1 Monday, 8th February, 1999
2 (The accused entered court)
3 (Open session)
4 ---Upon commencing at 9.15 a.m.
5 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning Your Honours,
6 case number IT-95-16-T,the Prosecutor versus Zoran
7 Kupreskic, Mirjan Kupreskic, Vlatko Kupreskic, Drago
8 Josipovic, Dragan Papic and Vladimir Santic.
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning. We regret this
10 delay. It's not our fault. I think we may continue
11 with the cross-examination of the witness.
12 (The witness entered court)
13 WITNESS: Mario Rajic (Resumed)
14 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
15 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
16 Q. Good morning witness, my name is Franck
17 Terrier. I'm one of the Prosecution members. I would
18 like to put a few questions to you following your
19 testimony. I believe you have an exact memory of what
20 you stated when you were testifying and the questions
21 that were put to you. These are some questions which
22 I'm going to come back to myself.
23 During the course of your testimony you said
24 that you knew two of the accused, Zoran and Mirjan
25 Kupreskic. I would like now to ask you to tell this
1 Tribunal whether you know well or less well the other
2 accused in this Tribunal?
3 A. I did not know (sic) that I didn't know the
4 Kupreskics well. I said that I knew Zoran Kupreskic
5 well, better than Mirjan though. As for the rest, I
6 know some better, others less. Others I know only by
7 sight, I didn't really contact them, but this is a
8 small town and everybody knows one another.
9 Q. Mr. Witness, would you please state more
10 precisely which of the accused you knew at that time,
11 the at the time of the events, that is to say 1993,
13 A. I knew Zoran Kupreskic, Mirjan, Vlatko, Vlado
14 and from sight I knew Papic. I did not know
15 Mr. Josipovic until now.
16 Q. Very well. During the course of your
17 testimony, you brought up another -- a number of issues
18 which are military in nature. You gave your point of
19 views and you gave your technical -- your point on a
20 number of questions. I would like to know exactly what
21 kind of military training you received.
22 A. As I said, in 1977 I left the army, having
23 completed reserve officer training. So I left the army
24 as a reserve lieutenant. I assumed certain duties in
25 the Territorial Defence of the municipality of the
1 Vitez, and I was engaged in various courses.
2 During those years before the war, I spent
3 over 120 days training, and that is part of my military
4 record, and the last course I did was at a military
5 centre in Pazarici where I was trained to be a
6 battalion commander.
7 Q. You stated, witness, that you joined the
8 Territorial Defence in 1972 as a non-commissioned
9 officer in the reserves. I would like for you to make
10 a few comments about what happened at that time, until
11 the beginning of the war.
12 What were the members of the Territorial
13 Defence -- what were its members, and what kind of
14 training did these men received who were part of these
15 units, what their status is and what kind of weaponry
16 did they use?
17 A. Many questions in one question, so let us
18 tackle them one at a time. I'm not talking about '87,
19 I'm talking about '77, you see.
20 Q. '77, yes, indeed.
21 A. Well, I received '87 in the translation.
22 Q. Witness, we agree, it is 1977, that's
24 A. Well, the establishment of the TO at that
25 time was a modification of the setup of the Yugoslav
1 People's Army at that time. That is to say, the
2 municipal of the TO of Vitez was formed along similar
3 lines to those in the active units of the Yugoslav
4 People's Army. That is to say that we had a staff
5 command that worked either in peacetime conditions or
6 in wartime conditions.
7 In peacetime conditions, the head of the
8 staff and some officers in the staff were professional
9 officers, the rest belonged to the reserve corps. In
10 case of immediate threat of war, the peacetime function
11 of the staff grew into a wartime function of the
12 staff. That is to say that the head of staff of the
13 Territorial Defence became the head of the command, and
14 the other head of staff was recruited from the reserve
15 corps, naturally. There were other posts from the
16 reserve corps. For example, the head for the PNHBO.
17 Then the Operations Officer was a professional, the
18 officer for establishment was a professional.
19 However, as records this other part, the
20 basic unit in the TO was Territorial Defence
21 detachment. That would have been a battalion, a
22 reinforced battalion. Then there was the staff and the
23 units attached to the staff.
24 This functioned in accordance with the
25 regulations of the Yugoslav People's Army. That is to
1 say, the TO was one form of organisation of the army of
2 Yugoslavia. There was an active component, and this
3 other component which was practically the passive
4 reserve component, that was the Territorial Defence.
5 Q. Did the fact of participating in the
6 Territorial Defence before the war -- all this, of
7 course, is before the war in the former Yugoslavia.
8 Did the fact of participating as a member of these
9 units, was this done on a voluntary basis by the
11 A. Well, this is the way it was: After doing
12 one's active military service, at that time every
13 citizen of our country was duty-bound to be organised
14 in some form of defence as called upon. So it was my
15 duty, as well as that of others, to be at the
16 Territorial Defence at that time.
17 Q. So the -- to participate in the Territorial
18 Defence was an occupation of all citizens, is that what
19 you mean?
20 A. Not for all citizens. It was not an
21 obligation for all citizens. Not all were organised
22 within the TO, the Territorial Defence. There were
23 persons who belonged to the TO and who held certain
24 posts in the TO, but not everyone. Some people were in
25 the Civil Defence, others belonged to units at their
1 place of work, et cetera. So this was as called upon.
2 This is not something that one did of one's own free
4 Q. Yes. Okay. We understand each other. I
5 would like to recall your position so there's no
6 ambiguity. In the former Yugoslavia, all citizens who
7 participated in the defence as reservists, at least as
8 reservists, was an obligation of all citizens?
9 A. When being called up to do so or called upon
10 to do so.
11 Q. When called upon to do so, I understand. Was
12 the Territorial Defence organised, as you described,
13 you described a part of its organisation, but was there
14 a territorial base to this as well?
15 A. Yes. From the point of view of territory we
16 were assigned to the municipality of Vitez.
17 Q. As part of the municipality of Vitez, were
18 the units of the Territorial Defence in the villages?
19 A. If there were units in villages this was not
20 according to formations, official formations.
21 Q. Witness, can you please explain what a unit
22 stationed in a village, which is a member of the
23 Territorial Defence, would you please specify exactly
24 what you mean by your response?
25 A. It has nothing to do with military
1 regulations. This can even go beyond the establishment
2 of the Territorial Defence and regulations, because I
3 said what the units and formations of Territorial
4 Defence were like a few minutes ago. Territorial
5 Defence does not have village units as such.
6 Q. What training was given to citizens within
7 the former Yugoslavia, of course, when they were called
8 upon, within the context of defence?
9 A. Are we talking about units of Territorial
10 Defence are or we talking about citizens in the
12 Q. Let's talk about citizens in general, who,
13 once called upon, as you stated, would be duty-bound to
14 participate in the defence of the former Yugoslavia.
15 A. I can tell you about training in Territorial
16 Defence units, and that is such a broad concept that I
17 cannot go into now. However, when speaking about TO
18 units, I can say that after doing one's military
19 service, every year a plan for the training of units
20 was adopted for the following year. So certain units
21 had some kind of training in these various teaching
22 centres every two years or every five years. That is
23 to say, squads, platoons, companies, et cetera.
24 The larger units were called up on rare
25 occasions, because that was expensive, whereas the
1 smaller units were called up every two years. It all
2 depended on the plan that was adopted during the
3 previous year. So sometime in October, roughly, the
4 programme of training for the following year would be
6 Q. Consequently then, can we say that in the
7 former Yugoslavia, in Yugoslavia before the war, as in
8 other countries in Europe, all citizens, on a regular
9 basis, would receive military training?
10 A. It is very difficult for me to respond to all
11 these questions related to citizens all the time, you
12 know. I cannot talk about citizens. I can talk about
13 units within the Territorial Defence, you know. And
14 that does not include all citizens, it includes only
15 part of the people who were organised in the
16 Territorial Defence, and you know, as well as I do,
17 approximately what number of people were involved. It
18 certainly does not speak of the entire citizenry of the
19 municipality of Vitez.
20 I can only speak, as I said -- I can only
21 speak about the Territorial Defence units.
22 Q. Sir, I'm calling upon your competence in
23 military affairs and in the Territorial Defence as
24 well, but what I'm interested in right now is in the
25 formal system of defence in the former Yugoslavia,
1 which may also involve other units and other means of
2 action than strictly the Territorial Defence which you
3 spoke about, would also interest me is the role of a
4 citizen. I hope this word does not bother you.
5 I'm looking to see what the participation of
6 the citizens in the former Yugoslavia was. That is the
7 nature of the question I'm asking you. If you wish to
8 take a moment, that is fine.
9 Let us look at what happened with the
10 citizens in the former Yugoslavia, and let's talk
11 about, in particular, for the interests of this
12 Tribunal and for us all, what type of training, in view
13 of a -- the eventual or possible conflict, each citizen
15 A. It is not clear to me how you came to this
16 conclusion that I was an expert in defence and in terms
17 of the participation of the entire population. I spoke
18 explicitly in my statement of the Territorial Defence,
19 and I said that I was in the TO. And may I say
20 straightaway that there weren't any experts of this
21 nature who were -- people who were aware of the
22 entire -- the general picture. We all had our
23 respective lines of work. I can talk to you about the
24 TO, but I cannot talk to you about the structure of
25 defence of the country at large because I'm not
1 competent to do so.
2 Q. Very well. Sir, I would like to go on to
3 another subject dealing with the spring of 1992. Would
4 you please explain how the defence of Bosnia, the area
5 in which you were living, was defended against the Serb
6 Nation? That is to say, from April 1992.
7 A. I know -- well, at that time I was not part
8 of the military organisation. I was attached to the
9 TO, but I was at home and I was waiting to see what
10 would happen and whether they would call me up. And I
11 was following the media, of course, and the situation
12 in that part of the world. I realised that this attack
13 on Slovenia, Croatia and on Bosnia-Herzegovina too by
14 the Serb aggressors, that the Croatian people tried to
15 organise themselves to defend these areas. I think
16 that this was an organisation based on self-initiative,
17 apart from the official government, apart from the
18 official TO, that is to say in Vitez that should have
19 been the Territorial Defence. Until the spring of
20 1992, that is, I do not know how the Muslim people, the
21 Bosnia people, organised themselves in their defence
22 against the Greater Serbia aggression.
23 So I did not come to the TO staff at my own
24 initiative. It's not that I reported there and tried
25 to give my own contribution, because the situation was
1 such that the shelling of Vitez already started and
2 there were already attacks on Turbe and there was no
3 way out. That was the situation then. And the Greater
4 Serbian aggression was making unbelievable progress.
5 Q. Witness, let us speak concretely. During the
6 last six months of 1992, let's go even beyond that,
7 let's say the end of 1992, which units were manning the
8 front in those areas closest to Vitez, let's say in the
9 area of Zenica, which units were manning the front
10 against the Serbs? If you don't know, sir, please just
11 say so. I am asking you this question to see whether
12 you are in any position to clarify this issue.
13 A. From mid-1992 until the end of 1992?
14 Q. Yes, sir, that's right.
15 A. Yes. I know that parts of our units held the
16 frontline against the Serbs above Novi Travnik, towards
17 Bijelo Bucje, towards Komar that is, Kamenjasi,
18 Mravnjaci and Slatka Voda.
19 Q. Which units were involved here, sir?
20 A. At that time, at the level of the
21 municipality of Vitez, a battalion was established, up
22 to 300 men it had, I believe, and these men went to the
23 frontline against the Serb aggressor, and they took
24 shifts. Sixty to 100 men would go per shift to fight
25 the frontline against the Serbs.
1 Q. Let's take the case of this battalion. Can
2 you describe for us what this battalion was composed
3 of, when it was created, and who was in command of it?
4 A. At that time this battalion belonged to the
5 Tomasevic Brigade and the commander was Boro Malbasic,
6 as far as I know.
7 Q. At that time, again I am referring to the
8 second half of the year 1992, were there any other
9 units than the Croat unit which you mentioned, the
10 Bosnian Croatian units, present at the front?
11 A. Could you please clarify your question. What
13 Q. Yes, I will. I asked you, sir, which units
14 were present at the front, and you specified that there
15 was a battalion made up of Bosnian Croats, if I
16 understood you correctly. I would like for you to tell
17 me whether there were other units at that site, other
18 units than the one composed of Bosnian Croats which was
19 also present at that time on the front against the
21 A. This is the way it was. At that time, in
22 addition to this unit, I know that there were some kind
23 of units in the form of village patrols. These are
24 these other Croat units, as you call them, that were
25 not attached to the brigade system. This was
1 self-organised people, and they mainly operated at
2 night and guarded their houses, et cetera, and I was
3 one of them. I was on one of these guards.
4 Q. I think, perhaps, we are not completely
5 understanding each other. I was requesting to see
6 whether or not there were other units, Muslim units, if
7 there were any, at this frontline in the second half of
9 A. Yes, I know that the units of the Bosniak
10 army were at the frontline against the Serb aggressors,
11 and I think that they held the frontline above Travnik
12 towards Vlasic. And specifically which units at this
13 moment, I do not know.
14 Q. Sir, let us now talk about this village guard
15 which you referred to. Who made up this guard, this
16 village guard?
17 A. Neighbours, ordinary peasants in the place
18 where they lived. That is to say that a group of
19 people would organise themselves and protect their
20 houses, the roads leading to them, et cetera.
21 Q. What was the command of this village guard?
22 A. I cannot tell you what the situation was like
23 in other places, but I can tell you about what it was
24 like where I was in this village guard. We organised
25 ourselves at our own initiative and we would agree
1 amongst ourselves who would be on duty, when and for
2 how long. So as long as I was there standing guard, no
3 one ever came to see us, either military or civilian
4 authorities. So we were truly self-organised in terms
5 of defending our houses, our homes.
6 Q. Were the village guards in all villages in
7 the area of Vitez?
8 A. I can't really say. I just know that we
9 organised this village guard in that part of Krusica,
10 and I imagine that the majority of the Croat people was
11 organised in that way.
12 Q. Let us now move on to the end of the year
13 1992. You stated that at that time, at the invitation
14 of Colonel Blaskic, you went to the headquarters of the
15 operational zone where you were given command of the
16 operations, this in the beginning, or at the end
17 rather, of the month of November, 1992; is that
18 correct? Can we say that the post you received was a
19 post of confidence, a high level one?
20 A. I didn't receive command over the
21 operations. I was simply in charge of operational
22 matters, and above me was the chief of staff and above
23 him Blaskic. So I was only in charge of operations in
24 the staff, if you remember.
25 Q. Thank you, sir. I had understood, but
1 perhaps I made an error in thinking that you were in
2 charge of the operations under the authority of Colonel
3 Blaskic at that time. Thank you for specifying that,
4 what your duties were.
5 Were you not also a member of a coordination
6 group for the HVO activities within the Bosnian army?
7 A. Yes, I said in my statement that Colonel
8 Blaskic told me verbally to coordinate the passage of
9 units of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
10 Croatian army to the frontline.
11 Q. Let me then go back to this joint commission
12 between the HVO and the Bosnian army. Can you please,
13 first of all, confirm that you were a member of this
14 coordinating committee representing the HVO and, if so,
15 can you please give us some details about the
16 activities of that commission, that group.
17 A. I never said that it was a commission which
18 was set up by someone. I only said that I was
19 commanded verbally by Blaskic to coordinate the passage
20 of HVO and the BiH units to the frontline. But I was
21 not a member of any committee.
22 Q. Then you did not represent the HVO within a
23 commission composed of members of the HVO and members
24 of the BiH Army, and also members of the ECMM?
25 A. That's right. It was an internal order by
1 Colonel Blaskic to me.
2 Q. I want to make sure I understand you
3 correctly, sir. You never were a member of this
4 commission; is that what you are saying?
5 A. Well, I don't know what you are aiming at,
6 sir. I have reiterated twice that I was not a member
7 of that commission, but only that I received an oral
8 internal order by Commander Blaskic that I was to
9 coordinate the passage of the forces of the army of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and HVO up to the frontline. I
11 think I have been sufficiently clear.
12 Q. Witness, I am sorry. Perhaps you feel you
13 are being clear. I am not sure I myself understand you
14 clearly. Perhaps I am in error. But I would like to
15 know -- what I am interested in is this joint
16 commission made up of representatives of the HVO,
17 members of the BiH Army, and also members of the
18 European Monitoring Mission. I would like to know
19 whether or not you were at one point in time under the
20 orders, of course, of Colonel Blaskic, the
21 representative for the HVO at this commission?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Very well. Mr. President, may I produce a
24 document? I have not disclosed this document. I did
25 not think there would be any discussion about this
1 issue. I have not yet disclosed this document to the
2 Defence. It's not truly a problem. I simply wish to
3 show this document to the witness and, perhaps, it's
4 something he's forgotten, I don't know.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, granted. Do you have
6 photocopies for the Defence?
7 MR. TERRIER: Unfortunately, Your Honour, no
8 I do not. I didn't intend on using this document at
9 all. I did not expect to have a discussion on this
10 particular point. I did not anticipate using it.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Mr. Radovic. You have
12 the floor.
13 MR. RADOVIC: Mr. President, Judge, this way
14 of proceeding has put us in a very unfavourable
15 position. We do not know what this document is and we
16 cannot use the information in this document in our
17 cross-examination. You have decided that the document
18 can be used by the Prosecution in their
19 cross-examination, but when we are examining the
20 witness, we would like to ask that a photocopy of the
21 document be delivered to us before and that we should
22 be given sufficient time to study it. That's all that
23 we are asking at this moment, with reference to this
25 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, we don't want to
1 raise any difficulties at all with regard to this
2 issue. We simply wish to take the document back, then,
3 if it's going to cause a problem. I simply wish to
4 have the witness be aware of its contents in order to
5 receive an explanation. Perhaps there is no mystery at
6 all in these answers. Perhaps I am the only one not
7 understanding or perhaps we need further explanations
8 from the witness. But I do not wish to make this into
9 an incident. It does not really justify having all
10 these dealings.
11 JUDGE CASSESE: So you intend to read some
13 MR. TERRIER: I intend to explain to the
14 witness what the content of this document is, what the
15 substance is of this document, and see whether or not
16 this brings up any -- recalls any memories on his
17 part. If not, then I can see right away and then we'll
18 go onto another series of questions.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. Did you hear the
20 proposal from the interpreters?
21 MR. TERRIER: Yes, I did, Your Honour. Will
22 the usher please give me the document back. Thank
24 Q. Witness, we are now going back to our
25 question. I have here before me an order signed by
1 Colonel Tihomir Blaskic dated the 15th of February,
2 1993 at 8.30 p.m. It is stated here that given that
3 Mario Rajic is ill, that he be replaced, rather, in
4 this coordination committee. He should be replaced
5 with Mr. Tomo Vlajic. A copy of this order shall be
6 given to the European Community Monitoring Mission, as
7 well as to the army of BiH, the 3rd Corps, as well as
8 other persons whose names I will not mention now.
9 Now, it is on the basis of this document that
10 I believed, sir, that you were a member of this joint
11 commission, this joint coordination committee.
12 A. What I have just said, Colonel Blaskic told
13 me verbally that I was to coordinate the passage of the
14 units through the checkpoints up to the defence lines.
15 I do not recall that this commission ever met,
16 actually, or ever started working. I do not remember
18 Q. Mr. President, in the transcript on line
19 19.5, I see the name of Tomo Vlajic. That's an error
20 there. It should be Vlajic.
21 Sir, do you recall that this gentleman fell
22 ill at that time and was replaced by another person?
23 A. I don't remember. It's possible, but I don't
25 Q. During the examination-in-chief you stated
1 that you left the HVO in mid-March, 1992. You also
2 specified that you were demobilised, and you used the
3 term "demobilised." So using this term, I believe, it
4 will call up something in my mind, it calls up two
5 things in particular -- rather, correction, you made
6 this mention twice. Now, in 1992, at this time -- in
7 mid-March, 1993, pardon me, I stand corrected, 1993,
8 this was not a time period which was particularly calm
9 or peaceful, so why would you have been demobilised at
10 that time?
11 A. Yes, I was in the period before I was with
12 Colonel Blaskic, I was the head of a car repair shop in
13 Vitez, and it's well-known that Vitezit rented this to
14 UNPROFOR. So all the equipment was transferred to the
15 Vitezit company, and this was a large amount of
16 property which was not under any kind of control, so
17 that the director of the factory requested in writing
18 from Colonel Blaskic that I should be released and
19 returned to the factory in order to supervise the work
20 of that service and the control of the equipment.
21 Q. I see. Since you talked about the fact that
22 you were demobilised in March, 1993, are we to
23 understand that before that time you were mobilised?
24 A. This is how it was: As I said, I arrived in
25 the -- in the staff of the Operative Zone, as it was
1 then called, at the invitation of Blaskic. It was not
2 a mobilisation, it was an invitation to which I
3 responded, and I was appointed, at the order of
4 Colonel Blaskic, to be in charge of operations, and
5 according to Blaskic's decision, I was relieved of that
6 duty at the request of the director of my factory.
7 If I used the word "demobilised," it was
8 probably just a spontaneous slip, but this is how
9 really was.
10 Q. Witness, I assure you that you did use the
11 term "demobilised," otherwise, I would not have taken
12 the liberty of using it here again. The Defence
13 counsel that put the question to you, she herself -- or
14 counsel herself used that term. Nonetheless, we do not
15 require any further explanation.
16 Am I to understand from what you've just
17 said, sir, that you had close relations or personal
18 relations, at least, with Colonel Blaskic?
19 A. I didn't know Colonel Blaskic until I was
20 invited to join the staff, I never met him before. And
21 Colonel Blaskic treated every one equally, in a
22 professional manner. It could never be called a close
23 relationship. In any case, it was only a professional
25 Q. Sir, I believe during the previous testimony
1 you talked about the Vitez Brigade and the fact that it
2 was divided into two parts. You also stated that
3 initially the brigade in Vitez was made up of 300 men.
4 Now, in this reorganisation of the HVO in
5 Travnik and in Vitez, did this lead to general increase
6 in the number of men?
7 A. The question is not completely clear to me,
8 but this is how it was: I said that the Vitez Brigade
9 had about 300 men at that time, and that this was in
10 late '92 and early '93, and that it was part of the
11 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade.
12 I think that this kind of organisation
13 reduced the defence ability -- capacity of Vitez and of
14 the brigade Stjepan Tomasevic.
15 Q. Can you specify your response by indicating
16 how the number of men changed in the Vitez Brigade?
17 Now we're talking about the first trimester of the
19 A. I don't think that in the first trimester of
20 1993 the number of members of the brigade increased.
21 I'm referring to the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade and
22 later the Vitez Brigade.
23 You know that in early 1993 there was a
24 command to the effect that the Vitez Brigade should be
25 organised, should be set up as a special unit, and that
1 the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade should be split into two
2 brigades, one of which would be the Vitez Brigade and
3 the other one the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade.
4 Q. You confirm then that the creation of the
5 Vitez Brigade was made up -- created, rather, without
6 giving any men to it; is that right?
7 A. No. I couldn't have said that, you know.
8 The Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade consisted of units from
9 Vitez and from Novi Travnik, so the command of the
10 Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade consisted of part of the
11 commanders of Vitez and some of the commanders from
12 Novi Travnik.
13 When the Vitez Brigade was set up a special
14 command for the Vitez Brigade had to be set up, and the
15 number of 300 men had to be organised into a brigade,
16 and this was not done in the first trimester of 1993.
17 Q. Sir, let us pass on now to another question.
18 During your testimony you spoke in great detail about
19 the mobilisation procedure, and it seemed to me that
20 you insisted a great deal about the administrative
21 aspects of this mobilisation procedure, as well as the
22 formalities that were involved and that had to be
23 complied with and in conformity with the law.
24 You talked about a secret mobilisation as
25 well. What is a secret mobilisation?
1 A. A secret mobilisation? Well, the difference
2 between a public and a secret mobilisation, a public
3 one is announced over the radio, television, the press,
4 and members of units are publicly asked to come to a
5 certain places. A secret mobilisation is when every
6 member receives a personal command to come to the place
7 where they are to assemble.
8 Q. I understand you, sir, now. I take it there
9 was no other way of informing someone that they were
10 being called up except by letter? I note, for example,
11 the defence of the Croatian community. Couldn't one
12 use the telephone, for example, or a fax if necessary
13 or other means of communication?
14 A. The HVO could not notify me because I was not
15 mobilised in the HVO, and I was not detailed to the HVO
16 but in the TO. I know how this is done because I was
17 mobilised several times before the war, and I always
18 received a written summons which I had to sign in the
19 presence of a witness, and then I had to show up at the
20 assembly point.
21 So I could not respond to a mobilisation from
22 the HVO because I did not have a role in the HVO at
23 that time.
24 Q. If I understand you correctly, witness,
25 you're saying that -- you stated how the mobilisation
1 was organised before the war but you do not know what
2 the procedure was within the HVO during the war.
3 A. It's quite clear from the document you gave
4 me. This shows what the mobilisation of 16th April of
5 1993 was like.
6 Q. Witness, I am not referring to a document. I
7 want to be very clear. This is a remark that you made,
8 that you talked about the mobilisation procedure before
9 the war and not within HVO during the war; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Thank you very much. I would like to submit
13 document 343 to the witness. This is a document which
14 was already -- it's already been shown during the
16 Mr. President, when this document was shown
17 to the witness during the examination-in-chief,
18 Counsellor Radovic spoke of the difficulty in reading
19 the document. Indeed, that is true. There is a word
20 on this order which I have difficulty reading. In
21 fact, it could even lead to a misunderstanding.
22 I wish to put this -- put the original
23 document to this Tribunal. I do not wish to disclose
24 it as an exhibit -- rather, to submit it as an exhibit,
25 but we simply wish to show it to the bench and also to
1 the Defence to remove all doubt about any confusion
2 that might be in reading in document.
3 Perhaps the usher may come forward and, first
4 of all, show this document to Your Honours, and then
5 after that to the members of the Defence.
6 Mr. President, with the permission of this
7 Tribunal, may I request members of the Defence whether
8 we may come to an agreement that the word that was
9 causing the problem is indeed "army" and not
10 "non-army?" Correction, "armed" and "not armed."
11 MR. RADOVIC: After we have seen the original
12 document we can agree that it says "armed." "Armed"
13 members of the Croatian people should be included in
14 the units, because the photocopy was not clear, but now
15 we see the original document and the English
16 translation is correct.
17 MR. TERRIER: Thank you.
18 Q. Witness, in this document it's indicated,
19 under the signature of Colonel Blaskic, dated of the
20 16th -- 15th -- 16th of January, 1993, that at the
21 highest level within the HVO all combat units of the
22 HVO must be at maximum alert, and that all armed
23 members of the Croatian people must be included in the
24 HVO training, or formations, rather, and there should
25 be no further dispute about the English translation of
1 this order from Colonel Blaskic.
2 In response to the question put to you by
3 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac about the administrative
4 capacity of Colonel Blaskic to order the mobilisation,
5 the question is as follows: Why ask Colonel Blaskic to
6 give this order and what, to your knowledge, were the
7 effects of such an order?
8 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I would
9 like to intervene and say that it is not mentioned
10 anywhere here that all the armed members of the
11 Croatian people have to be included in the HVO. So I
12 don't know whether this is a slip of the tongue. It
13 means -- it refers only to inclusion in the units.
14 That's what I wanted to say, because the Prosecutor
15 said that they all had to be included in the HVO and
16 this is not evident from the document.
17 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Would you please
18 rephrase your question?
19 MR. TERRIER: Yes. Perhaps it was a
21 Q. I would like to rephrase my question in the
22 following way: Sir, in this order from Colonel Blaskic
23 which was shown to you during the examination-in-chief,
24 it is ordered by the person signing this document, that
25 is to say, Colonel Blaskic, that one must raise the
1 combat readiness of HVO formations to the highest
2 level, that all HVO formations are to be at a maximum
3 state of readiness and that all armed members of the
4 Croatian people are to be included in the HVO
6 When this document was shown to you during
7 the examination-in-chief, you stated that given your
8 understanding of the administrative rules, that the
9 mobilisations did not come under the power of
10 Colonel Blaskic. I would like now for you to respond
11 to a number of questions.
12 First of all, why would Colonel Blaskic give
13 this order of 16th January, 1993; and second, second
14 question, if you would like to answer it: What were
15 the actual concrete or specific effects of this order?
16 A. Well, if we are referring to armed members, I
17 understood that this was to be a mobilisation of the
18 unarmed Croatian people.
19 Colonel Blaskic was not authorised to give
20 this order, and I still say that under the conditions
21 prevailing at that time it was the civilian government
22 that was authorised to issue this order.
23 What Colonel Blaskic meant, I assume, was
24 that he was referring to people who are on leave, who
25 were perhaps on sick leave and who were members of the
1 units to which the order refers.
2 Why the combat readiness was raised, well,
3 this, as you probably know, happened quite often,
4 because every time something happened in the area of
5 responsibility in an operations area, combat readiness
6 was raised to train the army because of the situation
7 and so on.
8 Q. Witness, today we know that Colonel Blaskic
9 was referring to the armed members of the Croatian
10 people. Who was he referring to, in your opinion?
11 A. I said that he was probably referring to
12 those people who were at home, on leave, and who at
13 that time were not active in the units. So they were
14 on leave, free.
15 Well, that means, actually, the units should
16 being activated in their entirety. That is to say that
17 a soldier cannot be active around the clock, 24 hours a
18 day. We did not live in barracks, we lived at home.
19 That is to say that those who were off then and who
20 were members of the Vitez Brigade were supposed to
21 report to their units, and that is to say that combat
22 readiness was to be raised to a higher level.
23 Q. When you were questioned about the
24 participation of Croatian citizens in the war against
25 the Serbs, you stated -- you made very severe comments
1 about the role of the civilians at the front, stating
2 that they went to the front in a way to -- rather, they
3 avoided going to the front in order to save their
4 lives. In that way, participation in the effort were
5 quite low. Do you feel, perhaps, this is being --
6 you're being very severe about the role played by your
7 fellow citizens?
8 A. If you understood me correctly when we were
9 discussing this, I said that the citizens of Vitez who
10 were taken to the frontline on the 16th of April, I
11 said that they were unprepared, that they were
12 unarmed. I was not -- I was quite tolerant in this
14 So I'm not talking about units that went to
15 the frontline against the Serbs, I'm talking about
16 units that were -- not units but people who were called
17 on the morning of the 16th of April, and later on until
18 the 20th.
19 Q. You were talking about people who were
20 engaged in which battle in April?
21 A. I was not talking about a battle in April, I
22 was talking about people who were called up all over
23 town and taken to the frontline.
24 Q. You also underlined the importance of
25 military training. Can you please specify whether it
1 was possible for a person to use an infantry weapon,
2 for example, a pistol or an automatic rifle, for
3 example, without having received any type of military
5 A. Because there were persons who had rifles and
6 pistols and who were not trained to do so, we had a lot
7 of wounds that were self-inflicted, a lot of people who
8 were killing themselves and a great many other
9 accidents of this nature. And there were some people
10 who never held a rifle in their hands before, and who
11 were taken to the frontline with a rifle in their
13 I'm not only talking about individual cases,
14 I think that one could say that this was the majority
15 of the cases involved.
16 Q. Sir, my question is quite simple. Can one
17 use an automatic weapon, let's say like an AK-47,
18 without having received training in firing?
19 A. In order to be able to use it, in order to be
20 able to shoot, it is sufficient to train a person for
21 half an hour, for example, just to be able to trigger
22 it. However, to use it properly, to use it
23 effectively, one needs training.
24 Q. Sir, on the 16th of April, 1993, where were
25 you located?
1 A. On the 16th of April, 1994 I was at home.
2 Q. 1993, sir. I'm referring to 1993. 16th of
3 April, 1993.
4 A. Oh, 1993. '93? Oh, yes, yes, I was at
5 home. I was at home.
6 Q. Do you mean in your house in your village?
7 A. Yes, precisely. At my family home -- my
8 family house in my village.
9 Q. You didn't go to work on that day in the
10 factory in Vitezit?
11 A. No. No. On the 15th I was at the Vitezit
12 factory, but on the morning of the 16th, around 6.00 in
13 the morning, I was awakened by a detonation.
14 Q. And why did you not go to work on the 16th of
15 April, 1993? Why did you remain at home?
16 A. Well, naturally there was terrible shelling
17 and I didn't feel safe going to work.
18 Q. Do you know what transpired in Ahmici on the
19 16th of April, 1993?
20 A. I found out about that only later.
21 Q. Can you specify what you learned and when you
22 learned it?
23 A. Well, I think immediately the next day I
24 learned that there was a big conflict in Ahmici. This
25 was hearsay. Villagers were telling one another about
1 it, so I heard about it in the basement of my own
3 Q. Can you please specify what you learned.
4 A. I learned that a violent conflict took place
5 where many persons lost their lives.
6 Q. Were you told what type of victims they were
7 at that time?
8 A. Yes. Yes, I did. I was told that most of
9 the victims were Bosniaks.
10 Q. Civilian or military?
11 A. That I did not know whether they were
12 civilian or military.
13 Q. And after the month of April, 1993, did you
14 return to a position of authority within the HVO?
15 A. A position of authority? Four days after the
16 war broke out, that is to say on the 20th of April,
17 1993, I was escorted by a military policeman and taken
18 to the headquarters of the Vitez Brigade, and I was
19 appointed adviser for operations and teaching affairs.
20 So I really don't see where there is authority there.
21 Q. Didn't you return to the position within the
22 joint commission representing the HVO in this joint
23 committee with the BiH Army together with
24 representatives from the European Monitoring Mission
25 and also the UNPROFOR members?
1 A. No. I returned to the job of adviser for
2 operations and teaching affairs in the Vitez Brigade.
3 That was my military assignment.
4 Q. Sir, I understood your answer, however, I
5 would like to request a specific answer from you. Is
6 it true that you resumed duties within a coordination
7 committee, a joint commission, bringing together
8 members of the Bosnian army and the HVO and made up
9 also of members of UNPROFOR and the European Monitoring
11 A. On several occasions I attended such meetings
12 at UNPROFOR premises, but I do not recall any documents
13 appointing me as member of that commission. At any
14 rate, I did not go back to the operative zone to
15 Colonel Blaskic. I was appointed in the Vitez Brigade
16 as adviser for operations in teaching affairs.
17 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, sir. Mr. President,
18 I have no further questions.
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Very well. We'll now take a
20 30-minute recess.
21 --- Recess taken at 10.31 a.m.
22 --- On resuming at 11.00 a.m.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Is Counsel Radovic going to
25 MR. RADOVIC: I will conduct part of the
1 examination referring to the organisation of the
2 Territorial Defence and questions will be put by my
3 colleague, Counsel Slokovic-Glumac.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Radovic:
5 Q. There is no need to introduce myself. Could
6 you please tell me, since I see that there are some
7 points that are not clear, when people who had served
8 their regular service in the JNA came back, were they
9 all detailed to units of the Territorial Defence or
10 were some of them put in other JNA units, mobile JNA
11 units? Could you please answer clearly and press the
12 button for the microphone. You have to have a red
14 A. Yes, that is correct. After serving the army
15 term, some were called up into TO units, some into
16 mobile units, and some were not assigned to any units
18 Q. So they were not assigned to any units?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. As regards the military distribution in the
21 JNA, some persons who held key positions in companies
22 which were important for the JNA war effort, could they
23 be assigned to stay in their companies?
24 A. That's correct. Certain managers, services
25 were organised as a wartime production.
1 Q. Persons assigned to the so-called military
2 production, did such people have any connections or
3 obligation to serve in the Territorial Defence?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Were such people called to come to exercises
6 of the TO?
7 A. No.
8 Q. When talking about your military training,
9 you said that you had completed the course for a
10 battalion commander; is that right?
11 A. Correct.
12 Q. What was the corresponding rank in the former
14 A. Well, that would be Major.
15 Q. Could you tell me what a battalion consisted
16 of in the JNA, because you were asked about this
17 previously, but we should clarify some points, because
18 you and I understand it, but it needs to be clarified.
19 So an infantry battalion?
20 A. An infantry battalion, in principle, had a
21 staff with units, it had three infantry companies.
22 Q. We are talking about the terminology of the
23 former JNA, so we will use the word for company that
24 was used in the JNA. What else was there?
25 A. Battalion also had support battery, an
1 artillery battery, and then it had a logistics company,
2 it had a communications department in the staff.
3 Q. Very well. You said that the Territorial
4 Defence in Vitez was a strengthened battalion. What
5 did the strengthening consist of?
6 A. Every company had the support of accompanying
7 artillery pieces, so there were recoilless guns,
8 mortars and machine guns.
9 Q. How many artillery pieces would belong to a
10 reinforced company?
11 A. There would be three machine guns.
12 Q. How many mortars?
13 A. Our unit had a mortar platoon, 22
15 Q. And how many recoilless guns?
16 A. There were two recoilless guns.
17 Q. At the time the Territorial Defence, as it
18 was envisaged by the JNA was functioning, was that
19 Territorial Defence organised along a single
20 nationality principle or were there people of various
22 A. At that time the Territorial Defence was
23 organised regardless of national affiliation and it
24 reflected more or less the structure of the population,
25 the make-up of the population in the Vitez
2 Q. When mobilisation for the Territorial Defence
3 was planned, did the latter Territorial Defence have an
4 assembly point?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. What was the name of that place?
7 A. This was a part of the village of Gacice,
9 Q. So all the members of the Territorial Defence
10 that the JNA intended to mobilise into the TO through
11 the then secretariat for All People's Defence would
12 receive draft notes and they would have to assemble at
13 a certain place?
14 A. That's correct, on the date that was stated.
15 Q. What happened then?
16 A. Every lower level unit had its own assembly
17 point, so every company had its own assembly point.
18 The equipment would be brought to the assembly point in
19 the meantime, and the files from the People's Defence
20 Secretariat would be brought there, and the commander
21 would then set up his unit there.
22 Q. Regarding the weapons of the TO, where were
23 they stored before this was centralised?
24 A. Yes. It was in the Territorial Defence
25 depots which were close to the Vitez municipality
2 Q. Was that under military or civilian
3 administration, if we consider the TO was civilian?
4 A. It was under civilian administration.
5 Q. Did it remain like this until the end or did
6 the JNA remove the weapons before these events?
7 A. I know that while I was at the factory the
8 weapons that we had to defend the factory had to be
9 moved to the JNA depot, so that all of the weapons were
10 placed in the JNA depot.
11 Q. You said something about using an automatic
12 rifle in answer to a question by the Prosecution, and
13 you said that anyone could use one because all you had
14 to do was put the bullet in and then press the
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So tell us, before a previous learning about
18 the characteristics, the combat characteristics of this
19 gun, is it possible to use it, because you know that
20 when you shoot this the barrel points upwards; is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. So a person who is not familiar with this
24 characteristic of an automatic rifle, can they use it
25 efficiently, or would they be shooting into the air?
1 A. Anyone who is not trained to use an automatic
2 rifle cannot use it efficiently and hit the target,
3 because you know that the bullets go up and to the
5 Q. Another question about whether automatic
6 rifles can be used without training. Do such guns have
7 to be cleaned?
8 A. Yes, the rifle has to be cleaned several
9 times a day in order to be useful.
10 Q. To clean this rifle, do you have to take it
11 apart before you begin cleaning it, and then do you
12 have to reassemble it after cleaning?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can this be done by a person who has not
15 practised doing it before?
16 A. No.
17 MR. RADOVIC: Thank you, Mr. President. I
18 have completed my part of the cross-examination. My
19 colleague will go on now.
20 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
21 Q. Thank you, Mr. President.
22 Mr. Rajic, can you say something else
23 that my colleague forgot to ask. How many people were
24 included in the TO in the Vitez municipality? What was
25 the number of people involved?
1 A. I don't know the exact number, but it might
2 have been about 600 people.
3 Q. What was the population of the Vitez
4 municipality, the number of members of the Territorial
5 Defence refers to the entire municipality of Vitez.
6 A. Yes, this refers to the TO and the units
7 connected to the Vitez TO. There were about 23.000
8 inhabitants at that time.
9 Q. So only a limited number of inhabitants were
10 included in the TO units?
11 A. Yes. Some of them were in the active
12 reserves of the JNA.
13 Q. With reference to your response to the
14 Prosecutor's question as to the positions of the HVO
15 and the army of BiH toward the Serbs, you spoke of the
16 Vitez municipality.
17 A. That's correct.
18 Q. Do you know whether the HVO was involved in
19 the defence of Jajce?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Was the part of the HVO or the Vitez Brigade
22 or the Stjepan Tomasevic at that time involved? Do you
23 know whether the men went there?
24 A. I don't know.
25 Q. A question related to the establishing of the
1 Vitez Brigade. You said that decision had been made in
2 January, '93 that the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade should
3 be split into two parts and that one part should, or
4 rather that the second battalion should become or join
5 the Vitez Brigade. What did this mean, in fact, with
6 reference to the number of men? Did this have any
7 effect or was it simply a movement?
8 A. That's correct. The existing battalion, with
9 part of the command of the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade,
10 those who were from Vitez were simply moved to Vitez.
11 Q. So this means that only the command crossed
12 over to the Vitez area?
13 A. Yes. Part of the command.
14 Q. Where was part of the command before?
15 A. At the hotel in Novi Travnik.
16 Q. So the only change that came about with the
17 establishing of the Vitez Brigade was to move the
18 command post, in a manner of speaking, and to set up a
19 command in Vitez?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. As regards the number of men, there were no
23 A. No.
24 Q. What was the reason for this? Why was this
1 A. Well, it proved to be inefficient to have a
2 part of the Vitez command in Novi Travnik and for the
3 army to be linked organisationally to the Stjepan
4 Tomasevic Brigade, and it became evident that Vitez
5 had, in fact, remained without its own defence and its
6 own command.
7 Q. When you were still in the operational zone
8 in March, '93?
9 A. Yes, up to mid March.
10 Q. The number of men in the Vitez Brigade was
11 about 300?
12 A. That's correct.
13 Q. I would now like to ask the registrar to show
14 the witness 5335 -- Exhibit P335.
15 Mr. Rajic, you've already seen this
16 document. You saw it during the examination-in-chief,
17 and you see that it pertains to mobilisation and that
18 it is the report on mobilisation between the 16th to
19 the 28th of April, 1994. Do you know who was mobilised
20 on the 16th out of these men?
21 A. You mean by name?
22 Q. Yes.
23 A. Yes, I can. Yes, I can. I can say for sure
24 that I know that some of these people were mobilised on
25 the 16th.
1 Q. Do you know whether Zoran and Mirjan
2 Kupreskic were mobilised on the 16th?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. Can you say at which rate the mobilisation
5 progressed in terms of this particular interval between
6 the 16th and the 28th?
7 A. It is very difficult to say which -- what the
8 exact tempo was. Some people were taken to the
9 frontline and then taken back, and then some people
10 were taken to the frontline again. So it's very
11 difficult to say which number of people were taken to
12 the frontline at a given point in time, you see. That
13 is why the same names reappear at several different
14 places in this list.
15 Q. So according to this list we cannot say who
16 was mobilised when, except in the cases that you are
17 aware of on a personal level.
18 A. Yes, that's right.
19 Q. Can one tell, on the basis of this list,
20 which frontlines these men went to?
21 A. No. No, absolutely not.
22 Q. Tell us one more thing, in relation to
23 Kruscica, you told us you lived there; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. I lived in the lower part of Kruscica.
25 That is to say, the entrance to Kruscica.
1 Q. That is actually a part of Vitez; right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. It's a suburb; right?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. In that part, can you say where the village
6 of Kruscica begins? Did you border on the village of
8 A. Well, the village of Kruscica begins perhaps
9 half a kilometre away from my house, towards Kruscica.
10 Q. Tell me, where was the defence line placed in
11 relation to Kruscica? I mean, when the war operations
12 started and during the conflict.
13 A. Well, in relation to my house, about 2 or 300
14 kilometres away from my house. Up to 500 metres away
15 from my house towards the village of Kruscica.
16 Q. That was the defence line that was placed at
17 the very outbreak of the conflict; is that correct?
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. And that part, 500 metres away from your
20 house, that is where Muslim-held territory started,
21 that is BH army-held territory; is that correct?
22 A. Yes, that's right.
23 Q. Tell us also, in relation to Zoran and Mirjan
24 Kupreskic, where do you know them from? Is this a
25 personal thing?
1 A. I mentioned it last time. I've known Zoran
2 for a longer period of time.
3 Q. And where from?
4 A. From the factory. We worked together. We
5 worked for the same company. In quite a few situations
6 we were compelled to co-operate due to our actual work,
7 because he was employed in the transport department
8 and, therefore, we co-operated at work.
9 Then on the other hand, personally, we knew
10 each other for years through folklore, and it is from
11 those days that I knew Mirjan too.
12 Q. So you do not know about them -- or, rather,
13 you are not aware of their military involvement in any
15 A. I did not have any military co-operation with
16 either one or the other.
17 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. No further
19 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. There are no
20 questions from the Court. I assume there is no
21 objection to the witness being released?
22 Mr. Rajic, thank you for giving evidence in
23 court. You may now be released.
24 (The witness withdrew)
25 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder whether the next
1 witness is going to enjoy protective measures.
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Matic?
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Yes.
5 JUDGE CASSESE: I wonder if Mr. Matic could
6 be called in.
7 MR. RADOVIC: Madam.
8 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry.
9 (The witness entered court)
10 WITNESS: Andelka Matic
11 JUDGE CASSESE: Good morning, Mrs. Matic.
12 Could you please make the solemn declaration?
13 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
14 speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. You may be
17 seated. Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
18 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
19 Q. Thank you. Could you please tell us your
20 name and surname for the purposes of the transcript?
21 A. Andelko (sic) Matic.
22 Q. Again, there is a mistake. In the transcript
23 it says "Andelko" with an "O" at the end and that is a
24 man's name. So it should be corrected as an "A" at the
25 end, "Andelka."
1 So your name is Andelka Matic. Where were
2 you born and when?
3 A. I was born on the 16th of October, 1951 in
4 the village of Gacice, and I'm a housewife.
5 Q. And could we see Prosecutor's Exhibit number
7 Mrs. Matic, can you tell us how far away the
8 village of Gacice is from Vitez?
9 A. About a kilometre and a half.
10 Q. You're going to show it to us on the map.
11 That is to say, where the village is. Could you please
12 tell us where it is?
13 A. Can I take off my headphones, please?
14 Q. Right. Tell us, what was the ethnic
15 composition of the village?
16 A. The ethnic composition in the village of
17 Gacice was about half/half. Half Croat, half Muslim.
18 Q. And what was the population of Gacice in
20 A. I don't know the exact figure, but I think
21 about 200 Croats and 200 Muslims respectively.
22 Q. And what was the layout of the houses in the
23 village? Were Muslim houses concentrated in a certain
24 part of the village and Croatian houses in another part
25 of the village?
1 A. Well, part of the village that we call the
2 centre of the village was purely Muslim, and the other
3 part is mixed Croat and Muslim.
4 Q. In 1992, were village guards organised by
5 Muslims or Croats?
6 A. Yes. When the war with the Serbs broke out,
7 then the Muslims and the Croats agreed to stand guard
8 duty in the village.
9 Q. And this guard duty, was it a joint thing
10 throughout 1992?
11 A. No. No. There was joint guard duty at the
12 end of October, and then the Muslims stole two guns,
13 two cannons, they simply drove them away, and then this
14 joint guard duty was split up.
15 Q. These two guns, where were they and how
16 come? How did they reach Gacice?
17 A. These guns were not in the village, they were
18 below the village, below our cemetery and the Muslims'
19 cemetery. The guns belonged to the enterprise. These
20 were anti-aircraft guns, and as Serbian aircraft were
21 flying over our area they were used for defence
23 Q. So actually this was part of the
24 anit-aircraft defence of the SPS; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And after these guns disappeared the guard
2 split up; is that right?
3 A. Yes, the guard split up. There were two
4 Croat men and two Muslim men patrolling the village
5 again, but not together but separately.
6 Q. This guard duty in the village, who did it
7 involve? Who actually stood guard, younger people,
8 elderly people?
9 A. Well, sometimes it was younger people,
10 sometimes it was older people. They took shifts so
11 that it wouldn't be too hard for anyone.
12 Q. Did people go out to do their guard duty
14 A. Well, sometimes they would carry a weapon,
15 and sometimes the person who would be taking over would
16 not have a weapon, and then the person who he was
17 replacing would give him his weapon.
18 Q. Did you see Muslims carrying weapons when
19 they went out for guard duty?
20 A. Yes. They always said that they would take
21 hunting guns out but they actually had rifles.
22 Q. Did they sometimes go out in uniforms? Did
23 they have uniforms?
24 A. Yes, they did. They had uniforms with TO
1 Q. What kind of uniforms are these, what
3 A. Well, bluish, bluish. Single coloured bluish
5 Q. And after the guard duty split up, were there
6 any incidents in the village, was there any trouble?
7 A. No. No, there wasn't.
8 Q. And were there any incidents whatsoever in
9 this village, apart from the fact that these guns were
10 driven away?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Tell me, on the 16th of April, 1993, where
13 were you and what happened?
14 A. On the 16th of April I was at home. On the
15 16th of April shooting started in the neighbouring
16 villages, and we could hear it well, particularly from
17 Veceriska because it is on the other side of the
19 Q. So you heard shooting in Veceriska. Did you
20 hear anything from Vitez?
21 A. Yes, from the direction of Vitez and
22 Kruscica, but mostly from Veceriska.
23 Q. And what was going on in the village? Did
24 war operations start in the village itself?
25 A. No. People were quite frightened. Both
1 peoples were frightened. Then the Croats elected one
2 man and then the Muslims did the same thing, and this
3 representative of the Croat people of the village went
4 to negotiate with the Muslim representative.
5 Q. Who were these men?
6 A. The Croat was Anto Krizanovic, and the Muslim
7 was Kadir Hrustic.
8 Q. And what did they negotiate about? What did
9 each side ask for?
10 A. Well, I heard that the negotiations were
11 related to the handover of weapons, but that is what
12 each side requested of the other but they could not
13 reach agreement on that.
14 Q. Do you know how long this went on, these
16 A. Two or three days.
17 Q. And during those two or three days in Gacice
18 nothing happened?
19 A. No, nothing.
20 Q. Did anybody leave Gacice at that time?
21 A. At that time nobody left the village. There
22 were some people that did not return, people who had
23 left because of the Serb aggression.
24 Q. Were they Croats or Muslims?
25 A. Both Croats and Muslims.
1 Q. So for how long did this go on? How long did
2 it remain peaceful in Gacice?
3 A. Until the 20th of April.
4 Q. And what happened on the 20th?
5 A. On the 20th of April shooting started in our
6 village too.
7 Q. When? At what time?
8 A. Around 7.00 two or three stronger detonations
9 were heard.
10 Q. And after that?
11 A. After that, shooting started all over. There
12 were bullets flying all over, from rifles.
13 Q. Where were you at the time?
14 A. At that time I was in my house, and I spent
15 part of this time in the basement when there was a lot
16 of shooting. Then when it would subside a bit then I
17 would go up to the kitchen.
18 Q. And what did you see?
19 A. I saw three men in uniform, in camouflage
20 uniforms. They were carrying an orange canister. They
21 were torching my brothers-in-law's houses, Fabjan
22 Matic, Ivo Matic, Marko Matic.
23 Q. Whose soldiers were they?
24 A. They were Muslim soldiers, but as they walked
25 in front of my house along the road, I saw the
1 chequerboard sign on their caps. That is to say that
2 they were masked. When they reached my house, shooting
3 stopped from the Muslim part of the village.
4 Q. Who were these people? Were they Muslims
5 from the village?
6 A. Yes, yes, yes. Two were the sons of Ramulj
7 Handija and one was the son of Avdo Herceg.
8 Q. You recognised them?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Can you say what happened after that?
11 A. They -- at the crossroads in front of my
12 house they crossed over to the Muslim side, went to the
13 village and the fighting went on again.
14 Q. How long did the fighting last?
15 A. The shooting lasted until 4.00 or 5.00 p.m.
16 Q. After that who retreated from the village?
17 A. After that, when the shooting started, I saw
18 a group of Muslims with a white flag beside my house,
19 and I heard that a group had come out at the bottom of
20 the village but I couldn't see that.
21 Q. Which of these two groups were Muslim
23 A. No, they were Muslim civilians, women,
24 children, elderly.
25 Q. And where did the soldiers go?
1 A. The soldiers went above the village, through
2 the woods, in the direction of Kruscica.
3 Q. So the soldiers left the village?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Did -- were the soldiers disarmed or was
6 anything done to them?
7 A. No. A corridor was left open for them to
8 leave and no weapons were taken from them.
9 Q. What happened to the civilians in the
11 A. Well, the civilians, as I heard, were taken
12 to Vitez, to the town, but they were brought back
13 quickly and they settled in the lower part of the
14 village, in the direction of Vitez, in several Muslim
15 houses where they would spend the night, and they were
16 always guarded by two Croats from the village
17 overnight. In the morning they would go back to their
18 homes and go about their everyday business.
19 Q. And how long did this situation last?
20 A. Well, about 15 days.
21 Q. What happened after that? Did they leave
23 A. After 15 days, in the evening, as they were
24 in a few houses at the bottom of the village, I heard
25 that some trucks had come to pick them up and that they
1 had left in the direction of Zenica.
2 Q. You said that you saw that several houses
3 were set on fire.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Those were Croatian houses in the part of the
6 village where you were?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were any other Croatian houses set on fire?
9 A. Yes. Two other Croatian buildings were set
10 on fire. That was at the other end of the village.
11 Those were houses belonging to my brother, but about
12 ten Muslim houses were burnt as well.
13 Q. Were the houses burnt during the fighting?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Can you tell us whether -- or what happened
16 to the other Muslim houses? Were they destroyed later
17 or did they remain the way they were?
18 A. After that Croatian refugees arrived from the
19 area of Zenica. They moved into the Muslim houses.
20 The houses remained intact, except that an old house
21 belonging to Cerpic, which had been hit by a shell,
22 started caving in.
23 Q. Were the houses repaired?
24 A. Yes, all the houses were repaired and the
25 Muslims came back.
1 Q. You said that the Muslim army retreated
2 through the woods in the direction of Kruscica; is that
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Do you have any knowledge as to the number of
6 men involved?
7 A. Well, I don't know exactly what their number
8 was, because Muslim refugees had arrived from Jajce,
9 and Vinac, who stayed with our Muslims, and that's why
10 I couldn't say how many there were, because there was a
11 big Muslim house, and in this house alone there were 30
12 refugees from Jajce. That was when they were driven
13 out by the Serbs. So that it was said that they
14 brought a lot of weapons with them, but I don't know
15 the exact number.
16 Q. Can you say, during the fighting in Gacice on
17 the 20th of April, was anyone killed or wounded either
18 on the Croatian or the Muslim side?
19 A. Well, I heard that a young man had been
20 killed on the Croatian side, that his name was Marko
21 and he was a refugee from Dobratici.
22 And on the Muslim side I heard that one of
23 their soldiers had been killed by a shell, and one was
24 hit by a bullet at the way out of the village, and one
25 burned to death in his house. And I heard that one was
1 killed by the Muslims because he started fleeing during
2 the fighting.
3 Q. Were any of them civilians or were they all
5 A. They were all soldiers.
6 Q. Were any civilians killed or wounded after
7 they were taken to Vitez and returned to Gacice?
8 Q. You also said that you know that in a number
9 of Muslim houses there were refugees?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know what kind of military
12 organisation they had in the village? Do you know or
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Do you know whether they had radio
17 A. They found radio transmitter or, rather, a
18 man found a radio transmitter in the Muslim village
19 after the fighting and he found a list or a kind of
20 record which I saw. It was handwritten. And then they
21 sent the radio transmitter to our police station and we
22 were told by the police then that there should be
23 another smaller radio transmitter, and that was found
24 at the other end of the village in a manhole.
25 Q. Can you tell the Court where the radio
1 transmitter was found?
2 A. The radio transmitter was found in the house
3 of Sadik Hrustic, one of them. That was the bigger
4 radio transmitter with the piece of paper next to it.
5 And the other one was found at the other end of the
6 village in a manhole in front of the house of
7 Mesud Hrustic.
8 Q. Both houses belonged to Muslims?
9 A. Yes.
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. I have
11 completed my part of the examination.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. Is Counsel
13 Radovic going to -- no? All right. Thank you. Any
14 other Defence counsel prepared to cross-examine this
16 MR. PAVKOVIC: The other counsel do not
17 intend to examine the witness.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I see Mr. Smith
19 is going to cross-examine the witness.
20 MR. SMITH: Thank you, Your Honours. I
21 apologise to Judge May, I can't see you behind the
22 pole, but that's how this set-up is at the moment.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Smith:
24 Q. Ms. Matic, I appear on behalf of the
25 Prosecution. My name is Bill Smith. I appear with
1 Mr. Franck Terrier, Mr. Michael Blaxill, and it's my
2 role to ask you a few questions about the testimony
3 you've given today. Do you understand?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You mentioned that in the village of Gacice
6 there was about 200 Muslims and 200 Croats living
7 there; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And after that 15 days that a large number of
10 Muslims were taken away. How many Muslims were left in
11 the village after the 16th of April?
12 A. On the 16th of April all the Muslims were in
13 the village because on the 16th of April nothing was
14 going on in our village.
15 Q. Sorry, my question is slightly confused.
16 After the attack, after the fighting in Gacice on the
17 20th of April, you stated that during that day that a
18 group of men escaped from the village; is that correct?
19 A. A group of men escaping from the village?
20 No, I didn't say that.
21 Q. I think you said some soldiers escaped from
22 the village and went to Krusica.
23 A. Oh, soldiers. Yes, all the Muslim soldiers
24 left and I saw a group of Muslims with a white flag,
25 and up to then I had heard that all the Muslims in the
1 upper part of the village had gone to Krusica.
2 Q. And those Muslims were men that lived in the
3 village, the ones that escaped to Krusica; that's
4 correct, isn't it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And that was the group of men that had some
7 rifles, some guns; that's correct, isn't it?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And that group was about 40 in size,
10 approximately 40 men?
11 A. I don't know exactly, because, as I said,
12 there were a lot of refugees from Jajce who also had
13 weapons and who had brought weapons and fought. So I
14 don't know the exact number.
15 Q. About how many people in Gacice had weapons
16 before the attack on the 20th of April? Sorry, about
17 how many Muslim men had weapons?
18 A. I don't know exactly.
19 Q. I put it to you that 40, about 40 Muslim men
20 had weapons, and they came from the village. Do you
21 disagree with that?
22 A. Maybe.
23 Q. In any event, the main part of the Muslim
24 defence or the Muslim soldiers, they in fact escaped
25 leaving the rest of the people in the village, largely
1 women and children and a few men; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And those -- I think the number is about
4 247. About 250 people, women and children and men,
5 some men, were taken to Vitez. Are you aware of that?
6 A. Well, I said that they were taken to Vitez.
7 One group passed by my house and the other group I
8 couldn't see because they came out at the bottom of the
10 Q. You said the village had about 200 Muslims
11 living in it and -- I withdraw the question. Those
12 people went to Vitez, that large group, you stated
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What was the purpose of them going to Vitez?
16 Why were they taken there?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. Did you hear later that they were taken to
19 the Hotel Vitez, taken out the front of the Hotel Vitez
20 and kept there for about two or three hours?
21 A. The front of the hotel, yes.
22 Q. Were you aware that there was shelling in the
23 area of the Hotel Vitez on the 20th of April, shelling
24 by the Muslim army?
25 A. No, I don't know.
1 Q. Were you aware that the reason why they were
2 taken to the Hotel Vitez was to protect the main
3 headquarters of the HVO from the Muslim shelling using
4 that group of people, that 250 people, as a human
5 shield to protect the HVO headquarter staff?
6 A. No, I don't know this, and the Muslims were
7 brought back quickly.
8 Q. So you've got no idea why they were taken to
9 the Hotel Vitez?
10 A. No.
11 Q. You said they were taken back to the village
12 of Gacice. Who took them back to Gacice?
13 A. I don't know that either. Probably one of
14 the Croats.
15 Q. One of the Croats from the village or a Croat
16 from somewhere else?
17 A. I don't know.
18 Q. And they were kept in some Muslim houses in
19 the village closer towards Vitez; is that correct?
20 A. Well, closer to Vitez, at the beginning of
21 the village.
22 Q. Why didn't they go back to their own houses?
23 A. Well, I think that our people kept them in
24 those few houses for some kind of security because
25 there were unknown people, the army had started moving
1 around, so to protect them. But in the daytime they
2 moved about freely. They went back to their houses,
3 fed their livestock, worked, and maybe they themselves
4 wanted to stay together for safety.
5 Q. (Microphone not activated) -- were guarded by
6 HVO soldiers, this group of Muslims in these houses?
7 A. At night people from the village kept guard
8 in front of the houses or, in fact, along the road
9 where the houses were next to one another.
10 Q. About how many Croats from the village kept
11 guard on these Muslims at night?
12 A. Two respectively.
13 Q. Do you know the names of these guards?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. What were their names?
16 A. I do not know the names of all the guards,
17 but I saw Boro Krizanovic and Ratko Matic, whose
18 nickname was Ride. They kept guard on one occasion.
19 Q. And these Muslims were kept in about seven
20 houses; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And a large number of them --
23 THE INTERPRETER: Could the Prosecutor please
24 speak into the microphone.
25 MR. SMITH: Sorry.
1 Q. And a large number of the Muslims couldn't go
2 back to their houses because they were destroyed in the
3 attack; is that correct?
4 A. Yes, around ten houses were destroyed.
5 Q. You said that the village of Gacice was
6 divided into two basic parts, the Muslim part, which
7 was purely Muslim, and then there was a mixed part of
8 the village; is that right?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And the Muslim part of the village is the
11 upper part of the village; would you agree?
12 A. No, the Muslim part of the village or,
13 rather, a part of the village that is closer to this
14 factory of ours and around the centre of the village
15 there are Croat and Muslim houses, for example, by the
16 road are Croat houses. That's where my house is too,
17 all the way to the bottom of the village. And that is
18 where there are mixed Croat and Muslim houses.
19 Q. When you say the bottom of the village, you
20 mean closer towards Vitez; is that correct?
21 A. No. When I say "above the village," I mean
22 above the purely Muslim part of the village.
23 Q. Perhaps if I can show you a map of the
24 village, a photograph, an aerial photograph which --
25 it's an enlarged version of that large map, that aerial
1 photograph that you see behind you.
2 THE REGISTRAR: Document 350.
3 MR. SMITH:
4 Q. Mrs. Matic, it would help me, and I think it
5 would help the Court to understand your testimony
6 further by looking at this aerial photograph that's
7 placed on the ELMO just next to you. Looking at that
8 photograph, does that look familiar to you? Can you
9 orientate yourself around that map in relation to where
10 the purely Muslim part of the village is in Gacice?
11 A. I'm not very good with maps. However,
12 everything would be clear to me if you would show me
13 where the road from Vitez to the village is.
14 Q. If you look at the figure number 4, the road
15 just below that, if you go left off the map, that road
16 leads to Vitez. And just below the figure number 4, I
17 think you see a large elongated building that's
18 adjacent to the road. That is the local community
19 centre for Gacice. And if you move further to the
20 right towards the figure number 5, you will see that
21 large area below the figure number 5 with a large
22 number of houses that have been destroyed, houses or
23 barns and sheds. I think you can see on the photograph
24 the roofs, the roofs of these places missing. And the
25 number 5 area is an area in the village where mainly
1 Croats live. I believe it's the Krizanovics where that
2 large group of families lived.
3 And if you look at the figure number 2, that
4 is an area where some Muslim houses are. You can see
5 from that figure number 2 that it appears that none of
6 those houses have been destroyed.
7 If you look towards the bottom of the
8 photograph, the right-hand corner, you will see a large
9 building. And that's part of the Slobodan Princip
10 Seljo factory, the munitions factory between Donja
11 Veceriska and Gacice. That's just the start of the
12 factory. And if you look at the map where the figure 4
13 can be seen, on the other side of the road to that,
14 below that, that area was the general area that the
15 Muslims that were taken to Hotel Vitez were housed over
16 that 15 days. Does that description help you orientate
17 yourself around this map?
18 A. (Indicating) This is the road from Vitez
19 leading to the village. If you said that this building
20 is the local community centre --
21 Q. Excuse me, Mrs. Matic. It's difficult, I
22 know, but if you could point us to these locations on
23 the ELMO. Unfortunately, that doesn't come up on
24 everyone's screen.
25 A. This is the road from Vitez, right. I'm not
1 very good with these maps at all. What did you say?
2 This was the community centre, right?
3 Q. The building just below the number 4 is the
4 community centre in Gacice. There is a community
5 centre in Gacice, Mrs. Matic, isn't there?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And that community centre is alongside the
8 main road into the village; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And that community centre is in the mixed
11 part of the village?
12 A. Yes. Yes.
13 Q. If you go along that road from number 4 to
14 area number 5, you are moving forward away from Vitez.
15 And that area where the number 1 is, is that not the
16 purely Muslim part of the village, and then just above
17 that, where the number 5 is, is that not the Croat area
18 where the Krizanovics, a large number of their families
20 A. To tell you the truth, I am having such a lot
21 of trouble with this map. Well, perhaps that is
22 right. Perhaps that is the Muslim centre of the
23 village, the purely Muslim part of the village.
24 Q. Mrs. Krizanovic -- Mrs. Matic, I apologise.
25 I don't want you to guess. Can you tell the Court
1 whether the -- you may want to sit down now. Can you
2 tell the Court whether there are a group of families
3 that live in Gacice that are called the Krizanovics?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. About how many families in that village with
6 the name of Krizanovic?
7 A. About ten houses.
8 Q. And those houses are right next to the purely
9 Muslim part of the village; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. Yes.
11 Q. In fact, the area where the Krizanovics live
12 is surrounded by Muslim houses, one the centre of the
13 village and one where that figure 2 is, that area
14 further away from Vitez?
15 A. The Krizanovic houses are close to this
16 Muslim centre of the village and on one side of the
17 Krizanovic houses there are Muslim houses too, but then
18 on the other side there are no houses any more. There
19 are only meadows, pastures, and then the forest.
20 Q. And the Krizanovics live at the outer most
21 point of the village, the furthest away point from
23 A. Yes. Yes. That is the upper part of the
24 village. That is the very end of the village.
25 Q. And I think you stated -- actually, I can't
1 remember accurately. About how many Croat houses were
2 destroyed in the village as a result of this attack?
3 A. One house burnt down completely. Two houses
4 burnt down in part. Two barns, two sheds.
5 Q. About how many people live in the purely
6 Muslim part of Gacice? Can you give an estimate of
8 A. My estimate is -- well, I already said that
9 approximately half of the village population was Croat
10 and the other half was Muslim. And then in the Muslim
11 part, half of it was purely Muslim and the other half
12 roughly was mixed with Croat houses too.
13 Q. I think you stated about 200 people lived,
14 200 Muslims lived in Gacice?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Half of them lived in the purely Muslim part,
17 and if you look at that map in front of you now, do you
18 agree with me now that the area covered by figure
19 number 1 is the purely Muslim part of the village, in
20 light of what you've said?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You stated in your evidence that there are
23 about ten houses that were destroyed in this attack,
24 and you said that there was one further house that was
25 destroyed at a later time. If you look at the area
1 marked with number 1, there are quite a large number of
2 houses and barns and sheds in that area. Do you agree?
3 A. I said that about ten buildings were set fire
4 to in the fighting, but I also said that some of the
5 Muslim houses were very, very old in the Muslim part of
6 the village and during the war they were shelled and
7 heavy guns were used. It's the Muslims who were
8 actually shooting at the Croat part from Zabrdje, from
9 Preocica, and sometimes, accidentally, they would hit
10 some of their own houses, and then later on, because of
11 the inclimate weather conditions, especially during the
12 winter, they would fall apart. But there were also
13 some empty houses, because some people built new houses
14 in that part of the village where they lived together
15 with the Croats. So they already did have some houses
16 that were abandoned.
17 Q. So are you saying now that more houses were
18 damaged in the village after the attack on the 20th of
19 April, more houses than the ten that you originally
21 A. No. No. No. These houses were, perhaps,
22 photographed a year later, as I said. They started
23 falling apart themselves. But I said that during the
24 fighting ten Muslim houses burnt down.
25 Q. The others just fell apart of their own
2 A. Well, I said the others were hit by shells or
3 some other kind of weapon, and I said that these houses
4 were made of mud, and then if there was a hole in the
5 roof, yes, it would fall apart. Because nobody
6 repaired them during that one year. For example, I was
7 staying at my house and I repaired it during the
8 summer. These houses, as soon as anything would happen
9 to them, they would crumble.
10 MR. SMITH: Your Honours, it's quarter past
11 12. I am wondering if it's time for a break.
12 JUDGE CASSESE: Shall we take a 15-minute
14 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
15 --- On resuming at 12.31 p.m.
16 JUDGE CASSESE: Mr. Smith, may I ask you if
17 you have many more questions?
18 MR. SMITH: Your Honour, about 20 minutes
20 JUDGE CASSESE: Could you maybe concentrate
21 on major issues?
22 MR. SMITH: Yes.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
24 MR. SMITH:
25 Q. Ms. Matic, you mentioned that you saw some
1 Muslim villagers destroying two or three houses on the
2 20th of April. What were their names again?
3 A. They were -- two of them were sons of Hamdija
4 Ramulj. I don't know their names exactly and the other
5 was the son of Avdo Hercerg.
6 Q. You were in a position to identify them on
7 that day?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you knew them because they grew up in the
10 village; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And prior to that day had they shown any
13 behaviour that was of such a criminal nature?
14 A. No.
15 Q. And about how old were these people?
16 A. They were perhaps about 25 to 30 years old.
17 Q. And was it a surprise to you that you saw
18 them destroying these houses on this day because they
19 hadn't shown that type of behaviour beforehand?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And I'm not sure whether you said in your
22 testimony today, but in your testimony in the -- in
23 another case before the Tribunal, you stated that you
24 were also shot at on the 20th of April; is that right?
25 A. No.
1 Q. In relation to who was involved in this
2 attack or this fighting in the village, is it fair to
3 say that the local Croat village guard was involved in
4 the defence or the attack of the village, as well as a
5 group called the Vitezovi, and as well as some military
6 police from the HVO? Those three groups, is it fair to
7 say that those three groups were involved in the
8 fighting in the village?
9 A. Since on that day it was impossible to go
10 outside, I don't know exactly how many people from the
11 village were involved, but when I saw the group of
12 soldiers who said, "Left wing forward, victory is
13 ours," then the Muslims appeared very fast with the
14 white flag and I heard that they were the Vitezovi or
15 the Knights.
16 Q. But the village guards were also involved in
17 the attack as well, do you agree? At least some of
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And about how many of the local village
21 guards would you say were involved in the fighting in
22 the village?
23 A. I don't know.
24 Q. Now, the local village guard, were they in
25 the HVO? Were they a part of the HVO reserve forces?
1 A. No.
2 Q. So the local village guard was working with
3 the Vitezovi in the defence of this village, or attack
4 of the village, whichever way you look at it?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. It was a joint effort?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. After the 16 days that the Muslims -- the
9 women and children that were kept in these seven houses
10 in the village, they were taken by truck to Dubravica.
11 Did you hear that?
12 A. I heard that some trucks had arrived to pick
13 them up and they left in the direction of Zenica, and
14 that's all I heard.
15 Q. Did you hear that these people -- this group
16 of about 200 were taken to near Dubravica and taken off
17 the truck, and told to walk through the frontlines and
18 to walk to Zenica? Did you hear that particular fact?
19 A. No, I didn't hear it.
20 Q. You said in your evidence that Anto
21 Krizanovic was elected on the 16th of April to
22 negotiate with the Muslim defence in the village. You
23 remember saying that?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Anto Krizanovic was in fact -- he was the
1 commander of the village guards prior to the 16th of
2 April, wasn't he?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. So if I say to you that Anto Krizanovic was
5 commander of the village guard from about May '92
6 onwards, you wouldn't be able to dispute that, do you
8 A. I --
9 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes, Ms. Slokovic-Glumac?
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President,
11 questions are being asked twice. The witness has
12 already responded to this question, that she doesn't
13 know. The question is not so important, but some
14 leading questions are being asked in a way I feel is
15 inadmissible because really, the witness responds and
16 then another answer is suggested to her. So please do
17 not allow Mr. Smith to ask questions in this way.
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you. I feel I must
19 sustain this objection. Mr. Smith, could you move on
20 and ask questions which are not leading and also not
22 MR. SMITH: Yes, Your Honour. In relation to
23 cross-examination, Your Honour, there are a number of
24 places where I do need to ask leading questions.
25 However, I do understand that the last question was
2 Q. During the period prior to the fighting in
3 Gacice, you mentioned that there were negotiations
4 between Anto Krizanovic and the commander of the Muslim
5 village guard; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Anto Krizanovic had been called to Vitez, to
8 the HVO headquarters in Vitez, after the 16th of April
9 and was spoken to by commanders of the HVO to organise
10 that the Muslims hand over their weapons. Are you
11 aware that Anto Krizanovic did that?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Are you aware that the village guard, the
14 village guard in Gacice, communicated with the HVO
15 headquarters even prior to the 16th of April in some of
16 the military matters of the village?
17 A. As regards military questions and the war
18 itself in our area, if I had known that negotiations
19 were going on, I think I would not have -- and my
20 children went to Germany. They were refugees in
21 Germany. I wouldn't have brought my children back to
22 the village on the 24th if I had known, because it
23 would have been a crime against my own children.
24 Q. And you brought your family back to Gacice in
25 what month?
1 A. On the 10th I brought them back and the war
2 started in our village on the 20th.
3 Q. You mentioned that the reason why the village
4 guard separated was because some weapons were stolen by
5 the Muslims and taken to another place; is that right?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And that was the main incident that caused
8 the separation in the guards?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you remember -- sorry, I withdraw that.
11 Boro Krizanovic shot Besim Subasic prior to
12 this attack on the 16th of April, and Boro Krizanovic
13 is a resident of Gacice; is that right?
14 A. Yes, Boro Krizanovic lives in Gacice.
15 Q. And can you tell the court who Besim Subasic
17 A. Besim Subasic lived in Gacice as well, but
18 before the war he built a new house between the village
19 of Gacice and Kamenjace and he lived there.
20 Q. And did you hear that Boro Krizanovic shot
21 him and wounded him prior to the 16th of April, in late
23 A. Since Boro Krizanovic likes to drink alcohol,
24 I heard that there had been some incidents between
25 them, but whether he was wounded on that occasion or
1 not I don't know.
2 Q. Since the fighting in Gacice did you ever
3 hear about what had happened in the village of Ahmici?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I'm not talking about this particular
6 court case, but shortly after, say in the month of May
7 '93, did you hear about what happened in Ahmici?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And what did you hear?
10 A. I heard that the conflict started there first
11 and that there were a lot of victims.
12 Q. And did you hear who the victims belonged to
13 and whether they were soldiers or civilians?
14 A. I only heard that they were Muslims, but
15 whether they were civilians or soldiers I don't know.
16 It was quite far away from where I was and there wasn't
17 much movement.
18 Q. The fighting in the village on the 20th of
19 April was an attack by HVO forces and the forces that
20 we mentioned earlier, the Vitezovi, and the local
21 village guard. Do you agree with that?
22 A. No. First of all, I don't know who started
23 shooting first, whether it was started by the Croats or
24 the Muslims, because after the clashes, when they found
25 the radio transmitter and the piece of paper, it said
1 that the Muslims would attack the Croats at half past
2 seven, and that they would get help at half past nine.
3 So I don't know who attacked, and I can't know because
4 I was not outdoors, and I couldn't have been outdoors.
5 Q. You mentioned that there were three houses in
6 the village, Croat houses in the village that were
7 destroyed or set on fire, and you explained to the
8 Court who the people were that, actually, you assumed,
9 set alight to those houses. Were there any other Croat
10 houses shelled in the village?
11 A. That day, when there was fighting, no.
12 Q. And in the mixed part of the village there
13 were some Muslim houses that were destroyed as well, do
14 you agree, on that day?
15 A. Yes.
16 MR. SMITH: I have no further questions, Your
18 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
19 Counsel Slokovic-Glumac?
20 Re-examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
21 Q. Can you say, Ms. Matic, with regard to the
22 houses that you mentioned in that part of the village,
23 the old part of the village which were there, you said
24 that they were built out of some kind of mud. What
25 kind of material is that?
1 A. It's a kind of brick made of clay, made of
2 earth, and it is dried in the sun for about a month,
3 and they used those bricks to build those old houses.
4 Five or six of those houses were abandoned before the
5 war because people had built new houses and moved out
6 of those houses, so they were already very
7 dilapidated. They were very old and rundown, and the
8 walls made of those bricks were -- only some of them
9 were recent, but the old part of the village was all
10 built of adobe bricks.
11 Q. You said that the picture you can see was not
12 taken then but that the photograph was made later?
13 A. Yes, much later, that's certain.
14 Q. You also said that you had to repair your own
15 house, replace the window panes and so on because of
16 shelling, and that other houses had been damaged.
17 A. Yes, and there is still damage to other
18 houses and my own house, but we had to put new window
19 panes in. In my house for example, a part of my roof
20 was damaged. Of course, I had to replace the roof
21 tiles. But some part is still damaged. For example,
22 the chimney that belongs to the central heating, which
23 is next to the house, that is still destroyed. It
24 still hasn't been repaired. There is no house without
25 any damage to it.
1 Q. Did the shelling come later in '93 'til '94;
2 is that correct?
3 A. Yes, every day. Every day. Regardless
4 whether it was because of this factory, I don't know, I
5 just know that every day there were shells, there were
7 Q. And, tell me, what Mr. Smith showed to you,
8 that part, that is where the SPS factory starts; is
9 that correct? Could you please look at the aerial
10 image once again. The part that is in the lower
11 right-hand part, is that the SPS factory?
12 A. Yes. Yes, it is.
13 Q. And that part of the village close to the SPS
14 factory was shelled by the Muslim side; is that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Throughout the war?
18 A. Yes, throughout the war.
19 Q. All right. Please tell the Court, who did
20 you see that day? I am referring to soldiers. You
21 mentioned the Vitezovi, right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Are those the only members of the military
24 you saw that day?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Who are the Vitezovi otherwise?
2 A. I don't know how to explain this to you. The
3 Vitezovi were some kind of an organisation.
4 Q. Those weren't people from the village, right?
5 A. No, no, they were not.
6 Q. Do you know who their commander was?
7 A. I heard that Darko Kraljevic was their
9 Q. And the Vitezovi were primarily from Vitez;
10 is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. The men that you saw, these Vitezovi, when
13 you heard that order, was any one of the local
14 villagers amongst them?
15 A. I don't know.
16 Q. How many soldiers did you see? Can you tell
17 us how many Vitezovi, how many soldiers you saw?
18 A. Well, I saw about 20 men. First of all, I
19 did not dare go out. I could not go out. And what I
20 saw briefly, as I glanced through the window.
21 Q. So the only soldiers that you saw in this
22 battle on that particular day were the Vitezovi on the
23 Croat side; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, that's right.
25 Q. One more thing, please. On several occasions
1 you were asked about this. Do you know how many people
2 were there in the village and how many people were in
3 these houses that were taken to Vitez and then taken
4 back? Do you know how many people had fled before
6 A. I don't know. I know how many local Muslims
7 there were in the village, but I do not know the exact
8 number who left before that. And also I don't know
9 because of the refugees, so I cannot exactly tell you
10 in exact number.
11 Q. And my last question. Do you know how many
12 soldiers there were in the village? You said perhaps
13 40. Do you know how many Muslim soldiers left? Did
14 you see them?
15 A. No, I couldn't see that.
16 Q. So you do not know the number?
17 A. No, I do not.
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you. I have
19 concluded my questioning.
20 JUDGE CASSESE: No questions from the Court.
21 Mrs. Matic, thank you so much for giving evidence in
22 Court. You may now be released. Thank you.
23 (The witness withdrew)
24 JUDGE CASSESSE: Now, before we move onto our
25 next witness, I understand -- sorry, Mr. Smith.
1 MR. SMITH: I would just like to tender the
2 exhibit, Prosecution 350.
3 JUDGE CASSESE: Yes. No objection, so P350
4 is admitted into evidence.
5 I understand the Defence have requested
6 protective measures for the next witness. If there is
7 no objection from the Prosecution, they are granted.
8 So we will move into closed session, I
9 understand. So while we prepare for moving into closed
10 session, may I discuss briefly with you a few points
11 raised by the Prosecutor in their motion filed on the
12 5th of February.
13 Just to remind the Defence counsel that they
14 are requested to answer the various points raised by
15 the Prosecutor.
16 First of all, the item number 2 in that
17 motion, namely, they should specify that the Defence
18 counsel are not intending to call those witnesses who
19 are listed there on page 2 and 3 and 4 of that motion
20 under item 2. I wonder whether this can be clarified
21 by Defence counsel.
22 Number 3, again the Prosecutor wishes to know
23 whether the list of four expert witnesses is the only
24 list of expert witnesses the Defence intend to call.
25 Number 4, whether Defence counsel for Vlatko
1 Kupreskic still intends to call the geometrist Kesic.
2 I hope Counsel Krajina will let us know his position.
3 Now, item 5, the Prosecutor is requesting
4 summaries for -- or the statements relating to the five
5 witnesses listed there. I hope Defence counsel will be
6 prepared to pass onto the Prosecutor and to the Court
7 those summaries.
8 Then the final point covered in item 6 and
9 7. It's about the insufficient information submitted
10 by Defence counsel concerning the witnesses listed on
11 page 6, 7 and 8 of this motion.
12 Now, we have discussed this matter and we
13 feel that the Defence counsel must provide sufficiently
14 detailed summaries of witness statements. If they
15 don't, the logical consequence will be that in the
16 examination-in-chief, the cross-examination will be
17 confined to those specific points raised in the
18 existing summary statements. So we will not allow any
19 examination or cross-examination on other points,
20 points other than those covered in those summary
22 So therefore I call up on Defence counsel, as
23 I say, to provide detailed statements for those
24 witnesses, given that the Prosecutor has convincingly
25 shown that they are not in a position to interview
1 those witnesses, as explained in paragraph 6 of their
3 All right. I wonder if -- well, I hope that
4 Defence counsel may be in a position to give us all
5 this information by, say, by Friday. Good. All
6 right. So let us move onto our next witness.
7 Yes, Counsel Par.
8 MR. PAR: May I just comment on this
9 briefly. I don't want to keep the Court too long. We
10 can respond already at this stage as to whether we are
11 going to call in as an expert witness Bladzan Kesic, a
12 geometrist. I wish to confirm that we shall call him.
13 So this list of expert witnesses is five altogether.
14 All of them were proposed to be witnesses by Vlatko
15 Kupreskic's counsel, so indeed we are going to call all
16 of them.
17 In connection with a request that we got from
18 the Prosecutor, we intend to write a letter to the
19 Prosecutor stating our views on each and every one of
20 these items. And after that, if the Prosecutor has
21 some concrete questions, he can address us directly
22 before the Court.
23 We have adopted this view for the following
24 reason: We have discussed these matters on several
25 occasions here in Court and we also had a concrete
1 agreement with the Prosecutor himself and with The
2 Office of the Prosecutor with regard to each and every
3 one of the witnesses. And we said that we agreed to
4 give supplementary information concerning certain
5 witnesses. Then the Court instructed us to give
6 additional information as regards the President of the
7 Supreme Court. And now again we are being given an
8 additional request with regard to the witnesses
9 concerning which we said then that they would not be
10 questioned about anything that is outside their
11 original witness statements.
12 So this had already been agreed upon once --
13 JUDGE CASSESE: Sorry. I see the witness is
14 standing there. Could you conclude, because otherwise
15 the witness --
16 MR. PAR: I shall conclude. I shall. I
17 shall. So we, as Vlatko Kupreskic's Defence counsel,
18 we shall address the Prosecutor in a letter with regard
19 to these questions that are considered to be
20 controversial, and then, if there is anything
21 controversial left, we shall discuss it here in Court.
22 Thank you.
23 JUDGE CASSESE: Thank you.
24 (Closed session)
25 (The witness entered court)
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21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
22 at 1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on
23 Tuesday, the 9th day of February, 1999
24 at 9.00 a.m.