1 Monday, 22nd November, 1999
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 This is case number IT-95-14/2-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Dario Kordic and Mario Cerkez.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Nice.
9 MR. NICE: I shan't be taking this morning's
10 witness because for the last week I have to make some
11 appearances in front of another Chamber in another
12 case, and somewhat surprisingly, that case is sitting
13 this morning as well as this afternoon. So I shall
14 have leave very shortly. Ms. Somers will being taking
15 the witness.
16 I notify the Court that as to this week's
17 witnesses, we, and indeed the Defence, have suffered
18 the inconvenience of the listed witness, Sir Martin
19 Garrod, being cancelled at late notice, and not for the
20 first time. We have, I think, managed to find a full
21 week of evidence for you. His late cancellation was at
22 the direction of the special representative of the
23 Secretary-General in Kosovo, and I simply inform the
24 Chamber that I'm going to write to him, explaining that
25 of course although there are competing difficulties,
1 when witnesses are listed to attend there are
2 particular difficulties in late cancellation. On this
3 occasion we were able to find substitute witness, and
4 we have put that witness back now to, of course, much
5 nearer the end of the trial. So I'm going to have to
6 write in reasonably clear terms about the difficulties
7 that we would face if we have another cancellation on
8 short notice.
9 I shan't do it in your name, but I will, as
10 it were, rely on the requirements that you make to have
11 your time filled whenever possible.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. While we're on that topic,
13 I trust that apologies were sent to the witness from
14 last week, who, through nobody's fault here but because
15 of the Court's breakdown, we were unable to sit on
16 Thursday and Friday in the court in which we had been
18 MR. NICE: Your apologies were sent. We
19 quite understood all the problems. He was cooperative
20 in the extreme, and I think he's now listed to return a
21 week today.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
23 MR. NICE: Beg your pardon. That was the
24 original plan. He's now coming on Wednesday. But
25 Ms. Somers will take this witness. I will, I hope, be
1 in most of the week, but I shan't be in for all of it.
2 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Thank you, Mr. Nice.
3 Yes, Ms. Somers.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 WITNESS: Stjepan Tuka
6 [Witness answers through interpreter]
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take
8 the declaration.
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphones, please.
10 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
13 Examined by Ms. Somers:
14 Q. Would you please state your full and correct
16 A. Stjepan Tuka.
17 Q. Your date of birth is 25 December 1953?
18 A. Yes. Correct.
19 Q. In Gojavici, in Fojnica municipality.
20 A. Yes, Fojnica, and I lived in Gojavici.
21 Q. You are by ethnicity a Bosnian Croat?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You completed, in Sarajevo in 1972, technical
24 school, with a specialisation in auto mechanics?
25 A. I believe it was '71.
1 Q. You are an auto mechanic by trade?
2 A. I was, yes.
3 Q. Your military service in the JNA from 1973 to
4 1974, a total of some 15 months?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You were in reserve officer school for some
7 five to six months in Karlovac?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you receive training in the Engineering
10 Corps of the JNA as well as basic training and weaponry
11 skills in battle situations?
12 A. I did.
13 Q. Were you in the reserves as a Captain from
14 1982 until 1990, and were you in charge of a
15 Territorial Defence unit in Gojavici?
16 A. Yes. Correct.
17 Q. What type of persons did you supervise in
18 that unit? Were they armed persons?
19 A. In case -- in case of an attack or something,
20 then that unit would have been issued with weapons at
21 that time.
22 Q. Were there nurses and elderly persons in
23 these units and perhaps builders?
24 A. They were part of the civilian defence.
25 Q. Were you, in fact, in charge of that for a
1 period of time?
2 A. Well, if some combat operations took place,
3 then I would be, yes, in that area.
4 Q. At the beginning of 1990, were you relieved
5 of your position as a reserve officer in the JNA?
6 A. No. I was simply removed from the post of
7 the command -- from the duty of the commander of that
8 particular unit, but I did keep the rank.
9 Q. Were you aware that weapons for the
10 Territorial Defence in Fojnica and Kresevo were kept at
11 the JNA warehouse in Kiseljak barracks?
12 A. Quite. Those weapons were kept at the
13 barracks at Kiseljak, but I do not know until when.
14 Later on I heard from people who were with the
15 Territorial Defence that those weapons were then taken
16 away to the territory of the Ilijas municipality.
17 Q. And that is between Visoko and Sarajevo and
18 that was under Serb control?
19 A. Yes. Correct.
20 Q. Did you find yourself, at a later date, that
21 this turned out to be true, that these weapons were in
22 Serb hands?
23 A. Well, we could not get them.
24 Q. Can you describe the ethnic composition of
25 Fojnica municipality, percentage of Muslims, Croats and
2 A. According to the census of 1990, I believe is
3 when it was, there were 49 per cent of Muslims; 42 per
4 cent of Croats; and 7 per cent were Yugoslavs and
5 others, Serbs and ...
6 Q. In 1991, when a war began in Croatia, on the
7 territory of Croatia, initiated by the Serbs, did the
8 Croats in Central Bosnia begin to organise and if so,
10 A. Yes, quite. We began to organise ourselves.
11 I don't know. It was -- it was the former half of
12 1991. The reason was simple. We could see what was
13 going on up there in Croatia, and we were expecting
14 that the war would shortly be transferred to the
15 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina and we simply had to do
16 something to protect people.
17 Q. Was this organising dangerous at the time
18 because of the territory still being under JNA
19 control? Under JNA control?
20 A. Yes, of course it was dangerous, because the
21 points and all the principal routes were controlled by
22 JNA members, so yes, it was dangerous.
23 Q. Are you aware of the percentage of Serb
24 officers in the JNA officer corps at the time?
25 A. Well, not exactly, but I heard that the
1 figure was about 70 per cent of the Serbs and 30
2 per cent of others. But I don't know if the figure is
3 accurate. That is from what I heard.
4 Q. While the Croat community was organising, did
5 the Muslim community also begin organising?
6 A. I don't know if they began to do that at that
7 time, and whether they began. When the war began in
8 April '93 [sic], the Muslims in Fojnica did have an
9 organisation, but I really wouldn't be able to tell you
10 when they began organising themselves.
11 Q. Do you mean the war which began in April
12 of '92?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Who was Beba Nasuf, and what was the
15 Patriotic League?
16 A. Beba Nasuf at that time was the commander of
17 the Patriotic League. That was what the Muslims called
18 their defence forces in the early days of the war, so
19 those were organised Muslim formations.
20 Q. Were you aware that in municipalities where
21 Croats were in the majority, many families removed
22 their sons from the JNA, perhaps illegally?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In 1990, with the multiparty elections, which
25 parties won the majority in your municipality?
1 A. The Party for Democratic Action and the Croat
2 Democratic Union.
3 Q. And the Party for Democratic Action was the
4 Muslim party; is that correct?
5 A. It is.
6 Q. Would you characterise the relations between
7 the Muslims and the Croats as united and positive prior
8 to any time of conflict in your area?
9 A. Well, they were normal. People lived normal
10 life. They worked and cooperated with one another, and
11 that was it. I don't think there was any particular
13 Q. From the time the HDZ/BiH won, did you become
15 A. Well, yes.
16 Q. Do you recall an Ante Beljo from Zagreb
17 coming to your community and speaking to the Bosnian
18 Croats about HDZ matters?
19 A. I do not remember him coming to our
20 municipality, but I do remember listening to him
21 somewhere, I mean that he was somewhere and that he
22 delivered a speech, yes.
23 Q. Was this somewhere in Bosnia?
24 A. Yes. Yes.
25 Q. Mrs. Nevenka Bosnjak-Mijatovic, whom I will
1 refer to as Mrs. Bosnjak in future, was a member of the
2 BiH parliament for Fojnica. Was she also involved in
3 the HDZ in Fojnica?
4 A. She was, yes, of course. She was the HDZ
6 Q. What did she ask you to do relating to the
7 organisation of defence of Fojnica municipality?
8 A. She asked me first if I would accept this
9 task; that is, if I could help to organise the defence
10 of the Croat people in the Fojnica municipality. I
11 gave it a thought for a while, and then I agreed, and I
12 said that -- yes, but that had to be the defence, and
13 that only so was I ready to accept it, because
14 otherwise I wasn't even professionally capable of
15 organising some units which could launch some major
16 attacks or something like that. I also said that if we
17 are going to do that, I really do not care if people
18 that I choose, that I select, are HDZ members or not.
19 The only thing that will matter is whether they can do
21 Q. Are you familiar with the succession of the
22 presidents of the HDZ/BiH, starting with Stjepan
23 Kljuic, and if so, do you know what happened with
24 Mr. Kljuic and who succeeded him?
25 A. Stjepan Kljuic was succeeded by Miljenko
1 Brkic, I think, as far as I remember, but it was only
2 for a very short while, and then I think that Mate
3 Boban became the HDZ president.
4 Q. Did you see a difference in the political
5 positions of Stjepan Kljuic and Mate Boban, and how
6 would you characterise that difference?
7 A. The difference -- well, truth to tell, there
8 was a difference, yes. I heard Stjepan Kljuic was a
9 man who was for Bosnia-Herzegovina, but Mate Boban,
10 when making his speeches and at various meetings which
11 I attended, he only mentioned the Croat people in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Herceg-Bosna, and things like
13 that. That is, reference was made that the time had
14 come for the Croat soil, for the Croat turf, to join
15 the mother country, Croatia; and I concluded on the
16 basis of that that he was a little bit more extreme.
17 Q. You attended meetings that were HDZ/BiH
18 meetings, and I would ask the usher to present Z8,1.
19 MS. SOMERS: Translations are available, I
20 believe, in both French and English.
21 Q. Mr. Tuka, if you look at the document, which
22 is dated 30th of July, 1991, it is an agenda for a
23 meeting of the HDZ/BiH at which you are listed as being
24 present, as well as Dario Kordic. If you would turn,
25 please, to Point -- it'll be after Tocka 3, essentially
1 the last page in Serbo-Croatian.
2 Would you indicate, please, what role Dario
3 Kordic is to play with the Travnik regional community
4 which is being formed? Does it indicate that he will
5 be essentially coordinating these meetings?
6 A. I don't know. Perhaps it does say here and I
7 haven't read it yet, but I really don't remember what
8 decisions those meetings took. It was a long time ago,
9 and I really couldn't tell you.
10 Q. But your name appears as being present. You
11 accept that you were present; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, if my name is here, then it means that I
13 was there, yes, of course.
14 Q. During the course of your being involved with
15 the HDZ, did you see Mate Boban at all? Did you ever
16 personally see Mate Boban?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. And are you able to estimate the number of
19 times you may have seen him?
20 A. I don't know; could have been three or four,
21 maybe five times. I don't know exactly.
22 Q. Was Dario Kordic with Mate Boban when Mate
23 Boban normally addressed the HDZ?
24 A. He usually -- Mr. Kordic was usually present
25 at those meetings.
1 Q. On 20th of June, 1991, did you attend a
2 meeting at the presidential palace in the office of
3 President Tudjman in Zagreb?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was that meeting a meeting of the HDZ/BiH,
6 some of its members and leadership?
7 A. As far as I could see, it was only a meeting
8 of municipal representatives, and I could see from
9 those who attended it there were representatives from
10 Central Bosnia and the Bosnian Posavina.
11 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the usher to take
12 from Ms. Ver Haag at this time the -- I'm sorry -- the
13 photograph -- I beg your pardon -- which is labelled
14 Z2784, and also to hand, for a moment, to the witness a
15 copy. It should be at the back of the packet, of
16 everyone's evidence packet.
17 I should like to inform the Court that a
18 blow-up of the colour original will be made for the
19 Court. At this time we'll have to ask the Court to
20 bear with us and look at the black and white which is
21 at the back of the packet.
22 I'm sorry, Your Honours. Is the photograph
23 with you? Do you have it? Thank you. Good.
24 Q. Mr. Tuka, the photograph which you have --
25 I'm sorry. The photograph which you have in front of
1 you, both in colour and in black and white, is the
2 black and white a copy of the colour photo?
3 MS. SOMERS: If the usher could kindly show
4 it to Mr. Tuka to confirm that.
5 A. Yes.
6 MS. SOMERS:
7 Q. Would you please describe the circumstances
8 surrounding that photograph and who some of the central
9 figures there are?
10 A. This photo was made after the meeting in
11 Zagreb where Ante Beljo, Gojko Susak spoke, as far as I
12 know. After that, President Tudjman received his
13 Banski Dvori and this was a souvenir photo.
14 Q. Looking in the photo, the lady is who?
15 A. Oh. This is Dr. Nevenka Bosjnak, the
16 president of the HDZ in Fojnica former.
17 Q. Looking at the photo, looking to her right,
18 looking as you look at it, who is next to her?
19 A. Why, Dr. Franjo Tudjman.
20 Q. And on the other side of Mrs. Bosjnak?
21 A. It's -- I believe it's Ante Beljo.
22 Q. And next to Ante Beljo?
23 A. Ignjac Kostroman.
24 Q. And behind Ante Beljo, looking at him, on the
25 left side, is that yourself?
1 A. No. This is Bruno Susnja.
2 Q. On the other side?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And then behind him also, as you said, is
5 Bruno Susnja.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In the back, can you indicate if -- next to
8 President Tudjman who is the gentleman?
9 A. Oh. This is Martin Udovicic, I think, or
10 Udovicic. I wouldn't know his surname correctly.
11 Q. And behind Mr. Udovicic is Dario Kordic, is
12 that right, looking at the right?
13 A. Yes, it is.
14 Q. At the very edge, the gentleman with his arms
15 folded is Ivica Santic?
16 A. Oh, yes. Yes.
17 Q. Thank you. How long were you in Zagreb for
18 this meeting? How many days?
19 A. It was one evening only.
20 Q. Do you recall what was discussed?
21 A. It was a long time ago, so I really cannot
22 remember exactly what happened. I was in -- I was sort
23 of lost or confused under the impression of the events
24 and the place where I was.
25 Q. Was that the only time in your life you have
1 been to Banski Dvori and seen President Tudjman live?
2 A. Yes, it was.
3 Q. Do you recall at that meeting, were there
4 only representatives from Central Bosnia? Were there
5 any representatives from Herzegovina at that particular
6 meeting on the 20th of June?
7 A. As far as I can recollect, only Zdenko Cosic,
8 who is originally from Herzegovina, was there, but I
9 think he had a position in the HDZ for BH.
10 Q. Then no other Herzegovinian representatives
11 were there that day; is that correct?
12 A. With us on that occasion, no.
13 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. I want to speak
14 to the registrar.
15 [Judge and witness consult]
16 JUDGE MAY: Steps are in hand to stop that
17 building noise. Let's go on.
18 MS. SOMERS:
19 Q. Were you present at the meetings of HDZ-BiH
20 when criticisms were made? Do you recall criticisms
21 having been made?
22 A. I remember that at one meeting there was some
23 criticism, but where this was and when, I really am
24 unable to determine.
25 MS. SOMERS: If the usher would present -- or
1 if the witness has Z2354. It should be in B/C/S and
2 English. I apologise that there is not a French
3 translation at this time.
4 JUDGE MAY: What is this document?
5 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, this document are
6 conclusions from a meeting of the Herzegovina regional
7 community and the Travnik regional community on the
8 12th of November, and the witness is a signator to the
10 Q. Mr. Tuka, looking at this document, do you
11 find on the very back page your signature, indicating
12 that you were present at that meeting?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If you look at point "C," which would be, I
15 believe, on the second page, I want to draw your
16 attention to one point, if you have any particular
17 recollection of who raised the matter about: "Make
18 even better military preparations for confrontation
19 with all those forces which will attempt to stop this
20 unavoidable process of the creation of a free Croatia
22 Do you have any recollection or not?
23 A. I am unable to remember precisely.
24 MS. SOMERS: I have been asked to remind the
25 registrar -- it's our error -- this has been previously
1 tendered as Exhibit Z22.
2 Q. If the Croats were to organise themselves in
3 your community in the event of an attack, was there any
4 type of plan to have the plan, in fact, or an
5 understanding to have a joint defence between the
6 Muslims and Croats?
7 A. No, there wasn't at the time until the war
9 Q. Did you form, at the request of Dr. Bosjnak,
10 a headquarters for persons who would gather and who
11 were experienced in military affairs?
12 A. Could you please repeat the question?
13 Q. Certainly. Did you form, at your house, at
14 the request of Dr. Bosjnak, a headquarters of persons
15 who would be working in military affairs who would, in
16 the event of an attack, be charged with the defence of
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At the time in Fojnica, do you recall that
20 the Croat population was in any particular danger as it
21 was surrounded by non-Serb municipalities and then
22 somewhat to the west, Herzegovina?
23 A. There was no realistic danger. Of course, it
24 depended on developments.
25 Q. Was there any perceived danger at the time
1 from the Muslim community within Fojnica?
2 A. No.
3 Q. We've already seen a document of the Travnik
4 regional community, which was formed in 1991, and you
5 participated in meetings of the Travnik regional
7 A. Yes, I did.
8 Q. The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, which
9 was founded by decision on 18 November of 1991, do you
10 recall, as a member of the HDZ, a referendum being
11 presented to your municipality as to whether or not
12 HZ-HB should be founded?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Who was Marinko Bosjnak?
15 A. He was my closest associate during the
16 preparations, and after the outbreak of the war he
17 joined the command or -- I don't know how it's
18 called -- the headquarters in Busovaca where Dario
19 Kordic was and ...
20 Q. When you first held military meetings in
21 September of 1991, from Busovaca who was present, if
22 you recall? Were there any figures such as Dario
23 Kordic or perhaps Kostroman?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Was Pasko Ljubicic ever present?
1 A. He was.
2 Q. And Anto Sliskovic?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. How often were these meetings held and
5 generally what types of matters did you deal with?
6 A. Usually once a week, sometimes once a
7 fortnight, there were discussions about the results
8 achieved in the organisation of defence. Then we
9 discussed about the barracks in Kiseljak or Busovaca,
10 and what should be done in the event that the Serbs
11 attacked, and mainly such organisational matters were
13 Q. Did you, in fact, issue various orders
14 concerning the defence of communities in Bosnia against
15 the Serbs?
16 A. I beg your pardon?
17 Q. Did you issue -- I will just show you.
18 MS. SOMERS: If I can ask the usher, please,
19 to point out Z324.1, Z375, Z375.1.
20 A. Yes. It's an order that when the war had
21 begun. Yes, I did issue orders of this kind.
22 MS. SOMERS:
23 Q. We've jumped a little bit, but when the HVO
24 was formed, what was your official position in Fojnica
25 with regard to the HVO?
1 A. I was the commander of the HVO armed forces
2 in the municipality of Fojnica.
3 Q. Looking at Exhibit Z324.1.
4 MS. SOMERS: I apologise at this point; there
5 is in English translation, but I will ask the witness
6 to describe what it is.
7 A. This is a list of personnel assigned to
8 positions at Paklarevo. This was the front line
9 towards the Serbs, toward Serb positions.
10 Q. Exhibit Z375. Excuse me. The order is
11 signed by yourself that you just mentioned, about
12 Paklarevo. That is your signature on the order?
13 A. Not on this order. This was my assistant.
14 Q. Was it done under your command?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Z375. Could you explain what this is about,
17 please, to the Court?
18 A. This also is a document whereby a unit is
19 being assigned to Paklarevo and indicating what this
20 unit needs to be equipped with.
21 Q. And what did you indicate needed to be
22 provided? What type of equipment?
23 A. For instance, the unit must have a
24 communications officer, a medical officer complete with
25 medical set, two snipers, two machine-guns per platoon,
1 and then logistics support, first-aid dressing for
2 every soldier, two combat sets for every soldier, one
3 daily dry rations, one hand grenade, a helmet, a gas
4 mask, each for one soldier.
5 Q. Is your signature on this document?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Turning to Z375.1. Would you explain this
8 list, please, what it is, what it represents, and was
9 it for the defence of territory?
10 A. This is a list of soldiers carrying out
11 orders and going only for the needs of defence.
12 Q. Again, at Paklarevo?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And is that your signature?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Did you, in Fojnica, have a meeting with
17 other municipality representatives, agreeing to join
18 forces with the Muslims for the purpose of better
20 A. Yes. When the war started, that same day the
21 politicians met and the president of the HDZ said -- or
22 rather, she introduced me as the commander of the
23 Croatian forces, and the president of the HDZ
24 introduced Nasuf Beba as the commander of the BH army
25 or, rather, the Patriotic League -- that is how it was
1 called in those days -- and so it was that we
2 immediately made certain arrangements, that tensions
3 should not be heightened, that we should go among the
4 population to calm people down because there was a
5 great deal of panic. People simply didn't know what
6 they should do and so on.
7 Q. What is the ZNG? What do those initials
8 stand for, and did this have application of this type
9 of meeting you just described, this type of alliance
10 you described?
11 A. A day after the aggression against
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and after this first meeting of
13 ours, the municipal assembly of Fojnica met and adopted
14 a decision to disband the Territorial Defence as a
15 military organisation, as a military body for defence,
16 and that the legal forces were the national guards
17 corps. That is how we called them, and we imitated the
18 name used in Croatia. It was decided that both would
19 be legal military organisations, that we should take
20 joint measures to ensure security of citizens and
21 property. Similarly, the politicians, this whole
22 municipal leadership, took a decision not to primped
23 any solutions regarding the status of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, regarding the kind of order that
25 would be established, but rather that we should both
1 accept the solutions agreed upon at a higher level,
2 because we were conscious that that would be what would
4 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Somers, I don't want to
5 interrupt, but we've been going for some time. I'm
6 conscious of the number of witnesses we have to hear
7 this week, so if we can get through this preliminary
8 part of the evidence more quickly --
9 MS. SOMERS: Certainly.
10 JUDGE MAY: -- it would be a good idea.
11 Mr. Tuka, if you could just concentrate on
12 answering the questions, counsel will know what is
13 relevant and what isn't. I don't want to, of course,
14 cut you off, but it would be helpful if you would
15 concentrate on just dealing with what you're asked.
16 Thank you.
17 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. In fact
18 the witness pre-empted Question 32, so that helped us.
19 Q. Looking at the issue of weapons, can you
20 describe quickly the first supplies of weapons that
21 came in, and how did they come through to your
23 A. Sometime in October, November, 1991.
24 Q. Through what part of Bosnia?
25 A. They came from the direction of Herzegovina.
1 Q. You personally received weapons on two
2 occasions. Can you describe these occasions and what
3 you received?
4 A. Yes. Once, in the Lasva Valley, I don't know
5 the exact location, there were about 100 automatic
6 rifles and 10 other "Argentines," as they were called.
7 And then a second time I went to Grude and got about
8 200 automatic rifles for Kiseljak, Kresevo, and
10 Q. Is that a total of 600 rifles, then? 200 per
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Did you get any uniforms or any other
14 materials through Zagreb?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Would you explain briefly?
17 A. A gentleman who was working in Germany, he
18 raised some funds, or -- I don't know how; in any
19 event, he got some uniforms of the German army. There
20 was some more clothing and footwear, and on his way
21 back, passing through Zagreb, he visited some
22 acquaintances, and he loaded some anti-tank mines and
23 some infantry weapons as well.
24 Q. And this came to your territory?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. The meetings -- I'm sorry; the troops who
2 were stationed at the Hotel Jezero, could you explain
3 briefly what that stationing was about and how long
4 that lasted?
5 A. We had formed a joint unit of Muslims and us,
6 25 each, 50 in all, and they should be together. When
7 the war broke out, we set up checkpoints, primarily to
8 avoid any thefts and to ensure security of the whole
9 municipality. This unit was there for about a month or
10 two. Later on, it proved to be unnecessary in view of
11 the way the situation developed.
12 Q. However, did the joint patrols continue until
13 April of 1993, as well as joint checkpoints?
14 A. Mostly, yes.
15 Q. Did you receive an order, do you recall
16 receiving an order in the beginning of June of 1992
17 which indicated that the Croatian military units of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina would henceforth be called the
19 Croatian Defence Council, with its central military
20 headquarters in Mostar, perhaps originally elsewhere,
21 in Grude? Do you recall that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Was there a military headquarters in Busovaca
24 as well?
25 A. For the region of Central Bosnia, yes.
1 Q. Do you recall the role of Dario Kordic and
2 Ignjac Kostroman in Central Bosnia as you understood it
3 at that time?
4 A. At the time, they were coordinators of all
5 these events in Central Bosnia. They organised
6 meetings. As far as I know, that is what they did.
7 Q. You were commander of the HVO in Fojnica from
8 April of '92 until May of '93. Did you ever get any
9 formal instructions on how to structure units once you
10 became the HVO?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What were you told?
13 A. I received an order at the end of 1992 that
14 brigades needed to be formed, and together with the
15 municipalities of Kiseljak, Kresevo, and Fojnica, we
16 were supposed to form one brigade.
17 Q. Was there a rank structure at this time?
18 A. No. Not in our case, at least.
19 Q. Was there a military police unit formed, and
20 by whom was it commanded initially?
21 A. I know what was happening in our area. We
22 formed a military police unit, and the commander was
23 Dragan Simunic at first, and later on, Mirovucic -- no,
24 Nikica Miletic.
25 Q. What role did Dr. Bosjnak play officially?
1 Was she an officer?
2 A. Well, she was responsible for the
3 organisation of the medical care -- I mean, the
4 military medical service.
5 Q. Was the principal purpose, as you understood
6 it, of the HVO at the time of its initiation,
7 protection from Serb aggression, and if so, did that
9 A. At that time, that was certainly so. But
10 then some incidents happened, if I remember well, at
11 Prozor, Travnik, Novi Travnik, and the situation began
12 to change in the field.
13 Q. Are you aware of an incident around May 1992
14 involving Dario Kordic and the local JNA commander?
15 JUDGE MAY: Don't lead about this, please.
16 MS. SOMERS: Okay.
17 Q. Can you discuss, please, what you know about
18 the Serb army leaving the territory in May of 1992?
19 A. Well, by and large, by agreement, as far as I
21 Q. Between whom?
22 A. Between local commanders in those barracks
23 and those local commanders and politicians, I mean in
24 municipalities. I know about Kiseljak, and I believe
25 the same thing happened in Busovaca.
1 Q. Are you aware of any role played by Dario
2 Kordic in dealing with these local JNA commanders?
3 A. I don't, but I guess that he was the one who
4 conducted negotiations in Busovaca, but not in
5 Kiseljak, to my knowledge.
6 Q. Are you aware of Busovaca having been bombed,
7 and if so, do you know why?
8 A. I know it was shelled. Why, exactly, I don't
9 know, but I heard from some people that the agreement
10 that had been reached about the departure from the
11 barracks had not been complied with fully.
12 Q. Did you hear who reached the agreement?
13 A. Well, those representatives of the
14 authorities and barracks.
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
16 excuse me: I did not react straight away, but the
17 witness is saying that he doesn't really know that,
18 that he only heard that, and I do not think there is
19 any need to examine him further on that.
20 JUDGE MAY: He was asked if he had heard who
21 reached the agreement; he said the representatives of
22 the authority and the barracks. Now, do you want to
23 pursue that, Ms. Somers?
24 MS. SOMERS: Yes, I would like to just focus,
25 if I may, and if I --
1 JUDGE MAY: You can do so, but in a
2 non-leading fashion.
3 MS. SOMERS:
4 Q. Do you know whether or not Mr. Kordic was
5 among those --
6 JUDGE MAY: No, that's a leading question.
7 MS. SOMERS: Do you know --
8 JUDGE MAY: Quite plainly -- no, be quiet
9 for a moment.
10 Do you know who the authorities were who
11 reached these agreements?
12 A. Dario Kordic, Ignjac Kostroman, and one of
13 the -- I don't really remember what was the name of the
14 representative of the municipality.
15 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
16 Q. When the Serbs abandoned or left the Kiseljak
17 barracks, are you aware of what happened to those
18 barracks? To whom were they given?
19 A. HVO.
20 Q. Did you receive instructions from Mostar
21 about setting up computerised radio communications, and
22 if so, could you describe the system?
23 A. Yes, we were given instructions, and a man
24 who was knowledgeable about those things came, and all
25 we had to do was provide a computer and a radio
2 Q. What is the system called Paket
4 A. Well, that's the system, the computerised
5 one, which is one system, an integrated system, and it
6 was integrated for the region.
7 Q. Did you find it to be a reliable system?
8 A. Well, yes.
9 Q. What type of details were evidenced or
10 written or transmitted on any communication on the
11 Paket radio system?
12 A. Well, everything that was necessary. One
13 could use -- or rather transmit by the system messages,
15 Q. And typically would they include a sender, an
16 author, a recipient, a date, time, as well as the
17 content of the message?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Were signatures, actual signatures,
21 A. No.
22 Q. Would you accept as authoritative an order
23 that came over the Paket communications system with a
24 name -- let's say, for example, Tihomir Blaskic -- even
25 though there was no signature?
1 A. Of course.
2 Q. Can you describe when you first met Tihomir
4 A. Sometime in May, if I remember well,
5 of '91 -- '92; excuse me.
6 Q. Did you have any observations about -- excuse
7 me; did you ever observe Tihomir Blaskic and Dario
8 Kordic in public together?
9 A. When Tihomir Blaskic became the commander for
10 Central Bosnia, then yes.
11 Q. Did you personally attend meetings and
12 functions where you saw them together, personally?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Did you have to take an oath of allegiance to
15 the HVO armed forces in Fojnica sometime in July or
16 August of '92, and if so, could you describe the
18 A. We were ordered to line up the units so that
19 they could take the solemn oath of allegiance. So we
20 all met at the stadium, the football playing grounds in
21 Fojnica, and organised a small celebration and swore
22 the allegiance.
23 Q. Do you recall approximately how many men took
24 the oath?
25 A. I believe it was between 800 and 1.000. I
1 wouldn't know exactly how many.
2 Q. Do you remember if the wording of the oath
3 specified which country you were defending?
4 A. No.
5 Q. No, you do not remember, or no, it did not
6 specify the country?
7 A. Not -- mentioned only that we would defend
8 our homeland.
9 Q. Who were the guests of honour at that
10 particular ceremony?
11 A. Mr. Kordic, Blaskic, Kostroman,
12 representatives of the Muslims, of the church,
14 Q. Do you recall if Mr. Kordic and Kostroman
15 were in uniform?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Yes, they were in uniform?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Did you have dealings with a Captain Sartre
20 from UNPROFOR, and under what circumstances? Why did
21 you have to meet with him?
22 A. Yes. That gentleman visited me at the time
23 when an UNPROFOR plane was downed, the one which was
24 taking aid to Sarajevo, and it fell in the territory of
25 my municipality. That gentleman came to my command and
1 we talked, and then he asked me if I could establish
2 contact between him and my superiors. We went together
3 to Busovaca, and I said that this is where the Central
4 Bosnian command was and he stayed there. I believe he
5 stayed behind talking to Kostroman, Kordic, and others
6 who were there.
7 Q. Do you remember where you took him in
8 Busovaca to see Kordic and Kostroman?
9 A. I think it was Tisovac.
10 Q. Was it guarded?
11 A. Yes, there were guards, naturally.
12 Q. Do you recall if Dario Kordic, at that time,
13 was a Colonel in the HVO?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You do not recall, or he was not?
16 A. He was not. As far as I know, there were no
17 ranks. Nobody had any rank.
18 Q. Are you aware if he ever took on a rank, and
19 if so, do you know for what purpose?
20 A. I know that he did have a rank, but what was
21 the purpose of that, I wouldn't know that.
22 Q. Can you describe, please, the -- oh, excuse
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.
2 Q. How frequently did you go to Busovaca, if you
3 used to go to Busovaca, and what did you do there when
4 you went?
5 A. Well, like that. We would go sometimes
6 for -- every week or a fortnight for consultation to
7 see, just to keep in touch, things like that.
8 Q. Whom did you see there?
9 A. Dario Kordic usually, and Ignjac Kostroman,
10 then Marinko Bosjnak arrived.
11 Q. Did he use the occasion to discuss matters
12 pertaining to fund-raising, transport, et cetera?
13 A. At times; at times.
14 Q. Can you comment on the type of uniform an HVO
15 officer would typically wear? Specifically, was there
16 any indication of rank or was there a patch?
17 A. Whilst I was what I was, the uniforms were
18 almost identical, I mean, both the soldiers and
19 commanders. They would have an HVO flash on the left
20 sleeve and that was all.
21 Q. Can you comment on the use of colour ribbons
22 or kerchiefs -- probably "ribbons" would be the best
23 term -- and what they were used for?
24 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,
25 Ms. Somers. We've been almost one hour in session,
1 and the president had asked you to focus on facts,
2 because there are certain things which by now the
3 Tribunal is quite aware of and quite familiar with.
4 We're not at the beginning of the process. So the
5 uniforms, the ranks, and things like that, we are
6 informed about that; we are quite familiar with it.
7 So will you please do not keep this witness
8 telling us things that we already know.
9 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. The
10 emphasis of my question at this point was on the use of
11 ribbons, and I'm not clear that the Court has had
12 testimony on the use of ribbons. There is a specific
13 point to this. It ties up with other witnesses. If I
14 may just have the witness answer this particular
15 question, if he can. Thank you.
16 A. Excuse me, if I may.
17 MS. SOMERS:
18 Q. Sure. I'll repeat quickly. Are you familiar
19 with the use of colour ribbons, perhaps on the
20 shoulders of HVO uniforms, and what purpose would those
22 A. Those ribbons were worn in combat
23 operations. They were carried by members of all the
24 armies for the purposes of identification.
25 Q. Was Fojnica substantially supportive of the
1 positions coming from the more nationalist groups
2 within the HDZ? Was it willing, for example, to put up
3 Croatian flags and have Croatian indicia throughout its
5 A. Oh. Well, it wasn't. We tried to solve it
6 to the mutual satisfaction, and we'd agreed not to put
7 up either Croat or Muslim flags until the end of the
8 war, until we would see how the situation would be
10 Q. Were you ever informed by Dario Kordic that
11 this attitude was unsatisfactory?
12 A. Well, yes. Yes. There was mention of that.
13 There was mention of that. But we tried to explain
14 that we're trying to gain time, that it wouldn't be a
15 solution, and if we tried that, then it would produce
16 major tension and probably even an armed conflict, and
17 that was what we wanted to avoid.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I should ask
19 for the witness not to be led by these questions.
20 Thank you.
21 MS. SOMERS:
22 Q. Did there come a time when the
23 Busovaca-Kiseljak main route, main road, was blocked by
24 the Muslims?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. When?
2 A. It was between January or February 1993.
3 Q. Excuse me. Were there any deaths of HVO
4 soldiers as a result of this particular blocking?
5 A. I think there was a skirmish, and I believe
6 two HVO members were killed in it, somewhere around
7 Kacuni. There were also a few wounded, and they were
8 taken to the hospital in Fojnica.
9 Q. Did there come a time when your units under
10 your command in Fojnica were ordered to become part of
11 the Josip Ban Jelacic Brigade in Kiseljak?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When?
14 A. After Ban Jelacic Brigade was formed. That's
15 when our brigade was formed. Then our unit was part of
16 that brigade, but then it was reorganised and our unit
17 was made to join the Busovaca Brigade, the brigade
18 which was in Busovaca. Then sometime in April 1993 we
19 were then ordered to place ourselves under the command
20 of the brigade in Kiseljak.
21 Q. Who headed the Josip Ban Jelacic Brigade in
23 A. The first commander was Ivica Rajic, and then
24 he was removed and Mijo Bozic came. But when the war
25 broke out, Mijo, I think, was also removed, and I think
1 it was Mario Bradara who was appointed.
2 Q. To clarify something, was there a time when
3 you both reported to Kiseljak and were yet subordinate
4 to Busovaca?
5 A. Well, no.
6 Q. Did you ever hear comments made by a Nikola
7 Perica about the way the HVO in Fojnica was operating
8 compared to other units of the HVO?
9 A. Well, there were all sorts of comments. One
10 of them was how could it be that only two men were
11 killed in Fojnica and there were as many as 20 killed
12 in Busovaca.
13 Q. And was Perica coming from inside Bosnia or
14 was he an outsider?
15 A. He had been born in Bosnia, yes, but he was
16 working in America, as far as I know. And in the
17 beginning of the war he came to Croatia, and as the war
18 spread out so he came to us too.
19 Q. Did you ever see him after the conflict broke
20 out between the Muslims and the Croats? Did you ever
21 see him again?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Did you have occasion to meet with
24 Colonel Blaskic, whether informally or formally, after
25 the brigade was restructured in December of 1992?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you ever pay a visit to Bozo Rajic, the
3 vice-president of Herceg-Bosna, or one of the
4 vice-presidents, in February of 1993, and if so, where
5 and with whom?
6 A. Yes. We went to visit him in Mostar.
7 Dr. Bosnjak was with me.
8 Q. What was the purpose of the visit? What did
9 you talk about?
10 A. We thought that perhaps we would hear from
11 him more about the real political objectives, because
12 it was quite evident that one thing was being said and
13 a completely different thing was being done on the
15 Q. Did Dr. Bosnjak know Rajic? Was there a
16 particular reason you chose this official?
17 A. Well, yes. They were friends.
18 Q. Do you recall if any questions were asked by
19 Bozo Rajic about the course of action being taken in
20 Fojnica, and how did you answer those questions?
21 A. Oh, it was not -- as far as I can remember,
22 it -- Fojnica was the only place which was addressed.
23 We were discussing politics, the positions of Mate
24 Boban, by and large that we were being told to
25 introduce the HVO power, and she said it was easy to do
1 in Western Herzegovina, in localities which had always
2 been held by Croats, but it was difficult to do that in
3 Central Bosnia with such a mixed population and where
4 any attempt of that kind would simply exacerbate
5 tensions and eventually lead to a conflict.
6 Q. Do you recall whether or not there was a
7 discussion about instigating fights or conflicts
8 between the Muslims and the Croats?
9 A. No, I don't. No, I don't think so.
10 Q. Did you go to see anyone else, any other high
11 official, after visiting Bozo Rajic?
12 A. Yes. I saw Milivoj Petkovic, the HVO
14 Q. Do you recall what you discussed with
15 Mr. Petkovic and where you met him?
16 A. It was in his office. We did not talk long;
17 it could have been 10 or 15 minutes. And in a
18 nutshell, he told me that he had already received a
19 delegation from Fojnica, that he was aware of what was
20 going on over there, that I should cooperate with
21 Blaskic more, and that was about it.
22 Q. Do you recall any discussion about your
23 relationship with the Muslim community in Fojnica?
24 A. At some point he told me, verbatim, "What's
25 that secret alliance, collusion with Muslims up
1 there?" Then I said it was no collusion, that it was a
2 decision of the municipal assembly and we were simply
3 trying to put it through.
4 Q. In March of 1993, were you informed again
5 about a change in the relationship to the Kiseljak
6 brigade and where your units would fall in terms of
8 A. Yes. I already said so, that our unit was to
9 be attached, to join the brigade in Busovaca.
10 MS. SOMERS: I will present, just to get into
11 evidence, Z744A. 744A. Well, 744 would be in
13 Q. Just confirming what you have just said, does
14 this order, dated 20 April, confirm the replacement of
15 the Fojnica 3rd Battalion to be subordinated to the
16 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade and under the command of
17 the Kiseljak Ban Josip Jelacic Brigade commander?
18 A. No, it is not this document, the one that I
19 have here.
20 Q. I'm sorry, you should have one dated 4/20/93,
21 signed -- not signed; it's a Paket communication from
22 Tihomir Blaskic, Z744.
23 MS. SOMERS: Does the usher have it? If
24 not ...
25 Q. Is that confirming the restructuring you just
2 A. Yes.
3 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Somers, when you come to a
4 convenient moment.
5 MS. SOMERS: Certainly. I think now would be
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well, we'll adjourn. Half
8 an hour.
9 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
10 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.
11 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the Court's
12 indulgence for a moment. I was able to locate two
13 documents that I did not have at my fingertips, and
14 just to return to one point which had been previously
15 covered, Z384 and Z386, very quickly.
16 Q. Mr. Tuka, looking at document Z384 briefly,
17 this is an order or a request made to you and
18 Mrs. Bosnjak in Fojnica from Dario Kordic. What is
19 being requested? What is the subject matter of this
21 A. I don't know, but what I see from this text,
22 it is the replacement of Mr. Dragan Tolo, who was
23 commander of the civilian police. So I cannot comment
24 on that.
25 Q. The only issue is that you are in the
1 request; thank you.
2 And briefly, Z386: Does this confirm that
3 appointment? The appointment, that is, of Nikola
5 A. I don't know. I never saw this, nor was
6 Mr. Perica appointed to that post.
7 Q. Continuing to the later part of our
8 examination, do you recall, on or about the 16th, 17th
9 of April, 1993, visiting Kiseljak barracks and having a
10 discussion with Boro, Bozic, Bradara, and Lucic?
11 A. Boro? I don't know whether his name is
12 Jozic -- Jozo Boro; yes, yes, I was.
13 Q. What was the discussion about? What were
14 your concerns?
15 A. They told me that they were discussing an
16 order they had received about the situation in Central
17 Bosnia, and that they should join in combat operations,
18 and that they are reviewing what should be done and
20 Q. Was there any particular worry expressed
21 about carrying out this order? Do you know what the
22 order was about, exactly?
23 A. I saw that they were quite worried.
24 Q. Do you know why?
25 A. Probably because of the seriousness of the
2 Q. Did you, around that time, receive a message
3 from Kiseljak Brigade headquarters, early morning,
4 concerning the starting of an action by the Kiseljak
6 A. I did.
7 Q. Did you later learn which villages were to
8 have been involved or attacked in that action?
9 A. I don't know if the villages were attacked in
10 that action, but later, we learnt that it was Rotilj,
11 Visnjica, Gomionica, and some others.
12 Q. Was Gromiljak also included?
13 A. Probably, because it is in the same region.
14 Q. Did you order Sladjo Jukic to do anything at
15 that time in response?
16 A. Yes, to protect this border area with our
17 municipality. I told Sladjo to try, with the commander
18 of the BH army, with whom he cooperated, as he was
19 commander of the HVO in the area, that they should try
20 to do something together, organise some kind of
21 patrols, so that the people would feel safer and that
22 no incidents could be staged by people out of control
23 or any kind of conflict should break out.
24 Q. Did your units take part in any of the
25 actions in the Lasva Valley on villages around the 16th
1 of April, 1993, and particularly, did you have any
2 relationship to the village of Ahmici?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Did you receive any orders about state of
5 battle readiness for your units?
6 A. Oh, yes. There were a lot of orders around
7 that time. Combat readiness needed to be raised to the
8 highest level.
9 Q. Did you receive an order from Tihomir Blaskic
10 concerning an attack that you were to initiate on the
11 village of Dusina in Fojnica municipality?
12 A. I did.
13 MS. SOMERS: I would ask if the usher could
14 please present Z709, and also Z733, which I will
15 address quickly first.
16 Q. Looking at 733, this order from Tihomir
17 Blaskic about taking Gomionica, was that order ever
18 sent to your unit?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Looking at Z709, can you please look at
21 point 2 and indicate what the assignment was that you
22 were given, the order was that you were given by
23 Tihomir Blaskic.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. What were you told to do?
1 A. The order said that I should carry out a
2 combat operation on the village of Dusina or make a
3 breakthrough towards Busovacke Staje and link up with
4 the forces defending Sebesic.
5 Q. The date of that order is 18 April 1993; is
6 that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What did you do in response to this order?
9 A. I informed my associates, because it was said
10 here that we could choose one or other alternative, and
11 as we had already established cooperation, we decided
12 to leave aside this order and not to carry it out,
13 because the consequences would really have been
14 unforeseeable at the time.
15 Q. Did you view the consequences as dangerous
16 and were there issues that you chose to inform
17 Colonel Blaskic about?
18 A. It was dangerous if an attack were to be
19 launched anywhere. The war would have automatically
20 spread and enveloped the whole area. But we had hoped
21 that some kind of an agreement, an arrangement would
22 have been made. It's easier before a war begins.
23 Afterwards, it would be difficult to halt it.
24 So simply we were not ready for it.
25 Q. Can you tell us the ethnic composition of the
1 village of Dusina, Muslim to Croat?
2 A. Two-thirds Muslim, one-third Croat. Roughly.
3 Q. Were you aware, at the time the order came
4 down, of any difficulties, tensions, or conflicts
5 between the two groups in Dusina?
6 A. There was always some tension because the
7 local commander in Dusina was a man who did not obey
8 orders from his commander in Fojnica but, rather,
9 collaborated with some people in Konjic. He was rather
10 an extremist, and he was on the very edge of our
11 municipality. So we sort of let him be, and be master
12 in his little village.
13 Q. I repeat: At the time of this order. Was
14 there any perceptible threat to the Croat population
15 that you felt the need to react to?
16 A. At that moment, no.
17 Q. Did you, in fact, respond in writing to
18 Colonel Blaskic about your views on executing or not
19 that order?
20 A. Yes. I did that after his warning that I had
21 to carry out orders or I would be replaced.
22 MS. SOMERS: I would ask the usher and the
23 registrar, please, to take what has already been
24 tendered as Z731 -- it is duplicated in a different
25 number on our list -- but Z731 and also to present Z748
1 to the witness. Actually, 48 and 49.
2 JUDGE MAY: What is the number, Ms. Somers?
3 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry, Your Honour, what is
4 the ...
5 JUDGE MAY: The number of this exhibit.
6 MS. SOMERS: It should -- the former
7 Exhibit 731, Z731. I do not know if it was duplicated
8 in this packet. It was not, I'm told. If there is not
9 one handy, my copy is available.
10 JUDGE MAY: If you can deal with it without
11 putting the document up.
12 MS. SOMERS: Yes. It should be ...
13 Q. I apologise for the poor quality of the copy,
14 but, Mr. Tuka, can you identify what this order is, who
15 it is from, and what the consequences were? Can you
16 see it okay in Serbo-Croatian?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. From whom is this order?
19 A. From Tihomir Blaskic.
20 Q. Dated what date?
21 A. 19th of April.
22 Q. What is the essence of the document? What
23 does he tell you?
24 A. Because of the situation, I have to carry out
25 orders issued; otherwise, I would be replaced and held
1 accountable in accordance with the regulations of the
2 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
3 Q. Looking at Exhibit Z748, this is a letter
4 which you drafted to Colonel Blaskic. What did you
5 explain to the Colonel? This letter dated 20 April
7 A. I don't know. It was simply a spontaneous
8 reaction whereby I was a bit angry, and I said that I
9 was aware of my duty when accepting to organise the
10 Croatian people in Fojnica but that I was not ready,
11 before my own conscience and before other people, to
12 answer for what would happen if I had carried out
13 certain orders which directly lead to killings and
14 generally to war.
15 Q. Killings of civilians?
16 A. This applies to everyone. Of course, once
17 the war begins, the civilians die as well, because it
18 was very difficult to separate soldiers from
19 civilians. They were all mixed together.
20 Q. Did you form any opinions about the strategic
21 reason, on the part of the HVO command, for attacking
22 Dusina with regard to the BiH forces?
23 A. No. I think that at that point in time the
24 important thing was to start the conflict anywhere,
25 simply for the conflict to escalate throughout.
1 MS. SOMERS: If the usher would present
3 Q. Is this the order which you received from
4 Colonel Blaskic in response to your letter indicating
5 that you would not carry out the order?
6 A. I don't know whether it is the response to
7 that letter, but in any event, it is an order whereby I
8 was relieved of my duty and Mr. Drago Simunic was
9 appointed to replace me.
10 Q. This order signed by Blaskic, dated
11 20th April 1993; is that correct?
12 A. Yes. It reached me by Paket. There was no
13 signature, but there was the name of Mr. Blaskic
14 written there.
15 Q. Looking at Z745, 746, and 747, in that
17 On 745, what is the statement? What is the
18 essence of the statement and by whom is it sent and to
19 whom is it sent?
20 A. I think that this statement -- no, I'm sure
21 it was sent by representatives of the Muslim people to
22 representatives of the Croatian people and the
23 authorities at the time; that is, to the president of
24 the Croatian Democratic Community, to us in the
25 headquarters, and to Naza Turka [phoen], the commander
1 of the HVO or, rather, the president of the HVO.
2 Q. And did they ask that you not be removed,
3 that your removal not be considered because of your
4 peace efforts?
5 A. Something along those lines, yes.
6 Q. Looking at Z746, which is a press release on
7 a joint meeting of the Muslim and Croat representatives
8 of Fojnica. I apologise for the poor copy in
10 This is a reaction by which bodies to the
11 order to have you replaced?
12 A. The Municipal Assembly of Fojnica, the
13 commanders or, rather, representatives of military
14 units of both peoples, the Franciscan Monastery of
15 Fojnica, the Fojnica Islamic community, Napredak,
16 Preporod, as is written there.
17 Q. Turning to Z747. This is a decision by a
18 number of bodies as well to the command of the Ban
19 Jelacic Brigade, dated 20 April 1993. Is this also a
20 rejection of the decision or order to have you
21 removed. And who authored this?
22 A. Yes. It is also another decision written by
23 the -- signed by the command of the 3rd Battalion, the
24 Fojnica HVO, the Croatian Democratic Community, the
25 Franciscan Monastery, the Croatian Cultural Society.
1 Q. Z764, please. Is this a document, dated
2 20 April 1993, signed by yourself to the command?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Can you explain, please, what you are telling
5 the command?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What is the message here?
8 A. I told the command by this report that I
9 accept the replacement and that on that day -- that is,
10 on the 20th of April at 4.00 p.m. -- the meeting of the
11 command would be held, at which the handing over of the
12 duty will take place.
13 Q. In fact, was your position ever handed over
14 to another person, specifically Simunic?
15 A. No.
16 Q. Why?
17 A. Mr. Simunic didn't want to accept. And then
18 later on orders were received naming Simo Simic
19 [phoen], Marinko Puco [phoen], Vlado Kapentanovic, but
20 all of them refused to accept the position.
21 Q. Did you remain in that position essentially
22 de facto for a period of time, let's say up until May
23 of 1993?
24 A. Yes. I remained for another 10 or 15 days
25 because there was no one to replace me. Nobody wanted
1 to. All of these people insisted that I stay on, that
2 I should continue for a time. However, sometime around
3 the 10th of May I could no longer perform that duty
4 because it had really become intolerable, and I simply
5 left the command. Actually, I convened all the
6 commanders and told them, explained to them once again
7 the situation as it was, that I was no longer a
8 legitimate commander and that in continuing I was
9 committing a criminal act and that I had to leave.
10 MS. SOMERS: If the usher could present
12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Ms. Somers?
13 MS. SOMERS: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] I would like
15 to ask the witness when he decided to leave the post of
16 the commander and the support he received. He
17 explained it by saying the situation had become
18 unbearable, and that if he continued he would be
19 committing a criminal offence. Could the witness
20 please explain why is that so and why the situation has
21 become unbearable and why would he be committing an act
22 which would be interpreted as a criminal offence?
23 A. Well, it's quite simple. Simply because the
24 orders were not being sent to my name. As a matter of
25 fact, my superiors had relieved me of office, and
1 whatever I did or might do in case of a danger of war
2 or anything, I would be doing it on my own initiative.
3 Secondly, there was also a group, rather
4 strong, which brought pressure to bear on me every
5 day. One day even fire was opened on my house when I
6 was sleeping there with my wife and my children. I
7 simply had to leave, because otherwise I would have
8 been killed.
9 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] And the
10 orders were not being sent to you, but they were being
11 sent in the name of whom? Do you know that?
12 A. Yes. They were sent to the commander of that
13 unit, commander of the 3rd Battalion, Nikola
14 Subic-Zrinjski. That was that. Without the name.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] So it was
17 the commander, without specifying the name; is that
19 A. No. Yes.
20 MS. SOMERS:
21 Q. Mr. Tuka, pursuant to the questions asked by
22 Judge Bennouna, if you could take a look at Z892, a
23 rather unwieldy sized document.
24 Does this document confirm -- the document
25 sent on the 7th of May, 1993, does it confirm that
1 orders were sent to commander of the Busovaca Nikola
2 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade as well as the Fojnica commander
3 battalion, with no name? And is there, at the end of
4 the document, an indication that your activities or
5 actions constituted grounds for disciplinary action and
6 possible criminal charges with a competent military
7 prosecutor, threat of which will be done?
8 A. Yes. I would merely add, up here, when
9 receiving the order, more often than not the name of
10 the commander was never put there. Sometimes, yes, it
11 figured in it; but as I really felt removed from office
12 -- that is, I realised I had lost the authority and
13 was not enjoying the support of my superior command in
14 Vitez, and I did not enjoy the support of my superior
15 command in Kiseljak, and I also had trouble with groups
16 in my place, so that this was the only solution for
17 me. And this also shows that I was guilty of some
18 misdemeanour, of some disciplinary transgressions, and
19 that I was supposed to be called to account.
20 Q. Mr. Tuka, during the time that you were
21 commander in Fojnica, was there ever an open, violent
22 conflict between the Muslim and Croat communities?
23 A. No. Yes, detention went up, but there was no
24 conflict; there was no armed incident.
25 Q. Did you go to try to contact Muslim
1 representatives, at the request of some of the elderly
2 Croat citizens, in order to try to negotiate some type
3 of peaceful resolution at the monastery?
4 A. Yes. When the war had started, and after
5 some time, there were already casualties and
6 fatalities, and a group of those elderly people called
7 me and said, "Well, look, come, do you think you could
8 do something about it?" Because they thought I still
9 enjoyed some authority, some command in some respect on
10 the Muslim side, and perhaps I could do something about
11 it. So I did try something, but failed.
12 Q. After you did leave your post, whether
13 de facto or officially, when did conflict break out
14 between Muslims and Croats in Fojnica?
15 A. It broke out on the 7th -- no, on the 2nd of
16 July, '93.
17 Q. Were your efforts to try to deal with the
18 Muslim representatives successful, and were you dealing
19 with the same Muslim representatives with whom you had
20 dealt while you were in command in Fojnica?
21 A. Sorry, what contacts do you have in mind?
22 Q. When you went to try to negotiate on behalf
23 of the citizens who had asked --
24 A. Oh, yes. Yes, yes, I see.
25 No, a change had also taken place in the
1 Muslim ranks. Even before the war commenced, some
2 three or four days after I was removed, the commander
3 of the BH army also replaced their commander and
4 brought a man from Breza, who also was to conduct
5 preparations for the beginning of the war. And when I
6 went to see them, of those people who formerly held
7 commanding posts amongst the Muslims in Fojnica, they
8 had lost all say by that time, too.
9 Q. Mr. Tuka, had UNPROFOR, through General
10 Hayes, attempted to impose something called a zone of
11 special interest in Fojnica with the idea of deferring
12 conflict? I would ask you to look at Z1024,1.
13 A. Yes, there was an attempt with UNPROFOR.
14 Nasuf Beba and I came up with that idea, and we brought
15 it to a close at the time when UNPROFOR was deeply
16 involved in it, after I left. But it continued, so
17 that an agreement was signed two days before the war
18 broke out. It was signed by the then-leading men on
19 both sides. However, the war broke out two days
21 Q. Were you able to leave the monastery after
22 you attempted to have negotiations, and can you
23 describe whether or not these negotiations were
25 A. No. There were no negotiations. No, these
1 were no negotiations at all. They immediately put some
2 terms, and it was clear immediately that they were
3 completely unacceptable, and I was then put in gaol,
4 and that was that.
5 Q. Who put you in gaol, for how long, and where?
6 A. I was in that camp which was in the
7 elementary school in Fojnica. 58 days is how long I
8 spent in detention. And after that, they took me to
9 the monastery. They would not exchange me, and I
10 stayed there until May 1994.
11 Q. So from July until May of 1994, July '93 to
12 May of '94, you were essentially detained?
13 A. Yes. Yes.
14 Q. Who was Abbot Milicevic?
15 A. He was the abbot, Friar Nikica Milicevic. He
16 was the superior in that monastery in Fojnica.
17 Unfortunately, he was killed by Muslim forces; that is,
18 by members of Muslim units, he and Friar Nikic.
19 Q. Were you in the monastery at the time of his
21 A. I was, yes.
22 Q. Do you know the circumstances of his death?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you briefly describe how he died?
25 A. Quite simple. Members -- rather, two days
1 before that, the HVO launched an attack from the
2 direction of Kiseljak, so the BH army units had left
3 Fojnica; that is, both the military and the civilians,
4 they all left Fojnica. But I didn't know -- the HVO
5 did not enter Fojnica, but these came back the next
6 day, and a group of them came to the monastery, and
7 they simply killed them.
8 Q. Did you hear or see the killing?
9 A. Yes, I was in a room nearby. I heard it. I
10 did not see that happen.
11 MS. SOMERS: If the usher can please present,
12 although they are in English, and they are principally
13 confirmation by the international community of the
14 death, Z1309,1 and Z1313,1. I do not think that the
15 witness need read them out loud, because they are in
16 English; also French.
17 JUDGE MAY: Well, they can simply be handed
18 in. There is no point in showing them to the witness.
19 MS. SOMERS: That's fine; thank you.
20 Q. Mr. Tuka --
21 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment, while that's
23 MS. SOMERS: Certainly.
24 May I continue, Your Honour?
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 MS. SOMERS:
2 Q. Mr. Tuka, one of our final points: Did you,
3 as a commander, discuss with your subordinates the
4 requirements of international law concerning the
5 treatment of civilians and prisoners? If you did, did
6 you discuss the nature of the responsibility for the
7 actions of each soldier for anything that came out
8 during a time of conflict?
9 A. Yes. We were given an order which said that
10 the International Tribunal for war crimes in the
11 territory of the former Yugoslavia would be set up, and
12 that all the HVO members had to be advised about that,
13 all members of these units, and that is what we did.
14 And even before that, we were trying to tell everybody
15 that the war would end some day and that certain things
16 would have to be clarified.
17 MS. SOMERS: And prior to closing, I would
18 ask, although it takes us back a bit, just two
19 photographs to be presented, Z2785 and Z2786, presented
20 to the witness.
21 Q. Mr. Tuka, if you can look for a moment at
22 2785, indicate if you are in fact in this photograph,
23 and what is the nature of the group in the photograph?
24 A. Yes, I am here. This is the command of the
25 Josip Ban Jelacic Brigade in Kiseljak, which was formed
1 on the 21st, 22nd, 23rd December, '92. I don't
2 remember the exact date.
3 Q. Could you point out yourself in the picture,
4 and also, is Ivica Rajic in the picture? If so, can
5 you point him out?
6 A. Yes, I'm this one here [indicates], and this
7 is Ivica Rajic [indicates].
8 Q. And Z2786: Can you explain what that
9 photograph depicts?
10 A. This is this brigade lined up. It was that
11 same day, on the day when it was formed, and they are
12 lined there.
13 Q. Two last points about the departure from the
14 monastery. Can you tell us whether or not Abbot
15 Milicevic was a man who promoted good relations between
16 the Muslim and Croat communities?
17 A. Yes, of course.
18 Q. When you left the monastery, who helped you
19 get out?
20 A. Ivo Komsic and --
21 THE INTERPRETER: We're sorry, we did not
22 hear the end of the sentence.
23 MS. SOMERS:
24 Q. Could you repeat the second name?
25 A. Nasuf Beba.
1 Q. Is that the same person with whom you used to
2 have negotiations in Fojnica? And is Mr. Komsic a
3 Muslim, or a Croat?
4 A. Komsic is a Croat. And this other gentleman,
5 Beba, he is the commander -- he was the commander of
6 the BH army at the time when I was there.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 MS. SOMERS: No further questions.
9 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes. I will
11 be ready in just a moment. Excuse me, Your Honours.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Naumovski:
13 Q. Mr. Tuka, let me introduce myself. I am
14 Mitko Naumovski. I'm a lawyer from Zagreb, and I'm one
15 of the Defence counsel of the accused Dario Kordic. I
16 shall ask you several questions, and I should like to
17 ask you to answer them as briefly as possible. We
18 understand one another, and we speak, I believe, the
19 same language, so please, will you just make a short
20 pause after my question, so as to give time to the
21 interpreters to interpret both the questions and
22 answers. Do you understand what I'm saying?
23 A. I do.
24 Q. Mr. Tuka, we perhaps could begin by asking
25 several questions related to Mr. Dario Kordic.
1 Mr. Kordic used to be a journalist before; you know
2 that, I suppose. At the time that you spoke about, and
3 at the time when you had some contact with him, he was
4 a civilian, wasn't he? He was a civilian personality,
5 wasn't he?
6 A. Well, yes, but at that time, it was the very
7 beginning, and at that time, there were no clear-cut
8 borders, I mean, when things were all together, I mean
9 the organisation of defence, and all that. When I say
10 "at that time," I mean until September 1991. I don't
11 know. What period of time do you have in mind?
12 Q. I mean this period of time. I mean the whole
13 period of time. But if I understand you, you are
14 referring to the period of time when all that you were
15 doing was still illegal.
16 A. Sorry, yes. Quite.
17 Q. We really must observe this rule. We have to
18 wait for one another to finish.
19 A while ago you said that from time to time,
20 you would go with Dr. Mijatovic, or rather that you
21 drove Dr. Mijatovic in your car, and that you would go
22 together to Busovaca to attend various meetings; is
23 that so?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And those meetings were often attended by
1 Mr. Kordic, wasn't he?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Dr. Mijatovic and you and Mr. Kordic
4 discussed, by and large, political issues at those
5 meetings; that is, questions related to the civilian
6 system, civilian organisation, some things like that?
7 A. Yes, but there was always these things about
8 the defence: how it would be done, whether we would
9 get some armaments, what kind of weapons, and things
10 like that. It was all before the war.
11 Q. Yes, yes, that's what you said in your
12 earlier statement, that you discussed with the civilian
13 authorities about the raising of funds for defence
14 purposes; is that so?
15 A. Yes, yes, it is.
16 Q. The Prosecutor asked you about ranks, and you
17 said that basically speaking, you didn't have any ranks
18 in Fojnica, that you did not use any ranks?
19 A. I don't think there were any ranks in Central
20 Bosnia at the time, except for Colonel Blaskic; and
21 later on, Mr. Kordic also had it.
22 Q. It was precisely in relation to this that I
23 wanted to ask you, you know that Mr. Kordic was awarded
24 the honorary rank of colonel so as to enjoy certain
25 authority in negotiations about military matters?
1 A. All I know is that he had a rank; and how and
2 why was it conferred on him, I really don't know that.
3 Q. But if I may, let me remind you, in your
4 statement to the investigators, you said that
5 Mr. Kordic was conferred the rank of colonel to be able
6 to take place in negotiations which were taking place
7 in the Sarajevo airport in autumn 1992 -- in December
8 1992; sorry. That's what you said in your statement on
9 page 10.
10 A. I might have said that, yes, but now I'm
11 saying that I do not know how he became a Colonel, and
12 I do know that he attended those meetings. Was it
13 because he was a Colonel, because he was a civilian
14 person or a civilian? I really was not familiar with
16 Q. But we shall agree that you never saw
17 Mr. Kordic wear any rank insignia?
18 A. No. No, I don't think I saw him with those.
19 Q. And in contrast with him, you could see
20 Colonel Blaskic wear his rank insignia on the front of
21 his uniform?
22 A. Yes, because Blaskic became a Colonel before
23 him. I mean, he was a commander and, therefore, he was
24 supposed to have a rank and, yes, he showed it. He had
25 those insignia.
1 Q. Mr. Tuka, another direct question. After
2 Mr. Tihomir Blaskic -- and we'll come back to that a
3 little later -- became the commander of the Operative
4 Zone of Central Bosnia -- that was sometime in the late
5 summer of 1992 -- so from that time on, you never
6 received any military order from Mr. Dario Kordic, did
8 A. No, I think I did not. There were orders
9 linked to providing a truck for the transportation of
10 humanitarian aid and things like that, but orders of a
11 purely military nature, I can't recollect any.
12 Q. In your statement, you also referred to
13 this. So let me ask you: Even if you had received any
14 such order, you would not have executed it without
15 consulting Mr. Blaskic, as the military commander?
16 A. Probably, or certainly I would have checked
18 Q. You mean through Colonel Blaskic?
19 A. Yes. Yes.
20 Q. A couple of questions linked to the duties
21 that Mr. Kordic held. Do you know when he became the
22 vice-president of the HDZ of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
23 A. I do not know that.
24 Q. Do you know when Mr. Mate Boban became
25 president of the HDZ, as my learned friend asked you?
1 A. No, I don't know that either.
2 Q. There was reference today to the structure of
3 the HVO, that is, the military component of the HVO.
4 Do you know when the civilian authority of the HVO was
5 established in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
6 A. Well, shortly after the military authority
7 was established came the civilian authority, as far as
8 I can recollect.
9 Q. You know that Mr. Jadranko Prlic became the
10 Prime Minister of the government?
11 A. I have just reminded me. Yes, I remember
12 that. Yes.
13 Q. You know these things. These are facts of
14 common knowledge.
15 A. Yes, but it was a long time ago. You know,
16 these things happened a long time ago and many events
17 took place in the meantime, so that I can't exactly
18 place the dates and times of things.
19 Q. Yes. That's quite understandable in view of
20 the time that has elapsed, but I really wanted to ask
21 you whether you knew that Mr. Jadranko Prlic had three
22 deputies, that is, Deputy Prime Ministers of the HVO
24 A. I don't know that, because this was the time
25 when the war had already broken out, so that I was
1 really not familiar with these political developments
2 and things that were happening.
3 Q. But do you know that the area of Central
4 Bosnia, in the broader sense, that the deputy of
5 Mr. Prlic was Anto Valenta, for that area?
6 A. I don't remember with any certainty.
7 Q. Actually, I wanted to say that Mr. Kordic had
8 no position in the HVO government. Do you know that?
9 A. I don't know that either.
10 JUDGE MAY: If you have a question for the
11 witness, Mr. Naumovski, put it directly rather than
12 what you say. It appears that the witness has no
13 recollection of these matters.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
15 Your Honour. Yes, I will do as you advise me.
16 Q. You know, Mr. Tuka, that Mr. Dario Kordic was
17 one of the vice-presidents of the Croatian Community of
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Yes. Will you please tell us in words?
21 A. Yes, I know that he was that.
22 Q. He was one of two vice-presidents. Do you
23 know that too? He wasn't the only vice-president.
24 A. Yes, only I don't know for which period of
1 Q. I didn't quite get that.
2 A. I don't know for how long. That's what I was
4 Q. You mean when Dario Kordic was
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Mr. Tuka, you made a statement for the
8 investigators on the 16th and the 27th of November,
9 1996; isn't that correct?
10 A. Yes. Investigators came to see me and we
12 Q. Viewing things in chronological order, before
13 that, on the 20th of December, 1993, you made a
14 statement to the Centre of the Security Services in
15 Sarajevo, as it was called in those days, the sector of
16 state security, the branch office for Visoko; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. At the time you were giving this first
20 statement in December 1993, you were in prison?
21 A. Yes. I gave that statement then. The
22 statement was given under abnormal circumstances,
23 because I was in detention, in prison, so that I don't
24 think that statement has any value anywhere.
25 Q. But tell me, please, before you were taken to
1 Visoko, did you give any statement to Nail Krsic
2 [phoen], who was the security officer of the Fojnica
3 Brigade of the BH army -- let us call of that -- of
4 which the commander was Nihad Kamenjas?
5 A. First of all, I wasn't taken to Visoko. That
6 talk was conducted in the police station in Fojnica.
7 As for the interview, I don't know that man, but after
8 the killing of brother Nikica Milicevic, all kinds of
9 people came, investigators, SUP members. I have no
10 idea who they were, but I had to talk to them in
11 connection with that murder.
12 Q. But they were all representatives of the
13 Muslim authorities, weren't they?
14 A. Yes, certainly.
15 Q. Mr. Tuka, Their Honours know quite a lot
16 about these things and some reference was made to them
17 today, but I have to ask you a few questions about
18 those first days of the preparations for defence.
19 Can we agree that you Croats started to
20 self-organise yourselves when the war in the Republic
21 of Croatia broke out?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. But to be even more specific, you did so
24 outside the existing frameworks of the Territorial
25 Defence, which was basically linked to the JNA?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. Today you spoke about the weapons of the
3 Territorial Defence, so there's no need for us to
4 repeat it, but just in general terms, throughout
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina the JNA seized the weapons of the
6 Territorial Defence as they did in Fojnica, didn't
8 A. I don't know what happened in other
9 municipalities. I do know what happened in mine.
10 Q. That the weapons were seized, we agree on
11 that, don't we?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. In your statement to the investigators, you
14 said, in reference to this self-organisation, that the
15 Muslims were hesitant because some of them still
16 believed in the JNA, didn't they?
17 A. Yes, particularly the official authorities
18 and -- the official authorities in Sarajevo, yes.
19 Q. Let us remind ourselves that this was the
20 time when the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina was a
21 component part of the former state of the former
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Through these illegal endeavours that you had
25 to engage in in order to self-organise yourselves, and
1 in view of the position held by the authorities, can we
2 agree that the former state structure was starting to
3 break up?
4 A. Probably. Really, I am not very well versed
5 in politics, but through the elections themselves in
6 Croatia and Slovenia and these changes, that it was no
7 longer the League of Communists in power, obviously
8 things were changing.
9 Q. You said today under which circumstances you
10 became a member of the HDZ. These defence preparations
11 that were conducted were actually conducted within the
12 crisis staffs that were formed within the HDZ, weren't
14 A. Well, something like that, but I believe that
15 they should not be comprised exclusively of HDZ members
16 but all people who were capable and who had some
17 knowledge of defence matters.
18 Q. Yes. I understand that. The HDZ was just
19 the motive force that tried to set these things into
20 motion, wasn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Let us not go into further details, but I
23 would like to remind Your Honours of one document.
24 That is Z16, which refers to this.
25 Mr. Tuka, you said that a political crisis
1 staff had been formed for the Travnik region, including
2 Mr. Kostroman, Mr. Kordic, and so on; didn't you?
3 A. Yes. Yes, there was something like that.
4 Q. And similarly, crisis staffs were formed of a
5 military nature, which again rallied people with some
6 military experience and expertise?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You spoke today about a meeting held in
9 Busovaca, so perhaps we should just add a few names to
10 those that you gave in answer to questions by the
12 At that first meeting held in September 1991,
13 the municipality of Fojnica was represented by you and
14 Marinko Bosjnak?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When I mention Mr. Bosjnak, Marinko Bosjnak
17 was also a civilian, wasn't he? He engaged in
18 logistics, in economic matters, didn't he?
19 A. Yes. Later, when the war started, he
20 transferred to Mr. Kordic -- I don't know how to call
21 it -- and Mr. Kostroman. He joined this command. I
22 don't know whether to call it a command. Anyway, the
23 body that was in charge of civilian matters, civilian
25 Q. At that same meeting in September 1991, apart
1 from the host from Busovaca and yourselves from
2 Fojnica, there was Tomo Trutina from Kiseljak, wasn't
4 A. Yes. He was there at some meetings too.
5 Whether at that particular one, I don't know.
6 Probably, yes.
7 Q. These are names from your statement to the
8 investigator, some representatives from Kresevo and so
9 on. So a broader region was represented?
10 A. Yes. That is correct.
11 Q. At those meetings, when military matters were
12 discussed, and this was still the period when all these
13 things were being done illegally, you discussed how to
14 procure weapons, what would happen to the JNA in the
15 barracks, and so on, didn't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And at that time, you had already planned for
18 the possibility of joint defence with the Muslims?
19 A. Yes. This was discussed, but I don't know
20 whether anywhere anything concrete was done along those
21 lines. I don't know.
22 Q. What I'm trying to say is that you knew who
23 was the enemy and who was preparing a war against the
24 other people, so it was normal for you to consider the
25 possibility of joint defence with the Muslims?
1 A. Yes, it was normal, but because of the vague
2 position of the Muslim authorities in Sarajevo and a
3 lack of confidence, at least that was our position in
4 Fojnica, that it was still too early to get into touch
5 with them and to discuss with them in a more serious
7 Q. Yes. That is why I used the word the
8 "possibility", a planned possibility.
9 Will you please always give me an answer.
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You spoke about deliveries of weapons. Most
12 of those weapons were distributed to volunteers in the
13 municipality, weren't they?
14 A. Yes. I don't know how it was done in other
15 municipalities, but I know that in our case we selected
16 people in the villages who were the best, who had some
17 military training, that they should select people who
18 were serious, that they could trust with weapons so
19 that there should be no problems, no killings,
20 woundings, illegal hunting, and that sort of thing.
21 Q. And all these things were being done
22 illegally, weren't they?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. In April 1992, when Sarajevo was occupied,
25 when the Serbs of Bosnia-Herzegovina, together with the
1 JNA, attacked and began the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina,
2 to put it so, you already had a certain number of
3 well-trained people in Fojnica?
4 A. I don't know to what extent they had been
5 trained, but there were between 400 and 450 men
6 perhaps; 350 to 400, 450. Something along those lines.
7 Q. Mr. Tuka, can we agree that all these illegal
8 steps that you undertook in secrecy became legal when
9 the aggression took place and an open war was waged?
10 A. Yes. Correct.
11 Q. And it was only on the 6th of April, 1992
12 that you had the first official meeting with Nasuf
13 Beba, who was then in charge of the Patriotic League?
14 A. Yes. Correct.
15 Q. And all of this was intended to organise
16 first joint preventative measures?
17 A. Yes. First measures and also the
18 organisation and everything that we would do for the
19 future, that would follow.
20 Q. Even though the area of Fojnica is quite far
21 removed from the northwestern part of the front, I'm
22 thinking of Jajce and other places, units from Fojnica
23 did go to the front line and fight the Serbs in Jajce?
24 A. Yes. That is correct.
25 Q. Did you personally go there?
1 A. I did. I went on a tour to tour the
3 Q. When the Serbs captured Jajce, the front line
4 moved southwards towards the Lasva Valley, but later
5 lines were formed, I would say, north-west of Travnik,
6 Paklarevo. I'm not a military expert. I hope I got
7 that right.
8 A. Yes. That is correct.
9 Q. The HVO of the entire Lasva Valley -- and I
10 am thinking of your HVO because you're most familiar
11 with it -- held the front lines towards the Serbs in
12 the region of Paklarevo even in January 1993, as can be
13 seen from document Z375.1?
14 A. Yes. Correct.
15 Q. At that time, the only enemy of the HVO was
16 the Serbian army and the former JNA.
17 A. Officially, yes, but incidents had already
18 occurred, tension was growing, and this last unit of
19 ours that was at Paklarevo remained blocked there when
20 the road, Busovaca-Kiseljak road, was cut, and they
21 were left there on positions so that for three or four
22 days they couldn't passed. Eventually they went
23 through the territory of Fojnica municipality, using
24 the road from Gornji Vakuf to Fojnica. And that is how
25 we returned, using that road.
1 Q. Let us make it clear to Their Honours. You
2 are referring to the roadblock at Kacuni, aren't you?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. We'll come back to that later perhaps. So
5 let us go on now. Regarding the founding of the
6 Croatian Defence Council, you have already spoken about
7 it, so there's no need to repeat it, but we can agree
8 that the main purpose of the HVO in that time was
9 defence against the Serb aggression?
10 A. I think that that was how it should have been
11 and that was what was officially stated.
12 Q. Mr. Tuka, when you met Mr. Blaskic for the
13 first time in Kiseljak in May or June 1992, you knew
14 that at that time already Filip Filipovic was working
15 on the organisation of the military headquarters for
16 Central Bosnia in Travnik?
17 A. Yes. You've just reminded me of that now.
18 Yes. That is correct.
19 Q. Mr. Blaskic left Kiseljak in July or
20 August 1992 to go to Busovaca first?
21 A. I think so, yes.
22 Q. Would you agree with me that he didn't stay
23 long in Busovaca, because from there he went to the
24 village of Kruscica in Vitez municipality, where he
25 formed his first real military headquarters for Central
2 A. Yes. I don't know how long he stayed there,
3 but he did go to Kruscica, and that is where the
4 command was, yes.
5 Q. So this was done in the summer, the end of
6 summer of 1992, exclusively to separate the civilian
7 from the military authorities?
8 A. That is how it should have been, yes.
9 Q. Actually, I'm quoting you from your
10 statement, so we agree on that, don't we.
11 Then again at the end of 1992, after having
12 been officially appointed commander of the Operative
13 Zone of Central Bosnia, Mr. Blaskic moved his command
14 to the Vitez Hotel in Vitez, didn't he?
15 A. Yes, he moved to Vitez. I don't know exactly
16 when this happened.
17 Q. Today you spoke about an order you received
18 sometime in November 1992 on the need to restructure
19 the forces; that is, to form brigades.
20 A. Yes. That is correct.
21 Q. This order which you received was also
22 received by other brigades or, rather, other HVOs. So
23 I assume that we can agree that the restructuring was
24 to have been done in other municipalities as well as in
1 A. Yes. That is correct.
2 Q. I wouldn't like to tire Their Honours with
3 the details as to when, as the 3rd Battalion, you
4 belonged to the Ban Josip Jelacic in Kiseljak, and when
5 you were part of the Busovaca Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
6 Brigade, but there is one question of a practical
7 nature that I feel I need to ask; namely, when formerly
8 you should have been part of the Busovaca Nikola
9 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, you were almost totally unable
10 to communicate with them?
11 A. Yes. Yes, that is so.
12 Q. You were only formally the third battalion of
13 that brigade, but actually, in your daily routine, you
14 related to those you had access to, and that is the Ban
15 Josip Jelacic Brigade in Kiseljak?
16 A. Yes. I think there is an order along those
17 lines where it says that we remain within the Busovaca
18 Brigade but are being placed under the command of the
19 brigade in Kiseljak.
20 Q. Precisely. Because of your geographic
21 location and the difficulties in communications, you
22 managed to have a high degree of independence, as I
23 understand it, didn't you?
24 A. Well, yes, something like that.
25 Q. Tell us, please, you spoke today about the
1 military police briefly. The military police came
2 under the command of the brigade, didn't it? I'm
3 talking about the Fojnica situation.
4 A. When the military police was formed, it was
5 under the command of our municipal command. Later on,
6 as the reorganisation developed of the entire HVO
7 forces, the police was separated, and I think there was
8 a separate command. But they were always -- for
9 instance, the military police was always at the service
10 of me as an HVO commander.
11 Q. What I really wanted to say was that the
12 military police was a part of the armed forces of the
13 HVO; that was my question.
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can we also agree that special units, which
16 also existed, were also a part of the armed forces of
17 the HVO within the chain of command?
18 A. I don't know exactly the date when I received
19 an order to the effect that all paramilitary units,
20 individuals, and all others of the Croatian people,
21 should be placed under the command of the HVO. This
22 came sometime in 1993, in the first half of '93, but I
23 don't know the exact date. And until then, there were
24 HOS units and some others. I remember HOS, and we had
25 some problems with them in Fojnica. They acted
1 independently. Afterwards, they broke up of their own
2 accord, and ...
3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, when you get to a
4 convenient moment; would that be --
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, Your
6 Honour, this would be a convenient moment.
7 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
8 Mr. Tuka, could you remember, in this
9 adjournment and any others there may be, not to speak
10 to anybody about your evidence until it's over, and
11 that does include members of the Prosecution. Could
12 you be back, please, at half past 2.00.
13 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 Q. Mr. Tuka, before we go back to where we
5 started, I looked at the transcript, and I must say
6 that I didn't quite understand your answer to my
7 precise question when I said that Mr. Dario Kordic had
8 an honorary title, a rank of colonel. Do you know that
9 Mr. Kordic was conferred an honorary title, rank of
10 colonel, because of the negotiations, or --
11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation]
12 Mr. Naumovski, this question was already asked. You
13 asked the witness this three times, and you also asked
14 him if it was only to take part in the negotiations,
15 and he said that he did not remember. But don't you
16 see, I mean, he cannot join you in this small game,
17 which means to try to repeat things in order to get
18 something out of that witness. It is not done. So
19 will you please move on; will you please try to move to
20 the heart of the problem. And when a witness says that
21 he doesn't remember, then you cannot, because you had
22 lunch meanwhile, believe that this has also jogged his
24 So, please, will you move on, and don't do
25 this again.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,
2 Your Honour. But unfortunately, I must say that I
3 interpreted Mr. Tuka's answer differently, and that is
4 why I wanted to ask him once again, to have him repeat,
5 because then I would show him the statement which
6 Mr. Tuka signed, because in that statement, he said
7 something else completely.
8 JUDGE MAY: Let us move on.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
10 Q. Mr. Tuka, we talked about the organisation,
11 the structure of the HVO, and things like that, and let
12 us then proceed in the same direction. As the
13 commander of the Fojnica HVO, that is subsequently the
14 3rd Battalion, you also commanded the units of the
15 civilian defence, didn't you?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So we agree that civilian defence members
18 were those people who were not militarily able, or
19 those who were past that kind of service?
20 A. Yes, that is correct.
21 Q. And the purpose of those civilian defence
22 units was simply to ensure the normal run of life in
23 case of a danger of something, isn't that correct, to
24 just ensure normal life, normal functioning?
25 A. Yes, that is correct.
1 Q. But otherwise, Mr. Tuka, we talked about that
2 before; that is, early 1992, the beginning of the war,
3 and so on and so forth. It was the time when one state
4 was disappearing and another one -- or rather the legal
5 system of another one has not yet come into being, and
6 there was quite a lot of tension at the time because
7 law and order were not obeyed?
8 A. I don't know if there were instances of
9 tension, but there were people who were troublemakers,
10 and we had no means, no way available to punish them
11 properly, because the judiciary did not function,
12 prisons were not organised. It was all somehow
13 governed by ethical laws.
14 Q. You mean you relied on natural behaviour, on
15 the ethics of people?
16 A. Well, yes, in that sense, yes.
17 Q. But there was a disciplinary responsibility
18 envisaged in the HVO, wasn't there?
19 A. It was one of the rules of service. I don't
20 know when it was exactly, but there was the military
21 police, and it was to make order among the members who
22 belonged to the HVO. And the civilian police was also
23 there for the rest of the population, if I may say so;
24 that is, to look after the order and ...
25 Q. Can we then proceed in that direction. So
1 the military police was responsible for investigating
2 crimes committed by military persons?
3 A. Yes. Yes.
4 Q. And there was also the civilian police, which
5 was responsible for the investigation of, if I may call
6 them so, civilian offences; that is, those not
7 perpetrated by the military?
8 A. Yes. That is so.
9 Q. But the civilian police did not have much
10 influence, did it? They were quite powerless before
11 the army?
12 A. Well, it depends where and how. Some were
13 more, some were less. In our place, one did at least
14 know the difference between the terms of reference
15 between the mandates of the two.
16 Q. Namely, I was quoting you from the statement
17 that you gave to the investigators, and I'm quoting:
18 "There was the civilian police, which was responsible
19 for the investigation of nonmilitary crimes, but that
20 police was impotent in the face of the army."
21 A. Well, I don't know how one can read it, but
22 it could not -- it simply had no jurisdiction over the
23 military police, and some jobs normally falling under
24 the civilian police were taken over by the military
25 police, such as traffic control, checkpoints, and
1 things like that.
2 Q. Mentioning the civilian police, let me also
3 mention the document that was adduced today, Z386.
4 This document shows that the head of the police
5 administration, Travnik, Ivo Rezo -- and that was the
6 administration which covered the whole of Central
7 Bosnia -- notifies the Department of the Interior in
8 Mostar that Nikola Perica would be appointed the
9 commander. So this is a document of the head of the
10 civilian police for Central Bosnia, is it not?
11 A. It is.
12 Q. So we shall agree also that he never became
13 the commander of the civilian police in Fojnica, that
14 this order was never carried out?
15 A. This is the first time I hear about that,
16 now, and I know for certain that he did not become
18 Q. Before the lunch break I was asking you about
19 the transfer of the headquarters of Mr. Blaskic, first
20 to Kruscica and then to Vitez. Now, a few more
21 questions related to these -- you may call them so --
22 military area.
23 You will agree that the commander-in-chief of
24 the HVO was Mr. Mate Boban, wasn't it?
25 A. Yes, he was. That's how it was.
1 Q. And Mr. Blaskic, you said in your statement
2 that you were notified from Grude, that from Grude you
3 were sent confirmation that he had been appointed the
4 commander of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia?
5 A. I believe that was so.
6 Q. And his superior was then General Milivoj
7 Petkovic, isn't it?
8 A. I would not know for certain who was his
9 superior at that time.
10 Q. But there was somebody who was in the command
11 of the HVO at a higher level, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, but I just don't know where their seat
13 was and who was there.
14 Q. But it was outside Central Bosnia in any
16 A. Could have been.
17 Q. And irrespective of whether you were a member
18 of the Kiseljak Brigade or the Busovaca Brigade, let us
19 only mention in passing that the commander of the
20 Busovaca Brigade or, rather, the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
21 Brigade, was first Niko Mujezinovic, for a short period
22 at the beginning, and after that Dusko Grubesic; isn't
23 that correct?
24 A. I believe it is.
25 Q. And the commander of the Ban Josip Jelacic
1 Brigade in Kiseljak were first Ivica Rajic, then Bozo,
2 Rajic, then Bradara. I believe that's what you said.
3 A. Yes, it is.
4 Q. Today you merely touched upon, when talking
5 about communications, the Paket communications, and we
6 were shown documents that you were given by the
7 commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone. Would
8 you agree with me that you never received the order --
9 any order by Mr. Kordic through Paket communications of
10 any kind?
11 A. Well, there could have been a notification or
12 command for civilian agencies. Not the military ones,
14 Q. But, incidentally, radio signal -- the radio
15 link was bad. That is no dispute, because Fojnica
16 signal could simply -- was -- that Busovaca was outside
17 the reach of the signal from Fojnica?
18 A. Yes, that is true, but we used the
19 communication centre in Kiseljak and then they would
20 send it on to wherever it was necessary. So we used a
21 go-between. And it was always possible when the links
22 worked; that is, if it worked on both sides -- if they
23 were in working order on both sides, they can always
24 establish communication.
25 Q. Yes. There are some assumptions which have
1 to be met for a thing to work, isn't it?
2 A. I don't know. It was pretty reliable with us
3 and it worked.
4 Q. Will you tell us a couple of words about the
5 orders that you were issued by Mr. Blaskic? We simply
6 have to explain to Their Honours. You mentioned the
7 village Dusina, which is in the territory of the
8 Fojnica municipality.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I'm
10 mentioning this, Your Honours, because there is
11 another Fojnica -- that is, Dusina, the village Dusina
12 in the Lasva Valley, and you have already had
13 opportunity to hear about that. This is a different
15 Q. Mr. Tuka, you said that you received a
16 military order from the commander of the Central Bosnia
17 Operative Zone about an attack on the area of the
18 village of Dusina sometime around the 17th or 18th of
19 April, 1993. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes. The order was either the village of
21 Dusina or attack from above through Prokos to join with
22 the forces in Sebesic; that is, the order said
23 "either/or," as far as I could see.
24 Q. But that order said nothing about how you
25 were to conduct that attack, isn't it? This is solved
1 [Realtime transcript read in error "sold"] at the level
2 of the brigade; that is, you were to decide about that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And would you agree with me that in Dusina,
5 Fikret Fejzic was the commander of the so-called Dusina
7 A. Yes, I do agree.
8 Q. And Fikret Fejzic was an extremist?
9 A. Yes, I agree.
10 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I apologise,
11 Your Honours. My colleague warns me that the answer in
12 the transcript is not precise. When I asked -- this is
13 "sold" and it should be "solved." It's page 89, line
14 8, end of the line. Not "sold," but "solved." It
15 should read "solved," s-o-l-v-e-d. I'm sorry.
16 Q. Yes, Mr. Tuka, can we move on. In Dusina
17 there were persons who represented MOS department.
18 These are Muslim armed forces which operated outside
19 the Territorial Defence, isn't it?
20 A. I do not know about that. Excuse me. Not in
21 Dusina, in the territory of the municipality. I
22 believe there were some MOS members, and the army
23 commander complained that they were causing some
24 problems but that they were trying to find a solution
25 to that. But I do not think it referred to the village
1 of Dusina alone.
2 Q. In the statement which you gave to the
3 investigators, it says: "I believe that in the village
4 of Dusina a MOS unit was quartered in the village."
5 A. Well, perhaps it depends. All those slightly
6 more extreme were MOS to us, so perhaps that's how it
7 sounds, but he complained that throughout the
8 municipality there were members who belonged to MOS, to
9 M-O-S, and that they were slightly more violent and
10 that there were some complaints that -- coming from
11 them that certain things should be solved in a more
12 radical way and things like that.
13 Q. But agree, Mr. Tuka, with me that this order,
14 this military order that you received, was not an order
15 to attack civilians?
16 A. No order will say that you should attack
17 civilians, but in a war, as it was, then everything was
18 mixed up. There was not a proper front line at that
20 Q. But the -- what the order meant was a
21 military objective.
22 A. Well, yes, that's what it looked like, but
23 what the consequences of it would be -- I don't think
24 one could ever be quite certain that one would be
25 fighting only an army and that no civilians would be
2 Q. But, Mr. Tuka, can we agree that apart from
3 the problems with this extremist, Fikret Fejzic, the
4 strategic reason for the attack against the area was to
5 draw the BH army forces from other areas?
6 A. I don't really understand what you mean by
8 Q. Well, to realise some strategic objectives in
9 addition to solving the specific situation in that
11 A. Well, probably, but if we caused an incident
12 anywhere in our municipality, in Dusina or wherever,
13 the war would no doubt spread to the whole area. I
14 mean, no question about that.
15 Q. But, Mr. Tuka, don't we agree, however you
16 acted, the war spread?
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, you're arguing now
18 with the witness. I think he's given his answers on
19 this topic. You, in due course, will be able to call
20 your own evidence.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 Q. And since we're talking about the village of
23 Dusina, can we agree that in May 1993 -- that is, a
24 little later than this order which you received -- the
25 conflict between Croats and Muslims in the area of
1 Konjic escalated?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Let us just explain to the Court. The
4 village of Dusina is on the boundary of the
5 municipality of Fojnica, in the direction of the Konjic
6 municipality, is it?
7 A. Yes, true. But between that village and the
8 first village in the Konjic municipality there is the
9 Pogorelica Mountain, who represents a kind of a natural
10 boundary between these two territories. I don't say
11 that those here did not cooperate more with that
12 commander over there than with the one who was supposed
13 to be his superior, but that was not really the biggest
15 Q. Are you referring to this Muslim commander,
16 Fikret Fejzic, in Dusina?
17 A. Yes. Yes.
18 Q. And when the conflict escalated, Croats were
19 driven out of Konjic in the direction of Prozor,
20 weren't they?
21 A. Yes, that is so.
22 Q. Would you agree with me that in consequence,
23 as a result of these events in Konjic, a demarcation
24 line between the Croat and Muslim forces was
25 established and it ran from -- I'm referring to the
1 village of Dusina -- it ran for about four kilometres
2 in the north-west direction?
3 A. Yes. Well, I don't know when that was done.
4 I wouldn't know as to the date.
5 No. It must have been earlier than that,
6 because I was still with the command, and I had told my
7 local commander who is responsible for Dusina to --
8 with their commander -- Fikret was the commander above,
9 but there were some lower-ranking commanders there, and
10 I told them to try to see what those local
11 commanders -- to try to reach some understanding, some
12 agreement to bring down the tension. Then they agreed
13 and said, "Well, let us try to draw a line to create a
14 no man's land and then nobody should enter that area."
15 It was about 500 metres broad -- wide. I don't really
16 know how long that was.
17 Q. So let us clarify it. North of that line was
18 held by Croats. Just a moment. Yes. And south of the
19 line was held by Muslims, is it?
20 A. Yes. That is correct.
21 Q. And my last question about Dusina: Can we
22 agree that this area, I mean, geographically speaking,
23 is very important from a military and strategic point
24 of view?
25 A. I wouldn't say so.
1 Q. Thank you. As far as the second part of this
2 order that you received is concerned, that you should
3 make a breakthrough to link up with HVO units in
4 Sebesic, you rejected that part of the order too,
5 didn't you?
6 A. It was impossible to carry out.
7 Have you heard me?
8 Q. Yes, your answer has been recorded in the
9 transcript. But that was your assessment, that it was
11 A. Not just mine; it was the assessment of all
12 commanders. And even if such a political decision had
13 been taken in Fojnica, and if they were to tell us to
14 do it, it could not be done. It's an enormous area,
15 mostly inhabited by Muslims.
16 Q. Mr. Tuka, can we agree that this order that
17 you received was a purely military order with purely
18 military aims?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Perhaps a few words about this correspondence
21 between you and General -- or rather Colonel Blaskic.
22 All this was within the framework of the chain of
23 command of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia and the
24 HVO in Fojnica?
25 A. Yes. Yes, correct.
1 Q. You said that Nasuf Beba, your Muslim
2 counterpart in Fojnica, was also replaced shortly after
3 you were replaced yourself?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. But as a soldier, as an officer, he continued
6 to carry out his duties in the army of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina, didn't he?
8 A. He stayed on, but he had no power. He was
10 Q. Mr. Tuka, a few questions linked to you as a
11 commander in Fojnica. You never received any order to
12 kill Muslim inhabitants, did you?
13 A. No.
14 Q. And you never received an order to destroy
15 Muslim houses, did you?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Mr. Tuka, you never heard of the area of your
18 municipality having to be cleansed of Muslims?
19 A. No.
20 Q. You had never heard of any policy of ethnic
21 cleansing, had you?
22 A. No.
23 Q. We do agree, however, that there were
24 incidents involving human casualties on both sides;
25 there is no dispute over that, is there?
1 A. Yes, there were. But, thank God, we somehow
2 managed to protect our area so that there were no
3 casualties between two peoples.
4 Q. But the incidents that I referred to, as far
5 as you know, they were not something that was planned?
6 A. That, I can't say.
7 Q. In your statement, on page 36 in the Croatian
8 version -- I can show you if necessary: "As far as I
9 know, the incidents had not been planned, and where
10 such incidents occurred without any planning, incidents
11 would occur on the other side as well."
12 A. That is what I said, and even now I'm saying
13 that I don't know whether they had been planned. But
14 when they occur, it is only normal that there should be
15 a counter-reaction.
16 Q. Do you agree that you said what I just read
18 A. Yes, yes.
19 Q. Mr. Tuka, the consequence of combat
20 operations was that the inhabitants retreated from the
21 areas where the operations were conducted, didn't they?
22 A. Yes, they did.
23 Q. They actually retreated out of fear, to avoid
24 combat, didn't they?
25 A. Yes. Yes, fearing combat operations, but
1 also fearing the appearance of the enemy army; because,
2 as you know, whenever that occurred, there were crimes,
3 destruction of property, and all kinds of such things.
4 Q. One further question linked to the village of
5 Dusina. In June of 1993, the one-third Croat
6 population of the village had to leave the area. Can
7 we agree on that?
8 A. They left it when the war started in Fojnica
9 at the beginning of July.
10 Q. You told the investigators later in June,
11 everyone had to leave because reinforcements came from
13 A. There may be a mistake in the months. It was
14 in July. It happened in July.
15 Q. Very well; thank you. A few more questions
16 linked to the blockade or the roadblock at the village
17 of Kacuni by the BH army in the territory of Busovaca
18 municipality, which you mentioned, explaining that the
19 Fojnica unit could not return from Paklarevo. You know
20 that Mr. Ignjac Kostroman and Colonel Blaskic travelled
21 through the roadblock by car, and that Mr. Kostroman
22 was arrested?
23 A. Yes, I heard about it.
24 Q. So that was the first arrest of a senior
25 official on the Croatian side in that area, wasn't it?
1 A. As far as I know, yes.
2 Q. Mr. Kostroman managed to escape, didn't he?
3 A. Well, I saw him in Kiseljak, so probably he
4 managed to escape, yes.
5 Q. And General Blaskic passed too?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You didn't see Mr. Kordic in Kiseljak; he was
8 not there at the time?
9 A. No.
10 Q. I assume that we agree that as of January
11 1993, the road between Busovaca and Kiseljak was never
12 again reopened to traffic, because Muslim units blocked
13 part of the road from Kacuni to Bilalovac in Kiseljak
15 A. Yes, for a brief period, civilians could
16 pass, but at great risk. But this was for a very short
17 period of time; some 10 or 15 days.
18 Q. Having mentioned Kacuni, you said today that
19 on the 16th or the 17th of April, 1993, you were in
20 Kiseljak when you heard that the order had arrived for
21 a military breakthrough to liberate this road?
22 A. Yes, we discussed the subject, that that
23 should be the aim of the operation, the ultimate aim.
24 Q. So it would be a military operation, a
25 regular military operation that needed to be carried
2 A. Yes, yes, something like that.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
4 I apologise, but when I mentioned this fact that
5 Kostroman and Blaskic were stopped at Kacuni in
6 January '93, I wanted to remind Your Honours what
7 Witness T told us about that event.
8 Q. Mr. Tuka, let us move on. We agreed that
9 already in March and April 1993, conflict on a broader
10 scale occurred between Muslims and Croats in Konjic
12 A. Yes, there was a conflict.
13 Q. And later on, this conflict spread to Novi
14 Travnik and the area around Novi Travnik?
15 A. I don't know exactly now where the conflict
16 started, when it was stopped, because this happened
17 repeatedly. There would be a clash for two or three
18 days, then there would be a ceasefire, there would be
19 negotiations, some kind of peace arrangement, relative
20 peace would be restored. Then, after a short period of
21 time, there would be renewed incidents. So some people
22 would be trying to make peace, others were provoking
23 war, and so on.
24 Q. But let us sum up. Would you agree that this
25 conflict that we are referring to ended in such a way
1 that between Novi Travnik, Gornji Vakuf, and Vitez, a
2 purely Muslim ethnic area was formed that was at least
3 15 kilometres wide?
4 A. Yes, that is correct.
5 Q. Also, Mr. Tuka, as far as I was able to
6 gather from your testimony, you didn't have much faith
7 in the propaganda about Mujahedin?
8 A. It's not a question of faith. I believe that
9 they did exist, but Mujahedins are not just the Arabs
10 who would come, but they could be recruited from among
11 the local population as well. There weren't any in our
12 area. As to other areas, I don't know. I saw maybe
13 four or five Arabs who had been detained in the
14 barracks in Kiseljak for a time.
15 Q. So you, yourself, were able to see that there
16 was some truth in the claim that the Muslims wanted to
17 wage a holy war, a jihad?
18 A. I really don't know anything about that.
19 Q. Actually, that was something I found in your
20 statement to the investigator, on page 16, but never
21 mind; we can go on.
22 After the Easter holidays of 1993, there was
23 a large-scale conflict in the area of Mostar, Konjic,
24 and Jablanica; the whole area was swept by conflict?
25 A. I think so, yes.
1 Q. And when we are talking about conflicts, we
2 must, of course, go back to Fojnica: On the 2nd of
3 July, 1993, Muslim units attacked the HVO in the
4 territory of Fojnica, didn't they?
5 A. Yes, correct.
6 Q. Before that, I shall mention only two of the
7 most important incidents that occurred. On the 1st of
8 June, 1993, at Dugo Brdo, soldiers of the same Fikret
9 Fejzic penetrated deep within the area held by the HVO,
10 and two Croatian soldiers were killed.
11 A. What exactly happened, I don't know. I do
12 know that two soldiers were killed.
13 Q. And not only that, but the Muslims captured
14 all the most important elevation points in the area?
15 A. I don't know about that.
16 Q. Do you know that some 15 days prior to this,
17 around the 15th of May, 1993, at the Vlaska Ravan
18 elevation point, which was held by members of the
19 Prokoski detachment under the command of Mustafa
20 Omercevic, two Croats, two men and a woman, were
21 stopped, and all trace of them is lost from then on?
22 A. I know that they disappeared. Where and how,
23 I don't know, but while I was arrested and questioned,
24 I was shown some photographs which were certainly the
25 property of one of the missing men.
1 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, the relevant time,
2 this witness was in detention. So I wonder what useful
3 evidence he can really give about this. Again, if it's
4 relevant and you wish to call evidence about it, you
5 will be able to do so.
6 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I understand,
7 Your Honour, but the witness was detained after the
8 beginning of the war, and I was referring to a period
9 prior to that. But if you feel I should move on, I
11 Q. Mr. Tuka, regardless of your arrest and
12 imprisonment, you were later released, you had
13 contacts, you were in the area of Fojnica. Do you know
14 how many Croatian villages were destroyed in the
15 territory of Fojnica municipality after the 2nd of
16 July, 1993?
17 A. I can't tell you exactly now, but I have the
18 figures. I can't tell you offhand, but I think quite a
19 number; maybe 70 per cent, even.
20 Q. 70 per cent of all Croatian villages in the
21 territory of Fojnica municipality were destroyed?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. When I referred to the attack, Muslim attack
24 on Fojnica, do you have any direct knowledge that the
25 attack was carried out not only by local forces, to
1 call them that, but Muslim brigades from a wider area,
2 from outside that area?
3 A. Yes, that is certain.
4 Q. Mr. Tuka, before you were arrested, you took
5 your family to Kiseljak?
6 A. Yes, I did; that is correct.
7 Q. So when you did that, that means that you
8 didn't trust the Muslims and didn't believe what they
9 were saying?
10 A. When all the Croats were retreating, it was
11 only normal that I should take my family to shelter as
13 Q. In your statement for the investigators, you
14 said that you were quite sincere with the Muslims, but
15 were they always sincere with you?
16 A. I don't know exactly what it says in the
17 statement, but we sought to be sincere with each
18 other. At least that was the feeling that I had
19 between me and Mr. Beba, though of course we would
20 gloss over certain things, as I did, and probably he
21 did, keep quiet about certain things. But I think it
22 was at the level of political negotiations that
23 representatives of the HVO and the HDZ stated openly
24 what their goal and desires were, and what instructions
25 were given, and once even the Statute of Herceg-Bosna
1 was given to them for them to see and review, but then
2 they said some things could be accepted, others not.
3 So there was always some room for negotiation. And as
4 has been agreed at the beginning of the war, that no
5 solution should be pre-empted, to gain as much time as
6 possible, and we did hope that some kind of an
7 agreement would emerge.
8 Q. Talking about this mutual trust that you had
9 with this Muslim commander, you said that Nasuf Beba
10 told you once that another commander of the BH army had
11 said to him something to the effect, "What are you
12 waiting for? Do you really believe that HVO
13 commander?" Is that what he said?
14 A. Yes. Correct.
15 Q. What did Nasuf Beba say that that meant?
16 That he should act? What did that warning mean
18 A. He didn't explain in any detail, but I
19 gathered that he was expected to do some things like I
20 was, something along the same lines.
21 Q. Can we agree that that meant that they had
22 already planned certain operations against the Croats
23 and the HVO from these details which you have
25 A. Yes. Probably that was the plan of his
1 superiors, not his own personal plan. So just as I had
2 my own superior command, so he had his.
3 Q. Do we agree, Mr. Tuka, that before the 2nd of
4 July, the TO command or, rather, the BH army was moved
5 to the village of Prokos, if you know?
6 A. I don't know, but when I was in Fojnica, the
7 command was in Fojnica.
8 Q. Mr. Tuka, let us go on to another subject.
9 You were arrested when you tried to negotiate actually
10 with the BH army?
11 A. Yes. That's how it was.
12 Q. You were a trained soldier, one might say.
13 You completed the training school for engineers, for
14 reserve officers?
15 A. But that was not for professional army; that
16 was for reservists.
17 Q. What I wanted to say is that you had some
18 military experience. Why didn't you join the HVO
19 defenders at the newly established line at Patkovici
20 and ...
21 A. I had no possible access to the HVO. I was
22 like a black sheep.
23 Q. Tell me, why were you arrested? You
24 wanted -- you favoured cooperation with the Muslims.
25 You had good relations with them. Why were you
2 A. I wasn't told why I was arrested, but judging
3 from the behaviour from the newly established
4 authorities in Fojnica, I saw the way they were
5 behaving. It was quite contrary to all my expectations
6 and contrary to everything else I had seen before on
7 the part of the people who were in power while I was
9 Q. Mr. Tuka, after your arrest and after
10 spending two days with the police, you spent some 58
11 days in the elementary school in Fojnica as a prisoner;
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. With you there were some 30 or 50, mostly
16 A. Yes, some 30 or so.
17 Q. You spoke about the conditions there and said
18 that they were very poor.
19 A. Correct.
20 Q. Not only was the food inadequate, but you
21 slept on wooden floors and so on; correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can we agree that the civilians who were
24 arrested together with you were forced to work in the
1 A. Those were not agricultural work; it was
2 mostly some kind of works consisting of loading of
3 goods looted from Croatian homes or some pigs who had
4 been left behind. I don't know what the Muslims did to
5 them, but they drove them off somewhere, in any case.
6 Q. Well, can we agree that many civilians were
7 sent to the front to dig trenches?
8 A. Yes, they were.
9 Q. You personally, Mr. Tuka, saw, from the
10 school, soldiers of the BH army looting and burning
11 houses every night?
12 A. I don't know whether they were soldiers, but
13 I did see that; I did see houses burning. I saw lots
14 of things brought there, seized by the military police,
15 probably from those thieves, but they were taken away.
16 Maybe the military police themselves, they took it off
17 in the end.
18 Q. When I said "soldiers of the BH army," I had
19 in mind your statement when you explicitly said that it
20 was possible to see from the school the BH army burning
21 and looting homes every night. That is what you said.
22 A. Perhaps that is what it says in the
23 statement, but actually it was as I just said: I
24 couldn't see who was setting the house on fire; I could
25 see it burning.
1 Q. Talking about your detention and another
2 point linked to your soldiers, who were your soldiers
3 from the HVO in Fojnica? A part of those soldiers were
4 taken to a camp in the silo in Kacuni in Busovaca
5 municipality, weren't they?
6 A. Yes, they were.
7 Q. Can we agree that they were heavily beaten
8 there and some of them were killed?
9 A. I don't know of any killing in prison, but I
10 knew that they were beaten up, and I saw a man who was
11 covered in blood when he was brought to Fojnica from
12 that prison.
13 Q. On the 14th of September, 1993, you were
14 transferred to the monastery, where you were the only
15 prisoners at the time.
16 A. I don't know how that is -- what the
17 implication is. There were the brothers, there were
18 some civilians, there was me. We were all prisoners
19 there, in fact, all of us, not just me.
20 Q. Yes, but your status was different. You were
21 brought from the prison. You couldn't leave.
22 A. Yes, I couldn't leave Fojnica. I had to stay
23 there and they kept checking me.
24 Q. The monastery was always a place of shelter.
25 So, as you said, in addition to yourself, there were
1 some other civilians there?
2 A. Yes. Correct.
3 Q. The statement is not quite clear when you
4 were asked questions by the Prosecutor who killed the
5 Nikica Milicevic and Fra Leon Migic.
6 A. Members of the BH army.
7 Q. And everybody knew that they were monks, in
8 view of their clothing?
9 A. Unfortunately, at that time they were not
10 wearing their robes.
11 Q. And you wouldn't know why they were killed,
12 or is it that there was no reason at all? Have you
13 heard if anyone was brought to trial for that murder?
14 A. Yes. I heard that allegedly one person was
15 sentenced to 13 years, but I do not really know what
16 the trial was like. Statements were taken from some
17 there who were eyewitnesses to it, but we -- none of us
18 were called to testify. And at that time, the
19 circumstances that prevailed then, one couldn't really
20 say all that one knew, so ...
21 Q. But you told the investigators, "I know that
22 some people were arrested, but as far as I know, when
23 it comes to justice, it was all a farce." These are
24 your words.
25 A. Quite. And I can repeat them today.
1 Q. So you will agree with that. Mr. Tuka, all
2 that winter of 1993/1994 you spent living in fear,
3 wondering when somebody else would appear again with a
4 similar intent.
5 A. I think we were all in the same boat, and we
6 were all living in anxiety, in fear.
7 Q. But you remained detained there long after
8 the Washington Accords were signed, that is, for two
9 whole months after the Accords were concluded. Why was
10 that? Why weren't you released?
11 A. I tried to obtain a permit from the military
12 authorities in Fojnica, and four or five times I went
13 to see the deputy mayor of the municipality, and his
14 answer always was, "Well, your case is slightly more
15 difficult. I have to get authorisation from Sarajevo
16 to see what we can do and how," and days went by.
17 Q. Mr. Tuka, a few words about your views, about
18 your opinion. If I understood you properly, you wanted
19 to be independent.
20 A. I don't understand.
21 Q. Well, you wanted to enjoy certain autonomy.
22 I heard that your unit enjoyed certain autonomy.
23 A. I wouldn't know. I would not call it
24 independence. We were part of that community except
25 that perhaps our views slightly differed from theirs.
1 Q. And I also remember what you said, that you
2 did not obey everybody, that you would you put no
3 blind -- that you would not be blindly anything; you
4 had no blind faith towards anyone. That is what you
5 said in your statement to the investigators of The
6 Hague Tribunal.
7 A. Well, yes, there is some truth in that.
8 Q. And as for the Vance-Owen Plan, you know that
9 the Vance-Owen Plan said that Fojnica should become
10 part of the Travnik -- rather, the Canton number 10?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. You, however, and your Muslim colleague,
13 agreed that you should leave the things as they were?
14 A. No. That agreement was reached, that is, in
15 that Travnik region or community. And I don't know
16 what it was to be called. Muslims from Fojnica were to
17 send a representative to be in that community, and they
18 had designated a man, a civilian, who was to do that.
19 And about the other activities, we had received no
20 instructions from anyone; nor I, nor Mr. Beba.
21 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, what is the
22 purpose of this cross-examination, please?
23 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] This is my
24 last question about the Vance-Owen Plan, and I believe
25 it will be clear what I was trying to achieve, if I may
1 ask it.
2 JUDGE MAY: No. Tell me what the point is.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] There was no
4 ultimatum addressed by the HVO to the Muslim side.
5 That is what Mr. Tuka was saying a while ago.
6 JUDGE MAY: All right. You can ask that and
7 we'll be moving on, because you really must be
8 finishing your cross-examination soon.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Mr. Tuka, I was about to add to what you just
11 said. There was no ultimatum. You put no ultimatum --
12 rather, you received no orders to that effect, that you
13 should face the Muslims with an ultimatum or anything
14 like that?
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. Quite the reverse. You say you had
17 established a contact to do something that needed to be
19 A. Yes. They designated a man who was to
20 represent them to be the delegate or whatever in that
21 Travnik community.
22 Q. Thank you. Mr. Tuka, some of the documents
23 that you had, you destroyed. You only preserved those
24 documents you thought would be particularly important
25 for you.
1 A. Well, there were things which were really
2 surplus, and I burnt most of it. It wasn't important.
3 One just drags it all around and, I don't know, moving
4 from one place to another, and somebody might use it.
5 To what end, I don't know.
6 Q. Tell me, you also kept a diary for a time,
7 didn't you?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you also destroyed that diary?
10 A. I hid it at home, and then my sister came,
11 found it and destroyed it.
12 Q. Do you know what happened to that seized
13 documentation, stamps, and everything else of the HVO
14 which the BH army took over after the 2nd of July,
16 A. I know nothing about that.
17 Q. But don't you think that there is a
18 possibility for the documents to be misused?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. Mr. Tuka, towards the end of 1992 -- I'm
21 trying to draw to a close -- there was a football
22 tournament sometime between the Christmas and the New
23 Year in 1992; isn't that true?
24 A. Yes, it is.
25 Q. And we shall agree that there were both
1 Muslim and Croat teams participating in that
2 tournament, from different towns?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Would you agree with me that the HDZ
5 leadership from Fojnica, Mrs. Mijatovic, Mr. Mira Tuka,
6 and others asked Mr. Kordic to sponsor the tournament?
7 A. I don't if they asked him, but I do know that
8 the organiser of the tournament, Mr. Fabijan Katanic,
9 was the one who was committed this whole thing. About
10 Mira Mijad, I don't know.
11 Q. And would you agree with me that at the end
12 of this tournament a small ceremony took place in the
13 hotel in Fojnica?
14 A. Yes, true.
15 Q. And there were a few people who made some
16 speeches. It was a friendly and solemn atmosphere, and
17 one of the speakers was Mr. Nazir Salimovic, who was
18 the mayor of the municipality of Fojnica, wasn't he?
19 A. Yes, he was that.
20 Q. And among other things, on that occasion he
21 paid tribute to Mr. Kordic for making this effort, for
22 investing this effort into improving the relations
23 between the Croat and the Muslim community, didn't he?
24 A. I don't really remember what was said on that
25 occasion, but do I know that the atmosphere was
2 Q. Let us now move on to another subject. Do
3 you know how the demographic structure had changed in
4 Fojnica as against the situation before the war?
5 A. Immediately in the wake of the war there were
6 only about 100 Croats in the town itself, and around
7 it, in the area which was controlled by the Muslims of
8 the B and H -- rather, the army of the BiH.
9 Q. So we agree that at least 5.500 Croats,
10 perhaps even more Croats from Fojnica, had to leave the
12 A. Yes, true.
13 Q. I'm coming to a close. Mr. Tuka, will you
14 agree with me that in front of you at all those
15 meetings, when you accompanied Mrs. Mijatovic or which
16 you attended alone, that Mr. Kordic never voiced any
17 extremist views?
18 A. I could not notice that. There would be
19 discussion, but it was all -- there was always some
20 tolerance, and -- normal.
21 Q. And as we are coming to a close, the document
22 which was produced today, Z1024,1, which is the
23 proclamation of the municipality as a zone of peace.
24 The date of it is the 13th of June, '93, but we agree
25 that was signed on the 30th of June, 1993, isn't it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Because on that day, General Morillon came to
3 Fojnica, and the signing of this document, the
4 proclamation of the zone of peace, was marked in a
6 A. I've heard that, but I was not there.
7 Q. But we agreed that less than two days later
8 -- and I believe it was Wednesday -- on Friday, the BH
9 army attacked the HVO. We've agreed about that,
10 haven't we?
11 A. Yes, true.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,
13 just a moment; let me go through these papers. Perhaps
14 I've forgotten to ask a question.
15 Well, perhaps I have concluded. Thank you
16 very much.
17 Q. Thank you for your patience, Mr. Tuka. Thank
18 you for your answers.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
20 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Tuka. My name is Goran
21 Mikulicic. I am from Zagreb, and with my colleague
22 Kovacic I represent Mr. Mario Cerkez. I will ask you
23 several questions relative to your testimony here, and
24 I should like to ask you to answer those questions to
25 the best of your recollection.
1 Mr. Tuka, just a few words about the civilian
2 defence, in view of the fact that as a reserve captain,
3 as of 1992, you were responsible for the civilian
4 defence in Fojnica; isn't that so?
5 A. Only in the place where I lived, in my
7 Q. Right. Mr. Tuka, is it true that the
8 civilian defence was organised under the sponsorship of
9 the Secretariat for National Defence of the
11 A. Yes, it is correct.
12 Q. Is it correct that the civilian defence had
13 its own chain of command, its own hierarchical
14 structure, which was completely separate from the
15 Territorial Defence?
16 A. Yes, that's true.
17 Q. So in other words, the civilian defence was
18 in no way part of the Territorial Defence, was it?
19 A. I'm somewhat at a loss. I don't know how,
20 exactly, the responsibilities were divided. Perhaps
21 somebody at some point in time would be the commander
22 over both, and I guess it must have happened that at
23 some point, somebody should have both of these under
24 his jurisdiction.
25 Q. No, but I'm referring to the peacetime.
1 A. Yes, in peacetime, they were separate.
2 Q. So we had two separate organisations?
3 A. Right.
4 Q. Mr. Tuka, the civilian defence was organised,
5 it had its so-called platoons, platoons for
6 fortification, for alert, and so on and so forth; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes, more or less.
9 Q. But generally speaking, the civilian defence
10 incorporated those persons who were not incorporated in
11 some military activities; that is, men who are not
12 able-bodied, or rather not able for the military
14 A. Well, there were some who were able for
15 military service, but by and large, there were women
16 and some elderly persons; all sorts of people.
17 Q. And the civilian defence units, did they ever
18 organise some drills?
19 A. Well, if you mean --
20 Q. In peacetime.
21 A. Yes, in peace, and during that other -- under
22 that other system, yes, that was so.
23 Q. But is it true, Mr. Tuka, that the civilian
24 defence also incorporated so-called labour platoons,
25 which simply had some work obligations, such as
1 building the fortifications and things like that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Mr. Tuka, is it true that in case of a danger
4 of war, or impending that war, these labour platoons
5 would be used for some war operations; that is, digging
6 in, building fortifications, and so on and so forth?
7 A. Well, yes, unless they were in the combat
8 zone and threatened with the danger of war. I think
9 that there was a rule to this effect of some kind.
10 Q. Right. Mr. Tuka, you told us that you joined
11 the political party, the Croat Democratic Union of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and that in that capacity, you
13 attended some meetings and had opportunity to hear
14 speeches of Ante Beljo, who had come from the Republic
15 of Croatia; do you remember that?
16 A. I don't really know where he came from, but I
17 do know that I listened to him and that he used to
19 Excuse me; this was rather at some ceremonies
20 when HDZs were formed. But as an HDZ representative, I
21 never attended a meeting as an HDZ representative. I
22 don't remember that.
23 Q. Right. Mr. Tuka, you told us that members of
24 the Croat community in Bosnia, after the war broke out
25 in Croatia, began to organise themselves to defend
1 themselves, if need be, and that they were
2 purchasing -- procuring weapons from somewhere, and
3 things like that?
4 A. True.
5 Q. But is it true that these weapons and all the
6 other equipment arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina through
7 the territory of the Republic of Croatia?
8 A. Well, it came from that direction.
9 Q. But was that the only open route ensuring
10 traffic and access to your area?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And at that time, or perhaps a little later,
13 didn't the Muslim community also become aware of the
14 danger and began to organise its defence?
15 A. I wouldn't really know how to answer that,
16 how or when they began to organise themselves. But
17 when the war broke out, I could see that they had
18 something organised, at least in our case, in Fojnica;
19 how it was elsewhere, I don't know.
20 Q. But do you know that the Muslim community
21 used the same routes through the Republic of Croatia to
22 obtain weapons as the Croat community?
23 A. I do not really know where they obtained
24 their weapons and how.
25 Q. When the war broke out in the territory of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, in your area, humanitarian aid also
2 arrived there, didn't it?
3 A. Yes, true.
4 Q. Both for the Croat and the Muslim communities
5 in your area; isn't that so?
6 A. Yes, it is.
7 Q. And is it true that that humanitarian relief
8 also arrived through the Republic of Croatia -- that
9 is, using the same routes -- regardless of the
10 community it was meant for?
11 A. Yes, true.
12 Q. Mr. Tuka, when you spoke about the so-called
13 Paket communications -- that is, radio communications
14 by computers -- isn't it true that the BH army had an
15 identical system?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Are you aware, Mr. Tuka, that there was a
18 possibility for mutually bursting into -- that is, for
19 the mutual tapping of messages and conversations?
20 A. I don't know. Those who set the system up
21 assured us that it was a reliable link and that nobody
22 could bug it, but I don't really know. Possibly it
23 could be done.
24 Q. Mr. Tuka, you described those events when you
25 were asked to try to organise defence in the Fojnica
1 area and the duties you discharged at the time.
2 Sometime in mid-1992, you were actually the head, the
3 chief of the municipal staff of Fojnica, because at
4 that time the brigades had not been established yet,
5 isn't it?
6 A. I don't really know what we call that, but
7 whatever the case, brigades did not exist as local
9 Q. Those were units which were local in the
10 territory of the municipality, and they were active in
11 the territory of that municipality, isn't it?
12 A. Yes, at the outset. Later on, our men from
13 Fojnica only went to the positions in the Kiseljak
14 municipality, because that is where the boundary was
15 between the Serbs and Croats. So we held that
16 position, and then we went to Jajce, Paklarevo, and so
18 Q. Since you mention it, Mr. Tuka, that units
19 from your municipality went to Paklarevo and other
20 areas, on one occasion when you were visiting them, did
21 you also see HVO units from Novi Travnik and Vitez
22 areas there?
23 A. I don't know. I'm not sure. I can't really
24 say. There were various units there. I don't know. I
25 only visited my units.
1 Q. Mr. Tuka, how long was this segment of the
2 front line held by your units in Paklarevo?
3 A. I wouldn't really know.
4 Q. Right, but as the head of the municipal
5 staff, sometime in mid-1992, did you have an
6 opportunity to meet Mr. Marijan Skopljak, who was the
7 head of the municipal staff in Vitez at the time?
8 A. Yes, I did.
9 Q. Did you exchange experience with him, talk
10 about various things with him, have some agreements or
12 A. No.
13 Q. At that time, when you communicated with your
14 colleague in Vitez, did you ever see Mr. Mario Cerkez
16 A. No, I don't remember seeing that gentleman
18 Q. Mr. Tuka, you mentioned, even though you
19 tried to maintain peace in your area, that there were
20 nevertheless some incidents, and that those incidents
21 were mostly caused by some groups which operated on
22 their own and who set up their own checkpoints at which
23 they, in point of fact, pillaged, robbed people and
24 convoys which passed that way?
25 A. Well, we were in a place where there wasn't
1 much traffic, really, in our territory, so there were
2 not any important checkpoints there. But incidents did
3 happen. Those who called themselves HOS, they caused a
4 lot of trouble. They plundered, looted around, and
5 then of course the tension would go up, and one has to
6 come in town, and so on.
7 Q. But you commanded those units, those
8 paramilitary HOS units?
9 A. I really don't know who it was. I don't
10 think that those who were in my area were under
11 anyone's command.
12 Q. But did you try to do something to overcome
13 that tense situation due to the HOS units there?
14 A. As far as I can remember, I once went to Blaz
15 Kraljevic to talk it over with him. I thought he was
16 their commander. But he told me he had nothing to do
17 with them.
18 Q. Mr. Tuka, do you know that about 30 per cent
19 of HOS units were Muslims in your area?
20 A. There were some. Perhaps a couple of them.
21 I wouldn't know the percentage.
22 Q. Mr. Tuka, you mentioned that Mr. Perica --
23 and that was the man who had emigrated to the United
24 States, and when the war broke out in Croatia, he came
25 back and joined the Croatian army units in Croatia, and
1 when the war broke out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, he came
2 back to his native land and joined the HVO; do you
3 remember that?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. But tell us, was it an isolated case, or were
6 there more such people who, from the Republic of
7 Croatia, having fought the JNA and Serb units there,
8 came back to their native land to fight and prepare for
10 A. There were more of them.
11 Q. Was it anything out of the ordinary?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Mr. Tuka, in December 1992, you said you were
14 ordered to set up a brigade; is that so?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And I will ask you now something directly
17 regarding the military police. Is it true that those
18 municipalities which did not have brigades of their own
19 did not have military police either; that is, they did
20 not have any military -- municipal military police?
21 A. I wouldn't really be able to answer you, to
22 answer accurately that question.
23 Q. You mentioned those orders you were issued
24 relative to the attack on the village of Dusina, and I
25 should like to ask you to explain to me whether "attack
1 the village of Dusina" means disarm the defenders of
2 that village, the soldiers of that village. Would that
3 be the definition of "attack the village"? Is that
4 what it really means?
5 A. Well, that would be the goal.
6 Q. But is it also the duty of military
7 commanders in such a situation -- you told us that the
8 civilian and military population were all mixed
9 together -- to protect the civilian population and to
10 take them out of the area of combat? Is that the duty
11 of military commanders?
12 A. I don't know. It is a very difficult
13 question. It really depends on the situation. It
14 really depends on a given moment, on the situation at a
15 given moment. I don't know.
16 Q. Mr. Tuka, you gave a statement on the 20th of
17 December, 1993, to the Department of the State Security
18 Service in Vitez, but you gave the statement in Fojnica
19 itself. You gave the statement while you were in
20 detention, didn't you?
21 A. Yes, true.
22 Q. You said that you gave that statement under
23 abnormal conditions. Could you describe in a few words
24 what you meant by that phrase?
25 A. I had experience from the past that told me
1 that I shouldn't tell the whole truth because I was in
2 such a position. I asked them why that was necessary.
3 They didn't explain. That's how it was.
4 Q. Does that mean, Mr. Tuka, that the statement
5 that you made doesn't really represent a reflection of
6 your free will?
7 A. Yes. That is right.
8 Q. And this statement that you gave to the
9 investigators of this Tribunal, as opposed to this one,
10 does that reflect your free will?
11 A. Yes, it does, though there may be some minor
12 errors that could have occurred; but on the whole,
14 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, the Defence of
15 Mr. Cerkez has no further questions, but we would like
16 to tender into evidence a statement authenticated by
17 this witness, a statement made to the investigators,
18 because we consider it to be very important.
19 JUDGE MAY: Why, Mr. Mikulicic? Why do you
20 want to exhibit it?
21 MR. MIKULICIC: Because the witness said that
22 this statement is a reflection of his free will, that
23 he verified it on each page with his signature, and in
24 this statement, he discusses in much greater detail the
25 subject matter than it was possible to do in the course
1 of today's examination.
2 JUDGE MAY: Well, we will admit it, for what
3 it's worth. The important thing is the evidence which
4 the witness gives here.
5 Yes. Any re-examination?
6 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, if I could just
7 pursue for one minute what the nature of the concerns
8 are in the statement.
9 JUDGE MAY: No.
10 MS. SOMERS: No?
11 JUDGE MAY: No. Let's get on.
12 MS. SOMERS: Yes, just a few points, please.
13 I would ask the usher to kindly hand to the witness
14 Exhibit Z1476 -- sorry; it's not been distributed. I
15 beg your pardon. It's right here.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: Could the registry tell us
17 the number, please?
18 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you would deal with this
21 matter as quickly as possible, having gone to the time.
22 What is it that you want to raise,
23 Mr. Naumovski?
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I'm opposed
25 to these documents being admitted, first of all because
1 they are new and the Defence had no opportunity to ask
2 the witness about them; secondly, these are documents
3 that this witness certainly knows nothing about,
4 because they refer to Mr. Kordic, as I can see from
5 page 2.
6 JUDGE MAY: I have yet to see the document
7 that's being referred to. What is the document,
9 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, this was squarely
10 raised, the issue of whether or not a legitimate
11 military position was occupied or held by Mr. Kordic.
12 This was raised on cross, and I would like to have an
13 opportunity, if I may, to pursue it through this
15 JUDGE MAY: Well, let me see the document
16 that's objected to. Where is the document? I have
18 Why was this not produced, if it's relevant,
19 during the examination-in-chief?
20 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the issue of
21 challenge to rank was not raised. It has been raised
22 many times and it was simply contested so strongly
23 during cross that I think it appropriate the Court have
24 an opportunity to have a glance at this document now.
25 It would not have come up in our examination-in-chief.
1 JUDGE MAY: Who is going to produce the
2 document? When is it going to be produced?
3 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, the issue in
4 response is simply whether or not there are any
5 references to "honorary" on any titles attributed to
6 Mr. Kordic.
7 JUDGE MAY: You can call evidence. You can
8 produce this in the normal way, but Mr. Naumovski has a
9 point, that you suddenly produce a document which he
10 has no chance of cross-examining on. Now, you can
11 produce this through a witness in the normal way. It's
12 not for this witness, who says he doesn't know anything
13 about it.
14 Yes. Well, we'll return to those documents.
15 Now, have you got anything else you want to
17 MS. SOMERS: Just a brief question, please.
18 Q. Mr. Tuka, after you were removed from your
19 position in Fojnica, what was the fate of
20 Mrs. Bosjnak?
21 A. She too resigned to her position in the
22 HDZ -- that is, as president of the HDZ -- and as far
23 as I know, representatives for the municipality were
24 appointed and a new president of the HDZ of Fojnica.
25 Q. One last question. Were you aware of any
1 reprimands that were given by the main staff of the
2 HDZ/BiH to your municipality for any of the so-called
3 illegal activities conducted on behalf of your
4 municipality that were referred to during
5 cross-examination? Was there any complaint at all
7 A. I didn't understand your question, I'm
9 Q. Fine. Did you receive any criticism from
10 anyone in the HDZ/BiH in Sarajevo about carrying on the
11 various organisational activities, which were discussed
12 during cross-examination, on behalf of the Fojnica,
13 either HVO or HDZ?
14 A. I don't remember anything like that.
15 MS. SOMERS: No further questions. Thank
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Tuka, that concludes your
18 examination here. Thank you for coming to the
19 International Tribunal to give your evidence. You are
20 now released.
21 THE WITNESS: Thank you all too. Thank you.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, there are some matters
24 I want to rise in private session briefly, unless there
25 is any matters you want to deal with in public
2 MR. NICE: No. I was only going to deal with
3 timetable matters. They can be dealt with in private
4 just as easily.
5 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We can go into private
7 [Private session]
13 page 10171 redacted – private session
13 page 10172 redacted – private session
15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
16 4.10 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
17 the 23rd day of November, 1999,
18 at 9:30 a.m.