1 Wednesday, 9th June, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.50 a.m.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
7 This is case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you,
11 Your Honours.
12 WITNESS: EKREM MAHMUTOVIC (Resumed)
13 [The witness answers through interpreter]
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
15 Q. Good morning, sir. We can go on. I just
16 have several more questions for you. Yesterday at one
17 point you said that Mr. Kordic used to come to Vares
18 and meet with Mr. Anto Pejcinovic. Did you ever see
19 Mr. Kordic come to Vares, I mean personally?
20 A. No.
21 Q. What you said about his coming there you know
22 from other people's telling you?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Do you perhaps know, do you know when there
25 is a holiday of Saint Mihovil, who is the saint
1 protector of Vares?
2 A. I do not know.
3 Q. It is on the 29th and 30th of September. Do
4 you perhaps recall that holiday in 1992? Do you
5 remember it by anything?
6 A. I do not have particular recollections of
7 that, but I know that it is celebrated every year.
8 Q. So let me just conclude: You have never seen
9 Mr. Kordic, and you do not have any direct knowledge
10 about him meeting anyone?
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you had said that you
13 were a commander of TO until 1 July, 1992. Could you
14 tell me who replaced you in this position?
15 A. I was replaced by Mr. Avda Zubaca (phoen).
16 Q. And Mr. Zubaca was in this position
17 until ... ?
18 A. Until the 122nd Light Brigade was established
19 in Vares, which was about 11 November, 1993.
20 Q. That is after the take-over of Vares?
21 A. After the army forces entered Vares.
22 Q. Just a few short questions on Stupni Do. Do
23 you agree with me that in August 1993, trenches were
24 dug around Stupni Do and Dragovici-Kopyari, the two
25 villages? This was in September of '93?
1 A. Yes, under orders of the command of the
2 municipal staff of the Territorial Defence, the
3 defence, the encircling defence was supposed to be
4 secured, and Dragovici-Kopyari is an area which is part
5 of Dragovici and Mijakovici, and the units from those
6 two villages were supposed to be fortified there.
7 Q. Thank you. Yesterday you said that the war
8 presidency, given the numbers which you had, issued a
9 coded order to evacuate Stupni Do?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. But the villagers and the military unit which
12 was there failed to obey this order?
13 A. The military unit was not supposed to leave
14 the village.
15 Q. So only the civilians?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And the military unit was supposed to stay
18 there and carry out its military tasks?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Yesterday you said that there was a total of
21 38 people killed in Stupni Do?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Could you please tell us how many military
24 conscripts were among those killed?
25 A. I don't know if I need -- by name?
1 Q. No, no; just a number.
2 A. About five or six.
3 Q. You do not have a specific number?
4 A. No, I do not, but if I reviewed -- if
5 necessary, I could review my documents.
6 Q. Speaking of the weapons which the military
7 recruits in Stupni Do had, you mentioned, apart from
8 the small-arms weapons, a rocket launcher; and as far
9 as I understood, they also had communications
11 A. You understood correctly.
12 Q. Thank you. Just a couple of questions on
13 Vares. You say that the citizens started leaving Vares
14 on their own; is that correct?
15 A. I don't understand what citizens you are
16 referring to.
17 Q. The citizens of the town of Vares.
18 A. In which period?
19 Q. No, no, no, I'm talking about early November
21 A. Yes. Croat citizens of Vares left Vares
22 before the army entered it.
23 Q. But would you agree with me that at that time
24 -- that is, before the citizens started leaving the
25 town of Vares -- there were already combat operations
1 in the area of the municipality of Vares?
2 A. Yes, there was fighting in the Vares
3 municipality territory.
4 Q. The attack on the municipality of Vares, that
5 is the one held by the Croats, by the HVO, started on
6 18 October, 1993, and when the feature of Lijesnica was
7 taken -- and you should know it, because it was very
8 important in military terms.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And then on the 19th of October, the village
11 of Kopule (phoen) was taken, where the Croats were?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. This was a village -- six civilians were
14 killed in this village, and the village was burnt and
15 looted; do you agree with me?
16 A. I do not. No civilian was killed, and the
17 village was not burnt down.
18 Q. In other words, there were no civilian
19 casualties, and the village was intact?
20 A. Yes, except I have learned later that one
21 structure, a barn, was set on fire.
22 Q. We're talking about combat operations on that
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And were any houses burned down later?
1 A. Yes, later on, the village was burned down.
2 Q. Yesterday we talked about the refugees. The
3 largest number of refugees arrived after 15 June '93,
4 which were the Croats from Kakanj area, from an area
5 called Kraljeva Sutjeska; about 15.000 of them came to
6 Vares from there?
7 A. When was this?
8 Q. In 1993.
9 A. Yes. I cannot know the exact date, but it's
10 around there.
11 Q. It was sometime in July of '93. Now, when we
12 talk about Vares in 1993, there was an all-out attack
13 against Vares in October, when the 2nd Tuzla,
14 3rd Zenica, and 4th Visoko Corps, plus some special
15 units, attacked this area controlled by the Croats.
16 JUDGE MAY: This is an attack by the ABiH, is
17 it, you're putting, Mr. Naumovski?
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Yes. Perhaps
19 I was not specific enough.
20 A. Yes, these units moved in on Vares.
21 Q. There were some special units there. There
22 was Frka's unit, Ferid Trkulja was his commander, his
23 nickname was Frka. This was a special-purpose BH army
24 unit, and these were called Seroman, and they were
25 stationed in the Vitez municipality, in Topuzovo
1 Polje. Do you know about this unit?
2 A. As far as I know, this unit did not operate
3 in the area which was under my control, but I know that
4 it was used in another area, and I do not know the
5 exact size of the unit.
6 Q. When you talk about "the area," you're
7 talking during the attack on the Vares municipality?
8 A. That is correct.
9 Q. There are also some special police units of
10 Dragan Vikic from Sarajevo. Were they also active in
11 that area?
12 A. As far as I know, they were not.
13 Q. If you look at the chronology of this attack,
14 first of all, the village of Dubostica fell, and six
15 civilians were killed there, and that village was also
16 burned down and looted; isn't that correct?
17 A. I was informed in the command post in Breza
18 that the 2nd Corps came from Dubostica to Breza. I do
19 not know with what forces. And the village of
20 Dubostica was never burned. It is still inhabited. I
21 don't know how many killed there were. I know that
22 there were a number of captured. And then they were
23 taken to Tuzla, and later on they were released from
24 the prison in Tuzla.
25 Q. You're referring to the civilians who were in
1 the village of Dubostica?
2 A. I do not know whether any civilians were
3 arrested. People who were arrested were the soldiers,
4 the HVO soldiers who were at the front line.
5 Q. But the villages of Pogar, Tribija, Vijaka
6 and Ivancevo were also taken at that time?
7 A. As the 2nd Corps were moving on, I think this
8 was accomplished in four or five days, so I cannot tell
9 you whether all that was taken in the same day, because
10 there's practically no resistance except at Dubostica
11 and partially around the village of Pogar, where a
12 group which actually was left behind, a group of the
13 HVO soldiers, clashed with the BH army. And I think
14 that there were about five dead on the part of the
15 army, and those men who stayed behind were captured.
16 I know this -- I learned this later from the
17 commander in the field, who told it to me in Vares.
18 Q. Very well. This area was attacked sometime
19 between 30 October and 3 or 4 November '93, is that
20 what you said, in that time frame?
21 A. Yes.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, in order that we
23 can follow this cross-examination, we need to know
24 where these places are. Now, where are these villages
25 which you say were attacked? On any of the plans that
1 we've got, I don't know if the Prosecution can help
2 identify them.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) These
4 villages are in the territory of Vares municipality, in
5 the area in which the Tuzla Corps operated. I don't
6 know whether all these villages are included in the
7 map, but perhaps the witness could help us.
8 THE WITNESS: However you wish, I can help
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI:
11 Q. If you could please tell us in which part of
12 the municipality these villages are.
13 A. This is north, due north, northwest.
14 Dubostica is about 15 kilometres, and then closer to
15 Vares, about seven kilometres from Vares, is the
16 village of Pogar.
17 JUDGE MAY: Let's have a map on the ELMO and
18 the witness can point out the places, because otherwise
19 we won't see them.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI:
21 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, will you please look at the
22 map and see if the villages are shown there, even
23 though this is just a partial map of the Vares
25 A. So due northwest is a part called Sjenokos,
1 and then Pogar is right behind it. In that same area,
2 there is the village of Dubostica, which is about 19
3 kilometres from Vares. And then closer to Vares
4 there's Ponikva, Ivancevo and Vijaka. Ivancevo is
5 about 11, 12 kilometres from Vares, and Vijaka, I
6 believe it's a bit more, about 20 kilometres. And this
7 (indicating) is around this communication line between
8 Vares and Borovica.
9 Q. Is that on the main highway?
10 A. Yes, the same highway, and it follows the bed
11 of the Kreva River and goes towards Borovica.
12 Q. With Your Honours' permission, I would like
13 to ask you the village of Borovica, the Upper and Lower
14 Borovica, and perhaps the map only shows Borovica?
15 A. Yes, this is the village of Borovica, and
16 this is again northwest of the city, and it is the
17 boundary line of the municipality of Vares. And Upper
18 and Lower Borovica are practically joined. They are
19 very close to one another.
20 Q. This village, Borovica, was not defended by
21 the Croats, by the HVO; isn't that right?
22 A. The village of Borovica was defended by the
23 Vares HVO, and this whole boundary line of the Vares
24 municipality was defended.
25 Q. Just to make it easier for the Judges, how
1 far is Borovica from Vares?
2 A. More than 20 kilometres.
3 Q. And Borovica was in the area of operations of
4 the 3rd Zenica Corps?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you agree with me that this 7th Muslim
7 Brigade also operated in that area?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did the 7th Muslim Brigade operate in the
10 fighting around the area of Vares between the 17th and
11 18th October until the army entered Vares?
12 A. No, only in the time frame which we agreed
13 on, which is when the BH army moved into the town
14 itself on 4 November '93.
15 Q. So if I understand you correctly, the 7th
16 Muslim Brigade did not take part until the 4th of
17 November, '93?
18 A. No, it did not.
19 Q. In the village of Borovica which we're
20 discussing now, let's say in both parts of the village,
21 in the upper and lower part of the village, about 300
22 homes were damaged or burned or destroyed?
23 A. I do not have the exact figure for Borovica
24 village. Most of them were burned; some remained. I
25 later went to the village once, and most of the houses
1 had been burnt. Only the newly-built houses were not.
2 Q. Do we agree that this was a large village, if
3 you said it had about 300 houses?
4 A. I know that there was about nearly a thousand
5 inhabitants, about 800 something, and I don't know
6 exactly how many houses there were.
7 Q. There are a few other villages in the area
8 where the 3rd BH Army Corps was operating. These are
9 the villages of Pogar, which is in the area of the
10 village of Borovica, Przici and Tisovci?
11 A. I don't think you're right.
12 Q. Would you please tell us then where those
13 villages are?
14 A. We already established that Pogar was in the
15 other area which I notice.
16 Q. Yes, you're right.
17 A. And Przici is due east of the town of Vares
19 Q. And which BH army unit operated in that area?
20 A. Those were the units of 7th Muslim Brigade,
21 but they never entered those villages.
22 Q. But in these two villages, Przici and
23 Tisovci, about 15 houses were destroyed?
24 A. Yes. They were destroyed in subsequent
25 combat operations of the BH army units which were
1 moving due east of Vares. Those were units of the 2nd
3 Q. On 3 November 1993, some 7.500 Croats from
4 Vares left Vares in several waves. First the Kakanj
5 Croats left at the end of October 1993, for the most
6 part, and then gradually the Croats who were the
7 original inhabitants, and then a big wave of 7.500
8 Croats left at that time. Do you agree with me?
9 A. I have information which is absolutely
10 accurate, which is that after the BH army entered
11 Vares, 751 Croats stayed in Vares. And the last census
12 had 15.000, and I don't know exactly -- I cannot tell
13 you who left when.
14 Q. If we are talking about the exact number of
15 Croats who stayed there, would you agree with me that
16 after the BH army entered, that is, all those units we
17 mentioned, including the 7th Muslim, another 17
18 civilians were killed in the town of Vares; do you
19 agree with that?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Does that "no" mean, sir, that no civilian
22 was killed after the units of the BH army entered the
24 A. I know that two civilians were killed in the
25 lower part of the town, and I don't know about the
2 Q. Is it that you do not know, that you allow
3 that it might have happened, but you don't know about
4 the number?
5 A. Yes, I allow the possibility of this
6 happening and that I'm not informed. I'm telling you
7 about what I do know.
8 Q. Thank you. During all this fighting in the
9 municipality of Vares since the 18th of October, '93,
10 until the ABiH army entered, that six civilian Croats
11 died in the municipality. Do you know about that?
12 A. No, I don't think that there were actually
13 six killed civilians and that so many of them died.
14 Q. But do you have the figure?
15 A. I know about these two civilians. One of
16 them was a Serb and another one was a Croat, in the
17 lower part of Vares, or, to be more accurate, in Vares
18 Majdan. And at a later stage, and I cannot really give
19 you the exact date, but I should say about 10 days
20 after the BH army entered that area in the village of
21 Borovica, four civilians were killed, that is, people
22 who had stayed behind and had not left the area.
23 Q. But I meant all the civilian victims in this
24 area, including Kopjari. So from the beginning,
25 chronologically speaking, do you have any exact
1 figures? If I understood you properly, you didn't have
2 the exact data.
3 A. I told you all that I know about the
4 civilians and the number of civilians who fell as
5 victims. All the other killed persons, all the other
6 fatalities, are soldiers.
7 Q. But did not we agree a few minutes ago that
8 there may have been other fatalities?
9 A. That is another matter.
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, we have been
11 through the victims now, and the witness has said what
12 he can about it. I want to get from you, so that we
13 can understand it, what your case is about this.
14 The background is fighting in the
15 municipality of Vares. There's clearly no dispute
16 about that.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
18 the only reason I ask these questions of the witness is
19 that the witness began to explain why the inhabitants
20 had begun leaving the town of Vares. From what the
21 witness said yesterday, I inferred that they began to
22 leave the town on their own initiative, fearing
24 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter, for the
25 moment, about what the witness says, and you are
1 perfectly entitled to cross-examine him about these
2 matters. What I'm trying to find out is what your case
3 is about what happened in Vares.
4 First of all, is there any dispute that there
5 was an attack on Stupni Do?
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) No, that fact
7 is not disputable.
8 JUDGE MAY: Is it accepted that it was the
9 HVO who attacked Stupni Do?
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I'm sorry, I
11 missed the question.
12 JUDGE MAY: Is it accepted that it was the
13 HVO who attacked Stupni Do?
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
15 all I can accept is that there was fighting in Stupni
16 Do on that day. Our client has nothing to do with it,
17 and that is all that I can say in this regard.
18 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Now, you have been
19 putting that there was an attack by the army of
20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Now, can we understand what it is
21 that you are, in fact, putting about this?
22 As I understand it, this was an attack from
23 the north of Vares which came towards the town, and
24 then I think the evidence is that on the 4th of
25 November, the ABiH took the town. Is that right?
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) In part.
2 Perhaps I wasn't quite precise, but Vares was attacked
3 from different sides and by several corps of the army
4 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, not only from that particular
5 direction, not only from the northwest, that is,
6 because it was also attacked by the 3rd Corps of the
7 army of BH, the so-called Zenica Corps, from that
8 direction, that is. The witness explained that. Then
9 the 2nd Corps of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
10 Tuzla Corps, and there was also the 6th Visoko Corps.
11 So it was attacked from different directions, from
12 several directions, not only the town of Vares itself
13 but also that part of the municipality held by the HVO,
14 including naturally some special units that we
15 discussed with the witness.
16 JUDGE MAY: What are you suggesting happened
17 in Stupni Do?
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I've already
19 explained it, Your Honours.
20 JUDGE MAY: You haven't explained it. That's
21 why I'm asking you. Now, what are you suggesting
22 happened in Stupni Do? How did these 38 people come to
23 be killed, according to you?
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
25 I don't know, because our client has nothing to do with
1 the events in Stupni Do. Of these things, another
2 Croat has been indicted for these things, and the
3 Tribunal has an indictment against him.
4 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation)
5 Mr. Naumovski, what we should like to know is not what
6 you think, but the strategy of your interrogation.
7 Yesterday we told you already it was your method,
8 rather than proceed directly from a question which
9 would then answer you to go into details, you go into
10 details, and we do not really know exactly where you
11 are heading. Perhaps it would be simpler for
12 everybody, and in particular it would be much clearer
13 for the Chamber, if you ask your questions directly, if
14 you really touched on the gist of the thing that you
15 want to ask directly. Instead, you move through a
16 labyrinth of questions, and we simply fail to follow
18 So could you please -- you know what was the
19 examination-in-chief; why don't you tell us in
20 cross-examination what you accept, what you are
21 refuting, and why don't you ask direct questions?
22 Because we really have trouble following you, even with
23 all the maps. We have all the maps before us, and
24 still we have difficulty in following you.
25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) With regard
1 to these last questions I was asking of the witness,
2 Mr. Mahmutovic, I think we have reached a point which I
3 wanted to raise: That is, that Croats who were in the
4 town of Vares and adjacent villages, and Croats from
5 Kakanj who had arrived there -- in June '93, some
6 15.000 Croats had been expelled from the municipality
7 of Kakanj -- that they all left the town of Vares and
8 its surroundings exclusively and only due to the attack
9 of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I believe that
10 my questions were leading in that direction. That was
11 my only purpose. That was the only thing I was
13 And I have only one question more.
14 (Trial Chamber confers)
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) I have only
16 one question more regarding the entry of the army of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the town of Vares, if I may, with
18 your leave, Your Honours; may I?
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
21 Q. According to statements of some UNPROFOR
22 officers, and particularly, the units of the 7th Muslim
23 Brigade and some other units simply looted the town of
24 Vares. Would you agree with me?
25 A. Yes, and it hurts me to.
1 Q. So we do agree that it happened; we don't
2 have to ask any further questions about that?
3 A. We do agree on that.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, a few questions about
5 Mr. Kordic. Yesterday you spoke about that, and you
6 said you watched him on television, and if I understood
7 you properly, some press conferences broadcast by
8 television. Those were your sources of information,
9 weren't they?
10 A. I said I saw Dario Kordic's image on the
11 screen. It was not a press conference; it was a kind
12 of report, sort of, from the battlefield, for
13 Mr. Sagolj.
14 Q. So you never, in any of those transmissions,
15 whether live or recorded, you didn't see any press
16 conference in which Mr. Kordic had taken part?
17 A. No.
18 Q. You told us that Mr. Blaskic was the military
19 commander of Ivica Rajic, who was the commander of the
20 2nd Operative Group in Kiseljak; is that so?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But then you also told us that Mr. Kordic
23 must have had a role in the command system; that was
24 your inference, wasn't it?
25 A. Well, that seems to transpire.
1 Q. So you said that alongside Mr. Blaskic, and
2 you said he was the military commander, that Mr. Kordic
3 must also have had a role in the system of command?
4 A. Not must have had; he did.
5 Q. Yes, but that is your inference; that is what
6 you said yesterday, "he must have had." That is what
7 you said yesterday. Yesterday I also asked you if you
8 made a distinction between the military and civilian
9 power, and you said you did not draw a distinction
10 between them?
11 A. I did not say that.
12 Q. I meant the HVO.
13 A. Within the HVO, there was no difference
14 between them.
15 Q. So that is, again, your conjecture?
16 A. That was the state of affairs in the field,
17 on the ground.
18 Q. All right, if you say so. Thank you.
19 Yesterday the Prosecution tendered a whole
20 series of documents. Yesterday we already addressed
21 one of them, and that was cigarette contraband.
22 Another document is Z128. I will go through these
23 documents in the order in which you received them
24 yesterday, so it will be easier follow them that way.
25 Document Z128 is a pass issued to Vjeran Mijatovic, as
1 the Prosecution said yesterday, but the date is of
2 importance here, and that is the 10th of June, 1992.
3 Mr. Mahmutovic, do you know when was formed
4 and when General Blaskic became the commander of the
5 Central Operative Zone?
6 A. I wouldn't know that.
7 Q. But would you know it approximately, the
8 month, or the year, part of the year?
9 A. No, I don't really know. I wouldn't.
10 Q. All right. Thank you.
11 Document Z139, which is of the 23rd of June,
12 1992, simply orders the HVO in the municipality of
13 Vares to enable the operation, the work of the HVO in
14 Ilijas, where it couldn't -- which it couldn't do
15 because it was under the Serb control; you saw this
16 document yesterday?
17 A. I saw it yesterday, and I know that Ilijas
18 HVO was not under the Serb control. It was together
19 with the army of B and H, and that was another manner
20 of getting the HVO in Ilijas from under the control of
21 the Armija and have it join Vares HVO.
22 Q. But they were allowed to work in Vares?
23 A. Yes, they were pulled out from the control of
24 Ilijas authorities.
25 Q. In document Z187, it's a document which is an
1 invitation of August 1992, whereby Mr. Dario Kordic, as
2 the vice-president of the Croat Community of
3 Herceg-Bosna, together with Ignac Kostroman, who is the
4 secretary of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna,
5 invites the president of the Croat Defence Council in
6 the Vares municipality to attend a meeting, and we have
7 here the signature of Mr. Kordic. We clarified it
9 This document, Z202: Have you ever seen it
10 before? Do you know, whose handwriting is it?
11 A. I don't.
12 Q. So we know nothing about the document, and we
13 shall not comment on it, because we do not know who it
14 was written by.
15 Z233 is a meeting held on the 22nd of
16 September, 1992, and there are a number of interesting
17 things in it. The Prosecution mentioned some, but
18 there is -- about Vares, we're talking, therefore,
19 about September '92, and we are dealing with Vares, and
20 it says that about 2.000 refugees arrived in the town.
21 There were about 1.200 Muslim and 800 Croat refugees,
22 and that camps were being built for them?
23 A. No refugee camp was erected in Vares.
24 Q. But that is the number of refugees, I asked
25 you about that, in September '92?
1 A. You did ask me, and I said that at that time
2 there were no refugees in Vares.
3 Q. So according to you this figure is not
4 correct? All right. Thank you.
5 Z229 is yet another meeting held in Kakanj on
6 the 30th of September, and as I have said, it had to do
7 with St. Mihovil's Day; that was the day of that
8 saint. It discusses some internal affairs in the
9 municipality of Kakanj and the activities of the Kakanj
10 HVO, but I've singled out a few sentences here where
11 Mr. Kordic, on page 3 of the Croat text -- I wouldn't
12 know if it tells us where in the English text -- it
13 said that no option can be imposed on neighbours. We
14 won't go into -- we won't force our entry into the
15 municipality, and so on and so forth. When Your
16 Honours read these documents, you will get a clear view
17 of this.
18 Then the document Z534; have you ever seen
19 this before?
20 A. I don't know what this is.
21 Q. Because there is no signature, no seal.
22 There's nothing here.
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Could we place it on the
24 ELMO, please? Z534. I'll give my copy -- no, there is
25 one for the witness; thank you.
1 Q. There are absolutely no marks; there is no
2 seal, no signature, nothing. Have you ever seen this
3 document before?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. What sort of a document is it?
6 A. Well, I saw it, such as it is.
7 Q. So you cannot give us the source or
8 anything? I mean, there is absolutely nothing on it;
9 we cannot comment on it?
10 A. As you wish.
11 Q. I mean there is nothing to confirm as
12 to authenticate it: There is no signature, no seal?
13 We agree that there is nothing on it? Do we agree on
15 A. Yes, we do.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) And Your
18 Honours, I shall be very quick now; now we're passing
19 on to Z579. This is a document in which Mr. Blaskic,
20 as the commander of the Operative Zone of Central
21 Bosnia, on the 30th of March, '93, appoints -- or
22 rather confirms the appointment of the commanders in
23 the Bobovac Brigade.
24 Q. This is a military document. You saw it
25 yesterday, and we agreed that it is a purely military
1 document on the appointment of individual commanders?
2 Will you please give us your answer loudly enough so
3 that we can hear?
4 A. It is, yes, but I should like to go back to
5 the previous document that we had on the ELMO here.
6 May I say something?
7 JUDGE MAY: Is it on the ELMO still?
8 Yes, if you can briefly, Mr. Mahmutovic.
9 A. I cast a look at the date: It is the 12th of
10 March, 1993, and I think it is the return of Serb
11 prisoners who were in the prison in Vitez. It is not
12 true that it is not signed and that there is no seal or
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI:
15 Q. No, but what I meant is that we do not know
16 the source; we agreed on that?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. So Z589 -- and I don't have the second page,
19 page 2 of this document, so I do not know who signed it
20 -- but we see in the heading that this is a document
21 of the Bobovac HVO Brigade, and it says the commander
22 for the 1st battalion, the duties of each one of them.
23 But, again, this is a purely military document, isn't
25 A. Yes, it is the appointment of various
1 individuals to various posts.
2 Q. Yes, correct, but the signature lacks, so
3 that we do not know who issued it.
4 This, here, is document Z658. This is quite
5 simply a document signed by Ivica Gavran, who commanded
6 the police station in Vares, of the 15th of April,
7 1993. Was he the commander of the police station, the
8 civilian police in Vares?
9 A. You want me to answer? Yes, he was appointed
10 by Ante Pejcinovic and Zvonko Duznovic as the chief of
11 police after the replacements we talked about.
12 Q. Please, you are mentioning those gentlemen;
13 you told us yesterday that Malbasic had told us that
14 Pejcinovic and Harah had been arrested. I'm not sure I
15 heard you tell us, who was it that arrested them?
16 A. They were arrested on two occasions. The
17 first time after Rajic came to Vares during the
18 preparations of the attack on Stupni Do, and the second
19 time they were arrested in the village of Dastansko,
20 after the HVO combatants were requested to return from
21 the area of Brgule and organise defence in the village
22 of Dastansko, facing Vares.
23 Q. This is part of the events we did not talk
24 about, so let us explain to the Court: It was after
25 the army of B and H entered Vares?
1 A. Well, to my mind, both before and after.
2 Q. No, but we are talking about the retreat.
3 Let us explain to the Court that these are the HVO
4 units until the Washington Accords; is that so?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And since we are referring to the arrest of
7 Pejcinovic and Harah, who else was arrested alongside
8 them on that first occasion, when Ivica Rajic came to
9 Vares? Would you know who else was arrested then? If
10 you know.
11 A. I don't.
12 Q. All right. Thank you.
13 A. I know about the second occasion. Zvonko
14 Duznovic was also arrested then.
15 Q. Document Z1146, as far as I can see, it is
16 the political platform adopted in Vares on the 19th of
17 July, 1993, and we have here the signatures of the
18 leaders of HVO in Vares. It was a political
19 proclamation, if I may call it that, but it is a local
20 document, isn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And I have another document which is only in
23 English, Z1258. Again, there is no signature, no
24 seal. This is a translation, so there need not be a
25 signature or a seal, but do you know who General
1 Milivoj Petkovic was?
2 A. Yes, because I had an order cosigned by him
3 and Mr. Sefer Halilovic and sent to all headquarters of
4 armed forces.
5 Q. Who was Milivoj Petkovic?
6 A. He was a soldier, and he commanded HVO forces
7 in a part of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- as far, that is, as
8 I know.
9 Q. All right. Thank you. I think it didn't
10 take us much time to go through all these documents;
11 perhaps a few short questions here and there, if I
13 I believe you already answered, when the
14 Prosecution asked you, you had no personal contacts
15 with Mr. Kordic?
16 A. I won't repeat myself.
17 Q. Yeah, right. We agree on that.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Your Honours, I believe I
19 have no more questions.
20 Q. Thank you very much for your patience,
21 Mr. Mahmutovic. Thank you too.
22 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, perhaps you could
23 just deal with this while you are on your feet: First
24 of all, the witness said that he heard about visits of
25 Dario Kordic to Vares. Is there any dispute that
1 Mr. Kordic did go to Vares during the period we are
2 dealing with?
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
4 the witness used plural, and I have information that
5 Mr. Kordic -- and that is not at issue; it was a public
6 visit to Vares on the 29th or 30th of September, 1992,
7 at the time when Catholic Croats celebrate
8 St. Mihovil's Day, and that was the reason for his
9 coming there. On that same day, this meeting took
10 place in Kakanj, and Mr. Kordic dropped by on his way
11 back from Vares, and that was one of the documents
12 tendered by the Prosecution. On that day Mr. Kordic
13 gave an interview to the Vares television.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The other matter is this:
15 The witness says that he saw the television programme
16 in which Dario Kordic said that he hadn't taken any
17 decision about the dismissal of Rajic. Now, is it
18 accepted that he did say something to that effect on
19 television, or is that disputed?
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Mr. Kordic
21 did participate in a broadcast when this question was
22 addressed, but as far as I know, I mean, it was -- the
23 plural was used, "We shall see about it," and "We shall
24 talk about it." It was at the time when Mr. Rajic was
25 prohibiting the operation of humanitarian organisations
1 in Kiseljak and things like that. It was plural that
2 was used.
3 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you.
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: (Interpretation) Thank you.
5 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Kovacic, do you have any
6 questions to this witness?
7 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours, I
8 would have a couple of very brief questions, and I'm
9 sure that we will be over before the break. I have
10 tried to establish with my learned friends of the
11 Prosecution whether they view this testimony as playing
12 a part in the case against my client, but we did not
13 manage to come to any agreement on that matter.
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
15 [The witness answers through interpreter].
16 Q. Good day, Mr. Mahmutovic. My name is Bozidar
17 Kovacic. I'm an attorney from Rijeka, Croatia, and
18 together with my colleague, Mr. Mikulicic, I represent
19 the second accused in this case, Mr. Mario Cerkez.
20 A. Good day.
21 Q. We shall be brief. And please bear in mind,
22 as Colleague Naumovski said, that the proceedings are
23 being interpreted, so that you should make a short
24 pause before giving us your answer.
25 Mr. Mahmutovic, first of all, I should like
1 to ask you what citizenship you had until April 1992.
2 A. I had the citizenship, the same as all other
3 people, within the framework of the former Yugoslavia.
4 Q. And what citizenship is that?
5 A. Yugoslav citizenship.
6 Q. You said everyone; you mean the people living
7 there, both Bosniaks and Croats, or rather Muslims and
8 Croats? They had the citizenship of SFRY?
9 A. Let me add the Macedonians, Montenegrins,
10 Serbs, and Slovenes.
11 Q. Yes, but Vares was mostly inhabited by these
12 others. There were no Macedonians or Slovenes, mostly
13 Croats and Muslims; there weren't many Serbs, even?
14 A. Yes, there were: 17 per cent.
15 Q. And all of them were citizens of the SFRY?
16 A. That is how it was.
17 Q. But after April 1992, when the Republic of
18 Bosnia proclaimed its independence and became a
19 sovereign state, what happened to your citizenship?
20 Can you answer, please?
21 A. I don't see the purpose of these questions,
22 Your Honours, but I can answer.
23 Q. Please do.
24 A. I became a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
25 because all the people living in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
1 and who considered themselves Bosnians, were considered
2 citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
3 Q. Thank you.
4 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) With the help
5 of the usher, could we look at document Z579 that we
6 discussed yesterday and this morning? Could the usher
7 please place the Croatian version on the ELMO.
8 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, we saw this document
9 yesterday, and under point 1, we see the appointment,
10 and to the right-hand side it says Mr. Borivoj
11 Malbasic, currently holding the post of chief of
12 artillery of the brigade, who for a period held the
13 post of commander of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade.
14 Are you familiar with the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You don't know where the zone of
17 responsibility or the headquarters of that brigade was?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Thank you. But yesterday, in the course of
20 your testimony concerning Mr. Malbasic, you said
21 roughly, Malbasic was moved from Vares to Vitez, you
22 said, and you said, "I think he was the commander of a
23 brigade there, but I don't know which brigade." End of
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. On what grounds did you tell us that he was
2 moved to Vitez?
3 A. On the basis of the information I received
4 from Vares, and on the basis of a conversation with
5 Malbasic, who confirmed these reports after the
6 beginning of our negotiations, after the signing of the
7 Washington Accords.
8 Q. So Malbasic himself told you that he was
9 going to Vitez?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Before he left Vares?
12 A. No, not before he left Vares.
13 Q. Then when?
14 A. After the signing of the Washington
15 Agreement, and when Malbasic returned to the territory
16 of Vares municipality.
17 Q. So that is in the second half of'94?
18 A. Yes, at the end of '94 -- no, I'm sorry; '93.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you.
20 I should now like to tender a document signed
21 by Malbasic so that we can see where he went to from
23 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Could the usher
24 please distribute copies to Their Honours.
25 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
2 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) The document is
3 written in Croatian, and there is an English
4 translation only.
5 Q. Witness Mahmutovic, will you please look at
6 the bottom of the document first, under point 4. Will
7 you read what it says, please.
8 A. The commander of the HVO of Novi Travnik,
9 Malbasic Borivoj.
10 Q. Can we conclude from this that this is the
11 HVO brigade in Novi Travnik that we're talking about?
12 A. According to this, yes.
13 Q. Will you please look -- the heading of the
14 document, written by hand, rather the preamble, and it
15 says that a meeting held on the 13th of January, 1993.
16 That is precisely the period you referred to saying
17 that Malbasic had left, so can we conclude from this
18 that Malbasic was in Novi Travnik and not in Vitez?
19 A. Then my information was wrong. I was given
20 an erroneous information, both from my people and from
21 Malbasic, because he told me that he was based in Nova
23 Q. Do you believe now that Malbasic did not go
24 to Vitez, but to Novi Travnik?
25 A. Well, that is what it says here, so I agree.
1 Q. Can we further confirm this? A witness,
2 Ismet Sahinovic, testified in court here on the 21st of
3 April, 1999, in open court, and on page 238, he was
4 asked about the period when Cerkez and Malbasic worked
5 together, or rather when he met Malbasic, and let me
6 just read the relevant passage, "and the commander was
7 Borivoj Malbasic, who was also present at the
8 negotiations. The date to the best of my recollection,
9 was January. I think it was the 13th of January,
11 So, Mr. Mahmutovic, we heard a statement made
12 here by a witness who testified here like you and who
13 confirmed that at the negotiations that this document
14 refers to, the document you have just looked at,
15 Mr. Malbasic had taken part. Does it now seem quite
16 clear to you that Malbasic was not in Vitez but in Novi
18 A. I said that it is possible that the facts
19 coincide with this, but there's no major difference
20 whether he was in Vitez or in Novi Travnik.
21 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Perhaps not for
22 you, but for the establishment of the truth, it is
24 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Kovacic,
25 to establish the truth, yes. Could you tell us what is
1 the significance of this event, the fact that Malbasic
2 was in fact in Novi Travnik, because we can't follow.
3 What is the relevance of this information?
4 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Thank you, Your
5 Honour. I'm glad to be able to explain.
6 The first thing I wish to show is that the
7 witness is not 100-per-cent sure of all the things he
8 has been saying.
9 Second, an even more important point for me
10 is that my client had nothing to do with Vares, and
11 through the allegation that Malbasic, as one of the
12 important people in the Vares HVO, was sent to Vitez,
13 opens the possibility for inferring that there might be
14 a link there.
15 We now see, or at least I hope we see, that
16 Malbasic never went from Vares to Vitez. He was in
17 Novi Travnik, and I think that this is a relevant
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, Mr. Kovacic, you've dealt
20 with that now.
21 MR. KOVACIC: Pardon?
22 JUDGE MAY: You have dealt with that.
23 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, I did. I've just
25 There is only one small question, indeed two
1 small questions, which one appeared just this morning.
2 Q. Mr. Mahmutovic, you spoke to us at some
3 length this morning and yesterday about the Territorial
4 Defence and the BH army. You were a member of that
5 organisation. Could you perhaps tell us when, in fact,
6 the Territorial Defence was formally declared the army
7 of Bosnia-Herzegovina? When was this, at least
9 A. I can't give you the exact date because I
10 wouldn't go into that.
11 Q. But if I tell you it was in mid-April 1992,
12 would you agree with that?
13 A. I don't think so, because it was still the
14 Territorial Defence. Then it was transformed into the
15 armed forces, and only after that was it called the BH
16 army, and this was a kind of sequence of events in the
17 creation of the army.
18 Q. Would you accept that it was in the course of
19 '92, then?
20 A. I said that I don't know the exact date.
21 Q. Very well. You don't know, you don't know.
22 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Could we go
23 back to the document my colleague was examining, Z534?
24 I think the witness still has it before him.
25 Q. On the top of the page of this document, it
1 says "Busovaca", doesn't it?
2 A. Are you asking me that? Yes, that is what it
3 says, "HZ Herceg-Bosna, HZ Busovaca".
4 Q. Yes, but you said that you concluded from
5 this document that the invitation was for these people
6 to come and pick up the prisoners in Vitez?
7 A. Yes, because I had information that there
8 were two or, rather, three prisoners from Vares in
10 Q. So you didn't conclude that from this
11 document but from some other information that you had?
12 A. Yes, but I compared the dates and I thought
13 that that corresponded.
14 Q. What date is that?
15 A. The date indicated on the document, and that
16 is the 12th of March, 1993.
17 Q. So you claim that in March 1993 in Vitez,
18 some people from Vares were held in detention?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Tell me, please, have you ever heard of the
21 detention centre Kaonik between Busovaca and Vitez
22 within the territory of Busovaca municipality?
23 A. No.
24 Q. So you never heard of Kaonik?
25 A. No.
1 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I have no
2 further questions. Thank you, Mr. Mahmutovic. Thank
3 you, Your Honours.
4 JUDGE MAY: Any re-examination?
5 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Excuse me,
6 Mr. President, a remark to follow on to what was just
7 noted by Mr. Kovacic regarding a possible confusion
8 between Vitez and Novi Travnik. I think that anyone
9 looking at the map can easily see that Novi Travnik is
10 a few kilometres from Vitez. It is the neighbouring
11 municipality, and I think it is not contested by the
12 Defence in the brief, the pre-trial brief, that in the
13 period we're talking about, that is, in January 1993,
14 the Novi Travnik Brigade was a joint brigade with
15 Vitez. It was called the Novi Travnik-Vitez Brigade.
16 This is just an observation I wish to make, and at that
17 time Borivoje Malbasic was the commander of that
18 brigade. Mr. Cerkez was his assistant for the part
19 from Vitez. That is my observation.
20 I have three minor questions to ask following
21 what has been said by the witness this morning and
22 yesterday regarding the war presidency in exile.
23 Re-examined by Mr. Lopez-Terres:
24 Q. I should like the witness to confirm that
25 among the members of the war presidency in exile, there
1 were persons of Croatian ethnicity.
2 A. Persons of Croatian ethnicity within the war
3 presidency were Tomislav Tomic, Ljudevic Miletovic, and
4 Martin -- I think his name was Rovija, something like
6 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Thank
7 you. Two questions regarding the village of Stupni
9 The witness said this morning, in answer to a
10 question by the Defence, that trenches had been dug in
11 the surroundings of Stupni Do and another village,
12 Arevici, I think, in the month of August 1993. Could
13 he specify for us in relation to which offensive or
14 which possible attack against the village were these
15 trenches dug?
16 Q. Who was the aggressor at the time the
17 trenches were dug?
18 A. I apologise, I didn't quite understand the
19 name of the other village that you mentioned.
20 Q. It is basically for the village of Stupni Do
21 that my question relates to. There's another village
22 and whose spelling I didn't note down.
23 But regarding Stupni Do, when trenches were
24 built in August 1993, against which potential aggressor
25 were those trenches being dug?
1 A. The trenches were dug exclusively to protect
2 the civilian inhabitants of the village of Stupni Do,
3 because the unit in Stupni Do, consisting of men
4 villagers of Stupni Do, were assigned the task of
5 protecting the territory of Stupni Do, without entering
6 anybody else's territory, to make those trenches.
7 Q. I'm sorry for interrupting you, but my
8 question was who was the potential aggressor that the
9 inhabitants of Stupni Do feared when they were digging
10 those trenches?
11 A. The inhabitants feared nobody else but the
12 members of the HVO, because they were surrounded by the
14 Q. Thank you. My last question has to do with
15 the weapons at the disposal of the Territorial Defence
16 in Stupni Do. It was mentioned briefly this morning.
17 You told us yesterday as well that the
18 Territorial Defence of Stupni Do had a mortar of 60
19 millimetres and eight shells. As far as you know, that
20 mortar and these eight shells, were they used when the
21 village was attacked on the 23rd of October, 1993?
22 A. I can answer with certainty that those mortar
23 shells, 60-millimetre mortar shells, were not even
24 positioned and taken out from Husnija Mahmutovic's
25 house. They were not even taken out.
1 MR. LOPEZ-TERRES: (Interpretation) Thank
2 you. I have no further questions.
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Mahmutovic, that concludes
4 your evidence, and therefore you are released. Thank
5 you for coming to the International Tribunal to give
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours.
8 (The witness withdrew)
9 MR. NICE: Before the next witness is called,
10 there will be an application in closed session, and in
11 any event, I would like an opportunity just to check
12 with the witness directly, the witness being somebody
13 to be called by Ms. Somers, the scope of the
14 application to be made. I don't know if it's possible
15 to have a very short break now or to take the general
16 mid-morning break now.
17 JUDGE MAY: We'll take the mid-morning break;
18 20 minutes.
19 --- Recess taken at 11.12 a.m.
20 --- On resuming at 11.34 a.m.
21 (Closed session)
11 Pages 3416-3455 redacted. Closed session.
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
8 1.05 p.m., to be reconvened on
9 Thursday, the 10th day of June,
10 1999, at 9.45 a.m.