1 Monday, 10th May, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.45 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
7 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, was there a matter you
9 wanted to raise?
10 MR. NICE: A couple of matters that I need to
11 raise at least in private session, possibly in closed
12 session. It shan't take very long. May we go into
13 private session first?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
15 (Private session)
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23 (Open session)
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. Your name is Muhamed Mujezinovic, born in
1 1949, a doctor by profession?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. A graduate from Sarajevo, you returned
4 from -- you went to Vitez to work in Vitez as a doctor,
5 specialising in internal medicine, in the mid-1980s,
6 working in a medical centre in Vitez and in the general
7 hospital in Travnik? You could say "Yes" when I come
8 to the end of a passage.
9 A. Yes, except that my first job was in Doboj.
10 I was a general practitioner in Doboj first.
11 Q. Did you also specialise in occupational
12 medicine and occupational diseases, and were you active
13 as a doctor in the sports clubs in Vitez, also working
14 occasionally for the Red Cross?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Thank you. I can move to the second topic,
17 and no doubt those representing the defendants will
18 tell me if and when they want me to stop asking leading
20 Until 1990, in Vitez, was there simply one
21 political party, but in 1990 did several parties and,
22 in particular, did nationalist parties emerge?
23 A. Until 1990, there was one leading party in
24 Vitez, the League of Communists. There was the
25 socialist alliance of the working people and the youth
1 organisation. But by and large, it was all under the
2 umbrella of the League of Communists.
3 Q. And then after 1990, did nationalist parties
4 emerge, namely the Croatian Democratic Community, the
5 Serbian Democratic Party and the SDA as the nationalist
7 A. Yes, they emerged.
8 Q. And the other parties you've listed in the
9 past and can list again, if asked? I'm not going to
10 ask you to list them. I'm just saying you can list
11 them, if asked?
12 A. Yes, I can list them.
13 Q. The first president of the HDZ in Vitez was
15 A. Professor Anto Valenta, rather, an engineer
16 of applied chemistry, Anto Valenta.
17 Q. Was he an acquaintance or friend of yours or
19 A. Well, we knew one another, but we were not
20 friends. Nor were we enemies.
21 Q. So far as the SDA is concerned, its first
22 president was who?
23 A. Hajrudin Karic, an electrical engineer.
24 Q. And the second president was whom?
25 A. Munib Kajmovic, a history professor in Vitez.
1 Q. He took the office of president roughly when,
2 if you can recall?
3 A. The latter half of 1991.
4 Q. Were you involved in the party as a member
5 from an early stage or not?
6 A. I became a member of the SDA sometime in
7 September 1990, and I began to actively work there in
8 the latter half of '91 as a member of the executive
9 board of the Party For Democratic Action in Vitez and
10 one of the vice-chairmen of the executive board of the
11 Party for Democratic Action in Vitez.
12 Q. Until that time, had you been involved
13 actively in politics before at all?
14 A. [No interpretation]
15 Q. As vice-chairman, did you have the duty of
16 standing in for the president or chairman in his
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Incidentally, the transcript omits the answer
20 "no" for what I think we all heard as a negative at
21 page 16, line 7.
22 But what was the focus of your interest at
23 that stage in political activity?
24 A. Are you referring to the Party of Democratic
1 Q. Within that, was there an organisation called
3 A. Yes. Upon the initiative of the executive
4 board of the SDA party, a humanitarian organisation of
5 the Muslims of Vitez was formed called Merhamet, as
6 well as the cultural society of the Muslims of Vitez
7 called Preporod or Rebirth, of which I was also the
8 vice-president. I was the vice-president of Merhamet
9 and of Preporod or Rebirth.
10 Q. And did those organisations take some of your
12 A. Yes. I worked as a doctor in Vitez and as a
13 doctor in the internal medicine ward in the hospital in
14 Travnik, and in my free time, as a volunteer, I engaged
15 in these other activities.
16 Q. Until 1991, what had the relations between
17 the different ethnic groups in Vitez been like? Had
18 they been unhappy or happy or a mixture? You tell us.
19 A. As far as I know, in Vitez, in 1991, as the
20 elections had taken place in November 1990, a new
21 municipal parliament had been formed. I was not a
22 member or a deputy in that parliament, which means that
23 I didn't attend, but I was a member of the executive
24 board of the SDA party.
25 Q. I think you're misunderstanding my question,
1 so I'm going to cut you short, and it's my fault.
2 Forget about politics just for the time being.
3 Generally in Vitez, until 1990, 1991, in your
4 experience how had the different ethnic groups got on,
5 one with another?
6 A. As far as I know, there were no major
7 problems. As far as I know, there were no big problems
8 in 1991.
9 Q. Was there any friction between the groups?
10 A. There was tension because there was a war
11 going on in Croatia. We also had some refugees from
12 Croatia, Eastern Croatia. It was tense, in view of the
13 fact that in the neighbourhood, there was a war.
14 Q. But before the war, what had relations been
15 like between the different ethnic groups?
16 A. I had been working in Vitez since September
17 1979. I was frequently in a position to attend
18 investigations, on-site investigations, in the case of
19 traffic accidents, together with inspectors, and I do
20 not know of a single case of any kind of conflict
21 between members of various ethnic groups in Vitez,
22 because in Vitez there were Croats, Serbs, Muslims,
23 Slovenians, Macedonians. There were people from all
24 over Yugoslavia living there.
25 Q. Was there any pattern of mixed marriage, that
1 is, marriage by people of different ethnic backgrounds?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. We return then to matters of politics in the
4 administration of Vitez.
5 Following the November 1990 elections, the
6 municipal parliament or assembly, did it have a total
7 of some 60 delegates?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And were the seats held as follows: HDZ, 23;
10 SDA, 16; Serbians Democratic, --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. -- two; League of Communists, nine; Reformist
13 party, seven; Democratic Union of Socialist Youths,
14 two; Democratic Union of Socialists, one, or something
15 like that?
16 A. The Democratic Union had one deputy; the
17 Socialist Youth Alliance had two, and the Democratic
18 Socialist Alliance, one.
19 Q. The first president of the assembly, was that
20 Ivan Santic?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And did the assembly have authority over the
23 various levels of municipal government?
24 A. It was the highest-level body of authority in
25 Vitez, so it did have competence over all walks of life
1 in Vitez.
2 Q. The government itself, or the executive board
3 as I think it may have been called, was that chaired by
4 Faud Kaknjo?
5 A. The executive council was the executive body
6 of the municipal assembly, and its president was Faud
8 Q. And so the chairman of the assembly, Ivan
9 Santic, was a Croat. The chairman of the executive
10 board, Kaknjo, was he a Muslim?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. As you said at the beginning, you were no
13 part of the assembly or, indeed, of the government. Is
14 that right?
15 A. I was not.
16 Q. Meanwhile, Valenta was chairman of the party
17 until sometime in 1992?
18 A. I think he was president of the party until
19 mid-1992, but I'm not sure of the exact date.
20 Q. In any event, when he ceased to be president,
21 did Pero Skopljak become president?
22 A. As far as I know, yes.
23 Q. Were you first aware of the existence of
24 something called Herceg-Bosna at some stage in 1991?
25 A. I first heard of the Croatian Community of
1 Herceg-Bosna in November 1991. The SDA deputies told
2 us about it at a meeting of the executive board of the
3 SDA party in Vitez.
4 Q. Were you later told about it by Mr. Santic?
5 A. No, I heard it from the deputies. They asked
6 Mr. Ivan Santic what "Herceg-Bosna" meant, and his
7 answer was, in those days, was that it was a cultural
8 community of Croats which was not a threat to other
9 peoples or to the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
10 Q. Did the creation of Herceg-Bosna change the
11 atmosphere in Vitez at all at that stage or not?
12 A. In fact, the first problems actually arose in
13 Vitez at that time; first, quite insignificant, but in
14 time they gained in intensity.
15 Q. What sort of problems then at that early
17 A. At the proposal of representatives of the
18 HDZ, a crisis staff was formed in Vitez. I became a
19 member of that crisis staff.
20 Q. We'll come to the crisis staff in a minute.
21 Just if you can in a sentence or so, particularise the
22 difficulties that flowed between November '91 and
23 February of '92 from this creation of Herceg-Bosna.
24 Can you give any examples, please?
25 A. I can. In the municipal assembly, the
1 question was addressed to the chairperson as to what
2 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was. Reports
3 were coming in from the ground that the Croatian people
4 were being armed at an accelerated pace, and this was
5 denied by the chief of police in Vitez, Miro Skopljak,
6 at the assembly meeting. I heard about this from
7 deputies at a meeting of the executive board of the
8 SDA. He said that these were fabrications.
9 At that time, a company was formed in Vitez
10 called Vitez Trade, mostly composed of representatives
11 of the HDZ, and it exported from Vitez explosives and
12 gunpowder, and as far as we heard and saw, it was
13 importing from Croatia weapons, bringing in money. In
14 those days, we called it Mosunjke. This money was
15 distributed among the Croats.
16 And in that period, there was also a killing
17 in the village of Zvizda. A Serb was killed. Cvijan
18 Mijatovic was his name.
19 In another village, Tolovici in Vitez
20 municipality, this village was inhabited two thirds
21 with Serbs and one third Muslims, and there were
22 incidents between the villages of Preocica and the
23 village of Tolovici.
24 Q. Were any of these events linked, in your mind
25 or in the discussion of other Muslims, with the
1 formation of Herceg-Bosna or not?
2 A. At the time, we didn't believe it, but
3 unfortunately it turned out to be true.
4 Q. Let's move, then, to the crisis committee
5 that you had started to tell us about, formed in the
6 spring of 1992. What was the date on which it was
8 A. It was formed in the spring, perhaps February
9 or March. I don't recall the exact date.
10 Q. Why? Why was it formed?
11 A. Upon the proposal of a representative of the
12 HDZ, because of the very serious situation and the
13 immediate threat of war. And the purpose of the crisis
14 staff was to assume the duties of the municipal
16 I became a member of the crisis staff, in
17 charge of the formation of the medical service under
18 wartime or extraordinary conditions. My assistant was
19 Bruno Buzuk, a doctor, a dentist, work in Vitez.
20 Q. Thereafter, how regularly did the crisis
21 staff meet?
22 A. The crisis staff met very frequently, and the
23 president of the crisis staff was Ivan Santic. His
24 deputy was Faud Kaknjo. Depending on the need, they
25 would convene the crisis staff.
1 Q. Again, I'm not going to ask you to list all
2 the members. You've done so in the past and can, no
3 doubt, list members, if asked. But is it right that
4 the crisis staff was expanded from politicians to
5 include representatives of industries and factories?
6 A. We had, in Vitez, two crisis staffs. One was
7 at the level of the Vitez municipality, and another was
8 at the level of chemical factories in Vitez. I was a
9 member of both of these crisis staffs.
10 The chairman and deputy of the municipal
11 crisis staffs would convene people to attend from
12 public life, the economy, politics, individuals they
13 thought would be helpful in dealing with certain
14 problems as they arose.
15 But the permanent members were 10, and the
16 others would be occasionally invited to attend. I
17 don't know whether later on the managers of these
18 factories became full-fledged members.
19 Q. At this early stage of the crisis staff, were
20 the various ethnic groups working together in harmony
21 or not?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. For how long did the crisis staff operate?
24 A. The crisis staff, as far as I can recall,
25 operated from mid-March, or maybe February, until
1 mid-June. It operated -- actually, it acted in line
2 with the purpose for which it was formed. That is, it
3 had the competencies of the municipal assembly.
4 Q. Before we come to the end of that period in
5 June, let me deal with -- or I'll let you deal with a
6 couple of events happening in May.
7 First, simply as an example of the
8 documentation that was raised, Exhibit 103, please.
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before this document
10 is distributed, the number is incorrect, but perhaps if
11 we can change it by hand to "103.1", that will solve
12 the problem. It's not listed in our list of exhibits
13 for reasons that will become clear. May the witness
14 have one?
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.
16 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, we appear to be
17 venturing into matters in controversy now, so I think
18 it might make some sense for the Prosecution to proceed
19 by way of normal rules of direct examination rather
20 than leading questions. They invited us to make an
21 observation at the appropriate point, and I think this
22 is the time. Thank you.
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. This document, in the copy I have, has the
25 original on one side and the English version on the
1 other. If you would just look, please, at the original
2 B/C/S version, "Yes" or "No", does this appear to you
3 to be the photocopy of a genuine document?
4 A. This document is not signed, but otherwise, I
5 think it is. Mention is made of my name here, which
6 means I was present at the crisis staff meeting held on
7 the 12th of May, 1992, and at that time I was given
8 specific assignments. I can explain which they were.
9 Q. We need only look at item number 4, which
10 says that, "Dr. Mujezinovic is charged with delivering
11 to the Vitez Medical Centre a part of the supply of
12 antibiotics from the available medical supplies." Was
13 that indeed one of the duties that was imposed on you?
14 A. Yes, I already said that I was charged with
15 forming the medical service under wartime conditions.
16 In the chemical factories in Vitez, we had quite a
17 large quantity of medical supplies, because their
18 production was in this line of work, and this was the
19 material for which Mario Cerkez was in charge, and I
20 was given instruction that I should take medical
21 supplies from the SDS, and together with Bruno Buzuk
22 that we should distribute it throughout the network of
23 outpatient clinics in the field. Most of that material
24 was to have been given to the medical centre in Vitez,
25 or its reserve location in the event of war, and at the
2 Q. That's at the moment, I think, all I want.
3 Thank you.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, may we go into
5 private session, just for about three questions? It
6 relates to the topic I raised earlier this morning.
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
8 (Private session)
9 (Open session).
10 MR. NICE:
11 Q. Was there one meeting in the period March to
12 June of 1992, one meeting of the crisis staff, where
13 Anto Valenta said something that you can remember
14 particularly about the future?
15 A. At the end of April 1992, at one of the
16 crisis staff meetings, towards the very end of it, Anto
17 Valenta, who was then president of the HDZ for Vitez,
18 said in passing to us that the Muslims of Vitez and the
19 others must place themselves under the command of the
20 HVO, and that they must accept that, because he said
21 that in Vitez at the time the HVO of Vitez was 90
22 per cent armed, that according to his assessment, the
23 Muslims were armed 10 per cent. He also mentioned the
24 HOS, which was operating in Vitez. He said that the
25 HOS had no importance for the HVO.
1 At the time, we couldn't believe this. What
2 is more, the chairman, Ivan Santic, said, "Come on,
3 Anto, you always complicate things." And his answer
4 was, "No, I'm not joking. You just think this over."
5 Q. The HVO, when had you first been aware of
6 that, as a body?
7 A. I learnt about the HVO in the first half of
9 Q. When you first learnt of it, what was it?
10 What did it do?
11 A. It was a military formation in Vitez.
12 Q. By the time that Valenta said what you've
13 described his saying, was it just a military
14 organisation, or had it started to assume other
16 A. At that time, it was only a military
18 Q. And so in light of what was said by Santic
19 and about him by his colleague, did you take what he
20 said seriously, or not?
21 A. Well, to tell you quite honestly, we were
22 very worried, that would be perhaps the best word,
23 because at that time, we were agreeing together, or
24 rather took a decision at the crisis staff to take away
25 the weapons from the former army, the JNA, because
1 those weapons were the property of the Territorial
2 Defence, and the former army had taken it away and
3 stored it in its base in a village called Slimena, near
5 So the crisis committee decided that the TO,
6 the HVO, should together take away those weapons. I
7 was the medical security. I believe it was done on the
8 4th of May, '92. But we were very worried by Anto
9 Valenta's statement.
10 Q. And was your initial reaction that you should
11 do what he proposed, or not?
12 A. We thought right at the beginning -- I mean,
13 that question was raised at the SDA executive board.
14 We thought we should not place ourselves under the
15 command of the HVO. We thought we should have a joint
16 Defence force. We thought we even suggested that the
17 commander of these joint armed forces in Vitez be
18 Mr. Franjo Petrac. We did not object to having a Croat
19 as the joint commander of the TO and HVO at the time.
20 Q. The next topic, the murder of somebody called
21 Samir Trako: Can you help us with that? When did this
23 A. It happened sometime around the 20th of
24 May, '92, in the late hours. Well, generally speaking,
25 the chairman of the crisis staff, Mr. Santic, called me
1 and asked me to come urgently to a meeting of the
2 crisis staff in his office. He did not tell me the
3 reason. So I went there, and in his office, other
4 members of the crisis staff were present, and Mario
5 Cerkez was also there, sitting, when Mr. Ivan Santic
6 explained to us why he had called us to the crisis
7 staff. He said that an unpleasant incident had
8 happened, that a TO member had been killed, that two
9 had been arrested, and called upon all of us to prevail
10 upon people in the town to calm the situation down.
11 Then the floor was taken by Cerkez, by Mario
12 Cerkez, who at that time was the HVO commander, the
13 commander of the HVO staff in Vitez, and he explained
14 the circumstances under which that thing happened. He
15 seemed to me under the influence of alcohol. He said
16 that three young men had come to the brewery in the
17 basement of the hotel, that they sat at the bar, that
18 they behaved very provocatively, that they asked for
19 drinks, and that at the exit from the hotel, that they
20 also challenged Miro Vukadinovic, an HVO guard, and
21 that he fired at one of them, and that he was then
22 killed, and that the HVO military police arrested the
23 other two.
24 The crisis staff then decided to conduct an
25 investigation and that the two arrested soldiers of the
1 Territorial Defence from Vitez be handed over to the
2 military police of the Territorial Defence in Vitez.
3 It was also decided that a team should go and notify
4 the family that that young man had been killed. I was
5 on that team, also the police commander, Saban
6 Mahmutovic, Fuad Kaknjo as the deputy chairman of the
7 crisis staff, and at that time I offered even Santic to
8 join us because he also enjoyed great prestige in
9 Vitez, but he refused and said that we, the Muslims,
10 should solve it amongst ourselves.
11 Mario Cerkez telephoned from the office and
12 ordered to hand over the two arrested to the TO
13 military police and promised that they would be brought
14 and turned over straight away. Fuad Kaknjo, Saban
15 Mahmutovic, and I were in front of the building waiting
16 for the HVO military police to bring those two arrested
17 soldiers. We waited for an hour, and they still did
18 not turn up in front of the hotel.
19 I saw Ivan Budimir, who was the commander of
20 the military police, the Croatian Defence Council, in
21 Vitez, and I went to ask him why those arrested TO
22 members weren't coming. He told me, "Doctor, I called
23 twice. There's a hitch somewhere. Something is
24 happening." I knew Ivan Budimir very well, because he
25 was the coach of the football team in Vitez, and I was
1 the deputy chairman of the club board.
2 So I asked him, "How could that happen?" And
3 he told me, "Doctor, don't you see that Mario is
4 drunk? He came after those young men, from the hotel
5 after those young men and fired a shot at the last
6 one. We did all we could to save him, but
7 unfortunately he was dead. We transferred him to the
8 Travnik hospital by our vehicle, but he was dead."
9 He promised that he would still insist on
10 releasing the two arrested ones.
11 After that, we went to the --
12 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt. Doctor,
13 you've been speaking for some time, and we need --
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge May,
16 JUDGE MAY: Doctor, you've been speaking for
17 some time, and we need a pause for a moment.
18 You suggest, in speaking to Budimir, you
19 asked, "How could that happen?" And he said, "Don't
20 you see that Mario is drunk? He came after those young
21 men from the hotel and fired a shot at the last one.
22 We did what we could to save him, but unfortunately he
23 was dead."
24 Mr. Nice, I wonder if you could clarify that
25 passage, please.
1 MR. NICE: Yes, certainly. Incidentally,
2 with witnesses like this witness, where the long
3 narrative answer is the material, but in the event I
4 want, I'm not going to interrupt him, because it only
5 takes time. So it was a long answer, but in fact he
6 was covering the territory that I wanted him to cover.
7 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, just clarify, please,
8 though, that last part of your account. Ivan Budimir
9 was telling you something in answer to what question?
10 What were you really-- what did you ask him, first of
12 A. I asked Ivan Budimir how did the incident
13 happen, how did it come about, how the man was killed.
14 And he answered, "Didn't you realise, Doctor, that
15 Mario was drunk? When those young men were coming out
16 from the hotel, he followed them and fired at the last
17 one." I'm only conveying the words of Ivan Budimir.
18 Q. How long before your meeting with Mario
19 Cerkez did you understand that the death had occurred?
20 A. I learnt about it at the meeting itself.
21 JUDGE MAY: One moment, Doctor; there's an
23 Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
24 MR. KOVACIC: Mr. President, we're on the
25 brink of hearsay right now, and will you ask the
1 Prosecutor, so as not to waste more time later, will
2 you ask the Prosecutor to ask the witness if the
3 mentioned Budimir is alive or not and about his
4 whereabouts, so that we could have confirmed the
5 information mentioned by the witness. Only then can we
6 really decide whether it is hearsay or not.
7 MR. NICE: I don't know that one follows from
8 the other, but I'm certainly happy to ask the witness
9 whether he knows where Ivan Budimir is.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. Do you know if Ivan Budimir is alive or dead,
13 Dr. Mujezinovic?
14 A. About four months ago, I learnt that Ivan
15 Budimir was no longer alive. I learnt it from my
16 medical assistant, Franjo Petrac, that he had been
17 killed in the village of Mosunj. So I asked about Ivan
18 Budimir, Franjo Petrac, the chief medical technician in
19 Vitez, in the health centre, because he was an
20 associate of mine, and I repeated; he told me, "No,
21 unfortunately, he is no longer with us." I did not
22 know that before that time.
23 Q. When, apparently, did he die? When was he
25 A. That, I don't know.
1 Q. And before I come back to the topic of the
2 conversation that we were most recently dealing with,
3 what sort of man was Ivan Budimir? What was his job,
4 what was he like as a man?
5 A. I worked together with Ivan Budimir in the
6 football club, and he was a very hardworking man, a man
7 who taught children football. He was a coach. For
8 some time he was the chief coach of the soccer club,
9 and for a while he was assistant coach. For instance,
10 when I voted who the coach would be, I always voted for
11 him, because he was a serious and hardworking man.
12 Q. What was his ethnicity, to use that word?
13 A. Croat.
14 Q. And how was he regarded generally in Vitez?
15 A. In Vitez, before the war and during the war,
16 I think -- I believe people trusted him, because they
17 knew him. You know, it's a small place, and everybody
18 knows the coach of the football team. The football
19 team, of course, had all the ethnicities represented,
20 and he was coaching them all.
21 Q. And how did he die?
22 A. I don't know that.
23 Q. Back to the question I was asking you: You
24 went to this meeting, and you saw Cerkez. You were
25 informed of the death of Trako. Were you told how long
1 before the meeting Trako had died, had been killed?
2 A. No, I wasn't told that. All I was told was
3 that an incident had taken place, and, as I said
4 before, the time was not mentioned.
5 Q. But you noticed Cerkez's condition at the
6 meeting as being one where he was affected by alcohol?
7 A. Well, that was how he looked to me, at
8 least. It seemed to me that he was affected by
10 Q. What signs was he showing, if you can recall
11 at this remove of time?
12 A. I knew Mario Cerkez very well, and here he
13 was very garrulous, his face was flushed, and as soon
14 as we asked to have those two released, he immediately
15 took up the telephone -- he has this mobile one -- and
16 called -- I mean, I did not know that Mario Cerkez
17 before. Formerly he was very nice, and we often would
18 have coffee together at the factory compound.
19 JUDGE MAY: Doctor, I'm sorry to interrupt
20 you; there's a matter I want to raise with counsel, and
21 I've raised it with my colleagues.
22 What is the relevance of this evidence? It's
23 clearly prejudicial as far as Mr. Cerkez is concerned.
24 As far as I recollect, there is no account in which
25 this murder appears.
1 MR. NICE: No, absolutely right, but it's
2 plainly of value both in relation to disposition as to
3 Muslims generally, and, indeed, as to his disposition
4 generally, which may come up for argument and
5 consideration later, when the matters more specifically
6 charged are to be dealt with.
7 So it's plainly relevant, and we would invite
8 the Tribunal to carry on hearing the comparatively
9 limited evidence, limited in terms of time, that will
10 touch upon it. So far as this witness is concerned, I
11 have only two more questions to ask which tie it in
12 with earlier evidence given by, I think, the last
13 witness or the last witness but one. Then we'll be
14 done with this topic, and I'll move on to something
16 JUDGE MAY: It's not the length which
17 concerns me, the length of the answers; it's whether
18 it's relevant or not.
19 MR. NICE: Well, the victim of course was a
20 Muslim. We are dealing here with the developing state
21 of thinking and the developing attitudes of the
22 parties. In due course, the Tribunal will be concerned
23 with the control of Cerkez, the discipline by Cerkez of
24 subordinates, and in relation to all of those matters,
25 this evidence may be very powerful evidence indeed.
1 In any event, it's now before the Court, and
2 I would respectfully invite you to -- well, I'll leave
3 it there.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Stein.
5 MR. STEIN: As Your Honour notes, the danger
6 of bad character evidence against Mr. Cerkez is
7 obvious, and to the extent that we are going to be
8 tagged in some fashion with command, control,
9 conspiracy, unity, co-defendants, our association with
10 someone whose character is being assassinated, while
11 peripheral, is still a concern to us.
12 So I suggest again, since this is an
13 unindicted, uncharged crime now attempted to be proved
14 circumstantially through a witness who is deceased, and
15 there's no direct linkage, its attenuation versus its
16 prejudicial effect is so clear it ought not to be
18 MR. NICE: May I just add one point in
19 relation to that: Of course, the evidence shows not
20 only the killing, but it also shows the ability to
21 control due judicial process at the time. It was to
22 this, of course, that Zlotrg's evidence was
23 particularly relevant, and the last two questions I
24 would ask of this witness would touch on that same
25 point: What happened, or to be precise, what did not
1 happen afterwards?
2 On issues of command and control generally,
3 and on wider issues, the question whether these
4 defendants, singularly or as part of a collective body
5 bearing responsibility, obeyed rules or bent rules to
6 suit themselves, even at this early stage, is plainly
7 of potential value. It shows the scale of control they
8 had and their willingness to abuse it, and it's not
9 material that can be properly overlooked, in my
10 respectful submission.
11 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, we will admit the evidence,
13 but on a limited basis. We think it has some relevance
14 -- or may have some relevance; it's too early to
15 say -- as part of the background and as part of the
16 evidence relating to command and control. We do not
17 accept it as evidence of bad character, and we bear in
18 mind and disregard that aspect of the evidence. We also
19 bear in mind that, of course, it's hearsay evidence
20 again. We'll have to decide what weight, if any, it
22 Perhaps you could finish it fairly briefly.
23 MR. NICE: Certainly.
24 JUDGE MAY: I just want to add this: One of
25 the concerns of the Trial Chamber is that we don't get
1 bogged down, if I can put it that way, in detail about
2 individual events. I think I've raised this in
3 relation to this particular event when evidence was
4 given about it before.
5 MR. NICE: Yes.
6 Q. Two other questions, please,
7 Dr. Mujezinovic. First, was there an investigation
8 ordered into this death; "Yes" or "No"?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Was it, to your knowledge, ever completed?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Was the man named Vukadinovic ever brought
13 back to Vitez, or indeed ever heard of again in Vitez?
14 A. We raised that question. We asked about Miro
15 Vukadinovic, and at the crisis staff we were told that
16 he had disappeared from Vitez. The investigation was
17 conducted in Vitez. Vlado Miskovic, the prosecutor in
18 district court in Travnik --
19 Q. We've heard something about this before, and
20 I'm going to move on.
21 You told us that the crisis staff only
22 survived until June of 1992. What brought the crisis
23 staff to an end?
24 A. Sometime in mid-June, the building of the
25 municipal hall and the civilian police was taken over
1 by HVO soldiers. They disarmed policemen of Muslim
2 ethnicity, and they kept the building for about three
3 days. At the time, we did not know what it was all
5 The chairman of the crisis staff convened a
6 meeting three or four days later and said that he did
7 not support that kind of methods, this forcible
8 take-over of buildings.
9 Q. Were flags raised?
10 A. Yes. The flags of the Croatian Community of
11 Herceg-Bosna, the Croatian state, were hoisted above
12 those buildings. At that meeting, Anto Valenta made a
13 comment, saying that this had been done by armed groups
14 not controlled by the HDZ. Pero Skopljak said that it
15 had been done by people who could no longer wait,
16 because the Croat people were awaiting change, and Ivan
17 Santic, who they class worked in the municipal hall and
18 as civilian policeman, to come -- I mean Muslims, to
19 come back to work.
20 On that occasion, he informed that the HVO
21 government had been formed in Vitez and asked a Muslim
22 representative that the officials of Muslim nationality
23 place themselves under the authority of the
24 newly-formed Croatian authority in Vitez. He said that
25 the HVO government had decided that Vitez was to become
1 part of the union of communities, of municipal
2 communities within the Croatian Community of
3 Herceg-Bosna, and that the BH army or, rather,
4 [indiscernible] In Vitez be also placed under the
5 command of the HVO staff in Vitez. And he also
6 requested that the civilian policemen of Muslim
7 ethnicity work for the civilian police of the Croat
8 Community of Herceg-Bosna and pursuant to rules and
9 decrees of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna. Mumib
10 Kaimovic was talking over this, who took part in a
11 discussion at that meeting, and I can tell you briefly
12 what they thought and what they said; that this was an
13 attack against lawful bodies.
14 Q. Yes. In fact, were Muslims prepared to join
15 in with the HVO government, as suggested?
16 A. At that meeting, that was the first time that
17 we heard of the HVO government in Vitez, and we took
18 part in the discussion. When we were invited there, it
19 was as members of the crisis staff of the municipality
20 of Vitez, and at that time -- I didn't really
21 understand the question.
22 Q. Were Muslims prepared to take part in what
23 was happening, or what was their attitude to what you
24 were being told?
25 A. No. At that time, they were not really ready
1 to accept it. To begin with, they had no jurisdiction
2 for that. They said it was an attack against lawful
3 authorities, that this was breach of sovereignty of the
4 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that it looked like the
5 partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and they did not take
6 a firm stand at that particular meeting. They refused
7 this --
8 Q. Thank you. I'll cut you short again. Two
9 short questions.
10 You told us, I think, about the Muslim police
11 being relieved of their weapons. Were their weapons
12 returned to them, and were they able to resume their
14 A. Yes, later they were returned those weapons,
15 and they returned to the joint civilian police and were
16 there until October '92. There was the joint civilian
17 police in Vitez, that is, made of Muslims, Croats and
19 Q. A second short question. At about this time,
20 were you receiving any personal advice, yourself, or
21 any personal warnings?
22 A. In 1992, at that time I personally did not
23 receive any advice. I worked for the health centre and
24 in Travnik, and here I was present as a volunteer.
25 Q. Was there a soldier you knew called by the
1 name of Miro?
2 A. Miro? Yes, but -- Miro Saric, Miro
4 Q. But you --
5 A. No, I didn't know the man. I didn't know the
6 man. No, I did not. I know the Vukadinovic family, I
7 know some of them who live in the village of Kruscica.
8 But him, no, I did not know him.
9 MR. NICE: I don't know if the Chamber is
10 looking for a time, but I see the clock.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll adjourn now. Half an
12 hour. For "half an hour", read 20 minutes.
13 --- Recess taken at 11.17 p.m.
14 --- On resuming at 11.49 a.m.
15 MR. NICE:
16 Q. Staying with the middle of 1992 --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please,
18 Mr. Nice.
19 MR. NICE: I'm very sorry.
20 Q. Staying in the middle of 1992,
21 Dr. Mujezinovic, just to see if you can help us with
22 any statements by any other of the named persons in
23 whom we have an interest. Skopljak, did he say
24 anything at about that time, that you can recall?
25 A. There are several Skopljaks in Vitez. I
1 don't know who you have in mind.
2 Q. Pero.
3 A. Pero Skopljak was the president or, rather,
4 the head of the civilian police in Vitez until '91 and
5 in the first half of 1992.
6 Q. In the first half of 1992, did he say
7 anything about the future, that you can recall?
8 A. Pero Skopljak was also a member of the crisis
9 staff of Vitez municipality. I have already stated --
10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
11 Counsel Nice, I think the Chamber has a problem with
12 the way this witness is being interrogated. You are
13 asking him to say something about the future. We
14 can't -- you can't talk about the future as much as you
15 want in a narrative. But these are not questions that
16 are normally being asked in a criminal trial. You have to
17 narrow down to focus on the events in the indictment,
18 and that is the way you can control the procedure.
19 Thank you for taking this into account.
20 MR. NICE: I quite understand that, but in
21 fact the questions I'm asking, in a non-leading form,
22 are questions as to what, if anything, was said by the
23 names in whom we have an interest at the time about
24 what was to come. But if the witness is unable to help
25 us in relation to the name I've just given --
1 Q. Did you at the time, in the middle of 1992,
2 did you know the name Dario Kordic?
3 A. I met Dario Kordic in the first half of
4 1992. Before that, I didn't know him.
5 Q. Did he, in the first half of 1992 or in the
6 middle, either personally or on the television or the
7 radio, say anything about what was happening or what
8 was to come?
9 A. I don't remember for the first half of 1992.
10 Q. Very well.
11 A. I simply cannot remember these things.
12 Q. Very well. Well, then let's move, finally,
13 to Mario Cerkez.
14 You spoke earlier on of his being the HVO
15 staff commander and also as the HVO commander. Was
16 there any difference or was that the same, so far as
17 you were concerned, staff commander and commander?
18 A. I think I was using it synonymously. I think
19 it is the same thing.
20 Q. Very well. He was present at talks in the
21 first half of 1992. I think you may have said this
22 already. What, if anything, did he say about the
23 abilities of the HVO?
24 A. From that time period, the first half of
25 1992, as I already said, I only heard from Anto Valenta
1 what the ability of the HVO in Vitez were. In that
2 period, I really didn't hear anything from Cerkez.
3 Q. Can we deal with something called HOS?
4 You've mentioned it already, and you can deal with it
5 really quite shortly, certainly at the moment. What
6 was HOS and when were you first aware of it?
7 A. HOS, in Vitez, was a military organisation of
8 the Croatian Party of Rights. There was a unit in
9 Vitez, the commander of which was Darko Kraljevic. It
10 operated, I think, at the end of '91 and the first half
11 of 1992 in Vitez under the name of HOS.
12 Q. The man Darko Kraljevic, did you have quite a
13 lot to do with him for particular reasons?
14 A. I didn't frequently come across Darko
15 Kraljevic, but on one occasion I was sitting with his
16 father when he approached our table and had a chat with
17 us. A second time I met Kraljevic, he was sick, but
18 otherwise I didn't have any special contact with him.
19 Q. When he was --
20 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Nice,
21 the witness mentioned HOS. I have the transcript here
22 in English, "in Vitez, was a military organisation of
23 the Croatian Party of Rights", which was not well
24 translated into French. The Croat Party of Rights, I
25 suppose civil rights or human rights. What is that
1 party? Could we ask the witness, what is that party,
2 that Croatian Party of Rights which he said was the
3 party apparently supervising the activities of HOS? So
4 HOS would be the military arm of the Party of Rights?
5 A. That is precisely so.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) What is the
7 Croatian Party of Rights? Could the witness tell us
8 about that party?
9 A. That party, in Vitez, did not take part in
10 the parliamentary elections in 1990. It emerged later
11 on. It was the extended arm of the Croatian Party of
12 Rights from Croatia, headed by a man called Paraga, as
13 far as I can recollect, like the HDZ.
14 So the Croatian Party of Rights were branches
15 of the Croatian parties in Croatia of the same name.
16 They had a military arm called HOS and which, in Vitez,
17 had its own area. It was well armed. I don't know how
18 strong it was, how many members it had. But as I said,
19 the commander of the HOS was Darko Kraljevic, and the
20 president of the Croatian Party of Rights in Vitez was
21 a certain man called Franjo Krizanac, also known as
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. This party, was it a right-wing, a left-wing,
25 a centrist, a reformist party, if it can be categorised
1 in that way? Or alternatively say it can't be so
3 A. As far as I know, that party, according to
4 its programme, fought for an independent
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, as far as I know. I'm not very
6 familiar with it. And the president of the Party of
7 Rights offered, on two or three occasions, closer
8 cooperation with the SDA in Vitez.
9 Q. Thank you. Darko Kraljevic was unwell, I
10 think you said; tell us about that. In what way was he
12 A. I worked on a regular basis in Vitez as a
13 physician. One morning I came to work, and I had
14 coffee with my colleagues, Dr. Franjo Tibold from
15 Vitez, and Zvonko Kajic. They left the room we were
16 sitting in, and about an hour later they came back and
17 asked me to go to Darko Kraljevic. I simply said, "I
18 feel awkward." They said that Darko Kraljevic had had
19 a heart attack, and they wanted me to examine him. So
20 I went with them. His men drove us there, to a
21 building of the Sumarija, the forestry company in
22 Vitez, in the compound.
23 Q. Taking the story shortly, when you examined
24 him, what possible diagnosis did you make?
25 A. I didn't see any signs of an infarction.
1 There was tachycardia. He was angry, he was
2 aggressive, and I gave him a shot for detoxification
3 from alcohol, one in his vein and another
4 intramuscular. I gave him diazepam, and after ten or
5 fifteen minutes, Darko started to curse and to insult
6 my colleagues, Croats. He said, "You see, I'm feeling
7 well now; how come you couldn't treat me like that?"
8 After that, Darko would come to see me at
9 home, under escort, in civilian clothes, he came to my
10 home. And I had to stand in front of the surgery when
11 the nurse was giving Darko Kraljevic a shot.
12 Q. Why was he being given injections? For what
13 condition? I want to deal with this quite quickly,
15 A. I suspected that he was intoxicated by
16 alcohol or something else.
17 Q. And the other substance might have
18 been ... ?
19 A. I suspected intoxication.
20 Q. In the course of your encounters with Darko
21 Kraljevic, did he tell you about what he was doing and
22 what he was being expected to do?
23 A. In the course of these sessions when he was
24 having injections, very often his wife was with him,
25 and he would say to me that Pero Skopljak, Anto
1 Valenta, Mario Cerkez, were trying to persuade him to
2 place himself under the command of the HVO, that he had
3 to wage war against the Muslims -- or rather that he
4 should mistreat the Muslims. He told me then that he
5 would not agree to that.
6 Q. When you say "mistreat the Muslims," was he
7 specific as to what was expected of him?
8 A. To break into houses of the prestigious
9 individuals, that a kind of intimidation that the
10 Muslims of Vitez should be got going.
11 Q. And as to children and women, what, if
12 anything, were his instructions?
13 A. Yes -- no, actually, I already said what he
14 told me. Children, women, individuals of prestige,
15 that his unit, his soldiers, wanted him to do that.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
17 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
18 Mr. President, I should like to object once again on
19 the same grounds. The witness is mentioning as a
20 source something that Kraljevic said, and for us to be
21 able to see to what extent this is direct knowledge or
22 rather hearsay, I should like to ask my learned friend,
23 the Prosecutor, to ask the witness whether Darko
24 Kraljevic is alive.
25 MR. NICE: No problem with that. Again, we
1 were going to come to it in any event.
2 Q. Kraljevic: Alive, or dead?
3 A. As far as I have heard, Kraljevic was killed
4 after the war in a traffic accident. That is what I
5 heard. It was -- at the entrance to Vitez, there is a
6 monument to him.
7 Q. Back, then, to what you were being told by
8 Kraljevic -- and it was for this reason I wanted you to
9 tell us a bit more about his condition -- at the times
10 he was saying these things to you, how lucid, how clear
11 did he appear to be in his mind?
12 A. No, at that time he told me that he wouldn't
13 accept it, that he was thinking of leaving Bosna with
14 his family. His family came from Herzegovina. I was
15 extremely surprised when I later saw Kraljevic on
16 television as a colonel, as a commander of the military
17 unit known as Vitezovi, in view of what he said to me.
18 Q. I'll come to the Vitezovi later, but my
19 question to you was: How clear was he in his mind when
20 he told you what was being asked of him by others?
21 A. At that time, he seemed to me to be quite
22 okay. He wasn't aggressive. He spoke to me in a
23 normal tone of voice. I was sitting in the car next to
24 him. He wasn't shouting; he wasn't aggressive. It was
25 a normal kind of conversation, under normal conditions,
1 the way people talk.
2 Q. HOS survived as a group until when? Can you
4 A. I don't know the exact date, but I think in
5 the second half of '92 they were operating in Vitez as
6 a military unit of the HVO called Vitezovi.
7 Q. And Kraljevic, was he in some way involved
8 with the Vitezovi, and if so, in what way?
9 A. He was introduced on the media as the
10 commander of the military unit, the Vitezovi.
11 Q. Let's turn now to the coordination committee
12 for the protection of Muslims. Can you tell us,
13 please, how it came about that that body was formed,
14 and when?
15 A. The coordination committee for the protection
16 of Muslims in Vitez was founded in the first half of
17 July. In view of the fact that a one-nation HVO
18 government had been proclaimed in Vitez, that in fact
19 the legal authorities had been toppled, upon the
20 initiative of the executive board of the SDA of Vitez,
21 the president, Munir Kajmovic, invited prominent
22 Muslims in Vitez and other representatives of parties,
23 because only 60 per cent of the Muslims had voted for
24 the SDA whereas 40 per cent of the Muslims had voted
25 for other parties, and we felt that we could not take
1 decisions on behalf of all the Muslims of Vitez.
2 At the meeting, it was agreed that a body be
3 set up which we called the coordination committee for
4 the protection of Muslims. It numbered 19 members.
5 The president of the coordination committee for the
6 protection of Muslims of Vitez was Fuad Kaknjo, the
7 president of the executive board of Vitez
9 At that meeting, decisions were taken --
10 Q. And again, I want to deal with it
11 comparatively swiftly: Was this committee in any
12 senses a government or parallel government, or was its
13 function different from that?
14 A. Its function was not that of a government,
15 but rather to monitor in Vitez all walks of life with
16 respect to any violations of the interests and rights
17 of Muslims in Vitez, and to address the public through
18 the media telling them where the rights and interests
19 of the Muslims had been violated. We gave instructions
20 that Fuad Kaknjo, as president of the executive
21 council, should continue working in the executive
22 council as the legal government in Vitez municipality.
23 That was our conclusion.
24 Q. And the overall objectives of this committee
25 were to do what for life in Vitez, as its real aims?
1 A. To draw the attention of the public to the
2 forcible imposition of government in Vitez by a single
3 ethnic community, and to brief the public as to what
4 that government was doing in Vitez, how it was
5 operating, because the newly formed government was
7 MR. NICE: Exhibit 210, please. Double-sided
8 for the Court and for the Defence, but two sheets for
9 the witness.
10 Q. Is this a press release that went out -- I'm
11 sorry about the quality of the copy, but is it a press
12 release that went out on the 10th of September of 1992?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Headed "Co-ordination Board for the
15 Protection of Muslims' Interests," within the Republic
16 of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Vitez Municipality, and it
17 sets out here complaint or outrage at a decision, in
18 particular: "According to the decision of the
19 so-called Croatian Defence Council ... of 3 September
20 1992 it has been decided that instruction in elementary
21 and secondary schools in the municipality ..." should
22 involve school books published in Croatia, and various
23 other provisions -- again, in accordance with last
24 week's practice, I don't need to read the document in
25 detail unless the Chamber wants me to -- and the
1 coordination board set out its outrage at this decision
2 and set out its reasons why.
3 In the second-to-last paragraph, it called on
4 the citizens not to respect the decision because it's
5 to the detriment of the non-Croatian population, and
6 said that instruction -- that is, instruction in
7 schools -- would not start on the established date, and
8 said that this was another example of the so-called
9 democracy in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
10 Before we turn from this committee, how
11 effective was it, Dr. Mujezinovic, this committee, in
12 your judgement? What did it achieve, if anything?
13 A. That coordinating committee for the
14 protection of Muslims, apart from taking note of the
15 violations of rights and interests, and apart from
16 continuing our coordination with HDZ members, sometime
17 in August we managed to bring together the main staff
18 of the Vitez HDZ and Vitez SDA to convene their meeting
19 and try to see if we could solve, jointly, problems in
21 At that meeting, we agreed that in Vitez we
22 should call the government the Muslim/Croat Defence
23 Council, because there were all the Croats and Muslims
24 in Vitez represented there. That suggestion was made
25 by Josip Silic, a Croat from Vitez. We were all happy
1 that a compromise had been found, and some three or
2 four days later Munib Kajmovic, as the president of the
3 SDA at Vitez, told us at the executive board that Anto
4 Valenta now, as the deputy president of the Croatian
5 Community of Herceg-Bosna, told him that nothing would
6 come out of it because they had not been given the
7 green light from Grude.
8 Q. By "Grude," you mean -- or by "Grude," he
9 meant ...
10 A. Grude is where, from what we knew, was the
11 seat of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
12 Q. So even at this stage, were you pressing for
13 co-operation with Croats in the HDZ, or were you
14 pressing for separation of interests and powers?
15 A. No, all the time we kept in touch and were
16 looking for a compromise to, set up a joint authority
17 in Vitez and to set up a joint military command and
18 joint police.
19 Q. Before I turn to topic 9 on my little
20 schedule, I'll just deal with topic 10 and then come
21 back: Refugees, please. What was the position so far
22 as refugees in Vitez were concerned? Were there
23 refugees, where were they coming from, when did they
24 first start to arrive?
25 A. In Vitez, there were refugees. First
1 refugees from Croatia began to arrive; that is in '91,
2 from Vukovar, from Sid. But there were not many of
3 them, and largely they came to stay with their
4 relatives in Vitez. There were some sick people and
6 Subsequently, a large number of refugees
7 arrived from West and East Bosnia, mostly of Muslim
8 ethnicity. As far as I can recall, sometime in
9 September or October, there were over 4.000 Muslim
10 refugees in Vitez.
11 Q. Where were they living, for the most part?
12 A. Some were staying with relations, that is, if
13 they had relations there. Others were accommodated in
14 weekend cottages and summer cottages of Zenica
15 inhabitants. In Vitez, that is in the locality of
16 Ahmici and Kruscica, there were very many summer
17 cottages, and these people either stayed with their
18 relations or in those cottages in Kruscica and Ahmici.
19 Q. Was the accommodation in those summer
20 cottages organised by any particular body, and if so,
21 how did that happen?
22 A. Yes, the accommodation was organised in the
23 second half -- that is, I think, in October, November,
24 and December, it was Mehmed Ahmic who was in charge of
25 that, and we suggested to him that he ask the owners to
1 turn him over the keys in order to accommodate those
2 unfortunate people who arrived with a couple of bags or
3 rather with nothing at all. We had Merhamet in Vitez,
4 and through Merhamet we distributed food among them,
5 and clothing, and some footwear, and money, when there
6 was some. I had 20 refugees at home in my own house
7 for a while.
8 Q. How, generally, did the refugees behave? And
9 I don't think you've yet given us date for when they
10 first started to arrive, if you can help us.
11 A. The refugees began to arrive sometime in
12 mid '92, Muslims, that is, and I said that Croats
13 arrived from Croatia in 1991.
14 Q. And how did the Muslim refugees behave,
15 generally, in Vitez?
16 A. I have not heard that they caused trouble in
17 Vitez. I did not hear any such thing. They were happy
18 that they were being put up somewhere, that they were
19 being given food or clothes. They asked for more
20 always, but we gave them as much as we could. At that
21 time we were cooperating with the UNHCR, with the
22 International Red Cross, nongovernmental organisations
23 which operated in Bosnia at the time, and were given
24 food, clothing, footwear by them, and through Merhamet
25 we distributed those items. We had a whole service set
1 up which kept record of who had arrived, where he had
2 been accommodated, what he had been issued and so on
3 and so forth.
4 Q. Did they, as far as you could judge, generate
5 any ethnic discord in the community?
6 A. On one occasion -- and I was the
7 vice-chairman of the Merhamet charitable organisation
8 in Vitez; we also had a pharmacy -- and I heard on the
9 local Croat television, I heard a gentleman who
10 unfortunately is no longer alive, Anto Marijanovic, and
11 he was at the time the editor, that Muslims were
12 pursuing a cunning policy whereby they were setting out
13 to change the demographic structure of the Vitez
14 municipality so that they could win power in Vitez at
15 the next elections.
16 I was appalled by that, and I asked him,
17 "Anto, how can you say that?" And he said, "Well, we
18 have to say something."
19 I mean, it did not depend on Muslims in
20 Vitez, how many of them we would receive, how many of
21 them we could receive. They were asking for help. And
22 in the first half --
23 Q. I'll cut you short there, because I want to
24 move from the refugees coming to Vitez to the movement
25 of Muslims from Vitez: When did the process of Muslims
1 leaving Vitez begin?
2 A. As far as I know, at a Merhamet meeting, the
3 secretary who was keeping the record, in the presence
4 of officers of the International Red Cross from France,
5 she said sometime around the 10th of April, '93, three
6 or four hundred refugees had suddenly left Vitez, and a
7 large scale departure of Muslims from Vitez, or rather
8 the expulsion of Muslims from Vitez, began on the 16th
9 of April, 1993.
10 Q. Thank you. So far as humanitarian aid was
11 concerned for refugees, was that humanitarian aid
12 always available to them, or did there come a time when
13 for any reason it stopped?
14 A. The conditions which existed for the
15 reception of refugees, one of the conditions was that
16 they all had to report to the Red Cross in Vitez.
17 Sometime in November '92, the HVO government simply
18 prohibited the work of the Red Cross, prohibited Suad
19 Caic, who was the president of the Red Cross, and his
20 typist, to enter there. They seized the seals, and we
21 could not any longer make record of Muslim refugees in
22 Vitez, because from that card, from that application,
23 the application of the Red Cross was the basis on which
24 we could receive aid from international organisations.
25 At the same time, Mehmed Ahmic, who was
1 responsible for putting up, for accommodating refugees,
2 informed us that Dario Kordic had prohibited the
3 settlement of refugees in the municipality in Busovaca
4 at that period of time.
5 So we found ourselves in a rather
6 embarrassing position. And then the refugees began to
7 slowly -- I mean refugees of Muslim ethnicity -- began
8 slowly to leave Vitez. I think we have records.
9 Q. Thank you. And when was this announcement by
10 Dario Kordic, if you can recall?
11 A. At one of the Merhamet meetings, I think it
12 was sometime in November '92, but I am transmitting to
13 you the man in charge of the matter was the one who
14 told us that, at the meeting, and his name was Mehmed
15 Ahmic, called Sudzuka.
16 Q. I now want to deal generally with the period
17 June '92 to January '93, topic 9, and with what
18 happened so far as Muslim buildings, businesses, and so
19 on, were concerned. In that period, was there a change
20 in the life of Muslims in the town of Vitez?
21 A. At that time when the HVO appointed Vitez
22 government, I already said that money was arriving from
23 Croatia, the money that was not being used in Croatia
24 anymore. Then weapons arrived. Those weapons were
25 also sold to Muslims.
1 The first attack, I mean physical attack,
2 against local Muslims in Vitez began sometime around
3 the 10th of September, when the SDA kiosk in Vitez was
4 destroyed, that is, the lottery of the SDA in Vitez.
5 Then the bust of a national hero, a national hero of
6 the last world war, was also demolished sometime around
7 the 20th.
8 Then I think it was around the 20th of
9 October when the HVO attacked TO units in Vitez, and
10 then the command post of the TO was taken, the
11 logistics of the TO was taken over. And then in Ahmici
12 four houses were destroyed, then farm buildings, about
13 20 buildings were damaged.
14 Q. Before you move too far forward, just because
15 you haven't dealt with it in detail, the kiosk that
16 you've referred to and the national hero whose bust was
17 destroyed, did either of them have Muslim connections
18 or was the kiosk Muslim owned or not and was the hero a
19 Muslim or not, just so we can know?
20 A. The kiosk belonged to the SDA party, and the
21 bust, the man's name was Mosa Pijade, and he was of
22 Jewish origin.
23 Q. Picking it up at about the 20th or, more
24 precisely, maybe the 21st of October, were you working
25 in the hospital on the 21st of October?
1 A. At that weekend, I was working in the
2 hospital. I was on duty there. On the 19th, I worked
3 in Vitez and I learned, on the morning of the 20th,
4 that there had been a conflict in the village of Ahmici
5 between TO and HVO members.
6 Q. Did you see any of the victims or people who
7 were apparently victims of that incident?
8 A. Yes, and since we had moved the health centre
9 to a reserve site from Vitez, rather from the urban
10 part of Vitez, wounded people came to us, mostly
11 Muslims. But they also brought to us a man from Ahmici
12 with his elbows smashed. I think his name was Nesib
13 Kajmakovic. And I was at home at the time. It was
14 lunchtime, but they called me and asked me to come back
15 urgently. And when I came, Dr. Bruno Buzuk and
16 Dr. Enisa Mulalic were having an argument with two or
17 three HVO soldiers who wanted to kill that wounded
18 man. Owing to Dr. Bruno Buzuk, we extended aid to that
19 wounded, and he was then taken by an ambulance car to
20 the hospital in Zenica, to the orthopaedic surgery.
21 That day, there were five or six of them, as
22 I said, on the 20th of October, civilian wounded who
23 came to us, to the health centre, looking for medical
25 Q. So the HVO soldiers were saying this, that
1 they wanted to kill the man in the hospital itself, or
3 A. Yes. They wanted to take him out into the
4 street and kill him.
5 Q. Back then to the 21st of October, if your
6 memory is such that you can take us through the
7 important events of the next few months without my
8 interrupting you, do so. Otherwise, I'll take you to
9 various topics.
10 But can you now remember the developing
11 history so as to give us, without concentrating on
12 minor details, just give us the major events? Can you
13 take us through to January of 1993?
14 A. I'll try to be as concise as possible.
15 In that period after the 21st of October, a
16 Croat from Vitez, Ilija Safradin, approached me and
17 told me that soldiers of the BH army had seized his
18 car, and asked me for help. I went to the secondary
19 school with Stipo Kristo, the driver, and in the
20 command I found about 15 or 20 members of the BH army
21 or, rather, the TO, and I asked to see the commander,
22 Sefkija Djidic. Nihad Rebihic told me that he was
23 standing in for him. I asked him where was the
24 commander, and he said he was in Stari Vitez at the
25 reserve command post.
1 With the same driver, I went there and I
2 asked Sefkija to return the car to Ilija Safradin, and
3 he ordered a military policeman to bring that car and
4 asked me to establish contact with Ivan Santic to try
5 to calm down the situation and convene a meeting.
6 When we returned, I called Ivan Santic and I
7 said Sefkija was asking for a meeting, and he also told
8 me that he had been issued the order by the district TO
9 staff that a blockade should be put up on the road to
10 Ahmici. But he said that he had very few soldiers,
11 that all his soldiers were on the front line. He also
12 said that the HVO would just step up, go through that
13 blockade, and that people would die just like that.
14 With the help of the UNHCR in Vitez and Ivan
15 Santic, I convened that meeting, and I attended one of
16 those meetings. I think it was on the 23rd at the
17 joint meeting convened to appease the situation in
19 Together with Pero Skopljak and a local
20 priest both of the Muslim and Croat origin, we appeared
21 on -- we came on television. We were trying to call
22 upon people -- we were appealing to people, telling
23 them that there was no need for concern, that an
24 understanding had been reached, that talks were being
25 conducted at the level of higher commands or, rather,
1 at the republican level, and so that the situation was
2 rather calm for a few or three days.
3 But then at the beginning of November, at
4 night, about 10 buildings were blown up, and they were
5 owned by Muslims in Vitez.
6 Q. What buildings were those?
7 A. Those were restaurants or coffee shops or
8 hairdressers, photographers, owned by Muslims.
9 Q. What was the reaction of the Muslim
10 population to that?
11 A. We were asking, "Why, what for, how?"
12 Q. And the answers you got, if any?
13 A. We mostly received the same answer, that
14 these were done by people who were not controlled by
15 the HVO, people whom the HVO could not control.
16 Anyway, I mean these are very vague answers.
17 Q. And who was identified as beyond the control
18 of the HVO?
19 A. I don't know. It was really -- I could not
20 really understand who that was, because they were
21 mostly HVO soldiers who blew up those buildings. That
22 was a method of intimidation of people living in Vitez.
23 Q. Let's move on, then, from the --
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I want to find out
25 who gave the answer that those activities were done by
1 people who were not controlled by the HVO. Who is it
2 that gave that answer?
3 A. We continued to be in touch with members of
4 the crisis staff; Ivan Santic, Pero Skopljak, Anto
5 Valenta. Also present frequently at the meetings of
6 the crisis staff was Mario Cerkez. And mostly they
7 were the people who represented the Croatian side in
8 all agreements and negotiations.
9 For example, on the 23rd and 24th of October,
10 a motel called Plavac in Kruscica was destroyed and the
11 guard was killed, and the motel was owned by a Muslim
12 who was a commander of the BH army in that area. His
13 name was Hakija Gelilovic.
14 Towards the end of November, two soldiers
15 were killed on the road to Kruscica, and then when the
16 refugees from Jajce came --
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Keep in mind Judge Robinson's question. He
19 specifically wanted to know who was giving you the
20 answer to your query about responsibility for these
21 actions. I hope I haven't cut you short too quickly,
22 but focus on that question of the Judge's, please.
23 A. I remember once when Anto Valenta told us at
24 a meeting, when we asked him about these incidents, he
25 said, "Perhaps it is being done by the Muslim
1 extremists to deepen the rift," because we asked him,
2 "Who is doing this?" And the answer by responsible
3 officials of the HVO was that this was being done by
4 people who were out of control of the HVO, and I have
5 listed the four names.
6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. Now, you've taken us up to the end of
9 November, I think. Are there any important events of
10 the type you've described that happened before the end
11 of November, or does that pretty well conclude it until
12 then? I know there's a bank to be dealt with, but I
13 think that comes later.
14 A. At the end of November, two members of the BH
15 army were killed on the road between Vitez and
16 Kruscica. Also in January --
17 MR. NICE: I am going to stop you now because
18 I want to introduce another exhibit. 294, please. So
19 things can be broadly chronological, I'm going to -- in
20 order to achieve, wherever possible, chronological
21 development, I'm going to ask everybody to have that
22 document in their hands, but also to have an earlier
23 one, 246, and then they can be dealt with in the
24 correct order.
25 As to 246, it's my error entirely, if the
1 witnesses could have 246 in the B/C/S first, it's 246
2 for which I required a minute of private session this
3 morning. If I could have private session now, please,
4 for a minute.
5 (Private session)
13 page 2167 redacted private session
13 page 2168 redacted private session
23 (Open session)
24 MR. NICE:
25 Q. The next document, Document 294, dated the
1 26th of November, do you have that before you, please?
2 This is a press release dated the 26th of November, and
3 it starts off with a reference to the fact that since
4 the 25th of November, there hasn't been a single
5 representative of the authorities of Muslim nationality
6 in the building of the assembly of the Vitez
7 municipality. Explain that, please, or explain this
8 document, which can otherwise probably speak for
10 A. In those days, the HVO government had
11 introduced a new system of work, and all those who had
12 not signed allegiance to the new government on that
13 day, and I think it was the 25th of November, were not
14 allowed entrance to their place of work. When we
15 learned that, we issued this press release. This is a
16 release of the executive board of the Party of
17 Democratic Action in Vitez. Therefore, all of those
18 who did not sign up to this new organisational set-up of
19 the HVO and who were not loyal to that government lost
20 their jobs.
21 Until that day, the executive board of the
22 municipal assembly, headed by Faud Kaknjo, worked in
23 the same building as the HVO government.
24 Q. Now, the document speaks for itself. Thank
25 you for that. It speaks for itself. It deals with the
1 fact that Muslim nationality policemen were not able to
2 carry out their duties. It asks a rhetorical question,
3 and it concludes by saying this: "In conclusion, we
4 are calling upon the HVO government in Vitez to act
5 seriously and cooperate, with the aim of creating a
6 union which will respect the interests of all Vitez
7 citizens, regardless of their national or political
8 affiliation." It's a document not signed, but it's on
9 behalf of the SDA?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was that conclusion and that invitation
12 genuine, and were you still anxious, in the SDA, to
13 cooperate in order to create a union for the interests
14 of all?
15 A. Yes. The result of this was an agreement
16 reached around the 27th of January, 1993, to form, in
17 Vitez, a wartime government of Vitez municipality where
18 all would be represented --
19 Q. I'm going to bring you to that in due
20 course. But before we get there, I want you to move,
21 again quite swiftly, through the history of events.
22 We had left it at the end of November,
23 possibly the beginning of December, I'm not sure, with
24 the death of the two soldiers. Can you take us through
25 any other events that happened in the end of November
1 or in December? Then we'll come to the 15th of
3 A. I think I have said enough, that all persons,
4 regardless of ethnicity, including Muslims, were not
5 allowed to enter and take up their jobs unless they
6 signed a new certificate issued by the HVO government
7 in Vitez, and --
8 Q. My mistake for not being clear.
9 A. We wanted to establish contact again to reach
10 some kind of a compromise.
11 JUDGE MAY: I think, Doctor, we're moving
12 away from the point, I think.
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. I want to take you back, Dr. Mujezinovic,
15 please, to the events of violence and other changes in
16 the life of Vitez between November '92 and January '93,
17 and then we'll pick up the political environment in
19 To get you back to the topic I want you to
20 deal with, which is the series of events you've already
21 covered, with the damage to businesses and shops and
22 the motel and the killing of soldiers, what was the
23 position so far as the commercial bank of Travnik is
24 concerned? What currency did it deal with or deal in?
25 A. It dealt with the former Yugoslav dinar, and
1 then in Vitez, the Croatian currency was introduced.
2 Then the Croatian curricula from Croatia, various
3 symbols of the Croatian state. There was political
4 pressure on the Muslims of Vitez to accept this as
5 being the reality. In fact, Croatian authority was
6 fully asserted, and no mention was made of others
8 After this announcement of ours, the
9 situation did not calm down. Shops continued to be
10 blown up. The economic bank -- commercial bank of
11 Travnik in Vitez was blown up. Then Zmajevac. The
12 owner was from Zenica. Then the Klevija company based
13 in Zavidovici.
14 Individual Muslims were taken into custody
15 for interrogation, physical abuse, threats, such as,
16 for instance, engineer Suad Salkic, who was an
17 honorary citizen of the town of Zagreb;
18 Dr. Ridzanovic, with a PHD in technology. A well-known
19 businessman in Vitez was killed and plundered in Stara
20 Bila. Another businessman on the way out of Vitez in
21 the village of Nadioci was killed. Policemen were
22 taken into detention, policemen of Muslim ethnicity in
23 those days, that is, in January we learned.
24 I didn't hear it, but at our meetings, we
25 were told that Mr. Dario Kordic had proclaimed the
1 members of the BH army and the police as being
2 paramilitary formations, stating that the only lawful
3 unit within historical Croatian borders was the HVO.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, it's time for our
6 We've had the contemporary notes of events
7 made by an earlier witness as Exhibit 332.1.
8 MR. NICE: Document 11 does come next on my
9 list, and we're moving on to that.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but we don't want repeated
11 those allegations with which we've already dealt,
12 unless there's been a challenge to them.
13 MR. NICE: I'm satisfied that we will
14 conclude this witness in chief this afternoon, and I
15 mentioned earlier the possibility of -- this has
16 nothing to do with the evidence of this witness, but I
17 just mentioned the possibility this morning of another
18 witness being available to make sure that the balance
19 of the week will be filled with evidence. Providing
20 there's enough of the week at the end of it to take
21 that witness, he's able to come, I'm happy to say.
22 JUDGE MAY: I'm sure that's the case, that
23 you've got all those matters in mind, Mr. Nice, but I'm
24 just saying that we, because I'm reminded of it and now
25 I look to it, Exhibit 332.2, we haven't yet reached
1 that. The dates don't compare, but we've had, at
2 considerable length, evidence of what happened in
3 December '92 until January of '93, so that can be taken
5 MR. NICE: I've finished with it, I think.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If that's a
7 convenient moment, we'll resume at a few minutes after
8 half past 2.00.
9 Doctor, we're going to adjourn now. If you
10 would be back, please, for half past 2.00 to start.
11 Could you remember, in this adjournment and
12 any other adjournments, not to speak to anybody about
13 your evidence, please? And that does include members
14 of the Prosecution.
15 Thank you. If you would be back then.
16 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.01 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
3 MR. NICE:
4 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, we come to January 1993 and
5 the war presidency. Very shortly, whose idea was it
6 that such presidency should be created?
7 A. The war presidency of the municipality of
8 Vitez was founded on the basis of a decree of the
9 presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We
10 complied with it and established that body, which in
11 wartime conditions was the supreme authority in the
13 Q. The Republic had instructed you to set this
14 up; was it a body that was to comprise people of all
15 ethnicities, or just of one?
16 A. It was to consist of representatives of all
17 peoples who lived in the municipality.
18 Q. Were there difficulties in finding somebody
19 who was prepared to act as president?
20 A. In Vitez, it was four persons who were
21 nominated. They all refused. They did not dare. They
22 tried to prevail upon me, and were at me for about --
23 more than a month, trying to talk me into accepting
24 it. They believed that I was on good terms with
25 everybody in Vitez and that therefore I would be
1 successful and manage to prevent any conflict.
2 Sometime on the 2nd of February, '93, I agreed to do
3 that, as a volunteer.
4 Q. What warnings, if any, had you had about the
5 consequences of accepting this job?
6 A. A Croat from Vitez -- before the war, he was
7 a high official in the republic and MUP, his name was
8 Jugoslav Bilic -- and he came to my house and warned my
9 wife and me that in Vitez, there was no room for
10 Muslims any more. He offered to give us passports with
11 Dario Kordic's signature, and we only had to write our
12 names and the names of our children as Croat names, and
13 he offered also to give us a ride to Split.
14 I told him what I was being offered in Vitez,
15 and he said, "Doctor, this is no joke; the situation is
16 very serious. Think about it. I am at your disposal.
17 Just give me two pictures of your children, and write
18 down the names that you would like to have."
19 My wife was frightened, but I thought there
20 was an understanding reached on the 27th of January to
21 set up a joint government to be called the municipal
22 wartime government, municipality of Vitez, within the
23 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so it would be the
24 wartime government of Vitez. It was in Grude, Republic
25 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, wartime government of Croatia --
1 Q. I'm going to stop you there.
2 A. No, sorry, the Republic of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatian Community, Herceg-Bosna.
4 Q. The original question was, what, if any,
5 warnings did you have of what would happen to you if
6 you took this job. Did you get any warnings of what
7 would happen to you? Yes or no?
8 A. I already said that I was warned by Bilic,
9 Jugoslav Bilic, nicknamed Jugo.
10 Q. What would happen to you? Did he say?
11 A. No, it was in general terms, that there was
12 no room for Muslims, that they would expel all Muslims,
13 that the situation was serious.
14 Q. That's fine. The government having been set
15 up, a parallel government, as I think you described it,
16 did it have any dealings with the HVO?
17 A. Whom do you mean? I did not understand the
19 Q. You, having become president of the war
20 presidency, did that presidency have dealings
21 thereafter with the HVO? Did you meet them, the HVO?
22 A. At the time, we already had reached agreement
23 at the level of the BH army, signed by Sefer Halilovic
24 and Milivoj Petkovic, as the commander in chief of the
25 HVO, to set up three commissions in Vitez, mixed
1 commissions, and a central one in Busovaca, and all
2 incidents that would happen were to be investigated
4 So one commission was the commission for
5 incidents; another one was the commission for exchange
6 of captured and exchange of our equipment and materiel;
7 and the third commission was for the unimpeded return
8 of military vehicles of the army of B and H to Vitez.
9 In Busovaca, in Hotel Tisa, the joint
10 commission sat. I think the army of B and H was
11 represented by Dzemal Merdan; he was the chairman of
12 the commission.
13 Q. Again, I'm going to stop you short: Did the
14 commissions in Vitez meet? Just yes or no. Were they
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How long did they remain effective?
18 A. Until the 15th of April, '93.
19 Q. Between the summer of 1992 and the 15th -- I
20 beg your pardon; start again.
21 Between January and the 15th of April of
22 1993, were there further acts of violence committed
23 against Muslims? Just yes or no.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you can provide detail of and answer
1 questions about those events if asked by either Defence
2 counsel or by the Court? Just yes or no.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you. You've already dealt with the
5 destruction of the bank, which I think happened in
6 January; is that right?
7 A. Yes. '93.
8 Q. I want now to move to the 15th of April and
9 the next few days after the 15th of April of 1993, but
10 just before I do, one question. Covering the whole
11 period from the summer of '92 until April of '93,
12 you've spoken of acts of violence by Croats against
13 Muslims. Were there any acts of retaliation, to your
14 knowledge, by Muslims on Croats? Yes or no?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were any of those in your presence? Yes or
18 A. No.
19 Q. Were any of them with your approval?
20 A. No. I insisted that they all be taken under
21 custody, detained, and punished.
22 Q. So that again we can deal with it shortly,
23 first of all, you are in a position to give detail to
24 the Defence counsel, if they want to know of it, of
25 acts by Muslims, can you pick out a bad one, i.e., the
1 worst example you can think of, of an act of
2 retaliation or violence by Muslims committed on Croats
3 in that period of time, and just tell us about that in
4 a sentence?
5 A. You mean after the murder of two soldiers,
6 towards the end of November, on the road
7 Kruscica/Vitez, members of the BH army captured six HVO
8 members, and they were physically ill-treated. Not
9 only -- one of them was ill-treated with a knife on the
10 back. I intervened and saw that these men be released
11 and that the soldiers of the BH army who had done that
12 be detained by the military police and taken to the
13 military prison in Zenica.
14 As far as I know, those soldiers were
15 arrested and taken to prison. I really don't know --
16 Q. That's as much as I want of that.
17 MR. NICE: And of course, Your Honour, in
18 dealing with that, I'm not conceding relevance, but it
19 seemed that a balanced picture was helpful, and it is
20 available in more detail if it is relevant.
21 Q. The 15th of April, then, of 1993: On that
22 day, can you detail what was happening politically, or
23 what did happen politically on that day?
24 A. On that day, I was at my regular job as a
25 physician, and I was called in to adjudicate at the
1 meeting of the incidents commission. I was told that I
2 had to arrange for the meeting of the war presidency.
3 At the meeting, there was the incidents commission
4 present, and I said that they concluded that the
5 situation had deteriorated terribly in Vitez and that
6 we had to hold a joint party meeting and a meeting of
7 the representatives of the authorities to start the
8 initiative on setting up joint command; that is, joint
9 police and joint authority. They also suggested as to
10 who should be invited from the regional level. I think
11 they mentioned Asim Fazlic, who was the commander of
12 the centre for security service in Zenica, and also the
13 commander of the HVO civilian police for Central
14 Bosnia, and also a representative of the Armija.
15 Q. Did you make arrangements with the HVO to
16 attend such a meeting?
17 A. Yes. We agreed and confirmed that a meeting
18 would be held in the building of the municipal hall in
19 Vitez on the 16th of April at 12.00.
20 Q. Did you then go home?
21 A. Yes. Yes, I went home.
22 Q. On the way home, on foot, I think, did you
23 meet someone, some member of the HVO government?
24 A. Yes, because my car had been stolen already,
25 so I walked home.
1 Q. [Indiscernible]
2 A. Yes. His name was Zvonko Bekavac. He was a
3 member of the HVO government in Vitez. I asked him to
4 give me a lift home because my mother was ill --
5 because his mother was ill, so I went to his house to
6 see his mother, to examine her and all that.
7 After that, two other Croats came to Zvonko
8 Bekavac's house and asked me to go and extend medical
9 help for a woman, and they brought me an X-ray of her
10 heart. I prescribed what to administer her and told
11 them to take her to Travnik, to hospital, if her state
12 did not improve. He also gave me a lift home.
13 Q. So that's a Croat or Croats you were helping
14 on that very night?
15 A. I was helping them. Yes, they were Croats.
16 Q. Thank you. That night, on the telephone, did
17 you receive calls about the condition in Vitez
19 A. Yes. Many Muslims from Vitez called me,
20 asking me what was going on, how to listen to
21 television, and I answered -- I gave them all the same
22 answer, that the next morning we would be having a
23 meeting at 12.00 and there was no problem.
24 Q. The next morning at 5.00, what happened?
25 A. The next morning, around 5.30, and my wife
1 and my parents-in-law was with me, my children and I
2 were awakened by tremendous detonations, a series of
3 detonations. Until that time, there were detonations
4 here and there, but now there were tremendous
5 detonation and a whole series of them. So we got up,
6 and I dialled -- I called by telephone Sefkija Dzidic,
7 the commander of the TO in Vitez, to ask him what it
8 was all about, and he told me that Vitez had been
9 attacked by the HVO, that fighting was going on around
10 houses in Stari Vitez. I asked him what to do, and he
11 told me, "Just stay at home and keep quiet." At that
12 time, somebody rang at my door.
13 Q. Who was that?
14 A. It was my neighbour, Marinko Katava from the
15 second floor. So my wife and I opened the door. "Good
16 morning, neighbour. So what is it about," I asked him,
17 and he said, "I warned you that your children should
18 not shout slogans, 'Armija, B and H' and not to write
19 graffiti on the walls, and you did not obey. Now don't
20 be surprised because HVO soldiers will come and you are
21 no more," and he left.
22 Q. Had your children, to your knowledge, been
23 chanting slogans, or had they been drawing graffiti?
24 A. I don't know; nor did he warn me previously.
25 I never talked about such things with Marinko Katava,
1 and I really don't know.
2 Q. Did you stay in your --
3 A. I don't think so. I mean they were small, my
5 Q. Did you stay in your apartment?
6 A. Yes. I stayed in my apartment with my
8 Q. Did you receive further phone calls,
9 informing you of things that had been happening in the
11 A. Yes, I was receiving all sorts of telephone
12 calls. Some were provocative. Some were why don't I
13 come out to help people. They were letting me know who
14 had been killed. And finally my line was cut off.
15 Q. Just a matter of detail, "Yes" or "No". Was
16 one of the people of whose death you were informed
17 Nedim Zlotrg?
18 A. Yes, and his wife.
19 Q. And did you see them again, and if so, at
20 what time?
21 A. Yes. My neighbour came again around 9.00 or
22 10.00 and asked me to go to the children's room to have
23 a tête-à-tête conversation, and we entered. He brought
24 me two boxes of cigarettes and asked me, "Doctor, tell
25 me, what is it that you have done for all these people
1 so that they saved your neck?" And I started telling
2 them that I was a physician, but he was pressing on me
3 to tell him who was it, because somebody was saving me,
4 and that all this would be over by Monday.
5 At that moment, another neighbour of mine
6 came from the next-door, also a Croat, Dragan Safradin,
7 of whom I was on very good terms, an engineer in Vitez,
8 and he was crying. He also brought me a box of
9 cigarettes and told me to keep quiet, to sit there,
10 that I would have no more problems, that I had
11 survived. I don't know. After that, they left, both
12 of them.
13 During that day, a third --
14 Q. Before we come to the third neighbour or
15 third visitor, that first neighbour, Marinko Katava,
16 did you get on well or not with that neighbour?
17 A. His wife worked in the same company as I
18 did. He was a pharmaceutical technician, so we
19 cooperated, I mean, on medical issues. We were not
20 close friends, but we were not enemies, either.
21 Q. [indiscernible] before?
22 A. No. On one occasion, he came to my place
23 with his wife and brought -- allegedly, the HVO
24 government had given him the first aid kit, and they
25 were taking it from the city pharmacy, and did I want
1 to take part in this. I was telling him that this was
2 city pharmacy and that the HVO could not make presents
3 out of something which was city property. But
4 otherwise, no, we did not have any other.
5 Q. I'm sorry that I'm having to cut you short,
6 but it is the only way we can move the evidence forward
7 swiftly in the way that is appropriate in this case,
8 and I hope you don't think it's rude of me. But indeed
9 I see that by doing that, I sometimes blank out the
10 questions on the transcript. So what is indiscernible
11 at line 7 is, "Had he shown any antagonism before," but
12 I'm afraid that's going to happen as long as I have to
13 cut through the answers of the witness from time to
15 You stayed in your house. You were about to
16 tell us about a third visitor, I think. Who was that?
17 A. The third visitor was Stipo Krizanac, and one
18 of -- [indiscernible] Safradin, who was in the next
19 entrance to the house. Stipo came and asked me if we
20 had any weapons in the house, and we said we didn't.
21 He said that HVO soldiers would be searching flats and
22 houses and would kill those in whose flats they did
23 find weapons. I did not know -- I was not aware of any
24 weapons in my house.
25 When Stipo Krizanac left, my wife told me
1 that Harum Suljevic, my neighbour from the floor above,
2 had brought, meanwhile, four hand grenades and that
3 they were on the balcony. My wife had packed them in a
4 bag and took them to Stipo Krizanac's flat.
5 Q. Was there a search of your flat for weapons?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Did you stay in your flat or in the building
8 of your flat all day the 16th?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. The following day, the 17th?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And the 18th?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you receiving phone calls still?
15 A. The first day, but also on the 17th and 18th,
16 not so often. We were not allowed to go out. In front
17 of the entrance to the building, there were armed men
18 who were not allowing any kind of movement to members
19 of my family and others. Anyway, I didn't go out. We
20 were told that there were guards in front of the door,
21 and through the windows I saw other entrances being
22 guarded by armed men.
23 Q. From your phone calls or from any other
24 callers, were you learning of what was happening in
25 Vitez and, indeed, in Stari Vitez?
1 A. No. The wife of my colleague, Dzevad Balto
2 called me up, and he was the director of the health
3 centre in Vitez, and he said to me, "Why don't you go
4 out?" Then after that, the woman looking through the
5 window fell ill, and she got an acute psychosis. I
6 don't think she ever recovered.
7 Then some other people called me, without
8 introducing themselves. They told me that a man called
9 Salem Topcic was lying stabbed in the middle of the
10 road, and he used to work in the police.
11 Q. I'm pausing there, and again in the most
12 general terms, can you give any estimate of the number
13 of deaths that were reported to you in -- local deaths
14 that were reported to you in this period of time? You
15 told us about the man Zlotrg, and you just told us
16 about another. Were any other deaths reported to you
17 about this period of time?
18 A. I received information that Arifa, I think
19 her name was Tunovic, had been killed, and she had been
20 a teacher in Vitez, in the elementary school there.
21 Judovarupa Zlotrg, Mira Zlotrg, Salem Topcic.
22 I later learned from Buzuka (phoen) that Saban
23 Mahmutovic had been killed.
24 Q. Were you able to see or hear any shooting,
25 either from light weapons or from heavy weapons?
1 A. I watched from my window as shells were
2 falling on the village of Novaci. I saw houses in
3 Stari Vitez burning and houses in Vitez owned by
4 Muslims, the Kavazovic family. I think his name was
5 Smajo. Koca, Ahmici, from that direction, I could see
7 Q. Did your neighbour from the other floor,
8 Marinko Katava, visit you again?
9 A. Yes. I said that he came to visit me between
10 9.00 and 10.00 on the same day.
11 Q. No, no, on later days, moving beyond the
12 15th. Did he come on a subsequent day?
13 A. I saw Marinko Katava again on Sunday
14 afternoon. He was going around and telling tenants to
15 half open the windows because there would be an
16 explosion and the panes could break.
17 My father-in-law opened the windows, and in
18 the afternoon, about 5.00, there was a very powerful
19 explosion. Katava came around again, telling people
20 not to be afraid, that it was an ammunition dump that
21 had been hit at -- Djudin's garbage dump, because it
22 was looked after by somebody called Djudin. I can't
23 remember exactly his full name.
24 Q. Did you subsequently discover what that
25 explosion had been caused by?
1 A. Yes. I later learned that where the offices
2 of the war presidency of Vitez municipality had been,
3 had been destroyed, that building had been destroyed.
4 I think about eight people were killed on that
6 Q. And destroyed by what device?
7 A. Later, I saw some photographs. At the time,
8 I was living in the part of Vitez under full control of
9 the HVO. Later, I saw remnants of a lorry.
10 Q. Thank you. And these offices that were
11 destroyed, were they in Vitez or in Stari Vitez?
12 A. Earlier on, we didn't describe and divide
13 Vitez into "Vitez" and "Stari Vitez", but it was in
14 Stari Vitez that this happened.
15 MR. NICE: There's a clip of a video that I
16 would like to show now. It's Z204.2. It was disclosed
17 to the Defence, I think, in the summer of last year.
18 Q. The position is this, Dr. Mujezinovic, isn't
19 it? You subsequently saw the damage, and you can tell
20 us if we've got it right, in this extract of the video,
21 whether this video shows the damage caused by that
22 truck bomb? So if that video could be played.
23 (Videotape played)
24 A. I beg your pardon, but I'm not seeing
1 MR. NICE: Can we freeze there, please?
2 A. These are the consequences --
3 MR. NICE: We can freeze it there, the image.
4 A. Those were the consequences of the lorry
6 MR. NICE: Very well. It doesn't freeze
7 frame very well. If we could just run it forward just
8 a little further, and then that will be enough. Run it
9 at normal speed, please.
10 Q. Can we see any particular building as we pass
11 through that you can identify? This one or this one
13 A. This one to the right (indicating). This is
14 Karahodzija Huzo's (phoen) house, and across the way
15 there's a house that wasn't completely destroyed but
16 which houses the offices of the war presidency. This
17 is Huzo Karahodzija's (phoen) house in Vitez, and in
18 this house did we have our offices.
19 Q. Thank you very much. That was on the Sunday
20 evening that that bomb happened?
21 A. Yes, in the afternoon. In the afternoon.
22 Q. What happened next, so far as you were
23 concerned? Did you stay in the flat, or did you go
24 somewhere else?
25 A. On Monday, the 19th, a soldier came to my
1 apartment, an HVO soldier, a military policeman. I
2 knew him; his name was Dragan Calic. He used to be in
3 the TO. He was looking for me. My mother-in-law
4 asked, "What do you want of him?" And I came out and
5 said, "Dragan, what do you want?" And he said that I
6 should take my doctor's bag and follow him, not to be
7 afraid, that they had many wounded soldiers, that I had
8 to go to work.
9 He took me to the crafts centre, in the
10 basement, which was the alternate position of the
11 medical centre in Vitez. On the way, he asked me, "Do
12 you know, Doctor, who saved your life?" I said I
13 didn't know. And he told me that it was Darko
14 Kraljevic who had saved my life, who had come by, by
15 chance, when HVO soldiers were passing in groups, and
16 he had ordered them that they mustn't kill me.
17 When they had brought me to this reserve
18 medical centre, the staff was surprised to see me
20 Q. Were there some nurses there?
21 A. Yes, there were doctors, nurses.
22 Q. Had you by this stage learnt anything of the
23 events in Ahmici?
24 A. Until this point in time I knew nothing about
1 Q. But then?
2 A. In the course of the day, two nurses from
3 Ahmici told me what had happened in Ahmici. The name
4 of one of them was Vidovic Santic. She didn't use to
5 work in the medical centre before. And the other's
6 name was Ljubas; that was her maiden name.
7 Q. What did they tell you?
8 A. I can't remember her name. They told me that
9 the two of them, because they were Croat, had been
10 moved, all of them, about 1.00 at night towards the
11 Lasva Valley, and that in the morning, the HVO had
12 attacked the village from all directions, that they had
13 killed everything in their way, women, children,
14 animals, and torched everything. When they told me
15 about this, they were crying. They said that the
16 situation in Ahmici was terrible, that there were many
17 cows wandering around, many corpses lying there. That
18 is when I learned about Ahmici.
19 The other nurse's name is Ankica Pudza.
20 Q. And by whom had those two nurses, according
21 to them, been told to move at 1.00 in the morning?
22 A. HVO soldiers.
23 Q. We're now, then, in the medical centre,
24 reserve medical centre. How long did you stay there?
25 A. I stayed there roughly until the 15th or 19th
1 of May, it was a Monday, when I was exchanged. Or
2 maybe -- I think it was the 18th of May.
3 Q. I want to deal with some details in the
4 course of that time, but before I do, are you saying
5 that you didn't go back to your flat in the meantime?
6 You stayed permanently in this complex? Or did you go
7 back to your flat from time to time?
8 A. No, occasionally one of the people with me,
9 and there were three, I was told his name was Dragan
10 Petrovic, known as Kinez, I was told that he was in
11 charge of the organisation of work. When I had to go
12 home, he would take me by ambulance to my entrance, it
13 was about 200 to 300 metres away, and he would hand me
14 over to the guards at the entrance. Also he would come
15 and pick me up in the same way, and he would bring me
16 back, when there was nothing to do, he would come in
17 the daytime or at night, which means he would drive me
18 to my house.
19 MR. NICE: Perhaps we'd better look at a map
20 and just see if we can make a little more life of the
21 geography. That is not going to take us very long.
23 Q. There should be a pointer on the desk,
24 Dr. Mujezinovic, I don't know if there is, because the
25 item will be put on the ELMO device -- thank you.
1 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not sure that a
2 great deal turns on the geography, so I'm not going
3 through the process, that is time-consuming, of marking
4 the plan; that can always be done, if it turns out to
5 be material, in cross-examination.
6 Q. Does this aerial view show part of Vitez? If
7 you'd like it another way, differently oriented, say
8 so, because it's sometimes difficult to follow maps
9 other than in the way you like them. Move it round if
10 you want.
11 A. Yes, this is a part of Vitez.
12 Q. Can you show us, please, any of the locations
13 that you've been referring to, starting with your own
14 address? You have to point on the ELMO, if you would
15 be good enough. You have to point on that -- yes.
16 A. I lived here (indicating).
17 THE INTERPRETER: Could the other microphone
18 be switched on, please.
19 A. And they would drive me along here.
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. And that was the medical centre there, was
23 A. Yes. That was the medical centre.
24 Q. The location of the offices that were blown
25 up by the truck bomb, are they shown or not shown on
1 this plan?
2 A. No, they're not. This is a neighbourhood
3 that we called "Kolonija," and in this area here is
4 that other part of Vitez (indicating).
5 Q. Which area?
6 A. Off the map.
7 Q. Off the map; very well. So that was the
8 comparatively short journey that you had to be driven
9 from the flat to the hospital and back again, under
10 guard at all times?
11 A. No, I was just driven by Dragan Petrovic.
12 There was no guard. But he would hand me over to the
13 guards at the entrance.
14 Q. Thank you. Did you, shortly after being
15 taken to this location, did you have a meeting with the
16 defendant Mario Cerkez?
17 A. The same day, in the evening, about 8.00, to
18 the medical centre where I worked at the time, two
19 military policemen came. The name of one of them was
20 Anto Kovac, known as Zabac, and the other was Ratko
21 Nuk. They ordered me to follow them.
22 Q. Where did you land up?
23 A. The medical staff asked me, "Where are you
24 going, Doctor?" And they just told me to go. They
25 took me to the cultural centre in Vitez, or the
1 Workers' University, to the command. I didn't know
2 until then that that was where Cerkez's command was,
3 that is, in the cultural centre.
4 Q. Is that shown on this plan, this photograph?
5 A. (Indicating)
6 Q. Thank you.
7 A. This is the cultural centre in Vitez
9 Q. Thank you. When you got there, what did you
10 find, and what did you do?
11 A. These soldiers, or rather military policemen,
12 took me into the office where, sitting at a long table,
13 was Mario Cerkez together with Zeljo Sajevic, Zvonko
14 Cilic, Borislav Jozic, Zeljo Vrebac, Stipe Zigonja. I
15 knew all of them very well. Most of them used to work
16 in the TO staff, as professionals, whereas Zvonko Cilic
17 worked as a social worker and Borislav worked in the
18 security of the factories in Vitez.
19 Q. Were these all Croats, or was there a mixture
20 of people?
21 A. They were all Croats.
22 Q. What was said to you?
23 A. Mario Cerkez asked me whether I was aware of
24 the position I was in. I said yes. He asked me
25 whether I knew about Ahmici. I said yes. Then he said
1 to me, in that case, I had to do as he told me.
2 Q. How did you interpret the combination of
3 questions about Ahmici and being obliged to do what you
4 were told?
5 A. I understood it as a threat.
6 MR. KOVACIC: I think it's going a little bit
7 beyond. (Interpretation) It seems to me that the
8 question is not appropriate. Perhaps the question
9 could be rephrased, because this is in a sense a
10 leading question. An opinion is required of the
11 witness rather than facts.
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, in fact, it's not a leading
13 question. It was not asked in leading form. And the
14 witness can answer as to how he interpreted what was
15 said. That is matter of fact, as to how he interpreted
16 it. Whether it is or is not a threat, of course, is
17 something for us.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. What was the next thing that Cerkez said to
21 you or told you?
22 A. He said to me, "Doctor, you know where
23 Dubravica and Zabrdze are?" The BH army had broken
24 through the front lines at Dubravica and Zabrdze. He
25 said to me that I must call up the command of the 3rd
1 Corps, that there were 2.223 prisoners of war, and if
2 they continued their advance on Vitez, that he would
3 order the killing of those prisoners.
4 I knew Dugalic Ramiz in the 3rd Corps, who is
5 from Vitez, and who used to work in the TO staff in our
6 town at one time. I sat at a table opposite them.
7 Zvonko Cilic was there, too, next to me. I called up
8 Ramiz Dugalic in the 3rd Corps, and I told him what
9 Mario Cerkez asked me to say: That there were 2.223
10 prisoners, and if the BH army continued its advance on
11 Vitez, that he would order the execution of the
13 He also told me that I had to call up the
14 Bosnian politicians, Izetbegovic, Ganic. I asked Ramiz
15 Dugalic to give me their telephone numbers. Ramiz
16 Dugalic wanted to know what telephone number I was
17 calling from. He called me back half an hour later and
18 told me that I should accept all the terms set by
19 Cerkez, that he would order a halting of the attack on
21 After that, Mario Cerkez said that I had to
22 address the Muslims of Stari Vitez on television and
23 ask them to surrender their weapons. I sort of
24 hesitated, and then he gave me Zvonko Cilic to assist
25 me as to the way in which I should speak, but first he
1 asked me to set up a commission for negotiations with
2 the HVO. I said to Mario Cerkez --
3 Q. Let me just interrupt you for one short
4 question before we move on to what happened next: When
5 Cerkez told you about the HVO lines having been broken
6 through, did you know that to be true, or did you
7 discover that that was true, and one way or another,
8 was what he said about the village of Dubravica shown
9 subsequently to be true, or not? Or don't you know?
10 A. At that moment I did not know, but later I
11 learned that it was true, when I was exchanged.
12 Q. Yes, very well, then. You'd been instructed
13 to set up a commission to negotiate. Did that lead to
14 your going to the basement of those premises?
15 A. No. I said to Mario Cerkez, I asked him who
16 should be at those negotiations, and he just waved his
17 and said, "Doctor, in the basement there are 300 men;
18 you can choose who you like. I don't care."
19 I went to the basement with Zvonko Cilic and
20 the soldiers -- or rather the military policemen -- and
21 in the basement I found a host of people in the
22 basement, where the coal was for heating the building.
23 There were men between 18 and perhaps 70 years of age,
24 from all these neighbourhoods, the Muslims from
25 Kolonija, professors, teachers, engineers.
1 Q. What were the conditions in which they were
3 A. You know what a place looks like where you
4 shovel coal into a furnace for central heating?
5 Q. How many people there? Could they stand up,
6 sit down, lie down? Describe the position -- in a few
7 sentences, but so that we can have a picture of it.
8 A. Mario Cerkez himself told me that there were
9 about 300 of them. These were cellars, really, with
10 small windows for shovelling in coal. The ventilation
11 was very poor. There were too many people. It was too
12 crowded. There wasn't enough room for people to stand
14 Q. Who did you select, quickly -- not quickly,
15 fairly swiftly, so far as names are concerned -- and
16 what criteria did you apply to select people for this
17 so-called commission?
18 A. Well, I mostly took -- picked out
19 intellectuals from Vitez. Sivro, who was an electrical
20 engineer, he was director of research and development
21 at Vitezit; Mulah Halilovic, he was the director of the
22 secondary school in Vitez; Kadir Dzidic, who was a
23 professor in Vitez; Fuad Kadir, who was the president
24 of the executive board in Vitez, and a young man about
25 whom I knew he had heart valves built in. I'm not sure
1 of his name; I think it's Nuzja (phoen) Bilic.
2 They all set off except for Kaknjo, who was
3 too afraid. We went to the office of Muazam Gerim, and
4 he was there, too. Formerly he was the SPS director in
6 Q. Were there any, and if so what sort of number
7 of people in the basement, dressed in military uniform,
8 or not?
9 A. No, they all wore civilian clothes. They
10 were all civilians, and in civilian clothes.
11 Q. So back to the office: What happened in the
12 office with your commission as now formed?
13 A. In the office, where Zvonko Cilic and Boris
14 Jozo were there in the office, and they insisted that
15 Fuad Kaknjo come too. So we went back to fetch him,
16 and he also came to the office.
17 In this office, Zvonimir Cilic and Borislav
18 Jozic said to those present what they were expected to
19 do: To call their acquaintances by telephone and to
20 tell them that they were in a basement, that they were
21 about 300 of them, that the BH army should stop
22 attacking, that they would all be killed, and the
24 And Zvonko Cilic and I agreed and around 1.00
25 after midnight I was taken to the upper floor to
1 address the public in Vitez. So we drew up a text, and
2 the local television then broadcast it every now and
3 then for about a couple of days, with my statement.
4 When I finished that, I returned to the
5 office around 2.00, Cilic and Jozic said they had to
6 go, and they said that if we wanted to stay in that
7 office, we could, and if not, we could go back to the
8 cellar. They promised that we would come to talk to --
9 that Pero Skopljak and Ivan Santic would come around
10 6.00 in the morning to talk to us. We stayed in this
11 office and only Fuad Kaknjo went down to the cellar.
12 Around 5.00 in the morning, Pero Skopljak
13 turned up, and Ivan Santic, too.
14 Q. You didn't go down to the cellar again? Or
15 did you?
16 A. Only Fuad Kaknjo went down to the cellar. We
17 stayed in that office, at the desk, and every half hour
18 an HVO guard would enter to see what we were doing.
19 And as a matter of fact, we were just sitting, I mean,
20 there was nowhere to lie down.
21 Q. Now, Cerkez had mentioned 2.223 prisoners of
22 different gender and age. You'd seen about -- or you'd
23 seen what you were told was 300 men. Were you informed
24 of where any other prisoners were being kept, and if
25 so, by whom?
1 A. Cerkez said that he had 2.223 prisoners. At
2 that time, I did not know even about those in the
3 cellar. I didn't know where the others were being kept
4 until I heard it from Cerkez.
5 Q. And what did he tell you?
6 A. I don't understand.
7 Q. What did he tell you about where the others
8 were kept?
9 A. No, he did not tell me where they were.
10 Q. Did anybody else tell you where the others
11 were being kept?
12 A. Later on, I learnt, when I came out, after
13 that night, later, I heard and I saw prisoners in the
14 SDK office, that was the public auditing service in
15 Vitez, and I asked Bruno Buzuk to set free a
16 veterinarian who had had four bypasses on his heart.
17 He was in the cellar of the veterinarian station, or
18 rather in his surgery, where he examined animals.
19 Later they brought Dr. Patkovic, Dr. Muris Trako.
20 Dr. Muris Trako told me that he had been detained in
21 the elementary school in Dubravica, and he told me
22 there were women, children, and adult men.
23 Q. Thank you. Will you look, please, at the
24 next exhibit, 752.
25 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I take it we're on
2 MR. NICE: Certainly, yes. I had actually
3 forgotten what time we sit to this afternoon, Your
5 JUDGE MAY: Just after 4.00.
6 MR. NICE: I should hope so, yes.
7 Q. This document -- I'm sorry about the quality
8 of the original -- is described as a joint statement
9 dated the 20th of April of 1993, and it has at its foot
10 signatures over the typed names of yourself and Ivan
11 Santic. It is in five paragraphs, of which the first
12 is a demand that the military commands of HVO and BH
13 army establish a cease-fire.
14 The second is that the civilian
15 representatives unanimously declare that there should
16 be -- no conflict would have arisen without the
17 influence of global politics.
18 The third, in capital letters, reads that:
19 "SINCE MANY PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY BEEN KILLED, WOUNDED
20 AND CAPTURED, WE REQUEST THAT THE MILITARY COMMANDERS
21 ACT IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN
22 STANDARDS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE."
23 The fourth, that, "Both sides agree that in
24 Vitez and Province 10, the Vance-Owen Plan should be
25 implemented even before signed by the Serbian side.
1 Also, the army shall retain their structure in
2 conformity with the ethnic composition ..."
3 And five, "The highest-level civilian
4 government bodies shall immediately establish a
5 political dialogue which will continue until there is a
6 permanent peace."
7 That document has a signature; is it yours?
8 A. It is.
9 Q. Is the document in any sense truly your
10 document, in that you drafted it or agreed to it with
11 free will?
12 A. As far as I remember, it was signed in the
13 morning of the 20th, when Pero Skopljak and Ivan Santic
14 came that morning. Then Santic suggested that we write
15 this, and suggested -- I don't know whether he brought
16 the text of the agreement with him, as I already had
17 the consent to sign. Whatever the HVO would request us
18 to sign in Vitez, I would have of course signed it,
19 except that I did not agree with Item 2.
20 Q. So did you not agree with the proposition
21 that civilian representatives unanimously declare that
22 no conflict would have arisen without global politics?
23 A. Civilian representatives of the Croatian and
24 Muslim peoples declare that the conflict would not have
25 arisen again. Because in your translation, if it were
1 not for the influence of global politics and military
2 operations from the outside of the municipality.
3 I still think -- and I thought that we had
4 done everything, absolutely everything, to avoid a
5 conflict and humiliation and insults and plunder and --
6 Q. Right. I can move on, then.
7 A. -- tremendous human effort --
8 Q. I can move on to the remaining period of time
9 that you spent in Vitez. You've already dealt with it
10 in summary. Between the 20th of April and the time
11 when you left Vitez in May, did you carry on treating
12 the sick, so far as you were able, sick and injured?
13 A. Yes. They perceived me as their chief, so I
14 selected the wounded -- that is, I decided which
15 wounded should go to Split, which to Travnik, to
16 Zenica, and who could stay in our hospital and be
17 treated there.
18 Meanwhile nobody asked for me, nobody called
19 me. My family were not harassed. On the door of my
20 apartment there was a poster, which said that I was an
21 HVO physician, with a stamp. And really, I worked, and
22 I had no problems. Even some Croats from Vitez,
23 because I knew a number of them, even gave me some
24 money and would tell me, "well, now, you need this, so
25 this is for you." Twice a week, I --
1 Q. [No microphone] ... or otherwise?
2 A. Only HVO's wounded soldiers came, and they
3 were Muslim civilians, but not members of the BH army.
4 They were simply not there.
5 Q. So when people were giving you money, was it
6 because it because you'd treated them as a doctor, or
7 were they giving you money for other reasons?
8 A. No, not because I treated them, but they were
9 saying, "you will need this." They simply gave it to
10 me. I remember one of them, Niko Marac (phoen),
11 suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, and I treated
12 him, and he simply said, "Well, listen, Doctor, do you
13 need any money?" And I told him no, I did not need it.
14 Q. Let's move now to the 19th of May of 1993.
15 Did you go to work in accordance with your then pattern
16 on that day?
17 A. Yes, I went to work on the 19th, or perhaps
18 18th, or was it 19th? It was Monday.
19 Q. There was one other question I should have
20 asked: I'll deal with it now. Between the 15th of
21 April and this day, the 18th or 19th of May, had you
22 been able to exercise any political authority, or to
23 take part in any political functions and matters?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Was the presidency of which you were the
1 president still in existence, technically? Yes or no?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Was it able to operate? Yes or no?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you. And back to this day, the 18th or
6 19th: You went to work. Who drove you?
7 A. I was always driven by Petrovic, Dragan
8 Petrovic, from my flat to work. Twice a week I went to
9 Busovaca to work, and then a driver from Busovaca would
11 At first, I and Dr. Muris Trako went -- he
12 was a surgeon. And later on, he left, and I went all
13 by myself twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, first
14 to examine the wounded --
15 JUDGE MAY: Let us keep to the point,
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. On that day, were you driven away from work
19 in the afternoon?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Where were you taken?
22 A. You mean the 18th of May?
23 Q. Yes, the 18th or the 19th.
24 A. On the 18th of May, I received a call from
25 Dr. Bruno Buzuk. He asked me if I would like to see my
1 mother. My mother lived not far from Vitez, and it was
2 under the control of the BH army. Would I like to see
3 my mother?
4 I thought he was pulling my leg, but at
5 12.00, Dr. Bruno came, called the driver of the medical
6 unit, Dragan Bugojnoic, and told me to sit in the
7 back. I sat there, and he took me to the checkpoint of
8 the BH army at Dubravica. On the other side was an
9 ambulance car of the 3rd Corps, with a unit of the 3rd
10 Corps and Dr. Alija Smajlovic, and they took out a
11 woman from the Zenica ambulance car, and I moved into
12 the -- and they put her into the car in which I had
13 driven up, and I moved into the ambulance car that had
14 come from Zenica. Dr. Alija Smajlovic said that that
15 was the wife of a Croat general, that they had heard
16 that I was to be killed, that there was Kordic's order,
17 Dario Kordic's order, that I should come to Busovaca.
18 JUDGE MAY: On what grounds are you
20 MR. SAYERS: This is absolute hearsay, and I
21 think that it's unduly prejudicial under the test of
22 Rule 89 for reasons that we stated when we went over
23 the same kind of testimony with Witness A on April
24 13th. Apparently the declarant is not listed as a
25 witness. We don't even know whether the declarant
1 supposedly saw this order, and there's simply no way to
2 test the veracity of it. I think that the prejudicial
3 impact of this testimony grossly outweighs any limited
4 probative value it would have, if it has any, which I
5 don't think that it has.
6 So for those reasons, we object to that
7 testimony, Your Honour. Thank you.
8 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
9 MR. NICE: I know Your Honour is probably
10 about to make a ruling. You haven't heard from me yet,
11 because --
12 JUDGE MAY: No, I'm afraid we haven't heard
13 from you. Normally, no discourtesy is intended, but we
14 have considered the matter fully and we're going to
15 exclude it. It's what somebody has said that somebody
16 else has said that he's heard.
17 MR. NICE: I'm sorry, I must interrupt the
18 Court, because the Court hasn't heard me. I'm afraid
19 that's not, with great respect, fair, because there is
20 further supporting evidence in respect of this.
21 When you come to this type of evidence, it's
22 important to look at the position in the round. Now
23 here you have a man who is working according to a
24 routine imposed on him, substantially under control and
25 effective imprisonment for part of the day. Those who
1 plainly -- and we only heard of one so far, but those
2 who had his interests at heart changed his routine and
3 moved him from a place where it may be judged, on all
4 the evidence as well as this category of evidence, that
5 he was at risk, and moved him to a position of safety.
6 So that, in itself, goes to show, as a matter
7 of evidence, that there was a risk. We now have to
8 trace where that risk comes from.
9 If you had permitted the evidence in, and I'm
10 going to ask you to reconsider the position and to
11 hear, before you hear the detail of it, the outline of
12 the other material that goes to support, when you hear
13 all the evidence from two different sources that goes
14 to point, to the same conclusion, then you may
15 conclude, and I would invite you to say that you must
16 conclude, that each can support the other, the two
17 separate bits of evidence, and in any event, in all the
18 circumstances, it's more likely to be of some value
19 than of no value, it's more likely to be right than
21 The people who would be protecting this man
22 from the risks that the independent evidence of his
23 being moved shows existed, are the sort of people who
24 it's always going to be difficult for us to have
25 first-hand because of their proximity themselves to the
1 defendants, and it may be because of their doing things
2 that were contrary to their own code.
3 JUDGE MAY: But just pause a moment and think
4 what you're submitting. Because the case is difficult
5 to prove, are you saying, "We should have the thinnest
6 sort of evidence in?"
7 MR. NICE: No.
8 JUDGE MAY: Well, that appears to be the
9 effect of the submission.
10 MR. NICE: I'm not saying that at all. But I
11 am inviting the Court, in a place where hearsay of any
12 generation is not automatically excluded, to have in
13 mind, amongst other things, the difficulties of getting
14 first-hand evidence. That's just something to have in
15 mind. But more important, to look at the surrounding
16 circumstances, which I've touched on, and the other
17 evidence which would have been or would be evidence in
19 I'll explain in general, although I don't
20 want to rehearse the witness, where it comes from. It
21 comes from a meeting he had the night before and with
22 someone else.
23 JUDGE MAY: Well, why don't you deal with
24 that evidence, if you say you've got it, and we'll
25 consider that. But at the moment, this evidence is not
1 to be admitted.
2 MR. NICE: Thank you very much. And may I
3 make this point as well, just in general before I move
5 Where we're dealing with evidence coming from
6 other sources, as it's been described, secondhand, it
7 may be important for the Court to have some regard to
8 the sort of person from whom the witness in court hears
9 that which comes to him.
10 As I think Your Honour said on an earlier
11 occasion, it's always a question of reliability that's
12 at root, and therefore if the evidence comes from
13 somebody who is likely to be reliable in all the
14 circumstances, or likely to be unreliable, that will
15 affect your judgement.
16 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, the night before this
17 exchange, on your way from where you were doing your
18 work, where were you taken?
19 A. I was taken on Friday, that is, two days
20 earlier. I was asked by a Croat to examine his
21 mother. That Croat's mother had been to see me and was
22 examined by me a couple of days earlier. That Croat
23 took me to his uncle's house, where his mother was, and
24 she was making some dough. So I said, "Good afternoon,
25 good afternoon. How are you?" And she said, "Fine."
1 That person --
2 Q. We're going to deal with the evidence in
3 small bits for the convenience of everyone.
4 First of all, are you happy to name in this
5 Tribunal here now, in the present circumstances, the
6 Croat who took you to his mother?
7 A. Please, I told you already, during closed
8 session, I can't name. But I already was in the
9 courtroom and I already testified about this.
10 Q. So the name of this person, if you can name
11 him --
12 A. He is Vujica Trpimir. He taught biology in
13 Vitez. He was a Croat by ethnicity. He took me into
14 the room and said he had taken to UNPROFOR bases
15 Dr. Enesa Mulalic the day before. And Dragan Petrovic
16 was --
17 Q. The mother who you were taken to see --
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers?
19 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I think we can cut
20 to the central matter here. I believe that Mr. Nice is
21 trying to elicit from the witness precisely the same
22 kind of hearsay testimony, from someone who is not on
23 the witness list, by the way, Mr. Vujica, apparently,
24 to the effect that he heard from someone that there was
25 the same kind of order about which he's previously
1 testified, and that evidence has been excluded. This
2 evidence should be excluded for precisely the same
4 In the Rule 89 balance, Your Honour, and I
5 don't think we've made too many of these objections,
6 but in the Rule 89 balance, you have to balance the
7 prejudicial effect, which is substantial, against the
8 probative value, which is virtually zero. I think that
9 for the same reasons, this testimony should be
10 omitted. It's rank double or triple hearsay and it's
11 very prejudicial, and we object to it, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, let's hear a bit more of
13 the evidence first.
14 MR. NICE:
15 Q. So now the mother you had been taken to look
16 at or to treat because she was unwell or apparently
17 unwell, in fact, in what condition was she when you
19 A. Well, that man took me into the room, took
20 out a bottle of brandy, and poured for the two of us,
21 and said, "Doctor, Dragan Petrovic in Skopljak has been
22 put in charge of controlling what you are doing."
23 Q. I'm going to stop you again. It's difficult,
24 I know, to understand the reasons for these small
25 questions with requests for short answers, but I hope,
1 Doctor, you'll accept that there is a reason for it.
2 When you saw the woman, what condition was
3 she; fit or unfit?
4 A. It was okay. I saw her in the house of her
5 brother. She was making a pie, as I was saying, the
6 dough for a pie.
7 Q. So that you had been taken to see somebody
8 who was apparently unfit, but she now appeared to be
10 The man who talked to you, don't tell Their
11 Honours yet what the man said. Tell us a bit more
12 about the man. What sort of man was he? What did he
13 do for a living? You've mentioned it, but repeat it.
14 Just tell us what sort of chap he was.
15 A. He was a teacher of biology in Vitez. He was
16 teaching in grammar school. I didn't know him from
17 before. I knew the family, I knew his father, but
18 until that time, I had not known him personally. He
19 was a young man.
20 Q. Did you know anything to his detriment, did
21 you know anything to his credit, up until this stage?
22 MR. MIKULICIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
23 we have to object again. The witness, in answer to a
24 question, said that he didn't know the man. After that
25 came another question in the same direction. I think
1 the Prosecution is repeating the same questions that
2 have already been answered.
3 JUDGE MAY: I think the evidence was he knew
4 his father, "but I had not known him personally." Yes,
5 yes, let's move on.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. Did you know anything to his detriment, did
8 you know anything to his credit?
9 JUDGE MAY: No, I'm --
10 MR. NICE: I'm sorry, move on from that.
11 Very well, very well.
12 Q. Now, Dr. Mujezinovic, don't say anything
13 that's material to your particular position on this
14 day, because that's what the Court is concerned about.
15 But did this man who poured you a brandy, did he tell
16 you anything about the general scope of his function?
17 First of all, just "Yes" or "No". Do you understand my
18 question? I only want you to tell the Court what he
19 told you was his function at that time.
20 A. Yes, I understand.
21 Q. Then tell us, please, what he told you was
22 his function.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. What did he tell you was his function?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
1 A. His function was to secure the place we were
2 working. Not just his function; he also mentioned the
3 names of two other men involved.
4 Q. Did he say anything about his function in
5 relation simply to your movements; "Yes" or "No"?
6 A. Yes. He said that it was his duty to follow
7 what I was doing, whom I talked to, how I was working,
8 and that he had to report to the HVO about that.
9 Q. Did he tell you how long he had been doing
10 that or not?
11 A. From the very beginning, when the conflict
12 started, he was there.
13 Q. Just "Yes" or "No". You had a further
14 conversation with him?
15 A. Yes. I started to work --
16 MR. NICE: Stop there. I just wanted to stop
17 it at that.
18 Now, I've laid the groundwork. The Court,
19 not having read the material, won't know precisely
20 what's forthcoming. But from the necessary formulation
21 of the argument, it will know, in general terms, what
22 will be forthcoming. Since the Court has to wear hats
23 both as the decider of law and the decider of fact, it
24 may prefer to know, even now, precisely what would be
25 forthcoming. But that's a matter for the Court.
1 (Trial Chamber confers)
2 JUDGE MAY: This is entirely without
3 prejudice to admissibility. We shall hear the
4 evidence. I'm afraid I'm not going to take any more
5 argument at this stage. We wish to hear the evidence,
6 and then we'll rule on it. If we decide it's
7 inadmissible, then we shall exclude it entirely. At
8 least I want to know the basis on which it's being put
9 forward. Yes.
10 Mr. Kovacic, we've really had a great deal of
11 interruption. What do you want to say?
12 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours, I
13 do not object to this. The ground has been laid. But
14 I would suggest, for us to be on the safe side when
15 judging hearsay, to ask the witness, before this
16 question, another question, and that is whether this
17 gentleman, the one he's talking about, is he alive or
18 dead today?
19 MR. NICE: I'm happy enough to do that.
20 Q. What's the answer, please?
21 A. I think he's alive.
22 Q. Now, can you now please tell the Court what
23 else the man said to you at this meeting?
24 A. He said to me that they had received orders
25 from Dario Kordic that when I come to Busovaca the next
1 time, that is, on Tuesday, because I had been the
2 previous Thursday, there was an order for me to be
3 killed. He said to me, "My father asked me to save you
4 and to take you to the UNPROFOR base in Stara Bila."
5 As I had my children, my wife, my in-laws in Vitez --
6 Q. Let me stop you there. He told you that this
7 is what he had learned. Did he explain how he had
8 learned that, what his source of information was for
9 where he learned of the order that you've described or
10 that he described to you?
11 A. He said that they had received the order,
12 that is, the HVO security that was providing the
13 security for us who were working, and that there was a
14 written order from Kordic that when I come to Busovaca
15 the next time, I should be executed.
16 JUDGE MAY: I think that's enough for now.
17 Just a moment, Doctor. We will decide upon the
18 admissibility of that. I take it that a written order
19 does not --
20 MR. NICE: The written order does not exist.
21 I've made my argument about the two features having the
22 potential to support each other and, indeed, this one
23 arguably being much stronger than the one that in the
24 event came up first.
25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Nice,
1 could we know from the witness something that would
2 clarify things? He said, "When I was going to Busovaca
3 on the following Tuesday." What date would that be?
4 What date would that Tuesday be?" "I had gone on a
5 Thursday, and when I was going again on Tuesday." What
6 date was that?
7 MR. NICE:
8 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, can you help us with the
10 A. I went every week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
11 This went on for a month, you see, --
12 Q. We want the date, Doctor.
13 A. -- or maybe 20 days. I had been there on a
14 Thursday. I think it was the 15th. I was told this on
15 the 16th. And on the next Tuesday, I was due to go
16 again to Busovaca to work there. I think it must have
17 been the 19th of May, 1992.
18 But I'm just mentioning that I went every
19 week to work in Busovaca on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
20 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I hope that helps.
21 If it was the 15th, by an addition of those numbers, it
22 would actually be not the 19th but the 20th. I hope
23 that helps.
24 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, just something I
25 wasn't clear about. I believe the witness said that --
1 it has gone off the printout here -- that the HVO
2 security had received the order. That was the effect
3 of it. I wanted to find out whether the person of whom
4 he's speaking was a part of that security.
5 MR. NICE:
6 Q. You have the question, Doctor. Was this man
7 speaking to you a part of that security --
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please,
9 Mr. Nice.
10 A. Yes, yes.
11 MR. NICE:
12 Q. What was he saying to you, if anything, about
13 whether he had or had not seen the order himself?
14 A. He said that all of them had seen it, that
15 they had received such a signed order, and that his
16 father, Slavko Vujica, had asked him to save my life,
17 to get me out and to take me to the UNPROFOR base.
18 MR. NICE: That's enough.
19 (Trial Chamber confers)
20 JUDGE MAY: We shall exclude this evidence.
21 We doubt its reliability. It is highly prejudicial.
22 The question is, "What sort of weight, at the end of
23 the case, could you put on this piece of evidence," and
24 the answer is, "Very little." In those circumstances,
25 it will be excluded. Of course, we are not
1 establishing any sort of general principle. Yes.
2 MR. NICE: I have two more short topics. Do
3 you want me to deal with them now or tomorrow morning?
4 JUDGE MAY: I think we're minded to adjourn,
5 but if you could make them as short as possible
7 (Trial Chamber confers)
8 JUDGE MAY: And the Defence will be ready
9 first thing in the morning, I hope. Mr. Stein, are you
10 undertaking the --
11 MR. STEIN: With the Court's permission, we
12 would like and we've agreed amongst ourselves to have
13 Mr. Kovacic begin and then Mr. Sayers, if that's --
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Mr. Kovacic, you'll be
15 ready first thing tomorrow morning?
16 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I shall be
17 ready, of course, in the morning, Mr. President. You
18 may be interested in the duration of the
19 cross-examination, but I believe it will be for the
20 whole day, for sure.
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, if we can get all the
22 cross-examination in tomorrow, it would undoubtedly be
23 a good thing, and we're going to do that.
24 Doctor, could you be back, please, at 9.45
25 tomorrow morning and we'll go on with your evidence?
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
2 4.16 p.m., to be reconvened on
3 Tuesday, the 11th day of May, 1999,
4 at 9.45 a.m.