1. 1 Tuesday, 25 August 1998

    2 (Open session)

    3 (The accused entered court)

    4 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.

    5 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-95-16-T, the

    6 Prosecutor versus Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic,

    7 Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago Josipovic, Dragan Papic,

    8 Vladimir Santic, also known as "Vlado."

    9 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. While we are

    10 waiting for the witness, may I take this opportunity to

    11 ask both parties, in particular the Prosecutor, whether

    12 they would be prepared to file a supplementary legal

    13 brief on the notion of persecution. This notion was

    14 touched upon in the pre-trial brief and reference was

    15 made to the brief of argument of the Prosecution in

    16 Tadic.

    17 Now, I have studied carefully the relevant

    18 passages, and I think that we need some more case law,

    19 particularly case law, other than The Hague case law of

    20 our Tribunal, on the specific point of whether and to

    21 what extent an offence, a murder, may be charged as

    22 such and also as a persecution.

    23 It is a tricky point, and we would like to

    24 have some case law on this particular matter or some

    25 thinking so that we can start reflecting on this

  2. 1 particular problem, say, two, three weeks' time; and,

    2 of course, any legal brief from the Defence counsel

    3 would be most welcome on the same issue, the notion of

    4 persecution.

    5 In other cases, we have asked both parties to

    6 file simultaneously supplementary briefs. I remember

    7 in Dokmanovic, we did so. Probably three weeks' time,

    8 in three weeks' time, you could probably, if it is

    9 enough time for you, you could file a brief on this

    10 particular legal issue? It's a legal issue.

    11 (The witness entered court)

    12 JUDGE CASSESE: Now, we have now Witness B.

    13 I will call upon Mr. Radovic to start his

    14 cross-examination. Mr. Pavkovic?

    15 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, according to our

    16 proposed order, Mr. Pavkovic would be the first this

    17 morning, if you don't mind.

    18 JUDGE CASSESE: I was simply sticking to the

    19 order suggested yesterday by Mr. Pavkovic himself but,

    20 of course, you are most welcome to speak now and

    21 cross-examine the witness. Please go ahead.

    22 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.

    23 WITNESS: Witness B

    24 Cross-examined by Mr. Pavkovic:

    25 MR. PAVKOVIC: Reflecting upon the

  3. 1 forthcoming cross-examination of this witness, it

    2 seemed to me that I couldn't put many questions to this

    3 witness or, rather, any questions without calling in

    4 question the right of the witness to the protection of

    5 his identity.

    6 So, Mr. President, I would request that we

    7 carry out this cross-examination in closed session.

    8 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, all right. We will go

    9 into a closed session.

    10 Could you wait for a few seconds?

    11 Thank you. We are now in closed session.

    12 You may proceed.

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    19 (Open session)

    20 MR. KRAJINA:

    21 Q. Sir, in your testimony yesterday, you said

    22 that on the 15th of April, 1992 you saw Vlatko

    23 Kupreskic. Can you please tell us how Vlatko Kupreskic

    24 was dressed on that day in 1993?

    25 A. I cannot remember exactly. You probably want

  2. 1 me to tell you the colour of the shirt or something.

    2 Q. No, I don't think anything. I'm just asking

    3 you. So you can't recollect. Can you remember if he

    4 was wearing civilian or military clothes?

    5 A. In civilian clothes.

    6 MR. KRAJINA: Thank you.

    7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Krajina.

    8 Mr. Radovic.

    9 MR. RADOVIC: I shall also ask a few

    10 questions that might reveal the identity of the

    11 witness, so could we please go into closed session

    12 again? I'm sorry, but we have to be very cautious, Mr.

    13 President.

    14 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, of course.

    15 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: So we go back into closed

    17 session. Yes, we are now in closed session. You may

    18 proceed.

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    8 MR. RADOVIC: Yes, quite a number, for at

    9 least another 45 minutes.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: All right.

    11 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, we have to

    12 question the witness from our angle as well.

    13 JUDGE CASSESE: Of course, of course. No,

    14 no, you are entitled --

    15 MR. RADOVIC: This is another series of

    16 questions, so if you feel it appropriate for us to have

    17 a break, maybe this would be a good time.

    18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. I see that my

    19 colleagues agree that we should take a break now, so we

    20 will take a break of 30 minutes, as usual, and we will

    21 start again at 20 past 11.00

    22 --- Recess taken at 10.50 a.m.

    23 --- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.

    24 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Radovic.

    25 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President.

  2. 1 Q. Have you had a rest? Can we resume now?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Let us proceed to questions regarding the

    4 20th of October, and some points need further

    5 clarification, in my opinion.

    6 I would like to know whether the decision on

    7 the roadblock or a barricade, or whatever you want to

    8 call it, was taken by the TO to staff in Vitez, or was

    9 the decision taken by higher level command, which was

    10 then conveyed to the TO to command in Vitez?

    11 A. The important thing is that we should not

    12 dispute the name for this obstacle, whether it's a

    13 barricade, or a roadblock or whatever, so it's fine.

    14 Secondly, the decision was taken by the staff

    15 in Vitez. Whether it was the staff commander who had

    16 the approval of the district staff from Zenica, I don't

    17 know.

    18 Q. I'm asking you this because according to a

    19 witness statement disclosed to us by the Prosecution,

    20 some claim that the order came from Sarajevo, others

    21 that it came from Zenica.

    22 A. I don't know.

    23 Q. So you stick by your statement that you don't

    24 know?

    25 A. I don't know whether it came from Zenica. I

  3. 1 know that there was a staff meeting, that at the

    2 beginning of the meeting Ivan Santic, Pero Skopljak and

    3 Mario Cerkez arrived, that they made an ultimatum with

    4 the commander and that was when the commander made the

    5 decision that he made.

    6 Q. Who chose the position where the checkpoint

    7 was placed, if we call it that?

    8 A. I wasn't there, so I couldn't tell you.

    9 Q. I'm asking you this because from the

    10 statement of one of the witnesses whose name I will not

    11 mention but I will mention it later -- I haven't

    12 mentioned the name?

    13 MR. MOSKOWITZ: My objection doesn't go to

    14 the name, it goes to this practice, I think, of asking

    15 a question, getting an, "I don't know," and referring

    16 to some other witness's statement in order to explain

    17 why the question was being asked. It appears to be

    18 time-consuming and unnecessary.

    19 If the witness says he does not know, then

    20 that's the answer, and to read someone else's statement

    21 who says something else and has no relationship with

    22 this witness seems, to me, to be just an attempt to

    23 make a speech, or at least it's wasting time.

    24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, I --

    25 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, as I'm sure you

  4. 1 have noticed, I am not making speeches, I am asking

    2 direct questions. I'm asking whether a witness who was

    3 a member of the staff knew something that he should

    4 have known as a member of the staff, and if he says

    5 that he doesn't know, then the credibility of the

    6 witness is in question. I didn't oppose when the

    7 Prosecutor put partly guiding -- leading questions, so

    8 I think it is not proper for him to interfere with my

    9 cross-examination.

    10 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Mr. Radovic, it is true

    11 that you're not making speeches. On the other hand, I

    12 think that the Prosecutor is right when he points out

    13 that in a way after getting a no -- a negative response

    14 from the witness, there's probably no need for you to

    15 explain in detail that actually other witnesses have

    16 stated in their witness statements -- have stated

    17 something different, totally different. I wonder

    18 whether you could probably skip that part and move on

    19 to other questions.

    20 MR. RADOVIC: May I then tell the witness in

    21 advance what somebody else has said about the same fact

    22 before he gives me an answer?

    23 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, in a concise way, and

    24 without mentioning the name of the relevant witness.

    25 MR. RADOVIC: Yes, I will strictly abide by

  5. 1 that.

    2 Q. So you don't know that.

    3 So tell me now, on the basis of what do you

    4 know that there were 2.500 HVO troops on the move? Did

    5 you count them, is this an estimate of yours? If it is

    6 your estimate, tell us the grounds on which it was

    7 made.

    8 A. We couldn't count, and the data reached us

    9 from our men who were in the area where the troops were

    10 moving. These reports came from Kiseljak, Busovaca,

    11 Kaonik, so that part of the territory.

    12 Q. So the people who saw the column moving. So

    13 the estimate was made on the basis of the density of

    14 the column, the length of the column?

    15 A. Yes, the people who saw it moving.

    16 Q. Yes, but they couldn't count. They could

    17 have said a truck load, and roughly you know how many

    18 people can fit into a truck. You would agree with

    19 that?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. So, you see, we do agree more or less

    22 regarding these technical matters.

    23 My next question will be regarding the

    24 personnel that manned this checkpoint. Did they

    25 receive any assistance from Poculica, Vrhovine?

  6. 1 A. I must tell you again that I do not know, and

    2 I can explain.

    3 Q. Well, please do. I don't mind at all, on the

    4 contrary.

    5 A. At the time of this event, I was in the

    6 school where the headquarters were at the time, and the

    7 decision was taken in the evening, on the 19th, late in

    8 the evening of the 19th of October, 1992. And I don't

    9 know exactly the time, but roughly around midnight a

    10 shell hit the school, and it had been fired from the

    11 direction of the Mlakici houses. It was a hand-held

    12 rocket launcher known as a Zolja, for single use, yes.

    13 And the marksman wanted to hit the window, because the

    14 window of the office had the lights on, because this

    15 was a meeting of all the leading Bosniaks in Vitez. I

    16 was in another room.

    17 So this strong explosion was heard, and the

    18 shell hit the wall above the window, it didn't enter

    19 the office. And we turned off the lights, and we, in

    20 the school, were immediately alerted.

    21 The staff, headed by Sefkija and his

    22 immediate associates went to Stari Vitez that night,

    23 following a route via the pool, and I stayed in the

    24 school. I stayed in the school for five days,

    25 surrounded. I didn't go out. We were encircled by HVO

  7. 1 troops so that I had no idea as to what was happening

    2 in Ahmici or in the town itself.

    3 I saw that the war was being waged throughout

    4 the territory. However, on the fifth day when I went

    5 to town there was nothing.

    6 Q. Tell me, on the 20th of October, the TO staff

    7 was -- still had control over the people in the TO

    8 staff, the brigade had still not been formed; did I

    9 understand you correctly?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. I must tell you now that we have a statement

    12 by a witness who says that it took a long time for the

    13 HVO to clear the road from the obstacles and TO

    14 troops. So will you tell us how long it took for them

    15 to clear the road?

    16 MR. MOSKOWITZ: He said he was not in Ahmici

    17 at the time of this barricade. I fail to see how he

    18 could answer that question and why it would be asked of

    19 a witness who says he wasn't there.

    20 JUDGE CASSESE: But he may know --

    21 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, the shooting

    22 could be heard, and if the witness doesn't know on the

    23 basis of other information, he at least knows how long

    24 the shooting lasted. Everyone knows what an armed

    25 conflict looks like, and we know that fire is exchanged

  8. 1 in an armed conflict. And on the basis of that, one

    2 can come to a conclusion as to how long the conflict

    3 lasted. So I would appeal not to be interrupted.

    4 So my question is, judging by the fire --

    5 A. But you cannot know by the shooting.

    6 Q. Yes, but you can know how long the shooting

    7 lasted?

    8 A. If there is a conflict, there is an exchange

    9 of fire, so you don't know whether the fire is coming

    10 just from one side.

    11 Q. But tell me for how long you could hear the

    12 shooting.

    13 A. In the school?

    14 Q. Yes. While you were in the school, for how

    15 long did the fire last?

    16 A. I couldn't from the school.

    17 Q. You couldn't hear the fire?

    18 A. If you look at the map and the distance, and

    19 if you take into consideration that we were the target

    20 of fire and considering the explosions around us, one

    21 couldn't hear.

    22 Q. My question is: How long did those

    23 explosions around you in the school last?

    24 A. You mean in the school? You're asking about

    25 the school, not in Ahmici?

  9. 1 MR. RADOVIC: Yes, at the school. On that

    2 day --

    3 JUDGE CASSESE: It was not very clear. I do

    4 understand the hesitation of the witness. It was not

    5 very clear. So now it's in the school. So could you

    6 answer this question? Explosions around the school.

    7 MR. RADOVIC:

    8 Q. How long did they last, and whatever it is

    9 you were able to hear?

    10 A. I said that for four days it went on around

    11 the school, but with intervals. It didn't go on all

    12 day long. But for four days we were blocked in the

    13 school and we couldn't leave it. Actually, on the

    14 fifth day we were able to get out.

    15 Q. How can you explain the fact there were shots

    16 fired for four or five days and that approximately the

    17 same period it took the HVO to, using the number of

    18 2.500 troops, as you have estimated, to get to you

    19 after that period?

    20 A. This question is not clear to me, sir.

    21 Q. There is a certain number of troops that are

    22 moving and a certain number of troops that are stopping

    23 them?

    24 A. Can you explain what you mean by clearing the

    25 way, the road?

  10. 1 Q. To move the Bosniak troops from the road and

    2 free the road for the access for the HVO. So the HVO

    3 needed to clear the road. Let me simplify what I'm

    4 talking about.

    5 A. It didn't take -- according to me and as far

    6 as I know, I don't know, it didn't take more than half

    7 an hour, because here we didn't have the Armija troops,

    8 or the TO troops or the Bosnian troops, which were

    9 numerous. As soon as the HVO troops would start

    10 firing, they would fire, they would run away, and

    11 that's how they cleared the road.

    12 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, may I request a

    13 closed session for a moment, because I would like to

    14 mention the testimony of a witness who was on the

    15 roadblock, and who stated quite different facts.

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    23 (Open session)

    24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

    25 MR. RADOVIC:

  16. 1 Q. Let us now proceed to certain technical

    2 questions, and I will here draw on your training in the

    3 JNA, hoping that you will answer very briefly. In the

    4 anti-aircraft guns, do you immediately see the rounds

    5 behind the bullets?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. Can you describe to me in detail where you

    8 can see them, very briefly?

    9 A. Well, they are somewhere behind, in the

    10 posterior part, on top of it.

    11 Q. So you can see it immediately?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. You mentioned a Browning machine gun. Is it

    14 the type of machine gun which we received years ago

    15 from the American aid; do you know that?

    16 A. Well, I don't know what sort of aid they come

    17 from, but it's the type which, I think, entered

    18 Yugoslavia in the course of this conflict. Well, they

    19 arrived in Yugoslavia together with the T-47 tanks.

    20 Q. Were they used in the anti-aircraft defence

    21 units?

    22 A. Well, they were on the tanks.

    23 Q. Yes, I know. But when they were carried by

    24 the infantry, were they used as sort of back-up weapons

    25 for anti-aircraft combats? You know, I served in my

  17. 1 military service many years ago, so that's how it was.

    2 A. Well, these were in the armoured tank

    3 units in the infantry. Well, I never served in the

    4 infantry, and I don't know.

    5 Q. Well, it was part of the infantry in my

    6 time.

    7 A. Well, maybe there was some in the infantry as

    8 well, but I'm not quite sure.

    9 Q. When you were learning to apply infantry

    10 tactics at school, did you learn that surprising the

    11 enemy is contrary to the customs or rules of war? I am

    12 asking you this as an expert regardless of the specific

    13 conflict or clash concerned.

    14 A. There's a question which needs to be

    15 clarified here because we shouldn't link this directly

    16 with this specific case.

    17 Q. I'm asking you in principle whether the

    18 factor of surprise is an essential element for the

    19 success of combat action?

    20 A. The factor of surprise is an extremely

    21 important factor in an attack mission.

    22 Q. So as a rule, this is one of the military

    23 skills, to surprise the enemy and to supply the enemy

    24 with false information?

    25 A. Yes, in the case of two warring forces.

  18. 1 Q. Can you also describe to me how does the war

    2 doctrine describe a fight in an urban populated area

    3 and when you are trying to penetrate a house in which

    4 you assume you will come across an armed enemy?

    5 A. Well, I don't know. Even the question is not

    6 quite clear.

    7 Q. How do you train the troops to fight in a

    8 populated area when they are fighting on the street

    9 from one house to another to gain access into a house

    10 in a street in which you are fighting if you anticipate

    11 armed resistance from this house? I'm not asking you

    12 about this specific event, I'm just talking about the

    13 military -- the war doctrine in general.

    14 A. This is being carried out by specially

    15 trained units.

    16 Q. Do I understand you well that the attacks at

    17 individual houses are carried out by specially trained

    18 units? Did I understand you well?

    19 A. Yes, well-trained units. Here we are talking

    20 about the principles of war, of a doctrine that studies

    21 the events and the situation in a war where an army is

    22 fighting another army and the aim is to come near the

    23 house undetected and undisclosed.

    24 Q. What do you do first when you arrive in front

    25 of a house? I'll be very specific: Do you first throw

  19. 1 in a hand grenade?

    2 A. Well, you can throw --

    3 Q. The answer was not recorded on my

    4 transcript. Could you please repeat it?

    5 A. You can throw the hand grenade in or next to

    6 the house, depending on your intentions, depending on

    7 how you want to enter the house, whether you want to

    8 get live prisoners or whether you want to kill

    9 everybody inside the house instantaneously. There are

    10 all sorts of alternatives which you can apply depending

    11 on the specific situation. I never entered a house in

    12 such a way.

    13 Q. Well, you were a member of the military

    14 police, you were not a member of special units that

    15 would be trained for that specific purpose.

    16 Tell me, do you know how many Croats who were

    17 able to use guns were in Grabova? Grabova, which is

    18 the central part of Ahmici where the Kupreskic house

    19 was located?

    20 A. Grabova?

    21 Q. Well, I was told that's how they refer to

    22 this part of Ahmici where the Kupreskic house is

    23 located. The central part of Ahmici.

    24 A. So I should now recall this --

    25 Q. Well, I don't know exactly the number. A

  20. 1 dozen?

    2 A. More.

    3 Q. Twenty?

    4 A. Sort of.

    5 Q. So let's take 20 as a rounded-off figure.

    6 A. Roughly 20.

    7 Q. Well, let's reach an agreement.

    8 A. Well, I can't agree with you because this

    9 term of yours, Grabova, is not specified clearly. It's

    10 not specified. I don't know exactly what part of the

    11 town you're referring to.

    12 Q. You know, where the Kupreskic houses were

    13 located.

    14 A. Well, the Kupreskic houses are linked to the

    15 Zume houses and others.

    16 Q. Well, let's leave Zume aside. Let's just

    17 stick to this specific part where the Kupreskic house

    18 is located, so let's say around 20.

    19 A. But then I would also include the Sime, Vinko

    20 Vidovic house too, that part as well.

    21 Q. How would you refer to a tactical unit with

    22 this number of troops? Is it a platoon? What is it?

    23 A. A platoon.

    24 Q. The person that commands a platoon, what

    25 would such a person be called?

  21. 1 A. Where do you think?

    2 Q. In the JNA army.

    3 A. JNA? A platoon would be commanded from a

    4 lance corporal to a captain, depending on whether you

    5 are in the navy, army, or in the air force.

    6 Q. Well, let's stick to the infantry.

    7 A. Yes, but I see no connection with the JNA

    8 here.

    9 Q. Does the commander of a tactical unit of a

    10 platoon participate in the planning of an attack to be

    11 launched at a larger area, such as the one which was

    12 attacked on April 16? May I just add: And at what

    13 level is this planning done?

    14 A. There are several levels; however, these

    15 questions of yours are equivocal, ambiguous because you

    16 are linking me now to the control and command structure

    17 in the JNA and applying it to the specific situation in

    18 Vitez. These are quite different conditions, quite

    19 different organisations, quite different units. It is

    20 a completely different type of organisation.

    21 Q. What is the difference?

    22 A. The JNA consisted of trained professional

    23 officers who had graduated from secondary school, from

    24 military academies, whose occupation this was; whereas,

    25 in this case, people were selected according to their

  22. 1 political suitability, a certain level of education,

    2 the territory they belonged to, and various other

    3 factors. So it wasn't important at that time whether

    4 he was a captain or not. We had people in the army,

    5 commanders, who had no advanced training.

    6 Q. Very well. In principle, the commander of a

    7 small tactical group, is he capable of participating

    8 and does he indeed participate, according to your

    9 experience, in the planning of any strategic

    10 operations? Let us call them that.

    11 A. Strategic?

    12 Q. I am distinguishing between tactics and

    13 strategy.

    14 A. I make a distinction too.

    15 Q. Well, then answer my question, please.

    16 A. In an organised army, no.

    17 Q. Very well. I will accept that answer.

    18 On the basis of your experience -- now you

    19 must combine your experience from the JNA and the

    20 experience you had on the ground -- does a commander of

    21 a small territorial unit have any kind of influence

    22 over commanders or troops coming to his territory from

    23 another area with a particular assignment?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. What kind of influence? Can he take over the

  23. 1 command? Did this happen in practice?

    2 A. The commander of the smaller unit, in cases

    3 such as were prevalent at the time, would submit his

    4 reports and make his proposals and address requests

    5 and, in the case of the transfer of a unit to a

    6 particular area or its transfer or its assignment to

    7 the command of another unit, either that unit is placed

    8 under the command of that unit that is there, local

    9 unit, or, if a senior commander so decides, then there

    10 may be different alternatives.

    11 Q. Oh, I see. There are various possibilities.

    12 You mentioned that on the 20th of October, the person

    13 killed, Halid Pezer, was about 18, and the Croat who

    14 was captured in Vitez, in Old Vitez, was 16. In this

    15 most unfortunate war, did young men participate who

    16 could be considered children, that is, under 18 years

    17 of age, on any side, on both sides or on all three

    18 sides?

    19 A. As regards the military organisation and as

    20 regards the Bosniak side, young men were not mobilised

    21 who had not reached the age for doing their military

    22 service.

    23 Q. But were they accepted as volunteers?

    24 A. If they applied as volunteers, they would be

    25 interviewed. They had to have the approval of their

  24. 1 parents and they were not sent to the front-line, but if

    2 they were engaged, because the situation was what it

    3 was, they would work in the rear, they would carry food

    4 and water.

    5 Q. So they were not messengers?

    6 A. Well, maybe. What is a messenger, according

    7 to you?

    8 Q. It is the messenger who carries a message

    9 from the command post to an inferior command post or

    10 vice versa.

    11 A. No, they would not be entrusted with

    12 confidential information.

    13 Q. But if there were regular reports, every day,

    14 daily reports that were not confidential?

    15 A. If it was something that was not so very

    16 important because their seniors were on the front, then

    17 perhaps one could call up a young man and tell him to

    18 do that.

    19 Q. Do you know whether, during the conflict on

    20 the 20th of October, any Croats were killed?

    21 A. No.

    22 Q. During the conflict on the 16th of April,

    23 were any Croats killed, and if so, do you know how

    24 many?

    25 A. I don't know.

  25. 1 Q. Do you know what the weather was like when

    2 you realised that there was a battle going on?

    3 A. You mean on the 16th?

    4 Q. Yes. I said at the beginning of my question

    5 that I was referring to the 16th.

    6 A. On the 16th? What do you mean, what the

    7 conditions were?

    8 Q. The weather conditions.

    9 A. Oh, the weather. It was early morning.

    10 Q. I know that. I'm not asking you what time it

    11 was, I'm asking was it raining or was it sunny?

    12 A. The sun had still not risen and it was not

    13 raining.

    14 Q. There wasn't a drizzle, was there? Are you

    15 sure of that?

    16 A. I don't recall. I know it wasn't raining,

    17 and whether there was that kind of morning haze, I'm

    18 not sure. I couldn't leave the house because it was

    19 hit by a shell.

    20 Q. On the 16th of April, was there a conflict

    21 over Ahmici only or was it a broader conflict?

    22 A. It was an all-out attack of the HVO.

    23 Q. So not on Ahmici alone?

    24 A. No. It was an attack on the entire territory

    25 of Vitez Municipality or, rather, against the Bosniaks.

  26. 1 Q. Was the road, the Vitez-Busovaca road, of

    2 great importance for the HVO, of strategic importance?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. Why? I know why, but I would like us to

    5 explain it to the Court.

    6 A. Because it links Vitez and Busovaca, which

    7 had, two or three months previously, been placed under

    8 HVO control.

    9 Q. Before the 16th of April, were there any

    10 major conflicts or clashes? Was there any ethnic

    11 cleansing, as we call it now, in Lasva and Dusina in

    12 January '93 in the area of Busovaca? Dusina. Dusina

    13 and Lasva.

    14 A. Yes, I know of some, but --

    15 Q. So you don't know the details?

    16 A. No.

    17 Q. Is it true that the Croats were expelled from

    18 Dusina and Lasva?

    19 A. From Dusina?

    20 Q. Yes.

    21 A. I'm afraid I don't really know where that is

    22 and still as -- do I know how many Croats there were.

    23 Q. Do you know that on the 15th of April, Zivko

    24 Totic was kidnapped and his escort killed?

    25 A. On the 15th?

  27. 1 Q. Yes, the day before the 16th.

    2 A. Yes, I heard about it, but I don't know the

    3 details.

    4 Q. As a security officer, did you notice the

    5 unrest among the Croats because of this event, because

    6 Zivko Totic, as far as I know, was one of the HVO

    7 commanders in Zenica?

    8 A. But I wasn't in Zenica.

    9 Q. Yes, but you must have followed the reports

    10 regarding the overall relations between the Croats and

    11 the Bosniaks.

    12 A. I don't know what you mean when you

    13 say "unrest."

    14 Q. They were hurt, offended that Croats in

    15 Zenica should be treated in that way, that an HVO

    16 commander should be kidnapped in Zenica and his

    17 escorting party killed.

    18 A. Was there concern among the Croats in Vitez,

    19 is your question?

    20 Q. So you don't know, as far as I understand.

    21 Very well. Have you heard of the ethnic cleansing of

    22 the Serb village of Tolovici?

    23 A. Ethnic cleansing?

    24 Q. Did the Serbs voluntarily abandon the village

    25 of Tolovici, and if you know that they did so

  28. 1 voluntarily, tell us why, what prompted them to do

    2 that?

    3 A. Within the area of Vitez Municipality, there

    4 were not many Serbs. I don't know the exact percentage

    5 share, but I think two or three per cent.

    6 Q. Very well. But as far as I know, Tolovici

    7 was one of the few Serb villages.

    8 A. I would say the only one. At first, at the

    9 beginning, the Croats and the Bosniaks were waging war

    10 together against the Serbs. We were together. And

    11 every Serb, in those days, was our common enemy so that

    12 those Serbs realised that they had nothing to look

    13 forward to in Vitez. They were afraid. So they

    14 realised that they had to leave and they left.

    15 Q. Did some Serbs from Tolovici go to the

    16 Croatian part of Vitez?

    17 A. I don't know whether they went and who and

    18 which is the Croatian part of Vitez.

    19 Q. The part under the control of the HVO.

    20 A. No. You are, in your question, you're

    21 referring to a Croatian Vitez.

    22 Q. I corrected myself by saying the part of the

    23 town that was at the time under HVO control. Have I

    24 expressed myself clearly? A part of Vitez in those

    25 days was under HVO control.

  29. 1 A. Yes, that is correct. That was in the summer

    2 of 1992. Serbs began abandoning Tolovici in the summer

    3 of 1992.

    4 Q. So you said that the Croats even then had

    5 control over Vitez.

    6 A. That is true.

    7 Q. Yes, but will you answer my question? Did

    8 some Serbs go to that part of Vitez, the new part of

    9 Vitez? Let us be even more precise.

    10 A. Most of them went to the territory under Serb

    11 control.

    12 Q. And the minority?

    13 A. I don't know about the minority. I know one

    14 who went, but he didn't go to the Croats, he went there

    15 because there was an area closer to the Bosniaks,

    16 Kruscica. He stayed with a relative there. It's

    17 called Ciganluk, this area. It is not a Croatian area,

    18 it is more a Bosniak area.

    19 Q. And after the Serbs left, which side entered

    20 Tolovici?

    21 A. The Bosniak side. They entered because a

    22 third of the village was Bosniak, was inhabited by

    23 Bosniaks.

    24 Q. So we come to my last question. You said

    25 that you were an officer, a security officer, in the

  30. 1 Territorial Defence staff in Vitez, and that 25 days

    2 after the beginning of the conflict, you left Vitez, as

    3 far as I understood. Will you please explain how you

    4 left Vitez? In an armoured personnel carrier of the

    5 UNPROFOR, as far as I understood you; is that correct?

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. How come that, as an intelligence officer,

    8 you are leaving Vitez at that point in time? Why did

    9 you leave it? Why did you go?

    10 A. I left for the following reasons: Stari

    11 Vitez was small in area. It was surrounded on all

    12 sides, and no one could leave Stari Vitez. And,

    13 really, there was no need for any officers to stay on.

    14 There were other people who could do that job.

    15 So on the second or third day, we were

    16 listening to the radio, and we learnt, through various

    17 other messages as well, of the genocide carried out in

    18 Ahmici. I didn't know immediately what had happened to

    19 my family. I never imagined or dreamt that the

    20 genocide could have been of such scope. But one day I

    21 was told that Ahmici had been razed to the ground, the

    22 population murdered, and I was informed of the deaths

    23 in my own family. I heard in Stari Vitez that --

    24 that --

    25 Q. So you left for family reasons.

  31. 1 A. Let me not mention all the names of the

    2 people who were killed because you know them.

    3 Q. Yes, I know.

    4 A. So, of course, I was not capable of

    5 concentrating anymore, nor was I able to be of any use.

    6 Q. So would it be correct to say for family

    7 reasons?

    8 A. The commander, Sefkija, decided that I should

    9 leave Stari Vitez, and the personnel carrier came and I

    10 left.

    11 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you very much. I have no

    12 further questions for this witness.

    13 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Mr. Susak?

    14 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, my questions will

    15 be very limited in scope and in number, if I may?

    16 Q. Witness B, you said yesterday --

    17 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry to interrupt you. Do

    18 you think you can put all your questions before the

    19 lunch break, say ten minutes?

    20 MR. SUSAK: Even less. Five minutes.

    21 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.

    22 Cross-examined by Mr. Susak:

    23 Q. You said that you reached Vitez from the

    24 former JNA sometime in August. You also said that you

    25 joined the TO a little later. Could you tell us

  32. 1 exactly when you joined the Territorial Defence?

    2 Because "later" could be a year later or two days

    3 later.

    4 A. I think it was on the 12th of March, 1992.

    5 Q. The 12th of March, '92? Do you know when the

    6 Territorial Defence was established?

    7 A. I don't understand the question.

    8 Q. When did it come into being, the Territorial

    9 Defence? You told us when you joined, but can you tell

    10 us when it was established?

    11 A. The Territorial Defence was a component of

    12 the armed forces of the former SFRY, of the former

    13 Yugoslavia, which consisted of the JNA and the

    14 Territorial Defence. You know very well that all the

    15 municipalities had their own Territorial Defence

    16 staffs.

    17 Q. Yes. But let me ask you another question

    18 then. At the level of Vitez, was a municipal defence

    19 staff set up? Did you join it and when?

    20 A. We have to clarify this point.

    21 Q. Will you please limit yourself to my

    22 question: When did you join the staff of the

    23 Territorial Defence?

    24 A. The 12th of March.

    25 Q. So you joined the staff immediately?

  33. 1 A. I placed myself at their disposal, but I

    2 didn't immediately get an assignment.

    3 Q. Fine. But tell me, who appointed the

    4 commanders in the various villages? Had they already

    5 been appointed when you joined the municipal staff?

    6 A. I don't remember.

    7 Q. Do you remember what the communication was

    8 like between the commanders, the guards, in the

    9 villages and the municipal staff in Vitez?

    10 A. Communications?

    11 Q. Were there orders, instructions? You know,

    12 there must be a hierarchy, a chain of command, so I'm

    13 asking whether there were any orders issued by the

    14 municipal staff to the lower level, the commanders of

    15 units?

    16 A. I must repeat, there was no proper military

    17 organisation.

    18 Q. Very well. Let's call it a civilian

    19 organisation. But my question was: How did the

    20 commanders in the villages communicate with the

    21 municipal staff in Vitez? Were there instructions or

    22 orders between the two? If you don't know, say that.

    23 If you can answer it, please give me a "Yes" or "No"

    24 answer.

    25 A. I do know, but I have to explain.

  34. 1 Q. Very well. Explain.

    2 A. These regional staffs were not armed military

    3 formations.

    4 Q. Yes. Very well. I said let us call them

    5 civilian staffs.

    6 A. There were lists of civilians made for the

    7 purpose of sending them to the front against the

    8 Serbs. On the front-line, they would be issued weapons

    9 and they had to leave those weapons when they came

    10 back. The communication was established personally.

    11 An officer would get in touch with a commander and so

    12 on. I don't know what you mean, "communications."

    13 Q. Let me be more focused. The commander of the

    14 village guards, for instance, how did he communicate

    15 with the municipal staff? I am repeating my question.

    16 Well, you should know as you were a member of that

    17 staff.

    18 A. The commander of the guards, of the watch

    19 duty? There was no watch duty in those days. These

    20 watches were set up later. You probably have a wrong

    21 impression of those guards.

    22 On the 16th of April, there were two elderly

    23 men who were awake. That was all. They didn't sleep.

    24 Just to watch over the situation just in case something

    25 happened.

  35. 1 Q. Let me just tell you that from the statements

    2 of other witnesses given to the investigator of the

    3 Prosecution, we were told that there were village

    4 guards, which is substantially different from what you

    5 are saying now.

    6 A. But not at that time. You were asking me

    7 about the period of the 12th of March.

    8 Q. No, no. That was my question regarding the

    9 date when you joined. I asked you what you were doing

    10 after that. I can't ask you what you were doing before

    11 that because you were not a member of the staff.

    12 A. The commander had no contact with the guards,

    13 with the village guards, and I see no need for him to

    14 have any communication with them because this was done

    15 in such a way that one or two people would be appointed

    16 to keep awake and to observe the situation over night.

    17 Q. I already told you that this differs from

    18 what other witnesses have said.

    19 One further brief question, Mr. President.

    20 You said that Zoran Santic was questioned by

    21 some people in Stari Vitez and that you entered the

    22 room while he was being questioned. Could you tell us

    23 when you entered that room, at what point in the

    24 questioning? Was the questioning already ongoing by

    25 other persons?

  36. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. What were the first words you heard when you

    3 entered, if you can remember?

    4 A. They were already talking. They were talking

    5 already, and I went in and he was saying we are -- he

    6 was saying we are talking --

    7 Q. Was a record being kept at the time?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. I just want to draw your attention to the

    10 fact that this statement is in contradiction with what

    11 you said yesterday because yesterday you said that you

    12 heard a dictation being given during the questioning,

    13 and that from the dictation, you heard his name which

    14 means that you entered the premise before the

    15 questioning started, according to what you said

    16 yesterday, which means that you were there from the

    17 beginning of the questioning.

    18 A. No, that's not correct.

    19 Q. Yes, that is correct.

    20 MR. SUSAK: I have no further questions.

    21 A. That is not correct.

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Can you please

    23 explain why it is not correct, if I may ask you? You

    24 just said that what the Defence counsel said was not

    25 correct. What is your recollection? When did you

  37. 1 enter the room where Zoran Santic was being questioned?

    2 A. Thank you, Your Honours, for giving me this

    3 opportunity to explain.

    4 A gentleman has already asked me how I knew

    5 that this young man's name was Zoran Santic, and I

    6 answered that I didn't learn of his identity from his

    7 ID papers, but the minutes were being taken down and

    8 I looked at the heading, and it is normal, at the top

    9 of the page, to indicate the name, and two or three

    10 sentences had been written down, and that is how I

    11 learned of the first and last name of this person. And

    12 I didn't interfere, I didn't make any suggestions; I

    13 just listened for a while and went out.

    14 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. All right. We

    15 will rise now and we will reconvene at five past two

    16 sharp for re-examination.

    17 I assume, Mr. Moskowitz, you are going to

    18 re-examine the witness.

    19 MR. MOSKOWITZ: A short re-examination.

    20 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.35 p.m.






  38. 1 --- On resuming at 2.11 p.m.

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. Would I like

    3 to apologise for the five minute delay -- six minute

    4 delay. I'm sorry, it's our fault. And I think we have

    5 to wait for the witness.

    6 Then while we are waiting, may I raise a

    7 matter which we would like to discuss with both

    8 parties, namely the timetable for the next week and the

    9 following weeks.

    10 We were wondering, since both the Defence

    11 counsel and the Prosecutors, as well as the Court, are

    12 busy working every day on other matters, or starting

    13 with this particular case, we thought we could have --

    14 probably we would like to suggest a longer lunch break

    15 so that we have time to have some sort of lunch and

    16 also to work a little bit, and maybe a longer

    17 afternoon. So the idea will be to start as usual at

    18 9.30, go on until 12.30 with a break of 30 minutes, and

    19 then in the afternoon to start again at 2.30, so after

    20 a two-hour -- lunch break, and go on without any break

    21 until 4.15. Now, the interpreters are not against it,

    22 I checked with the head of the interpreter unit, and

    23 they would agree.

    24 This would, of course, mean that we will have

    25 almost two hours, so 1 hour and 45 minutes without any

  39. 1 break in the afternoon. So I hope the accused will not

    2 mind if we have no break. However, that would also

    3 mean that we would have a lot of time after the hearing

    4 in the afternoon to do some work. We have three other

    5 cases to deal with, and I'm sure that both the

    6 Prosecution and the Defence would probably like to have

    7 more time to prepare. Would you agree?

    8 We can't start this week, because as you

    9 know, another Chamber is sitting on another case, and

    10 they start at 9.00, and this would create practical

    11 problems if we were to start a bit earlier. No, I'm

    12 sorry, I'm wrong. No. I'm sorry. No, I'm wrong. We

    13 can start right away, namely tomorrow. What do you

    14 think? Actually, if the parties agree, we would start

    15 even tomorrow with this new schedule, and then -- now,

    16 tomorrow is the 26th, until Friday. The Friday

    17 afternoon will be off as usual. Then, as you know, on

    18 Monday, the 31st, the afternoon is off.

    19 Then the other change which I would like to

    20 announce is that on Friday, the 4th of September, we

    21 would also hold a hearing in the afternoon, because

    22 then we would not hold any hearing on the Monday, the

    23 7th of September, and Tuesday the 8th of September. So

    24 there will be two days off, Monday and Tuesday, 7th and

    25 8th of September. So that's why we are suggesting that

  40. 1 we should also sit on Friday afternoon, the 4th of

    2 September, so that we don't waste too much time.

    3 Will that suit you? We apologise for this,

    4 but we have to take account of various practical

    5 problems. And as I say, with your agreement, as from

    6 tomorrow we could start with the new schedule, longer

    7 lunch break and we would stop at 4.15.

    8 I see that you agree. Yes? All right.

    9 Thank you. Yes, Mr. Radovic.

    10 MR. RADOVIC: A question, Your Honour. We

    11 would like to know the following: Until when do you

    12 expect this trial to go on? That is, will it go on for

    13 three weeks, for four weeks or maybe something else?

    14 Thank you.

    15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes. I forgot to

    16 tell you. So far we have scheduled only proceedings

    17 for three weeks, namely will the 4th of September --

    18 actually, four weeks, 11th of September, so for the

    19 Prosecution case; however, with the two days off, 7th

    20 and 8th of September.

    21 Now, for the following week we don't know

    22 yet, because we may have to sit on a different case,

    23 this Trial Chamber may have to sit on a different case,

    24 and we will only know on Friday, this coming Friday.

    25 But in principle, the week of the 14th of

  41. 1 September should be off either because we sit on the

    2 other case or for other reasons. Then we would resume

    3 the following week, the 21st of September.

    4 We expect, but it is for the Prosecutor to

    5 tell us, but we expect that the Prosecution case will

    6 probably take six weeks, judging from the pace of our

    7 proceedings. We need probably six weeks -- full weeks

    8 or semi-full weeks. And then it will be for the

    9 Defence to know whether we'll have a break of one or

    10 two weeks so you can prepare, and then we would like to

    11 resume and go on, and possibly finish by the end of

    12 October or early November. Better the end of October.

    13 We are anxious to proceed as quickly as possible.

    14 Yes, Mr. Radovic?

    15 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, when we have

    16 this break between the end of the Prosecutors' case and

    17 the beginning of our part, we would request you to give

    18 us at least four weeks or three weeks, which was the

    19 case in the Tadic case, where they only have one

    20 accused. So we would really appreciate this period of

    21 time.

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: Of course. I think three

    23 weeks probably. I mean, we are quite prepared to give

    24 you four weeks. It's just because we are concerned

    25 that the trial should be as expeditious as possible,

  42. 1 but probably if you could do with three weeks, this

    2 could be sufficient. And, of course, that's why we

    3 also are hoping that the Prosecutor may, in a way,

    4 compress his case within probably five weeks, so that

    5 we can have then three weeks off and then we can start

    6 with the Defence case.

    7 Anyway, let us see. I see that we all share

    8 the same interest in moving on as quickly as possible.

    9 Yes. You may bring in the witness.

    10 (The witness entered court).

    11 JUDGE CASSESE: I assume after this witness,

    12 the Prosecutor will call, I assume this afternoon,

    13 Witness C.

    14 Good afternoon. Mr. Moskowitz

    15 Re-examined by Mr. Moskowitz:

    16 MR. MOSKOWITZ: Thank you, Mr. President.

    17 Q. I would like to first attempt to clarify a

    18 misunderstanding, and just for reference to the Court

    19 and the attorneys, I believe at page 780, line 23 and

    20 24, there was a discussion about Vlatko Kupreskic in

    21 front of the Hotel Vitez. The question that I had

    22 thought I'd asked you was how far was Mr. Kupreskic

    23 from the front door of the Hotel Vitez. The answer, I

    24 believe, that we received was 30 metres or so, and then

    25 after session one, one of the interpreters came to me

  43. 1 and said that that had been a mistranslation of my

    2 question. The actual translation was: "How far were

    3 you," the witness, "from Vlatko Kupreskic?" The answer

    4 was 30 metres. So I would like to pose the question

    5 again to the witness.

    6 Referring now to April 15, 1993, when you

    7 testified that you saw Vlatko Kupreskic in front of the

    8 Hotel Vitez, could you tell us, from your point of

    9 view, that day how far was Mr. Kupreskic in relation to

    10 the front of the hotel, or how close was he to the

    11 hotel?

    12 A. Ten metres.

    13 Q. And in that regard, I think you were asked

    14 how he was dressed. You said civilian clothing. Did

    15 you notice whether Mr. Kupreskic had any kind of

    16 walking cane or any kind of medical assistance while

    17 you viewed him in front of the hotel?

    18 A. No.

    19 Q. You indicated that you've seen Mr. Kupreskic

    20 in and around or in and near the hotel on more than one

    21 occasion, on several occasions. Had you ever seen

    22 Mr. Kupreskic, at that time, either in a wheelchair, or

    23 using the assistance of a cane, or having any other

    24 kind of indication that he was in medical distress?

    25 A. I know Vlatko Kupreskic from our childhood,

  44. 1 and I am making these statements not only on the basis

    2 of seeing him in front of the hotel. He never had any

    3 aides of this sort, either the wheelchair or anything

    4 similar. He was walking as formally as myself. We

    5 would pay soccer, football together, we went to school

    6 together , and I really do not know what you're

    7 referring to.

    8 Q. I want to bring up another point that was

    9 brought up on cross-examination regarding the 1992

    10 attack. Just to be perfectly clear about that, you

    11 were not in Ahmici in 1992, October, when that conflict

    12 took place, right?

    13 A. Right, yes.

    14 Q. So you have no first-hand knowledge as to how

    15 long it may have taken the HVO forces to overtake the

    16 barrier in Ahmici?

    17 A. No, I don't.

    18 Q. You were in Vitez during that time, at the

    19 headquarters?

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. And when you were talking about four days,

    22 you were not referring to how long it took the HVO to

    23 overtake the barrier, you were referring to how long

    24 you and others were trapped at the headquarters during

    25 that period of time in Vitez. Was that what you were

  45. 1 trying to say in your testimony?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Now, after the 1992 attack, however, you did

    4 testify that you went to Ahmici. Did you observe

    5 whether there was any damage to the minaret of the

    6 mosque after the October incident in Ahmici in 1992?

    7 A. Yes. We were able to establish this when we

    8 went there with an ICRC.

    9 Q. Yes, that's right. You testified about that

    10 as a military person, trained military person, given

    11 the fact that the barricade was placed near the

    12 cemetery on the main road in Ahmici, could you see any

    13 legitimate military purpose for targeting the mosque's

    14 minaret?

    15 A. No.

    16 Q. And given the fact that the barricade was

    17 near the cemetery, could you see any legitimate

    18 military purpose for firing at the house of Mehmed

    19 Ahmic from the home across the street owned by Dragan

    20 Papic?

    21 A. No.

    22 Q. You were also asked about how you knew that

    23 Vlado Santic was a commander of the military police,

    24 and you mentioned, I believe, a white belt and so

    25 forth.

  46. 1 Let me ask you this: In your experience

    2 either as a military man and certainly as a person who

    3 was in Vitez at that time, would it have been normal

    4 for a run-of-the-mill military police officer to have

    5 an office the Hotel Vitez, the headquarters of the HVO?

    6 A. No.

    7 Q. When you spoke on frequent occasions to Vlado

    8 Santic -- let me rephrase that question.

    9 Who referred you to Vlado Santic; do you

    10 recall that?

    11 A. Usually I would contact anybody down at the

    12 hotel. Usually it was Pero Skopljak, Cerkez Marijan.

    13 For a while, that is for a lengthy period of time,

    14 there was Bertovic Anto. Basically they would, for the

    15 first time, go to see Vlado Santic and to try to take

    16 care of your problems there, and I would then establish

    17 the contact with Santic. When that was for the first

    18 time, it's very difficult for me to recall, however.

    19 Q. So it was your assumption that because you

    20 were referred to this man, that he had some authority?

    21 And by "this man" I mean Vlado Santic.

    22 A. That's how they have told me. And Cerkez was

    23 one of the commanders in the headquarters of the HVO,

    24 and Pero Skopljak. These were the people who were in

    25 charge and who told me to contact Vlado Santic who was

  47. 1 in charge of the military police and try to take care

    2 of this.

    3 However, there were, as always, a problem.

    4 You would call up somebody and you would be told,

    5 "Well, this case was referred to somebody else." And

    6 then I was supposed to contact Blaskic. But of course,

    7 that was beyond my level, so the corps had to take care

    8 of that.

    9 Q. You were also asked about the interview with

    10 Zoran Santic, or a young man who you recall as being

    11 identified as Zoran Santic, and there was some

    12 reference to a report being done while the interview

    13 was taking place.

    14 Now, do you know where this report was filed

    15 after the interview was completed? Or maybe not filed,

    16 but kept?

    17 A. I will answer this question, but with your

    18 permission I would like to go back to the previous

    19 question.

    20 Q. Go ahead. Answer the previous question and

    21 then we'll go to this one.

    22 A. There was no problem as to who was the

    23 commander of a specific unit or what was the

    24 responsibility of the HVO in Vitez. Furthermore, in

    25 the Vitez hotel an office could be held only by those

  48. 1 who were commanders, who held posts of commands, while

    2 the military police and the troops were stationed

    3 across the hotel in a building which in the former

    4 Yugoslavia used to be a cultural and art performing

    5 society's house.

    6 As far as this question is concerned, the

    7 minutes were kept. I mentioned before that I left

    8 Stari Vitez. There were people who stayed there who

    9 took the minutes, and the minutes were kept somewhere

    10 in Stari Vitez.

    11 Q. Do you have knowledge of where in Stari Vitez

    12 these minutes were kept, if you know? Or if you don't

    13 know, can you give us your best speculation on where

    14 they might be?

    15 A. While I was in Stari Vitez, they were filed

    16 in the fire brigade centre.

    17 Q. Now, the fire brigade centre, do you know

    18 what happened to the fire brigade centre during the

    19 siege of Stari Vitez in '92/'93 -- excuse me, the siege

    20 of Vitez in '93?

    21 A. It was shelled on a number of occasions.

    22 Q. Now, you were also asked questions about the

    23 civilian population in the Lasva Valley.

    24 Specifically, the question went along these lines: If

    25 you were suspicious that an attack was about to take

  49. 1 place, why didn't you and others do something to

    2 protect the population? And I believe you provided an

    3 answer that you never suspected that really such an

    4 attack would actually take place.

    5 My question goes then -- has a slightly

    6 different thrust to it. My question is not why didn't

    7 you protect the civilian population, my question is:

    8 Could you have protected the civilian population?

    9 Could you have done so militarily?

    10 A. No.

    11 Q. And why not?

    12 A. We didn't have the arms and the weapons that

    13 would allow us to protect the population.

    14 Q. But you talked about, on cross-examination,

    15 having certain brigades or platoons out of Kruscica,

    16 and I believe another village was mentioned. Why

    17 couldn't you have used those brigades to provide

    18 military protection for the civilian population of

    19 Ahmici and the other villages in the valley?

    20 A. Yes. I answered to you that there was a

    21 brigade consisting only of people with no weapons, no

    22 equipment whatsoever. Part of them, a battalion, was

    23 stationed in Kruscica, and the other part was stationed

    24 in Preocica. In fact, these were just collection sites

    25 where people would gather and would then be sent to the

  50. 1 line to fight the Serbs, Turbe, Rasic, and in Visoko,

    2 which means that all Bosniak sites, towns or towns

    3 where the majority of Bosniak ethnicity had no

    4 capabilities, could not resist, could not defend

    5 themselves.

    6 Furthermore, taking into account the fact

    7 that for hundreds of years we all lived together that

    8 until that time we never fought each other, the Croats,

    9 the Muslims, the fact that we had a common enemy, that

    10 the Croats would never attack Bosniaks, particularly

    11 that they will not attack the civilian population. And

    12 they knew very well, indeed, when we would send people

    13 to the line to fight the Serbs, because we had to make

    14 a forward announcement to be able to get our people

    15 through their checkpoints, and to get them through when

    16 they would come back from the frontlines. They would

    17 check whether weapons are being brought back from the

    18 frontlines too.

    19 Q. You were also asked about whether you were

    20 taught, in military academy, that a surprise attack was

    21 not improper. Were you taught anything about an

    22 organised attack on a civilian population for the

    23 purpose of driving out that population from their

    24 homes, simply because of their religious beliefs? Were

    25 you taught whether that kind of attack was proper or

  51. 1 improper?

    2 A. Whether we were taught at the military

    3 academy to fight the civilians?

    4 Q. That's my question.

    5 A. Never, no. At the academy, we were taught

    6 the customs and rules of war, when a soldier is

    7 fighting a soldier. And, of course, we were taught how

    8 to treat the civilians and how to treat the prisoners

    9 of war.

    10 Q. Along those same lines, I believe you were

    11 asked questions about the proper military procedure for

    12 house-to-house combat, and I believe you were asked

    13 about the use of weapons and grenades and bombs, the

    14 use of those weapons in house-to-house combat. But you

    15 weren't asked whether it was normal in such combat,

    16 house-to-house combat, for soldiers to carry into such

    17 battle cans of petrol. Would that have been a common

    18 practice in house-to-house combat training that you

    19 received as training in the JNA?

    20 A. No.

    21 Q. Would it have been common accepted military

    22 practice in the JNA to enter a village and conduct an

    23 operation in which virtually every single home owned by

    24 a group of persons affiliated with a religious faith,

    25 to burn every single one of their homes in a village?

  52. 1 Would that have been common accepted military practice

    2 in house-to-house combat?

    3 A. No.

    4 Q. Just to be perfectly clear about this, on

    5 April 16th, 1993, where was the BiH army? Were they in

    6 the Lasva Valley or were they doing other things

    7 elsewhere?

    8 A. What is quite certain is that they were not

    9 in the Lasva River Valley. They were in the part of

    10 the valley around Turbe, Travnik, Vlasic.

    11 Q. And what were they busy doing that day?

    12 A. That is where the frontlines were against the

    13 Chetniks, and we had a zone, an area, a designated area

    14 that we held because it was already said earlier on

    15 that there were no Serbs in Vitez. We didn't have a

    16 war against Serbs in Vitez. Therefore, following

    17 orders, we had to provide personnel to go elsewhere

    18 away from Vitez, that is, to the places where the

    19 frontlines were against the Serbs, and they held an

    20 area facing the Chetniks, the Serbs, at Turbe, another

    21 zone on Mount Vlasic, and another zone in Visoko,

    22 between Visoko and Breza.

    23 Q. And did the HVO know that that's where the

    24 army was on that day?

    25 A. Yes. Apparently, they too had a squad in a

  53. 1 part of this front but way behind our own forces, just

    2 above Travnik.

    3 Q. Were there any Serbs that you know of in

    4 Ahmici for the HVO to be attacking?

    5 A. No, no, there were no Serbs there.

    6 MR. MOSKOWITZ: No further questions. Thank

    7 you.

    8 JUDGE CASSESE: I had a question which has

    9 been, to some extent, put by the Prosecutor. It is

    10 about the official records of the interrogation of

    11 Zoran Santic. So, therefore, my question is now

    12 addressed to the Prosecutor: Have you tried to get

    13 hold of those official records? Do you think there is

    14 any hope of finding those records?

    15 MR. MOSKOWITZ: We have tried, and we hear

    16 that, because of the conflict in Vitez area, which I

    17 believe actually lasted longer than a year and because

    18 of the destruction in that area, it is likely that it

    19 will be impossible to recover some of these files.

    20 However, we have asked the Bosnian embassy to conduct a

    21 careful search to see if perhaps some of those files

    22 may have been saved and placed either in Sarajevo or in

    23 some other safe place. So we are waiting on a response

    24 on that, but we were given little hope that they would,

    25 in fact, be found.

  54. 1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. All right. Now,

    2 to explain to the Defence counsel why I put this

    3 question, is because of Rule 98 of our Rules of

    4 Procedure and Evidence, whereby a Trial Chamber may

    5 order either party to produce additional evidence. Of

    6 course, since we are aware that the Prosecutor has

    7 already tried to find those documents, we will not

    8 issue such an order.

    9 I think there is no objection to the witness

    10 being released, so therefore, let me thank Witness B

    11 for coming here to court to testify. You may now be

    12 released.

    13 I assume that the Prosecutor is going to call

    14 the next witness, Witness number 2, which is

    15 Witness C.

    16 (The witness withdrew)

    17 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, indeed, the next

    18 witness is Witness C. The protection measures for the

    19 protection of his identity and his face have been

    20 taken.

    21 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, I apologise,

    22 but the Defence has a principled objection to make.

    23 Yesterday, on the 24th, the Defence was

    24 informed that this witness would appear today, that is

    25 Witness C. May I remind those present that according

  55. 1 to the ruling of this Trial Chamber, the Defence is

    2 entitled to be informed at least 48 hours in advance of

    3 the name of the witness who will be called to testify.

    4 It is the submission of the Defence that by calling

    5 this witness, the Prosecutor is intentionally putting

    6 the Defence in a position not to be able to prepare for

    7 the cross-examination. Also, we feel that that is in

    8 violation of the ruling of this Trial Chamber.

    9 However, on this occasion, the Defence will

    10 not cause any difficulties and agrees to the witness

    11 being heard. But we do request that should this

    12 testimony be completed ahead of time and the Defence is

    13 called to cross-examine, that that cross-examination be

    14 postponed until tomorrow.

    15 Thank you.

    16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Mr. Pavkovic, for

    17 being so understanding. However, I must say, I myself

    18 read the witness statement on Saturday, last Saturday,

    19 so I think we all had ample opportunity to go through

    20 it.

    21 You are right, however, that we decided that

    22 you should have 48 hours to prepare for the

    23 cross-examination. I hope that, in future, the

    24 Prosecutor will give us, every Friday morning, the list

    25 of those witnesses who will be called by the Prosecutor

  56. 1 the following week, so that they have 48 hours, the

    2 Defence has 48 hours. I think we must comply with this

    3 request.

    4 Let us proceed with this one, and again, I

    5 think --

    6 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, may I just

    7 comment on what has been said? The name of this

    8 witness figured on the list of witnesses disclosed to

    9 the Defence last week, at the same time as required by

    10 the Trial Chamber. Of course, we agreed to this

    11 procedure as suggested by the Trial Chamber but on

    12 condition that certain changes may occur. A change has

    13 occurred, not regarding the name of the witness but

    14 simply the order in which he will testify, and we

    15 wanted the witness to appear today before the Trial

    16 Chamber so as to shorten his stay here and to be able

    17 to return home as quickly as possible.

    18 So we have modified only the order of

    19 appearance but not the name of the witness, and the

    20 Defence has been informed as of last week regarding the

    21 name of the witness.

    22 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, but the rule still

    23 stands regarding 48 hours, and this list was

    24 distributed on Monday morning.

    25 MR. TERRIER: But he was on the list since

  57. 1 last week.

    2 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, but the Defence is

    3 entitled to have 48 hours. So in principle, this

    4 witness should be asked to appear tomorrow morning. I

    5 think that we must have understanding for the position

    6 of the Defence and thank Mr. Pavkovic for agreeing to

    7 the testimony of this witness today, which means we can

    8 proceed now.

    9 It is a protected witness.

    10 (The witness entered)

    11 (redacted)

    12 (redacted)

    13 (redacted)

    14 (redacted)

    15 (redacted)

    16 (redacted)

    17 (redacted)

    18 (redacted)

    19 (redacted)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  58. 1












    13 Pages 931 to 983 redacted - in closed session






    19 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 5.05

    20 p.m. to be reconvened on the 26th day of

    21 August, 1998 at 9.30 a.m.