1 Friday, 22nd January, 1999
2 (Closed session)
3 (The accused entered court)
4 (The witness entered court)
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.00 a.m.
13 Pages 5759 to 5775 redacted in closed session
10 (The witness withdrew)
11 (Open session)
12 JUDGE CASSESE: As for the next witness, I am
13 afraid I have not been given, as requested, any
14 indication of who is calling the witness.
15 Yes, Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I didn't
17 have the transcript yesterday afternoon so I made the
18 list only for the following week, so I would just like
19 to tell you that we've changed the schedule of
20 witnesses. Mr. Vlado Divkovic will testify first
21 because he has to leave today, and Mr. Rudo Kurevija
22 will be examined later. I will be examining
23 Mr. Divkovic, and my colleague, Mr. Radovic, will be
24 questioning Mr. Rudo Kurevija after that.
25 JUDGE CASSESE: Formally speaking who has
1 called Mr. Divkovic?
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Formally speaking,
3 Mr. Radovic and myself called these witnesses. He is
4 not on the prior list, but you decided on January 11th
5 of '99 at a session, which was later -- which we
6 received in writing, that we can question Mr. Divkovic
7 without further formalities. He wasn't on the original
8 list because the person who was originally supposed to
9 testify to these circumstances could not appear, so we
10 had to invite a new person, and this was approved by
11 the Trial Chamber. So we are calling him on behalf of
12 the Defence of Zoran and Mirjan Kupreskic.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: No protective measures?
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No.
15 JUDGE CASSESE: No. So that means that the
16 next witness will be examined in chief by yourself and
17 by Counsel Radovic.
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: And will be cross-examined by
20 the other Defence counsel. All right.
21 (The witness entered court)
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mr. Divkovic.
23 Could you please make the solemn declaration?
24 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
25 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
3 seated. Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
4 WITNESS: VLADO DIVKOVIC
5 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
6 Q. Good morning, Mr. Divkovic.
7 A. Good morning.
8 Q. Could you please tell us for the record when
9 and where were you born?
10 A. I was born in Varos, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
11 on the 16th of March, 1948.
12 Q. Can you tell us what your occupation is?
13 A. I'm an economist. I have a degree in
14 economics at the University of Rijeka in the Republic
15 of Croatia.
16 Q. Could you please tell us what you were doing
17 in '91, '92, and '93? What was your job at that time?
18 A. I have been working and living in Vitez since
19 1980. Since 1980 until 1987, I was working as a
20 director of a part of the Vitezit company, and then
21 from '87 to '93, I was the general manager of the
22 Vitezit company.
23 Q. The Vitezit factory, together with other
24 factories such as SPS and Sintevit, was a part of the
25 military industry facilities in Vitez; is that right?
1 A. Yes, the factory Slobodan Princip Seljo and
2 Sintevit were part of the Yugoslav military industry
3 which were located in Vitez.
4 Q. Could you please tell us what was their main
6 A. The production of rocket fuels and gunpowder
7 was manufactured by the SPS factory, and Sintevit
8 produced explosives and PVC granulates as well as PVC
10 Q. You said about Vitezit --
11 A. Yes, industrial explosives and gunpowder.
12 Q. Were these factories linked together?
13 A. The complete chain of the military industry
14 in the former Yugoslavia was linked. They never
15 produced products individually or made final products,
16 because each of them made components which were then
17 put together. So they were technologically dependent
18 on one another. They were linked. We're talking about
19 military production.
20 Q. Could you please wait for me to complete the
21 question, because we're overlapping.
22 So were these three factories linked by some
23 common facilities, some management bodies, did they act
24 jointly? That was my question.
25 A. Yes, they were technologically linked as well
1 as managerially. One factory was producing products
2 which were used by the other two, and this was the case
3 for the other factories, so one could not really
4 operate without the others. Therefore, it's logical
5 that the management bodies were also coordinating the
6 production process between the three factories.
7 Q. In Vitez itself, what was the significance of
8 these three factories? What was their importance?
9 A. Well, their importance was in the fact that
10 they employed 2.400 workers. Maybe that would be more
11 than 50 per cent of the overall work-force in Vitez.
12 The factories were oriented to the Yugoslav export
13 market, and they had a considerable profit and they
14 provided a livelihood for a lot of the population in
16 Q. You said that 2.400 people were employed
17 there. Does that mean that almost half of the working
18 population of Vitez was in some way involved in the
20 A. Yes. More than 50 per cent of the work-force
21 in Vitez worked in these three factories.
22 Q. Could you please tell us what was the effect
23 of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina to the factory?
24 What did it mean?
25 A. Well, when I said that the military industry
1 of the former Yugoslavia were all linked, of course as
2 a result of the Serb aggression against Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina the effect of that was great.
4 At the beginning of the war we did not get
5 our regular supplies from East Serbia and Eastern
6 Bosnia, and we also lost our buyers on the market, and
7 we lost the market where 30 or 40 per cent of our
8 production was sold. So at the beginning the war the
9 possibility -- the capacities of the factory were
10 reduced by 50 per cent and thereby also our ability to
11 employ new workers.
12 Q. So the employees were Serbs, Muslims and
13 Croats in these factories?
14 A. Yes, they were Serbs, Muslims and Croats at
15 the beginning of 1992.
16 Q. There's a mistranslation. Are you talking
17 about the beginning of the aggression?
18 A. Yes. I'm talking about the start of the Serb
19 aggression against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
20 Q. After that, in September of '92, these
21 factories were bombarded by the Serbs, or by the JNA?
22 A. Yes, on September 19th the factories were
23 bombarded and the vital facilities were destroyed at
24 that time, even further reducing our production
25 capacity, so that in the coming period after the 19th
1 of September we only were operating at 30 to 40 per
2 cent capacity.
3 Q. So what were the consequences of such a
4 situation, war on one side and then bombardment and
5 destruction of facilities?
6 A. The consequences were our reduction of
7 capacity, inability to employ more employees, then also
8 laying off the employees and then, of course, a major
9 cut in salaries and problems in making a living.
10 Q. When workers were laid off, who were the
11 people who were being laid off?
12 A. I stated that we were using 30 to 40 per cent
13 of our capacity, so that a large number of our workers
14 were laid off. This was carried out on a rotation
15 basis so that every month a new group of employees were
16 laid off. The lists of the people to be laid off were
17 determined at the management -- at a higher level of
18 management. So the basic principle was to rotate the
19 employees so that they would all go through a period of
20 being laid off.
21 Their salaries were cut, but in view of the
22 fact that at that time we had problems to supply our
23 workers with basic consumer goods, basic foods, a part
24 of the salaries was distributed in food, and everybody
25 received food regardless of the fact they were laid off
1 or not. So the fact that they were laid off really
2 didn't have much effect on their earnings at that
4 Q. So the people who were laid off did receive a
5 part of their salary as well as assistance in food, the
6 same as those who were working?
7 A. Yes. The workers who were laid off received
8 70 per cent of their salary in cash, and then also
9 received the rest in food, just like all the other
10 workers who were not laid off at that time.
11 Q. What were the salaries like?
12 A. At that time our salaries were low. The
13 average salary was between 40 and 50 German Marks.
14 Q. What is this period that we're talking
16 A. This is a period from the second half of '92
17 until April '93.
18 Q. Were there -- was there any discrimination in
19 determining who would be laid off?
20 A. In order for me to respond to this question I
21 would have to give a little bit of the background
22 regarding the personnel structure. No national or
23 ethic identity in this matter. We didn't really deal
24 with that. We were primarily thinking about
25 technology, and we wanted to rotate all the people who
1 were being laid off. So there was no national factor
2 in this. I will explain later that even if we wanted
3 to do this, we could not do it.
4 Q. So there was no discrimination?
5 A. No, none whatsoever.
6 Q. The number of employees in the factory was
7 about 2.400 you said. What was the structure?
8 A. The structure --
9 Q. Could you please wait a little bit? Okay.
10 You may proceed.
11 A. The national structure of the employed was
12 similar to the structure of the population in Vitez.
13 So 46 per cent Croats, 42 per cent Muslims, and about 6
14 to 7 per cent of Serbs, and then the rest were others
15 and those who declared themselves as Yugoslavs, so
16 about 6 per cent.
17 Q. So basically they were equally represented,
18 all the three ethnic groups were represented equally in
19 the factories?
20 A. Well, in the factory during the old order,
21 attention was -- much attention was devoted to the
22 national structure of the employees, so we tried to
23 have the national structure of the employees reflect
24 the national structure of the municipality. So this is
25 how things were at that time.
1 Q. And then this structure remained until the
3 A. Yes, that's right.
4 Q. So the people employed reflected the
5 composition of the population in the municipality?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. What about the managerial staff? How were
8 they composed in ethnic terms in all three factories?
9 A. The situation was as follows, I'm talking
10 about the first, second and third level: First, the
11 general manager and his deputies, then the second
12 level --
13 Q. Just a moment, please, Mr. Divkovic.
14 Could we give the witness these lists?
15 THE REGISTRAR: Document is marked D53/2.
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
17 Q. This is a review of the management personnel
18 in the SPS of Vitez and in Sintevit Vitez. Could you
19 tell us who compiled these lists?
20 A. It says here for the SPS company it was
21 drafted by Franjo Grabovac, deputy general manager.
22 For the DP Sintevit, Dubravka Pavlovic, an employee in
23 the personnel service.
24 Q. Can you please look through those lists for a
1 A. I'm familiar with these lists, only there are
2 some changes in the case of the Sintevit enterprise,
3 because I checked some of the data and some of those
4 listed here are not correct. If necessary, I can
5 correct them. I can tell you the errors that have been
7 Q. Yes, please do.
8 A. For example, the chief of production, where
9 it says Ajsa Mujcic, production manager, Mr. Anto
10 Pavlovic was performing those duties.
11 Then also it says production manager Fehim
12 Cepalo, it should be Niko Bobas. And the financial
13 manager and chief accountant, instead of Faruk Licnia
14 and Fahra Sivro, it was Zdravka Pranjkovic who
15 performed both those duties together.
16 Q. Apart from those corrections that you have
17 made, having looked through the appropriate
18 documents --
19 A. There should also be a list for the Vitezit
20 enterprise, which has not been provided. As for these
21 two social enterprises, the personnel composition was
22 as follows: In the social enterprise, Slobodan Princip
23 Zeljo or the SPS, out of total of 27 managerial staff,
24 13 were Croats or 48.1 per cent, there were 11 Muslims
25 or 40.8 per cent, and 3 Serbs or 11.1 per cent.
1 In the social enterprise Sintevit, out of
2 total of 12 managerial staff, there were 3 Croats or 25
3 per cent, 9 Muslims or 75 per cent.
4 Q. Which means that 75 per cent of the managers
5 were Muslims in the Sintevit enterprise, and 25 per
6 cent of the managers were Croats.
7 Was this the situation as it was on the 15th
8 of April, 1993?
9 A. Yes. These lists apply for the 15th of
10 April, 1993.
11 Q. And the verifications and corrections that
12 you made?
13 A. Yes. We wanted to be sure that the lists
14 were accurate as on the day of the 15th of April, 1993.
15 Q. Tell us, in the Vitezit enterprise of which
16 you were the manager, can you tell us how the personnel
17 were composed? I saw your tables and they are many, so
18 to avoid photocopying can you tell us about it?
19 A. In the Vitezit social enterprise, out of the
20 total of 37 managers, 12 were Croats or 32.5 per cent,
21 there were 20 Muslims or 54 per cent, 4 Serbs or 10.8
22 per cent, and one belonging to other ethnic groups or
23 2.7 per cent. If you wish me to add all this up for
24 the whole area --
25 Q. Just a moment, please. Tell us how many
1 people were employed in Vitezit itself.
2 A. About 1.070 workers.
3 Q. And in SPS?
4 A. Nine hundred and sixty.
5 Q. And in Sintevit?
6 A. The rest, which means about 300 and
7 something, 370.
8 Q. At the level of these three enterprises, give
9 us the figures for the managers overall.
10 A. At the level of the whole enterprise, there
11 were a total of 76 managerial posts. Twenty-eight of
12 them were held by Croats or 36.9 per cent, 40 by
13 Muslims or 52.6 per cent, 7 by Serbs or 9.2 per cent,
14 and one belonged to other ethnic groups or 1.3 per
16 Q. Why was it that in one of the enterprises,
17 that is in Sintevit, almost the entire managerial staff
18 were Muslims?
19 A. To tell you the truth, I never thought about
20 it until I had these names in front of me. All I can
21 say is that the general manager of that enterprise was
22 a Muslim, so if we can infer anything from that that
23 could be the reason.
24 Q. In view of the situation as it was in Vitez
25 and in Central Bosnia as a whole at the time, what were
1 the relationships within the enterprises among the
2 managers belonging to different ethnic groups?
3 A. I can tell you that the management that was
4 there on the 15th of April, 1993 continued working with
5 very few changes -- had been working with very few
6 changes for the past six years. So that our
7 relationship was very good amongst us in terms of
8 management, and also personal relations amongst us were
9 very good, without any divisions or misunderstandings
10 on ethnic or any other grounds. Our main concerns were
11 our business, our economy, and we harnessed all our
12 efforts towards providing our workers with means of
14 Q. In the course of '92 or '93, were there cases
15 of workers being fired or dismissed; do you recall any?
16 A. You mean the enterprises in which I was the
17 general manager?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Six workers were dismissed in '87 because
20 they refused obedience. From then until '93, no one
21 was dismissed, and as far as I know, there were no
22 dismissals in the other two companies either, so that
23 there were no workers fired.
24 Q. Were there any problems with Muslim workers?
25 Did they have to sign any kind of documents of
1 allegiance to the enterprise or to the HVO? Have you
2 ever heard about any such requirements?
3 A. No, there were no such requirements or
4 blackmail used among the workers. I must say that we
5 successfully resisted the influence of all policies,
6 because we clearly said, after the elections in 1991,
7 politics should be left outside, outside the factory
8 halls. Whatever you agree on, let us know. If it is
9 something you have agreed upon, we will act
10 accordingly. And that is how it functioned.
11 Q. So there were never any instructions or
12 directives from the civilian or the military HVO
13 authorities to treat differently the Muslims in the
14 factory or to show any kind of discrimination towards
16 A. No, there was never any directive of that
17 kind nor was there any discrimination.
18 Q. Were there any attempts to replace the
19 managers, particularly in this third factory which was
20 virtually managed by Muslims?
21 A. I am not aware of that. You mean Sintevit?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. I really don't know, I'm afraid.
24 Q. Were there any replacements that you do know
1 A. I know that I or, rather, my enterprise
2 received a document in those days from the government
3 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Just a moment, please.
5 Could I ask the usher for his assistance, to show this
6 document to the witness and to the Trial Chamber?
7 THE REGISTRAR: Document D54/2.
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
9 Q. Are you familiar with this document, because
10 you gave it to me anyway?
11 A. Yes, of course. This is a decision on the
12 appointment of the temporary managing board and
13 temporary management in the public corporation
14 Vitezit. It is dated -- I can't remember -- November
16 Q. Tell us, please, you were the manager at the
17 time, were you not?
18 A. Yes, I was the manager of Vitezit, and
19 Vitezit was a social, not a public, enterprise.
20 However, at some kind of a meeting of the government of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, which could not function in those
22 days as a government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, but it is
23 well-known that the Serbs had walked out of that
24 government at the beginning of '92, it is also known
25 that Croats, because of the seizure of Sarajevo, could
1 not physically attend the meeting, so that government
2 met in such a way that only Muslims were present, and
3 then they decided to appoint Nusret Kalco and move me
4 to a member of the management board, and this was
5 really an attempt to replace the general manager
6 without any legality, and Nusret Kalco, who is a good
7 friend of mine to this day, when he received this
8 decision, he came up to me and said, "What is this,
9 Manager?" And I said, "Well, if you don't know, I
10 don't know certainly." And he said, "I have no idea."
11 And he said, "Neither can I do this nor do I want to do
12 it." So this decision was not implemented.
13 It is noteworthy, something that we mentioned
14 a moment ago, it may be the cause that prompted the
15 writing of this decision, after the shelling of the
16 factories by the Yugoslav People's Army, we received
17 some kind of oral orders to prohibit all Serbs from
18 entering the factory, the Serbs who had been working in
19 the factory. We did not implement this order because
20 we felt, and I am of the same opinion to this day, that
21 the people cannot be held responsible for something the
22 extremist members have done or are doing. So that
23 those Serbs continued working until the end of '93.
24 So it says here, Immediately rally and employ
25 all the workers -- in one of these paragraphs it says,
1 "Immediately rally and engage all workers who have not
2 sided with the aggressor against Bosnia and
3 Herzegovina, immediately terminate employment of all
4 workers who have in any way sided with the aggressor."
5 Q. Who signed this decision?
6 A. It was signed by the Vice-President of the
7 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hakija Jurajlic, even
8 though the Prime Minister was Jure Pelivan, who in
9 talking to him, we learned from him, had never heard of
10 this decision nor had he ever seen it.
11 Q. The person who was supposed to succeed you,
12 Nusret Kalco, he is a Muslim?
13 A. Yes, he is a Muslim, and he was my deputy,
14 deputy director for production.
15 Q. So you said that he too was against such a
17 A. He was surprised by it, and he knew that
18 there was no purpose in implementing it and he refused
19 to do it.
20 Q. You also said that in '92, there were
21 problems with the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
22 since, in your opinion, it wasn't really operating
23 because it was not possible to reach Sarajevo and also
24 because the Serb representatives walked out of the
25 assembly as a group and out of the government of Bosnia
1 and Herzegovina, didn't they?
2 A. Yes, yes. This is a well-known fact.
3 Q. You said that that is why you did not pay
4 attention to this document.
5 A. Yes, of course. In view of the composition
6 of the government at the time, it could not be
7 respected throughout the territory of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina. And, anyway, the document was
9 passed without any legal grounds. Vitezit was never
10 declared a public corporation. It was not an
11 enterprise that the government could appoint the
12 managers of.
13 Q. In view of the significance of the military
14 industry, perhaps that's what prompted such a decision.
15 A. Probably because already at the time, people
16 started thinking about strategic goals, and the
17 military industry in Vitez was the most important
18 segment, producing fuels, explosives, and missile
19 fuels, and without those fuels, you cannot use any
20 weapons; and, of course, all sides wanted to gain
21 control of this factory, including, therefore, the
22 government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or I prefer not to
23 call it the government of Bosnia-Herzegovina but,
24 rather, the Muslim government.
25 Q. And the other military facilities within
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bugojno, Konjic, Novi Travnik,
2 Gorazde, Pobjeda, Bratstvo, who controlled those
4 A. They were all in the territory controlled at
5 the time by the BH army; that is, under the control of
6 the Muslims, and they just lacked the Vitez factory to
7 complete the chain, the technological chain, to be able
8 to produce all the weaponry, and that is why they had
9 aspirations towards it.
10 Q. Do you consider Vitez to be of particular
11 significance for the BH army because of this
12 strategically important factory?
13 A. That is quite evident. There can be no
14 question that it was an extremely important locality
16 Q. Let us now go on to the agreement reached
17 between the HVO and the BH army. Tell us, are you
18 aware of any agreement between the BH army and the HVO
19 having to do with a distribution of these military
20 products manufactured in those factories?
21 A. Since the beginning of the Serb aggression
22 against Bosnia-Herzegovina, because there were certain
23 problems over the delivery of military equipment and
24 distribution to users, we asked this question to be
25 settled and that the official authorities let us know
1 how these deliveries could be made, and this request
2 resulted in an agreement, and the HVO and the TO at the
3 time agreed that the resources should be divided up
4 50-50: 50 per cent to the HVO and 50 per cent to the
5 TO. That is how we operated throughout '92 and a part
6 of '93, because all of us at the time felt we were
7 defending ourselves against the Serbs, and we were thus
8 equipping ourselves to thwart the aggression.
9 Q. So this agreement was reached in '92.
10 A. Yes, in '92.
11 Q. For how long was it observed?
12 A. It was observed until the outbreak of the
13 conflict between the Croats and the Muslims, that is,
14 until April 1993.
15 Q. So you claim that all three factories
16 delivered a half of their products to each side?
17 A. All the military products manufactured in the
18 three factories, SPS, Vitezit, and Sintevit, were
19 divided up 50-50 per cent between the TO and the HVO
20 throughout '92 until April 1993.
21 Q. Do you know whether civilian authorities were
22 familiar with this agreement?
23 A. Certainly. We had to get approval from the
24 civilian authorities for most of those deliveries, and
25 there are documents showing the civilian authorities
1 giving permission for passage of these products through
2 areas where the BH army logistics centres were, which
3 was formerly the TO.
4 Q. Will you please now look at a specification
5 of orders to all three factories?
6 THE REGISTRAR: Document D55/2.
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
8 Q. Will you tell us what this table shows?
9 A. This table, as far as I can see, was compiled
10 after the war between the Croats and the Muslims, and
11 it has to do with claims for products delivered in '92
12 and '93 for the needs of the BH army, and this gives
13 the number of the bill, the delivery papers, the
14 invoices, and we can see from this that in the course
15 of 1992 and '93, we delivered to the BH army special
16 purpose products to the value of 2.911.587,20 German
17 marks which, of course, we never collected.
18 Q. So these are outstanding claims of the
19 factory from the BH army.
20 A. A similar such list or specification of
21 claims exists for the HVO.
22 Q. So neither the HVO nor the BH army paid
24 A. No, no one paid anything, to my sorrow.
25 Q. Linked to this list, would you please look at
1 these tables showing the kind of products involved,
2 those that you call special purpose products?
3 THE REGISTRAR: D56/2.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
5 Q. Please look at this specification of claims.
6 In the first column, we have the number of the invoice,
7 then we see that there are invoices dating back to '93,
8 the amount and, lastly, notes indicating the places
9 where those products were delivered. There is mostly
10 Lukovac, Tuzla, and Visoko are mentioned, and Bugojno.
11 What was situated in those places?
12 A. The logistics centre of the BH army. That is
13 why they were delivered there. But afterwards, they
14 were distributed throughout the area controlled by the
15 TO, later the BH army.
16 Q. Thank you. Will you please now look at the
17 new table where an indication is given of the kinds of
18 products involved?
19 A. This second table specifies the products
20 distributed to various logistics centres, and you can
21 see what was delivered: bullets, 152, with fuse,
22 without fuse, warhead casings, the total number of
23 bullets and so on. So, you see, there are about ten
24 different products that we manufactured, and we
25 distributed among logistics centres of the BH army and
1 the HVO.
2 Q. From the second table, it is clear that some
3 products were sent to the HVO.
4 A. Yes. I already said that it was 50-50
5 between the two.
6 Q. Tell us, please, have you seen these
7 documents before, these two documents, and do you know
8 who issued them?
9 A. Of course I did see these two documents
10 before, because on the basis these documents after the
11 war we tried to compensate the factories for the
12 product delivered, but we didn't succeed. They were
13 compiled by the administrative service of the SPS,
14 because it was the last in the chain.
15 So we can see from this table that in
16 addition to the social enterprise Vitezit, the company
17 Bratstva from Novi Travnik participated, because they
18 manufactured casings and some other products, so that
19 Bratstva from Novi Travnik participated in the
20 manufacture of some of these products.
21 Q. So these military products that were
22 delivered were registered, and after the war you made
23 such tables in order to submit your claims?
24 A. Yes, by groups of products, and these were
25 regularly signed by the person who took over the
1 products to whom they were delivered, the logistics
2 centre that they were delivered to.
3 Q. Thank you. Your Honour, I have another 15
4 minutes perhaps, but not more.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: We will now take a break, a
6 30-minute break.
7 --- Recess taken at 10.33 a.m.
8 --- On resuming at 11.05 a.m.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Please.
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
11 Q. Let's continue where we left off. So how
12 were these goods dispatched?
13 A. In vehicles -- in vehicles of the recipient,
14 the person who received the goods.
15 Q. Were any permits requested for the passage of
16 such vehicles?
17 A. Generally, yes.
18 Q. Could the witness please be shown Defence
19 document D50/2?
20 Could you tell us, Mr. Divkovic, whether this
21 is a permit for the passage of persons and goods?
22 A. Yes. This is a regular permit for movement
23 of persons and goods. This is the dispatch of goods
24 for Visoko. The names of the persons are here who are
25 escorting the goods, and this was signed by the
1 President of the HVO municipality of Vitez, Ivan
2 Santic. You can see the Operative Zone of Central
3 Bosnia, and I think as far as I can see, it's also
4 signed by Blaskic.
5 Q. So this is a permit for the SPS to transport
6 goods to Visoko?
7 A. Yes. This is a permit for the SPS, that it
8 can deliver the goods or load these goods onto a
9 vehicle which arrived from Visoko, and the names of the
10 drivers are here and the person who received the
11 goods. So based on such a permit, the indicated goods
12 were loaded and shipped.
13 You can see from this that both the civilian
14 and the military authorities agreed for these goods to
15 be delivered to the BH army.
16 Q. It's also stated here that the persons, Omer
17 Begic, Ramiz Smajic and Emir Kadic are escorting this
18 vehicle. They're all from Visoko?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. According to the names, are these Croats or
22 A. These are all Muslims.
23 Q. And the type of goods in the vehicles are
24 shells and casings?
25 A. Yes, that's what it says, 105-millimetre
1 shell cases, 120-millimetre mortars, and these are the
2 goods according to the bill of lading numbers which are
3 stated below.
4 Q. So these are these military goods that you
5 spoke about that were delivered from the SPS?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. I have one more question regarding these
8 shipments. You can see from these tables that you
9 provided us with, that you gave to me, it can be seen
10 from these tables that these are basically the
11 calculations and the specifications that were compiled
12 by the SPS company?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Does that mean that you also carried out
15 these sales and also the final processing of the data
16 concerning the debt to the SPS company?
17 A. From these tables that we looked at before,
18 you can see that there are several components produced
19 by different companies that are all part of the goods,
20 but the final analysis was made by the SPS, and they
21 also processed the data and they shipped these goods.
22 Q. Will you please look at another bill of
24 Would the usher please --
25 THE REGISTRAR: Document D57/2.
1 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
2 Q. So this is also a shipment from SPS; is that
4 A. Yes, that's right.
5 Q. Number 446/92. This is also the same
6 situation. The recipient is the logistics centre of
7 the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Visoko,
8 the purchaser is the one who is shipping the goods.
9 These special purpose goods are being shipped, and
10 these are shells filled with explosives in this case.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Have you seen such bills of lading before in
13 the course of your work in Vitezit?
14 A. Yes. Such documents were issued every day,
15 because products were shipped every day, so there's a
16 whole pile of such documents.
17 Q. Regarding this shipment of goods, I will show
18 you an invoice from the 14th of December, '92, so would
19 you please tell us whether such documents were usually
20 issued, and could you please tell us if you're familiar
21 with the contents of that document?
22 THE REGISTRAR: Document D58/2.
23 A. This is a usual kind of document for all
24 shipped goods. Invoices were issued in order to
25 maintain records on all the deliveries that we made.
1 So this is one of many such documents which were
2 issued. You can clearly see whom it was issued to, and
3 there are also bills of lading with signatures of the
4 people who received the goods and indications of which
5 logistics centre received the goods. You can see that
6 this all went through the Visoko logistics centre.
7 This is for the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 You can also see the dispatch note, you can
9 see what was shipped, lead on -- yes. The goods were
10 shipped to Olovo, the town of Olovo. To Visoko, Olovo,
11 Olovo, Olovo. So these are mostly deliveries to Olovo
12 where also there was a logistics centre of the BH
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
15 Q. And the recipients, according to the dispatch
16 notes were?
17 A. The buyers were the armed forces of the army
18 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
19 Q. So invoices such as this one with dispatch
20 notes were issued to the buyers?
21 A. Yes. They were regularly issued to the
22 buyers in order to maintain our financial records that
23 we're obliged to do as any normal company is obliged.
24 Also, one of the documents stated here also
25 says that a permit was issued by the commander of the
1 HVO Operative Zone. So you can see there was normal
2 co-operation between the HVO and the BH army regarding
3 the provision and preparations for defence against Serb
5 Q. What is the date on that document? So the
6 date on that document is the 14th of December, 1992.
7 So this is already quite close to the time of the
8 conflict between Muslims and Croats?
9 A. Yes. We delivered our products normally in
10 the course of '93 as well, until shortly before the
11 conflict broke out.
12 Q. I would also like to ask you about the names
13 of the persons that are on certain dispatch notes, the
14 persons that received the goods such as Rahman Merdic?
15 A. Rahman Merdic was the deputy general manager
16 of the SPS, and he issued the orders for delivery and
17 he's a Muslim by nationality. Taken over by Fadil
18 Karicic. He was a member of the armed forces of the B
19 and H from Olovo.
20 Q. And he's also a Muslim?
21 A. Yes, he's a Muslim.
22 Q. So these documents would accompany every
23 shipment, and based on these documents the tables were
24 compiled that you brought to us?
25 A. Yes. These are original documents on the
1 basis of which we compiled the charts that I brought.
2 The dispatch notes are original documents indicating
3 who received the goods and which goods were delivered,
4 the quantity and all the other characteristics, so that
5 we would have the exact information on each shipment.
6 Q. So such invoices were sent to the HVO?
7 A. Yes. We sent invoices to the HVO and the BH
8 army, including these specifications and other
10 Q. This invoice was issued to the amount of
11 39.984 German Marks, and it states on the invoice that
12 payment date is the 29th of December of '92.
13 A. Yes. The usual term is 15 days from the
14 invoice date, but the payment was not carried out.
15 Q. So regardless of the fact that the invoices
16 were not paid, you regularly carried out the
18 A. Well, it wasn't really important whether the
19 invoices were paid. What was important is that the
20 goods were delivered and that we're all able to prepare
21 ourselves for defence at that time exclusively from the
23 Q. Did you at any time receive orders to stop
24 deliveries of material to the Muslim side, meaning to
25 the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina?
1 A. I never received such an order. I don't know
2 if anybody amongst my colleagues received such an
4 Q. And according to your information, deliveries
5 continued until the beginning of the war?
6 A. Yes. Deliveries went on until April '94 --
7 excuse me, '93.
8 Q. Would you please also tell us if you know who
9 controlled or monitored the equal distribution of these
10 special purpose goods? Was there some kind of control
11 at the level of the factory, or at the level of the
12 municipality or it's a military level?
13 A. Through the permits that we received from the
14 Operative Zone control was also carried out. There was
15 monitoring. So there were people who were responsible
16 for this division. There was Mr. Franjo Sliskovic from
17 the HVO Operative Zone, and Mr. Muhamed Nemes from the
18 BH army Operative Zone. So they coordinated this
19 information on the shipment of goods from the
20 factories. So there were no misunderstandings in this
22 Q. So these are representatives of the
24 A. Yes, they were representatives for logistics
25 of the HVO and the BH army.
1 Q. Thank you. The 15th of April, 1993, would
2 you please tell us what happened at the company on that
4 A. In my company, Vitezit, there was a meeting
5 of the management personnel from 9.00 to 1.00 p.m., and
6 we were discussing the usual problems regarding
7 production, insurance, outstanding claims, securing
8 funds for salaries, current problems that we
9 encountered in our normal course of work. Others also
10 were in the same situation. We were dealing with
11 current problems.
12 Q. So you didn't have any information about any
13 actions that were being prepared on the part of the
14 Croats or on the part of the Muslims?
15 A. Well, that was a very uncertain time, and
16 there were incidents happening, so we had gotten used
17 to these small incidents that were taking place. We
18 looked at them as out of the ordinary events and we did
19 not attach any particular significance to that, but
20 there was nothing in particular, based on which we
21 could conclude that something special was being
23 So there was no indication of anything --
24 that anything was about to happen, because at that time
25 we were getting -- we were getting ready to deliver
1 food to our employees. So about ten tonnes of various
2 goods were being loaded in trucks in Split, and we were
3 expecting the arrival of those trucks. There were
4 about 20 drivers. Out of those 20 drivers there were 9
5 Muslims who happened to be in Split in Croatia.
6 The other SPS factories, the assistant
7 general manager and the commercial affairs director,
8 also the foreman of the plant for missile fuel, were
9 all part of the delegation which went to Zagreb to
10 discuss the supply with certain raw materials in order
11 to continue production. So the breakout of the
12 conflict, at that time they happened to be in Zagreb.
13 So we couldn't really -- there was no way of assuming
14 that anything would have happened. If this was so,
15 these people would not have agreed to travel to Zagreb
16 and we wouldn't have agreed for them to travel either.
17 So once the conflict broke out, I must say
18 that we did everything we could for those people who
19 happened to be on their business trip in Zagreb and for
20 the drivers to be safe and for them to stay there until
21 it was safe for them to return to their places of
22 residence. We had those people kept in hotels, they
23 were secure, and when circumstances allowed, they all
24 came back to their homes, and they were alive and well.
25 Q. The people that you said, the 20 drivers who
1 went to get the food from Split, you said this was 200
2 tonnes of food; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you manage to bring this food in later?
5 A. Unfortunately not. All of this remained
6 there, and then due to the circumstances there later,
7 it wasn't possible to bring this shipment in.
8 Q. You also said that the people who went to
9 pick up this food, nine of them were Muslims.
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. Do you remember any of their names?
12 A. Yes, I have some of the names. I don't have
13 all of them. For example, Nesib Ahmic, Sulejman Ahmic,
14 Muharem Dzidic, Ibrahim Cejvan, Nasif Sivro, Kasim
15 Zlotrg, Izet Kalco, and a couple of others that I can't
16 remember their names because it was a long time ago.
17 Q. So you managed to secure that they stay in
18 Split because they couldn't return to Vitez; is that
20 A. Yes. We kept some of them for 15 days, some
21 for 20 days, some even for a month until it was
22 possible to bring them back safely to where they wanted
23 to go, and we managed to do this. So these people were
24 safe. There were no incidents, nothing unpleasant
25 happened, and then they were returned to their homes.
1 Q. Could you please tell us whether there was
2 any watch organised at SPS during the night?
3 A. Yes, of course, particularly with this kind
4 of production, it was important to have a good guard or
5 watch service, so this is also the case in SPS.
6 Q. Was this guard, in the night between the 15th
7 and the 16th, on regular duty or were there any
8 extraordinary measures taken?
9 A. No extraordinary measures were taken. We had
10 regular guard duty, and they rotated in shifts, so the
11 shift that was on duty that day to be on watch carried
12 out its duty.
13 Q. How many people were in one shift?
14 A. From 16 to 17 people were in one shift. On
15 that day, on the night between the 15th and 16th of
16 April, there were 15 persons in the shift. Out of
17 those 16 people, there were eight Muslims: Alija
18 Zukan, he was the chief of the shift, supervisor of the
19 shift; Halim Dzalilovic was a guard; Salih Causevic,
20 guard; Hamdija Spahic, guard; Salih Tosovic, guard;
21 Izet Haskic, on fire duty and driver; Sedzad Hruskic on
22 fire duty; and Midhat Foric, guard. So more than half
23 of them were Muslims on that shift which was on duty in
24 the company on the night between the 15th and the 16th.
25 Q. So these names that you stated, these are
2 A. Yes, these were Muslims who were in that
3 shift, out of a total of 16 persons.
4 Q. So any kind of raid in the company, maybe
5 shelling the company or attempts to hit a warehouse,
6 what consequences for Vitez would there be if this
7 happened in view of the kind of goods that were being
8 kept there?
9 A. Well, it depends on which facility would be
10 in danger. We had explosives warehouses that had maybe
11 500 tonnes of explosives there, and for those familiar
12 with what explosives are, if this was ignited, it would
13 pose a great danger in Vitez and it would create an
14 ecological catastrophe, so we really took measures to
15 make sure that something like that did not happen.
16 Q. So the guards prevented any such act of
17 sabotage or provocation that may have occurred?
18 A. Yes, of course. There were guards on duty
19 there to prevent any such event.
20 Q. When there was a threat of shelling of Vitez
21 from Zenica, was that a threat that could have caused
22 the destruction of Vitez and the surroundings?
23 A. Anyone who would hit the explosives depot
24 would simply destroy the Lasva Valley. That's quite
25 clear to anyone who has any even very superficial
1 knowledge about explosives.
2 Q. So that was a very serious threat?
3 A. It was a terrible threat.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
5 Mr. Divkovic. I have no further questions for this
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Counsel Radovic?
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic:
9 Q. I only have one question which you may or may
10 not be able to answer.
11 Within the system of the factory, was there a
12 record kept of the arrival of workers to work?
13 A. Yes, in every single department, there were
14 such records.
15 Q. Was there some kind of a list?
16 A. Of course. There were books in each
17 department, so every foreman or leader of the shift had
18 a list of the employees who were due to come to work,
19 and we kept a record of the hours spent at work, and on
20 the basis of those hours, the workers were paid.
21 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you. I have no more
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I assume you are
24 going to tender those documents into evidence. No
25 objection? All right. So it's from D53/2 up to
1 D58/2. Yes. Admitted into evidence.
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Any cross-examination by
4 other Defence counsel? There is none -- Counsel
6 MR. PAVKOVIC: No one else has asked to
7 cross-examine, Your Honour.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Terrier?
9 Mr. Blaxill?
10 MR. BLAXILL: Good morning, Your Honours.
11 With your leave, I shall be cross-examining this
13 Good morning, Defence counsel, and good
14 morning to you, sir.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Blaxill:
16 Q. I do have a few questions for you arising
17 from your evidence.
18 You were, I believe, the general manager of
19 the Vitezit company; that is correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You have described the composition of the
22 staff, and particularly the management, as one that was
23 very ethnically balanced; is that correct?
24 A. Correct.
25 Q. Indeed, if I understand you correctly, it
1 seems that the philosophy was to make a positive effort
2 to maintain the ethnic balance in the factory to
3 reflect that of the municipality.
4 A. Yes, that was the philosophy, as I said, in
5 the system that prevailed before '91 and it was
6 preserved after that as well.
7 Q. I believe you say that in management terms,
8 the staffing remained pretty much the same right up to
9 April of 1993?
10 A. Not just the management but the entire
12 Q. You say, though, that rotational layoffs of
13 staff had to take place because of production
14 difficulties after what you called the Serb aggression;
15 is that right, sir?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. Were those layoffs also tailored to try and
18 keep still the same sort of ethnic balance within the
20 A. Mostly.
21 Q. Now, in a senior management position, sir,
22 would you have dealings directly with your customers?
23 A. With the workers, you mean?
24 Q. No, with the customers of the business, those
25 who purchased the munitions from the factories.
1 A. Not too frequently. I had a commercial
2 department, and that was their immediate
4 Q. Who essentially were the customer contacts?
5 Were they the local municipal authorities or were they
6 national government who purchased from you as a
8 A. The buyers during wartime, from the beginning
9 of the Serb aggression on, these military goods were
10 purchased by the HVO. They didn't really buy them,
11 they just took them because they didn't pay for them,
12 and the TO, which later was the army of
14 Q. So by that, sir, do you mean that the
15 military forces themselves did the purchasing, or did
16 they do so through a civilian administration, like a
17 Ministry of Defence?
18 A. The Defence Ministry at that time was not
19 functioning at the level of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
20 there were two components of the armed forces: the
21 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which started out as the
22 Territorial Defence, and the HVO, and they took these
23 military products for the needs of their armed forces.
24 Q. Is it true, sir, that during the course of
25 1992, the HVO, as an institution, was both military and
1 civilian in its nature?
2 A. The HVO was a civilian institution, and it
3 probably had a certain military component to it. The
4 HVO was the civilian authorities, and the operation
5 zone was the military component.
6 Q. So it was the operation zone that you
7 obviously were supplying with arms and munitions?
8 A. Yes. That can be seen from these permits and
9 all the documents, who received the goods. He was the
10 head of logistics of the operation zone.
11 Q. Now, I believe that the -- let us say the
12 influence of the HVO increased considerably during
13 1992; is that correct?
14 A. In what way?
15 Q. Is it not true that that effectively, by the
16 end of 1992, became the governmental power in the
17 region of Vitez?
18 A. No. As far as the factory is concerned, no.
19 I said that the factory was immune to the policies
20 pursued by political bodies, and our condition at the
21 beginning was that the ruling parties and their
22 military components should come to an agreement as to
23 the way in which they would cooperate with the
24 factory. Our aim being to avoid any confrontation or
25 disputes among the managers of the factory and thereby
1 prevent production and normal operations. Therefore, I
2 repeat, no civilian authority of the HVO had any direct
3 influence over the factory, and that is obvious from
4 the composition of the management that was operating in
5 the factory.
6 Q. Whilst you tried to divorce your factory and
7 its management from the politics going on around you,
8 is it not true you would be aware of what was happening
9 in the area?
10 A. I don't know what exactly you mean "aware."
11 Obviously the situation was not normal because there
12 was a war. We were waging a war against the Serbs. We
13 were a country that was the object of aggression.
14 Obviously, the situation wasn't quite normal.
15 Q. Indeed. In order to avoid problems within
16 your factory, you clearly must have known what you were
17 trying to avoid so you'd be aware of what was going on
19 A. We just wanted to be able to concentrate on
20 production, to take care of the workers employed in the
21 factory, and that is why we required that the
22 authorities agree as to what they wanted and then, when
23 they conveyed to us those joint positions, we would
24 implement them.
25 Q. So you were then aware of, say, the creation
1 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna? You were
2 aware of its existence, were you, sir?
3 A. Well, I think that's a superfluous question.
4 Of course, I was aware that the Croatian Community of
5 Herceg-Bosna was formed. But, but, I --
6 Q. Sir, you were aware, were you not, that that
7 entity had expressed itself as setting up a social,
8 economic, cultural, territorial, and military entity
9 for Croats within that part of Bosnia-Herzegovina? Are
10 you aware of that, sir?
11 A. No, that is not how I understood it.
12 Q. Now, you say that you then carried on
13 supplying to the Bosnian army, if I may use that
14 expression, and to the HVO, in equal shares right
15 through, you say, until April 1993?
16 A. Yes, yes.
17 Q. If we look at it, sir, you received, it
18 seems, a very specific directive from the elected
19 government in Sarajevo in November '92 which you saw
20 fit to ignore. Why would you ignore such a directive
21 of the national government?
22 A. I didn't ignore the directive. If you looked
23 carefully at the document, the directive was addressed
24 to the provisional manager who was supposed to
25 implement it. It was not up to me to implement it
2 Q. I would refresh your memory, sir, that you
3 referred to this as being a temporary management board
4 in which, by the number 2, appears your name; below
5 that of Dragan Nakic. You looked at this document
6 earlier this morning, sir. Is that correct?
7 A. I didn't quite understand the question.
8 Q. The document I am referring to -- maybe we
9 could put it back to the witness, if you would be so
10 kind? I don't recall the number.
11 THE REGISTRAR: It's D54/2.
12 MR. BLAXILL: I am obliged to you, sir.
13 Thank you.
14 Q. Now, sir, you see before you a decision
15 appointing a temporary managing board for the Vitezit
16 company; is that right?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. If I understand correctly, sir, you told this
19 Court this morning that you and the other members of
20 the board refused to implement that central government
21 decision; is that correct?
22 A. You misunderstood. This decision on
23 appointing a temporary managing board and a temporary
24 manager of the public corporation Vitezit is giving an
25 instruction to the man appointed as the temporary
1 manager to implement it. I said that this man, whose
2 name is Nusret Kalco, who was appointed temporary
3 manager, came to see me and said that he had no idea
4 about this decision and that he believed that this
5 decision could not be implemented.
6 Q. This was a decision of another. Very well.
7 If we may move on, please, sir? I do recall you,
8 however, referring at the time that you gave evidence
9 on that document, that you referred to the government
10 in Sarajevo as a "Muslim government." Is that not
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And I think you said in this court that you
14 believed that that government had lost credibility
15 because the Serb members had walked out.
16 A. Not only the Serb members but also the
17 Croatian because they couldn't attend government
18 meetings because of the siege of Sarajevo, and that is
19 why I said because of the composition of the members
20 attending the meeting, because the people taking such
21 decisions were Muslims. This decision should have been
22 signed by the Prime Minister, Mr. Jure Pelivan, and not
23 by the vice premier, Mr. Hakija Jurajlic, and Mr. Jure
24 Pelivan never heard about this decision as he told me
25 during a conversation that we had subsequently.
1 Q. Have there ever been instances in your
2 commercial life, sir, where a deputy, to somebody else,
3 has the authority to sign for that person in his
5 A. Certainly.
6 Q. So --
7 A. But this cannot be a permanent solution.
8 Q. But you chose to take a certain view of the
9 actions of a government by saying that you felt the
10 wrong person had signed it because the vice-president
11 had and not the president. Very well, sir.
12 Now, in the area of Vitez in late 1992, what
13 do you feel was the, if you like, the dominant
14 governmental and military power in the area at that
16 A. I do not have sufficient information about
17 the domination of the local government. For me it was
18 important who had been elected at the 1991 elections.
19 Q. I noticed a little earlier, sir, when two
20 documents were put to you regarding deliveries to the
21 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that they were dated no
22 later than December of 1992.
23 Now, is it not true that you ceased any
24 supply to the BiH army earlier than the April '93
25 you've previously indicated?
1 A. No. According to the information at my
2 disposal that is not right.
3 Q. I see. It's just unfortunate then, sir, is
4 it, that the examples we have pre-date 1993? Mr.
5 Divkovic --
6 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I really
8 think that my learned colleague has no need to comment
9 on the answers of this witness. He may ask him
10 questions, listen to his answers and go on. I think
11 such comments are inappropriate and unnecessary. Thank
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Blaxill, could you please
14 refrain from commenting?
15 MR. BLAXILL: Very well, Your Honours. I
16 guess my interpretation of the realms of
17 cross-examination are somewhat different to those of my
18 learned colleague.
19 JUDGE MAY: No. She was right, Mr. Blaxill.
20 MR. BLAXILL: Very well, Your Honour, sir. I
21 stand corrected.
22 Q. Would you say that you had very strict
23 requirements in respect of the completion of documents
24 for the shipment of goods and supplies from your
1 A. Documents were regularly filled in.
2 Q. And would it be -- or was it the requirement
3 that all details to be inserted on a document should be
4 inserted, there would be no gaps?
5 A. As far as I know, according to our approach
6 and our rules, there should be no gaps because these
7 are very sensitive products.
8 Q. Yes, indeed, sir. That's a point. I
9 noticed -- if we have document D57/2, please.
10 Mr. Divkovic, it may be my ignorance or a
11 problem reading a translation, but it would appear that
12 the document is lacking certain details such as
13 quantities, the value of the shipment, the contract or
14 order number, the registration number of the shipping
15 vehicle, the number of cases being shipped, who took
16 delivery. In other words, this would appear to be
17 missing a lot of details. Would you agree with me?
18 A. Yes, I can see that some details are lacking
19 but this would be an exception. We could give you
20 hundreds of other documents that are quite fully filled
21 in. I don't know why this occurred, though this is
22 just a bill of lading. The invoice would have to
23 contain all the details.
24 Q. I see. So this is, you say, the buyer's copy
25 of a bill of lading, and it is missing a lot of
1 important detail, would you agree?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 Q. Is it also a fact that from this document
4 it's not really possible to show that these goods were
5 shipped, would you agree, on the face of it?
6 A. I said that this document is faulty, but
7 perhaps it would be the only one among a host of
8 documents. This is not a large quantity, but you can
9 see that the goods were shipped by Alija Zukan, and if
10 that is of any importance, he's an individual who is a
12 Q. I make no comment.
13 Sir, if I could turn to D58/2, please. Could
14 that be put?
15 Now, again, Mr. Divkovic, just looking
16 quickly through these documents, there would seem to
17 be, in the majority of cases, some things again lacking
18 on the face of the paperwork, particularly the number
19 plates of vehicles, dates of dispatch. Again, they
20 seem to be missing from the record-keeping.
21 A. There are dates.
22 Q. If I -- again, I'm dealing from a translation
23 copy, sir, so I hope we're not at cross-purposes.
24 Does it in the first, say, six or seven
25 sheets, we have a kind of table, and on my translation
1 copies --
2 A. Are we talking about the same document?
3 Q. I sincerely hope, but we could compare just
4 in case because I'm working from translations. Could
5 the usher perhaps -- the ones I have is marked D58/2.
6 In fact, the translations reads like that. Would it be
7 that set? Sorry if we've marked the wrong -- I have a
8 feeling that the problem is that the tabular format of
9 the translation is not the same as the originals, which
10 places me in some difficulty as I cannot read the
11 originals to locate that. I think it's not such a
12 significant point that I will take much more of the
13 court's time on that. Thank you, Your Honours.
14 Sorry, sir, we will not pursue that matter
16 A list has been produced indicating the
17 amount of supply of arms to the army of
18 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that correct? You would
19 recognise that document, sir? Yeah.
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. This is -- just for absolute clarity, this
22 purely applies to that force, there is nothing in
23 reference to the HVO here?
24 A. Correct. An identical specification was
25 prepared and sent to the HVO.
1 Q. But the only one that is produced in court
2 today is that relating to the army of BiH; is that
4 A. Yes, but we can prepare another one if
6 Q. You stated, sir, that you considered your
7 factories of strategic importance for the ABiH. That
8 is right, sir?
9 A. Certainly.
10 Q. Would it be true to say the same goes for the
12 A. Yes, yes, the same.
13 Q. Is it correct that towards the end of 1992
14 the HVO actually provided guards for the factory to
15 protect it -- or to protect them, I should say.
16 A. Not at the end of 1992. It could have been
17 at the beginning of 1993 that several policemen were
18 posted on the main entrance because of looting
19 incidents and all other things that were happening in
20 those days in the area where the factory was and where
21 we were living.
22 Q. Now, was there any particular additional
23 supply of arms to the ABiH out of the -- is it the
24 Sintevit factory, the one with the predominantly Muslim
1 A. There couldn't have been, because they were
2 not the manufacturer of finished products.
3 Q. I see. So really, finished products had to
4 go out via the SPS factory, is that correct, sir, or
5 through Vitezit?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Were you aware -- this is, in fact, I
8 believe, Prosecution Exhibit number 323. I wonder if
9 that could be shown to the witness for a moment. I've
10 been told 343. I apologise for that. I ask your
11 indulgence for a moment, Your Honours, we have a slight
12 housekeeping difficulty over the number of the
13 document. I'll be just a moment.
14 This apparently, although it appears as if
15 it's a document that may have already gone into
16 evidence it is not one. I have a fact I wish to refer
17 to. I will make reference to that fact. The witness
18 can confirm knowledge or not, and the document hasn't
19 been served on the Defence so it will not be placed
20 before him. I trust there's no objection to that, Your
22 Mr. Divkovic, I'm sorry, you've been
23 confused, you've been handed a wrong document. It
24 doesn't matter.
25 I just want to ask you about one fact about
1 whether you are aware of this at all, sir, and are you
2 aware that the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna,
3 their HVO main staff, issued some form of order in
4 January 1993 stating that the HVO would be in complete
5 military command and that all HVO and BH army units
6 should submit to the command of the HVO? Were you
7 aware of such an event, sir?
8 A. No, I wasn't aware.
9 Q. Thank you. I just have a couple more things
10 at this time, but it will be just a few minutes. We're
11 at five past twelve, Your Honour. Do you wish to take
12 the break now? I'm probably like my learned friend was
13 earlier, say, 15 to 20 minutes maximum to finish. You
14 might like to take your break?
15 JUDGE CASSESE: We'll go on.
16 MR. BLAXILL: We'll go on, sir? All right.
17 Mr. President, thank you.
18 Q. Now, the movement of vehicles in and out of
19 the Vitez area carrying munitions, was that, in fact,
20 arranged by or granted by the HVO?
21 A. Generally, yes.
22 Q. Now, one other thing you earlier said, I
23 believe, that the HVO, from time to time, would simply
24 take what they wanted and, you know, hence you received
25 no payment whether it was ordered or taken. Is that
1 still correct?
2 A. This is not correct. I didn't say that. I
3 said we delivered goods to the BH army and to the HVO
4 but neither of them paid for these goods.
5 Q. I see, sir. Yes. Thank you.
6 If I may ask, how were you able to maintain
7 supplies of raw materials since the receiving forces
8 were not paying for their munitions?
9 A. We didn't have the ability to get new raw
10 materials. The factories that supplied us before the
11 conflict with the Serbs remained in the territory of
12 Yugoslavia, and in Eastern Bosnia, in Gorazde. So as
13 you probably yourself know, there was an embargo on the
14 import of raw materials that we used in our
15 manufacture. So we were using the raw materials that
16 were there at the time in our factory. That is why we
17 had the problem of operating at complete capacity. We
18 were using the raw materials that were at the factory.
19 Q. And so did you have any particular request
20 for increase of production during any part of 1992?
21 A. There was always that request to intensify
22 production in accordance with our abilities, to use the
23 existing capacities as much as possible, and also in
24 view of the available raw materials.
25 Q. But was there or was there no actual increase
1 or did you just maximise at all times your resources?
2 A. We used the resources that were available to
3 us, because that was the only thing that we could do.
4 So the intensity of production was not even close to
5 the maximum production, but it was just on what was
6 possible for us at the time.
7 Q. So if armed forces of the BiH army, or the
8 HVO or both were in a position to have an armed
9 conflict in mid-April of 1993, they obviously had
10 received those munitions over a period of time, sir; is
11 that correct?
12 A. Yes. They received it from us for the whole
14 Q. Thank you very much. I'd just like to confer
15 with my colleagues for a moment. There is just one
16 small point I would like to confirm.
17 Do you know, sir, an Ante Sliskovic?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. Is it correct that he was, in fact, someone
20 who had to be a signatory for the dispatch of munitions
21 from the factories?
22 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I would
24 just like to tell my learned colleague, Mr. Blaxill,
25 that the witness never mentioned the name of Ante
1 Sliskovic, so I would prefer that the question not be
2 asked in that way. If there is -- actually, the
3 question here is about Franjo Sliskovic. Ante
4 Sliskovic is a different person, and I think that this
5 is not proper because the witness did not mention Ante
6 Sliskovic. Thank you.
7 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Blaxill, were you
8 mentioning Ante Sliskovic or the other name?
9 MR. BLAXILL:
10 Q. Well, the name I was endeavouring to reach is
11 the person who was the, apparently, the major signatory
12 for the dispatch of munitions from the factory.
13 Now, perhaps I can rephrase that question,
14 Your Honour, and suggest, firstly, was it a
15 Mr. Sliskovic who was a major signatory for the
16 dispatch of munitions from the factories?
17 A. Mr. Franjo Sliskovic, not Ante. He was
18 mainly the person who would sign the dispatch documents
19 for the goods shipped.
20 Q. Thank you.
21 It was probably just a slip of the tongue on
22 my part, Your Honour, nothing significant in it. Thank
23 you, and I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
25 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac. Actually, if you have many
1 questions in re-examination, we could take a break
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes, we can resume
4 after the break. I don't have too many questions, but
5 perhaps we can continue after the break. Thank you.
6 JUDGE CASSESE: All right. So we take now a
7 15-minute break. But may I ask you whether you could
8 kindly hand in the list of witnesses for next week with
9 the precise indication of those Defence counsel who are
10 calling those witnesses? Thank you.
11 --- Recess taken at 12.12 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 12.33 p.m.
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Let me apologise to Counsel
14 Slokovic-Glumac. Actually, your document had been
15 filed, so we have now six witnesses for next week.
16 Thank you.
17 All right. Yes?
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
19 Mr. President
20 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
21 Q. Mr. Divkovic, only a few questions. You
22 said, regarding this decision on the appointment of a
23 temporary board of managers, Defence Exhibit D52/2,
24 that the SPS and Vitezit and Sintevit were actually
25 socially-owned enterprises, weren't they?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. In this decision relieving you of your
3 duties, in fact, those enterprises are renamed, their
4 ownership is being changed, in fact, and they're being
5 called public corporations, public enterprises. Public
6 enterprises are those managed by the state, aren't
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. In view of the structure of the enterprise,
10 which was a socially-owned enterprise, could you be
11 relieved of your duties by the government?
12 A. In view of the fact that this was a
13 socially-owned enterprise, the government did not have
14 the authority to appoint or relieve general managers.
15 It was the workers council who had that authority, the
16 workers council of the enterprise.
17 Q. Therefore, this decision includes an untruth,
18 an incorrect fact, calling Vitezit a public corporation
19 whereby the government would have the right to take
20 such decisions?
21 A. They appropriated this right to rename the
22 enterprise from a socially-owned one into a public one
23 and thereby to be able to appoint and dismiss managers.
24 Q. So if we look at it from that standpoint, we
25 can say that it was quite illegal as a document?
1 A. Probably.
2 Q. The reason that it was not implemented was
3 not only that the new manager refused to implement it
4 but also because the enterprise was incorrectly named
5 because of procedural reasons?
6 A. The measures taken beforehand illegally,
7 anyway, could not have been implemented by me but only
8 by the person they appointed, and at the end it says
9 that instructions are given to the provisional manager
10 to carry out this decision and to register the company
11 with the court.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Please will you look
13 once again at document D55/2? In view of what
14 Mr. Blaxill said, that there were no bills from 1993 or
15 invoices addressed to the BH army, will you please look
16 at page 1 where the numbers of the invoices are given?
17 A. Yes, I see that.
18 Q. And will you look whether there are any
19 invoices from 1993 which have been included in this
20 specification of claims?
21 A. Of course there are. All these numbers,
22 stroke '92, '92, and then there's stroke '93, '93, '93,
23 this is an indication that the goods were dispatched in
24 1993 and they were, in fact, dispatched then.
25 Q. So the amounts vary between 369.000 German
1 marks then to 46.000, 24.000, so these are large
2 quantities of goods, obviously?
3 A. Yes, certainly.
4 Q. Could you also tell us about the documents
5 you brought with you? I didn't have them translated
6 because I thought they would be too numerous. These
7 are invoices and bills of lading for various goods.
8 Are those the invoices on the basis of which these
9 specifications were drafted and how did you gain
10 possession of them?
11 A. The papers that I handed to you include
12 invoices on the basis of which goods were dispatched in
13 the course of 1992. They were taken from the
14 commercial department of the enterprise, and on the
15 basis of those invoices and additional ones for 1993,
16 these specifications were drawn up.
17 Q. Thank you. Tell us, please, what is the main
18 reason that the Lasva Valley or the part that remained
19 under HVO control was not captured by the BH army
20 during the conflict?
21 A. Probably the main reason which contributed to
22 the defence of this area was this factory and the vast
23 amount of explosives in it, so that we could continue
24 to produce those military ammunitions during the war,
25 and that was the main factor that made it possible for
1 the people there to defend themselves.
2 Q. Even though the superiority of the BH army
3 was quite significant in manpower?
4 A. Yes, five, six, or seven times superior in
6 Q. Tell us where you spent the war, what you
7 were doing.
8 A. I spent the war in Vitez.
9 Q. Were you a soldier in the trench?
10 A. For a time, I worked in the factory, in the
11 finance department, and the rest of the time I was in
12 the trenches.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much.
14 Thank you. I have no further questions for this
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Mr. Radovic?
17 MR. RADOVIC: (No translation)
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry, there is no English
19 translation. Kindly repeat what you said again.
20 MR. RADOVIC: From the questions put by the
21 Prosecutor, I see that he doesn't quite understand the
22 distinction between a socially-owned enterprise and a
23 public enterprise in the former Yugoslavia, and I
24 understand that because these are concepts from a
25 socialist system that has failed, so let me try and
1 explain so as to give you an idea of what this means.
2 Re-examined by Mr. Radovic:
3 Q. So will you please describe for the benefit
4 of the Court the difference between a social and a
5 public enterprise?
6 A. I shall try and do so as far as my knowledge
7 allows, though I am not an expert. A social enterprise
8 means that it is owned by those people employed in it,
9 by the workers in it, working in it.
10 Q. Who managed it?
11 A. They elected the management board, which was
12 the workers council, and the members of the workers
13 councils were elected at assembly meetings of workers,
14 as they were called. The manager would be appointed by
15 the board of management, in that case the workers
16 council, and the manager is responsible to the workers
17 council and reports to the workers counsel.
18 Q. And a public enterprise?
19 A. A public enterprise is one where the majority
20 stockowner is the state, and then the state has the
21 authority to appoint and dismiss managers, and managers
22 report to the state.
23 Q. Tell us, which body had a list of
25 A. The basic courts in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
1 Q. There were no economic courts?
2 A. No, the basic court.
3 Q. This was called a register of economic
4 organisations, wasn't it?
5 A. You had to register the enterprise there.
6 Q. In the register of enterprises, was it
7 clearly indicated which enterprise was a public
8 enterprise and which was a social one?
9 A. Certainly. The ownership of an enterprise
10 has to be indicated and registered.
11 Q. Any change from a social to a public
12 enterprise, could it take place without first being
13 registered before this change of ownership being
14 registered in the register?
15 A. No.
16 Q. The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the
17 rump government of Bosnia-Herzegovina, could it have,
18 without changing this ownership in the register, change
19 the ownership of an enterprise by its own decision?
20 A. The government couldn't legally decide when
21 it was a rump government.
22 Q. But let us leave that aside.
23 A. Well, secondly, the government could not take
24 such a decision without the procedure being carried
1 Q. So any change comes into effect only once it
2 is entered in the register?
3 A. Yes, yes, that is so.
4 Q. Were there any specific characteristics in
5 view of the fact that this was a special purpose
6 industry, as it was called? Were there any special
7 rules regarding management of such military
9 A. I don't think I have enough information to
10 give you a clear answer to that question.
11 Q. Very well. So we'll limit ourselves to what
12 we said. There were no changes in ownership that were
13 registered in the economic register.
14 A. No. All those enterprises were registered as
15 social enterprises until the conflict, until the war.
16 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you. I have no further
18 JUDGE CASSESE: I have a question. May I
19 direct your attention to Exhibit D55/2? I think
20 probably it is in front of you. This one.
21 Now, on page 1, I wonder whether you could
22 clarify a couple of points? On the left, you have the
23 ordinal number, and it struck me that the sequence is
24 not very logical because you have, for instance, on the
25 part concerning the shipments to Visoko, you have '92,
1 then '93, '93, so four times '93, and then you go back
2 to '92.
3 Now, what is even more striking is that down
4 below, again Visoko, if you look at the right, you have
5 Visoko, Travnik, and then again Visoko. You have
6 9024/93, and then underneath 9172/92. Now, these are
7 shipments to Visoko. What is the logic of this strange
8 way of ordering in a chronological sequence? Is it
9 because it was just a job done in a very sloppy way, or
10 is there a logic behind this chronological sequence?
11 A. I think there's no logic behind it, simply
12 people didn't take care of the chronology of dates.
13 After each of these invoices or, rather, there is the
14 appropriate invoice to match each of the entries on
15 this specification.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: This was a document --
17 because it's again not very clear what sort of document
18 this is. This is a document prepared by the company,
19 and when? By an accountant or -- there's no date, no
21 A. This is a specification of claims prepared
22 after the war when we tried to collect our claims from
23 the BH army and the HVO, and the document was compiled
24 in the commercial sector on the basis of these invoices
25 and dispatch papers. It is meant as evidence of our
1 outstanding claims towards the BH army.
2 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I assume there
3 are no objections to the witness being released.
4 Thank you so much for coming to The Hague to
5 give evidence in court. You may now be released.
6 I assume we can move on to our next witness.
7 THE WITNESS: Thank you too.
8 (The witness withdrew)
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Counsel Slokovic-Glumac, who
10 is going to be our next witness? Counsel Radovic?
11 (The witness entered court)
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. Could you
13 please read out the solemn declaration?
14 THE WITNESS: Good morning. I solemnly
15 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth
16 and nothing but the truth.
17 WITNESS: Rudo Kurevija
18 Examined by Mr. Radovic:
19 MR. RADOVIC: First of all, I would like Prosecution
20 Exhibit P1 to be shown to the witness and placed on the
21 ELMO, because probably in the course of my examination
22 of this witness I will need it.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: I'm sorry, Counsel Radovic,
24 we don't know the name of this particular witness,
25 because --
1 MR. RADOVIC: My colleague has just reminded
2 me of the proper procedure.
3 Q. Mr. Witness, will you give us your name?
4 A. My name is Rudo Kurevija.
5 Q. When were you born?
6 A. 26th of August 1954.
7 Q. Where you were born?
8 A. I was born in Mali Mosunj, a settlement three
9 kilometres west of Vitez.
10 Q. Which municipality is that?
11 A. Vitez municipality.
12 Q. The witness has been introduced. He's not
13 asking for any particular protective measures, so that
14 his entire examination can be done in open session of
15 the Trial Chamber.
16 Could Prosecution Exhibit P1 be placed on the
17 ELMO, because in the course of the examination of this
18 witness we'll have to point to some places on that
19 aerial photograph -- aerial map.
20 Will you, witness, please look at this aerial
21 photograph and show us your place of birth, Vitez and
22 Ahmici so that Their Honours have an idea where you're
23 from and how far that is from Vitez and Ahmici.
24 The witness will be talking about military
25 issues rather than political or economic issues.
1 A. This is Mali Mosunj. It is this here, this
2 part. The town of Vitez is here, and Ahmici is in the
3 eastern part of Vitez municipality. So the place I was
4 born is west of the town of Vitez.
5 Q. Could you tell us how far that is, as the
6 crow flies, from Vitez?
7 A. I don't know exactly but about three and a
8 half kilometres by road.
9 Q. And from Ahmici how far is that?
10 A. At least up to the crossroads and the turnoff
11 for Ahmici. Vitez is about halfway there. Therefore,
12 my birthplace is about six kilometres from Ahmici.
13 Q. Will you now tell us what qualifications you
14 have and what you did until the free elections?
15 A. I graduated from secondary engineering school
16 in Novi Travnik. I worked until the end of 1991 in the
17 maintenance facility in Travnik, which did repairs on
18 military communications. So I was working as a
19 civilian. In 1991 I was suspended, rather, my
20 employment was terminated.
21 Q. Why?
22 A. In August 1991 a protest rally was organised
23 in Vitez. The intention and demand being that young
24 men from Bosnia and Herzegovina should not be sent to
25 serve in the former JNA outside the territory of
2 Q. Who organised that rally?
3 A. The HDZ of Vitez. Since I was on the video
4 recording as one of the thousand participants at that
5 rally, and since I was working in an institution that
6 was doing maintenance of communications equipment for
7 the JNA, that rally was interpreted as being directed
8 against the JNA and, as such, my contract was
9 terminated on the 23rd of December, 1991.
10 I received a summons to court in Belgrade.
11 Since I didn't dare go to Belgrade, because the
12 conditions were such that I didn't have the courage to
13 go there, after that I got a decision from the Military
14 Tribunal dismissing me from employment.
15 So I was unemployed, and the first job I got
16 was in January 1995 when I worked in the Kalvarija
17 enterprise as an accountant, and I'm still working
19 Q. So this second employment was after the war?
20 The job that you got in 1995 was after the war; wasn't
22 A. Yes. But as I said, I worked in this
23 maintenance and repair facility in the JNA as an
24 accountant in the purchasing department, procurement
1 Q. Tell us, what did you do when you found
2 yourself unemployed in Novi Travnik?
3 A. I was in Travnik at the time because my
4 company was in Travnik. Since I had three children, of
5 course my situation was an extremely difficult one. I
6 didn't know how I would be able to survive, so I did
7 farming and I had a miniature pig farm, and I made a
8 living in that way and to provide a livelihood for my
10 Q. Did you join in the activities of any party?
11 A. I was a member of the party but not then,
12 not --
13 Q. What did you do as a member of the party?
14 Did you have any position in the party?
15 A. At the end of '91 -- or, rather, the
16 beginning of 1992, I was elected as the President of
17 the basic branch of HDZ for Mali Mosunj. It is one of
18 the 21 basic branches of the HDZ, and I was president
19 of that basic branch in Mali Mosunj.
20 Q. And can you tell us how long you remained
21 president of that branch? I'm not asking you for the
22 exact date but roughly?
23 A. Until about the beginning of the conflict.
24 Q. Which day do you consider to be the beginning
25 of the war?
1 A. The 16th of April, 1993.
2 Q. As president of the basic board, did you have
3 any influence or any possibility to influence the
4 policy making of your party?
5 A. As the president, no.
6 Q. So the policies were decided at another
8 A. The municipal board was organised as
9 follows: Within the municipal organisation there were
10 municipal boards consisting of 17 members, and that was
11 the highest body of the political organisation at the
12 municipal level, and they were the ones who decided the
13 policies and adopted documents, and they were the
14 highest body. They were the creators of the policy of
15 the party.
16 Q. When you're talking about this highest body,
17 you're referring to the HDZ part and its highest
19 Tell me, was the HDZ in Bosnia-Herzegovina
20 organised according to the principle used in Communism
21 known as Democratic Centralism? Were decisions made
22 from the top down?
23 A. Yes. The highest body was the Presidency of
24 the BH-HDZ, and that is where the global policies were
25 defined. Then those decisions were passed down to the
1 level of the municipal boards and they were the ones
2 who implemented those decisions and those policies.
3 Q. What were you -- what did you do as president
4 of the basic branch?
5 A. As president of the basic branch I mainly
6 dealt with the day-to-day problems of the people in the
7 place where I lived, the needs of the community, and as
8 the president, of course, I tried to increase the
9 membership of the party. In those days new members
10 joined. We collected membership fees and that sort of
12 Q. Tell us, within your village and the place
13 where you were the President of the basic branch of the
14 political party of the HDZ, what was the ethnic
15 composition of the population in Mali Mosunj?
16 A. The place of my birth and where I live, the
17 population is exclusively Croat.
18 Q. So there were no Muslim-Croat problems in
19 your village because it was a single ethnic, one nation
21 Do you know anything about the events in
22 Vitez itself as the municipal seat after the free
23 elections, how the municipal authorities were formed
24 and whether this formation had any influence or any
25 effect on your position as president of the basic
2 A. Well, I don't know anything much about that.
3 I worked in Travnik for 17 years, so all my connections
4 were in Travnik. After I was dismissed from my job, I
5 stayed at home, I stayed in my village, I was
6 preoccupied with my problems, so I wasn't really active
7 much in Vitez and I didn't take part as the President
8 of the basic branch. I didn't participate in the
9 formation of the government.
10 Q. Nor in the development of relations between
11 the HDZ and the SDA as if I understood you properly?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. At what time did you, as a person who was
14 struggling to make a livelihood by cultivating the land
15 or -- how did you get information that the war against
16 the Serbs had started?
17 A. At the end of '91, so in the second half of
18 '91 and the beginning of '92 we were listening to news
19 reports about the war in Croatia. The people in Bosnia
20 and Herzegovina, and I mean the Croatian people in
21 Bosnia and Herzegovina took this tragically. There was
22 a little bit of panic already amongst the people
23 because we were aware, at least at that time I was
24 aware, after the aggression against the Republic of
25 Croatia, that aggression against Bosnia-Herzegovina
1 would follow.
2 This was then confirmed by my conviction
3 sometime in October '91, when the Yugoslav army
4 attacked the village of Ravno near Trebinje. So it was
5 then quite certain that Bosnia-Herzegovina was next,
6 that parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina would be under attack
7 by the Yugoslav army.
8 Q. The village of Ravno, this is in
9 Herzegovina. What part of Herzegovina, eastern or
10 western part?
11 A. Eastern.
12 Q. So was this a village in Croatia? Was this a
13 Croatian village?
14 A. Yes, Croatian village.
15 Q. So we can conclude this was one of the rare
16 exclusively Croatian villages in eastern Herzegovina?
17 A. Yes.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down for the
20 Q. So we could then say that this village was
21 exclusively Croatian -- if you can pause between the
22 answer and the question -- or did this village have
23 some kind of important communications?
24 A. It was mostly to round up or to encircle the
25 territory that they were controlling.
1 Q. So what was the fate of the population of the
2 village of Ravno?
3 A. As far as I remember, there were a lot of
4 killed people. The village, as far as I know, was
5 destroyed. The Croatian population was expelled from
6 that village.
7 Q. Did the Croatians return to the village?
8 Have they returned to date?
9 A. I don't think that they have.
10 Q. After it became evident that the Serbs were
11 capturing the territory in Bosnia and Herzegovina and
12 war was being waged in Croatia at the same time, what
13 did the people in your village do in order to protect
14 themselves or for any other reason?
15 A. Well, as I said, the aggression against the
16 Republic of Croatia that was taken deeply affected the
17 people in my village, in the whole of Bosnia and
18 Herzegovina. There was panic and fear among the
19 Croatian population, and this was particularly evident
20 after the events in the village of Ravno, near
21 Trebinje. So that the people were afraid, crimes
22 became more frequent, people began to organise
23 themselves, at least that's what we did in Mosunj, in
24 order to attempt to protect our village from criminals,
25 and also out of the fear against -- out of the fear
1 from the JNA and also this fear was exacerbated by the
2 fact that in the Lasva Valley, there were members of
3 the JNA in the barracks there which were located in the
4 Lasva Valley, such as the barracks in Busovaca, then
5 barracks in Travnik, an arms warehouse in Stojkovici,
6 Novi Travnik, and in another location. So this was
7 enough to be of concern to the people, so we tried to
8 organise ourselves.
9 Q. How did you try to organise yourselves? Did
10 you do this alone, by yourselves?
11 A. Yes, we tried to self-organise. The bravest
12 and the most loyal at that time, there were a lot of
13 remnants from the old system at that time, so the most
14 loyal ones we taught on how to protect the village, how
15 to protect the people in the village, so that in my
16 estimate, there were about ten or fifteen of us, and we
17 were the village guard, we were patrolling at night, we
18 were guarding the village, we were controlling the
19 approaches and the exits to and from the village. So
20 that we would carry out these watches at night, and
21 then during the day, there was no need for that.
22 Q. Please tell us about the village guards.
23 Until when did you participate in them, you personally?
24 A. I personally participated in them until
25 December of '92.
1 Q. The village guards, were they uniformed or
2 was the village -- how was the village guard dressed?
3 I am just asking this in this way in order not to
4 suggest the answer.
5 A. Well, there were no uniforms. Everybody wore
6 whatever they had at home, so it was civilian clothing,
7 whatever we had at home.
8 Q. Continue.
9 A. In the first few days, and then this went on
10 for some time, we used hunting weapons. Mostly the
11 hunters who had their weapons, they gave the weapons to
12 the young men that they trusted so they could watch at
13 night. There were people who had pistols, guns, and
14 they had permits to carry those weapons. Mostly this
15 is what we used in our patrols. If there were any
16 shifts -- there was one shift until midnight, and then
17 after midnight, there was another shift. We would give
18 the weapons to the next shift.
19 Q. You said, as far as I understood, that it was
20 mostly weapons, mostly hunting weapons, that happened
21 to be in the village. Did better weapons appear, for
22 example, semiautomatic or automatic rifles, did they
23 appear later, and if they did, how did they get to the
25 A. Of course, there were those who were better
1 off in the village who had money at that time, and
2 money didn't mean much at that time, so those that we
3 trusted and who were better off, we talked with them
4 and we collected money in this way. Many people sold
5 their cattle, for example, in order to get money. So
6 that's how we obtained weapons. We obtained the
7 weapons exclusively on the black market because there
8 were a lot of Serbs, in Travnik at least, and they
9 generally had weapons in their houses, in their
10 apartments, so since already in '92 they were already
11 leaving Travnik, we would buy the weapons from them, so
12 that's how we obtained our weapons.
13 Q. Among the men in your village, was there a
14 certain number who had decided to fight outside the
16 A. Yes, yes. I think seven or eight men
17 decided -- these were mostly young men who were
18 unmarried, who didn't have so many obligations and
19 duties and they were brave -- and then they decided to
20 go and fight mostly in the region of Vlasic against the
21 Serbs, they held the frontlines. Later they went to
22 Jajce because there were a lot of problems up there.
23 Q. Out of those seven young men, how many of
24 them are still alive?
25 A. Unfortunately, three of them were killed.
1 Two were killed already by mid '92, one of them was
2 killed in August of '92. The first two were killed in
3 taking the Slimena barracks, the barracks was also a
4 weapons warehouse near Travnik, and these were the
5 first casualties of the Serb aggression in the Lasva
7 Q. Tell us, were you personally present when
8 Slimena was being captured?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Could you please describe what this was like?
11 A. There were about 50 of us volunteers from
13 Q. And the environs of Vitez, because you're not
14 from Vitez itself?
15 A. When I say Vitez, I mean the Vitez
16 municipality, so there was about 50 of us. On the 3rd
17 of May, we surrounded the Slimena barracks. There were
18 some negotiations maybe for an hour or two, and since
19 they were not willing to give up the barracks
20 voluntarily without a fight, so there was fighting, it
21 broke out in the afternoon, and the barracks were
23 Q. Could you please tell us, during the capture
24 of the barracks, were a part of the weapons damaged in
25 the fighting or did the entire stock of weapons reach
1 your hands?
2 A. Part of the warehouse was mined, it was blown
3 up. Those people who were in the barracks managed to
4 come out. A certain part of the weapons were
5 destroyed. Since I was lightly wounded there myself,
6 after the fighting was finished, I was transferred to
7 Travnik, and I hear that people simply overran the
8 barracks trying to obtain weapons in this way. So a
9 part of the weapons ended up in the villages, the
10 people had taken them, but then the next day, as I
11 heard, the Muslims also tried to receive a share of the
12 weapons that were confiscated in the barracks, and as
13 far as I know, the outcome of that was an agreement to
14 share the weapons 50-50.
15 Q. When the action was carried out to capture
16 Slimena, were only Croats in that action or did Muslims
17 participate as well, or did the Muslims appear only
18 later, after the barracks were captured?
19 A. Only Croats took part in this action, about
20 50 of us from Vitez. There was a number from Novi
21 Travnik, but it was just Croats. The Muslims did not
22 participate in this action, but they did appear on the
23 next day, on the 4th of May.
24 Q. So the weapons were still distributed?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. What kind of weapons were there in Slimena;
2 could you tell us?
3 A. I don't know exactly, but there was infantry
5 Q. What do you mean by that?
6 A. I mean weapons that infantry men use, like
7 semiautomatic, automatic rifles. There was a certain
8 amount of ammunition, mostly weapons from the
9 Territorial Defence, because I think the TO from
10 Central Bosnia was located in Slimena.
11 Q. So you're talking about guns and ammunition
12 regardless of whether these were automatic or
13 semiautomatic rifles?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Machine guns are also included among infantry
16 weapons. Also mortars, they were also part of that, as
17 far as I know.
18 A. Yes, it's possible that there were some
19 mortars, but I didn't see any.
20 Q. So then you did see the machine guns. Were
21 there any cannons?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Hand grenades?
24 A. I don't know. I don't know whether there
25 were any mortars. I was wounded, so I was transferred,
1 and whatever happened later, I wasn't in a position to
3 Q. How did the development of the military
4 component proceed among the Muslims and among the
5 Croats, if you know, after the capture of Slimena,
6 because a certain quantity of arms has appeared where a
7 certain number of persons can be armed?
8 A. After the capture of Slimena, more arms were
9 available among the people in the villages, the people
10 were better armed now, the village guards are growing
11 in number, and I think at that time already the first
12 units were being structured in Vitez and I think this
13 was the active component, men who were active
14 participants in that unit, and they were given the task
15 to -- Vlasic and Jajce, to the frontlines there.
16 Q. At that time, after the fall of Slimena or
17 shortly before the fall of Slimena, were there any
18 frontlines where Croats and Muslims fought together
19 against the Serbs, and if there were, were they mixed
20 units or were they separate units that were deployed
21 next to one another?
22 A. Since I was not in the active force and I
23 wasn't on the frontlines, I can't say anything about
24 the Muslims. But as far as I know, Muslims were the
25 ones -- Croats were the ones who were exclusively
1 guarding on the frontlines, and this is from December
2 in '92 until March of '93. For that period, I know
3 that Croatian units, units of the HVO, were then
4 holding the lines towards the Serbs near Novi Travnik,
5 exclusively Croats.
6 Q. May I ask you, when we were talking about the
7 village guards, these village guards, did they have a
8 hierarchical structure? Were there any higher levels
9 of command, or did it all remain within the village and
10 its particular guard?
11 A. There was no command structure for the
12 village guards. They were just persons who had
13 organised themselves. They made agreements among
14 themselves. There were no commanders, no command
16 Q. Yes, but somebody had to keep a record or do
17 some scheduling.
18 A. This was mostly done by agreement. Of
19 course, at that time, because they were self-organised,
20 these were young men who wanted to stay within the
21 village, who wanted to guard their families, so there
22 couldn't have been anybody who could have issued orders
23 to them. Everybody had their own duties, obligations,
24 so it wasn't possible to make a kind of plan of the
25 watch, so we would just agree.
1 Q. Could you please tell us where the Croats
2 from Central Bosnia fought against the Serbs? You
3 mentioned Vlasic. Were there any other places?
4 A. I don't know about Central Bosnia, but as far
5 as we were concerned in Vitez, it was in Vlasic,
6 Jajce. Then above Novi Travnik, there were positions,
7 Kamenjar, Slatke Vode.
8 Q. Do you remember when Kotor Varos and Jajce
9 fell, fell to the Serbs?
10 A. Yes, of course. I don't know the exact date
11 when Kotor Varos fell, but already, at the beginning of
12 October in '92, the first expelled persons arrived in
13 Vitez from the region of Kotor Varos and the
14 surrounding villages, so that my village, Mali Mosunj,
15 received 20 families. They were big families, they
16 were expelled, so we gave them housing in our homes in
17 the village. As far as Jajce is concerned, I think it
18 fell later, but I don't know exactly when.
19 Q. When the Serbs captured a certain territory,
20 what was the fate of the non-Serb population?
21 A. Of course, people were expelled, I assume
22 their houses were burnt down, so I doubt that anybody
23 remained in those regions.
24 Q. This applies both to Muslims and Croats?
25 A. Yes, that's right.
1 Q. When the expelled people arrived from these
2 areas that you mentioned, you mentioned people who were
3 expelled who came to your village, and since this was a
4 Croatian village, I assume that these were Croatian
5 people who arrived?
6 A. Yes, they were exclusively Croats.
7 Q. So what were the consequences of the conquest
8 by the Serbs as far as Vitez is concerned? Did any
9 displaced Muslims come to the Vitez region?
10 A. Yes, of course, Muslim refugees came. Since
11 my village borders on the Travnik-Vitez transit road
12 where there are Muslim settlements, so the Muslim
13 settlements of Bazen and Grbavica housed the Muslims
14 who were expelled. They were situated there.
15 Q. Were there any differences in the treatment
16 of these people after they were expelled? Did the
17 Croats mostly stay in the region of Vitez or did they
18 move further along, or did the Muslims remain in the
19 region of Vitez or did they move along?
20 A. Of course, these 20 families that came to
21 Mosunj and then the supplies to the other places where
22 Croats were housed, they remained there very shortly.
23 They considered Vitez as just a stopover. They
24 remained maybe from the beginning of October to about
25 maybe the 13th of October. They went through Vitez
1 trying to reach Herzegovina or Croatia or Western
2 countries because a lot of their families or relatives
3 worked abroad, so that's where they would go. So they
4 only stayed there for a very brief period of time,
5 maybe for ten days.
6 As far as Muslims are concerned, they stayed
7 for quite a while. They remained there, and you could
8 tell this. The villages are very small, we all know
9 one another, and you could tell that Muslims remained
10 because there were a lot of new faces, lots of
11 unfamiliar people.
12 Q. So when the refugees came to your area, did
13 they have weapons?
14 A. Yes, of course. There were a lot of soldiers
15 who had fought in their villages. They carried their
16 weapons with them.
17 Since they were leaving Vitez they did not
18 carry their weapons with them. Some of them would
19 leave the weapons to the friends, the hosts who had put
20 them up, but a lot of them sold these weapons in
21 order -- so this is how certain quantities of weapons
22 were obtained.
23 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, I'm finished
24 with this part of my examination, so if you agree, we
25 could resume on Monday.
1 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, yes. Monday then at
2 2.00, from 2.00 to 6.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
4 at 1.30 p.m. to be reconvened on
5 Monday, the 25th day of January, 1999
6 at 2.00 p.m.