1 Thursday, 11 October 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.32 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, this is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Bos?
10 WITNESS: WITNESS AA [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. Bos: [Continued]
13 Q. Good morning, Witness AA. Witness AA, did there come a time in --
14 during your detention at the MUP station that a person was brought in your
15 cell by the name of Ibrahim Badzak?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And can you tell us about this person?
18 A. When they brought him to the cell, he had a swelling under his
19 eye. I don't know whether it was the right or the left one. And when we
20 asked him what had happened, he said that Stela's men had come, thrown him
21 out of the house and punched him at that moment.
22 Q. Now, I look at the transcript and the last name of this person did
23 not come out correctly. Could you spell his last name, please?
24 A. B-A-D-Z-A-K.
25 Q. Thank you. Now for how many weeks?
1 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please come closer to the
3 MR. BOS:
4 Q. I think you'll have to move -- yeah. How many weeks were you
5 detained in the MUP station?
6 A. About two weeks.
7 Q. Now, you testified about the fact -- about the first evening that
8 Romeo had come into your cell. Was there another occasion that soldiers
9 came to the cell?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When was this, and what happened?
12 A. It was over a weekend, a Saturday or Sunday, I don't know exactly,
13 when none of the permanent staff were there. We heard first somebody
14 descending the stairs, then the door of the cell beside me opened, we
15 heard the prisoner being taken out, and after that, in the room where we
16 were having our -- from the room where we were having our meals, we could
17 hear beating, we could hear blows. And when they brought him back to the
18 cell, then they opened my cell, and they immediately pulled me out of it,
19 and I found myself facing four or five soldiers. They started beating me
20 straight away. I tried to shield myself and reached a cupboard, so I
21 pressed myself against it and with my hands, and foot, I tried to shield
22 myself so that they wouldn't hurt me too much, but they were beating me
23 around the kidneys and on that leg that I was standing on, and when they
24 got too tired of that, then they threw me in the middle of the room and
25 ordered me to do push-ups, and one of the soldiers who was rather short --
1 Q. Can I just stop you there? You said these were soldiers. Do you
2 recognise -- do you know from which unit these soldiers were?
3 A. Those soldiers came from the Convicts' Battalion Siroki Brijeg.
4 Q. How do you know that?
5 A. Because they had a patch on their left arm, which was affixed with
6 a needle.
7 Q. And what did this patch say? What was on the patch?
8 A. The patch said, Convicts' Battalion, in a semi-circle, under it
9 Siroki Brijeg, or the other way around, Siroki Brijeg first and the
10 Convicts' Battalion below it, and in the centre, there was an emblem or
11 something, I know it was black.
12 Q. Now, before I interrupted you, you said that the soldiers -- one
13 of the soldiers asked you to do push-ups. Who was this -- did you catch
14 the name of that person who asked to you do push-ups and what happened
15 after that?
16 A. I did not hear the name of that person. When they made me do the
17 push-ups, he sat down on me and wanted me to lift him too while doing the
19 After that, a soldier came, whom I had already mentioned earlier,
20 whose name I do not know, who had beaten Meho Zelic and myself, and he
21 then said that I had entered Branko Kvesic's room and stolen something
22 from it, stolen some papers from it.
23 Q. Sorry. Can I just -- you said, "whom I already mentioned
24 earlier." Are you now referring to the time that you were taken to the
25 MUP station on the day -- on the day that you were taken to the MUP
1 station, that you were lined up before the MUP station? Is that what
2 you're referring to?
3 A. Yes, that's right. He had a pistol in his hand and said that I
4 was no Muslim, that Muslims were clean, and that I stank. Then he pointed
5 his pistol at me and it fired, but all I heard was the sound of the pin.
6 And then he went out and I stayed behind with soldiers. And then they
7 told me later on that I had to betray somebody, that I had to tell on
8 somebody who had been in the command with me. And I pointed at only two
9 men, one from the left-hand cell and one from my cell. And before that --
10 Q. Before we get to that, so you said -- do you remember the person
11 who asked you to point out two men from the cell? Do you remember the
12 name of that person?
13 A. Yes, I do remember his name. I apologise. I forgot to say: When
14 that man with the pistol came, he asked me about a tall, fair guy, I mean
15 tall, about two metres. And he asked me if I knew him, and I said I
16 didn't. And he then said that that was the brother of the late Croat
17 knight. I can't remember his name now. It just escapes me right now.
18 What is it? Cikota, Cikota's brother.
19 Q. And was this man which you referred to as Cikota's brother, was he
20 one of the soldiers there present?
21 A. Yes, he was one of the soldiers who were there.
22 Q. Was he also the man who asked you then to point out two people?
23 A. Yes. He asked me to point out at two men.
24 Q. So what happened next?
25 A. He told me to point out at two men, and if I lied, that he would
1 tear off my balls. After that, I entered the cell to the right of me and
2 pointed at a man, and I also had to indicate another man from the cell,
3 and they took them with them and left me in the passage to wait. They
4 took one of those out. I think that that guy was from Stolac or
5 somewhere. But I mean, he was from East Herzegovina. And they only
6 slapped him in the face and made him go back into the cell. The other man
7 was Basic. He came from Gacko. And since he refused to tell them
8 anything, they punched him in the nose. He started to bleed, and he was
9 also returned to the cell.
10 After that, they took me back into that room once again, and
11 Cikota's brother lit a cigarette, took several smokes, told me to open my
12 mouth and stick out my tongue, and he extinguished his cigarette on my
13 tongue and then put the cigarette in my mouth and forced me to swallow it.
14 Q. Did you indeed swallow the cigarette?
15 A. Yes. I had to. And then they told me to hit the wall with my
16 head ten times. And the first two times I just hit gently so as not to
17 get injured, but then they told me that I had to hit it stronger. And I
18 ten times then hit the wall with my head and had to count it all. After
19 that they returned me to the cell.
20 Q. You testified that you stayed for two weeks in the MUP station.
21 Where were you taken after your detention at the MUP station? And do you
22 recall around what date this was?
23 A. I cannot remember the date. It was about a fortnight. They told
24 us to go to Ljubuski because they had the central prison there for the
25 exchange of prisoners.
1 Q. And did all the prisoners from the MUP station, were they all
2 transported to Ljubuski?
3 A. Yes. All the prisoners that were there with me were taken to
4 Ljubuski from the police station.
5 Q. When you arrived at the Ljubuski prison, were there any other
6 prisoners at the Ljubuski?
7 A. When we arrived at Ljubuski, there was already that group of
8 Sovicans who had been detained before us, and there were also four men
9 from Stolac who had been sentenced to a six-day term, and there was a
10 group in the cell from Mostar who had been in the command of the 4th
11 Corps, some five or six of them.
12 Q. What did these people from Sovici, what did they tell you what
13 happened to them?
14 A. Men from Sovici said that when the attack had started against them
15 and that they had been attacked by Tuta's units, and since they had
16 dispersed around the village - I don't know how - that after that they
17 called them over a loudspeaker to come down to the school and surrender
18 and reach an agreement as to what next.
19 MR. BOS: May the witness be shown Exhibit P9.8 and 9.9.
20 Q. Now, witness, can you recognise the building that you were kept
21 in, or on this -- on this photograph?
22 A. The only thing I recognise is this building, because these two
23 tall buildings were not there when I was there, so that -- but this is
24 that building behind it.
25 Q. Were you saying that the big brown building and the white building
1 on the left of it were not there at the time you were detained at
3 A. No, they were not.
4 Q. Now, was there anything else on the spot where the white building
5 is now?
6 A. Here, there should be a building, a U-shaped building with cells.
7 Q. Is that where the prisoners were kept?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. BOS: If the witness now can be shown the next exhibit, 9.9?
10 Q. You recognise this building?
11 A. That's the building that I mentioned a moment ago.
12 Q. Thank you very much. Okay. That's enough for these exhibits.
13 Now, while you were at Ljubuski, Witness AA, did you meet a prisoner by
14 the name of Rudi Jozelic?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who was he?
17 A. Rudi Jozelic was a member of the BiH army, and during the attack
18 on the command, he was acting -- an acting officer.
19 Q. And did Rudi told you what happened to him?
20 A. He did.
21 Q. What did he tell you?
22 A. He said that on the 10th of May, sometime around 9.00 or 10.00 in
23 the evening, Romeo and Tahic had come to the prison, lined them up, and he
24 was handcuffed with his hands on his back. And at that moment, Romeo took
25 a shovel to beat him over his body, exposed body, and that he -- all his
1 ribs cracked on that occasion, and that his -- and his nose was injured
2 and his waistcoat was all bloody, and he also said that he had to be
3 extended medical aid after that. And when they took off the handcuffs,
4 his nose was also broken and he repaired it himself. He straightened it
5 up himself.
6 Q. Now, how was this man Rudi treated at the Ljubuski prison at the
7 time that you were there?
8 A. While I was there, Rudi was mistreated by military policeman
9 called Petkovic. He once forced him to sing the Croatian anthem, and when
10 Rudi was about to sing it, he started to hit him and said, "Traitors will
11 not sing the Croatian anthem." His wife was a Muslim namely and he forced
12 him also to pray the Muslim way. And he didn't know how. And he was then
13 beaten again. And then he threw him on a table where we usually had our
14 meals, and then he would jump on him.
15 Q. Now, was Rudi also interrogated by people during his detention?
16 A. He was.
17 Q. And did he tell you by whom he was interrogated and what the
18 interrogators asked him?
19 A. He was interrogated by the Croatian military and what they wanted
20 to know most was were the Serbs about to make an assault and where should
21 it happen? And they also wanted him to join the Croat troops, because he
22 was an instructor pilot, he knew how to fly a helicopter, for a salary,
23 but Rudi refused to do that.
24 Q. At the time that you were detained in Ljubuski, did the man you
25 referred to as Cikota, did he ever visit at Ljubuski?
1 A. One Saturday during my stay in Ljubuski, or perhaps it was Sunday,
2 Cikota came to Ljubuski too. On that occasion, we all had to enter the
3 cells, and my cell was open and I saw Cikota through the door. He stood
4 in the doorway, and when he saw me, he said, "Well, we don't seem to be
5 feeding you particularly well. You seem to have lost some weight. You
6 don't look too well." After that, he entered Rudi's cell, because the
7 cells were one beside the other, so I could overhear the conversation, and
8 he said to Rudi, "Didn't I tell you, pilot, that who flies high falls
9 low?" And from that cell, they took Rudi out, they took Kajtaz out,
10 Dzemo, and Alija Lizde.
11 Q. What did they do to these people?
12 A. No sooner were they out than Dzemo was hit with a stick and he
13 fell immediately. And Rudi and Kajtaz were forced to slap one another in
14 the face.
15 Q. Did you see this?
16 A. I didn't, because I was locked in my cell.
17 Q. But did you hear later what happened from Rudi?
18 A. Later, when they left, we were released from our cells. We were
19 all in the yard, and that is when they told me what had happened.
20 Q. Now, for how long were you detained at Ljubuski?
21 A. Well, I think that we were kept in Ljubuski until -- for about two
22 or three weeks. I can't remember exactly.
23 Q. And where were you taken after Ljubuski?
24 A. After Ljubuski, they took us to Heliodrom, to the central prison.
25 Q. And how long did you stay at the Heliodrom?
1 A. We stayed at the Heliodrom until the 30th of June.
2 Q. What happened on that day, on the 30th of June?
3 A. On the 30th of June, since the army had liberated the northern
4 camp, all members of the Muslim ethnicity were brought to the Heliodrom.
5 Since there was no more room for them to place the Muslims, the Heliodrom
6 was full, they took us from two rooms where we were detained, and
7 transferred us to Dretelj.
8 Q. Now, you say that the Muslims were brought, that people were --
9 Muslims were brought to the Heliodrom. Can you make an estimate of how
10 many people were actually arrived on the 30th of June at the Heliodrom?
11 A. I can't say that exactly, but buses constantly were arriving full
12 of people.
13 Q. So you were then taken to Dretelj.
14 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit 21.8, please?
15 Q. Now, do you recognise what is depicted on this photograph, Witness
17 A. There is a hangar on this photograph here, and then above that
18 there are two bunkers. This is where the former JNA kept its fuel. And
19 here we can see these small buildings.
20 Q. Now, where were you kept?
21 A. I was kept here, in this hangar that is made of tin.
22 Q. And how many people were kept in this hangar?
23 A. There were from 500 to 700 people at the hangar.
24 Q. And you pointed out to the other locations. Were prisoners also
25 kept in the other locations?
1 A. Yes, there were.
2 Q. Could you estimate how many prisoners in total were kept in
4 A. Perhaps there were 3.000 prisoners at Dretelj.
5 Q. Witness AA, could you briefly describe the conditions in Dretelj
6 at the time that you were detained.
7 A. The conditions at Dretelj were very difficult, and it was the most
8 difficult of all the camps to be in. From the 15th of July to the 15th of
9 August, or from the 15th of June, when the army had liberated some area
10 around Stolac, we didn't receive water for three days and we received no
11 food for four days. They kept us shut up. And during those four days,
12 they would shoot fragmenting bullets in the hangar at us. And then
13 because of that, there were about ten wounded, because the building had
14 armoured glass, reinforced glass, and then these pieces of glass fell all
15 over us. All of us had to lie down on the floor, because if we got up, we
16 would be hit by a bullet.
17 They wouldn't let us go to the bathroom, so that we had to do that
18 in one corner of the hangar. First we would do it in jars. Then we were
19 afraid that they would make us drink it. So then we broke a hole through
20 the wall of the hangar, and that's where we then went to the bathroom.
21 Q. Now, how long did you stay at Dretelj?
22 A. I stayed at Dretelj for 20 days.
23 Q. And where were you taken after your detention in Dretelj?
24 A. After Dretelj, I was returned to the Heliodrom again, but then,
25 when they returned me, I was in the sports -- in the gymnasium. And then
1 after the gymnasium, I was transferred to the central prison again.
2 Q. During this second time that you were detained in the Heliodrom,
3 did you ever have to do labour?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Where did you have to do this?
6 A. On one occasion I had to go to the trenches. They loaded us into
7 trucks, and then first, when they were allocating the groups, my group was
8 taken behind the Rondo. A group of Stela's boys were there. They were
9 looking for Romeo, to wake him up so that they could take us to the
10 trenches. And because they couldn't wake him up to take us to Santic,
11 they got somebody else to take us. And there at Santic, we had to carry
12 sacks in order to build these bunkers. At one point somebody asked for
13 one prisoner, and they sent me, and they said, "Here's one from Vranica."
14 Q. Can I just ask you a question? So can you indicate the location
15 where you actually were carrying these sacks? Where was this?
16 A. We were carrying the sacks towards the line with the army, and
17 that's how we made it possible for them to get closer. Otherwise we also
18 had to use the bags to block all the passages so that they couldn't shoot
19 at them, and we did this, for example, between two buildings, and it was a
20 distance of ten to fifteen metres. The other prisoners would bring the
21 sacks to these buildings and I was forced to construct the bunkers out in
22 the open.
23 Q. Do you remember the name of the street where this was?
24 A. That was Santiceva Street. When I had made a barrier at that
25 passage, one of the soldiers forced me to sit on those bags and to place
1 my legs on the side of the line against the army, and then he placed his
2 rifle on my shoulder and fired one bullet. After that, he fired two more
3 bullets, resting his gun on my shoulder.
4 Q. Who was this soldier?
5 A. That was an HVO soldier.
6 Q. And what happened after he fired his gun?
7 A. There was no response from the other side, even though while I was
8 sitting on the sacks he was pointing to my left shoulder for them to hit
9 me. After that, they brought us back to the Heliodrom again.
10 Q. When were you released from the Heliodrom?
11 A. I was released from the Heliodrom on the 19th of March, 1994.
12 MR. BOS: Your Honour, Mr. President, I have one more issue to
13 deal with this witness, but I'd like to do that in private session,
14 because it will reveal probably his identity if we would do it in public.
15 JUDGE LIU: So we'll go to the private session.
16 [Private session]
12 Pages 3699 to 3702 – redacted – private session.
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE LIU: Any cross-examinations? Mr. Meek?
2 Cross-examined by Mr. Meek:
3 Q. Good morning, Witness AA. How are you today?
4 A. Well.
5 Q. My name is Mr. Meek and I am one of the counsel for the accused
6 Mr. Naletilic. And I am going to ask you some questions about your
7 previous testimony, and about the previous statements which you have given
8 to various authorities. I will attempt to ask these questions in a manner
9 which will allow you to answer with a short, short answer, and if the
10 Prosecutor desires to follow up on any of your answers, he will have the
11 right to do that during the redirect examination. Do you understand,
12 Witness AA?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Okay. Well, you do understand that I will ask you some questions
15 about your previous testimony, correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And I would like for you to tell me if you do not understand my
18 question. Will you do that?
19 A. [No interpretation]
20 Q. Again, will you tell me if you do not understand one of my
22 A. Yes, I will.
23 Q. Thank you. And I will not be trying to confuse you, so if you
24 don't know the answer to a question, will you please just tell me you
25 don't know the answer?
1 Very well.
2 Q. Thank you. You just finished testifying about a very traumatic
3 event, the loss of your mother; correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, the witness gave his testimony in
6 private session. Now we are in the open session. If you want to ask some
7 questions which might identify the identity of this witness, we had better
8 go back to the private session.
9 MR. MEEK: Your Honour, may it please the Court. I would first
10 apologise if I have asked any question that would identify this witness so
11 far. I think I just asked him about his mother. I gave no names. But if
12 it pleases Your Honour, I would ask then to go into private session for a
13 few moments.
14 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session.
15 [Private session]
12 Pages 3705 to 3708 – redacted – private session.
2 [Open session]
3 MR. MEEK:
4 Q. Witness, were you aware that there were many displaced persons who
5 had settled into Mostar in the Vranica building during the aggression with
6 the Serbs in 1991, early 1992?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And are you aware of who helped these displaced persons when they
9 moved to Mostar and had been displaced?
10 A. I have no idea.
11 Q. Witness, are you aware that there was an agreement between the
12 ABiH commander Pasalic and the HVO commander Lasic that the headquarters
13 for the 4th Corps would move from the Vranica building to another
15 A. No, I did not know that.
16 Q. You testified that you had been a member of the HVO; is that
18 A. It is.
19 Q. And what date was it that you stopped being a -- with the HVO and
20 moved to the ABiH army?
21 A. Before the 19th of April, the sniper war had started, and I moved
22 over some five or six days before.
23 Q. And can you tell me what period of time had you been with the HVO
24 prior to the week before the 19th of April?
25 A. Well, sometime from July 1992, July I think. I'm not sure.
1 Q. There had not been any outbreak of aggression before you went over
2 to the ABiH; is that correct?
3 A. Depends on what you call the aggression.
4 Q. The aggression between the Croats and the Muslims in Mostar.
5 A. Not physically, but there were other -- it took other forms, and
6 there was also some physical manifestations but not too often.
7 Q. So can you tell me, then, why it was that you went over to the
8 ABiH from the HVO?
9 A. Well, I moved over from the HVO into the BiH army simply because I
10 realised that there would be a war.
11 Q. Do you know, Witness, that Pasalic had ordered the ABiH 4th Corps
12 to join the HVO in order to gain information, guns and ammunition, and
13 then return back to the ABiH army?
14 A. I don't know anything about that.
15 Q. That's not what you did, was it?
16 A. I didn't do what?
17 Q. You didn't join the HVO in order to gain information, guns,
18 ammunition, and then return to the ABiH army?
19 A. No. I already said in the beginning that I was just a foot
21 Q. Thank you. Were you aware, Witness AA, that Alija Izetbegovic
22 agreed that all headquarters in Mostar would be under the HVO control for
23 the defence of Mostar?
24 A. I don't know. I'm not aware of that.
25 MR. MEEK: Could I have the help from the usher for P14.2 for the
2 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me, Mr. Meek. Is this a new exhibit?
3 MR. MEEK: No. Actually, it's P14.2. I'm sorry. P14.2. It's a
4 map. It was shown yesterday.
5 Q. Witness AA, do you recognise this Exhibit 14.2?
6 A. Well, I know what a map is.
7 Q. Do you see that this is a map of Mostar, or part thereof?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you are very familiar with Mostar; correct?
10 A. Well, so-so. I know the streets. I can find my way in the town.
11 Q. And on this Exhibit 14.2, can you find the location of the Vranica
13 A. Vranica building. It should be -- the Vranica building should be
14 here, at the end of Stjepana Radica Street.
15 Q. Could you point it out with the pointer, please?
16 A. This is Stjepana Radica, so if this is the end of the street, if
17 that is the cross-section that I think it is, then the Vranica building
18 should be here, here.
19 Q. Will you take a pen, please, and mark where that building is
20 located first. But also, can you diagram the outline of that building,
21 since you know it.
22 A. I really can't draw, and I don't know what to tell you right now.
23 Q. Witness, is it a rectangular building, is it an L-shaped building,
24 is it a square building? The shape of the building is what I'm interested
1 A. It was L-shaped.
2 Q. Very well. Then would you please, to the best of your knowledge
3 and recollection, draw that L-shaped building as it faces whichever
4 streets it faces that you just pointed out with the pointer, please.
5 A. [Marks]
6 Q. Witness AA, thank you. Are you familiar with a street named Ante
7 Zujanica Street in Mostar. It's spelled A-n-t-e --
8 A. Ante Zujanica.
9 Q. Yes. Are you --
10 A. Ante Zujanica. I am.
11 Q. Put a mark where that street is.
12 A. [Marks]
13 Q. Now, while you're there, would you go ahead and mark a "1" where
14 the building, the Vranica building was that you already located, and then
15 go ahead and mark a number "2" by the street you just marked.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Thank you. You've testified that, I believe it was on the 10th of
18 May, the shelling began in Mostar. Is that the correct date, Witness?
19 A. I didn't say the 10th. I said the 9th.
20 Q. Thank you. And you were able, with a group of other soldiers, to
21 remain in this -- in or around this building until approximately the
22 evening of the 10th of May; is that correct?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Now, was the shelling and firing on this building coming from all
25 directions or mainly one or two directions?
1 A. All the shells fired on that building and the left bank were fired
2 from the HVO front lines.
3 Q. So would you draw the arrow towards which direction the shelling
4 was coming from on this exhibit, please, with your pen.
5 A. Bijeli Brijeg. From Bijeli Brijeg.
6 MR. MEEK: Usher, could we turn that map?
7 Q. So the artillery and the firing was coming from the direction at
8 the top of this map now towards the middle of the L-shape and the back of
9 the building; correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Witness --
12 MR. MEEK: That's fine. Thank you for right now.
13 Q. Witness AA, you indicated that the shelling had started in the
14 morning, correct?
15 A. It is.
16 Q. But you did not make it to the roof until sometime about 2.00 in
17 the afternoon; is that correct?
18 A. It is.
19 Q. Where were you for that six or eight hours prior to reaching the
21 A. In the building and because of the logistics.
22 Q. And were you with the group of 15 to 20 soldiers that you
23 testified about during that first six or eight hours?
24 A. No. I already said I had six soldiers with me. We were on the
25 terrace at 8.00, before we climbed down to the command.
1 Q. And approximately how many hours were you on the roof before you
2 had turned yourself in the next day, the 10th?
3 A. I said that I was on the roof between 2.00 in the afternoon until
4 8.00 or half past 8.00 in the evening, that I went out to the command at
5 9.00, and that we all turned ourselves in, that we all surrendered on the
6 10th sometime in the afternoon.
7 Q. You also testified that before you turned yourself in, you changed
8 into civilian clothes, correct?
9 A. It is.
10 Q. Did you keep the civilian clothes with you that day? Had you had
11 them with you?
12 A. (redacted)
13 Q. So did you get back to your flat to get your civilian clothes to
14 change into?
15 A. Nope. I just entered the first flat and took some civilian
17 Q. Do you know whose flat you stole these clothes from?
18 A. Excuse me, I didn't steal those clothes. I took them. Don't
19 insult me.
20 Q. I'm not trying to insult you, my friend. I just wondered whether
21 you had any permission to take these clothes from the lawful owner.
22 A. How can you prove the contrary?
23 Q. I'm asking you: Did you have permission from the owner to enter
24 the flats and take the clothes?
25 A. And I'm asking you: How are you going to prove that I didn't have
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the permission, even if I say I did? How will you know that I did have it
3 Q. Because I presume you're going to tell the truth.
4 A. Look at this. It's a silly question. I apologise, but that's how
5 it is, and who -- who would really ask questions about this civilian
6 clothes? I'd really ask for a break so we can have a smoke together. I
7 do apologise, Your Honours, but ...
8 Q. Okay. And will you tell me: What was the purpose to change into
9 civilian clothes out of your military uniform before you left that
10 building that night?
11 A. We did not leave the building. We surrendered. I changed into
12 civilian clothes because I hoped I'd fare better.
13 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, it's 11.00 and I'm about ready to quit
14 this line of questioning. I think it might be a good time for the break.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. We'll resume at 11.30.
16 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
17 --- On resuming at 11.37 a.m.
18 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Meek.
19 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Your Honour.
20 JUDGE LIU: Before you resume, could I ask you how long you are
21 going to take for your cross-examination, for the sake of the arrangement
22 of the sittings of today?
23 MR. MEEK: It should be finished, Your Honour, by 45 minutes,
24 depending on the witness.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 Mr. Seric or Mr. Par?
2 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I think we will need from
3 20 minutes to half an hour perhaps.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
5 And Mr. Scott, for the re-examination?
6 MR. SCOTT: Well, Mr. -- that will depend, of course, on Mr. Bos.
7 I wouldn't expect it to be extensive. I just thought I would share with
8 the Chamber that if, in fact -- we had hoped to call one other witness
9 this week, but my thinking would be if we get close to 15 or 20 minutes
10 out from 1.00, I'm probably going to suggest to the Chamber that we just
11 not start with that witness. He's only here locally, so it's not a huge
12 scheduling issue. So it just depends on how much time we have.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
14 MR. SCOTT: Thanks.
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Meek, please continue.
16 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Mr. President. Your Honours, for the
17 record, the exhibit which was formerly P14.2, Madam Registrar has
18 indicated to me is now D1/20, after Witness AA has made the marks he did
19 this morning. Thank you.
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 MR. MEEK:
25 A. I don't know what you mean, "under the control."
1 Q. Well, who was your commander?
2 A. Branko Kvesic was, while I was in the HVO.
3 Q. And what was Branko's position?
4 A. He was a minister in the government of the -- the so-called
5 government of Herceg-Bosna, the minister for police.
6 Q. The police. And so you worked underneath the minister of police
7 as a policeman?
8 A. SIS.
9 Q. Then when you left this HVO minister of police duty, did you
10 maintain and keep the weapons that had been given to you and your
12 A. No.
13 Q. You turned those back in?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. Thank you. Then you went to the ABiH and were in the 4th Corps
16 logistics headquarters; correct?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Then please explain what your duties were in the ABiH once you
19 left the HVO.
20 A. On the 19th of April, 1993, the so-called sniper war began in
21 Mostar, and it lasted about ten days. After that, under an agreement
22 between the politicians and the army leadership - I'm not sure exactly
23 who - an agreement was reached for us to move into the police and to
24 perform a joint service in Mostar. And then from Mostar, they asked us to
25 move to the left bank of the river, so to move to the left bank of
1 Mostar. So we didn't agree to that, and then we were transferred by UN
2 vehicles to --
3 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't catch the name.
4 A. We were not permitted to wear uniforms because this agreement had
5 been reached only that the military police was allowed to carry weapons
6 and pistols.
7 After that, we moved from Cernica and our command was below
8 Bulevar, and that's when we established the military police.
9 Q. Thank you. Witness, the interpreter did not get the name. You
10 testified that we were transferred by UN vehicles to -- some location, I
11 think. What location was that? The interpreter did not pick it up.
12 A. To Cernica.
13 Q. To your knowledge, and in your knowledge, do you know how many
14 commanders there were in the 4th Corps logistic headquarters?
15 A. I don't know because I wasn't at the logistics headquarters.
16 Q. Thank you. And you mentioned the political agreement just now
17 regarding Mostar. My question would be, if you know, was that the
18 Vance-Owen Plan?
19 A. No, no, that wasn't the Vance-Owen Plan.
20 Q. Thank you. You mentioned that you were then in the military
21 police for the ABiH. What were your duties?
22 A. We controlled the town at night. And we were also holding the
24 Q. On the 9th -- between the 9th of May, when the shelling began in
25 Mostar, and the time that you left the building, how many rounds do you
1 believe that you fired that day?
2 A. I have no idea.
3 Q. Do you have an idea of how many weapons you had with you?
4 A. Yes. We only had a rifle.
5 Q. Would I be right in assuming that all of the soldiers in that
6 building who left with you were also armed?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Did you turn the guns and firearms over to the HVO when you left
9 the building? Or what did you do with them?
10 A. No. We hid them in the entrance hall.
11 Q. You have not mentioned in your direct testimony that anybody was
12 killed in that action; is that correct?
13 A. Two were wounded from our soldiers and one member of the HVO was
14 killed, and that was -- he was killed by the HVO.
15 Q. I understand, from your testimony and your statements that you
16 have previously given, that you met and spoke with Mr. Naletilic, my
17 client, as you first walked into the Tobacco Institute; is that correct?
18 A. I did not talk to him.
19 Q. You met with him, then, when you first entered the Tobacco
21 A. After Brana Kvesic -- after Brana Kvesic called him, then we met.
22 Q. And that was upon your initial arrival at the Tobacco Institute?
23 A. Yes. That's where their main command was.
24 MR. MEEK: Could I have help with looking at the Exhibit P17 once
25 again, the video that was shown yesterday?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos?
2 MR. BOS: Yes. If we are going to show the video, I think we will
3 at least need to go into private session and maybe into closed session.
4 I'm not sure. There are many people in the public gallery.
5 MR. MEEK: That's just fine, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the closed session.
7 [Closed session]
12 Pages 3722 to 3724 – redacted –closed session.
5 [Open session]
6 MR. MEEK:
7 Q. Witness AA, about how far back had you seen my client, Tuta,
8 before this day at the Tobacco Institute?
9 A. Well, it could be sometime in 1992, but I can't remember the
11 Q. Did you see him more than one time or just once?
12 A. I said I saw him only once, on that occasion, before this other
14 Q. Did you speak with him on that first occasion?
15 A. No.
16 Q. And you gave a description of Tuta as being approximately --
17 looking 70 years old; is that correct?
18 A. I did.
19 Q. And --
20 A. No. I didn't say that he was 70 years old. I said he looked old
21 for his age, as if he were 70.
22 Q. That's correct, yes. Thank you. And yesterday, in your direct
23 testimony, you indicated that you did not know my client's surname.
24 That's a fact, isn't it?
25 A. No. I said I knew that he was Naletilic, that I didn't know his
1 first name. I still don't know. All I know is that your client is
2 Naletilic, and I know Tuta.
3 Q. You testified that -- and by the way we just watched that video.
4 There was an individual in that video with a Motorola in their hand, was
5 there not?
6 A. One of the soldiers perhaps. Perhaps one of them did have a
7 Motorola. I didn't pay any attention.
8 Q. Okay. But to describe a Motorola that you discussed, it's not
9 like a small cell phone that we have today, is it?
10 A. No, no, no. That's an army Motorola.
11 Q. An army Motorola is a large object, correct?
12 A. Well, depends. At that time -- I wouldn't know, really, how big
13 it was. Well, medium-sized, say. Neither too big nor too small. Like
14 this. I'm saying like this, neither too big nor too small.
15 MR. MEEK: Okay. And for the record, the witness indicated
16 approximately eight to ten inches. I'm sorry, I don't know centimetres.
17 Q. Witness AA, how thick was that Motorola?
18 A. How thick? It depends on the type of battery that's used. There
19 are batteries which will work for only two hours, and there are others
20 which are long-lived which are slightly bigger, and it depends on that,
21 really. I don't really know. Never measured it.
22 Q. Okay. Witness AA, I'm more interested in the specific Motorola
23 that you allege Tuta had in his hand that day and struck you with.
24 A. I don't understand the question.
25 Q. Okay. How big, if you know, was the Motorola that Tuta allegedly
1 held in his hand and hit you with at the Tobacco Institute?
2 A. Well, we could put it this way: It was so big that when you took
3 it in your hand, there was still one part protruded under your palm, or
4 rather fist, as you held it and the upper part also protruded upwards so
5 that you could hit with it.
6 Q. And which part did he allegedly hit you with?
7 A. The corner. As he held it like this, he struck that blow with the
8 corner, with the very end of the Motorola.
9 Q. And that would be the bottom end of the Motorola?
10 A. That's right, yes.
11 Q. Thank you. And you testified yesterday that Tuta held the
12 Motorola in his left hand and he hit you; is that correct?
13 A. That he held the Motorola in his left hand? He could hold the
14 Motorola in his right hand only because he was using his left hand to slap
15 me in the face. As he stood in front of me, he used his right hand to
16 strike these blows on my head. You just reversed the two things.
17 Q. So if your testimony on the record yesterday was that the Motorola
18 was in my client's left hand, you were just simply mistaken?
19 A. I do not know what the transcript of yesterday says. I'm telling
20 you, if I told you yesterday that he was slapping me on my left temple,
21 then he couldn't hold -- on my right temple, then he couldn't hold the
22 Motorola in his left hand because he was using it for that other thing. I
23 don't know what was written down yesterday.
24 Q. And today, on this answer, are you saying he hit you on your right
25 temple today or your left temple?
1 A. I said left temple.
2 Q. Okay. And you said he struck approximately eight to ten blows?
3 A. Well, yes, I did say that.
4 Q. And didn't you tell the investigator that he hit you "full out"?
5 A. Of course. He wasn't caressing me.
6 Q. When he hit you, did he hit you hard like that?
7 A. What do you expect me to answer?
8 Q. I just -- Witness AA, I'm not trying to confuse you; I'm just
9 trying to understand with what degree of force these blows were allegedly
10 given to you by my client. And if you would like to demonstrate on the
11 desk, please feel free to.
12 A. Well, if you have a Motorola in your right hand and then takes a
13 swing and -- how do I know what force? I can't answer. It hurt, I can
14 tell you that.
15 Q. You never fell down?
16 A. They never managed to fell me down while I was in the camp.
17 Q. Well, no. My question was: When my client allegedly struck you
18 these eight or ten times "full out" with this Motorola, at the Tobacco
19 Institute, you stayed on your feet; correct?
20 A. And I've just told you that I'm an athlete and I managed to remain
21 on my feet because I was strong, not because his blows were weak.
22 Q. You did not pass out, did you?
23 A. All I can say is that those were specific conditions, and
24 one -- that is a struggle for life. I mean, you realise that you have to
25 fight for your life and then you summon the strength which you need to
1 survive. And you can't remember these things all that well. Because I
2 simply couldn't allow them to knock me off my feet and humiliate me in
3 that manner, and I summoned all my strength so as to stand -- to remain on
4 my feet.
5 Q. So you will admit that during these specific conditions, it is
6 hard to remember things?
7 A. Well, it's not hard to remember things, but one will put up with
9 Q. Thank you. Now, you have no -- you didn't bleed that day and you
10 don't have any scars on your left temple, do you?
11 A. I don't. I said that I had a slight laceration, slightly. My
12 skin was slightly rough. I don't know how to describe it. But otherwise,
13 no, you can't see it, physically, I mean.
14 Q. So you would agree with me that you were not seriously injured
15 that day?
16 A. What do you mean, I wasn't seriously injured? Isn't it a serious
17 injury for you when they beat you, when you're beaten by five men as if
18 you were a gypsy?
19 Q. Witness AA, I'm not -- we're not talking about being beaten by
20 five men. Now we're talking about this alleged incident with my client
21 hitting you on your left temple eight to ten times with the Motorola.
22 That's my question. You did not receive any serious injury from that.
23 There's no scar, you didn't pass out, you didn't even fall down.
24 A. I don't know how to answer this question. If I didn't fall down,
25 if I didn't pass out, it does not mean that he did not beat me. Will you
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 please try to understand that he simply could not knock me off my feet
3 Q. And these alleged blows to your left temple by my client have not
4 caused any damage to your memory, have they?
5 A. My memory? Well, they didn't, now that I'm sitting here.
6 Q. Thank you. Now, in your testimony yesterday, you described and
7 spoke about a soldier by the name of Juka. Do you recall that testimony?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And Juka was present at the Tobacco Institute on the day that you
10 were allegedly struck by Tuta; correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And in the presence of my client, Juka stopped the killing of some
13 individuals, didn't he?
14 A. He did.
15 Q. And on that day, in the presence of my client, Juka stopped
16 actually the beating of you, didn't he?
17 A. Sorry. Not in the presence of your client. He was there, and he
18 wasn't the only one present; there were other men there. That presence,
19 when you talk about this presence, I don't really know how to explain it
20 to you. He was not present -- he was not the only one with Juka there.
21 There were others, too. So he was not present next to Juka when Juka said
22 that they should stop beating me.
23 Q. Witness AA, maybe we're -- I understand there were a lot of people
24 there and that my client and Juka were not the only two people there, da?
25 But my client was present when Juka stopped the killing, and also, Juka
1 ordered Tuta to stop hitting the man name Pobric, did he not?
2 A. He didn't order him. He said, "Don't beat him any more, because
3 he is coming with me."
4 Q. And Pobric went with Juka and the hitting stopped; correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You've already answered this, I think, but there were other
7 military and civilian officers and people present at the Tobacco
8 Institute, many; correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Did you testify yesterday that you observed my client, Tuta, hit
11 Pobric with the butt of a gun?
12 A. Not the butt of a gun but with a Motorola.
13 Q. This is Pobric, not you.
14 A. No. After he had finished beating me, he moved over to Pobric.
15 These are two different cases.
16 Q. And didn't you tell investigator Jan van Hecke back in 1997 that
17 you really could not see what happened, that you heard it only?
18 A. I never said that.
19 Q. Witness AA, you were at some point taken to Siroki Brijeg; is that
21 A. It is.
22 Q. And you remained there for approximately two weeks; is that
24 A. It is.
25 Q. And were you allowed approximately three hours daily of outside
1 air, to be outside in the air?
2 A. Not outside air. In a classroom.
3 Q. You were -- you were given good food there, were you not?
4 THE INTERPRETER: We did not get the witness's answer, sorry.
5 MR. MEEK:
6 Q. I'm sorry, the interpreter did not get your answer, Witness AA.
7 The interpreter did not get the answer to the last question.
8 A. I said it depends.
9 Q. Well, if you told investigator Jan van Hecke that the food was
10 good there, you weren't lying to him, were you?
11 A. I didn't. I said that.
12 Q. And while at the jail in Siroki Brijeg, you were given two meals a
13 day, correct?
14 A. Morning and evening, yes.
15 MR. MEEK: Could I have the usher, please, hand the witness a --
16 for the record, I do not intend to introduce this into evidence, but this
17 is a statement given by this witness April 27, 1997, to investigator Jan
18 van Hecke, and I would ask the usher to show him that page, the bottom
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Bos?
21 MR. BOS: Could I ask my learned colleague which paragraph he's
23 MR. MEEK: It's the last paragraph. In Croatian language, it's
24 the last paragraph, and on the English, for my colleague Mr. Bos, look on
25 page 4 of the Jan van Hecke statement. It would be the third paragraph
1 from the bottom.
2 MR. BOS: Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Could someone read this paragraph, either in Croatian
4 or in English, so that we could have the benefit of it?
5 MR. MEEK: I'll be happy to, Your Honour. The paragraph starts:
6 "Around the same time that I was beaten up by the five soldiers,
7 it can't have been during one of the breaks in the beating but certainly
8 after Tuta had beaten me, another prisoner in the row was beaten by Tuta.
9 His name is Alica Pobric. I was standing the first from the right in the
10 row, and Pobric was somewhere in the middle. I could not precise see what
11 happened. I saw it from an angle of my eye. Tuta said something to
12 Pobric that I could not understand, and I heard the hit. Immediately
13 after the hit, Juka told Tuta not to beat Pobric again."
14 The second sentence, the last sentence in that paragraph says, "I
15 suppose Tuta -- that Tuta hit him with his Motorola."
16 For the record, Juka is J-u-k-a.
17 Q. Witness AA, is that what you said in your statement to Jan van
18 Hecke, the OTP Prosecutor investigator?
19 A. Yes.
20 MR. MEEK: Okay. Thank you very much.
21 JUDGE CLARK: Can I interject, Mr. Meek? My notion of what you
22 said to this witness sometime back is that he had said to Mr. van Hecke
23 that he had not seen Mr. Pobric being hit. That's quite different from
24 what you have read out and indeed from what the witness said. The witness
25 said that he could see what was happening from an angle. That's quite
1 different from what you put to him.
2 MR. MEEK: Judge Clark, I'll ask another question, then.
3 JUDGE CLARK: I think you should be more fair in your questions
4 because that was a very specific question you put, that he said to Mr. Van
5 Hecke that he did not see.
6 MR. MEEK:
7 Q. It's a fair statement, Witness AA, that with Mr. Van Hecke, you
8 told him that you really heard the hit and you supposed that it was with a
9 Motorola, even though you had been looking from an angle of your eye.
10 Would that be fair?
11 A. No. Let me explain this. The investigator asked me if I -- if it
12 happened in front of my eyes directly, and I said that we were in a line,
13 but that line wasn't all that straight, so it's not that I couldn't see it
14 altogether. I was to the right. He was to my left. So I could see Tuta
15 come up to him and somebody was hit and I saw him take a swing with his
16 arm. What you are trying to say, "Did you see what he hit him with?" And
17 I said I saw the Motorola in his hand. What this statement says, "perhaps
18 hit him," it's not "perhaps." He hit him, except that it could have been
19 a Motorola or it could have been a pistol. Now, we can discuss whether it
20 was a Motorola or a gun, but I am saying that I saw a Motorola in his
21 hand. Why I said "perhaps" is because I wasn't sure whether it was a
22 Motorola, since we were in this line. I wasn't directly facing this, so
23 that "perhaps" could apply to the Motorola.
24 Q. Thank you, Witness AA, and I think that you just said that you
25 couldn't directly see, but yesterday you testified that you did see. I'll
1 go on to something else.
2 A. We can do this too.
3 Q. You gave a statement in Mostar about your time in Siroki Brijeg.
4 Do you recall that statement January 8, 1996?
5 A. Who did I give the statement to?
6 Q. You gave the statement to the Ministry of the Interior Security
7 Services Centre, Criminal Police Sector, Mostar?
8 A. I did.
9 Q. In that statement, you spoke of Siroki Brijeg and going to work at
10 a swimming pool, did you not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And in that statement, you never mentioned that the swimming pool
13 at Siroki Brijeg was Tuta's swimming pool, did you?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. But when investigator van Hecke took your statement, you said it
16 was Tuta's swimming pool, didn't you?
17 A. I didn't. That's not correct. I didn't say it was Tuta's pool,
18 but when they took us to work there, they said, "You're going to work on
19 Tuta's pool." Up until that time, I didn't know that, because the home
20 guards who drove us there told us we were going to be working on Tuta's
21 pool, but before that I didn't know that it was Tuta's pool. Perhaps it
22 isn't. How should I know?
23 Q. Thank you very much. And that pool was located in the centre of
24 town, basically, was it not?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. MEEK: May I have P26.10 on the ELMO.
2 Q. Witness AA, this is a photograph that you looked at yesterday. Do
3 you recall that?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Could you please take the pointer and point for the Trial Chamber
6 where you were sitting on the day that some man came and kicked you.
7 A. [Indicates]
8 MR. MEEK: Okay. Let the record reflect that he pointed to the
9 upper left-hand corner, which would be the shallow end of that swimming
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, it wasn't there. It was in the
12 middle of the pool.
13 MR. MEEK:
14 Q. Well, Witness AA, did you misunderstand my prior question? It was
15 very simple. I asked where you were sitting when you were kicked, and you
16 pointed to the upper left side of the swimming pool. Would you please
17 then tell me where it was you were sitting, sir, when you were kicked.
18 A. It's not my fault that the pointer is so thick and I can't point
19 it out precisely. If I had a more precise one, I would point it out. So
20 I was in the middle part of the pool and not on the corner, but you can't
21 see it because of this tree. That's what I showed earlier on.
22 Q. Witness, I apologise, then. We would be looking at this exhibit,
23 26.10, and there's a swimming pool there, and on the left, in the picture,
24 there are some trees, the tops of which obstruct the view to the -- that
25 end of the swimming pool; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And in your last answer, that is where you were sitting, behind
3 where those trees would be, and we could see that if the tops of those
4 trees were cut down; correct?
5 A. Yes. I was sitting precisely in the middle of the pool.
6 MR. MEEK: Okay. Thank you very much.
7 [Defence counsel confer]
8 MR. MEEK:
9 Q. Witness AA, did you know this man who just walked up to you and
10 did this?
11 A. I said in my statement that he was the driver of the Minister for
12 Provisions and Social Services and Welfare.
13 Q. But my question to you is: Was there some bad blood between you?
14 Had you done something to this man or was this just a surprise that it
16 A. I didn't do anything to him.
17 Q. You testified that at one point, my client came across the walkway
18 and people were cheering. Is that true?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And how many people were there that were cheering?
21 A. I have no idea. As many as there were guards there at that time.
22 Q. And the guards were all military police?
23 A. No. They were the Home Guards units. It was the older people who
24 were on guard duty.
25 Q. The older people that would not have to go to the front to see
1 action; correct?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. You didn't see my client that day stop and give any orders to
4 anybody, though, did you?
5 A. Why would he be giving orders? Because it had nothing to do with
6 the front line.
7 Q. Thank you. Do you have knowledge of when the Convicts' Battalion
8 was formed?
9 A. I don't know.
10 Q. Do you have any knowledge that the Convicts' Battalion was formed
11 at a time when the Serbs were the aggressors in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
12 A. Yes, I think it was. That's how it seems to me.
13 Q. One quick question on this swimming pool, then. You've already
14 pointed out the shallow end of the pool where you were sitting. How many
15 metres did you then fall?
16 A. When I gave my statement, at that time I said it was about five
18 Q. And are you sticking by that statement?
19 A. I claim -- because I wasn't able to state it precisely, so I said
20 five metres, but it means that it could have been between three and five
22 Q. Or perhaps less than one?
23 A. No. It seemed as if it was 1.000 metres to me.
24 Q. Witness AA, in the time that the Serbs were the aggressors in
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Convicts' Battalion had gained some sort
1 of notoriety - would that be a fair statement - at least around the Mostar
3 A. I don't know whether it was -- it had that reputation in Mostar,
4 but in Listica, it certainly did.
5 Q. And you've indicated that there were soldiers that would take
6 these patches, Convicts' Battalion patches, and sew them on a shirt and
7 then maybe remove them and put them on another jacket from time to time
8 when they went to Mostar; correct?
9 A. I don't know whether I said that or not, but they did wear
10 markings, but I don't know if they wore them when they went to Mostar.
11 Perhaps I said that. I don't know.
12 JUDGE CLARK: [Previous translation continues] ... recollection
13 that that was said.
14 MR. BOS: No, I don't think that was said in his statement.
15 MR. MEEK: I'm sorry. I apologise.
16 Q. Did you ever observe soldiers put on this patch on a particular
17 shirt before they would go to a front line?
18 A. No, I did not.
19 MR. MEEK: Okay.
20 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry. May I interrupt? It's quite important that
21 the transcript should get that right. When I interjected, I said, "I have
22 no recollection that that was said," and the opposite appears on the
23 transcript. Just that if we're reading it in six months' time, it may be
25 MR. MEEK: Judge Clark, is it fixed now for your -- is it okay?
1 JUDGE CLARK: I'm sure they will do it this evening, but what I
2 have just said is recorded.
3 MR. MEEK: Right. Thank you.
4 Q. When you gave the statement to investigator Jan van Hecke, did you
5 give it on only two days, or did you give it between April 27th and May
6 4th of 1997 and each day between those two dates, if you recall?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you give it on only two days or one day? What?
9 A. Only one day.
10 Q. Okay. And didn't you tell investigator Jan van Hecke that while
11 you were in Siroki Brijeg, that the guards had HVO insignia on their
13 A. I couldn't have said that, because I was at the police,
14 downstairs, so they could only have had the police markings. So I don't
15 know which guards you were asking about. If they were the guards at the
16 pool, they had HVO markings, but at the prison where I was in Listica, it
17 was the military or the civilian police, and they had the blue uniforms.
18 Q. Witness AA, while we're on that subject, the commander of the
19 Heliodrom prison was Jusuf Praliak, P-r-a-l-i-a-k; is that correct? Was
20 the answer yes?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. I didn't see it on the screen. Who was the commander at Ljubuski?
23 A. Prlic.
24 Q. Who was the commander of the camp at Dretelj?
25 A. Anicic.
1 Q. And in each of these camps, the guards were military policemen,
2 correct, with the white belts?
3 A. They didn't wear white belts but they were part of the military
5 Q. Now, you told --
6 A. I apologise, could you please switch my monitor off? It's
7 bothering my eyes. It's still turned on. Thank you. Thank you.
8 Q. Do you recall giving a statement to the OTP investigator wherein
9 you told him that you believed that the Convicts' Battalion was a kind of
10 a myth?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And can you please explain to the Trial Chamber why you believe
13 that the Convicts' Battalion was a myth?
14 A. It wasn't a myth in that sense, but simply because they had more
15 weaponry, they had more options to gain or to have weapons, artillery,
16 infantry and other kinds of weapons. They drove jeeps. They had other
17 vehicles. They had money. They could do whatever they wanted. That was
18 the sort of thing that I meant by "myth."
19 Q. And when you state that it was something of a myth, it was because
20 at least people believed that?
21 A. I don't know what you're trying to say was a myth, that were
22 simply -- that's how the others in the town of Mostar talked about them.
23 They boasted about them.
24 Q. Right. You would agree with me, Witness AA, that in wartime,
25 rumours are floating around everywhere about all kinds of things?
1 A. I don't know what you mean.
2 Q. Well, what I mean is that people will say some things that,
3 whether they are true or not, they get spread around to the general
4 public, become rumours?
5 A. Depends. You're asking me to respond to a question which is not
6 specific. Tell me what you mean specifically. Do you want me to stay --
7 to say that there were more lies and false stories being told about the
8 Convicts' Battalion than true ones? Is that what you're trying to get?
9 Q. Now, Witness AA, I'm going to have to have the usher have you look
10 at your statement again.
11 MR. MEEK: And for Mr. Bos, it's page 6 of the Jan van Hecke
12 statement, first full paragraph on page 6 in the English version. And
13 Your Honours, I would just ask the witness to read that paragraph first
14 before I ask him a question so we don't have to read everything.
15 A. You want me to read this to you?
16 Q. No, no. I want you to just read it to yourself. Now, I asked you
17 earlier, while you were in Siroki Brijeg, did you know about soldiers who
18 would sew on the badges of the Convicts' Battalion before they would go to
19 Mostar, to the front lines. Do you recall that question?
20 A. I said that they placed badges, these badges, of the Convicts'
22 Q. So they were not permanent? They could be taken off and placed on
23 other items of clothing, correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And please describe for the Trial Chamber what one of these
1 Convicts' Battalion badges looked like. Please describe it.
2 A. It wasn't one of the badges. There was only one. And that's the
3 one that I know about.
4 Q. Just please describe it for the record.
5 A. I don't know. The badge was round and in two parts. In the top
6 and in the bottom part, in a semi-circle, it said "Convicts' Battalion,
7 Siroki Brijeg," and in the middle, there was something black in the shape
8 of a snake, and then there was some -- a line or something at the bottom
9 that kind of crossed over. I can't be quite precise.
10 Q. Besides that something black in the shape of a snake, what other
11 colour was this badge, this round badge you've just described?
12 A. I can't remember exactly now, but I think that all of the badges
13 were brown-green. I can't remember the exact colour.
14 Q. Thank you. We looked at a picture P26.7 yesterday, which was a
15 cell in Siroki Brijeg at the jail. Do you recall that picture,
16 Witness AA?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. About -- was that room -- did you describe how many metres you
19 thought that room was?
20 A. I've already described it.
21 Q. And is it fair that you did say there were 20 people in that
22 little room?
23 A. Yes, about 20.
24 Q. And you couldn't even sit down, could you?
25 A. That's right.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And then you described two additional people coming in that room,
2 making approximately 22 people, correct?
3 A. I don't know what you mean.
4 Q. Well, you said that two guards made their way into the room.
5 A. Excuse me. In all camps, when the guard comes in, we all have to
6 step back to the corners, into the corners of the room.
7 Q. I believe that from your description of the room, everybody was
8 standing like sardines in a can; is that correct?
9 A. That's right.
10 Q. Then you were taken to Ljubuski, correct?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And there was only one guard on that bus?
13 A. To Ljubuski?
14 Q. Yes. Yes, sir.
15 A. I don't know, one or two. I don't know exactly.
16 Q. And you testified that when you arrived at Ljubuski, they took
17 your cigarettes away from you; is that correct?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos?
19 A. And everything else.
20 MR. BOS: I don't recall that that was testified here in court.
21 MR. MEEK: All right.
22 Q. Then let me ask it this way, then: When you arrived at Ljubuski,
23 Witness AA, were your cigarettes taken away from you?
24 A. They took away -- they confiscated everything that I had with me,
25 all my things.
1 Q. Including your cigarettes?
2 A. And my wallet and everything else.
3 Q. So my question to you would be that who gave you the cigarettes in
4 Siroki Brijeg? How did you get them?
5 A. I've stated that. I said that in my statement. They were given
6 to me by a man whose name was Jablanica.
7 Q. After you were released from the Heliodrom, you went back and you
8 were a soldier with the ABiH army; is that correct?
9 A. When I returned where? When I was released from the camp?
10 Q. Yes.
11 A. Of course I did.
12 Q. And your job was that you were the personal bodyguard for an
13 individual, were you not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And who was that individual?
16 A. (redacted)
17 Q. I did not understand that. Do you have his full name?
18 A. If this is not important, I'd rather not talk about it. It has
19 nothing to do with this case.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos?
21 MR. BOS: Your Honour, I tend to agree with the witness, and if
22 Defence insists, at least we should do it in private session.
23 MR. MEEK: Okay. I'd like to go to private session very quickly.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, we will go to private session.
25 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 MR. MEEK: I apologise, Your Honours, but apparently, and I'm
21 looking at -- the transcript is not complete with that name, so ...
22 JUDGE LIU: Is that name so important? I think that the typist
23 will check this name at night. It will be corrected to reflect it.
24 MR. MEEK: Thank you. Thank you, Your Honour.
25 Q. Witness AA, do you know the family name of this individual you've
1 testified to who is called Cikota?
2 A. What was his last name? Why, Cikota. I guess that is his last
4 Q. Thank you. And do you know -- are you aware that he was a
5 policeman in Split?
6 A. What?
7 Q. Are you aware that he was a policeman in Split, Croatia?
8 A. And are you aware that he lived in Listica?
9 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, that's all the questions I have of this
10 witness. Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
12 Mr. Par. With the cooperation from the interpreters and the court
13 reporter, we could sit here a little bit longer.
14 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness AA. I am a lawyer,
17 Zelimir Par, and I'm one of the counsel for Vinko Martinovic, Stela.
18 In your testimony, you mentioned a soldier called Romeo Blazevic,
19 and you said that on one occasion he beat you, and that from a certain
20 Rudi, the pilot, heard that he had also been beaten by the same Romeo
22 Now, about this Romeo Blazevic, you said that he was Stela's
23 soldier, or rather, you said something like that the whole of Mostar knew
24 that Stela was his commander. Do you remember that part of your
25 testimony? You do? Now, I have before me a document which was given me
1 by the Prosecution with a list of names of soldiers, their units, and
2 commanders, so I want to ask you to go through those lists together and
3 then I will ask you some questions having to do with these lists.
4 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] This is Prosecutor's Exhibit P704,
5 without the file number, from binder number 13, so could the witness
6 please be shown this list and can we have it on the ELMO, please.
7 Q. Sir, Witness AA, let's have a look at this document. Tell me, on
8 this first page that you see, what does it say above in the heading? Do
9 you see this defence department, which is -- well, it says here Croat
10 Defence Council, defence department, Convicts' Battalion, and beneath
11 that, the Combat Group 1.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Do you see that?
14 A. I do.
15 Q. Will you now turn to page 2, and let's see the Combat Group 2.
16 Can you see that?
17 A. Yes, I can.
18 Q. Let's move on to page 3. Very well. Combat Group 3. Can you see
19 that? You do. Good. And if we can then stop on the next page, which
20 says the Combat Group 4. Can we see that page?
21 A. Yes, we can see that page.
22 Q. Now, under 15, could you read out the name.
23 A. Romeo Blazevic.
24 Q. I see. Romeo Blazevic. Very well. And on the same page, under
25 1, could you please read out the name.
1 A. I think it says Damjan Peric.
2 Q. Damjan Peric. And next to him, what does it say?
3 A. Commander.
4 Q. And his rank?
5 A. Captain.
6 Q. Captain. Very well. Now, you saw these documents, and could we
7 agree that from this document that I've just shown you, it transpires that
8 Romeo Blazevic was a member of the 4th Combat Group of the Convicts'
9 Battalion and that his commander was Captain Damjan Peric? Can we agree
10 that that is what transpires from that document?
11 A. That's what it says here.
12 Q. Yes, yes. That's what I mean. Now, my question is: After you
13 saw this document, are you still claiming that Vinko Martinovic, Stela,
14 was Romeo Blazevic's commander, or would you allow that it was possible
15 that his commander was this Damjan Peric, as this document says?
16 A. But what you have just read out to me is the defence department of
17 the Convicts' Battalion, and we have four combat groups here. Do
18 you -- and I can tell you that Tuta was the -- above -- the top man here
19 and that Stela was somewhere else, and maybe Stela also had his commanders
20 under him, I mean --
21 Q. I'm asking you -- we can go back to this?
22 A. Yes, of course we can.
23 Q. I'm asking you: According to this document, does it transpire
24 from it that Damjan Peric was Romeo Blazevic's commander?
25 A. And how can I know that this document is authentic? Well, anyone
1 could print this.
2 THE INTERPRETER: Will please the witness and counsel not speak
3 over one another.
4 A. I mean, anyone could have -- could we please have a break? Could
5 we have a small break?
6 THE INTERPRETER: And could the counsel and witness please not
7 speak simultaneously.
8 THE INTERPRETER: The witness has asked for a break.
9 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
10 Q. But if I understand you well, you disregard this document and you
11 stand by what you said yesterday about who was Romeo Blazevic's
13 A. I did not say that he was his commander. I said that he was a
14 member of the group which was called Stela's. I did not say that he was
15 his commander.
16 JUDGE LIU: I was informed that the witness is asking for a
18 Is that true, Witness?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, it is.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos.
21 MR. BOS: I think the witness is a rather heavy smoker and I think
22 he needs a cigarette, so I wonder if we can just have a small break for a
24 JUDGE LIU: So we'll resume at 1.30, half past one.
25 MR. BOS: That's fine with me.
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
2 --- Recess taken at 1.10 p.m.
3 --- On resuming at 1.43 p.m.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, this Trial Chamber is informed that the witness
5 is not feeling well so we cannot continue the cross-examination today. We
6 will resume our hearings at 9.30 Monday morning. Is there anything to say
7 -- yes, Mr. Seric?
8 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
9 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the --
10 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] My apologies, but I have a question,
11 and I'm not asking for an immediate answer. All prisoners, and my client,
12 can have family visits but they must be announced several weeks earlier,
13 and my client's family would like to see him. I'd like to ask the Chamber
14 if possible, not today but next week or sometime, could we be told whether
15 we shall have some break in this case so that I could then reserve the
16 time and the rooms for the visit of my client's family? Do we know if we
17 shall have some days perhaps off during the case? Thank you very much.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
19 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just so there is no mystery about it,
20 we had indicated after this witness, there was a Mr. Perlec would be
21 testifying, but I think in light of this situation, which I'm not
22 complaining but just for informational purposes, we won't call him in the
23 next order. We will skip him. As soon as this witness is done, we want
24 to take the next scheduled witness who is on the list. I won't mention
25 his name but he's on the list. But we will just skip over Mr. Perlec, who
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 is here in The Hague, and then we will have to work him back into the
2 schedule when we can. But just so there is no misunderstanding with
3 counsel or the Chamber, we won't take him next.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, thank you. Well, as for the schedule of this
5 trial, as well as the visits for your client, Mr. Seric, I think this
6 Trial Chamber will consult with the Registrar concerning the matter. We
7 hope we could give you an answer as soon as possible.
8 So we will adjourn until 9.30 on Monday morning.
9 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
10 1.47 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday the 15th day
11 of October, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.