1 Tuesday, 20th April, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.45 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 Case name IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
8 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
11 JUDGE MAY: Microphone.
12 WITNESS: WITNESS C (Resumed)
13 [Witness answers through interpreter]
14 Examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Excuse
16 me. Witness C, yesterday you mentioned the various
17 attacks that took place during the week of 19 to 26
18 October, 1992. Could you tell us this morning why, in
19 your opinion, the HVO in Novi Travnik launched the
20 attacks at that point?
21 MR. STEIN: Objection. This calls for --
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 MR. STEIN: This calls for pure opinion as to
24 why members of the opposition did something, without a
25 basis, without knowledge of this witness as an expert
1 or someone who has reason to know why the other side
2 was doing what it was doing.
3 JUDGE MAY: He can say what he knows. He can
4 say if, as far as he could see, there was any reason
5 for this attack. Yes.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Excuse me,
7 please, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
8 In respect of the objections, I believe that
9 the Presiding Judge had already indicated the issues
10 that could be raised in respect of objections. This is
11 an International Tribunal, and we are all working in a
12 particular spirit that is a way of trying to avoid
13 small procedural complications that are of no point.
14 I believe that we have to respect the
15 criteria set by the President, that is, to try to have
16 the proceedings operate properly when it's being
17 understood that the Judges will form their own opinions
18 at the proper time in respect of what is being done.
19 Unless there is an absolutely fundamental objection
20 affecting the entire proceedings, I think we have to,
21 in the future, refrain from making these pointless
22 objections. Thank you very much.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
24 Q. Witness C, could you tell us, in your
25 opinion, what those reasons were, that is, the reasons
1 why the HVO decided, during that week of 19 to 26
2 October, 1992, to launch the fighting in the city and
3 in the region?
4 A. Since you asked for my opinion, I would,
5 nevertheless --
6 JUDGE MAY: It is no criticism of you. What
7 I ruled was that opinion evidence is not admissible.
8 What is admissible is if he knows of his own knowledge
9 any reason why the attack should have been launched. He
10 may know and he may not.
11 So, Witness C, could you think about that
12 question and tell us, of your own knowledge, if you
13 know why an attack should have been launched.
14 A. At the municipal headquarters of the armoured
15 forces, I thought that the reason for the attack was
16 the advancement in part of the town of Novi Travnik so
17 as to reach the Bratstvo plant and, thus, put out of
18 control the whole territory of the town and, thus,
19 presumably gain some strategic positions for further
20 HVO plans. This is what the municipal headquarters
21 thought was the principle reason for the attack in
22 October 1992.
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES:
24 Q. Did the HVO carry out similar attacks,
25 similar to what we're talking about, in other cities in
1 Central Bosnia in that same period of October 1992,
2 around that same date?
3 A. The municipal headquarters of the defence
4 also had information that during those days or, rather,
5 on the 18th and 19th October, 1992, there were
6 conflicts between the units of the BH army and the HVO
7 units in Gornji Vakuf and Vitez. This was the
8 information we had then.
9 Q. Could you show us, Witness C, on the map that
10 was already given to you at the beginning of your
11 testimony, it is 26123, indicate the positions that
12 you're speaking about.
13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) 26123.
14 This one. The map of the area.
15 Q. Could you show us the locations that you're
16 referring to on that map, please?
17 A. I mentioned two adjacent municipalities, Novi
18 Travnik and Vitez or, rather, the town of Vitez, which
19 is about 15 kilometres away from Novi Travnik, and the
20 municipality of Gornji Vakuf or, rather, the town of
21 Gornji Vakuf which here across Pavlovica, by short cut,
22 is 37 kilometres away from Novi Travnik.
23 Q. In addition to Gornji Vakuf and Vitez, were
24 other municipalities attacked by the HVO during that
25 same period?
1 A. During that period there was also an attack
2 on the municipality of Prozor, as far as I know. I am
3 not aware about what was going on in other
5 Q. Could you show us the city of Prozor on the
6 map, please?
7 A. I don't think you can see it here. There is
8 Makljen crossing here towards Jablanica is -- oh, no.
9 Here it is. Here it is, the town of Prozor. Some 25
10 kilometres from Gornji Vakuf.
11 Q. Thank you, Witness C.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Mr. Usher,
13 you could take your seat again. Thank you.
14 Q. We're still now after the fighting of October
15 1992. As far as you know, did the Novi Travnik HVO
16 forces organise themselves or reorganise themselves,
17 structure themselves, after the October conflict and
18 especially was there a new brigade created in Novi
20 A. Yes. Right after the conflict in October,
21 indeed, we know that a brigade was formed. It was the
22 HVO brigade called Stjepan Tomasevic in Novi Travnik.
23 I think there was a festival, a celebration, related to
24 the establishment of that brigade which took place in
25 November '92. As far as I know, the first Commander of
1 that brigade was Mr. Malbasic from Vares.
2 Q. This Mr. Malbasic that you're speaking about,
3 had he been operating in that position as Commander of
4 that brigade for a long time?
5 A. The Commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic HVO
6 Brigade in Novi Travnik, Mr. Boro Malbasic, was there
7 until February or March. I would not know exactly when
8 he was succeeded by Mr. Zeljko Sabljic who became the
9 Commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic after him.
10 Q. Could you give us the name of the person who
11 replaced him? I didn't really catch the name, the name
12 that you gave us, the Commander who replaced mister --
13 A. Mr. Boro Malbasic was succeeded by Mr. Zeljko
14 Sabljic, born in Novi Travnik, who was an employee of
15 Bratstvo. We knew each other for many years because we
16 both worked for Bratstvo.
17 Q. Do you have any information that would
18 explain the reasons why Mr. Boro Malbasic was replaced
19 after a few months of having been appointed?
20 A. I do not really have any precise information
21 as to his short office there, but on the basis of
22 meetings held in December and January, contacts between
23 the Commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade and the
24 Commander of the brigade of the BH army which was set
25 up in November in Novi Travnik, we know that he
1 personally complained to the Commander that he could
2 not keep the situation under control and that his
3 command of the brigade was deemed moderate and that he
4 had difficulty in keeping the brigade under control.
5 Q. Therefore, he was allegedly replaced because
6 he was too moderate? Is that what you're saying?
7 JUDGE MAY: I wonder, Mr. Lopez-Terres, if
8 that is really going to help us. This is an opinion
9 from the other side being given about a matter which
10 we're going to have to decide, and I don't think it's
11 very helpful evidence.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Very
14 Q. After that Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade had been
15 created in Novi Travnik, did the BH army, of which you
16 were a member, did it restructure itself as well?
17 A. Yes. In the wake of it and the orders of the
18 3rd Corps, the formation of brigades began throughout
19 the Central Bosnian territory which was under the area
20 of responsibility of the 3rd Corps. Novi Travnik was
21 one of the last municipalities which formed a brigade
22 of the BH army because of certain dilemmas whether one
23 should have one or two brigades in this area between
24 the municipalities of Novi Travnik and Vitez.
25 The 308th brigade of the BH army Novi Travnik
1 was established on the orders of the Commander,
2 Mr. Hadzihasanovic on the 18th of December, 1992. Four
3 days later, the Commander of the brigade arrived, the
4 man who was assigned to this duty, and he arrived from
5 the territory of Sarajevo. It was mister --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter is sorry
7 but we did not get the last name.
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
9 Q. This Mr. Zurapi, the Commander, shortly after
10 being appointed was he arrested by the HVO forces?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you explain to us, please, under what
13 circumstances that occurred?
14 A. On the 13th January, 1993, there were talks
15 between the Commander of the HVO Brigade and the
16 Commander of the 308th Brigade of the BH army. I did
17 not attend those talks personally. Then it was agreed
18 that the Commander, Bislam Zurapi, should go around
19 9.00 to the building called Oskar to sign the
20 conclusions that had been agreed upon that day. I know
21 that because I was at the meeting when Mr. Zurapi was
22 to go to that meeting, and we thought that it was not
23 particularly wise and safe for him to attend that
24 meeting, but because of the conclusion and duties he
25 has assumed, he did go around 19.00 there, and then he
1 did not call back for a long time. So that around 9.00
2 in the evening, people who were on duty in the brigade
3 learned that Mr. Bislam Zurapi had been arrested and
4 that he was somewhere in Busovaca.
5 So we waited that night. Of course, we had
6 contacts with the 3rd Corps. We were waiting for the
7 return of the Commander because there was some
8 suggestions that he would be released.
9 Around 3.40, Mr. Zurapi came to the
10 headquarters of the brigade and told us that he had
11 been detained by the HVO members, taken to Busovaca,
12 and kept there until after 2.00. After that he had
13 been released, and he came back to the headquarters of
14 the brigade around half past three.
15 Q. We're going to move to another subject now.
16 Still referring to that same period that
17 followed the attack of October, 1992, could you tell us
18 whether, in the sector under the HVO force control,
19 whether business people or inhabitants of Bosnian
20 origin were the victims of criminal acts committed by
21 HVO soldiers?
22 A. I mentioned already the effects of the second
23 conflict in Novi Travnik, that is, in October, 1992,
24 and that was a time when the majority of business
25 outlets which were owned by Muslims, and I mentioned
1 already the Videotech, restaurants, other shops and so
2 on and so forth, when the majority of them were
3 destroyed or demolished.
4 Q. Were any people of Bosnian origin murdered?
5 A. I already mentioned a murder from this
6 October period. This was the murder of Mr. Dzemo
7 Krnjic, owner of the Duga Pizzeria at the entrance into
8 Novi Travnik next to the locality Bare. He was killed
9 when he tried to put out a fire put to his premises,
10 and we know that his body lay there for two days after
11 the murder across the road from his business premises.
12 Q. Did inhabitants of Bosnian origin -- were the
13 people of Bosnian origin who were expelled from that
14 sector at that point?
15 A. In the course of the October conflict, there
16 were very many breakings and enterings into Muslim
17 flats presumably to search for weapons, but there were
18 also instances of physical harassment and ill treatment
19 of people by numerous HVO members, particularly in the
20 area of Bare, which is a large borough, a large quarter
21 in Novi Travnik, residential. That is where citizens
22 were particularly ill treated.
23 It somewhat declined in November, December,
24 1992, but then this ill treatment became again very
25 intensive in January '93, and it did not stop until the
1 8th of June, 1993. It would sometimes decline as the
2 number of the population decreased in this part of the
3 town which was controlled by the HVO.
4 Q. Witness C, do you know whether the expulsions
5 were the work exclusively of Novi Travnik HVO forces?
6 A. The statements of all the inhabitants who,
7 after the October meeting or during the October
8 meeting, moved over to the part of the town which was
9 behind the lines of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina told
10 us, and I talked to very many families because very
11 often there were families of members of the BH army and
12 I had to see that they are accommodated. All of them
13 said that there was ill treatment, harassment, or
14 eviction, expulsion from flats by HVO members.
15 Q. Let's move away from the period of October.
16 You've already spoken about the period
17 January to June, 1993. During the beginning of 1993,
18 could one note in Novi Travnik that there were soldiers
19 who had come from other regions, other regions of
21 A. Yes. We received information from our units
22 who were on the line, the Pavlovica-Opara to the town,
23 and we also learned from the -- and according to the
24 information of the 3rd Corps in the area of Novi
25 Travnik and Vitez, three HVO buses had arrived from
1 Herzegovina. We called them Herzegovinians. This
2 happened on the 8th of January, 1993.
3 Likewise, according to information of
4 security bodies of the BH army, we subsequently also
5 learned the name of that unit. It was the Bruno Busic
6 Unit. That unit was -- I do not know how many soldiers
7 stayed in Novi Travnik and how many were occupying some
8 other positions, but they were in Novi Travnik as of
9 the evening of January the 8th.
10 As for the consequences which ensued, we know
11 that those were soldiers from Herzegovina because all
12 of the people that I talked to, after they had
13 encountered the soldiers, told us that they were
14 soldiers whom they could recognise by their speech,
15 that they were HVO members who did not come from the
16 territory of our municipality because, to begin with,
17 people knew one another. And besides, they also have
18 characteristic speech, a characteristic dialogue which
19 was different.
20 Q. Did your headquarters realise -- find any
21 particular reason why it was necessary to go to Novi
22 Travnik, into the neighbouring municipalities, speaking
23 about that, as to have soldiers coming in from other
25 A. At the brigade command, we could not really
1 establish why -- how did these HVO units come from
2 Herzegovina to Novi Travnik and perhaps some other
3 places, but we thought that they were there to provoke
4 some incidents so as to find pretext for renewed
5 conflicts in Novi Travnik, because we knew that as of
6 the 11th of January, '93, there were armed conflicts
7 between HVO units and units -- and the Croatian army in
8 Gornji Vakuf on one side and the units of the BH army
9 on the other.
10 Q. You just spoke about three buses of soldiers
11 coming from Herzegovina. Could you tell us about how
12 many soldiers were sent into the region?
13 A. Yes. We thought that about 150 soldiers had
14 arrived, three buses, and that was the information that
15 we received, three buses. That is 150 HVO members,
16 Bruno Busic Unit from Herzegovina.
17 Q. During the year 1993 but a little bit later,
18 was the city of Novi Travnik blockaded by the HVO?
19 A. Physical blockade impeding the movement of
20 people and traffic after the end of the second
21 conflict, apart from various incidents at the
22 checkpoints, was none, so between the 1st of November,
23 1992, until the 13th April, 1993. After April 13th,
24 1993, after an incident which happened with soldiers
25 belonging to the HVO, the soldiers allegedly
1 disappeared or were arrested in an area controlled by
2 the units of the BH army, so that as of 17.00 on that
3 April 13, a blockade was established around the area so
4 that we, who were in the territory of the municipality
5 of Novi Travnik, could not go out to any other
6 municipality for a couple of days.
7 After that, some talks were conducted, and
8 the commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade and the
9 commander of our brigade agreed that they would allow
10 the passage of military -- of army units, including
11 their shifts, food supply and ammunition, that is, for
12 the units who were elsewhere on the front, that is,
13 those who were confronted with this aggressor.
14 We had a number of units who were in the area
15 of Turbe so that after this 13th April, I think it was
16 for a short while, only for seven or eight days, that
17 we agreed about that passage. But blockade was still
18 in force for the traffic of goods and other things.
19 After that, we, from Novi Travnik, could not
20 go anywhere, except for the movement of units, their
21 shifts, and provision of food, ammunition and supplies
22 for units on the front.
23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
24 Mr. Lopez-Terres, you spoke about a blockade with the
25 witness. Could you indicate clearly, because we don't
1 really know what the meaning of this other blockade
2 was? It was a very long answer, but, you, yourself,
3 did not specify what you meant by "blockade." Did you
4 mean that there was a total closure and that the
5 witness should therefore answer briefly, because you've
6 got to make the idea of the blockade clearer to the
7 Trial Chamber so that we have a very specific idea of
8 what it is that is at stake here.
9 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
10 Q. Witness C, the arrangements that were set
11 into place after April, 1993, particularly, did they
12 prevent access and leaving of the city of Novi Travnik?
13 A. Yes. From the town of Novi Travnik, for a
14 longer period of time, we could not move in any
15 direction. I'll show it on the map. We could not move
16 towards Travnik because there was a blockade in that
17 part of town towards Travnik or Vitez, so this is one
18 single road. We could not move towards Gornji Vakuf
19 either because there was a blockade in the region of
20 Medenik where HVO units from Sebesici held ground. We
21 could not move towards Bugojno either because via
22 Rostovo there was a road that went to Bugojno. There
23 was a blockade here three or four kilometres before
24 Bugojno. There is yet another road via Mescema towards
25 Travnik, and we could not move in that direction,
1 either, because HVO units from the area of Travnik were
2 in the region of Mescema and they had closed off that
3 road as well. This total blockade went on for about
4 seven to ten days, and then an agreement was reached
5 that the blockade did not apply to the military units
6 that were facing the Serb aggressor at the front line.
7 Q. You said, Witness C, that it was not possible
8 for the Bosnian army forces in Novi Travnik to go to
9 Vitez after 13 April?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Thank you. Let's continue the testimony in
12 respect of 1993. You have already mentioned the two
13 first conflicts that took place in Novi Travnik, the
14 first in June of 1992, and the second, in October of
15 1992. I would like you to speak to us now about the
16 third conflict which was triggered in the city, and
17 first could you tell us when, exactly, that conflict
18 began, in a few words?
19 A. Combat action between the units of the army
20 of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO units in the
21 territory of the municipality of Novi Travnik began
22 exactly on the 9th of June, 1993. Six days after the
23 armed conflict had started in Travnik between the same
25 Q. How long did that third conflict last?
1 A. The conflict that started on the 9th of June,
2 1993, lasted until the cease-fire was signed or, rather,
3 the order that was signed by Mr. Rasim Delic and
4 Mr. Ante Roso sometime around the 23rd or 24th of
5 February, 1994, but I know it came into force, I mean,
6 the cease-fire came into force on the 25th of February,
7 1994, so this conflict lasted from June, 1993, until
8 February, 1994, incessantly.
9 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Mr. Usher,
10 could you give the witness a document on which he can
11 show us where the forces and the front line were in
12 the city of Novi Travnik? I think that this document
13 has already been submitted to the Tribunal, and it's
15 Q. Witness C, is this document the one that you
16 sent a copy to our office?
17 A. Yes, that's the document.
18 Q. So we can see on the document the
19 confrontation line which was the one that you mentioned
20 in your previous testimony about the October conflict,
21 that this confrontation line, in fact, did not change
22 very much at all since before that?
23 A. As the line of conflict on the 9th of June
24 was practically along this line in town, just as it was
25 on the 25th of October, 1992, when the second conflict
1 was ending between the HVO units and the BH army
2 units. The only difference is that the June line left
3 the HVO at the workers' centre. They were not at the
4 old high-rise, the one that I marked with number 1, as
5 they were in October.
6 In the October conflict, this high-rise,
7 especially its top three floors, were the military
8 stronghold of the HVO, and they used inflammable
9 bullets and they set on fire high-rise three.
10 So in June, the HVO units were only in the
11 workers' council and the workers' building and, also,
12 here, as they were in October 1992. They also remained
13 at Streliste, and they had an HVO unit that was
14 stationed there all the time.
15 Q. On the document that you have in front of
16 you, you can see a building, I think you've just
17 referred to it. Is this the building known as Stari
18 Soliter? Could you point it out to us?
19 Stari Soliter, I think that that means in
20 Serbo-Croat the "old high-rise," the "old building."
21 Could you show it to us, please?
22 A. The location of this building or, rather,
23 this high-rise that we call the old high-rise, because
24 it was the first multi-storey building in the town of
25 Novi Travnik, it had ten storeys, and that is why
1 everybody who lived there could tell it apart from all
2 the other buildings that were built subsequently.
3 Everybody called it the old high-rise and that's how
4 everybody knew what building it was. So it is this
5 high-rise that is about 20 to 25 metres away from the
6 workers' centre.
7 Q. The building called Stari Soliter, was it the
8 object of very, very serious attacks by the HVO and army
9 attacks in June of 1993 and in the coming months that
10 followed, rather.
11 A. I would not say that it was heavy fighting
12 but it really was of special interest to both sides or,
13 rather, the soldiers that were in the workers' council
14 and also for the members of the army who were using
15 this building here, high-rise three, that burned down
16 in the October conflict. Then from June onwards it was
17 used as a military facility.
18 The HVO probably had an interest in using
19 this facility as -- for military purposes because it
20 was as tall as the other buildings were. The members
21 of the army who were in this part, in this high-rise
22 here -- you can't see the line that I drew here, I did
23 mark it though but with a different colour -- HVO
24 soldiers tried to get into this high-rise but the
25 members of the army did not allow this to happen
1 because they kept it under fire. The entrance is on
2 the west side. They did not let HVO soldiers get into
3 this high-rise because it was only civilians who were
4 in there and it was not a military stronghold of the
5 units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
6 Q. What was the date that these confrontations
7 began, that is, the confrontations in respect of the
9 A. Practically immediately on the 9th of June.
10 Immediately on the 9th of June this high-rise was a
11 matter of controversy. The HVO units wanted to turn it
12 into a military facility again as they did in the
13 October conflict. So this building was in a zone
14 between the two lines, you see.
15 That is why the position of civilians who
16 were in this building was extremely difficult. At the
17 outset of the conflict on the 9th of June, in this
18 high-rise there were 57 persons who were spending the
19 night there in that high-rise.
20 Q. So this is while the building had -- while
21 the fighting had begun there were still people in that
22 building. You said there were 57 of them. Were they
23 civilians? Were they military personnel?
24 A. These were only civilians, except for two
25 soldiers who had been army members before that, but
1 they would go back home to spend the night. So they
2 were spending the night with their families in this
4 One of the soldiers was Zijad Muslic, and
5 Suljo Silajdzic was the other one, because their
6 families lived there. They came there on the 8th of
7 June to spend the night that. The conflict broke out
8 around 6.00 in the morning, so they happened to be
9 there. All the rest were civilians.
10 Q. There were women? There were children as
11 well; is that true?
12 A. Yes. Out of the 57 persons who were in the
13 high-rise there were 18 children and 10 women. Those
14 were the mothers of these children. Then there were
15 another 10 women who did not have children and the rest
16 were men.
17 Q. You gave to officers, when you testified, the
18 document on which you have the list of the inhabitants
19 of that building, that is, document Z1963.
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Mr. Usher,
21 could you give that document to the witness?
22 Q. Is this, in fact, the document?
23 A. Yes, that's it. That is the list that I
24 handed in to the investigator that I talked to, and I
25 got the document from Safet Duvnjak who, at the time,
1 was the President of the commission for exchanges
2 appointed by the war presidency of Novi Travnik. So he
3 had composed this list and I took it from him.
4 Q. On the list we see the names of the people
5 who lived in the building. Were all of these
6 inhabitants of Bosnian origin or were there Croats as
8 A. In the building there were mostly Bosniaks
9 but there were others too who were not Bosniaks, either
10 families that lived in so-called mixed marriages or
11 persons who were simply of a different ethnic
12 background. For example, Josip Vujic and Ivanka Vujic,
13 they're not Bosniaks. Also, Ivic Dusan. And there's
14 Mira Kares, also not a Bosniak. There's also Natasa
15 Krsin, who is also not a Bosniak.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
18 Mr. Lopez-Terres, so that the Judges can understand
19 properly, we heard about mixed families and Bosniak
20 families. Can I understand what that really is? When
21 they talked about "mixed families," what is that
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
24 Q. Could you explain that to us, Witness C.
25 Explain what you mean by "mixed families." At least
1 this is the way it was said in French, "mixed
3 A. These are families where the husband or the
4 wife were, for example, were a Bosniak, a Serb or a
5 Croat, and the spouse belonged to a different ethnic
6 group. We usually call these mixed marriages.
7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Did the
8 religious element influence the mixed character? I
9 would like to know whether there was a religious
10 element at stake here.
11 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
12 Q. The distinction that you make, could we say
13 that it was based on ethnic or only on religious
15 A. Well, when we're talking about mixed
16 marriages, we're only talking about the ethnic
17 criterion. When we say that a marriage is a mixed
18 marriage, then it is different from another marriage.
19 Q. Witness C, in that building, that is -- that
20 in the building, were the inhabitants armed?
21 A. As far as I know, in that building there
22 weren't any soldiers who had weapons, although there
23 were two persons who were members of the BH army before
24 that. I already mentioned Zijad Muslic and Suljo
25 Silajdzic, but they went home without any weapons.
1 They left their weapons back at the unit, and they were
2 supposed to go back and get their weapons again.
3 Q. About how long did the inhabitants of that
4 building remain inside without being able to go out
5 because they were caught by the fire?
6 A. These 57, or from the 2nd of July onwards it
7 was 56 inhabitants, they spent a three-month period
8 between these two zones. That is to say, from the 9th
9 of June until the 9th of September. All these three
10 months they could not go out and no one could go in.
11 No one could reach the inhabitants of this building.
12 Q. How did they get food? Was assistance
13 brought to them from outside?
14 A. They used the food supplies that these
15 families happened to have, that is to say, the families
16 who lived in the building itself. After the
17 inhabitants of this building talked about this, after
18 this period, in some apartments they had some food
19 supplies or, rather, there were some empty apartments
20 too where there were food supplies. So when they ran
21 out of food, their own food, they went to these other
22 apartments and got these extra food supplies. It was
23 impossible to get any food to them.
24 After two months had passed and when it was
25 really critical for them in this apartment building,
1 then at the beginning of August we managed to cover
2 this distance between the Stari Soliter, the old
3 high-rise, and this other place that I marked as number
4 three, this is about 40 metres, a 40-metre distance, we
5 managed to get a wire across. Then during a few
6 evenings we managed to get some food supplies and some
7 water supplies to the people in this building.
8 We would use parcels of four or four and a
9 half kilograms. We tried with bigger parcels too but
10 then the wire broke down. So the wire was there for a
11 couple of days but we couldn't send in more than four
12 or four and a half kilograms via this wire.
13 Q. Did the HVO soldiers prevent you from
14 bringing in the provisions?
15 A. Well, getting this assistance in and also
16 bringing in messages and letters to this high-rise and,
17 also, our soldiers who were in the old high-rise, this
18 did not go on for a long period of time, eight to ten
19 days at a maximum. This transport took place during
20 the night when it was very dark and when others could
21 not notice these parcels going across this wire.
22 During the day, HVO soldiers, especially
23 those at the position of the workers' centre, they were
24 shooting at the wire every day and they tried to break
25 it down. They did manage to do so after about ten
1 days. So this was the third time that this wire was
2 broken, and we never managed to connect the two again.
3 Q. Did the BH army suggest to the HVO that the
4 inhabitants of the building should be allowed out?
5 A. The first offer made by the army, especially
6 by the war presidency of the municipality of Novi
7 Travnik, was made to the HVO on the 2nd of July, 1993,
8 when a physician from the army side went into a
9 building and a physician from the HVO side, together
10 with a representative of the International Red Cross.
11 Then an offer was made to the HVO to carry
12 out an evacuation of the inhabitants of this building
13 and that it not be used as a military facility by
14 either side. Even at those negotiations, the HVO asked
15 that the inhabitants leave the building but that the
16 building be handed over to them so that it remained
17 under their control. The President of the commission
18 who attended these negotiations could not accept that
19 precondition and that is how the blockade of the
20 high-rise continued.
21 Q. During those three months, did the HVO
22 suggest that any exchange of individuals in the
23 building be carried out, that is, an exchange for other
25 A. When the physicians came to see the
1 inhabitants of the building on the 2nd -- the second
2 time, that was on the 23rd of July, 1993, that was when
3 the HVO asked for only an exchange of inhabitants to
4 take place. That is to say, the inhabitants of this
5 high-rise for inhabitants of Croat ethnic that were
6 living in Senkovici and in another village. These are
7 inhabitants who remained in this area and who did not
8 dare go in anywhere. They remained after the conflict
9 broke out on the 9th of June, 1993.
10 I do not know exactly what number of
11 inhabitants we are talking about, but I think that
12 there were about 120 to 130 inhabitants, women,
13 children, and elderly that were in question.
14 Q. If I understood you correctly, the HVO
15 proposal was to exchange the inhabitants of the
16 building called Stari Soliter for Croatian people in
17 the two villages in the sector under the BH army
18 control, the two villages of Torine and Senkovici; is
19 that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. How long had those villages been under the BH
22 army control, that is, the two Croatian villages?
23 A. The inhabitants of these two villages who
24 were Croats lived together with the Bosniaks. For
25 example, in Senkovici, they were a minority as compared
1 to Bosniaks, whereas in Torine it was more or less the
2 same number of Bosniaks and Croats. That is to say
3 that this is a population that remained in their own
4 houses after the third conflict had broken out between
5 the HVO units and the army units, that is to say, on
6 the 9th of June, 1993.
7 These are people who lived there earlier on
8 too. They remained there even after the conflict
9 started because they were not directly affected in that
10 village at first.
11 Q. Could one deduce from everything you've said
12 that there were other Croatian people living in other
13 villages, Croatian villages under the HVO army control
14 left their villages, as opposed to the ones in
15 Senkovici and Torine?
16 A. The inhabitants of other villages where there
17 was a Croatian population and where there were HVO
18 units, that is to say, that there was a front line in
19 those villages, they left those villages in the night
20 between the 15th and 16th of June, 1993. Before that,
21 the line of contact between HVO and the BH army was in
22 those villages.
23 After that night, in the early morning hours,
24 a strong explosion took place in the village of Hadzici
25 and Pobrdani, and we did not know until the afternoon
1 what kind of explosion this was. Only after 12.00 on
2 that 16th of June, our units observed this,
3 reconnoitred, and they saw that there weren't any
4 inhabitants left in these villages. There wasn't any
5 smoke coming out of the chimneys and you couldn't
6 really see anything.
7 Then the units started moving into this
8 region where the HVO members and the Croats population
9 was, and that is how we realise that in Hadzici and
10 Pobrdani a larger quantity of weapons was destroyed.
11 It was difficult to transport that along the road where
12 the Croatian population was moving because we saw
13 traces of this. Different things were dropped by
14 them. They were moving towards Margetici, Hadzici,
15 Zenepici, Pobrdani, and these other villages. That is
16 to say, from Pobrdani via the village of Rude, and
17 above Gornje Pecine, and then this went up to
18 Mravinjac, Kamenjas where there was a line of contact
19 between HVO soldiers and the Serb forces from the
20 direction of the municipality of Donji Vakuf and
22 Q. In respect of the Croatian population who
23 left the villages, did they do that of their own free
24 will or were they expelled by the BH army forces?
25 A. Those days this wasn't really any combat
1 action and, therefore, there was no reason to evacuate
2 that population. Perhaps I should mention to you that
3 the army forces did not get into these villages
4 throughout the day of the 16th of June, although, in
5 fact, those villages were empty during that entire
7 It is only from the 17th of June onwards that
8 the members of the army went into those villages and
9 realised that there were no people in there and no HVO
10 units either. We do not know the reason why the
11 population of these villages, together with the HVO,
12 went and surrendered to the Serb side in the region of
14 Q. As far as you know, at that period that we're
15 speaking about, were there any orders given by the HVO
16 to the Croatian population, orders to leave the area?
17 A. I am not aware of such an order, but I know
18 that before that something similar happened to the
19 Croat population in the municipality of Travnik. We
20 had information that the members of HVO in Travnik,
21 some part of them, and the Croat population of a part
22 of the Travnik municipality, which gravitated towards
23 Turbe and Vlasic, that they also left the territory of
24 the municipality of Travnik and moved over to the Serb
25 side in the area of Vlasic. That is HVO members and
1 some parts of the Croat population.
2 Q. You said that the inhabitants of the Stari
3 Soliter building had remained locked in the building
4 for three months. Could you speak to us about this
5 exchange that occurred, because in the end there was an
6 exchange, as you've said. Under what condition did the
7 exchange take place and what was the date that it
9 A. The old high-rise was entered by old HVO
10 members on 9th September, '93 by moving from the ground
11 floor of that building, and those were some business
12 outlets. They brought a large quantity of explosives,
13 put it on the wall which separated the offices from the
14 entrance into flats, made a huge hole there and, thus,
15 entered the residential part of that building and took
16 out all the 56 inhabitants of this high-rise building
17 and took them to the Sports Hall in HVO Travnik and
18 there to the hotel called Novi Travnik.
19 Q. How long did the people in the Stari Soliter
20 building remain in that building before the exchange
21 took place? How long were they kept there, rather?
22 A. Another seven days passed by until the
23 exchange was agreed, that is, of those inhabitants and
24 inhabitants of the villages of Senkovici and Turine.
25 This was the express demand of the HVO as of the 23rd
1 of July when this particular request was formulated.
2 The war presidency of the Novi Travnik
3 municipality and the commander of the BH army refused
4 that kind of exchange of the population because that
5 could indeed mean the expulsion of the Croat population
6 by the army, and we've never accepted this condition.
7 Lamentably, we agreed to that, under very hard
8 conditions, only after those five to six -- that is on
9 the principle of the exchange of population overall.
10 We agreed only after this civilian population from the
11 high-rise building was taken to the Sports Hall and
12 were in the hands of the HVO and subjected to ill
13 treatment. And since their lives were at risk, we
14 agreed, even though reluctantly, to this exchange. And
15 this exchange took place on the 17th of September, '93,
16 somewhere between Novi Travnik and the locality of
17 Trenica, some two kilometres away from the locality of
18 Trenica in the municipality of Novi Travnik.
19 Q. Let's move to another point.
20 During the fighting in June of '93, did the
21 village called Lazine find itself taken by the HVO
22 forces? I would like you to show us where the village
23 is located on Exhibit Z2612/1. Could you put the
24 document on the ELMO, please?
25 Could you show us where the village of Lazine
1 is on the map?
2 A. The village of Lazine was under the
3 neighbourhood community of Rankovici, and it is about a
4 kilometre and a half or two from the seat of this
5 neighbourhood community. It is below 929 reference
6 point, which dominates over the area where the village
7 is, and below Bucicka Ravan where the HVO kept a flow
8 on it towards the village of Santici which was
9 protected by the BH army units.
10 The attack took place on the 29th of
11 June, '93, sometime in the morning hours, about 9.00 or
12 10.00. Around 14.00, I was coming back with the
13 commander from the road that is taking a roundabout
14 from Novi Travnik, and in the village of Djakovici we
15 saw that all the houses and stables were on fire in the
16 village of Lazine in the evening, around 9.00.
17 The commander of the unit, Suad Sakic
18 reported to us -- he personally came to report to us at
19 the headquarters that the village had been taken by HVO
20 combatants, that all the houses had been burned down,
21 and that there were very grave casualties among the BH
22 army members and civilians who were defending the
24 Q. Were the houses in the village of Lazine
25 destroyed during the fighting?
1 A. They were not destroyed, they were simply
2 burned down. A couple of days later, sometime in early
3 July, I was in the village of Cakici, and one could see
4 a house here and there or a stable standing, that is,
5 not having been burned to the ground, but 90 per cent
6 of all the buildings had burned down to the ground
7 completely, both houses and stables. The same holds
8 true of some seven or eight houses in a village, Gornji
9 Rankovici, in a part of it, where there were also some
10 seven or eight Muslim households, and their houses were
11 set on fire that same day where the village of Lazine
12 fell or, rather, where the front line near the village
13 of Lazine of the Armijas line, I mean, and when they
14 reached this village in the Novi Travnik municipality.
15 Q. When, on the 29th of June, '93, the village
16 of Lazine was taken, were there any BH army soldiers
17 who were either killed or taken prisoner?
18 A. The commander who informed us that evening at
19 that meeting of the brigade command informed us that
20 there were a number of casualties, including six
21 civilians because they had taken some weapons either
22 from soldiers who had been killed or had their own
23 weapons. But at any rate, he informed us about the
24 death of six civilians who were killed while defending
25 the village. The commander of the brigade and the
1 commander of the army recognised the status of
2 combatants, so they said even though they were killed
3 by civilians, subsequently they were recognised as the
4 status of combatants in the army. Those houses were
6 On that particular day, we also learned that
7 four soldiers had been captured and that one body,
8 according to combatants, of those who took part in the
9 fighting, one body remained lying on the ground in that
10 village of Lazine. But the commander told us that
11 there were four soldiers captured, including the leader
12 of the squad, who was captured during that attack on
13 the village of Lazine. Muhamed Sahinovic was his name.
14 Q. You had information according to which the
15 soldiers were captured. Could you tell us about that,
16 please? That is, the four soldiers that you've just
17 spoken about, were they released later on, were they
19 A. The 7th of July, '93, the exchange took place
20 of bodies of killed soldiers. The bodies of the killed
21 soldiers, Enver Omeragic, Ejub Omeragic, Hajdar Mujic
22 and Muhamed Sahinovic's bodies we got in exchange on
23 the 7th of July, and they were dead bodies.
24 According to the post-mortem performed by the
25 head of the medical corps, those two soldiers -- two of
1 them were killed earlier and then buried, and there
2 were marks on their bodies, indicating that they had
3 been lying under the ground for about a week.
4 According to Dr. Suad Grizic, Hajdar Mujic's
5 body and Muhamed Sahinovic's body had been liquidated
6 and massacred less than 24 hours before the exchange,
7 that is, before the 7th of July, '93.
8 JUDGE MAY: I'm finding it difficult to
9 follow this evidence. How many bodies is it suggested
10 were exchanged? Can you tell me that,
11 Mr. Lopez-Terres?
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The
13 witness is speaking about four soldiers who were
15 JUDGE MAY: The bodies of four soldiers were
16 exchanged. I see.
17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
18 Q. Do you have any information according to
19 which the four soldiers that we're speaking about had
20 been taken alive before the village was taken?
21 A. According to the commander who led the units
22 in the area of Lazine that day, Mr. Suad Sakic, and
23 other soldiers who were there in the evening at the
24 meeting of the brigade command, they said they knew for
25 certain that those four soldiers had been captured
1 alive, and that the body of Sulejman Omeragic, who had
2 been killed, Sulejman Omeragic's body remained lying --
3 I mean he was killed and his body was lying in the
4 village, whereas these four soldiers had been captured
5 alive and taken away by HVO members.
6 Q. Do you know where the four soldiers were
7 being detained before the exchange of the bodies that
8 you've just spoken about?
9 A. The first information as to the place of
10 captivity of these men we received on the 13th of July,
11 '93, after a captured Bosniak from the camp which was
12 stationed at the compound of a construction enterprise
13 in Stojkovici was exchanged.
14 Mr. Fahrudin Hadzalic, who had been in this
15 camp in Stojkovici when he was released, he told us
16 that at this Stojkovici camp, four soldiers, members of
17 the BH army, had also been detained in that camp. This
18 was the first information as to the place of detention,
19 which we learned from this detainee after he had been
20 released and after we could take his statement at the
21 brigade's command.
22 Q. Could you show us the Stojkovici village,
23 where the camp was, on the map?
24 A. This camp was 2,5 or three kilometres away
25 from the centre of Novi Travnik, the town, I mean, on
1 the road to Travnik and Vitez. Here, in the area of
2 the village of Stojkovici, is the seat of a
3 construction company called Gradzevinar, which had a
4 small building here next to the concrete manufacturing
5 plant, and that is where the captured Bosniaks were
6 kept as detainees.
7 This is a side road some 100 metres away from
8 the Novi Travnik-Travnik road, next to the village of
9 Stojkovici, in front of the village of Stojkovici.
10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
11 Mr. Lopez-Terres, so that we can follow properly, could
12 we have an idea about this village of Lazine and also
13 Stojkovici that was just spoken about? When we say
14 "village", what does that mean? Could we have some
15 explanation by the witness of the number of people
16 living there, what the population was?
17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
18 Q. Could you supplement the information, please,
19 by informing us of what the Judge has just asked?
20 A. The exact number, I could not tell you, but
21 it was some 30 households, and when one thinks of the
22 number of members of a household, perhaps 130 or 140
23 inhabitants of the village of Lazine. So it's a
24 smallish village in the municipality of Novi Travnik,
25 and as such, it was an integral part of the village of
1 Rankovici, which is a larger locality, larger
2 settlement, and it belonged to the neighbourhood
3 community of Rankovici. This was one of the larger
4 localities in the municipality of Novi Travnik, and I
5 said that the villages of Rankovici and Stojkovici were
6 villages, together with Butici, had the majority Croat
7 population. The Muslim were the majority in Lazine
8 and, to a certain degree, in the village of Gornji
9 Rankovici with about seven or eight Muslim households.
10 Q. In this Stojkovici camp you have just spoken
11 about, the people who were detained, were they civilian
12 prisoners or were they military personnel?
13 A. The first civilians were taken to the camp at
14 Stojkovici on the 13th of July, '93. Those were
15 civilians, Bosniaks, who had continued living in their
16 houses around the Sports Hall in the town of Novi
17 Travnik, across the river. Those were Semso Bradic,
18 Sinan Prcanovic, Kasim Skrobo, Muhamed Kopcic's
19 families and some refugees from Karaula who were
20 staying with Mr. Hazim Skrobo. Others in this camp
21 were Bosniaks who had not been expelled yet from the
22 town and who had been living in the buildings next to
23 the old hotel. Dr. Naida Muhamed, Dr. Fadil Tatarevic,
24 Galib Merdan and some other civilians who were in that
25 part; not very many of them.
1 In the camp at Stojkovici, after -- from the
2 13th until the 25th of July, when the last prisoner was
3 brought there, it was Naida Brkovic, a woman. There
4 were altogether 21 persons, civilians, and that was the
5 number of civilians who were detained in that camp.
6 Q. If I understood you correctly, the four
7 soldiers whose bodies were given back had also been
8 detained in that camp after having been captured in
10 A. Yes. According to statements made by several
11 inhabitants who had spent some time at the Stojkovici
12 camp after the exchange, we learned that soldiers had
13 also been kept there but on the ground floor of the
14 same building. They were put up on a floor. That
15 building had some staircase outside, and there were
16 some premises in the loft, and on the ground floor
17 there was another room, and allegedly, reportedly, they
18 kept soldiers there.
19 Q. The, approximately, 20 civilians who were
20 there, how long did they remain in that camp,
22 A. Well, different prisoners stayed different
23 periods of time there, but in the camp, those prisoners
24 who spent there different periods of time were there
25 between the 13th of June until the 30th of June, '93,
1 when the civilians who were detained at the Stojkovici
2 camp were exchanged. That is where we learned about
3 the total number of civilians detained there and what
4 happened, because we took statements from most of those
5 who came out of the camp and came to the town, and then
6 we took their statements from those who had been in the
7 camp so that we knew what had happened to those 20-odd
8 civilians during that period of time.
9 Q. According to information that you could get
10 about those civilians, were you able to know whether
11 some of them had been used by the HVO guards watching
12 over them, used for forced labour?
13 A. According to Muhamed Merdan's statement, and
14 he was my worker and then was retired last April, he
15 told me that those prisoners were ill-treated by some
16 HVO members who simply happened to drop by, not by the
17 guards, but by some other HVO soldiers who had just
18 come to that facility and then ill treat civilians. As
19 of the 2nd of July, '93, those detained soldiers -- I
20 mean civilians, except Safet Imbrisimbegovic, who was
21 an old man and who could not physically endure,
22 according to the doctor, he was the only one, and in
23 addition to those two women, these women Brkovic and
24 another one called Sehida, all the others were taken to
25 dig trenches and to serve in trenches in the area of
1 the village of Zubici.
2 Q. Is this village on the map?
3 A. Yes, here it is. This is the village of
4 Zubici, which is about here in the direction of Gornji
5 Vakuf, perhaps a kilometre -- 1,5 to two kilometres
6 away. This is where the separation line went between
7 the HVO units and the BH army units. After the 2nd of
8 July, those captured civilians were taken to the area
9 of Zubici. They were driven in a truck by Hrvoje who
10 came from the same company that I came to, and he would
11 take them over from somewhere in the area of Rostovo by
12 Vilim Coric, as they called him, a fiery one they
13 called him on the Croat side, and he was the man who
14 just brought him to the area of the village of Zubici
15 and they were used to dig these trenches as of 8.00 in
16 the morning and they worked until 16.00 to 17.00. It
17 varied from one day to the other, and throughout that
18 period of time until the exchange. During that period
19 of time as they were digging those trenches, I think it
20 was on the 7th of July, as they were digging this,
21 Muhamed Merdan's son was severely wounded because he
22 was also exchanged with him on the 17th of July.
23 Q. In addition to trench-digging, were the
24 prisoners used for other work or other operations in
25 the field?
1 A. From the statements of witnesses, from
2 Rostokovici, who came to dig trenches in the area of
3 Zubici, we only know that among other things, they were
4 also used to dig out two bodies of killed. One was a
5 member of the Armija, that is Samir, and they killed an
6 HVO member there in that area. It was very difficult
7 to dig him out, so these prisoners were also used to
8 recover those bodies. We exchanged this Samir Perenda
9 on the 13th of July, '93, and these prisoners also told
10 them, when they came out of the camp, that they were
11 also used to dig out -- for this kind of job. It
12 happened one day only.
13 Q. I would like us to speak about another
14 village now, the village of Isakovici.
15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
16 Mr. Lopez-Terres, I'm interrupting you for a moment.
17 It seems to me that before we move to the next phase,
18 that people had been used as human shields. I see that
19 in the transcript. Could that be made more clear?
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
21 Q. Could you give us some additional information
22 about the use of prisoners when they had to go collect
23 bodies on the battlefield?
24 A. No, I did not use the word "human shield." I
25 did not say that. What I did say was that those
1 captured Bosniaks who were taken from the camp in
2 Senkovici the village of Zubici one day, and those were
3 three prisoners, Semso Bradic and the other two names I
4 do not know, but according to these witnesses, one day
5 they were used between the lines of separation between
6 the HVO army's and the BH army's units in the village
7 of Zubici. They were used to recover the body of an
8 Armija's member and one member of the HVO units.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, we're coming to
10 the time for the break. It may be convenient if you're
11 moving on to another topic.
12 Now, how much more do you have for this
14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) About 15
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll break now for
17 20 minutes.
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
19 Mr. President, I believe that there's an interpretation
20 error. We want to note this for the transcript. In
21 French, the term "human shield" was used, which is not
22 exactly the proper term.
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It wasn't, in fact, used in
24 English, according to my recollection. Perhaps that
25 could be sorted out.
1 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.37 a.m.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Thank you,
5 Your Honour.
6 Q. Witness C, I would like us now to speak about
7 the attack on the village at Isakovici. During that
8 attack which occurred in the beginning of October,
9 1993, did the BH army have any of its members taken
10 prisoner by the HVO? How many soldiers were taken
12 A. On that day, five soldiers were taken
13 prisoner in the area of the village of Isakovici,
14 towards Streliste, at a place called Brgino Brdo. Five
15 soldiers from the unit that was commanded by Saskic
17 Q. The attack on the village, was it carried out
18 by the HVO?
19 A. Yes, yes. On that day, early in the morning,
20 there was a strong attack by HVO units from the area of
21 the village of Pribilovici, and all along this line
22 which moved along the village of Isakovici towards the
23 slopes of Mount Velenice, that is where the attack took
24 place all day. Then also near the cemetery in the
25 village of Isakovici there were about 30 dugouts, but
1 then that line was recaptured in the afternoon and the
2 army units already in the afternoon were at the
3 positions where they were in the morning around 6.00
4 when the attack started.
5 In addition to these soldiers who were
6 captured, there were soldiers who were killed at this
7 line too, and their bodies remained in between but the
8 members of the army managed to get them out during the
10 Q. I would like you to talk to us more
11 specifically about these five soldiers taken prisoner.
12 Could you tell us what happened to three of them?
13 A. These five soldiers were Mutic Husein, Dedic
14 Sevad, Hajric Enes, Mujak Nedzad, and Muslimovic
16 On the 5th of October, that is to say, two
17 days after this attack on the village of Isakovici,
18 these captured soldiers who were brought to the region
19 of Begino Brdo and they were tied up with mines. They
20 had mines on their backs, and they came behind the line
21 that was held by the BH army. We know for sure that in
22 this human shield there were three soldiers, because
23 one of them, Enes Hajric, went further up front, and he
24 was almost to the BH army lines, and he was calling out
25 to his son Hasan to shoot him, to kill him, because he
1 did not want to remain a prisoner any longer.
2 At that point in time, when he neared the
3 line of the BH army, these mines were activated,
4 because they were all connected by cable to the HVO
5 soldiers, and all three of them were blown apart. The
6 body of Enes Hajric was close to the army lines, and
7 the members of the army managed to get him out on the
8 7th of October, 1993, and the bodies of the other two
9 men who were killed were picked from the battlefield
10 only on the 15th of November, 1993, when UNPROFOR
11 mediated. Specifically, it was a Captain called York,
12 whose headquarters were in Vitez, his unit was in
13 Vitez. He was the one who mediated.
14 The representatives of the army on that day,
15 together with Captain York, came to the area of Begino
16 Brdo and picked up the remains of the body of Mevludin
17 Muslimovic, and Nedzad Mujak and the HVO side got the
18 body of Borovickic Andjelko, its killed soldier. These
19 three were used as a human shield because they wanted
20 to retrieve the body of that soldier who was killed and
21 that is why they tied them up and put these mines on
22 their backs.
23 Q. The HVO decided to send the three soldiers in
24 order to pick up the body of an HVO soldier; is that
25 correct? That's what they did?
1 A. Yes. That is what we were told by Sevad
2 Dedic, the surviving member of the BH army whom we
3 exchanged a few days after that. Mutic Husein did not
4 want to cross to the army side because he was married
5 to a Croat woman, and he went to this part of Novi
6 Travnik that was under HVO control. He did not want to
7 be exchanged.
8 So this is the information that I personally
9 heard from this soldier, Dedic Sevad, the only survivor
10 from amongst the five prisoners.
11 Q. Remaining in October 1993, did the HVO
12 soldiers shell the city of Novi Travnik?
13 A. On the 7th of October, there was a lot of
14 shelling of the entire town during the day. The entire
15 part of town that was under BH army was shelled and
16 then this shelling stopped around 12.00 or 1.00 in the
17 afternoon. Then sometime during the afternoon, between
18 4.00 and 5.00, three shells were launched against the
19 town itself and, also, there was a mortar shell that
20 was fired at the village of Kasapovici.
21 This building, this is a civilian building
22 that was called Mobilija, and this was the place where
23 these shells had fallen. There were many civilians who
24 were killed or wounded, and soldiers too, naturally,
25 because this was in the afternoon hours.
1 There was a market there too. This was
2 between two buildings. They closed off an area, a
3 U-shaped area. So this was an improvised market in the
4 afternoon hours when there was less sniper fire, and
5 that is where these two shells fell.
6 Then two children were killed, and four
7 children were wounded, and two civilians were killed
8 too, middle-aged civilians, that is. Also, several
9 soldiers who were in town at the time, that is to say,
10 where the marketplace was. Among those who were killed
11 on the 7th of October was also the son of Enes Hajric
12 who was blown up by the mine on the 5th of October. On
13 the 7th of October, his son, Hasan Hajric, was killed
14 by this shell by the Mobilija building.
15 Q. The shelling that you're speaking about took
16 place on the 7th of October. In October was there any
17 further shelling on Novi Travnik?
18 A. There was another shelling. In the last week
19 of October, I think it was the 23rd of October, but
20 there weren't many civilians who were killed then as
21 was the case on the 7th of October, there were only
22 civilians who were wounded.
23 Q. The two shelling incidents that you just
24 spoke about were aimed against civilians; is that
1 A. Yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's going to be a matter
3 which we're going to have to decide. The witness can't
4 say who they were aimed at.
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
6 Q. Were there any military facilities in the
7 areas that had come under shelling on that day in that
9 A. No. The closest building to the place that
10 was hit was the building of the secondary school, and
11 it was about 150 metres away from that building. That
12 building was near the first army lines. Well, it
13 depends really where you look at the line, but at the
14 closest point perhaps it was 600 or 700 metres away
15 from the line.
16 Q. In respect of the shelling of 7 October, you
17 said that there were many casualties in the afternoon
18 because they had been at a market at a moment when the
19 sniper fire was not as heavy. Could you specify what
20 you mean by that and to speak about those snipers?
21 A. Sniper fire against the part of town that was
22 under BH army control where civilians lived was there
23 in October and, also, during all those nine months from
24 June 1993 until February 1994. The sniper positions
25 were in the area of the TV transmitter. I already
1 mentioned that this was about a hundred metres away
2 from the fire brigade building. From that place, the
3 entire area that was under BH army control could be
4 seen, that is, the street of the 4th of July and then
5 the village of Isakovici.
6 This part of town that was under BH army
7 control, all of that was under sniper fire. Sometimes
8 sniper fire was more intensive and sometimes it was not
9 that intensive, but in this period, during sniper fire,
10 that is to say, during these nine months there were
11 many civilians who were killed and, naturally, soldiers
12 as well during this nine-month period. Also, there
13 were even more persons who were wounded.
14 Q. Could you give as you an estimate of the
15 number of casualties on whom the snipers had been
17 A. According to my very own data that I had
18 collected, as I was staying in town at the time, and
19 these are not complete data, this is only things I
20 managed to learn since I was present when civilians
21 were either killed or wounded, that part of town where
22 the civilians lived were shelled and where there was
23 sniper fire, according to my records there were 78
24 civilians who were either wounded or killed, and that
25 includes the number of people who were killed on that
1 previous day, the nine people who were killed.
2 Q. You produced a list of the victims,
3 casualties. We're going to show you the list, and can
4 you confirm that that is, in fact, the document that
5 you gave us?
6 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The
7 reference number is Z1962/2?
8 A. Yes, this is the list that I compiled on the
9 basis of my own notes from my war diary, the diary I
10 kept. I did this for my own purposes. I made notes
11 every day, ever since I became a member of the army in
12 May 1992, until April 1996.
13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
14 Q. Could you give us some information about the
15 list? Could you specify who the people who were killed
16 are and who were the ones who were wounded, in a few
17 words, so that the Trial Chamber, which does not have a
18 translation of the document, can identify who was
19 killed? Who were the people who were killed and who
20 were the ones who were wounded?
21 A. Shall we start from the beginning?
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, there ought to
23 be a translation of this. The requirement is that
24 documents, before they're exhibited, are translated.
25 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I simply
1 wanted to ask the witness to tell us what the meaning
2 of the word in Serbo-Croat would be for killed or
3 wounded so that the Trial Chamber could understand what
4 corresponds to which victims whose names appear on the
6 JUDGE MAY: You can do that. Do it briefly,
7 please, rather than going through the list, but in
8 future, these documents should be translated before
9 they're put into the Trial Chamber as exhibits.
10 Can you just ask the witness what these words
11 mean, not to go through the list, please?
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
13 Q. Witness C, the word that I'm not going to
14 pronounce very well, "poginuo", does that refer to a
15 person who is dead?
16 A. Yes. "Poginuo" is the word that is used for
17 a person who was killed on the date that is mentioned
18 on this list. I can mention a few examples, if you
20 Q. And the word "ranjen"?
21 A. These are civilian persons who were hit by
22 sniper that day or wounded by shelling. It depends on
23 the day concerned. "Ranjen" are persons who were not
24 killed on the spot. Perhaps they passed away later, as
25 they were being treated medically. Perhaps death came
1 as a consequence of that wounding.
2 Q. To simplify things, the "poginuo" refers to a
3 deceased person and the word "ranjen" refers to a
4 wounded person; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Witness C, the Office of the Prosecutor has
7 another document which has been shown to you, and that
8 document was received from the Bosnia-Herzegovina
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The
11 document is Z1958.
12 The document has a list of the BH army
13 soldiers who died in combat both against the Serbian
14 army and the HVO army. Could you review the document
15 and paying special attention to the soldiers whose
16 names are under numbers 58, 99. Could you confirm that
17 those two names correspond to the names of the soldiers
18 that you mentioned in your deposition?
19 A. Yes. These are the soldiers that I mentioned
20 in my previous statement.
21 Q. Does that also apply to three other names? I
22 ask you to look at number 119 -- as I said, 119, 121,
23 and 171.
24 A. One seventy one, that is the soldier I
25 mentioned. His name was Cazo, nicknamed Cazo. Muhamed
1 Sahinovic was his name. The probable date of death is
2 mentioned here. However, there is a note here that
3 says "massacred by HV." I think this is a mistake
4 here. I think it should say "HVO." One hundred
5 nineteen, as well, again this is the person that I
6 mentioned, yes.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. Otherwise, I am aware of this list because
9 according to this methodology, according to this
10 layout, we sent reports to the command that was our
11 superior, and that was within my sector, and it was the
12 command of the armed forces that in August 1992 said
13 that I, together with my colleague Kovacevic, was in
14 charge of all affairs related to the funerals of killed
15 BH army soldiers. So I was the member of the command
16 who was in charge of this inter alia.
17 Q. I would like to ask the witness one last
18 question, and it has to do with expulsions, that is, of
19 Bosnians from the surrounding villages and Novi Travnik
21 Witness C, could you tell us whether, during
22 the period of the third conflict that you've spoken
23 about, whether the expulsions of the citizens of
24 Bosnian origin continued in the sectors under the HVO
1 A. After the third conflict broke out on the 9th
2 of June, there were practically no expulsions because
3 there were hardly any Bosniaks left in that period, I
4 mean, Bosniaks who would be living in the part of town
5 that was under HVO control. The expulsions were
6 practically completed on the 8th of June, 1993, when
7 one last big group of inhabitants was expelled from
8 that part of town. It was 69 families that were
9 expelled on that day. I know that personally, because
10 from December until the 1st of August, my wife worked
11 in the municipal Secretariat for Housing Affairs, and
12 she practically had to work on the housing problems of
13 these persons who were expelled.
14 The Bosniaks who remained after the 9th of
15 June, 1993, in that part of town that was under HVO
16 control, they were deported to the camp in Stojkovici
17 after being picked up on the 13th of June.
18 By the end of the conflict, there were only
19 individual Bosniaks there who lived in mixed marriages
20 with their spouses, who were either Serbs or Croats.
21 This was a very small number. I know three or four
22 such individuals who remained in that part of town
23 throughout, that is to say, who were not expelled. For
24 example, Halid Salajdzic and his brother, Salajdzic
1 Q. You don't have to give the names of the
2 people. In respect of the surrounding villages, the
3 villages surrounding Novi Travnik, were any expulsions
4 of populations of Bosnian origin carried out as well?
5 A. The HVO units, from the 9th of June until the
6 end of this conflict in February, 1994, practically
7 entered only one area that was inhabited by Bosniaks.
8 These are the inhabitants of the village of Lazine. In
9 other parts, there was no movement of lines and the HVO
10 units did not enter a single area where there was a
11 Bosniak population, and therefore there could not have
12 been any expulsions.
13 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Thank
14 you. I have no further questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski. Are you
16 going to cross-examine?
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
18 very briefly, not to waste your time, I wish to remind
19 Your Honours once again the problems facing the Defence
20 because of the extraordinarily large number of
21 translated statements of the witness which were given
22 the Defence this April.
23 However, in spite of all these difficulties,
24 and mindful of time, because we also think that the
25 factor of time is very important, so that the Defence
1 counsel for Mr. Kordic have decided to proceed
2 immediately to the cross-examination of Witness C.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, do so.
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Thank you.
5 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
7 Q. Witness C, may I introduce myself? I'm Mitko
8 Naumovski, and I'm one of the counsel for Mr. Dario
9 Kordic. I will ask you a number of questions.
10 Witness C, you're in the habit, evidently, of
11 writing your personal diary?
12 A. Yes, notes, diary. I always use these
13 diaries, logbooks, agendas, and I have been writing
14 throughout the war all that was happening, all the
15 important things.
16 Q. So you had the principal wartime diary
17 between '92 until '96?
18 A. No, I was taking notes, my own personal
19 notes, and in August, '92, I was charged by Mr. Refik
20 Lendo to also take notes for the municipal
21 headquarters. I continued to do so when the 308th
22 Brigade was formed, so that I had the war log of the
23 municipal headquarters and then the 308th Brigade
24 throughout that period of time.
25 Q. So to make it quite clear, you kept your
1 personal diary, your own personal private notes, and as
2 of the date that you said, you also began to keep the
3 official diary or rather the official logbook of the BH
4 army; is that so?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. In what capacity did you do it?
7 A. As a member of the municipal headquarters or,
8 rather, as a member of the command of the 308th Brigade
9 of the BH army.
10 Q. Tell us, please, you talked to the
11 investigators of this Tribunal on several occasions,
12 didn't you?
13 A. Twice.
14 Q. Twice. And during your conversations with
15 investigators, you used your diary?
16 A. At times.
17 Q. You used your personal diary, your private
19 A. Yes. I did not have any official logbook
20 because it stayed behind in the archives of the brigade
21 and I don't know where it ended up. I presume that it
22 has all been turned over to the main archives of the
23 chief of staff of the BH army.
24 Q. Yes. So we are talking about your private --
25 about your private diary, and it contains the same
1 facts as the official logbook that you took; is that
3 A. Well, it contains some of the facts that can
4 be found in the official logbook. There were some
5 which were of personal interest and which I then also
6 entered in my private diary, but it is indubitably, in
7 terms of scope and contents, much smaller, much
8 narrower than the official one.
9 Q. But be that as it may, all the circumstances
10 of relevance you also entered into your private diary,
11 didn't you, your personal notes?
12 A. I wouldn't say all things of relevance. Some
13 events were of relevance for a particular period and
14 yet were not included in my private diary. But
15 everything that was of import for the area of
16 responsibility of this municipal headquarters and the
17 brigade, according to the methodology as to what is to
18 be entered into the war logbook, that was entered, of
19 course, in this official logbook for which I was put in
20 charge of and which I duly wrote every day.
21 Q. Will you please focus on your private diary?
22 We are talking about your private diary which you have,
23 which is in your possession, which you have.
24 A. Well, I also told you that in my personal
25 diary, you will not find all the things of relevance
1 that would have to be in the official one. They are
2 not all included in my personal diary.
3 Q. But you said that you used those notes during
4 your interviews with investigators, didn't you?
5 A. Now and then, I needed to look up a date or a
7 Q. You had to prepare yourself to appear before
8 The Hague Tribunal, didn't you?
9 A. Not particularly.
10 Q. My thoughts are in the direction of leafing
11 through your notes, reading the notes that you have
12 taken down for years.
13 A. No, I finished that when I made my statement,
14 and that was, as far as I remember, in November, 1997,
15 ending with the 3rd of December, '97. And after that,
16 I did not refer particularly to these notes of mine. I
17 simply tried, during that period of time, that is,
18 subsequently, to forget, as much as I could, all that
19 had come to pass to me during the war, all that befell
20 me during the war, and I really had no wish to keep
21 looking at the diary.
22 Q. But my question referred only to preparations
23 for the Tribunal, for this evidence, for this
24 testimony. Did you read the notes from your diary
25 before you came to the Tribunal?
1 A. Well, yes, I leafed through it casually.
2 Q. Did you use those notes when you arrived here
3 and since you arrived here, during your stay here?
4 A. I did not want to use them.
5 Q. But you have them with you, those notes of
6 yours of your private diary?
7 A. I have it with me.
8 Q. You had it with you throughout your stay in
9 The Hague?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Will you be so kind as to tell the Court how
12 long have you been in The Hague?
13 A. I arrived here on the 8th of April, in the
14 afternoon hours sometime, around 4.00 or 5.00 in the
16 Q. Do you have this diary with you today?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could the Court have the opportunity to check
19 and compare your testimony today with your notes?
20 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's a matter to which,
21 no doubt, we would have to decide, if you are applying
22 to see the diary. But you would also have to have in
23 mind the question of time. The witness has now been
24 here 12 days.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) If you're
1 waiting for my answer, I shall reply immediately, Your
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, that's why I raised it.
4 Now, Mr. Naumovski, are you applying to see the diary?
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) All I wanted
6 was to check whether the witness had that diary and
7 whether he had an opportunity to read that diary since
8 he has been here, that is, since the 8th of April, if I
9 understood him properly, to this day. The Defence has
10 not received that diary, so the Defence has had no
11 opportunity of checking what was in the diary and
12 juxtapose it to the testimony of this witness before
13 this Court. Hence my question. I'm sorry.
14 JUDGE MAY: You've asked the witness, and
15 he's answered in relation to that diary. Now, can we
16 move on to something else?
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
18 Q. Perhaps only a sentence from the diary, if I
19 may. From your testimony here, it transpires that you
20 wrote in your diary things that you eyewitnessed and
21 also what you heard from some other sources; is that
23 A. Yes. I noted down or recorded things that I
24 thought important from my own point of view that
25 happened that particular day, and it was also, in a
1 way, in preparation for the official logbook that I had
2 to keep. There was a prescribed methodology, and one
3 knew exactly what kind of facts had to be recorded if
4 anything happened, and so sometimes it was a source
5 used when I kept the official logbook. So I do not
6 call my diary a war diary. Those were simply my
7 private notes.
8 Q. Yes, I see. Let us cut this short and help
9 the Court to save time.
10 All I wanted to ask you, the last question
11 about the diary, when you read the diary or when
12 somebody else reads it, one cannot really distinguish
13 which is your personal recollection of a particular
14 event and things that you heard from somebody else and
15 that were put down; is that so?
16 A. Well, I can remember every fact that I put in
17 because I know that diary. I almost know every page or
18 part of the page which I wrote, so that it is -- it
19 presents no problem for me.
20 Q. Yes, but if a third person read it, that
21 person would not be able to distinguish your personal
22 knowledge from what you heard from others; is that
24 A. Well, these are my personal notes, and for a
25 third person, they would indubitably be a paper full of
1 question marks, full of blank spaces, and they wouldn't
2 be able to really understand it much.
3 Q. Right. Let us, then, move to another topic.
4 But before we do so, a question related to your
6 You graduated from university; we heard
7 that. You did tell us so. However, you said nothing
8 about the secondary education. So my question is did
9 you complete the religious school, that is the Medresa?
10 A. Yes. That was the secondary school I had
11 come out from, and I immediately proceeded to
13 Q. So you completed the Medresa in Sarajevo?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And it lasted how long; five years?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. What title, what degree do you get, when you
18 come out of that secondary school?
19 A. No particular degree, because it was a
20 secondary school, but under the regulations that
21 secondary school allowed one to also perform certain
22 religious duties, that is, to become imams.
23 Q. So this is the minimum education that an imam
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. All right, thank you.
2 Now I'm proceeding to a set of questions upon
3 which I believe we shall agree upon because I don't
4 think there will be any difficulties.
5 The first question is the Croatian Defence
6 Council and the Territorial Defence, subsequently, we
7 said in the summer of '92, what came to be known as the
8 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were two components of one
9 in the same armed forces, that is, the armed forces of
10 the Republic of Boznia-Herzegovina; is that so?
11 A. That was prescribed by the defence law and
12 the armed forces law. I don't know the exact date when
13 the text of the law on defence was changed. But it
14 did, and there were some amendments to it which said
15 that the HVO was also another element of the armed
16 forces, together with the Ministry of the Interior
17 forces and other armed formations, that is how it read,
18 and the HVO was also a component of the armed forces of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was the regulation adopted by
20 the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina submitted to the
21 assembly and approved by the assembly of the Republic
22 of Boznia-Herzegovina, and thus became a law.
23 Q. Thank you. And my second question is we know
24 that in July, '94, the Serbs of the former JNA and
25 Serbs invaded your part of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a
1 question, therefore.
2 Since the HVO and the TO formations were
3 armed up to a degree, each one of them, each in its own
4 sector, manned lines, I mean military lines, against
5 the Serbs, did not they?
6 A. In '92 until '93, in the territory of the
7 Novi Travnik municipality, there was indeed a defence
8 line which went west of the municipality of Novi
9 Travnik towards Donji Vakuf, where the BH army units
10 and the HVO units manned the line against the Serb
11 side, which then followed the same direction and
12 roughly of the same length.
13 Q. But we have to see that we are talking the
14 same language, for the sake of interpretation.
15 I have noted down here that the HVO held the
16 lines at Kastel Grad, Karamlija, Kamenjas, Mravinjac,
17 and the TO forces held the other line in the town of
19 A. That is not accurate. During one period of
20 time, the HVO did, in 1992, reach Kastel Grad.
21 However, afterwards the line was moved to the north and
22 it ended somewhere in the region of Kamenjas above the
23 village of Pecine. The Novi Travnik units of the army
24 held the line to the left of the HVO units, and they
25 went from the village of Grgici and then went to the
1 plateau, and then to the south and south-west they went
2 towards the units of Bugojno, that is to say, the units
3 of the army in the region of Medina.
4 Q. Sorry, perhaps it would be better for the
5 Honourable Judges if they saw you show this on the
6 map. This is map 2.612, I think, point 3. 2.612,3.
7 Please, Witness C, you don't have to do it in
8 great detail. Just show the area that was held by the
9 HVO and where the line was against the Serbs.
10 A. Approximately here, this is where the HVO
11 was. This is above the village of Djakovici and
12 Mravinjac. Then I think this is 1293, and then it went
13 to 510 where Kamenjas is. This is where the line
15 In May and June, 1993, this line did indeed
16 go all the way to Ravno Rostovo and Kastel Grad. When
17 the BH army units were from Ravno Rostovo, across the
18 Zijamet, they advanced in that direction and they
19 reached the village of Medina and another village below
20 the village of Medina towards the village of Kopcici,
21 rather, in the municipality of Bugojno. That's where
22 the line went.
23 So this is approximately where the line was
24 on this right-hand side, that is, on the right flank.
25 That is where the HVO unit was, so all the way down to
1 the Bugojno units. This is where the BH army units
2 from Novi Travnik were.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
4 with your permission, perhaps it would be a good thing
5 if we would allow the witness to mark these lines that
6 he spoke of on this map, with your permission. We can
7 use a special colour.
8 JUDGE MAY: Have we got another copy? It
9 might be convenient not to use the original exhibit.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I'm willing
11 to give our copy, and we are going to get another one
12 later on.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Hand in your copy,
14 please, Mr. Naumovski.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
16 Q. Please use this Magic Marker. I think it's
17 purple. Watch out, the line will be pretty thick, so
18 just mark it as carefully as you can, the line we
19 talked about.
20 A. It's a very small map, so it's a bit
21 difficult, but this is the way it was, roughly. This
22 is one line and this is the other line, the army units
23 on the other side. But this line of defence that was
24 held by the HVO finished on the 16th of June, 1993,
25 when they withdrew towards the Serbian side, and then
1 the units of the army in an eight-day period that
2 followed, together with units from Travnik, were
3 preparing an attack and took this line from the Serbs.
4 It was handed over to the Serbs by the HVO soldiers,
5 and it was held by the Serbs for eight days that --
6 Q. Sorry, sorry. This is now this big conflict
7 between the TO and the HVO in the summer, but I just
8 wanted to have the undeniable facts there so we
9 wouldn't have to discuss them any further, so thank you
10 for showing us this.
11 JUDGE MAY: Let that exhibit be marked
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) That is
14 exactly what I had wished to ask for.
15 Q. Witness C, we can proceed. A few questions
16 related to the first conflict. It was an incident,
17 rather, and it occurred in June 1992.
18 On that day, some 40 members of the
19 Territorial Defence of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 were returning from the line they held against the
21 Serbs; is that right?
22 A. No, not on that day. On the previous day,
23 the 18th of June, 1992.
24 Q. Oh, sorry. I was actually thinking of the
25 18th but I didn't say it. I'm actually thinking of the
1 18th. So we agree on that.
2 When they were returning from their lines,
3 they entered the town of Novi Travnik and they were
4 moving through the villages of Nevic Polje, Bucici,
5 Stojkovici; is that correct?
6 A. Yes. Nevic Polje, Stojkovici, not Bucici.
7 Bucici is outside that area.
8 Q. All right. Thank you. Nevic Polje and
9 Stojkovici are populated by Croats predominantly; is
10 that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. These 40-odd soldiers that were returning to
13 Novi Travnik, as they were passing in this direction
14 that we mentioned, they used firearms to shoot. They
15 were shooting in the air, I think, but they were using
16 firearms; is that correct?
17 A. I don't know whether they were shooting in
18 that direction. I personally know they were shooting
19 as they were passing through town, and when they were
20 passing in front of the building where the municipal
21 headquarters of the Territorial Defence was, that is to
22 say, through town itself where the seat of the
23 municipal headquarters of the Territorial Defence was.
24 I do not know whether they behaved the same way when
25 they were passing along that part of the road which is
1 five or six kilometres before the building that I'm
2 talking about.
3 Q. So you do not know anything about the
4 shooting that took place in those villages, either
5 personally or through the people who submitted
6 information to you?
7 A. No, not from them and not from my colleagues
8 whom I spent that afternoon with or, rather, the 19th
9 of June, in the afternoon, when we had these
10 negotiations. Everybody was only talking about
11 shooting through this part of town.
12 Q. All right. Thank you.
13 A. This was in the street of Borisa Kidrica in
14 Novi Travnik, and this was a short area between the
15 municipal headquarters and all the way up to the
16 elementary school as Defence counsel -- no. It is
17 about a kilometre, 700 metres away from the bus
18 station. That is where the line was or, rather, the
19 roads where these soldiers were shooting in the air.
20 This was an ugly practice, but it was rather
21 customary when soldiers were coming back from defence
22 lines. HVO soldiers and army soldiers did too.
23 Q. Sorry, sorry, but I don't want you to go into
24 that, just give me a "Yes" or "No" answer.
25 The part of town that we are talking about
1 where you say that you know these soldiers were
2 shooting, that is the part of town where the command of
3 the HVO was too?
4 A. At that time, no. At that time they were in
5 the building of the old hotel.
6 Q. My point is that Novi Travnik is not a big
7 town. The centre of town is not that big or, rather,
8 it's quite small. Do you agree with that?
9 A. Novi Travnik is not a big city, and there are
10 four parallel streets that go through Novi Travnik.
11 Borisa Kidrica is to the right, and the street where
12 the HVO headquarters was. The last one is on the
13 left-hand side is the 4th Street. So this is a small
14 town. So that was that locality or that is where the
15 two respective headquarters were.
16 Q. When I said "small town," I wished to say
17 that a burst of gunfire from an automatic rifle
18 resounds in this relatively small centre of town;
19 doesn't it?
20 A. Yes, you can hear it. Yes.
21 Q. So you can hear it. Thank you. The
22 Territorial Defence forces took certain areas
23 during those days. As a member of the headquarters,
24 the staff, you certainly know that. So my question and
25 claim is as follows: The Territorial Defence forces
1 took the elevation that is called Zubicki Gaj. This is
2 an area that goes north of the village of Zubici; is
3 that correct?
4 A. No. In those days there were no special
5 captures of any positions or buildings in May 1992.
6 After all, there was some kind of agreement between
7 these commands, between these components as to who
8 would be stationed where and how these facilities would
9 be used, those that were available at that time in
10 town, so that they could be used in order to station
11 headquarters or whatever. Novi Travnik did not have a
12 barracks or anything where the military could be put
13 up. I'm talking about the town itself.
14 Q. So you are telling the court, in relation to
15 this incident that we're talking about and this
16 conflict or incident, should I say, in June 1992, the
17 Territorial Defence forces did not especially take this
18 area of Zubicki Gaj?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Tell me, the Commander of the unit that was
21 in Zubicki Gaj, Enes Grizic, was he the Commander?
22 A. I don't know, because during that period of
23 time that you're talking about --
24 Q. So you don't know?
25 A. No, I don't know the name.
1 Q. Tell me, please, the Territorial Defence
2 defence forces took the hill of Osoj. The Commander
3 was Meho Mehanovic?
4 A. That area was not taken at all.
5 Q. Do you know the name of this gentlemen, Meho
7 A. Meho Mehanovic was later the Commander of a
8 company. After the first battalion of the army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina was set up in Novi Travnik, and it
10 was set up on the 22nd of July, 1992. So that is to
11 say, a month and more after the period that we are
12 talking about now.
13 Q. But are you not trying to say that before
14 this formally established battalion was there, the TO
15 was not set up at all?
16 A. There were certain units that were
17 established according to regional staffs. These were
18 platoons and very rarely were they companies.
19 Q. So this was later only formally, from an
20 organisational point of view, when the battalion was
21 set up but, in effect, the units existed beforehand;
22 didn't they?
23 A. Yes. Yes. The regional staffs organised
24 these units sometime late in May or, more precisely, at
25 the beginning of June. That is when they were attached
1 to -- these smaller platoons were attached to the
2 staffs. Perhaps in bigger places there were
3 companies. They were later brought together into the
4 1st or 2nd Battalion, et cetera, et cetera.
5 Q. Only for the record, are you talking about
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Thank you. Just one more question regarding
9 these events. Mr. Mevludin Berberovic, at the time,
10 was the chief of staff at the time we're talking about?
11 A. Not on the 19th of June.
12 Q. When did he become the head?
13 A. A little later. I can't be exact as to the
14 date, but I think it must have been sometime in
15 August -- July or August when he was assigned, because
16 in June it was Salih Lobas who was the Commander in
17 June. And what was Mr. Berberovic then?
18 A. I think he was a member of the headquarters.
19 I think he was responsible for operative and
20 instruction. He was a deputy commander.
21 Q. So he was your colleague on the headquarters?
22 A. Yes. He was a member of the headquarters.
23 Q. Thank you. I do not want really to waste too
24 much time, so I should immediately like to pass on to
25 the second conflict which, as you said, began on the
1 19th of October, '92. Although you mentioned during
2 the evidence in chief about an event, about an incident
3 which happened on the 18th of October, that is, a day
4 before the conflict, you, nevertheless, said nothing
5 about that. So I would have a couple of questions in
6 this regard.
7 That day an incident happened. I don't know
8 whether we can call it a petrol station or a fuel
9 depot, something in Novi Travnik. Isn't that so?
10 A. Yes. That day in the afternoon --
11 Q. Excuse me, please. If I may, I shall do it
12 slowly. You agree with what I just said? Did you say
14 A. Yes. There was a dispute about the fuel that
15 was delivered to that petrol pump.
16 Q. Do we agree that that petrol pump or the fuel
17 depot was housed, that is, it was in the yard of the
18 old hotel or, rather, right next to the old hotel where
19 the HVO headquarters was?
20 A. Yes. That building was next to the old
21 hotel, between the building -- I mean, a residential
22 building and the old hotel.
23 Q. That petrol station or the depot was used by
24 the HVO?
25 A. No. The petrol station was ceded for use by
1 a decree on the mobilisation of facilities to a private
2 company. I think it was called the Petrolex owned by
3 Mustafa Poljarevic. That was fuel which had arrived
4 for that gentleman, and that the dispute arose whether
5 his tank -- a tank would deliver petrol to this petrol
6 station which had been given to him for use.
7 Q. When I said "use," I meant the immediate
8 vicinity of that petrol station to the command of the
9 HVO which was in that building. It is in that sense.
10 A. That is quite true that is where the petrol
11 station was, but it was given for use to Mr. Mustafa
12 Poljarevic, that is, his private company.
13 Q. The incident broke out at that day, you say,
14 only because the fuel was off-loaded there?
15 A. I mentioned that there were incidents on the
16 18th. The second incident, which also entailed
17 casualties, happened in the evening hours near the bus
18 station, which is about 115 metres away from the old
19 hotel. On the bus-stop -- the bus-stop there was hit.
20 We could not establish from which direction it came. A
21 member of the BH army, Krnjic, if I may, and that was
22 the second incident that day.
23 Q. I'm afraid we're moving too fast, and the
24 Court really will not be clear about what we have said
25 because we have not clarified the first incident. We
1 did not say anything about the first one, that is,
2 about the petrol station in the old hotel's yard?
3 A. Well, I know nothing about that except that,
4 the security that was round their building and in the
5 old hotel itself did not allow this Mr. Poljarevic to
6 off-load a tanker truck there at this petrol station
7 which had been given to him for use months before. I
8 simply no nothing about that. I presume that his
9 tanker truck went back. I know nothing else. I know
10 that that was one of the disputable -- one of the
11 mood -- things that happened that day.
12 Q. I was about to tell you some details about
13 this, but if you are saying that you don't remember,
14 that is, that you know nothing else about it -- if you
15 are telling the Court that you know nothing else about
16 it, then we could move on.
17 A. I really do not know anything else except
18 that it was not allowed to leave the petrol at this
19 petrol station.
20 Q. So you are saying that you know nothing about
21 whether HVO units came to that site in the yard of the
22 HVO headquarters.
23 A. No. I was not there at the time. I was in
24 that building of the nursery next to the Partizanka
25 building, because at noon the event took place. A
1 charity event was taking place. It was a musical
2 something, entertainment event. That day we tried to
3 raise some money from the population in order to
4 purchase equipment and armaments for the army of
6 Q. Right. But we agreed that this was an
7 incident which preceded the conflict on the 19th, and I
8 assume that you recorded that incident in your diary.
9 A. Yes. It was recorded as one of those
10 sporadic moments but relevant to the conflict itself.
11 Q. No, but I mean you did write down something
12 about it?
13 A. I must have.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
15 when I mentioned the diary again and what the witness
16 is saying now, I do understand that we do have the
17 problem of time and the witness has been here much too
18 long, but I'm afraid that I will have to suggest, and I
19 am suggesting it now, to be allowed to have a look at
20 what Witness C has of this diary or whatever he calls
21 it, so the Defence, in view of the diary, could perhaps
22 get ready for this cross-examination better.
23 JUDGE MAY: What is the issue that we're
24 concerned with here about the dispute about petrol?
25 What is the relevance of it?
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
2 a conflict never breaks out by itself, it is always
3 preceded by something. What happened on the 19th was
4 preceded by what happened on the 18th. We're talking
5 about a petrol station which was in the yard of a
6 building in which the HVO headquarters were
7 accommodated, that is, the building of the old hotel.
8 I am not asking you to immediately decide on
9 my suggestion. I simply wanted to ask you to bear in
10 mind the situation that we are faced with.
11 On the one hand, before this main hearing we
12 received an extraordinarily large number of documents
13 or, rather, late translations.
14 JUDGE MAY: I don't want to interrupt you,
15 but we know that that is the position, and we have it
16 in mind, but if we are to decide this matter, we want
17 to know if you are applying, and I thought you were
18 not, but are you now applying to see the diary? If you
19 are applying, then we will consider the matter now. If
20 you're not, perhaps we can move on to something else.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) We're
22 applying, Your Honours, and that is what I was saying,
23 because this was the first part of what I was going to
24 say about these late translations, but the second one
25 immediately follows.
1 Witness C says he used this material when he
2 gave his statements, his testimony, but the Defence has
3 not been shown it. This is another reason.
4 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Does the Prosecution
5 want to say anything about this?
6 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The diary
7 in question is not part of the exhibits that were
8 attached to Witness C's deposition and, therefore, did
9 not have to be disclosed to the Defence. The Office of
10 the Prosecutor does not have a copy of that diary, has
11 no document, has no -- takes no preferred position in
12 respect of the Defence on that point.
13 JUDGE MAY: But have you seen it,
14 Mr. Lopez-Terres, yourself?
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Are you
16 asking me that question personally? Do you mean have I
17 seen it myself?
18 JUDGE MAY: That is what I said.
19 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I thought
20 that you were speaking to the representative of the
21 Office of the Prosecutor. I personally did not see the
22 diary, no.
23 MR. NICE: May I possibly just add a word or
24 so? So far as I know, nobody on the Prosecution team
25 has seen the diary and it would appear, therefore, it
1 hasn't been relied upon for the purpose of giving
2 testimony, save for the extent that the witness may
3 have spoken of leafing through it, I think.
4 The position is, as I understand it, but only
5 very indirectly, the diary contains a lot of material,
6 probably other than the material that's the subject
7 matter of the testimony itself, and I would
8 respectfully invite the court, before it goes any
9 further by way of granting leave to the Defence to see
10 the diary or any part of it, that it should ask the
11 witness himself what his attitude is to its disclosure,
12 because we simply don't know. Then, thereafter, at
13 most the Court should consider revealing specific
14 entries rather than allowing the Defence to go through
15 the diary itself in detail.
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, I'm not going to ask the
17 witness his attitude to it because, ultimately, it's a
18 matter for us, but what I am going to ask him is
19 whether it contains private material or not because
20 that is relevant to our consideration.
21 Witness C, you've heard what I've mentioned.
22 The application, as also you've heard, is that the
23 Defence lawyers should have a copy of your diary or
24 should have a look at the diary.
25 It is something which we are now going to
1 have to consider, but before we do so, since we don't
2 know what is in it, I am going to ask you whether it
3 contains private material of your own besides merely
4 references to the events of the war. Can you help us
5 on that, please?
6 A. I have to point out once again that this is
7 not a diary. These are my private notes. In the first
8 sentence of my statement it says so, that I might be
9 referring from time to time to my personal notes, at
10 the request of the person who spoke to me to allow them
11 to have a look at these notes or to allow a part of it
12 to be copied, something that I have emphatically
13 refused, to make a copy of even a selection of things
14 from there because there are very many private notes,
15 very personal notes, notes that mean something to me
16 only and only me, and there are also parts which have
17 nothing to do with the statement that I was making.
18 JUDGE MAY: That is what I wanted to ask
19 you. Is there anything else about the notes you want
20 to add, briefly, if you could, because we've got to
21 consider the matter now.
22 A. These are my personal notes and they are very
23 private for me. I have never published them or given
24 them to anyone to use as a public document. Even when
25 I was asked by the chief of staff of the army of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina when they asked for the personal
2 documents to be handed over to the archives, that
3 archives was made up last autumn, that is, autumn last
4 year, I refused to hand it over. I simply said no,
5 because I think these are my personal private notes and
6 they have no significance for anyone but me.
7 What was the official logbook, what was the
8 wartime logbook, that is something else that I also
9 made entries into and this is the property of the army
10 of B and H. My notes, the notes that I kept, I wrote
11 publicly and it was published on the first anniversary
12 of the 308th Brigade. A booklet was published to
13 commemorate it as a document which talks about how
14 these armed forces came to be and how they evolved.
15 So things that were for publication were
16 published and I gave them for publication, but these
17 are my private papers. This is not an official wartime
18 logbook which already exists in the army of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina. These are my personal private
20 notes. I absolutely refuse anyone to look at it, to
21 set their eyes on it but me, and I've already explained
23 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Naumovski, you can
24 address this again briefly, please, because we want to
25 rule on this matter. The point is made that these are
1 the private notes of the witness. Now, do you still
2 say that you ought to be allowed to see them, in those
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
5 the Defence has no other possibilities. Witness C said
6 that he indicated that -- in the beginning of his
7 statement to say when he would be using parts from the
8 diary, but we do not know -- it is not shown anywhere
9 when he uses information from the diary and when he
10 speaks of his own knowledge. We simply do not know the
11 measure of it.
12 Is what he's telling us about of his own
13 knowledge or does it derive from his own diary that he
14 prepared, and read, and is using in this
15 cross-examination? The Defence must have the
16 possibility of checking that. Thank you.
17 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We'll consider this.
18 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
19 JUDGE MAY: The issue in this application is
20 whether some personal notes made by the witness during
21 the course of the war should be shown to the Defence.
22 We have been told by the Prosecution and we
23 accept that none of the team here in court have seen
24 this document. It appears that the witness may have
25 had it at the time that he made his original statement,
1 but he did not give it to the investigator. He asserts
2 and we accept that it contains private matter which he
3 does not want revealed.
4 If this document had been relied upon when
5 the witness was giving his evidence, then indeed there
6 may have been a case for it being disclosed to the
7 Defence in order to test the witness's credibility.
8 But that is not so. It was not relied upon by him. So
9 for that reason, it should not be disclosed.
10 But there is a further reason which we should
11 take into consideration, and that is that this is by
12 way of being a personal document, personal notes, and
13 also containing private material, and the witness is
14 entitled to assert his right to privacy in connection
15 with those notes.
16 Accordingly, we do not disclose them, we do
17 not order they be disclosed.
18 If a similar situation arises in relation to
19 a future witness, then the practical course would be
20 for the Defence to raise the matter well in advance
21 with the Prosecution. The position then can be
22 considered fully, and it may be that some reasonable
23 compromise, balancing the rights to privacy and the
24 rights to disclosure, can be arrived at, depending on
25 the particular circumstances. But in this case, we're
1 not going to allow the notes to be disclosed.
2 Very well, we'll adjourn now to 2.35.
3 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.31 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
4 Your Honours.
5 First of all, I would like to ask for some
6 assistance, please. In the meantime, we've established
7 that the marks that Witness C made on the map are no
8 good when the map is photocopied, you can't see them,
9 so I wanted to ask the Trial Chamber if Mr. C could use
10 a different pen to make the same marks as he did on the
11 previous map so that everybody can see exactly what he
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
15 Yes, there are the pens.
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Please,
17 Witness C, could you use this marker now to make the
18 same marks? For example, blue can be the HVO units.
19 Use a different colour, green perhaps, or any other
20 colour, to mark the lines that were held by the BH army
21 against the Serbs.
22 Thank you very much.
23 Could this please be the original of this
24 document now, the one that we handed in?
25 Mr. C, may we continue our conversation,
1 please or, rather, our questioning?
2 Q. When we talked about the incidents in October
3 or, rather -- well, yes, yes, in October, you said that
4 there were a few, but we dwelled on the one that
5 occurred on the 18th of October. Let us just repeat
6 this and then go on.
7 You said that you personally did not have any
8 direct knowledge as to what happened then?
9 A. No, except as information that there were
10 some problems with the fuel and this pump or, rather,
11 we -- we actually went to this gasoline station owned
12 by Mr. Puljarovic, and that is where we got fuel for BH
13 army vehicles.
14 Q. But you did not know that the TO units came
15 in or whatever?
16 A. No, no. I don't know anything about this.
17 Q. Thank you. As you mentioned this conflict
18 or, rather, this second conflict, the second incident
19 in 1992, in October, you said that at headquarters you
20 received information that there was a conflict in Vitez
21 and in Gornji Vakuf?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. At this point in time, I'm only interested in
24 Vitez. You are saying to the Court that there were
25 conflicts between the TO and the HVO in Vitez as well
1 in October, 1992?
2 A. Well, the commander at headquarters told us
3 that he had information from the regional staff in
4 Zenica that there were conflicts in this period in
5 Vitez and in Gornji Vakuf. And as regards details and
6 the actual proportions, I did not have any
7 information. I don't know whether the commander knew
8 more and didn't tell us more. That I don't know.
9 Q. That is information that you got through the
10 command of the 3rd Corps, actually through your own
11 command, so to speak; is that --
12 A. Well, no, the 3rd Corps wasn't there yet.
13 Q. Well, all right. But then we're talking
14 about the regional staff?
15 A. Yes. This was, at any rate, higher up in the
16 chain of command.
17 Q. Tell me, do you have any direct knowledge
18 about a blockade in Ahmici or, rather, a roadblock in
19 October of 1992?
20 A. No, I have no personal information about
22 Q. Do you have any notes, perhaps, from other
23 sources in your diary in this connection?
24 A. In connection with this, I never had the
25 opportunity of hearing anything. This is the first I
1 hear of it, from you.
2 Q. This was an intensive incident, and there was
3 an exchange of gunfire between the members of the TO
4 and the HVO?
5 A. Well, maybe you know about the details. I
6 really don't know anything about it.
7 Q. Oh, I see. You don't know anything about
8 it. So I can conclude that the information you
9 received from your superior command in Zenica, as you
10 had put it, was not explained in any way, it was just
11 this mere piece of information?
12 A. That is what I was told or, rather, we were
13 told by our commander. That is to say, they didn't go
14 into any details concerning what happened in these two
15 places. At the meeting of the staff, we were not
16 presented any details in connection with events in
17 other municipalities.
18 Q. I'm asking you about this because you
19 testified about this in the examination-in-chief.
20 Those were your words, that in Gornji Vakuf and Vitez,
21 there were conflicts.
22 A. I just said that we received information from
23 the superior command that there were conflicts in
24 Gornji Vakuf and in Vitez, and I said what the source
25 of this information was, as it was conveyed to us, the
1 members of the staff.
2 Q. Your former commander of the Territorial
3 Defence staff, I think that is the same gentleman who
4 appointed you to the post that you held, that was Mr.
5 Mandzuka; right?
6 A. Yes, for a short period of time.
7 Q. He was also replaced sometime in May, 1992,
8 and Refik Lendo came to be commander then; is that
10 A. I don't think he was replaced. I wouldn't
11 put it that way. I was present at the staff meeting
12 when this was discussed, and Mr. Saban Mandzuka asked
13 to be relieved of this duty of head of municipal staff
14 because we have now with us a man who is from Novi
15 Travnik, and his family was there and his parents and
16 brother, et cetera, and that he was a trained officer,
17 and his assessment was that this other man would
18 discharge defence duties more successfully in the
19 municipality of Novi Travnik, so he asked for Refik
20 Lendo to be appointed to this post instead of him.
21 Whether an order followed from a higher command to this
22 effect later on, that I do not know.
23 Q. If I understood you correctly, Mr. Mandzuka
24 voluntarily let a more capable man take his place, a
25 more capable soldier, so to speak?
1 A. Yes, Saban Mandzuka was a reserve officer,
2 whereas the other person was an active officer in the
3 former JNA.
4 Q. Since you already said that he was an officer
5 in the former JNA, do you perhaps know where he came
6 from when he arrived in Novi Travnik? I'm talking
7 about Mr. Refik Lendo.
8 A. As far as I know, and according to the
9 information I had, he came somewhere from the area of
10 Nes. He came to Novi Travnik on the 21st of May, 1992,
11 and I talked to him the next day and the day after
12 that. Then Refik Lendo told me that he came to Tuzla
13 and to Vares, the first army checkpoint. This was the
14 first few days. Then his other brother went to Vares,
15 a policeman. He came to pick him up, and he brought
16 him to Novi Travnik.
17 Q. Well, thank you for these details, but we
18 really don't want to use up that much time. Thank
20 But let us say, for the Honourable Trial
21 Chamber, that Nes is a city in the Republic of Serbia,
22 that is to say, nowadays, this is Yugoslavia, the
23 Republic of Yugoslavia. Do you agree with me?
24 A. (No audible response)
25 Q. Please, could you just say "Yes" because if
1 you just nod your head, this doesn't enter into the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. C, I have a few questions
5 about the military forces, so to speak. You were in
6 the Territorial Defence staff for a longer period of
7 time, and I'm sure that you have good information about
8 this, so I wish to ask you the following:
9 On the one hand, we are talking about the set
10 up of the Territorial Defence. Could you tell us,
11 please, about the first battalion that was established
12 in July, 1992? How many men were in this battalion?
13 Just give us a general number. You don't have to give
14 us more specific information than that.
15 A. As far as I remember, and it was only in
16 November that I managed to receive official information
17 from the main staff, the battalion -- well, depending
18 on what kind of battalion it was, whether it was
19 infantry battalion --
20 Q. I'm talking about the first battalion.
21 A. The formation of a battalion meant 520
22 soldiers at a maximum, but I think that the battalion
23 never had this many men. There was 20 or 30 per cent
24 less men than was set in the original formation.
25 The first battalion, when it was established,
1 I remember this, it had about 380 soldiers.
2 Q. That is a number from July 1992; right?
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. Now we can move on to the second battalion
5 that was establish in August 1992. Again, could you
6 please give us the number of soldiers?
7 A. Well, I do not have specific information
8 about the second battalion, but I think that they only
9 had 60 to 70 per cent of the required manpower because
10 mobilisation had not been carried out by the
11 authorities in charge until then, because these were
12 volunteers that were included in these regional units
13 attached to regional staffs beforehand. So if this is
14 60 to 70 per cent, then perhaps this is a number that
15 ranges between 350 and 400 soldiers. I don't have the
16 exact figures.
17 Q. I did not understand what you said, what you
18 said about these volunteers. Before that, there was
19 war mobilisation that was declared. This was a state
20 of war that was declared. This is August 1992.
21 A. Exactly.
22 Q. But, please, for the sake of the
23 interpreters, we have to wait a bit before we answer
24 questions and put them. The interpreters have to do
25 their job properly. Please proceed.
1 A. It is correct that in the Republic of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the presidency of Bosnia and
3 Hezrzegovina they declared a state of war on the 20th
4 of June 1992, that is when general mobilisation was
5 also declared, but you can see the pace at which this
6 took place, that is to say, bringing together the
7 volunteers who volunteered in the Territorial Defence
8 units late in April and primarily in the months of May
9 and June 1992.
10 Q. Thank you. Now a question about the third
11 battalion that was set up a month later, that is to
12 say, in September 1992.
13 A. I did not say that the third battalion was
14 established in September 1992. I said that its
15 formation started sometime in September 1992 and it was
16 completed sometime by mid-October 1992. I know that it
17 is the third battalion that did not meet all the
18 requirements to the greatest possible degree. They had
19 met only a bit over 50 per cent of their requirements
20 as established by the formation, that is to say, that
21 they had a total of about 250 to 300 soldiers within
22 that battalion. When it was officially established as
23 a unit in October 1992, that is to say, when it got its
24 commanders, et cetera.
25 Q. Let us complete the subject that we're
1 discussing now and that is the establishment of the
2 brigade. The brigade was establish, if I understood
3 you correctly, at the end of 1992.
4 A. Yes, yes. The 308th Brigade of the 3rd Corps
5 of the BH army was established on the 17th of December,
7 Q. What was its manpower? How many soldiers did
8 it have?
9 A. Well, I was not in charge of personnel, so I
10 really could not give you accurate information. I'm
11 afraid that this would be improvisation which would be
12 more harmful than useful.
13 Q. Please, could you think about this? You have
14 presented so many facts so far that you learned as an
15 active officer in the Territorial Defence staff,
16 because this was, after all, your regular job. You
17 talked about so many things that were not your
18 immediate duty.
19 A. As regards these data, and registration, and
20 what the manpower requirements were, that was in
21 another department and that's why I don't want to go
22 into all of that.
23 Q. All right. So you're trying to say that you
24 don't know how to answer this question about the
25 manpower in the brigade. Is that what you're saying?
1 A. I could not say precisely at that time how
2 many soldiers the brigade numbered, so it was these
3 three battalions with this percentage and, also, there
4 were some other units that belonged to the formation of
5 a brigade. So I really don't have any information
6 about these other units.
7 Q. One of these units within the brigade was the
8 military police; was it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell us, please, when was the military police
11 established in your area, that is to say, before the
12 brigade was established in 1992?
13 A. Military police, at the level of platoon, was
14 established, I think, between the 10th and 15th of
15 June, 1992.
16 Q. So we agree that this was before the first
17 incident that occurred in Novi Travnik?
18 A. Yes. I already spoke about that. This unit
19 was under attack, one of the points that was under
20 attack, and I talked about that.
21 Q. Thank you. During your testimony you often
22 said that you received information from either the
23 higher command or from your own commander about certain
24 events among the HVO, that is to say, on the HVO side.
25 I infer that you have some knowledge as to the forces
1 of the HVO in 1992 and 1993.
2 A. As a member of the staff, I did not have any
3 specific information about the HVO forces and their
4 strength in the territory of Novi Travnik and
5 especially not in other areas. I only mentioned that I
6 was aware of the fact that an HVO brigade was
7 established in Novi Travnik at the beginning of
8 November 1992, but I did not go into any estimations or
9 did I present any figures, because I simply didn't have
10 them. That is to say, what this brigade was composed
11 of and how many soldiers were in it.
12 Q. In my question, I did not start from the end,
13 that is to say, from the brigade of the HVO. I wanted
14 you to tell the Honourable Court about the information
15 that you had about the HVO from April 1992 until the
16 brigade was established. Can you answer that
18 A. No, I don't have information about this, nor
19 can I answer this question.
20 Q. So you are telling the Court that as you were
21 working in the staff of the Territorial Defence of Novi
22 Travnik, you did not, you personally or others didn't
23 tell you about this either, about the forces of the HVO
24 at the time?
25 A. No, I didn't. I didn't have any information
1 about this. Whether the commander had such information
2 and to what extent, that I cannot assess.
3 Q. Witness C, you say that for awhile, for a
4 long while, you kept a wartime logbook, a journal,
5 where you entered facts that you learned about. On the
6 basis of what you are saying now, I am concluding that
7 there is no mention about the HVO forces in the area in
8 that logbook.
9 A. There is a mention of them, but what I'm
10 telling you is that this official logbook does not
11 mention anywhere the number of units, their strength,
12 or their structure, but forces, yes.
13 Q. Now, in what sense?
14 A. Meaning HVO units here and there, the name of
15 the unit such as, for instance, the HVO Brigade in Novi
16 Travnik name and the like.
17 Q. So let us then conclude this topic. You are
18 telling the Court that you cannot speak about HVO
19 forces in April 1992?
20 A. I can about the forces which were about to be
21 formed then. I already said that. When I arrived at
22 the headquarters, I received colleagues who had already
23 done that, the information that the staff of the HVO
24 had been formed. They also mentioned who was the
25 commander of the HVO staff.
1 As for the composition, the units that had
2 been formed by the time, their strength, I cannot say
3 anything about that because those facts I do not know.
4 Q. But perhaps you do have some knowledge at the
5 time of the first incident in June 1992 about -- do you
6 have some facts about the HVO strength?
7 A. No. About the strength, I don't know even --
8 I do not know even the strength at that time.
9 Q. And the same question as to October 1992. Do
10 you have any facts about the HVO strength?
11 A. No, not about the strength, but the name of
12 the units -- no, I don't have any knowledge about
14 Q. And another question relating to this. Do
15 you have any knowledge about the HVO forces in June
16 1993 in the area within your jurisdiction?
17 A. I know that at the time there was Stjepan
18 Tomasevic HVO Brigade, but how strong was it, what
19 units it consisted of, this is, again, something that I
20 don't know.
21 Q. So you do not even know about men, that is
22 the strength, the number of men or anything?
23 THE INTERPRETER: The witness seems to
24 indicate no with his head but he didn't say anything.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
1 Q. When we're talking about forces, about
2 military formations in the area of Novi Travnik, we
3 also need to mention HOS, H-O-S. H-O-S is the acronym
4 for Croatian liberation forces. I stand corrected.
5 Defence forces. So Croat defence forces, HOS.
6 Will you please tell the Court whose were
7 these forces? Whose were these forces?
8 A. Well, I suppose the name already says whose
9 they were.
10 Q. I guess you understood my question,
11 Witness C. The question is: Within what party did HOS
13 A. As far as I know, HOS, the Croat defence
14 force was formed by the Croat Party of Right. They
15 first existed in Croatian, and I know that in May 1992,
16 a HOS unit was also mentioned in Novi Travnik as having
17 been formed yet. I've had an opportunity to hear,
18 sometime on the 23rd of May when there was an incident
19 with the Serb side in the area of Pavlovica, that that
20 unit was some 50 soldiers strong and that it was
21 commanded by some Suse Skopljakavic, I believe was his
22 last name but I'm not sure about the first name.
23 Q. So you did have some figures about the HOS,
24 and you didn't have such figures on the HVO?
25 A. Yes. These figures I heard at a meeting in
1 the building where -- in the hotel building where the
2 intelligence signal centre was because there, on the
3 23rd of May, I believe, the activities were being
4 agreed upon related to a armed group of Serbs spotted
5 in the area of Lugovi in Pavlovica. This meeting was
6 attended by certain gentlemen who asked to hear the
7 strength of units existing there which could be used
8 there at the time, because at that time we were still
9 talking about the joint operation against -- we were
10 talking about the joint operation. It was then I heard
11 this figure this Mr. Suse mentioned, when asked by
12 Tolo, "How many commanders do you have?" He told him,
13 "About 50 combatants."
14 Q. Explain to the Court what you and I
15 understand very well. The Croat Party of Right is a
16 separate autonomous political party; is it?
17 A. As far as I know, yes, it is a party in its
18 own right in Croatia, and it is a party which was in
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 Q. In addition, I wanted to say this was a part
21 which was quite independent of the HDZ. HDZ was one
22 party of the Croat people, and the Croat Party of Right
23 was another party.
24 A. Well, I do know they have different names.
25 Whether they were independent of each other, what was
1 the relationship between them, I really don't know
2 because I do not have any direct knowledge about that.
3 Q. You say you know nothing about political
4 programme of the Croat Party of Right in relation to
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina and their idea?
6 A. Well, something as to their chief slogan,
7 yes, I do, because once I was present when a gentleman
8 of the Croat Party of Right was there too. I can't
9 remember his name. That was summer of 1992. We were
10 at Mr. Lendo's. I think it was July or August. Then I
11 heard that gentleman say that the Armija and the HOS
12 should, together, go to fight the Chetniks as far as
13 the Drina.
14 I was present only briefly there. The two of
15 them continued there conversation but without the
16 presence of any other members. I was only briefly -- I
17 just heard that one slogan of his.
18 Q. Witness C, we, coming from the region, know
19 what it means, and far as the Drina, but the Court
20 might not be aware of what it might mean. So you
21 answered my question in part, but I'm afraid from what
22 you said, the Court will not understand that particular
23 slogan. So will you be so kind as to explain it
25 A. I think it meant, if I understood the
1 programme properly, if I understood their objective,
2 then it was the struggle for Bosnia-Herzegovina, for
3 the liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole,
4 because Bosnia-Herzegovina, as far as the Drina, it
5 usually meant Bosnia-Herzegovina within its historical
6 boundaries, that is, as far as the Drina River. The
7 boundary between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, that
8 is, if I understood that particular slogan properly,
9 and this is my opinion.
10 Q. Actually, we won't go into your opinions. I
11 do not share that opinion of yours. But if it is your
12 opinion, I do not think we should waste the Court's
13 time with that, and I believe we can proceed.
14 But before we move on, I should like to
15 mention another thing with regard to the HOS.
16 HOS, from what you said, was a separate party
17 with a separate commander?
18 A. Yes, in May.
19 Q. Does that mean that as of May, '92, until the
20 end of '92, in truth, in fact, in the territory of Novi
21 Travnik, there were three military entities, the HVO,
22 HOS and the TO, which then grew into the army of
23 B and H?
24 A. Well, I cannot be as specific as to until
25 when this special HOS unit operated in the area of Novi
1 Travnik, the municipality. According to some
2 information, they stopped existing in that area as a
3 special unit in August because in late August, when the
4 oath of allegiance was taken by HVO members, according
5 to information of people who attended that particular
6 event, and it was public and happened in the territory
7 of the town, there were no -- among those units, there
8 was no HOS unit. When did they cease to exist and
9 until when did they exist as a separate unit, I do not
10 know. I could not give you even an approximate date.
11 Q. But regardless of this lack of accuracy, I
12 mean that you are not quite certain, but you agree with
13 me that there were three separate military forces,
14 regardless of their strength?
15 JUDGE MAY: The witness has answered that
16 question as best he can. No doubt it will be a matter
17 for us to determine, in due course, whether there were
18 three or not. Can we now move on?
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
20 Q. A question seems to spring into my mind while
21 we're talking about the HOS. I suppose you remember
22 the time before the Serbs conquered Jajce. Before
23 Jajce fell, rather. Now, a few days before the fall of
24 Jajce, a unit, led by Ante Prkacin, which was -- I
25 suppose you know that -- was awarded the rank of
1 general by President Izetbegovic, so he was leading a
2 unit to Jajce to try to help the defenders of Jajce.
3 Do you remember that time?
4 A. I do not know about Prkacin, that he went
5 with the unit at that time. I met Mr. Prkacin sometime
6 in early November, once when he came to the building of
7 the municipal headquarters because, reportedly at that
8 time, he was already a member of the joint command
9 which had been set up in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Commander
10 Lendo told me that Ante Prkacin was a member of that
11 joint command and that it was in that capacity that he
12 came. It was sometime in early November when he
13 visited the municipal defence headquarters.
14 Q. With this introduction, I merely wanted to
15 remind you of that period of time, and my question will
17 Your units and your commander, Refik Lendo,
18 would not allow these units to pass through when they
19 went on Jajce; do you agree with that?
20 A. I cannot agree, because I simply have no
21 information about that.
22 Q. You do not have any information about that?
23 A. I have no information about that.
24 Q. So it cannot be found in your wartime
1 A. No.
2 Q. But you are the only one who was charged with
3 making entries in that journal?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So you have no knowledge about that?
6 A. No.
7 Q. A while ago, a few sentences ago, you said
8 something about the position of the Muslims in the town
9 controlled by the HVO. Since you also kept your
10 personal diary and also the logbook of the brigade, did
11 you also gather information about the position of
12 Croats in the territory controlled by the Muslim
13 forces, that is, the Territorial Defence, that is,
14 subsequently the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
15 A. I wasn't really out to gather that
16 information. I merely indicated facts that I happened
17 to learn.
18 Q. I shall try to be even more precise. Do you
19 have any knowledge about what happened in Croat
20 villages of Ruda, Pecine, Margetici?
21 A. I mentioned it in my statement. I do not see
22 why I should repeat it. I even mentioned the date.
23 Q. I'm asking about the plight of the Croats.
24 A. I have no information that there was any
25 plight of the Croats in those villages.
1 Q. I'm referring to civilians, not the
2 soldiers. So you're saying the Croats did not suffer
3 anything, any plight, anything at that time?
4 A. No, I don't know anything about that. There
6 Q. But don't you agree with me that this was the
7 responsibility of your unit, of your brigade?
8 A. Yes. As of the 16th of June, '93, when that
9 area was left by HVO units and also the population of
10 those villages.
11 Q. You will, I'm sure, be able to tell us about
12 houses destroyed in those villages at the time when
13 your brigade was responsible for that area.
14 A. At the time when my brigade was in that area,
15 and it was there in those villages for a very short
16 period of time because it went to conquer the line
17 which the HVO soldiers had handed over to Chetniks,
18 between the 16th to 25th of June, when we took and
19 recovered that line and advanced the line towards
20 Chetniks, those villages remained very far behind the
21 line where the BH army units were. I know that after
22 that period of time from June until November, because I
23 passed through those villages, and I know that in some
24 villages there were devastated houses and demolished
25 houses, with the exception of Gornja Pecine where
1 Chetniks did enter during those seven days when we took
2 the line at Kamenjas, and there we found a number of
3 houses that had been set alight and demolished only in
4 Gornje Pecine. In Hadzici, Zenetici, Pobrdani, Ruda,
5 Donje Pecine, were villages behind the units of the BH
6 army, and they were unscathed.
7 But between June until the end of November,
8 when we see that this line to the Jajce Brigade -- to
9 the Jajce Brigade of the BH army, that was made of
10 combatants from Jajce, then indeed in those villages
11 there were devastated houses and demolished houses, but
12 I do not know who did that.
13 But behind the army units -- the houses
14 behind the army units, these houses remained whole, in
15 one piece, and those units who were not active in that
16 area did not operate in that area, so we can't speak
17 about demolished or devastated houses there.
18 Q. So we do agree, then, in these villages there
19 was a number of destroyed houses, regardless of whether
20 it was under your TO brigade or some other TO brigade?
21 A. Well, passing through those parts on several
22 occasions during that summer, I can say that, and that
23 was my impression only, that the most houses were
24 destroyed in the village of Kovacici, and those other
25 villages, the destruction was not on a major scale, not
1 even during that period of time.
2 For a while at Ruda, there was a rear unit
3 providing for the logistics and supply of the unit that
4 was at Kamenjas, but I can affirm that in Ruda, not one
5 house was destroyed by either civilians or soldiers
6 while this logistics unit was there until November,
8 I cannot say what the situation is at present
9 because I have not been to that part for some time.
10 Q. What I asked you about pertains only to the
11 period until the cease-fire was signed, that is to say,
12 the 25th of February, 1994. That is to say, that the
13 Defence has received the following information; that on
14 the territory of the administrative municipality of
15 Novi Travnik in this period up to that date that I
16 mentioned, about 1.500 buildings owned by Croats were
17 torched, demolished, devastated in some way. Do you
18 know anything about this?
19 A. No. No, I have no specific information about
20 this, except for this impression I had. That is to say
21 that I saw these houses that were demolished in some
22 villages, and any precise data as to how many houses
23 and -- I imagine that other authorities do not have
24 precise information to that effect either.
25 Q. Now let us go back to the town of Novi
1 Travnik with a few questions, although, Your Honours, I
2 keep looking at the clock, too, but unfortunately I
3 still have a few questions, so I beg for your
5 On these maps that the Prosecutor used in the
6 examination-in-chief, you showed how the town was
7 partitioned. You drew this line, and you could see who
8 was where and who was in charge of what. However, I
9 think that the geographical situation in Novi Travnik
10 was not fully explained. So could you please tell us,
11 this part that was under the Territorial Defence, later
12 the BH army, isn't that higher up than the terrain held
13 by the HVO?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You are saying that it is not at a higher
16 altitude than the northern part that was held by the
17 HVO? You know this better than I do.
18 A. Well, geographically whether this is higher
19 or lower as compared to the line of separation, that is
20 unimportant. I'm talking about elevations around the
21 town. That would probably be a factor to reckon with.
22 Q. I did not think in a military sense. I was
23 not speaking of elevations in a military sense, I was
24 simply talking about the terrain itself. Was it higher
25 up or not?
1 A. Well, I know that Kazapucni Poltuk
2 flows from the south-west and it flows through that
4 Q. All right. So then my conclusion is correct?
5 A. Well, at least in terms of one metre, yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, this part of
7 town where the Croats were that got water from this
8 other part of town, that is to say, the waterworks went
9 through the part of town that was held by the
10 Territorial Defence; is that correct?
11 A. No, that is not correct.
12 Q. Was there waterworks, I mean, from Opara?
13 I'm not good at this geography. You're better at it
14 than I am.
15 A. Well, part of this waterworks went through
16 Ravno Rostovo -- from Ravno Rostovo and, inter alia,
17 went through Opara and Trenica, these villages, and
18 that was the bigger water pipe that went that way, and
19 then it goes through Hrastovci, that part of town or
20 that part of the suburbs, and then it goes into town.
21 This old water pipe, another one that was used in the
22 old waterworks, that is in the region of that hill
23 above Kasapovici and further up above Bratstvo,
24 allegedly. It was in the water system, but I don't
25 know exactly what the town waterworks is like.
1 Q. I put one question and you answer three
2 questions. I asked whether the main waterworks went
3 through the part of town that you held to the part of
4 town that was held by the HVO.
5 A. It goes from part of the ground that was
6 under army control, and then as it enters town from the
7 suburbs onwards, perhaps a kilometre and a half or two
8 kilometres, it goes through the zone that was behind
9 HVO lines, and it goes into the town itself.
10 Q. I'm asking you this because we know that on
11 the 27th of August, 1993, water was closed in that part
12 of town that was held by the TO. Do you agree with
13 that? Water was closed of course to that part of town
14 that was held by the HVO.
15 A. If the water pipe was closed on the 27th of
16 August, and if this was done in the region of Opara or
17 towards the source, then it was closed for all the
18 inhabitants that used that part of the waterworks. It
19 was impossible to make that kind of selection, to keep
20 it open for one part and closed for another part,
21 because in the region of Pavlovici until it enters
22 town, it is one waterworks.
23 Q. You haven't answered my question, Mr. C.
24 Tell me, you are saying "if it was closed," and I
25 asserted something. Do you agree with me that on the
1 27th of August, water was closed off for the part of
2 town that was held by the HVO? That was the question,
3 and, please, I would like a direct answer.
4 A. I don't know whether water was closed on that
5 day and during those days, but I know for sure that
6 there were many days in the months June, July and
7 August, 1993, and even later, when the entire town was
8 without water, even the building that I lived in, and
9 it was about 50 metres away from the hotel building,
10 that is to say, Bratstvo Novi Travnik, and we called it
12 Q. Mr. C, you are telling the Honourable Judges
13 that you did not know that on the 27th of August, the
14 water was not closed in your part of town, thus leaving
15 the part of town held by HVO without any water?
16 A. I don't know that.
17 Q. Do you perhaps know of something else related
18 to public utilities? We have also received information
19 that in the summer of 1993, when there were water
20 shortages in this part of town that was held by the
21 HVO, sewage flew out of that part of town that was held
22 by the HVO or into the part that was held by the HVO.
23 Do you know that?
24 A. No, I don't know that, and I can't say
25 anything about it.
1 Q. You should know this because of the smell
2 that must have come out of the part of town that was
3 held by the HVO, because after all, this was the
4 summer. I'm talking about the summer of '93. You must
5 have smelled the smell.
6 A. I didn't know that there were such problems
7 in town, but I know --
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, we will get on
9 more quickly if, on receiving a reply, you don't argue
10 the point with the witness. He said he didn't know
11 about this outflow of sewage. That really ends the
12 matter, and there's no point arguing with him about
14 If I could address the witness for a moment.
15 Could you please, Witness C, just answer the questions
16 shortly? I hope we're going to be able to finish
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Yes, Your
19 Honours, I absolutely accept the criticism addressed to
20 me, and I shall try to refrain as much as possible.
21 But this last question I put relates to the summer.
22 This happened in the summer. It was so hot. And that
23 is why I asked this additional question.
24 I'm sorry. I won't do it again.
25 Q. The old high-rise, Stari Soliter as you call
1 it, and it was marked as "1" in your map, was referred
2 to many times today?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. On the basis of what you said today, I infer
5 that this old high-rise was the line of separation
6 between the two sides. It was between the two sides;
7 is that correct?
8 A. Yes, but it was 20 metres away from the
9 Workers' Centre and about 30 to 40 metres from the line
10 held by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 Q. If I follow what you said very precisely, and
12 I forgot whether you said it today or earlier on, that
13 high-rise had been held by the HVO at some point, this
14 number 1; had it?
15 A. Well, I couldn't really say that it was in
16 their hands. It was used as a military facility in the
17 October conflict in 1992, especially the 7th, 8th, 9th
18 and 10th floor.
19 Q. By who?
20 A. By HVO units. For three days, they were
21 shooting against the high-rise where my family lived,
22 and on this third day, on the 21st, it caught fire.
23 Q. At the time when the fighting was on, that is
24 to say, when efforts were made to take this high-rise,
25 and this is at the time when the people living in it
1 were still there, high-rise number three was held by
2 the Territorial Defence; right?
3 A. It was the hands of the police, the police
4 station, civilian police station in Novi Travnik. Its
5 headquarters was right next door and they were in
6 charge of that building.
7 Q. Are you trying to tell the Court that
8 high-rise number three, and that is the one that is
9 marked on the map, it is practically across from
10 high-rise one, in these actions we talked about it was
11 not used as a military facility from the beginning,
12 that is to say, from the 9th of June.
13 A. Yes, yes, yes. When the conflict began in
14 town, this building was inter alia a military facility,
15 because it had burned down in October 1992 and it was
16 empty. There was no one living there. There was no
17 one there.
18 Q. We are talking about the people who lived in
19 high-rise number one, but high-rise number three was a
20 military facility, a military stronghold; right?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Of the Territorial Defence?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You talked about this. You said that
25 information was exchanged or, rather, that the
1 possibility of releasing these people who were there
2 was discussed; right?
3 A. That's right.
4 Q. The first request came from the HVO, that
5 they would allow the civilians to be evacuated on the
6 condition that they were allowed to enter the building
7 and use the old high-rise building as a military
8 building, the one marked as one. The commission that
9 negotiated about this at the beginning of July 1993, as
10 authorised by the war presidency, they did not agree to
11 this, and they did not let the HVO forces use this
12 building on the 23rd, also on the condition of
13 exchanging the civilians from that high-rise for the
14 civilians from Senkovici.
15 Q. I understand what you're saying. The HVO was
16 not opposed to the evacuation of civilians from these
17 high-rises. They did not prevent this from taking
19 A. Their condition was that the HVO forces be
20 allowed to enter the high-rise, and that the civilians
21 leave, and that they continue to use that facility.
22 According to the report of the commission and the
23 president of this commission, that was submitted to the
24 war presidency, and when the war presidency sought the
25 opinion of the staff of the command of the brigade, the
1 assessment was this was no guarantee for the civilians
2 that they would be released if the HVO forces, the
3 units of the HVO enter this high-rise as requested at
4 the beginning of July 1993.
5 Q. That is to say, that although the HVO forces
6 did not prevent the civilians from leaving this
7 building, you are saying that it was the conclusion of
8 your commanders that this should not take place, and
9 that is the reason why these civilians were not
11 A. I don't know if they wanted the civilians to
12 leave the building. I am saying that they explicitly
13 asked -- HVO explicitly asked, according to the
14 information provided by the President of the commission
15 for exchange, that the HVO forces wanted to enter this
16 high-rise and that they were promising that they would
17 release the civilians from that high-rise once they got
18 into the building, but that was a condition that could
19 not be met. It was the war presidency that made this
20 decision. They only sought the opinion of the
21 brigade. This was a commission that was set up by the
22 war presidency of the municipality of Novi Travnik.
23 Q. I think that the Honourable Judges understand
24 what you've just said, so I don't want to repeat this,
25 but I do have to repeat another thing. The HVO was not
1 against the civilians leaving the building?
2 A. That is not a precise question. They wanted
3 to get into the high-rise and to use it as a military
4 facility, and then I'm saying, yes, the HVO wanted to
5 enter the high-rise and use it as a military facility.
6 Whether they were opposed to the civilians leaving the
7 building or not, that I cannot go into.
8 Q. I would not have asked this had you not said
9 that the HVO said that they would release the
10 civilians. You said so today. That is why I'm
11 insisting on this answer.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, I think we have
13 the point. Now, is there any dispute that the HVO said
14 that the civilians could not leave unless the building
15 was handed over to them? Is that in dispute, that that
16 was the condition for the civilians leaving?
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
18 Mr. President, the witness just said that their side
19 had assessed that the Croats should not be trusted. He
20 had said that a few minutes ago.
21 JUDGE MAY: I'm not wanting to go back on
22 what he said, but is there any dispute about that being
23 the position?
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) The Croats
25 wanted to release the civilians from the houses, if
1 that's what you're asking me.
2 JUDGE MAY: So you're saying that the Croats
3 wanted to release the civilians unconditionally.
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) At this
5 point, it is difficult for me to be a witness in my own
6 case, so to speak.
7 JUDGE MAY: I'm not asking you to be a
8 witness, Mr. Naumovski. I'm asking you to do the thing
9 which counsel should always be able to do, which is to
10 tell the Court what their case is.
11 Now, I'm asking you what your case is about.
12 Is your case that the Croats were prepared to release
13 the civilians without condition?
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I just wanted
15 to say that the Croats said that they would release
16 these civilians if this high-rise is -- well, as the
17 witness explained it, yes, because that is a follow-up
18 to the story that came before this one, that is,
19 October 1992.
20 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
21 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Naumovski, we want the
22 position to be clear as to what your case is about, and
23 we shall let you put one final question, putting to the
24 witness what it is you say happened. One final
25 question and then we move on.
1 We shall sit, I may add, till 4.15, and if at
2 all possible we shall finish this witness.
3 Yes. Now, a final question on this business
4 about the evacuation of the flats or flat.
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I will do
6 that. If the Court believes this matter clarified,
7 then I will not insist upon it any more. Our client,
8 Mr. Kordic -- I apologise.
9 JUDGE MAY: I do not regard it as clarified
10 and I want it to be clarified. Do you agree with what
11 the witness says, that the offer was to evacuate the
12 flats, the high-rise, providing that the Croatian side
13 took over the building? Now, do you accept that that
14 was what was offered?
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) May I ask
16 another question or do you want me to answer?
17 JUDGE MAY: I'm asking you to answer the
18 question, please.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I agreed that
20 there was an offer.
21 JUDGE MAY: In those terms?
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Yes.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's move on then.
24 As I say, if you can finish your cross-examination by
25 4.00, it will enable there to be any other examination
1 and re-examination, and we can finish at 4.15. Thank
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you for
4 the patience you're showing, Your Honours. I am sure
5 that I will finish before 4.00, much before.
6 Witness C, did the Serbs shell the town of
7 Novi Travnik from time to time from the positions they
8 were holding?
9 A. Yes. Serbs shelled Novi Travnik. The first
10 time, I think, it was in June 1992, and that shelling
11 was possible as long as the Serbs held the positions on
13 Q. Will you please be so kind and tell us how
14 long were they able to shell it?
15 A. Until the 13th of September, 1995, when the
16 liberation of that area took place at Karaula, Komar,
17 and, I think, Gornji Vakuf on that same date.
18 Q. Right. So throughout that period of time,
19 the Serbs could shell at both parts of the town of Novi
20 Travnik. That is the one held by TO, that is BH army,
21 and the one held by the HVO.
22 A. Yes. The whole area of the municipality,
23 with the exception, perhaps, of the area of Pavlovica
24 and Sebesic. All this was open to shelling from
25 positions held by Serbs, that is, a wider region of
2 Q. Thank you. Will you tell us, please, you
3 spoke about events in the town, and within the context
4 you also mentioned snipers who operated from the area
5 held by the HVO, if I understood you correctly?
6 A. Yes, from the area of the TV transmitter,
7 that is, the area of Osoje in the direction of the fire
8 brigade centre, towards the town.
9 Q. So far you were asked only about snipers from
10 this side. Now I will ask you the following: The
11 Defence learns that snipers also operated from the town
12 which you held against the part of the town which was
13 held by the HVO. Do you agree with this?
14 A. I do not.
15 Q. So are you telling the Court that snipers
16 never acted from the area of Novi Travnik held by the
17 BH army or, rather, TO against the population in the
18 part of the town kept by the HVO?
19 A. I do not know that there were any such
20 snipers because at the staff of the brigade we never
21 discussed about using the snipers in that part, but the
22 BH army's line went through the town and I showed you
23 where this line passed. So from this, one can say what
24 was the range of rifles owned by the BH army soldiers
25 all along that line that went through the town.
1 Q. But this Croat part of the town, if I may
2 call it so, the one held by the HVO, they had to go --
3 they had no water and they had to go to the suburbs.
4 Some people fell victim to snipers in that part which
5 was held by the HVO. That's why I'm asking you about
6 that. Do you know anything about that?
7 A. No, I know nothing about that.
8 Q. Is there anything in the brigade's logbook
9 about this?
10 A. No, there isn't. About these phenomena we
11 could not have any knowledge. There may have been
12 civilian casualties on the other side but not something
13 that we knew about, if there were any such casualties,
14 that is.
15 Q. But tell us, did anybody have snipers apart
16 from the regular, if I can call it that, army of the
17 BH, those under your command? I'm referring to your
19 A. Well, let me tell you, it is really difficult
20 to be so precise when it comes to Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 and who had what as of 1995, that is, May 1995, who had
22 snipers or something else among the population and
23 among others. One could find all sorts of things,
24 because many people bought and paid for those things
25 themselves, from pistols, guns, and so on and so
1 forth. So I really don't know whether anyone had
2 snipers' rifles or not.
3 Q. But you have no knowledge whether, from your
4 territory, that was under your control or somebody
5 opened sniper power against the territory which was
6 held by HVO?
7 A. No. The soldiers of the BH army had orders,
8 and there were a specific code of conduct which also
9 prevented them from aiming at civilians and firing at
10 civilians. They were also under such orders not to
11 fire at them.
12 Q. But tell us, were there also some other units
13 in the territory under your brigade that made part of
14 the 3rd Corps or that came to make part of the
15 3rd Corps?
16 A. Between June and February 1992 in our area,
17 other units of the BH army also came from -- that is,
18 those that made part of the 3rd Corps. I know
19 specifically, and I already mentioned it, that there
20 was a part of the 305th unit, those were the combatants
21 of the Jajce -- army's combatants from Jajce, then 17th
22 Krajina combatants also went through our territory.
23 The units of the security service centre from Banja
24 Luka, with their headquarters in Travnik, also went
25 through our area and such like.
1 Q. In the territory of operation of your
2 brigade, were there active or do you know whether the
3 7th Muslim Brigade or part thereof operated in that
4 area within in the part of the 3rd Corps?
5 A. All I know is that sometime in July '93, when
6 there was a smaller unit called Cobra, and I think it
7 was part of the 17th Krajina Brigade, I think that
8 together with them in our area, that is, in the area of
9 Trenica and Zubici up to the TV transmitter, there was
10 also a smaller unit. Some people say up to 50
11 soldiers, not more, from what subsequently became the
12 7th Muslim.
13 Whether they were from that Muslim brigade
14 from Travnik or from Zenica, I do not know, but I know
15 that together with that unit, which belonged to the
16 17th Krajina, that unit was called Cobra, and in that
17 area, that region, towards late July, that is, 1993, I
18 also came across that information that a unit of the
19 7th Muslim was also there, but I wouldn't know whether
20 they were also there during some other period of time
21 or whether, during some other period of time, they were
22 also units of the 7th Muslim present there.
23 Q. I'm not sure if I heard the answer to my
24 initial question that the units of the -- that the
25 members of that unit were Mujahedin.
1 A. Well, in the colloquial used by HVO they were
2 Mujahedin. I mean, that is how they termed them, but
3 they were members of a unit which had the insignia of
4 the BH army. Even the Bosniaks, sometimes in their
5 vernacular, they were called Mujahedin.
6 Q. But there was reason for that, don't you
7 agree, why the Bosniaks called them Mujahedin?
8 A. I'm not aware of any special reason for that,
9 because in Arabic a fighter, a combatant, is a
10 Mujahedid and Mujahedin is simply the plural of
11 that noun. So it is an oriental term which has become
12 part of the Bosniak language just as a number of other
13 Turkish words and expressions.
14 Q. But you said Mujahedid, and that was
15 a special unit within the 7th Muslim, as far as I know,
16 but let's not tax the patience of the Court with this
17 at the present. I wanted to ask you -- no, you wanted
18 to say something.
19 A. I believe I read in the press that it also
20 comprised a detachment which was called El Mujahed, but
21 I do not know that they ever came to the territory of
22 the Novi Travnik municipality.
23 Q. You do know not who were those soldiers?
24 A. No. I only read it in a magazine that
25 reached me from the 3rd Corps.
1 Q. I think you said something. I think you used
2 the word reportedly four soldiers of the HVO were
3 abducted in 1993. Did I hear you well? Did you say
4 "reportedly" or "allegedly"? That is what happened,
5 four HVO officers were abducted on that day?
6 A. Was it an abduction or not I really cannot
7 say, but I know that in the talks as a reason for the
8 tension or, rather, for the blockade, they mentioned
9 the alleged abduction of those four soldiers, but what
10 happened with those four or, I don't know how many of
11 them, and how this whole episode ended, if they had
12 indeed been captured, I really don't know, but I know
13 this was mentioned as one of the chief reasons for the
14 blockade which then took place on the 13th -- in the
15 afternoon of April 13th.
16 Q. That blockade that you mentioned, it was
17 something that was agreed between the commands of the
18 HVO and the TO; wasn't it?
19 A. As far as I know, it was only agreed to
20 jointly patrol -- to have mixed patrols of the HVO and
21 BH army to patrol the Vodovod, Senkovici, down to
22 Bugojno, because it was expected at that particular
23 place an incident could have happened in that area, and
24 I think that they agreed that they would go out to
25 those sites jointly, I mean, members of the TO and the
1 HVO, to visit this -- to patrol this whole area
2 together where this incident might have happened that
3 then gave rise to the blockade.
4 Q. But who was afraid that such an incident
5 might be repeated? Was it a third party if the HVO and
6 the TO were to control it together, to forestall any
7 further incidents?
8 A. I don't understand the question.
9 Q. I'll tell you right now. Those four HVO
10 officers were, from what we know, were abducted by
11 Mujahedin. That's what I asked you initially. After
12 negotiations they were returned after a month, that is,
13 in May 1993. Is there anything about that in your
15 A. Except that I mention it as an incident and
16 that it was assumed to have happened somewhere in the
17 area of the Vodovod where the vehicle allegedly was
18 left behind. The vehicle that they had been using
19 before had been left. But what happened after that,
20 about the investigation which was conducted by the
21 military police or the army, I really do not know how
22 this -- what was the final outcome of this whole, and
23 what was the end result of this thing, and what
24 happened to those four soldiers who had been allegedly
25 abducted by the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I do
1 not remember that anyone explicitly mentioned that
2 Mujahedin were responsible for it.
3 There was a suspicion that they went missing
4 in that area because the vehicle was found and there
5 were no soldiers, and then at the headquarters it was
6 agreed that we would know who participated in those
7 talks, but in the evening hours when I came to the
8 headquarters, it was agreed there should be a joint
9 investigation related to the disappearance of those
10 four soldiers.
11 Q. All right. So I won't press this point
12 because you do not know the details. When we spoke
13 about snipers a moment ago, I forget to mention one
14 detail, that is, the Defence has also gathered some
15 information about Croat civilian casualties in the
16 municipality of Novi Travnik.
17 Did you have an opportunity to read one of
18 the books published in Novi Travnik and which contains
19 the information about this, I mean, about the plight of
20 the Croats there? In one of them, ten children are
21 mentioned who were killed by -- some by sniper fire and
22 some by shells. Do you know anything about that?
23 A. What I can say in my own name, and I want to
24 assure both the Court and you that I am really very
25 sorry for any civilian casualty that happened in
1 Bosnia, and I really do not distinguish among the
2 civilian casualties whatever their origin may be. I'm
3 not prejudice. I'm not biased in any way, nor did I
4 justify such things at any point in time.
5 I do not know if there are such books. I
6 read -- I usually read various weeklies. I did not
7 read that, but as for Novi Travnik, yes, of course, I
8 did read some other things about the civilian plight in
9 other publications, in Dani, in Nova Bosna,
10 Oslobodjenje, which I read, and so on and so forth.
11 Q. I asked you this because you've lived in Novi
12 Travnik for many years and, therefore, you know all
13 those people, those neighbours who lived there. Have
14 you heard from others, from your neighbours, Croats,
15 that there were casualties among children? Perhaps you
16 learned about them from them? I don't really -- or the
17 number of civilians who had been killed there?
18 A. I don't. I do not really know any name,
19 because I simply -- I communicated very little of late
20 because of this situation there, and I practically only
21 pass through a part of Novi Travnik and I do not really
22 communicate much with people. So I do not know. I do
23 not know the name of any civilian who perished there,
24 not even the names of soldiers.
25 I was very sorry when I learnt after the
1 conflict that Mr. Milko Popovic, who participated in
2 negotiations with me in 1992, that he had been killed
3 during the war. I don't even know the circumstances or
4 where or anything.
5 Q. Right. Right. We won't go into that. I
6 promised we would be finished by 4.00, at least I would
7 be finished by 4.00.
8 Just a moment ago and in only so many words,
9 you mentioned the residents of the village of Senkovici
10 and Torine. You said that those villagers did not want
11 to leave the area which was held by the TO forces. Is
12 that something that you know of your own knowledge?
13 A. Yes. Directly in June 1992, when the
14 conflict in Novi Travnik began and when the line of
15 conflict was very far away from those villages, those
16 residents stayed, of course, and those who wanted to,
17 of course. There were some departures. Some Croats
18 left those villages even before that, but a large
19 number of them, and that was an exception in the
20 municipality of Novi Travnik, that Croat residents
21 remained living there after the conflict in the same
22 area for another three months. Then in September, when
23 there was a request for exchange, the majority of them
24 said they wanted to leave because of the overall
25 situation, that is, the food supplies and everything
1 else that was happening in the area affected by the
3 Q. Yes, but --
4 A. I know, of my own knowledge, I heard from a
5 lady who was my neighbour, because in the spring of '93
6 I was planting and sewing my -- I was planting in the
7 garden of (inaudible), and I remember we were doing
8 something with the potatoes and green peas and --
9 Q. Let's cut it short.
10 A. We were drinking water in front of a Croat's
11 house, and they were living there, and they said that
12 they would be staying there.
13 Q. But they expressed their free will to leave
14 the area to an area held by Croats?
15 A. No. In September, when I heard about this
16 exchange for all, then the majority of them agreed to
17 be exchanged and came to Novi Travnik and were
18 exchanged. Well, they came on the 12th of July, and
19 they exchanged with the HVO then. They procrastinated
20 for another three or four days, so they had to spend
21 several days in the secondary school, in an old block
22 of buildings, and I think 120 or 130 of them spent
23 several days there.
24 Q. Thank you. But you do not know for yourself
25 whether they wanted to leave in August, for example, in
2 A. No, I don't know that such requests were made
3 by Croats.
4 Q. You don't know?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Thank you. Tell me, do you know -- I mean
7 you should know, you kept a diary -- about the convoy
8 that in October went to Osoje and Maglaj? Or, sorry,
9 we're still at Pecine and Tuzla. I mean Pecine and
10 Tuzla. Osoje is just a different name.
11 A. I don't know. I don't know what convoys are
12 concerned. This is a route that was taken by convoys
13 every day, practically.
14 Q. My question is: Do you know what happened to
15 these convoys? Do you have any direct knowledge of
16 this, and is there any mention of it in your diary?
17 A. I know that in the war diary, it is only the
18 Tuzla convoy that is mentioned or, rather, the incident
19 related to it in Novi Travnik late in April.
20 Q. But this is before that. This is Maglaj,
21 Zepce, Tesanj and Tuzla, that convoy. Do you know
22 anything about it?
23 A. No, no, I don't. This is in '92; right?
24 Q. But, please, I'm asking you about something
25 else now. The Mujahedin, at their checkpoint or
1 roadblock that they held in Ravno Rostovo in January or
2 February at that point, they stole a big parcel that
3 was going to the operative command of Central Bosnia.
4 Do you know anything about this theft?
5 A. No, no, none whatsoever.
6 Q. Is there any trace of that in your personal
8 A. No.
9 Q. Is there any trace of that in the diary of
10 your brigade?
11 A. I really don't know. It's the first I hear
12 of it. I first hear it from you now, so I don't know.
13 You know all the details that occurred on the broader
14 territory in this condition -- in these conditions of
15 war --
16 Q. Well, Witness C, the Honourable Judges are
17 here, and they are going to draw the relevant
18 conclusions. We don't have to prove points to one
20 Your Honours, just one more question on my
22 How many times did you see Mr. Kordic from
23 October, 1992, until the 25th of February, 1994?
24 A. I already said that. We saw each other at
25 the talks in Novi Travnik, and I don't remember ever
1 seeing him, the mentioned gentleman, that is.
2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
3 Witness C. Thank you, Your Honours, for your
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Mikulicic.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
7 as Defence counsel for the other accused, and
8 respectful of the fact that you said that we would be
9 working until 4.15, and even with the best of
10 intentions, I simply cannot complete my
11 cross-examination by that time.
12 Is it your decision that I should start the
13 cross-examination now and continue tomorrow morning, or
14 should I not start the cross-examination at all, or
15 should I simply start cross-examination tomorrow and do
16 it all in one stretch, which would be more convenient
17 for the Defence? But I leave this in the hands of the
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mikulicic, how long are you
20 going to be, do you think?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) My estimate
22 is that I'll be needing between half an hour and one
23 hour, 30 minutes to 60 minutes. Not more than that, at
24 any rate.
25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Tomorrow morning.
1 Witness C, I'm afraid you must come back
2 tomorrow, but we will conclude then.
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
5 4.02 p.m., to be reconvened on
6 Wednesday, the 21st day of April,
7 1999, at 9.45 a.m.