1 Thursday, 16
2 [Open session]
3 [The witness entered court]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
7 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. One small matter before we
8 begin. Apparently Exhibit Z1198.5 was in the bundle of exhibits that were
9 returned to the Prosecution, Mr. President, but the registrar has a note
10 that it's been entered into evidence, and it should be returned. Thank
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. It's already admitted. I'm sorry --
13 MR. SAYERS: You returned the exhibits to the Prosecution --
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. SAYERS: -- but somehow this document tiptoed into evidence,
16 according to the registrar's record --
17 JUDGE MAY: Right.
18 MR. SAYERS: -- but it should be returned to the Prosecution.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.
21 WITNESS: MARINKO PALAVRA [Resumed]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if I could ask the usher to put this
24 document on the ELMO.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Sayers: [Continued]
1 Q. There is one reference to you in the UNPROFOR documents that have
2 been introduced into evidence in this case.
3 MR. SAYERS: For the Court's reference, this is Exhibit D334/1,
4 tab 73.
5 Q. It's in English, Colonel, and on page 5 your name is mentioned,
6 although wrongly spelled. "Marinko Palabera," it says there, "Chief of
7 Military Police. He is assessed to be professional and serious about his
9 But just above that, sir, is a reference to the HVO brigade
10 commander in Busovaca, a man by the name of Dusko Grubesic. And there's
11 no question, Colonel, that throughout your time as chief of military
12 police, from August until he was replaced in October, he was actually the
13 military commander of the HVO in Busovaca. Would you agree with that?
14 A. Your Honours, as far as I can remember, Dusko Grubesic was the
15 commander of the HVO brigade in Busovaca.
16 Q. And he was replaced as military commander in Busovaca in October
17 of 1993 by a man called Jure Cavara. Is that consistent with your
18 recollection, Colonel?
19 A. I remember it, yes.
20 Q. And Commander Grubesic, I believe, is now a brigadier in the Army
21 of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. Your Honours, Dusko Grubesic at the moment is the commander --
23 Just a moment. He is the commander of the Vitez unit, or the Vitez
25 Q. One question that I omitted to ask you yesterday, Colonel, is
1 this: You have had the opportunity to review your testimony in the
2 Blaskic case on January 11th and 12th, 1999?
3 A. Well, I didn't stay there long.
4 Q. Just a formal question for you, Colonel. Do you reaffirm the
5 factual accuracy of the testimony that you gave before the Blaskic trial
6 court a year and a half -- well, a year and ten months ago?
7 A. Yes, quite so.
8 Q. All right, sir. We covered yesterday Mr. Kordic and his absence
9 from the chain of command, and I'd like to continue questions along the
10 lines of inquiring into the chain of command while you were commander of
11 the military police. There's no question that the military commander of
12 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone and the principal military figure in
13 that zone was your superior, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic; is that right?
14 A. It is, Your Honours.
15 Q. And up until the date that the Washington Agreement was signed,
16 Colonel, and indeed even before you became military police commander, you
17 received your orders directly from the commander of the Central Bosnia
18 Operative Zone, Colonel Blaskic; correct?
19 A. It is.
20 Q. And in no sense, sir, were you a subordinate of or answerable to
21 Mr. Kordic at any time during the tenure -- during your tenure of office
22 as military police commander?
23 A. Yes, quite so, Your Honours.
24 Q. One matter of detail which could become relevant in my later
25 questions: You took over your duties as military police commander while
1 the Croat community of Herceg-Bosna was still in existence, the HZ HB; is
2 that right?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. And the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna was founded about a month
5 after you were appointed as a military police commander, the republic
6 being declared on August the 28th, 1993. Is that consistent with your
7 recollection, Colonel?
8 A. More or less, yes, that's how it was.
9 Q. All right. Now, during the course of your -- the performance of
10 your duties as commander of the 4th Battalion of military police, Colonel
11 Blaskic required you to attend daily briefings with him each morning. Is
12 that fair to say?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And on each Friday, weekly meetings were held with all of the
15 brigade commanders.
16 A. Indeed, Your Honours.
17 Q. And it's also fair to say, sir, that at no time were any of the
18 individuals whose names were mentioned to you by Mr. Scott yesterday, a
19 couple of examples being Miso Mijic and Dragan Voloder, at no time were
20 they permitted to attend meetings of the military bodies in the Central
21 Bosnia Operative Zone, were they?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In fact, if we take a look at exhibit number eight of the exhibit
24 package that we identified yesterday as Exhibit D344/1 --
25 MR. SAYERS: There's no need to put it on the ELMO, but I would be
1 obliged if you would give it to the witness.
2 Q. This is a letter or a reply by Colonel Blaskic, dated September
3 the 11th, 1993. We don't know who it's a reply to, but it responds to a
4 request -- actually, it's to the Central Bosnia so-called Security and
5 Information Service centre, the SIS centre, about which we heard
6 yesterday. And Colonel Blaskic responds to a request made to attend
7 Central Bosnia Operative Zone command meetings, and he refuses that
8 request. Were you familiar with that refusal, Colonel?
9 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I see this reply of Colonel
11 Q. Very well. Since you are unfamiliar with the document, there's no
12 need to go through it other than this: On page 2, Colonel Blaskic tells
13 the SIS centre that, "I do not know, nor have I been informed, either what
14 is within the competence of the SIS centre or what authority its
15 individual staff members have, including the post of the chief of the
16 centre, since I have not received any orders or instructions."
17 That's the statement of your commander, sir, and the same is true
18 of you. You were completely unaware that the so-called SIS centre,
19 whatever it was, had any official function whatsoever in the Central
20 Bosnia Operative Zone. Is that fair to say?
21 A. Yes, quite, Your Honours. Yesterday I said that Colonel Blaskic
22 in the Operative Zone Central Bosnia had his own assistant for security
23 affairs, and I communicated with him, or rather, we cooperated. And the
24 SIS centre was something that I did not know at all about at that time.
25 It was only through the military chain of command.
1 Q. I'll have some questions for you later about these individuals,
2 Mijic and Voloder, but let me continue on with the briefings that you
3 attended every morning with Blaskic.
4 During those briefings, you would get your daily orders from your
5 commanding officer, wouldn't you, Colonel?
6 A. Why, yes. Following briefings, Colonel Blaskic would give tasks,
7 not only to me as the commander of the military police, but to all his
8 assistants, depending on our mandates and whatever we were in charge of;
9 that is, we would all be issued with tasks.
10 Q. And you've previously explained to us how difficult the situation
11 was with many of your subordinate military policemen on the front lines.
12 Occasionally, the orders that you would receive from your commanding
13 officer would be combat orders, too, wouldn't they, Colonel?
14 A. At that time, there were the military police which went to the
15 defence line. We were at the defence lines most of the time.
16 Q. Right. But the particular combat directives that you received for
17 the operation of your soldiers on the defence lines, Colonel, were given
18 to you by Colonel Blaskic during either these daily briefings that you
19 attended with him or the weekly commanders meetings that he convened every
21 A. Your Honours, the -- we did not have -- while I was the commander
22 of the police, we did not have any combat orders. All we had was the
23 defence, that is, holding defence lines in the areas of operation of
24 Muslim forces. Where there is a certain front, or rather, where it is
25 broken through, we would go to replenish it, to fill it in, and we would
1 take those trenches.
2 Q. I appreciate your answer, Colonel, and maybe my question was
3 inelegantly phrased, but can we both agree that any orders that you
4 received for military activity of a defensive nature were received from
5 your commanding officer, Colonel Blaskic?
6 A. Yes, quite so.
7 Q. And Mr. Kordic never attended any of these daily briefings or
8 these weekly commanders meetings that were convened by Colonel Blaskic.
9 Would that be fair to say?
10 A. Your Honours, I remember that is how morning briefings were, not
11 Colonel -- that is, at Colonel Blaskic's, Mr. Kordic was not present; but
12 at briefings which were held every Friday or -- yes, I mean every Friday,
13 once or twice he did attend. I did see Mr. Kordic. He was there in those
14 meetings, but he was only present there. That is, he did not conduct
15 those briefings, he was simply present.
16 Q. All right. So during the eight months that you were a military
17 police commander, between the date that you assumed your duties on August
18 the 1st of 1993 until the end of March of 1994 when the Washington
19 Agreement was signed, your recollection is that Mr. --
20 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down, Mr. Sayers.
21 MR. SAYERS: I apologise to the interpreters.
22 Q. Your recollection is that Mr. Kordic attended only one or two of
23 those meetings that were held every week?
24 A. Yes, quite so. And I should also like to tell the Court I
25 remember well when Mr. Kordic was present, that I, having received the
1 duty of the commander of the 4th Battalion, at that time, at that meeting,
2 I said that we had knowledge, that we had, that is, knowledge that our
3 criminals will sell both Blaskic and Kordic to the Muslim side for 50 to
4 100.000 marks. I said that at the meeting and I remember that Mr. Kordic
5 was present at that very meeting.
6 Q. But Mr. Kordic never made any military observations at any of
7 these meetings, or comments of a military nature. That would be fair to
8 say and you would agree with that, Colonel; correct?
9 A. Your Honours, these briefings were conducted by Colonel Blaskic,
10 because those were military briefings. And Mr. Kordic was simply present,
11 and naturally he took notes, he wrote, but he made no comments about any
12 military matters.
13 Q. Just a few final questions on this topic. You told us yesterday
14 that you yourself never once received any orders from Mr. Kordic, or
15 instructions or directives. It's true also that none of your subordinates
16 ever told you that Mr. Kordic had tried to issue orders or directives to
17 them either; would you agree with that?
18 A. Yes, indeed, Your Honours.
19 Q. Colonel, you were shown some documents yesterday relating to
20 police appointments and so forth. One of them was Exhibit Z386, signed by
21 your then-commander, Ivo Rezo, on January 21st, 1993. It was an order
22 that supposedly evidenced the appointment of Nikola Perica to the post of
23 commander of the Fojnica police station.
24 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. Usher.
25 Q. Now, this was -- the post itself, commander of the Fojnica police
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 station, was actually a civilian post, was it not?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And do you have a recollection, Colonel, that in fact Mr. Perica
4 was never -- he never took up the post of commander of the Fojnica police
5 station, for whatever reason?
6 A. Your Honours, I do not know Ivica -- Ivo -- no, sorry. No. This
7 is Nikola Perica. I don't know the man, so I do not know.
8 Q. Very well. You were asked some questions yesterday about the
9 group known as the Jokers and also the 3rd Light Assault Battalion. Would
10 you agree that no one throughout your many years as commander of military
11 police in Vitez has ever suggested to you that the Jokers were ever under
12 the authority or command in any way of Mr. Kordic?
13 A. Yes, quite so.
14 Q. And that, of course, includes your long-time deputy, Vladimir
15 Santic, doesn't it, Colonel?
16 A. Yes, indeed. Santic never said ... I don't know.
17 MR. SAYERS: I wonder if the usher could give the witness the big
18 book of military police exhibits that the Prosecution introduced
20 And since the book itself doesn't have a single exhibit reference,
21 could I just recite the exhibit numbers for the record that are in this
22 binder, Your Honour? It's Exhibit Z1134, 1134.1, 1165.2, 2332, and 2340.
23 Actually, I've marked this up. Do we have the original exhibit?
24 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter if you've marked it.
25 MR. SAYERS: Very well.
1 JUDGE MAY: Unless there's anything of particular importance to
2 yourself on it.
3 MR. SAYERS: There's a little bit, but I'll try to remember what
4 they are.
5 Q. I want to suggest to you, Colonel, that there is in all of these
6 military police documents no reference to Mr. Kordic having any command
7 role or any authority whatsoever in the military police or any of its
8 component units, including the Jokers and the 3rd Light Assault
9 Battalion. And I am also going to suggest to you, and I'd like your
10 comment on this, that the reason for the omission of Mr. Kordic's name in
11 those documents is because he had no such command authority, such command
12 role, any kind of superior/subordinate relationship insofar as the
13 military police are concerned. Would you agree with that?
14 A. Yes, I would. I would agree with this. That is how it was.
15 Q. All right. Now, there's just a few documents, or just two
16 documents in this package that I'd like you to look at. Unfortunately,
17 they are both in English, so the usher is going to have to put them on the
18 ELMO for everybody's reference, and I'll translate for you.
19 MR. SAYERS: The first is tabbed at the top with a yellow tab,
20 Mr. Usher.
21 This is Exhibit Z2332A, Your Honours, at page 11.
22 And we'll start with the dissolution of the 3rd Light Assault
23 Battalion first and then go into the process by which it was created. But
24 the document that I want to draw to your attention is -- it was marked at
25 the top, Mr. Usher, with the yellow tab, page 11. Yes. And I've
1 highlighted the portion at the bottom of the page. There you are.
2 Q. This describes how the 1st and 2nd Light Assault Battalions ceased
3 to exist as a result of an order issued by Lieutenant General Anto Roso,
4 and we can see that the document makes the same reference insofar as the
5 3rd Light Assault Battalion is concerned. Is it your recollection that
6 the 3rd Light Assault Battalion was in fact dissolved by order of General
7 Roso, the then-commander of the Main Staff of the HVO?
8 A. Your Honours, I don't know. I mean, I know nothing about it. I
9 know that the 3rd Light Assault -- or rather, that parts of the 3rd Light
10 Assault created the 3rd Guards Brigade. That is what I do know.
11 MR. SAYERS: All right. Thank you, Mr. Usher. I'm through with
12 that one.
13 The next document is also marked at the top. This is Exhibit
14 2332I, I believe, Your Honour, and it's a report that's actually issued by
15 Pasko Ljubicic, or authored by Pasko Ljubicic.
16 Q. It says, sir, that Mr. Vukovic used to be the 4th Battalion of
17 Military Police commander. He was then replaced by Pasko Ljubicic on the
18 orders of Valentin Coric, who was the chief of the military police
19 administration in Ljubuski. And that's correct; that's a correct
20 recitation of fact, isn't it?
21 A. Yes. After Zvonko Vukovic, it was the commander, Pasko Ljubicic,
22 and I succeeded him.
23 Q. And then Mr. Ljubicic goes on to recite the locations in which the
24 4th Battalion of Military Police participated in military activity and
25 identifies Ahmici as one of those areas. Did you ever discuss the
1 operations conducted by the 4th Battalion of Military Police in Ahmici
2 with your predecessor, Pasko Ljubicic?
3 A. No, Your Honours, never.
4 MR. SAYERS: I'm finished with that package of exhibits. Thank
5 you very much, sir.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I have a document for the legal officer.
7 MR. SAYERS:
8 Q. Now, the package of exhibits that I had asked you to review,
9 Exhibit D343/1 -- no, I'm sorry. It's D344/1. I apologise for that.
10 Just so that we can finish out our inquiries relating to the 3rd Light
11 Assault Battalion, sir, would you take a look at the very first tab of
12 this exhibit. It's an order dated June 28th, 1993, and it's an order
13 signed by -- or for Valentin Coric, the commander of the military police
14 administration in Ljubuski. And in this order, he directs the 3rd Light
15 Assault Military Police Battalion, based in Vitez, to be formed.
16 Were you aware that Mr. Coric had issued that order in June of
17 1993 or did you become aware of this order at any time, sir?
18 A. Your Honour, I do not know this.
19 Q. All right. If you'd just turn -- or just turn to the bottom of
20 the Croatian version.
21 MR. SAYERS: And for the Court's information, it's page 2.
22 Q. This order from Mr. Coric goes on to recite that the assistant
23 chief of the military police administration responsible for the zone was
24 also authorised to command the Light Assault Battalion in that zone. So
25 Mr. Ljubicic would have been authorised to command the 3rd Light Assault
1 Battalion in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone. Is that consistent with
2 your understanding, Colonel?
3 A. Yes, that's what I was told.
4 Q. All right. And if you would just turn to tab 5 of this exhibit
6 MR. SAYERS: And this has already been marked, Your Honours, as
7 Exhibit Z1165.2.
8 There's an attachment to an order, another order by Mr. Coric,
9 dated August the 12th, 1993, that recites Mr. Ljubicic having been
10 appointed as assistant chief of the military police administration for the
11 Central Bosnia Operative Zone, and that's a correct recitation. When you
12 assumed your duties as military police commander of the 4th Battalion,
13 Mr. Ljubicic was actually the assistant chief of the military police
14 administration in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, correct?
15 A. Yes, that's correct.
16 Q. So at all times, as far as you're aware, at least prior to the
17 dissolution of the 3rd Light Assault Battalion by order of General Roso,
18 that unit, that combat unit was under the direct authority and command of
19 Pasko Ljubicic?
20 A. Yes, quite so.
21 Q. And never under the authority or command in any way whatsoever of
22 Mr. Kordic, as far as you're aware, sir?
23 A. No, it wasn't.
24 Q. Now, you've given some testimony, Colonel, regarding the
25 difficulties between the military police and the criminals that simply
1 abounded in your area in the anarchic times of the autumn and winter of
3 You suspected your own assistant commander Mr. Jozipovic, I think
4 you said yesterday, of basically tipping off criminal elements to
5 anticipated or planned criminal investigations or investigation activities
6 by the military police, and that's why you removed him. Is that fair to
8 A. That's right.
9 Q. You also mentioned an individual by the name of Zarko Andric who
10 had the nickname of Zuti. Now, Zuti was shot by his deputy or his
11 assistant, a man by the name of Zoran Tuka, shot and paralysed correct, in
12 a murder attempt?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. There has been some suggestion in some of the papers, Colonel --
15 maybe you can throw some light on this because I simply don't know -- is
16 it the case that this fellow Zuti was wounded as the military police were
17 trying to arrest him, or not?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Immediately after this murder attempt on Zuti, the man that you
20 were asked about yesterday, Miso Mijic, fled to Mostar, didn't he?
21 A. Your Honour, I don't remember exactly when Miso Mijic left, but
22 not only he but his assistants, or rather, those who were with him, went
23 to Herzegovina. I don't remember exactly when, but I know it was very
25 Q. And would you agree that they left in one almighty hurry, sir?
1 A. Yes, that's exactly how it was.
2 Q. And in connection with this rampant criminal activity that
3 unfortunately pervaded your area of responsibility, sir, you yourself were
4 the victim of crimes, weren't you? You had your car stolen a couple of
5 times, I believe. You even had explosives placed under your car once to
6 blow it up in an apparent murder attempt on you?
7 A. Your Honours, my car was not stolen. The first time they took my
8 car by an RPG, and that was one of Zuti's men; and the second time they
9 put an explosive underneath my car.
10 Q. The Court might be wondering, Colonel, and I certainly am, that if
11 this criminal activity was perpetrated upon you yourself, the commander of
12 the 4th Battalion of military police, why wasn't it that this perpetrator
13 Zuti was arrested and prosecuted for that? Was that a practical
14 alternative or not?
15 A. Your Honours, at that time, that couldn't be done. Judge
16 Picinovic [phoen], who was at the court in Vitez, he was wounded by Zuti,
17 and he didn't want to submit a criminal report. And the public
18 prosecutor's car was stolen, Marinko Jurcevic car, and again, that was
19 done by Zuti's men, and again, there was no criminal report. Before I
20 took up the duty of the commander of the 4th Battalion of the military
21 police, Zuti attacked military police units twice, and there was no
23 Q. But the question is, Colonel, why not?
24 A. I don't know. I only know that at that time there were widespread
25 attacks by the Muslim forces, the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on
1 Central Bosnia, and the chief priority was to defend the lines, the
2 defence lines, and I think that was why.
3 Q. All right. Well, let's turn to another subject, Colonel. You've
4 told us that Colonel Blaskic could request the military police to perform
5 investigations into suspected criminal transgressions, but he could not
6 himself order arrests or influence the manner in which the investigation
7 was actually conducted. Is that -- do I have it correctly? Do I
8 understand it correctly?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And on occasion, Colonel Blaskic did exercise that power. He did
11 request you to perform criminal investigations into suspected criminal
12 activity, correct?
13 A. Yes. According to what he knew at the morning briefings, he would
14 say that such and such should be investigated. It all depended on what
15 was going on at the time.
16 Q. All right. Mr. Kordic never had that power and never once
17 requested you to perform any investigation, right? That was outside of
18 his ambit, if you like.
19 A. Exactly so, yes.
20 Q. And you're familiar, I take it, sir, with the rules of military
21 discipline that permitted military commanders and brigade commanders,
22 depending upon their rank, to issue on their own authority disciplinary
23 punishments against people who had transgressed the rules of military
24 discipline, right?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In fact, I think you yourself had the authority equivalent to a
2 brigade commander, and that enabled you to impose disciplinary detention
3 sentences of up to one month upon transgressors?
4 A. Yes, yes, precisely.
5 Q. And just three documents I would like to go over very lightly with
6 you, Colonel, which show that you were actually performing your job and
7 that charges were being filed, investigations were being performed.
8 Tab 4 of the package in front of you is a report that you
9 prepared, I believe, dated August the 10th, 1993. And the only point I
10 want to draw to your attention is that, amongst other things, it says that
11 criminal charges were filed against two Croats, Davor Lovric and Marinko
12 Stojanovic, because they had been suspected of committing the crime of
13 rape. Do you recall that?
14 A. Your Honour, a lot of time has elapsed. I don't remember.
15 Q. That's just one point about the document, but the real point that
16 I wanted to make, Colonel, is to note the people to whom your report was
17 addressed. These are your superiors, correct? First, the military police
18 administration in Ljubuski; second, the Central Bosnia Operative Zone
19 command; and third, the assistant chief of military police administration?
20 A. That's right.
21 Q. All right.
22 MR. SAYERS: And given the witness's answer, Mr. President, to
23 that, we just draw the Court's attention to tabs 6 and 7 of this exhibit
24 which are along the same lines, tab 7 being a communique. If you just
25 turn to tab 7, sir, it's a communique that's issued apparently or
1 ostensibly by the information office of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,
2 and it makes reference, amongst other things, to the proclamation of the
3 Republic of Herceg-Bosna on page 1, and to the pronouncement of sentences
4 upon two people, two Croats suspected of aggravated robbery and two other
5 Croats suspected of aiding and abetting.
6 Q. Do you recall anything about this communique, Colonel, or not?
7 A. Forgive me, Your Honours. It's rather illegible, so I need some
8 time to study it.
9 Q. I don't think that we need to spend too much time on this,
10 Colonel. The only point that I wanted to make was that criminal
11 investigations were being performed, cases were being tried, and sentences
12 were being handed out, even under the difficult conditions of wartime and
13 encirclement and siege, essentially, that you faced in the Novi
14 Travnik-Vitez-Busovaca pocket; would you agree with that?
15 A. I agree with that.
16 Q. Very well. We can move on. You were shown a document by the
17 Prosecution, Exhibit Z1380.2, which was a report dated --
18 MR. SAYERS: I have a copy here for the ...
19 Q. This is a report, Colonel, that you said was signed by your
20 deputy, Vladimir Santic, and just a list of people in the military
21 police. A couple of questions about this. If you turn to the last page,
22 there appears to be a handwritten request by Colonel Blaskic to follow up
23 on providing another document that identifies how many of the people
24 listed are in commanding positions and to outline the command structure.
25 Do you recall whether you ever did that?
1 A. Your Honours, I do not remember, but I think I must have done it,
2 but I can't recall now.
3 Q. That's all right, sir. Now, there are 483 people listed on this
4 list. How many military policemen or military police did you actually
5 have under your control, sir? Was it 483 or some other number?
6 A. Your Honours, the structure changed. There was a time when I had,
7 I think, 647 military policemen, and according to the book signed by the
8 minister, the 4th Battalion could have a little over 700 policemen
9 altogether, together with command. But in 1994, I had the highest number
10 of policemen, about 650, on the area controlled by the 4th Battalion. The
11 list changed all the time.
12 Q. All right. And of these 483 policemen under your command,
13 apparently 5 were assigned to protect Mr. Kordic. If you take a look at
14 page 5 of the Croatian version, it lists Messrs. Santic, Arapovic, Cosic,
15 Lastro and Lovric; right?
16 A. Yes, that's right.
17 Q. These people appeared on the payroll. Were they actually military
18 policemen or not?
19 A. Your Honours, this is the situation I found in the 4th Battalion:
20 They were on the payroll only, but their duty was to guard Mr. Kordic.
21 They were to escort him and to be his security guards.
22 Q. Now, just one question about Mr. Kordic. There's no question,
23 sir, that he was never the chief of the HVO Main Staff; you would agree
24 with that, wouldn't you?
25 A. Well, that's the first time I've heard this.
1 Q. Right. And if you would just turn to page 5, it says, at least
2 according to the translation, "Personal security of the chief of the HVO
3 Main Staff, Colonel Dario Kordic." That was just an error by your
4 subordinate; would you agree with that, Colonel?
5 A. Yes, precisely.
6 Q. Thank you, sir. I'm through with that document. And I would just
7 like to ask you a few general questions about your deputy commander,
8 Vladimir Santic. We know that he was actually fulfilling the functions of
9 acting commander of the 4th Battalion of Military Police for some 15 days,
10 I believe you said, prior to your appointment on August 1st of 1993.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And he remained your deputy commander from August 1st of 1993
13 until what time, sir?
14 A. Your Honours, Vlado Santic remained my deputy until the moment
15 when he submitted a request to return to the civilian police, because
16 before the war he used to be a civilian policeman, and throughout the time
17 he was in the military police he was my deputy.
18 Q. All right. And could you just -- I just forgot. Could you give
19 us an idea of how long he remained your deputy? From August 1st of 1993
20 until approximately what time, sir?
21 A. Believe me, I don't know, but I know that in 1994, maybe early
22 1995, he went to the civilian police.
23 Q. All right. So we can agree that he was your deputy commander for
24 at least a year and probably more?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. And you interacted with your deputy on a daily basis; you spoke to
2 him every day, met with him every day during the conduct of your
3 activities as commander. Correct?
4 A. Your Honours, when I had time, I had briefings for my assistants
5 every morning, and then I would go to Colonel Blaskic's regular briefings,
6 because I had to know what the situation was in my 4th Battalion in order
7 to be able to report to Colonel Blaskic. So we did see each other every
9 Q. And so you spoke to and with your deputy commander every day for
10 over a year and a half; you would agree with that?
11 A. Yes, precisely.
12 Q. Now, sir, did this deputy commander of yours ever once condemn to
13 you the Ahmici operation?
14 A. Your Honours, never.
15 Q. Colonel, did this individual who was your deputy commander ever
16 condemn the operation when speaking to his subordinate police officers, to
17 your knowledge? Did you ever hear anything along those lines, ever once?
18 A. I don't know. No. No.
19 Q. Did your deputy commander ever mention where he had been on the
20 day that the Ahmici killings occurred, April the 16th, 1993?
21 A. Your Honours, I never talked about Ahmici with Vlado Santic.
22 Q. And so your deputy commander, I take it, sir, never told you that
23 he was actually in Ahmici on April 16th, seen by a woman whose husband he
24 and others murdered?
25 A. I don't know. No. No. Never.
1 Q. Did you ever note, sir, that your deputy commander had any
2 problems in exercising command, any reluctance to do that, any lack of
3 personal courage, anything like that?
4 A. No. I left Vlado Santic as my deputy because, when I arrived,
5 when I took up the post of commander, he told me -- and he behaved very
6 properly -- he told me that he had performed that duty for 15 days, and he
7 wished me good luck, he offered to be there for me in every way and to
8 support me if I needed it. And I knew he had been a civilian policeman
9 and that he was a professional in his job, and that was why I kept him on
10 as my deputy.
11 Q. Yes, sir. But did you ever notice any lack of courage or
12 timorousness on the part of your deputy commander when it came to
13 participation in combat operations, or actually -- well, let's leave the
14 question at that. Did you ever notice any of those qualities, lack of
15 courage or timorousness on the part of your deputy commander in exercising
16 his duties as a subordinate commander of yours?
17 A. No. Vlado Santic, throughout the time I was the commander, worked
18 in the command, doing operative tasks. He spent more time in the command.
19 Q. Right. He was never perceived as any kind of a personal coward,
20 was he, by the people that he commanded, to your knowledge?
21 A. No. I don't know. He performed the tasks I gave him. I can't
22 say whether he is a coward or not, but he did his job in a professional
23 manner. I always knew what he was doing, how he was doing it, how far he
24 had got. He always kept me informed.
25 Q. And the fact of the matter is that he was your second in command
1 and he exercised his command functions without hesitation and without
2 difficulty, as far as you could see; isn't that correct?
3 A. Thank God, yes, because otherwise he would not have been in the
4 4th Battalion, would I have been there.
5 Q. Yes, sir. Now, did he ever profess to you to be suffering from
6 psychiatric or psychological disturbances of any variety at all?
7 A. Your Honours, Vlado Santic, he had a kidney complaint, and I know
8 that he was suffering for quite a long time.
9 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... physical problems. I'm
10 interested in mental and psychiatric or psychological problems. Did he
11 ever profess to be suffering from any kind of pangs of guilt, pangs of
12 conscience, any kinds of psychiatric conditions or anything like that to
13 you, sir?
14 A. No, never. I -- he never told me, me or in the command, because I
15 would have known the reactions of my other subordinates, so I mean I don't
16 know that.
17 Q. And I take it that since he never spoke to you about Ahmici, he
18 never expressed any remorse, misgiving, or concern at any point for the
19 role that he played during the fighting that occurred in mid-April of
21 A. No, never.
22 Q. Did you ever notice your Deputy Commander crying every day, sir?
23 A. No, not in front of me.
24 Q. And one final question about your Deputy Commander, you both
25 obviously speak Croatian as your native language, don't you?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You didn't notice your Deputy Commander having the slightest
3 difficulty expressing himself in his own language, did you, sir?
4 A. Sorry, I don't understand. Could you repeat it, please?
5 Q. Sounds like a silly question, but there is an answer; there is a
6 reason for asking the question, Colonel. The question is this: You never
7 noticed your Deputy Commander having the slightest difficulty expressing
8 himself in his native language to you or to the soldiers under his command
9 or to anybody else at any time; isn't that a fact?
10 A. It is.
11 Q. Now, I'd like to turn to --
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] We don't understand the answer
14 Colonel Palavra, are you answering in the affirmative? Are you
15 saying -- are you confirming what has been suggested by Mr. Sayers? If I
16 understood, your assistant had difficulties in expressing himself in the
17 language which is, which is yours and his? I didn't quite understand that
18 answer. Could you please explain what this is about, because I'm afraid I
19 lost you.
20 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour. I'm sorry if my question was
21 unclear. I simply wanted the Colonel to agree, and I appreciate that it
22 may at this particular stage appear to be a very silly question, but I
23 wanted him to agree that Croatian was the native language of his Deputy
24 Commander, that his Deputy Commander could speak it, and he never
25 exhibited the slightest difficulty in communicating to others, to his
1 commander, to the soldiers under his command, or to anybody else in his
2 own language.
3 Q. And that is true, isn't it, Colonel?
4 A. Yes, it is true. Yes, it is. That is how I understood your
5 question, yes.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I hope that the reason for that question
8 will become apparent on November the 28th.
9 I wonder if the usher would show the witness Exhibit Z1318A about
10 which he was asked a couple of questions.
11 Q. Just a couple of questions about this document, sir. If you look
12 at this document, it appears to be an order. The Croatian version, at
13 least the cover memorandum, appears to be signed by someone, and it
14 appears to have a stamp. Do you know in fact whether that is the
15 signature of Ivica Lucic? Do you recognise the signature, or not?
16 A. Your Honours, I did not communicate with Ivica Lucic, but I --
17 yes, I do think that this is his signature.
18 Q. All right. Now, he purportedly sends along "one item of
19 information," and that's attached to his cover memorandum. Now, can you
20 tell who wrote that?
21 Just to wrap this up, Colonel, there's no way to tell who wrote
22 that excerpt that's attached to -- the item of information that's attached
23 to Colonel Lucic's cover memo, is there?
24 A. I was about to say, Your Honours, somebody wrote this information,
25 that is, gave it to the chief Ivica Lucic, and on the basis of what he
1 received, he then sent it on to Biskic, that is, the security sector. I
2 don't know who wrote that.
3 Q. Well, if you just take a look at the stamp next to Ivica Lucic's
4 signature, it says, "Hrvatska Zajednica Herceg-Bosna," the Croat community
5 of Herceg-Bosna, right?
6 A. It does, yes.
7 Q. And indeed, that document, the cover memorandum, appears to be on
8 letterhead that also says "Hrvatska Zajednicz Herceg-Bosna." You would
9 agree with that? I mean, we can all see it.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And the date of the document is three months after the founding of
12 the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, isn't it? Ivica Lucic's letter
13 appears, if it's real, to be dated November 26th, 1993, sir -- his cover
14 memorandum, not a letter. But that, you would agree, is three months
15 after the founding of the Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna and three months
16 after the Croat Community of Herceg Bosna had ceased to exist, yes?
17 A. Yes, Republic.
18 Q. Now, you were aware, I believe, sir, that the SIS under
19 Mr. Sliskovic was performing an investigation into what had happened at
20 Ahmici, but, and I think you told this to the Blaskic Trial Chamber at
21 page 16.808, Colonel Blaskic never shared the results of that
22 investigation with you, did he?
23 A. Correct.
24 Q. Colonel Blaskic never once maintained to you, sir, that local
25 political figures had ordered him to undertake military operations on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 April the 16th, did he?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. He never mentioned to you that there had supposedly been meetings
4 held on the night of April the 15th between civilian politicians, did he?
5 A. Why, no. I told you, my task with Colonel Blaskic was to attend
6 morning briefings, naturally be assigned tasks, and ...
7 Q. But you never heard from your daily attendance at the Central
8 Bosnia Operative Zone headquarters and living in Vitez for over -- well,
9 for a few years, you've never heard any contention that attempts were
10 supposedly made to persuade Mr. Kordic to intercede, to stop an imminent
11 attack that was to be launched by the HVO in the Vitez-Ahmici area on
12 April 16th. You've never heard that once, have you, Colonel?
13 A. No, never.
14 Q. Now, just to turn to the relationship between Colonel Blaskic and
15 Mr. Kordic for a minute, as far as you were aware, throughout your time as
16 military police commander, these two men were on perfectly cordial terms.
17 Would that be fair to say?
18 A. Yes, indeed.
19 Q. You never once heard, throughout the time that you were there in
20 the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, living in Vitez, and actually
21 interfacing with or interrelating with Colonel Blaskic on a daily basis,
22 you never heard of any personal disagreements or tension that existed
23 between Colonel Blaskic on the one hand and Mr. Kordic or Mr. Kostroman on
24 the other, did you, sir?
25 A. I did not, no. That's right.
1 Q. And did Blaskic -- Colonel Blaskic, forgive me, ever complain to
2 you once, even, about any supposed interference in his command by
3 Mr. Kordic, or any other politician, for that matter?
4 A. No, never.
5 Q. Have you ever heard any stories going around about such intense
6 disagreements or any kind of disagreements between Mr. Kordic on the one
7 hand and Colonel Blaskic on the other?
8 A. No.
9 Q. And if an anonymously authored document were to state that there
10 were in fact acrimonious and bitter discords and disagreements between
11 Colonel Blaskic and Mr. Kordic, what would you have to say about the
12 factual accuracy of any such anonymous document, sir?
13 A. Your Honours, I would say that I think that that is, that is not
14 true because Colonel Blaskic and Colonel Kordic, what terms they were on
15 they will know best. But we, I mean the commanders, we never had any
16 suspicion. We never even suspected that there were some problems between
17 Blaskic and Kordic. Perhaps there was, but we never noticed anything like
18 that even if there was, but I do not think so because they were together
19 always, and I never saw anything of the sort.
20 Q. All right.
21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me, Mr. Sayers.
22 Colonel Palavra, you tell us that your conclusion is that there
23 was no friction between Mr. Kordic and Colonel Blaskic because, in
24 particular, they were always together? I'm reading from the transcript.
25 What do you mean by this?
1 A. No, when I say "always," well, I -- well, they were often
3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Could you please be more
4 specific. What does it mean, "often"? Does that mean that that was
5 common knowledge, or did you often see them working together, being
6 together often?
7 A. Well, that was common knowledge because they held joint press
8 conferences, for instance, in Busovaca or Vitez or ...
9 I mean, that is my answer. I guess they cooperated. They worked
10 together. How often they met, I don't know, but I know they were at press
11 conferences. They were -- and at times, Mr. Kordic would come to the
12 military district in Vitez, and that's it.
13 JUDGE MAY: Let me follow that. What did you think Mr. Kordic was
14 doing at these press conferences and when he was with Colonel Blaskic?
15 What did you think his role was?
16 A. Your Honours, at that time, I thought that Mr. Kordic was man
17 number one in matters political in Central Bosnia, and man number one in
18 matters military was, well, Colonel Blaskic. At that time, I know that,
19 in view of the isolation of the Lasva Valley and the impossibility to
20 deblock the media, we, the Croats in Central Bosnia, received the only
21 information -- the only information accessible to us was from those press
22 conferences held in Busovaca, sometimes in Vitez, or I don't know where.
23 That is, we were completely cut off. We simply could not listen to the
24 news. They were all Muslim news, so that we had no knowledge of what was
25 going on in our areas. And it was those press conferences which I believe
1 were held weekly, and I wanted to watch that and to see what was going
2 on. So that we were, I mean, cut off.
3 MR. SAYERS:
4 Q. It's not surprising, Colonel, I think you'll agree, that
5 Mr. Kordic and Colonel Blaskic would be seen together when they would
6 attend these press conferences each week.
7 A. Yes, that's right.
8 Q. The final topic that I would like to cover with you in your
9 cross-examination, Colonel, is the subject of the SIS centre about which
10 you were asked some questions yesterday and some individuals that you
11 identified. But before I do that, did you ever hear of Mr. Kordic or
12 Mr. Kostroman having serious disputes or disagreements with the civilian
13 HVO leaders in Vitez or Busovaca or Novi Travnik?
14 A. No, I don't know anything about it.
15 Q. All right. Let's turn to some of the names that you were asked
16 about yesterday, the first being Miso Mijic. The fact of the matter is,
17 Colonel, that Mr. Mijic has a long background in drug trafficking, arms
18 smuggling, and he was actually drummed out of SIS by Ivica Lucic as a
19 result of those criminal connections; isn't that right?
20 A. Your Honours, I don't know. I know Miso Mijic very well as a man,
21 as a man who was in the Travnik municipality even while he played football
22 in Travnik.
23 Q. What can you tell us about his criminal background, if anything?
24 A. Your Honours, I know Mijic, I mean, from Travnik days, at the time
25 when he played football, when he was a member of Travnik club Borac. We
1 played together. And then he left. Since he was a good player, he joined
2 Zeljeznicar football club. And for a while -- he was not there long and
3 then he fell ill, and I believe he was retired; that is, he received a
4 pension from Zeljeznicar football club.
5 However, later on in the war he also received some welfare from
6 the HVO; that is, he presented his former illness. I don't know what
7 channels he used, but he managed to get out some benefits, some fringe
8 benefits and compensation, as if he had fallen ill during the war and due
9 to the war, which is not true.
10 Miso Mijic, at the moment -- that is, as far as I know --
11 immediately after the judgement of Colonel Blaskic was pronounced, went
12 to -- left for Australia or Canada, I wouldn't know exactly -- with his
13 family, and he seldom came to Central Bosnia. And even when he came, he
15 I know that in 1992, at the time when I was with the military
16 police of the municipal staff in Travnik, that he then held a card of the
17 military police of the Travnik municipal staff, signed by late Ivica
18 Stojak, the commander. He and those like him, Voloder, and not to list
19 others, and certain Muslims, had identical cards issued by late Stojak,
20 and they, pretending they were the special police, broke into some flats
21 in Travnik, regardless of whether they were Serb or Muslim or Croat, and
22 they robbed them of jewellery, of gold, of valuables, of money. I did
23 have a meeting with late Commander Ivica Stojak and I suggested to him to
24 urgently abolish those cards because there was the military police in
25 Travnik and there was no need for them to have such cards, and at that
1 time, Ivica Stojak, the then-commander, promised me that he would do that.
2 Q. Did this man, Mijic, ever have any official function of any type,
3 as far as you're aware, representing any organisation in Central Bosnia
4 prior to the time that he fled to Mostar?
5 A. I don't remember.
6 Q. There's no question, sir, that he was not actually involved at any
7 time in military matters, and in fact had been banned from attending any
8 meetings of the military commanders of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone
9 and of the military police by Colonel Blaskic; correct?
10 A. Never was meetings [as interpreted]. I guess so.
11 Q. You were never informed, I take it, sir, as the head of military
12 police, that this dubious individual was masquerading as the supposed
13 chief of the SIS centre, were you?
14 A. Sorry?
15 Q. Were you ever informed that this man Mijic was masquerading as the
16 putative or the supposed chief of something called the SIS centre in
17 Central Bosnia?
18 A. Yes. He posed as such.
19 Q. Do you know whether he was or he wasn't? Did you ever see any
20 orders from anybody in Mostar that actually gave him that status or title,
21 or any authority, anything of that variety?
22 A. No, I never saw that.
23 Q. You never saw any documents that were generated by this man or by
24 the body that he claimed to represent, the SIS centre, did you, sir?
25 A. No, never.
1 MR. SAYERS: All right. With the Court's permission, I'd like to
2 have one final exhibit marked, and this is the last series of questions
3 that I have. This is one of the anonymous documents, Your Honour, that
4 has been --
5 JUDGE MAY: Before you do, it's almost time for a break. It may
6 be sensible to break now.
7 MR. SAYERS: Yes. Thank you.
8 JUDGE MAY: Have you got many more minutes?
9 MR. SAYERS: I'm happy to say, Mr. President, that I will meet my
10 projection. I would anticipate 20 more minutes of examination of this
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll break now until --
13 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, excuse me for a moment.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. SCOTT: It just may assist the Court's scheduling if I can
16 just tell the Chamber that it appears that, based on the most current
17 information, Witness AO will not be appearing today or tomorrow, and we
18 expect that the other two witnesses, Mr. Morsink and Mr. Husic, can be
19 taken in short order. So we would expect that, depending on the Cerkez
20 examination, that we could finish the evidence this afternoon.
21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you. We'll adjourn now until half
22 past 11.00.
23 --- Recess taken at 10.58 a.m.
24 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
25 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President. Could I just point out one
1 translation error? Page 27, line 19, it's been translated to be Colonel
2 Kordic, but my Croatian assistant points out to me that the witness
3 actually said "Mr." Kordic.
4 I wonder if I might ask the usher to put on the ELMO a document
5 dated or purportedly dated February the 8th of 1994. It has the initials
6 "BS" on it, and the identification numbers at the top right-hand corner
7 are L0025001 to 09.
8 Q. A couple of questions, Colonel Palavra. Could you just review
9 this document briefly and let me know if you've ever seen it before.
10 MR. SAYERS: Actually, you have the wrong -- it should be the
11 first page of the document. It's 001 on the top, right-hand -- thank
13 Q. Now, Colonel, have you ever seen this document before?
14 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I see this document.
15 Q. Let me just ask you a couple of questions for a few minutes in
16 connection with this. The author of this document contends that the SIS
17 centre was set up pursuant to an order dated March the 19th, 1993. Now,
18 have you ever seen such an order from the security administration's chief?
19 A. No. I never saw something like that.
20 Q. All right.
21 MR. SAYERS: And Mr. President, I don't believe that this order
22 has been marked as an exhibit yet, and it hasn't been produced in any of
23 the so-called Zagreb materials.
24 Q. The author of this document, sir, makes the contention that
25 differences and lack of understanding in relations between the Vitez
1 military district started from the very first day of the alleged
2 operations of this entity, this SIS centre. Do you know anything about
3 that, any differences of opinion between people who purportedly
4 represented themselves as the SIS centre, Mijic being one of them, as
5 you've said, and Voloder being another? And Colonel Blaskic on the other
6 hand, of course.
7 A. Your Honours, I don't know anything about this. All I know is
8 that I, as the commander of the 4th Battalion of military police,
9 cooperated with the Security Service at the Central Bosnia Operative Zone,
10 and that's all I know.
11 Q. All right, that's fine. If you take a look on the first page, it
12 continues that the main obstacle to the work of this SIS centre outfit
13 from the very beginning is alleged to have been Ante Sliskovic. Do you
14 know anything about that at all? Do you know whether that's truthful or
16 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I see this piece of
17 information. As regards Ante Sliskovic, I haven't read this. I would
18 like to read it, and then I might be able to say more about it. But as
19 far as I know, as regards the army, Ante Sliskovic was the assistant
20 commander for security, and I cooperated with him. But the SIS centre is
21 unknown to me; I'm not familiar with it.
22 Q. Yes, sir. The only authorised official representing the security
23 and information service of whom you were ever aware throughout your time
24 at the Central Bosnia Operative Zone was Mr. Sliskovic. Isn't that fair
25 to say?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. He had the authority to represent the security and information
3 service and, as far as you know, the people claiming to be representatives
4 of this SIS centre outfit did not. Would you agree with that?
5 A. I fully agree.
6 Q. All right. Now, on the bottom of page 1, the author of this
7 document contends that Mr. Sliskovic took the position that this SIS
8 centre body was a paramilitary and illegal formation. Have you ever seen
9 any documents ever, sir, that establish that the SIS centre, or so-called
10 SIS centre, was a legal body, that it had any kind of duly delegated
11 authority from any body that had the ability to give that authority?
12 A. No, I never saw anything like that.
13 Q. Thank you. All right. The person who authored this document also
14 contends that these SIS centre quasi-operatives, if I may describe them
15 that way, apparently had clashes with not only the Central Bosnia
16 Operative Zone command, Colonel Blaskic, but the top political officials
17 as well. And if we go over to page 2, Mr. Usher, it says that these
18 people had attempted to gain control over the SIS centre.
19 Do you know of any facts whatsoever, sir, that would tend to
20 suggest that that statement is accurate, or not?
21 A. Your Honours, I do not know this.
22 Q. All right. So the author goes on to say that because of this
23 obstructionism, or purported obstructionism, on the part of the
24 politicians and the military, then these people, these covert operatives,
25 had to seek the best possible way to function. So what they decided to do
1 was go to the commander of the special purpose unit, the Vitezovi, Darko
2 Kraljevic, and the contention is made that for all practical purposes he
3 is the second most important man in the Vitez Operative Zone. Now,
4 Colonel, that's just not so, is it? Mr. Kraljevic was not in any way the
5 second most important man in the Vitez Operative Zone.
6 A. Your Honours, no. Kraljevic was not in the Central Bosnia
7 Operative Zone at all. He was the commander of the Vitezovi unit. That's
8 what I know.
9 Q. All right. And the author goes on to say that the SIS centre
10 supposedly started operating in early May of 1993 and that reports and
11 findings and suggestions were submitted to Colonel Blaskic personally, as
12 can be seen, so the author says, "from our files." Have you ever seen any
13 documents, reports, findings, or suggestions that were ever authored by
14 any purported representative of this entity, the SIS centre, that were
15 sent to Colonel Blaskic, sir?
16 A. Your Honours, no. I never saw such documents. At least, they
17 were not accessible to me, if there were any such documents.
18 MR. SAYERS: Very well. The document then goes on to describe
19 report numbers, and gives a subject of the reports. And I'm sure if I'm
20 wrong, I'll be corrected, but let me just represent to the Trial Chamber
21 that these documents have not been marked as exhibits and they've not been
22 identified as Zagreb materials.
23 JUDGE MAY: Well, now, what are you asking, Mr. Sayers, that we do
24 with these documents?
25 MR. SAYERS: With this document? I'm just using this document,
1 Your Honour, to -- as an exemplar illustration, if you like, of foundation
2 for similar types of documents, using this witness's personal knowledge as
3 a participant in affairs that this document purportedly describes.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but are you asking for the document to be
6 MR. SAYERS: No, not at all. In fact, our position is that this
7 is not a proper exhibit at all.
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, then, I'm not sure on what basis you can
9 possibly refer to it if it's not an exhibit. Either the document is
10 exhibited, in which case you can refer to it, or it's not an exhibit, in
11 which case it's not before the Trial Chamber. I don't think you can have
12 it both ways.
13 MR. SAYERS: I understand the point that you make, Mr. President.
14 I don't mind, frankly, having it marked as an exhibit, but I don't want
15 there to be any suggestion on the record that we recognise that this is in
16 any way a real or a valid document or that it actually records events
17 which occurred. We consider this document to be pretty much the product
18 of fiction on the part of people who are trying to evade military service
19 and who were largely involved in criminal activities, as the witness has
20 already said. But we can have it marked as an exhibit if you wish.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We take the view that the matter should be
23 exhibited, whatever value it may have or not have.
24 MR. SAYERS: I have extra copies for the Court.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked Defence Exhibit
2 [Trial Chamber confers]
3 MR. SAYERS: And for the Trial Chamber's information, we've
4 reached page 3 of the English translation, L0025003.
5 Q. All right. Let's take a look at one of these reports that's
6 mentioned in the top paragraph there, sir. Supposedly there's an order
7 number -- and the document says that, but it's dated October 3rd, 1993,
8 regarding the line of defence at Zaselje. If we go to page 4, the first
9 full paragraph in that page says: "Our operatives have been denied
10 freedom of movement and access either to military units or the lines of
12 Can you tell us, sir, whether you've ever seen any report
13 regarding the line of defence at Zaselje, dated October 3rd, 1993? Does
14 that ring a bell or is that completely foreign to you?
15 A. Your Honours, this piece of information is something I see for the
16 first time.
17 Q. Very well. The next paragraph on page 3 goes on to say that
18 apparently an operative by the name of Adjaip, who I believe is the Boris
19 Adjaip you described yesterday, made a suggestion to Colonel Blaskic, and
20 supposedly Colonel Blaskic made fun of this suggestion and belittled it.
21 What can you tell us about this individual Adjaip? Do you know anything
22 about him?
23 A. Your Honours, as far as I know, Adjaip also went to Herzegovina.
24 What he did there, I really don't know, but he left for Herzegovina very
25 quickly and he probably went to the Republic of Croatia. I don't know
1 anything about him except that, when I was in Travnik, he was involved in
2 some sort of logistics, but I don't know exactly what he did.
3 Q. And I'm going to suggest to you, sir, that Mr. Adjaip left the
4 jurisdiction in a serious hurry, along with Mr. Mijic, after the Tuka
5 murder; isn't that right?
6 A. What murder?
7 Q. Zoran Tuka.
8 A. Yes. Yes. They all went there.
9 Q. All right. The author of this report then goes on to say that
10 this SIS centre outfit has supposedly submitted 54 written reports to the
11 Vitez Operative Zone command. Once again, I think it's accurate to say
12 that you never saw any such reports, if they were indeed submitted; right?
13 A. Your Honours, precisely. I didn't see any of those documents, nor
14 was I supposed to see it. If they were sent, then Anto Sliskovic or
15 Colonel Blaskic would know about them. It wasn't my place to know about
16 them. This is the first time I see this information and these documents
17 issued by this SIS service.
18 Q. All right. The next contention that is made is that Mr. Sliskovic
19 put Mr. Mirko Selak in the military detention facility at Busovaca in July
20 of 1993. Do you know anything about that?
21 A. Your Honours, I know that Selak was in Kaonik, in Busovaca, but I
22 don't know anything else about it.
23 Q. You've never heard any contention that Mr. Selak, this supposed
24 representative of the SIS centre outfit, was improperly jailed, have you?
25 A. No, no.
1 Q. If we could go over to the next page, page 4, Mr. Usher. The
2 author of this document says that, as I've just recited, the CSIS or SIS
3 centre operatives have supposedly been denied freedom of movement and
4 access to military units or lines of defence. Would you agree with me,
5 sir, that it would be absolutely impossible to write informed reports
6 about lines of defence front lines if you don't go there?
7 A. Precisely so.
8 Q. And in addition, as we've seen from tab 8, I believe, of the
9 exhibits we used with you, sir, Colonel Blaskic refused permission to
10 these people to attend meetings of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone
11 command. So there's no way that these people, from personal knowledge,
12 would know of anything that was discussed in the Central Bosnia Operative
13 Zone command meetings, the military police discussions, or the discussions
14 of the duly authorised representatives of the security and information
15 service, is there?
16 A. Your Honours, that's how it should be.
17 Q. Now, the last paragraph on this page makes the observation that
18 these people participated in numerous operations carried out by the
19 Vitezovi. And you've previously told us that, in your view, sir, the
20 people that you've identified, this Mijic, Adjaip, Voloder, these were all
21 people that were operating with Mr. Kraljevic, the commander of the
22 Vitezovi, correct?
23 A. Yes, yes, precisely so.
24 Q. All right.
25 A. And, Your Honours, they were even under Kraljevic's protection. I
1 remember in the Security Service after the signing of the ceasefire, a
2 certain amount of weapons were confiscated by Mijic, Voloder, and their
3 men from citizens, allegedly for the needs of the SIS, and they issued
4 receipts, which they signed. So that after the signing of the ceasefire
5 in 1995 and even in 1996, many citizens of Croatian nationality asked for
6 their weapons to be returned to them -- they were hunting rifles, pistols
7 -- because they had properly-signed receipts, signed by Mijic and
8 Voloder, saying that these weapons were being temporarily requisitioned
9 for the needs of the army; but no one ever got their weapon back.
10 Q. The long and the short of it is that this Mijic and Voloder and
11 other CSIS representatives you've identified stole these weapons, isn't
12 that right?
13 A. Well, that's how it turned out to be. There has to be some
14 information about what happened to those weapons. Maybe they sold them, I
15 don't know, but people went to the legitimate Security Service with the
16 army, and I saw those documents in the command in the SIS centre.
17 Q. All right. Going on, sir, there's a reference on page 5 of the
18 English version of this document to Colonel Blaskic responding to a
19 request for lists of people in the Operative Zone submitted by these SIS
20 centre people, and he basically refused to give them any information about
21 the people under his command, any lists of the people under his command.
22 Were you aware of any such requests being made by these people?
23 A. No, no.
24 Q. Let me go to the next page, please. The author then goes on to
25 say that, basically, CSIS was, to a large degree, left to its own
1 devices. And that's the case, isn't it? These people were operating
2 basically without authority and without any official work, as far as you
3 knew; just as sometime members of the Vitezovi sometimes stealing weapons
4 from people?
5 MR. SCOTT: Sir, I have to object. At some point there has to
6 come a limit to the characterisations or arguments of counsel.
7 MR. SAYERS:
8 Q. Colonel, you can answer the question, I think. These people had
9 no authority, they were thieves, they had no officially-defined mission,
10 as far as you knew, in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, isn't that
12 A. Your Honours, I said that when the Croats were expelled from
13 Travnik, it was this group that went to the free territory under the
14 control of the HVO. In Travnik, they were in a unit called Rozebrandi,
15 and their status there was also undefined.
16 On their arrival in Vitez, I said I have no idea where they were.
17 I knew they were in hiding and that they asked for protection from the
18 commander of the Vitezovi, that is, Kraljevic, and they were with him.
19 Q. All right. But the point that I was making is that these people
20 were thieves and, as far as you knew, had absolutely no officially-defined
21 mission in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, that they were just acting
22 as sometime members of the Vitezovi, right?
23 A. Well, that's how it turns out to be.
24 Q. Yes, all right. The author of this document also goes on, in the
25 middle of the page, to say that he supposedly received some instructions
1 expounding the place and the role of the CSIS in Central Bosnia in
2 concrete and unambiguous terms. Now, have you ever seen any such
3 instructions, Colonel?
4 A. No, never.
5 Q. And if we could turn to the next page, please. I'm going to
6 suggest to you, Colonel, that the next entry throws a lot of light upon
7 what these people were really about. In the middle of the page there, we
8 say -- we see that the observation is made that, being unable to establish
9 professional cooperation with the Vitez Operative Zone, and not having
10 during its entire existence received any kind of assistance by way of fuel
11 or things like that, the CSIS proceeded to steal electric power or to
12 connect illegally the electric power, and then deliberately to keep their
13 premises dim so the police wouldn't find out about it and disconnect it.
14 Now, were you ever aware that power was being diverted along these
15 lines, and these people were trying to stop the police from finding out
16 about it?
17 A. Your Honours, this is the first time I hear this. There's no
18 reason, because they had enough time to clear this up. And Mr. Kordic
19 would know about this, and Mr. Valenta would know about this, and Colonel
20 Blaskic would know about this. They could have solved this at a higher
21 level. All this about the SIS centre, I don't know any of it.
22 Q. All right. If we could go to the next page, there's an incident
23 that's described that supposedly involves you, Colonel. This incident
24 occurred on the 19th of December, 1993, and the allegation is made that
25 some of these SIS centre people turned up at a helicopter landing site in
1 Bucici, hoping to transport some computer equipment and other material,
2 and that when they arrived at the landing site, Colonel Blaskic's personal
3 bodyguards opened fire on them. And then you supposedly prevented them
4 from being present when the helicopter landed.
5 Is there -- can you throw any light on that incident, Colonel?
6 A. Your Honours, my task was -- that I had also the order of Colonel
7 Blaskic to -- only those persons who were on the list for the party for
8 Central Bosnia, that is, to allow only those persons who were on the list
9 for the party for Central Bosnia, to allow them to board the helicopter.
10 And I know that the list contained only the names of wounded and the
11 wounded only, and then it also said, "And if there is room for others,"
12 then the next one on the list. Not on a single list did figure Mijic or
13 Voloder or their team.
14 I only -- I saw them only once at Bucici when the helicopter
15 landed, and that very moment I ordered them off. There were allegedly to
16 go in the direction of Herzegovina. And with them they were carrying -- I
17 looked at what it was, it was computers, and at that very moment I ordered
18 that back. So once I turned them back, but they then came again. And I
19 believe that those parcels did leave, but I did not allow them to leave.
20 And I reported to Colonel Blaskic about it, telling him that that should
21 not happen again.
22 Q. The author of this document goes on to say that a computer
23 monitor, supposedly belonging to Boras Adjaip went missing, and that these
24 people supposedly contacted you, and you told them that you had -- that
25 they could sue either the Operative Zone or you personally, whichever
1 suited them. Is there any truth in that?
2 A. Your Honours, you can see for yourselves. In this, I am mentioned
3 in this document. I don't know where did Boras Adjaip get a computer or a
4 monitor. I do know at that time at the Princip, that is in Vitez, I mean
5 a company, were they together with Kraljevic and his, his small team where
6 they were stealing computers. And until I turned up at the helicopter,
7 they used to sell them down there in Herzegovina, using what channels I
8 don't know. But it is these computers, and in one case, a computer and a
9 monitor. And when --
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, this isn't important. It seems to me it
11 is going somewhere from the point. You were going to finish in 20
13 MR. SAYERS: I'm going to finish in one minute, Your Honour, if I
15 Q. The next comment and final comment is on page 9, sir, where
16 supposedly on January the 1st, 1994, the police received an order to bring
17 in these people and assign them to military duties to the 3rd Battalion of
18 the Viteska Brigade, and then certain other allegations are made after
20 Let me just suggest to you that that reveals the truth of the
21 situation. It shows what really is going on, and that these people were
22 thieves and criminals trying to duck military service by pretending to be
23 carrying out some sort of unofficial, covert, civilian --
24 THE INTERPRETER: Slow down, Mr. Sayers, please.
25 MR. SAYERS:
1 Q. Some sort of unofficial, covert, civilian spying for a shadowy
2 organisation that had no official function whatsoever in Central Bosnia,
3 isn't that the case?
4 A. Your Honours, that's what it looks like indeed, because when we
5 realised what they were and who they were, then naturally they also had to
6 be assigned to the front lines, like everybody else. That is, they were
7 sent to the front line, where they had never been.
8 MR. SAYERS: Thank you. [Previous translation continues] ... Your
10 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
11 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Palavra. I am Bozidar
12 Kovacic and I'm counsel for Mario Cerkez. I'm counsel for Mario Cerkez
13 with my colleague, Mr. Mikulicic. I also have some questions for you.
14 They won't take too long.
15 You said that you came to Vitez after you had to withdraw from
16 Travnik in June 1993; is that correct?
17 A. It is.
18 Q. You said that, for a short while before you were assigned to a new
19 duty at the military police -- with the military police, that a short
20 while then you spent at the defence line. Could you just briefly indicate
21 the exact locations.
22 A. Your Honours, I was in the area of responsibility of Travnik
23 Brigade, that is, at Prahulje, up there at Prahulje. I was also -- now,
24 what was that called? Gostinj, so up there. Bosnjakov Gaj. These are
25 the locations where I was, so that was the area of responsibility of the
1 Travnik Brigade.
2 Q. Colonel Palavra, you will agree with me that that area of
3 responsibility was outside the municipal -- Vitez municipal boundaries?
4 A. Yes. That is the municipality of Travnik.
5 Q. Thank you. At the time when you arrived in the Vitez territory,
6 until your assignment, how familiar were you with the situation in Vitez
7 with regard to the structure and other elements of the HVO functioning in
8 Vitez, especially in terms of the brigade?
9 A. Your Honours, I was not familiar at all.
10 Q. So is it then true that when you carried out the duties that you
11 did carry out in Travnik, because you were pushed out of there, you did
12 not have any relevant information about the HVO in general, the HVO in
13 general, and that would include the Vitez Brigade in Vitez?
14 A. Yes, indeed. That's right.
15 Q. Thank you. In Central Bosnia is it correct to say that the HVO
16 began to organise its brigades as of December 1992 onward?
17 A. I believe so.
18 Q. And before that, there were the municipal staffs. You told us
19 about them yourself.
20 A. That's right. That's right.
21 Q. Did you learn when you arrived in Vitez that the Vitez Brigade, in
22 contrast with almost all other brigades, was founded only as late as the
23 latter half of March 1993?
24 A. Believe me, I really don't know those dates.
25 Q. I see. You do not know the exact date.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you ever learn that that brigade was founded later than other
4 A. Yes, but I don't know when exactly.
5 Q. Thank you. But you no doubt know that that was much later in
6 comparison with other brigades?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Did you, prior to that time -- or rather, in July, and
9 then especially in August, when you became the police commander, perhaps
10 in due course you received some information, an idea about the level of
11 structuring of the Vitez Brigade on the day when the conflict broke out
12 between the BH army and the HVO?
13 A. No.
14 Q. So you did not hear any stories about how the brigade was at a
15 very low organisational level at the time when the war began?
16 A. Your Honours, not only the Vitez Brigade; all the brigades were at
17 a low level.
18 Q. Thank you. You told us how in fact you were not in a position to
19 command your companies in Kiseljak and Zepce simply because you were
20 physically cut off from those towns since they were completely encircled
21 and they were practically commanded by local commanders -- I don't
22 know -- Rajic in Kiseljak and so on; is that correct?
23 A. Oh, yes, quite. Since it was impossible to communicate with units
24 of the 2nd Company in Kiseljak and the 3rd Company in Zepce, my
25 subordinate commanders were at the disposal, both at Rajic's and General
1 Lozancic's, at the time.
2 Q. Very well. I don't think there is any question about it. After
3 all, you did mention it and we already heard it umpteen times before the
4 Court. So will you please answer only with "yes" or "no." But the
5 commander of the Operative Zone was in Vitez; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And in the town itself, the 4th HVO Battalion was also
8 headquartered -- I mean, the 4th Battalion of the Military Police was in
9 Vitez too?
10 A. Yes. It was housed in the police building, with the police
11 administration on the upper floor. Those were the premises of the former
12 Territorial Defence, as far as I know.
13 Q. And that was the situation also before you came?
14 A. That's right.
15 Q. And finally, the command of the Vitez Brigade was also in Vitez?
16 A. Yes. The command of the Vitez Brigade was also in Vitez, in the
17 Hrvatski Dom.
18 Q. Which is a couple hundred metres from those other locations that
19 you mentioned?
20 A. Your Honours, it is all within 100-, 150-metre circle.
21 Q. Will you -- oh, excuse me. I am being too fast. Would you agree
22 with me, then, that insofar as communication was concerned between
23 different commands, in contrast with the situation that you used to have
24 when the commanders of military police with Kiseljak and Zepce, that in
25 this particular case there was not that problem in communication between
1 the Operative Zone, military police; military police and the Vitez
2 Brigade; the Vitez Brigade and the Operative Zone and the like?
3 A. Yes, I can agree with this. We could do it even if we did not
4 have any telecommunication means. We could do it on foot or with
5 couriers, so on and so forth.
6 Q. So in that regard, Vitez was under specifics [as interpreted]
7 because all the commands were located there?
8 A. Yes, that's quite right.
9 Q. You mentioned something. There was mention about the brigade
10 military police. Did you, at the time when you became the commander, get
11 any relevant information about a military police platoon attached to the
12 Vitez Brigade to provide security for the buildings and the like? Did you
13 have any information as to how that had been solved by that time, or
14 before your arrival there?
15 A. Your Honours, I don't really remember. You know, it was seven
16 years ago. But I know that the brigade platoons of the military police
17 had their specific tasks, and that was to secure the command posts, of the
18 brigades, that is, and to bring in to the brigades people under different
19 disciplinary sections. Those were their powers. And as for the curfew,
20 which was controlled by the military police at the time, that is, the
21 regional one, so all they did do was bring under custody, and the brigade
22 police. Those were their powers: Only bringing in within their own
23 brigade and command posts which they secured. Those were their only terms
24 of reference. All the rest was done by the brigade police.
25 Q. Perhaps now is the right time to ask you, since you mention it.
1 Did these duties that you mentioned were the mandate of the brigade
2 police, would it also cover what you call military police affairs?
3 A. Yes, some of them.
4 Q. Yes, yes, some of them. But there are other military police
5 affairs, aren't there?
6 THE INTERPRETER: The witness did not answer.
7 JUDGE MAY: We didn't get an answer to that question. What does
8 the question in fact mean, Mr. Kovacic?
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. It must
10 have been my mistake.
11 Q. You mentioned that those were so-called military police affairs,
12 those that we mentioned: Bringing in soldiers, members of the brigade,
13 and security, providing security, looking after the safety of the
14 command. Is that so?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So I'm talking in police terms. When you say "providing security
17 for the command," that means the building, the facility housing the
18 command, and personnel?
19 A. That's right. That was their task. And other military police
20 tasks -- for instance, escorting convoys, manning checkpoints -- that was
21 done by the regional police. The observations of the curfew, that was all
22 done by the regional police. That was not within the authority of the
23 brigade military police.
24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Palavra, tell us: Did you have an opportunity to
25 see, because it was all going on before you came there, but did you ever
1 see an order issued by the command of the 4th Battalion of the Military
2 Police which would -- addressing the platoon assigned to staff security
3 there, that that attached formally that platoon to the command of the
4 Vitez Brigade? Do you remember anything like that?
5 A. Your Honours, it was a long time ago, but I think that that is how
6 it was.
7 Q. But you are not quite sure?
8 A. I don't remember, I cannot really say yes or no. It was just too
9 long ago.
10 Q. So you do not know exactly from your personal experience whether
11 there was such an order?
12 A. I don't know. It's possible that there was, because I know that
13 the brigade police, not only of the Vitez Brigade but of the other
14 brigades as well, communicated with the command of the 4th Military Police
16 Q. Thank you. But at the time when you became the commander, is it
17 fair to say that there were certain ambiguities, that members of that
18 particular platoon had their own views, under whom they were and who was
19 their commander, that the brigade also had its requests with regard to
20 your command? Is that fair to say?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. I will show you a document -- no. Let me ask you this first: Do
23 you remember if you personally asked Blaskic to clarify the situation
24 toward the lines and define who is under whom, who commands whom?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Now I will show you a document. I will ask you to comment on it.
2 It is D91/2, order of Colonel Blaskic's of the 18th of August, 1993. Will
3 you have a look at this, please. My question to you is to round off this
4 set of questions and also on the basis of this document. This is at the
5 time when you were already the commander of the regional military police,
6 and you're obviously interested in this subject professionally. Would you
7 agree with me that, as of that day, there were no more problems and it was
8 evident who commanded the brigade police in Vitez?
9 A. Your Honours, not only in Vitez; in all the brigades.
10 Q. I mean those which were under the command of the Operative Zone.
11 A. That's right.
12 Q. And incidentally, since you mentioned others, were there any
13 similar problems in other brigades as well?
14 A. Yes, there were problems.
15 Q. Since those other brigades were in towns which were at some
16 distance, some completely cut off from the Operative Zone, would it be
17 correct to say that this situation was dissolved on a case-by-case basis,
18 depending on the possibilities, in view of the circumstances?
19 A. Yes, that's how it was. I agree.
20 Q. So, you will agree that, as regards the membership in formations
21 of the subordination of those platoons of the military police attached to
22 brigades, this situation in Central Bosnia was not necessarily identical
23 from one municipality to the other?
24 A. Yes, quite so.
25 Q. And I guess you will agree, in view of what we have just talked
1 about, and especially with regard to the time in the previous period and
2 the later period, that there was a difference?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 A. Your Honours, may I just add, that as original police, that is,
6 the 4th Military Police Battalion, looked -- provided the brigade,
7 platoons with patches, that is, with military police insignia. They
8 received them from us.
9 Q. In view of what you have just said, does that mean that
10 administratively, in any case administratively, those members, although
11 they were attached at some point, clearly attached to brigade commanders,
12 but administratively, they were under the command of the regional
14 A. Yes, quite, because at that time, brigades could not issue the
15 military police -- patches to military police, and they got those patches
16 from the 4th Battalion military police, and the 4th Battalion of the
17 military police received them from the police administration with a seat
18 in Ljubuski.
19 Q. Does that also mean that those military policemen from those
20 platoons, in those platoons, their rights, exercised those rights -- or
21 rather, their payrolls, that they were on the payrolls of the 4th
22 Battalion, in your particular case?
23 A. Yes, indeed. And all the training, and all the training that was
24 organised was also -- also involved the brigade police.
25 Q. Were they issued with weapons and ammunition and other gear, if
1 you remember it, of course?
2 A. I believe that many of them were issued with those by the military
3 police, but because the military police lacked them, too, some of them may
4 have been issued with the relevant gear by the brigade.
5 Q. Do you remember, since you received all sorts of reports, what
6 kind of a stamp did they use when they sent their reports, either to
7 brigade commanders or the 4th Battalion, that is, the commander of the 4th
8 Battalion? Is it true that they had a stamp which showed clearly that
9 they belonged to the military police?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. I'm trying to cut this short, if possible.
12 In addition to military police affairs performed by the military
13 police and that we touched upon, and one can find it in detail in a
14 document that was shown yesterday, Z2340, and I do not wish -- I do not
15 want to waste any more time. This is a document which describes police
16 province, police jurisdiction. Yet you told us about this, that the
17 military police discharged some business of typical military units. You
18 even mentioned, if I'm right, that you intervened in a number of
19 situations when the front line was in peril or when it was broken through,
20 when it fell, and that your units then went at those critical points in
21 order to stop the breakthrough of the adversary forces; is that correct?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. But these are purely combat activities, isn't it?
24 A. Yes. And there was such an incident when there was a convoy
25 leading to Novi -- on its way to Nova Bila, the so-called Bijeli Put, the
1 white pass. At that time, the Krizancevo Selo was victimised, that is,
2 the Muslim forces had attacked it. And as soon as the convoy had got on,
3 that is, the white pass, the members of the military police did, did not
4 sleep for three nights because that very moment they went out to
5 intervene, that is, stop the Muslim attacks, and they went directly to the
6 front line.
7 Q. The members of your military police in such actions, you
8 personally had to order them to go to such and such location with such and
9 such task; is that correct?
10 A. Of course. Who else would do that?
11 Q. And who did issue orders to you?
12 A. It was Colonel Blaskic who issued orders to me.
13 Q. Colonel Palavra, was Mario Cerkez authorised to issue such orders?
14 A. No. Not only Mario Cerkez, but no brigade -- or rather, every
15 brigade commander had to seek authority of Colonel Blaskic, and only
16 Colonel Blaskic would then transmit to me whatever was necessary.
17 Q. I suppose -- yes, I see that I'm too fast.
18 I suppose that you must remember some of the situations when the
19 brigade commander asked for some assistance in order to, in order to save
20 a part of the front line, and that requested assistance from you, and that
21 Colonel Blaskic asked it from you. Is that correct? You don't have to
22 give us examples.
23 A. Yes, it is correct.
24 Q. Is it also possible that, in some emergency, you acted on the
25 direct order of Mario Cerkez's?
1 A. No. There would always be somebody from the Operative Zone,
2 whether the chief or Colonel Blaskic or the duty -- the operations officer
3 on duty, somebody had to do that.
4 Q. In point of fact, according to some information available to us,
5 you took great care, very meticulously, that there be an order, a very
6 precise order determining the area, the task, and so forth; is that
8 A. Yes, indeed. I cannot do something which is vague.
9 Q. Did you at any moment -- or rather, you said at a moment that
10 Blaskic could not have ordered an investigation into criminal offences.
11 Do you think Cerkez could have done so? Do you think Cerkez's authority
12 was different from that of Blaskic in that realm?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you. Mr. Palavra, let me ask you first, you had an
15 assistant besides the Santic who we have mentioned. I think we also
16 mentioned Jukic, a pre-war policeman, who knew -- who was familiar with
17 the law and criminal proceedings?
18 A. Yes, Marijan Jukic.
19 Q. And the department Jukic was in was engaged in criminal
20 prosecution; is that correct?
21 A. He was in the crime military police.
22 Q. As the commander, were you familiar with the fact that every
23 citizen under the then legislation adopted by the Republic of Bosnia and
24 Herzegovina and the Croatian community as well, that under the then valid
25 legislation, every citizen, or every soldier in this case, including the
1 brigade commander, could submit a criminal report if he knew that a crime
2 had been committed; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And such a criminal report in the case of Vitez would have been
5 submitted to your crime service; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. And then this service would have sent it on to the military
7 prosecutor's office at that time if there were indications or grounds to
8 suspect, and that a report had to be submitted.
9 Q. To avoid any misunderstanding, if a report was received from
10 anyone, any citizen, including Cerkez, your crime detection service would
11 have looked at the evidence, clues, traces, and so on, and processed
12 these; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And in any case, would have submitted a report to the public
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. The military public prosecutor?
18 A. Yes. We did that on a weekly and monthly basis.
19 Q. Colonel Palavra, the military prosecutor's office as an organ
20 under the law functioned in Vitez. You mentioned Mr. Mario Jurkovic a
21 while ago.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Of course, in the given circumstances as far as was possible?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And the military court existed?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And there were cases where proceedings were instituted; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you remember the approximate number of criminal reports
6 submitted by your service from August 1993 until the end of 1993 to the
7 public prosecutor?
8 A. Your Honours, I don't remember, but I know that certainly there
9 were over 500. I don't know the exact number. I think it was about 546,
10 perhaps, but I can't remember.
11 Q. Mr. Palavra, in any case, we are talking about several hundred and
12 not several dozen; is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. When we say "submitted to the public prosecutor," for the sake of
15 the record, we are referring to the military prosecutor; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. It was the military prosecutor at the time.
17 Q. Is it correct that your service processing criminal reports, when
18 a criminal offence was reported to you, that you processed every report
19 you received from anyone; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember that you also received such reports from the
22 brigade command, either through their reports on incidents or through
23 especially written reports; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, I remember that. There were cases like that.
25 Q. For the sake of the record, let me mention a document Z1245.4 that
1 was presented yesterday. It was a report from the 2nd Vitez Battalion,
2 and you said that it referred to, among other things, the car thefts, and
3 you said that Anto Furundzija had been punished for it; is that correct?
4 And my question is the following: Was that incident treated as a
5 disciplinary infraction or as a criminal offence; do you remember that?
6 A. I think it was both a disciplinary infraction, but also a report
7 was submitted against Furundzija.
8 Q. Thank you. Colonel Palavra, during your work in Vitez from the
9 summer of 1993 onwards, did you have occasion to meet Mario Cerkez and to
10 get to know him personally?
11 A. Your Honours, yes. We met at the regular meetings on Fridays or
12 Thursdays, or whenever Colonel Blaskic convened the meeting, and when I
13 took over the duty of commander of the 4th Battalion of the military
14 police, I visited all the commanders of the brigades on the -- in the area
15 of Central Bosnia, in Vitez and Novi Travnik and the part of Travnik and
16 in Busovaca. I think that on two or three occasions, I talked to Mario
17 Cerkez, who was the commander of the Vitez Brigade, about the status of
18 the military police and what should be done further to, to avoid any
20 I have to admit that he received me very politely and supported me
21 in everything I said. He agreed with my ideas.
22 Q. Thank you. Colonel Palavra, you have talked a lot about Vitez,
23 about crime there. Would you agree that in Vitez there was in fact a
24 structure that was interested in order and discipline, and this included
25 both civilians and soldiers, people of importance; but that there was also
1 another group which we could call either close to crime or criminals. Is
2 that correct?
3 A. Your Honours, that is correct because the area of Vitez,
4 unfortunately, after the attack of the Muslim forces on Zenica, Travnik,
5 Kakanj, and Fojnica, many refugees arrived in the area of the Vitez
6 municipality which was under HVO control, and there were all kinds of
7 things going on.
8 Q. Thank you. Colonel Palavra, in your opinion, throughout this time
9 that you knew Cerkez and all the problems you had in the second half of
10 1993 in Vitez, where would you put Cerkez, into which of these two groups,
11 in the first or the second group, or somewhere in between? Can you say
12 that, because you knew what the situation was?
13 A. Your Honours, had Mario Cerkez been different from what he was, he
14 would probably not have been the commander of the Vitez Brigade because I
15 know Colonel Blaskic well, and he would not have allowed it. Cerkez was
16 respected in Vitez, as far as I know.
17 Q. Tell us, Colonel Palavra, did you ever hear any rumours to the
18 effect that Cerkez or his men had committed any war crimes, any kind of
19 war crimes?
20 A. Your Honours, that's a ridiculous question. No, no. Why would
21 they commit crimes?
22 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Perhaps, if the Court will allow, I
23 can put a simple question to the witness.
24 Q. Yesterday there was a question about a certain Mr. Mato Zeko, and
25 you spoke about him, but I'm not interested in him, I'm interested in
1 something else. Was that the only person of the same name and surname
2 that you knew? Was there anyone else with the same name and surname in
3 the area where you lived and worked?
4 A. Excuse me. Your Honours, the name of Mato and the surname of Zeko
5 belonged to one, single individual that I know of. There is, however,
6 someone called Ivica Zeko. So the first name is "Ivica" and the last name
7 "Zeko." That person also exists, and during the wartime events in
8 Central Bosnia, that person is now in the Ministry of Defence of the army
9 of the federation, that's Ivica Zeko. But the only Mato Zeko I know is
10 that one. There may be others, but I don't know about them.
11 Q. Thank you. So this Ivica Zeko that you mentioned was, if I'm
12 correct, the assistant for VOS affairs with Blaskic?
13 A. Yes, that's correct.
14 Q. The assistants that you mentioned earlier at the level of the
15 brigade command, the brigade commander had several assistants; is that
16 correct? You knew that. And he had, among others, an assistant for SIS;
17 is that correct?
18 A. Yes, he did at the time.
19 Q. And you in fact met the late Borislav Josic, who was killed soon
20 after you arrived?
21 A. Unfortunately, I never met him, but I have heard about him. I
22 have heard a lot of good things about him.
23 Q. A lot of good things?
24 A. Yes, that's correct.
25 Q. The assistant for SIS, according to his function, would you agree
1 that his basic task was to inform his commander, in this case the brigade
2 commander, to keep him informed about everything?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. I see I'm talking too fast.
5 Is it correct that, according to his function, this assistant
6 would have another boss?
7 A. Yes, that's correct, and that would be the assistant for security
8 at the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia at the time, and that was Ante
10 Q. Does that mean, Colonel, that if the assistant, in this case the
11 assistant for SIS, contacted you, you would not know whether he was acting
12 on behalf of the brigade commander or on behalf of his other superior in
13 the functional line?
14 A. Could you please repeat the question? I don't understand it.
15 Q. I apologise. I was not clear enough. The assistant for SIS, for
16 example, he comes to you with a request, and you do not necessarily know
17 whether he is asking this as the subordinate of the brigade commander or
18 as the subordinate in this other line, as the assistant in the Operative
20 A. I did know.
21 Q. What was the criterion?
22 A. The criterion was I could be contacted by the assistant for the
23 Operative Zone.
24 Q. Could he have authorised his colleague in the brigade to do
25 something on his behalf?
1 A. Yes, but I would have known about this.
2 Q. That was my question. So you would have had to have been informed
3 about this?
4 A. That's correct.
5 Q. Thank you. One more detail and I will be finished. I would like
6 to make use of your presence here. I know that you have on average about
7 600 men under your command, so you couldn't have known them all, but do
8 you remember in the military police units in Vitez a person named Ivica
9 Markovic from Kotor Varos who was a member of the military police?
10 A. Your Honours, I do not know. There was a Markovic who worked in
11 the crime detection service, but I think he was in Zenica. I don't know.
12 I don't remember.
13 Q. Maybe you can assist us while you are here.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, that is a person who
15 was mentioned by the first witnesses who testified here who were arrested
16 in town and taken to the SDK, so I thought maybe we could see if it was
17 the same person, but evidently this witness doesn't know. I have no
18 further questions.
19 Thank you, Colonel Palavra.
20 Thank you, Your Honour.
21 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Palavra, that concludes the questions you're
22 going to be asked. I said at the outset that if there was anything you
23 wanted to add, we would hear you. We will do so. You don't have to add
24 anything, of course, and only deal with the relevant matters. If there is
25 anything relevant you would like to add, we'll hear it, or otherwise
1 you're free to go. Is there anything you want to add?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, thank you, Your Honour. Thank
3 you very much.
4 JUDGE MAY: Well, thank you for coming, Colonel Palavra. You are
5 free to go.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 [The witness withdrew]
8 MR. SAYERS: If I might just raise one issue, Your Honour. The
9 batting order and witness statements, we don't have a definitive batting
10 order for the witnesses who are going to be testifying next week.
11 JUDGE MAY: That's one of the matters we've got to resolve in the
12 next day.
13 Mr. Scott, which witnesses have you got here now?
14 MR. SCOTT: I think we're prepared, Your Honour, to put
15 Mr. Morsink and Mr. Husic on this afternoon.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We should be able to deal with them without too
17 much difficulty.
18 MR. SCOTT: That's right, and that would be it for the week.
19 JUDGE MAY: And that would be it for the week. We will then have
20 to consider next week which witnesses, first of all, are to be called.
21 You should let the Defence and also the Court know as soon as possible,
22 like this afternoon.
23 MR. SCOTT: I think this afternoon, probably, if we don't --
24 presumably we don't have court tomorrow, then we would let the Chamber
25 know this afternoon.
1 JUDGE MAY: We'll see. I anticipate we'll sit this afternoon,
2 this afternoon and tomorrow, in order to try and deal with the Zagreb
3 documents. If that is so, it means that we can advance all the
4 proceedings for the remainder of the case.
5 MR. SCOTT: The only problem, Your Honour, as Mr. Nice mentioned
6 earlier in the week, is that, to be perfectly honest, although we've tried
7 to accelerate our preparations, much of our schedule is still hinged on
8 certain matters being done on Monday.
9 JUDGE MAY: Let us -- we'll review that this afternoon, but we
10 have in mind to accelerate things in order that we can get the Defence
11 rejoinder evidence in, and the speeches, by the end of the year.
12 MR. SCOTT: I can only tell the Court that some of the materials
13 might not be ready by tomorrow.
14 JUDGE MAY: Let's see how we go. We'll sit again at half past two
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.51 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.34 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I gather there's something you wanted to
3 raise before we get to the witness?
4 MR. NICE: Yes, if I may. It doesn't concern the witness or his
5 evidence at all.
6 The documents that fall for consideration next week were, of
7 course, provided to the Defence a couple of weeks ago. In the intervening
8 weeks the Court wasn't sitting, I inquired via your legal officer whether
9 the Court would itself want copies of the documents or whether it would at
10 that stage want any schedules, and no request for the documents was made,
11 and therefore they haven't been copied. It's quite a big exercise to copy
12 three bundles and add to the weight of paper.
13 But it occurs to me as possible that the Chamber would probably or
14 might benefit by having not just schedules, which can be in final form, I
15 think, this afternoon or certainly tomorrow morning, but might benefit
16 from having the opportunity to look at the documents ahead of next week's
17 hearings. If so, then I'll trigger their copying straight away, and then
18 they might be available -- in fact, I think they could probably be
19 available for the Court tomorrow morning. And I understand the Court was
20 concerned as to how tomorrow morning could be used, and that is at least
21 one way in which it might be used.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We will, after we've heard the evidence today,
23 need to look at all the housekeeping matters.
24 MR. NICE: Of course.
25 JUDGE MAY: But yes, I think copies would be helpful.
1 MR. NICE: Okay, I'll get that done, then, straight away. Thank
2 you for allowing me to raise that.
3 And then I think the witness should probably take the solemn
4 declaration again, but he's probably bound by the first time.
5 JUDGE MAY: He's bound by the first one he took; no need to take
6 it again.
7 MR. NICE: And I think, technically, the position is that the only
8 exhibit for which we wanted to recall is now already in by virtue of the
9 formal statement, subject to the right of Mr. Kovacic for
10 cross-examination. So I don't think there's anything for me to deal with
11 because the exhibit is now in.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Colonel Morsink, thank you for coming back.
13 There is, I'm afraid, one matter of evidence outstanding which was
14 overlooked on the first occasion when you gave evidence. It's in relation
15 to a list of detainees. It is our Exhibit Z591, [transcript read in
16 error"7591], not that you're troubled with that, but one counsel has asked
17 to ask you some questions about it, and we've allowed him to do so.
18 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, of course, you are, as you know,
20 restricted to simply this issue, 591, the list.
21 MR. KOVACIC: Absolutely, Your Honour, yes.
22 JUDGE MAY: It may be helpful if the witness had the exhibit, so
23 you knew what we've been talking about.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Excuse me, Your Honour, could it also be put on
25 the ELMO or could the interpreters get copies?
1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the interpreters haven't got a copy. Is there a
2 copy to be put on the ELMO? Thank you.
3 WITNESS: HENDRIK MORSINK [Recalled]
4 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Morsink, I don't know if you remember that
6 A. I do remember it, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: I think it may have your writing on it.
8 A. That's correct.
9 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps we could begin, since it's in Dutch, if you
10 would translate it for us.
11 A. The translation is, "The list of Muslims being taken prisoner by
12 the HVO Vitez."
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Just for a matter of record, I don't know whether it
15 was the error, but the number of this exhibit was mentioned, 7591. It is
16 actually --
17 JUDGE MAY: Zeta, Zeta 591, or zee.
18 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. Then it is correct so we have a clear
20 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Colonel Morsink. I do apologise
22 for making you come again, but we have a document which you supplied to
23 the Prosecution at a later stage; we thought we should ask you some
24 questions about it.
25 Last time, during your testimony here, you used some notes as an
1 aid. Do you remember that?
2 A. I do remember it, but I brought them with me, the notes.
3 Q. You are not using them now, are you?
4 A. As long as I don't have to need -- use them, I'd rather do it on
5 the basis of my memory, if that's correct.
6 Q. Thank you very much. So we shall talk only about this list. You
7 made your solemn declaration. We already saw it. You attached the list
8 to it. Now, do you confirm that the list that you have before you is the
9 list which you personally handed over to the Prosecution?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Colonel Morsink, and who did you get this list from?
12 A. I got this list from the HVO representative, the liaison officer,
13 Borislav Jozic.
14 Q. Could you please -- no. It seems that I have to wait for the
15 interpreters. Could you perhaps roughly specify when you received it from
16 Borislav Jozic?
17 A. I can't exactly specify the date, but it was somewhere in the end
18 of April 1993.
19 Q. Could we relate it perhaps to some events? Would you know if it
20 was at the time while there were still some detained Muslims in Vitez, or
21 was it after their release?
22 A. As I recall it, there were still quite a lot of people in prisons
23 on both sides, and we were busy trying to get a clear picture of prisoners
24 in all prisons, and this list is part of our attempt to get a clear
1 Q. That was doubtless at the time when a commission, who Jozic was a
2 member of the commission for ceasefire, exchange of prisoners, and so on
3 and so forth, that commission had already been founded and was already
4 working; would that be correct?
5 A. As I recall it, it was more or less in the time that we switched
6 from the Busovaca joint commission on to the new established local joint
8 Q. Could you specify if at the time when the late Boro Jozic gave you
9 this list, had you already -- was it after some other meetings with Boro
10 Jozic and other members of the commission? That is, did you know at that
11 moment that he was already on that commission?
12 A. Are you referring to the local commission where I was -- the
13 commission I was heading and there was also a representative from the
14 other side?
15 Q. Yes. Yes, that commission.
16 A. Part of every day's discussion was, amongst other things, the
17 situation of prisoners in the whole area.
18 Q. Colonel Morsink, would you agree that there is absolutely no doubt
19 that your communication with the late Boro Jozic -- and you tell us that
20 he gave you this list -- that your communication is based on the fact that
21 you know him; he was introduced to you as a member of the commission on
22 behalf of the Croat side, that is, the HVO?
23 A. That's correct.
24 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] And to really be on the safe side, I
25 should like to ask the engineers to show a tape. It is our early Exhibit
1 118/2, adduced with witness Palavra, and it contains a short statement by
2 Mr. Jozic to a television reporter. It does not take -- we shall only
3 show the first part of it, and it is only a minute and 16 seconds. Could
4 the technical booth please show us the tape.
5 [Videotape played]
6 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Yes. We can stop here now. Could
7 we only have the image on the screen, please.
8 Q. Mr. Morsink, do you recognise this gentleman?
9 A. Yes. I recognise him as Mr. Borislav Jozic.
10 Q. And that is the person who gave you the list?
11 A. Yes.
12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
13 We do not need the tape anymore. Could the registry please give
14 the witness the transcript of the video. Perhaps we can put it on the
15 ELMO so that everybody can see it.
16 Q. So I'd like to draw your attention to the first paragraph in the
17 answer of Borislav Jozic. So the first paragraph is the journalist and
18 the second one is the answer. And here he says -- the text is in English,
19 so everybody can read it.
20 Colonel Morsink, do you agree with the -- what is said in the
21 first passage of this statement? Do you agree that this first paragraph
22 in the statement -- the rest is not, I think, as important -- is that
23 correct, that first paragraph?
24 A. You mean the introduction by the journalist?
25 Q. No, no. I mean the answer, the first passage, the first paragraph
1 of Mr. Jozic's answer.
2 A. I think that's correct, yes.
3 Q. So that is correct, right? Now, if you look at the next
4 paragraph, will you please read it? I'm sorry. Perhaps I'm wasting your
5 time, but I think it is very important, especially the sentence in the
6 middle, which refers to location.
7 Colonel Morsink, do you agree that it transpires from this
8 statement by the late Borislav Jozic, with regard to the event that he's
9 talking about, deals with the release of prisoners from one of the
10 locations that were mentioned, and that is the location in Dubravica?
11 A. I don't understand your question. I'll read the sentence.
12 JUDGE MAY: Let me get it straight. Yes. The question is -- is
13 this the question, that Jozic was talking about the release of prisoners
14 from Dubravica? Yes, that's what -- you didn't ask the witness. That's
15 what the document says.
16 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, my idea was to see whether the witness
17 could recognise, since there were a couple of locations, and he said in
18 original statement that he knew there were a couple of locations.
19 JUDGE MAY: What is it you want the witness to deal with?
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] After that, I will show the witness
21 the list of Dubravica detainees, and we shall compare it with his list.
22 JUDGE MAY: Why don't you do that.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] But I nevertheless would like to
24 seek an answer to my question, if I may.
25 Q. Colonel Morsink, do you remember that detainees were kept at
1 several locations in Vitez?
2 A. That's correct; in Vitez and outside the town of Vitez.
3 Q. Do you remember if the school in Dubravica was one of those
5 A. Yes, I remember that.
6 Q. Do you agree that the only location where detainees were kept in
7 the building of the school was precisely this one in Dubravica, that there
8 is no other school which was used as a place of detention?
9 A. I can't tell about other towns or vicinities. I think Dubravica
10 is that small that I agree that this is probably the only school in
11 Dubravica, but there were certainly more schools in the area.
12 Q. You're referring to the area of Vitez. Dubravica is a part of
13 Vitez. Thank you.
14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Could the registry then help me
15 distribute the next document.
16 Q. And while it is being distributed, perhaps I could ask you the
17 following, Colonel Morsink: Do you know anything from that list that was
18 given you who are these individuals? What is their status? Are they
19 civilians or military?
20 A. I'm not sure, but by the name, I can tell you that they are
21 probably only male prisoners; and by the age or the year of birth, I can
22 tell you that the age is somewhere between 16 and I think 75 or 77.
23 Q. And you will agree with us that an overwhelming majority are of
24 military age, able-bodied men, judging by their date of birth. Do you
25 agree with that?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I think the majority of this list, that's correct, that's an age
2 that could mean that they can be a soldier.
3 Q. Right. Now, you have before you a list of members of the BiH army
4 from the municipality of Vitez. This list was given the Defence by the
5 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina at our request, and on lists -- there it
6 lists some -- features 3.623 names who, during the war, were members of
7 the BiH army and served at some point in time in that army. Now I should
8 like to ask you to look at your list, the list that you brought along, and
9 look at the name under "1." It is a certain individual named Hajrudin
10 Zisko, son of Mehmet. Have you found it, number one?
11 A. It's hard to read on my list.
12 Q. Mine is slightly better. You can see it, at any rate. This is a
13 regular exhibit.
14 Now, take this roster of the army, the big one, and turn to the
15 last page. The big one, yes, and turn to the last page. In the first
16 column, you have numbers, and then will you look at a person under 3613,
17 3613, Hajrudin Zisko. We also have the personal identity number showing
18 us the date of birth, and that is one and the same person.
19 A. The name is the same, and the date is also the same.
20 Q. And the father's name.
21 Now, we can show other such examples. For instance -- do you have
22 the BiH army's list? Yes, you do. Look at number 59, please, on the
23 first page of the army list, Dervis Jahija Ahmic, we again have the
24 personal identity number with the date of birth, and you will find him,
25 too. That's a person under number four of the list that you brought, also
1 on your page number one, under number four.
2 A. It's again the same name and the same date as on the army's list.
3 Q. Same father's name and same date of birth, isn't it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And so on and so forth. I can quote, however, ordinal numbers in
6 Mr. Morsink's list, for instance, example 7, 8, 11, and there are some
7 others. There is no point in wasting time. I think the documents speak
8 for themselves. But there's the question --
9 JUDGE MAY: Just before we go on, let us get the status of these
10 documents. Is there any objection to the production of this list?
11 MR. NICE: I don't think I've ever seen it before, and I don't
12 know where it comes from, and I'm not sure what its purpose is at the
13 moment. If it's going to do no more than confirm that which the Colonel
14 has already said, namely, that many of the people on this list of his were
15 soldiers, it doesn't seem to me it takes matters very much further. If
16 the inverse exercise is being attempted, that is to say, if the reality is
17 that Mr. Kovacic is seeking by cross-examination to validate this list, it
18 seems to be an improper use of the witness and if he'd asked me about it,
19 I would probably have been able to agree.
20 JUDGE MAY: I don't anticipate that he's seeking to do that. For
21 the moment, let it have an exhibit number, and if there's some objection,
22 we can look at it again.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be numbered D153/2.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, no doubt you've been through these two
25 lists. Can you give us the total number that you say appear from the army
1 list on the present list?
2 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] No, no, Your Honours, not yet.
3 We're still at it. I found 30 something, but evidently there are more of
4 them. We have some problems with reading them, but we've fed it into the
5 computer the other day, and we are preparing a longer list. But we shall
6 enclose it with the documentation.
7 However, now I should also like to adduce two more documents which
8 will help, help us establish the authenticity of the list. No, one
9 document, sorry. I do not think that the witness can validate the list.
10 This is only for the Court and for my learned friend. It is a letter of
11 the Bosnia-Herzegovina embassy, sending this list to me, and evidently
12 this is being done at my request. I do have some early copies of that
14 Could it then be merely attached to this exhibit just as part of
15 the exhibit, or perhaps it should be given another number, I don't know.
16 JUDGE MAY: It may be simpler to have another number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: D154/2.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
19 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Now I should like to produce yet
20 another list and ask Colonel Morsink to look at it after he confirmed to
21 us that there were detainees in Dubravica.
22 I'm sorry, I mixed things up. Will you please leave the list of
23 Dubravica names with Colonel -- the list of the BiH army and 153/2; the
24 witness should have all those lists, please.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Last document will be numbered D155/2.
1 JUDGE MAY: Before we go any further, what is this document,
2 Mr. Kovacic?
3 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Unfortunately, we do not have the
4 translation of this document, but all that needs to be translated is the
5 first line, and I will read it in Croatian and the interpreters can
6 interpret it. Oh, no, excuse me, we do have the translation. This is a
7 list of persons detained in Dubravica.
8 JUDGE MAY: Where did you get this one from?
9 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I found it myself in Vitez sometime
10 in the beginning of 1998, in the early days of our investigation.
11 My only question -- I have only two questions to ask the witness
12 about this list. May I, Your Honour?
13 Q. Colonel Morsink, did you ever get this list from anyone from the
14 HVO or the BiH army while you worked on the commission that we mentioned a
15 while ago? Does it look familiar to you, that is what I'm trying to ask
16 you. Have you seen it before?
17 MR. KOVACIC: We have just discovered a typing error. The date of
18 that list should be 30 April, not April 4 on the translation. On the
19 original, of course, it is original?
20 A. I don't recall that I saw this list before.
21 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Would you agree with me that it is -- there is an objective
23 possibility for this list to include some of the same names that we saw on
24 the list of the BiH army, and that those same names figure on this list of
25 detainees in Dubravica?
1 I'll show you. For instance, this last list that we've given you,
2 persons detained in Dubravica, under "3" we have Smajo Avdic, son of Mujo,
3 born in 1942, and that same person figures also in this list of BiH army
4 members on page 3, ordinal number 183.
5 A. It looks like the same name to me.
6 Q. And let us take yet another example. In this Dubravica list,
7 individual under "5," Hasan Sipcic, and in this list of BiH army soldiers
8 is on page 37 under "2922."
9 A. It again looks like the same name to me.
10 Q. And then also person under "7."
11 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I believe, Your Honours, that there
12 is really no need to go through this whole list, because there are quite a
13 number of them and we shall refer to this in our closing argument.
14 Q. Why I'm asking you all these questions, Colonel Morsink, let us go
15 back to your list. Do you know -- did Jozic tell you anything that these
16 299 persons are a list of people detained in one location or several
17 locations? What does this list represent? Of course, it refers to
18 detained persons, but from where? Did Jozic tell you anything about this?
19 A. I do not recall that he told me specifically to what location this
20 list referred. He was more or less responsible to, to make lists of the
21 whole Vitez area, and I do not recall whether he told me that this list
22 referred to only one specific location.
23 Q. Mr. Morsink, it seems to me that it follows from your testimony,
24 and please correct me if I'm wrong, that the Dubravica location was
25 controlled by the Vitezovi Special Purpose Unit; is that correct?
1 A. I recall that you asked me that before, and if I'm correct, I
2 answered that I recall that and I still recall that, that the guardsmen
3 were wearing special insignia on the shoulders, and according to those
4 insignia, they were members of military police. I can't say whether this
5 was the Vitezovi unit or any other military police unit.
6 Q. At that time, were you able to distinguish HVO units by uniform,
7 units within the HVO, who were the military police, the Vitezovi, the
8 Cerko [phoen] Brigade, the Vitez Brigade? Did you know about it? Did you
9 have enough knowledge of it at the time?
10 A. Certainly not enough knowledge to identify them all, but I was
11 aware who was supposed to be a military policeman and who not.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, the cross-examination was supposed to
13 refer to this list. We went through all these other matters before.
14 There is other evidence about it, and I don't think we should detain the
15 Colonel for this sort of cross-examination. Have you got anything else
16 you want to ask about the list?
17 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Only two or three technical matters
18 related to the list.
19 Q. Colonel Morsink, can you remember where Boro Jozic gave you the
20 list, in what location and what place, especially in what place? Was it
21 at a meeting or while you were going around the terrain or in Dubravica
22 when you were there?
23 A. Normally, we got these lists from both sides when they were
24 prepared during the morning meeting at the ECMM house near the BritBat
25 battalion base. So there was our own ECMM house in Bila.
1 Q. And just one more question. At these meetings where these lists
2 were often presented, Boro Jozic was always present exclusively as a
3 member of the commission?
4 A. I don't understand what you -- what you're referring to.
5 Q. I apologise. Boro Jozic was present at that meeting as one of the
6 members, not as an observer or a guest who happened to be there or someone
7 whose role was simply to bring along a piece of paper. His function was
8 that he was a member of the commission?
9 A. That's correct. He was the liaison officer assigned by the
10 brigade commander of the HVO brigade in Vitez, so he was
11 representing -- at least, that was my impression -- representing the HVO
12 brigade in Vitez during all these meetings.
13 Q. Did you ever ask him explicitly whether he was representing the
14 whole of the HVO in Vitez, the HVO Operative Zone under Blaskic's
15 command? You knew -- well, let us divide this question in parts. You
16 knew that he was an officer from the Vitez brigade; is that correct?
17 There is no doubt about that?
18 A. That's correct.
19 Q. Did you ever formally establish whose representative -- I
20 apologise to the interpreters. Did you ever, for the sake of the minutes,
21 try to establish that Boro Jozic, and that is what I am suggesting to you,
22 at those meetings was a representative of the Operative Zone? I will ask
23 just one more question about this and then I'll be finished.
24 A. According to my knowledge, he was only representing the brigade,
25 since Mr. Cerkez wrote a letter of accommodation to appoint him as his
1 representative, the same as the BiH side did, and on the level of the HVO
2 Operational Zone we had a special liaison officer.
3 Q. But not a member of the commission; you did not have a member of
4 the commission at the level of the Operational Zone. The only
5 representative on the HVO side was Boro Jozic; do we agree on that?
6 A. For Vitez matters, yes, I agree.
7 Q. Yes, of course. We are talking about Vitez matters. So the only
8 representative for Vitez matters on behalf of the HVO, the entire HVO
9 side, without any distinctions, was Boro Jozic; there were no other
10 representatives of the HVO present?
11 A. That's not fully correct, since during some occasions the brigade
12 commander, accompanied by some other officers, showed up himself, so it's
13 not always only Mr. Jozic. But I do not recall another individual being a
14 representative for the brigade commander.
15 Q. Mr. Morsink, let us draw a distinction between two things: One
16 were the meetings and the other was the commission. You talked about the
17 work of the commission, so we were talking about the meetings referring to
18 the work of the commission, not all the other meetings. So as a member of
19 the commission, the only one on the HVO -- on behalf of the HVO was Boro
20 Jozic, and the documents show this. Do you hold a different opinion?
21 A. I don't agree that you can make a clear distinction between the
22 work of the commission and meeting brigade commanders. We had to do a lot
23 of work on the ground in the whole area and we met brigade commanders
24 several times, twice or three times a day. It was also the work of the
25 commission. I'm sorry, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we've already exhausted this topic.
2 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. I think I understand the point.
3 [Interpretation] I have no further questions. Thank you for your
4 testimony. Thank you, Colonel Morsink.
5 MR. NICE: I don't think there's anything I need raise with the
6 colonel, and I have no objection to the documents going in that have been
8 JUDGE MAY: Colonel Morsink, that concludes your evidence. Thank
9 you for coming back to give it.
10 [The witness withdrew]
11 JUDGE MAY: Now, the next witness will be Mr. Husic --
12 MR. NICE: Correct.
13 JUDGE MAY: -- who is coming back to deal with the tape, he having
14 been the witness who produced it. And there were some matters you wanted
15 to put to him.
16 MR. NICE: No. He's been brought back for cross-examination.
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, for cross-examination. But I mean, essentially,
18 it's your point that if this tape -- if it's being suggested that this
19 tape has been interfered with and manipulated, then it should be put
20 firmly to the witness who is responsible or may have been responsible for
22 MR. NICE: Precisely, yes. The only thing that may need
23 explaining, not by me, perhaps, but to the witness, is, of course, that on
24 the previous occasion he was cross-examined by Mr. Stein, and so it will
25 be somebody else, in case he notices these things. Yes, that's the
1 position there.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, you agree with that point, presumably.
3 MR. SAYERS: I do, but it's going to be Mr. Naumovski that does
4 the cross-examination, Your Honour.
5 [The witness entered court]
6 MR. NICE: Your Honour, again, I think the witness is bound by his
7 previous taking of the solemn declaration.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
9 Mr. Husic, there's no need to take that again. You've already
10 taken a declaration to tell the truth and you are, of course, still bound
11 by it. If you'd like to take a seat.
12 The position, Mr. Husic, is this: You've been asked to come back
13 because various other issues about the tape which you produced have been
14 aired during the course of evidence since you last gave evidence, and it
15 is thought right that you should have the opportunity to deal with any
16 suggestions which may be made about the authenticity of the tape. You're
17 going to be cross-examined by counsel, different counsel, but representing
18 the same accused.
19 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
21 WITNESS: EDIN HUSIC [Recalled]
22 [Witness answered through interpreter]
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
24 Q. Good day, Mr. Husic.
25 A. Good day.
1 Q. My name is Mitko Naumovski. I am an attorney at law from Zagreb
2 and I am the defence counsel for Mr. Kordic, together with Mr. Sayers.
3 Since we understand each other as soon as we speak, please wait a
4 little for my question to be interpreted into the official languages of
5 the Tribunal so as not to make the work of the interpreters more
7 Mr. Husic, you made a statement to investigators of the Tribunal
8 on the 4th of December, 1999. Do you remember that?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. After that, you testified before this Court in February of this
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I assume that yesterday, or in recent days, you looked at your
14 testimony from the examination-in-chief.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Could you tell us whether you read your previous statement of the
17 4th of December, 1999?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Would you tell us, please, whether you also read the testimony of
20 the expert witnesses, Messrs. Kanik [phoen] and others who testified after
21 your testimony?
22 A. No.
23 Q. And have you discussed their expert opinion with anyone at all?
24 A. No.
25 Q. And just one more question for the sake of clarification. You
1 know nothing of what the experts found?
2 A. What I know is that, when I testified here for the first time, I
3 was told that two tapes which I handed over were completely identical.
4 That's all I know. I don't know anything else.
5 Q. Very well. Thank you. Then we will not go into this further.
6 Tell us, please: In the meantime, did you have a meeting with the
7 Prosecutor or investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor from the
8 time of your last testimony up to the present moment?
9 A. Well, I had contact with them yesterday because I was sitting down
10 and reading those materials, and I had contact with Mr. Patrick
11 Lopez-Terres, and I asked him why I had been called here again and he told
12 me that he assumed I was here so that it could be established again, so to
13 say, to establish the identity or to identify this material, if you call
14 that a meeting, but that was all.
15 Q. Well, my question would be: Apart from this information as to why
16 you were here, did you discuss with him or anyone else the content of your
18 A. No, I did not.
19 Q. Tell us, please: Did you, in the meantime, have any contacts or
20 any conversation with Adnan Begovic or (redacted) ? I assume you know
21 who I'm referring to. These are the people who worked with you once upon
22 a time and you were their chief in the service where you worked in Zenica
23 in 1993.
24 A. Well, I met Amir [as interpreted] by chance on one occasion, but
25 we did not talk about any details in connection with this. I only told
1 him that I had been here and testified and that it was over, and that was
2 all. I did not go into any details or enter into a discussion. I didn't
3 feel it was necessary at all. I did not meet Mr. Adnan at all, and I
4 never tried to do anything about this or in connection with this.
5 Q. Just an additional question about (redacted). Did he tell
6 you whether he had made a statement to investigators of this Tribunal or
7 didn't you talk about it?
8 A. He told me that he had also been contacted, but he didn't give me
9 any details.
10 Q. Could you just tell us when this was, approximately, this
11 conversation of yours between the two testimonies?
12 A. Well, it was perhaps two months after my testimony, but it's hard
13 to be precise.
14 Q. Very well. So it may have been around April this year?
15 A. Well, I can't be sure.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us try now to go back to the period of
17 your service. Your service, as you said, lasted from January to March
18 1993, so I think you said it lasted for about three months.
19 A. Yes, if you mean only that part of my task, so to speak. You are
20 referring to the mission, what we are discussing right now. Yes. Yes.
21 Well, then we can say that, yes.
22 Q. Tell us, please -- we shall come back to this event in greater
23 detail later on, but can you just tell us in principle: The people whose
24 task was to make the recordings of these conversations, did they make
25 transcripts? The conversations that were recorded on tape, were they put
1 down on paper? Was a transcript produced in written form?
2 A. Partly, so what was important was sent in the form of a report to
3 the superior command. Not everything, of course; only what was most
4 important, what was important in the then situation.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, I must remind you that this witness has
6 already been cross-examined and it would not be fair to subject him to
7 another cross-examination about all his evidence. The scope of this
8 cross-examination has to be severely limited, and it is to do with the
9 authenticity of the tape and the possibility that it's been tampered with
10 by adding language to it or moving language on the tape about, that sort
11 of suggestion and manipulation.
12 Now, I'm not going to stop you asking some general questions, but
13 that is the heart of it, and so we must restrict you to it.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, absolutely, Your Honour. I
15 fully accept what you say. I have to say, however, that in the meantime,
16 we have received some statements from people who worked with Mr. Husic and
17 who represented things slightly differently, and I felt it was my
18 professional duty to ask him about it, if you will allow me. And one of
19 those questions has to do with the transcripts because one of the persons
20 whose statement we received said that the transcripts were made on several
21 occasions. They put down transcripts in written form of the recordings,
22 and the witness never said that. That's why I had to ask him. But I will
23 not dwell on this long if you will only allow me to ask about it.
24 JUDGE MAY: One or two questions only.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
1 Q. Mr. Husic, you have just said that reports were drawn up. We all
2 know what the word "report" means. It's a kind of a cover note that you
3 send with the tape. But I was referring to a transcript, that is, to
4 taking down the speech, the language, and putting it down on paper. Were
5 such transcripts ever made?
6 A. I'll try to explain. General Hadzihasanovic, as my commander, was
7 directly informed by me so he could hear the conversations that had been
8 recorded. Of course not all of them, only the important ones. And later
9 on he had the tape we are talking about. As for the transcripts that were
10 part of the reports we submitted at that time to the General Staff, they
11 were part of the reports that I sent to the superior command in Sarajevo.
12 Transcripts that would be kept along with the recorded material
13 was not made. What was made was only for the purposes of the report.
14 That is my answer in detail.
15 Q. Very well, but we have to draw a distinction. One thing were the
16 written notes that you received. I understand that. I am asking you
17 about the records now because (redacted) said that, on several
18 occasions, written transcripts were made which were delivered to you
19 together with the tapes. So the conversation that was recorded was also
20 put down on paper. That's my question: Where are these transcripts?
21 A. Of course, but, later, it was typed up in a file which was then
22 transformed into a report and sent on to the superior command in Sarajevo.
23 Q. So then, these transcripts should be somewhere? Where? In what
24 department of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina of the time?
25 A. At that time, the reports were sent directly to the intelligence
1 administration of the General Staff of the army of the Republic of Bosnia
2 and Herzegovina.
3 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, where did the notes end up that were
4 given to you by your people together with the tapes?
5 A. We destroyed them. It was usually written on sheets of paper, and
6 later on, as the service developed, part of this was probably preserved
7 because then the logs started to be kept. But as far as I can remember,
8 what they gave me on the sheets of paper and what was important for a
9 transcript for the purposes of the report only, that paper was later
11 Q. Thank you. And tell us, by the way, we agree that you do not know
12 who is the author of this transcript that I have here. You can look at
13 them. These are transcripts related to these tapes. You don't know who
14 did that?
15 A. Well, I suppose that some service, perhaps translators here in The
16 Hague, did it, because I, for instance, read those transcripts yesterday.
17 And this is the material which I had an opportunity to see when I first
19 Q. Thank you. But I asked you where was this material sent, because
20 we wrote to the federation army and, unfortunately, they did not supply us
21 with the material that you mentioned and some other witnesses before you,
22 but what can we do?
23 And just one technical question more and then we shall move on to
24 this specific issue. I don't think I shall have too many questions. The
25 equipment that you had at your disposal at the time, which means in
1 January, February 1993, it practically came down to a telephone and a
2 simple answering machine or something like that. At least, that is what
3 one of those men said.
4 A. It was not a telephone. It was a device which could also be
5 operated as an interphone. That is, in a way it was an answering machine
6 which could receive the signal, and as an interphone, as a speaker phone,
7 to transmit it; and from that device, then that signal could be sent on to
8 some other telephone. Then we use it, use it only because of this
9 interphone feature. It was very difficult, you know, to hear. That is,
10 we had to hear. We did not have any sophisticated state-of-the-art
11 equipment which would allow us to record directly.
12 So, from the telephone line, from the telephone switch, we
13 switched on this answering machine, and from that device, then it was --
14 the signal was sent on to a portable dictating machine or something like
15 that, and that is how we recorded those conversations on a microtape.
16 That is what I can say about it.
17 Q. Very well. Just one question more. This device or these devices,
18 what source of energy did they use; normal electric energy?
19 A. Yes. I don't think it was 220, the voltage, so you had to use
20 transformers, but of course, yes, they were electrical devices.
21 Q. And that other device, tell us, the one that you used to copy this
22 on other cassettes, did it also use the electrical energy as a source of
24 A. That was a small manual thing, and it used dry batteries. It was
25 a very primitive way to do it, but there was no other.
1 Q. Right. So let us, then, move on to the event we're particularly
2 interested in, that alleged conversation on the 24th of January, 1993.
3 We agree that one of your superiors gave you the cassette with the
4 recorded conversation and an accompanying note; is that correct?
5 A. Well, the cassette, yes. Was there an accompanying note? I'm not
6 quite sure. Perhaps it was written subsequently, but there was the tape.
7 Q. I meant the subordinate, the transcript says wrongly, but somebody
8 who worked for you, who did this for you, gave you this cassette?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And I didn't quite understand about the note. Did you get it
11 immediately or not?
12 A. I cannot really say. I just don't remember whether the transcript
13 was made straight away or not. I don't think so. If there was a
14 transcript, then it must have been done subsequently. I believe I was
15 given the first cassette only.
16 Q. Very well. But did you know if -- when that tape was made and who
17 were the participants in the conversation?
18 A. Yes. I was made to understand that the conversation was very
19 important, and that the conversation was -- that the participants were
20 Kordic and Blaskic. And naturally, when I saw when it was about, I
21 listened to it, and I notified my commander because, at that time, it was
22 very important.
23 Q. If I understood you well, you were explicitly told without any
24 doubt whatsoever, without any room for doubt, that the conversation
25 recorded was between Mr. Kordic and Mr. Blaskic, isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. However, I have to tell you, when you gave your first statement to
3 the investigators on the 4th of December, 1999, that you said explicitly
4 that one of your men handed the cassette over to you. That was passage 8
5 of your previous statement, and you said verbatim, "The information about
6 the conversation recorded on a piece of paper included the date of the
7 recording, which was the 24th of January, 1993, and it was said that the
8 participants in the conversation were allegedly or reportedly Blaskic and
10 From what I've just read to you, it says that you said, and I can
11 show it to you because that was your statement which I was given by the
12 Prosecution, that the monitor who told you that as a matter of fact was
13 not sure because the word "allegedly" or "reportedly" was used.
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, you've been reading something at great
15 length. In any event, this is nothing to do with the authenticity of the
16 tape. This is part of the original cross-examination. Now, would you
17 come to the authenticity of the tape.
18 As I said, it's not fair on the witness to be subjected to a
19 general cross-examination about his evidence. He's already been subjected
20 to that. What you may ask and what you should ask is any question about
21 the authenticity of the tape, that is, whether it's been manipulated or
22 not. That is the whole issue, not a free-ranging, wide-ranging
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] No, of course, Your Honours, I
25 understand what you are saying. But I think that these two things are
1 inseparable because it begins with an alleged conversation and answer with
2 a certain effect, hence my doubts and doubts of our Defence that part of
3 that, of that conversation was fabricated, and I'm going to put it to the
5 Q. Do you remember that conversation, Mr. Husic, that we're talking
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. Do you remember the tone? Was it serious, was it half jester, was
9 it very serious? What was your impression about that? And yesterday you
10 read the transcripts, you saw the vocabulary used.
11 A. I understand what you're asking me about, but was the tone and the
12 conversation between two men that we are referring to, was it merry or
13 not, I think that what was going on shows that it was very serious
14 indeed. And all the other conversations, I suppose, confirm what was
15 going on on the ground.
16 Would you say that they said that it was "allegedly" then? Of
17 course, it is very difficult to be sure, but were you in a situation to
18 hear something that you've never heard before, you would have heard it.
19 If you were in a situation and as it was at the time, you would realise
20 who it was, what they were talking about, and what the intentions were
21 behind it.
22 So that conversation could sound as a joking conversation between
23 the two of them, but I did not think so, not in the least. On the other
24 hand, I was duty-bound to forward this information to my superior, to the
25 commander, and give my -- voice my opinion that I do think that those were
1 their intentions, and very serious ones.
2 Of course, when you are in a situation to assess some facts, it is
3 very difficult to be sure. One can hardly be ever sure about something
4 100 per cent.
5 Q. Very well. Mr. Husic, you are a professional. You did that job.
6 You had some experience; you did it professionally. Then at that time you
7 were clear, as a professional, that it is only on the basis of the
8 original recording that one can establish the authenticity of a
9 conversation, isn't that so?
10 A. But that is the original recording. Whether it was copied once or
11 twice is irrelevant because it did not undergo any changes. Naturally, in
12 assessing it, that is not the only thing that is considered as an element
13 as it is all the available information that must be borne in mind. I
14 cannot say that I'm an expert on that particular aspect, but I was an
15 intelligence officer, I was trained for this, and that is what I can
17 Q. Well, that is that part of your experience that I have in mind.
18 You were asked by His Honour last time, 13.732, how is it that you kept
19 this particular cassette which was a copy of the original microtape which
20 contained the original recording. That is the reason for my additional
22 It seemed to you that the substance of the conversation was so
23 significant that you kept it as a souvenir and to train future personnel,
24 yet not -- only the original can contain the authenticity, then how could
25 you allow that the two -- how could you allow the destruction of the
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 microtape? You must have been aware that that was the original.
2 A. Let me tell you, we used microtapes only to record conversations.
3 They were expendable stationery. We did not have enough of them, so we
4 could not keep those conversations in their original form. And we did not
5 even plan to keep all the conversations. This conversation was kept
6 because it was very interesting and very important. Others were preserved
7 and recorded on that particular tape because General Hadzihasanovic
8 requested us to do that. That is when we made those two tapes. One of
9 them is here.
10 Now, the question, to my mind, is -- whether the original is on
11 the microtape or this here is not a question because, for me, the material
12 which is on this tape, the recorded conversation, is absolutely
13 identical. The only question that may arise is the quality, because
14 whenever one copies it, one loses some of the quality but not the
15 substance of it. The fact that I kept only this conversation, and only
16 this, is because it was something that was very interesting to me because
17 that is something which is very -- which one very rarely has the
18 opportunity to have. There are quite a number of other documents that can
19 be kept, but I simply decided to keep this, for personal reasons only.
20 And at that time, none of us could even guess or imagine. Perhaps we
21 would have kept much more.
22 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you, but I have to tell you what the
23 Court expects of you, and I will tell you that we put it to you that there
24 was never a conversation of precisely this content that is indicated in
25 the transcript that you had the opportunity to read once again tomorrow
1 [as interpreted], never in that form. So my question is: Can you, before
2 this august court, confirm that this alleged conversation of 1993 is
3 absolutely identical with what you read in the transcript yesterday?
4 A. If that is what you're asking me, then I should hear the tape once
5 again and read the transcript which you have before you. All I can do is
6 confirm that that tape was never subjected to any tampering, any addition,
7 any change, either by me or by anybody else. As long as I had it in my
8 possession -- and we talked about this last time -- but I, of my own will,
9 offered the second tape that I had also recorded on the eve of the day
10 when I handed over that cassette to Mr. Mustafa Music, because I still
11 wanted to keep it, and that is what I can confirm. You cannot ask me
12 about every single word in that transcript. And the cassette, if you have
13 to listen to it and read it, then I can say, "Yes, this is it," and "This
14 is not it." But I am positive about what I'm saying, and that is what I
15 am saying.
16 Q. But we have to repeat it for the Court, so let us remind you. You
17 answered my learned colleague's question, Bob Stein's, that you did not
18 have the tape in your possession between the 4th of December, 1999 until a
19 later date, that is, until about a week later, when you heard it again.
20 A. Yes, as far as I can remember. So bearing in mind what I read
21 yesterday, between the 20th of November until the 4th of December, it was
22 that period of time when I did not have the tape in my possession, the one
23 that I turned over for the first time. The copy that I made on the 19th,
24 that is, in the evening, copying that same tape, I did have it in my
25 possession and I gave it the last time -- I handed it over the last time
1 so that possibly you could see if any changes had been made on the tape
2 that I had turned over on the 20th.
3 Q. Right. I don't really want to talk about this, because the expert
4 witnesses talked about them and there were differences between those
5 cassettes, but I don't really want to tire you with it anymore, and it
6 will be the Court which will decide about this, because the Judges have
7 heard the testimony.
8 I'm asking you: As a professional, a professional who was trained
9 for that particular job, will you agree with me that there are relatively
10 easily accessible or relatively sophisticated computer programmes allowing
11 to reproduce audio recordings, making all sorts of -- allowing all sorts
12 of interventions, so on and so forth, and it is used in music, in making
13 music recordings, so on and so forth; there can be no dispute about this?
14 A. Yes, but then I could sing too.
15 Q. Yes?
16 A. Almost.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] And me too. Right.
18 I will not ask some of the questions, in compliance with your
19 instruction, but I shall merely like to show Z2801.3. I have some copies
20 for the witness on the ELMO and I should like to show this exhibit to the
21 witness, Z2801.3.
22 Q. Mr. Husic, you have before you this. Do you remember it? It was
23 on the cover, or what shall I call it? Well, you know, that bit of paper
24 which comes with tapes where you can write down whatever facts. Is this
25 your handwriting?
1 A. It is.
2 Q. A while ago, we said what is alleged and what is not alleged. You
3 understand it is difficult to be absolutely sure. But there is not a
4 single question mark, except on page B -- on side B, under 2. There we
5 have a question mark. All the rest are simply statements of
6 conversations. So that caution that "alleged." This is something that we
7 don't see from here, because there are no question marks anywhere, isn't
9 A. When I did this, of course, I listened to the recording and I
10 noted down the conversations and what was there. This here, where there
11 is a question mark, I could not establish who the participants were. So
12 this is my handwriting, this is what I did at the time, and I was positive
13 about what I was doing, because I couldn't really give my commander a tape
14 just like that, a tape without any explanation.
15 Q. But under B3, if I understand it properly, this is Nakic and T.
16 Blaskic; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in the transcript, we can see that it is a certain Franjo.
19 That is what you decided, I suppose, with Colonel Blaskic; is that so?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. However, what stuck in my memory is that this index is not all
22 that precise. It does not quite tally with what is on the tapes. It's
23 not that we have 11 recordings on the A side and the rest on the B side,
24 if I remember well. Is this only a list of conversations, regardless of
25 the side, or did you try to be accurate, marking precisely which is which?
1 A. Well, I noted down those conversations as they followed one
2 another, that sequence. If you're asking me, I was listening to them and
3 I was writing down what I heard. Whether somebody else listened to that
4 and acquired a different impression, I can't say. But what you see here
5 is what I wrote and it dates back to that time.
6 Q. Very well. But let us go back to this. I think in the transcript
7 my colleague draws my attention. We said that under B3 you said it was
8 Franjo Nakic and Tihomir Blaskic's conversation, isn't it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Because the transcript wasn't clear. That is why I wanted to ask
11 about that.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as I have said, I
13 would have some more questions, but in view of the limited range of the
14 cross-examination, I put my views to the witness and he responded, and I
15 do not wish to keep either the Court or the witness at it any longer, and
16 therefore I conclude with this. Thank you very much.
17 Thank you, Witness. Thank you, Your Honours.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
20 Q. The tape recordings that you made on the ordinary-size tape were
21 made with your battery-operated machine; is that right?
22 A. If you mean this tape, this device was an electrically-fed
23 device. It was the conventional type. But the reproduction was from a
24 battery-operated device, dictating machine.
25 Q. So to make sure I've got this, the microcassettes were produced on
1 a battery-operated machine; is that right?
2 A. No. This device, which is a portable device, that was -- that
3 used electricity. But when I listen to the cassettes, I cannot listen to
4 them using that device, because it is being used; it is working. So I had
5 to use another one. So I reproduced it to a dictating machine, from which
6 I could copy then -- copied then on a big tape.
7 Q. And so the intermediate machine was battery driven, was it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The second thing is, just to cover a matter of detail: The tape
10 that you first produced via the officials in your department to
11 Mr. Lopez-Terres, which is the one for which -- this is the JPS
12 jacket -- had that been in your possession throughout from the time when
13 you first recorded it until the time when you handed it to your superiors?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Then the second tape that you produced at Court from your
16 briefcase or somewhere, the one you kept for yourself, had that been in
17 your possession from the moment when you first recorded it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Can you, incidentally, now remember the make of that tape that you
20 produced at Court on the last occasion? If you can, tell us; if you
21 can't, don't guess.
22 A. I think it was Maxell.
23 Q. You first heard the conversations when you heard them on
24 microcassettes; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. We now know you were personally responsible for the taping
2 thereafter, up and until the final production of these two tapes. What's
3 being raised with you, so that you can be quite clear about the
4 suggestion, is that you, alone or with others, in some way have corrupted
5 those tapes to make them say things that the speakers never said. Is
6 there any truth in that suggestion which, however decorously, is
7 nevertheless being raised?
8 A. No. All this is genuine, as it was recorded. The material which
9 I got and which I prepared, I never made any changes at all.
10 Q. Finally, are you still in the services yourself?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. With the present rank of?
13 A. I'm a colonel.
14 Q. And if you're able to tell us, your present posting is where? If
15 you don't want to tell us, it doesn't matter, but if you can just tell us
16 what your current posting is.
17 A. I'm with the defence naval attache of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
18 United States of America; military naval attache at the embassy of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the United States of America.
20 MR. NICE: That's all I need ask of this witness. Thank you.
21 [Trial Chamber confers]
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Husic, thank you for coming back to answer those
23 questions. You are now free to go.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
25 [The witness withdrew]
1 JUDGE MAY: It being 4.00, the Court is not minded to sit much
2 later. There are two matters, though, I want to deal with in closed
3 session. Before we do, we ought to have in mind what we're going to deal
4 with tomorrow. First of all, perhaps Witness AO, what is the position
5 about him? He's not -- he failed to catch the plane.
6 MR. NICE: He hasn't responded. The position is he hasn't
7 responded or has declined to come. It may be further efforts will be made
8 and those executing the process will be able to inform me. I can simply
9 keep you informed and, in due course, if he simply doesn't turn up, I
10 shall be inviting the Court to consider taking action in respect of him,
11 but for the time being, the position is as I've stated it. It's always
12 rather difficult to get comprehensive accounts from this distance of what
13 happens on the ground, but as I understand it, opportunities were
14 available and weren't taken.
15 JUDGE MAY: We'll have to -- yes, Mr. Naumovski.
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would not like to
17 be impolite, but your decision was made long ago, and we have a schedule
18 day by day. And if the witness has not appeared so far, I don't see when
19 the witness can possibly come, because every week we have a full schedule;
20 every day has been planned ahead. And I would not like to have to deal
21 with this on the last day of our case. I think enough has been done to
22 make the witness come. He came here the first time. Thank you.
23 [Trial Chamber confers]
24 JUDGE MAY: The trial Chamber is concerned, as Mr. Naumovski says,
25 about the timetable and the effects of witnesses not appearing upon it.
1 You'll give us a report tomorrow, Mr. Nice, and then we'll have to
2 consider the position.
3 MR. NICE: Yes, of course.
4 JUDGE MAY: Tomorrow we will consider the position with regard to
5 some of the applications which have been made as far as we can, certainly
6 about witnesses, clearly.
7 MR. NICE: There's one particular -- in fact, if it's not
8 impertinent -- there's one particular witness who it seems conveniently
9 falls to be dealt with in argument tomorrow. His travel arrangements are,
10 I believe, currently Tuesday for Wednesday, so it would obviously be
11 helpful to know in advance what the position is there.
12 JUDGE MAY: You were going to tell us the names of the witnesses
13 on whom you were going to rely.
14 MR. NICE: I can tell you the ones I know about -- I've got
15 knowledge about at the moment.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
17 MR. NICE: It may be better if we can do that in closed session
18 because I'm not sure whether either of the last two names are going to
19 require any form of protection.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll go into closed session.
21 [Closed session]
13 Pages 27134 to 27138 redacted – in closed session.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4:17 p.m., to
25 be reconvened on Friday, the 17th day of November,
1 2000, at 9:30 a.m.