1 Tuesday, 4th May, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.30 p.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your
7 Honours. Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor
8 versus Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Stein.
10 MR. STEIN: Thanks.
11 WITNESS: EDIB ZLOTRG (Resumed)
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Stein:
13 [Witness answers through interpreter]
14 Q. Again, Mr. Zlotrg, if there's any question
15 you don't understand, please let me know.
16 I would like to have before the witness
17 Exhibit Z245, please.
18 Now, sir, until you came to The Hague, you
19 never saw this document; isn't that true?
20 A. No. I gave it to the investigators.
21 Q. You gave it to the investigators from the
22 Prosecutor's office?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You were not there when this document was
25 signed; isn't that true?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You were physically present when this
3 document was signed?
4 A. No, I was not present.
5 Q. So you did not see the document being signed
6 by the people who signed it; isn't that true?
7 A. No.
8 Q. That is not true, sir?
9 A. Yes, I was not present, so I could not have
10 seen them sign the document.
11 Q. And someone gave you the document to give to
12 the investigators from the Office of the Prosecutor;
13 isn't that correct?
14 A. Yes. We acted in accordance with a telegram
15 or, rather, in accordance with a document sent by the
16 International Tribunal from The Hague. That is to say,
17 the documents should be sent to The Hague Tribunal so
18 that they could have insight into them.
19 When this document arrived in my police
20 station, I was in charge of collecting evidence from
21 the ground, so all of that was according to the
22 instructions of The Hague Tribunal, and I don't really
23 have anything else to say.
24 Q. Who gave you Document 245?
25 A. From the Ministry of Defence of the
1 municipality of Vitez.
2 Q. Who, specifically, gave you the document,
3 what person?
4 A. The chief, Nijaz Sivro.
5 Q. And do you know where he got the document
7 A. No.
8 Q. You had never seen this document before the
9 chief gave it to you; is that correct?
10 A. I acted according to the request of The Hague
11 Tribunal. I collected documents that are relative to
12 the Santic case, the Santic/Kupreskic case.
13 Q. That's not my question, sir. It's a very
14 simple question. Until the chief of police gave you
15 this document, you had never seen it before; "Yes" or
17 A. Not the chief of police. I got it from --
18 JUDGE MAY: We're going round and round in
19 circles, quite unnecessarily. Mr. Zlotrg, will you
20 just answer the question? Had you seen this document
21 before you sent it here? Had you seen it at any time?
22 A. No.
23 JUDGE MAY: Exactly. Now, can we move on,
25 MR. STEIN: Certainly, Sir.
1 Q. It's also true that you had never seen the
2 individuals who signed this document sign other
3 documents; isn't that true?
4 A. I think that I saw Islam or -- I don't know,
5 other members of the Muslim people. I saw Nenad Santic
6 when he was signing a bill, because he worked at the
7 gasoline station in Vitez. But whether the signature
8 is authentic or not, there are experts who can
9 ascertain that. I'm not an expert. I can't say that
10 this is his signature.
11 Q. Fair enough. That's exactly the point I
12 wanted to make.
13 Now, I would like to turn our attention to
14 another area, and that is crimes perpetrated against
15 Croats during the same period of time that you
16 testified to, and I will be very brief.
17 You're aware, sir, on January 10, 1993, there
18 was a grenade thrown from the Mahala area of Stari
19 Vitez that killed -- I'm sorry, June, 1993, June 10 --
20 that killed 10 Croat children; you're aware of that,
21 aren't you, sir?
22 A. There was a war, and I don't know. As far as
23 shelling is concerned, I don't know. I wasn't in the
24 area that was under HVO control, I was in Zenica at the
25 time. As far as I can remember, I was exchanged on the
1 16th of May, 1993, and I spent that entire period in
2 Zenica until the cease-fire was signed, that is to say,
3 sometime around May 1994, when it was possible to
4 return to Stari Vitez.
5 Q. You were at your liberty on June 10, 1993,
6 were you not?
7 A. Yes, but in Zenica.
8 Q. You were working as a policeman in Zenica at
9 the time; is that right?
10 A. No. I was a member of the army.
11 Q. And what were you doing for the army in June
12 of 1993?
13 A. I was working in security.
14 Q. What kind of security; police-type security?
15 A. Well, this is the army establishment. Well,
16 security within the members of the army on the
17 territory that is under our control, of course.
18 Q. When did you join the army, sir?
19 A. A few days after the exchange. I don't know
20 the exact date.
21 Q. That would have been in May of 1993?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you were from the Stari Vitez area, were
24 you not? That's where you lived?
25 A. No, I lived in town. Had I been in Stari
1 Vitez, I wouldn't have been arrested. I lived in the
2 street of Marsala Tita A1A4, building A1A4. That is to
3 say, that is the part that was under HVO control.
4 Q. Let me ask you this: Were you aware, from
5 the Mahala region, of a sniper team in 1993, after your
6 release from incarceration, that killed five people and
7 wounded 26?
8 A. I don't know how many people were killed, but
9 there was a sniper team in the HVO too. So it's an
10 army, and it depends on how strong an army is. Some
11 armies have more snipers. As far as I know, in Vitez
12 there was one sniper, and on the side of the HVO, there
13 were quite a few. And now you have to look at the
14 proportion, how many people one side killed and how
15 many people the other side killed. But there was a war
16 that was going on, and when we were allies, even then
17 we were hurt.
18 Q. So the answer to my question is, yes, you
19 were aware of snipers --
20 A. No.
21 Q. Then let's get a clear "Yes" or "No." Were
22 you aware, sir, "Yes" or "No," of whether there was a
23 sniper team in the town of Stari Vitez, in the Mahala
24 section, that killed five people and wounded 26?
25 A. No, I'm not aware of that, because I was not
1 in Stari Vitez. We did not have any communications,
2 and whatever communications existed, it was done
3 through coding, so you couldn't really go into such
4 detail. And then you would have to have Mr. Sefkija
5 Djidic, who was chief of staff, and he knew who was
6 under his command. I don't really know.
7 Q. I take your prior answer to mean that you
8 were aware, however, that snipers and sniper teams were
9 used by both Croats and Muslims during the course of
10 this war.
11 A. I assume so, but I don't know whether there
12 were snipers in Vitez or not, because I wasn't in Vitez
13 at the time, so I really don't know. And I wasn't a
14 member of the army until the second half of May, that
15 is to say, when I was exchanged. That is when I joined
16 the army ranks. But again, I had nothing to do with
17 the units. I was involved in operations that had to do
18 with security, and I didn't really have anything to do
19 with sniper teams and things like that.
20 Q. Let me just ask one final question about
21 these snipers. We can agree, can we not, sir, that
22 snipers or sniper teams find a high place in which to
23 shoot down from onto their victims; can we agree on
25 A. I imagine that that is sniper strategy. I
1 was never on a sniper team, so I really don't know. I
2 know about that only from the newspapers and from the
3 movies. And if that can help you by way of an answer,
4 all right, but I really don't know. I'm not a
5 professional soldier.
6 Q. You know the name Mirsad Tatarevic?
7 A. Yes. He's a colleague of mine.
8 Q. And he was one of the sniper teams that I was
9 just talking about, wasn't he? He was a sniper?
10 A. As far as I know, he had an automatic rifle
11 issued to him. We called these rifles "Ciganka." It's
12 a kind of Kalashnikov.
13 The police did not have any snipers. As far
14 as I know, he was a policeman in Stari Vitez, together
15 with me, and he stayed there with his personal
16 weapons. He had a pistol and a rifle, and I know that
17 he got out of the war with that rifle. But what
18 happened in Stari Vitez, that I cannot tell you because
19 that I do not know.
20 Q. And whether or not he took that automatic
21 rifle and climbed to a high place and shot Croats, you
22 don't know; is that what you're telling me?
23 JUDGE MAY: The witness has said he doesn't
24 know what the man did with the rifle.
25 MR. STEIN: Very good, Sir.
1 Q. You mentioned Sefkija Djidic. You know who
2 he is; correct?
3 A. He was commander of the staff of the
4 Territorial Defence, and when the conflict broke out,
5 he held that position. The few Muslims that had
6 remained in Stari Vitez managed to defend themselves
7 from the aggression of the HVO. That is what I know.
8 Q. Between April 16, 1993, and February 25,
9 1994, the army of BH under his command took over the
10 Mahala section of Stari Vitez; isn't that correct?
11 A. No. No, they did not take anything, they
12 defended themselves in the area of Stari Vitez so that
13 nothing would happen to them. Had no one offered
14 resistance in Stari Vitez, then there would have been a
15 repetition of Ahmici. That is to say that they
16 defended themselves. They did not take anything. All
17 the Croats --
18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Zlotrg, I must ask you to
19 answer questions briefly, if you would. We'll get this
20 over more quickly. If you don't know, just say so.
21 MR. STEIN:
22 Q. Under his command, 37 civilians were detained
23 in Stari Vitez, those civilians being all Croats.
24 You're aware of that, aren't you, sir?
25 A. No. They were not detained.
1 Q. They were allowed to be at their liberty; is
2 that what you're telling the Tribunal?
3 A. As far as I know, they were free.
4 Q. Sir, I would like you to be shown, please,
5 Document 332,2, and this is my final area of
7 Sir, when Mr. Nice introduced this document,
8 Report of Witness Interview, he called it a judicial
9 statement setting out facts. This, in fact, was a
10 record of your appearance in the High Court in Zenica;
11 isn't that correct?
12 A. According to what I can see here, I guess it
14 Q. And the judge before whom you appeared was a
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the court clerk was a Muslim?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And the proceedings were criminal proceedings
20 against the accused Dario Kordic?
21 A. I don't have any jurisdiction over the High
22 Court in Zenica. That is what the team was, and I made
23 a statement.
24 MR. STEIN: Well, I don't want to burden the
25 record, but the first paragraph speaks for itself, Your
2 Q. The facts that you presented are set out in
3 this document. I would like to turn to those facts.
4 Specifically, the English version would be on page 2
5 and the Croatian version would similarly be on the
6 first full page. You told that court, and I'll read
7 the quote that I'd like you to focus on, it's about the
8 fourth full paragraph. The facts you presented to the
9 court were contained at the fifth paragraph, the next
10 to last paragraph on page 2, Your Honours, and I'm
12 "In order to avoid analysing all the
13 conditions, circumstances, and contentions of the HZ-HB
14 as a witness, I will focus on the specific actions of
15 extremists in the area of our municipality, as well as
16 on the consequences of their actions, because it is
17 these consequences that define each and every Croat's
18 participating in the realisation of said plan. I can
19 say that they were all in on this plan, soldiers,
20 policemen, even civilians, young and old. Even their
21 women played a part. They were all engaged in
22 implementing their plan of genocide by committing the
23 most possible crimes against the Muslims, mostly
24 civilian, population."
25 Those are the facts that you presented to the
1 court; isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And you believe those facts today, as you now
4 testify, do you not?
5 A. Yes. How would you comment on this, if the
6 women did not allow Red Cross teams to come in and
7 evacuate a 15-day-old baby? Because the pregnancy did
8 not come to term, and this baby could have survived
9 only in an incubator. They tried to get into Stari
10 Vitez at five different points, at least that's what
11 they told us via the communications we had, the Red
12 Cross team; however, they didn't manage to get the baby
13 out. I was the officer on duty at the time, and I was
14 in contact with them, and the baby died. It was the
15 baby of Adnan Adilovic. I found out later about that.
16 If that is not an indicator that women and
17 others participated, I don't know what else we should
18 be looking for, not to speak of stopping humanitarian
19 convoys going to Kruscica, et cetera, et cetera, all
20 kinds of blockades. They do this until the present
21 day. Again, they are putting women and children to
22 stop the Muslim people from coming to the villages
23 where their politicians say that they can freely come
25 Q. So the Croats are all involved, and they are
1 all guilty; correct?
2 MR. STEIN: Nothing further.
3 A. No. No, I never said all of them, but they
4 did use women and children and old men. That was the
5 essence of the statement I made to Mr. Adilovic.
6 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
7 Q. If you look at the same page, the previous
8 paragraph, maybe the Tribunal has already read it, but
9 if you look at the previous paragraph to the one that
10 was quoted to you, there is another paragraph setting
11 out, in a summary view, your view of the history of
12 what had happened. It begins, "Thus, I learned that
13 the Croats, by their political party, had drawn up a
14 project." Did you set out or did the person making the
15 statement set out there a summary of your overall view,
16 "Yes" or "No"?
17 A. Yes. But this is what I got as a member of
18 the army because we, in the security section, also
19 received information, and wherever I was sure, I gave
20 the date, place, et cetera, and put it all together.
21 Q. So that when Mr. Stein speaks of facts, just
22 remind the Tribunal of the format of this document, the
23 hard identified facts by date and sometimes even by
24 time are set out on later pages; is that correct? Have
25 a look at the statement.
1 A. Yes. Yes, on the later pages, you can see
2 that, even the possible perpetrators.
3 Q. Since we may not, all of us or any of us, be
4 familiar with the format for taking a statement like
5 this -- you certainly did it once, you may have done it
6 more than once, I don't know -- can you tell the
7 Tribunal how this form of statement came to be
8 prepared? Was it done with a preparatory document?
9 Was it done with question and answer? Was it done by
10 dictation? How? Just explain it for us, please.
11 A. I came before the court to make a statement
12 about the events that, unfortunately, I took part in as
13 well. When I gave the statement, I had access to all
14 the documents of the Public Security Station, all the
15 remaining documents, that is, all that were not
16 destroyed during war operations. At that time, I was
17 going through all these documents, so the record I gave
18 to the judge is far more extensive than the reminder I
19 have, the notes we mentioned.
20 I worked with the judge for two days. During
21 the first day, we talked in general terms about what I
22 could remember and what I knew. The next day, I came
23 with documents, and whatever had a specific date, I
24 read that document. I also gave it to the prosecutor
25 so they could make photocopies for themselves. The
1 judge put questions in respect of that that he was
2 particularly interested in, and as far as other matters
3 were concerned, they were simply recorded in this
5 Q. Thank you.
6 A. That is how I gave the statement,
8 Q. There were questions about whether the judge
9 and, I think, the prosecutor were each Muslims. Did
10 that, in any way, affect whether you were telling the
11 truth or not?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Thank you. Let's deal with documents a
14 little more comprehensively because you've been asked
15 many questions about them. First of all, you had the
16 records of complaints made by members of the public
17 which have been exhibited in this Court.
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. You then made the statement we've just been
20 looking at in October of 1994 to the judge, and at that
21 time, you had more documents available to you.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So that when you were making entries or when
24 entries were made in this statement to the judge and
25 you signed it, contemporaneous documents assisted your
2 A. Yes, because, more or less, I processed every
4 Q. You then made the later statement -- you made
5 the notes in 1996, all of which have been served on the
6 Defence, for the purposes of talking to the Office of
7 the Prosecutor here; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And when you made those notes, did you have
10 access to your statement to the judge in 1994 or not?
11 A. No.
12 Q. You've been shown by the Defence several
13 documents. I'd like you, please, to have them all
14 before them again, and we can deal with them quite, I
15 hope, comprehensively.
16 MR. NICE: That's D4/2, and he need only have
17 them in the original form, and I think he already
18 probably has D4/2 in front of him. D5/2, D6/2, which
19 we still, I don't think, have a translation. I don't
20 know if one is being provided. D6/2, no translation.
21 D9/2, D10/2, D11/2, and that's it.
22 Q. Now, if you would like to take these
23 documents in front of you and leave them in the pile in
24 which they come to you and probably clear everything
25 else away from the table, you will find it more easier,
1 I think. The first question I want you to answer in
2 relation to each of these documents is whether you have
3 seen any of them before. The second in relation to
4 each of these documents is whether even if you haven't
5 seen them before in their original form, they are in a
6 general form or format that you recognise. Do you
7 understand the two questions? Do you understand the
8 two questions, Mr. Zlotrg?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Have you seen the document before? If not,
11 is it, nevertheless, in a format that you recognise?
12 So starting with D4/2, have you seen that before you
13 came to court last week? That's the report of --
14 A. No. No.
15 Q. Is the form, the format of it something that
16 you would recognise as being genuine and appropriate?
17 A. The first thing that is missing on this
18 document is the number of the document. There is only
19 a date, but it has not been filed. There is nothing
20 about it being processed, and correspondence with one's
21 superiors cannot be done that way. At least Budimir
22 taught us when he worked with us that you had to give
23 every document a number, because a document such as
24 this one could have been written at any time because
25 there's no where the number.
1 Q. I'm going to stop you there with that
2 document. Put that one temporarily on one side. D5/2,
3 do you have that?
4 A. Just a moment.
5 Q. It's the general analysis. Perhaps the usher
6 could help him just to make sure that the markings on
7 the top are reflected by the documents he's looking
8 at. D5/2 is the next document.
9 MR. NICE: If they were all handed in the
10 correct order, they should be in the correct order.
11 Usher, will you stay there, please, because you will be
12 able to help him some more.
13 Q. D5/2, is that a document you've ever seen
15 A. Here in the courtroom for the first time.
16 Q. Thank you. The form of the document or the
17 type of document, is it something that you recognise or
19 A. This is a general analysis. It does not go
20 into any explanation, but when you do an analysis, then
21 there is also a proposal of measures to overcome the
22 situation for which it was done, and there's nothing of
23 that sort here.
24 Q. But does it fit with the type of document
25 being prepared at the time or not or can't you say?
1 A. All I can say is how the army worked. One
2 thing is certain, they did not do it in this way.
3 Q. Document D6/2, the one which has no
4 translation, a single sheet.
5 MR. NICE: They were all handed in the
6 right order. That's the one, I think.
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic?
8 MR. KOVACIC: I'm afraid there was an error.
9 The first document which my colleague, Mr. Nice,
10 mentioned, 4/2, this is a document which does have --
11 the court document, the on-site investigation, this one
12 does have the date and number and everything.
13 Obviously, there was some confusion, because the
14 witness said, looking at the document, "There is no
15 date, no number," et cetera. So obviously there was
16 some confusion. I'm not objecting. I'm just pointing
17 out that there is some confusion.
18 MR. NICE: I'll deal with it. It may be a
19 photocopying problem. I'll deal with it as soon as I
20 come back to it, which I will very soon.
21 JUDGE MAY: I don't have a copy of that, I
22 don't know why, but at some time I'd like a copy of
23 D4/2, please. No need to bother with it at the
25 Have you got one? Likewise, for Judge
2 Mr. Nice, can we deal with this fairly
4 MR. NICE: I'm trying to deal with it
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's leading to confusion.
7 MR. NICE: Yes. The points have got to be
8 dealt with. I shall deal with it quickly.
9 Q. D6/2, just very briefly, that document, have
10 you ever seen it before coming to court?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Will you now please take D9/2 dated the 21st
13 of January, 1993? We do have a translation. Had you
14 ever seen that document before coming to court?
15 A. No.
16 Q. D10/2, which we do have a translation of, had
17 you ever seen that document before coming to court?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Before we leave that document, one paragraph
20 in it, indeed, paragraph 1, speaks of Muslims reporting
21 to the -- well, it appears the Stefan Tomasevic
22 Brigade, requesting to join that unit. One way or
23 another, do you know if that happened? Did Muslims
24 apply to join that brigade at about this time, January
25 of 1993?
1 A. No, as far as I know.
2 Q. Finally, D11/2, had you ever seen that
3 document before you came to court?
4 A. No.
5 Q. One question about this. We have a
6 translation. It said that at five minutes past
7 midnight, the apartment of Zoran Krizanovic was hit by
8 a hand-held rocket launcher. Did you know something
9 about that as an event?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Who fired the launcher?
12 A. The rocket was launched from under the
13 balcony of the family of Dragan Drmic, and that is the
14 same building where my brother and sister-in-law lived,
15 those who were killed by members of the Croatian
16 Defence Council. The target was not the apartment but
17 the coffee shop Italia owned by Ibrahim Topcic.
18 Q. Was he a Muslim or a Croat?
19 A. Muslim.
20 Q. Shall we now go back, please, to D4/2, and
21 for this purpose, I think the Court should have the
22 document before it. I have --
23 JUDGE MAY: I have it.
24 MR. NICE: All right. Maybe, in light of the
25 observations, all the other documents may now be taken
1 away to make life easier for the witness and the usher,
2 and just leave, please, the witness with D4/2, which is
3 the on-site investigation report.
4 Q. Do you have that report before you?
5 A. Yes.
6 MR. NICE: Can I have a look at it, please,
7 Usher, just to make sure that it's not a photocopying
8 error or shortcoming that gives rise to Mr. Kovacic's
10 Q. In the top right-hand corner, there is a
11 stamped box with the date "19/6/92" on it. Had you
12 taken that box into account when you said that there
13 was no number on the document?
14 A. No, no. No, I did not look at this document
15 when I mentioned the number. It was when I spoke about
16 the analysis, and that is when I said that it was
18 Q. Then I am grateful to Mr. Kovacic. This
19 document does have a number on it, does it?
20 A. Yes, it does. Both the court file and also
21 the number which was put in by the clerk at the Public
22 Security Station which was filed -- it was on the 19th
23 of June of '92, and then it was filed when this
24 document reached the station. That is the rule when it
25 comes to correspondence between institutions or units.
1 Q. Are you accepting, I suppose you are, that
2 this is a report properly prepared and filed?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. As to its content, just help the Tribunal
5 with a few details, now that we've got it in
6 translation. Does the report contain anywhere an
7 explanation of what eyewitnesses had seen of the
8 killing? If so, point to the paragraph; if not, say
10 A. The document only says that about witnesses
11 who were found but not the statements.
12 Q. Is there any explanation of why the man
13 Vukadinovic was being apparently sought or was an
14 object of inquiry?
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 Something is wrong with the witness's microphone.
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. I'm sorry?
19 A. Yes. It says that Vukadinovic was in
21 Q. It says that he was in flight, but it doesn't
22 say what the evidence was to show that he might have
23 been guilty, does it?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. To your knowledge, were any efforts made to
1 track down and arrest the man Vukadinovic?
2 A. No, nothing was done, as far as I know,
3 because after a while he was moving about the town.
4 Q. How long after?
5 A. I could not tell you exactly, but it was
6 before the conflict. That I know. I believe it was a
7 few months later that he was seen, perhaps a month or
8 two. I don't know exactly.
9 Q. Were any autopsy reports or fingerprint
10 reports obtained, to your knowledge?
11 A. Yes. He was working for Zenica, and I
12 brought him from Zenica up there. And there was
13 Mr. Franjo present, and myself as the criminal
14 technician. But as I was a junior technician, I was
15 doing other things, and Franjo was there. And the
16 record had to be made of the autopsy done by Dr. Tucic,
17 who did the post-mortem.
18 Q. The last question on this document, now that
19 the Tribunal has it, on page 1, the second-to-last
20 paragraph, and it will be at a similar place on the
21 original, the paragraph reads:
22 "The duty officer in the Vitez SJB also
23 informed the duty judge over the telephone that for
24 security reasons, it was not possible to go to the
25 scene of the incident immediately and that it would
1 only be possible to carry out the investigation in the
3 Can you help us, please, with what, if any,
4 detail of the security reasons was given to justify the
5 delay or to explain the delay?
6 A. As far as I know, the on-site investigation
7 could have been conducted that same night.
8 Q. So the answer to my question is was there any
9 detail given of the reasons?
10 A. No, we were not told anything.
11 Q. I think I omitted to deal with the ethnic
12 origin of the victim, Trako. With leave, may I just
13 establish that through the witness now?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Trako, what ethnic group was he?
17 A. Muslim.
18 Q. You were asked questions about rumours
19 concerning Cerkez in this matter, and I want you to
20 confine your answer to the next two questions exactly
21 to what I ask you.
22 When did you first learn of the rumours,
23 approximately, in relation to the death?
24 A. Well, a few days later, after he was --
25 Q. Thank you. And the next question is --
1 MR. KOVACIC: I object, Your Honour. A
2 couple of days ago, we were discussing the category of
3 rumours. It is even more than hearsay, as I
4 understood. And again it is the same question, "When
5 you heard the rumours about it."
6 JUDGE MAY: I mean I think there was some
7 cross-examination on that rumour.
8 MR. NICE: Absolutely. May I make the
9 position quite clear? I was cut short at an early
10 stage in my examination-in-chief when I was dealing
11 with the state of rumours, but I wasn't going to
12 elicit -- if anybody had asked me, I wasn't going to
13 elicit the person to whom the rumours were connected at
14 that stage, in any event. But I wanted simply to
15 establish, in case later evidence of value may be able
16 to assist, when and by what route rumours were
17 circulating. And then that fact will fit in or,
18 alternatively, not fit in and guide the Chamber.
19 And so my next question, and the only other
20 question I desire on this topic, is from whom did
21 rumours come to this person, because that may or may
22 not fit in with better evidence. But absent better
23 evidence, this will remain rumour and I shan't rely on
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The re-examination is
1 allowed to include a question of fact, which is, "Where
2 did you hear something?" That refers to the fact that
3 something was said, without going into any detail of
4 what was said.
5 MR. NICE: Thank you, Sir.
6 Q. The next question, please -- and again just
7 answer the question with a name or similar. Don't
8 expand on the answer. From whom, if you can now
9 remember, from whom did you hear the rumour?
10 A. A number of people; not one, several people.
11 Q. Can you name any of them?
12 A. No, I can't, really. It was a long time ago.
13 Q. That's fine. That's all I want to know. You
14 were asked about this being in or not in certain
15 statements. Did you include this in your statement to
16 the judge in 1994, the fact of the rumours?
17 A. I think so.
18 Q. And did you also tell the OTP about it in one
19 of your many statements?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The position of Cerkez as commander, you were
22 asked about. What period do you say he was commander
23 in Vitez? If you can be precise or approximate, but if
24 you can't even be approximate, say so.
25 A. The first half of '92 is when he was
1 appointed, but I don't know when, exactly.
2 Q. You had been asked about the Herzegovinian
3 members or Herzegovinians in the area as members of the
4 HVO. Can you tell us what period you were aware of
5 their presence there as a group or as an identity?
6 A. There were present, I think, as of the latter
7 half of '92 and participated actively in conflicts in
8 '93. I don't remember exactly when, and it wasn't a
9 group, it was an organised unit which took shifts.
10 And for all the incidents, our local Croats
11 blamed them for all these incidents, and yet they did
12 nothing to take them back from wherever they had come
13 from, because we had no conflict with the Croatian
14 Defence Council units. So I really saw no reason why
15 they should be quartered with us here and why not on
16 the line against the Serbs in Herzegovina. So it meant
17 that they were here with a purpose in mind, to learn
18 the lie of the ground and then perform some jobs.
19 Q. To help you come to the end of your evidence,
20 I only have a few more questions to ask of you.
21 Confine your answers to the questions I ask.
22 You referred to where they were quartered.
23 Where were they quartered? Was it separate from or
24 along with other groups?
25 A. Separately. They were accommodated in the
1 elementary school in Dubravica. And to the best of my
2 knowledge, they were alone there, they were by
3 themselves there. But we were not allowed access
5 I know that in one instance, they controlled
6 me. They ordered me out of their vehicle, even though
7 we had tried to persuade them that it had been agreed
8 with the civilian police of the Croatian Community of
9 Herceg-Bosna. It took them a long time to let us
10 through, even though we showed them our police IDs.
11 Q. Thank you. Several terms, just two or three,
12 I think, that have been used. The word "interned" has
13 been used, the word "detained," possibly the word
14 "imprisoned," and the word "camp" has been used. Can
15 you distinguish between "internment," "detention," and
16 "imprisonment," or are these words to you the same?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you say "Yes," meaning that the words are
19 the same?
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Very well. The word "camp" --
22 A. No.
23 Q. -- has been used through the services of the
24 interpreters. What do you mean by "camp"?
25 A. It is a place where they kept us without any
1 living conditions. In the reception centre in Zenica,
2 they had electric power, they had three meals a day.
3 Each of them had his bunkbed, and they also had walks
4 every day. And I was put up -- packed like a sardine.
5 I could not turn. And we had a quarter of a loaf of
6 bread and a tin for the whole day. There was nothing
7 else, no --
8 Q. Tell me this: When you were interned,
9 imprisoned, or detained in a camp, were you there
10 voluntarily or not? What, so far as you were
11 concerned, was your position?
12 A. Without my consent.
13 Q. It was suggested to you by Mr. Stein, I
14 think, that there was no ill treatment in either the
15 camps or in Kaonik when you were there. Did you
16 personally see any ill treatment?
17 A. Physically, they did not beat us, but they
18 would enter drunk, with weapons; that is, with a rifle
19 or a pistol.
20 Q. You didn't see any physical ill treatment.
21 Did you hear anything consistent with physical ill
22 treatment, yourself, while you were there?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. What did you hear?
25 A. I heard blows, and I heard screams, and
1 begging them not to beat them. That was what I heard.
2 Q. And, finally, did you hear of any ill
3 treatment from others while you were there?
4 A. While we were there, nobody talked, because
5 we had no contact with other prisoners. On one
6 occasion, I think they made a mistake, and Samija from
7 Vitez, he was quite a well-off man, had stayed with us
8 for lunch for about 10 or 15 minutes until they saw --
9 realised they had made a mistake and removed him. But
10 then he did not say anything. He only said he was
11 having it very hard. We were not allowed to talk, or
12 else anything might have happened.
13 Q. The next thing, you were asked questions
14 about trench digging, and you spoke of dead bodies
15 being brought back from trench digging --
16 JUDGE MAY: One moment. There's an
17 objection. Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
18 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry for interrupting, but
19 I think there was an error in the transcript. It is
20 quite an important place, and Mr. Nice was asking
21 deliberately about two places together. He was -- the
22 question was related to both internment places, cinema
23 and Kaonik, and the witness said that he had heard
24 about beatings in Kaonik, and that is not in the
1 JUDGE MAY: That, in fact, was his original
2 evidence, as I remember it. He spoke about Kaonik.
3 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, I agree, but here,
4 suddenly there is no "Kaonik."
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Nice --
6 MR. NICE: It can be corrected. I'm quite
7 happy about that.
8 JUDGE MAY: Can you clear that up?
9 MR. NICE: Yes.
10 Q. The sounds of beatings, were they in one
11 place or were they in both places? Was it just Kaonik
12 or was it Kaonik and the other places?
13 A. Only Kaonik.
14 Q. Thank you.
15 A. Only when we were about to be exchanged in
16 Vitez, Mr. Suad Salkic from a member of the HVO was
17 beaten by a member of HVO on the 14th of May, that is,
18 when we were brought back from Kaonik. That was the
19 only case of ill treatment that I saw in Vitez, because
20 he took Mr. Salkic out into the passage through one
21 door, and at the other door he had a stick. He had a
22 pole of about a metre, a metre and a half, and some 10
23 centimetres diameter. He forced him back into the
24 room, and he hid amongst us, because otherwise he would
25 have killed him. He wasn't looking where he was
1 hitting him.
2 Q. Trench digging and bodies coming back from
3 trench digging, is this something you ever saw,
4 yourself, something you heard of, and if you only heard
5 of it, from whom?
6 A. I did not see this myself, but there was
7 information going around, and we also received
8 information when someone was wounded or killed. And
9 later, as we talked to family members, this was
10 confirmed. Adis Tuco was killed while digging
11 trenches. And I cannot recall all the other names, but
12 their parents or their brothers or sisters later
13 confirmed to us that these persons, these young men,
14 did not return from trench digging.
15 Q. You've been asked about the command function,
16 which you say did not exist. While you were there, was
17 there any evidence of a distinction between military
18 and political control and command?
19 A. Sometime in '92, I think it was mid-1992, the
20 HDZ was separated from the army. However,
21 approximately when they first drove us out at the
22 station, then the Croatian Defence Council started to
23 operate. The very name, the Croatian Defence Council,
24 means that everything is mobilised, that there is a
25 state of war, conditionally speaking, and that it is
1 politics that should command the military. I don't
2 know what it was like in their case, but I'm saying
3 what it was like in our case. The war presidency had
4 jurisdiction over the Vitez Brigade, so I imagine
5 that --
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. -- I imagine that the president of the
8 municipality had certain powers over the Vitez Brigade
9 of the HVO.
10 Q. I'll cut you off. You were using the word
11 "imagine." I wanted to know if you saw any evidence
12 of a separation between political and military control,
13 and if you don't have any such evidence, we'll move on
14 to the next question. And there are only about three
15 to go.
16 It was suggested by Mr. Stein, at one stage,
17 that in preparing your statement, you had selectively
18 picked from the raw material available to you in making
19 your chronology of events and statements. But the word
20 "selectively" wasn't qualified.
21 Had you, in fact, selected material that was
22 related to Muslims being victims from the material at
23 the police station or had you set out all the events
24 over the relevant period of time in making your notes
25 and statements?
1 A. First, I should answer the first question.
2 When the Croatian Defence Council was proclaimed, then
3 all the politicians started wearing camouflage uniforms
4 with insignia of the Croatian Defence Council, and
5 that's the way they walked around Vitez. And that is
6 why my assumption is based on that. That is to say,
7 that they had powers over the Vitez Brigade of the
9 I presented all the material that was
10 accessible to me. I would have done the same thing had
11 I had recorded somewhere that a Croat had lodged a
12 complaint. I can't remember the name of a Croat, but
13 he had registered a vehicle with us, and then the
14 Croats in Jablanica took off his license plates because
15 he had license plates saying "Bosnia-Herzegovina." But
16 I do not recall the date, and I think his name is
17 Vladimir, Vlado, something like that, so I couldn't
18 mention him here.
19 Also, I know that Croats who were not loyal
20 were taken to Mount Kruscica and were mistreated there,
21 but they took those people who were not members of the
22 HDZ. That is to say those who were members of the
23 SDP. Overnight, they stopped being members --
24 Q. I'll cut you short. I think you've given the
25 answer. You've included all the material.
1 And then this about the Ahmici agreement,
2 you've made reference to somebody called Sivro Nijaz,
3 from whom you obtained the statement. And the Court
4 will possibly recall that when I touched on this in
5 evidence in chief, I identified this statement to the
6 Office of the Prosecutor where all this was out. It's
7 the 22nd of October, 1992, to guide my friends if they
8 want to find it.
9 But who was Sivro Nijaz? He's been referred
10 to as a chef. Who was he, if you can remember?
11 A. No, he was not a chef. He's chief of --
12 Q. I meant "chief." Sorry, Mr. Zlotrg. My
13 mistake for picking up one word in the original. What
14 was he?
15 A. He was chief of the Secretariat of National
16 Defence in Stari Vitez.
17 Q. And the communications that had led to him
18 handing the document to you had gone by what route; do
19 you know? Do you know to whom the ICTY, the Office of
20 the Prosecutor, had first communicated in order to
21 bring about Sivro Nijaz from the Ministry of Defence
22 handing the document to you?
23 A. I received the original from Nijaz Sivro, and
24 I had it photocopied, and I gave it to the OTP. But
25 the gentleman could not give me the original for keeps
1 because he kept it in the archives. And then I told
2 the OTP that Nijaz Sivro sent the document to the
3 Cantonal Secretariat of National Defence and that they
4 should talk to the cantonal ministry in Travnik. And I
5 don't know what happened then.
6 Q. Do you know if the original request had gone
7 from the ICTY to the Federal Ministry of Interior
9 A. I don't know, but when I attended the trial
10 of Vladimir Santic, the document had reached The Hague.
11 Q. And, finally, you've been asked about Stari
12 Vitez, and the words "taken over" were used. So far as
13 you were aware, were Croats detained against their will
14 in the course of what you have described as a defensive
16 A. As far as I know, no. As a matter of fact,
17 one Croat didn't want to leave when they asked for him
18 to go to the new town of Vitez. He stayed throughout,
19 and --
20 MR. NICE: You told us about him already.
21 Thank you.
22 Thank you very much. That concludes all I
23 ask in re-examination.
24 There's a transcript error at page 34, line
25 18, where, in dealing with Croats not loyal, as the
1 Court will immediately recollect, the transcript, by
2 oversight, says "loyal" as opposed to "not loyal," so
3 may it be corrected to reflect what he said?
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question I want to ask
5 is not specifically related to the re-examination. It
6 does relate to the Document D9/2, and I would be
7 grateful if the witness could be given that document,
9 Do you have it? Do you have D9/2?
10 A. Not the complete document.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Could you give him the
12 complete document? Do you have the complete document
14 A. Yes.
15 JUDGE ROBINSON: The document is dated the
16 25th of January, 1993, and it's a report on the
17 activities of groups and individuals acting without the
18 knowledge of the HVO command. It then goes on to list
19 a number of activities which are apparently criminal
20 activities, crimes that were committed.
21 I wanted to ask you whether, in the period
22 covered by your testimony, whether you're able to
23 distinguish between activities that were criminal and
24 activities that were politically motivated, in the
25 sense that they were ethnically inspired. Were you
1 able to make that distinction?
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE ROBINSON: In the same document, there
4 are about six references to crimes committed by
5 different persons. If we're to take, for example, the
6 first one, which is "aggravated robbery," are you able
7 to say whether that was committed wholly by the persons
8 whose names are mentioned there or whether it was
9 committed by them in conjunction with soldiers?
10 A. I don't know whether they were members of the
11 Croatian Defence Council. But at the end where
12 Mr. Budimir says that they give the uniform a bad name,
13 then one does assume that all of them are members of
14 the Croatian Defence Council. Had they locked up these
15 dozen or so immediately and sanctioned this, then
16 nothing would have happened, but they do not say here
17 in this report that all the victims were Muslims.
18 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
19 A. So this is --
20 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
21 A. -- both political and criminal.
22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can you say, in the period
23 covered by your testimony, what was the extent of
24 criminal activities?
25 A. Could you please somehow explain this?
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me go a little further.
2 Were criminal activities at a higher rate than they
3 would be normally in the period covered by your
5 A. Yes, yes. Yes, there was much, much more
6 criminal activity. In normal times, we did not know of
7 robbery. It was only pilfering that happened and
8 perhaps disturbances of law and order, but aggravated
9 robbery, armed robbery, things like that, these grave
10 crimes never occurred before in our parts.
11 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Zlotrg, thank you for coming
13 to the International Tribunal to give your evidence.
14 You are now released.
15 (The witness withdrew)
16 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, are you in a position
17 to call the next witness?
18 MR. NICE: Yes. I was going to ask for a
19 couple of minutes in any event, but before Mr. Scott
20 takes the next witness in chief, I would like a couple
21 of minutes myself before he does that.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. It's coming up to the time
23 that we would adjourn. Shall we say 4.00? Who is the
24 next witness?
25 MR. NICE: He's a witness in respect of whom
1 an application for closed session will probably be
2 made, and it can't be in open session. Which document
3 would presently prove to be the most useful guide?
4 Because I can't obviously give the name here until the
5 question of the -- are you relying on the summaries?
6 The last edition of the summaries might be a way of
7 guiding you to it or I can simply tell Ms. Featherstone
8 when you --
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That might be the quicker
10 way to do it. Has an application in writing been
12 MR. NICE: Yes, it has.
13 JUDGE MAY: We probably have that.
14 MR. NICE: Number 224 in the latest revised
15 edition, I think.
16 JUDGE MAY: If he's the subject of the latest
17 application, I think we will be able to find it quite
19 MR. NICE: The application of the 13th of
20 April. I'm grateful to Ms. Verhaag.
21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: What is the number in your
22 list of witnesses, the revised list?
23 MR. NICE: In the list of witnesses, then
24 it's number 11.
25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: Number 11? In which
1 category of your --
2 MR. NICE: I think Your Honour is referring
3 to a different -- I'm sorry. Your Honours are
4 referring to a different document.
5 JUDGE MAY: I've got it. It's this one, the
6 13th of April. We've got that. We will adjourn now
7 until 4.00.
8 --- Recess taken at 3.45 p.m.
9 --- On resuming at 4.08 p.m.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice?
11 MR. NICE: Before we turn to the next
12 witness, the interpreters have very kindly drawn to my
13 attention the fact that at one place in the
14 re-examination of the last witness, the format of my
15 question led to an answer that is misleading. It can
16 be found on page 1894, line 15, where I was asking
17 about the terms "imprisonment," "detention," and
18 "internment," whether they were the same to him or
19 different. By unwisely incorporating the next question
20 that I had in mind about the use of the word "camp,"
21 where the witness said "Yes," the word, according to
22 the interpreter, should have been "No," i.e., he was
23 not accepting that the imprisonment, internment, and
24 detention were the same concept to him.
25 I know it had been raised in the course of
1 cross-examination, and I don't know whether anything
2 will be built on it. At the end, he told us that his
3 detention was against his will. I don't apply for him
4 to be brought back, but before he leaves The Hague, I
5 thought I'd at least explain the position to the Court
6 in case the Court thinks anything of significance may
7 turn on it, so that he could come back and explain the
9 JUDGE MAY: I thought he meant precisely the
10 same. I thought he said "Yes," meaning they were the
12 MR. NICE: Yes, that's right. The answer
13 should, according to the interpreters, have been, "No,
14 they were different."
15 JUDGE MAY: I can't myself think that
16 anything turns on it at all.
17 MR. NICE: In which case, Ms. Verhaag can go
18 and tell him that he may now leave.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let us move on.
20 MR. NICE: The next witness is one in respect
21 of whom an application will be made by Mr. Scott. I
22 have, as I undertook to do, checked with every witness
23 the position, mindful of the desire of everyone here
24 that, as much as possible, it should be in open court.
25 But I must ask the Court, please, to go into closed
1 session to hear the application.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
3 (Closed session)
10 Pages 1909 1947 redacted in closed session
16 -- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 5.26 p.m. to
17 be reconvened on Wednesday, the 5th day of May 1999
18 at 2.30 p.m.