1 Monday, 6
2 [Private session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
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6 [The witness entered court]
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If the witness would take
9 the declaration.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
11 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
12 and nothing but the truth.
13 WITNESS: WITNESS AN
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. If you would like to
16 take a seat.
17 Examined by Mr. Scott:
18 Q. Witness, the usher is handing you now a piece
19 of paper that has your name on it. You need not say
20 and should not say your name out loud, but if you would
21 look at the sheet of paper and just answer "yes" or
22 "no", is that your name?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. I will also tell you, Witness, that your
25 request for protective measures has been granted. Your
1 facial image on the video will be distorted, your voice
2 will also be distorted, and we will refer to you in the
3 courtroom as Witness AN. That's not meant as any
4 discourtesy but to afford you the protections that
5 you've requested. Do you understand that?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. And finally, sir, before we start, I will
8 just tell you that the Court has granted leave for me
9 to what the lawyers call lead you through a great deal
10 of your testimony in which you may be required, in most
11 instances, simply to confirm whether the statement is
12 true and correct. However, if you feel there is
13 something that needs to be added, that you feel
14 strongly needs to be added or explained further, I want
15 you to feel that you can do that. Do you understand?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. (redacted)
19 A. It is.
20 Q. Before the conflict, you lived with your
21 parents and two brothers in Tulica. The village of
22 Tulica is about 15 kilometres north of Kiseljak.
23 Before Tulica was attacked on the 12th of June, 1993,
24 it was almost a 100 per cent Muslim -- I guess we
25 should say populated village, with only about 15 Croats
1 living in the village of Tulica. Is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. All told, there were something around -- that
4 is, approximately 600 people living in approximately
5 120 houses; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Apart from Tulica, is it correct, sir, that
8 most of the other villages in the surrounding area,
9 such as Lepenica, were Croat, and there were also a few
10 small Serb villages?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In 1992, you were a member of the Patriotic
13 League and you were part of the police force in the
14 Kiseljak municipality, which at that time was both
15 Croat and Muslim. There were approximately 30 Croat
16 military policemen and approximately six or seven
17 Muslim military policemen; is that true?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is it also true that the senior police
20 officer from the Muslim side was a man called
21 Esef Bajraktarevic?
22 A. It is.
23 Q. You were assigned to the barracks in Kiseljak
24 as a member of the military police. You worked at the
25 front desk, or reception area, if you will, and also
1 sometimes as a traffic policeman or also in the
2 communications centre. Is that correct?
3 A. It is.
4 Q. This was primarily during the time of April
5 and May 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Four or five months before the HVO attack on
8 the 12th of June, 1993, there were a couple of smaller
9 incidents in the area. The first one happened near
10 Brnjaci, where some Muslim villages are located between
11 Kobiljaca and Kiseljak, where the Croats had
12 established checkpoints in 1992. Is that correct?
13 A. It is.
14 Q. Some of the Muslims in Kiseljak were
15 mistreated and beaten by HVO soldiers at the
16 checkpoints, and some of the Muslim shops in Kiseljak
17 were looted by HVO soldiers; is that correct?
18 A. It is.
19 Q. And about April or May of 1992, the Croats
20 began to wear HVO badges and established more
21 checkpoints, including one on the main road towards
22 Ilidza. Only the Croats were allowed to cross this
23 checkpoint. They communicated with the Serbs, who
24 lived in Ilidza, and the Croats and Serbs were friendly
25 toward and cooperative with each other in this area.
1 Is that correct, sir?
2 A. It is.
3 Q. Let me ask you, a little more generally,
4 throughout the time that we are covering this morning,
5 and in the Tulica area, did you find that the Croats
6 and Serbs were cooperative and friendly toward each
7 other, or were they in combat towards one another?
8 A. There was close cooperation. They cooperated
9 together, since Tulica is between Kobiljaca, Lepenica,
10 Han Ploca, and so on.
11 Q. And, to your knowledge and observation --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone. Microphone.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. To your knowledge and information, at the
15 time of the attack on Tulica in June 1993, did you see
16 the cooperation between the Croats and Serbs in that
17 area continuing?
18 A. We could see the whole village. It was
19 shelled even before the 20th of June, '93, from the
20 places called Buhotine, Vela and other positions held
21 by Serbs. And that same day, when the HVO troops
22 attacked the village of Tulica, it was also shelled
23 from Buhotine, from Vela and other positions.
24 Q. Sorry for the microphone. I understand that
25 I have to turn my microphone off, Your Honour, if there
1 is any narrative answer from the witness, because of
2 the distortion.
3 All right. Let's continue on. Is it
4 correct, sir, that during the summer of 1992, there was
5 a checkpoint at the crossroads in Han Ploca. You, and
6 a number of other gentlemen -- Muhadis Tulic, Nail
7 Fazlibacic, Sead Sinanbasic, Nusret Masin, Meho Gruso,
8 and perhaps one or two others -- went to Kiseljak.
9 After the group of you passed the checkpoint at Han
10 Ploca, you saw a HVO commander known to you as Mato
11 Lucic pass your vehicle in a Volkswagen Golf car. Is
12 that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And both your vehicles were headed in the
15 direction, including Mr. Lucic's vehicle, toward
16 Brnjaci; is that correct?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. About ten minutes later, at approximately
19 8 in the evening, you and the others were stopped by
20 HVO soldiers at Brnjaci; about 15 or 20 HVO soldiers
21 disarmed you and arrested the group of you. Is that
23 A. It is.
24 Q. You and the other Muslim men were then taken
25 to Kiseljak, to the military barracks there. Since
1 Blaskic and Rajic were known to be in command of the
2 Kiseljak HVO, you believed that it was Blaskic and
3 Rajic who ordered you and the others to be arrested; is
4 that correct?
5 A. It is.
6 Q. In fact, you knew, from when you were a
7 military policeman at these same Kiseljak barracks,
8 that Blaskic and Rajic were in charge. Is that true?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is it correct, sir, that you not only saw for
11 yourself, based on your working there, but you were
12 also told by one of the HVO military police commanders,
13 a Steko Marinko, that many people came to the Kiseljak
14 barracks to see or meet with Colonel Blaskic and Rajic;
15 is that correct?
16 A. It is. And not only did he tell me that, but
17 as I worked at the reception desk in the Kiseljak
18 barracks, and I could see it with my own eyes.
19 Q. And, in fact, the offices for Mr. Blaskic and
20 Mr. Rajic were only some 200 metres, approximately,
21 from the reception area; is that correct?
22 A. It is.
23 Q. After being held then or staying at the
24 Kiseljak barracks for approximately 20 minutes, you and
25 the other Muslim men were taken to the police station
1 in Busovaca; is that correct?
2 A. It is.
3 Q. Did you have any understanding why you were
4 taken to Busovaca at that time, in contrast to
5 continuing to be held or to be held in Kiseljak?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Is it correct, sir, that by this time, we are
8 talking about the summer of 1992, that the status or
9 condition of Muslim Croat relations in the Busovaca
10 area were known to be worse than those around Kiseljak?
11 A. Yes, during my stay in the prison in
12 Busovaca, I could see that the situation there was
13 worse than in Kiseljak.
14 Q. Is it your recollection that by the time that
15 you were being held in Busovaca, that all or virtually
16 all of the Muslims had been expelled from the police
17 force in Busovaca?
18 A. During my stay there, there was not a single
19 Muslim in the police station in Busovaca.
20 Q. You and the others were handcuffed, you were
21 placed together in one cell, where you were held for
22 the next 12 days. Your hands were handcuffed behind
23 your backs almost the entire 12 days; is that correct?
24 A. It is.
25 Q. At various times you and the others were
1 questioned, some of the HVO police or soldiers told you
2 that there was a conflict between the Croats and
3 Muslims at Kacuni, and that if the Croats there were
4 attacked or harmed, you and the other Muslim prisoners
5 would be killed. Is that correct?
6 A. It is.
7 Q. On about the 4th or 5th day of your
8 captivity, you were taken to the office of the HVO
9 commander, whose name was Vlado, where you were
10 questioned; is that correct?
11 A. Yes. That office is on the upper floor of
12 the police station in Busovaca.
13 Q. And can you help us, was Vlado the man's
14 first name or last name?
15 A. As far as I know, that was his first name.
16 Q. And this Vlado, at the time you were
17 questioned, was wearing a camouflage uniform with HVO
18 patches; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. Now, Witness AN, in the next
21 series of questions I am going to ask you to give us
22 more, if you will, testimony, your own words. I am
23 just going to point you to a particular time. On about
24 the 7th day of your captivity, did a Croat policeman
25 come into the cell where the group of you were being
1 kept and order you and the others to leave the cell and
2 stand in a line outside?
3 A. Yes. As far as I can remember, that
4 policeman -- and I know his nickname was Jesus, Jesus
5 -- and he told us, "Come out of the cell and line up,
6 because gentlemen are coming to see you." And all
7 seven of us then came out of that cell and we lined up
8 right next there against the wall in the passage of the
9 police station, and some five minutes later Kordic and
10 two of his -- what would you call them? -- bodyguards
11 came. I knew one from sight because he had a scar on
12 his face. While I worked at the reception desk at the
13 Kiseljak barracks, they had come there some dozen
14 times, so that I had had the opportunity to see them.
15 Q. Before you continue, when --
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT: I apologise.
18 Q. When the police officer announced -- came and
19 took you out of the cell and announced that someone was
20 coming, do you recall that the actual word he used, or
21 something very, very similar to it, was that some
22 gentlemen were coming to visit?
23 A. Yes. As far as I know from what happened
24 there, gentlemen -- those gentlemen were those who held
25 some high posts, commanders or something, I mean some
1 very high-up commanding personnel.
2 Q. Well, that was my question I wanted you to
3 clarify. In terms of your language, when the
4 particular term "gentleman" was used, was that, to your
5 knowledge, used to indicate someone of some stature and
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. So you took us as far as
9 Mr. Kordic approached the group of you with his
10 bodyguards. What happened after that?
11 A. They simply looked at us, and the one who was
12 responsible for the security -- the bodyguard who was
13 with the rest of them, they were looking for somebody,
14 and he simply said, "He's not here."
15 Q. Now, can you tell us, Witness, had you
16 seen --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Had you seen Mr. Kordic before this occasion
20 in Busovaca, and if so, where and when?
21 A. I did not see him in Busovaca before that,
22 but I had seen him in Kiseljak, as I told you, while I
23 was there working at the reception desk in Kiseljak.
24 Q. While you were working at the reception desk
25 at the Kiseljak barracks; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And approximately how many times would you
3 say that you saw Mr. Kordic at the Kiseljak barracks?
4 MR. SAYERS: Objection, Your Honour. He's
5 already said, "About ten times."
6 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if that's true, I
7 may have missed it.
8 JUDGE MAY: I missed it, if he said it.
9 Anyway, he can say it again. Perhaps you would like to
10 ask the question again, Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
12 Q. Witness AN, can you tell us approximately how
13 many times, while you were working as a policeman at
14 the Kiseljak barracks, you saw Mr. Kordic come to the
16 A. Well, it could have been ten times or so,
17 perhaps more, because, for instance, whenever Hrvoje
18 Kristic came, nicknamed Oluja, Kordic, they would go to
19 those offices where Tihomir Blaskic and Ivica Rajic
21 Q. Perhaps you could help us. Who did you
22 understand this Mr. Kristic to be? What was his
23 position or role?
24 A. I knew, because in the beginning, an HDZ
25 organiser and things like that. How shall I put it?
1 He was one of the executive personnel, because only the
2 executive personnel could enter that part of the
3 building in the Kiseljak barracks.
4 Q. As working in the reception area, do you know
5 whether it was the common practice that when such
6 people as Mr. Kristic or Mr. Kordic arrived, that they
7 would be announced by the telephone or in some other
8 way, announced that they were there?
9 A. Well, it was like this: The procedure was
10 they would come to the reception desk, and one of them
11 would say, "We need to see Blaskic," or Rajic or
12 somebody, and then you called by telephone to see if
13 they are there from the reception desk.
14 Q. And what did you know or understand about the
15 meetings, not just any one particular meeting but just
16 the general nature of the meetings when these people
17 would come and meet together with Colonel Blaskic and
18 Mr. Rajic?
19 A. Well, I couldn't learn or hear anything from
20 someone else. All I knew was that the command staff
21 and organisers of everything used to come there.
22 Q. Can you tell us, in your own words, sir, at
23 that particular time who did you understand Dario
24 Kordic to be? What role or position did you understand
25 him to have?
1 A. Well, at that time I could know that, just
2 like Blaskic, he was very high up in the command
3 structure for Busovaca, both in the military sense and
4 in the civilian structures of the HDZ and the party and
5 so on.
6 Q. Was there anything else about the appearance
7 of Mr. Kordic, and such persons as Mr. Kordic and
8 Mr. Blaskic, in terms of their clothing, in terms of
9 how they appeared, or how they travelled, which was a
10 further indication to you that they were persons of
11 some importance in the leadership structure?
12 A. Well, of course, at that time they had, let's
13 say, new uniforms, they had their own bodyguards, they
14 had new vehicles and so on, and this was what left the
15 impression that they were very important people and so
17 Q. When Mr. Kordic came to your -- well, to the
18 place where you and the other Muslim men were being
19 held in Busovaca, he was -- how far, approximately, was
20 he away from you as he and his bodyguards essentially
21 searched over you? By that I mean looked over the
22 group of you assembled.
23 A. Well, about two metres, because it's a small
24 corridor maybe ten metres away on the ground floor.
25 Q. And, sir, I want you, if you would, please, I
1 want you to look around the courtroom, and can you tell
2 us, do you see the person who you saw at the Kiseljak
3 barracks and also the person who you saw in Busovaca on
4 that day? Do you see that person in the courtroom?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And can you point to him, please?
7 A. Yes, I can. [Witness complies]
8 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, the record can
9 reflect that the witness has identified the defendant
10 Dario Kordic.
11 Q. All right. At that time, then, basically you
12 said you heard one of the bodyguards say at some
13 point -- somebody, "He's not here," and then Mr. Kordic
14 and the bodyguards left; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, and the bodyguard who said that is a
16 person I know well from sight, because he had a big
17 scar on his face.
18 Q. Did you see the same person with the scar at
19 any time after this occasion?
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
21 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry.
22 Q. Did you see this person with a scar any time
23 after this event in Busovaca that you've been telling
24 us about?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Moving on, then. On the last day, about the
2 12th day of your imprisonment in Busovaca, you and the
3 others were ordered to go upstairs to see again the
4 commander, Vlado. He said that the five of you,
5 including yourself, were being released. The HVO then
6 took you to Kiseljak and released you, and from there
7 you returned to Tulica; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it correct, sir, that you knew
10 Colonel Blaskic and Ivica Rajic to be the overall
11 commanders of the HVO units in the Kiseljak area?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And those units included a unit called
14 Vrazija Divizija, or the Devil's Division?
15 A. Yes. That was a sabotage group, and at the
16 beginning -- how shall I put it? It was established at
17 the beginning of the war.
18 Q. All right, Witness. It may come up later,
19 but when you say "sabotage unit," why don't you go
20 ahead and describe, what did that mean to you or what
21 did you know it to mean in the conflict at the time?
22 What was a sabotage unit and how was it used?
23 A. Well, the sabotage unit, its composition
24 was -- in my opinion, it consisted of the worst
25 extremists, and I know the individuals. I knew them
1 from before. For example, Pijuk, Tibor Prajo, Marinko
2 Cufija, and so on and the others, and I know that they
3 were the worst extremists at the time. And that unit,
4 the sabotage unit, was intended to attack villages and
5 commit sabotage and so on.
6 Q. Is it correct, sir, that most of the members
7 of the Devil's Division were about 20 to 27 years old,
8 they appeared to be well trained, well armed, and in
9 good condition; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And most of them were believed or known to
12 have been trained in Mostar; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. One of the commanders, and I am not saying
15 necessarily the commander in an overall sense, but one
16 of the officers or commanders in the Devil's Division
17 was a man named Mato Lucic, and his nickname was
18 Maturice; is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And there was also a man named Como, who was
21 one of the officers in that group; is that also
23 A. Not Como. Como.
24 Q. I apologise. That's my mistake. Como. But
25 he was one of the other officers of the Devil's
2 A. Yes. Afterwards, when Mato Lucic, known as
3 Maturice, was killed, that Como and the others created
4 this sabotage group called Maturice.
5 Q. And, in fact, the Maturice group took its
6 name from the former -- excuse me, commander, Lucic,
7 who had been killed; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that's right. But let's say individuals
9 could move from one group to another, for example,
10 Apostoli, Maturice, the Devil's unit, and so on, as far
11 as I know. They could go from one group to another.
12 It wasn't something that they were held responsible
14 Q. And each of these groups that you have just
15 mentioned, including the Apostoli, the Maturice, these
16 were what you've described today as sabotage units; is
17 that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. All right. Now, you saw Mr. Rajic, Ivica
20 Rajic, in Kiseljak about three months after you were
21 released from being held in Busovaca; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And again, you knew Mr. Rajic to be the
24 senior commander in the Kiseljak area, in addition to
25 Mr. or Colonel Blaskic; is that correct?
1 A. Yes. Yes.
2 Q. Now, going to May of 1993. Did you
3 understand that about the middle of that month the HVO
4 started attacking Muslim villages around Kiseljak,
5 including Rotilj, Gomionica, Visnjica, Duhri and
7 A. Yes, you could hear it simply because it
8 wasn't far from where we were. You could hear it. And
9 secondly, they set up roadblocks. It was impossible to
10 go anywhere. Let's say for the Muslim population, they
11 couldn't go to Kiseljak anymore.
12 Q. At various times through this period, is it
13 correct, sir, that you were, in fact, in the Bosnian
14 army, or the BiH army, and you were away at the front
15 line against the Serbs, but you were kept informed,
16 essentially, by your friends and family as to the
17 events around Kiseljak; is that true?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In connection with your service at the front
20 line, is it correct, sir -- can you confirm to the
21 Court that in the front line where you were serving,
22 the only people opposing the Serbs at those locations
23 were the ABiH and not the Croats; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Again, in your area, it did not appear to you
1 that, in fact, the Croats and Serbs were fighting each
2 other, but appeared to you to cooperate and, in fact,
3 have some sort of non-aggression pact? Is that
5 A. Well, yes.
6 Q. Then going to the 12th of June, 1993. In
7 fact, on that day you had had the luck or fortune, I
8 suppose, to return to Tulica from the front line to see
9 your parents in the village and have a rest; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Tulica at this time was located between Serb
13 positions, HVO positions and, in fact, from
14 approximately November 1992 forward, the Serbs often
15 fired weapons into the village, resulting in the
16 killing of one man and the destruction of several
17 barns; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. On the 12th of June, 1993, late in the
20 morning, Tulica was shelled; the shelling stopped for a
21 while and then started again. You realised that the
22 shelling was coming from the direction of Kobiljaca,
23 most probably from the Serb villages of Vela and
24 Buhotine. The second shelling was more intense than
25 the first one, and a battery of mortars started
1 shooting, and you counted approximately 200 incoming
2 shells. Is that correct?
3 A. Yes, but not probably -- but that was what
4 usually happened, that they used to fire on us before
5 from those places, so the population was used to it.
6 It was from Buhotine, Vela and so on. They were used
7 to being shelled from the Serbian positions.
8 Q. In fact, is it fair to say that initially
9 that morning there was -- it wasn't clear whether the
10 attack was coming from the Serbs or from the Croats or
11 both; is that correct?
12 A. Well, no one understood anything until simply
13 the population, during the attack, they were taken
14 prison in one place, and that's where all the people
15 from the village were, in one place.
16 Q. All right. We will get to that. Around this
17 time, then, after the shelling, the HVO soldiers seemed
18 to attack the village from many directions. You
19 started to go to a house in Tulica to get your service
20 rifle, where you had left it when you returned to the
21 front line. Before you got to this location, you saw
22 three armed soldiers in camouflage uniforms coming down
23 the road. They ordered you to stop, but you were able
24 to turn and run away, at which time they fired at you,
25 but you did escape at that time; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. A few minutes later you were still in the
3 Tulica village, you were near a house, where you
4 suddenly saw the son of a Croat man come out of the
5 house wearing a camouflage uniform with HVO patches and
6 carrying a Kalashnikov. The man also had a white
7 ribbon around his upper left arm. The man pointed his
8 weapon at you, which struck you as somewhat strange,
9 because, in fact, you had had a drink with this very
10 same man in Kiseljak only a few weeks before. Is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you knew him to be a HVO soldier; is that
15 A. Yes, I knew him to be a HVO soldier, and his
16 father used to work with me in the company where we
18 Q. This HVO soldier then ordered you to stop,
19 essentially detained you, and then escorted you to a
20 place approximately 100 metres away, where a larger
21 group of Tulica villagers -- men, women and children --
22 had begun to be collected and guarded by the HVO
23 soldiers near a sort of grocery store; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Some of the HVO soldiers were from this
1 sabotage unit called the Devil's Division. The
2 soldiers and such units -- well, you've already touched
3 on this. These tended to be the assault troops; is
4 that fair to say?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And one other point of information about
7 these units I don't think you mentioned before, but
8 they would typically be composed of something around 40
9 or 50 soldiers?
10 A. Yes. They were small sabotage units
11 consisting of 40 to 50 people, and so on.
12 Q. Was it your observation, your experience in
13 Bosnia during the war, just to amplify a bit further on
14 this, that when the units, such as the Devil's
15 Division, would be the assault troops, what might be
16 described as the more regular HVO soldiers would fill a
17 more supporting role, or to hold ground, if you will?
18 A. Yes. Let's say during an attack on the
19 village of Tulica, the whole line was surrounded by
20 soldiers who, how shall I put it, were ordinary
21 soldiers, HVO soldiers, and only the area in the
22 direction of the Serbs, so that the villagers could
23 flee, the civilians. And everything else was
24 surrounded, and between Ostrik, Pljesivica, the village
25 of Ravne Njive, and the village of Vela, that was where
1 the so-called Devil's Division entered into the village
2 and started burning houses and creating panic among the
4 Q. You knew, sir, at least two of the soldiers
5 in the Devil's Division from before the war, again
6 during the time that you served in the military police
7 at the Kiseljak barracks. You knew Tibor Prajo?
8 A. Yes, I knew Tibor Prajo. On the day they
9 attacked the village, Tibor Prajo approached me. He
10 was naked down to his waist. He was wearing ammunition
11 belts and a rifle, and he said, "What are you doing
12 here?" And I told him I was from the village. So he
13 asked me about Safet Katkic, who was on a work campaign
14 with us. And he just told me that there was nothing he
15 could do to help me, and went off in the direction of
17 Q. All right. And the second man you knew, at
18 least one of the ones you knew, was this man called
19 Pijuk; is that correct?
20 A. Yes. Yes. Pijuk was his name. And I knew
21 him well. And the others who were there in the group,
22 I knew them well too, but I can't remember their
23 names. I didn't know the real names of some of them.
24 Q. All right. And you mentioned it once earlier
25 today, but just so the record is clear, can you tell us
1 again what -- what you understood the correct name or
2 full name of this individual called Pijuk, what was
3 that name?
4 A. Zdravko Mihaljevic, also known as Pijuk.
5 Q. And both of the men you just named were in
6 the Devil's Division; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you knew that division to be based in
9 Kiseljak, and Pijuk to be again one of the commanders
10 or an officer of a subunit, if you will, of the Devil's
11 Division; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, he was a squad leader and so on.
13 Q. Based on everything that you have heard and
14 learned about the attacks on the Muslim villages and
15 the Kiseljak municipality in 1993, is it correct, sir,
16 that you understood this Devil's Division to be
17 involved in virtually all or almost all of those
19 A. Yes, in the Devil's Division, Apostoli,
20 Maturice, and the other sabotage units.
21 Q. In fact, many of these -- many of the
22 members, excuse me, of these groups were fairly well
23 known in the Kiseljak area; is that correct?
24 A. They were all mostly people from the Kiseljak
25 municipality and so on, Kresevo and the places around
2 Q. During the attack, you saw this -- one of the
3 men you just mentioned that you knew, Prajo, coming
4 from the direction of houses that had been set on
5 fire. You saw Pijuk talking to Vlatko Trogrlic, who
6 was the commander of a regular HVO unit from the nearby
7 town of Lepenica. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes. Not only did I see him; there were 60
9 to 70 people, there were women, there were children,
10 and they all saw when Zuna -- Vlatko Trogrlic, also
11 known as Zuna, was talking to Pijuk. And after that,
12 first Pijuk killed Esef Bajraktarevic, in front of
13 everyone, in front of the women and the men and
14 children, and then he started cursing their balija
15 mother, "What do you want, balija? Do you want a
16 jamahiriya," and so on. And then he separated out the
17 able-bodied men from the women and the children, and he
18 said, "Say good-bye. You'll never see each other
19 again. I am taking you to Ostrik so that you can see
20 what the Ustashas and Chetniks are doing."
21 Q. All right. Witness AN, we'll come to some of
22 those events in more detail in a moment. Did you
23 understand on that day this Vlatko Trogrlic, also known
24 as Zuna, to be the overall on-the-ground commander
25 during the HVO attack on Tulica?
1 A. Well, yes. And before that I knew that,
2 because in the village of Lepenica there are several
3 buildings, catering establishments where before this
4 conflict the Muslims used to go too. And he would
5 curse their balija mothers before and drive them out of
6 these places and so on.
7 Q. And you saw Trogrlic giving orders to Pijuk,
8 and is it also correct that you saw Trogrlic with a
9 Motorola radio?
10 A. Yes, they were bodyguards, Zeljko Gurkalovic
11 also known as Zara, from Kulis, and I can't remember
12 the other man's name, and the other one is also from
14 Q. Paragraph 33, Your Honours, I think has been
15 mentioned now a couple of times.
16 JUDGE MAY: I think we can take this fairly
17 quickly. I don't think we need the detail of all these
18 individuals. It doesn't seem to me that, in a case
19 involving, as it does, accused who were in command
20 positions, we need this degree of detail. So perhaps
21 we can go through it fairly quickly.
22 MR. SCOTT: I appreciate that, Your Honour.
23 I think in those particular respects, in terms of some
24 of the officers, we have covered most of that.
25 I think in terms of some of the victim
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 information, Your Honour, we would still have to get
2 some names and items for the record. But I understand,
3 in terms of the command structure, and I will move on.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 MR. SCOTT: All right.
6 Q. Witness AN, you've already mentioned that one
7 of the individuals you knew was this Prajo, and you had
8 a conversation with him. We've covered that.
9 By this time, many of the houses in the
10 village were burning. What you saw happening, is it
11 correct, is that as the Devil's Division entered the
12 upper part of the village and proceeded through the
13 town, houses were set on fire, and some of the
14 villagers reported having seen that the HVO soldiers
15 were carrying some sort of pumps or sprayers to apply
16 petrol or gasoline; is that correct?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. About this time, you saw specifically the
19 house of Zifet Huseinovic burning, and when some of the
20 Muslim villagers tried to intervene to put out the
21 fire, the HVO arrested them; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. While you were talking again to this Prajo,
24 another HVO soldier went past the two of you, pushing a
25 wheelbarrow full of electronic equipment, like a TV --
1 such as a TV, a video recorder and stereo, and this
2 soldier was wearing a black jacket, which, in fact, you
3 recognised as being a jacket that had belonged to Admir
4 Bajraktarevic; is that correct?
5 A. It is.
6 Q. By this time, sir, you could see more and
7 more HVO soldiers in the town. They had white ribbons
8 around their upper arm, which appeared to you to be
9 essentially some sort of a recognition symbol; is that
11 A. It is.
12 Q. There were about 60 or 70 HVO soldiers near
13 where the Muslim villagers had been collected, and the
14 overall HVO force appeared to you to number somewhere
15 around 200 soldiers. They were carrying automatic
16 weapons, and many of them were then seen driving
17 through the village in cars which belonged to people in
18 the village. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. As specific examples, you saw HVO soldiers
21 driving a Lada car type of vehicle which belonged to
22 Rasim Huseinovic, and you saw another vehicle called a
23 Zastava 101 being driven by HVO soldiers, which you
24 knew to be owned by Refik Huseinovic; is that correct?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. All right. Witness AN, I'm going to take
2 these next questions very quickly. The ones you've
3 already mentioned, I won't repeat. I think there's
4 three others. Of the soldiers you recognised that day,
5 there was someone known to be the son of Desetar, from
6 Brnjaci; there was a man called Zeljo Gurkalovic,
7 nicknamed Zara; and there was another man named Ante
8 Cvijanovic, also known as Tana. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, and for the most part, people who were
10 there then were villagers from Brnjaci.
11 Q. Sir, can you tell the Court, on the day of
12 the attack, or even the days preceding the attack on
13 Tulica in June of 1993, were there any BH army
14 formations, unit, or positions in Tulica?
15 A. No, neither before nor after. There were no
16 troops at all; there were only civilians.
17 Q. Around this time, three HVO soldiers walked
18 up with Mufid Tulic with them. They had learned that
19 Tulic was in the Bosnian army and found his weapon card
20 in his pocket, which apparently described the type of
21 weapon that he had been issued and trained to use by
22 the army. An HVO soldier asked Tulic where his weapon
23 was, and Tulic said that he had left it at the front
24 line. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The same HVO soldier ordered Tulic to sit on
2 the ground and then turned to Ahmed Bajraktarevic and
3 told him to give him, quote, "the documents."
4 Bajraktarevic said he didn't know what documents the
5 soldier was talking about, and the soldier then hit
6 Bajraktarevic on the head with his rifle.
7 Bajraktarevic fell on the ground and started to cry.
8 This was just three or four metres from where you were
9 standing. Is all of that correct?
10 A. Yes, it is, where I was standing and all the
11 others who had been captured.
12 Q. All right. And, in fact, you say that there
13 were about, by this time, some 60 Muslim men, women and
14 children gathered where you were. You then saw three
15 or four HVO soldiers go into the house of this same
16 Ahmed Bajraktarevic that you mentioned before. The HVO
17 soldier who had hit Ahmed said that if they found
18 anything in the house, they would kill him.
19 Immediately after that, you could -- sorry, there's a
20 word -- you could hear things being smashed inside the
21 house. Is that correct?
22 A. It is.
23 Q. At that moment, Ahmed Bajraktarevic's
24 brother, Salko Bajraktarevic, came along and said, "For
25 God's sake, what are you doing?" He was approximately
1 60 years old. He was saying this to Pijuk, and Pijuk
2 said, "Shut up, old man, or I'll show you what I can
3 do." And, in fact, immediately after that Pijuk fired
4 two shots from his automatic rifle into Salko's chest.
5 Salko fell on the ground and was laying with his back
6 toward you. You could see that Salko was still moving
7 at that point, and Pijuk shot him again as he lay on
8 the ground in the back. And, of course, it's probably
9 not surprising at that point the women and children
10 started to cry. Is all of that correct?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. After Salko was shot, Pijuk then took all of
13 the Muslim men gathered there, about 35 or 40,
14 including you, away. I think you mentioned earlier he
15 said, "Say goodbye to your family, because you'll never
16 see them again." We probably don't have to go into the
17 rest of that.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. During this time, however, the HVO also
20 forced all of the Muslim women to give them their money
21 and jewellery; is that correct?
22 A. Yes. At that place we were detained by that
23 store, a soldier, I don't know his name, he took off
24 his camouflage vest, jacket, and put it on the ground
25 in front of the women so that they could put all their
1 jewellery and everything else on it.
2 Q. You understand that about the time that the
3 men were being taken out of the village, the HVO killed
4 Mufid Tulic's mother and wife, and an approximately
5 60-year-old woman named Fatima Bajraktarevic was also
6 killed, but her body was never found; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. As the group of men then were taken up the
9 road, Pijuk ordered the group of you to stop, and you
10 were standing in a line. You were standing next to
11 Ramiz Hasic and Asim Hasic, and Pijuk said something to
12 the effect, "Squeeze a little bit, stick to each
13 other. We don't want to miss any of you." Is that
15 A. Not only did he say, "We don't want to miss
16 any of you," he said, "We don't want to go off the
17 target," I mean, I suppose, when they started shooting.
18 Q. And by this time, was this near the Tulica
19 village graveyard?
20 A. Right there, across the cemetery, about three
21 metres from the cemetery.
22 Q. You looked and saw Pijuk and also two other
23 HVO soldiers, one of whom you also recognised as
24 another soldier you knew from the Kiseljak barracks,
25 nicknamed Crnogorac; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. I'm sure you can pronounce that name better
3 than I can, Witness AN, and if you can just say that,
4 please, the man's nickname.
5 A. I knew it from before, from the barracks.
6 His nickname was Crnogorac and I know his face well,
7 but I don't know his full name.
8 And not only were the three of them standing
9 there; other HVO soldiers were also behind us. Nobody
10 could escape or do anything.
11 Q. All right. About this time, Pijuk picked
12 four of the Muslim men out of the line, separated these
13 four men some metres away. These four were Ahmed
14 Bajraktarevic, who had been questioned in the village
15 about documents; Mufid Tulic, who had been questioned
16 about his BiH army identification card; Ferid
17 Huseinovic, who was questioned about his weapon; and
18 Safet Katkic, who was also asked about his weapon. And
19 essentially what Pijuk did was call them out of the
20 line, saying something like, "You, you, you and you."
21 Is that correct?
22 A. Yes, because that is what I think. When
23 talking to Vlatko Trogrlic, called Zuna, he must have
24 been issued orders as they talked, because he did not
25 know either Ahmed or any other of those men, and that
1 is why I think that Zuna had issued him the order, whom
2 to take out.
3 Q. Just so the record is clear, when you say you
4 don't think he knew who some of these individuals were,
5 you didn't think Pijuk himself knew some of these
6 individuals from before?
7 A. Right. Pijuk did not know those individuals
8 from before, and Vlatko Trogrlic, called Zuna, was our
9 next-door neighbour, and he knew everybody in the
11 Q. These four were then taken to a spot about 20
12 metres away. Pijuk and two other HVO soldiers then
13 beat the Muslim men. They were then left standing on
14 the side of a road, which was situated so that the
15 ground dropped off, if you will, from the road going
16 downhill. The four men were then shoved, if you will,
17 over the lip of the road, down the hill, and after that
18 you heard automatic weapons fire. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. There were several bursts of fire. You could
21 not tell which of the three HVO soldiers actually shot
22 the four men, but Pijuk and the two other soldiers were
23 the only HVO soldiers standing where the shots were
24 fired. After the shooting, you could not see the four
25 men, who apparently had fallen down the hill
1 essentially below the level of the road. Is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. About this time, Pijuk also learned the names
5 of two other men in the group who allegedly or
6 reportedly had had weapons, and Pijuk demanded that the
7 group identify them. In fact, Zijad Huseinovic
8 identified himself, and then he was taken out of the
9 group, taken to where the other four men had been
10 taken, and he was shot and killed. Is that correct?
11 A. Not only did Zijad Huseinovic identify
12 himself, but Pijuk also hit one. You know, he was a
13 refugee from Blazuj in our village, and he hit him on
14 the shoulder. He was wearing a leather jacket, and he
15 told him, "Now you say whose got any weapons." And
16 that man called Zijad started pronouncing names, Zijad,
17 Aziz and so on, so that they had to step out of the
19 Q. After this, the HVO soldier, one of the
20 others you identified, took Aziz Huseinovic out of the
21 line, asked him if he had any weapons. Aziz said,
22 "No," because he was not in the BiH army. This
23 Crnogorac -- again my apologies -- then shot and
24 wounded Aziz in one leg and beat and kicked him again.
25 He then yelled at Aziz and forced him to stand up,
1 saying, "Come on, stand up faster." He forced Aziz to
2 jump on one leg towards the place where his brother
3 Zijad was shot and killed. Aziz tried to bandage his
4 leg with his shirt. He took off his shirt and tried to
5 make a bandage. But Pijuk then told him -- he says
6 there's really no point in bandaging his leg. What did
7 you understand Pijuk to be indicating when he said
9 A. Yes. When they took out Zijad and Aziz, they
10 were discussing -- that is, Aziz was saying that he had
11 no weapons, that he was not with any army or anything.
12 They began beating them. Now, Zijad was killed right
13 on the spot, and Aziz was wounded with two bullets
14 below his knee. And then they began to beat him once
15 again and ordered him to hop on one leg to the place
16 where his dead brother was lying. And Pijuk then came
17 up again with the others and took me out, and Elvir
18 Huseinovic. He took us out from the line and in the
19 direction of Aziz, who was already lying dead.
20 Q. At that moment, a little before you were --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
22 MR. SCOTT: Sorry.
23 Q. At that moment, a little before you were
24 taken out of the line, two HVO soldiers brought Kasim
25 Huseinovic toward the group, coming from the direction
1 of Lepenica. This also was another, if you will,
2 circumstance, is it correct, sir, that convinced you
3 that essentially the HVO had surrounded the entire
4 area, since even Muslim villagers who were trying to
5 escape in all directions were being caught?
6 A. If I may, I should like to say that those two
7 HVO soldiers did not take Kasim in the direction of
8 Lepenica. They brought him from the direction of
9 Lepenica, because it was all surrounded, and Kasim was
10 near Lepenica somewhere in a wood. And since
11 everything was encircled, then Kasim was brought from
12 the direction of Lepenica, from that wood, where we
13 were all captured in one and the same place.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Scott, it may be helpful,
15 rather than the detail, if we could know what the
16 overall picture was. How many men were taken from the
17 line and shot in this way?
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Witness, can you say, during these events
20 that you are telling us about now, approximately how
21 many men, by the end of these events, had been killed,
22 to your knowledge?
23 A. Let me see. There were seven men at the
24 place where I was. Those two women, some 200 metres
25 away in the village, they were also killed, and the
1 third woman that we don't know what happened to her.
2 And the last man, the 12th one, was they first took
3 towards Kiseljak, and when they saw him throw away this
4 card or paper or something, wrapped in paper, that in
5 the centre of Lepenica they got him off the truck and
6 took him back into the village. And we learned later
7 on that he was killed while digging trenches and
8 dugouts along the HVO lines.
9 Altogether, 11 of them were buried, and this
10 was this woman, who was the 12th, but we don't know
11 what happened to her.
12 Q. In light of the Court's comments, if the
13 Court would allow me, just let me look through my notes
14 and see if I can shorten this further, or abbreviate --
15 combine, perhaps, a couple of things in one. All
16 right. Just as a point of detail, in terms of
17 identification, one of these -- another man, without
18 going through the rest of the story in detail, one of
19 the men who were killed was this Kasim Huseinovic, who,
20 you said again, was brought to the area from the
21 direction of Lepenica. Is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then Aziz Huseinovic, the one who was
24 wounded, you knew him to eventually be shot and killed
25 as well; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, he was wounded first, and he was lying
2 down for about half an hour and he was crying, and then
3 they killed him.
4 Q. Witness AN, I am just going to summarise that
5 about this time -- you started to talk about this
6 earlier -- Pijuk came up to you, and this man named
7 Elvir, and were about to take you out of the line as
8 well, but, for whatever reason, around this time, you
9 weren't killed, and you and the rest of the men were
10 led back to Tulica. Is that correct? The survivors.
11 A. No. Pijuk and other HVO soldiers took out me
12 and Elvir Huseinovic from the line-up there, and asked
13 us about weaponry and the like, and I really can't
14 remember how it happened that Elvir Huseinovic and me
15 were taken back to the line. And after that we were
16 taken towards Lepenica, where a lorry to transport us
17 was already waiting.
18 Q. All right. I think we can finish this, Your
19 Honour, just before the break. If I can just look
20 through. I don't think paragraph 61 is particularly
21 necessary, Your Honour, unless the Court has
23 By the time you got back to Tulica, sir, you
24 could see much of the village was burning, and at that
25 point you could not see any villagers still in the
1 village; is that correct?
2 A. I did not come back to the village of Tulica,
3 but I was where that line was, and that is in this
4 centre of Tulica, so that we could see all the houses
5 burning, and the like.
6 Q. All right. For purposes of identification,
7 the three women killed were Safija Tulic, Sifa Tulic
8 and Fatima Bajraktarevic, and it was Fatima's body that
9 was apparently never found; is that all correct, sir?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. The surviving men were then taken to the
12 Kiseljak barracks in a van. On the way there, the HVO
13 soldiers accused Ibrahim Jahic of throwing something
14 wrapped in paper out of the van. The van was then
15 stopped. He was taken out and beaten and the van then
16 proceeded on without him, and this is the gentleman
17 you'd mentioned earlier that you understood was later
18 killed while trench-digging for the HVO; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. He was about 60 years old?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You arrived at the Kiseljak barracks around
24 3.15 that afternoon. Essentially, you were then
25 questioned throughout this time. Some group of
1 approximately 35 of you were kept in a cell, about four
2 metres by four metres. You stayed there for
3 approximately six days; is that correct?
4 A. It is.
5 Q. During this time, prisoners were taken out of
6 the room on a daily basis, and, in fact, you were taken
7 yourself twice and forced to dig trenches at the HVO
8 front line positions in Gomionica; is that correct?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. This was a front line against the BiH army.
11 You were taken there with approximately 25 other Muslim
12 prisoners, men. They were -- you were taken there in a
13 truck, you were forced to dig trenches, from about 9
14 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon. You again
15 recognised one of the guards as someone you knew from
16 Kiseljak; is that correct?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. On one night during your captivity in
19 Kiseljak, you were -- excuse me -- some new Muslim
20 prisoners were brought into the building and were very
21 badly treated. You could hear them scream so loudly
22 that it was, to you, horrifying; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. On the 5th day, three elderly men were
25 brought to the cell where you were being kept. Their
1 faces were covered with blood. They spent
2 approximately two hours in the same room, and then the
3 HVO police took them away. That day, the Red Cross
4 visited the prison and took information from the
5 prisoners. It appeared to you that the more badly
6 treated Muslim prisoners were hidden from the Red Cross
7 when they came, as, for example, when the three badly
8 beaten Muslims were taken somewhere else about ten
9 minutes before the Red Cross arrived. Is that correct?
10 A. It is.
11 Q. And finally, on about the 18th or 19th of
12 June, 1993, you and nine other Muslim men were released
13 as part of a prisoner exchange, when you were traded
14 for three Croat -- Croats being held by the ABiH side;
15 is that correct, sir?
16 A. It is.
17 MR. SCOTT: Witness AN, thank you for your
18 testimony. I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE MAY: Cross-examination after the
20 adjournment. We'll adjourn now for half an hour.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.33 a.m.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
24 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. May I
25 begin by addressing a memorandum I got on March the
1 1st, and let me give my most sincere apologies to the
2 Translation Unit concerning the rapidity of my
3 delivery, and I'll try to moderate it. And particular
4 apologies to Ms. Maja Drazenovic.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers:
6 Q. Witness AN, good morning. I believe that
7 you --
8 A. Good day.
9 Q. Turning to paragraph 66 of the offer of
10 proof, you say that you were beaten by a man with a
11 patch on his eye when you were initially taken into
12 custody in Kiseljak. Is that right?
13 A. Yes. That man, I learned, was a refugee from
14 Kakanj, a Croat.
15 Q. And you were aware, Witness AN, that there
16 was a major ABiH offensive launched on Kakanj on the
17 9th of June, just three days before the fighting in
18 Tulica; is that right?
19 A. No, I didn't know at all.
20 Q. You didn't hear that 15,000 Croats had been
21 expelled from their homes in Kakanj, and many people
22 killed in the fighting there between June the 9th and
23 June the 13th, sir?
24 A. No, I didn't hear about that. Only the
25 people in Tulica, if they had known what had happened
1 in Ahmici, they wouldn't have stayed there and waited.
2 Q. All right. Please forgive me for the
3 discourtesy of not introducing myself. My name is
4 Steven Sayers, I am one of the attorneys that
5 represents Dario Kordic, and I have maybe 10 or 15
6 minutes of questions for you.
7 By profession, sir, I believe you are now a
8 bricklayer; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, sir, you have given four prior
11 statements: first in May of 1994 to the Security
12 Services Centre of the Ministry of the Interior in
13 Sarajevo; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then two months later, in July 1994, you
16 gave another statement to Munib Dedic [phoen] and Ismet
17 Boja [phoen]; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Just under two years after that, you gave
20 another statement in April of 1996, this time to the
21 Agency for Investigation and Documentation; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And isn't it true, sir, that in none of those
24 three statements did you even so much as mention the
25 name of Dario Kordic?
1 A. At that time I thought there was no need to
2 mention the name of Dario Kordic, because I was taken
3 prisoner in Busovaca, and in Busovaca he was in charge
4 for that area; I mean, just like Blaskic and Rajic in
6 Q. The point I am making, though, sir, is that
7 in none of the three statements that you gave to the
8 agencies of the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina did
9 you mention the name Mr. Kordic; in May of 1994, July
10 of 1994, or April of 1996. Isn't that a fact?
11 A. Yes, I didn't mention Dario Kordic's name,
12 but I mentioned in my statement that I was taken
13 prisoner in Busovaca.
14 Q. You gave some testimony, sir, about being a
15 member of the Patriotic League.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Membership in the Patriotic League was
18 restricted to Muslims, wasn't it?
19 A. No. Croats could join too.
20 Q. Did any Croats join, as far as you know?
21 A. One did. I can't remember his name, but he
22 didn't stay long. Five to seven days, perhaps.
23 Q. So would it be true to say --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
25 MR. SAYERS: Actually, let me just ask --
1 Mr. President, may I just ask whether --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
3 MR. SAYERS: -- whether the same impediment
4 inflicts the Defence as inflicted the Prosecution, i.e.
5 when the witness is testifying, do we have to turn off
6 the microphone?
7 JUDGE MAY: I don't know. It's the first
8 I've heard of it. See how we get on.
9 MR. SAYERS: All right.
10 THE REGISTRAR: [Microphone not activated]
11 MR. SAYERS:
12 Q. Witness AN, it's true, isn't it, that you
13 served in the 4th battalion of the 9th Mount Koscan
14 Brigade of the Armija BiH both before and after the
15 attack on Tulica, on June the 12th, 1993?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And at the time of the attack on June the
18 12th, you actually owned a semi-automatic rifle, didn't
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And one of the neighbours about whom you gave
22 testimony, Mr. Mufid Tulic, owned an M-48 military
23 carbine, didn't he?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. An M-48 carbine is not a hunting rifle; it's
1 a military weapon; isn't it, sir?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. A few questions concerning Tulica, the
4 village in which you lived, Witness AN. You've
5 previously testified that this was an almost
6 exclusively Muslim village before June of 1993?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. According to the 1991 census, unless there is
9 any opposition from the Prosecution, I think the Court
10 can take judicial notice of the fact that 280 Muslim --
11 280 people lived in Tulica; 278 of them were Muslims,
12 and there was one Croat in 1991. Is that consistent
13 with your recollection, Witness AN?
14 A. In the village of Tulica, that one Croat
15 lived in the village itself, but right next to the
16 village of Tulica there were about ten houses in Tulica
17 with a Croatian population. That was the hamlet of
19 Q. And you've previously testified that Tulica
20 occupied a significant position. It was in an area
21 where the Serb, HVO, and ABiH front lines essentially
22 merged; is that correct?
23 A. They didn't merge in Tulica, because the BiH
24 army line went as far as Ostrik, and from Ostrik
25 onwards, the line was held by Serbs and Croats. So
1 they couldn't possibly have held the line in Tulica.
2 Q. All right. Isn't it true that there was a
3 significant amount of smuggling of cigarettes and
4 liquor in the black market across the front lines in
5 the area of Tulica, sir?
6 A. No, I don't know that at all. All I know is
7 that the Croats used to go across Kobiljaca to buy
8 things from the Serbs, because they were the only ones
9 who could pass through there.
10 Q. Let me turn to the incident that you
11 discussed, sir, concerning your detention in Kiseljak
12 first and then Busovaca. This occurred in May of 1992,
13 didn't it?
14 A. Yes. It was first in Busovaca, not in
16 Q. I thought you were apprehended in Kiseljak,
17 sir, and then taken to Busovaca. That is what you
18 said, isn't it?
19 A. Yes, yes, that's how it was.
20 Q. And just so the record is absolutely clear,
21 that was in May of 1992; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. All right. As I understand it, sir, you were
24 stopped outside of Brnjaci, which is just south, I
25 believe, of Kiseljak. Is that right?
1 A. Yes, the village of Brnjaci.
2 Q. And seven of you were arrested and your
3 weapons confiscated; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And amongst the weapons confiscated from you
6 was a rocket-propelled grenade that you were carrying
7 in a car; correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. That's essentially a shoulder-launched
10 missile; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You and your fellow soldiers, sir, were all
13 in uniform, weren't you?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And I believe that the local Territorial
16 Defence commander, Mr. Sead Sinanbasic, was with you
17 and was one of the seven people who were arrested. Is
18 that so?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And as I understand it, following your
21 detention outside of -- or arrest outside of Kiseljak,
22 you were then taken to the civilian police station in
23 Busovaca and detained there for 12 days. Correct?
24 A. Yes. From Brnjaci, they didn't take us in
25 the direction of Kiseljak but through some villages in
1 the direction of Kresevo, and when we arrived at
2 Kresevo, then they took us to the barracks in Kiseljak.
3 Q. And from there, you were taken to Busovaca, I
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Now, throughout the 12-day detention, you
7 personally were not mistreated, other than having your
8 hands handcuffed behind you; is that correct?
9 A. It was only when they brought us to the
10 police station that they slapped us, and if someone was
11 wearing a chain, or a badge, or a belt, this would be
12 taken off. We were mistreated a little, and then we
13 were handcuffed with our hands behind our back, and all
14 seven of us were pushed into a single cell.
15 Q. Well, sir, you gave a statement to the
16 Prosecution's investigators in May of 1996, and on
17 page 4 of that statement, you said: "I was never
18 personally mistreated." That's correct, isn't it?
19 A. Well, yes, I meant to say that I personally
20 was not taken out and beaten the way it happened in
22 Q. All right. Now, you also described an
23 incident in which Mr. Kordic supposedly came to visit
24 you. You were told by a guard to leave the cell and
25 get in line because a, quote, "fine gentleman" was
1 coming to visit you. Is that right?
2 A. Yes, because the gentlemen were coming to see
3 us. To see us, not to visit us.
4 Q. Right. You told the investigators, four
5 years ago, sir, that what you were actually told was,
6 "He told us also that a 'fine gentleman' was coming to
7 visit us." Not "gentlemen" in the plural but "one fine
8 gentleman". That's what you were told, isn't it?
9 A. No. I mean it was something like that,
10 because the policeman known as Jesus, who took us out
11 of that cell, he was just an ordinary policeman, and I
12 know when Dario Kordic used to come from Kiseljak with
13 his bodyguards, then always, as the commander, he was
14 treated as someone important.
15 Q. You actually don't know what Mr. Kordic's
16 position was in Busovaca, do you, sir?
17 A. I didn't know then, but I just knew he was
18 very high up, because I used to work at the reception
19 desk in Kiseljak and so on.
20 Q. Right. But you don't know precisely what his
21 position was in Busovaca, whether he was a politician
22 or in the military, did you, sir?
23 A. I knew that he was both in the HDZ party, in
24 the political side, and also in the army, because he
25 would visit Blaskic and Rajic in the barracks, and
1 someone who was not connected with them couldn't come
2 like that.
3 Q. Well, you said that Mr. Kristic came to visit
4 Colonel Blaskic in Kiseljak; correct?
5 A. Yes. He came several times, Mr. Hrvoje
6 Kristic, known as Lujo. I don't know his exact name.
7 Q. He was a purely political man associated with
8 the HDZ, wasn't he, sir?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And so you actually saw him come to visit
11 Colonel Blaskic several times in Kiseljak, didn't you?
12 A. Yes, yes, several times, Hrvoje Kristic and
13 Lujo as well.
14 Q. All right. I believe, sir, that you were
15 released 12 days after you were taken into detention in
16 the Busovaca police station, and all your personal
17 effects were returned to you. Isn't that right?
18 A. Yes, my documents.
19 Q. Right. And everything that had been taken
20 from you was returned to you, your personal effects;
21 isn't that correct?
22 A. Not my weapons.
23 Q. All right. And then a police car picked you
24 up and took you back to Kiseljak; is that right?
25 A. Yes, because my parents went to see Rajic,
1 and they went to ask how we were and asked for us to be
2 released, because none of us had done anything.
3 Q. All right. Now, you never saw Mr. Kordic
4 again after that time, did you, sir?
5 A. No.
6 Q. And you've never seen Mr. Kordic in your
7 village of Tulica; isn't that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. So the last time that you
10 actually saw Mr. Kordic in person, you say, was in May
11 of 1992 in Busovaca; right?
12 A. Only then. That was the last time, and I saw
13 him before that in Kiseljak.
14 Q. Let me turn on to one short subject,
15 Witness AN, and it concerns when you were at the HVO
16 barracks in Kiseljak. The commander was a man named
17 Steko Marinko, your superior officer; correct?
18 A. Yes, the commander of the military police.
19 Q. And he was subordinate, I believe, to the
20 Kiseljak area commander, Ivica Rajic, as you've said.
21 Is that right?
22 A. As far as I know, that's how it was.
23 Q. Who in turn was subordinate to Colonel
24 Tihomir Blaskic, the commander of all of the HVO armed
25 forces in your region, as far as you know; isn't that
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. There's no question, sir, since you were in
4 the military police, that the military police were
5 clearly under the command of Colonel Blaskic and his
6 subordinate commanders; correct?
7 A. Yes, the Croatian policemen who worked there.
8 Q. Sir, you gave some testimony concerning
9 events in your village, unhappy events before June the
10 12th, when it was shelled by forces of the Bosnian Serb
11 army from just behind the front lines. Tulica had
12 actually been shelled many times by the Serbs before
13 June the 12th of 1993; wouldn't you agree?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And, in fact, isn't it true that the Serbs
16 occasionally used tracer ammunition or inflammable
17 ammunition, which had the effect of setting buildings
18 on fire?
19 A. Yes, all that is correct. On the day the
20 attack was mounted on the village of Tulica, we were
21 shelled both from the Croatian positions and from the
22 Serbian positions.
23 Q. Right. But I'm asking you about before the
24 attack. It's also true that Serbian or Bosnian Serb
25 snipers would shoot at you or shoot at people that they
1 observed carrying weapons through the village of Tulica
2 before June the 12th of '93; isn't that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Now, in your testimony today, you said that
5 after the shelling stopped, you emerged from the
6 cellar, where you were taking cover, and you
7 encountered three HVO soldiers in camouflage uniforms.
8 Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, in your first statement, sir -- and it's
11 a minor detail, but I would just like to test whether
12 you remember this particularly well -- you said that
13 you encountered four soldiers and they were wearing
14 black uniforms, and you actually ran away from them as
15 soon as you saw them. Is that right; do you remember
17 A. Yes, I remember, but they came from the top
18 of the village. Some houses were already on fire, and
19 they started shooting, so they created panic among the
20 people. And I was afraid, so I couldn't see exactly
21 how many of them there were, three or four in those
22 black uniforms. And they started towards me, and when
23 they ordered me to stop, I started running, and they
24 shot at me and so on.
25 Q. In the third statement that you gave to the
1 Agency for Investigation and Documentation, you said
2 that you encountered an unknown number of soldiers, and
3 that they were in black and camouflage uniforms. Do
4 you remember that?
5 A. Yes, there were both soldiers in black
6 uniforms and in camouflage uniforms, and Tibor Prajo,
7 for example, was naked down to the waist.
8 Q. Just one question, sir. And I don't want to
9 upset you by asking too many questions about what
10 happened in Tulica. But after this man that you have
11 identified as Zdravko Mihaljevic, or Pijuk, as he was
12 known, after --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. After he had shot several people, and as he
15 was instructing you and Mr. Elvir Huseinovic to get out
16 of the line of people who had been rounded up, it's
17 true, isn't it, that someone yelled at him that you
18 should be put back in the line, making the comment to
19 him, "Haven't you had enough of the killing?" Isn't
20 that true?
21 A. Afterwards, when I was exchanged, the people
22 who had stood in line with me told me that someone
23 seemed to have been yelling at him, "There's been
24 enough killing. Send those people back."
25 Q. All right. Well, you said, sir, in your
1 second statement in July of 1994, six years ago, that
2 one of the soldiers yelled at Pijuk, and this is on
3 page 2, "Haven't you had enough killing?" and then took
4 you two back into the line of prisoners?
5 A. What I am saying, from a witness, after I was
6 exchanged, heard something like that -- somebody had
7 told them, "Enough of killing. Take those people
9 Q. And I take it that this individual, nicknamed
10 Pijuk, obeyed that instruction? He did not open fire,
11 did not harass you further; is that right?
12 A. Yes. Except that after we were taken back,
13 Aziz, and I could see it with my own eyes, just
14 remained lying down, wounded in his arms, and he was
15 killed subsequently. Who did that, I don't know.
16 Q. All right. Just two brief final areas of
17 inquiry. You gave some testimony about being taken out
18 to dig trenches on the front lines between HVO troops
19 and ABiH troops at Gomionica. Do you recall that?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. And the front lines had been established,
22 sir, at Gomionica as of that date, in June of 1993;
23 isn't that right?
24 A. Yes, but it was above Gomionica. I don't
25 really know what the place is called, but you can see
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 Mostre and towards Visoko, that side.
2 Q. You also, in your previous statement,
3 identified other areas on the front line as Brestovsko
4 and Cipulje [phoen], just north of Kiseljak, right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It's true, sir, that there were troops on
7 both sides of these front lines occasionally shooting
8 at each other; isn't that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Now, sir, I believe that after five days of
11 captivity, you were registered by the Red Cross? They
12 took all of your personal details down, didn't they?
13 A. They did.
14 Q. And it's also true that you were not
15 physically mistreated in the barracks themselves,
16 right, because most of the military police knew you,
17 with the exception of this gentleman from Kakanj that
18 we talked about earlier?
19 A. Immediately after they brought me in, they
20 beat me or, rather, I entered to Marinko Steko, and I
21 was to give my particulars, but because he already knew
22 about me, that I was there, that I had worked with him,
23 there was no need to go into those formalities, to give
24 my name and so on and so forth. So when I went out
25 back into the passage where other men were; one with an
1 elastic band came, another one, and then they took me
2 into that part of the building where the military
3 police was. That is where they beat me and then took
4 me back to the line.
5 Q. On page 14 of the statement that you gave to
6 the Prosecution's investigators, four years ago, sir,
7 you said that, "I was not mistreated because most of
8 the policemen knew me very well." And I do not believe
9 that you made any reference to having been assaulted by
10 the individual from Kakanj in that statement. Would
11 you agree with that?
12 A. No, I wouldn't agree with that. What I said
13 was that the military policemen who had worked together
14 with me did not mistreat me. That is what I had in
16 Q. All right. And, as I understand it, sir, you
17 were released from captivity on June the 18th, and
18 within two or three days you were back with the ABiH on
19 the front line at Mount Koscan; is that right?
20 A. Not within two or three days. It could have
21 been 10 or 15 days, because I couldn't do it straight
22 away. When I was exchanged, yes, I did then join the
23 BiH army in the village of Koscan.
24 Q. I don't mean to quibble, sir, but in the
25 testimony you gave in the Blaskic case, on page 28, you
1 said you were released, "Two or three days later I
2 joined the defence at the Koscan line." Does that
3 refresh your recollection?
4 A. Well, yes. But I am not really sure whether
5 it was two or three days or ten days. But that was
6 that. Simply, when I was exchanged, I did not know
7 where my folk had been expelled. By the time I had
8 found them, near Pazarici. And when I was exchanged, I
9 was bare waist up, because that's how they had captured
10 me. I had nothing to wear. I simply had no clothes,
12 MR. SAYERS: I have no more questions, Your
13 Honour. Thank you.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour. We don't
15 have any questions on cross for this witness. Thank
17 MR. SCOTT: No questions, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MAY: Witness AN, that concludes your
19 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International
20 Tribunal to give it. You are now released, free to
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 MR. NICE: The next witness seeks a measure
24 of protection. I hope the application is before you.
25 There is no summary of this witness's evidence, for the
1 obvious reason that his statement, taken comparatively
2 recently, was focused and in summary form itself.
3 There is one correction that has to be made to
4 paragraph 11. We can deal with that in the course of
5 his evidence.
6 He seeks limited protection, limited to face
7 distortion and pseudonym, and sets out in the
8 application through us -- of course, he gives evidence
9 about, amongst others, somebody who is an indicted
10 person still at large.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Any objection to this?
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
13 you know that we always insist that hearings be public,
14 and therefore we do not object to this, but I must
15 repeat what my learned friend said already; it seems
16 that of late every witness has been seeking for
17 protection measures.
18 And since you have given me the floor, may I
19 add a couple of sentences? First, from what we can see
20 from the statement, Mr. Kordic's Defence does --
21 believes that no leading questions should be used in
22 this case. So will you please try not to lead the
24 And secondly, the Prosecution gave us a
25 statement, the statement made to the NordBat battalion
1 in December '93, and we object to this, because what we
2 were given were only three pages of this document, and
3 the document must have at least 11 or 12 pages more.
4 So at this moment, at 11.30, that is, we were
5 turned over another page of this document, and that is
6 annex A. And from the numbers on this document, and
7 those pages that we have, it turns out that at least
8 ten pages of the document are missing, and
9 unfortunately we were not given them. Thank you.
10 MR. KOVACIC: We don't have objection on the
11 proposal of the Prosecution.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The measures will be
13 granted, as asked.
14 MR. NICE: May the witness come in.
15 JUDGE MAY: And pseudonym, please.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Pseudonym for the next
17 witness will be Witness AO.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
21 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
22 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
24 WITNESS: Witness AO
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you would like to take a
2 [Witness answers through interpreter]
3 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
4 Examined by Mr. Nice:
5 Q. Witness, you've been granted a measure of
6 protection, which means that your name and personal
7 details will not be revealed in the course of your
8 evidence. Nevertheless, have a look at this piece of
9 paper that the usher will hand you, and just by saying
10 "yes," if appropriate, is the name on the piece of
11 paper in fact your name?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You will be known for this testimony as
14 Witness AO. Incidentally, I see you've still got your
15 outdoor coat on. It's quite warm in here. If you will
16 be more comfortable taking your jacket off, the usher
17 will deal with you, if you want to.
18 A. Yes, all right.
19 MR. NICE: I fully understand what
20 Mr. Naumovski said, but I hope he'll be agreeable to my
21 dealing with the background paragraphs 1 to 3.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise.
23 Paragraphs 1 and 3, that would be all right, but the
24 second one is also in dispute, as far as I can see.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Were you born in Vares, living there most of
2 your life, Vares before 1992 having a majority of
3 Croats at about 54 per cent, with some 12 per cent
4 Serbs, and the rest of the population being Muslim?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Stupni Do is a small Muslim village
7 approximately one kilometre from your house in Vares?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You left school in about what year?
10 A. '91, '91 -- '81, '81, '81.
11 Q. For whom did you then go and work?
12 A. I worked for the socially owned company
13 Sumarstvo in Vares.
14 Q. And what's your present employment status?
15 A. I'm still employed with the Sumarstvo company
16 in Vares.
17 Q. Are you on active employment or are you on
18 some form of extended leave?
19 A. Yes, I'm on a sick leave.
20 Q. In 1984, when 19 years old, did you complete
21 your 14 months compulsory JNA training in Macedonia,
22 ending with the rank of lance corporal, joining the
23 Vares Territorial Defence, which was then compulsory,
24 and in the Territorial Defence did you hold the rank of
25 first lieutenant in charge of military training?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were you active in local activities in the
3 community, like football, and well known in the area?
4 A. I was, yes.
5 Q. Did there come a time when the HVO was
6 established and when people in Vares registered with
7 the HVO?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Just tell us, in a couple of sentences, how
10 that came about and what happened.
11 A. Changes took place in 1990 -- before the
12 elections, when the HDZ, SDP, and other new parties
13 were formed which had not existed in Vares before
14 that. There were no such parties in Vares.
15 There was the HDZ, which was active in Vares
16 in '93, so that many Croats -- many people of Croat
17 ethnicity joined the HDZ. And there was a certain
18 number of them in the elections, and after the
19 elections, of course, the organisation strengthened and
20 they became more active.
21 Q. Yes. Were there people from Vares going to
22 fight in Croatia?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How did that come about?
25 A. Since 1990, '91, Vares at that time was a
1 small industrial locality and there were a certain
2 number of Croats or people of Croat ethnicity who were
3 unemployed, and they went to the port in Rijeka or in
4 Split. There were people from Vares who held jobs
6 When the conflict broke out between the
7 Yugoslav People's Army and the then Croatian army, many
8 people joined the ranks of the Croatian army. Some
9 people simply happened to be there, and some people,
10 who were unemployed or cases like that, also went there
11 and then joined the ranks of the Croat National Guard,
12 that is, ZNG, the Croatian army and the like.
13 Q. And finally on these general preparatory
14 steps, registration with the HVO, was that entirely
15 voluntary or was there any persuasion or compulsion to
17 A. In the beginning, in the beginning, it was
18 voluntary. But when some major conflicts broke out in
19 individual territories, then demobilisation was
21 Q. And by whom was it enforced?
22 A. Well, as for the territory in Croatia, I know
23 that people volunteered to join the HOS and the
24 National Guards. And the Croatian army, it's what
25 they -- their people did it. I wasn't there. I was in
1 Split at the time.
2 Q. In 1991, was the body HOS in existence?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you join HOS?
5 A. I did.
6 Q. Did you join alone or with a companion or
8 A. Alone.
9 Q. Yes. What part of 1991 did you join; can you
11 A. I was captured on the 27th of April, '91 in
12 Licko Petrovo Selo at the Pljesevica Airport by
13 Martic's men. And after that, I spent seven days there
14 as a captive, and then I reported to the 9th Battalion
15 Visoka in Split.
16 Q. And when you had gone to the airport, were
17 you in company with someone else?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Who was that and to whom was he related?
20 A. Zvonko Pejic, born in Imotsko. He was a
21 relative of Mate Boban and my relative.
22 Q. And was he trying to get his son out of the
23 JNA or something like that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You spoke of the time that you were
1 detained. Was this compulsory detention?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And in the course of that, were you
4 maltreated in any way, and if so, by whom?
5 A. There was ill treatment, but those
6 individuals could not be identified. I did not know
7 any one of them. But just as I was captured, I was
8 also rescued by those same men.
9 Q. And that's by Croatian Serbs; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Where was it that you actually joined HOS, in
13 what town?
14 A. The unit was called the 9th Battalion Visoka,
16 Q. And you joined them in which month?
17 A. Towards the end of April.
18 Q. By whom was this unit commanded?
19 A. The unit that I was in was commanded by
21 Q. Who was the overall leader of the HOS at that
23 A. Well, since I belonged to such a unit, we
24 were all under the political and military top
25 leadership of Mr. Dobroslav Paraga.
1 Q. And in your unit, were you the only Bosnian,
2 or were there some other Bosnians, perhaps Croats and
3 Muslims, in the unit?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. How many, roughly?
6 A. Well, at the outset there was a friend of
7 mine from Vares who came there as an officer. He was a
8 major. His name was Mijatovic, and he was born in
10 Q. And so how many other Bosnians, if you can
11 remember, were members of the 9th Battalion, HOS?
12 A. The units were made of squads with 10 to 13
13 men, and I was with one such unit. It was a small
14 unit; it wasn't really big. So that all in all, the
15 number of men from Bosnia, from what I know, there
16 could have been some four or five of us out of 30 men
18 Q. At that time, was the HOS operating in
19 Croatia in different locations, and if so, can you give
20 us some of them?
21 A. A part of Maslenica, then somewhere near
22 Dubrovnik and somewhere near Split.
23 Q. At that time was your work concerned with
24 defence against the Serbs?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And what were you defending against the
3 A. We were a unit tasked for logistics, in case
4 there was a shortage of materiel and things like that.
5 That was it. So we were a logistics squad.
6 Q. I want the witness now and the Chamber to
7 look at a video, which is 1280.2, which contains an
8 interview of the man Paraga, or a short extract of the
9 discussion with the man Paraga, and also with Kordic.
10 The transcripts are available for
11 distribution to the Chamber.
12 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, might I just
13 inquire whether this video is one of the videos that's
14 been provided to us?
15 MR. NICE: Yes, it has been.
16 [Video played]
17 THE INTERPRETER:
18 "Journalist: That's why we are where we are.
19 Look at the following report and listen to it.
20 According to reliable sources, there is not a
21 shadow of a doubt that various Croatian armies are also
22 active in Bosnia-Hercegovina, and even more so in
23 Herceg-Bosna, from Neum to Bosanski Brod. Everyone can
24 see that Croatian weapons are crossing over into
25 Bosanski Brod from Slavonski Brod and that
1 reinforcements are arriving in Tomislavgrad, Duvno,
2 Posusje and even Mostar. It is claimed that in the
3 last few days alone, about 20,000 members of the
4 National Guard Corps had been mobilised in Zagreb and
5 that most of them have been transferred to the areas of
6 Listica and the Neretva River Valley. It is also said
7 that fresh forces have been sent to the areas from
8 Split. Tudjman does not admit these facts publicly,
9 but Paraga does not deny them.
10 Journalist: Is it true that part of your
11 units or most of your units crossed over into Bosnia at
12 the very beginning of the conflict of Slavonski Brod,
13 that is, Bosanski Brod?
14 Well, I can tell you that, monitoring this
15 situation and listening to the wishes of the Croatian
16 people, as well as Muslims, many of whom are also
17 declaring themselves as Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
18 we started to work, in an organised way, to work
19 towards establishing HOS units, considerably earlier,
20 even before the outbreak of the conflict in Slavonski
21 and Bosanski Brod. These units are very exclusively
22 under the command of HOS officers. We can say that
23 neither Tudjman nor the main staff of the Croatian army
24 in Zagreb have any influence on the HOS leadership
25 which is active on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 which has organised itself.
2 Journalist: ... of the president of the
3 Croatian Democratic Union is obviously the
4 vice-president of the Croatian Republic of
5 Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Dario Kordic.
6 The Croatian people here are receiving help
7 and support, first of all, from the entire Croatian
8 body politic, both from abroad and from the Croatian
9 state. Therefore, it is not in the least immoral for
10 us to do all we can, and with the help of Zagreb, to
11 arm these people here as best we can to defend
12 ourselves, purely for Defence purposes.
13 Journalist: According to recent statement
14 made by Paraga, there are about 16,000 members of HOS
15 in Western Herzegovina who were trained in Omis, Sinj,
16 Ljubuski and Citluk. It is affirmed that these forces
17 now have over 25,000 large-calibre guns and that a
18 considerable part of these units have not accepted the
19 unified command of the staff of the Territorial Defence
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The decision on paramilitary
21 organising and arming ..."
22 MR. NICE: If we can stop the tape, please.
23 Thank you.
24 Q. Witness AO, insofar as the man Paraga is
25 shown there describing what HOS had been doing and was
1 doing, was what he said accurate and true?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And what the journalist summarised at the end
4 as the statement of the number, 16,000 members of HOS
5 in Western Herzegovina and their training, so far as
6 you know, was that true or not?
7 A. Yes, it was. But perhaps the number was
9 Q. Would you be able to put an estimate? I
10 don't know whether you actually saw this broadcast at
11 the time, but would you be able to put an estimate of
12 the timing of this broadcast for us or not?
13 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone.
14 MR. NICE: Microphone.
15 Q. You have to say that all again, I'm afraid.
16 A. The video recording that I have just seen, I
17 think refers to the end of 1991, and the beginning of
18 1992. That's when it was broadcast, or it may have
19 been broadcast later, but that's when it was made.
20 Q. Was there an incident in early 1992, in the
21 Bosnian Croat village of Ravno, which was destroyed by
22 the Serbs?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where did your HOS unit go after that?
25 A. We were in Mostar. Some of us were in
1 Mostar, others in Ljubuski. A part was getting ready
2 in Central Bosnia, a part in Zenica, a part in Tuzla, a
3 part in Hotel Kruscica.
4 Q. And who was the overall military leader of
5 the HOS at this stage?
6 A. Blaz Kraljevic.
7 Q. Roughly, how many HOS members under his
9 A. From the very beginning, when we were
10 established, there were seven to -- well, seven to nine
11 thousand soldiers of HOS in the HOS command.
12 Q. You've mentioned a number of places where HOS
13 was based, but I want to ask you about some specific
14 villages or towns. Were there HOS presences in Zenica,
15 in Vares?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And in Busovaca?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At that time, was your task, as part of the
20 main staff, you now holding a different rank -- you
21 better tell us what the rank was.
22 A. During the Territorial Defence, when I came
23 from the army, first of all I was a lance corporal, and
24 then I was a 1st lieutenant.
25 Q. And by the time of 1992, were you working in
2 A. Yes, I was in Ljubuski.
3 Q. What rank did you hold there, and can you
4 give us the order of ranks, starting with Kraljevic and
5 coming down to wherever you were?
6 A. When I arrived on Croatia, I joined the HOS
7 units in Herceg-Bosna, where this Herceg-Bosna HOS was
8 established. I was in the very top, among the five
9 first people in HOS, next to Mr. Blaz Kraljevic.
10 Q. And your rank, your military rank, was then
12 A. [No audible response]
13 Q. Thank you. We haven't had a translation for
14 that. It was Bojnik, I think, which is the name given
15 in brackets.
16 A. It was Major.
17 Q. Thank you. At this time, what were relations
18 like between Muslims and Croats?
19 A. Good.
20 Q. At that time, as an example, who was
21 supplying the BiH army unit in Vares?
22 A. Can you repeat the question, please?
23 Q. Who was providing supplies to the BiH army
24 unit in Vares at that stage, and also to the second
25 battalion of the HVO and the Patriotic League; who was
1 supplying those units?
2 A. Well, we received the supplies, thanks to
3 those who were in Croatia in the Croatian battlefields,
4 so we took weapons via Grude to Vares.
5 Q. Did you supply both the BiH army and the HVO
6 in Vares with some of these weapons?
7 A. In the beginning, in Vares, when we were
8 beginning to arm, there was a unit of the Patriotic
9 League in Vares, which cooperated with the Croatian
10 Defence Council, so that weapons arrived more to the
11 Croatian Defence Council than they did to the Patriotic
13 Q. Very well. How did HOS compare in size with
14 the HVO? Was it large or small or of the same size,
15 and how did it compare in terms of resources and pay?
16 A. Well --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness be
19 A. -- in Vares HOS was more up to date, it had
20 more modern weapons, it was better dressed than the HVO
21 and the Patriotic League, and the Croatian Defence
22 Council was stronger than the TO, the Territorial
24 Q. What were relations like, or how did
25 relations become between the HVO and the HOS?
1 A. Well, relations between the HOS and the HVO
2 in Vares were quite good, and the relations with the
3 Patriotic League were good as well.
4 Q. Did the position, so far as the relations
5 between the HVO and the HOS, change at any stage?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And what was the reason for that?
8 A. The reason was the forcible takeover of power
9 from the HDZ by the SDP in Vares, so the confidence
10 between the Muslims and the Croats in Vares was lost,
11 and the HOS unit, which numbered -- which included
12 Muslims in its ranks, lost confidence because the
13 Muslims could cooperate with HOS, but there were no
14 Muslims in the HVO.
15 Q. Before I come back to that issue and develop
16 the history through your evidence, can you just tell us
17 this, please, paragraph 10: In 1992, were you aware of
18 the existence in Bosnia of any HV units, any Croatian
20 A. Yes, I knew in the border areas in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina that Croatian army had arrived from
22 Croatia and they were specialised in training the HVO.
23 That's what we knew.
24 Q. And to which particular towns or villages in
25 Bosnia, to your knowledge, were HV units sent or
2 A. Well, the presence of Croatian units, they
3 trained people around Kupres, around Mostar, in Central
4 Bosnia. There were, I think, in Busovaca. They were
5 in Orasje, in five or six places where they stayed
6 during 1992.
7 Q. Do you know one way or another whether there
8 were any such troops in Travnik?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And there were such troops; is that what you
11 are telling us?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. These soldiers, when in Bosnia, did they
14 maintain HV insignia on their uniforms?
15 A. Well, most of them didn't, but some did,
16 because they had two uniforms, depending on the command
17 and the trainers. Those who were in the centre, who
18 did not go in the field; and those who did, they would
19 change their uniforms.
20 Q. Who was their commanding general?
21 A. Well, I wouldn't be able to name a single
22 individual, but they were under the patronage of the
23 wartime presidency of the so-called Herceg-Bosna.
24 Q. Yes. But who was running them; do you know?
25 Which military figure was in charge of them?
1 A. Who was it? Well, it was General Praljak; he
2 was there. And who was in Croatia, who was there who
3 could have asked for that help? I'm sure it was
4 Praljak who was in charge, who could give them orders,
5 together with the wartime presidency.
6 Q. Are you able to help us with who, on the
7 Bosnian side, was dealing with these HV soldiers, who
8 was negotiating with Praljak and so on?
9 A. On the Bosnian side, the Muslim side --
10 Q. Or the HVO side.
11 A. I don't understand your question. If it's
12 about who else communicated with them, I know that
13 Armin Pohara, who was in Bosanski Brod, who had a unit
14 and who later went on to become General Fikret Abdic's,
15 if that's what you mean.
16 Q. I'll come back to that later. Where were the
17 Croatian army units -- where did they have their
19 A. Well, they had them in Mostar and in Grude.
20 Mostar, Grude, those were the key units; that was the
21 key headquarters.
22 Q. And who, if you can help us, who from the
23 Central Bosnia HVO had dealings with these troops and
24 dealings with Praljak?
25 A. Well, it was Mr. Dario Kordic, it was Mate
1 Boban, Tihomir Blaskic. Those were the people who were
2 very -- who were in the wartime presidency who
3 negotiated with the Croatian army from Zagreb, with the
4 military command from Zagreb.
5 Q. In June of 1992, did there happen the
6 takeover of authorities that you've already spoken
7 about, and in the course of that, were there
8 replacements of various local officials?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Just tell us who became mayor, who became
11 police commander, and who became civilian police
13 A. Well, the change in Vares happened in June
14 1992, when the political top of the HDZ replaced Dario,
15 who was the mayor of the municipality of Vares and the
16 president of the SDP, and he was replaced by Mr. Anto
17 Pejcinovic. And as for the head of the civilian
18 police, it was Ivica Gavran who was appointed. And the
19 military, the head was Zvonko Duznovic, and the
20 commander of the army became Borislav Malbasic.
21 MR. NICE: Your Honour, it's paragraph 11
22 that needs correcting.
23 Q. Was there a ceremony outside the Ponikve
24 Hotel where the HVO members took an oath?
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. In whose presence, as a senior person, in
2 whose presence was that oath taken?
3 A. Well, there was some 300 to 400 members
4 taking the solemn oath.
5 Q. Who was presiding over the event, or however
6 you described it?
7 A. The ceremony was opened with a speech by the
8 mayor, Anto Pejcinovic. Then Boro Malbasic took the
9 floor, and at the end of the gathering it was Ivica
10 Rajic who read a letter which contained a summary of
11 how Mr. Dario Kordic was unable to come and wanted to
12 greet the assembly, and a letter was read from the HVO
13 in Grude in Herceg-Bosna.
14 Q. So that Kordic was not present at that
15 oath-taking ceremony himself?
16 A. No, he wasn't. He wasn't, but a letter was
17 read in which he expressed his gratitude, and it was
18 read by Mr. Ivica Rajic.
19 Q. Some days later, was there another ceremony
20 involving that hotel, when it had become a barracks or
21 some other building for the HVO?
22 A. Yes. About 15 or 20 days later, this hotel
23 was taken by Perun, Vares. It was a company. And
24 later it was mobilised for the needs of the HVO, and it
25 was the seat of the command of the HVO. And there was
1 a kind of ceremony opening that headquarters, and the
2 command was there. There were even visits from
3 Herceg-Bosna. They visited this centre or, rather,
4 this main headquarters of the HVO in Vares.
5 Q. Can you name some of the senior personalities
6 on the HVO side who were there, and, indeed, who was
7 the building opened by, if there was an official
9 A. Well, the opening ceremony took place, and in
10 the hall we could see that there was a big delegation
11 which had arrived to provide logistical support and to
12 discuss this, and Mr. Dario Kordic was there and some
13 other well-known figures. I can't remember their names
15 Q. In September 1992, did you go to a meeting in
17 A. I passed through Grude, where I happened to
18 be at the hotel in Grude, and so I was invited to
19 attend something we might call a small meeting.
20 Q. Now, I want you, in order to do things as
21 economically as possible in terms of time, to tell us
22 who was there, and then to tell us, just in a few
23 sentences, what the meeting was about and how it
24 concluded. Can you do that for us, please?
25 A. Well, there were several meetings in Grude.
1 There were meetings about helping Vares as regards
2 logistics, weapons, equipment and food. There were
3 meetings which we had as commanders of HOS and as
4 commanders of the HVO. I don't know which meeting you
5 are referring to.
6 Q. It's the latter one I want you to help us
7 with, please, the one about the HVO and the HOS.
8 A. Between the HOS?
9 Q. Yes.
10 A. Well, at a meeting there were the command of
11 the HVO, Mr. Blaz Kraljevic, Mr. Dario Kordic, Mate
12 Boban was there, and all this took place in the Grude
13 Hotel opposite the station. And the meeting was brief
14 because we, as members of HOS, did not want to accept
15 or to agree to some of their demands. They wanted to
16 put the HOS under the command of the HVO and so that we
17 would be stronger, but I wasn't asked about this. They
18 asked Mr. Blaz Kraljevic. This was rejected, these
19 offers that were made to us for us to be in the top of
20 the HVO. We weren't interested in positions, and this
21 meeting simply ended badly for the HVO.
22 Q. And who, on behalf of the HVO, made these
23 offers of places to those of you in HOS?
24 A. The wartime presidency, and it was Mr. Mate
25 Boban and Mr. Dario Kordic who talked to us.
1 Q. Kraljevic's attitude towards Kordic's
2 proposal was what?
3 A. Negative.
4 Q. In the course of the meeting, can you
5 remember anything else that Kordic said about the
6 Muslims and about the state of relations with the
8 A. There was some talk, for example, about
9 Fikret Abdic, that there had been misunderstandings
10 there, that conflicts would break out, and that the
11 same would happen to us. Since we had Muslims in the
12 HOS, they assumed that the Muslims might turn their
13 backs on us. Unfortunately, this did not happen in the
14 end, but there was stories about it, that there would
15 be conflicts between the HOS and the army of B and H.
16 Q. Can you remember anything that Kordic said
17 generally about the Muslims and about their intentions
18 and so on in Bosnia?
19 A. Well, he said that the Croatian Defence
20 Council would not allow a Turkish state to be
21 established and to be ruled by them, and he suggested
22 that the command of HOS should change their opinion
23 about their colleagues who were in the HOS units and
24 who were of Muslim ethnicity.
25 Q. Did Kraljevic suggest involving someone from
1 the Muslim side participating in this discussion?
2 A. He asked -- Blaz asked even before, saying,
3 "Why don't we contact the Bosniaks, the Muslims?" And
4 I think that they simply overlooked the questions put
5 by Blaz Kraljevic and neglected to answer them.
6 Q. Do you recall if this suggestion of Blaz
7 Kraljevic's was raised in the meeting, and if so, what
8 Kordic said in reaction to it?
9 A. Well, Kordic said that he would not contact
10 them anymore, that there were to be no more contacts
11 with them. When I say "with them," I am talking about
12 the Bosniaks. When we started arming, there was
13 criticism against the Bosniaks who were in the ranks of
14 the HOS.
15 Q. And what was his manner, what was the state
16 of his temper, when he was reacting to this suggestion
17 about the Bosniaks?
18 A. He was angry, he was angry, because we simply
19 did not accept cooperation. We refused. We refused
20 the demand that we should put ourselves under the
21 command of the HVO. And then we said that we would
22 continue contacts with the Muslims, that our goal was
23 to have everything in common and for there to be no
24 division. If we are defending Bosnia, we all have to
25 defend Bosnia, and we did not want to have a conflict
1 with the Muslims. The Serbs are our enemies, and we
2 did not want the Bosniaks to become our enemies too.
3 Q. At this stage, did the HOS still have Muslim
4 members, and if so, what percentage were Muslims?
5 A. Yes, there was still many Muslims. A lot of
6 Muslims remained in the HOS until the end of the war,
7 and HOS left them. There were 30 to 40 per cent in
8 certain units. For example, around Tuzla, there were a
9 lot of Muslim members in HOS. In Zenica as well, there
10 were a lot under the commander Mladen Holman. And then
11 in the Neretva Valley, along the River Neretva, there
12 were many Muslim members of HOS, so that there were 30
13 to 40 per cent in certain units who were Muslims in
15 Q. And what generally was Kraljevic's approach
16 to the independence of HOS? How did he feel about
17 that, according to the way he expressed himself?
18 A. I think that the only -- the only leader of
19 both the Muslims and the Croats in Bosnia, the only one
20 who had the correct goal, who had the right attitude
21 and only one enemy, and that he could not imagine that
22 there could be a conflict between Croats and Croats,
23 Muslims and Muslims, Muslims and Croats.
24 Q. When you say he only had one enemy, who do
25 you identify or what do you identify?
1 A. Well, the former JNA and the Serbs who, from
2 the beginning of the war, perpetrated aggression
3 against us.
4 Q. The last question on this meeting. How was
5 Kordic dressed in the course of this meeting?
6 A. Kordic, Dario Kordic, was wearing his
7 traditional camouflage uniform with a pistol that he
9 Q. And did he have any insignia or any rank
11 A. Well, I think that he had some rank insignia
12 on his jacket, and he had HVO insignia. But you
13 couldn't see what the rank was, because it was on his
14 jacket and the jacket was next to him.
15 Q. Perhaps just before we break, should that be
16 a convenient moment for the Chamber, Witness AO, it's
17 nothing to do with you, it's probably the translation,
18 but when you were speaking of the only leader who had
19 the Muslims and Croats as the correct goal, you're
20 referring again to Kraljevic being that leader, are you
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I am going to turn to the meeting.
24 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll adjourn now.
25 Witness AO, could you remember during this
1 adjournment, and any others there may be, not to speak
2 to anybody about your evidence until it's over. And,
3 of course, don't let anybody speak to you about it.
4 And that does include the Prosecution. If you will be
5 back, please, at half past 2.
6 THE WITNESS: Yes. I see. Very well.
7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1 p.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 --- On resuming at 2.36 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. After the meeting you've told us about at
5 Grude, was there a meeting in Kruscica of the HOS
7 A. There was, yes.
8 Q. What decision was made about joining the HVO?
9 A. How come there was no talk about common stand
10 regarding the joining -- regarding HOS joining the HVO.
11 Q. What happened to Kraljevic sometime
13 A. After that, after that meeting, Kraljevic was
15 Q. How was he killed?
16 A. Well, however, we worked as one in the top,
17 in the command of HOS, we nevertheless missed
18 something. There were some moles from other units,
19 from HVO, who had infiltrated our ranks, and we did not
20 know that until the attempt on Blaz Kraljevic.
21 Q. And when you say he was killed, how was he
22 killed? By being shot or by who?
23 A. Yes. Yes. From a firearm.
24 Q. Whereabouts was he when he was killed?
25 A. He was coming in a car from Kruscica and was
1 escorted, and he was killed near Mostar or, rather,
2 right in front of HVO defence lines. Subsequently, it
3 was established that it was on the demarcation line,
4 the line between the HVO and the BiH army.
5 Q. At the same time, or a similar time, was a
6 HOS warehouse in Ljubuski attacked and looted?
7 A. Ljubuski was not the only place. And after
8 the murder of Blaz, after the assassination of Blaz
9 Kraljevic, after a while the Croat Defence Counsel
10 destroyed and ransacked, depots, documentation.
11 Q. In late 1992, was there an occasion when you
12 saw some soldiers in HOS uniforms in Kakanj, and you
13 didn't recognise them?
14 A. Yes. I travelled a great deal with those
15 convoys, so that in Kakanj and in Posusje, I recognised
16 them. I saw some young men who were not HOS members
17 but were nevertheless wearing HOS uniforms.
18 Q. Did you speak to them? And if so, what did
19 they say?
20 A. A convoy was attacked near Kakanj and there
21 were those young men. And I asked them who they were,
22 and under whose command they were. And they said they
23 were registered with some baron. I didn't even know
24 that that baron had been a member of the HOS command.
25 Q. Did they say anything about which army they
1 were or which grouping they were a member of?
2 A. Well, they said that their task was to
3 control those checkpoints, because the exit from Kakanj
4 goes in part through Muslim territory called Mijakovici
5 and Dragovici, and they were controlling that. They
6 said they were members of HOS, but they were not.
7 Q. What was your view about the security of HOS
8 at this time, as to whether it was free from
9 infiltration by other groups?
10 A. Well, when Blaz Kraljevic was gone, that was
11 also the end of HOS in the territory of Herzegovina,
12 that was the end of HOS in Kiseljak; in Vares, a part
13 of it. And in Vares and some other central places, HOS
14 units arrived and they were active until '94. That was
15 the area of Zenica, Tuzla, Sarajevo, in those parts.
16 Q. I'll move on. But just tell us this: Were
17 there rumours in late 1992 that HOS members were
18 looting convoys in Haljinici, near to Kakanj, and if
19 so, were those rumours true or false?
20 A. There were such rumours, yes, but I state
21 positively that they were not HOS members, even though
22 they wore HOS uniforms.
23 Q. Did you find out where was the source of
24 those rumours?
25 A. Well, the source of these rumours was to
1 attribute all the blame for everything that was
2 happening, for all the looting, for all the ill
3 treatment and harassment, attributed to HOS members.
4 Q. Did you find out who started the rumours?
5 A. Well, the rumours had been -- were started by
6 at that time -- I mean, those units, such as, for
7 instance, HVO units receiving instructions from
9 Q. Now, after the break-up of HOS, you didn't go
10 with either side, but I think you formed your own
11 group; is that right?
12 A. Yes, I did have my own group in Vares.
13 Q. Did you continue to wear the black HOS
14 uniform, have weapons, some vehicles, and were you
15 based in Vares from January until October of '93?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. During that time, what sort of relations,
18 good or bad, did you maintain with the BiH army in
19 Tuzla and Zenica, and with Emil Harah, the HVO
20 commander in Vares?
21 A. Well, our relations were good between the 2nd
22 and the 3rd Corps and with Emil Harah, who at that time
23 was the commander of the Croatian Defence Council.
24 Q. Did the HVO have a substantial presence in
1 A. Well, in Vares, until the arrival of Ivica
2 Rajic and the changes that took place then, the HVO in
3 Vares did not bother anyone, the Serbs or the Muslims.
4 Relations were being maintained and they were quite
5 good. In some places, perhaps, there were some -- they
6 were somewhat tense, but there was communication.
7 Q. In January or February of '93, were you
8 involved in escorting a food convoy organised by a
9 charity? Were you involved in escorting a convoy
10 organised by a charity group, Caritas I think,
11 travelling from Split to Grude, and then on to Central
12 Bosnia, and, in order to pass through HVO territory,
13 did you need a permit?
14 A. Quite, yes. For every convoy, we got a
15 permit from the command in Vares. And returning, we
16 would go back to Grude or the leader of the convoy
17 would escort them. On a couple of occasions, I also
18 was in the hotel in Grude, where I had to ensure the
19 passage further on to Vares and other places.
20 Q. Whose signature was required on the permit?
21 A. Well, on quite a number of times, if Boban
22 was absent, then Kordic would be there. If Dario
23 Kordic wasn't there, then there was somebody else.
24 That is, there was always somebody who would sign the
1 Q. But Kordic actually signed these documents,
2 did he?
3 A. Yes, he did.
4 Q. At that time, were you aware of what Kordic's
5 movements were as between Busovaca and Grude?
6 A. Well, yes, I knew. He also came to Vares,
7 and I used to see him in Busovaca with a colleague. I
8 had a friend in Busovaca. His name was Toni. And I
9 used to see him in the hotel in Grude and in Busovaca,
10 in Vares. I wasn't really particularly interested in
11 learning where he was going and what he was doing, but
12 I used to see him in Busovaca, Vares and ...
13 Q. And these passes that he signed, did they
14 give political approval or military approval for
15 passage of the convoy or did they give both political
16 and military approval?
17 A. In Vares, there was no politics any longer.
18 Everything was military in Vares. As of 1992, late
19 '92, everything stopped functioning, that is, the
20 politics ceased to function. Everything was military,
21 beginning from Anto Pejcinovic, who was the major.
22 Q. Just to speed things up, but these passes
23 which allowed passage of convoys through Central
24 Bosnia, did they direct the military to give good
25 passage, or who?
1 A. Every convoy was escorted by military, either
2 on trucks -- or in every truck, there would be a
3 soldier escorting the convoy.
4 Q. I'll move on. In June --
5 JUDGE MAY: See if I've got this. It may be
6 I'm mistaken, but was it in relation to this Caritas
7 convoy that Dario Kordic signed the papers or in
8 relation to other convoys?
9 A. Permits were signed for all the convoys. It
10 was done by the headquarters in Grude.
11 JUDGE MAY: That wasn't an answer to the
13 MR. NICE: No, but I'll try once more.
14 Q. I think what the learned Judge wanted to
15 know, Witness AO, is whether you can remember whether
16 this particular convoy's pass was signed by Kordic or
17 whether you're simply saying that Kordic signed some
18 passes like this.
19 A. All, all, all convoys. Humanitarian and
20 military, all of the convoys had to get the
21 authorisation from Grude, and they were signed there.
22 Q. In June 1993, was there a meeting involving
23 Ekrem Mahmutovic and Avdo Zubaca, where the free
24 passage of Muslims wanting to travel from Dabravine to
25 Tuzla was discussed?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That movement would have created a link to
3 the 2nd Corps in Tuzla and the 3rd Corps in Zenica and
4 strengthened the BH army, and would have enabled
5 Muslims to have left the Republika Srpska near Tuzla.
6 Now, what was Pejcinovic's view on that? Was he in
8 A. Pejcinovic would have been in agreement, but
9 he was not deciding about that free passage; it was the
10 command in Grude.
11 Q. And what was their attitude, and who did it
12 come from?
13 A. It came from a meeting, the meeting, and with
14 a non-reply for the army. But Pejcinovic communicated
15 with the staff and the presidency -- the war presidency
16 in Grude, and the answer he received, that there was
17 not going to be any cooperation with the BH side.
18 Q. And who made that decision in Grude; can you
19 tell us?
20 A. The war presidency decided, the war
21 presidency, including Dario, Boban, Blaskic, and -- who
22 else was there? That war presidency.
23 Q. And had this free passage been given, what
24 effect, if any, would that have had on the evacuation
25 of Croats from the Vares area?
1 A. Well, I think that there would have been no
2 evacuation from Vares had Vares had a say in the matter
3 and decided itself, Vares politicians or Vares
4 military. Vares would have stayed as it was, like
5 Zepce or something like that.
6 Q. In August '93, did the war presidency in
7 Vares issue an order concerning the movement of goods?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was that to blockade the goods, because there
10 were no supplies coming in?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And was there some harassment at HVO
13 checkpoints in respect of people who were disobeying
14 that order?
15 A. Why, yes, there was harassment by policemen
16 manning the checkpoints. They would search women and
17 things like that.
18 Q. In September 1993, was there a meeting in the
19 Hotel Ponikve conducted by Pejcinovic and involving
20 Duznovic, Gavran, Bozic, Harah and Frankovic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What was said at that meeting about an order
23 that had been received from Grude?
24 A. Ante Pejcinovic's choice of words, and he
25 chaired the meeting -- before the meeting, Boro
1 Malbasic, who took the oath of allegiance at the Hotel
2 Ponikve in 1992, he evidently lost his trust and he was
3 replaced by Emil Harah. And at that meeting, they were
4 discussing the forces of the HVO in Vares, and even a
5 report had arrived saying that if it would prove
6 necessary to resist the BH army, to seek assistance
7 from the Republika Srpska with which the Vares HVO
8 cooperated in some areas.
9 Q. And the local Croats, did they agree with
10 that proposal or reject it?
11 A. The command itself rejected it, rejected any
12 assistance from Serbs or anyone else.
13 Q. Now, who had signed this order that the
14 Croats in Vares were to seek assistance from the Serbs,
15 if necessary?
16 A. Well, it also came from the war presidency in
18 Q. Did you see the order?
19 A. That order? Ante Pejcinovic held that order
20 in his hands, as the mayor, and I was present at a part
21 of the meeting when Zvonko Duznovic said that he needed
22 no assistance and that he refused any further
23 communication with Ivica Rajic, and he told Ante he was
24 through with that war presidency and the command of
25 Herceg-Bosna, or Boban and Kordic and the likes of
1 them. That was at the meeting in the Hotel Ponikve
2 where the command was.
3 Q. You say you saw the order. By whom was the
4 order signed, is what I would like to know.
5 A. Well, the order -- one order was signed by
6 Mr. Dario Kordic, saying for so-and-so and then his
7 signature. But there were two meetings, once when
8 Ivica Rajic came to Vares, and at one of those
9 meetings --
10 Q. Yes, let's move to that meeting. He arrived
11 in what month, can you remember, Ivica Rajic?
12 A. Rajic arrived in -- on the 19th of October.
13 19th of October. That was the first time he arrived
14 with a relatively small group of his soldiers, with his
16 Q. Which unit did he have with him?
17 A. One unit. The chief unit which escorted
18 Ivica Rajic was Maturice, who were stationed in
19 Kiseljak, and were named after the commander who had
20 got killed; Mato Lucic, I believe.
21 Q. Did he have any other units with him on this
23 A. They followed during the night, and the next
24 day a large number of troops arrived. They were called
25 Apostoli and Sioux.
1 Q. Had they come through Serbian territory, and
2 if so, where did they make their entry?
3 A. They entered -- they came to Vares through
4 the Serb territory. And through the Serb territory
5 they reached the territory of the HVO at a place called
6 the Vrhuna [phoen], and they entered Republika Srpska.
7 It was a hill which was the border between -- next to
8 Kobiljaca. And that is where they entered Republika
9 Srpska from Kiseljak. And that hill was between
10 Kiseljak and the Republika Srpksa.
11 Q. Had you known Ivica Rajic yourself?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What was his reputation?
14 A. Well, I knew him since before the war. Since
15 before the war I also knew him a little. And in the
16 course of the war I got to know him rather well. And
17 as for his reputation, he enjoyed good reputation in
19 Q. Did he apparently trust you or not?
20 A. Yes, he trusted me most of all.
21 Q. Did he tell you why he had come to Vares or
22 who had sent him?
23 A. When he arrived in Vares, he sent two
24 soldiers to look for me, to the flat where I used to
25 live once, and that is how I went to see him at the
1 headquarters. And we sat down and started a
2 conversation about the situation in Vares, about the
3 military strategy in Vares. And he began to ask about
4 Pejcinovic; where was Zvonko Duznovic; where was
5 Malibasic; Harah; why had they removed Malibasic; why
6 had they appointed Emil Harah, and things like that.
7 Q. Did he say who had sent him to Vares?
8 A. As we were talking about the strategy in
9 Vares and other things, he said he had come to help
10 Vares Croats on the basis of orders from Grude -- from
11 the command in Grude. And I saw that instruction -- it
12 was in front of him -- because we were sitting at the
13 same table, and it had been signed by General Praljak.
14 Q. Was there any other reference to who had --
15 who from the residency in Grude had sent him there?
16 Did he say who had sent him there?
17 A. Their meeting was extended. It was first him
18 and me and then Bozic joined us. He was working as a
19 commander. He was one of the commanders there. And we
20 talked and we touched upon various topics, that is,
21 what was critical, what was not critical, and what
22 passages -- we mentioned some hills, Mijakovici,
23 Dragovici. And Bozic then joined in the conversation
24 and said, "What do you need all these hills for,
25 because since we have the enemy in the town." "What
1 enemy in the town?" And then the discussion went on,
2 and then Dario Kordic's name came up, and communication
3 with Dario Kordic then ensued. And I believe that
4 evening we talked to Dario Kordic.
5 Q. When you say Dario Kordic's name came up, who
6 mentioned him, and in what setting? What was he said
7 to have done, or what part did he play in all of this?
8 A. Well, Ivica Rajic was sent by Dario Kordic,
9 General Praljak, and he brought the other documents
10 from there concerning the replacement of the command,
11 the arrests, and the replacements of Gavran, the arrest
12 of the Vares politicians. They were arrested and there
13 was a takeover, a replacement in Vares, and confusion
15 Q. Right. Well, let's just deal with things in
16 a little more detail and order. What was it the
17 intention of the authorities in Grude should happen to
18 the Croat population in Vares? Should they stay there
19 or should they move?
20 A. Well, the Croats of Vares were supposed,
21 according to the decision made in Grude, to move out of
22 Vares. They were supposed to move out of Vares and to
23 leave that area, and genocide had to be carried out, so
24 that the Croats of Vares would leave the town, because
25 Vares was never, in any of the talks, part of today's
2 Q. I'll come to the act you are speaking of in a
3 minute. But was there any agreement described by
4 Rajic, between Croatia and Serbia, dealing with the
5 movement of the Croat population and with other towns
6 and so on? Did he speak of an agreement?
7 A. Well, there was an agreement. Ivica Rajic
8 and I, and Kresimir Bozic and Miroslav Frankovic and
9 the others. And there was also a young man from
10 Kiseljak, who was the commander of a unit, and we spoke
11 of it. And he said, "Isn't it enough of Vares for all
12 this to happen? Some emergent measures should be
13 taken. We cannot deviate from the agreement signed
14 between the Croats and the Serbs."
15 Q. By that agreement, Witness AO, what was to
16 happen to Vares, Zepce and Kiseljak?
17 A. Well, the wartime presidency of Herceg-Bosna
18 managed to move Kakanj out, and knowing the tragedy of
19 Kakanj and the policy conducted by Herceg-Bosna, they
20 suffered the tragedy, and we in Vares also suffered a
21 tragedy, but Zepce did not fall for this policy.
22 Q. Yes. But were Vares, Zepce and Kiseljak to
23 remain mixed towns or Croat towns, or were they to
24 become Bosnian towns? What was the plan?
25 A. The policy of Herceg-Bosna was for Zepce,
1 Vares and Kiseljak to be emptied of the Croatian
3 Q. Thank you. Now, you've told us about a first
4 meeting, although some of the information you've given
5 us may have come from later meetings. On the following
6 day, on the 20th of October, paragraph 23, were the
7 people you've already named -- Pejcinovic, Duznovic and
8 Gavran -- arrested?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And was it later that day that there was one
11 of these other meetings, perhaps an important meeting,
12 involving a number of people, and if so, was that at
13 the Ponikve HQ, formerly the hotel?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Included at that meeting, were there Bozic
16 and Harah, and also were there representatives or
17 commanders of the three special groups you've already
18 spoken of: the Maturice, the Apostoli and the Sioux?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you give us the names of the commanders
21 of those three units, please?
22 A. I know that their names were Nindza. He was
23 a karate master, and he was the leader of one of those
24 units. Then there was -- oh, I knew them well from
25 that meeting. There was also Bozic. There was
1 Miroslav Frankovic at the meeting. I can't remember
2 all the names.
3 Q. Well, if you can remember the name of the
4 person who was in charge of the Maturice or of the
5 Sioux, perhaps you'll let us know and we'll then be
6 able to record the name.
7 But in this meeting was Rajic present?
8 A. He chaired the meeting.
9 Q. What did he show you and what did he tell
11 A. Well, he showed us the order, an order which
12 had been signed in Grude by the wartime presidency, and
13 in which there was mention of Dario Kordic, Mate Boban,
14 General Praljak. And it concerned the replacement of
15 the civilian leadership of Vares, of Emil Harah, and
16 the taking of certain elevations around the town of
18 Q. And what were the elevations that were to be
20 A. Well, Mijakovici, Dragovici and Perun.
21 Q. When this aspect of the order was considered,
22 did somebody say something, and were certain steps then
24 A. Yes. Bozic mentioned that Perun was the
25 highest elevation in the surroundings of Vares, and
1 Mijakovici and Dragovici were two villages inhabited by
2 Bosniaks, and they are still inhabited by Bosniaks.
3 And he said that we had a problem in the town itself,
4 and that some 500 metres, one kilometre away, there
5 were Muslims living. And he said that this was a
6 military stronghold. But this proved to be incorrect,
7 what he said.
8 Q. Once he had said that, what was the next
9 thing that happened? What did someone do?
10 A. Well, at the meeting they started discussion,
11 and Rajic said that we should calm down and not all
12 talk at the same time, and that he had to check
13 something. He went to another room where the
14 communications command was located. And after a
15 certain time, he came back.
16 Q. What did he say?
17 A. He supported Kresimir Bozic, his proposal.
18 And he asked Kresimir Bozic to bring some lads who knew
19 the place, and who would be able to take the commanders
20 of these units who had arrived from Kiseljak, to see
21 what the terrain was like, what the approach was like,
22 how strong the forces were, and so on.
23 Q. When you say "the terrain" and "the place,"
24 what place are you speaking of?
25 A. About Stupni Do itself.
1 Q. So how did that meeting end, so far as plans
2 to take places were concerned?
3 A. After the contact with Ivica Rajic, I didn't
4 ask whether he contacted Busovaca, Grude, or
5 Vares/Grude. But after Ivica Rajic's conversation and
6 arrival, he issued an order to the commanders of the
7 Maturice, Apostoli and Sioux.
8 Next to Vares, there was a barracks-- it was
9 called Zabrdze -- where these Apostoli and Maturice
10 were posted, and they were to go out into the field.
11 And he gave a clear order that all Croatian soldiers
12 and policemen should be removed from the Vares
13 municipality and sent to certain places around the
14 Vares defence lines -- he did not trust the soldiers or
15 the policemen or anyone -- and I did not know then what
16 would happen.
17 When the discussion started and when they
18 started arresting Muslims and bringing them into the
19 school, I saw that something was amiss, and then I
20 didn't talk to them anymore.
21 But the order was given that they should
22 enter Stupni Do and attack it. And he sent a lot of
23 soldiers there, and he said that whatever they took --
24 money, cars -- it would be their war booty.
25 Q. You've spoken of the replacement of their
1 leadership. We've had these names, I think, before,
2 so -- you better just tell us. Who was to replace Emil
4 A. Boro Malbasic.
5 Q. Who was to replace Pejcinovic?
6 A. Miroslav Frankovic.
7 Q. Who was to replace Gavran?
8 A. Mario Mutic.
9 Q. And did Boro Malbasic also feature somewhere
10 in this story of replacements?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can you remember now who he was to replace?
13 A. He was to take over the role of the military
14 police from Ivica Duznovic -- Zvonko.
15 Q. At that meeting, you saw the order that had
16 been -- that Rajic had, which named Kordic, Praljak and
17 Boban, didn't you; you saw that order?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And did you, in fact, read the order
21 A. It was on the table. I read a part of it
22 because -- there were two sheets of paper. One was a
23 copy and one was the original. And it was right in
24 front of me, I think, right in front of me there was
25 the copy, and I was looking right at it, and the
1 original, which was in the hands of Ivica Rajic.
2 Q. Did the orders provide for the transport for
3 evacuation of Croats?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did the order say anything itself about what
6 should happen to Muslim men and remaining Serbs in
8 A. The Muslims were arrested, and they were
9 brought to the primary school and the secondary school,
10 and --
11 Q. The question is did the order itself deal
12 with that? Did the order say that's what was to happen
13 to them?
14 A. The evacuation of Croats, the evacuation of
15 Croats, which was agreed between the Croats and the
16 Serbs, and they were to cross BN territory.
17 And as for the arrest warrants for the arrest
18 of the Muslims who were brought to the secondary school
19 and the primary school, they were to be used so far as
20 was possible.
21 Q. So that if I've understood you correctly, the
22 arresting of the Muslims was actually dealt with in
23 this order. Is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, there comes a point
1 at which leading questions sort of devoid the inquiry
2 of any value, and I think we're there.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's a matter for us to
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. At the end of this meeting, were you handed a
7 document by Rajic, giving you certain authority?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I think ultimately you gave that document
10 to somebody in NordBat. Is that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. NICE: It may be that this isn't --
13 1258.2 is the document, please.
14 In fact, Your Honour, this document I don't
15 think identifies the witness. There is a photocopy of
16 a photograph at the foot of it, but it is beyond the
17 ability of anyone, really, to -- I beg your pardon. It
18 does, sorry, so we can't put it on the ELMO, which
19 means it needs a certain amount of deciphering.
20 Q. The order that you were given by Rajic was an
21 order that you could do what, please? Don't look at
22 the document for the time being. Just tell us, what
23 was the order that Rajic gave you?
24 A. Well, he gave me free reign. He even offered
25 that I should take control of the government, and I
1 thought that was not for me and that I would not be
2 able to achieve anything in this way.
3 Later on, he gave me, in his own handwriting,
4 with his stamp, a document saying that I could cross or
5 go through all the checkpoints between the Muslims and
6 the Croats on the territory of Vares and that I was not
7 to be stopped by his units.
8 Q. Right. And were you given any authority at
9 any time to make arrests of people or not?
10 A. Well, this offer was made, but I did not want
11 to arrest people. I did the opposite.
12 Q. Right. Now, if we look at the second of the
13 two sheets of paper that you've got before you, in fact
14 in your case the sheet, we can see three documents.
15 Just have a look at the piece of paper, please. We can
16 see three documents that were photocopied at some stage
17 in NordBat and that came to us in this condition.
18 That's the best we have.
19 So if you look at the document, Witness AO,
20 please -- can you see it? On the top left-hand side,
21 somewhat hard to read but at some stage translated,
22 there's a document which reads, in English, something
23 like this: "Permit. The user of this permit shall be
24 allowed unobstructed travel on the roads in this area."
25 It's signed by a commander, and the best that's been
1 made of the signature is Fadil Karacic Kafadi [phoen].
2 Now that's the top left-hand segment of the original
3 document. Can you tell us whether this one of the
4 document handed to NordBat was a pass or what sort of
5 document it was?
6 A. This was a pass from the commander of the
7 Muslim army, Fadil Karacic, who was the commander of
8 the units of the army of B and H in Olovo, and he gave
9 me this permit because we had had contacts before. And
10 Ivica Rajic gave me the same kind of permit so I could
11 move freely throughout the territory.
12 Q. And his order we can see on the right-hand
13 side of the original, which orders: "Thereby I
14 permit," and your name, and it then says: "entrance to
15 these headquarters with all his weapons of all
16 calibres." So that's permission to enter some
17 premises. But are you saying that there was another
18 pass also issued that enabled you to move around the
19 territory freely?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Incidentally, the document, at the bottom
22 right-hand side on the original, contains a photograph
23 of you, I think, at the time. Can you tell us what
24 that original document was, if you can remember?
25 A. I think I had two documents like this, and
1 this may have been my HOS card or a personal document
2 of mine I had.
3 Q. Thank you. The attack on Stupni Do, then,
4 please; paragraph 28, and I'll come back to 26 later.
5 Paragraph 28. What time did troops, to your
6 knowledge, gather for the purposes of the attack on
7 Stupni Do, and where did they gather?
8 A. Well, the troops were in a village called
9 Mir, very close to Stupni Do and Zabrdze, from where
10 they set out towards Stupni Do.
11 Q. What time do you know the attack started?
12 A. Well, the units -- the infantry units that
13 entered Stupni Do left the barracks in Zabrdze about
14 1 in the night, and fire was opened in three
15 different places. And the major part of the attack was
16 between 4 and half past 4 in the morning, and it
17 was still quite dark.
18 Q. This is what day in October, to your
20 A. It was a Saturday.
21 Q. Can you remember the date?
22 A. The 23rd.
23 Q. Where were you when this attack was
24 happening, Witness AO?
25 A. I was in the headquarters with Mr. Ivica
1 Rajic while the units were out in the field, and when
2 they opened fire between 5 and 6 in the morning,
3 I was already at home.
4 Q. You'd been given a pass by Mr. Rajic that
5 enabled you to go to the elementary school. Did you
6 use that pass?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. To what purpose?
9 A. I used it for several purposes. The first
10 time I went into the school, I saw that there were
11 children there. They were underage. And some of them
12 were my friends' children. So I saw there was
13 mistreatment going on. And then I went to the Hotel
14 Ponikve, to the headquarters, and I asked this other --
15 asked Rajic to give me this other permit saying that
16 children under 18 and elderly people over 60 should be
17 released, because I said they would die there. And I
18 made use of this, and I was given permission to get
19 these children out, and these elderly men from this
20 prison to which Muslims had been taken.
21 Q. How many people did you release in that way,
22 Witness AO?
23 A. One hundred and twenty-eight, by name and
25 Q. Were there reports, after the attack on
1 Stupni Do, that there had been men in black HOS
2 uniforms taking part in the attack?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was there any truth in that, so far as you
5 were aware?
6 A. Well, there were lads in black uniforms who
7 were masked. I think that this was abuse of the HOS
8 uniform, because I assert that there was not a single
9 HOS member in any of the clashes in Vares.
10 Q. We've heard of a HOS insignia being left in
11 the area of Stupni Do. Can you explain that? Being
12 found in the area of Stupni Do; I beg your pardon.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What's the explanation for that?
15 A. Well, as I said, quite often when the HVO did
16 something bad, they would ascribe it to HOS. I think
17 that's what would happen.
18 Q. What was the purpose behind the -- not just
19 the attack on Stupni Do, but the manner in which it was
20 executed and the killing of the civilians and so on?
21 What was the purpose behind it?
22 A. The purpose of the killing of civilians and
23 looting money, gold, and all those who did that, they
24 wanted to cover up their traces so that no one would
25 know who had done the looting. And they committed
1 genocide and killed and burnt people in their houses.
2 Q. What was the effect of the attack on Stupni
3 Do on the Croats living in the area?
4 A. Tragic.
5 Q. What did it make them do, or what did it lead
6 to their doing?
7 A. The units which had come to Vares --
8 Q. Go on. Can you explain why Stupni Do was
9 committed in the way it was? You, I think, referred
10 earlier on this topic to another incident, was it at
11 Kakanj? But never mind. But can you explain why
12 Stupni Do was as it was?
13 A. Yes. Well, the Croats in Vares themselves
14 and close relations between Vares, Croats and Muslims,
15 were such that nothing would have forced them to leave
16 the town so quickly, in a day or two, were it not for
17 the genocide at Stupni Do. The genocide at Stupni Do
18 was intended as the cleansing of the Vares territory by
19 the Croats [sic].
20 Q. Did Rajic become aware that you were
21 assisting prisoners?
22 A. Rajic found out, on the 28th or the 29th,
23 that I had got some people out, people that he needed.
24 Q. What did he do in relation to you?
25 A. Well, on the 29th a warrant was issued for my
1 arrest, and called to me to surrender to him at the
2 headquarters at Ponikve.
3 Q. Instead, did you go to NordBat and live in
4 their camp for some six months?
5 A. Yes, because I had already been in touch with
6 a second NordBat. I decided -- I was informed the same
7 day that the arrest warrant had been issued, so I
8 simply left and sought refuge in the NordBat battalion.
9 Q. A couple more questions. The first one may
10 relate to a problem of translation on a transcript.
11 Speaking of the genocide at Stupni Do, you said it was
12 intended as the cleansing of the Vares territory by the
13 Croats. But when you speak of the cleansing of the
14 territory, which ethnic group was supposed to be moving
16 A. A group of Croats were to leave Vares, people
17 of Croat ethnicity were to leave the town, because it
18 was not in the interest.
19 THE INTERPRETER: And the witness doesn't say
20 whose interest.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. Last question before I deal with one short
23 exhibit. On the 1st or 2nd of November, did the Croats
24 leave Vares via Serb-controlled territory to go to
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And was that in accordance with the agreement
3 that you'd heard of or not?
4 A. Yes.
5 MR. NICE: With the usher's assistance, if I
6 could just produce a short exhibit. 1258.1A.
7 Q. This is a document you were able to provide,
8 being in your possession, dated the 23rd of October of
9 1993, signed by Vladmir Lukic for the government of the
10 Republika Srpska, authorising three named people to
11 cross the border and to travel to the government of
12 Republika Srpska in Pale. Where did you get this? Do
13 you remember?
14 A. Yes. I had quite a number of documents. I
15 kept a lot of documents, until I was captured. And the
16 evidence was all left with me. And I was issued it at
17 Ponikve, so that it stayed in my flat, in a flat where
18 I used to live before. It stayed there.
19 Q. But this document, what does it show, so far
20 as you are concerned, about cooperation between Croats
21 and Serbs, and why?
22 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I object to that
23 question because it's just asking for a pure comment.
24 And also, more substantively, this is a document that's
25 not previously been produced.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The document speaks for
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. Do you know the three named people on the
5 document? Did you know any of them?
6 A. I do.
7 Q. And their ethnicity is what?
8 A. Croat.
9 Q. Yes, thank you.
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
11 Q. Witness AO, allow me to introduce myself. I
12 am Mitko Naumovski, a lawyer from Zagreb, and with
13 Mr. Steven Sayers I defend Mr. Dario Kordic. I shall
14 ask you several questions. And I should merely like to
15 ask you -- I have to make an introductory comment. You
16 understand my questions, so will you please just pause
17 before you answer, until my question has been
18 interpreted into the official languages of the Court.
19 Do you understand what I am saying?
20 A. I do.
21 Q. Witness AO, you have made several statements
22 so far. One of them was to the investigators of this
23 Tribunal in January this year; isn't it so?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. However, before that, you also spoke to
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 representatives of the NordBat?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. The first time it was an introductory
4 conversation in November '93, wasn't it?
5 A. Yes. It was on the 21st of November '93.
6 21st? 21st of March?
7 Q. 21st of March, '93.
8 A. Yes. Yes.
9 Q. Then after that, you made an official
10 statement before the same NordBat battalion, on the
11 23rd of November, '93?
12 A. No. I think they were two different things,
13 because one was for the military part of the NordBat,
14 and the other one was for the town of Vares; that there
15 were two different ones, not one and the same.
16 Q. Yes. I am mentioning two different
17 interviews, both with representatives of the NordBat,
18 that is, UNPROFOR.
19 A. But there were two units in the NordBat.
20 Q. Correct. Would you also agree with me that a
21 second interview, which took somewhat longer, which
22 took place on the 23rd of November, '93, was also video
24 A. Possibly.
25 Q. That's what it says in the document: it was
1 recorded. And you saw them recording it, didn't you?
2 A. Well, I wasn't really particularly interested
3 in what they were doing.
4 Q. That first interview that you had, that is
5 absolutely the first interview, when members of the
6 military police of the NordBat recognised you amongst
7 the refuges who had sought shelter in their camp. So
8 this interview was conducted with you as a suspect
9 member of the HOS?
10 A. That is not true.
11 Q. And during that first interview, as I said,
12 you were identified amongst refugees who were
13 accommodated there, but when they recognised you, they
14 asked you some fundamental questions about yourself?
15 A. Possibly.
16 Q. The first thing you said was that you had
17 never been in the HVO?
18 A. Me?
19 Q. Yes. Go on. Go on. Do you agree that you
20 were never in the HVO?
21 A. Yes, I do.
22 Q. But later on you told them that you were a
23 liaison officer between the U.N. and the HVO in Vares?
24 A. No. You misunderstood me or perhaps I
25 misspoke. But if you think that all the members of the
1 Croatian Defence Council had to be members of the HVO,
2 because all members who were members of HOS were
3 subsequently members of the HVO.
4 Q. I have very many questions for you, Witness
5 AO. Let us try not to prolong this unnecessarily. So
6 could you please try to answer with "yes" or "no." Do
7 not explain things.
8 I am going back to that first interview that
9 you had with NordBat representatives. This was just by
10 way of introduction. Witness AO, let us begin at the
11 beginning. Did you complete the eight-year elementary
13 A. I came out of building school, which is a
14 vocational, a secondary vocational school.
15 Q. And that is your profession, you say?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And after you came out of the military
18 service with the JNA, did you get a job?
19 A. With Sumarstvo at Vares. I already worked
20 for them before I went to do my military service.
21 Q. Right. So how long did you work for
23 A. I am still their employee.
24 Q. And there was never any interruption in your
25 employment with Sumartsvo?
1 A. No.
2 Q. I have to tell you that when you were making
3 your statement to representatives of the NordBat on the
4 23rd of November -- on the 22nd, rather, November,
5 1993, you told them explicitly that when your
6 membership in HOS terminated, you worked for a
7 marketing company, Jakici, in Vares?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So we agree you did not work for Sumartsvo?
10 A. I also worked for Sumartsvo, but during the
11 war we were all laid off, and if you were laid off, you
12 had to work for another company, but it did not
13 terminate your contract.
14 Q. Let us make it clear. Formerly you were
15 employed by that company, but in reality you did
16 something completely different; isn't that so?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. You mentioned NordBat, and in your statement
19 that you made to the investigators of this Tribunal,
20 you used to work for NordBat before?
21 A. Well, I didn't really work for them. I
22 simply tried -- that was the only way to save people.
23 Before Stupni Do I contacted with the 2nd Corps, with
24 the 3rd Corps, because I had HOS units led by Mladen
25 Holman in Zenica and Goran "Ustasa" in Tuzla, so I
1 communicated with them, and with the 2nd NordBat
2 battalion. Yes, I agree that I communicated with the
3 NordBat. Contact also is work.
4 Q. So that's what you mean when you say worked
5 for them?
6 A. I beg your pardon?
7 Q. When you say "cooperate," you said, "I worked
8 with the NordBat," and that's what I'm asking you.
9 What did you do?
10 A. Well, that is work, contact between Tuzla and
11 Vares, Zenica and Vares, and things like that.
12 Q. Right. But tell me, when did you begin to
13 work for NordBat?
14 A. Well, in 1993, I established contact with
16 Q. Could you be more precise? When in '93?
17 A. Well, I don't know. There were many of
18 them. I simply did not think it necessary to know
19 anything more.
20 Q. Right. If you worked for them, you must have
21 had some permit or a pass of theirs for free passage
22 through checkpoints?
23 A. I was issued their pass in '93, October,
24 after the Stupni Do incident.
25 Q. So before that, you did not have their pass?
1 A. I don't think so. I did not need it. But I
2 did have an authorisation from them to freely move.
3 Q. When we are talking about these introductory
4 questions, you spent with them some six months, that
5 is, somewhere between the 28th of August, '93, until
6 the end of April '94; is that so?
7 A. Thereabouts.
8 Q. Would you agree with me that after you were
9 released from the camp held by the NordBat, you were
10 detained for a while at the kindergarten Donica Parlic
11 [phoen] in Vares?
12 A. Well, the 2nd Nordic Battalion manned the
13 U.N. camp at Ponikve, and since it was crowded with
14 civilians, they simply -- under their umbrella with
15 their police, they ensured better accommodation for us,
16 and we were still registered as being under the
17 umbrella in that kindergarten in Vares.
18 Q. And who was on guard there, who manned the
19 guard, who looked after the supplies?
20 A. It was the 2nd Nordic Battalion.
21 Q. Only they, and the soldiers of the
22 municipality had nothing to do with it?
23 A. Well, perhaps, possibly. Possibly they
24 cooperated with them. But in front of our entrance,
25 because the kindergarten was fenced with a wire fence
1 of two or three metres high, in front of the
2 kindergarten was the police, and we never left the
3 kindergarten. We were inside, and outside was the
4 police, was the army.
5 Yes, the town was full of troops of that
6 army, but whether they were looking -- guarding us or
7 what, I don't know. But I know that the 2nd Nordic
8 Battalion was responsible for us who had been put up
10 Q. When you say "the military police," do you
11 mean the military police of the army of
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Witness AO, will you agree with me that after
15 you finally left that area, the kindergarten where you
16 were kept, could you tell us how long were you kept
17 there in the kindergarten?
18 A. I think until early April, April, something
19 like that.
20 Q. And after you were released, were you
21 interrogated by representatives of the BH army?
22 A. Yes, in part. Yes, I was interrogated.
23 Q. Were you interrogated also by AID, the
24 documentation research agency?
25 A. Well, nobody had on their uniforms writing to
1 say who they were and what they were. When you say
2 that I was interrogated by representatives of that
3 service, I simply don't know whether it was AID, or the
4 civilian police, or who or what was it. But I do know
5 that I was interrogated and questioned.
6 Q. And that interrogation, that questioning, was
7 repeated, or not "repeated," but it was quite lengthy?
8 A. Well, yes, of course, because there was the
9 slander, and so it took some time.
10 Q. Let me be direct. They suspected you of
11 certain things. You mean the army of BH?
12 A. What about?
13 Q. Well, their suspicions had to do with Stupni
14 Do, so they believed that you played a role in what had
15 happened there, that you were one of the perpetrators?
16 A. No, they did not think that, but others had
17 ordered them so.
18 Q. And I suppose you also made a statement in
19 writing and signed it.
20 A. Well, that is really very likely, because I
21 was there. I could have been forced, perhaps I wasn't
22 forced, and perhaps I did sign a statement.
23 Q. Witness AO, very simple: Did you make and
24 sign a statement? This is a direct question.
25 A. Well, I'm giving you a direct answer. I was
1 signing things. You asked me if I signed a statement
2 to the AID, or to the MUP, or the civilian police, or
3 who was it. I don't know. I did sign something, but I
4 don't know what they were. But I do know that I signed
5 and made a statement.
6 Q. Could you please be precise and tell me?
7 There were several statements, not one.
8 A. That's why I'm telling you this.
9 Q. Tell me, did you ever get a copy --
10 JUDGE MAY: Let the transcript make it plain
11 that I commented that we have been through this topic
13 Mr. Naumovski, I know that this is an
14 important witness from your point of view, and
15 therefore clearly you are entitled to cross-examine.
16 But perhaps you could have in mind the clock and see if
17 you can finish this afternoon. We'll sit until you do
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
20 Your Honours. I shall do my best.
21 Q. Very well, Witness. Let us move on.
22 In the former state, you were a TO member,
23 you told us?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And when did your membership in the TO cease?
1 A. I was with them until the end.
2 Q. And what does "the end" mean for you?
3 A. I was there until the end. What does it
5 Q. No, I'm asking you. When was this end?
6 A. Well, I was until the end, until the
7 elections, until the formation of the Patriotic League.
8 Q. So the spring of '92?
9 A. '90.
10 Q. '90. I see. Witness AO, could you be
11 precise and give us the exact time you spent with HOS?
12 A. Well, I could be precise if I had all my
14 Q. So when was it?
15 A. Well, from the --
16 Q. Be precise.
17 A. Well, I'll tell you. From April '92 -- '91,
18 you know there were those units that were registered,
19 and then after about a month and a half, you would take
20 an oath of allegiance, you would be issued with
21 weapons, and so that would be it. Except in Croatia, I
22 wasn't in HOS very long, or, rather, from Croatia I
23 moved to Bosnia with my units, with my colleagues in
24 HOS, because this was -- the Croatian and the Bosnian
25 HOS was one and the same, because they had the same
1 objective. Except that one thing changed subsequently,
2 because in Bosnia-Herzegovina it was led by Blaz
3 Kraljevic, and there it was led by other people. I
4 wouldn't know the exact dates.
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, now, as far as the witness
6 is concerned, if you'd just say that you don't know the
7 date, if you don't know the answer to something, just
8 say so, and we'll get on more quickly and you can get
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness AO, from your statement given to the
12 investigators, it transpires that you stopped being a
13 member of HOS after the assassination of Blaz
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So you agree with me, then, that you were a
17 member of HOS between April '91 until the death of Blaz
19 A. On the records.
20 Q. You said today that in April '91, you joined
21 the HOS unit in Split?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You said today that its commander was one
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You do not know his last name?
2 A. No, I don't. We were not together for very
4 Q. I must remind you that in giving your
5 statement to investigators, you said that you joined
6 this unit in Split only as late as November -- that is,
7 December '91.
8 A. I don't believe you, but possibly.
9 Q. Well, I thought we would save some time, but
10 I can read it to you to avoid any confusion. That is
11 what item 6 says: "In November or December '91, I went
12 to Split and joined up with the HOS 9th Battalion
13 Visoka/Split." 1991.
14 A. 91.
15 Q. Yes. And it says "November or December"?
16 A. December, well, that was since our official
17 registration. It was as of that date that units were
18 registered to know exactly which was what unit, who was
19 with logistics, who was reconnaissance, and so on and
20 so forth. Those were the formations. But as of the
21 end of April, or perhaps in the beginning of May, I was
22 with HOS. But formation-wise-speaking, it was November
23 or December. December, rather.
24 Q. And one more discrepancy. You said that the
25 commander of that unit was Dobroslav Paraga, the
1 political leader of the Croat Party of Rights, of that
3 A. No, no, what I said was Dobroslav Paraga was
4 responsible for the whole of HOS, for the command of
5 HOS, of the Croatian HOS. For the command of HOS, not
6 that unit in particular. Paraga was not all that
7 insignificant to command a squad of about a dozen men.
8 Q. In relation to HOS in general, we agreed that
9 that was the army of the Croat Party of Rights, that
10 is, a party army, the army of a political party?
11 A. I do not agree.
12 Q. Who was Mr. Paraga? Was he the president of
13 the Croat Party of Rights?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And at the same time he was, you say, the
16 commander-in-chief of HOS?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The seat of HOS in Bosnia-Herzegovina was in
19 Ljubuski, you say?
20 A. Well, it had several seats, but one was in
21 Ljubuski, and also in Kruscica, in Tuzla, in Zenica, in
23 Q. And tell us, where did you work in HOS when
24 you moved to Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. I was with Mladen Holman in Zenica.
1 Q. And you were in Zenica throughout?
2 A. No, I did not work in Zenica. That was where
3 my seat was, but I was in Vares.
4 Q. Oh, you were in Vares. And if I understand
5 you well, you went to Zenica from time to time on
6 business and various errands, and then you would go
7 back to Vares?
8 A. Yes, and I went to Tuzla and Kruscica and
9 other places.
10 Q. In item 8, in paragraph 8, you say that you
11 were with the main staff of HOS in Ljubuski?
12 A. Right.
13 Q. But you did not mention Zenica; you mentioned
14 Ljubuski as your workplace?
15 A. I gave the seats of command, where those
16 headquarters were. One was in Ljubuski, another one in
17 Citluk; that is, in Kruscica, in Tuzla, in Zenica.
18 Q. Witness AO, I understand what you are saying,
19 but I am trying to show you what you said to the
20 investigator of The Hague Tribunal; that you were with
21 the main headquarters in Ljubuski, and that you were
22 responsible for logistics, and so on and so forth?
23 A. Yes, that is what I am saying.
24 Q. But not in Zenica?
25 A. Well, listen. I mean, if the meeting was in
1 Zenica, of course I would have come to Zenica. But I
2 worked in Ljubuski. I am giving you the places that I
3 worked in. And these were these seats. For instance,
4 Vares, Kakanj, and other places, and Olovo, they were
5 under Zenica. Down there around Tuzla, the villages of
6 Zenica and Kladanj, they were under Tuzla. But there
7 had to be a centre, both logistic centres and --
8 Q. Very well. So if I then can say, if we look
9 at the chain of command, your commander was Mladen
10 Holman in Zenica?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You said you were a major. And who conferred
13 that rank upon you?
14 A. In Ljubuski, from Blaz Kraljevic.
15 Q. Do you have any documents about your rank?
16 A. I was robbed in '94. When coming out of
17 Vares, I was robbed in Prozor, and all my documents
18 were stolen. There was an arrest warrant issued for me
19 by the HVO, and I was taken prisoner in '94. And there
20 is evidence for that. Mr. Mario Rajic, he was taken to
21 Zagreb, and Interpol doesn't have that now, but you can
22 see that in the documents.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, when we get to a
24 convenient moment. It's now time for an adjournment.
25 Is that a convenient moment?
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, Your
2 Honour. Of course.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Twenty minutes.
4 --- Recess taken at 4 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.25 p.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
8 Your Honour.
9 Q. Witness AO, I saw that you have your notebook
10 with you. Are these your notes?
11 A. I didn't expect provocations. That's a
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, no. If it's not a proper
14 question, then we won't allow it. But that is a proper
15 question. So have you got some notes there?
16 A. I have a notebook, but I didn't take down
17 anything. I have a notebook, but there are no notes.
18 I haven't taken any notes yet.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
20 Q. My question was: Are the notes in your
21 notebook made by you?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Is there anything written down in the
24 notebook you have?
25 A. No.
1 Q. So it's a blank notebook?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Let us continue where we left off before the
4 break. Today you mentioned that you were in the HOS in
5 Herceg-Bosna. You mentioned the expression "the HOS of
6 Herceg-Bosna." What was that, please?
7 A. There is no such thing as the HOS of
8 Herceg-Bosna. Such a thing did not exist, but the
9 so-called Herceg-Bosna where the HOS unit was located
10 was a HOS -- the HOS was for all of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was not divided between a
12 federation between Herceg-Bosna. It was a single
13 entity. So when you say "the HOS of Herceg-Bosna," I
14 meant the HOS that was in Herceg-Bosna. I don't know
15 what else you expect me to say.
16 Q. You said that HOS had excellent conditions,
17 that you had good weapons, good wages, and that you
18 helped the HVO and the Patriotic League and the
19 Territorial Defence; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who financed all of that?
22 A. Well, in the beginning the funds came from
23 outside, from Croatia for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but
24 as much as it came from Croatia, it came from some
25 barracks that we -- for example, in Busovaca, we got
1 some of the weapons from the Busovaca, when the
2 barracks were being taken over. And then there was a
3 depot in Vares called Mala Rijeka [phoen], where we
4 participated in taking over power. And it was simply
5 -- it had been abandoned by the army of BiH -- no, the
6 JNA. And these depots were in Vares. So that we went
7 in and took some of that. Some of that came to us.
8 But as for all of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there were quite
9 a few men who got their weapons on their own, or
10 through their relatives or their friends, or used their
11 own money, because we had the most sympathisers of all
12 the armies in the B and H.
13 Q. You mentioned Busovaca, but you weren't in
15 A. Yes, I was. Yes, I was.
16 Q. When the barracks was being taken over?
17 A. Yes. Yes. When the shells were falling on
18 Busovaca, I was there. I was there with Vjeran
19 Mijatovic, with Boro Mijatovic, Dusko, also known as
20 Amidzic, and I was one of the drivers there.
21 Q. I said that you were not in Kaonik when the
22 barracks in Kaonik were taken over.
23 A. I am saying that I was in Busovaca when the
24 barracks in Busovaca were being taken. I spent the
25 night at the Busovaca Hotel.
1 Q. You said that in early '92, the Serbs
2 attacked the village of Ravno, Hercegovina?
3 A. At the beginning of '92? I don't know that I
4 said that. No. I said that when they started the
5 attack on the village of Ravno.
6 Q. Well, that's what it says in the record, and
7 in the statement, and that was in September '91. Is
8 that so?
9 A. I am talking about when we arrived in the
10 village of Ravno, when we were there. And if the war
11 broke out, if the state of a war was declared in April,
12 the village of Ravno happened a long time before that.
13 Q. Very well. That's what I am saying too. But
14 that's what you said. So I had to intervene.
15 A. No. Well, I tried to correct it.
16 Q. When speaking about HOS in general, you said
17 that headquarters had been set up in many towns in
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Were you in most of these headquarters
22 A. Yes, I was in many of them.
23 Q. And one of the towns you mentioned was
24 Busovaca. Who was, so to say, the HOS leader in
1 A. There was a small HOS unit in Busovaca, a
2 small HOS unit, and the Busovaca belonged to Travnik,
3 that is, to the Kruscica headquarters. So I can't
4 say -- I can't tell you the first and last names. It
5 was a small group.
6 Q. Very well, very well. Today a lot was said
7 about the meeting in Grude between you, Blaz Kraljevic,
8 Mr. Kordic and so on, as you say, so I would like to
9 ask you a few questions about that. When exactly was
10 that meeting held?
11 A. The meeting was held some two or three months
12 before Blaz Kraljevic was killed.
13 Q. I have to tell you that in the statement you
14 made to the investigators of The Hague Tribunal, in
15 item 12 you said the meeting was held sometime in
16 September '92.
17 A. Well, when was Blaz Kraljevic killed?
18 Q. I'm only telling you what it says in the
19 statement which you signed before the investigators.
20 The sentence begins, "About September 1992," and now
21 you're saying it was three months before. So when was
22 it? Was it in June?
23 A. Well, it was either in June or July, or maybe
24 it might have been earlier.
25 Q. Could you please tell us, so you don't know
1 exactly when it was held? Can we agree on that?
2 A. Well, I know it was two or two and a half
3 months before Blaz Kraljevic was killed; it was in that
5 Q. You said today that you happened to be in
6 Grude by accident on that day and so you were invited
7 to that meeting?
8 A. I was in contact with Blaz Kraljevic on that
9 day, and I was -- since there was a convoy coming from
10 Vares to Grude in, as it was called, Duvanska [phoen],
11 where there was a depot belonging to the HVO, I went
12 there to visit some friends of mine and so I was there,
13 and that's how I learned that a meeting was going to be
14 held with Blaz Kraljevic, Boban, Kordic and some
15 others. And I didn't come from Vares purposely to
16 attend the meeting, but I happened to be there, and so
17 I was invited to the meeting.
18 Q. Could you please tell us, who convened the
20 A. Well, I was invited by Blaz Kraljevic,
21 although before that, some five days before that, my
22 wife and children were in Grude, and members of the HVO
23 set fire to the car in which we had some clothes, some
24 money, and my wife was there. And I was at the hotel,
25 and Blaz invited me to go with him. And the meeting
1 was convened, I think, by the wartime presidency of
3 Q. So that's what you think, but you don't know
4 exactly who convened the meeting?
5 A. The wartime presidency of Herceg-Bosna.
6 Q. Many times today you mentioned the wartime
7 presidency of Herceg-Bosna.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What was that body? What did it represent,
10 in your opinion?
11 A. Well, that was, well, the presidency that was
12 the command. It was the command, composed of five or
13 six people who were in charge of the army and of policy
14 and so on.
15 Q. Witness AO, the body called the wartime
16 presidency of Herceg-Bosna does not exist. That's why
17 I'm asking you. What was it?
18 A. It was a team. We could call it a team which
19 led the army -- the policy which made the decisions
20 concerning Herceg-Bosna. They were the leaders of
21 Herceg-Bosna. It was the team that was leading
22 Herceg-Bosna or the Croatian people.
23 Q. Do you know at all the structure of the HVO
24 army? Let's put that question first, the HVO army.
25 A. What do you mean? Do you mean the
2 Q. Who was at the head of the main staff in '92,
3 what was the coordination like, and so on? Do you know
4 what the structure of the military part of the HVO was?
5 A. Well, I know the team that was there, I know
6 the team. But what you said, I didn't really look into
7 their documents, so I wouldn't know.
8 Q. Very well. Another question. Do you know
9 the political structure of the Community of
11 A. Well, the same goes for them. Some called it
12 the wartime presidency, others called it whatever.
13 What is important to me is that I knew the people I was
14 in contact with, and up to a point, I knew the duties
15 of the politicians or the army leaders and so on.
16 Q. Could you please tell us exactly who attended
17 the meeting on both sides?
18 A. On both sides?
19 Q. Yes.
20 A. On both sides? Well, on the HOS side, it was
21 Blaz Kraljevic and me.
22 Q. No one else?
23 A. No, there was no one else.
24 Q. And representing your partners in the
1 A. Well, it was Mr. Kordic. There was
2 Mr. Boban, there was Boban, although something
3 happened. I think that the gentleman who was there --
4 I think that some other people of theirs were invited,
5 but I know that Boban and Kordic were there.
6 Q. Was there anyone else with them? Could you
7 be precise?
8 A. The meeting did not go on as it should have,
9 because there was some who couldn't come on the other
10 side, and this was taking place at the hotel in Grude.
11 I know that Dario Kordic was there and Mate Boban, and
12 even after those talks, I personally talked to Boban.
13 In the lobby, there was some uniformed soldiers and
14 quite a lot of people, and I can't remember who else
15 was there in the corridor, in the lobby. But in the
16 room where we were, there were the two of them.
17 Q. So did I understand you well; is it the case
18 that many people did not come to the meeting? Does
19 that mean it was an informal meeting?
20 A. Well, I don't know how they prepared it. I
21 don't know whether it was formal or informal.
22 Q. Were any minutes taken?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Was there an agenda proposed for the meeting?
25 A. Well, we talked, we discussed things, and at
1 the very beginning of the meeting there was some
2 indignation on the part of Mr. Blaz Kraljevic. And
3 then I know that Mate Boban said something like, "Very
4 well. We have to go on. There's something else we
5 have to talk about." And I think at that moment Blaz
6 Kraljevic asked why someone had not been invited from
7 the Bosniak side.
8 Q. You said that. And if that was just the
9 beginning of the discussion that was to be continued on
10 some other occasion, how long did this meeting last?
11 A. You mean the meeting we attended?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. I don't know. I don't know how long it was,
14 how long it lasted. I think it wasn't long.
15 Q. Can you tell us the time, approximately?
16 A. Well, first of all, I never wear a watch. I
17 don't have a watch. I didn't look at my watch. But it
18 wasn't long.
19 Q. Isn't it a little strange that you, and
20 please don't misunderstand me, but you were a small
21 fry, so to speak, so wasn't it strange that you should
22 attend a meeting of members of the presidency of the
23 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and the chief
24 commander of the HOS for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that
25 it wasn't your superior, someone higher up than you?
1 A. Well, that is interesting, and many people
2 think that. How come that it was I who met
3 Mr. Bosiljko Misetic in '94 in Vares, and many people
4 wondered why it was me who drove Mr. Slobodan Lang all
5 over Herceg-Bosna, and he was advisor to President
6 Tudjman, and he was his advisor for humanitarian
7 issues. And many people wonder, not just you. So it's
8 not strange that you should wonder why I was in such
9 high society, but all my life I have associated with
10 important people. And I have evidence; I have
11 photographs of myself with President Tudjman, with
12 Bosiljko Misetic and from Grude --
13 JUDGE MAY: I think we've got the answer.
14 Yes, Mr. Naumovski, move on.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Do we agree that at that meeting you said
17 nothing; it was Blaz Kraljevic who spoke?
18 A. Oh, yes, I did. I spoke two words to Boban.
19 Q. You said something in the plural. Who was it
20 who spoke most of that meeting?
21 A. Well, it was Boban and Dario. We were just
22 invited and we didn't have much to talk about.
23 Q. But I am saying which of them two? Was it
24 Mr. Boban who held the floor?
25 A. Well, as you said just a while ago, there
1 were no minutes taken and both of them spoke.
2 Q. I am asking you because you told the
3 investigators of The Hague Tribunal, when you were
4 talking about this meeting, you said that only
5 Mr. Kordic spoke and said everything that you mentioned
6 today, only Mr. Kordic.
7 A. Well, I answered as to what I was called upon
8 to speak about. I was told to -- I was asked about
9 Mr. Kordic, not about Mr. Boban. So I discussed this
10 topic, because that's how it was.
11 Q. But you never mentioned once that Mr. Boban
12 ever said anything on that topic; you only said that
13 Mr. Kordic spoke. Now you say that Mr. Boban also
15 A. Well, I just said, I came because of Dario
16 Kordic, not because of Mate Boban. And no one asked me
17 what Boban talked about. So I only talked about what
18 Mr. Kordic said.
19 Q. You said today, Witness AO, that Mr. Kordic
20 said, among other things, something about disagreements
21 amongst the Muslims, and you mentioned Fikret Abdic in
22 that comment?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. About the inter-Muslim conflict between the
25 followers of Fikret Abdic and the members of the army
1 of Bosnia-Herzegovina arose only in 1994; there was no
2 conflict in '92.
3 A. I think that conflicts amongst the Muslims
4 broke out; they weren't armed conflicts, but it was a
5 disagreement when Pohara from Bosanski Brod -- and you
6 remember when Bosanski Brod happened, and who Pohara
7 was. And you know what he did in Bosanski Brod and how
8 Bosanski Brod was sold, and how he became a general and
9 who appointed him as Fikret Abdic's general.
10 Q. Well, you mentioned something today, that
11 Mr. Kordic was wearing a jacket, and you think he had a
12 rank on his jacket.
13 A. I said he was in short sleeves and his jacket
14 was on the chair next to the chair he was sitting on,
15 and on the jacket there was a HVO -- there was a HVO
16 patch on the shirt, and all I said was that his jacket
17 was next to him, but on the shirt which he was wearing
18 there was a HVO patch.
19 Q. So do we agree that he did not have any rank
20 insignia on his jacket, and that you saw no rank
22 A. I agree. I agree.
23 Q. Very well. Thank you.
24 A. But I agree that he had a HVO patch.
25 Q. You are not sure, Witness AO, that Mr. Kordic
1 had ammunition on that occasion?
2 A. Well, I saw him many times before in Grude in
3 Busovaca, and he often carried a pistol, and I think
4 that on that meeting he did. It's possible. Because I
5 didn't contact him after we got up and went out in the
6 corridor, in the lobby. I was with Boban then.
7 Q. So if I understand you, he did not have a
9 A. Maybe.
10 Q. Very well. Witness AO, I have to tell you
11 Mr. Kordic never attended a meeting with Blaz
12 Kraljevic, nor did he ever meet him, nor has he ever
13 seen you.
14 A. Are you asking me to answer this?
15 Q. Yes.
16 A. I have a video recording from Vares,
17 St. Michael, and right across from me was the Efendija
18 from Vares, who was invited by Father Mate Topic to the
19 parish office.
20 Q. I am talking about HOS.
21 A. We were sitting one across from the other,
22 and what you say, that Dario Kordic doesn't know me,
23 it's possible that I may have put on some weight, so he
24 didn't recognise me today. But I assert, and I know,
25 and I have video recording to prove that we met about
1 seven to ten times, and contacted. And this took place
2 when the convoy was there, and other occasions as
4 Q. Please, can you give us a precise answer. I
5 said that Mr. Kordic could never have seen you in
6 connection with Blaz Kraljevic and HOS and meetings in
7 HOS which he never attended.
8 A. That's a different question. But you just
9 put a different question. You said that he did not
10 know me personally, and that he had never seen me.
11 That's one question. And this is another question,
12 which I will answer now. The indignation that
13 occurred, and that had to do with Blaz Kraljevic. The
14 opinion of HOS had to be expressed and he wanted to
15 know the opinion of HOS about unification, about
16 further activities, about joint HOS and HVO command.
17 Q. Let me repeat a third time. You did not
18 answer. You said that Mr. Kordic --
19 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered the
20 question, and he is saying that Kordic was there. Now,
21 I don't think we can take the matter very much further,
22 unless there is a particular point you want to raise.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
24 I have said what our position is, and if Your Honour
25 considers that the question has been answered, I have
1 no further questions on this point.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Let us go on, Witness AO, to the next
5 meeting, which was held in Kruscica. When was that
6 meeting held, please?
7 A. Well, the meeting was held after this meeting
8 in Grude. Perhaps some two months later there were
9 some other meetings, but one of the more important ones
10 was in Kruscica, attended by representatives from
11 Tuzla, Zenica and other municipalities, and this was a
12 meeting concerning only HOS, and at that meeting a
13 similar issue was raised. An offer was made to -- by
14 the HVO to HOS, that HOS should join the ranks of the
16 Q. What Krusica are you referring to, and what
17 municipality is this Krusica?
18 A. Krusica, that's a hotel where there is a
19 fishpond between Vitez and Travnik, at the crossroads.
20 The Hotel Kruscica.
21 Q. And who did you represent at that meeting,
22 what region did you represent?
23 A. Well, I had some lads from Olovo, and some
24 from Breza, and from Visoko, and from Vares. There
25 were lads from all these places. And at that meeting
1 we simply talked a little bit improving logistics,
2 improving communication, and about the cooperation of
3 HOS in Vares, Tuzla, Zenica, Breza, and so on. That's
4 what we discussed.
5 Q. Was that meeting attended by your commander,
6 Mladen Holman?
7 A. I think that Mladen Holman was not present at
8 that meeting. Madam Besima was there, and she was a
9 secretary in the school in Zenica where the HOS office
10 was located.
11 Q. But this was a very important meeting. Why
12 wasn't Mladen Holman there? He was one of the three, I
13 can say, highest-ranking officers in HOS.
14 A. Well, that meeting wasn't as important as you
15 think. The only important thing at that meeting was to
16 put forward the facts from the field and the relations,
17 for example, the relations in Zenica, because there was
18 the HVO, the HOS, and the army of B and H in Zenica, so
19 we had to see for what the relations were between the
20 HVO and the army of B and H, between the HVO and the
21 HOS in Zenica and in Olovo.
22 Q. Very well, very well. We don't want to tire
23 Their Honours with details.
24 You talked about spies. You said someone was
25 spying for someone else at the meeting. Who was it?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.
1 Can you give us the name?
2 A. Well, I don't know. This young man turned up
3 at the meeting in Kruscica for the first time. That
4 was when I saw him for the first and last time, at that
5 meeting. And I even asked where this young man was
6 from, and so I talked to Boro Mijatovic and Vjeran, and
7 no one told me. He never even introduced himself, but
8 this young man was there, and we later heard that he
9 was from other ranks.
10 Q. But you never talked to someone about it?
11 You didn't talk to that man?
12 A. We met him in the corridor, and I didn't have
13 any contact with him.
14 Q. So this was just gossip, that he may have
15 been a spy; you don't know anything specific about it?
16 A. Well, we learned some details about it later
17 on, but I didn't really ask who he was. He had a false
18 first and last name. I think he was from Prozor.
19 Q. And who was he spying for? Who told you that
20 he was a spy?
21 A. Well, later when Blaz Kraljevic's funeral was
22 held --
23 Q. Yes. But as far as I understand, you don't
24 know any details.
25 A. Well, at the funeral -- as you say, I don't
1 know anything specific from the meeting, but after the
2 meeting, I was told something.
3 Q. When we are talking about hearsay, you say
4 today that you heard that in '92, you heard that HOS
5 members had robbed some convoys in Haljinici, near
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Who spread these rumours?
9 A. Well, these rumours were spread by the
10 representatives of both the Croatian and the Muslim
11 people, because the Muslims saw insignia but did not
12 look at anyone's identity papers. And when we started
13 investigating who it was, it turned out that they were
14 men wearing HOS uniforms. And they did bad things,
15 looting and so on.
16 Q. So we don't know anything more about this,
17 who they were, who they were working for. Were they
18 common criminals?
19 A. Well, I know they were working for a man
20 known as Djuka, who was later the representative of
21 Hvidra, and I know that he was in Olovo and Haljinici,
22 and there was this Djuka there and there was a certain
23 baron [phoen], and Zika, a certain Zika.
24 Q. Very well. Obviously, if they were common
25 criminals, it's not important.
1 I have another question. Speaking of HOS in
2 general, you said that Blaz Kraljevic was killed in
3 Herzegovina, near Mostar, as you say?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Are you sure it was near Mostar?
6 A. Well, I said -- I didn't say decidedly it was
7 near Mostar; I said it was on the demarcation lines
8 between the army of B and H and the HVO.
9 Q. Let us try to round off this subject about
10 HOS. Witness AO, do you agree that you were a member
11 of HOS for not more than six months, counting from the
12 day of the assassination of Blaz Kraljevic, who was
13 killed sometime in early August '92?
14 A. You mean six months before or after?
15 Q. Before.
16 A. I was there before and after Blaz Kraljevic.
17 Q. But this part after his death, we shall come
18 to it later. But I'm referring to HOS in general, so
19 I'm not mentioning Vares in special. I'm saying that
20 you were with HOS for six months only, that is, from
21 February until August '92.
22 A. I disagree.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
24 I should like to tender the statements that the witness
25 made to the Nordic Battalion, only to Nordic Battalion;
1 that is, only one part of the statement and Annex A to
2 the statement.
3 Could the usher help me? It is a part of one
4 in the same U.N. document, so it could be marked with
5 one number.
6 This is a one-page document. I don't know if
7 you can read English, but we cannot put it on the ELMO,
8 I'm afraid, or can we? Could I have the number,
10 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So in this document, and this is the first
14 document, that you were a suspect HOS member, and it is
15 said this was conducted with the military police of the
16 NordBat, and it says that you were for about six months
17 with the HOS. And in this broadest three-page-long
18 statement, you said that you were with HOS until Blaz
19 Kraljevic got assassinated, so between February and
20 August '92?
21 A. To register, how long did the financing last
22 in some places, six months; it is what is on paper.
23 But the units who stayed on, as I said in answer to
24 your previous question, that until the end, until '93,
25 until November '93 or, rather, the 28th, 28th of
1 October, we were still there, but we were not
2 registered. We were registered -- we were not
3 registered on paper, because this kind of combat
4 seniority did not really mean much to us.
5 Q. Sir, this is what you wrote to the officers
6 of NordBat, is it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Very well. Let's move on.
9 Witness AO, you -- and I now have several
10 questions related to Vares and the unit that you wanted
11 to set up. So in Vares, you tried to found a HOS unit,
12 didn't you?
13 A. And we did.
14 Q. So you founded a small group, some five to
15 eight men strong, but it was never institutionalised;
16 it was an informal group?
17 A. That is not true.
18 Q. I beg your pardon?
19 A. That is not true.
20 Q. You will agree that the commander of that
21 unit, whether it was formal or informal, you were not
22 the first commander; its first command was Vjeran
24 A. Not true. It was Josip, who was a deputy of
25 Mladen Holman. He was the founder.
1 Q. Josip Germanovic came after Mijatovic?
2 A. No. He was the first.
3 Q. But you were not the leader?
4 A. I did not belong to such small units. I
5 belonged to larger units.
6 Q. This unit, or I should rather call it a group
7 of people because it was so small, it was active in
8 Vares between January and August? That is, January and
9 October '93.
10 A. Well, it was active even before that, I
11 think, even before.
12 Q. Would you agree with me that during that time
13 while you were a member of this group, you also worked
14 for a marketing company called Jakici, a commercial
16 A. As regards that private company, Jakici, no,
17 I didn't have a formal contract with them. But
18 commercial convoys which made part of Caritas convoys
19 or military convoys, I escorted those convoys, and for
20 a while I also worked for them, those minor
21 operations. But they did not have me on their payroll
22 and I didn't get any insurance through them. But I did
23 certain things in relation to convoys and things like
24 that. I was there.
25 Q. Yes, yes, I understand you. But brothers
1 Jakic have nothing to do with convoys. They had a
2 business of their own.
3 A. But convoys, commercial, humanitarian and
4 military, they all went to them.
5 Q. But we agree that you worked for brothers
6 Jakic; that is, you took care of the private business
7 for a compensation?
8 A. I did not do it for a compensation,
10 Q. At that time, there was a very acute shortage
11 of food supplies in the area, wasn't there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You will agree with me that you often met and
14 socialised with high officers of the BiH army in the
15 municipality of Vares?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. That you also provided them with food?
18 A. Well, if I did -- through the Jakici company,
19 I mean.
20 Q. Well, was either one who gave them food.
21 A. No, it wasn't me, because I didn't have any
22 power. And who provided food for them, I simply
23 provided security. So that the food that they were
24 paying for would not be looted.
25 Q. But you will agree with me that you had
1 certificates from BiH army officers for the safe
2 passage through the territory under their control?
3 A. I agree.
4 Q. Then you also had passes from the army of
5 Republika Srpska, that you could move freely through
6 their territory, go to Tuzla or wherever you had to?
7 A. Well, there were no obstacles between Vares
8 and Tuzla, as far as the Serb territory is concerned.
9 The boundary was Vares, and Olovo was linked to Tuzla,
10 so that I didn't need any pass, because this
11 communication, this route was open throughout, between
12 Vares and Tuzla. That area was covered by the units of
13 the BiH army.
14 Q. My mistake. My question was not precise.
15 But you will agree that you had an authorisation to
16 move around the territory of the Republika Srpska?
17 A. I never had any contact through the Republika
18 Srpska, but at some point in time I escorted convoys of
19 the Serb people moving out from the Tuzla, Olovo and
20 Vares regions, and they were issued certificates by the
21 Croat Defence Council, so that they could move to the
22 territory of the Republika Srpska. I had a
23 certificate, a pass from Anto Pejcinovic to escort
24 convoys, and say that I had pass of Anto Pejcinovic to
25 take a convoy out to Brgule.
1 Q. Today, during the examination-in-chief, you
2 devote a certain time to those convoys who were moving
3 to and out of Herzegovina, and you said that somebody
4 in Grude had to sign that?
5 A. Yes. Convoys moving across the territory of
6 Herceg-Bosna, which had nothing to do -- I did not say
7 that they signed those which concerned Vares, Zenica,
8 Vares, Tuzla. I did not say about those. I only spoke
9 about convoy which came from Herzegovina, from Croatia,
10 to the territory controlled by the HVO in Vares.
11 Q. And who signed those passes? Did you see any
12 of them with your own eyes?
13 A. Well, I did have some of them. I did have
14 some of those documents. For instance, a document:
15 Escorted by Zvonko Pajic was signed by Mate Boban.
16 Nikola Grabovic's convoy was signed by Dario Kordic.
17 And series of such convoys signed by the headquarters
18 in the Grude Hotel.
19 Q. Vjeran Mijatovic, whom you mentioned a while
20 ago --
21 A. I have to this day, for all the relatives and
22 all the fuel; not even Anto Pejcinovic had to do
23 anything about this. The signature had to come from
24 Dario Kordic.
25 Q. And where were those convoys that you are
1 talking about? What time frame? What year?
2 A. Well, they travelled from '91, from the very
3 beginning of the armament, right up to '93, across the
4 territory of Republika Srpska convoys moved. So it was
5 two or three years these convoys went non-stop, because
6 Vares was cut off both from Croatia and Herceg-Bosna.
7 Q. I understand what you are saying, but what I
8 wanted to tell you was that in '93 Mr. Kordic did not
9 sign any such pass. So could you tell us precisely,
10 when did any convoy with his signature pass through?
11 A. Well, it is -- I may still have these
12 signatures to this day, because Vjeran Mijatovic's
13 documentation stayed behind in Vares, in a house in
14 Vares, for the duration of the war. And I more or less
15 salvaged it in one piece. And I have his file, and
16 there are also other files which I've kept. And they
17 are there. So there is '92 and '93.
18 Q. And you saw those passes?
19 A. I have them to this day.
20 Q. You still have them?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. From '93 with Mr. Kordic's signature?
23 A. Well, I don't say they are from '93, but from
24 convoy from '91, '92, '93, those years, I do not really
25 try to see what date it was exact, what hour, what time
1 of the day, and so on and so forth. But I know that I
2 do have those certificates at home.
3 Q. Right. You also, for the duration of this
4 period, were in touch with the BiH army, which had its
5 headquarters in Dabravine?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And also with the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
8 in Tuzla, didn't you?
9 A. Yes. And through Tuzla I also spoke to
10 Luzanski, to Juric; those people came to Vares all the
11 time. There was never any trouble with them. We could
12 always talk to them and have any contacts while the HVO
13 in Vares, in Tuzla.
14 Q. A moment ago you mentioned a few names, and
15 now you want to repeat them: Robert Sokic, Kreso
16 Pejcinovic, Dusko Amidzic. They were your colleagues
17 from this, a small unit that we referred to, a HOS
18 unit, were they?
19 A. Dusko Amidzic.
20 Q. Those three names.
21 A. And what are the names, did you say?
22 Q. Robert Sokic and Kreso Pejcinovic.
23 A. Kreso Pejcinovic? I never mentioned that
24 name. Kreso Pejcinovic, I did not say that.
25 Q. But you mentioned some names. I remember
1 those three names. Were they people that you had
2 business contacts with?
3 A. Kreso Pejcinovic is the former mayor's
4 brother, but he had nothing to do with it. He had no
5 business from his own. Dusko Amidzic was a Serb
6 married to a Muslim and --
7 Q. But did you have any business contact with
8 him? That's my question.
9 A. What contact with Dusko Amidzic? He was a
10 poor man.
11 Q. So you didn't?
12 A. Of course I didn't.
13 Q. Today you also mentioned Kreso Bozic several
14 times. Was he a HVO member?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were you with HVO at all?
17 A. Well, no. When you look at all this,
18 certificates and military records and all that, you can
19 well see that I never was that. Even though I did get
20 a piece of evidence, that is, I was issued with a
21 military booklet which says: "Three months of service
22 with the HVO." And then I asked them, "What is it that
23 you wrote in my booklet, when I was not issuing
24 certificates?" And they said, "Well, of course you
25 didn't. It was a mistake." Because there was a
1 Bernard Vijackic, who was their commander in the
2 village of Ocevija, and that was an error.
3 Q. Right. But if you were not with the HVO, why
4 did you tell a NordBat officer that you were a liaison
5 officer between HVO and U.N.?
6 A. No. No. It was wrong.
7 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. That question has
8 been asked before. There is no need to repeat it.
9 Now, do let's move on.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Witness AO, let us move on to a group of
12 questions which I titled "Events in Vares." Today you
13 spoke about a meeting held in June '93, and which was
14 attended by Ekrem Mahmutovic and Avdo Zubaca, and who
15 were requesting free passage for Muslims to go from the
16 village of Dabravine, who was controlled by the army of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to travel from that village through
18 villages of Pogara and Dubosice to Tuzla?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And we can agree that in this way the 3rd
21 Corps of the BiH army Zenica would have been linked
22 with the 2nd Corps of the same army in Tuzla?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that would have reinforced the BiH
25 armies, isn't it?
1 A. Well, it wouldn't have meant anything to
2 Vares, and it would have -- it would have suited Vares
3 better if they had been done -- if that road had been
4 opened, than what happened. And I believe that all the
5 villagers and all the population in the Vares
6 municipality was for a peaceful means, rather than it
8 Q. Did you attend that meeting?
9 A. That meeting was in the HVO restaurant called
10 Centre in Vares.
11 Q. And you attended the meeting, because it was
12 a meeting between the HVO and BiH army?
13 A. The meeting was also attended by a gentleman
14 from -- I think some organisation, I don't know whether
15 humanitarian or military. I simply came to that
16 meeting because I was ordered to do so by Anto
17 Pejcinovic. Anto Pejcinovic asked me to take two
18 gentlemen, who had come from Dabravine, a bottle of
19 whiskey for each one, a carton of Marlboro, a package
20 of coffee, and things like that. So I took my private
21 car to cart those parcels and distributed them amongst
22 them at that meeting.
23 Q. Does that mean that you were not present at
24 the meeting all the time?
25 A. Yes, it does.
1 Q. And apart from Anto Pejcinovic, who else was
2 there on behalf of HVO in Vares?
3 A. Well, there was Zvonko Duznovic, Ivica
4 Gavran, Emil Harah. I can't remember others.
5 Q. And at that meeting Anto Pejcinovic agreed to
6 the proposal, the proposal of army Bosnia-Herzegovina?
7 A. Well, he did not make any firm promises.
8 Anto did not make any firm promises then. But he
9 granted a period within which he would let them know if
10 anything would come out of that.
11 Q. I am asking you, because in your earlier
12 statement you said -- or perhaps I am wrong. No. Yes,
13 true. You said Anto Pejcinovic agreed to their
14 proposal, and later on sent a letter giving the
16 A. Yes, indeed. I did say that.
17 Q. Who did he send the letter to?
18 A. Anto Pejcinovic agreed to that route, but he
19 could not say that at that meeting the passage is free,
20 and he had to seek advice of the main headquarters in
22 Q. How? By a letter?
23 A. Well, I don't know if it was a letter. I
24 believe there was also very powerful communication
25 through Republika Srpska, because they had already
1 received a permission of Republika Srpska that
2 individual persons could travel through the territory
3 of Republika Srpska.
4 Q. Witness AO, I asked you a simple question.
5 You told investigators of The Hague Tribunal that to
6 meet, to arrange, that this letter be sent to Grude, a
8 A. Arrange? No. Within my context, where I
9 was, they asked for the route, for the shortest route,
10 those who had the permit to travel across the territory
11 of Republika Srpska, in one of the documents that I
12 have. There were other individuals, and in front of me
13 they were talking about who would be the most reliable
14 person to do that. And I can't say that they did not
15 mean me.
16 Q. So did you arrange for the letter to go to
18 A. HVO did it; not me.
19 Q. But do you know if the letter went to Grude?
20 A. I believe it did.
21 Q. Did you see it?
22 A. Well, after the meeting, I think the first
23 convoy went through the territory of Republika Srpska
24 to Grude.
25 Q. Because I believe in your statement you said
1 that Grude rejected Pejcinovic's proposal. What does
2 it mean Grude? Whom do you mean by Grude?
3 A. Well, the main staff. The main staff.
4 Q. You mean the main staff of the HVO army?
5 A. Why, yes.
6 Q. Do you agree with me that had they permitted
7 what the BiH army was asking for, which Pejcinovic
8 accepted, that four Croat villages would have been cut
9 off from Vares?
10 A. Four Croat villages, that they would be cut
11 off from Vares? Well, Vares was cut off from anybody,
12 from any Croat villages, anyway.
13 Q. That was your conclusion, Witness AO, and you
14 communicated it to the investigators of the Tribunal.
15 You said: Grude rejected their request. Had the
16 Muslims been authorised a passage, four Croat villages
17 would have been cut off from Vares, and that would have
18 rendered very difficult the evacuation of Croats from
19 the Vares area.
20 A. I do not have this in front of me. But let
21 me explain it. The rejection of that document, which
22 came from Grude; Vares was completely encircled, Vares
23 was completely surrounded. Even before the war, Vares
24 had no communication with any Croat town, with any
25 Croat place. Strategically speaking, its geographic
1 location meant that Vares never had a neighbouring
2 municipality which would -- with a Croat majority. So
3 I don't know why it said that Vares would have been cut
4 off, because Vares was cut off anyway. But the 2nd and
5 the 3rd Corps would have come together and that would
6 have been a threat. I think that is a mistake. It
7 says that two or three villages might have been cut
8 off, not two or three towns. So it could have been a
9 mistake. Why don't you check it.
10 Q. Yes. About the linkage of the 2nd or 3rd
11 Corps, if you agree with that, then we don't have to go
12 into that any further. We can move on.
13 Let us move on to another meeting, and that
14 was a meeting which took place in September '93, at the
15 Ponikve Hotel. At that meeting Anto Pejcinovic said
16 that from Grude to Vares, an order arrived saying that
17 assistance had to be sought from Serbs to defend Vares
18 against the BiH army?
19 A. Well, yes, it was a proposal. It had already
20 been agreed beforehand. If the Croatian Defence
21 Council in Vares could not defend that, the territory,
22 then they should turn to the Republika Srpska, which
23 was in the adjacent territory, to seek their help.
24 Q. So if I understood you, you attended this
25 meeting, even though you were not a HVO member? In
1 what capacity did you attend the meeting?
2 A. Well, there were several people at the
3 meeting. It was one of the meetings of responsible
4 persons -- or how shall I put it? It was a meeting to
5 which they had invited -- it was a large meeting, and
6 there were high-ranking commanders and lower ranking
7 commanders, and even the commanders of the civilian
8 defence which existed at the time, and all those
9 people. So that it wasn't a meeting of a close type --
10 it wasn't of that type, although it wasn't quite an
11 open-ended meeting. One could enter it. Since I was
12 very close to Anto Pejcinovic all the time, I do not
13 think that my presence there bothered anyone.
14 Q. But who invited you to that meeting, and in
15 what capacity?
16 A. Well, I am just -- I just told you. It
17 wasn't a closed meeting, because all the commanders
18 were there: lower commanders, higher commanders,
19 senior commanders, and members. And we, HOS members,
20 who were there and could go there to hear what was
21 going on, what was happening in Vares, what was -- and
22 also hear what was going on outside Vares. So it
23 wasn't a meeting with special invitation cards; it was
24 simply an open meeting.
25 Q. And you saw that, all that you mentioned,
1 didn't you?
2 A. Pejcinovic, you mean?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. Yes, I did.
5 Q. And how did this order reach Vares? By what
7 A. With a convoy, because convoy -- Caritas
8 convoy was coming in, and I think that -- I don't
9 think; I affirm that fuel also came with the convoy,
10 about two or three fuel assistants with the convoy.
11 And that is how it reached Vares. And I believe that
12 Vjeran Mijatovic was one of those who escorted it.
13 Q. And who issued that document? What did it
14 say? What was the heading? What did it say?
15 A. Well, it was an A4 format, and in one corner
16 it had the coat of arms of the HVO, with the
17 chequerboard, and at the bottom it was short. I saw it
18 only because Anto Pejcinovic had it on the desk, had it
19 on the table beforehand. But Zvonko Duznovic picked it
20 up and said, "We are strong enough. We don't need any
21 help." And he took it very boldly, read it, and put it
23 Q. Let's go back to the document. Who was the
24 document addressed to?
25 A. Well, the HVO in Vares.
1 Q. There was no name specified on it?
2 A. Well, everybody knows who was the head,
3 because Anto Pejcinovic was both the political and
4 military leader of Vares. His was to say who would be
5 the commander in the municipality, who would be at the
6 checkpoint, at the fuel -- at the petrol station, so on
7 and so forth. So when I said beforehand that on paper
8 there were various leaders, but everybody knew who had
9 the upper say; it was the president of the HDZ. And
10 the HDZ president was also at the same time the
11 president of the Croatian Defence Council, except that
12 the commander for a time was Boro Mamisic. So the
13 letter was addressed to him.
14 Q. But that document which came with the convoy,
15 it was the original letter, was it?
16 A. You mean original?
17 Q. I mean, it was not a copy; it was an
19 A. Well, they all looked the same. They are
20 official letters. Whether that was a copy or --
21 Q. But since we are talking about the document
22 and describing it, apart from that sentence that they
23 could turn to Serbs for the assistance for the defence
24 of Vares, was there something else in the document?
25 A. Why, yes. This was read out. But I really
1 couldn't remember it all.
2 Q. It was one and the same document. It was a
3 long document or not?
4 A. Well, no, it wasn't a very long document, but
5 it was a document.
6 Q. So other subjects were broached, apart from
7 the one that you didn't memorise?
8 A. Well, it was concise and there was so many
9 lines. There was so many lines in the document.
10 Q. But whose signature was that?
11 A. Well, I did not have this document in my
12 hands. Had I had it in my hands, I would have
13 remembered. But it said in one of the corners there
14 was -- it said "sent to," and there were three lines
15 and the signature. But I do not know whether it was
16 the official label and whether it had typed "Mate
17 Boban" or "Dario Kordic" or something else. I do not
18 know. But I think that there were two names mentioned,
19 because it said "for" somebody.
20 Q. Was there Mate Boban's name there?
21 A. I believe that Mate Boban's name was typed,
22 but it could have been initialled by Dario Kordic, or
23 the other way around. Perhaps Mate Boban's name was
24 typed down in the bottom.
25 Q. So if I understand you well, there was no
1 Dario Kordic's name typed?
2 A. No, his name was not typed, but I think that
3 the signature was his name.
4 Q. Was there a signature on that document?
5 A. Yes, there was.
6 Q. Have you ever -- did you ever see
7 Mr. Kordic's signature before that?
8 A. Yes, I did, I did see that.
9 Q. And you're saying that this was Dario
10 Kordic's signature?
11 A. Yes, I think, in all likelihood.
12 Q. But you are not sure? You are not positive
13 whether somebody else has put his name or whether it
14 was in his own writing?
15 A. Well, I don't really know. It was his
16 signature, but whether he signed it in his own hand or
17 whether somebody else signed it in his name, that --
18 but that was just initialled, it was only initialled.
19 Q. So we're referring to a document which
20 arrived in September '93, and will you agree with me
21 that Busovaca, as of April '93, was completely cut off
22 and surrounded by the BH army's troops from all sides,
23 cut off from both Vares and Grude?
24 A. Do I agree that Busovaca was cut off from all
25 the municipalities? Yes, well, I agree. Well, I don't
1 know 100 per cent, but I do think it was cut off. But
2 I also say that Vares was also cut off from all Croat
3 places, and yet Vares had its command --
4 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to go on. Now,
5 Mr. Naumovski, it's half past 5. How much longer
6 are you going to be?
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
8 I'm not sure I can finish by 6.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, you must finish within half
10 an hour tomorrow morning. Will you tailor your
11 cross-examination? You will then have had the best
12 part of two hours to cross-examine. But I think we've
13 had enough for one day.
14 Witness AO, I'm afraid we can't finish your
15 evidence today. Could you be back tomorrow morning,
16 please, at 9, when we will conclude it, and you'll
17 then be released. But will you be back, please, at
19 We'll adjourn now until 9.
21 MR. NICE: The order of witnesses tomorrow
22 has to be slightly different, because one witness has
23 to get out. I'll notify your staff accordingly.
25 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
1 5.33 p.m., to be reconvened on
2 Tuesday, the 7th day of March, 2000,
3 at 9 a.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between
14 the French and English transcripts.