1 Thursday, 11th February, 1999
2 (The accused entered court)
3 (Open session)
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 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 MAY: Mr. Terrier, if I could address
10 you on behalf of all counsel, the position today is
11 that Judge Cassese is ill. As I hope you've been
12 informed, he is indisposed and won't be with us for the
13 rest of the week. Having had notification of this,
14 what we propose is this, that in order not to delay the
15 trial unnecessarily and not to waste time, we propose
16 to hear evidence of any witness who is here by way of
18 This is the practice which has been followed
19 by another Trial Chamber in the case of Blaskic on a
20 number of occasions when one of the Trial Chamber has
21 been ill. There is a power under Rule 77 to hear
22 deposition evidence, and the effect is this, that in
23 exceptional circumstances, the Trial Chamber, looking
24 at Rule 71, at the request of either party and in the
25 interests of justice may order that a deposition be
1 taken for use at trial, and the Rule says "... appoint
2 for that purpose a presiding officer."
3 The practice which is being followed is, in
4 fact, the same as during the course of the trial. So
5 the evidence is taken in the normal way, except that
6 only two of the Judges are present, and so there would
7 be examination of the witness, cross-examination, and
8 re-examination. A record would be made by means of the
9 transcript and, of course, a video recording, which
10 would enable the third Judge to view the proceedings.
11 Now, this appears to be an expeditious way to deal with
12 the matter, but, of course, it's subject to the
13 agreement and consent of the parties.
14 I would add that there's been a further
15 development which is that we've been told that two of
16 the witnesses who it was intended to call are, in fact,
17 snowbound in Sarajevo. We were told that it might be
18 possible to get them here today but by no means
19 certain. Because there were a number of people
20 involved and the necessary arrangements had to be made,
21 we decided that it was better not to try and bring them
22 here in rather difficult circumstances, and we've so
23 advised the Victims and Witnesses Unit, but there is a
24 third or one other witness.
25 You will see from Rule 71 that the matter can
1 only be put in hand by request of a party, but I hope
2 that might be forthcoming, that a presiding officer
3 must be appointed. The presiding officers for this
4 purpose would be the two Judges present, and what is
5 proposed is that, in effect, the evidence would be
6 given in the normal way, save that there would only be
7 two Judges present.
8 MR. TERRIER: Good morning, Your Honours.
9 The Prosecution also wishes that this trial not be
10 delayed in any way, and we are in agreement with the
11 proposal made by this Trial Chamber to proceed today
12 and perhaps tomorrow under Rule 71.
13 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Terrier, could I take that as
14 a request by the Prosecution?
15 MR. TERRIER: Yes, indeed, Mr. President.
16 This, indeed, is a request, a motion, put forward by
17 the Prosecution.
18 JUDGE MAY: It would, of course, be limited
19 now to one witness who is the witness who's here.
20 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I believe
21 perhaps this is a good time to raise this issue.
22 Yesterday, we received notice that there would possibly
23 be a second witness, Mr. Blaz. I'm not sure whether
24 this person has arrived in The Hague today and whether
25 this person is available to testify or is, perhaps, on
1 the way. Perhaps the Defence can clarify this issue.
2 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Ms. Slokovic-Glumac,
3 if I could address you on behalf of the Defence, since
4 I think this relates to your witnesses. I hope that
5 notification was given to the Defence that this is what
6 we propose doing. As I've said, this proposal would
7 require the consent of the parties and, of course, the
8 consent of the accused. I very much hope that it can
9 be resolved. This case needs to be dealt with
10 expeditiously, and it would appear that this is one way
11 of at least not wasting more time than necessary. The
12 matter, of course, if you want to have time to discuss
13 it, you shall have it, but perhaps you can help us with
14 this: There is one witness here, as we understand; is
15 that right, a Mr. Strukar?
16 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Good morning, Your
17 Honours. As regards the first question and continuing
18 the trial under these circumstances, I think that my
19 colleagues will like to address this issue through
20 Mr. Pavkovic, who is the coordinator of our group, and
21 I think that they are going to present their proposal.
22 As regards the witnesses who are here, for
23 the time being, we only have Zoran Strukar here. He is
24 the witness that we are supposed to hear today, and
25 tomorrow we want Plavcic and Blaz, that is to say, two
1 witnesses, and you have said correctly that they are
2 not in The Hague for the time being. Indeed, they are
3 snowbound in Sarajevo, but then depending on whether
4 they show up today or not, that is what -- the
5 continuation of the trial will depend on whether they
6 show up today or not, and I will be examining
7 Mr. Strukar.
8 Could we please have a bit of time for
9 consultations because we did not manage to tell
10 everyone about the information we received yesterday.
11 There were only two of us in court, in the actual
12 building, yesterday when this piece of information
13 arrived, so not everybody has been notified beforehand,
14 and I would like you to hear our joint position.
15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Radovic.
16 MR. RADOVIC: Before we start consultations,
17 we would like to acquire an additional piece of
18 information. Actually, this pertains to the
19 following: Is Judge Cassese seriously ill or are we
20 only talking about a few days of absence?
21 JUDGE MAY: The position, as we understand
22 it, is that he will be back next week. Now, as I said
23 earlier, it's very much to be hoped that this procedure
24 could be followed in order to save time. I think the
25 position as far as the other witnesses are concerned is
1 that they won't be here until next week, so we are
2 effectively talking about one witness, but inquiries
3 can be made.
4 How long do you want, 20 minutes? Twenty
5 minutes then.
6 --- Recess taken at 9.17 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 9.38 a.m.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes?
9 MR. PAVKOVIC: Good morning, Your Honours.
10 The Defence hopes that Judge Cassese's health is not
11 anything to worry about and that he will return amongst
12 our ranks very soon. The Defence is very interested in
13 continuing the proceedings, and in that respect, it
14 supports what the Prosecution has said.
15 We feel that under the newly arisen
16 circumstances, that we can continue the examination of
17 witnesses this week, and on Monday, we would see how
18 the situation stands with Judge Cassese. If he does
19 not return, we will be able to see whether we are going
20 to continue proceedings or not. In this connection, we
21 do feel that we could continue proceedings and
22 examination of witnesses regarding point 1, that is to
23 say, the general facts, apart from the fact that the
24 Defence counsel of Mr. Papic feels that when his
25 witnesses are called and the other Defence counsel as
1 well, when it comes to concrete charges, that a full
2 composition of the Trial Chamber would be advisable and
3 that they would like proceedings to continue with a
4 full Trial Chamber.
5 We should also like to take note of the
6 following: It has been the practice of this Tribunal
7 that under circumstances of this kind, a trial be
8 continued. But we seem to feel that there is a
9 significant difference in this regard, and that is that
10 the Presiding Judge is absent, which is a different
11 case to some other cases where members of the Trial
12 Chamber were absent, and we don't think that this is a
13 small matter.
14 Your Honours, that would be the stand of the
15 Defence in view of the newly arisen situation.
16 If I may, I should like to ask you now, as
17 you have already given me the floor, to assess the
18 following; that is to say, I have a question that I
19 wanted to put to you yesterday.
20 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pavkovic, before you do that,
21 let me just deal with what you have said already.
22 This measure is a temporary measure. Were
23 Judge Cassese not back on Monday, and it is anticipated
24 that he would be, then, of course, the position would
25 have to be reviewed. We have in mind that it is the
1 Presiding Judge who is absent, and you are right in
2 that, and, of course, were we to get to the evidence on
3 the other counts other than Count 1, then, of course,
4 different circumstances might arise. But may I take it
5 then that the accused consent to our hearing evidence
6 by deposition and that we hear the one witness who is
7 here and any others who can be brought this week?
8 Could you confirm that, please?
9 MR. PAVKOVIC: Yes, I can confirm that,
10 precisely as you have said, and as far as that goes, we
11 can continue, yes.
12 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We shall make an
13 order under Rule 71 appointing the Judges who are
14 present as Presiding Judges for the purpose of hearing
15 deposition evidence of the witness who is here and any
16 other witnesses who can be brought.
17 Before we go on, there is one matter about
18 that, and that is that the Victims and Witnesses Unit
19 are, I believe, waiting to hear what is decided about
20 the witnesses who are in Sarajevo. I think our view
21 would be that, if possible, they should be brought, but
22 if that is impracticable, then, of course, we shall
23 have to adjourn early. I think that would be the best
24 way to approach it. There are problems, clearly, at
25 the airport with the snow, there are problems in terms
1 of time as to whether the witnesses can, in fact,
2 physically get here or not, and I would be grateful if
3 that message could be conveyed to the Victims and
4 Witnesses Unit.
5 Does anybody want to say anything about
6 that? Yes, Mrs. Glumac?
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, during
8 the break, Mr. Vaananen from the unit was here, and he
9 said that it is practically impossible to bring the
10 people in today, in the course of the day, and that
11 they would prefer them to come tomorrow with the other
12 witnesses who will be arriving for Monday. There would
13 be problems if they did turn up late tonight in The
14 Hague. One of them is a serious diabetic, so this
15 would perhaps be too much for them, and they have asked
16 this to be borne in mind, and so perhaps Monday would
17 be a better day for those witnesses, and if Judge
18 Cassese does not appear, then we could continue with
19 the presentation of evidence for those two witnesses.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We will hear the one
21 witness this week and review the position on Monday, it
22 being understood the witnesses will all be here on
24 Mr. Pavkovic?
25 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, I would very
1 much like to carry on proceedings, but there is one
2 thing that cannot be postponed, and I would like to ask
3 you to bear with me for a few minutes. I am afraid
4 that the question that I want to pose might turn into a
5 problem, and I cannot solve it together in consultation
6 with the Prosecution, so I am asking for your help in
7 this matter.
8 What I want to ask is the following: Last
9 week, or the week before, the Trial Chamber made a
10 decision according to which the Defence of Vladimir
11 Santic, the accused, that it was to enable the
12 Prosecutor's investigators to look into the
13 circumstance of alibi. The Defence in that sense, in
14 order to implement this Court decision, undertook a
15 series of technical and organisational measures in the
16 meantime. With the Prosecution, we discussed this
17 matter on several occasions. We discussed the
18 modalities in which this decision could be put into
19 practice, and we adopted the suggestions made by the
20 Prosecution, namely, that this discussion take place
21 neither in the homes of the witnesses or in any
22 official institutions, we also took into account
23 security measures, and when we felt that we had done
24 everything in our power to implement the Court decision
25 and to enable the investigators to have their contacts,
1 we informed the Prosecution in writing that on the 20th
2 of this month, when the court adjourns, that this talk
3 be held, this meeting be held.
4 However, yesterday we received an answer from
5 the Prosecution, we received their letter, in fact,
6 informing us -- we were informed and surprised at its
7 contents -- the following: First of all, the
8 Prosecutor refers to security measures, and the
9 Prosecution considers that the talks that we have
10 envisaged for Hotel Vitez, that the Hotel Vitez is not
11 a sufficiently safe place, and the Prosecution insists
12 that this meeting take place in Sarajevo, and that if
13 we do not agree to that, to that venue, he will
14 consider us not prepared to cooperate and that he will
15 then be against having these individuals brought before
16 the Trial Chamber.
17 I can understand this stand, but I don't
18 think it is a justified one, especially as this seems
19 to be a sort of ultimatum to the Defence which has so
20 far done everything in its power to implement the
21 decision, and we do not feel that this kind of resolute
22 ultimatum is in place.
23 We can understand, of course, the reasons put
24 forward, and we do realise that the investigators feel
25 a certain amount of uncertainty, but I can assure you
1 with full responsibility that there are no objective
2 reasons for this; that is to say, those which would
3 justify their anxieties and which would stop them from
4 having this meeting in Vitez, all the more so as we can
5 do nothing further at this point in the way of
7 I must also remind the Trial Chamber that
8 when the Prosecution uses the term and refers to
9 "security" and "safety," this Honourable Trial Chamber
10 made a decision a little while ago to visit Ahmici and
11 it did not feel in jeopardy and did not consider that
12 security measures were something that should postpone
13 that visit.
14 I would also like to mention another point in
15 this regard, and that is that we must bear in mind the
16 interests of the witnesses themselves in the sense that
17 they are witnesses who live in the area, and that all
18 three of them, I think, are from Vitez, and that they
19 do not feel secure in Sarajevo either. This Trial
20 Chamber made a decision for the free passage of all
21 witnesses, including these three witnesses, and this
22 applies to their coming to court as well and spending
23 time in the Tribunal and returning home. So we cannot
24 accept what the Prosecution is offering.
25 Finally, I feel that we can settle the matter
1 in the following way; that is to say, as we agreed on
2 in principle, to have the interview take place in Vitez
3 or, alternatively, that the witnesses directly, prior
4 to coming to the Trial Chamber, have a meeting with the
5 Prosecution and enable the Prosecution investigators to
6 hold the talks and meetings they need.
7 I hope that you will understand the reasons
8 for which I have had to take the floor on this issue
9 because it is a question that we cannot settle
10 ourselves and our time is almost up because it is a
11 matter which takes place next week because, of course,
12 we wish to implement in full the trial decision. Thank
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Terrier, before you begin,
15 clearly we cannot make an order at the moment because
16 the Chamber as constituted is not the Trial Chamber,
17 but perhaps we can facilitate a resolution of this.
18 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, yes. I would
19 like to inform this Tribunal, relay a certain amount of
20 information to this Tribunal, and perhaps allay some of
21 the fears that Mr. Pavkovic has and to explain that the
22 proposal made by Mr. Pavkovic is not realistic.
23 I would like to remind Mr. Pavkovic that we
24 are in a situation in which the Tribunal and the
25 accused have agreed to hear the witnesses in the
1 defence of alibi for Mr. Santic, although we are now in
2 a very irregular situation with regards to the Rules.
3 Notice of the defence of alibi was not respected within
4 the time limits provided by the Rules of Procedure and
5 Evidence. Nonetheless, in order to ensure that the
6 rights of the Defence are guaranteed or are respected,
7 the Trial Chamber agreed to hear these witnesses
8 subject, however, to the possibility of the Prosecution
9 meeting with these witnesses before they appear before
10 the Trial Chamber.
11 We sent to Mr. Pavkovic, and I believe that
12 the Trial Chamber also received a copy of this,
13 proposals in which these witnesses, the Defence
14 witnesses, and Defence of Mr. Santic, these meetings
15 were to be taking place. Mr. Santic and Mr. Pavkovic
16 have proposed that the lawyer for Mr. Santic, in
17 addition to a representative, be present at the
18 interview, and that the interview be recorded and that
19 the recording be disclosed immediately to Mr. Pavkovic.
20 What we request, however, and I believe that
21 the Tribunal may understand, and I hope that
22 Mr. Pavkovic must understand this as well, is that in
23 all serenity, in all security -- an environment of
24 security and serenity must also be there for our
25 investigators and for Defence witnesses.
1 The only question which can be raised here
2 today in relation to what Mr. Pavkovic has just stated
3 is the question of the place in which this interview
4 would take place. Mr. Pavkovic has requested that this
5 meeting take place at Hotel Vitez. According to the
6 information at our disposal and according to the
7 information we received from SFOR located in the area
8 of Busovaca, it is not at all appropriate that this
9 meeting take place there for security reasons because
10 SFOR would have to deploy a large number of measures to
11 secure those present; it would be very difficult and
12 very dangerous for the city of Vitez. We must also
13 keep in mind the fact that we have to also bring in
14 video recording equipment for this conference and that
15 this would have to be organised with great care.
16 Therefore, we request and we have great hopes
17 that this meeting will take place in the Office of the
18 Prosecutor in Sarajevo where we can have the absolute
19 guarantee of security. I can understand that
20 Mr. Pavkovic may doubt this, but we can also assure the
21 transportation of the witness, if necessary, to
22 Sarajevo, and return the witness to Vitez. We believe
23 that this discussion about the place of meeting is
24 unfortunate and we hope that we can come to an
25 agreement, and we hope that Mr. Pavkovic will
1 understand that we cannot go to Hotel Vitez with all
2 the equipment we have need of and that it will be very
3 necessary that this take place in Sarajevo and that
4 there will be no inconvenience whatsoever for the
5 Defence witness. In addition to that, we will ensure
6 an environment of serenity in this meeting, and this
7 will enable the debate to continue before this Tribunal
8 in serenity as well.
9 This is the type of response that we sent to
10 Mr. Pavkovic. This is not an ultimatum by any
11 reasons. This is simply a response. We hope that
12 Mr. Pavkovic will understand our resolve on this
14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Pavkovic, as I said earlier,
15 in the absence of the Presiding Judge, clearly the
16 Trial Chamber as presently constituted can make no sort
17 of order at all. But having heard both sides, we would
18 recommend that you try and find a compromise in this
19 matter, that the Prosecution objections to Hotel Vitez
20 you've heard set out, and we've heard the objections of
21 your witnesses to going to the Office of the
22 Prosecutor. Now, it would seem to me that this is a
23 matter which should be resolved between the parties.
24 It's not a matter, really, for the Trial Chamber to
25 rule on. And we invite you to pursue the usual
1 channels vigorously, and try to resolve the matter.
2 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you. We'll try and do
3 that. We are not contesting the matter, but the road
4 to Sarajevo and the sojourn in Sarajevo, and to ensure
5 the protective measures that we consider the witness
6 merits and must be the type that was afforded to the
7 witnesses by the Tribunal.
8 But we do, of course, accept your
9 suggestions, Mr. President, and shall do our utmost to
10 resolve the issue and find a compromise solution,
11 because it is in our interest to do so.
12 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
13 Now, is there anything else before we hear
14 the witness?
15 Very well. Let the witness be brought in.
16 (The witness entered court)
17 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
18 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
20 JUDGE MAY: Yes. If you would like to sit
22 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
23 Mr. President.
24 WITNESS: ZORAN STRUKAR
25 Examined by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
1 Q. Would you please introduce yourself, tell us
2 your name, where you were born and when?
3 A. My name is Zoran Strukar. I was born in
4 Vitez on the 16th of April, 1961.
5 Q. Which schooling have you had?
6 A. I completed secondary school in Sarajevo, the
7 centre for cadres training of the Ministry of the
8 Interior, which lasts for four years.
9 Q. Before the war, where were you employed?
10 A. I was employed in the police station in
12 Q. What job did you hold?
13 A. For two or three years I worked as a
14 policeman in town, traffic policeman, and then I worked
15 on the ground, and then I went to a special course, to
16 attend a special course in Sarajevo. I worked there
17 until 1991, and then I started working as a policeman
18 in town again until 1992, and then I also went to take
19 another course in Sarajevo.
20 Q. Would you please stop at this point. You
21 said that you completed certain courses, and that that
22 is why you worked as a signals officer, communications
24 A. Yes. Yes, that implies receiving telegrams,
25 working at the telephone exchange.
1 Q. And you did these jobs in Vitez; is that
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You also said that in 1991, you worked as a
6 A. Yes. Yes, perhaps in mid-1991.
7 Q. Who was the chief of police at that time?
8 A. That's when elections were held, and in
9 Vitez, it was agreed to have an appropriate allocation
10 of jobs in keeping with the outcome of the elections.
11 The commander of the police was a Muslim, and the chief
12 of police was a Croat. So it was Pero Skopljak and
13 Saban Mahmutovic, respectively.
14 Q. That is to say the two top posts in the
15 police were divided according to the outcome of the
16 elections; is that right?
17 A. Yes, that's right, according to the outcome
18 of the elections.
19 Q. Pero Skopljak: Do you remember when he came
20 to the post of chief of police in Vitez?
21 A. I don't know the exact date. I know that
22 these elections were held, and that is when he came
23 in. I don't know the date.
24 Q. Was it 1991? The elections were at the end
25 of 1990, so was it 1991?
1 A. Well, probably the end of 1991. I don't
2 know. I don't know. I'm not sure.
3 Q. And Saban Mahmutovic, who was commander of
4 the police, he was a Muslim; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And as regards policemen, how were policemen
7 employed in the police? Did people pay attention to
8 ethnic composition there?
9 A. Yes, yes, always in terms of the numbers of
10 the Muslim, Croat, and Serb populations, and the number
11 of the policemen on the force was always proportionate
12 to that. So this was a tradition from the earlier
14 Q. The ethnic composition of the police
15 basically matched the ethnic composition of the
16 population; is that right?
17 A. Yes. Yes. About half/half.
18 Q. Do you recall at that time how many policemen
19 there were on the force in the police station in Vitez?
20 A. About 27.
21 Q. At the end of 1991, when the war had already
22 broken out in Croatia, did something happen in relation
23 to the police in Vitez?
24 A. No, nothing. Nothing really happened.
25 People did their regular work.
1 Q. Did something happen to the stocks of weapons
2 held by the police?
3 A. While I was still working on communications,
4 telegrams were coming in from Sarajevo saying that
5 weapons from the police station should be withdrawn to
6 Sarajevo. And the answer was that we had warehouses at
7 the Princip factory --
8 Q. Just a minute, please. Since you're already
9 describing this, who sent this telegram to the police
10 station in Vitez, and what was exactly stated in this
11 telegram, and why were weapons taken away?
12 A. The telegram arrived from Sarajevo from the
13 Republican SUP, and the problem allegedly was that the
14 police station did not have adequate warehouses for
15 storing the weapons that we had, and then these weapons
16 would have to be returned to Sarajevo. That was the
17 alleged reason. Then the answer was that we do have an
18 explosives factory called Princip, and it does have
19 appropriate warehouses for this explosive that they
20 make and that we can also store our own weapons there.
21 However, after that, another telegram came from
22 Sarajevo saying that regardless of that, the weapons
23 had to be returned to Sarajevo.
24 Q. What about other police stations? Did they
25 receive the same order? Were weapons collected from
1 all the police stations in Central Bosnia?
2 A. Yes. Yes. This was a circular telegram.
3 Every day there were telegrams that were sent to all
4 police stations, and it said "To All" in the heading,
5 so everybody received the same telegrams.
6 Q. What was the decision in response to this
7 request, after you said that you had appropriate
8 warehouses for these weapons?
9 A. The answer was that we would store these
10 weapons at this warehouse. However, they said that
11 they wanted the weapons returned after all. However,
12 Pero Skopljak mobilised the reserve militia, it was
13 called in those days, the reserve police, at various
14 local communities. From three local communities, he
15 got people and formed a police station. And the
16 weapons that we had in our warehouse was given to these
17 reserve policemen. And the town also had a reserve
18 police station consisting of reservists, and they were
19 also given weapons.
20 Q. So in a way, this meant an activation of the
21 reserve police force; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And you also said that at different local
24 communities, he would bring various reserve police
25 stations together; is that right?
1 A. Yes. Before, every local community had a
2 reserve police station of its own; but then Pero made a
3 single police station out of three previous ones, and
4 in this way he managed to distribute weapons to all.
5 Q. What kind of weapons were distributed then?
6 A. I think that every station got a sub-machine
7 gun and also some automatic rifles, and the rest were
8 semi-automatic rifles with ammunition.
9 Q. Is that the way in which weapons were
10 distributed in the surrounding villages around Vitez?
11 A. Yes. Yes, in all the local communities.
12 Q. And these weapons, is that the way that
13 Ahmici, their local community received weapons too?
14 A. Yes, Ahmici belonged to Nadioci. Actually
15 these were three local communities, local communities
16 Ahmici, Santici, and Nadioci and they covered this
17 single police station.
18 Q. These weapons were handed over to them at the
19 same time; is that right?
20 A. Yes, yes, everybody equally. They also
21 received uniforms, I think, reserve policemen uniforms,
22 and they were blue.
23 Q. Do you remember who was commander of the
24 reserve police force in Ahmici?
25 A. I do remember. It was Zahid Ahmic, because I
1 was commander of the reserve police force in Vitez, so
2 we cooperated. We matched the numbers of the weapons,
3 and some of the weapons were out of order and they had
4 to be returned, so we would see each other every now
5 and then.
6 Q. Could you say precisely when this happened,
7 when these weapons were handed out?
8 A. I think this was the end of '91 or autumn,
9 somewhere towards the end. I don't know the exact
11 Q. Very well. While we're on the subject of
12 weapons, this is a bit out of context, but tell me, do
13 you know anything about how the Territorial Defence
14 weapons were handed out? This was the weaponry owned
15 by the police?
16 A. Yes, the police.
17 Q. But there were also weapons in the area of
18 Central Bosnia that were held by the Territorial
19 Defence, is that right, or do you know whether the arms
20 of the Territorial Defence were taken away from them?
21 A. I don't know. I'm not sure about that. I
22 don't know.
23 Q. For example, what were the weapons that were
24 at Slimena?
25 A. That was held by the JNA. There was a
1 weapons warehouse. I don't know whose weapons these
2 were, but I realised later that these were rifles and
3 sub-machine guns, and other things, but I didn't really
4 know who they belonged to.
5 Q. But you do not know whether these were
6 Territorial Defence weapons?
7 A. That, I did not know.
8 Q. All right. Then we won't go into that. Do
9 you know how these weapons were given away, I mean,
10 from Slimena?
11 A. When the warehouses were liberated, I heard
12 on the news that these weapons would be shared equally
13 between the Muslims and the Croats. This had happened
14 in the morning, I mean, these warehouses were taken in
15 the morning. So the locals, the citizens, took their
16 own cars and went to these warehouses. Some were
17 wounded. Some of them were wounded by mines as they
18 happened to come across them, and then Saban came
19 across a patrol with Dzemo Bektas, Hrustanovic --
20 Q. Just a minute, please. You have to bear in
21 mind the fact that this is being interpreted, so please
22 speak slowly. Could you please tell us this from the
23 very beginning? Who sent who to Slimena and who had
24 these weapons distributed?
25 A. Saban Mahmutovic sent Dzemo Hrustanovic out
1 on a patrol to regulate traffic because there was a
2 traffic jam up there around these warehouses, and I
3 heard later on that these weapons would be shared
4 equally between the Muslims and the Croats. I had a
5 meeting about this somewhere.
6 Q. Saban Mahmutovic at that time was commander
7 of the police, and this Dzemo Hrustanovic, who was he,
8 a policeman?
9 A. Yes, he was a policeman.
10 Q. Was he a Muslim?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And he was sent to Slimena to check what was
13 going on in terms of the distribution of weapons?
14 A. No, to regulate traffic.
15 Q. All right, to regulate traffic then. Were
16 people allowed to come with their own cars and take
17 weapons away?
18 A. At first, it was allowed, but afterwards, it
19 was forbidden. However, again, there were some
20 vehicles that managed to get in because they knew the
21 people who were up there or whatever.
22 Q. What happened to you? You said that you went
23 to Sarajevo for further education. This was in 1992,
24 and I interrupted you at that point.
25 A. Yes. In 1992, we needed two criminology
1 technicians for the Vitez station, and Zlatko Kader
2 (phoen) and I went there. We went to attend a course
3 in Sarajevo, and we were there until April 1992 when
4 the blockade of Sarajevo started. Edo and I managed to
5 get out somehow, and we came back to Vitez and reported
6 at our station. We reported back to work. Since then,
7 I've been working as a criminology technician at the
8 police station.
9 Q. Who was this person that was with you? What
10 was the name?
11 A. Edo Zlotrg, I think.
12 Q. Is he a Muslim or a Croat?
13 A. A Muslim.
14 Q. He also worked with you as the criminology
15 technician after that; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So you returned to Vitez in April 1992. Tell
18 us, what was the situation like in Vitez then as
19 regards security?
20 A. As regards security, there was a high rate of
21 crime. There were more burglaries, car thefts.
22 Documents were forged. Vehicles that were stolen could
23 not be legalised, so, therefore, the documents for
24 these vehicles were forged so that the perpetrators of
25 these offences would be protected from the police.
1 Then there was also looting and robberies and arson,
2 and people started wearing uniforms.
3 Q. All right. Just a minute, please. Could you
4 tell me whether there was shooting in town? Were there
5 such phenomena?
6 A. Well, from April onwards, there was more and
7 more of it.
8 Q. From the point of view of security and
9 safety, how would you assess the situation from April
10 '92 until April '93, throughout that year?
11 A. Month after month, it became increasingly
12 difficult to work and live there. There were many
13 groups that had weapons. There was shooting.
14 Explosives were thrown at various buildings, in the
15 street. It was not safe.
16 Q. At that time, you worked in the crime section
17 of the police; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. In your opinion, what were the reasons that
20 led to this kind of a deterioration of the security and
21 safety situation in Vitez?
22 A. In my opinion, the major reason for this was
23 the fact that people wore uniforms, and the young men
24 who wore uniforms would join the units that appeared at
25 that time. PPNs, that's what they were called. We, as
1 the civilian police, could not do anything about the
2 military, and when we would come for an on-site
3 investigation or if we were informed through various
4 operations and if we realised that someone had done
5 something, but then if this person would show an ID
6 saying that he belonged to the military, then we would
7 have to hand them over to the military, so we couldn't
8 really do our job.
9 Q. When you say that the reason for increasing
10 the crime rate was the fact that people wore uniforms,
11 you are actually saying that the civilian police could
12 not intervene vis-a-vis persons in uniform; is that
14 A. Yes, yes, yes. We were not in charge.
15 Q. Also, you said that in Vitez, people with
16 weapons appeared who set up their own groups?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And these groups were PPNs, you said. What
19 does "PPN" mean?
20 A. They called themselves PPNs --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Defence counsel is
22 overlapping the witness.
23 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I'm sorry.
24 A. These are units for special purposes, special
25 purposes units.
1 Q. In which way were these units organised; do
2 you know?
3 A. They were organised independently. One man
4 would get a few more men, and he'd have uniforms for
5 them. In Vitez, there was Darko Kraljevic who
6 organised the HOS. They wore black uniforms, and later
7 on, this HOS got a new name, Vitezovi.
8 Young men joined this group. They were
9 looking for glory. They wanted to prove themselves,
10 and these people who had already carried out certain
11 actions were there idols, and they tried to follow
12 them. They had very short haircuts so that they would
13 look like film stars, and they also had a lot of
14 ammunition, and they would get drunk in restaurants and
15 cafes. They did not observe the working hours of
16 restaurants and cafes, which was until 10.00 or 11.00
17 in our town, and nobody could get them out of these
18 cafes and restaurants. When they would get drunk, they
19 would start shooting, and that's how others were
20 wounded. There was material damage, and explosives
21 were thrown. They did all sorts of things.
22 Q. The Vitezovi, you said that they were a
23 special purposes unit; is that right?
24 A. Yes, yes, that was in Vitez, but every town
25 had a unit of its own of this nature, and the PPN
1 members respected the territory of other units. So
2 those who were engaged in crime in Vitez did not
3 interfere in Nova Bila and vice versa, only if there
4 was an action which they considered to be important,
5 such as smuggling of cars or car theft, whatever
6 perhaps they would care about altogether because they
7 would have a joint interest involved.
8 Q. What about in other places? You said that
9 the Vitezovi existed in Vitez. In other places, there
10 were other units, other special purposes units. Do you
11 know what they were called?
12 A. For example, in Nova Bila, I know that they
13 were called the Zuti or yellow. This was a nickname
14 given to their leader Andric who was nicknamed Zuti.
15 Later on, he set up his own military police. Then we
16 have the Tvrtkovci and the Jokeri. The Jokeri were
17 members of the military police as an anti-terrorist
18 unit. Then there were the Munja, the light assault
19 unit, and so on.
20 Q. Were there any conflicts between these
22 A. Yes, there were. In Nova Bila, to quote an
23 example, the Zuti had a conflict with the other group
24 led by Tuka, Zoran Tuka. In that conflict, Tuka shot
25 at the leader of the Zuti, that is to say, Zuti
1 himself, and wounded him in the back, and he is still
2 an invalid and has to use an invalid chair. The Zuti
3 group, in retaliation, set up an ambush for Tuka, and
4 they killed him in that ambush.
5 Q. So there was a mutual settling of accounts?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you know why these clashes broke out?
8 What were the interests of these groups?
9 A. Usually they were material interests, that is
10 to say, theft and money relations, unsettled money
11 matters. Those were the principal causes of the
13 Q. In these groups, were there any out-and-out
15 A. Yes, there were criminals in the groups with
16 criminal records. Yes, there were. Yes, indeed.
17 Q. Did these units, the Vitezovi and Zuti units,
18 the Tvrtkovci, were they involved in crime of any kind
19 at that time already?
20 A. Yes, they were, but we as the civilian
21 police, even if we did know of things, were unable to
22 undertake any action because they were the military.
23 Q. Did they have any weapons, and if so, what
25 A. Yes, they did. They had weapons,
1 short-barreled weapons and long rifles, and I saw some
2 of these black rifles for the first time. They have a
3 special handle in the middle. Darko, for example, had
4 a rifle which was called the glycerine rifle with a
5 short barrel and a drum where the bullets were fed
6 into, as you would for a hunting rifle, and then he
7 would go about shooting in town whenever he felt like
8 it, taking potshots.
9 Q. So they were the best-armed members, they had
10 rifles that you see --
11 A. Well, compared to us, yes, they were the
12 best-armed groups.
13 Q. Did these units go to the battlefield?
14 A. Yes, they did, very often, as far as I know.
15 They would go to Jajce and to Vlasic, I think, and when
16 they would return, that's what we knew about, mostly
17 they would shoot around town, start singing, start
18 drinking, and then this would go on until the morning.
19 Q. In the course of the war, that is to say,
20 when the war had already begun, did these units take
21 part in the fighting?
22 A. Yes, they did. They took part in manning the
23 defence lines. If the defence line would fall, they
24 would go there to help out, and they would also engage
25 in some breakthrough operations and so on.
1 Q. Were they only at the frontline or did they
2 go to win over territory and establish their
4 A. They would win over territory and establish
5 frontlines, and if they took over a defence line, they
6 would stay there until the morning until the trenches
7 were dug and then, when the locals turned up, they
8 would withdraw, and they would also withdraw sometimes
9 before this happened but, of course, the enemy didn't
10 realise this.
11 Q. You said that they had their commanders and
12 that these were usually the people that formed the
13 groups in the first place. Were they in any kind of
14 military composition, at least some of these units? Do
15 you know anything about that?
16 A. As far as I know, they were all separate
17 forces. Only the Jokers perhaps. They came under the
18 jurisdiction of the military police. But I don't know
19 the situation very well. I do know that their members
20 were military policemen.
21 Q. Do you know whether Blaskic, or the Operative
22 Zone and Blaskic as its commander, had any influence on
23 what the Vitezovi did? Could he order, for example,
24 the Vitezovi or the Zuti to undertake an operation of
25 any kind?
1 A. No, he could not order this. Only perhaps in
2 the course of the war he was able to come to an
3 agreement of some kind with them, but he could not
4 order them to do anything.
5 Q. What about Cerkez, the Vitez Brigade? Did
6 they act together with these units, the Vitezovi in
7 particular; do you know anything about that?
8 A. Perhaps they had an agreement to engage in
9 some operation, but I don't really know.
10 Q. Very well then. Let us move on and look at
11 the conduct of the civilian police during that time.
12 You said that you were stopped in your work and in
13 undertaking any action towards these individuals
14 because they were not under your jurisdiction; is that
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. However, what happened, for example, if a
18 theft was reported or a car theft was reported or any
19 attacks of any kind; did you investigate?
20 A. Whenever we received information that a crime
21 had been committed, a criminal offence of any kind, we
22 would go on site to establish what had happened and
23 there was always somebody on duty, an official on duty,
24 to receive complaints of this kind from civilians, and
25 then we would decide whether the crime squad was to be
1 called out to investigate. If they were petty
2 offences, petty thefts, or if law and order were
3 disturbed, then it would be the policemen who would go
4 out to investigate; but if it was a more serious crime,
5 like breaking and entering or any other kind of assault
6 and battery or anything of that kind, then we would be
7 called. Usually the perpetrators were unidentified,
8 and we would go and collect clues and take witness
9 statements, eyewitness statements, and so on.
10 If a perpetrator had been identified, we
11 would take him into custody, bring him into the police
12 station, and if we found that he was a member of a
13 military unit, we had to turn him over to the military
14 police. If he was not, then we would investigate the
15 matter, question him, and take the necessary procedure.
16 Q. So you performed your duties to the best of
17 your ability as far as you were able to. Did you have
18 any forms to fill in?
19 A. Yes, I had a book, a record, a register of
20 the crimes committed, and when we would file a criminal
21 complaint against the perpetrators, this was recorded
22 in a separate recordkeeping book or register.
23 Q. Will you tell us in what way you uncovered a
24 very large chain of car smugglers and what the
25 repercussions of that were?
1 JUDGE MAY: I wonder where we're going.
2 Mrs. Glumac, I haven't stopped you so far, but we're in
3 1992 and we are now about to hear about an
4 investigation as to car smuggling. Is that going to
5 help us, really, to decide this case?
6 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, I think
7 that it is because a chain was uncovered by the
8 civilian police, a chain of smugglers, car smugglers,
9 and this operation ended in that all the special
10 purposes units attacked the police station, in fact
11 freed the perpetrators, and this is going to have links
12 with what the witness will be saying later on. In
13 fact, the operations undertaken by the civilian police
14 and the way in which it tried to introduce law and
15 order were stopped by the special purposes units, and
16 the way they did this will be seen from the report that
17 is going to be presented here. So this whole testimony
18 has to do with a testimony made in the first part of
19 the trial when it was stated that the situation was
20 very uncertain, exclusively for the Muslims, and this
21 testimony -- this witness is showing that the security
22 situation was at a generally very low level and that it
23 was unsafe and that everybody was subjected to this
24 situation, the Muslims, the Croats, the Serbs, and the
25 members of the different services that existed.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Then let us move then
2 as quickly as possible to the attack on the police
3 station rather than the details of any investigation,
4 unless they're relevant.
5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I apologise,
6 Mr. President. I wasn't going to go into the details
7 of this, just the results, what happened as a result.
8 I should like to ask the usher now to
9 distribute this document to the Trial Chamber and the
11 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D75/2.
12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
13 Q. Mr. Strukar, while the document is being
14 studied, would you tell us what knowledge you arrived
15 at when you did your police investigating in 1993?
16 A. We found that the young men from Novi Bila --
17 from Nova Bila were smuggling cars and falsifying
18 documents, forging documents, and that we undertook an
19 action to impound the vehicles and take into custody
20 the perpetrators. Sveda, who was the main culprit, was
21 taken into custody, and a group arrived at the police
22 station from Novi Bila with three-barreled guns and a
23 car to set Ferdo free.
24 Q. There seems to be a mistranslation. Just one
25 moment, please. So when Ferdo Gazibaric was taken into
1 custody, who came to the police station?
2 A. A group of Zuti came to the police station
3 with a truck with a three-barreled gun and a bus full
4 of its members.
5 Q. That means the members of the special
6 purposes unit belonging to Zuti; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. What happened next?
9 A. As we knew that they would be arriving, we
10 prepared to meet them and tackle them, and when they
11 arrived, Zuti got out, and when he saw what was being
12 prepared, he said that there should be a negotiation,
13 and Pasko, who was the head of the regional military
14 police did negotiate.
15 Q. What's Pasko's name?
16 A. I think his name was Ljubicic, I'm not quite
17 sure. He negotiated with him, and he said that an
18 agreement had been reached, and when the police
19 dispersed, Zuti, with a team of men, stormed the police
20 station, bashed down all the doors, beat up the officer
21 on duty, took the vehicle, asked where Ferdo was. He
22 said that he was in the Kaonik camp. He went with
23 Pasko to Kaonik camp and freed Ferdo, and they went off
24 in the direction of Nova Bila.
25 Q. This Ferdo Gazibaric was arrested on that
1 occasion; is that correct?
2 A. Right.
3 Q. And he was actually freed from Kaonik; is
4 that what you said?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And the police had already taken this Ferdo
7 Gazibaric to Kaonik as soon as he was arrested; is that
9 A. Yes. As soon as he was arrested, he was
10 taken to Kaonik.
11 Q. All right. Would you please have a look at
12 this report now?
13 Can you tell me whether this report describes
14 the event that you just told us about?
15 A. Yes. Yes, it does.
16 Q. Do you recall whether you took part in taking
17 Ferdo Gazibaric into custody and whether you took part
18 in this entire affair?
19 A. I did take part in the discovery of this
20 crime, but I did not go to Kaonik, take this person
21 into custody. I went home after work.
22 Q. This report is called "Information about
23 persons who organised the attack on the MUP and the
24 military police in Vitez"; is that right? The persons
25 that are mentioned in this report, do you know them?
1 A. Yes, some of them. Zarko Andric, that is
3 Q. Do you know what they were involved in?
4 A. Then this nickname Klempo, I heard that he
5 was an arms smuggler. I watched this on television,
6 but I did not have any contact with him.
7 Q. All right. Could you please look at the last
8 page and see who signed this report and whose seal and
9 stamp this is? Could you tell us whether you recognise
10 the signature and whether you recognise the seal?
11 A. It was signed by Pasko Ljubicic. I do not
12 know his signature, but I do know him.
13 Q. Also, was he commander of the 4th Battalion
14 of the military police at that time?
15 A. Yes. Yes, he was.
16 Q. Do you recognise the stamp and seal?
17 A. This is Herceg-Bosna, defence department. I
18 saw similar coats of arms.
19 Q. All right. Thank you. Tell us, were there
20 any other such cases that you may remember? Do you
21 remember any other cases of having the police station
23 A. Explosives were thrown, but nothing more
24 direct than that. I do not recall.
25 Q. You said that very often at the time a lot of
1 explosives were thrown around Vitez; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Were only Muslim buildings, Muslim houses,
4 endangered in this way, or Croat houses too?
5 A. In addition to Muslim buildings and houses,
6 Croatian buildings and houses were destroyed too, and
7 Serb houses and shops as well. And for example, shops
8 like Ogrjev, there were lootings, robberies, and goods
9 were taken away. And also explosives were thrown if
10 there was some kind of a conflict, and also I know that
11 the balcony of a Croat was shot at.
12 Q. Do you remember any restaurants or cafes
13 owned by Croats that were blown up at the time?
14 A. In town, the Kamen cafe owned by Jukic was
15 blown up. Then also in Zabilje, also a restaurant
16 called Tina. And then in front of various public
17 buildings like the medical centre, the cinema, the
18 police station. Perhaps there were other cases too,
19 but I can't remember now.
20 Q. And were there any cases of arson in the
21 villages, do you remember, at that time?
22 A. Yes, yes, there was arson in Kruscica, where
23 there is predominantly Muslim population, and weekend
24 cottages, weekend cottages belonging to Croats and
25 Serbs were usually torched. And also where there's a
1 majority Croat population, Muslim weekend cottages were
2 torched too. And also there is a Serb village,
3 Hrasnice by Tolovici, and everybody had moved out, and
4 then all the houses were burned.
5 Q. And when was this?
6 A. I think in '93.
7 Q. And did someone move into this village?
8 A. The village of Tolovici? Yes, yes, refugees,
9 I think, of Muslim ethnicity.
10 Q. I'm going to show you some other reports
11 pertaining to explosives and attacks by explosives, and
12 could you please tell us whether these were areas
13 inhabited by Croats, Muslims, or both.
14 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: So please, could
15 Defence Exhibit D31/2 be shown to the witness.
16 Mr. President, please, could you bear in mind
17 the fact that we should take a break? I've just heard
18 from one of the accused something to that effect.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we started at 9.35; we'll
20 finish at 5 minutes past 11, and we'll take the break
21 then, when you get to a convenient moment about then.
22 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you.
23 Q. Have you had a look at this?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. So we are talking about a report about
1 attacks with explosives in 1993; tell me these places
2 that are mentioned, the Red Cross, the clinic, MUP, the
3 Crnogorka building, which areas are these, and was
4 there only a Muslim population there, or only a Croat
5 population, or a mixed population?
6 A. This was in town, and all these are public
7 institutions. Around the clinic there are two
8 buildings where both Muslims and Croats live. Then
9 across the street from the civilian MUP, Ministry of
10 the Interior, there is also a building where civilians
11 live, and the building called Crnogorka is an apartment
13 Q. So we're talking about the centre of the town
14 of Vitez, aren't we?
15 A. Yes. Yes. It's all in a circle, really.
16 Also there is a balcony here, Zoran Krizanovic's
17 balcony. That building was called Vitezanka.
18 Q. Is Zoran Krizanovic a Croat, or a Muslim?
19 A. Zoran is a Croat.
20 Q. Do you remember whether such occurrences were
22 A. Well, practically every evening something was
23 going on.
24 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Could the usher please
25 show the witness this official note, too?
1 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
4 Q. Mr. Strukar, is this an event that you
6 A. I heard about this event, but I did not
7 investigate it.
8 Q. Explosives were thrown in this case, too,
9 weren't they, at Impregnacija? What was Impregnacija?
10 A. Impregnacija was a wood processing factory.
11 Q. Also an explosive was thrown at the house of
12 Dzemo Mujanovic which was nearby; is that right?
13 A. It's near this enterprise.
14 Q. This was a relatively strong explosion
15 because --
16 A. The glass broke.
17 Q. Yes, and the house was damaged. Did the
18 police do something when there were such explosions
19 which obviously endangered the people who were there
20 and who lived there?
21 A. Yes, they went to investigate. This was an
22 on-site investigation. They tried to get fingerprints,
23 et cetera, so if the perpetrator could be found, then
24 this could be used as evidence, and most probably
25 neighbours were interviewed and possible witnesses.
1 Q. Could you please look at this official note
2 and tell us who signed it? It is an official note of
3 the 4th Batallion of the military police?
4 A. Yes. It was signed by Ivan Josipovic.
5 Q. Do you know who this person is?
6 A. Yes, I do.
7 Q. What did he do? Was he a military policeman?
8 A. Yes, he was a military policeman, and he
9 worked in the military police in charge of operations.
10 Q. Thank you very much. You said that the
11 police tried to do something, that it intervened in
12 cases when they thought that dangerous things were
13 being done. Later on, how was all of this processed?
14 A. A criminal report would be filed with the
15 office of the prosecutor, which existed in Travnik
16 before, but then it was closed down, and then it was
17 supposed to open in Vitez and start working in Vitez,
18 that is to say, that this criminal report would be
19 filed with the office of the prosecutor, and then they
20 would send it on further.
21 Q. Why did this office of the prosecutor cease
22 to operate in Travnik, and when did this happen? Do
23 you know?
24 A. Because the roads were often blocked. I
25 think that's the reason. I don't know exactly when it
1 stopped working, though. I think in '93, '93, most
3 Q. At that time, was an office of the prosecutor
4 established in Vitez? Do you know about that?
5 A. I heard that it was supposed to be
6 established, and it was established eventually, but I
7 can't remember whether it was before the war or during
8 the war.
9 Q. What about the municipal court or the
10 district court? In the prewar days, in what
11 jurisdiction was Vitez?
12 A. Of the municipal court. The municipal court
13 functioned on the territory of the municipality of
14 Vitez, and we would always call an investigating judge
15 from Travnik, from the basic court there. For a given
16 period of time, he operated in Travnik, and then he
17 stopped operating, and this was also established in
19 Q. What about the higher court? Did it exist at
20 that time for the area of Vitez, and where was this?
21 A. I think that during the war it was in Vitez,
22 but I don't know when -- I don't know when.
23 Q. This prewar period, do you remember whether
24 the office of the prosecutor operated then? In 1993,
25 was there an office of the prosecutor in Vitez?
1 A. I cannot recall. I do not know when it
2 ceased to operate in Travnik and when it started
3 operating from Vitez. I do not recall the exact date.
4 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, if we
5 could take a break now, as I will be moving on to a
6 different subject in the next part, so perhaps this
7 would be a good point to break.
8 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Ms. Slokovic-Glumac, do you
9 think you will be able to conclude your examination in
10 time to finish this witness today? Clearly if we can
11 do that, it would be desirable, rather than having to
12 come back tomorrow.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: It depends on the
14 Prosecutor, really.
15 JUDGE MAY: Half an hour.
16 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.32 p.m.
18 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Slokovic-Glumac, what we
19 propose, in order to deal with this witness today, is
20 that we should sit this afternoon. That would mean
21 that we would go on now until 1.00. We would then take
22 the luncheon adjournment until 3.00, it would have to
23 be, and then sit between 3.00 and half past four. I
24 hope that won't cause inconvenience to anybody, but it
25 seems a more efficient way of dealing with the matter,
1 rather than all having to come back tomorrow.
2 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you,
3 Mr. President. That is agreeable with us as well, and
4 I think that we will complete what we have with the
6 Q. Mr. Strukar, let us go on to the 19th of
7 October, 1992 because some incidents occurred there
8 which are vital for the situation in Vitez. Would you
9 tell us where you were on the 19th of October, 1992?
10 A. On the 19th of October, 1992, at the end of
11 my work shift for the day, we were informed that there
12 was a traffic accident in Kuber [as translated] and
13 that some people had been killed in the accident. We
14 informed the investigating judge and the prosecutor
15 that we should go out on-site --
16 Q. Would you repeat the place where the accident
17 took place because it says "Kuber."
18 A. Klupe near Nadioci. It is a particularly
19 dangerous curve, bending curve, bend.
20 Q. The place is near Nadioci and Ahmici, is it
22 A. Yes, it is.
23 Q. You went there to perform an on-site
25 A. Yes. We waited for the judge and prosecutor
1 in the police station for about half an hour, and as he
2 failed to arrive, we went on-site to see what had
3 actually occurred. We came to the site of the accident
4 and waited there for a further two hours, and the
5 public prosecutor from Travnik turned up alone and said
6 that the others could not arrive because there was a
7 roadblock and that we should get through the business
8 together with him which we did and started on the
9 return journey to Vitez.
10 When we arrived in the vicinity of the
11 cemetary at Topole, which is close to Ahmici, on the
12 road, I noticed people with weapons. There were some
13 obstacles positioned on the road which we called
14 hedgehogs, and I drew closer because I saw a young man
15 with a weapon coming towards us and made a sign to us
16 to stop.
17 Q. Who was that? Tell the Court, please.
18 A. It was Zavid Ahmic, the commander of the
19 reservist police unit for Ahmici. He asked me where we
20 had been. I told him that there was an accident and
21 that we had been there. We asked to pass by, and he
22 said, "Yes, you can pass through but don't come back."
23 Some of the young men removed the obstacles.
24 I continued on my journey and came to the
25 police station. I saw that all the lights had been
1 turned off. This seemed a little strange. I slowed
2 down, and in front of the building, there were two
3 uniformed men wearing black uniforms, and they told me
4 to stop. They gave me signs to stop.
5 Q. Just one moment, please. The members of
6 which unit were positioned in front of the police
8 A. I didn't know at the time, but I learned
9 later that they were members of the Vitezovi. He asked
10 me what my name was and my co-driver. I said his name
11 was Zoran. And they said, "What do you want here?"
12 And I said, "We work here." He said, "You don't work
13 here anymore. Go home."
14 I took one of my colleagues to Jardol. I
15 gave him a lift because I saw that the situation was
16 dangerous, and I, myself, returned home. I didn't stop
17 off at the police station anymore.
18 Half an hour later, the telephone rang and an
19 unknown voice told me to come to the police station and
20 to bring the official vehicle that I had been using and
21 to bring my office keys with me and the keys to the
22 other official vehicles. So I went to the police
23 station. I stopped in front, and a soldier escorted me
24 up to my own office. And through the corridor, I
25 noticed that all the doors had been broken down and all
1 the drawers had been ransacked. My own drawer was not
2 ransacked. I took out my keys, and the man told me to
3 go downstairs with him where I was awaited by his
4 leader or chief, and I recognised him. His nickname
5 was Sidi. He said, "Where are the keys," and I said,
6 "Over there." And he said, "Go off home, and I don't
7 want to see you here anymore." So I went home that
8 evening and stayed home.
9 Q. Did anybody stay in the police station that
10 day, that is to say, the 19th of October, of the
12 A. I didn't see anybody. I went right round the
13 police station because the crime squad office was at
14 the end of the corridor, and I saw nobody along the
16 Q. Did you go to your office at the police
17 station the following day?
18 A. Well, I wondered what I was going to do
19 during the night, and in the morning, I went to the
20 police station to see what I was going to do. When I
21 arrived at the police station, the young man asked me
22 what I wanted, and I asked whether any of the policemen
23 had come to work and whether we could take up our
24 duties, and he said, "No. Go to the Hotel Vitez." I
25 found some of my colleagues there, and I spent some
1 time in the hotel.
2 Q. Was the entire police station moved to the
3 premises of the hotel?
4 A. The Croats were moved there. The Muslims,
5 however, set up their own police station in the Mahala
6 in Old Vitez, Stari Vitez, in the fire brigade
7 building. So they moved to the fire brigade building
8 and set up their own station there. Several policemen
9 who remained just reported for duty and said they would
10 like to work there, and they were told to go home and
11 that they would be called when needed.
12 Q. So that means that there was a division in
13 the police force after that incident; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, it is.
15 Q. As far as I was able to understand, the whole
16 of the police station was sent away from the police
17 station by the Vitezovi.
18 A. The whole police station was taken over by
19 the Vitezovi, and nobody, none of the police force,
20 could enter the building. Everybody was thrown out.
21 Q. How many days did you spend in the hotel as a
22 police force?
23 A. I think we spent about 10 to 20 days in the
24 hotel. I'm not quite sure. I know that we were there,
25 stationed there, for a time.
1 Q. The Muslims, you say, formed their own police
2 force in what they referred to as the Mahala; is that
4 A. Yes. We saw that they were absent, and then
5 we learnt that they had established their own police
6 station in Stari Vitez, in the Mahala, in the fire
7 brigade building there. With our chief, the commander,
8 the chief -- their chief, Saban Mahmutovic,
9 communicated with him.
10 Q. Saban Mahmutovic, therefore, joined the
11 police force set up in the Mahala; is that right?
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Who was the commander of the civilian police
14 of the Croatian part at that time?
15 A. It was Pero Skopljak still, and then he
16 tendered his resignation because of the events that
17 happened, and then Mirko Samija took over.
18 Q. Were there any problems? Was Pero Skopljak
19 asked to resign previously by the police cadres, that
20 is to say, by Sarajevo? Do you know whether anything
21 like that was requested?
22 A. I don't know whether the request came from
23 Sarajevo, but I do know that after this event took
24 place, we asked the Muslims to have a meeting and to
25 start working together again, and they requested, they
1 asked as a condition for this, that Pero Skopljak
2 tender his resignation, and then the Croats asked Saban
3 Mahmutovic to do the same.
4 Q. As Pero Skopljak's deputy?
5 A. Yes, as chief of police. Pero Skopljak
6 tendered his resignation and said, "There you are. I
7 don't want to be an obstacle." The Muslims did not
8 follow suit, so that we had no further contacts.
9 Q. Can you tell us whether your status underwent
10 a change, that is to say, what about your salaries and
11 so on? Did you receive your salary from Sarajevo after
12 that or did your salaries come to you from Mostar?
13 A. I later learned that with that date, our
14 labour relations, that is, the Croat members of the
15 police force, relations were severed there, and we
16 began receiving salaries from Mostar, from the
17 government. I don't actually know.
18 Q. All the Croats in Vitez, were their work
19 duties severed?
20 A. Only for the Croat policemen, members of the
21 police force.
22 Q. Would you take a look at your work booklet,
23 and I'd like the usher to hand around this document?
24 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D77/2.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
1 Q. Would you take a look at the pages that have
2 been photocopied from the original? Tell us whether
3 that is your own personal work booklet. Would you take
4 a look at page 3 which states that on the 19th of
5 October, 1992, you were relieved of your duties as of
6 that date and that the RSUP, that is to say, the
7 Republican SUP of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the security
8 centre in Zenica told you of the fact that you would be
9 relieved of your duties, the Vitez station.
10 So your function ceased as of the 19th of
11 October, 1992; you were no longer an employee of the
12 police station. This was terminated by the SUP from
13 Sarajevo; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Was that also the case with your colleagues,
16 the other policemen?
17 A. Yes. When I was in Sarajevo and wanted to
18 retrieve my work booklet, the clerk told me that I was
19 to have received a certificate stating that I was
20 relieved of my duties as of that date, and the clerk
21 said -- she was a woman -- and she said that as of that
22 date, we would be relieved of our duties. But I never
23 saw this actually on paper.
24 Q. The contents of your work booklet, who wrote
25 in the contents and your years of service? Where was
1 your booklet located?
2 A. In the Republican SUP of Sarajevo.
3 Q. So that means that that is where your years
4 of service were recorded and everything else, the
5 information about your employment.
6 When the civilian police became divided up
7 and the Muslims moved to the Mahala and the Croatian
8 part remained in Vitez, how was the work of the police
10 A. Well, what we did was the following: We
11 would work in areas where the majority of the
12 population were Croats, whereas they worked where the
13 majority population were Muslims. Then we would
14 cooperate in the exchange of reports. For example, if
15 a perpetrator was a Croat and he was on Muslim
16 territory and had perpetrated a crime, we would take a
17 statement down from the individual and send them that
18 statement and report. That is the way in which we
19 would function. We would go out for an on-site
20 investigation, when a theft, in case of a theft or
21 anything else, we would do this together.
22 Q. So there was a sort of territorial division
23 covered by both police stations; is that correct?
24 A. Yes. For safety reasons, for security
25 reasons, they would cover their own territory and we
1 would cover ours.
2 Q. How did this cooperation function during the
3 on-site investigations?
4 A. Well, when we did the investigation together,
5 the on-site investigation.
6 Q. Do you remember the areas held by the Muslim
7 police? What area did the problems occur?
8 A. In the Mahala of Stari Vitez, in Kruscica,
9 Veceriska, those were the areas, perhaps in Preocica to
10 a certain extent but to a lesser extent.
11 Q. When the Croatian police would go on the
12 on-site investigation, when were they called to the
13 Mahala to perform on-site investigations?
14 A. Well, we would go -- for example, when a bomb
15 was thrown in the courtyard of a Croatian house,
16 Pavlovic Vinko and when there was shooting at a man
17 called Jorga who was going down a side street near the
18 stadium, near the barracks, and then there was another
19 case in Kruscica.
20 Q. Just one moment, please. Let me ask you
21 about the Mahala. Do you know anything about two
22 individuals, the surname Prkacin?
23 A. Yes, a woman lived near the barracks with an
24 invalid son, and one evening, they shot at the barracks
25 through her flat, and so I was called to do an on-site
2 Q. Was that the last time that you were called
3 to the Mahala? Can you tell us the date?
4 A. It wasn't the last time. I went to the
5 Mahala on another occasion, I don't remember the exact
6 date, but I went when, in Kruscica, Croats were beaten
7 up at mejtefs, and a team came from Zenica came to us
8 to ask some of us to be present, some of the members of
9 the civilian police, so I was called to go there, and
10 they took us towards a weekend cottage which was where
11 the investigation took place, and from there, we went
12 to the police station in Stari Vitez. I don't think
13 that I went again.
14 Q. Do you know the individuals in question in
15 the case when there was the beating up in Kruscica?
16 A. One of the men was called Tomic and another
17 was -- his name was Dragan Botic, I think, and there
18 was probably one other person, I'm not sure what his
19 name was.
20 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would like the
21 witness to be shown Defence Exhibit D72/2 now, please.
22 Q. This is a report on the arrest of members of
23 the HVO. Do you recall that particular event? Did it
24 also take place when Botic was beaten up, or is that
25 another event?
1 A. This is another event. I heard about it in
2 town, that is to say, that these people were
3 apprehended and their weapons taken away. I think
4 there was a Kombi van at some point in the affair.
5 Q. So you did hear about the event, that is to
6 say, that the members of the BiH army and MOS arrested
7 members of the HVO in Kruscica?
8 A. Yes, I did hear of that event.
9 Q. Were there more events of this kind, to the
10 best of your recollection?
11 A. I think there were a number of events like
12 that, whether they were larger groups or smaller groups
13 that were stopped and weapons confiscated and then they
14 would be let go and so on.
15 Q. In other parts of the territory held by the
16 Muslim police, were there other incidents of this kind
17 that you recollect? You said that in Veceriska, some
18 incidents took place.
19 A. Up in Veceriska, and Veceriska is near a
20 forest, and wood was taken, cut from the forest there,
21 and it was transported by tractor, a tractor was used
22 to transport the wood, and I know that they stopped the
23 driver of a tractor and punctured his tyres and that
24 his tractor was shot at, and he came to complain but we
25 weren't able to do much.
1 Q. With regard to this period, that is to say,
2 when you tried to cooperate with the police, the Muslim
3 police in areas held by the Muslims and when you tried
4 to coordinate work, how did you coordinate your work
5 with the military police?
6 A. If a case was something that the military
7 police would be in charge of, we would call them to
8 come or we would go because it was close by, the
9 headquarters were close by, so we did have this kind of
11 Q. Did you work together on the on-site
13 A. Well, if it was impossible to ascertain at
14 any given moment whether the individual who had
15 perpetrated a crime belonged to a military unit or not,
16 then we would go out jointly to ascertain this, and
17 then, depending on who the individual belonged to,
18 which organisation, that organisation would take on the
20 Q. Could you please look at another document too
21 related to the work of the civilian and military police
23 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D78/2.
24 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
25 Q. This is a report of Ivan Budimir from the 2nd
1 Battalion of Vitez. He was the officer for SIS. Do
2 you know what Ivan Budimir did?
3 A. I think that he was head of the military
5 Q. At a given period in time?
6 A. Yes. And then he moved to the civilian
8 Q. Could you please look at points 1 and 2 and 3
9 here? It is said here that there is a regional
10 military police in Vitez as a separate municipal police
11 and also the 4th Battalion of the military police and
12 the civilian police. Also, it is mentioned that there
13 is no sphere of work.
14 Do you know what the difference was between
15 these police forces and how did they distribute their
16 assignments and within which system did they operate?
17 A. Well, this is the way it was: The military
18 police, the regional, they were separate. They got
19 bigger salaries than the other ones. Then there was
20 some kind of resentment between the two, and when
21 something had to be resolved, then they would blame
22 each other, shift responsibility to one another, and
23 they couldn't really work properly, they couldn't
24 cooperate properly.
25 Q. Where were their headquarters? Were they
1 under the Ministry of Defence or under the Ministry of
2 Police in Mostar?
3 A. Possibly this regional police was attached to
4 Mostar, but I don't know about the rest.
5 Q. Also, they mention here what you mentioned as
6 well, that there is armed robbery, people are being
7 wounded, and also sabotages in the town, in cafes, and
8 so far there have been armed robberies in six houses
9 (two Croats, one Serb, and three Muslims).
10 Did the military police make any kind of
11 attempt to deal with the security situation? Did you
12 reach any kind of agreement with them?
13 A. There were some discussions to the effect
14 that there should be a ban on carrying weapons in
15 town. I know that the chiefs talked about this, but
16 agreement was never reached on this matter. Perhaps
17 there was something on paper, but it was not carried
19 Q. Also, it is mentioned here that many of these
20 incidents occurred in cafes. Was there a curfew or
21 were there limited working hours for the cafes?
22 A. Yes. There was also a decision on the work
23 of catering establishments and a curfew was imposed.
24 The curfew started in the evening, I think around 8.00
25 or 9.00, and then it went on until 4.00 or 5.00 in the
1 morning. At first, it was observed by citizens, by
2 honest citizens. But then permits were issued to
3 persons who would be allowed to move about even during
4 curfew hours, and then there were more and more of them
5 every day, and then it became pointless to have a
7 Q. Who reached these decisions about the curfew,
8 and in principle, did they pertain to all citizens of
10 A. They pertained to all citizens of Vitez. It
11 was announced in all the media that there was a curfew
12 and that no movement was allowed.
13 Q. Tell us now, in relation to the situation, in
14 terms of preserving law and order in Vitez in 1992 and
15 1993, in fact, was this situation such that it was out
16 of control?
17 A. Yes, yes. It was certainly out of control.
18 Q. Were all the citizens endangered in this way?
19 A. Everyone was endangered because people were
20 afraid of gunfire, of explosions. Everybody was
22 Q. What about the rural areas?
23 A. In rural areas, the villagers set up their
24 village guards, these night guards, not during the day
25 though, and that is how the Muslims organised
1 themselves and that is how the Croats organised
2 themselves, and there were some Serbs too. They stood
3 guard until the morning.
4 Q. So you believe that one of the reasons why
5 village guards were established was this lack of safety
6 because of the general security situation that
7 prevailed and because of this uncertainty?
8 A. Well, most probably, because people realised
9 that the police couldn't do much, and then people
10 organised themselves.
11 Q. During 1992 and 1993, in the municipality of
12 Vitez, please tell me, until the 16th of April, 1993,
13 were there any killings of Muslims, and are you aware
14 of any specific cases?
15 A. There were killings of Muslims, and there
16 were cases when a Croat would kill a Muslim and when a
17 Muslim would kill a Muslim. There were both kinds of
19 Q. Could you please try to remember those cases
20 when a Muslim was killed by a Croat.
21 A. In the Vitez Hotel.
22 Q. Who was killed then?
23 A. I think Trako was killed. I don't know his
24 name though, but that's what I heard.
25 Q. Do you recall when this happened?
1 A. No, no. Perhaps in '93; I don't know
3 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Could the witness
4 please be shown this document.
5 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
8 Q. Please have a look at this document; look at
9 the Croatian text, please.
10 Is this the event that you were referring to
11 when you were talking about Trako?
12 A. Yes, yes, that's it.
13 Q. This is an investigation record that was made
14 because of the murder of Samir Trako. Does this
15 document show that the investigation was attended by
16 the municipal Prosecutor?
17 A. Yes, yes. Miskovic. Miskovic Vlado.
18 Q. He was the Prosecutor in Travnik; is that
20 A. Yes, in Travnik.
21 Q. This investigation record shows that the
22 perpetrator is established; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And that it is suspected that Vukadinovic
25 Perica from Vitez committed this crime. Was Perica
1 Vukadinovic a member of the HOV units?
2 A. I think he was.
3 Q. Was a criminal report filed against him?
4 A. I think it was.
5 Q. Do you know how these proceedings ended?
6 A. I know that he was on the run, but I don't
7 know whether he was ultimately arrested.
8 Q. Is he still alive? Do you know that?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. I'm sorry. Could you please have a look at
11 the signature on this document, on the investigation
12 record, that is. Who signed it?
13 A. Percinlic Zeljko, investigating judge.
14 Q. That is to say that the investigating judge
15 was present at the scene; is that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Do you know Zeljko Percinlic, and do you know
18 his signature?
19 A. I know Zeljko, but I don't know his
21 Q. But he was an investigating judge at the
23 A. Yes, he was.
24 Q. So that is one murder that you recall; were
25 there any other murders of Muslims by Croats? I'm
1 talking about the period before the 16th of April.
2 A. Yes, in Nadioci. Salkic was killed. He was a
4 Q. Is his name Esad?
5 A. Possibly.
6 Q. Were you there, or rather, was there an
7 on-site investigation?
8 A. Yes. Yes, and we went together with the
9 military police, because at that very moment we did not
10 know who the perpetrator was. Later we found out who
11 the perpetrator was. We brought him into custody and
12 sent him to Kaonik, to the prison there.
13 Q. Do you remember who was involved in the
14 on-site investigation, you or the military police, or
15 did you work together?
16 A. We worked together. We helped each other.
17 We were all there at the crime scene, so we worked
18 together. We did the investigation together.
19 Q. When you interviewed the witnesses, did you
20 determine who this person was who had committed this
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Who was this?
24 A. The suspect was Miroslav Bralo, nicknamed
1 Q. And a criminal report was filed against this
2 person; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was he arrested?
5 A. Yes, he was arrested.
6 Q. And where was he taken to?
7 A. We took him to Kaonik, to the Kaonik prison.
8 Q. Did you take him to Kaonik?
9 Could you please tell us, because the record
10 hasn't recorded your answer.
11 A. The answer is yes.
12 Q. Do you remember when this happened? Can you
13 tell us specifically?
14 A. This was in 1993, whereas the previous case
15 occurred earlier.
16 Q. Do you remember any other cases when a Muslim
17 was killed by a Croat before the 16th of April, 1993?
18 A. I cannot recall.
19 Q. Do you remember any murders of Croats by
20 Muslims in this same period?
21 A. Croats?
22 Q. What about Zuljevic?
23 A. That was in June or July.
24 Q. Well, I'm asking you about 1992 --
25 A. Yes, yes, they disappeared.
1 Q. Would disappeared?
2 A. Two young men. One was Zuljevic; the other
3 one was Pocrnja. And in July, their corpses were found
4 in a thicket near Krcevine. That is when the
5 commission from Zenica went out to the crime scene.
6 And later on I found out that the suspects were two
7 Muslims, two brothers. And I don't know what happened
8 after that.
9 Q. Why did this commission from Zenica go to the
10 scene of the crime? Was it because it was suspected
11 that they were murdered by Muslims, or why?
12 A. Usually more serious crimes were under the
13 jurisdiction of the regional SUP of Zenica. They would
14 go out to the crime scene in the case of such crimes,
15 and they would process them. And that is why they went
17 Q. Could you also try to remember whether, in
18 these incidents that we were speaking about, were there
19 also killings of Croats by Croats in cafes and hotels,
20 et cetera, at that time?
21 A. Yes, at the hotel there was another killing
22 committed by a Croat; a Croat killed a Croat, that is.
23 Santic, I think. And there's this Vlado who was
24 killed. And then in a cafe, a waitress, a woman, got
25 killed. Then in Kruscica, during the night guard, one
1 young man was killed because he mishandled a gun. I
2 can't recall any others.
3 Q. Please tell the Court, because I mistakenly
4 omitted this: Did any Muslims stay on in the police
5 force after the 19th of October, 1992?
6 A. I think about seven or eight remained. I
7 think they did. I think they worked until the outbreak
8 of the conflict, some of them. Some stayed on even
9 after the outbreak of the conflict, and one young man
10 stayed on throughout.
11 Q. Were they prevented from working? Do you
12 know that?
13 A. Not on our side, not by us. Only the chief
14 of police would always send them out with a Croat, so
15 that they wouldn't have any difficult situations to
16 deal with.
17 Q. Please tell the Court, what did you do in the
18 morning of the 16th of April, 1993?
19 A. I was at the police station. I was
20 developing photographs, because I was on duty from
21 10.00 p.m. until the first morning shift took over.
22 Since there were many robberies and other things that
23 were committed during the night, we had this
24 round-the-clock duty at the station, so that's why I
25 was there that night.
1 Q. And when did something happen, or start
2 happening? At what time?
3 A. I was in the lab when I heard a detonation.
4 I went out. I couldn't leave immediately because I had
5 to take care of a few things. And when I went out,
6 Mirko Samija was there with the officer on duty, and he
7 said, "Call the other members in." Some came
8 immediately; as soon as they heard the explosion, they
9 knew that something was wrong. And everybody knew that
10 we were supposed to meet at the station if something
11 went wrong. And Mirko said, "Get your equipment and go
12 and guard these various buildings," namely the post
13 office, the municipality building, and the gasoline
14 station, and the police building.
15 And I took my equipment and asked where I
16 should go. And he gave me another person from the
17 crime police, and he said that we should go to the
18 municipality building.
19 Q. And what happened on the 16th? You were
20 there guarding the building all day, or did you take
22 A. We would take over from one another after a
23 few hours. I went back, and the first time I went
24 back, I went to take a break, and I was asked to come
25 to the municipality basement, and that we should seek
1 shelter there. And when I went down there, I saw these
2 other men who were waiting for their shifts.
3 Q. And how long did you stay there? How long
4 did you stay there on guard duty?
5 A. Well, for several days.
6 Q. Several days?
7 A. Yes, several days. And then we would go to
8 the police station again. And again when there was
9 combat operation, then we would go there again.
10 Because that was our shelter, because it was
11 underground and we were safe there.
12 Q. Thank you. No further questions.
13 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I have concluded, and I
14 would like to tender as Defence Exhibits D75/2 through
16 JUDGE MAY: Is there any further
18 Mr. Radovic, have you any questions?
19 MR. PAVKOVIC: Mr. President, Borislav
20 Krajina and Luko Susak -- or rather Zelimir Par would
21 like to examine the witness. Briefly, they say.
22 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
23 MR. PAR: Thank you, Mr. President. I have a
24 few brief questions to ask of this witness.
25 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
1 Q. Mr. Strukar, in the course of 1994 and 1995
2 you worked in the crime police as well, did you not?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Do you know that in the course of 1994/1995,
5 that there were breaking and entering reports into the
6 house of Vlatko Kupreskic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Were you personally sent to investigate this
10 A. Yes, on both occasions.
11 Q. Would you tell us what year that was?
12 A. I think that it was 1994.
13 Q. And what actually happened? Was it a case of
14 breaking and entering?
15 A. Yes, it was a case of breaking and entering.
16 The perpetrators entered the premises through the
17 window, and they looted some things, I think, some
18 trousers and other clothing which were located on the
19 premises. And the second case occurred when there was
20 breaking and entering in a warehouse nearby his house,
21 and once again some items were taken.
22 Q. At that time, in 1994/95, in the area of
23 Vitez, Ahmici, Pirici, were there an increased number
24 of offences of this kind, crimes of this kind, breaking
25 and entering and looting and so on, and was property
1 generally endangered in that area, onslaughts against
2 property, were they prevalent?
3 A. Well, not to the extent to which -- that is
4 to say we were organised better later on.
5 Q. The breaking and entering at the Kupreskic
6 place, did this take place there, or were there
7 increased incidences of this kind at the time?
8 A. No, I don't think so.
9 MR. PAVKOVIC: Thank you. I have no further
11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Susak?
12 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President.
13 Cross-examined by Mr. Susak:
14 Q. I am Defence Counsel for Drago Josipovic; my
15 name is Luko Susak, and I would like to ask you the
16 following question: In view of the fact that Bralo
17 Miroslav, nicknamed Cicko, who was mentioned on several
18 occasions during this trial, and other -- and the
19 surname Bralo was also mentioned, I would like to ask
20 you a question in that regard: Could you tell us who
21 Miroslav Bralo, nicknamed Cicko, in fact, was?
22 A. He lived in Nadioci. He was a member of the
23 Vitezovi. And I don't know any more about him.
24 Q. Do you know when he was born?
25 A. No, I don't.
1 Q. Did he reside in Nadioci all the time?
2 A. I didn't know him beforehand, that is until
3 he started making the problems. And then he was in
4 Vitez, and later on he had a flat in town.
5 Q. You said that he was taken into custody, that
6 you took him into custody; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And that he was taken to Kaonik, the Kaonik
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was he ever tried?
12 A. I don't know what happened after that. I
13 only know that he was taken to the prison, that we
14 handed him over, and that we returned. I don't know
15 what happened after that.
16 Q. You mentioned today a reserve police
17 formation, and you said that a station was established
18 for this reserve formation. Did they have a separate
19 commander apart from the head of the police station of
20 Vitez, who was the chief of police, who was Pero
22 A. I was the commander in town, and Pero
23 Skopljak was my superior.
24 Q. Does that mean that he was commander of the
25 reserve formation as well?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did the reserve formation have separate
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Where were these offices?
6 A. They were in the local community building in
7 town, those premises. They had four offices there.
8 Q. When you spoke about the distribution of
9 weapons, was this the police station for the reserve
10 formations that took over this, or was sent this?
11 A. The police station would charge each
12 individual with the weapons; they had to sign for the
13 weapons. They were issued guns individually.
14 Q. And what about the uniforms, the issuance of
16 A. The same thing happened. When they wanted to
17 accept somebody into the reserve unit, they would be
18 investigated, and when the okay was obtained, logistics
19 would issue that individual with uniforms and
20 equipment, and they would sign for it.
21 Q. You spoke about how they came by their
22 weapons, I'm not going to ask you any more about that,
23 but I'm just going to ask you whether they were
24 supplied with weapons in any other way, apart from the
25 fashion that you described today.
1 A. I don't know. The reserve police formation,
2 I don't know about that.
3 Q. You mentioned Pero Skopljak today. How long
4 did he perform his functions as chief of police?
5 A. He was chief of police up until the division
6 of the police force into the Muslim and Croat section,
7 that is to say, until he resigned.
8 Q. Where did he go after that?
9 A. I don't know. I think that he went to join a
10 humanitarian organisation, but I'm not quite sure.
11 Q. Was he in the HVO government?
12 A. I really can't say.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us move on to
14 another question now. Do you know of the warehouse
15 called Ogrjev in Santici which belonged to the Vitez
16 shareholding company?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. Will you tell us where that is located?
19 A. It is located along the main road running
20 from Vitez to Kaonik on the left-hand side viewed from
21 the Vitez direction.
22 Q. In the courtyard to that warehouse, do you
23 enter the courtyard from an asphalt road branching off
24 from the main road or in some other way?
25 A. In front of the warehouse, there is a
1 plateaux, a sort of small plateaux, and you enter the
2 warehouse from that plateaux, that is to say, the
3 Ogrjev premises.
4 Q. Would you describe to us, please, what the
5 entrance door looks like to the warehouse?
6 A. Well, the door, there is usually
7 some armature, netting used in construction work, and
8 it is secured to the metal part, and this is a sort of
9 large gateway.
10 Q. I would like to call upon the usher now to
11 hand out an aerial photograph as a document, it is D10,
12 and to show the witness that document.
13 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President?
14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Terrier.
15 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I would like to
16 make one remark, with your permission. When we talk
17 about the enclosure around this premises, I request
18 that they state what time period we are speaking of
19 because I believe it was established in a previous
20 hearing of this same trial that some transformation had
21 taken place, and, therefore, the enclosure is no longer
22 the same as it was at that time period. So I would
23 request that the request witness be asked exactly what
24 time period we're speaking of at this moment.
25 MR. SUSAK: I'm going to pose that question
1 but, of course, the Prosecutor can ask the witness
2 directly later on in the cross-examination.
3 Q. Could you tell us what this relates to, which
4 period? Is it April 1993?
5 A. Ogrjev existed in 1993, yes.
6 Q. This aerial photograph is identical to
7 Prosecution Exhibit 297. The aerial photograph was
8 taken by the Prosecution investigators. Could you tell
9 us where the entrance to Ogrjev lies?
10 A. It is on the west side, on the left-hand
11 side, that is to say.
12 Q. Would you mark the entrance with an "A," the
13 letter "A"?
14 A. The entrance to Ogrjev, you mean?
15 Q. Yes. How many wings does the entrance have?
16 A. The entrance consists of two big wings or
17 sides and one auxiliary which is a part of the big
19 Q. So there are two wings, and one of them is
20 divided into two. Would you mark this in, please, one
21 wing with the number 1 and the second with the number
22 2, and the small wing 2A?
23 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Susak, I'm not sure that I
24 follow that. The English interpretation is "wings." I
25 don't know what the wing of an entrance is.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Part of a door.
2 JUDGE MAY: We're told it's part of a door.
3 I guess it means "gates," probably. Does that seem
5 MR. SUSAK: It is a gate, yes. Thank you for
6 drawing our attention to that, Your Honour.
7 THE INTERPRETER: Well, one gate. They are
8 referring to a wing but it's part of a gate, the small
9 gate, 2A.
10 MR. SUSAK:
11 Q. Would you tell us whether you went to Ogrjev
12 before 1993?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. Would you describe the entrance, the entrance
15 or door, because they have been described in different
17 A. In fact, the entrance door is composed of a
18 netting, wire netting, supported by a steel rim, and
19 there is an expansion on the left-hand side viewed from
20 the Vitez direction, and during the day, the door is
21 open or gate. At night, it is closed. And this
22 auxiliary door served for the guards, purposes of the
23 guards' entry and exit, and the guard would walk around
24 the area to survey it, and there would be a regular
25 patrol as well patrolling the premises.
1 Q. Thank you. Take a look at the aerial
2 photograph. Which direction has the aerial photograph
3 been taken from?
4 A. It was taken from the Kaonik direction.
5 Q. So from the asphalt part of the road?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In fact, this is an erroneous representation
8 of the actual state of affairs because we can see the
9 entry from the asphalt road, but describe where the
10 gate is and whether there are two wire fences?
11 A. Yes, there were two wire fences, one between
12 the main road and the wire fence where there is a sort
13 of canal, a small canal, where the wire netting is, up
14 until the last left-hand pillar, and then we go on
15 right towards the facility itself, which is where the
16 gate, entrance gate, is located.
17 Q. So the entrance gate is on the other side of
18 the road. From the macadamised road surface, you enter
19 into the warehouse Ogrjev. Could you tell us the
20 difference between the armoured pillars, that is to
21 say, the thicker and thinner pillars?
22 A. The thicker, stronger pillars are close up;
23 whereas the ones in the background are smaller because
24 they are further away from the road.
25 Q. Would you please mark with an "X" the smaller
1 pillars which is the second fence, in fact, the second
2 plot, and place a "Y" to denote the pillars which are
3 closer to the road. You marked the gateway, entrance
4 gateway to Ogrjev, but I can't see that you have
5 denoted the small gateway to Ogrjev.
6 A. The smaller gateway is the other side.
7 Q. Can you use a Magic Marker --
8 A. Yes, that's right.
9 Q. -- to mark this in for us. That smaller
10 gateway is there.
11 A. (Marks)
12 Q. Would you use the Magic Marker once again to
13 mark the ground, the level ground?
14 A. Along the road here (marks).
15 Q. Now a dotted line to indicate the fence which
16 connects with the ground, the other side of Ogrjev,
17 that is to say, the other fence, the fence which is
18 more distant.
19 A. (Marks)
20 Q. A dotted line, please, a dotted line to make
21 it clearer. A little further left, yes.
22 A. (Marks)
23 Q. So those are two levels and the fence on both
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Would you tell us where the guard hut is?
2 A. The guard hut is in a special facility, and
3 it is an office by day and a guard hut by night.
4 Q. You said that you used to go to Ogrjev. Does
5 the guard hut have a door and windows?
6 A. It has an entrance door, yes, and there are
7 windows in the office.
8 Q. How many windows?
9 A. One by the entrance door looking towards
10 Ogrjev and the other.
11 Q. Would you place an arrow to denote the window
12 facing west, the western window, an arrow, please?
13 A. (Marks)
14 Q. Yes. Would you place the letter "O" to
15 denote the window facing south?
16 A. (Marks)
17 Q. On the window, yes. Thank you. Would you
18 now place an arrow showing us the entrance door to the
19 guard hut?
20 A. (Marks)
21 Q. And the third window?
22 A. (Marks)
23 Q. You placed a triangle.
24 A. Yes, a triangle.
25 Q. Can you describe to us what the guard hut
1 looked like, that is to say, what the windows were
2 like, whether they had glass on them, and how the
3 windows were closed shut and the doors?
4 A. The windows had glass, and you could only
5 open them from the inside. You could not open them
6 from the outside because they were low down. The house
7 is a small one, and the windows are low, and that's why
8 you can open the windows only from the inside.
9 Q. What about the door, the entrance door?
10 A. The entrance door, well, you open them
11 normally. You can go in one way or the other.
12 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, I have a videotape
13 related to this subject, and it would be a good thing
14 if the usher could take it to the technical booth so
15 that it could be played because it does show the actual
16 situation on the ground.
17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Susak, before we see it,
18 let's hear a little more about it. Where was it taken
19 and who by?
20 MR. SUSAK: I did, in Vitez, and I gave the
21 Prosecutor one copy immediately, and they have one copy
22 for their own records, and also a copy for the
24 JUDGE MAY: When did you take it?
25 MR. SUSAK: It was taken just now, but the
1 fence is the same, and you will be able to see this
2 when you compare it to the aerial photograph that we
3 were just mentioning. The aerial photograph was taken
4 by the Prosecutor's investigators, and it was also
5 registered as their Exhibit 147.
6 JUDGE MAY: I don't want to stop you doing
7 this, but I just wonder whether this is the appropriate
8 witness to play this item to. How long will it take?
9 MR. SUSAK: Not long, not long. I can't
10 really calculate it, but it's going to be brief, about
11 15 minutes, because I think the witness answered all
12 the questions already.
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, 15 minutes seems quite long
14 for a video of a fence, but it was taken this year, was
16 MR. SUSAK: Yes.
17 JUDGE MAY: Last year, I suspect, Judge Mumba
18 points out.
19 Yes, Mr. Terrier, I don't think we need waste
20 too much time on this. If counsel wants to play it
21 now, then it can be played. It needs to be played once
22 at least.
23 MR. TERRIER: Yes, of course. It's at your
24 discretion, Your Honour; however, I simply wish to add
25 that if we're dealing with the fence, the fence in
1 front of the road here, I believe there is a document
2 that exists that was already tendered into evidence,
3 245, which is a photograph, a very excellent
4 photograph, taken by a BRITBAT officer on the 16th of
5 April, 1993, and this photograph has been tendered
6 before this Tribunal. The Trial Chamber is aware of
7 this photograph, and it shows the fence in question,
8 and so I question whether or not this is sufficient
9 already, but if Your Honour prefers to see this video,
10 then so be it.
11 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, please, I would
12 like to say something.
13 JUDGE MAY: We'll play the video. Is there
14 anything else you want to say?
15 MR. SUSAK: I wished to say that some of the
16 Prosecution witnesses said that the person, the guard,
17 jumped over the fence, and another witness said that
18 the guard went underneath the fence, and this video
19 will prove that neither is possible.
20 JUDGE MAY: Why don't you hand the video in
21 and we'll play it?
22 THE REGISTRAR: The video will be marked
23 Exhibit D12/4, and the prior document is marked D11/4.
24 (Videotape played)
25 MR. SUSAK: We are going to stop at this
1 point a bit, please. Please, could we stop at this
2 point a bit? Could you please rewind the tape a bit?
3 (Videotape played)
4 MR. SUSAK: That's right.
5 Q. Could you please tell us now where the fence
6 exactly is in terms of the road and where is the door?
7 A. The fence is in front.
8 Q. All right. But we can't see this on our
10 Now tell us. Where is the fence in relation
11 to the main road and where is the entrance door into
12 the yard of this warehouse?
13 A. On the left-hand side is the fence.
14 Q. That's where there is asphalt; right? That
15 is the main road?
16 A. Yes, that is the main road.
17 Q. And we can see a car?
18 A. Yes, we can see a car.
19 Q. Now tell us, where is the door?
20 A. On the front and on the right-hand side by
21 the first pillar.
22 Q. All right. All right. That is the entrance
24 Now can we play the tape again?
25 (Videotape played)
1 MR. SUSAK: This is a bit further away.
2 Q. Ah. This is the entrance door; is that
4 A. Yes, yes.
5 Q. So that part of the road is not asphalt;
7 A. No, it's not.
8 Q. Could you tell us about this a bit more?
9 Where is the small door?
10 Could we stop at this point? Stop, please.
12 Which one is the small door?
13 A. The small one is by the pillar.
14 Q. It's open, and there is an iron bar over
15 there holding it open; is that correct?
16 A. No, no. I think that that iron bar is a
17 pillar, rather.
18 Q. Oh, I see.
19 A. And you can open it left and right.
20 MR. SUSAK: We can go on now. We can play
21 the tape.
22 (Videotape played)
23 Q. As we are talking about this, could you tell
24 me how high this fence is?
25 A. I think about 2 metres high.
1 MR. SUSAK: Could we stop at this point
2 again? We're going to stop at this point.
3 Q. What can you see here? This is a window;
5 A. Yes, a window.
6 Q. What else can you see on this house?
7 A. On the right-hand side is the entrance door,
8 and there is a window.
9 Q. Can you see the western window of that house?
10 A. No.
11 Q. That is to say, from the house of Drago
12 Josipovic, can you see the window facing west?
13 A. I don't think so. I don't think so. Not
14 from this direction if Josipovic's house is behind our
15 backs now.
16 Q. How high is this window? How high up is it
17 in terms of the ground?
18 A. I don't know.
19 Q. Well, give us an approximation.
20 A. Well, I don't know. About 70 centimetres or
21 a metre, I don't know.
22 Q. About 70 of what?
23 A. About 70 centimetres.
24 MR. SUSAK: All right. So let's go on.
25 Could we play the tape.
1 (Videotape played)
2 A. There is a part here that didn't exist
4 Q. Which is this part that did not exist before?
5 A. The one added on the left-hand side.
6 Q. We should not go back -- on the right-hand
7 side -- right. So this is that door; is that right?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And also the smaller gate. That is
10 the macadam space in front of the gate; is that right?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you tell us, in passing, whose houses
13 are on the other side of the guardhouse?
14 A. I think that there are Muslim houses.
15 MR. SUSAK: We can go on playing the tape.
16 We shouldn't keep it at the same place.
17 (Videotape played)
18 Q. Now, what is this? This is the entrance to
20 A. This is the entrance at the small door on the
21 other side.
22 Q. This small door, do you think that we can see
23 it on the aerial photograph?
24 A. Yes, I think so.
25 MR. SUSAK: Please let us stop at this
1 point. Let us stop at this point.
2 Q. Could you tell me what this is, which window
3 is this?
4 A. This is the window facing west, on the other
5 side; that is to say, opposite to the entrance door.
6 Q. When you get out of that window, do you get
7 to the wire fence straightaway?
8 A. The wire fence is just by the building.
9 Q. All right. Can you climb this wire fencing?
10 A. Yes, I think so, because it is thick wiring
11 and I think that a man can actually climb it.
12 MR. SUSAK: All right. Now let's go on. Can
13 we stop at this point now? Yes. We've gone back
15 Q. This is the entrance?
16 A. Yes, yes, that is the entrance. The small
17 one, the small gate.
18 Q. You said that a new building was built next
19 to the guardhouse. Which part is that?
20 A. You can't see it from here.
21 Q. All right. But I'm going to ask you that
22 later on when I show you the photograph.
23 So that's the door?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Could you tell me which door is locked at
1 this gate?
2 A. Usually the big one.
3 Q. Why?
4 A. So that someone wouldn't get in. Usually
5 there were big boxes in there; so that they couldn't be
6 carried out.
7 Q. All right. So it's only tractors and trucks?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you see this wire fencing here and is it
10 actually attached to the soil?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can a man crawl underneath?
13 A. I don't think so.
14 Q. What do you mean, you don't think so? Do you
15 know or do you not know?
16 A. I think not because it goes all the way into
17 the soil.
18 Q. It shows the fence going into the ground.
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Could you tell us about these wiring spaces,
21 because you used to come there all the time so you
23 A. Well, this kind of netting is being taken for
24 reinforcement, so it's 12 by 25 centimetres, usually.
25 MR. SUSAK: Now let us see whether a man can
1 climb over this fence. I must tell you that this man
2 weighs about 115 kilogrammes, though.
3 Q. So can one really negotiate this fence?
4 A. Yes --
5 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think we've seen the
6 demonstration. I don't think this witness can talk any
7 further about it.
8 MR. SUSAK: All right. All right. That's
9 fine, Mr. President. I agree with you. So we are not
10 going to play the tape anymore, not at this point.
11 JUDGE MAY: Can you give us the date or the
12 month when this was taken?
13 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, I cannot say for
14 sure, but I know that I spent a bit over a month in
15 Vitez, and that is when I filmed it. I can tell you
16 the exact date on Monday, though. I think it was in
17 December last year.
18 JUDGE MAY: Good. That's sufficient. Thank
19 you. Perhaps you could check the exact date out in due
21 It is coming up to 1.00. Is there anything
22 more that you want to ask of this witness?
23 MR. SUSAK: Well, I did want to put a few
24 questions, but they won't go on very long, about ten or
25 fifteen minutes.
1 JUDGE MAY: Very well. After the
2 adjournment. We will adjourn now until 3.00, we will
3 continue the hearing then, and I hope we will be able
4 to finish with this witness this afternoon.
5 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 3.00 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Susak.
3 MR. SUSAK: Thank you, Mr. President. I
4 would, first of all, like to correct myself because I
5 kept speaking about an aerial photograph, whereas it is
6 D11/4, and it is a photograph, in fact, and it is the
7 same photograph which the Prosecutor tendered into
8 evidence as P247. So it is a photograph and not an
9 aerial representation, so that was my mistake and I
10 apologise. I'm now going to ask the witness a few more
12 Q. You described the guardhouse and the fence.
13 Would you tell us whether anything was added on to the
14 facility after 1993?
15 A. I saw, after the war, that a section was
16 built on towards the warehouse space.
17 MR. SUSAK: I should now like to ask the
18 usher to show the witness the photograph which is
19 numbered D11/4 so that we don't have to show the
20 videotape again.
21 Q. Could you tell us what part we're talking
23 A. From the entrance, the door.
24 Q. Then would you circle what is new using a
25 pencil or, better still, a Magic Marker, and would you
1 place it on the ELMO, please, so that we can all see
2 it? Now draw a circle. Would the usher move the
3 photograph somewhat so that we can see it better? A
4 little bit more. Now draw a circle around the new
6 A. It's this part here (indicating).
7 Q. You can mark everything.
8 A. All right. (Marks).
9 Q. Show us the new part because we don't want
10 people to think that it is the guardhouse itself, so
11 put an arrow there.
12 A. (Marks)
13 Q. So that is where the addition has been made
14 and it is a continuation of the guardhouse?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Were there any other alterations made to the
17 facility, the fence, the gate, or anything else on the
18 Ogrjev facility?
19 A. Well, I didn't notice anything else.
20 Q. All right. Thank you. We may proceed.
21 MR. SUSAK: Would the usher show the witness
22 another photograph? It is D13, Defence Exhibit 13/4.
23 Would the usher kindly place the photograph on the ELMO
24 once again?
25 Q. Mr. Strukar, would you look at the photograph
1 and tell us what you see? Have you received the
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you tell us what window that is on the
6 A. This could be the window facing west, on the
7 west side.
8 Q. You said "it could be." Is it the west
9 window of the guardhouse or not?
10 A. Yes, it is.
11 Q. According to you, we see a man stepping out
12 from the windowsill to the wire fence. How has the
13 wire fence been attached to the pillars?
14 A. They are concrete pillars, and there are wire
15 sort of bearings on the pillars to which the wire
16 measure is attached.
17 MR. SUSAK: That concludes our examination of
18 that photograph, and I once again ask the usher to show
19 the witness the next photograph.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
22 MR. SUSAK:
23 Q. Mr. Strukar, what does this photograph show?
24 A. It is the entrance gate to Ogrjev.
25 Q. Would you mark, using the letter "X," the
1 small gate?
2 A. (Marks)
3 Q. Very well. How far does the gate extend?
4 A. You mean the small gate or the large part of
5 the gate? This is the small portion of the gate up to
6 here (indicating), and then further on -- this is one
7 whole gate, a complete, and the other goes up to the
9 Q. So shall we indicate gate number 1 and gate
10 number 2? What goes together, the first two portions
11 and the other two portions made up of a big one and a
12 small one. As you worked in the police station, this
13 small gate, was it locked?
14 A. This small gate was kept unlocked so that we
15 could enter when we were patrolling the area.
16 Q. Why wasn't it locked?
17 A. Well, there was no need because there was a
18 guard in the guardhouse. We wouldn't be able to reach
19 the guard had the gate been locked.
20 Q. That completes this portion of the
21 examination. May we now proceed to another area?
22 Anto Papic is mentioned in this case, and
23 court witnesses and the Prosecutor have stated that in
24 the house, it was the Muslims and Croats who were
25 protected, that is, Anto Papic gave shelter to Muslims
1 and Croats in his own house. Would you tell us who
2 Anto Papic is?
3 A. Anto Papic who lived in Santici, you mean?
4 Q. Yes. That's the man I mean.
5 A. Well, it is a poor person, an elderly, poor
6 person. He was not employed anywhere.
7 Q. How did you come to know Anto Papic?
8 A. Well, he used to come to the police station
9 frequently and complain that children from the
10 neighbourhood were playing ball in his field, and he
11 would caution them, and then he would come to us for
12 protection, to stop the children from playing football
13 on his land.
14 Q. You said that he was a poor man, that he was
15 a poor man of the village. Who did he live with in his
17 A. I think he had a wife. I think he had
18 children, one or two. I don't know.
19 Q. Did he have a sister?
20 A. I don't really know.
21 MR. SUSAK: I should once again like to ask
22 the usher to show the witness the next photograph.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked
25 MR. SUSAK:
1 Q. Is that Anto Papic's house?
2 A. Yes, it is. That is the only house without a
3 roof in this area, and so it is easily recognisable.
4 Q. What does it mean that it doesn't have a
6 A. Well, he was a poor man, and he didn't have
7 the money to cover the house with a roof. He's the
8 only one without a roof.
9 Q. Were you ever in his house?
10 A. Yes, on two or three occasions.
11 Q. Would you tell us where the entrance door is
12 to the house?
13 A. The entrance door is in the middle of the
15 Q. Would you place an arrow at the entrance to
16 the house? If you were on the ground floor, can you,
17 perhaps, remember how many rooms there were?
18 A. I think there were two.
19 Q. And each room had one window, as far as can
20 be seen?
21 A. Yes, that's right. One was a sort of sitting
22 room and it had a stove inside, and the other room was
23 a bedroom.
24 Q. As there were refugees there and over 25
25 individuals, could they have spent 24 hours in those
1 rooms on those premises and slept there? Was that
3 A. Well, they could have spent a short time
4 there, but to sleep there and live there, they could
5 not because there just wasn't enough space, at least I
6 don't think they could.
7 Q. Well, if there were so many people there,
8 were they able to sleep in those rooms?
9 A. No, they were not, and I don't think he had
10 any food to feed them with.
11 Q. If he was a poor man, did he have any
12 blankets to cover the people with because there were
13 children without clothes and women?
14 A. Perhaps he had blankets for himself, covers,
15 but I don't think that he could have had covers for all
16 those people.
17 Q. You said that he came to you to complain
18 because children were playing football on his land or
19 something of that kind?
20 A. Yes, that's right. Below his house, there is
21 a field, and he grew alfalfa there, and children would
22 play ball there.
23 Q. Could you tell us where the house is located
24 in relation to the village? Is it at the end of the
1 A. It is the last house towards the Lasva River
2 in a sort of thicket. There's a thicket around the
4 Q. Is there a valley?
5 A. Yes, there is a small valley below.
6 Q. So it lies in a valley. What is there
7 opposite to the house? Is there a shed of any kind?
8 A. Yes. He's got his own shed across from the
10 Q. Is the shed in a hollow?
11 A. It is below the road and dug in, not really
12 dug in, but under a slope, and it is this slope which
13 forms part of the shed.
14 Q. Can that be used as a kind of shelter?
15 A. Well, it could be, yes.
16 Q. So is the shed protected and, if so, in what
18 A. Yes, it is protected by a natural incline or
20 Q. Now, I would like to ask you how far that
21 house is, if you can tell us, from Nikola Omazic's
23 A. Nikola Omazic's house is between 50 and 100
24 metres away, not far off. There's a little thicket
25 behind the house, and behind that thicket is where
1 Omazic's house is situated.
2 Q. What about the crossroads?
3 A. It is near Omazic's house and Anto Papic's
5 Q. How far is the crossroads away from Nikola
6 Omazic's house, in your assessment?
7 A. Some 30 metres. I think it is less, 20
8 metres. I measured it myself. Well, yes, maybe.
9 Q. I have two more questions for you. How far
10 do you think Anto Papic's house is from Fahrudin
11 Ahmic's house?
12 A. You mean the house by the road?
13 Q. Yes.
14 A. I think it is about 250 metres as the crow
16 Q. If you were to go on foot, how far away would
17 it be then?
18 A. Then it would be at least 300 or 350 metres
19 because you would have to go around by the house, go
20 out onto the main road, and then go back.
21 Q. If you went on foot, could you be seen
22 walking along that road in that direction, and was it
23 dangerous in view of the shooting?
24 A. I don't think you would see anybody passing
25 because there are thickets and it is a winding path, if
1 you use the path, take the path. And if you don't,
2 then behind the thicket behind Papic's house, there is
3 a field, and then this could be seen.
4 Q. So across the field, anybody crossing the
5 field and going that way could be seen, and if you went
6 in the roundabout way using the thicket, you would not
7 be seen; is that correct?
8 A. Yes, it is.
9 MR. SUSAK: I have no further questions,
10 Mr. President, of this witness. Thank you.
11 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Terrier:
13 Q. Witness, my name is Franck Terrier. I am one
14 of the members of the Prosecution, and I'm going to put
15 a number of questions to you during your testimony here
16 today. First of all --
17 JUDGE MAY: There is one matter that
18 Mr. Susak wants to raise. Do you want to move the
19 exhibits into evidence?
20 MR. SUSAK: From number 11 to number 15D, I
21 should like to tender those documents into evidence.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let that be done.
23 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
24 Q. Witness, before coming back to the merits of
25 your testimony here today, I would like first to make
1 sure that I have understood your profession and what
2 qualifications you have. I would like you to go back
3 to what I thought was some sort of employment record
4 book which, I believe, was kept, and I believe it was
5 given the number D77/2. I believe that the registrar
6 has a copy of this, unless, of course, you still have
8 Witness, if I understood the explanations you
9 gave with regard to this document when it was being
10 examined, this is a professional document which looks
11 over the various phases of your career with the
12 administration of the police within the Republic of
13 Bosnia Herzegovina. But I understand that there was no
14 photography, or no photograph, rather, in this
16 A. I think there were no photographs,
17 unemployment books, employment records. I didn't
18 notice any.
19 Q. Witness, I'd like to direct your attention to
20 page 6. Page 6 of this employment book.
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Here there are two things written. The
23 first, which mentions the date which you entered into
24 service, 1981, and then up until 1996, it says
25 something about your service, the service in Zenica and
1 in Vitez. And from 1990 to 1992, isn't that curious,
2 sir, that it mentions that your date of termination is
3 in 1992 on the 19th of October, that this mention was
4 not certified by any type of stamp from administration?
5 A. I actually received this employment book at
6 the Republic and Ministry of the Interior in Sarajevo,
7 and that is what they gave me, stamped in this way.
8 And as regards the first item -- as far as the first
9 item is concerned, the 1st of July 1980 until the 31st
10 of December 1989, these are certain administrative
11 things that they entered on their own. I don't really
12 know on which basis. Before, the security centre used
13 to be called the public security station. That's the
14 one that is mentioned here. Before, it was called the
15 Public Security Section; then it was the Municipal
16 Secretariat of Internal Affairs. So those were the
17 former names, and perhaps that is why this was written
18 this way.
19 Q. Witness, on which date was this document
20 given to you?
21 A. I got this when we could enter Sarajevo once
23 Q. Given the circumstances, would you please
24 specify the date, or at least approximately, the time
25 period in which this document was remitted to you?
1 A. Approximately in '94. Perhaps the end
2 of'94. And then '95, because I submitted a request for
3 a pension, for a retirement pension, and they wanted my
4 employment book. And then I went to Sarajevo to get
5 it, and then I retired.
6 Q. Sir, given everything that is written here on
7 this same page --
8 A. I don't understand your question. You just
9 put half a question.
10 Q. Yes, I'm sorry. What I'm asking is, perhaps
11 I didn't use the correct terms, but I'm wondering
12 whether or not all of the -- what appears on this page,
13 the two series of information on page 6, appears to you
14 to have been written by the same person, with the same
16 A. This employment book was given to the Public
17 Security Station in Vitez in May 1980, and I only
18 picked it up in Sarajevo in 1984. And now when they
19 made these entries, that, I really don't know.
20 Q. Perhaps you would agree with me in saying
21 that there is nothing that officially states here in
22 this document that it was submitted to you, completed
23 in 1994; there is nothing officially stated in this
24 document that states that it was completed in 1992 and
25 submitted to you in 1994. Would you agree with me on
2 A. All these data exist in the Ministry of the
3 Interior of the Federal Republic in Sarajevo.
4 Q. Sir, if I correctly understood your
5 explanation, it seems that you received training in the
6 area of criminal investigations in Sarajevo, and that
7 you then returned to Vitez in 1992. And that was in
8 April, 1992.
9 A. I attended this course at the beginning
10 of '92, and then when the war broke out in Sarajevo on
11 the 4th or on the 3rd of April, when there was this
12 blockade of Sarajevo, then my colleague and I managed
13 to get out of Sarajevo and get back to Vitez, and then
14 we started working there.
15 Q. And the activities from the moment of April
16 1992 consisted of investigating criminal acts; is that
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And up until which time did you carry out
20 these functions? Perhaps you still do so.
21 A. No, no, I'm just a criminology technician.
22 Or rather until '94.
23 Q. I'm sorry, would you please specify what work
24 you carried out after 1994, and up until today.
25 A. I worked in the police as a criminology
1 technician until the outbreak of the conflict, and
2 during the conflict as well. I continued to work in
3 the police station, and I was involved in technical
4 work related to crime investigation.
5 Q. Do you still occupy these duties today?
6 A. No, I retired. I retired in 1994, at the end
7 of '94, beginning of '95.
8 Q. I'm sorry, but given your age, are you saying
9 that now you are now retired?
10 A. Well, that's the way it turned out to be.
11 Those were the conditions that were provided at that
12 time, because years of service spent at the police
13 station entitled a person to special benefits after 15
14 years of service, and then you get an extra year for
15 every year actually spent working. So I actually met
16 the requirements.
17 Q. I understand, so that you've now retired from
18 the police department. But I'm asking you now whether
19 or not you -- what do you do as a retired person? Do
20 you simply live as a retired person now, or do you have
21 other activities?
22 A. Yes, yes, I have a grill. My wife has a
23 grill restaurant in the town of Vitez.
24 Q. Vitez; I see. Sir, what makes you a
25 specialist with regards to the Ogrjev installation?
1 Because we've shown these photos to you and asked you
2 what direction it faced, and I would like to know, how
3 is it that you have come to know this building so well?
4 A. Ogrjev is just by the main road. I pass by
5 every day. I go to purchase the goods we need, and I
6 pass there every day, and it's very noticeable. Ogrjev
7 also had construction materials, so sometimes I would
8 come there with my co-workers who were building houses,
9 and perhaps I would help them load some of these
10 construction materials. So I'm familiar with it. And
11 then also, while I was employed at the police station,
12 I would sometimes come with my colleagues to see the
13 guard over there, because when we were on night shifts
14 it was one of our duties to see the guards and to see
15 whether they had any problems, and then we'd sit there
16 and talk to them.
17 Q. Were you present when the film we saw today
18 was made?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Do you know the accused Drago Josipovic?
21 A. I just saw him once, before he left. I
22 didn't know him before that.
23 Q. Where did you see him?
24 A. At the cemetery, at Topolsko cemetery. There
25 was a funeral there, and I saw him with his wife. I've
1 known his wife because she is a political figure, so I
2 realised that he was her husband.
3 Q. And what do you mean when you say that Madam
4 Josipovic was a political figure?
5 A. Well, in the municipality --
6 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment; there's an
9 MR. SUSAK: Mr. President, in terms of
10 Article 7 of the statute, every one has individual
11 responsibilities. Slavica Josipovic is not indicted,
12 and I believe this is pointless, and I believe this
13 works against my client, Drago Josipovic.
14 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President?
15 JUDGE MAY: No, this question is allowed.
16 The witness was saying that he knew the wife of an
17 accused; the Prosecution are entitled to explore that.
18 It seems to me it's a totally relevant matter.
19 MR. TERRIER: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Would you like me to repeat the question?
21 A. No. I knew Slavica Josipovic. She worked at
22 the municipality next door to us, and I cooperated with
23 her before.
24 Q. I'm sorry, sir, you did not yet answer my
25 question. You mentioned the fact that she was a
1 political personality. In what way was Mrs. Josipovic
2 a political figure?
3 A. As far as I know, she was in the HDZ. But I
4 don't know which office she held.
5 Q. Does being a political figure mean, in this
6 case, being an important member of the HDZ?
7 A. Well, no, not only in that structure, but in
8 government too.
9 Q. Sir, have you ever gone into the house of
10 Drago Josipovic?
11 A. No, never.
12 Q. In that case, how is it that you were able to
13 respond to the question put to you by Mr. Susak, who
14 asked you whether such-and-such a window could be seen
15 from the window in Mr. Drago Josipovic's house?
16 A. Across from Ogrjev, just a bit lower, on the
17 other side of the road is the house of Drago
19 Q. Therefore you answered using an assumption.
20 Do you have a very clear and exact memory of the Ogrjev
21 building in 1993, that is to say in April 1993?
22 A. I think -- well, precisely, yes.
23 Q. Do you remember then, outside of the main
24 entrance that we have seen abundantly on the film and
25 also in the photograph, another door which gave direct
1 access to the road?
2 A. I do not remember having seen that.
3 MR. TERRIER: Would the usher please show the
4 witness very quickly Document 245, Prosecution
5 Exhibit 245.
6 Q. Sir, this photograph was taken on the 16th of
7 April, 1993, by a British officer. Do you recognise
8 what is seen here in this photograph?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you recognise the fence for the Ogrjev
11 facility on the right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you see on this fence, indeed in the
14 beginning part of this fence, a gate which is closed in
15 this photograph?
16 A. I do here. Here (indicating). You're
17 referring to this; right?
18 Q. Thank you. Now, this gate which you've just
19 pointed out for us, does that still exist today?
20 A. I don't think so.
21 Q. Are we therefore to conclude then that the
22 premises have been modified? Are we in agreement with
24 A. This part, yes.
25 Q. Sir, have you ever gone into the house of
1 Mr. Anto Papic?
2 A. No.
3 Q. In that case, how were you able to give us
4 your point of view about what was located within that
6 A. I did not say that I was talking about
7 that -- oh, yes, Anto Papic. Oh, I'm sorry, I'm
8 sorry. I thought that you were referring to Drago
9 Josipovic. Anto Papic; is that the question?
10 Q. Yes, Anto Papic, that's right.
11 A. Yes, yes, yes. I did go to his home, yes. I
12 did go to his home.
13 Q. For what reason did you go to Mr. Anto
14 Papic's home?
15 A. He came to see us because of our children who
16 were playing on his lawn and they messed up his grass,
17 and he wanted us to come and see this for ourselves and
18 to tell our children not to do that because our
19 children only made fun of him and didn't take what he
20 said seriously, so then we really went to see his place
21 and we had a cup of coffee with him there.
22 Q. I see. At that time, were you living close
23 to the house of Mr. Anto Papic?
24 A. No. I lived in Vitez.
25 Q. But you would go to Ahmici, is that right,
1 with your children?
2 A. No, no. No, I didn't have to go to Ahmici.
3 Q. Excuse me. I wish to try to understand. You
4 stated, if I understand correctly, according to the
5 transcript, that your children allegedly damaged the
6 lawn of Mr. Anto Papic; is that correct?
7 A. No. It was children from his neighbourhood.
8 There is this Lasva River where they go to swim and
9 then they go out and they play ball on his lawn, and
10 then we would come to caution these children to not to
11 do this.
12 Q. I understand. Generally speaking then,
13 before the month of April 1993, would you often go
14 either for personal reasons or in your professional
15 capacity to Ahmici?
16 A. No, not very often, no, not to the village of
17 Ahmici. I would pass through Ahmici along the main
18 road, but I didn't really ...
19 Q. With regards to the lawn that was somewhat
20 damaged, are you saying that the police would go to
21 Ahmici for something like that?
22 A. Yes. The policemen who worked on the
23 ground. Then they went to Ahmici, Nadioci, Poculica,
24 Kruscica, Krcevine, et cetera, and then we'd come by
25 and tell them what not to do.
1 Q. The question I'm asking you: In the
2 circumstances at that time, would incidents as minor as
3 children walking on someone's lawn justify sending out
4 the police?
5 A. Our police had people who used to work out on
6 the ground, and they would patrol villages and receive
7 reports and resolve these matters on the ground.
8 Q. Sir, this was not your case. You were a
9 technician, a criminology technician. You were not a
10 specialist in lawns being stepped on or played on by
12 A. No, but as soon as I finished school in '80,
13 '81, '82, I worked in that area with these other
14 policemen, and we would pass by and tell people what
15 they were not supposed to do.
16 Q. Sir, do you know the accused Vlado Santic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you please explain to this Trial Chamber
19 under what circumstances you came to know him and what
20 relations you had with him, personal relations or
21 professional relations?
22 A. I met Vlado Santic when I started working at
23 the police station. Actually, I met him before that,
24 when I was supposed to go to school. He brought me the
25 news that I had been admitted into this school. When I
1 finished this school, I started working in Vitez, and I
2 have known him ever since and we were friends.
3 Q. Would you please explain more in detail about
4 the time period of interest; that is to say, April 1992
5 to, let's say, April 1993?
6 A. In '92, Vlado Santic worked in the crime
7 investigation police, and then he was transferred to, I
8 think, the military police, so we didn't work together
10 Q. Would you please specify the dates on which
11 Vlado Santic was sent to work in the military police?
12 A. The date? I could not really specify it.
13 Q. Could you specify the time period?
14 A. Perhaps mid '92.
15 Q. So you're stating then that after mid 1992,
16 you no longer had any contact with Vlado Santic due to
17 the fact that he went to join the military police?
18 A. We did not have any professional cooperation,
19 but we would see each other every now and then and have
20 a drink perhaps.
21 Q. I see. But before that, did you have close
23 A. Yes. But life is so fast, so very busy, and
24 with all these events unravelling, there wasn't much
25 time for socialising.
1 Q. I understand. I would like now to turn to
2 the question of the composition of the police
3 department in Vitez in which you yourself worked. You
4 stated that the chief of this department was Pero
5 Skopljak, at least at the time at which you entered
6 into service in 1992, in April. What was Pero
7 Skopljak's professional background?
8 A. I only know that in '91, when the elections
9 were held, that he was appointed by the political party
10 that he represented, and I don't know about his
12 Q. Was he a person that was trained to
13 administer the police and trained in police techniques?
14 A. He had a university degree, but I don't know
15 about police work. Usually political persons were
16 appointed to these posts.
17 Q. When Pero Skopljak was appointed to this post
18 at the end of 1991 and the beginning of 1992, you would
19 say this was a political appointment which would not be
20 justified by any professional specialties or special
21 expertise in this particular area; is that what you're
23 A. That's the way it was in practice before, and
24 it was inherited that way too, so to speak.
25 Q. I understand. Was Pero Skopljak and
1 Mr. Vlado Santic, did the two men have any close
2 relations, personal relations, to your knowledge?
3 A. I wouldn't know that.
4 Q. A moment ago, you talked about the police
5 reserves, that is to say, police positions made up of
6 reservists and who were sent into various local
7 communities surrounding Vitez, and you stated that one
8 of these police stations made up of reservists was
9 stationed in Ahmici, Santici, and Nadioci, and this was
10 led by Zaid Ahmic. Would you please tell us whether
11 these local police forces made up of police reserves
12 were ethnically balanced?
13 A. Yes, yes, yes. In local communities, yes.
14 Q. Was this ethnic balance representative of the
15 ethnic composition of the municipality?
16 A. Yes. Usually an effort was made to have it
18 Q. Consequently, when the reserve posts for
19 Ahmici were mentioned, including Santici, we are to
20 understand that the reserve police force was made up of
21 Muslims and of Croats?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Therefore, we are to understand that when
24 weapons were distributed to these police reservists,
25 they were sent both to Croats and to Muslims?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Were you informed that after the month of
3 October 1992, at the end of October 1992, that the
4 Croatian authorities asked for the Muslim members in
5 the areas of Ahmici, Santici, and another part of that
6 area to submit or surrender their weapons?
7 A. I am not aware of that.
8 Q. Witness, let us talk now about the ethnic
9 balance within the professional police force within
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. If I'm not mistaken, you stated that this
13 balance was maintained up until October 1992 and that
14 after October 1992 that the Muslims, or many Muslims
15 who made up the police force in Vitez, went or split
16 off to form another group in Mahala. You also stated
17 that in 1992, a certain person named Arko Kraljevic [as
18 interpreted] entered into the police station in Vitez
19 and disarmed a number of Muslim police officers?
20 A. I don't recall that. I wasn't there. I
21 don't remember him disarming these people.
22 Q. I need to correct the transcript which does
23 not reflect faithfully the question I just put to you.
24 With your permission, Witness, I would like to ask you
25 once again: Do you remember this event which took
1 place in June 1992 and do you recall that Darko
2 Kraljevic and several other persons from the HVO
3 entered into this police station and disarmed the
4 Muslim policemen located there and then finally kicked
5 them out of this police station, of course? Do you
6 recall this event?
7 A. I don't remember that event.
8 Q. Now, did you know Mr. Darko Kraljevic?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Would you please explain exactly who this
11 person is?
12 A. He is a member of the special purposes unit
13 formed by the HOS and the Vitezovi.
14 Q. Sir, do you recall that following a number of
15 incidents, including the one I have just mentioned and
16 which you do not recall, that relations between the
17 Croat policemen and Muslim policemen gradually
18 deteriorated during the summer of 1992 and the fall of
19 1992 to such an extent that a split occurred during the
20 month of October? In your opinion, if this doesn't
21 correspond to your own memory, what were the causes of
22 this deep splintering between the Croatian and Muslim
24 A. Before the Muslims and Croats separated, in
25 the police station it was said that HDZ, SDA, that is
1 to say the political parties, which political party
2 would win, which would lead, and so those were the
3 types of discussions that were going on at the police
4 station at that time and the differences of view was
5 with relation to political issues.
6 Q. Would it be correct to say that in October
7 1992, Pero Skopljak was replaced by Mirko Samija, the
8 name that you mentioned a moment ago, Mr. Samija, and
9 that the new head of police in Vitez notified the
10 Muslims that they would be subject to an investigation
11 in Mostar?
12 A. I'm not aware of that. I do know that after
13 Pero Skopljak resigned Mirko Samija replaced him, and
14 that an investigation should come from Mostar, I'm not
15 aware of that.
16 Q. Sir, you mentioned that there was a growing
17 insecurity in Vitez and in the area of Vitez during the
18 year of 1992 and during the early weeks of 1993. It
19 seemed to me, but perhaps you may correct me if you
20 feel that I'm incorrect, it seems to me that you were
21 implying that this situation of insecurity -- rather,
22 you were blaming this insecurity on this militia army
23 such as the HOS and the Vitezovi and perhaps the
24 Jokeri. Have I correctly interpreted your statements?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In your own opinion, did these armed militias
2 pursue different objectives than that of the HVO?
3 A. I don't know what their objectives were. All
4 I know is that we, as the civilian police, were able to
5 do nothing because if a uniformed young man showed that
6 he belonged to some kind of unit, then he would do what
7 he liked and we weren't able to go about our duties,
8 but I don't know what the political objectives were or
9 anything like that.
10 Q. In this regard, with regard to your own
11 duties to respond as a civilian police officer, would
12 it make a difference whether someone belonged to one of
13 the militias, such as the Jokeri or the HOS, or whether
14 they belonged to another unit, such as a regular unit,
15 if you will, of the HVO, such as those coming from the
16 Vitez Brigade? Would there be a difference for you
17 whether they were a member of the HVO or a member of
18 the militia?
19 A. Well, there was a difference, yes.
20 Q. Would you please specify what that difference
21 would be?
22 A. The paramilitary ones would usually wear
23 black uniforms. They would have very short haircuts,
24 practically no hair at all. Individuals who were
25 members of these units would get drunk, they were prone
1 to carousing, and they would disturb law and order
2 generally, whereas the ones in the brigade, they were
3 okay men.
4 Q. Would you please remind me -- I know you've
5 already spoken of this, but I think this is important
6 enough for me to repeat this question. Could you
7 remind me of which authority was in place and had
8 command of the HOS, the Vitezovi?
9 A. In Vitez, the HOS was an independent,
10 autonomous unit, and what they decided to do, they did.
11 Q. There must have been a leader or a
12 commander. I think you mentioned it a minute ago.
13 A. The chief of the Vitezovi was Darko Kraljevic
14 in Vitez.
15 Q. Can you please tell us whether or not they
16 had any Jokers?
17 A. I heard about the Jokers, that they were
18 stationed in Nadioci and that they belonged to a
19 military police unit.
20 Q. What was the chain of command under which
21 they were located?
22 A. I really don't know. I don't know.
23 Q. You don't know? You know it for the HOS but
24 not for the Jokers?
25 A. They were more isolated and didn't cause as
1 many problems as HOS. I only knew of their name. I
2 had just heard of them by name, but I didn't actually
3 know them.
4 Q. You don't any of the officers at that time,
5 none of the persons in charge at that time?
6 A. No.
7 MR. TERRIER: Now I would like to request
8 that the usher show to the witness document 343,
9 Exhibit 343.
10 Q. Sir, I'm showing this document to you now
11 simply in order to perhaps call your attention to the
12 heading and to see to whom this order was addressed,
13 and you see here that it is signed by Colonel Blaskic.
14 You may also note that among the persons to whom this
15 is addressed you'll find the Vitezovi formation?
16 A. I can see that it says "Vitezovi."
17 Q. Then could we not conclude, sir, that the
18 forces within the Vitezovi, whom you've described in
19 such a poor light as having had very poor behaviour and
20 acting as drunks, that these people, indeed, were in
21 the chain of command that went down from Colonel
23 A. I was not aware of that. I just know that
24 they worked, as I said beforehand, but as to these
25 structures, I wasn't informed of that. I have no idea.
1 Q. Sir, you will also note that among the people
2 to whom this order from Colonel Blaskic was addressed,
3 you will also find the 4th Battalion of the military
4 police in Vitez. Who was the head of this military
5 police in Vitez?
6 A. I think that for the 4th Battalion, the
7 commander was -- just a moment. I think it was Ivan
8 Budimir, the 4th Battalion Military Police.
9 MR. TERRIER: I'm finished with this
11 Q. Sir, in a document which was submitted a
12 moment ago and tendered as evidence which is listed as
13 D30/2, it is stated here that an incident occurred
14 which you described in great detail and which was
15 attributed to one person in particular from the
16 Vitezovi. The author of this document who described
17 this event, this incident, says that this incident is
18 deplorable in that it gives the impression that the HVO
19 forces are divided. I'm now referring to the last
20 paragraph of this document. It is signed Pasko
21 Ljubicic and Miso Mijic.
22 Isn't this a sign, if not proof, of the fact
23 that the militia, who we've just described and who
24 behaved so poorly, these militias who were responsible
25 for this feeling of insecurity in the area are, indeed,
1 within the chain of command of the HVO?
2 A. I really don't know that. All I know is that
3 it was rumoured and discussed, talked about, that all
4 the units should be placed under one cap, so to speak,
5 but as far as I know, all the special purposes units
6 refused to come under any umbrella, military or
7 otherwise, or any command or anything like that.
8 Q. Witness, I'd like to now turn to another
9 subject, and I'd like to talk about your own
10 professional practices. You stated during the course
11 of your testimony that -- rather, you gave the
12 impression that you acted in a perfectly objective
13 manner and that you would investigate any crime that
14 was reported to you, regardless of whether or not this
15 crime was attributable to Croats or to Muslims.
16 I'd like to examine this further. First of
17 all, I would like for you to specify what your
18 professional relations were with the military police.
19 In particular, I'm talking about you now as a civilian
20 police officer. What was your power or competence in
21 relation to the military police?
22 A. Well, our competence was that if a military
23 man took part in a crime, then we should turn him over
24 to the military police.
25 Q. Nonetheless, it seems that when a crime was
1 reported to you, it was your duty, nonetheless, to
2 carry out an investigation of this crime?
3 A. We should have -- it was up to us to carry
4 out an investigation, but if it was a member of the
5 military, then the military police would take over the
6 case, and we would refer the case to them.
7 Q. Couldn't it be imagined, perhaps, that the
8 military police itself could have committed a crime [as
10 In other words, if you allow me to specify or
11 to elaborate more, you're saying that it was only when
12 a military person or a soldier was identified as having
13 been the perpetrator of a crime that you would then
14 turn this person over to the military police?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. A moment ago, you mentioned a murder that
17 took place ...
18 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I believe that
19 the interpreters are informing me now that there has
20 been in the transcript an error. I, of course, did not
21 state, this is at 16:20, that the military police could
22 have committed a crime. I did not say that. I would
23 not have even thought of such a thing. What I wanted
24 to say was that the military police would have taken
25 into their own hands the investigation of such a crime.
1 Q. Witness, a moment ago you mentioned the
2 killing of Samir Trako in Vitez in May 1992?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Was an investigation conducted in which you
6 A. I did not take part in that investigation,
7 but my colleagues did, and this investigation was
8 conducted by the investigating judge from Travnik, I
9 think it was. I don't know what actually happened, but
10 I do recall that there was a murder in the hotel. I
11 wasn't on duty at the time.
12 Q. Was the victim a Muslim?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. At that time in May 1992, at the time of the
15 murder of this Muslim, Samir Trako, was the Hotel Vitez
16 occupied by the HVO?
17 A. The military police was there, but I don't
18 know as of what date.
19 Q. The perpetrator of this crime, who was
20 identified according to the report which was submitted
21 to the Tribunal under D79/2, has been a person named
22 Vukadinovic Perica and as having been a member of the
24 A. I don't know. I think that the commission
25 which went out to investigate determined whether he was
1 a member or not. I am not aware of that. I don't know
2 if he was or wasn't.
3 Q. Consequently, you don't know whether or not
4 he was a member of the military police of the HVO?
5 A. I don't know that.
6 Q. To your knowledge, this person who was
7 identified as the perpetrator of this crime, was that
8 person arrested?
9 A. As far as I know, he was not arrested.
10 Q. Now, here we're at the end of May 1992. At
11 that time, who was the chief of police in Vitez?
12 A. Well, there were two police forces, the
13 regional police force and the military police force. I
14 don't know whether the 4th Battalion or -- I don't know
15 exactly who that was. There were three types of
16 police: The battalion, the municipal, and a regional
17 one, and they all had their commanders. I think Ivan
18 Budimir was, perhaps, the chief of the battalion one.
19 Q. Sir, do you recall an incident that took
20 place in November 1992 on the road from Vitez to
21 Kruscica? This was the murder of two members of the
22 Bosnian army, Huso Hadzic and Sead Ahem (phoen), and
23 the third person was seriously wounded, Minet Akeljic.
24 These three men were leaving a cafe when they were
25 attacked. Do you recall this event?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. Was there an investigation of the
3 circumstances of this double assassination and this
4 attempted assassination?
5 A. I think so, yes. An investigation was
6 carried out, I think, but I don't know. Usually, in a
7 case of homicide, there would be an investigating judge
8 there too, and a report would be filed, a criminal
10 Q. Was the Vitez police involved in this
12 A. Partly, yes, I think.
13 Q. To the best of your knowledge, did this
14 investigation lead to an arrest?
15 A. I cannot remember.
16 Q. Do you recall the disappearance in December
17 1992 of a man named Armin Arnautovic?
18 A. I do not remember that someone disappeared.
19 Q. Does this name remind you or do you recall
20 hearing this name?
21 A. Would you please repeat that? What was the
23 Q. Armin Arnautovic.
24 A. "Arnautovic" is a well-known surname. Yes,
25 "Arnautovic" is a surname that exists in Vitez, but
1 the first name ...
2 Q. Do you have a memory of a supposed accident
3 that occurred where someone allegedly was killed in an
4 area called Zume?
5 A. I do not recall.
6 Q. You do not recall, then, having been
7 personally in charge of an investigation, of this
9 A. Possibly, but right at this very moment, I
10 cannot remember this accident. There were many
12 Q. And do you recall -- and I hope that you
13 recall this -- an explosive attack against a Muslim
14 store in Vitez in December 1992? I have here before me
15 the name of some of the victims. I do not believe you
16 will contest the fact that this attack took place, but
17 my question is as follows: Did you carry out or
18 conduct any investigation, and did these investigations
19 lead to any arrests?
20 A. I didn't really understand this. Do we know
21 who the perpetrator was? Is that your question?
22 A. No, sir, the question was as follows: In
23 December, 1992, for example, in particular on the 24th
24 and 25th and 26th of December 1992, several Muslim
25 stores in Vitez were destroyed by explosive weapons.
1 Do you recall this?
2 A. I recall that. I remember that explosives
3 were thrown at Muslim cafes and shops. That, I
5 Q. Did these attacks lead to an investigation,
6 and did these investigations allow you to arrest the
7 perpetrators of these attacks?
8 A. This was the subject of an investigation, but
9 the perpetrators were not discovered.
10 Q. Sir, I'd like to now turn to the murder of
11 Mr. Esada Salkic in February 1993 in Nadioci. You
12 stated now that you carried out an investigation, and I
13 see here that you were able to carry out the
14 identification of the person who was assassinated, or
15 murdered, and that you also [interpretation
16 interrupted] to the Kaonik prison. Could you please
17 tell us, who was Miroslav Bralo?
18 A. Until that moment, I never knew Miroslav
19 Bralo. After that event, I got to know this person
20 better. During the war, I had heard of him.
21 Q. When you arrested him, was he a civilian, or
22 military? Or a soldier?
23 A. At that time, he was a civilian. He was in
24 that capacity. And then in the police station, this
25 was discussed, whether he belonged to someone or not.
1 And he said that he was a member of the Vitezovi. And
2 then when we checked with the Vitezovi, they said no,
3 that he was not their member. So that is why we
4 continued to work on that case.
5 Q. Was Miroslav Bralo ever brought to trial or
6 arrested, rather, for his murder of Esada Salkic?
7 A. He was delivered to the Kaonik prison, and
8 proceedings were supposed to be initiated against him.
9 But I do not know whether further proceedings were
10 initiated or whether this was fully carried out. I
11 don't know for sure. I just know that we started this,
12 but how far it went, I don't know.
13 Q. So you just stated that you learned a great
14 deal about Miroslav Bralo during the war, but you did
15 not know whether or not he had been tried or not?
16 A. I was not interested in it later.
17 Q. So you weren't informed that he left prison
18 very quickly thereafter?
19 A. We heard about it. I heard about it.
20 Q. Then you knew that he had not been tried?
21 A. Yes. I don't know whether he was sentenced,
22 but I don't know that he got out quickly. I don't know
23 how or why.
24 Q. Do you not know who gave the order releasing
25 him from prison?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you know what Miroslav Bralo did after he
3 was released from prison?
4 A. I know that he joined the Vitezovi, I think,
5 because I saw him armed later on.
6 MR. TERRIER: Mr. President, I have another
7 question, and then I think I will have finished.
8 Q. You stated, sir, that Counsellor Glumac
9 submitted a number of reports to this Tribunal, reports
10 of investigations, and these reports were described or
11 stamped "Military Secret" and were carried out in the
12 course of investigation. I'd like to know whether or
13 not, to your knowledge, there exists a report of this
14 type on the events which took place on the 16th of
15 April, 1993, in Ahmici.
16 A. I don't know of the existence of any report.
17 Q. You, as a policeman, and as a specialist in
18 criminal investigations, were you not interested in
19 what had occurred in Ahmici?
20 A. The war was on then, and at first I didn't
21 even know what had happened in Ahmici. And perhaps
22 only three or four days later, I heard that the U.N.
23 found some persons who had burned down in a house. And
24 this -- this shook me. I mean, how could these people
25 have burned? And some ten days or so later, there was
1 some kind of an exchange, and I heard that in Ahmici
2 they found 50 or 60 victims and there would be an
3 exchange. But before that, I didn't know anything
4 about it.
5 Q. And Ahmici was in your precinct, was it not?
6 So you would have been in charge of carrying out an
7 investigation. If you were sent to carry out an
8 investigation about Mr. Pavelic's grass, then a crime
9 in Ahmici would have been within your scope of
10 responsibility, would it have not?
11 A. The war started on the 16th, and then it was
12 impossible to go out into the field and carry out
13 investigations. There were frontlines, people went to
14 defence lines, and we practically stopped operating as
15 a crime investigations police. I only worked as a
16 criminology technician in terms of identifying the
17 corpses that were found in town; and also if there was
18 a burglary or something, then I would interview people
19 to see what was going on. But in the surrounding
20 villages, where the lines were, that is where we
21 couldn't go.
22 Q. In your opinion as a technician, as a
23 criminal technician, does a war involve the murder of
24 128 civilian women and children? Is that truly war?
25 JUDGE MAY: I don't think that's a matter for
1 the witness.
2 MR. TERRIER: Withdraw the question,
3 Mr. President. No further questions, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
5 Ms. Glumac, it's now half past 4.00; are you
6 going to be many minutes in reexamination?
7 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: No, I'll be short.
8 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel,
10 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Mr. President, how much
11 time do we have? 15 minutes? Would that be all
13 JUDGE MAY: Well, I'll ask the interpreters.
14 Are they all right for another quarter of an hour? I
15 think everybody else is.
16 THE INTERPRETERS: Yes, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE MAY: They say yes. But no more.
18 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Okay. Thank you.
19 Re-examination by Ms. Slokovic-Glumac:
20 Q. Mr. Strukar, could you please tell the Court,
21 is there a place for a photograph in your employment
23 A. As far as I can remember the employment
24 booklet, no, there was no place for a photograph.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: I would like to ask the
1 usher to show this employment book to the witness and
2 to the Court and to the Prosecutor.
3 Q. This is the originals, and you tell me
4 whether that was the book that was photocopied, and
5 tell me whether the data entered in this book are the
6 data on the basis of which you obtained your pension,
7 on the basis of which you retired, and whether the data
8 also have a registry number, and whether they can be
10 A. Yes, this is the original. Yes, I know by
11 the stamp and by the handwriting up there.
12 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Could the usher please
13 show this to the Trial Chamber. This is the original.
14 And also to the Prosecutor, please.
15 If the Prosecutor is contesting the
16 authenticity of this document, we can also find the
17 document on the basis of which all these entries were
18 made, if that is the case. I think that the Prosecutor
19 can object if they don't want this to be admitted into
20 evidence, or if he contests it in any way.
21 JUDGE MAY: I don't expect there is any
22 dispute about this.
23 MR. TERRIER: Your Honour, we have not made
24 an objection to this.
25 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC:
1 Q. In response to the Prosecutor's question, to
2 Mr. Terrier's question, you said that Pero Skopljak was
3 appointed in a way as a political person; not as a
4 professional in the force, but as a person who was
5 involved in political work?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And this post of chief of police, in the
8 previous system, was it always a political post?
9 A. It was a political post, and it was -- and
10 also this other post of commander was always a
11 political post too. And there was only one term of
12 office, I think, of two years or four years, I'm not
13 sure, and then the structure would change again.
14 Sometimes it would be a Muslim, sometimes it would be a
15 Croat, depending on ethnicity.
16 Q. In view of the fact that this was after the
17 elections, do you know whether Pero Skopljak was
18 appointed by consensus between the HDZ and the SDA?
19 That is to say whether he was accepted both by the
20 Croats and the Muslims?
21 A. Yes, yes.
22 Q. Also could you please tell me -- tell the
23 Court, this other post of the commander of the police,
24 and you said that that was second in importance, was
25 that post also one that could be obtained only by
1 consensus? That is to say, did they have to reach
2 agreement on that too?
3 A. Yes, agreement had to be reached on that
4 point too, and the commander also was not a
5 professional in that sense.
6 Q. Also the Prosecutor asked you about the
7 attack on the police station in June 1992, and you said
8 that you did not remember. However, do you remember
9 whether in June and all the way up to October policemen
10 of Muslim ethnic background worked at the police
11 station in Vitez?
12 A. Yes, yes. They worked together.
13 Q. Were there any interruptions in their work
14 before the 19th of October, 1992, when the Muslim
15 policemen definitely left?
16 A. As far as I know, no. No, no, there were no
18 Q. Also I would like to ask you to tell the
19 Court about the request that was put forth that Pero
20 Skopljak and his deputy, I think Saban Mahmutovic; is
21 that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. That they should both leave the police
24 station. Was this the joint agreement reached by the
25 Croats and the Muslims?
1 A. Yes, yes. The Muslims put forth the
2 following condition, that Pero Skopljak should resign,
3 and the Croats said that Commander Saban Mahmutovic
4 should resign, and they were from these political
5 parties of theirs, and they were the most responsible
6 for their behaviour in town, and Pero Skopljak did
7 resign, whereas Saban would not.
8 Q. Did anybody from the civilian authorities or
9 from your immediate superiors in the police, did any
10 one of these persons ever tell you not to do your work,
11 not to carry out investigations, not to receive
12 reports, not to perform regular police duties?
13 A. No, no. No one ever ordered that nor did
14 anyone ever say that or anything. We worked as much as
15 we could, it was difficult for us, but we did whatever
16 we could. We gathered evidence.
17 Q. In your work, did you have a different
18 treatment towards a situation when the victim was a
19 Croat and different when the victim was a Muslim? Did
20 you make any distinction between the two?
21 A. As far as I know, we made no distinctions.
22 We would always go out to investigate, to collect
23 evidence and information and so on.
24 Q. The Prosecutor also asked you whether you
25 know anything connected to the circumstances of
1 Miroslav Bralo, Cicko's, release from prison. You said
2 you didn't.
3 A. I don't know who let him out or why. I know
4 that I heard it bandied about town, that they said
5 Cicko's free and that he was in a unit of some kind,
6 that he joined some kind of military unit, I think the
7 Vitezovi, but I'm not sure, because our hands were
9 Q. Tell us another thing, please, and that's the
10 last question in connection with the events in Ahmici,
11 whether the civilian police could, in any way
12 whatsoever, conduct an investigation?
13 A. At that time, it could not because it was
14 under the domain of the army, the line was there, and
15 it had no competencies whatsoever.
16 Q. Who did have the competence in case of an
17 investigation being conducted? Who could have carried
18 out this investigation? Could this have been done by
19 the civilian police?
20 A. No. I think it was only the military police
21 who could have done that because they were uniformed
22 individuals, and so it was only the military police who
23 could have conducted an investigation of this kind. We
24 could not.
25 Q. Do you know whether the military police did
1 launch an investigation of any kind or whether a
2 request was made to ascertain what had, in fact,
3 happened in Ahmici?
4 A. I'm not aware of that, no.
5 MS. SLOKOVIC-GLUMAC: Thank you very much. I
6 have no further questions. Thank you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE MAY: Thank you. Thank you for coming,
8 Mr. Strukar. You are released now.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
10 (The witness withdrew)
11 JUDGE MAY: Unless there are any other
12 matters, we will adjourn now until Monday morning at
14 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at
15 4.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
16 the 15th day of February, 1999, at
17 9.00 a.m.