14 judges. Whether there were three or four, I'm not
15 sure. I don't know.
16 Q. I won't quibble with that. They were located
17 at the civil police station building in Vitez; is that
19 A. Well, you see, I really don't know. It's a
20 long building. At one end was the civilian police, but
21 what was at the other end, I don't know. But in any
22 event, it was in the same building as the civilian
24 Q. All right. The officers in your brigade had
25 powers to punish. For instance, you could give two
1 days' detention for violations, could you not?
2 A. That was done only by the late Mr. Plavcic,
3 and it wasn't for disorderly behaviour but because they
4 brought guns from Rostovo. I wanted nicely, in a
5 humane way, to transfer the Vitezovi under the command
6 of Blaskic, but they appointed their own men to do this
7 forcefully, by force, to force them there, and these
8 people from Rostovo brought over quite a number of
9 rifles, more than 30 of them, several thousand bullets,
10 and of course I --
11 Q. Sir, with respect, that's really not my
12 point. My point is: You, as a commander, could give
13 two days' detention for violations; yes or no?
14 A. In theory, yes, but nobody would do as I
15 would tell them if I did.
16 Q. And Darko Kraljevic could give 30 days'
17 detention or forward a military violation to Colonel
18 Blaskic if it was a serious one; isn't that correct?
19 A. Darko Kraljevic, in the case of a serious
20 infringement, would simply take a gun and kill the
21 person, which he in fact did on two occasions.
22 Q. My question, sir, is under the military
23 courts and under the military rules Kraljevic was
24 entitled to detain somebody for 30 days or forward that
25 individual to Blaskic for further punishment; yes or
2 A. Correct, yes.
3 Q. And Blaskic, indeed, could dismiss or give
4 three months detention for those serious violations;
5 isn't that right? Dismiss the soldier I should say.
6 A. I beg your pardon, sir, because I cannot
7 answer this. You are talking about peacetime rules.
8 Wartime rules are a completely different case. If what
9 I am commanded decides to execute a soldier, he has the
10 right to do so.
11 Q. Sir, again, turning to your ICTY statement at
12 page 28, the second paragraph from the bottom, page 25
13 of the Croatian version, the first full paragraph at
14 the top:
15 "As far as powers to discipline and to
16 punish are concerned, my powers to punish the Vitezovi
17 soldiers extended to awarding a maximum of two days
18 detention in the barracks. Darko Kraljevic could award
19 a maximum of one month's detention. If the commander
20 deemed the gravity of the breach or offence in question
21 to be deserving of a greater sentence than one month's
22 detention, then the case file had to be forwarded to
23 the commander of the military district, Tihomir
24 Blaskic, whose powers to punish extended to awarding a
25 maximum of three months' detention beyond which he
1 could forward the case to the military Prosecutor. The
2 commanders also had powers to dismiss delinquent
3 soldiers from their position."
4 That's what you told the ICTY investigating
5 team; isn't that right?
6 A. I am saying again that this was based on the
7 rules applicable when there was no state of war.
8 However, when there is a state of war, the method of
9 punishment changes completely. Because in a state of
10 war you cannot wait for 10 days, 15 days or 20 days.
11 There are situations when you have to punish
12 immediately, and there are other situations when you
13 can wait, so that wartime circumstances differ
14 completely from peacetime circumstances. And I was
15 saying this on the basis of peacetime military rules
16 and regulations.
17 Q. Furthermore, sir, we can agree, can we not,
18 that under the military rules a commander was bound
19 under law to initiate criminal proceedings against
20 soldiers who had been guilty of commission of crimes
21 and to forward the case to the military Prosecutor?
22 A. Yes, he was obliged to do that. Yes, he was
23 under obligation.
24 Q. The military prosecutor was a man named
25 Marinko; isn't that right?
1 A. Marinko, yes.
2 Q. And he was subordinate to Blaskic in rank;
3 isn't that correct?
4 A. Directly.
5 Q. I'm afraid my question probably wasn't
6 clear. Blaskic had a higher rank than Marinko; isn't
7 that right?
8 A. Marinko didn't have a rank. He was the
9 public prosecutor, and every morning he had a meeting
10 with Blaskic to agree on what they would do that day.
11 They had a meeting every day.
12 Q. My point is, in 1993 military discipline was
13 meted out by military personnel either, as you say, in
14 the field or through the system we just talked about;
15 isn't that right?
16 A. You are talking about the second half of 1993
17 and not the first half. In the first half there was no
18 law, there were no rules. People did what they wanted,
19 people killed each other, plundered, looted. But you
20 are talking about the second half, when Colonel Blaskic
21 already had achieved a certain degree of immunity and
22 was proclaimed the commander of the military district.
23 Q. Fair enough. Then during the second half of
24 1993, the process of military discipline was as we just
25 discussed, and it was military discipline handed out by
1 military men on military matters; correct?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Now, indeed, because of that situation --
4 A. Correct.
5 Q. -- you complained on countless times to the
6 military district IPD officer and to Blaskic, informing
7 them that the soldiers of the Vitezovi would leave the
8 barracks without permission and other kinds of
9 disciplinary actions you wanted to have taken; isn't
10 that right?
11 A. Yes, that is correct. Only when I spoke to
12 Blaskic about this. This was just in conversation.
13 But officially I address his IPD officer.
14 Q. Right. And, in fact, every week you made at
15 least 10 complaints about the misconduct of the
16 Vitezovi soldiers to the IPD officer at the weekly
17 meetings; correct?
18 A. Yes, I may have said 10. Sometimes there was
19 three or four, sometimes five, sometimes 10. It wasn't
20 always 10 complaints. There would have been five or
21 six. Sometimes there were none. Once I didn't submit
22 a report and I was told off because of it. I didn't --
23 I just hadn't had enough time to do it.
24 Q. Indeed, you went to Blaskic dozens of times
25 and explained to him that the Vitezovi soldiers were
1 looting and murdering without any authorisation;
3 A. Not members of the Vitezovi, but individual
4 members of the Vitezovi.
5 Q. I am not sure I understand the difference,
6 sir. Let me turn to your ICTY statement at page 29,
7 next to the last paragraph:
8 "I went to Blaskic dozens of times and
9 explained to him that Vitezovi soldiers were looting
10 and murdering without any authorisation, but to no
11 avail. By the end of the war he would not even consent
12 to see me. Blaskic did not even once punish any of my
13 soldiers, even though I informed him of their bad
14 conduct many times."
15 That was your statement; isn't that right?
16 A. Yes, but only once did he punish Darko
17 Kraljevic. This was sometime in August or September.
18 He asked him as a punishment to bring seven rifles.
19 Darko Kraljevic called me up and asked me to find
20 several rifles and take them to the military district,
21 and I did so.
22 JUDGE MAY: Let me interrupt. We will get on
23 more quickly, Mr. Breljas, if you just listen to the
24 questions and just answer them as quickly as you can.
25 And in that way we'll get through your evidence.
1 MR. STEIN:
2 Q. Indeed, sir, on December 23rd, 1993, you
3 received an order from General Ante Roso from Mostar in
4 which the General said something to the effect that,
5 "Any soldier found guilty of looting, robbery, raping,
6 burning or causing other damage to the property, would
7 be sentenced to a minimum of five years imprisonment
8 and a maximum of capital punishment." And that would
9 be on page 30 of your Croatian statement, the second
10 full paragraph. Is that correct, sir?
11 A. That is correct. Correct.
12 Q. Just following up on one other thing about
13 the way the military units of yours worked. All orders
14 addressed by Blaskic to the Vitezovi were received by
15 the IPD -- by you as the IPD officer; isn't that right?
16 A. Yes, most of them. The majority were
17 received by me. Perhaps one or two went somewhere
19 Q. Now, I want to switch gears a small bit. You
20 were asked by the members of the ICTY investigating
21 group to define a civilian or what is a civilian. You
22 found a difficulty, based on your experiences in 1993
23 with the HVO, to define a civilian; isn't that right?
24 A. Well, yes, to a degree. But excuse me, Your
25 Honours, I cannot but not take into account that you
1 may be blaming me, so I have to take a longer lead in
2 order to explain how I got there.
3 JUDGE MAY: Before we get onto that, is there
4 any relevance in this?
5 MR. STEIN:
6 Q. Yes. I'll follow it up very quickly, sir,
7 and I'll be much more precise. The defenders of Stari
8 Vitez were both women and children; wouldn't you
10 A. In a way, yes.
11 Q. And, indeed, there were snipers who were
12 women; in fact one was a very good shot, as you
13 described in your statement?
14 A. That was not in Stari Vitez. It was a woman
15 from Zenica who operated in the area of Poculica.
16 Q. All right. Poculica is a Muslim village;
18 A. Yes, that is correct.
19 Q. There were snipers from the Mahala section of
20 Vitez; were there not?
21 A. Yes, that is correct.
22 Q. I want to make sure here, and we are coming
23 towards the end. You were asked specific --
24 specifically asked to send prisoners to dig trenches;
25 isn't that right?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. And you simply followed those orders; isn't
3 that right?
4 A. Yes, but not literally. I could explain what
5 I mean by that.
6 Q. Well, according to your statement, you,
7 quote: "Sent 23 prisoners for trench-digging. I was
8 simply following Marinko, Plavcic's order."
9 My question to you, sir, is: In addition to
10 the civilians who were digging trenches, military
11 people were also digging trenches; isn't that right?
12 A. Not the Vitezovi. Not the Vitezovi, that's
13 for sure.
14 Q. Fine. But other units of the military were
15 involved in trench-digging?
16 A. Yes, those military units which were the
17 reserve ones, but not the storm troops. No soldier
18 would use them for that purpose.
19 Q. Now, relative to the judge, who you told us
20 about in your direct examination, you never complained
21 to Kordic about this judge or his confinement; isn't
22 that correct?
23 A. No.
24 Q. But you did complain to Blaskic about it,
1 A. Yes, that is correct.
2 Q. Now, Mr. Lopez-Terres brought up that you
3 were in Canada and had some problems with the law. Let
4 me ask you this: Your first problem with the law was
5 when you had problems with your stepfather who called
6 you an Ustashas --
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, now, Mr. Stein, I wonder
8 how this is going to help the Trial Chamber. It's all
9 a very long time ago.
10 MR. STEIN: Well, it's pure credibility,
12 JUDGE MAY: These events are 20 plus years
13 ago, so I recollect.
14 MR. STEIN: We'll bring them up to current
16 JUDGE MAY: I'm not going to stop you, but
17 you need to bear in mind that this is -- please don't
18 interrupt. This is not a jury trial and I don't think
19 we were assisted by what we heard already. Unless
20 there is something specific about this witness which
21 you wish to raise.
22 MR. STEIN: If I may, Judge, I'll be very
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
25 MR. STEIN:
1 Q. Sir, regardless of the tiff you had with your
2 stepfather -- let me direct your attention. You had a
3 tiff with a police officer and left Croatia in 1972;
4 isn't that right?
5 A. Yes, that was during the hot summer that
6 there was a revolution going on in Croatia.
7 Q. Then you went to Canada, where you had the
8 scuffle with the Croat priest and were jailed for three
9 months. Yes?
10 A. I first went to Greece, and then from Greece
11 I went to Canada. And I was in Winnipeg, that took me
12 about six to eight months to get to Winnipeg, and then
13 there in Winnipeg I had an altercation with a priest.
14 Q. Then you were in the United States between
15 1976 and 1981; correct?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Did you use your own name?
18 A. Yes, my own name.
19 Q. Were you given a social security number?
20 A. Yes, and a green card. I believe that it's
21 still somewhere around.
22 Q. Let me ask you as a final question, because
23 I've been curious by this: You, as I understand your
24 testimony, because of your principled attitudes, were
25 disgusted by what you had seen in your tour with the
1 Vitezovi; is that right?
2 A. Yes, because I saw things that are not
3 becoming of the worst rabble, let alone Croatian
5 Q. Yet, in 1998 and 1999, you went to the
6 Ministry of Defence of the Federation of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina to prove your status as a member of
8 the PPN Vitezovi and to get a supplement to your
9 salary; isn't that correct?
10 A. That is not correct. That was not the
11 purpose of my going there, but, rather, to meet with
12 Palavra and to discuss my status. But, as I was
13 contemplating of approaching the ICTY, I wanted to see
14 what they knew about me, if anything.
15 Q. Money was not a topic of discussion at all?
16 A. No.
17 Q. And you are as positive of that as the rest
18 of your testimony?
19 A. What do you mean? I obviously went and asked
20 to be compensated for what I was owed. Of course I did
22 Q. So money was part of the conversation, and
23 you were there to be compensated for what --
24 A. It was my money.
25 Q. -- for your work with the Vitezovi; correct?
1 A. That is correct, yes.
2 MR. STEIN: Nothing further.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
4 Q. Thank you, Your Honour.
5 [Interpretation] Mr. Breljas, good afternoon,
6 my name is Bozidar Kovacic, along with my colleague,
7 Mr. Mikulicic, who is seated left of me, represent the
8 Defence of Mr. Cerkez. And I also have several
9 questions for you. If you could please limit yourself
10 to answering them as briefly as possible. And since we
11 are both speaking the same language, would you please
12 pause before you start answering a question after you
13 have heard it, so that we can proceed in an orderly
15 A. Very well.
16 Q. Thank you. Mr. Breljas, on several occasions
17 during your evidence you made allusions to your
18 experience, to your knowledge. You said that you had
19 knowledge of the strategic sciences, of the law, and
20 some other areas of expertise. So I will just ask you
21 very briefly about your education and experience.
22 Firstly, you said that you completed your elementary
23 school in Sarajevo; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Then you completed your secondary schooling
1 in Ruma; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Could you tell me what you specialised in?
4 A. I started off with mining, but then I
5 interrupted that because of all this Ustashas business,
6 and then I went and did it through the evening school.
7 Q. So are you saying that this was in Serbia,
8 but that there was a mixed Serbian and Croatian student
9 body, and because of your ethnic belonging you were
11 A. Yes. And that also followed me in Sarajevo.
12 Q. Very well. So those were the two technical
13 secondary schools. You did not go to the high school?
14 A. Yes, I did, but I paid for those exams and I
15 did them privately.
16 Q. And then you said that you went to the school
17 for political science in Zagreb. You failed there?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. We checked your background and you never went
20 to go to the -- to pass the entrance exams?
21 A. I checked, but they told me that I shouldn't
22 even try.
23 Q. So you didn't even try?
24 A. No. No. I never did.
25 Q. So then you went and did your national
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The former JNA?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What branch of the armed forces were you in?
6 A. I was in the airforce as a driver and I was a
7 personal driver to General Viktor Bubanj and another
9 Q. Did you ever get any education of the customs
10 and laws of war?
11 A. No. I did something on my own. I did my own
12 -- those studies of strategy and history. I got a
13 fairly wide knowledge of history, and also I did some
14 military law. That I did on my own because I did not
15 have any financial assistance or my own means to do it
17 Q. After you left the JNA, did you make an
18 arrangement with the Secret Service of the JNA?
19 A. No.
20 Q. You had no contacts with the military Secret
22 A. No.
23 Q. And during your stay abroad?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. You told us about the
1 period of the breakup of Yugoslavia, how you came back
2 to Sarajevo, and you never specified where you were for
3 a whole year after the death of Kraljevic.
4 A. This was not in Kiseljak. Blaz Kraljevic was
5 killed after the holiday in August, and I was there in
6 1992, in March, at my mother's birthplace.
7 Q. In other words, you were outside of Bosnia?
8 A. Yes, I was outside of Bosnia.
9 Q. Regarding Blaz Kraljevic, could you just tell
10 us who he was so that everybody knows?
11 A. He was someone who had a large military
12 unit. He fought against the Serbs, he would use the
13 Croatian territory for that, and he was more or less
14 one of the chief commanders of the HOS and he was one
15 of the first who started the war.
16 Q. So we agree that he was with the HOS and that
17 he fought in Herzegovina.
18 A. Yes, and he was killed at Trebinje.
19 Q. Do you know whether Darko Kraljevic, your
20 subsequent commander, was any relation to Blaz
22 A. No, there was no relation. But his units,
23 Darko Kraljevic's units, were HOS units at first before
24 they became the HVO, and Blaz Kraljevic at that time
25 financed him, supported his unit.
1 Q. In your statements to the ICTY investigators
2 of 1998, which has been referred to a number of times
3 here, you also mentioned the story about Blaz
4 Kraljevic, but there is something which is not quite
5 clear. Were you able to join the HOS units during the
6 period when Blaz Kraljevic was still alive?
7 A. Of course. How else could I have been at
8 Dalj or Vukovar?
9 Q. How about in Herzegovina?
10 A. No, except I came to Dubrovnik and then I
12 Q. When did you come to Dubrovnik and with what
14 A. I was a civilian, in fact, in Kupari, and
15 Blaz Kraljevic was active in that area. Then from
16 there, I went to Trebinje and I believe that was in
17 April or May 1992. I could not tell you exactly.
18 Q. I still am not clear. What was your function
20 A. Listen, you know very well that the HOS were
21 broken up until mid 1992, and I was looking for a unit
22 which I would join. I was at Vukovar's, I was in
23 Zagreb with Mr. Karakas whom I told that there was a
24 radio transmitter in Dalj --
25 Q. Very well. Let's leave that alone.
1 A. How shall I leave it alone if you want me to
2 explain something? If you don't want me to, then
3 please don't ask me such a question.
4 I was just an independent soldier, a friend
5 of the Croatian people.
6 Q. You mentioned Mr. Karakas. Who was he?
7 A. Mr. Karakas was one of the deputies of
8 Mr. Spegelj who was the defence minister, one of his
9 assistants. Now, what specifically he was, I don't
10 know, but I reached him.
11 Q. Very well. To clear up any confusion here,
12 are you sure this was Mr. Karakas or Mr. Kikas?
13 A. I'm sure this was Mr. Karakas because people
14 were looking for him and they specifically said
15 "Mr. Karakas".
16 Q. But you parted ways with him too, you were
17 not happy with him.
18 A. I said he wanted me -- I was looking for a
19 type of telephone which I never got.
20 Q. And then what happened?
21 A. I went to Osijek to go to Glavas.
22 Q. And this was 1992?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Now, you mentioned this type of phone. You
25 said that this was -- does that have anything to do
1 with intelligence?
2 A. Listen, I have covered a lot of ground and I
3 have come to know things that I should not have known.
4 My father was killed, and I studied all kinds of
5 sciences so that I would come to -- and I studied a lot
6 to find who I was, where I belonged, criminal sciences,
7 history, and so on.
8 Q. You spoke about ranks, what ranks were used.
9 You said that your commander, Mr. Darko Kraljevic, was
10 a colonel, and we saw a document evidencing that. Do
11 you know whether any ranks existed in the HVO, or more
12 specifically in the Vitez Brigade?
13 A. Yes, they did, but they were not official
14 ranks. Certain commanders of combat groups or some
15 other commanders had patches with ranks, and it would
16 be "123," or "Colonel," "Major," "Lieutenant,"
17 "Captain," whereas we did not. We were just told,
18 "You are a Captain. You are a Lieutenant. You are a
19 Major," but officially, according to the law, only
20 Mr. Tudjman could verify, that is, confirm any ranks.
21 Q. Mr. Breljas, based on what you told us
22 yourself, you must have handled a number of written
23 orders which arrived in your unit, the Vitezovi, from
24 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone command issued by
25 Mr. Blaskic.
1 A. In the latter part of 1993.
2 Q. In any of those orders, did you see that any
3 person there, any addressee, was marked by rank?
4 A. Yes, of course. I wrote a number of orders
5 myself, and I always signed it as Lieutenant Breljas.
6 Q. Mr. Breljas, could you just focus on the
7 question, please. You were referring to the Vitezovi,
8 but I was referring to the documents coming from the
9 Operative Zone and you referred to it as headquarters
10 or the military district. Have you ever seen
11 Mr. Blaskic signing any of his orders and including his
13 A. I never paid any attention. I was not
14 interested in that.
15 Q. Very well. That's an answer too. Could you
16 tell me, did you ever see a written order signed by
17 Mr. Cerkez, who is present here?
18 A. No.
19 Q. You never did? You never had an opportunity?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you have any opportunity to hear that
22 anyone addressed Mr. Cerkez by using his rank?
23 A. Yes. I did, for instance.
24 Q. And what was that?
25 A. That was colonel.
1 Q. When was this?
2 A. That was around the 1st of November, 1993.
3 When he came to light the candle, I addressed him, I
4 said, "Colonel, this is your candle."
5 Q. I have to tell you that we've never heard
6 this before.
7 A. I don't know whether you've heard this
8 before, and you couldn't have heard it because you were
9 in Zagreb.
10 Q. You said that this was in November 1993. Let
11 me ask you, before November 1993, did you ever have an
12 opportunity to personally meet with Mr. Cerkez?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When was this, approximately?
15 A. This was when the convoy was stopped; that
16 was the Convoy of Salvation for Tuzla. He was there.
17 Q. And how did you address him then?
18 A. I cannot recall.
19 Q. Very well. That is an answer too.
20 A. I don't know whether I had addressed him at
21 all -- oh, yes, he asked me something and I told him
22 that Darko had arrived. At that time, I was only
23 taking orders from Darko.
24 Q. Very well. We're not going to go into that.
25 But you don't know whether any ranks existed at that
2 A. I don't.
3 Q. Can you tell me, please, from your evidence,
4 it would appear that you were given a rank of
5 lieutenant but more importantly a position of the IPD
6 officer about ten days after you joined up.
7 A. Yes, 10, maybe 15, maybe even 20. But I
8 arrived there --
9 Q. At that time, you were a brand new person
10 there in the town of Vitez.
11 A. Yes, absolutely new.
12 Q. Nobody knew you from before?
13 A. No, no one did.
14 Q. Very well. A little later on, you assumed
15 the duties of the logistics officer.
16 A. Yes. When I saw what Jozo Buha was doing,
17 then I threw him out and took over.
18 Q. So did you now carry out two different
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So you did other things, like this candle
22 lighting and then doing payrolls, and all this reminds
23 me of something else. So let me ask you: Did the
24 Vitezovi as a unit have an official for the social
1 A. No. That was only established in the
2 headquarters, this is how I called them, in Vitez
4 Q. So the Vitezovi had it in mid 1993?
5 A. No, no, no. This was in the military
6 district of Vitez.
7 Q. How about the subordinate units?
8 A. That was the duty of the IPD officer.
9 Q. Let's go back to another area. In the
10 beginning, when asked by the Prosecutor, you said that
11 you were convicted in Canada, and I was not clear. You
12 were sentenced by a Canadian court, not by -- it wasn't
13 some administrative punishment.
14 A. Yes, it was a Canadian court.
15 Q. Based on the investigation we conducted, we
16 received information that you first came into contact
17 with the Vitezovi unit at the time of the attack on the
18 gas station in Kalem.
19 Firstly, do you recall this incident when the
20 gas station in Vitez was attacked? It was called
22 A. Of course I remember.
23 Q. Can we agree that this was on 16 April, 1993?
24 A. No. It was attacked before the 16th of
25 April, but on the 16th of April it was completely taken
2 Q. Is it true that during the fighting around
3 this gas station a member of the Vitezovi, whose name
4 was Kozina, shot at you?
5 A. No.
6 Q. It is not correct?
7 A. I was just passing by on the road where the
8 fiercest shooting was going on, and later on he said,
9 "I saw you with a bag on your head. I had you clearly
10 in my sight. I almost killed you. I had a clear shot
11 but I didn't shoot."
12 Q. You said that the attack started before the
13 16th. When you said so, what did you mean?
14 A. Illegally; that is, they were getting ready
15 to take over the station.
16 Q. But what you said, you seemed to have been in
17 Travnik, where you went --
18 A. Not Travnik, Zenica. But I knew that they
19 were getting ready for the attack on the station.
20 Q. You mean before your departure?
21 A. Yes, before my departure, because that was
22 the first feature that was to be taken.
23 Q. Very well. So Kozina almost killed you by
24 mistake, and this is what he told you?
25 A. That's what he told me. He said he had me
1 clearly in his sights.
2 Q. Very well. You said that the Vitezovi then
3 held you or detained you, and it was the first time,
4 they did not know you before then.
5 A. That is not possible because I was an
6 interpreter, I interpreted on that very day.
7 Q. So this is not true. Okay. We're moving
8 on. During your stay in Vitez, did you establish any
9 closer contacts with a woman?
10 A. Yes, of course. I was lodging with a woman
11 called Kata who lived across from Dragan Vinac.
12 Q. Is that Kata Rajic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And you lodged with her?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And you had good relations with her?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You could say that you had an intimate
19 relationship with her.
20 A. I don't have to answer that.
21 Q. And you left there in early 1994, when you
22 left Vitez.
23 A. Yes, in April 1994, the 15th of April, 1994.
24 Q. Did you meet her when you were back in Vitez
25 on two occasions in 1996 and 1997, when you wanted to
1 sort out your rights and in order to receive further
3 A. Yes, of course.
4 Q. Did you manage to put your name down on those
5 lists which were being compiled in order to get
6 veteran's compensation?
7 A. Yes, and I received two salaries. Because I
8 was not in Vitez, I received from the social affairs
9 office an envelope with those two additional salaries,
10 and these were for 1993. But I did receive those two
11 salary amounts.
12 Q. And besides that, you also tried to get your
13 name enrolled in the rosters drawn up by the BH
14 Federation in order to gain the right to some
15 transformation rights; is that so?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you succeed in that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You said that you spent the night at
20 Mrs. Kata Rajic's, that you were put up there, but then
21 you also said that at first, when you arrived in Vitez,
22 you would stay and spend the nights in the school.
23 A. Yes, during the first two months.
24 Q. Do you mean during all that confusion in the
25 early days of the war?
1 A. Yes, yes, yes.
2 Q. It is then that you are in the school.
3 A. Well, I'd always lived in the school, except
4 that I would go to her and she would do my laundry, and
5 I came and went as I wanted. But most of the time I
6 spent in the school, in the barracks.
7 Q. But before that you also stayed with the
8 next-door neighbour of Kata, with a lady called
9 Mrs. Mira Pocrnja.
10 A. Yes, I spent about a fortnight with her and
11 then I moved on to Kata's.
12 Q. Is it true that she threw you out of your
13 house because you inflicted injuries on here?
14 A. Sir, I do not think I'm going to discuss
15 these matters with you because this is none of your
16 concern. It is my personal matter.
17 Q. All right. But you lived there with her?
18 A. I may have and I may have not. None of your
20 Q. Is it true that you took photographs of all
21 the members of the Vitezovi, or at least most of them?
22 A. Not true. Not true. Only dead. I only
23 tried to photograph the dead ones, and I took
24 photographs of almost all of the dead so that their
25 parents could have pictures. Two of those who had lost
1 their military cards, I took photographs of two living
2 soldiers just so that they could get their documents
4 Q. You became an IPD officer about ten days
5 after you arrived. It was Darko who appointed you.
6 A. It could have been 15 days. Now, deputy IPD,
7 because at that time Mr. Marinko Plavcic, Major Marinko
8 Plavcic, was the chief IPD officer, and I was appointed
9 as his assistant.
10 Q. Right. And it was Darko Kraljevic who told
11 you that, who told you so.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You did not receive any letter of
15 A. I don't understand you.
16 Q. I mean, something in writing.
17 A. Well, naturally, I was issued a document as a
18 lieutenant of PPN Vitezovi, an IPD officer, so it was
19 all in writing, and I was issued the same thing from
20 Kostroman in writing from when to when I was there,
21 because Kostroman was the superior commander for the
22 IPD, Mr. Ignac Kostroman.
23 Q. I do apologise. I'm afraid my question was
24 not clear enough. This morning, in the document Z1075,
25 it is the 18th of June, and that was still a wild time,
1 that is, when there were no documents. All of a sudden
2 we see a perfectly formatted document which appoints,
3 designates Colonel Darko Kraljevic as the deputy head
4 of the SIS centre in Central Bosnia.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In the beginning, or rather you said 10 or 15
7 days, so it could have been late April or early May
8 that same year, you were appointed as IPD by Darko. At
9 the time of your appointment, or within a few days of
10 that moment, were you issued with a document appointing
12 A. Naturally, I automatically got into the staff
13 where Dragan Vinac, Kraljevic, Miso Mijic, majors, and
14 a logistician, Buha, and Shanta [phoen], IPD officer.
15 Q. Yes. I believe you explained it all to us.
16 What I'm asking you is not whether you became a member
17 of the command. You told us that. But were you issued
18 that document appointing you?
19 A. I don't know what you mean. What kind of a
20 document; if I was appointed -- if I am on the list of
21 the command, if I was issued a military document as
22 such. What else?
23 MR. KOVACIC: I have to repeat the question.
24 Q. Witness, will you please look here. Will you
25 please look in this direction. This is a document
1 which was signed by Miso Mijic, who appoints Darko
2 Kraljevic to such and such post, that is deputy head.
3 Were you issued with a similar document whereby Darko
4 Kraljevic appoints you?
5 A. Sir, you are referring to the top most
6 officer, and the most prominent post of Croats in
7 Bosnia, and you want them to issue something to me
8 holding the lowest rank in the army. And of course I
9 wasn't issued it by them. I was issued that by
10 Kostroman. And of course I have this document amongst
11 my documents.
12 Q. What kind of document?
13 A. That Anto Breljas, officer with Vitezovi IPD.
14 Q. He wrote "PD"?
15 A. That's true. So that is his. That is where
16 it comes from, Mr. Kostroman, for Colonel Kostroman,
17 the I am on the files as such and such.
18 Q. But that was later?
19 A. No, that was the confirmation of my
21 Q. But you don't have anything from the term of
23 JUDGE MAY: I am now going to interrupt. We
24 have been going around this point, Mr. Kovacic. I
25 understand why. We've now got an answer. It's seven
1 minutes past 4.00 and we would wish, if at all
2 possible, to finish this evidence today. Are you going
3 to be very much longer?
4 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I was not able to
5 reorganise my notes, my original notes, which I planned
6 for this witness, and with the situation after my
7 colleague's time. So it's difficult to tell, but I
8 guess perhaps an hour and a half, not more than that.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, nobody so far has
10 been an hour and a half, or if so, it hasn't been much
11 longer. We'll adjourn now, but could you please try
12 and shorten things for the morning. The witness has
13 only given evidence for about an hour and a half on
14 both the previous examinations, and he only, I think,
15 mentioned your client once. I may be wrong, but my
16 recollection is that.
17 MR. NICE: May I have a couple of minutes of
18 your time --
19 MR. KOVACIC: If I may just -- certainly,
20 Your Honour, I will do my best and I will restrict
21 myself only to the parts where the witness was
22 referring to my witness. Probably some contra point as
24 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Tomorrow morning.
25 Mr. Breljas, could you please be back
1 tomorrow morning at half past 9.00 in order to conclude
2 your evidence. I am sorry, it's not been possible to
3 conclude it today, but we will conclude it tomorrow.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to go now.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 MR. NICE: I just wonder if I could seek some
8 guidance from the Chamber in relation to witnesses
9 either this week or next week. I didn't list next
10 week's witnesses when I first dealt with administrative
11 manners this morning, but for the four days we've got
12 next week, we've got Colonel Stewart, who is not likely
13 to be a particularly short witness. It's been noted
14 that both defendants wanted to be here. We've got the
15 witness who seeks protective measures, who was referred
16 to by an earlier witness -- yes, by Payam Akhavan, you
17 will remember, was coming because of matters raised
18 with him --
19 JUDGE MAY: He should be fairly short.
20 MR. NICE: He should be fairly short. You've
21 got a substantial witness who, I think, is seeking
22 protective measures, but comes, as it were, from the
23 other side of the conflict, was listed from the
24 beginning. And one other fairly short witness. So
25 we've got for next week, for four days, probably enough
1 witnesses for at least three, or three plus of those
2 days, and it may be for all four days. And if the
3 Chamber isn't going to be sitting next week, because of
4 the representations made this morning, I will start the
5 process of cancelling them now, rather than later. If
6 the Chamber is going to be sitting, I want to see if I
7 want to have another witness on standby, given that I
8 forecast the subpoenaed witness won't be turning up and
9 will be dealt with shortly.
10 As to this week, I haven't been able to
11 contact the witness (redacted) -- well, another witness
12 who could give evidence on Wednesday without any
13 controversy, because the defendants are willing for him
14 to give evidence. We haven't been able to raise him by
15 telephone. The Chamber has only -- recently had Beese
16 to look at. The other two witnesses, neither of them
17 are particularly long, but I don't think we will get
18 through both of them tomorrow. They are likely to take
19 us into Wednesday at the very least. And it may be
20 that it would be a prudent course not to try and
21 squeeze another witness in on Wednesday afternoon, when
22 he could, perhaps, not be concluded.
23 And it might be possible to use, say,
24 Wednesday afternoon for arguments about some of the
25 dossiers that have been served, if those arguments can
1 be dealt with by a Chamber of two Judges.
2 JUDGE MAY: I rather doubt that it would seem
3 sensible not to get another witness, I should have
4 thought, unless we could be certain of finishing him.
5 MR. NICE: Very well.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Beese, I think it unlikely,
7 and I speak purely for myself, it's unlikely that we
8 would be prepared to hear him this week or next, given
9 the Defence's argument about time.
10 As for the witnesses for next week, we have
11 not yet resolved that matter, but we will give you an
12 answer as soon as we can.
13 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
14 MR. STEIN: So with all the shifting around,
15 what is the batting order for this week and next week?
16 JUDGE MAY: No doubt you can be told.
17 MR. NICE: I'll tell him again.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well, half past 9.00
19 tomorrow, please.
20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
21 4.15 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
22 the 11th day of January, 2000,
23 at 9.30 a.m.