1 Tuesday, 15th June, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The witness entered court)
4 (The accused entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.50 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: Mr. Sayers, your client is not
10 here today. The position, as we understand it and we
11 were told last night, is that he has sustained an
12 injury to his leg playing football and has had to go to
13 the hospital this morning as a result. The matter was
14 raised with me yesterday evening, and I gave him
15 permission to go. It seemed the obvious and sensible
16 course to follow.
17 On the other hand, although he's not here
18 today, it would seem sensible at least to get on with
19 what we can. What I have in mind is that the rest of
20 the cross-examination of this witness is completed by
21 Mr. Kovacic and any re-examination is completed. We'll
22 then review the position and see if he's back or not
23 before we begin with the next witness.
24 There is also one other point: If he's not
25 back and we have time to spare, there are the
1 procedural matters to continue with, which at some
2 stage have got to be dealt with.
3 MR. STEIN: Thank you, Judge. Let me
4 respond, if I may. I gather the guards noticed what
5 our client had told us about; that is, he had been
6 injured substantially in a soccer game. His leg
7 apparently is substantially swollen. The guards, on
8 their own initiative, reported it up the chain to the
9 registrar, and it was thought appropriate to take
10 Mr. Kordic to the physician today.
11 I'm told that he -- the guards think he will
12 be back by 10.15. That being the case, perhaps much of
13 what I'm saying is moot. To the extent that he's not
14 here, we except to the -- it should be "except," not
15 "accept" -- [Realtime transcript read in
16 error "accept"] to Your Honour's ruling that the trial
17 go on in his absence but acknowledge that there will be
18 minimal harm because this is Mr. Cerkez's examination,
19 and Mr. Kovacic will continue. Should we have to go
20 into testimony beyond that, like the next witness, then
21 I think we need to readdress the lack of Mr. Kordic's
23 I should stop there. As to procedural
24 measures, there are some minor things we can deal
25 with. We still do not have, relative to the dossiers,
1 the summary prepared by the Prosecutor of the
2 investigator, which would be critical to our position
3 on the dossier, so I think we're not ready to do that.
4 Mr. Smith should be here for that as well. We'll
5 prepare for that as early as tomorrow or Thursday,
6 hopefully, but there are some other minor matters we
7 certainly could clear up should Mr. Kordic not be
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll go on, and when
10 Mr. Kordic gets back, he can be brought in.
11 MR. SAYERS: If I may, Judge May, could I
12 take up two very minor housekeeping matters. There was
13 an exhibit yesterday, I believe it was D35/1, that
14 needed an amendment, and I told you I would have that
15 amendment, and I have it here.
16 THE INTERPRETER: Could the counsel please
17 slow down?
18 MR. SAYERS: And I just have a slight
19 clarification to the position that I articulated to the
20 Court yesterday when asked what the Defence's position
21 was with respect to the telephone call between
22 Mr. Kaknjo and Mr. Kordic on the night of October the
23 19th. That's contained at page 3758, lines 18 to 25,
24 and page 3759, lines 1 to 2, of the transcript.
25 I just want it to be absolutely clear as to
1 what the Defence position is, and it's this.
2 Mr. Kordic told Mr. Kaknjo that political negotiations
3 to resolve the conflict in Novi Travnik would only be
4 possible if commander Refik Lendo would cease
5 hostilities and acknowledge responsibility for
6 attacking HVO forces in Novi Travnik. Mr. Kaknjo's
7 position was that he did not have the authority to make
8 this commitment on the part of the Muslim forces.
9 I just wanted that to be clear. Thank you
10 very much, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll go on with the
13 Mr. Kajmovic, I'm sorry you've been kept
15 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Thank you, Your
17 WITNESS: MUNIB KAJMOVIC (Resumed)
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:
19 [Witness answers through interpreter]
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Kajmovic. Let us proceed,
21 please. Yesterday we left off at Mr. Budimir. You
22 mentioned him as one of the moderate Croats in Vitez?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. My question to you is very brief, if you
25 would just tell me about two or three additional
1 persons from the Croatian Community in Vitez who are
2 frequently mentioned. Mr. Ivica Santic, was he a
3 legally elected official in the elections in 1990?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. He remained active in the social and
6 political life throughout '92 and '93?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it true that generally speaking, the SDA
9 leadership judged Santic to be a constructive person?
10 A. For the most part, yes.
11 Q. Is it true that in a way, it was considered
12 that political forces within Vitez -- in other words,
13 local political forces -- are endeavouring to maintain,
14 quote unquote, normal relations, regardless of the
15 general trends within Bosnia and Herzegovina outside of
17 A. Yes, there were such attempts. At least, the
18 Bosniak side always tried to maintain decent relations
19 within the community.
20 Q. Could we say that within the Vitez
21 municipality, the relationships between the two
22 populations, or between the two parties, if you will,
23 in this attempt to maintain good relations, that they
24 were better -- these relations were better than outside
25 of the municipality?
1 A. Yes, there were attempts to make it work.
2 Q. Since you mentioned these attempts, my
3 further question to you is regarding Mr. Josip Silic.
4 A. Yes?
5 Q. Was he another important person in this
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. At the time when you talked about joining the
9 defence forces, is it true that he proposed a
10 compromise solution to establish HMVO? In other words,
11 Croat/Muslim Defence Council?
12 A. Yes, there were several attempts to establish
13 both a local government and to unify military forces.
14 Q. So was Silic one of the persons who played a
15 positive role?
16 A. Yes, you could say that he was one of the
17 moderates. But just a moment, can I just give a bit of
18 clarification, when you talk about moderates and
20 Q. Perhaps not, because we did not go into that
21 that far. Let me just move on, please.
22 Mr. Pero Skopljak: Just in general, would
23 you define him as a radical or a moderate?
24 A. He was absolutely a radical.
25 Q. You mean in the beginning of the conflict?
1 A. Throughout.
2 Q. You mean including '93?
3 A. Of course.
4 Q. Very well. In your diary, in certain places,
5 you obviously noted down, at certain meetings, certain
6 notes. This is obviously subject to interpretation,
7 but let me quote you a couple of excerpts from the
8 evidentiary material that were discovered to us.
9 MR. KOVACIC: These are the notes of today's
10 witness. I'm going to quote it in English, and
11 yesterday the witness confirmed that these were the
12 notes which he had turned over to the investigators.
13 Q. Your first note on Mr. Skopljak is from a
14 meeting on 17 February --
15 MR. NICE: I think the witness really ought
16 to have these notes in front of him, if they're going
17 to be read not only out to us but also translated from
18 the original to English. I think they ought to be--
19 MR. KOVACIC: May I explain, Your Honour?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
21 MR. KOVACIC: The suggestion of my dear
22 colleague, Mr. Nice, is, unfortunately, practically
23 impossible because the corpus of the original notes --
24 and I can show it to you -- are in very, very bad
25 condition; and what is the worst is that the so-called
1 ERN number is hardly visible on some pages. On a
2 majority of pages, one cannot see that.
3 Translation is by those here in numbers
4 related to the Croatian text, and whenever I was trying
5 to find, after reading in English, where is that in
6 Croatian language, I was not successful. Besides, I
7 will not read more than one sentence or two sentences
8 in, I think, only two places.
9 So, however, if the witness has any doubt, we
10 can later on leave the notes with him and he can
11 probably give us. I don't know, otherwise we will lose
12 five hours.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If you read the
14 portions out to the witness and see whether he accepts
15 that that was what was in the notes.
16 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Okay.
17 MR. NICE: It gives the RN number. I can
18 simply make the sheet available immediately and it can
19 be seen by the witness.
20 MR. KOVACIC: (interpretation) Great, even
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
23 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Let's begin.
24 Q. The first excerpt where you mention Mr. Pero
25 Skopljak was at page 00328319. This was according to
1 the notes, so that's my reservation. This was a
2 meeting on 17 February in Travnik. You mentioned that
3 this was a joint meeting of three municipalities held
4 in Travnik. It is the maintaining of peace. Then you
5 mentioned people who were present. There was Kaknjo,
6 then Pero, then Marijan Skopljak, and then
7 "P. Skopljak", and I assume that now that is Pero
8 Skopljak. Then Kaknjo and so on.
9 Then on the following page, next to the name
10 of Pero Skopljak, you say as follows: "The parties and
11 not the military," in other words, not the military
12 bodies, "should control." In other words, they should
13 run policies. Then you say, "We have a single enemy,
14 the Chetniks." Then you say, "No decision should be
15 taken without the agreement of both sides. Both ethnic
16 groups should have say over the economy," and so on.
17 Do these notes refer to Mr. Skopljak and his
18 discussion in that meeting?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Very well. Let me show you another excerpt.
21 This is page number 00328424. Sorry, 25 is the last
22 two digits.
23 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) For everybody
24 else who is looking at the English text, it is on
25 page 95 of the English version.
1 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, you mentioned a meeting of two
2 ethnic groups held on 28 May 1993. Again obviously
3 several participants attended, and this is their
4 discussions, and then at the top of page 96 of the
5 English version, which is the bottom of the same page
6 in Croatian, another note of yours, and I assume this
7 refers again to the discussion of Pero Skopljak. I'm
8 going to read to you starting from the middle of those
9 notes, and I assume that the Prosecutor will have found
11 MR. NICE: I hope I've found it, but as
12 Mr. Kovacic says, no, the RN numbers don't appear, but
13 I hope this is the right page. I've counted them
15 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
16 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, could you please look to see
17 whether that is the right page? This should be
18 somewhere at the bottom of the page, and the first note
19 is about Santic. This is still the meeting of 28 May
20 '93. Then you have a note, several phrases on Pero.
21 A. Just a moment, please. I see "Santic"
22 towards the bottom, and then up at the top, "Smajo
23 Djuzo". But up at the top, it's not a very good copy.
24 Q. Yes. Well, that is exactly my problem which
25 I encountered when I tried to follow it in Croatian.
1 A. Oh, I see "Pero" on this page.
2 Q. Do you see on this page that this is a
3 meeting of the two ethnic groups on the 28th of May?
4 A. Up at the top, I see "'93", but I cannot see
5 the rest. But it is possible.
6 Q. I would like you to make as much of an effort
7 as you can. Perhaps you may not need the note.
8 MR. KOVACIC: That is exactly the problem we
9 were facing which I told you at the beginning. I was a
10 couple of hours and was not able to recognise in
11 Croatian. (Interpretation).
12 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, would you just leave that aside
13 for a second, and I hope that you will just agree with
14 me on the text that I read you.
15 Somewhere midway through this discussion
16 regarding Pero, we come to the following sentence, and
17 this looks to be a quote from his. "Even though it was
18 said of me that I was the brains behind the radical
19 strain of the HVO, I personally have problems with
20 extremists who accuse me of being pro-Muslim. I am not
21 that way, and I am trying to be democratic. I have no
22 personal --", and then I cannot read the rest of that
24 I'm skipping two pages now, and again you
25 quote Pero, and he says as follows: "In my opinion, a
1 military coup was committed in the entire Bosnia. It
2 refers to all three ethnic groups, and the civilian
3 authorities are practically without any influence. We
4 should proceed to some sort of militarisation and
5 create a strong police force which will be organised on
6 the ethnic basis among the populations. The suspicions
7 between the groups, which some consider necessary, I
8 believe that common people will be able to detach
9 itself from," something in that sense.
10 Am I refreshing your memory?
11 A. Yes, yes.
12 Q. Is this true or not, that Pero Skopljak, at
13 least in this period, did not have his own political
14 views but rather that he joined these moderates? Do
15 you think that this is true or not? I think it would
16 be sufficient if you just say so.
17 A. If this continues like that, if I'm just
18 asked to say "Yes" or "No", then I don't know where I'm
19 going. You're just not allowing me to explain certain
21 JUDGE MAY: Explain what it is that you want
22 to say.
23 A. First I want to say that I had turned over
24 one notebook to the Prosecution, and the other
25 notebooks, which probably the Defence has, are the
1 notebooks which were left behind in my house and after
2 the occupation of Vitez, and perhaps there was an
3 additional notebook which was left behind in the
4 logistics base in Vitez. After the occupation of town,
5 the HVO probably took possession of these notes.
6 So this is not a diary. These were just
7 notes taken down at particular meetings. It was my
8 duty to report to my staff after certain meetings and
9 to attend to give summaries of discussions of
10 participants in these meetings.
11 However, I feel compelled to clarify
12 something regarding Mr. Santic and Pero Skopljak.
13 These were two really intelligent persons, unlike Ante
14 Valenta who somehow expressed his views very openly.
15 Unlike him, Ivica Santic and Pero Skopljak were much
16 more careful about this. In meetings, they would say
17 one thing, but in practice, other things were done. I
18 could give you examples of such behaviour of Pero's.
19 Let me give you one example where his actions
20 totally mismatched his words. He was always very
21 careful in meetings. For instance, once in the crisis
22 staff, we agreed that the joint police would not wear
23 any types of markings, any types of insignia, because
24 we could not agree on them. The meeting went on for
25 five hours. The next morning, after it had been
1 concluded that the police would wear no insignia, Pero
2 Skopljak arrived in a uniform with the HVO insignia.
3 In other words, his action was totally counter to the
4 words. So I had to take down what he had said in the
5 meeting and so it isn't quite true, but in practice you
6 have a totally different behaviour.
7 I can also mention to you Pero's statement
8 when we went to meet with Serbs in Tolovici and there
9 were some problems with Bosniaks and Serbs.
10 MR. KOVACIC: I mean the witness is now going
11 on to another subject, Tolovici, which is another
12 village. I will have some questions about that.
13 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's continue with
14 the cross-examination.
15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: I would like to add
16 something. (Interpretation) Mr. Kovacic, as you are
17 going to proceed with the cross-examination of the
18 witness, you should also allow him to answer, of
19 course, sometimes by "Yes" or "No" to confirm that
20 which you put to him. But, as he has just done, you
21 should also allow him to compare these notes and the
22 practice. I do not think we can talk only about notes,
23 such as they are. It is said that these are notes
24 which were taken immediately after a meeting and so
25 that one could really know what the meeting was about,
1 and I think we really need a better and more accurate
2 idea about the situation.
3 Thank you.
4 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Judge Bennouna,
5 of course I could not agree more, but here we are
6 dealing with bits and pieces of information which can
7 be gleaned from the notes of the witness, and as the
8 Prosecution said at the beginning of the case, this
9 case is based on a number of indications, or a
10 circumstantial case as it is usually called in
11 common-law countries. We therefore have no way out but
12 to try to get, to glean, to obtain the opinion or to
13 realise what was the opinion of the witness on the
14 basis of those odds and ends of notes, of information.
15 As for the witness's allegations, I believe
16 we clarified yesterday that the Defence has -- and
17 these quotations that we address here all come from the
18 diary or -- yes, rather notes, to be more accurate,
19 which the Defence was given by the Prosecution, and the
20 Prosecution obtained them from the witness himself.
21 We have no other notes, nor did we intend
22 showing to the witness some other notes, the ones that
23 he's referring to which may have come into the
24 possession of the HVO.
25 To conclude, let me round off this set of
1 questions. My question was simple.
2 Q. You gave us an additional explanation, and
3 will you please tell me only "Yes" or "No" as to
4 whether my conclusion is correct?
5 A. I don't know what is your conclusion.
6 Q. Yes. I was just warning you.
7 A. Well, give me a conclusion and then I'll tell
9 Q. So according to you, Pero Skopljak did not
10 change his political option throughout the conflict?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you very much. We could have finished
13 with this straightaway a long time ago before, if you
14 had said "Yes" or "No".
15 Now, let us move on to Slimena, and with
16 reference to the operation of the crisis staff, you
17 mentioned both in your statement -- at some point you
18 said that the attack on Slimena was conducted by the
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I'll ask a few questions about that.
22 You were a member of the crisis staff?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In April and May 1992, the crisis staff sat
25 three or four times a week; "Yes" or "No"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So it was very efficient?
3 A. Well, in terms of the number of meetings,
5 Q. Right. Will you please confirm whether the
6 following members were members of the crisis staff;
7 Ivica Santic, Fuad Kakjno?
8 A. Yes, yes.
9 Q. Dr. Mujezinovic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Hakija Cengic?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Sefkija Djidic?
14 A. There was a change. There were some changes
15 subsequently in the army command. There were some
16 changes, and I don't think --
17 Q. Was it during a period of --
18 A. Perhaps towards the end, because there were
19 some changes.
20 Q. Right. Pero Skopljak?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Marijan Skopljak?
23 A. I believe he was.
24 Q. Munib Kajmovic?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Stipo Krizanac?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. These people, and Croats and Muslims were
4 about 50/50, weren't they?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The crisis staff composition was such that
7 people came in individual capacities, that is, they did
8 not join the crisis staff as individuals but as persons
9 representing individual branches of activity?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So all these people held some positions,
12 important positions, across the municipality?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Among other things, the crisis staff decided
15 to issue a threat and, if need be, attack Slimena or,
16 rather, the JNA depot in order to get the weapons of
17 the Territorial Defence which the army had formerly
18 taken from the municipalities; is that true?
19 A. Yes. There was talk about how this could be
20 recovered, seized, or taken or what.
21 Q. But can we say that the decision was taken
22 and that these weapons were taken?
23 A. I do not remember that a final decision was
24 taken, a definitive decision was taken, but there was a
25 discussion, that is true.
1 Q. Right. Do you remember if, during that
2 discussion, the preparation of the decision or the
3 decision itself, whether there was even mention of a
4 man who would conduct the military action to this
6 A. It is quite possible that this was discussed,
7 that this was raised, even though I do not remember.
8 But it just may be that the name of Filip Filipovic
9 came up.
10 Q. Right. Was perhaps Cerkez mentioned
11 alongside Filip Filipovic as his deputy or assistant?
12 A. I cannot really remember that we went into
13 all that detail.
14 Q. Was perhaps the time set or was it left to
15 Filipovic, as a military man, to plan it and do it?
16 A. I think that various dates were mentioned,
17 but in all likelihood it was decided that Filip
18 Filipovic should do it at a time seen as best for him,
19 because it wasn't entirely about Vitez, it was also the
20 weapons for Travnik and Novi Travnik.
21 Q. Right. Is it correct that the Territorial
22 Defence or, rather, the BH army provided Bofors and a
23 three-barrelled 20-millimetre gun provided for the
24 purpose? Do you know anything about that?
25 A. I don't know about it because I really did
1 not deal with military matters.
2 Q. Right. But in reports about this military
3 action, did you learn that the Bofors crew of five
4 members which participated in that action, that three
5 of them were Bosniaks of that crew?
6 A. Yes, I did hear some rumours that it was
7 possible that some members of the BH army took part in
8 that, but I have no idea. I received no information
9 whether they came from Travnik, from Novi Travnik or
10 from Vitez, so that I really do not know. What I do
11 know is that Filip Filipovic was in charge of that
13 Q. I should like to remind you that one of the
14 crew was Rajdzo Haskic who did come from Vitez.
15 A. I know that man personally, but I just
16 don't --
17 Q. Right. If you don't remember, you don't
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. You also mentioned a meeting in Travnik which
21 dealt with the distribution of the seized weapons and
22 ordnance. Do you remember -- of course, there must
23 have been plenty of discussions about this and a number
24 of meetings, as far as I know. Do you remember whether
25 that evening, at the site -- that is, at Slimena, in
1 the depots -- that Mr. Sifet Sivro and Ramiz Dugalic
2 had come to that place and talked to Filipovic?
3 A. I know nothing about that.
4 Q. You know nothing about that, but were Sifet
5 Sivro and Ramiz Dugalic, were they commanders in the BH
7 A. Sifet Sivro was a lower ranking commander in
8 the army, and Ramiz Dugalic was with the staff in Vitez
9 for a while, and he was responsible for security
11 Q. Thank you. Now, in those subsequent reports
12 and various discussions which ensued, did you hear that
13 several persons died at Slimena -- Muslims, Bosniaks,
14 by and large -- after Slimena had been taken?
15 A. I do not know that, but I do know that two
16 HVO members were killed. One came from Gornji Mosunj
17 and the other one from Donji Mosunj, and I attended the
18 funerals of both of them. But they were not killed in
19 combat; they were killed during the attack on Slimena.
20 Q. But did you hear something about casualties
21 after the HVO had taken that compound?
22 A. I heard that other people had sustained
23 injuries from mines, from landmines.
24 Q. But did you hear that an uncontrolled group
25 of people, a large group of people, also tried to force
1 their entry there?
2 A. I spent about three hours in front of that
3 depot, and I was watching all these things.
4 Q. Yes, but I'm inquiring about the time. Was
5 it at that time?
6 A. Well, that was between 10.00 and 1.00.
7 Q. You mean that evening when they took the
9 A. No, no, it was the next day.
10 Q. The next day after?
11 A. Yes, the depot was taken sometime in the
12 morning on the 4th of May, and as of 10.00, half past
13 10.00 until about 3.00, we were in front of the depot,
14 and we watched all those scenes.
15 Q. Is it then true -- but just "Yes" or "No" --
16 is it true that a sizable group of people tried to
17 enter through minefields in the direction of the
18 woods? I believe there were very many casualties.
19 A. Yes, because people went through there
20 uncontrolled, and I don't know how many of them, but
21 quite a number of them, yes, sustained injuries.
22 Q. Right. And after that, when the weapons were
23 taken out, they were all distributed. We can discuss
24 [unintelligible] and so forth, but let us see,
25 generally, who took the lion's share?
1 A. Well, it is difficult to say, really. As I
2 said, in my view, those were four or five thousand men
3 from three municipalities, Travnik, Novi Travnik, and
4 Vitez, and people came both in an organised manner or
5 disorganised manner, on foot, various vehicles, and so
6 forth. They broke into that depot. They were taking
7 out without any control whatsoever, so it is really
8 difficult to make any estimate and say which side,
9 whether it was the Bosniak or the Croat side which took
10 a larger part of that. Of course, we did try to agree
11 on their controlled distribution, but it was simply
13 Q. Right. So let us try to conclude: Is it a
14 fact that both sides came by a certain number of
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Just one more detail, did anyone get some
18 burnt weapons because there was a fire in the depot?
19 A. Yes, there were a number of scorched weapons,
20 of damaged weapons, and people tried to repair them
22 Q. But did you hear that such weapons, scorched
23 weapons, turned up in Ahmici later on? Do you remember
25 A. I do not really remember any detail, but
1 there were those scorched weapons which people tried to
2 repair, to mend, to make them -- to put them back to --
3 to use them again.
4 Q. Right. Now I should like to proceed to the
5 blockade of Ahmici in 1992.
6 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours,
7 may I just briefly comment, the questions which we have
8 just covered? May I? These are very important. The
9 crisis staff was mentioned here.
10 A. Under the decree of the presidency of B and
11 H, in municipalities, pursuant to the legislation to
12 the laws of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, no
13 crisis staff could be set up, and it was the war
14 presidency which was to be established in case of a
15 crisis. That is, the war presidency of the municipal
16 assembly, specifically, in Vitez, on the basis of rules
17 strictly laid down so that the crisis staff was set up
18 in contravention of the laws, because the HVO and HDZ
19 structures would not comply with the law. So that is
20 one of the facts.
21 Q. Thank you. Before we proceed to the
22 roadblock in October 1992, you mentioned one thing, and
23 so you reminded me. Anto Valenta -- you mentioned him
24 when we made mention of some important individuals --
25 was he ever a member of the municipal structures? Was
1 he the favourite of municipal structures? As far as I
2 remember, he was for a while the president of the HDZ
3 in Vitez; that is, he was the president of the
4 political party, so he wasn't elected to the municipal
5 government at the elections?
6 A. No.
7 Q. But by and large, would you be more precise?
8 A. As far as I know, he did not hold any,
9 exactly, post in the municipality.
10 Q. Anto Valenta, just tell me whether -- "Yes"
11 or "No" -- Anto Valenta was more engaged, in quotation
12 marks, in big business, and did not really do anything
13 at the municipal level; is that the correct impression?
14 A. No, it is not. He also had his hand in
15 municipal affairs.
16 Q. Right. Let us now move on to this
17 roadblock. You said that the roadblock was set at two
18 points on that road next to Stara Bila, so was it by
19 the building company Bosna?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And the second location was by the village of
22 Ahmici -- that is, the Catholic cemetery -- at this
24 A. Yes, correct. It is correct.
25 Q. So this road, tell me, please, insofar as the
1 traffic is concerned, I can go from Bihac to Travnik
2 using that road?
3 A. No, you can't. You have to take a
4 roundabout. But if you go from Bihac, then you go to
5 Mrkonjic, to Jajce --
6 THE INTERPRETER: The witness's microphone is
7 switched off. We cannot hear.
8 JUDGE MAY: I'm going to interrupt at this
9 stage. Mr. Kovacic, the witness gave no evidence about
10 the roadblock. The evidence which he gave was in
11 relation to a telephone call after a meeting at the
12 headquarters on the night of the 18th/19th of October.
13 We've already had a great deal of evidence about the
14 roadblock itself, and it's not going to assist the
15 Trial Chamber to hear more. What, of course, you are
16 entitled to deal with is the meeting at which it's said
17 your client was present at the headquarters of the army
18 in Vitez.
19 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, thank you. Okay.
20 Q. There were several meetings on the 19th,
21 particularly in the evening of the 19th October, at the
22 time this roadblock was removed; is that true?
23 A. No, it was removed the next morning, during
24 the HVO attack.
25 Q. No, no, no. I don't mean it was lifted. I'm
1 talking about when it was set up.
2 A. It was set up on the 18th in the evening or
3 19th the morning. I don't really know.
4 Q. Right. This is not all that relevant, but
5 during the 19th, there were a number of meetings or
6 several conversations, several contacts, in an attempt
7 to find a solution, to remove -- to lift that
9 A. It is possible that the military held various
10 meetings, but I don't know about them.
11 Q. How many meetings did you attend, or how did
12 you conduct any talks in this regard?
13 A. On the 19th, in the evening, when Ivica
14 Santic and Mario Cerkez came, that is the only time,
15 the only occasion when I was present.
16 Q. Right. Dr. Mujezinovic mentioned a
17 conversation on the same subject, on the 19th of
18 October, in the evening hours. Did you hear anything
19 about that?
20 A. Yes. I think that on several occasions,
21 Sefkija Dzidic went to the health centre, invited by
22 Franjo Tibolt, and he did conduct some talks with Mario
23 Cerkez, and he should know the details, because I do
24 not know any particulars about that.
25 Q. Right. Mr. Kajmovic, can we then agree that
1 there were several contacts and several talks in these
2 attempts to find a peaceful way to remove the
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, that has already
5 been dealt with several times by you. Now, can we move
6 on to the meeting at which the witness can give
7 evidence, at which he said he was present?
8 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honours.
9 Q. Will you please tell us another thing -- I'm
10 moving on. In September and October, '92, Bosniaks and
11 Croats fought together against Serbs and tried to keep
13 A. Yes, those were members of the BH army and
14 HVO in Jajce.
15 Q. And possibly some reinforcements for the
16 troops in Jajce, did they go from Central Bosnia, did
17 they use that particular road?
18 A. You again raise military matters and military
19 things, and I really did not particularly know about
21 Q. All right. Thank you. I'll ask you now a
22 few questions about -- you said in your earlier
23 statements, and also in your evidence here before the
24 Court, that the civil servants -- rather, municipal
25 clerks -- had to sign a statement of their loyalty to
1 the HVO; is that true?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did the SDA, as a party, discuss it and take
4 a view, take a stand on that?
5 A. Yes, we did.
6 Q. And did it instruct Bosniaks how to do and
7 what to do?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Could you tell us, in just a couple of words,
10 what did you advise Bosniaks?
11 A. I could do it in several sentences. I cannot
12 do that in two words.
13 Q. Well, will you please try to be as brief as
15 A. At the time, the HDZ already had an unlawful
16 government, an enforced government, and there are about
17 1.200 people employed in the municipal assembly; about
18 50 per cent of them are Bosniaks. On the basis of the
19 decision of that government, they conducted a
20 fictitious job distribution, or rather, nothing changed
21 in practice, people still kept their jobs, but they had
22 to sign this new distribution of jobs in order keep
24 So basically it said the Croat Republic of
25 Herceg-Bosna, then at the end of this decision, it was
1 signed by the HVO government. Practically, whoever
2 signed that decision, he was pledging loyalty to an
3 unlawful government, and those who would refuse to sign
4 that statement, of course, could not keep their jobs.
5 So the executive board of our party discussed
6 the matter, and we concluded the following: People of
7 Bosniak origin should sign that statement, because
8 otherwise, if they were to be dismissed from their
9 jobs, we simply could not support them and their
10 families. And those executives who were elected in the
11 elections, or appointed by the party, were told that
12 they could not do that, regardless of whether they
13 would lose their jobs or not, because, of course, it
14 was easier for us to take care of two or three cases
15 rather than 50-or-so cases.
16 Q. Right. Thank you very much. From what you
17 have just said, Mr. Kajmovic, if I have understood you
18 well, actually, all workers -- not just Bosniaks and
19 Croats, but all the workers in the municipal organs of
20 authority -- were given these new decisions on
21 employment to sign, on a form which now had a different
22 heading and a different signature. Was anything
23 changed regarding labour rights and all rights
24 emanating from employment?
25 A. I'm not familiar with those details, but most
1 probably not, but this was an absolutely illegal
3 Q. Very well. You've explained that. My
4 question is that these were symbols involved?
5 A. Symbols are the form, but the substance
6 behind it is something else.
7 Q. Thank you. Nevertheless, the Bosniaks
8 continued to work in the municipal administration, with
9 the exception of a few officials, as far as I
10 understand it?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So no one threw them out?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Thank you. A few words about the
15 celebrations of the first anniversary of the BH army
16 that you mentioned, in Stari Vitez, where you met
17 Cerkez. Let me put the question to you. My first
18 question, Mr. Kajmovic, is: Are you quite sure that
19 the meeting was held on the 15th of April -- or rather
20 the celebration -- on the 15th of April, 1993?
21 A. Will you repeat the date?
22 Q. You told me it was the 15th of April. Are
23 you quite sure it was the 15th of April, 1993, the
25 A. Yes, it was an anniversary meeting held in
1 Stari Vitez, in the centre. It could have been on the
2 14th as well, because we had two days of celebrations,
4 Q. You see, let me follow on to that by saying,
5 according to other data, information, even some other
6 witnesses, this was on the 14th.
7 A. Yes, there were two days of celebrations, the
8 14th and the 15th.
9 Q. So you said it was either the 14th or the
10 15th -- it really doesn't matter -- that Cerkez came to
11 the celebration as well?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did he come as a representative of the HVO?
14 A. Yes, as a representative of the HVO.
15 Q. So he was on good terms with his colleagues
16 in the army, like Sefkija Dzidic?
17 A. They had frequent contacts to deal with
18 various problems.
19 Q. The formal part of the celebration that
20 Cerkez came to attend was held in the fire brigade
21 centre, wasn't it, on the second floor?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. After that, you had something to eat and to
24 drink, as is customary in our country? Where was this?
25 A. This could have been on the ground floor,
1 because there was a cafe on the ground floor.
2 Q. On the ground floor level?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you stay there, or did you leave?
5 A. I was there briefly, maybe for half an hour.
6 Q. You mentioned that there was some kind of an
7 interruption because there was an incident at the
8 petrol station?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Are you sure that Cerkez went there, to the
11 place of the incident?
12 A. I think that some representatives of the army
13 went there too, and I think that he went.
14 Q. But you're not quite sure about that?
15 A. No, I cannot claim that with certainty.
16 Q. Did you hear whether he came back, or maybe
17 that he didn't go at all? Did you hear that he stayed
18 there until quite late, talking with them and having
19 dinner with them?
20 A. No, I know nothing about that.
21 Q. Thank you. A few matters linked to your stay
22 in Stari Vitez after the outbreak of the conflict on
23 the 16th of April. You told us that a part of the
24 Territorial Defence, or rather the army of
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina in Stari Vitez, was relatively
1 poorly equipped, and that apparently throughout that
2 time you were surrounded; that is, until April 1994,
3 until the Washington Agreements?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You also told us there were several very
6 strong attacks on Stari Vitez by the HVO. I would like
7 to know, how did you manage to endure a year of siege?
8 And from what we heard until now, you had no resupply
9 of materiel or ammunition.
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did some Bosniak forces manage to enter Stari
12 Vitez and bring some ammunition and equipment with
14 A. No, but I can explain how we managed.
15 Q. Just a moment, please. Does that mean that
16 you had abundant stocks before the conflict broke out?
17 A. If you allow me, I will explain it.
18 Q. But you know the Prosecutor will be asking
19 you more questions after me, so you can explain then,
20 but please allow me to continue with my questions.
21 Maybe we can come back to that a little later.
22 MR. KOVACIC: I should ask the Chamber for
23 leave to show this sketch to the witness that I made,
24 myself, the main points of the encirclement, because I
25 have a few questions about this, and some other
1 witnesses will be coming to testify about the same
2 issues. With the help of the usher, may I distribute
3 the sketch?
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, the only matter I
5 raise is this: How relevant are the events of the
6 siege for the matters that we are deciding?
7 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Mr. President,
8 the relevance is that we hold that regarding the time
9 after the outbreak of the conflict -- that is, as of
10 the 16th of April, '93, onwards -- we claim that this
11 was a civil war from then on, a war between two peoples
12 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, because the third people was not
13 represented in this part of the country. And I should
14 like to hear from the witness, who was present there,
15 in the surrounded part of Stari Vitez, to see where
16 their positions were. He told us that the HVO army was
17 besieging Stari Vitez and that they were under siege,
18 and the position from the indictment is that only one
19 side was armed and was waging war, whereas the other
20 side was unarmed and was not at war.
21 JUDGE MAY: And who do you allege started the
22 civil war?
23 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I'm not quite
24 sure of that, nor is my client, as to who actually
25 started the war.
1 Another point, to which we will devote a
2 considerable amount of time in this trial, Vitez has
3 some specific characteristics regarding the pre-war
4 period, and also the wartime period, in another sense.
5 The conditions there were different than in other
6 municipalities of the Croatian Community of
7 Herceg-Bosna, and we would like to show that.
8 JUDGE MAY: You can ask questions, but would
9 you have in mind the clock and the amount of time
10 that's being taken.
11 MR. KOVACIC: I'll do my best, Your Honour.
12 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D23/2.
13 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
14 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, we shall try and be as brief as
15 possible. I made this sketch myself to expedite things
16 and to avoid unnecessary explanations, so this is a
17 schematic presentation.
18 MR. KOVACIC: A little bit more down. Okay.
19 Usher, could you please give one copy to the witness on
20 the table so he can see better? No, there's only one.
21 There is one more.
22 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, you have a copy in your hands,
23 so let us go through it very briefly. In the middle is
24 the main road going from Vitez towards the Catholic
25 Church, going upwards. On the right-hand side, which
1 is the north, about half a kilometre away is the Lasva
2 River. To the left is this other road, with these
3 prominent facilities: The stadium to the left of Stari
4 Vitez, then the SPS factory further away from the
5 church; is that correct?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Tell me, the place that I have marked with
8 the number "1," it is about the same level as the Nihad
9 Omanovic house, near the utilities building? Was that
10 the front line between the HVO and the army? Was that
11 the line of separation?
12 A. Yes, roughly there.
13 Q. At the opposite end, which I have marked with
14 "2," that is Nikola Krizanac's house, or to the right
15 we have the Mlakic houses. Was that the line of
17 A. Yes, right next to the rubbish dump.
18 Q. Having mentioned the rubbish dump, was the BH
19 army headquarters near there?
20 A. Yes, for a time, in a building in the area
21 known as the rubbish dump.
22 Q. Was the communications centre there?
23 A. I'm not sure. Possibly.
24 Q. Let's go on. To the north, on the right-hand
25 side of this sketch, was the Lasva River, as a
1 defence. To the left, near the stadium, is an exposed,
2 low land, in the military sense?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So the point marked with the number "3," that
5 was the fire brigade centre that we spoke about a
6 moment ago?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. That is where this jubilee was observed?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. I have also marked the municipality building
11 which was controlled by the HVO. Just for the purpose
12 of orientation, that is at the bottom of the sketch.
13 JUDGE MAY: Is that number 6?
14 MR. KOVACIC: The municipality building, on
15 the bottom of the page. The municipality building we
16 saw yesterday when the Prosecution gave us the
17 pictures, set of the pictures. It is out of Stari
18 Vitez. It is within the part of the city controlled by
19 the HVO.
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, but is it number 6?
21 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, sir. Yes. I'm sorry.
22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
23 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry.
24 JUDGE MAY: And while we are dealing with it,
25 there are some various other matters which are
1 untranslated on this document. Above that, "Skopljak";
2 is there a reference to his house?
3 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Which number,
5 JUDGE MAY: Above "6."
6 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, this building is marked as
7 Skopljak house -- Skopljak, Ivo, I-V-O. This has
8 nothing to do with the guys we are mentioning, Pero and
10 JUDGE MAY: And then, above that, we have two
11 buildings which don't seem to be referred to.
12 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Nida, N-I-D-A,
13 Omanovic, O-M-A- --
14 A. Nihad. Nihad Omanovic.
15 MR. KOVACIC: "Nihad." Sorry.
16 JUDGE MAY: What is that?
17 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Also name of
18 the house owner.
19 JUDGE MAY: And above --
20 MR. KOVACIC: The one above that is a tire
21 repair shop. V-U-L-K-A-N-I-Z-E-R. Vulkanizer.
22 JUDGE MAY: And on the other side of the
23 road --
24 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) The left side
25 is a communal services base, Vitkom. That was the name
1 of the company.
2 JUDGE MAY: And above that?
3 MR. KOVACIC: Mosque.
4 Then above is fire-fighting base. Up on the
5 top is Catholic Church.
6 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
7 MR. KOVACIC:
8 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, the BH army members that were
9 in Stari Vitez held those front lines to defend
10 themselves from potential attack by the HVO?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And they were deployed in the way that the
13 army command felt was best?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Were platoons divided up into sectors?
16 A. There were certain sectors territorially.
17 How many soldiers there were in each sector it is
18 difficult to tell.
19 Q. That's fine. You told us as much as you
20 knew. What about the platoon near the stadium? Was it
21 led by Mr. Salih?
22 A. I'm not familiar with those details, but I
23 know that Salih was there somewhere.
24 Q. What about Tatarevic? I don't know his
25 name. He was next to the tyre repair shop, wasn't he?
1 Didn't he lead a platoon there?
2 A. As far as I know, there was a Tataravic near
3 the line towards the church up there, a policeman
4 called Tataravic.
5 Q. Never mind. That's not all that important.
6 Did you have any prisoners of war in Stari
8 A. As far as I can recall, there was one, a man
9 who was riding his bike, I think, and who came from the
10 direction of the market and entered this part of Stari
11 Vitez and was taken into custody. That's as much as I
12 can remember.
13 Q. Let me refresh your memory. But first tell
14 me, do you remember that there was a joint commission
15 for the release of prisoners?
16 A. Frequently joint commissions were set up.
17 Whether this particular one existed, again that comes
18 within the military domain, but it's possible.
19 Possibly, did exist.
20 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honour, I
21 should like to tender the document. We have the
22 translations too. Could the usher distribute this
23 document? It is for everybody.
24 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
1 MR. KOVACIC: The English translation is
2 attached on the second page, and, Your Honour, it is a
3 translation I did myself, because we located this
4 document only a day ago. Of course, it could be
5 checked by the registrar, later on by the translation
6 unit, but I did it correctly. I can assure you of
8 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
9 MR. KOVACIC: It could be perhaps
10 grammatically wrong. I apologise if it is. But not by
11 the subject.
12 Q. (Interpretation) Mr. Kajmovic, will you look
13 at the signatures first so that we see the members of
14 the commission, Hajdarevic Refik. He's a Muslim, isn't
16 A. Yes, a Bosniak, yes.
17 Q. Then there is Borislav Jozic. He's a Croat,
18 isn't he?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Then there's Stipo Krizanac, another Croat?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And then Nihad Omanovic. He's a Bosniak,
23 isn't he?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Regarding Nihad Omanovic, he was an
1 intelligence officer in the command, wasn't he or in
2 the staff?
3 A. He was in the staff for the defence of Stari
5 Q. And he was an intelligence officer, wasn't
7 A. Something like that. That is the kind of
8 work he did.
9 Q. This document is dated the 16th of May.
10 Would you agree with me that this commission
11 functioned, as obviously it was composed of two members
12 representing each side, and we conclude from this that
13 three persons were released and they signed their
15 A. Yes, that is what is shown on this document.
16 Q. You know nothing about those persons, as to
17 whether they were civilians or soldiers?
18 A. I don't know. I just know of this one person
19 who was arrested who was not even armed. He just
20 happened to drive by on his bicycle, and that is why I
21 remember it.
22 Q. Never mind. Let's leave that for the
24 Tell us, during the siege of Stari Vitez --
25 did UNPROFOR and the International Red Cross --
1 JUDGE ROBINSON: I would just like
2 clarification on the document you just tendered. The
3 members of the joint commission, I take it, were
4 Bosniaks and Croats. Who was on the commission as members
5 there? Can you identify those?
6 MR. KOVACIC: The person under item 1 is a
7 Muslim Bosniak. Under number 2 and 3 are Croats. I
8 mean the numbers in the signature.
9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, yes.
10 MR. KOVACIC: 2 and 3 are Croats. Number 4
11 is Bosniak.
12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Of the persons who were
13 released --
14 MR. KOVACIC: Judging by the names, all of
15 them are Croats.
16 Q. (Interpretation) Mr. Kajmovic, judging by the
17 names of the three released persons, would you say they
18 were Croats?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. KOVACIC: Is that all, Your Honour?
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes, thank you.
22 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
23 Q. (Interpretation) Let us go back to UNPROFOR
24 and the International Red Cross which entered Vitez on
25 several occasions.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In the period from the beginning of the
3 conflict until the end, that is April of 1994, you
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Which means that they must have had the
7 permission and approval of the HVO to enter as they
8 surrounded the area?
9 A. I don't know whether such a procedure
10 existed, but they did enter.
11 Q. Did you have any personal experience
12 regarding the organisation of reciprocal family visits
13 between Vitez and Stari Vitez?
14 A. Yes. I think this was after the ceasation of
16 Q. Wasn't it during the war?
17 A. I'm not aware of it during the conflict.
18 Q. In view of your status as a party dignitary,
19 the party discussed this sometime in the summer of
20 1993, which means during the siege Ivica Santic offered
21 the possibility for civilians to leave, to be granted
22 refugee status, and to go where they wanted. Do you
23 remember anything about that?
24 A. There were such proposals.
25 Q. Was this discussed at a meeting at which
1 Santic proposed this to Mr. Sefkija Djidic?
2 A. We had some negotiations towards the end of
3 June, beginning of July, in the UNPROFOR base in Bila.
4 Whether this was raised at that meeting or another, but
5 I know there were such proposals. I personally
6 received messages to leave Stari Vitez through a
7 liaison officer of the British Battalion, Mr. Perry.
8 Q. But you didn't leave?
9 A. No, I didn't.
10 Q. Tell me, there were some Croats in Stari
11 Vitez as well?
12 A. Yes, a few.
13 Q. But there were some?
14 A. Yes, some.
15 Q. Did any Croats get killed during the
17 A. I cannot recall now, but I do know that some
18 Croatian houses were razed to the ground by Croatian
20 Q. What about any other causes?
21 A. There may have been verbal incidents.
22 Q. Does the name Zoran Vidovic mean anything to
23 you, who was killed in Stari Vitez?
24 A. I don't know, and I doubt that that was
1 Q. What about Dragica Prkacin?
2 A. If they were killed, then they were probably
3 killed from HVO fire.
4 Q. Were certain houses confiscated for defence
5 needs in Stari Vitez?
6 A. What do you mean "destroyed"?
7 Q. No, confiscated, requisitioned.
8 A. There were some cases of abandoned houses
9 being used for defence needs, both Bosniak and possibly
10 some Croat houses as well.
11 Q. You told us that you were in the civil
12 defence at the time?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you under the obligation to work?
15 A. I was on the front line, but I was also
16 active in the civil defence.
17 Q. But was there a work obligation for people at
18 the time?
19 A. Yes, that could be described as such.
20 Q. But that was a legal obligation under the
21 regulations taken over by you?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. For a year, Stari Vitez and Vitez was
24 separated, was divided. Did the BH army open fire
25 towards Vitez from Stari Vitez?
1 A. Only in self-defence.
2 Q. But you did operate?
3 A. If I may explain --
4 Q. I don't think that is necessary. We are
5 fatiguing the Chamber with this conflict. But there
6 was an exchange of fire?
7 A. Each time the HVO attacked, we had to defend
9 Q. Thank you. Do you remember any light
10 artillery weapons that you had there?
11 A. As far as I know, we had two or three
12 60-millimetre mortars, but they were not in use because
13 we didn't have any shells, and a hand-held launcher,
14 which as far as I remember was captured by HVO
16 Q. Were there any snipers?
17 A. I am not aware of that.
18 Q. This was about Stari Vitez. Let me now ask
19 you a few questions linked to some of the statements
20 you made, as a point of clarification, more or less.
21 First of all, in the introduction you told us
22 that before the war in Bosnia, you were a teacher of
23 history in school?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. May I take it then that you are familiar with
1 programmes of study and curricula in Bosnia; at least
2 you know them better than I do, the textbooks and
4 A. I was familiar with the curricula for
5 three-year studies and the four-year secondary school
6 or grammar schools. Then there was the medical school
7 which had a different programme of studies, but of
8 course I am quite familiar with these.
9 Q. But will you confirm as much as you know?
10 What you don't know, you will tell us.
11 There was a question raised here in
12 connection with another matter. As to the plans of
13 instruction in the Republic, and I'm talking about the
14 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, we're talking
15 of the period prior to April '92, were those same plans
16 and programmes in effect when the Republic of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina acquired independence?
18 A. Yes, because there was no time for any
19 serious revisions.
20 Q. So they remained in force for a certain
21 period of time, didn't they?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can we say the same of textbooks?
24 A. Yes, because there was no time to publish new
1 Q. So now we became a sovereign new state. We
2 are no longer a Socialist/Communist country. We're no
3 longer a part of ex-Yugoslavia, but we used the
4 textbooks we had?
5 A. Yes, coupled with certain instructions
6 received from educational institutions that certain
7 subjects should be viewed from a slightly different
8 angle and so on.
9 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, we are now
10 approaching the time for a break. Is that a convenient
12 MR. KOVACIC: Very much so, and I guess after
13 the break I will need a maximum of 15, 20 minutes, not
14 more than that, maximum.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll adjourn now for
16 20 minutes.
17 --- Recess taken at 11.12 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 11.40 a.m.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Kovacic.
20 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honours, a
21 clarification, please.
22 My Colleague Mikulicic, by following the
23 transcript, pointed out that at page 35, line 2, you
24 asked who had started the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina, in
25 other words, what is our theory. My understanding of
1 it was that it referred to the conflict between Croats
2 and Muslims, and my answer was that I did not know and
3 that my client did not know.
4 But talking at the level of the Vitez
5 municipality and that portion of Central Bosnia, our
6 submission is that the Muslim side was the one which
7 started the conflict which then spread in '92 and '93.
8 But we do not have any general knowledge, how the
9 conflict between the HVO and the army, that is, the TO,
10 had started in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
11 May I continue?
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
13 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation)
14 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, first let us just conclude the
15 part on the education which I asked you about.
16 When I referred you to your diary earlier
17 today --
18 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) May I ask the
19 usher's assistance, please, to show the witness the
20 document? For those who are using the English text,
21 it's on page 20. We were able to identify the original
22 page in the witness's notes. This was a meeting.
23 I'm going to read it out loud to you in
24 English. It may be very difficult for you to follow
1 This is a meeting of 30 December '92. It
2 looks like it is either a meeting of the party or some
3 Bosniak body, and there are certain conclusions there.
4 There are three that I'm going to read to you.
5 Under item 2 -- number 1 is not relevant for
6 this, but in number 2 --
7 Q. First of all, let me ask you, was this a
8 meeting of the party or some broader body? Can you
10 A. I believe that this could be a party body.
11 Q. I know that this is a terrible copy, but are
12 you able to identify anything there? Then I'm going to
13 read it out, the English version.
14 Under 2, it says that the school is not going
15 to be working on Saturday, that this day would be used
16 for a rest of the teachers and pupils?
17 A. Oh, yes, under 2, stop the practice of having
18 regular school classes on Saturdays and use this day
19 for rest of the teachers and for their activities.
20 Q. And it says that all Bosniak children, that
21 the language used should be called Bosnian language?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And then, obviously, there was another point,
24 that 20 per cent of salaries of Muslims should be --
25 every employed Muslim -- should be allocated for the
1 support and assistance of the BH army?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So this is authentic?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Very well. Can I conclude, therefore, from
6 this, and considering what problems you had, that the
7 curricula was adjusted as you went along, and was this
8 what the party was trying to do here?
9 A. I believe that my testimony would lose its
10 meaning if I were not allowed to explain something. I
11 need to point out that the Croatian side forced upon us
12 the Croatian dialect, and then this came as a response
13 to that. So we asked that the Bosniak children be told
14 that their language was Bosnian. In other words, what
15 is done here is you're avoiding mentioning the cause of
16 what this discussion was about.
17 Q. Very well. Let me ask you something else.
18 What was the language, or official language, in Bosnia,
19 until '94?
20 A. The official language was Serbo-Croatian or
22 Q. Was there a Bosniak language?
23 A. Not officially.
24 Q. Was there an ethnic group in the former
25 Yugoslavia which was called Muslim?
1 A. Since the'70s.
2 Q. But this was to denote an ethnic group, not a
3 religious group?
4 A. Yes, this was done at first, and then it was
5 also done to denote both.
6 Q. But the Muslims, unfortunately, had no
7 official language at the time?
8 A. But they were at first not recognised as an
9 ethnic group, either, unfortunately.
10 Q. But what was the language that they spoke?
11 A. The language of Serbo-Croatian or
13 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Kovacic, what's the
14 relevance of all this?
15 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Two things,
16 Mr. President. One, that a couple of days ago we had a
17 document which was tendered into evidence, I think it
18 regarded Vares, where the local HDZ was prescribing the
19 official language for schools. What I'm trying to
20 point out was that everybody was doing it, and it was
21 logical, because everybody had sort of inherited the
22 curricula and textbooks from the Socialist Federal
23 Republic of Yugoslavia, which is their enemy now. So
24 it is a natural reaction. I don't know if the Serbs
25 did it, too. Perhaps not, but I don't know.
1 A. This assertion is not correct.
2 Q. Excuse me, Mr. Kajmovic --
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kovacic, let us move on now.
4 MR. KOVACIC: Okay.
5 JUDGE MAY: We've seen enough of that.
6 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you.
7 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, could you tell me, do you know
8 of any case where a Bosniak or a Croat, from the
9 territory of Vitez municipality or surroundings, had
10 come back from the war in Croatia, where he may have
11 been at the time, and joined in the war effort -- in
12 other words, joined military forces, joining any arm,
13 the HVO or the Bosnian?
14 A. At this moment, I could not recall any
15 particular names, but I know that a number of people
16 had gone to the front line in Croatia.
17 Q. Could we agree that when the war in Bosnia
18 started, that there were people who came back home?
19 A. Very probably they did.
20 Q. Were there such people on the Bosniak side?
21 A. Yes, there were some people on the Bosniak
22 side who had gone to Croatia to try to defend it.
23 Q. Do you know of cases when, once the war in
24 Bosnia started, the people started coming back home?
25 A. I was not following these instances, but I'm
1 fairly sure that there were some.
2 Q. Very well.
3 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) May I ask the
4 usher to pull the -- I think it's exhibit number
5 Z2154. It's a map, a statistical chart or map. Can I
6 also ask for assistance -- it was introduced as D82 --
7 sorry, 8/2.
8 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, this was produced by you?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Let me just review it. This is the area of
11 the municipality of Vitez?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The full lines which cut through this area,
14 and again I -- it's an accurate rendering of the map?
15 One is to the north, one is to the south. It denotes
16 the demographic boundary?
17 A. No. This is the line that denotes the
18 separation -- that is, the military separation --
19 between the HVO and the BH army. But it's somehow
20 remained an administrative boundary to date.
21 Q. Very well. So to the north, only the -- in
22 the northern and southern section, there are Muslims,
23 and in the central area, which sort of coincides with a
24 valley, that's where the Croats are?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. But I do not see Serbs anywhere here.
2 A. No.
3 Q. According to the census information which you
4 provided, there were some Serbs there, and from what I
5 know, they were for the most part concentrated in the
6 north: Hrasnica, Ljubici, Grabak, Trnovlje Tolovici,
7 Zvizda, in these villages?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Can we please
10 have the witness be given map 8/2. Can you perhaps
11 locate these villages? They can be seen on this map.
12 Mr. Usher, could you please place it on the
13 ELMO? Could you please give the witness a pointer, or
14 a magic marker, perhaps blue, colour blue?
15 Q. Witness, would you please show at the map --
16 could you please mark these Serb villages in blue.
17 A. Tolovici, Hrasnica, there were some there;
18 Grbe, Trnovlje. It's very close, further up and to the
19 right. Here we are. Yes, Trnovlje. Yes, Grabak,
20 Hrasnica, Tolovici, Ljubic.
21 Q. Very well. Clearly they are to the north, in
22 the northern section, and we saw the census figures.
23 Do you recall, there was quite a bit of a political
24 debate, at the political level, at the party level,
25 in '91 and the early '92 when the Muslims from these
1 villages who were a minority there pushed the Serbs
3 A. With the Court's permission, I cannot just
4 stay silent over some things that the Defence is
5 doing. There were 1.051 -- 1.501 persons were
6 Serbian. In the village of Tolovici there was a larger
7 concentration, about 250 Serbs, in addition to about
8 150 Muslims. Most of the Serbs lived in the town of
9 Vitez, and then in the area near Kruscica. So your
10 avoiding certain facts leads to wrong conclusions, and
11 I would not want to speak anything but the truth here.
12 Q. Very well. Let me rephrase this. Were there
13 still Serbs in these villages at the end of '92?
14 A. They voluntarily moved out of the Vitez
15 municipality, prompted by the SDS party.
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Kovacic,
17 could the Chamber, could the court know exactly
18 what are you driving at here with your questions, sir,
19 because why do we need these statistics? These
20 statistics, we have accepted them as estimates of the
21 witness, and where do you want to arrive at? You have
22 been at this cross-examination for almost two hours,
23 yet we said yesterday it would last more than one, and
24 instead of -- but if we are going now into a
25 demographic analysis, I'm afraid this is going to take
1 us too far, particularly in comparison with the
2 testimony of this witness so far. So will you please
3 try to be more precise and more concise as well,
4 because this cross-examination really is now taking
5 more time than it was volunteered properly for the
7 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) I am just
8 trying to point out that it has certain other
9 implications. The approach of the Muslim side to the
10 weakest ethnic group in the Vitez municipality, which
11 practically disappeared from Vitez by the end of '92,
12 and this was the beginning of ethnic conflict in the
13 area. So I believe that this is a relevant fact.
14 A. It is not a relevant fact.
15 Q. Excuse me, witness.
16 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) It is relevant,
17 because the line of separation remained such throughout
18 the conflict, and it had been established in 1992, so
19 we clearly see that the Vitez valley which was
20 controlled by the HVO --
21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Ask your
22 question, please. Ask a question directly. You do not
23 really have to go into all this demographic structure.
24 This is not the subject of the testimony. Ask your
25 question directly.
1 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Very well.
3 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, in late 1992, were there Serbs
4 still in this area which we just described?
5 A. Yes, until about October 1992, when mass
6 exodus started.
7 Q. And following October?
8 A. In October and November they moved out and
9 they turned over their weapons to the HVO.
10 Q. Very well. Could you now tell me, looking at
11 the map, this line of separation, these two full black
12 lines, in practical terms, was this the active line of
13 separation between Croats and Bosniaks in the Lasva
14 River Valley and the Vitez municipality throughout
16 A. This is the final line of separation up to 25
17 February, 1994.
18 Q. And was it the same when the conflict
20 A. From 16 April, 1993, when the conflict broke
21 out, until 25 February '94, it only experienced minor
23 Q. So these were lines established in the
25 A. Yes, these were lines established in the very
1 beginning and with minor changes remained such until
2 the end.
3 Q. If you will agree with me, and you can just
4 say "Yes" or "No," some portions of that line had
5 already been established in 1992?
6 A. No, absolutely, this is absolutely untrue.
7 This line has nothing do with it. It is only that the
8 town of Vitez was already occupied on 20 October, 1992,
9 when the last member of the BH army was driven out of
10 the town and so you could only say that the town had
11 been occupied then.
12 Q. Very well. Looking at your map or chart, you
13 only show the area of Vitez municipality. What was to
14 the east and what was to the west of this municipality?
15 A. You can see here that to the east is the
16 municipality of Busovaca. To the west is the
17 municipality of Novi Travnik and partially Travnik and
18 to the north is the municipality of Zenica and to the
19 south partially it's Busovaca and the municipality of
21 Q. If I understand you correctly, the Muslims
22 are directly linked to the areas to the north, which is
23 Zenica, where there was the Muslim municipality, and
24 then the Croats in Busovaca, was linked to Busovaca?
25 A. Yes, that was a partial result of the
2 Q. And then to the south it's again Muslim?
3 A. This is a mountainous region so it is
4 practically uninhabited.
5 Q. But it is then leaning on another
6 municipality which was controlled by the Muslim side?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Mr. Kajmovic,
9 thank you for your effort, notwithstanding all the
11 Your Honours, I have concluded my examination
12 of this witness.
13 Maybe just one additional question.
14 Q. You said earlier that about 75 per cent of
15 the territory of Vitez municipality was controlled by
16 the BH army and about 25 per cent by the HVO. Is that
17 reflected in this chart?
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Thank you very
21 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Kovacic, there's a
22 question that you asked at the beginning of your
23 cross-examination as to the citizenship of the witness
24 or witnesses. Can you just explain for me the
25 particular significance of the question?
1 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Mr. President,
2 the import of this should be sort of one of the
3 elements of crime, of a criminal offence, which must
4 exist, and it's related to internees and has to do with
5 the vocabulary in protocol 2.
6 The term used there, if I'm correct, the term
7 used there is "protected persons", and it seems to me,
8 that is, in our view, and we already referred to that
9 at a pre-trial brief, that it is untenable, it is
10 unacceptable -- no, let me rephrase it. If it is an
11 international conflict, then they must be citizens of
12 two different countries, which does not hold true of an
13 internal conflict. So that is our thesis.
14 We are preparing, well, a kind of expert
15 testimony. Of course, it is a legal matter, but we
16 should like to call an expert on citizenship.
17 In the former Yugoslav state, the citizen
18 doctrine was quite advanced and specific, in my humble
19 opinion, as of 1945, in all the legislation as of 1945,
20 and especially in the constitution of 1954.
21 MR. NICE: Just a few matters, please,
22 Mr. Kajmovic.
23 (Trial Chamber confers)
24 MR. NICE: A few matters, Mr. Kajmovic.
25 Re-examined by Mr. Nice:
1 Q. First of all, the Muslim parade and its
2 similarity or dissimilarity from the Croat parade of
3 which you've spoken, to what extent was the Muslim
4 parade similar or dissimilar?
5 A. Yes. On the Bosniak side, there was also an
6 oath-taking procedure, that is, a common procedure in
7 all democratic countries, so that members of the BH
8 army took the oath of allegiance, saying that they
9 would be defending the sovereignty and integrity of the
10 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, in contrast with the
11 Croat side, who also took an oath of allegiance in
12 which they had to pronounce an oath which said that
13 they would be defending only Herceg-Bosna. So these
14 are two completely different things.
15 Secondly, the HVO kept this review, this
16 parade -- there was about five or six hundred
17 combatants, and I forget where they took this oath, and
18 which was a show of force, practically, to intimidate
19 the Bosniak population. So whereas the army worked in
20 neighbourhood communities, they did it at the town
21 stadium, which was open to everyone. Everybody could
22 come, and through the wording of this oath of
23 allegiance at the same time meant a threat to the
24 population of Bosniak origin, so that is the
1 Q. The answer, as it reads on the transcript, is
2 arguably a little ambiguous, so I'll just clarify it.
3 This probably can be dealt with very shortly.
4 Are you saying that the oath by those at the
5 Muslim or Bosniak ceremony constituted in any way a
6 threat to others or not?
7 A. No.
8 Q. The next topic, the telephone conversation
9 involving Fuad Kakjno. Just a couple of questions on
10 the versions that have been outlined by the Defence.
11 Do you accept that Kaknjo was said to have no
12 relevant authority by Kordic in this phone call?
13 MR. SAYERS: Just an objection to the form of
14 that question. It's very ambiguous, Your Honour. I
15 believe that we had represented to the Court that it's
16 the Defence's position that Mr. Kaknjo told Mr. Kordic
17 that he didn't have any authority to take positions or
18 to make decisions on behalf of the Muslim military
20 MR. NICE: I misread my note. Quite right.
21 Q. As to that proposition, do you accept that?
22 A. The substance, the gist of it, is not whether
23 somebody had the authority or not. The important thing
24 is the Bosniak side did its utmost to prevent conflicts
25 or at least to bring them to an end, the ones that
1 started. So if any negotiations took place on the
2 cease-fire, Kaknjo could negotiate and sign such
3 agreements, such understandings, and his signature
4 would not be contested by anyone on the Bosniak side.
5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: (Interpretation) Mr. Nice, I
6 think you have to word properly your question. We are
7 not really interested in the opinion of the witness but
8 what he heard being said by Kordic himself, by the
9 accused. So we are not really seeking the view of the
10 witness, and will you please try to direct the witness
11 in this direction. "What did Kordic say to Mr. Kaknjo
12 with regard to Mr. Kaknjo's authority?"
13 MR. NICE:
14 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, you've heard the Judge's
15 observation, and the question that you were answering
16 in the form of the observation by Mr. Sayers was that
17 Mr. Kaknjo told Mr. Kordic he didn't have any authority
18 to take positions or make decisions on behalf of the
19 Muslim military forces. Do you accept that
20 proposition, that is to say, did Mr. Kaknjo say that,
21 or not?
22 A. Dario Kordic conditioned all the negotiations
23 on this [indiscernible] and the army. He was the one
24 who was putting the terms by this fact.
25 Q. One other question on this topic.
1 You were asked to consider Mr. Fuad Kakjno's
2 evidence on an earlier occasion.
3 MR. NICE: I have transcripts if the Court
4 needs to see it.
5 Q. One question that you were asked was this:
6 "The only thing is," you were asked, "he didn't add
7 the curse that was heard as Kordic was approaching the
8 telephone?" You were not asked to deal with the
9 earlier statement that Fuad Kakjno had made to
10 investigators, and for completeness, that should be
11 before the Court.
12 MR. NICE: I simply provide the relevant two
13 pages of that statement.
14 MR. SAYERS: I object to that, Your Honour.
15 That's beyond the scope of our cross-examination. We
16 didn't ask any questions at all about Mr. Fuad Kakjno's
17 statement, just about his sworn testimony in the
18 Aleksovski case.
19 JUDGE MAY: He was asked about the
20 testimony. It must be relevant to put in his statement
21 too. Yes.
22 MR. NICE: Can I just hand in -- it's got the
23 cover sheet, for identification purposes, and just two
24 of the pages of the statement itself. Can I propose
25 that it becomes 2154,3?
1 If the English version could be placed on the
2 ELMO first at the next sheet, please, Mr. Usher. It
3 will be page 5 and it picks it up, and I can deal with
4 it quite quickly, although the Court can read it, I
5 have no doubt, more swiftly to itself than I can read
6 it out. But it's the paragraph that starts at the foot
7 of page 5, "On the 19th of October," and it then goes
8 over the page, and I needn't set out this person's
9 account in detail for these purposes.
10 At the top of page 6, "Santic told me he had
11 already talked with Kordic and Kordic wouldn't listen
12 to him. Santic told me if I wanted to talk to Kordic,
13 I could, and he gave me a telephone number for Kordic."
14 I remember I've omitted to give copies to the
15 interpreters. I apologise. They've got it in front of
17 "There was a suggestion that myself and
18 Santic go to Novi Travnik and try to settle it. Santic
19 said that, 'If Kordic agrees to listen to you, I will
20 go to Travnik with you and try to reach an agreement.'
21 When Santic gave me the telephone number, I could see
22 that it was in Novi Travnik. I called Dario Kordic.
23 Someone answered the phone, and I asked him if Dario
24 was there. I didn't introduce myself when I told the
25 person I wanted to talk to Kordic. The person said
1 that Dario was there but busy at the moment. I heard
2 sounds of Kordic talking to someone giving orders.
3 Kordic sounded nervous and began swearing. Kordic then
4 said, 'What is going on with Vitez? We have to do it
5 with Vitez.' Kordic then picked up the phone and asked
6 who it was. I identified myself and told him that I
7 had talked to Santic."
8 Then it goes on and deals with the phone
10 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, is this witness going
11 to give evidence in this trial?
12 MR. NICE: If he is available to us and
13 willing to come. That may not be the position, and I'm
14 not sure at the moment. But it seemed, in light of the
15 possibility that he may not, that it was appropriate to
16 complete the prior accounts he gave.
17 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, I've read out the passage from
18 a statement of Mr. Kaknjo. I don't invite you to
19 comment unless you say that anything he says in it is
20 untrue to your recollection. Is there any part of that
21 that you say is untrue or with which you disagree?
22 That's the limit of my question.
23 A. No, there isn't.
24 Q. The next topic, and there are only about
25 three more in all and the others are short, the next
1 topic concerns questions that were asked of you about
2 the blockade at Ahmici, and again the Court will
3 recall, probably, the cross-examination yesterday. I
4 have hard copies available, if that would be helpful,
5 but the question with which I was concerned was
6 Mr. Sayers' cross-examination where he was pressing on
7 the witness that the witness was acknowledging that the
8 blockade was introduced at a point in the road of
9 particular military or strategic significance, and he
10 was quoting his testimony to him, and at one stage he
11 said this:
12 He said, "Once again, on page 5733, your
13 testimony in Blaskic, quote: 'So this was one of the
14 motives, to take control of this road communications,
15 and this would be the purely military aspect of it.'
16 Did you state that in the Blaskic case, one and a
17 quarter years ago," to which the witness said,"No, no,
18 please, don't do that. I do not agree, absolutely
19 not. The order was to put up the barricade, to halt,
20 to prevent the passage of units to Novi Travnik."
21 In light of that difference between the
22 witness and Mr. Sayers, who went on to say that was the
23 evidence in the case, can I just provide the evidence
24 and put it in its context again? This can become --
25 MR. SAYERS: Do you have the page number,
1 Your Honour? I can't find that in the --
2 MR. NICE: 5372 and 5373 in the transcript in
3 Blaskic, and may it become 2154,2?
4 This can similarly be placed on the ELMO to
5 begin with on -- because it's double-side copied, to
6 begin with on the front side, first sheet.
7 Q. Mr. Kajmovic, did the questions about the
8 blockade arise at the end of your examination in
9 Blaskic and in answer to questions from Judge Riad?
10 A. I believe it is somewhere towards the end.
11 MR. NICE: Thank you. Mr. Kajmovic, just
12 wait there, please, and listen to what's going to come,
13 and there may be a short question at the end of it.
14 The Court will see, on page 5372, that Judge
15 Riad was asking questions in relation to the witness's
16 research project of which he had spoken and whether he
17 considered genocide was used as a means of ethnic
18 cleansing in Vitez. In his answer, the witness says --
19 JUDGE MAY: There is an objection. Yes,
20 Mr. Sayers.
21 MR. SAYERS: Not an objection, Your Honour.
22 I was extremely confused when I heard the page
23 numbers. It's actually page 5732 and 5733, not 5372.
24 MR. NICE: My mistake. I'm sorry.
25 JUDGE MAY: A slip of the tongue, no doubt.
1 MR. NICE: [Indiscernible] cross-examined for
2 it yesterday.
3 It goes on, "In my thesis, I touch on the
4 genocide in Ahmici. I did research this issue and I
5 identified the exact number of victims there," over the
6 page, "and I tried to ascertain the reasons why this
7 was done and why in Ahmici. And apart from general
8 motives, there was some local or practical reasons as
9 well. One of the practical reasons for this genocide
10 was that the local commune, where there were 508
11 Bosniaks, was on the road Vitez-Busovaca. It was a
12 strategically-important point, and only at this point
13 was there any danger that it could be cut off and that
14 the HVO may not be able to use it for military
15 purposes. So this was one of the motives, to take
16 control of this road communications," and I'm afraid my
17 copy now misses the next two words, but I can find it
18 rapidly. "This would be the purely military aspect of
20 You then went on to say, Mr. Kajmovic, "But
21 there is another aspect why genocide was committed
22 there. One was the motivation which was revenge, and
23 on the 18th of October, 1992, when the HVO attacked
24 Novi Travnik on the orders of the Commander
25 Hadzihasanovic of the 3rd Corps, a roadblock or
1 barricade was put up in Ahmici. It was attacked by the
2 HVO and it was removed within about one hour of
4 Then you go on to deal with one young man
5 being called, and you said, "So this barricade briefly
6 slowed down the HVO troops' movements from Busovaca,"
7 and so on.
8 Q. So when the passage of evidence, and this is
9 the only question that I want you to deal with, was put
10 to you, which as the Court will see, the passage that
11 begins with the fresh paragraph on 5733, when the
12 passage of evidence was put to you about the motives
13 being to take control of road communications, were you
14 referring, at the time you gave that evidence, to what
15 had happened earlier or to what had happened in April
16 of 1993?
17 A. If I may answer some three questions here --
18 Q. I only want you to answer the one question.
19 Namely, when you gave that passage that Mr. Sayers put
20 to you in detail, were you -- it may be self-evident
21 from the transcript, but were you speaking of what had
22 happened in October of 1992 or what was happening in
23 April of '93?
24 A. I was referring to what had happened in
25 October 1992. Here one needs to distinguish between
1 the terms "strategically" and "literally relevant".
2 This is a term in the open conflict, that is, as of the
3 16th of April, '93, when the fighting began until the
4 end of it. Then a point, an elevation or whatever, may
5 be important, more or less, strategically important for
6 the military. However, things that happened in October
7 '92, the army wanted to stop -- to prevent the
8 movement of HVO units because of the strategy they were
9 using. Since they were better militarily organised,
10 better equipped also, they were using the tactic of
11 attacking one municipality after the other, and after
12 taking one, then going after another one.
13 Q. Let me stop you, because it's helpful to have
14 the Chamber have your answer precisely to the question
15 that's asked, and I think you gave that answer.
16 The remaining topics are very short, I
17 think. First, reference to a grenade that may have or
18 did kill some children in the course of the conflict.
19 Just "Yes" or "No", if this is possible. Did that come
20 from Stari Vitez or not, to your knowledge?
21 A. No. Nor was that possible even in theory.
22 Q. Because?
23 MR. KOVACIC: (Interpretation) Your Honour, I
24 should like to object. Two or three times the witness,
25 both during the examination-in-chief and cross, he said
1 that he was not a military expert, that he knew nothing
2 about military matters. Now, just a moment ago, he
3 gave us some information about military strategy, and
4 now he has all of a sudden become a ballistics expert,
5 an expert on shells.
6 JUDGE MAY: No, he is not. The witness is
7 entitled to say what he knows happened. Yes.
8 MR. NICE:
9 Q. Was it possible? You say, "Not in theory."
10 Just explain why.
11 A. From the place where a shell killed several
12 children of Croat ethnicity to the house where I lived,
13 until the HVO attack on the 16th of April, there are no
14 more than 50 metres from there to the line in Stari
15 Vitez, that is, the front line which was to the south
16 and southeast. From that place to our line, there is
17 about a distance of some 200 metres or so. There are
18 some private facilities there and so on and so forth.
19 And I really, as a layman, tried to reason, and I
20 wonder how can one direct a shell at those 200 metres
21 of such a calibre when we know that in Vitez, there was
22 simply not a weapon of that calibre, of that size? I
23 mean I know what the ground looks like physically.
24 These distances are very short there, and --
25 Q. That's the answer.
1 You were asked about the restocking by Stari
2 Vitez of food and so on in the course of the conflict.
3 You said you could add to it. I want you to do so in
4 just two or three sentences, please. Was it necessary
5 to restock food and other items in the course of the
6 conflict or were there adequate stores?
7 A. I think that the Defence referred to stocks
8 of ammunition and not food, but I can reply as regards
9 both items.
10 Q. Yes, please.
11 A. Can I?
12 Q. Yes, please.
13 A. As far as food was concerned, through the
14 Merhamet charitable society some food had been
15 obtained, some 20 tons of flour, which was stored in
16 Stari Vitez. Thanks to that flour, about 1.200
17 inhabitants managed to survive until the so-called
18 White Road Convoy, as it was called, when we received a
19 certain quantity. Then the population had some stocks
20 in reserve in their own households so that the
21 population did relatively well as regards food because
22 there was sufficient quantities of flour.
23 As for ammunition, as I was on the front line
24 and had a rifle, on average we had 50 to 60 bullets.
25 We didn't have more than that. In a period of less
1 than one year on the front line, where I kept regular
2 duty, I fired 10 to 15 bullets in all. So considering
3 the amount of ammunition used, I could have remained
4 there for another three years because the orders were
5 that we were not allowed to fire a shot except in
6 extreme necessity, and that meant if an HVO soldier
7 reached our very trenches and dugouts, in which case we
8 had no other choice. So that is the explanation, and I
9 may add that some 40 or 45 out of the 60 I had were
10 left at the end.
11 Q. There was something you wanted to add briefly
12 in the cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic about the use
13 of the term "moderate" as opposed to "radical". If, on
14 reflection, there's nothing you wish to add, don't feel
15 you have to provide an answer. If there's something
16 you want to say, try and put it succinctly so that it
17 can help the Chamber.
18 A. Yes. There was some debate over Pero
19 Skopljak and the town mayor, Ivica Santic.
20 Some of the Croatian officials, political
21 officials, at certain meetings, especially when
22 differences of view existed between us, they would tend
23 to make certain statements that were not fully in
24 control. Some of them, like Ivica Santic and Pero
25 Skopljak, were very careful in choosing their words,
1 and their statements and actual activities in practice
2 on the ground were quite different.
3 My intention was to mention this because the
4 Defence, quoting my notes which I was obliged to convey
5 to members of the executive board of my party, that is,
6 the minutes of those meetings, so I took note of those
7 statements, but I can also mention different statements
8 made which give a completely different characterisation
9 of Pero Skopljak as a radical.
10 I could mention a meeting held in the village
11 of Tolovici, to which we were invite by Serb
12 representatives, for us to hold a joint meeting in an
13 elementary school there. Myself and Pero Skopljak went
14 to that meeting, and we tried to calm down the
15 situation, to avoid incidents. Upon returning in his
16 own car, passing through Krizancevo Selo, in
17 conversation, I said, "You really did deliver a nice
18 speech to the Serbs, which rather surprised me."
19 His answer, and I quote him verbatim, if I
20 may quote his words, which contain a swear word, he
21 said that -- he cursed his mother: "They should be told
22 one thing at meetings, while in fact every effort
23 should be made to kill them."
24 Of course I didn't take note of such things,
25 because these were notes about meetings. But the
1 impressions of all people there were that Pero Skopljak
2 was an extremist.
3 Q. On the topic of your notebooks, you've spoken
4 of other notebooks that may have landed up in other
5 hands. We are not remotely interested in rumour or
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Only if you have any evidence to point to
9 where your other notebooks may now be, will you tell us
10 about it? If you have no such evidence, we will move
11 on to the next and last topic.
12 A. My house is in the part of Vitez which is
13 under the administrative control of the HVO, and after
14 the 16th of April, my house was looted. They searched
15 it and raided everything, including the notebooks in
16 that house, so that probably those notebooks ended up
17 in the hands of the HVO, be it the political, military,
18 or police bodies of the HVO. That is the most probable
20 Q. Thank you. Finally, it's been suggested that
21 in the area of Vitez, the conflict was started by the
22 Muslims -- again, this is not an opportunity for a long
23 answer, and you don't have to give any answer at all
24 unless you feel you can do so by reference to events --
25 but are you able to point to any particular
1 circumstance or events that would assist the Chamber
2 with who it was who started the conflict in Vitez?
3 So have the question in mind, understand it,
4 take a second or so to think about it, and then answer
5 if you think you can point to particular circumstances
6 or events.
7 A. Yes. On the 15th of April, at about 4.00 in
8 the afternoon, 16.00 hours, we had a meeting in Stari
9 Vitez at which representatives of the Bosniaks were
10 present, representatives of the army, the police, and
11 the SDA party. At that meeting we analysed the
12 situation in Vitez municipality at the time, and some
13 people, specifically Kaknjo Fuad, Zeko Fuad, asked
14 representatives of the army and of the police to tell
15 them clearly what the security situation was. In fact,
16 he asked the commander of -- Dzidic Sefkija whether he
17 could sleep at peace. He asked Saban Mahmutovic, the
18 police commander -- that is, the commander of the
19 Bosniak section of the police -- whether they could
20 sleep peacefully.
21 Their assessments were that the situation was
22 tense, but no different from what it had been the
23 previous days. So we can now say with absolute
24 certainty that their assessment was completely wrong,
25 and had that assessment been better, probably the
1 Bosniak side would have done something to defend
2 themselves better.
3 As this assessment was wrong, the next day,
4 in the morning, at 5.30 a.m., the attack was launched,
5 and even guards or guard duty that was held both by the
6 army and the HVO, on the side of the Bosniaks, after
7 midnight, the guards went back home to sleep; and the
8 guards in Stari Vitez, in which the Bosniaks have a
9 majority, the HVO passed through those guard posts and
10 set light to the first row of houses near the stadium.
11 Also, from the direction of the church, they reached
12 the crossroads, where the road branches off to the
13 so-called garbage dump, where a number of Bosniak
14 houses were burnt and a number of Bosniaks killed, so
15 that because of such a poor evaluation --
16 Q. I think I'm going to stop you there. Unless
17 there's anything qualitatively different, any different
18 type of event at about the same time that you want to
19 turn to, I think I have enough by way of an answer.
20 A. All I can add is that the aggression was
21 carried out by the HVO.
22 MR. NICE: Those are the questions I wish to
23 ask of this witness.
24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Kajmovic, thank you for
25 coming again to the International Tribunal to give your
1 evidence. You are now released, free to go.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
3 (The witness withdrew)
4 MR. NICE: Before we turn to the next
5 witness, the position of the defendant Dario Kordic
6 should probably be reviewed.
7 JUDGE MAY: The position is this, as
8 reported: That Mr. Kordic has been detained in the
9 hospital for x-rays. At least, that was what was
10 reported to the Trial Chamber. He won't be available
11 today, but he will be tomorrow.
12 MR. STEIN: Your Honour, one of the
13 possibilities discussed amongst ourselves -- realising
14 this problem now exists, and in order to take advantage
15 of the one hour and 45 minutes in the afternoon
16 remaining to us -- is, if it's technically feasible, to
17 tape the proceedings, both video and audio, in a
18 language the accused understands, Croatian. And
19 further, there was access to, at the detention centre, a
20 player, that he can review all of the afternoon's
21 activities, in time, given their schedule of events and
22 meals and whatnot, then theoretically he can review
23 what has been done and what has been said.
24 Now, apparently there is some dissent on
25 that, so I'm trying to work this out. If you can give
1 us a little time -- you agree?
2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Yes.
3 MR. STEIN: Okay. Apparently there's no
4 dissent, but the mechanics of it are the problem, and I
5 don't know the answers to this.
6 JUDGE MAY: Well, we don't know the answer to
7 that. We'll have to find out. There's another ten
8 minutes, quarter of an hour, before the luncheon
9 adjournment. Are there some matters we can deal with
10 during that time?
11 MR. NICE: Probably comparatively few
12 free-standing administrative matters. There is the
13 question of the protection of the next witness.
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes?
15 MR. NICE: I actually want to establish one
16 further thing with him. I have been seeing him
17 myself. There is one further thing I want to establish
18 with him before I make the application, and I need an
19 interpreter to do that.
20 Before I sit down, the statement to accompany
21 the dossier is probably, I think, in final shape now.
22 Its earlier format was not what I desired the Chamber
23 to have, and it had to be reformatted, and it's being
24 considered by the witness. I'm not sure when he will
25 be in a position, having checked it, to sign it -- I
1 hope this afternoon -- but one way or another, it
2 should be available to the Court and my friends this
3 afternoon, but I don't think it can be available much
5 I took the decision this morning, first
6 thing, to cancel the remaining three witnesses who were
7 flying in today because I could see, both from the time
8 taken in cross-examination and from the potential
9 problems of the defendant's ill health, that it was
10 almost inevitable we wouldn't get through the witnesses
11 who were present here and three more, however short
12 those other three would be. But that, nevertheless,
13 leaves us with a number of witnesses to be called, if
14 at all possible, this week.
15 On top of that, and I just remind everyone,
16 the two witnesses who took the statement from
17 Dr. Mujezinovic, and who have been the subject of
18 complaint by the Defence, are witnesses I intend
19 effectively to tender so that their allegations can be
20 raised with them, given the importance they attach to
21 those allegations.
22 With the various movements of investigators
23 from this building, it's sometimes better to make sure
24 you have your investigators when they're available,
25 because they may not then be available for some time to
1 come. And it would be desirable, if possible, to deal
2 with that issue -- which may not take very long -- this
3 week as well. But that all suggests a rather heavy
4 diet, I'm afraid.
5 MR. STEIN: Just to give something else on
6 which to chew, apparently, according to co-counsel, the
7 detention centre, when you hand over a tape, requires
8 it be 48 hours in advance, to review it, check it for
9 security purposes. The suggestion I proffered earlier
10 will only work if Mr. Kordic can review the matter
11 tonight, because he, as you know from watching, is very
12 active in the participation of his Defence, writes us
13 notes all the time, and I perceive that if he had an
14 opportunity this evening to read and review the tape,
15 we could be up to speed.
16 I make this proposal only for this
17 afternoon. Cross-examination would be a far different
18 thing in terms of our presentation of the next
19 witness. We're trying to be as accommodating as we
20 can, given his situation. I'm told tomorrow he will be
21 with us, with his leg elevated, and I'm just taking it
22 session by session.
23 JUDGE MAY: Well, inquiries will have to be
24 made as to whether the suggestion -- which certainly is
25 in a cooperative spirit, but whether in fact it can be
1 followed through. It would seem that if the tape came
2 from the Tribunal itself, a Trial Chamber, it would be
3 difficult for that to be objected to, but bureaucracy
4 works, sometimes, in a way which is unexpected.
5 MR. STEIN: The logic of it is unassailable.
6 I can cite to a case from my jurisdiction in which
7 logic did not prevail, Judge.
8 JUDGE MAY: But we don't, clearly, want -- if
9 at all possible -- to waste this afternoon. The fact
10 that the investigator's statement is not available
11 clearly hampers a discussion, but there may be matters
12 which we can usefully discuss if we can't hear the
13 evidence. We should certainly hear the application for
14 measures, and any other housekeeping matters that we
15 could deal with. If Mr. Smith can be available, so
16 much the better, and if we can hear what submissions
17 there are.
18 MR. NICE: And it may be, even if the
19 investigator hasn't signed the document, a draft
20 statement can be provided to show the general form.
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, anything of that sort.
22 Half past 2.00, then.
23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.55 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.32 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we left matters to be
3 determined by the Registry as to whether it's possible
4 to carry out what's been suggested. I don't know if
5 you've been kept informed of what is feasible and what
6 isn't, whether the --
7 MR. NICE: Mr. Stein, actually, is better
8 informed on this than I because he's been making the
9 enquires. He's told me the results of his enquires.
10 MR. STEIN: As I understand, Judge, the good
11 news is there can be an audio cassette made that the
12 accused can listen to. We don't have yet the second
13 prong of the issue, whether at the detention centre
14 there is an audio cassette available with a headset
15 that he can use to listen to the tape. Apparently --
16 have I got that right?
17 JUDGE MAY: If you like to speak, just --
18 THE REGISTRAR: There is an audio cassette
19 available, and they will take appropriate measures, if
20 it's necessary that he should hear the tape.
21 MR. STEIN: Because he has no machine to
22 listen to it.
23 THE REGISTRAR: But there are machines in the
24 detention unit.
25 MR. STEIN: Being technically challenged in
1 all these things, I -- apparently there's no ability to
2 do the video and audio that we have because it would
3 require a real-time sifting out of all the various
4 languages that come into the real-time video. So in
5 order to see the witness as well as hear the witness,
6 it would require some extra work on the part of the
7 crew here to do just that, and the time required is
8 literally the same time as the time of the tape. I
9 think that's correct.
10 So therefore we're left with just an audio
11 or, alternatively, some intervention on the part of the
12 Court to order a transcript made of the video
13 consistent with the audio.
14 Now, I suppose there's a third possibility,
15 and that is that Mr. Kordic could listen to the audio
16 and look at the video, although the two would not be in
17 sync. So he would have his video recorder and his
18 audio recorder and bit and piece together things, which
19 is not necessarily a bad result. That's option 1
20 available to Your Honour. We'll do whatever you wish.
21 Again, limited to the direct examination, not the
22 cross, because our cross will be, in large measure,
23 shaped by our clients' instructions.
24 JUDGE MAY: Of course.
25 (Trial Chamber confers)
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well. If that's a
2 possibility, we'll do that. It may be that the amount
3 of evidence will have to be limited from the point of
4 view of the practicality of the thing. Certainly, no more
5 than an hour, because the accused has got to listen to it
7 MR. NICE: Of course.
8 JUDGE MAY: That would hold things up, but it
9 might be sensible, if we can get an hour's evidence in,
10 to do it while we can.
11 MR. NICE: I'm very happy to do that, and I
12 think I have four witnesses here still for the week,
13 many of whom have given evidence once or twice before;
14 not many, some of them.
15 JUDGE MAY: The sooner we get on with it, the
17 MR. NICE: Can we go into either closed, or
18 if its sufficient, private session to deal with the
19 issue of the protection of the next witness?
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. But may I say that while
21 we're dealing with it, whoever is taking this witness
22 should aim to compress the evidence in chief into an
23 hour. It really would save a great deal of time for
25 MR. NICE: I'm sure I will.
1 JUDGE MAY: It's a substantial witness, I
2 have no doubt, but still.
3 MR. NICE: It may help if we simply go
4 into -- I'm in the Court's hands, whether it's safer to
5 go into full private session for the application to be
6 made. I don't -- full closed session. I beg your
8 While that's being done, the Court should
9 have, as my friends opposite have, a summary in, on
10 this occasion, seven pages.
11 (Closed session)
10 redacted pages 3883 3931 in closed session
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
19 4.17 p.m., to be reconvened on
20 Wednesday, the 16th day of June,
21 1999, at 9.45 a.m.