1 Wednesday, 19th January, 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
8 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
11 Mr. President, after the discussion we had yesterday
12 about a document which I wanted to produce, I should
13 like to say that the Prosecutor envisages to bring back
14 the witness Morsink because he was the one who turned
15 the document over to the Prosecutor. I should like
16 also to make it clear that this was an annex to the
17 statement of Mr. Morsink, which was communicated to the
18 Defence on the 5th of March last year under the
19 obligation that we have. If this was not introduced
20 through Mr. Morsink; that is, on the 8th of October
21 when this large batch of documents was sent. This
22 document was turned over to the Prosecution on the
23 16th of December last year, among a number of documents
24 which the Prosecutor intends to produce in this case
1 As for the testimony of Mr. Morsink, if it
2 does take place, it is quite clear that Mr. Morsink
3 will be able to tell us about the document, notably
4 about its source, because he will know who gave him the
5 document. As for the authenticity of the document,
6 that is another matter which I wish to mention.
7 It seems to me that it is necessary to insist
8 on the fact that the authenticity of the document, at
9 least as the dictionary would say, does not mean that
10 the quality of the document and the source of the
11 person to whom it is attributed, but also it means that
12 the document is truthful that is, that it corresponds
13 to the truth. And I should say, therefore, not only in
14 the strictest sense -- it is authentic not only in the
15 strictest sense of the word, that is, as to the source
16 of the document, but also that it contains facts, true
18 I should also like to say that the second
19 question that was raised yesterday will not arise,
20 because the document was already produced here in the
21 court by another witness.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, the Chamber
24 will have something to say about this in a moment, but
25 let us now complete the evidence of this witness, and
1 at a suitable moment during the day we can mention
2 possible ways of dealing with it.
3 Yes. We have got, I think, to the --
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Very
5 well. Thank you.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Very well.
7 WITNESS: WITNESS AC [RESUMED]
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 Examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
10 Q. Witness AC, in the cinema, as you told us
11 yesterday, with several hundred other prisoners. On
12 the 5th of May, 1993, you were in the cinema, and from
13 that cinema you were transferred with other persons
14 such as Mr. Kaknjo, Mr. Batija Sivro, Kadir Dzidic,
15 Edib Zlotrg, and Enes Surkovic to the chess club and
16 then to Kaonik near Busovaca, and that was after the
17 order was issued by General Petkovic to release all the
18 prisoners. We shall resume at this point.
19 A. I should like to say two things. First, I
20 said there was a larger number of prisoners. There
21 were over 500 detainees. Secondly, the release of all
22 prisoners was concluded earlier. And after that we
23 were taken to the chess club, with the clear intention
24 to then surreptitiously to be transferred to Kaonik,
25 because in addition to me there were 12 very prominent
1 men in the group that I was in.
2 Q. During your stay in the Kaonik camp, which
3 lasted until the 14th, or the 15th of May, 1993, did
4 you get there some information?
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I see
6 there is an objection, even though I have not finished
7 my question.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let's hear the objection.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, we
10 have reached the paragraph 58, and I should like to
11 repeat my objection, which is the same as with regard
12 to the paragraph that I mentioned yesterday. That is,
13 here we see how they arrived at the conclusion. We do
14 not see the ground for the conclusion, and the only
15 thing we see here is the conclusion, rather than the
16 facts. So the objection is identical to the ones that
17 I raised yesterday.
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, if you'd like
19 to lay the foundation.
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness AC, did you have any information
22 about the source of the decision that was taken to take
23 you to Kaonik from Vitez at the time when you were to
24 be freed?
25 A. We were secretly transferred by the members
1 of the HVO military police. And the source, the origin
2 of decision is quite clear, because it is indicative of
3 the responsibility of the military police in this
4 system of decision-making and the whole hierarchical
6 Q. But do you know from whom did this military
7 police receive the instructions to transfer you to
8 Kaonik? Secondly, from whom did Kaonik receive
9 instructions to set you free?
10 A. We got that information during our stay in
11 Kaonik, where one Marko -- that is what other HVO
12 members in the camp called him -- said that Dario
13 Kordic was behind our transfer to Kaonik, and that we
14 would possibly be released or exchanged if Dario Kordic
15 approved such a move.
16 Q. So it was following authorisation with a
17 guard of the camp that you and other detainees received
18 that information?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And during your detention in Kaonik, you were
21 subjected to questioning but not to any threats, and
22 you were not harassed, you were not ill-treated?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. On the other hand, you could see that your
25 fellow detainee, (redacted), after an interview,
1 returned with a bruised face and that his jacket and
2 his shoes had been taken away.
3 A. Yes, (redacted).
4 When he came back he was all bruised and he was missing
5 his shoes and parts of his clothes.
6 Q. You were released from the Kaonik camp and
7 taken back to the cinema in Vitez on the 14th or 15th
8 of May with the rest of the group that you spoke about,
9 and you stayed at least one night in the Vitez cinema
10 before you were set free?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I should
13 like to refer to the document, Exhibit Z928. It was
14 produced yesterday. Could it be shown to the witness.
15 And I should like to comment on this document, if I
16 may, Mr. President.
17 Q. Witness, this document is dated the 10th of
18 May, 1993. It is signed by Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski, who
19 was the warden of the camp at Kaonik.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. KOVACIC: We're not opposing the
22 document, but it is not true that the document is
23 signed. It's clearly stated on the document itself.
24 JUDGE MAY: This document, as I recollect,
25 was attached to Mr. McLeod's report.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Quite
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, whether it's signed or not,
4 the name at the bottom is "Zlatko Aleksovski." Yes.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Quite.
6 What I was trying to say with regard to the document is
7 that it was already annexed to Mr. McLeod's report, and
8 it was simply for practical convenience, because this
9 was only an annex to the report; it was not a separate
10 exhibit. And that is why we decided to give it the
11 number now, Z928, but it has the general number of
12 Mr. McLeod's report, which was filed under the number
14 Q. Witness, is it your name which appears on
15 page 2 of this document under 70?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you recognise some other names of persons
18 who were detained in Kaonik at the same time as you
20 A. I recognise the names of the whole group that
21 was with me.
22 Q. Could you give us those names, quickly.
23 A. Yes, of course. Serif Causevic, Alija Besic,
24 Ferim Besic, Cazim Ahmic, Enes Surkovic, Ramo Kaknjo,
25 Suad Salkic, Batija Sivro, Edib Zlotrg, Kadir Dzidic.
1 Q. On the 16 th of May, '93, you and the
2 detainees that had been transferred from the Kaonik
3 Camp were exchanged for some HVO soldiers in Vitez,
4 that is, soldiers who had been captured by the
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina army?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And on the day of your liberation, on the
8 16th of May, '93, you were beaten severely by the
9 military within the cinema compound -- within the
10 cinema precincts. Could you tell us something about
11 this act of violence.
12 A. I wouldn't say hit me, because it means being
13 hit once. I was beaten. I was struck repeatedly.
14 Members of the military police, namely, who were in the
15 lobby, who were on guard, as a matter of fact in the
16 cinema, they called me to come out. Allegedly, they
17 had something to tell me, to transmit some
18 information. And when I came out into the lobby, they
19 started beating me with some wooden and metal objects,
20 whatever they could lay their hands on. This whole
21 scene was observed by one of their commanders, Anto
22 Kovac, nicknamed Zabac, who did nothing to stop them.
23 If I may, I should also like to add the
24 following. At the moment where we were to be released,
25 I let know the mayor, Ivan Santic, about this
1 incident. And he told me that he would report it to
2 their superior, Mario Cerkez. But no steps were taken
3 in this regard.
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: Thank you.
5 Mr. President, I have no further questions
6 for this witness.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, with permission of
8 the Court, could we switch places and could I start
9 with that witness?
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
14 MR. KOVACIC:
15 Q. [Interpretation] My name is Bozidar Kovacic,
16 I am an attorney from Rijeka, and together with
17 colleague Mr. Mikulicic I represent Mr. Cerkez. And I
18 will have a few questions for you.
19 We speak the same language, so we understand
20 one another, but we must not forget that what we are
21 saying is being interpreted simultaneously, so please
22 make a short break between the questions and answers,
23 so that the interpreters can follow.
24 Also, should you not understand the question,
25 or should I put it incorrectly, please let me know, so
1 I can rephrase it.
2 I think I can begin now. Let me ask you
3 first a few questions linked to the meeting held in the
4 premises of the Territorial Defence on the 19th of
5 October, 1992, in the evening, which you testified
6 about at length. Let us first establish who was
7 present. Will you please confirm or deny the names I
8 am going to give. On behalf of the HVO there was Ivica
9 Santic and Mario Cerkez; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. On behalf of the war presidency, Fuad Kaknjo?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Munib Kajmovic?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. Muhamed Mujezinovic?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Sefkija Djidic and yourself. Those were the
18 persons present at that meeting, all of them?
19 A. I think Sulejman Kalco should be mentioned
21 Q. Other witnesses testified here, and nobody
22 mentioned Kalco. Are you sure he was present, or do
23 you think he was present?
24 A. Among those that you mentioned that evening,
25 at that meeting; yes, I am quite sure that he was there
2 Q. Let us also make sure who was what. Ivica
3 Santic was town mayor and president of the HVO
4 government at the time?
5 A. Yes, that is the civilian branch of the HVO.
6 Q. Is that correct?
7 A. The civilian and the military were
9 Q. Never mind. We'll come back to that. But
10 his title was president of the HVO government in Vitez?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Cerkez, in October 1992, was a
13 member of the municipal staff of the HVO, wasn't he?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. As a prominent figure, as a member of all
16 these various bodies; you were aware of that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The immediate superior at the time of Cerkez
19 was Marion Skopljak, president of the HVO staff; the
20 chief of staff in Vitez municipality?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Very well. Thank you. At the meeting, on
23 behalf of the HVO, were those two persons, Cerkez and
24 Santic. Who spoke on behalf of the HVO at that
25 meeting? Santic is the superior. Was he the one
1 conducting the dialogue?
2 A. Yes, he was superior by position, but the
3 dialogue was conducted mostly by Mario Cerkez.
4 Q. Witness AC, I should like to show you what
5 two witnesses said in reference to that meeting.
6 And could we go into private session for a
7 moment, as one of the witnesses had a pseudonym, so as
8 to avoid any error.
9 JUDGE MAY: What's the point, before you do,
10 Mr. Kovacic, of asking the witness what somebody else
11 said? All you are going to be doing is asking the
12 witness to comment on what another witness has said.
13 Now, if you want to make that sort of
14 comment, of course you can make it to us, if there is
15 some point of difference in this witness's evidence in
16 relation to the other witnesses. But there really
17 isn't any point, is there, in having him comment on
18 what somebody else said.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President,
20 I wasn't going to ask him to comment. I just wished to
21 show the witness that two of his colleagues, honourable
22 men, testified in a quite a different manner, and I
23 wanted to read him one of the answers from those
24 testimonies. And this might refresh the memory of the
25 witness. And then we would go on to the next issue:
1 who made the phone call. Because I don't think it is
2 immaterial whether Cerkez represented the HVO at the
3 meeting or if he was escorting Mr. Santic. In my view,
4 this is a substantial difference.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It is a difference we'll
6 have to consider. This witness says one thing; other
7 witnesses say something different. All that you would
8 be doing by reading out what others said is to, in
9 effect, have him comment on what they said. That's
10 what you're going to do.
11 Now, the people to make the comment to is the
12 Court. You can say to us, in due course, "This is what
13 X and C said and this is what Z said." You can ask the
14 witness, if you want -- you could put to the witness,
15 if you say he is mistaken, that other witnesses have
16 said something else; does that make him change his mind
17 about his evidence? You can put it like that. If you
18 want to put the names of the witnesses, you can do so,
19 and we will go into closed session, but you can't put
20 the entire statement to him. You can just put it in
21 summary form as a question.
22 Do you want to go into closed session,
23 Mr. Kovacic, to do it?
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I would
25 appreciate that, but it won't take more than one
1 sentence just to refresh the witness's memory, and he
2 might even change his evidence.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Put it that way.
4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] In the
5 meantime, until we go into closed session, Witness, you
6 agree, I hope, with the statement that your
7 colleagues -- are we in private session? Closed
9 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. (redacted)
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps I said
1 too much about earlier duties. Could identify the
2 witness. But I think we could --
3 JUDGE MAY: It can be redacted. If it was
4 not in closed session, it can be redacted.
5 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. In any event, you were involved in the
7 economy. Tell me, from your personal experience, when
8 you go to attend a business meeting with your own
9 manager, your superior, at that meeting who is the main
10 interlocutor with a third party, your superior or
11 someone lower down?
12 A. It depends what issues are discussed. If
13 there are issues within my terms of reference,
14 obviously I would be responsible. Otherwise, why would
15 I be going to the meeting?
16 Q. Yes, but only if your general manager asks
17 you to enter into a dialogue on those issues.
18 A. It could be like that, but it need not.
19 Q. Let me ask you: Similarly, if you go to a
20 business meeting and take a subordinate, because of his
21 specialised knowledge, to that meeting, who would be
22 the speaker, you or your younger assistant?
23 A. I would repeat the same answer that I gave a
24 moment ago.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. Please, your
1 allegation that you made a moment ago, it is based on
2 what? And after you told us that you were familiar
3 with the situation and that Cerkez was in the municipal
4 staff of the HVO at the time and that his immediate
5 superior was Marijan Skopljak at the time, on which
6 grounds do you allege that Kordic was Cerkez's boss or
7 commander? That's what you said yesterday.
8 A. I said that that was what the accused Cerkez
9 told us explicitly.
10 Q. He told you that Kordic was his superior.
11 And you have no other basis for that statement? Do you
12 have anybody else's statement to that effect?
13 A. I think that all the Croats in the Lasva
14 Valley saw the accused Dario Kordic as the military and
15 political leader or chief.
16 Q. So I assume that we would agree that you're
17 not trying to say that Kordic is the immediate superior
18 of Cerkez.
19 A. I didn't even say that.
20 Q. So your allegation that Kordic was Cerkez's
21 commander does not mean that he was his immediate
23 A. I said that the accused Cerkez said that.
24 Q. But he didn't say that he was his immediate
1 A. He didn't need to explain to us their
3 Q. Thank you. Witness, let us clarify a little
4 the reason for the meeting. The mentioned persons,
5 Santic and Cerkez, came to the meeting in the quest for
6 a solution to the problem, the problem being the
7 roadblock at Ahmici. Is that correct?
8 A. No solution can be achieved by ultimatums.
9 Q. Will you give me a precise answer, please?
10 The topic of discussion at the meeting was to find a
11 way to remove the barricade?
12 A. What they were really interested in -- that
13 is, Santic and Cerkez -- was not the physical removal
14 of the roadblock but the passage of their units to Novi
16 Q. Correct. On the other hand, you, the people
17 of Vitez, both sides, the citizens of Vitez who were
18 attending the meeting, it was in your interest. If
19 certain troops needed to pass through Vitez, it was in
20 your interest to make sure that the troops pass through
21 Vitez and that they don't stay on there. That was your
22 prime concern, wasn't it?
23 A. No. That simply is not correct, because the
24 troops were supposed to come from Busovaca, through
25 Vitez, and go on to Novi Travnik.
1 Q. So you don't agree that it was in the
2 interest of the local people, and I'm thinking of
3 representatives of both communities, for them just to
4 pass through rather than to be stationed in your town?
5 Would you agree with that?
6 A. Yes, I could agree with that. Since -- if we
7 hadn't known where those troops were going, and they
8 were really going to reinforce HVO troops in Novi
9 Travnik, where tensions were already very high.
10 Q. Witness, I will have to tell you once again
11 that a co-participant from that meeting, who testified
12 here under the pseudonym L, explicitly said that the
13 gist of the matter was to find a solution how these
14 "outside troops" should pass through Vitez and not
15 stay on in Vitez.
16 A. Certainly that was one of the concerns and
17 part of the solution, but the way chosen by Santic and
18 Cerkez was to issue an ultimatum to explicitly demand
19 the removal of the barricade and free passage for their
21 Q. Very well. Santic and Cerkez, or anyone
22 else, did not say that those troops had to go through
23 Vitez, and that was why they were requesting the
24 lifting of the barricade so as to go on to Novi
25 Travnik. They were saying something else. But it was
1 your side which inferred that it was Novi Travnik that
2 they were headed for.
3 A. It wasn't only our inference, but the
4 telephone conversation also confirmed that. They
5 accused Dario Kordic, who was in Novi Travnik already,
6 was requesting that the unit be allowed to move on to
7 Novi Travnik.
8 Q. But if they go to Jajce, they have to use the
9 same route?
10 A. In a way, yes, but the Croat side never
11 mentioned anything of the kind. And, listen, what I
12 should like to say now is that both sides were aware
13 that if the roadblock were not lifted, that it could
14 entail, it could result in an armed conflict. And
15 somebody who was said to go to Jajce, I think would
16 realise that and try to avoid a conflict.
17 Q. Witness, I am asking you to answer a very
18 simple question. Did the negotiating parties, that is
19 Cerkez and Santic, tell you that they were asking for
20 the removal of the roadblocks so that the HVO troops
21 coming from other municipalities move onto Novi
22 Travnik; or was it the conclusion that you arrived at,
23 that, in fact, they wanted to go to Novi Travnik? Very
25 A. We also arrived at that conclusion, but the
1 course of the meeting and the conversation with Kordic
2 confirmed this.
3 Q. But it was subsequently when the conversation
4 took place, but Cerkez and Santic did not say that the
5 troops were headed for Novi Travnik?
6 A. They said that the troops had to go through,
7 but they -- neither did they say that they were headed
8 for Jajce.
9 Q. Very well. But you will agree that it is
10 beyond dispute that at the time the HVO and the BiH
11 army were fighting side by side to defend Jajce against
12 the Serb troops?
13 A. Yes, but the circumstances of it were very
14 strange indeed.
15 Q. Thank you. Witness, I have reasons to
16 believe that you know that. That same evening other
17 meetings took place, and several, or I should say quite
18 a number of bilateral contacts were established in
19 search of a peaceful solution. Is that correct?
20 A. I don't know what meetings you have in mind.
21 Q. Well, for instance, there was a meeting at
22 the health centre about one hour later, according to
23 the information that we have.
24 A. But I was in these premises --
25 Q. Yes, right. You told us all of that. Excuse
1 me for interrupting you. But my question is: Do you
2 know that other meetings, or at least one other
3 meeting, was held, and several bilateral conversations
4 took place between those eminent personalities?
5 A. Well, you would have to define the term
6 "eminent personalities," because, after all, this was
7 the meeting that was trying to resolve this question in
8 a fundamental manner.
9 Q. Right. Well, I'll ask you it a different
10 way, then. Did you know, did you learn later on that
11 evening, or some other time, that that same evening,
12 another meeting or meetings were held which were also
13 trying to find a peaceful solution to a potential
14 conflict? Are you aware of that or not? Just that.
15 A. I am not aware of that.
16 Q. You are not. Are you aware that that same
17 evening there were several bilateral attempts by some
18 important personalities, such as Santic, such as
19 Kajmovic, such as Marijan Skopljak, who made various
20 phone calls, trying to address information to the other
21 side in trying to arrive at some solution?
22 A. Well, the communication was not cut off. The
23 links were not cut off.
24 Q. So there was a channel which could be used to
25 devise some solution?
1 A. Yes, there was a channel.
2 Q. Right. You keep insisting on that request to
3 lift the roadblock. And let us try to save some time.
4 And I shall suggest something to you and then you can
5 confirm it or deny it. On the main road through the
6 Lasva Valley, below the village of Ahmici, a military
7 roadblock or a barricade was put up, and this roadblock
8 was manned by infantry, by armed units of the BiH
9 army. Is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. That roadblock was set up on the basis of
12 orders which arrived from the 3rd Corps; is that
14 A. I did not see that documentation of that
16 Q. But you must have heard about it?
17 A. I think that a decision to set up the
18 roadblock was taken by Sefkija Djidic, but it could be
19 that other persons from the corps consented.
20 Q. You mean Sefkija Djidic, the local commander
21 of the army of BiH in Vitez?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And that same day, on the other side of the
24 approach to Vitez, but on the same road at Grbavica,
25 next to the Bosna building enterprise, another
1 roadblock was set up; is that correct?
2 A. That roadblock, if it existed, and I am not
3 aware of that, but if it existed, it would be mostly
4 symbolical and, militarily speaking, of lesser
5 importance than the former one.
6 Q. Yes. We can agree that it was very political
7 and militarily less important, but it was set up
9 A. I never said that.
10 Q. Very well. So, the negotiations failed. And
11 the next morning, the HVO army attacked the roadblock;
12 is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The army attack was not directed at the
15 village, even though some damage was caused to some
16 facilities and houses in the immediate vicinity of the
17 roadblock where the conflict took place?
18 A. No, that is not correct, because a large
19 number of buildings, of structures around the
20 roadblock, were attacked as well.
21 Q. In that conflict, unfortunately, there were
22 casualties on both sides?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How do you know that it was Ivan Santic who
25 led the attack? You were not there, were you?
1 A. I was not there, but I said that my sister's
2 husband, my brother-in-law, who lived in the immediate
3 vicinity, had told me that.
4 Q. Can we just make a correction. Nenad Santic,
5 not Ivan Santic. Nenad Santic.
6 Do you remember when it was when he told you
7 that, and where did he tell you that?
8 A. He told me that sometime in early November,
9 in my flat in Vitez, because we often visited one
11 Q. And could you please be good enough to give
12 us his name?
13 A. (redacted).
14 Q. On that occasion, even if shots were fired at
15 the minaret in Ahmici, the minaret did not topple, did
17 A. No, it did not.
18 Q. And while we are talking about Nenad, let us
19 finish what we have to say about him. Do you know that
20 he lives about 100 metres from the roadblock?
21 A. I do not know the houses he lives in, but,
22 yes, it is nearby.
23 Q. Very well. Then you told us that after the
24 roadblock was removed, that kind of a truce was signed
25 then. And could the witness be shown the exhibit
1 already tendered, Z2461. While we are waiting for the
2 document, you will agree, won't you, that after this
3 quite remarkable incident, this conflict, this clash
4 between the two sides, all the politicians of that
5 locality from both sides were trying to get together
6 and devise some solution?
7 A. Quite. The Bosnia side always wanted to find
8 a solution, a peaceful solution, so as not to have --
9 to solve their problems in that particular manner.
10 Q. 246,1. Point 1. Will you please also
11 prepare D17/1-12 and -13. Will you please have a look
12 at this document, especially at those present. The
13 title -- will you please look at the contents. And my
14 question is the following: Did you mean this document
15 when you said that a kind of a truce was signed?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. That is the document that you had in mind?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Right. So there were present representatives
20 of the UNHCR, UNPROFOR, and there were priests,
21 representatives of clergy, both Muslim and Catholic;
22 there were representatives of armed forces, political
23 representatives. Mario Cerkez, evidently, came later,
24 because his name is written by hand as representative
25 of the municipal HVO headquarters. And it is quite
1 evident that now a broad political effort is being made
2 to try to calm things down?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So we agree about that. Thank you. Is it
5 correct that after that, the municipality compensated
6 for the damage to the houses and farm buildings which
7 were around the roadblock and had been damaged?
8 A. I learnt that some effort was made to
9 compensate for part of the damage, but it was not
10 compensated for in any noteworthy manner.
11 Q. Right. These efforts -- and you told us that
12 it was a time fraught with incidents, when Muslim shops
13 were broken and the like. I should like to have
14 document D17,1. And there are 12 and 13.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Could those documents be
16 placed on the ELMO, because the interpreters don't have
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, put the documents on the
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness, will you please have a look at the
22 document, the names there, the title, the signatories.
23 Can we agree that, as for the subject matter, this is a
24 document similar to the previous one? We see that the
25 dialogue goes on, that these are some efforts to calm
1 the situation in Vitez down.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So we agree about that. Do we agree that the
4 signatories really held those posts which are mentioned
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And now the next document, please, D17/1-13.
8 Will you please take a look?
9 So the first sentence of this letter and the
10 last item in the previous document, we see that one of
11 the conclusions reached by the preceding session is
12 being put through; that is, the confiscated military
13 equipment is exchanged, and that was the conclusion of
14 item 4 of the earlier agreement. And Cerkez signs this
15 letter, which he then sends it to Sefkija Dzidic, as
16 the then deputy commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic
18 Have you heard anything about this document?
19 Do you know if these conclusions were put through, or
20 at least the majority of them?
21 A. I don't know, because this was happening at
22 the time when I had the visit of HVO members, that is,
23 at the time when my family and I were ill-treated by
24 the HVO in our flat. After that, for a short while I
25 was absent from Vitez.
1 Q. Right. Thank you. But do you agree that
2 this -- all this was part of the attempt to bring down
3 the tension in Vitez?
4 A. Yes. On paper, yes, but the situation on the
5 ground, especially when it comes to the HVO behaviour,
6 did not lead to that.
7 Q. You mean that the situation in Vitez was not
8 calmed down, is it?
9 A. Quite true.
10 Q. Right. We'll go back to this issue briefly.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we're taking up some
12 time. Now, the witness doesn't seem to be able to help
13 very much about these matters. Can we move on?
14 MR. KOVACIC: Yes. I'm going on to new
16 Q. [Interpretation] Yesterday, in your
17 testimony, you used the term "HVO" several times. A
18 moment ago we agreed that this was a civilian and a
19 military branch of the HVO. There was a civilian
20 government in the Vitez municipality, and there's the
21 military structure within the territory of the
22 municipality. Is that correct?
23 A. Yes, there were those two elements, but they
24 acted in synchronisation.
25 Q. I assume you will agree with me when I say
1 that the HVO was the government of the Croatian
2 Community of Herceg-Bosna. At the level of the
3 municipality and elsewhere they had these two main
5 In the military structure of the HVO the
6 situation changed as the situation developed, but let
7 me ask you a few questions about that. Did you know
8 that the Operational Zone of Central Bosnia was based
9 in Vitez?
10 A. I think so, yes.
11 Q. Would you agree with me that the headquarters
12 were in the hotel and everyone referred to it as the
13 "Blaskic command"?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you know that at the end of 1992 and
16 until the middle of March 1993, there was a joint
17 inter-municipal brigade, Vitez-Novi Travnik, known as
18 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?
19 A. Yes, I know about that brigade.
20 Q. Do you know that the 1st Battalion of that
21 brigade was based in Vitez?
22 A. One of those battalions. I don't know
23 exactly the names, but one of them was based in Vitez.
24 Q. In your earlier testimony, you mentioned the
25 so-called special purpose unit Vitezovi. Did they
1 exist within the municipality?
2 A. Yes, unfortunately.
3 Q. You also mentioned the military police. Did
4 that exist?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Apropos the military police, it was based in
7 the hotel, was it not?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In 1993 it was in the hotel too?
10 A. I think so, yes.
11 Q. Then, as a separate unit within the military
12 police there was the special purpose unit the Jokers;
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And in December and January, there were units
16 that people referred to as the Hercegovci, the
18 A. Yes. There were certain troops coming from
19 that part of the country, so people referred to them in
20 that way.
21 Q. Then there was a unit known as Ludvig
23 A. You mean in Vitez?
24 Q. Yes.
25 A. Perhaps there were members of that unit, but
1 I'm not familiar with them.
2 Q. Let us summarise then. So we can agree that
3 there were several different units all belonging to the
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Each of those units, by nature of things, by
7 definition, has its own commander, structure,
9 A. It has a micro-organisation, yes, but they
10 also complied with orders coming from the supreme
11 command in the region.
12 Q. But we refer to all of them together as the
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Would you agree that for you, as a citizen,
16 when two bandits come to your house and you consider
17 them to be the HVO but, in fact, you don't care whom
18 they belong to, all you need to know is that they were
20 A. Yes. That is sufficient and that is
22 Q. But regarding those two bandits who
23 mistreated you for a whole hour in your own apartment,
24 let me ask you: They wore no insignia, you said?
25 A. They did not have any insignia, but other HVO
1 members were waiting for them at the entrance to the
2 flat, who didn't come in. And as soon as they left, I
3 saw them from my window and I could see that they were
4 members of the HVO.
5 Q. But you don't know which unit of the HVO they
6 belonged to?
7 A. I do not.
8 Q. Then let me ask you, to finish with that
9 incident, a most unfortunate and tragic incident for
10 you, you were living in a building where the Benc cafe
11 was and another 070 cafe.
12 A. You mean the building where the Benc cafe
13 is? No, not the same building.
14 Q. Nearby, then?
15 A. Yes, near the cafe.
16 Q. So it is the part of the town known as the
17 Kolonjia. And that cafe was one of the alternative
18 command posts, a place where the Vitezovi would
19 regularly rally?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And actually, that part of the town, from
22 April on, was under their control. It was their
23 territory, so to speak. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes. One could put it that way.
25 Q. But we said a moment ago that all lower-level
1 units were subordinated to the command?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. But let us explain things and maybe the
4 Prosecutor will ask you to elucidate other things more
5 clearly. So we agree that the Vitezovi were the bosses
6 there in that part of town?
7 A. Their number was small, and if we give them
8 such an attribute, then certainly they had a particular
9 assignment. They were relatively small in number
10 compared to the overall strength of the HVO, and it is
11 difficult to call them bosses in a given region unless
12 they were given such a role.
13 Q. Does that mean that you are trying to tell us
14 that they were not feared in this particular part of
16 A. Yes. Everyone knew that, including the HVO
17 command and the brigades you mentioned a moment ago,
18 those that you listed.
19 Q. Tell me, the command of the military police,
20 you said you knew that it was in the hotel.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that --
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
24 Mr. President, it seems that the dialogue being so
25 quick, we don't know who's asking the question and who
1 is giving the answer. So we can't really follow.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Kovacic, you've had
3 nearly an hour of cross-examination. I hope you can
4 bring things to a conclusion at least by the
6 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honours, I will do my
7 best, but you do understand that it is not really
8 unimportant witness for my client, and some things
9 seems to be different by the understanding of this
10 witness, and I have to clarify some things.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
12 MR. KOVACIC: Just for your information, Your
13 Honours, Mr. Naumovski will be rather short, because we
14 were trying to divide, and I will certainly do my
15 best. I already skipped some things.
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic,
17 bear in mind the problem of the interpretation, please,
18 and what the Prosecutor has just said a moment ago, so
19 that we can follow correctly the questions and the
20 answers, please. Thank you.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Witness, you have heard. I have been
23 reprimanded for going too quickly a moment ago in our
24 dialogue, but the blame is mine entirely.
25 Tell me, please, is it true that the military
1 police, and you being a citizen who moved around quite
2 a bit, that you knew that the military police guarded
3 the key buildings in Vitez?
4 A. No. I did not have any occasion to see
6 Q. For instance, wasn't the military police in
7 front of the hotel?
8 A. Yes. The command posts where they were
9 providing security for military establishments.
10 Q. But we're talking about the period from April
11 1993 onwards, not all the time?
12 A. April 1993? Yes, even before that the
13 military police did secure certain military facilities.
14 Q. Do you know that all those security platoons
15 come under the same military police, which had its
16 command in the hotel?
17 A. I assume so.
18 Q. In the cinema hall, you told us that among
19 the military policemen you recognised somebody called
20 Zlatko Nakic. I should like to show you his
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'm sorry.
23 Here it is.
24 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D51/2.
25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Tell us, please, regardless of the poor
2 quality of the photograph, if you can recognise and
3 identify this person as the person you mentioned.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So you know that he was a member of the
6 military police?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Apropos, did you hear later on that he was
10 A. Yes, I heard that.
11 Q. Thank you. And let us dwell for a moment on
12 the period that you mentioned; that is, January 1993.
13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I should like
14 to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber, to save
15 time, to documents D9/2, and D10/2.
16 Q. I'm not going to show you these documents, to
17 expedite things, but very briefly, you said that there
18 were a series of incidents in town in that period?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You agree that efforts were made to establish
21 control and that the police tried to do something in
22 that direction?
23 A. Yes. There were attempts but no results.
24 Q. So the results were poor?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But efforts did exist?
2 A. Yes. If we view them in the context of the
3 results, since it was possible to have some effect on
4 the situation, one wonders whether those efforts were
5 really appropriate.
6 Q. You agree that there were certain groups at
7 the time, as a result of various circumstances, that
8 existed in the territory of the town and who were
9 extremists and who were the main causes of those
11 A. Yes, but their appearance or emergence was
12 partly programmed. Rather, those units were given
13 freedom to act as part of the local forces of the HVO,
14 which points to the conclusion that they were units
15 executing certain assignments according to established
17 Q. Yes, but we agree that the most prominent
18 were units coming from outside the area?
19 A. No, I wouldn't agree, because many of the
20 leaders of these infamous units were people from Vitez
22 Q. Tell us, Witness, did you know that in '93
23 the commander of the military police in Vitez of the
24 4th battalion of the military police was a person
25 called Anto Sliskovic?
1 A. In Vitez, no, I didn't know that.
2 Q. Just a few more words on another topic. You
3 told us that you were a member of the committee for the
4 protection -- I apologise. My question was wrong. I
5 meant Pasko Ljubicic was the commander of that unit.
6 Do you remember that?
7 A. Yes, I have heard of him, and I know that he
8 was a commander in a sense of a part of the military
10 Q. In Vitez?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. I apologise for my error.
13 So I was saying that you were a member of the
14 committee for the protection of the interests of
15 Muslims. Two brief questions: That body was
16 operational in the second half of 1992; was it not?
17 A. Will you please tell me what time you are
18 referring to, time period?
19 Q. From 1992 until 1993, it existed throughout,
20 and then developed into war presidency?
21 A. Yes, I agree.
22 Q. So that committee was not formally registered
23 anywhere as an association or anything else, according
24 to the laws in force at the time?
25 A. I think it was not, but I was one of the
1 members who was not responsible for that kind of
3 Q. So in spite of the climate that prevailed,
4 nobody prevented any such body from operating. The HVO
5 that was in power in the municipality allowed such body
6 to operate; in fact, you were collocutors in many
8 A. No, we were not collocutors, and I couldn't
9 agree with what you just said, because, as you can see
10 from the series of documents that you, among others,
11 have produced, the institution of the co-ordination body
12 does not appear as a negotiator or as a signatory,
13 though individuals from that body did participate in
14 social and political life, but on a different basis.
15 Q. But in any event, we agree that it was a
16 public association, that it was a group operating in
17 public, and that it acted to protect the interests of
18 the Muslims?
19 A. Yes, but regarding the freedom given by the
20 HVO, that is highly questionable, and I don't agree
21 with that, because neither did we have the premises,
22 nor did we have any proper conditions for work, and
23 even the members of that body were looked upon with
24 disfavour by the HVO authorities.
25 Q. Thank you. But until the very beginning of
1 1993, nobody prohibited the activities of that
2 committee, and it developed into the war presidency; is
3 that correct?
4 A. Yes, it is.
5 Q. And the war presidency was founded by decree
6 of the President of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
7 Dr. Mujezinovic was elected President in the beginning
8 of 1993. And the competencies of that war presidency,
9 as evident from the title, was that it gave
10 instructions to the Territorial Defence and the BiH
11 army, of course respecting the military hierarchy in
12 the BiH army?
13 A. Yes. Not just the BiH army. The war
14 presidency was a form that was institutionalised
15 through the decisions of the presidency of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that is how it was formed in
17 the municipality.
18 Q. And it was operative?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Let us go onto another topic. On Vitez
21 television, (redacted)
25 (redacted) Was it all the time under
1 the control of the Territorial Defence or, rather, the
2 army of the BiH? Is it correct?
3 A. Well, the relay station was at a place which
4 is near large Muslim localities, so that one could say
5 that it was under the control of the army, of course
6 anyone could use it.
7 Q. But they could cover the area, they could
8 watch the area into that -- the programmes to that
9 relay station?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You mentioned Nenad Santic again, not only at
12 the roadblocks, but that he was in Ahmici on the 16th
13 of April. How do you know that he was in Ahmici? Who
14 told you that?
15 A. A large number of witnesses stated it; those
16 who escaped, who fled to Zenica after the massacre in
18 Q. Right. But could you give us some names, or
19 a name?
20 A. No, right now I cannot do that.
21 Q. Could you then describe the place and time
22 when you were told that?
23 A. Yes. It was happening in May or June '93, in
24 Zenica, where I was living with my family at the time.
25 Q. In one of your statements to the
1 investigators in '98, and yesterday you also mentioned
2 it, you spoke about the name of that action in April
3 '93, that is, 48 Hours of Ashes and Dust.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. (redacted)
8 A. Yes. This was the information we learnt from
9 people who survived that trial.
10 Q. And you had some witnesses about events in
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You also said that that term became known and
14 that you believed that that term came to be because an
15 intelligence man of the BiH army gave it the name of
16 the action, and that he learned about that by
17 interviewing, by questioning HVO soldiers?
18 A. True, even though I did hear that term, but
19 it didn't tell me anything. It did not mean anything
20 to me while I was in the prison at Kaonik.
21 Q. But do you remember the name of that
22 intelligence man from the BiH army who told you that?
23 A. That man, the intelligence man who was
24 involved in those interviews, it was Fadil Zaninovic.
25 Q. But was he from Vitez? Zenica? Travnik?
1 A. He was from Vitez.
2 Q. You mentioned it, and I won't ask all the
3 questions that I really should put to you about that.
4 That man that you mentioned right now, was he Ramiz
5 Dugalic's subordinate?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Wasn't Ramiz Dugalic the one who spoke about
8 the term, who spread that term?
9 A. I did not hear it from him.
10 Q. You mentioned Miroslav Bralo, Cicko, and you
11 spoke about him first when he planted a bomb and killed
12 Salkic, and then you heard about him later on, when it
13 came to trench digging.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did you know that Cicko Bralo, after Salkic's
16 murder, was detained, he was detained in Kaonik?
17 A. I did not hear anything about that.
18 Q. And you said, but will you please confirm it,
19 because I'm not sure I understood you properly, when
20 you mentioned him the second time in relation to
21 digging, you said that one man who was at the digging,
22 and who was not a local, had said that there was a
23 Cicko Bralo who boasted about being Cicko Bralo or
24 something like that?
25 A. Yes, a man who was imprisoned there but did
1 not come from the area.
2 Q. So that man, who was not a local man, was
3 affirming the identity of a man who affirmed that he
4 was Cicko Bralo?
5 A. No, no, no. He was not affirming his
6 identity. He said that one Cicko was boasting about.
7 Q. I see. Right. Thank you.
8 A. I mean, he did not know, he did not know the
9 name or the nickname, nor could he repeat it.
10 Q. You then explained to us that a meeting,
11 which the HVO had convened for 16th of April, was just
12 a ruse, was simply to put the army of BiH to sleep and
13 to catch them unawares.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could the witness be shown D26/2, which was
16 tendered earlier, with Witness G. D26/2.
17 Witness AC, will you please look at the upper
18 left corner. It has the date and then "News." And
19 this is the incidents commission in Vitez, and so on
20 and so forth. So, evidently, this news is broadcast
21 that that meeting was held, and so on and so forth.
22 And then it is proposed that every side takes care of
23 its own criminals, that they try to hold meetings of
24 heads of security service centres, various initiatives,
25 and so on and so forth. This is the announcement of
1 the meeting, a public announcement of the meeting which
2 was to be held on the 16th of April. Is that it?
3 A. Well, I don't see any signatory here, so I
4 cannot confirm your words.
5 Q. Correct. This is the copy of the news read
6 on the radio. It was just a news item on the radio.
14 Q. No. Let us divide it. A, was it broadcast
15 at the television station (redacted)?
16 A. I can't really confirm that, (redacted)
17 (redacted). I did not -- I was not directly
18 involved at that level. I did not really go through
19 the documents and approve or refuse their
21 Q. But you cannot either confirm or deny that it
22 was broadcast?
23 A. No, I can't.
24 JUDGE MAY: It's now eleven. Would that be a
25 convenient moment, Mr. Kovacic?
1 MR. KOVACIC: Yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn for half an hour.
3 --- Recess taken at 11 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
6 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. Thank you, Your
8 Q. [Interpretation] Let us round off this topic
9 about television, that is, the news item there. Could
10 you confirm or deny that other radio or television
11 stations also transmitted the same news item?
12 A. I cannot confirm that. May I explain briefly
14 Q. No. I don't think we need that.
15 A. No. I cannot confirm that.
16 Q. Thank you. You said that an HVO soldier, and
17 subsequently you said he was a member of the Vitez
18 Brigade, on the 18th of April, on the eve of the car
19 bomb explosion in Stari Vitez, that is, the man who was
20 guarding the building in which you lived, told all the
21 tenants in the building to go down to the cellar. Tell
22 us, did you see any flashes on the soldier's uniform?
23 A. He had an HVO flash.
24 Q. Was he wearing a camouflage uniform?
25 A. The uniform, yes.
1 Q. He was not wearing a black uniform?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Did you know him personally?
4 A. I know him. He's from Vitez, but I don't
5 know his name.
6 Q. Was he one of the Vitezovi that operated in
7 that borough?
8 A. No. I think he was a member of what I might
9 term as the rest of the HVO. I mean, those which were
10 not the units that you just mentioned.
11 Q. Very well. That same day, you were detained
12 and put in a cinema, and the man who escorted you was a
13 military policeman?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Did he have any insignia, any flash, anything
16 that would distinguish him as a military policeman?
17 A. He belonged to the military police. They did
18 have some flashes such as was worn by the military
19 police at the time.
20 Q. Such as, for instance?
21 A. Well, the markings of the military police.
22 Q. Oh, he did have that kind of marking.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Thank you. You told us there were about 600
25 persons detained in the cinema.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I should like to tell you that witness
3 Hendrik Morsink said here that there were, and that is
4 day 71, first day of the transcript, line 20, he said:
5 "I remember, and I think that in the cinema basement,"
6 so this is a building housing the Vitez headquarters,
7 "where we saw about 70 male detainees, all wearing
8 civilian clothes." So this figure is very different.
9 A. Well, that cannot be correct. When I
10 mentioned the figure, when I said "several hundred, as
11 many as 600," I meant three places where the detained
12 Bosniaks were, so the cinema hall, the SDK, and the
13 chess club.
14 Q. But in the cinema itself you would agree that
15 there were about 70 of them?
16 A. In the cinema, no. No way. There were many
17 more than that.
18 Q. But not 600.
19 A. I could not count them. Nobody cared about
20 counting at the time. That figure is the result of
21 analysis of the number of precincts and the knowledge
22 of how many of us were in each of them.
23 Q. Right. Thank you. But you will agree that
24 only men were detained in the cinema?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And they were all of military age?
2 A. By and large but not only.
3 Q. And you remember that a few days later a
4 number of people were released, some 20 of them,
5 because of health problems. You know that.
6 A. Yes, there were some cases.
7 Q. You will agree that people were released
8 individually for health reasons and other, and then a
9 large-ish group was released exclusively on health
11 A. Well, as you started, it will turn out that
12 we were all ill, but I would not agree that they were
13 all released for health reasons.
14 Q. Well, perhaps I wasn't clear enough. A group
15 of about 20 was released for health reasons only?
16 A. Well, I confirm that.
17 Q. Thank you. And tell us as regards the
18 conditions there. And we also heard it from other
19 witnesses, including Mr. Morsink. Contact with
20 families as allowed, and they brought food and other
21 things. Is that correct?
22 A. Well, one could say that.
23 Q. And there was a medical commission which
24 visited the prisoners?
25 A. No. Not in those precincts where I was kept.
1 Q. And elsewhere?
2 A. I could not confirm that.
3 Q. You are not aware of that?
4 A. I don't think so. I don't think they came to
5 visit them, but I can't affirm that.
6 Q. But are you aware that there was a certain
7 number of people -- we do not know the exact number --
8 who came themselves there for their personal safety?
9 A. I doubt that, because why didn't they stay
10 there after others had been released? All of who were
11 there were taken in by force.
12 Q. But wouldn't we agree that chaos reigned in
13 the town at the time?
14 A. In the town itself, maybe not. If it did,
15 the HVO units were in the town, so they would be
16 directly responsible for any chaos that there was.
17 Q. Right. In a way, you told us that the
18 detainees in the cinema were there to protect the
19 command in the hotel itself. I am going to ask you now
20 [in English] to put on ELMO a photo, tender it under
22 [Interpretation] Witness, you know Vitez very
23 well, so when we get the photograph, I would like to
24 ask you to take a look at it on the monitor. Yes,
25 that's it. If you look at the bottom -- [in English] I
1 would kindly ask the -- yes, that will do. Great.
2 Thank you.
3 [Interpretation] In the bottom left-hand
4 corner we see three buildings marked A, B and C. Can
5 you identify the A building as the hotel that we spoke
6 about, which was where the command of the operative
7 zone was located?
8 A. I know Vitez well, but looking at it from
9 this angle, it's a little -- it looks a little strange,
10 and I cannot say with any certainty whether that is the
11 building you asked about.
12 Q. If you look at building C, above the first
13 building, and if I tell you that that is the post
14 office building, is it --
15 A. Well, it corresponds to the geometric
16 distribution of the buildings.
17 Q. If I were to draw your attention to the
18 building to the right of the hotel marked B, is that
19 the Worker's University where you were?
20 A. A part of it, yes, but in this compound there
21 is another part of the premises which should be
22 somewhere in between A and B.
23 Q. If you look at it closely, it's not a very
24 good photograph, I know, Witness, but if you take a
25 careful look at the B, it is right beside the rear of
1 the T-shaped building, and in front you can see the
2 building that you have been talking about, the front of
3 the building.
4 A. Well, geometrically speaking, then, it does
5 reflect the position of the buildings.
6 Q. So that is about 150 metres between these two
7 buildings, between building A and B?
8 A. Yes, if you calculate the distance from A to
9 B, but you could have moved the A to the other end of
10 the building, and then you would see that the distance
11 is much smaller.
12 Q. Yes, but from the photograph we see the
13 ratio. It's not as great a distance as you just said.
14 Thank you.
15 Tell me, please, if the detainees were there
16 to form a sort of protection or shield, why was that?
17 Were there any artillery attacks?
18 A. Yes, there were artillery attacks after the
19 killing in Ahmici.
20 Q. So the town was shelled, was it not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And houses were destroyed in the centre of
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Even civilian buildings; is that not right?
1 A. Of course.
2 Q. And the health centre as well?
3 A. The health centre was in the immediate
4 vicinity. I did not move around in that area, so I
5 cannot confirm whether the health centre was hit and
7 Q. Thank you, Witness. Let us go back to the
8 question of the detention. And be as brief as possible
9 in your answers, if you will. You said that from the
10 house to the cinema you were escorted by a military
11 policeman; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The cinema was protected by the military
14 policeman, was it not? From the cinema to the chess
15 club you were transferred by the military police, were
16 you not, with the group? And the chess club was also
17 guarded by the military police?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. From the chess club, you were taken to
20 Kaonik, once again transported by the military police,
21 escorted by the military police?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you were transferred back to the cinema
24 once again by the military police; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you. You have already told us that
2 (redacted) in Kaonik was beaten by the guards. Did he
3 say that the military policeman, Petrovic Zarko, hit
5 A. I didn't catch the name. Would you repeat
6 the name?
7 Q. Zarko Petrovic.
8 A. I couldn't say.
9 Q. Thank you. When released from the cinema,
10 you mentioned a moment ago that you talked to Santic.
11 Let me remind you, Witness. You were then given the
12 possibility of choosing. You were offered, and we
13 heard that some of you were prevailed upon to remain in
14 Vitez, or you were given the choice of leaving Vitez?
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. That is correct, is it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And you signed your particular choice and
19 said, "I am going," the other person said he wasn't
20 going, and so on; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. There was 16 individuals in all, were there
24 A. About that, yes.
25 Q. Did Mr. Santic try to influence people and
1 prevail upon them to stay, saying that matters would
2 become normalised there?
3 A. There were attempts of that kind, yes, but we
4 thought that this was a hypocritical offer, in view of
5 the fact of what had happened in the meantime.
6 Q. So you didn't believe it?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Thank you.
9 A. And the accused Cerkez also made a statement
10 within that context.
11 Q. Just one moment, please. I would like to
12 refer, for the purposes of the Court, to document
13 D28/2. That is the statement, D28/2. It was
14 introduced earlier on. I am now going to ask you to
15 take a look at the following document [in English]
16 D28/1, which was just tendered by the Prosecution.
17 [Interpretation] You saw the document a moment ago.
18 Let me ask you first, you were not a member of the
19 military units of the BiH army when you were taken into
20 custody; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. The title of the document says that it is a
23 list of prisoners of war? You were a civilian
24 detainee, were you not?
25 A. I was mobilised as a military conscript and
1 my task was, (redacted)
2 (redacted) So I cannot use that
3 attribute in this case.
4 Q. But when you were arrested, you were no
5 longer a member (redacted)
7 A. Well, I worked in (redacted)
9 Q. What you want to say is that your status was
10 not quite clear cut; that is to say, whether you were a
11 civilian or whether you were a military man?
12 A. Yes, it was quite clear, because I had
13 multiple duties to attend to; some of them were of a
14 civilian nature, others were of a military nature.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. You notice that in
16 the document there was some entries written by hand.
17 Have you got an explanation for those hand-written
19 A. I didn't write the document, so I don't know.
20 Q. Some of them have been written in English.
21 A. Well, there are some remarks here which
22 should be by Karajko Ramo, and it says Karajko
23 [phoen.], which was his real name. That was a mistake
24 put right there.
25 Q. In the cinema you were registered by the Red
1 Cross, were you not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And this was before you went to Kaonik?
4 A. Yes, it was.
5 Q. So the fact that you were secretly
6 transferred cannot remain a secret, because you were
7 registered in fact?
8 A. Yes. But we were transferred in the very
9 early hours of the morning, around 5 a.m., which means,
10 in practical terms, where nobody was able to see us
11 being transferred to the chess club.
12 Q. I am sure you discussed this at length with
13 the colleagues that shared your fate. And was it never
14 mentioned that this transfer was organised in such a
15 way precisely to protect you from the extremists in
17 A. Why? We were to have been released on that
18 particular day.
19 Q. Well, I just wanted to know whether anyone
20 had ever mentioned that?
21 A. No.
22 Q. In Kaonik, were you registered by the Red
23 Cross as a prisoner of war?
24 A. Yes, several days later.
25 Q. And you got an ID card to that effect?
1 A. We received a document, yes.
2 Q. Did that document state "prisoner of war"?
3 A. I don't know whether the Red Cross issued
4 documents of this kind and certificates of this kind.
5 Q. Thank you. This morning, at the end of the
6 examination-in-chief, you told us that members of the
7 military police beat you up in the courtyard of the
8 cinema. Were you born in Bukve?
9 A. No.
10 Q. You complained to Santic, and he said that he
11 would inform Cerkez; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Cerkez had his command in that building, did
14 he not?
15 A. You mean where we were?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Well, that was where the military police unit
18 was located, and I can only assume that the accused
19 Cerkez was in the building as well.
20 Q. You mean the headquarters of the Vitez
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You never heard what happened to the man who
24 had attacked you?
25 A. No, I didn't.
1 Q. Do you claim that the man who attacked you
2 was a member of the guard or did he come from outside?
3 A. No. He was a member of the guard. And not
4 only one person, but there were two of them, and both
5 of them stood guard at that particular time.
6 Q. Very well. Thank you. I have one more
7 question to ask. You mentioned the intelligence
8 officer, Dzenanovic Fadil, who gave you the
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Is he a relation to Esad Dzenanovic, the
12 commander of the Vitez army; that is to say, the
13 325th Mountain Brigade in Vitez?
14 A. They have the same surname. Possibly they
15 are related, but I couldn't say. I'm not sure.
16 Q. You're not sure.
17 A. No.
18 Q. And just to make matters quite clear, you say
19 you are not from Bukve, but you are from Sadovace; is
20 that correct?
21 A. That is a much more definite place, and that
22 is correct.
23 Q. Is it near Bukve, is it not?
24 A. Well, it is -- you can't see them
25 geographically. They're not that close.
1 Q. I have one further question. The two
2 soldiers that beat you up, did they not use words which
3 you came to understand that one of these men's mothers
4 had been killed on the previous day or that particular
5 day, and that he was drunk, and that he found you and
6 took it out on you?
7 A. Well, that's a contradictory statement. If
8 he was drunk, he could not have stood guard, as we said
9 a moment ago.
10 Q. So there was nothing of that kind said?
11 A. No, there wasn't.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. That is the end of
14 my cross-examination. Thank you very much.
15 [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness, for
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise,
19 Your Honours. We're taking up a little time to prepare
20 ourselves. My learned colleague Mr. Kovacic examined
21 the subjects that I have prepared, but I shall try not
22 to repeat what he has just asked, and I hope that I
23 shall be brief.
24 Q. Mr. AC, let me introduce myself. My name is
25 Mitko Naumovski. I'm an attorney from Zagreb and I'm
1 one of the Defence counsel for Mr. Kordic. I'm going
2 to ask you a few questions now.
3 Mr. AC, you made a statement in 1994, at the
4 Supreme Court in Zenica, as a witness. Do you recall
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. After that, there were four formal statements
8 to the OTP of this Tribunal; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. In addition to the latest conversation you
11 had a few days ago.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Mr. AC, you spoke today about your transfer
14 from Vitez to Kaonik. For the first time, although you
15 have given six statements to date, you say, during the
16 examination-in-chief today, that a man named Marko told
17 you that Mr. Kordic had some link -- was connected to
18 your transfer in some way.
19 A. I mentioned that particular man, Marko, in
20 one or two other statements that I made previously.
21 Q. But never in this context, in relation to
22 Mr. Kordic?
23 A. The statements that I made earlier on were
24 broader in context and focused on the overall situation
25 in the Vitez municipality, because I was not told in
1 precise terms to mention any individuals who could come
2 up in this trial, and to go into all the details and
3 parameters related to those individuals. Had I known
4 at the time that this would be required of me and that
5 the accused Kordic would actually be accused and
6 indicted, I would probably have mentioned that as a
8 Q. Tell us, please, that particular individual
9 named Marko, what duty did he perform at the Kaonik
11 A. Well, according to the manner in which the
12 other members of the HVO police behaved towards him, he
13 gave the impression of being a sort of commander of
15 Q. In one of your statements, when you talked to
16 the interviewers for several days, on 31st, 1996,
17 January 1996, and later on, you said that Marko was the
18 commander of the camp or prison. Was that that same
20 A. Yes. I didn't know any other Markos.
21 Q. And it is your last sentence in that
22 particular statement. So that is the only Marko that
23 we're discussing; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. Tell us, please, do you know whether what
1 Marko said was true?
2 A. What do you mean?
3 Q. What Marko told you; do you know whether that
4 was true?
5 A. Could you clarify that question? What do you
6 mean, "what he said"? What did he say?
7 Q. That Mr. Kordic had something to do with your
9 A. Yes, that's what he said. Precisely.
10 Q. Do you know what his source of information
11 was, where he came by that information?
12 A. Well, if I identified him as the commander of
13 the camp or the leader, then this happened on the basis
14 of the relationship of the other members of the HVO
15 police who were in that particular camp. So I can only
16 assume that the source of his information was from a
17 very influential quarter.
18 Q. I understand that. That is your conclusion.
19 But you have no actual knowledge about that? You saw
20 no document to that effect or anything of that kind?
21 A. We were not, of course, given any documents
22 of that kind. We were just prisoners and waited for
23 execution of some kind, to go trench digging. And we
24 know that many people who went trench digging never
1 Q. So you agree with me that that is your own
3 A. No, it's not my conclusion, as I said a
4 moment ago. That particular piece of information was
5 unequivocally given out by Marko.
6 Q. Yes, I understand that. But as to your
7 conclusion as to his source of information, you have no
8 actual factual evidence to bear that out, do you?
9 A. I know for a fact that on that particular
10 day, when we were exchanged, that they had indeed
11 received some documents or telegrams, but of course I
12 did not have any insight into that. The document -- I
13 saw the documents from a distance; that is to say, I
14 saw him carrying the document in his hand, but of
15 course I did not know the contents of that document,
16 nor could I see the contents of it. And I think that
17 there were many documents. One of the documents, we
18 signed our names and said that we were leaving the
19 Kaonik camp on that particular day.
20 Q. So you didn't draw closer to the document.
21 You didn't know who signed it, what stamp was on it, or
22 anything like that?
23 A. No. I didn't have access to it.
24 Q. Thank you. I mentioned Kaonik, but you were
25 not mistreated in Kaonik, were you, while you were
2 A. Well, if you mean physical mistreatment, no,
3 but I had other forms of trauma which are much worse
4 than the one you have just mentioned.
5 Q. That was what you said in one of your
6 statements and I just repeated it, but, nevertheless,
7 we can go forward.
8 A. Yes. Those were words contained in a
9 statement and this is an actual trial.
10 Q. Thank you. We have heard many witnesses in
11 this courtroom who were transferred with you from Vitez
12 to Kaonik. I don't wish to reveal a protected name,
13 and so as to avoid repeating those names, but Their
14 Honours are aware of them; none of them mention this
15 allegation that you just made, that Mr. Kordic issued
16 an order for your transfer from Vitez to Busovaca in
17 the prison. Not one of those witnesses said that in
18 this courtroom.
19 A. That is quite possible, because, after all,
20 we were assigned to different rooms, in small groups of
21 a couple of men, and we had no communication amongst
22 each other. So that it is quite possible that what you
23 say is right.
24 Q. I understand what you're saying, but you
25 communicated with those people for years after the
1 events. So many years have gone by, and none of them
2 appeared to have learned certain details afterwards.
3 And to this day, not one of them conveyed this
4 allegation in this court.
5 A. If what you are saying is true, that a
6 certain number of witnesses who have passed through
7 this courtroom did not mention this, I have already
8 said that that is quite possible. Now, why they didn't
9 have any such information, one can conclude from this
10 that I had heard it. It is true that I did not pass
11 this on to anyone. So if this information is
12 important, no one could have learnt it from me.
13 Q. (redacted)
15 (redacted). I don't wish
16 to repeat his name. I assume you know who I mean?
17 A. Yes. I already said that I didn't discuss it
18 with anyone.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you. We can proceed to
20 another topic. Mr. Cerkez's Defence asked you in
21 detail about the meeting on the 19th of October, 1992.
22 I have only a few relevant to that meeting. Where was
23 the telephone set itself, in relation to the place
24 where you were sitting?
25 A. The room was quite large. The telephone set,
1 in relation to where I was sitting, was about a couple
2 of metres away.
3 Q. I see. So it was the traditional telephone
4 set with a receiver?
5 A. Yes. Yes.
6 Q. Without a loudspeaker?
7 A. Yes, yes, without.
8 Q. In your earlier statements, and you repeated
9 that yesterday or today, you said that on two
10 occasions, through the conversation that Mr. Cerkez had
11 with Mr. Kordic, and later on when (redacted) was
12 speaking to him, that you heard the terms and
13 conditions laid down by Mr. Kordic?
14 A. They could be heard -- they couldn't be heard
15 directly while they were talking, but they were heard
16 because they were repeated by the people at the other
17 end holding the receiver. So we heard what this person
18 was repeating regarding the accused.
19 Q. Yes. But when you made your statement on the
20 4th of September, '95, you said, explicitly, that
21 during the conversation that you heard Mr. Kordic
22 saying these things and setting the terms?
23 A. Yes. A part of that conversation was carried
24 out in a way that the accused, Kordic, was, one could
25 say, hysterically screaming into the telephone and
1 making an ultimatum regarding lifting the blockade at
2 the road on Ahmici. The (redacted) you referred to a
3 moment ago, actually being aware of the importance of
4 the moment, moved the receiver away from his head, so
5 that we were able to hear directly what was coming out
6 of the receiver. And as I said, very crude words were
7 being used and very emphatic demands made, in the form
8 of an ultimatum.
9 Q. And those words could be heard by all those
10 present in the room?
11 A. I assume they could. Perhaps not quite all
12 of them, but quite a number of them, because that is
13 the point. The (redacted) moved the receiver
14 away from his ear, so that he could hear clearly all
15 the words being spoken into the receiver, as well as a
16 certain number of people in his vicinity could hear
18 Q. Very well. Let us not keep repeating. The
19 person speaking into the telephone, could we agree that
20 he was the person who could hear best the contents of
21 the conversation with Mr. Kordic?
22 A. Yes, probably. It could be so, but not
23 necessarily. But I do believe that he heard quite
24 clearly what was being said.
25 Q. I don't quite understand why you said that
1 that need not be so. Surely, if he is having the
2 dialogue, he knows best what was said.
3 A. I said that the named witness made a point of
4 moving away the receiver from his head, holding it like
5 this [indicates] in his hand, and he faced the rest of
6 us, so that I couldn't be very precise about it, but
7 judging -- I couldn't judge how he heard all the
8 messages conveyed to him, but I do believe that he
9 heard most of them.
10 The reason why he moved away the receiver, as
11 I said a moment ago, was because he wanted some other
12 people to hear the messages being conveyed, in addition
13 to himself.
14 Q. Tell me, please --
15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]
16 Mr. Naumovski, I think we have heard enough detail
17 about this sequence. All you have to do is ask your
18 client about this conversation, because he was on the
19 phone. The witness is telling you the situation as he
20 saw it, and I think, unless you are contesting
21 something, that we have heard enough detail about it.
22 You don't need to repeat the same question several
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I quite
25 agree, Your Honour. I was just going to end with this
1 segment by making two statements. With the permission
2 of the Court, I should like to draw attention to the
3 witness to what Mr. Kovacic said.
4 Q. The witness who spoke to Mr. Kordic on the
5 phone did not mention this ultimatum regarding the
6 roadblock at Ahmici?
7 A. Not in a single word did he mention it.
8 JUDGE MAY: This has already been put. The
9 witness affirms his recollection. I don't think there
10 is much point going further with it.
11 Is it denied that Mr. Kordic was involved in
12 this? Is this evidence disputed on behalf of
13 Mr. Kordic?
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
15 our position regarding this telephone conversation
16 between Witness L and Mr. Kordic, we conveyed it on the
17 33rd day of the trial, on the 15th of June, on page
18 3.796, lines 2 to 8, when we stated what our position
19 is clearly. I am just reminding you of that. But I
20 would also like to say that Witness L, on page 6.854,
21 towards the end of his testimony, stated explicitly
22 what Mr. Kordic said, and our position is not
23 substantially different from what Witness L said. So I
24 think there is no need for us to debate this issue with
25 this witness any further.
1 JUDGE MAY: You can remind us what you said
2 on day 33, now it being day 110.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise.
4 It is my mistake. Mr. Kordic said, roughly, to Witness
5 L, that there would be no political negotiations until
6 Refik Lendo ceases hostilities and does not assume his
7 personal responsibility for the attack on HVO forces in
8 Novi Travnik. So nothing beyond that.
9 JUDGE MAY: Witness AC, you've just heard
10 what it is suggested that Dario Kordic said. Did he
11 say something like that or not?
12 A. This is just one aspect of what was discussed
13 that night. It is possible that Witness L may have
14 interpreted that as being the most important part of
15 the conversation. As far as I am concerned, I abide by
16 my testimony that I did indeed hear this part of the
17 conversation that I mentioned in my testimony, that is,
18 the ultimatum regarding lifting the roadblock at
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I think it is
21 up to Your Honours to adjudge on this issue, and I will
22 not make any further questions, unless Your Honours
23 have a question addressed to me.
24 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Mr. AC, we can move on now. You said
2 yesterday that Mr. Kordic, at the beginning of April
3 1993, issued some sort of an ultimatum for BiH army
4 units to be attached and placed under the command of
5 the HVO?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In what context did he say that? Where did
8 you hear him say it? On what occasion? Was it in
9 writing? Could you tell us in greater detail about
11 A. This is something I heard on the radio,
12 television of Bosnia-Herzegovina, on the media, and it
13 was broadcast on a number of occasions in local news
14 programmes within the territory of Vitez municipality.
15 Q. Let me interrupt -- I apologise for
16 interrupting you. So this was as a news item in the
17 news, as a news report?
18 A. Yes. Yes. Precisely. The context in which
19 this ultimatum appeared had to do with the
20 municipalities which were then formally within the
21 so-called Herceg-Bosna; that is, the municipalities
22 which were fictitiously within the composition of such
23 an entity. The BiH army had to place itself under the
24 command of the Croatian Defence Council.
25 Q. Tell me, please. This news report, was it a
1 lengthy report, or was it an isolated news item that
2 was repeated?
3 A. It was in the media of Bosnia-Herzegovina in
4 summary form. On the local media, it was broadcast in
5 greater detail.
6 Q. Tell me, please, was it ever stated where
7 Mr. Kordic made this statement; at a meeting, at a
9 A. The media I am referring to were under the
10 competence of the HVO as well, because these were media
11 that were designed to serve, among others, the HVO.
12 And since such a message, or such an item was broadcast
13 repeatedly, if there had been any kind of error, surely
14 somebody would have intervened, because fully
15 acknowledging the implications of such a message,
16 surely we must agree that such a message is of very
17 considerable significance.
18 Q. You said yesterday that this ultimatum was
19 made orally and unofficially, that it was not official,
20 and that is why no official reaction was expected on
21 the part of the opposing side?
22 A. When I said that, I meant that the accused
23 Kordic or any other institutions, which, in this case,
24 could have taken any steps that this implied, did not
25 address any kind of written request; nor did it address
1 anyone in particular to whom that ultimatum was
2 addressed. And that is why I described it as being
3 unofficial, because when talking about members of the
4 BiH army, it did not oblige anyone to make any kind of
6 Q. Very well. I understand. But I still
7 haven't received an answer from you whether, in those
8 broadcasts, anyone said where Mr. Kordic had made this
9 statement, and to whom. Had there been some kind of a
10 meeting, a formal gathering or anything like that?
11 A. There was no formal meeting. The accused
12 Kordic and the command of the local HVO frequently used
13 the local media to shape reports relating to the region
14 to which those reports were addressed. So this report
15 was broadcast on the local media in a way that said
16 that the accused Kordic was behind this statement.
17 Q. This report that was repeated was read by
18 professional announcers on the radio and the
19 television, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Tell me, please, I assume you are familiar
22 with the Vance-Owen Plan and its provisions? Roughly.
23 A. Yes, I am.
24 Q. And you must have also known about an order
25 which the then Minister of Defence, Bozo Rajic, issued
1 on the 15th of January, 1993, and which had to do with
2 the attachment of the command of one of the army to the
3 other, depending on the canton; that is, depending on
4 which side had the majority in which canton?
5 A. Bozo Rajic? The Minister -- what was he?
6 Q. Of Herceg-Bosna and Bosnia-Herzegovina for
7 some time.
8 A. As a matter of fact, at that time he was not
9 the Minister of Defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. No. I'm asking you if you've heard about
11 that order.
12 A. Yes, I did hear about that order. And I
13 didn't find it in some other form, because what this
14 order might imply was outside the context, and I did
15 not think that that order had any particular
17 Q. I should like to show you D17/1.8, D17/1.8.
18 This is an order which was based on the order that
19 we've just talked about. Will you pay attention to the
20 date, please.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
22 this is an order issued by Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic,
23 the head of the chief of staff, on the 15th of January,
24 1993. And on the basis of the order of Bozo Rajic,
25 which I just mentioned, and some items of which explain
1 in what provinces which army has to place itself under
2 the command of the other side; that is, not only
3 province number 10, that is, the Travnik region, but
4 all the other provinces under the Vance-Owen Plan.
5 Q. You must have seen it. See this date? It
6 was January of 1993. Do you know this? Have you ever
7 seen this order before, or at least do you know of the
9 A. Well, the document which was issued by the
10 chief of staff of the HVO, and it says "confidential,"
11 but 21st of January, 1993 was the deadline. So this
12 order, I should say, is insignificant from the point of
13 view of time.
14 Q. So to conclude, all that you said on this
15 particular topic is based on what you heard from the
17 A. In this particular case, yes, but I should
18 like to say the media which were controlled by the
19 Croat Defence Council.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I do not
21 really want to put to you what other witnesses said
22 except, Your Honours, to explain our position to you.
23 In the beginning of April, or before or
24 after, Mr. Kordic never issued such an ultimatum, and
25 he had nothing to do with these attachment or
1 subordination of various army units or, rather,
2 placement of some army units under the command of other
3 army units. He never had anything to do with it.
4 Q. We're coming to the close, Witness AC. You
5 spoke about this plan, 48 Hours of Ashes, and I heard
6 about it from you for the first time. If I understand
7 properly, it should be the secret name, the code name
8 of the operation. Is that so?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Yesterday, I believe I heard you well when
11 you said that you received the first news about it from
12 a member of the army of BH who had been in the Kaonik
13 Prison before the 15th of April of 1993.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. But I didn't hear you say how did he learn
16 about that.
17 A. He was not from Vitez, Travnik, or Novi
18 Travnik area. He came from a region which was further
19 removed. And he had been an inmate there for quite
20 some time, so that he had established contact with
21 people, with guards who were in the prison compound,
22 and I got this information from him. And let me
23 explain. During that period of time, the man had never
24 been out, so he could not have just come up with this
25 term from some other source.
1 Q. So this was your information, and then -- and
2 that is that the intelligence services that you already
3 explained to Mr. Kovacic?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise,
6 Your Honours. Just a moment.
7 Q. And just to round off this topic, do you know
8 the name of that soldier?
9 A. No, I don't. I do -- I think about his lot.
10 I know nothing about him.
11 Q. Thank you.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
13 just a moment. Let me go through my notes. I believe
14 that Mr. Cerkez's defence covered a considerable number
15 of topics, and I don't have to go back to them. I
16 believe I can conclude my cross-examination with this.
17 Thank you very much for your patience.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
19 Mr. President, I should like to make two corrections
20 with regard to what the Defence said; notably,
21 Mr. Kovacic and then Mr. Naumovski a couple of minutes
22 ago. It was said during the cross-examination that the
23 witness mentioned the presence -- or, rather, Mr.
24 Kajmovic did not mention the presence of the accused
25 Mario Cerkez at that meeting on the 19th of October,
1 1992. This presence is confirmed by this witness in
2 his testimony here, in the transcript, on page 3691.
3 As for Mr. Naumovski, a moment ago he said
4 that no witness mentioned the intervention of the
5 accused Dario Kordic in the release of the detainees
6 from the Kaonik in May 1993, and the witness was part
7 of that. But there was another witness who was in that
8 group, and he mentioned expressly as Kordic who had
9 interceded, and it was on page 4393 of the transcript.
10 JUDGE MAY: We're not going to have a dispute
11 about this now. These matters can be argued in due
12 course. Let's finish the witness's evidence. Yes.
13 Re-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
14 Q. As regards that meeting, Witness AC, you were
15 shown a document about the ceasefire on 7th of October,
16 1992, this ceasefire document, and that you saw the
17 name Sulejman Kalco appearing there as one of those
18 present as a signatory to this document.
19 A. Excuse me. That document -- you said that
20 document had been shown to me. I don't remember.
21 Q. It is document Z246.1.
22 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] Perhaps
23 the witness could be shown it once again briefly.
24 Z246.1. I can show it to the witness. I have it
25 here. Perhaps it will be quicker if I do that.
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
3 Q. You were asked a question about Marijan
4 Skopljak and Mario Cerkez, but Marijan Skopljak does
5 not appear on this document as a signatory to the
6 document, but Mario Cerkez does.
7 A. Yes. Yes.
8 Q. Mr. Sefkija Dzidic and Sulejman Kalco, in
9 October 1992, were two persons responsible for the
10 forces of the BH army in Vitez, weren't they?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE MAY: We really have --
13 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, just one more
15 JUDGE MAY: We can't get on with the case if
16 there are constant interruptions. What is it,
17 Mr. Kovacic?
18 MR. KOVACIC: The Prosecutor says Marijan
19 Skopljak did not sign. Of course he didn't. He's not
20 here. He said he's here. He's not listed. It's
21 another document.
22 JUDGE MAY: Don't worry about this. You can
23 make your submissions in due course.
24 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation]
25 Q. I have already asked you yesterday and I
1 believe you answered it, but since you were
2 cross-examined about it, we're going back to that.
3 Witness AC, you know that in -- that every HVO Brigade
4 and, after all, in the BH army brigade there were
5 units, there are units of the military police.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You were also asked if certain persons were
8 taken to the chess club or to the SDK or the cinema --
9 and you spoke about that -- in order to protect them.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You were asked this morning. Do you have a
12 feeling that on the 18th of April, in the morning, they
13 came to look for you because they were concerned about
14 your safety?
15 A. No. I could never say that. We were all
16 taken into custody against our wishes, and we were
17 there also during -- and during our stay there, a
18 number of people were victimised. I think about five
19 persons. So I think it is absurd to speak about
20 protection. Even where we were kept, people were being
21 taken out and away to dig trenches and would not come
22 back. That is, five persons were killed, and direct
23 responsibility should be borne by those who were
24 responsible for our accommodation in that facility.
25 Q. So let us be clear. I mean, what I'm saying
1 now, what I'm putting to you is not what I am putting
2 in my own name; it is what came from the other side.
3 Were there Vitez Croats who were in those
4 same places as you were, in the cinema, in the chess
5 club, or in the building of public auditing, or were
6 they all only Muslims?
7 A. There were only Muslims.
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] I should
9 like to seize this opportunity, Mr. President, to show
10 you a document with regard to a document which Defence
11 produced and which was tendered at the time when the
12 witness and others were released on the 16th of May,
13 1993. We do not have an official translation of it,
14 but we made an official request that an official
15 translation be made of this document. This is a
16 word "Croat" and the word "taken in" that is in the
17 document but doesn't appear in the document. It is
18 people who were taken or transferred, whereas the word
19 "detained" or "arrested" would suit better. It is
21 And the last point, Mr. Witness. We spoke
22 about Sadovace, the locality of Sadovace?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The village of Sadovace, is it a village with
25 the Muslim population, but also Croats in the village
1 of Sadovace?
2 A. There were no Croats.
3 Q. And the last point which was raised by
4 Mr. Naumovski just a moment ago. He spoke about an
5 ultimatum on the 15th of January, '93, and you were
6 shown a document, which I believe was issued by General
7 Petkovic. Did you know, in the beginning of April '93,
8 that the President of the Croat Community of
9 Herceg-Bosna, Mate Boban, issued a similar ultimatum?
10 A. About that document, an ultimatum -- yes, I
11 heard about it, but specifically referred to the area
12 of Central Bosnia where we lived. The official thing
13 about it was what was announced by public media, and
14 behind it was the accused Kordic.
15 Q. The accused Kordic. In the French version it
16 said "Mario Cerkez." I have no further questions, Your
18 JUDGE MAY: Witness AC, that concludes your
19 evidence, and you are now released. Thank you very
20 much for coming to the International Tribunal to give
21 your evidence. You may now go.
22 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much for your
23 patience, and I wish you plenty of success in your
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, does this concern
1 the witness at all?
2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] It does, but
3 we don't need the witness. But if I may, I should like
4 to respond to my learned friend. He said that I
5 misinterpreted something. Just for the transcript, we
6 do not need the presence of the witness.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 JUDGE MAY: Now, briefly, because there is
9 one other matter about the witness's evidence, and we
10 need to get on with the next witness.
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I do
12 apologise. What it is that I want to say -- quite a
13 series of questions that I asked of this witness, and
14 the focus on the questions was the decision on the
15 transfer of the whole group from Vitez to Busovaca, to
16 the prison. And as far as I remember, no other witness
17 spoke about it. So the transfer, that was at the focus
18 of my question. That is all that I wanted to say.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, you raised
20 during the examination a possibility of recalling
21 Colonel Morsink to deal with Exhibit Z591, the list of
22 the detainees in the cinema. In fact, the Trial
23 Chamber has a suggestion about how this matter may be
24 dealt with expeditiously, and I will ask Judge Bennouna
25 to deal with it.
1 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]
2 Mr. Lopez-Terres, very briefly, I think that instead of
3 bringing back a witness for a very specific point, the
4 authentication of a document, or for a statement
5 regarding how that document was obtained, it is
6 preferable, in our view, that this be done through a
7 simple affidavit.
8 And I think that your office has reminded us
9 that we have admitted certain statements that you
10 produced in a document that you sent to us on the 17th
11 of January, 2000, as an affidavit. I am referring to a
12 statement that you gave us to remind us of the
13 affidavits of Mr. Lazarevic, which was translated from
14 the Croatian, I think, and in which the person simply
15 makes a statement; and there is a formula at the end,
16 that this has been certified that Mr. Lazarevic has
17 indeed signed this document, by his own hand, that his
18 identity was established -- I am translating from the
19 English -- on the basis of the fact that he is known by
20 the officer who took the statement, and that this was
21 done before the Municipality Court in Vitez. I don't
22 know how one would translate that into French: the
23 Municipal Court of Vitez.
24 This type of statement, with regard to
25 Mr. Morsink -- he must be Dutch, isn't he? I think it
1 would -- then it would be even simpler to simply get a
2 statement from him in -- before an authority,
3 certifying this document. And in that case we wouldn't
4 have to organise a fresh appearance of that witness.
5 Rather, you could take care of it and address such a
6 document to the Chamber.
7 I am taking this opportunity to say that by
8 sending this document to us, we see that it is possible
9 before a Municipal Court in Vitez to have this type of
10 affidavits, certified statements, or authenticated
11 statements, without engaging in a cross-examination or
12 the things that we were told before. This shows that
13 this can be done, and this reminds us of the discussion
14 we had previously on the question of affidavits.
15 Thank you.
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: [Interpretation] It is up
17 to me to thank you, Your Honour. The two documents you
18 are referring to are documents coming from the
19 procedure that you are familiar with -- not familiar
20 with, regarding Kupreskic and others. Two affidavits,
21 or formal statements, were produced by the Defence
22 regarding the character of the various accused. And
23 this is indeed something that we can think about, about
24 using similar methods. Of course we have to act in
25 accordance with the Dutch law, and we have to respect
1 the local law, domestic law.
2 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you
3 for telling us that it was in the Kupreskic case, and
4 these were statements regarding the character of the
5 accused persons.
6 Mr. Kovacic, you have something to add?
7 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] If I may, Your
8 Honours. I wouldn't enter into this debate regarding
9 the form of affidavits, whether it is possible in
10 Bosnia or not, because, obviously, we will be
11 discussing that at the Status Conference tomorrow, and
12 we are preparing for it. But with regard to your
13 proposition or your decision, if I can consider it a
14 decision, for Mr. Morsink, instead of being called
15 back, to be asked to make an affidavit. Of course I
16 will abide by your ruling, but we would ask you to
17 allow us, after, and depending on the contents of the
18 affidavit, that we call him. Or it would be better for
19 the Prosecutor to call him, because I doubt that he
20 would react to an invitation by the Defence, except by
21 a subpoena, which I think is unnecessary, that we be
22 able to question him over certain circumstances.
23 Your Honours, I have to be very cautious with
24 that document, because I think you will understand, as
25 this is the first document, and I claim that it is not
1 truthful, but whereby the Prosecution is trying to
2 produce evidence that the Vitez Brigade is directly
3 linked to the detention of people in the cinema. You
4 know my position. It was presented in our pre-trial
6 The only coincidence with the Vitez Brigade
7 -- the only thing connecting the Vitez Brigade to
8 detention is the fact that they were based in the same
9 building. The Vitez Brigade has nothing to do with the
10 detention in the cinema. That is our position. And
11 this is the first piece of evidence relating to it.
12 And if a witness comes and says, "I got this document,"
13 I have to be able to question him.
14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Kovacic,
15 I think that we have to view matters within their
16 context, and to try and be sensible about things.
17 We are going to ask Colonel Morsink, or,
18 rather, the Prosecutor is going to ask Colonel Morsink
19 how he obtained this document, under which
20 circumstances he obtained it. As for the contents, and
21 the arguments on substance, whether the Vitez Brigade
22 was connected to the detention of these persons, that's
23 another matter. And you can plead on that when the
24 time comes. You have contested this document and its
25 authenticity. You asked how it was obtained. The
1 answer given was that it comes from Colonel Morsink,
2 that he attached this document to his report. He is
3 not present, because the question did not arise when he
4 was present, so we are going to ask him how he obtained
5 that document. And the Prosecutor is going to tell us
6 in such-and-such a way. That is all.
7 Now, if you wish to see Colonel Morsink, who
8 is in the Netherlands, no doubt -- I forgot for a
9 moment that we are in the Netherlands and that he is
10 Dutch. And that is a fact, that this affects him, of
11 course. But this is simply a sensible way of
12 proceeding. We do not wish to have this person to
13 testify on the contents itself; simply about the source
14 of the document. I think that's the point.
15 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
16 there is just one more problem in this connection.
17 Yesterday I did not express myself correctly, saying
18 that the document had not been disclosed. The
19 Prosecution informed me kindly after the session that
20 the document was disclosed, I think on the 14th or the
21 17th of December last year. That is much after Morsink
22 came to testify. The document was not brought by
23 Morsink. That is evident. Otherwise, it would have
24 been disclosed to us earlier on.
25 I don't know where the document came from,
1 but it was disclosed to us. It is still on a pile in
2 my office, which still hasn't been processed by me.
3 That is why I said that it hasn't been disclosed, but I
4 was corrected.
5 The practical solution is obviously the one
6 you suggest: for Morsink to make an affidavit. But,
7 please, give me the right to recall him then, later.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we have in mind your
9 application. In due course we'll receive the
10 affidavit, and then, if you've got submissions about
11 it, of course we'll hear them then. Thank you.
12 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, sir.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, it seems little point
14 starting now.
15 MR. NICE: No, I agree. Can I use one of the
16 five minutes to deal with a couple of points?
17 First, there is no difficulty with the next
18 witness coming back next week. As far as I understand
19 from him, and I am sure that Victims and Witnesses Unit
20 can arrange his travel to and from, so the fact that,
21 inevitably, I think, he won't be finished this
22 afternoon, does not present an insuperable problem.
23 JUDGE MAY: Can we get through his evidence
24 in chief --
25 MR. NICE: I hope so.
1 JUDGE MAY: -- in that time?
2 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice,
3 how much time do you think you will need for the
4 examination-in-chief of this witness, the next
6 MR. NICE: I don't yet know quite how much of
7 the material is unchallenged. And I should draw to the
8 Court's attention, and to my learned friends'
9 attention, that the summary they were provided earlier
10 has been amended in quite a number of places by the
11 latest summary. The earlier summary was a draft, and
12 there have been some additions and deletions and
13 changes, so I don't know how much is going to be
14 admitted, but I would have thought it will be about an
15 hour and a half. That would be my guess.
16 He's obviously a potentially very important
17 witness, because he's got a lot of direct contact and
18 direct knowledge. And my experience of him this
19 morning is that he is not particularly expansive. He
20 is not one of those witnesses who needs to be reined
21 in. But, on the other hand, there is a limit to how
22 far one can condense answers, when he is properly
23 giving a full answer. I think about an hour and a
25 JUDGE MAY: We should aim to finish his
1 evidence this afternoon.
2 MR. NICE: Certainly. Secondly --
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Precisely.
4 MR. NICE: The Chamber will recall the
5 exhibit under seal that was considered by a witness
6 yesterday. 975,1 is the number. And I think that the
7 position is that that document can only be shown to
8 witnesses on a case-by-case basis, on the order of this
9 Chamber. The Chamber might think that this is exactly
10 the sort of witness to whom that document should be
11 shown, because he has -- he's an on-the-ground
12 commander at the time, knows exactly or is in a
13 position to know exactly from his point of view what
14 was happening, and I would seek leave for him to be
15 shown that document, read it, in order to make comments
16 on it.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE MAY: We've considered that, but you've
19 already had one witness commenting on it, and we think
20 that's enough. If there is a specific part you want to
21 refer to, you can simply do it by asking the witness:
22 Was it an attack on Ahmici? Whatever the report says,
23 without referring to it.
24 MR. NICE: To some degree, I've done that
25 already this morning with the witness, but it hasn't
1 found its way into the summary. I'm quite happy to
2 deal with it that way. It possibly takes a little
3 longer, but I'll be selective.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. And without referring
5 specifically to the document.
6 MR. NICE: And the Chamber will recognise,
7 from the questions that I ask, when I reach that point,
8 that that's what I am doing and how I am doing it. And
9 it may find it helpful to have the document at hand.
10 Thank you very much.
11 And as to next week, I've told my learned
12 friends what the witnesses -- what the witness
13 availability position is. I am pretty sure that with
14 Merdan being part heard, we'll have a full week of
15 evidence next week. Indeed, it may even prove to be
16 quite difficult to squeeze it all in.
17 And if we don't do that, we've got plenty of
18 legal arguments that have got to be disposed of, sooner
19 rather than later, particularly so far as the argument
20 about Professor Cigar is concerned. And I very much
21 hope that we can fit that in next week at some stage.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll aim to schedule
23 that. We can do it tomorrow at. the Status Conference.
24 Very well. Half past two.
25 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
5 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
6 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
8 WITNESS: DZEMAL MERDAN
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
12 MR. NICE: May the witness at some stage be
13 provided with map 2781.2 as the map that may be of
14 general use for reference when his evidence requires
15 it. 2781.2.
16 Examined by Mr. Nice:
17 Q. Can you tell us your full name, please?
18 A. Dzemal Merdan.
19 Q. Born in 1950, living in Busovaca until 1969,
20 going to the national -- to the naval academy in Split
21 and serving in the services from then on; is that
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. By September 1991, what rank had you achieved
25 in the JNA?
1 A. The highest rank was Captain of the frigate.
2 Q. And did you return to Bosnia in 1991?
3 A. Yes. That's correct.
4 Q. Did you notice, on return to Bosnia, that
5 there was redistribution of weapons to the Territorial
6 Defence -- I mean, from the Territorial Defence?
7 A. Yes. From the barracks of the Yugoslav
8 People's Army, weapons were being distributed to people
9 of Serb nationality in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. In April 1992, did you join the Territorial
11 Defence, being based at the headquarters in Zenica?
12 Were you then involved in planning and operations work
13 in defence against the Serbs, becoming a commander of
14 the Zenica Territorial Defence region?
15 A. That's correct. Yes. In April 1992, I
16 became a member of the headquarters for defence and
17 then became a member of the Territorial Defence unit
18 for the Zenica region.
19 Q. We'll deal with rank. What rank did you hold
20 throughout 1992/1993?
21 A. At the time in the Territorial Defence, I did
22 not have a rank. In 1992 there were no ranks in the
23 Territorial Defence. But later on I received the rank
24 of Brigadier.
25 Q. Just to complete that overall view of your
1 personal history, have you stayed in the services since
2 the conflict in 1993?
3 A. Yes. From 1993, I was in the service of the
4 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
5 Q. Presently holding the rank of?
6 A. Today I have the rank of Brigadier-General of
7 the Army of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. Going back, then, to 1992. Did you, in the
9 course of your work, meet Dario Kordic, Anto Valenta,
10 Ignjac Kostroman, Pero Skopljak, Ivan Santic, Zoran
11 Maric, Pero Krizanac, and Niko Grubesic on various
13 A. That is correct. On different occasions I
14 had occasion to meet the individuals that you have just
16 Q. Dealing first with Valenta: Did you see him
17 in Vitez in the early part of 1992?
18 A. Yes. I saw him on several occasions in
19 Vitez, and I saw him at the time you mentioned, once
20 again in Vitez.
21 Q. Did you see him at a public speech-making
22 event, and if so, what, in a sentence, was his theme?
23 A. The people that you mentioned, I had occasion
24 to listen to. I heard them speak. In concrete terms,
25 Anto Valenta spoke in the hall in Vitez, and he spoke
1 very negatively with respect to the relationships
2 between Bosniaks and Croats in Central Bosnia.
3 Q. What was his theme so far as Herceg-Bosna was
4 concerned, and to whom that territory should belong?
5 A. In his speech, he stressed that Herceg-Bosna
6 was a component part of the Republic of Croatia and
7 that the aspirations of the Croatian people would be
8 realised to live in a common state.
9 Q. At roughly the same time, did you see, not in
10 the flesh, but a tape of Dario Kordic making a speech?
11 A. Yes, I did see a tape in which Dario Kordic
12 was speaking.
13 Q. His theme on the topic of Central Bosnia?
14 A. In one particular speech in the cultural
15 centre in Busovaca. I think it was the beginning of
16 1992. I don't remember the exact date. It was a large
17 rally to denote the victory of the HDZ. He spoke of
18 Herceg-Bosna, and he said that the aspirations of the
19 Croatian people of Bosnia-Herzegovina would be realised
20 to live in one state, to live in the state of the
21 Republic of Croatia.
22 Q. A word about the HOS unit or units. Did such
23 units exist in early 1992? Were they the same in all
24 areas where they existed, if more than one?
25 A. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, especially in Central
1 Bosnia -- that is to say, the zone of responsibility of
2 which I was in charge -- HOS units did exist by a
3 decision of the wartime presidency of the Republic of
4 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I can't remember the exact date
5 and the number of the order. It regulated that all
6 units in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina be placed
7 under the command of the Territorial Defence of
9 In the zone of responsibility of the Zenica
10 region, the HOS unit of Zenica was placed under the
11 command of the Territorial Defence, whereas the other
12 HOS unit or other HOS units which were located in the
13 area were not placed under the command of the
14 Territorial Defence of the Republic of
16 Q. And before that, did HOS units in different
17 areas have the same objectives or did they have
18 differing objectives?
19 A. I can state for the HOS unit in the zone of
20 responsibility of the 3rd Corps -- that is to say, HOS
21 Zenica, which executed orders -- and its goal was the
22 same as the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina; that is to say,
23 defence from the Serbian aggression.
24 As to the other HOS units, I cannot comment
25 on that, because they were not in the zone of
1 responsibility under my command; that is to say, under
2 the command of the 3rd Corps.
3 Q. What happened to the HOS unit that was under
4 the command of the Territorial Defence of Zenica at the
5 outbreak of the conflict?
6 A. The HOS unit in the Zenica municipality was
7 composed of the Croatian population from
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the Muslim population, that is
9 to say Bosniaks from Bosnia-Herzegovina. And when the
10 global conflicts broke out, quite simply, it was
11 extinguished; it disappeared. And part of the people
12 of -- the Bosniaks, the Muslim religion, went to join
13 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, whereas a portion, as
14 far as I know, of the members of the HOS unit, who were
15 of Croatian ethnicity, moved to the Lasva River Valley.
16 Q. The Sarajevo airport negotiations at which
17 Blaskic initially appeared, were you aware of those
19 A. I knew that negotiations were being conducted
20 between the Territorial Defence, that is to say the
21 army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
22 representatives of the Serbs. And later on members of
23 the Croatian Defence Council were included into those
24 negotiations. And on the tape, the cassette, I saw
25 that Blaskic promoted the interests of the Croatian
1 Defence Council. After him, that was done by Dario
2 Kordic. He advocated them. And I no longer saw
3 Blaskic appear in the negotiations.
4 Q. Did you also see any tape of how -- perhaps
5 not a tape -- a media transmission of how Kordic
6 introduced himself at that time?
7 A. I had meetings with Kordic, where he
8 introduced himself as Colonel of the HVO. And I saw
9 him on tape. He also introduced himself as a Colonel
10 of the HVO on these.
11 Q. Did you learn why Kordic had replaced Blaskic
12 as the negotiator or spokesman?
13 A. I don't know the real reason, but I can only
14 assume that Blaskic did not satisfy the demands of the
15 Croatian Defence Council, because on several occasions
16 Blaskic, as far as I know, was not able to make
17 on-the-spot decisions, but this had to be done by
18 Kordic. So I can only assume that that was the reason
19 why Blaskic was replaced.
20 Q. We needn't trouble with paragraph 10. It's
21 another list of names. Paragraph 11. Did you meet
22 Cerkez on more than one occasion?
23 A. Yes, I did. That is correct.
24 Q. You never saw him involved in any direct
25 wrongdoing, killing, or anything of that sort, did
2 A. I did not see that, no.
3 Q. What were his responsibilities at the time?
4 A. What I know is that Mario Cerkez was the
5 commander of the HVO, in the Zenica municipality, and
6 that he had a zone of responsibility in his
7 municipality. I know for sure, and as a military man I
8 am aware of the fact that commanders of units are
9 responsible for the state of affairs in their zone of
10 responsibility, and that they are duty-bound by their
11 military duties to undertake adequate measures. And
12 therefore I consider that, as a military man, Mario
13 Cerkez is responsible for the zone of responsibility
14 under his command.
15 Q. And, in the course of that period of time,
16 did those under his command, as you defined them, to
17 your knowledge, engage in any activities that were not
18 justified; and if so, what?
19 A. Well, I can quote several cases, instances.
20 The most grievous were the events in Ahmici and in
21 Stari Vitez.
22 Q. At the time of your first statement, an
23 organogram was prepared, not by you, but at the time of
24 your making the statement.
25 May the witness see that. It's the first of
1 the series of exhibits. 2792. The whole stack can be
2 distributed, if that's convenient. In fact, it's on
3 the bottom of the stack. It's a document that looks
4 like this. It's nearly at the bottom of the stack.
5 This document, prepared in the case of your speaking to
6 representatives of the Office of the Prosecutor, shows
7 at the top Franjo Tudjman, and then Mate Boban, and
8 then Dario Kordic. And then we see on the diagonal:
9 Valenta, Kostroman, Skopljak. Then directly underneath
10 Kordic we see a line, from the right to the left,
11 Krizanac, Maric and Santic. Are those three political
13 A. Yes, they are political figures, as far as I
14 know. I have in mind Pero Krizanac, Zoran Maric and
15 Ivan Santic, when I say that.
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise,
17 Your Honours. I would just like to ask the Prosecutor
18 to show us the source of the document, and when it was
19 compiled, and by whom, so that we can follow this line
20 of proceeding better.
21 MR. NICE: It was prepared, as I understand
22 it, by a representative of the Office of the Prosecutor
23 in the course of discussions with this witness. So
24 it's not physically his document. He didn't draw it.
25 It was prepared at a time when he was discussing
1 matters. And he's going to comment on it, qualify it
2 and, as we shall see, eliminate from our consideration
3 certain parts of it.
4 Q. Dealing with those three political figures,
5 did you, in your experience, find them to be responding
6 to or subordinate to Kordic, in the way represented on
7 this diagram?
8 A. I consider that they were responsible to
9 Dario Kordic, and this they demonstrated on practice on
10 several occasions, at least to the best of my knowledge
11 and information.
12 Q. Moving to the left, we have Furundzija and
13 Darko Kraljevic. What do you say about their
14 subordination to Kordic?
15 A. For Darko Kraljevic, I can say that he was
16 commander of the special forces in Vitez. And on
17 several occasions I was witness to the fact that
18 Blaskic was not able to command Darko Kraljevic, but
19 somebody was always asked about this. And I think that
20 somebody was Kordic.
21 As for Anto Furundzija, I cannot make the
22 same claims, because I am not acquainted with the
24 Q. Moving to the left, to the end of that line,
25 there is a reference to Slobodan Praljak. Tell us
1 about him.
2 A. Slobodan Praljak, I got to know in 1992. For
3 the first time, I think it was in the month of October,
4 or somewhere thereabouts. And I had a meeting with
5 Mr. Praljak in Novi Travnik, and in Travnik. And
6 during Christmas in Vitez, I think it was in 1992.
7 I think that during the time Slobodan Praljak
8 represented himself as the General of the Croatian
9 army, that he wielded great influence in the system of
10 leadership and command because he was able to exert
11 pressure on Tihomir Blaskic.
12 Q. The way the diagram appears has a line
13 tracing down from "Praljak" through "Petkovic" to
14 "Blaskic" and then on down. Does that reflect your
15 view of the chain of authority or not? And notice,
16 please, that off to the side of "Blaskic" and
17 underneath "Petkovic" are "Ivica Rajic" and "Zeljko
19 A. In several occasions, in contact with Tihomir
20 Blaskic, he told me that Milivoj Petkovic -- he told me
21 that Milivoj Petkovic was his superior, and I had
22 occasion to confirm this at two meetings that I was
23 present, with the presence of Milivoj Petkovic as
24 well. I think that was sufficient for me to realise
25 that Milivoj Petkovic commanded Tihomir Blaskic at the
2 As far as Zeljko Siljeg is concerned, I met
3 him in 1992 in the office of Tihomir Blaskic at the
4 Vitez Hotel in Vitez, and he was introduced as the
5 commander of the zone of Prozor/Tomislavgrad.
6 As far as Ivica Rajic is concerned, I met him
7 at a meeting in Kiseljak. And I cannot claim that
8 Milivoj Petkovic was directly in command of him as
9 opposed to Tihomir Blaskic and Zeljko Siljeg. I
10 consider that Milivoj Petkovic was in command of these
11 two individuals at that time.
12 Q. Going down that same line of authority, after
13 "Franjo Nakic" we have a line of names: "Filipovic,"
14 "Krizanovic," "Cerkez," and "Nenad Santic." Is there
15 a comment you want to make about the way they are
16 positioned there?
17 A. I can comment, yes. I know for sure that
18 Franjo Nakic was the deputy of Tihomir Blaskic for the
19 Operative Zone in that region, and that Filip Filipovic
20 was, for a time, the commander of the brigade of the
21 HVO in Travnik. I know that in that system of command
22 Mario Cerkez was the commander of the HVO Brigade in
23 Vitez. And here we need another direct link going up
24 to Tihomir Blaskic, brigade commanders of the HVO of
25 Busovaca, Zenica, Vares, Zepce, Usora.
1 As far as Anto Krizanovic is concerned, and
2 Nenad Santic, I think that they were in the chain of
3 command under the command of Mario Cerkez in the Vitez
5 Q. Was there HVO at Novi Travnik as well?
6 A. Yes. I forgot to mention the brigade of the
7 HVO in Novi Travnik.
8 Q. Paragraph --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Paragraph 12. What was your belief, on the
12 basis of experience, of the relationship between Kordic
13 and Blaskic?
14 A. On several occasions, I had occasion to see
15 that Kordic had a great influence on Blaskic, and that
16 in decisive moments when decisions were to be made, it
17 was Dario Kordic who made the decisions, and that
18 Tihomir Blaskic was to execute what Kordic had ordered
19 him to do or told him to do.
20 Q. What was Blaskic's behaviour when decisions
21 had to be made at meetings involving HVO and the ABiH
22 when he was on his own, he was unaccompanied? What did
23 he do?
24 A. Blaskic then asked to have consultations or
25 he asked that the meeting be continued the following
2 Q. In early May 1992, was a meeting held at the
3 Hotel Tisa in Busovaca? If so, can you tell us some of
4 the senior HVO who were present?
5 A. Yes. That is correct. I don't remember the
6 exact date, but it was May 1992. A meeting was held at
7 the Tisa Hotel in Busovaca, and at that time the
8 command post of the HVO at that meeting was Dario
9 Kordic, Anto Sliskovic, Ignjac Kostroman, and I think
10 Pasko was also there. Yes. Pasko was also there, but
11 I can't remember his name, but it was Pasko. I know
12 later on he became the chief of the military police in
13 Vitez, because once when I happened to be arrested, he
14 freed me in Vitez.
15 Q. How were they dressed? What was the meeting
17 A. They all wore military camouflage uniforms.
18 The flashes, I believe they were the ones of the HVO.
19 And we were talking about how to oppose the Serb
20 aggression, but we could not find common language. We
21 could not agree on that point because our views
23 Q. On or about the 8th of May, was there an
24 agreement concerning the local JNA barracks at Draga
25 made, or indeed at Draga and Kacuni?
1 A. On the 8th of May, an agreement was reached
2 about the barracks at Kaonik, and a little earlier an
3 agreement on the barracks at Draga and at Silo were
4 agreed. Those decisions of the war presidency of the
5 municipality of Busovaca were not complied with, and
6 were not complied with by Dario Kordic.
7 MR. NICE: I'm not sure if the map will help,
8 but if the witness has the map -- thank you. The
9 Chamber, I know, will be acquainted with most of these
10 places already, but the witness can, first of all,
11 familiarise himself with the map so that he knows what
12 it is he's looking at. The Chamber will know where
13 Kaonik is for sure, and Kacuni, but it may be that
14 Draga --
15 Q. Just tell us a bit about that.
16 A. Draga is to the west of the village of Polje
17 [indicates], opposite the road from Busovaca to
18 Kacuni. If you're moving -- if you look from Busovaca
19 to Kacuni, the Draga barracks was on the right-hand
20 side, although they also had some area on the left-hand
21 side. But all the facilities at the time were on the
22 right-hand side of the road.
23 Q. How did the Draga barracks compare in size
24 with the Kacuni barracks?
25 A. At a session of the war presidency in
1 Busovaca, when the barracks at Draga and Silo --
2 rather, Kacuni -- were discussed, it was decided that
3 the equipment of the former JNA should be divided
4 between the Territorial Defence and the Croat Defence
5 Council. However, this was not done, because the HVO,
6 headed by Dario Kordic, entered the Draga barracks and
7 allowed the TO to enter the Silo barracks at Kacuni.
8 And at that news, we left the municipal hall in
9 Busovaca and, headed by the chief of the municipality,
10 Zoran Maric, who was also the president of the war
11 presidency, we came to the barracks, and Dario Kordic
12 would not allow us to enter the barracks.
13 As for the facilities, I know it for a fact
14 that the facilities at the Draga barracks number about
15 25 to 30, and in Kacuni, the barracks which we call the
16 Silo, had only two facilities. I believe that Dario
17 Kordic thought -- that is, I'm guessing -- that there
18 was more materiel and equipment of the Yugoslav
19 People's Army, and that's why he did what he did.
20 Q. On the 19th of May, did the Territorial
21 Defence go to Kaonik to get their supplies? In the
22 event, what happened?
23 A. I said that on the 8th of May an agreement
24 had been reached at the war presidency of the Busovaca
25 municipality. It was chaired by the president of the
1 war presidency, Zoran Maric, and it was decided there
2 that the equipment and materiel in the Kaonik barracks
3 should be divided.
4 On the basis of that, the president of the
5 Territorial Defence set off to distribute that
6 materiel. However, this vehicle, or vehicles -- I
7 cannot remember. I think there were two vehicles --
8 but the first vehicle was intercepted in the area of
9 Senduline Kuce and fire was opened on them by somebody
10 from the HVO from a point. A member of the Croat
11 Defence Council was severely wounded then, and a member
12 of the Territorial Defence was inflicted some light
14 Q. On the 10th of May, was an order issued by
15 Dario Kordic for your arrest?
16 MR. NICE: That's already been tendered.
17 100. Exhibit 100, Your Honours.
18 Q. Were you held in the police station for two
19 nights and then released?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. During your captivity, what happened to you?
22 A. During my captivity, I was ill-treated,
23 beaten, and I still suffer the consequences of it.
24 They wanted me to order that the Territorial Defence
25 surrender to the Croat Defence Council, and I refused
1 that, because, true, I was the Territorial Defence
2 commander, but the presidency of the Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina could decide about this surrender.
4 I couldn't bear that responsibility as an individual.
5 I could not surrender the units of the Territorial
6 Defence to the Croat Defence Council. Then they were
7 asking me about the situation in the barracks, what
8 armaments they had, who was arming them, and so on and
9 so forth. I fared very badly.
10 In the morning, when Bruno came to see me, he
11 told me that it had been ordered by Kordic; that is,
12 that it was his order to arrest me and interrogate me.
13 After that, I had an opportunity of seeing
14 the order which said what Bruno had told me, and I
15 attached a copy of this order to this Tribunal.
16 Q. The photographs, Your Honours, we'll find --
17 I think they are self-evident, which ones are the
18 photographs. They are 2793,1 through to 6. If they
19 could be made available to the witness. We can deal
20 with them quite swiftly, although not so swiftly as to
21 deny the technical booth the opportunity to focus on
22 them for public display. But as soon as we've done
23 that, we'll move to the next photograph, please, which
24 is similar.
25 What are the injuries shown there, please,
1 Mr. Merdan? Anything shown on that photograph that you
2 want to draw to our attention? The later ones are more
4 A. On this photograph you can't see the injuries
5 here. Those were pictures taken from the profile. I
6 think these photographs were made some three or five
7 days after my release. And I also had findings from
8 the hospital, after I was released, but unfortunately I
9 lost those findings, so I can't show it to the Court.
10 Other photographs show it very clearly, what
11 I looked like some four days after my release from
13 I need to mention here that the people in
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina believe that a person who had
15 received a very severe blow and has serious bruises,
16 that the skin of a freshly slaughtered lamb should be
17 applied to those injuries, and that is what they did.
18 And that now this is the first time I am saying it,
19 because a Croat from Busovaca, who slaughtered a lamb
20 and gave him the hide so as to treat the wounds, the
21 injuries inflicted on me by the Croat Defence Council.
22 Will you please show other photographs.
23 Q. This photograph of your back --
24 A. On this photograph one can see clearly the
25 principal blows that were dealt to me, and I still
1 suffer the consequences.
2 Q. The following one has lines --
3 A. This here is only from a different angle, but
4 this photograph is made on the same day, at the same
6 Q. Can you tell us how those lines across your
7 back --
8 A. Yes. To the right, this is a major bruise,
9 and when it is cold, it still turns blue. And I also
10 have problems with my internal organs.
11 Q. Thank you very much. Can the witness now,
12 please, have two exhibits, which may be on the top of
13 your stack. 101,1 and 101,2. Did you bring the
14 originals of these two documents to Court today?
15 A. Let me see the second document, please. Yes,
16 it is true; I brought the originals of these
17 documents. These are the copies of the originals. The
18 document that you can see on your monitors now is a
19 document in which I declare that I will help the
20 investigation which will be conducted, if it is proven
21 that I am responsible for the events at Kaonik, in the
22 barracks of Kaonik.
23 And the second document, we see that it was
24 signed by Anto Sliskovic for the regional headquarters,
25 which was headed by Dario Kordic. It was again signed
1 by Anto Sliskovic. I don't know why.
2 The second document is the authorisation, the
3 permit for my free movement through Herceg-Bosna,
4 because I had some problems. I was arrested on several
5 occasions. And on various occasions I tried to solve
6 conflicts in Central Bosnia by peaceful means, or to
7 prevent them from escalating. And that was why Dario
8 Kordic issued me this authorisation, this free power
9 for the territory of Herceg-Bosna, and I am in
10 possession of the original of those documents.
11 Q. That first document, which you signed, why
12 did you sign it? How did it come about that you signed
14 A. I signed it under the circumstances when I
15 could leave Busovaca, because I had been set free from
16 prison under the condition that I stayed in Busovaca.
17 My family was in Zenica, and I asked to go to Zenica.
18 And, besides, the place of my work was in Zenica, in
19 the headquarters of the Territorial Defence of the
20 region of Zenica. And they released me only after I
21 signed this.
22 After that date I went -- I came back to
23 Busovaca several times to visit my relatives, and
24 always had trouble. But with the permit that was
25 issued me by Dario Kordic, allowed me to come to
1 Busovaca and visit my relatives.
2 Q. Paragraph 18. After May the 10th, did the
3 war presidency and the Ministry of Interior function as
4 legal institutions?
5 A. No, never again did it function as legal
6 state institutions of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
7 Q. We needn't look at Exhibit 111. It's already
8 been tendered.
9 Paragraph 19. Were you arrested again in the
10 autumn of 1992?
11 A. Yes, I was arrested several times in the
12 course of 1992. And that includes the autumn of '92.
13 Q. Who arrested you on that occasion? Where
14 were you taken and what happened?
15 A. In the autumn of 1992, on one occasion I was
16 arrested in Vitez. It was done by HOS members
17 commanded by Kraljevic. And I was taken to the
18 secondary school in Vitez, which is across the street
19 from the Hotel Vitez. We called it the vocational
21 After that I was transferred to the Vitez
22 Hotel to Tihomir Blaskic, and I requested that Tihomir
23 Blaskic release me, because even then I was on a
24 mission of peace. However, Blaskic could not do it,
25 because Darko Kraljevic opposed it, and they began to
1 have an argument in my presence. It was quite evident
2 that Blaskic had decided that they should not argue in
3 front of me. So they withdrew to the office next
4 door. They called by telephone somebody, I don't know
5 whom, but I believe it was Dario Kordic, who then
6 allowed them to release me and turn me back my weapon,
7 and it was done.
8 Q. Kraljevic dressed how, and what did you know
9 of his responsibilities?
10 A. Kraljevic was dressed in a black uniform, and
11 he had HOS insignia. All black, as far as I know. And
12 I also received some information that he was the
13 commander of a special unit called Vitezovi, and the
14 Bosniak people had most complaints against them, that
15 they were intercepting them on the road. I mean, his
16 unit intercepted on the road, seized the property of
17 Bosniaks. Two vehicles were confiscated from the
18 district headquarters of the Territorial Defence in
19 Zenica, and I insisted that they be returned, but these
20 vehicles were never returned.
21 Q. Just to clarify something in the transcript.
22 What insignia do you say Kraljevic had?
23 A. HOS insignia. H-O-S.
24 Q. I come to the second Novi Travnik conflict in
25 October 1992. In the course of that, did you go to
2 A. Yes. Quite. Prior to the second conflict in
3 Novi Travnik, I received the information that the Croat
4 Council had started from Busovaca. And after the
5 experience, whenever some unit of the HVO started in
6 some direction, then an incident would take place in
7 one of the localities in the Lasva River Valley. So
8 realising that there would be an incident, I left the
9 district Defence headquarters, and with my escort I
10 headed off for Blaskic's command.
11 From the Stari Vitez Hotel, they directed me
12 to the area of Kruscica, to the hotel called Lovac,
13 where the command post of the military area of Vitez
14 was at that time. There I found an operative whose
15 name was Mijo Bozic. I know him very well, because for
16 a while we worked together at the Territorial Defence
17 headquarters in Zenica. And when I told him about the
18 situation on the ground, I asked him to enable me to
19 speak to Blaskic. He answered that Blaskic was absent,
20 that Blaskic was in Tomislavgrad.
21 Since I already had some experience from
22 before that Dario Kordic was the one who could order to
23 stop the units, I asked Mr. Mijo Bozic to talk to Dario
24 Kordic. However, Mijo Bozic either turned a deaf ear
25 on that or he really could not establish the link or
1 establish the connection with Dario Kordic. And after
2 several hours, during which I insisted on talking to
3 Dario Kordic, all my attempts were thwarted. So I went
4 back to Zenica.
5 When I arrived in Zenica, I learned that
6 Gornji Vakuf -- sorry, I'm wrong -- that Novi Travnik
7 had been attacked.
8 Q. Were you ever able to find where Kordic was
9 or had been at the time you'd been trying to track him
10 down in Blaskic's absence in Tomislavgrad?
11 A. No. I could not establish communication with
12 Kordic at the time, even though I tried to do so
13 several times.
14 Q. Were you ever able to track down who'd been
15 leading the attack on Novi Travnik?
16 A. According to intelligence information I
17 received at the headquarters from the service
18 responsible for that and which monitored the movements
19 of the HVO units, I received the information that that
20 unit was headed by Dario Kordic in an APC. There was
21 an APC which Dario Kordic often used to drive around
22 the Lasva River Valley.
23 Q. On the 20th of October, the Novi Travnik
24 incident still continuing, what was the position about
25 negotiations for a ceasefire?
1 A. I was in Zenica during that conflict. I was
2 not in Novi Travnik. But in Novi Travnik, the
3 commander of the Territorial Defence was Mr. Refik
5 It is quite obvious that he refused to talk
6 to Refik Lendo about a reconciliation or the prevention
7 of the escalation of the conflict. They wanted me. I
8 believe it was Kordic who insisted to talk to me. He
9 thought I believed that he did not think that Lendo was
10 the competent man to discuss the situation. I gladly
11 responded, but a meeting between me and Kordic did not
12 take place on that occasion.
13 MR. NICE: If the Court would just give me a
14 minute to sort something out.
15 Q. In order to negotiate, did you need any
16 further authority?
17 A. Before I came out to the ground, yes, I
18 sought the authorisation and received it from my
19 superior. At that time it was Mr. Sefer Halilovic.
20 MR. NICE: Your Honours and my learned
21 friends will be able to find this. Rather than burden
22 you with pieces of paper, which is something I'll avoid
23 wherever possible, you'll be able to find this in the
24 diary of Colonel Stewart, produced yesterday as
25 Exhibit D51/1, and it appears at page 23 of that diary,
1 for the 20th of October.
2 I'm grateful to Ms. Verhaag and
3 Ms. Bauer. They say I can't save you the bit of paper
4 because we haven't got the translation. So it has to
5 come as Exhibit 241.1. It's a further extract of the
6 diary, and it sets out -- I don't know why it's in
7 Colonel Stewart's diary in this way, but it sets out
8 the authorisation. If the Chamber could just have
9 241.1. And if the witness could have it as well. It's
10 in the package, I think, that you've already got.
11 You see the authority in B/C/S at the foot of
12 our page 189835, and then the Chamber's provided with a
13 translation of that, which is Halilovic's authority to
14 this witness to negotiate a ceasefire in Grude.
15 As so often, efforts to save time and paper
16 prove to be confounded by events.
17 Q. Right. Paragraph 23. Were there joint
18 command meetings in Travnik in October, or about
19 October 1992, between the ABiH and the HVO, where a man
20 called Praljak featured?
21 A. Yes. That is correct. In October, a joint
22 command started to be formed consisting of
23 representatives of the Territorial Defence and the
24 Croatian Defence Council. We had an extremely
25 important operative meeting where we agreed on the
1 direction of the assignment of forces. And in the
2 operations room, as we called it then, both Praljak and
3 Kordic were present, as well as Blaskic.
4 Q. Who was Praljak? What did he tell you about
6 A. When he first introduced himself, Praljak was
7 wearing a camouflage uniform, and he introduced himself
8 as a General of the Croatian army.
9 Q. What part did he play then and thereafter?
10 A. What Praljak was saying at the time, both in
11 Travnik and Novi Travnik, was listened to by Blaskic.
12 Comments on the part of Kordic were not made then
13 because probably it was a question of a purely military
14 deployment of forces, but Dario Kordic followed closely
15 what was happening in the operations room.
16 Slobodan Praljak proposed a deployment of
17 forces with which I did not agree, and our views
18 differed in particular regarding deployment of forces,
19 at a meeting in the secondary school in Novi Travnik,
20 which was attended by the commander of the Territorial
21 Defence of Novi Travnik, Mr. Refik Lendo.
22 Q. Staying briefly with Praljak: Did he stay in
23 the area for some time and have a continuing influence
24 or say in the ceasefire arrangements?
25 A. I said that I saw Praljak on three occasions
1 in Travnik, Novi Travnik, and Vitez. I don't know
2 whether he stayed in the Lasva Valley throughout that
3 time, but when he was there, there were no discussions
4 on suspending or discontinuing the conflict between the
5 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- rather, the Territorial
6 Defence at the time and the HVO. The only thing
7 discussed at the time was the joint deployment of
9 Q. The exhibit on this topic, then, is 372,2 --
10 may the witness have that from the stack -- which we
11 can see is a report of yours, General Merdan, dated the
12 17th of January, 1993. And is it right that in the
13 second paragraph of the first sheet it reads:
14 "Around 1730 hours the HVO representatives,
15 Colonels Miro Andric and Zeljko Siljeg, arrived. The
16 preceding night, at around 2200 hours, they had gone to
17 Prozor for consultations with General Slobodan
19 A. Yes, that is correct. This occurred during
20 the conflict in Gornji Vakuf. These negotiations were
21 taking place in a room that was under UNPROFOR's
22 command, and it is correct that a decision could not be
23 taken to hold the conflict in Gornji Vakuf the previous
24 night. In the presence of UNPROFOR, Zeljko Siljeg
25 asked to go to Prozor for consultations. He went
1 there, and, as stated in this report, he returned and
2 stated that he had had consultations with Slobodan
3 Praljak. That is a statement made by Zeljko Siljeg.
4 Q. Meetings of the joint command at about this
5 time, did Kordic attend those? If so, what was your
6 view, perhaps developing view, of his influence?
7 A. On a number of occasions we tried, in the
8 Lasva Valley, to establish a joint command, but we did
9 not succeed -- the formation of a joint command in
10 Travnik, and I referred to it and said that Dario
11 Kordic was present at subsequent events to form a joint
12 command -- subsequent attempts. At that time the
13 location was in the post office. Again we tried to set
14 up joint units and a joint command, but we did not
16 At the command post of the joint command,
17 which was supposed to be formed in the post office in
18 Travnik, Dario Kordic did not attend. That command
19 functioned, in my view, as a military man, very poorly,
20 until the conflict in Travnik -- I think this was in
21 May '93. It may have been even the beginning of June,
22 when the attempt to form a joint command between the
23 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian Defence
24 Council failed once again.
25 Q. Do you have any views -- did you have any
1 views at that time on Kordic's role, or not?
2 A. Yes, I did have my own views about it. On a
3 number of occasions these views were proven correct,
4 and those were that Dario Kordic could take decisions,
5 and he did take decisions. And I can assert that Dario
6 Kordic had a great deal of influence over Blaskic.
7 Q. Paragraph 26. There was an attack on Kacuni
8 in January '93. Did you hear at some stage an
9 audiotape that touched on this issue? If so, when did
10 you hear the tape, and where?
11 A. Yes. Prior to the conflict in Busovaca --
12 that conflict was preceded by a number of events, which
13 had their own chronology -- I had occasion to hear an
14 audiotape on which the voice of Grubesic can be
15 identified, who is requesting additional grenades and
16 ammunition for combat operations. I think that at the
17 other end of the line was Kordic, but I cannot assert
18 that with certainty.
19 Q. Do you know whether that tape still exists,
20 and if so, where it may be found?
21 A. I believe that audiotape does exist, and that
22 it can be found in the central archives of the army,
23 today the Army of the Federation.
24 Q. Paragraph 27. Anto Sliskovic, please. Who
25 was he? What did you see him do? To whom did he
1 respond or answer?
2 A. In my personal view, Anto Sliskovic was a
3 highly interesting individual. He had a great deal of
4 influence on the special units of the military police
5 in Busovaca, and even further afield. I had
6 information from the intelligence service that he was a
7 representative of the SIS for Central Bosnia, S-I-S,
8 and, in fact, that he himself introduced himself in
9 that way. This information reached me through a
11 A particularly interesting case is the murder
12 of a Ibrahim Hodzic in Busovaca. And with the
13 monitoring mission I requested to go on the spot, but
14 the military police would not allow it. Sliskovic was
15 consulted, at least that is what the commander of the
16 military police told us, and he did not give his
18 Another such case was in Novi Travnik,
19 travelling from Gornji Vakuf to Zenica. I was passing
20 through Novi Travnik. I was stopped in Novi Travnik by
21 persons at the checkpoint. They wanted to take me
22 someplace, I don't know where, but I had the good
23 fortune that Anto Sliskovic came by. Whether it was by
24 chance or by intention, I do not know. But he helped
25 in getting me released.
1 The head of the patrol would not carry out
2 Sliskovic's orders. Sliskovic went back to Novi
3 Travnik for consultations, as he said. Upon his
4 return, he took aside the commander of the checkpoint,
5 and after that I was released.
6 Q. To whom did Sliskovic answer --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Nice.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Sorry. To whom did Sliskovic answer?
10 A. I am convinced that he answered to Dario
11 Kordic. Because, you see, the statement that I have
12 produced was signed by Sliskovic on behalf of Dario
13 Kordic. I have the original document in my
15 Q. Paragraph 30. You were a deputy commander of
16 the 3rd Corps from the 18th of November until the 16th
17 of February of 1995; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. The order was written on that date.
19 But the 3rd Corps started functioning on the 1st of
20 December, 1992.
21 Q. You were involved in negotiations with the
22 HVO in February '93, in Busovaca; and in April '93, in
23 Vitez, and elsewhere? Is that right?
24 A. That is correct. The negotiations in
25 Busovaca were numerous, as were those in Vitez, as well
1 as in other places. There were many talks and
2 negotiations. And all of them were attended by
3 representatives of the European Monitoring Mission.
4 Q. Z518,1, please. This document is addressed
5 to whom?
6 A. I have not had occasion to see this document
7 before, and I am unable to comment on it in any
8 detail. I don't know to whom this document was
9 addressed, because, obviously, this is the -- the
10 addressee has been crossed out.
11 Q. You have no recollection of it, or of its
13 A. No, I have not had an opportunity to see it
15 Q. It may be that I -- it may be that I'd better
16 withdraw this document. I don't think the witness is
17 going to be able to help us much further in relation to
18 it, unless he was able to express any view on the
19 contents, but it looks a little unlikely.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let's give it back.
21 MR. NICE: Yes, I think so.
22 Q. Paragraph 32. The 2nd of April, '93, what
23 was the position about any joint command formed or to
24 be formed between the HVO and the ABiH?
25 A. I didn't quite get the date, I'm sorry.
1 Q. The 2nd of April, '93.
2 A. I said that there were several attempts to
3 form a joint command.
4 Q. In particular, did Boban and Izetbegovic ever
5 get involved at that level in such an agreement, to
6 your knowledge or belief?
7 A. I have reports that there were such
8 agreements, and that a position taken was that a joint
9 command should be formed. I cannot now recollect
10 exactly where such contacts were made, but I know for
11 sure that there was such a meeting.
12 Q. And so do you know, one way or another,
13 whether such an agreement was signed, and if so, which
14 parties signed it or not?
15 A. I think that this document exists, and that
16 it was signed by both sides, and that it is in the
18 Q. Your Honour, I simply draw to your attention
19 that the first line, which speaks of being signed by
20 both parties, may be inaccurate. We have documents
21 that are only signed by Boban, and haven't been able to
22 track down a jointly signed one.
23 What was the agreement, so far as you
24 understood it, so far as units from outside the area?
25 What had to happen to them?
1 A. It is well known that in the Lasva Valley
2 there were units from the Republic of Croatia. We
3 requested, in reports to our superior command, that
4 influence be brought to bear for units of the Republic
5 of Croatia to be withdrawn from the territory of the
6 Lasva Valley and the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina as
7 a whole.
8 Q. And this agreement, did it result in a
9 functioning of a joint command for some days?
10 A. We really did invest additional efforts for
11 the joint command to start operating in the way in
12 which we soldiers believe a joint command should
13 operate, for orders to be issued and to be
14 implemented. But, as I said, the joint command never
15 became properly operational at that time.
16 Q. Can the witness see 908,1 first and then
17 1147,2. Sorry, 1144,2.
18 Looking at 980.1, which is annex to a
19 milinfosum, I think there is something you want to
20 correct about this or qualify about this. It sets out
21 the various people for the joint command in May 1993.
22 Your name is there, but if we turn over the page to the
23 Busovaca Joint Commission, do you have a comment to
24 make on the accuracy of that?
25 A. This refers to a joint command and a joint
1 commission. The joint command, as I have already said,
2 was to have been formed in Travnik in the post office.
3 It functioned partially but very badly. And the second
4 document refers to a joint commission which engaged in
5 negotiations and talks to halt conflicts between the
6 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Croatian Defence
8 Q. And as to the persons named on that second
9 document or second part of the document, is there a
10 correction or qualification you want to make, I think?
11 A. This Arif, I think it should be Asim Lusija,
12 the name.
13 Q. May the witness then see --
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
15 I beg your pardon. Could the Prosecutor please tell
16 us, this annex to the milinfosum, is it one that we've
17 already received from you?
18 JUDGE MAY: I don't want these sort of things
19 going across the Chamber. If there is any objection,
20 address it to the Bench. Otherwise, you can deal with
21 it during the adjournment. This can be dealt with
22 during the adjournment.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
24 Your Honour.
25 MR. NICE: Then the next document, 1144.2.
1 Q. Does this reflect what was intended?
2 A. Yes. This was the organogram of the joint
3 command which was to have been formed, from the highest
4 level down.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you very much.
6 MR. NICE: Paragraph 33. Before we come to
7 that, can the witness see a document already produced,
8 which is 660.1 and 660.1A. They can be dealt with
9 quite briefly. They're documents already produced,
10 purporting to be documents from the HVO, dated the
11 15th of April, to commanders of Brigades 1 to 12.
12 In the English version, if the Chamber will
13 be good enough to look at the last few lines of the
14 first sheet.
15 Q. And if the witness would go, in the original,
16 to -- yes, about half of the way down.
17 It's said here that one of the main
18 assignments is, of course, liquidation of the
19 OZ command. And considering their sabotage activities,
20 it's complete destruction, for which, in the night of
21 the 14th/15th April, they brought forces to the
22 structures of the fire house in Vitez, the school in
23 Kruscica, and the Nadioci and Ahmici villages, in order
24 to set up a blockade, and to Gornja Rovna and Pezici,
25 in order to prevent aid. And the 8th of April 1993,
1 they brought Krizici to Travnik for intervention
3 Can you tell us, please, if what is said
4 there is true or otherwise?
5 A. What is stated there is not true.
6 Q. Completely false or what?
7 A. Completely false.
8 Q. On the 15th of April, paragraph 33, regular
9 ABiH units from Vitez were deployed where?
10 A. Could you please repeat the date?
11 Q. April the 15th, 1993.
12 A. On the 15th of April, all available forces of
13 the army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina were
14 directed to the front against the Serb aggressor, in
15 the zone of responsibility of the 3rd Corps and partly
16 the zone of responsibility defending the city of
17 Sarajevo in the direction of Visoko.
18 Q. Did you travel through that area on the
19 afternoon of the 15th of April?
20 A. Yes, I did. I was returning from Vitez, from
21 a premises occupied by the European Monitoring Mission,
22 and I was going to Zenica. And passing by the Sunce
23 restaurant, which is close to the Kaonik Junction, I
24 noticed 30 to 50 well-armed members of the Croatian
25 Defence Council, in black uniforms, with automatic
2 Q. How did that fit or otherwise with agreements
3 in place at the time?
4 A. It did not. We had previously agreed at
5 negotiations that I had attended on behalf of the army
6 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather, the
7 Territorial Defence, and Mr. Franjo Nakic on behalf of
8 the HVO, and we had agreed that we would not allow
9 gathering of large numbers of members of the HVO or the
10 BH army, and this was in breach of that agreement.
11 MR. NICE: Can the witness have the map
12 again, please? I know the witness had asked me earlier
13 to be sure to provide him with paper and pencil if he
14 wanted to make notes. I don't know if he has any, and
15 I don't know if he's inconvenienced by not having any.
16 Q. General Merdan, are you happy to function
17 without paper and pencil?
18 A. For the moment, I don't need paper or
20 Q. When you returned to Zenica, did you receive
21 a phone call?
22 A. I did. Yes, I was called up.
23 Q. And --
24 A. That telephone call conveyed information to
25 me that an armed unit of the HVO was moving along the
1 axis toward the village of Putis. Let me show you on
2 the map, please. [Indicates]. Towards the village of
4 At the time, as one of the people responsible
5 and in command, I ordered village guards to be
6 reinforced along these lines, because at the time we
7 had no units in those areas. I said a moment ago where
8 the army units of Bosnia and Herzegovina were
9 deployed. And there was an attack launch here on these
10 features: Putis, Jelena, Loncari [indicates]. We had
11 one dead and two injured men in this area.
12 I didn't know what would happen next. We are
13 talking about the night between the 15th and the 16th.
14 Q. Just show us how near or far Putis is from
16 A. [Indicates]. The distance is about 8 to
17 10 kilometres, because the scale here, as the crow
18 flies, it could be 4 to 5 kilometres.
19 Q. In military terms, the effect of your being
20 told about and the reality of the attack on Putis and
22 A. Analysing the events after they occurred --
23 because I didn't know on the 16th, in the morning, what
24 had happened; I learnt about it a day later, that a
25 massacre had occurred in Ahmici -- in military terms it
1 is my opinion that this was a massive attack on the
2 area or, rather, that it was an ancillary area on Putis
3 and Loncari, but that the main target of attack was
5 Q. The caller, was it a man or a woman? Did he
6 or she give a name? If not, did you ever find out who
7 it was?
8 A. It was a male voice. I can assume who it may
9 have been, but I cannot assert with certainty.
10 Q. And you never found out who it was?
11 A. No, not with certainty. I never found out
12 who it was.
13 Q. That same night, the HVO Commander Totic was
14 kidnapped. By whom? Were you involved at all or was
15 the ABiH command involved at all?
16 A. I learnt that Totic had been kidnapped.
17 Afterwards, I learnt that this had been done by a group
18 of Arabs who were in the area. The planning and
19 execution of the kidnapping of Mr. Totic, regarding
20 that I can say with full responsibility that it had not
21 been planned, organised, or implemented by the army of
22 the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was later
23 established that Totic had been kidnapped so as to
24 exchange him for the Arabs that had been detained by
25 the HVO in the Kaonik prison, the well-known Kaonik
1 prison. I have to emphasise that.
2 Q. At the time, 15th/16th of April, apart
3 from -- were there some soldiers in Stari Vitez, and
4 apart from that, were any of the village guards under
5 ABiH command?
6 A. Village guard was not under the command of
7 the army of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
8 because village guards were organised to prevent the
9 entry of criminals in the villages, to prevent looting
10 and plunder.
11 In Stari Vitez we had a detachment of the
12 BH army which in part was having a rest there and
13 partly were operating in the direction of Turbe. I
14 must say that the BH army units took shifts on the
15 front lines, because we did not have enough materiel or
16 weapons, so that a small part, a very small part of the
17 army units were having their leave in Stari Vitez, but
18 they had no weapons with them because all the weapons
19 were being used in operations in the direction of
21 MR. NICE: I'm going to ask the witness a few
22 questions that are not off -- or not, rather, on the
23 summary. The Chamber will understand why. These
24 questions may be capable --
25 A. Could the interpretation be a little louder,
1 please? Yes. I think it is a little better now.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. These questions, General Merdan, may be
4 capable of yes/no answers, and if they are capable of
5 such answers, please give them in order to save time.
6 Between the 10th and the 15th of April, 1993,
7 was there any regrouping of units by the 3rd Corps in
8 the territory of Vitez?
9 A. No.
10 Q. To your knowledge, on the 14th of April of
11 1993, was there any infiltration of particularly
12 well-armed MOS members into Ahmici?
13 A. No. The army of the Republic of
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not include any MOS units, I
15 mean the Muslim units. The army of the Republic of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina had only one unit with the prefix
17 "Muslim," and that was the 7th Glories and Knighted
18 Brigade. And the reason is that amongst the units of
19 the army of Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina some were of
20 other confessions, both Catholic and Orthodox, so that
21 they could not be called Muslim. And the 7th Muslim
22 Brigade included only members of Muslim faith, of
23 Islamic faith.
24 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I see the time, and I
25 don't know what the timetable of the Chamber is. I
1 know that it was intending to make a little more time
2 available this afternoon, but I also know the position
3 of the interpreters.
4 JUDGE MAY: Quarter past 4,00.
5 MR. NICE: Thank you.
6 Q. Did you travel, between the 15th of April and
7 thereafter, did you travel as a member of the joint
8 commission around the area, in an armoured vehicle, I
10 A. Yes. I travelled there repeatedly through
11 that area, because I was asking the ECMM to allow me to
12 attend meetings, either those of the joint commission
13 or the joint command, without any particular trouble,
14 without any problem.
15 Q. And on the 16th of April, did you pass the
16 Dubravica school? Tell us what you saw and what
18 A. On the 16th of April I passed, escorting the
19 ECMM in an UNPROFOR vehicle, by the elementary school
20 in Dubravica. And when we reached the agreed place, I
21 received information that Bosniaks, Muslims were being
22 held captive in that elementary school. I requested
23 the ECMM to go back to that school, and we returned to
24 that school. But apart from a couple of HVO soldiers,
25 I did not find a single prisoner there.
1 Q. I have put that as being on the 16th of
2 April. It may be an error. Tell us when that incident
3 happened, if you can recall?
4 A. I believe that was the date. But it was
5 April, at any rate. It was April where the conflicts
6 in the area of Vitez began to escalate. But I would
7 really have to consult my notebook to see the date.
8 But there is a record of the ECMM.
9 Q. 21st of April, was there an agreement
10 involving Petkovic?
11 A. Yes, and there was a meeting with Petkovic.
12 Yes, an agreement and understanding, but it was not
13 complied with.
14 Q. Notwithstanding that agreement, what actually
15 happened to Muslim villages between Kiseljak and
17 A. This is not my area of responsibility, but I
18 was attending a meeting at Kiseljak, and an attack was
19 launched on Muslim villages in the area, Kazagici,
20 Svinjarevo, and a number of other Muslim villages. I
21 wouldn't be able to list them without looking at a
23 Q. Between January and April, 1993, did you see
24 anything of soldiers or units belonging to the HV
25 rather than the HVO in the area?
1 A. I did not see units, but I saw individuals in
2 the Lasva River Valley. One of them -- at least he had
3 a patch like that. I couldn't identify him. A
4 combatant, that is a soldier who was killed somewhere
5 between Donji and Gornji Rovna near Vitez. And I also
6 had the occasion of setting free a group of captured
7 HVO members in Gornji Vakuf. One of them said that he
8 came from Osijek and that he was a member of the
9 Croatian army.
10 Q. I think you saw a video in 1994, is that
11 correct, where there was a HV soldier being spoken to?
12 A. Yes, I did have an occasion to see that
14 Q. You've had an opportunity, in this building
15 in the last day or so, of looking at a video which
16 shows a soldier. Are you able to say, one way or
17 another, whether this video is the same as the one you
18 saw or not?
19 A. That videotape, I can recognise a man who
20 spoke to a member of the Croatian army. As far as I
21 can see, he is a member of the volunteer regiment. My
22 information says that another, a different soldier was
23 captured, who was an artillery man, who came from an
24 artillery unit from Osijek. So that now, without
25 consulting my notebooks, I really could not affirm
1 whether it was the same soldier or not.
2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the video contains
3 two segments, one of a tank, which the witness can help
4 us with on grounds of similarity; the other being an
5 interview with a soldier producing, on the video, his
6 identity card. He can also be of assistance whether
7 it's actually the man that this witness saw or not.
8 The interview with the soldier is quite long,
9 but I propose to deal with it very briefly by asking
10 the technical booth, once they start on that passage,
11 to accelerate right through to the place where the man
12 produces his documentation, nevertheless, providing to
13 my learned friends, as they already have it, the full
14 transcript of the material that's available.
15 Now, I see the time. I don't know if we can
16 do that now.
17 JUDGE MAY: How long is that likely to take?
18 If we can deal with it, it might be convenient to do
20 MR. NICE: Let's see if we can deal with it.
21 Q. The first bit shows a tank. It's
22 Exhibit 2643,4(a) for the B/C/S, but for those of us
23 who don't speak the language, 4(b). And I think it
24 starts on the third sheet, which is in the English
25 version, at 2444 at the top. That deals with the
1 tank. And that doesn't take very long. And then I can
2 ask the witness one question about the tank and then we
3 come onto the soldier. With the technical booth's
5 The witness might like to have the
6 transcript. He can have my copy, which is 2463,4(a)
7 before him at, I think, the third sheet. The video is
8 2463,5. There is a sound track, I think, to this.
9 [Video played]
10 MR. NICE: I am looking to the video booth
11 for the sound track.
12 First of all, while we are dealing with the
13 technical problems arising from that tape, and we can
14 see what's said about the tape, about the tank on our
15 transcripts, if they are accurate. But, General
16 Merdan, what can you say about tanks of that sort?
17 A. These are medium-range tanks. They made part
18 of the Yugoslav People's Army armament and, to all
19 intents and purposes, after some barracks were taken by
20 units which were fighting against the Yugoslav People's
21 Army, they captured those tanks and used them on the
23 MR. NICE: I don't know if the next part of
24 the tape has got its sound track. If it has, it picks
25 up in the English version at page 5. And if we can
1 work it, after a few questions and answers I would ask
2 the technical booth to accelerate the tape through to
3 what is our page 12, which will become immediately
4 obvious on the screen, because that's the place where
5 the soldier produces his card.
6 It may be that we should cut our losses and
7 resume --
8 JUDGE MAY: There is no point remaining
9 here. I am concerned about the relevance of this tape,
10 this transcript, rather. We've seen the tape. The
11 witness has dealt with what he can deal with.
12 MR. NICE: Yes.
13 JUDGE MAY: It seems to me that this document
14 has not been identified. We don't know what it is.
15 MR. NICE: No. Of course the transcript
16 reveals what the soldier says he was, so it's, of
17 course, admissible, because there is no exclusionary
18 rule that bars material of that category. And he
19 doesn't support what he says simply verbally, because
20 he produces the document, which, although it's hard to
21 see, is nevertheless described, and going to show
22 indeed that he was --
23 JUDGE MAY: Do you want to have this tape
25 MR. NICE: Yes, I do.
1 JUDGE MAY: Part of the evidence?
2 MR. NICE: Yes, please.
3 JUDGE MAY: Where does it come from?
4 MR. NICE: Produced to us as one of a number
5 of tapes, and it's the man speaking who identifies
6 where he comes from, which is part of Croatia.
7 JUDGE MAY: It may be that the right course
8 of the moment is not to admit it. We will hear further
9 argument on Tuesday, if you want it into evidence. It
10 seems this witness can't deal with it in any great
11 detail, anyway.
12 MR. NICE: No, because he's uncertain about
13 whether it's the same man or not.
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.
15 General Merdan, I'm afraid that we can't
16 finish your evidence today, so we must ask you to come
17 back next Tuesday to conclude it. Meanwhile, could you
18 remember not to speak to anybody about your evidence
19 until it's over. That does include members of the OTP.
20 And, of course, please don't let anybody speak to you
21 about it. Could you be back, please, as I say, for
22 half past nine on Tuesday.
23 A. Mr. President, I shall do as you ask. Thank
25 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Meanwhile, we shall
1 adjourn for a Status Conference tomorrow morning, half
2 past nine.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
4 at 4.20 p.m., to be reconvened on
5 Thursday, the 20th day of January,
6 2000 at 9.30 a.m.