1 Tuesday, 8th June, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 10.10 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 Case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus Dario
8 Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres?
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
11 Mr. President, Your Honours, we have a witness, his
12 name is Ekrem Mahmutovic, and he will give us some
13 information about facts which took place in the town of
14 Vares and the village of Stupni Do in 1992 and 1993.
15 Mr. Mahmutovic will, in the course --
16 JUDGE MAY: The solemn declaration; let the
17 witness take that.
18 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
19 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
21 JUDGE MAY: If you would like to take a
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: Mr. President, Your
24 Honour, as I was saying, Mr. Mahmutovic will tell us
25 about events in the town of -- in the municipality of
1 Vares in the village of Stupni Do in 1992 and 1993, and
2 in his testimony he will give us the names of seven
3 localities which are on the maps that we have here.
4 Before he begins his testimony, I should like
5 to show the witness two maps which were prepared to
6 this effect and on which he will be able to indicate
7 various localities that he refers to in his testimony.
8 These are exhibit pieces Z26124 and 26125, which I want
9 to show the witness.
10 WITNESS: EKREM MAHMUTOVIC
11 Examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
13 [Witness answers through interpreter]
14 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, you have before you two maps,
15 and on these two maps, beginning by the larger one,
16 2612,4, will you please point at various localities
17 that we shall talk about -- and that you mentioned in
18 your statement, too -- but first show us, where is
19 Vares on this map?
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Do we have
21 it on the map? Yes, we do.
22 Q. Could you indicate it, please? Could you
23 please show us where Vares is on the map?
24 THE INTERPRETER: The witness says nothing.
25 A. (Indicating)
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES:
2 Q. Thank you. Then we also shall be talking
3 about Strijezevo.
4 A. Vares, on the map, is north-east of Sarajevo,
5 on the road Sarajevo/Vares/Olovo, 50 kilometres or
6 thereabouts away from Sarajevo, at the foothills of the
7 mountain Zvijezda.
8 Q. Could you tell us where is Strijezevo? I'm
9 sorry if I'm not pronouncing it properly, but could you
10 tell us where that place is?
11 A. Strijezevo is to the south-west of Vares, on
12 the right-hand side of the road, Sarajevo/Vares, about
13 13 kilometres away.
14 Q. Could you tell us where the locality of
15 Dabravine is?
16 A. Dabravine is on the Sarajevo/Vares road, 14
17 kilometres away from Vares.
18 Q. Will you also please show us the locality
19 called Pajtov Han.
20 A. Pajtov Han is 7 kilometres from Vares on the
21 Sarajevo/Vares road.
22 Q. And will you now show us the town of
23 Kiseljak, please, in relation to Vares.
24 A. The town of Kiseljak is to the south-west of
25 Vares. I wouldn't know the exact distance.
1 Q. Will you now take the second map, just for a
2 moment, and indicate on this map the locality of
3 Brgule, a place which is called Brgule, on the second
5 A. No, it's not Brgule. I'm sorry. It's --
6 Brgule, it is about 20 kilometres from Vares, and it is
7 practically east of the town, from the centre of the
9 Q. And could now show us Stupni Do, the village
10 of Stupni Do, and tell us, where is it in relation to
12 A. Stupni Do is to the left of the
13 Sarajevo/Vares road. It is two and a half kilometres
14 away from Vares Majdan, and it is to the south-east.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Prosecutor please
17 speak into the microphone? We can barely hear him.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Right.
19 Q. Now that we've established geography, if I
20 may say so, Mr. Mahmutovic, we shall now turn to
21 information that you can give us and which derives from
22 your statement given to the Prosecutor's office on the
23 3rd of December, 1992, and in view of the changes in
24 your statement which you made after the written
25 statement. So I shall be referring to the summary of
1 your statement in order to get precise, concise
2 answers, and if I need any additional information as to
3 it, then I will ask you to amplify on your answers.
4 Mr. Ekrem Mahmutovic, you were born in 1950
5 in the municipality of Breza; is that so?
6 A. In the area of the municipality of Breza, in
7 a village there.
8 Q. Thank you. You studied political sciences in
9 Sarajevo for two years, and after that, did your
10 military service in the school for artillery officers
11 in Zadar; is that so?
12 A. Yes, I did serve -- yes, I did serve my
13 military service in the school for reserve officers,
14 artillery, anti-aircraft, in Zadar.
15 Q. And after that, you returned to Vares, and
16 you worked in a mine first because Vares is a mining
17 town, and then you began working for a company
18 manufacturing optical devices; is that so?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. Then, in April 1992, you were appointed a
21 commander of a reconnaissance unit of the joint defence
22 in Vares; is that so?
23 A. Yes, it is correct. In 1992, I was appointed
24 the commander of the reconnaissance unit.
25 Q. Then, in July 1992, you were appointed the
1 commander of the Territorial Defence of the
2 municipality of Vares?
3 A. Upon the orders of the head of the staff of
4 the municipality, Mr. Sefer Halilovic, I was appointed
5 the commander of the Territorial Defence staff.
6 Q. Thank you. You left the army with the rank
7 of captain of the first class, is that so, in 1995?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. You have been living in Vares since 1961?
10 A. I've lived in Vares since 1961.
11 Q. You are now consultant for defence matters
12 with the Vares police; is that so?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You were a member of the SDP, that is, the
15 Social Democratic Party, and now you are the
16 vice-president of an ethnically-mixed party which is
17 called Zabih in Vares, and you are its vice-president
18 now, are you?
19 A. It is correct. I am the vice-president of
20 the party for Bosnia-Herzegovina, its subsidiary in
22 Q. Now, after this --
23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Excuse me.
24 Could the witness tell us what does "Zabih" mean?
25 Could the witness please tell us what "Zabih" means
1 exactly? Could you please explain what "Zabih" means
2 or what is the programme of the Zabih party?
3 A. This is the party for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
4 "Za" means "for". "Bih" is "Bosnia-Herzegovina". The
5 party was founded two years ago. It is headed by
6 Mr. Haris Silajdzic. The party has its programme, and
7 it made me decide to join the party, and that is a
8 struggle for Bosnia-Herzegovina, such as it is within
9 its nationally-recognised borders. That is, that all
10 those who left their homesteads can go back to the
11 places they left and to achieve coexistence in the
12 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 THE INTERPRETER: So "Zabih" means "for
14 Bosnia-Herzegovina". This is the interpreter's
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Thank you
17 very much.
18 Q. Now let us go back to events which took place
19 in Vares, that is, the municipality of Vares, after the
20 elections of 1990. The census which took place in 1991
21 tells us that in Vares, there were about 22.000
22 inhabitants, of whom about 40 per cent were Catholics,
23 30 per cent were Bosnian Muslims, and about 19 per cent
24 were Serbs?
25 A. This is a fact deriving from the 1991 census,
1 and that's what it is. It was published in statistical
3 Q. That election which took place towards the
4 end of 1990, it was the SDP, the Socialist Democratic
5 Party, which won the largest number of seats. SDZ, the
6 Croat Democratic Union, ranked second, and the SDA, the
7 Muslim party, came third; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is. That was the order on this, SDP,
9 HDZ, SDA, and there was also UBSD. But the rest of
10 them are negligible.
11 Q. After these elections, the offices were
12 distributed in accordance with the results achieved by
13 these three parties, so that the mayor who was elected
14 at the time was a Croat, who was a member of the SDP
15 and whose name was Dario Andrijevic?
16 A. Yes. Dario Andrijevic was, on the basis of
17 the ethnicity, that is, on the basis of the majority in
18 the SDP, was elected the mayor of Vares.
19 Q. In the same fashion, the commander of the
20 Territorial Defence, at that time when it was joint in
21 Vares at the time, was also another Croat but also a
22 member of the SDP?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. The relations following these elections in
25 1991 and 1992, the relations I mean among individual
1 ethnic groups, what would you call them; good,
2 harmonious, or how were they?
3 A. I think they were remarkably good.
4 Q. At the end of March 1992, the commander of
5 the Territorial Defence, a joint body that we have just
6 mentioned, a Croat from the SDP was replaced by
7 Mr. Borivoje Malbasic, who was another Croat coming
8 from the same SDP party but who, according to what you
9 said, was more open to the nationalist Croatian party,
10 the HDZ?
11 MR. STEIN: I object.
12 JUDGE MAY: Is there any dispute about this?
13 MR. STEIN: There is a dispute about this.
14 The witness's conclusion about why this politician was
15 replaced, his purpose, this is a pure political
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, there being dispute about
18 it, Mr. Lopez-Terres, you had better deal with it in a
19 non-leading form.
20 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
21 Q. Mr. Borivoje Malbasic was a member of the
22 SDP, Mr. Mahmutovic, was he not?
23 A. I know that he was officially a member of the
25 Q. Being a member of the SDP, did Mr. Borivoje
1 Malbasic have ideas close to the Croatian HDZ party?
2 A. I couldn't really talk about his feelings and
3 ideas, but I do know that he was a member of the SDP,
4 and that as a member of the SDP, he was appointed to
5 the position of command of the Territorial Defence for
6 the simple reason given that the previous commander of
7 the Territorial Defence did not fulfil all his duties
9 Q. The appointment of Mr. Malbasic, was that
10 done with the consent and approval of the HDZ?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. In the period that followed the appointment
13 of Mr. Malbasic, the HVO started to form its own
14 military forces, these being separate from the
15 Territorial Defence forces which were joint until then,
16 and these forces started to carry specific insignia
17 with the red and white characteristic marks?
18 A. Exactly the way you just said, there was a
19 gradual separation between units of the Territorial
20 Defence. Within the units, some carried the checker
21 board insignia and others carried insignia on their
22 left arms with the word "Vares" written on it.
23 Q. You were able to note, in the same period,
24 that the HVO forces were receiving new uniforms, new
25 equipment, weapons and materiel, whereas at the same
1 time you were able to note that the Territorial Defence
2 was receiving nothing and had difficulty in obtaining
3 food even; is that correct?
4 A. Exactly. That is the way I saw it, yes.
5 Q. The HVO forces also started parading with
6 their weapons in the streets of Vares?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What was the effect of these parades on the
9 local population, particularly on the Muslims?
10 A. Simply, the impression was that the HVO
11 forces were trying to make a show of force and to
12 demonstrate that force in public.
13 Q. At the beginning of May 1992, the same
14 person, Borivoje Malbasic, gave an order in which he
15 decided to change the name of the headquarters of the
16 joint Territorial Defence, which became the operational
17 headquarters, and then the HVO headquarters itself
18 became autonomous. It was moved and established three
19 kilometres from Vares in a hotel called Ponikve?
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) If I may, my
24 learned colleague is exaggerating with these leading
25 questions. He has said everything. He doesn't leave
1 the witness the opportunity to say anything. I would
2 suggest that questions be put to the witness rather
3 than the questioning being done in this leading
4 manner. Thank you.
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Naumovski, is there any
6 dispute about this? It sounded to be quite a
7 straightforward matter of fact. Is there a dispute
8 that the HVO headquarters was in a hotel; is that in
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I'm not
11 disputing that fact. I am just asking that the witness
12 be questioned in a way that is appropriate and why he
13 has come. We agreed to leading questions with regard
14 to general personal data, but these are other matters,
15 particularly so as in the introduction the Prosecutor
16 said that the witness has certain changes to make in
17 relation to his previous testimony. The Defence is not
18 aware of those changes, however.
19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, the point is
20 this: If there's no dispute about these matters, if
21 they are straightforward matters of fact such as a
22 headquarters being in a particular building, what is
23 the point of not leading the witness to those facts?
24 If there are facts in dispute, then of course it's a
25 different matter, but we are wasting time if there is
1 no dispute about these matters.
2 Mr. Lopez-Terres, when you get to
3 controversial matters, would you please see, of course,
4 that you don't lead. So any matters about the accused
5 or anything of that sort, don't lead.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
7 Mr. Naumovski, I think that we agreed with you and the
8 Prosecutor that we should apply this method of work.
9 We are not going to re-discuss the issue every time.
10 We're going to ask you for your cooperation so that
11 this trial may be conducted in the fairest possible
12 manner but also in the most effective and expeditious
13 manner, and you agreed to that.
14 Regarding the method, we agreed on it, but of
15 course if there is a controversial issue, then you may
16 raise an objection. You should not object in
17 principle, because we have already reached an agreement
18 on that.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
22 Q. To the establishment of the HVO in a separate
23 headquarters, the HDZ and the HVO of Vares established
24 a military police unit consisting of some 40 members.
25 All were very well equipped and well paid; is that
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. This unit received orders from a person whose
4 name was Zvonko Duznovic who you described --
5 JUDGE MAY: I think now we're getting to
6 matters where you shouldn't lead. I suspect they will
7 be matters of controversy. So if you would just ask
8 the witness about Mr. Duznovic, who he was and any
9 relevant matter about him.
10 MR. STEIN: Judge, may I enquire, because I'm
11 frankly lost, do you have the Prosecutor's summary that
12 we were handed?
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. I'm on paragraph 20.
14 MR. STEIN: Thank you, Sir.
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
16 Q. Could you talk to us about Mr. Zvonko
17 Duznovic and any links that he may have had with the
18 military police units that we have just mentioned?
19 A. Zvonko Duznovic is my colleague from the iron
20 works in Vares. We worked together, and after the war
21 broke out within the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 and after he joined the HDZ, he was appointed also to
23 the post of security officer in the Territorial Defence
24 headquarters formed at the end of March in 1992.
25 Q. Was he a highly-committed member of the HDZ,
1 a prominent militant member?
2 A. I know that whatever he set out to do, he
3 carried out completely, and the orders that he
4 received, I don't know who from, he carried out them
5 conscientiously, together with the police that he used
6 to carry out his tasks.
7 Q. Did Mr. Duznovic have an influence over that
8 military police unit?
9 A. Mr. Duznovic did have influence over that
11 Q. What were the actions undertaken by that
12 military police unit in the town of Vares after it was
14 A. Having been established, the first operation
15 after training carried out by that unit was an attack
16 on a Serbian village called Planica, then also full
17 control over the municipality of Vares municipality,
18 the setting up of checkpoints at all exits from Vares
19 municipality which were manned and controlled by them.
20 Q. You indicated that Mr. Duznovic was a person
21 with authority and conviction. This authority and
22 conviction, was it exercised also over Mr. Borivoje
24 A. Whatever I said, I abide by, and that is so,
25 the way you said it.
1 Q. Could you tell us about a conversation that
2 you had one day with Mr. Borivoje Malbasic regarding
3 the activities and role of Zvonko Duznovic?
4 MR. STEIN: May it please the Court, this is
5 absolute hearsay and irrelevant to this case.
6 JUDGE MAY: You know, Mr. Stein, this isn't a
7 trial in a municipal jurisdiction where you have a jury
8 to protect and it may be that there are frequent
9 interruptions. This is a trial before an International
10 Court with professional judges. You know also that the
11 rule against hearsay doesn't apply here. It would be
12 sensible to allow this witness to give his evidence
13 without constant interruption.
14 MR. STEIN: I accept that, Judge, but my
15 problem is, frankly, the relevance of all of this.
16 JUDGE MAY: Well, let us be the judges of
18 MR. STEIN: Very good, Sir.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Perhaps we could deal with
20 this fairly rapidly.
21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
22 Q. Could you report on the conversation that you
23 had with Mr. Malbasic one day, quickly, in a few words?
24 A. Yes. Upon orders from Mr. Malbasic, I was
25 commander of a reconnaissance unit of the Territorial
1 Defence, and according to the chain of command, I was
2 accountable to him. Upon my request that my soldiers
3 should not be harassed in town, that their weapons
4 should not be taken away from them, that they could
5 move freely, that they could go home to have a bath and
6 change, he said he could do nothing about it because
7 Zvonko Duznovic was not obeying his orders.
8 Q. This influence of Mr. Duznovic, did it reach
9 the president of the HDZ at the time, Mr. Ante
11 A. The same relationship, in my view, existed
12 between Ante Pejcinovic and Zvonko Duznovic as between
13 Borivoje Malbasic and Zvonko Duznovic.
14 Q. Did you hear Mr. Duznovic holding speeches
15 that were hostile in relation to the Muslims on Radio
17 JUDGE MAY: Just ask the witness what
18 Mr. Duznovic said.
19 Can you tell us that, please, Mr. Mahmutovic?
20 A. Yes, Your Honours, I shall try to quote what
21 was occasionally stated on Radio Vares, and that was
22 that Vares was Croatian, that it would remain Croatian,
23 and that there could be no existence with other peoples
24 within the territory of Vares municipality because only
25 Croats should live there.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
2 Q. This type of statement, was it repeated in
3 other ways, in everyday life? Particularly, did you
4 see posters with similar messages?
5 A. In public places, posters were hung up, in
6 places used for information, with proclamations calling
7 Croats to unite, to defend their compactness, saying
8 that Vares was theirs, and that they must live in
9 Vares, and that there could be no coexistence with
10 other peoples who used to live in Vares.
11 Q. Were you informed during June 1992 that the
12 HDZ and the HVO were planning to take over power in
13 Vares on the 15th of June, 1992?
14 A. Exactly. I was informed that this event was
15 being prepared, that the HVO -- or rather that the HDZ,
16 who were becoming closer, according to the civilian and
17 military sense, were preparing to take over full
18 control of Vares municipality.
19 Q. Did you see a document in which this project
20 was indicated, an order on the take-over of power in
22 A. I didn't see the document at the time, but I
23 saw it subsequently, after the act was actually carried
25 Q. Could you tell us under which circumstances
1 you saw that document and who had signed it?
2 A. The document on the take-over of power in
3 Vares was signed by the commander of the HVO, Borivoj
4 Malbasic, and I saw it in the archive.
5 Q. When was this document discovered? When did
6 you personally see it?
7 A. I personally saw that document a few days
8 after the BH army units entered Vares.
9 Q. Could you give us the date when the BH army
10 took over Vares?
11 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina took over
12 Vares on the 4th of November, 1993.
13 Q. Since you have seen that document, could you
14 tell us in a few words what the order consisted of and
15 to whom it was addressed?
16 A. The order was addressed to units that had
17 been designated for the take-over of power, and there
18 was the military police there, part of the so-called
19 sabotage units. It contained instructions as to the
20 sequence of the take-over of individual buildings,
21 starting from the civilian police, the post office,
22 then the radio station, the Vares radio station, the
23 municipality building, the social accounting service,
24 the banks, and all the other facilities of importance.
25 Q. When you were informed of this plan at the
1 beginning of June, a plan that was to be implemented on
2 the 15th of June, did you decide to take specific
3 measures to oppose the implementation of this project?
4 A. Yes. My unit was based on the second floor
5 of the police building, in an office of the former
6 Territorial Defence headquarters, and the commander of
7 the unit who was on duty at the time was given the task
8 to strengthen guardposts being held by my unit.
9 Q. Could you tell us what happened to you on the
10 15th of June, 1992, around midnight?
11 A. Just before midnight, I received a telephone
12 call from the president, Dario Andrijevic, to come to
13 an emergency meeting, upon orders from Malbasic, in the
14 premises of the police headquarters.
15 Q. Who else did you see at that meeting?
16 A. At the meeting, there was Duznovic,
17 Pejcinovic, Dario Andrijevic, Malbasic, and myself.
18 Q. What did they ask of you during that meeting?
19 A. They asked me who had allowed me to reinforce
20 guard positions held by my soldiers.
21 Q. What did you answer, and what was their
23 A. I answered that I had done that on my own
24 initiative, as I had received certain reports that
25 something could occur; and in order to protect my
1 soldiers, I had, myself, issued orders to reinforce
3 Q. At the end of that meeting, what decisions
4 were taken regarding you?
5 A. I was ordered to report to the command the
6 next day, which was based in the Ponikve Hotel, and
7 that I would be given orders to abandon the city,
8 together with my unit, and to continue reconnaissance
9 duties in the Nisici plateau.
10 Q. This reconnaissance had do with the front
11 line with the Serbs, didn't it?
12 A. It was to reconnoitre the rear of Serb
14 Q. How strong was your unit?
15 A. My unit was formed, in accordance with the
16 rules of the former Yugoslav People's Army, of Type 2,
17 45 soldiers.
18 Q. How many soldiers?
19 A. Forty-five.
20 Q. I see. Were there other units in addition to
21 yours in the town of Vares in June 1992? I mean, other
22 units of the Territorial Defence?
23 A. Yes. Territorial Defence units emanated from
24 the organisation of the Territorial Defence that
25 existed within the framework of the former Yugoslav
1 People's Army, and they were actually reserve forces.
2 With the events in Sarajevo, those units were placed in
3 combat readiness and were mobilised.
4 Q. I apologise for interrupting,
5 Mr. Mahmutovic. My question was, were there other
6 soldiers of the Territorial Defence units in the town
7 of Vares in June 1992 in addition to your own unit?
8 That means were there only 45 soldiers, or were there
10 A. No, that is just one unit that was in town.
11 There was just that one unit in town itself.
12 Q. And the other Territorial Defence units, were
13 they based outside the town?
14 A. All the other units were located in local
15 communities and in the barracks in Zabrdze.
16 Q. Let me rephrase my question once again. On
17 the 15th of June, 1992, your unit of 45 men was the
18 only unit in the town of Vares for the Territorial
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. You had already carried out
22 reconnaissance in Nisici in the past?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Was it indispensable, in the case of
25 Nisici, on the 15th of June, 1992?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What kind of operations did you conduct at
3 Nisici at the time?
4 A. The first order we received from the staff
5 commander, Borivoj Malbasic, was to reconnoitre the
6 positions held at the time by the Serb army on the
7 plateau, on the elevations.
8 Q. Do you remember that order of the 15th of
9 June, 1992, to go to Nisici? You were being sent to
10 investigate Serb positions; was that done with the
11 purpose of getting you out of Vares?
12 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think that may well be a
13 comment, Mr. Lopez-Terres. That will be for us to
16 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
17 Q. When you returned from Nisici, you spent 15
18 days -- that is, the 1st of July, 1992, when you came
19 back to Vares with your unit -- and what did you find
21 A. There I found HVO units deployed along all
22 the -- on all the positions that were already mentioned
23 earlier, and ready for combat.
24 Q. Did you note that the HVO had taken over the
25 control over the town?
1 A. Well, of course I noted it, because one could
2 not enter any office, not even the office where the
3 communications centre was.
4 Q. Had a new mayor been designated for the town
5 of Vares?
6 A. I tried to call by telephone some of the
7 Territorial Defence representatives; that is -- but I
8 could not establish contact with the staff. However, I
9 learnt in no time that Mr. Anto Pejcinovic had already
10 taken over the office of the mayor, of the municipal
12 Q. But Mr. Pejcinovic was already there, wasn't
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And the head of the police, was the chief of
16 the police also replaced?
17 A. Yes, the former chief was replaced, and Ivica
18 Gavran was appointed chief of the police -- civilian, I
20 Q. Mr. Pejcinovic, new mayor, did he bring in a
21 new team to ensure the functioning of the
23 A. Most offices in the municipality were taken
24 over by new people.
25 Q. Did some Muslims stay on the team?
1 A. That was so, I believe.
2 Q. Could you tell us, which offices did those
3 persons hold?
4 A. Yes, some Muslims did hold some posts in the
5 administration. That was the health department, the
6 education department, finances department, and I think
7 civilian defence, if I'm correct.
8 Q. Do you think that those were the most
9 important offices in the municipality?
10 A. I don't think that those were the most
11 important offices.
12 Q. On the 1st of July, 1992, a new order was
13 issued by Mr. Borivoj Malbasic regarding the
14 Territorial Defence. Could you tell us something about
15 that particular order?
16 A. It was issued to prohibit the activities, the
17 work of the Territorial Defence.
18 Q. Did you see that document with your own eyes?
19 A. Yes, because it was served on me, and I was
20 advised that I could not be involved with the
21 Territorial Defence any longer.
22 Q. On the 2nd or 3rd of July, 1992, the former
23 mayor, Andrijevic, submitted his resignation, didn't
25 A. Yes, he tendered his resignation, and I was
1 present when -- to the legally elected deputy mayor,
2 his resignation, the paper notifying his resignation.
3 Her name was Mervana Hadzimurtezic.
4 Q. And after the 2nd or 3rd of July, 1992, did
5 you see an announcement addressing the Croat population
6 in Vares? Was there such an announcement there?
7 A. Announcements were frequent at the time.
8 Yes, at that time there was also an announcement
9 calling all -- inviting all Croats to unite.
10 Q. And at the same time, did the HVO in Vares
11 decide to prohibit all the political parties but the
13 A. Yes, there were -- all the political parties
14 were prohibited, or any party gatherings, any party
15 activities, were also prohibited.
16 Q. Were there also some announcements in the
17 town that the HVO would not recognise the presidency of
18 the republic in Sarajevo or the general staff of the
19 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Who were, according to these announcements,
22 who were the individuals whom the HVO recognised as
23 persons who had the authority to issue orders?
24 A. It was the command and leadership line which
25 led to Grude, or rather Kiseljak, Kiseljak, Central
1 Bosnia, Busovaca, and others. It was that particular
2 line. To speak about the direct line, I could not
3 really say whether the command was in Kiseljak or
4 Grude, but it was that -- that was the line of command
5 and control, more or less.
6 Q. But I'm referring to announcements or posters
7 which referred to Mr. Mate Boban or Franjo Tudjman.
8 Were there any announcements, were there any posters or
9 anything that would be referring to those two
11 A. Yes, there was such a poster, with those
12 contents, saying that they were accountable to Mate
13 Boban -- or, rather, Franjo Tudjman, and that Franjo
14 Tudjman was their president.
15 Q. As of July 1992, could you also observe some
16 changes regarding the freedom of movement of Muslims in
17 the municipality of Vares?
18 A. Yes, certain changes did take place,
19 especially as some persons -- some of the personalities
20 of eminence, figures of eminence in the political life
21 of Vares, were arrested. Then, as for the freedom of
22 movement, one could not leave freely the municipality
23 without special permits which had to be signed by
24 Mr. Zvonko Duznovic.
25 Q. Once this control was assumed by the HVO over
1 Vares, was there also an order issued by the accused,
2 Dario Kordic, which --
3 JUDGE MAY: If there's going to be a question
4 about one of the accused, unless it's not in dispute,
5 then the question should be asked in a non-leading
7 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
8 Q. To your knowledge, did the accused, Dario
9 Kordic, in one way or the other --
10 JUDGE MAY: No, simply ask if he heard
11 anything about Dario Kordic at this time.
12 Mr. Mahmutovic, can you deal with that
13 question, please?
14 A. Yes. I repeatedly heard about Dario Kordic
15 as of the moment when he took over the office of the
16 president of the HDZ onward. That is, I heard about
17 him time and time again.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
19 Q. Did you have any information on the basis of
20 which Dario Kordic could perhaps issue orders regarding
21 the take-over of the municipality of Vares, the control
22 over the municipality of Vares?
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Stein?
24 MR. STEIN: Object to the form of the
25 question. We're clearly in paragraph 49. He's trying
1 to elicit at least one level of unreliable testimony
2 from an individual who was not present. We don't know
3 in the context that the individual received the
4 information, whether the individual who received the
5 information received it from other persons. It was
6 received, apparently, after the events. We don't know
7 how, where, when, the context, and all of that packaged
8 into this witness.
9 Therefore, on the basis of Rule 89(D) and
10 (E), I object.
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, will you
12 inquire of the witness, please, how he heard about
13 Mr. Kordic?
14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I was
15 about to do it, but the Defence intervened just as the
16 witness was about to tell us, and the objective of this
17 is precisely to find out what he has to tell us about
19 JUDGE MAY: No, first of all, before he tells
20 us what he heard, how he heard about it.
21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
22 Q. Under what circumstances and from whom did
23 you get this information about the possible role of
24 Dario Kordic with regard to the take-over of control
25 over the town, over the municipality of Vares?
1 A. There is an order saying roughly that the
2 control in Vares should be taken over as soon as
3 possible, and I believe it could be found somewhere in
4 the Vares archives.
5 Q. But did you read that order personally? Or
6 was it reported to you?
7 A. Yes. I saw that order after the BH army
8 units entered Vares and I heard about the order from my
9 officer who was responsible for the collection of
11 Q. And what was the officer's name?
12 A. His name was Nenad Gvozdenovic.
13 Q. So you are telling us that you first learnt
14 from that person about the existence of that order, and
15 after that you also could see that order for yourself?
16 A. That is so.
17 MR. STEIN: Frankly, Judge, I plead
18 surprise. In none of the papers given to us, the
19 summaries of what the witness will say, the summary
20 before you, which is before you now, that the scripts
21 been followed, nor in the witness statement is there
22 any indication that he ever saw, with his own eyes,
23 this order. Everything that we've been led to believe
24 thus far, was that he had heard about it.
25 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Stein, you can ask the
1 witness about that in cross-examination, but the
2 witness says that he saw the order, so he can give
3 evidence of what it was that he saw.
4 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (No interpretation)
5 JUDGE MAY: We have lost the translation.
6 Can we find out, first of all, what it was
7 that the witness saw on the document, the order?
8 A. It is a brief order saying that the HVO of
9 Vares must take over all control in the territory of
10 the Vares municipality.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Who signed that?
12 A. There was Dario Kordic's signature.
13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) To round off
14 this particular information, could the witness tell us
15 under what circumstances did he see that order?
16 A. I saw that order in a part of the archive
17 which was shown me, which was shown me in the
18 municipality hall in Vares.
19 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
20 Q. Excuse me. This is the archives that you
21 already told us about when you said that BH army took
22 over some of the documents on the archives when it took
23 again the control of Vares in 1993; is that so?
24 A. No. What I said was that a part of the
25 archives was in the municipality hall, and I had access
1 to it, and the mayor, Mervana Hadzimurtezic, and that
2 text was then turned over to the archives. I don't
3 know where it is now.
4 Q. No. But my question was under what
5 circumstances was this document disclosed, because you
6 already mentioned some other documents before that.
7 A. Well, no. "Under what circumstances", I
8 don't know what you mean. If you're asking me, "How
9 you saw it?" I saw it on the table on which these
10 documents that had been found in Mr. Pajcinovic's
11 offices were laid out on that desk, and that's where I
12 saw it.
13 Q. I'm going back to what I asked. That
14 document which was seized that you are talking about,
15 and it was seized when the Bosnian and Herzegovinian
16 army took over Vares?
17 A. Yes, but it wasn't seized by the army. It
18 was the mayor who found it in her office, because the
19 civilian authority entered Vares on that same day.
20 Q. So it was the mayor had left that town and
21 left the documents behind; is that so?
22 A. Yes.
23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) That was
24 when, precisely? Could you tell us, when was that?
25 A. If you mean the document, when I saw it, I
1 saw it two or three days after, so it must have been
2 the 5th or the 6th of November, 1993.
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
4 Q. We shall talk about Mrs. Hadzimurtezic, when
5 she became the president of the war presidency. So
6 this institution was set up and she stayed in Vares
7 first, but then she left the town. And we shall now
8 talk about two places that we already referred to in
9 the beginning of your testimony, Strijezevo and
11 A. Yes. When Mervana was appointed the
12 president of the municipality, the mayor, and after the
13 events, that is, arrests and all the developments in
14 the town, I decided to move out the Territorial Defence
15 staff from the municipality of Vares and its civilian
16 authorities. I decided to evacuate them to the village
17 of Strijezevo. Then because of the weather conditions,
18 I again evacuated these authorities to the village of
20 Q. Could you tell us what the president of this
21 institution, Mrs. Hadzimurtezic, did before she left
22 Vares with regard to the bank account of the municipal
24 A. At the time when Mervana was appointed as the
25 acting president of the municipality, she, as far as I
1 know, did the following: At the social auditing
2 service at the time, she changed the bank account
3 number of the municipality and put her signature so
4 that nobody could use that particular bank account
5 except her as the mayor of the municipality.
6 Q. So the HVO could not draw the money from the
7 municipal account?
8 A. Quite. That meant that nobody but Mervana
9 could sign any order to draw money from that account.
10 Q. The 26th and 27th of July, 1992, could you
11 tell us what happened to you and some other
12 individuals, members of the war presidency?
13 A. In the night hours, that is, from the 26th
14 and 27th of July, I received an anonymous telephone
15 call that my arrest was about to take place and I
16 should leave my flat. I did not do that because I did
17 not think I had any reason, because I had not done
18 anything, so that I stayed in my flat.
19 Shortly afterwards, my doorbell rang and I
20 was asked to open the door. I opened the door, and in
21 the doorway or, rather, in the entrance, in the hallway
22 of the building, there was the president of the SDA
23 party, Avdija Kovacevic, and military policemen behind
24 him, and then Zvonko Duznovic turned up and told me to
25 get ready and that I was to go with them.
1 Q. Then you were detained for several days in
2 the Vares barracks; is that so?
3 A. Yes. From my flat, together with Kovacevic,
4 I was taken to the barracks in Zabrdze, and I found
5 there Mervana Hadzimurtezic, who had been taken into
6 custody before me.
7 Q. You said that you were not ill-treated, that
8 you were only interrogated during those six days, and
9 that the same held true of other persons detained
11 A. Yes. I can affirm that nobody laid a finger
12 on me. But there were regular interrogations, not with
13 any particular contents, not driving anywhere, but
14 there were interrogations.
15 Q. Why do you think you were detained with other
16 persons at the time?
17 A. I still think that all of us who played a
18 role in the Territorial Defence and all those of us who
19 were arrested at the time, so both people from the
20 command and from the civilian authorities, we were all
21 arrested because they wanted to show us that we had
22 absolutely no future there, that there were no
23 prospects for us, and that we should not really do
24 whatever we were doing because it was only nourishing
25 illusions, I mean, it served no purpose.
1 Q. On the 6th of August, 1992, and a few days
2 perhaps later, you were arrested again?
3 A. Yes. On my return from a neighbourhood
4 community, and I was touring there a Territorial
5 Defence unit on the way to Vares Meda, I was arrested
6 and taken under custody at the command at the Ponikve
8 Q. At that hotel, who did you meet there?
9 A. I was taken there by the military police, and
10 at that moment the commander, Borivoje Malbasic,
11 approached me. He was visibly drunk. He had an
12 automatic rifle on his shoulder. I don't know exactly
13 how you call it, it was of Croatian manufacture, saying
14 to me, "Didn't I tell you that you must not engage in
15 any Territorial Defence activities, that that is all
16 over?" Next to him was Emil Harak, who was acting
17 chief of staff at the time, who said nothing. Then
18 Malbasic angrily ordered his policeman to take me to
19 the barracks and to lock me up in the basement.
20 I was taken to the barracks, and I was tied
21 up with -- handcuffed to the bed on the top floor of
22 the barracks, so I wasn't taken to the basement
23 after all.
24 After that, early in the morning the
25 policeman who was guarding me that night came in,
1 untied the handcuffs, tied my hands behind my back, and
2 escorted me to the room occupied by the commander,
3 where Borivoje Malbasic himself was seated.
4 Q. Could you tell us what Mr. Malbasic said to
5 you at that point in time?
6 A. Without looking at me, with bags under his
7 eyes, he said to the policeman that he should untie me
8 and leave the room. Then he stated that there was no
9 time -- that he had no time to deal with me and that I
10 had only two possibilities and that I had no choice,
11 and that was to force Mervana to de-block the bank
12 account or to face silent liquidation.
13 I asked him to allow me to go to the Ponikve
14 Hotel to collect my documents which I had left behind
15 there. He called the policeman who was to escort me,
16 and before that policeman came into the room, he said
17 to me, "There is a third possibility, and that is for
18 me to arrest you and, together with the documentation
19 that I had collected reconnoitring the territory
20 controlled by the Serbs, to hand you over to the
21 Chetniks." Only then did I realise what it was all
22 about, and it was a very big shock for me.
23 Q. You decided to leave Vares at that point,
24 didn't you?
25 A. Yes. Going to my flat, I decided what I was
1 to do and in which order.
2 Q. You asked a member of the war presidency to
3 leave the town with you, didn't you?
4 A. Yes. All the persons who had previously been
5 arrested, I asked them to leave Vares together with me.
6 Q. In the weeks that followed this encounter
7 with Mr. Malbasic, the latter was replaced and moved to
8 the region of Vitez, wasn't he?
9 A. Yes. He was transferred from Vares to the
10 municipality of Vitez. I think he was commander of one
11 of the brigades there, but I don't know which brigade.
12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, it's about time
13 for the break, if that's a convenient moment.
14 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
15 Mr. President, quite.
16 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn for 20
18 --- Recess taken at 11.33 a.m.
19 --- On resuming at 12.00 p.m.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
21 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (No interpretation)
22 JUDGE MAY: No translation so far.
23 THE INTERPRETER: I beg your pardon, Your
24 Honour. Interpreter's fault. Didn't switch on the
1 JUDGE MAY: Shall we go on to the next
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) We have
4 got to the year of 1993, specifically the second
5 important point of Mr. Mahmutovic's testimony regarding
6 events in Stupni Do.
7 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, in the course of 1993, you
8 said that there were no serious armed conflicts between
9 the forces of the Bosnian army and the HVO?
10 A. That is correct. There were no armed
11 conflicts except for occasional provocations. One
12 wounding, and that was all.
13 Q. We come to the month of October, 1993,
14 Mr. Mahmutovic. Around the 17th of October, 1993, is
15 it true that five or six men, Muslim men from the
16 village of Stupni Do, were arrested at the village of
17 Pajtov Han that we mentioned at the beginning of your
19 A. A group of soldiers returning from Dabravine
20 in a vehicle were arrested at the checkpoint in Pajtov
21 Han. They were arrested, their vehicle was
22 confiscated, and they were driven off towards Vares.
23 Q. Could you tell us something in greater detail
24 about these men? Which unit did they belong to?
25 A. All the soldiers came from the village of
1 Stupni Do. One of them was the commander of a local
2 unit in Stupni Do. His name is Mr. Himzo Likic. The
3 others were members of that unit, and one of them was
4 also a member of another unit of Territorial Defence.
5 Q. You said that the unit of the Territorial
6 Defence in Stupni Do consisted of some 50 members,
7 didn't it?
8 A. Yes, there were that many men who were
9 capable of participating in defence.
10 Q. Could you please tell us a little more about
11 the forces of Territorial Defence in Stupni Do, and
12 specifically about the arms available to that
13 Territorial Defence?
14 A. The Territorial Defence unit in Stupni Do, in
15 addition to the forces I have just mentioned -- that
16 is, in terms of manpower, consisting of some 50
17 soldiers -- as for armaments, it had light rifles, some
18 automatic and some semi-automatic rifles, but the
19 majority of weapons were hunting rifles. The unit was
20 armed with some 40 barrels in all.
21 Q. Did that unit have a mortar?
22 A. It had one 60-millimetre mortar with eight
23 shells, and a hand-held rocket launcher, and that was
24 all, with a very limited quantity of ammunition,
25 infantry ammunition.
1 Q. Could you give us some idea of the amount of
2 bullets per rifle?
3 A. They had about 100 bullets per rifle.
4 Q. These soldiers of the Territorial Defence of
5 Stupni Do, were they wearing uniforms, and were they
7 A. Very few soldiers wore uniforms because we
8 didn't have the means or the resources to fully equip
9 them. Most of them wore their regular civilian
10 clothing. Some had some kind of uniforms made from
11 military canvas, and they wore them, those of them who
12 had them.
13 As for training, the unit had no military
14 training. By orders of the headquarters of the
15 Territorial Defence, it was requested to provide
16 circular defence of the village, to be able to defend
17 it in case of an attack.
18 Q. This Stupni Do unit came under your command
19 as chief of the Territorial Defence of Vares
20 municipality, didn't it?
21 A. Yes, the Stupni Do unit came under the
22 command of the Territorial Defence, and under my
23 command, as I was commander of the Territorial Defence
25 Q. Let us go back to the arrest of five or six
1 men at the checkpoint of Pajtov Han in October. Could
2 you tell us what happened to those men after they were
4 A. After their arrest, those men were taken to
5 the town of Vares. I saw those men for the first time
6 after the army entered the town itself, in the area of
7 Vares Majdan, where they had been left behind in
9 Q. What was the condition of those men when you
10 saw them?
11 A. They were in very poor condition. They were
12 beaten up, with swellings on their faces. They could
13 hardly move their arms because they were beaten on
14 their arms. Simply speaking, they were unusable. And
15 this applies in particular to Mufid Likic, who really
16 did look miserable, who was in a miserable condition.
17 Q. This was only at the beginning of November,
18 when the town was taken over, that you saw these men in
19 this condition, isn't it?
20 A. Yes, I saw those men on the 4th of November,
21 around 11.00, to be precise.
22 Q. Let us move forward to the 22nd of October,
23 1993. Is it true that you were informed by a military
24 observer that unidentified vehicles were moving on the
25 road between Kiseljak and Vares?
1 A. We received information from observers that
2 some unidentified vehicles were moving from the
3 direction of Kiseljak towards Vares.
4 Q. Were you, yourself, able to note these
5 vehicles transporting soldiers along that road, and
6 from what position?
7 A. The BH army forces had their observation
8 positions from which we received information. Together
9 with the command of the tactical group, I went on the
10 spot to check what was happening. We saw a number of
11 vehicles moving from the direction of the so-called
12 30th kilometre towards Brgule, that is, the road from
13 Brgule to Vares, and after that buses appeared and a
14 certain number of trucks that stopped for a moment in
15 the part of the road that could be seen from the
16 Cemerska Mountain on the stretch of the road from the
17 village of Sikulje to the village of Brgule.
18 As the vehicles were at a standstill there,
19 we saw that soldiers were coming out, and we saw that
20 they were soldiers.
21 Q. Were you able to assess approximately the
22 number of soldiers that came out of those vehicles?
23 A. We could not estimate exactly the number of
24 soldiers. But judging by the number of vehicles, it
25 was our estimate that there was some 200 soldiers.
1 Q. Did you learn eventually where those soldiers
2 that you saw went?
3 A. Brgule was virtually the border of the area
4 controlled by Serb soldiers and this access -- this
5 direction that the vehicles went to, the vehicles that
6 had stopped there, so that the only direction they
7 could go to was towards Vares, and they moved in that
8 direction. But we could no longer check that because
9 of the wood that covered our field of vision.
10 Q. Did you receive confirmation a little later
11 that HVO units had arrived in Vares?
12 A. Yes. We received confirmation from a man who
13 managed to leave Vares, and he confirmed that there was
14 certain forces in Vares and what they were doing.
15 Actually, the operation had already begun when the
16 information reached us.
17 Q. Were you able to receive any information
18 regarding the original municipalities from which these
19 forces came?
20 A. According to the information, the forces
21 arriving, the municipalities they came from was
22 something that we could establish only later.
23 Q. Could you tell us, which were those
24 municipalities that you learned about later?
25 A. They were soldiers, HVO soldiers, from
1 Kiseljak, Kakanj, and I think also from Travnik there
2 were some of them.
3 Q. On the 22nd of October, 1993, when those
4 soldiers arrived in Vares, did the war presidency take
5 a particular decision regarding the evacuation of the
6 village of Stupni Do?
7 A. The war presidency subsequently decided, that
8 is, in the course of the evening, that the civilian
9 population of Stupni Do should abandon the village and
10 start the evacuation.
11 Q. Was this order followed, in fact, by the
12 civilian population of Stupni Do?
13 A. That order was not carried out due to certain
14 reasons, because a similar such order had been given
15 previously when it was carried out. But as then
16 nothing happened, the inhabitants of Stupni Do returned
17 to their village, and after that, when the second order
18 came, they didn't carry it out.
19 Q. Could you tell us when the previous order had
20 been given to the population of Stupni Do?
21 A. That order had been given when a report came
22 about the arrival of some 500 combatants from Travnik,
23 and that order was issued by the war presidency at the
24 time, that is, for the civilian population of Stupni Do
25 to be evacuated because they were virtually surrounded.
1 Q. Yes, but could you tell us how much earlier
2 that happened before the 22nd of October?
3 A. I think that was some 15 days previously.
4 Q. In the course of the month of July 1993, did
5 the population of Stupni Do receive an ultimatum to
6 surrender the weapons they had?
7 A. At the same time as the inhabitants of
8 Dastansko, the inhabitants of Stupni Do were also given
9 an ultimatum by the HVO Vares to surrender their
11 Q. Did they, at the time, surrender their
13 A. The inhabitants of Stupni Do or, rather, the
14 unit of Stupni Do did not surrender their weapons to
15 the HVO.
16 Q. Were there any negotiations between the HVO
17 and the population of Stupni Do regarding that
19 A. Some negotiations were conducted between the
20 unit command and I think it was called the council of
21 the local community at the time regarding the surrender
22 of weapons, but I think that nothing was achieved
23 because the opinion of the superior command was
24 requested and no decision was taken to surrender the
1 Q. On the evening of the 22nd of October, 1993,
2 did you receive information confirming the risk of an
3 attack against the village of Stupni Do for the next
5 A. Yes. Information reached us through the
6 communications centre at the command position in
7 Dabravine, the command of the tactical group received
8 information that a certain person called Mato Mrljic
9 had come to his sister Ana in Stupni Do and informed
10 her that an attack was being planned against Stupni Do
11 and that she and her husband should leave the village
12 in order to save their lives. Mr. Alija Likic, Ana's
13 husband, passed this on to inhabitants of the village
14 in passing so that this report reached the person who
15 took over the military powers, Husnija Mahmutovic, and
16 he conveyed that message via communication links to the
18 Q. Did you, yourself, meet the war presidency on
19 the evening of the 22nd of October and discuss with
20 them the possible measures to be taken in case of an
21 attack against the village?
22 A. There was a conversation, but at the time we
23 did not confirm that the population should be
24 evacuated. But the war presidency later on, in the
25 course of the night, took the decision and, via Tomic,
1 informed the president of the neighbourhood that the
2 civilian population should be pulled out during the
4 Q. On the 23rd of October, at about what time
5 and by which means were you informed of the attack on
6 the village?
7 A. According to the line of command of the
8 Territorial Defence of Vares, sent to PDO 3 based in
9 the village of Ravna, who was the first to inform us
10 that something was happening in Stupni Do, in fact that
11 the village was burning. This was early in the
12 morning, about 8.30 or 9.00.
13 Q. When you were informed of the attack, did
14 you, yourself, contact representatives of UNPROFOR and
15 other soldiers of the United Nations, and did you
16 request that they intervene?
17 A. Yes, I personally contacted them, because the
18 commander of the Operative Group East, having learned
19 what had happened and since more information that
20 Stupni Do was burning was confirmed by another observer
21 group from another mountain, we contacted the UNPROFOR
22 unit in Visoko and UNPROFOR units stationed in Vares.
23 I think it was the Nordic Battalion that was stationed
24 there. In spite of our attempt to persuade them and
25 attempts of UNPROFOR forces to enter Stupni Do on that
1 day, they were not successful.
2 Q. On the 24th or 25th of October, 1993, you had
3 a contact with one of the officers of the Nordic
4 Battalion that you just mentioned, Major Egberg. Could
5 you tell us about the conversation that you had with
6 the gentleman?
7 A. With Major Egberg, I had several contacts
8 every day, endeavouring to persuade him that with his
9 forces, he should enter Stupni Do and try to protect
10 the population living there. Each time when the Major,
11 with his unit, reached Vares Majdan and the road
12 leading to Stupni Do, he was prevented by HVO forces
13 from accessing and passing through. He would return
14 regularly to his command position at Dabravine and
15 report that he was virtually unable, doing anything,
16 without provoking a conflict.
17 Nevertheless, I was persistent and I appealed
18 to him and told him the ways in which he might be able
19 to reach some of the survivors in Stupni Do. I was
20 convinced that it was not possible to kill each and
21 every individual.
22 Major Egberg did not succeed until three days
23 later, when the first group of people from Stupni Do
24 who had fled to the wood next to the Vares-Dabravine
25 road, to collect them and bring them back to Dabravine.
1 Q. Were you, yourself, able to meet one or
2 several of those refugees and to talk to them about the
3 attack on their village?
4 A. I met a number of them, those who arrived in
5 large numbers. What I mean, the first group had about
6 15 persons on that APC and then one woman who managed
7 to get out by herself, the one who saw when her son and
8 her two neighbours were killed and then put in summer
9 kitchen and set on fire. And that same night, I went
10 to the village of Strijezevo, because that woman had
11 passed through by Tohana where the HVO soldiers
12 accepted her, gave her some food and water and saw her
13 off to Strijezevo, so she had no trouble with the HVO
14 soldiers in Vares and she safely reached her daughter's
15 in Strijezevo. I talked to her that very night. I
16 wanted to find out all that she knew.
17 Q. Do you remember the name of that refugee, of
18 that woman?
19 A. Yes, I do remember the name of that woman.
20 She's my aunt, and her name is Fatima Mahmutovic.
21 Q. Do you know how many people were killed
22 during the attack on the village?
23 A. During the attack on the village, I know --
24 yes, I know the number: 38 persons lost their lives.
25 Q. As the attack proceeded, could you get the
1 information from some other witnesses, perhaps?
2 A. Well, from the military point of view, we
3 more or less knew from which direction the village
4 could be attacked, and that is what happened, indeed.
5 Stupni Do was attacked from three directions, and it
6 was confirmed later on from conversations with some
7 people from the Vares HVO.
8 Q. Could you give us some indication, perhaps?
9 A. Stupni Do was attacked from the direction of
10 Vares Majdan, so Vares Majdan, the road towards Stupni
11 Do. Stupni Do was attacked from another direction,
12 Przici, the so-called junction, Stupni Do, and the
13 village of Mir, Bogos, Stupni Do.
14 Q. And that attack, how many men, how much
15 materiel did it involve? Do you know?
16 A. Well, the forces that attacked Stupni Do were
17 reinforced platoons, and I do not think that more than
18 100 men took part in the attack. At the same time,
19 when there was attack on Stupni Do, all the males in
20 Vares were being arrested.
21 Q. Could you tell us something more about these
22 arrests? When did they take place, and where did this
23 population, this male population of Vares, where were
24 they detained?
25 A. Well, I said already, it took place at the
1 same time as the attack on Stupni Do. They were
2 detained in the gym of the secondary school, Ivan Goran
3 Kovacic, in Vares, and the elementary school, Vladimir
4 Nazor, in Vares, in the gym.
5 Q. How many persons were arrested?
6 A. From what I could infer from information,
7 there were about 180 persons.
8 Q. For how long were they detained?
9 A. Those people were kept in prison until the
10 forces of the BH army entered Vares.
11 Q. That is, early days of November?
12 A. Between the event in Stupni Do -- that is,
13 the 23rd of October -- until the 4th of November.
14 Q. Could you get some information about the
15 attack on Stupni Do through Mr. Husnija Mahmutovic, who
16 was the president of the village community?
17 A. Husnija Mahmutovic and six soldiers managed
18 to get out of Stupni Do at night. That was the 24th --
19 23rd to 24th November. In early morning, he turned up
20 in the village Budozelje.
21 Q. Did he tell you something about the intensity
22 of the attack on the village?
23 A. I asked the command in Dabravine to urgently
24 send a message that Husnija Mahmutovic and Mujcin
25 Likic, another refugee from Stupni Do, should go to the
1 command post in Dabravine so that the former could get
2 the precise, the exact information as to what had
3 happened in Stupni Do.
4 Q. Do you know, where did the units which
5 participated in Stupni Do come from?
6 A. The units came from Kiseljak, Kakanj. I
7 already said in part, possibly, Travnik, and there were
8 also attached units -- or rather attached men of the
9 HVO Vares, those who agreed to take part in the
11 Q. Who was the commander of Kiseljak units?
12 A. I know that the campaign was directly
13 commanded by Ivica Rajic and his subordinates, those
14 who carried out his orders. I also heard their
15 nicknames. I don't know any one of them. One of the
16 nicknames was, I believe, "Firga" , or something
17 like that. Another one was called "Somo", or
18 again, something like that. I mean, those are only the
19 nicknames. I really don't know the names, who directly
20 carried out the attack.
21 Q. At the time of detention of Mr. Ante
22 Pejcinovic and Emil Harah, the commander at the time,
23 do you know about the arrest?
24 A. Yes, I received this information after, from
25 Borivoj Malbasic, who turned up at the negotiation on
1 behalf of the HVO, when the attack was discontinued.
2 Q. And that detention, the arrest of
3 Mr. Prcinvic and Harah, the commander of the brigade,
4 did it happen after or before the attack on Stupni Do?
5 A. Those arrests happened on the eve of the
6 attack on Stupni Do, and that was when Kresimir Bozic
7 was appointed the commander of HVO forces in Vares.
8 Q. Do you know, if Mr. Pejcinovic and Harah were
9 detained, how long were they in detention?
10 A. I don't know when they were -- how long they
11 were in detention, but I think, I believe, that they
12 were in detention for two or three days.
13 Q. I will now show you a document,
14 Mr. Mahmutovic. It is a report by the ECM of the 2nd
15 of November, 1993. I should like to -- this is a
16 document which is part of the heap of documents that I
17 shall refer to a bit later which you have received.
18 This is a report of the 2nd of November, 1993, and it
19 is 1.281. It could be the last document in the whole
20 pile of documents. This is a document which is in
21 English, as were most of the ECMM reports at the time.
22 We should rapidly go through this document where it
23 refers to the witness.
24 The document says -- I hope everybody has
25 it -- on the first page, last paragraph, it refers to
1 Travnik, centre in Travnik. And he speaks about the
2 member of the operational group of Bosnia-Herzegovina
3 who is in Dabravine whose name is Okreh Mahmutovic;
4 there seems to be a misspelling of Mr. Mahmutovic.
5 Here it says that Mr. Mahmutovic, it would
6 seem, explained to ECMM why, according to him, the
7 massacre at Stupni Do took place. Mr. Mahmutovic
8 indicated that Stupni Do was the local gateway to the
9 territory controlled by the Serb Bosnians, and that it
10 was thus a very lucrative place for smuggling and black
11 marketeering. Again, according to this document, the
12 residents of Stupni Do became reasonably well to do
13 with this arrangement but had to pay a percentage to
14 the HVO for all the goods, for all the merchandise
15 which reached their place.
16 In early October, the HVO demanded a
17 substantially higher cut of the proceeds, and when the
18 population of Stupni Do said no, the Kiseljak
19 authorities -- rather the HVO from Vares, from Kakanj,
20 decided, in response to that note, to conduct a
21 coordinated attack on the village.
22 Mr. Mahmutovic, this document, which refers
23 to the period when you were there, seems to indicate,
24 as a reason for the attack on Stupni Do, something
25 which represents reprisals undertaken by the HVO
1 against the local population of Stupni Do because the
2 local population refused to observe the agreement which
3 they had reached; that is, to pay them a particular
4 share or tax, if I may call it that, which these HVO
5 authorities requested from them, or rather demanded
6 from them, from all the goods that were reaching the
8 According to what this document says, could
9 you please tell us if, to begin with, are you Mr. Okreh
10 Mahmutovic who appears in this document, and secondly,
11 do you also think whether these would be the reasons
12 for the attack on Stupni Do?
13 A. No, I'm not Okreh. I am Ekrem. It is true
14 that I gave a statement in this form, and I believe
15 that this statement -- whether it has to do with an
16 awkward translation or something else, I don't know,
17 but I never gave a statement in this form as presented
18 here. I should say that they were not taking a
19 percentage for the merchandise taken from Croats and
20 Serbs in that commercial -- or contraband chain. It
21 was a price increase in comparison with the early days
22 when this smuggling chain, contraband chain, was
24 I stated to representatives that a possible
25 decision to attack Stupni Do was made because Stupni Do
1 was very near the town itself, the access to it is
2 easy, it's simple, and Armija forces could not come to
3 help, and some of the funds or some of the money which
4 was turned over there, through the contraband, was the
5 reason that the HVO forces which conducted the attack
6 wanted to find a motive for the Croat citizens of Vares
7 to leave Vares. I think that is the truth; that is,
8 that that was one of the reasons, and that that is how
9 it was done.
10 Q. Are you telling us today, Mr. Mahmutovic,
11 that the report which is shown to you, and which was
12 drawn by ECMM, is a misinterpretation of what you told
14 A. Yes, as I see it, because this could never be
15 the only reason, and I think that what I have just said
16 is one of the reasons for the attack on Stupni Do.
17 Q. You mentioned several reasons, but what would
18 be the chief reason for the attack, if it is not the
19 version that we find in this report?
20 A. One of the chief reasons, as I see it -- or
21 as I saw it at the time, and now -- is setting in move
22 the civilian Croat population from the Vares
23 municipality. That is, they were trying to create some
24 motive for -- to set on move this population. By
25 killing 38 persons in Stupni Do, the motive was there,
1 people were frightened, and the majority of Vares
2 Croats set off without the Armija attacking them. They
3 set off towards the hills and on toward Kiseljak.
4 Q. So the Croat population was encouraged to
5 leave Vares in fear of reprisals by the Armija,
6 B and H, for the attack?
7 A. That is it, yes. I talked to many returnees,
8 Croat returnees, in Vares, talked about these events,
9 and everybody can verify it. Most of them left Vares
10 fearing reprisals.
11 Q. On the day when -- did the Croat population
12 leave the town on the day of the attack on Stupni Do?
13 A. According to the census, Vares was 22.000
14 population. About 12.000 of them were Croats, and
15 after the Armija BH entered Vares, we noted that 751
16 Croats were still in Vares. Everybody else had left
17 the territory of the Vares municipality. Some of them,
18 yes, were kept in the area of Dastansko, which remained
19 in that area until the cease-fire, until peace.
20 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mahmutovic, for these
21 explanations regarding the attack on Stupni Do. Let us
22 now proceed to some questions -- move on to some
23 questions regarding the accused.
24 You said that you didn't know the accused
25 Mario Cerkez?
1 A. No, I didn't.
2 Q. You have never met, personally, Dario Kordic?
3 A. No.
4 Q. I believe this morning you told us that Dario
5 Kordic came to Vares several times. Could you confirm
7 A. I can confirm it only on the basis of
8 information I received from the town that Dario Kordic
9 was in town. I heard it from my people who worked in
11 Q. Do you know, whom did he meet in Vares when
12 he came there?
13 A. Well, he usually came to meet with Anto
14 Pejcinovic and the HVO leadership in Vares.
15 Q. You explained that Mr. Kordic was an
16 important representative of the HDZ party, and as such
17 was responsible for military --
18 JUDGE MAY: I think we are getting into a
19 controversial area, and it would be better if the
20 witness simply gave his evidence about this, about what
21 he knows about Mr. Kordic, without being led in any
23 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) But the
24 facts I wanted to mention come from the statement of
25 Mr. Mahmutovic. That is, I was simply seeking some
1 precision as to what was said.
2 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, could you tell us, what was
3 the office held by Mr. Dario Kordic, as far as you
4 know? You said he was an important representative of
5 the HDZ.
6 A. From media, from television, I heard -- that
7 was when I heard of Mr. Kordic. I heard that he was
8 appointed and designated the main member, but I don't
9 know what it's called, of the committee of the HDZ for
10 that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
11 After that, one could see, and during the
12 conflict, how Dario Kordic would appear as a reporter
13 from the war theatres in Central Bosnia, so that from
14 those media, I could simply follow the movements of
15 Dario Kordic, and I therefore inferred that both the
16 civilian and the military authority was in the hands of
17 Dario Kordic for this part of Bosnia, rather Central
19 Q. So you believed that Mr. Dario Kordic had
20 also a military office, a military function?
21 A. Well, yes. Since he signed various orders
22 for HVO units, he must have also had a military office,
23 military responsibility. If I remember well, in a
24 report on television where Smiljko Sagolj communicated
25 with him, it said "Colonel Dario Kordic".
1 Q. Did you personally see Dario Kordic, in a
2 uniform, appear on these television programmes?
3 A. It was the -- emerged a picture of Dario
4 Kordic in a uniform. I think he had a jacket we just
5 called a Spitfire, I believe, or something. It is a
6 multi-coloured uniform.
7 Q. Did Mr. Kordic have any authority over the
8 HVO or over the municipality such as the Vares
9 municipality, or Busovaca, Vitez, Kiseljak?
10 A. In view of the control and command chain, I
11 believe he did, because orders with his signature
12 reached even Vares.
13 Q. Did you see some of his orders in these
14 municipalities, issued to the HVO in these
16 A. Yes, I did see some of these orders and Dario
17 Kordic's signature.
18 Q. Have you had an opportunity of meeting
19 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic?
20 A. On two occasions. I don't remember the date,
21 but after the fighting between the HVO and the army of
22 BH ended, Mr. Tihomir Blaskic came to the territory of
23 Vares, and the teams of the BH army and the HVO
24 conducted talks there. In the group of the officers
25 negotiating on behalf of the HVO was Tihomir Blaskic,
1 and in the group which conducted negotiations on behalf
2 of the BH army, I was the liaison officer.
3 Q. During those meetings, did Mr. Tihomir
4 Blaskic mention in one way or the other the
5 relationship particularly with regard to the command
6 and control which would link him with the accused Dario
8 MR. STEIN: Objection. My grounds are that
9 this witness is unavailable to us and we have no
10 notice, up until the summary that I'm looking at, that
11 this was going to be an issue in the case. This is
12 nowhere in any of the witness's prior statements to the
14 JUDGE MAY: Well, that goes to the weight of
15 the evidence, doesn't it, and it's a matter for
16 cross-examination? Whether the evidence is admissible
17 is another matter.
18 MR. STEIN: Correct. I'm trying to make
19 those two distinctions, but I merged them.
20 (Trial Chamber deliberates)
21 JUDGE MAY: We're satisfied these are all
22 matters for cross-examination, and the evidence is
24 I'm looking at the clock, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
25 We're going to adjourn about five past or were going to
1 adjourn at five past 1.00. Would this be a convenient
2 moment or do you want to go on?
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I believe
4 we shall need 10 minutes more, not more than that.
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you could just go
6 on and see how you get on. Deal with this bit of
7 evidence, anyway.
8 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
9 Q. You said that you met with Mr. Blaskic on two
10 occasions after the signing of the Washington Accords,
11 and during the conversations with Mr. Blaskic, did he
12 indicate, in one way or the other, the relationship
13 which he might have had with the accused Dario Kordic,
14 any possible control and command chain, links of that
16 A. No, there was -- no, Dario Kordic was not
17 mentioned in those talks. We were talking about
18 separation of the forces of the army of B and H and the
19 HVO and provision of conditions for more regular
20 contacts and relations between the BH army and the HVO.
21 Q. Mr. Blaskic never pronounced the name of
22 Dario Kordic in front of you during those meetings?
23 A. No, on those occasions when I attended, those
25 Q. Perhaps in some other circumstances?
1 A. I wouldn't know that.
2 Q. I find your answer somewhat puzzling.
3 You seem embarrassed.
4 MR. STEIN: He's [indiscernible] on the
5 evidence, and I object.
6 JUDGE MAY: Did Blaskic ever say anything to
7 you about Dario Kordic?
8 A. I have already said that Mr. Blaskic, during
9 our talks, did not mention the name of Dario Kordic, as
10 far as I could remember.
11 JUDGE MAY: Very well. That concludes that
12 part of the evidence. We'll adjourn now.
13 Mr. Mahmutovic, we're going to adjourn until
14 half past 2.00. Could you please, during this
15 adjournment and any others there may be, remember not
16 to speak to anybody about your evidence? Don't let
17 anybody speak to you about it, and that includes the
18 members of the Prosecution. So don't, if you would,
19 speak about your evidence until it's over.
21 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.05 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Lopez-Terres.
3 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
4 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, let us go back to those two
5 meetings that you had with Mr. Blaskic at the time you
6 said that you met him in Vares. Did Mr. Blaskic tell
7 you, in the course of those meetings, how he personally
8 took his decisions and issued his orders?
9 MR. STEIN: Objection. This has been asked
10 three times, and answered, and I believe Your Honour
11 has ruled on the matter.
12 JUDGE MAY: I think we'll move on,
13 Mr. Lopez-Terres. The witness has said that he didn't
14 on any occasion hear Blaskic talking about Dario
15 Kordic, and I think that must be the answer. You can't
16 go on cross-examining him on the point.
17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I was not
18 asking about the accused's relationship with General
19 Blaskic; I was just asking the witness whether General
20 Blaskic, who was not "General" yet, how he, as head of
21 the operational centre of Central Bosnia, issued his
22 orders, how he prepared them and issued them.
23 JUDGE MAY: Well, I'm looking at paragraph
24 101, and it seems to me that the only relevance could
25 be that paragraph. Shall we move on?
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I thought
2 that perhaps there was a possibility of getting a
3 little more information from the witness about the
4 words of General Blaskic, because after all, he
5 couldn't tell us what General Blaskic said.
6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
7 Mr. Lopez-Terres, please rephrase the question. It
8 depends on the way you put your question. Could we
9 know from the witness whether General Blaskic told him
10 who gave him his orders, how he received his orders?
11 Did General Blaskic talk to you, Witness,
12 about the way in which he received orders, the origin
13 of those orders? That is the question. Ask the
14 witness that: Whether the witness received from
15 General Blaskic any information concerning the orders
16 he, himself, General Blaskic, received.
17 A. I have already said that at those meetings,
18 we did not discuss those ways of conveying orders and
19 commands, and that's very clear.
20 JUDGE MAY: Do let's move on to something
21 else now.
22 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
23 Q. Let us now talk about Mr. Ivica Rajic.
24 Mr. Mahmutovic, you could tell us who, in your opinion,
25 was the superior to Ivica Rajic in the chain of command
1 of the HVO within Central Bosnia?
2 A. In view of the fact that, according to our
3 information, there was a command of the Operative Group
4 Kiseljak which was under the jurisdiction of the next
5 higher command, and that was the command for Central
6 Bosnia, of which Mr. Blaskic was the commander,
7 according to the military chain of command.
8 Q. According to your knowledge, did the accused
9 Dario Kordic have any superior authority over Mr. Ivica
11 A. Within the system of control and command, he
12 must have had, in view of the fact that in one of his
13 statements on television, in answer to a question by a
14 journalist, Sagolj, Smirko Sagolj, he said that he had
15 still not taken any decision regarding the dismissal of
16 Mr. Rajic because he hadn't investigated the
17 circumstances regarding the accusation that Rajic had
18 halted a humanitarian convoy.
19 Q. You are talking about a television broadcast
20 during which the accused Dario Kordic answered to this
21 journalist what you have just said. Did this broadcast
22 take place prior to the Stupni Do event?
23 A. No, the broadcast was shown during the time
24 of the battles between the BH army and the HVO just
25 prior to the events in Stupni Do. I think the battles
1 were in Kiseljak, Central Bosnia, Vitez, somewhere
3 Q. If I may intervene, my question was, in fact,
4 whether the broadcast was shown before Stupni Do, and
5 your answer was no. And later on, you explained, if I
6 understood you well, that in fact the broadcast was
7 shown before the events, unless there is a problem in
8 the translation. But allow me to rephrase my
10 The television programme that you mentioned
11 during which the accused Dario Kordic told this
12 journalist that he had still not taken a decision on
13 the dismissal of Rajic, was this broadcast shown before
14 the 23rd of October, 1993, or after that?
15 A. It was shown before the 23rd of October.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation)
18 Mr. President, Your Honours, at this stage of the
19 testimony of Mr. Mahmutovic, I personally have finished
20 with my questions which I intended to ask him. This
21 morning I drew the attention of the court and the
22 Defence counsel to several documents which I should
23 like to tender into evidence. Let me specify that
24 these documents were selected because it seems to me
25 that they corroborate the events that the witness has
1 spoken about on the one hand; that is, the first group
2 of documents that I can come back to.
3 The second category of documents which was
4 compiled demonstrates the authority and the command of
5 the accused Dario Kordic over officials of the Vares
6 HVO that the witness discussed in detail.
7 If I may, I could comment on these two
8 categories of documents.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Lopez-Terres, it may be
10 helpful if you just take us briefly through the
11 documents, announcing their numbers, which they are.
12 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Yes,
13 quite. Regarding, first of all, the documents which
14 corroborate the testimony of the witness, these are the
15 following documents: Exhibit Z128 is a document dated
16 the 10th of June, 1992. This document gives a
17 permanent authorisation by Dario Kordic to a person
18 called Vjeran Mijatovic, allowing him free passage
19 throughout the territory of the Croatian Community of
20 Herceg-Bosna to purchase weapons and food for the Vares
22 I wish to point out that this document
23 appears on page 11 in the chronology submitted to you
24 by Prosecutor Nice. Therefore, in addition to
25 corroborating one of the elements mentioned by the
1 witness, and that is that the HVO at the time was
2 purchasing weapons for its soldiers, also confirms the
3 authority of the accused, because it is a document
4 signed by him issuing orders and providing that
5 authority for the purchase of arms for the Vares HVO.
6 The second document that I should like to
7 tender is marked as 144. It is a document dated the
8 1st of July, 1992 --
9 JUDGE MAY: It would be helpful if you
10 actually went through it in the order that we have it,
11 Mr. Lopez-Terres, because otherwise it will be
12 difficult to go backwards and forwards. The next
13 document I have is 139; perhaps you could deal with
14 that next.
15 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) I
16 apologise in advance, because these documents have not
17 been put in the order in which I wanted to tender them
18 according to these two categories that I mentioned.
19 They were simply placed in chronological order, I
21 So the first document has already been
23 As for the second document, Z139, it is a
24 document dated the 23rd of June, 1992. It is a
25 document which, in my opinion, demonstrates that it is
1 necessary that the accused Dario Kordic had authority
2 over the HVO of Vares municipality, to which on the
3 23rd of June, '92, he asked, together with Ignac
4 Kostroman, that they provide various facilities for the
5 Ilijas municipality.
6 The third document that you have in this list
7 is the one marked Z187. It is dated the 12th of
8 August, '92. It establishes the authority of Dario
9 Kordic over the officials of Vares municipality, Dario
10 Kordic addressing an invitation to those officials to
11 come to a meeting scheduled on the 14th, that is, two
12 days later. Regarding the English version, there is an
13 error. The meeting should have been held in Grude, the
14 town of Grude, which is indicated there, and not as
15 stated in the English text, in "Groups". In the B/C/S
16 version, it is clearly stated "Grude", not "Groups".
17 The next document that I propose to you is
18 Z202, dated the 2nd of September, 1992, referring to
19 Ivica Rajic, a document whereby Ivica Rajic indicates
20 that Ante Pejcinovic and Borivoje Malbasic, two persons
21 that the witness mentioned, should urgently report to
22 Mr. Dario Kordic in connection with certain financial
24 The next document that I should like to
25 tender is document Z233, dated the 22nd of September,
1 1992. This document, which is signed, among others, by
2 the accused Dario Kordic, indicates the conclusions of
3 the meetings held in Central Bosnia, and on page 5 of
4 the English version there's a paragraph referring to
5 the municipality of Vares, indicating that the HVO has
6 full control of power in that zone. This document is
7 dated 22nd of September, 1992.
8 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. Let me make a
9 note of that.
10 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) The
11 paragraph referring to Vares is on page 5 of the
12 English document. I'm afraid the page numbers are not
13 the same in the French version. I apologise to
14 Judge Bennouna. It is page 705 of the French version.
15 The next document I --
16 JUDGE MAY: Before we leave that, I haven't
17 got the passage.
18 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) It is on
19 page 5 of the document concerning the municipality of
20 Vares. Several municipalities having been mentioned.
21 Vares is mentioned at the bottom of the page. Document
22 Z233, the phrase in question that I underlined is as
23 follows: "The HVO is in full control" in the English
25 The next document that I am tendering for
1 admission is Z229, dated the 30th of September, 1992,
2 at 12.00, referring to a meeting organised and chaired
3 by the accused Dario Kordic with members of the Kakanj
4 HVO and in the presence of the president of the Vares
5 HVO, Mr. Pejcinovic and Zvonko Duznovic, both of whom
6 were mentioned in detail by the witness, the latter
7 being the chief of security of the Vares HVO, the
8 document in question being Z229.
9 The next document is Z534. It is a document
10 signed by the accused Dario Kordic and addressed to
11 Messrs. Ante Pejcinovic and Zvonko Duznovic, again
12 persons mentioned by the witness. It is dated 12 March
13 1993, and it is indicated and it says that the
14 gentlemen from Vares can come for the prisoners early
15 Monday morning. They should report to the brigade
16 commander of the military police. It is again signed
17 by the accused Dario Kordic.
18 The next document that I am suggesting is a
19 document dated the 30th of March, 1993, marked Z579, on
20 which it is stated that the named Borivoje Malbasic
21 named by the witness, who held the post of chief of the
22 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade, the brigade coming from the
23 region of Vitez that the witness also mentioned, the
24 brigade of which Mario Cerkez was the deputy commander
25 and in which Borivoje Malbasic is named as chief of
2 A document of the following nature is the
3 following: 589, dated the 1st of April, 1993. Like
4 the previous document, it is a document emanating from
5 the Central Bosnia operation zone, that is, the
6 headquarters of Colonel Blaskic at the time, and which
7 again lists the various members of the Bobavaca
8 Brigade, the Vares HVO Brigade, with names mentioned by
9 the witness; Borivoje Malbasic, Emil Harak, Kresimir
10 Bosic, and we also find Zvonko Duznovic.
11 The next document again refers to events
12 mentioned by the witness, that is, the limitation to
13 the freedom of passage, freedom of movement. It is
14 marked Z658, dated 15th of April, indicating that all
15 vehicles and persons coming from Dabravine, that is,
16 the town where the witness was, as well as the war
17 presidency at the time, should be stopped by HVO
19 There are two final documents. Z1.146, dated
20 the 19th of July, 1993, it is a document which
21 demonstrates, if that is necessary once again, that
22 Mr. Ante Pejcinovic was president of the Vares
23 municipality HVO, and he signed this document called a
24 political platform together with Zvonko Duznovic, who
25 now holds the position of vice-president of the Vares
1 municipality HVO presidency.
2 The last document that I wish to submit,
3 dated the 23rd of October, 1993, marked Z1.258, signed
4 by General Milivoj Petkovic, referring to the
5 termination of functions of Ante Pejcinovic, Zvonko
6 Duznovic and Ivica Gavran, that is the time of the
7 events in Stupni Do that the witness spoke about this
9 The final document in your pile is a document
10 that the witness has already commented on. It is
11 marked 1.281. It is a report of the ECMM on which the
12 witness has already been questioned this morning.
13 I have finished with the list of the
14 documents which I am tendering into evidence, Your
16 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
17 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Thank you.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
20 [Witness answers through interpreter]
21 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, allow me to introduce myself
22 very briefly. I am attorney Mr. Mitko Naumovski, one
23 of the Defence counsel for Mr. Kordic. I have several
24 questions for you.
25 In view of the fact that we understand one
1 another as we speak, would you be kind enough to wait a
2 few seconds until the interpretation is completed and
3 only then answer my questions?
4 Mr. Mahmutovic, so far you have spoken
5 several times with investigators of this Tribunal;
6 isn't that true?
7 A. Yes. I gave two statements in Bosnia, and I
8 spoke to the investigators here once here.
9 Q. To whom did you give these two statements in
10 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
11 A. I did not understand the question.
12 Q. To whom did you give those statements, to
13 which bodies?
14 A. Those were the representatives of the
15 Tribunal. There was a lady. I think that she was a
16 police woman here from The Hague. And there was a
17 gentleman there also, and I do not recall his name.
18 Q. Was this in March, 1996?
19 A. Probably so. This was sometime after the
20 cessation of hostilities and the start of the
21 proceedings, and this statement -- the last statement I
22 gave about two weeks before my coming here, and this
23 was just an amendment to the statement.
24 Q. I would like you to be more specific. The
25 first one you said you gave shortly after the cessation
1 of hostilities. Can you please place it in time more
3 A. This was, as has been written down, in March.
4 Q. Which year?
5 A. 1996.
6 Q. Could you tell me, during that conversation,
7 as I see here, according to the information I have, it
8 took two days to complete this conversation.
9 A. Yes, that is correct. It took a while to
10 complete the conversation.
11 Q. And you spoke by using an interpreter?
12 A. Of course. I do not speak English, so there
13 was an interpreter there.
14 Q. The investigators took down notes based on
15 the conversation that you had and all the subjects that
16 you touched on?
17 A. As far as I could notice, yes, they did take
18 down notes.
19 Q. The notes which were taken in March 1996 were
20 also used during the interview you gave a couple of
21 months ago, as you said; right?
22 A. Yes, this material was also used to complete
23 the statement, because I had not completed the
24 statement during the first interview.
25 Q. Could you tell me, when you spoke for the
1 second time, you were given those notes for review?
2 A. Those notes were read out, and then some
3 additional questions were asked, and I answered them,
4 and then we finished in Sarajevo. It did not take very
6 Q. So we're in agreement that the statement
7 which is the last one given, a couple of months ago,
8 contains everything which had been taken down as notes
9 by the investigators, and these were just amended by
10 you during the last session?
11 A. Yes, that is so, except that I gave some
12 additional answer to the questions I was asked.
13 Q. Please allow me to dwell a little bit on the
14 statement you gave in December 1998, December 3rd.
15 This statement has your signature in the English
16 version. Do you recall signing it?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. The usher can show you the document.
19 Is this your signature, Mr. Mahmutovic?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Thank you. And this signature is affixed to
22 each page of the document and at the end of it, and
23 every one of these signatures is yours?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. At the end of this statement, I believe you
1 will agree with me, it states that the statement had
2 been read back to you in Bosnian, and that it contains
3 everything which you said, according to the best of
4 your recollection and memory?
5 A. Yes, that is exactly right.
6 Q. Let's first of all clear up something you
7 said about Mr. Kordic. You said that when you had
8 first heard of him, that this was a period when he had
9 taken over as the president of the HDZ; you recall
10 this? You said that today?
11 A. Yes, I remember that this was broadcast on
12 the media, that Mr. Kordic had taken over the position
13 of the president of the HDZ for that area of Central
14 Bosnia -- or perhaps even it is possible that he was
15 the president of the HDZ for Bosnia and Herzegovina.
16 There, I don't know.
17 Q. Well, this is exactly what I would like to
18 clarify for the Trial Chamber: Do you exactly know
19 when Mr. Kordic became president of the BH HDZ?
20 A. I do not know the date.
21 Q. Let me ask you in another way: Were you sure
22 that he was the president of the HDZ during the period
23 which you referred to today?
24 A. In the period that I referred to today,
25 Mr. Kordic was president of the HDZ.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you.
2 Today quite a bit was said about an order
3 which you personally saw. This was -- you said that
4 this was a very short order, and I'm quoting you: It
5 says that the authority needs to be taken over in
6 Vares. Do you recall it?
7 A. Yes, I do recall this order.
8 Q. Will you please tell us, you saw this order
9 on the 5th or 6th November, 1993?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You first heard of it from Nenad Gvozdenovic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What position was he in at the time?
14 A. He was in Dabravine. While I was a staff
15 commander, he was assistant commander for security
17 Q. Did he tell you where he saw this document?
18 Where did he find it?
19 A. It is not about him seeing the document, but
20 when he was arrested in Vares, he learned that an order
21 had been given to execute this order, to carry it out.
22 Q. After whose arrest?
23 A. Of Mr. Gvozdenovic.
24 Q. I must admit I do not quite understand you.
25 You said today that you heard from your officer about
1 this document?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. But you don't know where he learned about it?
4 A. No, because he learned about it in Vares.
5 Q. So from a third, unknown, person?
6 A. Since he was engaged in security matters, he
7 was also gathering intelligence, and then through the
8 chain of command he reported that information to me.
9 Q. Tell me, when you saw this document on the
10 5th or 6th November, 1993, you said that you had an
11 opportunity to read through it; is that correct?
12 A. Yes. I tried to quote the part, a short
13 paragraph, which I then stated -- quoted.
14 Q. Can you tell me, what was the heading of this
15 document? What did it say?
16 A. Usually all these documents have --
17 Q. No, no, no, I'm asking about this document
19 A. I cannot give you a specific answer because
20 it is a formal thing, who issues this order, a command,
21 or an institution, that it does, and then at the bottom
22 there is a signature of a person who had issued the
24 Q. But for this specific document, you do not
25 know what was in the heading part? That was my
1 question to you.
2 A. No.
3 Q. Can you tell me how many pages? Was this a
4 multi-page document?
5 A. No, it was a single-page document.
6 Q. What type of paper was it? Was it an
8 A. It was an A4-size paper, and I cannot answer
9 whether it was an original or a copy.
10 Q. Whose name was signed?
11 A. Dario Kordic's name was typed up, and there
12 was a longhand signature.
13 Q. Was Mr. Kordic's position also mentioned
14 there? In what capacity did he sign it?
15 A. I do not know whether his position was also
17 Q. Can you tell me, was this document --
18 regardless of whether it was a copy or an original --
20 A. There was a stamp on the left-hand side --
21 left of the signature.
22 Q. Could you please tell the Trial Chamber, what
23 stamp was it? What body, which body was it?
24 A. I cannot tell you this because I did not
25 notice it.
1 Q. Can you tell me whether this document also
2 had a registration number or a log number in the
3 heading, something that would be easy to trace down, to
4 trace it down to its source?
5 A. I think that it had a -- next to the heading
6 was another stamp, a registration stamp, if you will.
7 Q. And whose stamp was it, what body?
8 A. As I said, I did not know what body it was.
9 I just read the order, and I saw the signature.
10 Q. Could you tell me, you said that you saw this
11 document, that it was shown to you in an office, in an
12 archive. Where was this? I wasn't clear on this.
13 A. After the BH army entered Vares, two days
14 later I visited the president, Ms. Mervana
15 Hadzimurtezic, and Mr. Pejcinovic had been there
16 before, as you know, and in the office there was a
17 whole pile of these documents. Through conversation
18 with her, I was only able to peruse through some of
19 these documents, because all the documents which were
20 found there were turned over to the security service
21 of -- I don't know whether it was civilian or the
22 military police in Vares which had started operating
24 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, you said that the last
25 statement you gave, that you had given it to the best
1 of your recollection. This is what you said. We do
2 not have your first statement because it only exists in
4 A. Yes, that is the statement, and to this day,
5 I say that whatever I can say with precision is what I
6 remember, and my only objective is really to find out
7 the truth before this Trial Chamber.
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) With your
9 permission, Your Honours, I would like to show the
10 witness the only statement which we have of 3 December,
11 1998. I have sufficient copies for Your Honours and
12 for all the parties.
13 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) The usher can
16 put the statement on the ELMO, and I will guide the
17 witness as to the Bosnian version. Your Honours, what
18 I would like to refer to is in page 5 of the English
20 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, would you please turn to
21 page 5 of the translation which was given to you by the
22 usher. It is at the bottom of page 5, the last couple
23 of sentences.
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
25 page 5. Page 5, fifth paragraph, last sentence in the
1 English original.
2 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, in your statement signed by
3 you personally and which I have shown to you and which
4 I would like you to follow what you say, in relation to
5 this -- quote, unquote -- putsch: "I have heard about
6 an order given by Dario Kordic and addressed to the
7 HDZ/HVO Vares to take over the power and control in
8 Vares. I have never seen this order personally, and I
9 learned about this later."
10 JUDGE ROBINSON: We haven't found it yet.
11 JUDGE MAY: We have it now.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
13 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, I said what you said, to the
14 best of your recollection, as you said, to the
15 investigators, and was my reading of it correct? Is
16 that correct, Mr. Mahmutovic, what I read? Was it read
18 A. Yes, it was something like that. Maybe not
19 the same order of words, except the thing which says "I
20 learned later on about it." What I said is that I saw
21 it later on.
22 Q. You said a moment ago that you said what you
23 said to the best of your recollection, and you now
24 confirm what I have just read, which is that you never
25 saw this? In other words, this is a crucial
1 difference, the difference between what you are saying
2 now, today, and what you said in March 1996 and in
3 December 1998. You never mentioned that you ever saw
5 A. It states here that I have never seen it.
6 Q. But you will agree with me that you signed it
7 as your own statement, that Their Honours saw that
8 every page of this statement, which is in English in
9 the original, every single page is signed by you; then
10 this is a true translation?
11 A. This could be an error in translation.
12 Q. Oh, so you see this as an error in
13 translation? You had not a single objection at the end
14 of the -- before you signed the record of this
16 A. The way it was read to me, I had no
17 objections, and I think that this was not -- this is
18 not what I said, and it wasn't translated to me this
20 Q. Could, then, somebody please help me to
21 translate what you said? Perhaps we can ask the
22 interpreters to translate what it says in this
23 sentence, which is the last sentence in paragraph 5.
24 Could the translators please interpret to the witness
25 the sentence starting, "I have never seen this order
1 personally, and I learned about it later on"?
2 So this is the interpretation of what I have
3 just read to you and which has been stated and written
4 down and which is signed on every page of the statement
5 and which you said that you gave to the best of your
6 recollection. Do you agree that what I read to you is
7 correct and that it was signed by you?
8 A. I accept that it was signed, but I do not
9 agree that this is what was said in translation to me.
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mahmutovic. We can move on to
11 something else, but perhaps just one additional
12 question, when we're still dealing with documents:
13 Towards the end of your testimony today, you said that
14 there were some other documents which you personally
15 saw and which were signed by Mr. Kordic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Could you tell us, in what capacity did he
18 sign them? Was it in the same capacity, or what
19 capacity was it, these documents which you saw signed
20 by him?
21 A. Those documents were signed in the same
23 Q. Could you tell us what capacity this was?
24 A. I said that I could not specify what capacity
25 this was, what position he was in, because the chain of
1 command was centralised. In other words, it was
2 issuing from the same military and political source.
3 Q. I understand that as your conclusion rather
4 than as your first-hand knowledge.
5 A. If that is your understanding. I believe in
6 fact I did not have an obligation to find out in what
7 capacity he had signed it.
8 Q. Were the documents which you saw also some
9 kind of, how shall I call them, military orders?
10 A. For the most part. There were also some
11 calls, there were some transfers of command authority.
12 Q. They were all signed by Mr. Kordic?
13 A. Yes, they were all signed by Mr. Kordic.
14 Q. No, but I'm referring to his capacity. Did
15 he sign it as a person or on behalf of a certain body?
16 In which position did he sign?
17 A. I cannot give you an answer to that, because
18 I really do not know what position he was in.
19 Q. Thank you. Let's go back to the beginning.
20 I'm going to take you back to the beginning of your
21 testimony today.
22 I heard you say that you studied political
23 science, but I'm not sure whether you had ever
25 A. No, this was -- I graduated from it in
1 Sarajevo. It was supplementary education.
2 Q. When was it?
3 A. This was 1984, and I did it while working.
4 Q. What was your title once you graduated?
5 A. The title that I acquired was -- I think it
6 was something like senior political scientist.
7 Q. Is that something like a two-year course?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. What is your basic profession, if I may ask?
10 A. I am an engineer of mechanical engineering.
11 Q. In the former Yugoslav state, you were a
12 member of the Communist Party?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Until when?
15 A. I was a member until it dissolved.
16 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber when this took
17 place in time?
18 A. I cannot frame it in time because we just --
19 they were transformed into the SDP, the Socialist
20 Democratic Party.
21 Q. In the elections of 1990, were you a member
22 of the SDP, of the Social Democratic Party?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. One more question. When you completed the
25 school of reserve officers, you were given a rank?
1 A. No, you weren't given a rank there.
2 Q. You are confirmed a rank by decree?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What was that rank when you went back to
6 A. I didn't go back to Vitez. I went to Vares.
7 Q. Yes, when you went back to Vares.
8 A. I was a lieutenant.
9 Q. When did you join the TO?
10 A. The moment I came back from the school, I
11 joined the TO.
12 Q. What was your highest rank in the TO in the
13 former Yugoslavia?
14 A. I was captain first class in which I was -- a
15 rank which I was conferred in '83.
16 Q. What were your duties in the TO staff?
17 A. I was assistant commander for politics.
18 Q. Were you in this position until the elections
19 of 1990?
20 A. Yes. I was in this position practically
21 until it was dissolved following the elections.
22 Q. You said that it dissolved, that the staff
23 was dissolved?
24 A. Yes. It was dissolved after the parties, the
25 winning parties, agreed to it.
1 If I may add, the HDZ and SDA wanted to
2 reform it or re-establish it. In other words, they
3 wanted to see the SDP pushed far away from any control.
4 Q. Now we're talking about 1990?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It was still bound to JNA?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Until when?
9 A. Until the new parties took over the power.
10 Q. When was this, if you can tell us
12 A. Immediately after the elections and after the
13 election results were announced.
14 Q. In your statement, you talked about the
15 percentages of population in the area of Vares
16 municipality. I would like to ask you a different
18 Would you agree with me that after the
19 elections, the municipal assembly had 50 deputies?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Nineteen of those were SDP members, 13 HDZ,
22 nine SDA, eight of the so-called Reformists or the
23 Markovic followers, and one the youth organisation led
24 by Kares. Do you agree with me?
25 A. I don't know, I didn't count, but it sounds
1 about right.
2 Q. Trust me, I counted them.
3 A. I trust you.
4 Q. Based on these electoral results, you said
5 that Andrijevic -- is that his name?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. That Dario Andrijevic was elected mayor of
8 the town, Zvonimir Dugonjic was president of the
9 executive board, Dario Andrijevic was SDP and Zvonimir
10 Dugonjic was from HDZ?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Then again they had their own deputies.
13 Ratko Gajic was deputy of Dukovic, who was
14 another Serb from the SDP, and the deputy of the mayor
15 was Mervana Hadzimurtezic, who was for SDA; is that
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. I also had noted that the assembly formed the
19 joint defence staff in 1992. Would you agree with
21 A. Not on the -- I think it was on the 28th of
23 Q. Are we thinking of the same thing? So the
24 joint staff of the HVO and the TO, I have a number of
25 names noted down here, those who were active at the
1 time, and they include Emil Harak, who started in the
2 Territorial Defence?
3 A. Yes, but it was called the municipal
4 headquarters of the Territorial Defence rather than the
5 word that you have just used.
6 Q. Who was the commander or the chief, whatever,
7 of this municipal staff?
8 A. Mr. Borivoje Malbasic was then appointed the
9 commander of the municipal staff.
10 Q. Would you agree with me that the former
11 commander, the former commander, was replaced because
12 his subordinates were not happy with him?
13 A. That was the official account of it, that it
14 was because of the discontent of his subordinates.
15 Q. But wouldn't you agree that it was supported
16 by the HVO and the TO, I mean his replacement?
17 A. Yes, I do agree with that.
18 Q. Tell us, I forgot to ask you in the
19 beginning, you told us that you were the vice-president
20 of a new party, and that is the Party for
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And is Mr. Silajdzic the president of that
24 party; you told us that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would you please tell the Court if your party
2 had a coalition with the SDA party in the elections?
3 A. Yes, in the last elections.
4 Q. Thank you. Today there was also talk about
5 ethnic groups beforehand, I mean it must be prior to
6 the elections, do we agree, and we know it only too
7 well, that at the time that we're talking about, that
8 is, in the former Yugoslavia, there was practically
9 only one party, and that was the League of Communists;
10 there were no number of parties? We agree about that?
11 A. Well, that is how it was.
12 Q. Yes, that is how it was. Thank you.
13 When you told us about Mr. Malbasic, who
14 became the commander of the joint staff, you said he
15 came from the SDP, he was nominated by the SDP or,
16 rather, he was a member of the SDP?
17 A. Yes, that is what I said, and that is how it
19 Q. You also said that the HVO formed its forces
20 outside the TO. Could you please tell us when was
21 that? When did the HVO begin to do that or, rather, at
22 what time did it come about?
23 A. Well, with the formation of the military
24 police and the insignia of the HVO, which were then put
25 on, was when the units of the HVO began to be formed,
1 and with them we absolutely had no communication. We
2 had nothing to do with them. And one of them was the
3 unit of the civilian police. That was formed, too, and
4 a special task or a subversion, sabotage unit, or
5 something like that was also formed. We called it
7 So it so happened that in the Vares
8 municipality, neighbourhood communities were rather
9 pure ethnically, so all the units that were formed on
10 the basis of the territorial principle and by the order
11 of the former Yugoslav army were, to all intents and
12 purposes, were set up and thus they were then
13 incorporated in the HVO or the units of the Territorial
14 Defence, such as they were at the time.
15 Q. Right. But tell us, please, in the
16 municipality of Vares, there were also several Serb
17 villages such as Brgule and others, and those villages
18 were the first ones to proclaim themselves parts of the
19 municipality of Vares, that is, they seceded from the
20 Vares municipality; is that true?
21 A. Yes, they seceded. And I think they even set
22 up some kind of borders which had the Serb military
23 region of Romania or something, so that was their
25 Q. And that was accepted tacitly, if I may say
1 so, in the rest of the Vares municipality?
2 A. I wouldn't say it was tacitly accepted. I
3 had rather said, "one couldn't but accept it." There
4 was no other choice.
5 Q. Tell us, were there some other villages in
6 the Vares municipality which did not secede and yet
7 where the JNA brought weapons. I think it was Planica?
8 A. Yes, so this was the village of Planica and
9 Brad. Those two villages moved out subsequently after
10 the HVO attacked the village of Planica, and seized
11 weapons. And then gradually the population began to
12 move out of those villages and everybody left, so that
13 there was nobody there.
14 Q. Could you tell us if your unit, that is, as
15 you called it, the reconnoitring platoon or the
16 anti-sabotage unit, did it have anything to do with the
17 seizing of weapons which the JNA brought into those
19 A. No. My unit was, at that time, in a
20 different place, and we were tasked with the
21 reconnoitring in the directions that I already
23 Q. Tell us, please, at the time when you headed
24 this subversive or, rather, the anti-sabotage unit,
25 were you also the assistance to the commander,
1 Malbasic, I mean?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You had absolutely no duties in that staff?
4 A. No, but as the unit commander, I was directly
5 subordinate to him.
6 Q. Thank you. Today it was also said that the
7 HVO procured armaments for its forces, and tell us, in
8 the municipality of Vares, we have this joint staff.
9 Weren't the weapons procured for both sides I mean
11 A. No, as far as I know.
12 Q. The Vares tier, either within this joint
13 staff or outside it, did it ever get any weapons from
14 Croats, either from the area or from outside the area
15 of Vares?
16 A. No, until joint action against the army of
17 the Republic Srpska.
18 Q. And when was that?
19 A. That was towards the end of fighting for
20 Nisic/Visero plateau in '94 and '95.
21 Q. And in '93 and '92, you were procuring
22 weapons on your own account?
23 A. Well, I wouldn't say it was armament. We
24 mostly used what we had, what the people had. Those
25 were mostly hunting weapons and a few automatic rifles
1 that people purchased themselves.
2 Q. Right. But if I understood you properly, you
3 had communications centres, you had radio stations and
4 all that. All this is specialised equipment that has
5 to be obtained from somewhere, so you did?
6 A. No. Communications, that is, we seceded to
7 them from the joint staff and then it was distributed.
8 It was divided according to the principle which
9 governed the distribution of what formerly belonged to
10 the JNA.
11 Q. But the former TO, to which superior command
12 was it attached?
13 A. Formerly, to the regional staff of the
14 Territorial Defence, with the headquarters in Sarajevo.
15 Q. So it was to Sarajevo's. You did not have a
16 regional centre?
17 A. No. There was only a regional centre for the
18 training of commanding officers of the TO in the
20 Q. Just one more question on this subject.
21 When did you cut any communication with this
22 superior command in Sarajevo?
23 A. I believe it was on the 6th of April, '92,
24 when I requested the assistant commander for political
25 work, Mr. -- the gentleman was in the command of the
1 regional staff, occupying the same office, and I simply
2 asked him, "What are we to do under the circumstances?"
3 Q. So if I understand you, it was three days
4 before the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina decided to
5 abolish the republican staff of the former state?
6 A. I wouldn't know the date exactly, but I know
7 that telephone lines were still in order, so that that
8 was then.
9 Q. Thank you. Today you devoted a few moments
10 to Zvonko Duznovic, explaining his office and the man
11 and so on and so forth. You said that he, in a radio
12 broadcast, he said there could be no cohabitation with
14 A. Yes, that was that. Yes, he did pronounce
15 those sentences, and radio broadcasts, too.
16 Q. Did he speak in his own name?
17 A. Well, perhaps in his own name, but I had no
18 way of knowing that.
19 Q. I'm asking you because we heard from you
20 today that Muslims shared in the HVO government, and
21 you gave us also the cabinets, the offices they held,
22 but I don't remember you telling us -- Mr. Mahmutovic,
23 you understand that there are two HVOs, the civilian
24 HVO, responsible for the civilian authority, and the
25 military HVO, and that is the army; are you aware of
2 A. I'm not aware of that. I know and I feel
3 that that was one authority, to all intents and
4 purposes, both the civilian and the military I think as
5 one. I did not feel it otherwise.
6 Q. So you think that the HVO is only one, that
7 there are not two components or, rather, several
8 components to it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. All right, thank you.
11 Today you told us that you say that some
12 Muslims discharged some unimportant duties in the HVO
13 government. You mentioned education, health care and
14 finances, but that one couldn't consider as
15 unimportant, could one?
16 A. If you want my opinion, they are unimportant
17 officers because they had no say in the final decisions
18 taken by the government. They were simply individual
19 portfolios, and they were accountable to those who were
20 important in the government.
21 Q. But still, those people who discharged
22 offices in that government, you will agree with me that
23 among other clerks, if I may put it so, there were
24 still Muslims, that is, Muslims who had worked in the
25 municipal government before?
1 A. I believe there were some, yes, but mostly
2 people who were accountable to gentlemen from the HVO
3 or, rather, the HDZ.
4 Q. But that is only your inference?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. But I'm asking about facts. After the HVO
7 took over the power, there were also -- in that power,
8 there was some offices held by Muslims, and among the
9 rank-and-file civil servants, if I may call them that,
10 there were also some Muslims?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When was the war presidency formed? I didn't
13 hear you properly.
14 A. The war presidency was formed immediately
15 after Dario Andrijevic and Ms. Mervana Hadzimurtezic
16 submitted their resignations. So the power was taken
17 over the 1st of July, and this could have been there
18 for a few days later.
19 Q. Today you told us, if I may repeat it, that
20 to all intents and purposes, Mervana Hadzimurtezic
21 automatically became the president of the war
23 A. I don't know how you understood me, but it
24 couldn't have been automatic because everybody resigned
25 and she had to seek consent of the president of the
1 presidency to take over that duty.
2 Q. I do understand what you are saying, but what
3 I want to say is that Dario Andrijevic did not ask for
4 any authority from the assembly -- from the presidency,
5 because the assembly was the one which elected him, so
6 she should have also asked the assembly?
7 A. Yes, but the assembly could not meet, and
8 that must have been the reason why she sought the
9 consent of the president of the presidency to take
10 over, because Dario Andrijevic submitted his
11 resignation to her, I mean the one which I saw, and I
12 was present there when it happened.
13 Q. Yeah, right. But when you told us about
14 that bank account, she changed the names of signatories
15 of these accounts without again seeking the approval of
16 the assembly or any other body?
17 A. Pursuant to the statute of the municipality,
18 under such circumstances, which were the state of war,
19 actually, the war presidency was to be established, and
20 she did that, and she formed that war presidency, and
21 I'm not sure, but I think she had the approval of the
22 presidency to change the signatories; that is, to
23 change those persons who would be authorised to draw
24 money from that account.
25 Q. Tell us, this war presidency, could you tell
1 us about the ethnic structure, the majority of them?
2 A. The majority were the Bosniaks. The Muslims
3 prevailed in that war presidency.
4 Q. Tell us, we are now talking about the HVO
5 government, and you lived there at the time, so you
6 should know: About 2.000 ex-police arrived there,
7 about 1.200 Muslims and about 800 expelled Croats
8 arrived in your municipality. Would you agree with
9 these figures?
10 A. No, I do not agree with these figures, but --
11 because while I was in Vares there were no refugees,
12 only the refugees from East Bosnia were passing through
14 Q. Yes, I agree that very many refugees passed
15 through Vares, but I was going to ask you who took care
16 of them, who looked after them when they arrived. Was
17 it that government that was there?
18 A. I'm repeating that while I was in Vares,
19 there were no refugees there.
20 Q. But they were passing through, you say?
21 A. Yes, they were passing through. They were
22 not stopping there.
23 Q. So who were the first refugees who stopped in
24 Vares? Those from Kakanj?
25 A. No, I think that the first refugees came from
1 the area of Sokolac and that part of -- that part of
2 the territory.
3 Q. When did they arrive?
4 A. I think they arrived sometime in early
5 August, or perhaps early September. At that time I was
6 not in Vares any longer, so I just don't know how many
7 of them there were.
8 Q. But were there Muslims or Croats?
9 A. I think there were both Muslims and Croats.
10 Q. To round off this part, and they were
11 accommodated in Vares, they were offered some basic
12 assistance there?
13 A. Yes, they were accommodated in Vares and
14 villages around it. I know that in Stupni Do, there
15 was a certain number of refugees from East Bosnia,
16 Muslim refugees from Eastern Bosnia.
17 Q. Right. Let me ask you something else now.
18 You explained to the Court that you formed the war
19 presidency, that later on you moved first to Strijezevo
20 and from there to Dabravine, but that did not mean that
21 you split up in territorial terms, if I may say so?
22 First the Serbs took out some villages and joined the
23 Serb part of the Ilijas municipality, and now we have
24 also Croats and Muslims somehow separating, parting
25 company in territorial terms; is that true?
1 A. I do not think that this is a correct
2 postulate, and I can tell you why: Because there were
3 no demarcation lines drawn between the Armija and the
5 Q. Yes, we must take care of the interpreters.
6 No, that is not what I mean at all. I do not
7 mean those lines. What I mean is territories. You
8 were in one part of the municipality and they were in
9 another part of the territory. Your command was in
10 Dabravine and the Croats had it in Vares; that's what I
12 A. That is how it was, but mostly for security
13 reasons, to avoid any possibility of the HVO arresting
15 Q. But before that happened, you commuted to
16 work in Vares? I didn't mean you personally; I meant
17 the mayor, lady mayor, rather, the deputy -- deputy
18 president of the assembly, Mervana, and others, while
19 the roads were open?
20 A. I don't understand the question.
21 Q. I mean after you had set up your command, or
22 rather when you still had the TO, before the war
23 presidency was formed, you went there to perform your
24 duties and went back. That is, you could enter Vares?
25 A. Yes, until the 6th of August, '93.
1 Q. That is what I meant, yes.
2 You spoke about some posters which turned up
3 in Vares. Could you please describe one of those
4 posters, the size of them? What did the heading say?
5 A. Well, it was the A4 paper sheet size, must
6 have been copied on an old-fashioned machine, and then
7 one could have it, and they were put up in public
8 places where one usually put such things, posters in
9 times of elections, or any kind of that material would
10 be affixed. The heading of such announcements or
11 communications, it said "HVO, Vares," and the
12 signatures varied, depending on the matter at hand. As
13 the rule, Ante Pejcinovic, and at times Zvonko
15 Q. You mean they were the ones who signed those
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. But I guess there must have been several
19 kinds. Some of them must have been some practical
20 instructions or something like that, warnings?
21 A. Yes, there were those too.
22 Q. But you were referring to the other kind, you
23 said, with some publicity messages or something like
25 A. Well, yes, yes. Simply that kind of an
1 attitude, showing the attitude towards Muslims in that
2 town, and because of their nature, they were noticed.
3 Q. You spoke about Ante Pejcinovic. Do you
4 know -- would you know -- but do you have any immediate
5 knowledge, who did he communicate with from the
6 superior structures, from the superior rungs of the
7 hierarchy? Who was he linked with?
8 A. Well, part of the communication going from
9 Vares would go through the territory of the
10 neighbourhood community of Dragos and Mikovice, where
11 the units of the Territorial Defence were stationed.
12 We always had information when Mr. Anto or one of the
13 Vares HVO leaders would go to Kakanj, that is Catici,
14 and who they met, who they talked to. I believe that
15 in his report, or in a newspaper article he published,
16 he described it in full, and I don't want do change it,
17 because he said how it was.
18 Q. I'm asking whether you knew: Whom did he
19 communicate with?
20 A. Yes, he communicated with Dario Kordic, and
21 at times with Mate Boban.
22 Q. But I'm asking you, did you have any direct
23 knowledge, do you have any direct knowledge about
24 that? Directly, immediately, not the conclusion that
25 you draw or what the newspapers say, but do you have
1 any personal knowledge of that?
2 A. My personal knowledge is through my men, who
3 often negotiated with the gentlemen from HVO.
4 Q. But that is again according to other people?
5 A. Yes, officers placed in charge in that, and
6 politicians who were charged with conducting the
7 negotiations with the HVO to avoid conflicts in Vares,
8 because one always had to consult with somebody to see
9 what needed to be done and so on and so forth.
10 Q. So all that you know, you've heard from
11 others. You don't have any personal knowledge?
12 A. That is what I said, yes.
13 Q. Thank you. You mentioned today that Zvonko
14 Duznovic personally issued car permits to enter or
15 leave the municipality, but did that also apply to the
16 territory within the municipality?
17 A. Well, anyone who wanted to leave the
18 territory controlled by the HVO had to go to Zvonko
19 Duznovic and obtain that car permit if he wanted to
20 leave the town, or rather, that particular area.
21 Q. But after August of '93 -- that is, '92, did
22 your side also introduce this measure? That is, trying
23 to restrict the communication, that is, departure from
24 the municipality and so on and so forth? In other
25 words, would you agree that your men also needed a
1 permit if they wanted to get out of the municipal seat
2 or go beyond the area which was under your control?
3 A. Well, you did need such a permit to leave the
4 territory or municipality. You just couldn't move
5 around unless you had a paper, a passport or something,
6 a paper issued you. But at that time you did not need
7 this for the territorial municipality.
8 Q. But who issued that authorisation to leave
9 the municipality?
10 A. Well, it was an agency of the municipal
11 government. I believe it was the secretariat for
12 national defence. I believe that is what it was
14 Q. All right. Thank you. You described your
15 conversations with Malbasic about your arrest and so on
16 and so forth, and you said that he offered you two
17 possibilities, and then adding a third, that he would
18 deliver to you the Serbs?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. But all of a sudden, then, you were released,
21 were you not? You were simply released, weren't you?
22 A. Yes, I was released, and they met my
23 request. I could go to the Hotel Ponikva, where the
24 HVO staff was, and to take out all the people --
25 everything that was there. And I was taken from the
1 Hotel Ponikva to the town of Vares itself.
2 Q. So in spite of the threats that he made, you
3 were simply released, without any further requirements
4 made on his part?
5 A. Exactly. I'm telling you things as they
7 Q. Very well. Let's just make these things
8 clear. Today, you mentioned the event when in Pajtov
9 Han, on the 17th of October, '93, those soldiers from
10 Stupni Do were arrested, six of them, I think it was.
11 But -- never mind. There's something else I wanted to
13 Could you tell us when this barricade was put
14 up by the HVO in Pajtov Han, or rather, when did they
15 withdraw to that position?
16 A. The HVO formed that position, or checkpoint,
17 as it was called, I think it was in September 1992,
18 after an event which, if I may be allowed, I could tell
19 you about --
20 Q. Yes, my question was when, and then comes the
21 question why -- of course, with Their Honours'
22 permission. I would like you to tell us about it.
23 I think that Their Honours agree, so tell
24 us: Why did they withdraw to that position?
25 A. Certain organisational problems occurred
1 regarding passage to the village of Budozelje and
2 Strijezevo, and following my orders, we put up our own
3 group to control that part of the territory.
4 Immediately after this group of mine was positioned
5 there to control the area, Ante Pajcinovic came up with
6 a request, together with Zvonko Duznovic, that we
7 should urgently organise a team, without my presence,
8 which would go to Vares to negotiate the question of
9 the formation of this checkpoint.
10 Q. If I understand you well, you were actually
11 adopting positions, both you and the HVO police?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you.
14 A. Having mentioned Dabravine, may I just add a
15 few words to what I've just said? I think it will make
16 things clearer.
17 Q. But I think this was quite sufficient,
18 because my question had to do with this checkpoint. I
19 don't think there is any need for any further
21 I should like to remind you, if you remember,
22 that incident in connection with HVO tanks.
23 A. Please, I think this is important, for me to
24 explain why developments in Pajtov Han took the turn
25 they did. So please allow me to tell Their Honours
1 about it.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness go on.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
4 Q. Please go on.
5 A. Actually, a meeting was held in Vares
6 municipality building between representatives of the
7 army and the mentioned gentlemen of the HVO, and an
8 eight-point document was drawn up, and one of those
9 points was that there should be no forces in that area
10 controlling the area, so that freedom of movement would
11 be ensured in all directions, both for the HVO and the
12 TO. However, Zvonko Duznovic, the very next day, after
13 the TO units' withdrawal from that area -- that is, the
14 area of the Vares slaughterhouse -- the army withdrew,
15 and Zvonko Duznovic reinforced and positioned his
16 forces at the very crossroads to the village of
17 Budozelje, the mouth of a small river there.
18 When we asked him why he had done so, he said
19 that he did not agree with what had been signed and
20 that he had been tricked into signing that document.
21 This shows that the HVO checkpoint was reinforced
22 there, and for as long as that checkpoint existed, we
23 could not reach the units of Strijezevo and Budozelje
24 by car.
25 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, can I continue with my
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. I wanted to remind you, of course, if you
4 remember, an incident linked to oil tanks of the HVO in
5 Dabravine. Do you remember that incident?
6 A. Of course I do. Tank lorries of the HVO had
7 permission from the command of the BH army in Zenica.
8 They had permission to pass. However, those lorries
9 were stopped. They were not just tank lorries. They
10 were also refrigerator lorries carrying meat, and there
11 were trucks carrying weapons and ammunition.
12 Q. But if we can call this a convoy or a
13 transport, was there permission from the BH army in
15 A. There was, and when we saw that permit, or
16 rather the policemen who were working there saw it,
17 they allowed the trucks with the weapons to pass, but
18 they kept the trucks transporting fuel and food, the
19 reason being that the HVO of Vares had totally
20 prohibited the use of all material resources for the BH
21 army, which means that we couldn't procure a gram of
22 fuel or food. We took advantage of this opportunity to
23 take for ourselves some of the food and fuel and to
24 turn it back to Vares.
25 Q. So we agree that this was confiscated from
1 the HVO?
2 A. A part of it. I'm talking about fuel and
4 Q. But do you know where the meat ended up? Did
5 it go outside the territory of Vares municipality?
6 A. No. The meat --
7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
8 Mr. Naumovski, I think that in the cross-examination,
9 since you started, it is almost an hour and a half
10 now. One should go directly to the question.
11 Regarding this particular question of the convoy, go
12 directly to the question, because we can't tell where
13 you're heading. You have twenty different questions,
14 and after a certain amount of time, we are not able to
15 follow. We want to know where you are going.
16 You asked him whether he was aware of that
17 incident. Tell him what it is you want him to tell
18 you, and do it throughout, please, throughout the
19 cross-examination. You are dividing up each question
20 into twenty questions, and in the end, we don't know
21 what you are talking about.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
23 Your Honours. Mr. Mahmutovic helped me and gave me the
24 answer that I wanted from him, so let us hurry on. I
25 am watching the time, but it is difficult for me to
1 move quickly.
2 Q. When you spoke about this unit, TO unit, in
3 the area of Stupni Do, would you tell us, were they
4 directly subordinated to you in terms of command?
5 A. For as long as I was the commander of the TO
6 headquarters, the 1st of July, 1993.
7 Q. You told us that the unit numbered some 50
8 men; some were in uniforms, others in civilian clothes?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell us, Mr. Husnija Mahmutovic who is
11 mentioned here, he's a relative of yours?
12 A. He's the son of my uncle. We are the
13 children of two brothers; in other words, cousins.
14 Q. Having mentioned that, the Prosecutor has
15 tendered a document compiled by the European Monitoring
16 Mission, and in that document mention is made of the
17 black market for cigarettes, the smuggling of
18 cigarettes. To follow Judge Bennouna's advice, let me
19 ask you were you aware that cigarettes were being
20 smuggled in that area as a matter of common knowledge?
21 A. Yes, I did know.
22 Q. Until when were you the commander of the TO?
23 A. Until the 1st of July, 1993.
24 Q. And after that?
25 A. After that, I held a position in the
1 operative group Oganj Visoko attached to the command of
2 the 1st Corps of the BH army.
3 Q. What position did you hold?
4 A. I was an operative officer.
5 Q. In the headquarters, in the staff?
6 A. Yes, in the staff, focusing on the tactical
7 group whose assignment was to monitor developments in
8 the area of Vares.
9 Q. Tell me, please, in relation to the fighting
10 in Stupni Do, you said that it was your estimate that
11 some 200 soldiers arrived in the vehicles that you saw,
12 but were all the vehicles full? Were you able to see
14 A. I couldn't tell that they were full, but
15 usually military estimates are made on the basis of the
16 number of vehicles, and one counts the equipment that
17 was being transported, so one makes that estimate.
18 Q. So may I summarise? It means you made that
19 estimate indirectly, that you came to the conclusion
20 that there was some 200 men?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Before these soldiers arrived in connection
23 with the Stupni Do event, several months before that
24 there were some 500 men who had come from Travnik?
25 A. Yes. That is in information we received from
1 Vares, and that is why instructions were issued that
2 the civilian population of Stupni Do should be
4 Q. My question would be, directly, are they the
5 people of Travnik who, through Serb territories and
6 Vlasic, reached this area after the Serb forces had
7 captured Travnik and without any weapons?
8 A. I don't know how they got there, but I do
9 know that they went through Fojnica to Vares.
10 Q. But my question was were they unarmed?
11 A. I don't know whether they were armed or not.
12 Q. Thank you. You also said that the Muslims
13 who had lived in the village of Dastansko had also been
14 required to surrender their weapons. Did they do
16 A. No.
17 Q. What about the inhabitants of Stupni Do; they
18 didn't do that?
19 A. They didn't.
20 Q. But you said that there was some negotiations
21 over the matter. I didn't quite understand what you
22 meant. Were there negotiations on the surrender of
24 A. Yes. Zvonko Duznovic travelled frequently
25 towards the village of Mir, where there was an HVO
1 unit, the village of Mir, and he travelled there
2 frequently. And passing through Stupni Do or close to
3 Stupni Do, he would say to people providing security of
4 the village that they had to surrender their weapons.
5 They were also called upon, through certain persons
6 from the Przici unit, to come to talks and discuss
7 these things.
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
9 I'm looking at the time. I don't know how long we're
10 planning to work today.
11 JUDGE MAY: It's about time that we
13 Mr. Naumovski, do you have very much more for
14 this witness, do you think, in order that we can plan
16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation)
17 Mr. President, you already caught me once in a very
18 poor estimate, so I'm strictly following the chronology
19 of the witness's testimony, and I've covered about two
20 thirds of it. I hope to cover the rest very quickly
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
23 Yes, Mr. Kovacic?
24 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honour, in
25 view of the fact that you have mentioned planning of
1 time and we have another two or three minutes left,
2 perhaps we could discuss whether there is any purpose
3 in envisaging cross-examination by the second Defence
4 team, that is, the Defence of Cerkez, for bearing in
5 mind the indictment, and especially count 2,
6 persecution, which is the only one that may have some
7 distant theoretical connection with the accused Cerkez,
8 I should like to ask the Prosecution to tell us whether
9 they see this witness as a witness in the Cerkez case
10 at all, and especially since, in count 2 of the
11 indictment, the persecution count, the charges against
12 Cerkez are limited to the municipalities of Vitez,
13 Busovaca and Novi Travnik.
14 Therefore, even informally, I see no
15 connection with the accused Cerkez. But out of
16 caution, I would like to ask the Prosecution to tell me
17 whether they see this witness having any role in the
18 evidence against Cerkez, because of course it is on
19 that answer that my decision as to whether I would
20 cross-examine or not depends.
21 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Kovacic, it's really
22 for you to decide what cross-examination to undertake
23 and not to be advised. But no doubt you can have a
24 word with Mr. Lopez-Terres during the adjournment, and
25 he can tell you if there's any reliance placed on the
2 MR. KOVACIC: I agree, Your Honour, but I
3 think that the Prosecutor should say what is, and he
4 did it in this paper that he gave us, where he listed
5 the points, but not with this witness.
6 JUDGE MAY: Well, it's not something for the
7 Trial Chamber.
8 There are some matters which have to be
9 attended to, one of which is something which you
10 referred to, Mr. Kovacic, involving conversations with
11 Mr. Nice. We ought to deal with that at some stage.
12 There are applications from the Prosecution
13 in relation to various witnesses. We ought to deal
14 with those matters.
15 We have been asked informally about the
16 calendar for September, and the answer is that it
17 depends on other matters to some extent. When they are
18 resolved, we'll let you know as soon as possible. I
19 have very much in mind that we ought to be getting that
20 calendar out, and we'll do so as soon as we can.
21 The other matters we have to finalise are the
22 procedural matters which we've started on a number
23 of occasions and never yet finished.
24 I don't know, Mr. Nice, with that indication
25 as to cross-examination, how you see the rest of the
1 week. We are not sitting Wednesday and Friday
2 afternoons, of course.
3 MR. NICE: I view the rest of the week with
4 some concern, because the cross-examination taken so
5 far with this witness is going to make it difficult, I
6 think, to accommodate the other three witnesses who are
7 here for this week, brought in of course in the hope
8 that we were going to be able to move at some greater
10 I'm also concerned about the fact that the
11 practice we've pursued of returning to procedural
12 matters piecemeal in order always to accommodate
13 witnesses as the priority has its own inconveniences of
14 various kinds and lands up putting the Chamber under
15 pressure to make decisions on procedural matters.
16 Sometimes it may be rather swiftly.
17 What I would propose is that we defer
18 procedural matters at least for another day or so, not
19 least because the statement that is being prepared to
20 summarise the dossier has yet to be completed. It's
21 promised by the end of the week.
22 I can, in passing, deal very swiftly with the
23 matter of the correspondence between myself and
24 Mr. Kovacic. In reality, the correspondence is a
25 letter from me, because I was the only witness to
1 events, and that has now been properly filed together
2 with Mr. Kovacic's two other letters, so it's available
3 as part of the Court record. I don't think you need
4 take any time. It's a matter for the Court whether you
5 want it read out or not, but it's now available.
6 MR. STEIN: Judge, as to procedural matters,
7 it would help us immensely if we could have at least a
8 day or two to absorb the document that is being drafted
9 as part of the dossier so that we can intelligently
10 look at it and discuss it.
11 JUDGE MAY: We'll defer that until next
13 As to the other matters, it may be helpful if
14 the evidence about the conversation was formalised in
15 some way so that it forms part of the record in due
16 course, and perhaps you can discuss that with
17 Mr. Kovacic.
18 MR. NICE: I think it has been, if it's been
19 available in written form is sufficient. If you want
20 me to read it out or if Mr. Kovacic does, I'm quite
21 happy to deal with that.
22 Incidentally, I just mention this -- no, I
23 won't mention it in the presence of the witness. I'll
24 try and return to it on another day. There's one other
25 matter I told Ms. Featherstone I would mention to you,
1 but the witness is here and it's probably better dealt
2 with in one minute or 30 seconds, for that's all it
3 will take, after the witness is gone.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mahmutovic, could you be back
5 tomorrow, please, at 9.45, when we will conclude your
6 evidence? If you would like to go now.
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, of course.
8 (The witness withdrew)
9 (Trial Chamber confers)
10 MR. NICE: Can I take the opportunity to
11 perhaps deal with, I think, three things; first, the
12 thing that I said I would mention, because I had to
13 undertake to Ms. Featherstone that I would?
14 The Chamber will recall that at an earlier
15 stage, I raised with you the possibility of a visit to
16 the area, and the Chamber invited me to investigate
17 that as a possibility.
18 I don't know, perhaps this ought to be in
19 private session, it occurs to me. I don't know how
20 easy that would be to accomplish.
21 JUDGE MAY: Can we do it?
22 We're in private session.
23 (Private session)
8 redacted pages 3363 3372 private session
16 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
17 4.32 p.m., to be reconvened on
18 Wednesday, the 9th day of June,
19 1999, at 9.45 a.m.