1 Wednesday, 13th January, 1999
2 (Open session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours.
6 Case number IT-95-16-T, the Prosecutor versus Zoran
7 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago
8 Josipovic, Dragan Papic and Vladimir Santic.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Good morning.
10 Yes, Counsel Pavkovic.
11 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
12 Maybe this is not the right moment, but that is up to
13 you to judge, but Defence counsel would have an
14 observation to make in connection with the list of
15 witnesses supplied by the Prosecutor, claiming that he
16 doesn't have enough information about them. So some of
17 the Defence counsel would like to comment briefly on
18 that list if it may please Your Honour, if this is the
19 moment or at some other point in time. It will only
20 take a few minutes.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: We consider that it is more
22 appropriate to deal with this matter after we have
23 completed the examination-in-chief of this witness. So
24 if you don't mind, we would put off this discussion
25 until we are through with the examination-in-chief.
1 MR. PAVKOVIC: We accept your suggestion,
2 Your Honour.
3 ZVONIMIR CILIC (Resumed)
4 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
5 Q. Good morning, Mr. Cilic. We will resume
6 where we broke off yesterday.
7 So after you were in Busovaca at the press
8 conference, you returned where?
9 A. I returned to the command of the Viteska
10 Brigade in Vitez.
11 Q. What was the situation like there as you
12 found it?
13 A. I returned, my obligation being to inform
14 immediately the command of the Viteska Brigade about
15 what we had learned at the press conference, and to
16 edit that information for the local media, the radio
17 station and the TV station. Also, to prepare reports
18 for members of the local commands and for the media
19 that a number of us were working for, that is the
20 Croatian media in Croatia.
21 Q. And after that?
22 A. After that, two extremely alarming reports
23 reached us. This was in the afternoon. One was that
24 in the area of the Kuber feature, it is a part of
25 Busovaca municipality bordering on Vitez and Zenica, a
1 serious armed incident had occurred between members of
2 the BH army and HVO troops. Namely, at that elevation
3 point members of the Croatian Defence Council had
4 captured that point after the attack on Busovaca after
5 the 25th of January, 1993. This was a disturbing
6 incident, because that day there were so many such bad
7 reports that this was just another one that added fuel
8 to the flames.
9 In the afternoon a report reached us that all
10 road communication between Vitez and Zenica had been
11 broken off, that members of the Zenica MUP of
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which at that time was exclusively
13 composed of Muslims, and members of the BH army had
14 blocked the road and there was no way of going into or
15 leaving Zenica.
16 Q. And what did you do then in view of this
18 A. This disturbed me in particular, because my
19 17-year-old daughter was attending third grade of
20 secondary school, a language school, in Zenica. For
21 the first two years she travelled to Zenica by bus
22 every morning and came back in the same way in the
23 evening. However, when she started third year studies,
24 that is the autumn of '92, because of the different
25 political and security situation and also due to the
1 shortage of oil and oil derivatives, traffic was
2 irregular between Vitez and Zenica as well as the other
3 areas in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That was the reason why
4 we had to find accommodation for our daughter, and that
5 is what we did. We found a room for her with a family
6 in Zenica, and she would come home only during the
7 weekend. Sometimes she would skip a weekend because
8 simply there was no transport.
9 Of course, as a father this alarmed me
10 because there are already been incidents in Busovaca,
11 then this one at Kuber, the murder of the escort of
12 Commander Totic, and so I decided to try to reach
13 Zenica and bring my daughter home.
14 Let me add, in passing, that I had a very
15 difficult problem the year previously when my older
16 daughter happened to be in Sarajevo, and again it was a
17 real adventure to reach Sarajevo and back. So I hoped
18 that good luck and the All Mighty would help me bring
19 my daughter back home.
20 So I don't know whether I need to explain
21 this in detail. I did manage to bring my daughter
22 home. If necessary, I can convey some of the
23 interesting things that happened to me and that I saw
24 on the road from Vitez to Zenica.
25 Q. Tell us, the road to Zenica was blocked;
1 wasn't it? Would you tell us who put up the roadblocks
2 and who was manning them?
3 A. I received permission from the commander of
4 the Viteska Brigade, Mario Cerkez, to go and fetch my
5 daughter to Busovaca -- sorry, to Zenica, though he did
6 so hesitantly because of the incidents that had
7 occurred. However, I insisted, and he didn't find it
8 in his heart to prevent me from getting my child from
10 To reach Zenica you have to cross a pass,
11 about 12 or 13 kilometres long at Veternica, the pass
12 is called Veternica, and there were no vehicles except
13 for one or two coming from the direction of Zenica,
14 which gave me faith that the road would be open. Later
15 on, however, it emerged that this was not so, but that
16 certain vehicles that couldn't reach Zenica or pass
17 through Zenica would make an U-turn and return to
19 This part of the road through Vitez
20 municipality I managed to cross unhindered after
21 passing through barricades. One was at the turnoff
22 towards Zenica, which was manned by the civilian
23 police, by a Croatian policeman from Vitez.
24 The second roadblock was at the top of the
25 Veternica pass, on the boarder between Vitez and Zenica
1 municipalities. There were two policemen there,
2 civilian policemen. I knew one of them well because he
3 was a member of the Vitez police station, and he let me
4 pass without any problems and continue my journey to
5 Zenica, warning me that I wouldn't be able to reach it
6 because there was a long line of cars already that had
7 formed towards Zenica and that were at a standstill and
8 waiting to pass. Thanking him for letting me pass, I
9 continued my journey.
10 I drove around the column because the
11 vehicles were lined up on the right-hand side of the
12 road and there were none on the left-hand side, so I
13 reached the settlement of Cajdras. It is a settlement
14 very close to Zenica, mostly inhabited by Croats, but
15 there is a crossroads where roads lead off to Vitez and
16 Zenica, and to the left a side-road heading towards
17 Travnik via Guca Gora. I think there were about 30
18 policemen there and members of the HOS, H-O-S.
19 At the time HOS was still functioning in the
20 area of Zenica. It was of mixed ethnic composition
21 with members, Croats and Muslims. I was wearing
22 civilian clothes and I had with me, in addition to my
23 ID card an ID card of the Croatian Defence Council. So
24 I thought to myself how I could make my way to Zenica,
25 and it was a question of 500 or 600 metres. So I
1 decided to show one of the HOS members my ID card of
2 the HVO. I did so. And I must say that I had with me
3 seven or eight boxes of cigarettes with ten packets
4 each. I was carrying them to give them to the family
5 with whom my daughter was staying. There were no
6 cigarettes in Zenica, or if there were any they were
7 much more expensive than in Vitez.
8 Giving him this box and making a very quiet
9 plea, I never really gathered whether he was a Croat or
10 a Muslim, but he was ready to let me pass, saying that
11 at the crossroads itself, known as Sarina, I would not
12 be able to pass because apparently 20 to 30 members of
13 the Zenica MUP were there armed to the teeth.
14 Then another member of the HOS joined in the
15 conversation, and he advised me how I could get into
16 Zenica if I took a turning 200 metres before this point
17 where the MUP members were. There's a stream and a
18 small wooden bridge that small cars can use.
19 Sometimes, you see, it's a good thing to have a small
20 car such as I had at the time. They let me pass, and
21 crossing this bridge I reached Zenica from another
22 direction in relation to the one that was under strict
24 At the entry to Zenica, of course this will
25 not mean much to the Court, it is near the church of
1 St. Joseph. I saw there a large group of MUP members
2 armed to the teeth. They were wearing helmets on their
3 heads. They had pistols at their belts and automatic
4 rifles in their hands.
5 They stopped me immediately. I stopped and
6 they asked for papers. I gave them my papers. They
7 examined everything. Of course, I gave them my
8 civilian papers. Then one of them who was checking my
9 documents, cursing the other ones who had let me pass,
10 and, in fact, they hadn't let me pass because I had
11 bypassed them, he asked me where I was going. I
12 explained to them, in pleading terms, I admit that I
13 sought to be as emotional as I could, and I was upset
14 because of my child, and it was only 200 metres from
15 that spot to the place where my daughter was staying.
16 I made a present of a box of cigarettes to
17 him too. They let me pass. I took my daughter, and
18 then we returned along the same route and with only
19 some minor problems.
20 Q. Did you see MUP members and members of the BH
21 army in Zenica?
22 A. Zenica is a very lively transit town, but the
23 situation was most disturbing, the situation I
24 witnessed in Zenica. One couldn't see a civilian.
25 There was no one in the street except for the vehicles
1 of the BH army, the MUP, with their horns on, the
2 sirens on. I saw several vehicles of the MUP as I
3 crossed this path from the entry to the town to the
5 In agreement with the commander of the
6 Viteska Brigade, Mario Cerkez, my obligation was, when
7 I leave Zenica and head back to Vitez, to let him know
8 that I was on my way back, and this was in the case of
9 any complications or if I should fail to reach Vitez
10 then the commander, through various channels and
11 institutions, would try to trace me if anything
12 happened to me. However, nothing did. This is a trip
13 that doesn't take longer than 20 minutes there and 20
14 minutes back. It took me about four hours.
15 I reached the headquarters and reported in
16 detail what I had seen. I reported this to Mario
17 Cerkez and some other members of the command who
18 happened to be present in the commander's office at
19 that time.
20 Q. What was the time that you did this?
21 A. It could have been about 19.00 hours.
22 Q. Let me now show you a document, and you will
23 tell me whether you recognise it or not.
24 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
1 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
2 Q. Do you know which corps was based in Zenica
3 and what the strength of the corps was?
4 A. The 3rd Corps was based in Zenica and the
5 commander was Enver Hadzihasanovic. According to
6 estimates that were available to the Vitez Brigade and
7 the Vitez area of responsibility, the 3rd Corps, in the
8 spring of 1993, which means before the escalation of
9 the conflict, numbered up to 30,000 men.
10 Q. Does the area of Vitez belong to the area of
11 responsibility of the 3rd Corps?
12 A. Yes, it did.
13 Q. Do you know how many brigades the 3rd Corps
15 A. I don't know exactly, but I know that the
16 325th and the 303rd Brigade was stationed in Vitez at
17 the beginning, but what the total number was I really
18 don't know.
19 Q. You mean at the beginning of the war or
20 during the war?
21 A. Before the war and during the war, the 303rd
23 Q. This is a document of the command of the
24 Vitez Brigade obtained from the military intelligence
25 service, dated 10th of April, 1993. Do these data mean
1 anything to you? Actually, the data on the formation
2 of the 325th Mountain Brigade and how it was composed.
3 Apparently there were four battalions and how those
4 battalions were deployed.
5 A. All of us in the command of the Vitez Brigade
6 were more or less familiar with this, precisely from
7 information we received from Tomislav Krizanac, who
8 unfortunately is deceased.
9 Q. So it says here that the 4th Battalion, with
10 its command post in Poculica, formed smaller units
11 along the territorial principle. One company for the
12 villages of Poculica, Prnjavor, Vrhovine, and one from
13 Gornja Dubravica, Tolovici, and the village of Sivrino
14 Selo, and one from Pirici, Santici, and Nadoici. The
15 total number of soldiers is 500.
16 Did you have that report?
17 A. I made -- I cannot be a hundred per cent sure
18 that those figures were exactly the same as these, but
19 we knew that the strongest forces were deployed in the
20 north of Vitez municipality, that is between Vitez and
21 Zenica and those are precisely these places that you
22 have read out.
23 Q. It is also stated that the 325th Mountain
24 Brigade was strengthened by Muslim displaced persons.
25 Is that the information you had, that displaced persons
1 joined the Territorial Defence brigades?
2 A. We all knew this, and being people who
3 whole-heartedly received those displaced persons from
4 Western Bosnia, we were hurt by this. If they didn't
5 stay on in Central Bosnia, their families would go on
6 to Croatia where they were granted refugee status,
7 whereas the able-bodied men stayed behind and joined
8 units of the BH army.
9 And in corroboration of what I'm saying, at
10 the beginning of the war, in the area of the Lasva
11 River Valley, there was a brigade called the Krajina
12 Brigade which was very cruel. This means that they
13 came from Western Bosnia, a part known as Krajina. In
14 fact, the commanders, Mohamed Alagic, who later became
15 corps commander, and his assistant Cuskic, I don't
16 remember his first name, they were former JNA officers
17 and both of them are from Western Bosnia Alagic from
18 Sanski Most, and I don't know about Cuskic, exactly
19 where he came from.
20 Q. From the composition of the 325th Mountain
21 Brigade, it follows that the command posts and the
22 individual battalions were all formed on the
23 territorial principle and that they included the
24 inhabitants of various villages.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In point 2, it is also stated that the
2 battalion based in Stari Vitez was manned by personnel
3 from Stari Vitez and the town of Vitez. Does this mean
4 that the people were in their villages or in the town?
5 A. A number of them were in Vitez, I don't know
6 whether all of them, but in Old Vitez or Stari Vitez,
7 there were other unit members who were not from the
8 location indicated here.
9 Q. In the introductory part, it is also stated
10 that there was a shortage of uniforms on the Muslim
11 side, and that as a result, purchase of hunting
12 clothes, vests and jackets, has been stepped up. Is
13 this something that you yourself noticed, that there
14 was a shortage of uniforms and that there were people
15 wearing civilian clothes on the front?
16 A. One could very frequently come across people
17 under arms in the streets without military equipment or
18 they might have only a part of it. They might have a
19 jacket but no trousers or boots or vice versa. He may
20 have trousers and no jackets. I think this was a daily
21 phenomenon, there is no question about it.
22 Q. After you returned to the command of the
23 Vitez Brigade, you informed Commander Mario Cerkez,
24 informed him of what you had seen. What happened then?
25 A. The day before, that is, on the 14th, I was
1 in the command all day performing my regular duties and
2 obligations. In the evening, due to circumstance, that
3 is, the night between the 14th and the 15th, I was on
4 duty together with another colleague member of the
5 command. I was on duty in the Vitez Brigade. This
6 duty implied to stay on after your completed daily
7 shift, which lasted until 20.00 hours, and to remain on
8 duty until 7.00 hours the next day and then continue
9 working that day all day, and then the person who was
10 on duty the previous night would have a night off.
11 That is how it was in my case because I had been on
12 duty for 36 hours non-stop, and after all the problems I
13 had had the previous day, after reporting to the
14 commander, which is normal, I went home to rest and to
16 Q. I will now show you a document issued on the
17 15th of April, 1993, at 10.00 hours by the commander of
18 the Operative Zone, and please tell me whether you saw
19 this document at the time.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D36/2.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
22 Q. This is a preparatory combat command for the
23 defence of the HVO in the town of Vitez from extremist
24 Mujahedeen Muslim forces. This order was issued on the
25 15th of April, 1993, at 10.00 hours.
1 Tell me, did you have access to this document
2 when you returned from Zenica?
3 A. I did not see it in this original form, but I
4 was informed that such a command had arrived from
5 Colonel Blaskic.
6 Q. How was this information conveyed to you?
7 What was the task of the HVO or, rather, the Vitez
9 A. The task was to increase alertness, to
10 increase the number of men on guard duty, especially
11 command posts, crossroads and so on, and no particular,
12 no special movement of troops was envisaged because the
13 men had -- their military obligation was linked to
14 their place of residence.
15 Q. Was it necessary to be in combat readiness,
16 to intervene in particular cases, in special
18 A. I didn't have any such orders because I don't
19 believe I would have been sent home to rest if there
20 had been such a command by the commander of the Vitez
22 Q. Do you know what the role of the 4th Military
23 Police Battalion was?
24 A. The 4th Battalion always had specific tasks,
25 and in this order issued by Mr. Tihomir Blaskic, its
1 prime task was to control traffic along the Lasva
2 Valley and to secure the command of the Central Bosnia
3 Operative Zone because it was only some 300 metres away
4 from the confrontation line with the Muslim forces.
5 Q. Did you know then that such a command had
6 been issued to the 4th Military Police Battalion
7 because it was a strategically important road?
8 A. I did know that such an order had been issued
9 because it was the first order of its kind addressed to
10 the command of the 4th Military Police Battalion. Such
11 orders had existed in October 1992 during the first
12 conflict between Croatian and Muslim forces in Ahmici,
13 and whenever tension was running high, the 4th
14 Battalion had more or less the same tasks, that is, to
15 secure the road which was vital to the inhabitants of
16 the Lasva Valley, and to keep it open and free.
17 Q. The order also mentions, and this is a part
18 of the orders given to the 4th Battalion, that the
19 Ahmici, Pirici, Nadioci, and Ahmici -- if this comes
20 from this direction, if the attack comes from this
21 direction, that they should open fire.
22 A. One of the locations was at the Bungalow, the
23 Bungalow was one of the points, and I believe that this
24 was put in the order because in this location, this is
25 where the Muslim forces were, and it would have been
1 very easy to shoot even from small arms to the members
2 of -- the Viteska Brigade members.
3 Q. Now, who were the members of the Viteska
5 A. In the beginning, this was an HOS formation,
6 which was the first unit which was established in the
7 Lasva Valley, and later on they became a unit, a
8 special purposes unit, as we called them. They were
9 stationed in Vitez and their commander was also from
11 Q. They were also supposed to prevent attacks
12 from the area of Stari Vitez. Did you have any more
13 details on that?
14 A. No, we did not have more details, but we did
15 make assessments, if a serious attack had occurred,
16 where, from which direction it would come, so we
17 thought that in Mahala, where a number of well-trained
18 and well-armed soldiers were stationed who were not
19 originally from the area of Mahala and Stari Vitez, we
20 thought that that's where the attack would come from.
21 Q. Here you -- it is also specified that -- here
22 it says that -- to be in a state of preparedness to
23 carry out a decisive defence of the territory of the
24 Croatian people. So this was a defensive order?
25 A. I know that you can interpret it in different
1 ways. However, what were we to do? We were living in
2 a small valley, we were about 50.000, but we were
3 surrounded by more superior forces, so we could only
4 defend ourselves. So this is how this order was
5 written because we did not have enough forces, not
6 enough men and not enough equipment, to carry out any
8 Q. Could you please turn to the next page and
9 look at the signature? Is this Tihomir Blaskic's
11 A. As far as I know, yes.
12 Q. Is this the seal that was used by Blaskic,
13 that is, by the commander of the operational zone?
14 A. At this time, yes.
15 Q. Let me just jump to another part, to another
16 issue. We had a document just before this one which
17 was not signed, and this was from the intelligence
18 service of the Viteska Brigade. Why was that document
19 not signed? Was there an obligation to sign documents,
20 these documents that were sent "Strictly
22 A. These were strictly confidential documents
23 but only for internal use, which is why they were not
24 signed, because this document compiled by Mr. Tomislav
25 went directly to Commander Maric, and if he felt it
1 necessary, depending upon the kind of documents, then
2 Mario Cerkez would draft a separate document and send
3 it to particular addressees.
4 Q. I did not read out the entire document, but
5 you do know the facts that this document talks about?
6 A. Not in all details but generally, yes.
7 Q. You talked about deployment of troops in the
8 battalions and 325th Brigade.
9 A. Yes. All these locations that are mentioned
10 here mention all the major Muslim villages in the area
11 except for Poculica, which had mixed population, but
12 strategically later it turned out to be very
13 significant because at the Vjetrenice pass, because it
14 is on the Vjetrenice pass between Vitez and Zenica,
15 which is why, from the outset, the conflicts there were
16 very fierce, and the Muslim forces took control of this
17 village, and the other villages are all around Vitez
18 and they are all in a dominant -- they're all dominant
19 features; in other words, they all dominate the area
20 around the city of Vitez.
21 Q. I would like you to look at another document
22 of 15 April; this is now a bit later, 15.45 hours.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
1 Q. Can you tell me, are you familiar with this
3 A. I believe that I am, even though I could not
4 say so categorically. However, all the facts mentioned
5 here I am familiar with. It just refreshed my memory.
6 Whoever was in the Lasva Valley at that time and who
7 was involved in any information had to have known about
8 7th Muslim Brigade.
9 Q. But I don't ask you about the 7th Muslim
10 Brigade, I ask you about the specific document, and the
11 reason why I'm showing you this document is that it is
12 an order issued on 15 April at 15.45, and in paragraph
13 2, the task of our forces, 2.1, within the zone of
14 responsibility of brigades and for battalions of
15 military police, combat readiness is to be increased to
16 the highest level.
17 Did you have this information? Did you know
18 of that on 15 April, 1993?
19 A. I did not know of this order.
20 Q. If you did not know of this order, of which
21 order did you know?
22 A. I knew of the one which we had talked about
23 before, which was to increase the combat readiness, of
24 the vigilance, and to increase a number of key
25 positions for which the commander thought that they
1 were necessary in their zone of responsibility.
2 Q. What you have just said, is that in
3 contradiction with what is stated here? In other
4 words, are you saying the same thing?
5 A. No, it is not -- yes, it is not contrary.
6 Q. This is what I ask you. Something that is
7 linked to that original order is also mentioned here.
8 Was that the same order?
9 A. Yes, I think it's the same. I think that
10 everything that was in this order -- everything that we
11 did issued out of this order.
12 Q. But you said that you did not know this
13 order, but everything that you mentioned, it speaks
14 about the same thing, the combat readiness, and I don't
15 ask you anything else.
16 Can you tell me, do you recognise the
17 signature of Colonel Tihomir Blaskic and do you
18 recognise the seal?
19 A. Yes, I do. Both.
20 Q. The order also mentions certain tasks of the
21 information, political work, and its task is defined,
22 is that all members in all units are to be informed on
23 a regular basis about developments within the zone of
24 responsibility and in a broader area. In order to
25 secure quicker and more information flow and exchange
1 of information, full co-operation is to be established
2 with the officer of IPD and the headquarters of the
3 Operational Zone of Central Bosnia.
4 Is that task any different from the task that
5 you usually had?
6 A. No. I even said that after I returned from
7 Busovaca where the assistant commander for political
8 work, Marko Prskalo, who is an assistant to Commander
9 Blaskic, we had worked on the tasks which the members
10 of the command structure which were in charge of
11 political work, which involved detailed information
12 from the press conferences and information on all the
13 events which took place in the zone of responsibility
14 of our brigade and the Central Bosnia operational zone,
15 I did this immediately after I returned from Zenica,
16 that same afternoon, and I forwarded it to the members
17 in the local command structures, so that this task was
18 fully implemented, and it covered the information that
19 we had received in Busovaca at the press conference.
20 Q. Was that your regular duty?
21 A. Yes. This was one of my main tasks, to
22 inform soldiers in a timely fashion on all events in
23 the area in which our brigade was operating.
24 Q. Very well. I would like you to look at
25 another document.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D38/2.
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
3 Q. Have you reviewed the documents?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you please tell me, you said that on the
6 16th, that is, the evening of the 15th, the night
7 between the 15th and 16th, you were not in the
8 brigade. Did you see this document during the day of
9 the 17th?
10 A. That is --
11 Q. That is on the 16th during the day?
12 A. Perhaps not the original order, but I knew
13 about the contents of it.
14 Q. In item 2, "The task of your forces to occupy
15 the defence region to block the villages and prevent
16 all entrances and exits from the villages. In the
17 event of an open attack by the Muslims, neutralise them
18 and prevent their movement by accurate fire from small
19 arms weapons." Also, the deployment of forces is
20 mentioned, which is connected to the previous reports.
21 In other words, did you have this information insisting
22 that these things were going on?
23 A. These events were unfolding when I arrived in
24 the command headquarters.
25 Q. But did you have any feedback from the field
1 that this was the development when you arrived at work
2 on the 16th?
3 A. Perhaps not immediately, but later on it
4 turned out that this was true because in several
5 locations these military operations had been
7 Q. So did you learn about this order to block
8 the villages and to return fire in the case of attack?
9 A. I knew that the fire was to be returned if
10 there was an attack.
11 Q. Point 4, it says, "Personally responsible to
12 me for the execution of the given task is the commander
13 of the HVO brigade in Vitez Mr. Mario Cerkez." Do you
14 know when he received this order?
15 A. No, I do not.
16 Q. Also, the order has a heading, this order of
17 01.30 hours on the 16th, which is a combat command
18 order to prevent attack activity by the enemy extremist
19 Muslim forces and blockade of the broader territory of
20 Kruscica, Vranjske and Donja Verceska, in your view was
21 this an order to attack or an order for an active
23 A. This could only be an order for active
24 defence, because in the villages which are mentioned
25 here, we knew and we saw from the previous documents,
1 well-equipped and armed Muslim forces were deployed.
2 So there was a threat of an incursion deep into the
3 territory and even into the town of Vitez itself.
4 Q. Do you recognise the seal of the Central
5 Bosnia operational zone? In other words, do you know
6 what seal this is and do you recognise Blaskic's
8 A. I recognise Blaskic's signature, but the seal
9 is -- cannot be really seen and I don't want to
11 Q. Unfortunately, we do not have better copies.
12 A. But based on some details, I could infer that
13 this was the seal used at the time.
14 Q. And Travnik is also mentioned. Why was
15 Travnik still part of that seal?
16 A. The defence office in Travnik was still
17 operational in some way. The major changes had not yet
18 occurred, and perhaps there were no reasons to change.
19 Only later did the seals change and names of the
20 organisations and institutions.
21 Q. Very well. When did you arrive at the
22 brigade, that is at the command post in the Croatian
24 A. I live about 250 metres away from the command
25 centre, which at that time was the command post of the
1 Vitez Brigade. Sometime right after 5.30, maybe twenty
2 to six I could hear the first loud detonation, and
3 before that we had a verbal and written order that in
4 case of any emergency we were to immediately report to
5 the command post.
6 As the situation was very tense the day
7 before, these first explosions were enough of a signal
8 for me to rush to the command post, and I was there, I
9 believe, before 6.00 a.m.
10 While crossing that short distance I heard
11 explosions from various locations. I could hear them
12 within this town's limits, and it was clear to me that
13 these were not regular acts of provocation but that
14 something more serious was going on.
15 Q. What time was it?
16 A. I arrived at the command post, I believe,
17 between ten to six and five to six. It was before
19 Q. And whom did you find there?
20 A. Most members of the command were there, even
21 though I cannot say categorically who was missing, but
22 most of them were there and the key personnel was
23 already in the office with the commander.
24 Q. Were you involved in issuing of orders and
25 the monitoring of what was going on, the assistance to
1 the units that were out in the field?
2 A. No. Except for information, I was in no
3 other way involved in the issuing of orders.
4 Q. So what was your duty and function?
5 A. If we talk specifically of that morning, my
6 duty was to bring in all staff members of the press
7 service and radio. And many of them were
8 non-professional. There were -- some of them were even
9 not of age, and it was clear that a number of them
10 would not be able to make it because shooting was going
11 on all over the place. There were explosions coming
12 from all sides, and it was very important to stem the
13 panic that was spreading, because the telephones kept
14 ringing all the time and people were calling in to ask
15 what was going on and what they were supposed to do.
16 This is why we decided, and the commander
17 agreed to this, to rush and put together first
18 information, and with the help of our staff to bring
19 people who were involved in the press service and the
20 radio and television to come and report to work.
21 So I drafted the first information for the
22 citizens, something that would also be a bit
23 comforting. And members of the police force of our
24 brigade were able to bring in several staff members of
25 the local television and radio that were all grownups,
1 so we were able to broadcast the first views around
2 9.00, even though -- and we were trying to calm people
3 down even though it was very difficult.
4 Q. In the next following days, what happened
5 with you? Were you still involved in the disseminating
6 of information or were you involved in other things?
7 A. Exclusively in information, and nobody asked
8 of me to do anything else. Nor I could do anything
9 else during that period because at that time it was
10 literally full-fledged war.
11 Q. Were you in the command post the whole time?
12 A. Day and night. I had an office which was
13 also a press service centre, and during the day there
14 were two or three additional people there who were
15 involved in the radio and television, but after they
16 left I was -- I stayed behind to prepare everything
18 Q. Did you see when the arrest of Muslims
19 started and where were they in relation to where you
21 A. It is difficult to remember each and every
22 detail in time and space, but I think it was on the
23 second day that in the Croatian centre, which used to
24 be called the Workers' University, that Muslims began
25 to be brought in from the territory of the town of
1 Vitez. Therefore, within this building there was a
2 cinema hall and some other premises, so that some
3 people decided, the people who made such a decision,
4 that this was a suitable facility for detaining
5 able-bodied Muslims from the town of Vitez.
6 Q. What were the conditions like in the cinema
8 A. The conditions certainly were not very good
9 in terms of accommodation, because there was a large
10 number of people in a relatively small amount of
11 space. However, it -- from a different angle they
12 could be said to be satisfactory, because there were no
13 restrictions on the movement of those people. Their
14 family members could come and visit them because this
15 was in the centre of town, and they were, most of them,
16 living a couple of hundred metres away. Food could be
17 brought to them. If anyone needed medical attention a
18 physician would come from the nearby medical centre or
19 the person would be taken to see a doctor in the
20 medical centre.
21 By way of illustration, let me say that the
22 toilet, the WC, which had two sinks that could be used
23 for washing hands, were used by both the detainees and
24 us, members of the command and personnel of the press
1 Q. Were people mistreated? Were the detainees
2 mistreated? Did you witness any physical mistreatment?
3 A. I can assert categorically that there was not
4 a single case of physical mistreatment in this
5 building, with the exception of the detention itself.
6 But I can allege that there wasn't a single Muslim
7 detained in the Workers' University who was mistreated
8 or who experienced anything bad in addition to the fact
9 of detainment itself.
10 Q. Several days later an agreement was reached
11 on an exchange of the Muslims detained in Vitez for
12 Croats detained in Zenica. Do you know anything about
13 that exchange?
14 A. That exchange was to have been implemented.
15 However, it was not fully but only partially, because
16 already on the 16th Croats had a great deal of problems
17 in Zenica, especially members of the Jure Francetic
18 Brigade. First Commander Totic was taken into
19 custody. Then on the 16th some members of this brigade
20 arrived in Vitez, having escaped from there, the Jure
21 Francetic Brigade, claiming that the Croats there, and
22 especially HVO members, were having many problems.
23 Many of them on the 16th, and later this
24 tendency escalated, on the 17th and 18th, that is
25 people were captured in their homes or in the streets
1 and taken into captivity at the music school. This is
2 a building housing the music school.
3 The Muslims had an advantage in Zenica, an
4 advantage figuratively. They had a large correctional
5 facility where they put up the detained Croats. Excuse
7 However, a negotiation started already on the
8 16th on a cessation of hostilities and on an exchange
9 of detainees, because from one day to the next the
10 number of detainees increased. One must say this
11 applied to both sides, that is Muslim detainees on the
12 Croatian side and particularly detained Croats who were
13 far more numerous, in Zenica.
14 As far as I know, the negotiations on our
15 behalf were conducted by Boro Jozic, a good friend of
16 mine who is also, unfortunately, deceased. The
17 Croatians acted fully in accordance with the agreement
18 reached. However, the detained Croats of Zenica did
19 not come to Zenica as agreed, they remained in
21 Q. When you say that the Croatian side acted
22 fully in accordance with the agreement, does that mean
23 the Muslims were released?
24 A. From this location that I was in, that is the
25 Workers' University, most of them were either released
1 to go back home in Vitez itself. Some of them wanted
2 to go elsewhere, specifically to Zenica, some of them
3 to Mahala, but this was mostly implemented in a correct
4 fashion. And where our command was, the detainees were
5 mostly the most prominent Muslims of Vitez
6 municipality. In fact, most of them were my
7 acquaintances. Some of them were friends of mine of
8 many years standing.
9 Q. Dr. Muhamed Mujeznovic was detained there
10 also, wasn't he?
11 A. Yes. Dr. Muhamed Mujeznovic, a prominent
12 Muslim from Vitez, president of the War Presidency, and
13 he was, in fact, one of those friends of mine that I
14 worked with for many years. We worked together for 18
15 years in the Vitezit factory, he, as a specialist of
16 internal medicine and a specialist of occupational
17 medicine, and I as a social worker, were a team in the
18 struggle to prevent disability in this large factory,
19 the largest in Central Bosnia. As a result, our
20 friendship developed to such a degree that we exchanged
21 visits, private visits, in our homes.
22 Q. Did you see him -- just a moment, please.
23 I'm listening to the translation, so make a short pause
24 to allow me to put the question to you.
25 Did you see him in the premises of the
1 Croatian centre and when?
2 A. I did see Dr. Muhamed Mujeznovic together
3 with the others. This was one morning. I think it was
4 on the second morning, the 17th, and I was most
5 embarrassed when I saw him together with the other
6 Muslims, though I didn't like seeing them either,
7 because as I said, most of them were very good
8 acquaintances of mine and some very good friends.
9 I did not communicate with Dr. Mujeznovic
10 that very same moment, but immediately I climbed up the
11 steps to see the commander, Mario Cerkez, and to ask
12 him to allow me to take Dr. Mujeznovic home, to release
14 At first, though Mario too knew
15 Dr. Mujeznovic very well because Mario too used to work
16 in the same enterprise as Dr. Mujeznovic and myself, he
17 rejected my request because he was not the one who had
18 ordered the arrest of Muhamed and the others in the
19 Croatian centre.
20 Q. Who had given those orders?
21 A. I'm not sure who, because this was in no way
22 linked to the Vitez Brigade, except for the fact that
23 they were accommodated in the same building as the
24 command of the Vitez Brigade.
25 Q. Was Muhamed Mujeznovic released and did he
1 resume working after some time or do you know the exact
2 date when he was released?
3 A. I said that I may be wrong, whether it was
4 the 17th or the 18th, but it was one of those two
5 days. In the afternoon of that day, the day I saw
6 Dr. Mujeznovic and when I asked the commander Mario
7 Cerkez that we should release him, radio Sarajevo and,
8 in the evening, the television of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
9 or Sarajevo television, in its news programme featuring
10 the conflict in the Lasva Valley, reported, among other
11 things, that in Vitez a prominent Muslim and a
12 prominent physician , Dr. Mujeznovic, had been cruelly
13 murdered in Vitez. This prompted me to try and affect
14 his release with Mario once again, because Mario was
15 not following the news broadcast by radio and
16 television Sarajevo.
17 On the other hand, that was my duty, to
18 follow those news reports and to occasionally inform my
19 commander, Mario Cerkez, of those reports.
20 Late in the evening of the 17th or the 18th,
21 I insisted once again with Mario that we release
22 Muhamed, because I really felt extremely embarrassed
23 whenever I passed and saw him and he would see me.
24 Mario Cerkez asked me, "What are we going to
25 do with Muhamed?" And I said, "What else could we
1 do? What else could a doctor do in a war like this?"
2 because there were many wounded and sick people. What
3 else could he do except to perform his regular duties
4 in the medical centre?
5 Mario agreed, and about 22.30 or 23.00 hours
6 I went downstairs to the room where Dr. Mujeznovic was,
7 and I called him out from among a group of people. He
8 came up to me, I told him to come with me. Of course,
9 I made no other comments. I couldn't talk to him in
10 front of the others.
11 As we were climbing the stairs, I held him
12 with my right hand, I held his upper arm in a friendly
13 fashion, and I could feel that he was shivering, that
14 he was afraid. At one point he asked me, "Zvonko,
15 where are you taking me?" And I answered, "Surely you
16 don't think I'm taking you for execution." Of course,
17 I smiled, and this was an indication for him of my good
19 I took him to the office of the Vitez Brigade
20 commander, Mario Cerkez. Muhamed exchanged greetings
21 with Mario. He sat down. Mario offered him a cup of
22 coffee and some drink, and Muhamed accepted.
23 We explained to him that we expected two
24 things of him. The first was that the very next day,
25 in the morning, he go to work at the medical centre and
1 do his professional duties. He accepted with the
2 greatest pleasure, as could be seen from the expression
3 on his face.
4 The second thing I asked of him was that, if
5 he could, that he should deny on our local television,
6 by appearing on television and by speaking, that he
7 hadn't been killed. He was surprised to hear this, and
8 he was ready immediately to appear on the local
9 television because we could enter the satellite
10 programme at any point in time because we were
11 re-broadcasting this satellite programme and we could
12 interrupt the satellite programme with our own feature
13 and with our own images.
14 Sometime around midnight, we did that, after
15 making several announcements on the programme telling
16 our citizens to expect an important information about
17 midnight. We felt that having made this announcement,
18 both Muslims and Croats would watch the programme
19 because the news about the killing of Dr. Muhamed had
20 an extremely negative impact in Vitez.
21 Around midnight, Muhamed did briefly denounce
22 the report of Sarajevo Television and took advantage of
23 the opportunity to call on citizens, both Croats and
24 Muslims, to be reasonable and to work for peace and
25 said roughly that all that was happening in Vitez and
1 the Lasva River Valley would benefit only the third
2 party, and he meant the Serbs.
3 Q. Were any threats made to Dr. Mujezinovic in
4 any sense since, according to his testimony, he was
5 required to call up certain military commanders on the
6 Muslim side to halt the attack on Vitez because of the
7 existence of the explosives factory because the attack
8 on Vitez on the 16th and 17th became very fierce.
9 A. I'm not quite sure whether this was before he
10 appeared on television or immediately after that, but
11 Ivica -- Ivan Santic, the head of the municipality, and
12 I think it was Pero Skopljak, the President of the
13 Vitez HDZ, came to the command, and they greeted
14 Mujezinovic very warmly, they shook hands, and they
15 supported Mario Cerkez's and my decision for Muhamed to
16 go to the health centre and work there because that was
17 the logical thing to do.
18 That was when the proposal or, rather, the
19 request was made to Muhamed that he call up his
20 friends, and especially a very good friend of his who
21 was head of the medical detachment of the 3rd Corps of
22 the BH army, he was a doctor -- I can't recall his name
23 just now, but maybe I will later on -- he was also a
24 specialist, a friend of his, to call him up and to tell
25 him that the shelling should stop, that the persecution
1 of Croats in Zenica end.
2 Q. Which shelling?
3 A. The shelling of Vitez from all sides. Shells
4 were falling on the town and the surroundings from all
6 Q. From which positions?
7 A. Mostly from Grbavica, Bukve, Preocica,
8 Sljivcica, and Vrhovine. These were villages mostly in
9 the north of the municipality, but there were also
10 shells coming from the area of Kruscica, Vranjska, and
12 Q. What was the greatest problem in the event of
13 the shelling of Vitez? What could have happened?
14 Something very untoward for the whole area of Vitez.
15 A. I assume you are referring to the factory.
16 The factory was like an atom bomb in many respects.
17 First there were the remains from the production of
18 nitro-glycerine, and I think I don't need to dwell on
19 what that means because a drop of it can provoke an
20 explosion. There were large quantities of explosives,
21 large quantities of poisonous acids, sulphuric and
22 nitric acid and others, then there were large steam
23 facilities, and all of this combined with nitro-glycerine
24 and explosives could be like bombs that could destroy
25 the whole of Vitez because the factory had a very large
1 capacity of production.
2 Q. When this request for stopping the shelling
3 was made to Mujezinovic, was he threatened in any
5 A. No. I can claim that emphatically because I
6 would not have allowed, in my presence, any threats to
7 be made to Dr. Muhamed because he was my friend.
8 Regardless of the fact that we split on political
9 grounds, we remained friends. I am glad to meet him
10 even today, though many are not glad to see me
11 communicate with him. Many people see him as an
12 enemy. I do not because he was a longstanding friend
13 of mine regardless of all the political differences
14 between us. Later on, I tried to help his family, and
15 I think succeeded up to a degree, because they emerged
16 from the war safe and sound.
17 He was simply asked to do this. The people
18 who know Ivan Santic also know that he is not prone to
19 threats or violence or coercion. Muhamed was merely
20 asked to bring influence to bear on his friends to stop
21 the shelling because a disaster could be provoked
22 because of this factory; and secondly, because the
23 shelling and killing were provoking reaction among the
24 people exiled from Zenica whose children had been
25 killed, to massacre or kill the detainees; and it was
1 along those lines that we spoke to Muhamed, without any
2 threats, because we knew that no threats would be of
3 any avail because he was not in a position to do
4 anything anyway.
5 Q. Will you please take a look at this list of
6 dead soldiers of the Viteska Brigade on the 20th of
7 April and a list of the wounded of the Viteska
8 Brigade. You wrote it, so I think you will probably be
9 able to recognise it.
10 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
13 Q. Mr. Cilic, will you tell us, please -- this
14 is a document of the command of the Vitez Brigade. You
15 are mentioned as the signatory, though you did not sign
16 this document, but you are named here as assistant
17 commander for information and political activities. It
18 is a list of members of the Vitez Brigade killed in the
19 conflict with the Muslims, and there are 23 names on
20 the list.
21 Tell us, are these all soldiers who were
22 killed in the area of Vitez in the fighting during the
23 first few days?
24 A. Yes. These are all soldiers, citizens of
25 Vitez municipality who were killed in Vitez
1 municipality. There is not one of them who did not
2 live in Vitez or who did not come from Vitez. But
3 there is a minor error here. All the killed listed
4 here did not belong to the Vitez Brigade, but this is
5 something I didn't know at the time. Some of these, I
6 think a smaller number, I would not be able to identify
7 all of them by name, came from other units, but the
8 information that reached me and the names I received
9 prompted me to place them in this list as members of
10 the Vitez Brigade because at that point in time, what
11 was important was the fact that they had been killed,
12 so that no one insisted in particular on checking to
13 make sure 100 per cent whether each one of the killed
14 soldiers was a member of the Vitez Brigade or not. I
15 know now that several were not members of the Vitez
16 Brigade and yet they are on this list of 23 names.
17 The same applies to the list of 63 wounded
19 Q. You said these were members of other units
20 but also from the territory of Vitez.
21 A. Yes, mostly from the territory of Vitez,
22 though there may have been some from the territory of
23 Busovaca or Travnik.
24 Q. I am saying units that were in Vitez at the
25 time. I'm not saying where they had come from.
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Was this an official final list or was this
3 just a report addressed to the information office of
4 the operation zone of Central Bosnia, like a working
5 document? Could we call it that?
6 A. Yes, this is a draft report, and the task of
7 all those working on similar assignments as myself in
8 the Lasva River Valley in any one of the brigades or
9 units had the same task, to draw up their own lists for
10 their own units.
11 Q. So you compiled this list on the basis of
12 information that reached the Vitez Brigade?
13 A. Yes, information reached us. Later on, we
14 established that this was in error, that they were not
15 all members of the Vitez Brigade.
16 Q. Why does the name of the father not figure
17 each time?
18 A. We didn't know at the time, and how could we,
19 because there was no proper structure or organisation
20 for us to be able to identify and check each and every
21 name, and especially as some of these surnames in the
22 Lasva River Valley are very widespread, and there are a
23 large number of people with the same name, and only
24 knowing some other personal data can they be
1 Q. Then there is also a list of wounded soldiers
2 of the Vitez Brigade. There are 63 names on this
3 list. So again, we have the same situation. Members
4 of the Vitez Brigade wounded during those couple of
5 days in the area of Vitez.
6 A. Yes, but with the same reservation, that on
7 this list too, there are names of men who were not
8 members of the Vitez Brigade.
9 Q. Actually, who came from other units; isn't
10 that so?
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, perhaps
13 this would be an appropriate time for a short break. I
14 only have the final part of my examination-in-chief to
15 do after this. I have a video to show.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: How much time do you need?
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Half an hour.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Half an hour. All right. So
19 we will take a break now, 20-minute break.
20 --- Recess taken at 10.35 a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
22 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would just like to
23 request that the witness again be shown the document
24 D39/2 because there is a further clarification that I
25 think is necessary.
1 Q. In order to make this completely clear, and
2 since we may go back later during the proceedings,
3 could you tell us about the names on the list of the
4 killed and wounded, who were and who were not members
5 of the Viteska Brigade?
6 A. I will only mention the names that I'm
7 completely certain about.
8 Q. Very well. Just those who you know for
10 A. The Zlatko Ivankovic, Zeljo Livancic, Ivica
11 Zepackic --
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Give us the numbers, please.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
14 Q. Please also mention the number when you read
15 out the names of these persons mentioned.
16 A. Number 5, Zlatko Ivankovic. Number 8, Zeljo
17 Livancic. Number 11, Ivica Zepackic. Number 15, Josip
18 Slipac. Number 17, Zoran Bajo. Number 22, Mirko
19 Popovic. For these I'm certain, and there are a few
20 others that I'm not certain about and I don't want to
21 make an error.
22 Q. To which units did they belong?
23 A. Some of them were members of the military
24 police and some others were the Special Purposes Unit
25 members. They were from Nova Bila. Those were called
1 Lightnings, and the others I don't know.
2 Q. The Special Purpose Units that you named
3 Mujne, were they part of the Viteska Brigade?
4 A. No, none of the Special Purpose Units were
5 within the make-up of the Viteska Brigade, nor did the
6 Viteska Brigade have any group of soldiers intended for
7 this kind of special purposes.
8 Q. Could you also look at the list of the
9 wounded and tell us who do you recognise from that list
10 who was not a member of the Viteska Brigade but of
11 other units?
12 A. I'm afraid that it would be much harder,
13 especially because there is no name of the father
14 beside the name, so I'm afraid that I could make a
16 Q. But for some of them you think that they were
17 not members?
18 A. Yes, of course. If you look at -- ask me to
19 look at the list in detail I will find a number of them
20 who were not members.
21 Q. Could you tell us about someone for sure?
22 A. Well, you could just give me a little time to
23 look. Number 17, Jako Opacak was not a member of the
24 Viteska Brigade.
25 Q. What brigade was he a member of?
1 A. I think he was a member of the military
2 police, but you can take this with reserve because I'm
3 not a hundred per cent sure. Number 55, Adis Cosic was
4 also not a number of the Viteska Brigade. I think he
5 was also a member of the military police. I think the
6 same applies to number 52, Anto Krizanac. That would
7 be about it.
8 Q. Out of these 23 could you determine who were
9 members of the military police and who were members of
10 other units, and which units out of the 23 killed?
11 A. Number 5, Zlatko Ivankovic was a member of
12 the military police. I think the same goes for
13 Livancic Zeljo -- Zeljo Livancic. Also Ivica
14 Zepackic. I think number 15, Josip Slipac was also a
15 member of the military police.
16 Q. What about Zoran Bajo and Mirko Popovic?
17 A. I think Zoran Bojo was a member of the
18 Special Purposes Unit, but I'm not sure whether he was
19 a member of Munir or Tvrtkovci. Also, I'm not also a
20 hundred per cent sure about number 22, Mirko Popovic
21 whether he was a member of the military police or some
22 other formation.
23 Q. Are the rest soldiers of the Viteska and
24 other units, with the information about the other units
25 not being definite because you said this was primarily
1 regarding the Viteska Brigade? Were there any other
2 victims in those days among the civilians, and are
3 there any civilians on this list?
4 A. No, there are no civilians on this list,
5 because the lists of the killed and the wounded from
6 the ranks of the civilians, this was done by the
7 municipal civilian defence who also made lists and gave
8 them to the Red Cross and the offices of the Viteska
9 Brigade, and particularly to the office of the Central
10 Bosnia Operative Zone.
11 Q. Thank you. I would also like to show you a
13 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
16 Q. This is the operative announcement from the
17 Viteska Brigade, dated April 16, 1993, which was
18 obviously written by the commanding officer of the
19 brigade, the operative officer. Did you see this
20 operative announcement of his?
21 A. Yes, I saw it, and I used parts of it for
22 information that we made -- that I provided to the
23 local media.
24 Q. It says in the statement that the citizens
25 were in a panic and that they were constantly requiring
1 information and asking advice. In order to -- that we
2 had no contacts with the organs of civilian protection
3 because they could the not make it to their places of
4 work and were not answering their house telephones
5 because they were in shelters.
6 It also says that together with two officers
7 there were also two police officers on duty at the
8 start of the attack. Two of them went to the command
9 of the regional police and then after that all traces
10 of them are lost. They did not come back but they also
11 did not reach the police.
12 So this announcement indicates there was
13 complete panic?
14 A. Yes. If you recall when I spoke at the
15 beginning of this session about preparing information
16 for citizens, I said that the telephones were ringing
17 off the hook because the citizens were asking for any
18 kind of information about what was going on in Vitez
19 and what could they do. The reason for this situation
20 was the fact that the officials -- the workers,
21 employees of the local radio station, could not arrive
22 to work in time because this could not be expected due
23 to a lot of firing, and detonations and shooting from
24 light artillery, so that only late in the morning they
25 started to arrive, the first employees from the press
1 service began to arrive.
2 You can see from this that the same situation
3 was with the Civil Defence and other organisations and
4 institutions in the town.
5 Q. It also says here that most of the officials
6 of the command of the military units did not arrive to
7 their post and there was disorganisation among their
8 ranks. It also says that attacks were going on from
9 all sides and there were no commands and no
10 instructions. Was this your impression also?
11 A. Yes. The situation was more or less like
12 this. I said that a number of the command members,
13 when I arrived, were already inside. Also, there were
14 a number of officers on duty. Some of them arrived
15 earlier, among them the commander. Also, he arrived
16 before I did. But a number of the members of the
17 command staff who lived a few kilometres away from the
18 command post could not arrive immediately, so they came
19 with a considerable delay to the command post of the
20 Viteska Brigade.
21 It is true that there was disorganisation in
22 the ranks. I speak for myself first. I didn't know
23 what to do at that moment. I felt the need that I had
24 to do something, but I didn't know how or what would be
25 the most effective thing that I could do. Simply, none
1 of us were in that similar situation before, and it was
2 very difficult, in general chaos, among the shooting
3 and the explosions from all sides.
4 Q. There is another combat statement,
5 communiqué. It was issued on the same day, in the
7 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
10 Q. Do you remember this report?
11 A. Yes, I remember it very well. We -- parts of
12 this report were used for our information that we
13 passed along, and I think this report pictured very
14 well the situation in the region, in the centre of the
16 Q. I would like to ask you whether you can
17 explain why this seal of 23rd of January, '93 was
18 placed on this document. How is it possible that this
19 seal is here?
20 A. You mean this one in the upper right-hand
21 corner? I think it's a little difficult for me to
22 explain that. I didn't notice it immediately but it
23 would be logical to conclude that the defence section
24 received this report. I don't understand why this
25 date, the earlier date, is on the document.
1 Q. So you can't explain why this stamp has this
3 A. No. I don't know.
4 Q. Okay. Let's look at the content. This
5 combat report, signed by the officer on duty, in the
6 English translation also we don't see the signature.
7 Do you remember who was the duty officer on the 16th?
8 A. I don't remember. I think perhaps there were
9 four of them. So it was very difficult to say which
10 one was on duty. I'm not sure.
11 Q. It is cited that the hand-launched
12 120-millimetre grenades were probably sent from the
13 village of Preocica, and they fell very close to the
14 post office and the command post of the Operative
15 Zone. It then says, from the direction of Vjetrenice
16 and Vrhovine, Muslim forces fired on Croatian houses in
17 Poculica. The inhabitants of this village panicked,
18 are frightened, and they've been calling to ask what to
19 do as their homes have no cellars. The building of
20 primary school Dubravica where Vitezovi are located is
21 also being fired at. Muslim forces have opened heavy
22 artillery fire on our settlements and units from
24 So these would be the areas of attacks, and
25 it is also cited that a mortar shell hit a
1 prefabricated building on the grounds of the football
2 stadium and some houses in Komarnjaca (phoen) were hit
4 So these would be the areas of attack that
5 you spoke about earlier?
6 A. Yes, this is correct. If I can also say, the
7 mortar shells which are cited here as having dropped
8 around the post office and the command post of the
9 Central Bosnia Operative Zone and in the immediate
10 vicinity of the command of the Viteska Brigade, the
11 mortar shells continued to fall in that region for the
12 next eleven months. Hundreds of them were dropped.
13 Because this location of about 150 metres, all the key
14 institutions, the political ones of executive
15 government and the military were located, I mean, the
16 post office, the police, the municipal headquarters,
17 the seat of the municipal authority, the command post
18 of the Operative Zone, the Viteska Brigade,
19 radio-television, so this was a logical place for
20 constant attacks, particularly with grenades, mortar
21 shells, and later with tanks as well. There are
22 videotapes about this as well, information. A lot of
23 people were injured in this area and a lot were killed.
24 Q. There is one last document. If you could
25 please look at it?
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we move on to the next
2 document, I wonder whether you might, by asking a
3 question of the witness -- Mr. Cilic, if you compare
4 document D40/2 and D41/2 and the numbers. On top of
5 each document, you have "Strictly Confidential" and a
6 number. Now, it struck me that D40/2, which was sent
7 at 7.00 a.m., carries the number 02-125-9/93, and then
8 the other document, D41/2, which was sent two hours
9 later, at 9.00 a.m., carries the number -- or the
10 reference 02-125/9. So can you explain why one carries
11 the 9/93, the other one just 9? The following one has
12 only this reference to 9. Should it be 9/94 or 10? I
13 don't know. If you could clarify this matter?
14 A. Your Honour, I don't know if I will be able
15 to clarify this, although I agree with you that it
16 should logically be so. But after the operative
17 command officer makes the report, he gives it in
18 handwriting to the secretary who typed it, and then
19 after his signature, she would give it to the
20 commander. What system of document registration this
21 is, I really don't know.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Because in a way, in
23 the indication of the incoming documents, there is more
24 logic. You have the one sent at 7.00, which carries
25 the number 293-4 or 7, and the following one, sent two
1 hours later, carries the number 293/4/8. That means
2 that it was a subsequent document, although, of course,
3 there is an inconsistency in the date. Of course, I'm
4 aware that the date is not consistent, but the number
5 is consistent, this number of the receiving -- the
6 incoming document.
7 Anyway, thank you for your clarification.
8 Thank you. Sorry, counsel, you may proceed.
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
10 Q. I would also like to ask you, relating to the
11 Presiding Judge's question, if you can look at document
12 D39/2. So if you would look at that? These are also
13 different numbers, so if you can explain how these
14 documents were marked according to the sub-numbers?
15 Because here also there is a sub-number. They all have
16 the same number, but they also have sub-numbers, just
17 like the Presiding Judge said. Could you explain this,
19 A. I'm not sure if I will explain -- if I will
20 manage to explain this completely, but I think that the
21 sub-numbers relate to the services which wrote the
22 reports. This seems to be the only logical answer
23 because I am not familiar with the way of marking the
25 Q. Okay. Thank you. I asked you about the
1 date. The date is not appropriate, the date with the
2 same stamp is on document D40/2, which you have. The
3 stamp is the same, the handwriting is obviously the
4 same. It was sent on to the Defence unit -- department
5 on the same day. Is it possible that there is a
6 mistake between documents 40 and 41, or maybe it's
7 written illegibly?
8 A. It's difficult to conclude that a mistake
9 like this could happen, but everything is possible, and
10 I can't decipher this.
11 Q. Also, the stamp again has a sub-number
12 293-4-7. This is document D40. And D41 has 293-4-8,
13 which follows. So there are some additional numbers.
14 They were obviously sent on the same day, according to
15 the numbers. Is this correct?
16 A. Yes. You can see that there's a sequence in
17 this, and the way that the documents were received,
18 they received the sub-numbers.
19 Q. Very well. Thank you very much. There is
20 another operative report of the 17th of April, so if
21 you could look at that, please?
22 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
24 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
25 Q. Have you managed to read it?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. There is something on the other side as
3 well. I don't know if you noticed. In this part, the
4 situation is described of 17th of April, '93, and item
5 2 is of interest to us where it is cited that the
6 region of the Santici village, there was combat all
7 day. The intensity of combat activities was especially
8 pronounced after Muslim forces joined in from the
9 direction of Sljivcica, Sivrino Selo, and Pirici with a
10 constant artillery support from the direction of
11 Poculica and Vrhovine. The goal of Muslim fighting was
12 to take control of the Santici region, provide support
13 from Zenica, and cut off the Kaonik-Travnik road
14 stretch and join with the Muslim forces in the region
15 of Rovna, Vranjska, and Kruscica as successfully as
17 Was this something that was known to you?
18 A. Yes. Any information like this was known to
19 me, and from the beginning of the war until the end,
20 each information of this kind, each combat report,
21 passed through my hands, so this one did too.
22 Q. Also item 2 states: From the direction of
23 Zenica toward Kuber, it was observed that Mujahedeen and
24 other extremist Muslim forces were on the move. Their
25 task was to take control of the Kuber region and then
1 with the support of artillery ordinance make a
2 breakthrough on the stretch Gola Kosa.
3 I can't -- this section is illegible.
4 ... Kratine, join with Muslim forces and cut
5 off the Kaonik-Travnik communication and join Muslim
6 forces in the Rovna region.
7 Was this information, as part of this report,
8 was that also something that was known to you?
9 A. Yes. I especially remember this part of the
10 report, and I have already stated this before. On the
11 afternoon of the 15th, there was the first serious
12 incident in the area of Kuber on the side supervised by
13 members of the HVO from Busovaca. It is also easy to
14 remember the events in Kuber because Kuber was the
15 highest point held by the HVO, and strategically, it
16 seems to me, that's what military experts said, it was
17 very important because the Kuber point, you could see
18 with your bare eyes Zenica and Busovaca, I mean the
19 centre of the towns, so this was a very important
20 dominant point for this region, and for this reason,
21 attacks on this area were understandable, and on this
22 day, on the 17th, the Muslim forces overran the most
23 important and the most dominant part of Kuber.
24 Q. Very well. Thank you. Could you please tell
25 us when negotiations started on the cease-fire and
1 calming the situation in Vitez at the highest military
3 A. I think they started already on the 16th.
4 Negotiations on the first day, in the afternoon, and
5 then from day in, day out, they proceeded with
6 immediate positive results which were of very short
7 duration, and it was easy to conclude that there were
8 no serious negotiations or no serious agreements
9 reached. In spite of the fact that at some moments it
10 seemed as if there would be a cease-fire and the
11 horrors of war would stop, we would always be wrong,
12 and then as far as I understand, already on the 16th in
13 the afternoon, with the mediation of representatives of
14 the British battalion which was stationed in Bila in
15 the region of the Vitez municipality.
16 Q. Do you know whether any agreement on a
17 cease-fire was reached on the 16th?
18 A. As far as I remember, there was a cease-fire
19 agreement, and I think in an hour or two, there was a
20 cease-fire, which looked very nice, but already in the
21 evening hours everything resumed with the same force
22 and tempo that it had in the morning hours.
23 Q. Did Commander Blaskic issue orders to cease
24 combat activity on the 16th?
25 A. I remember that in the evening, we already
1 had the order by Tihomir Blaskic, which was a result of
2 the agreement between Blaskic and Mr. Dzemal Merdan
3 from the 3rd Corps, but you could take this name with a
4 little bit of reserve because I'm not quite sure
5 whether it was him but I think it was him.
6 We received cease-fire orders which we took
7 very positively, most of us, but this did not last
8 long, unfortunately. The order was explicit, that
9 weapons were not to be used against members of the BH
10 army except in case our units were attacked.
11 Q. Very well. One additional document. This is
12 the first attempt to calm down the situation, and this
13 is an order for a cease-fire. I think those two
14 documents are linked, so if we could look at both of
15 them, please?
16 THE REGISTRAR: D43/2.
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
18 Q. Did this report reach you about this meeting
19 with Muslim forces?
20 A. Yes. I see it now, and I see that I made a
21 mistake about who attended the meeting, but I was not
22 wrong about the date when these negotiations were held,
23 and I now recall some additional details about the
24 whole process.
25 Q. It says that; "HVO requirements: offensive
1 operations, actions by Muslim forces in Vitez are to be
2 stopped; abducted commander of the Jure Francetic
3 brigade, Mr. Zivko Totic, is to be set free; abducted
4 members of the HVO brigade headquarters from Novi
5 Travnik are to be released."
6 The most important information came from
7 Colonel Stewart; "namely, that Commander Totic was
8 alive and may be expected to be released perhaps this
9 very day. This is being taken care of by UNPROFOR in
10 Zenica." And the conclusions reached at the meeting
11 were: "Cessation of fire, separation of forces,
12 release of prisoners, care for the wounded, UNPROFOR
13 patrols in towns and surrounding villages, and meetings
14 to be held 17 April, '93, at 9.00 hours."
15 Do you recognise Commander Blaskic's
16 signature and stamp?
17 A. Yes. Everything is in order here and I
18 recognise it all.
19 Q. And you recall the information?
20 A. Yes, I do, completely, and if I can just
21 comment on it very briefly? This information was
22 broadcast on our media, that Mr. Zivko Totic was alive,
23 which was received with great satisfaction by the
24 population, but the conclusion -- or, that is, the
25 expectations that, as early as today, as it's stated
1 here, he was going to be released, did not materialise
2 because it took at least another month before he was
3 released from prison.
4 Q. Could you just look at this other document
5 which is a document relating to the cessation of
6 hostilities of 16th April at 16.00 hours, and if you
7 can tell me whether you have seen it?
8 THE REGISTRAR: Document D44/2.
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
10 Q. This is the order for cessation of combat
11 operations of the Central Bosnia operational zone
12 addressed to the commander of the Viteska Brigade and
13 to the commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade,
14 which was the other brigade there, and it says that;
15 "on the basis of agreement reached between
16 representatives of the HVO and Muslim forces, under
17 auspices and supervision of the UNPROFOR
18 representatives and in order to carry out their
19 obligations, et cetera, with the signing of this
20 agreement, as well as to contribute on our part to calm
21 down the situation and reduce tensions between the
22 units of the HVO and Muslim forces."
23 Do you remember this order?
24 A. Yes. It was something -- it was a very
25 encouraging order and we broadcast it immediately,
1 maybe not in this form, but all the essential facts,
2 information from here were part of that broadcast.
3 Q. Do you recognise the signature and the stamp?
4 A. I do, both of them.
5 Q. Can you tell me whether you knew whether
6 Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic were members of the Viteska
7 Brigade on 16 April, that is, before 16 April, 1993?
8 A. They definitely were not members of the
9 Viteska Brigade.
10 Q. You mean the active part of the brigade?
11 A. Yes, the active part of the brigade that is.
12 Q. One more thing. Can you tell me whether you
13 know -- when did the information on the events in
14 Ahmici reach you? In other words, when did you find
15 out what happened in Ahmici?
16 A. As early as 16th of April it was -- it could
17 be concluded easily that fierce fighting was going on
18 around Ahmici, because this was just a few kilometres
19 from the centre of Vitez, which is where the command
20 posts were. For several hours there was powerful
21 explosions coming from that area as well as sounds of
22 small arms fire, as well as sounds of explosions, but,
23 frankly, for two days I did not know what went on there
24 and what occurred.
25 I believe that the vast majority of citizens
1 did not know, including members of our command, because
2 had they known it I would have known it too.
3 Unfortunately, on the third day I learned what happened
4 in Ahmici, and as a human being I was struck, I was
5 shocked by what had happened, because we were -- I
6 could not conceive of the proportions of the crime
7 which was committed in Ahmici.
8 Q. Can you tell me something, and I'm referring
9 you to something you said during our discussion, was
10 Ahmici some kind of religious centre which was
11 particularly significant in terms of religion? Do you
12 know anything about that?
13 A. I do not know of anything which would make
14 Ahmici special in terms of presence of Islam there. In
15 fact, I could say that Ahmici was probably more urban
16 in its character and people living there were closer to
17 an urban type of living rather than a rural type of
18 living in comparison to other villages in the Vitez
19 area. I would not categorise Ahmici as any particular
20 Islamic or Muslim centre.
21 As far as I know, they had not had a mosque,
22 and I believe it was only built in 1991, whereas before
23 one private home was used as Mejtef, as is called a
24 place where Muslim faith is being taught.
25 There were a number of Muslims who worked
1 with me, and they were professionals, lawyers and
2 engineers. They were all involved in sports, they were
3 very active members of a cultural society in Vitez
4 which was Slobodan Princip Seljo, and the village of
5 Ahmici and its inhabitants were urbanised as other
6 parts of Vitez which ran along the main road.
7 Q. A moment ago you said that Ahmici did not
8 have a mosque until '90 or '91. Did this Mejtef not
9 serve as a mosque or did a mosque have different
10 features that would make it a mosque?
11 A. I grew up in an environment which was
12 ethnically mixed. We were half and half, Muslim and
13 Croat. As far as I know, there were no particular
14 limitations or bans, especially in the last decade of
15 the Communist regime in the former Yugoslavia, to build
16 mosques, and to build them in a fashion as the Muslim
17 faith requires.
18 It's a building where -- in the building
19 where these rituals were held had a minaret. Now, this
20 Mejtef where the Islam was taught did not have a
21 minaret. There was a Mejtef in Vitez proper, which was
22 right next to the mosque. It was a separate building.
23 Q. How about other villages? Did they have
24 separate buildings which was used for religious
25 training or teaching?
1 A. Almost all major villages did have both a
2 mosque and Mejtef, including Kruscica, Preocica,
3 Poculica as well as Vitez town.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Very well. Thank you.
5 Mr. President, Mr. Cilic also knows Zoran and
6 Mirjan Kupreskic and he can testify to their
7 character. I don't see a good reason to bring him back
8 again for that part of the testimony, so I believe that
9 this testimony could be offered now, with your
10 agreement. Thank you.
11 Could we have videotape, please, and
12 Mr. Cilic was present at these events. We do not have
13 a translation. I don't think it is necessary. We
14 would only ask that the date be interpreted, and we
15 would like the interpreters to just render the date and
16 the opening sentence of the videotape.
17 Can we run the videotape, please?
18 (Videotape played)
19 (In interpretation)
20 "Good evening. We begin this broadcast with a
21 congratulations to our Muslim fellow citizens on their
22 holiday, the Bajram."
23 JUDGE MAY: You can fast forward it through.
24 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: We can skip this part.
25 Mr. President, we did not -- we wanted to show the
1 integral version, and the only piece of news is -- what
2 we wanted to show is that there is a cultural event
3 organised on occasion of the Bajram, and everything
4 leading up to that were just news from the battlefront,
5 but they were not relevant to this, but we did not want
6 to leave any impression that we were editing the tape.
7 So our apologies for this.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: So could you then skip the
9 part that is not relevant and get to the relevant
11 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes. This is not the
12 relevant part, because this -- the first -- in the
13 introductory part there was only the congratulations,
14 well-wishing for Bajram, which is on the 23rd of
15 March. Now, if we could run the tape with that piece
16 of news, please.
17 (Videotape played)
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: We can stop here. Can
19 we back up a little bit?
20 Q. Mr. Cilic, can you tell us who are these
21 members of the British Battalion?
22 A. Yes. The members of the British Battalion
23 are up front, and behind them I see the representatives
24 of the BH army, but up front are the BRITBAT members
25 with their hosts.
1 Q. Can you stop now, please? Do you recognise
2 in the background someone else, a person who attended?
3 A. Yes, I recognise Mr. Pero Skopljak, who was
4 the President of the Vitez HDZ at the time, and
5 unfortunately, later on he was a detainee here in The
6 Hague, at the Tribunal.
7 Q. Can we back up some more, please? We can
8 stop here. Who do you recognise here?
9 A. I'm here in the front row at this event, at
10 this celebration of Bajram. I was present as the
11 President of the cultural society Napredak, or
13 Q. And who was there with you?
14 A. It was Anto Marjanovic.
15 Q. Can we now play -- go forward with this tape
16 but not as fast, if it can be played in slow motion,
18 (Videotape played)
19 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Can we move on?
20 (Videotape played)
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: We can stop here and
22 back up a little bit. Stop here, please. A few frames
23 forward, please. Now, please.
24 Q. In the background, do you recognise someone
1 A. The videotape is not very clear, but I think
2 that Mirjan Kupreskic was there, but I'm 100 per cent
3 certain. Perhaps my eyeglasses are not good enough,
4 but he was there.
5 Q. Do you recognise someone in the background?
6 The first on the left?
7 A. I believe that's Fahran Ahmic. He was a
8 drummer who was with the Slobodan Princip Seljo
9 cultural society.
10 Q. What about Mirjan?
11 A. I'm not sure that it is him. The videotape
12 is not very clear and maybe my eyeglasses are not
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Very well. Can we move
16 (Videotape played)
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Can you stop now?
18 Please and back up just a little bit. Stop, please.
19 Q. Could you recognise the person the first to
20 the right?
21 A. The one next to the young woman in the white
22 kerchief is Mirjan Kupreskic.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Counsel, please speak into
24 the microphone.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
1 Q. What about Fahran?
2 A. I believe Fahran is right next to him.
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Very well. We can move
5 (Videotape played)
6 (In interpretation)
7 "We have also prepared a special film on the
8 holiday of Bajram which you can see after the broadcast
9 of news."
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: You can stop now.
11 Thank you.
12 Q. Mr. Cilic, what was this celebration? We
13 didn't have an interpretation of the first part, so we
14 couldn't hear the announcement made by the speaker.
15 A. It was the celebration of the greatest Muslim
16 holiday, Bajram, and it was organised for the Vitez
17 municipality in the centre of the Muslim authority in
18 Vitez municipality after the split, in the part of town
19 called Mahala, in the former fire brigade centre, and
20 in a hall, which I said yesterday, was used for table
21 tennis competitions. In its day Vitez was a member of
22 the first table tennis league of Yugoslavia.
23 Q. Will you tell us, please, why are all the
24 people standing? Were they standing throughout the
25 celebration of Bajram?
1 A. They were all standing because at the moment
2 that we saw on tape, the anthem of the Party of
3 Democratic Action was being played, the largest Muslim
4 party. This was their anthem, and that is why we were
5 all standing.
6 Later on the guests had tables that they
7 could sit at, whereas the others had to stand because
8 it was too crowded, there wasn't enough room.
9 Q. In the actual programme, we saw an obviously
10 Muslim folklore group. Who were the others that
11 participated in the programme itself?
12 A. In addition to the local folklore group which
13 had been formed in the last couple of months, because
14 the Muslims formed their own society called Preporod,
15 or Rebirth, and this was the first time I saw this
16 group singing and later dancing. But also, members of
17 the folklore group of the Slobodan Princip Seljo
18 culture and art society performed later on.
19 Q. Who were the members of that culture and art
20 society known as Slobodan Princip Seljo, SPS?
21 A. This time I will only speak about the
22 folklore section, though the composition was roughly
23 the same in the whole society, the society as a whole.
24 Without any strict standards, the composition of
25 members was divided half-half between Muslims and
1 Croats. In the folklore section, there were also
2 Serbs. Anyone who wanted to be a member could join.
3 But the most numerous were Croats and Muslims, about
4 half-half. However, the manager of the folklore group
5 was Zoran Kupreskic, and he was also the most prominent
6 member, and the manager of the orchestra was his
7 brother Mirjan Kupreskic.
8 Q. You said that the Muslims at the time had
9 formed their own culture and arts society which they
10 called Preporod or Rebirth. What did the Croats do?
11 A. The Croats in Vitez had a long tradition of
12 the existence of their own culture society called
13 Napredak which had been formed in 1920. By 1927, this
14 society had its own building, its own centre. And this
15 society, Napredak, or Progress, functioned very well
16 until 1946 when the Communist regime outlawed all
17 cultural and other institutions which had a nationalist
18 tendency. But Napredak was the largest Croatian
19 cultural society before the Second World War, and it is
20 the largest now after the fall of Communism.
21 Q. Will you tell us whether Croats renewed the
22 work of this society and when?
23 A. Yes. In 1991, as soon as
24 circumstances allowed, because we wanted to continue
25 the glorious traditions of Napredak in that area.
1 Q. So the Muslims formed their own society,
2 Preporod, the Croats renewed the work of Napredak and
3 the Municipal Culture and Arts Society was a mixed one?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Who financed this Municipal Culture and Arts
6 Society, SPS?
7 A. After the Croatian society, Napredak, and the
8 Muslim society, Preporod, were formed, the Municipal
9 Culture and Arts Society was like an orphan that nobody
10 wanted to finance or take care of.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry to interrupt you.
12 Could we have the dates for the creation of these two
13 societies, Napredak and Preporod, when they were set
14 up, in which year?
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: There were three,
16 Mr. President, societies: Napredak renewed operations
18 A. In January 1991.
19 Q. What about Preporod?
20 A. I think it was formed a little later but that
21 same year.
22 Q. And what about this Municipal Culture and
23 Arts Society, the SPS?
24 A. I think that by then it had been in existence
25 for more than 20 years.
1 Q. So Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic stayed on in
2 this mixed cultural and arts society regardless of the
3 fact that no one financed them, and was that the only
4 place where Muslims and Croats were together in those
6 A. In spite of every attempt made, including on
7 my own part, to attract Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic to
8 Napredak, because I knew, if I managed to get them, all
9 the other Croats from this Municipal Culture and Arts
10 Society would transfer to Napredak, I would also say to
11 Zoran and Mirjan that we would gladly, as that was part
12 of the tradition of Napredak, to receive within our
13 ranks members of the Muslims, and this is not difficult
14 to prove that throughout the activities of Napredak,
15 ever until its foundation in 1946, prominent Napredak
16 members could be found amongst the Muslims as well.
17 However, Zoran and Mirjan frequently irritated me
18 because they were persistent and stubborn in their wish
19 to keep alive the cultural and arts society which no
20 longer enjoyed anybody's support in the municipality,
21 in material, moral, or political terms.
22 Q. Did they have problems as a result of this
23 because they continued to perform together with Muslims
24 in that society?
25 A. They did have some unpleasantness because
1 everything was divided, literally everything except for
2 the air above Vitez, everything was divided, whereas
3 Zoran and Mirjan persisted and they also enjoyed the
4 support of like-minded friends among the Muslims to
5 keep the society alive, though this appeared to be
6 impossible to everyone, and they succeeded until the
7 outbreak of the war.
8 Q. On this videotape, we saw Mirjan Kupreskic at
9 the Bajram celebrations. Was Zoran Kupreskic there as
11 A. Yes. He led the folklore group. He was the
12 most prominent dancer and their coach and
14 Q. So both the orchestra and the folklore group
16 A. I would say that they were represented
17 completely by -- all the experienced dancers of this
18 society participated, in other words.
19 Q. Could you give us the names of the Muslims
20 who were in those days still members of the SPS Culture
21 and Arts Society, the municipal society?
22 A. The names of Muslims? There were several of
23 them. I may not know all the names, but some I do
24 know. For instance, Fahran Ahmic. I have noted down
25 that one of them is still dancing in the Napredak
1 Cultural Society; then there was Mustafa Dzidic, one of
2 the most prominent members.
3 Q. There are two Fahran Ahmics.
4 A. No, only one, as far as I know.
5 Q. And which Fahran Ahmic did you recognise on
6 this video?
7 A. A member of the orchestra.
8 Q. Very well.
9 A. Then there was Mustafa Dzidic, Jahija Ahmic
10 and his sister Aida, one of them was nicknamed Spiro,
11 but he was a Muslim, I think his surname was Mujkic, I
12 think he came from the village of Vranjska, and as far
13 as I know, he was a very close friend of Mirjan. I
14 would frequently see them taking coffee together and
15 socialising. Then there was Meho Kajmak, Adil
16 Tefafulovic, who is still a very good dancer in the
17 Croatian Cultural Society, Napredak.
18 Q. You said that at the level of the
19 municipality, no one continued to finance the SPS
20 Culture and Arts Society, so, actually, they financed
21 their activities themselves, didn't they?
22 A. Yes. Since they did not want this society to
23 be disbanded, there was no way for the equipment to be
24 seized from them, so it was still in their possession.
25 A former elementary school where this society was based
1 continued to attract them, they would continue to go
2 there, to practice there, and, on exceptional occasions
3 such as this Bajram holiday, they would also perform.
4 Of course, they organised this on their own and they
5 themselves covered any material costs they had.
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: So could we just see
7 the rest of the tape or, perhaps --
8 JUDGE CASSESE: We will first take a break, a
9 20-minute break.
10 Before we take a break, could we ask the -- I
11 would like the witness to specify the date of the
12 Bajram celebrations we saw on the tape. It was the
13 23rd of March of which year?
14 A. The 23rd of March, 1993.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So we will take a
16 20-minute break.
17 --- Recess taken at 12.18 p.m.
18 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Do you need much time
20 to complete --
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No. Your Honours, we
22 will finish this quickly, but I have agreed with the
23 technicians to wind back the tape a little bit once
24 again for another identification, if possible.
25 Can you play the tape, please?
1 (Videotape played)
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Go back a little,
3 please. Go back to point 6 once again, please. Here.
4 Stop here, please.
5 (Videotape played)
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
7 Q. Mr. Cilic, the people in the background are
8 wearing fezzes and scarves. Do you recognise which
9 culture and arts society they belong to?
10 A. They are members of the Slobodan Princip
11 Seljo Cultural and Arts Society of Vitez.
12 Q. So as to avoid any confusion, at the time
13 they were called the Municipal Culture and Arts Society
14 but you call it the Slobodan Princip Seljo Society.
15 A. It is one and the same. It is the one that
16 continued to function and consisted of members who were
17 both Croats and Muslims.
18 Q. And what are these costumes they are wearing?
19 A. They are typical Muslim costumes because
20 probably they were going to perform one of the Muslim
21 dances, the dances typical of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 Q. Are these fezzes part of their costumes?
23 A. They are only used in performances of culture
24 and arts society.
25 Q. That is what I'm asking. Were they part of
1 the old costume?
2 A. Yes, part of the old costume but not worn
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Can I ask you to go on
5 with the tape, please?
6 (Videotape played)
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Stop here, please.
8 Q. We see that they are singing the anthem that
9 you said was the anthem of the SDA. Can you see
10 whether the musicians are playing, the musicians in the
11 background, while they are singing?
12 A. I'm not sure. I think they are.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Very well. Let's go on
14 a little, please.
15 (Videotape played)
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: You can speed it up a
17 little. I'll tell you when to stop. Stop, please.
18 Q. Do you perhaps recognise the person on the
19 right-hand side of this girl -- on the left, rather, on
20 the left? On the left of this young woman. You can
21 see his profile.
22 A. I think it is Zdravko Vrebac.
23 Q. Fine. Thank you. We can go on to the next
24 tape now, please. Is Zdravko Vrebac a Croat or a
1 A. He is a Croat member of the orchestra of the
2 Municipal Culture and Arts Society that we have been
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. Can we now
5 play the second tape? Fast-forward this part, please.
6 Stop here, please.
7 (Videotape played)
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Can we play this part
9 from the beginning, the actual performance? Start
10 here, please.
11 Q. Do you recognise anyone here to the far
13 A. In the far right-hand corner is Mirjan
14 Kupreskic. I'm sure of that.
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Very well. Thank you.
16 We can proceed.
17 (Videotape played)
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Stop. Could you wind
19 back the tape a little bit? Go back a little, please.
21 Q. Do you recognise anyone here? He was much
22 younger than he is today, but I think he's
24 A. I think this young woman in the corner is
25 Josipa Samija, and next to her I think is Zoran
2 Q. Yes, that's correct.
3 A. He's not wearing a beard and he was much
4 younger, of course. But he was singing with all his
5 heart, as always.
6 Q. The person singing, it is the person
8 A. Yes.
9 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Let's continue.
10 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, could the
11 witness indicate with precision the person he has
12 identified because personally I'm not able to follow
13 quite clearly the person he identified.
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes. Let's wind the
15 tape back to the beginning, please. Stop. We can
16 recognise him here, I think.
17 A. The man in the middle. Behind him you can
18 see two arms raised up high behind his head.
19 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Can we go on?
20 (Videotape played)
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Stop there, please.
22 Q. Can you recognise anyone here?
23 A. It is the first man on the right wearing a
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Can the Prosecutor now
1 recognise Mr. Kupreskic? Do we need to continue
2 playing this tape?
3 MR. TERRIER: The person on the right,
4 wearing a Croatian costume?
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
6 Mr. Prosecutor, microphone.
7 MR. TERRIER: I just wanted to know, quite
8 clearly, whether it is the person on the right of this
9 picture wearing a hat and dressed in a Croatian
11 A. Yes, that is the person. That is Zoran
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. We can
14 continue now. Is it necessary for me to stop the tape
15 again for the identification of Zoran Kupreskic?
16 JUDGE CASSESE: No, no. It's not necessary.
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. We would
18 like to show two other persons on this tape, with your
19 permission. Let us continue playing the tape, please.
20 (Videotape played)
21 THE INTERPRETER (Voiceover): "Dances from
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
24 Q. Do you recognise this person?
25 A. This is Dragan Vidovic.
1 Q. Do you recognise this person who was jumping
2 the pole?
3 A. It is Veljko Cato, by nationality a Serb.
4 Q. Do you recognise the drummer? Who is playing
5 the synthesiser?
6 A. Zdravko Vrebac. And next to him is Mirjan
7 Kupreskic on the accordion.
8 Q. Would you please try and recognise the person
9 playing the drums?
10 A. This is Fahran Ahmici. Unfortunately, he's
11 not among the living.
12 Q. Very well. Thank you. I think we can stop
14 I should now like to ask you about this
15 second celebration that we saw the video of. Do you
16 know what the celebration was? Do you know, because
17 you told us you were there?
18 A. Yes. I was attending this celebration, and
19 it was organised on the occasion of the greatest
20 Catholic holiday, Easter, which in 1993 was celebrated
21 on the 11th of April, and the central celebration was
22 held in a locality called Mosunj. This was a
23 celebration for the whole Lasva River Valley, on a hill
24 called Calvary, the same name as in the Bible, Calvary,
25 because there is a small church there.
1 Q. Since Bajram was celebrated on the 23rd of
2 March, and on the 11th of April the celebration of
3 Easter, did the same persons that were members of this
4 Municipal Culture and Art Society perform on both
6 A. There were virtually no differences, because
7 both Croatian and Muslim members participated in the
8 celebrations of both Bajram and Easter some 15 days
10 Q. Linked to Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic, can you
11 tell us what else you know about their involvement in
12 the folklore society, that is, how long they were
13 members? Was there any event that this society
14 participated in as one of the best in
16 A. I can tell you that it was very rare to come
17 across people like Zoran and Mirjan who showed so much
18 enthusiasm, love, and dedication for something that
19 brought them no financial reward. I think apart from
20 their families, this society held pride of place, which
21 used to be Slobodan Princip Seljo and later the
22 municipal society. Such dedication, if accompanied by
23 talent, and they were certainly gifted, necessarily had
24 to produce good results.
25 Perhaps the greatest success of that society
1 and especially the folklore section led by Zoran,
2 whereas Mirjan headed the orchestra, in 1984 they took
3 an active part in the opening of the winter games in
4 Sarajevo. For that occasion, only the best were
5 selected, and our team from Vitez was there, headed by
6 Zoran and Mirjan.
7 Later, after the war, when the municipal
8 society as such ceased to exist, Zoran continued to
9 lead a high quality folklore section, and we had the
10 pleasure to perform in Zagreb, in Vienna and some towns
11 in Switzerland, and we were always greeted with
13 Q. You said that they were family men in the old
14 traditional sense of the word. They were members of a
15 patriarchal family that kept very close links?
16 A. Even though these were educated men, they
17 retained much of the traditional values of family life
18 and their wish to keep the family together. Rather
19 than being separated once they got married, they were
20 always with their wives and children, but I know Zoran
21 especially well because he worked with me in the same
22 enterprise. He was a mechanical engineer and I was a
23 social worker there, and everyone had only praise for
24 Zoran in the factory I'm referring to.
25 Also, I think that no one can have anything
1 bad to say about the two of them because they were not
2 people prone to quarrels. They were highly tolerant
3 people who loved folklore, music, and their family and
4 their work. There was no other interest that they had
5 as far as I know, and I think I know quite a lot about
7 Q. Did you say that they were prone or not prone
8 to conflict?
9 A. I said that they were not inclined towards
10 any kind of conflict.
11 Q. Would you just tell us whether you assisted
12 them in the letters that they wrote to The Hague
13 Tribunal? -- they have asked me to ask you this --
14 before they volunteered to surrender, the year before
16 I do not have translations of those letters,
17 but I will submit translations to the Court
18 subsequently. But would you just tell us whether you
19 helped them write those letters and what the gist of
20 those letters was?
21 A. I did. From the very beginning when Zoran
22 asked me to help them to compose their first letters
23 addressed to relevant figures and institutions, because
24 they were ready, from the outset, given certain
25 guarantees regarding the expeditiousness and the
1 fairness of the trial, to surrender voluntarily,
2 because they didn't wish to live like animals in
3 hiding, exposed to threats, because their names were
4 branded by the press as war criminals already.
5 Q. Were they absent from Vitez at all, as far as
6 you know?
7 A. For a time, though I'm a friend of theirs and
8 they knew I was their friend, I didn't know where they
9 were, but I think that they were mostly in Vitez. But
10 for a time they did have to go into hiding, not to go
11 out in town and not to be seen, because they were in
12 danger, because they had heard that they could be
13 arrested and taken to The Hague by force. They didn't
14 want to come to this honourable Tribunal in that way,
15 but they, rather, wanted to surrender and to come and
16 defend themselves and prove their innocence.
17 Q. In one of those letters it says that they are
18 willing to deposit their passports with the competent
19 authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina and to present their
20 defence in advance.
21 A. They insisted on this all the time, and this
22 is quite unusual for Croats in any post-war situation.
23 They even wrote letters to Alija Izetbegovic, the
24 President of the presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina at
25 the time, seeking justice and the opportunity to speak
1 in their own defence. They didn't ask for mercy but
2 just for the chance to address competent persons and to
3 disclaim the charges made against them.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, if I may
5 be allowed, I would like to tender -- or, rather, show
6 these letters to the witness to confirm their
7 authenticity. I will tender them into evidence, but I
8 will provide the translation subsequently since my
9 clients do insist that this should become -- these
10 letters should become part of the record. These are
11 letters addressed to various institutions in the period
12 following the issuance of the indictment.
13 THE REGISTRAR: The letters are marked
15 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
16 Q. Mr. Cilic, could you just review these
17 documents? Your signature is on one of them and the
18 others were signed by them, so could you just tell the
19 Trial Chamber whether these are the letters from that
21 A. Yes, and the letter which I have in my hands
22 is the first one, and it is addressed to the Deputy of
23 the High Representative in Bosnia, Mr. Steiner, and I
24 have to say that I had the honour to read this letter
25 to Mr. Steiner when he visited Vitez and he was patient
1 enough to hear me out. I read it out to him and his
2 associates, and on behalf of all the accused, I
3 requested of him to urge for a speedy trial and that
4 they should not be perceived as war criminals before
5 having their day in the court.
6 Q. Mr. Cilic, we've seen those signatures. It
7 seems to be customary in Bosnia and Herzegovina; this
8 was typewritten but not signed in handwriting. Is this
9 your letter?
10 A. Yes, this is my letter. I stand behind every
11 word I wrote and I can read it to you.
12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: It is not necessary,
13 and, Your Honours, this concludes my examination then,
14 and I thank you.
15 Also -- sorry. I would also like to request
16 that exhibit numbers, and if I can ask for assistance
17 on the numbers.
18 THE REGISTRAR: D17/2 to D42/2.
19 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: So I tender exhibits
20 D17/2 to D47/2.
21 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, regarding this
22 request of the Defence, I should like to make an
23 objection. First of all, as regards the last of those
24 documents tendered, numbered D47/2, I would like your
25 Trial Chamber to reserve its judgement until we have a
1 complete translation because we don't know at all what
2 it is about.
3 Regarding document D35/2, D40/2, D41/2 and
4 D42/2, I would like your Trial Chamber to reserve its
5 judgement until the end of the cross-examination,
6 because I should like to ask the witness several
7 questions regarding these documents.
8 The Trial Chamber and you, yourself,
9 Mr. President, have noted some inconsistency with the
10 numbering of these documents, and especially between
11 document D40 and D34, because D35, which comes before
12 the other one, has a higher registration number. So I
13 would like an explanation to be given and a decision to
14 be taken after the cross-examination.
15 As for documents D36/2, D37/2, D38/2, the
16 Prosecution objects to the admission of these documents
17 because there is a very serious uncertainty as to the
18 authenticity of those documents.
19 In particular, document D36/2, the Tribunal
20 will note that it has no ordinal number, that the date
21 is vague, and in addition, the witness said that he had
22 never seen it nor received the order. So it seems to
23 me that this document cannot be admitted in view of
24 this uncertainty regards authenticity.
25 As regards D37/2, again it has no ordinal
1 number, and the line above the date gives the
2 impression that it may have been deleted or hidden when
3 photocopied. Also, the witness could not identify it
4 with certainty, and he said that he was not aware of
5 the order mentioned in that document.
6 Finally, as regards document D38/2 , again no
7 ordinal number can be found. Again, we see traces of
8 concealment, as if something had been modified during
9 the copying. The date and hour can be seen, at least
10 on the copy I have, and the witness said that he hadn't
11 seen the document at the time and could not formally
12 identify the stamp at the bottom of the page.
13 Therefore, we object to the admission of
14 these documents because of the uncertainty as to their
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, first of
17 all, all the documents which have been objected to have
18 been admitted in the Blaskic trial and have been
19 accepted there. All these documents were tendered by
20 the Prosecution, and the Prosecution obviously had no
21 objection -- any objection in the Blaskic case, and
22 they all bear numbers given to them in the Blaskic
24 In the Status Conference we debated this
25 evidence. If they were drafted by the person who came
1 to testify as to their authenticity, all these
2 documents were, therefore, admitted, and in our case,
3 we would have to bring in witnesses to testify to their
4 authenticity and we are unable to do so. We are not in
5 a position to do so, and it would also unnecessarily
6 delay the proceedings.
7 I can come back tomorrow and give you the
8 exact numbers under which these documents were admitted
9 in the Blaskic case --
10 JUDGE MAY: You said produced by the
11 Prosecution in the Blaskic case. That's what you
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No. It is by -- it was
14 by the Defence.
15 JUDGE MAY: But you said by the Prosecution.
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I'm sorry.
17 JUDGE MAY: It was by the Defence.
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes. That is correct,
19 it was by the Defence. However, the Prosecution did
20 not have a single objection as to their authenticity,
21 and as for the quality of the copies themselves, we are
22 unable to produce better copies, and none of these
23 documents were tendered as originals in the Blaskic
24 case, and I can provide you all the numbers under which
25 these exhibits were tendered in the Blaskic case. As I
1 pointed out, they were tendered and admitted by the
2 Trial Chamber in the Blaskic case.
3 So if one Trial Chamber deems that these
4 exhibits are admissible and the other Trial Chamber
5 finds them inadmissible, then we would really have to
6 introduce new witnesses. And we have asked the
7 registry to provide us with the numbers of these
8 documents, and we are going to be referring to some of
9 these documents in our case in chief.
10 So all the documents to which the Prosecution
11 has just referred to now come from the Blaskic case.
12 JUDGE MUMBA: I would like to seek
13 clarification from the Defence counsel. On all these
14 documents which they are seeking to produce, when were
15 copies given to the Prosecution so that we find out
16 whether the Prosecution had an opportunity to look at
17 them and come back to you to talk about authenticity
18 and to indicate that they would object during the
19 trial? So I would like to know when they were given to
20 the Prosecution.
21 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Your Honour, I
22 requested these documents from the registry almost a
23 month ago, to provide these copies both to myself as a
24 Defence counsel and to the Prosecution, and in my
25 motion to the Registry I asked a speedy delivery of
1 these said documents. I myself received it a week
2 before the beginning of our case in chief. I don't
3 know when the Prosecution received it, but I did ask
4 for it in my motion. It was part of my attempt to get
5 clarifications as to the use of these documents, and I
6 just want to add that about 400 documents were provided
7 to us, of which we made a selection for our own needs.
8 Thank you.
9 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, just a few very
10 brief explanations in response to what has been said by
11 the Defence counsel.
12 It is true that we received last Friday a set
13 of copies of documents that were admitted in the
14 Blaskic case, and we, therefore, knew that the Defence
15 counsel intended to submit some of those documents,
16 maybe all, maybe some, but we did not know which of
17 those documents would be tendered.
18 It seems to me that the key question is that
19 those documents which were indeed admitted by another
20 Trial Chamber of this Tribunal were admitted under
21 quite different conditions. Today we have some
22 uncertainty regarding the documents themselves and also
23 a witness who has not removed that uncertainty;
24 therefore, the uncertainty remains, and therefore, I
25 think they are not admissible.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: It is clear that there are
2 four sets of documents, in a way, out of those
3 documents produced by the Defence.
4 First of all, those exhibits to which the
5 Prosecution does not object, all right, from 17 to 47
6 except for 47, 35, 40, 41, 42, 36, 37, 38.
7 Now, a second group of documents -- well,
8 this boils down to one document, D47, and we agree with
9 the Prosecution that we should wait for the translation
10 into English, and then at that stage only shall we
11 decide whether or not it should be admitted into
13 A third group of documents, D35, 40, 41, 42,
14 and I think it is quite appropriate, first of all, to
15 proceed to the cross-examination and, at the end of the
16 cross-examination, to see whether or not the
17 Prosecution still objects to the admission of those
18 documents into evidence. So we will simply leave it in
19 abeyance until the end of the cross-examination.
20 Then we come to the fourth set of documents,
21 namely, 36, 37, 38, and there, since we heard strong
22 objections from the Prosecution, we would like to go
23 through all those documents, consider them carefully,
24 and we will come back with our decision.
25 I should add that the fact that they were
1 admitted into evidence by another Trial Chamber is
2 immaterial to us. We are absolutely free to do what we
3 decide to do.
4 We will consider this matter. We could even,
5 in any event, decide that they should be admitted into
6 evidence but with a question mark about their
7 authenticity; they can have some sort of relevance.
8 But, as we say, we will let you know what we are going
9 to decide on this matter either this afternoon or
11 I think we should now adjourn, and when we
12 resume our proceedings at 3.00, we will start with the
13 cross-examination -- first of all, let me ask whether
14 there are other Defence counsel willing to
15 cross-examine this witness.
16 Counsel Pavkovic?
17 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, in addition to
18 Madam Slokovic-Glumac, this witness was going to be
19 examined by Mr. Susak, Mr. Ranko Radovic, and Mr. Petar
20 Puliselic. They all say that it would be very brief.
21 Thank you.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: So that means that this
23 afternoon we will start with Counsel Susak, then
24 Radovic, and Puliselic, and after that it will be the
25 Prosecution's turn. But I urge you to be as brief as
1 possible; otherwise, this week we will hear only one
2 witness, and that means that the pace of our
3 proceedings is too slow, it is going to be too slow.
4 We will end probably in December, the trial will end in
5 December at this pace.
6 All right. So we will adjourn until 3.00
8 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.25 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.04 p.m.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Good afternoon. Before we
3 move on to the cross-examination by three Defence
4 counsel of Mr. Cilic, I would like to convey to you our
5 conclusions about the three documents to which the
6 Prosecution objected, D36, D37, D38/2. Actually, there
7 are serious doubts about their authenticity. However,
8 the three documents are signed by General Blaskic, and
9 the only way of proving the authenticity would be for
10 the Defence to call General Blaskic as a witness here
11 to tell us whether or not this is his signature and
12 also report on the contents, to discuss the contents of
13 those documents. If the Defence counsel are prepared
14 to do so, we would have an open mind and be ready to
15 accept that those documents be admitted into evidence.
16 It is not very difficult to call General Blaskic since
17 he lives here in The Hague.
18 But take your time. Meanwhile, we will move
19 on to Counsel Susak.
20 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Cross-examined by Mr. Susak:
22 Q. Mr. Cilic, my name is Luko Susak. I am
23 Defence counsel for Drago Josipovic. I only have a few
24 questions for you.
25 You said today that it was decided to bring
1 the Muslims to the Croatian centre in Vitez. You also
2 said that somebody had decided to bring the Muslims
4 Would you tell us whether any one of the
5 accused here present participated in the taking of such
6 a decision?
7 A. Certainly not because they were not in such a
8 position to be able to take any decisions of that kind.
9 Q. Furthermore, you said that there was an
10 exchange or, rather, negotiations on exchange between
11 Croats from Zenica and Muslims from Vitez. Did they
12 participate in those negotiations or in the adoption of
13 any kind of decision in that area?
14 A. You are thinking of those present here from
15 Vitez? No, not a single one of them could have
16 participated nor did they participate in those
18 Q. When talks were conducted over the removal of
19 roadblocks either in areas under the control of the
20 Muslims or under the control of the BH army, in
21 relation to the area under HVO control, did they
22 participate in decision-making regarding the removal of
23 those roadblocks?
24 A. I think that not one of them was in such a
25 position at any point in time to be able to do that.
1 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, I should like
2 Exhibit number -- just a moment, please -- D32/2 to be
3 placed on the ELMO and shown to the witness, please,
4 with the usher's assistance.
5 Q. Would you please look at the names of the
6 participants in those negotiations for the removal of
7 the barricades?
8 A. I still don't have that document on my
10 Q. I do. Press the second button, please.
11 A. I see it now.
12 Q. Would you please comment on the participants
13 who were present when this communiqué was issued.
14 A. Do I need to press the button again to get
15 the document on my screen?
16 Q. Could the usher help the witness, please?
17 A. I have it now. In the talks on the removal
18 of barricades, one can see from this document that the
19 participants were gentlemen from the UNHCR,
20 Mr. Levinsen, who for some time was in Vitez prior to
21 the war; then also Captain Sajmon Elis from the British
22 Battalion stationed in Bila. As for the religious
23 representatives, Father Anto Tomas of the Vitez parish,
24 and Omer Efendija Mestrovac, the highest church
25 official of the Islamic community in Vitez. He was
1 based in the part of Stari Vitez called Mahala right
2 next to the mosque and the Muslim cemetery where he had
3 his apartment. Then we also see that Sefkija Dzidic
4 participated, he was the commander of the BH forces for
5 Vitez; Sulejman Kalco, one of the members of the
6 command of the Muslim forces in Vitez; Pero Skopljak as
7 the president of the HDZ and member of the top Croat
8 leadership in Vitez; Ivan Santic, the head of the
9 municipality of Vitez; and Mario Cerkez, commander of
10 the HVO staff in Vitez, later commander of the Vitez
12 Q. You said that Pero Skopljak was a member of
13 the highest leadership of the Croats. Did they usually
14 negotiate with the Muslim side with respect to
15 barricades and the exchange of detainees?
16 A. Yes. There was no other way. The only way
17 was to negotiate, and the negotiations had to be
18 conducted between people who had similar positions in
19 the Muslim or the Croat bodies, in this case also
20 representatives of the religious communities.
21 Q. Was there any possibility of a member of the
22 village guards to participate in those talks, somebody
23 who was not a member of the party, who was not a member
24 of the official organs, nor was he a member of the
25 military units?
1 A. No, that was not possible. This is one of
2 the rare examples where people were participating in
3 talks who were not active in political, military, or
4 executive bodies, and I'm referring to Father Anto
5 Tomas and Omer Efendija Mestrovac. The participants in
6 those talks were in most cases representatives of the
7 authorities, possibly the police and certainly the
9 Q. In the indictment, the accused are charged
10 with planning and organising defence in the area of
11 Vitez, in both the villages around Vitez and in Vitez
12 itself. Did the accused participate in that planning
13 and organisation in view of the hierarchy of power at
14 the time?
15 A. That was absolutely not possible because they
16 never held positions of authority. These things had to
17 be decided at the command level, the lowest being at
18 the level of the municipality, and far more frequently,
19 however, the decisions that had greater impact were
20 those taken at a higher level of authority, regardless
21 of which.
22 Q. You were talking about the political
23 structures. What about the military structures? At
24 what level in the military were such decisions taken?
25 A. I think that the military and political
1 authorities were closely interconnected so that no
2 decisions could have been taken by those here present
3 except for their participation in village guards
4 because these started to operate far earlier, as I said
5 yesterday, I think. First, this guard duty was kept
6 jointly by Muslims and Croats, and later on separately
7 by the Muslims and by the Croats.
8 Q. Yesterday and today you mentioned Ivica
9 Santic on a number of occasions; he was the president
10 of the HVO government or the prime minister. He said
11 that he participated in the negotiations on the removal
12 of roadblocks and the exchange of detainees and other
13 matters. Could you tell us the composition of the HVO
15 A. I shall try and list the names, though I may
16 be inaccurate in some cases. Are you referring to the
17 joint government or later on when it was exclusively
19 Q. You can tell us both. Let me make myself
20 quite clear: After the elections and then after the
22 A. After the elections, I'm afraid I will not be
23 able to remember all the names. Anyway, the positions
24 were divided up according to the election results. As
25 the HDZ won the largest number of votes, it also won
1 the key position in the municipality, and that is the
2 president of the municipality, and to this post Ivan
3 Santic was appointed.
4 The second most important post was the
5 president of the executive council of the municipality,
6 and to this post a Muslim was appointed, that is, Fuad
7 Kaknjo by name.
8 Applying the same principle, the various
9 municipal departments were divided up. I think there
10 were seven or eight departments, and there was one more
11 post given to the Croats than to the Muslims.
12 Other positions were assigned similarly which
13 were not members of the government, such as the chief
14 of the police and his deputy, and also the positions of
15 the commanders of the Territorial Defence and the
16 defence department of the municipality.
17 Q. After the split, let us see how the
18 government was organised. You don't need to list all
19 the names, but I will ask you to focus in particular on
20 one department.
21 A. After the Muslim officials left the municipal
22 authorities, their posts were filled in with new
23 officials of Croatian ethnicity. The departments
24 remained the same. Let me list some of them -- I don't
25 know whether I will remember all of them. There was
1 the President of the municipality, the President of the
2 executive council, the head of the department for legal
3 and administrative affairs, the registry, land registry
4 department, the department for supplies, for social
5 services, then the defence department, and the chief of
7 Q. Let me ask you whether there was a Civil
8 Defence department.
9 A. Yes, there was. I forgot to mention it.
10 Q. How did that department function, and
11 especially after the conflict on the 16th of April,
13 A. I don't know whether I shall be able to give
14 you a very specific answer regarding the way in which
15 it functions. Could you perhaps explain in greater
16 detail what you mean?
17 Q. After the conflict of the 16th of April, the
18 area needed to be rehabilitated, care had to be taken
19 of the women and children and the wounded. What did
20 that department do in that respect after the conflict
21 of the 16th of April?
22 A. The department and the highly responsible and
23 reasonable people in charge of that department -- I
24 could name some of them -- had the very, very difficult
25 and responsible task of first collecting the corpses,
1 the dead bodies on both sides. Then they organised the
2 burials, they tried to care for the families who were
3 left homeless and without any property; then they took
4 part in all activities that were not directly linked to
5 the military but were the result of combat operations,
6 and I can tell you that is relevant, that this was a
7 team that carried out its work very well and to general
8 satisfaction, I think.
9 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you, did the Civil
10 Defence have its representatives in the villages within
11 Vitez municipality?
12 A. After the conflict, yes. One of those
13 representatives was my wife.
14 Q. Did they participate in taking care of the
15 wounded, the women and children?
16 A. They did. On the days when the casualties
17 were high, then everyone took part, not just Civil
18 Defence members; but their role, their duty, was also
19 to distribute food supplies and to carry out other
20 duties that are customary in the case of Civil Defence.
21 Q. You said that the Prime Minister was Ivica
22 Santic. Did he issue any order to the Civil Defence
23 and the local commanders in terms of caring for the
24 wounded, the women and children, either orally or in
1 A. I cannot confirm nor deny this because I
2 simply cannot remember.
3 Q. You mentioned today the letters written by
4 Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic, so the Court might come to
5 the conclusion that it was only those two who wrote the
6 letters. Could you tell us who else among the accused
7 wrote such letters?
8 A. I'm sorry if I was misunderstood. I said
9 that I had, together with them, participated in the
10 drafting of those letters, and the initiator, the
11 person who engaged me personally was Zoran Kupreskic,
12 and all of them took part actively in drafting these
14 Q. Let me be more specific. Was Drago Josipovic
15 among them?
16 A. Yes, he was.
17 MR. SUSAK: I have no further questions, Your
18 Honour. Thank you.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Radovic?
20 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you. Colleague Susak has
21 asked the questions that I had intended to ask, so I
22 have no additional questions. Thank you.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Puliselic:
1 Q. Mr. Cilic, I have only two brief questions
2 for you. In the course of today's testimony you said,
3 among other things, that when you were going to Zenica,
4 close to Zenica, you were stopped by HOS members. You
5 also said that at the time the HOS consisted of both
6 Muslims and Croats. When was this? When did this
7 event occur?
8 A. This event occurred exactly on the 15th of
9 April, 1993, between 1500 and 1600 hours at the
10 locality called Cajdras at the crossroads of roads
11 leading to Zenica and Vitez, and another one via Guca
12 Gora to Travnik.
13 Q. Could you tell us, in your assessment, in the
14 Zenica HOS who was in the majority, the Muslims or the
16 A. The commander of the Zenica HOS, which was
17 one of the most powerful and most numerous in Central
18 Bosnia, was a Croat. And as far as I know, there were
19 more Muslims in the HOS than there were Croats.
20 Q. Can you tell us the kind of uniforms HOS
21 members wore?
22 A. The HOS could be readily recognised because
23 of the typical black uniforms they wore, and there
24 wasn't a member of the HOS that didn't wear a black
1 Q. Can you answer just one more question if you
2 know? Do you know whether my client, Dragan Papic, was
3 a member of the Vitez Brigade?
4 A. Until the conflict he was not a member of the
5 active members of the Vitez Brigade.
6 MR. PULISELIC: Thank you. No further
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. We will now move
9 on to the prosecution, because we have decided to
10 leave, for the late afternoon, the question of the list
11 of witness statements submitted by the Prosecution.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Cilic. My name is
14 Terrier. I'm one of the attorneys of the Prosecution,
15 and after the testimony you gave here, you have
16 provided a great deal of information. You will
17 understand that I have several questions to put to
19 First of all, I would like you to tell the
20 Tribunal where you originally come from. Do you come
21 from Vitez?
22 A. Yes. I was born in Vitez on 24 August,
23 1941. And if this is of any interest, my family goes
24 500 years in Central Bosnia.
25 Q. And at that time -- I'm talking about the
1 years 1992 to 1993 in Vitez. At that time you -- you
2 stated this morning that at that time you knew Zoran
3 and his brother, Mirjan Kupreskic, very well. Did you
4 know the other accused?
5 A. I knew Vlatko Kupreskic very well because he
6 used to work with me, the same company. In fact, we
7 had offices, one above the other, in the same building,
8 so we would meet every day. I knew well but not
9 sufficiently well to compare to the three Kupreskic men
10 Mr. Josipovic. He also worked in the same company
11 where I worked.
12 I knew Vladimir Santic very well as well for
13 a number of years, and I knew Dragan Papic the least,
14 even though I was very close friends with his father.
15 His father and I worked for the same company for over
16 20 years.
17 Q. So you knew all the accused but you had more
18 or less continuous relations with some or others.
19 A moment ago Mr. Susak asked a you question,
20 and you answered that you were personally approached by
21 Mr. Zoran Kupreskic to help them in the context of this
22 trial. I was surprised by this. Can you explain this
24 A. I don't know how to clarify it for you, but
25 I'm at your disposal. At one point one day Zoran, as
1 well as the then accused Milenko Katava, who
2 fortunately was released soon and sent back home, they
3 called me up and asked if we could meet and talk about
4 something. We had coffee, and then a suggestion was
5 made whether I was prepared to help them draft these
6 letters, because they felt that I could do it better
7 than they could because I was in journalism. I
8 accepted it immediately, because I felt it as my duty
9 to them as friends, and most importantly, at that time
10 I was convinced that they were not war criminals. I
11 was convinced that they were not guilty, because I
12 would not appear here if I ever had any doubts about
13 their innocence. And, Mr. Prosecutor, I never -- I
14 want to tell you right now that I never did this for
15 any kind of reward.
16 Q. Yes. It seems to me that you simply came
17 here, and you've taken the oath to tell the truth and
18 you've come here to simply tell the truth and not work
19 in favour or against the accused.
20 You stated also, in the beginning of your
21 testimony, that you had left Bosnia; is that
22 correct? -- live in Split?
23 A. No, that is not true, and I'm sorry that I
24 was not fully understood. I never left Bosnia for a
25 moment, but I work for Slobodna Dalmacija, which is a
1 newspaper from Split, and I am their Bureau Chief for
2 Central Bosnia.
3 Q. I see. So you still live in Vitez?
4 A. Yes, in the same apartment which I occupied
5 before the war, during the war. I still occupy the
6 same apartment.
7 Q. And do you have co-operation with other
9 A. Yes, I do, but my newspaper does not allow me
10 to write for any other paper, but during the war I did
11 send reports to other papers as well.
12 Q. Mr. Cilic, I'd like to submit to you the
13 first document.
14 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked Exhibit
16 MR. TERRIER:
17 Q. Mr. Cilic, could you please tell us whether
18 you are indeed the author of this document here, this
19 press document?
20 A. Yes, I am.
21 Q. Could you please tell us on what date it was
23 A. I cannot say precisely, but I note that the
24 correct date has been entered here.
25 Q. The 17th of July, 1996?
1 A. I permit that this would be that date, yes.
2 Q. Is this the publication -- one of the
3 publications you mentioned earlier, a newspaper with
4 which you collaborated at the end of the war?
5 A. I did not mention this newspaper because this
6 is an information outlet of the Vitez municipality. I
7 did this without remuneration. This is not an official
8 media outlet, this is a local media outlet where I was
9 allowed to work, and I assisted my colleagues who were
10 on the editorial board of this paper and after several
11 months it was discontinued.
12 Q. When you say it was not an official daily,
13 what do you mean by that? Was it a collaboration with
14 persons interested in this without being remunerated?
15 Are we to understand that this was, therefore, a
16 collaboration that you've made and these are interests
17 that you have in writing this article?
18 A. No, not at all. This is no collaboration of
19 any kind, because this paper, Viteski Vjesnik, was
20 being published even before the indictments were
21 issued, and even -- and had you not reminded me, I
22 don't think that I would have remembered that I had
23 written this for the Viteski Vjesnik, even though I
24 wrote similar articles for the Slobodan Dalmacija.
25 Q. So you've written other articles which
1 expressed the same meaning that's expressed here in
2 this article, is that what you're saying?
3 A. Yes, similar in contents but in Slobodna
4 Dalmacija. That is, as much as the editor in chief of
5 Slobodna Dalmacija permitted it.
6 Q. I see. If I can call your attention to the
7 last paragraph of this article. I'm authorised to ask
8 you whether this paragraph reflects your own position
9 with regards to this Tribunal and with regards to this
11 A. I could only express my own opinions and
12 views rather than official ones. And if you will allow
13 me, I would like to add that these types of opinions
14 and conclusions I also expressed on the basis of
15 similar reactions which were often expressed throughout
16 the area of Vitez municipality in Central Bosnia.
17 Q. I see, Mr. Cilic. You're saying that the
18 last paragraph is an opinion shared by many people in
19 Central Bosnia but also your own personal opinion?
20 A. Yes. And if I was to elaborate on this, I
21 probably would put in some corrections, but at that
22 time that was the position.
23 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Cilic. In this
24 condition I must then question -- I have to question
25 you about the objectivity, and I would like to continue
1 and ask you whether during this period from the spring
2 of 1992 to the month of April 1993, during this period
3 I would like for you to specify very clearly, what were
4 your -- what was your occupation? You've talked about
5 that during the examination-in-chief, but it seems
6 there is a need for some additional clarification. I
7 would request that you state very clearly whether you
8 were a civilian or a member of the army.
9 A. My involvement, until the war was, was in the
10 Vitezit company in Vitez. However, due to the
11 difficulty situation the company -- I was put on hold
12 as it were. You stay at home and you receive a portion
13 of your salary, and you await to be called back to
15 My involvement in organising the press
16 service of the coordinating body of Vitez municipality
17 and the radio and television in Vitez was purely
18 voluntary, I never received any compensation for that,
19 and I was also a civilian.
20 Q. Would it be correct to say that your
21 principle task was propaganda on behalf of the HVO?
22 A. With your permission, I would correct you and
23 say that this was information.
24 Q. I use the word "propaganda" because you
25 yourself, during your testimony, according to the
1 transcript on page 5014 -- rather, 5094, you stated
2 that, "My function was as a political officer. I was
3 the assistant to the commander for politics and for
4 propaganda activities." You used the word
5 "propaganda." That's why I took the liberty of using
6 that myself.
7 In such a circumstance, can you please tell
8 us what can assist, on a day-to-day basis, the mission,
9 the tasks or the occupations of someone who dealt with
10 the propaganda of the HVO?
11 A. I certainly did not use the word
12 "propaganda," because that was not part of the
13 description of my duty. Later on I worked as the
14 deputy -- the assistant for political activity and
15 information with the HVO. But one should also point
16 out that there was propaganda within information, so
17 I'm not running away from that.
18 Q. I'm sorry, I must insist in asking you the
19 question because according to the European standards,
20 and, of course, that was part of your -- that one who
21 works as a journalist and writes, therefore,
22 transferring information, must be objective.
23 Therefore, in the daily activities that you held at
24 that time, no matter what timing you may give to it,
25 you were in a situation which you were dependent upon
1 an organisation for which you had to send out
2 information. Was the information objective?
3 A. It is always the most difficult to talk about
4 one's own work, but I believe that in information which
5 I -- in which I was involved and in information
6 provided by people whom I oversaw was, there was no
7 intolerance, there was no hatred. I always invoked
8 tolerance because that is part of my world view.
9 Q. When you talk about activities involving
10 propaganda, I imagine -- you may imagine, given the
11 historical day-to-day context, that this service, this
12 propaganda service would involve broadcasting untrue
13 information, because it would serve the organisation
14 which uses it.
15 Was this indeed the situation in which you
16 found yourself?
17 A. I believe that consciously, I never broadcast
18 nor did I send false and incorrect information to the
20 Q. Did you have access to military intelligence?
21 A. No, never.
22 Q. Did it ever occur on any day that you were to
23 give to the relative intelligence authorities any
24 military intelligence?
25 A. I was never in such a position, nobody ever
1 asked this of me, and objectively speaking, I never had
2 such information.
3 Q. Did you ever make any reports to your
4 superiors regarding the military situation?
5 A. Yes. Those were the reports which were based
6 on reports of competent authorities in the Viteska
7 Brigade or from the Central Bosnia operational zone, so
8 I drafted reports for my subordinates or my superiors.
9 Excuse me. I'm not clear whether you were talking
10 about my subordinates or my superiors. Could you just
11 clarify that for me?
12 Q. Mr. Cilic, I'm referring to a report that you
13 transmitted to your superiors, to the military chiefs
14 of the HVO in Vitez on the situation, the military
15 situation, in the region.
16 A. No, I did not have either a need or a duty to
17 send such reports to my superiors. My reports to my
18 superiors concerned the picture that I would get when
19 visiting our troops at the frontlines; it was based on
20 the information I received from the citizens and from
21 municipal institutions. These were not any expert
22 reports because I'm not an expert in it and I had no
23 access to such information.
24 Q. I understand. You were doing, what we call
25 in France, you were simply transporting general
1 information, information which you were able to note in
2 civilian life, having also received information from
3 the local authorities.
4 Mr. Cilic, I see no inconvenience whatsoever,
5 I am simply trying to understand what exactly were your
6 duties, what was the nature of your duties? You
7 carried out general non-military intelligence. Given
8 the situation at that time, it seems altogether
10 What I would like to know now, Mr. Cilic, is
11 who did you answer to in your daily activities, and now
12 I am referring to this period from the summer or the
13 spring of 1992 to the month of April 1993. Which
14 person did you answer to? Who was your boss?
15 A. From the spring of 1992 until the spring of
16 1993, I can say that in a way I was partially
17 independent in my work and partly I reported to those
18 who appointed me as leader of the information service,
19 which was the municipal government, and later on, I
20 reported to Mario Cerkez, the commander of the
21 municipal staff, and then later the Vitez Brigade.
22 Q. Could you tell us what kind of relations you
23 had with Mario Cerkez? You did mention this, of
24 course, during the examination-in-chief, and I would
25 like for you to explain to us what type of relations
1 you had with him. Were they friendly relations? Were
2 they purely professional? What type of relations did
3 you have with him?
4 A. I think that our relations were friendly from
5 the start, and they remained so during the war and
6 after the war, even though at one time it was also a
7 relation of a superior and subordinate. However, they
8 remained friendly, and Mario was always prepared to
9 protect me in some ways because he was the one who
10 actually made me come to the staff.
11 Q. Did you also have relations with Pero
13 A. Pero Skopljak is my age and I've known him
14 since my childhood; however, life sort of separated us,
15 so we had very few contacts, even though I will not say
16 that I have continued to have a very good relationship
17 with him throughout.
18 Q. Did you have frequent relations with Tihomir
20 A. Very rarely, and most frequently -- and, in
21 fact, my only contacts with Colonel Blaskic were at
22 press conferences which I attended on a regular basis
23 in order to be able to later inform our soldiers about
24 the situation in the operational zone and also to
25 inform the citizens about what concerns them and what I
1 could ask Mr. Blaskic at these press conferences held
2 every Wednesday in Busovaca unless the conference was
3 called for another day if there was an emergency.
4 Q. Did Anto Valenta participate in these press
6 A. Yes, he did, quite frequently.
7 Q. What relation did you have with Anto Valenta?
8 A. For a time, Anto Valenta was head of the HDZ
9 in Vitez and then he also had a prominent position in
10 the local government in Vitez and in the HDZ, and apart
11 from the press conference, I had no additional contacts
12 with him, but we also had good relationships.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Radovic?
14 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I believe that
15 the Prosecutor should examine the witness on issues
16 that are relevant to this trial. I believe that he
17 should examine his relationship with the accused,
18 whether they were part of any military or civilian
19 structure, whether they were in a position to
20 participate in decision-making, rather than what he is
21 doing now, which is examining him on Valenta, who has
22 nothing to do with these accused. They were so low in
23 the hierarchy and he's so high that there is no
24 connection, and I see no foundation in any of the
25 questions that the Prosecutor has asked.
1 So I would like the Prosecutor to stay within
2 the ambit of the indictment rather than cast his net so
4 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President --
5 JUDGE CASSESE: The relevance of your
6 questions relating to Valenta?
7 MR. TERRIER: Yes, Mr. President. It seems
8 that most of the testimony of Mr. Cilic has dealt with
9 explaining what process, political and military,
10 existed, which led to the armed conflict in the month
11 of April 1993 and what were the first episodes of this
12 conflict in April 1993. However, the Prosecution does
13 not share the point of view offered by Mr. Cilic, and
14 it seems a number of questions must be asked in order
15 for Mr. Cilic to give us his viewpoint on other issues
16 which also may lead to an explanation for this conflict
17 in April 1993, and therefore, if you will, a direct
18 explanation of the context in which these accused acted
19 within the context of the indictment, and so I believe
20 this is quite central to the issue of this trial and
21 not at all outside of the margins. This is why I have
22 asked this question about Anto Valenta which I feel to
23 be quite pertinent and relevant, if I may say so in
24 this way.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: In light of what you have
1 just stated, I believe indeed that your questions are
2 relevant, and you may continue with your line of
4 MR. TERRIER:
5 Q. Mr. Cilic, it was stated by Mr. Radovic that
6 Mr. Valenta was a very high-level personality in Vitez
7 and in Bosnia in general; is that true?
8 A. Yes, he occupied high positions in the
9 political and executive power after the establishment
10 of the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna.
11 Q. I would now like to mention another person
12 whose name you mentioned during the
13 examination-in-chief, that is Mr. Midhat Varupa. Who
14 was he, Midhat Varupa?
15 A. Midhat Varupa was a lawyer, a prominent
16 lawyer, in the Vitez municipality, who worked in the
17 same enterprise as I did. Though he was younger than
18 me, we were very good friends, and I suggested, when I
19 was given the opportunity to form the press service of
20 the government in Vitez, I offered a post to Midhat
21 Varupa because earlier on he had shown some gift for
22 writing in the local media, and I was not mistaken in
23 inviting him to join.
24 Q. Was he a Muslim?
25 A. Yes, yes, he was a Muslim.
1 Q. You said yesterday, if I remember well, that
2 Mr. Varupa left you. Without giving us any further
3 details, can you tell us when and under which
4 circumstances and for which reasons Mr. Varupa left?
5 A. I really will not be able to tell you the
6 reasons for his leaving, unfortunately, but he came to
7 our working meetings less and less frequently. These
8 meetings were held in preparation for the local
9 bulletins and the radio news programs. He would
10 explain himself by other commitments because he was
11 widely exploited, to put it that way, because he was a
12 good lawyer and everyone wanted him to participate when
13 any kind of decisions were being taken that were
14 relevant for the Muslim people at the time.
15 However, I personally can tell you that I
16 remained a good friend of Midhat Varupa, and I was his
17 guest for Bajram in 1993 because he was president of
18 the Muslim cultural society, Preporod or Rebirth, and I
19 was president of the Croatian cultural society,
20 Napredak, in Vitez.
21 Q. You have no memory of the reasons and the
22 circumstances under which he left?
23 A. I think that it could be explained as
24 follows: the worsening relations between Muslims and
25 Croats in general and the formation of Croatian
1 institutions of government in Vitez municipality.
2 Q. That is the only explanation that you have
3 for this separation, this departure?
4 A. Perhaps I could add, but this is something I
5 cannot assert with certainty, maybe he was given such
6 instructions not to participate any longer in an
7 information service, the radio and television, because
8 we were using exclusively the Croatian language.
9 Q. I'm not quite sure I understand. You're
10 saying that he wasn't capable of speaking Croatian?
11 A. No, he was capable, but I assume he didn't
12 want to, because the Muslims, as the political
13 situation worsened, I'm not saying that they were not
14 right, but they felt this to be less and less their
15 language, and this was a period of awakening of the
16 Bosniak nation and, within that context, the Bosniak
17 language, because according to the 1991 census,
18 population census, 95 per cent of the population of
19 Muslim faith declared their nationality to be Muslim
20 and a very small percentage of them declared that they
21 belonged to the Bosniak nation. Later on, the idea
22 developed and was more generally accepted of the
23 Bosniak nation and the Bosniak language and then there
24 was no place, in my judgement, for the Croatian
1 Q. Mr. Cilic, is it true that Mr. Varupa refused
2 to sign a document of allegiance to the HDZ, and due to
3 this fact, he had to leave, under threat of weapons,
4 his work post?
5 A. I have heard talk about certain requests for
6 signing this allegiance, but I can claim resolutely
7 that I never saw any such document, and I am quite
8 confident that no one lost his job as a result.
9 Q. You have only answered half of my question.
10 Did he leave his job under threat of arms?
11 A. I don't know that.
12 Q. What happened to Mr. Varupa afterwards?
13 A. To my sincere sorrow, Mr. Midhat Varupa was
14 killed I think on the 16th of April, 1993, close to his
16 Q. Close to his apartment or in his apartment?
17 A. I think it was close to his apartment, but
18 I'm not quite sure, so -- I may be wrong.
19 Q. Is it true that this was the only Muslim
20 killed in that part of town at that time?
21 A. No. Several others were killed.
22 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, would you like
23 us to have a break, or shall I continue?
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Let's break now for 20
1 --- Recess taken at 4.10 p.m.
2 --- On resuming at 4.34 p.m.
3 MR. TERRIER:
4 Q. Thank you, Mr. Cilic. I said earlier that a
5 large percentage of your testimony dealt with
6 explaining the origins of the armed conflict from the
7 month of April -- in the month of April 1993, under
8 which conditions this was triggered and how it
9 developed in the first days after the rest of April
11 You stated, and I'm going to try to summarise
12 what you've stated, giving substance, and you may
13 correct me -- or you may tell me if I understood you
14 correctly, you stated that under the circumstances of
15 the war, during the Serb aggression in Bosnia, the
16 impression was that they did not feel protected, they
17 felt their security was not ensured and guaranteed, and
18 given the attitude of the Muslims with regards to this
19 Serb aggression in the -- at least in the first days,
20 in the first part of 1992-1993, and that the attitude
21 of the Sarajevo authorities at this time, in order to
22 secure their security, the Croatian community at this
23 time organised themselves and defended themselves, and
24 this attitude, on the part of the Croatian community
25 was poorly understood and poorly accepted by the Muslim
1 forces in Bosnia, and that led to the armed conflict in
2 the month of April 1993 which was initiated by the
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina army.
4 Of course, this is the summary of what you
5 have stated to us, but did I understand you correctly?
6 A. In principle, yes, even though in order to
7 make this statement even more relevant, some additional
8 information may be added to it.
9 Q. Yes, of course. This is indeed a summary,
10 and I was not perhaps able to be completely faithful to
11 what you made in your statement, but I would like for
12 us to look at a number of facts. A culmination of all
13 of these facts, if you agree, could perhaps be an
14 explanation for the war of April 1993, and perhaps may
15 even characterise the logic of the war which was
16 inevitable, and may explain in very broad terms the
17 armed conflict of April 1993 between the Croatian
18 community and the Bosnian army.
19 I would also like to call your attention to a
20 number of points, re-establishing in them in their
21 chronological order.
22 I would first like to, along with you,
23 re-examine what the ideology was in 1992, the end of
24 1992 and the beginning of 1993, among the Bosnian
25 Croats, what were the general ideas that they had,
1 political ideas and national ideas that were held by
2 the Croatian community, and I would like to -- not by
3 referring to any dense (interpretation unclear) images,
4 but rather to refer to publications that were made.
5 One publication, which I found to be quite
6 interesting in this regard, was made by Anto Valenta.
7 You stated earlier, with regards to Anto Valenta, that
8 he was an influential person. In 1991 he published a
9 book on the political situation in Bosnia, and in
10 particular, on the future politics of Bosnia. Do you
11 know this work? Tile title is "The Partition of Bosnia
12 and Its Conflicts." "The Partition of Bosnia and Its
13 Political Future."
14 Perhaps I would like to give a summary in a
15 few sentences, if you will, to give you the thesis of
16 this work which was developed in this book written in
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
19 Mr. President. Just a moment, please. This witness at
20 no time mentioned this book, not even whether he knows
21 of it. The only thing he said was something in respect
22 of Anto Valenta, which is that they knew each other and
23 then he said that he was in a certain position. So I
24 believe he should be asked whether he knows of this
25 book and so on.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes --
2 MR. TERRIER: Actually, it was a
3 misunderstanding, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE CASSESE: We may authorise the -- in
5 cross-examination the -- to go beyond 90(H). Yes, to
6 go beyond what was discussed or touched upon in the
7 examination-in-chief. It's Rule 90(H);
8 "Cross-examination shall be limited to the subject
9 matter of the direct-examination and matters affecting
10 the credibility of the witness. The Trial Chamber may,
11 in the exercise of its discretion, permit inquiry into
12 additional matters as if on direct-examination."
13 I think in this case it is relevant. So you
14 may proceed, Mr. Terrier.
15 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President. I am
16 not here to interpret Mrs. Glumac, but I believe she's
17 also interested in knowing when Mr. Cilic knows of this
18 book put out by Mr. Valenta, and Mr. Cilic just
19 indicated to me said that he does.
20 Q. Would it be correct to say, Mr. Cilic, that
21 one of the theses of this book was that the ethnic
22 mixing of those ethnic groups at that time would
23 necessarily lead to civil war -- rather, necessarily
24 lead to civil war?
25 A. Do you want my personal view on this?
1 Q. Mr. Cilic, I would simply like for you to
2 confirm whether the sentence I just stated reflects
3 well the thesis developed in this book by Mr. Valenta
4 which you know and which you have read. That's all I
5 wish to know for now, and after that I will go
7 I simply wish to know now whether it is true
8 that the thoughts of Mr. Valenta, as expressed in his
9 book, is that the ethnic blending in Central Bosnia, in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina as a whole, would necessarily lead
11 in a more or less long-term to civil war.
12 A. I know Mr. Valenta's book quite well. It is
13 called "The Partition of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
14 Fight for it's Unity or Wholeness." Several theses
15 were submitted there. One was moving the people from
16 one area of Bosnia-Herzegovina to another, so
17 resettlement in order to create ethnically homogenous
18 areas, but some other ideas were also propounded in
19 this book, and it was explained and elaborated in Anto
20 Valenta's own words.
21 In other words it reflected his own
22 positions, and this was not the position of any
23 institution or organisation of Croatian people.
24 Q. Do the personal thoughts of Mr. Valenta, and
25 I'm going to state them as the following six
1 proposals: First, first of all, three nations divide
2 up Bosnia.
3 Second proposal, that in all municipalities
4 in Bosnia these three nations blend together.
5 The third proposal, that in all of these
6 municipalities within Bosnia, one of these nations
7 would hold the majority.
8 The fourth proposal, that in -- that the
9 situation change in 1991, the situation changes, says
10 Mr. Valenta, due to the higher rate of propagation of
11 the Muslim population in these municipalities, and,
12 therefore, they could acquire the majority.
13 The fifth proposal, the Croatians are in the
14 majority in a number of municipalities, including those
15 three groups of municipalities, including, of course,
16 Travnik, Vitez, Busovaca and a number of others. Mr.
17 Valenta also made up a map including the groups which
18 would be useful in the course of a negotiation in
19 Geneva at the end of 1992.
20 The sixth proposal, it would be appropriate
21 to hold and to promote ethnically pure and homogeneous
22 regions through resettlement, something you mentioned a
23 minute ago. Now, this resettlement of populations,
24 which would be appropriate to encourage, would enable
25 for these to become ethnically pure and to prevent
1 civil war.
2 Of course, there are other theses developed
3 in this book, but what I've just defined, is it not,
4 from your own perspective, the main thesis of this
5 book, and, therefore, the opinion of Mr. Anto Valenta?
6 A. I don't know how competent of an opinion I
7 can express, but I can agree with you that these
8 conclusions could be drawn from that book. In fact,
9 the International Community, at one stage, was
10 considering similar things. I think that that was
11 expressed in the Vance-Owen Plan.
12 Q. We will come back to that in a moment, but
13 now I'd like to ask you two other questions. Did it
14 not seem to you that in the beginning of the year 1993,
15 the thoughts, as they were expressed by Anto Valenta,
16 changed very little, and that they radicalised very
17 little as well?
18 I'm not talking about the substance but,
19 rather, about the urgencies and the means to carry out
20 the plan that he proposed. And I'm referring now to a
21 document, the 26th of June, 1993, which was written.
22 Are you familiar with this particular text?
23 A. I assume you talk about the amended edition,
24 the enlarged edition of this book.
25 Q. No, this is a written document. Yes, indeed,
1 it was amended as you said, but this is a document
2 which translates to a certain type radicalisation -- or
3 conveys radicalisation on the part of the author and is
4 shared by more and more people, because the
5 cohabitation of the two groups, in particular the
6 Croatian community and the Muslim community, is less
7 and less bearable. This indeed, the sentiments that
8 were being conveyed in this document.
9 A. Yes. As far as I know, Anto Valenta's book
10 and ideas expressed in that book were never an official
11 position of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and as a
12 confirmation of that was the referendum about the unity
13 of Bosnia-Herzegovina. And had the Croats not voted
14 for that -- voted yes in that referendum,
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina would not exist, because their votes
16 helped Bosnia-Herzegovina stay together. This idea
17 expressed in Anto Valenta's book was never that
18 relevant, even at the level of the Vitez municipality.
19 Q. I see. But in the month of June 1993, did
20 Mr. Valenta not complain that the Muslims of Zenica,
21 that is to say the Muslim authorities in Zenica
22 refusing to carry out an exchange of the populations to
23 move the Muslims from Busovaca to Vitez, and to move
24 from apartments and houses which belong to Croats, and
25 to move Croats from Zenica to Vitez?
1 JUDGE CASSESE: I believe Ms. Glumac has a
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you
4 Mr. President. I would just like to say that Anto
5 Valenta is on the witness list, and any questions about
6 what Anto Valenta thought, because we are talking about
7 Anto Valenta's opinions, in other words, what he
8 thought, how he reacted to certain events, I believe
9 can be asked of Mr. Valenta himself by Mr. Terrier,
10 because this witness said that he did not share his
11 views because he did not share -- and he did not read
12 Anto Valenta's book.
13 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I'm sorry, I did
14 not know -- I didn't have that previous information
15 about the witness with regards to this trial, so
16 without trying to interpret Mr. Cilic, I believe he
17 stated and I believe he can confirm this for us, that
18 he was personally not in agreement with this. He said
19 simply that this was an official thesis -- rather, this
20 was an unofficial thesis, and is this true, Mr. Cilic?
21 A. I'm certain for my own one hundred per cent,
22 and I know that that was never an official position or
23 an option that was considered officially. Maybe
24 amongst some individuals but not officially.
25 Q. Thank you. I should now like to go on to
1 another area, to try and make progress in explaining
2 the conflict of 1993, and that is the circumstances
3 under which the defence council of the Croats was
4 formed and how it developed. Would you agree with me
5 in saying that the Croatian defence council was formed
6 in November 1991, and at the time the war had not ended
7 in Croatia and that there was no war in Bosnia at the
9 A. I believe that your information was not
10 accurate. I don't want to make a mistake, but I think
11 that the HVO was not established in November of 1991,
12 but rather in April of 1992, but the Croatian community
13 of Herceg-Bosna was established in November of 1991.
14 Q. I was talking of the HVO. It can be -- I was
15 calling -- I was referring to the Croatian defence
16 council which can be identified with the HVO, and it
17 was formed in November '91 by constituent congress held
18 on the coast. You said that you know that the founding
19 movement of the Croatian nation in Bosnia started in
20 November '91, and that is for me what is most essential
21 in any event. Would you agree with me in saying that
22 the Croatian defence council or the organisation of the
23 Croats in Bosnia was constituted in November '91 and
24 then it developed in '92 and '93 into a state, a legal
25 state separate from all the other existing authorities
1 in Bosnia?
2 A. I have the accurate information here. As I
3 said, on 4 April, 1992, the Croatian Defence Council
4 was established. However, the question you just asked,
5 I believe that in some aspects, the Croatian community
6 of Herceg-Bosna, and later on Croatian Republic of
7 Herceg-Bosna, did have certain attributes of a State,
8 but if you will allow me, if I am permitted to not
9 agree with your view that the Croatian side did not
10 recognise the official authority in Bosnia-Herzegovina;
11 I would rather say that there was no official authority
12 in Bosnia-Herzegovina because the official authority in
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina could only mean equitable relations
14 of Croats and Muslims and, if you will, Serbs. But if
15 you take into account that the Serbs voted against
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the government could not view the
17 aggression of Serbs against parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina
18 which were populated by Croats as a State should view
19 any aggression against any part of its territory.
20 Q. I understand. But nevertheless, let us look
21 things from a -- you are speaking from a legal point of
22 view, but from a political point of view, in an attempt
23 to explain the conflict of April '93 and the submission
24 I'm making to you and on which I should like to hear
25 your opinion is the following: From the beginning of
1 November 1991, did the Croatian community of Bosnia not
2 form itself as a legal State with all the attributes of
3 a State, of a modern State: that it had legislative
4 powers, executive powers, administrative powers, and a
5 very broad range of control in the economy, in the
6 sector of education, transport, communications, and, of
7 course, in the area of defence?
8 Is it true to say that that community
9 constituted itself as a modern State?
10 A. I said that in some aspects, it looked like a
11 State, in certain structures of government. However,
12 you're looking at it from a legal standpoint, and we
13 were involved in it in a vital way. It had to do with
14 the survival of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
15 the survival of Bosnia and Herzegovina itself, and
16 perhaps in that sense one should try to see how things
17 were at that time when the Serbian forces, which had
18 one of the largest standing armies in Europe, when they
19 were trampling over Bosnia, and the authority in
20 Sarajevo still viewed it that this could still be
21 considered as they put "our" army with some minor
22 corrections in its chain of command, and I'm sure that
23 Bosnia would not have survived had certain Croatian
24 institutions not been established which ensured the
25 defence and prevented the Serbs from overrunning the
1 entire territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
2 Q. Mr. Cilic, we have a copy of Narodni List, or
3 the official gazette of the HVO, and we have examined a
4 large number of legislative texts published in that
5 official gazette, and we have discovered a certain
6 number of things, such as repeated reference to the
7 Croatian dinar, the currency of the Republic of
8 Croatia, which was preferred to the Bosnian currency.
9 Then one also notes that the curriculum in elementary
10 and secondary schools was modified to use school
11 textbooks used in Croatia; is that correct?
12 A. Yes, that is correct.
13 Q. Would you agree with me in saying that the
14 political logic which is behind the development of a
15 state of this kind is necessarily in the long term
16 secession, independence, or even attachment to another
17 republic, but in any event, secession?
18 A. No, not at all. I don't think that you could
19 interpret it in that way, and I will attempt very
20 briefly to clarify this. Would that mean that we
21 should have continued to use the Serbian language, to
22 use the Serbian dinar, study Serbian history, or, as
23 you call it, Bosnian dinar, which was printed day and
24 night and had absolutely no value and it was just a
25 means to draw the last hard currency reserves from the
1 Croatian people and even from the Muslim people? At
2 that time, the German mark was the most important, and
3 why did they not keep it? But Croatian dinar was
4 bothering everybody because -- some policemen even were
5 overturning stalls in marketplaces where Croatian dinar
6 were used. Muslims also used Croatian dinar because
7 all logistic supply went through Croatia and this dinar
8 could be used by them. They could not go to Serbia but
9 they could go over there to Croatia to re-supply
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, could you go on
12 to some other questions that will be less general and
13 more specific?
14 MR. TERRIER: Yes, I will try to do that,
15 Mr. President.
16 Q. Mr. Cilic, would you agree with me in saying
17 that a State, in a situation when its security is not
18 guaranteed, needs a flag, an army, and a territory, and
19 that that army was constituted by decree, a decree that
20 was published and implemented in the normal manner, in
21 the principle of a levy in arms, that all the citizens
22 have a duty to defend the independence and territorial
23 integrity of the Croatian community; did that principle
25 A. I believe that the Croats embraced this
1 principle of the first, to protect Bosnia from the
2 Serbian aggression, which was clear to the whole world.
3 Q. Now I come to the question of territory. You
4 referred a moment ago to the Vance-Owen Plan proposed
5 in January 1993; that plan envisaged the formation of
6 provinces: three Serb provinces, three Croatian
7 provinces, and three Muslim provinces, including the
8 town of Sarajevo; do you agree with that? The Croatian
9 community of Bosnia accepted immediately the Vance-Owen
10 Plan; is that correct?
11 A. Yes, that is correct. We agreed to this
12 plan, that is, the representatives of the Croatian
13 people accepted this plan.
14 Q. On the other hand, the authorities in
15 Sarajevo were more hesitant; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 Q. This hesitation on the part of the
18 authorities in Sarajevo prompted the Croatian
19 authorities to feel irritated?
20 A. I don't know if you could call it that way,
21 to be bothered or irritated. It may not be my place to
22 comment on these positions, as you put it, the official
23 Croatian position on Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it is
24 obvious that the Muslim side hesitated because, as it
25 turned out later, it had different plans and different
1 appetites, and it was not satisfied with what they were
2 offered by the representatives of the International
3 Community. They felt -- and this is my personal view,
4 of course -- they felt that they could gain from Croats
5 what they had lost from the Serbs.
6 Q. Is it true that at the beginning of April
7 1993, an ultimatum was addressed by the Croatian
8 authorities in Bosnia to the authorities in Sarajevo to
9 immediately implement the Vance-Owen Plan and also to
10 withdraw the Muslim troops from the provinces
11 attributed to the Croats under the Geneva plan, and
12 specifically, from the region of Vitez and Busovaca?
13 A. I am not aware of such an ultimatum.
14 Q. I shall like to show you a document.
15 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, this document is
16 a dispatch by Reuters which refers to this ultimatum of
17 the Croatian authorities. Unfortunately, I only have
18 it in the original, that is in English, and I couldn't
19 have it translated today into the Croatian language,
20 but perhaps, if you accept, we could read just two or
21 three very brief passages to refresh the witness's
23 THE REGISTRAR: Document 333.
24 MR. TERRIER:
25 Q. Mr. Cilic, please accept my apologies. I was
1 not able to have this document translated into
2 Croatian. It is a dispatch of Reuters dated 4th April,
3 1993, and I'm going to read to you a very short passage
4 so that you could tell us whether this refreshes your
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters do not
7 have a copy. Could they have a copy, please?
8 MR. TERRIER:
9 Q. It is indicated that the Bosnian Croats
10 demanded the withdrawal of Muslim troops from provinces
11 designated as Croatian under the peace plan prepared by
12 the United Nations which revived tensions between those
13 who were officially allies, who were officially allies
14 at the beginning of this year.
15 The HVO, on the 15th of April, 1993,
16 therefore, addressed an ultimatum or a deadline to
17 Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, to sign a joint
18 communiqué ratifying the withdrawal of his troops --
19 this is understood -- and creating and certifying that
20 no conflict would exist regarding territory between
21 Muslims and Croats.
22 Finally, it is stated, quoting a Croatian
23 official: "If Izetbegovic does not sign this agreement
24 by the 15th of April, the HVO will unilaterally enforce
25 its jurisdiction in cantons three, eight and 10."
1 Therefore, it appears that the existence of
2 this ultimatum -- obviously, there will be other
3 sources and other testimony to confirm this -- that at
4 the beginning of April 1993, the Croatian authorities
5 decided if, by the 15th of April, the Bosnians did not
6 sign the actual implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan
7 negotiated in Geneva, they would take the initiative on
8 the ground.
9 A. Thank you for reading these passages, but my
10 memory has not been refreshed, and I do not believe
11 that I would have failed to remember --
12 MR. RADOVIC: Excuse me, Mr. President. We
13 question the authenticity of this news report. If the
14 Prosecutor believes that there is a document called an
15 ultimatum, then we can accept it, so that we know that
16 an ultimatum was given. Respectable news agencies such
17 as Reuters or CNN also make mistakes, and from this
18 Reuters information, it is not clear whether their
19 correspondent ever saw this ultimatum. So if there is
20 an ultimatum which was officially issued, it must exist
21 in respect of archives, and there is no problem in
22 getting this document from them since they've been so
23 cooperative with this Tribunal anyway. Thank you.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: It is very clear from the
25 fourth paragraph of this document, of this Reuters
1 report, that it was not an ultimatum but it was an
2 "ultimatum-like statement" carried by Croatian State
3 media, so therefore it is a journalistic classification
4 of the statement as an ultimatum.
5 As to the value of this report, I think the
6 Prosecutor is right in trying to use it just to ask the
7 witness whether or not he remembers the facts reported
8 here. So, therefore, we don't need to check whether
9 this particular report is authentic or not. It is
10 based on a statement which was issued by the Croatian
11 State media. The statement will probably, I hope, be
12 produced by the Prosecution, the actual statement,
13 which is defined here as an "ultimatum-like
15 So, therefore, I think the Prosecutor is
16 right in asking this question of the witness.
17 You may proceed, Mr. Terrier.
18 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President. It
19 seemed to be rather credible and appropriate to submit
20 to the witness a dispatch of Reuters.
21 Q. I am going to ask you several questions now
22 regarding the arming of the HVO army. This question
23 was mentioned during your examination-in-chief, I
24 think, on the first day, and specifically a document
25 which I think carries the number D17, in which there is
1 information saying that weapons captured in a JNA
2 barracks were shared -- I think it's document 17, I'm
3 not quite sure -- that the weapons seized in
4 establishment of the JNA were shared between the
5 Territorial Defence and the HVO, and this occurred at
6 the beginning of May 1992.
7 At the time, the Territorial Defence in May
8 1992, could it have been considered as an auxiliary
9 force or the principal force of the Muslims in Bosnia?
10 A. Yes, at that time, the Territorial Defence
11 was a military force of the Muslim people in Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina. In truth, though, there were members of
13 other ethnic groups in it at that time.
14 Q. Was an inventory made of the weapons seized
15 from JNA institutions and which were distributed in
16 this way? Was there an inventory, or did you see a
17 report saying what kind of types were involved, what
18 kind of weapons were involved?
19 A. At that time, I had no access to military
20 units, and I do not know whether any inventories were
21 compiled, but I know that no side had any serious
22 objections to the division or distribution of this
23 seized equipment and weapons.
24 Q. From your point of view and on the basis of
25 your experience, was that the way in which the HVO was
1 armed? Was that how anti-aircraft guns were procured,
2 such as we have discussed in the course of this trial?
3 A. Sir, I did not understand you well, so if you
4 would please repeat the question?
5 Q. Gladly, Mr. Cilic. My question was as
6 follows: Was it in this way, seizing the weapons of
7 the JNA, that the HVO was armed? Was that how
8 anti-aircraft guns were obtained, the guns that were
9 widely used in the course of the conflict?
10 A. Yes, those weapons were also seized in some
11 of the depots of the former JNA, but let me underscore
12 again that it was distributed 50-50 between the
13 Muslims -- that is, the TO and the HVO.
14 Q. Do you remember a truck transporting weapons
15 coming from Croatia to deliver them to the Bosnian
17 A. Could you please specify your question
18 further, because as you are putting it, I cannot really
19 give a satisfactory answer to your question?
20 Q. To me, the question appears to be quite
21 specific. Let me repeat. Do you know that any trucks
22 full of arms came from Croatia to Bosnia to deliver
23 them to the Bosnian Croats?
24 A. I don't know of any specific truck, but it is
25 certain that weapons did arrive from Croatia for
1 Bosnian Croats, but the Muslims received them too.
2 Both Croats and Muslims were supplied from Croatia as
3 well as from the former JNA depots in Bosnia and
5 Q. Thank you. I go now to the events of the
6 15th of April, 1993.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, excuse me. I
8 assume that you still have quite a number of questions
9 to address to this witness. We cannot finish the
10 cross-examination this evening.
11 MR. TERRIER: No, I don't think so.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: So you are going to begin a
13 fresh series of questions regarding the events of the
14 15th of April. Could we postpone this for Friday so as
15 to allow the Defence attorneys to deal with the
16 question of your list of witnesses? Then we have ten
17 minutes to deal with that issue, and you can continue
18 your cross-examination on Friday. We hope that we will
19 be able to finish by 1.30 p.m. Friday with this witness
20 and maybe even proceed to the next one.
21 So I should like to ask Mr. Pavkovic to
22 present to us in very succinct terms the objections of
23 the Defence regarding this document of the Prosecution
24 dated 12th January.
25 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, when I announced
1 these comments at the initiative of my colleagues, I
2 thought that only the Defence counsel who had any
3 objections would submit them themselves rather than my
4 summarising it for them, and with your permission, it
5 is going to be pretty brief. Thank you.
6 (The witness withdrew)
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Yes.
8 MR. PAR: Your Honours, the Defence of Vlatko
9 Kupreskic received the Prosecution list in which the
10 Prosecution objects to ten witnesses. We believe that
11 we cannot meet the request, and we specify it as
12 follows. In the case of four witnesses, we never took
13 witness statements of these witnesses, and these
14 include the President of the Supreme Court with whom we
15 only spoke of whether he was prepared to come and
16 testify here to explain the practice on the Bosnian law
17 and testify to a single specific judgement regarding war
18 crimes. With respect to this witness, we have no
19 further statements.
20 Also, another summary was for a witness which
21 is a Muslim woman. At that time, the Trial Chamber
22 ordered that no contact be established between the
23 witness and the Prosecution. This witness should only
24 testify about the authenticity of a videotape and
25 whether she moved along the path indicated in the
1 videotape, and we consider it unnecessary to take a
2 separate witness statement from her, so that even to
3 date, we do not know what her testimony will be. We
4 just wanted to show her the videotape here in the open
5 court and ask her to comment on it, and this is why we
6 cannot provide any additional materials there.
7 A further witness will be called here only to
8 authenticate a signature on a document. We never
9 talked to him. We only asked him if he would be
10 prepared to come and testify. So that was in the
11 summary of our text.
12 As to the other witnesses, we provided their
13 statements. They contain everything that we want to
14 talk to them -- to examine them on, they may last no
15 more than ten minutes each. Whether a particular
16 accused was seen by them at a particular time and in a
17 particular place. In that sense, we believe that we
18 have nothing further to offer to the Prosecution, and
19 we, therefore, ask the Trial Chamber to relieve us of
20 an additional obligation to provide further material.
21 We say that we have provided everything that
22 was necessary and everything that will be part of our
23 examination of these witnesses and, therefore, ask for
24 this relief.
25 I would also like to use this opportunity to
1 announce that the accused, our client in this case,
2 will take the stand and testify.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Would you, Counsel Par,
4 indicate on this list the witnesses you were referring
6 MR. PAR: In that case I would ask for a
7 closed session, because some of these witness may be
8 protected witnesses, so I would rather not read out
9 their names. I'm referring to the list of the 12th of
10 January. There are no numbers. Perhaps we could say
11 these are witnesses listed at the bottom of the page,
12 from the last name on this page and ten witnesses up
13 the page. From the bottom upwards.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: On this column, on the left
16 MR. PAR: From the bottom upwards. In the
17 first column, yes. In the left-hand column.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: So the last ten witnesses at
19 the bottom of the first column on the left-hand
21 MR. PAR: That is correct.
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Objections from
23 other Defence counsel? No other Defence counsel? So
24 the other Defence counsel, I understand, are prepared,
25 therefore, to provide within two weeks more detailed
1 statements. Counsel Susak?
2 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, I received a
3 request from the Prosecution to enlarge the statements,
4 and I have done so. However, according to the new
5 list, I see that three more witnesses have been added
6 to this list. They are Vlado Alilovic, Jadranka Tolic
7 and Dragan Stojak. However, these statements have to
8 do with the general part of the indictment. That is,
9 they will testify about the relationship between the
10 Muslims and Croats before the conflict, after the
11 conflict; before the elections, after the elections;
12 and they will testify about the first and the second
13 conflict. So I think it would be superfluous for me to
14 explain at any great length what they're going to
15 testify about, because we are talking about these
16 things every day.
17 So I think it is not necessary for me to
18 expand their -- the summaries of their statements, but
19 if the Court insists, I will do that.
20 As for the others, I have provided more
21 details, but these are brief summaries, and their
22 statements have to do only with confirming that Drago
23 Josipovic was in a particular place. The witnesses
24 need not testify what Josipovic did in various other
25 places when he was at a different place, and that is
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
3 MR. SUSAK: One further point. We have come
4 to the conclusion, on the basis of our experience, that
5 he went beyond the scope of the statements made by the
6 witnesses when they were called here in court, so that
7 they went beyond those statements that were given in
8 advance to the Defence and to the Court in their
9 examination-in-chief of the witnesses they called.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you kindly mention
11 again the three names you mentioned before? One is
12 Dragan Stojak, and the another two?
13 MR. SUSAK: Vlado Alilovic in the first
14 place, and Jadranka Tolic, under number 4.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you.
16 Mrs. Glumac?
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
18 Mr. President. I also have an objection. We have
19 listed and given relatively satisfactory reports about
20 all witnesses, about 40 or 50 statements, and there
21 were not many objections, but there are a number of
22 witnesses of our witnesses (sic), character witnesses
23 for whom we have received questions. They're not
24 talking about the circumstances of the acts, but they
25 are listed as character witnesses. They are Franjo
1 Rajkovic, Ljljana Sapic, and Emin Parinda, and Ivan
3 So these are witnesses, if we call character
4 witnesses, particularly all of them, they will be
5 talking about the character traits of Zoran and Mirjan
6 Kupreskic. So I it think there is no need to give any
7 detailed statements or summaries, because obviously
8 they will be speaking about their own contacts with
9 them. So I think that the request of the Prosecution
10 regarding these witnesses is not acceptable, and we
11 have separated them into a separate group.
12 As for other character witnesses, we have
13 given their written statements, their written
14 depositions, because we don't know whether they will be
15 appearing in court. But for these others, as they are
16 character witnesses, we feel that there is no need to
17 provide their statements.
18 Also, regarding the statements of Ivica
19 Kupreskic, with respect to the statement of Ivica
20 Kupreskic, we have provided a summary of that
21 statement, including the data that he gave to us. So
22 it simply explains where he was on the previous day, on
23 the 16th and on the 17th, and I consider that to be
24 sufficient, so I would ask you to rule in that sense,
25 if possible. Thank you.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Terrier, have you any
2 comments to make?
3 MR. TERRIER: A very brief commentary,
4 Mr. President. I would simply like the Defence counsel
5 to understand that our only concern is to be able to
6 prepare properly, in the interests of justice, for the
7 cross-examination, as for the witnesses whose names
8 appear on the list for whom we do not have sufficient
10 If this causes enormous difficulties for
11 Defence counsel, I would be ready to examine with them
12 a compromise solution. For example, we can meet with
13 those witnesses in their presence. I have no intention
14 of exerting any pressure or influence on those
15 witnesses. It is simply a matter of knowing what's
16 going to happen, what is going to be the gist of their
17 testimony, and I would like that to be quite clear. It
18 was in this spirit that we made this request, but not
19 to exert any pressure on anyone.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. Now, let us
21 quickly go through the various witnesses mentioned by
22 Defence counsel. First of all, let me start from the
23 bottom, say the ones mentioned by Counsel
24 Slokovic-Glumac. I understand, if I understood you
25 correctly, most of them or all of them are character
1 witnesses, the ones you mentioned. For them we would
2 like, again, to insist with you, with all Defence
3 counsel, that you should use, as much as possible, Rule
4 94 ter, affidavit evidence. Why don't you turn those
5 statements into affidavits so that we don't need to
6 call those witnesses here? Mostly because you are not
7 sure whether some of them are prepared to come over
8 here to give evidence in court, so it will be the best
9 solution, if, of course, the Prosecution does not
10 object to those affidavits, they could be admitted into
12 Now as to the other ones mentioned by Counsel
13 Par and Counsel Susak, I think the Prosecutor is
14 entitled to having as many elements as possible for the
15 cross-examination, because under Rule 73 ter you, the
16 Defence counsel, must provide a summary of the facts on
17 which each witness will testify, and of course, there
18 is a sort of inherent sanction for cases of
19 non-compliance with this Rule, namely that the Defence
20 counsel will not be entitled to ask questions going
21 beyond facts mentioned in the summary they have already
22 produced or they will produce. So, therefore, it is
23 probably in your interest, if you want to ask questions
24 in examination-in-chief, to at least, in a summary
25 fashion, to indicate the facts on which they are going
1 to give evidence.
2 However, if you are not in a position to
3 provide detailed statements, at least you should
4 tell -- notify the Prosecution of the facts on which
5 you intend to examine the various witnesses in chief so
6 that the Prosecutor is in a position to do so.
7 And probably also the solution, Mr. Terrier
8 just indicated of, namely, contact. The possibility of
9 a Prosecutor interviewing a witness, in your presence,
10 just to ask about what facts he's going to testify on.
11 This might also be a solution. But you may prefer to
12 provide more detailed statements.
13 There's also the question of the Judge. I
14 think we should try to know as much as possible about
15 the subject of his testimony. We would like to have
16 some sort of summary statement from the Judge you
17 intend to call.
18 Yes, Counsel Par?
19 MR. PAR: With your leave, Mr. President, I
20 think that we have fulfilled our obligations. I would
21 suggest that for each of these cases that we say we
22 have provided all the elements that we will examine the
23 witness on in the cases when we have supplied the
25 In the cases where we have supplied
1 summaries, we have provided summaries as to the facts
2 the witness will testify to. We have not discussed
3 those facts with the witness, and we don't know any
4 further details. Let me repeat again an example. We
5 spoke to the President of the Supreme Court. Surely
6 we're not going to question him as to the way in which
7 he's going to explain the judicial practice in
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. He will submit a previous judgement
9 and discuss it. So I would propose, for the cases or
10 the names that are disputed in our case, that the
11 Prosecutor tells us exactly what additional information
12 he needs, but it was our position that we have fully
13 complied with the obligations under the Rules.
14 JUDGE CASSESE: Right. Now, as for the
15 President of the Supreme Court, I understand that he
16 will simply comment on the judgement, the judgement you
17 have already provided. I read a judgement. So
18 therefore, he will confine himself to commenting on
19 that judgement. All right. I think the Prosecutor will
20 be happy with this solution.
21 But I would welcome, along the lines you just
22 suggested, some contacts between the Defence counsel
23 and the Prosecutor, maybe tomorrow, so as to verify
24 matters and sort out points which are still under
25 discussion, and this way we would come to some sort of
2 Final point, what about the list of witnesses
3 you have decided no longer to call? Remember, the
4 Prosecutor asked to be provided with such a list? Do
5 you think you could provide such a list, say, by
6 Friday? Counsel Pavkovic?
7 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, I will
8 obviously have to consult with my colleagues before
9 answering that question. I still have not finalised my
10 list. I am in touch with the witnesses, and if I would
11 personally have to tell you today, I would not be able
12 to do that, but I shall try to respect the deadline you
13 set in your ruling, and I think the other colleagues
14 will do the same. Whether we'll be able to do that by
15 Friday I'm not sure, but in any event, by the deadline
16 you have set we will do our best.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. All right. I
18 think we -- are there any other matters to be discussed
19 this afternoon? There are none, so we adjourn until
20 Friday at 9.00, and we'll be sitting from 9.00 until
21 1.30, and there is no sitting on Monday, as you know.
22 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
23 at 5.40 p.m. to be reconvened on Friday,
24 the 15th day of January, 1999
25 at 9.00 a.m.