1 Tuesday, 19th 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 Counsel Radovic?
11 MR. RADOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours. I
12 just wish to notify the Trial Chamber that we have
13 submitted a motion to the Appeals Chamber and submitted
14 an appeal regarding the ruling of the Trial Chamber
15 that the examination-in-chief of common witnesses
16 should be carried out by only one Defence counsel, for
17 it is our view that in the case of joint witnesses
18 proposed by all Defence counsel, that each individual
19 Defence counsel is entitled to examine that witness.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. You mean your appeal is
21 about the question of re-examination by the various
22 Defence counsel.
23 JUDGE MAY: Examination-in-chief.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, examination-in-chief,
25 but I think you mainly wish to focus on the question of
1 whether or not various Defence counsel can re-examine
2 one witness because, of course, you have been allowed
3 to cross-examine a witness who has been examined in
4 chief by one Defence counsel.
5 All right. Thank you. Thank you for
6 notifying the Trial Chamber of your appeal. Thank you
7 so much.
8 Before we bring in the next witness, I would
9 like to ask Defence counsel whether they could be so
10 kind as to submit, maybe by next Monday, a consolidated
11 list of witnesses so that we can have a clear picture
12 of how many witnesses are being called for, say, Count
13 1, and then for each Defence counsel. Count 1 is a
14 count of persecution, of course, involves quite a few
15 Defence counsel and all accused, so we could have just
16 one list for that particular count, and then each
17 Defence counsel could establish his own or her own
18 list, so that we have, as I say, a complete list of
20 Good. I think we may now proceed. I wonder
21 whether the next witness could be brought in, Mr. Vlado
22 Alilovic, I think, and there are no protective measures
23 envisaged for this particular witness.
24 (The witness entered court)
25 JUDGE CASSESE: On reflection, I think it
1 would probably be appropriate, in view of the motion
2 for appeal which has been filed by Counsel Radovic, for
3 the Trial Chamber to issue a written decision on this
4 matter so that the ruling is supported by reasons, and
5 this would probably facilitate the Appeals Chamber in
6 either upholding the appeal or dismissing the appeal.
7 I think it is just for the sake of better proceedings.
8 Yes, Counsel Radovic?
9 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I would agree
10 with you, but we know roughly what your reasoning will
11 be, as you have already explained that to us, so if you
12 will write a written ruling, we have already submitted
13 our appeal, and in any event, this will facilitate the
14 work of the Appeals Chamber.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: Very good. Thank you so
17 Good morning, Mr. Alilovic. Could you please
18 make the solemn declaration?
19 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
20 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
24 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, are you going
25 to examine in chief?
1 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No. Counsel Susak.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Oh, sorry. Yes, Counsel
3 Susak. I apologise.
4 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 WITNESS: VLADO ALILOVIC
6 Examined by Mr. Susak:
7 Q. Good morning, Mr. Alilovic.
8 A. Good morning.
9 Q. Is this your first appearance in court?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. I will be asking you some questions today,
12 and I expect you to answer them. So can we begin?
13 A. Yes, we can begin. Let me just have some
14 water, please.
15 Q. Will you please tell us when you were born
16 and where?
17 A. I was born in 1948 in Donja Rovna, Busovaca
19 Q. When did you come to live in Vitez?
20 A. I arrived in 1976 and I have been living and
21 working there since.
22 Q. And what is your occupation?
23 A. My occupation is an economist and especially
24 for internal trade, I specialise in internal trade.
25 Q. What did you do before the war and during the
2 A. I worked in my field, the field I have been
3 trained for.
4 Q. Were you a military man during the war?
5 A. No, I was not in the military during the war.
6 Q. So you lived in Vitez?
7 A. Yes, I lived in Vitez since 1976, as I have
8 already said.
9 Q. In view of the fact that you were in Vitez,
10 could you tell us the relationship between the Muslims
11 and Croats there, before the elections and after the
12 elections, so we can make a difference?
13 A. The relationships between the Muslims and
14 Croats before the elections were good, relatively good,
15 for at least as far as I know, nothing ever surfaced
16 that could indicate poor relations.
17 Q. May I just ask you, Mr. Alilovic, could speak
18 more slowly so that the interpreters can follow?
19 And after the elections ...
20 A. I would say that relations between Muslims
21 and Croats during the elections were also good. One
22 could even say that they may have been better than
23 before the elections for the simple reason that both
24 ethnic groups, aspiring towards democratic changes,
25 used the same methods in the election campaign and very
1 frequently sought jointly to win over as many voters as
2 possible in order to achieve their goal, and that was
3 to get more votes so as to be able to carry out
4 democratic changes.
5 Q. Now, we've said what relations were like
6 before and during the elections. Could you tell us now
7 what they were like before the conflict and after the
8 conflict and whether they deteriorated?
9 A. Those relations, after the elections, were
10 good for quite some time. In fact, they were good
11 until, after some time, quite opposing views emerged as
12 regards the developments in Yugoslavia or in Bosnia and
13 Herzegovina; that is, until positions were taken
14 regarding the concentration of vast forces of the
15 Yugoslav People's Army, both in manpower and equipment,
16 in Bosnia and Herzegovina and their use for the
17 aggression against Croatia.
18 Q. Thank you. What about the relationships
19 between the SDA and the HDZ parties?
20 A. I have already said that the relations
21 between the parties during the elections were good and
22 also for a long time after the elections; in fact, all
23 the time I would say that those relations were quite
24 good because party representatives were often in touch
25 with one another.
1 Q. Before we discuss the elections themselves,
2 could you tell us how the population was composed in
3 Vitez municipality?
4 A. According to the 1991 census, the population
5 of Vitez was 27.679 inhabitants, out of which 12.679
6 Croats or 45.7 per cent, Muslims numbered 11.471 or
7 41.4 per cent, Serbs 1.502 or 5.4 per cent, Yugoslavs
8 1.362 or 4.9 per cent, others 714 or 2.6 per cent.
9 Among the others, there were some Montenegrins, a few
10 Slovenes, and some Romanies or Gypsies.
11 Q. Tell us now what the election results were.
12 A. The elections were held at the end of 1990
13 and the results were as follows: the Former League of
14 Communists or the SDP won 18.6 per cent of the votes or
15 2.711 votes; the SDA won 4.470 votes or 30.7 per cent;
16 the HDZ, 5.849 or 40.2 per cent; the SDS, 476 or 3.3
17 per cent; the Reformist forces, 564 or 3.9 per cent;
18 and the League of Socialist Youth, 306 or 2.1
19 per cent. There were more than 14.000 voters who
20 participated in the polls.
21 Q. After the elections, how were the authorities
22 composed and how did they function and the bodies of
24 A. I apologise, but it seems to me that I can't
25 hear the interpreter too well.
1 Q. Well, increase the volume. You have a button
2 for the volume, plus/minus. Can you hear better now?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you tell us how the authorities
5 functioned after the elections?
6 A. I know that after the elections, that is the
7 HDZ party won the mandate to form a government, that
8 the government was successfully constituted, and, at
9 the beginning of 1991, it started functioning normally.
10 Q. How were the various government departments
11 formed, if you know?
12 A. I know that the two most important positions
13 were divided so that Mr. Ivan Santic became president
14 of the municipality, as a representative of the HDZ,
15 and that the president of the executive body was
16 Mr. Fuad Kaknjo, whereas the other positions were
17 shared out to correspond to the results in the
18 elections, and I think that there were no serious
19 problems in that area. On the contrary.
20 Q. Are you aware of village guards and the
21 Territorial Defence and how it operated at the time?
22 A. As far as I know, the village guards began to
23 be formed after the attack on the village of Ravno at
24 the end of 1991 or, rather, at the end of the month of
25 October. In some villages, those guards were at first
1 joint guards because the population in most villages of
2 Vitez municipality was mixed, and those guards, as far
3 as I know, remained operative until the conflict.
4 Q. At first, they were joint?
5 A. Yes, they were jointly composed for some
7 Q. Fine. So we come to the point when a split
8 occurred. Could you tell us when and how relations
9 between the Muslims and Croats deteriorated and why?
10 A. A deterioration of relations between the
11 Croats and the Muslims occurred, as I have already
12 briefly mentioned in my testimony, when quite opposing
13 views were taken regarding the aggression on Croatia.
14 The Croatian side thought that after the aggression
15 against Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina would become the
16 target of aggression. The official authorities of
17 Bosnia-Herzegovina, or at least the high-level leaders,
18 upheld the view that that was not Bosnia's war and that
19 they were not interested in it but, rather, that this
20 was a war exclusively between Serbs and Croats.
21 When those forces were amassed in large
22 numbers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, both in terms of troops
23 and equipment, the official authorities of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina adopted a decision to remain
25 neutral. As for relationships in Vitez itself, they
1 continued to be maintained at what I would call a
2 satisfactory level.
3 Q. Very well. Tell us, immediately prior to the
4 outbreak of hostilities, how was arming carried out, or
5 perhaps you could tell us what were the causes that
6 prompted the formation of the Croatian Defence Council,
7 the HVO?
8 A. The causes behind the formation of the
9 Croatian Defence Council were the differences in the
10 approach to defence between the Croats and Muslims and
11 the assessment that, in view of the current military
12 and political situation, something should be done to
13 prepare for defence against the Serbian aggression, and
14 towards the end of 1991 already, people started
15 seriously thinking about preparations for defence, and
16 they acquired the means in various ways.
17 Q. Will you tell us how they were armed, and let
18 me refresh your memory, could you tell us what you know
19 about Slimena and the Busovaca barracks?
20 A. We were talking about village guards a moment
21 ago, and they were armed with their own personal
22 sidearms, hunting weapons, and some weapons that they
23 managed to get hold of in various ways, most often on
24 the black market. But by the beginning of 1992
25 already, because of the overall military and political
1 situation, serious thought was given to the need for
2 acquiring larger quantities of weapons, and the only
3 possibility was to regain control of the equipment of
4 the Territorial Defence, which had been placed under
5 the control of the Yugoslav People's Army, and also
6 possibly to capture one of the barracks of the Yugoslav
7 People's Army.
8 It was along those lines that activities were
9 undertaken to try and negotiate the surrender of the
10 Busovaca barracks and the capture of the military depot
11 in ^ Slimena that you have mentioned.
12 Q. Who provided the initiative for taking the
13 weapons in ^ Slimena? I am referring to both Croats
14 and Muslims now.
15 A. The initiative came from the Croatian side,
16 that is sure, and that was how preparations were made
17 to capture it. This happened sometime in mid April
19 Q. When this happened, how were those weapons
20 shared out? Were the Muslims given an equal share or
22 A. I know that in that barracks, the entire
23 equipment for the Territorial Defence of Central Bosnia
24 were stored there, which means a very large quantity of
25 weapons. Immediately after the capture of that depot,
1 negotiations started between the Croats and Muslims,
2 and the Muslims insisted on the weapons being shared,
3 and eventually an agreement to that effect was
4 reached. Some of those weapons were certainly
5 destroyed, but the remainder was shared out 50/50.
6 This was done more or less with the weapons that were
7 captured in Busovaca.
8 Q. That was just what I was going to say. Were
9 those weapons shared out 50/50 as well?
10 A. Yes, as far as I know.
11 Q. What could you tell us about the civilian
12 authority? Were there parallel organisations of the
13 Muslims and the Croats, because we already said that
14 after the elections the authorities were formed
15 jointly. Later on a separation occurred, so tell us
16 how that happened. Did this happen by municipalities,
17 did it take place gradually?
18 A. After the depot and the barracks were seized
19 and the weapons captured, the people certainly felt
20 safer should the Serbs decide to commit aggression.
21 Already in April Kupres had been captured and
22 the Yugoslav People's Army forces were already on the
23 slopes of Mount Vlasic. And on the south eastern side
24 and the southwestern, and virtually from all sides,
25 Central Bosnia, in the broadest sense, was closed in,
1 or, in a sense, under blockade, or at least that was
2 the expectation, that it would be blocked.
3 Due to the capture of Kupres and the only
4 road leading out to the world, and the only road that
5 could be used for supply, both supplies of good and
6 other necessities, the Croatian side started thinking
7 how it could address the problem of communication and
8 lift the blockade so as to open the way towards Bosnia
9 and Croatia.
10 The Muslim side, it at the time, adopted a
11 rather passive attitude toward the problem and was
12 inert, and that is why the Croatian people, as a whole,
13 thought about forming the Croatian Defence Council and
14 the highest body for the preparations of the defence
15 and as the highest executive power, and that is how the
16 HVO was formed at the municipality level. This
17 occurred on the 10th of July already.
18 Q. And who was the first president of the HVO?
19 A. So the official authorities were renamed to
20 become the Croatian Defence Council.
21 Q. When these municipal governments were formed
22 at the HVO level, how did the Muslims behave? What did
23 they do?
24 A. On the 10th of July in '92, in Vitez, the
25 Croatian Defence Council was formed as a civil
1 authority in order to carry out preparations in the
2 best possible way for defence from aggression and
3 preparations for the winter in that sense, and this
4 was, in fact, an executive authority.
5 The Muslims were offered the option to join
6 the authority in accordance with the proportional votes
7 from the elections, and these negotiations lasted about
8 a month, even longer than that, but they refused to
9 join this government and they formed a parallel
10 government. These governments were operating in the
11 same building for about a month, and then after that
12 they withdrew and separated and went to a different
14 Q. In Mahala you want to say?
15 A. Yes, in Mahala.
16 Q. When the government separated did the police
17 separate as well?
18 A. You asked me before that who the President
19 was of the Croatian Defence Council. The first
20 president was the same president, former president of
21 the municipality, Mr. Ivan Santic. And his deputy, as
22 far as the organisation went, was Mr. Pero Skopljak.
23 Q. Could you please tell us -- answer what I
24 asked you about the police? Was there a division among
25 the police as well between the two sides?
1 A. No, there was no division right away but
2 after a certain time, yes, the police divided too.
3 Q. How many kinds of police were there?
4 A. At that time already there were four kinds of
5 police, military police within the HVO, civil police
6 within HVO, and then military police within the BH
7 army, the Muslim side, and the civilian police.
8 Q. So two civilian police forces and two
9 military police forces?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. When we are talking about this, could we talk
12 about the health centre? Was there a health centre
13 in -- health clinic in Vitez, and was this an
14 institution for both Muslims and for Croats or was
15 there a separation there as well?
16 A. There was a health clinic in Vitez. It was
17 of quite a considerable size. It was an institution
18 that was a joint institution for both Croats and
19 Muslims until serious conflicts started.
20 Q. What was the economy like at that time after
21 the authorities were formed? What was the financial
23 A. The Croatian Defence Council, when it was
24 formed, the situation within the economic sector was
25 serious already, and in that sense the government of
1 the Croatian Defence Council determined priorities at
2 that time, as a priority how to resolve and stabilise
3 the situation in the economy.
4 First of all, given the political and
5 military circumstances, how to resolve the key problems
6 such as the problem of provision for the supplies for
7 the population. And in order to resolve this problem
8 of supplying the citizens, which was a very important
9 problem, it was essential to resolve on a priority
10 basis the completion of certain communications through
11 which the required quantities of food and other
12 necessities could be delivered. So we were working on
13 this link, this communication. We invested a lot of
14 funds and efforts in that, and we called it the
15 'Saviour's Path.'
16 So the construction of the path of salvation
17 was begun in order to provide enough food and other
18 essential things that were, first of all, primarily
19 required for defence from aggression.
20 This -- it was reported by the media that the
21 Serb forces were seriously thinking about joining their
22 forces from Vlasic, through the Lasva Valley, with the
23 forces which were already in Kobiljaca in front of
24 Sarajevo. So in such circumstances, the situation, the
25 spirit among the people, the mood among the people was
1 exceptionally bad. Panic was among the people. The
2 situation on the market was already such that it looked
3 like anything but like a normal situation.
4 The Croatia Defence Council, through its
5 supply unit, was thinking about ways to resolve this
6 problem, including, of course, engaging other
7 departments, such as the Department of the Economy, and
8 others to resolve some problems within their
10 Q. Before we discuss the make-up of the HVO
11 government for the Court to have a better view, what
12 were the duties -- what were your duties at the time in
13 the HVO government?
14 A. I was a representative from the -- I was head
15 of the supply division in the HVO government, and it
16 was logical for this department to be within the
17 economical department, but HVO government felt that the
18 supply problem deserved serious thought and that it
19 should be formed as a special separate department. So
20 I was in charge of this supply department.
21 Q. Did you perform any other duties except for
22 the ones related to supply? Can you tell us anything
23 about humanitarian aid and what were your duties
24 regarding that?
25 A. Within the HVO government there was a
1 department for refugees and displaced persons, and we
2 accepted and distributed humanitarian aid in our
3 department. So it was my job to try to resolve the
4 problem of supply.
5 As far as humanitarian aid is concerned, at
6 that time I did not have complete data, but I know that
7 very little aid actually arrived in order to meet the
8 needs of the population and the growing number of
9 refugees at that time. For that reason I would like to
10 go back again to the duties -- to my duties.
11 The HVO government entrusted me with finding
12 ways of how to resolve the problem of the growing
13 requirements for supply. In view of the overall
14 military and political situation was the way I
15 mentioned before, and the fact that the HVO government
16 did not have a lot of funds at its disposal, together
17 with the chief of the economics department, I proposed
18 ways on -- to resolve the problem of supply.
19 We decided to offer a sort of winter package
20 of the most necessary winter goods in order to bridge
21 this period until springtime, and in order to bridge
22 the longest possible period. So the HVO government
23 offered a package of the most important provisions and
24 was looking for the most favourable offers, and
25 announced to the public that it would guarantee the
1 delivery of these provisions and that the citizens
2 would need to pay in advance for this. This was the
3 only realistic option to ensure the greatest amounts of
4 provisions in the shortest possible time to satisfy the
5 needs of the citizens and to resolve the problems that
6 I discussed.
7 So in a very brief time, thanks to the fact
8 that there were a lot of private businessmen in Vitez
9 who were successful traders, we asked for bids for
10 these goods. And when I talk about strategic goods I
11 mean flour, oil, salt, potatoes. So in a month we
12 managed to receive enough bids so that we could offer
13 the citizens these goods with the guarantee of the HVO
14 that the provisions would be delivered before the onset
15 of winter. So we had to work very quickly, because it
16 is well-known that the communications already in
17 October and November could become impassable.
18 So based on some 7.700 households in Vitez,
19 we estimated that we needed to ensure 1.5 million
20 kilogrammes of goods for winter provisions. Before
21 that, the economics department recommended that maximum
22 number quantities of these goods should be ensured for
23 their workers, for their employees, so that in
24 September the situation was much different regarding
25 the provision of citizens.
1 The winter provision was carried out quite
2 successfully, so that the majority of citizens in Vitez
3 had sufficient quantities of goods and could safely
4 await the winter.
5 Q. Mr. Alilovic, when you talk about provisions,
6 were Muslims and Croats equally supplied with these
8 A. Absolutely. The policy of the HVO government
9 was to supply all the citizens of Vitez, because only
10 in that way could it be counted on good interethnic
11 relations that peace could be preserved, and in that
12 sense the President of the HVO government, Mr. Santic,
13 and myself had the need and the task to carry out this
14 work to mutual satisfaction. And this job was carried
15 out for all the citizens of Vitez, and I think that the
16 participation in this winter provision -- there was a
17 little less supply that went to the Muslims than it did
18 to the Croats, because the number of Muslims who had
19 applied was less than the number of Croats, but they
20 did accept this with a certain amount of doubt, but it
21 started off successfully and this number grew so there
22 was -- there was no problem on that side to accept
23 these supplies.
24 Q. We have already mentioned the question of
25 humanitarian aid. As far as you know, did humanitarian
1 organisations such as Caritas and Merhamet, were they
2 active in Vitez?
3 A. Yes, of course they operated. The first
4 humanitarian organisation that was active in Vitez was
5 the municipal, the county Caritas organisation, and it
6 started its activities very early. It was the only
7 organisation to be active in Vitez right until '92.
8 Then in '92 Merhamet was formed, at the time
9 when a lot of expelled Muslims arrived in Vitez. So
10 Merhamet was formed as an organisation. There was a
11 need for them to have their own humanitarian
12 organisation which would meet the growing needs of the
13 expelled persons, whose number was growing daily.
14 In the beginning, I know that Caritas also
15 provided for both the needs of the Muslims and the
16 Croats as much as it was possible. In '92, in the
17 second half of '92, other humanitarian organisations
18 appeared, such as the High Commissioner and the Red
19 Cross, and they were active in that region, but this
20 was, as I said, insufficient in order to provide for
21 the needs of the citizens and to reduce tensions and
22 the fears about approaching winter and how to live
23 through the period of winter in view of the fact that
24 the overall military and political situation was very
1 Q. We spoke here about the relations between
2 Muslims and Croats and aid. Did you know that after
3 the formation of the HVO authorities there was a
4 coordinating committee for the protection of Muslims?
5 A. Yes. I know about that. It was formed maybe
6 about a month after the formation of the HVO, this
7 body, the coordinating committee for the protection of
8 the interests of Muslims was formed.
9 Q. What was the objective of that committee?
10 What does it mean, the protection of Muslims? What's
11 the intention?
12 A. I think this was a way to achieve or
13 implement parallel power, at least that's how I
14 understood it, because it did happen that parallel
15 authorities were being formed.
16 Q. You said that there were a lot of refugees in
17 Vitez and this humanitarian organisation Merhamet was
18 formed. Were there more refugees in Vitez? Were there
19 more Muslim or Croat refugees in Vitez?
20 A. As far as refugees are concerned in Vitez,
21 this can be viewed or should be viewed according to the
22 different periods. At the beginning of '92, after the
23 fall of Kupres and other parts of Bosnia such as Kotor
24 Varos, the number of refugees was more or less the
25 same, but as time went on, as we went on later into '92
1 in Vitez and particularly after the fall of Jajce, the
2 opposite situation occurred in Vitez, there was a much
3 greater number of Muslim refugees in Vitez, and this
4 can also apply to the whole of Central Bosnia. Already
5 by November, after the fall of Jajce, the situation was
6 obvious, that a large number of Bosnia and Herzegovina
7 was occupied, the greatest part was practically
8 cleansed of Croats and Serbs, and then in this period,
9 from the second half of '92 until the end of '92, the
10 greatest number of refugees of Muslim nationality came
11 to Central Bosnia and then, in large numbers, they also
12 came to Vitez.
13 It was estimated at that time that there were
14 about 4.500 to 5.000 refugees of Muslim nationality and
15 about 1.000 to 1.500 Croatian refugees.
16 Q. I would like to ask you, among the refugees
17 who came to Central Bosnia, especially to Vitez, were
18 there any able-bodied men, especially among the Muslim
19 refugees, men fit for military duty?
20 A. Yes, of course, there were able-bodied men
21 fit for military duty. It's estimated that only in
22 Central Bosnia there were about 80.000 Muslims from --
23 were estimated to have arrived in Central Bosnia, about
24 80.000 Muslims, and this was a greater number than the
25 total number of Croats in Central Bosnia. So it is
1 certain that amongst such a large number of refugees,
2 there were a lot of able-bodied men and also a large
3 number of armed persons.
4 Looking at it from a broader aspect, the
5 largest number of Muslim refugees were in Central
6 Bosnia. There was a smaller number of Croats. I know
7 that in Jajce, all the Croats had left and all the
8 Muslims had stayed.
9 Q. So all the Croats had left and all the
10 Muslims had stayed in Vitez?
11 A. Yes. This was the situation for Zenica,
12 Busovaca, Travnik, but also for Vitez.
13 Q. Now we will go back to the composition of the
14 government. So if you could please tell us about the
15 composition of the HVO?
16 A. The government was organised, as I mentioned
17 in the beginning, it was organised in departments.
18 There were several departments, and the key departments
19 at that time were the department for economy,
20 department for supply, as I said, then department for
21 national defence, civil police affairs, department for
22 the land books, legal questions, social affairs, and
23 also the general administration department. So there
24 were about nine or ten departments. There was a
25 department for displaced persons, for refugees.
1 Q. Could you tell us where that government was
3 A. The seat of the government was in the
4 municipal building where the government was organised.
5 Q. Is that where the government was permanently?
6 A. Yes, the government was there until the
7 outbreak of hostilities, and then it was transferred to
8 a different location because the building was shelled
9 and there were no conditions there for normal
11 Q. Who was the president of the government then
12 and -- you already mentioned Ivan Santic and Pero
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was the government permanently in session?
16 Were all the members of the government present at their
18 A. The government had meetings or was in session
19 frequently in view of the fact that there were a lot of
20 problems. I most frequently attended these government
21 meetings, but it happened sometimes that because of my
22 other duties, I would miss meetings. So it was in
23 session. They passed around information about the
24 current problems, the ways to resolve them, and so on.
25 Q. Did the government make decisions?
1 A. Yes, they made decisions at the level of the
3 Q. At what other levels were decisions made?
4 A. The decisions were made, decisions,
5 conclusions, recommendations were made at the
6 government level, but most often recommendations were
7 made at the level of the department because the
8 departments were quite independent in carrying out
9 their duties, and there was a need occasionally to
10 exchange information and to provide information to the
11 government about what has been carried out.
12 Q. You said the president was Ivan Santic.
13 A. Yes, Ivan Santic was president of the HVO
14 government all the time.
15 Q. Was he president of the crisis committee as
17 A. Yes. Mr. Santic, according to his post, was
18 also president of the crisis committee.
19 Q. Did he ever make decisions on his own without
20 the government?
21 A. Yes, he did have that option, and he probably
22 did make the decisions alone.
23 Q. We mentioned here the department for
24 defence. What was the task, the duty, what were the
25 duties of the Vitez defence department?
1 A. The duties of the Vitez defence department
2 were to organise all the documentation pertaining to
3 military conscripts, also according to need to carry
4 out mobilisation. I think that it also contacted the
5 village guards initially and then later to organise the
6 military conscripts, maintain lists of military
8 Q. So the role of the department was
10 A. Yes, that was its role.
11 Q. So the mobilisation was carried out by
12 filling in the ranks?
13 A. Yes, that's what the job is.
14 Q. What were you doing as a member of the
15 government regarding mobilisation? What was your
16 task? In the government, you said you did not deal
17 with the military questions but your duties had to do
18 with the supply.
19 A. Yes, my duties throughout that period were
20 regarding the problems of supplies. I did not have
21 anything to do with military questions except sometimes
22 I had the opportunity to hear some information about
23 the situation in the other departments. So my tasks
24 from the very beginning, right until the cease-fire
25 with the Muslims, was always the same, all the way
1 until the Dayton accords, and if I may add, at the
2 beginning of the war, besides supplies, my duties also
3 included the coordination of humanitarian aid at the
4 beginning of the conflict.
5 Q. Now we will go back. Do you remember the
6 first conflict on the 20th of October in '92?
7 A. Yes, I remember.
8 Q. How did that happen?
9 A. I had the opportunity to receive information
10 at an HVO government meeting that at a road between
11 Vitez and Busovaca, barricades were put up by certain
12 armed groups of Muslims. An attempt was made to have
13 the roadblock removed by peaceful means, but these
14 talks were not successful and the roadblock was removed
15 by force.
16 Q. Were any houses destroyed and was anyone
18 A. A serious resistance was put up. There was
19 an exchange of fire and, as a result, several houses
20 were damaged.
21 Q. Was an agreement on reconciliation reached
22 and an agreement to repair the houses?
23 A. Yes. After the barricade was removed, I
24 think that during the working hours of that same day, a
25 truce was agreed on, and the proposal was made or,
1 rather, an agreement was reached that every effort be
2 made to repair the damaged houses as soon as possible
3 so that they can be used again, and I think that this
4 was successfully resolved a few days later.
5 Q. We will proceed now immediately to the
6 conflict of the 16th of April, '93, but before then,
7 could you list the incidents that occurred in the
8 meantime, if you could, the incidents between the
9 Croats and Muslims?
10 A. Before the roadblock, I know that, on the
11 17th or the 18th, a roadblock was put up on the road
12 between Travnik and Novi Travnik and that this
13 roadblock was put there by the Muslims, and during
14 attempts to have it removed, again there was fire
15 exchanged, and I think that an assistant commander of
16 the HVO in Travnik was killed and another person who
17 was there during attempts to agree to appease the
18 situation and remove the barricade.
19 I also know that there were a number of
20 incidents in Novi Travnik or, rather, that -- but these
21 were successfully overcome, and also I think it was on
22 the 19th or maybe the 18th, a conflict of broader
23 proportions occurred in Novi Travnik. Actually, a
24 shelling occurred and exchange of heavy gunfire, and
25 this went on for some time, even after the roadblock
1 was removed between Vitez and Busovaca.
2 I also know that the military police in
3 Travnik was attacked, it was housed in the music
4 school, and before that, maybe -- some time before
5 that, there was an incident in Kiseljak and so on.
6 Q. So that brings us to the 16th of April,
7 1993. Where were you on the 15th of April?
8 A. On the 15th of April, I was at work.
9 Q. What can you tell us about the 16th of April,
10 '93? How did you learn that a conflict had occurred?
11 A. I learnt about it because I was awakened by
12 the sound of fire.
13 Q. What time was this?
14 A. This was about 6.00 in the morning.
15 Q. Since you were a member of the HVO
16 government, what was your duty after that?
17 A. In the course of the day, I was called in by
18 the president of the HVO, Mr. Santic, to try to come to
19 work so that we could discuss the question of
20 organisation of supply, but I answered that I would not
21 be able to come unless there was a lull in the
22 fighting, and, in fact, I managed to get there on the
23 17th, and I was given my regular assignment there to
24 organise the supply of both citizens and the soldiers,
25 if the conflict should continue.
1 Therefore, I couldn't go immediately when I
2 was called in, but I did manage to get there the next
3 day and to meet with Mr. Santic who gave me this
4 assignment to try and organise supply in spite of the
5 circumstances and to try and organise the collection of
6 potatoes that had arrived for planting, and we
7 discussed all these matters very briefly. He simply
8 gave me the task to try and organise all questions
9 related to supply despite the circumstances and, if the
10 conflict should continue, to find a way to deal with
12 Q. As you were unable to get there, how did you
13 communicate with him?
14 A. I communicated by telephone.
15 Q. Do you know whether Ivan Santic spoke to
16 other employees and did he give them other assignments
17 on that day?
18 A. Yes. The telephone lines were functioning.
19 He informed me that it was nothing abnormal, that I had
20 to try and continue doing my work because each of the
21 members of the government had their responsibilities to
23 Q. Did Ivica Santic inform you whether he had
24 informed other members of the government of their
1 A. I was afraid then, but he said, "Don't be
2 afraid. The situation is such as it is, and all the
3 heads of departments are duty-bound to organise the
4 activities within their department," and that meant
5 myself as well.
6 Q. Did you know that a conflict would occur on
7 the 16th of April, 1993?
8 A. No, I didn't know.
9 Q. Yes. You just said that you were awakened by
10 the sound of shooting.
11 We have a few more questions relating to the
12 16th of April. Do you know the casualty figure for
13 Ahmici? Were you informed about it?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Let me assist you. There's a list of the
16 dead, but you said that this was not in your domain.
17 But let me ask you something else: Do you know how
18 Civil Defence functioned before the 16th of April and
19 after the 16th of April?
20 A. As far as Civil Defence is concerned, it was
21 frequently a topic of discussion at meetings of the
22 HVO, and I know that, even at the end of '91 and '92,
23 it was relatively well-organised so that there were
24 Civil Defence representatives in each village, and, if
25 necessary, in fact, there were several representatives
1 in the same village, depending on the size of the
3 Q. Do you know whether men were recruited to the
4 Civil Defence and what exactly they did on the 16th of
5 April, 1993? Did anyone inform you as a member of the
7 A. Of course, I was informed that the Civil
8 Defence had been given its own assignments, just like
9 any other department, and its assignment was certainly
10 to organise itself. How it did so, I really couldn't
11 tell you.
12 Q. What was the task of the Civil Defence on the
13 16th of April?
14 A. Well, the normal task of Civil Defence was to
15 take care of civilians, women, children, and to do
16 rehabilitation and rebuilding if necessary.
17 Q. You said that the HVO government was the
18 decision-maker. Did any one of the accused participate
19 in that decision-making process?
20 A. Who are you referring to?
21 Q. The accused here present. Did any one of
22 them participate in the decision-making of the HVO
24 A. Of course not. Not any one of the accused
25 could have, nor did they participate in the
1 decision-making at the level of the HVO government.
2 Q. Did they participate in the negotiations
3 between the Croats and Muslims on important issues such
4 as exchange of prisoners, removal of barricades and the
6 A. Personally, I think that they did not,
7 because simply they didn't hold any such positions. As
8 for their participation in the work of the HVO
9 government or any influence on the government, I really
10 don't know, or, rather, I don't think they could have
11 had any influence.
12 Q. And who did make those decision?
13 A. What decisions are you referring to?
14 Q. At the level of the HVO government, and who
15 among the Croats took part in the negotiations on the
16 major issues with the Muslims?
17 A. Whenever important issues were discussed, the
18 President of the Crisis Staff would participate, that
19 is Mr. Santic, frequently the Deputy President
20 Mr. Skopljak. Depending on the nature of the question
21 discussed. If we were working on a relaxation of
22 tensions, then some representative of the military
23 would take part as well.
24 Q. After the Muslims and Croats would reach an
25 agreement, would the Croats observe those decisions?
1 I'm thinking of the decisions signed by HVO
3 A. Yes, most frequently they would observe those
5 Q. What about Muslims?
6 A. There were cases when agreements were not
7 carried through. Even after the 20th of October, for
8 instance, in spite of the fact that the situation was
9 successfully overcome, there were a number of
10 incidents, but on both sides attempts were made to calm
11 the situation down, and in most cases successfully.
12 Q. Croats were also among the casualties of the
13 war. Could you tell us where the Croats were victims,
14 if you know?
15 A. Do you mean in Vitez?
16 Q. Yes, and in the surroundings, and perhaps in
17 the direction of Busovaca. Do you know where Buhine
18 Kuce is?
19 A. Yes. The second most serious incident was
20 the killing, with a shell, of six or seven children.
21 In fact, two were wounded and, in fact, they died. So
22 the total number of victims was eight children.
23 Then there was the casualty figure in Buhine
24 Kuce or Krizancevo Selo, where a total of 66 people
25 were affected, out of which 34 were captured, but they
1 were also exchanged, some of them were killed. Then in
2 Buhine Kuce again there were five or six casualties
3 again, some of them killed.
4 The first incident involving casualties in
5 Central Bosnia occurred in the municipality of Dusina
6 in Busovaca when the Muslim forces attacked Busovaca.
7 I think some 15 or 16 civilians were killed.
8 Q. Do you know whether Muslims and Croats were
9 exchanged between Zenica and Vitez?
10 A. I know that there were attempts to carry out
11 exchanges at the beginning of the war -- or, rather the
12 conflict. At least that was the information I received
13 at one of the government meetings, that this attempt
14 ended in such a way that all the Muslims who in the
15 initial stages of the conflict were released home and
16 were given the freedom to go where they wanted, whereas
17 the agreement reached at the UNPROFOR base in Stari
18 Bila, no Muslims came from Zenica as a result of that
20 Q. And who participated in those talks on the
21 Croatian side?
22 A. In the first round the talks, as far as I
23 know it was Mr. Skopljak and the commander of the Vitez
24 Brigade, Mr. Mario Cerkez. That was in the UNPROFOR
25 base, the first round of talks.
1 Mr. Skopljak, several days after the
2 conflict, was dealing with the questions of exchange
3 not only at the level of Vitez, but at the level of the
4 whole of Central Bosnia.
5 Q. Mr. Santic (sic), you were a member of the
6 government. Perhaps you could tell us why the conflict
7 between the Muslims and the Croats actually occurred,
8 and could you please give us the causes of that
10 A. In my opinion, the war -- or, rather, the
11 conflict occurred for a number of reasons. I have
12 mentioned some of them, and let me repeat it.
13 First of all, the inertia on behalf of the
14 Muslims, and the official policy in relation to the
15 aggression against Croatia. President Izetbegovic, at
16 the time, said that it wasn't our war, that it was a
17 war between the Serbs and the Croats.
18 Then there was the decision taken by the
19 official authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina on their
20 neutrality regarding the aggression.
21 Then the military/political developments
22 in'92, and the actual aggression against
23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the influx of a large number of
24 displaced persons to Central Bosnia, including Vitez.
25 The presence of two armies, one might call
1 them, relatively well armed on a relatively small
2 space. The balance between the Muslims and the Croats
3 in the total population was roughly seven to one. It
4 is estimated that in the period from the beginning of
5 1993, there was a large influx of Muslim displaced
6 persons, among whom many came relatively well armed.
7 So that the ratio, the population ratio, certainly
8 affected and contributed to the conflict.
9 In my personal view, the position of the top
10 level military leadership was that the Croats could
11 very simply be subdued, because judging by many
12 incidents that occurred in Vitez or within the Lasva
13 River Valley as a whole, it was visible that activities
14 were being coordinated from the highest level.
15 Q. What do you mean when you said that the
16 Croats could be easily subdued? Are you referring to
17 the large number of well-armed displaced persons and
18 able-bodied Muslims?
19 A. I already said that the ratio was roughly
20 seven to one in favour of the Muslims, and this in
21 itself was an important factor, in my personal
22 opinion. So in the broader region of Central Bosnia,
23 they were quite well organised and quite well armed,
24 and that this option was a viable one.
25 Q. We have seen that the BH army did not capture
1 Vitez, but it did capture Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf and
2 Fojnica. Could you tell us why that was so, bearing in
3 mind that Bugojno is linked to Kupres, which is of
4 major military significance for this area?
5 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not
6 capture Vitez, as you said, but it did capture most of
7 Vitez. But the HVO, after the truce was agreed with
8 the Muslims, controlled about 35 per cent only, and
9 this could roughly be said for other municipalities
10 like Novi Travnik, where they held about 40 per cent,
11 as far as I know. Also in Busovaca. But only 15 per
12 cent of Travnik remained under HVO control. Therefore,
13 the BH army did control most of Central Bosnia, pushing
14 the Croats into small limited areas.
15 Q. You didn't mention Kiseljak, which is also
16 populated mostly by Croats.
17 A. As far as I know, the situation in Kiseljak
18 was more or less the same, but at the beginning the
19 conflict in Busovaca, sometime in January, I know that
20 Busovaca was virtually divided into two parts, the
21 dividing line going through Kacuni. That is how the
22 forces were divided too, along a length of some 10 to
23 12 kilometres, maybe 13.
24 Q. I wanted to ask you to explain how it was
25 that Vitez found itself surrounded, and what did the
1 Muslims intend to do with Vitez in view of the fact
2 that Bugojno had fell and that it had been captured by
3 the Muslims? What was their intention? Because we
4 know how Bugojno fell, Gornji Vakuf and Fojnica.
5 A. Since I said that the highest military
6 leadership felt that this would be relatively easy prey
7 and they tried to capture it, and they were more or
8 less successful, not only in Vitez, the Lasva Valley,
9 but throughout Central Bosnia.
10 My personal view is that an area of
11 several -- if there had been a passage of a few
12 kilometres through which people could have left, then
13 they would have achieved their goal.
14 Q. You have told us what their intention was.
15 In other words, to achieve the same as they did in
16 Bugojno, Gornji Vakuf and Fojnica. Could you tell us
17 whether the Croats were chased out of these three
19 A. Yes. The Croats from Bugojno -- you asked
20 me, "How did you explain" -- "How would you explain
21 that Bugojno fell?"
22 Q. Yes, because it is linked to Kupres and it
23 has a better position than Vitez.
24 A. It is rather difficult to explain, but
25 clearly Bugojno, at least as far as I know, judging
1 from meetings of the HVO, Bugojno was relatively well
2 armed, but it was defeated by the BH army even though
3 it has Croatian enclaves behind it.
4 Q. So you were saying that you were surrounded
5 and you had no other choice but to fight until the end?
6 A. Yes. Already in May, as far as I can
7 remember, we were totally surrounded and there was
8 absolutely no way out of Vitez. The only solution was
9 to defend ourselves and fight for survival.
10 Q. Would you tell us whether the Muslims wanted
11 to put you under even greater strain by cutting off the
12 main road?
13 A. Yes, absolutely so. This was a very narrow
14 area, and the strategy was to try and separate the
15 forces between Busovaca and Vitez, and that was the
16 gist of the strategy applied. I believe that if they
17 had succeeded in cutting off Busovaca and Vitez, or
18 dividing Vitez into two, there would have -- probably
19 the forces would have had to surrender. However,
20 thanks to the factory that we had and the amount of
21 ammunition available to us that we could use for
22 defence, as far as I have been informed, we managed
23 successfully to resist attack.
24 Q. You mentioned a moment ago the 16th of
25 April. Do you know whether any Croats were killed in
1 Ahmici, or did you know any of the dead?
2 A. Yes. I know that on the first day --
3 actually, I learned several days after the conflict
4 that five people were killed, and I know one of the men
5 killed, Mirjan Santic, and I know a very young man who
6 was killed from Rijeka.
7 Q. And what were they?
8 A. I don't know about the young man from Rijeka,
9 but I know that Mirjan Santic was in the military
10 police. I don't know the names of the others who were
12 Q. When you were listing the reasons of the war,
13 you referred to a statement made by Alija Izetbegovic
14 and the others. Were there any arrests of Croats in
15 the period preceding the 16th of April, 1993?
16 A. Yes, I did manage that some incidents
17 occurred. There was tension. A group was intercepted
18 in Kruscica, and they were taken into custody and
19 beaten up, but nevertheless these difficulties were
21 Q. You're referring to the period prior to the
23 A. Yes, prior to the conflict.
24 Q. Do you know of the case of Zivko Totic?
25 A. Yes, I know that Mr. Zivko Totic, on the
1 15th -- or, rather, that he was a HVO commander in
2 Zenica, and on the 15th he was intercepted by Muslim
3 forces, and that all the members of his escort were
4 killed and he was arrested.
5 Q. Were there negotiations for him to be
7 A. Yes. These were conducted by Mr. Pero
8 Skopljak, and I know there was an exchange but I
9 couldn't tell you when nor whom he was exchanged for.
10 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, as it is time for
11 the break, with your permission I would suggest we take
12 a break now because I will have another ten minutes of
13 questioning, or shall I continue with the witness?
14 JUDGE CASSESE: No, no. Let's take a break,
15 a 30-minute break.
16 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Susak?
19 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Alilovic, we left off at Zivko Totic
21 before the break, so could you please tell us whether
22 he was released and returned to the HVO?
23 A. Yes. I know that after the initial stage of
24 the conflict, this was done. I don't know exactly
25 when, maybe 15 or 20 days, maybe longer.
1 Q. Before, when you were responding to my
2 questions, and since you were the head of the supply
3 department, perhaps it would be a good thing if you
4 explained to us the taxation system while you were a
5 member of the government.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Go ahead.
8 A. Since, in the period when the HVO government
9 was formed, the financial organisation that was in
10 force then completely fell apart, and other
11 organisations also fell apart, the economy and
12 everything else, the municipality was practically in
13 the situation of trying to resolve the taxation system
14 on its own in order to get some funds. So the Croatian
15 Defence Council, the finance department in fact, issued
16 recommendations on the way to resolve this issue,
17 meaning how to tax products.
18 I remember that these taxes were much lower
19 than in normal circumstances in view of the fact that
20 the social situation of the population and all the
21 other conditions were very serious.
22 Q. You said that your work had to do with trade
23 as a profession, and then you were in the supply
25 A. Yes. For a while, I worked in the commerce
1 department, for three years, and then from 1979 until
2 the end of the elections, I worked in my company, which
3 was actually dealing with the supply of the citizens of
4 Vitez, which it did before the war as well. In a
5 municipality the size of Vitez, this would be one
6 company whose job would be to supply the citizens in
7 wholesale and retail. So in this sense, I worked in
8 the retail department and then I worked in the
9 wholesale department in the basic organisation of
10 associated labour whose job it was to deal with
11 wholesale. I worked in a company which was based in
12 Zenica, but the unit of that company was in Vitez. So
13 I worked in this job before I took on the other duties.
14 Q. When you were a member of the HVO, you said
15 that the government had frequent sessions. Did you
16 always attend these important meetings?
17 A. I did not attend the meetings always. It
18 depends on which period we are talking about. When I
19 was dealing with the problem of supply that I discussed
20 earlier, and this would be the period of August,
21 September, and October, and when I was busy with that,
22 I did not always attend the meetings because I had a
23 lot to do trying to fulfil the obligations that I had,
24 and I tried to do that in the way that I thought best.
25 Q. Did you submit reports to the government on
1 this issue, on supplying of the population in this
3 A. Yes, of course. The frequent topic of
4 discussion was the problem of supply that I talked
5 about, so I did submit reports on a number of
6 occasions, particularly in the period that we were
7 actively dealing with the problem of supplying the
8 population in order to go through the winter of '92-'93
9 as best as possible.
10 Q. Since you were head of the supply department,
11 did you coordinate, did you provide logistics to the
12 HVO or the Vitez Brigade? Was that one of your duties,
13 you know, when mobilisation is going on, and then did
14 you have anything to do regarding the logistics?
15 A. Well, the government had that task, to assure
16 certain supplies for the military units. At the start
17 of the conflict, as I said before, since the conflict
18 did not stop, I was entrusted with the job of providing
19 certain quantities of food for the needs of logistics
20 besides supplying the population, so it was my job to
21 obtain certain quantities and deliver them to the units
22 or to the brigade, and that's where my duties ended.
23 Q. You said that you did not attend all the
24 meetings. Did you work out on the ground, and what
25 were your duties if you were out on the ground?
1 A. I was out on the ground a lot, and when we
2 were actively dealing with the problem to provide
3 winter supplies, I did tour a number of villages,
4 explaining what was being offered in the package, what
5 strategic goods were being offered to the citizens, the
6 terms; and on several occasions, I also visited Muslim
7 villages, explaining in the same way the offer, so that
8 we would gain the trust and the confidence, and we got
9 that pretty quickly because the first delivery was
10 successfully carried out. So I did go out on the
11 ground to make the offer and also when distribution was
12 being carried out, and then during the war, I went out
13 on the ground to organise the sowing, and also I bought
14 certain agricultural products and cattle, and I would
15 deliver that to the logistics unit for the needs of the
16 military units. Of course, I did not do this myself.
17 My department had a number of employees.
18 Q. You said that you obtained these goods.
19 Could you please tell us where you obtained the goods
20 from, from which regions? Did you obtain the goods
21 from outside of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
22 A. Yes. You could only get the goods, at the
23 stage that I was talking about, exclusively from
24 outside of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because at that
25 stage, in May, June, July and the months after that,
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina was very badly supplied on the
2 whole, and except in parts of Herzegovina, you could
3 not obtain goods, so the goods were mainly obtained
4 from Croatia, sometimes imported but mostly from
6 Q. If you obtained the goods from Croatia, how
7 did you ensure safe passage of those goods?
8 A. Already at that time, in October and
9 November, regarding the security situation, it wasn't
10 very safe, but this was nevertheless being organised.
11 Q. Could you please tell us how this was
13 A. Goods were obtained -- as I said, in Vitez,
14 we had a number of companies who were able to obtain
15 the required quantities pretty efficiently. This is
16 confirmed by the fact that in the period from March to
17 October '92, a period when we were efficiently and
18 actively organising the supply of winter goods through
19 the companies, and we managed to cut in half the prices
20 of strategic goods on the market. So that the price of
21 flour, for example, in March or April, was 1.20 German
22 marks, but in our package, it was offered at
23 55 pfennigs, and we did ensure the required quantities,
24 stabilised the market, and ensured sufficient
25 quantities so that they could be bought in retail at a
1 price of 60 pfennig. To my surprise, when I look at
2 that from today's point of view, prices are now higher
3 than they were in September-October '92. Of course,
4 during the conflict itself, as it went on, there were
5 shortages of goods; then the situation was worse than
6 it was in '92, at the beginning.
7 Q. Were Muslims and Croats able to buy these
8 goods in the same way, meaning at the same prices?
9 A. Yes. I said that we made the offer for all
10 citizens of Vitez, including, of course, all
11 nationalities, and Muslims among them.
12 Q. Did you want to say something else?
13 A. So this was something that was done for all
14 the citizens of Vitez, as I have already said.
15 MR. SUSAK: I would like the usher -- we are
16 going to move to another question now, so I would like
17 to ask the usher to show you document D32/2.
18 I would like the usher to give the witness
19 the translation of the document. The witness doesn't
20 speak English.
21 THE REGISTRAR: He has the B/C/S version in
22 front of him.
23 MR. SUSAK:
24 Q. Mr. Alilovic, this is a report, an
25 announcement, as you can see. Have you seen this
1 announcement before?
2 A. Yes, some of this I am familiar with. I see
3 here the representatives of the UNHCR, UNPROFOR,
4 representatives of the religious communities,
5 commanders of the armed forces of the B and H army,
6 representatives of the HVO, Ivo Santic and Mr. Pero
7 Skopljak and Mario Cerkez.
8 Q. Pero Skopljak and Ivan Santic, who were they
10 A. Pero Skopljak and Ivan Santic were
11 representing the Croatian Defence Council, and most
12 frequently they took part in the meetings of this kind.
13 Q. Besides them, who else participated on the
14 Croatian side?
15 A. Most often a representative of the armed
17 Q. As I see here, Mario Cerkez in this
18 particular case.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did Ivan Santic and Pero Skopljak always take
21 part in the negotiations with the Muslim side in such
22 situations and similar situations?
23 A. Yes. Mostly it was Mr. Santic, frequently
24 Mr. Skopljak, these people that we see on this document
25 now, in announcements about agreements to calm the
1 situation regarding the barricades on the road between
2 Vitez and Busovaca and regarding the overall situation
3 at that time between the two sides. In this case, I
4 see Friar Anto Tomas here, I don't know him that much,
5 and Mr. Omer Efendija Mestrovac, representative of the
6 Muslim community of the Islamic community. I don't
7 know that they participated in meetings often, but on
8 this occasion, I see that they did, because this was
9 probably a more serious situation and an attempt to
10 engage representatives of all the important sides,
11 including representatives of the religious communities.
12 Q. Did these talks and agreements happen often?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Thinking from the 16th of October, '92, to
15 April 16th, '93.
16 A. Yes, these contacts were frequent, after any
17 kind of incident occurred, and this is also confirmed
18 by the fact that relatively tolerable relations were
19 maintained up until the 16th of April in '93.
20 Q. In view of the announcements and the meetings
21 and the negotiations, do you understand this, that from
22 the conflict in Busovaca, all the way until the 16th of
23 April, '93, there were no serious clashes?
24 A. Yes. This attests to the fact that there
25 were people in Vitez from both sides who managed to
1 maintain relatively tolerable relations, even after the
2 conflict in Busovaca in January, even though it went on
3 for two or three months, thanks to the correct
4 approach, the attitude of both sides, which managed to
5 maintain such relations.
6 Q. You said that Pero Skopljak frequently took
7 part in the talks and negotiations. What were his
8 duties in the government?
9 A. He was the vice-president of the Croatian
10 Defence Council and he maintained contacts in
11 situations when this was not required, besides
12 Mr. Santic, who was mostly present at all negotiations
13 when this was called for.
14 Q. Besides Ivan Santic and Pero Skopljak, in
15 talks while reaching -- did other people who were not
16 members of the government, with the exception of
17 members of the religious community or the military
18 community, did these persons also participate in the
19 decision-making process?
20 A. Nobody took a part in the decision-making
21 process other than representatives of the HVO
22 government, especially not representatives of the
23 religious community. When we're talking about
24 decisions of any kind, they were made within the HVO
1 Q. These decisions made by the HVO government,
2 were they observed? Were they observed and were they
3 observed -- these decisions, were they observed also by
4 the Muslims?
5 A. The majority of the decisions by the HVO
6 government, particularly in the period since it was
7 formed and on, were mostly observed. They were
8 frequently observed with a certain degree of respect by
9 the Muslims. But when we talked about the tolerable
10 relations which we maintained until April 16th, this
11 was done thanks to the president of the HVO government
12 as well as other members, depending on the area that we
13 are talking about.
14 Q. If the HVO government made decisions and
15 reached agreements with the Muslim side and say there
16 was a problem in one of the villages of the Vitez
17 municipality, were these decisions binding on all
18 sides, the village and in the town?
19 A. Absolutely, decisions by the HVO government
20 were binding on all the citizens of Vitez, including
21 all the regions of Vitez, so in this sense, including
22 the villages and the hamlets.
23 Q. So the decisions of the HVO government were
25 A. As far as I understand.
1 Q. Would the usher give the witness document
2 339, D339?
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Susak, do you mean
5 MR. SUSAK: I think it's marked D339. I may
6 have written it down, but it could be --
7 JUDGE CASSESE: It's a Prosecution Exhibit.
8 MR. SUSAK: I think it's P. I apologise,
9 Your Honour. Yes, it's P339.
10 Q. Can you see, Mr. Alilovic, what is this
12 A. Yes, I can see.
13 Q. Could you tell us, please, who signed this
14 joint statement?
15 A. This joint statement was signed by Mr. Santic
16 on behalf of Croatian community. This was a joint
17 statement by representatives of the Croats and Muslims
18 in the municipality of Vitez. At that time Mr. Muhamed
19 Mujezinovic, before the conflict as far as I know, was,
20 on the Muslims' side, one of the persons in the
21 government body. In any case this was a statement that
22 I had the opportunity to hear either on the radio or
23 see on the local television.
24 Q. What was Mujezinovic by profession?
25 A. Mujezinovic was a doctor, and I know him very
2 Q. Could you tell us something about him, about
3 his activities at that time and his authority within
4 the Muslim community?
5 A. I would like to say first that we went to
6 elementary school together, that we studied in Sarajevo
7 at the same time, and Mr. Mujezinovic, I don't know
8 exactly what year, but after completing his studies he
9 didn't immediately start working in Vitez. He came to
10 Vitez, and as a doctor, a general practitioner, he
11 worked there first. Then in occupational medicine he
12 was working in a factory for industrial explosives, and
13 he was known all over the community. He had the
14 authority and enjoyed a good reputation among the
15 Muslim people at the stage when this was called for.
16 Q. I'd like to draw your attention to item 5 of
17 the joint statement, where reference is made to the
18 civilian bodies of government at the highest level,
19 which are required immediately to establish an ongoing
20 political dialogue until the establishment of peace and
21 the establishment of authority in the provinces and in
22 the municipalities.
23 Was that a suggestion or was it a
24 recommendation? How would you describe it? Was it an
25 order, because the term "It is requested," is used?
1 How was this decision implemented?
2 A. I personally think that this was a
3 recommendation expressing the wish to make another
4 attempt, and I think that the wish was sincere on the
5 part of both to try to halt the hostilities through the
6 mediation of the civilian and military authorities so
7 that the conflict would not continue, because both of
8 these people must have been fully aware of the
9 consequences. Therefore, I think that they were
10 prompted by the sincere wish to try and do everything
11 possible to end the hostilities.
12 Q. Mr. Santic (sic), under item 5, will you tell
13 us in what capacity did Ivan Santic sign this
14 statement, because no title is given here?
15 A. He signed it as a representative -- as the
16 president of the Crisis Staff and the president of the
17 HVO. As for Muhamed, as the representative of the
18 wartime government of the Muslims.
19 Q. Mr. Alilovic, let me ask you: When this
20 joint statement was drafted, did Ivan Santic ask for
21 permission from the HVO government to sign this
23 A. No, I don't know that. As I said, I heard
24 the statement read out on our local television. As far
25 as I can recall, both of them spoke on television, and
1 this programme could be seen by most of the citizens of
2 both Croat and Muslim ethnicity.
3 Q. Ivan Santic, as the president of the
4 municipality and the head of the Crisis Staff, did he
5 have any authority, without the support of the
6 government, to pass important decisions?
7 A. Yes, absolutely. He had the authority, and,
8 in fact, I think he did take decisions that I am not
9 aware of.
10 Q. Were similar decisions made by his deputy,
11 Mr. Pero Skopljak?
12 A. Yes, of course. He too had certain
13 competencies in that respect to make decisions.
14 Q. And in what area?
15 A. Primarily in the area of exchange. He acted
16 independently at the time. At least as far as I know,
17 he was the person in charge of exchanges, not only for
18 the municipality of Vitez but for the whole area of
19 Central Bosnia, and he was authorised to negotiate
20 independently and also to take decisions
22 Q. Did he take such decisions on his own when
23 exchanges were carried out, exchanges of civilians, and
24 even exchanges of the dead, because we know that there
25 were, unfortunately, even exchanges of bodies. Was he
1 independent in making decisions in both these areas?
2 A. Yes. As far as I know, he would consult with
3 the president, but in the final stage and in the course
4 of the negotiations he would decide on his own.
5 Q. About exchanges?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Could I ask the usher to show the witness
8 document P335, please?
9 Mr. Santic --
10 A. Alilovic.
11 Q. I'm sorry, I keep making the same mistake.
12 You have the Croatian original?
13 A. Yes, I have the document.
14 Q. This is a report of the defence department of
15 Vitez, or the defence office.
16 A. Yes, I can see that.
17 Q. Are you aware of the formation of the Vitez
18 Brigade? But I should like to focus on item 3 of this
19 report, where it is stated that in the period from the
20 16th of April, up to and including the 28th of April,
21 1993, a total of 498 conscripts were mobilised who were
22 actively included in HVO units, in addition to the
23 regular personnel of the Viteska Brigade.
24 Let me ask you, what is the regular -- who
25 were the regular members and who were the mobile or
1 reservists? The regular or active duty, whichever you
3 A. The active duty members of the brigade, as
4 far as I know, our brigade had about 300 such active
5 duty members. All the others were actually reservists,
6 and as can be seen from this report, they were
7 mobilised in the period of the 16th up until the 28th
8 of April, and we have the figure there.
9 Q. Mr. Alilovic, what does that mean, "From the
10 16th of April up to and including the 28th of April,
11 1993"? When was this mobilisation? On what date was
12 it carried out?
13 A. It means that the mobilisation was carried
14 out not only on the 16th but from the 16th until the
15 28th, as the conflict escalated and it couldn't be
16 stopped, which meant -- this actually means that the
17 mobilisation started on the 16th of April.
18 Q. And will you tell us who comprises the active
19 duty members of the Viteska Brigade?
20 A. I already said that as far as I know, the
21 active duty men were those who signed certain
22 contracts, terms of employment with the brigade.
23 In formal and legal terms it was a brigade,
24 but in fact, as far as I know, its strength was about
25 300, because that was the number of men who signed a
1 contract with the brigade on full-time employment.
2 Q. So we're talking about professionals. Who
3 were these professional units? Who do they consist
5 A. They are people who signed such contracts of
6 employment, including the military police. They were
7 part of this active duty personnel.
8 Q. Could all these people have been mobilised on
9 one day or did this happen gradually? Is it possible
10 for a figure of, shall we say, 300 men, or 350 as we
11 see on a list here, is it possible for 350 men to be
12 mobilised on the same day?
13 A. I think not.
14 Q. Could you explain how this was done
16 A. This gradual recruitment can be seen from
17 this text. Of course, we don't see it broken up by
18 days, but we see reference made to the period from the
19 16th to the 28th, which means over a period of 12 days
20 498 men were mobilised.
21 Q. How much on which day?
22 A. I really couldn't tell you, but it's obvious
23 that this is a 12-day period that is involved. On what
24 day, how many men were mobilised, I really don't know.
25 Since the conflict was not contained, as we heard a
1 moment ago, even after 15 days, then this mobilisation
3 Q. You mean gradually?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. I'm still focusing on item 3, second
6 sentence. Let me read it to you: "The majority of
7 conscripts mobilised on the day of the outbreak of
8 hostilities were directly included in the first line of
10 So my question is: Who were the people to be
11 sent to the frontlines first? Were they active duty
13 A. Actually, that is what it says here. You can
14 read on, that they are being used as replacements on
15 the frontlines after the first assault. That is they
16 are gradually included as replacements for the active
17 duty personnel.
18 Q. So according to you, the active duty
19 personnel are the first to go to the frontline?
20 A. Yes, absolutely so. That is only logical.
21 Q. Will you please turn to the next page? Let
22 me read it for you: "The Civil Defence units, in
23 addition to personnel mobilised up to now, that is
24 mobilised before the outbreak of hostilities, for
25 various duties, a total of ten conscripts were
1 mobilised for the needs of rehabilitation upon orders
2 of the commander of the Civil Defence, as well as four
3 military conscripts of advanced age to coordinate Civil
4 Defence affairs."
5 You said already that the Civil Defence was
6 well organised.
7 A. Yes. Actually, as we have already elaborated
8 on a few points, I had occasion to hear at meetings of
9 the HVO government what the capacities of the Civil
10 Defence were. I think the Civil Defence was relatively
11 well organised already at the beginning of 1992 and
12 until the end of 1992, that is during the conflict. I
13 know that it was organised in such a way that there
14 were representatives in each village, and, if
15 necessary, more than one.
16 Q. In the case of Civil Defence, were there any
17 oral orders that would be given?
18 A. Yes, there were oral orders. At least for as
19 long as the telephones were running, certain
20 recommendations, conclusions were made and instructions
21 given by telephone.
22 Q. On the 16th and the 17th of April, was the
23 Civil Defence active in caring for civilians, women and
24 children and the wounded?
25 A. I know that it was tasked to do that, or,
1 rather, the head of the Civil Defence Department was
2 given such an assignment, roughly the same as my own
3 assignment in my field of action, and it was supposed
4 to be active. Whether they actually did on the very
5 first day and to what an extent I really am unable to
6 say, but in any event, it was organised.
7 Q. Mr. Alilovic, I do beg your pardon for using
8 the wrong name. I only have a few more questions for
9 you, very briefly.
10 You said that you spoke with Ivica Santic by
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What did he tell you? Did he tell you that
14 he had given assignments to the head of the civil
15 department or not?
16 A. Yes. I came on the second day and I spoke
17 with Mr. Santic in that sense, since we were located in
18 one place, in the basement of the post office and in
19 the hall of the post office. I remember very well that
20 the desk of the head of the Civil Defence department
21 was in the hall, and I could see that he was already
22 present, that he was operating, while I was discussing
23 how we should organise supplies, and I heard them
24 receiving instructions and information, and that they
25 were active.
1 Q. Were supplies provided for the facilities
2 where the wounded, and women and children were
4 A. I didn't quite understand.
5 Q. Did you provide supplies for women and
6 children, or, rather, did the Civil Defence take care
7 of that?
8 A. Yes, certainly, it did, and that is what it
10 Q. And to close, you gave us an overview of
11 events and spoke in particular detail about the causes
12 that provoked the conflict between the Muslims and the
13 Croats. You said that Vitez was, in fact, an oasis
14 with attempt being made to cut it off. Will you tell
15 us, is it true that the Muslims could go from Travnik
16 to Mostar, passing through territory under their
18 A. Yes. Let me present the situation briefly as
19 it was after the truce or, rather, after the Dayton
20 Agreement, and let me present briefly the situation on
21 the ground or, rather, the areas controlled by either
22 side. It is true that the Muslims can go from Travnik
23 as far as Mostar, passing through territory under their
24 control all the time, and that this area is, in fact,
25 under their control, of course after the Dayton
2 Q. What about the Croats?
3 A. As far as the Lasva Valley is concerned, it
4 has been cut into two or, rather, the whole of Central
5 Bosnia. I said that during the war, there were
6 attempts to cut it up in several places.
7 As for control of this area, the situation
8 remains roughly as it was during the war.
9 Q. So as far as I understand, the territory is
10 controlled by the Muslims at the expense of the Croats?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. When the war ended, what was the ratio
13 between the Muslim and Croat dead during the conflict?
14 A. As far as I know, between 600 and 700 Croats
15 in Vitez were killed in the conflict. How many Muslims
16 were killed, I don't know. I have heard one report
17 immediately after the truce and in a talk attended by
18 Dr. Mujezinovic, when attempts were being made to
19 provide the population with fuel wood for the winter of
20 '93-'94, and I heard the figure of 395 Muslims having
21 been killed. Whether they're all from Vitez or not, I
22 don't know.
23 Q. One further question. What about the ratio
24 of Muslim and Croatian displaced persons?
25 A. I have already said that during the conflict
1 or immediately prior to the conflict, the ratio of the
2 displaced was certainly close to 4 to 1 in favour of
3 the Muslims.
4 Q. Could you give us a number for us to be able
5 to grasp it?
6 A. I could tell you roughly, though this was not
7 my field, there were about 6.000 to 7.000 displaced
8 persons in Vitez, out of which 4.500 to 5.000 were
9 Muslims and the rest were Croats. But the situation in
10 the conflict, as it developed, changed because, on the
11 fringes of Vitez, these areas were abandoned by the
12 Croats so that the number of displaced persons kept
13 increasing as the conflict intensified.
14 Q. So we come to the end of the war. Could you
15 tell us how many people were disabled in Vitez, how
16 many widows and how many orphans?
17 A. I know, as I said -- I gave you the figure
18 between 600 and 700 people, probably more, but people
19 who were not from Vitez, people who were engaged to
20 defend certain parts of the frontline in Vitez on
21 occasion, but I don't know that figure. I do know that
22 there were a large number of wounded. I think more
23 than 1.000. I also know that there were more than 500
24 men with a certain level of disability, ranging between
25 20 to 100 per cent disability. Then I also know that
1 there are close to 400 widows and about 500 children
2 without one or both parents. Did you ask me anything
4 Q. No, I asked you for the number of disabled,
5 the widows, and the children without parents.
6 Let me ask you, finally: Do you know Drago
8 A. Yes, I do.
9 Q. What do you know about Drago Josipovic?
10 Where did he work and do you know any details about
11 that person?
12 A. I do know Drago Josipovic because we were
13 neighbours with a certain distance between us. I lived
14 in Busovaca and he lived in Vitez, until I moved to
15 Vitez. But still, the distance is not very high
16 because these were adjoining municipalities. As the
17 crow flies, the distance was not important, and in view
18 of his age, I know him rather well. I know that he was
19 a craftsman, that he worked in the factory, I know him
20 as a quiet person, a hard-working one, and I know that
21 he was not politically committed.
22 Q. You mean that -- did he participate in
23 military or political decision-making?
24 A. I think he couldn't have, nor do I know that
25 he did.
1 Q. You said that he was not a member of the
2 government or the authorities. Do you know whether he
3 was a member of any party?
4 A. I am not aware of that. I don't know. But I
5 know that he was not politically active, so probably he
6 wasn't a member of any party.
7 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. Alilovic.
8 Mr. President, I have no further questions
9 for this witness.
10 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Susak.
11 Counsel Radovic -- may I ask if there is any
12 cross-examination by other counsel? Just Counsel
13 Radovic, or other counsel as well? Counsel Pavkovic?
14 MR. RADOVIC: I have asked for the floor, not
15 to announce my intention to cross-examine but to make
16 another suggestion.
17 Your Honours, in view of the fact that this
18 procedure is disputed as to whether the other Defence
19 counsel are entitled to direct examination or only
20 cross-examination and also the question of
21 re-examination after the examination by the
22 Prosecution, the Defence counsel feel that their rights
23 have been impaired, especially because they were not
24 allowed to re-examine Witness Zvonimir Cilic. This is
25 something that is irreparable and cannot be compensated
1 by examining this witness, and for the Exhibit P335,
2 that is now before this witness, is of decisive
3 importance virtually for all the accused because it
4 clearly says when the mobilisation started and it also
5 indicates who, on the Croatian side, was involved in
6 the first military operations, because that document
7 says that the first combat operations were carried out
8 by professionals, and this is something that we
9 couldn't obtain from Mr. Cilic.
10 We cannot make up for that by questioning
11 this witness because Mr. Cilic was a member of the
12 staff of the Vitez Brigade and he could clearly explain
13 exactly what we were interested in regarding the
14 professional composition of the Vitez Brigade and what
15 they were doing on the 16th of April and about the
16 question of when reservists began joining up. In
17 addition, he should have explained why reference is
18 made to many problems regarding manning of the Vitez
19 Brigade, filling up the Vitez Brigade with reservists.
20 Our submission is that the ruling of the
21 Court that only one counsel can do the
22 examination-in-chief is directly contrary to Rule 82(A)
23 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and this has
24 prompted us to lodge an appeal.
25 If we were to continue the examination
1 according to the old system and if the Appeals Chamber
2 would admit our appeal, then the whole case would find
3 itself in a situation that a witness may be examined in
4 an inappropriate way according to the finding of the
5 Appeals Chamber.
6 Simultaneously with our request to file an
7 appeal, we have filed an appeal, and so we would
8 suggest that we suspend the case until we have the
9 ruling of the Appeals Chamber, which we hope will come
10 very soon.
11 That would be the suggestion of all the
12 Defence counsel. Thank you.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Judge May?
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Radovic, let me try to
15 understand what you are saying.
16 What is it that you want to put to this
17 witness which you cannot put to the witness if you say
18 you can't conduct an examination-in-chief?
19 All that is happening is that one counsel is
20 calling the witness, and I am leaving aside all
21 questions of re-examination for the moment, one counsel
22 calls the witness. The others have the right to
23 cross-examine. If you want to put something to this
24 witness, you can do so. There is nothing to prevent
1 As I say, this has nothing to do with
2 re-examination. It has to do with the way, the orderly
3 way, in which evidence is presented.
4 Now, is there anything which you wish to put
5 to this witness which, in some way, you say you are
6 prevented from doing?
7 MR. RADOVIC: Your Honours, the main problem
8 is the fact that the right to the examination-in-chief
9 also gives you the right to re-examine after the
10 questioning by the Prosecution, so we would like to
11 preserve our right that each of the counsel for the
12 Defence can individually question each witness, and
13 this is in accordance with Rule 82(A) of the Rules of
14 Procedure, where it explicitly says that in cases of
15 joint trials, each accused and their Defence counsel
16 shall be accorded the same rights as if such accused
17 were being tried separately. This is stated explicitly
18 in the Rules. So we can use this right, exercise this
19 right -- if we think that all the questions have been
20 asked, we don't have to exercise it. But we can never
21 know what the Prosecution will ask, which documents
22 will be submitted, which names will come up, so that it
23 is essential for us to be able to re-examine after the
25 As far as the witness here is concerned,
1 outside of the examination-in-chief but within it, I
2 would like to ask the witness, with the Prosecutor's
3 document P335, to look at the list of the names
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Wait a minute on this matter.
6 First of all, if I may step in? Counsel Radovic, I
7 think that you have to interpret Rule 82(A) in
8 conjunction with 85(B), which states that "the party
9 calling a witness to examine such witness in chief"
10 and, as a consequence, to re-examine after
11 cross-examination. So if this particular witness is
12 called by one Defence counsel, only that Defence
13 counsel has a right to examine that particular witness
14 in chief. It is very clear from Rule 85(B). So
15 therefore, I don't see why the rights of the Defence
16 have been impaired. Not at all.
17 In addition, if other Defence counsel want to
18 ask questions they were not allowed to ask
19 in re-examination about that particular document,
20 I saw from your list of witnesses that you are going to
21 call quite a few witnesses who were part of the
22 military structure in Vitez and probably are more
23 familiar than Mr. Cilic with that particular list of
24 conscripts, so you will have ample opportunity to ask
25 questions concerning that particular document.
1 Let me now consult with my colleagues about
2 your proposal that we should suspend our proceedings
3 until the Appeals Chamber delivers its decision because
4 this would mean really to put off again our proceedings
5 for quite a while because, first of all, there are
6 delays, six days, and then, plus, the Bench of three
7 members of the Appeals Chamber would need to decide on
8 whether or not to grant leave and then there would be
9 an appeal, so this would be put off for months.
10 MR. RADOVIC: Excuse me. You said that I
11 could finish my thought.
12 We know the Rule that the
13 examination-in-chief was done by the Defence counsel
14 who called the witness, but there are witnesses who
15 were proposed by all of the Defence counsel jointly so
16 that we don't repeat names from case to case by lists
17 of individual Defence counsel. Witness Cilic and this
18 witness were on that list. So these are not individual
19 witnesses but these are witnesses called by all of the
20 Defence counsel.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Let me, first of all, ask the
22 Prosecution whether they have any comments.
23 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, regarding the
24 request of the Defence to suspend the proceedings until
25 the Appeals Chamber has made its decision, the
1 Prosecution is very emphatically opposed to this
2 because it seems to me that your Trial Chamber has
3 taken a ruling and the Appeals Chamber could perhaps
4 make a decision quickly, but we should continue the
5 proceedings and not interrupt the course of justice.
6 Regarding the substance of the problem raised
7 by Mr. Radovic, I am glad to present our position and
8 we will do so, but this appeal has been made to the
9 Appeals Chamber, so I don't consider it useful for us
10 to discuss it in this courtroom.
11 If your Trial Chamber wishes us to do so
12 nevertheless, I would respectfully ask the Trial
13 Chamber to possibility give us an opportunity to confer
14 within the Office of the Prosecutor because this is an
15 important issue that may be raised in other proceedings
16 and which is of interest to other members of the Office
17 of the Prosecutor, and therefore, I would be grateful
18 if you would give us a chance to consult amongst
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Nevertheless, in the
21 meantime, we have to continue with this witness who is
22 here present, so what is the procedure that we should
23 adopt? Have you any comments to make regarding this
24 particular witness and the manner in which we can
25 proceed; that is, should we give the chance to the
1 other Defence counsel to not only cross-examine but
2 also to have a second round of examination?
3 MR. TERRIER: My first reaction,
4 Mr. President, would be that we should proceed in the
5 way decided by the Trial Chamber last week, that is, in
6 the same way that we proceeded with the previous
7 witness, Mr. Cilic.
8 I must say that within the framework of this
9 trial, if a problem arises with respect to Mr. Cilic
10 and if other difficulties of the same kind occur in the
11 case of other testimonies, it is only due to the fact
12 that we are not informed properly as to what the
13 witness is going to say. We have spoken about this,
14 your Trial Chamber has taken a decision about it, and
15 you agreed that the Prosecution was poorly informed
16 about what the witness is going to say.
17 The written document that we received about
18 Mr. Cilic and what Mr. Cilic actually said here in the
19 courtroom, there is a very considerable discrepancy.
20 Mr. Cilic said many more things than was envisaged in
21 the written document. There was uncertainty as to who
22 Mr. Cilic actually was, in fact. We didn't know
23 whether he was a representative of the armed wing of
24 the HVO and what his position was. During the
25 examination-in-chief, we didn't know not only what he
1 was going to say and what he was exactly, and we had no
2 idea as to the documents that could be submitted to
3 this witness to identify, and in my view, these
4 difficulties stem from this, all the witnesses that are
5 going to come later and all that we are told is that
6 they are going to say what they know, and this doesn't
7 give us any idea what exactly they're going to say,
8 nor what we could introduce as evidence in the
9 framework of that testimony. So I think that is the
10 core of the problem.
11 Another difficulty that occurred when
12 Mr. Alilovic was testifying, and I understand
13 Mr. Radovic, because we obviously have the same
14 reflections, that there is an attempt to mix certain
15 notions of civil law and common-law. In the civil law
16 system he's a witness of the Court, and the Defence is
17 the last to ask questions and prosecution is the
18 first. Regardless of whether the witness is a witness
19 of the Prosecution or a witness called by the Defence,
20 he becomes a witness of the Court and this is the order
21 in which we proceed. Of course, the Trial Chamber
22 knows much more than me about this.
23 That is not the situation we are here in
24 because we have three types of witnesses, witnesses of
25 the Prosecution, of the Defence and the Court, and
1 Article 85 and 90 refers to this.
2 Anyway, I think we've come to a point when a
3 decision has been taken. It seems to me in conformity
4 with the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, and I support
5 the Trial Chamber. That decision has been appealed.
6 The appeal does not provoke a suspension of
7 proceedings. There is nothing to that effect in the
8 Rules of Procedure, so we cannot suspend the
9 proceedings and we should continue in the same
10 direction that we have started along.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: We will issue a majority
12 ruling. Judge May dissenting, will set out his dissent
13 after this ruling is delivered.
14 We consider first of all that the problem is
15 less serious -- Counsel Radovic?
16 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. Zoran Kupreskic needs to
17 leave the courtroom, needs to be excused.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Thank you.
19 The ruling is, first of all, we note that the
20 problem is less serious as anticipated or set out by
21 Defence counsel. In light of what we ruled last week
22 about the duty of the Prosecutor to provide in advance
23 to Defence counsel any document the Prosecutor intends
24 to present in court, this would allow any Defence
25 counsel, even if Defence counsel confine themselves to
1 cross-examine the witness, to address the attention of
2 the witness to a particular document or to ask
3 questions about that document. So, therefore, in a
4 way, I think, the problem, as raised by Defence
5 counsel, is less serious than one might think, also,
6 from a practical viewpoint and what is more important
7 from the viewpoint of the fundamental rights of the
9 I think the principle of equality of arms is
10 fully respected, and, I think, therefore, we should
11 stick to our ruling.
12 However, as the Romans would say, ex abundante
13 cautela, just for the sake of being extremely prudent
14 and cautious, and to speed up the pace of our
15 proceedings, we, by majority vote, decide that we will
16 now provisionally, only provisionally, pending a
17 decision by the Appeal Chamber and until a decision is
18 given by the Appeal Chamber, we will comply with the
19 request of Defence counsel and allow those Defence
20 counsel who cross-examine a witness to proceed to the
21 re-examination of the witness.
22 As I said, it is only a provisional ruling,
23 so that no possible impairment is introduced in case of
24 a decision by the Appeal Chamber of overturning our
25 ruling. This is for the sake of not wasting time, and,
1 as I say, reassuring the Defence that their rights
2 are being safeguarded. However, we strongly feel that
3 our previous ruling is sound, legally sound, and fully
4 in keeping with the basic principles which govern our
6 Counsel Radovic, you -- before you take the
7 floor, I think it's only proper for Judge May to set
8 out his dissent.
9 JUDGE MAY: I merely want to add this: I
10 agree entirely with the ruling that there should be no
11 further delays in this trial and the matter should
12 proceed. Regretfully, I do not agree that we should
13 allow all Defence counsel who examine or cross-examine,
14 as they do, to re-examine. The Rules are clear and
15 fair; that is, that a witness is called by one party,
16 the other Defence counsel have the benefit, if they
17 wish, or the right, to cross-examine so they could put
18 what points they want to the witness. The Prosecution
19 then cross-examine, and re-examination is restricted to
20 the counsel who called the witness.
21 The reason for this is to ensure the orderly
22 presentation of the evidence. These are not trials in
23 which counsel can examine witnesses at will. There is
24 an order in which this is done, and we have ruled, and
25 for that reason I myself would not have allowed all
1 Defence counsel to re-examine.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Radovic?
3 MR. RADOVIC: We thank the Trial Chamber, in
4 any case, regardless of the dissenting opinion, which
5 will enable us -- for the trial to proceed, and for the
6 Defence not to be disadvantaged and for this to go on
7 until the Appeals Chamber rules on this matter. Thank
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Before we take a break, may I
10 ask Counsel Pavkovic to tell us how many Defence
11 counsel intend to cross-examine the present witness?
12 MR. PAVKOVIC: Your Honours, the following
13 Defence counsel would like to question this witness:
14 Co-counsel Zelimir Par, I have a few questions, my
15 learned colleague Mr. Radovic, Mr. Puliselic, and
16 Ms. Jadranka Slokovic-Glumac. Thank you.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Five Defence counsel. All
18 right. So we will take now a 15-minute break.
19 --- Recess taken at 12.25 p.m.
20 --- On resuming at 12.40 p.m.
21 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Par?
22 MR. PAR: Thank you, Your Honours.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
24 Q. Mr. Alilovic I would like to ask you several
25 questions regarding the accused Vlatko Kupreskic.
1 At the beginning could you tell me, do you
2 know Vlatko Kupreskic?
3 A. Yes, I know Vlatko Kupreskic.
4 Q. Do you see him in this courtroom?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you please tell us where you see him and
7 describe to us what he's wearing?
8 A. Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic is the first person that
9 I see from the right. He's wearing a suit and tie.
10 Q. What's the colour of the suit?
11 A. I don't see Mr. Josipovic from here. His
12 suit is blue, navy blue, as far as I can see.
13 Q. I think that we can state that the witness
14 has recognised Vlatko Kupreskic.
15 Mr. Alilovic, at the time you were performing
16 your duties at the supply department in Vitez, did you
17 have business with the companies Stefani-Bosnia and
19 A. Yes. We had dealings with those companies,
20 Sutra. I know it as Sutra, but it was also
21 additionally called Stefani-Bosnia.
22 Q. Who represented those companies?
23 A. Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic represented those
25 Q. Who was the owner?
1 A. His cousin Mr. Ivica Kupreskic was the
3 Q. Which duties did Vlatko do in those
4 companies? Did you have contact with him?
5 A. I mostly had contacts with Mr. Vlatko,
6 because he was carrying out all of the duties in that
7 company or on behalf of that company.
8 Q. Do you know in what period did Vlatko
9 Kupreskic do those commercial activities? Was it
10 before the war, I mean, before the 16th of April,
11 during the war?
12 A. This company, or Mr. Vlatko, I think he
13 started to carry out those duties shortly after the
14 elections, and in the course of the period until the
15 war, and also during the war as much as conditions
16 would allow, and after the war he performed the same
17 duties. This company exists to this day, the two
18 companies are separate. I think Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic
19 now has a separate company.
20 Q. Thank you. Can you tell us, please, before
21 the conflict on April 16, 1993, was it necessary for
22 commercial companies to receive some kind of permit for
23 operation from your department and what was the reason
24 for this?
25 A. Yes. Before the conflict, at the time when
1 the HVO government was formed and onwards, it was
2 necessary for companies to receive permits in order to
3 carry out their work and in order that taxes could be
4 collected, and so that it could have an easier way of
5 its affairs in view of the difficult political,
6 economic and military situation.
7 Q. Did the Sutra company receive such a permit?
8 A. Yes, it did. All the companies which were in
9 the supply business, and first of all, those which were
10 more successful in this than others received such
11 permits, but I think generally all of the companies
12 received such permits.
13 Q. I will now show you a document, and you will
14 please tell us whether this is such a permit.
15 Would the usher please take this document and
16 present it to all the parties in the procedure?
17 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
19 MR. PAR:
20 Q. Could you look at this permit and read it,
21 and then tell me who issued it, when was it issued, who
22 signed it, what is the seal, the stamp, what was the
23 purpose of its issue?
24 A. You can see from this document that this is a
25 permit issued by my department. I think that such
1 permits -- I think Mr. Vlatko must have had such a
2 permit much earlier, and this is just a permit that he
3 requested after the incidents and the conflicts that
4 were frequent and the problem of supply became
5 topical. So he asked -- requested a fresh permit,
6 which I signed on behalf of the department, as well as
7 the secretary of the HVO government on behalf of
8 Mr. Ivan Santic.
9 Q. What does this permit refer to? What does it
10 allow the Sutra company?
11 A. This permit allows or permits the performance
12 of the duties of the company so that he could move much
13 more easily for the purposes of carrying out his job,
14 and also for the purpose of taxation after the job is
16 Q. You mentioned the possibility of free
17 passage. Was there a special permit for the safe
18 passage that was issued by somebody? Were there
19 permits for free passage?
20 A. Yes. I think this was issued by the
21 Department of Finances, or the revenue -- the Municipal
22 Revenue Department.
23 Q. I will show you another document.
24 Would the usher please show this document to
25 the witness, the Trial Chamber and the parties to the
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D11/3.
3 MR. PAR:
4 Q. Regarding this document, will you please look
5 at it carefully and tell us the date, the signature,
6 the seal, and then tell us whether this was the permit
7 that was usually issued for free passage?
8 A. Yes, this is the document, permit that was
9 issued for free passage or for the movement of persons
10 and the transport of goods, and Mr. Ivan Santic signed
11 this permit, the President of the Croatian Defence
13 Q. Did you see from this permit the purpose of
14 it, where it's being issued, where is it going, what is
15 the purpose of it? Can you see the purpose, why is
16 this permit being issued?
17 A. Yes. Yes. You can see that he is leaving
18 with a truck to obtain food.
19 Q. When you say "he" you mean the Vlatko
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And you can see data that is relevant for tax
23 purposes here.
24 A. This permit, in fact, allows the tax
25 authorities to see precisely what you have said.
1 Q. Now, regarding this movement and transport,
2 can you please tell us whether you personally know
3 whether, at that time, Vlatko Kupreskic was mobilised,
4 whether he was a member of some military unit at that
6 A. No, I don't know whether he was or not, but
7 since I saw him very often and had contacts with him, I
8 believe that he wasn't.
9 Q. He wasn't mobilised?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Did you see him at that time ever in uniform
12 and with weapons?
13 A. No, I never saw Mr. Vlatko in uniform, not
14 even during the conflicts. I had the opportunity to
15 meet with him, and I didn't see him in uniform then. I
16 know that he drove a sanitation vehicle for a while, an
18 Q. You said earlier that there was no difference
19 in the way supplies were organised among members of
20 different nationalities. Do you know that Vlatko
21 Kupreskic, in October '92, supplied, with winter foods,
22 the population of the neighbouring villages by directly
23 delivering to Muslims and Croats, goods to their
25 A. Yes, I know about that. Mr. Vlatko, even
1 before October, his company that he represented was one
2 of the companies that was elected, chosen, with the
3 best bids. The purpose was to supply the citizens of
4 Vitez, implying all the citizens of Vitez, so in that
5 sense, Mr. Vlatko carried out a part of these tasks.
6 In my assessment, he did it quite successfully. He
7 provided quite large quantities.
8 Q. The point of my question was that, do you
9 know whether at that time he directly entered Muslim
10 houses in the neighbouring villages and brought them
11 winter supplies?
12 A. At that time, they all went in, including
14 Q. Regarding this issue, could you tell us about
15 the reputation that Vlatko had as a tradesman?
16 A. Since Vlatko, before representing this
17 company, held prominent positions in the company for
18 industrial explosives and also, in another factory, on
19 financial duties, he was already a face that was
20 recognised in Vitez; and working in the Sutra company,
21 which was quite successful, I believe that he had quite
22 a good reputation, at least I understood it that way,
23 and I had the opportunity to see the way he was
24 carrying out his duties and his attitude at that
25 crucial time when he was supplying the population of
2 Q. So personally, from your position, what was
3 your opinion of him?
4 A. I thought he was good in those circumstances.
5 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask you
6 another question from another aspect. Could you tell
7 us, if you know, whether after the war, at the level of
8 the Vitez municipality, there was a commission to
9 estimate war damages?
10 A. Yes, I know that shortly after the truce with
11 the Muslims, a commission was founded which made a
12 general estimate of the war damage, and then after
13 normal circumstances returned, a commission was
14 established to estimate the damage, and this is its
15 task up until today.
16 Q. What was the purpose of these commissions?
17 What did they do out on the ground? What was the
18 reason that they were formed?
19 A. The purpose of these commissions now and then
20 was to individually estimate the damage caused in war
22 Q. Now I will show you a document, if you can
23 please look at it? Would the usher please show this
24 document to the witness, to the Trial Chamber, and the
25 parties in the proceedings?
1 THE REGISTRAR: Document D12/3.
2 MR. PAR:
3 Q. So would you please look at this document and
4 tell me whether you've seen such records before? If
5 you can look at the names of the members of the
6 commissions, the signatures, the stamps? Could you
7 please tell us whether this report properly indicates
8 the way these commissions operated?
9 A. Yes, I think this form of the report to
10 determine damage is used today.
11 Q. When you look at the names of the members of
12 the commission, do you know any of these people?
13 A. Yes, I know these persons. This commission
14 is still working today. I don't know if it's been
15 expanded, but I haven't, since 1995, I haven't been in
16 the commercial sector, but I know most of the members.
17 Q. Can we read their names for the record?
18 A. Vesna Djumic, Ruzica Martinovic, Dragica
20 Q. So you know that these persons worked in
21 these commissions?
22 A. Yes, they're still working there now, and the
23 chairman of the commission is now Vesna.
24 Q. So everything that is stated in the heading
25 and then in the form of the document is something that
1 you are familiar with?
2 A. Yes, and I think that the form is the same
4 Q. Now I will show you a photograph. Would the
5 usher please put the photograph on the ELMO?
6 This is Prosecution evidence P32 that the
7 Prosecution presented in the session of 20th of August,
9 This was taken in '97, but I would like you
10 to answer: Do you know whose house this is?
11 A. Yes, I know. This is Mr. Vlatko Kupreskic's
12 house. I see not just the house but there are some
13 barns close to it, storage buildings.
14 Q. So you know this building and you recognise
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. But now it's been renovated?
18 A. Yes. This was taken in 1997.
19 Q. Would you please look at this report again
20 that you have in front of you of the commission? Do
21 you see from this report whose house was damaged?
22 A. Yes, you can see that. This is the house of
23 Ljubica Kupreskic.
24 Q. Who was Ljubica Kupreskic; do you know?
25 A. Ljubica Kupreskic is the wife of Mr. Vlatko
1 Kupreskic. I know her personally. Not much, but I
2 know her.
3 Q. Do you see from the record what the size of
4 the house is that's entered in the report?
5 A. Yes. It's 9.5 by 10.5 metres.
6 Q. Do you see how many floors this house has?
7 A. Yes, you can see that it has ground floor,
8 first floor, and the attic.
9 Q. What does it say in paragraph 2?
10 A. It says ground floor plus the first floor
11 plus the attic.
12 Q. So abbreviations for that indicate --
13 PR indicates ground floor, K indicates first floor, and
14 PT indicates attic.
15 Can you please tell us, the information from
16 the report you have in front of you, is this
17 information that relates to the house in the
19 A. (No audible answer)
20 Q. Could we look at item 3 of this report, the
21 description and the extent of the damage? Can you
22 please tell us what was found as damage to this house?
23 A. This house was found to have been
24 considerably damaged. It also states that this
25 facility was also -- some things were taken from there
1 for the needs of the military.
2 Q. What would that mean, when it says "taken for
3 the needs of the military"? Could you explain that?
4 A. Since Vlatko, next to the house, has quite a
5 large warehouse and he had certain goods in stock, I
6 assume that in the first days of the conflict, a part
7 of those stocks were taken by the units who happened to
8 be on the ground there.
9 Q. Could you turn to page 2 of this record and
10 tell us whether you can see what kind of goods were
12 A. It doesn't say explicitly, but certain
13 documents are listed on the basis of which those goods
14 were issued or, rather, which relate to those goods,
15 and then the total value of those goods can be seen.
16 Q. On top, in the heading, can we see that it is
17 a question of appropriated? It says "destroyed and
18 appropriated, food, money, and valuables?"
19 A. The total value I assume of goods, but it may
20 be other property, as well is estimated at 18.000
21 something Deutschemarks.
22 Q. Can we see from this record whether there was
23 any damage on the front door and the windows of this
25 A. Yes. Under item 4, the most urgent repair
1 work required, and under point 2 it says, "purchase and
2 assembly of the solid wood front door." And then under
3 1 it says "building in of windows together with panes."
4 Q. Does this mean that, among other things, this
5 commission had established damage to the door and the
6 windows and it therefore proposed their repair or
8 A. (No audible answer)
9 Q. I only have one additional question for you.
10 Could you tell us whether you know a person called
11 Stipo Zigonjic, and if you do know him, could you tell
12 us what he was doing in the '92-'93 period?
13 A. Yes, I do know Mr. Zigonjic, and in the
14 period '92-'93, he worked in the Defence department, I
15 think in the Territorial Defence. Actually, he's still
16 today working in the Defence department attached to the
17 Defence Ministry. During the war, he was working on
18 the mobilisation. I think that was his most important
20 MR. PAR: Thank you, Mr. Alilovic. I have no
21 further questions for you, and I would ask the Trial
22 Chamber to admit into evidence the Exhibits D10, D11,
23 and D12/3 that were presented in court today.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. No objections?
25 MR. BLAXILL: No.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. So they are
2 admitted into evidence. Thank you. Counsel Pavkovic?
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Pavkovic:
4 Q. Mr. Alilovic, I am Attorney Petar Pavkovic.
5 I have a few points of clarification to discuss with
7 You spoke about the national or ethnic
8 composition of the population in the area of Vitez.
9 Among other things, you said that about 45 per cent of
10 the population were Croat and about 41 Bosniak or
11 Muslim. Could you explain to me and the Trial Chamber
12 whether this ethnic composition of the population
13 applies to Vitez municipality or to the town of Vitez
14 only, if you know?
15 A. I gave you the figures for the national
16 composition on the basis of the last census, and that
17 was in '91, so this is the ethnic composition of the
18 Vitez municipality as a whole and not just the city
19 centre. So these figures apply to the whole
21 Q. Thank you. My second question: When
22 speaking about displaced persons that arrived in
23 Central Bosnia, Vitez, the Lasva River Valley in large
24 numbers, I think you mentioned the figure of about
25 5.000 Muslims, Bosniak Muslims, and that among them,
1 there were able-bodied displaced persons. Later on,
2 you also said that they were armed.
3 A. Yes, yes. I gave a rough number of Croatian
4 and Muslim displaced persons, but I said that there
5 were about 5.000 Muslim displaced persons in Vitez
6 itself. I am absolutely convinced that among those
7 refugees there were able-bodied people and men with
9 Q. Were you aware of any of those armed and
10 able-bodied men joining in the activities of the BH
11 army units in the territory of Vitez?
12 A. I couldn't say that, whether certain
13 individuals by name were mobilised and when, but I am
14 confident that they did participate. And why do I say
15 that? Most of the killed during the conflict, among
16 the killed, there were many refugees and not people
17 from Vitez itself, even during the first few days of
18 the conflict.
19 Q. When you mentioned the humanitarian
20 organisations, among others, you said a few words about
21 Merhamet. Could we say to whom that organisation
22 belongs, an organisation that cared for the population?
23 A. Merhamet is a humanitarian or charitable
24 organisation of the Muslim people, and it was organised
25 in Vitez I think in the second half of '92, precisely
1 when larger numbers of displaced persons reached and
2 arrived in Vitez.
3 Q. So this organisation was based in Vitez?
4 A. Yes, close to the parish Caritas.
5 Q. Are you familiar with the way in which this
6 organisation functioned? As far as I remember, you
7 said that Caritas supplied the whole population,
8 regardless of ethnicity. Do you know anything about
9 the work of this organisation founded by the Bosniaks,
10 the Muslims? Did it have the same criteria in the
11 distribution of food, clothing, and so on?
12 A. I know that Caritas was organised very early
13 on. It was organised in the very first phase of the
14 arrival of displaced persons from Kotor Varos, that is,
15 at the beginning of 1992, and taking on these displaced
16 persons, it offered aid to all of them regardless of
17 ethnicity, and, of course, to those in need who were
18 fewer than later on in time.
19 Merhamet was organised when the influx of
20 refugees climaxed, and as far as I know, it worked
21 exclusively for the needs of the Muslims. But I must
22 say that from that time on, Caritas also cared for
23 fewer Muslims than it did until then.
24 Q. You mentioned the conflict of the 20th of
25 October, 1991, and you said that on that occasion, some
1 houses were damaged, and that you, as the Croatian
2 Defence Council, the civilian part of the HVO,
3 discussed the need for repairing those houses. Whose
4 houses were damaged on that occasion?
5 A. Yes, I know that several houses were
6 damaged. I think they were mostly Muslim houses
7 because they were right next to the road. There was a
8 discussion about this because several house owners, I
9 even know some of them personally, had addressed the
10 authorities, and that the reaction was a positive one.
11 Those houses were repaired in a couple of days and the
12 owners moved back into them.
13 Q. You said that you knew some of them. Could
14 you give us some names?
15 A. I know personally Mehmed Ahmic. We are
16 roughly of the same age, we know each other from our
17 early youth, and we were friends. I hope we will
18 continue to be friends.
19 Q. Mr. Alilovic, when you spoke about the
20 possible causes of the conflict as you see them, the
21 conflict in Central Bosnia, you referred, among other
22 things, to the balance of forces. From what you said,
23 one could conclude what the balance of forces was
24 like. You mentioned the ratio 7 to 1, but you never
25 explicitly stated in whose favour this ratio was, so
1 could you please tell us explicitly?
2 A. I think it was clear that it was in favour of
3 the Muslims. I think that I said at one point that
4 there were about 80.000 people who came to Central
5 Bosnia from Krajina alone, and that figure is higher
6 than the population, than the Croatian population, of
7 the whole of Central Bosnia. When talking about the
8 balance of military forces, of able-bodied men, then I
9 think it would be 7 to 1 even more in favour of the
10 Muslims. That is what I meant.
11 Q. My last question, Mr. Alilovic: As a person
12 who headed the supply department, you were certainly
13 familiar with the supply and the logistics situation in
14 Central Bosnia as a whole. You said, among other
15 things, that you procured goods also from Croatia so as
16 to avoid any misunderstanding. Could you tell us
17 whether it was possible at that time for you to procure
18 goods from any other area, or was Croatia, in those
19 days, the only logistics base from which both Croats
20 and Muslims were supplied?
21 A. I was confident that that was clear.
22 Actually, Croatia was the only possible source, with
23 the exception of a part of Herzegovina, from which
24 certain quantities could be obtained from wholesale
25 companies, but the source of goods, whether we are
1 talking about imported goods or goods manufactured in
2 Croatia, the only source we had at our disposal was
4 Q. Did I understand you well, were the Bosniaks,
5 the Muslims being supplied from the same source?
6 A. Yes, definitely. The suppliers that we
7 selected provided goods mostly from Croatia, and they
8 were used to supply the citizens of Vitez. When I say
9 "citizens," I mean members of all ethnic groups in
11 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you, Mr. Alilovic. I
12 have no further questions. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you, Counsel Pavkovic.
14 I wonder whether Counsel Radovic has many questions.
15 Do you think we can finish by 1.30?
16 MR. RADOVIC: That will be rather difficult
17 in 15 minutes. Shall I begin?
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, please.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic:
20 Q. In your testimony, you said that after the
21 first free elections the government emanating from
22 those elections started to operate successfully.
23 However, you didn't explain what you meant by this
24 successful constitution of the government. Could you
25 explain that?
1 A. When I was talking about the successful
2 constitution of the government after the elections, I
3 meant that the leading political parties relatively
4 easily came to an agreement regarding the key posts in
5 the government, and distributed those key posts to
6 reflect the election results.
7 Q. What did you mean when you said that the
8 government or the authorities started operating
10 A. I meant that they agreed on the key positions
11 and on the way in which they would continue to
13 Q. So they agreed how to operate. Now, what did
14 you mean when you said that they successfully
16 A. When you examine this in hindsight, maybe in
17 spite of goodwill that was in evidence on both sides,
18 due to the overall political developments occurring in
19 the period ever since 1990, and due to difficulties of
20 a military, political, economic, financial, social and
21 every other nature, the success deteriorated from one
22 day to the next in spite of the presence of a high
23 level -- I would say frequently the high presence of a
24 high level of goodwill.
25 Q. You then went on to say that the village
1 guards were formed after the attack on the village of
2 Ravno, but you need to explain who it was that attacked
3 the village of Ravno, who the inhabitants, the majority
4 of the inhabitants of that village were, and what was
5 the significance of that village, the village of Ravno?
6 A. The village of Ravno is the place to be
7 attacked first by members of the JNA. It is situated
8 in the municipality of Trebinje. I think that this
9 occurred in October. It was attacked by the members of
10 the Yugoslav People's Army and it was virtually razed
11 to the ground. That was, in fact, the first attack by
12 the Yugoslav People's Army against one of the
13 localities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and its population
14 consisted exclusively of Croats.
15 Q. And what happened to those Croats? Did they
16 stay on to live in that village?
17 A. I said that the village was razed to the
18 ground. Of course, they didn't stay on to live there
19 because there were -- this was not possible.
20 Q. Then you went on to stay, but I think this
21 must have been an error, that at one point in time the
22 greatest part of Bosnia-Herzegovina was cleansed of
23 Croats and Serbs?
24 A. Then I must have made an error.
25 Q. Who was it cleansed of?
1 A. In the period from the fall of Kupres, which
2 occurred in April --
3 Q. You must give us the year.
4 A. April, 1992 until the end of 1992 -- or,
5 rather, the end of October when Jajce fell, I wanted to
6 say that most of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina
7 was cleansed of Croats and Muslims by the JNA; that is,
8 by the Serbs.
9 Q. We have to be very precise here. Let us now
10 go on to the territory of Vitez municipality.
11 In your testimony, you referred a couple of
12 times to the Crisis Staff and the HVO government. What
13 is the Crisis Staff if there was a HVO government?
14 A. The HVO government, as far as I understood
15 the organisation, was, in effect, the Crisis Staff.
16 Q. Why then is it sometimes referred to as the
17 Crisis Staff and sometimes as the HVO government?
18 A. The head of the Crisis Staff was Mr. Ivan
19 Santic, as president of the HVO.
20 Q. Did the composition of the two bodies differ,
21 that is, the staff and the HVO government?
22 A. Yes, the Crisis Staff was narrowed down. The
23 members were fewer than the members of the government,
24 because the representatives of all departments were not
25 in the Crisis Staff.
1 Q. So the government and the Crisis Staff are
2 executive bodies, as far as I am able to understand,
3 that implement certain political decisions; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Who gives the political guidelines for the
7 government and the Crisis Staff as to the way in which
8 they should operate?
9 A. For the HVO government, if they received any
10 guidelines, then they would have received them from the
11 HVO for the whole Croatian nation or corpus, that is,
12 from Mostar, from the HVO.
13 Q. But you're talking about the government, but
14 then there is also the ruling party.
15 A. Yes, and an important influence was exerted
16 by the political party, that is, the HDZ or the
17 Croatian democratic community.
18 Q. Crucial political decisions for the territory
19 of Vitez, were they taken by the Crisis Staff or the --
20 that is the HVO government, or perhaps by any local
21 bodies, and, generally, who took those decisive
23 A. Those decisions were always taken by the HVO
24 government, that is, the Crisis Staff.
25 Q. On the basis of certain guidelines?
1 A. No. They provided the guidelines as well.
2 Q. From the political structures?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did any one of the accused, and I, in
5 particular, am interested in Zoran Kupreskic, and I
6 will include Mirjan Kupreskic, with my colleague's
7 permission, were they in any one of the bodies that
8 took political decisions?
9 A. I am not aware of that, but they were not,
10 I'm sure.
11 Q. You were a member of the HVO so you must have
13 A. They did not participate in any kind of
14 political decision-making.
15 Q. And in the party, did they hold positions
16 where they could have taken decisions?
17 A. They didn't hold any particular positions,
18 but they -- I know that they did not hold any
19 positions, so they couldn't have taken any decisions.
20 Q. That brings me to the issue of active duty
21 personnel in the territory of Vitez.
22 Which units do you consider to be active
23 duty, and let us be precise and limit this to the
24 period from January 1939 on. Which were the active
25 units, active duty units or mobile units? We see them
1 called different names in the documents.
2 A. I already said that the Vitez Brigade, which
3 in formal or legal terms, if I may put it that way, was
4 formed at the beginning of 1993, there were about 300
5 members of active duty personnel people who signed a
6 contract to that effect.
7 Q. In addition to active duty members of the
8 Vitez Brigade, were there any other active units?
9 A. There were, but they were not part of the
11 Q. They were Special Purpose Units?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Actually, I'm aware of the Special Purpose
14 Units called Vitezovi. Were they active duty too?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. What about the military police, which was not
17 the brigade military police, were they active duty?
18 A. The military police was, in fact, within the
19 brigade a part of the active duty.
20 Q. Yes, but you're talking about the brigade
21 military police. Was there an unit outside the
23 A. I do not know that.
24 MR. RADOVIC: Fine. Mr. President, I have
25 questions for another 15 minutes, so perhaps with your
1 permission we could break now. Thank you.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. All right. So you can
3 continue tomorrow. Before we adjourn, let me ask the
4 Prosecution whether they could kindly provide us any
5 comments on the proposal filed by the Defence Counsel
6 Slokovic-Glumac and Radovic concerning the summoning of
7 a witness by the Court. It has been filed today, so
8 maybe tomorrow you could let us know what your comments
9 are so we may decide.
10 So we adjourn now until tomorrow at 9.00.
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
12 at 1.27 p.m., to be reconvened on
13 Wednesday, the 20th day of January,
14 1999, at 9.00 a.m.