Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 21982

 1                          Tuesday, 4th July 2000

 2                          [Open session]

 3                          [The accused entered court]

 4                          [The witness entered court]

 5                          --- Upon commencing at 9.34 a.m.

 6            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, let the witness take the declaration.

 7            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

 8    the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

 9            JUDGE MAY:  If you'd like to take a seat.

10                          WITNESS:  STJEPAN NEIMAREVIC

11                          [Witness answered through interpreter]

12            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

13            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

14                          Examined by Mr. Naumovski:

15       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, would you please state your full name for the

16    Court?

17       A.   My name is Stjepan Neimarevic.

18       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, you were born on 4 October 1951 in Travnik.  You

19    are a Croat by ethnicity and a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

20       A.   Yes.

21       Q.   You are a Franciscan priest, and as a religious official, you are

22    not permitted nor have you ever been a member of any political party; is

23    that correct?

24       A.   That is correct.

25       Q.   You lived in several different places in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

Page 21983

 1    first in Guca Gora where you finished the first six years of your

 2    schooling and an additional two years you completed in Han Bila which is

 3    about four kilometres due south-east of Guca Gora?

 4       A.   Yes.

 5       Q.   You graduated from the Franciscan High School in Visoko and then

 6    you completed your novice's training in Kraljeva Sutjeska?

 7       A.   Yes.

 8       Q.   Following your novice's training, you studied theology for six

 9    years in Sarajevo?

10       A.   Yes.

11       Q.   According to the laws of that period, you had to serve compulsory

12    military duty, and between 1975 and 1977 you served in the navy of the

13    Yugoslav People's Army?

14       A.   Yes.

15       Q.   From 1979 to 1981 you worked as a priest first in Nova Bila, then

16    Livno, Vitez, and Brajkovici.  These are all towns in Bosnia-Herzegovina;

17    is that correct?

18       A.   Yes.

19       Q.   In 1991, you moved back to Guca Gora where you lived in the

20    monastery until 8 June 1993, that is, until the day when the ABiH attacked

21    Guca Gora and you fled with a number of other Croats?

22       A.   Yes.

23       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, the Trial Chamber heard a fair amount about the

24    interethnic relations in Bosnia-Herzegovina before the war, perhaps we can

25    just summarise it.  Before the war, were the interethnic relations in

Page 21984

 1    Bosnia-Herzegovina harmonious or idyllic or not?

 2       A.   In the former Yugoslavia, there was a single party rule and a --

 3    that is, the Communist Party of Yugoslavia.  Many people in high positions

 4    had to marry persons from other ethnic groups which made them politically

 5    correct in order to be able to advance, and one could say that there was a

 6    truce between various ethnic groups after World War II.  There was a

 7    dictatorship and no one could say anything about anyone else.

 8            But people did form friendships, that is, people of different

 9    ethnic groups, people of different religions so there were good and bad

10    sides.  There were good relations but also not so good relations between

11    people of various ethnic groups and religions.

12            Personally, I had friends among Muslims and also among Serbs with

13    whom I lived and with whom I worked together.

14       Q.   Their Honours had an opportunity to hear about the Croats in the

15    former Yugoslavia.  I think we can skip that.  If there are any questions

16    asked about that, you will be able to provide answers to them.  But when

17    you speak about your relations with other ethnic groups, you would extend

18    your congratulations and you sent wishes to your counterparts on the

19    Muslim side for their religious holidays?

20       A.   Yes, I did that on Bajram and other religious holidays, I would go

21    and give them my best wishes.  I would go to their homes and do it in

22    person.  And also, some other parishioners would also go to their friends'

23    houses to give them good wishes; however, unfortunately, I have to say

24    that I never received any good wishes on my holidays, including the last

25    Easter I spent in my monastery.  I did not receive any greetings even

Page 21985

 1    though -- even a friend of mine, a photographer called Hazim arrived there

 2    and times were tough but --

 3       Q.   Excuse me, let me interrupt you on that.  You will be given an

 4    opportunity to furnish us with that detail later on.  When you said that

 5    you did not ever -- that you never received any good wishes from your

 6    counterparts, you mean from the Muslim religious officials?

 7       A.   Yes.  We -- in -- we invited him for coffee, this is a custom, and

 8    he said that he would only come if he was forced to.

 9       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, let us move on.

10            Your Honours, this is paragraph six that we're moving to.

11            Mr. Neimarevic, in paragraph six, you addressed the disruption of

12    relations between Croats and Muslims.  Their Honours have heard about what

13    happened to the central authority but maybe you can give us further

14    details.  An example, for instance, which you provided at a time when JNA

15    was withdrawing from Slovenia and all of these weapons were coming to

16    Bosnia.  Croats and Muslims did not take this arrival of the JNA in the

17    same way; is that correct?

18       A.   One could say that this was a beginning of a major

19    misunderstanding between the Croats and Muslims because the fighting had

20    started in Slovenia.  Unfortunately, they could have been stopped but they

21    never were.  All the weaponry and all the military equipment was being

22    moved to Bosnia-Herzegovina and historically we know that if you amass

23    weapons, these weapons will be used.  So unfortunately, this also happened

24    in Bosnia-Herzegovina, very large military transports were coming to

25    Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Page 21986

 1            Croats did not like it at all because they knew that it was not

 2    leading to peace but rather to a bloodshed and so the fear started

 3    creeping into the Croatian community.  We knew that this was not good for

 4    Bosnia-Herzegovina, that such amounts of weapons would be transferred to

 5    Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that the result of it could be very hard for all

 6    of us who live in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 7            Unfortunately, the leadership of the Muslim leadership in Sarajevo

 8    at that time and many other people in the -- on the ground were not aware

 9    of what was to happen.

10            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Neimarevic, I'm going to interrupt.  As you will

11    appreciate, this trial has been going for some time and we've heard a lot

12    of witnesses and we've heard a lot of evidence.  So we have heard about

13    this sort of thing.  But counsel will know what's relevant, and he will

14    ask you about the relevant matters.  Could you just concentrate on that

15    and answer his questions, please.

16            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

17       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, as His Honour, the Presiding Judge, has pointed

18    out, a lot has been heard about these circumstances, but how did the

19    people in Travnik feel about all these military transports coming into

20    Bosnia, to Travnik?

21       A.   The Muslims greeted them with song and dance and offering gifts

22    and food.

23       Q.   So the arrival of the JNA was an additional reason for the

24    separation of the Croats and Muslims in Travnik?

25       A.   That is exactly right.

Page 21987

 1       Q.   You mentioned to the Trial Chamber that you had told the Muslims

 2    that the war was inevitable and that people should arm themselves in order

 3    to defend themselves from the aggression.  But was there also a lack of

 4    understanding on that point early on?

 5       A.   Yes.  I can point out a meeting with a school friend of mine, a

 6    Muslim.  I met with him at one point, and he said that he heard Jastreb

 7    Dedakovic, who spoke on television, and he said that one should sell a cow

 8    and buy a rifle.  And at first I hated him, but then I realised that what

 9    Croats were saying at first, that it was right.  We wanted to protect both

10    Croat and Muslims lives there.

11       Q.   Just to clarify, Dedakovic was a Croat who was running the defence

12    of Vukovar on the Croat side?

13       A.   Yes.

14       Q.   You went to Krpeljici, a village next to Guca Gora, in the summer

15    of 1992 asking for assistance of the TO to fight Serbs at Mount Vlasic?

16       A.   Yes.

17       Q.   Was your request granted?

18       A.   Unfortunately, it was not granted, because at that time they had

19    already started organising a military force which obviously was not going

20    to be with us, but at some point, in fact, it turned out that they were --

21    they ended up being against us.

22       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, you received a lot of information from your

23    parishioners because you spent a lot of time with them.  Were Croats

24    helping Muslims in Zenica and in the area where you lived with weapons and

25    in other ways?

Page 21988

 1       A.   We tried to help Muslims in every possible way: in humanitarian

 2    matters but also with weapons which we occasionally received.  I

 3    personally assisted Muslims with food which I would occasionally get, and

 4    also with the medicine.  We had a pharmacy there, and a number of them

 5    went to the Muslims and in part to the Serbs, who at that time were

 6    already in conflict with us.  We were giving them food and all other

 7    necessities.  They were not at fault.  They were at risk, just as we were

 8    at that time.

 9       Q.   In paragraph 8 you mention a detail; that is, you related a

10    conversation which you overheard when, in the fall of 1992, you, in the

11    Travnik police station, when you went to extend your driver's licence.

12       A.   Yes.  I was shocked there because I overheard this policeman.

13    News that were coming were ever -- were worsening.  And then I heard that

14    allegedly we Croats were trying to sell out Bosnia; we wanted to divide it

15    with the others.  And that was only to -- this was done in order to create

16    tensions, which then resulted in an open war.  At that time Slavonski Brod

17    had fallen and they said that Croats were -- had sold it.  And Jajce at

18    that time -- Jajce was also surrounded, and they said if Jajce falls we

19    would then take over the Croat areas and we would kill them all and take

20    all their weapons.  I was shocked, because I could not believe that

21    something like that could happen between these two groups.

22       Q.   When you mentioned these events around Jajce in late 1992, was the

23    influx of -- was there an influx of refugees, mostly Muslims but others as

24    well?  And how did that reflect on the previous balance or equilibrium

25    between the ethnic groups in your area?

Page 21989

 1       A.   Yes.  That was potentially one of the causes of the conflict

 2    between us.  We sensed that something was going on there.  It is

 3    interesting to point out that all refugees from Bosanska Krajina -- that

 4    is, Banja Luka, Prijedor, Kljuic -- all moved to Travnik, to Central

 5    Bosnia.  The militarily fit men remained in Travnik, and women and

 6    children continued on to Croatia, where they were then accommodated in

 7    various hotels and other places.  And it -- and so there was a large

 8    increase in the Muslim population in all towns in Central Bosnia, which

 9    caused fear among Croats, with the prospect of a potential conflict

10    between the two.  And then there were also Mujahedin and other radical

11    Muslims coming from various countries around the world, and that created

12    more fear.  They also came to my area on a small Toyota truck.  It was --

13    and they passed through the village chanting "Allahu-Ekber," which

14    intimidated the Croat population and caused further tensions.

15       Q.   Can you tell us, where was the Mujahedin base?

16       A.   That was in Mehurici, about five to six kilometres from Guca Gora,

17    due north-east.  This is the River Bila Valley.

18            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Naumovski.  I'd

19    like to ask the following of Mr. Neimarevic.  He says that what he calls

20    Mujahedins -- well, you say, sir, that there were many provocations and

21    that you yourself were the target of such provocations, you and your

22    house.  Could you tell us what you mean by "provocations"?  What do you

23    mean by that?  Could you say that more specifically?  Because you

24    mentioned that in a general way.  You stated that they provoked the

25    Croats.  More specifically, what were they?  What were these provocations?

Page 21990













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Page 21991

 1       A.   They did not come straight to my home, but in my village, Guca

 2    Gora, they would drive through this village in a truck, and among the

 3    peaceful villagers they would chant or they would shout, "Allahu-Ekber."

 4    Those who know what this means and those who lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina

 5    realised that this was provocative, that this was -- they may have wanted

 6    to provoke reaction so that they could then attack.  But this aloud

 7    chanting of "Allahu-Ekber" in a purely Croat village created fear.  People

 8    were upset and they were really concerned about what may happen.  Because

 9    this was foreshadowing what was to come on 8 June 1993.

10            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.  So this was

11    what you said, that they were shouting, "God is great" in the villages.

12    It is an expression of faith.  There were no other acts of provocation,

13    were there?

14       A.   At that time it was only that.

15            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

17       Q.   If I can follow up on Judge Bennouna's question.  The Mujahedin

18    who arrived in this truck to Guca Gora, to your village, were they armed?

19       A.   Yes, they were armed.

20       Q.   Very well, thank you.  Paragraph 10, you mentioned a conversation

21    which you had with an English chaplain who was with the BritBat.  You

22    discussed UNPROFOR and its role, whether they would protect you from the

23    Serb attacks.

24       A.   The English military chaplain came to me and asked me whether we

25    could organise a meeting of religious officials in our area.  I agreed to

Page 21992

 1    it very gladly, and we convened it in Nova Bila.  In this meeting, I asked

 2    him whether they would help if the Serbs, that is the JNA, attacks the

 3    Lasva Valley, whether they would help us to at least protect peoples'

 4    lives.  He said that they did not come to protect us, but rather, for

 5    humanitarian reasons, to protect convoys so that food, medicine and other

 6    supplies could reach the area.  In this meeting, he asked us whether it

 7    would be good to convene a religious -- a meeting with the Muslim

 8    counterparts so that we could discuss all the matters and see what could

 9    be done to prevent the outbreak of conflict in the area.

10            We saw an opportunity here to perhaps start -- open up a dialogue

11    and reach some positive results for all of us.  So we were glad to accept

12    it.  Several days later, the chaplain informed us that unfortunately, the

13    Muslim religious leaders did not -- declined such a meeting, that they

14    were not prepared to meet.

15       Q.   We can move on to paragraph 11.  You mentioned events of Holy

16    Thursday in April of 1993.  If you can just summarise that very briefly,

17    who attacked whom, what structures were damaged and so on?

18       A.   This happened on Holy Thursday in my -- my two neighbours

19    organised the -- helped me organise The Holy Mass with a procession and

20    they were also in Guca Gora during the religious ceremonies.  And

21    following this, the ceremony, they went back to Travnik.  When they

22    arrived, one was beaten up, almost beyond recognition, the other one is --

23    was not touched, but the other one was all beaten up.  Anto Samilinic

24    [phoen] who was my neighbour and the son of a very close friend was all

25    beaten up.

Page 21993

 1       Q.   What else happened in Travnik, what happened to the Caritas

 2    pharmacy?

 3       A.   They looted the entire pharmacy.  They vandalised many shops that

 4    were Croat property in Travnik and they made a big mistake.  They started

 5    burning all the Croat flags.  This was very provocative, and the European

 6    monitor said that this was a big mistake because the Muslims in Central

 7    Bosnia are going to pay a great price if they continue to do so.

 8       Q.   A moment ago you told us that a Muslim friend came to see you on

 9    Easter day and he gave you his opinion about those -- about the event.

10       A.   As I have just said, it was a photographer, Hazim, a friend of

11    mine, whom I saw often.  He came to me to Guca Gora which is 10 kilometres

12    away from Travnik and he was very restive, very upset, very sad.  He

13    wished me all the best on Easter and said that he was very sorry that it

14    had happened, and that his people should not have done that in Travnik

15    because for centuries, Travnik was the crossroads and the meeting point of

16    different cultures and ideologies and the centre of government.

17       Q.   Tell us, please, did he tell you who was it that incited

18    extremists in Travnik?  Did he mention anyone within that context?

19       A.   He did not say that but another friend of mine told me once we met

20    at his photographer's shop, the chief imam of Travnik, Mr. Nusret, came up

21    and then he said in front of my friends, "He is the biggest extremist here

22    in Travnik."

23       Q.   Very well, thank you.  Basically you already told us about

24    paragraph 12, but paragraphs -- just one sentence because some of your

25    neighbours were beaten up.  Does that mean that around Easter 1993,

Page 21994

 1    movement became unsafe in Guca Gora and it's environs?

 2       A.   Yes.  Naturally, it led to a very hazardous situation.  One by

 3    one, roads were closed.  They were not passable anymore, and people began

 4    fearing for their lives, especially those with wives and children because

 5    nobody knew what the next day would bring.

 6       Q.   Thank you.  And tell us, did the propaganda war also escalate, if

 7    I may put it that way?  Did you, at that time, hear some programmes on the

 8    radio?

 9       A.   Even before that, the television of Bosnia-Herzegovina began to

10    air a number of things which were to create a rift between Muslims and

11    Croats.  One could read almost open hostility on the faces of some of the

12    announcers on the Sarajevo television, and one can also safely say that

13    the programme of some radio stations began to broadcast or propagate news

14    which was to generate hatred towards the Croat people.  And I can

15    corroborate it by the fact which I saw many times and that is that it was

16    Serbs who shelled Zenica in point of fact, and we heard where the shell

17    had arrived from.  And when the additional supplementary charge went off,

18    and we knew that it had happened in Zenica, and from time to time we could

19    also hear the sirens in Zenica.

20            And then we switch on Radio Zenica and we hear the announcer who

21    says that it is Croats who are shelling Zenica.  We responded to that.  We

22    said that that was not true.  But nevertheless, they told us "we know who

23    is dispatching shells on Zenica, but what we say is our business, that is

24    what we are doing and we know why we are doing that."

25       Q.   So it was quite conscious misinformation, wasn't it?

Page 21995

 1       A.   Yes, it was misinformation because they sometimes shelled Croat

 2    villages around Zenica and I have information about that and then they

 3    proclaimed the general danger and naturally they said that Croats were

 4    doing that.

 5       Q.   Tell us, please, at that time around Easter 1993, that is before

 6    summer, did you happen to see some trucks full of soldiers moving through

 7    Guca Gora to Travnik and was anything said about why they were moving in

 8    that direction?

 9       A.   Namely I noticed that Muslims were amassing ever more troops in

10    Travnik and their pretext was that from there, they were going to the

11    front line on Mount Vlasic against the Serbs.  And once, we stopped them

12    in Guca Gora, there were some 56 buses, some 250-something soldiers armed

13    who were moving, who were heading for Travnik.  We did not know that they

14    would be coming through or where they were going, but then they told us

15    that they had the authorisation and they were moving to the front line.

16            And then an agreement was made to avoid any incidents that they

17    should always notify where they were going and why and that they should

18    always take the same way back and that it had to -- that these troops had

19    to include those who were on the front line.  So that happened on that

20    occasion too except that they didn't take the same road back, but they

21    went through Nova Bila and on and there were also a number of empty buses

22    that moved through and, of course, this made people afraid.

23       Q.   Very well.  After Easter 1993, what about the communications

24    between Guca Gora and the rest of Central Bosnia?  Was there any

25    communication or were you in point of fact encircled by the army of

Page 21996

 1    Bosnia-Herzegovina, if I may put it that way, not only but this whole

 2    area, Brajkovici and the other villages towards Zenica?

 3       A.   In times one could go to a certain place but that was risky, most

 4    of the roads were closed.  There were checkpoints, and controls so that

 5    you could start somewhere but whether you would be back, that was a

 6    question indeed.

 7       Q.   However, in spite of that situation that you found yourselves in

 8    in that encirclement, could you believe in your parish, in your parish at

 9    that time that the Muslims would attack you?

10       A.   Well, it is difficult now to say that.  The trouble is we were

11    never physically nor mentally ready for a conflict with Muslims.  We

12    conversely wanted to live at peace with them, and during my last days in

13    Guca Gora when I talked to people, they told us that -- they told me that

14    the Muslims would never attack us; however, unfortunately, -- very well,

15    very well, we shall come to that.

16       Q.   Just one question more.  While you were encircled and cut off from

17    the rest of Bosnia for those couple of months, did you have electricity,

18    could you watch television, did you get any press?

19       A.   No, neither television nor radio, nor written press, nothing was

20    reaching us anymore.  We were simply and plainly cut off and we lived the

21    way that we lived at the time when none of these things existed.  Only

22    those who had some dry batteries, they could listen to some transistor

23    radios, but that was all that one could do here on the radio what was

24    happening outside Guca Gora or any other place that we happened to be in.

25       Q.   Your Honours, we are moving to paragraph 15.

Page 21997

 1            Mr. Neimarevic, could you tell us, in early June, the village of

 2    Dolac was attacked, and we could call it a suburb of Travnik?

 3       A.   Yes.

 4       Q.   It was to another date, well it was the 5th -- well, never mind.

 5    It was in the beginning of June, I think it was the 5th of June and that

 6    is what you wrote in your summary.  But this was not the only village that

 7    was attacked because Ovcarevo, another village, was also attacked, wasn't

 8    it?

 9       A.   Yes.

10       Q.   Tell us, who attacked those villages?

11       A.   Those villages were attacked by Muslim forces.  Dolac, an old

12    Croat place, was attacked.  It had a nice and beautiful church.  At a

13    later date it was then devastated and destroyed and it was so damaged

14    subsequently that it began to cave in all of itself.

15            Ovcarevo was a large parish.  Not only Ovcarevo, there were other

16    parishes up there which were attacked such as Turbe and the environs of

17    Travnik itself.  So that a massive exodus of the Croat population took

18    place and they were received by the Serb population on Vlasic and helped

19    them make a safe passage to Croatia.

20       Q.   Very well, thank you.  So at that time, or rather on that same

21    day, when you had this attack, and we shall come back to that later, the

22    parish of Brajkovici was attacked.  Perhaps we should explain to Their

23    Honours the parish of Brajkovici, those villages in that parish and there

24    were 12 villages there, they did not belong all in the Travnik

25    municipality, 80 per cent of the villages were in that municipality and a

Page 21998

 1    few of them, a lesser number, that is about 20 per cent, were in the

 2    municipality of Zenica; is that so?

 3       A.   Yes.

 4       Q.   All those villages were basically Croat, that is the majority was

 5    Croat except the village of Cukle which was a mixed Muslim Croat village?

 6       A.   Yes.  That is the parish of Brajkovici, and I spent six years

 7    there.  It is separated from Guca Gora by the Bila River.  The majority of

 8    the villages were purely Croat except Cukle, which had a mixed population,

 9    and Konjevici to a degree, but that was in the Zenica municipality.

10       Q.   Tell us:  Perhaps we should give the Court some figures that you

11    came by later.  When the whole parish of Brajkovici was taken and all the

12    villagers, how many Croats had to leave the area?

13       A.   Something about 5.500 Croats had to leave because of the fighting

14    on the 8th of June, 1993, when many civilians were killed.  Some of them

15    were burnt alive in their homes.  I know about the case at Grahovcici and

16    Brajkovici.  So many people were fleeing towards Nova Bila, taking

17    different routes through the woods.  And in the early hours of the morning

18    of the 9th of June, 1993, the last of those Croats arrived in Nova Bila.

19    I believe only a family of two people stayed there.  There were also some

20    who hid in the forest at Simici [phoen].  There were about 20 of them.

21    But they were exchanged, and they also came to Nova Bila, that is, Vitez,

22    that area.

23       Q.   Tell us, when we are referring to the parish of Brajkovici, you

24    told us that the church at Dolac was devastated, that is, destroyed, and

25    what about the chapel at Bukovice?

Page 21999













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Page 22000

 1       A.   It was burnt and practically razed to the ground.  There is

 2    documentation, there are photographs.

 3       Q.   Very well.  But perhaps we could mention as a fact the church at

 4    Ovcarevo.

 5       A.   Yes.  It was also pillaged inside.  It is interesting that the

 6    Muslim troops, by and large, did not cause any major damage to objects, to

 7    the exterior of the objects.  They mostly damaged, destroyed, the interior

 8    in the Guca Gora, the convent church, and they were again completely

 9    destroyed.

10       Q.   I'm sorry I have to interrupt you, but we shall talk about that

11    when we come to Guca Gora.  Let us finish this, the events around Guca

12    Gora, villages around Guca Gora.  Do you know what happened to the

13    Catholic church in Travnik, St. John Baptist?

14       A.   The church was again demolished inside, and almost all the statues

15    were broken, so that even Corpus Christi was tied to a car and driven

16    around by Muslim troops.

17       Q.   You have information and you are aware of what happened to 36

18    Croats in the hamlet of Bikosi, that is, the hamlet of the village of

19    Banjak [phoen]?

20       A.   Yes.  That was a tragic event.  Thirty-six people were shot dead:

21    some civilians, some were soldiers.  And that included a young woman who

22    was helping as a nurse, was helping, a female doctor.  She was attending

23    to the wounded.  She did wear the emblem of the Red Cross and yet she was

24    taken out and shot.  There is information by the survivors because some of

25    those people were wounded.

Page 22001

 1       Q.   Excuse me.  I do not think there is any need of going into it any

 2    further.

 3            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I shall merely like to remind the

 4    Court that we have filed a statement by Pavao Barac, who speaks about

 5    that, and this is merely in corroboration of that.

 6       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, when fighting began in your area, the refugees

 7    from all around you came to you, came to your convent, didn't they, the

 8    villagers.  Tell us, please:  What happened on the 8th of June, 1993 in

 9    the early hours?  Who attacked and how did things unfold?

10       A.   On the 6th of June the shelling of Guca Gora began, and on the 8th

11    of June, sometime around half past 3.00 in the morning or thereabouts, the

12    attack began on the village of Guca Gora itself.  And I was in the convent

13    with my colleague, with my family, that is, my parents, my sister-in-law,

14    and her children and nuns.  We could not see what was going on around us.

15    But at some point I did see how, through the yard of the convent, women

16    were coming, and those women were crying and I think they were already in

17    hysterics.  And I asked them -- I stopped them and asked them what was

18    going on, and they told us that Mujahedin were nearby, that they were

19    slaughtering, that six people had already been killed.  And amongst those

20    women who had arrived, two had lost their husbands that morning.  And one

21    of them said, "Please help me save my father-in-law."  And I said, "Just

22    wait a moment.  I have to tell the nuns that I will come out."  And that

23    is what I did.  And so then we left the convent in Guca Gora.

24       Q.   Tell us, please:  How many people and who tried to defend Guca

25    Gora during that onslaught?

Page 22002

 1       A.   You have to know that the majority of Croats from Guca Gora were

 2    migrant workers abroad.  There were very few men left behind who were

 3    capable of defending Guca Gora.  There were perhaps about 100 of us all

 4    together, that is, including elderly and children.  And practically we

 5    could not defend the village; we could only do perhaps some

 6    reconnaissance.  Guca Gora and other villages were practically undefended.

 7       Q.   Tell us, please:  How many people were killed straight away during

 8    that first onslaught of the Bosnian forces?

 9       A.   Six people were killed, but many people were not aware that the

10    village had been taken by the Muslim army.  Many people learned that later

11    on.  And so they arrived in the monastery and stayed there until the next

12    day, thanks to the UNPROFOR, which happened to be moving towards Guca

13    Gora.  And a dentist from Vitez alerted them to these developments, and so

14    they entered Guca Gora and the monastery and they protected those expelled

15    from Guca Gora and so on.

16            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may, we should

17    like to show a very short video, which is D204/1, Defence Exhibit.  That

18    is the number it has.  However, there are two parts of that video.  We

19    have already shown the part which refers to the Convoy of Joy, but there

20    is another part of it which covers the event at Guca Gora.  That is a part

21    of the BBC coverage of the events that Mr. Neimarevic is testifying

22    about.

23            So could I ask the booth to show it, please.

24                          [Videotape played]

25            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, engineers.

Page 22003

 1       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, these shots were taken in the yard of your

 2    monastery, and those were your neighbours, your relatives who came here to

 3    the yard.  You recognised them, didn't you?

 4       A.   Yes, of course I did.  They were next-door neighbours and my aunt,

 5    my relations, and so on and so forth.  They were in the monastery.  And

 6    since Muslim snipers and also other artillery were used to shell, the

 7    UNPROFOR troops returned the fire, as you could see, and it was the first

 8    time that a fight at Muslim positions in order to protect the civilian

 9    population which was completely unarmed.

10            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Naumovski, what is the date for the video?

11            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I think this was the 8th of June,

12    but I really -- I didn't -- no.  It was the 9th of the 6th, Mr. Sayers

13    tells me.  The 9th of June.

14            JUDGE MAY:  If it is the 9th of June, all well and good, but

15    perhaps during the adjournment you would check and inform the Trial

16    Chamber.

17            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes.  Thank you, Your Honours.  I

18    shall do so?

19       A.   This was on the 8th of June, in the afternoon, and the evacuation

20    took place on the 9th, because they spent the night in the church and the

21    monastery.  So this happened on the 8th of June, in the afternoon, when

22    English soldiers fired, and the evacuation took place the next day.  So it

23    was the 9th.

24            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

25       Q.   And so on this same video we have the events of both the 8th and

Page 22004

 1    the 9th of June, 1993, isn't it?

 2            THE INTERPRETER:  The witness nods.

 3            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

 4       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, you were also forced to leave the monastery.  Who

 5    took it over?  Who entered it?

 6       A.   After the civilians had left and the English soldiers who

 7    retreated towards Vitez and Nova Bila, the Muslim forces came to the

 8    monastery and they set up their command there.  Their soldiers were there.

 9       Q.   Excuse me.  About a month later, I think, UNPROFOR helped you to

10    come back to your monastery, if I may call it that.  Tell us something:

11    What did the monastery look like inside?

12       A.   The monastery looked dreadful.  It was, all in all, sort of I

13    guess what were the verses from Koran in Arabic, and there were all sorts

14    of things written on the doors and also in the -- there was a sheet with a

15    quotation from the Koran.  The church was all ransacked.  The organ was

16    destroyed, or rather burnt, as far as I could see.  Then the main painting

17    in the altar, a fresco by a well-known painter, had been -- had water

18    poured over it.  And all the pews were overturned in the church, and the

19    two paintings -- one was a fresco, one was a mosaic -- they were also

20    damaged.

21       Q.   Will you tell us:  The pews were painted over?

22       A.   They were painted over all sorts of things, including excrement.

23            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] We are not going to read this, but

24    this is a milinfosum of 16th of June, 1993, which we wish to file.  But we

25    should draw the attention of the Court to paragraph 8.

Page 22005

 1            Will the usher please help me.  Paragraph 8 refers do what

 2    Mr. Neimarevic has told us.

 3            THE REGISTRAR:  Document D290/1.

 4            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I do not wish to take too much of

 5    your time, Mr. Neimarevic, but we prepared some photographs about the

 6    interior of that church and we should also like to adduce that as another

 7    exhibit.

 8            Perhaps if the colour one could be put on the ELMO.  The originals

 9    are in colour.  These, unfortunately, are in black and white and you can't

10    see very well, but I believe Mr. Neimarevic will be able to tell us.

11       Q.   So these are some of the fragments, Mr. Neimarevic, what you found

12    inside the monastery?

13       A.   Yes.  We see here photographs of the interior of the church and

14    what was inside or happened outside the church and outside the churchyard.

15            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Could the usher please just bring

16    down this spread.  Thank you.  So we have colour here.

17       A.   Here this is the main painting on the main altar, that is, the

18    Guca Gora church.  And some paint was poured at it, or rather there are

19    splashes of some paint.  And here, this is the statue of St. Francis in

20    the church of Guca Gora, and it was fired at from firearms and something

21    was poured over it.  I don't know what.  And then it was put fire to.  And

22    this here, here, six of my neighbours were buried here from Guca Gora,

23    those who were killed in the morning of the 8th of June, 1993.

24       Q.   And you're saying that outrages were committed against those

25    graves?

Page 22006

 1       A.   Yes, indeed.

 2            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well.  We do not have to

 3    spend any more time with this, but could we just get the number for this

 4    exhibit, please.

 5            THE REGISTRAR:  D291/1.

 6            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

 7       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, even though one can see what some of the houses

 8    looked like, we have some additional photographs.  So if the usher could

 9    please help me put them on the ELMO.

10            Without taking too much time, Mr. Neimarevic, we should just look

11    at the photographs that are being placed on the ELMO, and tell us where

12    these houses are located and whose houses they are.

13       A.   The houses which you can see, this is -- belongs to a relative of

14    mine.

15       Q.   Don't go into details.  Where are these houses?

16       A.   In Guca Gora.  These are all in Guca Gora.

17       Q.   Perhaps if we can focus only on the house on the right-hand side,

18    under the sign there's some letters.  What does it say?

19       A.   It's 7th Corps.  That refers to the Muslim forces.

20            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Very well.  I think this is

21    enough.  Can we have a number for this exhibit, please.

22            THE REGISTRAR:  D292/1.

23            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just one additional

24    photograph which is the -- Mr. Neimarevic's family home.  Unfortunately,

25    we don't have the original photographs here, we only have a photocopy but

Page 22007

 1    we will provide the original tomorrow to the registry.

 2       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, in the photographs taken there, you recognise your

 3    own family home, could you just please confirm that once it is placed

 4    before you?

 5       A.   Yes, this is my family home and behind the walls, you see to the

 6    right there is another structure which we also owned, and that was also

 7    burned.

 8       Q.   Thank you Mr. Usher, I think that this is all we need.

 9            Mr. Neimarevic, we tried to save some time so we skipped over many

10    things.  The Trial Chamber saw that the houses in Guca Gora were heavily

11    damaged and looted.  Could you tell us how many houses in Guca Gora and

12    the vicinity were looted and ransacked?

13       A.   I cannot give you the exact figure, but several thousand houses.

14       Q.   I was referring to Guca Gora.

15       A.   There were 250 homes in Guca Gora.  About 10 to 15 were left

16    standing but they were all -- all of them were looted.

17       Q.   Were some of these houses restored, did some of your parishioners

18    come back?

19       A.   There is a problem relating to Guca Gora, and very few houses have

20    been restored.  I have some information that some will be restored but I

21    don't know how many.

22            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Please, I didn't get the last

23    number for the last exhibit, if I can get it from the registry.

24            THE REGISTRAR:  1093/1.

25            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]  Thank you.

Page 22008













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Page 22009

 1       Q.   Your parish, Guca Gora, before the attack of 8 June 1993, how many

 2    parishioners lived there?

 3       A.   About 3.500 and all of them had to leave their homes except for

 4    two small hamlets, Brankovac and Cifluk.

 5       Q.   Out of 3.500 parishioners, that is, those 3.500 parishioners were

 6    just one small fraction of everyone, of all people who had to leave their

 7    homes in the areas of Travnik and Zenica?

 8       A.   Yes, over 5.500 people had to leave the Brajkovici parish, the

 9    same with Dolac and there were other parishes that were emptied.

10       Q.   Would it be too much to say that 20.000 Croats were driven out?

11       A.   At least 20.000.

12       Q.   In the last paragraph of your summary, you said -- you stated not

13    only your opinion of what caused the conflict of -- between the Croats and

14    Muslims in Central Bosnia but you also repeated something that a Muslim

15    friend whom you respected said about this?

16       A.   The leadership, the Muslim leadership wanted to preserve

17    Yugoslavia --

18       Q.   No, no, no, I didn't want you to give a political opinion, only to

19    what related in your own area.

20       A.   Yes.  Speaking of local events, a friend of mine said to my

21    colleague, Mirko Bobas, seven or eight months before the conflict started,

22    he said, "We did not prepare for the conflict with the Serbs.  We prepared

23    to fight you and we had enough weapons and enough medicine to -- food to

24    see us through this conflict."

25            The Croats were not numerous enough, they lived in a very small

Page 22010

 1    area and that is the Muslims did, and the Muslims knew that they could not

 2    fight the Serbs, so they thought that they could turn against the Croats.

 3    This can be also gleaned from the interview with General Arif Pasalic, he

 4    gave an interview to Danas magazine in Zagreb in 1994, it was one of the

 5    last issues of this --

 6            JUDGE MAY:  This is going beyond the witness' ability to give

 7    evidence.

 8            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.

 9       Q.   Let us conclude, Mr. Neimarevic.  You said that the Muslims wanted

10    to replace the territory they left at the expense of Croats.  This was

11    told you by a Muslim friend whom you respected?

12       A.   Yes.

13            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Mr. Neimarevic, thank you.  This

14    concludes my examination-in-chief.  Thank you Your Honours.

15            MR. KOVACIC:  Your Honour, we will not have any questions, thank

16    you.

17            MS. SOMERS:  I regret to have to raise this in the presence of the

18    witness, but I must inform the Bench that Mr. Nice was presented this

19    morning at the beginning of the session with the affidavit of Franjo

20    Krizanac and therefore, having had no advance ability to look at it, the

21    Prosecution is unable to work that into the cross-examination.

22            I would like the Bench to know that I did have conversation with

23    Erica from Hunter Williams from 9.00 to 9.30 on Sunday night when a copy

24    of the summaries was prepared and was sent, and apparently the affidavit

25    was ready as of the 30th of June.  Therefore, I can only ask that the

Page 22011

 1    Court either consider exclusion of it or perhaps ask that the witness be

 2    brought in for cross because, sadly, we cannot do anything with it now.

 3            JUDGE MAY:  Well, I'm not going to go into an argument of when it

 4    was served or anything of that sort or when it was received.  For the

 5    moment, let us concentrate on the cross-examination of the witness.

 6            MS. SOMERS:  Thank you, Your Honour.

 7                     Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:

 8       Q.   I would like to clarify if you are still a priest.

 9       A.   Yes.

10       Q.   And is it correct for me to address you as Father Neimarevic?

11       A.   Whatever you wish.

12       Q.   Father Neimarevic, would you please indicate where you are working

13    and where you have been working since 1993.  Where are you based?

14       A.   Since 1993, in late October, I left the territory of Central

15    Bosnia and following that, I stayed with my family, with my sisters also

16    with my friends.  And after that, I was transferred and became a chaplain

17    near Zagreb because I could not return to Central Bosnia.

18       Q.   And since 1993, you have been living in Zagreb in Croatia; is that

19    correct?

20       A.   I was -- spent very little time in Zagreb.  I was mostly abroad

21    and I -- for a time, I was in Blaskovac near Zagreb, and then for six

22    months in Australia.

23       Q.   Can you give the time period during which you were in Australia

24    and was that your sole location abroad?

25       A.   I was there for six months.  I returned in early March, I cannot

Page 22012

 1    give you the exact date.  About a week before the papal visit to Zagreb

 2    where I went to substitute the -- my colleagues who came, who went to

 3    Zagreb for the papal visit.

 4       Q.   Now, that papal visit, was that the 1997 visit, is this the one

 5    you are referring to or was it 1995?

 6       A.   It was the first papal visit to Croatia.  This was in late, if I'm

 7    not mistaken, 1994.

 8       Q.   The return in early March was in March of 1994 then; is that

 9    correct?  I just want to make sure that we have your years mapped out

10    correctly.

11       A.   1995.

12       Q.   And you were overseas for approximately a year; is that correct?

13       A.   I was sent by my superior to Switzerland for a year where I worked

14    in the Croatian mission in Switzerland.

15       Q.   In the Croatian mission meaning the governmental mission or a

16    religious mission?

17       A.   I refer to the religious, the Catholic mission in Switzerland.

18       Q.   And which superior, please name him, sent you to Switzerland?

19       A.   Fra Tomislav Pervan, the provincial of the -- of Franciscan -- the

20    Franciscan provincial in Bosnia-Herzegovina because I had transferred over

21    there where I worked for the -- with the refugees.

22       Q.   And where was the provincial physically located in

23    Bosnia-Herzegovina?

24       A.   The provincial of my local province was in Zagreb and he sent me

25    to Ljubuski where I was to care for the Croat displaced persons.

Page 22013

 1       Q.   Your original province, was it in the Bosnian province?

 2       A.   Yes, my original one was in Bosnia.

 3       Q.   And who was your provincial at the time you were in the Bosnian

 4    province, please?

 5       A.   This was Fra Petar Andzelovic.

 6       Q.   The summary which has been provided to this office in both English

 7    and Croatian, was that summary written by you?

 8       A.   The summary received was written by me personally.

 9       Q.   The Office of the Prosecutor had had contact with a very high

10    official in the church in Bosnia and was informed that it was the policy

11    that no Franciscan could be interviewed by the Office of the Prosecutor or

12    testify.  Can you indicate whether or not you had to get or did get

13    clearance by any religious superior to be here today?

14       A.   Regarding my testimony, I was requested to do so and nobody in my

15    current province was against that.

16       Q.   Did you inform them that you, in fact, were coming today and that

17    you had given an interview with the Defence?

18       A.   My current provincial is aware of it.  He was -- he was informed

19    by my superior in the monastery where I currently reside that I was coming

20    here.

21       Q.   And who is your current provincial?

22       A.   My provincial is Friar Tomislav.

23       Q.   Is that a -- that is a first name; is that correct?  What is the

24    last name if I may ask, please?

25       A.   Pervan.

Page 22014

 1       Q.   Father Neimarevic, are the positions which you give today in this

 2    courtroom positions, official positions, of the Catholic church in

 3    Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Croatia?

 4            JUDGE MAY:  I'm not sure what you mean by that, Ms. Somers.  What

 5    part of the evidence are you referring to?

 6            MS. SOMERS:  There are certain comments about relations that

 7    existed and about the build-up of tensions and causes of the conflict, and

 8    I have exhibits which will go to this and I wanted to know if, perhaps, I

 9    could get an answer from the witness on this issue if I may.

10            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Neimarevic, you hear what counsel is referring

11    to.  Are you giving evidence of an official position of the church or

12    giving your own evidence about this?

13       A.   I speak here on my own behalf.  I give -- I am giving evidence on

14    what I, myself, have heard or seen or thought, and this is what I told you

15    today here.

16            MS. SOMERS:  May I ask the usher -- oh, I'm sorry.

17                          [Trial Chamber confers]

18            JUDGE MAY:  Yes.

19            MS. SOMERS:  Exhibit Z1465.7, please.  And if a copy could be put

20    on the ELMO as well.

21            Mr. Usher, if the Croatian copy could go on the ELMO, it would be

22    helpful.  I'm not clear that the interpreters have this.

23       Q.   Do you recognise this questionnaire, Father Neimarevic?

24       A.   This is the questionnaire number 8?  I don't understand.

25       Q.   Do you recognise this questionnaire?  Is this a questionnaire

Page 22015

 1    which you yourself filled out?  Is this the same Stjepan Neimarevic?

 2            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, is the part in

 3    English the exact translation of what is said in Serbo-Croatian?

 4            MS. SOMERS:  It should, Your Honour.  It should give the names,

 5    the dates, and the various subcategories.

 6            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] But I don't think it is, because

 7    we have some answers from Mr. Neimarevic which are not listed in the

 8    questionnaire as such, in the part that is devoted to the questions.  I

 9    don't know whether this is an exact translation of what there is on the

10    other side.

11            MS. SOMERS:  Shall I run through it and make sure that it

12    matches?  I think it would be brief, but it appears to be essentially

13    point for point.

14            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honours.  I

15    don't want to interrupt the cross-examination, but it says that this is a

16    document by the European Union and it says that it is strictly

17    confidential.  We are in open session.  Perhaps at least we can move into

18    the private session.  Thank you.

19            MS. SOMERS:  Your Honour, may I respond to that?  The essence of

20    this document is concerning war crimes, and we are here in a war crimes

21    Tribunal.  I think it moots the issue.

22            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, we agree.

23            Can you identify this, Mr. Neimarevic?  It looks like a form that

24    you filled in, you see.

25       A.   Yes, I filled it in.

Page 22016

 1            JUDGE MAY:  Yes.  It's got your name, your date of birth.

 2       A.   Yes.

 3            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, Ms. Somers.

 4            MS. SOMERS:

 5       Q.   What it does not have is a date.  When did you fill this in,

 6    please?

 7       A.   I really forgot.  I have no idea.

 8       Q.   Where did you fill it in?  Was it in Travnik?  Was it in Croatia?

 9    Was it in Australia?

10       A.   This was in Ljubuski.

11       Q.   And how did this questionnaire come to you?  Who asked you to fill

12    this in?

13       A.   I was told that these were persons who were in contact with the

14    Tribunal in The Hague, and if I wanted to be a witness, that I needed to

15    fill it in and send it.  Personally, I do not know the persons who sent it

16    to me.

17       Q.   This is while you were at or -- you presently are at the monastery

18    in Ljubuski; is that correct?

19       A.   Yes.  I'm currently in the Humac monastery in Ljubuski.

20       Q.   And when did you join that monastery?  If you could repeat that.

21    I'm not sure I was clear on your exact date.

22       A.   I arrived in early May.

23       Q.   Of what year?

24       A.   1995.

25       Q.   So somewhere between 1995 and today you filled this questionnaire

Page 22017













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Page 22018

 1    in; would that be correct?  The events that are referred to in this

 2    questionnaire, it appears, if you look at number 9, you were asked about

 3    being a witness to any particular war crime or wrongdoing.  Now, today, in

 4    your direct evidence, you listed a number of things that might qualify.  I

 5    note that the sole item mentioned here was that you were present for a

 6    telephone conversation of commander Ilija Nakic of the HVO and someone

 7    named Cuskic.  Is that the only crime you wished to bring to the attention

 8    of the European Union monitors?

 9       A.   My initial task here was to say what I experienced and what I

10    saw.  And this was referring to the crimes in Brajkovici parish in the

11    village of Miletici, where five civilians were massacred, killed, ethnic

12    Croats, and some of them were Jehovah's Witnesses, who were not permitted

13    to carry weapons, so they were civilians in absolute terms.  And Cuskic

14    was general of ABiH at that time.

15       Q.   When you were asked about the specific nationality or identity of

16    the perpetrator, you listed Alagic, commander of the 3rd Corps, from

17    Zenica.  Is that the only perpetrator you were able to identify, the

18    actual commander?

19       A.   I had said that he was the 3rd Corps commander, under whose

20    command these soldiers committed this crime.

21       Q.   In the interests of time -- we will be breaking in a few moments,

22    I believe, but the crime, the location you're talking about is Guca Gora,

23    and you were talking about -- was it Brajkovici, earlier?  I believe you

24    said Brajkovici.  Is this the same crime?  Are you suggesting -- are you

25    linking Alagic with the crime in Guca Gora or in Brajkovici, or can you

Page 22019

 1    please explain before we take a break.

 2       A.   I'm not linking Alagic or anyone with the crime in Guca Gora.  The

 3    crime in Guca Gora happened on 8 June, when six parishioners, Catholics,

 4    were killed.  And what is referred to in here is the event which I have

 5    heard took place in the village of Miletici.  This commander informed

 6    Ilija Nakic that these civilians were killed in Miletici, in the

 7    Brajkovici parish, which borders on the Guca Gora parish and is only

 8    separated from it by the River Bila.

 9            JUDGE MAY:  Ms. Somers, the time is now five past eleven.  If

10    that's convenient.

11            MS. SOMERS:  It is convenient.

12            JUDGE MAY:  We're going to adjourn now, Mr. Neimarevic.  Please

13    remember not to speak to anybody during any adjournments until your

14    evidence is over about it, and that includes members of the Defence team.

15    We'll adjourn now until twenty-five to twelve.

16                          --- Recess taken at 11.05 a.m.

17                          --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.

18            MS. SOMERS:

19       Q.   Father Neimarevic, returning briefly to this questionnaire, your

20    answer in number 11, which is about the identity of the perpetrator, whom

21    you have identified as Alagic, does that refer to number 9, where you

22    indicated that you were a witness or a victim of some wrongdoing against

23    property, or does that refer to number 10?  Actually, I'm sorry.  Number 9

24    refers to the conversation and 10 refers to property.  To which does your

25    answer in number 11 refer?

Page 22020

 1       A.   Alagic was the -- commanded the 3rd Corps.  That is how I

 2    understood the question, that I had to answer who held the command in that

 3    area at that time and who were the men -- or rather who were the soldiers

 4    who had done that.  So I'm not saying that he was personally responsible,

 5    that he was the perpetrator himself, but only that those men were under

 6    his command.  That is why I cited him.

 7       Q.   So you have no personal knowledge of anything Alagic may or may

 8    not have done; is that correct?

 9       A.   And I can't have any such knowledge because I could not obtain

10    that information.  I was in Guca Gora.  And all that I heard I suppose you

11    can find it with Father Franjo Krizanac who buried the victims in

12    Brajkovici.

13       Q.   Well, who told you to put Alagic's name in this particular line in

14    the questionnaire?

15       A.   Nobody told me that, I merely said here that Alagic was the

16    commander of the 3rd Corps.

17       Q.   In order to make sure that we are clear on chains of command

18    within the church, I'd like to take just a moment, please, and ask you to

19    confirm the hierarchy.  Starting at the stop, the Pope would be over both

20    Franciscan and diocesan or diocese priests, is that correct, if we talk

21    about the two divisions of priests, the Franciscans and diocesans; is that

22    correct?

23       A.   I don't really know what you're driving at.  I don't know why that

24    question.  I simply don't understand.

25            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I think this goes far beyond what

Page 22021

 1    the witness testified.  This is an extension.  I don't really understand

 2    why does one have to go to all that.

 3            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Naumovski, it's for us to say whether it does or

 4    not now, not for you.  Yes, let's get through this quickly.

 5            MS. SOMERS:

 6       Q.   You are a Franciscan; is that correct?

 7       A.   Yes.

 8       Q.   One group of priests.  There is also a group, correct, called the

 9    diocese or diocesan priests; is that correct?

10       A.   Yes.

11       Q.   Above both the Franciscans and the diocesan or diocese priests,

12    there is the Pope, the Vatican, correct?  He is the head of both branches

13    of priesthood; correct?  You are subordinate to him.

14       A.   Yes.

15       Q.   Looking at the level of the chain of command in the Franciscans,

16    there is in Rome, is there not, a person or position called the general;

17    is that right?

18       A.   Yes, it is.

19       Q.   Then again, looking strictly at the Franciscans, there is,

20    subordinate to the general, the provincial, is that correct, the

21    provincial, let's say in Bosnia.

22       A.   Yes, that is correct.  Yes, it is.

23       Q.   Excuse me for interrupting.  Below the provincials are the friars

24    of which you are one; is that correct?

25       A.   Yes, it is.

Page 22022

 1       Q.   And you live in the monasteries and you are members of the various

 2    orders, is that a fair way of describing things?

 3       A.   Yes, it is a fair way to describe it.

 4       Q.   Looking on the other half of the equation, there is the diocese

 5    group of priests or diocesan who are also under the Pope, as you've

 6    indicated and they have, under the Pope, the archbishops or bishop; is

 7    that correct?

 8       A.   Yes, correct.

 9       Q.   And then below the bishop or archbishop level are the diocesan

10    priests, the regular priests who actually are out among the people; is

11    that correct?

12       A.   Yes, it is correct.

13       Q.   Are you able to articulate, to explain the divisions between the

14    Franciscans and the diocesan priests in Bosnia-Herzegovina over the issues

15    of independence for Bosnia and over the existence of Herceg-Bosna?  Are

16    you familiar with those particular positions?  Before you answer and may I

17    add, and can you articulate about independence in Bosnia and HZ HB, can

18    you discuss also the positions of both the provincials on those issues.

19    It is a big order, but if we can break it down, that would be good.

20       A.   The positions of the Catholic church were that Bosnia was a state

21    and that Bosnia-Herzegovina should not be partitioned.  This is also the

22    position of the provincials and bishops.  What do priests think, what are

23    their positions, I really have no idea.  I did not talk about this because

24    I had neither the opportunity nor time and, after all, it is one's own

25    business.

Page 22023

 1       Q.   Are you involved in the very different positions between the

 2    Herzegovinian Franciscans and Bishop Peric over these issues, have you

 3    taken any position?

 4            JUDGE MAY:  Well, the first question is:  Do you know of any such

 5    division?

 6       A.   As far as I know, the divisions in Bosnia-Herzegovina are of a

 7    religious -- of a church nature; that is, they have nothing to do with

 8    one's attitude to Bosnia-Herzegovina.  There are some problems of the

 9    church and besides.  They are not new problems, they are problems which

10    date centuries back so I really don't understand the question.

11            MS. SOMERS:

12       Q.   Do you know what happened to Bishop Peric in 1996 when he tried to

13    keep the friars back in the monasteries because they were causing

14    political trouble?  Are you familiar with that incident?

15       A.   I'm familiar with the incident to a point but, I repeat, it has

16    nothing to do with politics.  It is an inside problem of the church, of

17    priests, the Franciscans and the bishop who is in Mostar.  It has nothing

18    to do with Bosnia or Mostar, it has to do with the church.

19       Q.   Then what was behind this particular incident which literally

20    almost resulted in the lynching of a priest, I'm sorry, of a bishop?

21       A.   I have just said it is a century-old problem.  The churches were

22    requesting that some parishes must be placed under the authority of a

23    bishop, that is, priest, but they are people who have lived under

24    Franciscans for centuries and they'd like their Franciscans to stay and

25    the bishop is not giving an affirmative answer to that.

Page 22024

 1            And as far as I know, I mean I wasn't there, the problem was that

 2    the people were indignant with a decision of the bishop and the lack of

 3    understanding on his part, and they wanted to, in a way, talk to, have a

 4    talk with the believers in order to find a solution to the problem faced

 5    by the bishopric and the Franciscan order.  So I repeat, it is a church

 6    problem.

 7            MS. SOMERS:  If the usher would please distribute Z1016.1.

 8       Q.   This is an article of which we have both the original and a

 9    translation.  What also has been provided hopefully is the summary from

10    FBIS, the date of the article is the 4th of June 1993 appearing in the

11    Zagreb paper Globus written by Davor Butkovic.  I would like to call your

12    attention to some of the issues that Mr. Butkovic raises and in

13    particular, this article talks about the very aggressive and what he

14    describes as disrespectful stance taken by Mate Boban toward the

15    archbishop then Cardinal Kuharic of Zagreb.

16            Are you familiar with the letter that was written under Mate

17    Boban's name sent to then Cardinal Kuharic on or about the 22nd of May

18    1993 which is the subject of this article?

19       A.   The 7th of May 1993, as you know, I was at Guca Gora and no paper

20    could reach us there.  All I heard was that that letter had been sent.

21    Who sent it, why?  Whether they really drew it up, they two as you say or

22    not, how can I know that?  One really has to see first to investigate who

23    wrote the letter, why he wrote it, did he really write it or is it just

24    the product of somebody's imagination?  I really don't know because I have

25    no idea.  I have no idea about this.

Page 22025

 1       Q.   I apologise.  I was hoping that the FBIS summary would also be

 2    distributed because it is easier to read from there, but I shall try to

 3    point out from the article points which I'd like to ask you about.

 4              Butkovic wrote that, "Boban's letter, political scandals that

 5    has happened since the downfall of communism.  About 15 days ago," which

 6    was 15 days from this writing, "Cardinal Kuharic made an appeal for peace

 7    in Bosnia-Herzegovina in which he criticised also Croats and their role in

 8    Croatian-Muslim clashes.  In his appeal he says that Croats in

 9    Bosnia-Herzegovina are as responsible for possible sanctions that may be

10    implemented against Croatia as they are responsible for the Croatian

11    Muslim clashes.  Nor does the appeal exclude the possibility that Bosnian

12    Croats are also responsible for war crimes."

13            Further in the article, what this letter -- well, then there is a

14    description of the letter that was written by Boban which will be a

15    separate exhibit.  But the response was that, "What this letter actually

16    signifies is a conflict between the political leader of the reportedly

17    most religious part of the Croatian people, that is, Herzegovina Croats,

18    and the supreme Croatian religious institution, that is, Cardinal

19    Kuharic.  According to Reverend Cvitanovic of Split, such a style of

20    address toward the clergy was practised only by dictatorships in Chile,

21    Hitler's Germany, and by leaders of the French and Mexican revolution."

22            The article continues with the text of the Boban letter, but it

23    goes on --

24            JUDGE MAY:  I think we can  read this actually, Ms. Somers.  Can

25    you show any light on these matters, and is it being suggested that this

Page 22026













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Page 22027

 1    goes in some way towards the credit of the witness, Ms. Somers?  Is this

 2    the point of this?

 3            MS. SOMERS:  Your Honour, I'm going to go towards the witness'

 4    orientation toward these matters, and I would like to know whether it is

 5    consistent of that of the church, the organised church, or whether there

 6    is a different approach taken.  And I think it's important that the Court

 7    see how the organised church, the highest institution, viewed this

 8    conflict.

 9            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, you nevertheless

10    realise that in this case we must now go to the heart of the problem of

11    the issue and not going around it, because we have made some progress for

12    the last year and a half.  Couldn't you ask the witness directly how does

13    he view all these different positions of the church?  Can't you do that

14    without feeling compelled to going round and round about these relations?

15    Why don't you ask him directly?  And I believe that you could do it with a

16    number of other issues, so that we focus on the things that are of concern

17    to us, without wasting any further time.  I believe that would be the

18    interests of the Judges in the case which is before us.

19            MS. SOMERS:  Your Honours, I certainly will try to cut to the

20    chase on this.  I will have to refer the Chamber to various positions

21    which are articulated in the articles.  Certainly the Bench has these

22    articles and can view them themselves, but I must bring to your attention

23    that there are portions in there that are quite critical.  Yes, of course,

24    Your Honour, Judge Bennouna, I will try to go more directly to it, but I

25    ask the Bench to consider seriously the content of these.

Page 22028

 1       Q.   A point which I would ask for your comment on is that not only is

 2    there aired a very serious rift, but it appears that there is mention of

 3    the position of the bishop of Sarajevo, Vinko Puljic, and a number of

 4    other important members of the Catholic Church.  The one last point on

 5    this particular article is that Butkovic has commented that Cardinal

 6    Kuharic has proved himself to be the first Croatian public person to

 7    respond to his historical responsibility.  No matter how unpopular this

 8    may sound, Kuharic was the first in Croatia to say directly that Croats

 9    are not innocent in the Muslim Croatian conflict.

10            I shall then ask you to please look at the letter itself, briefly,

11    of Mate Boban to the cardinal, which is Z985.2.  It is both in Croatian

12    and in English.  I apologise that we didn't have an opportunity for the

13    French, Your Honour.

14            The article which you have just seen of Butkovic's discusses this

15    particular letter.  And by the way, Butkovic described this letter as

16    Boban's suicide act, as it were, political suicide act.  The only points

17    that I will specially raise to you concern Boban's comments, where he

18    says:

19              "And I wonder what argument," meaning to the cardinal, "you have

20    at your disposal when you talk about Bosnia Herzegovina as a state in

21    which we should live, about a state that the world has recognised, which

22    is a member of the UN.  Beautiful.  What of substance do you have from

23    that state?  Is there a Bosnia, is a question philosophised upon by the

24    friars and priests who loiter around Zagreb salons and meet with the

25    president of their state of Bosnia.  Ask the priests and friars in Bosnia

Page 22029

 1    if there is a Bosnia.  There is.  There is.  There, where a Croat shed

 2    blood for her, bared his bones.  But once that which a blind man sees

 3    should be clear to all of you.  There is Bosnia, but the HVO defended her

 4    because it is also the land of Croats."  And briefly:  "And now you are

 5    grouping us in the same bag and calling for reconciliation and making

 6    accusations for possible --"

 7            THE INTERPRETER:  Can you please slow down.

 8            MS. SOMERS:  " -- for possible disobedience that will foil the

 9    plans of Croatia, your homeland.  And you can, exalted sir, do much more.

10    You can tell all journalists that Croatia has nothing to do with that.

11    One part of Croatia stayed in Bosnia, which does not concern Croatia,

12    although these two other nations want to erase what remains of the Croats

13    in Bosnia."  And then it goes on to say:  "They are practicing vengeance

14    and the Koran on what is left of the Croat nation in Bosnia."

15       Q.   My question to you, Father, is:  Is this the way one talks to an

16    archbishop or cardinal?

17            JUDGE MAY:  No, no.  Ms. Somers, can I ask you, please, to bring

18    this matter to a conclusion in a way which is relevant to the witness.  If

19    the Prosecution want to establish that the church or the Franciscans were

20    in some way biased, and that seems to be what you're driving at, it can be

21    put very shortly to this witness; and then if you wish to call evidence in

22    rebuttal, you can.

23            Now, Mr. Neimarevic, have you seen this letter before?

24       A.   I have never seen this letter before.

25            JUDGE MAY:  Very well.  Can you comment in this respect:  Does it

Page 22030

 1    represent at all your views?

 2       A.   This letter was written at a time of war.  I have no idea what

 3    went on between Zagreb and Grude.  I was fighting for survival of myself

 4    and the people that I cared for.  Now, here the issue is whether we were

 5    going to fight for the territory or something else.  I told to my

 6    provincial in 1993 in Zagreb:  I am not at all interested in what size the

 7    territory inhabited by the Croats will be; I'm only interested in how to

 8    protect human lives.  That was my only concern while I stayed in Guca Gora

 9    and in Bosnia, and it remains to date.

10            JUDGE MAY:  Was there any bias on the part of the Franciscans

11    against the Muslims?

12       A.   It depended on where people were.  If people were massacred or

13    people were driven out, I wonder how you would have felt.  I don't think

14    that it was hate.

15            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] But the question that the

16    President asked you was not that one, and it will help us to move on much

17    faster.  Mr. Neimarevic, the question was whether your hierarchy, that is,

18    the Franciscans, did you receive any instructions to take any position

19    whatsoever about the conflict which was taking place before your eyes?

20    That was the question:  Whether your superiors, the Franciscan

21    authorities, asked you to commit yourself in one or the other sense, and

22    whether there is a position that was taken by the Franciscans that was

23    recommended by your superiors.

24       A.   A way to answer this question is as follows:  We had no contacts

25    with our provincial, provincial's office, or the cardinal.  We were left

Page 22031

 1    alone to fend for ourselves in the field.  And in 1993 I can give you an

 2    example.  I met with a cardinal and there was no communication with

 3    Travnik.  And he said, "Whatever happens, you do on your own.  As a

 4    guardian, you deal with the sacraments, with the rights, the best you

 5    can."  And this may have been one of the big problems, because had the

 6    church leaders met before the war, had they issued some instructions to

 7    everyone what the rules of behaviour should be, the affairs in Bosnia and

 8    Herzegovina may have taken a different turn.  Myself and others who had to

 9    leave under fire when our lives were endangered, which is the most

10    precious thing that one has, I wonder how things would have turned out.

11            JUDGE MAY:  I think we'll move on now.

12            MS. SOMERS:  Yes.  And thank you very much for anticipating some

13    of the my questions.  I did want to make a distinction that the

14    Prosecution has never taken the position that all Franciscans had a bias.

15    There are definite schisms.

16            Very quickly, just to bring to your and the Court's attention.

17    The various positions -- yes.  Just to bring to your attention for reading

18    at whatever point in time:  Z1476.5, Z1473.6, Z1473.7, and Z1471.7.  Those

19    four articles will have a short point in each.

20            THE INTERPRETER:  Can you specify which paragraph you will be

21    quoting?

22            MS. SOMERS:  I will.  Although there is a span of dates, I would

23    like --

24            JUDGE MAY:  Let me see the documents, please.  Let us see.  Now,

25    this is apparently an article, and if you would -- dated 1997.

Page 22032

 1            MS. SOMERS:  Your Honour, Judge May, which particular number are

 2    you reading?

 3            JUDGE MAY:  Well, I've got 1476.5.  Let's have them all.

 4            MS. SOMERS:  Okay.  Yes.  1476.5.

 5            JUDGE MAY:  Now, I have now 1471.7, 1473.6, 1473.7, and 1476.5.

 6    Now, is there anything more that we should have?

 7            MS. SOMERS:  No.  These are the articles, Your Honour.

 8            JUDGE MAY:  Now, Ms. Somers, what is -- we won't go through them.

 9    I just want to know, first of all, what the purpose is in putting these

10    documents in.  What do you say they show?

11            MS. SOMERS:  Thank you, Your Honour.  The purpose of 1476.5, which

12    is a 1997 article out of Oslobodenje, is to emphasise the position stated

13    by the Pope.  It says, in the middle of the page:  "This primarily refers

14    to the visit of the Holy Father to Sarajevo, during which he, once again,

15    unequivocally confirmed that the Catholic Church was a firm adversary of

16    the partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina on national and religious grounds, and

17    that it was striving for it to be whole."

18            That is the point of that particular article.

19            JUDGE MAY:  Let's see how it will relates to the witness.

20            Did you know about this, Mr. Neimarevic?

21       A.   I don't see it in the Croatian language, so I don't know what this

22    refers to.

23            JUDGE MAY:  We haven't got the time to go through all this.  Yes,

24    let's go to the next point.

25            MS. SOMERS:  Surely.  The next article -- actually, I'm sorry that

Page 22033

 1    there was a jump in the dates, but it would be 1476.6, and it is a rather

 2    late article, expressing concern --

 3            JUDGE ROBINSON:  Point 6?

 4            MS. SOMERS:  Yes, Your Honour.  If it was not given to you, it

 5    will have to be passed -- excuse me.  76.6.  Did I say that?  I'm terribly

 6    sorry.  I beg your pardon.  It was my error.  If we could move on to

 7    1471.7.  What is explained here, for the benefit of the Court, at whatever

 8    period of time it wishes to read it, is an explanation of the battle, as

 9    it were, the differences between the diocese and the orders:  the

10    Herzegovinian, Franciscan, and the Mostar diocese.  And it bears --

11            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers, the question, that

12    is, half an hour after, perhaps even three quarters of an hour later,

13    we're still dealing with the church structure, and we asked you to ask the

14    witness pertinent questions, relevant questions, which have to do with the

15    direct -- with his testimony in the direct examination.  So ask directly

16    the question of the witness in matters that concern him, because, after

17    all, we cannot really go through the structure of the church with this

18    witness, and I really think that we have to put an end to this at some

19    point.

20            MS. SOMERS:  I shall link it with specific questions.  The 1473.7

21    refers to a comment made by the witness, and I'd like to just highlight

22    it, that the Catholic church, this is Archbishop Puljic of Sarajevo

23    speaking that, "The Catholic church does not support any party.  We want

24    peace and justice to rule Bosnia".  And then he goes on to explain and he

25    said, the last sentence, "I know that some representatives of the Catholic

Page 22034

 1    church will call on citizens to vote for the Croatian Democratic Union,

 2    HDZ, but that is not the church's position in Bosnia," Cardinal Puljic

 3    stressed.

 4       Q.   Father, you had indicated that you had not had any political

 5    affiliation; is that correct?  At any time were you ever involved in any

 6    HDZ activity, albeit not a member?

 7       A.   When the democratic changes in Bosnia-Herzegovina started, we were

 8    all involved including the church.  We wanted Bosnia-Herzegovina to be

 9    constituted as a democratic state with a rule of law.  I supported that

10    wholeheartedly.  I wanted to see the changes take place so that finally,

11    democracy and freedom could also arrive in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

12            I personally was never a member of any party and obviously I

13    supported the representatives of Croat people in Bosnia-Herzegovina who

14    stated that they supported Bosnia-Herzegovina as an independent,

15    indivisible country with democracy and freedom.  This is always what I

16    supported.

17       Q.   Did you support the ideas of the HDZ in 1990?

18       A.   So far as I know, these were ideas shared by all patriots in

19    Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only the HDZ.  I was -- I always supported all

20    those HDZ SDA and all the others who were for one an indivisible

21    Bosnia-Herzegovina.

22       Q.   Did you support the creation of the Croatian Community of

23    Herceg-Bosna in 1991?

24       A.   I wasn't involved in the creation of Herceg-Bosna, I was not in a

25    position to do so.  I don't see who I am [as interpreted].  I see no

Page 22035













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Page 22036

 1    reason for this question.

 2       Q.   Did you support the creation of a separate Croat entity or state

 3    on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina which is what Herceg-Bosna was?

 4       A.   As far as I know, Herceg-Bosna was a community of Croat people.

 5    This was its purpose.  It was not a division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I

 6    saw the documents issued by -- it was always that Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 7            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Neimarevic, will you please

 8    try to answer the question that was asked?  Did you support Herceg-Bosna

 9    or didn't you?  You are not asked to explain to us what it is, but to

10    answer the question.  Did you support the Herceg-Bosnian project or not?

11       A.   The question, itself, is not very precise.  I --

12            JUDGE MAY:  Look, Mr. Neimarevic, you are an educated man.  You

13    know what Herceg-Bosna was.  Did you support its creation or not; yes or

14    no?  It is a simple question.

15       A.   It is simple, but also it is not simple.

16            JUDGE MAY:  No, no.  Yes or no.

17       A.   Yes.

18            MS. SOMERS:

19       Q.   Your answer or your comment in paragraph 7 of your summary talks

20    about pleading with the TO to join the HVO.  You went to Krpeljici, a

21    neighbouring village in Guca Gora, to plead with the TO to join the HVO on

22    the front lines against the BSA on Mount Vlasic.  Was that your role to

23    undertake a political military request?

24       A.   This is nothing with political and military issues.  We were

25    simply in a situation in fear that the front lines would be breached and

Page 22037

 1    that we would be all killed.  And out of fear that might happen together

 2    with several people from our villages and other villages, I went to ask

 3    for help, not only for them to go up there and fight, to help us evacuate

 4    people.  And so my goal was purely humanitarian, to help people in order

 5    to prevent the worst from happening.

 6       Q.   Who asked you to do that?

 7       A.   Several people from Stradinici, the neighbouring village, and from

 8    Guca Gora where I was the parish priest.

 9       Q.   And you indicate that, in the same paragraph, that the HVO

10    assisted the Muslims in Zenica by supplying them with arms.  How do you

11    know that?

12       A.   I know this very well because people talked about it.  Those who

13    were involved in it, those who transported the weapons and those who were

14    arming both sides.

15       Q.   Did you, yourself, see the HVO provide arms to the Muslims?  With

16    your own eyes, did you see that?

17       A.   No, I did not see it with my own eyes.

18       Q.   Father, you indicated that human life was your greatest concern.

19    I would like to ask you about two documents, Z306.4 and Z306.5, both in

20    Croatian and in English.

21            First, looking at 306.4 if you have it, this is a document

22    dated -- it's a letter, a request under your name dated 8th of December,

23    1992 addressed to the HVO municipal government in Travnik.  Do you

24    recognise this document?

25       A.   Yes, I wrote this document.

Page 22038

 1       Q.   Now, the allegations of atrocities to which you referred in your

 2    direct evidence were in June of 1993.  This letter is at the end of 1992.

 3    This letter is some six months after an agreement reached between the

 4    Serbs and the Croats about ending their own hostilities.

 5            Can you explain, please, what did you know, if anything, in

 6    December 1992 that made you at that point want to move valuables from your

 7    monastery to Zagreb.  Did you have some information about coming events?

 8       A.   Your Honours should know the following:  That the Guca Gora

 9    monastery was an object of attacks several times at the end of World War

10    II, was only the latest of the incidents before this and, at that time,

11    everything was burned.  Friar Blazevic was then the director of Caritas in

12    Split and through him, the -- a notice came that it would be very good

13    that all objects of art and other valuables from the monastery be moved so

14    that they would not be destroyed if anything happened.

15            At that time, we were under -- within the range of the Serbian

16    artillery so a shell could have reached the monastery and set it on fire.

17    There was no thinking at that time about the conflict between Croats and

18    Muslims.  So in order to avert the tragedy such as happened in 1945, this

19    was done as a prevention.

20       Q.   Why, at that point in time, when there was no conflict between the

21    Serbs and Croats?  Why not earlier in 1991 or early 1992?  When did you

22    get the request from Split?

23       A.   Immediately before we asked for a truck, I received these

24    instructions from the provincial and this was my task.

25            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Neimarevic, you referred to or you refer to

Page 22039

 1    yourself in this document as "the guardian".  Was that the guardian of the

 2    monastery?

 3       A.   Yes.

 4            JUDGE MAY:  And what did that involve, that position?

 5       A.   The title implied that I was the head of seven parishes that were

 6    part of the Franciscan system, that was Zenica, Ovcarevo, Guca Gora, and

 7    four others and I was -- I organised work in these parishes, and I was

 8    coordinating all the activities of all the parish priests and also among

 9    the -- all the friars who were there in that area.

10            JUDGE MAY:  Thank you.

11            MS. SOMERS:

12       Q.   And Z306.5 indicates the response by Zeljko Pervan of the HVO to

13    your request providing driver, truck, et cetera.  Were the items, in fact,

14    moved out?

15       A.   These valuables were all transferred within several days.

16       Q.   Can you describe what types of items, generically were moved out?

17       A.   Mostly objects of art, paintings, old books, perhaps old

18    documents.  Friar Franjo Krizanac, the current guardian, I think, has an

19    inventory of all the items that were moved out and eventually returned to

20    the Guca Gora monastery.  We had to list everything that we were

21    transporting so that when we reached the border of Croatia, we would not

22    have any problems.  Also we hoped that we would be able to bring them

23    back.  So we wanted all these, thanks to the provincial and myself and

24    other things, and thank God they were all safely returned to the

25    monastery.

Page 22040

 1       Q.   Just to confirm, at that time, your provincial was Fra Petar

 2    Andzelovic at that time; is that correct?

 3       A.   Yes, that is correct.

 4       Q.   When did you first meet Dario Kordic?

 5       A.   I don't recall the date, but I believe I met him sometime when the

 6    democratic changes started, perhaps a little bit after the first elections

 7    we met, and it was just a regular meeting of two persons.

 8       Q.   And how often did you have contact with Dario Kordic from the

 9    point when you first met him until the time -- actually until today?

10       A.   Well, all in all, perhaps about ten times.

11       Q.   Can you describe, please, the nature of the contact you had with

12    him?  Were you his priest, his actual religious figure to whom he -- with

13    whom he had a religious relationship?

14       A.   Dario was in Busovaca and I was at Guca Gora, and we met, we would

15    either -- happened to be in the same place; that is, we would go for a

16    visit or somewhere.  It would be -- we would just see one another

17    unofficially or perhaps Dario came to the monastery once or twice, dropped

18    by with some friends.  We also met at Nova Bila and perhaps once in

19    Zagreb.

20       Q.   Did Dario Kordic consult with you about how to make the territory

21    of Herceg-Bosna more Catholic?

22       A.   That was not the subject of our conversations.  We met like all

23    the other people; we just meet and talk about things that bother us

24    personally.  So I could call it, quite honestly, a personal, a private

25    contact.  And as for plans of any kind, you need to know that such plans,

Page 22041

 1    even if they were drawn up somewhere, they were not our plans.  And after

 2    all, nobody asked us what to do.

 3       Q.   Would you explain, when you say "our" and "us," to whom are you

 4    referring?

 5       A.   I mean myself.  I mean other friars that I worked with.

 6            MS. SOMERS:  May I ask to recall Z321, please.

 7       Q.   Father, the Chamber has seen this document previously, but I

 8    wonder if you could comment, please, on certain aspects of this order

 9    which was issued by Dario Kordic and Ignac Kostroman on 16 December 1992,

10    shortly after you had the items moved from your monastery.  In particular,

11    the notion of global Croatian policy.  Were you informed about the

12    existence of global Croatian policy?  Did that theme ever come up between

13    you and Mr. Kordic personally?

14       A.   This is the first time I see that, so no.

15       Q.   Do you know which one person was appointed?  In paragraph 1, it

16    says:  "To appoint one person to be in charge of cooperation with

17    religious communities of a true Catholic orientation, which will be

18    carrying out global Croatian policy."  Do you know, in Travnik, who that

19    person would have been?

20       A.   I really haven't the slightest.  I don't know.

21       Q.   The point in paragraph 3 about "the urgency of initiating a

22    large-scale operation for the erection and placing of religious symbols

23    and monuments (crosses and statues) in populated areas, at crossroads,

24    along roadsides, in shops, in order to revive the Catholic religion deeply

25    rooted in every Croat," were you consulted about this; and if not, if this

Page 22042

 1    the first time you have learned about this, can you comment on the impact

 2    this would have been on the non-Catholics who were living in a very mixed

 3    municipality, Travnik?

 4       A.   This is the first time I see this, and I haven't even noticed that

 5    any of this has come true.  How we would respond?  Well, I suppose there

 6    could have been also some adverse reactions.  Perhaps somebody may ask,

 7    "Well, why here?"  But I don't know.  I mean, I can make guesses, at

 8    best, what and how, but as I say, this is the first time I see this.

 9       Q.   Well, though we don't like to deal in guesses, you, as a religious

10    man who lived in a mixed municipality, what would be your guess about the

11    reaction, should this order have been implemented?  How would the Muslims

12    and perhaps the Orthodox individuals have reacted?

13       A.   This is a hypothetical question.  I do believe there would have

14    been some adverse reactions, which is natural and logical.  What kind of

15    reaction, I can't say that, because I don't have experience of that kind.

16       Q.   Were you in Travnik on the 8th of April, 1993?

17       A.   8th of April, that is very close to Easter.  I think I was in

18    Travnik.  Whether it was that day, I don't know, because, you know, dates

19    with me ...

20       Q.   Are you familiar with an incident that occurred in Travnik,

21    actually an incident involving some violence, that followed the removal of

22    Croatian flags in Travnik?

23       A.   I wasn't in Travnik that day.  I was before those incidents in

24    Travnik.  So what happened, I heard about that afterwards from people who

25    were victimised in that incident.  I learnt subsequently that there had

Page 22043

 1    been a clash between the BH army and the HVO.  I do not know if it is

 2    true, but I heard that two members of the BH army were killed on that

 3    occasion.  And I've already said that the principal observer of the

 4    European Union, who was in Travnik at that time, said the burning of

 5    flags, the Muslim people would pay dearly, because it shouldn't have

 6    happened, because that looked like an open introduction to the conflict.

 7       Q.   Two questions:  Who was the monitor from the European Community,

 8    if you know, if you remember?

 9       A.   I'm not very good with both names and dates, so I really don't

10    know what his name was.  But I think it can be checked quite easily,

11    because you surely must have documents of the European Union and the

12    United Nations who will know who was there at that place, at that time,

13    what he saw, what he went through.  And I presume he remembered what he

14    said, because I heard it from people who were victimised, who were

15    physically harassed, who suffered major trauma.  You can ask about that,

16    if you wish, Anto Samilinic [phoen] or Friar Vujanovic.  They were those

17    people who were met in Travnik and who were attacked.

18       Q.   Then you personally did not hear a European Community monitor say

19    this.  Someone told you a monitor said that; is that correct?

20       A.   Yes, that's it.

21       Q.   The second question concerns why there was a Croat flag, to begin

22    with, raised in Travnik, if you know, as it was part of Bosnia and

23    Herzegovina and there were a number, a significant number, of Muslims

24    living in Travnik.  What was the purpose of the Croat flag?  Did you see

25    any provocation in raising that flag?

Page 22044













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14   French and English transcripts.












Page 22045

 1       A.   One must distinguish between the Croatian flag, if you mean the

 2    state, or the Croat people.  In Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croat people has a

 3    flag which is different from the Croatian flag, the flag of the Republic

 4    of Croatia.  And in Travnik we did not -- people did not hoist the flag of

 5    the State of Croatia but the flag of the Croat people in

 6    Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Just as the Muslims had their own emblems which were

 7    also hoisted, so the Croats have their own, and I see nothing bad, nothing

 8    terrible about it.  Quite the contrary; not many people were bothered by

 9    this, of course, if they were properly oriented.  Because why should they

10    be bothered by somebody's sign or anything?

11       Q.   If you can very briefly indicate the difference between the two

12    flags, that of the Croat people and that of Croatia, that you referred

13    to.  If you can do it in just a few words, I'd be grateful.

14       A.   Well, the flags are similar except that the flag of the Croat

15    people in Bosnia-Herzegovina has in the Croat coat of arms a mark which

16    dates back to the Middle Ages, whereas above the coat of arms on the

17    Croatian flag, there are coats of arms of districts in Croatia.

18       Q.   And was there any inclusion -- excuse me.  Strike that question.

19    Either flag did not contemplate the Muslims; is that correct?  One was

20    either of the Croatian people or of the Croatian Republic, but neither

21    contemplated the Muslims as an ethnic group.  Would that be fair to say?

22       A.   I should add here:  There were also Muslims who felt as Croats and

23    saw it as their own flag.  But there were also those who [indiscernible]

24    Serbs, that is, Muslims, and perhaps they were not happy with that flag.

25    But then the question can be asked:  And what was the -- how did the

Page 22046

 1    Croats see Muslim emblems?  That is also a possible question, so that I

 2    don't know.

 3       Q.   In your outline you had one line that I didn't catch on your

 4    testimony, the last line of 15, when you're discussing Dolac and fleeing

 5    to the Guca Gora monastery.  Your outline indicates some HVO soldiers also

 6    took shelter in the monastery.  Now, I didn't catch that in your

 7    testimony.  Is that true?  Did some HVO soldiers also take shelter in the

 8    Guca Gora monastery?  It's the last sentence of your point 15 in the

 9    summary which you yourself wrote.

10       A.   That is not in Dolac.  That was in Guca Gora, when Guca Gora

11    fell.  And they found shelter.  Because we had already left the monastery,

12    so they found shelter in the monastery; and UNPROFOR, which entered the

13    monastery, they ordered them to take off their military uniforms and to

14    wear civilian uniforms they took from us in the monastery so that they

15    could be transferred to Nova Bila, because otherwise they refused to

16    evacuate them.  So I'm saying that they found shelter in the Guca Gora

17    monastery, and I do not know what happened at Dolac, whether any military

18    entered the church or not.

19       Q.   In Guca Gora, before UNPROFOR was willing to remove these HVO

20    soldiers, did they also disarm them?

21       A.   Yes, naturally.  Since he wanted them to wear civilian clothes,

22    that means that he disarmed them.

23       Q.   Moving toward the final points.  In April of 1993, on the 16th,

24    there was a well-known incident at Ahmici.  Are you familiar with the

25    incident at Ahmici?

Page 22047

 1       A.   As for my knowing about the incident, I really did not know

 2    anything about the incident until I arrived at Nova Bila as a displaced

 3    person, so that I really know nothing about the incident.

 4       Q.   And when was your arrival in Nova Bila as a displaced person?

 5       A.   8th of June 1993, sometime around noon.

 6       Q.   And nothing at all was said in the Travnik municipality about what

 7    happened in an almost neighbouring municipality of Vitez?  You heard that

 8    from no one?

 9       A.   I was practically completely encircled and we did not receive

10    information about what had happened in Ahmici, neither I nor my colleague

11    knew anything about that because nobody told us anything about that.

12       Q.   Your last paragraph of your summary expresses your point of view

13    that the conflict between the Croats and the Muslims was over territorial

14    losses inflicted upon the Muslims by the Serbs.  There has been a large

15    amount of -- a reasonable amount of testimony in this Court that it was

16    agreements between Croat and Serb leaders, be they Tudjman and Milosevic,

17    or Karadzic and Boban, as well as the creation of Herceg-Bosna that was

18    the source of the conflict.

19            Do you agree with those positions unrelated to Muslim losses but

20    having different roots?

21       A.   As far as I know, the creation of Herceg-Bosna was not the

22    immediate cause for the conflict between Croats and Muslims.  Herceg-Bosna

23    existed -- through the territory of Herceg-Bosna, convoys with medicines,

24    food and the rest went through for the population of the rest of Bosnia

25    but Muslim and Croat.  The general conviction of people who witnessed all

Page 22048

 1    those incidents and their conclusion is which I embraced is that it wasn't

 2    only the Croats who spoke, even if they did speak about the partition of

 3    Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbs and Muslims equally spoke about that.

 4            So that one cannot accuse any one people of being the only one

 5    aspiring to the partitioning of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And I do not see and

 6    personally think, as I said in a part of my statement, that the large

 7    number of refugees arrived in Central Bosnia and that the ethnic balance

 8    was disrupted, and that that could have been one of the chief reasons or

 9    causes for the division or rather the conflict between the Croats and

10    Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Because you must know that at the

11    beginning, we watched with sympathy the arrival of soldiers of

12    Bosnia-Herzegovina who fought together around Kotor Varos and so on and

13    that they would join in the Croats in the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

14    Unfortunately, this did not prove true.

15            Also, I was being assured by my Muslim friends that the Mujahedin

16    had come basically to face the Serb army, that is, to go to defend Central

17    Bosnia and so on so forth, to go to the front line there.  But then again,

18    this was not true as it turned out, and I am really sorry that it did not

19    happen.

20       Q.   And if I understand correctly, your position is that the Muslims

21    essentially or the army of BiH did not join the Croats in defending the

22    territory of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?

23       A.   To begin with, even those who rose to defend Bosnia-Herzegovina,

24    and they were the Croats, those who established the HVO.  After that, the

25    army of Bosnian -- no, rather the TO was first formed or before that there

Page 22049

 1    was another military formation, no, I don't know what it was called.  Then

 2    TO, and then the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.  And in the beginning, from

 3    what one could still see on television or hear on the radio, both armies

 4    were lawful and they were to protect Bosnia-Herzegovina.

 5            However, since the political negotiations conducted later on also

 6    gave rise to some other issues within the community and also practically

 7    the loss of power in Bosnia-Herzegovina, all gradually resulted in the

 8    growing lack of -- the growing mistrust in -- among the troops and the

 9    situation there.  That is how I see it.

10            MS. SOMERS:  No further questions, thank you.

11            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, very briefly.

12                          Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:

13       Q.   Mr. Neimarevic, you were asked about a number of questions

14    concerning the church and so on and so forth.  So my question is:  Did you

15    come here to testify about what you experienced in the municipality of

16    Travnik or for some other reason?

17       A.   Well, why I came here was to present what I saw as a witness to

18    those events, what I went through, what I heard.  That is, in a word to

19    portray the situation that we were living in during those events, that is,

20    before, during and immediately after the conflict.

21       Q.   I have before me the Exhibit Z1465.7 that was the questionnaire

22    that you filled and in this questionnaire, I guess you expressed your

23    readiness to testify if you were invited to do so, and it says explicitly

24    in item 13 where you say explicitly that you are ready to make a statement

25    to the Tribunal; is that correct?

Page 22050

 1       A.   It is.

 2       Q.   And did anyone from the Tribunal communicate with you on the basis

 3    following the questionnaire that you filled in?

 4       A.   No.

 5       Q.   Thank you.  The other two documents that were shown are Z306.4 and

 6    306.5, having to do with the transportation of the objects of value from

 7    the your monastery, but the Prosecutor laid out a wrong context because

 8    she persisted in a mistake, and I will now redress that.  Will you agree

 9    with me that in November, the town of Jajce fell after fierce fighting,

10    that is, in November 1992?

11       A.   Yes, the town of Jajce fell.

12       Q.   And after Jajce fell, did the Serb troops, that is, the JNA and

13    the army of Bosnian Serbs, did they continue with fierce fighting

14    advancing on Travnik?

15       A.   Yes, there was fierce fighting on Vlasic, in Goles, shells were

16    falling all -- over all the parts of the Lasva Valley; Travnik, Turbe, all

17    of the parish of Ovcarevo, then Vitez, Zenica, Busovaca, that is,

18    everything was already involved in fighting.

19       Q.   Right.  So at the time when you wrote this application, this

20    request to be allowed to move those valuables, and that was December 1992,

21    where -- was the fierce fighting going on at the time or as the Prosecutor

22    said, there had been a truce for six months between Serbs on one side and

23    Croats and Muslims on the other?

24       A.   No, there was no truce.  There were some lulls from time to time,

25    I don't know why.  Perhaps they were moving their forces perhaps to some

Page 22051

 1    other areas or what, I don't know that, but what happened then was that

 2    we, that is my provincial, concluded that it would be wise to remove those

 3    valuables, and had to be done a few months before that or a year before

 4    that, I would have done the same thing.

 5       Q.   Yes, very well, we are talking about that context.  Let us

 6    conclude.  Was that a time of violent attacks of the army of Bosnian Serbs

 7    on the municipality of Travnik?

 8       A.   Yes.

 9       Q.   There was also talk about the flag of the Croat people and you

10    explained that it was a historical coat of arms.  No, the question was

11    whether the Croatian flag, the Croat flag with this historical coat of

12    arms includes Muslims and you answered yes.  Now, my question is:  Was the

13    flag that was used by Muslims also include Croat symbols and Croats?

14       A.   The Muslim or the Croat flag?

15       Q.   The Muslim flag.

16       A.   No, naturally, except their own people.

17       Q.   Very well, thank you.  So it is not an issue then, the Court has

18    already heard that everybody used their own flag; that is, every people

19    had their own historical flag; is that so?

20       A.   Yes, it is.

21            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] That would be all, thank you, Mr.

22    Neimarevic.  Thank you, Your Honours.

23            JUDGE MAY:  That will be a convenient moment.

24            Mr. Neimarevic, thank you for coming to the International Tribunal

25    to give your evidence.  It's now concluded and you are free to go.

Page 22052

 1            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 2            JUDGE MAY:  We'll adjourn now until the usual time, half past

 3    two.

 4                          [The witness withdrew]

 5                          --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.





















Page 22053













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14   French and English transcripts.












Page 22054

 1                          --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.

 2            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, Mr. Nice.

 3            MR. NICE:  Just before the next two witnesses are called, each of

 4    them bearing the same surname but the first one being the young woman, a

 5    couple of things about them.

 6            The young woman witness, who apparently is 70 per cent disabled,

 7    was originally listed for the end of the week and we'd been going to raise

 8    a position about her yesterday had we not then been told that she was

 9    accelerated up the list.  Her evidence is of, at most, limited or

10    tangential relevance, it may be thought, but of course in accordance with

11    my usual policy, where the Defence want to adduce evidence of what Muslims

12    have done to Croats, I don't seek to object to it myself, in fear of it

13    being suggested that we're to be in some way partisan, which of course

14    we're not.  So it's a matter for the Chamber whether it's got any

15    evidential value.  But more concerning -- I'm probably going too fast.

16    More concerning is the fact that the statement is the sort that I would

17    probably have been in a position to agree had it been served earlier, and

18    her entire attendance here could have been avoided.

19            The position is that the incident of which she speaks is listed

20    for inquiry in the Tribunal.  There's no English language material

21    available to me at the moment confirming her account.  There is some

22    material yet to be translated.  And indeed, she is listed, on the basis of

23    that material, as a potential witness, so that both the incident itself

24    and she, as a potential witness, will be dealt with in due course.

25            That, I think, makes the last paragraph of this summary, which

Page 22055

 1    reflects something that was touched on by the last witness as well,

 2    unfortunate.  I don't know where the idea for these paragraphs come from.

 3    There's plainly the suggestion that in some way the Prosecutor's office

 4    has failed in failing to contact this young woman, and it's unfair to

 5    raise that.  I'm not concerned about the unfairness that it raises with

 6    the Tribunal, because I can always put that right.  But if, in the young

 7    and handicapped woman, the idea is fostered that in some way there's been

 8    an intentional overlooking of her concerns and her history, it's quite

 9    wrong and it's unwise to do this.

10            So I almost certainly won't challenge her evidence if the Chamber

11    decides that it's admissible and likely to help it.  I probably won't ask

12    her any questions, and I can only regret that she will have been compelled

13    to come here despite her handicap.  The Chamber will recall that I raised

14    with the Defence in our case the business of agreeing witness statements

15    and I invited them to agree all witness statements.  Of course, none was

16    agreed.  Wherever, as a consequence, we had to call evidence from people

17    who had terrible stories to tell, we dealt with them as compactly as we

18    possibly could, because it can't be good simply to trawl over these awful

19    events when it's avoidable.

20            As to the second witness, the man, because of the reordering of

21    witnesses this week, I won't be in a position, I'm afraid, properly to

22    cross-examine him or really to cross-examine him at all this week.  It may

23    be that overall the evidence will just about reach till 4.00, but if it

24    falls by any degree short, I would ask your indulgence to allow me to

25    cross-examine him tomorrow.

Page 22056

 1            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, Mr. Sayers.  What is said here is the witness,

 2    first witness, could have been agreed.

 3            MR. SAYERS:  Perhaps so, Your Honour, but the witness that we're

 4    talking about, Ms. Marijana Vidovic, did not arrive until Friday, and we

 5    had this reviewed, checked, this statement that she signed, reviewed,

 6    checked, and supplied to the Prosecution as soon as it was available.  So

 7    I don't know what more we could have done.

 8            JUDGE MAY:  Possibly got a statement from her in Bosnia, got the

 9    statement there rather than having it --

10            MR. SAYERS:  All things are possible, Mr. President.  Possibly we

11    could have, but the point is we --

12            JUDGE MAY:  No.  Look, before you call a witness -- I'm surprised

13    at the practice here.  It seems to be that people don't get statements

14    from the witness in the locality which they're in.  But perhaps in future,

15    if you have a witness like this -- of course, we're coming to the end of

16    your case, but if you did, if you got a statement in Bosnia, you could

17    have served it on the Prosecution and they could have agreed to it.

18    That's what we have in mind.

19            MR. SAYERS:  Yes, Mr. President, but we did not have a statement

20    from the witness other than an oral statement.  She had been interviewed

21    by Mr. Naumovski, not by any of us.  But I will point out, Your Honour,

22    that we did provide a summary of the anticipated testimony of this witness

23    back in March, so there's no surprise; the Prosecution has known precisely

24    what this witness was going to say.  And this witness does address some

25    matters of relevance that were raised by the Prosecution during their

Page 22057

 1    case.  I recall Witness Z and Colonel Williams gave testimony about the

 2    events that she covers.

 3                          [Trial Chamber confers]

 4            JUDGE MAY:  Well, I say this so that it's clear that in normal

 5    litigation, statements are taken from witnesses and, if necessary,

 6    disclosed to the other side.  I do not see why that is not possible to

 7    follow that practice in this Tribunal, particularly to save the attendance

 8    of a witness, a disabled witness, we are told, and also, of course, the

 9    costs.  So I advise the parties, all parties, that that is a practice that

10    should normally be followed.  We've considered the position but since the

11    witness is here, we will hear her.  But in future, if there are any other

12    witnesses like this, the statement should be taken earlier.

13                          [The witness entered court]

14            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, let the witness take the declaration.

15            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

16    the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

17            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, take a seat.

18                          WITNESS:  MARIJANA VIDOVIC

19                          [Witness answered through interpreter]

20            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, Mr. Sayers.

21            MR. SAYERS:  Thank you, Mr. President.

22                          Examined by Mr. Sayers:

23       Q.   Good afternoon, Ms. Vidovic.  Could you state your full name for

24    the Court, please?

25       A.   My name is Marijana Vidovic.

Page 22058

 1       Q.   Ms. Vidovic, I'm going to take you fairly quickly through the

 2    subject matter covered in the outline that you signed on the 2nd of July.

 3    You were born on February 2nd, 1981 in Zenica, I believe?

 4       A.   Yes.

 5       Q.   You are a Bosnian Croat by ethnicity and by nationality a citizen

 6    of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

 7       A.   Yes.

 8       Q.   I believe that you went to elementary school in Vitez and in June

 9    of 1999, last year, you graduated from secondary school in Vitez having

10    specialised in the subjects of economy and trade?

11       A.   Yes.

12       Q.   But you received part of your secondary education while you were

13    staying in Split which is in the Republic of Croatia for purposes of

14    receiving medical treatment as well?

15       A.   Yes.

16       Q.   And I believe that since December of last year, you've been

17    employed by the guard brigade at the HVO Draga Barracks in Busovaca and

18    that you now work there as a member of the support staff in the 3rd

19    Division of the army of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Vitez?

20       A.   Yes.

21       Q.   In September of 1993, Ms. Vidovic, I believe that you lived in a

22    small hamlet called Buhine Kuce along with your parents, Dragan and Ana

23    Vidovic, your older brother, Nedjeljko, and your younger brother Branislav

24    and also your grandparents lived with you?

25       A.   Yes.

Page 22059

 1       Q.   How many houses were there in Buhine Kuce, approximately?

 2       A.   About 40 houses.

 3       Q.   And what was the -- how many were owned by Croats and how many by

 4    Muslims?

 5       A.   30 houses owned by Croats and 10 owned by Muslims.

 6       Q.   All right.  In paragraphs four and five of your outline,

 7    Ms. Vidovic, you describe an incident that occurred on September 9, 1993,

 8    when your 14-year-old brother, Nedjeljko, was wounded outside of your

 9    house by a Muslim sniper.  Could you just tell the Court about that

10    incident in your own words, please?

11       A.   Nedjeljko came out in front of the family house and a sniper from

12    Sivrino Selo shot him in the stomach.

13       Q.   Were there many such sniping incidents in your village?

14       A.   Yes, there were.

15       Q.   Is it accurate to say that Muslim snipers from Sivrino Selo

16    operated daily during the civil war between the Muslims and the Croats in

17    your area from April of 1993 to April of 1994?

18       A.   Yes.

19       Q.   How many people in your village were wounded or killed by this

20    sniper fire?

21       A.   Those who were killed were killed in 1994, about 15 civilians all

22    together, wounded and shot dead.

23       Q.   Three people killed by snipers included Mirko Samija, Magdalena

24    Pranjkovic and Marko Buhic?

25       A.   Yes.

Page 22060

 1       Q.   In your outline you describe the treatment that your brother

 2    received, and I don't believe that it's necessary to go into that unless

 3    the Prosecution wants to ask you some questions about that.  Let me turn,

 4    Ms. Vidovic, if I may, to the attack on Buhine Kuce on January 9, 1994.  I

 5    believe that you were 12 years old at that time; is that right?

 6       A.   Yes.

 7       Q.   Did any of the -- or as far as you are aware, were there any

 8    weapons in your house just prior to this attack?

 9       A.   No, there were none.

10       Q.   All right.  I think you've already identified the people that were

11    staying in your house, but could you tell the Court what happened in the

12    early morning hours of January 9, 1994, please.

13       A.   On 9 January, 1994, around 4.20 a.m., the Muslims burst into the

14    Buhine Kuce and they killed my dad, my mother and they also wounded me and

15    my younger brother Branislav.

16       Q.   Did the attackers who launched the assault on your village yell

17    anything that you could hear?

18       A.   Yes.  When the gunfire started, my father first got out and he got

19    killed.  Then my mother and my younger brother came out.  My mother was

20    killed.  I saw this -- I was about a metre or so away.  There were

21    Mujahedins among them.  There were -- some others wore berets and had

22    stockings over their head.

23            I crossed the road with my younger brother and they trained their

24    weapons at me.  When they saw that I was wounded, they let us go.  Then we

25    went past Impregnacija, and we went to UNPROFOR.  I asked UNPROFOR soldier

Page 22061

 1    to help us, and when he trained his weapon at me, I moved on.  Later on,

 2    there was a man who we flagged him down, he picked us up and he took us

 3    with him, and from there I was transferred to the hospital and I stayed

 4    there for several days.

 5       Q.   All right.  So in -- is it true that in March of 1994, the bodies

 6    of your parents, uncle, cousin and of Ankica Grbavac and Mirko Safradin

 7    were found buried under snow next to a Muslim house?

 8       A.   Yes.  They were killed on 9 January, and after we were transferred

 9    to Split 15 days later, we never had a burial, and only months later they

10    were discovered on the snow, and after that they were properly buried.

11            MR. SAYERS:  Mr. President, we have a 15-second video that we

12    happened to come across by chance which, I believe, involves Ms. Vidovic.

13    She can identify some of the figures in there, and with the Court's

14    permission, we'd like to show it.  And we have a transcript of the

15    Croatian subtitles and the video and the text of the video is actually in

16    French.

17            And with the permission of the technical booth, I'd just like to

18    ask them to stop the tape at a couple of points so that Ms. Vidovic can

19    identify figures shown in it.

20                          [Videotape played]

21            THE INTERPRETER [Voiceover] ... thwarted by heavy artillery aiming

22    at [inaudible] by Muslim troops and offensives taking place and it is

23    being supported by heavy artillery.

24            MR. SAYERS:  Could you just rewind it a couple of feet, please.

25    Thank you.

Page 22062













13   Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the

14   French and English transcripts.












Page 22063

 1       A.   This here is my mother in red, this is by my house.

 2       Q.   There are two figures there, ma'am, and you are pointing to the

 3    right figure, the figure on the right?  The figure in red?

 4       A.   Yes, yes, wearing red clothes.

 5            THE INTERPRETER:  [Voiceover] They were probably trying to flee.

 6    The number of dead is unknown but at least 30 wounded were in hospital

 7    among children, the blue helmets deployed in the area did what they could

 8    in order to help the Croatian civilians who are victims of the Muslims

 9    here.

10            MR. SAYERS:

11       Q.   The videotape showed a hospital ward, ma'am, did you recognise any

12    of the figures in the hospital ward?

13       A.   Yes.  In the hospital it was my younger brother and I were in Nova

14    Bila in the hospital.

15       Q.   Just going to the last page of your outline, Ms. Vidovic.  It's

16    the case that in the ABiH attack on January 9th, 1994, that you lost your

17    father, mother, your uncle Mirko, and your cousin Drazen; is that correct?

18       A.   Yes.

19       Q.   And is it also accurate to say that everybody who lived in Buhine

20    Kuce was killed that day except your brother Branislav, you, and a man

21    named Anto Grbavac; his wife and 2-year-old child had earlier been killed

22    by ABiH troops?

23       A.   Yes.  Only we were all wounded, Anto and I both in the arm, and my

24    younger brother Branislav, and we are the only ones who survived that

25    day.  Everybody who remained back there was killed that day.

Page 22064

 1       Q.   I think you've already stated, ma'am, that a total of 15 civilians

 2    were killed that morning in your village.

 3       A.   Yes.

 4       Q.   All right.  Paragraph 12 of your outline describes the medical

 5    treatment that you received.  I don't think that it's necessary to go into

 6    it in any great detail, but it's accurate to say that you've had six

 7    operations on your right arm and shoulder in total, in three countries:

 8    Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and finally Germany?

 9       A.   Yes.

10       Q.   And you've been rated with a 70 per cent disability as a result of

11    the injuries, the gunshot wounds that you suffered on June [sic] 9th,

12    1994; is that right?

13       A.   Yes.

14            MR. SAYERS:  Thank you very much.  No further questions.

15            Could we have a number for the videotape, please.

16            THE REGISTRAR:  The number of the video is Exhibit D294A/1.  The

17    number of the transcript is 294A/1.

18            MR. SAYERS:  Just to correct one error in the transcript, Your

19    Honour.  At line 16 of page 72, the month "June" should read "January,"

20    January 9th, 1994.

21            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Kovacic.

22            MR. KOVACIC:  Thank you, sir.  No, we don't have any questions.

23                          Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:

24       Q.   Ms. Vidovic, I only have a couple of questions, and nothing of any

25    substance.  First, the little bit of film that we've seen, we've got a

Page 22065

 1    transcript of what apparently was on the film, although the transcript

 2    didn't come out very clearly.  But according to what we've been provided,

 3    the bit of film ended with the phrase, "British UNPROFOR troops in this

 4    region have done all they can to save the Croat people who are the victims

 5    of the Muslims."  It's a long time ago, but do you remember if that's

 6    right, that the British UNPROFOR troops did all they could?

 7       A.   I know that on the morning when my parents were killed, that they

 8    were nearby, and they could have come and they could have stopped them

 9    from killing them.  This videotape was made later, after they had been

10    shot; that is, they passed by afterwards, because this is -- this was shot

11    after they had been killed.

12       Q.   All right.  May I explain the position to you so that you can

13    understand.  But before I do, just this:  When did you see Mr. Naumovski,

14    the lawyer?  How long ago?

15       A.   In December 1999.

16       Q.   Thank you.  And did he provide you with a draft copy of the

17    summary that's been provided to us, signed on the 2nd of July?

18       A.   Yes.  This was signed on 2nd July and I have it with me.  I also

19    signed it.

20       Q.   Had he before the 2nd of July sent you a draft summary?

21       A.   No.  I signed it there and it was drafted here, after I arrived in

22    The Hague.

23       Q.   I think it was already drafted before you arrived in The Hague,

24    wasn't it, and it was waiting for your signature when you got here?

25       A.   No.  I told the attorney what had happened and then we put it

Page 22066

 1    together; we drafted it together.  And then after it was drafted, I signed

 2    it.

 3       Q.   It's a tiny point, but we were provided with a document which I

 4    think shows that your draft was already prepared before you arrived.  Is

 5    that not possible?

 6       A.   I arrived and we went through it together.  I told him

 7    everything.  Then they had it translated in the English language, in the

 8    Croatian language.  I read it through and signed it.  But I said all of

 9    this.  They did not write it without me.

10       Q.   And whose idea was it to put in the last paragraph that reads as

11    follows:  "Despite the dreadful things that happened to my family and to

12    me, no one from the Prosecutor's office has ever contacted or spoken to

13    me"?  Whose idea was that?

14       A.   Well, I had been here before, and I told about the situation and

15    what happened to my parents.  But afterwards nobody responded.  Nobody was

16    brought to answer for that.

17       Q.   When were you here before?

18       A.   I don't know the exact date, but this was less than two years ago

19    that I came to testify.

20       Q.   And was this for a defendant in a particular case?

21       A.   Yes.  I testified for General Blaskic.

22       Q.   Do you remember if you gave testimony in what's called closed

23    session, with the blinds pulled?

24       A.   I don't know that.  I cannot answer what I don't know.  It was

25    also in a courtroom, but ...

Page 22067

 1            MR. NICE:  Well, I can help you to this extent, if it does help

 2    you, that the incident at your village is indeed the subject of an inquiry

 3    and you are indeed listed as a potential witness.  And so if you want

 4    contact numbers of the people who would be interested in making contact

 5    with you in due course to be a witness, I can provide those for you, if

 6    that would help.

 7            Nothing else.  Thank you.

 8                          [Trial Chamber confers]

 9            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Nice, it may be helpful to the witness for

10    somebody from your side to speak to her to explain the position.

11            MR. NICE:  Indeed.  And Your Honour will understand how I'm taken

12    by surprise by what she says.  It's only explicable if indeed what I

13    suggested actually happened.  But yes, we'll speak to her.

14            MR. SAYERS:  No redirect, Your Honour, and no objection to the

15    Prosecution speaking with the witness, obviously.

16            JUDGE MAY:  Ms. Vidovic, that concludes your evidence.  Thank you

17    for coming to the International Tribunal to give it.  Now, somebody from

18    the Prosecutor's, if you would like to speak to them, will explain to you

19    the position about the inquiry that they're making about these events.

20    Perhaps you would like to have a word with them afterwards.  You're free

21    to go.

22                          [The witness withdrew]

23            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

24            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.  Before

25    the witness comes in, I should like to say that we ran into some

Page 22068

 1    difficulties this week too, and now we're in a position to communicate

 2    that our next witness, Mr. Pavao Vidovic, who is here in the Court, and I

 3    believe he will be here presently.

 4            The next witness will be Mr. Ivo Vilusic, who arrived late last

 5    night, but I think he will be ready to testify tomorrow morning.  After

 6    him, Mr. Kresimir Bozic will follow suit, and then Tvrtko Jelic as the

 7    last witness this week.

 8            Unfortunately, I must say that a witness who's been on our list

 9    for the past fortnight again had some problems, so that the application

10    for his visa was submitted only today, which means that he won't be able

11    to arrive this week; however, we were assured that he would arrive and be

12    ready on Monday.

13            So this would entail a change in our list for next week.  However,

14    I'm not quite sure whether I should give this name loudly in an open

15    session.  If we could, I'd like to go into private session for a moment,

16    just to give you the names.

17                          [Private session]

18    (redacted)

19    (redacted)

20    (redacted)

21    (redacted)

22    (redacted)

23    (redacted)

24    (redacted)

25    (redacted)

Page 22069

 1    (redacted)

 2    (redacted)

 3    (redacted)

 4    (redacted)

 5    (redacted)

 6    (redacted)

 7    (redacted)

 8    (redacted)

 9    (redacted)

10    (redacted)

11    (redacted)

12    (redacted)

13    (redacted)

14    (redacted)

15    (redacted)

16    (redacted)

17    (redacted)

18    (redacted)

19    (redacted)

20    (redacted)

21                          [The witness entered court]

22                          [Open session]

23            JUDGE MAY:  Yes.  Let the witness take the declaration.

24            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

25    the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Page 22070


 2                          [Witness answered through interpreter]

 3            JUDGE MAY:  If you'd like to take a seat.

 4            JUDGE MAY:  Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

 5            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

 6                          Examined by Mr. Naumovski:

 7       Q.   Mr. Vidovic, will you please tell the Court your name?

 8       A.   My name is Pavao Vidovic.

 9       Q.   Very well, let us briefly cover your particulars.  You were born

10    on the 22nd of October 1941 in the village of Radosevic, municipality of

11    Vares?

12       A.   Yes.

13       Q.   I have to ask you, Mr. Vidovic, to pause briefly after my

14    question, until my questions are interpreted into the working languages of

15    the Tribunal.  You are a Croat by ethnicity and you are a citizen of

16    Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that so?

17       A.   Yes.

18       Q.   You are married and a father of three?

19       A.   Yes.

20       Q.   Mr. Vidovic, you graduated from the faculty of architecture in

21    Sarajevo and you spent your life working as an architect.

22       A.   Yes.

23       Q.   In 1990, in the early days of the multiparty system in the former

24    Yugoslavia, you became a member of a local branch of the HDZ of

25    Bosnia-Herzegovina in Vares?

Page 22071













13   Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the

14   French and English transcripts.












Page 22072

 1       A.   Yes.

 2       Q.   In those first democratic elections which took place in November,

 3    1990, you were elected a councilman, that is a member of parliament, to

 4    put it in different words, in the municipal hall of Vares?

 5       A.   Yes.

 6       Q.   From spring 1992 until October or rather late October and early

 7    November, 1993 when you left Vares, you served as the vice-president of

 8    the Croat Defence Council in Vares?

 9       A.   Yes.

10       Q.   At first in 1992, you were responsible for the food supplies in

11    the municipality but in 1993, you were made responsible for communications

12    in the Vares enclave, if I may call it that way.

13       A.   Yes.

14       Q.   You -- Mr. Vidovic, left Vares with a majority of other Croats in

15    that municipality between the 2nd and 3rd of November, 1993?

16       A.   Yes.

17       Q.   Basically you were forced to leave your town and your

18    municipality; why was that?

19       A.   Because of the attack of the BH army units on the municipality of

20    Vares.

21       Q.   First, with some of your neighbours, with other Vares townsmen,

22    you went to the village of Dastansko, but on the 14th of December, 1993,

23    you went to Kiseljak and became a refugee, that is an expellee in

24    Kiseljak?

25       A.   Yes.

Page 22073

 1       Q.   And as such, you stayed in Kiseljak until the 7th of July, 1998

 2    when -- well, you returned to your native town, to Vares?

 3       A.   Yes, I returned to Vares on that date because on that date, I was

 4    once again accorded my pre-war place of residence.

 5       Q.   And while you lived in exile in Kiseljak on the 29th of December,

 6    1993, you were appointed deputy mayor of the municipality of Vares in

 7    exile?

 8       A.   Yes.

 9       Q.   And in 1996, so while still in exile, you were elected the

10    president of the Vares branch of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

11       A.   Yes.

12       Q.   And to round this off, until a few days ago, Mr. Vidovic, you were

13    the head of the municipality of Vares, that is, you and the Muslim

14    colleague rotated in that office every five months?

15       A.   Yes, over the past two and a half years.

16       Q.   Thank you.  Now, a few questions only about the situation in Vares

17    prior to July 1992.  Let me just tell you that the Court has already had

18    opportunity of hearing certain facts about Vares but tell us, please,

19    according to the census of 1991, could you tell the Court what was the

20    percentage of Croats, Muslims and Serbs in your municipality?

21       A.   In the municipality of Vares, the population was 22.203 and of

22    them, 40.1 -- 40.1 per cent were Croats, 30 per cent were Muslims, 17

23    [Realtime transcript read in error"70"] per cent were Serbs and the rest

24    were others.

25       Q.   17 per cent of Serbs, the transcript says 70.  17, did you say?

Page 22074

 1       A.   Yes, 17.

 2       Q.   Not counting --

 3       A.   Yes, yes, we don't count those others, that is 16.5.

 4       Q.   Very well, we can talk in approximate figures.  But tell us,

 5    please, about the situation in the town of Vares, which was an industrial

 6    town, there was members of all ethnic groups, there was a multiethnic town

 7    we could say?

 8       A.   Yes.

 9       Q.   However, the villages were completely separated, there were

10    Muslim, Croat or Serb villages?

11       A.   Yes, because the northern part was populated by Croats, the

12    eastern part by Serbs, and the southern part by Muslims.

13       Q.   While we are on the subject of Vares, after the first elections in

14    1991, an interesting situation developed.  That was perhaps the only

15    municipality in Bosnia where the Social Democratic Party, SDP won because

16    they won the majority of the elections, was that so?

17       A.   Yes.

18       Q.   But tell us, please, in the former Yugoslavia, Vares was an

19    important industrial centre yet in 1991 and 1992, Vares was going through

20    a major economic crisis; is that true?

21       A.   Yes.

22       Q.   And that had to do with the heavy industry which you had in that

23    area in the town of Vares?

24       A.   The industrial structure in the town of Vares was such that it

25    practically provided raw materials, production materials for other

Page 22075

 1    neighbouring processing, manufacturing industries.  That is, we had iron

 2    mines, forestry, forest logging.  We had the three mines before the war or

 3    mines in three places, and there was another zinc and lead mine.  But as

 4    it was all part of large businesses and large companies in the former

 5    Yugoslavia, when Yugoslavia began to fall apart, those large companies

 6    began also to burst at the seams so that the Vares economy lost all its

 7    support.

 8       Q.   Very well, thank you.  Just a general picture, we do not really

 9    have to give too many details about this.  Tell us, please, winter 1991,

10    1992, did it basically become very hard for you inhabitants of Vares

11    because of the collapse of heavy industry that you had?

12       A.   I can say that in early -- no, in late 1990, hardship began to be

13    felt, hard days began on Vares.  And in the end of 1991 there was nothing,

14    shops closed down because they simply had nothing to sell so that at that

15    time already, through HDZ and the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina we

16    began to receive aid in food so that the population could somehow survive

17    the winter of 1991, 1992.

18            We received this aid mostly from the Republic of Croatia or more

19    specifically Slavonski Brod where we had some acquaintances before from

20    Metkovic and Split, and also from municipalities in Bosnia-Herzegovina

21    which had the Croat majority.

22       Q.   And this food which was arriving in the town of Vares, was it

23    distributed or was it food for Croats only?

24       A.   We distributed food to everybody who was in need.  We had lists of

25    needy families of Serbs, Croats and Muslims, that is, so that at that

Page 22076

 1    time, nobody was ethnically isolated insofar as food relief was

 2    concerned.  That is, we distributed food to everybody who could not

 3    provide for his family through their regular salaries.

 4       Q.   And when, in April 1992, open hostilities broke out, that is, when

 5    the JNA and the army of Bosnian Serbs attacked both Croats and Muslims,

 6    you set up a joint command in Vares, a town command.  When I say "joint",

 7    I mean Muslims and Croats?

 8       A.   Yes.  We set up a joint Crisis Staff and began to organise defence

 9    and to that end, we set up the joint staff which brought together mostly

10    members of the formal Territorial Defence both of Croat and Muslim

11    ethnicity.

12       Q.   And the commander of a the joint command was a Croat?

13       A.   Yes, it was a Croat, Borivoj Malbasic.

14       Q.   At that time, you know and you indicated in paragraph 10 that the

15    army of Bosnian Serbs was getting weapons even by helicopter and you began

16    to be rather isolated from the rest of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I mean Vares as

17    a municipality?

18       A.   Because of the location of the town of Vares and the municipality

19    which is, insofar as communications are concerned, has always been rather

20    isolated when the Pavlovobi [phoen] road was cut off, we were practically

21    cut off completely from the rest of the world, and that was why in 1992,

22    we made a new road from Breza to Visoko and by this road, we established

23    communication with other parts of the state.

24       Q.   Thank you.  We can move on to paragraph 11, Your Honours.  Tell

25    us, please, Mr. Vidovic, what was the situation in the town and the

Page 22077

 1    municipality of Vares in late June 1993 insofar as food supplies are

 2    concerned, economy, and so on and so forth?

 3       A.   You mean 1992 or 1993?

 4       Q.   1993.  1992, I apologise.

 5       A.   Food supplies in 1992 were really very poor, and it did not much

 6    happen in comparison with the end of 1991 and we had -- we were compelled

 7    to organise humanitarian convoys and to go to Croatia and Herzegovina in

 8    search of food.

 9       Q.   Were shops opened, did schools work?

10       A.   The school year 1991-1992 ended early, but it was nevertheless

11    brought to an end.  Shops were closed so that people were in very dire

12    straits indeed.

13       Q.   Would you tell the Court if the then local government did anything

14    to redress the situation or did they remain inactive?

15       A.   In the municipal council or the municipal assembly, as it was

16    called officially then, we tried to do something to improve the situation,

17    but because of the structure of government and the SDP majority, we made

18    very little progress.

19       Q.   Did you talk to SDP members to redress the situation?  Did you

20    discuss it with them what to do in order to improve it?

21       A.   No, we heard, yes, negotiation with SDP both interparty and in the

22    parliament and the executive government was -- also included

23    representatives of different parties and this executive council, the

24    government was also trying to solve the problem; however, as I say,

25    because of the lack of understanding, rather, inaction of the SDP, the

Page 22078

 1    situation did not much improve in spring 1992.

 2       Q.   And tell us, please, if the Party for Democratic Action, the Vares

 3    branch supported the requests of you, of other councilmen in the municipal

 4    parliament in those negotiations with the SDP?

 5       A.   All the opposition parties supported those requests.  Since the

 6    Party for Democratic Action ranked third in terms of the number of seats,

 7    they were trying together with us to resolve the matter, and we were also

 8    supported by the reformist party which was also represented on the

 9    municipal hall with several councilmen so that we had a relatively strong

10    block which was requesting, demanding to change the situation.

11       Q.   And one last question about this, those misunderstanding, lack of

12    understanding with the SDP, that is the ruling party, the party with the

13    majority and you in the opposition, and so that on the 26th of April 1992,

14    the last session of the municipal assembly took place before the war.

15       A.   Yes, on that date, the last -- the municipal assembly sat for the

16    last time because after that, the president of the assembly did not

17    convene any new session.  The reason for this was that at that moment, if

18    I may put it that way, one SDP councilman attacked us, the attack was

19    ethnically based.

20       Q.   Excuse me for butting in, but one does not have to go into all

21    this detail.  So, on the 26th of March, on the 26th of March, 1992, the

22    assembly met for the last time?

23       A.   Yes.

24       Q.   And at that time, you began negotiations with the Party for

25    Democratic Action in order to somehow revert the situation?

Page 22079

 1       A.   Yes, with the representatives of the Party for Democratic Action,

 2    we tried to organise government together so as to bring about some

 3    improvement in the situation both in the town and the municipality.

 4       Q.   And you agreed on certain things, I suppose you must have agreed

 5    that had to be changed because they had become unbearable?

 6       A.   We always agreed while we worked that the situation had to be

 7    reversed and that this was, say, a joint view, a joint position that the

 8    situation, such as it was, was simply untenable and because the

 9    inhabitants of the municipality of Vares were on the brink of famine.  And

10    in discussing this matter with the representatives of the SDA, that was

11    the position, the view we shared.

12       Q.   And could you also agree on how to organise the new government, I

13    mean the negotiations between you and the Party for Democratic Action?

14       A.   When the negotiations started, we also agreed about the

15    distribution, say, of offices.  But we could not reach an agreement on how

16    to -- how things should proceed further, because representatives of the

17    Party for Democratic Action, that is, Muslims, were demanding to remove

18    the Croatian flag from the municipal hall, which was there together with

19    the flag with the lilies, which the Muslims had embraced as their own.

20            In that case, or rather after that, when they refused to

21    participate in the government, we said:  Would they mind if we, as the

22    Croat Democratic Union, with other members who would go along, or rather

23    with other citizens who would go along, would they mind if we organised

24    government in Vares, governed by different principles?  And they said they

25    would not mind and that they would not obstruct this.  And when this

Page 22080













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Page 22081

 1    happened, on the 1st of July, 1992, there were absolutely no incidents.

 2    It all went on smoothly.  There were no problems whatsoever.

 3       Q.   So if I understand you well, Mr. Vidovic, on the 1st of July,

 4    1992, the HVO organised, if I may put it that way, the government in the

 5    municipality of Vares, with the consent of the SDA branch in Vares?

 6       A.   Yes.

 7       Q.   However, they did not want to send their own representatives to

 8    take part in this government; is that correct?

 9       A.   Yes.

10       Q.   Could you please tell the Trial Chamber:  When the HVO took over

11    the organisation of government, was anybody dismissed in any of the local

12    government bodies in the local government in Vares?

13       A.   All employees of the Vares local government who worked in the

14    administration stayed in their jobs except for those who refused to

15    continue to come to work.  We did not ask anyone to sign any statement of

16    loyalty.  We left it to them to decide whether they wanted to stay in

17    their jobs or not.

18       Q.   Regardless of the fact that the SDA members were not willing to

19    participate in the government, were those Muslims who were not SDA members

20    in certain positions of responsibility in this new HVO government?

21       A.   Yes.  The Muslims who were part of the HVO government were placed

22    in charge of three, I believe, very significant duties: education,

23    civilian protection, and health care.  They all agreed to participate in

24    the HVO government.

25       Q.   Could you please tell the names of these Muslims to the Trial

Page 22082

 1    Chamber.

 2       A.   Ms. Mufida Dzindo was in charge of education, Mr. Rusmir

 3    Berberovic was responsible for civil defence and refugees, and Mr. Edhem

 4    Ascerija was in charge of social security and health.

 5       Q.   Perhaps I could have asked you this earlier in terms of the time

 6    line, but were there any negative responses, reactions, from the local

 7    citizens when the government changed?

 8       A.   We had no negative reactions to our decisions, because at that

 9    time people thought, and the position was, that only -- that we could only

10    receive assistance from the HZ HB in food, textbooks, medicine, and other

11    supplies necessary for maintaining normal living conditions.

12       Q.   Can you please tell the Trial Chamber whether this relatively good

13    relationship among the citizens of Vares, predominantly between Croats and

14    Muslims, changed after the HVO took over control.  How did it change?

15       A.   It improved -- the living conditions improved because we

16    immediately started organising convoys which were bringing in to Vares

17    various supplies, the stores reopened, and I believe that in this way all

18    citizens of Vares municipality benefitted.

19       Q.   In Central Bosnia serious conflicts broke out as early as January

20    1993 and then it turned into a full-scale war in April of that year.  How

21    did that reflect on the living conditions between Croats and Muslims in

22    Vares?

23       A.   When the conflict broke out in parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

24    this did not affect the territory of Vares municipality, because each side

25    controlled their own part of the municipality and there were no incidents

Page 22083

 1    at the line of separation.  And, in fact, such a line of separation had

 2    not even been established yet at that time.

 3       Q.   If I understand you correctly, you still had a common enemy, which

 4    was the BSA.

 5       A.   Yes.  In a nutshell, that was the case.

 6       Q.   Mr. Vidovic, you happen to be the 163rd witness before this Trial

 7    Chamber, and a lot of witnesses testified about that Croatian

 8    institutions, such as the HVO, HZ HB, et cetera, that these institutions

 9    implemented a policy of persecution or harassment of other ethnic groups,

10    especially Muslims.  Is that correct?

11       A.   That is not correct.  Vares was in such a situation that it was

12    practically surrounded from all sides by either Muslims or -- Serbs or

13    Muslims, and it was in no position to carry out any type of ethnic

14    cleansing, nor was any such thing done.  In essence, it demonstrates that

15    in our health centres, in our companies, in any other institutions, no

16    manager was ever dismissed, nobody was let go unless they wanted to go.

17    We allowed the Serbs who wanted to -- who wish to leave, we allowed them

18    to leave and take all their possessions, without any problems, and so on.

19       Q.   Very well.  I believe that this probably gives -- this is enough

20    of an answer for the Trial Chamber.

21            You were a member of the HZ HB, you were a member of the HDZ.  You

22    know what kind of policy, official or unofficial, was implemented.  You

23    had opportunities to contact a number of officials in these institutions.

24    My question to you is:  Have you ever heard that anybody that you have

25    come in touch with ever advocated any policy which was to persecute, to

Page 22084

 1    drive out non-Croats from the areas controlled by the Croats?

 2       A.   I never heard of any such thing and there is no document emanating

 3    from HZ HB or HDZ that advocates any such thing.

 4       Q.   But have you ever heard that anybody advocated such thing during

 5    such meetings?

 6       A.   No.  And even if we consider breaks between sessions in sessions

 7    of these institutions, even there I never heard any such thing.

 8       Q.   After the HVO took over the government after July 1, 1992, was

 9    there any persecution of non-Croats ever implemented, to your knowledge?

10       A.   As I stated, we never violated any human rights of anyone while we

11    were in power, we never dismissed anyone, and nobody was arrested because

12    they were a Serb or a Muslim.

13       Q.   Mr. Vidovic, you said that the living conditions improved, that

14    shops reopened, and that after 1 July 1992, living conditions improved

15    overall.  But you omitted a detail.  What was your cooperation like with

16    your neighbours, that is, with the 2nd Corps in Tuzla?  You had good

17    cooperation with them as a municipal government?

18       A.   Yes.  We had good cooperation both with the 2nd Corps and with the

19    civilian government in Tuzla.  I can give you an example.  In September

20    1993 I visited Tuzla with a group of athletes, and there was a basketball

21    team and they played the local basketball team.  And we also had gymnasts

22    who showed what they were doing in these wartime conditions.  And even

23    through that you can see what type of contacts we maintained during this

24    period.

25            The HVO units at that time were engaged in Ribnica Vozuca sector

Page 22085

 1    of the front line, where we provided assistance to the 2nd Corps.  Also we

 2    assisted the Olovo Brigade in supplies, in weaponry and ammunition, until

 3    1992, and through that we contributed to the defence of Olovo municipality

 4    against the Serb attacks.

 5       Q.   Another detail on the Olovo Brigade.  Were they part of the ABiH?

 6       A.   Yes, and incorporated in it was a small HVO unit, I believe

 7    numbering 16 men.

 8       Q.   Thank you.  It is also a fact that the Muslims had formed their

 9    own military forces.  And maybe just to focus on one detail, they had

10    their own armed forces, and in this way the joint command, joint

11    headquarters for the defence of the city, collapsed.

12       A.   Yes.  This collapse took place in the fall of 1992, when the

13    Muslim members left and moved to the village of Strijezevo, and that was

14    the period when the ABiH forces were established in Vares and this is when

15    the joint defence of the town ceased to exist.

16       Q.   Can you tell the Trial Chamber whether the Muslim side also

17    established its own governmental bodies, the war presidency in Strijezevo?

18       A.   The war presidency in Strijezevo was established in the summer of

19    1992 and it was parallel -- it governed parallel to the government, the

20    local government in Vares.

21       Q.   So we have a situation when there were two parallel governments.

22    Does that mean that tacitly the territory was also partitioned, not

23    strictly speaking, but in terms of overall responsibility?

24       A.   Yes, in terms of responsibility or competence, there was a tacit

25    partition, because I said that the southern section of Vares municipality

Page 22086

 1    was populated by Muslims.  And in this territory we lost, so to say; we

 2    lost our authority and the authority was taken over by the war presidency.

 3       Q.   Can you tell me:  Some of your convoys -- and when I say "your

 4    convoys," I'm referring to the HVO convoys -- they were stopped in

 5    Dabravina, but all those incidents were resolved in a peaceful manner; in

 6    other words, they did not produce any further escalations.

 7       A.   Yes.  There was no further escalation, because the vehicles were

 8    returned, but the pay load that they carried was off-loaded in the ABiH

 9    logistics centre.

10       Q.   I'll ask you a couple of questions on the Convoy of Joy in June

11    1993.  In April 1993 you had to travel to Zagreb for professional reasons?

12       A.   Yes.  I had to travel to Zagreb because we had a construction site

13    there, my company did, and I went to see how things were going.

14       Q.   You left for Zagreb several days before the conflict broke out in

15    Central Bosnia.  When the conflict broke out, were you able to come back

16    to Vares when you wanted?

17       A.   I believe that I was one of the last persons who, unimpeded, went

18    through the road, through Bugojno and Strijezevo and Siroki Brijeg, and a

19    couple of days later the conflict had broken out and all roads to Vares

20    were blocked, so that I stayed in Herzegovina for exactly two months.

21       Q.   While you were in Herzegovina, you were an eyewitness, so to

22    speak, of this convoy which, on the 20th of June, came from Grude?

23       A.   While I was in Herzegovina -- I believe that that was on the 20th

24    of May -- a convoy from Tuzla arrived, which was joined in Vares by

25    several Vares HVO vehicles, and I hoped and expected that I could return

Page 22087

 1    with this convoy, since the convoy had free-passage certificates from both

 2    the HVO and the ABiH, because the convoy was organised by both of these

 3    groups in Tuzla.

 4       Q.   This was not a regular convoy, because this was organised by both

 5    the HVO and the ABiH and it included the supplies and arms and military

 6    equipment?

 7       A.   Yes.  In addition to our regular supplies, foodstuffs and such for

 8    civilian purposes, they also had permission to transport military

 9    equipment.

10       Q.   This was a relatively small convoy and you joined it as you were

11    going towards Vares and Tuzla, how many trucks did it number

12    approximately?

13       A.   Approximately there were about 700 vehicles including trucks,

14    tanks, tankers and private vehicles.

15       Q.   Was this convoy escorted by BritBat troops from the start or did

16    they join it at some point later?

17       A.   I don't know whether it had -- this escort when it came in

18    Herzegovina because that was the first time that I became aware of it, but

19    when we were leaving Herzegovina, it was escorted by the UNPROFOR British

20    Battalion.

21       Q.   Mr. Vidovic, the main reason for you to have joined this convoy

22    was to be able to come back home because it was the only way for you to go

23    back to the area?

24       A.   Yes, that was the only way that I could join -- that I could go

25    back, and several other private vehicles and some buses who had been

Page 22088

 1    stranded also joined it in order to try to come back.

 2       Q.   You are talking about the vehicles from Vares, but there were

 3    other vehicles from other areas which wanted to join it, and this is how

 4    they arrived at this large number of 700?

 5       A.   Yes, there were vehicles coming in from Germany, they still had

 6    temporary plates issued by customs offices and they also joined this

 7    convoy.

 8       Q.   Mr. Vidovic, when did this convoy start out from Grude in the

 9    direction of Tuzla?

10       A.   The convoy started out from Grude in the afternoon of 7 June

11    1993.  We travelled several days.  We spent one night near Tomislavgrad,

12    that was the first night.  The second night -- when we first started, it

13    was a Monday.  So the night, Monday to Tuesday, we stayed near

14    Tomislavgrad.  The night, Tuesday to Wednesday, it was near Prozor.

15       Q.   Let me just specify for you, this was the night of the 9th?

16       A.   On the 9th, we slept in -- under -- near Mount Makljen near Gornji

17    Vakuf, and on the 10th, late in the evening, because from the village of

18    Opara to Novi Travnik, we travelled without lights because that was the

19    order.  And so we arrived near Novi Travnik on the 10th of June and we

20    were stopped just before the town and this is where we stayed the night.

21       Q.   Who stopped you on the -- at the approach to the town and why?

22       A.   We were stopped by the security, that is, by the BritBat, because

23    there was fighting going on in the area and throughout the night we

24    witnessed it.

25       Q.   So it was for security reasons?

Page 22089













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Page 22090

 1       A.   Yes, for our security, because it was impossible to continue to

 2    travel during the night.

 3       Q.   So the night of the 10th you spent on the road just before the

 4    town of Novi Travnik?

 5       A.   Yes.

 6       Q.   Mr. Vidovic, you started describing the night of the 10th to 11th

 7    when you were sleeping by the roadside.  What did you experience?

 8       A.   All night you could hear artillery and small arms fire, and so we

 9    assumed that we were entering an area which was engulfed in fighting.

10       Q.   Can you tell me now, the next day when you arrived in Vitez, I

11    assume that you heard from the Vitez inhabitants what had happened on the

12    night of 10 June in Vitez?

13       A.   In Vitez, the police checkpoint where we were stopped, I heard

14    that the night before, eight children had been killed and it somehow

15    became clear to me why the convoy was stopped.

16       Q.   Did you also hear from people who were in the area when the

17    fighting had started, the fighting which you heard throughout that night?

18       A.   That night we never had any contacts with the local population

19    because we couldn't.  It was pitch dark.  There was no electricity.  So we

20    couldn't leave the vehicles and we had no contacts, at least a part of the

21    convoy where I was, we had no contacts with the local population.

22       Q.   Very well.  But I assume that you heard this the next day or the

23    following day.

24       A.   The following day I heard in Vitez what the situation was in the

25    area.

Page 22091

 1       Q.   What did you hear, who had attacked whom in those days when you

 2    returned to Central Bosnia?

 3       A.   I heard about the attacks on Travnik, the attacks on Lasva Valley,

 4    more specifically Vitez, where the attacks were the fiercest, and I was

 5    able to gain firsthand experience about the situation in Vitez.

 6       Q.   You mentioned the attack on Travnik, but you did not mention who

 7    attacked whom?

 8       A.   The attack was carried out by the ABiH.

 9       Q.   Very well.  That night you spent on the road, the entire convoy

10    did, and it must have been a long column several kilometres long?

11       A.   It was a very long column and we spent the whole night there until

12    the morning.

13       Q.   Can you tell the Trial Chamber what happened in the morning of 11

14    June 1993 when you left Novi Travnik and you arrived near Nova Bila?

15       A.   In the early morning hours, we moved on because the security gave

16    us permission to do so; however, near a restaurant, Bralo, in Stare Bila,

17    the convoy was split up into two parts.  I was in the front end of the

18    second column, and we were diverted to a quarry which had been active in

19    that time.

20       Q.   Can you now tell the Trial Chamber who it was that split up the

21    convoy?

22       A.   It was the local population of Stare Bila or I don't even know

23    where they were from, but we couldn't go on because the convoy was not

24    compact as before and meanwhile, they erected barricades and they diverted

25    part of the convoy that was following, and they diverted it to this

Page 22092

 1    quarry.

 2       Q.   You are referring to this local population.  First of all, were

 3    these women or soldiers, civilians, children, who was it?

 4       A.   There were civilians, men and women and children among them.

 5       Q.   Excuse me, but what was their mood?  Were they friendly towards

 6    you?  Were they hostile?  Did they look bitter?  What were they like so

 7    that the Trial Chamber has an idea?

 8       A.   Their mood was not friendly at all.  In fact, it was the opposite,

 9    it was hostile.  Even the -- even we who were -- who had the Vares HVO

10    signs, markings, were called Muslims, we were called traitors.  There were

11    some very ugly words and the population really looked very bitter and even

12    irate.

13            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Naumovski, I can see you are in the middle of this

14    account, but it is 4.00.  It may be more convenient to deal with the rest

15    tomorrow.  Very well.

16            Meanwhile, there is one matter which the registry have raised with

17    the Trial Chamber.  You said that it should be possible to deal with the

18    videolink witnesses now on one day.  If that's so, clearly it would be

19    more convenient for the registry to know and then they would not be kept

20    there and the technician wouldn't be kept there over night.

21            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this is our

22    assessment.  We don't know how long the cross-examination is going to

23    take, but we believe that one day should be sufficient.  It is, however,

24    not possible to assert that unequivocally.

25            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] But Mr. Sayers had already

Page 22093

 1    specified that the three witnesses who were going to testify were going to

 2    testify on limited matters, so examination-in-chief is not going to take

 3    very long.  So how long do you think this examination-in-chief is going to

 4    take for the three witnesses?  I think this might be a useful piece of

 5    information.

 6            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I don't believe that the

 7    examination-in-chief of all three witnesses in total would not -- would

 8    take more than one hour.  For instance, the witness who is to testify

 9    about Kacuni may take 15 minutes, 20 minutes maximum.  Let's say two hours

10    at the most.

11            JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] So if, indeed, it is under two

12    hours, and if we were to think that the cross-examination may take as much

13    time, so also the same amount of time, this could be done in one day.

14            JUDGE MAY:  Could you help us with that, Mr. Nice?

15            MR. NICE:  I would hope that if the examination-in-chief takes an

16    hour, we can certainly conclude the evidence in a day.

17            JUDGE MAY:  Yes.  I wonder if the registry would come and have a

18    word.

19                     [Trial Chamber and registrar confer]

20            MR. NICE:  Can I just add to what I said before, one point?  It's

21    clear to us that, of course, all these summaries are drafted in advance.

22    Indeed, a document was served last week which made that abundantly clear.

23    For the witnesses by link, it will, of course, greatly help if we can have

24    summaries, draft or as signed in the seat of the link, in advance.

25    There's no reason why not.  We served draft summaries.

Page 22094

 1            Can I, while I'm on my feet, correct something I've said earlier.

 2    It doesn't relate to this witness and as soon as you know something's

 3    wrong, it's your duty to correct it.

 4            In fact, the last witness gave evidence in open session and

 5    slipped through our net, probably meant that she was actually quite a

 6    suitable witness for transcript witness, but be that as it may, what went

 7    wrong plainly, by her assessment, was that although giving evidence for

 8    the Defence occasion, she wasn't picked up as a potential contact by the

 9    other side.  But that's been dealt now, and distressed as she was when she

10    was spoken to by Ms. Verhaag.

11            JUDGE MAY:  Now, as far as this witness is concerned.  Mr.

12    Naumovski, by my calculation, 164, not 163.  Maybe you missed the

13    Prosecution witness yesterday.  But in any event --

14            MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I did not count today's witness,

15    Mr. Vidovic.  I think that that was my oversight, but you are absolutely

16    right.

17            JUDGE MAY:  Mr. Vidovic, we are going to adjourn now until

18    tomorrow morning.  Would you remember in this adjournment not to speak to

19    anybody about your evidence and not to let anybody speak to you about it

20    until it's over, and that does include the members of the Defence team.

21    Could you be back, please, at half past nine tomorrow morning.

22            THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.

23                          --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

24                          at 4.08 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday

25                          the 5th day of April, 2000, at  9.30 a.m.