1 Wednesday, 26 September 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is Case Number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Martinovic and Naletilic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Your Honour, if you have other business,
10 Mr. President, you could certainly proceed. I just wanted to have one
11 minute of the Chamber's time, please, before the witness is brought in.
12 But I can take it in any order if you would like to -- if you have
13 something else to --
14 JUDGE LIU: There's some administrative matters I would like to
15 say before I give you the floor.
16 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yesterday, the Trial Chamber heard arguments of both
18 parties with regard to the time schedule problem for this week caused by
19 Mr. Naletilic's dentist appointment on Thursday, 27th, September at 11.00
20 a.m. The Trial Chamber accepts the dental treatment of Mr. Naletilic is
21 of a certain urgency, and he should be enable to see the dentist on
23 The Trial Chamber ordered the registrar to look into the
24 allegations that Mr. Naletilic has not been provided with pain killing
25 medication for a certain period and report back to the Trial Chamber. The
1 registrar is further called upon by the Trial Chamber to adequately
2 monitor and ensure the further treatment of Mr. Naletilic's teeth
4 Lastly, the Trial Chamber asks the registrar to keep in mind the
5 Court schedule of this Trial Chamber. If the scheduling of any further
6 medical appointments should become necessary, such appointments should, in
7 general, be scheduled before and after the regular sitting hours, which
8 are 9.30 a.m. and 4 p.m., and on Friday afternoon after 1.00 p.m.
9 As to Defence argument that the trial cannot commence in the
10 absence of Mr. Naletilic, the Trial Chamber wishes to point out very
11 clearly that generally, this Trial Chamber holds the view that short-term
12 absence of the accused does not prevent the Trial Chamber from commencing
13 the trial, provided that the accused is represented by the counsel during
14 his absence.
15 In this regard, the Trial Chamber will not allow the delay of a
16 trial by medical appointments that may become necessary or desirable. It
17 is only for the particular circumstances of Mr. Naletilic's treatment this
18 week and the special importance of the witness to be heard that the Trial
19 Chamber, nevertheless, grants the motion of the accused, that the trial
20 will not be commenced during his absence on Thursday morning.
21 Due to the oft-discussed particular circumstances in this trial
22 week, the Trial Chamber decided to sit on Thursday and Friday as follows:
23 On Thursday, September 27th, we will sit only in the afternoon from 2.00
24 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. On Friday, September 28th, we will sit during the
25 regular court hours for the morning session, and in addition, from 2.30 to
1 5.30 p.m., if this will become necessary to complete the Prosecution's
2 witnesses for this week.
3 As for the second week of October, as already announced earlier
4 this week, Trial Chamber 1, Section A, will not sit in the first week of
5 October. Due to additional professional obligations of the Judges, the
6 Trial Chamber will sit in the second week of October only, from Monday
7 morning, October 8th, until and including Thursday morning, October 11th.
8 The Trial Chamber will not sit on Thursday afternoon and on Friday
9 morning, October 12th. The trial will resume on October 15th, 2001, with
10 the normal court hours. This Trial Chamber will also not sit on
11 October 24th, because that is a UN holiday.
12 And yesterday, at the end of the afternoon session, Mr. Meek
13 raised an issue of the search and the seizure warrant. Due to the tight
14 time schedule of the rest of this week, we will not discuss this issue any
15 further in the Court at this point since it has, however, not become
16 entirely clear to the Trial Chamber what kind of relief the Defence is
17 actually requiring. We request Mr. Meek to file a written explanation of
18 your request and file it according to the rules for filing documents in
19 this case. Thank you.
20 Mr. Prosecutor, did you talk to your witness yesterday?
21 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour. I talked to him in the
22 morning. It was a very brief conversation, mostly about the problems of
23 behaviour in the courtroom and the manner of answering questions to both
24 parties, to the Prosecutor and to the Defence. It seems to me that
25 Witness U understood that he should behave himself properly here in the
1 courtroom, and I hope that today's session with this witness can be
2 shorter. The Defence will, of course...
3 JUDGE LIU: I think all of us -- at least me, have to get used to
4 the adversary systems in this courtroom, including your witness.
5 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, and myself.
6 JUDGE LIU: With regard to the afternoon session, the Trial
7 Chamber wishes to express the following, because unfortunately, it seems
8 to me I have to remind counsel of their professional duties in general,
9 and specifically with the Trial Chamber's order with the questioning of
10 witnesses which was issued orally at the beginning of this trial. Once
11 again, the Trial Chamber requests the parties to put all questions to the
12 witness in a short and direct way. This Trial Chamber will attach only
13 little evidential weight to answers that result from any kind of
14 suggestive questions. Suggestive questions are such that consist only of
15 a simple confirmation of the suggested answer that has been given to the
16 witness by the questioning parties themselves.
17 This Trial Chamber will further not tolerate any longer any
18 discussion between counsel and the witnesses in the courtroom. It is the
19 professional duty of the party who calls the witness to ensure that the
20 witness fully understands that his function in the courtroom is to give
21 his evidence to the Trial Chamber and that he is not allowed to enter into
22 inquiries with the questioning party. At the same time, it is the
23 professional duty of the questioning party in the court to prevent such
24 debates instead of contributing further to it.
25 Lastly, the Trial Chamber once again calls upon the parties to pay
1 due respect to witnesses during the questioning and to act like
2 professional counsel in this regard.
3 Yes, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: May it please the Court, we appreciate all that
5 information very much, especially concerning scheduling. So it assists
6 us, obviously, in planning, and we thank the Court for that information.
7 In that same regard, I just want to alert the Court - and again
8 for witness scheduling reasons - if the cross-examination of this first
9 witness is not completed by the 11.00 break, and again I'm not meaning to
10 exert any pressure on the cross-examination of the witness but only as a
11 scheduling matter, we would propose to the Chamber that if we're not
12 finished by 11.00, that at the 11.30 time, when we resume at 11.30, that
13 we be able to take the next witness out of order, who will be a very short
14 witness, we think, and we can complete that witness in a very short time,
15 we think, and allow that person to actually leave The Hague today.
16 The realities are, as I understand them with the witness that's
17 presently testifying, that because of the airline schedules to Bosnia, he
18 will not at this point be able to leave until tomorrow in any event
19 because the flights tend to depart in the morning hours. I hope that --
20 perhaps we will be finished by 11.00. That would be the best thing,
21 obviously. But if we're not, Your Honour, we may ask you to assist us in
22 this way. We do make -- as I'm sure the Chamber knows, we make a
23 considerable effort to try to treat the witnesses as fairly as possible
24 and accommodate them and keep them in The Hague for as short a time as we
25 can. Thank you.
1 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Thank
3 you very much for the information you have given us. I simply wish to
4 note, if you allow me, I have some observation with regard to what my
5 learned colleague has just said.
6 I want you to understand that the Defence is very much under
7 pressure. You know all the requirements that we have put, and there is a
8 tremendous burden on us. I want to have a clear conscience vis-a-vis my
9 client and vis-a-vis the job that I am performing. We are doing every --
10 making every effort to do our job correctly, and we are at the very edge
11 of the efforts we can make. We have been working the whole day, and it is
12 only in the evenings we can write motions and prepare for the
13 cross-examinations, and then we are forced and pressurised to rush
15 Your Honours, never in my 25 years of practice that I have found
16 myself in this current situation. Never, wherever I have defended people,
17 and this I have done across the world, never have I found myself in a
18 situation where, due to time, I cannot reflect on justice. So, please, I
19 would ask my learned colleagues that have been preparing this case for
20 five full years, the last testimonies they've taken in March 2001 --
21 actually, I believe that there is the witnesses' commission. We will
22 accept a schedule be -- of course, the Prosecution is here for a longer
23 period of time than the Defence and they know how business must be
24 conducted. So I kindly ask you, Your Honours, to conclude these
25 proceedings so that the Defence has a clear conscience vis-a-vis their
1 clients, the Court and God. Since I'm pressurised by time, I fear that
2 justice will be -- a detriment will be made to justice. We must need
4 These are very serious issues. This is an entire political
5 situation going back ten years we are dealing with. We cannot discuss all
6 this in a month's time. All of us come from different parts of the world,
7 and all of us, we have to learn about culture and political relations and
8 so on and so forth. My client has, before this Court, his last
9 opportunity vis-a-vis himself, his children, and vis-a-vis truth, to come
10 to the material truth, which is something that the Prosecution should be
11 interested in. We are working towards the truth, whatever the truth may
12 be, and for this we need time. Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Secondly, finally we have received notice from the Registry that
14 Mrs. Visnja Drenski Lasan has become legal assistant, so I would like to
15 call upon the Court to allow her to be present in the courtroom, because
16 our colleague, Nika Pinter, will have to go to Bosnia-Herzegovina, and so
17 we will only have Visnja Drenski to help us.
18 That will be all, Your Honours.
19 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, let me make sure that I understand what
20 you are saying. That is, you agree that we have another witness at 11.00
21 this morning, but these kind of things could never happen again in the
22 future. In the future, the Prosecutor will have a much better scheduling
23 of the witness. Is that what you mean? Thank you.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Of course, Your Honour, you notice
25 that the Defence has an honourable attitude to all parties here.
1 My client, I would like to add something about him. It is not
2 easy for him in this courtroom. During the past six days, he has suffered
3 tremendously. He didn't want to cry about this, and work has not been
4 interrupted. It is not easy -- the client will, of course, respect the
5 decision. And given the problems that I have noted that I would have with
6 the witness, I have prepared my questions accordingly and I will try to be
7 as brief as possible. But please, in future, take into account what I
8 have just said, because we are really exhausted.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. This Trial Chamber has taken
10 note of what you said about your client's problem, and we have instructed
11 the registrar to look into this matter in the future.
12 Yes, Mr. Seric.
13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to say also
14 that two very important principles of criminal proceedings, of economy and
15 of justice, are not compatible. But I would like to say that the
16 principle of economics, which is quite understandable to be respected by
17 the Court, and we know that the Court wants to achieve economy and
18 efficiency in the proceedings and have it focussed in the greatest
19 possible manner on the case and on the schedule, because unless you have a
20 schedule in advance, we cannot have an efficient proceedings. And I have
21 been a judge too long not to appreciate this. I truly respect your
22 decisions regardless of the judicial activity and judicial remedies which
23 we will resort to within the frameworks of our code in this country and in
24 the Tribunal. The guidelines that you have given us are truly something
25 to be respected.
1 Now, referring to the economy of judicial proceedings, this does
2 not mean only to be objectivity in pronouncing a sentence, but also a just
3 conduct of proceedings, so not only the burden of proof is with the
4 Prosecution but also with the Defence. We need preparation for
5 cross-examination. If we prepared for cross-examination of Witness U
6 according to a schedule -- we only knew this a day or two in advance, then
7 every disruption of the schedule makes problems for us.
8 So this time, I am saying that I agree with the Prosecution, that
9 we have to be as cooperative as possible, but this causes problems for
10 us. And may I use this opportunity -- I apologise, Your Honours, for
11 intervening. It would be most useful to us, if we are trying to be
12 economical and as brief as possible, we would find it most useful, unless
13 we have longer periods of interruption where we can prepare, but in that
14 case, we would very much like to know the schedule in advance for quite a
15 long time, both in connection with the Court, in connection with breaks,
16 one day, two days, the schedule of calling witnesses. Because I know that
17 the Prosecution has problems calling witnesses because something -- some
18 people just don't want to come, they cannot come on certain dates. And
19 since we have not had any postponement, we understand all this, what we
20 would at least like to know, not only the daily schedule, the weekly
21 schedule and the schedule for several weeks.
22 I hope that you will appreciate this, and the problems that the
23 Defence is having. And thank you for taking up so much of your time, but
24 this will, of course, help us because if we lose half an hour, an hour a
25 day, it can be a gain of one week in our work. If we are briefer and more
1 efficient in the remaining time at our disposal.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much for allowing us to
3 hear the next witness at 11.00. And this Trial Chamber shares your views
4 concerning the time schedule. That's why we announced the time schedule,
5 not only for this week but for next month. And I hope in the future the
6 Prosecutor will provide us another list of witnesses for this month.
7 And as for the legal status of Ms. Lasan, at the moment I have to
8 say that this Trial Chamber has not been informed of that notice from the
9 registrar officially. And as soon as we got those notification, we'll
10 make our decisions accordingly. Thank you.
11 Usher, would you please bring the witness in.
12 [The witness entered court]
13 WITNESS: WITNESS U
14 [Witness answered through interpreter]
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Prosecutor, would you please furnish us with a
16 list of the witnesses in accordance with the order for this week and for
17 the week after our court recess, because at least we have to know the
18 updated list for that.
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: We will do that. Thank you.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
21 Witness, please remember that you are still under the solemn
22 declaration. And this Trial Chamber has granted you the protective
24 Mr. Krsnik. You can continue with your cross-examination.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Krsnik: [Continued]
2 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
3 A. Good morning to you.
4 Q. We will begin our examination today. I have prepared myself so as
5 to have my questions as concise as possible and your answers as brief as
7 I think that we stopped yesterday with the question of the
8 departure of your wife to Belgrade. And my question was: Your wife left
9 by a JNA helicopter to Belgrade?
10 A. I believe that I answered the question yesterday. I said that she
11 had departed for Belgrade, but I don't know by which means of conveyance.
12 Q. Tell me: From Mostar, you could leave Mostar by all means of
13 conveyance in those days?
14 A. No, because it was -- if you would go by car to Belgrade, you
15 would have many checkpoints, and some of these routes were illegal and
16 only served to take away property from the passengers.
17 Q. You can go by car or by any other way?
18 A. Well, you could go by helicopter organised by the Red Cross, in
19 the same way as convoys of buses would go to Croatia.
20 Q. The helicopters had the insignia of the Red Cross of the JNA?
21 A. I know that helicopters had signs of the Red Cross.
22 Q. You said that your wife had told you that the helicopters had the
23 sign, so you talked about this?
24 A. Yes, we did, but this does not mean that she flew by helicopter.
25 I don't know why this is so important in this case.
1 Q. How did you leave Mostar to Belgrade yourself, by what means of
3 A. I went with a freight plane.
4 Q. A freight plane of the JNA?
5 A. I expect that the plane was a JNA plane. The pilot was a
7 Q. At that time, not all of the citizens had the same privilege?
8 A. Of course not. I travelled with my boss, and one of his close
9 relatives was the commander at the airport, and he arranged it for us to
10 go and visit our family with the money that we earned working (redacted)
12 Q. How long did you stay in Belgrade?
13 A. I can't remember, believe me. I think I returned to Croatia
14 sometime perhaps in mid-June and back to Mostar by mid-July, sometime
15 around there.
16 Q. But then you couldn't see the principal developments in Mostar? I
17 mean the fighting with the Serbs.
18 A. Of course I could not; if there was any war, that is.
19 Q. You don't even know whether there was a war between Croats and
20 Muslims and Serbs or, rather, that the Serbs had committed an aggression
21 against Mostar?
22 A. Well, naturally I heard a great deal about it, because my brothers
23 were there and they were engaged in HVO units, and a relative of mine was
24 also in the BH army. I will agree with you when you say that there was an
25 aggression against the JNA by the military and paramilitary JNA
1 formations. But the end of the conflict did not look like a war. It
2 looked more like an understanding, like a pact.
3 Q. You were giving very broad answers to my learned friend, that is
4 why I'm asking you, because you said that the absolute power in the
5 defence of Mostar was in the hands of the HVO?
6 A. Yes, well, that is so. That has been proven.
7 Q. I mean, you were not in Mostar?
8 A. It doesn't matter, because there is documents and other evidence.
9 Why should it be important whether I spent in Mostar those two months or
11 Q. Witness, do you know about the understanding between Izetbegovic
12 and Boban to hand over the conduct of the defence of the HVO?
13 A. I'd be very happy if you could show me that, the document showing
14 that understanding. You know, sir, Krsnik, there were very many
15 agreements that were never respected, because under wartime conditions
16 such agreements remained on paper or, rather, they were never translated
17 into life because one of the two parties defaulted on them, or perhaps
18 both of them did.
19 Q. Witness, will you please focus on my questions and give me brief
20 questions [as interpreted]. My questions are very simple. Do you know?
21 If you don't [as interpreted] know, then tell us. If you do not know,
22 then also tell us, sir, nothing else. And please refrain from comments,
23 because they do not derive from my questions.
24 A. And I am answering you like that and, please, I like to be able to
25 answer normally your questions. Your question -- it is impossible to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 answer questions with a "yes" or "no," and there would be no sense in my
2 coming here to answer your questions with only "yes" or "no" because your
3 questions are very ambiguous so that I cannot answer them in that
4 particular manner.
5 Q. Witness, are you aware that Izetbegovic and Mate Boban agreed that
6 the defence of Mostar would be entrusted to the HVO in the joint staff
7 headed by Jasmin Jaganjac, a Bosnian or a Muslim, whichever; are you aware
8 of that or not?
9 A. No, I'm not.
10 Q. Thank you. Do you know that the whole burden of training and
11 armament in that war was borne by the HVO?
12 A. I don't believe that.
13 Q. Thank you. Was there a party called the "Croat Party of Rights"
14 in Herzegovina?
15 A. Yes. That was the branch of the Croat Party of Rights from
17 Q. A branch while Yugoslavia still existed. But after the
18 recognition of Bosnia in 1992 or, rather, the end of this year, the HOS
19 was a party in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
20 A. I guess so.
21 Q. HOS, H-O-S, the Croat defence forces, were the military wing of
22 that party in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, but their chief commander was in Zagreb and the headquarters
24 was in Zagreb.
25 Q. You know that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You have personal knowledge of that?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You were in Zagreb and talked to the supreme commander of those
6 A. I was in Zagreb, but I had no opportunity to talk to the
8 Q. And what is the supreme commander called?
9 A. I do not know how the HOS is structured because I suppose it is
10 structured differently than the BH army, but I think that the head of the
11 Main Staff was Mr. Ante Dzapic and the commander of HOS in
12 Bosnia-Herzegovina was Ante Prkacin, and they are both Croatian nationals.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 A. Not at all.
15 Q. Are you aware that the HVO was a part of the armed forces of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina recognised by the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. As far as I know, the HVO was recognised by the president of the
18 Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina. I have not found anywhere, even in the
19 literature, the HVO was recognised by the Presidency, because it is still
20 the Croatian component in the armed forces of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is,
21 it is still an organisation apart, even though the war ended eight years
23 Q. Witness, my question was: Were they regular, lawful forces of
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina? Are you aware of that or not aware of that?
25 A. My answer is that they were neither regular nor lawful forces.
1 Q. Thank you.
2 A. Not at all.
3 Q. Do you know when the Mostar Battalion was formed, do you know that
4 or not?
5 A. The Mostar Battalion was formed in April '92.
6 Q. Do you know that that battalion grew into the 4th Corps?
7 A. Absolutely, first into the 1st Brigade and then into the 4th
9 Q. Bozo Rajic, the Defence minister in the government of
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina, by virtue of a decision of the government of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina, issued an order based on the Vance-Owen Plan which the
12 Croats had signed, and the Bosnian or Muslims procrastinated it. But on
13 the basis of the government's decision, an order was issued that in the
14 areas where the Croats constitute the majority, the armed forces would be
15 subordinated to the Croat forces, and in the areas where the Bosniak or
16 Muslim forces were the majority, the Croat forces would be subordinated to
17 the Bosniak Muslim forces, as I said. Do you know that or not?
18 A. Yes, of course I'm aware of that order, but you misinterpreted it
19 completely. The decision of the government was not Bozo -- Bozo Rajic
20 wasn't there. Bozo Rajic took that decision in Mostar or in Grude. The
21 government was in Sarajevo. Bozo Rajic never went to Sarajevo, where we
22 all conducted our consultations.
23 Q. How do you know that?
24 A. From the mass media. There are video recordings with those
25 statements, because Bozo Rajic did not attend the session of the
1 government. And I am absolutely positive that the government of
2 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is, the regular government of Bosnia-Herzegovina,
3 would never take a decision which would be directly conducive to war.
4 Q. Witness, will you please be so kind as to tell us whether the
5 factories or institutions in Mostar worked at that time in '92? Let's
6 take July, when you came there, until '93, until May '93. Did anything
7 work in Mostar?
8 A. Well, yes, there was some work here and there, but mostly to a
9 reduced capacity.
10 Q. Well, is that a surprise, that people lost jobs?
11 A. Of course it is not a surprise that people lost their jobs.
12 Q. Thank you, thank you.
13 THE INTERPRETER: Continuing the end of the answer:
14 A. What comes as a surprise is that only the members of one ethnic
15 group lost their jobs.
16 Q. Witness, how many refugees -- of course, I'm sure you don't know
17 the number, but perhaps you do. How many Muslim refugees came from
18 Podvelezje and all those neighbouring villages from East Mostar to West
19 Mostar, do you know that?
20 A. Can I ask you, please, counsel, do not use Muslim refugees.
21 Muslim refugees exist in Pakistan from Afghanistan, so will you please try
22 to use the accepted terminology.
23 Q. Yes, of course. No problem.
24 What term do you want me to use, "Bosniak"?
25 A. Sir, well, if you don't know how, I'm really astonished by that
1 fact. Bosniak refugees.
2 Q. They are not refugees. They are people who were expelled by the
3 force of arms.
4 JUDGE LIU: Wait. Wait. At this moment, I have to remind you
5 both, since you are speaking with the same language, all you have said has
6 to be translated into the other two languages. We entirely rely on the
7 interpreters. So please make a pause after each question and answer so
8 that the interpreters could follow you. Thank you.
9 THE WITNESS: My apologies, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE CLARK: May I ask the Witness and Mr. Krsnik, you're coming
11 very close to the situation that we were in yesterday where you were
12 debating with each other on the basis of your very full knowledge of what
13 happened in the former Yugoslavia, and you are debating as well-informed
14 people rather than trying to assist the Court. I know it's difficult - I
15 said that to you yesterday - but please try to be professional.
16 Your position is to try and elicit information from this witness
17 here which either disparages the evidence that he gave yesterday or puts
18 in issue something that he said yesterday. We haven't yet addressed the
19 issues that came before the Court yesterday. This witness gave very clear
20 evidence of his personal experiences of being a member of an ethnic group,
21 the Muslims or Bosniaks of the former Yugoslavia, who he claims were
22 mistreated during the conflict with the HVO and the other military units
23 that were under that umbrella. You haven't yet addressed that issue.
24 That's what -- this is why this witness is here. What you're doing is
25 very interesting, but it doesn't address the reason why you're
1 cross-examining this witness, unless you take it that there is no dispute
2 at all about what he said yesterday.
3 Isn't that the point of a cross-examination?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. But to get
5 to that point, we need to prepare the ground for them and start moving
6 towards them. So now I must speed matters up, and I'm not really sorry
7 that I have to do that.
8 Q. So you still owe me an answer to my question. Did those refugees
9 populate West Mostar or didn't they, and how many of them were they?
10 A. They were not refugees. They were people expelled by the force of
11 arms, and they spread all over the town. Their number, nobody knew it
12 then. Nobody knows it today.
13 Q. And tell us, please, who moved into flats abandoned by Serbs?
14 A. By and large, Croats fled from Central Bosnia, and that remains
15 the case to this day.
16 Q. Tell me, please, do you remember how many statements you gave to
17 the State Security Service in Mostar and the investigators of this
19 A. I do not remember. I'm not aware that there is a State Security
20 Service in Mostar.
21 Q. You do not remember giving a statement to the State Security
23 A. I'm still not aware that there's a State Security Service there.
24 Q. On the 17th of January, '96?
25 A. '96, you say?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. Believe me, I'm simply not aware that it exists, or rather that
3 that is its name, the State Security Service of Mostar.
4 Q. That is its precise name. Do you remember giving the statement?
5 A. Of course I remember giving the statement.
6 Q. Very well, then. Tell me -- now, let's move on to the 9th of
8 In that statement, you said that you woke up at 4.00 in the
9 morning, and only at 17.45, a quarter to 6.00 in the afternoon, members of
10 the HVO entered your apartment?
11 A. That is simply not true. Sir, it must be a mistake in the
12 translation. You say 5.45, and the translator forgot to -- in English,
13 you say it in the same way, 5.45 in the morning and in the afternoon, so
14 the translator simply forgot to put morning rather than afternoon. That
15 is a mistake.
16 Q. That is a different matter. You said that it started at 5.00
17 rather than at 4.00, and they broke into your apartment at 6.00 in the
18 morning. Is that another mistake, or which is correct?
19 A. Sir, do you really think that I could remember the exact minute at
20 a time when a town was in flames, when shells were falling all over? I
21 really could not make an accurate assessment to a minute.
22 Q. Sir, this is what your statement says, which you read and signed.
23 A. Yes, of course.
24 Q. But is that correct?
25 A. Well, I'm telling you that that was at about that time.
1 Q. Which of them is correct, the first one or the second one?
2 A. The one that says that I was woken up by the attack in the morning
3 hours, and that they came around 6.00. I really do not know whether this
4 is my first, second, or third statement. You have them before you. I do
6 Q. Tell me, please, what is correct? In the first statement you said
7 it was the policemen who came to fetch you. You recognised Braco Poznic.
8 And in your second statement, you said it was Kemal Selmanovic who came to
9 take you away. Now, what is correct, Braco Poznic or Kemal Selmanovic?
10 A. What period of time are you asking me about?
11 Q. I'm asking you about the 30th of June.
12 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel and witness please not speak at
13 the same time.
14 MR. KRSNIK:
15 Q. [Interpretation] If you had enough patience to answer my questions
16 and do not start answering without waiting for the end of my question,
17 then you would be able to hear me. So will you please bear with me and
18 listen to my question to the end.
19 A. Yes. Ask your question.
20 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel and witness please make a break
21 between question and answer.
22 MR. KRSNIK:
23 Q. [Interpretation] About the events on the 30th of June, 1993, you
24 first stated that you were arrested by two unknown members of the HVO, and
25 that in the street you saw Braco Poznic. In your second statement you
1 said that you were addressed by Kemal Selmanovic, and you mention only him
2 and nobody else. Now, which one of the two is true?
3 A. Of course, it is true that my flat -- that Mr. Kemal Selmanovic
4 came there and took me out. Braco Poznic was the chief of police, and he
5 was waiting in front of the building. You must have confused certain
6 things in those statements.
7 Q. Well, it says very clearly, sir, in your statement that you were
8 arrested by two unknown soldiers, "unknown soldier." You will agree with
9 me that an unknown soldier is an unknown soldier; that is, it is not a
10 known soldier. And secondly, you say in your statements which you signed
11 that you were arrested by Kemal Selmanovic, so this is not the same.
12 Please, if you don't want to answer my question, then you don't have to.
13 A. I do want.
14 Q. So what is true, that you were arrested by unknown soldiers or by
15 Kemal Selmanovic?
16 A. Kemal Selmanovic and an unknown soldier.
17 Q. In your third statement of the 18th December and the 19th of
18 January this year, that is recently, you said that you stopped working for
19 the BiH army in the summer of 1997. Yesterday in this Court, before this
20 Honourable Court, you said that you stopped working for them after the --
21 following the Dayton Peace Accords.
22 A. So where is the question?
23 Q. Which one of the two is true? When did you stop working for them?
24 A. Both are true.
25 Q. Do you always have two truths? Excuse me, Witness. There cannot
1 exist two truths.
2 Did you stop working in '97 or during the Dayton Peace Accords?
3 A. Yes, of course there can be.
4 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, with your
5 permission, I should like to remind the counsel not to start speaking
6 until you can see on the transcript the end of the previous sentence --
7 rather, the previous answer of the witness. Thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: And I think that question is quite unnecessary. Do
9 you always have two truths? What kind of question is this? You could ask
10 him which is true, but you should not pose any questions like this. All
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, you are quite right, Your
13 Honours. But you see, I am exposed to this major pressure. And I assure
14 you, Your Honour, it is very difficult to communicate with this witness.
15 And if you spoke my language, you would understand. Because the witness
16 is trying to dodge my questions. He is evading answers, and I am really
17 at great pain, and I beg of this Chamber to understand this.
18 THE WITNESS: I think that this is simply not true. You are
19 asking questions which for the most part have nothing to do with the case.
20 JUDGE LIU: Let's stop the debate between yourselves, but just to
21 bear in mind that you should ask a question in the line of the normal
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I will complete my
24 examination with a question.
25 Q. Tell me, what is the truth? Did you leave the BiH army in 1997,
1 or is it true what you said before this Honourable Court, that you left it
2 during the Dayton Peace Accords? So when did you speak the truth, before
3 this Court or in your statement?
4 A. In both cases. If I may, I will explain it briefly.
5 Q. No, thank you. There's no need.
6 MR. KRSNIK: I have completed my cross-examination.
7 JUDGE CLARK: I think this witness should be allowed to give an
9 THE WITNESS: Your Honours, as you can see, I am not conducting
10 this examination. It is conducted by Mr. Krsnik. I am only answering his
11 questions. And if the examination follows some other course, then I
12 cannot be held responsible for it.
13 At the time when the Dayton Peace Accords were signed, this
14 document put an end to the belligerences in my homeland of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. In view of the kind of work that I did for Bosnia at
16 the time, the need for such work ceased. However, the agency to which I
17 was committed and which brought together people, regardless of the ethnic
18 origin, religion, or membership in an army, was trying to find the missing
19 persons. Unfortunately, the largest number of the missing are on the
20 Bosniak side, a huge number of them. And this is the case to this day.
21 My agency was involved in trying to trace them. So naturally, I
22 remained a soldier, in a way, because the signing of new professional --
23 agreements were signed with the army. Of course, the army needed people.
24 (redacted), I had no intention -- that is, I
25 did not think that the army would need my services again. So that my
1 contract ended sometime in July '97. And this is my true statement, and I
2 am saying it under full moral and legal responsibility.
3 JUDGE CLARK: I think that you mentioned your profession, so that
4 will have to be removed from the transcript.
5 Is your answer, then, pursuant to Mr. Krsnik's question, is that
6 one part of your work ceased after the Dayton Accord as a military man,
7 but you remained as a civilian in your other work, which was trying to
8 identify where missing people had gone?
9 A. That is right, yes.
10 JUDGE CLARK: So if Mr. Krsnik has any questions specifically
11 arising out of that response, which I suppose I elicited rather than you,
12 I mean of course you're free to ask further questions. Thank you,
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour, and thank you
15 for your help and your understanding. But it is already half past 10.00,
16 and if we wanted to finish with this witness by 11.00, and there is my
17 colleague who has to ask some questions, I really see no purpose in asking
18 any further questions of this witness, because what the Defence wanted to
19 achieve and to show this Honourable Court, I believe we have done this.
20 And with this difficulty in communication, I believe we also saw how
21 difficult it was. But thank you very much. No further questions.
22 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par, cross-examination.
23 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Before I start
24 my cross-examination, I would like to ask to resolve a question so as not
25 to have the witness consider me as being provocative or believe that it is
1 an attempt of manipulating with him.
2 In the course of the cross-examination conducted by Mr. Krsnik,
3 there was always the problem of terminology that emerged, whether it was a
4 question of the Bosnian Muslims, Bosniaks, the army of B and H, the Muslim
5 army and the like. This is not only a problem today. It is a problem
6 that we have had with most other witnesses too. I would like, here and
7 now, to resolve this issue with the witness. We also hope that the
8 Chamber will help me in this.
9 The indictment is written in such a way that it speaks exclusively
10 of Bosnian Muslims, by way of terminology. I believe that we must follow
11 the terminology of the indictment. The entire spirit of the indictment
12 reflects the conflict between Muslims and Croats, no armies and so forth.
13 The separation line, which is a problem in our case, which you can see
14 from the indictment and which can be seen from the situation on the
15 ground, is a conflict. On the one side, we had the Muslims, and on the
16 other side, the Croats. We cannot obliterate things here. We cannot
17 discuss how we shall call one another, whether they were at the time a TO,
18 or army of B and H, or Muslim forces, as it is stated in the indictment.
19 I would like to have this problem resolved so as to avoid further problems
20 and to have discussions with the witness on this and to say that we are
21 perhaps provoking and manipulating with things that are below the level of
22 the work we are doing.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, I agree with you that we should follow the terms that
24 appear in the indictment, in principle. But as for the particular witness
25 if there is two terms which express the same meaning and one of which is
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 not so sensitive to that witness, with the understanding that the two
2 terms expresses a meaning, you could use that one. Is that clear?
3 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] It is clear to me, and I will abide by
4 your instructions. Could you tell the Prosecutor to acquaint the witness
5 with the terms used in the indictment and that the Defence, by using other
6 terms, has no intention of provoking the witness?
7 And now I would like --
8 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Par, can I say something? We are dealing with a
9 very sensitive situation, and we recognise that all of you come from
10 different sides and you have sensitivities too, as well as the witnesses.
11 I think that the ordinary rules of courtesy must apply, and I'm sure that
12 having practised at the Bar - and I believe that Mr. Seric was a judge -
13 that you know how to deal courteously with people. It is normal to
14 ascertain in advance what term they find acceptable.
15 Now, I think you know, from listening - and I think we're
16 beginning to know, from listening to witnesses - that there are certain
17 terms which were used yesterday afternoon in the space of a very short
18 time that are utterly, utterly unacceptable to any of the parties, whether
19 you come from the Serb side, the Croat side or the Bosniak Muslim side.
20 They are certain terms that we've heard expressed, and unfortunately they
21 were being used yesterday, I thought quite unnecessarily, but that's a
22 personal view. If we can avoid using those three pejorative terms. And
23 if you ascertain, I think, with your normal education, you will see what
24 terms were used yesterday which caused pain and try to avoid them today.
25 And I'm sure the witness is listening to what we're saying, and he
1 appreciates the difficulties from the Bench and from both sides, and that
2 he will cooperate as well. Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
4 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, there was such kind of proposal from
5 the Defence counsel that we should get our witness acquainted with the
6 indictment. It seems to me that this question, this proposal, it is
7 misleading. I think that the indictment is written in a succinct language
8 and there is a line between HVO and AbiH as participants in the military
9 conflict. I suggest that my learned colleague should read the indictment
10 before raising this question here. Thank you.
11 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I --
12 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I would like to say
13 that the disagreement did not come from the words "Bosnian Muslim" but
14 "Muslim refugees." The witness said that these were people who had been
15 expelled by the force of arms and did not leave voluntarily. So the
16 difficulty is not at the level "Bosniak Muslim" but the attributes added
17 to this to further explain their particular condition.
18 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I understood
19 this. I do not wish to continue the discussion on this. I understood
20 your instructions. I hope that I've been understood that my intention was
21 a good one, just to avoid misunderstandings.
22 And as far as what Judge Clark has said, that we could clear up
23 what is offensive to the witness, well, we can do this now. Well, I would
24 like to say that we have never been or will be offensive to the witness.
25 So may I begin my cross-examination?
1 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
2 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, through the discussion, I suppose that you
3 have understood what is controversial, and so we should perhaps decide on
4 the terms that you find offensive. Do you wish, instead of using the word
5 "Muslims," use the term "Bosniaks"; is that what you wish?
6 A. Counsel, as you know, that I have always used the term "Croatian
7 army" or "HVO." Imagine if I were to ask you, "What term would you like,
8 'Croatian army,' 'Ustasha army,' or 'Catholic army'?"
9 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Well, I suppose I had -- ask the
11 JUDGE LIU: You should not announce any words of offence to
12 Defence counsel. That's not a good practice, I have to warn you at this
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I had no intention of
15 doing this. I just wanted to say how different the terms are. There are
16 Muslims in Afghanistan, in Pakistan and elsewhere. The legal term is
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Par, why don't you begin your questions, and
19 when we come across this issue, we will try to solve it with some
20 alternative terms.
21 JUDGE CLARK: With the leave of the President, could we try,
22 unless it's material to an issue, to avoid the use of those which we -- I
23 don't understand what they mean, but I gather that they are very
24 pejorative terms, and one is "Ustasha," the other one is "Chetnik," and
25 the third one is "balija." None of us know what they mean, but we know
1 that everybody is deeply offended. So could we, unless the use of the
2 word -- you disagree with me, Mr. Krsnik. You're not offended?
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No.
4 JUDGE CLARK: I see, so that we've got it wrong. But it seems to
5 cause electric impulses in this court if those words are used, so could we
6 avoid them and we agree to avoid them? And that rule applies to --
7 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I fully agree. May we begin, finally?
8 Q. My name is Zelimir Par, and I'm one of the counsel for Vinko
10 Yesterday you spoke of an event taking place in 1992, when
11 allegedly a soldier from the Vinko Martinovic unit killed a person with
12 impunity, and you cited this as an example of the privileged position of
13 the Vinko Martinovic unit. Do you remember that part of your testimony?
14 A. Absolutely.
15 Q. Well, in connection with that testimony, I would like to ask you
16 whether you are aware of when that ATG Mrmak or Vinko Skrobo was formed.
17 Do you know that it was formed only in 1993?
18 A. Yes, of course. I'm sorry.
19 Q. So we agree that it was formed in 1993 and that the event you
20 cited was from 1992?
21 A. Well, Vinko Martinovic had his unit in 1992, but it was not called
22 that way.
23 Q. No, we are discussing the ATG, Vinko Martinovic and Skrobo, and I
24 asked you specifically for that unit. Now I would like to discuss the
25 event. Will you tell us, once again, what was the name of the person who
1 was killed on that occasion?
2 A. I think his name was "Dragan Bojcic."
3 Q. Can you tell us where the killing took place?
4 A. In a cafe in the centre of the city. I don't know the name. It
5 was eight years ago.
6 Q. When did the killing exactly take place; can you tell us the date?
7 A. Of course I cannot remember the date. I was not an eyewitness to
8 the event.
9 Q. Tell me -- can you tell me the name of the person who did the
11 A. Yes. The name was "Azer Kajan."
12 Q. Have you personally checked in the court, police, whether anything
13 has been done about the case, whether the case has been recorded, whether
14 charges had been brought?
15 A. I have no legal foundations for doing that, but I heard personally
16 from him. He simply boasted about it, and nothing was -- no charges were
17 brought against him.
18 Q. So your knowledge is based on his stories and the knowledge of
19 other people. Since you have said that this had happened, you testified
20 before this Court that this had happened, now you, as a person with some
21 intelligence and experience, how would you assess the quality of that
22 information that you have stated to the Court? And the information that
23 you have described here, would you describe as being verified, reliable
24 information or simply a story and a rumour?
25 A. I would say that this was a very bad piece of information. It was
1 necessary just to say, in that connection, that some people from the unit
2 had privileges.
3 Q. So we have cleared up the quality of that information.
4 Secondly, something that you testified about yesterday and which
5 dates back 20 years, and that is the juvenile delinquency of Vinko
6 Martinovic. And in order to discredit him, you spoke of the fact that he
7 had been in fact sentenced as a juvenile. Do you personally know what
8 this was about, what kind of verdict it was, for what was he held
9 responsible; have you any personal knowledge about that particular
10 situation or did you simply hear about it?
11 A. Of course I heard about it, because we lived in the same part of
12 the town. I'm not a judge, this was not accessible to me, and I have no
13 intention of discrediting Mr. Martinovic.
14 Q. Thank you. Do you know that after a certain period of time
15 following verdict, that the verdict is simply wiped away, and especially
16 in the case of minors; do you know that such a provision exists?
17 A. Well, I'm not competent in the matter, but if I were asked, I
18 would delete that verdict and the sentence straight away.
19 Q. Have you ever been sentenced yourself?
20 A. No.
21 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Now, can we go into a private session
22 now, because I would like to discuss an event where the names of potential
23 witnesses may be mentioned and other things that might identify the
25 JUDGE LIU: We'll go into private session.
1 [Private session]
13 Pages 3045 to 3051 – redacted – private session.
12 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11:35 a.m.
14 [Open session]
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stringer.
16 MR. STRINGER: Yes. Good morning, Mr. President and Your
17 Honours. Before we start with the next witness, we'd like to express our
18 gratitude not only to the Trial Chamber but also to the Defence for the
19 flexibility that they've shown this morning in allowing us to take this
20 next witness out of turn. I think I can say that they can expect to find
21 the same degree of flexibility from our side when it comes time for the
22 Defence to call their witnesses.
23 Mr. President, this witness has requested protective measures,
24 that of a pseudonym and the use of facial distortion. I can inform the
25 Trial Chamber that although this witness does not reside in the territory
1 of the former Yugoslavia any more, she does reside in another part of
2 Europe and has informed me that she is very anxious to have these
3 protective measures granted for her protection and primarily for the
4 protection of her child. And that is her position, and I informed her
5 that I would convey that to the Trial Chamber.
6 JUDGE LIU: I guess there is no objections from Defence counsel.
7 Thank you, thank you very much. So the protective measures are granted.
8 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Then I believe we can
9 bring the witness into the courtroom. In the meantime, I can inform the
10 Trial Chamber that this witness will testify in respect of paragraphs 7,
11 18 and 19 of the indictment, which relate to the involvement of the
12 Republic of Croatia in respect of international armed conflict, and also
13 paragraphs 15 and 24, relating to superior authority of the accused
15 [The witness entered court]
16 THE REGISTRAR: The pseudonym for this witness is "V" as in
17 "Victor," and it's Exhibit Number PW22.
18 THE WITNESS: Sorry.
19 JUDGE LIU: Will you please make the solemn declaration.
20 THE USHER: In English?
21 THE WITNESS: It doesn't matter which way. [Interpretation] I
22 solemnly declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
23 but the truth.
24 JUDGE LIU: You may sit down.
25 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
1 WITNESS: WITNESS V
2 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we have a sheet of paper which we're
3 prepared to give the witness, and I would ask the usher to give that to
5 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much.
6 Examined by Mr. Stringer:
7 Q. Witness V, could I ask you to just simply look at that paper and,
8 without saying anything, tell us whether the information that is contained
9 on that sheet of paper is correct?
10 A. Yes, all the information is correct. Thank you.
11 Q. Witness V, let me ask you, on the sheet of paper that you've just
12 looked at, does that accurately indicate what was your occupation in 1993?
13 A. Yes, it does.
14 Q. Thank you. Okay. Witness V, let me ask you, were you present in
15 the city of Mostar on the 10th of April, 1993?
16 A. Yes, I was.
17 Q. And if you recall, what was that day? Did it have any special
19 A. It was Easter day, and it was also the day when, during the Second
20 World War, the Nazi puppet state of independent State of Croatia was
22 Q. What did you do on that day?
23 A (redacted) I got invitation to attend Easter
24 celebration in small banquet room of Hotel Ero in Mostar.
25 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I'll caution.
1 Q. Witness V, it's not necessary for you to state out loud your
2 occupation, and I'll ask that that be redacted.
3 A. I apologise, Your Honour.
4 Q. You indicated that you were invited to attend an Easter
5 celebration in a hotel. Again for the record, what was the name of the
7 A. It was Hotel Ero. I'll spell it for you. It's E-R-O.
8 Q. Where is the hotel located?
9 A. It's located near Santici Street, near Carinski Bridge in Mostar.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel and the witness please pause
11 between question and answer.
12 MR. STRINGER: I apologise.
13 Q. Witness V, did you, in fact, attend the banquet on that day?
14 A. Yes, I was. I was present in the back.
15 Q. How many people attended?
16 A. From 20ish, 30ish, between those two figures. I didn't count them
17 in my head, sorry.
18 Q. Would you say it was a large or a small group?
19 A. It was smallish group, not that large. It was small banquet.
20 Q. Can you tell us if you recall the names of some of the people who
21 were present when you arrived?
22 A. When I arrived, there were clerical bishop of Catholic church.
23 There was Bishop Paridge. Then there was Franciscan clergy in there.
24 There was Jadranko Prlic, which was at the time prime minister of
25 Herceg-Bosna, president of HVO Herceg-Bosna. He was cohost of the banquet
1 together with Jadran Topic. He was mayor of Mostar at that time. There
2 was then Bruno Stojic. Then there were some other people. (redacted)
4 Q. Thank you. Who was Bruno Stojic?
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
6 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, the witness very
7 quickly -- and I know she speaks English, so it rolls off her tongue --
8 has mentioned a number of names that are not showing up on my monitor in
9 any fashion, except for one. I think that should be addressed.
10 JUDGE LIU: Witness, you and the Prosecutor are speaking the same
11 language, so my advice is that you should pause after he asks the
13 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour. I'll do that from now on.
14 JUDGE LIU: And in front of you, there is a monitor. And every
15 word you say will be typed out on that screen. If you see, you know, the
16 sentence finished, you could begin to answer the question.
17 And yes, indeed, there are some words, some names, missing in the
18 transcript. Would you please clear it up, Mr. Stringer.
19 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President.
20 Q. Witness, I'll just take you back to the names that you've
21 mentioned. First of all, you mentioned the name of Jadranko Prlic?
22 A. Prlic.
23 Q. Can you please spell that?
24 A. She typed it correctly.
25 Q. Just spell it for the record.
1 A. P-r-l-i-c.
2 Q. You mentioned the name Jadran --
3 A. Jadran Topic. T-o-p-i-c.
4 Q. Bruno Stojic.
5 A. S-t-o-j-i-c.
6 Q. Who was Bruno Stojic?
7 A. Bruno Stojic was Minister of Interior for Herceg-Bosna.
8 Q. If you could just briefly describe for us what was taking place at
9 this banquet when you arrived.
10 A. When I arrived, it was meant to be an Easter banquet, so people
11 were just having a glass of champagne and wine and some food. The
12 normal -- what a banquet would look like normally.
13 Q. Subsequently, did any other people arrive?
14 A. We were standing there and chatting. And suddenly, the doors
15 opened. It's a double door, so it opened that way. And Gojko Susak,
16 which is S-u-s-a-k, arrived, followed by Mate Boban, B-o-b-a-n, and then
17 they were accompanied by Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, the guy accused in here.
18 Q. Let me just ask you a couple questions about that. Who was Gojko
20 A. Gojko Susak was Minister of Defence of Republic of Croatia.
21 Q. And how was he dressed?
22 A. He was dressed in the civilian clothing, in a suit. I think it
23 was a dark navy suit -- sorry, dark grey suit. I apologise.
24 Q. Who was Mate Boban?
25 A. Mate Boban was president of HDZ in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well
1 as the president of Herceg-Bosna.
2 Q. What was HDZ?
3 A. It's Croatian Democratic Union, Croatian Nationalistic Party in
5 Q. You said also that they were accompanied by Mladen Naletilic?
6 A. Yes, they were.
7 Q. What was he wearing?
8 A. He was -- he had civilian t-shirt and uniform over it, just like a
9 pullover without the sleeves. And pants were also part of the uniform.
10 Q. Can you describe the uniform.
11 A. It was the standard issue HVO uniform, which was those with mask
12 with different colours, those masked uniforms.
13 Q. What colour was the uniform?
14 A. It was green, brownish mixture.
15 Q. Camouflage?
16 A. Camouflage, yeah.
17 Q. Now, after these three persons arrived, what took place?
18 A. I just repeat how they arrived. They came into the room with
19 raised right hand in the Nazi salute, saying "bog i hrvati" for homeland
20 ready. That was their entrance. They shook hands with a few people and
21 started talking to -- predominantly talking to -- actually, a whole group
22 of the people that were inside just encircled them.
23 Q. Did you hear the conversation that took place?
24 A. Yes, I heard conversation clearly, because the banquet room was
25 half size of this courtroom, so we were all very near to each other so we
1 could hear each other clearly.
2 Q. Witness V, again just for the record, perhaps you could spell for
3 us the Croatian words that you just mentioned about "homeland ready."
4 A. "Dom", "D" for "David", "O", "M" for "Mother" -- sorry, can we do
5 it again? Z-A. The next word is D-O-M. The next word is "S" for
6 "Sugar", "P" for "Peter", R-E, "M" for "Mother", "N" for "Nothing", "I".
7 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Witness, you forgot to make the
8 break that the President has asked you to make after every question. Will
9 you please take care.
10 THE WITNESS: I apologise, Your Honour.
11 MR. STRINGER:
12 Q. Okay. Now, Witness V, I want to ask you to tell us, if you
13 recall, what was said during this banquet by Mr. Susak?
14 A. I had the impression Mr. Susak was very much in charge. So he
15 started talking to Jadranko Prlic and asking whether they were ready. He
16 started mentioning some account. He asked whether there was sufficient
17 funds in that account. I can only suspect which account can that be. But
18 he told him -- but Susak told him that if he needed money, he will be
19 ready to supply it. Then he asked -- then he started talking to them,
20 saying to them that they are weak, that there is still some Muslim
21 soldiers in their forces.
22 Then they were interrupted by Mr. Naletilic, who said -- who
23 started bragging, basically, how good job his guys have done in Gornji
24 Vakuf, which was also one of the places that took some fighting before
1 Susak then went on, saying how they gonna drive Muslims out of the
2 city, how they gonna create pure ethnic -- pure Mostar. And then he was
3 interrupted and asked whether -- because in the same time as banquet was
4 going on, in the separate room there was a president of HDZ for Mostar and
5 president of -- Mr. Stojan Vrljic. I'll spell it. V-R-L-J-I-C is his
6 surname. And also Mr. Ismet Hadziosmanovic, H-A-D-Z-O-S-M-N-O-V-I-C
7 [sic]. He was president of the SDA for Mostar rather than SDA for all of
8 Herzegovina. They had some talks where they apparently meant to settle
9 the differences between the two parties and to find some peaceful
10 solution. After being reminded of that, Susak just said, "No, nothing
11 will come out of it. We'll do our job regardless of them."
12 Q. Okay. Now, Witness V, you mentioned there a reference to "Muslims
13 in their forces." What forces are you referring to?
14 A. I was referring to HVO forces.
15 Q. Did you hear Susak or Boban -- well, let me ask you, first of all,
16 did you hear other references to Muslims and, if so, by whom?
17 A. They were referring to Muslims as some strange, awkward name of
18 "balija," which I myself don't know the proper meaning. That's something
19 to offend them. And it was Susak mainly who called them, and as well as
20 General Tuta. That's how he was also -- he was referred during the
21 conversation as "General Tuta."
22 Q. Now, you have mentioned the names of a number of people whom you
23 saw at this banquet. Did there appear to be any sort of hierarchy among
25 A. Susak was definitely in charge. Boban just stood aside. He
1 hardly uttered a few sentences. And then there was some -- as I thought,
2 someone responsible for the military operation, and that was General Tuta.
3 Q. Witness V, later that day -- let me ask you: How long, then, did
4 you stay at this banquet? How long did it last?
5 A. Maybe an hour and a half. Not that long.
6 Q. And then after the banquet, did you see any reports of this
7 banquet in the media on that day?
8 A. I heard first of all Susak saying how they gonna meet at 1900
9 hours at his place in Siroki Brijeg. I came home that evening and I
10 basically told to my mother what I heard. We were watching the news, and
11 one of the features was the banquet where all of us -- because we were
12 warned not to record, all of us, when they entered, and I saw the people
13 who were on banquet prior to three of them coming inside the room. They
14 showed just that part of banquet on HTV, which is a Croatian television,
15 on the evening news, 10.30 news. After that, they showed some report of
16 Susak meeting some UN officials in Zagreb as if he was in Zagreb, as if he
17 didn't come to Herzegovina at all. It just basically trying to cover it
19 Q. Witness V, if you can, can you look around the courtroom and tell
20 us if you see anyone here who was present at the banquet on that day?
21 A. It's the second person from the right in the back row.
22 Q. And who is that person?
23 A. That's General Tuta, Mladen Naletilic, Tuta.
24 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I ask that the record indicate that
25 the witness has identified the accused Naletilic.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Thank you, Witness. I have no further questions.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Cross-examinations. Mr. Meek.
4 Cross-examined by Mr. Meek:
5 Q. Good morning, Witness V.
6 A. Good morning to you, sir.
7 Q. And how are you this morning?
8 A. I'm fine, thank you. Very well, thank you, actually. Sorry about
10 MR. MEEK: May I ask that the usher please put the ELMO down so I
11 can see this witness.
12 THE WITNESS: Carry on in Croatian if it's easier for you.
13 MR. MEEK: No, it's not.
14 THE WITNESS: Okay, doesn't matter.
15 MR. MEEK:
16 Q. Can you tell me what month and year that you left
21 A. I had a Croatian passport.
22 Q. And can you tell me when you received the Croatian passport?
25 Q. And can you tell me, please, what the circumstances of your moving
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, this witness is under some protective
4 measures. We'd better not go into the details about the identity of this
6 MR. MEEK: I apologise, Your Honour.
7 JUDGE LIU: If you need, we could just go into private session.
8 MR. MEEK: I apologise. I believe that the witness had indicated
9 on her own where she lived, so I didn't believe that that would have been
10 anything that would have been protected.
11 THE WITNESS: I did not indicate. You asked me.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, if you want to continue, we'll go into
13 private session. I think that's the very easy way.
14 MR. MEEK: We don't need to do that right now, Your Honour.
15 Q. Witness V, was it very easy for you to obtain this Croatian
16 passport in 1992?
17 A. Yes.
20 A. No, because Franjo Tudjman was giving it to every Croat that was
21 born and lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and I myself am half-Croatian.
22 Q. Do you have -- excuse me. When you moved to the country in which
23 you now live, did you continue with your occupation?
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, we come to this question again. I've
2 already said that if you need to ask those questions, we could easily go
3 into the private session.
4 MR. MEEK: Very well. Let's go to private session.
5 JUDGE LIU: Okay, we'll go to the private session.
6 [Private session]
11 Pages 3066-3069 redacted. Private session.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE LIU: We are now in the open session.
4 MR. MEEK:
5 Q. You testified that it was an occasion where people were drinking
6 and eating. Correct?
7 A. Yes, it was.
8 Q. And everybody was having a good time?
9 A. Yes, chatting.
10 Q. And can you tell me what sort of drinks were available at this
12 A. There was some champagne, some wine, some soft drinks as well.
13 Q. Was there also beer and hard liquor?
14 A. Probably it was, but I wasn't looking for it.
15 Q. Did you notice other people among the guests who were drinking
16 beer or hard liquor?
17 A. I can't recall those particular details. I never look what people
18 are drinking, I'm sorry, only what I choose.
19 Q. In the witness statement that you gave the Office of the
20 Prosecutor, you were interviewed by one interviewer. Correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Can you tell me how that interview came about.
23 A. I called, myself, Tribunal after knowing that these two
24 witnesses -- these two accused are going to have trial.
25 Q. So then would it be a fair statement to say that you learned
1 through some media sources that Mr. Naletilic and Mr. Martinovic had been
2 indicted by this Tribunal, so you came and volunteered your testimony?
3 A. Something like that, yes.
4 Q. Have you volunteered your testimony to the Office of the
5 Prosecutor for any other accused?
6 A. I'm waiting for one more to be accused.
7 Q. So when you had -- did they come to your country to interview you,
8 or did they bring you here or elsewhere to interview you?
9 A. They came to my country.
10 Q. Okay. And the interview took place on two separate days. Is that
12 A. Yes, it is.
13 Q. Would you agree with me that it was a very comprehensive
15 A. I wouldn't call it that comprehensive because we had normal
16 conversation, which gentleman noted, and then he came next day and --
17 actually, I read the statement with him standing next to me, and I just
18 basically signed it. Made a few corrections, names and things like that
19 which were misspelled.
20 Q. During this interview process, it was very clear that the Office
21 of the Prosecutor was targeting Mr. Naletilic. Isn't that a fact?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Wasn't it clear to you that you were there to give testimony
24 against Mr. Naletilic?
25 A. I wanted to give testimony against Mr. Naletilic. I did it of my
1 own free will.
2 Q. And you gave a full and truthful account to the Office of the
3 Prosecutor on these two days, in February of 2001 and March 1st of 2001,
4 did you not?
5 A. Yes, I did. I gave them truthful version of all events.
6 Q. And have you had a chance to review the statement which you gave
7 prior to your testimony today?
8 A. I read it over two days ago, just briefly, not even all of it.
9 Q. In your statement to the Office of the Prosecutor, you never once
10 indicated that Mr. Naletilic made any sort of gestures concerning the
11 homeland ready, did you?
12 A. I mentioned that. I'm very much aware of that, because being the
13 person as I am, I always opposed any kind of fascist behaviour, and that
14 stuck in my mind for eight and-a-half years now.
15 Q. While it may have been stuck in your mind for eight and-a-half
16 years, can you tell this Tribunal, this Trial Chamber, why it wasn't in
17 your extensive nine-page statement?
18 A. I think it was originally, but since it's very hard to translate
19 it in English, they just probably omitted based on that reason. Because
20 if I told you now, "za dom spremni, bog i hrvati," would you be able to
21 jot it down immediately? Thank you.
22 MR. MEEK: May the Trial Chamber, please, advise this witness that
23 she is to answer questions and not ask questions. Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Did you hear Defence counsel?
25 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour.
1 MR. MEEK:
2 Q. At the time of this Easter party at the Hotel Ero in Mostar, you
3 did not personally know Mr. Naletilic. Correct?
4 A. No, I did not. I never mixed with people of such milieu.
5 Q. You had no knowledge of his background or history, had you?
6 A. No, I heard bits and pieces, but generally, no.
7 Q. Okay. And you mentioned that there was the, for example, head of
8 the Franciscan church in Mostar was at this Easter party?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. That the mayor of Mostar was present?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. That the head of the Franciscan church for Herzegovina was
14 A. Yes, he was.
15 Q. And there were many reporters present?
16 A. Yes, there were.
17 Q. You indicate that Mr. Susak was, in your opinion, in charge. Is
18 that correct?
19 A. Yes, it is.
20 Q. And that is the feeling that you got. Correct?
21 A. That's the impression I had after what I saw.
22 Q. You -- would it be a fair statement, Witness, that you did not
23 agree with these statements made by Mr. Susak and Mr. Boban?
24 A. No, I did not agree ever.
25 Q. Did you speak up that day and tell Mr. Susak and Mr. Boban that
1 you did not agree with them?
2 A. With all the fire-power that they had in their hands, and criminal
3 backgrounds, no, I did not dare to say anything then and there.
4 Q. Would it be a fair statement that the head of the Franciscan
5 church for Mostar and the other head of the Franciscan church for
6 Herzegovina, they also did not disagree?
7 A. They did not disagree.
8 Q. Nobody made speeches at this gathering, did they?
9 A. No. It was more informal gathering.
10 Q. And with 30 -- approximately 30 people there speaking for a 10- or
11 15-minute period, how could you hear the conversation between Susak, for
12 example, or Boban, for example, or Mr. Naletilic, for example?
13 A. When Susak spoke, everybody listened. They didn't argue back. So
14 he had that tone of voice, so I could hear his word, the accused word
15 quite correctly, because it's a small room. People standing in a circle.
16 So these people could just stand into a circle, a half circle.
17 Q. In the meantime, if I understand your testimony, the party is
18 still going on and people are still talking with each other and mingling.
20 A. No, party turned in a completely different direction.
21 Q. Are you aware that Mr. Naletilic was born and raised in Siroki
23 A. Probably. I maybe have heard, but didn't matter to me because I
24 never had any contact whatsoever with people of lower class than I was, if
25 I may say in that way.
1 Q. So are you saying that Mr. Naletilic is a lower-class person than
2 you, Ms. Witness?
3 A. No, I'm not saying that, and I respect each and every human being
4 as they are. But being from upper middle-class family, I didn't have any
5 sort of conversation which I would hold with somebody who is -- who has
6 probably only primary school. We didn't have the chance to mix.
7 Q. So you didn't -- you don't realise, then, and did not realise,
8 that Mr. Naletilic left Bosnia-Herzegovina when he was 18 years old and
9 sought asylum in Germany from the communists?
10 A. It didn't matter to me.
11 Q. You were not aware, then, were you, that Mr. Susak was also born
12 in Siroki Brijeg?
13 A. I really don't see the relevant point in that. What's so special
14 about Siroki Brijeg? I had friends from there, and they are all fine
15 people. Thank you. Sorry.
16 Q. Witness V, the relevance of anything is going to be determined by
17 these three Judges.
18 A. Apologise to Judge. I just couldn't contain myself.
19 Q. Thank you. So you were not aware, then, that Mr. Susak and
20 Mr. Naletilic were childhood friends. You were not aware that
21 Mr. Naletilic had lived in Germany or outside of the Bosnia-Herzegovina
22 area until approximately 1991?
23 A. I heard some bits and pieces, that he was somewhere abroad. I
24 didn't know that he was in Germany, what he was doing there, no.
25 Q. You were not then aware that after he had moved and sought asylum
1 in Germany at a young age, that he became a businessman and owned
2 restaurants and casinos; you were not, were you?
3 A. Not even now.
4 Q. Okay. Can you tell me whether or not you have any background in
5 military organisations?
6 A. None whatsoever.
7 Q. So if I were to ask you if it is a military jargon to call
8 soldiers "boys," you wouldn't know, would you?
9 A. I would know that because that is part of the common knowledge
10 which educated people do know. I wouldn't go into too many details of the
11 military operations - that's something for the experts - but the common
12 stuff from the military, yes, I would know because I would have read it
14 Q. Being that Mr. Naletilic and Mr. Susak were childhood friends, and
15 also given the fact that you've testified that you --
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
17 MR. MEEK:
18 Q. -- were not comfortable in speaking up and saying anything to
19 Mr. --
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, I saw Mr. Stringer standing.
21 MR. STRINGER: I apologise for interrupting, but I object. The
22 witness doesn't know if Mr. Naletilic and Mr. Susak were childhood
23 friends. I don't think there's any evidence in the record on that point
24 at all, other than the fact that that has been repeated numerous times by
25 various counsel for Mr. Naletilic. So I would object to putting questions
1 to the witness based on matters which are beyond the personal experience
2 and knowledge of the witness and which are also not part of the evidence
3 in this case.
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Meek, the witness has already said that she didn't
5 know that Mr. Naletilic and Mr. Susak were childhood friends as a fact.
6 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, I know where that objection comes from,
7 but I also must say that that's one of the problems in the proceeding in
8 this Trial Chamber and in this Tribunal. We will prove this in our case,
9 but we cannot bring this witness back because of the problems with travel
10 distances. So I will try to rephrase my questions so it will be not
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
13 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, if Mr. Meek is proposing to make
14 this witness his witness for purposes of his case in chief, we don't
15 object. We agree that the witness should not be brought back again and
16 inconvenienced for that purpose. So I wouldn't have an objection to
17 that. We would, however -- I think that does then change the manner in
18 which Mr. Meek puts his questions to the witness, if in fact she's now
19 testifying in the nature of a direct examination-in-chief.
20 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Meek, you may rephrase your question and you may
22 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Your Honour, but I'm not turning this
23 witness into my witness. I just want to rephrase my question.
24 Q. Witness V, assuming that Susak and Mladen Naletilic --
25 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, Mr. Meek. I think the correct way to do it
1 is, "My client will call evidence to this effect," and then put to the
2 witness what your case is and is going to be so it's on the record and she
3 has an opportunity to make her observations on what your case is.
4 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Judge Clark.
5 Q. Witness V, my client will call evidence to the effect that he and
6 Mr. Susak were childhood friends from Siroki Brijeg from a very young age
7 and remained friends through 1991. Is it so hard for you to imagine that
8 a childhood friend of Mr. Susak, such as Mladen Naletilic, would also be
9 fearful to disagree with Mr. Susak, especially in a meeting such as the
10 one you described, ma'am?
11 A. Mr. Naletilic supported Susak's argument.
12 Q. Witness V, didn't you also support that argument by omission, by
13 not speaking up?
14 A. No, I never supported. I was just scared to confront him then and
15 there. If I had a bomb, maybe I would blow myself apart, but I didn't
16 have any weapons because I never carried weapons. If I had the weapons,
17 they would be dead, then and there.
18 Q. So is it your testimony that you feel such hatred against
19 Mr. Naletilic that you would have killed him then?
20 A. I do not feel hatred towards anybody, including both of them.
21 Q. Well --
22 A. The point is I could never agree with the fascist language, with
23 the actions that they were clearly planning. I could never agree with
24 that against any ethnic, national, whatever group, Martians, doesn't
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Thank you, Witness V. Fortunately, you and I both speak English,
2 and I'm reading the transcript and you said that if you would have had a
3 weapon, they would have been dead. Is that not a fact, ma'am?
4 A. Yes, I said that.
5 Q. Thank you. And you feel the same way today, I take it.
6 A. If you were to do the same thing and planned to exterminate
7 whoever, I would be against you, yes. And I never met you before, as I
8 never met them before.
9 Q. And, Witness V, you do not have any evidence for this Trial
10 Chamber that my client in fact planned to exterminate anybody, do you?
11 A. If they were gonna evict Muslims, if they gonna swim across
12 Neretva, as they were saying, if Mostar is gonna be pure Croatian city,
13 then it means that.
14 Q. And, Witness V, these things that you just said now, you did not
15 say in your statement that you gave to the OTP, nor did you testify in
16 your direct examination, did you?
17 A. I did, and you should have read the statement. And I said that
18 they gonna expel the Muslims. I said that in the statement and I said in
19 the direct examination by Mr. Doug.
20 Q. Witness V, you never indicated in any statement or in any
21 examination under oath today that Mr. Naletilic or Mr. Susak intended to
22 exterminate anybody, did you?
23 A. I think "extermination" also implies expelling people, people
24 swimming across the rivers, making pure Croatian city. How you gonna make
25 it? By eliminating people, and that's extermination. So Muslims wouldn't
1 be present in Mostar.
2 Q. Again, you would agree that there are different ways that a person
3 can support another person?
4 A. I agree, but this was clearly because -- was Mate Boban that
5 childhood friend? Sorry.
6 Q. No. Listen to the question, Witness, please. Would you agree
7 that a person can be supported by another person in various ways?
8 A. Yes, but --
9 Q. Thank you.
10 A. -- Mr. Naletilic clearly stated his guys have done job in Gornji
12 Q. And let me ask you this: You were scared to speak up, your fellow
13 colleagues were scared to speak up, the other people who you've described
14 that were at this function were scared to speak up; correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Why is it so unusual --
17 A. Possible --
18 Q. Why is it, ma'am, so unreasonable that Mr. Naletilic, being a
19 childhood friend or crony of Mr. Susak, would also have been scared to
20 speak up, and scared to go against anything that he would say in public,
21 and in fact might even go along with something so he would not be
23 A. Mr. Naletilic at that time had his Convicts' Battalion, and I
24 didn't have single gun. That's the difference.
25 Q. Well, Witness V, what proof do you have today about the comment
1 you just made, that Mr. Naletilic had the Convicts' Battalion? What proof
2 do you have?
3 A. I recall when I first saw Mr. Naletilic, I can pinpoint in Western
4 Herzegovina where his headquarters were. I know that his men, which I
5 met -- I was meeting every day -- I worked in that particular company
6 where I had access to people. I saw him at that headquarter. They were
7 all swearing to him, always talking about that general. He had some
8 probably very -- very big influence on very young guys who were in that.
9 Q. Can we get a date on this?
10 A. On this date.
11 Q. Which date are we speaking of?
12 A. Prior to that, you meant?
13 Q. Would this be --
14 A. Because I worked down there and I had daily meetings with various
15 numbers of people.
16 Q. Okay. So what you're saying, if I understand you correctly, is
17 that you base this on what you heard?
18 A. Yes, but from very reliable sources.
19 Q. Exactly. And your testimony under oath has been that prior to the
20 Easter celebration in Mostar, you had only seen Mr. Naletilic one time in
21 Siroki Brijeg --
22 A. Yes, and that's what I mentioned. On the way to Siroki Brijeg,
23 there was his headquarter, and I saw him in front of his headquarter.
24 That's the only time I saw him prior to the event. I talked to other
1 Q. Yes, I understand that.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Will the counsel and witness please break
3 between question and answer.
4 JUDGE LIU: Please wait, wait.
5 JUDGE DIARRA: [No interpretation]
6 THE WITNESS: [No interpretation]
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for Judge Diarra, please. Microphone
8 for Judge Diarra.
9 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I didn't need the
10 microphone. This was just an exchange. Thank you.
11 MR. MEEK: I apologise, but I did not catch the exchange between
12 the Judge and the witness.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's all right. You may proceed.
14 MR. MEEK:
15 Q. When you indicated in your direct examination that you received an
16 invitation to this function, was that in writing, ma'am?
17 A. Yes, it was. I received the invitation.
18 Q. And do you have a copy of that with you or did you keep one?
19 A. I don't have any of my property down there, so, no, I don't have
20 that invitation.
21 Q. And the invitation didn't mention anybody specifically who would
22 be there, did it?
23 A. No, it didn't mention anybody.
24 Q. And you're familiar with TV journalism, I take it. Correct?
25 A. Correct.
1 Q. And you're aware of foul footage, the term "foul footage"?
2 A. Yeah.
3 Q. So on the evening in question, after you had left this function
4 and were with your mother, watching TV, it could have very well been that
5 the clip you observed of Mr. Susak was nothing but foul footage; correct?
6 A. Yes, it was, definitely.
7 Q. Thank you. One more question to clarify. The Bishop of Mostar
8 was actually at this party; correct?
9 A. Yes. It was Mr. Ratko Peric. "P" for "Peter", "E", "R" for
10 "Romeo", "I" for "India", "C" for "Charlie".
11 MR. MEEK: I have no further questions, Your Honours.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Seric, do you have any questions in
13 your cross-examination?
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the counsel, please.
15 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness, in her
16 testimony, did not mention the client, and therefore we have no reason --
17 we have no ground for any cross-examination. Thank you.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Stringer, re-examination.
19 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. It's just one issue,
20 Mr. President. I'll gladly take any guidance from the Trial Chamber on
21 how I ought to proceed.
22 The witness, in her cross-examination from Mr. Meek, the words
23 "extermination" and "expel" came up, particularly in terms of what she
24 said or didn't say in the witness statement. Counsel did not put the
25 witness statement to the witness, so that she didn't have an opportunity
1 to see what she did or didn't say on that issue during her interview with
2 the investigator. However, in my view, I think counsel did attempt to
3 impeach the witness to some extent by trying to draw a distinction or
4 difference between what she said today and what she said previously. And
5 so with the Trial Chamber's permission or guidance, I would like to -- I
6 would ask to have an opportunity to rehabilitate on this issue - we call
7 it back home "prior consistent statements" - which is something that can
8 be done with leave of the Trial Chamber if a witness has been shown or if
9 there's been a suggestion of a prior inconsistent statement during the
10 cross-examination. What I would like to ask the Trial Chamber, if I could
11 simply put the witness statement to the witness so that she could state
12 exactly what she said on that issue during the interview that she was
13 asked about during the cross-examination.
14 [Trial Chamber confers]
15 JUDGE LIU: I saw Mr. Meek is standing.
16 MR. MEEK: May it please Your Honours, I believe that I did
17 exactly ask this witness if she had reviewed her statement given to the
18 OTP, and she said yes, she had reviewed her statement that was given to
19 the OTP prior to her testimony today.
20 THE WITNESS: I said not completely, and you can read it over. I
21 apologise to Judge, but I know what I said.
22 JUDGE LIU: Please, please.
23 THE WITNESS: Sorry, Your Honour.
24 MR. MEEK: This has been a continuing, ongoing problem with the
25 witness prior to this, and that problem is the witnesses seem to jump into
1 questions when we try to speak to the Judges. I think it's highly
2 inappropriate, and I wish that they could be directed not to do so.
3 But I would just say, Your Honours, that she was asked whether she
4 read the statement that she prepared, she indicated she had reviewed that
5 prior to her testimony, and now I think it's inappropriate to now let her
6 review it again. It's not proper.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, this Trial Chamber believes that the Prosecutor
8 has the right to show the witness the statement and to refresh her
9 recollections on this matter.
10 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll try to lay a
11 foundation for doing that before proceeding.
12 Re-examined by Mr. Stringer:
13 Q. Witness V, you were asked during your cross-examination about the
14 interview you gave to an investigator of the Office of the Prosecutor. Do
15 you recall that interview?
16 A. Yes, I do.
17 Q. And you referred to a statement which you then signed after that
18 interview was completed, which is dated the 26th of February and the 1st
19 of March, 2001.
20 A. -- switch the microphone. Thank you.
21 Q. In that interview, or in that statement, I should say, do you
22 recall what, if anything, you said about --
23 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Stringer, you're going about this in a very
24 laboured way. She made a statement. She admitted she made a statement.
25 There's no dispute that she made a statement. Bring her straight to the
1 point that's in conflict. You're entitled to do this. You don't have to
2 lay the ground. You're not impugning the witness. You're confusing, in
3 my view, the procedure for declaring a witness hostile.
4 This is your own witness. An issue has arisen. Take her straight
5 to the point. We know that she has made a statement. We don't have to
6 waste time on that. Just take her straight to the statement and then
7 furnish us with the part of the statement that you want to draw her
8 attention to. We know what you're doing.
9 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Judge Clark. I will then do that.
10 I will ask the usher if the usher can provide a copy of this
11 document to the witness. I'm going to refer the witness to the bottom
12 last appearing on page 7. I have -- the Trial Chamber, I think, declined
13 to look at the statement -- there was a previous time we refreshed
14 recollection. I think the Trial Chamber declined to look at the statement
15 at that time. I have an additional copy, actually an additional number of
16 copies, which I could provide if the Trial Chamber would like to see
18 JUDGE CLARK: Perhaps, first of all, you establish that she did
19 say something; and then if she does agree that she said it and you find
20 it, then maybe we will have a look at it. If you don't, if you don't
21 establish that it was said, maybe we won't see it.
22 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Judge Clark.
23 Q. Witness V, if I could direct your attention to the last paragraph
24 on page 7, and if you could read that paragraph to yourself, I'm then
25 going to ask you about it.
1 A. Yeah, I read.
2 Q. Does that paragraph refresh your memory as to whether you said
3 anything about any intentions in respect of the Muslims in Mostar, whether
4 anything was said at this banquet on that issue?
5 A. It says clearly that they talked in general terms of getting rid
6 of the Muslims, and that was the talk that they had. It was a common talk
7 among Croatian nationalists at that point in time.
8 Q. Do you recall informing the investigator of that during the course
9 of this interview?
10 A. I told him that. I told him the words, but I didn't think that
11 mattered that much. I summed it up, getting rid of Muslims, general talk
12 of getting rid of Muslims.
13 MR. STRINGER: Thank you.
14 Mr. President, no further questions.
15 JUDGE CLARK: We have a problem here, Mr. Stringer, of coming from
16 different jurisdictions. But the general principle that is common to all
17 our legal systems is that we are in search of justice. Now, the normal
18 way when the contents of a statement are disputed - and it's the
19 Prosecution case that certain words were said and it's the Defence case
20 that words were not said - it is normal for you to identify a passage and
21 to establish that the Prosecution's position is correct or, indeed, it
22 could be the Defence position is correct, if it's a Defence witness. But
23 all we've had is some generalities. You brought this witness back and
24 brought the statement back to assist the Court. And as far as I
25 understand you, your position is that this witness did, indeed, say words
1 that the Defence deny she used.
2 Now, you haven't brought us, or this witness, to the words or the
3 paragraphs. Can you do that?
4 MR. STRINGER: Yes. I believe the witness is referring to the
5 bottom -- the last paragraph appearing on page 7 of the statement.
6 JUDGE CLARK: If you look at the transcript, you asked, Do you
7 recall informing the investigator -- no, it says clearly that they talked
8 in general terms of getting rid of the Muslims, and that was the talk that
9 they had.
10 Is that a synopsis by this witness of what she said, or is it
11 actually what she said? That isn't clear to me.
12 MR. STRINGER: I apologise, Judge Clark.
13 Q. Now, having looked at that part of your witness statement, can you
14 tell us, if you can, what exactly are the words that you used in
15 describing this issue as contained in your witness statement?
16 A. They said repeatedly they will expel Muslims from Mostar, Muslims
17 will swim across the River Neretva, which is the river dividing the city.
18 And they are going to make Mostar Croatian, pure Croatian city.
19 Q. Let me ask you now, when you make reference to those statements,
20 how is that referred to in the witness statement which is in front of you?
21 A. I told Terry these things, and I just summed it up, saying they
22 were basically referring they were going to get rid of Muslims.
23 Q. In the witness statement, you said, "They talked in general terms
24 of getting rid of the Muslims." Is that correct?
25 A. Yeah.
1 MR. STRINGER: Unless I have failed to clarify this to the Trial
2 Chamber's satisfaction, I have no further questions.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek.
4 MR. MEEK: Just several --
5 JUDGE LIU: Are you going to do the cross-examination again?
6 MR. MEEK: Well, it would be re-cross-examination, Your Honour.
7 He had several questions, and I only have then a couple more questions I
8 need to ask. Slow it down a little bit.
9 JUDGE LIU: I think there should be an end of this.
10 MR. MEEK: There must be an end --
11 JUDGE LIU: -- of the cross-examination, there should be an end.
12 MR. MEEK: If you will allow me, I will bring it to an end very
14 JUDGE LIU: Is it very important to you?
15 MR. MEEK: Yes. Yes, it is, Your Honour. Of course.
16 JUDGE LIU: So as an exception, I will allow you to do that, but
17 your cross-examination is subject to re-examination, or re-re-examination,
18 you have to bear in mind.
19 MR. MEEK: Absolutely.
20 Re-cross-examined by Mr. Meek:
21 Q. Witness V, when you gave your witness statement on the two days,
22 you spoke in English, did you not?
23 A. I did.
24 MR. MEEK: Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: We all understand that the witness is not a lawyer.
1 She could not distinguish the terminologies we use in the indictment or in
2 the daily life, so when the Chamber evaluates this evidence, we will take
3 note of that.
4 And I will ask the Prosecutor to furnish us with the statement.
5 MR. STRINGER: We will do that, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 Judge Diarra has a question.
8 Questioned by the Court:
9 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Witness, when you were sent this
10 invitation, did the inter-ethnic tension - I have to speak about that, I'm
11 sorry - but was it already noticeable?
12 A. Yes, it was. It was obvious, yes.
13 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] And you were invited personally or
14 representing the profession? Will you please tell me who was it that
15 invited you?
16 A. I really don't know because we were getting too many invitations
17 at a certain point. But I know that I was asked (redacted) to
18 go in there. It was most probably addressed to me. And to this day, I
19 really can't understand why did he do that. Because he knew my stance, he
20 knew that I could never, ever agree. And I was probably only not pure
21 Croat in that room. I was the only non-pure Croat in that room.
22 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] But was it an invitation to the
23 festivity, and you were not going there to express your views on ethnic
24 groups or to --
25 A. Yes, it was --
1 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] -- receive something from Tuta or
3 A. -- celebration, but it turned out into something else. Yes, I
4 was, in previous, to many Easter, Christmas celebration. I don't have any
5 objections against that.
6 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Witness, for giving the evidence. We wish
8 you good luck.
9 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: When the blinds are pulled down, the usher will show
11 you out of the room.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
13 [The witness withdrew]
14 JUDGE LIU: So, Mr. Stringer, what do you suggest us to do?
15 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, it appears that there is a pretty
16 short period of time between now and the lunch break. The Prosecutor will
17 propose to break now for lunch, and then to continue after lunch with the
18 continued cross-examination of Witness U.
19 JUDGE LIU: Would you please give us a rough idea who will be the
20 next witness, I mean, after this afternoon's witness?
21 MR. STRINGER: Yes, I can do so in private session, Mr. President,
22 because I think the next witness is asking for protective measures.
23 JUDGE LIU: So we'll go into the private session.
24 [Private session]
11 Pages 3093-3096 redacted. Private session.
1 --- On resuming at 2.35 p.m. [Open session]
2 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par, please continue with cross-examination.
3 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I would kindly
4 ask to have a private session, because we are dealing with a set of
5 questions for which we need protective measures.
6 JUDGE LIU: We will go into the private session.
7 [Private session]
11 Pages 3098-3107 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 JUDGE LIU: We are now in the open session.
15 MR. PAR:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Witness U, you were still at the Heliodrom. And
17 I would like to ask you something to do with the Croat units that you
18 mentioned, that you said were at the Heliodrom. If you remember, you
19 mentioned yesterday that allegedly, there was a Croatian unit, a unit from
20 Croatia, from Osijek. And you told us roughly about its technical and
21 operative tasks in Mostar. Is that correct, and do you remember telling
22 us about that?
23 A. Yes, that is correct, because we could watch them from the second
24 floor of the school that we were kept in.
25 Q. Very well. And that is where I'm heading. Looking through this
1 window, could you really learn all about their technical tasks in Mostar?
2 How could you learn all that?
3 A. No, of course I could not, just by looking through the window.
4 The HVO soldiers who were in the barracks -- at first we could see from
5 the window which part of the city was being shelled because it was all
6 aflame. And an hour or two later, HVO soldiers started hugging one
7 another, congratulating -- and congratulating somebody, I presume the unit
8 of that Croatian -- unit from Croatia, that is, and I overheard a
9 discussion. I heard them say, "We'll be at Blagaj in no time."
10 Q. Tell us -- later on during your investigations and in your
11 analysis later on, you could gather different information. Did you ask
12 for and did you get information about what you have just told us? Did you
13 ever try to relate the later knowledge that you acquired with what you saw
15 A. No. It wasn't all that interesting. It happened only one day,
16 and I spent two months working with regard to some other Croatian units.
17 What I learned was that some 50 men from that unit from Croatia were
18 killed in the attack.
19 Q. I'm asking you this because I'm trying to make a distinction
20 between your direct knowledge and what you learned at a later date. You
21 spoke about numerous prisoners killed at the front line, about their
22 woundings and so on and so forth. And so my question is as follows:
23 Did -- that knowledge is the result of your subsequent investigations,
25 (redacted) or is it something that you learned directly personally in
1 the camp? Could you tell apart, and can we then try to differentiate
2 between what you know personally and what you heard?
5 JUDGE LIU: I have to warn you that this witness is under the
6 protective measures.
7 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. I really tried not to
8 specify the job or the post. I tried somehow to put it in general terms,
9 and I hope I did not imperil this witness.
10 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Par, sorry. I'm having a terrible difficulty
11 following the translation, and the translator seems under pressure as
12 well. You speak fast, that's your style, and I think she can keep up with
13 that. Where we're having a problem is that as soon as your question is
14 finished, the witness replies. So could both of you give us, who don't
15 understand your language, a chance. I mean, it's a question of both of
16 you are doing it. We have it whenever witnesses are speaking the same
17 language as the interrogator. So could you just try to remember, because
18 it's impossible for us to make sense of this very important evidence.
19 Thank you.
20 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 Q. If you are ready to answer this, will you please do that and draw
22 the distinction between the two?
23 A. Could you please repeat your question?
24 Q. Well, my question has to do with differentiating between the
25 information that you presented during your evidence. I'm referring to
1 prisoners, victims and so on. So my question is: How can we
2 differentiate between your personal -- between what you personally saw and
3 what you learnt at a later stage? Could you tell us, how can we then
4 say -- tell which is which?
5 A. Oh, yes, absolutely. Anything that I say here is based
6 exclusively on what I saw and experienced in a camp. Whenever I mention
7 something that I heard from others, I will say so.
8 Q. Thank you. Now, were you ever put in what is usually termed as a
9 "human shield"?
10 A. No. I told you that I was prohibited from leaving the camp.
11 Q. Did you ever personally see a prisoner of war being wounded or
13 A. No, but I saw very many wounded in my room.
14 Q. Now I should like to ask you to look at a map, because I want to
15 discuss the positions of the Vinko Skrobo unit.
16 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] So can the usher please help me? This
17 is Exhibit 14.5, and Prosecution's exhibit. And now I would like to show
18 you this photograph and will ask you to focus, because I have some
19 questions to ask you about it.
20 JUDGE LIU: And could this photograph be put on the ELMO?
21 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Yes, please, if you could do this.
22 Q. Witness U, can you find your way about this? Are you familiar
23 with this part of the town and do you know what this photograph
25 A. Oh, yes, I recognise it very well indeed.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Can you now use the pointer - you will find it in front of you -
2 and will you please show where was Vinko Skrobo ATG or Mrmak positioned?
3 Can you please show it to us?
4 A. This is the photograph of Mostar after the war, not before the
5 war. This is the renewed Health Centre. South of it, here, is the
6 Franciscan convent. To the north is the secondary school and the Spanish
7 Square. I think that Mr. Martinovic's unit operated in this area,
8 precisely in the area shown on this photograph. That is what I think. I
9 had no opportunity during the war to see that because I never left the
10 camp during the war, so I had no opportunity to see that with my own eyes.
11 Q. Very well. Now, will you please take one of the markers and
12 make -- and circle what you believe was the zone that you are talking
14 A. I think it's this part from the Health Centre to the south, so
15 so-called "Gospin Park" which is next to the church.
16 Q. Will you please just make a circle?
17 A. Well, there is not really any need to do any such thing.
18 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Par, just a few minutes ago you were very
19 careful with this witness to ask him to distinguish between what he knew
20 from his own knowledge and what he knew from what people told him. Why
21 are you asking this witness to circle something which he has said quite
22 clearly is not from his own knowledge, because he was not out of the
23 prison during the war, and only what he believes to be the situation?
24 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I do understand your objection, Your
25 Honour. And with your leave, I will explain why.
1 In his yesterday's testimony, the witness said that the front
2 line, manned by the Vinko Skrobo unit, was about 400 metres long, and I
3 wanted the witness to tell us which 400 metres, which area did he have in
4 mind, so that in my defence I could then move on to prove where the front
5 line was in reality. That is, I simply wanted to check his yesterday's
6 statement that it was 400 metres. But if you think this is not necessary,
7 that will be all right with me and I will move on to something else,
8 because actually I have no other questions in this regard.
9 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Par, I don't want to interrupt your
10 cross-examination. I was just wondering, because you made such a
11 distinction between hearsay and actual knowledge, why you were asking him
12 to indicate on the map, because the witness has said that he didn't really
13 know, it's just from what he heard from other people. But if you think
14 it's important, please don't let me stop you.
15 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I think that -- at least as far as I'm
16 concerned, I've clarified that point, but I can ask a specific question.
17 Q. Witness U, yesterday, when you said that Vinko Skrobo, ATG, went
18 some 400 metres over the separation line, would it be roughly the area
19 that you pointed at? Do you think it is about 400 metres and a little bit
20 more to the South, but you can see it on this photograph, another 100
21 metres or so towards the church. You cannot see it here because this is
22 only part of the area shown here.
23 [Cannot distinguish between Q and A]
24 Q. Very well. And this is the information that you learned from
25 somebody else?
1 A. Absolutely so. I did not see any of this.
2 Q. Very well. All the knowledge that you have about the Vinko Skrobo
3 unit regarding its strength, its tasks, its possible tasks, is all that
4 information something that you learned from -- that you learned
5 second-hand, something that is not your own knowledge?
6 A. That is correct.
7 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I'm coming to the end of my
9 Q. Now, Witness, please, during your detention at Heliodrom, did your
10 family -- was your family abreast of what was happening to you? Did they
11 know whether you were dead or alive or what?
12 A. What family do you have in mind?
13 Q. I mean your family, the family that you live with, your next of
15 A. My wife and my son did not know whether I was dead or alive, and
16 my brothers were in the camp with me.
17 Q. Now, would that hold true of other prisoners, and was that the
18 routine situation?
19 A. Don't ask me that. I really cannot speak on behalf of the whole
20 camp. I'm sorry.
21 Q. Very well. Let's go back to what you can tell us about yourself.
22 Did, perhaps, your family get some hearsay, hear some rumours,
23 about what had happened to you? Did they get any information? Do you
24 know that?
25 A. Sir, you seem not to have been in this courtroom yesterday. I
1 told you that my wife and my son went to Serbia in the early days of it.
2 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not want to have any
3 problem with the witness, so that I should like to thank you. This is the
4 end of my cross-examination.
5 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
6 Any re-examination?
7 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour. I have no further
8 questions for Witness U.
9 JUDGE LIU: Judge Diarra.
10 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Questioned by the Court:
12 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Witness U, in the beginning of your
13 testimony, you spoke about your first arrest, your brothers' and your
14 arrest in your apartment, and armed men who came, who then conducted
15 searches saying that they were looking for weapons in your house.
16 Did they find any weapons in your house at the time of your
17 arrest? If they did not, under what pretext did they arrest you?
18 A. They found absolutely no weapons, nor did I ever have any
19 weapons. I was a civilian until I returned from the camp. And my
20 brother, who was an HVO member, had to leave his weapon with the unit.
21 And the reason they took me away was because I was a Bosniak. They did
22 not take any Croats away for such reason.
23 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Witness, for helping us by giving us the
25 evidence. We all wish you good luck. And the usher
1 will show you out of the room once he pulls the blinds down.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you, Your Honours, for your patience and
4 [The witness withdraws]
5 JUDGE LIU: Are there any documents you would like to tender,
6 Mr. Prosecutor?
7 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour, I would like to tender
8 Exhibit P11.18/2. That's the only document.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Par.
10 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no documents to
11 tender, and I have no objections to the admission of this document.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have no objections.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. This document is tendered into
14 evidence. Madam Registrar will give a proper number.
15 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit is now numbered PP11.18/2.
16 JUDGE LIU: So who will deal with the next witness?
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I will deal with the next witness, and I think we
18 should discuss some issues relevant to this witness. When our next
19 witness, who is to be called to testify now, arrived here, he told us that
20 he did not need any specific protective measures. But the only one, his
21 full name not to be pronounced in the courtroom. He would rather -- he
22 would prefer to be called in the courtroom by his first name. It's just
23 something unusual, I know, in the practice of the Tribunal. But that was
24 his desire, because he considers that his first name may be considered as
25 a sort of pseudonym.
1 But I know that there is a special procedure here for giving
2 pseudonyms to witnesses. So I leave it at your discretion to decide.
3 Anyway, I have prepared two documents, two papers, relevant to this
4 witness, whether it will be Witness W, if you give him our traditional
5 pseudonym, or his unusual pseudonym, Salko.
6 JUDGE LIU: Did you explain to him the difference between the
7 pseudonym and the first name?
8 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour. I did my best. I did my best.
9 JUDGE LIU: I think according to the practice of this Tribunal, we
10 better use a pseudonym.
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I agree, Your Honour, and I would like to explain
12 everything to the witness when he appears here.
13 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, as before, no
15 objections. We comply with every decision that you make, and we also
16 accept -- go along with all the wishes of our learned friends.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
18 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] No objections.
19 JUDGE LIU: So we could bring the witness in.
20 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes. And I think that now we should discuss this
21 problem in the presence of our witness.
22 [The witness entered court]
23 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
24 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
25 JUDGE LIU: Would you make the solemn declaration.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
2 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
3 JUDGE LIU: You may sit down, please.
4 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
5 WITNESS: Salko Osmic.
6 [Witness answered through interpreter]
7 Examined by Mr. Poriouvaev:
8 Q. Witness, I would like to discuss one problem with you. On your
9 arrival here in The Hague, you stated that you wouldn't like your full
10 name to be known in the courtroom, to be known to the public. And your
11 preference was to be called in the courtroom by your first name.
12 Just before you came here in this courtroom, this problem was
13 discussed with the Trial Chamber, and I am authorised to inform you that
14 according to the practice that exists here in the Tribunal, of the
15 Tribunal, in such situations, witnesses are given a pseudonym for better
16 protection of your identity during the trial. And the pseudonym that will
17 be given to you is in alphabetical order, Witness W. So in this way you
18 will be called in the courtroom "Witness W."
19 Do you agree?
20 A. I do not. I thought it could be done the way I suggested. If
21 not, then let it be my full name.
22 Q. Do you mean that you need not any protection? Would you like to
23 testify in open session?
24 THE INTERPRETER: The microphones of the witness are both switched
25 off. We could not hear his answer.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
2 Q. Would you answer, please.
3 A. Yes, I want to testify publicly.
4 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay, thank you. Then I think there should be
5 made some preparations in the courtroom now for the open session.
6 JUDGE LIU: If this is your wish, we will use your full name, and
7 the trial will be conducted in the open session.
8 Yes. You may proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: All right.
10 Q. So, Witness, your full name, your first name, your date of birth?
11 A. My name is Salko Osmic. I was born near Prozor on the 10th of
12 August, 1969.
13 Q. What is your nationality?
14 A. Muslim.
15 Q. Did you have any military background in the former Yugoslavia?
16 A. No, except the Yugoslav People's Army, that is, doing my military
17 service with it. Everybody -- that is, every young man had to serve it,
18 and that was all. Nothing beyond that.
19 Q. How long did your act of service in the Yugoslav army last?
20 A. It lasted one year.
21 Q. Did you live in Prozor municipality all the time? I mean before
22 the war, I mean the war -- 1991, let's say.
23 A. Well, yes, I only lived in Prozor, nowhere else.
24 Q. I don't think that it's necessary to give the name or the precise
25 place where you lived. Was it just a town or a village?
1 A. A village.
2 Q. Did you ever leave Prozor municipality for a certain period of
4 A. Yes. For a while, I worked in Croatia, for about eight months.
5 Q. When?
6 A. In 1987 or '88. I'm not really sure.
7 Q. Did you leave Prozor during the wartime, I mean from 1991, let's
8 say, up to 1993?
9 A. I don't really understand the question. Going where?
10 Q. Okay, I will repeat or rephrase. Did you leave Prozor for some
11 other locality in the period between '91 and 1993?
12 A. Do you mean only Bosnia, or do you mean my moving elsewhere in
13 Bosnia, perhaps going to Croatia or something like that?
14 Q. [Previous translation continues]... Bosnia?
15 A. Well, I did go up to Jablanica, Konjic, Vakuf. That would be the
16 range, and those are all nearby towns.
17 Q. I don't mean for short visits, but some longer period of time.
18 A. No, no, I did not.
19 Q. Did you ever stay in Jablanica municipality?
20 A. Well, no, it was a nearby town, and only for a day or maybe two.
21 Q. What was happening in Prozor municipality in the fall of 1992?
22 A. Could you be more precise, please? Could you phrase your question
23 more precisely, please?
24 Q. Yes.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, well --
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I can do that.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, why don't you ask directly by,
3 "What did you do during the war," or some question like this?
4 MR. PORIOUVAEV: We have not come up to it yet. But if you would
5 like to make it shorter, I can do that, I can do that. I wouldn't like,
6 sorry, beating about the bush.
7 Q. Precisely what were you doing during November 1992 in your village
8 where you lived during the period of time where there were some military
9 operations in the territory of Prozor municipality?
10 A. At the beginning of the aggression again the B and H, I joined
11 voluntarily the Territorial Defence, the TO. And then we went to the
12 lines, to the front lines, and we worked in shifts.
13 Q. Was it a professional military unit?
14 A. I cannot really say, explain. I think it was something like
15 that. It was a joint army of Muslims and Croats under the Territorial
17 Q. And was it still a mixed unit in November -- in October 1992?
18 A. Yes, it was.
19 Q. And you just told in your testimony something about aggression.
20 Which aggression do you mean?
21 A. Well, I mean the Serb aggression.
22 Q. And what happened in your village later in the fall of 1992,
23 before you left it?
24 A. Well, when the HVO attacked Prozor, we remained at home. There
25 were some attacks against us. But then things calmed down until the HVO
1 attack began on Jablanica, and then I remained home.
2 Q. And when did the HVO attack Prozor?
3 A. I think it was in October 1992.
4 Q. Did you participate in the defence of your village?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. What kind of weapons did you have?
7 A. An old M-48 rifle.
8 Q. You just told that at some period of time in April '93, you moved
9 to Sovici. Did you keep your weapons and take it with you?
10 A. Yes, I took my weapons with me.
11 Q. Why did you move to that area?
12 A. Could you please repeat the question?
13 Q. You just told that there was some attack that was launched in
14 Jablanica. So for some period of time you stayed at home, and then you
15 moved to the Jablanica area?
16 A. Well, the attack against Jablanica began on April 15th and the
17 attack against Sovici on the 17th. So when the attack started against
18 Jablanica, several of us, to see -- wanted to see what was going on there
19 and to help the people there, and that is why we went to Sovici.
20 Q. Did you report to any military command, on your arrival to Sovici,
21 on your purposes and on yourself?
22 A. Yes, we reported to them.
23 Q. How many people were together with you? You are talking about
24 some people, as I understand from your testimony, "we." How many people
25 were there with you?
1 A. There were five of us, five of us, five people with me.
2 Q. Were you admitted to the military formation that was deployed in
4 A. Yes. We were deployed on some guard posts.
5 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I would ask you to just move to a
6 private session for a short period of time, because the witness can give a
7 name of some people whose names should be protected.
8 JUDGE LIU: Okay, we'll go to the private session.
9 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE LIU: We are now in the open session.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you.
2 Q. What exactly was your assignment within that military formation?
3 A. Well, what we did was we were actually the village guard. We
4 guarded the village.
5 Q. From whom?
6 A. From the commander whose name I mentioned. We defended the
7 village against the people in there who were Croats and the foreign army
8 that had come there to attack the village.
9 Q. Did you see any military units, other than Armija units in the
10 area of Sovici at the time when you came to that village?
11 A. As far as I'm concerned, I didn't see it. But some people did,
12 and they spoke about it.
13 Q. What kind of weapons did your formation have?
14 A. It was light weapons. We had two mortars and a PAM, double
16 Q. Do you know more or less the geography of Sovici and the
17 surrounding area?
18 A. Well, a little. Some places I saw for the very first time.
19 Q. Where did you spend your shift on the 16th of April, 1993?
20 A. Well, in the village. I was on guard in the village.
21 Q. In the village itself?
22 A. Yes, in the village itself, 20 metres -- about 20 metres from the
24 Q. When did the military actions in Sovici begin?
25 A. They started on April 17th, 'round about 8.00 a.m.
1 Q. In which location were you at that time, at the moment when the
2 attack started?
3 A. On April 16th in the evening, we went out up to a hill where there
4 was a defence; and on April 17th, I was there on the front lines of the
6 Q. Did you see the beginning of the attack?
7 A. As far as the beginning of the attack is concerned, it started by
8 the shelling of the village, and then there was an infantry attack that
10 Q. From where was the shelling coming to the village?
11 A. Well, the village was totally encircled -- rather, from three
12 sides. And at the time, I was on a hill, and the village was below. So I
13 couldn't see very well. But they were basically from the direction of
15 Q. Was it possible to observe from the hill what exactly was
16 happening during the attack in the village itself?
17 A. Well, what one could see more clearly was the attack by the tanks,
18 the destruction of the houses, and the stalls. This could be seen more
20 Q. And what about your group of military during that attack? Did you
21 put up any resistance?
22 A. Well, we did resist with what we had at our disposal, and we
23 didn't have much. Five people were killed on that occasion. And at
24 2.00 p.m. in the afternoon, we left our positions.
25 Q. And which unit was involved in the attack on Sovici on your unit,
1 on AbiH forces?
2 A. Please repeat the question.
3 Q. Who attacked you? Who attacked the village?
4 A. I was not informed who took part in the attack; but afterwards,
5 when I was arrested, I found out that Tuta's units was involved, the KB,
6 the Convicts' Battalion.
7 Q. I would ask you -- just we will talk about some specific units
8 further, but now I would like to -- did you see the soldiers who were
9 attacking the village?
10 A. Well, I saw, but from afar. I couldn't really see which
11 formations were involved.
12 Q. To which army did they belong?
13 A. Well, of course, they belonged to the HVO.
14 Q. Did you leave the place where you were having your assignment with
15 your weapons?
16 A. Yes, we left our positions with our weapons.
17 Q. How long did that attack last?
18 A. From 8.00 a.m. to about 2.00 p.m., as far as I can remember.
19 Q. And did you observe from the hills what was happening in the
20 village after it was secured by the HVO?
21 A. Well, when the retreat from the lines took place, we approached
22 the village. And there was general panic there, people crying, shouting,
23 and that was the atmosphere. The village was placed under the control of
24 the HVO.
25 Q. Did you see any houses in the village destroyed at that time?
1 A. Well, I didn't see that then. We -- we saw that when we were on
2 the -- up on the hill, we saw the tanks hit the buildings, the houses.
3 But when we got down, it was dark already after some time, and then we
4 went towards Jablanica. And after that, we saw nothing.
5 Q. And why did you go in the direction of Jablanica?
6 A. I didn't understand the question.
7 Q. Why did you go with the rest of your unit in the direction of
9 A. Well, the -- the rest of our unit was there. At the beginning,
10 there were four or five. Of course we were going to the free territory,
11 that's why we went to Jablanica, to avoid being killed by the HVO army.
12 Q. Please don't talk into the microphone, because if you are too
13 close to the microphone, there may be some interferences. Just you should
14 be close enough, but not too close to the microphone. Okay?
15 A. [No audible response]
16 Q. Did you manage to join -- I'm sorry. Did you reach Jablanica?
17 A. Unfortunately, we did not succeed in reaching Jablanica.
18 Q. Why? What happened?
19 A. There was a lot of Croatian army around who blocked all the entry
20 points towards Jablanica, and then we were trapped by them and then
22 Q. How many soldiers were arrested together with you?
23 A. There were about seven, including myself, and two minors. Nine,
24 all in all.
25 Q. And who were the people who arrested you?
1 A. We went to -- towards the people who were living there and
2 belonged to the HVO.
3 Q. Where does it take you after you had been arrested?
4 A. In the direction of Ljubuski.
5 Q. Did you say -- I mean these local soldiers explained to you where
6 you were to be taken?
7 A. As regards the local soldiers, they were also very much under
8 strong control and command, and they were afraid of the army also, but a
9 little less than us. It was only when we went down to the command there,
10 then Tuta and his soldiers directed us to Ljubuski.
11 Q. Let's expand a little bit on the command. What do you understand
12 by "the command"?
13 A. This is a meeting point where they took us, where the main
14 commander, Tuta, was, and the rest of the army that was there.
15 Q. Did you see any soldiers there other than local soldiers from the
17 A. Well, yes, of course. There were quite a number of those outside
18 soldiers who were a little different from the locals.
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I think, Your Honour, now the time for the break
20 is coming up, and I've got some more questions.
21 JUDGE LIU: But we'll adjourn at this moment. We'll resume at
22 9.30 tomorrow morning. Oh, sorry. We'll resume at 2.00 in the
23 afternoon. I'm sorry about that.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
25 4.01 p.m., to be reconvened on
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Thursday, the 27th day of September, 2000,
2 at 2.00 p.m.