1 Thursday, 22 April, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.47 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
8 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Good
11 morning, Your Honours. Good morning, everybody.
12 If I may, I should like to ask for a
13 correction. I went through yesterday's transcript, and
14 I noticed that towards the end, on page 120, page 120,
15 in line 22, it says, wrongly, that Mr. Mario Cerkez was
16 on the videotape that was shown us yesterday. This was
17 obviously an error, and it should read "Mr. Dario
18 Kordic". That is the only correction that I have.
19 JUDGE MAY: Very well. That will be noted.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
21 WITNESS: ISMET SAHINOVIC (Resumed)
22 (Witness answers through interpreter)
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
24 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, shall we go on with our
25 conversation with our questions yesterday. You said
1 yesterday that you had never heard about Mr. Dario
2 Kordic before he addressed you on the 24th February,
4 Busovaca is not far from Novi Travnik, about
5 30 kilometres or something, I believe. It's close,
6 it's not far. The whole Lasva Valley is rather small,
7 isn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And although this whole area is very small,
10 you never heard about Mr. Kordic before that date, that
11 is, 24 February, 1992?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to something
15 The shipment document, that is the document
16 that was adduced by the Prosecution as Exhibit Number
17 78A and B. You did say something yesterday about that,
18 but could you tell us, had you been going to the --
19 were you going to the factory, to the plant, during
20 that period? On the 22nd of April, which is indicated
21 on the document, were you at the factory then?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, as the president of the union,
24 you knew about everything that was going on there,
25 including those armaments shipments?
1 A. Mostly through the Workers' Council and the
2 manager and his associates.
3 Q. We were also informed in that way that on the
4 22nd of April, '92, there were also negotiations that
5 took place between the SDA and HDZ precisely about
6 these weapons, or whatever they were called, indicated
7 in the document?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You have no knowledge about that?
10 A. No.
11 Q. In this receipt that was shown us yesterday,
12 you said that a stamp was of the Secretariat for
13 National Defence of the municipality of Busovaca; is
14 that correct?
15 A. From the text, when I read the seal, yes, I
16 recognised it as the one of the Territorial Defence of
18 Q. You also recognised and there is an indicated
19 signature of Mr. Dario Kordic on that receipt?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. It is, therefore, evident that that person
22 who put the stamp wanted it to be known that he had
23 taken over what was indicated in that receipt?
24 A. It did not.
25 Q. But it transpires from this document that the
1 person who signed it and who put the stamp there, that
2 he had taken over?
3 A. I don't know. I do not know if that is the
4 signature of Mr. Dario Kordic.
5 Q. But we do agree that his name is on that
6 receipt, who took over what it says there?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Tell us, please, as the union president, you
9 say that you're acquainted with the armaments shipments
10 and so forth. I should now like to ask you about some
11 sizeable amounts of quantities of armaments and
12 materiel, not only weapons, which left Bratstvo on the
13 basis of an agreement between the SDA and the HDZ.
14 Within that context, I should like to ask
15 you --
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You do know?
18 A. I know, but I do not know what the quantities
19 were, and the Territorial Defence headquarters of
20 Travnik took over a certain quantity. Likewise, the
21 headquarters in Vitez and in Novi Travnik. But what
22 quantities were they, I would not be able to say.
23 Q. That was what I was about to ask you. So we
24 agree that those shipments of weapons and materiel
25 which were at Bratstvo were distributed between one and
1 the other party to the headquarters of the Territorial
3 A. They were allotted certain quantities of
5 Q. I should like to ask you specifically, do you
6 know Mr. Osman Cengic, according to these agreements
7 that I mentioned between the HDZ and the SDA about the
8 distribution of the weapons, took over a large quantity
9 of these weapons and materiel for Sarajevo so that this
10 whole convoy went through the Lasva Valley to Visoko,
11 escorted by the civilian police from Novi Travnik?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. You know nothing about that?
14 A. No, I don't.
15 Q. A very large quantity. They are talking
16 about 21 trucks. You know nothing about that?
17 A. No, I don't.
18 Q. You know nothing about it?
19 A. No, nothing.
20 Q. Tell us, please, these weapons which were
21 distributed on the basis of the agreement, it made part
22 of the final balance about the distribution of weapons,
23 about the division of weapons between the SDA and the
24 HDZ; do you know anything about that?
25 A. No.
1 Q. You have no information?
2 A. No.
3 Q. When you spoke about events after November,
4 1992, you said there were victims in Novi Travnik after
5 that month; after, that is, 11 November, 1992?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you agree with me that those casualties --
8 those victims of crimes in Novi Travnik, there were
9 also Croats after November, '92?
10 A. I don't know. I'm not aware of that.
11 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, you made your statement, and,
12 it says here, on the 5th of March and 8th of March,
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the interpreter was Emina Kaknjo?
16 A. Yes.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Would the
18 usher please show the statement to the witness? We
19 also have copies for the Court.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit is marked D3/1.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I wish to
22 draw your attention to item 15 of the statement. And
23 15 on the fifth page, Mr. Sahinovic, the first
25 Q. So you're referring to what happened as of
1 November, '92. You said that the victims of those
2 crimes included also some Croats. The second sentence
3 from the top -- rather the first one in the first
4 line. Are you following me?
5 A. (No audible response)
6 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, did you find that sentence to
7 which I wish to draw your attention in the first line
8 on that page? On the fifth one, it begins with the
9 word "maju", which means "among", and relates to the
10 period after November, 1992?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you agree that that is what you stated,
13 that during the events after November, '92, there were
14 also some Croats?
15 A. Yes, but this is a period which refers to the
16 arrival of Herzegovinians in Novi Travnik.
17 Q. Yes, but the paragraph begins with the words
18 "From November, '92"?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So you do agree that -- you agree, in other
21 words, that Croats were also victims of crimes which
22 happened thereafter?
23 A. No. I said, and I was very clear, it was
24 after Herzegovinians arrived in Novi Travnik.
25 Q. I'm not quite sure that -- I also meant Croat
1 victims. Do we agree about Croat victims? Do we agree
2 about that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. A while ago -- no, I mean when we discussed
5 that receipt, I think I was also warned that there was
6 an error in the transcript. They said that it was the
7 headquarters of the Territorial Defence of Busovaca,
8 and it should be Secretariat for National Defence of
9 Busovaca. You remember that stamp that we discussed a
10 little while ago? So will you please correct that? It
11 was the seal of the Secretariat for National Defence of
12 the municipality of Busovaca.
13 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, I have to ask you a few things
14 which I believe are also important. As a soldier, that
15 action, that fighting that went on in the village of
16 Lazine in the summer of '93, it was a military
17 operation, wasn't it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Likewise, the fighting that went on at
20 Isakovici in February '93, it was also a military
22 A. Yes, but civilians, and the Isakovici was a
23 place which was inhabited by civilians, Bosniaks.
24 Q. I'm asking you if it was a military
25 operation. Do you agree with me?
1 A. Yes, but the defence line went through the
2 village of Isakovici.
3 Q. That was what I wanted to ask you. It was a
4 military operation. Thank you.
5 Tell us, please, you are saying, if I
6 understood you properly, that as of November '92, you
7 became the head of the security service of the 308th
8 Brigade of the B and H army?
9 A. No, municipal headquarters of the Territorial
10 Defence. I was appointed deputy commander for security
12 Q. Yes, I'm sorry, my mistake.
13 A. The brigade did not exist yet, and when the
14 brigade was formed, then another man was appointed
15 deputy commander for security matters.
16 Q. I understand. I'm asking about when you were
17 invited there, you were invited to report to that duty
18 from the office you occupied before?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And you were told that you would be involved
21 in counterintelligence?
22 A. No, that I would be deputy commander of Refik
23 Lendo for security matters.
24 Q. You were not told what your responsibilities
25 would be?
1 A. I do not know whether you understand what
2 deputy assistant commander for security in the
3 municipality headquarters in the headquarters of the
4 Territorial Defence in the municipality of Busovaca
6 Q. I am asking you if you were told that you
7 would be involved in counterintelligence against the
9 A. Well, the service, as such, encompasses such
11 Q. Tell us, please, who were enemies at the
13 A. At that time, we were oriented towards the
14 Chetniks only; however, when the Croatian Defence
15 Council attacked Novi Travnik, we also came to think
16 that they were our enemies too.
17 Q. So we agree that in November '92, the enemy,
18 to your mind, were both Chetniks and the Croats of the
20 A. After those victims?
21 Q. Yes. We are talking about November of '92?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Tell us, please, when we say Chetniks, just
24 for the sake of clarification, you mean Serb forces, in
25 the broad sense?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In those duties you discharged, you knew what
3 was happening throughout that area which was under you,
4 and later on, of the 308th Brigade?
5 A. When the 308th Mountain Brigade was
6 appointed, the deputy commander was then responsible
7 for the security, and I was a commander of the
8 municipal headquarters, so that my zone of
9 responsibility extended in the direction of Novi
10 Travnik to Rostovo, and I was involved with the
11 separation of crime, since this was the only way which
12 linked up Central Bosnia.
13 Q. Yes, but tell us, please, since this is your
14 area, Sebesici, Rostovo, that part, I mean -- and you
15 say that is your part?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So could you please tell us, if you know, who
18 was it that in January manned the checkpoint at Ravno
20 A. At Ravno Rostovo? Will you please repeat?
21 Q. Early '91 (sic), January, February.
22 A. No, no, I can't -- I don't remember, really,
23 whether it was the civilian police.
24 Q. I meant the forces: Whose forces?
25 A. At Rostovo, if you want me to be very
1 specific, we had a camp, the 308th Mountain Brigade was
2 preparing their units for Bugojno, where we were
3 manning the line towards Chetniks.
4 Q. No, but was this checkpoint manned by the
5 forces of the 308th Mounted Brigade?
6 A. No.
7 Q. That's what I'm asking you: Who was it that
8 manned that checkpoint?
9 I'm sorry, I'm being warned about an error.
10 We are talking about this checkpoint at Ravno Rostovo,
11 I think I was asking you about '93, and it says here
12 January, February, '91. So will you please rectify
13 this: We are talking about January, February, of '93.
14 A. As far as I can remember, since this was the
15 zone of Bugojno, I think it was the civilian police at
16 the time, civilian police from Bugojno, and the 308th
17 Brigade, the Territorial Defence, never had a
18 checkpoint there.
19 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, in the
20 municipality of Novi Travnik, according to the
21 information that we have, there were also Mujahedin
22 units active there, and as the head -- or rather as the
23 man who was responsible for those things that you said,
24 you had information about the Mujahedin in that area?
25 A. No.
1 Q. Are you telling the Court that about the
2 Mujahedin in the municipality of Novi Travnik, you know
4 A. I don't. Nor do I have any information about
6 Q. But as the man who was responsible for
7 counterintelligence there?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Thank you. What I then need to ask you, in
10 that same -- at that same checkpoint at Ravno Rostovo,
11 during that period of time that we are talking about,
12 that is, early 1993, Mujahedin looted an HVO convoy;
13 the Mujahedin, who were manning that checkpoint.
14 A. I do not know about that.
15 Q. You know nothing about that?
16 A. No, I don't.
17 Q. Do you have information about some other
18 convoys who went that way?
19 A. I do about convoys which went through Opara.
20 Q. Do you know about a convoy which went to
21 Usvara or rather Trenica and Tuzla, a joint convoy?
22 A. Yes, I do. I escorted that convoy to the
23 Intrain zone.
24 Q. Were there any problems regarding that
1 A. To the man who was heading that convoy, I
2 personally advised not to go through Novi Travnik,
3 controlled by the HVO, for the sake of their safety.
4 However, the man who was leading that convoy --
5 Q. Excuse me, when I meant "problems," I did not
6 mean the HVO, but the part that was controlled by you,
7 or rather by the army of the BHA.
8 A. That convoy spent the night in Pavlovica,
9 mostly in inhabited areas among the Muslims. And I can
10 affirm that the Muslims welcomed over them lunch and
11 dinner, what they had, and there were no problems at
13 Q. There were no incidents, there was no looting
14 in the area which was under your control?
15 A. Not of that convoy, no.
16 Q. No?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Tell us, please, since we're talking about
19 Opara, if I understood you properly, you were born
20 somewhere around Opara, weren't you?
21 A. Yes, the neighbourhood community of Zagrlje,
22 but that is that area.
23 Q. In Opara there is an elementary school, isn't
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In Opara, on the grounds of the elementary
2 school, in summer of 1993, prisoners were kept; it
3 served as a camp?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Are you telling the Court that in that
6 school, that school did not house a detention camp?
7 A. The detention camp did not exist in Opara,
8 and I do affirm that positively.
9 Q. No, in the school.
10 A. In the school, there was only a provisional
11 detention unit for soldiers of the army of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina detained for crimes and some other offences
13 and who were then taken into custody there.
14 Q. In the building of the elementary school?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But I'm talking about 25 Croats who were
17 detained in Opara. I do not mean only the soldiers of
18 the BH army. Were those people detained in the
19 elementary school, the Croats?
20 A. All those who happened to --
21 Q. No, I'm asking you, were the Croats detained
23 A. In Opara, as far as I can remember, they were
24 from Trenica. I cannot remember how many, but they
25 must have been in that hall in the gym.
1 Q. I'm talking about 25 people. So there were
2 also Croats detained in the elementary school in Opara?
3 A. In the same area where the members of the BH
4 army were detained, and that room is --
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, this is becoming
6 unclear and confused. Now, are you putting to the
7 witness that 25 Croats were detained in Opara? Is that
8 the question?
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your
10 Honours, I think the witness has just answered that
11 question. That was indeed my question.
12 JUDGE MAY: No, I'm asking you what your
13 question was. It's not at all clear to those
15 Now, let me ask the witness this: What is
16 suggested is that there were 25 Croats detained in
17 Opara. Is that right, or not?
18 A. Yes.
19 JUDGE MAY: And whereabouts were they
21 A. In the gym, in the school building.
22 JUDGE MAY: And when was it that they were
23 detained, and for how long?
24 A. During the conflict between the BH army and
25 the HVO. I cannot tell you the exact date, but in view
1 of the fact that the local people who stayed behind in
2 Trenica, which is some way from Opara -- actually the
3 distance is about ten kilometres -- for security
4 reasons, these people were transferred to Opara.
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
6 Your Honours.
7 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, were you personally in command
8 of the military police that was in Opara and connected
9 to the school that we are referring to?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you personally interrogate the detainees,
12 the Croats who were detained there?
13 A. Not the ones in Trenica.
14 Q. However, the Croatian soldiers who were held
15 prisoner in Opara?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Was it part of your duty to be in charge of
18 this facility, whatever you like to call it, the
19 school, during the time when people were detained
21 A. No. There was a senior officer, as this was
22 treated as a barracks, so the senior officer in the
23 hierarchy was always in charge. He was the person
24 responsible for the facility.
25 Q. Yes, I understand. But when you came, in
1 view of your position, you were superior to that local
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you have a command responsibility?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, perhaps just two
7 or three questions about Novi Travnik. Were you in the
8 town of Novi Travnik in the summer of 1993, in August,
9 1993? August, 1993, were you in the town? That is, in
10 the part under the control of the army of
12 A. I cannot remember exactly now, since I was
13 mostly engaged in the area of Opara, as I have already
14 said. But as necessary, I was in town too.
15 Q. I should like to ask you a few questions, but
16 if you weren't there, there is no point in tiring Their
17 Honours. That is why I'm asking you this question:
18 Were you in the town of Novi Travnik in August 1993?
19 A. I'm afraid I cannot tell you with precision
20 at this point in time.
21 Q. Perhaps, through the questions I will put to
22 you, that will help to refresh your memory.
23 A. Perhaps.
24 Q. The part of the town that was held by the HVO
25 was left without water in August 1993 because the water
1 supply was cut off. That is what I wanted to ask you.
2 Do you know that? Are you aware of that?
3 A. I'm not aware about the water, but as far as
4 I know, the water coming from Opara, going through the
5 supply system, passes through the lower part of the
6 city, which was under the control of the HVO.
7 Q. Yes, but I was thinking of the water supply
8 system coming through the other part of the city. Do
9 you know anything about that?
10 A. The water supply comes from Opara. The water
11 supply for the town of Novi Travnik comes from Opara.
12 Q. But my question is about the water supply
13 system passing through the part of the town controlled
14 by the BH army and running towards the HVO part of the
15 town. Do you know that that water supply system was
16 closed in '93?
17 A. May I explain to Their Honours, the question
18 is wrong. The supply system goes from Opara, passes
19 through the HVO-controlled part of the city, and then
20 reaches the part of the town that was under the control
21 of the BH army, and not vice versa.
22 Q. But you're talking only about one water
23 supply system?
24 A. That is the main water supply system for Novi
1 Q. So are you saying there's no water supply
2 system coming from the part under the BH army control
3 going towards the HVO-controlled part of the town?
4 That's what I'm talking about.
5 A. As far as I know, the other water supply
6 system that exists is used exclusively for the Bratstvo
7 factory, from the moment the water supply started
8 running to Novi Travnik from Opara.
9 Q. Yes, but again, we do not seem to understand
10 one another. So there's one part of the water supply
11 going from the part of the town controlled by the BH
12 army into the HVO part controlled area of town?
13 A. No, there was no such water supply system.
14 Q. Tell us, Mr. Sahinovic, the Croatian Defence
15 Council and the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, they
16 were two components of the unified armed forces of the
17 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, were they not?
18 A. I don't know which period you are referring
19 to, but I do know that until 1992, when I placed myself
20 at the disposal of the Territorial Defence, there was a
21 joint command which was composed of both Croats and
23 Q. But those were the beginnings, this was just
24 after the Serbs attacked in April '92, that's the
25 period you're referring to?
1 A. Yes, there was a joint command, yes.
2 Q. But my question has to do with '92, '93, and
3 the whole period up to the Washington Agreement.
4 A. I don't know how it is defined by law, but I
5 know that there was no joint command after the
7 Q. My question was, do you agree with me that
8 the Croatian Defence Council and the army of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina were components of the unified armed
10 forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. I cannot answer that question because they
12 were confronted parties. How can they be joint forces
13 when they were in conflict with one another?
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpreted) Your Honours,
15 we should like to tender several documents, and one of
16 them could be shown to the witness. The first exhibit
17 is a decree with the force of law adopted by the
18 presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the
19 2nd of February, 1992. We have a copy in Croatian and
20 in English.
21 Could I ask the usher for his assistance,
23 The first document is the decree with the
24 force of law, and the second document is a letter
25 addressed to all the addressees indicated in the
2 This decision, or rather document number 1 --
3 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Mr. Naumovski
4 until we've got it, make sure the witness has a copy,
5 and also it's given an exhibit number.
6 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D4/1.
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) The first
8 document, marked D4/1, is a decree with the force of
9 law on amendments to the decree with the force of law
10 on the armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia and
11 Herzegovina issued by the presidency of the Republic of
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina and signed by the president,
13 Alija Izetbegovic, and it was issued on the 6th of
14 August, 1992, and in the Official Gazette of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it was published on the 13th of
16 August, 1992.
17 The second document that we have tendered.
18 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D5/1.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
20 This second document is a letter which the Minister of
21 Defence in the government of the Republic of
22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jerko Doko, addressed on the 9th of
23 August, 1992, to the general headquarters of the
24 republic or rather the armed forces of the Republic of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the general headquarters of the
1 HVO, and so on; I don't think there's any need for me
2 to read out all the addressees.
3 Q. So Mr. Sahinovic, have you looked at both of
4 these documents, please? Have you seen them before?
5 Are you familiar with them?
6 A. I have -- I did see this first document
7 before, because we had a rule -- a book of rules of the
8 armed forces.
9 Q. This is a little booklet for military use?
10 A. Yes, but all these details of course are
11 something that I am not very familiar with, as I am not
12 a lawyer.
13 Q. Yes, I understand, but I just wanted to
14 establish something that is undisputable.
15 A. As for the other document, I have not seen it
16 before, this letter.
17 Q. So this decision of the presidency is
18 undisputed; you are familiar with it from before?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Having
21 tendered these two documents, could Your Honours allow
22 me to tender a third document which also relates to the
23 same issue, and they comprise a whole?
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D6/1.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
2 Q. Do you have a copy, Mr. Sahinovic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. This third document is the decision on
5 renaming the formations of the Croatian Defence
6 Council, a decision adopted by the presidency of the
7 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and signed by the
8 President Alija Izetbegovic, and it was adopted on the
9 14th of December, 1993, and published in the official
10 gazette of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina on the
11 31st of December, 1993.
12 It is very brief, Mr. Sahinovic. Have you
13 seen this decision before?
14 A. No.
15 Q. So it is the third document that we wish to
16 tender so as to complete this set of documents.
17 So you didn't have this document in your
18 military book of rules that you referred to a moment
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you. Finally, a few more questions
22 which are not linked amongst themselves, but I will be
23 very brief.
24 On the 13th of April, 1993, war officers of
25 the HVO were kidnapped by the Mujahedin. This was on
1 the 13th of April, 1993. Do you have any knowledge
2 about that?
3 A. I know that they went missing in the
4 direction of Novi Travnik, that is, between the Vodovod
5 and Pecine. And upon my return from Bugojno, when I
6 was coming back from a trip, I was stopped at the HVO
7 checkpoint in Margetici.
8 Q. But I would like you to comment on this
9 kidnapping. How do you know that they went missing?
10 Was their car found?
11 A. I just wanted to tell you that I was informed
12 at that checkpoint that three officers and a driver, I
13 think, had disappeared. And I was held there for about
14 half an hour, and personally I asked to get in touch
15 with Skocibusic, who was head of security, so that we
16 could search the area where the officers had gone
17 missing. And they agreed to this at the HVO
18 checkpoint, and they let me go in the direction of Novi
20 Q. Were these officers found after the search?
21 A. You wanted me to explain the details, and I
22 personally took part in the search, together with a
23 gentleman from the HVO, the search for these missing
24 officers. So if you allow me, let me explain the
1 Q. I don't wish us to tire Their Honours with
2 the details. I just asked you whether you knew
3 anything about the negotiations that were conducted
4 about their release. So if you know anything about
5 that, we can talk about it.
6 A. I know nothing about the negotiations. I
7 just know that together with HVO, I toured Bugojno --
8 Ravno Rostovo and the barracks where there was a unit
9 of the 7th Muslim Brigade, their warehouses, together
10 with the European Monitors, in fact.
11 Q. Where was this barracks of the 7th Muslim
12 Brigade located?
13 A. One company of about 60 men was located in
14 Ravno Rostovo, I think, and we toured the area together
15 with the European Monitors.
16 Q. When you're talking about the 7th Muslim
17 Brigade, you're referring to the Mujahedin?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Who are you referring to?
20 A. I'm referring to the 7th Muslim.
21 Q. But the Mujahedin were members of the 7th
22 Muslim Brigade?
23 A. As far as I know --
24 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt you. The
25 witness said, much earlier, that he knew nothing about
1 Mujahedin, so it really seems rather pointless to go on
2 taking that point. If you want to call evidence about
3 it, of course, you will be able to when it comes to
4 your turn.
5 Is there anything further now for the
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Perhaps one
8 or two questions. I'm not trying to justify myself,
9 but if the witness hadn't mentioned the 7th Muslim
10 Brigade, I wouldn't have asked about the Mujahedin. So
11 I apologise. If it is your ruling that I shouldn't
12 come back to that issue, I won't.
13 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, after the meeting in the
14 factory with Mr. Kordic on the 24th of February, 1992,
15 up until the Washington Agreement, did you ever have
16 any contact with Mr. Kordic again?
17 A. May I correct you? It wasn't in the factory,
18 it was in front of the factory. After that, I had no
19 contact with him, nor did I ever meet with him.
20 Q. You never saw him, nor did you talk to him?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Perhaps another question or two, if Your
23 Honours allow me.
24 The villages of Margetici, Pecine, those
25 villages, after June, 1993, were under the control of
1 the BH army, weren't they?
2 A. In view of the fact that I know that these
3 are mostly Croatian settlements, and as far as I know,
4 and at the time I was in the area of Opara, I learned
5 that all the Croatian civilian inhabitants surrendered
6 to the Chetniks in the area of Mravinci Kamenjac and
7 headed off towards Vakuf.
8 Q. Did you learn what the reason for this was?
9 Were these areas attacked by the BH army?
10 A. I don't know, because I was in the area of
11 Opara. But when I came to Novi Travnik, I learned that
12 the Chetniks had reached the lines which had been held
13 by HVO units. And they were already firing at Muslim
14 settlements from those defence lines; that is, the
15 Chetniks were.
16 Q. Will you please answer my question? Did
17 military operations precede the departure of those
18 inhabitants from the villages? I'm referring to
19 military operations by the BH army against these
20 Croatian villages.
21 A. I don't know that, but I do know that I was
22 there when the BH army was fighting the Chetniks.
23 Q. No, but I'm talking about these villages.
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. Tell me, please, are you aware of attacks on
1 the Croatian villages of Sebesic and Rostovo?
2 A. In view of the fact that I was working on the
3 prevention of crime in this area, that was my primary
4 task, and an operative group had already been formed, I
5 can't remember exactly how it was called, "G"
6 something, headed by Mehmed Alagic, and, as far as I
7 know, joint forces in this area held the lines towards
8 Sebesic, I couldn't tell you anything about combat
9 operations because I wasn't there.
10 Q. That wasn't really my question. I didn't
11 want to ask you about combat operations. I wanted to
12 ask you about the destruction of houses and facilities
13 destroyed and damaged in those villages. Do you know
14 anything about that, after June, 1993?
15 A. All I know is that the military police of the
16 security service of Banja Luka, I think, was
17 responsible for the security of the area of Sebesici,
18 and after them, the civilian police of Novi Travnik, so
19 that any destruction after the departure of the
20 Croatian inhabitants is something I'm not aware of, in
21 view of the distance.
22 Q. So you know nothing about the number of
23 houses destroyed, the extent of the damage?
24 A. No, I have no knowledge about that.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your
1 Honours, I do not wish to tire you any longer. Thank
2 you for your patience. I just wanted to remind you of
3 your permission that after the testimony of this
4 witness, I be granted a few minutes to comment on the
5 videotape shown yesterday.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, when the witness has given
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
12 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
13 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, I'm Bozidar Kovacic. I'm a
14 lawyer from Rijeka, and I'm defending Mr. Mario
16 Would you be so kind as to answer some
17 questions? We do not have too many of them, because
18 Mr. Naumovski has already discussed various points with
19 you, and I'm not going to go back to it. But I should
20 like to round off that last part of your discussion,
21 rather the last question about those abandoned
23 You said that Croats had left those villages
24 and surrendered to Serbs and that these tanks had
25 filled that empty space. I'm referring to the area
1 around Sebesic. Was that so?
2 A. No, it was around villages of Margetici and
3 the defence line to Goles, where the Chetniks were.
4 Q. But can that area be entered by tanks; can
5 tanks travel through that area?
6 A. Yes, they can.
7 Q. You're sure?
8 A. Yes, I am.
9 Q. All right. Now I should like to ask you
10 about two minor details about what you testified
11 yesterday in chief, just to clarify these points. I
12 believe there were some minor errors in the
14 Yesterday, the transcript, page 36, line 7 to
15 12, it says that you were deputy first responsible for
16 morale, and then it again says "deputy for security."
17 And as far as I remember, you said that in both cases,
18 both times, you were assistant.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. You were assistant. So you were an
21 assistant; that was your office? It was not a deputy
22 but assistant?
23 A. Assistant commander for morale in the
24 battalion and assistant commander for security at the
25 municipal headquarters in Novi Travnik.
1 Q. So I should like to ask that this be
3 And since we're on that topic, what is the
4 difference between an assistant and a deputy, I mean in
5 the chain of command?
6 A. As far as I am familiar with the military
7 terminology, a deputy commander can be a head, a chief,
8 according to the hierarchy, according to the chain of
9 command in the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. Let me put it in a different way. The
11 highest rank is the commander; is that it?
12 A. Yes, commander.
13 Q. In the Bosnian language, you say "commander",
14 but I'm referring to the other word in our language.
15 So this is the highest rank, the commander. Who comes
16 next in the normal chain of command?
17 A. Head of staff.
18 Q. Next?
19 A. As far as I know, the next is assistant
20 commander for morale.
21 Q. And at this level, there are several
22 assistants responsible for individual areas?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Who comes after them?
25 A. Let me tell you, there was no legal
1 interpretation. But in our circles, in the circles of
2 that headquarters, we always had debates about who was
3 superior to whom. But assistant commander for security
4 ranked fourth -- fifth, I think, on the hierarchical
6 Q. Right, so that in the headquarters that you
7 worked in, if I understood properly, it had its own
8 structure, its chain of command. It was headquarters
9 organised along military lines?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And you were obviously ranking rather high on
12 that hierarchical ladder?
13 A. If you mean the battalion --
14 Q. Yes, at the time when you were responsible
15 for security.
16 A. Well, in the battalion, no, that is not a
17 particularly high-ranking place, but in the command of
18 the municipality headquarters, it is.
19 Q. Right, thank you.
20 Yesterday, you also said, at the beginning of
21 your testimony in chief, page 39, line 21, as far as I
22 understood your answer, you said that at Bratstvo in
23 Novi Travnik, there were about 70 million dollars worth
24 of stocks, of equipment in stock. Did you say 70 or
25 seven million?
1 A. Seventy million dollars.
2 Q. So, "70"?
3 A. Seventy million dollars worth of equipment.
4 Q. So, can this be rectified in the transcript,
6 There's 70 million dollars worth of
7 merchandise which Bratstvo was to deliver to the
8 Yugoslav People's Army on the basis of the contract?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Will you please explain that?
11 A. Bratstvo was to deliver the merchandise
12 manufactured -- made in '91, and there were contracts
13 for those lots. There was a decision of the Bosnian
14 and Herzegovinian government, 6th of '92 -- of the 17th
15 of February that equipment was to be delivered to the
16 Yugoslav People's Army. And the rest, as defined by
17 the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, referring to the
18 future. So the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina
19 was to decide about our production in '92 onward. And
20 the value of stocks covered both these categories.
21 Q. So this was the stock physically present at
22 the factory, regardless of the legal basis regulating
23 their delivery?
24 A. Right, yes.
25 Q. But if I understood this first part of the
1 production, that is, that's made in '91, that was to be
2 delivered to the Yugoslav People's Army?
3 A. I think I said it just now.
4 Q. I'm asking you, only. No, no, no, I'm asking
5 you only. Just say "Yes".
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So it was to be delivered to the Yugoslav
8 People's Army, and we're already in '92?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then you told us that that was why you
11 put up that roadblock and you had those public
12 demonstrations at the crossroads between Novi Travnik
13 and Vitez, because you were concerned about those
14 stocks, since the money was not forthcoming?
15 A. The principal reason why we blocked that road
16 and set up the roadblock was that we were asking the
17 Bosnian-Herzegovinian government to take care of the
18 workers socially, to give us either some food or give
19 us some kind of money. All we wanted was that the
20 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina take care of the
21 social status of workers, since they had manufactured,
22 produced, something, and had not been paid for it.
23 Q. Yes, right, but let's leave that aside. One
24 of your arguments that was comprised of that bulletin
25 that you gave us, you said, "This is merchandise.
1 We've got money, because merchandise is money, so
2 relieve us of this merchandise. Rather give us some
3 means of livelihood." Is that correct?
4 A. It is, yes.
5 Q. Right, yes, let's leave it. Let's not go
6 into it. I think we do understand one another.
7 At the same time, did you know that in
8 Croatia, the aggression had already begun, I mean the
9 Yugoslav People's Army supported by local Serbs against
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did you at that time have a television, did
13 Sarajevo Television still operate normally?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you could see in the news that war was
16 raging in Croatia?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And that JNA was an aggressor; did you
19 already understand that, did you understand the JNA was
20 an aggressor in Croatia?
21 A. I understand.
22 Q. Did you understand that there was an
23 international embargo on the delivery of weapons to the
24 parties to the conflict?
25 A. I don't know about that.
1 Q. But you could see that there was war in
2 Croatia, that people were being killed?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. Let us go back to your role in
5 the army of B and A, when you became an officer.
6 Will you please, just to see if we know what
7 we are talking about, a battalion in the army of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina, ideally speaking, how strong it
9 should be, how many men it should have? Just tell me
10 how strong should it be? How many men is the ideal
11 size of a battalion, and how many men should be in the
12 command of such a battalion?
13 A. I would not know the -- I would not know
14 exactly. All I know is that in that battalion, we
15 never had more than 80 per cent of all the men due to
16 that formation, and that is, I think, not more than
17 208, as far as I can remember, at that time.
18 Q. So at the time when it was only 80 per cent
19 strong, I mean that battalion in terms of an ideal
20 battalion, how many men were in the command of that
22 A. In the battalion, I think seven or eight --
23 seven or eight, I believe.
24 Q. All right, thank you. And the brigade, how
25 strong should a brigade of the BH army be, roughly?
1 A. I really don't know. I must apologise here.
2 I'm not familiar with that terminology, since I did not
3 even serve in that army then, so I'm really not
4 conversant with the terminology of those units. And
5 believe me, I really do not know how many men there
6 should be in a brigade, but I'm quite sure that it was
7 not -- never 100 per cent strong.
8 Q. But the one that you belonged to, 308th, how
9 many battalions did it have at its peak, shall we say,
10 in late '93?
11 A. In late '93, it had three battalions.
12 Q. So, if every battalion had about 250, so
13 altogether it should be, shall we say, if we round it
14 up, about 800 men?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Please, when you spoke about your movements
17 and your biography, we heard that you were the leader
18 in Bratstvo, you were the union leader in Bratstvo, and
19 I assume that you are familiar with that company
20 because you worked there for a long time. Could you
21 please tell us something else? And let me try to
22 expedite matters, and just answer with "Yes" or "No".
23 Bratstvo is only one link in the chain of the military
24 industry in Bosnia at the time?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Shall we take your product which you
2 mentioned yesterday, say, Oganj. As a layman, I
3 understand that Oganj is a device which launches
5 A. It's a rocket system.
6 Q. It is used to launch projectiles; is that so?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So Bratstvo made those launching systems;
9 "Yes" or "No"?
10 A. It made the mechanical part.
11 Q. Wait, wait a moment. So, it made the
12 mechanical part of the system and the projectiles?
13 A. No, Bratstvo did not make them.
14 Q. And who did make the projectiles?
15 A. If I remember well, it was Pretis Vogosca in
16 Sarajevo, but Bratstvo never made any projectiles.
17 Q. But since you worked for the military
18 industry, and we're talking about that, a projectile
19 is -- and I'm a layman, it has an iron part, that is,
20 the sleeve and so on and so forth?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And the rocket motor and the rocket engine,
23 so it has an iron part, it has a drive, and that drive
24 needs fuel to be driven, and explosive -- I don't know
25 what it's called, really.
1 A. Yes, it does.
2 Q. And who then made this rocket fuel; do you
4 A. I don't know.
5 Q. And who made the explosive?
6 A. As far as I know, explosive was made in
8 Q. So if somebody wishes to control the military
9 industry in Bosnia, he needs at least three factories
10 to make one whole piece?
11 A. Until 1992, we made those systems, but as of
12 '92, Bratstvo company could not make a single piece.
13 Q. Why?
14 A. Because it lacked the components, the optical
15 part of it and so on and so forth.
16 Q. So, for this kind of manufacturing, for this
17 kind of production to go on, and somebody who wishes to
18 control that kind of production, he needs to have
19 several plants under his control?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Bratstvo was held throughout the conflict
22 between the Muslims and the Croats in '93, Bratstvo
23 was, by in large, held by the BH army?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Orkan and Vitezit in Banja Luka, who was in
1 control --
2 A. I did not understand.
3 Q. I mean electronics that was needed for
4 lasers, for Orkan, the electronics for Orkan -- I don't
5 know where that was made -- it was not under your
7 A. No.
8 Q. It wasn't?
9 A. No.
10 Q. And Vitezit, in Vitez, was it under the
11 control of the army of B and H?
12 A. You mean Vitez, the plant?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. No, it wasn't.
15 Q. Let us move on.
16 At some point in time, you said that you
17 attended a meeting where again the question of those
18 stocks in the plant was being discussed and that, among
19 other people, Vinko Pavelic was present. He also said
20 that he was lieutenant colonel of the JNA; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was he the manager of the production or
25 A. Production, or rather he was the manager of
1 the factory, excuse me. Excuse me, I do apologise. He
2 was the manager of the plant.
3 Q. So, Vinko Pavelic, I'm referring to early
4 '92, February and early March, '93 --
5 A. No, '92, '92, yes.
6 Q. Vinko Pavelic was the plant manager, he was a
7 JNA lieutenant colonel, and that is a military factory,
8 and we have the war in Croatia and you insisted on the
9 delivery of these weapons into Croatia?
10 A. No. If you understand us, we never insisted
11 on the delivery to the Yugoslav People's Army, we never
12 insisted on delivering the armaments to the Yugoslav
13 People's Army. What we were asking for was to resolve
14 the social status of workers, and we were asking the
15 management also, and the government of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina to solve the social status.
17 Q. Apart from that part of the obligations
18 contracted in '91?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. When you joined the Territorial Defence,
21 which then became the army of B and H, who was the
23 A. When I joined the Territorial Defence and
24 offered my services to the Territorial Defence, only
25 the Chetniks were our enemy.
1 Q. And who were the Chetniks? Will you please
2 tell the Court? Perhaps the Court is not familiar with
3 our folklore.
4 A. Well, to be quite clear, all those who fired
5 at us and sided with the Yugoslav People's Army. We
6 perceived them all as Chetniks.
7 Q. So it was the Yugoslav People's Army
8 supported by local Serbs? Can we say that?
9 A. Armed local Serbs. So the Serb side were the
10 JNA and local Serbs.
11 Q. And that was only four or five months before
12 this delivery of weapons?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Yes, all right. If the Court permits -- no,
15 let me ask you another question. At that time, before
16 the conflict with Croats, I mean in '92 -- in '92 for
17 the most part, that is until October '92 -- the line
18 against the Chetniks, against the JNA, did you share it
19 with Croats, with the HVO?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Above Turbe, there were no Croat forces
22 facing the Chetniks?
23 A. Yes, but they were behind our backs.
24 Q. Let me simplify the question. Did the
25 Territorial Defence, in 1992, was it fighting against
1 the Serbs in the area of your municipality, rather, in
2 the boundary areas? They held the line at Kamenjac,
3 you held this line, you had your troops there, and you
4 were on that front with Serbs?
5 A. Yes, but we had one and they had another one.
6 Q. No, but Serbs are your enemy. I'm talking
7 about the TO. Did the HVO also hold some sectors?
8 Were they doing the same thing?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. So both the TO and the HVO held the front
11 against the Serbs?
12 A. At that time? Yes.
13 Q. At that time?
14 A. Yes, yes, they did.
15 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) With the
16 Court's leave, I should like to show a document to the
17 witness. We have a sufficient number of copies, but
18 unfortunately we did not succeed with the -- have not
19 translated it because we only yesterday realised that
20 it could be interesting for this witness, but we can of
21 course order translation immediately. It is a very
22 short document, and we shall give it to the
23 interpreters so that they can read it out.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, the rule is that the
25 documents are translated before they are admitted into
1 evidence, and it's only in exceptional circumstances
2 that we will allow documents in an untranslated state
3 to be put in; but since this is the first occasion, we
4 will allow you to do so, and because it's short, but on
5 the whole, the documents must be translated before they
6 can be put into evidence. It may be that this document
7 can be interpreted.
8 Is there a copy for the interpreters?
9 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Yes, we do
10 have a copy for interpreters, and we apologise once
11 again. We simply realised it would be good to adduce
12 this now. We have some more documents, and some of
13 them were translated, but I believe we have another one
14 which has not been translated yet. So if we can ask,
15 then, the usher to take those documents.
16 Your Honours, perhaps it would be best if we
17 asked the interpreters to read this document aloud.
18 JUDGE MAY: This copy is illegible.
19 Mr. Kovacic, we are not going to let you put
20 this document in. It's not legible. It's not
21 translated. Once it's translated and done properly,
22 then you can put it in. Meanwhile, we'll hand it
24 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Thank you,
25 Your Honour.
1 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, leave the document; we'll not
2 do it now. But you did mention Mr. Malbasic as
3 commander of Stjepan Tomasevic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In view of your office, you evidently met him
6 on various occasions, heard from him?
7 A. I met him during the negotiations.
8 Q. Did you ever attend some concrete
9 negotiations or talks with Stjepan Tomasevic
10 representatives in relation to that front above Turbe
11 which you held against the Serbs, regarding the
12 deployment of units, shifts, passage of troops through
13 places, any matter concerning inevitable cooperation on
14 the front?
15 A. At that time I was not the assistant
16 commander for security in the brigade, so that I did
17 not take part in negotiations or talks or preparations
18 for joint actions in that capacity.
19 Q. But have you heard of such talks and
21 A. There were no talks until Mr. Boro Malbasic
22 came. When Mr. Boro Malbasic arrived, the first
23 negotiations and talks took place, and I think, since I
24 was there, I think this commander was the man who I
25 could cooperate with, talk about and expect that --
1 what the agreed things would be complied with.
2 Q. So this was the cooperation between these
3 troops and the HVO while Mr. Malbasic was commander of
4 the Stjepan Tomasevic?
5 A. We did not have those agreements as regards
7 Q. I don't understand you. Will you please tell
8 us, can we conclude from what you are saying that there
9 was cooperation between the HVO and the TO, or rather
10 the Armija, regarding defence against the Serbs while
11 Malbasic was the commander?
12 A. No.
13 Q. You've just told us there was.
14 A. There were talks and cooperation in the area
15 of Novi Travnik, trying to bring down the tension
16 caused by the arrival of Herzegovinians and so forth.
17 That is what I had in mind.
18 Q. Thank you. You just mentioned
19 Herzegovinians, and you mentioned them yesterday. Just
20 one sentence, will you please confirm it: You say
21 there was unrest in the town when the Herzegovinians
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you know whether HVO did something to put
25 those Herzegovinians under control? Have you ever
1 heard anything about it in view of what you did?
2 A. Yes, yes, I heard it from Mr. Boro Malbasic,
3 during the negotiations of the 13th, that I had invited
4 the Bruno Busic unit to put things in Novi Travnik in
5 order, because they could not keep things under
6 control. That is what he said, that was his
7 explanation, during the negotiations in January.
8 Q. Was the impression that you gained then that
9 the commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade was
10 trying to put the problem under control?
11 A. When Mr. Boro Malbasic arrived, yes, it was
12 my impression that he was really trying to put things
13 in order.
14 Q. Thank you. Have you ever heard of an
15 incident which happened at that time, and I will tell
16 you that it was on the 10th of February in Novi
17 Travnik, in Kodadjura, a coffee bar, Duro Matinovic was
18 the owner, when Zoran Jukic, an HVO soldier, was
19 killed, when the HVO police intervened. Have you heard
20 anything about that?
21 A. I knew this young man, because he was my
22 neighbour when I lived in that part of the town, and I
23 heard that he had been killed, but I do not know the
24 circumstances of his death.
25 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honour, I
1 apologise, but yesterday we found this document. It is
2 a very short document -- it is a note, rather, a
3 communication for the public -- and we have it both
4 translated into English and -- we can hand it over to
5 you, and we can ask the witness to read it and then see
6 whether this is what we are talking about.
7 Will you please help us?
8 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D1/2.
9 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Just to
10 explain to Your Honours and the Prosecution, it was
11 D218 in the Blaskic case. It was already tendered in
12 the Blaskic case. You can see the number up there
14 Q. Did you have time to read it, or do you need
15 more time?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. This public announcement that you have just
18 read, does it relate to that event that I asked you a
19 while ago? Has it reminded you of that?
20 A. It is true that at that time, it culminated
21 at that time; but the circumstances in which this
22 soldier died, I knew nothing about then, until I read
24 Q. But what did you hear about that event at
25 that time? You said you had heard that he had been
1 killed, and you knew him, and you did not hear anything
3 A. No.
4 Q. You only heard that he had been killed?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You did not hear what happened on that
7 occasion, how it came about?
8 A. No.
9 Q. This does not remind you of that story, of
10 that rumour which was spread around the town then?
11 A. No, because information did not reach us
12 easily at the time.
13 Q. But could you infer from this that it has to
14 do with the death of the late Jukic?
15 A. I don't understand. I don't understand what
16 you mean.
17 Q. Now that you've read this announcement, now
18 that you have read it, do you think that it is related
19 to that event when you heard that Jukic had been killed
20 at the time when you heard about it?
21 A. I suppose so.
22 Q. Thank you.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, it's now 11:15. Are
24 you going to be very much longer?
25 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I'm not really
1 sure. I think I'll need about 20 minutes more, but
2 this is a convenient time for us to make a break.
3 JUDGE MAY: We have another witness here, I
4 take it, Mr. Nice?
5 MR. NICE: Yes, we do.
6 JUDGE MAY: I hope, if we put on as much
7 speed as possible, we can finish that witness
9 MR. NICE: That may be optimistic. We'll
10 have to see.
11 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now. Twenty
13 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.
15 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I should like
16 to make a correction in the transcript. It should have
17 said the people of Herzegovina, Herzegovci, the
19 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, we were mentioning the
20 Herzegovinians. Will you tell us, please, Herzegovina,
21 is that a province within the Republic of
23 A. No.
24 Q. Is it a geographic part of the State of
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Thank you. So these Herzegovinians that we
3 were talking about, they come from the same State,
4 don't they?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Yesterday you mentioned the Vitezovi, a unit
7 of some 25 men that were captured.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. This group that you were in touch with
10 personally, did they have their own insignia?
11 A. I was not personally in touch with that
12 group, but in the service that I was working in, I
13 learned that the group was from Vitez and that they
14 were Vitezovi.
15 Q. So you have only indirect knowledge about
17 A. Yes, from my work.
18 Q. Did you hear that they had their own
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you perhaps hear what those insignia
22 looked like? What was written on them?
23 A. They wore the HOS insignia -- no, I'm sorry,
24 I apologise: Not HOS. No, no, no, but they had the
25 insignia of Vitezovi. That was a slip of the tongue;
1 I'm sorry.
2 Q. But in any way, you do know that they
3 originate from the HOS?
4 A. No, I do not know that.
5 Q. But in any event, they wore insignia which
6 indicated their membership of a unit?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did they have any recognizable kind of
10 A. No, they wore regular camouflage uniforms.
11 Q. Very well. You said yesterday that you
12 didn't know who their commander was?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. You are referring to the unit that was
15 captured, or generally, the commander of the Vitezovi?
16 A. Generally.
17 Q. Does the name "Darko Kraljevic" mean anything
18 to you?
19 A. Darko Kraljevic? I've heard of him.
20 Q. Could you link that name with the Vitezovi,
22 A. No.
23 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, you told us that you
24 had two direct encounters with the accused, Mario
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So I should like to ask you a few questions
3 about that first encounter, the negotiations on the
4 13th of January.
5 A. Yes?
6 Q. You said something to the effect that this
7 was a meeting attended by representatives of both
8 armies and parties -- that is, the SDA and the HDZ --
9 and it was devoted to a settlement of the situation and
10 crime control in town; is that correct?
11 A. The meeting was convened, and I was precise
12 about this, because of the new development with the
13 arrival of the Herzegovinians in Novi Travnik.
14 Q. But the reason was to ease tensions and
15 restore peace?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. In connection with that meeting, did you, as
18 a unit of the BH army, receive any order or any kind of
19 instructions or any kind of document at all from the
20 commander of the Bosnian army, Mr. Sefer Halilovic,
21 instructions regarding the need to engage in
22 negotiations to ease tensions?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. So you're not aware of that?
25 A. I'm not.
1 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
2 if I may, I should like to tender a document. We have
3 a translation and a sufficient number of copies for
4 Your Honours, and then I should like to ask the witness
5 a couple of questions regarding that document.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
7 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) May I ask the
8 usher for his assistance, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: This document is marked
11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
12 Mr. Kovacic, I already made the remark, I think
13 yesterday and the day before: When we are dealing with
14 documents, particularly brief ones, as we are not going
15 to ask for something that is difficult to agree to, I
16 wish to remind you that there are two working
17 languages, English and French. Therefore I insist,
18 especially when we have a document of this kind, that
19 both working languages be used. This is an
20 International Tribunal, and there is a tendency to
21 forget that we have two working languages.
22 I will not repeat this in the future. I just
23 wanted to remind you of this now. Thank you.
24 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
25 Judge Bennouna, I really do apologise. We took this
1 document from the Blaskic case, where it has been
2 admitted as 456/83. Unfortunately, I assumed there was
3 a French translation as well, and it was only yesterday
4 that we discovered that there wasn't a French
5 translation. In the break we will ask for a French
6 translation to be made. So I apologise once again.
7 May I proceed, Your Honour?
8 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, you have had occasion to read
9 this document?
10 A. No. I have read it now.
11 Q. Well, that's what I meant. Did it perhaps
12 refresh your memory? It was the initiative behind this
13 meeting. Did it remind you of that? Because after
14 all, we're talking about events that took place more
15 than six years ago.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. May I take it, then, that this meeting on the
18 13th of January, which was attended by representatives
19 of both armies and both parties, was the result, at
20 least as far as the HVO is concerned, of the command
21 issued by -- the order issued by their commander,
22 Milivoj Petkovic?
23 A. I didn't have occasion to read this order
24 before, but it is my view that the first man on behalf
25 of the HVO was Mr. Malbasic, who started the talks with
1 the BH army in Novi Travnik. So I think that it was,
2 in the first place, the result of that man's initiative
3 and less the result of this order.
4 Q. You obviously respect him, Mr. Malbasic, as a
6 A. I do. I respect him as a person with whom it
7 was possible to negotiate and talk.
8 Q. Thank you. You told us that this meeting was
9 held in the Bratstvo offices and that the participants
10 in the meeting after that went to have lunch at the
11 Oskar Restaurant, and it was agreed that the
12 conclusions would be drafted while they were having
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. As far as I understand it, you did not attend
16 that lunch.
17 A. No.
18 Q. Then you were informed that during the lunch
19 at Oskar, Zurapi was arrested?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you learn of any other details regarding
22 the incident in the restaurant?
23 A. No.
24 Q. In view of your position as the chief of
25 security, surely you enquired into it, because after
1 all, he was your commander that was arrested.
2 A. As far as I know, Boro Malbasic tried to
3 resolve the incident, but he failed to do so.
4 Q. Did you perhaps hear that Boro Malbasic was
5 disarmed on that occasion as well?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you perhaps learn that Boro Malbasic
8 personally intervened by making telephone calls to
9 ensure Zurapi's early release?
10 A. As far as I know, he contacted Mr. Blaskic at
11 the time.
12 Q. Blaskic. I see. Very well. Did you perhaps
13 learn that all these other people, including the
14 representatives of the HVO and the HDZ, stayed on in
15 the restaurant until they would be informed that Zurapi
16 was released?
17 A. No.
18 Q. So you didn't hear that?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you at least hear about the conclusions
21 issued from that meeting? I assume that as a member of
22 the command, you must have received it.
23 A. No.
24 Q. Never?
25 A. No. But in accordance with those
1 conclusions, I was given an assignment to participate
2 in a commission to tour the defence lines which were
3 about to be abolished.
4 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Unfortunately,
5 we have a document that we haven't had time to
6 translate, but if I may, I should like to read the
7 first item for the witness, and if he has any knowledge
8 about it, we would have it translated later.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
10 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Let me read --
11 it's an announcement, or shall I give it to the witness
12 for him to see?
13 JUDGE MAY: If you read it out to him,
14 Mr. Kovacic, that may be the quickest way to proceed.
15 See if he can identify it or not.
16 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Thank you.
17 Q. So, in the heading, it says, "Meeting held on
18 the 13th of January, 1993, between representatives,"
19 and then all the people you mentioned are listed; HVO,
20 HDZ of Novi Travnik, the BH army, the SDA of Novi
21 Travnik, all of them are listed there, in connection
22 with the heightened tensions in the municipality, et
24 The following announcement is issued in point
25 1: They say, "The SDA and the HDZ of Novi Travnik
1 disassociate themselves from all ill-intentioned
2 announcements published so far in the media and which
3 irritate either of the two peoples." That is point 1.
4 The document consists of seven points, and it
5 can be seen, from the signature and stamp and the
6 titles, that the president of the HVO and the HDZ of
7 Novi Travnik, the president of the SDA of Novi Travnik,
8 representatives of the BH army and representatives of
9 the HVO, all of them have signed.
10 Has this refreshed your memory of such a
11 communique that was issued?
12 A. Yes. It just reminded me of the discussions
13 conducted at that meeting, and then it was agreed that
14 the conclusions should be drafted and broadcast in the
16 Q. Would you perhaps be able to recognise the
17 signature of the representative of the BH army if you
18 saw it?
19 A. Yes, I can recognise his signature.
20 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
21 may I show the witness this document?
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) The usher,
25 Q. Point 4. Under point 4, you see the
2 A. If I may, this is Bislim Zurapi's signature,
3 the commander of the 308th Brigade.
4 Q. Can you perhaps recognise the signatures of
5 some other people, if you ever saw their signatures
7 A. I cannot.
8 Q. But you do recognise Zurapi's signature?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
11 we would have this document translated into French and
12 English, and then we would like to ask for it to be
13 admitted into evidence, since the witness has
14 recognised one of the signatures.
15 JUDGE MAY: When it's translated.
16 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Yes. May we
17 have a number for this document, please?
18 JUDGE MAY: Not until it's put into
20 MR. KOVACIC: Okay, Sir. (Interpretation)
21 Q. Regarding your second direct encounter with
22 Mr. Mario Cerkez, you explained it to us yesterday, but
23 you mentioned that at that meeting in Vitez which you
24 attended, there was Mario Cerkez and representatives of
25 the International Monitors; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, the European Monitors.
2 Q. In a statement that you gave to the
3 investigators, of which we have a copy, and this is
4 your interview held on the 5th and 8th of March, 1999,
5 which means five weeks ago, roughly, it is stated, and
6 if I may, I would like to read from it --
7 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, before you read from
8 a statement, the witness must have a copy so that he
9 can follow what's being put. It has been put into
10 evidence. If my recollection is right, it's D3/1.
11 MR. KOVACIC: Yes. (Interpretation) Yes,
12 D3/1. I shall like to ask the usher to give the
13 witness a copy, please, and I ask the witness to turn
14 to page 5,18, the first and second sentence.
15 Q. Will you read it, please?
16 A. "On another occasion, I went to the Vitez HVO
17 command. Blaskic was there, Mario Cerkez, and
18 representatives from ECMM." That is the acronym for
19 the monitors.
20 Q. You didn't tell us yesterday that Blaskic was
21 there. Did you forget to mention him? What, in fact,
22 was the case? Was Blaskic there?
23 A. He wasn't there, but in the statement, I was
24 thinking of his command, which was in the hotel.
25 Q. So the meeting was in the Blaskic command
1 headquarters, but it was only Cerkez who was present.
2 So your role was simply to establish contact, wasn't
4 A. That is the conclusion I made when I came to
5 Vitez. I didn't know at all what my task was. I
6 wasn't clear about it when I came to Vitez. And when I
7 saw, from the colleagues going with me, that the
8 purpose of my coming was to establish contact between
9 the two parties, Cerkez and Urema.
10 Q. So they told you to establish that contact,
11 and after that, you had nothing to do with it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And you were told by the HVO that Cerkez
14 would be the contact?
15 A. No, nothing.
16 Q. So not even that?
17 A. No, nothing.
18 Q. Witness -- I should like again to ask the
19 usher to show the witness Prosecution Exhibit 2612/3B.
20 It's a map of the area of Novi Travnik on which a
21 previous witness had marked roughly the boundaries of
22 the Novi Travnik municipality.
23 A very brief question for you.
24 Tell me, Witness, please, this boundary drawn
25 in black, to your best knowledge, would that coincide
1 with the boundaries of the Novi Travnik municipality?
2 A. If I may, you mean this thick black line?
3 Q. Would you point it out to us on the screen?
4 A. Yes. I must apologise. I don't think it is
5 very clear to me. The names are not very legible.
6 Q. So look at it more closely.
7 A. Yes, it does correspond.
8 Q. Of course, roughly. Nobody is claiming that
9 it is exactly so.
10 Could you tell us, again roughly -- could you
11 mark in red on that same map, after the conflict in
12 June, 1993, which part of the territory of the
13 municipality was under the control of the HVO and which
14 part was under the control of the BH army? We do not
15 necessarily have to mark all individual villages, but
16 very roughly.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we can't mark the
18 same map, or otherwise things will get in a complete
19 muddle. Have you got a clean copy?
20 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Yes, of
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness mark a
23 clean copy, which will be this exhibit number, C.
24 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
25 Q. Witness, you have the same map, but just
1 another copy on which we can draw whatever we like. So
2 will you please take the red marker and show us
3 roughly, to just give us an idea, what part of the
4 municipality's territory was under the HVO after the
5 conflict in June, '93, and which was under the control
6 of the BH army? Could you please try to mark that?
7 A. I do apologise. This isn't easy, but here,
8 where we do not have all the localities, all the
9 inhabited places, I really cannot find my way around
10 this small map. So do you have a more detailed map
11 with the names of the localities? It will be easier
12 for me to then identify those areas.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, this isn't going to work.
14 The witness can't do it. You'll have to call some
15 evidence about it, Mr. Kovacic. Yes. Hand the
16 document back, please.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. (Interpretation) Since
18 the witness says he cannot do it, and we are quite
19 satisfied with that answer.
20 Q. Just a minor question and I shall be over.
21 Mr. Sahinovic, will you tell us, please, you
22 were asked in considerable detail by Mr. Kordic's
23 defence about that convoy, so I do not want to go into
24 that particularly, but will you tell us if
25 Mr. Berberovic worked with you in the headquarters?
1 That is, do you know him?
2 A. Yes. He was commander of the municipal staff
3 of the Territorial Defence.
4 Q. Is it true that in relation to that convoy,
5 he later went to Motel -- I can't remember its name,
6 where parts of the 7th Muslim were and where allegedly
7 was the money for that convoy, perhaps as somebody
8 responsible for security might have heard something
9 about that?
10 A. I don't know what money you're talking about.
11 Q. Allegedly, the convoy was also carrying a
12 considerable amount of money in German marks. Do you
13 know anything about that?
14 A. No.
15 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
16 Thank you. I have no further questions, Your
18 JUDGE MAY: Judge Robinson has a question.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kovacic, at the outset
20 of your cross-examination, you clarified through the
21 witness that he was an assistant commander in the
22 municipality, not a deputy, for which I am grateful.
23 What I wanted to find out was how many ranks were there
24 below his rank of assistant commander?
25 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) You want me to
1 ask him that?
2 Q. Did you understand the question? We talked
3 about that, that is, the structure of the chain of
4 command. We said commander, deputies, assistants,
5 heads. Could you tell us below you? So assistants are
6 assistants to the commander, and then we have heads of
7 sectors. Who else below the heads of sectors?
8 A. In the municipal headquarters of the
9 Territorial Defence, I was assistant commander for
10 security, and below me there were no others who would
11 be subordinated to me. But in the brigade's command,
12 there was assistant commander for security, commander
13 of the military police, so those would be the ranks
14 below the assistant commander for security.
15 Q. What ranks did they -- what rank did you
17 A. I acquired my rank when -- in '94, '95, when
18 I moved to that corps, I was ranked as a captain.
19 Q. But at the time that we are talking about,
20 there were no ranks?
21 A. No, there were not.
22 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Thank you.
23 MR. NICE: A few matters in re-examination.
24 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
25 Q. Mr. Sahinovic, you've been asked a few
1 questions about the blockade of the road by the workers
2 in the factory. At the time that you were doing that,
3 were the workers being paid at all?
4 A. No.
5 Q. For how long had they been without earnings?
6 A. As far as I can remember now, it must have
7 been three or four months that we went without
8 salaries. And in February and then March, 1992, the
9 government helped the workers with 50 per cent of their
11 Q. You've been asked about the document 78A, the
12 receipt. May he just have it once more please? Sorry,
13 78 and 78A. 78 is the English, and 78A is one of the
14 versions in BCS. The Tribunal has 78 in the English.
15 That was the only point I wanted to turn to.
16 You told us yesterday that this was a
17 document that you've never seen before as to its
18 format. You've been asked questions about it. The
19 third paragraph speaks of the secretariat being obliged
20 to return all pay for the aforementioned equipment by
21 the 20th of June, 1992. Can you help us with whether
22 any payment was received?
23 A. Not while I was at the plant. And when I
24 left it and joined the Territorial Defence, I do not
25 know what happened then.
1 MR. NICE: May the witness please have his
2 statement for the next two questions? That's
3 Exhibit 3/1 of the Defence.
4 Q. Paragraph 15 is a paragraph about which
5 you've been asked, and in the middle of that paragraph,
6 you refer to Croats being the victims of crimes. Take
7 your time to recall this passage of your statement and,
8 indeed, this time in the history. The question to
9 which I would like an answer is this:
10 To your knowledge, by whom were crimes
11 committed of which Croats were victims?
12 A. Herzegovinians.
13 Q. Paragraph 18 was a paragraph about which you
14 were asked. Your Honour, this is not a problem, but if
15 the Court has the paragraph in front of it --
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
17 MR. NICE: I observe that no specific
18 questions were directed to the centre of the paragraph,
19 lines 4 and 5, on Mr. Cerkez's behalf, and therefore to
20 some extent I don't know where I am. I was going to
21 ask whether, in relation to the balance of the
22 paragraph, what he sets out is correct and accurate.
23 MR. STEIN: And I would object.
24 JUDGE MAY: Including the statement which
25 is --
1 MR. NICE: Of course, yes.
2 JUDGE MAY: -- which it is alleged he said?
3 MR. NICE: Yes. I'm not sure why Mr. Stein
4 is on his feet. This really concerns Mr. Cerkez. But
5 it also arises from the position in which we find
6 ourselves, where, and I quite understand the reasoning,
7 where the Defence are not obliged to put a positive
8 case. But these are matters that perhaps should be
9 dealt with one way or another before the witness leaves
10 The Hague.
11 JUDGE MAY: And there is a question of
12 principle involved, which is if part of the statement
13 is put, are you entitled to put other parts?
14 MR. NICE: That also arises, yes.
15 MR. STEIN: And that's why I'm on my feet.
16 JUDGE MAY: What do you say, Mr. Stein?
17 MR. STEIN: The document was used for
18 impeachment purposes only. Now, for the Court's
19 edification and ease, the document was provided to the
20 Court. I was surprised, frankly, to find out it had
21 been marked and entered as a full exhibit. In the
22 custom that I'm used to, at least, we would have it
23 only used by the Court to help in seeing the impeaching
24 material but not marked as a full exhibit.
25 The opposition apparently now wants to take
1 advantage of the fact that it was used in impeachment
2 and go with other aspects of a document that was not
3 relied on in cross-examination.
4 JUDGE MAY: I don't think there's a ruling in
5 this Tribunal about this. In the jurisdiction of which
6 I'm familiar, there are two views about it. One view
7 is you're entitled to use the statement if it's put in;
8 the other side can use it if any of it is used. The
9 other view is similar to that which you are supporting,
10 which is that the other side are not entitled to use
11 the rest of it.
12 MR. STEIN: And perhaps the simplest
13 resolution, if I may suggest, is if we're to use part
14 of a statement for impeachment only, then that
15 statement -- that part only be shown to the witness and
16 to the Court, the rest redacted or -- with photocopied
17 material. We can certainly do that. And then the
18 limitation to the use of impeaching material is quite
20 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's not important here
21 because we're not a jury. The reason for redacting it
22 is so the jury don't see anything which is
23 prejudicial. But we'll briefly consider the point.
24 MR. NICE: First of all, of course, we have
25 yet to hear from counsel involved in the Cerkez
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, that doesn't matter.
3 MR. NICE: Except that my concern is not
4 particularly, at the moment, with the issue in
5 principle of how a statement should be dealt with but
6 the particular topic that's dealt with in paragraph 18
7 and how that should be left, because it hasn't been
8 cross-examined too specifically, which is why I rose.
9 Not why I rose; why I raised this issue.
10 As to the general argument, if the Court's
11 concerned to make a general ruling today, I would
12 invite the Court to say that the practice to be
13 preferred is one where, at the very least, the overall
14 passage in which the particular sentence or sentences
15 occur that are used for impeachment should be
16 exhibited, and where any significant part of a
17 statement has been relied on for purposes of
18 impeachment, then the whole of the statement should be
19 produced and exhibited in order to counter allegations
20 of lack of integrity.
21 In this particular case, I'm only concerned
22 that the totality of paragraph 18 might be read out to
23 the witness, and I might have been concerned to have
24 had the totality of paragraph 15 read out, but I was
25 able to achieve the purpose that I wished to achieve in
1 a shorter way.
2 MR. STEIN: And just again for the Court's
3 consideration, because this is going to be with us for
4 the rest of the trial, the statements of the officers
5 of the investigative branch of the Prosecutor are
6 far-ranging. Even if done paragraph by paragraph, you
7 may have several points which may never have been
8 raised in direct examination and certainly were not
9 raised in cross. So trying to limit or to suggest, as
10 my opposition suggested, the whole paragraph in which a
11 statement exists be put into the record, rather to an
12 arbitrary rule, doesn't take us very far.
13 In other words, if the entire paragraph
14 relates to an issue, by all means, certainly it makes
15 sense, but that's not to say every paragraph in every
16 instance will always relate to the specific issue at
17 hand. There may be two or three other thoughts
19 Now, while I'm on my feet, certainly should
20 the paragraph at issue be used for impeachment and if
21 there are other paragraphs within the document itself
22 that relates to the issue for rehabilitation or
23 consistency, then that's obviously fair game for the
24 other side. But I just am concerned about the total
25 incorporation. When we use any document merely for
1 impeachment, it opens up a door beyond which I think is
2 dangerous for all of us concerned.
3 By way of an example, if there are other
4 items in the document which the Prosecution steered a
5 wide berth of and which we would as well, suddenly they
6 are part of the record, in whole or in part, because of
7 the mere marking of the exhibit. Your Honours may
8 never have your eyes drawn towards them, it may never
9 be part of the record or part of your consideration,
10 but it would nonetheless incorporate a massive amount
11 of information or detail not suggested by the --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, will you please
13 slow down because of the interpreters.
14 MR. STEIN: -- I'm sorry -- not suggested by
15 the Prosecution or the Defence.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
17 Mr. Kovacic.
18 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
19 I'm not quite sure that I am with my learned friend
20 from the Prosecution regarding what he said about
21 sentences somewhere midway in paragraph 15. I think he
22 is trying to imply that the accused Mario Cerkez has
23 something to do with those Herzegovinians mentioned
24 there, and from this witness, we heard it well, and we
25 all asked him about those Herzegovinians and
1 established who -- what they were.
2 So will perhaps the Prosecution qualify this
3 statement, because according to a possible
4 interpretation of what I heard -- and as I said, I'm
5 not quite sure that I understood him properly -- he is
6 implying that we did not ask about something that might
7 be of relevance for Mr. Cerkez's defence.
8 Herzegovinians have nothing to do with Cerkez, and that
9 is what we heard this witness say. It was an army
10 which came to Novi Travnik. We know what Cerkez was in
11 Novi Travnik at the time. So will he please clarify
13 JUDGE MAY: I don't think he needs to.
14 That's not the point, and I don't think it's being
15 suggested that Mr. Cerkez was involved with the
16 Herzegovinians at all. The point is whether the
17 Prosecution should be able to ask further about a
18 statement which has been put to the witness to clarify
19 something in it. Mr. Stein objects. Do you associate
20 yourself with that objection?
21 You do.
22 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Yes, in that
23 part, yes, but I thought that the Prosecution was
24 trying to imply something with regard to those
25 Herzegovinians. If that is what you just said, and it
1 must be, since you said it, then I agree with what
2 Mr. Stein has said.
3 MR. STEIN: May I suggest, as a practical
4 matter to the Court, to impeach a witness, if we can
5 merely put the exhibit we're tying to impeach from on
6 the ELMO, that part is seen, and that might solve the
7 problem in its entirety.
8 JUDGE MAY: We're going to stop this debate,
9 and we're going to --
10 MR. NICE: I know Your Honour doesn't want a
11 free-for-all, and Mr. Stein has, I think, been on his
12 feet three, or it may even be four times. I only
13 desire to make one point at this stage, because
14 Mr. Stein uses phrases like "opposition" and "steering
15 a wide berth of." There is no question of the
16 Prosecution being tactical in its use of this material
17 at all. So far as we are concerned, at any time, the
18 Court can see all of any of these statements if it
19 wishes to. It's just a question of establishing, (a),
20 whether an issue like that which appears from the third
21 and fourth lines of this paragraph should be resolved
22 before the witness leaves, and the Court will remember,
23 when we raised procedural matters, the Court said it
24 could always require such matters to be clarified
25 before witnesses left the witness box.
1 And then the second issue is how these
2 statements should be dealt with when they're
3 cross-examined to.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you. I make it plain
5 that I am not going to have counsel bobbing up and
6 down. In future, these debates will be conducted in a
7 proper way: One side, then the other, and a reply by
8 the first side making the application, rather than
9 constant interruption.
10 Yes, we'll consider it.
11 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
12 JUDGE MAY: The issue which we have to
13 resolve here is to what extent a party re-examining can
14 go beyond that part of a witness's statement upon which
15 he or she has been cross-examined.
16 There are clearly arguments, and in some
17 jurisdictions, I've already said, it is the rule that a
18 party can cross-examine on the entire statement. But
19 we have to secure a fair trial; that is, a fair trial
20 for both sides. We think that that is best secured by
21 restricting any re-examination to matters which have
22 arisen in cross-examination, so that would be to limit
23 any re-examination to the passages which have been
24 cross-examined, unless it is to clarify a passage which
25 has been cross-examined. There will be no further
1 re-examination permitted.
2 So in this case, only that part of paragraph
3 18 which has been cross-examined may be the subject
4 of re-examination. It may be necessary to make rulings
5 from time to time as to how far that can be taken, but
6 that is the broad principle which we shall follow.
7 As far as the practicalities of procedures
8 are concerned, it has been the practice in the
9 Tribunal, in my experience, for such statements to be
10 made exhibits. As I said in argument, we are not a
11 jury who have to be protected from prejudicial
12 material, and it is a much simpler, more
13 straightforward way to put the entire document to the
14 witness and then to put it in as an exhibit. We will
15 of course take no notice of any other prejudicial
16 matter which hasn't been the subject of evidence.
17 MR. NICE: Thank you, in which case the only
18 potential outstanding matter is whether the Court now
19 or in due course will want to clarify for itself --
20 forget the statement -- whether the subject matter that
21 I was turning to, which has been the subject of
22 somewhat general questions in cross-examination, needs
23 to be clarified with Defence counsel or not, but I'm
24 not going to take it any further myself.
25 So you can hand that statement back in,
1 please, to the Court.
2 Q. You've been asked about the 25 Croats held at
3 the gymnasium in Opara. So far as they are concerned,
4 were they soldiers, civilians, a mixture of both, or
5 don't you know?
6 A. They were men of military age, mostly men of
7 military age, but they were without arms.
8 Q. Did you see them yourself?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. How were they treated at the time you saw
12 A. In the same way as all members of the army of
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina, because they were together.
14 Q. Were they maltreated in any way?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You were asked about your efforts to find the
17 officers and the driver on the 13th of June (sic) of
18 1993. Were your efforts successful? Were they found?
19 A. As far as I know, we looked for them for two
20 days in an area where members of the HVO thought they
21 could be. However, during those two days of our joint
22 quest for them, together with the European monitors, we
23 did not succeed in finding them. Where they were and
24 how they were exchanged is something I do not know.
25 MR. NICE: May the witness see D1/2, please.
1 I don't know if there is any better original version
2 than the photocopies we have, or indeed if there is an
3 original in court that we might look at. If there is
4 no other better version, I'll ask the witness to deal
5 with this version.
6 Q. What you have before you is a photocopy of
7 some other piece of paper. To your knowledge, had you
8 ever seen this piece of paper or anything like it
10 A. No.
11 Q. The last paragraph reads as follows, and I'll
12 read it in English, and if you follow it, please, in
13 the original: "All parts of the civilian and military
14 authorities of the Novi Travnik HVO have been
15 continuously working on the full establishment of
16 public order and peace and the protection of personal
17 safety and property of all Novi Travnik citizens." And
18 that's dated the 10th of February, 1993.
19 Have you seen things like that ever published
20 at about this time, observations like that published at
21 about this time?
22 A. No.
23 Q. How did that paragraph, tell us, compare with
24 your experience of things on the ground at that time?
25 A. I don't know whether this paragraph can be
1 compared at all with events at the time in Novi
2 Travnik. Just because I personally know this gentleman
3 who is said to have been killed here, because he was my
4 next-door neighbour in the street in which I lived, he
5 was a criminal, who, because of the problems he was
6 provoking in the area under HVO control, was killed, if
7 he was killed.
8 MR. NICE: Yes, nothing else arising. Thank
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sahinovic, thank you for
11 coming to the International Tribunal to give evidence.
12 You are now released.
13 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 (The witness withdrew)
15 MR. NICE: Before I call the next witness, I
16 think I ought to explain something to the Court, and
17 for that I think I would be assisted by a very --
18 technically by a very short -- is it called "private
19 session"? I don't need a closed session or don't apply
20 for a closed session, since I will be referring to
21 something that is to a degree confidential, and it will
22 only take a minute or two, I think it would be
23 preferable to have what we were told before we started
24 this case, by I think Ms. Featherstone, is a private
25 session, where I imagine the transcript would be
1 restricted and where sound is cut off from the public
2 gallery, but it would only be for a minute.
3 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski, what is your
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I apologise
6 for standing, Your Honour, but while we're still in
7 public session, perhaps we could finish what you were
8 kind enough to allow me to do after the witness departs
9 in connection with the videotape.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well, but if you would deal
11 with it briefly, and it is an indulgence to allow you
12 to address us in this way, but because of the peculiar
13 circumstances and the way in which the document was put
14 in, we'll let you do it.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
16 Your Honours. I wanted to express my gratitude for
17 your indulgence, and so we have marked in colour, in
18 the English version of the text, some of the sentences
19 which I should like to comment on very briefly, without
20 wasting any more time, and then Your Honours perhaps
21 can read these marked passages subsequently. So if I
22 may be allowed to enter them into evidence?
23 JUDGE MAY: Well, you can give us copies. I
24 don't think they should be entered into evidence. You
25 can give us whatever document you want.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Mr. Usher,
3 This is the same transcript that we were
4 given by the Prosecution under Number 53A in the
5 English version. The selection was made by the
6 Prosecutor himself, rather than us making any
7 selection, so it was the exclusive choice of the
8 Prosecution. Under Roman II, Roman IV and V, we have
9 highlighted certain phrases which we consider to be
10 relevant and would like to ask the Court to pay
11 attention to them.
12 Talking to this witness, Mr. Sahinovic, and
13 following the chronology of events, the Defence submits
14 that this press conference, or we could call it a talk
15 show, on Sarajevo television, that that programme took
16 place in March 1992; that is, after the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina had declared its independence.
18 I should just like to say a few words about
19 paragraph 2. Mention is made about the military
20 industry, and I beg Your Honours to look at this,
21 because the military industry in the former Yugoslavia
22 had exclusive production designed solely for the
23 Yugoslav People's Army. However, at this point in
24 time, the Yugoslav People's Army was no longer the
25 Yugoslav People's Army, because the state of which it
1 was an army had broken up.
2 So in this paragraph II, it is also important
3 to note that Mr. Kordic said that federal regulations
4 cannot be recognised. He is referring to the
5 regulations of a state which at that point in time no
6 longer exists, because the Republic of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina had become independent in the
9 Then, briefly, regarding paragraph Roman IV,
10 when Mr. Kordic was asked in what capacity he was
11 speaking, he says that he had the position of
12 vice-president of the Croatian Community of
13 Herceg-Bosna, and that the Novi Travnik municipality
14 had become part of the Croatian Community of
15 Herceg-Bosna. What is particularly important, he says
16 as far as the Croatian people are concerned, and then
17 again, paragraph V, on the last page, when Kordic says
18 that he thinks that no one can deny the right of the
19 Croatian people to organise themselves into the
20 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, it is also
21 important, and I quote: "And into other Croatian
23 I thank Your Honours for your patience.
24 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
25 Yes, Mr. Kovacic?
1 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
2 I think we need immediately correct the transcript.
3 Colleague Nice asked the witness -- and I'm referring
4 to page 77, Line 16 -- about the hijacking of those
5 officers, and I think colleague Nice made a slip of the
6 tongue when he said that this had happened on the 13th
7 of June, 1993, but in fact it was the 13th of April,
8 1993, so it must be an error. Could it be corrected,
9 please, in time.
10 JUDGE MAY: Very well, if that's right.
11 MR. NICE: I'm grateful. It was an error,
12 and I'm grateful to Mr. Kovacic for correcting me.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Now, you want to go to a
14 private session?
15 MR. NICE: Only for a couple of minutes.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll do that.
17 (Private session)
13 Redacted page 1148 private session
13 Redacted page 1149 private session
13 (Open session)
14 JUDGE MAY: Judge Bennouna wishes to say
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) I confirm
17 what has been said by Mr. Nice, but we have to know I
18 did this in a spirit of cooperation to facilitate our
19 work, the rule being, however, that documents have to
20 be translated into both official languages, the
21 exception being when it is not translated. So I wanted
22 to make it quite clear that I was speaking in a spirit
23 of flexibility and understanding, and I would like the
24 rule to be translation, and in exceptional cases, I
25 will accept that there is no translation and we can
1 work on an English text, though this will be more
2 difficult and less precise as far as I'm concerned.
3 That's all.
4 MR. STEIN: May I raise with the court two
5 very brief issues. With earlier witnesses, it became
6 apparent that they were bringing to The Hague papers or
7 documents -- in one case, of a journal -- which the
8 investigators or lawyers for the Tribunal were going
9 over with the witness in their forming, or -- I gather
10 "forming" is a word for "preparation." It became
11 apparent, and I argued successfully, that to the extent
12 that documents and those kinds of things were
13 available, that we would like to see them, even if we
14 couldn't see the full translation in English and
15 Serbo-Croatian, the entire thing as soon as we possibly
16 can, half being better than nothing.
17 I would argue also that sooner is better than
18 later. Yesterday, at the close of the session, we
19 received a half-dozen newspaper articles relative to
20 the next witness that he brought with him to The
21 Hague. During his forming, this was apparently given.
22 This is a witness who -- I don't know how long he's
23 been in The Hague but was interviewed in 1992 and in
24 1995 by investigators from the Prosecution. We now
25 have the documents. Apparently he has provided them
1 more documents.
2 All I'm asking for is that as these documents
3 become available in the preparation of a witness, yes,
4 we would like them as soon as possible in whatever
5 language they come in, followed by a translation; but I
6 would like to alert the Court that this is apparently
7 going to be a continuing problem. These documents are
8 from 1992, prior to the witness's being interviewed
9 initially, and then again by the Office of the
10 Prosecutor. Why this witness has suddenly produced
11 them, I do not know. When he produced them, I do not
12 know. How long he's been in The Hague, I do not know.
13 But it is becoming a problem for us as we are trying to
14 prepare for the next day's proceeding when we get them
15 the night before.
16 I have another point, if I may. I am
17 assuming that the sequestration order for witnesses,
18 once they swear the oath, includes investigators from
19 the Office of the Prosecutor. That's the assumption
20 I've been working under. It was never clearly
21 articulated. I believe my colleague on the other side
22 is also going under that same assumption. I just
23 wanted to make it clear.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, it clearly covers the
25 investigators too.
1 As for the other matter which you raised, it
2 is something which will have to be dealt with with the
3 Prosecution, and in conjunction with them, I would hope
4 that a working arrangement could be arrived at.
5 MR. STEIN: Certainly the liaison between the
6 prosecution's office and our office has established a
7 working relationship, and it's been edifying to work
8 with her.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic?
10 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) may I just ask
11 for the floor very briefly. I must go back again to
12 the discussion started by my learned friend regarding
13 questions linked to the defence of Mr. Cerkez to
14 exclude any confusion.
15 Three facts are important. One is that the
16 Prosecution, in preparing the main hearing, asked the
17 Court to rule regarding some procedural matters. If I
18 recollect well, the question of the impeachment of the
19 witness and the cross-examination of the witness was
20 raised, the presumption being that the witness should
21 not be provoked, and the Court overruled that.
22 Another point underlined by this Chamber, and
23 that is that we come from different jurisdictions and
24 that you would bear that in mind in managing the
25 proceedings. I do not see that we have the obligation
1 to ask about Cerkez's position at that time in Novi
2 Travnik. Furthermore, it was the duty of the Defence
3 to explain this in our pre-trial brief, which we did.
4 So whether we are going to question the witness about
5 this or not is up to the Defence, because there are no
6 restrictions in your rulings nor in the rules, plus you
7 gave us the freedom to act in a different manner
8 precisely because we come from different
10 If that is not so, could the Court give us
11 some instructions? I cannot accept what my learned
12 friend the Prosecutor has said.
13 JUDGE MAY: You've interpreted our ruling
14 correctly. The point which the Prosecution were making
15 is that at an earlier hearing, I said that the Court
16 may require clarification of the issues. Although it
17 may not have been appropriate on this occasion, if
18 there are important issues which are not the subject of
19 cross-examination, it may be that the Court will ask
20 you what your position is about it, so that we may have
21 the issues fully clarified for the purposes of the
22 trial. That was the point that was being made, and I
23 give you that warning.
24 Now, it's 5 to 1.00.
25 MR. NICE: Yes, just dealing with exhibits:
1 The Rules of the Tribunal, of course, make no provision
2 for early production of Prosecution exhibits, and I
3 gather in other trials exhibits are simply produced
4 through the witness as he gives evidence. Regardless
5 of that, I've taken the view that wherever an exhibit
6 additional to that of which the Defence were already
7 aware comes to our knowledge and we intend to use it,
8 the better course is to hand it over at an early
9 stage. That's what I'm going to be doing, because it
10 makes for a smoother-running trial, and it makes life
11 easier for them, but that's in excess of what actually
12 our duty is.
13 So that's what I desire to say about that.
14 Yes, it's 5 to 1.00; I'm in the Court's hands.
15 JUDGE MAY: We would encourage you to
16 disclose everything as soon as possible, as you are
17 doing, because as you say, it makes the trial run much
18 more smoothly, and it's much fairer.
19 MR. NICE: Yes. I don't have any trouble
20 with that.
21 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now, but we'll sit
22 at 25 past 2.00.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.55 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.25 p.m.
2 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
3 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
5 WITNESS: DRAGUTIN ZVONIMIR CICAK
6 (Witness answers through interpreter)
7 Examined by Mr. Nice:
8 Q. Your full name, please.
9 A. Dragutin Zvonimir Cicak.
10 Q. Your date of birth and where you were born?
11 A. 7th March, 1934, in Slavonska Pozega.
12 Q. And by ethnicity, you are --
13 A. Croat.
14 Q. Where were you educated, laterally, at the
15 university level?
16 A. Sarajevo.
17 Q. In what subject?
18 A. Legal studies.
19 Q. Did you leave Sarajevo in 1968 with a diploma
20 from the law faculty?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Thereafter, where did you work initially?
23 A. I worked in the town of Zenica all my life,
24 that is, the central part of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
25 Q. Did you use your law or did you work in some
1 other capacity?
2 A. Only law.
3 Q. Were you working as a practicing lawyer or
4 were you working in industry?
5 A. I could work as an advocate, as a solicitor,
6 but I nevertheless worked in industry, practicing law
7 in industry.
8 Q. Do you have any military training or
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you, in due course, move from Zenica to
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. In what year?
15 A. It was between 1976 and 1992.
16 Q. Leaping ahead to the present time, because
17 I'm going to ask you to deal in detail with what passed
18 in between, but leaping ahead to the present time,
19 what's your present job?
20 A. At present, I am the head of an institution
21 for the protection of human rights, operating across
22 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, both in the
23 Federation and the Republic of Srpska, and it is --
24 this institution for the protection of human rights is
25 called Independent, and I'm its director.
1 Q. What type of employees does your institution
2 have; what skills do they have?
3 A. My institution cannot employ any low-skilled
4 people. We can only employ lawyers, that is,
5 barristers, and people who are familiar with law and
6 perform various legal services.
7 Q. Does your workload include attempts to
8 recover property that has fallen into other hands as a
9 result of the war in Bosnia?
10 A. This is the principal problem which our
11 institution addresses at present; that is, exclusively
12 the restitution of property to their original owners.
13 Q. Let's deal with the matter now to get it out
14 of the way. Does one of those cases concern a relation
15 of the defendant Dario Kordic?
16 A. Yes, it concerns a relative of Mr. Dario
17 Kordic. It is his brother, Davor, who lives -- or
18 rather who moved into somebody else's house, and he is
19 living in the house of Asim Sunulahpasic in Busovaca.
20 Q. That man having been what in the community?
21 A. I don't understand the question.
22 Q. Did that man, Sunulahpasic, have any
23 particular function in the community or not, before he
24 lost his house?
25 A. He had a function. He was one of the eminent
1 citizens of Busovaca. He left Busovaca, and he lost
2 both his job and his house.
3 Q. And his ethnicity was --
4 A. Bosniak.
5 Q. For how many years have you been involved in
7 A. For a very long time.
8 Q. Since what age?
9 A. In the former system, it was natural to begin
10 very early in so-called youth organisations, and
11 afterwards one would continue either in organisations
12 of the Socialist Alliance or the League of Communists.
13 Q. And were you a member of those organisations,
14 in general terms?
15 A. Yes. I was a member of a youth organisation
16 for a long time, member of the youth organisations, and
17 later on I normally also became a member of the
18 Socialist Alliance.
19 Q. And the Communist Party, were you a member of
21 A. Yes. Not of my own volition did I enter it.
22 I was admitted to the League of Communists.
23 Q. As we're going to hear, you became involved
24 in politics in Busovaca in and around 1991. Just in
25 general, throughout your time in politics, what have
1 your aspirations been for Bosnia-Herzegovina? Have
2 they been constant, have they changed? Tell us, in
3 general terms.
4 A. My whole life, I advocated -- I upheld a
5 democratic system either of the Yugoslav society as a
6 whole or, when Bosnia-Herzegovina became an independent
7 state, for the democratic society in Bosnia and
8 Herzegovina. However, this struggle, it seems to me,
9 was to no avail.
10 Q. What, if any, has been your approach towards
11 ethnicity in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the possibilities
12 for dividing the ethnic groups up?
13 A. Absolutely.
14 Q. Can you expand on that a little? Have you
15 been in favour of dividing the ethnic groups up or
16 not? Explain your position.
17 A. Absolutely not. But will you tell me, what
18 period of time do you have in mind?
19 Q. For the moment, I'm concerned with your
20 entire approach throughout your life and throughout the
21 time you've been interested in politics. Have you ever
22 been interested in dividing up the ethnic groups or
23 have you taken a different approach at all times?
24 A. I never had a different attitude. To me,
25 there were only people who were good or who were bad.
1 And as for the structure, the ruling structures, they
2 had a completely different practical life, so that in
3 the majority of leaderships, whether it be the youth,
4 or Socialist Alliance, or the League of Communists, one
5 had Serbs, and then depending on the ethnic group or
6 people, going downward. For instance, in the Republic
7 of Croatia, one would have a smaller number of Croats
8 engaged. In the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, there
9 would all be Serbs, Croats and Bosniaks.
10 In those cases where one had homogenous
11 ethnic groups, such as, for instance, Montenegro, there
12 one had Montenegrins engaged, or in the case of
13 Macedonia, Macedonians were the ones who were mostly
15 So the problem arose in those environments,
16 in those environments which were multi-ethnic groups of
18 Q. Did you ever have any interest in linking a
19 uniquely Croat part of Bosnia-Herzegovina to the State
20 of Croatia?
21 A. No, absolutely not, and to this day those
22 areas and the Bosnia-Herzegovina in its entirety has
23 its natural boundaries. It has geographically very
24 nice boundaries. In the west, it has the River Una; in
25 the east is the River Drina; to the north is the River
1 Sava, and to the south is the Adriatic Sea, so that
2 geographically speaking, it was predestined to be one
3 whole. And I believe it will remain one whole of those
4 people who live in it, who have their residence in it.
5 Q. Let me turn now to the origins in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina of the HDZ and of your involvement
7 in it.
8 Where did that party find its original
9 formation, within Bosnia-Herzegovina or outside?
10 A. It did not originate in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
11 it originated outside. But its programme was very
12 interesting, as it was (sic) the Croatian Community but
13 Croatian Democratic Community, so the emphasis was on
14 democracy. Thus it attracted a large number of people,
15 or rather drew the attention of a large number of
16 people, and I also was attracted by it, that is, its
17 democratic approach. The solution of social problems
18 appealed to me, I mean in the building of a new
20 Q. Before we turn to the formation of the party
21 in Busovaca, staying for another question or so with
22 the formation of the HDZ in the State of Croatia, did
23 you become aware of Franjo Tudjman's expressed aims for
24 the party and for Croatia and for Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 A. Yes. It was no secret. Mr. Franjo Tudjman's
1 programme expanded through -- in Croatia and
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina at great speed. In
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, it turned into an enigma of sorts,
4 because people were not accustomed to a multi-party
5 life after the Communist regime, whereas in Croatia,
6 that movement advocated by Mr. Franjo Tudjman met with
7 very broad support. It was founded on a democratic
8 basis, and a democratic basis of any programme will
9 very easily attract citizens after a Communist regime
10 which lasted for 50 years, and so the liberation, the
11 emancipation, from the one-party system and all its
13 Q. Were you in sympathy with all of the Tudjman
14 ideas, as you understood them to be, or not?
15 A. No, only and exclusively the democratic part
16 thereof. To be quite frank, I was really enthusiastic
17 about that, but deep inside, I feared his national
18 goals because I was afraid it would find a reflection
19 in a very poor, weak social structure, or the structure
20 of social forces in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
21 Q. Let us turn to the HDZ in Busovaca. When,
22 approximately, was it founded and by what sort of
24 A. The act of establishment itself was not
25 particularly spectacular. One day we met in the church
1 of St. Ante in Busovaca. A representative of the HDZ
2 from Bugojno, Mr. Nikica -- his surname escapes me
3 right now -- he chaired that meeting. There were about
4 40 of us, about 40 citizens. It was the first time
5 that we were to found a party. It was the first
6 attempt of that kind. It was all very strange to us,
7 and this process, if I may call it that, of
8 establishing the HDZ party in Busovaca took about one
9 hour. We talked amongst ourselves about our future
10 actions and so on and so forth.
11 It was -- if I may say so, it was a very
12 amateurish approach to the founding of a party. That
13 is, it had nothing to do, but what happens now when
14 parties are founded, it is much better organised today
15 than it was at that time.
16 Q. Turning to the type of people who formed it,
17 who was the first president, and what was his
18 occupation, if you can recall?
19 A. Yes, I believe I recall that it was
20 Dr. Vjekoslav Barac, a very nice man of integrity, a
21 very capable man. He was -- what do you call it -- he
22 was for infectious diseases; I can't remember what the
23 proper technical term is.
24 Q. Thank you. That's fine. And were there two
25 deputy presidents?
1 A. Yes, Mr. Franc, as far as I know, and he
2 was a legend -- another physician, and I was about to
3 say he was a legendary figure in the whole Travnik land
4 and perhaps even Bosnia-Herzegovina. The second
5 vice-chairman, rather the third one, was myself. I
6 don't know -- there was another one.
7 Q. At that time, was the first defendant, Dario
8 Kordic, involved in the HDZ at all?
9 A. In the beginning, at the time of
10 establishment of the HDZ, Mr. Dario Kordic was not
11 there. He turned up later. But I do know that he was
12 in the leadership of the HDZ straight away. If I'm
13 correct, his first duty or rather his first office was
14 to be the secretary, I think. At that time, when in
15 the church -- rather in the churchyard of St. Ante's we
16 founded the HDZ, Mr. Dario Kordic was not present.
17 Q. What were his political involvements, if any,
18 at that time, before the creation of the HDZ?
19 A. As far as I know, and we spent a great deal
20 of time together, he left journalism, and for a while I
21 believe he was a local correspondent for a daily paper
22 in Sarajevo called Oslobodjenje. After that, I know I
23 saw him on the premises of the Vatrostalna management,
24 where I believe he was in charge of general affairs.
25 Because of that, and because we frequently came to his
1 office, I think that the manager prohibited visits
2 there. After that he became secretary of the
3 secretariat for national defence. And as far as I
4 know --
5 Q. I'm so sorry, I'm going to cut you off just
6 briefly. The question was, what were his political
7 involvements, and if you could just answer that very
8 succinctly, I would be grateful.
9 A. Political commitment, with regard to the
10 promotion of the democratic system, a democratic
11 society in Bosnia-Herzegovina, no, he had nothing to do
12 with that. He merely proceeded to pursue the policy of
13 the League of Communists of Yugoslavia.
14 Q. Before we develop through you what happened
15 in Busovaca, can you just help us with the position of
16 the party a little in the republic as a whole. Who was
17 the first republican president of HDZ?
18 A. If I may, I must expand on this a little, if
19 the Court permits. I must say something more.
20 The foundation of the HDZ in
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina did not happen all that quickly and
22 smoothly as in the Republic of Croatia. There were
23 various difficulties, but one of the activists at the
24 time of the establishment of HDZ in B and H was
25 Mr. Perinovic, at the time a very active person. On
1 the basis of the activities throughout
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, he also convened at that party --
3 or rather he convened the conference of all members of
4 the HDZ on the 16th -- or perhaps the 18th; I think it
5 was the 18th, August, 1990, in Sarajevo.
6 It was a big, grandiose gathering of all
7 Croats from the area that was accessible at that time
8 of all those who could come to Sarajevo at the time.
9 But that meeting, that convention, was very confused,
10 badly organised, and I think that it misfired
11 completely. It was a complete failure. But
12 nonetheless, Mr. Perinovic was elected the first
14 Q. What was his attitude to multi-ethnicity in
16 A. Mr. Perinovic believed -- he wanted to
17 preserve Bosnia-Herzegovina such as it was; that is,
18 that Bosnia-Herzegovina should not be split up into
19 ethnic entities, first by groups of peoples and then in
20 territorial terms. He advocated an integral Bosnia and
21 Herzegovina where Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks would all
22 be equal.
23 Q. How did his ideas fit with what was being set
24 out in Zagreb by Franjo Tudjman?
25 A. Now, this is a little different. Mr. Tudjman
1 embraced a completely different platform. Mr. Tudjman,
2 in his ideas as to how the HDZ should develop, he saw
3 it as a movement, as a worldwide movement of all
4 Croats; that is, that every Croat, wherever he might
5 be, should be or rather would have to side, to support
6 the Croatian Democratic Union of Croatia. At that
7 time, this idea developed along those lines. That is,
8 the HDZ was not confined to Croatia alone. It was a
9 worldwide movement of all Croats, so that Mr. Tudjman
10 enjoyed major support of what is usually termed as a
11 diaspora of Croat emigres in other parts of the world,
12 and what is still in the HDZ, and its programme is that
13 it is a strong, forceful movement.
14 Q. Was there something called the Croatian
15 Spring? Indeed, I think we've already heard of it.
16 A. That was earlier on. This was an attempt,
17 like all the other republics tried to acquire at least
18 a minimum degree of independence in relation to
19 Belgrade. You know yourselves that the League of
20 Communists, via Belgrade, covered all the republics in
21 Yugoslavia, including Croatia. In the end, after an
22 analysis of the situation in the Republic of Croatia,
23 we established that there were about 40 per cent Serbs,
24 or maybe even more, holding senior positions. This was
25 nonsense, that in the Republic of Croatia, Serbs should
1 hold executive positions.
2 Q. What happened so far as that first president,
3 Perinovic, was concerned? Did he keep his office, or
4 did he lose it?
5 A. At the convention already there was a split.
6 I said that the convention was very poorly organised,
7 that it was disoriented, and that already at that time
8 it became evident to all the -- not delegates, not
9 delegates, all those present at the convention, that
10 something was going on, and later on this was
11 confirmed. But already, before that, there were
12 rumours being spread around in Bosnia-Herzegovina that
13 Mr. Perinovic was not purebred -- maybe you can find a
14 better word, the interpreters can find a better word --
15 that he was not a pure Croat, a thoroughbred Croat.
16 So Mr. Perinovic -- and also a third factor
17 contributing to his removal was that after all, he
18 advocated that the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina should be
19 a separate organisation in relation to all others.
20 These three factors placed Mr. Perinovic in a position
21 that he had to withdraw from the position of president,
22 and seven months later he was no longer president.
23 Q. When you say he had to withdraw, what or who
24 forced him to withdraw?
25 A. There was pressure, both from domestic and
1 external factors. When I say "domestic," I have in
2 mind representatives of the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
3 and when I say "external," I'm thinking of the HDZ of
5 Q. In the Federation, was the HDZ uniform in its
6 approach throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, or were there
7 discernible camps, geographically based?
8 A. I don't know how familiar you are, I
9 apologise to Your Honours, but I must say that
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina is a rather specific land divided
11 into three quite clearly distinguishable regions, and
12 those are Herzegovina, Posavina, and Central Bosnia.
13 In all these regions, the people living there have a
14 different mentality, a specific outlook on life. The
15 Herzegovinians are far stricter in their views, whereas
16 the people of Posavina, the richest part of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, these are prosperous people with
18 large estates and high annual earnings, as opposed to
19 Herzegovina, where those possibilities were limited.
20 Again, Central Bosnia was known to be inhabited by
21 good-natured people, cordial people, small landowners,
22 poor peasants; a level that cannot be considered to be
23 a high standard of living, not even a medium standard
24 of living. So that the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina which
25 was organised in these regions acted in a way
1 corresponding to the behaviour of the citizens of that
3 Q. So that, for example, Herzegovina, in your
4 experience, what was the reaction there towards the
5 Croatian, Tudjman, platform?
6 A. As far as Herzegovina is concerned, it was
7 adopted because Herzegovina is geographically and in
8 every respect linked to the Republic of Croatia. That
9 was where the HDZ began to develop in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I think that they supported the
11 idea to achieve political unification and then physical
12 unification as soon as possible with the Republic of
14 Q. The approach of those in Central Bosnia in
15 the early stages was what, towards Tudjman's programme?
16 A. I don't quite understand the question.
17 Q. So far as Central Bosnia is concerned, was
18 there an identifiable approach or sense towards the
19 Tudjman programme there, or not?
20 A. No, there was absolute confusion there.
21 Central Bosnia, from times immemorial, if one can put
22 it that way, Central Bosnia never had intellectuals.
23 They do not have a social stratum in which
24 intellectuals would dominate. These were mostly
25 farmers, poor farmers, who concerned themselves mostly
1 with land, and for them, the concept of national
2 emancipation was unknown to them. First of all, they
3 didn't understand what it meant. Secondly, they didn't
4 know what national emancipation meant, so that there
5 were a series of rather ridiculous situations,
6 depending on how individuals interpreted this national
8 All I can say is that Central Bosnia was
9 always, both under the former system and today, in the
10 present day, it was a part of the country that was
11 always bypassed by all the institutions acting in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina ever since the Kingdom of
13 Yugoslavia, when it was originally formed, to the
14 present day.
15 Q. I want you now, please, to help with one or
16 two individuals --
17 JUDGE MAY: One moment.
18 Judge Bennouna.
19 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Nice,
20 to clarify a point for the Court, a statement made by
21 the witness that Central Bosnia never had
22 intellectuals. Does the witness wish to say -- yes,
23 that's what I see here -- doesn't the witness wish to
24 say, was he referring to the level of education there,
25 that their educational level was never up to the
1 university level? Or was he referring to intellectuals
2 as thinkers? It might be interesting for the Court to
3 know whether this is related to the level of education
4 that people had in Central Bosnia. Thank you.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. You've heard Judge Bennouna's question, which
7 I'd like you to answer.
8 A. Yes, I will answer very clearly. Under the
9 former system, it was difficult even to set up
10 elementary schools. It was very hard to get as far as
11 secondary schools, not to mention universities. So
12 there was no question of universities. It was not
13 possible to develop an intellectual cadre in Central
15 Q. There were -- I'm so sorry.
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, before you go on, you
17 asked at one stage about the establishment of the HDZ
18 in Busovaca, and I hope we're going to get back to that
19 fairly quickly.
20 MR. NICE: We're coming back to that, yes.
21 JUDGE MAY: But before the matter passes, you
22 can help us with a date when the HDZ was established in
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. Mr. Cicak?
1 A. Spring, 1990.
2 Q. Just picking up on Judge Bennouna's question,
3 it's obvious from the membership of the group that
4 established the party in Busovaca that there were of
5 course people of education in the town, but was there
6 in that town any culture of intellectuals, or any
7 regular gatherings of intellectuals, in the way that
8 there might have been in other places?
9 A. We must be quite clear on two points. The
10 actual act of foundation of the HDZ of Busovaca was not
11 carried out by intellectuals, so we do not have any
12 intellectuals as the founders. A representative from
13 Bugojno came, he collected 40-odd people, he held a
14 speech, and that was the day that we registered as the
15 day of the founding of the HDZ. No intellectuals
16 attended that meeting except myself.
17 Q. I wanted to deal with some particular
18 personalities before we return --
19 A. Just a moment, please, I haven't quite
20 finished, because the other part of the question
21 remained unanswered.
22 The second part of the question was, how come
23 that suddenly, when it came to the municipal board of
24 the HDZ in Busovaca, and generally, the activities of
25 the HDZ, that Dr. Vjekoslav Barac, Dr. Franc, Dragutin
1 Zvonimir Cicak, Dario Kordic, and other intellectuals
2 came to be involved? Now, this is a second problem, or
3 rather it is the other point which I wish to make.
4 Mr. Barac was already involved with the HDZ,
5 but not in the area of Zenica, but rather for the area
6 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as he was not from Busovaca,
7 though he was born there. He was glad to assist in the
8 organisation of the HDZ in Busovaca. Then the others
9 joined in, the presidents and vice-presidents.
10 Q. I wanted to deal with some individuals who
11 feature in history. A man called Mate Boban: Can you
12 tell us about him and his involvement in affairs?
13 A. I don't know whether we have enough time for
14 me to talk about Mr. Mate Boban.
15 Q. Give a summary --
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Cicak, let me interrupt you,
17 please. We do not have a great deal of time, I'm
18 afraid. Could you be as succinct as you could be, and
19 summarise what you know about Mr. Boban.
20 A. So, Boban (sic) was the key figure for the HDZ of
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. What were his connections outside Busovaca;
24 for example, to Zagreb?
25 A. Busovaca had no connections with Zagreb, nor
1 with the environs. Those things were done by
2 Mr. Boban, and whatever Mr. Boban did, we put into
3 effect on the ground. When I say "we," I'm referring
4 to the municipal board of the HDZ in Busovaca.
5 Q. Did Mr. Boban say anything about his
6 connections in Zagreb or the people he met there?
7 A. Whenever Mr. Boban held meetings with us, he
8 would always say that he and Mr. Tudjman had come to
9 such and such a conclusion, and then he conveyed that
10 to our municipal board, or a part of the board, or
11 individuals that he may have convened to a meeting on
12 that day, dependent whether it was a small group of
13 people or a larger group of people. But what was
14 interesting was that he always placed the pronoun "I"
15 before the name of Mr. Tudjman.
16 Q. The next person I want you to help us with is
17 a man named Stjepan Kljuic, and again bearing in mind
18 the Learned Judge's direction to be brief, summarise
19 the position so far as that man is concerned.
20 A. Stjepan Kljuic came after Perinovic to be
21 the president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina. After
22 that, he was elected to the state presidency of
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that he performed two functions,
24 that of the president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina
25 and that of member of the presidency of the State of
2 Of course, Mr. Kljuic had certain problems
3 in the State presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that
4 to a certain extent, he neglected his function as
5 president of the Croatian Democratic Union, and he had
6 certain problems there.
7 Q. Did he follow as president immediately after
8 Perinovic, or was there somebody else in between?
9 A. He came immediately after Perinovic. He was
10 appointed acting president, and then at the convention
11 in Mostar, his election as president of the HDZ of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina was confirmed.
13 Q. And what was his attitude towards a
14 multi-ethnic Bosnia-Herzegovina or to the possibility
15 of splitting the state up; what was his attitude?
16 A. No, absolutely his position, too, was that
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina had to be united, inhabited by
18 Croats, Serbs and Bosniaks and that there was
19 absolutely no room for any manipulation.
20 Q. Can we now then turn to the development of
21 the party in Busovaca? There may be some general
22 topics to which I will return later, if I haven't
23 integrated them into the questions I ask you.
24 Let's turn back to Busovaca, itself, and to
25 the role and function of the first defendant in it.
1 Before we turn to the first defendant,
2 himself, did you know or get to know his parents?
3 A. Yes, indeed. Mr. Pero, Mr. Dario Kordic's
4 father, was a highly-specialised veterinarian surgeon.
5 His mother, Mr. Dario Kordic's mother, was Rozika. She
6 was a pediatrician, again a highly-qualified specialist
7 for child medicine. I think she was the most respected
8 person in the region.
9 Q. Did either of those people, the parents, play
10 any part in the first defendant's involvement in or
11 rise within the HDZ?
12 A. I think that Mr. Pero Kordic, Dario Kordic's
13 father, therefore, did play a part. And this astounded
14 me, knowing Mr. Pero Kordic, when at a certain point in
15 time at a luncheon in the church prepared by the parish
16 priest of the Franciscan Church, St. Ante, and he asked
17 Mr. Boras to try, in the HDZ, to do something for his
18 son, Dario, in the sense of promotion in the
19 hierarchy. And he also appealed to Mr. Boras with the
20 same request.
21 Mr. Boras at the time didn't know Mr. Dario
22 Kordic, but he was a good friend of his father's,
23 Dr. Pero, Pero Kordic.
24 Q. So far as you're aware, did Mr. Boris respond
25 to that request or not?
1 A. I doubt that Mr. Boris could do anything,
2 because, anyway, it was not necessary for him to do
3 anything for Mr. Dario Kordic, since at the time
4 Mr. Boban appeared on the scene. And after that, it
5 was not necessary for anyone to do anything.
6 Q. Because?
7 A. Because the influence of Mr. Boban by far
8 exceeded that of Mr. Boris. And Mr. Boris was
9 gradually disappearing from the political stage,
10 whereas climbing on that stage with full force was
11 Mr. Mate Boban.
12 Q. What was the next development of Dario Kordic
13 in the party? What was the next thing that happened
14 locally? Did he achieve office, or what happened?
15 A. The HDZ of Busovaca never had an office for
16 the president, and Mr. Dario Kordic used the office of
17 the Secretariat of National Defence in the
18 municipality, therefore within the state administration
19 of Busovaca, and he became president of the HDZ of the
20 Busovaca municipality.
21 Q. How did that come about, that he became
23 A. Mr. Boras, at the elections, became a member
24 of parliament, and it was not possible for him, at the
25 same time, to be a member of parliament of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina and at the same time to be president
2 of the municipality board of the HDZ of Busovaca. And
3 then Mr. Kordic was proposed to take over that duty.
4 Q. Do you remember by whom he was proposed?
5 A. I really don't know.
6 Q. Did you support it, oppose it, were you
7 neutral, or can't you recall?
8 A. I supported it.
9 Q. And at that time, was the defendant
10 associated with any group of other people?
11 A. Mr. Kordic always had a certain animosity
12 towards all people coming outside of Busovaca, and this
13 applied to me as well, as his deputy president. And he
14 had this animosity towards me, as he did towards Dr.
15 Boras and others, because we had come from the town of
16 Zenica. Mr. Kordic, together with his associates,
17 though he was not born in Busovaca, but he considered
18 himself to be a native, whereas these other people were
19 born in Busovaca, so he considered them to have much
20 greater priority than those of us who had come from
22 Q. Who were in this group?
23 A. The main support for him was always Mr. Anto
24 Sliskovic, his brother, Mr. Franjo Sliskovic, then
25 Mr. Igor Prusac, Mr. Anto Stipic, Mr. Florijan
1 Glavocevic and the others. I don't know if it's
2 necessary for me to enumerate them all.
3 Q. What sort of people were these, what sort of
4 jobs did they do?
5 A. Various jobs, but they were of medium
6 skills --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Let the interpreter find
8 the proper term for this. "Secondary school education."
9 A. -- except for Florijan Glavocevic, who was a
10 forester. In our country, these are usually
11 administrative clerks who have these secondary skills
12 or secondary school qualifications.
13 Q. Did Dario Kordic enjoy any security by reason
14 of this group of people or otherwise?
15 A. He was the absolute master of these people.
16 These men protected him. But whatever he said, they
17 carried out without any question.
18 Q. Was there any training in respect of these
19 men, or any of them, that you were aware of?
20 A. I don't know in what sense you mean
21 "training." Civilian or military?
22 Q. Military.
23 A. Military training. I see. When the danger
24 threatened over Yugoslavia, when Slovenia and Croatia
25 had been attacked without any reason, a shock group was
1 formed in Busovaca, headed by Anto and Franjo
2 Sliskovic. This was a group that trained using weapons
3 that were smuggled into Bosnia and Busovaca illegally.
4 This training ground was in the mountains near
5 Busovaca. They trained with the most sophisticated
6 weapons, which they had never in their lives come
7 across, and I believe that was the first time they saw
8 them. And this was one part of the training that they
9 had in Busovaca.
10 Q. Was there any other part of training that you
11 can help us with?
12 A. I could just say, actually, a part of
13 training that does not apply to Busovaca alone. In
14 Herzegovina, there was a military unit of the HOS,
15 headed by Blaz Kraljevic. This was a
16 highly-sophisticated unit, very well organised, and
17 then all the municipal HDZ organisations that wanted to
18 have professionally-trained military men would send
19 some of their young men to be trained there by Mr. Blaz
20 Kraljevic. In addition, they would be given a golden
21 badge, showing that they had been trained in his
22 training centre in Herzegovina. I'm not quite sure
23 where it was situated, but I think it was somewhere
24 around Capljina, so that young men from Busovaca went
25 to that centre there.
1 Q. Those men who provided security for Kordic,
2 did they wear any distinctive clothing at any stage or
4 A. If they were performing ordinary civil
5 duties, then they did not wear any particular
6 markings. But if they were out on an action or where
7 Mr. Kordic would send them, then they would be wearing
8 the then military clothes, today they are called
9 camouflage uniforms, with modern weapons.
10 Q. Once he had been appointed within the party,
11 did you meet him from time to time or regularly? What
12 was the position?
13 A. I don't understand the question.
14 Q. Once Kordic had become a member of the party
15 and, indeed, an officer of the party, he being a person
16 you had never known before, did you now meet him
18 A. We established contact very quickly, and
19 there was no need for it, because we met quite often,
20 very often.
21 Q. Did he express any views as to where the HDZ
22 should be going; for example, any views about the
23 approach coming from Tudjman, in Zagreb, or not?
24 A. We talked about that very often, and his view
25 was that one should side with the HDZ of the Republic
1 of Croatia, that we should be part of the movement
2 promoted by Mr. Tudjman; that is, all Croats in the
3 HDZ, wherever they are.
4 Q. Did you agree with that view?
5 A. No, I did not, because I always thought
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina should stay between the Una, the
7 Drina, the Sava, and the sea and that we should have an
8 independent HDZ organisation. And either Mr. Kordic,
9 or Mr. Kljuic, or any other gentleman could be in the
10 lead of that organisation, but it should be an
11 independent HDZ organisation of the Bosnia-Herzegovina
12 and in no way become a part of the HDZ of Croatia.
13 Q. Did you make your position clear to Kordic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. One other man I want your help with at the
16 moment; Kostroman. Tell us about him, please. Did you
17 know him before the HDZ or not?
18 A. I don't remember if I knew him before. It is
19 a man who even when you meet him, you don't remember
20 him for long. But during the HDZ, I did, indeed, come
21 to know him very well. Should I go on?
22 Q. What views did he hold?
23 A. Quite opposite. To this day, when I start to
24 think about that, I cannot understand what were his
25 views and what did he want, really, with the HDZ and
1 B and H, because it was the first time in history that
2 a technical secretary, that is, an administrative
3 secretary, not the Secretary-General, that such
4 secretary works against his party and its president,
5 and the president was Mr. Kljuic. And he completely
6 turned about and worked with Mr. Boban, who absolutely
7 had no right to work with Mr. Kostroman. So Kostroman
8 is what people would say is a person without a
9 personality, who has inflicted a great deal on the
10 Croat people in Bosnia-Herzegovina and, I believe, also
11 of the Croat people in the Republic of Croatia as well.
12 Q. So to summarise, you, in your locality, and
13 Kljuic outside, favoured a multi-ethnic
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but --
15 A. Absolutely.
16 Q. -- Dario Kordic, Mate Boban, who had
17 connections to Zagreb, favoured a different conclusion?
18 A. Absolutely.
19 Q. In summary, we'll look at documents a little
20 later, how did things unfold, and can you now perhaps
21 give the Court some dates or some approximate dates?
22 If you can summarise the position, and then we'll look
23 at the documents later.
24 A. Unfolding of what?
25 Q. Yes. How did events unfold? What, for
1 example, ultimately happened to Mr. Kljuic?
2 A. Mr. Kostroman was -- wait now. Now, of
3 course, you -- well, you have to know some things. No,
4 no. The main office of Mr. Kljuic and
5 Secretary-General Mr. Markesic was separated --
6 Q. We can come back to this if it's necessary,
7 but in summary, what happened to Mr. Kljuic? Did he
8 stay in office or did he lose office?
9 A. No, Mr. Kljuic was eliminated gradually from
10 the office of the president of HDZ.
11 Q. To be replaced by --
12 A. By the professor -- Dr. Miljenko Brkic came
13 to succeed him, and I don't really know how he turned
14 up in that group. And after him was Mr. Mate Boban.
15 Q. At the local party, and we're going to deal
16 with the detail of this later, but at the local party,
17 were you able to stay a member of the party, holding
18 the views you did, or not?
19 A. With great difficulty, with great
21 MR. NICE: Give me a minute, please. Your
22 Honour, I think it might be convenient now to get the
23 witness to deal with some documents which will, I
24 think, help the Court. These documents were all in the
25 core bundle, and indeed many of them were referred to
1 in the opening. I've got them all fresh for the Court
2 now. I don't know what the Court wants to do with its
3 core bundle, but it's probably better if I provide,
4 certainly at this stage, exhibits full and fresh, and
5 the Court can make its own decisions in due course.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. NICE: But I'll read out the pages, in
8 case any of my learned friends are following in the way
9 that the Registry ordered documents.
10 So we'll go first, please, to Z7, Registry
11 page 5818, and if this can be provided to the Court
12 and, in its BCS version, to the witness.
13 If the usher could stay by the ELMO,
14 detaching the English version from the BSC version in
15 order to display the paragraphs, and there won't be
16 very many of them, for a document that I'll ask the
17 witness to deal with.
18 Q. Mr. Cicak, what we have here is a document
19 headed "The HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Travnik Region,"
20 dated the 21st of July, page 1 being an agenda. Before
21 we turn from the agenda, we can see that it says its
22 for the leaders of all seven municipalities of the
23 Travnik region. It sets out those regions, and it sets
24 out a list of people attending, which does not include
1 So the first point is this: Did you attend
2 meetings of the leaders of the municipalities of the
3 Travnik region or not, or was it sometimes? Help us,
5 A. I did attend most of the meetings. But I
6 must explain one thing to the Court, that these
7 original agendas which were typewritten, they are not
8 the original agendas, they are copies, they are
9 transcripts, but I don't know of what, because this is
10 Mr. Kostroman, at his own discretion, adopted and wrote
11 texts, so that not one text was adopted ever at any one
12 meeting of the HDZ. It could have been discussed in
13 different ways, but Mr. Kostroman, in his office, would
14 reword it to his liking, and such documents were never
16 What I'm trying to say is that we do not have
17 handwritten minutes, and these minutes are not signed,
18 even, apart from Kostroman, who wrote them, so that --
19 Q. Do you know, one way or another, whether you
20 definitely attended the meeting on the 21st --
21 A. I think I was present at that meeting. I
22 know about it.
23 Q. We now turn to the second sheet in the
24 English version. There is something headed
25 "Conclusions," of which paragraph 4 in the English
2 "HDZ BiH president, Stjepan Kljuic, is
3 ordered to call an urgent session of the HDZ BiH main
4 board on Wednesday, the 24th of July, 1991, because of
5 the new situation. It is necessary to invite the
6 leaders of the HDZ from Zagreb to attend the session."
7 First, do you recall any meeting where such a
8 decision, that is, the decision to call the president
9 of the party to -- sorry, where the decision is
10 expressed to be an instruction to the party's president
11 to call a session of the main board, do you recall
12 being present at any meeting where that decision was
14 A. Yes. We asked Mr. Kljuic to attend our
15 meetings on various occasions, on various occasions,
16 but this is nonsense, because a regional community can
17 never order the president or the presidency of the HDZ
18 to do something. That is, somebody who is inferior
19 cannot order his superior to do something. That is
20 sheer nonsense, and we never had conclusions worded as
22 It is quite possibly that Mr. Kljuic was
23 criticised at the time and told that he should more
24 frequently attend regional committees and more
25 frequently talk about the situation. But it could
1 never happen, nor could one ever write or even say in
2 the discussion that Mr. President Stjepan Kljuic is
3 ordered to do this or that. I mean it simply did not
4 happen. So this is pure --
5 Q. Would you now please turn to conclusion
6 number 6, which is a rather longer paragraph and
8 "The Croatia Democratic Union of
9 Bosnia-Herzegovina must take a clear position with
10 regard to the latest political events, namely,
11 aggression against Slovenia, Croatia, and the silent
12 occupation of parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina; the Federal
13 Presidency's decision to withdraw the troops of the
14 so-called JNA from Slovenia and their deployment in
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina and other parts of the rump
16 Yugoslavia; the status of Bosnia-Herzegovina; the
17 relations with other parties; a clear stand if the SDA
18 decides to remain within the rump Yugoslavia or,
19 rather, Serboslavia; about the statement made by the
20 BiH Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic, that he requires the
21 representatives of Bosnia-Herzegovina to attend a
22 conference of Islamic countries, even without previous
23 consent of the Presidency; and other topical issues."
24 I read the whole text, but I really want your
25 comment on the last passage about Alija Izetbegovic.
1 Do you recall anything being said about that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What was said?
4 A. Well, precisely as this said. Perhaps it was
5 more expanded.
6 Mr. Izetbegovic embraced the practice, and I
7 believe he does it to this day, that all that he does
8 or all decisions that he takes, he does so personally.
9 He never consults a wider circle of people, one man
10 perhaps and nobody else, and this was one such
12 But again, it is nonsense that Croat
13 representatives, members of the presidency, do not
14 bring any pressure to bear on Mr. Izetbegovic to change
15 those decisions regarding the so-called rump Yugoslavia
16 or attendance at a conference of Islamic countries.
17 Q. Then, as you've already explained, in the
18 original version that you hold, it's typed, and over
19 the typed name of "Kostroman," there is some initials
20 or signature, but over the name of "Dario Kordic,"
21 "Chairman," or -- in fact, perhaps I would ask you to
22 read out the title under Dario Kordic's name and then
23 the interpreters can tell us what it is. What's the
24 title under Dario Kordic's name? Is that "President"?
25 A. No, no, it is "Chairman," chairman of the
2 Q. But there is, on the version you have, no
3 signature over that name?
4 A. No. Well, this is Kostroman's -- this was
5 written by Mr. Kostroman.
6 Q. The next exhibit, please, is Z8. Registry
7 page number 5814 in the BCS original and English.
8 Thank you.
9 May the witness have the -- is this a
10 document headed "The Croatian Democratic Union of
11 Bosnia and Herzegovina? It's dated the 30th of July,
12 1991 --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. -- for a meeting in Vitez, with an agenda set
15 out. And again does your name not appear in the list
16 of those attending?
17 A. No. I did not attend that meeting. It was
18 attended by the leaders of the municipal boards of the
19 HDZ, and Mr. Anto Valenta chaired the meeting.
20 Q. Can you tell us something, please, about Anto
21 Valenta? What was his role, what was his position on
22 political matters? Again, very briefly.
23 A. Very briefly, he was a great supporter of the
24 foundation of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
25 In body and spirit, he dedicated himself to the
1 realisation of that idea. By occupation he's a
2 teacher. He wrote a book, which I consider to be
3 stupid, entitled "Humane Resettlement." Any kind of
4 resettlement cannot be humane, but he wrote such a
5 book, entitled "Humane Resettlement," meaning that in
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina, where there are minority groups and
7 there are majorities in another area, they should be
8 unified, and the same should apply to all three ethnic
9 groups: That is, the Muslims, Serbs, and Croats.
10 Q. He wrote such a book. What views did he
11 espouse in meetings or any other political activities
12 at the time?
13 A. At first he was a moderate, a moderate member
14 of the HDZ. Just before the war, or rather before the
15 outbreak of the conflict between the Bosniaks and the
16 Muslims, he was very extreme, and when I met him since,
17 I felt as if he was not a living person any more.
18 Q. Did he express any views on the possibility
19 of Muslims and Croats living together in the same
21 A. No. No.
22 Q. Would you turn, please, to the second sheet
23 of the original, as we turn to the second sheet of the
24 English version, and at the foot of the English
25 page -- I'm sorry, I think it's probably the top of
1 the third sheet in the original -- does this appear:
2 "Because of its geographic position and because it is
3 a centre of the district, municipal HDZ board in
4 Busovaca is appointed headquarters of the Travnik
5 regional community. Dario Kordic is appointed
6 coordinator of the regional community and in the future
7 will call and chair the meetings."
8 Was that decision made?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Were you aware in advance that it was being
11 considered and made, or not?
12 A. I didn't know in advance that such a decision
13 was being considered, but all of us in Busovaca were
14 surprised by that decision, which shows that
15 Mr. Kordic, outside the municipal board of the HDZ, was
16 climbing very quickly in the hierarchy of the HDZ. It
17 is inconceivable that a former president who headed the
18 regional community of Travnik, that is Professor Martin
19 Udovicic, should leave the leadership of the regional
20 community and its movement to Busovaca. After all,
21 it's called the Travnik regional community, and it is
22 being moved 20 or 30 kilometres southwards to the
23 village of Busovaca.
24 Furthermore, it wasn't clear to us how
25 Mr. Kordic could have so quickly climbed to the
1 position of coordinator of all the communities in the
2 region. So this is indicative of another trend in
3 Mr. Kordic's career.
4 Q. Staying with this document, going back up the
5 document to the beginning of Item 3, was this set out
6 as one of the conclusions? "Support is given to the
7 HDZ initiative to set up a new Croatian Government
8 which is to consist of Croatian experts regardless of
9 their political orientation if their beliefs are not in
10 opposition with the common interests of the Croatian
12 Were you aware of that decision?
13 A. Yes, very well aware of it, and it was
14 widespread and very popular among the public, it being
15 said that this would be something very positive.
16 However, I was absolutely against it, because it meant
17 the complete division of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
18 inability for it to function in the territory of
19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, because if each community had its
20 own governments and its own logistics, then all the
21 bodies of Bosnia-Herzegovina would be paralysed. So
22 this idea on the formation of a Croatian government was
23 in existence among HDZ members, but I think that it
24 never found supporters.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we'll go on till 10
1 past 4.00.
2 MR. NICE: Thank you.
3 Q. We know you weren't present at this
4 particular meeting, but that you were present at
5 another, and we're going to see others. Your
6 opposition to these ideas, did you express your
7 opposition when you had an opportunity do so?
8 A. All the ideas that were not close to mine, I
9 clearly expressed my disagreement with such ideas.
10 Whether people like that or not, I don't know, but
11 always, at all meetings, I said loud and clear that I
12 did not agree with certain ideas leading towards the
13 division of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the formation of ethnic
14 ghettos, et cetera, et cetera. As Mr. Kordic said on
15 one occasion, I was opposed.
16 Q. I'm sorry, what was that --
17 A. You keep interrupting me.
18 Q. I'm sorry. Mr. Kordic said what? If you
19 could just complete that answer: As Mr. Kordic said on
20 one occasion ... ?
21 A. Wrote what he said on many occasions, but in
22 a rather charming article entitled "The Small Judas" --
23 Q. We're going to come to that later, and I'll
24 deal with it in its correct position.
25 A. Probably I've shrunk, so I look like a little
1 Judas now.
2 Q. But the question I want you to deal with at
3 this stage is this: You've had an opportunity to look
4 at -- and we're going to take the Court through
5 several -- you've had an opportunity to look through a
6 number of minutes of meetings. Is there ever, in the
7 minutes you've been able to read, a setting-out of your
8 views which were contrary to the views of the defendant
10 A. Never. Views that were contrary to the
11 policy of the HDZ were never entered in the minutes.
13 Q. Next exhibit, then, please, is 11, registry
14 page 5811, the first page of which shows this is from
15 the -- or of the Croatian Democratic Community of
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina, dated the 13th of August of
17 1991, reflecting a third session held in Busovaca on
18 the 13th of August, same day.
19 In this document, under "Agenda," you are
20 shown as present, beside "Busovaca" and immediately
21 after the name "Dario Kordic." And we see, if we turn
22 over to the second sheet, and of the English version,
23 about five lines down, that the session was also
24 attended by Mr. Mate Boban, vice-president of HDZ-BiH,
25 and sets out what the other officers were -- who the
1 other officers were and what they did.
2 Can we go straight, please, to paragraph 3 of
3 the decisions, which reads in English as follows: "The
4 behaviour of Stjepan Kljuic, president of the HDZ BiH,
5 while conducting the session of the HDZ BiH main board
6 on 6 August 1991, is judged as unbefitting and
7 unacceptable. He skilfully managed to avert discussion
8 on the Decisions at the Travnik Regional Community,
9 although his attention was several times directed to
10 the material on hand and the agenda adopted."
11 That's set out as a conclusion. Do you
12 remember that matter being raised and discussed, or
14 A. It was a customary issue, because
15 Mr. Kljuic, due to his other engagements in the state
16 presidency, did not appear in the field, or rather did
17 very rarely. However, this is a document that shows
18 how the position of the president of a party is being
19 undermined, in this case, Mr. Kljuic, as the president
20 of the HDZ of BiH. No regional communities, no
21 meetings in Busovaca, Travnik, or anywhere else, could
22 give orders or assess the behaviour of a party
23 president, the president of a legal party in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Only his assembly may do that, his
25 presidency, his secretariat, and other such bodies. No
1 one has the right to interfere in the affairs of the
2 president, Mr. Kljuic, and this was nonsense that was
3 repeated time and time again, but which tells us that
4 Mr. Kordic and Mr. Kostroman and Mr. Boban were
5 persistently working on the separation of Mr. Kljuic
6 from his main base, his supporters in HDZ, for them to
7 take over and to leave Kljuic in Sarajevo.
8 Q. I'll interrupt you there, please.
9 A. You keep interrupting me.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, if I may, I don't
12 want to interrupt my opposition's smooth flow of
13 cross-examination, but that political diatribe was
14 absolutely nonresponsive to the question asked. He
15 proceeded to elaborate into an expression of his own
16 political views, and I think that, with all due
17 respect, the witness should be asked to answer the
18 question a little bit more succinctly and directly
19 without giving vent to his own political views. Thank
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, I don't agree with that
22 analysis, necessarily. It seems to me the witness was
23 asked an opinion about a political matter, and
24 inevitably he is going to answer in a political way.
25 But perhaps, Mr. Nice, you could get to the
2 MR. NICE: It's a question of judging when to
3 jump in and cut off. It's not that easy.
4 Q. But I want to take you, please, Mr. Cicak, to
5 another sheet which is part of the same exhibit, which
6 we have in the English starting at the second -- I'm
7 sorry, I beg your pardon, the third sheet in English --
8 and it's a letter of the same date, the 13th of August,
9 1991, and then it goes over, I think, to subparagraph
10 7. It's a slightly confusing exhibit, but nevertheless
11 it's part of what appears to be a letter of the same
12 date. It begins -- do you have paragraph 7,
13 Mr. Cicak? Something that begins with
14 letters "d," "e," "f," "g," "h," "i," and then goes
15 "5," "6," and "7"? Do you find that?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And does paragraph 7 read --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. -- "The Regional Community boards are
20 instructed -- and other boards are encouraged -- to
21 make contact with Mate BOBAN in order to familiarise
22 themselves with the superior level of organisation in
23 certain Herzegovinian municipality boards and to
24 exchange useful information in the new situation."
25 Was this the first time that Mr. Boban had
1 appeared at a meeting in Busovaca, or had he been at
2 earlier meetings?
3 A. Mr. Boban did not appear this time for the
4 first time. He had appeared several times. This is an
5 accurate reading of the conclusion adopted. Since I am
6 not allowed to speak politically, I will answer your
7 questions as you've put them to me. This is Number 7,
8 yes, and that is what is stated there, yes.
9 Q. Can you remember whose proposal it was, or if
10 more than one person, which number of people's proposal
11 it was, that there should be contact with Mate Boban
12 for these purposes?
13 A. I don't know, but I think it was Mr. Martin
15 Q. Then finally, going back up the document --
16 A. As far as I can recollect, if my memory is
18 Q. Thank you. Going back up the document to the
19 first of the decisions, Number 1 on the decisions, on
20 the second sheet in English, decision number 1
21 reads: "The Travnik Regional Community of the HDZ BiH
22 continues to uphold its decisions of 21 and 30 July
23 1991 and requests each member of the Presidency of the
24 HDZ BiH to state his or her attitude toward each of the
25 said Decisions as well as toward each of the Decisions
1 reached at today's session."
2 First, were you a member of the relevant
3 presidency concerned -- that is, the presidency of the
4 HDZ BiH -- or not?
5 A. I was never a member of the presidency of the
6 HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because that is the highest
7 level in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. Nevertheless, was this decision made and
9 formulated --
10 A. Something must be wrong here. I can't find
11 the text, I'm afraid.
12 Q. Sorry. Decision number 1, and it's probably
13 on the last sheet.
14 A. I see. That's something quite different.
15 Q. If you can't find it and if the usher hands
16 me the papers, I'll find it for you. Have you found
18 I'll read it again and see if you agree with
19 the translation: "The Travnik Regional Community of
20 the HDZ BiH continues to uphold its decisions of 21 and
21 30 July and requests each member of the Presidency of
22 the HDZ BiH to state his or her attitude toward each of
23 the said Decisions as well as toward each of the
24 Decisions reached at today's session."
25 Now, was that discussed at that meeting?
1 A. Not in this way. May I comment? May I be
2 allowed, Your Honours, to say a few words?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. It is impossible, I repeat again, for a small
5 community of a small town to request from Sarajevo that
6 members of the presidency should express their
7 positions. That is just impossible, absolutely
8 impossible, and that was not discussed. What we did
9 discuss was that members of the presidency need to take
10 a stand as to how they would behave in the future in
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it is not possible to demand
12 from a member of the presidency of the HDZ of Bosnia
13 and Herzegovina.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. That is my first point.
16 MR. NICE: He has a second point.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you could tell us it
18 quickly, please.
19 A. If the members of the presidency of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina don't do that, and they come from
21 all over Bosnia-Herzegovina, if they fail to do that --
22 that is, to express their personal views on the events
23 -- that will be interpreted as being tendentious, and
24 that is again nonsense.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, is that a convenient
2 MR. NICE: Yes. The next exhibit is a short
3 one, but it can be taken tomorrow morning as easily as
4 this afternoon.
5 JUDGE MAY: How much more do you have in
7 MR. NICE: Producing the exhibits -- which
8 once done, of course, is done for good -- is likely to
9 take at least another 40 minutes, and then there's
10 evidence of fact. So it's at least half the morning
11 and possibly most of the morning.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Cicak, would you be back,
13 please, tomorrow morning at 9.45. Could you remember,
14 please, not to speak to anybody about your evidence
15 while you're giving it, and that includes speaking to
16 members of the Office of the Prosecutor about it.
17 Thank you very much. 9.45, then, tomorrow
19 THE WITNESS: May I reply? May I?
20 JUDGE MAY: There's no need.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you for making it at
22 9.45. Otherwise it's too early for me to get up.
23 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
25 4:10 p.m., to be reconvened on
1 Friday, the 23rd day of April, 1999,
2 at 9.45 a.m.