Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 22095

1 Wednesday, 5 July 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

8 WITNESS: PAVAO VIDOVIC [Resumed]

9 Examined by Mr. Naumovski: [Cont'd]

10 Q. Mr. Vidovic, let us resume where we stopped yesterday, and I think

11 where we did stop yesterday was when you told us that the convoy was

12 divided into two. You and your vehicle remained in the second part of the

13 convoy. You were in one of the first vehicles of the second part of the

14 convoy?

15 A. Practically I was third or fourth; that is, there were only

16 lorries in front of me.

17 Q. And at the time when you were there, was there any gunfire? Did

18 you hear any gunfire, or didn't you, personally?

19 A. I did not notice any gunfire being opened on our part of the

20 convoy, and we suffered no visible damage, I mean, on our vehicles.

21 Q. But later on, did you hear that perhaps something bad happened to

22 the other part of the convoy, that some people were dead?

23 A. Well, yes. When we got together before departing to Zenica, and

24 in Zenica itself, the story went around that several drivers and a

25 civilian in a bus, I believe from Tuzla, had lost their lives. But that

Page 22096

1 was the story, and I cannot say whether it was true or not.

2 Q. Yesterday you said that some of the vehicles, some of the loaded

3 trucks, had been diverted towards the quarry. Did you see that through

4 your own eyes or was it another story?

5 A. At the head of the column, of that second part of the column, and

6 it was diverted onto a side road next to Bralo's Cafe towards the quarry.

7 And in the private vehicle in which I was, and another man from a village

8 near Vares in a private -- he was in a private vehicle, taking his parents

9 and children away, was stopped at the checkpoint before the quarry.

10 JUDGE MAY: If we have too much detail, Mr. Vidovic, it's

11 difficult to follow the story, and it's important that we do. You were at

12 the front of the second part of the convoy, and as I understood it --

13 A. Yes.

14 JUDGE MAY: -- you were -- your part was diverted into the

15 quarry. Is that right or not?

16 A. It is, yes.

17 JUDGE MAY: So you were, in fact, yourself in the quarry; is that

18 so?

19 A. My vehicle and I were not in the quarry, because I was stopped at

20 that checkpoint before the quarry. But vehicles, some 70 of them, in my

21 view, went on towards the quarry together with three buses from Vares.

22 JUDGE MAY: And how far away from the quarry was the checkpoint

23 where you were stopped?

24 A. I don't know how far it is, because I've never been to that

25 quarry, but I'd say it was something about two kilometres.

Page 22097

1 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

2 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

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

4 Q. Mr. Vidovic, tell us: You nevertheless managed to make it to

5 Vitez, didn't you?

6 A. I showed the HVO ID and Vares ID to the man at the checkpoint and

7 asked them to give me some transportation to Vitez, because before I went

8 to Vitez, our three buses and the drivers from the lorries which had gone

9 to the quarry had already been transported to Vitez. And they established

10 communication, so that after about an hour later, a patrol came to fetch

11 me and they escorted me to Vitez.

12 Q. And as all this was going on on the road, were those people, I

13 mean those women and children that you told us were highly indignant, were

14 they still around those lorries on the road?

15 A. I could not see that anymore because we were not there any

16 longer. The checkpoint at which I was was some 500 or perhaps 800 metres

17 away, and I could not see what was going on on the road.

18 Q. So let me ask you this: And when you headed for Vitez, did you

19 catch up with the vehicles of that first part of the convoy before it

20 split up?

21 A. I did not take the main road to Vitez. I took a side road through

22 the Vitezit factory, so that I did not have again any contact with the

23 convoy vehicles until I saw them as they were all gathering at the exit

24 from Vitez.

25 Q. But that was in the afternoon, wasn't it, before you headed for

Page 22098

1 Zenica; is that so?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So tell us: In Vitez, on the road, when you were there, whom did

4 you meet?

5 A. That afternoon I met Mr. Kordic. I explained our situation to him

6 and that a part of the convoy, including vehicles from Vares, from HVO

7 Vares, were in the quarry; that three buses with civilians were somewhere

8 in Vitez, because I had not yet found out their whereabouts. And

9 Mr. Kordic told me that he was trying to bring all those separated lorries

10 together and told me to try to locate the buses, and I did manage to do

11 that.

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Vidovic, where was it that you met Mr. Kordic?

13 A. I met him -- I'm not very familiar with Vitez. I saw him on the

14 road.

15 JUDGE MAY: You say "on the road." Was it in Vitez or outside

16 Vitez?

17 A. In Vitez. In Vitez. In Vitez. On the street in Vitez.

18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

19 Q. You said that he was trying to get all those vehicles together.

20 Is that what you said?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Did you ask Mr. Kordic for advice, what to do?

23 A. Well, I already said that I explained our situation to him, and

24 when I located the buses at a turnabout around Vitez next to the petrol

25 station -- and they were under the protection of a British combat

Page 22099

1 vehicle -- I several times went back into Vitez because I heard that a

2 British battalion wanted to take the convoy via Zenica. And Mr. Kordic

3 told me that we should decide about this ourselves. And the civilians who

4 were in the bus had already refused repeatedly to take that route, because

5 it was to go via Busovaca, Kaonik, Lasva, towards Visoko. And after we

6 all agreed to go to Zenica, then we joined the part of the convoy which,

7 that Friday, in the afternoon, left for Zenica.

8 Q. You said plural, "when we agreed." Whom do you mean?

9 Participants in the convoy or --

10 A. I mean passengers in the bus, because I became a kind of their

11 representative, to all intents and purposes.

12 Q. But tell us: When you were in Vitez, you said that you looked for

13 vehicles here and there. Could you please tell the Court what was the

14 situation in Vitez: calm, organised, or was it something different?

15 A. The situation was quite different. It was very confused because

16 fighting was going on. It wasn't safe to move about in Vitez, and in the

17 police, they warned me which streets were safer than others because there

18 was a sniper who operated from Stari Vitez, that is how it was explained

19 to me, because I was walking, because I was on foot and they explained to

20 me which streets were more safe than others.

21 Q. You just mentioned sniper fire from Stari Vitez, did you see

22 anyone hit?

23 A. In front of the police station in Vitez, a bus arrived out of

24 nowhere and passengers got off. It was very hot that day so they found a

25 shade under trees across the street from the police station, and I was

Page 22100

1 nearby when a bus passenger was hit and died.

2 Q. Thank you. So to conclude this part, you say that your townsmen,

3 those from Vares did manage to reach an understanding and agreement and

4 that you took the road to Zenica, and then did you then come together with

5 the first part of the convoy?

6 A. In -- at that place where we were coming together, both vehicles

7 from the former and the latter part of the convoy were coming together so

8 that there were about 880 [as interpreted] vehicles altogether and

9 together escorted by British battalion that is UNPROFOR vehicles, we set

10 off in the direction of Zenica. I say that only buses were there from

11 Vares. And as for the lorries which were taking the cargo and which

12 stayed in the quarry, Mr. Zeljko Pezer was responsible for them because he

13 was the man who was responsible for the logistics for the HVO brigade at

14 Bobovac.

15 Q. And could you only tell us when did this part of the convoy of

16 some 180 vehicles, when did you leave from Vitez to Zenica?

17 A. We left around 1700.

18 Q. And it was the 11th of June, wasn't it, 1993?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. A little while ago you mentioned Zeljko Pezer. You met Mr. Pezer

21 two days later, that is on Sunday, 13th June in Vares. Did he tell you

22 anything about Mr. Kordic?

23 A. Mr. Zeljko Pezer stayed behind in Vitez to take care of that part

24 of the convoy and when he -- when that part of the convoy returned on the

25 13th of June in Vares, then he told me how he was present when a military

Page 22101

1 policeman took an HVO vehicle from Vares, and Mr. Kordic warned him not to

2 do that because it was HVO property, Vares HVO property. However, he did

3 not obey him, swore at him, and drove that truck home because he had not

4 provided that day for his family and himself.

5 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. It's not clear, there's a reference

6 to 880 vehicles going from Vitez to Zenica. That was the answer,

7 apparently.

8 THE INTERPRETER: It was the interpreter's mistake, sorry, Your

9 Honour, 180.

10 JUDGE MAY: That clears it up, yes.

11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

12 Q. That was an error. 180 vehicles or thereabouts, isn't it,

13 Mr. Vidovic?

14 A. Yes, yes.

15 Q. Evidently an error in the transcript. So, Mr. Vidovic, I was

16 about to ask you, you were in Vitez when the situation was very chaotic.

17 You met Mr. Kordic, also saw some other people there. Tell us, please, in

18 the -- what did you conclude from what you saw. Did Mr. Kordic have

19 anything to do with those people who were seizing and plundering those

20 lorries?

21 A. From what I saw, I conclude that he could not have anything to do

22 with the plunder of the convoy and seizure of the lorries because what he

23 was doing at the time when I saw him was indicating that he was trying to

24 bring together vehicles which had scattered to all sides and direct them

25 towards their places of destination.

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Page 22103

1 Q. That is your personal conclusion?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you discuss it with Mr. Pezer, the role of Mr. Kordic?

4 A. Well, when a part of the Vares convoy arrived almost in full, then

5 after I talked with Mr. Pezer, I concluded that really, it was largely

6 owing to Mr. Kordic that those lorries were -- lorries from Vares ever

7 arrived. And if I may add, the front part of the convoy passed Vares on

8 the 12th of June and the lorries from that convoy were passing through

9 Vares on the 13th, 14th and 15th of June.

10 So it means that as the lorries were located and directed, that

11 they went on their way. Yes, it is true that some of them were empty

12 which meant that all the food that was in them had been unloaded.

13 Q. Yes, I was about to ask you that. But it seems to transpire by

14 what you have just told us. So parts of the convoy were being put

15 together for days, and for days they were leaving and moving on to Vares?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. We can move on to paragraph 26. That is, Mr. Vidovic, what was

18 going on in Vares in 1993 or rather in -- towards the end of that year.

19 In paragraph 26, you speak about the strategic position of Vares.

20 A. Yes. During the war, Vares provided the only corridor in the

21 central and north-east Bosnia. And in the course of 1993, we built some

22 road of about 5.5 kilometres of road thus linking it to Kakanj and

23 enabling communication between central and north-east Bosnia.

24 Q. Let us not dwell on this, but could you tell us, and I'm referring

25 to the strategic position of Vares. On the 28th of October 1993, that is,

Page 22104

1 a few days before Vares fell, you went to Tuzla to talk there to

2 representatives of the 2nd ABiH Corps. Were you told there anything about

3 the BH army's intentions regarding that strategic position of Vares?

4 A. With Mr. Emil Herak, as representatives of the civilian

5 authorities on the 28th of October, I went to Vares to attend a meeting

6 where, as far as I can remember, and which were present the then and later

7 commander -- mayor of Tuzla, Mr. Beslagic; the commander of the 2nd Corp.,

8 Anto Pranjic, the man who is responsible for political and information

9 activity in the corps; there was another professor of the Tuzla faculty, I

10 forget his name; and we were asked to sign what amounted to the surrender

11 of Vares to the BH army which had already begun attacks on Vares from the

12 direction of Kakanj.

13 We did not have any authority to do that, and we were told then

14 that Vares could not be -- could not withstand the attack because the 2nd

15 Corps had already received the orders to attack Vares from the north.

16 Q. You are referring to this order to provide a link-up between the

17 2nd and the 3rd Corps and these orders were put through the next day?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. We shall come to this later on, and this is only as far as the

20 strategic importance of Vares is concerned. Tell us, please, in June,

21 fierce fighting broke out in the municipality of Kakanj. When did Croats

22 expelled from Kakanj arrive from the municipality of Vares and how many of

23 them were there?

24 A. When I returned to Vares on the 12th of June it was also when the

25 first wave of refugees from Kakanj began to arrive in Vares and on the

Page 22105

1 13th of June, some 15.000 Croats from the municipality of Kakanj arrived

2 in Vares. They were mostly from Kraljeva Sutjeska and surrounding

3 villages.

4 Q. I suppose that it was a major burden on your municipality and a

5 major pressure, did you do anything?

6 A. It was a truly formidable problem for the municipality because

7 Vares, as such, was under siege. And we then sent a request to Mr. Boban

8 in Grude to enable the passage for Kakanj Croats, who were not under

9 military obligation, to provide passage for them to Herzegovina. And we

10 were at it for quite a long time for some two months and at long last, on

11 the 17th of October, vehicles came to take Kakanj refugees to -- from

12 Vares to Stolac in Herzegovina.

13 Q. So on the 17th of October, 1993, the Kakanj refugees began to

14 leave Vares?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. A while ago, you told us about a meeting with representatives of

17 the town of Tuzla and the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I

18 think you said, you must have slipped, that the meeting took place in

19 Vares, but the meet was held in Tuzla, if I understood you well.

20 A. Yes, the meeting took place in Tuzla.

21 Q. Tell us, please, that day when Kakanj refugees began to leave the

22 municipality of Vares, what happened then?

23 A. That day, the 17th of October, our front lines were facing the 3rd

24 Corps were attacked and at a place called Lijesnica. Those front

25 positions were taken and two of our combatants were killed there.

Page 22106

1 Q. You are not a military man yourself, but you had information, as a

2 representative of the civilian authorities, about the situation in Vares.

3 Could the Bobovac Brigade defend itself against the enemy all by itself?

4 A. The brigade of Bobovac had to take care of more than 100 kilometre

5 of municipal boundaries, and simply even if one bears in mind its strength

6 in number, it could not really protect that area.

7 Q. But did the brigade ask for help, and who did it ask it from?

8 A. I heard that after the attack at Lijesnica the brigade turned to

9 help the operative group at Kiseljak, asking if they could come and help

10 the Bobovac HVO Brigade.

11 Q. Will you tell the Court: When did the reinforcements arrive, and

12 did they?

13 A. They arrived on the 21st of October, early in the morning. And

14 according to what I know, it was about 180 men.

15 Q. And who led them? Who was their commander?

16 A. Their commander was Colonel Ivica Rajic.

17 Q. Regardless of the assistance provided to the Bobovac Brigade, did

18 Vares manage to defend itself or not?

19 A. Regardless of the assistance, obviously it was insufficient, and

20 Vares, in the period of the 29th through 31 October, Vares lost its

21 defence and civilians started leaving the town.

22 Q. I assume that you yourself, with your family, left the town

23 alongside other inhabitants.

24 A. I evacuated my mother and my wife, who went to Kiseljak, and I

25 stayed with the Bobovac Brigade in the village of Dastansko.

Page 22107

1 Q. Following the attack of the ABiH, how many people from Vares left

2 the town?

3 A. During that period, about 11.000 people abandoned the city, 10.000

4 of them being ethnic Croats and the rest ethnic Serbs, who until then had

5 not left their homes in Vares.

6 Q. Mr. Vidovic, later on you were part of the local government in

7 exile, so to speak. Perhaps you have information, numbers, how many

8 people -- how many casualties there were between the 17 October until the

9 end of those hostilities 15 days later?

10 A. When the ABiH troops entered the territory of the Vares

11 municipality, in the village of Borovica, five civilians were killed.

12 Q. Excuse me. Perhaps we should not go into all the details. Just a

13 total number.

14 A. A total of 15 civilians were killed, of which 8 have not been

15 accounted for. We don't know the circumstances under which they were

16 killed and we don't know where they were buried.

17 Q. And the total with the soldiers?

18 A. The total including the soldiers is 108.

19 Q. You mentioned the village of Borovica. Borovica was one of the

20 villages which was completely destroyed in the course of that defensive;

21 is that correct?

22 A. Yes. We received the first report on the destruction from Mr.

23 Hakan Birger, who was commander of NordBat, who had sent the patrol to the

24 Borovica village initially, and he followed up with another patrol about

25 ten days later. They found two bodies and then they were buried.

Page 22108

1 Q. Did you have information about other villages and the town of

2 Vares? Was there destruction of homes and looting?

3 A. After the exodus of the population of Vares, looting on mass scale

4 ensued by the soldiers and later on by civilians, so that all the

5 abandoned apartments and houses were ransacked and looted. Some of them

6 were set on fire, especially in the villages from which members of the HVO

7 were recruited.

8 Q. When you refer to "soldiers," what soldiers are you referring to?

9 A. I'm referring to the members of the ABiH.

10 Q. Do you know more precisely what soldiers these were?

11 A. When we first revisited the villages, there was a difference in

12 the level of destruction between the destruction inflicted by the 2nd

13 Corps and those by the 3rd Corps. Those that were attacked by the 2nd

14 Corps were much less damaged, even though those areas were also destroyed,

15 but there weren't as many fires set of the houses.

16 Q. Mr. Vidovic, you know Mr. Kordic. How long have you known him?

17 From what period do you know him? From what meetings did you know him?

18 When did you meet him first?

19 A. I first met Mr. Kordic when the HDZ started with its activities in

20 Central Bosnia. I cannot recall our first meeting, but I believe that we

21 were together at the party meetings and we exchanged information.

22 Q. Can you tell me: When did Mr. Kordic last visit Vares before the

23 war?

24 A. I met Mr. Kordic for the last time in Vares on 29 September 1992,

25 when he visited Vares on the occasion of the patron saint day, St.

Page 22109

1 Mihovil.

2 Q. Mr. Vidovic, you were then, and you are to date, a member of the

3 HDZ; you were part of the leadership of the party in Vares. Can you tell

4 me: Did Mr. Kordic have any influence on the events in Vares, especially

5 what went on in 1993, or more specifically, towards the end, in September

6 and October 1993?

7 A. When the conflict broke out in Central Bosnia, Vares was

8 completely cut off, both in terms of the flow in information and

9 physically. The leadership of Vares was unable to keep in contact with

10 Mr. Kordic, and when we were able to go through the Serbian territory to

11 Herzegovina, we were able to have direct contacts with Mr. Boban. And as

12 far as events in late 1993 are concerned, Mr. Kordic could have no

13 influence on them.

14 Q. Have you heard whether Mr. Kordic's name was at all mentioned in

15 Vares during this period?

16 A. I cannot say whether it was not mentioned, but in terms of any

17 orders or suggestions, there was -- Mr. Kordic had no role.

18 Q. That is what I was referring to. Did he have any influence?

19 A. For all intents and purposes, Mr. Kordic's influence was

20 non-existent.

21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have one

22 additional topic for which I would like to move into private session,

23 because we would like to protect certain individuals' names.

24 Q. Mr. Vidovic, you said that until very recently you were --

25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] No, no. This is still in the open

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Page 22111

1 session.

2 Q. You said that until a few days ago you were rotating with your

3 Muslim counterparts as head of the municipal government and vice-president

4 of the municipal government.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Meanwhile, new elections were held?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Did you run for the president of the municipality again?

9 A. My party elected me to run for the same office again, that is, for

10 the office of the president and vice-president of the municipality.

11 Q. Were you allowed to run as a candidate or did something happen?

12 A. Something happened; that is, Mr. Beri questioned my bid for the

13 president of the municipality.

14 Q. This is Mr. Robert Beri. He is the chief of the OSCE mission in

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

16 A. That is correct.

17 Q. And what was the reason? What was the reason given to you?

18 A. The reason given to me is not adequate to what happened in

19 reality, and if would you need further details, I can furnish them.

20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I believe, Mr. Vidovic, that you

21 may get that question in cross-examination, so I will leave it at that.

22 Now, Your Honours, can we move into the private session for just a

23 couple of minutes.

24 [Private session]

25 (redacted)

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14 [Open session]

15 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour, I will just have one

16 question or two maybe.

17 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

18 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Vidovic, my name is Bozidar

19 Kovacic. I am counsel for the second accused in this matter, Mr. Mario

20 Cerkez. During your testimony you mentioned Mr. Borivoje Malbasic who was

21 the point man in the HVO in Vares; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. You personally knew Mr. Borivoje Malbasic?

24 A. Yes. Borivoje Malbasic was a member of the TO, that is, before

25 the war in Vares. And when the -- when the first -- the headquarters was

Page 22115

1 established in Vares, he became its first commander.

2 Q. So he had some professional experience with the work on the

3 Defence because he had been with the TO previously?

4 A. This is why he was engaged.

5 Q. Do you know what rank Mr. Malbasic had during the period of

6 Yugoslavia?

7 A. I believe that he had a rank of captain.

8 Q. So he was a commissioned officer?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. We -- we will agree then that he was a professional soldier with

11 military education?

12 A. Yes. In the former JNA, he had completed training for reserve

13 officers.

14 Q. In Vares, nobody questioned his military training and his

15 professionalism?

16 A. No, they did not.

17 Q. Did anybody have any problems with him in terms of his ethical

18 character?

19 A. Mr. Borivoje Malbasic had flaws like everybody else does.

20 Q. But most people considered him an able and correct leader?

21 A. Most people believed that he could lead the unit, and for a time

22 he had even been transferred to Vitez where he discharged some even more

23 important duties.

24 Q. Do you have any knowledge of Mr. Malbasic during the time you knew

25 him, whether he had any discriminatory attitudes towards Muslims?

Page 22116

1 A. So far as I know, he did not.

2 Q. And finally, you don't know exactly what position he held in Vitez

3 while he was there before he came back?

4 A. I don't know.

5 Q. You don't know anything about that?

6 A. No, I don't.

7 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. That is all, Your Honours.

8 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:

9 Q. Mr. Vidovic, can you tell us please why the OSCE blocked your

10 recent standing for office? What was their reason?

11 A. What I received as a reasoning, stated that I had been against the

12 return. Agnd the second argument was because I had demanded that the

13 children of the Croat returnees would have education in the Croatian

14 language which was considered that I was a segregationalist. This does

15 not stand because about 3.000 people returned to Vares during my tenure

16 there.

17 The businesses were returned. Out of 1.395 requests for the

18 return of apartments, 630 were returned and the others were being

19 processed. As far as the request to have children of the returning

20 refugees be schooled in the Croatian language, the person in charge of the

21 education came on the 1st of June and accepted all our requests, and this

22 item was taken off the agenda; that is, the children of the returning

23 Croats were able to get their education in the Croatian language.

24 Q. I don't want you to go into too much detail. I wanted to know

25 what their reasons were and you've now provided them. Your summary of

Page 22117

1 evidence provided to us, were the topics covered chosen by you or by the

2 lawyers for Mr. Kordic?

3 A. In the outline, I said what I know about the situation and what I

4 thought would be pertinent for this Court.

5 Q. Did you draft it or was it drafted for you?

6 A. The outline was drafted on the basis on my taped conversation

7 which I edited.

8 Q. There's no reference in your outline to what you will have learned

9 about what happened at Stupni Do. Whose decision was it not to put in

10 anything about Stupni Do?

11 A. Because I don't know much about Stupni Do, I thought that I could

12 not speak about it this before this Chamber.

13 Q. There's no reference in your summary to the arrest of the Muslims,

14 Muslim males and their detention in Vares at the same time. You must have

15 known about that.

16 A. During the events around Stupni Do, I was also isolated so I can

17 only speak about it secondhand.

18 Q. But you've spoken about other matters secondhand. As a senior

19 member of the local administration, you must have made inquiries and you

20 must have learned about these things; correct?

21 A. I did not conduct any inquiries, but I heard that male citizens of

22 Vares had been detained during the events at Stupni Do.

23 Q. I'll come back to all of that in its due order dealing with things

24 now, I hope, chronologically. And I'm going to deal, Your Honour, only

25 with a sample of the matters of which we've heard evidence leaving the

Page 22118

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Page 22119

1 balance for argument for us to abbreviate cross-examination.

2 Nevertheless, just to remind Their Honours, Vares sits high up in

3 the hills and is, as it were, a pass from one part of the territory to

4 another, isn't it?

5 A. Yes. Vares sits at 830 metres above the sea level and in peace

6 time, it is a fairly isolated place. But during the war, it had an

7 important strategic position.

8 Q. The road from the south being a small, but nevertheless reasonably

9 substantial road; the road to the north that was built, really quite a

10 narrow road passing through woodland initially, so that we have that

11 picture of the place; correct?

12 A. To the south the road -- the road was blocked during the war, and

13 it is true that the road to the north is a macadam road that passes

14 through the mountains and woodlands.

15 Q. We have heard that as from as early as 1992, just from the Witness

16 Mahmutovic, so I should ask you, do you know Ekrem Mahmutovic?

17 A. I do.

18 Q. Anything against him, any reason why he should be not trusted as a

19 human being or as a witness that you know of?

20 A. I have nothing against Mr. Mahmutovic.

21 Q. He told us that from either the end of 1991 or the beginning of

22 1992 in Vares, there was publicity that Vares was Croat territory and that

23 only Croats would be allowed to live there. Do you remember such

24 publicity?

25 A. Nobody in Vares ever put forward such ideas.

Page 22120

1 Q. Can you think of anything that Mr. Mahmutovic may have heard or

2 seen that he could have misinterpreted, being a Muslim, to the effect that

3 Vares was being held out as an exclusively Croat territory?

4 A. I think that Mr. Mahmutovic mistakenly concluded that somebody had

5 said anything to that effect. But I think that no representative of the

6 Croat people in Vares ever propounded the thesis that Vares was Croat

7 territory and the Croats of Vares proved that later on.

8 Q. Well, the HDZ was a Croat party, and Vares was a community with a

9 not overall majority, but with a larger population of Croats than of any

10 other group; correct?

11 A. Indeed. In Vares, Croats constituted a relative majority if not

12 an absolute one, and it is true that the Croat Democratic Union was the

13 party of the Croat people.

14 Q. And the HZ HB, of which you became a part, was a governing body

15 concerning the interests of Croats; correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Operating in an area where there was a substantial minority of

18 Muslims?

19 A. The Croat Union of Herceg-Bosna operated in the area where there

20 were Croats regardless of the other two ethnic groups. We did not operate

21 with regard to other minorities, but with regard to the Croat people whose

22 interests we protected.

23 Q. And to move on to something particular, in May of 1992, the HVO

24 staff was formed in Vares; correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 22121

1 Q. And this is a general point, for all practical purposes, the HVO

2 military and the HVO civilian are a single body with a single command

3 structure; correct?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Distinguish the two for us, please.

6 A. In contrast with other municipalities, in the municipality of

7 Vares, we had the civilian component of the Croat Defence Council and the

8 military component of the Croat Defence Council and they were

9 interrelated?

10 Q. Yes.

11 A. I have nothing else to add.

12 Q. So you accept that the military and civilian departments were

13 interrelated, operated closely together, do you?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And indeed they were all accountable, technically, to the same

16 Presidency; correct?

17 A. I don't understand the question. What Presidency do you have in

18 mind?

19 Q. The Presidency of the HVO, I beg your pardon, of the HZ HB

20 ultimately.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. We've heard from other witnesses, Your Honours, I will mention

23 witnesses by letter and name in case that helps, reminding, this is

24 Witness W, that when the HVO was formed in Vares, Bosniaks were indeed

25 invited to join for the purposes of peace keeping. Do you accept that?

Page 22122

1 A. Yes. And even Muslims from the village of Dastansko were members

2 of the Croat Defence Council units. We gave them weapons so that they

3 could put up their own guards to protect their own villages.

4 Q. But -- and this is what the same witness told us, this was on

5 condition that they both wore insignia and that the HVO would have control

6 of the whole territory. Do you accept that, that the witness is right

7 about that?

8 A. All members of the HVO units had the identical insignia and I

9 believe it is only natural.

10 Q. How about the second point that the witness made? The involvement

11 of non-Croats in the HVO was conditional on their acceptance that the HVO

12 would run their territory; correct?

13 A. It is true because every army which controls some territory want

14 also to keep it under its true control; that is, the army which defends a

15 certain territory also wants to control it.

16 Q. So however much there was cooperation, and as we're going to

17 discover or remind ourselves, however much there was a desire on the part

18 of some not to segregate, nevertheless, this was a takeover, for all

19 practical purposes, of the area by the HVO; correct?

20 A. I don't think you could call it that because in the former half of

21 1992, we established defence alliance against the army of Republika

22 Srpska, the same part of the municipality of Vares. And the entire

23 territory that was behind those front lines was naturally controlled by

24 the Croat Defence Council without us having to put any terms, any

25 conditions on the population which happened to be there or rather which

Page 22123

1 came from the area and lived in the area.

2 Q. I'm sorry, it may be my mistake for not following your answer, for

3 which I apologise, but what had happened was that your area was under the

4 control of the HVO and that that had been done unilaterally by the HVO;

5 correct?

6 A. The HVO did not do it unilaterally simply because at that time

7 there were no other organised units to defend the territory.

8 Q. You've spoken of the role of the defendant, Dario Kordic. I'm not

9 going to take you to many documents if I can avoid it, but would you

10 accept that in the middle of 1992, for your neighbouring municipality or

11 town of or village of Kakanj, he would be making and signing decisions

12 about the establishment of the HVO in that municipality, document Z87?

13 A. I don't know about that.

14 Q. That sort of decision being made at that time was the sort of

15 decision Kordic was making, would you accept that, a decision by the HZ HB

16 about the establishment of the HVO in Kakanj?

17 A. I cannot tell you much even about the establishment of the HVO in

18 Vares, except that we received orders from the leadership of the Croat

19 Community of Herceg-Bosna to embark on active defence rather than party

20 activities, and to set up the Croat Defence Council in Vares. And my

21 guess would be that it was the same sequence of events in Kakanj.

22 Q. Who do you say was the political leadership to whom you were

23 responding then in Vares? Who was the major political controlling

24 personality?

25 A. Main political control, it was Mr. Mate Boban.

Page 22124

1 Q. And in his place, who spoke for the politicians in your area?

2 Mr. Kordic, wasn't it?

3 A. Mr. Kordic was the most influential politician in Central Bosnia.

4 Q. So that below Boban, the person to whom you would turn for

5 political guidance would be Kordic?

6 A. Political guidelines, yes.

7 Q. And of course, the politicians run a war, don't they, ultimately?

8 A. War is run by civilian authority, that is, the commander-in-chief,

9 the supreme commander.

10 Q. And what applied to you in 1992 applied with equal force and logic

11 to Ivica Rajic in 1993; correct? He would be responding, so far as he

12 responded to politicians, to Boban or to Kordic?

13 A. I don't really know that, what is the chain of command in the

14 army, because I was not in the military structure, so that I have

15 absolutely no idea about the chain of command in the army, especially

16 1993.

17 Q. But what you can help us with from your position of seniority in

18 the community is that there was no change in the political authority

19 structure that you could see between 1992 and 1993, and that meant, one,

20 Boban; two, Kordic. Correct?

21 A. I think that the organisation of the civilian authority was

22 completely different. The Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna had, insofar as

23 civilian affairs are concerned, its branch in Central Bosnia, and the

24 president of that was Mr. Anto Valenta. All civilian affairs and

25 guidelines, it was that body that we turned to, and it had its departments

Page 22125

1 for economy, health care, education, and so on and so forth. And that was

2 the line we followed, that we maintained contact with, that we

3 communicated with, insofar as civilian affairs were concerned.

4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not going to take that issue any

5 further. I'm happy with the earlier answers.

6 Q. In the middle of 1992 a man called Pejcinovic became mayor;

7 correct?

8 A. 1st of July, 1992.

9 Q. At the same time as Gavran became head of the civilian police and

10 Duznovic became head of the military police?

11 A. Correction. Gavran became the head of the civilian police and

12 Mr. Duznovic was in the Bobovac Brigade and he was responsible for

13 security matters. He was not the head of the military police.

14 Q. Very well. They took those jobs by way of taking over from other

15 people, didn't they?

16 A. They came to those offices pursuant to a decision of the

17 president, Mr. Mate Boban.

18 Q. Well, the man Pejcinovic has published his account of these events

19 in newspapers, hasn't he, extensively?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You've read those accounts yourself?

22 A. I did read that, and I think I know why Mr. Pejcinovic had to do.

23 Q. Perhaps you'd explain that.

24 A. Well, Mr. Pejcinovic fled from Dastansko to Herzegovina. He

25 practically left both the people and the brigade, which had stayed in the

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Page 22127

1 territory of the Vares municipality and held some 24 kilometres, and then

2 obtained the Canadian visa in early 1994 from people who -- and people who

3 enabled -- who made it possible for him that, forced him to write that

4 account and to give us his own perception of things. And there are very

5 many things that I disagree with and which are not really true and which

6 are not a proper reflection of the events in the municipality of Vares in

7 late 1993.

8 Q. Who, and for what reason, would someone persuade Pejcinovic to

9 give a false account once he's safe in Canada? Who would do that?

10 A. He wrote -- he put together his story before he obtained the

11 Canadian visa, and it was published after he arrived in Canada. And that

12 Mr. Petar Jozeljic in Zagreb had his story kept in his safe and it was

13 published on the eve of the elections in Croatia in 1995, I think. I'm

14 not sure of the date. But for quite a long time it was kept in the

15 archive. However, I know when the account was written, because at that

16 time I was in Siroki Brijeg as Mr. Anto Pejcinovic was writing it.

17 Q. And of course he has claimed, as you will recall, that in June of

18 1992 he received instructions from Dario Kordic that the HVO had to take

19 over government functions in the municipality. That's correct, isn't it?

20 That's what happened, even though the order ultimately came from Boban?

21 A. I cannot say whether that is true or not, because I never saw that

22 order.

23 Q. It's my mistake for asking two questions in one in an attempt to

24 save time. The first suggestion, based on what Pejcinovic has said, is

25 that Kordic gave instructions to Pejcinovic that there was to be a

Page 22128

1 takeover of government functions in the municipality. That's point number

2 1. Do you accept that?

3 A. I cannot accept it, because I never saw that order.

4 Q. Well, I'm suggesting that may have been an oral or verbal order

5 and it was then followed by our Exhibit 146, if we can just have a look at

6 that, and 195.

7 MR. NICE: I'm sorry not to have been able to give the registry an

8 advance notice of the documents. My shortcoming.

9 Q. If we look at these documents, first of all, 146, the 3rd of

10 July: Pursuant to an article, decision, the following are appointed to

11 the Vares HVO, the various office holders identified, with your name

12 towards the bottom as member, signed by Mate Boban.

13 A. I had this document in my archive.

14 Q. Thank you. And then the second document, which is 195, dated the

15 25th of August, is Pejcinovic's follow-up order, appointing to the

16 presidency of Vares various people, including yourself?

17 A. Yes. This is an authentic document too.

18 Q. So the appointments and, as I would suggest, the takeover,

19 grounded on an order of Boban's, and I'm going to suggest to you that also

20 Kordic giving like instructions at the same time to Pejcinovic?

21 A. On the basis of Mr. Boban's decision, we established the Croat

22 Defence Council, and Mr. Anto Pejcinovic, as the president, appointed

23 persons listed in his decision. Whether this was done upon the suggestion

24 of Mr. Kordic's, that is something that I don't know.

25 Q. There was an oath-taking ceremony for HVO members in the summer of

Page 22129

1 1992; correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Mr. Ivica Rajic was present; correct?

4 A. I can't remember if Mr. Ivica Rajic was there.

5 Q. Do you recall a message from the absent Mr. Kordic being read out,

6 again reflecting his interest in what was happening in Vares?

7 A. I remember that.

8 Q. Thank you. Now, in July of 1992 -- and again you haven't covered

9 this, I think, at all in your summary -- Muslims in Vares were arrested,

10 including Mr. Ekrem Mahmutovic. Can you explain why?

11 A. I do not know that Mr. Ekrem Mahmutovic was arrested then.

12 Q. A general proposition: Prominent Muslims in Vares were arrested

13 in July, as I'm going to suggest, of 1992; true or false?

14 A. I think -- I think that when the HVO took over the authority on

15 the 1st of July, that nobody was then arrested, nor was anybody

16 persecuted. Everybody kept their jobs except those who left them of their

17 own will.

18 Q. Let's deal with some other points. Checkpoints were created by

19 the HVO around the town; correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Muslims were restricted in their movement around the town. They

22 needed a permit from Duznovic; correct?

23 A. No. One needed a permit to leave the town.

24 Q. And as to Ekrem Mahmutovic, just deal with it in two stages. How

25 well did you know him? Is he somebody you just sort of nodded to in the

Page 22130

1 street, or was he a chap you'd stop and talk to and have a conversation,

2 or did you go to his house? How well did you know him?

3 A. We knew each other enough to say hello in the street. We never

4 sat down, I mean in a restaurant or a pub or anything.

5 Q. And if he tells us that people were being arrested, are you saying

6 he's got it completely wrong or that it's possible that people were being

7 arrested and you didn't know about it?

8 A. I have already said that I do not know that on the 1st of July

9 anyone was arrested in Vares. It all went without any incident, very

10 calmly. People continued to work at their jobs, those who came to their

11 work in the police, in the post office, the municipal hall, and all

12 institutions of -- all administrative institutions: electric, power

13 management, so on and so forth. When people were explained what it was

14 all about, people continued normally exercising their duties.

15 Let me just quote you an example. The principal of the elementary

16 school in Vares was Mrs. Karamehic, and she kept the job under the SDA

17 authority and she is still the school principal.

18 Q. Do you recall, and is it right, that in July of 1992 the HVO was

19 already forming agreements with the Serbs to exchange rights of passage

20 for other benefits? Do you remember that?

21 A. In 1992 we held the front lines facing Serb positions and we had a

22 free passage through Breza, Visoko, Kiseljak, Novi Travnik, and there was

23 absolutely no need to, as early as 1992, talk with Serbs about such

24 matters.

25 MR. NICE: Perhaps we could have a quick look at Z167, if that's

Page 22131

1 possible.

2 JUDGE MAY: That may be a convenient moment.

3 MR. NICE: Yes. And can I say to the witness, this, if it's

4 convenient: If he would be assisted by refreshing his memory from the

5 newspaper articles to which I have referred, I've got copies which can be

6 made available to him over the break. He seems to have a good recall of

7 them, but if he wants further recollection, I'll provide them to him. Is

8 Your Honour happy to deal with this one exhibit before we leave or do you

9 want to deal with that after the break?

10 JUDGE MAY: What's convenient? You have the pattern.

11 MR. NICE: It won't take very long to deal with this one.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Deal with it briefly now.

13 MR. NICE:

14 Q. This is a document dated the 20th of July, Mr. Vidovic, and it's

15 an order issued to we can see whom, and it says that:

16 "In the course of field investigations, we've learnt from

17 reliable sources that the representatives of Vares and Kiseljak HVO," and

18 gives some names, "met the president of the Serbian municipality of

19 Ilijas, and at that meeting they agreed that the Kiseljak HVO would be

20 allowed passage to Vares in order to disarm the Vares Territorial Defence;

21 and in return, the HVO will allow the Serbian side unimpeded passage to

22 the BH army."

23 And this comes from Sefer Halilovic. Now, you say his analysis of

24 what was happening there is incorrect, or may that be the position,

25 please?

Page 22132

1 A. These reliable sources are quite false and lack any logic

2 whatsoever.

3 MR. NICE: Very well.

4 JUDGE MAY: For the legal officer, please. We'll adjourn now till

5 a few minutes past half past 11.00.

6 --- Recess taken at 11.03 a.m.

7 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.

8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

9 MR. NICE:

10 Q. One thing you didn't deal with at all in your evidence was the

11 presence of HOS in your area, H-O-S. It's right that they were there for

12 a time, isn't it?

13 A. Officially, the HOS units were never present in Vares. Certain

14 individuals identified themselves as HOS members, but as they never left

15 Vares, I believe that it was only in their own imagination that they were

16 HOS members.

17 Q. Well, in September of 1992, were you aware of any orders that HOS

18 should be placed under HVO control? Were you aware of the shooting of

19 Blaz Kraljevic shortly thereafter when he resisted it?

20 A. From the press I learned about the murder of Blaz Kraljevic but

21 this was in Herzegovina.

22 Q. I'll come back to the small groups of people who I think you're

23 referring to when we have a short private session for protection of names

24 a little later on. In September of 1992 -- may I trouble the registrar,

25 please, for Exhibit 223.

Page 22133

1 Now, it's a small point, but it relates to Mr. Kordic's

2 responsibilities for your area. This is a document that is the excerpt

3 from minutes of the meeting of the HVO for the 22nd of September, 1992.

4 We can see that it is signed by Kostroman, Valenta and Kordic, and if the

5 usher would be good enough to put what is page 6 and 7 on the screen, foot

6 of page 6 in the English.

7 You can see right at the bottom of the page, and then over to the

8 next page, that he is reporting on your municipality. I think you missed

9 the first passage, I'll read it out. It says, "Vares is the most exposed

10 municipality of the HV. The economy has ground to a halt. People are

11 almost starving. The HVO is in full control. About 82.000 refugees have

12 passed from the direction of Brcko and Tuzla. Transit taxes are

13 collected," and so on.

14 So you would accept, wouldn't you, Mr. Vidovic, that throughout,

15 Mr. Kordic was operating at the senior level dealing with the affairs of

16 your municipality?

17 A. I just found the text in Croatian. Can I please read it?

18 Q. Yes, of course. It's just the report on your municipality.

19 A. I see on the cover page that Mr. Anto Pejcinovic was representing

20 Vares, and as far as the report on the Vares municipality is concerned, it

21 is quite acceptable.

22 Q. Thank you. The next exhibit, please, is 229. Same point, but I'm

23 just wanting to confirm it, two points, really. These, Mr. Vidovic, are

24 minutes of a meeting held on the 30th of September with various

25 representatives from -- with Pejcinovic from Vares there and Duznovic, we

Page 22134

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Page 22135

1 can see. We go to what is page 2 at the bottom, in the English, and it's

2 items 1 and 2.

3 We can see here that under the agenda, the vice-president of

4 Kakanj addressed those present, and then perhaps we'll just go to item 2.

5 We see that Pejcinovic speaks as does Dario Kordic. And then if we go

6 over to page 3, small point, item 1, this is Dario Kordic speaking, he

7 says, "There is no more waiting for the Croatian people. We should

8 withdraw our representatives from the legal municipal government and form

9 our own."

10 And this refers to Vares as we can see from the immediately

11 preceding line. Do you remember that view being expressed by Mr. Kordic

12 communicated to you?

13 A. I never talked about this matter with Mr. Kordic and I cannot

14 comment on this text.

15 Q. But Mr. Vidovic, you were in the HVO. There were very few of you

16 listed even if you weren't an express office holder. Pejcinovic and so on

17 would have been talking to you. Were you aware that this was the

18 intention to withdraw from the legal municipal government and form your

19 own government?

20 A. As early as 1st June, we had established our own government in

21 Vares so that this cannot refer to the Vares municipality. That is, I

22 don't think that Mr. Kordic's comments refer to the Vares municipality.

23 Q. Very well, I'll move on because time is short. We've heard that

24 in the autumn of 1992, Zvonko Duznovic went to Stupni Do with soldiers and

25 searched houses there for weapons. And that following that, there was the

Page 22136

1 harassment of Stupni Do villages. Can you help us with why that should

2 have happened?

3 A. When we took over the power, we asked of the residents of the

4 Muslim villages who -- of the villages which had remained under the HVO

5 control to either join the HVO or not to arm themselves. The inhabitants

6 of the Dastansko village joined the HVO units, and the inhabitants of

7 Stupni Do did not.

8 Q. And therefore their inhabitants were harassed?

9 A. The inhabitants were not harassed because of that, and the

10 security service had a duty to check on whether they were arming

11 themselves. My information is that nobody was harassed.

12 Q. Very well. I can't obviously reveal the witness' name because the

13 witness gave evidence in terms of anonymity, but are you really trying to

14 say to the Judges that the HVO was whiter than white, and that there was

15 no abuse or interference of goods or shopping from the people of Stupni

16 Do. Is that what you're saying, or may that have happened?

17 A. According to information, such things did not occur in any area,

18 including Stupni Do.

19 Q. You accept, I think, that the local HVO was requesting assistance

20 from Croatia throughout and was getting assistance.

21 A. The local HVO did request assistance from anyone who could provide

22 it and was grateful for any help provided to it, including the Republic of

23 Croatia.

24 Q. And did that help include military help, weapons and so on? There

25 would be every reason to go to them for weapons from what you've said.

Page 22137

1 A. From what I know, we received weapons from the logistics centre of

2 the HZ HB.

3 Q. You may have got them from the logistics centre of the HZ HB but

4 please tell us were you, in fact, getting weapons by whatever routing,

5 were you, in fact, getting weapons from Croatia? It's a simple question.

6 A. It probably arrived via the territory of the Republic of Croatia

7 and from the Republic of Croatia, because there was no other way from

8 where it could come.

9 MR. NICE: Thank you. If we move on, please, into 1993 -- I'll

10 check that there's anything I should have covered before then. I don't

11 think so. If there is, I'll come back to it.

12 Could we just have a look, please, at Exhibit 441 briefly.

13 Mr. Vidovic, I'm trying, through you, as you will understand, to

14 give a fair and complete picture of life in Vares up to and including the

15 time when Stupni Do happened, and I'll deal with it as swiftly as I can.

16 For the registrar's assistance, I think the next document I'll

17 asked to be produced will be 534.

18 Q. Looking at this document, if we may, this is the minutes of a

19 meeting at Vares on the 3rd of February. You were present. The

20 conclusions were to strengthen information and political work with respect

21 to more regular broadcasting on local television, publication of a

22 bulletin, effective information and political activity, and references to

23 who should attend the meetings, and so on. Were you involved in this

24 yourself?

25 A. I took part in the issues covered by these minutes. I was put in

Page 22138

1 charge of organising the local TV network.

2 Q. Because we can see that at this meeting -- can we just look at the

3 heading again, please. Thank you very much -- it's the Vares

4 municipality, HVO presidency, and members of the Bobovac Brigade.

5 Military and civilian run together, don't they?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you very much. That's all I want for that.

8 Then 534, the 12th of March. Now, this is a document dated the

9 12th of March, for Pejcinovic and Duzinovic, from Kordic, and it says

10 this:

11 "The gentlemen from Vares can come for the prisoners early on

12 Monday morning. They should report to the brigade command or the military

13 police."

14 Can you explain that document, please?

15 A. I cannot, because I don't know what detainees are referred to.

16 Q. But from your position, as you're here to tell us, as a senior

17 official, what you know, does this fit with the involvement of Kordic in

18 your affairs, giving instructions to people from Vares to collect

19 prisoners?

20 A. I think -- and I don't believe that we had any prisoners at that

21 time. I don't know what prisoners are being referred to here at all.

22 Q. Very well. One thing I think you can tell us from your knowledge

23 of the Pejcinovic newspaper articles is that he gives an explanation for

24 how it came that Vares was lost to the Croats, doesn't he, Pejcinovic?

25 A. These are his subsequent conclusions following what happened in

Page 22139

1 the Vares area and after about 11.000 refugees, people, had left. It

2 seems that Mr. Pejcinovic was lost for the Croats, and this is why he

3 decided to leave for Canada. Those of us who stayed behind did not

4 believe this.

5 Q. But he has said, and I'd like your comments on this, that he was

6 told as early as January 1993 -- I'm sorry.

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my apologies. An

8 objection. What is being mentioned is something that Mr. Pejcinovic

9 allegedly said through the press. He never appeared as a witness. And

10 Mr. Vidovic is now being pushed into answering questions that are second

11 or third hand, and this is the fourth or fifth question of this kind that

12 is being put to him.

13 JUDGE MAY: The witness is not being pushed into answering

14 questions; he's being asked questions perfectly properly. If at any time

15 he were pushed or bullied or anything like that, counsel would be

16 stopped. But that has not happened. Counsel is entitled to put to a

17 witness what is in a document. It's a matter for the witness whether he

18 accepts or rejects it. But that doesn't prevent the matter being put.

19 MR. NICE: I think Mr. Naumovski has something else to say.

20 JUDGE MAY: That was a ruling, Mr. Naumovski.

21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I absolutely accept it. I did not

22 mean "pushed" in a literal sense of the word. He was just being directed

23 there. So my apologies for the use of words.

24 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

25 MR. NICE:

Page 22140

1 Q. Mr. Vidovic, Pejcinovic has said that as early as January of 1993,

2 he was told by General Praljak that the HVO in Mostar weren't really

3 interested in Vares, that Vares was Muslim and it was going to go.

4 A. When you first mentioned the article which was published in the

5 press, I said that I did not agree with a number of statements of

6 Mr. Pejcinovic. In fact, I cannot verify their truthfulness. These are

7 his comments made later, drafted under difficult psychological

8 circumstances for him. So I can only express my doubt about his comments

9 and his allegations of who made them and in what context.

10 Q. Well, I'm going to stay broadly with the chronological pattern,

11 and I don't have many more questions in that chronology to put to you

12 before we come to the end of the story. But it's true, isn't it, that

13 following Stupni Do, all the Croats left, pretty nearly?

14 A. After the events in Stupni Do, only 728 persons were left in

15 Vares; of them, about 15 were ethnic Serbs, and that is not a negligible

16 number.

17 Q. Well, it's true that a large number of Croats left, partly in fear

18 for Muslim reprisals, isn't it?

19 A. It is correct that the majority of Croatian population and those

20 Serbs who had stayed in Vares left Vares in fear of the situation that

21 could arise when the ABiH troops entered Vares, and confirmation of this

22 is the fate of several people who were killed subsequently, when the ABiH

23 troops arrived.

24 Q. I'll deal with the arrival of the ABiH troops generally later, but

25 before Stupni Do there was resistance on the part of Croats to the idea of

Page 22141

1 leaving their town; correct?

2 A. Those who did not agree to leave stayed behind. The majority of

3 people did leave the territory of Vares municipality, without any

4 coercion.

5 Q. But those who were left behind formed an untidy and inconvenient

6 Croat enclave that didn't fit with the overall plan of HVO Mostar; isn't

7 that the position, as you understood it?

8 A. Can you please clarify? What enclave are you referring to?

9 Q. You were an outpost, you were surrounded, and it was difficult to

10 sustain an HVO presence in Vares.

11 A. It was difficult to maintain the Vares enclave; however, it was

12 maintained with the assistance of HZ HB rather than because of the

13 opposition to it.

14 Q. I'll come back to that in a minute, but moving on now to the

15 middle of 1993, do you recall anything about a meeting involving both

16 Ekrem Mahmutovic and Avdo Zubaca? Do you know Avdo Zubaca?

17 A. I know Avdo Zubaca.

18 Q. Do you remember a meeting between those two about the free passage

19 of Muslims from Dabravine or Dubravine? to Tuzla?

20 A. I did not attend that meeting.

21 Q. Do you know about the meeting though?

22 A. I don't know about that meeting. Can you please tell me when this

23 meeting was held?

24 Q. In June of 1993, the evidence is. And for the Court's benefit

25 it's Witness AO.

Page 22142

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Page 22143

1 A. On 12 June, I came back from Herzegovina so that I really don't

2 know about this meeting. And these were military -- this was military

3 personnel and it was probably within their sphere of competence.

4 Q. You see, what I'm going to suggest to you was that there was at

5 and from that meeting a policy of non-cooperation with the BiH, meaning

6 that there would be no safe passage granted to any Muslim-led convoys. Do

7 you remember that policy being advanced by your side?

8 A. At that time, Vares was completely surrounded. Our convoys could

9 not cross through their territory and their convoys could not cross

10 through our territory.

11 Q. And was there a policy advanced at that stage by the HVO that

12 there would be no cooperation?

13 A. The policy of the HVO at that time was that it should be mutual

14 rather than unilateral. So that we could not entertain the unilateral

15 requests of the ABiH without getting reciprocal things from them.

16 Q. When we come to the Convoy of Joy itself, the convoy was so big

17 that you're certainly not able -- you weren't able to see any more than

18 what happened of with respect to a small part of it; correct?

19 A. That is true.

20 Q. I'm not going to go through the extensive evidence that's been

21 given about this -- with this witness, the Chamber will probably be

22 pleased to know, because it does seem to be a matter more for argument

23 than evidence and I'll just put a couple of matters to him.

24 By the time you saw Kordic, quite a lot had already happened,

25 hadn't it, including deaths of drivers and civilians?

Page 22144

1 A. I learned those facts later on.

2 Q. Yes. But having -- it doesn't matter when you learned them, the

3 fact is by the time you saw Kordic, a lot had happened including the

4 deaths of drivers and civilians at the hands of the HVO, let's not beat

5 about the bush, or the hands of Croats; correct?

6 A. It is true.

7 Q. You simply don't know one way or another to whom the international

8 military had gone to seek assistance with this convoy, do you? You can't

9 know one way or another.

10 A. I do not know that.

11 Q. For example, if I was to suggest to you that Petkovic was present

12 and involved, did you see him, did you know anything about that?

13 A. I did not see Mr. Petkovic, if you mean General Petkovic.

14 Q. General Petkovic, yes. He may have been there, mayn't he?

15 A. I did not see him. I don't know if he was there.

16 Q. And likewise, what you saw of Kordic may have been something that

17 he was doing after he'd been spoken to and pressed into action by

18 UNPROFOR; correct?

19 A. I cannot confirm that hypothesis.

20 Q. You definitely can't deny it. It's just a point, Mr. Vidovic.

21 A. Well, if I cannot confirm it, then I cannot deny it either.

22 Q. In those circumstances, Your Honour, I'm going to move on from

23 this topic and deal with it all another way.

24 We've heard that on the 21st of June, by which time you were back

25 in Vares, residents of Stupni Do were under pressure to hand over their

Page 22145

1 weapons. Why? Witness W.

2 A. I returned on the 12th of June, not the 21st.

3 Q. So by the 21st, you were in Vares, and we've heard evidence that

4 Pejcinovic, Gavran and Duznovic asked the inhabitants of Stupni Do to

5 surrender their weapons.

6 A. I suppose it is true because the security service checked and saw

7 that Stupni Do residents were building fortifications around their village

8 which meant that they were arming themselves.

9 Q. It's a very small village, isn't it, up on a hill?

10 A. Not up on the hill. It is right above part of the town of Vares,

11 about five minutes on foot.

12 Q. Well, whatever, but it's above Vares. It's quite exposed and it's

13 immediately adjacent to Mir which is an exclusively Croat village;

14 correct?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. The number of residents in Stupni Do was low at the best of times

17 and the houses are very spread out. Are you really suggesting that this

18 modest number of villagers were doing any more than protecting themselves

19 from risk?

20 A. According to the census of 1991, the population of Stupni Do was

21 somewhere around 270. And it is not a scattered village, it is one of the

22 most densely-built villages in the municipality of Vares.

23 Q. And you've made the point to the Judges that there was a

24 requirement by the HVO of mutuality in any arrangement that was made with

25 the Muslims, but the Muslims were in a very different position from the

Page 22146

1 Croats because they had no deal with the Serbs whereby they could cross

2 Serb lines, did they?

3 A. But nobody stopped them from going through our lines when they

4 took up duty with their unit at Dabravine. I shall explain another

5 thing. During the 1991-1992 school year, regardless of the blockade,

6 children from Dabravine and Muslim villages Budozelje, Strijezevo

7 regularly attended school in Vares even if they did have to pass through

8 our lines, nobody was prohibited from entering the town if he had the

9 authority, if he had the authority of the Croat Defence Council.

10 Q. We've passed beyond the school year of 1991-1992. And I'm not

11 challenging that in many ways Vares was probably, in many ways, an unusual

12 and, in many ways, probably an integrated town itself for some of the

13 time. But I'm asking you about the summer of 1993 now, and at that time,

14 the position is that the Muslims did not have the opportunity to get

15 through Serb lines that Croats did; correct?

16 A. It is correct.

17 Q. Let me just look at -- I'll hand it in myself, 2048.1, a

18 photograph of the present village of Stupni Do, just to remind the

19 Chamber. This is a -- this is a very recent photograph, I think, and

20 although we see some houses collected in the lower part of what's

21 photographed, I don't know whether it's a true valley or not, there are

22 houses or farms around the hills, are there not, forming part of Stupni

23 Do; correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And I think -- and will you correct me if I am wrong -- and I

Page 22147

1 think that in the top right-hand corner we can see probably what is the

2 very beginnings of the adjacent village of Mir; might that be right?

3 A. No.

4 Q. It's probably my geography is wrong, I'm sorry, but is that the

5 right direction of Mir? Is it just over that shoulder or have I got it

6 completely wrong?

7 A. Yes. Yes.

8 Q. It is over that shoulder?

9 A. Yes, yes.

10 Q. This is a remote -- Vares is remote, this is more remote and these

11 houses spread out over the fields right next door to and -- well, right

12 next door to Croat communities and they were being obliged to hand over

13 all their weapons and to become undefended, why was that? They were no

14 threat, were they?

15 A. From the military point of view, it was logical that within the

16 defence front lines held by the HVO, there should not be any area that

17 would not be under its control. And that was why the inhabitants were

18 asked not to arm themselves. The Croat Defence Council took over the care

19 for the supply of people in that village, and they regularly received

20 everything that all the other inhabitants of the municipality of Vares,

21 controlled by the HVO, were receiving, that is, food protection and so on

22 and so forth. So that they were in no peril at all, and they had no need

23 to defend themselves against anyone.

24 Q. You know the man Duznovic well, presumably.

25 A. I knew him.

Page 22148

1 Q. Knew him well. And you knew what his personality was like.

2 A. Very firm.

3 Q. Yes. And can you accept, then, that when he went to Stupni Do to

4 ask them to fill in their trenches in July of 1993, he would have said

5 that if they disobeyed, their village would be scorched, Witness W that's

6 what we've been told. Can you accept that Duznovic would say something

7 like that?

8 A. Mr. Duznovic would never do such a thing.

9 Q. Would he say such a thing?

10 A. I don't think he would say something like that even.

11 Q. Do you accept he had -- you tell us he had a very firm personality

12 and would have been pretty cross at being thwarted by this one village,

13 wouldn't he?

14 A. I think that these two facts have nothing to do with his

15 character. Those two things cannot be put together.

16 Q. Because -- all right. Stupni Do was obstructive, it didn't lie

17 down and behave itself, did it?

18 A. That could be our conclusion.

19 Q. Yes. And do you accept this time now for August 1993, what Ekrem

20 Mahmutovic has told us, that when again they were asked to surrender their

21 weapons, they were harassed. If ever they went to Vares, they were turned

22 to some degree, into outcasts, that their food was being taken from them

23 by members of the HVO and the like. Do you accept that that actually did

24 happen now in August of 1993?

25 A. I cannot accept that, for the simple reason that if we wanted to

Page 22149

1 take their food away from them, then we would have not given it to them.

2 MR. NICE: Can we just have a look at Z1176.1. I believe it's an

3 UNPROFOR document. This is a --

4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.

5 MR. NICE: This is a milinfosum -- thank you very much. Sorry --

6 for the 21st of August of 1993. And Mr. Vidovic, a milinfosum is a

7 military information document. I'm sorry to use shorthand with which

8 we've become familiar. And these are reports by officers of the British

9 army.

10 I'm sorry. Now, I haven't -- all right. It may be I've advanced

11 this unnecessarily. Can I just have one second to look at it? I think I

12 have. My mistake. We'll withdraw that. My apologies.

13 Q. What we have had on this date, from a British officer, is that

14 there were still, in August of 1993 -- not supported by a document, but I

15 think in evidence, and the officer concerned was (redacted) -- we've had

16 evidence that in August of 1993 the HVO was still thinking that it was in

17 a position to regain territory and to link Vares, Kiseljak, and Zepce.

18 Can you confirm that those were still plans that were being discussed at

19 that time?

20 A. At that time we neither had the necessary forces nor did it occur

21 to us that the HVO might do something like that, because equally in Vares

22 and in Zepce and in Central Bosnia, in the Lasva Valley, the HVO was

23 completely surrounded, and I do not think it ever crossed its mind to

24 launch any offensive operations.

25 Q. Well, the officer, the military officer who dealt with this

Page 22150

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Page 22151

1 thought it was unrealistic, but if at that time that was Kordic's idea, if

2 he thought it was still possible to link Vares, Kiseljak, and Zepce, your

3 conclusion would be that that was unrealistic, would it?

4 A. All I know is that under the former Communist system, people were

5 brought to court for ideas they upheld, and I think that at that time

6 nobody could even think about linking those three territories.

7 Q. Well, then you might agree with another witness, who, on the

8 same -- almost exactly the same time, a Witness AD, said that the idea

9 of putting Vares under Muslim control was specifically dealt with at that

10 time by the mayor of Vares. Who was the mayor at the time?

11 A. Excuse me. I forgot the date that you mentioned.

12 Q. August of 1993.

13 A. At that time the mayor of Vares was Mr. Anto Pejcinovic, and I

14 think that such an idea never crossed his mind.

15 Q. Because it's been suggested in evidence that he actually gave a

16 letter addressed to Kordic, Tudjman, and Boban, suggesting that it be put

17 under Muslim control. Did you hear of any such letter?

18 A. I never heard about such letter.

19 Q. Or of any other propositions put to any of those men that might

20 have been interpreted or misinterpreted by the witness in that way, the

21 idea, consistent with your views on the realities of the situation, that

22 the town should be placed under Muslim control?

23 A. I suppose it was a misinterpretation.

24 JUDGE MAY: One point. You say there was a letter addressed to

25 Kordic, Tudjman, and Boban suggesting that it be put under Muslim control,

Page 22152

1 from Mr. Pejcinovic. My recollection of the evidence was that he was

2 protesting that it may go under Muslim control under one of the plans and

3 that he addressed a letter on that basis to --

4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, if there's been an error in the summary of

5 his evidence that I'm working from, I'll correct it as soon as I can and I

6 apologise for it. I'll just check that with the page reference.

7 JUDGE MAY: I may be wrong about it, but that's my recollection.

8 MR. NICE: Your Honour may be right. I haven't been able to check

9 every original transcript page but we'll do it straight away. I'm very

10 grateful to you for the opportunity to correct it. I'll come back to

11 that, if I may.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours --

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I comment on this

15 last part?

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Had there been such an idea about

18 putting it under control then, on the 28th of October, I would have

19 operationalised it when I attended the meeting in Tuzla that I said I

20 attended with Mr. Beslagic and others. But since such an idea was not in

21 existence, then I couldn't accept that the town of Vares be placed under

22 Muslim control.

23 MR. NICE: Your Honour, my suggestion stands on the basis of

24 what's contained at page 13033, and according to the transcript, the

25 letter was given to the ECMM, addressed to Kordic, Tudjman, and Boban,

Page 22153

1 with the suggestion that I put. But if there's any doubt about the

2 transcript, we must obviously check it, because transcripts are not

3 infallible, high quality though they are in this Court.

4 JUDGE MAY: I have in mind an exhibit. It may be that it comes

5 later in the chronology, but let us not waste any further time.

6 MR. NICE: So be it. Can we go very briefly into private session

7 just to deal with the same general issue that was dealt with by

8 Mr. Naumovski in private session?

9 [Private session]

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

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Page 22155

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9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 [Open session]

12 MR. NICE:

13 Q. This is the English language document from the European monitors

14 that His Honour recalled and that deals with the same point that I was

15 putting to you when I was raising the evidence of the Witness AD. And

16 this document, which might be thought to be more reliable than the witness

17 on this topic, under paragraph 2 -- perhaps it can go on the ELMO for the

18 convenience of the -- oh, sorry. It's under seal, is it? Thank you.

19 Well, in which case then I'll just read out the relevant passage slowly.

20 It reads:

21 "One of the monitors met the mayor, Vidovic, and Duznovic, and

22 noted a complete change of attitude towards the ECMM. Previous visits

23 have been characterised by adverse comments concerning international

24 agencies, but on this occasion the team was hosted to lunch, hosted for

25 lunch. The reason became clear when ECMM was presented with a letter that

Page 22156

1 had been sent to Tudjman, Boban, and Kordic. The letter is a bitter

2 recrimination about the future of Vares as decided in Geneva, where it is

3 proposed to come under Muslim control. The Croat leaders in Vares wanted

4 ECMM to publicise their disapproval, stating that it was a betrayal. The

5 mayor added, not in the letter, that they would prefer to come under Serb

6 control."

7 Now, that's, Mr. Vidovic, as reported to the monitors. Does that

8 fit with your recollection of events and attitudes at the time?

9 A. No, it does not.

10 Q. Which part of it do you say may be incorrect?

11 A. We're talking about the positions, so far as I can see, Messrs.

12 Pejcinovic and Duznovic who met with the monitors. I believe that any

13 position reflecting subjugation of Vares, either to the Muslims or the

14 Serbs, was never a topic of conversation or discussions in our meetings.

15 Q. But you may not have been at this particular meeting, Mr. Vidovic,

16 but this is international observers recording, usually on the same day,

17 what happened at their meetings. And here they are writing down details

18 of a letter sent to Tudjman, Boban and Kordic.

19 Are you simply suggesting they made it up or they misunderstood

20 something or is the reality that you understand, however little you want

21 to acknowledge it, that the potential loss or the loss of Vares to Croatia

22 or to the Croats was the problem that led to Stupni Do. This is what

23 we're coming to in a minute.

24 A. I did not assert that the European monitors were -- did not

25 transmit them, certain comments as they were made. I first met with them

Page 22157

1 in 1991 and I always tried to tell them the truth. However, many of them

2 did not say these things but said incorrect things which were then passed

3 on by the European monitors to their respective institutions. So I cannot

4 comment on this. I can only say that in the official meetings, we never

5 advocated any joining to either side. Had we done so, we would have

6 implemented it too, believe me.

7 Q. Well, I must suggest to you that by this time, and as this

8 document reveals, the territory of Vares was lost, and you Croats in Vares

9 felt that had you been betrayed probably by your own side by the

10 negotiations in Geneva.

11 A. I don't have -- I didn't get the interpretation, but I didn't

12 think that the -- I don't have the translation of the document here, but I

13 don't think that the overall situation in Vares was such. Some

14 individuals may have felt that way.

15 Q. Well, now let's come to the central issue which is not covered in

16 your summary but what we are concerned with is this background. Tell us,

17 please, why were the residents of Stupni Do massacred?

18 A. The attack on the village of Stupni Do was carried out for

19 military reasons because from it, the roads that controlled the Perun

20 feature which was held by the HVO, and also the entrance to Vares. As a

21 person, I regret any casualties, any victims of any ethnic group, but from

22 that point of view, the Stupni Do could not have been circumvented or

23 voided.

24 At first, the number of victims at Stupni Do was blown out of

25 proportion. The majority of inhabitants were evacuated through the

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Page 22159

1 Croatian village of Mir. Those who stayed behind are the ones who decided

2 to do so.

3 Q. There are a number of points there, but is your explanation

4 something you know because you were present at the military meeting or the

5 military political meeting where this was planned or not?

6 A. No. This is my opinion on the attack on the village of Stupni

7 Do. My subsequent comment drawn from -- on the basis of information I

8 learned later. I did not know about the attack. I was not present in the

9 meetings where this attack was decided on.

10 Q. You were present in Vares at the time.

11 A. I was. I was in Vares.

12 Q. Your job at the time was what?

13 A. At that time, I was technical director of the construction agency

14 which worked in Vares, and I was in charge of roads which we kept open in

15 the enclave and to the -- to Republika Srpska which we used for food and

16 other supplies.

17 Q. I will pause there for a minute. You were a member of the

18 Presidency.

19 A. I was a member of the Presidency in charge of duties which I have

20 just mentioned.

21 Q. So that the ruling body of the HVO in Vares is a body of what,

22 less than a dozen people?

23 A. I didn't understand the question.

24 Q. Well, the Presidency is how many people?

25 A. I believe that the Presidency consisted of five members.

Page 22160

1 Q. Thank you.

2 A. Based on the decision by Mr. Pejcinovic, I'm not sure that I know

3 the exact number, but I can try to name them.

4 Q. We've already seen from one example, and you have accepted that

5 military and civilian matters were well integrated; correct?

6 A. That is correct. But only in certain cases.

7 Q. You were a town cut off and at risk.

8 A. Of course it was at risk.

9 Q. Thank you. Are you going to tell us, so that I can understand it,

10 are you really telling us that you didn't get to know, with some accuracy,

11 exactly what had happened at Stupni Do? You didn't go and ask other

12 members of the Presidency or anyone else?

13 A. I was not present at the meeting when the decision about the

14 attack was made. I learned about the attack on the village on the morning

15 of the 23rd. It was a Saturday. And I can tell the Trial Chamber that I

16 had just celebrated my birthday so that on that day, I did not attend any

17 meetings. On the 23rd, I was cut off. May I continue?

18 Q. Yes, of course.

19 A. On the 23rd, I was cut off together with the other members of

20 Presidency, Messrs. Pejcinovic, Duznovic and Gavran and we did not know

21 about the final outcome of the attack on Stupni Do until we were again

22 released on the 25th. I personally was released at 5.30 p.m.

23 Q. Who detained you?

24 A. I did not say that I was -- that I was arrested. I was just put

25 in isolation. We were cut off on orders of Ivica Rajic.

Page 22161

1 Q. Well, where were you? You've used the word "segregated", you've

2 used the word "released," but you haven't actually said what happened to

3 you. What happened to you? What did Rajic do to you?

4 A. We went to the headquarters to see how the operation -- because

5 the operation was in progress at the time. We went to see what had

6 happened. And then we were isolated in a room.

7 Q. Whereabouts?

8 A. In the headquarters.

9 Q. What building was that?

10 A. This was in the Hotel Ponikve which was about nine kilometres from

11 Vares.

12 Q. Now, if we've heard from a witness, AO, that there was a meeting

13 on the 20th of October at that hotel where Pejcinovic, Gavran and Duznovic

14 were ousted from office or ousted from control, would you accept that that

15 might be right or do you say it was later than that?

16 A. That is not correct. They were not taken away the control at any

17 time except at a time during which we were kept incommunicado. After we

18 were released, we continued this carrying out the duties which we had

19 carried out previously.

20 Q. And where were you kept incommunicado, tell us, please?

21 A. According to the information I received after I had been released,

22 this was done for our own safety.

23 Q. For your own safety? Explain, please.

24 A. I cannot explain it.

25 Q. No.

Page 22162

1 A. I received this information and I just went on with my work.

2 Q. Let's take things now in a logical order. Ivica Rajic arrived

3 from Kiseljak with reinforcements, didn't he?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. That must have been a politically driven decision. He didn't have

6 liberty to march all over Central Bosnia with troops. That must have been

7 a politically driven decision; correct?

8 A. I don't know that. I believe that it was a military decision.

9 Q. But driven by the politicians. He was here with hundreds of men

10 or a couple hundred men, in particular, special units. You were there in

11 the war. A military decision, yes, but it had to have been driven by the

12 politicians; correct?

13 A. I am not sure of it.

14 Q. Well, you say you weren't present at the meeting, whenever it

15 was. Who has told you what happened at that meeting, whenever it was?

16 A. From Anto Pejcinovic, I learned about the arrival of Mr. Ivica

17 Rajic with his troops in Vares. In this meeting, it was decided that

18 after reconnaissance was conducted in the area of Dragovicko hill, which

19 was also surrounded but it was controlled by the HVO, that the operation

20 should be carried out to liberate this area because there were ABiH

21 fortifications there. But why, instead of the Dragovicko hill, the

22 operation was carried out in Stupni Do, this, we did not know.

23 At that time he, himself, did not know it because he had told me

24 this while we were kept incommunicado.

25 Q. How far away is the hill that they came to liberate from Stupni

Page 22163

1 Do, please?

2 A. This hill is on the other side of the municipality, so on the

3 right bank of the Stapina River. The shortest road to it is, in my

4 assessment, about 20 kilometres. As the crow flies, it's maybe about 5.

5 Q. That's fine. So that the attack on Stupni Do cannot be justified

6 or explained by the accounts you've been given by Pejcinovic or by anyone

7 else.

8 A. It can be explained only by Ivica Rajic's change of decision in

9 that night and his taking a decision to go to Stupni Do instead of

10 Dragovicko hill.

11 Q. So if Witness AO tells us that at the relevant meeting there was,

12 indeed, a change of decision by Rajic, that fits entirely with what you've

13 been told or it fits fairly well with what you've been told by other

14 people who had some knowledge of the meeting; correct?

15 A. Such a conclusion can be -- could be drawn from this.

16 Q. You will know from all that you must have read and been told that

17 there are at least two theories for why Stupni Do was massacred that were

18 advanced at the time. The first one which we can reject, can we not, was

19 that it had something to do with black marketeering. The destruction of

20 Stupni Do had nothing to do with their role as black marketeer

21 beneficiaries, can it?

22 A. I believe that theories on why this happened, in my view, cannot

23 stand. It is true that the black market channels did pass through Stupni

24 Do from Vares to the territory controlled by the ABiH, but I cannot say

25 that that was the reason. My opinion is --

Page 22164

1 Q. Tell us your opinion, because I've asked you, so you better tell

2 us.

3 A. My opinion, even though I'm not a military expert, is that the

4 attack on Stupni Do was carried out for purely military reasons.

5 Q. But that simply doesn't make sense, does it, given the apparent

6 purpose of Rajic's arrival, the announced intention of liberating a

7 totally different feature that was defended, you say, by Muslims, and the

8 fact that Stupni Do is a small village, easily cut off by the bridge at

9 the bottom of the hill, as had been done, and easily isolated in any

10 event. The military account simply doesn't fit, does it?

11 A. The village of Stupni Do is not isolated at all. I had stated

12 previously that from this area, one can control the approaches to the town

13 from the territory controlled by the ABiH, and from there they were able

14 to fully control the roads in the territory of Vares controlled by the

15 HVO, and this area could simply not be left under the hostile control.

16 Q. Mr. Vidovic, there's no document that you produced to this Court

17 and there's no document that you're going to refer to, is there,

18 supporting the suggestion that this was a straightforward military

19 decision; am I correct?

20 A. This is why it is my opinion. I have no documents to support it,

21 because I was -- I did not participate in either the preparation or in the

22 carrying out of this operation. You just asked for my opinion.

23 Q. In all the publications that you've seen, there's no document

24 referred to supporting the suggestion, is there, that Stupni Do was a

25 proper military target? That's never been raised in all these reports,

Page 22165

1 Pejcinovic and everyone else?

2 A. We need not agree on every point, and we don't.

3 Q. And just dealing with again your suggestion that this was such a

4 difficult military risk, this is a photograph, isn't it, of the bridge, or

5 the tunnel, rather, that leads to Stupni Do. And to make sense of it, the

6 photographer is standing on the main road leading from the south up to

7 Stupni Do -- sorry, up to Vares. So Vares is off on the left and

8 everything else, Sarajevo and so on, is on the right, down to the right.

9 So that's the main road. In order to get to Stupni Do, you have to go

10 through that narrow tunnel that we see there, and then I think you have to

11 turn right on a very small, unmade road; correct?

12 A. Yes. Yes.

13 Q. Far from Stupni Do controlling the roads to Vares, the main Vares

14 road, which the photographer is standing on, was a position where it was

15 easy to control access to Stupni Do, and indeed, as you must know, access

16 to Stupni Do to NordBat was denied for I think a day or so simply by the

17 presence of HVO soldiers at that tunnel; correct? It was easy to do, easy

18 to cut it off.

19 A. I wasn't talking about the physical control and passage; I was

20 talking about the control of weapons. If you had another photograph taken

21 from the same vantage point of the village of Stupni Do, it would then

22 make it perfectly clear that from the village, this point could be easily

23 controlled with small arms, let alone with snipers or artillery.

24 Q. Well, in the two minutes before the break --

25 MR. NICE: And Your Honour, I'm very nearly finished. I'd hoped

Page 22166

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Page 22167

1 to finish by lunch, but I'll just be a few minutes beyond, or some minutes

2 beyond.

3 Q. But again, there may be parts of the main road visible from Stupni

4 Do, but are you going to point us to any document that shows that the road

5 was being fired on from Stupni Do before Rajic's arrival with a couple of

6 hundred special patrol group soldiers? As far as I can recall, and I'll

7 be corrected if I'm wrong, there is no history of a problem there in the

8 documents at all.

9 A. If members of the British battalion -- had members of the British

10 battalion done their job properly, they should have mentioned in their

11 report the bunkers placed above the village itself which controlled the

12 approaches to the town and the roads of Majdan, Vares, Planinica.

13 Q. My last question before the adjournment, subject to the Court's

14 decision: What you're giving us as an explanation, Mr. Vidovic, is an

15 after-event attempt to justify what you must know from your discussions

16 was a deeply cynical attack, killing innocent women and children, entirely

17 consistent with the other theory that's been advanced over the years,

18 namely, that this was done to frighten the remaining Croats into obedience

19 to Mostar's desire that they should leave Vares and add to the numbers of

20 Croats in Croat-held territory; correct?

21 A. I cannot confirm that that is correct.

22 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now. Half past 2.00.

23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.01 p.m.

24

25

Page 22168

1 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

3 MR. NICE:

4 Q. Mr. Vidovic, I now have a copy of and translation of the August

5 1993 letter, and although it means jumping back from where after we've

6 taken a break, I thought I'd just deal with it now. Exhibit 1174, please,

7 one of the outstanding exhibits. And I must suggest to you that, in fact,

8 this document when you have a look at, it is something that was discussed

9 with you or shown to you or passed to you for your approval before it was

10 sent.

11 So if you'd like to look at the original we'll have the English

12 copy on the ELMO, and it is a letter of the 20th of August to Tudjman,

13 Boban and Kordic addressing them, "... on behalf of thousands of Croats

14 from Vares who are justifiably worried because unacceptable solutions are

15 being imposed on them at the latest Geneva talks in spite of ..." and it

16 sets out various principles. "That is to say, new attempts are being made

17 to separate the Croatian population in this area from the rest of the

18 Croatian people." It goes on to say, "It's necessary to remind you that

19 Croats have existed here for more than a millennium and Vares has been and

20 is an environment with recognisable Croatian characteristics. It is a

21 vital town due to the merit of the HVO which is absolutely sovereign in

22 this area. Croats of Vares are firm in their decision to continue to lead

23 their own life. That is why they tried and succeeded in preserving Vares

24 for themselves.

25 Gentlemen, the Croatian people expect quite justifiably that you

Page 22169

1 will take care of their interests and represent them properly. The

2 Croatian people would be satisfied if Vares remained Croatian in the

3 future, naturally, firmly connected with the rest of the Croatian people

4 or, in the worst case, if it became a Croatian enclave with full local

5 autonomy.

6 All other solutions and possible political bargains would be

7 portrayed by the Croatian people as betrayal of their interests,

8 especially because they know very well that every community, even a state,

9 consists of real people and not objects or empty territory.

10 The Croats of Vares are well aware that what they have at stake

11 represents an asset that can hardly be adequately compensated for, and

12 they are not prepared at all to exchange their cash for credit. If it

13 happens, however, that the local Croats are forced to abandon their roots,

14 you will have to give them an explanation as to what they are supposed to

15 leave here, just territory for territory's sake.

16 And then over the page, it would be tragic if the Croats of Vares

17 are left in the lurch in these crucial times because of that their eyes

18 are still on you. They demand that the leadership of the Croatian people

19 acknowledge their justified requests during the rest of the Geneva talks."

20 Do you remember that letter now?

21 A. This letter, as I can see, was sent by Mr. Anto Pejcinovic and in

22 no way does it deny what I already said. We were -- we wanted to stay on

23 our own turf to defend it and it is quite natural that from the most

24 responsible people, those who represented the Croat people in the --

25 before the International Community were the ones that we asked, what we

Page 22170

1 did ask, that is, to protect our interest in the territory of the

2 municipality of Vares.

3 Q. Thank you. I move back to where we were and to Stupni Do. For

4 all that we have been told when Rajic came, did he come with written

5 authority to replace the civilian authorities in Vares?

6 A. No, he couldn't have come to replace the civilian authorities in

7 Vares and, as far as I know, he did not have any such instructions because

8 we functioned before and after Rajic's arrival.

9 Q. Yes, but in the middle, you were in a state of arrest and you were

10 completely supplanted by Rajic and his men. Are you saying that he did

11 that simply by way of marshal law or is it the case, as I must suggest to

12 you, that he might have come with written authority that you were to do

13 what you were told?

14 A. I did not hear about any written authority, and if -- four of us

15 were isolated. People in the municipal assembly continued in their jobs

16 normally which means that the municipal administration, at that time,

17 functioned as much as it could in the light of the attack by the army of

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina on Vares. The authorities is not only for men, it is

19 everybody else who takes part in one way or another in the government.

20 Q. Stupni Do occurred before, during or after the attack by the BiH?

21 Please tell us, and then we can check it against, you see, all the other

22 records.

23 A. The 3rd Corps of the BiH army launched this attack on the 17th of

24 October, 1993, when the first defence front lines were broken through at

25 the locality called Vijecnica, as I have already stated, which means that

Page 22171

1 Stupni Do happened after the attack of the 3rd Corps of the BH army at

2 Vares.

3 Q. And how far away do you say that was from Vares and Stupni Do?

4 A. That breakthrough was some seven kilometres away from the town

5 itself by the road; less as the crow flies, but that was the first defence

6 front line which threatened our defence.

7 Q. Before lunch today, you told us that there was a change of plan in

8 the course of Rajic's time with you from one particular feature to Stupni

9 Do. I think I got correctly the place that was originally to be attacked

10 or released or whatever it was. What was the name of the place that was

11 first planned to be attacked by Rajic?

12 A. I heard that the plan was to go to a locality called Dragovicko

13 hill, Dragovicko Brdo.

14 Q. Well, I think before lunch you said Perun, but we can deal --

15 JUDGE MAY: No. He said the Dragovicko Hill.

16 MR. NICE: My mistake.

17 Q. What it comes to is this: that if a Witness AO spoke of Dragovici

18 and/or Mijakovici, which is close by, being the objects of the first plan,

19 then you would agree with him on that?

20 A. In my statement I did not mention Dragovici and Mijakovici,

21 because there are three different places, all of them.

22 Q. So far as Dragovici is concerned, you would agree with him on

23 that; that was part of the first plan?

24 A. No. Dragovicko Hill was within the first plan.

25 Q. And that's to the west of Vares and to the west of Stupni Do?

Page 22172

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And it is near to Mijakovici?

3 A. Dragovici and Mijakovici are both west of the Dragovicko Hill.

4 Q. If Rajic came with a first plan and there was then a change to

5 attack Stupni Do, from all your knowledge of events at the time, he would

6 have required political approval for such a change of plan, wouldn't he?

7 A. I don't think so, because he needed a military order.

8 Q. Well, if he needed a military order for a change of plan, that

9 military order may itself have required political approval; correct?

10 A. I do not think so.

11 Q. Well, why not? How could it be possible to make such a radical

12 change from a small village to the south-east of Vares from this other,

13 you would say, defended place to the west of Vares?

14 A. I cannot answer that question, because I do not know under what

15 conditions, how, and who made such a decision. I can only make

16 assumptions.

17 Q. Have you ever been given an account by anyone present at the

18 meeting where the final plan was laid as to how that change of plan came

19 about?

20 A. From what I learnt later, the plan was changed in the narrow

21 circle of Rajic's command.

22 Q. Again, it may well be that Rajic made reference to someone above

23 him military or political, to approve his changed plan?

24 A. I never heard anything about it.

25 Q. And you certainly never heard of Rajic being taken to task by his

Page 22173

1 superiors for acting outside, so far as a location is concerned, for

2 acting outside the plan that he ultimately had to perform?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Thank you. We know that Rajic was notionally sacked in due

5 course, wasn't he?

6 A. I didn't understand the question. Who sacked him, and where?

7 Q. Was he, once the scale of the Stupni Do disaster was revealed and

8 following problems with human rights people, was he notionally relieved of

9 office?

10 A. I do not know that he was ever relieved of office at any time.

11 Q. And did he indeed, to your knowledge, whether relieved of office

12 or not, continue under a different nom de plume or nom de guerre as Viktor

13 Andric in order to deceive the International Community into believing he

14 had been dismissed when he hadn't been? Did you know he was sailing under

15 the flag of Viktor Andric for a time?

16 A. I do.

17 Q. Do you also know that what happened in Stupni Do was the subject

18 of discussion right at the level of President Tudjman in Croatia? Did you

19 know about that?

20 A. No, I do not know that.

21 Q. You were locked in a hotel room with several people, and it's

22 clear, isn't it, that those of you, the leadership of Vares, had good

23 relations, or had had good relations, with the Muslims in Tuzla and with

24 the 2nd Brigade; is that right? 2nd Corps, I beg your pardon, the Muslim

25 2nd Corps.

Page 22174

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Page 22175

1 A. Yes, that is correct. And I have already said in my testimony

2 that as a leader of an athletic team, on the 23rd of September I went to

3 Tuzla, and I was there as a guest representing the Vares municipality.

4 Q. You weren't locked up for your own safety; you, the Vares

5 leadership, were displaced or replaced and locked up because it was feared

6 that you would reveal the truth about what was happening in Stupni Do, or

7 going to happen in Stupni Do, to the Muslims with whom you got on well.

8 Isn't that the reality?

9 A. I cannot accept that as a correct assumption.

10 Q. Because the more extremist elements of the HVO in Vares had to

11 some degree been marginalised by you because, as you tell the Judges, and

12 to some degree we accept this, it was a place where there was remaining

13 integration. Isn't that the truth?

14 A. Yes. The integration survived until the 3rd Corps attacked the

15 municipality of Vares. Were your earlier assumption correct, we wouldn't

16 have been released after two days, because we could still reveal the truth

17 about Stupni Do even two days later.

18 Q. What on earth was the reason for your being arrested if you were

19 the municipal leaders? Why did you need to be kept out of the way,

20 please? You must know, you must have asked, and you must have found out.

21 A. I repeat: When I was released on Monday, on the 25th of October,

22 around half past 5.00, that explanation was for our safety, and I accepted

23 that explanation. And on Tuesday, on the 26th, I went to work as usual.

24 Q. Can you tell us, please, why the Bobovac Brigade, plenty large

25 enough, wasn't trusted to handle the release of Dragovici or Stupni Do?

Page 22176

1 Why not?

2 A. Probably, and I'm guessing now, because before that it had no

3 combat operations and therefore had no experience.

4 Q. How big was the brigade at the time? Can you give us an idea?

5 A. I think that at that time, as we say, they had on the payroll some

6 800 men, but that is not a reliable figure, I can tell you.

7 Q. You know, and it may be embarrassing for you to have to reveal

8 this truth, but you know that the Maturice and the Apostoli special

9 groups, brought in by the much-feared Rajic, were brought in because it

10 was only through them that this foul attack on Stupni Do could be carried

11 out, don't you?

12 A. I'm aware, or rather I learnt afterwards that the attack was

13 launched by the units that you have mentioned.

14 Q. And it's because of their disposition and their willingness to do

15 the unacceptable that they had to be brought in to teach Vares a lesson,

16 really, wasn't it?

17 A. I think that this assumption is not correct.

18 Q. The last point before I turn to the newspaper articles for the

19 last time is this: Although you don't cover it in your summary, Muslim

20 men were rounded up and imprisoned and very badly treated in Vares for a

21 time, weren't they?

22 A. On that occasion there was in Vares, if I may put it up, a

23 cleaning of the town, because our troops were on the front lines around

24 the town of Vares and in the town there was only a smallish unit of

25 military police, and in case a conflict broke out in the town, it wouldn't

Page 22177

1 have been able to provide -- to protect the citizens. As for the

2 treatment in facilities themselves, I do not know much, even though I

3 heard later that, yes, there was harassment by members of units which had

4 arrived from Kiseljak.

5 Q. Don't beat about the bush. There was beatings and all sort of

6 maltreatment of prisoners; correct?

7 A. One could say so, yes.

8 MR. NICE: Your Honours, I was going to ask this witness a few

9 questions about the newspaper articles by Pejcinovic. I can make it plain

10 that it may well be my intention to seek to call that witness at a later

11 stage, and I understand that if my application is granted and if he

12 attends, he will adopt the newspaper article as broadly as his statement.

13 So Z1460.1, if the witness could have the --

14 JUDGE MAY: Could you do this fairly quickly.

15 MR. NICE: Yes, I'll do it very quickly. I've marked the passages

16 I want to look at. And if we could go in the English straight to page 8,

17 lay that on the ELMO.

18 Q. And page 8, the way that Pejcinovic describes his instructions

19 from Mr. Kordic, and there's one passage I want your comment on. I hope

20 you can find it in the original text; otherwise follow me, and I hope it's

21 a faithful production. He says this in relation to the June 1992 events,

22 he says he received instructions from Dario Kordic which explicitly stated

23 that, "The HVO had to take over all government functions in the

24 municipality. Detailed preparations were carried out in strict

25 conspiracy, and it was done on the 1st of July, 1992. The mission was

Page 22178

1 carried out with the help of a special anti-sabotage unit which blocked

2 the town that morning and all its major institutions. The whole action

3 was carried out without a single incident." He then goes on to say how

4 people were appointed, including you.

5 The passage about conspiracy and the use of special anti-sabotage

6 unit, do you accept he's accurate about that?

7 A. The HVO unit in Vares had a unit which was one of the first, or

8 rather made of the first volunteers who were ready to take up arms and

9 defend people in Vares. It was no specially trained unit, it was simply

10 made of the first volunteers whom we trusted most.

11 Q. Yes. Well, was that unit used to effect this take over and was it

12 the takeover effective and without incident?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 A. Those --

16 Q. Thank you very much. Next exhibit, 1461.2. Again, we'll start at

17 page 8 in the English.

18 JUDGE MAY: Were those introduced in the evidence in chief? I

19 don't recollect these.

20 MR. NICE: No, no, they weren't introduced in the evidence in

21 chief, no.

22 JUDGE MAY: They are material which you are introducing now?

23 MR. NICE: Yes. I explained it. Yes.

24 JUDGE MAY: Right. Well, if you explained it, I didn't follow

25 it. And you claim that you are maybe going to call this witness?

Page 22179

1 MR. NICE: Yes, indeed.

2 JUDGE MAY: Why wasn't he called as part of the evidence in chief.

3 MR. NICE: Circumstances can change and, indeed, the willingness

4 of the witnesses to attend can change and that can be stimulated by the

5 lines of Defence.

6 Q. Something here is the heading will do, because I can summarise it

7 very quickly. In his article, he refers to the soldiers from Kakanj

8 attacking Muslims in short at a time when there was still the spirit of

9 cooperation between ethnic groups in Vares. Pejcinovic says that,

10 "Soldiers brought from Kakanj by Rajic caused difficulties because they

11 gratuitously attacked Muslims." Do you accept that that's a fair

12 description of what happened?

13 A. I previously stated under what circumstances Mr. Pejcinovic wrote

14 this letter, and I think that I cannot agree with most of the statements

15 made here. I don't agree with the statement which you just asked me

16 about.

17 Q. Well, the particular proposition I was putting to you was about

18 the different disposition of the soldiers that Rajic got from Kakanj and

19 their being willing to attack Muslims when the HVO from Vares were not

20 disposed to do that. Do you accept that he's accurate to that extent, and

21 that is one of the causes of the problems?

22 A. This statement is not correct because Mr. Anto Pejcinovic never

23 supported this assertion with any document. In his -- in his testimony,

24 he talked about who told him what and then he makes further observations

25 and opinions. This is all based on his personal view rather than

Page 22180

1 political positions of the Vares HVO.

2 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure that we are going to be helped by this.

3 Just a moment.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, what concerns the Trial Chamber is the

6 status of these exhibits, also the question of the time which is being

7 taken. As far as the exhibits are concerned, these may or may not be

8 significant documents.

9 MR. NICE: Yes.

10 JUDGE MAY: They may be, after all, the work simply of a political

11 opponent who has gone over or become an antagonist, and at the moment we

12 would not be minded to admit them in evidence.

13 MR. NICE: Yes.

14 JUDGE MAY: If you call the witness, of course, that will be a

15 totally different matter. But at the moment, we don't think so, that they

16 should be admitted. The question is should they be put to this witness.

17 Of course, you are attempting to lay the ground to, if you're going to

18 call the witness, the other witness.

19 MR. NICE: Yes.

20 JUDGE MAY: As I understand it. I'm not sure how useful an

21 exercise it is, in particular at the moment, unless there is something

22 specific about this witness and perhaps it would be sensible to put

23 again. I think he's given evidence about Mr. Pejcinovic that he's gone to

24 Canada and gone over or something -- words to that effect.

25 MR. NICE: Can I confine myself to one more question that I

Page 22181

1 derived from one of these newspaper articles, most of the material being

2 covered in the chronological development that I have done, and then I

3 think I will be done.

4 Q. But there is one particular matter I'd like his assistance with

5 and it's this, Mr. Vidovic. It relates to the man, Kresimir Bozic, whom

6 you were asked about, who you know; correct? You know Kresimir Bozic;

7 right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. I won't bother to characterise the man, but is it right that he

10 had been in conflict with other leaders of the HVO before the arrival of

11 Rajic and that one of the grounds of conflict was that he wanted you to

12 bring in outsiders like Rajic to come and sort things out. Is that one of

13 the things that happened?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Was he indeed of more extreme view and more willing to do the

16 things that were done at Stupni Do than the rest of you?

17 A. Mr. Kresimir Bozic was a member of the HVO Bobovac Brigade and I

18 don't know any of any conflicts within the command of the structure of the

19 brigade. And the invitation to Rajic and the Kiseljak operative group to

20 help out Vares was not linked to that, it was purely to do with the

21 defence of the territory.

22 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, I think I put my case in, thank

23 you.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we will hand back these two newspaper articles to

25 the registry because they are not admitted. They may be in due course but

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Page 22183

1 at the moment they are not.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

4 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:

5 Q. Mr. Vidovic, you have been giving evidence for quite sometime, I

6 will try to be as brief as I can. I'm not going to try to interpret what

7 my learned friend asked you about your isolation, but let me ask you just

8 this: Were you isolated before the Stupni Do fighting or during it or

9 when?

10 A. We were put in isolation on the 23rd, that means during the

11 fighting in Stupni Do.

12 Q. In other words, the fighting in Stupni Do had already started when

13 this happened?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And if I understood you correctly, this was at a moment when you

16 went to the headquarters of the Bobovac Brigade to find out what was going

17 on?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. You are an architect by profession, and I notice that you -- not

20 when you mention certain things, you not only mention the exact date but

21 even the hour. Is there a possibility that you are confused about some of

22 the dates that you mentioned today or do you remember them quite well?

23 A. I am not confused about a single date, about a single hour which I

24 mentioned, because I remember very well these dates because I was a

25 participant of these unfortunate events.

Page 22184

1 Q. Thank you. There was a photograph of Stupni Do which was taken

2 from the vantage point coming out of the town. Just for precision's sake,

3 could we agree that there are two roads leading to Stupni Do; one going

4 through this underpass and going up to the village, and the other one used

5 by the inhabitants of the village of Mir?

6 A. The photograph I saw is not of Stupni Do, but it is -- it was

7 taken from the rail tracks and then the road continues up towards Stupni

8 Do. There is a circular road around the village because there is a road

9 that leads to the village of Mir and then links it up to the village of

10 Tisovac and it is still open.

11 Q. And this road does not lead to this underpass, as I've been

12 calling it?

13 A. No, it does not.

14 Q. Mr. Vidovic, you explained today why your outline does not mention

15 the events at Stupni Do, and you say that you did not put it down because

16 you did not have direct knowledge of it; is that correct?

17 A. In my testimony also, I said that I know about Stupni Do only what

18 I learned about it subsequently, and I thought that the Trial Chamber

19 would not be interested in having it in my outline.

20 Q. What you learned later about Stupni Do, was that some special

21 knowledge or some special information or is that something that you local

22 inhabitants of Vares talked about between -- from 23rd onward?

23 A. These are not -- this is not special knowledge, this is the

24 knowledge derived from what I shared with the -- all the knowledge of

25 every other inhabitant of Vares at the time.

Page 22185

1 Q. I'm not sure whether I understood my learned friend correctly when

2 he asked you about a letter sent by Mr. Anto Pejcinovic, not only to

3 the -- to President Tudjman and Mr. Boban and a copy to Mr. Kordic, and

4 also to various media outlets, the local television and so on. But it was

5 suggested that you had first revised this letter that you -- that it was

6 given to you for revision?

7 A. I don't remember receiving it for revision, but I completely agree

8 with the contents of the letter. When I was previously asked by the

9 Prosecutor, it was suggested to me -- it was suggested that we had asked

10 to be joined to the Muslim authorities, but this is not reflected in this

11 letter.

12 Q. From the letter printed in the newspaper article, I looked at it,

13 Mr. Pejcinovic is addressing his objections to Mr. Tudjman and Mr. Boban

14 who were the ones representing the Croats in the negotiations.

15 A. I had said that this letter was written in special circumstances

16 for Mr. Pejcinovic, and it is not corroborated or supported by any

17 documents. These are his observations. It is like a student writing

18 homework when asked to write about a certain topic.

19 Q. I understand. But my question is relating to something that is

20 well known. Everybody knows who the Croat representatives were in Geneva

21 so this objection went directly to the Croat representatives who were

22 engaged in the negotiations in Geneva?

23 A. I think that is clear from the title of the article.

24 Q. I believe that you stated this several times today, but perhaps an

25 additional detail would be useful in the chronology that we had

Page 22186

1 established. In regard of the negotiation in Geneva, do you know who

2 represented the Croat side? Do you know who represented it and was

3 Mr. Kordic present there?

4 A. So far as I know, Mr. Kordic did not attend negotiations in

5 Geneva. And as to who was part of the delegation representing the

6 Croatian people, I cannot name all the names except for Mr. Boban.

7 Q. Thank you. Several times today, you said that on 17 October,

8 1993, the 3rd Corps of ABiH attacked the Vares municipality and in that

9 context, you mentioned that Lijesnica had fallen. What happened on the

10 19th of October? What other village was attacked?

11 A. On the 19th October, immediately after the fall of Lijesnica, the

12 Croatian village of Kopljari was attacked and its inhabitants driven out.

13 They moved to the village of Borovica. Several civilians died and, as far

14 as I know, two HVO soldiers were also killed.

15 Q. I passed through that village this year. This village was

16 completely obliterated. Was it obliterated at that time or later?

17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, if you want to give the evidence, you

18 go over there.

19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honour. I just

20 wanted to ask -- I wanted to ask him when it was destroyed. It is

21 destroyed, but I just wanted to know when it was.

22 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness give the evidence.

23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

24 Q. Perhaps I should rephrase my question. Do you know how the

25 village looked after the attack?

Page 22187

1 A. After the attack we couldn't go to the village; we could only try

2 to view it through binoculars. And later on, after we were able to visit

3 the village, we found it destroyed. The villages of Kopljari and upper

4 and lower Borovica were destroyed over a period of time. It wasn't during

5 the initial attack of the ABiH, but they were systematically destroyed

6 through 1995.

7 Q. Thank you. We can move on. Today you were -- it was suggested to

8 you, and this is not the first time, that the Muslims were limited in

9 their movements around the town. Is that correct?

10 A. That is absolutely not correct. Nobody was forbidden to move

11 freely through the territory controlled by the HVO, except it was

12 forbidden to leave the territory of the municipality without a permit.

13 Whoever had an HVO permit could even go to Dabravine, to the ABiH

14 headquarters.

15 Q. I assume -- that is, did it have to do with the law on military

16 duty which called for -- which provided that the militarily fit men could

17 only go -- could only leave the territory with special permission?

18 A. If we had justified requests for continued education or health

19 problems, we even let the military conscripts leave the territory in order

20 to attend to their business. As far as the military conscripts are

21 concerned, the HVO did not forcibly mobilise anyone until the ultimate

22 attack of ABiH, when both the civilian and military police were included.

23 Q. Mr. Vidovic, you said that you had certain duties in the civilian

24 branch of the HVO and you were part of the five-member body, and we had

25 documents testifying to that.

Page 22188

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. It is also correct that there was a military component of the HVO

3 headquarters which then was transformed into the Bobovac -- the HVO

4 Bobovac Brigade?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. You said today that the civilian branch of the HVO and its

7 military branch in a way were intertwined. Is that correct?

8 A. Of course. Wherever it was necessary that the civilian and the

9 military sector cooperated, they did so, but a number of their activities

10 they carried out on their own, without mutual consultations.

11 Q. I would like to pursue this a little bit further. Did the

12 civilian branch of the HVO, and you individual civilians within the HVO

13 government, ever issue any military orders to the military branch of the

14 HVO, to the Bobovac Brigade, or not?

15 A. We did not issue any military orders, because that was not the

16 chain of command which we used.

17 Q. Let me try to be even more explicit. Did you personally, or Anto

18 Pejcinovic, or anyone else among the political officials in the HVO, have

19 any authority to issue military orders to the HVO Bobovac Brigade or not?

20 A. I had no authority to issue any orders to the brigade. I can only

21 assume as regards Anto Pejcinovic, and I assume that he did not issue such

22 orders either.

23 Q. I understand what you're saying. This is your conclusion based on

24 your knowledge. You cannot speak on anyone else's behalf. But have you

25 ever heard of him having issued any orders? Did anybody mention that to

Page 22189

1 you?

2 A. On one occasion when the presidency met, in a smaller circle we

3 talked about how we should -- what we should do with the inhabitants of

4 Dastansko village. We suggested to the Bobovac Brigade to do something

5 about it, but we did not issue any orders. That operation was carried out

6 without any incident. People accepted to join the HVO units, and that was

7 the end of that.

8 Q. Let me ask you this now: Did you within the civilian HVO, and the

9 other side, cooperate in matters of logistics and other everyday

10 problems? Because in the final analysis, these HVO soldiers were also

11 citizens of this same area.

12 A. That is correct. The organisation of convoys was done by the

13 civilian branch; however, together with the civilian sector, part of the

14 convoy was always joined by the military logistics office. A person in

15 charge of the civilian logistical affairs was always different from the

16 person in charge of the military logistical affairs, and there was one

17 coordinator who was coordinating the whole convoy, and this was done in

18 order to facilitate the passage of the convoy and dealing with the local

19 officials through the areas through which the convoy would pass.

20 Q. You were shown Exhibit Z441, which was a joint meeting of the HVO

21 and the members of the brigade on 3rd February 1993. It reflects what we

22 were just talking about. It deals with matters of organisation but not

23 strictly military organisation, not the combat aspects.

24 A. We in the civilian sector did not meddle, if I can put it that

25 way, in matters of defence, the defence lines, its effectiveness and its

Page 22190

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Page 22191

1 logic. But as a specialist in construction, I did visit part of the

2 defence lines while the fortifications were being set up, so that I could

3 assist in the field so that these fortifications would be done properly.

4 Q. Of course, but you did this as an architect, not as a politician?

5 A. I did it as an expert.

6 Q. You were shown document Z534, which mentions some prisoners, and

7 you said that you had no recollection of any prisoners in Vares. It was

8 dated 12th March 1993. It is not signed. It has in the title of Dario

9 Kordic. It is not clear how it was transmitted. I don't know if it

10 was -- that it came through the packet radio.

11 A. Can you give me the date again? I didn't get it.

12 Q. 12 March 1993. But it is not signed. It is not clear who

13 received it. It is addressed to Anto Pejcinovic or Zvonko Duznovic.

14 A. I do not recall this -- recall that we had any prisoners at that

15 date.

16 Q. Very well. We will not pursue this any further.

17 We had -- there was a question of your request about the villages

18 which had stayed under -- which had stayed under control of the HVO, and

19 the villages of Dastansko agreed and the village of Stupni Do did not.

20 Then there was mentioned a threat of Mr. Duznovic that the village would

21 be burnt down. My question is: Did Stupni Do surrender their weapons in

22 August of 1993, and did anything bad happen to the village of Stupni Do

23 because they did not?

24 A. Stupni Do, that is, the inhabitants of Stupni Do, did not hand

25 over their weapons, and nothing happened to them, at the time that we are

Page 22192

1 talking about.

2 Q. It was affirmed that Vares was a Croat territory. I believe you

3 already answered that question, but I'm not quite sure that you did, and

4 that is why I am asking you. You geographically described to us what

5 peoples lived in what part, and I believe the answer is self-evident.

6 A. I think that in the municipalities of Vares and Kakanj, which are

7 adjacent, and there are only municipal boundaries between them, there were

8 close to 30.000 Croats before the war there, and it is only logical that

9 we consider this an area in which the Croats were living and wanted to go

10 on living there. They wanted at that time to go on living there.

11 Q. Yes, but excuse me. What I wanted to say was in the vicinity of

12 other peoples, isn't it?

13 A. Yes. In the vicinity of other peoples, naturally, because we did

14 not ever ask from others what we were not ready to provide for them.

15 Q. Very well. I'm trying to go as fast as I can. So perhaps just a

16 slight detail. You say you were in Tuzla, both in the September 1993 and

17 also on the 28th of October, 1993. And was there an HVO acting in Tuzla,

18 active in Tuzla?

19 A. Together with the BH army in Tuzla there was an active brigade of

20 the HVO whose command was in the village of Breske, north of Tuzla.

21 Q. Excuse me. We do not have to have all the details. We do not

22 really have to waste the patience of the Court about this. I simply

23 wanted to mention this as a historical fact. Your Honours, just a

24 second. I think I've exhausted -- no. Perhaps just one question more.

25 There was already some talk, and you referred to it in your

Page 22193

1 testimony in chief, that you asked for food and relief from different

2 sources and that you received food from Croatia, and that is not an issue,

3 is it?

4 A. No, it is not.

5 Q. But it was also put to you when you said that you received weapons

6 from the HVO logistics centre, it was put to you that the weapons, by

7 definition, had to come from Croatia. Do you have any direct knowledge

8 that the Republic of Croatia gave weapons to you in Vares specifically?

9 Perhaps you don't know about other places.

10 A. I said that our principal centre of supply, insofar as weapons are

11 concerned, was the high centre at Grude, and I can add to this the

12 logistics centre at Busovaca. But where did these weapons come, I do not

13 know. I suppose there are other people, other witnesses, who are more

14 competent to answer that question.

15 Q. We are now referring to the first period of time of 1992,

16 1991/1992, when the JNA was still in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

17 so this is the former half of 1992?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And tell us: What was the fate of the weapons of the Territorial

20 Defence in Vares? I suppose that you kept those weapons, that they were

21 not taken away from you, or did the JNA take those weapons away? I'm

22 referring to the old TO of the former Yugoslavia.

23 A. I believe that in October 1990, before the first democratic

24 elections, these weapons were taken, I believe, to the JNA depot at

25 Ilijas, so that the Territorial Defence in Vares did not keep those

Page 22194

1 weapons of the TO.

2 Q. And this one, perhaps my last question: You told us today why you

3 were not allowed to run for, once again, for the job for the office of the

4 president, even though you shared this office with your Muslim colleague

5 for two and a half years. I just happened to come across a newspaper

6 called Dnevni Avaz of the 2nd of July 2000, so only a few days old. And

7 it says here that a decision to forbid you to once again run for this

8 office was taken after your request had been adopted on education,

9 recognition of certificates, so on and so forth. Is that correct what it

10 says in this article?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. So although your requests were accepted, it was decided that you

13 could not run for that office anymore?

14 A. Yes.

15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours,

16 that is all.

17 JUDGE MAY: Thank you, Mr. Vidovic. That concludes your

18 evidence. You are free to go.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

20 [The witness withdrew]

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Have you the next witness?

22 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Mr. President.

23 JUDGE MAY: While we're waiting for the next witness, Mr. Kovacic,

24 there's a matter I wanted to raise. The --

25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for His Honour, please.

Page 22195

1 Microphone for the President is switched off.

2 JUDGE MAY: For the benefit of the transcript, Mr. Kovacic, the

3 matter which I was raising was a conference in respect of your Defence and

4 I have in mind that next Wednesday, perhaps at the end of the hearing,

5 that's the 12th of July at the end of the day's hearing, we might hear

6 briefly from you as to your preparations and the witnesses you propose to

7 call before the recess.

8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.

9 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, of course if you insist on that date,

10 there is no choice for me other than to accept. But if I may put a

11 suggestion to schedule that conference for Monday after that or any

12 working day in the next week, because just during that week, I think I

13 will be able to formulate, to define some witnesses I'm still having under

14 question marks relating to additional investigations we are running and

15 related to parts of other accused's defence where I don't think that I

16 will need some witnesses that I originally planned to.

17 JUDGE MAY: Very well, you can tell us about it all next Wednesday

18 and then we'll decide what to do but, of course, you must be in a position

19 to give notice of the witnesses so that we know what's going to happen,

20 both for the Prosecution and, of course, the Chamber.

21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes, by all means. I'm simply

22 trying to be as precise as possible. I merely wish to remind that for --

23 because of the number of circumstances which -- over which we had no

24 control, I do beg you to give us a little bit more flexibility in

25 compounding our list, because we are trying to cut the list short and that

Page 22196

1 is it, because we are trying not to extend our Defence beyond the

2 absolutely -- beyond what is necessary, so we are giving up some

3 witnesses, but on the other hand, we do have to call in and start thinking

4 about some other witnesses that we did not have in mind before.

5 But because of the newly recent circumstances, simply new

6 witnesses would be necessary and every new day will help us be more

7 specific and more definite, every day that you grant us.

8 JUDGE MAY: Four o'clock next Wednesday you can begin telling us

9 what is the position.

10 Yes, let's have the witness. We'll go on until ten past.

11 How long will the witness be in chief, do you anticipate,

12 Mr. Sayers?

13 MR. SAYERS: I think I can have him finished by ten past four,

14 Your Honour.

15 [The witness entered court]

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

17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the

18 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

19 WITNESS: IVO VILUSIC

20 [Witness answered through interpreter]

21 Examined by Mr. Sayers:

22 Q. Good afternoon, sir. Sorry to keep you waiting.

23 A. Good afternoon.

24 Q. We'll try to take the -- most of what you have in your outline

25 fairly quickly and try to be finished by the end of the afternoon session

Page 22197

1 which is going to end at ten past four today. Would you please state your

2 full name for the Trial Chamber?

3 A. My name is Ivo Vilusic.

4 Q. Just a few matters of detail, I believe you were born on August

5 7th --

6 A. I was born on the 7th of August 1953 in the municipality of

7 Zivinice. I now live in the territory of the municipality of Tuzla. I am

8 married, and with my family I live in the municipality of Tuzla.

9 Q. All right. I believe you received your elementary and secondary

10 schooling in Tuzla and you are an electrician by profession?

11 A. Yes. Yes, I completed my elementary and secondary education in

12 Tuzla.

13 Q. If you just wait for me to finish my questions, sir, we'll get on

14 a little bit more quickly, I think. Between 1975 and 1991, I believe that

15 you worked as a driver for a company called Transservis?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. And then when the war broke out in your country, you became a

18 member of the 115th Zrinski Brigade of the Croat Defence Council in Tuzla?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And you remained a member of that Brigade since 1994 when it was

21 dissolved by a decision of the Presidency of Republic of

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And after that, for five years, between 1994 and 1999, I believe

25 that you were a driver and an escort for Mr. Ivo Andric-Luzanski who was

Page 22198

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Page 22199

1 an official with the HDZ, the Croat Democratic Union of

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And when he took office in the government of the Federation of

5 Bosnia-Herzegovina last year, you continued working for him and you

6 currently work as a driver for the office of the President and the

7 Vice-president of the Federation in Sarajevo?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. All right. I believe also, sir, that you took part in the

10 organisation of a convoy that -- to which you referred as the Tuzla convoy

11 and that this convoy was organised by both the Croats and the Muslims of

12 your home city, Tuzla, in May of 1993?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. We've heard that this convoy has also been referred to as the

15 Convoy of Joy by the non-natives, if you like. Could you just tell the

16 Trial Chamber, in your own words, Mr. Vilusic, what the objective of this

17 convoy was. Why was it being organised? What was it being sent to

18 collect and for whom?

19 A. The convoy was to carry humanitarian relief, food and fuel for the

20 HVO units and for the BH army because they had organised together.

21 Q. The convoy also carry munitions at all, armaments?

22 A. I don't know that.

23 Q. When did the convoy leave Tuzla for Herzegovina?

24 A. On the 10th of May, 1993.

25 Q. And who was the head of the Croat part of the convoy?

Page 22200

1 A. Mr. Pero Lovric was the one who led. He was the leader of the

2 convoy, of the Croat part of the convoy.

3 Q. He was the vice-president of the HVO in Tuzla; correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And is it also correct that the Croat and Muslim convoy organisers

6 had been issued separate permits to facilitate passage of the convoy

7 through territory controlled by both the HVO and the ABiH?

8 A. I didn't understand the question. Could you repeat it?

9 Q. Yes. Well, maybe I'll just ask you, sir. In order to ensure safe

10 passage of the convoy from Herzegovina to Tuzla, what permits were issued

11 and by whom?

12 A. The units of the Croat Defence Council for Croats and the units of

13 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina for Muslims.

14 Q. Do you recall who issued the HVO permits for the convoy?

15 A. From where? From Herzegovina or Tuzla?

16 Q. From Herzegovina?

17 A. There was General Milivoje Petkovic's signature.

18 Q. Just a few matters of uncontroversial detail. I believe the

19 convoy arrived in Grude from the north, Grude being in Herzegovina,

20 obviously, around May 20th, 1993.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And while you were in Herzegovina, a number of other vehicles that

23 had been stranded in the area as a result of combat activities and other

24 things were, and for one reason or another, were unable to return to

25 Central Bosnia and joined up with your convoy.

Page 22201

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And I believe that the convoy eventually swelled to about 700

3 separate vehicles and, put end to end, the motorcade spanned some 30

4 kilometres in length?

5 A. Yes, there were around 700 vehicles.

6 Q. All right. You say in your outline that the convoy left

7 Herzegovina for Tuzla on June 7th. Whereabouts in the convoy were you

8 actually travelling, Mr. Vilusic, in the front of it, in the back of it,

9 in the middle; could you just tell us?

10 A. Did you say that it left Tuzla on the 7th or Grude?

11 Q. I said it left Herzegovina for Tuzla on the 7th of June, 1993; was

12 that accurate?

13 A. It is.

14 Q. All right. Now, if you could just tell us whereabouts in the

15 convoy you were, at the head of it, at the back or in the middle?

16 A. I was at the head of it, that is, there were two UNPROFOR vehicles

17 in front of me. They were escorting the convoy.

18 Q. And was there anybody with you in the vehicle in which you were

19 travelling?

20 A. With me was Mr. Pero Lovric and friar -- a priest was also with

21 us.

22 Q. Very well. And the Court has already heard that this convoy was

23 stopped just south of Novi Travnik during the evening of 10th of June

24 1993. Could you describe, in your own words, the situation that

25 confronted the convoy that evening?

Page 22202

1 A. Well, it was like this: We arrived on the 10th of June to the

2 boundary of the municipality of Novi Travnik. And when we arrived at the

3 entrance to the municipality of Novi Travnik, we went into town and at the

4 entrance we were stopped by a crowd of women and children, elderly. And

5 we stopped or, rather, since gentlemen from UNPROFOR were at the front,

6 they were there, but they let them through but they stopped you us.

7 I got off the jeep that I was driving, and I wanted to ask to find

8 out what it was about, and why couldn't we get through. And then two

9 young women approached me and asked me who I was and what I was. And I

10 said, "I am a Croat. I am a member of the Croat Defence Council. Do you

11 want to see my identification documents?" And I showed them my ID and

12 they said, "All right. No problem." And they let those women let to me

13 through and they did.

14 So I went through this crowd, but about 100 metres or so, that is,

15 I joined those two UNPROFOR vehicles but then, once again, blocked at the

16 road and nobody could pass through anymore.

17 Q. So after you had been able to persuade the young women of your

18 identity and you were permitted through the mob, the convoy was stopped

19 again; is that what you're saying?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And what happened when you saw that the convoy had been stopped

22 for a second time, Mr. Vilusic?

23 A. Well, I then asked the priest who was with us, but because with --

24 our women traditionally trust the priests and the monks. So I asked him

25 to go and talk to them, and see what it was about, and try to placate

Page 22203

1 those people, those women there.

2 But that day when we arrived in the evening or rather late in the

3 evening, we heard that there was -- that there had been heavy fighting

4 between HVO units and the BH army. So that after that, I asked him to go

5 and talk to them and try to do something about this thing and he went. He

6 was in civilian clothes with me. I asked him to put his robes on, I don't

7 know what they are called. And he did that, but they did not adhere to

8 him at all. They thought he was a Muslim who was trying to deceive them.

9 And at that moment as all this was happening, a young man came

10 across the road. He came from a house next to the road in an uniform, but

11 without any personal weapons. And he came to me and I asked him if he

12 knew Mr. Ramljak, because I was the only one who knew this Mr. Ramljak.

13 Q. Let me just try to take this logically just one step at a time.

14 Let me ask you this: Were you aware that there was a lot of fighting

15 going on in the Travnik municipality just to the north-west of the route

16 of the convoy, that the ABiH had launched a big offensive against Croat

17 settlements in that municipality?

18 A. Yes, I could hear gunfire, detonations.

19 Q. Yes, sir. And when you were stopped on the evening of June 10th,

20 could you hear the sounds of fighting going on?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And is it accurate that the fighting continued on to the next day?

23 A. There was no fighting in the morning.

24 Q. Were you aware that many thousands of refugees, Croat civilian

25 refugees had been flooding into Vitez and Novi Travnik from Travnik

Page 22204

1 municipality as a result of these attacks on their settlements?

2 A. I cannot say that because I don't know those people. There was

3 quite a big crowd but where they had come from, I don't know.

4 Q. You describe in your statement a request that you had made to a

5 young man in uniform to locate Mr. Dragan Ramljak. Could you tell us a

6 little bit about that, sir?

7 A. I asked him to go and he assented. He asked me where I was and I

8 said somewhere in the town, in the command, so I asked him to go and call

9 him to come here and see if he could do something about bringing the

10 tension down and having that convoy let through. So the soldier went and

11 Mr. Ramljak turned up about an hour later. He came to the place where I

12 was.

13 Q. And what happened when he arrived at that point?

14 A. And then Mr. Ramljak went down there and I asked him to go to talk

15 to those women, because he was a man from the town and he had influence as

16 a civilian, and I asked him to try and see and do something about letting

17 the convoy through to avoid any trouble. And he really ran into a lot of

18 trouble. He talked to them for about two hours, but at long last he did

19 succeed, and after that there were no problems.

20 Q. All right. And I take it, sir, that you were -- since you were at

21 the head of the convoy -- and this was, as we know, a very long convoy --

22 you only know about what happened in the part of the convoy that you could

23 actually see. Is that fair to say?

24 A. Yes, but only what was within my field of vision.

25 Q. Yes, of course. All right. Well, after Mr. Ramljak had conducted

Page 22205

1 these negotiations for two hours, you were permitted to proceed on your

2 way once again; is that what you're telling us?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. All right. And in your outline, and I don't think there's any

5 dispute about this, I think that you were stopped again, yet again, at an

6 intersection near to a gas station, close to Vitez, in the vicinity of

7 what is known as the Impregnacija factory.

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. The people that stopped you were a young man in uniform with an

10 automatic rifle and a young lady who needed the assistance of an

11 interpreter.

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And were there any other people in the vicinity, sir, any other

14 crowds of people, or not?

15 A. Yes. There were also people: men and women and children.

16 Q. And after some discussions with these people, Mr. Vilusic, I

17 believe that one of the representatives of the local police force came to

18 your assistance.

19 A. Yes. A policeman came and asked, "So what seems to be the

20 trouble?" And he said, "No, there is no trouble. There won't be any

21 trouble. We must wait and reach agreement." Can I go on?

22 Q. Yes, please do.

23 A. And then I went to the police station to see what it was all

24 about, and I arrived at the police station and I asked, "Well, why can't

25 we go on," because we had left Novi Travnik and we ended up there, and

Page 22206

1 there was no problem at all. They said, "No, there will be no problem.

2 It only has to do with the security." But the only thing that matters is

3 that people are interested in food, because people were hungry at the time

4 in that area and they are interested in food.

5 Q. Tell us, Mr. Vilusic: The situation in Vitez that you could see

6 when you got there, was it just a normal situation or something other than

7 normal?

8 A. In my view, it was horrible. They were especially angry because

9 they had received information that this convoy was only for Muslims, that

10 they were not carrying any stuff for Croats. And the people who were with

11 the ABiH were being led through the territory controlled by the HVO,

12 whereas the other way around was not permitted. Then later on we heard

13 that that day there was fierce fighting. And when I was at the police

14 station I also received information that Novi Travnik had been shelled,

15 that eight innocent children were killed, and that many people were

16 angered by that. They were very embittered, women and children. You can

17 only imagine what it was like.

18 Q. Just taking you back to your first discussions at the police

19 station, Mr. Vilusic, I believe that there was a discussion regarding the

20 shortage of food in Vitez, which you've told us about. Could you tell us

21 what your response to those observations was, sir?

22 A. I said that it wasn't a problem. "We'll give you the food. Don't

23 touch Muslims. Wherever we need to take the goods, we will take them;

24 otherwise we'll have problems with them when we come to the area

25 controlled by them in Zenica." They said that there would be no problems.

Page 22207

1 Q. All right. And I take it in paragraph 16 of your outline you were

2 then forced to unload part of the goods in the convoy actually in Vitez,

3 and some of the remaining trucks were stolen from you.

4 A. That is correct.

5 Q. And then you also describe in your outline the fact that the young

6 man that had originally detained you at gunpoint then proceeded to pour

7 gasoline or oil around one of the Warrior vehicles, was told not to, and

8 ignored that; then some people began climbing on top of the armoured

9 vehicles; and in the ensuing confusion and melee, UNPROFOR officers

10 actually killed this young uniformed man.

11 A. That is correct. That is correct.

12 Q. All right. You also say in your outline at paragraph 17 that the

13 convoy was stopped in Vitez between about 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. Could

14 you just describe what efforts were made by the civilian policemen at the

15 scene to try to help you and resolve this unpleasant situation,

16 Mr. Vilusic.

17 A. When I came to the police station to ask what was going on, they

18 said that there would be no problems. The policemen were very correct, as

19 far as they go.

20 Q. And did these policemen succeed in calming down the mob and

21 actually ensuring your continued passage later that day?

22 A. Yes. That day, when I came back from the police station, we

23 continued on, around 4.00 p.m.

24 Q. All right, sir. You've already discussed with us the anger of the

25 crowd because they were perceiving that this was a convoy proceeding

Page 22208

1 through their territory with food for Muslims, and shelling resulted and

2 the deaths of eight young children.

3 Turning to the last subject, sir -- I'm trying to get you finished

4 before the close of business today -- some contention has been made in

5 this case, some argument has been made by people that somehow the halting

6 and looting of this convoy was an organised, premeditated event. Could

7 you give your views on the accuracy of those observations or arguments,

8 Mr. Vilusic? You were there. You tell us.

9 A. From what I could see, I saw no intentions nor premeditation about

10 the attack on the convoy. And I can corroborate that by the fact that

11 these women even mistrusted the friar. They thought that perhaps this was

12 someone who had just put on the habit rather than who was a real friar.

13 And this is what I could see from where I was. I don't know about the

14 rest of the convoy.

15 Q. And you spoke to several people during the course of that

16 unpleasant two-day period. Could you just briefly summarise for us the

17 reasons for the apprehension of this convoy that were told to you,

18 Mr. Vilusic?

19 A. People thought that that day when we arrived in Novi Travnik on

20 the 10th of June, 1993, this serious fighting had broken out between the

21 HVO and the ABiH, and they had received information that this convoy was

22 only for the Muslims, not for the Croats of Central Bosnia. So they were

23 embittered and angry. And this was further exacerbated by the fact that

24 those eight innocent children were killed by shelling, and this is what I

25 heard.

Page 22209

1 Q. And was it your understanding that Croat humanitarian aid convoys

2 were being permitted to transport food for Croats' needs through territory

3 which was under ABiH control? Was that being permitted or not?

4 A. I did not quite understand you. Can you please repeat the

5 question?

6 Q. Yes. Was it your understanding that humanitarian aid convoys,

7 intended to deliver aid to the Croats, were being permitted to travel

8 freely through territory that was controlled by the Muslim armed forces,

9 the ABiH?

10 A. They could pass. There were no problems. Croats could pass

11 through the ABiH-controlled territories, and vice versa.

12 Q. All right. And when did you find out, sir, that several drivers

13 had actually been killed in this convoy?

14 A. I learnt that only after I returned from the police station and we

15 were about to move on.

16 Q. And one final question, Mr. Vilusic. Have you ever met

17 Mr. Kordic?

18 A. I never met him.

19 MR. SAYERS: No further questions, Mr. President.

20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Vilusic, we're going to adjourn now. Could you be

21 back tomorrow, please, at half past 9.00 to finish your evidence. Would

22 you remember during it not to speak to anybody about it until you've

23 finished giving your evidence, and that does include members of the

24 Defence team.

25 MR. NICE: Your Honour, if it would help, I don't forecast being

Page 22210

1 long with this witness tomorrow, so no doubt the other witness should be

2 here at an early time in the morning, and it will very much help if we can

3 have the summary of that witness as soon as may be, rather than tomorrow

4 morning.

5 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

6 MR. SAYERS: We will make sure that the summary is faxed to the

7 Prosecution at the first opportunity this afternoon, Your Honour.

8 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We'll adjourn.

9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

10 at 4.10 p.m., to be reconvened on

11 Thursday, the 6th day of July 2000,

12 at 9.30 a.m.

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