Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

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1 Monday, 17 September 2001

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23 [Open session]

24 [The witness entered court]

25 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.

Page 2348

1 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.

2 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration.

3 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the

4 whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

5 JUDGE LIU: Sit down, please. Yes, please proceed.

6 WITNESS: WITNESS Q

7 Examined by Mr. Poriouvaev:

8 Q. Witness, you requested some protective measures, and your motion

9 is granted by the Trial Chamber and so you will be given a pseudonym. You

10 are called "Witness Q" now. So you will be called this way throughout the

11 examination today, and you should not pronounce your own name.

12 Now, you were given the sheet of paper. If you unfold it, you

13 will see some name written on it. If it is your name, you should say,

14 "Yes."

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. Witness Q, did you have any military background?

17 A. I served one year in the Danish army, and then I served four or

18 five years in the national guard in Denmark.

19 Q. Did you have any special military training in Denmark?

20 A. I was trained as an infantry soldier in an armoured infantry

21 company.

22 Q. Did you ever take part in any military campaign abroad?

23 A. No, I did not.

24 Q. Never?

25 A. In the Danish army, I never took part in any military actions

Page 2349

1 abroad.

2 Q. I asked you: Did you ever take part in any military campaign?

3 A. I took part in the war in Bosnia, yes.

4 Q. When did that take place? When did you leave Denmark, and where

5 did you go?

6 A. I left Denmark in March '93, and I went to Zagreb to join the

7 Croatian army.

8 Q. Why did you decide to join the Croatian army?

9 A. It was due to idealism and also because I wanted to -- some

10 adventure and to fight the Serbs.

11 Q. What did you have to do on arriving in Croatia in order to join

12 the Croatia army?

13 A. I went to a police officer on the street and asked him how to join

14 the Croatian army, and he told me to go to a police station in Zagreb,

15 where I was told to go to the Ministry of Defence. I went to the Ministry

16 of Defence and was taken to another address by a HOS soldier, who took me

17 to an address in Zagreb.

18 Q. Do you remember the name of that HOS soldier?

19 A. No, we never talked about any names.

20 Q. Go on.

21 A. From there, I was taken to another address where I met up with

22 some HVO soldiers. And I was interrogated by them, my motivations, my

23 military background. And from there I was -- three days later, I was

24 enlisted in the 106 Brigade in Orasje.

25 Q. Who was one of the HVO soldiers who talked to you?

Page 2350

1 A. It was a soldier, an officer by the name of Blizanovic.

2 Q. Can you spell it for the record?

3 A. I'm not sure I can spell it, but I can try.

4 Q. Okay, try.

5 A. B-L-I-S-A-N-O-V-I-C-H [sic]. That's what I think it was spelled.

6 Q. Go ahead.

7 A. And then I was enlisted in the 106 Brigade in Orasje,

8 north-eastern Bosnia.

9 Q. Was it a regular unit or HVO army?

10 A. It was an HVO army.

11 Q. Regular unit?

12 A. Regular HVO.

13 Q. Who was in command to that unit?

14 A. It was Blizanovic who was in command.

15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I would ask you to go into private

16 session just for a few minutes.

17 JUDGE LIU: Okay. We'll go to the private session.

18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: The point is that the witness may give a name now

19 of a person who may be a potential witness, and his name should be

20 protected at this stage, at least.

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13 [Open session]

14 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

15 Q. Did you receive uniform, weapons, ID?

16 A. I received uniforms and weapon and ID. I received ID, but I don't

17 quite remember where I got the ID, but I got an ID.

18 Q. What kind of uniform did you get there?

19 A. A normal camouflage uniform with the HVO patch on the left arm

20 with two crossing rifles and a checkered -- a red and white checkered

21 back/badge.

22 Q. Was the name of the unit indicated on the patch?

23 A. No, it wasn't. It was just stamped "HVO".

24 Q. What kind of weapons were you provided with?

25 A. I was provided with an AK-47 Kalashnikov.

Page 2352

1 Q. In which currency did you receive your salary?

2 A. In that unit, I received my payment in Croatian dinars at that

3 time.

4 Q. What were the functions of that unit?

5 A. The function of this unit was to guard the front line, the front

6 line, the Serb front line, guard trenches and bunkers, patrol duties, but

7 mainly guard service.

8 Q. Were you involved in any military operations while being in that

9 unit?

10 A. Not exactly. Mostly guard service, some patrol duties, but never

11 any real military actions, no.

12 Q. How long did you stay within that unit?

13 A. Approximately six months.

14 Q. Why did you leave it?

15 A. Because nothing was happening. In this unit, nothing happened.

16 It was too boring. We wanted some action, fight.

17 Q. Where did you go afterwards?

18 A. I left with three other foreigners, and we went to Zagreb, and

19 then we went to Mostar.

20 Q. Why did you decide to go to Mostar?

21 A. We saw -- we did see in the television, in the news, that there

22 was a lot of fighting going on in Mostar.

23 Q. Between whom?

24 A. Once again, please?

25 Q. Between whom fighting was going on in Mostar?

Page 2353

1 A. Armija BiH, the Muslims.

2 Q. Did you decide to join the Croatian side or the Muslim side?

3 A. The Croatian side.

4 Q. Had you ever been to Mostar before the war?

5 A. No, never. I have been in Yugoslavia before the war but never in

6 Mostar.

7 Q. Did you visit Mostar after the war?

8 A. No, never.

9 Q. So it was the first time that you came to Mostar?

10 A. It was, yes.

11 Q. Where did you go in Mostar? Where did you find the unit in need?

12 A. First we arrived at a checkpoint outside Mostar where guards, HVO

13 guards, on the checkpoints asked what we were going to do in Mostar, why

14 we came to Mostar. And from there, we were taken down to a headquarter

15 somewhere in town where officers once again interrogated us, again about

16 our motivations, military background, and so on. They were pretty

17 suspicious. But after a while, we were accepted, I presume. We were then

18 taken to a base somewhere in town, where a man named "Stela" was in

19 command.

20 Q. Was it the first time that you heard this name, "Stela"?

21 A. This was the first time I heard it, yes.

22 Q. Did you see him on that day?

23 A. Once again, please.

24 Q. Did you see him on that day? Sorry.

25 A. Did I see him on that day?

Page 2354

1 Q. Yes.

2 A. Yes, I did. We were taken to his office. The four foreigners of

3 us were taken to his office and then, once again, interrogated.

4 Q. Was he very happy to accept you?

5 A. No, he looked like he didn't want -- he didn't want us in his

6 unit. But I think we were only accepted in this unit because he had to

7 accept us.

8 Q. Did he talk to you in his office?

9 A. Yes, that was in his office.

10 Q. Would you describe the area where that office was located and the

11 office itself?

12 A. It was -- I don't quite remember. It was an ordinary house in

13 Mostar. I don't remember the colour of it, but there were several

14 floors. And the office was about five metres long, three to four metres

15 wide, a kind of small office.

16 Q. When did you hear the real name of the person who was called

17 "Stela"?

18 A. Sometime later on. I don't quite remember when.

19 Q. Do you remember the name of the unit you were accepted?

20 A. Yes, the unit was called "ATG Vinko Skrobo".

21 Q. What do you understand by "ATG"?

22 A. "Anti-Terrorist Group".

23 Q. Did they brief you on your future functions within the unit?

24 A. No, not at all.

25 Q. And what did you learn about the unit; background, its functions?

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Page 2356

1 A. I later heard that the name of the unit was part of a battalion

2 called "Kasniske Bojna", which stands for "Punishment Battalion". And I

3 was also told that the unit and the members of the unit were all

4 ex-punished persons during the Communist war in Yugoslavia, during the old

5 Yugoslav. They were all ex-convicts.

6 Q. Do you know who was Stela's superior?

7 A. I later heard that Stela's superior, the battalion commander, was

8 Tuta, a man named "Tuta."

9 Q. Do you know his real name?

10 A. No, I don't. I only know him as "Tuta."

11 Q. Do you know it now?

12 A. No, I don't.

13 Q. And who told you that?

14 A. That was common knowledge. Everybody -- a lot of people talked

15 about it and talked about Tuta, and talked about all the power he got, and

16 actually people were quite afraid of him.

17 Q. Where did you get your accommodation within the unit?

18 A. My what?

19 Q. Accommodation, flat or barracks.

20 A. Okay. The foreigners, the four of us, we received two flats about

21 100 metres away from the unit's headquarter. We had two flats. We

22 emptied one of them and made one flat for us to live in.

23 Q. What about the local soldiers; where did they live?

24 A. I don't really know. Some maybe were living in the building at

25 the headquarter, maybe -- and some maybe also had flats out in the

Page 2357

1 Croatian part of the town. I'm not sure.

2 Q. Did they brief you on your functions within the Vinko Skrobo Unit,

3 your place of military service, your position?

4 A. No. I think three or four days after we arrived, we were taken to

5 the front line, where the unit has responsibility -- an area of

6 responsibility, and there we were shown the positions, enemy positions,

7 what to do, how to do it, and so on.

8 Q. Excuse me. Could you expand a little bit more on this "what to

9 do"?

10 A. What to do was mostly to do guard service once again, keeping the

11 Muslim soldiers from taking our -- the building again through the line, to

12 keep the enemy soldiers away from the line. But mostly again guard

13 service. But there was a lot of shooting all the time.

14 Q. Do you remember the area in which your positions were deployed?

15 A. I remember one big concrete block which, before the war, I think,

16 was a kind of a dental surgery building. On the top floor, there was a

17 lot of, you know, like dental chairs, dental instruments, instruments

18 surrounding -- which doctors use and dentals -- dentists. Sorry.

19 Q. If I show you a picture of some part of Mostar, could you

20 identify --

21 A. Yes, I could.

22 Q. -- that place?

23 A. I could.

24 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the usher to place Exhibit 14.5 on

25 the ELMO. It's not --

Page 2358

1 THE WITNESS: I'll point out the place?

2 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes.

3 THE WITNESS: This building and this one and this one were our

4 areas of responsibility. This building, too, but there were no

5 positions. It was just blocked off.

6 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

7 Q. So --

8 A. That's it.

9 Q. Were there any fortifications on the confrontation line?

10 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm sorry to interrupt. As for the picture, can

11 you give some descriptions of the locations of which buildings?

12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes. I apologise.

13 Q. Let's return to the picture now. So --

14 A. Yes. Our area of responsibility was in this building, which

15 was --

16 Q. Could you describe a little bit this building?

17 A. This building was --

18 Q. Its form, shape and --

19 A. This building was a concrete building before, had been a dental

20 surgery building or something like that. The other buildings, I'm not

21 sure, but probably civilian buildings of some kind, this one and this one.

22 Q. I think that you should take a pen and just mark all these

23 buildings, Number 1, Number 2, Number 3.

24 A. [Marks]

25 Q. So Number 1, what was in that building?

Page 2359

1 A. There was a position at the corner over here.

2 Q. The building, in the corner?

3 A. There was a position in the corner, yeah. You are facing the

4 enemy with your back and looking into a mirror which overlooked the place

5 in front of the building. And then --

6 Q. The second building?

7 A. -- the second.

8 Q. Which one?

9 A. This one.

10 Q. With the red roof, building number 2?

11 A. Number 2, yeah.

12 Q. What did you have on that building?

13 A. On that building, there was some position, but they were not

14 permanently occupied by -- in the basement, there was, like, a resting

15 room for the unit. It was in the basement, and you were secure down

16 there.

17 Q. The next one.

18 A. This one.

19 Q. Do you mean this building with the flat roof?

20 A. Yeah, with the flat red roof, yes.

21 Q. What was there in that building?

22 A. There was also just a position, mainly a listening position where

23 you just sit and listen.

24 Q. Put a number on it, please.

25 A. Once again?

Page 2360

1 Q. Number 3.

2 A. Number 3, yeah. I just drew number 3.

3 Q. Could you mark it?

4 So it's not the building with the flat roof; just the building on

5 the opposite side of the street, also with a red roof.

6 A. This one?

7 Q. And this one, number 4. What did you do there in that building?

8 A. I think that belonged to another unit, maybe it was a special

9 Vojna Policija who was in this building.

10 Q. But was it your area of responsibility or the military police?

11 A. I think that was the military police.

12 Q. Okay. In which building did you perform your duties, guard

13 duties?

14 A. In building number 1, 2, and 3.

15 Q. 1, 2, 3.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. But were all these buildings and the confrontation line itself

18 somehow fortified?

19 A. The windows was fortified with sandbags and with holes to shoot

20 through, you know. And some doors and some windows have been blocked so

21 you couldn't go through them.

22 Q. But who did all these fortifications?

23 A. The fortification were already built when I arrived. Sometimes

24 they were broken down by enemy fire and things like that. And when they

25 have to put up new sandbags, it was mostly prisoners who were forced to do

Page 2361

1 that.

2 Q. Was there firing on the confrontation line?

3 A. Yes, there was.

4 Q. Was there sniping along the confrontation line?

5 A. I think so, yeah.

6 Q. Did the Muslim side fire back?

7 A. Yes, they did.

8 Q. Was it dangerous to be on the confrontation line?

9 A. It was dangerous if you popped your head out, or showed yourself

10 to the enemy, it would be dangerous, yes.

11 Q. Did you see any prisoners doing some other job on the

12 confrontation line apart from carrying sandbags and fortifying the

13 buildings?

14 A. I saw them -- I saw them working as a kind of waiter for the

15 soldiers working on the front line, making coffee, bringing coffee, things

16 like that, cleaning boots, weapons, et cetera.

17 Q. Did you ever witness -- eyewitness civilians crossing the

18 confrontation line from the west part of the city to the east part of the

19 city and vice versa?

20 A. I saw -- doing guard, I saw mostly old people with all the

21 belongings on their backs who was sent from the western side over to the

22 eastern side. I saw that.

23 Q. Were those people escorted?

24 A. Once again, please.

25 Q. Were all those people escorted by someone?

Page 2362

1 A. Yeah, they were escorted by HVO soldiers.

2 Q. What kind of people -- I mean, the age, sex, did you -- you saw

3 crossing the confrontation line?

4 A. Yeah, it was mostly old people, both men and women, who were

5 forced to go to the Muslim side.

6 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Prosecution, since we are talking about

7 confrontation line, could you please be kind enough to show us where that

8 confrontation line draws on the map.

9 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

10 Q. Could you show it?

11 A. The confrontation line --

12 Q. The confrontation line, at least that part that you saw, that you

13 were present, and that you know that it was a part of the confrontation

14 line.

15 A. I know that everything in front of here was the confrontation

16 line, and down here was also a confrontation line. I think it ran

17 something like this.

18 Q. Do you know the name of the street where the confrontation line --

19 A. No, I don't.

20 Q. You don't know.

21 JUDGE LIU: Can you give us a description, for the sake of the

22 record --

23 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes. For the sake of the record, this street,

24 the area that was shown by the Witness Q is that that is to the right side

25 from the medical centre indicated by the witness as number 1, building

Page 2363

1 number 1. So the confrontation line, according to this witness, is just

2 to the right side along the street which name he doesn't remember.

3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.

4 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I would suggest, if you

5 agree, that the witness should draw this in the same way that he marked

6 the numbers, that he draw it simply. It would be clearer than simply

7 using words.

8 THE COURT: That's a very good suggestion.

9 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

10 Q. Yes. Yes, you may try.

11 A. Okay. This is the confrontation line I know about. What's right

12 and left of those, I don't know anything about.

13 Q. All right.

14 Was your unit and military police the only ones -- I mean units,

15 formations -- that were performing duties on the confrontation line?

16 A. I think there were several other units to our left and to our

17 right, but which units they are, I don't know. But there were other

18 units. It was a long confrontation line running through the city.

19 Q. Was your unit and you, personally, involved in military operations

20 on the confrontation line?

21 A. Yes, we were. We tried to do one attack one time.

22 Q. And what happened?

23 A. I don't remember exactly when it happened, but something like late

24 August of '93.

25 Q. What kind of operation was it?

Page 2364

1 A. Couple of days before the attack, some officer I don't know and

2 don't remember his name, came to us, to the foreigners, and told us there

3 was going to be an attack. And that the attack would start with the

4 artillery and mortar fire on the Muslim positions, and also gas would

5 be -- CS gas would be thrown over the Muslim positions. And we would be

6 supported by tanks and that the -- I was told that 10 to 15 prisoners

7 would be -- would have a camouflage jacket on and be given a wooden rifle

8 and act as a human shield during that attack. And the attack went on a

9 couple of days later.

10 Q. Who was in command of that attack?

11 A. I don't know who was in command. I don't know, but I presume that

12 our commander, Stela, was in command.

13 Q. Did you see him the day of the attack?

14 A. No, I didn't. Yes, I saw him at the base area, but I never saw

15 him on the front line, no.

16 Q. Do you mean the base area, his headquarters?

17 A. Yeah, exactly.

18 Q. And what was he doing there, do you remember?

19 A. Just running around, talking to people, giving them orders. I

20 didn't talk to him that day, but I presume he was giving orders to his

21 men.

22 Q. And who was the man who was giving orders to you -- just before

23 the attack, was there any preparation for the attack?

24 A. The day the attack started, we met up at the headquarters, the

25 unit's headquarters, about 2 kilometres, 3 kilometres from the front line

Page 2365

1 and went on to our normal position. Then we waited in building number 1

2 at the right side of the building, facing the front line. Then we waited

3 for the attack. And the artillery came, or mortars, I don't know, going

4 on for some minutes. And then the tank came driving up towards the front

5 line, and the tank started shooting. And we were ordered to attack, and

6 we all went out with the prisoners in front of us.

7 Q. Sorry, one moment. One moment, just apologise.

8 And who was the man who gave you order to start attacking?

9 A. It was some officer in the unit. I don't remember. I don't know

10 his name. It was just a man with a radio, a Motorola radio.

11 Q. Was he from your unit, the Vinko Skrobo Unit?

12 A. Yes, he was.

13 Q. Okay. Go on.

14 A. The tanks started shooting and we were ordered to attack, and

15 everybody ran out to storm the Muslim positions, with the prisoners in

16 front of us acting as a human shield.

17 Q. Stop, stop. Could you show the route which was followed by the

18 tank on the same picture, in the same picture?

19 A. Yes. This is where we waited for the attack when the mortars and

20 artillery were coming in. And the tank came up from here, this street.

21 Normally there would be a sandbag here, but it was turned down to give

22 room for the tank. And when the tank started shooting, we ran out from

23 here and up here to -- we didn't get any further than this because -- due

24 to heavy fire from the Muslim positions, so we were pinned down. We

25 couldn't get any further.

Page 2366

1 Q. Did you see any persons with wooden rifles --

2 A. Yes, I did.

3 Q. -- during the attack?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Where did you see them?

6 A. I saw two --

7 JUDGE LIU: Hold on for a minute. Mr. Par.

8 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting. Before we

9 go on to the next question, I believe that the previous presentation of

10 the witness, showing where the movements took place, cannot be used for

11 the record. Perhaps he could draw it and do it more accurately to show

12 the movement of the witness in a clearer fashion, or else we will not be

13 able to understand that movement. And from the point of view of Defence,

14 I think this is a very important issue.

15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. What we need is a description of the attacking

16 movements from --

17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: That's why I stopped the witness and wanted just

18 to do that.

19 JUDGE LIU: I'm happy to hear that.

20 MR. PORIOUVAEV: But thank you, my learned friend.

21 THE WITNESS: I'll try to draw the route. This was the place

22 where we awaited the attack and where we were seated while the artillery

23 were coming in on the enemy positions. Then the tank came up, and it

24 was --

25 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

Page 2367

1 Q. Show --

2 A. The tank was coming up to this point.

3 Q. Yes. Just mark it.

4 A. There. And when the tank started shooting, we were ordered to

5 attack, going this route.

6 Q. How many soldiers from your side were involved in that attack?

7 A. I would estimate it to be around 20, 25. And then the rest of

8 unit were supporting us from the second floor in Building Number 1 with

9 rifle and machine-gun fire, giving support.

10 Q. Okay. Were there any people with wooden rifles, as you were told

11 before that they would be involved in the operation?

12 A. There were. I saw three people in a camouflage jacket, and they

13 each had a wooden rifle, like a silhouette of a Kalashnikov. And those

14 three people were sent out in front of the unit.

15 Q. Did you see them before the attack, before the attack?

16 A. I saw them in the -- I saw them in the building where we were

17 seated while the artillery were hammering on the enemy position.

18 Q. Were they sitting together with all of you?

19 A. Yes, they did.

20 Q. Did you see the rifles they had?

21 A. Yes, I did.

22 Q. At close range?

23 A. Close or approximately five, six metres, yes.

24 Q. But why do you think that the rifles were wooden?

25 A. I could see, I could tell it. They didn't look like my own

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Page 2369

1 rifle. It was made from wood.

2 Q. Okay. And could you show me the way - again in the picture -

3 these people were following during the attack?

4 A. The same route as I just drew, from here out there in front of the

5 building.

6 JUDGE LIU: You mean the front of the Building 1?

7 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

8 Q. Building 1?

9 A. Building 1, yes.

10 Q. Thank you. Those three persons with wooden rifles, did you see

11 them before?

12 A. Maybe. I don't really know. I think so, yes, but I can't tell it

13 for sure right here.

14 Q. Do you know from which unit they were?

15 A. No, I don't know. They were -- what I was told, they were Muslim

16 prisoners there with civilian clothes. Whether they were prisoners of war

17 from the army of BH or just civilian Muslims, I don't know, but they were

18 prisoners.

19 Q. Were they moving in front of the rest of the people involved in

20 the attack?

21 A. Yeah, they were moving in front of them.

22 Q. Sorry?

23 A. They were moving in front.

24 Q. In front of you?

25 A. In front of the unit, yes.

Page 2370

1 Q. In front of you. What --

2 A. They were the first to go out.

3 Q. What was the distance between you soldiers and the people with

4 wooden rifles?

5 A. Just in front of us a few metres; three, four, five metres,

6 something like that.

7 Q. Was there shooting on the confrontation line at the time they were

8 moving towards AB positions, AbiH positions?

9 A. As soon as we -- as soon as we came out in the open area, the

10 shooting started, a lot of shooting. There had been sporadic shooting all

11 the time, but when we came out in the open area, there was a lot of

12 shooting with rifles, RPGs and probably also machine-guns.

13 Q. Did you succeed to get to Muslim positions?

14 A. No, not at all. We only reached -- we only got as far as you can

15 see, the building in the photo there, so more in front of Building Number

16 1. That's the place we -- we didn't get any further, due to the heavy

17 fire from the enemy side.

18 Q. Did you see what happened to people with wooden rifles?

19 A. No. I lost all eye contact -- I lost eye contact with those

20 prisoners as soon as we came out in the open area. I was -- I was only

21 thinking about the enemy fire and shooting back myself.

22 Q. Did foreign soldiers take part in that operation as well?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And what about another Danish soldier?

25 A. There was another Danish soldier, yes.

Page 2371

1 Q. Was he involved in the operation as well?

2 A. He was involved. He was in the attack, just as me.

3 Q. Was the overall operation on that day successful?

4 A. No, not at all. The operation, it lacked overall command. There

5 was no -- there was no structure in the attack. It wasn't a success, not

6 at all.

7 Q. Were there casualties from your side as a result of the attack?

8 A. Until now, no, there wasn't any casualties. But after we pulled

9 back, there was a casualty, a Danish guy -- another Danish guy. He was

10 wounded in the arm from shrapnel, mortar.

11 Q. How long did you stay within Stela's unit?

12 A. Two or three months, something like that.

13 Q. When did you leave it?

14 A. I don't exactly remember when I left, which month, which day. But

15 certainly me and another Danish guy, we went off to Tomislavgrad.

16 Q. Did you decide to join another unit?

17 A. Yes, we did. We went to Tomislavgrad, where we found a lot of

18 other friends working for the Croatians. We stayed there, I don't know how

19 long. And nothing went on, so we went to Ljubuski and joined up what we

20 found out was another ATG unit from the Kasniske Bojna.

21 Q. Do you know the name of that unit?

22 A. I think the name was Zeljko Bosnjak, something like that.

23 Q. What had you known about that unit when you were joining it?

24 A. I found out that the infrastructure -- the lack of discipline was

25 even worse than it was in Mostar. There was no discipline, nothing, and

Page 2372

1 it was hard to tell if there was any infrastructure in the unit. It was

2 just people with guns.

3 Q. Who was in command of that unit?

4 A. I think the commander of the unit was a guy with the name "Marko".

5 Q. Do you know his full name?

6 A. No, I don't.

7 Q. To which structure did that unit belong?

8 A. Also to the HVO, the Kasniske Bojna.

9 Q. How do you know that?

10 A. They told us that they were also an ATG unit, part of the Kasniske

11 Bojna.

12 Q. Do you mean -- whom do you mean by "they"?

13 A. "They," the Croatian soldiers, told us from the unit.

14 Q. And who was in command of Kasniske Bojna?

15 A. The overall command of Kasniske Bojna was a guy named "Tuta."

16 Q. Did you ever see him?

17 A. Yeah, I saw him in Siroki Brijeg.

18 Q. When did it happen?

19 A. I don't know exactly when it happened, but I remember I saw him in

20 Siroki Brijeg. When, I don't remember.

21 Q. And tell us a little bit about the circumstances in which you saw

22 Tuta, and could you describe the man you call Tuta?

23 A. The man I called Tuta, he didn't appear as a soldier. Actually,

24 he more looked like a hippie from the '60s with long hair, glasses,

25 civilian clothes.

Page 2373

1 Q. Did you talk to him --

2 A. I talked to him once, yes.

3 Q. In Siroki Brijeg?

4 A. No, that was during another episode in Ljubuski. Some guy from

5 the unit has been killed by -- in town by I don't know who.

6 Q. Soldier from your unit?

7 A. From the Kasniske Bojna, yes. And the whole unit was sent out to

8 block the town so nobody would get in, nobody would get out. And we stood

9 guard around the city for an hour, maybe two. And then suddenly, we were

10 all sent up in trucks and cars and driving out to search and attack and

11 search Croatian police stations in the search for this man who has shot

12 this soldier from our unit. And that was the time when I talked to Tuta.

13 Q. Where did you see him?

14 A. Outside some police station. I don't know where, we were just

15 driving around on the lorry, on a truck, you know. I didn't know where we

16 were, the circumstances. But it was outside a Croatian police station

17 which had been attacked by this unit. Me and the Danish guy were driven

18 around in this truck. We didn't even have a weapon. And what was going

19 on, we didn't know exactly.

20 And I saw Tuta and went to him and asked if we could just at

21 least -- if he could at least give us a weapon, just to protect

22 ourselves. We didn't know what was going on. And he told me in German,

23 You want me to take another rifle from a Croatian and give it to you, or

24 what? And we just looked at him and went away again.

25 Q. And what were you doing in Siroki Brijeg when you first saw Tuta?

Page 2374

1 A. I don't really remember what I did there. Maybe it was when we

2 were trying to sign up with this unit. We were given a bed in Siroki

3 Brijeg at Tuta's headquarters just for a night. I think that's when I saw

4 Tuta the first time.

5 Q. Did you enter the police station in Ljubuski during these, let's

6 say, operation --

7 A. No, I was only outside the police station, but close to it.

8 Q. Did they find the soldier they were looking for?

9 A. I think so, yeah. That's the rumours I heard.

10 Q. And what happened to him?

11 A. I think he would have been killed, shot.

12 Q. Why do you think so?

13 A. Rumours, again.

14 Q. Rumours.

15 A. I heard it.

16 Q. When did you leave that unit?

17 A. I left the unit -- I left this unit, it was about Christmastime,

18 December '93.

19 Q. Did you go back to Denmark?

20 A. Then I went back to Denmark, yes, for a period of time, and later

21 went back to Croatia again.

22 Q. Do you remember any specific incidents which happened during your

23 service within the Vinko Skrobo unit?

24 A. I certainly remember the attack.

25 Q. Apart from the attack.

Page 2375

1 A. I remember once we were all told to show up at the headquarters,

2 Stela's headquarters, and we waited with weapons. We didn't really know

3 what was going on, if we were going to attack somewhere, something, or

4 what. And there was a lot of soldiers there. And suddenly, all of the

5 soldiers jumped into civilian cars, very fast, driving from us very fast,

6 and we didn't even have time to get in one of these cars, me, the Danish

7 guy, and some other foreigners. Okay, that's fine, we said. We went back

8 to our flat and watched some television.

9 And when the unit came back, two of the German volunteers who had

10 been with them told us that they had been out in civilian Muslim houses

11 confiscating VCRs, TV sets, stereo, et cetera, expensive items.

12 Q. Did you ever eyewitness any mistreating of prisoners by --

13 A. Yeah.

14 Q. -- Vinko Skrobo soldiers?

15 A. By Vinko Skrobo soldiers? Not exactly from any Croats, except

16 from they were humiliating the soldiers. But no physical abuse except

17 from I saw one episode, this German, one German was beating up a prisoner

18 in the cellar at the headquarters in Mostar, Stela's headquarters.

19 Q. Who was that soldier?

20 A. The name of him?

21 Q. Yes.

22 A. The name of that soldier was Aldeberg Schroder. He was from

23 Berlin, Germany.

24 Q. Was he punished for that mistreatment of a prisoner?

25 A. I don't know, and I don't think so.

Page 2376

1 Q. Why don't you think so?

2 A. I never heard about it. I don't know if the commanders in the

3 unit heard about it, but I don't think he was punished for it, no.

4 Q. But was any of your soldiers ever punished by your commanders --

5 A. No.

6 Q. -- for wrongdoing?

7 A. No, we wasn't. Only one episode, this Aldeberg was punished. I

8 think he was sent home, sent back to Germany, I think.

9 Q. Which incident?

10 A. There was an incident in our apartment, flat, this

11 Aldeberg Schroder, which had a serious alcohol problem, he was drinking a

12 lot, he showed up with a little Muslim kid. I think it was a Muslim kid

13 with no parents, very alone. He showed up with this kid in our flat and

14 said he's going to live here. And the other guys and me, we protested

15 against this and said, no, he's not going to live here, we don't want

16 that, et cetera.

17 The kid went off again. But occasionally, he showed up in the

18 flat just watching television, drinking soda, and having a good time, it

19 looked like. And it was all right with all of us, and he came once in a

20 while. But one time I was sitting on the settee, one officer or a soldier

21 from the unit, he came to me and said, Hey, you better go home, there's a

22 kid who has been killed in your apartment.

23 And we went home. And this Aldeberg Schroder was sitting at the

24 headquarters, looking very depressed. And I don't know what happened, but

25 maybe this kid was playing around with a hand grenade and it exploded, and

Page 2377

1 he was killed in the apartment. After this, Adolf -- we call him Adolf--

2 Aldeberg Schroder was sent home, I think. That's the only punishment I

3 saw.

4 Q. Now, could you describe the person that was known to you as

5 Stela?

6 A. He was rather short, heavy-builded, short hair, kind of a

7 pulled-up type.

8 Q. If you look around the courtroom, you will be able to identify

9 some people who are familiar to you before.

10 A. Yes, I can point out Stela, who is sitting over there.

11 Q. Please, please, don't hurry. Don't hurry.

12 Indicate the place he is sitting.

13 A. He is sitting over there in the black suit, second from the left,

14 in the behind.

15 Q. Who else?

16 A. No. There's no other one I can identify at this moment.

17 Q. Okay.

18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: That's all. My direct is over.

19 JUDGE LIU: Cross-examination.

20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I shall be cross-examining this

21 witness.

22 Cross-examined by Mr. Krsnik: [Interpretation]

23 Q. Good afternoon, Witness. I'm the accused Naletilic's counsel, and

24 I will ask you some questions.

25 If you will be so kind as to tell me how many statements have you

Page 2378

1 given about the events and your experience in Bosnia and Herzegovina?

2 A. I have given two statements.

3 Q. And the first statement was to the authorities in your country;

4 that is, you made the first statement to the police in your country. Is

5 that correct?

6 A. That's correct, yes.

7 Q. Did they summon you and ask you to make a statement, or did you

8 volunteer?

9 A. I volunteered for it.

10 Q. So you went to the police station, and you said -- and told them

11 that you would like to tell them something. Is that how I should

12 understand your answer?

13 A. That's true.

14 Q. Was that in 1999?

15 A. I don't quite remember, but could be possible, yes.

16 Q. So you waited for six years to remember to go to the police and

17 tell them about your experience in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

18 Nobody ever charged you with anything. Is that correct, I mean,

19 the authorities in your country?

20 A. No. No, nobody accused me of doing anything. And it's true I

21 waited for some years, yes.

22 Q. Would you please answer: Why did you wait so long to tell about

23 the things that you went through? And did you know -- after you left

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, were you abreast of further developments there? Did

25 you know what went on there after you left?

Page 2379

1 A. I'm sorry, I didn't understand the last bit of the question.

2 Q. My second question -- the second part of my question was: After

3 you left Bosnia-Herzegovina and went back to Denmark, were you aware of

4 things that went on in Bosnia, and especially did you know anything about

5 the fate of people that you testified about today after you left Bosnia?

6 Did you keep in touch?

7 A. No, I only knew what happened in Bosnia after I left from the

8 media, from the news, et cetera, and I didn't stay in touch with anybody.

9 Q. Tell me, did you then learn from the media or did you perhaps

10 follow the proceedings at The Hague through the media?

11 A. What do you mean exactly?

12 Q. I mean did you follow what the media -- the media coverage of

13 the --

14 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues]... the

15 interpretations.

16 A. I did follow.

17 JUDGE LIU: Would you please re-ask the question and the two

18 questions before, because you asked two questions and we missed the second

19 question.

20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] So the question before this one was

21 whether the witness was aware of further developments in Bosnia after his

22 return to Denmark.

23 JUDGE CLARK: The first question you asked was: Why did he wait

24 so long? And then you went into the next question.

25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Why, yes, and I think that after

Page 2380

1 that -- I'll just check it, with your leave.

2 [Defence counsel confer]

3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes. My colleagues, who are

4 following the transcript and my questions, told me that first I was not

5 given an answer, why did he wait so long. That is right. Why did he wait

6 so long to go to the police? And then followed the questions about

7 whether he was kept abreast of the developments in Bosnia. And my final

8 question was: Did he follow the media in the coverage of this Tribunal?

9 So I think these were my last three questions.

10 JUDGE CLARK: Before we got to that, and I'm following the

11 transcript, you asked a two-part question. And before this witness had an

12 opportunity to answer the first part of the question, you concentrated on

13 the second part. So if we take the question, in fairness, bit by bit, the

14 first question is: "Why did you wait so long?" And when you have the

15 answer, then, if you want, you can ask him the further question about

16 keeping abreast of the events in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour.

18 Thank you for your help.

19 Q. So will you please answer my first question? Why did it take you

20 so long? Why did you wait so long to report or, rather, to go to the

21 police in your country, if you had something to say?

22 A. Why I waited so long? Because I think when I first came home, I

23 was just trying to find myself, find my old self again in the civilian --

24 in the civilised world. That's the only reason I can give you.

25 Q. And you needed six years for that, to find yourself again and all

Page 2381

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Page 2382

1 that you told us, you needed six years for that?

2 A. I don't know if -- how long a time I needed, but --

3 Q. Right. Will you now answer my second question? Did you follow

4 further developments or did you have any personal knowledge of things that

5 went on in Bosnia after your return to your country?

6 A. After I went back, the only -- the only thing I knew about what

7 was going on was from the media, from the news, the Danish news and also

8 the international news. No personal knowledge of what was going on, no.

9 Q. And in the media in your country, did you follow their coverage of

10 the work of this Tribunal, I mean who are the accused, what goes on? Were

11 you curious? Did you want to know what went on here? Did you follow that

12 in your country's media?

13 A. I followed it in the media, yes. If I was curious, I don't know,

14 but I followed it, as everybody else did, yes.

15 Q. Tell me, in the statement that you gave to the authorities in your

16 country, that is, to the police, were you cautioned at the beginning of

17 your statement that that statement could be used against you? Was that

18 the case? Is that accurate, what I'm saying?

19 A. Yes, yes, that's right.

20 Q. And you nevertheless volunteered your statement without the

21 assistance of a counsel or a legal advisor; you nevertheless wanted and

22 insisted on giving such a statement, did you?

23 A. Yes, yes, that's true.

24 Q. Do you remember the statement that you gave to the police in your

25 country?

Page 2383

1 A. Yes, I remember the statement, yes.

2 Q. Do you remember that you never once mentioned somebody -- a

3 certain man called "Tuta"? There is not a single word about it. Do you

4 remember that?

5 A. Yes. I never mentioned "Tuta" in the first statement to the

6 Danish police, no, I didn't.

7 Q. Would you then be so kind as to answer me: How did you establish

8 contact with the investigators of this Office of the Prosecutor? I'm

9 using the acronym "OTP", which means the Prosecutor's team in this

10 Tribunal. How did you establish contact with them?

11 A. They -- they established contact with me. I guess the police --

12 the Danish police sent my statement down to The Hague, and after some time

13 two police officers came to Denmark and interrogated me, asked me

14 questions.

15 Q. Two Danish policemen came, if I understood you properly.

16 A. No, it was two policemen from this -- from this Tribunal, one

17 Portuguese and one American policeman.

18 Q. But there are no policemen in this Tribunal. It doesn't have any

19 police force. Don't you know that?

20 A. No, I wasn't aware of that. But two investigators, claiming that

21 they were coming from The Hague, came to interrogate me. As I said, one

22 Portuguese and one American.

23 Q. Did they introduce themselves as policemen?

24 A. Yes, they did.

25 Q. So when you gave your statement, you thought you were talking to

Page 2384

1 the police of this Tribunal; is that correct?

2 A. Whether they were police from this Tribunal, I don't know. They

3 identified themselves as police. One was an ex-policeman from Portugal

4 and one was an ex-policeman from the United States of America.

5 Q. Very well. I think my question is quite clear. When you gave

6 your statement, you thought that you were giving it to the police; is that

7 correct? That was my question originally, so I'm repeating. How did you

8 feel? What did you think? Did you think that you were talking to the

9 police or somebody else? This is very clear. We're trying to explain

10 here as many things as we can. I believe we understand one another.

11 A. Yes, we do. I talked to two policemen which I thought were

12 working for this Hague Convention. All I know, they were policemen. They

13 told me.

14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if my sight serves me

15 well, it is 4.00, so perhaps I should continue my cross-examination

16 tomorrow.

17 Q. Witness, are you cold? I was about to ask you - and this is my

18 last question - are you cold? Are you feeling cold?

19 A. No, no.

20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good, good, thank you.

21 Yes, I would end there at this point, Your Honours, today, Your

22 Honour.

23 JUDGE LIU: We will adjourn until 9.30 tomorrow morning.

24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

25 4.00 p.m., to be reconvened on

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