1 Tuesday, 11th May, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.48 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.
9 MR. NICE: I've asked for the witness to be
10 kept out for a few minutes, because there are a couple
11 of matters that I want to raise arising from
12 yesterday's ruling on admissibility, and I think it's
13 better that they be dealt with now rather than later.
14 In the result, I'm going to be inviting the
15 Court to consider, at this stage, whether in light of
16 its ruling, it should now be considering itself making
17 preparations for calling other witnesses, that is, the
18 Court should be calling witnesses. Secondly, I am
19 going to invite the Court to correct what may now be,
20 in the mind of the witness, as a reflection on his
21 evidence by the Chamber, something that would be
22 incorrect, I would suspect, as a reflection by the
23 Chamber of his evidence, and I would like it to be
25 I'll take a couple of minutes to explain our
1 concerns, although I expect many of them will be
2 readily understood.
3 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Nice, I'm sorry to
4 interrupt, but this really is a matter for the Trial
5 Chamber. We have made a ruling. I don't see that the
6 witness is going to be in any way affected by our
7 ruling, and I don't really see what matters arise from
9 MR. NICE: I hope the Court will give me a
10 chance to develop this. This is an important matter,
11 and it may be that one of its problems yesterday is
12 that it was dealt with some speed and in a way
13 that made the best resolution of the problem not
14 immediately available.
15 The problem, really, is this -- not the
16 problem, but the general issue is this:
17 Hearsay evidence is admissible in this
18 Tribunal. The Tadic rules, we've been applying, but
19 we've been applying them in shorthand.
20 Hearsay is admissible for a number of reasons
21 particular to this Tribunal. If hearsay evidence is
22 excluded at an early stage rather than admitted subject
23 to later evaluation, a real problem arises if I'm then
24 in a position to produce evidence that supports that
25 which was the underlying evidence excluded or, indeed,
1 if the evidence generally points to that conclusion.
2 So in the immediate case, which is now
3 already the subject of a ruling, but just in the
4 immediate case, if I were to produce and able to
5 produce later evidence to the same effect, exclusion of
6 this evidence might mean that it could then not be of
7 value in relation to consideration of the later
8 evidence. So that's an important point, and that's
9 why, as a matter of general principle, we will be
10 inviting you, and this problem is going to recur, which
11 is why I come to grips with it straightaway, we will
12 invite you still to be, in general, admitting evidence
13 and evaluating it later when all the evidence is in.
14 Of course, yesterday's evidence, in part, was
15 first-hand hearsay because the witness saw the order.
16 Sorry, the witness spoke of the person who saw the
17 order. So that's a matter of concern to us.
18 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's second-hand hearsay.
19 MR. NICE: And if the document is itself
20 hearsay, yes, it is.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Of course, it is.
22 MR. NICE: There it is.
23 Now, yesterday I made the point, and this is,
24 I think, where it was my error for not making the point
25 clearly enough and, indeed, drawing some concern from
1 Your Honour, I made the point that this is the best
2 evidence that we are able to present to you as another
3 of the reasons why hearsay is admissible. The point
4 was made, well, "You're saying because cases are
5 difficult, you want different rules to apply," and I
6 rejected that firmly and I reject it today.
7 But the reality in this category of case
8 tried by this Tribunal is that evidence of this type
9 will frequently be the best that we can make available,
10 because, and we know the position on the ground, we
11 don't have access. We, the Prosecution, don't have
12 access to the witnesses who could provide better
14 Now, if we take, for example, yesterday's
15 evidence, there are, I think, some four witnesses who
16 might be able to support what the witness himself
17 said. Three of those, by reason of where they live and
18 their loyalties, are almost certainly simply not
19 available. I'm rechecking what enquires we've made of
20 them, but they are not available to us, the
21 Prosecutor. The fourth one is available and is still
22 in the process of being contacted again; recently not
23 available to us, but we forecast she will be.
24 Now, when the Chamber is presented with an
25 important issue, although this isn't a critical issue,
1 it's a very important issue for which the best evidence
2 that we can provide is the evidence we offered
3 yesterday. If the Chamber is minded to say that
4 evidence isn't going to be enough and it knows that the
5 Prosecution can't get at the better evidence because of
6 where they live and of their loyalties, then, in our
7 very respectful submission, if the Chamber is going to
8 be excluding evidence at that stage and of that
9 category, then the Chamber could very usefully say to
10 itself, "Well, if the Chamber requires these witnesses,
11 who can give a better level of evidence, to attend,"
12 and the writ of the Chamber is something that is going
13 to be difficult for any of the relevant authorities in
14 this territory to refuse, why then the Chamber should
15 case by case be considering that and, although it may
16 be inconvenient and may take some time, taking the
17 appropriate steps.
18 The reason I mention it now is because if I'm
19 right and that's something that the Chamber should be
20 considering, then either via me or itself, the Chamber
21 should be checking on the details of the witnesses
22 through the instant witness and, indeed, in case it's
23 material, as it might be in a case like this, checking
24 with the witness whether he has any interest or
25 attitude himself on the topic, for, of course, on the
1 witness's account, these are people who saved his life,
2 and no doubt he believes that.
3 But in any event, that's issue number 1, and
4 on the assumption that the Chamber is not departing in
5 any way from the Tadic ruling so that there's no
6 question of a new jurisprudential approach to be
7 made --
8 JUDGE MAY: Let me make this point: We, as I
9 said, were not in that case making a ruling as to
10 general principle. It is true that I think on two
11 occasions now, we have rejected second-hand hearsay
12 about documents. The argument you seem to be putting
13 forward is the argument which I rejected yesterday,
14 which is that somehow different rules should apply
15 because this is a difficult case to prove.
16 The fact is that we shall go on applying, on
17 a case-by-case basis, Rule 89, and if we come to the
18 conclusion that evidence does not have sufficient
19 probative value and it is substantially outweighed by
20 the need to ensure a fair trial, we will exclude the
21 evidence. The fact that the Prosecution find it a
22 difficult case, I'm afraid, is not a relevant matter.
23 As for the necessity or the possibility of
24 the Court calling witnesses, that is a matter which, in
25 due course, we may have to consider, if we are invited
1 to do so. But we would have to consider all the
2 circumstances and the length of the trial and various
3 other matters, of course. But at this stage, unless
4 we're invited to make a ruling, I don't propose to do
6 Now --
7 MR. NICE: I have a couple of more things to
8 say, and I understand that the Court will be watching
9 the clock. But when matters of importance are raised,
10 I'm not going to pepper my addresses with that phrase,
11 "with great respect," because all too often judges
12 interpret it the reverse way. We have great respect
13 for the Chamber. We understand your difficulties. But
14 when there are important issues to raise, I'm afraid to
15 say time simply has to be available to deal with them.
16 This is an important issue and it's going to recur.
17 Dealing with the two points Your Honour
18 raises, I repeat what I summarised yesterday and have
19 said this morning. We aren't in any way inviting
20 different rules to apply to difficult cases. That's
21 not our function. The only different approach I made
22 is one I hope I've articulated clearly; namely, that by
23 keeping evidence open, subject to later evaluation, the
24 Court will not find itself in the extremely
25 embarrassing position of saying, "Well, we've now got
1 some admissible evidence on this topic, but we've
2 already ruled out that which could have supported it."
3 JUDGE MAY: Are you inviting us then to
4 reconsider our ruling?
5 MR. NICE: No, I'm not, because that ruling
6 has been made.
7 The second point --
8 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Nice,
9 there was a ruling, indeed, which was made, and you're
10 saying that you have difficulties in the field that we
11 know, because after all, we are informed of the
12 difficulties that the Prosecution has in the field for
13 several reasons. You're saying that there may be a
14 witness or a couple of witnesses who could confirm what
15 was said yesterday on the basis of rumours, and you're
16 saying that the Chamber could call them.
17 That is an initiative that remains open, and
18 that doesn't prevent you from coming back on the
19 substance of the problem. So it's up to you to make
20 that proposal, and it's up to the Chamber to decide at
21 a given time to call in this or that witness whom you
22 feel is important for us to hear. There was a decision
23 yesterday, but if there are other pieces of evidence,
24 other evidence to be given, this can be had through an
25 initiative of the Chamber itself.
1 MR. NICE: I thought that I had already
2 effectively made the invitation to Your Honours that
3 you should consider calling the witnesses, one of whom
4 certainly has been named, the biology teacher, and
5 there are two others, the people who took him on the
6 moment of his exchange, who can be approached.
7 The second point that answers both His Honour
8 Judge May's and His Honour Judge Bennouna's general
9 concerns is at least in part this: If the Chamber
10 decides to call a witness on an important issue like
11 this, because we can't call the witness, the witness
12 would presumably be called and available for
13 cross-examination by either side, in the way that is so
14 frequently done in inquiries and hearings of that
15 sort. It would be necessary for me to be able to
16 cross-examine that witness on the basis of things he
17 had said on another occasion to another witness, so
18 that it would be necessary for the evidence of what was
19 said to be available as evidence, without prejudice to
20 the fact that the Tribunal had ruled it inadmissible in
21 itself as hearsay.
22 So that's another problem, and we can't keep
23 calling, for example, this witness back to give
24 evidence again. I'm looking forward to resolution of
25 these problems, and I have in mind, let me say
1 straightaway, not a partisan approach; this is an
2 inquiry of a fact-finding Tribunal, your rules say
3 that, where we are here to help you.
4 Now, this is not -- and this comes to my last
5 point, my second point and my last point -- about the
6 witness himself. This is an important issue. He's
7 raised it. He raised it in his first signed statement
8 in detail: Namely, why was he released when he had
9 taken, apparently, no steps himself, raised no
10 initiative to do so? It's an important issue. He
11 raises the issue as against the first defendant, and
12 it's for resolution.
13 When Your Honour says, "Well, the Prosecution
14 find it difficult, and they want different rules,"
15 that's not the case. Yes, it's difficult. I'm seeking
16 to identify the means to get the best, safest,
17 long-term resolution, and that's the reason I'm raising
19 And finally, as to the witness himself, this
20 is my concern: He's a man who's been here four times
21 as a witness, five times at least, as a visitor,
22 because he wasn't called once, and the Court will see
23 his demeanour, and I know much of what he feels about
24 this process of coming back and back. He heard the
25 ruling yesterday which spoke of the evidence being
2 Now, I don't know -- because I haven't spoken
3 to him -- I don't know how he interprets that. He's an
4 intelligent man. Indeed, I have some difficulties, in
5 reading the Tadic ruling, in deciding whether the
6 unreliability is supposed to attach to the witness in
7 court or to the material to which he refers, or the
8 other witness, or both. I assume, but I haven't seen
9 any authority, that it means both. But in his mind, it
10 may be that he will be concluding that this Tribunal,
11 before he's been asked any question by the Defence, is
12 saying that there is something in what he has said
13 which is unreliable.
14 I doubt whether that could conceivably be the
15 case, for there is no question of his reliability
16 having been challenged, either by the Defence or,
17 indeed, by the Chamber, and he has yet to be
18 cross-examined. That will start very soon, and it
19 would be, in my submission, very unfortunate if a
20 witness who has helped this Tribunal generally on four
21 occasions, and is man of integrity and education, it
22 would be extremely unfortunate if he were to have to
23 start the hearing today with a provisional ruling of
24 unreliability in his ears. He may not interpret it
25 like that; I don't know.
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Nice, I'd like to find
2 out whether the Prosecution has endeavoured to get
3 these other witnesses who you say might be able to --
4 MR. NICE: Yes, my understanding -- and I'm
5 having it checked -- is that three of them fall within
6 a category where the mechanisms by which we operate
7 would not be effective in their case, not possible.
8 The fourth has been seen, has not been asked
9 specifically about this issue, has recently been
10 approached but is temporarily not available to us, but
11 it is intended to see her soon, so that she will be
12 approached. But the other three -- and I can confirm
13 this, I hope, by lunchtime -- have not been approached
14 because they fall in that general category of witnesses
15 who are essentially unavailable to us.
16 And that's the problem, a problem for
17 resolution not by changing the rules -- and, indeed, if
18 Your Honours remember the way I dealt with Mr. Sayers'
19 first objection on the hearsay point, my first hearing
20 before this Tribunal, I was probably less enthusiastic
21 for hearsay than others in the court and less
22 enthusiastic than I should have been. Those were my
23 instincts. I have no desire to change the rules, and I
24 have no desire to see convictions recorded other than
25 where the material is fully there to justify the
1 conclusion, but I am concerned that the particular
2 difficulties of this Tribunal must be reflected at all
4 There it is.
5 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we have listened.
6 MR. NICE: Thank you.
7 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure that we are much
8 further. You complain of our ruling. We have given
9 you the reasons for it. You say it will lead to
10 difficulties. We understand that. You now want us to
11 turn to the witness. What do you want us to do?
12 MR. NICE: First of all, I don't complain of
13 your ruling; I've dealt with it, but I certainly don't
14 complain of it. Second, what I would like you to do
15 with the witness, apart from to take initiatives in
16 relation to calling witnesses if you so judge that's
17 sensible, what I'd like you to do with the witness,
18 please, is to check that what you said about
19 unreliability is not taken as a reflection in any way
20 on what he has said, because as I understood your
21 ruling, that related to the material of which he was
22 speaking and its intrinsic unreliability at second
24 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Nice, why don't you --
25 you are examining the witness; why don't you deal with
1 the matter, rather than inviting the Court to deal with
3 MR. NICE: If I can, I will.
4 JUDGE MAY: You can explain that it was a
5 ruling of the Court and not a reflection upon him.
6 MR. NICE: Yes, I'll do just that. Thank you
7 very much.
8 (Trial Chamber confers)
9 JUDGE MAY: We'll have the witness.
10 MR. NICE: Thank you.
11 (The witness entered court)
12 WITNESS: MUHAMED MUJEZINOVIC (Resumed)
13 Examined by Mr. Nice:
14 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, before I return to the
15 limited number of questions I have to ask you this
16 morning, can I just explain something to you, with the
17 leave of the Chamber. Yesterday you had to sit through
18 a ruling, or some argument about evidence and a
19 ruling. In the course of that ruling there was some
20 reference to reliability or unreliability, and I'm in
21 the position to tell you that that word,
22 "unreliability," in no way reflected adversely on you
23 or what you had told the Chamber. Do you understand
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Two other questions about your exchange, I
2 think, and I may have asked this yesterday, but I think
3 not: Had you taken any initiative yourself to effect
4 your exchange in the way you described?
5 A. No, but I was surprised that Dr. Bruno Buzuk
6 offered --
7 Q. That's all I need; you had taken no
8 initiatives yourself. The exchange, I think, was
9 effected in ambulances; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was that in any way a standard way of
12 effecting exchanges, or not?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Again, whose idea was it that you should go
15 in an ambulance? Just the name of the person.
16 A. I have already said that an HVO soldier, a
17 military policeman, came to fetch me, and he took me to
18 the operations clinic, and he told me on the way that
19 he was sent by Darko Kraljevic, that Darko Kraljevic
20 had sent him.
21 Q. Do you know the name --
22 A. For me to work in the outpatient clinic.
23 Q. Do you know the name of the soldier? If you
24 don't, just say no.
25 A. His name was Dragan Calic.
1 Q. Thank you. Following your exchange, in what
2 town did you live?
3 A. I lived with relatives, or rather with my
4 sister, in Zenica, and I worked in the village of
5 Poculica and for a part in Zenica as well.
6 Q. One question on, really, topic 17: Were you
7 thereafter able to engage in any political activity,
8 and in a sentence, if so, what?
9 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Nice,
10 before coming to topic 17, I should like to have a
11 clarification from the witness on the circumstances of
12 that exchange, of his departure. I should like to know
13 if the witness himself expressed the desire to leave,
14 the will to leave, before the exchange took place. Did
15 he express to any authority the wish or the will to
17 MR. NICE:
18 Q. Could you answer the question, please,
19 Dr. Mujezinovic.
20 A. I already said yesterday that this HVO
21 soldier, Trpimir Vujica, informed me on a Friday, I
22 think it was the 16th of May, that they, the soldiers
23 who were providing security for the health clinic in
24 Vitez, had been given orders by Dario Kordic that the
25 next time I go --
1 MR. NICE:
2 Q. I'm sorry, don't worry about this,
3 Dr. Mujezinovic; that's something that we don't need to
4 have repeated. But within the overall evidence that
5 you could give, can you just deal with Judge Bennouna's
6 question: Namely, had you expressed to any authority
7 the wish or the will to leave? It may be it's a
8 question you can answer by yes or no; if the answer is
9 yes, you must say to which authority.
10 A. No. No.
11 MR. NICE: I hope that satisfies Your
12 Honour's concern.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) So the
14 witness never expressed the will to leave. Before the
15 16th of May, was there a threat to the witness?
16 MR. NICE: I'm afraid here, Your Honour, we
17 are bound by the Court's ruling, I suspect.
18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) No, before,
19 before the date.
20 MR. NICE: Sorry.
21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Before the
22 16th of May. I'm saying, before the 16th of May, was
23 he threatened? Did he receive any threats to his life,
24 or any other threat? It's important for us to know.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, specifically relating to the
2 period before the 16th of May, any threats to your
3 life? If so, summarise it or them.
4 A. On one occasion, there was just a verbal
5 threat by an HVO soldier whose name was Stipo Ramljak.
6 But neither I nor my family, throughout that period,
7 didn't have absolutely any problems while I was working
8 in Vitez. We really didn't have any problems or
10 Q. So following your exchange, while you were
11 with relations, were you able to engage in any, and if
12 so, what, political activity? Just in a sentence.
13 A. When I was exchanged, I had a telephone
14 contact with my wife, because after my departure my
15 family was mistreated. HVO soldiers would break into
16 the apartment during the night and threaten them. One
17 night they tried to rape my wife, and this was
18 prevented by the civilian HVO police who were called in
19 by Croat neighbours. I refused to engage in any
20 politics, because I was supposed to go again to
21 participate in negotiations organised by UNPROFOR which
22 was stationed in Nova Bila.
23 UNPROFOR soldiers went to fetch my family
24 twice to bring them out of Vitez. They did not
25 succeed. On one occasion, it was the International Red
1 Cross that made an attempt but failed, because my
2 family was prohibited from leaving.
3 My family was exchanged, and Edib Zlotrg, as
4 a liaison officer of the 3rd Corps, was in charge.
5 Through his mediation and mine, I called up some Croats
6 in Vitez and pleaded with them to help my family.
7 Q. Did your family get exchanged; "Yes" or "No"?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Were you or they ever able to take any
10 property out of your flat, your apartment?
11 A. No. I left Vitez with my doctor's bag, and
12 that's all.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. And --
15 Q. I am so sorry. After the exchange of your
16 family, were you able to engage in politics or not?
17 A. I continued to work as a doctor and as the
18 president of the war presidency.
19 Q. I'm not going to ask you questions about
20 that, but you are able to answer the Defence questions
21 about that, if they want to know.
22 Topic 16. The defendant Dario Kordic, you've
23 made one or two references to him. Over what period of
24 time did you see him in the flesh, I mean see him
1 A. I met Dario Kordic twice briefly, once as a
2 member of the crisis staff of the municipality and the
3 second time when Busovaca and Vitez were shelled, and a
4 third time in August, when an HVO brigade was lined up
5 at the football stadium in Vitez. I stayed there
6 briefly because I had to intervene. There was an HVO
7 soldier in the line.
8 I attended, twice, regional meetings in
9 Busovaca and Vitez, and I listened to what Dario Kordic
10 was saying. After that, I received information, as
11 president of the war presidency, and the speeches of
12 Mr. Kordic.
13 Q. I'm not going to trouble you with that. The
14 period of time in total then that you saw him, starting
15 the earliest time, roughly when?
16 A. I think it was in March, when I was assigned
17 the duty of forming a wartime medical service in
18 Vitez. My deputy was a Croat, Dr. Bruno Buzuk.
19 Q. When you saw the defendant, how was he
21 A. He was wearing a uniform, a military uniform.
22 Q. Was it always a military uniform or was he
23 ever in civilian clothes?
24 A. I never saw Dario Kordic in other clothes.
25 Q. Did the uniform bear any patch or other
1 indication of unit or organisation?
2 A. It bore the customary HVO insignia, and on
3 his cap, he also had the patch, the usual insignia. I
4 never saw him with any insignia of rank.
5 Q. Was he alone or was he accompanied when you
6 saw him?
7 A. The first time I met him at the Tisa Hotel,
8 as he was attending a meeting, and he went out for a
9 minute or two. Dr. Bruno Buzuk said why we had come
10 and introduced me. He heard us out, went back to the
11 office, wrote out a piece of paper, and said, "Go to
12 Grude --"
13 Q. I'm sorry to stop you again. Was Dario
14 Kordic accompanied when you saw him? Did he have other
15 people with him? If so, describe them.
16 A. When I saw him in Vitez after the shelling of
17 Busovaca, he came under military escort. The same
18 applies to Travnik. And another time at a larger
19 meeting in Busovaca, I came earlier, I don't know
20 whether he had an escort. He entered the hall where
21 the meeting was being held.
22 Q. How was he addressed by those with whom he
23 was associating or who were with him? What title or
24 term did they use when speaking to him?
25 A. I listened on the local media when Dario
1 Kordic was introduced as the first Croat of Central
2 Bosnia, as a colonel, as a deputy president of the
3 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
4 Q. And how did people, for example, the military
5 escort, if you ever heard them addressing him, how did
6 they address him?
7 A. I didn't pay any attention to that. I just
8 remember hearing it in the media.
9 Q. Thank you, that's all I want.
10 A. And these people in Vitez would say that he
11 was a colonel and deputy president of Herceg-Bosna.
12 That is how he was introduced.
13 Q. Thank you. I have three questions about
14 names, and that's all.
15 You may have trouble with this, but I haven't
16 checked on the transcript. Just tell us, the military
17 police who took you to the cinema on the 19th of April,
18 can you give us their name or names?
19 A. One name was Anto Kovac, known as Zabac, and
20 the other was Ratko Nuk. I didn't know Ratko Nuk as
21 well as I knew Anto Kovac.
22 Q. A second question about names. Did you, at
23 some stage in the course of events you've told us
24 about, examine a man called Senad Petak?
25 A. Yes, I examined him around the 21st of May.
1 Actually, I've testified about that. That is, that was
2 the first incident, a soldier arrested by the HVO
3 police, he and another man called Trako. This one,
4 Senad, was terribly beaten up.
5 Q. Thank you. And Faud Zeco?
6 A. Yes, yes.
7 Q. Did you examine that man?
8 A. I beg your pardon?
9 Q. Faud Zeco?
10 A. Faud Zeco?
11 Q. Yes, sorry.
12 A. He's a veterinary surgeon in Vitez.
13 Q. I think you spoke of him yesterday. Did you
14 examine him?
15 A. Yes. He had a nose injury. I think it was
16 towards the end of October when he called me and asked
17 me whether his nose had been broken. He said that he
18 was met by HVO soldiers in the village of Hranska and
19 that they beat him up.
20 MR. NICE: That's all I need. Thank you very
21 much. Will you wait, then, because you'll be asked
22 further questions.
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, are you going to
25 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Yes,
1 Mr. President, by your leave. We would start with the
2 Defence counsel of the second defendant first.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
4 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic, allow me to introduce
5 myself. My name is Bozidar Kovacic. I'm an attorney
6 from Rijeka and representing Mario Cerkez, together
7 with Colleague Mikulicic.
8 I shall try and be brief, and I appeal to you
9 for cooperation, and I hope we will understand one
10 another well.
11 Tell me, Mr. Mujezinovic, first, are you a
12 religious man? Do you practice your religion?
13 A. I am a believer, but I do not regularly go to
14 the mosque. I go twice a year for the Bajram
16 Q. Thank you. Before 1990, were you, to the
17 greater or lesser degree, a religious man? Has your
18 attitude towards religion changed?
19 A. No.
20 Q. So the changes that occurred in 1991 did not
21 change your habits regarding your faith?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Can that be said generally for a broader
24 circle of intellectuals or your friends that you
25 socialised with in Vitez?
1 A. I didn't understand what you mean.
2 Q. Let me try and rephrase the question. Could
3 you tell us whether, among your friends and
4 acquaintances within the circle you moved in, did their
5 attitude towards religion change when a change of
6 government occurred?
7 A. Among some, yes.
8 Q. Is it true if I were to say that people, as a
9 rule, demonstrated their religious feelings more
10 powerfully than before?
11 A. In my view, that was nothing more than an
12 abuse of religion.
13 Q. When you say "abuse of religion," do you mean
14 all religions that were practised in Vitez?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. So you believe that this abuse of religion
17 was present among Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims?
18 A. There were very few Orthodox Christians in
19 our surroundings, but among the Muslims and Croats,
21 Q. Thank you. Tell us, Dr. Mujezinovic, please,
22 in 1990, at the time of multi-party development, that
23 is, just before the collapse of Yugoslavia, whose
24 citizen were you?
25 A. I was a Muslim.
1 Q. That is, nationality.
2 A. I'm sorry. I was a citizen of the SFRY.
3 Q. Thank you. Do you know anything about the
4 actual legal status of citizenship? What did it mean
5 to be a citizen of the SFRY in those days?
6 A. It meant that I was a citizen of the
7 Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. That was its
9 Q. Do you know that according to the regulations
10 in force at the time, citizens in Yugoslavia first had
11 their Republican citizenship from which the citizenship
12 of the SFRY was derived?
13 A. No, I don't know that, because in my ID card,
14 I always wrote down that I was a citizen of the SFRY.
15 Then there was also the republic you belonged to, and
16 you would fill in that column, too, in official forms.
17 Q. Yes, very well. But, in any event, you were
18 a citizen of the SFRY, regardless of the fact or
19 whether you knew the legislation regarding republican
21 A. Yes. It would say, "Citizen of SFRY,
22 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Nationality, Muslim."
23 Q. Thank you. Allow me now to ask you a few
24 questions linked to the family and origins of
25 Mr. Cerkez, because somehow I got the feeling that you
1 are familiar with the family, or at least some of its
3 Specifically, did you know the father of the
4 accused Cerkez?
5 A. The family of Mr. Mario Cerkez in Vitez was a
6 decent family, a prominent family. I never heard
7 anything bad about them.
8 His father and mother worked in the post
9 office. They were respected as employees.
10 His wife worked with me in the same work
11 organisation; not with me in a team, but she was
12 working in the dental department. Occasionally, she
13 worked in the general practice surgery. She's a really
14 reliable person who worked well. There were never any
15 criticisms against her.
16 For a while, I was the director of the health
17 centres, and before these events and conflicts, I never
18 heard anything about Mario Cerkez or his wife or the
19 other members of his family.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 A. Everyone knew his father in Vitez, because he
22 worked on the maintenance of telephones and he would
23 always be very helpful in dealing with all citizens.
24 It was really a respectable family in Vitez, and people
25 respected them.
1 Q. Tell us, please, whether ever, prompted by
2 any kind of event, did you doubt or suspect that this
3 family, as a whole, or any member of that family might
4 have any kind of ethnic prejudices?
5 A. No.
6 Q. You said that Mario Cerkez's mother worked in
7 the post office?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Was she dealing with the general public at
10 the counter or in the offices?
11 A. His mother was Ivanka. She worked at the
12 counter with customers.
13 Q. We have to slow down because of the
14 interpretation. If I tell you that a witness claimed,
15 a couple of days ago, that Mrs. Ivanka worked as a
16 cashier in a shop, and you just said she worked at the
17 post office counter, --
18 A. There was an office the employees were
19 working behind, and I know that Ivanka worked at the
20 counter occasionally in this office.
21 On one occasion, she asked me -- she had some
22 medical problems, and she asked when she could come for
23 an examination. She's a very nice woman, and I never
24 heard that she had any -- that there was any
25 unpleasantness on her part.
1 Q. But you're sure she worked in the post
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you knew Mario Cerkez from the SDS,
5 didn't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Kovacic,
8 we're having the same problem, especially with
9 translation. Could you slow down a bit and wait
10 between question and answer? It's going to make life
11 easier for us.
12 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Yes, Your
13 Honour. Thank you.
14 Q. How close were you at work?
15 A. I was head of the medical service or the
16 occupational medicine department of chemical
17 organisations of UNIS. The colleagues working with
18 Mario Cerkez would often invite me for a cup of coffee,
19 and Mario Cerkez would be present.
20 Q. Would it be right to say that at work, you
21 knew him quite well?
22 A. Yes. Once a year, I had to make an inventory
23 of medical supplies, of which the gentleman was in
24 charge, and we knew each other well. There were no
25 problems between us.
1 Mario Cerkez was on good terms also with my
2 wife, who was a graduate economist employed in the SPS
3 factory as well.
4 Q. Precisely because of those encounters and
5 this good knowledge of Mr. Cerkez, you can say that he
6 had no negative ethnic views or bias before the war?
7 A. I think he did not.
8 Q. Thank you. Tell us, also linked to the
9 employment of Mr. Cerkez, he also had friendly
10 relations and relations at work with the mentioned
11 Sefkija Dzidic; is that correct?
12 A. I think Sefkija Dzidic was his superior from
13 time to time.
14 Q. In the SPS, you mean?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you know that they were on good terms?
17 A. I think they were on good terms, as far as I
18 know. As far as I know Mario Cerkez from before the
19 war, I am not aware of him being in conflict with
21 Q. Is it true that Cerkez socialised with
22 Mr. Djidic even outside work?
23 A. It's quite possible. I don't know about it.
24 Q. Tell me, what was precisely Mr. Cerkez's job
25 at SPS? What is it that he did, if you know?
1 A. Mr. Cerkez was in charge of equipment. He
2 was also in charge of a field vehicle, and he also
3 mentioned that -- there were medical supplies there,
4 and once I saw lots of sports equipment there, and as I
5 worked for the football club, Mario Cerkez asked me,
6 "Well, does your club need this," and gave me some 20
7 pairs of something for children who were being coached
8 at the football club. So that was his job.
9 Q. And those stocks that you spoke about, all
10 this equipment, all this stock, this was equipment and
11 perhaps all that would be needed by the plant in case
12 of war?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. How would you rank that particular job? Was
15 he a superior or was he a clerk? What would you say he
16 would be on the hierarchical ladder, what role he would
18 A. Well, I don't really know. He was a
19 responsible clerk for that particular kind of work, but
20 he was not a manager. I just don't know what one would
21 call that particular job.
22 Q. At any rate, he was not a manager?
23 A. I don't think so.
24 Q. Yesterday you mentioned that the SDA and the
25 HDZ were the parties which shared in the power, or
1 rather they divided various offices between themselves
2 after the elections of 1990. You mentioned, by way of
3 illustrating that particular point, that Mr. Santic was
4 the mayor of the municipality, that Mr. Fuad Kaknjo was
5 the president of the executive board of the
6 municipality. Is that true?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it true that these two offices -- that is,
9 these two posts -- are the two most important political
10 offices in the municipality?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. Also, on the basis of the agreement reached
13 by these two parties, were all the other officers of
14 relevance distributed in the municipality?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Do you then remember, perhaps, for instance,
17 head of the Territorial Defence?
18 A. Yes, it was a Muslim from Vitez who had lived
19 in Vitez for a long time, even though he was not born
20 in Vitez, and his name was Hakija Cengic. So he was
21 the head of the TO on the basis of the understanding
22 between the two parties. That was the commander of the
23 Territorial Defence; that was the title.
24 Q. Now, do you remember about the finance? Who
25 held the treasury?
1 A. The finances were the responsibility of the
2 executive board, so Fuad Kaknjo, the president of the
3 executive board, I believe; Dragan Rados, a lawyer, was
4 responsible for business; then an economist, and that
5 property was managed by Midhat Varupa, who was a
6 Muslim; and then Defence affairs were run by Stipo
7 Krizanac. I knew all those people very well, because
8 they all came from Vitez.
9 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic, on the basis of what you
10 have just said, could one say that the officers in the
11 municipal authority were evenly distributed, evenly
12 divided between Croats and Muslims, by ethnic
14 A. I did not take part in this, but yes, I do
15 think so.
16 Q. Was it -- of course, as far as you know --
17 was it at considerable variance with the situation
18 before the elections, that is, in the former
20 A. In the former Yugoslavia, people were brought
21 to take up some affairs at the recommendation of the
22 municipal committees, and this was one of the principal
23 conditions, that a person needed to have a
24 recommendation, a reference of the municipal committee,
25 at any rate, some high-ranking officers. In this
1 particular case there were democratic elections, and
2 those people were truly and generally elected to these
3 executive offices, but the municipal assembly needed to
4 confirm these appointments as proposed by the parties.
5 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic, we know what we are talking
6 about, but other people may not be conversant with all
7 this. So you said on the basis of the references of
8 the committee, so what committee? What are you talking
10 A. The League of Communists.
11 Q. Before the war, the committee played a
12 decisive role -- perhaps not only the decisive, but
13 played a very important role when it came to
14 appointments and elections of various officials in the
16 A. Not only their municipality; in business as
17 well. People needed -- how to put it -- a green light
18 of the municipal League of Communists committee. They
19 needed this reference before the Workers' Council would
20 confirm the appointment. Without it, nobody could be
21 appointed to any important office, be it in politics or
23 Q. Right. And after the war, you said this was
24 based on the agreement of parties, so in other words,
25 politics was involved still?
1 A. Absolutely.
2 Q. Yes, well, has anything of consequence --
3 has there been any change of consequence? Before,
4 there was a committee, and now it's an understanding
5 between parties, isn't it?
6 A. All offices were agreed by the parties.
7 Well, perhaps the manner in which people are appointed
8 has changed. In Vitez, for instance, we all cast our
9 ballots and voted for those people.
10 Q. Now, tell me -- I mean, this is politically
11 interesting, and a novel time, in political terms. Did
12 Mario Cerkez in any way, in any manner whatsoever,
13 participate in election campaigns, in the elections?
14 Was he elected to an office? Did he ever appear as a
15 person who would be politically active?
16 A. No, I don't know, since I did not appear -- I
17 was put on the list. I told them not to do it, but
18 they did put me on, I figured somewhere midway down the
19 list. I just said that I wasn't active in politics
20 ever, nor am I today, and I simply did not like it, so
21 I don't know about Mario Cerkez. In 1990, I did not
22 take part, so I really do not know what he was active
23 in at that time.
24 Q. But you figured on one of the lists, and
25 there were quite a number of them; you would have
1 noticed if Cerkez had been on one of those lists?
2 A. Quite frankly, at that time, I did not -- I
3 don't know. I really don't know.
4 Q. All right. All right. Could you tell us,
5 please, but very briefly, in two or three sentences,
6 what you thought about the SDA at that time; that is,
7 on the eve of the elections or at the time of the
8 elections. What I mean is the educational structure of
9 the SDA, so educational structure, please, will you
10 confine yourself to that particular aspect.
11 A. The SDA in Vitez included some intellectuals,
12 but there were many more Vitez intellectuals in parties
13 like SDP or the Reformist Party. Then the Democratic
14 Alliance of Socialist Youth also involved a number of
15 Muslim intellectuals. I should say that a majority of
16 Vitez intellectuals of Muslim origin adopted and joined
17 those parties.
18 Q. But could one say, even if speaking in very
19 rough terms, could one really say that the SDA was a
20 populist party?
21 A. I really could not say. All I can say is
22 that it was people from rural areas who voted for the
23 SDA in large numbers. Whether that would describe it
24 as "populist" --
25 Q. Right. So we can accept, and without fearing
1 any misunderstanding between us, that in terms of the
2 educational -- of the professional structure of the
3 membership, it was perhaps below the SDP and some other
4 parties that you mentioned?
5 I know it is very difficult to say. I'm
6 referring to the feeling.
7 A. Well, you know, we had some very prominent
8 Muslims in Vitez: Engineers, physicians, dentists, and
9 others, who were members of non-nationalistic parties.
10 In the executive board and in the city board, in the
11 town board, there were also some intellectuals from
12 Vitez, but the intellectual composition, I think it was
13 much -- it was stronger, and by far, in the Reformist
14 Party of Ante Markovic, or of the SDP. I think that
15 they had much more intellectual weight.
16 Q. Could you tell us something about the HDZ as
17 regards the educational structure? Could it be likened
18 to the one in the SDA, or --
19 A. As far as I know, in Vitez, about 60 per cent
20 of the Muslims -- I mean in the municipality -- voted
21 for the SDA. Also a very high percentage of Croats
22 voted for the HDZ, a very high percentage, very, very
23 high. I mean over 90 per cent.
24 Q. Am I correct in saying that the HDZ, then,
25 won an overwhelming majority of Croat votes in the
1 elections of 1990?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And is it true that the SDA did not win so
4 many votes, or rather that high percentage of votes, of
5 Bosniak Muslims?
6 A. From what I was told by those who were
7 running those affairs at the time, I know that around
8 60 per cent of Muslims voted for the SDA.
9 Q. In other words, does it mean that Bosniak
10 Muslims, as a constituency, as a body of voters, also
11 opted for other parties and not only for the SDA?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. Thank you. Could we now address
14 the crisis staff that you spoke about. You said that
15 as far as you could remember, the crisis staff began to
16 operate sometime in February and March 1992; is that
18 A. I believe so.
19 Q. You said, if I understood you properly, that
20 the crisis staff was set up at the proposal of the HDZ;
21 is that true?
22 A. Yes, at the executive board of the Vitez SDA,
23 professor Munib Kajmovic, president of the executive
24 board, and the president of the executive board of
25 Vitez, Fuad Kaknjo, said that HDZ representatives were
1 proposing to set up the crisis staff as a body which
2 would take over the mandate of the assembly, as there
3 were very many problems and they were in immediate
4 danger of war. So they explained that that body would
5 be more operative, more efficient, that it would be
6 less members, and --
7 Q. Right. Thank you. We don't need to go into
8 detail. Tell me, Doctor, this is the beginning, or,
9 say, the spring of 1992: What danger of war are we
10 talking about at that particular time?
11 A. In the territory, we had -- first of all in
12 Croatia, '91, the political situation was highly
13 precarious. In spring, that is, in the former half of
14 1992, we already had some incursions from Montenegro
15 and Serbia of the Territorial Defence. I can't
16 remember the date, but the villages of Ravno, then
17 Bijelina, then roadblocks in Knin Krajina.
18 Q. All right. Let's not go into all this
19 detail, and try to be more expedient. So is it correct
20 that at that time the JNA aggression supported by Serbs
21 -- that is local Serbs, in Bosna -- was quite evident,
22 was plainly evident?
23 A. Yes, it was expected in view of the way
24 things were developing, and the republican assemblies
25 could not agree with regard to the status of republics,
1 and ...
2 Q. So these two principal parties in Vitez now
3 suggested that rather than the municipal assembly,
4 which worked in peacetime, a crisis staff should be set
5 up as a tool, as -- don't interrupt me, please -- as an
6 instrument of government which would be suited to the
7 period of when war threatened?
8 A. Yes, a proposal of HDZ representatives, as
9 far as I can remember, at the executive board of the
10 SDA, Midhat Varupa, who was a member of the executive
11 board, said that it was not in conformity with the
12 constitution of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that we
13 should seek instructions from the top and that we
14 should perhaps set up a war presidency. But with good
15 relations in mind, we nevertheless voted for this HDZ
16 proposal, yet saying that it had to be verified by the
17 municipal assembly, confirmed there, because it was
18 taking over the jurisdiction of the municipal
19 assembly. It had to be approved by it.
20 Q. And so the crisis staff, as a matter of fact,
21 did take over the functions of the municipal assembly?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you remember at that time, or about that
24 time, there was the notorious incident -- and I believe
25 we all saw it on television -- when Alija Izetbegovic
1 was arrested at the Sarajevo airport after his return
2 from some negotiations abroad, and it was the JNA which
3 arrested him. Do you remember that?
4 A. Yes. Are we referring to that particular
5 time? Excuse me, is that that particular time that we
6 are talking about?
7 Q. I think we did it a little bit before that,
8 but to the best of my recollection, it was sometime
9 towards the end of March, or perhaps early April, I
10 mean, Alija Izetbegovic's arrest at the Sarajevo
11 airport in '92. We saw it on television. The Sarajevo
12 television transmitted those events.
13 A. Yes, I think -- I believe it was sometime in
14 April, yes.
15 Q. Tell me, as a citizen, as an educated
16 citizen, you were involved in politics; now, was there
17 any dilemma, was there any doubt who was the aggressor
18 and who was attacking Bosnia?
19 A. No, in Vitez, we thought above all that -- I
20 should say an overwhelming majority of the
21 population -- that there was an aggression against
22 Croatia, and it was anticipating the aggression against
23 Bosnia, and it was the JNA, or rather the -- and an
24 overwhelming majority of the population thought so,
25 since there were very few Serbs in our case, only about
1 four or five per cent, I think, and they also thought
3 Q. When was it the first time that in the
4 municipality of Vitez you felt, you sensed that this
5 JNA aggression and the local Serb aggression, rather
6 Bosnian Serb aggression, had reached your threshold,
7 that it was no longer something abstract?
8 A. Well, I mentioned those events in
9 Herzegovina, the television broadcast, then the events
10 in Bijelina, and it all pointed at this, that situation
11 in the Bosnian Krajina and in West Bosnia. It was
12 precisely because of that that we agreed and decided to
13 do all within our power to forestall a conflict in
14 Vitez and to try to raise the combat preparedness of
15 people, of militarily-aged men, to be organised and to
16 take part in the defence of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
17 Q. I'm not quite sure I understood you. "To
18 forestall the conflict in Vitez": What conflict are we
19 referring to at that time? This is the former half of
21 A. In Vitez, I said that there were very few
22 Serbs, there was a village called Tolovici not far from
23 Vitez, and that was where first incidents started, or
24 at least that was how it was represented to us. The
25 village Preocica, which was a Muslim village, and the
1 village of Tolovici, which was a mixed village,
2 two-thirds Serb and one-third Muslim. The former army
3 left very many weapons with the Serb residents of that
4 village. And in Vitez, from the police -- later on the
5 reserve police also received weapons and in the SPS
6 security, SPS factory, security in Vitez, we did not
7 have any weapons. So this gave rise to a major concern
8 amongst us.
9 Q. Was it why from Preocica pressure was brought
10 to bare on Tolovici and the Serbs practically left the
12 A. No, I don't know what it is about. That was
13 presented as a problem in Vitez. The vice-president of
14 the municipality was a Serb, Mijatovic, and, Slobodan,
15 his deputy and a lawyer, were invited to the crisis
16 staff and the crisis staff concluded -- we concluded at
17 the crisis staff that Serbs in Vitez needed
18 protection. The chief of the police in Vitez, Pero
19 Skopljak, was made responsible for that and the police
20 commander Mahmud Sabanvic was also made responsible for
21 this and Tomo Hrustanovic, as the president of the
22 neighbourhood community, he was a civilian policeman in
23 Vitez, and Munib Kajmovic, president of the SDA party
24 in Vitez, were asked to go to that village, talk to
25 people there, and to conduct an investigation as to who
1 was causing trouble, who was starting trouble there,
2 because meanwhile a Serb had been killed.
3 Q. You already mentioned it.
4 A. His name was Cvijan Mijatovic. He was my
5 schoolfellow in the elementary school. We asked that
6 the investigation be conducted into that case to see
7 who had done that.
8 Q. Has ever the answer been provided by
9 investigation? Has investigation reached a conclusion?
10 A. I do not remember.
11 Q. Is it true that the Serbs left the area?
12 Regardless of the reasons.
13 A. On one occasion, Pero Skopljak, the chief of
14 the police, came to the meeting of the crisis staff,
15 came with a list there. I think it was June. I don't
16 know, I can't -- and said at the crisis staff meeting
17 that the Serb residents of the village of Tolovici were
18 placing themselves under the HVO protection, and he
19 brought a list, since they had turned over their
20 weapons. If I remember properly it was matter of 120
21 rifles. There were also two recoilless guns on that
22 list, if I remember well. He showed us that particular
23 list, and he said there would be no more problems and
24 that they were now placed under the protection of the
1 Q. And otherwise the village of Tolovici, as you
2 said, had a Serb majority population, and the rest were
4 A. I believe that two-thirds of the population
5 were Serbs and one-third were Muslims. As a physician
6 I often went to the village.
7 Q. And there were no Croats in that village?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did similar things happen in the village of
10 Trnopolje, in the village of Trnopolje?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. These are villages in a row; it is a cluster
13 of villages. Is that so?
14 A. Well, yes. They are hamlets, actually.
15 Q. But we are referring to one and the same
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So it was the same situation?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Grabak, Hrasnice, Crnovlje, a bit higher up?
21 A. Yes, yes, those -- there were Serbs, too.
22 Less of them.
23 Q. So it was the only part of the municipality
24 with where you could find a larger concentration of the
25 Serb population; is that so?
1 A. Yes, and in the urban part of Vitez, but
2 those were mostly Serb intellectuals.
3 Q. But when we're talking about villages, this
4 was the only concentration?
5 A. There was yet another small village where
6 Serbs and Croats lived. I think its name was Zaselje,
7 I believe so, yes, the village of Zaselje, where Serbs
8 and Croats lived, mixed.
9 JUDGE MAY: Before you go on, Mr. Kovacic,
10 it's now time for the break.
11 MR. KOVACIC: It is perfectly okay with me,
12 Your Honour.
13 JUDGE MAY: You will keep an eye on the
14 clock, won't you, during this cross-examination?
15 MR. KOVACIC: I'll try.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, please.
17 Before we adjourn, there is a question I want
18 to ask of the witness, please: Dr. Mujezinovic, you
19 were giving evidence yesterday about the refugees who
20 came into the municipality, and you said that in 1991,
21 refugees started to arrive from Croatia. You then said
22 that in September and October, Muslim refugees arrived,
23 and you remember you said they stayed with relatives or
24 went to summer cottages, and you said there were about
25 4.000. What I wanted to know, and while it's in my
1 mind, I'd be grateful if you'd deal with it, is this:
2 Which year did the Muslim refugees start arriving in
3 September and October? Was it 1991, or was it another
5 A. 1992, the latter half of 1992 is when they
6 began to arrive, first from East Bosnia and then from
7 West Bosnia. Muslims, and a large wave of Croat
8 refugees and Muslim refugees from Jajce, arrived in
9 November. I don't know how many were they, but what I
10 heard was that Croat refugees alone were some thousand
11 strong. But after that, quite a number of them left
12 Vitez. Some of them stayed for a while. Some came for
13 check-ups to me, and they wanted to go to Croatia, they
14 wanted to go to Tomislavgrad, and I think that very few
15 stayed back.
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. We'll adjourn now for
17 20 minutes.
18 --- Recess taken at 11.15 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
21 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
22 Q. Let us round off this part about the Serbs in
23 the villages we've mentioned. Two minor details.
24 There was a group of Serbs in the hamlet near
25 Kruscica, wasn't there?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Is it true that they did not leave, they were
3 not exiled, they stayed on?
4 A. As far as I know, a part of them left and a
5 part of them stayed behind. I don't know how many
6 stayed behind.
7 Q. Did you ever hear anything to the effect that
8 these inhabitants of Tolovici, the Serbs of Tolovici,
9 having formed something called the SVO?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Very well. Thank you.
12 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I should like
13 to tender a few documents containing conclusions of
14 meetings of the crisis staff. If I may, I would
15 suggest that we admit them into evidence as a single
16 document, though there are five or six of them. Then
17 we could number them A, B, C, D, because this would
18 speed up the proceedings.
19 I have only a few questions related to these
20 documents. They have all been translated, and I'm glad
21 to be able to inform Judge Bennouna that we even have a
22 French translation, thanks to the Registry.
23 Could I ask the usher for his assistance,
25 The documents are in order. First comes the
1 document in the B/S/C language, and then the English
2 and Croatian translations have been attached. No, I
3 beg your pardon, English and French translations. Each
4 of these Croatian documents is marked by hand with a
5 number in the right-hand corner, starting with "678",
6 so as to speed up and facilitate communication.
7 JUDGE MAY: I'll ask the Registry for a
8 number, please.
9 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
11 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I would ask you
12 to separate the documents. (In English) Separate the
13 translations. Could you please put all the B/S/C
14 languages in a row as a bundle? You may just take out
15 the translations. Yes, okay. That's it.
16 THE INTERPRETER: The English version on the
17 ELMO, please.
18 MR. KOVACIC: Put the English version on the
19 ELMO. Okay. (Interpretation)
20 Q. Doctor, have you managed to look through the
21 first document marked with the number "6"?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So these are conclusions from a meeting of
24 the crisis staff, held on the 24th of April, 1992. I
25 should like to draw your attention to point 5. It
1 emanates from this point that you and your colleague,
2 Dr. Zvonko Kajic, were authorised by the crisis staff
3 to exempt, fully or partially, from military
4 obligations all sick citizens of the municipality?
5 A. I already stated that earlier, that I was in
6 charge of this. Dr. Kajic is a Croat from Vitez who
7 had only just come to Vitez. He was a military doctor
8 in the former JNA. I think that he had just reported
9 to us, telling us that he had abandoned the former JNA,
10 and he came to work in our medical centre. As he had
11 this military experience, I was advised to cooperate
12 with him.
13 JUDGE MAY: Can we move on, please?
14 MR. KOVACIC: Yes.
15 JUDGE MAY: Unless you want to know about
16 Dr. Kajic.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Just a simple question.
19 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic, without further elaboration,
20 will you answer the following question for me? Was
21 this an important authorisation that you had?
22 A. I think it was a very important one,
23 especially in times of war, of course. On the 24th of
24 April, 1992, there was no war.
25 Q. You mean no threat of war?
1 A. There was a threat of war, but there was no
3 Q. Very well. Thank you.
4 The next document, marked with the number "7"
5 in the right-hand corner, a meeting of the crisis
6 committee held on the 4th of May, 1992. Let me draw
7 your attention to point 1.
8 Here you have been asked, together with
9 Dr. Tibold, to analyse the widespread disease among
10 children in Vitez. Did you work on that?
11 A. Dr. Franjo Tibold is an epidemiologist, and
12 in view of the fact that I was in charge of these
13 things, as necessary I would engage other doctors, in
14 this case an epidemiologist, so that we should study
15 the causes of the emergence of this disease.
16 Q. Did you work on that?
17 A. Yes, yes. But afterall, that was seven years
19 Q. Under point 7, mention is made here, "On
20 report of fulfilment of work obligations." What is
21 that, a work obligation? Could you explain that to the
22 Court, but as briefly as possible?
23 A. In those days in Vitez, work organisations
24 were requested to lend their workers to the HVO and the
25 Territorial Defence. That was requested of them, and
1 work organisations submitted lists of workers,
2 especially from the military industry, that they
3 couldn't do without. Then we would call up the
4 managers of those enterprises, of those companies, to
5 see who was essential among those workers for the
6 process of production.
7 Q. Would it be correct to say, and please
8 correct me if I'm wrong, that each citizen, in
9 accordance with the regulations in force at the time,
10 was given certain assignments either in the military,
11 as a soldier, or at his place of work in those
12 enterprises which were of vital importance for the
13 population and the military?
14 A. Yes. In those days, every able-bodied
15 citizen of Vitez who was a military conscript had to be
16 assigned somewhere. Either he had a work obligation or
17 he was a member of one of the military units in Vitez.
18 But those military units had to give lists of names of
19 people in their units to the work organisations in
20 which they were employed so they knew where they were.
21 Q. Regarding this assignment of people to work
22 obligations and to the military, was there any body in
23 charge of this within the civilian authorities in the
25 A. I have already said that the highest-level
1 body in the municipality was the crisis staff, so it
2 was the crisis staff that was responsible for this.
3 Q. Could a unit, a military unit itself, recruit
4 a person, as that unit doesn't know whether that person
5 had a work obligation or not?
6 A. In those days, we had a Secretariat of
7 Defence, and all these needs were met through the
8 municipal Secretariat for Defence.
9 Q. Were these activities carried on later by the
10 Defence Department when the HVO government was
12 A. Probably, yes. I don't know.
13 Q. Were you ever assigned to a work obligation
14 as a doctor?
15 A. I have already said several times that my
16 work obligation was to work in the crisis staff and to
17 form the medical service under extraordinary
18 conditions. But I also worked in the medical centre as
19 a practising physician, and I also went to Travnik on
21 Q. So you could not be called up by the military
22 as a soldier, because your work obligation was to work
23 as a doctor?
24 A. But it was my obligation to treat all
25 citizens, including the military.
1 Q. Can we go on, then?
2 The document marked with the number "8" has
3 to do with the 12th of May, 1992. This was tendered
4 into evidence by the Prosecutor yesterday. Let me just
5 note that as you said yesterday, you were asked to give
6 a certain quantity of antibiotics to the Vitez Health
8 Let's go on to the next document, number 9,
9 adopted a couple of days later on the 15th of May.
10 Under point 2, we see more or less the same conclusion,
11 noting that this continues to be your assignment. Does
12 that mean that it wasn't carried out and it was
13 urgent? Of course, if you can still remember.
14 A. In work organisations, the SPS and Vitezit,
15 we had quite a good medical infirmary, and these
16 supplies were taken from those dispensaries. A part
17 was given to the health centre in the town itself and
18 another part to the Ribnjak Motel in Kruscica. Acting
19 pursuant to these conclusions, this is what I did,
20 because this was agreed by Dr. Bruno Buzuk as well
21 because there was quite a lot of medical supplies
22 available at the time.
23 Q. But tell us, Doctor, were they only
24 antibiotics or were other supplies involved?
25 A. No. Because this was a specific factory
1 producing gunpowder, there were frequent incidents,
2 there were explosions, and the workers would have very
3 large burns. There were special sheets and bandages to
4 bandage bodies. And I think this is an error, because
5 what should have been said was military medical
6 supplies that we had in the factories available in the
7 case of such major injuries when there were explosions
8 in the factory plants, by accident.
9 Q. In other words, do I understand you
10 correctly, these were supplies necessary for the
11 protection of civilians in the case of war?
12 A. This was military medical supplies, mostly.
13 Supplies that were mostly used by the former JNA.
14 Q. Let's go on to the next document, marked with
15 a number "10" in the right-hand corner. These are
16 conclusions of an extraordinary session of the crisis
17 staff held on the 22nd of May which you mentioned
18 yesterday. You told us about that session, that it was
19 convened in the middle of the night and so on. You
20 told us what your role was. Could you please look
21 through the document very briefly and tell us, does it
22 relate to the event that you described yesterday?
23 Doctor, is this the meeting that you spoke
24 about yesterday?
25 A. Yes, I got as far as Point 2. Sefkjia Dzidic
1 is a mistake. It was Kaknjo Fuad.
2 Q. So this is an error naming Sefkija Dzidic, in
3 your opinion. But on the whole, does this document
4 correspond to the meeting you mentioned?
5 A. Yes, roughly. But this was written on the
6 22nd of May, and I said that this occurred in the night
7 between the 20th and the 21st, and we were called to
8 attend the meeting of the crisis staff. So allow me to
9 read it through.
10 Yes, that is that document, and the document
11 doesn't mention who was present. I was saying
12 yesterday that it wasn't Sefkjia who attended the
13 meeting but Hakija Cengic. I don't remember that
14 Sefkjia was there.
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let me now ask you,
16 having mentioned this event which prompted the meeting,
17 in the examination-in-chief yesterday, you said that
18 Cerkez appeared to you to be drunk, under the influence
19 of alcohol.
20 A. I said that he seemed to be under the
21 influence of alcohol.
22 Q. Very well. How were you sitting in relation
23 to Cerkez? How far were you from Cerkez? Were you
24 sitting round a big table? Of course, as far as you
25 can remember, because this was a long time ago. Just
1 tell us what you remember about this event.
2 A. In the office of the president of the
3 municipal assembly there was a long desk, there was one
4 for the chair, and as far as I can remember, I think I
5 sat across him at the desk, across the desk.
6 Q. And it's not a big room, after all, so it was
7 only the breadth of the table which separated you from
9 A. Well, I don't really know whether he was
10 sitting at that round table. I mean, there was one
11 oblong table and one round desk, one round table, if I
12 can remember, really, what his office looked like.
13 Q. Yes, of course, I understand it's very
14 difficult to be accurate, but how far were you from
16 A. Well, we were together at the meeting.
17 Q. No, I'm asking you how far away were you from
19 A. Well, I was far enough or close enough to
20 hear what he was saying.
21 Q. So you had an opportunity of seeing him well?
22 A. Yes, and I listened to what he was saying.
23 Q. Right. Please, as a physician, could you
24 tell me, what are the symptoms, generally recognised
25 symptoms, of drunkenness?
1 A. As a physician, a man who has taken in a
2 largish quantity of alcohol is usually red in the face,
3 very relaxed, speaks in a loud voice. Some people are
4 aggressive, some are not. These would be some general
5 signs. Some tend to sing.
6 To put it simply, small doses of alcohol will
7 help one to relax, and larger quantities have the
8 opposite effect. What I mean is a small dose of
9 alcohol can be a stimulant, and larger doses have the
10 contrary effect; that is, larger doses will lead to
11 depression or restiveness in people.
12 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic, will you please tell me if
13 you've ever before had the opportunity of seeing Cerkez
15 A. No.
16 Q. So you never saw him under the influence of
18 A. No. Well, we did not socialise, except in
19 the factory, you know.
20 Q. Yes, but tell me, of all those signs that you
21 mentioned, was he aggressive?
22 A. Yes, he was -- he spoke rather fast, more
23 loudly, his face was flushed. People say he talked
25 Q. Was he aggressive towards other people, apart
1 from the manner of talk?
2 A. No, I mean, he told us -- he spoke faster, he
3 spoke louder, perhaps slightly angrily, how it all
5 Q. Would it be normal for a person to be at the
6 scene of crime, and to see the victim and all the
7 commotion, all the confusion that happens, and thus to
8 be somewhat excited? I'm speaking about general
10 A. Yes, it is natural for one to be excited
11 about that.
12 Q. But was he singing?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Sometime yesterday, in the, I think, early
15 part of your testimony, you said that it was as of 1979
16 that you cooperated with the police and judges as a
17 forensic expert when such need arose. Did I understand
18 properly what you said yesterday?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Does that mean that you have some experience,
21 some forensic experience, including an appraisal of a
22 possible degree of intoxication of an individual?
23 A. Well, my duty, or rather, I was called up
24 usually in case of death, to simply note that the death
25 had occurred. It was then the common procedure for the
1 investigating judge to ask for a physician and to make
2 an assumption as to the cause of death. If he could
3 not be sure, then he would request that an autopsy be
4 carried out.
5 Q. Thank you. Referring to that event, you said
6 that you talked to Budimir, and that he told you that
7 Cerkez was under the influence of alcohol and said
8 something to the effect of, "Well, you can see for
9 yourself what state he's in." Was anybody else present
10 during that conversation between you and Budimir?
11 A. I mentioned that Mario Cerkez called by
12 telephone from the office and ordered for the detainees
13 to be released -- rather, not to be released, but to be
14 given over to the TO police. Since Fuad Kaknjo and
15 Saban Mahmutovic and I had been made responsible, had
16 been asked to go to his next of kin and tell them of
17 his death, we spent a whole hour in front of the hotel,
18 waiting. Then I saw Budimir there and asked him, why
19 wasn't the HVO police bringing those captured TO
20 soldiers? He told me that there was a hitch somewhere,
21 that it stopped, and that in Kruscica -- he did not
22 tell me where.
23 So I asked Ivan, "Ivan, what has happened?"
24 We hadn't had such incidents; it was the first incident
25 of this kind in Vitez. Budimir told me, "Well, don't
1 you see, Doctor, that Mario is drunk? And he came
2 after those young men and he fired at them."
3 We were talking, and I was really taken by
4 surprise when he told me that. I went back and told
5 those two about that, and then we left there and we
6 went to his family to let them know. We concluded at
7 the meeting to try to bring the tension down and to
8 conduct an investigation and investigate under what
9 circumstances was that man killed.
10 Q. Right. Thank you for all this explanation.
11 You told us all that yesterday. But what transpires
12 from your answer, will you please answer yes or no:
13 Was anybody present during that conversation between
14 you and Budimir?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Thank you. You also mentioned today -- and
17 yesterday, too -- do you know if an investigating judge
18 did conduct an investigation in view of those measures
19 that you discussed at the session?
20 A. Yes, the investigating judge, and it was said
21 because we had often meetings of the crisis staff, the
22 investigating judge from Travnik, Vlado Miskovic, was
23 put in charge of this. He is a Croat from Vitez. And
24 it was said -- well now I see -- I thought his name was
25 Miro Vukadinovic, but I see here that it says Nikica
1 Vukadinovic -- that this HVO soldier simply disappeared
2 from Vitez, that he was gone, and we never received any
3 report about the completion of the investigation.
4 Q. Doctor, the name you mentioned, Miskovic, are
5 you sure that was the investigating judge?
6 A. He was the Prosecutor, the district court in
8 Q. And you are not familiar with the procedure,
9 you do not know who is in charge of the on-site
10 investigation? Do you know if an investigating judge
11 went out?
12 A. No, we were told that Vlado Miskovic was in
13 charge of the procedure, and I knew Vlado well, and I
14 know that he worked as a Prosecutor at the district
15 court in Travnik.
16 Q. But at any rate, you are heard that a formal
17 procedure had been launched?
18 A. Not formal, I mean, the proper procedure. It
19 was a lawful procedure.
20 Q. But you said that he was the Prosecutor?
21 A. No. I know that Vlado worked as a Prosecutor
22 because he was with me on the management of the
23 football club there, so we knew each other.
24 Q. All right. I think we understand one
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we've heard the
2 evidence about this investigation. I don't think we
3 need to go over it all again. But there is one issue
4 you could deal with: Is it challenged, is it disputed,
5 that Mr. Cerkez was drunk? Is that in dispute, or
7 MR. KOVACIC: Well, Your Honour, there are
8 two issues. First, Cerkez is not alcoholic,
9 definitely. Not as a person, not as a habit. And we
10 claim that he was not under the influence of alcohol,
11 rather that he was -- that is our case, that he was
12 upset by the incident.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, I thought that that was your
14 case. So that we can understand.
15 MR. KOVACIC: Since you opened that issue,
16 Cerkez was and that is also, how should I say --
17 related to what an earlier witness said, he was
18 practically there, first one on the site, with some
19 other people. So my case is that he was obviously in a
20 kind of stress that he might also appear to the third
21 person as being under the influence of alcohol.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Could we move forward
24 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, we are moving forward. I
25 am just finishing.
1 Q. Doctor, would you be so kind, please, as to
2 tell us, what does the word "Merhamet" mean, that
3 organisation? What does the word "Merhamet" mean?
4 A. " Merhamet" was the name we gave it. It is --
5 in Croat, it means "tutorship." It means to help
6 helpless, poor, impotent.
7 Q. Thank you. We said yesterday that we did not
8 know that, but that word is of Turkish origin, is it?
9 A. It is a common word among the Muslims in
10 Bosna. A Merhametly man is a good man, always ready to
11 help others.
12 Q. And it is used in the vernacular?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, at some point, you
15 said something like -- that the information that Croats
16 were arming themselves hastily, and Pero Skopljak
17 denied that?
18 A. I heard that from members of the assembly.
19 Q. My question, the question I wish to put to
20 you in this regard is first, first will you please tell
21 us, but very briefly, who told you that?
22 A. Well, you see, every assembly meeting had its
23 agenda, at the meeting of the executive board of the
25 Q. For all questions, Mr. Mujezinovic --
1 A. It was agreed at every meeting what the
2 representatives would be speaking at the assembly and I
3 heard it from councilmen, from representatives at the
4 municipality of Vitez.
5 Q. Yes, thank you very much, we understood that
6 yesterday. But could you please tell me, give me one
7 or two names from whom you heard that, and their
9 A. Please, I am saying the president of the SDA
10 councilman club was Suad Salkic. I can't remember who
11 were other councilmen, Mesud Burak, Fuad Kaknjo. There
12 were 16 of them.
13 Q. Right. So from several of them you heard it?
14 A. Well, this was officially said at the
16 Q. So the talk was about armament. Tell me, is
17 it true that at that time, Croats perhaps felt the
18 danger stronger rather than were more committed, more
19 active, in organising the Defence against possible
20 attack of JNA supported by Serbs against your
21 municipality or nearby areas? Is that true?
22 A. Since there was a war going on in Croatia,
23 from what I remember there were three volunteers who
24 went to Croatia to fight, two Croats and one Muslim,
25 what you are saying I don't think is true. I mean, we
1 lived in that place and we wanted to do it all
2 together. I mean, possibly they felt it more closer at
3 home because of the war in Croatia.
4 Q. Doctor, tell us, have you ever heard of the
5 notorious statement, public statement of Mr. Alija
6 Izetbegovic, "This is not our war"? It was widely
7 publicised, and he was speaking of the president of the
8 presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
9 A. Yes, I heard about that statement. But at
10 issue was, as far as I could understand, that the
11 presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina had
12 taken a decision at the recommendation of
13 Mr. Izetbegovic that recruits from Bosnia-Herzegovina
14 should not join the JNA, should not serve with the JNA,
15 and this was transmitted. I did not hear it directly,
16 but it was carried by all public media, that President
17 Izetbegovic had said that, and it was in that sense
18 that he was saying that "That war is not our war."
19 Q. But apart from that, do you have any direct
20 knowledge about that situation, about the armament,
21 that you heard, that the Croats were arming themselves
22 hastily, apart from that information that you received
23 from fellow councilmen?
24 A. No, at the assembly session we were told that
25 Krizanovic, member of SDP, and Nevenka Rajic, from
1 Vitez, asked directly of Ivan Santic, the chairman, is
2 it true that weapons were arriving?
3 Q. Right. So this is one source, but what I'm
4 asking is, apart from that, did you receive such
5 information from some other source or your direct
7 A. No, I did not see that or --
8 Q. Thank you. You told us that at the time when
9 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was established,
10 at about that time, problems began to arise in the
11 municipality, that incidents began to take place, and
12 you also referred to that in your testimony in the
13 Blaskic case, that these incidents were, by and large,
14 quid pro quo matters.
15 A. I don't understand.
16 Q. There was a causal relationship between those
17 incidents? In other words, if a Croat did something to
18 a Muslim the next day, he would get tit-for-tat, and
19 then it went on and on?
20 A. As far as I know, yes, there were such
22 Q. Doctor, could it be said that those incidents
23 were planned by any side or were they more the result
24 of the general climate?
25 A. As far as I know, on our part where I was
1 present, we, in fact, had direct instructions conveyed
2 to us by Faud Kaknjo that no provocation of Croats
3 should be allowed, that a conflict should not be
4 allowed to break out, and that at the executive board
5 meeting of the SDA, Fuad Kaknjo said this, in the sense
6 of an order, said we should do everything we could to
7 maintain a good relationship with the Croats.
8 Q. So the party, through its members, tried to
9 have a conciliatory effect?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you hear that the HDZ, as a party, did
13 A. At joint meetings, we adopted conclusions
14 that we must all work to that end.
15 Q. Thank you. Yesterday, in answer to a
16 question from my learned friend, you described the
17 institution of crisis staff or crisis staffs, really,
18 and you told us that there were two staffs. One was in
19 the SPS facility, and the other was the municipal
20 crisis staff?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Could you tell us something more about the
23 composition of the municipal staff or, rather, what the
24 functions were represented and if you know the names as
1 A. I said yesterday that the crisis staff took
2 over the competencies of the municipal assembly, which
3 was the highest-level body in the municipality. The
4 composition was shared equally between Croats and
5 Bosniaks; five, five.
6 Q. What about the positions?
7 A. The president of the crisis staff was
8 Mr. Ivan Santic. His deputy was Faud Kaknjo, as the
9 president of the executive council. Then a member was
10 the president of the HDZ, in those days Anto Valenta,
11 and Munib Kajmovic, the commander of the TO, Hakija
12 Cengic, and chief of police, Pero Skopljak, a Croat. I
13 think Vlado Santic was in charge of security.
14 I said yesterday that my duty in the crisis
15 staff was to organise the medical service under wartime
17 Q. Did anyone represent the Defence Department
18 in the crisis staff?
19 A. In the Vitez government, there was Stipo
20 Krizanac. I do not remember whether he was officially
21 a member of the crisis staff, but I do remember that
22 the president and vice-president would invite, to
23 crisis staff meetings, all people who could be helpful,
24 such as managers of enterprises, commanders of military
25 units, certain police officers and police chiefs.
1 Q. Tell us, please, did Mr. Marijan Skopljak
2 come to the crisis staff meetings?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did he come in his capacity of head of the
5 municipal staff of the HVO?
6 A. I really don't know what his exact position
7 was. But it is true that he was the opposite side of
8 Hakija Cengic, and all the authority that Hakija Cengic
9 had in relation to the TO, Skopljak had for the HVO.
10 Q. So Hakija Cengic and Pero -- no, Marijan
11 Skopljak, I'm sorry, that they were, in fact, members
12 of the military structures?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that Cerkez would
15 come to those meetings as well?
16 A. Yes, when necessary.
17 Q. Could you give us an estimate, how often?
18 Was it frequently, rarely, or as a rule? Could you
19 give us a rough answer? What would be the closest
21 A. I said that people were invited when
22 necessary. To tell you the honest truth, I didn't
23 attend all the meetings of the crisis staff myself.
24 But when necessary, he was invited. I don't know how
25 often. I really don't know.
1 Q. Not even roughly; frequently or rarely?
2 A. Let me say occasionally.
3 Q. Do you know in what capacity he was invited
4 to come? You can say you don't know, please.
5 A. Let me say that as far as I can remember,
6 Mario Cerkez, I don't know exactly when, but he was
7 introduced as the commander of the HVO staff in Vitez.
8 I don't know exactly the time frame.
9 Q. Was this perhaps at the very end of '92?
10 A. I think it was not. I think it was earlier
12 Q. Do you perhaps know that during much of '92,
13 especially the second half, Marijan Skopljak was a
14 superior to Mario Cerkez?
15 A. Yes. As far as I can recall in the
16 government of Vitez, Stipo Krizanac was in charge of
17 defence, and later on Stipo Krizanac became the
18 president of the Red Cross of the Croatian Community of
19 Herceg-Bosna and Marijan Skopljak took over his
21 Q. Do you know the relationship between Skopljak
22 and Cerkez?
23 A. I really don't know. I don't know how the
24 command and control was organised in the HVO, who was
25 superior to whom. I really don't know those things.
1 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) May I ask the
2 usher to take out Z246.1, the B/C/S version, so that it
3 could be shown to the witness, please?
4 Q. Doctor, you saw this document yesterday,
5 didn't you?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I should like to draw your attention to the
8 names of those present. Is that correct? "Yes" or
9 "No", please.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. In the case of most, some position is
12 indicated; isn't that so?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. What does it mean when Djidic -- for Dzidic,
15 it says, "Armed forces of Vitez," and Sulejman Kalco,
16 "Armed forces in Vitez". Do they belong to the same
17 armed forces or different ones?
18 A. Yes, they belong to the same forces and the
19 same units, most of them. Sefkija Djidic was the
20 commander of the armed forces of the Territorial
21 Defence of Vitez, and Sulejman Kalco was the chief of
23 Q. On the 22nd of October 1992, that is, the
24 date of this document, October '92, you use the term
25 "Territorial Defence". Was that term still
1 appropriate in those days for the armed forces that
2 we're talking about?
3 A. I know that there was a reorganisation of the
4 Territorial Defence sometime in April 1992. As far as
5 I can recall, in those days the minister was a Croat in
6 the Republican government, and the proposal was that
7 the armed forces be reorganised to form unified armed
8 forces, the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which
9 should include the HVO, the HOS, the Territorial
10 Defence, because that was the name of the armed forces
11 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I was not familiar with the
12 course of the reorganisation and the names used, the
13 exact names used.
14 In the executive board of the SDA, we just
15 made a nomination for the position of commander, and
16 that commander, in the Territorial Defence
17 headquarters, would appoint his own members of the
18 command at will.
19 Q. You just mentioned, Doctor, that at the level
20 of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the armed forces
21 of Bosnia-Herzegovina had two components?
22 A. In 1992, if I remember well, three
24 Q. You're implying the police?
25 A. No. As far as I can remember those reports,
1 mention was made of the TO, the HVO and the HOS, in
2 April 1992.
3 Q. From that time on, was the term "TO" changed
4 to the term "army", the BH army?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But colloquially people still used, "The TO"?
7 A. I was for many years the head of the medical
8 section of the TO in peacetime, so probably that is why
9 I use that term. But, in fact, the TO was a component
10 of the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina or, rather,
11 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 Q. Very well. Let's go back to this document.
13 Then we see added by hand, as the last participant,
14 "Mario Cerkez, HVO headquarters". Am I reading it
15 correctly if I say that he was obviously here on behalf
16 of the HVO staff, which is a body?
17 A. In my opinion, yes.
18 Q. So the HVO staff headquarters is not an
19 indication of a function but of an institution?
20 A. Yes, of the armed forces.
21 Q. Tell me, in point 4, certain obligations are
22 referred to which have been assumed by the HVO
23 commander. Is an HVO commander present, and why wasn't
24 the name of that commander used?
25 A. I don't know, because I wasn't present at
1 this meeting.
2 Q. Very well. I'm sorry.
3 [No interpretation]
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, there has been no
6 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE MAY: Start again, if you would,
9 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Yes, please.
10 Q. You said that Valenta said that the HVO was
11 90 per cent armed and the Muslims only 10 per cent.
12 Could you please tell us the context within which this
13 statement was made? Was this a threat, was it a boast,
14 was it supposed to encourage the other side? Could you
15 explain the context?
16 A. I said that at one of the crisis staff
17 meetings at the end of April, Anto Valenta, at the end
18 of the meeting, made it clear to everyone that all the
19 components that were under arms had to place themselves
20 under the command of the HVO. "The HVO", as he said.
21 On that occasion, he stated that the Croats
22 in Vitez were 90 per cent armed, and according to his
23 assessments, the Muslims, 10 per cent, and the HOS did
24 not represent any force to be reckoned with in Vitez.
25 I also said that this was the end of the
1 meeting and that Ivan Santic said to him, and we didn't
2 take him seriously, and he also said, "You always think
3 up something new, Anto," and his only comment was, "I'm
4 not joking. I'm just warning you." I remember this,
5 and this was at the end of April.
6 Q. I have two questions in that connection. You
7 personally, you were there, you knew the climate, you
8 knew the subject, which you told us about in detail.
9 How did you understand those words? Was Anto just
10 joking, as Santic said, was it a threat, or what was
11 it? What was your impression about it?
12 A. Let me tell you. Anto Valenta was the
13 president of the HDZ for Vitez. Munib Kajmovic was the
14 president of the SDA for Vitez. They had worked
15 together as teachers in school, and they were mostly
16 agreeing among each other at meetings and privately.
17 Knowing Anto Valenta and his position, I
18 personally was concerned at the time, but not
19 seriously, when Ivan Santic, who had a great amount of
20 respect in Vitez, that Anto Valenta always liked to
21 complicate matters. Then I thought -- I left the
22 meeting, I personally, not as concerned as I was
23 originally when Anto Valenta said this. But after all,
24 his position was such that it meant quite a bit.
25 Q. Doctor, at that time, did you have an
1 opportunity to ascertain if this Valenta's statement
2 was true or was it just a rumour? Could you establish
4 A. Later on, unfortunately, that is how it was.
5 Q. Yes. But at the time when this statement was
6 made, the only enemy were the JNA and the Serb
7 aggressor, as far as we know?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. There was still no conflict between Croats
10 and Muslims?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Doctor, you really kept abreast
13 of events by being a member of the crisis staff and by
14 other ways. Could you tell us something about the HVO
15 structure in the municipality of Vitez? Or let me be
16 more specific.
17 In the municipality of Vitez, didn't the HVO
18 have two visible branches, the military one and the
19 civilian one? Just please say "Yes" or "No", not to
20 waste the time.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Yesterday, you also touched upon -- or, no,
23 let me dwell on this a little bit longer, the
24 Territorial Defence.
25 Was there, in fact, a part of armed forces
1 alongside the JNA during the former Yugoslavia, during
2 the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia? We had
3 the JNA, an active army, and the Territorial Defence;
4 is that true?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And within that system, within the system of
7 this military organisation, was the Territorial Defence
8 subordinated to the JNA?
9 A. Yes, in the former system. In the
10 ex-Yugoslavia, as we say.
11 Q. Right. You told us that the JNA took away
12 the Territorial Defence weapons around the
13 municipalities and in your municipality too?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And in your particular case, it stored it at
16 Slimena, at the site there?
17 A. At the time, that is what we knew, that the
18 weapons were taken away from the Territorial Defence,
19 not in Vitez alone but throughout the Zenica area, and
20 that those weapons were stored in the JNA base at
22 Q. Do you know if that is what the army did in
23 other republics, that is, in Slovenia and Croatia?
24 A. Yes, I learned about that.
25 Q. And that JNA action preceded the outbreak of
1 war in the former Yugoslavia?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. At the crisis staff, you agreed to undertake
4 an action to go to Slimena and win back those weapons;
5 is that true?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. So Slimena was a joint operation of Muslims
8 and Croats in the municipality of Vitez?
9 A. Not only the municipality of Vitez. I think
10 it was also Travnik, Novi Travnik. But the crisis
11 staff decided that at that time, in order to come by
12 weapons, that it was necessary, and we supported that
14 Q. So you went to get your own weapons, you went
15 to get weapons from the former joint army which has
16 turned your enemy; is that true?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you see anything -- did you perceive that
19 particular operation as anything bad, that as people
20 from Vitez and other municipalities, you seized your
21 weapons from the hands of the aggressor, the JNA?
22 A. As it was bought with our money, with Vitez
23 money, at that time I thought, and I still think, that,
24 yes, it had to be restituted.
25 Q. Would you blame one of the leaders of this
1 operation of having committed a war crime or any
2 illicit -- any wrongful act about this? Now I'm asking
3 you about a moral judgement of the leaders.
4 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. We are not here
5 to ask moral judgements. Let's move on, Mr. Kovacic.
6 There is a limited amount of time which is available.
7 This witness has now been giving evidence for
8 a day and a half. I acknowledge that most of it was by
9 the Prosecution. But if possible, we wish to finish
10 his examination today so that he may leave. So if you
11 could move on, please.
12 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I will do my best,
13 but I'm now referring to the certain statements
14 contained in the Prosecutor pre-trial brief, where
15 Slimena are put -- this action in Slimena are put in a
16 different light.
17 Okay, I will do my best. I can assure you of
18 that. I already omitted some things.
19 Q. Did you participate in that action as a
20 medical officer?
21 A. No. I was in charge of the medical security.
22 Q. But you were not on the site when this
23 operation took place?
24 A. No, I was not there, but we sent our medical
25 teams, in case of any wounding, so that they would
1 extend them first aid on the spot. At the health
2 centre in Vitez, I had prepared anything that may be
3 necessary for the medical help.
4 Q. Right. Let's leave aside these details. But
5 do you know who commanded that particular operation?
6 A. No.
7 Q. You don't know. Does the name Filipovic mean
8 anything to you?
9 A. Yes, Filip Filipovic was, I think, the first
10 commander in Vitez of the HVO. That is how he was
12 Q. No. What I mean is within the context of
13 this particular operation, was he in charge of this
15 A. It is possible, because at that time he was
16 introduced to us as the first HVO officer.
17 Q. But, Doctor, tell us, does "Cerkez" mean
18 something? Do you associate him with this operation?
19 Did he play a role?
20 A. I don't know.
21 Q. You never heard anything about that?
22 A. No, not really. I don't know what soldiers
23 were planning and how they were going about this. I
24 did not go into that.
25 Q. Did you hear anything about the distribution
1 of those weapons between the HVO and the TO?
2 A. Yes, I did hear that there were some
4 Q. In what sense? Could you tell us in a couple
5 of sentences?
6 A. Well, I told you what was my duty, and I
7 remember from that time that about five or six members
8 of the Territorial Defence, not from Vitez but from
9 other municipalities, had been wounded, some in the
10 leg. I remember the two HVO soldiers from Vitez were
11 also -- sustained very severe wounds and that one of
12 them died. I attended the funeral. One came from the
13 village of Mosunj, one from Gornji Mosunj and the other
14 one from Donja Mosunj.
15 Q. Those that you mentioned, that one or two
16 lost their legs?
17 A. Yes, right.
18 Q. Did you perhaps hear that it happened after
19 the Slimena had been taken?
20 A. I said formerly that I worked in Travnik too,
21 so I saw those people without legs in Travnik, in the
22 surgery ward in Travnik. I was told they had lost
23 their legs to the mines because they were crossing a
24 minefield or something.
25 Q. Right. We won't go into that any further.
1 You mentioned something about the armament of
2 the civilian police in Vitez. Is it true that it was
3 done by HOS?
4 A. As far as I can remember, it was done at that
5 time by HVO formations. And HOS, I did not see them.
6 Yesterday, I did not mention that with Faud
7 Kaknjo, he had called me and asked me if I knew what
8 was going on in Vitez, and I answered that I didn't.
9 He asked me, because he was Ivan Santic's deputy, to go
10 to the commander of the Territorial Defence staff,
11 Hakija Cengic --
12 Q. Doctor, I'm sorry, really, to interrupt you,
13 but really you explained it all to us yesterday.
14 So you don't know if that was the case?
15 A. No, I really don't know, because I did not
16 see those soldiers.
17 Q. Doctor, you repeatedly identified individual
18 HVO units. You mentioned the military police, you
19 mentioned HOS. But on that particular occasion, you
20 knew nothing about that; is that true?
21 A. Listen, we were told at the Territorial
22 Defence staff later on, when civilian -- disarmed
23 civilian police entered, that the HVO soldiers came,
24 and I did not hear of any formation being mentioned.
25 Later on, I heard that the crisis staff,
1 after it was convened, I heard that Anto Valenta had
2 said that those were military formations not under
3 their control, implying that it had been done by HOS.
4 Q. Right. You also mentioned flags. Those were
5 evidently flags of the Croat ethnic group and the
6 Muslim ethnic -- rather Bosniak ethnicity. You also
7 mentioned that those flags were taken down by groups
8 beyond the HDZ control, according to Valenta?
9 A. I mean the flags in front of the station.
10 Q. So the only thing that Valenta said, and you
11 say he was implying that it had been done by HOS?
12 A. Yes, at the crisis staff.
13 Q. But would you please tell us what flags were
14 there, specifically Bosniak flags? Which was it?
15 A. Let me tell you. I told them that flags had
16 been hoisted, party flags, and the flags of the State
17 of Croatia, of the Republic of Croatia, and flags which
18 we had in Vitez.
19 Q. Which were those?
20 A. Well, Bosniaks officially had the flag with
21 lilies, and they also had the SDA's party flag.
22 Q. Will you please elaborate on the official
23 flag? Whose flag was official, by which decision?
24 A. The Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. You are
25 asking me, and -- it was said that it had been adopted
1 by the presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina
2 that the flag with lilies was the official flag of the
3 Republic. I did not read that anywhere, but that was
4 the flag that was used.
5 Q. Doctor, as a citizen, weren't you informed
6 that the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that that
7 entity has only recently come by its flag by the
8 decision of a foreigner?
9 A. I do.
10 JUDGE MAY: I'm sorry to interrupt the
11 interpreters, but you know, this isn't assisting us at
12 all. It sounds to me a political point, and we need
13 evidence. There is evidence about events in 1993 which
14 are far more relevant than going over at such length
15 events in 1992, particularly detail about things like
16 flags, which, as I say, do not assist us.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour. We have
18 raised that issue a couple of times before now, and I
19 think you noticed that, surely. And the point is that
20 there is presumption on formality of certain forces
21 presented by the flag. So one flag is presented like
22 illegal, the other one like legal, which is really not
23 the case. I know it's just symbolic, but we have to
24 fight also the symbols here, sometimes, at least. But
25 I agree on that.
1 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic, yesterday you told us, and
2 you also spoke about that when you testified in the
3 Blaskic case, you said especially in the Blaskic case
4 that Kraljevic told you, as you were driving in a car
5 together, you were talking there, sitting there
6 together, that Pero Skopljak and Anto Valenta in
7 particular were prevailing upon him to destroy Muslim
8 institutions. I'm not sure about the translation; in
9 the English translation there was the word
10 "establishment," and I have reservations about that.
11 Yesterday, you told us more or less the same,
12 except that in addition to Skopljak and Valenta, you
13 also mentioned Cerkez. Is there any reason why you
14 mentioned Cerkez for the first time yesterday?
15 A. No, absolutely no reason whatsoever. I
16 really recounted what Kraljevic told me in the car, and
17 in all likelihood, I can repeat it again, that the most
18 tenacious in that regard were the first two, but he
19 also mentioned Cerkez, that he also said it, but that
20 these two really pressed the point.
21 Q. But, Doctor, in August '97, when you
22 testified in Blaskic's case, you did not mention Cerkez
23 then, and now, yesterday, you testified again, and I
24 doubt if your memory is better now than it was then.
25 A. I'm telling you, I'm repeating, I have to
1 repeat it again, that I am saying that the most
2 insistent were Pero Skopljak and Anto Valenta. They
3 were the ones who were really pressing that point. But
4 I was often very unhappy about translations here
5 yesterday. I was brought also the material that I had
6 signed, and what I read and what was translated is not
8 Q. In the Blaskic case, you also explicitly said
9 that he was not a psychologically stable individual; is
10 that true?
11 A. In the Blaskic case, I said that he was an
12 emotional and unstable personality, that he would react
13 very quickly. That is what I said.
14 Q. In your statement on the 3rd of
15 February, '97, you said, "To my mind, Darko was not
16 psychologically stable." I'm reading it verbatim.
17 A. Well, I said that he was a very emotional
18 person and that he was very self-confident,
19 self-assured. That is what I said.
20 Q. Right. Really, regardless of how it was
21 qualified, but we are talking about one and the same
22 thing. So is this a person that is trustworthy?
23 A. I did not gain that impression. The
24 impression -- I was there when he was getting
25 injections, and I thought that he was trying to scare
1 me off. But I said it was a normal conversation, and I
2 said that he was thinking about leaving Vitez at the
4 I don't know what else I stated, and you
5 know, if you are with somebody for ten days, and then
6 you stop in front of a house, and there are some other
7 armed soldiers, and then he keeps me -- holds me back
8 and talks to me, and I was rather at a loss,
9 embarrassed. He also said that his wife was also there
10 at times during that period of time, and at that time I
11 simply could not refuse when soldiers came and said
12 "Darko wants you to come." It was within that context
13 that I spoke. But at that time, I really used to write
14 out a prescription, and then the nurse would administer
15 the therapy, and a doctor was not always present.
16 Q. Doctor, you told us: "And I felt
17 embarrassed." In other words, Kraljevic was not a
18 pleasant, an agreeable person, and regardless whether
19 you said he was unstable or not normal, was he a person
20 that one could rely on? Tell me that. Was he a
21 credible person?
22 A. I never said he was a fool, or mad. I simply
23 said he was emotional. I said he overreacted. I said
24 that he was not a stable -- his was not a stable
1 JUDGE MAY: It's just past 1.00.
2 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I think it
3 would be proper to break here. Thank you, Your
5 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll break. Half
6 past two, please.
7 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.03 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic?
3 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic, at the end of this section,
5 there is something I wish to ask, but allow me first to
6 make a summary to speed things up.
7 Briefly, you said regarding Kraljevic in your
8 examination-in-chief yesterday and in earlier
9 statements, regardless of certain minor differences,
10 you said, among other things, that you were told that
11 Kraljevic had actually saved your life, that he had
12 expressedly given orders that no one should touch you,
13 that, in fact, there was a sign attached to the door of
14 your apartment saying that you are a physician of the
15 HVO. Then you told us about him that he was a
16 psychologically unstable personality. So I would now
17 like to ask you, who, in fact, was Darko Kraljevic, in
18 terms of the position he held, when he had the power to
19 give such orders clearly to everyone? What was his
21 A. I said that in my opinion, in my judgement,
22 Darko Kraljevic was an emotional man, quick on the
23 uptake, unstable. According to what I know, Darko
24 Kraljevic was the commander of HOS in Vitez. It was a
25 military unit of the Croatian Party of Rights. Later
1 on, that unit -- I don't know exactly when -- Darko
2 Kraljevic was referred to in the media as an HVO
3 colonel and as the commander of the Vitezovi unit,
4 which was known as a special purpose unit, in fact, the
5 former HOS. That's as much as I know and that I had
6 heard in Vitez, and that was how Darko Kraljevic was
7 seen in Vitez. I personally believe that he had
8 significant influence in Vitez.
9 Q. Thank you, Doctor. More for the benefit of
10 others who may be interested, we're talking about our
11 languages, which are similar, the Bosnian, Croatian, or
12 Serbian language. The name "Vitezovi," as the name of
13 the unit that you use, has it got anything to do with
14 the name "Viteska Brigade"?
15 A. As far as I know, none.
16 Q. But in linguistic terms, they are two
17 different things, aren't they?
18 A. As far as I know, those were two different
19 military units. As far as I was able to learn -- I
20 cannot assert 100 per cent, but as far as I know, those
21 are two different military formations.
22 Q. Just one further point regarding the
23 Vitezovi. You told us earlier on that when they were
24 known as HOS, they were, in fact, the military arm of
25 the HSP, the Croatian Party of Rights, and you
1 explained what it was. But that party didn't have any
2 major significance in Vitez municipality; isn't that
3 correct? I mean, the party itself?
4 A. The party itself did not take part in the
5 elections in November 1990, but HOS, I would see them
6 when driving past, while I still had my car, that they
7 were very well equipped and very well armed soldiers.
8 In those days they mostly wore black uniforms.
9 To be quite frank, we all -- the people, the
10 normal people, sought to keep away from them.
11 Q. Just one further thing. You said that on one
12 occasion you were taken to Sumarija. Was that where
13 they were based?
14 A. I said within the Sumarija compound, where
15 Darko Kraljevic lived with his family. There was the
16 administrative building of the Sumarija, or forestry
17 company, and close by was where Darko Kraljevic lived.
18 Q. Could you conclude, on the basis of anything,
19 that their command was within that compound, in one of
20 those buildings?
21 A. Yes, for a time, I had heard that their
22 command was there.
23 Q. Thank you. Let us proceed.
24 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I would ask the
25 usher for his assistance: Exhibit Z210, please.
1 Q. Doctor, you saw that document yesterday,
2 didn't you?
3 A. Yes, only this is a very poor copy.
4 Q. Yes, unfortunately, we all have a very poor
5 copy, but in the right-hand corner, you can see a few
6 words added by hand. If I'm reading it well, will you
7 please confirm or correct me, "Through the intermediary
8 of Opst," which is probably the abbreviation
9 of "municipal," "... via the municipal secretariat for
10 information," and somebody's signature. It seems to me
11 as an instruction for distribution. Could you comment
12 on that?
13 A. It says, "Via the municipal secretariat for
14 information," signed by Midhat Varupa, who worked as
15 the secretary of the executive council of Vitez
16 municipality dealing with property affairs, and this is
17 the signature of Varupa. This press release --
18 Q. May I interrupt you. Let's leave the text;
19 we discussed it yesterday. But this note, does it give
20 you reason to believe that this document itself --
21 A. I explained already yesterday that there were
22 many such releases, and that we always made
23 announcements, public announcements, when we felt the
24 rights or interests of the Muslims in Vitez had been
1 Q. Thank you, but my question was whether this
2 note in the left-hand corner, does it provide reason to
3 believe that the distribution of this release was
4 carried out via the information secretariat?
5 A. Yes, through the intermediary of the
6 secretariat. This was probably issued from a meeting
7 of the coordination committee for the protection of
8 Muslims. And in this period, the executive council of
9 the municipal assembly in Vitez was still working, even
10 though the Croats were not present, which means there
11 was dual government, the HVO and the executive council,
12 which was elected at the democratic elections in
13 November 1990, and one of the members of that executive
14 council was Midhat Varupa.
15 Q. Let us leave that fact aside for a moment,
16 and let me ask you the following: This coordination
17 committee, was it constituted in any formal sense as an
18 association, as a group of citizens or something?
19 A. It was more of an association of prominent
20 citizens and representatives of parties in Vitez, but
21 it was composed exclusively of representatives of the
22 Muslims of Vitez.
23 Q. But, Doctor, the form in which it was
24 established, was it constituted, was it registered with
25 the authorities, in the way that associations usually
1 were? Or how was it constituted?
2 A. This association was not registered, nor did
3 it have any powers, nor did it have any such
4 aspirations. Its role was to draw the attention of the
5 public to certain negative tendencies in Vitez.
6 Q. Thank you, Doctor. In those days, when it,
7 in effect, was operative, this coordination committee
8 for the protection of Muslims, the HVO, according to
9 your testimony and the testimony of others, already had
10 control in the municipality? Just "yes" or "no",
12 A. I said that in the same building, there was
13 the executive committee and the HVO government, and
14 this went on until the 25th of November, 1992.
15 Q. Did anyone prevent this body from working,
16 the coordination committee for the protection of
18 A. No.
19 Q. No administrative or coercive measures were
20 taken to prevent its functioning?
21 A. As far as I can recall, there was a warning
22 issued by the HVO government to the effect that the HVO
23 government and the coordination committee for the
24 protection of Muslims could not operate in the
25 municipality together. There was an announcement and
1 warning to that effect.
2 Q. But you were not prohibited, your activities
3 were not banned or your possibility to issue such
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. Doctor, let us now go through the
7 events in Ahmici on the 20th of October, 1992, the
8 meetings and steps taken after that. You told us that
9 there was a conflict between the HVO and the TO. Can
10 you tell us, which HVO unit did the soldiers who wanted
11 to kill the wounded Muslim belong to? And you told us
12 about what happened.
13 A. I really don't know which unit they belonged
14 to, but they did belong to the HVO.
15 Q. Could you tell us what kind of uniforms they
17 A. They wore camouflage uniforms with HVO
19 Q. Did you personally see those insignia?
20 A. No, but I have already stated that I was at
21 home, that I was called up to come urgently, that
22 Dr. Bruno Buzuk and the lady doctor, Enisa, were
23 present, and that the man was saved thanks to Dr. Bruno
24 Buzuk, who is a Croat, a dentist in Vitez.
25 Q. Tell us, according to what you said, I think
1 there were at least two meetings devoted to dealing
2 with the crisis in connection with the barricade. Were
3 there more meetings that you heard of in addition to
4 those that you attended?
5 A. I have already told you that I came to work
6 on Tuesday morning, and that I learnt that that
7 evening, upon the initiative of Dr. Tibold Franjo, a
8 Croat epidemiologist, Mario Cerkez and Sefkija Dzidic
9 were being asked to come to the health centre. I was
10 told that they had come, that they didn't come to an
11 agreement, that they stayed on until 5.00, and that a
12 conflict was expected.
13 Cerkez asked Sefkjia Dzidic to remove the
14 barricade that had been put at the village of Ahmici,
15 so that the troops could pass towards Travnik. This
16 one had orders not to remove the barricade, and in
17 those days I was the acting director of the health
18 centre, and so we moved to our reserve positions, the
19 reserve position of the health centre in Vitez.
20 I attended one meeting, I think it was on the
21 23rd, in the office of Ivan Santic. Sefkjia Dzidic was
22 present, I think Sulejman Kalco was there, and the
23 mediators were international observers, the European
24 monitors. At that meeting it was agreed that a
25 representative of the Muslim people, two local priests,
1 the Muslim and the Croat, should speak on television.
2 Munib Kajmovic, as the president of the SDA, should
3 have spoken, but he told me by telephone that he was
4 unable to, and so I went on television, together with
5 Pero Skopljak and these two priests, to appease the
6 situation in Vitez, because the people were fearful.
7 JUDGE MAY: Doctor, just a moment. I think
8 we'll try to finish your evidence, if at all possible,
9 today. I think the only way we're going to do that is
10 if you would just shorten your answers. If there's
11 some point that counsel wants to find out about, he can
12 ask you, and the Prosecution can ask you questions at
13 the end.
14 So Mr. Kovacic, let's get on, please.
15 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. May I ask you, Mr. Mujezinovic, to be as
17 brief as possible? If necessary, I will ask you
18 additional questions. Otherwise, we will be taking up
19 too much time.
20 Just one more question in this connection.
21 Are you sure that Cerkez asked that the barricade be
22 removed so that the troops could pass towards Novi
23 Travnik? Wasn't it rather towards Jajce?
24 A. I'm telling you what I was told.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. Do you know that
1 there was fighting going on in Jajce at the time?
2 A. Yes, I had heard of it.
3 Q. Do you know that the troops from Vitez were
4 participating in those battles?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. Thank you. Let us clear up one point, with
7 the usher's assistance.
8 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Could you help
9 me in distributing this document, please?
10 Q. I'm going to read to you just one sentence.
11 Just a moment, please.
12 While this is being distributed, could you
13 tell us whether you know Faud Berbic?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Fine. Let's wait for the document.
16 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
18 MR. KOVACIC: Usher, will you please? Yes,
19 that is Croatian. Okay, thank you.
20 Q. Doctor, as you can see from the title page,
21 this is a statement by Faud Berbic made to the bodies
22 in the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one can
23 see from the date that it is the 16th of February,
24 1994, which means relatively soon after the event.
25 Please look on page 4 of his handwritten statement.
1 Can you see the paragraph on page 4?
2 MR. KOVACIC: For Their Honours and the
3 others, in the English version it is page 4, the middle
4 paragraph on the page and the last two sentences of
5 that central paragraph.
6 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic, have you managed to find
7 page 4?
8 A. There's 1, but not number 4. I have page 3,
9 1, 4, 5.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Usher, would you please give --
11 there was a technical problem in the copying,
12 obviously. Would you show him just this point?
13 Q. Doctor, would you be kind enough to read this
15 A. "He was given an assignment from the
16 coordinating committee for the protection of Muslims to
17 set up a barricade. Sefkija Dzidic confirmed this at a
18 meeting in the mosque in November 1992."
19 Q. That will be sufficient. Please let me have
20 it back, because I don't have another copy. Thank
22 So it follows from this, because he mentions
23 Muniz Ahmic -- the witness claims that somebody else,
24 Muniz Ahmic, was given the assignment by the
25 coordinating committee for the protection of Muslims to
1 set up a barricade. And then in the next sentence, it
2 says this was confirmed by Sefkija Dzidic at a meeting
3 in the mosque in November 1992. So after that event.
4 So tell me, please, how come that he
5 mentioned that the task was assigned by the
6 coordinating committee for the protection of Muslims?
7 Isn't this the body that we have just discussed?
8 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, Doctor. The
9 witness can't say what some other witness may have
10 thought or intended in writing a statement. It's a
11 pure comment. I have a feeling that this may be a
12 witness, and so it really should be put to him.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, frankly, I was
14 hoping that this witness would come, but since there
15 are too many remarks on the last list which we got from
16 the Prosecution unwilling, I was afraid that the
17 witness might have not come, and then I have a nice
18 piece of potential evidence which I cannot present.
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, you've got your nice piece
20 of potential evidence in the form of the statement.
21 You've put it in. But the witness can't comment on
23 MR. KOVACIC: Okay. I was just trying to see
24 whether he knew anything about this. Thank you.
25 MR. NICE: Incidentally, on the question of
1 witness statements going in as exhibits, as you'll
2 appreciate, I'm not objecting really to anything, but
3 the value of a statement put in this way is probably
4 nil. But I'm going to let the Chamber regulate its own
5 affairs, rather than interrupt and object.
6 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. Very well.
7 Q. Let's go back to the event itself.
8 That road just below Ahmici where the
9 roadblock was put up, is it the main highway in that
10 part of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
11 A. Yes, it is the main road.
12 Q. Is it correct that it is one of the roads
13 linking Eastern and Western Bosnia?
14 A. It is the main road leading to Split, Banja
16 Q. There were some negotiations, and then the
17 barricade was removed by military force?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you know which HVO unit did this?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Thank you. You also told us, in this
22 connection, that when you were looking for Sefkija,
23 they told you that he was at the reserve command post
24 in Stari Vitez. Why was he already at the reserve post
25 at that time?
1 A. That is not the way I put it. Yes, yes, I
3 At that time, his headquarters in the
4 secondary school centre had been attacked, and he
5 abandoned it, together with some members of his staff.
6 He abandoned the secondary school centre and moved his
7 headquarters to Stari Vitez.
8 Q. Very well. Thank you.
9 Allow me now to draw your attention, Doctor,
10 to the question of the war presidency that you told us
11 a little about. I think that the information was quite
12 complete, but just two or three questions for the sake
13 of clarification.
14 You said that the war presidency had three
15 commissions that were operating. Among others, there
16 was the commission for incidents. Could you tell us
17 whether this commission for incidents was actually
19 A. I said there were three commissions and that
20 they mixed up police and civilian and military/civilian
22 Q. Let us not repeat what you just said. Just
23 answer my question.
24 A. Yes, they did work.
25 Q. They did work, you say. And who did the
1 commissions consist of? I think you said that you were
2 a member of them.
3 A. No, I was not.
4 Q. Oh, I'm sorry. But do you know who was a
5 member of these commissions?
6 A. In the commission for incidents, there was
7 Sefkija Dzidic. He was the commander of the
8 Territorial Defence staff. Saban Mahmutovic, who was
9 the head of the civilian police, and Nijaz Sivro, as a
10 representative of the BH army. That was the incidents
12 Q. Now, let's leave alone those other
13 commissions. But did this commission have any contacts
14 with a similar commission on the Croatian side?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can I then conclude, from all that you said,
17 that the purpose of the commission was to try to keep
18 under control incidents which did take place in the
19 Vitez municipality?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Which was their purpose of trying to keep
22 under control those incidents?
23 A. The purpose was to establish joint command of
24 military forces and the police and to establish joint
1 Q. I see. Thank you. Does that also mean that
2 the purpose was to preserve peace in the Lasva Valley?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Thank you, Doctor.
5 Doctor, I am now taking you to the events of
6 the 16th of April, when that conflict broke out, when
7 the hell broke loose in the valley.
8 You said you came to the health centre on the
9 19th of April '94, you came to work, that is, an HVO
10 policeman brought you, and that from the nurses, you
11 learned about the attack on Ahmici and that it came
12 from three directions; that is, you learned of the
13 event from the nurses. That was the first time you
14 heard about that. That is what you said?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. But did you hear on that occasion which HVO
17 units were involved?
18 A. No. I heard those were special HVO units
19 which participated in that, and from what I knew until
20 then and from other people, HVO special units in Vitez
21 was the formation of so-called Jokers and Vitezovi
23 Q. So those were the units that you heard about?
24 A. No, I heard that those were special task
25 units of the military police, and --
1 Q. Thank you. Also, you said you were driven to
2 work and back from work, and you mentioned one Dragan
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Is it true that Dragan Petrovic was the
6 driver of the health centre?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Oh, no, he wasn't. Was he then perhaps
9 mobilised in the form of labour duty and thus became
10 the driver of the health centre?
11 A. We had a sufficient number of drivers, and he
12 was a mechanic in Vitez. I think he had his own
13 private business.
14 Q. I see. But now I understand. Who did he
15 belong to?
16 A. HVO.
17 Q. But do you know which unit? He never said?
18 A. No.
19 MR. KOVACIC: Now I should like to ask to
20 tender the videotape. It is Videotape Number 1, the
21 second scene, 34th minute, of course with the Court's
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
24 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) May we then
25 have scene 2, tape 1, the one which was marked
1 somewhere around the 34th minute?
2 Q. Doctor, will you please see that? And then I
3 will ask you some questions.
4 THE REGISTRAR: The videotape is marked
6 (Videotape played)
7 JUDGE MAY: Is there a transcript of this?
8 MR. KOVACIC: No, Your Honour,
9 unfortunately. We got it too late. But there are only
10 really four, not sentences, pieces of sentences, where
11 I will ask the witness what the words were that were
12 used. I presume us who are Croatian-speaking will
14 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
15 (Videotape played)
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, now I assumed this was
17 going to be short, but, in fact, it's been long. It's
18 not been translated, and it's impossible for the Court
19 to tell what's going on. Now, there must be some doubt
20 as to whether we should admit this sort of evidence.
21 Where does the tape come from, Mr. Kovacic?
22 MR. KOVACIC: Just in the moment when you
23 interrupted, it was finished.
24 JUDGE MAY: Good.
25 MR. KOVACIC: That was all that we wanted to
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Where did you get the
3 tape from?
4 MR. KOVACIC: This one -- there is indeed a
5 similar one which we got from the Prosecutor, but now
6 I'm not sure whether this part was on the same one we
7 received, because it is very similar. But some things
8 are not on the same one, one which is called "Vitez In
9 The War Whirlwinds" or similar. All those materials
10 were produced by Vitez TV station. It was public
11 material, and all of that was seen publicly on local
12 TV. And that is where I got the tape from.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. But if you're going
14 to produce any more, we shall need a transcript, or you
15 must ask for leave before you introduce it, because the
16 danger is that we don't follow some important evidence.
17 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, of course, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you can ask the doctor
19 about this tape.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
21 Q. My first question, Doctor, is if the room we
22 just saw, was that the so-called reserve site of the
23 health centre?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So this is in the artisan centre that you
1 spoke about before?
2 A. This is a basement, yes, in the craftsman
4 Q. Thank you. And because we did not have the
5 text of it, I should like to quote some sentences, and
6 will you please tell me whether you agree with that or
7 not. In one place you said, "This is the reserve
8 health centre." Would you please confirm if this is
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Then, further on, you said,"This is where we
12 work, physicians and nurses of all ethnic origins." Is
13 that what was said?
14 A. At that point of time, yes, we were, but I
15 would have to clarify this. Namely, when I came to
16 work on the 19th, I only found Drita Mahmutovic, and I
17 asked Bruno Buzuk to bring in other doctors, Dr. Trako,
18 Dr. Patkovic, because there was a lot of work ahead.
19 Television Sarajevo had announced that I had been
20 killed, and this particular video was to show that I
21 had not been killed. These two doctors were brought
22 from the camp, and another student, too, and none of
23 these doctors stayed in Vitez afterwards -- I mean, the
24 Muslims. The last one to leave Vitez was Drita
1 Q. Doctor, if I may, the next question -- thank
2 you for these comments, but we really have no time, and
3 these lady doctors were also on the list of witnesses,
4 so we may hear it from them. But was I quoting you
5 correctly when I said, that is, "Here, the doctors and
6 nurses were of all ethnic origins," because -- with the
7 comment that you said?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. The text itself was cited correctly?
10 A. At that time, we had a lady doctor, a Serb;
11 we also had a male nurse who also was a Serb, and he
12 still lives in my flat in Vitez, at least that's what
13 I've heard. And you also saw here doctors so that you
14 could see on the video they are Muslims. There were
15 also nurses who were also Muslims who were there and
16 who worked there.
17 Q. All right. Thank you. Then you also said --
18 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: I just wanted to clarify
20 something about the video. The witness said that the
21 purpose of the video was to show that he had not been
22 killed. I would like to find out, at whose instigation
23 was the video made?
24 A. The video was made by this journalist from
25 Vitez. He was an HVO journalist that worked for the
1 local Croat television. I think his surname is Kocai,
2 I don't know his first name. I think beforehand he
3 worked as an economist, I believe, at the SPS.
4 MR. KOVACIC:
5 Q. Was this the correct quotation? "The
6 intensity of our work is slightly higher"?
7 A. Please, the first day I was really working
8 very hard.
9 Q. Yes, I agree that you worked very hard.
10 A. You know, I never even gave it a thought. I
11 was simply trying to save some people, because there
12 was an incredible number of people there, and we were
13 sending them to Travnik and to Nova Bila, and Nova
14 Bila, the hospital was very small and nothing to write
15 home about, really. We even sent them to Zenica, and
16 we even had to send them to Split, because there were
17 very severely wounded people there. Some succumbed to
18 their wounds. There were people sustaining wounds in
19 the head or abdomen, and so on and so forth. I
20 explained we were trying to offer general medical aid,
21 and quite complete, but we could not do any surgical
22 interventions, because that had to be done in the
23 operations theatre. Yes, we did some smaller -- some
24 minor surgical interventions.
25 Q. Thank you, Doctor. And in the last part you
1 said, "Because of security, we take the ambulance car
2 from home, we are brought by ambulance cars, that is,
3 we have not been arrested." Were those the words that
4 you used on the tape?
5 A. Yes, I was working, and personally I don't
6 feel like a detainee, like a prisoner, because I had a
7 lot of work, and I simply did not think about that.
8 Q. Yes, that is what you told us yesterday.
9 A. I said that two or three hundred metres from
10 this centre to the entrance into my house, I was being
11 driven to and from in an ambulance car.
12 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I have here a
13 document issued by the health centre in Vitez, issued
14 recently, in late 1997, so after the indictment. There
15 is no translation; however, this is just a listing of
16 the staff employed there, under the title "List of the
17 employees who have been working with the health centre
18 in Vitez for the period January 1st to June 1st,
19 1993." There is nothing to be translated. There are
20 only the names. Could I show that to the witness?
21 JUDGE MAY: You can put it to the witness and
22 see whether he can identify it or not. If he can, then
23 it can be admitted once it's translated.
24 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
25 Usher, please?
1 JUDGE MAY: If, Mr. Kovacic, he can't
2 identify it, then of course it won't be exhibited.
3 MR. KOVACIC: That's understandable.
4 Q. Just one question, Doctor: Will you please
5 cast a look at this, and then either confirm or
6 refute: This should be the personnel list, the list of
7 staff of the health centre during that period of time,
8 which is practically the former half of 1993. Do you
9 think this is correct, or not?
10 MR. KOVACIC: Should I provide a copy for the
11 Prosecution, please, Your Honour?
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, provide one to them.
13 There's no need for one for the Court, though.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Pardon?
15 JUDGE MAY: No need for one for the Court.
16 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
17 Q. Could you tell us if that's it or if that is
18 not it?
19 A. I cannot really confirm that all these people
20 were still employed there on the 1st of June. I could
21 give you the names of those who did not work there.
22 Those were all the employed, with the exception of the
23 doctor from Zenica, Gordan Pehar. He went there part
24 time. I know that the new director hired him, he
25 worked in Zenica, and from Zenica he came. But all
1 these on the list did not work until the 1st of June.
2 For instance, Biljina Hertic did not work
3 there; she worked in Stari Vitez. Then Baljina Just
4 did not work. Suad Mujinovic worked in
5 Stari Vitez.
6 Q. Doctor, sorry, I did not properly ask the
7 question. There is something in brackets. It says,
8 "1st of January to 1st of June," and that is what you
9 just told us. So this document does not purport to
10 claim that all these persons, from 1 to 76, were
11 employed there throughout this period? This is not
12 what we can conclude from this list, but that for a
13 period of time, for a segment of time within this time
14 frame, they did work, so perhaps only in January or
15 only in some other month, but they did for a while, did
16 they work here? Is this correct?
17 A. No, this is not really correct.
18 Q. But didn't the majority of these people come
19 as full-time employees?
20 A. I could tick off those who did work during
21 that period of time.
22 Q. Can you do that? Great.
23 A. Yes, I can, but I have no pencil or anything
24 to do that, and I need some time.
25 JUDGE MAY: How is this going to help us,
1 first of all?
2 MR. KOVACIC: Because some persons are later
3 either mentioned or connected to various different
4 incidents. Like, for example, one of the doctors
5 mentioned under 74, I'm just about to introduce one
6 document and ask whether that could be his document,
7 knowing that he was there at the time.
8 Perhaps if I put a little bit simpler
9 question to the witness?
10 Q. Doctor, can you please say that there are
11 some persons who never came for work during that period
12 of time, who never came for work during that period of
14 A. Listen, this is from the 1st of January. I
15 can tell you who did not report for work as of the 16th
16 of April, '93, because we all worked until the 16th of
17 April, '93, in the health centre in Vitez.
18 Q. Yes, but the institution of the health
19 centre, regardless of its moving to another location,
20 it was the same institution, wasn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So my question is, it transpires from this
23 document that -- at least that's how I see it -- that
24 these people, these 76 individuals, worked for the
25 health centre at least one day, at least one day within
1 this time frame between the 1st of January and the 1st
2 of June. I know that it changed.
3 A. Please, they were all there until the 16th of
4 April, with the exception of Gordan Pehar, they all
5 worked there until the 16th of April.
6 Q. I see. All right. Okay, fine, thank you.
7 So until the 16th of April --
8 A. Except Gordan Pehar, who was not a full-time
10 Q. Right. Thank you.
11 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Then, Your
12 Lordships, with your leave, I will adduce this
13 document-- of course, when we make the translation. I
14 mean, I should like to tender this document into
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. When it's
18 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. Yes, of course.
19 Q. Doctor, yesterday you told us that two HVO
20 members, and you even gave us their names, Ratko Nuk
21 and Kovac, nicknamed Zabac --
22 A. Yes, Anto Kovac, nicknamed Zabac.
23 Q. -- took you to the building housing the HVO
24 command? And I'm referring to the 19th of April.
25 A. Yes, yes. Yes, in the evening, in the
2 Q. You also said that you realised then that it
3 was -- that the office that took you in was the office
4 of my client, Mario Cerkez?
5 A. Yes, in that office I found Mario Cerkez.
6 Q. Right, but was it his office?
7 A. It was the house of the cultural, the
8 cultural centre, so he presumably moved in there.
9 Q. Yes, but the office, the office in which you
10 saw Mario Cerkez, are you positive that it was his
11 office, or just one of the offices in that building?
12 A. Well, I saw him in one of the offices in that
13 a building. That is where I saw -- where I met Mario
14 Cerkez. But I never saw Mario Cerkez in that
15 particular office. I never before came to that office.
16 Q. Right. So you saw him in one of the offices,
17 but you do not know who this office belonged to?
18 A. I said that was the property of the cultural
20 Q. Right. Thank you. Was there an inscription
21 on the door of that office? Did you have an
22 opportunity to look at it?
23 A. No, I did not pay any attention to that.
24 Q. Right. Thank you. According to what you
25 told us, according to a your testimony, and you
1 repeated it several times, Mario Cerkez gave you the
2 exact number of prisoners, 2.223.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And because the figure was so exact, you
5 remembered it, isn't it? It just stuck in your memory,
6 it was so characteristic? In your earlier statement to
7 investigators on the 1st of March, '95, you said -- and
8 I shall give you that statement, if you would like your
9 memory to be jogged -- that Santic and Skopljak, when
10 you talked to them, said 2.323?
11 A. No, I did not say that.
12 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours, I
13 should like to tender the earlier statement of this
15 JUDGE MAY: Well, I wonder how much we're
16 going to be helped. It's a difference in one figure,
17 is it, out of the four? You've put it to the witness?
18 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I can agree
19 with the figure, even it's a little bit different, but
20 the other persons.
21 Could I ask the usher to distribute ...
22 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Kovacic,
1 JUDGE MAY: Microphone.
2 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Sorry. I just
3 explained that on the top there is an English version
4 and on the bottom is Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language,
5 of the document. (No interpretation)
6 Q. Doctor, would you please be kind enough to
7 look at the first page to see which statement we are
8 referring to? So it is your statement made to the
9 investigators of this Tribunal. Do we see it is the
10 1st of March, 1995? Is that okay?
11 A. Yes, I know that I made statements in that
13 Q. I should like to ask you to look at page 3 in
14 the Croatian text. In the English version it is page
15 5, or M0099. (No interpretation) In the middle of that
17 (Interpretation) Doctor, I wish to draw your
18 attention to this sentence, beginning at 05.00:
19 "Ivica Santic and Pero Skopljak came and threatened us
20 that if the BH army attack us, they will kill all the
21 people in the basement plus 2.323 prisoners throughout
23 Is your statement noted correctly?
24 A. Let me tell you that I complained several
25 times on the very poor translations. I said "2223,"
1 and I did not at all say it in this way. The figure
2 was mentioned to me by Mario Cerkez. Ivica Santic and
3 Pero Skopljak never mentioned any figures. So this is
4 a poor translation.
5 Q. Doctor, do you think that it is possible to
6 make errors when translating names? Do you think that
7 is possible? It's only names that are wrong, possibly,
8 and a figure, a number?
9 A. No, I'm repeating what I said in the
10 Prosecutor's office. I drew attention several times to
11 the fact that the translation was poor, and I did so
12 yesterday as well.
13 Q. All right, then, so you attribute the
14 difference to the translation, errors in the
16 A. Yes, I think so. I never said this.
17 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell us, Doctor, when
18 you started your conversation with Cerkez, you said
19 that he was in the office together with some others.
20 What exactly did Cerkez ask you to do?
21 A. Yesterday, I said what Cerkez asked. He
22 said, "Doctor, are you aware of the position you are
23 in?" Had I heard about Ahmici? I answered in the
24 affirmative. After that, he said that I must do as he
25 bids me.
1 Q. And what did he ask you to do?
2 A. First he said, "Doctor, do you know where
3 Dubravica and Zabrdze are?" That is where the BH army
4 has broken through the lines and is entering Vitez.
5 Q. Yes, we heard about that. But what did he
6 ask you to actually do?
7 A. I said yesterday that Mr. Cerkez said to me
8 that I must call up the command of the 3rd Corps and
9 the Bosnian politicians and tell them that there were
10 2.223 prisoners in Vitez, and if they continued their
11 advance, they would issue orders for the prisoners to
12 be killed.
13 Secondly, what he said to me after that was
14 after this conversation on the phone, that I must go on
15 television and call on the Muslims of Stari Vitez to
16 surrender their weapons, and the third point he made
17 was that he asked me to select the members of a
18 commission to negotiate with the HVO. Together with
19 Zvonko Cilic he sent me to the basement and said that
20 there were about 300 prisoners there and that I could
21 choose whoever I wanted for those negotiations.
22 Q. Okay. So those were those three requests he
23 made of you. With Their Honours' permission, I should
24 like to tender this exhibit, which we have in
1 MR. KOVACIC: May I tender this document,
2 translated into Croatian and French, the same document
3 having been admitted in the Blaskic case, as D316.
4 Could the usher help me distribute it?
5 Q. Again, at the top is the
6 Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, and then come the English and
7 the French translations.
8 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
10 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
11 Q. Mr. Mujezinovic, would you be kind enough to
12 read this document. The 18th of April, 1993, just for
13 yourself. You don't have to read it out loud.
14 Doctor, had you heard about the negotiations
15 that are mentioned here in the preamble to the order
16 between Mate Boban and Alija Izetbegovic held on the
17 18th of April, 1993, in Zagreb, and the agreement
18 reached at those talks?
19 A. On the 18th of April, 1993.
20 Q. That is a day prior to the event we had just
22 A. No, I hadn't heard about it.
23 Q. But did you hear about it later?
24 A. No, I'm not familiar with it.
25 Q. Are you trying to tell us that you never
1 heard about talks between Mate Boban and Ilija
2 Izetbegovic held on the 18th of April in Zagreb which
3 produced a certain agreement?
4 A. I cannot be specific. I know that there were
5 many negotiations and talks, but I do not recall this
6 particular date.
7 Q. Could you please tell me something else,
8 then, so this is a document of the 18th of April, and
9 according to your statement, on the 19th of April,
10 Cerkez forced you to take certain steps to halt the
11 attack on Vitez, and attack by the BH army. Why, when
12 he already had in his hands an order referring to a
13 cease-fire that had been reached, what could possibly be
14 the motives?
15 A. I told you literally what Cerkez said to me.
16 As for his motives, I'm not familiar with them.
17 Q. Very well. Thank you. Doctor, regards his
18 second request to appear on television, did you fulfil
19 that request?
20 A. Yes, after going to the basement, I selected
21 a certain number of people. Zvonko Cilic went with me,
22 with the military police, and I and Zvonko Cilic --
23 actually Zvonko Cilic helped me, to draft a text which
24 was very awkward for me, the one that was proposed, and
25 then I spoke on local Croatian television at 1.00 a.m.
1 And this statement was aired for two or three days
2 repeatedly, that is, my statement, what I had said.
3 Q. Mr. Zvonko Cilic was your friend, one might
5 A. Zvonko Cilic was my associate at work. He
6 was a social worker, and he worked in the commission
7 for prevention, of which I was the chairman.
8 Q. You were on good terms with him?
9 A. Yes. We were both members of the football
10 club in Vitez. We collaborated well. I would
11 frequently go to examine his mother, and we were on
12 good terms.
13 Q. Thank you. And the drafting of the text, was
14 it imposed upon you or did he assist you in the
16 A. He agreed with the text that I was going to
17 read on television.
18 Q. Let me rephrase it. Did Zvonko or anyone
19 else produce a text and give it to you and say, "This
20 is what you have to read"?
21 A. No. Zvonko agreed to what I had proposed.
22 Q. As a man who engaged in journalism, he
24 A. No. I took down what I was going to say.
25 MR. KOVACIC: Very well. Thank you.
1 I should like to show the Court the statement
2 made by the witness, taken off the Vitez Television.
3 It only lasts one minute. I have given the
4 interpreters the transcript in B/C/S, so could they
5 translate it for us? (In English) Thank you.
6 (Interpretation) Could the technical booth
7 please find tape number 3, and the very beginning of
8 that tape?
9 (Videotape played)
10 THE INTERPRETER: (Voiceover) "I have been
11 told that it was announced in the media that I had been
12 killed, arrested. I can tell you that that is not
13 true. I'm now in the emergency ward of the health
14 clinic, that I am working as a doctor, specialist, and
15 that I'm extending aid to all those who come to the
16 emergency ward of the health clinic."
17 A. That is just a part of what I said.
18 MR. KOVACIC:
19 Q. So it's not your complete statement?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Is there more that comes before or after?
22 You don't know?
23 A. (No audible response)
24 Q. But you did say this?
25 A. In fact, I think that this recording has
1 nothing -- is not linked to it. This is a statement
2 that I gave at 1.00 a.m.
3 Q. I'm not sure I understood you. Is this part
4 of the statement that you made?
5 A. This is just a part of the statement.
6 Q. But it is a part of that statement that was
7 broadcast that night?
8 A. It is a part of it, but it is not complete.
9 But the main part of it was not shown, was not viewed.
10 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Kovacic,
11 I'm sorry, from the Chamber's point of view, we have a
12 problem here. You're giving a part of that statement,
13 of that broadcast on video. We don't have the text.
14 Could we not have the text, perhaps, a transcript of
15 the whole of the broadcast, because we cannot take an
16 excerpt without having the context of the statement?
17 This is a problem for us, a problem of
18 appreciation of what it intends to do.
19 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honour, I
20 asked Vitez Television to give me the statement that I
21 had learned during the investigation had been
22 broadcast. I received this, and this is the first that
23 I hear that this is only a part of that statement. All
24 I can do is try again, but unfortunately I didn't have
25 time to check because I had very little time for the
1 preparations, as you know. All I can do is ask Vitez
2 Television to look through their archives and to find
3 the rest, possibly.
4 This is the first time I hear that this is
5 just a part of it. That's why I asked the witness
6 whether this was the beginning, the end, or the middle.
7 THE INTERPRETER: "This is just a part of the
8 statement," said the witness.
9 JUDGE MAY: One way of dealing with the
10 matter may be to ask the witness whether he can
11 remember anything else he said. Meanwhile, if you
12 return to the television studio to see whether there is
13 anything you could get from them. I mean, I don't mean
14 you personally, I mean that some enquires are made.
15 MR. KOVACIC: I certainly will, and I agree
16 with that.
17 Q. Doctor, you have heard the debate. You said
18 it was just a part of that statement. Could you
19 perhaps tell us, do you remember did this come at the
20 beginning and then comes the rest, or is it the end, or
21 is it the middle of the statement, if you can
22 remember? If not, that's fine.
23 A. As far as I can remember, this is the end of
24 my statement. I can tell Their Honours -- I can repeat
25 to Their Honours here, as they had just suggested, that
1 I tell them what I actually said.
2 Q. Yes, please do. Please do tell us what is
4 A. I said as following: That I called on all
5 the Croats and all the Muslims not to shoot at each
6 other, because this was of no benefit to either people,
7 that it benefited only the Karadzic's Chetniks. And I
8 appealed on all to cease conflict.
9 Q. Thank you. So that is, in fact, what you
10 said in your statement to the investigators?
11 A. Yes, I think so.
12 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Kovacic,
14 could the witness tell us whether this statement was a
15 statement he made freely, of his own free will?
16 A. I was ordered to make a statement. I was
17 ordered to make a different statement in a different
18 version, but what I actually said was what I have just
19 told you, and I would have said the same thing today.
20 MR. KOVACIC:
21 Q. If I understood you well, you are saying that
22 you were ordered the content of this statement you were
23 supposed to make, but what you actually said did not
24 correspond to that order, so you said something that
25 you would have said anyway?
1 A. Yes. Zvonko helped me. And I said I could
2 say this, and he did not oppose my saying this.
3 Q. Did anything happen to you because you did
4 not obey?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Thank you. Doctor, tell me, please, why the
7 health centre was moved from its original location to a
8 reserve location for those couple of days between the
9 16th and the 18th, until you came to work.
10 A. The 16th of what, when?
11 Q. You said April '93, when the conflict
12 started, you said that you stayed at home, and you came
13 to work for the first time on the 19th; is that
15 A. Yes. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. The health centre, when you returned to work
17 on the 19th, was it in this reserve location in the
18 craft centre?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did you hear the reason for the move?
21 A. I told you yesterday.
22 Q. So from the 20th of October, when it was
23 moved, it stayed there in the reserve location?
24 A. Could you repeat, please?
25 Q. Let me rephrase the question.
1 When was the health centre moved from its
2 original location to its reserve location in the craft
4 A. We used that location in October. I said
5 that a part had been moved then. Then we returned
6 because the health centre had not been damaged at the
7 time. I said I came to work on the 19th at the reserve
8 location of the health centre.
9 Q. So please be brief. The centre was moved to
10 its reserve location for preventative reasons for the
11 first time in connection with the conflict of the 20th
12 of October, 1992, "Yes" or "No"?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. It was moved for a second time without your
15 knowledge, when you were not present, between the 16th
16 and the 19th of April, 1993; is that correct?
17 A. I don't know exactly when it was moved, but I
18 said between, yes.
19 Q. Were you at work until the beginning of the
21 A. I was, on the 15th of April, at my workplace
22 in the health centre in Vitez, at the original
24 Q. And when you returned to work on the 19th or,
25 rather, when you were brought to work, it had already
1 moved to its reserve location. Therefore, it is clear
2 that it was moved sometime between the 15th and the
3 19th of April, 1993?
4 A. I found that it had been moved. When exactly
5 it was moved, I don't know.
6 Q. Did the staff tell you why it had been moved
7 to the reserve location?
8 A. No.
9 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Could Your
10 Honours allow me to show a very brief video clip
11 without any text?
12 For the technical booth, tape number 1, the
13 scene at the very beginning of the tape. There is a
14 marking of the time. It says, "7.53 hours on the 16th
15 of April, 1993." There is no text. We will just see a
16 scene which I think is self-explanatory.
17 (Videotape played)
18 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) We can stop
19 there, technical booth, please.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, there were, in fact,
21 voices on that.
22 MR. KOVACIC: Entirely irrelevant. I was
23 trying to pick up -- those were background voices of
24 the persons who were in the same room from which some
25 of the shots were taken. I don't think there is any
1 value, and I did my best to recognise at least a word
2 or two. Entirely useless. There even seems there was
3 a British officer in the office. I caught once or
4 twice the English words.
5 JUDGE MAY: What do you want to ask about
7 MR. KOVACIC: Very simple, Your Honour.
8 Q. Are these shots of the centre of the town of
10 A. This is a very poor film.
11 Q. Do you see any recognisable sites like the
12 department store, the post office building? Can you
13 confirm that this is downtown Vitez, between the post
14 office, the Workers' Centre, the central
15 [indiscernible], the department store, between the
16 cultural centre and the SDK or the old pharmacy? So
17 would you confirm it?
18 A. I think it is, but I think the film is very
20 Q. The health centre, where was it originally
21 located? It was not far from here, was it?
22 A. About 150 metres away, maybe less.
23 Q. As many metres as you said from this square
24 that we just saw?
25 THE INTERPRETER: "From this park," said the
2 MR. KOVACIC:
3 Q. Did you see a shell hit the municipality
4 building towards the end?
5 A. No, I didn't. We saw about 12 people injured
6 by a shell. Among them was an Englishman who was
7 waging war on the HVO side.
8 Q. My question, Mr. Mujezinovic, was whether you
9 heard or saw, from your window, shells falling on the
10 centre of Vitez in the days you didn't go to work?
11 A. No, I really don't know. A war is a war. I
12 didn't ask many questions. I was working. I tried to
13 tell you that while I was working, a shell hit the post
14 office and that we had 10 or 12 injured people, among
15 whom was an Englishman. But whether there were shells
16 before that, I really couldn't say. I know that
17 Dr. Franjo Tibold told me that there were many dead,
18 but I didn't see them.
19 Q. Doctor, I understand that. But tell me,
20 please, when you came to work on the 19th, didn't you
21 ask why the health centre had been moved to a reserve
22 location which was far less favourable than in the
24 A. Yes, that is quite correct, but we were safer
1 Q. Safer from what?
2 A. Shells or anything, because I had chosen that
4 Q. So there was shelling of the town?
5 A. I don't know that. I didn't go into town. I
6 was working. I said I was driven to and from work and
7 my house.
8 Q. And you never saw a single -- or heard a
9 single shell fall nearby?
10 A. I do know that there was shelling and I heard
11 shells, but I personally didn't see them, nor the
12 extent of the damage.
13 Q. Very well. Let's go back to the meetings.
14 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, do you want to
15 continue or --
16 JUDGE MAY: Let's try and finish at least
17 your cross-examination, Mr. Kovacic.
18 MR. KOVACIC: My guess is I will need about
19 half an hour, so for tomorrow morning, perhaps 15
20 minutes, 20 minutes.
21 (Trial Chamber confers)
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Tomorrow morning.
23 Mr. Kovacic, I must ask you to complete your
24 cross-examination in half an hour tomorrow, if you
25 would set your mind to it.
1 Mr. Sayers, I hope you're not going to be too
2 long, since Mr. Kovacic has borne the brunt of it.
3 MR. SAYERS: I think Mr. Kovacic has been
4 extremely thorough, and I would hope, Your Honour, to
5 be less than half an hour myself.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
7 MR. NICE: Could I just raise the question of
8 remaining witnesses for the week, if the Court is about
9 to adjourn?
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
11 MR. NICE: (redacted) is here, and his material
12 is being prepared. In case it's going to help the
13 Court, we just had this document. I trust a similar
14 document will be available for a volume of material
15 that is much smaller in quantity. I think it's about
16 that much to read, and that includes the B/C/S
17 translations. It deals with another municipality, so
18 that in theory, it could take quite a long time,
19 because municipalities, in theory and according to the
20 plan I've made, have to be dealt with thoroughly. But
21 were you to read the material, you would probably think
22 it was very familiar and very similar to what you've
23 heard before. It's not, of course, the same. It's
24 simply that things unfolded in the different
25 municipalities in a similar way.
1 So we have it in mind, as a possibility, that
2 we can deal with this witness shortly, if that's
3 acceptable to the Tribunal.
4 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Stein?
5 MR. STEIN: I rise because I don't know what
6 document Mr. Nice is referring to, and we haven't been
7 supplied with same.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let us release the doctor.
9 Dr. Mujezinovic, I'm afraid you've got to
10 come back tomorrow, but it will be the last day. If
11 you would like to go now, rather than wait for this,
12 could you be back, please, at 9.45? Thank you.
13 A. Thank you, Your Honour.
14 (The witness withdrew)
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes. First of all, which
16 municipality are we going to --
17 MR. NICE: [Indiscernible], which you can
18 find -- if any of you is using this map, which you can
19 find to the south of Busovaca, over the fold, and then
20 down there. It's not itemised as a municipality, the
21 subject of a tax or anything of that sort. It's
22 included for the Prosecution Count 1.
23 The document that I was referring to and that
24 Mr. Stein doesn't have is a document that I don't have
25 yet. It's a document that Mr. Scott, who is preparing
1 this witness, is, I hope, preparing at the moment, and
2 it will be another route map, through the limited
3 number of statements that this witness has made,
4 identifying the topics that he can deal with.
5 The reason I'm interested to know whether we
6 can deal with him swiftly is because, of course, if we
7 can deal with him shortly and properly, then I will
8 ensure that Mr. McLeod flies across tomorrow in order
9 that we can use Thursday and Friday morning with him.
10 I realise that again will impose something of
11 a burden on the Chamber, because it would suggest that
12 McLeod's report could be preread, but there's a
13 balancing exercise here between getting the evidence in
14 properly, swiftly, and being completely free from
15 reading outside court. That's the problem.
16 JUDGE MAY: Which are the documents you want
17 us to read?
18 MR. NICE: If the Court is prepared, in the
19 case of (redacted), to have and to consider reading his
20 witness statements, our guess is it would take,
21 perhaps, experienced judges 30 minutes to read, and
22 that would probably be about it.
23 JUDGE MAY: We certainly would be prepared to
24 do that. Yes, Mr. Stein?
25 MR. STEIN: This raises the issue we're going
1 to be addressing tomorrow and a theme throughout this
2 case, and the Prosecution's continuing invitation for
3 Your Honours to read the witness statements for their
4 tactical judgements that that will impress on you,
5 because you will see it first-hand with your own eyes
6 and read it in your own way is the importance of the
7 statements. We oppose that. We've always opposed it
8 and continue to oppose it.
9 In fact, as I will state clearly today and
10 tomorrow, the reading of the documents will
11 guarantee -- the reading of the statements in the
12 fashion that the Prosecutor suggests will guarantee
13 that the cross-examination will be more prolonged than
14 less, whereas I intend to propose something tomorrow
15 that I think can resolve the issue I've just raised and
16 the Prosecutor's concern.
17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Stein, I
18 don't think this prejudges, in any way, what we're
19 going to discuss in the afternoon or the decisions to
20 be taken by the Chamber.
21 As you know with Judge May, he converted us
22 to his culture of working in a pragmatic way, so we
23 avoid general rules and we're working in a practical
24 way, in a pragmatic way. So this is a very concrete
25 and practical proposal that is being made to us, and we
1 would like you to accept it, and then we'll see about
2 more general stuff. But for the time being, I think we
3 should be practical, if we want to get ahead with this
5 MR. STEIN: Very good, Your Honour, and
6 actually I'll be proposing some, I like to think,
7 practical ways and modern advocacy tomorrow afternoon
8 as well.
9 JUDGE MAY: Well, we'll consider that. But
10 as far as this witness is concerned, if we can have
11 copies of the statements, we'll read them.
12 What we read in the statements, may I
13 emphasise, is not the evidence. It is the evidence
14 which is given which counts. But I hope that this will
15 speed things up. So there's no need to cross-examine
16 what's in the statements, unless you want to controvert
17 something as a result of it.
18 We are not a jury. I make that point yet
19 again. We are not a jury. We are quite capable of
20 distinguishing between what is evidence and what merely
21 appears in a statement, and putting out of our minds
22 entirely something which is in a statement. But if
23 it's going to assist us to get on with it, so much the
24 better. The only thing is we don't have a copy of the
1 MR. NICE: Well, as the Court will remember,
2 Ms. Featherstone has a master copy in her room. I'll
3 make arrangements with her to ensure that either we or
4 she copies the statements and that all of the
5 statements are in English. I'm afraid they are not yet
6 in French. There is an exercise under way,
7 Judge Bennouna, to have all the statements translated
8 to French, both for yourself and, indeed, for
9 Mr. Lopez-Terres, who would prefer them in French, and
10 they will be with you, in your offices, I hope within
11 half an hour, at the very maximum, or shorter if that's
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski?
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honour,
15 I apologise for asking for the floor, but I wish to
16 make just one point. Of course, I understand that you
17 have every right to read these statements and will do
18 so, but as for the witness that is coming tomorrow, one
19 of the statements is a statement which, according to
20 our law, cannot be considered as evidence in court, and
21 I should like you to bear that fact in mind. Namely,
22 it is a statement given to a body which, according to
23 the law of the former Yugoslavia, including the
24 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, had no authority to
25 take a statement which would automatically be used as
1 evidence in court, nor was the citizen warned of the
2 necessity to speak the truth and all the other notices
3 that are given to a witness normally when making a
4 statement. And this is just something I wish to draw
5 Your Honour's attention to.
6 JUDGE MAY: Which statement is that, and to
7 what body?
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) It's one of
9 the statements outside the statement taken by the
10 investigator. I can look it up.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think, Mr. Naumovski,
12 that's sufficient to identify it. That is sufficient
13 to identify it.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) It's a
15 statement dated the 5th of June, 1997, which that
16 witness gave to AID, the agency for research and
17 documentation in Sarajevo.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll bear that in
19 mind when we look at the statements.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
21 Your Honours.
22 JUDGE MAY: If we can have the statements as
23 soon as possible, we'll read them, and --
24 MR. NICE: I think Mr. Scott's document is
25 available. I'll distribute that.
1 JUDGE MAY: If you would, please. And we'll
2 meet again at 9.45.
3 MR. NICE: I will make arrangements for
4 McLeod to come over tomorrow, in hope, but not
5 necessarily in guaranteed expectation.
6 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
7 4.15 p.m., to be reconvened on
8 Wednesday, the 12th day of May,
9 1999, at 9.45 a.m.