1 Monday, 15
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
9 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
10 and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: IVICA KAMBIC
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, there's a matter I
14 want to raise just before you begin.
15 Mr. Nice, it came to our attention, in fact
16 you raised it during the ex parte hearing on Friday,
17 but I hasten to say there was no discussion about it
18 since we were in ex parte session, but you very
19 properly raised the matter that as a result of the
20 Defence enquiries about the audiotape, that in fact the
21 exhibits were being retained by the Office of the
22 Prosecutor during this case and copies were being
23 handed over to the Registry. Now, we do not know how
24 this has come about. We understand, from some
25 enquiries, that there may have been a ruling in another
1 case. But clearly it's a matter which must be
2 regularised, because Rule 81(C) states that the
3 Registry should do that, and indeed one would have
4 expected the Rules to say it because, of course, the
5 Court is the proper place to keep the exhibits once
6 they have been produced.
7 Now, I'm not going to interrupt the evidence
8 now that the witness is in court, but at an appropriate
9 moment, clearly we must have a full hearing about this
10 in order to regularise the position and to ensure that
11 we act in conformity with the Rules and the normal
12 conduct of trials as I understand it. In particular,
13 of course, we may have to address some or at least one
14 more controversial exhibit, and it may be necessary to
15 have some evidence about it. But all that we can
17 But as I said, at an appropriate moment, we
18 will hear you, and of course we will hear the Defence
19 about what the appropriate step should be now.
20 MR. NICE: The Defence were written to, I
21 think, on Friday, copied to the Chambers, explaining
22 the position in relation to the particular exhibit, and
23 I'm happy to deal with the matter at any convenient
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you very much. We'll
1 ask for the letter, if it's arrived.
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, as I say, we'll hear
4 from the Defence on the matter in due course. But
5 we'll also have to consider the Defence exhibits, what
6 the position is about them.
7 MR. SAYERS: We've been giving some thought
8 to that, of course, Your Honour, and might I propose
9 this: --
10 JUDGE MAY: Unless it's something which is to
11 be dealt with immediately, it may be better if we have
12 a full hearing about it.
13 MR. SAYERS: Absolutely.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I'm sorry, the witness has
15 been detained during this discussion. We'll now
17 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much,
18 Mr. President, and good morning, sir.
19 Examined by Mr. Sayers:
20 Q. Would you please state your name for the
22 A. My name is Ivica Kambic.
23 Q. Mr. Kambic, I'm going to take you fairly
24 quickly through most of the material that's contained
25 in the outline that you have signed. Most of it, I
1 think, is uncontroversial, but if there are any points
2 upon which the Prosecution wishes me not to lead, I
3 would be obliged if they would point that out at the
4 appropriate stage.
5 Some preliminary details, Mr. Kambic. You
6 were born, I believe, on October the 25th, 1950, in
7 Karlovac, Croatia, but your parents moved to Novi
8 Travnik with you when you were just six months old?
9 A. Yes, yes.
10 Q. You finished your elementary schooling and
11 high schooling in the town of Novi Travnik, attended
12 business school in Sarajevo, but did not take a degree
13 from that institution; is that correct?
14 A. It is.
15 Q. I believe, sir, that you graduated from the
16 School for Reserve Officers in the JNA and served in
17 the JNA, holding the rank of Captain First Class before
18 you resigned.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. I believe, sir, that your entire 20-year
21 career was spent at the Bratstvo weapons manufacturing
22 plant in Novi Travnik. Is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that the last position that you held at
25 this factory was as the sales and marketing manager for
1 the department that manufactured armaments and supplies
2 for the JNA?
3 THE INTERPRETER: We could not hear the
4 witness. We believe he said, "Yes."
5 MR. SAYERS:
6 Q. Mr. Kambic, I wonder if I might ask you just
7 to approach the microphones a little more closely.
8 Thank you.
9 I believe, sir, that you joined the Croat
10 Defence Council in November of 1992 as a company
11 commander within the 1st Battalion of the Stjepan
12 Tomasevic Brigade, the Novi Travnik Brigade; is that
14 A. It is.
15 Q. And in April of 1994, you became the Chief of
16 Staff of operations of that brigade?
17 A. Yes, after the Dayton Accords were signed,
18 that is when I was posted to that duty.
19 Q. And the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade was
20 reformed and is now called the 90th Home Guard Brigade;
21 is that right?
22 A. That is what it was called then.
23 Q. And after the civil war ended, sir, I believe
24 that you served in an army of the Federation of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that you held the rank of
1 Captain First Class in the Federation army before your
2 retirement in 1996?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And you are currently living in Novi Travnik
5 with your family, your wife, and two children; is that
6 right, sir?
7 A. It is. We're all there.
8 Q. All right. Mr. Kambic, I'd like to turn your
9 attention to the day upon which you and your colleagues
10 were kidnapped, April 13th, 1993. You were engaged in
11 a front line inspection at Kamenjas in the Novi Travnik
12 area; is that right?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You were travelling in an Isuzu four-wheel
15 drive vehicle with three other soldiers, two officers,
16 and a driver; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. One of the officers was named Zdravko Kovac
19 and he was a military intelligence officer in the HVO?
20 A. He was.
21 Q. The second officer was Sladjo Sliskovic, a
22 security and information officer?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. The driver's name was Miro Jarkovic?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. At that time, sir, can you just tell the
2 Court the name of the commander of the Stjepan
3 Tomasevic Brigade?
4 A. The commander of the brigade was Colonel
5 Zeljko Sabljic.
6 Q. I believe that he had also patrolled the same
7 area earlier that day, but he was driving around in a
8 different vehicle, a Lada Niva?
9 A. Correct, a day earlier.
10 Q. Now, could you tell the Court, sir, what
11 happened to you as you were intercepted and stopped by
12 a TAM-500 green truck on your way back from the front
13 lines west of Novi Travnik at the Vodovod-Kovacic
15 A. As we were returning home at that section of
16 the road, Vodovod-Kovacic, the narrowest segment of the
17 road, that green TAM stopped, and where the road is at
18 its narrowest so you cannot overtake it. It stopped
19 and armed soldiers jumped off it, disarmed us, tied us,
20 tied our hands behind our backs, blindfolded us, put
21 adhesive tape over our mouths and put us on to the
22 truck and then took us away.
23 The ride could have taken some 20 minutes,
24 perhaps half an hour, I wouldn't know exactly. I know
25 we stopped and they threw us off the -- took us off the
1 truck and we walked in the snow, because it is in the
2 mountains, probably to the mountains -- no, not
3 probably, they just simply took us to a mountain.
4 There was still snow there. I don't know. At first, I
5 sat against a tree.
6 After a while, one of them took me with him
7 and that was the first interrogation. Who am I, what
8 am I. They took my papers. And at that time, the
9 major problem was my ID because it said my place of
11 As I said, I was born in Karlovac, even
12 though I spent all my life and still live in Novi
13 Travnik. That was normal in the former Yugoslavia
14 because my parents had come from Karlovac looking for
16 Q. If I can interrupt you for just a minute.
17 Just a matter of detail. We've referred to the front
18 lines that you were patrolling, performing
19 reconnoitering tasks. This is actually the front lines
20 between the Bosnian Serb army on one side and the --
21 A. Yes, yes. Us and the Bosnian Serbs. That
22 was the front line between us and the army of Bosnian
23 Serbs at that moment.
24 There was no complaint between us and the BH
25 army. At that time, they held the part of the front
1 which was the continuation -- in continuation of our
2 line or the front against Republika Srpksa, and there
3 were absolutely no signs, no indications that anything
4 like that might happen.
5 So none of us were ready for that, nor did we
6 expect it to happen. We used that territory daily,
7 because Vodovod is a mixed millage. There are both
8 Muslims, Bosniaks, and Croats and Kovacic and other
9 villages in that area are also mixed. So that there
10 were no indications.
11 Q. Just so that the Court has the full picture,
12 sir, do I understand it to be the case that the HVO
13 actually had troops on the front line manning positions
14 against the Bosnian Serb army at the time of your
16 A. Yes. A unit of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade
17 was daily on that segment of the front line. That unit
18 was usually company strong which is about 100, 150 men
19 on that part on the front on any given day. And the
20 shifts were weekly, that is, one group would be there
21 for a week and then go back and another one would
23 At that time, people were still working. It
24 wasn't a permanent army. You go to the front line and
25 then you are free and you go back home and do whatever
1 you do to earn your livelihood, because you had to live
2 off something so that's how we lived at the time.
3 Q. Just to go back a little bit. After you had
4 been dragged out of your car, thrown on the ground,
5 tied up, bound and gagged and driven away, is it the
6 case that the soldiers in the truck in which you were
7 placed beat your colleague Miro Jarkovic several times
8 when he tried to look up?
9 A. Absolutely right, absolutely.
10 Q. Now, I believe that after you were taken out
11 of the truck, you were marched to a separate area and
12 then interrogated separately, apart from each other; is
13 that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you just tell the Court about that
16 interrogation process, Mr. Kambic?
17 A. There was somebody, I believe he was one of
18 their leaders, a Bosniak. He interrogated us.
19 Afterwards, we learned that he had allegedly attended
20 the mechanical engineering faculty in Belgrade. I
21 don't know if he graduated from it or not. It doesn't
22 really matter.
23 He asked us who we were, what we were, what
24 duties we performed. And after the interview, he fired
25 into the air, not far from my head. And other people,
1 other people thought, I mean those who were not at that
2 interrogation, they thought that they'd killed the one
3 who was being interrogated. That was the first time.
4 The second time when they interrogated us,
5 that one first put his pistol against my forehead and
6 then pushed it into my mouth, presumably wanting me to
7 tell them more than I either knew or could tell him.
8 Q. Were you beaten at any point during these
10 A. Well, yes, a blow here and there on the head
11 with their hand. There was no battery.
12 Q. Is it the case, sir, that there were four
13 Mujahedin amongst your kidnappers?
14 A. Yes, absolutely correct.
15 Q. How do you know that?
16 A. Because the abductors, the Bosniaks, they had
17 mask -- camouflage caps on their heads, and the
18 Mujahedin did not have them because they had no reason
19 to hide their identity, and they told us literally who
20 they were and what they were.
21 Q. During your interrogation--
22 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
23 Mr. Sayers. I would like to put a question to the
25 He has just said that the so-called Mujahedin
1 told him or said who they were, where they came from.
2 Could the witness tell us what they said exactly?
3 Where did they come from and what were they doing?
4 A. Your Honours, they did tell us who they were
5 and what they were. One of them came from Egypt, and
6 before he came to Bosnia-Herzegovina, he used to work
7 as a cook in Milan. Another one came from Tunisia and
8 also used to work in Italy as a goldsmith. The third
9 one came from -- the youngest one came from Saudi
10 Arabia. He lived there and had no job. And the fourth
11 one came from Algeria, came from Algeria.
12 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honour.
13 Q. As the interrogation was going on, sir, did
14 you hear any vehicle noises and could you tell the
15 Court what happened after those noises, if you heard
17 A. While this first interrogation went on in the
18 woods, yes, we heard those noises, and then they
19 discontinued the interrogation and took us on foot. I
20 remember they pushed us into a structure, into
21 something solid. We know where it is. It is around
22 Rostovo and there are very many summer cottages there,
23 so they presumably put us in one of those cottages.
24 One could hear the noise of UNPROFOR vehicles, their
1 Q. All right. And you were moved, I believe,
2 later that day, after a long march, and ultimately
3 placed into a pillbox?
4 A. We spent the first night in a dugout because
5 there was also the Bosniak army there and they had some
6 facilities there, so that we spent the first night in a
8 Four nights after that first one we spent in
9 a cowshed, in a sheep -- because there are sheep up
10 there, so we spent four nights in that shed up there.
11 Q. All right. And after these four days in the
12 sheep barn, where were you taken?
13 A. And then we were taken to a motel at Ravno
14 Rostovo, and the first time they brought us there, they
15 put us in the attic of that motel.
16 Q. Would you just tell Their Honours where Ravno
17 Rostovo is located in relation to Novi Travnik, sir?
18 A. The motel at Ravno Rostovo is in the
19 territory of the Bugojno municipality, practically on
20 the boundary between the municipalities of Bugojno and
21 Novi Travnik.
22 Q. I believe it's actually closer to Bugojno
23 than to Novi Travnik.
24 A. Yes, yes, absolutely so, yes.
25 Q. All right. And is it the case that after you
1 had been taken to the motel, you heard UNPROFOR
2 soldiers or overheard UNPROFOR soldiers again, and the
3 so-called Mujahedin rushed you back to the barn where
4 you had been hidden for the last four days?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And then you were brought back to the motel
7 the next day and placed into a room; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it also correct, sir, that throughout your
10 imprisonment, your captors kept your feet tied together
11 but that your hands were left untied and that you were
12 not actually blindfolded?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. No beds were provided to you. Instead, you
15 had to sleep on the floor for the next 30 days of your
16 captivity; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, could you tell the Court about the
19 psychological abuse to which you were subjected, sir?
20 A. From the very first day of our stay there in
21 that room, we immediately had to begin reading the
22 Koran. And during those 30 days, every day at least
23 seven or eight hours were spent discussing with them
24 what we read. We read it aloud, the four of us. We
25 took turns in reading it.
1 And after that, we also had to read other
2 things after those discussions. I read the Hadisa. It
3 is their parables. And I also read Islamic law. And
4 there were all sorts of leaflets and handouts that they
5 used to bring with them. That was the daily routine.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
7 Mr. Sayers. I'd like to seek some information, some
8 further clarification from the witness.
9 He said that he had to read a couple of
10 things, texts, religious texts. Could the witness tell
11 us in what language he had to read all that?
12 A. Since members of the BH army were also
13 present in that same building, there was also a
14 translated Koran, and we read the Koran in its
15 translation in our language, and they read it in Arabic
16 because they had the Koran in Arabic.
17 MR. SAYERS:
18 Q. Now, sir, during your imprisonment and
19 captivity, did you learn anything about the incident or
20 the planning of the incident that resulted in your
22 A. Well, towards the end, before we were
23 exchanged, they told us that they had not been planning
24 to abduct us but rather our commander, and they thought
25 that it was the commander in this better vehicle, the
1 Isuzu. They captured us rather than the commander,
2 because the commander had been to the same front line
3 but he was using a Lada Niva.
4 Q. The commander to whom you're referring is the
5 command of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, Mr. Zeljko
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did the ABiH soldiers say anything to you
9 during your captivity in connection with how they
10 viewed you as opposed to Bosnian Serbs?
11 A. Yes, there were discussions. At some point,
12 they told us that they hated us Croats; that is, that
13 in fact they disliked Serbs and hated us, the Croats.
14 Q. All right. You've already covered this in
15 response to His Honour Judge Bennouna's questions,
16 Mr. Kambic, but as you were speaking with the Mujahedin
17 that you've identified from the countries that you've
18 identified during the course of your imprisonment, did
19 you find out anything about their plans, their goals or
20 objectives, and if so, could you tell the Court about
22 A. The Mujahedin were very clear. They came.
23 They said they came here to follow in Alah's road.
24 What does that mean? It means that they were for the
25 Jihad, for the holy war. But since the BH territory
1 negotiations were already being conducted about the
2 cessation of hostilities, they told us at some point
3 that if any peace were reached in the BH territory,
4 they would automatically leave it and go to Somalia,
5 because in Somalia at that time some fighting or
6 something like that had broken out, so that they simply
7 were not interested in any kind of peace in the BH
9 Q. Did these people say anything to you about
10 cleansing Bosnia-Herzegovina of Serbs and Croats or
12 A. They told us that we could remain in the
13 territory of BiH, but respecting the laws that were in
14 force in the Islamic countries.
15 Q. All right. I believe, sir, that these
16 Mujahedin were members of the 7th Muslim Brigade and
17 spoke in respectful terms about it, while speaking
18 somewhat condescendingly about the armed forces of the
19 ABiH generally.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And who was their commander, sir?
22 A. The commander of the 7th Muslim Brigade at
23 that time was Mahmut Karlic.
24 Q. Can you tell us anything about him?
25 A. Based on what they said, I don't know him.
1 But before the war, Mr. Mahmut Karlic was a religious
2 teacher. He was a teacher at the Medresa in Sarajevo
3 before the war.
4 Q. All right. Let me just move on to the next
5 subject for the Court, paragraph 29 of the outline.
6 Did you know Dario Kordic, who is one of the
7 accused in this case, sir, during the war?
8 A. I personally never met him. I just knew him
9 from sight, but never met him.
10 Q. What did you know about him?
11 A. I knew that he was vice-president of the
12 HDZ-BiH, that he was a politician, and nothing else in
14 Q. All right. Was he a soldier, as far as
15 you're aware?
16 A. As far as I know, he was not.
17 Q. Did you ever see him on TV shows wearing
18 camouflage clothing at all?
19 A. I did not see him on television wearing a
20 camouflage uniform.
21 Q. Just generally, though, sir, in the civil
22 war, is it the case that most people were wearing some
23 sort of camouflage clothing or pieces of camouflage
25 A. That was usual. Even children were wearing
1 them. All adult men practically were wearing these
2 camouflage uniforms or uniforms during the war.
3 Q. Now, sir, did you or your brigade, as far as
4 you're aware, ever receive any orders from Mr. Kordic
5 of any kind, as far as you're aware?
6 A. If there were any orders, I was not in a
7 position to know about it and I didn't know. I could
8 have received orders only from my immediate commander,
9 that is, the battalion commander, and he then, in turn,
10 could have received it from his commander, Mr. Zeljko
11 Sabljic, and I don't know whether there were any
13 Q. And Mr. Sabljic, in the chain of command,
14 reported to the Operative Zone commander, Colonel
15 Tihomir Blaskic; is that right?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. And the Operative Zone commander, in turn,
18 reported to the General Staff located variously in
19 Posusje, Mostar, and Grude; is that correct?
20 A. That's correct.
21 Q. You yourself never received an order from
22 Mr. Kordic, did you, sir?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Have you ever heard that Mr. Kordic ever
25 issued or tried to issue military orders to people who
1 were in the HVO?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Let me turn your attention to the final
4 subject I'd like to cover with you, Mr. Kambic, and it
5 concerns trench-digging.
6 In Novi Travnik in April of 1993, men of
7 military age who were unable to go to the front lines
8 or had other --
9 MR. NICE: Perhaps this oughtn't be led
10 completely. We ought to get the witness's source of
12 MR. SAYERS: That's perfectly acceptable.
13 Q. Could you briefly describe for the Judges,
14 Mr. Kambic, what kind of obligations, if any, men of
15 military age had who were not actually fighting on the
16 front lines in the Novi Travnik area?
17 A. Can you please repeat the question for me,
19 Q. Did men of military age who were not actually
20 serving as soldiers have any work obligations as far as
21 you are aware or not?
22 A. Yes, they did have work obligations.
23 Q. Can you just describe to the Court what kind
24 of obligations those were, Mr. Kambic?
25 A. Within the brigade, we had work platoons and
1 their task was to dig military fortifications,
2 dugouts. They were not -- there were people who would
3 not be in the trenches and carry weapons. That was the
4 usual practice at that time.
5 At that time in Novi Travnik, anybody --
6 everybody was engaged in some way. They had to
7 contribute in some way in order for us to be able to
8 defend ourselves.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. And the last subject
10 I would like to cover with you concerns the solitaire
11 number one building in Novi Travnik in autumn of 1993.
12 Did you ever hear of situations where Muslims had
13 forced Croats in the town of Novi Travnik and
14 surrounding villages to dig trenches in the vicinity of
15 that building, sir?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us anything else about the
18 efforts to capture this building and what it was used
19 for in the autumn of 1993?
20 A. This building was inhabited but Muslim
21 civilians occupied it, but it was located closer to our
22 line, the line we covered and the -- both the ABiH and
23 our side tried to gain control of this building, and
24 since it was closer to us, they were forced to dig.
25 There is a department store in that area so
1 they dug from the department store to the building
2 across the street in order to reach that building and
3 this was done by the captured Croats from Senkovici,
4 Kovacici, Gornje and Donje Pecine. These were brothers
5 or fathers of soldiers who were with me and they
6 were -- they looked on, but we were faster and we
7 captured the building.
8 Q. I appreciate it, but for the Court's
9 information, we have a witness from Senkovici scheduled
10 to testify later in the week so perhaps it would be
11 better to cover that subject with him rather than take
12 up valuable time with this witness.
13 After that building had been captured, did
14 you find anything in there of military interest?
15 A. Oh, we discovered weapons.
16 Q. What kinds of weapons?
17 A. Rifles and pistols.
18 Q. All right. Did any of the rifles have
19 telescopic sites on them?
20 A. I personally did not see these weapons
21 because it was taken to the brigade headquarters so I
22 wouldn't know whether there were any sniper rifles
23 there, but there were weapons.
24 Q. Were any civilians killed in the action to
25 capture this high-rise building as far as you are
2 A. No, nobody was killed.
3 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much indeed,
4 Mr. Kambic. No further questions.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
6 Q. Mr. Kambic, my name is Bozidar Kovacic. I
7 represent Mr. Cerkez along with my colleague
8 Mr. Mikulicic, and we would like to ask you several
9 questions now that you are giving evidence here, and
10 this would refer to Mr. Cerkez's Defence.
11 Can you please tell the Trial Chamber when
12 you met Mario Cerkez who is present here?
13 A. I met Mr. Mario Cerkez on the occasion when I
14 joined the HVO. When I joined the HVO, Mr. Boro
15 Malbasic was commander and Mr. Mario Cerkez was his
17 Q. You are referring to the Stjepan Tomasevic
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. The Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade had its
21 headquarters in Novi Travnik; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. This brigade was a joint brigade, it was
24 composed of both Novi Travnik and Vitez municipalities'
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The brigade was of -- established in November
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And you joined it immediately?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You became a company commander?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. While Malbasic was brigade commander, do you
10 know exactly what position Mr. Cerkez had?
11 A. As far as I recall, Mario was in charge of
12 holding the line against the troops of the Serbian army
13 and by his duty.
14 Q. And by his duty he was the second man in the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is it true that Malbasic was transferred in
18 February 1993 and Mr. Cerkez became number one in the
19 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And at that time, your only objective and
22 your only task is combat against the Bosnian Serbs in
23 the area which you described as Kamenjas, Slatka
24 Vodica, Mravinjac and the areas you described?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And do you -- and now just to conclude with
2 this topic, do you know that Mr. Cerkez had been
3 transferred to Vitez and then he left to go and take
4 over there?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. After Cerkez left, the commander of the
7 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade became Zeljko Sabljic; is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And Zeljko Sabljic was a member of the
11 command while Cerkez was there?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Zeljko Sabljic at that time was the chief of
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Is it true that he worked with Cerkez in
17 order to improve the fortifications and defence lines
18 against the Serbs?
19 A. Yes. As far as I recall, they were working
20 on it and I think that they did what was needed in
21 terms of engineer's work.
22 Q. Thank you. In the period that we were
23 discussing now which is between November of 1992 until
24 early -- that is until the -- what you referred to as
25 the third conflict, that is, April of 1993, were there
1 any serious conflicts between the Muslims and Croats,
2 between the two opposing sides in Novi Travnik?
3 A. No.
4 Q. I believe that occasionally there were
5 incidents. You would agree with me?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. But generally speaking, we could call it a
8 status quo following the cease-fire which was reached
9 in late 1992?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know, as an HVO officer, that at that
12 time or at any other time, for that matter, there was
13 an official or unofficial policy of persecution of the
14 Muslim population in the territory where you were
16 A. No.
17 Q. Have you ever heard that anybody incited
18 anyone to persecute another ethnic group?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you. The defence against the BSA
21 north-west of Novi Travnik in the sector which we
22 described in 1992 started even before the Stjepan
23 Tomasevic Brigade was established.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And it continued after the Stjepan Tomasevic
1 Brigade was established, that is through -- in 1993.
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Do you know until when in -- who -- were
4 there groups or individuals from Vitez present there?
5 A. Until the conflict between us and the ABiH.
6 Q. You mean the open conflict in April of 1993?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Do you know, that is, when this conflict
9 broke out, you had your regular shifts up there; is
10 that correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And there was a shift from Novi Travnik in
13 the sector which was manned by the Stjepan Tomasevic
14 Brigade and there was a shift from Vitez?
15 A. Yes, we had a company there.
16 Q. Do you know how many people from Vitez were
17 there at the time?
18 A. I don't know but our company was about 150
20 Q. And the Vitez Brigade held a sector which was
21 also manned by one company.
22 A. It could have been a company or something
23 else, because at that time, I did not have contacts
24 with the Vitez Brigade at that time.
25 Q. But they were on your flank; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And on the 16th of April, 1993, when the
3 conflict broke out, this group whose size you don't
4 know, was at the front line?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You know this from your personal observation?
7 A. Yes, because my own unit was there.
8 Q. They were flanking you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Since we are at the -- discussing this front
11 line, let me just take you further there. People were
12 there in shifts?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. They spent their eight to ten days and then
15 they would go back home.
16 A. Yes, they would go back home.
17 Q. When they were on the shift up there, they
18 were considered soldiers?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. If they commit any criminal acts, who would
21 you call, being a commander, what type -- what kind of
22 police would you call?
23 A. Military police.
24 Q. When they go back home, are they considered
25 civilians or are they still soldiers?
1 A. Civilians.
2 Q. And he goes to work in a factory if he was
3 there employed?
4 A. Yes, he would go back to his regular job.
5 Q. So if he was a farmer, he would go back to
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. The small arms weapons used at the front line
9 against the BSA for the most part remained there?
10 A. At that time, we were not fully armed so part
11 of the weapons remained up there and was rotated. One
12 shift would leave weapons to the next shift and would
13 come back home without weapons.
14 Q. When the third conflict started in April
15 1993, a lot of weapons stayed behind at the front
17 A. At the time when the conflict between the
18 ABiH army -- ABiH started, there was a lot of weapons
19 and a lot of ammunition which was there, much more than
20 they had in the town.
21 Q. Are you referring to the Novi Travnik
23 A. Yes, the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade.
24 Q. On the basis of information which you have,
25 was the case similar with the Vitez Brigade?
1 A. It is possible, but I don't have exact
2 information on what they had at the time. I can tell
3 you more precisely what we had at our front lines.
4 Q. You don't know but you know that they had the
5 same system operating?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know anything about meetings of the
8 senior representatives of both sides, that is HVO and
9 ABiH in November 1992 at a time when Stjepan Tomasevic
10 Brigade was established when the defence was -- with
11 the reference improved the defence or even to go on the
12 offensive when Jabanice Boharat Cusic [phoen] was
13 there. Do you know anything about that?
14 A. At that time, I was not yet with the HVO but
15 I heard from my colleagues that there were negotiations
16 after the second conflict to set up a joint command
17 that would include ABiH and the Stjepan Tomasevic
19 At that time, the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade
20 had -- was headquartered in the so-called "old hotel"
21 and I know that my colleagues said that -- told me that
22 offices had already been allocated for the ABiH
23 officers to join this command, but that never came
25 Q. Do you know that some senior ABiH officers,
1 some ranking officers who were with the Croatian army
2 that were -- they were training with the Croatian army
3 before they joined the ABiH?
4 A. I don't know that, but I know there were
5 soldiers, people who were with the HV units at that
6 time when the conflict broke out between the JNA and
7 the defending forces and that -- but they returned to
9 Q. Were these BiH citizens who had temporarily
10 worked or lived in Croatia where they found themselves
11 when the aggression of the Serbs started?
12 A. Yes, yes.
13 Q. And when the conflict in Bosnia started, they
14 came back home?
15 A. My colleague Vlado Sliskovic worked in
16 Croatia. This is where he found himself when he was --
17 when the war broke out. He was in a special unit in
18 Lucko, and then after the conflict broke out, he came
19 back home.
20 Q. You mentioned Lucko, and just to confirm it
21 for the Trial Chamber, Lucko is near to Zagreb. Very
22 well, just a few more things in order to understand the
24 The 308th ABiH army was headquartered in Novi
1 A. Yes, Bislim Zurapi was the commander of it
2 during the time that Cerkez was there.
3 Q. He was a Muslim; is that correct?
4 A. He was an Albanian from Kosovo, a JNA
6 Q. Do you know that he is an officer in Kosovo
7 with the main headquarters?
8 A. No, but after -- but after this cease-fire, I
9 know that he was -- I had contact with him for a
10 while. He was in Denmark.
11 Q. Do you know -- is it true to say that you
12 considered him a correct commander?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And while you were there, you could talk
15 about cease-fires and so on?
16 A. Yes. I received an order and I shot and
17 Zeljko Sabljic received orders and he shot. This is
18 what military officers do.
19 Q. From other local senior ABiH officers there,
20 there were none others whom you considered to be
22 A. No.
23 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. That is all I
25 MR. NICE: I wonder if the usher could kindly
1 move that overhead projector so Mr. Kambic can see me
2 if he wants to.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
4 Q. Can you help us, please, about when you first
5 arrived in The Hague?
6 A. Excuse me, can you please repeat the
8 Q. When did you first arrive here in Holland?
9 A. First time in Holland? This is the first
10 time in my life that I am actually in the Netherlands.
11 Q. When did you come here? Last week?
12 A. I arrived on Saturday.
13 Q. Did you have a chance to talk to Mr. Kovacic,
14 the man who's just been asking you questions before you
15 came in here to give evidence today?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Now, I'm in no position to accept in detail
18 or to challenge what happened to you in your
19 kidnapping. I acknowledge that what you tell us is a
20 very distressing story. What I want you to do is help
21 us with one exhibit, please, which is our 941.
22 I don't think you speak English, do you,
23 Mr. Kambic?
24 A. Very little.
25 Q. Well, what we'll do is put this document on
1 the overhead projector and I'll go through it
2 sufficiently slowly, and I just want your comments on
3 its overall accuracy.
4 It's a summary prepared by one of the
5 international observers at the time, and it sets out
6 the whole chronology of history of the kidnapping and
7 the exchange and I just want you to tell us if it's
8 accurate, that's all.
9 So we -- just so that you can know what we're
10 looking at, we're looking at part of a report that was
11 prepared on the 19th of May by some European monitors
12 and paragraph one makes it clear that between the 16th
13 of February and the 11th of April, -- I'm sorry -- in
14 early April, some 11 citizens from different Arabian
15 countries had been arrested by HVO police together with
16 either one or two local drivers. Is that accurate, to
17 your knowledge?
18 A. Yes. This is what we were told.
19 Q. Then on the 14th of April, the four of you
20 were arrested on your return from the front line, as
21 you've described, followed on the 16th of April by the
22 arrest of Mr. Tosic -- or not the arrest, the
23 kidnapping of Mr. Tosic, correct?
24 A. Correct, correct.
25 Q. The report goes on to say that tension
1 between the parties rose, but you at that time, of
2 course, were in detention, so you wouldn't know,
3 necessarily, what was happening in the area; correct?
4 A. Yes. I only know what I was told.
5 Q. It does go on to say that Zenica was shelled
6 by HVO artillery. Did you hear about that?
7 A. Afterwards, yes.
8 Q. So you know that the shelling was by the HVO;
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Then on the 19th of April, it says that
12 messengers, Mujahedin messengers, went to the Hotel
13 Internacional and told European Monitors that they held
14 Mr. Tosic and you, the four of you, and they claimed
15 also to hold five other HVO soldiers arrested in Zenica
16 on the 17th and 18th of April. Do you know anything
17 about that?
18 A. No, I don't know anything about that.
19 Q. And that they threatened, according to this
20 report, that unless HVO foreigners -- I beg your
21 pardon -- unless foreigners held by the HVO were
22 released, they would start to kill their hostages. Did
23 you hear anything about that sort of threat being made?
24 A. I did not hear anything except for what they
25 told us up there at the time.
1 Q. All right. I'm going to go to paragraph 7.
2 The European Monitors offered to mediate, and
3 they were seeking lists of names of everyone to be
4 exchanged and seeking ICRC access to prisoners and
5 hostages to guarantee that everyone was alive who was
6 said to be held, and the Mujahedin rejected the idea of
7 an ICRC visit and proposed an exchange of letters and
8 videotapes. Does that fit with your recollection of
10 A. Yes, there were letters exchanged.
11 Q. Then there was another message --
12 paragraph 8 -- by the Mujahedin, in which they listed
13 15 detainees altogether, and they wanted back
14 confiscated cars; they sent a letter from Mr. Tosic --
15 Tokic, and so on. Would you know anything about that?
16 A. No.
17 Q. The next thing that this chronology of events
18 sets out is that Mr. Blaskic -- Colonel Blaskic was
19 prepared to release foreign detainees kept in Kaonik in
20 return for the five HVO officers, he saying that that
21 was the total number of people he had under his
22 control. Did you know anything about Blaskic offering
23 a release at a fairly early stage?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Do you know anything that stood in the way of
1 Blaskic's offer being acted on at that stage?
2 A. No.
3 Q. At this stage, the chronology says the
4 message went -- or the offer, as it were, went to the
5 3rd Corps, who denied any relationship with extremists
6 and involvement in the kidnapping, and they suggested
7 that the Mujahedin were out of control. Did you hear
8 anything about people saying the Mujahedin were out of
9 control, certainly so far as the 3rd Corps were
11 A. No.
12 Q. Then there's a reference to the liaison
13 soldier from the 7th Muslim Brigade, and they were
14 informed about the proposal as well, and there was a
15 discussion about the exchange, some involvement of the
16 local radio station. The 7th Muslim Brigade were
17 visited later. He denied any relationship with the
18 extremists but did ask the ECMM for a meeting, and it's
19 worth noting that the car of the Mujahedin messenger
20 was seen in the headquarters there. And then letters
21 from your officers were provided.
22 Do you remember roughly how long it was after
23 your initial kidnapping that the letters were provided,
24 and I think an audiotape as well?
25 A. We did not receive any letter or any
1 videotape. We sent our letters to our people.
2 Q. My mistake. That's what I was intending. Do
3 you remember roughly how long it was after your
4 detention or kidnapping that you provided letters?
5 A. On the 22nd day, that is, when each one of us
6 sent one letter.
7 Q. Thank you. Then apparently the HVO rejected
8 the proposal to sit with the Mujahedin but accepted a
9 proposal to meet with the ABiH, UNPROFOR, ICRC, and
10 ECMM. Did you know anything about the HVO rejecting
11 the proposal to sit with the Mujahedin?
12 A. No.
13 Q. We then learn that the Monitors warn the 3rd
14 Corps that they were going to be responsible for the
15 Mujahedin, uncontrolled elements or not. And if we
16 turn over to paragraph 19 -- I hope I'm not missing out
17 anything anybody else wants me to put in -- on the 11th
18 of May a messenger from the Arab group, as he called
19 himself, proposed to the ECMM the release of the five
20 officers, the two men from Radio CD on the one side and
21 11 prisoners from the Arabian countries on the other
22 side, and the proposal was that it would be done on
23 three different sites. Does that fit with your
24 recollection of events? In fact, it happened on the
25 12th of May, the exchange itself.
1 I beg your pardon. It didn't happen. It was
2 going to happen on the 12th, but it didn't finally
3 happen until the 17th. My mistake.
4 A. Yes, we were exchanged on the 17th.
5 Q. And the exchange in Zenica was associated
6 with a crowd of Mujahedin supporters or similar
7 cheering and making a somewhat threatening presence.
8 Did you see anything of that?
9 A. I could not see anything, because I was not
11 Q. Very well. Did you hear about it? Sorry.
12 A. No.
13 Q. But other than the things that you didn't see
14 or hear because you weren't there, that summary of
15 events by the Monitors at the time would appear to be
16 accurate, would it?
17 A. Possibly.
18 Q. Well, you don't point to anything in it
19 that's inaccurate?
20 A. I cannot say whether it is or is not
21 accurate, because I did not see any of that, nor was
22 I -- nor did I have an opportunity to see that. I can
23 only tell you what we did up there and what they asked
24 us to do.
25 Q. Just a couple of other things, really.
1 Do you remember a man called Ismet Halilovic,
2 who in February of 1993 was attacked by some HVO
3 soldiers in your command? Do you remember about that?
4 A. I do, yes.
5 Q. And the Judges have heard a bit about this,
6 so we needn't go into the detail too much. Although
7 there was the beginning of a court hearing into the
8 attack on him, it never came to anything, and is the
9 position this: that although these men were in your
10 command, you didn't yourself take any disciplinary
11 action against them?
12 A. I don't understand that "you". Do you mean
13 me or the HVO?
14 Q. Well, first of all, you personally.
15 A. I can't see any role for me in all that.
16 Q. What was your relationship to these men?
17 Were you their commander?
18 A. I was the commander of the company in company
19 of the escorting company at that moment, and they were
20 not members of that escort company.
21 Q. I thought you said they were in your command
22 when I asked you a few minutes ago. But tell us what
23 the position is.
24 A. No, I did not say that. They were in the
25 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, but not in my unit.
1 Q. Because you'll remember that the man himself,
2 Halilovic, suffered seriously with a gunshot through
3 the head or neck, although he survived it, and his
4 brother was killed and so on. And the soldiers, one of
5 them was wearing a Ustasha badge on his cap, that sort
6 of thing. Why weren't they disciplined, please?
7 A. You should ask my superior commanders about
8 that. I can't tell you anything more about that
9 because I simply had no responsibility, no powers to do
11 Q. To whom should we address that query,
13 A. I suppose his commander, or the brigade
14 commander, or the head of the staff.
15 Q. Any names you can give us? He's only named
16 you, I think, as the commander, you see.
17 A. I can tell you who was the commander at the
18 time, nothing else.
19 Q. And that was?
20 A. It was Zeljko Sabljic, he was the commander.
21 Q. Going back in time to October 1992, you were
22 in Novi Travnik then?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did you have anything to do with the
25 consequences of a blockade near Ahmici?
1 A. I don't understand the question. Could you
2 repeat it, please?
3 Q. You heard of a blockade near Ahmici on about
4 the 19th of October, 1992?
5 A. At that time, at that point in time, I did
6 not use that particular part of the road, and there
7 were roadblocks all over.
8 Q. And did you have any part to play in a
9 meeting at the Territorial Defence headquarters where
10 Cerkez appeared, the topic of the meeting being the
11 blockade near Ahmici?
12 A. No. At that time, I was not -- I had not
13 joined the HVO at that time yet.
14 Q. I'm not going to trouble with any more
15 detail, just these points, then.
16 You said something about the Mujahedin, who
17 kidnapped you, being members of the 7th Muslim
18 Brigade. Is this what they told you, or is this what
19 you worked out for yourself, or what?
20 A. They told us so.
21 Q. And so far as the digging of trenches is
22 concerned, is that something you observed yourself or
23 something you were told about?
24 A. What kind of trenches do you mean, the
25 trenches that the HVO dug or towards the skyscraper?
1 Q. You tell us. It's the ones, I think, that
2 you say were dug in Novi Travnik in April of 1993. Did
3 you see any of that yourself?
4 A. Well, trenches were dug all around in
5 Travnik. When the conflict broke out, then trenches
6 were dug along all the front lines, wherever it was
8 Q. You're saying something about people who were
9 on the front line on the 16th of April of 1993 coming
10 from Vitez. I didn't quite understand it. Who is it
11 you say were on the front line on the 16th of April?
12 A. On the 16th of April, on the front line
13 against the army of Republika Srpska, there was the
14 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade unit and there was also a
15 unit of the Vitez Brigade.
16 Q. And can you name the Vitez Brigade or give us
17 any detail of who it was from the Vitez Brigade there?
18 A. No, I cannot give you that.
19 Q. And did you learn anything about what was
20 happening elsewhere in Central Bosnia on the 16th of
21 April, what was happening in Ahmici, anything like
23 A. As to what had happened in Ahmici, we learned
24 about that while we were in captivity.
25 Q. But at the time on the 16th of April, you
1 learned nothing of what was happening elsewhere?
2 A. No.
3 Q. And what were you told? You might as well
4 complete the story. What were you told in captivity
5 about what had happened in Ahmici, so that we can have
6 the full story?
7 A. They told us that units -- some HVO units had
8 attacked Ahmici and that civilians had been killed.
9 Q. Can you identify the units?
10 A. No, I cannot do that because I was not there,
11 and that is all that I know about it.
12 MR. NICE: Thank you.
13 MR. SAYERS: Two short matters, Mr. Kambic.
14 Re-examined by Mr. Sayers:
15 Q. Throughout the 35 or so days of your
16 captivity, was the Red Cross ever allowed to meet with
17 you and register you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. The second question concerns one of the
20 questions that you were asked about by the Prosecution
21 concerning an incident on April the 19th of 1993 in
22 which the city of Zenica was shelled.
23 You were in captivity, obviously, on the
24 19th; correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And you --
2 A. Yes, yes, yes.
3 Q. You don't have any personal knowledge at all
4 about that shelling incident, do you?
5 A. I couldn't. I told you what happened in
6 Zenica. That is what we were told.
7 MR. SAYERS: No further questions. Thank you
8 very much.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kambic, that concludes your
10 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International
11 Tribunal. You are now free to go.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE MAY: The next witness.
15 MR. SAYERS: The next witness is Josip Buha,
16 but I don't believe he's scheduled to arrive until
17 11.00, Your Honours. So if we may, could we take an
18 early break?
19 But let me just alert the Court that there is
20 an affidavit, a short affidavit, of Mario Santic that
21 we have filed prior to the testimony of Mr. Buha which
22 corroborates or is submitted in corroboration of the
23 specific facts upon which he had been brought to court
24 to testify about.
25 MR. NICE: Before the next witness is called,
1 can I say something as well?
2 I've received all the witness summaries this
3 morning for the first time. I think they were
4 eventually faxed at 4.15 yesterday afternoon, and
5 although there were people working here over the
6 weekend, the last search produced none of them when
7 they went home.
8 There has been a complete change of order
9 from what was anticipated, and I'm certainly not in a
10 position to cross-examine the next witness, Buha, now,
11 and it may well be, because I had forecast his arriving
12 much later in the week, I won't be in a position to
13 cross-examine him properly or adequately today at all.
14 I can only go so far, and I have to work on the
15 forecast listing of witnesses, so that's my position at
16 the moment.
17 JUDGE MAY: And will you help us about this,
18 Mr. Sayers? Is it right that on the list, he's at the
19 very bottom of one?
20 MR. SAYERS: That's correct, Your Honour, but
21 I think the Prosecution knows exactly what Mr. Buha has
22 been brought to talk about, because it was in our
23 summaries that we filed some weeks ago in conformity
24 with the Court's order.
25 Unfortunately, we had some travel
1 difficulties with our witnesses, and that's resulted in
2 our having to shuffle the order slightly. And we have
3 provided the Prosecution with a copy of the outline
4 that was signed by Mr. Buha as soon as he signed it.
5 We faxed it over to the Prosecution's office yesterday,
6 along with two others for the witnesses that we plan to
7 call today, Mr. Kambic included, and Mr. Pavlovic, the
8 third witness.
9 JUDGE MAY: His name appears right at the
11 MR. SAYERS: I apologise for having to do
12 this. There's no tactical considerations that have
13 been present in this, it's just the situation that we
14 are presented with.
15 And I might say, Your Honour, that this
16 happened to the Defence on a fairly regular basis, and
17 we never once asked for cross-examination to be
18 deferred. We just went ahead and cross-examined, with
19 the exception of the very earliest days, obviously.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I'm not sure it's right to
21 say you never asked for it. But we'll have to consider
22 this in due course.
23 Who have you got, so we can follow the
24 position? You've got Mr. Buha, and he will be here at
25 11.00 or for 11.30.
1 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: You've got Mr. Pavlovic. Where
3 is he at the moment?
4 MR. SAYERS: He's scheduled to arrive at
5 2.30, but we could probably have him here earlier, if
6 necessary. The next witnesses after that would be the
7 Kakanj witnesses, [name redacted] and [name redacted],
8 but their outlines have not been signed yet. We still
9 have --
10 JUDGE MAY: They are here, are they?
11 MR. SAYERS: I'm sorry. We've made an
12 application for protective measures, so I wonder if we
13 could delete from the record the second witness.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. SAYERS: But they are here.
16 JUDGE MAY: They are here?
17 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
18 JUDGE MAY: And your proposal is to call them
19 tomorrow or as soon thereafter as possible?
20 MR. SAYERS: Yes. The witness after that is
21 Major Franjo Ljubas, and he's also here, but we don't
22 have a signed summary from him yet, although we hope to
23 have one later today.
24 JUDGE MAY: What does he deal with?
25 MR. SAYERS: He deals with Travnik, the
1 fighting around Travnik, and the command structure in
2 the Travnicka Brigade from the lower level.
3 And the two final witnesses are Mr. Zlatan
4 Civcija, who deals with the political situation in Novi
5 Travnik, and he is here and currently working on his
6 outline. We don't have a signed copy of that yet. And
7 then finally (redacted)
8 (redacted), and he is, I believe, coming in later this
9 evening, but he is not here yet. In fact, he was the
10 gentleman that caused our difficulty. It turns out
11 that he actually didn't have a passport, and so interim
12 arrangements had to be made, and that caused us to
13 shuffle the order of all of the witnesses.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 MR. NICE: I need to say this: The problem
16 with the witness Buha is we deal with the summary to
17 which Mr. Sayers refers. That's the early summary.
18 The summary is entirely general and simply says
19 Mr. Buha will discuss the circumstances under which
20 Mr. Breljas became a member of the Vitezovi and will
21 testify about the meeting of April the 15th and will
22 explain that Mr. Kordic wasn't present. There's no way
23 I can prepare for any cross-examination on the basis of
24 that sort of summary.
25 I had made a provisional arrangement to be in
1 a position to deal with the detail of Buha later in the
2 week, assuming that I was going to be provided with a
3 summary later in the week. And I just simply may not
4 have been in the position, despite taking every step I
5 could this morning, to be adequately informed to
6 cross-examine on the detail of the statement that's now
7 provided. That's all.
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll consider any
9 application you make on the matter. You know the
10 position, that we are extremely anxious to get on with
11 this case. And it is right, as Mr. Sayers said, that
12 the Defence indeed did, after initial applications,
13 cross-examine when people came in, and I'm afraid we
14 shall have to expect the same of the Prosecution.
15 MR. NICE: Well, I've been doing it, despite
16 the difficulties, and I no doubt will do it. But I've
17 made the point that if I can't cross-examine on
18 something, I'm not going to do either a token
19 cross-examination or go in general terms for somebody's
20 credibility when I don't know, one way or another,
21 whether I should be accepting or rejecting what he
22 says. So that's our difficulty, and of course if
23 things are left unresolved in cross-examination, there
24 may always be the possibility of rebuttal. But that's
25 less fair and it's less satisfactory if the matter
1 hasn't been cross-examined to first.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, you've heard our --
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: May I? [Interpretation]
4 Mr. Nice, what do you mean in relation to this witness,
5 Mr. Buha, Josip Buha? Do you think that the summary
6 you've been provided with is inefficient? Do you
7 therefore somehow fear that the Defence would go
8 further than what has been stated in that summary?
9 That is, if I've got you right and that you were duly
10 informed, these are very specific -- very precise
11 items. We are talking about the possible presence of
12 Mr. Kordic at that meeting of the 15th of April, 1993.
13 The remainder is basically a recurrent issue. It is
14 part of the Defence strategy, which is to know whether
15 Mr. Kordic has had any military authority or not. So
16 you say that you are not prepared for that, but you've
17 cross-examined on several occasions on that item.
18 The outstanding item is precise, and that is
19 why the witness is called. So you should be prepared
20 for your cross-examination.
21 MR. NICE: The only point I was making
22 touched on neither of those topics but on the topic of
23 the details of Breljas' arrival in the brigade, and
24 that's the matter for which there is no detailed
25 forecast. That's the matter which I forecast I might
1 need to have some assistance with and for which I've
2 made plans for later in the week. I've tried to
3 accelerate the plans, and I shall find out, no doubt in
4 the interval, in the break, as I should describe it,
5 how far those plans are.
6 But the other topic about Kordic not being at
7 the meeting, I knew I was going to have to meet that,
8 of course, and the general topics. But it's the
9 Breljas detail that's beyond me to deal with in detail
10 at the moment, and it may be important; I don't know.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now.
12 Half past 11.00, please.
13 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the
18 WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
21 WITNESS: JOSIP BUHA
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
24 Examined by Mr. Naumovski:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Buha, be so kind to
1 introduce yourself with your full name to the Trial
3 A. Josip Buha.
4 Q. Mr. Buha, you were born on 14 March in 1954
5 in Buhine Kuce in the municipality of Vitez?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You are a carpenter by profession, but at the
8 present, you are working for a private company clearing
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. You are a team leader that includes Croats,
12 Muslims, and Serbs; is that correct?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. You are married, you have three children and
15 a grandson?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Your entire family lives in the village of
18 Dubravica in the Vitez municipality?
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Mr. Buha, a few words about your military
21 service to call it that way. You were a member of the
22 Croat Armed Forces, HOS?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You became a member of the HOS and HOS is a
25 military arm of the Croatian Party of Rights at the
1 very beginning, that is, in November of 1991?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Who was your HOS commander in Vitez?
4 A. My commander was Darko Kraljevic.
5 Q. Your house unit in September of 1992 was in a
6 way incorporated into the HVO, the Croat Defence
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. And from 10 September 1992 your unit was
10 renamed the Special Purpose Unit of Vitezovi?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Your commander continued to be Darko
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. Mr. Buha, both at the time when you were with
16 the HOS and with the Vitezovi unit, your basic job was
17 logistics. You were the logistics person for those
19 A. That is correct.
20 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber where
21 in 1992 your unit was deployed?
22 A. It was actually accommodated in the
23 elementary school in Dubravica. And the HVO units were
24 at the fish pond in Kruscica.
25 Q. So these PPN -- Vitezovi used the Dubravica
1 school as some kind of a provisional barracks?
2 A. That's correct.
3 Q. Mr. Buha, the Trial Chamber has already heard
4 about alleged meetings held on 15 April 1993. I would
5 like to ask you to tell the Trial Chamber whether on 15
6 April 1993, any meeting was held in the afternoon or
7 evening attended by any politicians including say
8 Mr. Kordic or any other politician?
9 A. On that date, no meeting took place. Nobody
10 attended it, and especially it was not attended by
11 Mr. Kordic or any politician from Vitez or beyond.
12 Q. You are aware of the fact that Ante Breljas
13 -- that this meeting took place on the evening of that
14 date, the 15th of April and that he attended it, that
15 is Mr. Breljas?
16 A. As I said, there was no meeting and it could
17 not have been and it did not happen on the 15th of
18 April and Ante Breljas was not present there.
19 Q. On 15 April, you spent the entire day in the
20 elementary school of Dubravica, that temporary
22 A. Like all other days, I was in the school the
23 whole day.
24 Q. Had anyone outside of your unit or some
25 civilian, one of the politicians who had come to the
1 barracks, would you have known about it or would you
2 have heard or seen it?
3 A. Yes. I would have had to have seen it or
4 heard it. The duty officer would inform me about it
5 and I would show up.
6 Q. This was a relatively small barracks, small
8 A. Yes, relatively small.
9 Q. So you said that Ante Breljas could not have
10 been at a meeting for which you say never took place on
11 the 15th of April, but you say that he was not in the
12 elementary school in Dubravica on the 15th of April?
13 A. Yes, I continue to say that.
14 Q. Can you then please tell the Trial Chamber
15 when, on what date did you see for the first time the
16 person who later was identified as Ante Breljas?
17 A. I saw this gentleman on -- at around 1400
18 hours on the 16th. That is, the next day I saw him, on
19 the 16th around 1400 hours in the Dubravica school.
20 Q. When you say the 16th, you're referring to 16
21 April, 1993?
22 A. Yes, 16 April, 1993.
23 Q. Do you know where this gentleman was arrested
24 on that day, that is when he was seen for the first
1 JUDGE MAY: There's been no evidence that he
2 was arrested. Now, the simplest thing is to ask the
3 witness what were the circumstances in which he saw
4 Mr. Breljas that day.
5 Can you tell us that, please?
6 A. Of course I can say. I saw him on that day
7 in the school among the soldiers and he was -- he had
8 been arrested by the gas station called "Hvidra". That
9 is its current name.
10 He was arrested under unusual, strange
11 circumstances and he was brought to the school. He was
12 being watched by the soldiers around him.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
14 Mr. Naumovski. Mr. Naumovski, excuse me. I should
15 like to ask the witness, he says that he was arrested
16 under strange circumstances which were not quite
18 Could the witness explain what he means by
20 A. Yes, I can explain it. Because it was not
21 possible at that time for him to be there, because
22 there were combat operations going on so he was
23 immediately detained and brought to the school.
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] If there are
25 no further questions, Your Honour, I would go on.
1 Q. Let me follow up on this, Mr. Buha. He was a
2 suspect because he was caught in these circumstances
3 and so he was brought to the school.
4 A. That is exactly right.
5 Q. Mr. Breljas stayed detained or under watch in
6 the school at Dubravica for a while, didn't he?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. But after this period of time when he was
9 under observation, he became then a member of the
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What led to this?
13 A. It was his own way of flattery, and also his
14 knowledge of English so he endeared himself to the
15 commander so to speak, and became a member of the
17 Q. So whom did he flatter?
18 A. It was mostly Mr. Darko Kraljevic.
19 Q. After Mr. Breljas became a member of
20 Vitezovi, where did he work at first?
21 A. He at first worked with me in the logistics
23 Q. And after that?
24 A. After a while, he joined the IPD. He worked
25 for the IPD.
1 Q. Thank you. We will come back to these
2 questions later, but I just want to close this topic
3 regarding these meetings. Was any meeting held on the
4 16th of April, 1993 in the afternoon where some of the
5 politicians may have attended?
6 A. There was no meeting there. We were already
7 deployed in areas where there were -- fighting was
8 going on.
9 Q. So at that time, you were no longer in the
10 barracks; is that what you're trying to say?
11 A. No, at that time we were no longer in the
13 Q. You were with a special-purpose unit. You
14 spent the entire time in the Vitez area, and you must
15 have heard about Mr. Kordic. You had some knowledge
16 about him?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you please say, looking from your point
19 of view and based on your knowledge, was Mr. Kordic a
20 politician or a soldier?
21 A. Mr. Kordic was only a good politician. He
22 was no soldier.
23 Q. Throughout the time when you were with the
24 Vitezovi PPN and you spent the -- you were with them
25 from September 1992 until the middle of January 1994.
1 Throughout the existence of the Vitezovi unit, you were
2 with them, and have you at any time heard that
3 Mr. Kordic tried to or did issue an order to the
4 Vitezovi PPN?
5 A. No such order ever came to the Vitezovi from
6 anyone, and especially not Mr. Kordic.
7 Q. As a member of Vitezovi, whose orders did you
8 exclusively follow?
9 A. I exclusively followed the orders of my
10 commander, Darko Kraljevic.
11 Q. Could anyone else other than Darko Kraljevic
12 issue orders to you or the Vitezovi?
13 A. No, and I would not receive it from anyone
14 else but Mr. Kraljevic.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour,
16 this will conclude my questioning, and I want to thank
17 Mr. Buha.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Good morning,
19 Mr. Buha. Let me introduce myself. I'm Bozo Kovacic.
20 I represent Mr. Mario Cerkez, alongside Mr. Mikulicic,
21 and I would just like to follow up on what you have
22 stated so far.
23 [In English] Your Honour, there is an error
24 in the transcript on page 50, line 22, second sentence,
25 where the witness clearly says "HOS units were in
1 Kruscica," and the transcript said "HVO".
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Buha, first of all, I
5 will follow up on the issues we discussed -- you
6 discussed with Mr. Naumovski.
7 Could Darko Kraljevic issue any orders to
8 Mario Cerkez, and had he done so, would he have
9 accepted them?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Regarding the correction in the transcript,
12 HOS and later Vitezovi were in Kruscica, and Darko
13 lived in Rijeka; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. This is the area where you moved about?
16 A. That is correct.
17 Q. Do you remember, on the eve of the conflict
18 in April 1992, that is, on the 13th of April, did ABiH
19 members try to assassinate Mr. Darko Kraljevic in
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And is it true that a Batian [phoen] soldier
23 was there with Mr. Kraljevic and Niko and Jakov
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. But they managed to escape?
2 A. Yes, but the equipment and vehicles were
3 captured by the army.
4 Q. Do you know whether after that, Mr. Darko
5 sent a letter, a protest letter, to the command of the
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. Mr. Buha, can you recall whether a member of
9 your unit had a nickname Cano? Can you identify this
10 person for us?
11 A. Yes, I can.
12 Q. Could you tell us, please, who it was?
13 A. Yes. His name is Franjo, and his last name
14 is Sapina.
15 Q. You mean Franjo Sapina?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. He was also a member of the Vitezovi?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. And he was from Donja Veceriska?
20 A. That is correct.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Just a couple of questions regarding a document.
23 Can I please have the Registry provide us
24 with the Exhibit Z2332.1. This is from the so-called
25 Spork batch.
1 [In English] Could you please put it in front
2 of the -- or maybe on the ELMO, and then the witness
3 could see.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Can you please tell me, do
5 you know anything about the list of all military
6 personnel of the Vitezovi unit regarding some monetary
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Let me ask you this. Was Drago Vinac Darko
10 Kraljevic's deputy?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you know when he joined the Vitezovi? Was
13 it summer or spring?
14 A. Approximately between -- the 1st of
15 September, 1992.
16 Q. Can you look at this list, please? [In
17 English] First page of the text after this cover page.
19 [Interpretation] Can you identify Drago
20 Vinac? He's listed under "2"?
21 A. Yes, I can see him listed as number 2.
22 Q. If you now look to the next column, according
23 to this data, he joined on the 8th of April, 1992, it
24 would seem. Is that correct or is it correct what you
25 said, that he joined much later, significantly later?
1 A. I don't recall exactly. I believe that what
2 I have stated previously -- I don't recall exactly.
3 Q. Did you hear anything about all members of --
4 that the period of active duty with the HVO was blown
5 out of proportion, if I may use that, in order for them
6 to gain more compensation?
7 A. I have not heard of such stories.
8 Q. Is your father's name Ilija?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Usher, would you be so kind as
11 to try to locate the page where you have the numbers
12 "16/96"? That is about in the middle of the
14 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Buha, while we're
15 searching for it --
16 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Let the usher
17 find it. Whereabouts is the figure "16/96" to be found
18 on the page?
19 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, in the middle of
20 the page, and the middle of the material is the page
22 JUDGE MAY: Is there not -- I see. Is there
23 no page numbers on the bottom?
24 MR. KOVACIC: No, unfortunately not.
25 JUDGE MAY: It may be simplest if you hand
1 the usher your copy, rather than him having to try and
2 find it, and we'll put that on the ELMO.
3 MR. KOVACIC: We now discovered there was an
4 error in the transcript. I said the numbers lined on
5 the paper, not the page numbers, as is what's
7 JUDGE MAY: We've got it now, "16/96".
8 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. I marked this entry. Does this refer to you?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And also your personal number corresponds to
12 your number?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Further right, it's not on the screen --
15 [previous translation continues] ... [In English] He
16 can see the right side of the page. Right. Okay,
18 [Interpretation] And you can see here that
19 your date of entry is 22nd of November, 1991?
20 A. That is correct.
21 Q. In that period which was entered here, you
22 were a member of the HOS, which later was transformed
23 into Vitezovi?
24 A. Yes, that is correct.
25 Q. Very well, thank you. You were never a
1 member of the Vitez Brigade?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Thank you. Just one more detail, if I can
4 use your presence for some further persons. But let me
5 ask you this.
6 Do you know that a colleague of yours had a
7 nickname of Tasko?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Do you recall Marko Mlakic?
10 A. Marko Mlakic?
11 Q. Yes. Do you know that perhaps, by his close
12 friends and associates, he was called Tasko?
13 A. No.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Very well. No
15 further questions.
16 JUDGE MAY: If the usher would like to hand
17 back that document to Mr. Kovacic and perhaps return
18 the other one to the Registry. Thank you.
19 MR. KOVACIC: And that, Your Honour,
20 concludes my testimony -- my cross-examination. Thank
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I made my position
24 clear earlier. It may be that I'd be in a better
25 position later to conclude what I should ask this
2 JUDGE MAY: Why don't you make a start now.
3 MR. NICE: I can certainly make a start.
4 JUDGE MAY: And see how we get on.
5 MR. NICE: I don't want to pad up by using
6 time because I suspect that the other material I want
7 won't be here until lunchtime or after.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
9 Q. Mr. Buha, just let me check whether you'd
10 agree with the following: The Vitezovi were a special
11 unit formed on the 10th of September, 1992.
12 A. Correct.
13 [Trial Chamber confers]
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, do you have your next
15 witness available or is he not here until 2.00 or
17 MR. SAYERS: Not here until 2.30,
18 unfortunately. Do you want me to make inquiries
19 whether we can accelerate?
20 JUDGE MAY: It might be, yes, because what I
21 have in mind is if the cross-examination concludes
22 before 1.00, we might usefully spend the time hearing
23 the next witness, and we'll have to consider whether to
24 allow the Prosecution the adjournment to look through
25 their voluminous documents.
1 MR. SAYERS: With the Court's permission
2 then, if our paralegal can go make the appropriate
3 inquiries, that should be possible.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
5 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. Vitezovi was a special unit formed on the
9 16th of September 1992. They wore black uniforms; is
10 that correct?
11 A. No, Vitezovi were not formed. When black
12 uniforms were worn on the 22nd of November, 1991, that
13 was HOS which was founded and then they wore black
14 uniforms. And on the 10th of September, we became a
15 Special Purpose Unit called Vitezovi. That's when we
16 were formed and that's when we were called Vitezovi.
17 Q. I am summarising before you what I think has
18 been given as a judgement in another case, and I just
19 want your comments on it.
20 Is it the case that sometimes HVO soldiers
21 also wore black uniforms?
22 A. Well, yes. Yes, depended what you -- what
23 was available. That's what you wore.
24 Q. And so by the time of Ahmici, there were
25 still some HVO soldiers still wearing black uniforms in
1 April of 1993?
2 A. Could be.
3 Q. And therefore, the sight of somebody in a
4 black uniform could be ambiguous, it might identify an
5 HVO soldier, it might identify a policeman and earlier
6 on it might have identified HOS. Is that all correct?
7 A. Perhaps, perhaps.
8 Q. Blaz Kraljevic, what happened to him?
9 A. I don't understand the question.
10 Q. What happened to Blaz Kraljevic?
11 A. Got killed. I don't know the circumstances
12 exactly, I just know that the man was killed.
13 Q. Who killed him; do you know?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Who wanted him killed; do you know?
16 A. No.
17 Q. At the time he was killed, was there pressure
18 to make HOS become subject to the HVO?
19 A. True.
20 Q. And he stood out against it?
21 A. I don't understand, who was against it.
22 Q. Blaz was against it.
23 A. I don't know that. I don't know about that.
24 Q. Certainly after his death, HOS became part of
25 the HVO, correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And at the time, his death was connected with
3 the transfer of authority?
4 A. HOS was founded on the 10th of September,
5 which was when HOS was converted into the Special
6 Purpose Unit. Not because the said gentleman died.
7 Q. Blaz was also a person who wanted good
8 relations with the Muslims, didn't he?
9 A. True.
10 Q. And by the time HOS had become a Special
11 Purpose Unit, that desire for good relations with the
12 Muslims had become a thing of the past, hadn't it?
13 A. Not true. There were -- effort was already
14 made to establish great cooperation and go together to
15 fight against the Serbs.
16 Q. Well, let's deal with one detail I can deal
17 with at the moment and it's this: There was in
18 Dubravica a coffee house called "The Kruscica";
20 A. Not a coffee shop, a restaurant. Yes,
22 Q. You visited that coffee house?
23 A. Yes. That's our mess, our canteen where the
24 kitchen for the troops was.
25 Q. Did Kordic visit that coffee house?
1 A. No, I never saw him there. Even though I
2 went there three or four times a day on the average.
3 Three or four hours a day, I'm sorry.
4 Q. In both 1992 and 1993, you spent some of your
5 time preparing lists with addresses of Muslims, now
7 A. No. Never lists with Muslim addresses did I
8 make. What for?
9 Q. Let's break it down. Did you prepare lists
10 with Muslim names on them?
11 A. No.
12 MR. NICE: Can we have a private session for
13 the witness protection, please.
14 [Private session]
13 page 18642 redacted – private session
13 page 18643 redacted – private session
13 [Open session]
14 Q. I suspect that you'll remember that Miro
15 Kulic carried a white flag while they were walking. Do
16 you remember that?
17 A. I don't remember that because I was taking
18 part in combat operations in Vitez up there near the
19 church so how could I remember it since I was up
21 Q. Well, because at the time they were walking,
22 you were shooting at them. That's what I'm suggesting,
23 Mr. Buha.
24 A. Shooting at whom?
25 Q. At the people who were moving from the
1 shelter to the building?
2 A. That is not true. Those people were not shot
3 at, and I was in combat operations in Stari Vitez and
4 near the church was engaged in preventing the
5 breakthrough of Muslim forces.
6 Q. Those people who you say were taken to the
7 school, and you say for protection, were going to be
8 taken somewhere else, weren't they; to a meadow
9 called -- and I may get the pronunciation wrong,
10 probably will -- Perina Caira? Tell us about that,
11 please. Why were they going to be taken to such a
13 A. First time I hear about it. I have no idea.
14 Q. Well, let's go back then. Kulic Miro, what
15 unit was he in?
16 A. Could you repeat the question, please? I
17 don't understand it.
18 Q. Kulic Miro, what unit was he in?
19 A. I don't remember, I don't remember.
20 Q. Was he a soldier?
21 A. Well, yes, he was a soldier, but I don't
22 remember what unit he belonged to.
23 Q. Was he Vitezovi, or Viteska, or was it hard,
24 really, to distinguish between the two?
25 A. I think there are several Miro Kulics in
1 Vitez. I don't know which one you mean or any --
2 there's not one Miroslav Kulic.
3 Q. I was asking you about him at the beginning,
4 and you seemed to recall him. The person you were then
5 recalling, did he share a barracks with you?
6 A. I can't remember.
7 Q. But he might have done?
8 A. I don't remember. He might have, perhaps,
9 perhaps might have, but I just don't remember.
10 Q. Because, of course, you're telling us that
11 your barracks was a small location or a fairly compact
12 location where you would know exactly what's going on;
13 for example, if military or political leaders arrived.
14 Is that the picture of the barracks that we should
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So wherever you were on the 19th of April --
18 where were you again?
19 A. I never cared who came, why he came. If
20 somebody important came, then I would have been
21 informed. But otherwise, I simply didn't try to keep
22 abreast of who was coming, because I couldn't really
23 watch and record every visit.
24 You understand what I mean. I had my work to
25 do, I had logistics, preparing this for the army and
1 all that. You know what a man responsible for
2 logistics has to do. So I can't remember -- memorise
3 every person and keep track of who's coming, who's
4 going. I really can't do that.
5 Q. Where were you on the 19th of April?
6 A. 19th of April, I was not in the barracks on
7 that day. I was in combat operations up near the
8 church in Stari Vitez.
9 Q. How do you remember that?
10 A. Well, easy. I just came to the school on the
11 16th to fetch some food around 1400, and then I did not
12 come back for another 15 or 17 days because I was
13 supplying a part of our unit up there.
14 Q. Back to the general topic. With this small
15 or comparatively small barracks, if there had been any
16 incident where people had been taken out to be shot or
17 had been stopped by forces outside their control, you'd
18 have heard about it, wouldn't you?
19 A. No.
20 Q. The soldiers from your barracks might do
21 things like that and it wouldn't be communicated, it
22 wouldn't be discussed?
23 A. No, nothing like that was done, as far as I
24 know. No.
25 Q. Well, let's go back to Ahmici itself.
1 Where were you on the night of the 15th and,
2 more important, how can you remember where you were?
3 A. I can remember. On the 15th of April, I was
4 in the hall. After I finished and distributed the food
5 for that evening, then in the gymnasium I played
6 football. It was just warming up. I was playing with
7 other soldiers. That night, we played football until
9 Q. I see. And this is in the barracks, in the
10 hall of the barracks?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And are you telling the Judges that there
13 were no preparations for the deployment of troops later
14 that night or the following day in your barracks at
16 A. We did not have the slightest about anything;
17 nor could one expect anything like that or prepare for
19 Q. Well, perhaps you would tell us what
21 A. Well, that evening, like any other evening,
22 or the evening when I would have some free time on my
23 hands, we would play football or touch ball or, rather,
24 sports, just physical training and such like, and after
25 that we would go to sleep.
1 Q. What happened on the night of the 15th/16th?
2 Please tell us.
3 A. Well, like any other night, what could
4 happen? We played football, had a couple of drinks,
5 some beer, and went to bed. What could happen?
6 Q. The following morning, you woke up entirely
7 normally or were you woken by anything? Please tell
9 A. In the morning hours, around 6.00, between
10 5.00 and 6.00, we were woken up by gunfire.
11 Q. Where was that all coming from?
12 A. Well, it was deafening. It came from all
13 sides, it came from all sides.
14 Q. Who was attacking whom?
15 A. Muslim forces were attacking the town of
16 Vitez, all parts, all parts in Vitez.
17 Q. And you had heard nothing until then?
18 A. Nothing until then.
19 Q. You had heard Dubravica -- so sorry.
20 A. I suffered a shock, a surprise, because we
21 always prepared ourselves together for the front lines
22 for the fighting against the Serbs, and then suddenly
23 something like that. I was really aghast, I was
24 shocked, I was surprised.
25 Q. And of course Dubravica is on the Ahmici side
1 of Vitez, isn't it?
2 A. Looking at the road, yes.
3 Q. So deployments of troops in the direction of
4 Ahmici would have to pass Dubravica if they didn't
5 actually originate at Dubravica; correct?
6 A. No. There was no deployment of troops, as
7 far as Vitezovi are concerned, for Ahmici.
8 Q. Well, after all this was over in your small
9 community, you must have discussed what happened at
10 Ahmici. Tell us what did happen, according to what was
11 told to you.
12 A. That we talked about it only late in the
13 day. I said -- I asked, "What could it have been that
14 the Muslim forces attacked the HVO members there and
15 that open fighting broke out?"
16 Q. That's what you said. But you must have
17 heard from, what, the Viteska Brigade members that were
18 there? Who was it at Ahmici that spoke to you about
19 it; Viteskas?
20 A. I did not talk about it to anyone who had
21 been there. We simply heard the story from people who
22 were moving about, from troops who moved about. I
23 asked, "What happened?" and I heard in Stari Vitez --
24 next to the church is where I heard it -- that in
25 Ahmici, gunfire started and fighting, and the Muslim
1 forces had attacked HVO forces and that the fighting
2 had broken out.
3 And then fighting also began up there in
4 Vitez, and my unit went up to Vitez. And I went
5 together with them, because I was supplying the
7 Q. Well, you say that somebody told you that the
8 Muslim forces had attacked the HVO forces in Ahmici.
9 It will help us to know who it was who told you that.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Tell us who it was.
12 A. Some civilians who were moving around, they
13 just came up, and that is how I heard about it.
14 Q. Well, later on in this small community, you
15 must have discovered that a large number of innocent
16 civilians, women and children, and their cattle and so
17 on, had all been killed at Ahmici and their houses
18 burned. What were you told about that, please?
19 A. Well, all sorts of rumours circulated about.
20 I was not down there. I don't know what and how it
21 happened. I was not present. There were all sorts of
22 stories that this is how it was and that's how it was.
23 I cannot claim anything, because I was not there.
24 And in the course of fighting, such things
25 can also happen. I can understand, I mean, when there
1 is fighting going on, that somebody gets -- people can
2 get killed, even people that are innocent. But I do
3 not have any facts at my disposal. I was not present
4 there. I don't know.
5 Q. Let's go back to the 19th, a couple of days
6 later after Ahmici. Just tell us, by the way, who is
7 Anto Pavelic, or to be precise, who was he?
8 A. Anto Pavelic was a leader of the Ustasha
9 movement in World War II.
10 Q. Was that a name by which you called yourself
11 from time to time, please?
12 A. Never in my life; nor would I use that name
13 to call myself that.
14 Q. Are you sure about that?
15 A. Sure of that.
16 Q. I want to ask you finally this question about
17 the rounding up of the Muslims.
18 By the time they got to the meadow -- you
19 remember the meadow I described to you, don't you?
20 A. No, I don't remember any meadows.
21 Q. I think I gave a name to you, and I thought
22 you recognised it. I'll have to find the name again.
23 JUDGE MAY: No. You did mention it, and he
24 said he hadn't heard of it.
25 MR. NICE: I'm so sorry. My mistake.
1 JUDGE MAY: Let's move on.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. By the time they got to the meadow, were you
4 there shooting at them again?
5 A. I don't know anything about any meadows. I
6 wasn't there, so I don't know what you're referring to
7 when you're saying that -- a meadow and shooting at
8 them. I was in Stari Vitez, by the church. That's
9 where I was deployed.
10 Q. Let's deal now with your role as logistics.
11 What rank were you?
12 A. I was the -- in terms of formation
13 establishment, I was a major.
14 Q. Yes. Just tell us what logistics covered at
15 the time you were dealing with it.
16 A. Can you please clarify the question and say
17 what the logistics was supposed to do or what it did?
18 I'm not sure about the question.
19 Q. What you did, as a logistics officer in the
20 material time, please, so that we have a picture of
21 your job and life.
22 A. At that time, my task was the equipment, food
23 stocks and other supplies for the troops. I had to
24 deliver them on time. And those were the things, for
25 the most part. We had three or four people, and the
1 men had to have everything.
2 Q. That job doesn't necessarily involve your
3 having immediate and advanced contact with the officers
4 making decisions about the deployment of troops and
5 things like that, because they could make their
6 decisions and then they could simply tell you what was
7 required logistically. What I want to know is this:
8 Did you as a matter of fact have regular contact with
9 your superior officers so that you were aware when
10 plans were made and deployment to be effected and so
12 A. No. I was just doing my work as a logistics
13 officer, and as far as any other operations taking or
14 retreating from lines and things like that, I was not
15 involved in that. I was just involved in my work as a
16 logistics man and followed the orders issued to me by
17 my commander, Darko Kraljevic.
18 Q. So you've expressed an opinion or an answer
19 or given evidence about to whom Darko Kraljevic would
20 respond. From what you've told us, you can't know one
21 way or another whether he would respond to the orders
22 of a senior military man or a politician or to both,
23 can you?
24 A. That is correct. That is correct. He did
25 not follow anyone else's orders, that is correct.
1 Q. You misunderstood my question, with my
2 mistake, I'll come back to it.
3 From what you've told us about your work as a
4 logistics officer, and the fact that you weren't
5 involved with the other officers when they were making
6 fundamental decisions, from what you've told us about
7 your position, you're, in fact, unable to say whether
8 Darko Kraljevic responded to orders from a senior
9 military officer or whether, in fact, he responded to
10 orders from a politician. He may have done, you can't
11 possibly know.
12 A. Knowing Darko Kraljevic for a long time, I
13 doubt, in fact, I can claim rather than doubt knowing
14 his behaviour. I don't know that he -- I don't very
15 much know, in fact. He did not receive any orders from
16 anyone and follow them.
17 Q. What is it in someone's whatever it may be,
18 personality, that stops them from responding to the
19 orders of a politician, for example?
20 JUDGE MAY: That's not for him to answer.
21 MR. NICE:
22 Q. But you also expressed an opinion about
23 Cerkez. Again, you don't know one way or another from
24 whom Cerkez took his instructions, do you?
25 A. I cannot know from whom Cerkez received
1 orders, nor was I interested in that. I was only
2 interested in my work to get it done on time, and
4 Q. From your particular perspective and with the
5 limitations that were on you, are you able to help us
6 at all with how Vitezovi operations were coordinated
7 with other HVO Vitezska Brigade operations. Can you
8 help us with how that happened?
9 A. If there was such coordination, our
10 commander, if he had any communications, I don't know
11 how he did it, I don't even know whether there was any
12 coordination. No. I only did my job. I was not
13 interested in anything else just as I do today. I just
14 go about my business, and I'm not interested in other
16 MR. NICE: I can't, at the moment, deal with
17 the detailed matters that I said I would have
18 difficulties with.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I don't follow this.
20 You have the evidence of Mr. Breljas which is being
21 contradicted. I don't know what else it is you want.
22 MR. NICE: Perhaps I can explain it briefly
23 in the absence of the witness.
24 JUDGE MAY: Could the witness just wait
25 outside a moment, please.
1 [Witness stands down]
2 MR. NICE: In private session, perhaps, I
4 [Private session]
13 page 18658 redacted – private session
13 page 18659 redacted – private session
13 page 18660 redacted – private session
25 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.50 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE: I'm grateful for the time.
4 Q. Mr. Buha, the war, the fighting, was it an
5 occasion for you to sometimes profit for yourself?
6 Were you able to make a profit for yourself from time
7 to time in the war?
8 A. I never tried to do it, nor would I ever do
10 Q. You see, we've had evidence, and it's Exhibit
11 332.2 -- it's a small matter but it goes back to the
12 5th of February, 1993 -- of your seizing a hunting
13 rifle and being reported on that by a witness, the
14 rifle belonging to someone called Zihad Pezer. Do you
15 remember doing that?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Well, then let's move swiftly forward in
18 time, and I'll return to that topic a little later.
19 The man Breljas, as you were subsequently to
20 discover, was known to senior members of the Vitezovi
21 before Ahmici and the 16th of April; is that correct?
22 A. No, it is not correct. Nobody ever knew that
23 man until the 16th.
24 Q. Well, I'm going to suggest to you that he was
25 on the payroll certainly from March. Do you allow that
1 as a possibility?
2 A. No.
3 Q. Well, let's turn to what you say is the
4 incident at the gas station. Am I right in thinking
5 that this is the gas station on the way out from Vitez
6 in the direction of Ahmici, past Dubravica; is that
7 where the gas station is?
8 A. No. That gas station is to the right of
9 Vitez towards Travnik on the new road.
10 Q. Are you telling us that you saw him being
11 arrested or that you heard about it?
12 A. I did not see him being arrested. I was told
13 that later on, on the 16th, when I came to the barracks
14 in Dubravica, the lads that arrested him.
15 Q. What day was he arrested, please?
16 A. On the 16th, around 10.00.
17 Q. Well, I can accept that he was by a gas
18 station on the 16th, and indeed when he gave evidence
19 to the Judges, he told them about that, and this was
20 the gas station which had been fought over and which
21 had been taken by the Vitezovi. Is it right that the
22 gas station, where he was apparently found, was one
23 that had been taken over by the Vitezovi?
24 A. Yes, the Vitezovi held that gas station, and
25 as the lads -- the lads who captured him at the time,
1 that was where they found him, where they came upon
2 him, some hundred metres beyond the gas station. He
3 looked suspicious to them, and that is why they took
4 him to the school.
5 Q. Well, again I must suggest you are wrong
6 about that and that what he did was to go from the gas
7 station or from the area of the gas station to the
8 commander called Plavcic. There was a commander called
9 Plavcic, wasn't there?
10 A. Yes, Plavcic did exist, but he did not go
11 anywhere because he was captured and taken into
12 custody. He never went anywhere except as a captive.
13 Q. And that he was at that time above the gas
14 station, and that's where some translation skills were
15 used by Breljas, because there was some British
16 soldiers looking for a girl there. Now, does that
17 make -- does that sound familiar to you?
18 A. No.
19 Q. And it was later on that day, on the 16th, it
20 would appear to be, that he went -- he, Breljas, went
21 back to the barracks and stayed there until the
23 A. Breljas was arrested on that day, on the
24 16th, and he was kept under custody in the school
25 nonstop amongst the soldiers.
1 Q. How was it, then, that a man you say was in
2 custody suddenly became an accepted member of this
3 special group of fighting men? How did that suddenly
4 come about?
5 A. He did not become that immediately. First he
6 was kept under surveillance, and it was only later that
7 he became a member of the unit.
8 Q. Well, now that evening, the 16th of April,
9 where were you that evening? You probably told us and
10 it's my mistake for missing it. Where were you?
11 A. I already told you, at 1400 in the afternoon,
12 I came to get the supplies for the unit that evening,
13 and then for the next 17 or 19 days, I was in Stari
14 Vitez, next to the church on the front line.
15 Q. So, first of all, were you there, you say,
16 when Breljas was brought to the barracks or did he come
17 to the barracks apparently after you had already left?
18 A. I saw Breljas in the barracks at 1400. When
19 I came to get the materiel and food and whatever
20 people -- men needed, I came there to take it with me
21 to Stari Vitez.
22 Q. But this is clear: If there was a meeting
23 that evening, on the evening of the 16th, in the
24 barracks involving Kordic, you wouldn't be able to help
25 us one way or another because you weren't there
2 A. All I can say is there could not be any
3 meeting, since Plavcic and all my men and Mr. Darko
4 Kraljevic were in Vitez together with me at the front
5 line, at the defence line.
6 Q. So this much is clear about Plavcic: He was
7 certainly at liberty on the 16th even if he was
8 subsequently himself taken captive, correct?
9 A. Plavcic was never captured. Plavcic operated
10 with me next to the church. Nobody was freed then.
11 Everybody who was freed went back and we went to fight.
12 Q. So you've said whether Kordic would have been
13 seen at the barracks. I must inquire of you whether
14 Kordic was careful sometimes about being -- careful
15 about being seen perhaps both at the barracks and as I
16 must ask you at the restaurant or coffee house when you
17 were taking lists of Muslim people.
18 Let's deal with it in two stages. Were there
19 occasions when, to your knowledge, Kordic visited that
20 restaurant used by the troops and did so quite
22 A. No. I never saw Kordic, Mr. Kordic to come
23 to that restaurant or some meetings. Never.
24 Q. And in the course of the lunchtime, which
25 was, I'm sorry, a little extended, entirely my fault,
1 in the course of that lunchtime, have you been able to
2 think back to anything that you did that might have
3 looked like you were gathering names of residents,
4 perhaps particularly Muslim names? Have you been able
5 to think of anything that might have been
6 misinterpreted like that?
7 A. No, I never did it, nor would I do that, nor
8 was that part of my job, of the job that I had with the
10 Q. We'll move on then, and I've only got a few
11 more questions to ask you and it is these.
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
13 Mr. Nice. I wish to ask this of the witness.
14 Could it be that Mr. Kordic went to the
15 barracks? Could he have visited the barracks without
16 being noticed, without being seen by the witness?
17 In other words, could the witness see all the
18 people who would come to the barracks, and this --
19 could it have been with --
20 A. To begin with, there was security around the
21 barracks. Nobody could enter unannounced and
22 unobserved. And if such a personality, such a public
23 figure came to us, it would have been a privilege for
24 me to see him there.
25 However, he did not, unfortunately, he did
1 not come, and I have repeated it already several times.
2 MR. NICE:
3 Q. But of course if he decided to come without
4 any fanfare and to come privately, that would be a
5 matter for him. He could achieve it, couldn't he?
6 A. No, no, no, no. No, nobody could achieve
7 that. Nobody could achieve it.
8 Q. You mean if a senior and important person
9 like Mr. Kordic arrived and said he wanted his meeting
10 to be secret and to be kept from all the soldiers,
11 people would not obey him and they would let it be
12 known that he was there. Is that what you're telling
14 A. No, no, no, no. Nobody can enter. Nobody
15 can enter unannounced without the men around the
16 barracks knowing about it, nobody, nobody whoever.
17 Q. But you certainly accept that if he came on
18 the 16th in the evening, you wouldn't know about it
19 yourself because you weren't there. And you weren't
20 there, on your account, for many days to come,
22 A. I was not in the barracks, but Mr. Kraljevic
23 and other commanders were with me next to the church so
24 there would be nobody that he could talk to there.
25 That is logical.
1 Q. Let's move forward and returning to the topic
2 of whether the war benefited you financially,
4 First of all, do you remember any incidence
5 of cars or engines from Siroki Brijeg that you were in
6 a position to sell and make money out of?
7 A. I never did that. I wouldn't do that. I
8 simply was not brought up that way to do things like
9 that, especially in a war when people can be put before
10 the firing squad for it.
11 Q. Breljas took over from you as logistics
12 officer, didn't he?
13 A. Correct. Correct. Because he had access
14 everywhere. He simply invented that I had stolen
15 something and since he knew how to phone up to people,
16 that is what happened.
17 However, after some days, they took me back
18 because they had run short of food and everything. In
19 addition to Breljas, there were five more. Whatever
20 stocks we had were sold. Breljas did that and then I
21 headed to purchase these things again, and I continued
22 to do my job, and he was transferred to the IPD.
23 Q. So it was not a case of his working with you
24 in the logistics. He had you sacked because he caught
25 you thieving. That's right, isn't it?
1 A. He never caught me thieving, he -- yes, sir,
2 he did work with me, but he wanted to help on his own,
3 to distribute food to some individuals.
4 But to me it is vital for soldiers to have it
5 and that is where we disagreed, but he somehow had a
6 say with the commander and that is how it came about.
7 Q. I will suggest it wasn't a say with the
8 commander, but he actually caught you doing what you
9 had been doing perhaps throughout this conflict which
10 was to look after yourself at the expense of others.
11 Isn't that correct?
12 A. No. That could never be correct. My
13 soldiers in the barracks would have passed judgement on
14 me if I ever did anything like that.
15 Q. Then even later on towards the end of 1993
16 and into 1994, the Deputy Commander Vinac, with you,
17 were abusing the stores that should have gone to the
18 soldiers and selling them on the black market because
19 you could make money out of it.
20 A. No, it's a lie. It's purely and simply a
22 Q. Did you have any experience at about the same
23 time of Muslims being taken out and forced to work at
24 the front line?
25 A. No, no.
1 Q. When I say the experience, did you see any
2 members of the Vitezovi doing that or any of the
3 members of the other local brigades doing that?
4 A. No, I did not. I did not see that. But
5 where I was, with my Vitezovi, we dug our own trenches
6 because nobody else would do it better than we could do
7 it and we did not trust anyone else to do it for us.
8 MR. NICE: May the witness just see, arising
9 from questions asked by Mr. Kovacic, very briefly,
10 Exhibit 1380.
11 It's the second sheet of the English version
12 when it comes everybody's way, and it is also the
13 second sheet, I think. Yes, it's the very top of the
14 second sheet of the B/C/S version as well.
15 Q. You were asked questions about someone called
16 Dragan Vinac and about people exaggerating their tours
17 of duty for some reason.
18 What you're looking at is the second page in
19 B/C/S of a report actually prepared by, as we can see
20 on our page nine, Major Dragan Vinac as he then was.
21 If you look at the top of the second page,
22 you're looking at a -- two lines that reads, "The
23 commanders of the team were Captain Berislav Sapina and
24 Captain Dragan Vinac. The team operated in the
25 vicinity of Stolac." Do you see that right at the top
1 of the second sheet? I hope I have it right.
2 Now, if you come back to the previous page,
3 and if the Chamber will just cast it's eye out a little
4 further on, I think, page two, and it says this,
5 "Following the order of Brigadier Milivoj Petkovic
6 issued on the 14th of October, the commander of the PPN
7 Vitezovi, Darko Kraljevic, issued an order about
8 sending 60 soldiers of the PPN to Grude." And then it
9 goes on to say, "The commanders of the team were
10 Captain Sapina and Captain Dragan Vinac."
11 I just want you to confirm, Mr. Buha, you're
12 not suggesting, are you, that Dragan Vinac was not an
13 operating member of the Vitezovi in October of 1992 are
14 you, or anything like that? For it's clear that he
16 A. I'll tell you. Yes, men went to Stolac and
17 part of the PPN Vitezovi went to Stolac, to the Stolac
18 front to fight the Serbs because that was the Serb
19 front line. That is the defence of the Croat lands,
20 that is Bosnia-Herzegovina against the Serbs.
21 JUDGE MAY: You are not being asked about the
22 men. You are asked about Captain Vinac.
23 A. Yes, Captain Vinac. Captain Vinac was and --
24 led that group to Stolac, to the front line.
25 MR. NICE: Thank you, that's all.
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE MAY: Just help us with this, Mr. Buha,
3 so that it's clear. Did Mr. Breljas accuse you of
4 stealing the stores?
5 A. Yes, he did accuse me of stealing the
7 JUDGE MAY: And selling it on the black
9 A. Yes, yes, yes.
10 JUDGE MAY: And what particular stores were
12 A. Food. It was food.
13 JUDGE MAY: And what happened as a result of
14 the accusation?
15 A. On the basis of these accusations, Commander
16 Kraljevic came, found facts, realised that I had too
17 many responsibilities and said, "Josip, no problem.
18 You are going to the front line. Breljas will take
19 over this from you." and some five or six days later,
20 all the stores that existed disappeared.
21 There was Breljas and five more men and it
22 all vanished so that Commander Kraljevic brought me
23 back to purchase food and medicines and all the rest
24 that the troops might need.
25 And it was not difficult for me to find that
1 at all and I did, and I stayed doing that job again.
2 JUDGE MAY: And as a result of the
3 accusation, was there bad feeling between you and
5 A. Yes. We had an argument, a verbal one;
6 nothing more than that.
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
9 Your Honours. Very briefly, a couple of questions.
10 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
11 Q. Mr. Buha, you were asked about the road from
12 Vitez to Ahmici and onward. The school at Dubravica,
13 the elementary school and its yard are not on the main
14 road from Vitez to Ahmici, are they?
15 A. No, no, no, the school is not by the main
16 road. It is about 200 metres from the main road.
17 Q. And in view of the buildings and houses next
18 to the road, could one see, from the yard at the school
19 at Dubravica, who was moving down that road towards
20 Ahmici from Vitez?
21 A. No, it is impossible to because there are
23 Q. You've just answered the questions of His
24 Honour, and let me just shed complete light on it,
25 because I'm not sure the transcript put it right.
1 This gas station which is called Hvidra at
2 the moment, it is on the roundabout road which from
3 Vitez goes to Travnik and Novi Travnik; is that so?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. So this is not the other side of the road
6 towards Busovaca and Ahmici, looking from Vitez?
7 A. Looking from Vitez, if we take that road,
8 both the school and Ahmici are on the same side as the
9 gas station, that they are on the same side of the
11 Q. Very well. But unlike the school in
12 Dubravica by which the road to Ahmici goes, the gas
13 station is on the other side of the road towards
15 A. Yes, quite.
16 Q. You said today that Darko Kraljevic, your
17 commander, basically did not heed to anyone; that is
18 what you told us today?
19 A. Yes, that is true.
20 Q. Do you know anything about an incident when
21 Darko Kraljevic allegedly came uninvited to a meeting
22 where Mr. Blaskic and Mr. Kordic were and then did
23 something to them or said something to them; do you
24 know that?
25 A. No, I do not know that. I do not know that.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well,
2 thank you. Your Honours, that is all. Thank you,
3 Mr. Buha.
4 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, Mr. Buha, for coming
5 to the Tribunal to give your evidence. It's now
6 concluded. You are free to go.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your
9 [The witness withdrew]
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The next witness, please.
11 MR. SAYERS: Your Honours, the next witness
12 is Slavko Pavlovic. We have submitted two affidavits
13 in corroboration of his testimony. He will have one
14 videotape exhibit, which we'll show a very short
15 snippet of, and we have a transcript of the videotape
16 in Croatian and a translation in English.
17 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape will be Exhibit
18 D215/1, and the transcript, D215A/1.
19 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, just so the
20 position is clear, the transcript that we have produced
21 is a transcript of a news programme, following which I
22 believe the press conference of April the 15th was
23 shown again. That's previously been marked as an
24 exhibit, Z665, and a transcript of that press
25 conference has already been made part of the record.
1 [The witness entered court]
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
5 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
6 and nothing but the truth.
7 WITNESS: SLAVKO PAVLOVIC
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
10 Examined by Mr. Sayers:
11 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Would you please state
12 your name for the Court?
13 A. Slavko Pavlovic.
14 Q. Just a few matters of detail about your
15 personal background, sir. I'll take you through those
16 very quickly.
17 I believe you were born on September the
18 18th, 1956, in the town of Vitez.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You are a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
21 a Bosnian Croat by ethnicity, and a Roman Catholic by
23 A. Yes, a Bosnian Croat.
24 Q. I believe, sir, that you received your
25 primary education in Vitez, your secondary education in
1 Tuzla, and that you attended the University of
2 Sarajevo, graduating from that institution in 1978 with
3 a degree in music.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And from the end of 1992 until June of 1993,
6 you performed the job of director of TV Vitez; is that
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And I believe, sir, that you are married, you
10 have two children, that your family lives in Vitez, and
11 that both you and your wife have essentially lived in
12 Vitez all your life.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You currently work as a music teacher in that
15 town, sir?
16 A. Yes, as a music teacher.
17 Q. Could you tell us, Mr. Pavlovic, as the
18 director at TV Vitez, did you become familiar with the
19 broadcasts and interviews given by Bosnian Croat
20 politicians during the civil war that were later
21 broadcast on TV Vitez, and if so, could you tell the
22 Judges exactly how you became aware of those and what
23 connection you had with their rebroadcast, if any?
24 A. Yes. For the most part, yes. And as the
25 director of TV Vitez, a freshman journalist who worked
1 there who was gathering material for what we needed,
2 obviously as a manager, I reviewed all the materials
3 that arrived, including those press conference
5 Q. And were those materials reviewed and edited
6 to be broadcast later in the day over your TV station?
7 A. For the most part, all daily events that
8 occurred in the town of Vitez we would then broadcast.
9 Q. All right. And amongst the press conferences
10 given in Vitez or Busovaca, did you ever have occasion
11 to see press conferences that were attended by local
12 political figures such as Mr. Dario Kordic, Mr. Ignac
13 Kostroman, Mr. Anto Valenta, or others?
14 A. As a manager, I did not attend any of the
15 press conferences. But if I can anticipate your
16 question later, I was not present at the conference
17 attended by Dario Kordic.
18 Q. But the cameramen employed by your TV station
19 presumably were in attendance and actually recording
20 these conferences?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Now, I believe that we have made you aware of
23 certain claims made in this case that Mr. Kordic
24 supposedly held a press conference on April the 15th,
25 1993, in which it is claimed he stated on television
1 that, "his troops" were awaiting orders to attack
2 Bosnian Muslims. Could you tell the Court,
3 Mr. Pavlovic, was any such statement made, as far as
4 you're aware?
5 A. No. I can remember that press conference and
6 Mr. Kordic. It was a very significant day for our town
7 and the wider region.
8 Q. All right. Now, recordings of this press
9 conference were actually played by your TV station on
10 April the 15th, 1993; is that the case?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And we've already shown you, I think, the
13 Prosecution exhibits, the recordings which have already
14 been admitted into evidence in this case, marked Z665,
15 and obviously as the Court recalls, this press
16 conference concerned the kidnapping of Zivko Totic, the
17 commander of the Jure Francetic Brigade, and the
18 killing of Commander Totic's bodyguards.
19 Do you have any knowledge, sir, of any other
20 press conferences attended by Mr. Kordic on that day or
21 which were broadcast on that day, or the next day, for
22 that matter?
23 A. No, except for that conference.
24 Q. All right. Perhaps you've already answered
25 this question, but let me make it absolutely clear.
1 Did Mr. Kordic -- did your TV station broadcast any
2 other statements or speeches given by Mr. Kordic on
3 either April the 15th or April the 16th, 1993, other
4 than this press conference, a copy of which has already
5 been introduced into evidence as Exhibit Z665?
6 A. Excuse me. No. But let me try to elaborate
7 on what you asked before, whether he stated that --
8 whether the troops were on the ready. He did not.
9 Q. Could you tell the Court how many times this
10 videotape was actually broadcast over your TV station
11 on April the 15th, sir?
12 A. I believe that it was broadcast twice in the
13 morning hours, and what we always did with press
14 conferences of any kind, it would be rebroadcast in the
15 show called "Slikom Na Sliku", "Picture And Picture".
16 Q. All right. I believe that a news programme
17 was broadcast by TV Vitez on April the 15th at around
18 7.00 p.m.
19 A. Yes, as every day at 7.00 p.m., TV Vitez
20 always did a 7.00 newscast.
21 MR. SAYERS: With the Court's permission, I
22 would like to show a brief extract from this news
23 programme just for identification purposes, and that's
24 already been marked as Exhibit 215/1, and the
25 translations and transcripts have been marked as
2 I wonder if I could ask the usher to help out
3 the witness by putting the programme on the monitor.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Could the interpreters also
5 be provided with copies of the transcript?
6 MR. SAYERS: I think they have been.
7 Apparently, Your Honour, we fouled up. There
8 are some additional copies here for the interpreters,
9 if they need them.
10 I think there are four separate segments, or
11 a number of segments, Mr. President. We only propose
12 to show one of them, just for identification purposes,
13 because the programme speaks for itself.
14 Yes. If we could have the videotape shown
15 now, please.
16 [Videotape played]
17 THE INTERPRETER: [Voiceover] Dear viewers of
18 TV Vitez, good evening.
19 The most important news is the serious crime
20 that was committed today around 8.00 a.m. in Zenica
21 when the vehicle in which Mr. Zivko Totic, the
22 commander of the Jure Francetic Brigade, was travelling
23 towards the HVO command in Zenica was attacked.
24 The commander's escorts, Ivica Vidovic, Anto
25 Zaric, Marko and Tihomir, were treacherously killed in
1 that attack. A passerby, whose identity is yet
2 unknown, was also killed.
3 The commander of the Jure Francetic Brigade,
4 Mr. Zivko Totic, was abducted, and his whereabouts and
5 fate are unknown.
6 According to the latest information we have
7 received, there is no shooting in Zenica, but the
8 situation is very tense. In connection with this, a
9 special press conference was held today in Busovaca
10 that you could have watched earlier. For all those
11 among you who were not able to see this press
12 conference, we will air it again after the "Slikom Na
13 Sliku" telecast.
14 A proclamation by the Central Bosnia
15 Operative Zone was read at the conference, and we will
16 show it in its entirety during this newscast.
17 MR. SAYERS: [Previous interpretation
18 continues] ... unless, of course, the Court wants to
19 see it in its entirety.
20 Q. Now, Mr. Pavlovic, is that an accurate copy
21 of the news programme that was aired on April the 15th,
22 1993, just after Commander Totic's kidnapping?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. All right. Could you just tell the Court,
25 other than the news programme that we've just had
1 marked as an exhibit and the press conference that was
2 videotaped and aired on April the 15th, what other
3 programming did TV Vitez show on April the 15th, as far
4 as you can recall?
5 A. I think that very simply every day, including
6 the 15th, the programming was filled by EuroSport
7 broadcasts, old movies, and the only other thing we
8 could do, with the help of our friends, was to
9 rebroadcast "Slikom Na Sliku" and also to broadcast
10 news. In other words, every day was about the same,
11 including the 15th.
12 Q. All right. Now, in April of 1993, is it
13 correct to say that TV Vitez only produced its own news
14 programmes or videotapes of press conferences that were
15 aired later, and apart from these types of news
16 broadcasts, the only other programming broadcast by TV
17 Vitez was produced originally by other TV stations?
18 A. What we broadcast, we broadcast material
19 which we had available. And our equipment was
20 practically for amateurs, and the only thing we could
21 produce were the local news in the municipality.
22 Q. All right. Now, Mr. Pavlovic, as you said,
23 you've lived in the Vitez area all of your life.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Have you ever heard that Mr. Kordic
1 supposedly made a statement after the Ahmici blockade
2 incident in October of 1992 to the effect that Ahmici
3 would be burned to the ground, or would pay a dear
4 price, or anything like that?
5 A. No. And in October, I was not the manager
6 yet, but I would have been informed about it at the
7 time when I assumed the duty.
8 Q. Did you ever see such a programme on which
9 such statements were made yourself?
10 A. No.
11 Q. And I take it that you've not heard about any
12 such statements ever having been made by Mr. Kordic or
13 by anybody else for that matter along the lines I've
14 just recited to you?
15 A. I just said so, no.
16 Q. Do those kinds of comments sound to you like
17 the kinds of comments that Mr. Kordic would have made
18 from your knowledge of the news broadcasts or the press
19 conferences that he actually did speak at?
20 A. You will have an opportunity, Your Honours,
21 and everybody else, to see a tape of the press
22 conference and you will see that he was a very moderate
23 man. This is how I knew him before all these things
24 happened. So my answer is no.
25 MR. SAYERS: All right. Thank you very much
1 indeed, sir. No further questions.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
3 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Pavlovic. The Defence of
4 Mr. Cerkez, which I represent along with Mr. Kovacic,
5 is going to ask you several questions. Please try to
6 answer them to the best of your recollection.
7 Mr. Pavlovic, you said that you were a music
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. But that in December of 1992, you assumed the
11 post of the manager of TV Vitez?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I would like you to very briefly describe how
14 you took over this position?
15 A. It's very simple. I will be brief. As a
16 professor of music, I had previously worked in Travnik
17 and I taught music, but there were a lot of
18 interruptions in my commute. A lot of time I had to
19 stop going to Travnik because I used to travel daily
20 between Vitez and Travnik.
21 Then the refugees started arriving and more
22 and more people. The population was swelling and we
23 were feeling more and more unsafe. And first we
24 started village guards or home guards, then people said
25 that I shouldn't be doing this, and I wanted to join
1 for the safety of my family.
2 Q. Let me interrupt you here. When you say the
3 village guards or home guards, you mean the organised
4 security of the apartment building where you lived?
5 A. Yes, exactly.
6 Q. And then Mr. Santic offered you the job of
7 manager of the local TV station in Vitez?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, before these events in December
10 of 1992, what type of TV programmes could be viewed in
11 the Vitez municipality?
12 A. At that time, the only relay in -- which was
13 in Kruscica, I believe it was called, the Muslims that
14 took control of it. Apparently there were two channels
15 there, but I did not manage to get one of them for us.
16 Q. So if I understood you correctly, and in
17 order for the Trial Chamber to gain the right picture,
18 is it true that the relay which was sending the signals
19 to Vitez was somehow taken over by the ABiH?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And is it correct that they simply refused to
22 provide the services of this relay to you?
23 A. I was authorised by Mr. Ivica Santic, with
24 the representative of the Bosnian people, Suad Salkic.
25 I tried everything. It was such the time and we wanted
1 to try everything. This relay was supposed to have
2 been used by all ethnic groups who were there, three or
3 four or five who were there, that nobody would have
4 special advantage, but he said that he was not
5 competent to discuss this issue.
6 Q. So in other words, this attempt of yours to
7 negotiate failed?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. So the Bosniak was the only one using this
10 relay facility in Vitez?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Then you build your own relay on an amateur
14 A. Yes, and this is what we still use to date.
15 Q. What was the power that this relay had?
16 A. My friends and colleagues and staff, Kurebac
17 [phoen] and others, said it was about five watts which
18 is very little.
19 I am a musician. I don't know exactly how
20 much that is, but anybody can check this because the
21 facility is still there as it was. It could only cover
22 the town of Vitez and its surroundings.
23 Q. I understand. Mr. Pavlovic, the local TV
24 Vitez studio was -- had its premises in the local
1 A. Yes. And before that, it was in the private
2 apartment of Minister Gudin.
3 Q. So in addition to the TV studio there was
4 other offices there?
5 A. Yes, there was. The political party had its
6 office there and there was a cafe and there was also
7 the headquarters there when I arrived in December.
8 Q. You're referring to the municipal staff of
9 the HVO?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You said you employed new, young journalists
12 who were amateurs. Mr. Pavlovic, do you remember at
13 that time whether the daughters of Mr. Hasan Salibasic
14 worked, and their names were Soncica and Srebrenica?
15 A. I'm not sure, but I said there was one name
16 which was Vildana.
17 Q. In any event, those two girls were of Muslim
19 A. Yes. One of those still works for a Croat
20 businessman. But yes, people worked regularly there.
21 Nobody could dream what would happen next.
22 Q. Did you or anybody else exert any pressure on
23 them or any other Muslim employees?
24 A. No. Everything was very correct and fair.
25 Q. Do you perhaps know whether these ethnic
1 Muslims were giving trouble, were given trouble by
2 their fellow compatriots for speaking in the Croat
4 A. I believe at that time still not.
5 Q. And later? If you don't know, we can move on
6 to another area.
7 A. I'm sorry, I did not hear you.
8 Q. Do you know whether later they had any
10 A. No, I don't know that.
11 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, it is said that you lived in a
12 newer section of Vitez. How about your parents?
13 A. I was born near the mosque in Stari Vitez
14 which is the part of -- section of town called Mahala.
15 My father was also born there. I am not sure about my
16 grandfather, but we -- the family has been there for
17 200 to 300 years.
18 Q. So it is -- a part of town with predominantly
19 Bosnian or Muslim population?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember, Mr. Pavlovic, what happened
22 to you on the morning of the 16th of April?
23 A. It was a disaster. As the TV station
24 manager, I could not cover the 500 metres from where I
25 lived to where I went to work because of all the
1 shelling. It was terrible.
2 Q. As the leading media person or information
3 person in town, did you know anything about these
4 events, that there would be a conflict on that day?
5 A. I've always wanted to say this. If -- I will
6 slow down so that it can be interpreted. Even -- I was
7 a musician, it's maybe too much to call me a media
8 person. If somebody wanted to bring something to the
9 TV Vitez, and this is what happened on the 16th.
10 My parents lived in the town of Vitez and
11 Their Honours and everybody else who is here are wise
12 people. They could assume that I would first go for my
13 parents. I would not want them to be in Mahala on that
14 day, but they stayed in Mahala for a whole year.
15 Q. So you were not able to have any contact with
16 them for a full year until the cease-fire was signed?
17 A. At one point, some people went to Mahala,
18 they said that it would last a very short period of
19 time. They said, "Franjo, you will be able to go to
20 church in five or six days." And then after a month or
21 two, they said it would be all right. But it was not
22 all right, and I did not see my father for many months.
23 Q. And you had no information what was all going
24 on with your parents in Stari Vitez, in Old Vitez?
25 A. No, we did all kinds of things. I don't know
1 if it reached CNN but we did all kinds of things to try
2 and find out whether they were still alive.
3 My father, as an elderly man, we were all in
4 a good mood, he always sang a song, a particular song,
5 they're referring to the home and family. And he -- we
6 could -- we would be able to hear that he was 500 or
7 600 metres away but there was no -- we'd never heard
8 him or we never saw him.
9 Q. Then I understand you saw your father from
11 A. Yes. Mother I did not see on that time.
12 Q. And Mr. Pavlovic, did you ever hear in what
13 circumstances did they live during that year in Stari
14 Vitez while in -- while surrounded?
15 A. Well, we learned that afterwards. We heard
16 it from Helda, who was an elderly man, and his son
17 Besim. They spent in the cellar only four months. Our
18 house is only some 50 metres from there, yet they never
19 did go to our house.
20 Q. So your parents were taken from their own
21 house and put in a cellar, rather like a prison, where
22 they spent four months?
23 A. No, not only they, there were 20 or 30 people
24 of Croat ethnicity as well.
25 Q. So they were kept in that cellar, citizens in
1 Stari Vitez who were of Muslim ethnicity?
2 A. That is correct, our neighbours.
3 Q. Mr. Pavlovic, you told us in the beginning
4 that at the request of Ivica Santic in December of
5 1992, you took over the job of the manager and if I am
6 correct, you held that post until June 1993, and what
7 happened then?
8 A. Well, I was then really fed up with
9 everything and I asked Ivica once again to send me to
10 the defence front line, to the trenches with my
11 brothers, because I was suffering such pressure. I
12 simply wanted to be with my brothers. Because I was in
13 the television, and the armchair is the armchair and
14 the trench is a trench, and you know how things are.
15 Q. And your three brothers were members of the
16 HVO at the time?
17 A. Yes, yes.
18 Q. And you joined them then?
19 A. I did.
20 Q. And where, what position did you hold?
21 A. What do you mean "what position"?
22 Q. Well, you told us that you went into a
24 A. Next to the cathedral, next to our church,
25 St. George in Vitez.
1 Q. And that was the area which was held by the
2 main unit of the Vitez Brigade, is it?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Does that mean that you were a member of the
5 Vitez Brigade?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And at that time, did you meet Mr. Cerkez?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And in your conversations, I suppose you also
10 talked from time to time; is that correct?
11 A. Of course it is. Absolutely.
12 Q. Did you ever hear from Mr. Cerkez in those
13 conversations? Did you ever hear him say something
14 pejorative, something offensive with regard to the
16 A. Listen, Mr. Cerkez, he was a very shy man, a
17 coy man, a young man so the answer is no, no,
18 regardless of what was said.
19 Q. Thank you, Mr. Pavlovic. I have no further
21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
22 I have no other questions of this witness.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
24 Q. Just before I turn to the substance of what
25 you've been telling us, may I take it that you had
1 already spoken with Mr. Cerkez's counsel before you
2 came to give evidence today?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So you knew the questions that were going to
5 be asked?
6 A. As the gentleman, the one who just asked me
7 before from -- I remembered if I knew anything, if I --
8 from my recollection, if I could say a few sentences
9 about Mr. Cerkez.
10 Q. When did you come here to The Hague? Was
11 this this weekend or before the weekend?
12 A. Thursday, five days ago.
13 Q. And had you discussed the position with the
14 other two people who we understand have provided
15 affidavits, the ones, I've only just got them, I
16 think -- I'll have a look at them later.
17 A. No.
18 Q. I'll come to them later. And your summary of
19 evidence, when was it first prepared, last weekend,
20 last week on the Friday or over the weekend?
21 A. Over the weekend.
22 Q. I want a little help from you, please, about
23 the local broadcasting facilities. Vitez had one
24 television programme, that is one television station?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How widely was it able to broadcast, how far
2 could it reach?
3 A. From what I was told, were those five watts.
4 And there were also some places in the town itself,
5 because the relay is in the heart of the town. It's a
6 small makeshift thing. We used -- we made -- it was a
7 contraption, a make shift contraption and the
8 professionals, what they told us, perhaps its range was
9 the next, the neighbouring village, but we really
10 couldn't go around and ask about the coverage, that
12 Rather there were places in the town where
13 they could not watch it, and yet there were also
14 villages around Vitez where they could watch it.
15 Q. Do you know one way or another whether it
16 reached Busovaca?
17 A. I don't think so.
18 Q. Are you aware that Busovaca may have had its
19 own broadcasting service television or radio?
20 A. Yes. Like us, the range of Busovaca
21 television was more or less the same as ours, both in
22 terms of the range and visibility.
23 Q. Kordic's sister had a role in broadcasting, I
24 think, didn't she?
25 A. No. His sister used to work with me in the
1 music school in Travnik, Davorka Kordic.
2 Q. Very well. You of course can say nothing of
3 the content of broadcasts on Busovaca television if
4 there was such a service?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Therefore, just to deal with what may or may
7 not have been said in October of 1992 about Ahmici
8 being razed to the ground or words to that effect. If
9 that was said on Busovaca TV, you can't help us one way
10 or the other.
11 A. In 1992, that October, I had already answered
12 the gentleman from the Defence that I do not have such
13 information, nor did I have any information, nor did I
14 become aware even after I was appointed the manager of
15 the television in Vitez.
16 Q. Dealing with the broadcast in 1993 and after
17 December, I'm not quite sure what you're saying. You
18 weren't present when the broadcasts were made yourself,
19 you left those to the journalists, correct?
20 A. Yes, cameraman. Listen, it was very
21 difficult to go, to leave, because at the time, there
22 was no oil, no petrol so one really had to look after
23 every drop of it.
24 Q. But your way of saying that Mr. Kordic
25 couldn't have said that which some witnesses say he
1 said is what, based on your seeing your own broadcasts
2 or your seeing some of your broadcasts. What's your
4 A. I'll explain it to you now. The little I
5 knew of Mr. Dario at the time, it is not sure that
6 people talked, but when -- Dario could always feel
7 moderation, patience, whenever he spoke, and his vision
8 of what the times would bring.
9 He simply was not a man who could utter things
10 that you claim he did or whoever claimed he did it.
11 Q. Well, I'll come to that in a minute. If I go
12 back to the question I was asking you, are you saying
13 that you saw every broadcast yourself? I don't think
14 you are, but just checking. Is that what you're
16 A. No, absolutely not every one, naturally.
17 Q. And therefore there may have been a press
18 conference by Mr. Kordic where he said something and
19 you simply don't know about it because you didn't see
21 A. Listen. I think I would have learned it had
22 he said anything like that, because Vitez Television
23 did not work -- was not something like the Croatian
24 Television or another major television company. You
25 could see this girl on the tape. I mean she was not 17
1 or 18. They were all young people, they were all
2 amateurs. There was not a single professional
3 journalist. We did it to simply try to pick up daily
4 news, with one very modest camera, and tried to
5 broadcast them over the television.
6 Q. Well, now let's move on to your assessment of
7 Mr. Kordic, because you've dealt with that. If he
8 wanted to make a broadcast, you would be only too happy
9 to let him do so?
10 A. Absolutely.
11 Q. The station was, tell us, a Croat station or
13 A. Yes, yes.
14 Q. Staffed by Croats and serving the interests
15 of Croats?
16 A. At that time, that is, when things began to
17 unfold, yes. It only had amateurs of Croat ethnicity.
18 However, Mr. Dario Kordic never misused it, or
19 Mr. Mario Cerkez, since they are here together, not for
20 a single moment while I was the manager, absolutely not
21 a single moment.
22 Q. Break that down, please. There was no output
23 on your programme from Muslims, was there; it was all
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. With the developing tension in the town, can
2 you understand how it is that Muslims may have found
3 some of the things that Mr. Kordic said disturbing or
5 A. Muslims also had a TV station in Mahala.
6 What kind, what size, I don't know, and how they
7 worked, I don't know. So what we did was what would
8 happen during that particular day with those young
9 journalists, those beginners, what they could pick up,
10 and that is what we used to do to produce this news
11 programme, the one and only. Otherwise, we broadcast
12 Euro Sport, things like that, and the programme called
13 "Slikom Na Sliku", "Picture To Picture".
14 Let me repeat that. Do you know what it
15 means to make a broadcast or produce a broadcast even
16 in those great times when there was plenty of money,
17 let alone in those times when we had nothing? Of
18 course, we couldn't try to be very clever and produce
19 some major programmes, no.
20 Q. Perhaps I'll go back to the question I asked
21 you, and perhaps you will answer it, if you feel you
23 Can you understand how it is that Muslims may
24 have found some of the things that Mr. Kordic said
25 disturbing or frightening?
1 A. I do not know that Mr. Kordic ever said --
2 and if you saw to the end this press conference on the
3 15th, which was one day before the war, you perhaps saw
4 it, or perhaps you will see it with the Defence -- if
5 you look at it, you will see a press conference where
6 attempts are still made to establish some kind of
7 contact with the Muslim -- with the Bosniak people to
8 avoid the conflict which then happened, but I'm sure
9 you know it.
10 So nothing disturbing, nothing -- I did not
11 know really Mr. Kordic very much. I knew his sister
12 very well because we worked together. Very little, but
13 I simply think that his upbringing -- he was an
14 accomplished man, so I do not think he would allow
15 himself to use such platitudes.
16 Q. Help us perhaps get a picture of the station
17 by this: There came a time in Vitez, as you will
18 remember, when Muslims lost their jobs in favour of
19 Croats. Do you remember that time?
20 A. Before that time, if somebody on his own --
21 depending on how one put up with that climate, I need
22 to tell you something.
23 The first Bosniaks from Kotor Varos, expelled
24 from Kotor Varos, were accommodated in Mahala in my
25 brother's house, Brano Pavlovic's, and received all
1 those people in good faith, children in cribs, small
2 babies, infants, so I don't have to tell you what times
3 they were. But we did what we could to help and to
4 accommodate those Muslims, those Bosniaks, expelled
5 from Kotor Varos, and it was a pleasure to help those
6 people, those children, those mothers, and others.
7 Q. Well, now we've got that answer, but perhaps
8 you would like to just answer the question.
9 Do you remember, please, the time when
10 Muslims lost their jobs in favour of Croats? "Yes" or
11 "No" for the time being.
12 A. Your Honours, I can say very briefly that
13 such times -- I do not know of such times when they
14 were made to quit their jobs. I have just said that
15 people -- like I quit my job in Travnik. Nobody sacked
16 me in Travnik. I simply, because of my feelings --
17 because of insecurity, because there were too many
18 people in Travnik, I quit the job myself. And I think
19 that in Vitez, nobody was sacked, but people took their
20 own decisions.
21 Q. Well, you see, we've had evidence -- it will
22 be for the Judges to assess it in due course -- that
23 Muslims who didn't pledge loyalty to the HVO government
24 lost their jobs. It's a small town. You're bound to
25 have heard of that if it happened. Did it happen?
1 What I want to know -- let me give you
2 advance notice -- I want to know whether you remember
3 it happening, and then I want you to tell us how your
4 programme would have reported that as a piece of news.
5 A. No, and I won't repeat it again. In my view,
6 nobody was forced to quit or was sacked, regardless of
7 what your witnesses said. I simply think that each and
8 every individual had his personal reasons. Perhaps
9 they simply could not stand it anymore. The town was
10 becoming overcrowded. There were too many refugees,
11 too many ex-police, people who had been expelled.
12 There were too many people in that small town.
13 Q. Well, finally on this topic, how did you
14 report -- how did your station report the destruction
15 of Muslim businesses, because they were destroyed and
16 it must have been an important piece of news. What did
17 your television station say about it?
18 A. Listen. All sorts of things happened. Those
19 daily segments, even if they were -- and allow me, Your
20 Honours, to say at this moment whether it was on the
21 news or not, I think it was, if they were destroyed,
22 like any other -- Vitez was, as you know -- I believe
23 you know it is a small town, and indeed there were
24 thousands of expelled people, thousands of refugees,
25 some in transit. Those were those times. To say that
1 somebody did it, somebody from Vitez did it or somebody
2 from Jajce did it or somebody from Kotor Varos, I
3 cannot assess that. I don't know.
4 Q. May we take it -- just help if I'm wrong.
5 May we take it that your television programme never
6 reported anything as being done by the HVO that was
8 A. Never. Generally speaking, who did that?
9 Today, in terms of peace, we cannot say that. All
10 those acts, all those crimes which were perpetrated, we
11 cannot say this was done by this and this was done by
12 that, let alone HVO. Why should it?
13 Everything went through Vitez. Vitez
14 experienced everything. This is a very small valley.
15 There must have been dozens of thousands of people who
16 went through them. And you are a wise man. Don't you
17 know what can happen in that chaos, in that --
18 JUDGE MAY: Don't personalise this, please.
19 Just answer the questions.
20 Now, have you got very much more?
21 MR. NICE: Not very much, just a few more.
22 Q. You see, you'll be aware -- and can I give an
23 exhibit reference to the Court. It's Defence Exhibit
24 183/1, and it's tab 5 of it.
25 Are you aware that in the Narodni list for
1 September 1992, there was an order of HZ HB that public
2 enterprises should be established, including one from
3 radio and television, HZ HB Radio and Television? Were
4 you aware that the political party regarded
5 establishing a television network as an important
6 thing, part of its own enterprise? Are you aware of
8 A. No.
9 Q. But we don't have to doubt about it, do we?
10 Your television programme was a fully, to use an
11 unattractive word in English, politicised -- it was a
12 fully political television station; correct?
13 A. No. It was a local station which covered
14 daily events in the town.
15 Q. I'd just like to have a look at one exhibit,
16 Exhibit 304 coming your way. The date on the English
17 is wrong. It's not the 6th of June, it's the 6th of
18 December, as is clear from the text. Sorry about
20 This is a document -- you can have it in the
21 original and we've got it in English, you see, on the
22 overhead projector -- which is dated the 6th of
23 December from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
24 Croatian Community, Croatian Defence Council from
25 Kiseljak, this one, and it goes to the presidents of
1 the HVO, of the Croatian Defence Councils in all sorts
2 of places including Vitez. And it reads:
3 "After talks between the technical staff of
4 RTV Radio/Television and HZ Croatian Community of
5 Herceg-Bosna, and the vice-president, Mr. Dario Kordic,
6 it was decided to search for the best possible way to
7 cover Central Bosnia with the programming of our radio
9 Then it asked for representatives of the
10 media and press offices to go to a meeting on the 9th
11 of December in Busovaca. Who went from your radio
12 station to that meeting? Was it you?
13 A. On the 28th of December, I was appointed the
14 manager of Vitez Television, so believe me when I say I
15 know nothing about this.
16 Q. But were you aware that television outlets
17 were subject to that sort of political interest and
18 maybe control?
19 A. In a nutshell, there was no political control
20 during those six months in that post, and I told you
21 that a few minutes ago, and I told it -- I said it in
22 all honesty now.
23 Q. Just give me one minute. I'll look at the
24 affidavits, and then I'll be done, I think.
25 The person Ljuba Vidovic, is that somebody
1 working in your station? No, I don't think it is. Do
2 you know Ljuba Vidovic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. I'm just trying to read something and follow
6 In October of 1992, if that person was living
7 in Santici, what radio station would have reached him
8 or her? It says he watched TV Vitez, but what do you
9 say about Santici being within range?
10 A. Whether Santici -- or perhaps even up to
11 Bukve, to Muslim villages, I told you and I shall
12 repeat it. Yes, sometimes it was within range. But at
13 the same time in the town, some people could not see it
14 even beyond 100 metres. So, yes, it is possible.
15 Q. And somebody, Mario Mlakic, do you know him
16 or her?
17 A. Yes, Mario, Mario, a man.
18 Q. And he was working in your TV station at the
19 time, was he?
20 A. At that time, Mario Mlakic, I think not. He
21 is now the director of Vitez Radio, because Vitez
22 Television is out of work, there's no money.
23 Q. Who has access to TV Vitez's archives at the
24 moment? The business may have closed, but where are
25 the archives?
1 A. I haven't the slightest. When I was leaving
2 it, at that time there was -- even tapes were a major
3 problem, so we used them to rerecord and rerecord, we
4 used them. And it was a long time ago, seven or eight
5 years it went on working, and I really can't tell you
6 about that.
7 Q. So the tapes of -- anybody reviewing tapes of
8 broadcasts wouldn't necessarily now have seen all the
9 broadcasts because some of them may have been
10 rerecorded; correct?
11 A. Oh, yes, quite.
12 Q. What were you doing before 1992 when you --
13 you've told us that already.
14 Where did you go after April the 15th? I'm
15 sorry, where did Mario Mlakic go after April the 15th;
16 do you know?
17 A. Mario Mlakic? I have no idea. Even a day
18 before the war, I have no idea. Today, I know he is
19 the director of the Vitez Radio.
20 Q. So far as you're concerned, is the position
21 this: that it was a war between people doing equally
22 bad things one to the other, or was one side the victim
23 and one the aggressor? Just tell us, please.
24 A. Absolutely.
25 Q. And you can't -- nothing bad that the HVO did
1 the entire time you were there?
2 A. You mean before the war, before the war, or
3 after the war? I didn't really understand the
5 Q. I mean generally, but you break it up. So
6 far as you're concerned, was the HVO doing anything bad
7 at all before the war?
8 A. If it did, if it did something bad, then it
9 must have been sanctioned. A commander would have
10 sanctioned anything bad if he had learned about an
11 individual, a control, but there were all sorts of
12 things happening.
13 MR. NICE: Yes, thank you.
14 MR. SAYERS: No redirect, Your Honour. Thank
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pavlovic, that concludes your
17 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International
18 Tribunal to give it. You're free to go.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you,
20 thank you, thank you very much.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, there is the question
23 of the exhibits.
24 MR. NICE: Yes, of course.
25 JUDGE MAY: I've drawn your attention to the
1 relevant Rule.
2 MR. NICE: Certainly, yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Now, the tone of this letter
4 which we've seen suggests there's some obligation on
5 the Trial Chamber to make an order. That is not the
7 The Rule to which I've referred is 81(C), and
8 I don't know why it's not been complied with. It's the
9 normal practice in courts that once an exhibit is
10 produced, it's kept by a neutral party, not retained by
11 a party to the proceedings. And the purpose is, of
12 course, so that neutrality is retained, there is a
13 perception of fair play, and the Court has control.
14 Now, it may be that I have overlooked
15 something or failed to recollect some order that we've
16 made or to the contrary, but we need to regulate this.
17 MR. NICE: I think what's happened, and I
18 haven't knowledge of all the cases, is what happens in
19 other cases or some other cases.
20 The letter, incidentally, is incomplete in
21 one detail. I'll come to that in a minute just to
22 remind you of it.
23 But there are, I suspect, reasons why things
24 are conducted in the way that they are. Let's look at
25 paper exhibits first.
1 Documentary exhibits, originals, may not
2 always or indeed often be exactly an original as the
3 Chamber thinks of an original in other cases. For
4 example -- and we have many examples in this case of a
5 version of an original, the milinfosum for this date,
6 whatever it is, the Blaskic order for that date being
7 inadequately clear, insufficiently clear, and we are
8 asked to see if we can find another one, and we
9 frequently can find another one because documents come
10 in more than one way to us and sometimes there are more
11 than one versions of the same document, so that the
12 notion of an original is, to some degree, a little
13 perhaps sometimes less precise.
14 The second problem about documents, and that
15 is that, of course, if there were a unique original,
16 then it would have to be an original in the Blaskic
17 case, in the Kupreskic case, and in our case where they
18 are used in all three cases. Well, for whatever
19 historical reason, the position is that all documents,
20 and indeed all other bits of evidence, when they
21 arrive, are processed through and to the Evidence Unit,
22 where they stay, and they are not produced save by some
23 system and formality --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Who has determined that,
25 Mr. Nice?
1 MR. NICE: It's the practice that's gone on
2 since I've been here, and I haven't --
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: Well, no matter how you
4 rationalise it, I think it is totally out of order.
5 MR. NICE: Well, I'm simply explaining what
6 happens first. I'm not sure that it is, because
7 documentary cases regularly enough proceed on copies,
8 and so what we've been producing, and we've made no
9 bones about it, and I think what the Defence have been
10 produced when we produce an exhibit to the Chamber is a
11 series of copies of documents, all copies being the
12 same, and when anybody is asked for an original -- I'm
13 not sure that anybody has in this case -- it's been
15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] This is not
16 the problem of semantics or linguistics. There is the
17 problem of principle. When one talks about the
18 original, it is not an original in absolute terms, it
19 is an original -- [no interpretation] ... there is a
20 need. So do not try to convince us that these are not
21 originals. That's not the problem, that's not where
22 the problem lies.
23 The problem lies where the document is here
24 and is submitted to the Tribunal, that is the original
25 in our book, and that document, normally speaking,
1 should be within the hands of the Registry. This is
2 common practice in all the world's courts. We're not
3 inventing anything here, anything new.
4 Then, if you're dealing with copies, such
5 copies are to be delivered back and supplied by the
6 Registry, possibly with a mention saying that it is a
7 copy conformed to the original which has been deposited
9 It is as simple as that, so that we may have
10 some sort of reference. And the Registry is our
11 reference. It is a neutral reference, as was pointed
12 out by my colleague, Richard May, just a minute ago,
13 because it is outside the two parties, it is outside
14 the operation of the parties, outside of the agreement
15 of the parties. So we should come back to this very
16 simple idea.
17 Now, if we have two similar documents in two
18 cases, then it is up to the Registry to classify them
19 as original in the Blaskic case or as original in the
20 Kordic case. The problem is to know what has been
21 deposited or filed as a document in that case, has
22 received a number, and therefore must be detained or
23 retained by the Registry. And if there are any copies,
24 they are going to be delivered by the Registry with the
25 mention saying that it is in conformity with the
1 original, and that's about all.
2 As to the remainder, we could talk about it
3 for a hundred years and we wouldn't get any further.
4 MR. NICE: I don't know if I have any
5 particular observations to make on what Your Honours
6 said, save to say that where you're dealing with
7 documents, the form of which or the genuineness of
8 which is not challenged, there is an enormous amount to
9 be said for working throughout on originals with --
10 sorry, on copies that are common and the originals
11 being stored somewhere that's safe and secure. And
12 there's no reason to believe that the Evidence Unit
13 here, to which I don't have a key -- I don't even know
14 where it is, I have to go through a process to get them
15 out myself -- is a safe and secure place. There has
16 been no suggestion otherwise.
17 JUDGE MAY: But it is a place within the
18 custody of one of the parties. That is what is
20 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour says it's
22 JUDGE MAY: Well, and it's also objectionable
23 in terms of the Rules, which say quite plainly that the
24 Registrar shall retain and reserve all physical
1 Let us cut this matter short. Is there any
2 reason why we shouldn't make an order, ordering that
3 within seven days, the exhibits in this case be all
4 transferred to the custody of the Registry, as they
5 should be under Rule 81(C), and I'll give you a week to
6 do it?
7 MR. NICE: I shan't be dealing with it. It's
8 not something that's under my control, and I'll have to
9 find out whether that's going to be possible for that
10 to be done in the time. I'd rather have an opportunity
11 to not so much take instructions but to find out what,
12 if any, other practical objections there might be to
13 that happening, and perhaps I could return to that
14 tomorrow with the answer.
15 JUDGE MAY: And also why the Rule has not
16 been complied with.
17 MR. NICE: Historically.
18 JUDGE MAY: 81(C) is quite plain. Well, you
19 may have an answer, but we would like to hear it.
20 MR. NICE: Yes. I mean I have to say, I
21 think, in respect of documents, frankly, that the
22 position has gone substantially by consent because
23 people have all recognised that -- and in the same way
24 as most originals are, in fact, copies, and I don't
25 know how many original or original documents there are
1 here. Most of them are copies, or many of them. And
2 the same will, of course, have to apply to the Defence,
3 who have, I think, themselves been producing copies,
4 but I'll be corrected if I'm wrong.
5 As to the letter, there's one thing that's
6 incomplete in the narrative of the tape, and I'll just
7 remind you of it.
8 The original tape that the witness provided
9 to the investigators in Bosnia was brought here,
10 processed in the usual way and sent down to the
11 evidence unit who keep these things secure.
12 It was copied and made available in December
13 of 1992 [sic] to all Defence parties, and you will
14 recall that because that gave them an opportunity to
15 acknowledge or otherwise who were the voices on the
17 JUDGE MAY: 1999.
18 MR. NICE: 1999, sorry, a slip of the tongue,
19 1999. So the letter is incomplete to that extent. So
20 they had a copy in December 1999. Then, as the letter
21 sets out, the witness came, the tape was produced to be
22 played. The witness revealed that he -- not revealed,
23 simply he did have another arguably earlier version or,
24 in any event, version that hadn't in any sense been out
25 of his custody in his bag.
1 That was produced. An attempt was made to
2 play that, and I think he might have played a little
3 bit. That was then copied again for all parties
4 immediately and both his tape and the original tape
5 supplied in Bosnia then went back to the evidence unit,
6 and everyone then had copies of both tapes.
7 The Chamber will recall that the next step,
8 really, in the history of the tapes was discussion
9 about whether one tape was identical in context to the
10 other, and eventually a witness was called who said
11 that they were. And that's the way things stand, I
12 think, subject to another bits and pieces of detail.
13 JUDGE MAY: The other matter which we must
14 pursue is this: Why was the tape sent out of the
15 building without the leave of the Chamber, which is
16 clearly required, in any event, as a matter of common
17 sense but also according to the Rule?
18 MR. NICE: Well, I think for the same reason
19 that the exhibit was as it's described, the master copy
20 first provided. That's, I suppose, not entirely
21 dissimilar from that with which the Chamber will be
22 aware of tape-recorded interviews in places where there
23 is then retained somewhere else a master copy, but in
24 those circumstances a master copy is sealed, of
1 In any case, by the time the tapes left this
2 building with the chain of custody protocols in place,
3 of course, master copies of both tapes had been
4 distributed to both parties.
5 But in any event, I'll find out from the
6 evidence unit overnight, if I may, the consequences
7 and/or difficulties of all these exhibits being
8 produced to the Registry and how long that might
9 require, if more than seven days.
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, but the Registry should
11 have control. It may not be feasible to place them
12 physically in the Registry but the Registry should have
13 control, and the Court should be in control of the
14 entire situation.
15 Just before I came here, I marshalled
16 evidence in a very long election petition case in
17 Jamaica where we had hundreds of ballot boxes. I mean
18 no courtroom could hold those ballot boxes, and we kept
19 them in the electoral office but with the consent of
20 the Court, because no issue arose about those ballot
22 MR. NICE: It may be rather than a physical
23 transfer of documents, with the attendant problems
24 where, for example, another Chamber wants the documents
25 of this Chamber, it may be that some other system could
1 be organised here.
2 And we must check as well on the similarities
3 or dissimilarities between the retention systems of the
4 Registry and the evidence unit, details of which are
5 all substantially, but I'll make inquiries.
6 JUDGE MAY: The principle is plain, it's the
7 Court and not a party that should control the
8 exhibits. Yes, Mr. Sayers.
9 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I'm not going
10 to burden the record. We think this is absolutely
11 appalling that an exhibit has just flown out of the
12 building. And with respect to the matter of practice
13 in the Office of the Prosecution, I can say this: None
14 of my colleagues in other cases in the Defence have
15 ever heard of such a thing happening.
16 In fact, I believe that the precise issue
17 came up or a very analogous issue came up in the
18 Jelisic case, and if I may, I just got this from one of
19 my colleagues who tried that case and this is an
20 articulation of the OTP's position by Mr. Nice in that
21 case, and that was that the exhibit was not to leave
22 the court.
23 If I could just tender this up, the position
24 is stated extremely clearly on the record in that
1 MR. NICE: It's no doubt accurate. I can't
2 remember what the exhibit is, and if I can have a copy,
3 I will be able to refresh my memory.
4 MR. SAYERS: And finally, Your Honour, and I
5 don't want to waste time, but the providence of this
6 exhibit has always been highly controversial as the
7 Court well knows. And for this exhibit, of all
8 exhibits to leave the premises is simply unconscionable
9 and unforgivable, I think.
10 With respect to the other documentary
11 exhibits, we have previously noted our objections to
12 foundation and authenticity and so forth, and the Court
13 has made its rulings without necessarily requiring the
14 production of the original. But the original in this
15 case was produced, but it's no longer here.
16 I think there's just no excuse for that Your
18 JUDGE MAY: Have you had yet the original
19 which you were ordered to see?
20 MR. SAYERS: I believe Ms. Ameerali gave
21 us -- said that there was a digital audiotape that was
22 ready for pick-up today. I don't know if it was given
23 to us.
24 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn while these matters
25 are considered, and we'll come back to them tomorrow.
1 MR. NICE: Having looked at this short
2 passage from the transcript, although I can't remember
3 the precise details, but it's a very different issue.
4 This was an issue raised specifically about an exhibit
5 that I, for some reason, asked to stay with the Court.
6 I think that was rather in as an exception to
7 whatever the general practice was, in that case, which
8 I assume to be similar to this. I'll find out and
9 refresh my memory, but I think it's rather different.
10 JUDGE MAY: I have in mind to make the
11 order. Yes, 9.30 tomorrow.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
13 at 4.20 p.m., to be reconvened on
14 Tuesday the 16th day of May, 2000, at
15 9.30 a.m.