Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 22989

1 Monday, 24 July 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 9.40 a.m.

5 JUDGE MAY: I'd like to raise something with the legal officer.

6 [Trial Chamber confers with legal officer]

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

8 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I've asked for the witness to the kept out

9 shortly. I would ask that we just go into private session shortly as

10 well.

11 JUDGE MAY: Can we go into private session.

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12 [Open session]

13 [The witness entered court]

14 WITNESS: ZLATKO SENKIC

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

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

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

18 [Witness answered through interpreter]

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

20 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

21 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.

22 Examined by Mr. Kovacic:

23 Q. Good morning, Major Senkic. I hope you had a good rest last

24 night. I only wish to warn you, since we both speak the same language,

25 that we mind the interpreters and try not to overlap.

Page 22992

1 Mr. Senkic, you are a Major, aren't you?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. You live in Novi Travnik?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. You were born on the 28th of January, 1962?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You are married and father of two?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. You matriculated from the secondary school in Novi Travnik?

10 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nodded.

11 MR. KOVACIC:

12 Q. And at present you work for the administration and mobilisation

13 and structuring at the joint headquarters of the army of

14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, is that so?

15 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods.

16 MR. KOVACIC:

17 Q. Your superior is Brigadier General Mr. Hamid Bahto; is that

18 correct?

19 A. Yes.

20 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please come closer to the

21 microphone and pause before answering.

22 JUDGE MAY: Two matters -- three matters. Major, would you please

23 come closer to the microphone. The interpreters are finding it difficult

24 to hear. And could you pause after counsel asks the question. Leave a

25 pause for the interpreters to interpret and then answer.

Page 22993

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.

2 JUDGE MAY: And could you say yes or no when counsel asks a

3 question rather than merely nodding a head, so that it goes down on the

4 transcript.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well.

6 MR. KOVACIC: If I may also ask the usher just to move a little

7 bit the ELMO, because I cannot see the witness. [Interpretation] I do

8 apologise, Your Honour. Perhaps I was responsible because my questions

9 also came too fast.

10 Q. Your superior, Brigadier Hamid Bahto, judging by his name, he's a

11 Muslim, is he?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Do you have any problems when working with him or with other

14 Muslims working there?

15 A. No. No.

16 Q. Have you ever had any problems of this kind before?

17 A. No, no.

18 Q. Thank you. As for your earlier duties, Major Senkic, in April

19 1992, you were appointed assistant commander of the municipality staff of

20 the HVO?

21 A. Yes, for personnel affairs.

22 Q. Was it in Novi Travnik?

23 A. In Novi Travnik.

24 Q. We shall not go into the municipality staffs because we shall come

25 to that later. But in December 1992, you were employed in the same job,

Page 22994

1 you were assistant commander for structuring and personnel affairs in the

2 newly established Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. That brigade was established in the very first days of December,

5 1992, is it?

6 A. Yes, quite correct, or more exactly on the 5th of December, 1992.

7 Q. And as of then, until then, there were no HVO brigades in Novi

8 Travnik, were there?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade was a joint brigade of two

11 municipalities; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Was that the only case in Central Bosnia to have one brigade for

14 two municipalities?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. I believe we shall agree that all the other municipalities in

17 Central Bosnia at least invariably fell on the principle one municipality,

18 one brigade, is it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. Thank you. Perhaps we could seize the opportunity of your

21 presence, Mr. Senkic, to ask you: In these proceedings, an emblem of

22 strength was frequently mentioned that was used for the Croat people in

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I'll explain what it is about but first I have to

24 ask the usher to help.

25 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked D71/2.

Page 22995

1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Major Senkic, do you recognise this emblem?

3 A. This is our official coat of arms.

4 Q. This is the coat of arms?

5 A. Federal. This is a patch that we wear on our left shoulder.

6 Q. Who?

7 A. The army of the Federation.

8 Q. You mean the uniform, the uniform of the army of the Federation;

9 is that correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And in the upper left, the green lily on the green, whose symbol

12 is that?

13 A. This symbol was worn by the members of the ABiH during the war.

14 Q. And the one on the right?

15 A. This is the fundamental symbol that the HVO members wore in the

16 war.

17 Q. So in the current emblem of the federation, if I understand you

18 well, both peoples which make part of the federation wear these symbols?

19 A. Yes, this is an agreed, authorised emblem.

20 Q. And what does this blue part mean?

21 A. It means an aspiration towards the united Europe.

22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] What is seen below, the witness

24 has just said, "This is our longing, our striving for the united or

25 aspiration towards the united Europe," why are there ten stars then?

Page 22996

1 Could the witness tell us why there are ten stars?

2 A. Well, I didn't draw this sign. I do not know who its author is.

3 That is how we see it, but it's not official, at least we never heard any

4 official explanation of this emblem.

5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you. So it has nothing to

6 do with the cantons, has it?

7 A. I wouldn't know.

8 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Major Senkic, I'm sure we shall agree that this is an emblem which

11 all the members of the federation army wear on their uniforms?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And the same emblem is also used on all the official papers and

14 all the letterheads?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And wherever there are some military insignia, the official ones,

17 this is invariably the only coat of arms used in the army?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Thank you. Can you also tell us, do you remember as of when did

20 this come into force?

21 A. I wouldn't know exactly the date when the coat of arms was agreed,

22 but after the organisation of the federal army, but I wouldn't remember

23 the date.

24 Q. Would you place it perhaps sometime in the period following the

25 Dayton Agreement?

Page 22997

1 A. Yes, of course.

2 Q. Thank you. But let us go back to Stjepan Tomasevic. I do not

3 think there will be any objections to a leading question just to expedite

4 matters. After Stjepan Tomasevic was established, you first worked -- you

5 were first employed with personnel and organisation affairs. Then for

6 about six weeks, you were an advisor for IPT, then you once again became

7 the assistant commander for organisation and personnel and it was in that

8 capacity that you saw the war end.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Thank you. Major Senkic, I should like to ask you to explain the

11 system of mobilisation used in the former Yugoslavia, the concept of the

12 mobilisation, that is, which was applied by all parties to the conflict in

13 Bosnia and which was usually known under its acronym "PRAMOS"?

14 A. Only briefly, PRAMOS means the rules of mobilisation of the armed

15 forces and it was taken over from the system of the former JNA. As you

16 have said, all the three sides used it and it was based on the following,

17 I shall try to explain it briefly.

18 Q. No, perhaps it will be better if you did it step by step.

19 A. Very well.

20 Q. That system was applied to reserve units; is that so?

21 A. Only.

22 Q. And the concept in a nutshell meant that the army, the JNA, would

23 be reinforced by reserve formations in case of need, that is in case of a

24 war or threat of war; is that so?

25 A. Yes.

Page 22998

1 Q. And you still apply that system in Bosnia, don't you?

2 A. Only slightly modified but this system is in force by and large.

3 Q. And during the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1990, 1991, 1992,

4 all three parties adopted the same system, did they?

5 A. Yes, so to speak, but I should like to dwell on --

6 Q. Yes, tell us.

7 A. -- on the system of mobilisation in the HVO because we exchanged

8 information with the others after that conflict and that is when I learned

9 that they were using the same system.

10 Q. Very well. But within that concept, you called your brigade

11 always with -- as R Brigade, R Brigades?

12 A. R brigade or a war brigade meant that such formation is

13 replenished from the reserve, that is fully.

14 Q. I see. So in other words, that brigade is formed when there is a

15 threat of war and it did not exist before except on paper?

16 A. No, no, an order is issued to form it and their book of

17 organisation is set up and then the R Brigade is formed on that basis.

18 Q. Thank you. So such brigades never had any professional men?

19 A. No, no, no. That is why it was called R Brigade because it was

20 replenished from the reserve exclusively.

21 Q. And there was also the so-called Territorial Defence, wasn't

22 there?

23 A. Yes, but that was before the war. So the Territorial Defence

24 existed before the war, and during the early days of the war it was

25 extinguished.

Page 22999

1 Q. Very well, thank you. A request put forth to the civilian

2 authorities in municipalities, that is to say, to the secretariat of

3 national defence, a request to assign a certain soldier of a certain

4 speciality to the reserve brigade would come from the organisation of that

5 brigade itself; is that right?

6 A. In this case, I did that kind of work. I sent the request.

7 Q. So let's be quite clear on this. In the brigade, you defined

8 which soldier you needed with what kind of qualifications for which

9 particular job?

10 A. There already was the speciality that was -- that was part of the

11 evidence records. As you know, in the former Yugoslavia, people served in

12 the former JNA and then they received certain specialities while during

13 their military service. So then when I would send this request, and when

14 I said that I needed a certain speciality, a person with a certain

15 speciality, then they would find a certain person in their records and send

16 me such a person.

17 Q. This shows that that mobilisation procedure of a certain soldier

18 starts with you in the brigade because you define what kind of profile you

19 need, and then it is the civilian authorities, because this is the

20 municipal civilian office that finds this particular kind of specialised

21 person then this person is mobilised by the civilian authorities and sent

22 to the brigade; is that correct?

23 A. Yes, and for a certain amount of time.

24 Q. So an important part -- the most important part of the

25 mobilisation process takes place within the civilian authorities?

Page 23000

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Senkic, you will agree that under the

3 circumstances of that conflict in 1992 and 1993, this entire organisation

4 of yours, the concept that you had, that you took over, ultimately was

5 based, to a large extent, on improvisation and on the abilities of the

6 persons who did the job; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Is it correct that this R Brigade was supposed to have a total of

9 2.864 members in an ideal situation?

10 A. Yes, that's the way it was according to the system.

11 Q. And as regards its elementary set-up, it was supposed to have its

12 staff, it was supposed to have a security platoon for securing the staff?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. It was supposed to have three infantry battalions?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And it was supposed to have certain specialised units?

17 A. Yes, attached to the staff.

18 Q. Could you please tell me what these units attached to the staff

19 are?

20 A. Engineering, signals, logistics.

21 Q. Thank you. Is it correct that the concept that was used did not

22 envisage a military police unit in the R Brigade?

23 A. Yes, that's correct.

24 Q. However, as we mentioned earlier on, there was a platoon that was

25 envisaged to take care of the security of the command post?

Page 23001

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So that platoon was supposed to be some kind of a guard; is that

3 right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Tell me, please -- I do apologise. I'm hurrying a bit. Tell me,

6 you knew Mrs. Gordana Badrov, didn't you?

7 A. We did the same job.

8 Q. You did the same job while you were in Stjepan Tomasevic; is that

9 correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. And when the Viteska Brigade was established, you cooperated with

12 it; is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. She worked in the Viteska Brigade, she did the same kind of job

15 involving personnel as you did in Tomasevic; is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Is it correct that she had certain problems in that period of time

18 when attempts were made to organise the brigade and that therefore she

19 often came to you seeking papers, documents, books, and advice as well?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And you did help her in this respect?

22 A. Yes, I did.

23 Q. Through these contacts with Mrs. Badrov, could you see -- were you

24 informed through that what the situation was concerning the Viteska

25 Brigade on the day when the conflict broke out in the Lasva Valley, the

Page 23002

1 16th of April, 1993?

2 A. In addition to these unofficial meetings with Mrs. Badrov, we also

3 had regular official meetings of the heads for organisation and personnel,

4 so we followed each other's situations. I knew that she had a lot of

5 problems. I knew that she did not have the necessary documentation, that

6 she was starting from scratch, and I tried to help her.

7 Q. In other words, you did have insight as far as the establishment

8 of the Viteska Brigade was concerned from its very inception?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Once the war broke out I imagine you did not have such insight any

11 longer.

12 A. No, I did not.

13 Q. You had these working meetings, as you mentioned. These were

14 meetings within the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia; is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. So this was your joint command that was superior to you; is that

17 right?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Within that framework at that time, that is to say, on the 7th of

20 April, 1993, a seminar was held precisely for UKP, that is to say, for

21 officers working on UKP?

22 A. Yes. Yes.

23 Q. Do you remember that?

24 A. Well, there were several. I mean, these meetings were held quite

25 often. These were working meetings, basically.

Page 23003

1 Q. Would we agree that actually at that time, the beginning of April,

2 the question of the establishment and organisation of the HVO was looked

3 into, and actually it was observed that HVO had certain problems in this

4 regard, and generally speaking, the army could not have been satisfied

5 with the existing state of affairs?

6 A. These problems were of a continuous nature. They were never fully

7 defined. The organisational set-up was never completed and there weren't

8 enough resources in order to carry this out.

9 Q. As a professional who is involved in such work until the present

10 day, could you say, when you had your best period in the Stjepan Tomasevic

11 Brigade, which you knew very well, to what percentage, let's put it that

12 way, were the objectives of the brigade met? Was it set up by 30 per cent

13 or 70 per cent or 80 per cent, in the best period of time you had?

14 A. You have to know that there is personnel and that there is

15 materiel that has to be taken into account. In order to establish an R

16 Brigade, in order to have all the necessary personnel, according to the

17 systematisation from the book of establishment, and according to the

18 materiel book of establishment, this was theoretically impossible, because

19 there wasn't even a minimum of resources, and also the personnel structure

20 was a very critical one.

21 Q. So all of these are elements that practically prevented you from

22 reaching a solid level of establishment?

23 A. At brigade level we did not have a single professional from the

24 former JNA. All of these persons were either reservists, reserve

25 officers, or volunteers.

Page 23004

1 Q. So that was the situation that prevailed in your brigade, in the

2 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?

3 A. Yes. Yes. I'm talking about the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade.

4 Q. It was the same, more or less, in all brigades in Central Bosnia;

5 you weren't better or worse, were you?

6 A. Well, everybody had the same problems for the most part.

7 Q. There is no doubt that the Viteska Brigade and the Stjepan

8 Tomasevic Brigade were that type of brigade, R type?

9 A. All brigades in Central Bosnia were R type of brigades, so all of

10 them were fully replenished from the reserve.

11 Q. And you managed to establish them, to the extent to which you

12 managed to establish them, according to the situation you had at hand,

13 even though you lacked personnel?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Please, let us go back to this short part about the establishment

16 of the brigade and the military police, or generally speaking, the

17 establishment of the HVO that you had in Central Bosnia. The military

18 police -- now I'm talking about Central Bosnia in 1992 and 1993 -- was it

19 subordinated to the commander of the brigade?

20 A. No.

21 Q. If the commander of the brigade or his officers was supposed to

22 take a soldier who had not reported for duty, who did not go to the front

23 line, who did not show up, whatever, how did the brigade resolve that?

24 How was this person brought in?

25 A. Well, we sent the brigade command a request to bring in these

Page 23005

1 soldiers who had not responded and who had thus committed a disciplinary

2 infraction.

3 Q. You mentioned a battalion. Which battalion?

4 A. The 4th Battalion of the military police.

5 Q. So if a brigade needed a certain intervention of the military

6 police for its needs, then it has to send a request to the command of the

7 military police, which then carries out that particular task if that is

8 within the domain of the military police; is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Do you know of any exception? Was there any case in which the

11 brigade could have commanded the military police?

12 A. The military police? In Novi Travnik there weren't any

13 exceptions. In Novi Travnik no one commanded the military police.

14 Q. Do you know whether that was ever the case in Vitez, to the extent

15 to which you were familiar with this?

16 A. No, I don't think so.

17 Q. Thank you. Major, let us now move on to another subject. During

18 1992, while there was still the Municipal Staff and when the brigade was

19 also set up, what were the only tasks of your HVO in Novi Travnik in the

20 sense of military activities?

21 A. The defence of the line against the Serbs, against the VRS. We

22 called them the VRS, that is, the army of Republika Srpska.

23 Q. You had certain sectors in the mountains to the north-west of

24 Travnik that you held from Novi Travnik.

25 A. Yes.

Page 23006

1 Q. These were sectors at the front line, and that is where you

2 defended yourselves from VRS aggression; is that correct?

3 A. Yes. Yes.

4 Q. You practically held those lines from the summer of 1992, I

5 believe, until late in 1993; is that right?

6 A. Yes, that's right.

7 Q. In which way, speaking from an organisational point of view, were

8 these lines held? Which units were those lines?

9 A. Well, these were the members of the R Brigade of Stjepan

10 Tomasevic, the mobilised members of the R Brigade of Stjepan Tomasevic.

11 We have to use this term, the R Brigade. We have to realise that this was

12 a brigade entirely composed of reservists.

13 Q. All right. So Stjepan Tomasevic is an R Brigade and it sends its

14 soldiers to the front line; is that right?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. How did it mobilise this unit? Let me ask you one thing before

17 that. This brigade, Stjepan Tomasevic, this reserve brigade, Stjepan

18 Tomasevic, it does not have barracks; it does not keep its troops in one

19 place. Is that right?

20 A. Yes, that's right.

21 Q. So when troops are needed, they have to be called up from home; is

22 that right?

23 A. Yes, that's right.

24 Q. Does that mean that the brigade headquarters decides that the

25 front line has to be manned? And how is it actually carried out, then?

Page 23007

1 A. There is an operative assessment that has to be made in terms of

2 how many soldiers are needed in order to hold the front line, the defence

3 line, and on the basis of this operative plan, people are mobilised for

4 defence. Then in this way the unit is manned and sent to the defence

5 line.

6 Q. Does this mean that a theoretical model that we discussed at the

7 very outset was then being applied?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. So a certain number of soldiers are going to be called up?

10 A. Yes. Yes.

11 Q. And according to these call-up papers, they have to report at a

12 certain place at a certain time; is that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And then, when they report, according to these call-up papers, to

15 the brigade, then the brigade sends these persons, after having

16 established a unit, to the defence line up in the hills; is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And then this person stays up there for 7 to 10 days; is that

19 right?

20 A. Well, mostly a week.

21 Q. And then this person returns?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. At the same time, another shift goes up there; is that right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And the man who returned, if he is employed, for example, in the

Page 23008

1 Bratstvo factory or somewhere else, he goes to work; right?

2 A. Who worked would go back to work, yes.

3 Q. And if this person were a farmer in his village?

4 A. Then he would again be involved in agriculture.

5 Q. At that moment when this person returns from the defence line to

6 his village or town, is he still a soldier of the brigade?

7 A. No, not until he is called up again.

8 Q. Oh, I see. So he is on the list of persons who can be mobilised;

9 is that right?

10 A. Yes, only that.

11 Q. We are being cautioned all the time. We should speak slower,

12 because we don't want things to be missed from the transcript.

13 This person remains on the list for mobilisation, on the basis of

14 which mobilisation is carried out, but at this moment, when this person

15 has completed his shift, his number of days up there, he is no longer a

16 member of the brigade; is that right?

17 A. Exactly.

18 Q. Thank you. Now, tell us, please: If such a soldier who has just

19 come back from his shift commits a crime, kills his neighbour, is involved

20 in a traffic accident, whatever, under whose jurisdiction is he then,

21 criminal jurisdiction?

22 A. Such things happened, yes, they did happen, but that was under the

23 jurisdiction of the civilian police.

24 Q. And what if that same soldier committed that crime while on the

25 front line, up in the hills, against the army of Republika Srpska, and

Page 23009

1 then flees from the front and commits a crime? Under whose jurisdiction

2 is he then?

3 A. The military police.

4 Q. Why?

5 A. Because he was in uniform, because he had been under call-up at

6 the time.

7 Q. The BH army and the army of Bosnian Serbs used some facilities of

8 the former JNA and had their troops stationed in barracks; is that

9 correct?

10 A. Well, that is common knowledge.

11 Q. But they also used the system of reserve brigades, as you did?

12 A. Correct.

13 Q. Did they have in the barracks billeted the troops from R Brigade

14 or did they have a separate system, that is, where some were in the

15 barracks and others were like yours, depending on mobilisation?

16 A. Well, it's the technology that they used and that was information

17 that I received after the war.

18 Q. Well, just tell us in a couple of words.

19 A. Well, the commander who had a way -- where to accommodate people

20 kept his troops there, but those were no longer our brigades because that

21 brigade would change its profile and then it would become a brigade of

22 another type.

23 Q. And the Bosnian army had such brigades?

24 A. Yes, manoeuvre brigades of different sorts.

25 Q. Hence since you mention it, the personnel structure, it was the

Page 23010

1 general view that the BH army had a much higher, better structure, that

2 is, that there were more officers amongst its ranks?

3 A. Yes, that is logical because they were more numerous.

4 Q. And there was no doubt that there was this difference between the

5 HVO and the BH army regarding the officer corps, that that difference was

6 quite striking?

7 A. Yes, and it is to this day.

8 Q. Very well. But let us go back to -- no, excuse me, we forgot one

9 thing. You just told us how the front line was manned in 1992, the front

10 line against the ARS since the establishment and during the life of

11 Stjepan Tomasevic, I mean the Brigade Stjepan Tomasevic, of course. But

12 what happened a few months before that while the municipal staff was

13 responsible for the organisation?

14 A. Well, it was mostly improvised but this -- these cycles went on.

15 There were no formation books, it was improvised, that is, unit by unit,

16 were called up to man the front line against the Serbs, that is ARS.

17 Q. That is people were sent to the front on the basis of the same

18 principle even though the organisation at the headquarters itself was

19 different than in the subsequently established Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Thank you. You told us that Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade was set up

22 on the 6th of December, 1992, and it was the joint brigade. Who was its

23 first commander, please?

24 A. Correction, 5th of December, 1992. The first commander was Boro

25 Malbasic.

Page 23011

1 Q. Mr. Malbasic didn't come from Novi Travnik, he came from outside,

2 didn't he?

3 A. Yes, he [Realtime transcript read in error "I"] came from Vares.

4 Q. Thank you. And his head, the head of his staff, that is, head of

5 the Stjepan Tomasevic staff was Mario Cerkez?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Major Senkic, tell us, did you know Cerkez before that?

8 A. No.

9 Q. So basically, that is when you met him, when he joined the

10 brigade?

11 A. At the first meeting, yes.

12 Q. And you were also a member of that staff, weren't you?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. We already said what you were responsible for. So you were a

15 colleague of the accused Mario Cerkez in the staff which was headed by

16 Borivoje Malbasic; is that correct?

17 A. It is.

18 Q. I'm afraid there was a slip in the transcript, but let us perhaps

19 clarify it through a question. Malbasic came from Vares, not you.

20 A. Malbasic, yes, that's what I said.

21 Q. Thank you, because it needs to be corrected.

22 And then later on in the beginning of February 1993, Malbasic was

23 removed or rather sent to another duty; is that correct?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. That is, he was sent back to Vares?

Page 23012

1 A. I think so.

2 Q. Whatever the case, you were sure that he quit the duty of the

3 commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade sometime in the early days of

4 February, yes, February 1993?

5 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods.

6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

7 Q. As of that moment, did Mario Cerkez de facto take over the command

8 of the brigade?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And to make it quite precise, you knew and you saw the document

11 appointing Cerkez the acting commander, the representative of the

12 commander?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Is it true that such a document, such powers of an acting

15 commander, and that was the order of the superior command that that, in

16 point of fact, meant "temporary" until the final decision was made, the

17 acting commander was the first man in the brigade?

18 A. Correct, yes. That is a temporary document.

19 Q. Do we agree that to all intents and purposes, Mario Cerkez was now

20 the commander of the brigade?

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. And he remained in Novi Travnik with Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade

23 until the beginning of March, 1993; is that so?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. In Stjepan Tomasevic, in that command while you were together,

Page 23013

1 that is, while it was the joint command in February, March or rather

2 December 1992 to March 1993, you were -- there was several officers from

3 Vitez and from Novi Travnik; is that correct?

4 A. Yes, it was a combined command.

5 Q. And in March 1993, when Cerkez left, other people from Novi

6 Travnik also left Novi Travnik for Vitez?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Before the departure, before the separation, Stjepan Tomasevic had

9 two battalions; is that correct? It had two battalions; is that correct?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. One battalion was replenished with men from Novi Travnik, that is

12 conscripts from Novi Travnik?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. And the other one with conscripts from Vitez; is that correct?

15 A. It is.

16 Q. Tell us, please, while Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade was adjoined

17 intramunicipal brigade, did it have any other tasks apart from fighting

18 against the former JNA and the army of Bosnian Serbs which, at that time,

19 were aggressors in Bosnia-Herzegovina and constituted a special threat to

20 the Lasva Valley?

21 A. That was the only and exclusive task.

22 Q. Mr. Senkic, do you know of any case during that period of time,

23 that is between December 1992 and March 1993, of any incident, of any

24 conflict in which members of your brigade, Stjepan Tomasevic, would be

25 involved?

Page 23014

1 A. No.

2 Q. Would you agree that at that same time, it is true there were

3 incidents here and there in the town, in the municipality, and so on and

4 so forth?

5 A. There were always incidents.

6 Q. But those incidents did not take -- but the brigade or the members

7 of the brigade were not involved in those incidents either by accident or

8 by order or apart from any order; is that correct?

9 A. It is.

10 Q. In point of fact, at that time, in Novi Travnik, there was a

11 truce, there was a cease-fire and there were no conflicts, armed conflicts

12 between the HVO and the BH army?

13 A. Correct.

14 Q. But we shall come back to that in greater detail. I shall come

15 back to that later on. Before that, I should like to apologise to the

16 Court and our learned friends because we omitted something from this

17 summary.

18 In 6.4 it says "Filipovic" but it should be "Totic" and since we

19 are discussing errors, also, in paragraph 10, it says 93 Domobran Regiment

20 and I think it should be 90th, but we shall ask the witness about that.

21 Major Senkic, the last and significant incidents before the

22 conflict in the valley at least in Vitez, and on that part of the valley

23 on the 16th of April 1993, that such incident was the abduction of your

24 officer and several men of his; is that so?

25 A. Correct.

Page 23015

1 Q. There is no doubt that they were abducted by extremist Muslim

2 forces?

3 A. Correct.

4 Q. Were they Mujahedin?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Was very serious action take in which there was a certain

7 cooperation with the BH army to locate those men?

8 A. Correct.

9 Q. And then two days later, there was also the brutal abduction of

10 Zivko Totic?

11 A. We knew that.

12 Q. That is you knew about that?

13 A. Yes, we were told that at the briefing.

14 Q. And while Cerkez was a member of the command under Malbasic,

15 during Malbasic's time, did he have, as the chief of the staff, since

16 there was no war, except for the front lines up there, did he have any

17 special tasks, any priority tasks put to him by Malbasic?

18 A. Well we knew, we were -- in principle, we knew why Mr. Cerkez had

19 been appointed, that is, there were problems regarding the relations

20 between the command of our brigade and the civilian authorities.

21 Mr. Cerkez came to put those relations right and to take care of the

22 logistics, that is, of the brigade and to establish its functioning for

23 the two municipalities.

24 Q. In other words, did I understand you well, was he there to see to

25 it that the municipalities begin to finance and equip the joint brigade?

Page 23016

1 A. Correct.

2 Q. And he had to mediate in the agreements between the two in the

3 negotiations between the -- in the talks between the two municipalities

4 regarding the [inaudible] brigade?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. Do you think he fulfilled that task?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And that financing was underway?

9 A. Yes, yes.

10 Q. And was your job specifically -- let us slow down, yes. And as

11 far as your job was concerned, did you notice some improvement regarding

12 coordination with civilian authorities?

13 A. No doubt.

14 Q. And Cerkez had yet another task that was his second task,

15 long-term task so to speak, given him by Malbasic. Do you remember what

16 that was, what was the other area of his work?

17 A. Organisation of the front line, the engineering works,

18 organisation of approach to front lines. That is front lines against the

19 Serbs.

20 Q. I see. Front lines against the Serbs. And did you -- were you

21 aware in view of the daily briefings of the command, was there any

22 progress in that area?

23 A. No doubt.

24 Q. And what was -- who was Cerkez's first man in that regard, I mean

25 the engineering works regarding the front lines?

Page 23017

1 A. Colonel Zeljko Sabljic.

2 Q. And Zeljko Sabljic who -- then succeed Cerkez when he left Stjepan

3 Tomasevic Brigade.

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. I should now like to move on to the topic of interethnic relations

6 in Novi Travnik while Cerkez was there. We only touched upon that,

7 perhaps we should explain it now.

8 Major Senkic, the first interethnic conflict that you called

9 noteworthy, a significant incident, when did it happen?

10 A. In 1992, in June.

11 Q. And that was the first incident in Novi Travnik between Croats and

12 Muslims?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Until that time, there were no serious conflicts between those two

15 peoples?

16 A. No, never.

17 Q. When you say "never", you mean in history?

18 A. In that particular area, yes. Even in history, there were none

19 before that.

20 Q. And that situation as far as I understand it, was calmed down very

21 quickly in a couple of days?

22 A. It was practically a one-day conflict; that is, everything was

23 resolved in a matter of days.

24 Q. That is talks, politicians and so on and so forth and things calm

25 down?

Page 23018

1 A. That is so.

2 Q. Without going into details, because I do not think it is

3 particularly relevant, and when did then the next incident in Novi Travnik

4 happen?

5 A. In October, 1992.

6 Q. Could you be more specific?

7 A. That was sometime around the time that Jajce fell so it could be

8 sometime around the 20th of October, and I think that that conflict lasted

9 about five days, I think.

10 Q. So this conflict was more serious than the one in June?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And what was the practical consequence of that conflict in October

13 after it calmed down?

14 A. It was when the resettlement, that is, the swapping of flats

15 between two parts of the town took place. And a couple of months later,

16 the town was, to all intents, divided, the town itself.

17 Q. So a boundary, a demarcation line was set up so to speak and it

18 became obvious which side controlled which part of the town?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. So during this conflict in October 1992, there were some

21 negotiations at a higher level?

22 A. Yes, it was discussed at a higher level.

23 Q. And is it true that that cease-fire, this partition of the town

24 lasted until about the end of May, 1993 when the BH army attacked the

25 mixed village of Senkovci?

Page 23019

1 A. Senkovici.

2 Q. Senkovici, I see. So we can see from that that since December

3 1992 until March 1993, that is while Cerkez was in Novi Travnik and member

4 of the command, and the commander for a while, there were no conflicts

5 between Muslims and Croats in any organised sense of the word. Can we

6 agree on that?

7 A. Correct.

8 Q. There is no conflict between BH army, as an institution, as an

9 organisation, on one side and the HVO on the other; is that correct?

10 A. It is.

11 Q. Do you have any idea about the casualties at that part, that is to

12 say, from December 1992 until March 1993, and about the incidents that

13 occurred at that time? Was it only one people that suffered or were all

14 victims?

15 A. All were victims. All were victims but in Novi Travnik, it is a

16 well-known fact that there were more victims among the Croats. I

17 personally was a member of the commission for resolving incidents.

18 Q. Very well. I would like to show a statistical map here. Let us

19 have a look at the municipality of Novi Travnik.

20 JUDGE MAY: What is this, Mr. Kovacic, you're going to show us?

21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] It's a statistical map showing the

22 ethnic distribution of the population in the municipality of Novi Travnik

23 or rather in these municipalities in Central Bosnia. We are particularly

24 interested in the municipality of Novi Travnik only, that is, in the

25 middle of this map.

Page 23020

1 JUDGE MAY: Where does this document come from?

2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] It comes from the system that the

3 Federation uses nowadays. It is used by the Federation of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia also. It is an integrated database. These

5 are the only official data that are used nowadays in that area. They are

6 based on the census that we have been using until now as well, that is to

7 say, the census of 1991. I have only two questions in relation to this

8 map.

9 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked D72/2.

10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] May I proceed, Your Honour?

11 Q. Witness Senkic, could you please take a look at the monitor. Can

12 you see this map? And please use this pointer to show the Trial Chamber

13 the boundaries of the municipality of Novi Travnik. You will be assisted

14 by the usher.

15 Could we please zoom in on this.

16 A. Yes, yes. So this is the municipality of Novi Travnik.

17 Q. Next to it is the municipality of Vitez. Could you please show

18 that now.

19 A. So this is the municipality of Vitez.

20 Q. And then up here is the municipality of Travnik; is that correct?

21 Economically this was always a single entity, wasn't it?

22 A. That's right.

23 Q. People lived in one municipality, worked in another, commuted on a

24 daily basis?

25 A. Yes.

Page 23021

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12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French

13 and English transcripts.

14

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Page 23022

1 Q. Just to give a better idea of all of this, we are now only talking

2 about the administrative boundaries of the municipalities?

3 A. Yes, that's right.

4 Q. But in order to get a better idea of this, in peacetime, in order

5 to go by car from Vitez to Novi Travnik, and further on to Travnik, how

6 many minutes are we talking about?

7 A. Fifteen to twenty minutes.

8 Q. Thank you. Thank you. Just to give the Trial Chamber a better

9 idea.

10 As for the municipality of Travnik, in this pocket around Novi

11 Travnik there is a red line. Can you explain what it denotes?

12 A. That is the defence line, the defence line, towards the BH army

13 forces in 1993.

14 Q. After which conflict?

15 A. After the outbreak of the war; that is to say, in the month of

16 May, or rather June.

17 Q. So after the first conflict between the Muslims and the Croats in

18 the municipality of Novi Travnik, after the month of June 1993, this is

19 the line that was practically established, and that is the way it remained

20 throughout the conflict; is that right?

21 A. Yes, that's right.

22 Q. If I understand you correctly, the Croats remained in this upper

23 north-eastern part of the municipality, and all the rest of the

24 municipality was under BH army control?

25 A. Yes.

Page 23023

1 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

2 We can remove the map, Mr. Usher.

3 Q. Mr. Senkic, you were an officer in the HVO from the very inception

4 of the brigade and until peace was established, until after the Washington

5 Accords. Were you ever witness to or an agent of a policy of an

6 officially organised persecution of Muslims in the area where you lived?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Did anybody ever say to you that the HVO wished to achieve the

9 displacement of the Muslim population from the area where you lived?

10 A. No. No. When the HVO was established, we worked together,

11 right?

12 Q. Did anybody tell you that unofficially or secretly? Was there any

13 kind of tacit conspiracy among the officers of the HVO that pressure had

14 to be brought to bear against the Muslims so that they would move out?

15 A. No.

16 Q. Did you ever do anything like that?

17 A. No. Our only objective was to oppose, resist the VRS.

18 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry. The interpreter could not follow

19 Mr. Kovacic's question. It was too fast.

20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. After this broader conflict broke out between these two ethnic

22 groups, after April 1993, do you know what happened?

23 A. Well, then we were attacked.

24 Q. This policy was not changed in the sense of that somebody had to

25 be persecuted, that civilians had to be persecuted, with the purpose of

Page 23024

1 their leaving?

2 A. No. That was not the policy. The policy was defence.

3 Q. Is it correct that during 1993, after the conflict broke out in

4 April, that military units on both sides took part in the conflict, that

5 is to say, the military units of the BH army and the military units of the

6 HVO?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Basically?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. While you held the lines against the Serbs, the BH army also in

11 this sector -- Slatka Vode, Kamenjas, et cetera -- the BH army also held

12 some sectors up there; is that correct?

13 A. Yes, that's right.

14 Q. Did you coordinate defence in these areas, at these lines?

15 A. Well, this was done at the level of commanders and operations

16 officers, so I am not quite familiar with it.

17 Q. But in principle this was agreed upon?

18 A. Yes, it was agreed upon.

19 Q. We have to be careful not to overlap each other. You answer

20 immediately, even before I finish putting my question. We have to wait.

21 So at the level of command everyone had to define this: who, up

22 to where?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. That was the minimum of cooperation that had to exist; right?

25 A. Correct.

Page 23025

1 Q. Is it correct that this cooperation continued even during the time

2 that we mentioned, when, for example, your officers were abducted, when

3 Zivko Totic was abducted?

4 A. Correct.

5 Q. At this time, when Mario Cerkez was in Stjepan Tomasevic, the

6 commander of the BH army brigade in Novi Travnik was Beslim Zurapi; is

7 that right?

8 A. Bislim Zurapi.

9 Q. Oh, Bislim Zurapi. Is it correct that cooperation between the two

10 armies was at that time actually fair because there were fair officers on

11 both sides?

12 A. Correct. But Mr. Cerkez was also on good terms, privately

13 speaking, with some officers from the BH army.

14 Q. You believe that this private relationship of his with his

15 colleagues who were ethnic Muslims helped resolve matters more quickly?

16 A. Yes. By all means, yes.

17 Q. If I understood this correctly, Bislim Zurapi, who was mentioned,

18 was not an extremist; he was also a constructive and positive person in

19 terms of these relationships?

20 A. As far as I know, yes.

21 Q. Towards the end of April 1993 --

22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I have to go back because of the

23 transcript now. You said that Bislim Zurapi was positive; is that right?

24 A. Yes. That is what my experience was at that time.

25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] There was a mistake in the

Page 23026

1 transcript -- thank you -- so I had to put this question to you again.

2 But now let's go back.

3 Q. Basically, throughout the month of May, more or less, you were a

4 member of the commission for resolving incidents in Novi Travnik; is that

5 correct?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. And you also had some better insight through this because you were

8 a member of the commission; is that right?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Can you tell us, while you were a member of the commission, since

11 all were victims, which people were -- unfortunately, we have to say this

12 statistically -- I mean, there were more victims coming from which ethnic

13 group?

14 A. Well, at that time there was more pressure against the Croats in

15 mixed villages, and as a member of the commission, we most often went to

16 those areas. There were also persons who were killed at the time.

17 Q. And looking at figures, were there more casualties among the

18 Bosnian Croats or the Bosnian Muslims?

19 A. Among the Croats there were more victims.

20 Q. And that is at the time when you were a member of the commission?

21 A. I was a member of the commission practically until the conflict

22 itself.

23 Q. Would you mention the names of these mixed villages, please, at

24 least the main ones. There were always the main problem, where most Croat

25 victims were.

Page 23027

1 A. Senkovci, then Torine, Rat.

2 Q. All of these villages are to the north-east of Novi Travnik; is

3 that right?

4 A. These are villages where there were incidents that were

5 registered.

6 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.

7 Your Honour, if I may suggest that we go on the usual break just

8 five minutes before, because after the break I would just go briefly

9 through two documents which I should better prepare in order not to waste

10 too much time.

11 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

12 Help me with one thing. It wasn't clear, Major Senkic, from your

13 answer. It wasn't your fault. The question wasn't clear. You were asked

14 about how long it took in a car, under normal conditions, from Vitez to

15 Novi Travnik, and the question was rather confused because it went on to

16 refer to Travnik. Your answer was "15 to 20 minutes." Now, is that the

17 time that it would take in a car between Vitez and Novi Travnik?

18 A. The distance is the same from Vitez to Novi Travnik and from Vitez

19 to Travnik. If you look at the map there, you will see that the distance

20 is the same.

21 JUDGE MAY: My question is: How long does it take in a car

22 between Vitez and Novi Travnik?

23 A. Twenty minutes.

24 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

25 Very well. We'll adjourn now for half an hour. Could you

Page 23028

1 remember, Major Senkic, not to speak to anybody about your evidence until

2 its over and don't let anybody speak to you about it, and that does

3 include the members of the Defence team. We'll adjourn.

4 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.

5 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.

7 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.

8 Q. [Interpretation] We've just reached paragraph 9 or rather 9.1 in

9 our summary. Could we show the witness Z505, this is one of the lists, it

10 is Tab 12 from this so-called Spork binder.

11 Witness Senkic, will you please have a look at it and I will ask

12 the usher to put it on the ELMO to see what list it is.

13 A. It's in English.

14 MR. KOVACIC: We have to give him a Croatian copy. We gave him

15 English. There are both. Probably the English should be placed on the

16 ELMO.

17 Q. [Interpretation] Major Senkic, you saw that document, did you?

18 Did you see this document before?

19 A. Yes, it was my service which made it.

20 Q. It has the date here, 27th of February, 1993, if I am correct.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you accept that this document was done by your service which

23 means Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade on the 27th of February.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And from the manner in which it was stamped, I should say that it

Page 23029

1 was done on a computer; is that correct?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. So these records were stored in a computer?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. At that time, Cerkez commanded the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, did

6 he?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And who was the commander of the 2nd Battalion which is mentioned

9 here?

10 A. Anto Bertovic.

11 Q. You mean Anto Bertovic from Vitez?

12 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods.

13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Witness, will you agree that the commander of the battalion -- for

15 the record only, so Anto Bertovic was the commander of the 2nd Battalion,

16 was he?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Will you agree that the battalion commander is mentioned nowhere

19 in this list; that is, when you went through the list before, you did not

20 see his name?

21 A. Correct.

22 Q. Could you explain to the Court what does this list mean, how was

23 it compounded?

24 A. This list is a list of soldiers engaged during the last month,

25 that is soldiers engaged in military tasks.

Page 23030

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12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French

13 and English transcripts.

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Page 23031

1 Q. So all these soldiers who, in January 1993, were on the front

2 line, that is called up and sent to the front?

3 A. Or dealing with communications or engineering tasks, but all those

4 who were engaged for various military tasks during the preceding month

5 mostly on the front line.

6 Q. And you prepared such reports for every month, did you?

7 A. Yes, practically, until the break out of the war.

8 Q. And it means that I cannot really establish with certainty on the

9 basis of this list -- no, let me rephrase it. It means that I cannot see

10 from this list how many soldiers were engaged in March, say? For that you

11 would need the list for March, which was drawn up a month later?

12 A. In April, yes.

13 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell me just one more thing. This report

14 regarding the state in January, it seems to show that some 433 soldiers,

15 if I count them correctly, were active, that is, were assigned various

16 tasks in January; is that so?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. And in the preceding month and the month before that or a month

19 later, that number could have been larger or smaller; is that so?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Do you perhaps remember what would be the order of magnitude, that

22 is, between how many and how many roughly?

23 A. Plus/minus 15. I should say depending on the response of the

24 soldiers that were called up.

25 Q. Very well, thank you. We can then remove the list. Only for the

Page 23032

1 record, the witness said, "Plus/minus 15 per cent".

2 And will you please show the witness the second list from the same

3 binder, Z332.1.

4 Witness Senkic, there is no need to go through it, you can just

5 look at the first two or three pages and the title page. I showed you

6 this list before, didn't I?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. In Novi Travnik, did you compile an identical document?

9 A. Yes, my service drew up an identical document.

10 Q. Could we have the first page on the ELMO, please, only the first

11 page for identification.

12 If you now look at the top of the first page, not the one which is

13 on the ELMO but the one which you have on the desk this list was drawn up

14 for which units, it says up there?

15 A. This was for 92nd Domobran Regiment.

16 Q. And what was this regiment, which area did it cover whose was it?

17 A. It was the legal successor to the Vitez Brigade.

18 Q. Is it a legal successor to the Vitez Brigade only or did it also

19 incorporate some other units which did not have their own legal

20 successors?

21 A. The Domobran Regiment, you mean?

22 Q. Yes.

23 A. I shall speak about Novi Travnik.

24 Q. Very well. Tell us what was the state of affairs in Novi Travnik

25 you were there so let us explain to the Court. In Novi Travnik after the

Page 23033

1 war, the legal successor to the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade was also the

2 Domobran Regiment, which number?

3 A. 93.

4 Q. Or was it 90th or the 93rd?

5 A. Or perhaps 90th or the 90th or the 93rd. No, the 90th.

6 Q. Right. But it was also called the Domobran Regiment, Home Guard

7 Regiment, and it was the legal successor, you already told us, of the

8 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And in your case in Novi Travnik, in that Home Guard regiment, was

11 this regiment the legal successor to any other unit?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And its roster, did it include some other soldiers, soldiers who

14 no longer had their basic units?

15 A. These lists include all who were in any way during the war against

16 the BH army, who were involved, engaged, in any way whatsoever. So

17 therefore not only the members of the former brigade, but also the civil

18 defence and even civilians who were helping with logistics in any way:

19 women, children who carried water, and so on.

20 Q. Am I getting your meaning, that this roster includes all the

21 persons from a particular territory -- we're referring to the territory of

22 Vitez at this moment -- every individual who in any way whatsoever helped,

23 contributed, to a defence of the Lasva Valley?

24 A. Correct.

25 Q. Could we just put some examples, such as, for instance: If a

Page 23034

1 civilian had a house 500 metres from the front line, and if food was

2 prepared for the platoon which was on the front line there, would such a

3 person be included in such a roster?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And if that person was a woman alone in that household, would she

6 be put on the list?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And why were those lists compiled?

9 A. Well, a little before that, the BH army did that, that is, they

10 made those lists for distribution of shares, of certificates, basically,

11 so as to distribute the certificates. So they did it before us, on the

12 basis of information that they also included individuals who were engaged

13 with the army, about the army, around the army, in the army, in any way

14 whatsoever, and that they put them on those books, on the record, so we

15 did the same.

16 Q. You say "certificates." What is that about? Will you please

17 explain to the Court what are the certificates?

18 A. Well, all individuals, that is, all the individuals engaged in the

19 defence, would be recognised the amount of salary, totalling 400

20 convertible marks, but in certificates, which now can be invested in

21 privatisation funds and so on and so forth.

22 Q. You mean for the time spent in the war?

23 A. Yes, yes, for the time spent in the war.

24 Q. In other words, every citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina,

25 regardless of what side he participated on in the Muslim Croat conflict, I

Page 23035

1 mean, and even fighting against the Serbs, every citizen who participated

2 in the war and in one way or another contributed to the war or the defence

3 in that war, received some kind of compensation, of remuneration, from the

4 state?

5 A. From the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

6 Q. I see. From the Federation. You just explained that the

7 certificates means that the state simply does not have money to pay the

8 salaries for that period of time, so that it offered certain valuables,

9 papers of value, so that these people could either buy flats or buy shares

10 in enterprises, and so on and so forth?

11 A. Correct.

12 Q. Does that mean that by compiling these -- that the compilation of

13 these lists helped to contribute to the distribution of state funds?

14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, it really would be better if you'd let

15 the witness give the evidence. These may well be matters which are very

16 much in dispute. The witness should be simply asked an open-ended

17 question: What was the purpose of compiling the lists? Now, you destroy

18 the worth of the evidence if on matters of this sort you start giving the

19 answers.

20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I will not lead on

21 that. I thought it was more or less under no dispute, because it is

22 commonly known knowledge in Bosnia.

23 JUDGE MAY: Well, not here, and it may well be in dispute. Is

24 there any dispute about this, Mr. Nice, as to why these lists were made

25 up?

Page 23036

1 MR. NICE: Hearing this evidence, I shall have to take some

2 further instructions and give thought to the matter over the luncheon

3 adjournment. I've already got it in mind.

4 JUDGE MAY: Anyway, let the witness tell us about why these lists

5 were compiled.

6 Can you tell us, Major Senkic, why these lists were compiled?

7 A. We were issued the order from the relevant command to compile

8 lists, to make records of individuals, not only members of the brigade,

9 but all persons who were engaged in the defence in one way or the other.

10 And the purpose was to make a record so that these people could get bonds,

11 or rather certificates, which the citizens could then later on use in the

12 privatisation by investing in privatisation funds, purchase of shares, or

13 purchase of other socially owned property. This process is under way in

14 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Yes. The certificates were also

15 issued for labour obligation; that is, people who worked for the Bratstvo

16 factory in Novi Travnik before the war were also issued the certificates.

17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Witness Senkic, do you know if it was done in all the other

19 regiments, in adjacent municipalities and throughout Central Bosnia?

20 A. It was done in both components of the Federation army; that is,

21 both the HVO and the BH army did that, except that the BH army embarked

22 upon it a little earlier.

23 Q. But both components of the army, that is, both the Bosniak and the

24 Croat one, applied the same criteria, didn't they, regarding this broad

25 approach?

Page 23037

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And in the meantime, did you get those bonds or those certificates

3 in the way which you could get the bonds?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And just one more question bearing on that particular matter. If,

6 to exercise any other right regarding disability or any of the property

7 rights, a former soldier, either of the BH army or the HVO, needs a

8 document to prove that he served in the armed forces, would an excerpt

9 from such a list be enough for whatever administrative procedure?

10 A. No.

11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further

12 questions on that matter, so perhaps the usher could take these documents

13 back. And I have only one more question which sprang up more or less

14 accidentally.

15 Q. Major Senkic, you know, and we already touched upon that, that on

16 the 16th of April, 1993, a broad conflict broke out between the BH army

17 and the HVO in the territory of the Vitez municipality?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And that meant the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade had some additional

20 tasks to perform; is that so?

21 A. Not at that time.

22 Q. But did it bring about a high level of preparedness of the

23 brigade, since it was in a neighbouring municipality?

24 A. At that time we were still holding the already mentioned front

25 lines against the army of Republika Srpska.

Page 23038

1 Q. And in view of the municipal boundaries, is it true that on your

2 phalanges you had points of contact with the Vitez Brigade in the area of

3 Vitez and Novi Travnik and that the locality called Gradina was the

4 boundary between the two municipalities?

5 A. Yes, but that was in wartime.

6 Q. You mean when the conflict between the army of BH and HVO

7 escalated, Gradina was at that point: on one side it was the side

8 belonging to Vitez and on the other side belonging to Novi Travnik?

9 A. Correct.

10 Q. And did it, depending on how the war unfolded, was there any

11 coming to assistance, that the Vitez Brigade would come to your side of

12 the boundary to replenish your lines, and the other way around?

13 A. Mostly along the boundary lines.

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I will have no further questions.

15 Thank you, Witness Senkic.

16 Thank you, Your Honours, for your patience.

17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Only a few questions, Your

18 Honours.

19 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:

20 Q. Witness Senkic, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Mitko

21 Naumovski, lawyer from Zagreg. With my colleague, Stephen Sayers, I

22 represent Mr. Dario Kordic in this case. I shall ask you a few questions

23 only.

24 Tell us, please, Major Senkic: You were with the command of the

25 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, weren't you?

Page 23039

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And throughout that time, while you were in the brigade command,

3 did you ever hear or did Mr. Dario Kordic ever issue any order to the

4 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?

5 A. No.

6 Q. Tell us, please: From your viewpoint, member of the brigade

7 command, what was Mr. Kordic, to your mind? A politician or a soldier or

8 a military?

9 A. A politician.

10 Q. I suppose you've already had opportunity to hear some of his

11 statements, speeches, and so on, when he addressed the inhabitants of the

12 Lasva Valley and beyond that. Did you ever hear Mr. Kordic speak

13 disparagingly about other peoples, I mean Muslims, in the first place?

14 A. No.

15 Q. Tell us, please: In his speeches, what did Mr. Kordic advocate?

16 A. I remember one speech in 1992. I think it was August. At that

17 time Mr. Kordic invited, or begged, practically, for people to report and

18 go to defend Jajce, because Jajce was in a very difficult military

19 situation then. Otherwise I didn't have much contact with Mr. Kordic.

20 Q. No, no, no. I didn't mean personally; I meant by way of the media

21 and what one could hear on radio, television, and so on. For instance,

22 did you ever hear him invite in his speeches people to stay in the

23 territory to defend homes and so on and so forth?

24 A. Yes, yes. He invited Croats to stay, not to leave the area,

25 because in early 1992 Croats had begun to leave after the -- following the

Page 23040

1 aggression of the army of Republika Srpska.

2 Q. So he was calling upon people to stay there, not to go to defend

3 their ground, to stand their ground, to defend it?

4 A. Yes, yes.

5 Q. Tell us, please: Did Mr. Kordic have any role to play in military

6 developments, if I may call them that, in Novi Travnik, during the period

7 of time when you were there in 1992; 1993?

8 A. In Novi Travnik, no.

9 Q. Do you know, Mr. Senkic, about Mr. Kordic coming to Novi Travnik

10 in October 1992, when the second conflict in Novi Travnik broke out?

11 A. Yes. But I'm not sure in which context because at that time,

12 Jajce fell. At that time, in Novi Travnik, and otherwise in the Lasva

13 River Valley, there was chaos all over.

14 Q. All right. But do you have immediate knowledge about this or did

15 you hear from any of your own people what Mr. Kordic tried to do then,

16 what his objective was, to put it simply?

17 A. I personally was not there, but according to the information I

18 received from my colleagues, I think exclusively for the purpose of

19 information, I know that he sought information about the situation in Novi

20 Travnik.

21 Q. Very well, thank you. Today, you spoke about the military police

22 and about the relationship between the brigade and the military police.

23 Tell us, please, in response to a broader question than that, civilians,

24 politicians, either at municipal level or at a broader level, could they

25 issue direct orders to the military police?

Page 23041

1 A. No way.

2 Q. Very well. Does that mean that the military police was within the

3 chain of command in the armed forces?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And in connection with that and in connection with the work you

6 did in brigade headquarters, I imagine that you made records of all

7 disciplinary measures that were pronounced against soldiers so could you

8 please tell the Trial Chamber who was in charge of imposing disciplinary

9 measures on the members of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, on soldiers?

10 A. The commander of the company, the commander of the battalion, the

11 commander of the brigade. They could take punitive action.

12 Q. So commanders, depending on the level at which they were; is that

13 your answer if I understand you correctly?

14 A. The commander of a company could impose a lesser punishment, then

15 a commander of a battalion larger punishment, and the commander of the

16 brigade, the greatest punishment of all.

17 Q. Tell us, please, could any civilian from the local structure

18 beyond take disciplinary action against soldiers or did he have any duties

19 or obligations related to the punishment of soldiers for what they had

20 done?

21 A. No.

22 Q. A few minutes ago when I talked about the military police, I

23 omitted to put a broader question to you where you answer this question,

24 but perhaps specifically related to Mr. Kordic. Throughout the war, and

25 you spent the entire war down there in Novi Travnik, throughout the war,

Page 23042

1 did you ever hear of Mr. Kordic having had anything to do with the

2 military police so that he could issue orders to them or something like

3 that, any kind of connection between Mr. Kordic and the military police?

4 A. No.

5 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, as a member of the command of the

6 brigade of Stjepan Tomasevic, did you ever receive any kind of military

7 order about the Tuzla convoy, that that convoy should be stopped or

8 something like that, anything?

9 A. No.

10 Q. You know about what happened to the Tuzla convoy, and finally some

11 of these developments took place in the area of your municipality, I

12 imagine that you are familiar with that, are you?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. The Prosecutor in this case alleges that the attack on this convoy

15 was organised by the HVO. Since you were in the brigade command, was it

16 possible to carry that out in the area of responsibility of your brigade

17 without you, as member of the brigade command, knowing anything about it?

18 A. That was not possible.

19 Q. By the way, did you perhaps see when people approached these

20 trucks, to put it that way?

21 A. When the most intensive developments related to this were taking

22 place, together with my colleagues, I was burying one of our officers.

23 Since the cemetery is pretty high up, I had the opportunity of seeing what

24 was going on down there.

25 Q. So just in one sentence, who attacked, encircled this convoy?

Page 23043

1 A. The people, civilians, women, children, everybody, the people.

2 Q. Thank you. One more question directly related to the army.

3 Mr. Senkic, throughout the war, in the area of Central Bosnia and Novi

4 Travnik, of course, were there any organised units of the Croatian army or

5 not?

6 A. Definitely not.

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I believe, Your Honours, that I

8 have concluded with this, and I thank Mr. Senkic as well.

9 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:

10 Q. Mr. Senkic, just a couple of preliminary matters but help me,

11 please, with this: The questions you've just been asked by Mr. Naumovski,

12 did you have advance notice of those questions?

13 A. Not advanced notice. We had a general conversation.

14 MR. NICE: Thank you. Can the witness please see the lists he was

15 looking at in relation, I think, to Vitez, if he could have those back.

16 And Your Honour, what I propose to do is just clarify matters and then

17 I'll come back and deal with our position on this, I hope, at half past

18 2.00. If you have the Vitez document before you, and take us to the first

19 page and lay it on the ELMO and then I'll be sure I've got the same

20 document. Right, that's fine.

21 Q. Can you help us, please, with what is the code, if it is a code on

22 the fifth column along where we see the letters P, DVO, DVC and I think

23 that's probably -- can you explain that for us?

24 A. Oh, this over here. Oh, I beg your pardon.

25 Q. Sorry.

Page 23044

1 A. Column five shows status.

2 Q. Yes. And what does "P" stand for?

3 A. Reserve, P for pricuva.

4 Q. DVO?

5 A. Active military man.

6 Q. DVC?

7 A. There is no DVC.

8 Q. Very well. Over the page there's another one which appears at the

9 bottom of the second page, RVI.

10 A. War military invalid.

11 Q. It's been suggested to you by Mr. Kovacic that women and even

12 children would feature on these lists, at least that's my understanding of

13 it. Can you find us --

14 A. That's what I said.

15 Q. Very well. Can you just find us a child or a woman on this list

16 so we can see how they are shown?

17 A. Perhaps I could on the list of the Novi Travnik regiment, but not

18 the Vitez one.

19 Q. Very well. How would they be shown? Would they be shown by an

20 entry in this code column or in some other way?

21 A. Children, when we talk about children, these are younger men who

22 worked as messengers at the time, and they would have the mark "P".

23 Q. Thank you. Another preliminary point, are you able to help us at

24 all with where Mr. Cerkez was on the evening of the 15th of April 1993?

25 A. No.

Page 23045

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Page 23046

1 Q. Or indeed where he was on the morning of the 16th of April, 1993

2 and shortly thereafter; do you know anything about his movements at that

3 time?

4 A. I was in Novi Travnik.

5 Q. I'm going to try and deal with matters broadly chronologically,

6 Major, but there may be some jumping about for which I will apologise.

7 Let me see if I understand your position. You were with the Tomasevic

8 Brigade throughout the war.

9 A. Against the war, against the VRS, and against the BiH army. We

10 are talking about two wars.

11 Q. And just how high up did your contacts take you? Did you ever

12 find yourself at meetings involving politicians?

13 A. No.

14 Q. So who in Novi Travnik was dealing with politicians when

15 politicians had to be dealt with? Who on behalf of the army?

16 A. In the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, during Mr. Cerkez's term, he did

17 that with the civilian authorities in the town of Novi Travnik. So

18 contacts with civilian authorities could only have been had by the

19 commander or the person authorised to do so by him.

20 Q. And you weren't kept informed of what happened at these meetings

21 and, as you say, you weren't a party to them?

22 A. There was no need for that.

23 Q. Then it may be the next question is something you won't be able to

24 answer, but I must ask you in any event. Were you aware, one way or

25 another, of whether the commander of your brigade had dealings with

Page 23047

1 politicians at a level higher than the entire -- than the simple local

2 level?

3 A. I don't know about that.

4 Q. Does it follow, correct me if I am wrong, does it follow that you

5 simply don't know who, politically, was running either of these wars to

6 which you refer?

7 A. What do you mean "who was running them politically"?

8 Q. Which politician was making the decisions that were being carried

9 out by the various commanders including the commanders in Novi Travnik?

10 A. I shall be very frank. I am not knowledgeable about politics at

11 all or political concepts at that, nor am I interested in it for that

12 matter.

13 Q. Very well. Let's deal with Novi Travnik quite briefly. You were

14 there in the end of 1991 when the political party, the HZ HB was formed;

15 correct?

16 A. Yes, I lived in Novi Travnik.

17 Q. Were you a member of the party yourself?

18 A. No, never.

19 Q. Do you, nevertheless, understand that Novi Travnik was of critical

20 importance to the prospective body of Herceg-Bosna, the HZ HB, for two

21 reasons, both because it lay on the line of communication between

22 Herzegovina and Central Bosnia, and also because of the presence there of

23 the Bratstvo Factory?

24 A. I don't agree with that.

25 Q. You don't agree with either part of it? Because it's true, isn't

Page 23048

1 it, that Novi Travnik did lay along the lines of communication between

2 Herzegovina and Central Bosnia?

3 A. Novi Travnik is in Central Bosnia, not along some communication

4 line, it is Central Bosnia. Bugojno, Prozor, Kupres, et cetera are along

5 the communication line whereas Novi Travnik is Central Bosnia.

6 Q. Well, now, the HVO came to run things in, what, April 1992?

7 A. Control over what? What kind of control?

8 Q. In Novi Travnik?

9 A. No, no, incorrect.

10 Q. Well, when did it exercise control?

11 A. There was no control. Look at the map that was given to you and

12 you will see who had control over Novi Travnik.

13 Q. What happened in June of 199 --

14 A. I beg your pardon. The HVO had control over nine per cent of the

15 municipality of Novi Travnik.

16 Q. What did the HVO do in June of 1992 then, please?

17 A. We were attacked. We set up defence lines but first, the mixed

18 village of Senkovici was attacked, the mixed village of Rat, the Croat

19 village of Sebesic and Pecini, Gorne, Donje, Rude, purely Croat villages,

20 Margetici, et cetera. So all the villages above the Bratstvo Factory to

21 the east. You have it on the map.

22 Q. Well, the map shows, it's a little confusing with the line, it

23 shows a Croat domination in the north-east and although the colours aren't

24 very clear, it shows Muslim domination in the centre, south and west;

25 would that be broadly correct?

Page 23049

1 A. You mean they dominated? There are no Croats there anymore.

2 Q. I said the Muslims and the -- the town itself dominated by Croats;

3 correct?

4 A. Half of the town. The town was divided into two zones. Half of

5 the town was held by Croats -- well, we're not going to say Croats. We

6 are going to say the Croat Defence Council and the second half was held by

7 the BH army.

8 Q. Now, in June of 1992, incidents happened, we've heard, for

9 example, of one of them, of soldiers from the Territorial Defence being

10 captured in the area of Novi Travnik. Were you aware, in your position

11 that you then held, of incidents of that sort occurring in your town and

12 in the area of your town?

13 A. I was a member of the commission, the Joint Commission for

14 Incident Control, that is to say, between the HVO and the BH army. At the

15 time of the abduction, when the abduction happened, I was in the joint

16 commission in the village of Rat. An HVO soldier was killed from the

17 back. There was that kind of incident up there then, and we went there to

18 prevent a larger scale incident.

19 Q. Can you give any explanation for how it should be that HVO

20 soldiers arresting people in those circumstances would say that they had

21 been sent by Kordic? (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 A. (redacted).

24 Q. Also you've referred very generally to what was happening in June

25 of 1992. What do you say the HVO were doing there?

Page 23050

1 A. We cannot even call it a conflict, an organised conflict. I don't

2 think this was an organised conflict, and I never understood why it

3 actually happened. However, I did see -- I did have the opportunity of

4 seeing then -- I was going to work from home, and at that time there was

5 the TO, the Territorial Defence. There wasn't the army yet. It was the

6 Territorial Defence. And I saw a platoon going towards the post office

7 and another platoon going up towards the MUP. Then I informed my

8 superiors -- I think they had contacts, but I think that things got out of

9 control then. However, the next day I think that things calmed down.

10 Q. Was all this unhappiness and fighting and so on a result of the

11 fact that the HVO had demanded the abolition of existing municipal

12 authorities in your town?

13 A. Incorrect.

14 Q. You can't give any explanation, can you, for what it was that the

15 HVO soldiers were doing?

16 A. What they were doing? They were defending themselves. At that

17 time these TO units wanted to take over certain buildings in town, and the

18 HVO soldiers opposed them. That was resolved through negotiations at

19 local level, I think.

20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, just give me a minute, please.

21 Q. I'm going to suggest to you that it was the same struggle for

22 authority that manifested itself in June of 1992 that led to the outbreak

23 of hostility in October. What do you say to that, please, Major?

24 A. I don't think that's true, because after that people continued to

25 live together in town. People still went to work together. They worked

Page 23051

1 together. They were still employed together in various civilian entities.

2 Q. Well, is it right, as we've heard from witnesses, that by about

3 October of 1992 Muslims required HVO authorities and passes if they were

4 to leave their town?

5 A. They got approval from their own authorities.

6 Q. We've heard that they required HVO passes. Do you say that's

7 entirely incorrect, or thinking back, may it be correct that the HVO had

8 that authority over all the population by that time?

9 A. No.

10 Q. We've heard other evidence that in October of --

11 A. Just a minute, please. May I just add something to that? I know

12 of a case when both signatures were needed in order to leave the

13 territory, definitely, both signatures.

14 Q. Was there any looting of Muslim premises or anything of that sort

15 in October of 1992; and if so, how do you explain that, please?

16 A. Crime.

17 Q. I see.

18 A. I think it had nothing to do with the military, with military

19 operations. This was pure crime. But it wasn't only Muslim houses and

20 shops that were looted. There was looting of shops and houses generally

21 speaking, irrespective of ethnicity. There is no such thing as ethnicity

22 as far as criminals are concerned.

23 Q. Now, the resolution, and this is my last question on this --

24 A. May I just add something to this? My apartment was also looted

25 during the second conflict. There was a burglary and my apartment was

Page 23052

1 looted, if that means anything.

2 Q. We heard how, on the 20th of October of 1992, Colonel Stewart, the

3 British colonel, who you probably know of, went to Novi Travnik and saw

4 Kordic there. What was Kordic doing there? You were there. Tell us.

5 A. I don't know what he did. I wasn't -- I mean, I did not see him.

6 I was very busy. I'm always very busy, being a personnel officer, you

7 know. But yes, I did hear that he was. So according to information from

8 my colleagues, I suppose he was seeking some information, he wanted to

9 learn about the situation in Novi Travnik, and I suppose he also came on

10 the occasion of the fall of Jajce, because the refugees flooded Central

11 Bosnia at the time.

12 Q. There would, of course, be no need for him to present himself in

13 any way as the man in charge, would there, from what you tell us?

14 A. Why do you think he was the one in charge then? In Novi Travnik,

15 the one in charge was the president of the government, or rather chief of

16 the municipality, that is, along the civilian structure, and the brigade

17 commander in the military structure, in Novi Travnik.

18 Q. Perhaps you'd like to help us with a document we have seen before,

19 but I must ask for your help. Z243, please. While that's being brought

20 to you, who do you say would have been the military person to whom Colonel

21 Stewart should have been directed when he went to Novi Travnik to see what

22 the HVO position was? Who is the officer he should have turned to?

23 A. The commander of the municipal staff, Novi Travnik.

24 Q. Namely?

25 A. General Vlado Juric, general now, if you're referring to a

Page 23053

1 military person.

2 Q. Yes. Thank you. Now, if you look at this document, please -- you

3 may or may not have seen it before. Have you seen it before?

4 A. No, I haven't seen it before.

5 Q. You'll see it's dated the 21st of October of 1992. You can see

6 the headings. We won't take time going through those. But if you go to

7 the end of the document, you'll see this entry, under paragraph 10:

8 "While defence operations are being conducted, the vice-president of the

9 HZ HB, Dario Kordic, and I are in Novi Travnik, continuously leading

10 military operations."

11 First of all, was Blaskic, whose name is on the bottom of this

12 letter, there? Did your friends tell you about that?

13 A. No. I mean, I don't know.

14 Q. You come from Novi Travnik, you were in the HVO. Can you help us,

15 please, with how it comes about that Kordic and Blaskic's names appear at

16 the bottom of this document, claiming to be leading military operations at

17 the time when Novi Travnik was indeed engaged in fighting?

18 A. Colonel Blaskic was the commander of the Operative Zone, and the

19 municipal staff was directly subordinate to him. Since at that time there

20 was no organisation whatsoever, absolutely no organisation, so there was

21 the municipal staff, as a smaller, as a minor command institution. And

22 everything else that needed to be engaged was mobilised, so there was no

23 organisation, there were no trained military experts. We all extemporised

24 all the time. Nothing meant anything to us. This did not mean anything

25 to us at that time. Nobody knew who had to sign what, especially in

Page 23054

1 October 1992.

2 Q. You told the Judges that you were told by your friends that Kordic

3 was there. When was it you asked your friends about this? Recently?

4 A. No, no. Look, no. No. Then. After that.

5 Q. How come that you both asked your friends about Kordic being there

6 and how come you now remember it?

7 A. I did not ask my friends. My friends told me, that is, that Dario

8 had been there. Well, Dario was a politician, say, he had a name or

9 something, and that was that. It was an event, "Dario's been here," and

10 it was within that context that it was said.

11 Q. Let's now go back to in time to deal with what you've been asked

12 about Mr. Cerkez. Are you saying to the Judges that, and the Court

13 generally, that Mr. Cerkez had nothing to do with soldiers from Vitez

14 until only shortly before the Ahmici event? Is that what you're saying?

15 A. I don't remember saying that, that he had nothing to do with Vitez

16 troops.

17 Q. When did he first have anything to do with the command of Vitez

18 troops, please?

19 A. There are no Vitez troops. We are talking about Stjepan Tomasevic

20 Brigade, and it was made of a combined command and two battalions. One

21 battalion was troops from Novi Travnik, and they had their own area of

22 responsibility on the front line against the ARS. The 2nd Battalion was

23 made of people from Vitez, and they also had their own area of

24 responsibility on the front line against the ARS. And in that sense Mr.

25 Cerkez commanded the Vitez and Novi Travnik battalions.

Page 23055

1 Q. Just when, from when, please, was he first having a role as

2 commander of Vitez soldiers?

3 A. You must ask a more precise question. What does it mean, "Vitez

4 soldiers"? Vitez soldiers were members of the battalion which was engaged

5 in combat operations. Vitez soldiers were soldiers of the 2nd Battalion.

6 Q. When was the Viteska Brigade so named for the first time?

7 A. You'll have to ask the commander of the Viteska Brigade that, or

8 rather members of the command of the Viteska Brigade.

9 MR. NICE: Perhaps the witness could see Exhibit 142 and 142A,

10 please.

11 Q. While you're looking at the original of this one, I'm going to ask

12 that you be shown another similar document which has only just come to

13 hand and has yet to be translated, 165.2. If that could be distributed.

14 A. You want me to comment?

15 Q. Another document coming your way, Major, with a better photograph,

16 or at least better in the copy form. We can see that the first document

17 you were looking at, 142, is a document dated June of 1992. It appears to

18 be signed by Cerkez and it's identification which proves membership of the

19 HVO, 1st Viteska Brigade, for a named soldier. And the second document,

20 165.2, similarly signed, dated a little later, and although we may not

21 speak the language, we can all see it's to a similar, if not indeed

22 identical effect. So can you now give us your comment, please, on those

23 documents.

24 A. Well, if it said "the 1st Vitez Division," would you also be

25 asking me that question: Was there a division in Vitez?

Page 23056

1 JUDGE MAY: Just try and answer the question. If you can't

2 answer, say so, but don't try and argue with counsel, please.

3 A. Right. Right. I should like to ask you to look at the seal and

4 see what's written on it, because only the seal is authentic and all the

5 rest what it says here is not correct.

6 MR. NICE:

7 Q. Are you suggesting that in some way this is not a genuine

8 document?

9 A. The document, yes, but what is not correct is that it was the 1st

10 Vitez Brigade. At the time of municipal staffs, there were definitely no

11 brigades in our Operative Zone.

12 Q. I see. I think I see. You're not challenging that these

13 documents were issued and signed by Cerkez in June and July of 1992, are

14 you?

15 A. Well, in Novi Travnik, I issued documents like that. These are

16 military papers about -- the certificates about the membership in the

17 HVO. It was an ID document.

18 Q. And the use of the name "1st Viteska Brigade" on this document

19 reflects Cerkez's involvement at that stage as an officer dealing with

20 Vitez soldiers and something that was to be named the Viteska Brigade in

21 due course; correct?

22 A. At that time, at the time when this document was signed, there

23 were only municipal staffs. There was no other formation. The brigade

24 was to involve [inaudible] the joint one as of the 5th of December of

25 1992. And then, in spring, when it split in February or March, and so

Page 23057

1 emerged the Vitez R Brigade and the Novi Travnik Stjepan Tomasevic R

2 Brigade.

3 Q. Do you remember the Alfa Force came to fight in your part of

4 Central Bosnia?

5 A. I do not know of a unit called "Alfa".

6 Q. Anything like Alfa?

7 A. No.

8 Q. It relates to somebody called Chris Wilson who was wounded in the

9 Novi Travnik or Novi Travnik area. Do you remember an English mercenary

10 by that name?

11 A. I know that a name of Chris came up, but that's all.

12 Q. He was injured in Novi Travnik in on or about the 14th of October

13 of 1992. Now, what group did he work for or did he fight for?

14 A. I don't know. If he was wounded, he should have been on my

15 records because all those who were killed or were wounded in those clashes

16 were on my books because, among other things, that is what I did and I

17 also shared that information with Serbs.

18 Q. Was the Bruno Busic Brigade working in your area?

19 A. I don't know that Bruno Busic was a brigade. I do remember,

20 however, when they arrived. They were not even a platoon.

21 Q. Now, this man, Chris, and others like him, were you aware that

22 they were fighting in Central Bosnia but funded by Croatia?

23 A. No.

24 Q. Do you allow for that as a possibility?

25 A. That they were paid, no.

Page 23058

1 MR. NICE: I'm not going to take this witness through these

2 documents. For reference purposes, they are 2663 and 2663.1, .2 and .3,

3 also documents 2232.1, 67 -- Z67 and Z265.

4 Q. Coming back to the October fighting, because you were there, what

5 part was Cerkez taking in the negotiations concerning that fighting and at

6 that time; can you remember?

7 A. Cerkez was not in Novi Travnik then. I didn't even know Cerkez at

8 the time.

9 Q. Well, you heard about, for example, Kordic from your friends. Did

10 you hear what other people were doing on behalf of Novi Travnik, what

11 other negotiations were taking place about Novi Travnik? Did you hear

12 anything about that?

13 A. No. No, no.

14 Q. Anything to do with the removal of the barricades at Ahmici; no

15 recollection of anything?

16 A. I don't even know that there was. I was in the headquarters and

17 the scope of my activities was limited.

18 Q. Were you aware of the Vitezovi as a group, were you aware of the

19 Jokeri as a group of soldiers, please?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Now they were present in Novi Travnik in the October events,

22 weren't they?

23 A. Not as an organised group.

24 Q. That's not an answer to the question. They were there fighting

25 for the HVO in the October fighting; correct?

Page 23059

1 A. They fought for themselves.

2 Q. Under whose command were they operating, please? They came from

3 Vitez. Whose command were they under?

4 A. I don't know. I think they came for another reason other than

5 fighting. You know, very many cars were driven away from Travnik at the

6 time.

7 Q. Are you saying looted, stolen?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. Muslims' cars?

10 A. No, they couldn't really go up there. So those cars were

11 mostly -- well, yes, Croat and Muslim, those who lived in that part of the

12 town.

13 Q. Because, you see, if the Vitezovi and the Jokeri were in Novi

14 Travnik in October of 1992, can you point to any senior military officer

15 other than Cerkez who might have had command of them?

16 MR. NICE: The Court will know that this is Witness AS who deals

17 with this.

18 A. I do not think they came in an organised manner.

19 Q. Very well. I'm not going to press that.

20 MR. NICE: Can we move on to November of 1992, please, and to

21 Exhibit 567 which is already an exhibit, I think. I'm sorry not to have

22 given notice.

23 Your Honour, I'm sorry there is a wrong document reference, it's

24 my mistake. Perhaps we can withdraw that one, briefly. I'll come back to

25 that point.

Page 23060

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Page 23061

1 Q. I may have to come back to the position in November 1992 and I

2 apologise, Major, it's my mistake. We've heard how in January of 1993,

3 ammunition was being supplied to Busovaca from Novi Travnik. Would you

4 accept that?

5 A. I don't know. I do not know about this. I don't believe so.

6 Q. Well, in your position, I know you were personnel, but in your

7 position, did you keep an eye on and have a feel for what was going on in

8 the Bratstvo Factory?

9 A. No.

10 Q. I see. Very well. In January of 1993, have a look at Z355.1,

11 please. Now, this is, I'm afraid, a document in English. I don't know if

12 you speak English, Major, probably not. 355.1. It's a document in

13 English, and I'm going to ask you to listen to what I read from it on the

14 third page. Can we lay it on the ELMO, please.

15 This is a document from the International Community, the Cheshire

16 Regiment, and they say this of Novi Travnik for this time that the HVO/HOS

17 convoy, which was reported to enter Novi Travnik says that, "That convoy

18 was responsible for the death of one Muslim and more troubles are

19 expected." It then goes on to say that, "A liaison officer team of the

20 regiment visited Novi Travnik in the morning of the day with a stand-by

21 platoon and spoke to Refik Lendo and Major Malbasic," the HVO commander.

22 "Lendo claimed that three Croatian policemen from Split arrested a

23 BiH military policeman, assaulted him, placed him in their car," and so

24 on. They panicked, there being the opening of fire. The three Croat

25 policemen were arrested and Lendo claimed that -- I don't want to ask too

Page 23062

1 much about that.

2 Do you remember this incident?

3 A. No, I don't.

4 Q. Is it the sort of incident that was regularly enough happening in

5 Novi Travnik in January of 1993 with problems being caused for Muslims by

6 HVO or in this case HVO/HOS?

7 A. Incidents happened on both sides. One couldn't come into or go

8 out of Novi Travnik without passing through an ABiH checkpoint.

9 Q. Would you accept -- and Your Honour, we needn't look at this one.

10 To save time, it's 355.2 -- that there were soldiers, probably the

11 Pavlovic Brigade, coming from Herzegovina to your town and under HVO

12 control causing damage to Muslim restaurants?

13 A. The same, that is, that the already-mentioned soldiers were not

14 under control. They were simply not under control of the HVO. And they

15 also wreaked damage on our restaurants too. The biggest damage they

16 inflicted on Croats, on Croat businessmen.

17 Q. This Brigade, the Pavlovic Brigade, of whom was it composed?

18 A. I don't know that it was a brigade. The brigade is a huge

19 formation. I do not really think Ludvig Pavlovic could have hardly been a

20 brigade. No, it wasn't a brigade.

21 Q. Were members of that brigade Croat?

22 A. I think there were different structures, different ethnicities in

23 the brigade. There were Muslims and Serbs too, I think.

24 Q. In short, you do accept that there were HVO soldiers, whether

25 individuals or in groups, who were damaging Muslim interests in Novi

Page 23063

1 Travnik in January of 1993?

2 A. And Croat too, for the most part. For the most part they mostly

3 inflicted damage on Croat property. It was more accessible to them.

4 Q. Perhaps this will be my last question for the break because the

5 next document was unavailable for computer reasons and may be available

6 now.

7 When you say there was no policy of persecution, isn't the reality

8 in a place like Travnik that its important role for the HVO, for the

9 reasons I have already suggested, that its important role for the HVO

10 meant that there was continuing attacks of one kind or another on the

11 Muslim population. And you, Major, must have been aware of that, and you

12 did nothing to stop it, I'm going to suggest.

13 A. Excuse me, but to fulfil those goals, you need an organised army

14 and you need considerable military forces. The HVO was far from having

15 those. So to think about expelling Muslims would have been crazy,

16 impossible, unfeasible in practice.

17 MR. NICE: I don't know if that would be convenient.

18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we're not sitting until later tomorrow

19 morning because there is another case which is occupying the Court first.

20 Perhaps you can help us with progress. How much longer with this

21 witness?

22 MR. NICE: I've already discussed with Mr. Kovacic whether there

23 will be time to start another witness this afternoon, and I'm hopeful that

24 indeed there may be. In any event, looking at Mr. Kovacic's witnesses for

25 the week this is one of the only two that are going to be reasonably long

Page 23064

1 and I think the others are likely to be pretty short. I don't --

2 Mr. Kovacic indicates perhaps three long and two short, but one way or

3 another, I don't think there will be a problem in fitting the evidence in.

4 JUDGE MAY: Very well, we'll adjourn now. Half past 2.00. Would

5 you be back then, Major, for half past 2.00.

6 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.

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Page 23065

1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

3 MR. NICE:

4 Q. Major, just tidying up something I said I'd tidy up before the

5 lunch break. The list you went through which contained the codes, you

6 have no reason to challenge what you say about the codes, but of course

7 those lists of brigade members in themselves show nothing about whether

8 somebody was on active duty at any given time, do they? They simply show

9 all those people who, for whatever capacity, were involved in the work of

10 a particular brigade.

11 A. I already said. I already said that these were lists on which, in

12 addition to the members of the brigades, there were others. There were

13 civilians and others who were engaged in defence in any way.

14 Q. I think we're in agreement. If what I said was correct, we'll

15 move on to the next question. Is what I said correct?

16 A. Could you repeat your question, then? What is correct is what I

17 just said.

18 Q. Very well. I've made our position clear.

19 Can we move on to two new exhibits, I think. One is 1396. If we

20 can have a look at that. It's not new. It's existing, outstanding.

21 1396. At the same time, if you can look at a new exhibit, 316.2.

22 The first document, Major, is a document prepared in 1994, setting

23 out the history of certain people's service, and on the last of the two

24 pages, and the second of the English pages, we see that Mario Cerkez is

25 described -- I think if the usher can put the second sheet on the ELMO of

Page 23066

1 this one, to help the interpreters, if they haven't got it. At the bottom

2 of the page he's there described as having been an administrator for

3 recruitment and mobilisation, and then under number 4 as being deputy

4 commander from the 1st of December, 1991 to the 30th of January of 1992.

5 And then it says that he was the commander of the Tomasevic Brigade from

6 the 30th of November, 1992 until the 6th of March. And then it deals with

7 his being commander of the Vitez Brigade from the 6th of March to the 31st

8 of December.

9 And if you look at the other document that you've got, it -- which

10 is a contemporaneous document of the 15th of December, it comes from

11 Malbasic and it appoints Cerkez as the deputy, with effect from the 5th of

12 December. So there's a slight contradiction between those documents. Can

13 you explain the contradiction for us?

14 A. I think that this is a bureaucratic matter. It should say the 5th

15 of December.

16 Q. In any event, he was rising in authority in the Tomasevic Brigade

17 in December of 1992 and he, in due course, took over from Malbasic.

18 That's correct, isn't it?

19 A. Not in December 1992. Malbasic left the end of January 1993. In

20 December 1992 Malbasic was commander.

21 Q. Malbasic became an artillery officer, I think, in Vares; correct?

22 A. I don't know about where he went afterwards.

23 Q. If he did, that would be something in the way of either a sideways

24 promotion or a demotion. At the time that Cerkez took over the brigade,

25 was there known to be dissatisfaction with Malbasic?

Page 23067

1 A. No.

2 Q. In particular, as I think we may have heard in evidence, was there

3 dissatisfaction because he was not as committed, perhaps, to the politics

4 and philosophy of the HVO as Cerkez was to be?

5 A. Incorrect.

6 MR. NICE: Can the witness please see existing Exhibit 306. Again

7 this is an English document, so I shall have to read the relevant passage

8 to him and ask for his comments on it.

9 While these documents are being produced, Mr. Kovacic tells

10 me -- and I have to say how grateful we are to Mr. Kovacic for providing

11 draft summaries over the weekend, which helped us, and we're grateful to

12 him for that. He tells me that this witness and one of the other

13 witnesses this week should, between them, take care of all the documents

14 that are required for this category of issues, and thus it may be that

15 later witnesses will require fewer documents. One hopes so.

16 Q. This, Major, Exhibit 306, is a milinfosum dated, on the evidence,

17 the 6th of December of 1992, so if you cast your mind back to that period

18 of time. And it's not very clear to see, but we'll -- I'll read it, I

19 hope slowly enough for yourself and for the interpreters. It says, in

20 relation to Novi Travnik for this period of time, the beginning of

21 December, 1992:

22 "Tension in Novi Travnik is still high amongst the Muslims and

23 Croats. A liaison team visited Marenko Marega today. He stated that

24 there was now a combined HVO brigade formed from both Vitez and Novi

25 Travnik. The commander is from Vares. His name is Malbasic. The deputy

Page 23068

1 commander, Cerkez, in Vitez. Marenko claimed he was involved in the

2 political side of life. He was, however, able to give the command

3 structure of Central Bosnia, HVO. Stated that Blaskic was the commander,

4 with headquarters in Vitez or Travnik."

5 Now, does everything that Marega said there accord with and agree

6 with your recollection of events at the time?

7 A. It is correct that Borivoje Malbasic was commander and it is

8 correct that Mario Cerkez was deputy commander, or rather Chief of Staff

9 of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade. That is correct.

10 Q. And the man Marega, Marenko Marega, no reason to doubt the

11 accuracy of what he would be saying?

12 A. I said what is correct.

13 Q. If we look at the bottom --

14 A. I was in the army. I know who was my first superior officer and

15 who was my second superior officer.

16 Q. Can we just look at the bottom of this page as well, because the

17 same person went on to say these things: that he knew Dario Kordic well

18 and described Blaskic and Kordic as two bodies with one mind. And he

19 claimed that Novi Travnik was a Croat town which would form part of the

20 new state of Herceg-Bosna, and he would be happy to let Muslims leave for,

21 say, Zenica, in turn allowing Croats into Novi Travnik from Zenica. He

22 claimed that Croats and Muslims could only be friends but not brothers.

23 He would never be able to walk down the same street as Refik Lendo.

24 Now, those are the things he apparently said. Do you agree with

25 those expressions of view, that Novi Travnik was to remain a Croat town?

Page 23069

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Page 23070

1 A. Novi Travnik was always a mixed town; always has been, always will

2 be. I do not agree that it should be a mono-ethnic town, because I have a

3 lot of friends among the Bosniaks.

4 Q. Do you remember, when answering questions about Mr. Kordic and

5 what he did, you spoke of his encouraging Croats to stay in the town?

6 That's what he did, was it: He encouraged just the Croats to stay in the

7 town?

8 A. It was the Croats who were leaving their homes after the Serb

9 aggression. That was the trend, fleeing from Central Bosnia. If Croats

10 were fleeing, then he had to encourage Croats.

11 Q. Can we look, please, at another document. Can you look, please,

12 at this document, 365.3. This is a very short document. It's dated the

13 15th of January of 1993. It comes still from Malbasic, who, as you tell

14 us indeed was still there. And it says that on the basis of demonstrated

15 need, et cetera, he requests that the Bruno Busic units be placed under

16 full control of the Central Bosnia Operating Zone. And if that's not

17 possible, he requests they be removed from the responsibility of the

18 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade.

19 This reflects, doesn't it, visiting HVO forces in your area and a

20 request that they should be -- that they should leave?

21 A. We have already said that parts of the Bruno Busic unit were there

22 and that they were harming both the Muslims and the Croats. The situation

23 was getting out of control and that is why he sent a request asking for

24 their removal.

25 Q. And then I think just to complete that and so that we can try and

Page 23071

1 get a complete picture of Mr. Cerkez's involvement, if we look at 475.2

2 which is coming your way, another very short document, we can see that he

3 records, does Mr. Cerkez, on the 16th of February, he is now the commander

4 and he records that by that time, or indeed on that day, the Bruno Busic

5 Regiment left.

6 Now, there are two points, really. One, with visiting -- with HVO

7 soldiers from outside on the territory of the brigade commander, of course

8 that local brigade commander still had some or sometimes complete

9 authority over them; correct?

10 A. You are talking about the situations that are envisaged by

11 well-established military forces. I am talking about a chaotic situation,

12 about an army that was not established and it was not possible to exercise

13 command and control according to standards there.

14 Q. There may have been difficulties, I'm not challenging that, but we

15 see from, for example, these last two documents the local commander says,

16 "These men have got to go." And eventually, not so very long later,

17 they've gone. The local commanders knew that they had to be an authority

18 and they exercised authority; correct?

19 A. A request was sent. A request was sent either to put them under

20 the control of the Operative Zone or for them to leave so the control of

21 the Operative Zone, of the OZ. The command of the Operative Zone could

22 not have kept them under control even. Even a higher instance could not

23 have put them under control.

24 Q. I was going to deal with an outstanding exhibit but I think -- if

25 I can do, 372, please, very briefly, as it's an outstanding exhibit,

Page 23072

1 slightly out of time sequence, but still early 1993.

2 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I've only got about three or four more

3 documents to look at, a few more questions, and then I'm done subject to

4 something that may come to me from elsewhere in the building.

5 Q. This is an English document. It relates to January of 1993. In

6 the English version it's on page three, if that can be placed on the

7 ELMO. It's the report of a military person and it describes, so far as

8 Novi Travnik is concerned, this situation. It says, "After serious

9 incidents between Muslims and Croats during the previous week, the

10 situation remains very tense in various areas that there identified. In

11 Novi Travnik on the 11th of January, a Muslim woman was raped by some HVO

12 soldiers. Her husband was made to jump from a window, resulting in severe

13 injuries. Fighting between the two factions was reported and the new HVO

14 checkpoints were established north of Vitez."

15 Now, do you accept that that incident, as described, occurred, the

16 rape of a woman by an HVO soldier?

17 A. I think that I would have known had it happened. If this was done

18 by a member of our brigade, disciplinary proceedings would have been

19 initiated against him, that is to say, it would have gone through my

20 records. I would have had to have had records had this happened to a

21 member of our brigade.

22 Q. Well, that's the associated point to which I was going to take

23 you. We've heard how in February of 1993, and this was an open session

24 witness, Ismet Halilovic, we've heard how in Novi Travnik, an HVO soldier

25 shot both that witness and shot and killed his brother. Now, do you

Page 23073

1 remember that incident?

2 A. I remember that incident very well. That is one of the most

3 tragic events that occurred in Novi Travnik. Since this happened before

4 the citizens of Novi Travnik, masses of citizens of Novi Travnik, and I

5 knew the late Ismet very well; we worked together in Gacko.

6 Q. Well, can you explain why the inquiry into that incident has never

7 been brought to conclusion and is probably said now simply to be

8 "archived", whatever that might mean. Why did the HVO not bring that

9 inquiry to a conclusion, please, Major?

10 A. I remember the following well. This was a troublesome soldier.

11 He was a troublesome soldier for ethnic Croats as well. He was an

12 alcoholic, a vagabond, whatever. He was prosecuted and detained in the

13 Kaonik prison.

14 Also, I remember that at that time, Mr. Cerkez went to the

15 commander of the brigade of the BH army to apologise. And he even

16 delegated an officer from our brigade to attend the late Ismet's funeral

17 on his behalf.

18 Q. None of that is answering my query which is this: Why hasn't the

19 inquiry been concluded? Why hasn't the soldier been brought to be

20 punished if that's the case?

21 A. As far as I know, he ended up in prison. I don't know the

22 details, perhaps you can ask the judicial authorities for that, but as far

23 as I know, he ended up in prison. I know they were all engaged in that

24 and he had to end up prison.

25 Q. Or is the position that by this time, although commanders knew

Page 23074

1 what their responsibility to discipline and punish were, where it was a

2 case of HVO against Muslims, they didn't do so.

3 A. It was not the HVO that was against the Muslims. This was an

4 individual incident. Individuals get out of control even in far more

5 perfect and established armies, let alone in a totally unestablished army

6 as we were at the time.

7 Q. One last question about the Tomasevic Brigade, I think. 530.3.

8 By the 8th of February -- I beg your pardon, by the 10th of March of 1993,

9 Mr. Cerkez was in charge of what?

10 A. Could you please tell me the date?

11 Q. 10th of March of 1993.

12 A. He was in charge of commanding our established entity.

13 Q. Which one, Viteska or Stjepan Tomasevic, or were they very closely

14 connected?

15 A. In this period from the 10th of March, I don't know exactly -- I

16 don't know what the date was when he went to Viteska.

17 Q. Well, in which case --

18 A. But I can say at that time, the 2nd Battalion still covered the

19 defence line against the Serbs, and the 2nd Battalion was manned by the

20 members of the HVO from Vitez.

21 Q. Well, that probably concludes what I need to ask you about this

22 because in reality, the 2nd Battalion of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade

23 became the Viteska Brigade; correct?

24 A. After separation, after the separation of the brigades of Stjepan

25 Tomasevic and Viteska, after that the Brigade Stjepan Tomasevic consisted

Page 23075

1 of personnel from Novi Travnik and the Viteska Brigade was manned by

2 personnel from Vitez.

3 Q. Very well. Then I needn't trouble you with that exhibit. I think

4 one point about the type of brigade about which we are concerned, the

5 Viteska Brigade, was that, you are telling us an R Brigade, a brigade

6 composed of reserves?

7 A. Yes. All brigades were of the R type.

8 Q. That -- did that, in fact, allow for the presence of some

9 effectively full-time professional soldiers within the brigade or not?

10 A. There are no professionals in brigades of the R type.

11 Q. All right. I think we may have heard, I'm not quite sure, we may

12 have heard the word "active" in relation to some parts of such brigades.

13 Does the word "active" mean anything to you distinguishing some of the

14 soldiers, specifically reserve soldiers?

15 A. At that time, there were no active duty ones. We had a permanent

16 force which was engaged in the command and in the logistics and some of

17 them in the signals, so they are full-time engaged reserve force.

18 Q. All right.

19 A. There are no active ones. Active duty refers to professionals.

20 Q. One point arising from that, and it's an exhibit I'd like you to

21 look at although the copy I have is very poorly copied in your language,

22 it's more satisfactory in English, meaning there must be a better copy

23 somewhere. It's Exhibit 636.1.

24 Now, by the 10th of April which is the date of this document,

25 Cerkez had gone and in a sense, you don't know anything more about him

Page 23076

1 after that; would that be correct? Before you look at the document, is it

2 correct that by the 10th of April, the date of this document, you really

3 didn't know very much about Cerkez?

4 A. When he moved over to Vitez Brigade, that is when he -- after he

5 went back to Vitez, we lost touch.

6 Q. Right. So therefore, this document is something about which I can

7 only ask your general assistance. I've got a slightly better copy here,

8 if that will help the witness, but the point I want to ask you about is

9 this: We see, at least we will be looking at the English and if you could

10 follow it in the original, we see this is a 10th of April, 1993 document

11 for the Vitez Brigade command headed, "Elements Extract from the

12 Mobilisation Plan" and it happens to be signed by Cerkez. What it says in

13 relation to the Vitez Brigade is this on page one, "Pursuant to

14 conclusions of the seminar for chiefs of organisation and personnel and in

15 conjunction with the extract from the mobilisation plan," then it sets out

16 what it's sending, and at the bottom of paragraph -- the bottom of the

17 first paragraph, really, it says, "The first degree of readiness, six

18 hours."

19 Now, is your understanding that that means that even though this

20 was an R, a reserve regiment, the regiment could be ready for action, the

21 brigade could be ready for action within six hours of first notice?

22 A. We go back to the beginning. Elements from the -- extract from

23 the mobilisation plan, the term is wrong, and that is why I am telling you

24 that people did things they were not trained for. So this was mistermed

25 it was not the mobilisation plan. We never had a mobilisation plan. So

Page 23077

1 this is an extract from the mobilisation evolution, and this is a document

2 annexed which still exists in our area as a by-law.

3 Q. Well, people may have done things for which they weren't trained,

4 and I'll come back to that in relation to Cerkez a minute. But even if

5 this document doesn't accord with the meticulous standards that you, as a

6 soldier, would want to see, is this document suggesting, as you would read

7 it, with your experience and expertise, is this document suggesting that

8 the brigade would be ready for action in six hours of first notice?

9 A. Not even in theory.

10 JUDGE MAY: How long would it take for it to be ready?

11 A. Twenty-four hours, not less. According to the standard, 48

12 hours. But I'm referring to the circumstances and because the area, which

13 shrank, then it is 24 hours. Because everything is placed on the alert,

14 R-type brigade has to be mobilised in full. Even the command has to be

15 mobilised in full.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.

17 MR. NICE:

18 Q. You see -- I mean, you see here what Mr. Cerkez has set down, and

19 for the number of soldiers, is 2841, which is -- whatever it is -- it's 20

20 or so less than the 2864 referred to. So he's identifying a full number

21 of soldiers, pretty nearly. The appropriate type of unit, R, identifying

22 the assembly point. Presumably all that you've got to do to be ready -- I

23 say all you've got to do -- you have to notify your troops, they have to

24 get there, and equipment has to be made ready. Would that be the things

25 that have to be done?

Page 23078

1 A. Not correct. Not correct. This is -- these are data, the figures

2 as per formation. That is what is envisaged by the book on formations

3 under ideal conditions. This is as it should be.

4 Q. Two more documents to look at and one more question about

5 documents. Before I come to any of that, Cerkez, did he lack really the

6 appropriate military training for the job that he had as commander, in

7 your judgement?

8 A. Not one of the commanders had undergone proper training. We did

9 not have trained personnel, that is, personnel from the former JNA. In

10 other words, they were all people who had been engaged in completely

11 different activities in their civilian life, starting from me.

12 Q. And in your judgement, was one of the reasons for Cerkez's

13 position as a commander not his skill, but his connections to other people

14 of importance?

15 A. No. He was a volunteer; that is, he joined from the early days,

16 participated in the establishment of the municipal staff, and it was

17 logical for him to be promoted along those lines.

18 Q. You've said something about the military police.

19 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not going to show the exhibit to the

20 witness. It's a long book that we've seen, called -- whatever it is --

21 Seventy Years in the Military Police. It's Exhibit 2332. It's page 15 of

22 that document in the English translation, for reference, and I want the

23 witness's comment on a short passage, which I'll read slowly.

24 In relation to the military police, the book that's been published

25 says this:

Page 23079

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French

13 and English transcripts.

14

15

16

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18

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22

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24

25

Page 23080

1 "In their daily tasks, commanders of the Operative Zone battalions

2 were directly subordinate to the commander of the Operative Zone. They

3 carried out all orders regarding military police tasks within the

4 competence of the military police. Military police platoons in the

5 brigades implemented orders of the brigade commanders within their

6 competence. The military police administration commanded and controlled

7 all military police units."

8 Now, there are four sentences. Is it right that in daily tasks,

9 they were subject to the commander of the Operative Zone, the military

10 police?

11 A. Since I worked at a lower level, then I will speak about the lower

12 level, so the brigade level. A brigade commander could not command the

13 military police, because I've already said that the correspondence was

14 based on requests, or rather we could submit requests rather than issue

15 orders. The difference, of course, is that that request could be denied;

16 that is, they might refuse to undertake what had been requested, and I'm

17 referring to R Brigade.

18 Q. So that where this book says "they," speaking of the military

19 police, carried out -- I beg your pardon. Where it says military police

20 platoons in the brigades implemented orders of the brigade commanders

21 within their competence, you say they would act on requests, do you?

22 A. No. He could not issue an order, the brigade commander,

23 especially in Novi Travnik.

24 MR. NICE: I think in fairness to the Defence, and for

25 completeness, perhaps we should look at 545.1, a very short document.

Page 23081

1 Q. This is, I think, a document that we found, Major, that connects

2 Cerkez and the military police, and it's dated the 16th of March, to the

3 HVO military police in Vitez, and it is indeed headed "A Request for

4 Persons to be Brought in Under Custody," and it then asks them to perform

5 that function. You would say that, would you, is a request of the type

6 envisaged in your description of the different duties of police and the

7 soldiers?

8 A. I told you incorrectly in my statement. Whenever we needed the

9 military police to act, we had to send a request, and it mostly had to do

10 with this, maintaining law and order and bringing in deserters.

11 Q. Very well. Do you know the names, any of these names: Anto

12 Kovac, Zabac, or Zlatko Nakic?

13 A. No. They are people from another municipality. No, I don't know

14 them.

15 MR. NICE: A last question about a document that is a list, is

16 not -- last question for documents -- is about a list. It's only just

17 come to hand and is not translated, but I think it can serve a purpose

18 through this witness, if he can see it, please. It will become Exhibit

19 1380.2.

20 Now, if the usher would be good enough to have side 4 ready

21 for -- sorry, the fifth sheet ready for us so that the witness can look at

22 the first sheet just to satisfy himself what the document is, without our

23 having a translation.

24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I think it is not

25 difficult only for us, but we are dealing here with the documents probably

Page 23082

1 coming from Zagreb. We don't have those papers. Even we were told by the

2 government that equally the copies will be shared. But the point here is,

3 and that is why I decided to interrupt finally, that this document is

4 coming 18 February 1994. I mean, we do have enough documents in the

5 relevant time. I don't see anything relevant in a document coming 18

6 February 1994.

7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice.

8 MR. NICE: Can I explain? This is another document that is

9 historical; that is to say, it's setting out the roles that people had.

10 And I wanted this witness's comment on the foot of the fifth page, which I

11 think we can all see relates to five names, some, if not nearly all of

12 which, are familiar to us and relate to Kordic. It's setting out

13 something that I'd like to ask this witness about. Indeed, it's setting

14 out something about Kordic's bodyguard.

15 JUDGE MAY: Well, this document, for a start, is not translated.

16 Secondly, it is far too late in the day, it seems to me, to be bringing it

17 in without some sort of foundation. Thirdly, it's got nothing to do with

18 this witness.

19 MR. NICE: Can I nevertheless ask a question? I would --

20 JUDGE MAY: You can ask a question, but without reference to the

21 document, which we will hand back.

22 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.

23 Q. Is the position this, Major, that Kordic had a bodyguard composed

24 of military policemen by names Bogdan Santic, Milenko Arapovic, Damir

25 Cosic and Andzelko Lastro and Zoran Lovric?

Page 23083

1 A. I do not know any one of them personally.

2 Q. Very well. Let's move, then, just to the last part of Novi

3 Travnik's relevant history, because you stayed there, of course,

4 throughout the summer of 1993. Do you accept that in the June 1993

5 fighting, people were kept prisoner in the Stari Sociter building until

6 such time as the HVO took the building over?

7 A. No, but until ABiH members did not agree to exchange -- capture

8 Croats from Senkovici.

9 Q. And is it not right that when the HVO took some prisoners from

10 that building, they attempted to force an exchange of populations

11 involving the villages of Senkovici and Torine?

12 A. I didn't understand the question.

13 Q. Were prisoners or were Muslims who had been living in that

14 building encouraged or forced to go to Senkovici and Torine on the basis

15 of Croats leaving those villages? Do you remember that?

16 A. I don't think that that is what it was about. Croats from the

17 village of Senkovici were compelled to leave.

18 Q. There was a camp, I think it was called Kajce or Kace, at

19 Stojkovici; correct?

20 A. Camp, no.

21 Q. Was there some form of detention facility there?

22 A. In 1992?

23 Q. 1993.

24 A. No. 1993, no. In 1993 it was already something like an army

25 facility.

Page 23084

1 Q. And then finally, so far as Novi Travnik is concerned, just simply

2 because we've heard evidence about this and I want to be sure that you, as

3 a witness from Novi Travnik, are given an opportunity to deal with it:

4 Were, to your knowledge, prisoners used -- that is, Muslim

5 prisoners -- used to dig trenches in positions where they were at risk for

6 being shot at by the Armija?

7 A. No.

8 Q. And what do you know of an event, I think in October of 1993,

9 where Muslims were forced to wear mines on their bodies and used as human

10 shields and where they were eventually blown up and killed? What do you

11 know about that? You were there.

12 A. No.

13 MR. NICE: Well, Your Honour, I can give you chapter and verse for

14 the witnesses, if you want. It's Witnesses C and Q, amongst others.

15 And Your Honour, just give me one minute. There was the

16 possibility that I was going to have something else to ask from something

17 that had arrived very recently. I haven't had any information one way or

18 the other. I'd be grateful for five minutes to ask, if the Court would

19 indulge me; otherwise I've finished.

20 JUDGE MAY: I think we've had an hour or more of

21 cross-examination. That's probably enough. We're getting on to an hour

22 and a half, which is the same time as chief.

23 Yes. Any re-examination?

24 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour. Maybe I should repeat for the

25 matter of record. Yes, we will have some redirect.

Page 23085

1 Re-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

2 Q. Perhaps in order to take up less time, I would like to draw the

3 attention of the Trial Chamber to D1/2 and D2/2. We will save time this

4 way, because this was already discussed, and some documents were tendered

5 then.

6 I would first like to ask the witness the following. Actually, I

7 would like to ask the registrar to return this big document, 2332.1,

8 before the witness. It is impossible now during this short period of time

9 to go through all these documents and to show that indeed there are women

10 and children there, as the witness said. I would just like to mention a

11 few and then the witness can tell us whether these are women or children.

12 Mr. Senkic, please look at page 1, numbers 13, 14, 17, 18, 20.

13 Are these women's names? Are these women?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. There's no doubt that these are women?

16 THE INTERPRETER: There was no audible answer from the witness.

17 Perhaps we should also avail ourselves of this opportunity to look

18 at this other column next to the name, marked as JMBG. You worked in the

19 administration, so you know what JMBG is?

20 A. That is the single registry number of all citizens.

21 Q. So that is what every citizen in that area had?

22 A. Yes, that is what every citizen gets immediately upon birth.

23 Q. First of all, does this have anything to do with the army?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Second question: Can you explain to the Court what this number

Page 23086

1 consists of? What can we find out from the number?

2 A. The first seven digits show the date of birth. The other numbers

3 are administrative numbers. They, at that time, denoted the municipality,

4 the region, et cetera. They were administrative numbers.

5 Q. So let us take the last person on this page, number 29. Let's

6 see, according to what you say, this person was born on the 24th of July,

7 1953 and the rest are these administrative numbers, that is to say, where

8 this person was registered?

9 A. 19 was the region, I think, the former region.

10 Q. All right. So then we can even find out from there that a

11 person -- this person was born in that region?

12 A. Well, yes. I can't remember what these regions were called.

13 Before I think this was Zenica. Well, never mind.

14 Q. Can you now please look at the amount of paper I've got up, it's

15 about half of this document. This is the page where there are numbers

16 2686, et cetera.

17 A. Is this compiled the same way?

18 Q. Well, perhaps we should have a look. On the top, on the top it

19 says page 64. No, I think these are our own markings the ones that we put

20 in ourselves, I'm not sure.

21 A. No, no, it's not here.

22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps the best thing would be if I

23 gave the witness my copy.

24 JUDGE MAY: What is the point that you want, Mr. Kovacic?

25 MR. KOVACIC: The point is -- excuse me, I will continue in

Page 23087

1 Croatian. [Interpretation] The point is that the witness was asked a

2 question that he could not have answered because he never saw this list

3 before. He made the same kind of list in Novi Travnik though. The

4 suggestion made was that there were only citizens there but my suggestion

5 is that there are children here and I can prove this easily. There are

6 children who are 14 and 15 years old and there are two of them on this

7 page. I found another one who is 13 years old.

8 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. We've heard the witness say that the

9 relevant numbers include, in one column, the date of birth and with that

10 in mind, it should be possible to work out your point.

11 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.

12 Q. [Interpretation] Then we have finished with this, I thank you.

13 At one point in response to the Prosecutor's question, you

14 explained the relationship between the brigade commander and the civilian

15 authorities in town. What did you exactly mean by "civilian authorities

16 in town"?

17 A. Civilian authorities function throughout the war. There was the

18 head of the municipality, there were the heads of various departments, I

19 don't know, in charge of economic affairs, defence, et cetera.

20 Q. The commander of a brigade in some municipality, in Novi Travnik,

21 or Vitez, any municipality, the model is the same, really, I'm just asking

22 whether you know. Why does he have to communicate and how with the

23 civilian authorities in town?

24 A. Well, in the sense of logistic support. Because these brigades

25 primarily relied upon what they were given by the municipality.

Page 23088

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4

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10

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12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French

13 and English transcripts.

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

Page 23089

1 Q. The pre-war concept that we discussed in the beginning that you

2 explained and our brigade was always financed by its municipality, wasn't

3 it?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And then this president of the municipality, can he issue a

6 military order to the brigade?

7 A. He cannot.

8 Q. But he can decide about resources, about money?

9 A. Yes, yes, how much he can give us.

10 Q. Very well. Let's just explain something here so that it would not

11 remain unclear. You said explicitly, in response to the Prosecutor's

12 question, that Novi Travnik was not on the communication line to Central

13 Bosnia but it was Central Bosnia. So we agree that Novi Travnik is not on

14 some kind of a highway going through Bosnia, going east, west, north,

15 south, but it is close to these communication lines?

16 A. No, on the contrary, it was not on these communication lines.

17 Novi Travnik is actually a pocket.

18 Q. As for this main communication, Travnik/Vitez, Novi Travnik is

19 about six kilometres away from the main communication line, isn't it?

20 A. Yes, six kilometres.

21 Q. So that military force which possibly seals off Novi Travnik does

22 not, in that way, interrupt traffic along the main communication lines in

23 that part of Bosnia, right?

24 A. Well, there were no communications going through Novi Travnik.

25 Q. Thank you. In that area, the main communication line is the one

Page 23090

1 that goes down Kiseljak, Busovaca, Vitez, Travnik; is that correct?

2 A. From Travnik onwards.

3 Q. Yes, from Travnik onwards to Sarajevo, all possibilities are open?

4 A. Yes, to the other side as well from.

5 Q. So that is the main road in this area, isn't it?

6 A. Yes, that is the main road in this area until the present day.

7 Q. And that is the road that Vitez is on, right?

8 THE INTERPRETER: There was no audible answer from the witness.

9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. The Prosecutor also said that every citizen had to have a pass in

11 order to leave the territory of the municipality. First of all, is it

12 correct that every citizen had to have a pass in order to leave the

13 municipality during the state of war?

14 A. Yes, every military conscript.

15 Q. That is to say that only a military conscript had to have a pass?

16 A. Yes, only a military conscript.

17 Q. And that's the way it was according to the regulations of the

18 former Yugoslavia; is that right?

19 A. Well, it was not envisaged. There were no such cases in the

20 former Yugoslavia.

21 Q. Of course. But the regulations envisaged that in a state of war,

22 that measure could be imposed?

23 A. Well, yes, there would have to be special passes.

24 Q. So that is to say that women and children could move about freely;

25 is that correct?

Page 23091

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. And who were military conscripts, people of what age?

3 A. From 18 to 60.

4 Q. So a person who was younger than the age of 18 or over the age of

5 60 could move about without a pass?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. Thank you. Also, the events concerning the 20th of October, 1992

8 in Novi Travnik were mentioned. Do you remember whether, in these events,

9 where there was a conflict, that the chief of the municipal staff,

10 Mr. Ivica Stojak was killed?

11 A. Travnik.

12 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. Did you know him?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And he was killed at a checkpoint that was under BH army control

15 in Travnik, right?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Thank you. Regardless of these incidents that occurred in the

20 period from December 1992 until March 1993, was there any conflict between

21 the units, even the smallest units or the biggest unit that belonged to

22 the BH army or the HVO in Novi Travnik?

23 A. There were no conflicts.

24 Q. The photocopy of this HVO ID of a soldier where the 1st Viteska

25 Brigade is mentioned, a person by the name of Zoran Kristo, Z165/2, you

Page 23092

1 noticed that it says municipal staff here on this seal. Tell me, when

2 Stjepan Tomasevic, when the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade was established, was

3 a seal made for the brigade?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Soon after the establishment of the brigade, do you remember that?

6 A. Well, that is procedure. One gets a seal very fast. I can't

7 remember the date but it's very fast.

8 Q. Did you see that the Viteska Brigade in Vitez also had a seal?

9 A. I don't know.

10 Q. In our parts, generally speaking, do people set great store by

11 seals and stamps and if a document is only signed but not stamped, is it

12 always a bit suspicious?

13 A. Well, yes. That's right. Until the present day, our people tend

14 to believe in seals. Even until the present day in the army of the

15 Federation, people use seals and stamps.

16 Q. And this confidence in a piece of paper with a seal, is this valid

17 only in the military or in life in general in the area where you live?

18 A. Oh, yes, generally speaking, life in general. Nobody considers a

19 document to be valid unless it's stamped.

20 Q. Thank you. Did you ever hear, in view of the neighbouring

21 municipalities, that in the early summer, already from the month of May

22 onwards, that there was an initiative and even an agreement reached in

23 Vitez to establish a joint Muslim/Croat brigade which was even supposed to

24 be called the HMVO; have you ever heard of that?

25 A. Yes, I heard about it. I heard about this HMVO, about this name.

Page 23093

1 I just heard about it, but I was not involved in this procedure.

2 Q. You do not know about the details?

3 A. No, I don't know about the details.

4 Q. So did you hear the term the 1st Viteska Brigade in regard to

5 that?

6 A. The 1st Viteska Brigade? The 1st Viteska Brigade? That is a very

7 arbitrary term. I know, because at that time, as staff, we cooperated.

8 They wanted to have a formation. They wanted to have some kind of a

9 name. For us, it was sufficient if it said municipal staff or the 1st

10 Company or the escort company, so we -- we were -- we did not really have

11 any hang-ups of this nature. We didn't have to be a formation.

12 However, the men of Vitez, they wanted to be established in this

13 way in some kind of a formation which actually was not a formation. They

14 were a municipal staff, they cannot be a municipal staff -- there cannot

15 be a brigade if there is a municipal staff.

16 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. The translation had not finished.

17 Now, I'm looking at the clock. We want to start another witness. You've

18 examined this witness for an hour and a half this morning, Mr. Kovacic. I

19 really can't think there's very much more to add. He's been giving

20 evidence all day.

21 It's a question of whether it's really much assistance to the

22 Tribunal of going over all these facts again when there's another witness

23 waiting to give evidence.

24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am really trying to

25 cover only those matters which were raised in a different way during the

Page 23094

1 cross-examination, and I merely wanted to touch upon some of the documents

2 which the Defence has never laid its eyes on before. We do not challenge

3 those documents in principle because we do have to accept them with

4 reservation because we have not seen them before. And, as far as I know,

5 the witness does not know anything about them. So I want to change that,

6 and that is the only thing I wanted to address yet, and I won't go back to

7 those matters that were already addressed, if I may.

8 Q. Jokeris were mentioned, and an attempt is made to establish that

9 they were in Travnik as of October 1992. Major Senkic, do you know when

10 the Jokeris were established?

11 A. I don't. Those members who were from Busovaca we called them

12 Busovacans, those from Vitez, the Vitezans. I really don't know when the

13 Jokeris were established.

14 Q. Yes, but there is a small undefined part in the question which has

15 remained there so I have to ask you this: Is it possible that the Jokeris

16 or the Vitezovi mentioned in that part of the transcript, in that part of

17 the question were under Mario Cerkez's command?

18 A. No.

19 Q. Mario Cerkez commanded the brigade?

20 A. Not at that time.

21 Q. Oh, not at that time, thank you.

22 Mario Cerkez's predecessor, Borivoje Malbasic, while he was the

23 commander, could it be that he commanded a unit called Bruno Busic?

24 A. No.

25 Q. Did you ever see him issue orders to it?

Page 23095

1 A. Nobody could issue orders to them. I know it.

2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, nobody has suggested that Malbasic

3 commanded the Bruno Busic Brigade. There is no need to go over evidence

4 which hasn't been disputed.

5 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry, Your Honour. I had the impression that

6 that was implied.

7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, have we ever suggested that Malbasic

8 commanded the Busic Brigade?

9 MR. NICE: To be fair I was making observations about the presence

10 of outside HVO troops in the commander's territory, but I didn't go very

11 far in that allegation.

12 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

13 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. The document about mobilisation which mentions six hours for

15 mobilisation, it is, all told, just a model, just a theoretical concept of

16 mobilisation, isn't it?

17 A. Which was done by an incompetent person.

18 Q. Thank you. There was also talk about the document entitled

19 request and we were shown a specimen addressed to the military police from

20 the brigade. Let us just clarify the force of that request. Is it true

21 that the brigade can send such a request to the military police only for

22 common activities of military police such as bringing in recruits who

23 refused to report or failed to report; is that true?

24 A. Yes, this is request only for the common military police duties,

25 that is to bring in soldiers or perhaps if they caused disorders somewhere

Page 23096

1 then of course the police could be called in to bring them in again.

2 Q. Can a brigade commander send a request to the military police for

3 it to go and join the combat somewhere?

4 A. No, no.

5 Q. In Novi Travnik, a commander of the military police was somebody

6 called Stipe Bavraka; is that true?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And tell me, if, in February 1993, if Cerkez had sent an order or

9 even a request to that military policeman, Stipe Bavraka, what would have

10 happened?

11 A. Nobody could command Stipe Bavraka. One could talk to him,

12 perhaps.

13 Q. So that specific military policeman in Novi Travnik would not have

14 obeyed him?

15 A. Well, it would depend on him.

16 Q. And just two more questions, I did not want to go into it, but it

17 seems that it was put to you towards the end. Major Senkic, you spent

18 your youth in Novi Travnik?

19 A. Both my childhood and my youth.

20 Q. And that is where you began your professional career?

21 THE INTERPRETER: The witness nods.

22 Q. That is where you spent your career?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You spent the war there?

25 A. Yes.

Page 23097

1 Q. And you consider that place your homeland?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Has it ever occurred to you to leave it when the conflict between

4 Muslims and Croats broke out?

5 A. Not then and not before that. At the time, we were -- when we

6 were setting up the municipal staff, we were doing it to rid the Serbs

7 because at that time we were in jeopardy. We were threatened by the Serb

8 aggression. It certainly crossed nobody's mind, I don't know, but nobody

9 thought -- nobody thought about the war between Croats and Muslims.

10 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, I have no further

11 questions. Thank you.

12 JUDGE MAY: Thank you for coming, Major Senkic, to the

13 International Tribunal to give your evidence. It is now concluded. You

14 are free to go.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

16 [The witness withdrew]

17 MR. NICE: While we're changing witnesses --

18 JUDGE MAY: Let's have the new witness in.

19 MR. NICE: Exhibit 1396 hadn't been produced already. I will

20 arrange for enough copies to be available and distributed, 1396, thank

21 you.

22 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, while the witnesses are being changed,

23 Mr. Nice raised the prospect of certain motions or certain applications

24 being brought before the Court. I have previously alerted him and

25 Ms. Featherstone that I will be out of the country for the next week, back

Page 23098

1 on August 1st. Could I ask that any argument scheduled or on those

2 motions be scheduled for after August 1st?

3 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

4 [Trial Chamber confers]

5 [The witness entered court]

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.

7 WITNESS: BOZO PERIC

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

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

10 [Witness answered through interpreter]

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

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mikulicic, we have to rise at five past 4.00, so

14 if you could find a convenient moment about that time.

15 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.

16 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

17 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Peric.

18 A. Good afternoon to you and everybody else.

19 Q. On behalf of Mr. Cerkez's defence, I will ask you some questions.

20 I will ask you to answer them to the best of your recollection.

21 A. I am at your disposal.

22 Q. And I should also like to ask you to bear in mind that our

23 conversation is being interpreted into the official languages of the

24 Tribunal, and so will you please make a break between my question and your

25 answer in order to facilitate the work and our court reporters.

Page 23099

1 Mr. Peric, you were born on the 3rd of January, 1953, in Travnik;

2 is that so?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. You are married, you are a father of five, of whom four sons and

5 one daughter?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. You are a teacher of physics and mathematics?

8 A. Yes.

9 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness speak up or come closer to the

10 microphone, please.

11 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. And it was in Rijeka where you were educated?

13 A. Correct.

14 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness come closer to the microphone,

15 please.

16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]

17 Q. Rijeka is a town, is a port in the Republic of Croatia?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. After you graduated from the teacher's faculty, you served your

20 military service with the JNA in Kragujevac, in the Republic of Serbia; is

21 that correct?

22 A. It is.

23 Q. And did you undergo any specialisation in the army, or perhaps did

24 you get the rank?

25 A. Yes. I became a lance corporal. During that first year, students

Page 23100

1 came for their military training, and since I was a university graduate, I

2 delivered lectures to them. And to be able to deliver lectures, I needed

3 a rank, and that is how they gave me the rank. But I never went to any

4 training to become a lance corporal.

5 Q. And when was it that you served the JNA?

6 A. It was during my studies, that is, after my second year of

7 studies. At that time you could serve only one year, that is, 12 months,

8 so I benefited from that and I made a break in my studies. It was in

9 1974, in the autumn of 1974 that I left, did my army service, and then I

10 came out of the army in August, the next year, and went on with my

11 studies.

12 Q. Very well. Before those unfortunate events in Bosnia-Herzegovina,

13 that is, former Yugoslavia, you lived and worked in Varazdin, is it?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Varazdin is also a town in the Republic of Croatia, isn't it?

16 A. Yes, in the north of Croatia. It used to be a capital once.

17 Q. And you taught physics and mathematics in a secondary school, is

18 it?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. At the moment you live in Novi Travnik?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You are a businessman and you are engaged in commerce?

23 A. Correct.

24 Q. Mr. Peric, when the war broke out in the Republic of Croatia in

25 1991, you were teaching at the secondary school in Varazdin?

Page 23101

1 A. Correct.

2 Q. And you wanted to report as a volunteer in that conflict, isn't

3 it?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. That was a conflict, in point of fact, between the JNA and nascent

6 armed forces of the Republic of Croatia; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. But they did not accept you as a volunteer at the time?

9 A. They did not.

10 Q. And what was the reason for refusing to take you in?

11 A. That it was my labour obligation to work in the school.

12 Q. So you had your working hours, you were employed by the school and

13 at the school, and during your leisure hours you self-organised, in a way,

14 to follow the events in the town. What is it that you did?

15 A. Well, those were the national protection detachments. That is

16 what they were called. And they were voluntary. It was in neighbourhood

17 communities or boroughs within the town. I have a flat at the Banfica in

18 the town of Varazdin, and that is where we organised it.

19 Q. The principal role of these self-organised groups was to monitor

20 the army, was to keep an eye on the JNA?

21 A. Yes, because Banfica is a new part of Varazdin and it is where the

22 officers and NCOs of the JNA live. And our task was to keep an eye on

23 them and prevent them from leaving their apartments and getting to the

24 barracks in case of a conflict.

25 Q. But formally speaking, you were not members of armed forces or

Page 23102

1 armed unit of the Republic of Croatia?

2 A. Of the HVO -- you mean HV? No.

3 Q. Meanwhile, the war in Croatia escalated, and in the summer of

4 1992, when the school year ended, you set off to your native land, that

5 is, to the area of Novi Travnik in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Why did you go

6 there?

7 A. I went because the war had begun in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Serbs

8 attacked the areas of Central Bosnia, where the majority of the population

9 was made of Muslims and Croats, and I went to help there because I have

10 relations there.

11 Q. Which ones of your relatives were in the area of Novi Travnik at

12 the time?

13 A. Then, and now, all my relations -- three brothers, three sisters,

14 my parents -- meanwhile my mother died -- and their children, so all my

15 relatives, my whole family.

16 Q. At that time you also had a house in the village of Stojkovici?

17 A. Yes. I still do.

18 Q. Mr. Peric, tell us: That house in Stojkovici, what part of Novi

19 Travnik municipality is it?

20 A. It is next to the former sports airfield in Stojkovici, on the

21 Travnik-Novi Travnik road. That is about two or three kilometres, as the

22 crow flies, from Novi Travnik.

23 Q. I see. Before you therefore set off to help, to lend a hand in

24 the defence of the village, you also obtained, procured for yourself a

25 uniform and weapons?

Page 23103

1 A. Yes. I did that in 1991, at the time when the struggle for the

2 independent state of Croatia began. Then I was involved in that and I

3 made my contribution; that is, we who were for it, we were donating money

4 for the purchase of weapons.

5 Q. And this fund-raising was, in a manner, also organised by

6 neighbourhood communities, is it?

7 A. Yes. Yes.

8 Q. So you, de facto, bought the uniform and the weapons?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And then you put that uniform and the weapons into your car and

11 set off in the direction of Novi Travnik; is that so?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And when you arrived in the area of Novi Travnik, you reported to

14 the HVO as a volunteer?

15 A. Yes. I reported in my village because my brothers were already

16 included, and only a few days after I arrived, a shift from our village

17 was to go to the feature at Kamenjas. And as soon as I arrived, it was

18 agreed that all of us who were slightly older, that is, the generation of

19 52, 53, that we should go there together, just as a group, because we were

20 all one company but still in school.

21 Q. I see. But who did you report exactly, as a volunteer, when you

22 went back to your village in Stojkovici? I don't mean a person. I mean a

23 body.

24 A. No. There was no special body for that. I simply heard from my

25 brothers that the shift was to go within two or three days, and I said,

Page 23104

1 "Well, then I'm coming along." That was all.

2 Q. So in point of fact, those were villagers who went into the

3 mountain, to the front line against the Bosnian Serbs, that is, the JNA?

4 A. Yes, that is correct.

5 Q. And how long did the shift stay on the front line?

6 A. At that time -- well, basically it was seven days, but I

7 immediately stayed two shifts in a row.

8 Q. And you would then do your shift and you would come back to your

9 village; is that correct?

10 A. Yes, it is. Yes.

11 Q. And go about your daily, normal, regular business?

12 A. Yes, naturally.

13 Q. You already described to us how you came by your uniform and your

14 weapons. And what about other people in the village? How did they obtain

15 the uniforms and weapons, and did they have any?

16 A. Well, not very much of it, but they did have something. They had

17 taken it -- I don't know exactly when, whether it was the spring or summer

18 of that same year, 1992 -- from the barracks at Slimena. So some weapons

19 came from there. And they also had some hunting rifles which were their

20 own private property. And I believe they also bought some there, paying

21 for them out of their own pocket. How, I don't know.

22 Q. You mentioned the barracks at Slimena. Just to remind Their

23 Honours, it is the former JNA barracks which the JNA had left and yet left

24 some weaponry behind.

25 A. Yes, that is correct.

Page 23105

1 Q. Very well. And then those weapons were distributed amongst the

2 local population?

3 A. That is correct.

4 Q. At that time, therefore, summer/autumn 1992, there was an armed

5 conflict under way between the JNA and the army of Bosnian Serbs, on the

6 one hand, and the local population, Croats and Muslims, on the other.

7 They were defending their area; is that correct?

8 A. Yes, it is.

9 Q. And how long did you stay in your native area?

10 A. Well, until, I think, about mid-August, but then I had to report

11 to the school on the 20th of August, so I don't know exactly when I left.

12 But it must have been sometime in mid-August when I went back to Varazdin

13 to resume my regular work.

14 Q. I see. So even though villagers held some parts of the front

15 line, are you also aware that from a wider area, for instance, from Vitez,

16 there were also shifts which helped to defend the territory against the

17 aggression of the JNA and the army of Republika Srpska?

18 A. It was, when I was there -- well, I couldn't really tell you the

19 exact number, but there must have been some 20 members from Vitez who were

20 with us. The exact number, whether it was 19 -- but it was around 20.

21 Q. Right. And when you returned back to your job in Varazdin in the

22 Republic of Croatia, did you leave your uniform, your weapons, in the

23 village or did you take them back to Varazdin?

24 A. No. I thought it was my property, because I'd paid for them, so I

25 took them with me.

Page 23106

1 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Very well.

2 Your Honours, perhaps this might be a convenient time for the

3 break until tomorrow, because we are moving on to another paragraph, that

4 is, paragraph 4.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn now. In fact, it will be till

6 half past 11.00 tomorrow morning, because there is another case with which

7 the Trial Chamber is occupied earlier.

8 Mr. Peric, would you come back, please, tomorrow morning at half

9 past 11.00 to continue your evidence. Meanwhile, would you remember not

10 to speak to anybody about it, and that does include members of the Defence

11 team, until your evidence is over.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Goodbye.

13 JUDGE MAY: Eleven-thirty tomorrow.

14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.05 p.m., to

15 be reconvened on Tuesday, the 25th day of July,

16 2000, at 11.30 a.m.

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