1 Tuesday, 25 July 2000
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 11.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
7 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 Good morning, Your Honours; good morning, my learned friends from
9 the OTP; good morning, Mr. Peric.
10 WITNESS: BOZO PERIC [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic: [Continued]
13 Q. [Interpretation] We will continue with the conversation we started
14 yesterday. So now we've come to your second trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina,
15 that is, the summer of 1993. Is it correct that when the school year was
16 over, together with a friend, you went to Bosnia, as you had done a year
17 before that?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Again, you took the uniform and the weapons that you obtained, as
20 you had described to us yesterday; is that right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. However, in the meantime, you heard that the village of Stojkovici
23 was attacked too; is that right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What did you hear? Who had attacked the village of Stojkovici?
1 A. The Muslims, from the direction of Travnik, from the direction of
2 the village of Slimena, and also from this hill above Novi Travnik,
3 Vilenica. There's a transmitter there.
4 Q. When you say "the Muslims," you are referring to the units of the
5 BH Army; is that right?
6 A. Yes. Yes. Well, this name, "the BH Army," is a bit strange to
7 me. In those days -- nowadays we can speak about the Army of the BH, but
8 in those days it was the Muslim army.
9 Q. Very well. This friend of yours that you set out with, was he
10 also from that area, from Central Bosnia?
11 A. Yes, yes. He lived in Zagreb, but he was from Novi Travnik
12 originally. Well, no, not Novi Travnik. Travnik. Travnik. Travnik.
13 These are two different towns, you see.
14 Q. Very well. Did he also take weapons, like you did, or was he
16 A. He did not have any weapons.
17 Q. But he went with the same intention in mind to his native area as
18 you did?
19 A. Yes, exactly.
20 Q. So now we've heard that you and your friend went to help with the
21 defence of your native area, native village. Do you know any other
22 persons who were born in that area and who also went from the Republic of
23 Croatia to help the defence of their homes and villages?
24 A. Well, listen. When I went I didn't meet anyone, but there were
25 the boys from Austria, the boys from Austria who came, who had left their
1 work there. I found them in Uskoplje.
2 Q. Very well. Tell me, Mr. Peric, which road did you take in the
3 direction of Central Bosnia?
4 A. I took the road Sarajevo-Tomislavgrad -- actually, no, not
5 Sarajevo. Split. How could it be Sarajevo? Split, Sinj, Kamensko, the
6 border crossing, and Tomislavgrad.
7 Q. So you travelled along the road between Split and Tomislavgrad,
8 and then that was a road that was used every day, right, from Bosnia to
9 the Adriatic coast?
10 A. Yes, yes. Until the present day that is where one of the major
11 border crossings is.
12 Q. Please describe in a few sentences for us what happened at the
13 border crossing between the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
14 Republic of Croatia on that occasion.
15 A. We took my friend's car and we arrived in Split late in the
16 evening. It was night-time already. Then we set out towards Bosnia.
17 There weren't many lights, because in Croatia also the roads were dark
18 because of the state of alert, and we came to Kamensko, the border
19 crossing of Kamensko, pretty late. Of course, we were stopped there by
20 the border police and by the customs officials.
21 Q. Excuse me. Which customs officials?
22 A. Croatian customs officials.
23 Q. Yes, yes.
24 A. They asked whether we had anything to declare, and I said that I
25 had my personal belongings and I left. They asked me to show my personal
1 belongings. In the car was my bag, in which I had a military uniform,
2 about two or three shirts, a few pairs of socks, boots, and my personal
4 Q. Very well. So let us establish this once again. Kamensko is an
5 exit point from the Republic of Croatia towards the Republic of
7 A. Yes, exactly.
8 Q. Now, the customs officials found weapons in the car. After that
9 did they take the weapons away from you through police means?
10 A. No. They took away my weapons, the weapons that were one
11 Kalashnikov --
12 Q. Very well. So they took your weapons away. On that occasion they
13 also gave you a certificate declaring that they had taken away your
14 weapons; isn't that right?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could the witness please be shown
17 the document about the seizure of his weapons, and could it please be
18 distributed to the Honourable Trial Chamber and to everyone in the
20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] It will be Exhibit D73/2.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Peric, I see that you are looking at the Croatian version of
23 the certificate. Is that the certificate that was issued to you after
24 your weapons were taken away at the border crossing?
25 A. Yes, yes. It was issued by the border police of the Republic of
2 Q. What did they tell you then?
3 A. They said that they had to take away my weapons, that I could not
4 cross the border with them, but that I was free to go. However, when I
5 would go back to Varazdin, criminal charges would be brought against me
6 because of that.
7 Q. Did you tell the police what your intention was, why you were
8 taking these weapons and where you were going?
9 A. Yes, yes. I explained that to them, and that went on and on for
10 about an hour almost. I mean, I tried to explain this and I told them --
11 but they could -- they were relentless.
12 Q. And then they said that you would have to be held accountable for
13 carrying these weapons; is that right?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And that is when proceedings were initiated against you before a
16 judge and you were proclaimed guilty; is that right?
17 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry please have the
18 ruling of December 22nd, 1993 distributed.
19 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] This is document D74/2, Defence
21 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Mr. Peric, is this the ruling of the judge on the basis of which
23 you were pronounced guilty and on the basis of which you were given
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. We can see that the punishment meted out was 750.000 Croatian
3 A. Yes, yes.
4 Q. That was 200 Deutschemarks, the equivalent of 200 Deutschemarks;
5 is that right?
6 A. Yes, yes, and it exceeded my salary as a teacher.
7 Q. Tell us, Mr. Peric, was it customary at the time that even this
8 kind of fines that were imposed by judges were expressed in the equivalent
9 of Deutschemarks?
10 A. Yes, yes, this was quite customary because, for example, I was
11 buying my apartment at the time and that was also expressed in
12 Deutschemarks, in kunas, in dinars at the time.
13 Q. So it was a normal procedure, wasn't it?
14 A. Yes, yes.
15 Q. Tell me, why was there this kind of procedure that prices were
16 expressed in marks as well, in the Republic of Croatia, I mean?
17 A. Yes, yes. Well, I imagine it's because of the state of war. The
18 kuna or the dinar -- I can't remember exactly -- this changed and the
19 exchange rate fluctuated probably in order to have the state protect
20 itself, there was this equivalent of the Deutschemark so that you actually
21 always had to pay the amount in real terms.
22 Q. Very well. You launched an appeal, didn't you? You thought that
23 this was too high a fine and that the weapons were taken away from you
24 wrongfully and that you were going there to defend your home area; is that
1 A. Yes, yes. I was really hurt by this. First of all, I did not
2 expect them to take my weapons away from me, and secondly, I didn't expect
3 to be fined.
4 Q. What was the decision of the appeals court?
5 A. Well, my punishment was reduced. They kept the weapons though,
6 and as I, again, got the fuzzy end of the lollipop, so to speak, I had to
7 pay the fine.
8 Q. Very well. Please look at this ruling of the Court of Appeals and
9 see whether that is the one that we were discussing.
10 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Could the registrar please have it
12 Q. Mr. Peric, is this the decision that we have just referred to?
13 A. Can I just please take a look?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll have the number, please.
15 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] This Defence exhibit will be
16 marked D75/2.
17 A. Yes, that is it.
18 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
19 Q. So from it we see that your appeal was denied, that the fine was
20 reduced to the value of 120 German marks instead of 200, and you had to
21 pay the costs of this litigation; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Let us move on. After this border incident, if we may call it
24 that, you entered Bosnia-Herzegovina unarmed and you arrived where, to
25 which town in Bosnia?
1 A. Uskoplje.
2 Q. Very well. You said that there you reported as a volunteer to the
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And then you were issued a weapon.
6 A. Of course.
7 Q. Where did you go to, what position?
8 A. It was first the village of Trnovace, that was for several days.
9 I was issued a weapon there, some parts of the uniform, and it was a
10 period of adjustment. And we observed the terrain for several days, and
11 then we were sent as volunteers to the toughest area, that was Bistrica.
12 Q. Was that in the Uskoplje area?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. Mr. Peric, why did you not go on to Novi Travnik, to your village,
15 because that was your initial intention?
16 A. Yes, that had been my plan, but the Muslims had cut off the road
17 leading from Uskoplje to Novi Travnik and they had driven out the Croats
18 from Sebesici and so we couldn't go there at all.
19 Q. You stayed on this front until the end of August 1993?
20 A. Actually, the middle of August. I don't know the exact date.
21 Q. Very well. But as you said -- but let us reconfirm this -- there,
22 you took part in the defence of this area, of the Uskoplje municipality,
23 against the attacks of the ABiH?
24 A. That is correct.
25 Q. Unlike the involvement a year before when you were engaged in the
1 defence against the attacks of the BSA and the Serbs.
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Mr. Peric, you told us that in your village in Central Bosnia you
4 have a lot of relatives.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Was somebody from your relatives killed during this conflict?
7 A. Yes, a number of them were killed among the -- among my sisters,
8 my older sister's husband was killed in a ritualistic way by Mujahedin in
10 Q. You said that your relative was killed in a ritualistic way by
12 A. My late brother-in-law, Dragoljub Popovic, was a civilian in
13 Travnik, and the Mujahedin had come into an ambush and five of them were
14 killed there. As revenge, some people in Travnik were captured, but they
15 had to have known whom to find, somebody had to have shown them whom to
16 capture. And then I heard from some of the locals how my brother-in-law
17 was killed. To this date, we have not received his body. His head had
18 been severed.
19 Q. Just to conclude, Mr. Peric. Have you ever met Mario Cerkez?
20 A. No.
21 Q. And have you ever met Mr. Kordic, the first accused in this case?
22 A. I know of Mr. Kordic from the media, and I believe that we may
23 have met once. If he remembers me, and if I am correct, that was in the
24 village of Bucici when the Croatian Army had liberated Knin. He may have
25 been there but I cannot say 100 per cent.
1 Q. You said you saw Mr. Kordic in the media. How did he appear, as a
2 military person?
3 A. I know about Mr. Kordic, that he was highly placed in the HDZ
4 party in the then Herceg-Bosna. This is what I know.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Witness. Your Honours,
6 I have no further questions for Mr. Peric.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Browning:
8 Q. Mr. Peric, my name is Chris Browning of the law firm of Hunton &
9 Williams, and I represent Mr. Kordic. We met in passing previously. I
10 was not present in court yesterday, but I have had the benefit of reading
11 your transcript.
12 Let me ask you first of all, you said that you met Mr. Kordic
13 once. Was that after the war had taken place?
14 A. Excuse me, sir. I cannot understand you at all. I am receiving
15 no interpretation.
16 JUDGE MAY: Try again.
17 MR. BROWNING:
18 Q. Mr. Peric, can you hear me now?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When you said that you believed that you met Mr. Kordic, was that
21 after the war, after the conflict had finished?
22 A. Yes, that was 1996. The conflict, the hostilities had ceased and
23 the cease-fire was signed sometime in early 1994, I think in February or
24 March and 1996, obviously, is later.
25 Q. And with respect to your knowledge about Mr. Kordic during the
1 actual conflict, I take it that would simply be based upon media broadcast
2 or what you would have seen on television?
3 A. That is correct.
4 Q. And you have no personal knowledge of whether he was highly placed
5 within the HDZ? Do you have any knowledge of his role within the HDZ?
6 A. No. Only through the media, through the press, I knew that he was
7 involved in that. But what he was exactly, I don't know.
8 Q. Now, directing your attention to the summer of 1992, when you were
9 in Novi Travnik, did you ever hear that Mr. Kordic had any military
10 authority with respect to Novi Travnik?
11 A. At that time I hadn't even known about Mr. Kordic.
12 Q. And I take it you never heard Mr. Kordic described as a military
13 commander in Novi Travnik?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Are you aware of Mr. Kordic having any influence at all upon
16 events in Novi Travnik?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. You're not aware of any such influence?
19 A. No. No.
20 Q. Are you aware of Mr. Kordic doing or saying anything to create
21 tensions or animosities between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats?
22 A. I don't know.
23 Q. Have you ever heard of Mr. Kordic ever advocating any sort of
24 violence against Muslims?
25 A. Listen, I wasn't there all that much. While I was there, I was at
1 the front line. I was with my family. I was not really interested in
2 other things. Mr. Kordic is from Busovaca. That to me was far away. So
3 I don't know.
4 Q. And with respect to the time in 1993 that you were in Uskoplje,
5 are you aware of Mr. Kordic having any influence upon events in Uskoplje?
6 A. Mr. Kordic -- and I hope you will not take it badly -- he assisted
7 the Croats. He didn't have enough pull to help the Croats in Vitez, in
8 the Vitez pocket, let alone to us. They were surrounded. Someone who is
9 in a bad place, a bad position, cannot really assist you all that much.
10 Q. And I take it you never heard of Mr. Kordic ever being described
11 as having any military authority in Uskoplje?
12 A. No.
13 Q. During the time period that you were in Novi Travnik in the summer
14 of 1992, did you ever see troops that were actually troops of the Republic
15 of Croatia present in Novi Travnik?
16 A. I don't know where that comes from. In fact, I heard something
17 like that in Vares and on television. In fact, it was Radio Sarajevo. I
18 followed Radio Sarajevo, Zagreb, Belgrade. I also listened to the
19 Slovenian radio stations. I watched a programme on television called
20 Slikom na Sliku. And I found it all very silly that there were some
21 troops in Central Bosnia, and when they were referring to Central Bosnia,
22 it was always the Vitez pocket. Only a bird could have entered there.
23 And I believe that the representatives of UNPROFOR knew of that. They
24 controlled all these approaches. So I don't know where it came from. I
25 never saw anyone, and I can tell that no member of the Croatian Army was
1 in Central Bosnia in the area of the Vitez pocket.
2 For instance, there was an event when I -- my brothers told me
3 about an event in 1994. Near Stojkovici there was something that we
4 called a base, a military base of JNA, and Muslims attacked it
5 frequently. That was on the outskirts of Stojkovici, my village. During
6 such an attack, Muslims -- and one of the guys just sort of lost it, as we
7 say, and he said, "Franjo," and he was referring to the late President
8 Tudjman, "Franjo, don't send us any troops anymore. Send us some
9 cigarettes and booze." There were no soldiers coming, you see.
10 JUDGE MAY: You've answered the question at some length.
11 Yes. Now, Mr. Browning, is there anything more you want to ask?
12 MR. BROWNING: That concludes my questions, Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MAY: Thank you very much.
14 Yes, cross-examination.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:
16 Q. Mr. Peric, for identification purposes, can you tell us your
17 father's name, please.
18 A. Jakov. If you need my personal ID --
19 Q. No, that's fine. Thank you.
20 A. Thank you.
21 Q. You were teaching, sir, in Croatia, you say, when the war broke
22 out in 1991, in Varazdin, in northern Croatia; is that correct?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. And how long had you lived in Varazdin as of the time the war
25 broke out in 1991?
1 A. I came in Varazdin -- sorry. I arrived in Varazdin sometime in
2 1982. Before that I worked on the island of Cres, and I stayed there
3 until the end of the school year 1993/1994. After that, in the summer, I
4 returned to my home area for good.
5 Q. And sir, again, just to finish up on background, were you ever a
6 member or leader of a group called the Democratic Alliance of Vojvodina
8 A. That group is unknown to me. I don't know why you're placing me
9 in Vojvodina. I am not from Vojvodina.
10 Q. Sir, at the time you went to Bosnia on the first occasion in 1992,
11 you've said in your statement you were not a member of the HV, that is,
12 the Croatian Army, at that time, and you go on to say that you were also
13 not a member of the HV when you returned to Bosnia again. Is that your
14 testimony, sir?
15 A. That's not how I said it, sir. I was not a member of the HV, the
16 Croatian Army. But when I came to Bosnia, when I was on the front line,
17 and in 1994, when I came back, I was called to Sator, near Gormac, when I
18 was a member of the HVO, but not the HV. Those are two separate entities.
19 Q. I understand that, sir. My question was specifically about the
20 HV. Your testimony before the Court is that at no material time, as
21 relates to your testimony, you were not a member or affiliated in any way
22 with the HV; is that correct?
23 A. I was never a member of the Croatian Army, even though I had
24 volunteered, but I was not accepted.
25 Q. All right. Now, sir, in connection with your first trip to
1 Bosnia, you had indicated that the war broke out in Bosnia, you felt some
2 obligation to return to the Novi Travnik area, and then you came about
3 possessing weapons in some way. Can you describe to the Court, please,
4 with a little more precision, how is it that you actually came in
5 possession of these weapons? How did that happen?
6 A. Listen, when the war broke out, when it boiled over in 1991, the
7 enthusiasm of people in Croatia was directed towards the independence of
8 Croatia. That was shared by people ranging from age 14 to the old age.
9 And all people started somehow acquiring weapons in any which way they
10 could. For instance, in the local commune we would give money there, and
11 after a while, those who -- those were, for instance, people, defence
12 detachments. And I was with them and I gave money, and then after a while
13 I received the weapon.
14 Q. You paid the money in Croatia and purchased your own weapons; is
15 that what you're telling us?
16 A. That is correct, yes.
17 Q. Part of the reason I'm asking, sir, is that in reference to --
18 just as a point of reference to 3.2, a paragraph of your outline, it's not
19 clear, sir. Did you get these weapons only in the state of Croatia or did
20 you also receive weapons once you arrived in Bosnia in that summer of
22 A. I'm not sure that I know where you're going. Could you be more
23 specific? So in order to avoid restating everything, could you just --
24 JUDGE MAY: No. The question was very simple: Did you get the
25 weapons in Croatia or anywhere else?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. In what year, sir?
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. In the summer --
4 Sorry, Your Honour.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. In the summer of 1992.
8 A. In 1992 -- no, excuse me. In 1991 I bought a weapon and I kept
9 that weapon with me all the time. And with this weapon I came to Travnik
10 in 1992 and the same weapon I brought back home to Varazdin.
11 Q. All right, sir.
12 JUDGE MAY: Did you get any other weapons, and if so, where did
13 you get them?
14 A. No, no other weapon.
15 MR. SCOTT:
16 Q. All right. Finishing up on that --
17 Thank you, Mr. President.
18 You also say that you guess -- you said, "My guess is that weapons
19 came from the Slimena barracks, previously taken from the JNA." Now, did
20 you get weapons on that occasion as well, or who did?
21 A. I didn't get it, but the local people did get it. For instance,
22 my brothers were involved in the taking of the Slimena barracks, and, for
23 instance, they received weapons from there, and they lived in Stojkovici.
24 Q. And who do you understand on the Bosnian Croat side led the
25 takeover, if you will, of the JNA barracks at Slimena? Who led that
2 A. That I wouldn't be able to tell you, sir, because I wasn't around
3 at the time.
4 Q. Do you have any information about that event other than,
5 apparently from your testimony a moment ago, what your brothers told you?
6 A. Only that.
7 Q. Now, you say you arrived in the Novi Travnik area. Again, sir,
8 we're on 1992 at this time. You say you arrived there in "the early
9 summer of 1992." Can you possibly be a bit more precise. When you say
10 "the early summer of 1992," are you talking about in May or are you
11 talking about June or are you talking about the end of June?
12 A. Well, summer begins on the 23rd or 22nd of June, as far as I know,
13 and I arrived in early July because I had to work. I was in my school
14 until the end of June, so it could have been around the 10th of July. I
15 can't remember the exact date.
16 Q. I understand. So you were there -- you reported to Central
17 Bosnia, if you will, on about the 10th of July, and I believe you
18 testified, sir, yesterday, that you then left Bosnia again in the middle
19 of August. Is that correct, sir?
20 A. It is.
21 Q. So your entire experience and involvement in Bosnia in 1992 was
22 approximately one month or five weeks; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You said that during this time you were stationed at a feature
25 called -- forgive me if I mispronounce this -- Kamenjas, a hill or a
1 feature called Kamenjas. Perhaps the translators can help me.
2 A. I was not assigned there. I volunteered with my brothers. I was
3 the second eldest, and my -- I was the eldest, and my second brother, he
4 went to those neighbours to volunteer, and I joined them. Nobody sent me
5 anywhere, nobody assigned me; I simply went along with them.
6 Q. Sir, for present purposes, let's not get too hung up on the word
7 "assignment." When you went to Bosnia in the summer of 1992, that is
8 where you took up some position; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did that continue to be true for the four or five weeks? Was that
11 the only place you were stationed during that four- or five-week period?
12 A. The only place.
13 Q. And what unit were you with then, sir?
14 A. Sir, there were not any special units then. I've already
15 explained it all. This -- people from Stojkovici were due to go to that
16 hill feature and we went. We somehow agreed, because we were all born in
17 1953, 1954, 1955, there were quite a number of that age group there, and
18 we hadn't seen each other for a long time. So it was no special unit or
19 how shall I say that? It's, you know, just agreed, "Let's go." And now
20 it's Stojkovici's turn, so guys from Stojkovici go. I don't really know
21 whether you understand this terminology.
22 Q. Sir, let me correct a couple of things. The terminology "special
23 unit" in the course of this trial may have a special meaning, and I did
24 not use the term "special unit." I simply asked you when you went to
25 Central Bosnia in July of 1992, and you went to the Kamenjas feature, what
1 unit of group of armed forces were you with or were you just wandering
2 around undirected carrying weapons?
3 A. No, sir, it would have been crazy to walk along that, after all,
4 those were firing positions. I told you, shifts came from the village to
5 that hill feature. That was not the only hill feature at Kamenjas, there
6 is Mravinjaci and so on.
7 Q. I'm going to cut you off a bit in the interest of time. Let me
8 ask a different question: Who was your commanding officer during that
10 A. Well, you mean in 1992 at the Kamenjas hill feature? Is that what
11 you're saying?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. The commander there was Mr. -- let me think -- Josip Skopljakovic.
14 Q. Was he your immediate commanding officer, and the officer that you
15 took orders and directions from?
16 A. Yes. He was the commander for all of us who were there from our
18 Q. And who, sir, did you understand was the overall commanding
19 Bosnian Croat officer in the area of Travnik and Novi Travnik in the
20 summer of 1992? He would have been above the officer you just named if
21 there was one that you know.
22 A. Sir, that year, 1992, I, as a man from outside, so an objective
23 person -- the situation was chaotic. There was nobody who could command
24 everybody. We, from your village, could just say, "We are not going," and
25 we wouldn't be accounting to anyone.
1 It was all on a voluntary basis that we went. If we said, "We're
2 not going," nothing would have happened.
3 Q. All right.
4 A. So nobody could force us. It was all on a voluntary basis.
5 Q. And I believe you've indicated that the forces that were opposed
6 to you, to the Bosnian Croats at Kamenjas at that time were Bosnian Serbs;
7 is that your testimony?
8 A. Serbs and the JNA; I think they were there too because they had
9 their tanks on the Komar shoulder of the hill. We watched them through
10 binoculars a little bit. So perhaps the JNA was there or perhaps their
12 Q. Sir, how much time, during the summer of 1992, did you actually
13 spend on the line in contrast to your family in the area, spending time
14 with your family who was still in that area?
15 A. I spent there a fortnight exactly.
16 Q. Two weeks.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. On the line or two weeks with your family, just let's let the
19 record --
20 A. Two weeks on the front line, two shifts. And the rest, I was with
21 my family.
22 Q. And were you engaged in any actual combat at that time, sir? It
23 just calls for, please, a yes or no answer. Were you actually involved in
24 combat or were you just -- I'm not belittling it, but just maintaining a
25 position on a line?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You were not involved in any local politics, I take it, in Central
3 Bosnia at that time, in the summer of 1992?
4 A. 1992, no.
5 Q. Or you were not -- you had no role or involvement with the HVO
6 government; is that correct, sir?
7 A. No, no. I was not involved. I wasn't interested.
8 Q. Sir, were you in Novi Travnik in the summer, that area, in the
9 summer of 1992 when the HVO ordered the dissolution of the existing
10 municipal authorities and demanded that the municipal Territorial Defence,
11 what we've sometimes referred to in this case as the "TO", that there was
12 a demand that the TO subordinate itself to the HVO? Were you in Novi
13 Travnik at that time?
14 A. Sir, I know nothing about this. I mean you're asking me questions
15 as if I lived there all the time. But I was there for a short period of
16 time. Then I went to the position, spent a fortnight there, made rounds
17 of my family there, and I haven't the slightest idea about this. I mean,
18 these are questions that are simply -- don't know the answer to or what it
19 is that you are asking about.
20 JUDGE MAY: We'll just get on quicker if you just say yes or no
21 where you can, Mr. Peric.
22 There's no need to put the whole case to this witness, Mr. Scott.
23 MR. SCOTT: I understand, Your Honour.
24 Q. There's only one other question on this and then I'll move on,
25 just to finish on that subject.
1 You were not, then, sir -- you are telling us you had no
2 involvement around that time, and I mentioned at that time about the HVO
3 takeover in Novi Travnik. You were not involved in any actions or
4 activities to force some of the TO components out of their barracks in
5 that area; is that your testimony, sir?
6 A. No, sir. I did not participate. I was only at Kamenjas.
7 Q. All right. Let's move on. Going now to the summer of 1993 to
8 your next visit to Bosnia. It says you returned to Novi Travnik, and it's
9 correct, sir, that you arrived in Novi Travnik again sometime -- on this
10 instance around -- I'm sorry, not Novi Travnik but back in Bosnia sometime
11 after the 11th of July, 1993; is that correct?
12 A. Sir, I did not come to Novi Travnik. I couldn't go there. I went
13 to the area of the municipality of Uskoplje.
14 Q. All right, sir. I tried to correct my question. You are
15 absolutely right. But you returned to Bosnia to the location you took up
16 that summer around Uskoplje, and you arrived there sometime after the 11th
17 of July; is that correct, sir?
18 A. I don't know the exact date, but it was in the former half of July
19 that I came to Bosnia.
20 Q. All right, sir. Well, according to Defence Exhibit 73/2 which was
21 just handed to you a few minutes ago, you were stopped at the Croatian
22 border on the 11th of July, 1993, when your weapons were confiscated so I
23 take it that you did not report further on to Uskoplje until sometime
24 after the 11th; is that correct?
25 A. On the 11th, my weapon was seized and then I spent a day or two
1 near Tomislavgrad to visit a friend, his parents, and it was only then
2 that this friend and I headed off for Uskoplje. So it could have been --
3 well, naturally, after the 11th.
4 Q. And you reported at this time, you say, to something called the
5 HVO Lasva Battalion in Uskoplje; is that correct?
6 A. We came instead of Trnovace, that was a command, what command, but
7 we reported and we said they would post us to the Lasva Battalion.
8 Q. And I ask you again: Who did you report to at that occasion? You
9 say in your statement you registered or reported as a volunteer. How did
10 you do that, sir?
11 A. That's correct. Well, we came. I wasn't alone. There were
12 several of us in Tomislavgrad, that is where we met. And then together we
13 were some 11 or 12 and we went there to Trnovace. And it was a place to,
14 you know, spend the night, some command or other. I don't know what.
15 Q. Sir, that wasn't my question. When you say you reported something
16 to the Lasva Battalion and you say you registered as a volunteer, now, did
17 you fill out papers? Did you report to a commanding officer? What?
18 A. That's correct. No. No particular papers did I fill, they simply
19 said they would join us too. We were asking, we had heard that around
20 Uskoplje, there were guys from Sebesici and they were all coming
21 originally from Novi Travnik so it was with them. And then they gave us
22 weapons, part of a uniform, if somebody needed uniform or everything else
23 one needed. And after two or three days we spent at Trnovace, then at
24 night, they simply asked us, well, would we go to Bistrica, because that
25 is where the situation was the hardest.
1 Q. All right, sir, I'm just going to ask this question one more time
2 then we'll move on. When you went to the Lasva Battalion in the middle of
3 July, 1993, who was your commanding officer then?
4 A. 11 or perhaps 12 of us, I wouldn't know the number exactly. But
5 that night, because it was a field, it was a clearing and --
6 JUDGE MAY: Do listen to the question.
7 MR. SCOTT:
8 Q. Who, sir, was your commanding officer during this few weeks,
9 again, that you were in Bosnia during the summer of 1993? Just a name,
10 please, if you know one.
11 A. It was -- we had agreed those volunteers, that the commander
12 should be the late Igor Sikiric.
13 Q. Was this a man you elected among yourself to be your commanding
15 A. That's correct.
16 Q. You did not affiliate yourself with or become attached to any HVO
17 unit during the time you were in Bosnia and into the summer of 1993; is
18 that what you're telling this Court, sir?
19 A. There was about ten of us, I told you, who were sent. We joined
20 there at the front line, Bistrica. There were also guys from Sebesici.
21 It was the Lasva Battalion.
22 Q. Sir, let me ask you one more time: Apart from this man who you
23 apparently elected among yourselves, was there an HVO officer or, for that
24 matter, was there an HV officer who you reported to, the ten of you or the
25 dozen of you who you reported to during this four or five weeks that you
1 were in Bosnia again in the summer of 1993? My question is very simple.
2 A. I am simply trying to explain to you. The ten of us arrived at
3 this defence line and there was a local commander and we reported to him.
4 And his name was Mr. Jozo Herceg so it was to him, and the local one. So
5 he was our commander. Whether he had a rank, I haven't the foggiest.
6 Q. Now, you said you went to some place called Bistrica; is that
8 A. It is.
9 MR. SCOTT: And I'd ask that we could provide you with a map
10 that's been used during the course of this case. I don't know the exhibit
11 number, 2612.2. If that could be provided to the witness and also perhaps
12 in a way that he can look at it and it can be put on the ELMO at the same
13 time, please.
14 Q. Can you tell us, sir, can you point out on the map where Bistrica
16 JUDGE MAY: Let counsel take the map and point out Gornji Vakuf.
17 Have you got Gornji Vakuf or not, Mr. Peric?
18 Now, give it back to counsel and he can followed it in such a way
19 that it's clear.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. Sorry, Your Honour, I was
21 working with a different map myself.
22 Q. Sir, for present purposes, perhaps you can just describe to us as
23 best you can, sir, the location of Bistrica because I'm afraid that,
24 again, I was using a different map and this map may not be cut off too far
25 on the edge. If you could just tell approximately where in reference to,
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 say, Novi Travnik or whatever was the next closest sizeable village or
2 town, please. How far was it from Novi Travnik, let's start with that?
3 A. That village of Bistrica is on the road between Uskoplje and Novi
4 Travnik. Perhaps it's about five or six kilometres away from Uskoplje,
5 but along that old road, you know, through the mountains.
6 Q. All right. And, sir, that's where you again stayed during the
7 entire time of your visit in 1993; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, while I was in Bosnia, that's where I was. And also on my
9 way back, I spent about three or four days in Prozor resting up.
10 MR. SCOTT: All right. Your Honour, with the assistance of
11 Mr. Nice and Ms. Verhaag, I have now Exhibit 2618.2 where Gornji Vakuf is
12 marked, I am going to hand that to the witness. I won't belabour this,
13 but since we've devoted this much time to it, we can be precise, and I
14 think he will be able to see where that Bistrica is located. If it can be
15 put on the ELMO, please.
16 Q. Sir, I think you'll see that Gornji Vakuf is highlighted. All
17 right. Are you pointing at it now, sir?
18 A. Yes. Yes, exactly. This is the village of Bistrica.
19 MR. SCOTT: All right. Just for the record purposes, Your Honour,
20 the witness is pointing to a location perhaps several centimetres -- a
21 couple centimetres north of -- roughly north of Gornji Vakuf.
22 Q. So, sir, during this summer, the point of fact is you were not
23 close or in the towns of either Travnik or Novi Travnik or Vitez at all.
24 You weren't close to those areas at all, in fact, were you?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Sir, when you -- moving on -- when you returned, then, to Bosnia
2 in the summer of 1993, by that time you found, did you not, that the
3 Kamenjas feature, the hill that you had been positioned on the previous
4 summer, that was no longer occupied by the HVO, was it?
5 A. Yes, that is true, because the men who were with me were
6 originally from that part near Novi Travnik, and they told me that the HVO
7 was no longer at Kamenjas.
8 Q. And isn't it a fact, sir, that the HVO had withdrawn and
9 surrendered Kamenjas to the Serbs without fighting in June and
10 July -- sometime or June and July of 1993?
11 A. I don't know much about these details.
12 Q. Well, did you have any information -- you were in the general area
13 and you were from that area. Did you know, did you come to know during
14 that summer, that in fact the HVO had withdrawn, without fighting, from
15 the Kamenjas feature?
16 A. I know that they were attacked by the Muslims and that they had to
17 withdraw and that they were captured by the Serbs, because precisely these
18 men I had encountered were taken prisoners by the Serbs before that. They
19 were their prisoners. And they wanted to go home.
20 Q. Sir, I put it to you that the Kamenjas feature --
21 JUDGE MAY: Don't go on, Mr. Scott. He's answered the question as
22 best he can.
23 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour. The only point that the
24 Prosecution would make is that it was surrendered by agreement of the Novi
25 Travnik HVO.
1 JUDGE MAY: He can't help. Let's not argue the case through the
3 MR. SCOTT: All right.
4 Q. Only one more question on that point, then, sir, only if you
5 know. Was it still during your time in Bosnia during that summer that
6 that feature was taken, retaken from the Muslim army by the Serbs, if you
8 A. I don't know how come I could know. Well, listen, I listened to
9 Radio Sarajevo, but you couldn't believe everything, neither one nor --
10 Q. Very well. You've answered my question.
11 A. Thank you.
12 MR. SCOTT: Forgive me, Your Honour. In light of some of the
13 questions, I'm trying to edit down here a bit -- in light of some of the
15 Q. Sir, you've told us that you're from the village of Stojkovici in
16 the Novi Travnik municipality; is that correct? In fact, that's where you
17 live now?
18 A. Exactly, yes.
19 Q. And were you aware, sir, again during the time that you were there
20 in 1993, that the village became a detention, or at least part of the
21 village, a construction or a business yard of some sort, became a
22 detention facility for Muslim civilians during that time?
23 A. Well, I don't know. I mean, I was not in Stojkovici in 1993 at
24 all. I was in Bistrica all the time, sir.
25 Q. I understand, sir. That was your home village and you had no
1 knowledge during that time that it was used -- part of the town or village
2 was used as a detention centre or a camp, if you will, for Muslim
3 civilians; you just simply don't know one way or the other. Is that
5 A. I don't know, because I don't know how come I could know, because
6 there were no connections whatsoever.
7 Q. During the time of your positioning at Bistrica in the summer of
8 1993, were any Muslim prisoners, military or civilian, brought into your
9 area for the purposes of digging fortifications or digging trenches for
10 the HVO forces?
11 A. Where I was, there were no civilians or prisoners. On one side
12 there were HVO soldiers, us; and on the other side, whether there were any
13 civilians, I really don't know.
14 Q. All right, sir. A final question on that point, then. You don't
15 recall prisoners being brought from the detention camp at Stojkovici to
16 your area for the purpose of digging fortifications in July or August of
17 1993; just yes or no?
18 A. You are putting words into my mouth that I've said something that
19 I did not say. It's not that I remember something like that. I'm saying
20 quite forcefully that no one was there.
21 Q. On the subject of the loss or disappearance of your
22 brother-in-law, sir, which is certainly regrettable, in fact you have no
23 first-hand or personal knowledge concerning his death or disappearance, do
25 A. I have some knowledge, but I don't want to discuss it now.
1 Perhaps in a one-on-one meeting with some people, yes, but ... for sure
2 four persons know about this: the commander of the 3rd Corps, the
3 commander of the police --
4 Q. Sir, that's not my question. You have no personal knowledge --
5 JUDGE MAY: He's dealt with the matter.
6 MR. SCOTT:
7 Q. When you say -- when you assert, apparently on hearsay, that he
8 was killed by the Mujahedin, who are you referring to when you say
9 "Mujahedin"? Do you use that term for the entire Muslim army or do you
10 have anyone particular in mind?
11 A. No, sir. I'm referring to certain persons precisely. I am not
12 saying that everybody were the Mujahedin. Everybody knows who the
13 Mujahedin were. Those were foreigners, and there were some local ones as
14 well who had joined them. They were a special sort of people.
15 Q. All right. And just to finish up on that part of your testimony,
16 sir, if we may, you then left Bosnia, just to close on that, again about
17 the middle of August, is that correct, of 1993? I believe you so
18 testified today, in fact.
19 A. Yes, yes. In the first half of August.
20 Q. So here again you were in Bosnia on this occasion for
21 approximately some four weeks; is that correct?
22 A. Well, how accurate this is, I really don't know, sir, because it
23 was -- it was very difficult there at that time. A man cannot remember
24 everything when you don't get any sleep during four or five or six days.
25 Q. Sir, you don't dispute the fact that you left sometime -- you just
1 testified a moment ago -- sometime in the first half of August; correct?
2 A. That's right.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mid-August is what he said.
4 MR. SCOTT: I won't argue with the Court, but I think at line
5 12:39:20, it says in the first half of August.
6 Q. But in any event, first half of August, mid-August, sir. So you
7 arrived sometime after being stopped on the border on the 11th of July,
8 just spending several days in Tomislavgrad. So again, you were there for
9 approximately four weeks; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 Q. And was this again like the previous summer, where in fact at that
12 time you spent approximately two weeks actually on the line, and the
13 remaining two or three weeks, if it was perhaps -- well, for five weeks,
14 you spent that with your family in the area; is that correct, sir?
15 A. I have no family in the area of Uskoplje. I was in a trench all
16 the time, except for the period when I went back to Varazdin.
17 Q. All right. You know nothing about the defendant Mario Cerkez, do
19 A. No.
20 Q. You never met him -- I apologise for interrupting.
21 A. No.
22 Q. You have never met him, you had no involvement with him during
23 either of the two times that you were in Bosnia; is that correct, sir?
24 A. Sir, I can only assume that Mr. Mario Cerkez is one of the two
25 gentlemen here. I had never seen him, I had never heard of him.
1 Q. And sir, the same is largely true of the defendant Dario Kordic,
2 is it not; you believe you may have met him on one occasion, but in truth,
3 sir, you don't know Mr. Kordic or you don't know anything about
4 Mr. Kordic, do you?
5 A. That's right, sir.
6 Q. All you remember hearing was that he was, in your terms, one of
7 the leading politicians in Central Bosnia; correct?
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. And you have no basis for saying what military powers or authority
10 Mr. Kordic had or didn't have, do you?
11 A. As far as I know from the media, he did not have any military
12 powers. He was a politician.
13 Q. Sir, you just simply don't know one way or the other, do you?
14 A. I know. I mean, I know in the newspapers, television, that
15 Mr. Dario is a politician. That I know. That I know, what was written
16 there, but I personally do not know Mr. Kordic.
17 Q. How many times --
18 JUDGE MAY: We've really gone round and round this. Now, this
19 witness has been giving evidence for well over an hour now.
20 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think I started about five after, and I
21 will conclude before the lunch break.
22 JUDGE MAY: No. You'll conclude now, Mr. Scott. There must be a
23 sense of proportion about these matters.
24 MR. SCOTT: Very well, Your Honour. If I can just -- if you'll
25 let me look at my outline for a moment.
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, in light of the Court's concerns, I'll
3 try to collapse a line of questions into one question, just to see if this
4 witness knows.
5 Q. Sir, during the time you were in Croatia, when you returned to
6 Croatia between your tours in Bosnia, did you ever come to know that there
7 were complaints by young Croatian men that they were being drafted into
8 the Croatian Army and sent to Bosnia against their will, to fight against
9 the Muslims in Bosnia?
10 A. I don't know about that.
11 Q. You don't remember that being prominently in the Croatian --
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Okay. Very well. During either of your two tours --
14 MR. SCOTT: My last question, Your Honour.
15 Q. During either of the two times you went to Bosnia, were you ever
16 asked to sign any form of declaration by the Croatian government that you
17 were going there "as a volunteer"?
18 A. A mere mortal cannot reach the Croatian government, sir.
19 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. No further questions.
20 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Mr. Peric, thank you for coming to the
22 Tribunal to give your evidence. It's now concluded. You're free to go.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE MAY: We'll make a start on the next witness. Is that
1 Mr. Jukic?
2 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, Your Honour. My next witness is Mr. Slavko
4 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Mikulicic, how long is the
5 examination-in-chief going to be? Because he doesn't seem to be a very
6 long witness. His testimony doesn't seem to be a very substantial one,
7 going by the summary. How long is it going to take?
8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I can assume, Your Honour, that I
9 will not need more than an hour, so within the scope of one hour.
10 JUDGE MAY: Rather less than one hour.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Well, based on the summary, I
13 think you should take far less than that.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] I shall do my best to be as brief
15 as possible.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
18 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
19 WITNESS: SLAVKO JUKIC
20 [Witness answered through interpreter]
21 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
22 Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
23 Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
24 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Jukic. On behalf of Mr. Cerkez's Defence
25 counsel, I shall put a few questions to you, and I kindly ask you to
1 answer them to the best of your recollection. At the same time, I would
2 like to ask you to wait before answering my questions. Wait for my
3 question to be interpreted, because everything we say is being
5 Mr. Jukic, could you please tell us for the transcript your name
6 and surname and your date of birth.
7 A. Slavko Jukic, born on the 21st of March, 1961.
8 Q. You were born in Zenica?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You are married and you have four sons?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Your children are age 4 to 18, I imagine; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You are a salesperson by training. You completed the secondary
15 school of commerce in Zenica; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You are a private businessman now; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Before the war you were in charge of a furniture shop in Vitez?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. From the end of 1991 you have been the owner of a restaurant named
22 Kamin, which is in the centre of the town of Vitez?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Is it correct, Mr. Jukic, that your restaurant is in a very busy
25 part of town?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it correct that in Vitez and in the immediate outskirts, there
3 is no other restaurant with the same name, or no other shop or any kind of
4 establishment carrying the same name?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Sometime in the beginning of 1993, the end of January, something
7 happened to your restaurant.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you tell us, in a few sentences, what happened.
10 A. I think that this was around the 29th of January, 1992 during the
11 night at about 11.30 p.m. or 12.00. I cannot remember exactly.
12 Q. I do apologise for interrupting you. You said 1992. Wasn't it --
13 A. Oh, I'm sorry, it was in 1993.
14 Q. Please proceed.
15 A. After working hours, we went home. However, precisely during that
16 period, a loud explosion was heard. At that moment, they telephoned me at
17 home and said that an explosive device had been planted in my restaurant.
18 I came to the scene immediately and I saw that the front part of my
19 restaurant was completely demolished. Everything was outside.
20 Q. All right. Mr. Jukic, you said that you were telephoned. Is it
21 correct that a person who lived in the building where your restaurant is,
22 that that person called you?
23 A. Yes, yes. He telephoned me.
24 Q. Very well. And you established that damage had been inflicted.
25 Is it correct that the civilian police carried out an on-site
1 investigation at the scene?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. After that event, did you get any information as to who could have
4 planted the explosive device in your restaurant?
5 MR. NICE: Just before the witness answers that question, and I
6 know we don't take, in our side little, let alone many hearsay objections,
7 but I can see what from what is coming that this is a very remote account
8 there being no explanation thus far as to why we haven't got a better
9 account and more direct account of what apparently the witness may be
10 going to saying.
11 So I do object really to this level of hearsay from this witness
12 because I don't think it's going to help the Tribunal.
13 JUDGE MAY: It may be.
14 Would you establish how, Mr. Mikulicic, how it was that the
15 witness got the information, please?
16 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Mr. Jukic, is it correct that after this event, you discussed the
18 perpetrators with the head of the civilian police station in Vitez?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Is it correct that the gentleman you talked to was Mirko Samija?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. Did you ask Mr. Samija about this, whether he knew who had planted
23 this explosive device in your restaurant?
24 A. Yes, I asked Mr. Samija.
25 JUDGE MAY: We'll let him answer.
1 A. Yes, I asked the gentleman whether he perhaps knew whether there
2 was any possibility of finding out who had done this. He said that they
3 have a piece of information that they received, probably through their own
4 connections, that they heard that this was done by some group from the TO,
5 the Territorial Defence, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. Very well. Mr. Jukic, were you informed, through this
7 conversation, that the policeman obtained this information by bugging the
8 telephone lines?
9 A. Could you please repeat your question?
10 Q. Of course I can, sir. Were you informed by the commander of the
11 police station, Mr. Mirko Samija, that they, the policemen, had obtained
12 this piece of information by listening in to telephone conversations and
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Very well. Mr. Jukic, do you know a person named Sulejman Kalco
16 from Vitez?
17 A. I know him very superficially because he would come to my
18 restaurant. I heard that he was some kind of a commander in Stari Vitez,
19 I mean in Mahala, up there.
20 Q. All right. Did he come to your restaurant as a client?
21 A. Yes, yes, a few times.
22 Q. I would just like to draw the attention of the Trial Chamber to
23 D65/2B in this connection. This is a transcript of the audiotape of the
24 telephone conversation of Sulejman Kalco. We can continue, Mr. Jukic.
25 JUDGE MAY: This might a convenient moment, Mr. Mikulicic. We're
1 going on to paragraph 2.5.
2 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Yes, we completed paragraph 2.5,
3 in fact, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Jukic, we are going to adjourn now. Would you
5 please be back at half past 2.00 to go on with your evidence. Would you
6 remember not to speak to anybody about it during the adjournment and that
7 does include members of the Defence team. Don't speak to anybody about
8 your evidence until it's over. Half past 2.00.
9 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 --- On resuming at 2.32 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
3 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. [Interpretation] Let us continue. Mr. Jukic, can you tell us at
5 the time of the events that we are talking about or before, did you have
6 any position in the local government?
7 A. No, I had no position in any local government.
8 Q. Were you an active participant in political events at that time?
9 A. No, I was never prominent in that way.
10 Q. Were you a member of the HDZ-BiH at that time or are you now?
11 A. At the time I was not, but now I am.
12 Q. You mentioned that your restaurant was in a well-frequented
13 location in Vitez and that it was well attended by the HVO, the ECMM,
14 UNPROFOR, and ICRC members; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. At that time, it was the only restaurant in town so it was
16 prominent. So the HVO officers and civilians; Muslims, and Croats and
17 Serbs all came as well as the UNHCR, UNPROFOR, and other internationals.
18 Q. So we can conclude that you had guests from all ethnic groups and
19 all walks of life, that there was no discrimination on any basis there?
20 A. No, there was none.
21 Q. Mr. Jukic, did you get in conflict with anyone? Did anybody
22 threaten you?
23 A. No, I did not. I was minding my own business. I never engaged in
24 politics and I never had any conflict with anyone, either from the Muslim
25 side or Croats.
1 Q. Mr. Jukic, before the bomb was planted in your business premises,
2 did you receive any threats?
3 A. No. No threats whatsoever, either by telephone or in person. I
4 had no threats or no clues.
5 Q. So we can say that it was a complete surprise to you?
6 A. Yes, especially since everybody came to the place, that this is
7 where everybody came to have lunch and it was a quiet place.
8 Q. Mr. Jukic, do you remember whether a military unit was in town at
9 that time, one that arrived from outside the Vitez municipality, from
11 A. Yes, I do remember it. I heard that it was a unit from
12 Herzegovina, at least this is what my information was.
13 Q. Do you know what the name of that military unit was, from part of
14 what larger unit they were?
15 A. At first I didn't know that, but later on I learned that that was
16 a unit called Bruno Busic or something like that.
17 Q. Were members of the Ludvig Pavlovic Brigade also present there, if
18 you remember?
19 A. It was possible but now I cannot recall. In fact I know that
20 there was a unit from Herzegovina but I don't know exactly. I cannot
21 recall, that is, how they were called.
22 Q. Would they also come to your restaurant, members of that unit?
23 A. Yes, they did, but I did not have any problems with them. I would
24 serve them for free. They would come to lunch.
25 Q. And have you heard whether they caused any incidents, whether they
1 were -- where other people had problems with them?
2 A. Yes, I heard that in Travnik, they nearly demolished a couple of
3 restaurants and coffee bars.
4 Q. Were these exclusively Muslim premises or were Croat premises
5 among those that members of that unit demolished?
6 A. There were also Croat premises among them.
7 Q. Do you know whether the perpetrators of those criminal acts were
8 ever captured and whether any criminal proceedings were conducted against
10 A. I don't know that.
11 Q. Mr. Jukic, let me draw your attention to events on the eve of the
12 conflict in Vitez, the date is 16 April 1993?
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I've indicated to my learned friend that
14 I'd ask him not to lead on any dates at the given moment.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: I'm sorry.
16 Q. [Interpretation] Let me frame the question in this way:
17 Mr. Jukic, do you recall the events on the eve of the conflict in Vitez?
18 What did you hear around that time, and what did you do?
19 A. Yes, I recall, as I remember -- I remember that in the afternoon
20 hours, I believe that was on the 15th, we heard that there was an attack
21 launched at Kuber and a group of, I don't know how to call them, a group
22 of Croat guards, I cannot express myself well, that they were attacked.
23 And that at that time, two or three Croats were killed.
24 We heard that on that same day in Zenica, Mr. Totic had been
25 captured and that three of his guards, I don't know how to call them, were
2 Q. You said that that was on the 15th. Can you remember the month
3 and the year?
4 A. 15 April 1993.
5 Q. Mr. Jukic, when you mentioned that a unit was attacked at Kuber.
6 You didn't mention who it was attacked by. Did you have any information
7 on that?
8 A. We heard that it was the ABiH who had attacked. At least that is
9 the information that we received that they had attacked and that in this
10 attack, three Croat men were killed. I'm not sure whether they have ever
11 been found, their bodies, that is.
12 Q. Do you know, regarding Kuber, what were the Croat soldiers doing?
13 What was their task at that area of Kuber where they were subsequently
15 A. From what I knew, they were guarding the line together with the
16 ABiH troops, the line facing the Serbs.
17 Q. In addition to the two incidents you just mentioned, were there
18 other incidents, minor incidents, or was that everything that happened?
19 A. There were a number of other incidents, but perhaps I can't
20 remember them. But I know that there were a lot of incidents.
21 Q. Mr. Jukic, what did you do that evening regarding your restaurant?
22 A. That evening around 2000 hours, we closed the restaurant, locked
23 it up, and went home to where I lived at the time, where I resided.
24 Q. And where was it that you lived at that time Mr. Jukic?
25 A. I lived in Nadioci in Vitez municipality. It's about seven or
1 eight kilometres from Vitez and I continue to live there to date.
2 Q. What happened to you then? What did you do when the conflict in
3 Vitez and the Nadioci started?
4 A. I believe that was on the 16th. We were mobilised and sent to the
5 front line. I joined the defence at Kuber. That was above my house,
6 above my village.
7 Q. You were mobilised and in fact you were placed to defend your
8 village of Nadioci?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And approximately how long did you stay at that front line?
11 A. I stayed ten months, in two parts.
12 Q. Very well, Mr. Jukic. At that time you had two vehicles. One was
13 your private vehicle and one was a van; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. I assume -- and please correct me if I'm wrong -- the van was for
16 your business; you used it for your restaurant?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What happened to those two vehicles after the conflict broke out?
19 A. Both vehicles were requisitioned. The van was turned into an
20 ambulance, because there was a shortage of ambulance vehicles, and my
21 personal vehicle was used by the military.
22 Q. Very well. You said that these were the events of April 1993.
23 When did you come back to the town of Vitez after these events?
24 A. I believe that it was two months later. When my van had been
25 taken, I was -- I became the driver of that vehicle, and so I spent there
1 two months.
2 Q. So you were an ambulance driver for the HVO?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Mr. Jukic, do you remember an incident which took place sometime
5 in the middle of 1993, when, together with some other people, you
6 travelled in a vehicle to Vitez?
7 A. Yes. That was the first time I had gone to Vitez. I was with two
8 friends -- actually, three friends, and the fourth was my wife's brother.
9 We were driving from Nadioci in the direction of Vitez, and in the area
10 called Buhine Kuce, between Kaonik and Vitez, my wife's brother was hit by
11 a sniper. His name was Zarko Malenica, and he was wounded. And my
12 friend, Zoran Mravak, who was sitting next to me, was wounded.
13 Q. You were not hit at the time?
14 A. No, I was not, but my wife's brother died on the way to being
15 given help.
16 Q. Mr. Jukic, I'm sorry that this happened to you, but I have to
17 press you on it with one more question. Could you determine who shot at
18 your vehicle and from where?
19 A. Yes. That was very simple to determine, because that was the most
20 critical spot for the passage, and from a sniper -- there was a sniper
21 active there almost permanently, from hour to hour, sometimes minute to
22 minute, and those were positions held by the ABiH.
23 Q. Mr. Jukic, what happened to your restaurant, the restaurant Kamin,
24 during these hostilities in Vitez?
25 A. During the conflict my restaurant was completely demolished from
1 the shelling of the town, so it was completely demolished and we had to
2 completely renovate it when we restarted business.
3 Q. Later on you remodelled it?
4 A. Yes, in 1994.
5 Q. If we can just clarify one matter, Mr. Jukic. You said that the
6 vehicle in which you were travelling with the late Zarko Malenica, that
7 you were shot at near the village of Buhine Kuce?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What military force was in that village? Who held that village?
10 A. As far as I know, it was ABiH.
11 Q. And the last topic, Mr. Jukic, it concerns my client, Mr. Mario
12 Cerkez. Do you know him?
13 A. Yes, I know him quite well.
14 Q. How do you know him?
15 A. I know him as a citizen of Vitez, who was a very correct man from
16 an honest, working-class family. I have never heard anything bad about
17 him, that he had any bad inclinations.
18 Q. Did he also patronise your restaurant?
19 A. Yes, quite often, and he was always a welcome guest.
20 Q. When he was in your restaurant, have you ever heard him say
21 anything derogatory about Muslims or Serbs, that he was a chauvinist of
22 any sort?
23 A. No. I never heard anything like that. I wasn't paying much
24 attention to these things, but I don't believe he would have ever had such
25 an attitude.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Mr. Jukic, do you know what position Mr. Cerkez held at the time
2 with the HVO?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Do you know that at the time he was the commander of the Vitez
6 A. I don't know. I know that he had a position, but I wasn't well
7 versed in those matters.
8 Q. Have you ever had an opportunity to visit him in the place where
9 he was working?
10 A. No.
11 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Jukic. That
12 concludes my questioning.
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the Defence of
14 Mr. Kordic has no questions of this witness.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
16 Q. A few questions for you, Mr. Jukic.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, before you do, I understand you want to
18 raise a matter ex parte. If there's time, at 4.00, depending on progress.
19 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. Yes, of course.
20 Q. Mr. Jukic, just a few general matters, and indeed not so very many
21 questions for you altogether, I don't think. First of all, your
22 name. It may seem a silly question to start with, but is your name a
23 common and frequently heard name in your territory or is it an unusual
25 A. Slavko Jukic?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Well, I don't understand the question. Could you repeat it,
4 Q. Are there many men in your area with the name Slavko Jukic, or to
5 your knowledge are you the only one?
6 A. As far as I know, now I'm the only one called Slavko Jukic.
7 Q. I won't take long with this, but General Blaskic, or Colonel
8 Blaskic as he was, at one time in his evidence spoke of a deputy chief of
9 the civilian police called Slavko Jukic. Were you aware of anybody by
10 that name?
11 A. No. I don't know that individual.
12 Q. Were you aware of the unit called the Vitezovi, the Knights, I
13 think, sometimes?
14 A. No. I don't remember.
15 Q. So can you help with anybody by the name of Slavko Jukic being in
16 the Vitezovi or in the Knights in April of 1993? Is it your family or
18 A. No. I don't have any namesake in my family, nor do I know who
19 that man could have been.
20 Q. Let's go back to the beginning of your evidence very briefly. You
21 live in Nadioci?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And apart from the time when you were away from Nadioci on the
24 Kuber feature, have you basically spent every night of your life living at
25 your address in Nadioci, your recent life?
1 A. Well, I didn't spend every night at this address, because we were
2 on the front line.
3 Q. Of course.
4 A. On Kuber.
5 Q. But apart from those nights when you were on Kuber, you were at
6 home in Nadioci?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So you must have become aware of the establishment at what's been
9 called the Bungalow at Nadioci, the establishment there of the military
10 police unit called the Jokers?
11 A. I knew nothing about it, because I'd only come in the evening,
12 late in the evening, to have a rest, have some sleep, and then report once
13 again in the morning. So I didn't know anything. I know there were some
14 troops there, but I don't know who they were, what their name was.
15 Q. Let's deal with the incident --
16 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. Mr. Jukic, do you really mean to say
17 that nobody talked in the village about the Jokers being in the Bungalow?
18 A. I don't know if anybody talked, but I didn't. And I did not hear
19 anything. I know there were some soldiers there, but I didn't know their
20 name was Jokers or some other.
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, the Bungalow was a restaurant, wasn't it?
22 A. Yes. It was a motel, but it was --
23 JUDGE MAY: What is it now? What's happening there now?
24 A. There is nothing there at the moment because there is a landslide
25 there. Land slid to the place where the Bungalow was.
1 JUDGE MAY: And how long were the soldiers in the Bungalow?
2 A. As far as I know, three or four months, something like that. I
3 wouldn't know.
4 JUDGE MAY: And nobody said to you it's the Jokers who are in the
6 A. I repeat, I really didn't know, nor do I know that there were any
7 troops there. That is, I knew that there were some troops there but I
8 didn't know which and I didn't know whether they were Jokers or perhaps
9 some other unit.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Just to give us an idea of the geographical intimacy of the area
13 that we are dealing with, how near is Ahmici to Nadioci, please?
14 A. It's about four kilometres, I think.
15 Q. As much as that or do you think it may be rather less?
16 A. I think that's about it, but I never measured it.
17 Q. If we just look at, just to remind the Judges, Exhibit 2624 will
18 do. If you would just lie it on the ELMO. If the usher would be so good
19 and focus on the area just above the "2" there, please. Just give us an
21 While this is coming your way and while the map is being prepared,
22 Nadioci itself is a what, a village with a shop or without a shop, a
23 village with a mosque or without a mosque? Tell us.
24 A. Nadioci? Nadioci, well, that's a village. It has a shop. It
25 doesn't have a mosque. And that's about it.
1 Q. If the booth could very kindly just focus down on Nadioci which is
2 above the figure 2, and bring the village of Ahmici into focus. There it
3 is, just above it. These places, Ahmici, Nadioci, they are all very close
4 together, aren't they? They are all in sight of each other across the
5 very low hills; correct?
6 A. As far as I know, you can't see Ahmici from Nadioci or at least as
7 far as I could see, one cannot see it. I'm telling you it can't be more
8 than four kilometres. It is a fact that if one goes to Nadioci to Vitez,
9 one has to go through Ahmici.
10 Q. I'll come back to the map so perhaps we can just leave it on the
11 ELMO for a minute, or I may come back to the map.
12 I want to deal very briefly with the incident in January. Your
13 restaurant was attacked. You don't know one way or another, yourself, who
14 did it, do you?
15 A. It wasn't attacked. That was an explosive device which was placed
17 Q. You don't know one way or another who did it.
18 A. Well, I cannot know 100 per cent, but I received the information
19 from the gentleman who said that it was an extremist group of the BH army
20 which had placed it, and that they overheard a conversation between
21 Mr. Sulejman Kalco and a commander, I can't remember who. But that's what
22 he said, "That Kamim was a done job and that those guys did their job
24 Q. Did he ever play you this tape? I don't think so.
25 A. No, I wasn't competent.
1 Q. Have you ever seen a written report into this crime by Mr. Mirko
3 A. No.
4 Q. Is Mr. Mirko Samija still alive and well and able to give evidence
5 so far as you know?
6 A. Lamentably, Mirko Samija was also killed at Buhine Kuce by a
7 sniper acting from a stronghold of the BH army.
8 Q. But any report that was prepared into this attack, that would
9 still exist in the archives of the police station presumably?
10 A. All I know is that the police, the civilian police had come out to
11 the scene of the crime but whether there is any record, that is something
12 that I don't know.
13 Q. In any event --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Mr. Nice.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. -- on your account, you had done nothing to cause upset amongst
17 any of the groups who might have been involved, whether they were Croats,
18 Muslims, or anybody else, they all used your cafe, your restaurant?
19 A. Yes. Yes. They frequented it. Everybody came to it and that is
20 why I was so surprised by what had happened. I did not insist much
21 because at that time, it wasn't really particularly wise to insist on
22 finding out who had done it to me. And at that time, I didn't really care
23 much about that.
24 Q. Apart from what you were apparently told by someone in the police,
25 this could have been simply a criminal act, and it certainly could have
1 been an act by the Ludvig Pavlovic Brigade who were going around the area
2 committing criminal acts; correct?
3 A. The information that it had been done by the extremist group of
4 the BH army, I did not get it from anybody. I got it from the police
5 commander, Mr. Samija, and I therefore do not think that Ludvig Pavlovic
6 could have done that or why would they do something like that to me? They
7 had no reason.
8 Q. Are you telling us in your statement -- I think you were telling
9 us that rumours were spread that they were committing quite a lot of
10 incidents in the area at the time. They were damaging properties, mostly
11 Muslim, but also Croat properties. That's right, isn't it?
12 A. No, I did not say that. I said that I had heard that the Novi
13 Travnik -- that they had destroyed a few businesses, but I never said that
14 they destroyed houses. I never heard anything about that. As I told you,
15 I had no trouble with them because a couple of times they came to have
16 lunch at my place so that -- and the relationship was a very correct one.
17 MR. NICE: I'm not going to trouble the witness with 2.8 in the
18 summary, but the Chamber can see what's there.
19 Q. Let's move on. Now, you've given a date for when you say you were
20 told of an attack by the ABiH in Kuber. I want some answers from you on
21 that, please. Were you told about the attack on Kuber on the same day
22 that it happened or did you only learn about it later?
23 A. About the attack, I learned on the 15th of April, 1993.
24 Q. Whereabouts were you when you learned about this?
25 A. I was in my restaurant.
1 Q. All right. At what time of the day?
2 A. It was in the afternoon, sometime around 5.00 or 6.00, that is
3 1700 or 1800.
4 Q. Who told you about it?
5 A. Nobody told me directly but there were other people, villagers,
6 that is local people from Vitez, and they were talking and said, well,
7 we've heard that this and that had happened. And since the town was
8 completely deserted, one could assume that they were telling the truth.
9 But nobody told me directly about it. It is a fact that it transpired
10 later on that it was true.
11 Q. Let me see if I understand you correctly. You were simply hearing
12 other peoples' conversations and they were passing some rumours about
13 something; is that right?
14 A. Yes, I heard it from those people, but they -- it was no rumour;
15 it was the truth, because they must have heard it from people, from
16 reliable people, people in the know. I did not.
17 Q. If we look at the map again, although it may not be shown on this
18 map. It doesn't matter. Kuber lies between Nadioci and Santici, lies to
19 the north of those villages and between them and Zenica; correct?
20 A. Yes, Kuber was the front line between Zenica towards Nadioci,
21 Kratine and so on.
22 Q. On the 15th of April, we've heard a lot of evidence -- I'm not
23 going to weary you with all of this -- but we've heard a lot of evidence
24 about what was happening in Vitez on the 15th of April, and I'm going to
25 ask you this: Is what you're telling us about the 15th of April something
1 that you've, in some way, reconstructed and in fact -- I'm sorry, what
2 you're telling us about Kuber is something that you've reconstructed and
3 that Kuber, in fact, was only involved in active fighting a day or so
4 later than the 15th?
5 A. Could you repeat, please.
6 Q. Yes. Kuber was only the subject of active fighting a day or so
7 after the 15th, no question of it being attacked on the 15th.
8 A. I don't know if there was an attack, but I know that that incident
9 or whether the attack began then, I don't know. But it is a fact that I
10 know when the attack began from Zenica towards Vitez via Kuber, and I
11 think I'm sure it was on the 15th because they jointly held the front line
12 against the Serbs.
13 Q. I'm going to suggest to you for your consideration that on the
14 15th, although the HVO was shutting Vitez down and closing it off towards
15 the end of the day, there was no anxiety at that stage about attacks by
16 the ABiH, and what was happening was preparation for defence for attacks
17 on various villages including Ahmici near to you.
18 A. No. I did not have a feeling that the HVO closed the town because
19 various coffee shops and restaurants were open late into the evening. I
20 told you that I closed down my restaurant because my village was directly
21 below the front line on Kuber.
22 Q. All right. Well, now, whatever night it was or whatever day it
23 was that you first heard about Kuber, you had spent the previous night at
24 home and you had spent the night before that at home because you were
25 living at home at that time; would that be correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. Your village, Nadioci, as we can see from this map, is
3 extremely small; correct?
4 A. Yes. There are about a hundred households.
5 Q. Thank you. Were you aware, at any stage, in your village, before
6 the night when you heard of what you say was an attack at Kuber, were you
7 aware in your village of anything unusual happening on the night before or
8 on two nights before?
9 A. No. Everything was in order in the village. People lived their
10 normal lives, worked. And when I -- when we came home, I didn't even want
11 to talk about it, what I had heard or what I had seen. I simply didn't
12 want to.
13 Q. And you heard His Honour, the Presiding Judge, has asked you about
14 the Bungalow. If, for example, there had suddenly been a lot of
15 additional forces arriving at the Bungalow and heavy artillery or
16 something of that sort, you would have seen it and it would have been
17 talked about in your village. That must be right, mustn't it?
18 A. I could not see that evening when I came home, because there were
19 no troops in the Bungalow then. After that I never passed that way. I
20 didn't go to Vitez. It was on the way to Vitez, some 300 or 400 metres
21 from my house, so that I know nothing about that.
22 Q. I'll come back to that answer in just a second, but equally, if in
23 the night or the two nights before you learnt of the incident at Kuber
24 there had been something as extraordinary as the arrival of Muslim
25 soldiers in your village, you would have heard about it, wouldn't you?
1 A. Excuse me. Could you repeat it, please?
2 Q. Yes. If, on the night before the 15th, as you say it is, or the
3 night before that, there had been something as extraordinary as a build-up
4 of Muslim forces in your village, you would have heard about it; it's
5 quite inevitable that you would have heard of such a thing happening,
6 wouldn't you?
7 A. Well, it's possible that I would have heard, but I'm telling you
8 that there were no troops that night, as far as I can remember. As far as
9 I can remember, there were no troops in the Bungalow before the conflict
10 broke out.
11 Q. Not just in the Bungalow. I'm talking now specifically about
12 Muslim troops. There were no Muslim troops in your village on the night
13 or nights before what you say was the 15th of April?
14 A. No, there were none, because 98 per cent of my village is Croat,
15 so that something like that was not possible.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not going to go through the exercise
17 of wearying the witness with a document that there's no reason to believe
18 he would have seen, but the questions I've asked relate to an Exhibit
19 660.1. And it may be that you'll allow me, after the witness has
20 withdrawn, just to explain the purpose of the question so that I can
21 achieve that objective without going through the exercise with the witness
22 and taking time.
23 Q. I return to the answer you gave not so very long ago about there
24 being no soldiers in the Bungalow that night. Are you saying that there
25 were no soldiers in the Bungalow the night when you returned?
1 A. Yes. When I returned from the town home, when we closed down, I
2 did not see any soldiers in the Bungalow.
3 Q. So although the map isn't entirely --
4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, for the counsel.
5 MR. NICE: I'm sorry.
6 Q. Although the map isn't entirely clear, the Bungalow, or the site
7 of the Bungalow, is along the road coming from Vitez, passing the road to
8 Ahmici and then passing Nadioci; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I may be wrong; correct me if I am. Look at the map. Is it
11 indeed the case that where we see -- do you see to the left of the figure
12 2, there's a zero? Don't worry about that. It's got nothing to do with
13 your evidence. We see to the left of that there's a curve in the road.
14 Was the Bungalow somewhere in that area?
15 A. I wouldn't know. I really am not able to read the map. But it
16 was some 300 or 400 metres from my house, in the direction of Vitez.
17 Q. And your house was not on the main road; it was up in the
18 hinterland, up in the fields, or where?
19 A. No, not on the road itself, but ...
20 Q. Now, on the night of the 15th and in the morning of the 16th, you
21 were at home when Ahmici was attacked. So what can you tell us, please,
22 about that attack?
23 A. I know nothing about the attack. All I know is that I had to go
24 to the defence front line because our -- what we called it, our village
25 guards, had been attacked from Kuber. And about this attack, I could not
1 see it and I couldn't hear it at the time. Later on we heard that --
2 Q. I'm sorry. It must be my mistake in reading your summary. You
3 went home, according to your summary, on the evening of the 15th. Is that
5 A. Yes. Yes.
6 Q. You speak in your summary of there being a general mobilisation
7 sometime in the evening of the 16th. Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And it was sometime in the evening of the 16th, according to your
10 summary, that you registered as a Home Guard in the HVO. Is that correct?
11 A. On the 16th, in the morning, I went there, and the mobilisation
12 was announced in the afternoon, because there had been a major attack by
13 the BH army from Zenica.
14 Q. You went where on the 16th?
15 A. On the 16th I went --
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. I went to the front line, up there, where my neighbours were.
18 Q. Where did you register as a Home Guard, please?
19 A. I didn't register anywhere. I simply went to the defence line to
20 help my neighbours, because it was only the villagers of Nadioci there.
21 Q. I'm sorry. Again I'm just using your summary. There are always
22 problems with translations from your own language to English, but your
23 summary says, "I registered as a Home Guard in the HVO." You told us that
24 you went somewhere, a couple of questions ago, and I mistakenly thought
25 you were indicating you went somewhere to register. What formalities did
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 you go through to become a Home Guard in the HVO, please?
2 A. At that moment one could not register anywhere. It was
3 self-organisation. And I do not know that anyone could register anywhere,
4 because we simply -- we ourselves thought that we, as the Home Guards,
5 were needed.
6 Q. Well, let's go back to the morning of the 16th. You hadn't gone
7 off as a Home Guard by then. Sometime in the course, your evidence is, I
8 think, of the 16th that you went off. So please tell us about the attack
9 on Ahmici. And if you'd look at the map, please, I can perhaps assist
10 you. The start of the Ahmici attack was signalled, was it not, by the
11 firing of a piece of artillery from the hill called Hrasno which we can
12 see. If we look on this map, which I think is kilometre squares, but I
13 might be wrong -- I'll have to be corrected -- which would be no more than
14 a kilometre from you, in the same way as if I'm right about their being
15 kilometre squares, Ahmici is a few hundred metres from you. I'm going to
16 suggest to you that the Ahmici attack was signalled by artillery firing
17 from Hrasno. Now, do you remember that happening?
18 A. I do not know that it happened that way, because from Nadioci,
19 yes, we can see Hrasno up there, but we cannot see Ahmici. And it was
20 afterwards, when I climbed up to the front line, we could see that
21 something was afoot there, that a couple of houses were in flames. As for
22 where it started, how, I don't really know.
23 Q. This attack on Ahmici started from, or parts of it started from
24 that Bungalow a few hundred metres from where you lived. Are you really
25 telling us that you have absolutely no knowledge of what happened?
1 A. I guarantee in full that I did not know whether it started from
2 the Bungalow or where. I'm telling you: I didn't even know that it
3 existed, and it was only two or three days later that we heard that yes,
4 there were some troops in the Bungalow, but I really do not know whose
5 soldiers were there, because -- I don't know. I don't know.
6 Q. And I'm not sure that I followed this. Are you saying that you
7 weren't woken by the fire at half past 5.00 in the morning; you just slept
8 through it? What's your position on that?
9 A. Precisely because of that, yes. One could hear some shots, and
10 that is why that morning I went to the line, to my neighbour's, to see
11 what was going on, and if need be, to lend them a hand.
12 Q. And it didn't occur to you to go down the road to see what was
13 happening on the main road where the soldiers might be, soldiers who
14 would, of course, be Croats and therefore likely to be receptive to you?
15 It didn't occur to you to go down there?
16 A. Never, ever did I think of that. Nothing prompted me to do that.
17 I just dressed and went to the line on Kuber.
18 Q. Can you just tell me, please: Your father's first name is what?
19 A. Niko.
20 MR. NICE: Thank you very much.
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Just one question, Your Honour.
22 Re-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
23 Q. Mr. Jukic, my friend has shown you the map which is to the left of
24 you, showing the villages of Nadioci and Ahmici. Tell us: Can one
25 village be seen from the other, in view of the relief of the ground?
1 A. Sorry. You mean from the defence line?
2 Q. No. I'll repeat the question. You are an inhabitant of Nadioci,
3 you told us. From the village of Nadioci, can you see the village of
4 Ahmici, and why, if not?
5 A. No, you can't, because there is a big hill in between, and forest,
6 because the village of Nadioci is in a valley or -- what do you call
7 it? -- when compared to Ahmici.
8 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. Jukic. I
9 do not have any more questions.
10 JUDGE MAY: That concludes your evidence, Mr. Jukic. Thank you
11 for coming to the Tribunal to give it. You are now free to go.
12 We'll have the next witness.
13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, just while the next witness is coming in,
14 may I, with your leave, explain what it is always possible to do in
15 somewhat laborious cross-examination with a witness, but seems to be best
16 avoid with the witness, on his own testimony, would have no knowledge of
17 the particular document on which you would be inviting his comment.
18 As I understand it at the moment, the Exhibit 660.1 is the only
19 document of a contemporaneous type, if genuine, which refers to anything
20 happening at Kuber in the regard spoken of by the witness as early as the
21 15th of April. All other documents -- again, no point in putting them to
22 the witness -- fit with later dates. That same document which has been
23 challenged by a witness as to its authenticity contains references to the
24 build-up of Muslim forces in Nadioci on the night or so before the 15th,
25 which was the purpose of the questions which I was asking of this witness,
1 aimed at showing the falsity of that document, which was a Blaskic
3 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I don't believe that we should argue on
4 that matter now.
5 JUDGE MAY: No. It was an indulgence to allow Mr. Nice to
6 explain. However, he's done so. I expect many of us remember the
8 Yes. Now, your next witness, I take it, is Major Sajevic.
9 MR. KOVACIC: Zeljko Sajevic. Yes, correct.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the declaration.
12 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the
13 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 WITNESS: ZELJKO SAJEVIC
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
17 Examined by Mr. Kovacic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Sajevic.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. Just relax, please. We know that you are in an environment that
21 you are not familiar with, but please do relax.
22 You live in Vitez; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Your address is Hrvatskih Branitelja, Croatian Defenders Street
25 7B, Vitez.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Please, after I put a question to you, make a short break so that
3 we would give the interpreters enough time to interpret what we are saying
4 because most of the people here do not speak our language.
5 The address that you live at nowadays is -- it's actually an
6 apartment building, isn't it?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. There are quite a few such buildings in Vitez; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You were born on the 26th of December 1956 in Travnik; is that
12 A. Correct.
13 Q. You are married and you have two children; is that correct?
14 A. Correct.
15 Q. You got a degree in science and mathematics in Sarajevo in 1981;
16 is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. During the former Yugoslavia you served in the JNA; is that
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you attended reserve officers' school there; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Where was this?
24 A. This was in a small town by the name of Bileca.
25 Q. In Bileca, that is where one of the biggest if not the biggest
1 schools for reserve officers in the former Yugoslavia was; is that
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. Then you left the Yugoslav People's Army with the rank of 2nd
5 Lieutenant as a reservist; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Mr. Sajevic, does everybody get that rank automatically as soon as
8 they finish that school?
9 A. Yes, all of those who successfully completed the school, yes.
10 Q. Then you got a job; is that correct, when you returned to Vitez?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. Your first job was in the municipal headquarters of the
13 Territorial Defence in Vitez, right, or did you work somewhere else before
15 A. My first job was in the secondary school before I went to do my
16 military service. After I did my military service, I started working in
17 the Territorial Defence.
18 Q. Until this unfortunate war that we are discussing here started,
19 you worked in the Territorial Defence headquarters; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. As you worked in the Territorial Defence, you acquired additional
22 knowledge about this particular work, you attended seminars, exercises,
23 training courses, et cetera. Could you tell us about this in a few words?
24 A. Well, at any rate, all military conscripts who complete reserve
25 officers' school are not at such a high level of military training in
1 order to be in a position to work independently. They are further
2 educated and trained on the job.
3 Q. As a member of the Territorial Defence, you attended various
4 exercises, didn't you?
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. How much time did you spend in the Territorial Defence altogether?
7 A. In the Territorial Defence, I was there from 1983 until the moment
8 I walked out of the Territorial Defence.
9 Q. So for at least nine years; is that right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. As an employee of this organisation, were you devoted in your
12 heart to this organisation?
13 A. Well, basically, yes. I can say yes.
14 Q. You did your job professionally and honestly?
15 A. I think so, yes.
16 Q. Thank you. In view of your knowledge concerning the defence
17 system that existed in Yugoslavia and in view of the fact that more or
18 less the entire concept was taken over later by all the armed forces after
19 Yugoslavia fell apart, I would like to put a few questions to you in this
20 regard. The armed forces of the former Yugoslavia had two components.
21 Which were these two basic components of Yugoslavia's defence?
22 A. The two basic components of the defence of the former Yugoslavia
23 were the JNA, that is to say, the Yugoslav Peoples' Army and the TO, the
24 Territorial Defence.
25 Q. In addition to that, a certain role in the organisation of defence
1 was placed by the civilian authorities, by the civilian factor. Who was
3 A. The civilian factor in this system, so to speak, were Secretariats
4 of National Defence that were attached to municipalities.
5 Q. Can you tell us briefly what was the municipal Secretariat for
6 National Defence in charge of. What duties did they have within the
7 system that prevailed in Yugoslavia?
8 A. Within that system in Yugoslavia, the Secretariats for National
9 Defence had the task of taking in military conscripts, that is to say,
10 young men who reached a certain age when, due to their age, they got the
11 status of a military conscript so to speak, that is to say, a person who
12 is capable of taking part in the defence of the country.
13 When records are made of such persons, that is to say, these young
14 men, they were given a military speciality, that is to say, first of all,
15 they had to undergo medical examinations, and then a certain commission
16 would assign them a military speciality. That means a speciality that this
17 soldier would engage in during their regular military service. So some
18 went to armour units, others went to the navy, others went I don't know
19 where, different arms and services.
20 Q. Very well.
21 A. Furthermore, the Secretariat for National Defence sent these young
22 men to do their military service when the time was right. And also, they
23 received these soldiers when they returned to their home municipalities.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. When they would return from their military service, the
1 Secretariats of National Defence had the task of assigning these military
2 conscripts to certain reserve positions of reserve soldiers, junior
3 officers, officers, et cetera, to certain units, of course.
4 Q. So when this citizen, this young man who had been sent to do his
5 military service would return to his home town, then the Secretariat and
6 the municipality would assign him to the reserve force; is that right?
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. This reserve could have meant an assignment in the Territorial
9 Defence or in the reserve combat units of the army; is that correct?
10 A. Well, that is not quite correct. Such a man could be assigned
11 either to the reserve units or the JNA in the Territorial Defence but also
12 they could be assigned work duty. That could also be their wartime
14 Q. All right. So there were three categories: Work duty, reserve in
15 the Territorial Defence or reserve in the JNA?
16 A. Correct.
17 Q. Tell me, what was the basic difference between this reserve that
18 we called the Territorial Defence and this other reserve which was the
19 reserve force of the army?
20 A. Well, the vast majority of the army units were manned from the
21 reserve force. This was not based on the territorial principle, that is
22 to say, from several municipalities, military conscripts could have war
23 assignments in a completely different municipality. While the Territorial
24 Defence was established, it exclusively, upon the territorial principle,
25 that is to say, that every municipality had its territorial units, at a
1 given point in time, had the task of operating on the territory of their
2 respective municipality only.
3 Q. According to law and in real life -- we are talking about the
4 period until the breakup of Yugoslavia -- who financed the Territorial
6 A. The Territorial Defence was financed by the municipalities that
7 developed certain units on their territory. That is to say, the state
8 budget, the republican budget, as far as I know, did not envisage any
9 allocation for the Territorial Defence as was the case with the JNA. So
10 it was the municipality, those social political communities that financed
11 these units.
12 Q. However, if I'm not mistaken, the law did envisage the obligation
13 of the municipality to earmark certain minimal resources and to finance
14 minimal reserve forces; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. Furthermore, another difference. Is it correct that the
17 Territorial Defence had a relatively small skeleton organisation which, in
18 case of imminent danger of war or war, heaven forbid, could increase by
19 recruiting more men?
20 A. Yes, that is correct. There was a skeleton organisation in every
21 municipality. This was actually the Territorial Defence staff which, how
22 should I put this, professionally worked on these jobs that were primarily
23 administrative. So if need be, they would know what to do and how to do
24 it in order to carry out full mobilisation so that it would be explained
25 to the military conscripts where they should come, how they should do it,
1 et cetera.
2 Q. Does that mean that the Territorial Defence staff, with this
3 skeleton staff that they had, they had to have all the lists, plans,
4 assignments, plans of mobilisation, plans of units, plans of commanders,
5 et cetera, numerous elements so that at a given point in time, if
6 necessary, they could actually organise and bring together this potential
7 army of theirs?
8 A. The Territorial Defence staff indeed had to have lists of all
9 their units and members of their units. They also had to have records for
10 each and every individual. They also had to have lists of the commanders
11 and part of the mobilisation call-up papers or rather call-up papers only
12 for part of the units in the Territorial Defence. The remainder was in
13 the Secretariat for National Defence.
14 Q. Very well. These soldiers, these young men who had done their
15 service in the Yugoslav Peoples' Army, when they would return to their
16 municipalities, as you said, they would be assigned either to one of the
17 two reserves or to the work duty units, and if they were assigned to the
18 Territorial Defence or to this military reserve, as we call it, they were
19 also issued certain equipment; is that correct?
20 A. Most of the members of the Territorial Defence were issued basic
21 equipment, that is to say, that if it was possible for every individual to
22 be equipped in that way, then a uniform would be bought for him and
23 everything else that he needed. Yes, that is what they were issued then.
24 If there was not enough, then people had to wait and priority was given to
25 the purchase of uniforms, et cetera.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. If I understand you correctly, of course [In English] ... we
2 should be a little bit faster but if there is, I'm sure Mr. Jeffrey will
3 tell me. [Interpretation] At any rate, if I understand you correctly, the
4 point was for every soldier to be equipped, even when at home, with what
5 was called basic equipment for a soldier and then when need be he could be
6 called up to go wherever he was supposed to go?
7 A. Correct.
8 Q. However, he did not have weapons?
9 A. No, he did not.
10 Q. You worked in the system for quite a long time. Was this the
11 result of the lack of confidence on the part of the communist government
12 that didn't really go that far, that didn't actually distribute weapons to
13 the population?
14 A. Well, I didn't really think about this very much. I think that
15 this was done for reasons of security, purely, so that weapons would not
16 be abused by individuals because weapons are weapons. One kills with
18 Q. Of course, thank you. We must add one more thing to this. I have
19 to apologise, we did not directly mention this in the summaries that we
20 have provided. Also the defence system in companies and also weapons that
21 were there, can you tell us about this in a word or two.
22 A. Well, all major companies, all major companies, in particular,
23 developed within the Territorial Defence, their own units as well. They
24 were organically linked to the Territorial Defence which would, in a given
25 situation, be used for the defence of those companies as well.
1 These companies that worked well would obtain their own equipment,
2 equipment for their own soldiers.
3 Q. If I understood you correctly, just as the municipality had
4 financed the Territorial Defence of the municipality, then the company,
5 again, according to law, had to finance, at least a bigger company, had to
6 finance its own defence within the enterprise; is that correct?
7 A. Yes, that is correct.
8 Q. And this was true irrespective of whether this was a company of
9 special interest to the state, for example, like your SPS that
10 manufactured inter alia things that were used by the military. All major
11 enterprises had to do that; is that right?
12 A. Yes, that's right.
13 Q. Every man of a certain age was a military conscript; is that
15 A. Yes, that's right, unless he was ill or something like that, yes.
16 This was established by special medical commissions, that is to say,
17 whether they were able or not.
18 Q. All right. So let's just go through the way that mobilisation was
19 carried out. I'm just going to put questions to you and you please just
20 answer yes or no. Mobilisation could have been general or partial
21 according to plans; is that right?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. And according to the way it was carried out, it could be public or
24 secret; is that right?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. In the Territorial Defence, you worked your way up to commander
2 for operations and teaching.
3 A. Well, I have a small -- I have a small correction. I was
4 assistant commander for training and education activities.
5 Q. Oh, I do apologise. It was a pretty high post, wasn't it?
6 A. Well, I don't know. In the Territorial Defence headquarters,
7 there were eight to ten employees. There weren't really high posts there,
8 but -- well, perhaps one could say that assistant commander was a bit
9 higher than the others.
10 Q. Thank you. Just before the outbreak of the war -- I'm referring
11 to the general war in Bosnia, that is to say, the Serb aggression
12 primarily, in 1991 -- the Territorial Defence command in Vitez, the
13 commander was Mr. Hakija Cengic in Vitez; wasn't that correct?
14 A. Yes, that's right.
15 Q. When did he leave the Territorial Defence?
16 A. I can't really say.
17 Q. He was an ethnic Muslim, wasn't he?
18 A. Yes, correct.
19 Q. Do you remember when he was appointed commander of Territorial
21 A. He was appointed after the first multi-party elections that were
22 held in Bosnia-Herzegovina, when the parties that won the largest number
23 of votes divided these positions within the municipality amongst
25 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to put a few questions to you related
1 to the Galeb action. Would you agree with a general assessment present in
2 the public, amongst the public in all the republics of the former
3 Yugoslavia, except in Serbia, that actually, just before the war broke out
4 in 1989 and 1990, Serbia, as the most powerful republic, was preparing for
5 a war against the other republics in an attempt to keep them in the
6 Federation by force, and to that end certain measures were taken. One of
7 these measures is the Galeb action; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 Q. What was the Galeb action? Can you explain this to us, or to the
10 Court, but as briefly as possible?
11 A. The Galeb action meant taking away the weapons of the Territorial
12 Defence, and storing these weapons and mining and explosive devices in
13 warehouses under JNA control. That would be it. The briefest possible
15 Q. Does that mean that until then the Territorial Defence had their
16 own warehouses and their own weapons?
17 A. Correct.
18 Q. Now it was ordered that these weapons in the possession of the
19 Territorial Defence be transferred to warehouses that were under army
21 A. Correct.
22 Q. In fact, in that way the Territorial Defence could no longer get
23 their own weapons; is that correct?
24 A. For a short period of time, the commission from the Territorial
25 Defence headquarters could only see whether these weapons were still in
1 these warehouses, but they could not be taken out. These weapons could
2 not be taken back.
3 Q. In terms of your professional opinion -- I'm asking you now
4 because of the job you held -- did this significantly weaken the
5 Territorial Defence? In this way, did the Yugoslav People's Army cripple
6 the Territorial Defence?
7 A. Absolutely.
8 Q. This entire action was carried out through secret orders that were
9 issued orally; is that correct?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Even the president of the municipality was not informed about
12 this. I'm talking about municipalities in general. And presidents of
13 municipalities ex officio were presidents of war counsels for national
14 defence that existed in municipalities?
15 A. Exactly. We were told that we were not supposed to inform them
16 about this either.
17 Q. You were certainly an eyewitness of all of this?
18 A. Correct.
19 Q. So if necessary, you can explain this, even if there are some
20 questions about this?
21 A. Yes, I can.
22 Q. After that, and all of this happened in May 1990, the whole action
23 went a step further. And then weapons were taken away from companies as
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. I'm going to give you some documents so that you can have a look
2 at them and see whether you know about that part of the action. I'm
3 asking the usher to help me with this.
4 JUDGE MAY: Let's deal with this in the morning since we've got an
5 ex parte hearing.
6 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. Then we will have that in the morning on the
7 desks to start.
8 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now, at least the main part of the
10 Major Sajevic, would you be back, please, tomorrow morning to
11 conclude your evidence. Don't speak to anybody about it until it's over,
12 and that includes members of the Defence team.
13 Very well. We'll adjourn now for the ex parte hearing. We'll sit
14 again in 10 minutes for that. The main trial is adjourned until tomorrow
15 morning, half past 9.00.
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.00 p.m., to
17 be followed by an Ex Parte Hearing