1 Thursday, 18
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski. I think
7 we've got to paragraph 30 or 31.
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] That's
9 correct, Your Honours, somewhere around paragraph 30.
10 But I would just like to cover another topic.
11 WITNESS: ZLATAN CIVCIJA [Resumed]
12 [Witness answers through interpreter]
13 Examined by Mr. Naumovski: [Cont'd]
14 Q. Mr. Civcija, the last question we had
15 yesterday had to do with the organisation of the
16 civilian police at all levels in the Croatian Community
17 of Herceg-Bosna, and my question is regarding the
18 defence offices.
19 Any municipality in the Croatian Community of
20 Herceg-Bosna, in the former Bosnia-Herzegovina they
21 were called Secretariats for Defence. There were
22 defence offices in each one of these municipalities.
23 Can you tell me, they were formed in every
24 municipality, were they civilian or military bodies?
25 A. The defence offices were definitely civilian
1 bodies. At the level of each municipality, there was a
2 defence office which was linked to the defence
3 department headquartered in Mostar, and the officials
4 in the municipal offices reported to the chief of the
5 department in Mostar.
6 Q. When you say "the head of the local office",
7 that was -- in order for the Trial Chamber to better
8 understand, the department was really at the level of a
9 ministry; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. When I explained the structure and the
11 organisation of the police force, it was the same with
12 the defence. In Herceg-Bosna, there were departments
13 for defence, for police, for other areas, and the heads
14 had a rank of ministers, and they were all members of
15 the government.
16 Q. As with the organisation of the civilian
17 police in Central Bosnia, in addition to the defence
18 offices at the municipal level, there was a regional
19 office in Travnik, and then I believe it moved to
20 Vitez. This would be parallel to the police
21 administration. That would be the same level; that
22 administrative body would be about the same, but it
23 would just cover a different area?
24 A. Yes, of course.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well,
1 thank you.
2 Your Honours, I believe that Mr. Civcija
3 covered the rise of crime in paragraph 30, so I don't
4 think we need to revisit that topic. We can move right
5 along and go to the events of October 1992.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, there's one matter
7 which I should have noted to start with. For the
8 purposes of the transcript, Judge Robinson has
9 returned. Yes.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You had mentioned Refik Lendo, who was
12 commander of the Territorial Defence in Novi Travnik in
13 the latter part of 1992. Who did he replace in this
15 A. He replaced Mr. Saban Mandzuka, who for a
16 while held the post of the chief of the Municipal Staff
17 of the TO.
18 Q. You offered an opinion about Refik Lendo.
19 With his arrival, were the lines of communication
20 improved between the two sides or was it the opposite?
21 A. There was a big difference. While
22 Mr. Mandzuka was commander of the TO forces, we had
23 certain contacts and we had efforts to form a joint
24 command in order to have both forces involved in the
25 front line at Novi Travnik. And with certain
1 difficulties, it worked out. But with Mr. Lendo's
2 arrival, this changed drastically. He simply refused
3 any kind of cooperation; Mr. Lendo, that is.
4 Q. Thank you. Can you tell me, in your own
5 words but very briefly, what happened in October? Who
6 attacked whom and why? Go ahead, please.
7 A. Frankly, I was not in town when the conflict
8 broke out on that first day of the conflict. Late that
9 day, I was on my way back and I could not enter the
10 town because it was blocked on all sides. So I took a
11 bypass road. I went through Fojnica, Kiseljak,
12 Busovaca, Vitez municipalities, and only arrived in
13 Novi Travnik from the northern side which was not under
15 According to the information I received, this
16 was a conflict which was near -- at the gas station
17 which was next to the HVO Novi Travnik headquarters. I
18 believe that two members were killed in this conflict.
19 The conflict lasted several days.
20 A later analysis showed that the main goal of
21 the TO forces was to take control of the Bratstvo
22 factory, in which they succeeded, and that's all.
23 Q. So if I understood you correctly, the real
24 cause for this conflict was the takeover of the
25 Bratstvo factory?
1 A. Yes. We mentioned that yesterday. The
2 Bratstvo factory was an arms factory. They produced
3 guns of large calibre, 230-millimetre, all up to
4 230-millimetre, and it was of great strategic
6 Q. Mr. Civcija, after October 1992, did the HVO
7 have any possibility to use the Bratstvo factory or was
8 it out of your control for the rest of the war?
9 A. The HVO had no access to the Bratstvo
10 factory, and, in fact, it continues to date. Even
11 though the war is over, the members of one ethnic group
12 still fully control this factory.
13 Q. Thank you. Just one detail, perhaps. You
14 said that the gas station was right next to the HVO
15 military headquarters. At that time, these
16 headquarters were in the building of the old hotel, as
17 you called it?
18 A. Yes. The military headquarters was in the
19 building of the old hotel, and I believe I showed that
20 yesterday on the slide which was projected. The gas
21 station was right next to that building, and the Muslim
22 forces wanted to take control of this gas station. Of
23 course, the military headquarters and the HVO resisted
25 Q. Thank you. In 1993, the section of Novi
1 Travnik populated predominantly by Croats, did it
2 suffer from shortages of power, water, other supplies?
3 A. In 1993, we had a very difficult year in Novi
4 Travnik, especially the Croats who lived in the lower
5 part of the town. When I say "the lower part of town",
6 I mean that is the -- it was the lower ground on which
7 we had -- Croats lived. And for the most part in 1993,
8 Croats did not have power, and the water supply was
9 controlled fully by Muslims and the water for the most
10 part on 1993 was cut off.
11 There were also some other ugly episodes.
12 The sewer system was diverted and it was -- ran into
13 the water supplies.
14 Q. In June, the fighting again flared up. Can
15 you tell us when the conflict resumed? Who was the
17 A. In early 1993, the military forces, the ratio
18 of the military forces changed significantly. Muslim
19 forces received large reinforcements of troops which
20 had been trained in the Republic of Croatia. It was
21 the 1st and the 7th Brigades.
22 Their primary objective was to have been
23 fighting against the Bosnian Serbs; however, these
24 forces together with the local Muslim forces were used
25 in the offensive against the Croats.
1 On the 9th June, early in the morning, this
2 is 1993, a large offensive was launched against the
3 municipalities of Travnik and Novi Travnik from two
4 directions. One from the south-west and also the -- a
5 large offensive was launched from Novi Travnik.
6 We never expected to be attacked from that
7 direction. This caused -- this produced a large wave
8 of refugees, women and children who, across Mount
9 Vilenica flooded over some -- something between 6.000
10 and 8.000 refugees followed by the Muslim forces.
11 I received an order to send the entire
12 civilian police force to Vilenica to protect further
13 attacks from the north and this is what I did.
14 Q. Perhaps just one comment. In spite of this
15 large offensive which you said started on the 9th of
16 June 1993 and despite the fact that the HVO lost
17 certain territory, did the Novi Travnik HVO still
18 manage to establish certain lines of defence which then
19 remained the line of separation of two forces until the
20 end of the conflict between the two sides?
21 A. Yes. We carried out a regrouping, as the
22 military term goes, and we decided to defend a smaller
23 area in order to improve its defence. Novi Travnik was
24 literally surrounded from all sides.
25 The units which arrived from Travnik
1 basically reached city limits near Budosic [phoen].
2 The offensive launched by the Muslim forces in the
3 south-west was fully successful and they took control
4 of that territory so we had no more territory in the
6 At that time, the Muslim forces controlled
7 about 90 per cent of the territory of the
8 municipality. It is true that the Novi Travnik
9 municipality had a territory of 220-square kilometres
10 and 90 per cent of that territory was controlled by the
11 Muslim forces in June 1993, and this remained the case
12 until the end of the conflict, that is until the
13 signing of the Washington Accords.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Civcija, you worked for the
15 civilian police and then for a while, you were a
16 platoon commander at the front line. During that time
17 when you were either in the civilian police or in the
18 military, did you receive any orders to persecute any
19 other -- members of any other ethnic groups?
20 A. No, certainly not. The orders which I
21 received as a member of the police force were coming
22 directly from the military headquarters or from the
23 chief of the military administration [as interpreted]
24 which, for a while, was headquartered in Travnik.
25 I never received any orders which was
1 directed at -- which had an aim of persecuting any
2 ethnic group. In fact, to the contrary. I, myself,
3 issued orders and tried to influence the situation in
4 such a way to avoid these persecutions.
5 I remember receiving an order once which, in
6 its transmission to me, had passed several levels. I
7 was a low-level commander but I know that it was signed
8 by Colonel Blaskic which specifically forbade any type
9 of activity which would look like persecution.
10 Q. Just the one correction in the transcript.
11 Page 8, line 18, you -- when you said that -- about
12 your duties in the civilian police, that you received
13 orders from the chief of the police administration
14 which, for a while, was headquartered in Travnik.
15 A. Yes, that is what I said.
16 Q. You -- they said military -- the transcript
17 said "military administration" and it was "police
19 A. The police administration was not a part of
20 the military.
21 Q. I understand. Let's move on. As a person
22 who was in various structures during and after --
23 before the war, did you ever hear that anybody, any
24 HDZ -- that have you ever heard that there was a policy
25 of persecution in any of these organisations?
1 A. Absolutely not.
2 Q. And the last topic I have regards Mr. Dario
4 When did you come to know Mr. Kordic and
5 according to you, who was he? What was he? Was he a
6 politician or a soldier?
7 A. After the first democratic elections in the
8 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you know that the power
9 was shared between the three largest parties, the Party
10 of Democratic Action, the Serbian Democratic Party and
11 of course the Croatian Democratic Union which, for the
12 most part, was the party of the Croatian people. As
13 far as I know, Mr. Kordic was a member of the main
14 board of this party, one of its vice-presidents.
15 I personally did not know him, nor had I
16 heard of him until -- when we had a problem of
17 deliveries of weapons from the Bratstvo factory when
18 he, as a courageous and decisive man came forth and
19 personally became involved in protests of deliveries of
20 such weapons, and it's at that time that he gained
21 popularity among the majority of Croatian people.
22 Also Mr. Kordic was directly involved in
23 negotiations with top representatives of the republic
24 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'm referring here to the
25 members of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Madam
1 Biljana Plavsic, for instance, Mr. Pusina who was a
2 deputy minister of the interior and other people, other
3 officials who would come to Travnik when we were
4 dealing with the weapons deliveries. Also the members
5 of the military like General Kukanjac and others.
6 Q. So, Mr. Civcija, you're talking about 1991
7 and early 1992, when JNA was still deployed throughout
9 A. Absolutely, yes. This is what I also
10 mentioned yesterday. This was during the terrible
11 aggression against the Republic of Croatia, and we
12 watched every day how the weapons which we were
13 delivering were being used to shoot and kill civilians.
14 Q. Was Mr. Kordic a military commander during
15 the war? Let's say 1993, 1994.
16 A. Mr. Kordic, as I said, was a member of the
17 Croatian Democratic Union, its top leadership, and he
18 was certainly a politician. He was a politician during
19 peacetime and he was a politician in the wartime, even
20 though he was wearing a military uniform.
21 Q. Mr. Civcija, as chief of civilian police in
22 Novi Travnik, in which position you spent some time,
23 did you ever receive any order or directive to carry
24 out any of your duties?
25 A. No, I believe that I had already answered
1 that question; that is, from whom I received my
2 orders. It was exclusively from the civilian police,
3 the military headquarters, and at one point from
4 General Blaskic.
5 Q. While you were in the military, did you ever
6 receive -- did you ever hear that Mr. Kordic issued
7 orders through the chain of command of Stjepan
8 Tomasevic Brigade in Novi Travnik?
9 A. When I became a soldier, I received my orders
10 exclusively from my superiors in the Stjepan Tomasevic
11 Brigade. That was from the commander of the 3rd
12 Battalion and from the commander of the Stjepan
13 Tomasevic Brigade. I never heard that Mr. Kordic
14 issued any orders to the brigade.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
16 Mr. Civcija.
17 This concludes my examination-in-chief, Your
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Civcija, I represent
21 Mr. Cerkez' Defence, and I will be very brief with
22 you. I have only several questions.
23 This Trial Chamber has already heard and it
24 is also obvious from your testimony that there were
25 three conflicts between the Muslim and Croatian forces
1 in Novi Travnik in June '92, in October '92, and the
2 large offensive in June 1993.
3 You told us yesterday that after the first
4 conflict, there was an informal division of town, so
5 that the Croatian population sort of concentrated in
6 one area of town and the Muslim in the other, and this
7 is the situation that is still there today; is that
9 A. Yes, that is correct.
10 Q. My question to you, sir, is: Do you remember
11 that after the second conflict in October '92 and the
12 third conflict in June 1993 in the territory of Novi
13 Travnik, there were any significant military conflicts
14 between the two sides?
15 A. No, there were no significant military
16 conflicts, even though there were a number of incidents
17 in town.
18 Q. So, de facto, a status quo which was reached
19 after the second conflict was maintained?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. You gave evidence yesterday that with the
22 aggression against the Republic of Croatia, a
23 significant number of BiH citizens went to provide
24 assistance to Croatia to defend itself against the JNA
25 and the Serbian paramilitary troops, and I believe that
1 you mentioned something like 15.000 people.
2 A. Yes, I said about 15.000.
3 Q. [French interpretation]
4 JUDGE MAY: We have to interrupt. We're
5 getting French on our channel.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Is this better now? I
7 think we're all right, we're back on.
8 JUDGE MAY: We seem to be back on track.
9 MR. MIKULICIC: May I continue? Thank you.
10 Q. [Interpretation] I shall repeat the question,
11 for the sake of the transcript.
12 Of those 15.000 men who went to the Republic
13 of Croatia from Bosnia to help the armed forces of the
14 Republic of Croatia, they included also quite a number
15 of Muslims from the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
16 A. Yes, there were some Muslims too. But what
17 their share was, I really wouldn't know.
18 Q. So is it true that when the war broke out in
19 Bosnia, those men who were members of the armed forces
20 of the Republic of Croatia went back to their native
21 areas and placed themselves at the disposal to
22 participate in a defence against the aggressor in
24 A. Yes, quite a number of them returned to
25 defend their homeland.
1 Q. And that holds true of both Croats and
2 Muslims, doesn't it?
3 A. Yes, of course. Both Muslims and Croats
4 returned to defend their homeland, but quite a number
5 of their colleagues stayed back in Croatia.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you
7 very much, Mr. Civcija.
8 We have no further questions, Your Honours.
9 MS. SOMERS: Just to inform the Chamber,
10 Mr. Nice will not be present during this
11 cross-examination, if the Chamber has no objection.
12 Thank you very much.
13 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:
14 Q. Mr. Civcija, I would like to get a little
15 more information from you, if I could, please, about
16 your background.
17 You are a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, you
18 have indicated. Are you also a citizen of Croatia?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And which passport did you use to come to The
21 Hague, if I may ask?
22 A. I used the only passport that I have, and
23 that is the passport of the Republic of Croatia.
24 Q. You do not have, as I understand it, a
25 passport from Bosnia-Herzegovina at all.
1 A. I did not have a passport of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because if you have the passport of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, you need a visa to go to a large
4 number of countries, and that comes very costly.
5 Q. Was your move -- is it to Grahovo? Where is
6 that, please, what municipality?
7 A. Grahovo is a municipality.
8 Q. And where is it located?
9 A. It is located in Canton 10 in Herceg-Bosna.
10 It is in the south-western part of the State of
12 Q. And what is the Muslim population of Grahovo?
13 A. Very small.
14 Q. Would you give a percentage? You've been
15 able to give percentages generally. Would you give us
16 a percentage, please, of the total population?
17 A. Well, I can tell you like this: There are
18 about five or six hundred inhabitants in Grahovo, and
19 if you want the percentage of Muslims, they are about
20 one per cent.
21 Q. One per cent. Thank you. When did you join
22 the HDZ first?
23 A. In 1990.
24 Q. And was your activity at the time limited to
25 any particular area?
1 A. Excuse me, but could you repeat the
3 Q. Was your HDZ activity restricted to any
4 particular area of Bosnia or of any other place where
5 the HDZ was active?
6 A. In 1990, I lived in Novi Travnik.
7 Q. And that is where you were an active member
8 of the HDZ; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. I became a member of the Croatian
10 Democratic Union.
11 Q. In your work as a legal advisor in the
12 Bratstvo factory, did you draft contracts, did you do
13 actual legal work?
14 A. I did not draw up any contracts. But in the
15 early days of my career, I represented my company in
17 Q. Did you oversee or approve contracts which
18 were issued by the appropriate persons in Bratstvo?
19 A. If you mean commercial deals, they were
20 concluded by the department -- by the section for
21 commerce, and I was not their superior.
22 Q. Were you part of the chain that would know
23 that certain contracts were being issued, such as
24 contracts for the JNA?
25 A. I worked for the Bratstvo factory, but I must
1 explain what is the Bratstvo factory. It is a system
2 of several plants, and I began my career in one of
3 those plants which was engaged, however, in the
4 manufacture of tractors rather than weapons. I did not
5 work in the plant which was manufacturing weapons, so
6 that I could not approve any contracts regarding
8 Q. There was something you called a joint
9 administration unit. Did that cover all of the various
10 units of Bratstvo? You indicated that there were
11 different items produced. You were in the joint area,
12 overseeing all?
13 A. Yes. The last four years in Bratstvo, I was
14 the head of the joint administration unit of the whole
15 factory, that is, of the whole compound system.
16 Q. And during your time there, were there always
17 contracts for the production and sale of weapons for
18 the JNA?
19 A. You are asking me a question which refers to
20 the top-most leadership of this system, and that was
21 the management, the steering board, that was the
22 collective body. So your question will be answered by
23 a question of its member, and I was simply the head of
24 technical service which was serving the needs of that
25 management body.
1 Q. Then your answer to my question is that you
2 do not know if there were at all times contracts with
3 the JNA during your time there. Is that the answer?
4 A. I am not familiar. I'm not aware of that
6 Q. When you became a lawyer, that was during the
7 years of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia,
9 A. Of course.
10 Q. Please help us, I'm not familiar with the
11 process of becoming a lawyer. Is there any type of
12 oath to uphold, any type of constitution, or what is
13 the nature of the ceremony of induction into lawyering;
14 can you tell us, please?
15 A. One completes the secondary school, enrolls
16 in the faculty of law, graduates from it, and then you
17 get your -- you obtain the diploma which says that you
18 are a lawyer, a jurist.
19 Q. In order to appear in the courts, which you
20 indicated you did, do you have to pass any type of, as
21 we call it, a bar exam or is there some type of oath of
22 allegiance to the government or sovereign which
23 empowers you to act as a lawyer. That is my question.
24 A. Yes, of course. To appear in court to
25 represent somebody or to become a judge, you have to
1 take a special examination.
2 Q. Did you ever appear in a constitutional court
3 of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. Absolutely not.
5 Q. Are you familiar with its function?
6 A. More or less.
7 Q. When you appeared on behalf of Bratstvo, did
8 you appear in the courts of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
9 A. Yes, I appeared in courts of Yugoslavia, not
10 in courts of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. ... of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. Within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia,
13 there were five more republics in addition to
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina and two autonomous provinces.
15 Q. And where were your appearances?
16 A. Before courts in business disputes in Serbia,
17 Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, Vojvodina,
18 Kosovo. The only place I did not appear before the
19 court was in Slovenia.
20 Q. Yesterday, a document was produced by your
21 Defence counsel, apparently supplied by you, that
22 showed an approval or -- an approval to the position
23 for Ministry of Internal Affairs. Who actually
24 nominated you?
25 The approval is by Mate Boban but this court
1 has seen a series of documents for various police chief
2 positions that indicate there is an approval, but a
3 nomination process. Who nominated you for that
5 A. I wouldn't know exactly, but I suppose it was
6 done by the president of the municipal board, rather
7 the president of the HVO in the municipality of
9 Q. But you're not sure who nominated you
10 actually and carried your name forward.
11 A. I think it was the president of the Croat
12 Defence Council in the municipality of Travnik.
13 Q. And could you give the name, please?
14 A. The president of the municipal or rather the
15 Croat Defence Council of Novi Travnik at that time was
16 Mr. Jozo Sekic.
17 Q. You also produced from 1992 a document which
18 is dated July 3rd, but you indicated that it actually
19 took effect the 13th of June, which was an appointment
20 or an approval for an appointment to head, let's see
21 now, head of the Department of Internal Affairs in Novi
23 Now, that, again, was signed by Mate Boban,
24 but who advanced or nominated you for the position in
1 A. The president of the Croat Defence Council,
2 Mr. Jozo Sekic, and I'm positive about that.
3 Q. And when did he do that? When was it done?
4 When was he actually advancing your name?
5 A. I think it was in May, late May 1992.
6 Q. Well, perhaps you can help -- there seems to
7 be some conflict in what this Court has heard before
8 then. There has been testimony by witnesses that your
9 name was among six names presented for positions for
10 Croats only on the 28th of May, 1992 by Dario Kordic.
11 Can you help clarify this confusion, please?
12 A. Mr. Kordic may have said his view or given
13 his consent or something, approval or something like
14 that, but the nomination came from the president of the
15 HVO in Novi Travnik.
16 And as for my appointment as the chief of the
17 interior, that appointment was not signed by Mr. Boban
18 but by the minister, Brana Kvesic. At that time he was
19 the chief of the Department of the Interior of the
20 Croat Community. That is something like a minister in
21 government, and he was the one who took that decision.
22 Q. But the decision which you presented
23 yesterday, D219/1 is signed by Mate Boban as president
24 and it is labelled, "Decision on Appointed
25 Department Heads and Members of the Municipal HVO of
1 Novi Travnik."
2 There does appear to be, in the distribution,
3 an archive. Could you tell us where we might check
4 anything more where this archive would be located,
6 A. Your Honours, I should like to ask to be able
7 to fairly answer these questions to know when the
8 Prosecution asks me about a document, then I think I
9 need to see that document with my eyes. Because now
10 one document is mentioned, now another document is
11 mentioned. So could I please have them.
12 JUDGE MAY: Well --
13 MS. SOMERS: If it's necessary, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE MAY: Is it necessary to get into
16 MS. SOMERS: Well, I'd simply like to know if
17 we can be instructed as to where such an archive
19 JUDGE MAY: Show the witness the document.
20 MS. SOMERS: Then I'll move on. Thank you.
21 Q. If you're looking at your document please in
22 the lower left-hand corner, the one that is marked --
23 it's stated Mostar, 3 July, 1992, it's the distribution
25 Point number four is an archive, and I just
1 wondered if you could tell us where that archive would
3 A. I do not know the answer to your question.
4 The document that I brought with me is in the -- is in
5 my wife's archive.
6 Q. Your wife's archive? I'm sorry, did I
7 understand that correctly? The archive -- are you
8 suggesting that Mate Boban distributed the document to
9 your wife's archive? I'm asking you about the archive
10 mentioned on this document. Where would that archive
11 as a body of HZ HB or HVO be?
12 A. Yes, I fully understand you, and I answered
13 your question the last time that I do not know where
14 that archive is. And as regards this document, it was
15 served on me personally, and I left it with my wife and
16 she kept it all this time.
17 Q. You had been asked about customs and
18 respecting customs of the different ethnic groups in
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. When did you perceive a change,
20 and this would have been relevant to your point number
21 six that you testified to, when did you actually feel a
22 change in the relations and how did it come about?
23 A. A significant change occurred at the time of
24 fierce attacks on the Republic of Croatia and at a time
25 when Croats not only in the Novi Travnik municipality
1 but across Central Bosnia, I should say, remonstrated
2 and requested that something be done and not to take
3 the weapons out of the Bratstvo factory for the army
4 which was attacking their countrymen in the Republic of
6 Q. And was this change exacerbated, as you
7 perceived it, by the imposition of the Croat Community
8 of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna upon a non-Croat
9 population. How did you see that as a person in the
10 public sector?
11 A. Yesterday, I said that it was a very
12 difficult period of time. A state had fallen apart.
13 Others were emerging. At some point, we were left
14 without the federal state and had not yet acquired our
15 own state, and people feared the unknown or what lay
17 And we knew of the grave threat of the then
18 biggest power, and that was the power of Serbia which
19 at that time controlled the JNA. We knew that it did
20 not want Yugoslavia to be dissolved, and that any area
21 where Serb people lived had to be part of that
22 Yugoslavia and the same held true of
24 At that time, there were different approaches
25 to the solution, to the situation and we sensed that
1 there would be an aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 as well, and wanted to get ready for the defence of
4 Q. But you are referring to when the aggression
5 started against Croatia. What date do you pin that to?
6 A. Well, on several occasions. It began on
7 Plitvice, Pakrac, Bele Vode, [indiscernible] attack on
8 Vukovar, on Dubrovnik, Osijek, Sibenik.
9 Q. Date, please.
10 A. That was summer of '91. That is, autumn of
12 Q. You were suggesting in your testimony that --
13 I think you used the term "unconcerned", that the
14 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was not concerned, or
15 the leadership was. That is a very strong statement,
16 as was pointed out by Mr. Mikulicic. Certain persons
17 from Bosnia-Herzegovina, including Muslims, went to
18 assist in the fighting of Croatia, but what about the
19 assistance to the defence of Dubrovnik that was lent?
20 Your comment on that, the ability to have Croatian
21 troops positioned by agreement to defend from Bosnia
22 the attack on Dubrovnik? Is that a lack of concern?
23 A. Your Honours, the Prosecutor completely
24 misinterprets in this question the answer that I gave
25 yesterday. I was not -- or I didn't precisely say the
1 leadership of Bosnia-Herzegovina was unconcerned. I
2 said political representatives of the people called the
3 Muslims were unconcerned.
4 Q. I'd have to ask you to give examples of
5 failure to show concern, if you can do that, please.
6 A. It would be logical for the highest -- for
7 the top officials of my country, Bosnia-Herzegovina, to
8 issue orders and prohibit the export of weapons for JNA
9 at the time of fighting, at the time when this army was
10 attacking the Republic of Croatia, and such orders
11 never came.
12 Q. Are you suggesting that all commerce will
13 stop as a result of this; is this the suggestion? I
14 mean correct us if we're wrong, but we've seen a fair
15 amount of evidence that there was trade, albeit perhaps
16 black-marketing, but trade between and among all
17 parties during the conflict.
18 A. Yes, you are right, there was trade, and I
19 did not think at that time and I do not think now that
20 trade should be prohibited or any kind of local
21 economy. But there is a sea of difference between
22 flour and meat, on one hand, and guns which kill your
23 children, on the other.
24 Q. Is there a difference between gasoline, that
25 fuels the equipment to carry and transport that, and
1 the guns?
2 JUDGE MAY: I think we've heard enough now
3 about this topic. Let's move on.
4 MS. SOMERS: I'll move on.
5 Q. Can I ask you, please, about your -- excuse
6 me, let me just make sure.
7 You mentioned that there were times when the
8 Croats stopped and turned back shipments of weapons
9 that were being exported for the use of the JNA. Did
10 you, in fact, participate in those events? Were you
11 personally involved?
12 A. Yes, I was involved, but as the chief of the
13 Public Security Station. That was the duty that I held
14 at the time.
15 Q. You had discussed also a point that I would
16 just like to ask you perhaps to flush out a little
17 bit. You talked about widespread discrimination
18 against Muslims and Croats under the former Yugoslav
19 existence. Discrimination by whom?
20 A. The word "discrimination" can also mean that
21 a people enjoys more rights than other peoples. When
22 it comes to the former Yugoslavia, in my testimony
23 yesterday I said clearly that all or almost all
24 executive posts in the police, the army, public sector,
25 public companies, were mostly held by members of one
1 people. In the army, it was so drastic that about 90
2 per cent of all the officers came from one people
3 only. In the police --
4 Q. Can I just ask you, the term you use, though,
5 in connection with this, the Serbs I'm going to assume
6 is the group you're talking about. Is that correct,
7 the Serbs? That's what you indicated.
8 You said "privileged". You didn't talk about
9 and insist on any rights. You simply said
10 "privileged". Where is the discrimination? If you
11 can't in a couple of words sum it up, then don't, but
12 is that what you are referring to, privilege as opposed
13 to deprivation of rights?
14 A. If a man is privileged, then to me it means
15 that another one is deprived of his right.
16 Q. I think I'll have to move on from there.
17 It's beyond my ability to challenge at this point.
18 Were you in the JNA?
19 A. Yes, I was a member of the JNA.
20 Q. Where did you serve?
21 A. I served in the town of Split.
22 Q. You had discussed the referendum, and I
23 wanted to see how much you participated in the events
24 leading up to the referendum for independence of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Did you participate as early as,
1 let's say, 1991 in meetings in Busovaca where Dario
2 Kordic was beginning to gain some prominence in the HDZ
4 A. Can you be more specific, please? What
5 period are you referring to?
6 Q. Well, this would be, I would say, July,
7 August '91.
8 A. No, I was not.
9 Q. However, there was a connection, was there
10 not? The HDZs pretty much followed the developments in
11 each other's municipalities, is that a fair statement,
12 to know what was going on?
13 A. Yes, one could say that there was a link
14 between the HDZ in various municipalities, which is
15 normal in all parties throughout the world.
16 Q. Did you follow any of the dialogue or perhaps
17 polemics between Dario Kordic and another HDZ member by
18 named Dragutin Zvonimir Cicak; were you aware of some
19 of the interchanges and exchanges between them?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Do you read the local papers, which carried
22 some of the articles that were written and exchanged by
23 those two persons?
24 A. No, I did not read them, and it is the first
25 time that I actually hear about it.
1 Q. Were you following closely the developments
2 of the HDZ Travnik Regional Community meeting on the
3 12th of November, '91 -- did that attract your
4 attention -- just prior to the decision creating
5 Herceg-Bosna? Were you following it carefully?
6 A. I did not attend that meeting, so that I
7 couldn't really follow what went on there.
8 Q. Were you aware of a meeting, though?
9 A. No, I hear about it for the first time from
11 Q. What was your position on the establishment
12 of Herceg-Bosna? Did you favour it? Did you take it
13 to your constituency, the people with whom you were in
14 the HDZ and the other municipal representatives of the
15 other parties?
16 A. By following the events in Croatia and before
17 that in Slovenia, I was aware that something similar
18 would also happen in the territory of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina. And if you're interested in my personal
20 views, my desire was to do something to become
21 organised so that this would be prevented.
22 Q. So that what would be prevented, the
23 potential violence, the potential for war; is that what
24 you're saying?
25 A. Of course. The war was threatening
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina because, first of all, our political
2 representatives in the top -- in the highest political
3 bodies could not agree on a common state or how it is
4 supposed to look. Two ethnic groups wanted that state
5 but could not agree on the arrangements for it, and one
6 ethnic group, the Serbs, for the most part did not want
7 this state.
8 Q. Well, the HDZ in '91, headed by Kljuic,
9 seemed to be on the same track with regard to the
10 future of Bosnia-Herzegovina as with the position of
11 the Muslims. Where was the division?
12 A. Could you be so kind as to repeat the
14 Q. Yes, of course. You were talking about two
15 ethnic groups who wanted the state but could not agree
16 on the arrangements for it, and you've excluded the
17 Serbs as being in that. So that would only leave the
18 Muslims and the Croats. Now, just looking back from
19 all the evidence which has been before this Court, the
20 HDZ, as represented by Stjepan Kljuic as the president
21 of it, was clearly, as you use the term, on the same
22 wavelength as the remaining group of Muslims wanting an
23 integral Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, you referred to a
24 division or a disagreement. Where was the
25 disagreement? Could you pinpoint it, please, and with
1 whom did it lie?
2 A. The basis of this agreement was that the
3 Croatian political representatives wanted to build in
4 some kind of protective mechanism so that the Croats,
5 as one of the three equal constituent groups, would not
6 disappear, so that if you had the democratic principles
7 of one person, one vote, and not build in these
8 protective mechanisms for a minority population which
9 only had a share of 17.4 per cent in the total
10 population, this group would then, under those
11 principles, disappear.
12 The political representatives wanted to build
13 in a mechanism so that certain strategic decisions
14 would not be adopted without a consensus of all people,
15 and I fully understand that. And after all, this was
16 built into the Dayton Accords too.
17 Q. Which political representatives in 1991
18 wanted this? I don't recall Mr. Kljuic advocating this
20 A. Mr. Kljuic was not the only representative of
21 the Croatian people, even though he was very highly
22 placed. I remember following debates in the BiH
23 parliament, and when I say "politicians" -- when I
24 mention politicians, there were a number of Croatian
25 politicians who took part in these parliamentary
1 debates and pointed out this problem.
2 I repeat, these protective mechanisms of the
3 constituent role or attributes of a people were built
4 into the Dayton Accords.
5 Q. Did this fixation, for lack of a better word,
6 on being 17 per cent affect you when it was still the
7 Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia? Did you feel the
8 same concern for the percentage of Croats within the
10 A. The former State of Yugoslavia was a
11 socialist country. In socialism, a completely
12 different set of rules were in force. There was one
13 leader, there was one party. Even though Yugoslavia
14 was one of the most liberal socialist countries, we
15 could not be happy with the level of democracy and
16 human rights in that country.
17 Q. My question was really specific, it was about
18 a 17 per cent minority. Did that concern you at that
19 period of time? Just yes or no.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Can I get your view on a comment by Ignac
22 Kostroman which was passed in January of 1992 in the
23 Busovaca Cultural Club. It was attended by Dario
24 Kordic and celebrating the recognition of the Republic
25 of Croatia.
1 Mr. Kostroman was quoted as saying, and this
2 has been presented before to the Court, that "This ..."
3 Busovaca, "... was Croatian land. Croatian laws will
4 be enforced here and those who would not obey the
5 Croatian laws would have to leave."
6 Do you share those sentiments with respect to
7 your role in Novi Travnik?
8 A. I was not at that meeting. I didn't quite
9 understand when it was held, so I cannot offer any
11 Q. 16 January, 1992, after the recognition of
12 Croatia. Now, I realise that you don't recognise that
13 you were not there. I'm asking you just about the
14 sentiment which is in a neighbouring community which
15 was a seminal part of the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna. Do you share that?
17 A. Your Honour, it is very difficult for me to
18 comment on the views which have been extracted out of
19 contexts. I think that --
20 JUDGE MAY: What is the difficulty? All
21 you're being asked is to say whether you agree or not
22 agree with the views.
23 Can you answer the question or would you
24 rather not?
25 A. I can answer any question, Your Honours.
1 JUDGE MAY: Well, do you agree with that
2 sentiment or not?
3 A. Can it please be repeated for me?
4 MS. SOMERS:
5 Q. Sure, I would be happy to read it back to
6 you. It was at the Busovaca Cultural Club and it was a
7 speech, a part of a speech given by Ignac Kostroman on
8 the occasion of the recognition of the Republic of
9 Croatia and what he said was this, referring to
10 Busovaca, "... was Croatian land. Croatian laws would
11 be enforced here and those who would not obey the
12 Croatian laws would have to leave."
13 A. I cannot agree with that comment even though
14 it has been taken out of a context.
15 Q. Were you actively advocating the referendum
16 for independence? You indicated yesterday that without
17 the Croat vote, there would not have been an
18 independent Bosnia-Herzegovina. What did you do to
19 advance that?
20 A. Simply put, I went to the referendum, I even
21 took my little daughter with me and she shook hands
22 with the then president of the -- whose name I believe
23 was Mr. Cengic at the time.
24 Q. And did you have to be swayed in your
25 enthusiasm simply because this Court has had a fair
1 amount of evidence about the resistance by the HDZ to
2 the referendum and very much last minute through, as it
3 were, communication with Mate Boban, the Croat
4 Community was urged to get out and vote.
5 Were you sitting on the fence at any point or
6 was this consistently your viewpoint?
7 A. I was absolutely prepared for the Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina being an independent state.
9 Q. You made some reference, which I'd just like
10 to address while we're chronologically, at least,
11 numerically, rather, on it, to a massive influx of
12 refugees into the area. And I wonder if you could
13 provide documentation about numbers and the impact.
14 Where did you draw the figures or the
15 reference "massive"? What kind of numbers are we
16 talking about?
17 A. I will very gladly answer your question.
18 After the siege of Sarajevo started and the shelling,
19 efforts were made to pull out the women, children, the
20 elderly and the ill out of town and one of these
21 convoys reached the town of Ilijas where it was stopped
22 by the armed Serbian soldiers and they kept it for two
23 or three days.
24 We were regularly informed about this. It
25 was covered in the media. And the pressure was exerted
1 on the Serbian side to release those civilians; women,
2 children, and it was a matter of time when they would
3 do it.
4 Meanwhile in Novi Travnik, we were preparing,
5 that is, members of all three ethnic groups; Croats,
6 Muslims and Serbs, we were preparing ourselves, in
7 other words, to receive these people, to accommodate
8 them, to provide them food, shelter, facilities to
10 And I remember that we provided organisations
11 so that the first night after all the trouble and all
12 the humiliation that they were subjected to, they could
13 rest up. All these people, the next day, were sent
14 towards the Republic of Croatia independent on the
15 means of transportation.
16 Then later on, some stayed in Croatia and
17 some went to points beyond depending on which countries
18 at that time were willing to receive some of them.
19 Q. Well, maybe that's where you can help us a
20 little bit because the -- what I read from your summary
21 and what I got from your testimony was that these
22 people hung around and caused a permanent problem.
23 Now, the Court has seen on a number of
24 occasions and you have not but there was a document,
25 Z223 which is from the 22nd of September, 1992, which
1 certainly would cover the periods involved.
2 I just want to cite you some of it, it is a
3 document that is signed by Kostroman, Valenta and
4 Kordic. And the points that I want to extract from
5 there on this matter is -- would it help to have it in
6 front of you on the ELMO?
7 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's not a matter for the
8 witness, it's a matter for the Court. We must move
9 quickly through this. If you're going to put a
10 document to a witness, he should have it in front of
12 MS. SOMERS: I think it's a very important
13 point, so if I may ask the usher to put it up, please.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MS. SOMERS:
16 Q. It's the part that says, "Situation in
17 municipalities," it would be on the second page of the
18 English. I do not have a copy of the Croatian, I'm
19 sorry, and it's a Novi Travnik report.
20 It talks about generally -- it talks about
21 refugees, but it indicates that, "It has been noted
22 that there are criminals in the military police that
23 are carrying on with their military activities..."
24 THE INTERPRETER: Would you please slow down
25 for the interpreters.
1 MS. SOMERS: I'm doing that deliberately,
3 Q. "The town is fairly well supplied. Refugees
4 have mostly been passing through on their way to
5 Croatia, but recently refugees have been coming in."
6 I don't see, and correct me if I am wrong, a
7 real concern about shortages that were alluded to by
8 you yesterday or any aspect of criminality by
9 refugees. Is it possible this material was based on
10 incorrect information?
11 A. If I may answer your question, I believe that
12 you misunderstood my evidence yesterday. I spoke about
13 refugees in two ways. A moment ago, I explained what
14 the situation was like in Novi Travnik when the first
15 convoy of refugees arrived, and I pointed out that
16 these were the refugees from Sarajevo.
17 After that, a large offensive of the Serbian
18 army ensued in Krajina, that is the northern and
19 northwestern Bosnia. From this area, the refugees --
20 there was a flood of refugees, mostly the Muslims, who
21 started moving in the direction of Travnik
23 In addition, at that time in Travnik, the
24 majority of the Serbian population was fully informed
25 about the impending offensive of the Serbian troops so
1 a large number of Serbian inhabitants started leaving
2 in the direction of the areas controlled by the army of
3 Bosnian Serbs so there were a lot of abandoned homes.
4 After they left, this new wave of refugees
5 arrived. There were tens of thousands of them who
6 doubled and tripled the size of the population in both
7 Travnik and Novi Travnik, because I also went to
8 Travnik and saw large numbers of people sleeping in
9 parks who were arriving in columns over a number of
11 We made efforts in both of these towns, both
12 sides did, both the Muslim and the Croat sides, to
13 organise these people. They started taking the Serbian
14 homes, abandoned homes, and then we started looking for
15 accommodation for them in some communal places because
16 we ran out of space.
17 We did everything we could to create
18 conditions for the reception of these people to provide
19 them with meals, to give them something to -- to cover
20 themselves. Some of them would just come with bundles
21 of belongings so we did what we could to provide them
23 Q. I realise that you've given an expansive
24 answer, but the point is that as of September, 1992,
25 there was no observation that this was causing the type
1 of problem that was allude -- that you suggested that
2 it was causing.
3 And I wanted also -- in terms of the crime
4 situation that you mentioned yesterday in connection
5 with refugees, there's a document that you, yourself,
6 or your office issued. I wonder if you could comment
7 on. There are two, Z518.3 and Z565.1.
8 Looking first at 565.1, I'm sorry, that's
9 coming to you second. We'll have to wait a minute.
10 Let me ask you while we're distributing it, can you
11 help us and tell us as a police officer or as a police
12 executive, did you have a mechanism in place for
13 capturing crime statistics?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And very briefly, can you just tell us what
16 that was? How did you capture your statistics?
17 A. Every crime that was committed would be
18 registered in log books which we had with the police.
19 Q. Then if there was a mechanism in place for
20 registering them, if you take a look please at 565.1,
21 it bears the stamp of your office.
22 It is unclear whether it is exactly your
23 signature or someone perhaps subordinate, but it seems
24 to say "Zapojednik", and this is a summary submitted
25 but your office, possibly by you for crimes, it's a
1 crime report for 1992.
2 And just looking at it, it -- just
3 highlighting it actually, there were -- let's see it
4 would be the second page, a couple of cases of suicide
5 for employees of the police station. There was some
6 traffic accidents. You said the courts were not
7 working. You've not issued any requests for criminal
8 charges, but perhaps the courts -- maybe you could
9 explain that.
10 And then optimistically, you indicated that a
11 large number of criminal acts or a large amount of
12 criminal cases were solved with the perpetrators being
13 arrested, statements taken from them in order to bring
14 criminal charges, and that most of the goods stolen
15 from apartments and vehicles were returned to their own
17 You've mentioned 129 criminal acts, mainly
18 banditry, burglary, vehicle and other theft. Is that
19 terribly different from any other type of community
20 crime report?
22 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, let me object to
23 the form of that question. There are really two sets
24 of questions, a whole set of propositions, using the
25 word "you".
1 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness comment on it.
2 He's got the document in front of him.
3 A. Go ahead, please. Please repeat the
5 MS. SOMERS:
6 Q. What I was asking was to comment on
7 essentially whether or not this is an unusual amount of
8 crime. You do have some training, I assume, in --
9 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness --
10 MS. SOMERS: Okay. Is this --
11 JUDGE MAY: Just don't interrupt.
12 Ms. Somers, will you wait until I finish.
13 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour. I apologise.
14 JUDGE MAY: Just wait. You've seen that
15 document. Does it set out a fair picture of the crime
16 that was committed in 1992?
17 A. Yes, but only in the section of town
18 controlled by this police station because, Your
19 Honours, in late 1992, early 1993, the town was divided
20 into two, and both police forces, the Croatian and the
21 Muslim ones, had the zone of responsibility which was
22 under its control.
23 MS. SOMERS: May I enquire further, Your
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
2 Q. Now, so these documents -- this document does
3 not capture, then, what was happening to a whole other
4 segment of the population within your municipality; is
5 that correct?
6 A. I said that this document refers to the area
7 controlled by the Novi Travnik police station, which is
8 the territory controlled by the armed forces of the
10 Q. So Croat factors or figures only here. If
11 you look, please, at the other document, 518.3 --
12 JUDGE MAY: If we're moving on to the other
13 document, that might be a convenient moment.
14 MS. SOMERS: Sure. It's a very brief one,
15 Judge. Would you want me to get rid of it first and
16 then move on to another subject area altogether?
17 JUDGE MAY: No, I think we'll have our
18 break. And, Ms. Somers, if you could bring matters to
19 a close as rapidly as you can, please.
20 MS. SOMERS: I'll try. Thank you.
21 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now for half an
23 --- Recess taken at 11.02 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
25 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, Judge May, if I may
1 just take a moment, I wanted -- in reviewing the
2 transcript, I wanted to express my apology. I was not
3 following carefully the fact that you were asking a
4 question of the witness, and therefore the
5 interruptions. I will proceed. I just wanted to make
6 sure that it was -- it was not intentional.
7 JUDGE MAY: Of course.
8 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, sir.
9 Q. The Document 518.3 bears only a few minutes'
10 worth of review. If you would take a look at it,
11 please. It's from March 1993, and it simply again is a
12 capture, very quickly, of the February statistics. If
13 you would just confirm that this is accurate: that you
14 reported only 25 burglaries, two armed robberies, three
15 attempted murders, two murders with known perpetrators,
16 and you list some of the dispositions, and disturbing
17 the peace would be another type of crime. Is this
18 accurate? Does this reflect the crime statistics for
19 that month?
20 A. I think so.
21 Q. I have a question about a point you mentioned
22 on the other side of town. You indicated there were a
23 separate set of institutions -- "parallel," I believe,
24 is the term you used -- and the separate Muslim police
25 department. If the crime situation within the
1 municipality became so severe, would you assist the
2 Muslim side in trying to control it?
3 A. For a time, there was some kind of
4 cooperation. I think that the policemen manifested
6 Q. When did that stop?
7 A. Well, since there were two different systems
8 of the work of police stations as of June, '92, it
9 stopped when the conflicts escalated, and they
10 escalated, once again, in the spring of 1993.
11 Q. Having raised the issue of two different
12 systems, it appears that you were the only person, at
13 least in my scanning the evidence, to have asserted
14 that the Muslims set up a parallel system. On what do
15 you base that? What documentation shows the Muslims
16 setting it up?
17 A. I cannot say anything about documents, but I
18 can speak about the time and events. There was a
19 parallel police station, there was a parallel army.
20 That was the Territorial Defence, consisting of members
21 of the Muslim people. And there was the civilian
22 authority, the so-called War Presidency of Novi
23 Travnik, including only representatives of the Muslim
24 people. On the side which was controlled by the Croat
25 Defence Council, I have already explained the situation
2 Q. You yourself indicated that after the
3 multi-party elections, there was a form of
4 cooperation. Can you please comment on the version
5 that has been presented to this Court, which suggests
6 that it, in fact, was the Croat ethnic group that set
7 up its own separate institutions to the exclusion of
8 the Muslims? How do you view that?
9 A. Yesterday, I was shown and testified about
10 the document -- and you showed it today also --
11 relating to the establishment of the authority of the
12 Croat Defence Council in the municipality of Novi
13 Travnik, and the institutions of that authority, that
14 is, the government, included three members of Muslim
15 ethnicity, which means that members of both peoples
16 participated in the government.
17 Q. And what happened? Is it possible that the
18 witnesses and the multiple documents attesting to the
19 Croat initiative in creating separateness are wrong?
20 A. I cannot speak about something that I have
21 neither seen nor heard, but, as I have said, there is a
22 document and there are people who throughout the war
23 were members of the Croat Defence council, and also
24 members of the HVO government, Muslims who were in the
25 Safet Koco, Mr. Feriz Rizvic, who was a construction
2 THE INTERPRETER: And the third member, the
3 interpreter, I'm sorry, missed the name.
4 Q. Why were the Muslim police thrown out of the
5 police station that had once been a joint police
7 A. If you followed my testimony yesterday
8 carefully, I said that in June 1992, what was the
9 target and purpose of the attack on the Territorial
10 Defence made of Muslim members, it was all the
11 strategic places around the town.
12 Nobody ever expelled Muslim policemen from
13 the police. They kept coming to work for several days,
14 and then one day they simply stopped coming because
15 they had been ordered to do so by somebody.
16 Q. On June 19th there was a meeting in the
17 workers' hall, I believe my date is correct. Following
18 that meeting, you and two other, at least two other
19 soldiers, took out Ragib Zukic and Salih Krnjic and
20 proceeded to beat Mr. Zukic into unconsciousness and to
21 incarcerate in the Cafe Grand Mr. Krnjic. Can you
22 please explain what motivated that on a police
24 JUDGE MAY: The first question is did this,
25 in fact, happen?
1 A. I testified about it yesterday. I said that
2 I found Mr. Salih Krnjic with a couple of soldiers
3 treating him inhumanly, trying to beat him or rather
4 beating him and I protected him. And this other
5 gentleman, I did not see nor heard, nor hear.
6 Q. When you heard about what happened to them
7 ultimately, and did you hear about these assaults
8 later, were they reported to you?
9 A. I said it loudly and clearly that I protected
10 Mr. Krnjic, and I took him in my vehicle to the lower
11 part of the town and provided him with safe
13 In the morning I turned him over to Colonel
14 Filip Filipovic, the local HVO commander, and he took
15 him to the village of Kasapovici where the Territorial
16 Defence was headquartered and left him there.
17 And Mr. Jozo Sekic, President of the Croat
18 Defence Council of Novi Travnik came back with me on
19 that day. He was detained the next day near the
20 intersection of the fire brigade by members of the
21 Territorial Defence manned by Muslim soldiers.
22 Q. Was Krnjic beaten at the time you took him
23 into custody for his own safety?
24 A. Had I not protected him, before I protected
25 him, he received several blows.
1 Q. Cafe Grand is owned by whom?
2 A. The owner of the cafe is Mr. Marinko
4 Q. Who was also a high-ranking member of the HVO
5 in your municipality; is that correct?
6 A. Yes, that is correct.
7 Q. Are you aware of his having raised money to
8 finance the publication of Anto Valenta's book?
9 A. Yes. He participated in the funding to help
10 publish that book and some other people too, those who
11 were better off.
12 Q. Are you familiar with the book I mean the
13 book on the separation of populations, the voluntary
14 resettlement of population. Are you familiar with it?
15 A. Yes, I am familiar with that book. That book
16 was often the subject of discussion at various meetings
17 held abroad among representatives of all three peoples
18 with the mediation of the international community.
19 Q. What types of discussions surrounded the
21 A. Well, you know, when there are conflicts
22 going on, and in our country the international
23 community sent its representatives to our country they
24 were Lord Owen, Mr. Stoltenberg, Mr. Vance. And there
25 was several discussions of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
1 manner of its organisation. And I suppose that that
2 book and many other materials must have been used in
3 different plans which are known under different names,
4 as you must be aware of.
5 Q. Excuse me for interrupting. Have you read
7 A. No, I have not, but I perused it, and I saw
8 that it contains a lot of statistical data and maps.
9 The appearance of Bosnia-Herzegovina before that and
10 all the models of how to arrange it, how to organise it
11 and the like.
12 Q. The theme of the book was discussed at the
13 meetings with the International Community, was it not?
14 The theme of separation of populations? Just yes or
16 A. Well, there were several documents which were
17 to serve as a basis for the organisation of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina and this book, in all likelihood,
19 was also used for such plans.
20 Q. Are you able to comment on your views having
21 just perused it or is that not possible to do?
22 A. I couldn't really say anything interesting
23 about that book.
24 Q. Was the -- excuse me. Again, you were the
25 first person to put before us as far as I could go
1 through the evidence and understand that the October
2 1992 conflict was initiated by the Muslims.
3 Do you have documents that can back that up?
4 A. I said it loudly and clearly that the first
5 day of conflict -- excuse me, what month did you
7 Q. October of 1992?
8 A. I said it clearly that on the first day of
9 the conflict, I was not in the town, and the conflict
10 allegedly started with the attack on the gas station
11 which was next to the military staff, and that was
12 the -- however the information that I received after I
13 returned to Novi Travnik, and I already described how I
14 came to the town.
15 Q. Though you claim you were not in town, can
16 you tell me: Were you aware of checkpoints being set
17 up in advance of this incident?
18 A. Excuse me, could you repeat that question? I
19 don't quite understand it.
20 Q. Although you were not in -- you claim not to
21 have been in Novi Travnik on that date, are you aware
22 of checkpoints having been erected prior to this
23 incident? I can ask you specifically if you'd like.
24 Are you aware of a checkpoint that was visited by Dario
25 Kordic in Novi Travnik on the 17th of October?
1 A. I do not know which checkpoint was visited by
2 Mr. Dario Kordic. And as for the setting up of
3 checkpoints, yes, of course I know about them, because
4 they began to be set up a long time before that and
5 they were changed from time to time. We set up those
6 checkpoints even before the war broke out.
7 Q. Who set them up? You said "we". To whom are
8 you referring?
9 A. Well, initially the checkpoints were manned
10 by police members, including the reserve force, under
11 the orders we received from the Ministry of the
12 Interior or, rather, it was the Presidency of the
13 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina which took the decision
14 insisting on that.
15 Q. You indicated that no order had ever been
16 given to you, as far as you knew, by Dario Kordic.
17 Again, turning to an exhibit which is already in
18 evidence, and just for reference it is October 21st,
19 1992, which is Z243 -- before I ask you specifically to
20 address this, may I just ask you, where were you on the
21 21st of October, 1992?
22 A. I was in Novi Travnik.
23 Q. But you were not in the midst of the things
24 happening that you claim were tantamount to an attack
25 by the ABiH. What were you doing?
1 A. You mean the day when I arrived in Novi
2 Travnik or the 21st?
3 Q. The 21st.
4 A. On the 21st, the fighting was under way in
5 the town, and I was with members of the police in the
6 premises in the lower part of the town.
7 Q. But when you cite specifically the fighting
8 beginning, what day; 20th, 21st, 19th? Give a specific
9 date, please.
10 A. I believe it was the 19th that the fighting
12 Q. Did you ever meet with Colonel Bob Stewart
13 from BritBat in Novi Travnik or anywhere else?
14 A. Yes. I knew Colonel Bob Stewart, and I was
15 present at a couple of meetings which he also
16 attended. However, I do not remember that we ever met
17 one on one.
18 Q. Were you present in Novi Travnik on the 20th
19 of October, when Colonel Bob Stewart went to see Dario
20 Kordic and came to the conclusion that without Kordic's
21 authority, no cease-fire agreement could happen?
22 A. I do not recall being with Mr. Bob Stewart
23 then, and I do not know what Mr. Bob Stewart said.
24 Q. Looking at the document that I did ask to
25 have brought to you, if you look at the last item, item
1 10 -- and of course this document is on the situation
2 in Novi Travnik, authored by Blaskic and Dario
3 Kordic -- can you comment, please?
4 "While defence operations are being
5 conducted, the vice-president of the HZ HB, Dario
6 Kordic, and I in Novi Travnik, continuously leading the
7 military operations with deep knowledge of the
8 situation and by keeping all the forces under control,
9 Commander" -- and then there's a slight illegibility in
10 English -- "Filipovic is also here at the Novi Travnik
11 HVO HQ."
12 Does this order bind you? Would anything
13 that Kordic may have done to implement this position,
14 would it have bound you?
15 A. At that time, I met both Mr. Kordic and
16 Mr. Blaskic. Of course, I would be bound only by
17 orders coming from Mr. Blaskic.
18 Q. Did you attempt to reach out to --
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: What's the number of that
21 MS. SOMERS: That was, Your Honour, 243,
23 Q. Did you ever attempt to try to reach any type
24 of accord with your Muslim counterparts?
25 A. Why, yes. After the conflict, a meeting was
1 organised in the new hotel in Novi Travnik, attended by
2 representatives of both sides. I believe some had come
3 from Mostar and some from Sarajevo. And there we
4 agreed on the cessation of fighting, abolition of
5 checkpoints, and some other matters.
6 Q. And was there success?
7 A. Yes, it was successfully done, and the
8 fighting stopped after that meeting which, as I said,
9 took place in the hotel in Novi Travnik. I can't
10 remember the date exactly, but I believe it was some
11 seven or eight days after the conflict broke out in
12 October '92. So it could have been perhaps the 25th or
13 the 26th.
14 Q. You were working, according to your --
15 THE INTERPRETER: Your microphone,
16 Ms. Somers.
17 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry.
18 Q. You were working, according to your evidence,
19 in Mostar for a ministry, and how long did you hold
20 that position? How long into 1995 did you hold that
22 A. Yes, first Foreign and then Interior. I
23 worked for the Ministry of the Interior from May '95 to
24 April '96.
25 Q. And then prior to that, you were working for
1 the Ministry of -- I didn't catch that, please. There
2 was another ministry you were working for? Oh, Foreign
3 Affairs. And who was the minister?
4 A. No, excuse me. You said that I worked for
5 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I'm not a diplomat, I
6 never was that, and I don't think I shall ever be, so
7 that I never worked for the Ministry of Foreign
8 Affairs. I was always only with the Ministry of the
9 Interior, and --
10 Q. I'm terribly sorry. The transcript does read
11 "Foreign", so perhaps I misconstrued something you
13 So you were in Mostar in 1995, in November?
14 A. Yes, I was in Mostar.
15 Q. Was Dario Kordic also working in Mostar in
16 1995, in November? He was, wasn't he?
17 A. I think he was in Mostar. Well, he was a
18 politician and he was the president of the Croat
19 Democratic Union, except that I don't remember whether
20 it was at that time.
21 Q. Can I just ask you, the Ministry of the
22 Interior, is that essentially like a police ministry?
23 Would you describe it as having the highest level of
24 law enforcement function?
25 A. Yes, that is so.
1 Q. What were you doing for that ministry? Were
2 you a lawyer for the ministry?
3 A. I was responsible for the training, the
4 training and education of young policemen.
5 Q. Do you recall what the reaction was in that
6 ministry in November of 1995 when Dario Kordic was
7 indicted by this Tribunal, by the Office of the
8 Prosecutor? Was there discussion, was there rumour,
9 was there some comment?
10 A. I don't remember talking about that to anyone
11 in the ministry specifically, but it must have
12 resounded amongst the public.
13 Q. Are you aware of any efforts by the supreme
14 law enforcement body to try to bring Mr. Kordic to the
16 A. No, I do not know anything about that, nor
17 did the nature of my office require me to do so,
18 because I was in a different section of this
19 organisation which was dealing with completely
20 different matters.
21 Q. And the particular ministry, if you can just
22 clarify something, was it at that point considered part
23 of the Federation, as a result of Washington, or was it
24 still using a Herceg-Bosna appellation?
25 A. It was the ministry of the Croat Republic
1 Herceg-Bosna, and that is how it operated until the
2 conclusion of the peace accords in Dayton, when all
3 three sides committed themselves -- undertook to
4 implement whatever was said in that accord. So after
5 the conclusion of the accords, the mechanisms were set
6 in motion to organise the state along the lines as set
7 out in the Dayton Accords.
8 Q. Between '95 and now, how many times have you
9 seen Dario Kordic, exclusive -- when I say "now",
10 exclusive of your coming to court. Between November of
11 '95 and now, how often did you see Dario Kordic?
12 A. I don't think I ever saw him.
13 Q. Excuse me just a second. Were you ever asked
14 to testify on behalf of Tihomir Blaskic?
15 A. No, unfortunately not, but I would have
16 gladly responded to that.
17 Q. Did you volunteer to testify on his behalf if
18 you were not asked to do so if you felt it was
20 A. No, I did not volunteer.
21 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
23 Your Honours.
24 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
25 Q. Mr. Civcija, a number of topics were touched
1 on but I only have questions on several of them. We
2 talked about Grahovo, the small town where you
3 currently live and the percentage of Muslims was
4 brought up.
5 In order for the Trial Chamber to have the
6 right insight, whose -- which ethnic group has the
7 majority there?
8 A. It's the Serbs. They were the majority in
9 this town before the war and they continue to be so
11 Q. Thank you. The document of your appointment
12 as chief of police D221, you said that you assumed that
13 you were proposed for that position by the authority in
14 Novi Travnik.
15 In the document it states that it was the
16 minister who signed the appointment, but that the
17 proposal came from the head of the police
18 administration in Travnik, that is the body that was in
19 charge of all local police stations throughout the
20 area. Does that refresh your memory?
21 A. I believe that I was clear both yesterday and
22 today. I said that my appointment was signed by the
23 head of the department Branko Kvesic in Mostar and that
24 was the position of the head of police in Novi Travnik,
25 but the other document which referred to the
1 appointment of -- went to the appointment of the
2 members of the government, which was signed by Mate
3 Boban, went to Mr. Kvesic first and the first document,
4 the first document of my appointment to the chief of
5 police was cleared through the regional police
6 administration in Travnik, and it's head at that time
7 was Mr. Ivo Rezo.
8 Q. Thank you. A question relating to this
9 document, that's D219/1. Your appointment as a member
10 of the municipal government of the HVO of Novi Travnik,
11 a single question relating to that.
12 Were members of the government appointed by
13 the decision of the president of the Croatian Community
14 of Herceg-Bosna, Mate Boban, including Croats and
15 Muslims obliged to take any oath of loyalty?
16 A. I do not remember our taking any special
17 oaths but I know that we seriously and responsibly
18 attempted to organise the life in Novi Travnik and do
19 it in the best possible way.
20 Q. Mr. Marinko Marelja's name was mentioned
21 today as the owner of the Cafe Grand. At that time
22 Mr. Marelja was the deputy of Jozo Sekic, that is, the
23 vice president of the municipal government?
24 A. Yes, he was deputy commander of the HVO in
25 Novi Travnik.
1 Q. Questions were asked about your
2 participation, that is, your involvement in the army as
3 a person who had graduated and gotten a higher
4 education, you only served for 11 months.
5 A. Yes. That was a compulsory duty according to
6 the laws of the country at that time. I went in 1980
7 and served for 11 months in the city of Split.
8 Q. I'm reminded that on page 61, line 6 when we
9 spoke about Mr. Marelja without my trying to lead you,
10 what was he the vice president of?
11 A. Mr. Marelja was the vice-president of the
12 Croatian Defence Council in Novi Travnik. Mr. Jozo
13 Sekic was the president, and Mr. Marinko Marelja was
14 his vice-president, his deputy, and together with other
15 members, they made up the local government.
16 Q. So you're talking about the civilian
17 government and here on page 61, it says that he was the
18 deputy commander of the HVO, so that is why I read it,
19 and also a percentage that did not make it to the
20 transcript. You were talking about the percentage of
21 Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991, but what is the
22 percentage today?
23 A. I am sure that it is less than 10 per cent.
24 Q. In connection with that, there was the
25 question of the concern about the position of Croats in
1 the former Yugoslavia.
2 You know, according to the constitution of
3 the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina all
4 three ethnic groups regardless of their side were
5 absolutely equal, and they were all constituent
6 elements of the Bosnian state; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. We also had Z243 shown to you, and I believe
9 you may have the Croatian version. And throughout this
10 document, it is referred to as an "order", but if you
11 look at the top corner, it says that it's a report on
12 the situation in Novi Travnik, in Jajce, and up to the
13 right, that it should urgently -- that it is to be
14 urgently delivered to all municipal staff in Central
16 JUDGE MAY: Is that a question?
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
18 Q. The question is whether Mr. Civcija agrees
19 with what the document says.
20 A. Yes, that is correct. As you said, this is a
21 report by the commander of the military district,
22 Mr. Blaskic, and all HVO military headquarters or staff
23 were subordinate to him, and they reported to
24 Mr. Blaskic who was the commander of the Central Bosnia
25 Operative Zone.
1 Q. Can you please look at the last page of the
2 document. What is the title of Mr. Kordic, which is
3 also mentioned in paragraph 10 of the same document?
4 How is he addressed?
5 He is addressed as Mr. Dario Kordic, and his
6 position is also mentioned. What does it signify for
7 you? What is Mr. Kordic's position according to this
9 A. I said, when giving evidence, he was a
10 politician. He was one of the vice-presidents of the
11 Croatian Democratic Union whereas Mr. Blaskic was
12 obviously an officer.
13 Q. In relation to the period of this document,
14 you said that in -- on the 25th, on the 26th of
15 October, there was a meeting between the two sides to
16 try to overcome the disputes and which eventually
17 resulted in a cease-fire.
18 My question was: Was Mr. Kordic in any way
19 involved in these negotiations between the Croatian and
20 the Muslim sides on those days, the 25th or the 26th of
21 October which you referred to?
22 A. For the most part, our guests who came from
23 Mostar and Sarajevo did most of the discussion, and
24 Mr. Marelja was present there as a local representative
25 of Novi Travnik. I was present, and I don't recall who
1 else was there.
2 And of course, there were representatives of
3 the military staff, and the agreement was reached to
4 stop with the hostilities, to try to normalise the
5 situation and to -- and we agreed to new meetings where
6 further details would be arranged.
7 Q. You mentioned who was there and you did not
8 mention Mr. Kordic so he was not present in that
10 A. I don't recall that Mr. Kordic was there.
11 Q. And a couple of questions relating to a
12 document Z518.3. And could the usher please provide it
13 for you, your report for February 1993 which you
14 submitted to the police administration in Travnik.
15 I'm interested in paragraph four where you
16 mentioned about two murders; known perpetrators. The
17 first victim was a person by the name of Halilovic, and
18 you say that the perpetrator was identified and that
19 was a member of the HVO. Do I interpret this document
21 A. Yes, that is very precisely set out in the
22 document. It was Mr. Ismet Halilovic, son of Ramiz,
23 who unfortunately was killed in Novi Travnik by an HVO
25 Q. Did you, as chief of civilian police, have
1 any competence in cases where a crime was committed by
2 members of the military organisations?
3 A. Absolutely not. I said that yesterday in my
4 testimony. And even though we were the civilian
5 police, I requested -- I asked that every crime be
6 registered. We even did on-site investigations in some
7 cases, but then the case would be taken over by the
8 military police and other military bodies.
9 Q. And another question relating to the other
10 murder which you mentioned here. It was an HVO member
11 this time; a Croat, in any event. Do you remember any
12 details about this crime which was committed in the
13 Cafe Bamboo on the 10th of February, 1993?
14 A. Yes, I remember it. The person killed was
15 Zoran Jukic, also known as Juka, who was a person with
16 a criminal history, a repeat offender from before the
17 war. He was among the people who was released when the
18 prisons were opened after the war started up, and he
19 continued to cause trouble in town. And on this
20 occasion, he had to be stopped from doing these things
21 by being killed by the HVO members.
22 Q. On that occasion when this individual was
23 killed, was it the intervention of the HVO following an
24 attack by him on a Muslim?
25 A. I could not confirm that, even though
1 Mr. Jukic was prone to violence.
2 Q. Very well. I think we need not belabour that
4 I have just one additional document. That is
5 Z223, which is a voluminous document. I don't know if
6 you have it in front of you, a rather long document.
7 We're not going to go through all of it. It's excerpts
8 from minutes from a meeting of the leadership of the
9 HDZ for Central Bosnia held in June. As far as I could
10 see on the front page, your municipality was
11 represented by Jozo Sakic, the president, and Marinko
12 Marelja, the vice-president. I could not find your
13 name. Do you remember, were you there?
14 A. No, I certainly was not.
15 Q. There is a heading which is titled "Remarks
16 On All --" 0032079, I believe. It states that: "The
17 civilian and military sides -- the authority of the
18 military and civilian sides should be clearly
19 separated." This had something to do with your duties
20 in Novi Travnik at that time in 1992. That was a
21 problem in 1992, until both authorities were firmly
23 A. Yes, and my appointment confirms that; that
24 is, my appointment of the head of the police
25 administration, as head of the local police.
1 Q. I would like to draw your attention to
2 page 6, the next-to-last paragraph. The HVO military
3 authorities are asked to follow the procedures for
4 arrest of persons who are suspected of having committed
5 illegal acts in order to protect the safety of
6 citizens. That was precisely the gist of your work,
7 and this document and the previous document clearly
8 point to this.
9 JUDGE MAY: What was the question?
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] The question
11 was that -- whether Mr. Civcija could confirm that that
12 was really the focus of his work, to tell us who was
13 competent to take steps and measures in cases when
14 certain crimes were committed.
15 A. Of course, this was a problem which we were
16 facing, and we asked of the military authorities, the
17 commanders of staffs, to be more successful in the
18 establishment of the military police and military
19 bodies in order to better carry out those duties.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] There are a
21 number of other things in this document, Your Honours,
22 but I think that this document speaks for itself and I
23 will not pursue it any longer. Perhaps just one more
24 point at page 7, Mr. Civcija.
25 Q. The Ministry of Defence, who at that time was
1 still the defence department of HZ HB, was asked to
2 define its own competencies in order to prevent
3 overlaps between the civilian and military
4 authorities. I think that this again reflects the
5 types of issues and problems that you had to address in
6 your work in the police force.
7 A. Yes. I have already spoken about this, and
8 from here you can glean the issues that we had to
9 address at the time, the separation of military and
10 civilian affairs, so that in the field and in practice,
11 we would avoid misunderstandings.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
13 Mr. Civcija.
14 Your Honours, no further questions.
15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Civcija, that concludes your
16 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International
17 Tribunal. You are free to go.
18 [The witness withdrew]
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, before we get to the
20 next witness, there's a matter I wanted to raise with
21 you. Have you provided a list of the witnesses for
22 next week?
23 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour. We
24 hand-delivered a letter yesterday with the batting
25 order for next week and the week after that as well.
1 JUDGE MAY: That, presumably, was not the
2 same as that listed on the 10th of May.
3 MR. SAYERS: That's correct, Your Honour. It
4 was delivered yesterday, and I have a copy of it here.
5 We actually copied it to Ms. Featherstone.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We now have it. Now, have
7 you got an application in respect of the next witness?
8 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour, and he only
9 told us about it while he was being prepared
11 I wonder if I might go into private session
12 to explain the reasons.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 [Private session]
10 [Open session]
11 MR. SAYERS: While the witness is coming in,
12 if I might just alert the Court to the method behind
13 our selection of witnesses for the next two weeks. The
14 first two deal with the municipality of Fojnica, which
15 is one of the municipalities identified in the amended
16 indictment, and all of the remaining witnesses deal
17 with Busovaca.
18 [The witness entered court]
19 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly
22 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,
23 and nothing but the truth.
24 WITNESS: WITNESS DB
25 [Witness answered through interpreter]
1 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
2 Examined by Mr. Sayers:
3 Q. Good afternoon, sir, and thank you,
4 Mr. President.
5 A. Good afternoon.
6 Q. Let me just tell you, sir, that the
7 application for protective measures that was requested
8 by you yesterday has been granted by the Court and so
9 for purposes of testifying before the Court today,
10 you've been assigned a so-called pseudonym which is
11 Witness DB, and that's how we will refer to you
12 throughout the course of your testimony.
13 Do you understand that?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. All right, sir. Let me take you through a
16 few items of personal information fairly quickly, but
17 before I do, let me distribute this page and just could
18 you confirm that this is actually your name, but don't
19 mention it aloud, please.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Very well. Witness DB, you were born in the
22 village of Senkovici on (redacted); is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And before September of 1993, I believe that
25 you lived there all of your life.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Senkovici is located seven kilometres
3 south-west of the city of Novi Travnik and it is
4 located in the municipality of Novi Travnik; is that
5 right, sir?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Of which country are you a citizen, Witness
9 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. And I believe that you are a Croat by
11 ethnicity and a Roman Catholic by religion?
12 A. Yes.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I'm sorry to
14 interrupt. The witness has taken his summary out. I
15 don't know what the Court's preferred course is in
16 relation to that.
17 MR. SAYERS: I don't think that it's
18 necessary to read the summary or have it before him,
19 Your Honour.
20 JUDGE MAY: No, no. Witness DB, don't read
21 your summary, give us your evidence. If there's some
22 matter you particularly want, you need to refresh your
23 memory about, then look at your summary.
24 MR. SAYERS:
25 Q. Where were you educated, Witness DB, just
1 tell the Court that, please.
2 A. In Vodovod.
3 Q. That is where, in which municipality?
4 A. Novi Travnik.
5 Q. Do you have any high school education, sir?
6 A. No.
7 Q. I believe, sir, that you have a passport.
8 Could you let the Court know what country issued you
9 the passport and when you were issued it?
10 A. Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. When did you get that passport, Witness DB?
12 A. Excuse me?
13 Q. When did you receive the passport?
14 A. I didn't understand your question. When was
15 I issued the passport; is that it? I was issued it a
16 couple of days ago.
17 Q. I believe, sir, that you are married and that
18 you have four children.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Where do you live now, Witness DB?
21 A. Novi Travnik.
22 Q. Could you just tell the Judges what your
23 profession is, what you do right now?
24 A. (redacted).
25 Q. And for whom do you work?
1 A. Vilenica, it is a public utilities company in
2 Novi Travnik.
3 Q. Have you ever been a member of any political
4 party, sir?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Could you give the court an idea about the
7 ethnic make-up of Senkovici before the war, sir, before
8 the events about which you are going to speak about
9 today? How many people were Croat? How many were
10 Muslim? Where did they live?
11 A. There were about 450 inhabitants altogether,
12 Muslims and Croats, in Senkovici, and we lived there
13 together. Of that number, 150 were Croats and 300
15 Q. Was the village divided into a number of
16 parts or was it simply whole?
17 A. Yes, in two parts, yes.
18 Q. Could you explain to the Court, sir, who
19 lived where?
20 A. In the upper part, the upper part were mostly
21 Muslim and the lower part, it was a Croat village.
22 There was the mosque which separated us. Below the
23 mosque were the Croats, and above the mosque were the
25 Q. All right, sir. How many of the 150 Croat
1 residents were men of military age? Can you tell us
3 A. Thirty.
4 Q. And the remaining residents consisted of
6 A. Old people and children and women.
7 Q. Now, before the civil war broke out between
8 the Croats and Muslims in your area, sir, could you
9 tell the Court how the two communities, Croat and
10 Muslim, got along with each other?
11 A. Excellent.
12 Q. Was there a -- were there many intermarriages
13 between Croats and Muslim residents of your village or
15 A. No.
16 Q. All right. I understand, sir, that when the
17 Bosnian Serb army started shelling Novi Travnik and
18 neighbouring villages around April of 1992, and you'll
19 appreciate that the court has heard a lot of evidence
20 about that already. What did you do? Did you join any
21 military unit and if so, what unit and what did you do
22 in it?
23 A. I was a member of a home guard unit. I
24 reported and registered with the home guard unit and I
25 stood guard around my village. That was my duty.
1 Q. About how many weapons did you have at your
3 A. The lower part, the Croats, only some 10
4 rifles is what the Croats had at their disposal.
5 Q. Now, before your village was attacked, I
6 believe that you were a farmer by profession?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Could you just describe to the Court, Witness
9 DB, what happened in the early morning hours of June
10 9th, 1993? Just tell it in your own words.
11 A. On the 9th of June in the morning at 5.15,
12 Croats, in the lower part of the village, were attacked
13 at all sides because the Croat village is surrounded by
14 Bosniaks. The Croat village is practically encircled
15 by Bosniaks.
16 Q. Where are the villages of Vodovod, Pecine and
17 Sebesici located, sir?
18 A. They are around Senkovici, because Senkovici
19 is in the middle and here are Senkovici and to the
20 right is Pecine, Vodovod, Ruda and Kovaci.
21 Q. Were these villages attacked as well as
23 A. Yes, yes.
24 Q. Now, after the attack happened, could you
25 describe to the Court what happened next after the
1 military activity started, the shooting and so forth?
2 A. Well, after the shooting at half past five on
3 the 9th of June, four men were killed and then we -- I
4 mean were detained all by members of the ABiH, and we
5 were all put under custody; women and old people and
6 children and we men in one house.
7 And we were all detained until exchange and
8 we were guarded by members of the Bosniak people, of
9 the BH army. They stood guard and we could not go
10 anywhere because there were guards all around us.
11 Q. When the attack started, did anything happen
12 to the water supply in the village, sir?
13 A. And in Vodovod, there were also Croats and it
14 all happened on the same day. Villages of Senkovici,
15 Vodovod, Pecine and this one, it was all attacked in
16 one day. It was all one operation.
17 Q. Yes, Witness DB, don't be nervous, but did
18 anything happen to your water supply during or after
19 that attack?
20 A. When the attack started, yes, of course,
21 above there our men made lakes, the water reservoirs.
22 At that morning, at half past five, water was switched
23 off until we were detained, and then we were detained
24 and then they let water run again.
25 Q. Did you surrender or did you -- or were you
2 A. Well, surrender, you can't go anywhere. We
3 were all captured.
4 Q. You've referred to being held in detention,
5 Witness DB. Can you tell the Court how long you were
6 actually kept prisoner in Senkovici?
7 A. My captivity lasted 101 days.
8 Q. All right. And do you recall approximately
9 when you were exchanged for Muslim detainees made
10 prisoner during the war?
11 A. Sorry, I was captured on the 17th of
12 September, 1993.
13 Q. Are you saying that you were saying that you
14 were captured on the 17th or released on the 17th,
15 Witness DB?
16 A. Released, and I was captured on the 6th of --
17 no, on the 9th of June, and then exchanged on the 17th
18 of September.
19 Q. Now, while you were detained for these 101
20 days, sir, could you tell the Court whether or not you
21 were forced, compelled to perform manual labour for
22 your captors.
23 A. Because we, who were able-bodied and were
24 captured, we had to do all sorts of things. Those
25 Croat plots, that is those places from which the ABiH
1 had driven us away, wheat and rye and barley, we all
2 had to cultivate it until we were exchanged.
3 Then they also forced us go to the front
4 lines to dig trenches against the Serbs where it was
5 very rocky. And we were digging through those rocks
6 for the HVO and we did all the harvest that had been
7 abandoned by the Croat people.
8 Q. Let's just take it one step at a time,
9 Witness DB. Let's take it slowly.
10 Were you forced to harvest wheat from your
11 own lands by hand and then hand it over to the people
12 who were keeping you prisoner?
13 A. Why, yes.
14 Q. And you mentioned that you had to dig
15 trenches in -- on the front lines with the Bosnian Serb
16 army and were those in places such as Ruda and Pecine?
17 A. This was Ruda and Pecine. We call it
18 Kamenjar, the rocky place.
19 Q. What about you personally, sir? In addition,
20 were you forced to dig trenches anywhere else?
21 A. I was forced, and a couple of other guys, to
22 dig trenches on the side between the Croats and
23 Bosniaks in Novi Travnik in the direction of the
24 high-rise building.
25 Q. That high-rise building, was it known by any
2 A. I can't really know exactly whether it has
3 any other name. I know that that skyscraper is on the
4 high street -- on the main street in Novi Travnik.
5 It's where -- how shall I put it -- where a bank or
6 something like that -- where the auditing offices are,
7 something like that.
8 Q. Does the name Soliter or Stari Soliter ring a
10 A. Yes, Soliter, where we were digging this, to
11 dig those trenches so that the Bosniaks would move
12 their line so as to take the skyscraper from the
13 Croats, because they were higher up. And we were
14 digging right up to that Soliter, to that skyscraper,
15 because they wanted to take that part of the
17 Q. Let me just go back to the detention which
18 you endured, Witness DB. Could you tell the Court
19 whether you were beaten at any time during the course
20 of your detention, and if so, how many times?
21 A. Yes. It was almost day in and day out.
22 Mr. Ismet Zec would come, a member of the ABiH military
23 police. He came every day, forcing us to -- compelling
24 us to go to forced labour. And there were beatings
25 every day; not only myself but also a number of other
1 colleagues who had been detained.
2 Q. I believe, sir, that the ladies imprisoned in
3 the village were permitted to prepare food for you, but
4 was that food provided to you in quantity or in limited
6 A. It was in limited quantities. Only these
7 women could prepare it for us, because all the things
8 were there, and they let them feed us.
9 Q. During the course of your detention, did you
10 lose any weight?
11 A. Yes. I was -- I weighed 99 kilograms, and
12 unfortunately I returned with 79 kilograms.
13 Q. All right. One of the witnesses in this
14 case -- and this is page 8120 of the transcript, Your
15 Honours -- has testified that he visit Senkovici, found
16 Croats gathered in five houses, with the women and
17 children free to move around, and the local ABiH
18 commander explaining that the HVO had abandoned the
19 village. Could you tell the Court whether that's
20 correct or not?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Why not?
23 A. I mean women and children were not free
24 either. How could they be free to move when children
25 and women and men were kept under custody and there
1 were guards around them? So how could they be free to
2 move around?
3 Q. All right. Two other witnesses in this case,
4 Witness DB -- and for the Court's information, it's
5 page 943 of the transcript, Witness C, and pages 7720
6 to 7723, Witness Q, both witnesses from Novi Travnik --
7 these people have said the following, Witness DB, and I
8 would like you to tell the Court whether it's correct,
9 since you were there and you know these things from
10 your own personal knowledge: Witness C said, on page
11 943, that villagers in Senkovici, the Croat villagers,
12 did not want to leave the area that was held by TO
13 forces. Is that correct?
14 A. It is not correct.
15 Q. All right. And then Witness Q was asked
16 whether the UNHCR, the United Nations High Commission
17 for Refugees, had made up a list of civilian Croats
18 detained in the village of Senkovici, and the answer
20 "No, I don't agree with that. They were
21 people who were living in their own homes, who tilled
22 their own land, who lived with their families in their
23 own homes, and, as I said yesterday, most of those
24 people did not wish to be exchanged. That was the
1 Now, is there any truth in that, Witness DB?
2 You were there, you know. Could you tell the Court?
3 A. Let me tell you. The International Red Cross
4 came, and they registered all women and able-bodied and
5 children. These were all in captivity. And it's not
6 true, what he said, that we did not want to go, you
7 see, because it was all registered with the
8 International Red Cross.
9 Q. The same witness described a visit of a
10 Dr. Zdenko Kranjc to your village. Were you there when
11 this person visited, sir?
12 A. No. At that time, I was doing forced labour
13 when the doctor came. I was working -- that is,
14 harvesting all that wheat. And when I came back, I
15 heard that somebody had put a note in the gentleman's
16 pocket so as not to tell the Bosnian -- so as to tell
17 the Bosnian authorities that we wanted to be exchanged
18 as soon as possible, that we wanted to be rescued as
19 quickly as possible.
20 Q. And the final point to which Witness Q
21 testified on page 7723, he was asked this question:
22 "When we're speaking about the inhabitants
23 of Senkovici, they were forced to hold the front line
24 both towards the Serbs and towards the HVO; is that
1 And here is what Witness Q had to say.
3 "That is not correct. No, it's not true,
4 it's not true. If I may be permitted to say something,
5 they were in a much better position than many Bosniaks
6 who went up to the front line to fight. They were with
7 their own families in their own homes."
8 What do you have to say to that, Witness DB?
9 A. To begin with, the village of Senkovici was
10 in a much worse position than the Bosniaks, because the
11 Bosniaks are above the Croats, all around us are
12 Muslims. So how could we be in a better position? And
13 we were -- but as for the trench-digging, it is quite
14 true that we had to dig trenches against the Serbs and
16 Q. So you -- how shall we say -- you disagree
17 with the version of events told by Witness Q, and you
18 were one of the people that were actually forced to dig
19 these trenches up on those front lines, you yourself?
20 A. I disagreed with that, because I had to dig
21 trenches confronting the Serbs and the Croats.
22 Q. All right. Now, what happened to your house
23 in Senkovici, Witness DB, your family's house?
24 A. My house and quite a number of other houses
25 were destroyed. Nobody can live in them again.
1 There's nothing but walls standing, and that's how it
2 is to this day.
3 Q. Are there any Croats living in Senkovici
4 today, as far as you know?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Do you know Dario Kordic?
7 A. No. I only saw him on television once, and
8 that was that. Nothing else.
9 MR. SAYERS: I have no further questions,
10 Your Honour. Thank you.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
12 MR. NICE: I have a few questions. There's
13 something I'd like to check. Might it be convenient to
14 take it all after the adjournment?
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
16 Witness DB, we're going to adjourn now.
17 Don't speak to anybody about your evidence, please,
18 until it's over, and that does include members of the
19 Defence team. Would you be back, please, at half past
21 We'll adjourn.
22 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.58 p.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the
14 English and French pagination
1 --- On resuming at 2.32 p.m.
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
3 Q. Witness DB, I think the position is that
4 you've never had any contact with representatives of
5 the Office of the Prosecutor of this Tribunal. Would
6 that be correct?
7 A. I didn't understand the question.
8 Q. You haven't ever spoken to one of the
9 investigators who worked for the Prosecutor of this
10 Tribunal, have you?
11 A. Yes, I did speak to them.
12 Q. When was that?
13 A. It was in December when there was snow in
14 Central Bosnia about one metre of it.
15 Q. Did that meeting lead to the preparation of
16 any witness statement or anything of that sort?
17 A. I didn't understand the question. Can you
18 repeat it.
19 Q. Did you make a written statement?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Well -- I think it maybe that the witness is
22 confusing the OTP for someone else, because what I was
23 going to say to you, Witness DB, is this: I'm not in a
24 position to accept the detail of what you complain
25 about by way of your treatment, but I can accept that
1 you were named as a victim in a complaint in a Travnik
2 court about a man called Atif Haskic.
3 Do you recall being involved in making such a
4 complaint, that would be in 1996?
5 A. Again, I didn't quite understand the
6 question. What was it about Atif Haskic that you were
7 driving at?
8 Q. Did you -- this is the last question I'm
9 going to ask on this topic and then I'll deal with it
10 in another way, Your Honour.
11 Did you, Witness DB, speak to some
12 investigators, maybe an investigator in Bosnia about a
13 man called Atif Haskic in 1996?
14 A. No. Because Atif Haskic is from my own
16 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, there it is.
17 In dealing with matters that I don't want to contest
18 but I can't agree, I obviously have to look at what
19 material we have. We don't have an OTP statement, but
20 I can see complaints were made, maybe not on the basis
21 of this particular witness, but were made about him in
22 relation to digging trenches and forced labour,
23 interrogation and the burning of houses in 1996 in case
24 that assists generally.
25 Q. Perhaps we could all be assisted by looking
1 at a map to become 1960.2. This -- if you have a look
2 at it there on the screen, Witness DB.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This helps us because we don't know the area
5 very well, to see that Senkovici is in the bottom
6 left-hand corner of the map and Novi Travnik or
7 Pucaravo is to the right.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And it's not very easy to see, but if you
10 follow the road from Sekovici up to Pucarevo, there is
11 another little village called Torine; is that correct?
12 A. Senkovici is down and then where they say
13 Pucarevo, first to come past Bratstvo, then to Torine
14 and only then to Senkovici.
15 Q. I think the Court can see Torine it's not
16 very well marked. For what it's worth, I haven't been
17 able to find the villages of Vodovod and Pecine. If
18 you are handed the pointer by the usher, and sit in
19 your seat because your face is not to be seen in any
20 camera, if you point it out on the screen, then we'll
21 find out where they are just to help us.
22 You should lean back into your seat, Witness
23 DB so that your face --
24 A. Here it goes, this is Vodovod and then it
25 goes further on.
1 Q. It's off the map, is it? It's unlikely
2 because it's hardly a neighbouring village.
3 A. It's like this [indicates] past Vodovod, then
4 it's lower Pecine, then upper Pecine, then Ruda and so
6 Q. Well, it may be nothing turns on it. I
7 wanted it for completeness.
8 The position is this: that you were a Home
9 Guard. Have you ever been anything more in the
10 military than a Home Guard?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Even after the exchange, you weren't involved
13 in the fighting?
14 A. Yes, I was.
15 Q. In what capacity?
16 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand you.
17 Q. After the fighting, if you were involved --
18 after your exchange, if you were involved in the
19 fighting, in what capacity were you involved in the
21 A. I was feeding my family. I was there with my
22 wife and my children. I was just a member of this Home
23 Guard unit.
24 Q. Very well. You are aware of the high-rise
25 building in Novi Travnik, aren't you; you know of it?
1 A. For what? Oh, yes.
2 Q. It's the high-rise building that you say
3 you --
4 A. The Soliter, which is the high-rise. I just
5 did not quite understand what the gentleman wanted to
6 ask in respect of the high-rise or Soliter.
7 Q. We deal with things in order, and I was just
8 simply checking that you knew which the building was.
9 Now, the next question is this: When you
10 were detained in Senkovici, were you getting
11 information from outside, getting reports on what was
12 happening elsewhere, and particularly Novi Travnik?
13 A. No.
14 Q. You were visited by the Red Cross and by
15 other people from time to time. Did they not tell you
16 about what was happening in Novi Travnik?
17 A. We worked, those of us who were capable of
18 working. And I did not fully answer.
19 As far as the registration of the inhabitants
20 of Senkovici, here is the paper [indicates]. I have it
21 in my hand.
22 Q. You may have been working, but when
23 international observers visited your village, like the
24 Red Cross and like people called European Monitors, if
25 they spoke to the women or the older people, you will
1 have been informed later that day of what they said.
2 Now, did you receive information from those people, the
3 Red Cross or the Monitors, of what was happening in
4 Novi Travnik?
5 A. Listen. We absolutely had no contact with
6 our wives and children. We were locked up in one
7 house, and then we were taken to forced labour. We had
8 no contact, only when there was a lunchtime, because
9 there were guards all around those houses.
10 Q. Let's just have a look at this photograph,
11 please, just to remind yourself, if you may be
12 reminded. Just put it on the ELMO. This is a man
13 called Morsink. You've been asked about him a little
14 bit, but just have a look at the photograph. It's
15 quite a memorable face. Do you remember that face?
16 MR. NICE: It doesn't need to become an
17 exhibit, Your Honour.
18 A. No, I never saw him or have I seen him.
19 MR. NICE: Can we look at Exhibit 1085,
20 please. Thank you very much.
21 Q. Now, this is a document that's in English,
22 Witness DB, so I'm not asking you to read it because I
23 don't think you speak English. But I'm going to put it
24 on the overhead projector so that the rest of us can
25 see what it says, remind ourselves of what it says.
1 This is -- just to explain it to you, this is
2 the report of the man whose photograph we were just
3 looking at. It was on the 20th of June, and he spoke
4 of what was happening in your village in the middle of
5 the page, when he says that: "In the village of
6 Senkovici, 187 Croats are still living with the
7 Muslims." Well, now, is it right that it was about 187
9 A. I don't know the exact figure, but it's not
10 true. They didn't live like that.
11 Q. He goes on to say this, just so that you can
12 follow the detail: "All Croats men between 20 and
13 50 years old are held in five houses, and the women and
14 children are free to move." That's what he found, you
15 see, on the 20th --
16 A. Not correct, not correct.
17 Q. Well, first of all, you're saying that all
18 the men were held in, what, one house?
19 A. Yes, in one house.
20 Q. What about the women and children; were they
21 free to move within the area of the village?
22 A. Women and children were in three houses, and
23 they were surrounded by guards. You couldn't get out.
24 You couldn't go anywhere.
25 Q. He went on to report this: that there were no
1 complaints -- this is as early as the 20th of June, but
2 he said there were no complaints. Well, now, are you
3 aware of a visitor from the International Community, as
4 it's called, coming to your village and people
5 making -- the Croats making no complaints?
6 A. No.
7 Q. It may be argued or it might be even
8 suggested that you were forced by your Muslim captors
9 to make no complaints, so I want you to think of every
10 possibility before I move on. Can you think of any
11 circumstances in which --
12 A. No, no, no.
13 Q. Very well. He then said this: "All civilians
14 feel insecure, due to the direct artillery fire by the
15 Serbs." Well, that would be true, wouldn't it?
16 A. How do you mean? I didn't quite figure out
17 this question.
18 Q. All right. I'll rephrase it, hoping not to
19 get it wrong. He said that the civilians feel anxious
20 because of artillery fire from the Serbs. Would that
21 be about right?
22 A. Would that be when the Bosniaks were up above
23 Senkovici? And they walk around freely, and the Croats
24 were down there. How were they to feel safe?
25 Q. Well, this is on the 20th of June, and what
1 I'm asking you is were you all frightened because of
2 Serb gunfire; "yes" or "no"?
3 A. When they force you to go and dig, you're not
4 afraid of anything because you're just forced.
5 Q. He's speaking of the people in the village,
6 and he then says that on his visit, they experienced
7 five shells. So is it right that shells were falling
8 from time to time in the area of the village?
9 A. I don't remember that.
10 Q. He says that shells were being aimed at the
11 local mosque. Do you remember the local mosque being
12 attacked? I think the mosque lay between the Croat
13 part of the village and the Muslim part of the
14 village. Do you remember the mosque being shelled?
15 A. No.
16 Q. He then went on, however, to say this: "The
17 part of the village where the civilians are living now,
18 including the Croats, has not been targeted since the
19 HVO went to --" and I think that must mean "the Serb
20 front line." So he says the particular bit of the
21 village where you were all living, including the
22 Croats, as he says, hadn't been targeted since the HVO
23 went to the Serb front lines. Would that be right,
24 that your houses were not actually shelled while you
25 were detained there?
1 A. I cannot quite recall. And this question of
2 yours, I cannot quite make it out.
3 Q. Sorry about that. It is, of course, my
5 The houses where you and where your families
6 were being kept -- imprisoned, as you would say -- were
7 not, in fact, shelled, that is, shells weren't sent in
8 their direction, between the period June and September,
9 1993; correct?
10 A. I cannot understand this shelling. But when
11 we were detained there, what kind of shelling? I don't
12 understand this question at all.
13 Q. Well, I'm not going to take any more time
14 with it. If you can't understand it, I assume you have
15 no memory of any shelling. Would that be right?
16 A. Because when we were imprisoned then there
17 was nothing from the Bosnian because Bosnians lived
18 there too, it's about 500 metres from their houses to
19 our houses.
20 Q. The last couple of things I want to ask you,
21 so you know there's not many more questions to come
22 concern the visit of the doctor, Dr. Kranjc, you
23 remember who that person was?
24 A. I absolutely do not recall because I was at
25 forced labour.
1 Q. Well, I'm going to ask you in any event for
2 your comments on this proposition. That that man was a
3 Croat himself. Do you know the name of the doctor?
4 A. No, absolutely not.
5 Q. Were you told by your families, your women
6 folk and so on before the exchange on September 29th
7 that a Croat doctor had called and that following his
8 visit, you were to be exchanged?
9 A. I was at forced labour when this doctor
10 came. This was an elderly man, that's what I hear, put
11 a little note in his pocket so that we would be rescued
12 down there.
13 Q. You obviously do remember something about the
14 doctor and what I'm going to suggest to you is this:
15 There were two meetings, first there was a --
16 A. No, no. I don't recall, but I know that he
17 came once because I was at forced labour. Because we
18 went to harvest Croatian peoples' crops in order to
19 feed the Bosnian people.
20 Q. He came on a visit and he came with a Muslim
21 person, and at the first meeting, the Croats who were
22 living in your village said they wanted to stay. And
23 then there was a second meeting with the doctor, on his
24 own, so that it was all Croats together. And after
25 that meeting, people said that they wanted to move.
1 Now, were you told anything about that by
2 your family?
3 A. No. It is not correct that we did not want
4 to be exchanged. We wanted to be exchanged as soon as
5 possible, because I had no conditions to -- go on
6 living there with my wife and children. And the fact
7 that he came and the fact that he came with a Bosniak,
8 I don't know about that because perhaps he couldn't
9 talk in front of him.
10 We had to harvest and it was our -- we had to
11 turn it over to the Bosniaks and we ourselves had
12 nothing to eat.
13 Q. Just about three or four more questions, I
14 think, at the most. Your village and Torine were two
15 of the very few villages where any Croats -- very few
16 Muslim-dominated villages where Croats insisted on
17 staying behind following the start of the conflict in
18 June of 1993. Would that be correct?
19 A. Before the conflict, we lived in that area
20 all the time. And then on the 9th June when the
21 conflict came, I had no longer any conditions for life
22 there because Senkovici was surrounded by Muslims.
23 There was no way out. That's how it was in Torine too.
24 Q. And you Croats were prepared to stay living
25 in that village right up and until September. And
1 although the conditions may well have been harsh or
2 very bad, one advantage of staying in the village was
3 that you didn't get obliged to get involved in the
4 full-scale fighting. Now, would that be right?
5 A. No, we did not want to stay there at all
6 while the Bosniak people were there because you
7 couldn't stay there when every day they harassed you
8 and beat you and forced you to work. How would you
9 stay there?
10 Q. And that you must have been told at some
11 stage that the Croats were trying to take possession of
12 the Soliter building in Novi Travnik, and that the deal
13 was that they would release or exchange those people in
14 the Soliter building who were Muslims if the Croats in
15 your village, and indeed, in the next door village of
16 Torine moved out into Croat areas. That was the deal.
17 Were you aware of that?
18 A. Could you please just repeat that question?
19 Q. Of course. The deal was that the Croats in
20 Novi Travnik wanted to take possession of the Soliter
21 building which had a number of 50- or so-odd people
22 living in it and they wanted possession of that
23 building and to get it they offered to release, for
24 exchange, the Muslims who were in the high building
25 providing that the Croats in your village and in Torine
1 were compelled to move out of a Muslim area into a
2 Croat area.
3 A. I did not know about that. I couldn't hear
4 about it because I was detained.
5 MR. NICE: Very well. Thank you very much.
6 MR. SAYERS: No questions, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: Witness DB, thank you for coming
8 to the International Tribunal to give your evidence.
9 It's now concluded and you are free to go.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.
11 [The witness withdrew]
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, may we begin to deal
13 with the affidavits first and then the exhibits
14 hopefully deal with them by this afternoon.
15 MR. NICE: As I find myself embarrassed to
16 this extent that I haven't -- we thought we were going
17 to do it on Friday, I haven't prepared the affidavit
18 position completely at all.
19 There was also a general matter I wanted to
20 raise about the affidavits and perhaps I could deal
21 with that straight away, and it's the problem that
22 requires, perhaps, a preliminary consideration of the
23 position we found ourselves in.
24 As the Chamber will know, the Defence have
25 argued in respect of affidavits generally that the rule
1 that deals with affidavits should be interpreted as
2 meaning that if a party objects to an affidavit, either
3 the witness is called or the affidavit cannot be used
4 in evidence.
5 That was the position they took in argument
6 here and it is the clear and emphatic position they
7 have taken in documents lodged before the Appeals
8 Chamber therefore presuming its position from which
9 they have no intention whatsoever of resigning.
10 JUDGE MAY: Let me just get that argument.
11 If that's how they interpret it, it's a normal
13 If one looks at the rule, it states that,
14 "The affidavits or statements are admissible." And
15 then there is a proviso that they be filed prior to the
16 giving of testimony by the witness to be called and the
17 other party does not object within seven days after
18 completion of the testimony through whom the affidavits
19 are tendered. If the party objects and the Trial
20 Chamber so rules, or if the Trial Chamber so orders,
21 the witness or witnesses should be called for
23 It may not be entirely plain.
24 MR. NICE: In any event, Your Honour, it's
25 not -- it's not for the purposes of arguing the
1 interpretation that I raise the matter now because, of
2 course, we know what your interpretation is following
3 your decisions in relation to the Prosecution
4 affidavits, and it's a position with which we -- it's
5 the same position as that which we adopt.
6 The problem is a rather more practical one
7 and it arises in this way: Given the clear and
8 emphatic approach of the Defence when -- whenever I'm
9 served with one of their affidavits, I could, if I
10 chose, and that's why I haven't done anything in part,
11 say, simply to every affidavit, "We object," because on
12 their interpretation they would either have to call the
13 witness or the affidavit would be withdrawn.
14 I'm certainly not going to make objections on
15 that basis because that would provide probably very
16 little judicial economy.
17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Wait,
18 Mr. Nice. I believe that the text is clear. I
19 followed its operation, and I believe everything is
20 clear. The last thing -- the objection of the
21 affidavits or statements and the decision, the final
22 say is the Chamber.
23 So it is quite clear you have the right to
24 object to an affidavit, but -- and that is what it says
25 here -- if the Chamber accepts your objection, at that
1 moment the witness needs to come here and appear before
2 the Court for cross-examination. But it is the Chamber
3 which so rules, and you are free to make your
4 objections, if you wish to do so. The Chamber,
5 however, can do it proprio motu, that is, itself.
6 So one should not say that you are entitled
7 to make objections and that the Chamber will then have
8 to take up your objection, because that is not how this
9 text reads. So it is your right -- you're even bound
10 to do so -- to raise objections which you deem
11 necessary for reasons that you need to explain to the
12 Chamber. That is what is being done now. And it is
13 then up to us to rule on the basis of the reasons which
14 you have presented and which form the basis of your
15 objection. But it is always up to the Chamber to make
16 a ruling. That is clear, and it does not necessitate
17 any interpretations. The text is clear.
18 MR. NICE: I entirely agree, and I wouldn't
19 raise this if it wasn't for the fact that the Defence
20 take a different line. And I raise it because I think
21 there is a small practical problem that's got to be
23 I agree with His Honour Judge Bennouna, that
24 what would happen or what should happen is that an
25 affidavit is served, we either say, "No objections," or
1 we say, "We object and for this reason." The opposing
2 party, in this case the Defence, would then join the
3 debate and make representations why the affidavit
4 should be admitted, and the Chamber would then rule.
5 Now, what I'm concerned about, given the
6 position that the Defence take, is that -- because they
7 will not want the trial to miscarry in any way as a
8 result of what they will be arguing would be a complete
9 misinterpretation of the Rules -- what I'm concerned
10 about is that the Defence may not themselves be
11 prepared to make arguments on the basis of this
12 interpretation because they believe it to be wrong and
13 flawed, and therefore there is the risk that in
14 discussing affidavits, you'll have our objections, and
15 unless -- which I'm quite prepared to do. I try and
16 fulfil both roles, arguments both ways -- or unless the
17 Chamber itself becomes more involved than it might want
18 to be, the matter isn't going to be fully and properly
19 argued out. That's my concern.
20 JUDGE MAY: The justice of the matter is
21 simply dealt with. These affidavits are produced, and
22 we then have to decide whether the witness should be
23 called for cross-examination or not.
24 MR. NICE: That's my interpretation, yes.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, I know it's not your
1 argument. It doesn't seem to raise any difficulty. I
2 think the simplest way is to deal with it as we're
3 going to deal with these affidavits, and that is by
4 batches, dealing with them, rather than one at a time,
5 in a batch of 12, I think it is.
6 Now, you're not ready to deal with it today?
7 MR. NICE: I'm not ready, no, and I had
8 forecast dealing with it tomorrow morning, I'm afraid.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll have to think about
11 Mr. Sayers, is there any difficulty about
12 following what is suggested?
13 MR. SAYERS: Yes. It seems to us that as the
14 Trial Chamber has noted, the Rule appears to be pretty
15 clear. It imposes time limits. It tells counsel
16 exactly when affidavits should be submitted prior to
17 the filing -- that they should be filed prior to a live
18 witness testifying, and that's exactly what we've been
20 It's really a live-witness-by-live-witness
21 analysis, and I'm concerned that dealing with it in
22 batches just gives the Prosecution an advantage that we
23 were never given when the Prosecution put on affidavits
24 in violation of this Rule, I might add, and that's the
25 position that we're taking before the Appeals Chamber
1 currently, as the Court knows.
2 It seems to me the best way to deal with it,
3 and it doesn't take too long because the affidavits
4 that we have been submitting are very short and they
5 are focused on specific facts that corroborate
6 specific-fact testimony of a live witness. I don't see
7 why it's particularly time-consuming to spend five
8 minutes or less in considering whether the particular
9 affiant needs to be called for cross-examination. It
10 seems to be rather easy.
11 JUDGE MAY: What is the prejudice in dealing
12 with it in batches, which is a much more convenient way
13 of dealing with it, I must say, than breaking off the
14 evidence to considering affidavits?
15 MR. SAYERS: Well, our position is the Rule
16 says what it says and it's pretty easy to apply. I
17 don't think that it's --
18 [Trial Chamber deliberates]
19 JUDGE MAY: By a majority, we have decided
20 that we will go through the procedure of ruling on the
21 affidavit on an affidavit-by-affidavit basis.
22 Very well. You're not ready today,
23 Mr. Nice?
24 MR. NICE: No, I'm afraid not, and I'm not
25 ready because I hoped to be able to object to only
1 limited numbers, if I have objections at all. I'm not
2 expecting to be objecting to large numbers, but I need
3 to discuss matters with everybody who's available to
4 assist before I take my final position.
5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: May I add something. I
6 would like to recall to you, Mr. Nice, that you must
7 abide by the Rule as it is. That means that we have a
8 delay in objecting. You cannot object at any moment.
9 I have the text in French, but I hope it is
10 the same in English, 94 ter. It says that you have to
11 object within seven days.
12 MR. NICE: Yes, exactly.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Within seven days after the
14 witness has given his testimony. That means that you
15 have to -- and we will be very strict to respect this
16 Article and the delay. That means if you have to
17 object then, you have to object in a maximum of seven
18 days after the witness has given his testimony. That's
19 it. And if you object, that means that we have to --
20 it will be very, very short. Your objection has to be
21 heard by the -- why do you want this witness, for this
22 to be held in cross-examination. It has nothing to do
23 with the admissibility of the affidavit itself. It has
24 to do with having the witness present here for
25 cross-examination. It's your right, and it's up to you
1 to object if you want, but within the delay.
2 MR. NICE: It's for that reason inter alia
3 that I raised the matter at the beginning of the week
4 and sought an extension.
5 JUDGE MAY: Which was granted.
6 MR. NICE: Which was granted, and I'm
7 grateful. Of course, I'll abide by the seven-day
9 As a matter of practicality, it's rather
10 difficult to accumulate all the information you want to
11 know about what position you should take within seven
12 days. The consequence may be that I'll be objecting
13 more than I would otherwise want. It may, of course,
14 always be the case that I will have to object out of
15 caution, and then I might be able to withdraw an
16 objection later.
17 But that's my position, and that's all I can
18 say about it. I'm grateful for the extension on this
19 occasion to the end of this week.
20 JUDGE MAY: I had better see whether your
21 application to be heard tomorrow is agreed or not.
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we will hear you
24 tomorrow. I trust the matter could be dealt with as
25 briefly as possible at half past 9.00.
1 Now, what about the position about the
3 MR. NICE: The position about the exhibits is
4 something I'm certainly able to deal with now, subject
5 only to the fact that, of course, it has an
6 institutional significance, and I've had some
7 institutional input.
8 At the moment, I've got a draft document that
9 I haven't yet, for reasons of dealing with other
10 matters, been able to consider. But I suspect that
11 when I've taken a chance to read it, it will simply
12 repeat or reflect what I was going to say in any event,
13 but rather more fully. Subject to reading that and
14 seeing if there's anything I want to add to it, and
15 checking whether Ms. Greenwood is available, because
16 she wanted to be present at this discussion, I can at
17 least outline the position in summary, and it may be
18 that that will help.
19 The practice of this institution has changed
20 over time, so that I think in the first case of Tadic,
21 there were quite a lot of original -- or some,
22 certainly, original documents produced, whereas now it
23 is almost never the case that original documents are
24 produced to the Chamber in any case.
25 Dealing, as an example, with two cases with
1 which Your Honour may be familiar -- if I'm right, it
2 was, I think, in Dokmanovic.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, of course, I was in
4 Dokmanovic. I didn't know that the exhibits were being
5 kept in the way you now say they were.
6 MR. NICE: Well, in that case I've got some
7 transcripts of that which I can perhaps refer you to
8 later. I think the matter was addressed, and as a
9 concession at that stage, it was suggested that copies
10 would serve the purpose, and that's what happened for
11 the most or for all part.
12 In Kupreskic as well, I think all produced
13 exhibits were copies. One document was produced in the
14 court exactly in the way that a document was produced
15 yesterday. I think it was an HVO log, if my
16 information is correct, because a witness wanted to
17 look at it. Having looked at, it was returned to the
18 Evidence Unit, where it then stayed.
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, if I'm wrong about my
20 recollection about that, I certainly do have no
21 recollection of these arrangements and had I no idea
22 that they were being applied in this case.
23 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, I'm very sorry
24 that there's been a misunderstanding, but I think that
25 so far as we and the Defence are concerned, and the
1 Court offices, there has been no misunderstanding
2 because, of course, as the Court will remember,
3 whenever documents are produced they are usually
4 produced in stacks and everyone gets the same stack,
5 and the position, therefore, is that obviously
6 everybody is getting the same document.
7 So far as the Court documents are concerned,
8 the Chamber will have in mind that they sit in
9 lever-arch files having had holes punched into them
10 which, of course, should not be done if the documents
11 were original.
12 When the Defence have produced documents,
13 again, I will be corrected if I am wrong, they have
14 been produced in the same way. At any time it's open
15 to any party or the Court, of course, to ask to see an
16 original as we saw yesterday.
17 Now, the reason for this practice is to be
18 found in the nature of the proceedings here and in, I
19 dare say, perhaps modern practice so far as documentary
20 exhibits are concerned.
21 What happens once a document is properly
22 logged in this place for the OTP is that the document
23 goes to a dedicated unit, the evidence unit, where it
24 is scanned. Now, scanning converts the then image of
25 the document once and for all to an electronic format
1 and associates it with an unique number, the number you
2 see on all the documents that come before you.
3 Thereafter, the document goes to the secure
4 unit where 99 out of 100 or 999 out of 1.000 cases the
5 document stays never to be disturbed. If, and whenever
6 it is moved, its movement is logged. It's logged out
7 of the unit.
8 JUDGE MAY: But is the Court asked?
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, was the Court asked?
10 JUDGE MAY: You say that when a document is
11 moved, it's logged, logged out of the unit. But what
12 I'm asking is if somebody moves an exhibit, does
13 anybody ask the Court?
14 MR. NICE: No, because notionally or not
15 notionally, what is the exhibit in these cases is the
16 master copy, the copy that comes from the electronic
17 version, and that's been the understanding in all cases
19 If it's been a misunderstanding or not a
20 commonly held understanding, then it's a good thing
21 that it's being sorted out.
22 JUDGE MAY: All we want is that Rule 81(C) is
23 complied with, and promptly. Now, that is -- that is
24 what should be done.
25 MR. NICE: Well, from a personal point of
1 view, I have no particular interest one way or the
2 other, but from an institutional point of view which is
3 why I must, perhaps, read the institutional response
4 that I have, there is grave concerns.
5 Let me say a few more things about the
6 preservation of the documents and the reason for them
7 being preserved in this way.
8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I'm sorry. Where
9 is the secure unit? Is that in the OTP or where?
10 MR. NICE: It's a vault here.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: It's the only one?
12 MR. NICE: It is in the OTP vault, yes, and
13 it is, I think, without a doubt, the most secure unit
14 here subject to the most stringent regulations.
15 Documents are kept there and they are not moved without
16 being documented.
17 [Trial Chamber confers]
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
19 MR. NICE: Mr. Sayers may want to say
21 JUDGE MAY: If you would deal with the
22 practice -- we'll hear Mr. Sayers in a moment, of
23 course. Just a moment.
24 MR. NICE: While you've been conferring, I've
25 been reading the institutional response which has been
1 drafted from my name, but comes from the institution
2 generally. I will get that copied, if I may, but I
3 think it sets out the history and the current practice
4 quite well. I'll just get that down.
5 The practicalities or the practical
6 advantages include that where you have one document for
7 production in two, three or more cases, each case has a
8 master copy as its exhibit and there is no problem as
9 there would be if the document has to be produced for
10 one Chamber, and then another Chamber then wants it as
11 an exhibit in this case and so on. So that problem
12 ceases to exist.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Regarding
14 the practicality, there is no big difference between
15 the fact of having a master copy, as you call it, the
16 document with the Registry.
17 If the document is with the Registry, if you
18 have the master copy or the original with the Registry,
19 then you, as the OTP, want to use it in some other
20 case, you also turn to the Registry and apply to the
21 Registry. That is quite clear. So I do not really
22 understand this practicality.
23 Evidently something was done wrong at some
24 point in time, and once you are off to a bad start, it
25 is very difficult to redress it. It should be the --
1 it is quite clear that it is the Registry which should
2 keep the original. However, things evidently were off
3 to a bad start, and one will have to study it very
4 seriously in order to redress the situation.
5 When you have an original with the Registry
6 and you have to apply to the Registry for any other
7 case in which you want to use it, I don't think that
8 changes the problem.
9 MR. NICE: I don't think it's off to a bad
10 start, we've got off to a misunderstanding because of
11 the practice in other cases.
12 As to whether there's little or great
13 difficulties in real originals or whatever we like to
14 call them, some are themselves copies, some are true
15 original documents that may be degrading over time if
16 exposed to less than perfect circumstances and so on.
17 Where they lie with the Registry, ease of
18 access to another Chamber is by no means guaranteed.
19 We have only, I think, to bear in mind the difficulties
20 that the Defence are encountering subject to the recent
21 application where they've been seeking now for months
22 to get orders from one Chamber releasing material to
23 another Chamber. Difficult enough when the Chambers
24 are still composed in the forms they were when trials
25 were ongoing. It's more difficult thereafter. But
1 there's a more fundamental problem with this and it's a
2 practical problem.
3 The arrangements that the OTP evidence unit
4 has in line with its duties under the order to which I
5 drew your attention a couple of days ago, are of the
6 highest possible security, and documents don't move
7 from there, as I say, without effectively, in all
8 cases, chain of custody, records.
9 Once a document goes to the Registry,
10 although the Registry has its own secure system,
11 documents are not going to be monitored on an
12 item-by-item basis. They will simply be on the trolley
13 or in the secure room which I think is, in any event,
14 shared with others, but maybe not, I don't know.
15 You saw yesterday one original brought up for
16 inspection and indeed returned against an unique chain
17 of custody record that was prepared in respect of it.
18 If the Chamber will cast its mind back to some of those
19 occasions where we've been producing several documents
20 in the course of a morning; 10 to 15, 20, some have
21 been produced and then at the end of the exercise, half
22 a dozen are returned and some are ruled not to be in.
23 Each of those documents has got to be
24 separately tracked, some to be returned, some to go to
25 the Registry and, frankly, the risk of loss of a
1 document is very much greater in those circumstances
2 than under the practices which presently obtain.
3 Indeed under the practices which presently obtain, as I
4 understand it, there has been no loss of a document
5 that we're aware of so far.
6 JUDGE MAY: These are arguments you can apply
7 in any court and what you're suggesting is that the
8 body which is responsible for the administration of the
9 court is incapable of keeping a document secure.
10 MR. NICE: I didn't say that. I said that
11 our systems are preferable, more secure, and less
12 likely to lead to error.
13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, you may be right
14 saying they may be more secure, but in matters of this
15 kind, I am sure you will be sensitive to the matters in
16 that justice must also be done, but be seen to be
18 I, personally, am concerned about the
19 impression that this will give to the International
20 Community that exhibits are in the hands of a party to
21 the proceedings. I mean that is now -- how does that
22 appear to the International Community, first of all,
23 that exhibits on the basis of which the Tribunal must
24 determine the guilt or innocence of an accused person
25 is in the hands of a party.
1 MR. NICE: In my respectful submission, your
2 sensitivity is well understood and appreciated, but in
3 the particular circumstances of this and these cases,
4 not what should be the guiding principle for this
6 The reason that nearly all documents remain
7 undisturbed in the vaults of the evidence unit,
8 disturbed so far as the dedicated custodians of that
9 unit are concerned, because it's not an unit which I
10 have access, save on specific protocols or whatever it
11 may be, is because in nearly all cases, the documents
12 are not required to be seen in their original form.
13 In our case, unless I've forgotten something,
14 I don't think any document was required to be seen in
15 its original form up and until yesterday. I may have
16 forgotten one, and that's hardly surprising with ECMM
17 reports, BritBat reports and so on.
18 If, at any stage, any document is required to
19 be seen then, of course, its production is called for,
20 up it comes. Interestingly enough, when this matter
21 was first ventilated, Mr. Sayers raised the issue of a
22 Jelisic document.
23 Unfortunately, it was a quotation completely
24 out of context. And since it seemed to be being
25 launched at me, I will just take time to explain
1 actually what happened there, for it rather supports
2 the general proposition that I am advancing.
3 What happened was that a witness turned up
4 and out of his own back pocket produced something. It
5 was a pass that he said was signed by Jelisic. It was
6 copied and it was agreed all around that the case was
7 going to proceed on the basis of a copy.
8 There was then some cross-examination as to
9 its genuineness and indeed as to the issue of whether
10 any such pass had ever been issued. But unfortunately,
11 given that the defendant in his interview had
12 acknowledged drafting such a pass.
13 An application was made by Defence counsel by
14 that particular original document should stay in
15 court. But the judges, at that stage, ordered
16 otherwise and they said, "No, we will carry on dealing
17 with the copy."
18 The judges then, as was the practice in that
19 court, asked their questions which were many. One of
20 those questions, not from Judge Riad as the note
21 suggests, but from Judge Rodrigues, returned to the
22 issue of the genuineness of the document.
23 It seemed to me, and perhaps I was actually
24 being sympathetic to Defence counsel that where this
25 issue was alive, whatever the problems he faced arising
1 from the interview of this defendant, it might be
2 preferable for the document to stay here in The Hague
3 rather than to return to the witness.
4 So what I was doing there was reflecting an
5 exception to the general rule but rather than to incur
6 the wrath of the bench by suggesting that their initial
7 ruling was wrong, I suggested to them that in light of
8 the Judge's question, the way the judges might want to
9 investigate handwriting, and for that reason the
10 document might remain in court and indeed so it did.
11 But that's the history of that, and that
12 again shows the general practice that copies were
13 acceptable, save in exceptional and articulated
14 circumstances. Here and in any of these cases, these
15 documents are, of course, available for inspection by
16 the Defence, if they ask to see them.
17 JUDGE MAY: It's not the inspection which is
18 in issue, it's the custody of the exhibits which is in
20 I don't think we're going to get very much
21 further with this, except to really enquire as to what
22 the sensitive exhibits are and, particularly, the
23 audiotape which is, in my view, something which should
24 clearly have been from the outset, once it was
25 produced, in the custody of the Registry and not in the
1 custody of the party.
2 MR. NICE: Can I do two things? First of
3 all, can I distribute perhaps for reading overnight the
4 institutional response? It's not signed, but I hope
5 you'll accept it in its present form.
6 [Trial Chamber confers]
7 MR. NICE: That's what I meant, the OTP.
8 "Jargon", well, yes, jargon, the OTP's institution.
9 There it is. The audiotape --
10 JUDGE MAY: Let us see that.
11 MR. NICE: Certainly. You can have it now.
12 While that's being distributed, can I turn to
13 the tape.
14 What's true for documents is true for all
15 forms of tapes as well. They come to the building and
16 they are copied. At the time of that tape, there
17 weren't digital copying facilities. I think there are
19 Would the Court rather read this document
20 first, or should I --
21 JUDGE MAY: No, let's hear this.
22 MR. NICE: Let's hear me; right.
23 Now, the history of the audiotape is not
24 uninteresting, for matters have never been fully
25 articulated on the Defence side.
1 What happened was that the tape arrived --
2 the first tape arrived here. It was copied
3 immediately. That, therefore, was the master copy. It
4 was distributed to the Defence, and they were invited
5 to deal with whether the voices were the voices of
6 Kordic and Blaskic. They acknowledged that they were.
7 Nothing was said as to the nature of challenge to that
8 tape, save questions in the most imprecise format about
9 it, and then at a later stage from Mr. Stein, a
10 reference to the possibility of words, odd words, being
11 added in.
12 The witness came and gave evidence about the
13 tape. On that occasion, I think the original, as
14 produced by the witness, was signed out under chain of
15 custody to come to court to be played. The witness
16 produced from his briefcase another version, I think
17 one in time that hadn't even left his possession. That
18 was played for a short period of time, but the Court
19 concluded that it was too difficult to make use of as a
20 piece of real evidence and that it had to be listened
21 to in different circumstances. That tape was copied
22 not by the OTP but by the Audio-Visual Unit
23 straightaway, and copies of that tape, master copies,
24 were distributed to everyone. The Defence and, indeed,
25 the witness himself wanted to take a copy home with
1 him, and I think he had one. That second tape was then
2 presented in due course to the Evidence Unit in the
3 same way as the earlier one had been presented much
5 Now, at that moment and from that moment on,
6 master copies were the exhibit, effectively, and the
7 possession of the original tapes remained with the OTP
8 and were well known to remain with the OTP, for the
9 Chamber will recall that the next issue about the tapes
10 was whether tape 1, the first tape, was identical in
11 content to tape 2. And Mr. Stein, who then appeared
12 for the defendant, came to our office or to an office
13 here in order that he could listen to and compare both
14 tapes, one with the other. So it's always been known
15 by the Defence that we had possession of those tapes.
16 Following that exercise, the tapes, both of
17 them, were returned to the Evidence Unit. Nothing had
18 been made clear in cross-examination as to what was
19 being said about the tape or as to which bits of it
20 were not accurate or otherwise. There was no material
21 cross-examination at all.
22 I think, and I'll be corrected by
23 Ms. Verhaag, if I'm wrong, about the order of events,
24 but I think the next thing that happened was we got a
25 summary of the Defence witnesses, but I'm not sure
1 whether it was that way around or not. But, in any
2 event, when we got a summary of the Defence witnesses,
3 again absolute imprecision, save to say that some
4 expert was identified as going to speak about the tape
5 no doubt on the basis of the master copy in the
6 possession of the Defence.
7 We have no reason to believe in this case
8 that we are going to get more than the minimum three
9 weeks' notice for experts' reports, or whatever it may
10 be, and so at that stage it was decided, it not having
11 been thought necessary earlier, to see what, if
12 anything, an expert could say of this tape so as, at
13 least to that extent, to be ready to deal, in the short
14 period of time, with whatever the Defence expert may
16 The experts identified were those who have
17 been used by the Tribunal or for the Tribunal before
18 here in Holland. They asked to see the original
19 original, as it were, and it was signed out under chain
20 of custody to them, digitally copied, and has, in due
21 course, been returned.
22 JUDGE MAY: It is that document, the original
23 original, which should be in the custody of the
24 Registry. People should have copies, including the
25 Prosecution and the Defence. But what is wrong is that
1 the Prosecution has the original, and it's that item --
2 I called it a document -- that item that should be in
3 the custody of the Registry, in my view.
4 MR. NICE: If I may say so, in that case I
5 accept that if we, between us, articulated the position
6 more, that's almost certainly what would have happened
7 and that particular exhibit would have been under --
8 either gone to the Registry or -- and this is an
9 alternative that I mention without discussing it too
10 much with Ms. Greenwood, save in the most general
11 terms -- or in respect of such exhibits, that they be
12 marked not to be moved from the secure environment in
13 which they, we say, exist, save on notice.
14 And I make that last point, I think, for this
15 reason: I'm just going to check something first.
16 [Prosecution confers]
17 MR. NICE: No, there's nothing else I want to
18 add following on my last observation. But there is
20 Exhibits that are in the Evidence Unit of
21 this type are under a strict chain of custody recording
22 system. I'm not going to go into the detail for
23 obvious reasons, because it's a secure system, and I
24 can -- possibly in other circumstances, the Chamber
25 would like to know, and probably at some stage and in
1 some setting, that wouldn't be a bad idea. But it's an
2 extremely strict system, because as you may have been
3 able to glance through the document, all exhibits have,
4 as their underlying purpose, not only the instant trial
5 but other investigations in the continuing functioning
6 of this place, another reason for keeping them perhaps
7 in one place and in atmospherically-good conditions, so
8 far as possible.
9 JUDGE MAY: You don't object to the Defence
10 keeping exhibits?
11 MR. NICE: No, on the same basis that if we
12 ask to see an original, no doubt the best original will
13 be produced to us.
14 JUDGE MAY: And you invite us to ignore the
15 Rule, as has been done?
16 MR. NICE: No, I don't invite you to ignore
17 the Rule. Two points on that.
18 There's Rule 41, which I've already drawn to
19 your attention, which is the duty to us to keep
20 exhibits for investigations which are continuing. But
21 I respectfully suggest that the proper approach in
22 these documentary cases can be to say that the exhibit
23 is -- the master copy of the document is the exhibit.
24 But, of course, at any stage up until deliberations,
25 probably any stage up until appeal, any party can
1 require the original original to be produced for
2 consideration, and that could always be done. I think
3 conceptually that is the proper way to look at it, and
4 then there is no breach of the Rules because what is
5 produced, which is what has been produced here, is a
6 master copy. And in the same way as some of our
7 original originals are copies --
8 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] If I may
9 interrupt you just for a second, Mr. Nice.
10 Why is it said that exhibits need to be kept
11 carefully by a neutral authority because they serve
12 as -- you say Judge May and Judge Robinson have to
13 decide on the innocence or guilt of somebody, that is,
14 [indiscernible]. Why is it said that exhibits -- we're
15 not inventing anything new, that they need to be kept
16 without the reach of parties concerned so that there
17 can be no alteration possible. That is the problem, so
18 that one really is assured that no alterations, no
19 changes, are made.
20 You say that this is an exception, that
21 something really exceptional is needed to have
22 something changed, because an exhibit is such and such,
23 and this alteration, if it is done, then it has to be
24 evidently well done, and so on and so forth. But there
25 is a practical matter in this regard, and that is to
1 avoid, indeed, all the alterations of any exhibit.
2 You are saying that we are now involved in a
3 case based on documents. In a documentary case, does
4 that change anything? You know well that here there
5 are texts which are barely legible, one cannot see very
6 well, and I suppose they will be less legible as time
7 goes by. Here we have only text. It is the fact that
8 there is nothing else but the text, most of the
9 exhibits are text.
10 Now, you're saying we are following a
11 particular practice in the Tribunal, in our Tribunal,
12 that the things were organised in such and such a
13 manner. My idea is that we shall have to decide about
14 the audiotape which has stirred all this, the
16 As for the problem in general, I believe that
17 will have to be raised at the institutional level, as
18 you said. We shall do it. Don't worry about that
19 where the institutions are -- and I think this matter
20 will have to be discussed in depth, so that we shall
21 raise this matter.
22 As for the specific case, the audiotape, if
23 there is a master copy, it should be kept with the
24 Registry and you should have a copy of it, and that is
25 all. I believe that is the principal that I shall have
1 to raise, of course, with my colleagues and speaking in
2 my own name, and we shall have to discuss it at the
3 institutional level and we shall have to then --
4 because this is an institutional problem, it will have
5 to be discussed at the institutional level.
6 That is all.
7 MR. NICE: I need only make two points in
8 answer to that. Obviously --
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, sir.
10 MR. NICE: I need only make two points in
11 answer to that.
12 First, there is, of course, no reason to have
13 any distrust of the OTP, historically or otherwise, and
14 the suggestion that any document would ever be altered
15 is, of course, one that is -- it's hard to say
16 "resisted" and I don't want to say "offensive", but
17 it's obviously one that we don't in any sense accept.
18 But since Your Honour raises it, the answer is rather
19 reassuring and it's why, under a modern system, what
20 we're doing is actually entirely appropriate.
21 When the document comes in, it is
22 electronically scanned. The number goes on it, and
23 that freezes for all time the appearance of the
24 document at that stage. Whether it degrades, which
25 happens with, of course, fax paper and which is one of
1 the great advantages of scanning material as soon as it
2 comes in -- so it's scanned, it has a unique number.
3 The numbers can indeed tell you something, obviously,
4 about when the document arrives. It's all quite useful
6 So alteration of the document isn't a
7 possibility, and it is that exact reflection of the
8 original that is distributed to all parties, either in
9 advance of the trial or at the trial, and that system
10 of security -- and I make no complaint about this -- is
11 bound to be far greater than we can expect, we
12 prosecutors can expect, using the plural to reflect
13 other Chambers, from the Defence, who of course will
14 have an original original of whatever they produce in
15 copy form to the Court but who necessarily won't have
16 the regimes of processing that a big institution like
17 this does have, so that in many ways, as I have been
18 attempting to explain, what you have here is a much
19 more secure system, and its security is more likely to
20 be compromised by moving it from -- moving the paper
21 exhibits routinely from one well-ordered and
22 comprehensive system to various different trolleys
23 around the place.
24 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think we've heard all
25 this, with great respect.
1 MR. NICE: That's --
2 JUDGE MAY: With respect, we've heard this.
3 You have still not dealt with the perception of the
4 International Community, but we'll leave that aside.
5 Now, we've heard the submissions. We're not
6 in a position to make a ruling, and it's now 10 to
7 4.00. But I would like to hear Mr. Sayers on the
8 matter, unless there's something you particularly want
9 to raise, Mr. Nice.
10 MR. NICE: No. You take me to task over not
11 dealing with the perception of the International
12 Community. I deal with that by identifying the secure
13 systems and, in particular -- and I repeat this -- by
14 saying that on either side, when an original is wanted,
15 it's available, and that that, in our submission, is a
16 proper way of dealing with this and with this type of
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, one point we have to
19 consider in all this is whether there has, in fact,
20 been any prejudice beyond the notion of perception as a
21 result of what we have discovered about the way the
22 exhibits have been kept.
23 Now, we've identified the audiotape as a
24 particular sensitive and crucial piece of evidence
25 which the authenticity of which, I understand, that
1 you're challenging.
2 Now, is there any other exhibit that you say
3 should be the subject of an immediate order if we may
4 have to consider this as it's being suggested
5 institutionally, and that is looking at other cases
6 too, but clearly the audiotape is in a different
7 category from anything else.
8 I can say that I, myself, cannot think of
9 any, but there may be some which you would consider.
10 It may be that you would like to think about it over
12 MR. SAYERS: Well, I can give you a reaction,
13 Mr. President, right now, if you wish, and I'm more
14 than happy to elaborate on it tomorrow.
15 To answer your particular question, there are
16 over 2300 exhibits in this case. It's not fair, I
17 think, to ask us to remember off the cuff as it were --
18 JUDGE MAY: That's why I said think about it
19 and until tomorrow.
20 MR. SAYERS: I was just going to use as one
21 example the document that was produced yesterday. How
22 in the world could anybody have any faith in that kind
23 of a document? I don't have the exhibit number to mind
24 but I'm sure the Court knows exactly what I'm talking
25 about. A document that supposedly commemorates the
1 anniversary of Sveti Duh company, a company that
2 existed unrebutted and unreputed testimony of the
3 witness for about three months and was founded in
4 February 27th, 1992, yet this document was dated August
5 sometime, I believe, and had another document attached
6 to it of as said yesterday, indeterminate parentage
7 with someone's scratchings on the front of it.
8 Who knows where those documents come from?
9 And I would absolutely like to see the originals of
10 documents such as that. That's what we've been trying
11 to do throughout ...
12 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down, Mr.
13 Sayers, please.
14 MR. SAYERS: ... making our foundation
15 objections. Surely, it shouldn't be up to the Defence,
16 once these documents flow in tidal waves into the
17 record, to show that they are not authentic. It's the
18 burden of the Prosecution to show that they are
19 authentic, and that's just by way of one problem.
20 But let me just step back a little if I may
21 and address the question that seems to be before the
22 Court today. There are really two issues.
23 The question of exhibits generally,
24 obviously, and I'll have to take a look at the
25 Prosecution's submission on that. But what brought us
1 here wasn't exhibits generally, and no amount of
2 sophistry, no amount of fog, no amount of argument can
3 simply confuse or conceal the fact that there's been a
4 serious wrong committed here.
5 Let me just go back to the exhibit at issue,
6 the tape, it's Exhibit 2801.4, and I'd like to read
7 this into the record, page 13747 where Mr. Nice said.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Would you slow down,
10 MR. SAYERS: And the court will recall that
11 Mr. Husic produced the original videotape in the
12 court. That's the tape we're talking about, not any
13 other tape, that tape. And here's what Mr. Nice said,
14 "In those circumstances may the witness please produce
15 the tape, hand it to the usher. Can it be marked as
16 Exhibit 2801.4. It better be marked I suppose 2801.4,"
17 and that's exactly what happened.
18 And under those circumstances Rule 81 comes
19 into play. And I might say that the considerations of
20 justice that was articulated by one member of the bench
21 are absolutely the foundation of what we're dealing
22 with here: Justice. Justice and the administration of
23 justice; fairness and equality.
24 The very principles are enshrined in Article
25 21 and the Rules of Procedure and Evidence breathe
1 substance and life into those principles. And Rule
2 81(C), I would submit to the Court, couldn't be
3 clearer, "The Registrar shall retain and preserve all
4 physical evidence of it during the proceedings subject
5 to any practice direction..." and I don't believe there
6 is one, and certainly one hasn't been pointed to by the
7 Prosecution, "... or any ordinary which a Chamber may
8 make at any time with respect to control or
9 disposition, the physical evidence of it during
10 proceedings before that Chamber."
11 Now we find notwithstanding the plethora of
12 copies of this alleged unitary tape floating around in
13 the -- in our files in the Prosecution's files and in
14 the Court's files. Well, I don't even know -- well, I
15 do not know even know whether they are in the Court's
17 But this document, of all documents, is one
18 that should be in the Registry and we find, and found
19 out for the first time last week, that it never was.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, I suspect you are
21 pushing at an open door on this.
22 MR. SAYERS: Yes, I agree.
23 JUDGE MAY: Where this tape should be, the
24 original of this tape, not any sort of copy, even if it
25 can be called a master copy.
1 MR. SAYERS: Yes, I think copies and master
2 copies, Your Honour, that's just the fog of confusion.
3 We're talking about an exhibit, an exhibit in this
4 trial which should be in the Registry and is not.
5 JUDGE MAY: Let us now consider the
7 Are you first of all asking us to make any
8 order in respect of the original of the two audio
10 MR. SAYERS: Well, I think that the tapes
11 should be stricken from evidence. Well, it's not in
12 evidence. I don't know how you can strike it from
13 evidence, but it should not be received into evidence.
14 JUDGE MAY: It is in evidence. It's been
15 exhibited. It's a question of where the original
16 should be. We will deal with that application in due
17 course. If you -- it may be a matter which we should
18 call for a response in writing from the Prosecution to
19 your application on that.
20 Meanwhile, on a practical level, have you got
21 the original as we ordered last week?
22 MR. SAYERS: We have not got the original.
23 We have a digital audiotape copy of it. As the
24 Judge -- as Your Honour points out, I think that that
25 is what was ordered and that's been complied with and
1 we've received that from the Registry.
2 I want to make it perfectly clear, I have no
3 criticism of the Registry throughout this. We have had
4 nothing but the most professional relations with the
5 Registry. They have conducted themselves in a
6 perfectly practical and audible way. Nonetheless, it
7 has to be shocking to any attorney in a criminal case,
8 to find out that an exhibit, especially an exhibit like
9 this has gone AWOL.
10 I've never heard of such a situation in any
11 case in any court even the lowliest court in a national
12 jurisdiction. And yet -- well, I think I've said
13 all -- I cannot believe that the Prosecution tries to
14 defend this situation and argue that it, in fact, has
15 not done -- well, I've made my point, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think we have it.
17 Rhetoric aside, let us consider the position.
18 What are you -- we will deal with the
19 audiotape and make what order we think appropriate in
20 relation to that.
21 We have to consider what should be done about
22 the other exhibits and, of course, that would include
23 Defence exhibits.
24 MR. SAYERS: Yes.
25 JUDGE MAY: Can you -- do you want to make
1 any submissions about that?
2 MR. SAYERS: Well, in the matter of exhibits
3 generally, it seems that where the accuracy of the copy
4 is not contested as it has not been for the majority of
5 these exhibits, I believe, that in this institution, as
6 well as in most national jurisdictions, copies are as
7 admissible as the originals providing there's no
8 challenge to the authenticity of the originals. But
9 where there is a challenge to the authenticity, then it
10 seems to me a basic proposition of fair and equality
11 and justice that that original should be produced so
12 that the Court can be satisfied, itself, that it
13 actually -- that the original document exists and it's
14 not some sort of a fake as that document appeared to be
15 yesterday or there are other problems with it.
16 But that seems the regimen that we've been
17 following where there is contest of the accuracy of the
18 copy, there cannot be objection to the admission into
19 evidence of that copy. But where there is a challenge
20 to the authenticity of that document, then clearly the
21 original should be produced and it should be the only
22 place that is permitted by the Rules and in the Court,
23 with the Registry of the Court, and not within a party
24 especially in a criminal case. I think that's a fair
25 statement of our position, Your Honour.
1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
4 with the leave, on behalf of Mr. Cerkez's Defence, I
5 should like to articulate our position. And it, of
6 course, fully tallies with the position of the Defence
7 of Mr. Kordic.
8 What I should like to add to all of this is
9 that the Defence considers Rule 81(C) completely clear
10 and our interpretation is that the moment an exhibit
11 has been produced and admitted, and gets its number
12 from the Registry, then it must be the Registry along
13 with Rule 81(C) which will take care of that particular
15 I do not think that that rule can be changed,
16 amended, as long as that it is in force and, in
17 particular, but unilateral decision of one party to the
19 We are not disputing that the secure system
20 that my learned friend from the Prosecution spoke about
21 is good. Our question is who controls that secure
22 system? I simply see no reason why the same system of
23 the safe-keeping of exhibits could not be under the
24 Registry control as Rule 81(C) makes it possible.
25 So that is the position of Mr. Cerkez's
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 JUDGE MAY: In relation to the audiotape, the
4 number of which was given by Mr. Nice 2810.4, I think,
5 that is to be forthwith, the original is to be
6 forthwith handed into the custody of the Registry.
7 In relation to Mr. Sayers' application that
8 it be excluded from evidence, we will entertain that
9 application and rule upon it in due course.
10 In order to do so, and before we rule on it,
11 we would wish to have from the Prosecution a written
12 document setting out where the tape has been since it
13 was produced in Court by the witness and then, in due
14 course, if we could have that within seven days, we
15 will consider what steps, if any, are needed to take
16 the matter forward.
17 In relation to the other exhibits, we shall
18 consider the situation and decide what should be done.
19 MR. NICE: Can I suggest that you make the
20 order not only in respect of the second tape that was
21 produced by the witness but that if you're going to
22 make that order, but you also make it in respect of the
23 first tape which, as you will recall, was listened to
24 and was found to be identical to the second.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes, both tapes.
1 MR. NICE: Both tapes. And that will be done
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Tomorrow morning, and
4 we will consider the affidavits half past nine.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
6 at 4.10 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday
7 the 19th day of May, 2000, at
8 9.30 a.m.