1 Monday, 19 November 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.33 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
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: Before we have the next witness, I would like to
9 remind both parties that this week, we only have three days and two hours
10 because of the other obligations for the Judges.
11 Mr. Prosecutor.
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour. The witness who is
13 called to testify now requested the following protective measures:
14 pseudonym and facial distortion. The motivation is that he lives now in
15 the area, and he is an officer of the Armija Federation.
16 JUDGE LIU: Are there any objections?
17 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No objection.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Your request is granted.
20 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you very much. And now, about the
21 relevancy of the witness's testimony. First of all, his testimony will go
22 mostly to the background, paragraph 7; superior authority, paragraph 17;
23 general allegations, paragraph 18; count 1, paragraphs 20, 728 [sic], 30,
24 34(a), (b), (d); counts 2 through 8, paragraphs 35 through 38, 40 through
25 32 [sic]; counts 9 through 12, paragraph 45, 49, 50; and count 21,
1 paragraph 57.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 WITNESS: WITNESS OO
5 [Witness answered through interpreter]
6 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
8 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
9 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
11 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may sit down, please.
13 Mr. Prosecutor.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 Examined by Mr. Poriouvaev:
16 Q. Witness, good morning.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. Your request for protective measures has been granted by the -- by
19 this Trial Chamber. Now you have a pseudonym. You will be called
20 "Witness OO" in the courtroom, and you have also facial distortion, which
21 means that your face will not be seen on the screen or the monitor. And
22 at some point, maybe I will ask the Trial Chamber to consider some
23 questions in private session. And I would like to warn you, Witness, when
24 you want to give us some name, to first consult with me, just not to
25 reveal the identity of people whose identity should be protected.
1 Okay. Now you will be given a sheet of paper with a name, date of
2 birth. Don't read it aloud, just read it to yourself. If everything is
3 all right with your first name, full name, and the spelling is also right,
4 you may say "yes," and we understand that no mistakes were made.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Witness, in June 1992, you were mobilised into the
7 HVO, and until July 1993, you were a member of the 2nd Company, 3rd
8 battalion of the Knez Domagoj Brigade; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I will lead the witness through some irrelevant
11 issues now, straight to the points that are of most interest to us.
12 Q. So then you were arrested. When did it happen?
13 A. Yes. I was arrested on the 4th of July, 1993 in the place called
14 Rotimlja, the municipality of Stolac.
15 Q. I will not ask you the details about the circumstances of this
16 arrest because this Trial Chamber has already had some witnesses who
17 testified to the fact. So I would ask you some maybe questions relevant
18 to this arrest and relevant to our case. First of all, did they explain
19 to you somehow why you and your colleagues - I mean other soldiers - were
20 arrested? What was the reason for that?
21 A. The reason was probably that we were Muslims. Because from day
22 one, we were members of the HVO. They didn't explain anything to us,
23 apart from saying that we would be put away for a while. And then they
24 transferred us on trucks to the former JNA barracks of Gabela where there
25 was no place for us. So they returned us to another former JNA barracks,
1 which later became the camp of Dretelj.
2 Q. Witness, I would ask you to speak a little bit slower because your
3 answers, responses, will be translated simultaneously into several
4 languages. And wait, please, for my answer and wait a little, just maybe
5 a second, and then give your response.
6 Could you shortly inform the Trial Chamber about the conditions of
7 detention in Dretelj camp?
8 A. Right. The conditions were the same as for cattle. We lay on
9 bare concrete. We didn't even have enough water, let alone food. From
10 the 13th to the 17th of that month, we were given no food and no water.
11 We were about 400 men, and we only could go to toilet in a hangar. That's
12 the only toilet we had. And we could get hold of very little food, and we
13 ate in the same place.
14 Q. Who was in charge of Dretelj detention facilities? I don't mean a
15 personality. If you don't know, you don't know. Just I'm interested in
16 administrative or military body that was in charge of these facilities.
17 A. Members of the HVO were in charge, or more precisely, the military
18 police of the Knez Domagoj Brigade.
19 Q. Then you were taken to Heliodrom; is it correct?
20 A. That's correct. Around the 19th of July, in the afternoon hours,
21 we were loaded onto trucks and took us by the road from Capljina to Citluk
22 to Mostar to Heliodrom. In Heliodrom, they made us jump off the trucks,
23 holding us, propping us by the arms. Two lines of military policemen and
24 the HVO were waiting for us there. And each of us was hit at least once
25 on that occasion.
1 Q. In which building were you placed in Heliodrom?
2 A. They put us up in a former school building. It used to be the
3 aviation high school of the former JNA.
4 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
6 Q. Witness, please take a look at the picture, and to the best of
7 your recollection, what does this picture depict? Do you recognise the
9 A. Yes. This is the Heliodrom camp.
10 Q. Would you just point out the building you were placed in?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Do you mean the former school building? Yes?
13 A. Yes. I don't know Mostar very well, but I know I spent four days
14 in this building, before we were transferred to the sports hall, also at
15 the Heliodrom.
16 Q. Is this sports hall in the picture?
17 A. I can't see it.
18 Q. Okay. Thank you very much. I would like you to mark the building
19 you were kept in with a number "1."
20 A. [Marks]
21 MR. PORIOUVAEV: And for the record, this was a building under
22 number "1," where Witness OO was kept in the beginning of his detention in
24 Q. Do you know for what purposes were the buildings in this picture
25 designed for?
1 A. It used to be a barracks of the former army, the former JNA.
2 Q. I mean during the war, during the time when you were detained
3 there, not before.
4 A. During the war, it was built up. There were about 10.000
5 Bosniaks, Muslims, there. It was a camp.
6 Q. Do you see any military units deployed in Heliodrom area, in
7 Heliodrom itself and close to Heliodrom?
8 A. Yes. At the Heliodrom, there were troops who called themselves
9 Bruno Busic. And while I was there at a later stage, the Zagreb Tigers
11 Q. And again, Witness, just -- I would like you to describe briefly
12 the conditions of detention in Heliodrom.
13 A. The conditions were not appropriate for humans. We didn't have
14 enough food. Again, we lay on the parquet. They took us to perform hard
15 labour and act constantly as human shields. We got our share of beatings
16 every day from everyone.
17 Q. Just let us dwell a little bit on labour that you were involved.
18 A. All right.
19 Q. Were you involved in such kind of labour outside Heliodrom?
20 A. Yes. I went to do forced labour every day from the HUM hill all
21 the way up to Bune. The longest stretch that I did was 13 days, and that
22 was in Santiceva Street and around the Health Centre on the Bulevar. More
23 precisely, at Stela's.
24 Q. What kind of job did you perform?
25 A. We filled sacks with sands. We dug all sorts of canals. We went
1 ahead of lines to put up some sort of fortification shields, shelters,
2 trenches, to carry things from Muslim-owned flats to their quarters, that
3 is, the quarters of the members of the HVO. And those things were
4 household appliances, TV sets, VCRs, and so on.
5 Q. Witness, I would like to clarify some points. Was the unit on
6 Bulevar, as you called it, Stela's unit, the only one for which you
7 performed some kind of labour as mentioned by you?
8 A. On the Bulevar, Stela's unit was the only one that I worked for.
9 And on other locations, Stela's unit was not present.
10 Q. What other units were present at other locations, to the best of
11 your recollection?
12 A. In Santiceva Street, there were members of the Croatian army.
13 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... of that unit of the Croatian
15 A. I don't remember.
16 Q. And how do you know that they were from Croatia?
17 A. I know that because at one point, somewhere in the beginning of
18 August, I was working on Santiceva Street, and I was talking to a man who
19 introduced himself to me as a senior officer of the Croatian army and who
20 asked me why I was in prison. On their sleeves, they had the sign of "HV"
21 visible displayed. It was only later on that both on their sleeves and
22 their vehicles they added the letter "O" to make it read "HVO."
23 Q. Thank you. Let's talk a little bit about Bulevar. First of all,
24 you just talked -- told the Trial Chamber about a person whose -- who you
25 called Stela. Did you know a person with this name before?
1 A. I didn't know him before.
2 Q. Do you remember the first time you were taken to his unit?
3 A. Yes. It happened immediately after our arrival at the Heliodrom,
4 that is, somewhere between the 24th and the 25th of July. I remember well
5 that we arrived there. We were 20 to 30 men per group. He would line us
6 all up outside his command, which was a red building. On such occasions,
7 most of the men would be mistreated by Stela. He would call us
8 extremists, fundamentalists, and various other names.
9 Q. Did he introduce himself somehow to prisoners?
10 A. Yes. He always introduced himself. He would say, "My name is
11 Stela." And he was the terror of everyone.
12 Q. Would you describe his physical appearance as you saw him in
14 A. When I saw him, he had short hair. He was stocky, not tall, built
15 like a boxer.
16 Q. And how did prisoners call him?
17 A. The prisoners called him "Mr. Colonel," "Commander," things like
19 Q. Was he really wearing a colonel uniform?
20 A. He had no insignia then.
21 Q. Do you remember any other commanders within Stela's unit?
22 A. Within Stela's unit, I remember there is only one.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: "There were men like
24 Marinko Dolma, Ernest Takac, also known as Brada, and those are the only
25 men I remember."
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
2 Q. So you remember two men, yes?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Let's go down to Bulevar now. Was Stela's unit the only one
5 deployed on Bulevar?
6 A. Yes, that was the only unit deployed there.
7 Q. Do you remember the name of that unit?
8 A. Initially, it was called "ATG Stela Mrmak." Later, I don't
9 remember its official name.
10 Q. Do you know which positions were held on Bulevar by Vinko -- by
11 Mrmak unit?
12 A. It held positions around the health centre.
13 THE INTERPRETER: The witness also said that the unit was named
14 after his dog.
15 A. Near the fountain which was pretty much destroyed. However, a
16 portion of it was still standing.
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
18 Q. Did they occupy some buildings along Bulevar?
19 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, could we get some repetition of an
20 interpretation that came late? If you look at your -- "Interpreter: The
21 witness also said the unit was named after his dog." Could we get some
22 clarification on that? It just seems juxtaposed.
23 JUDGE LIU: And we have some problem in the English channel. We
24 hear the B/C/S translation.
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Maybe I should switch off my mike, or not, I
1 don't know.
2 JUDGE LIU: I don't know. You may try that, but I'm not sure.
3 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
4 Q. So Witness OO, you just stated that the unit run by Stela was
5 called after his dog's name. Would you give an explanation with that?
6 A. Yes. I can explain that. Here on the sleeve, there was an
7 insignia which read, "ATG Stela," and there was another word next to it,
8 "Mrmak," which was the name of a very big dog.
9 Q. Did you see that dog?
10 A. Yes.
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like Witness OO shown Exhibit number
13 Q. Witness, take a look at this picture. And my first question will
14 be: Do you remember the places on Bulevar you were working for Stela's
16 A. Yes. These are the positions in question.
17 Q. Yes. And what was there in that building you have just shown?
18 A. They were -- there were their lines. There was nothing actually
19 on those lines because everything had been destroyed. The only thing we
20 could find there were parts of tablets.
21 Q. Did you ever work in some other buildings along Bulevar?
22 A. No. I didn't work in any other buildings except on those
23 occasions where -- when we had to carry things all around Mostar, that is,
24 on the other side, when they were doing the looting, and when we had to
25 carry the household appliances for them.
1 Q. And who commanded you when you were, say, looting things from
2 Muslim houses?
3 A. Sometimes the orders were issued directly by Stela and then, on
4 other occasions, his soldiers -- by his soldiers.
5 Q. As far as I understand, Witness OO, you are not from Mostar.
6 A. No.
7 Q. So may I suggest that you don't know the area of Mostar very
9 A. No, I don't know it very well.
10 Q. While talking about looting, looting in other areas, do you mean
11 the areas that were located far away from Bulevar or close to it?
12 A. I think that they were located far away from the Bulevar, such as
13 the part in the vicinity of the new hospital in Mostar. That is the area
14 that I have in mind.
15 Q. And what was happening on the confrontation line itself on the
16 Bulevar itself? I mean while you were performing a job there.
17 A. Sometimes we were made to be -- act as human shield. It happened
18 sometime in mid-September; between the 17th and the 19th of August, that
20 Q. September or August?
21 A. August.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
23 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] The question was leading regarding the
24 date. But the witness has already answered, so I withdraw my objection.
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
1 Q. I would like to clarify. "Sometimes we were made to act as human
2 shields. It happened sometime in mid-September; between the 17th and the
3 19th of August." That was my question, because once we have "September,"
4 and then we have "August." That is the question I would like to clarify.
5 I am not leading the witness anywhere.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I don't think the answer is very clear. There
7 might be some confusion. You may ask your question again so that we could
8 get a clear answer from this witness to make sure how many times those
9 things happened.
10 Yes, Mr. Par.
11 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted to point out
12 that the witness has answered two times. He said that first it took place
13 in August. Upon Prosecutor's question whether it was in August or
14 September, just as I was about to make my objection, the witness once
15 again said that it happened in August. So I don't know what is still
16 unclear there. We don't have to correct the witness three times about
17 this date.
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: What I have is --
19 A. Just a second, if I may, please. I was referring to the date when
20 I crossed the line. I will tell you how it was. I believe that the exact
21 date was the 18th of September, 1993. It was around 12.15.
22 Q. Okay. What happened on that day, from the very beginning, let's
23 say -- I would like to hear from you about this date in very tight
24 chronology, if you can, of course.
25 A. Yes. Yes, I can. That morning between 6.00 and 7.00, just as any
1 other morning, Stela's driver, Dinko, came to the sports hall at the
2 Heliodrom. He was driving a blue Dais, a DM vehicle actually. He took 31
3 of us, just as he did every other morning, to take us to perform labour.
4 He drove us to Stela's headquarters. And outside his headquarters, Stela
5 lined us up, as was his custom, which was, of course, accompanied by all
6 kinds of verbal abuse, name calling and so on and so forth, like
7 extremists, fundamentalists.
8 In the meantime, a person called Vladic, also known as Popaj,
9 arrived, who used to work in the Auto-Moto company, which was then an HVO
10 workshop. He needed four or five men to go to work there. But Stela said
11 that he needed all of us there, that no one should go up there on that
12 particular day.
13 At that moment, soldiers began to arrive. And according to their
14 accent, I think that those were people from the area of Ljubuski and
15 Siroki Brijeg, the Western Herzegovina. They wanted us to clean their
16 rifles, so I cleaned two rifles. After that, one of the soldiers, whose
17 name I don't remember - I don't know who he was - --
18 Q. Stop. Okay, okay. I will ask you a specific question about
19 prisoners who were taken together with you. So you should abstain from
20 giving any names now. Okay. You may go ahead.
21 A. Okay, I understand. I won't mention any names. At that moment,
22 we were taken back -- that is, I was returned to the line after I had
23 cleaned those rifles. So I was again with all the others standing in a
24 line against the wall, and we were made to crouch down. Stela gave us a
25 quarter of a loaf of bread and a tin with some 400 grams of food; however,
1 I wasn't able to eat the food because soon Stela arrived accompanied by
2 Ernest Takac, also known as Brada. And he pointed his finger at four of
3 us, and he said, "You, you, you, and you," and told us to go down to the
4 cellar of the building.
5 Q. Please wait a minute. Witness, do you know the names of prisoners
6 who were singled out by Stela?
7 A. Yes, I do know the names.
8 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Now, Your Honour, we go into private session for
9 some minutes.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.
11 [Private session]
3 [Open session]
4 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
5 Q. You may go ahead. So you went to the basement, yes?
6 A. Yes. There was a very large table there, and Stela was sitting at
7 that table. He called the four of us, and he told us to get dressed. In
8 one of the corners of the room, there were some camouflage uniforms. At
9 that moment, I asked -- because I had a premonition of some sorts that
10 things were not going so well, so I asked him if we could do without it.
11 But Stela told me to keep quiet and not to say anything but to get
12 dressed. And he also said that whatever he says, the only thing we can
13 say to that was, "Yes, sir. Yes, Colonel."
14 Then we put on those uniforms. Brko called my name, and he told
15 me to come close, and he said that I should be their commander. And he
16 said, "Whatever I tell you, you have to convey the message to them," and
17 so on. So I said, "Yes, sir. Yes, Colonel."
18 Q. Just a moment, I would like to clarify the name. It's not clear.
20 A. Yes, at that time, I was wearing a moustache, and that's why he
21 called me Brko, which means "the one wearing the mustachio."
22 Q. And what was your task?
23 A. He told us that we had a task to accomplish, that we had some work
24 to do, that the work consisted in crossing over the line, jumping into the
25 trenches which were held by the BH army. And he said that as soon as we
1 jumped in, we should seize the rifles of whoever happened to be in the
2 trench. And he also said that they would follow us, they would come after
3 us, and that we would all see each other there. After that, he said, "If
4 you succeed in your mission, you will be released within 48 hours." So
5 that was basically our task.
6 Q. Did you get any ammunition for the fulfilment of your task?
7 A. Once we got out of the cellar, Marinko, whose surname I don't
8 know, gave us rucksacks full of stones and bricks, and he also gave us
9 some wooden rifles, wooden rifles which looked like the real ones. At
10 that time, I was also given a bottle of engine oil by a soldier who shoved
11 it in my left front shirt pocket, and said, "This is your Motorola."
12 Then they took us to the red building and put us in a garage next
13 to it, which did not have a door on it. A soldier brought us a pack of
14 cookies and two litres of juice. We stayed there for about 15 minutes,
15 maybe longer. I don't remember exactly how long. And then at one point,
16 Ernest Takac, called Brada, arrived and told us to follow him, which is
17 what we did. We followed him and finally arrived at the health centre.
18 Once we got there, something exploded, a hand grenade, I think,
19 just outside the building, and I was hit by a piece of glass in my right
20 leg. We stayed there for about ten minutes until a T-55 tank arrived,
21 which had some protection in the form of tyres and wooden planks. Takac
22 simply said, "Go," and pushed us. So two of us ended up on the right side
23 of the barrel of the tank and two others on the left side of the tank and
24 also in front of the tank. As soon as we got there, the tank opened
25 fire. Our heads were splitting from the detonations.
1 All of a sudden, we were caught between -- in crossfire. The BH
2 army was on one side and the HVO on the other. We didn't know what to
3 do. I turned around, and I could see Takac looking at me. So I made a
4 gesture with my hand like this, and I asked him what we should do, because
5 we couldn't go back. But he simply waved his hand, which was supposed to
6 mean "Just move on." We were about to reach the other side where there
7 were some ruins of a building. Only walls were standing. And once again,
8 the tank opened fire just above our heads, targeting the building. And
9 then this whole wall fell on top of us, and we were covered with dust and
10 rubble. One of us was severely wounded, one was wounded in his leg from
11 the rubble. The first one that I told you about was wounded with a piece
12 of shrapnel.
13 I don't know exactly how long we stayed there, but I'm sure
14 sometime between 15 minutes and half an hour. I could see behind my
15 back -- that is, I could tell that I was being pushed by something, which
16 was actually a rifle. I could see a rifle. Because I had actually
17 shielded a loophole with my back.
18 In the meantime, while we were there, two of us were hit by
19 something in our heads; those were pieces of shrapnel. I was fully aware
20 of the situation. I knew where I was, and I started to call out -- I
21 started to shout, "Don't shoot. We're detainees." And I repeated this
22 two or three times, after which the shooting somewhat subsided.
23 And I was the first one to jump at one of the members of the BH
24 army. As I was doing so, I was saying -- I was telling them not to shoot,
25 that we were detainees. One of the three men who stayed behind followed
1 me immediately. And then we asked this member of the BH army at whom we
2 jumped to help us to pull the other two in because they were unable to do
3 it themselves because they were wounded. However, he simply didn't dare
4 do it. So I went back together with my colleague, and we helped the other
5 two. We helped them get in.
6 We pulled them inside, into the cellar of this building. And at
7 that moment, a nurse appeared from somewhere and dressed our wounds. The
8 two of us who were not so severely wounded went downstairs, and we filled
9 the rifle clips with ammunition for the members of the BH army pursuant to
10 their orders, because there was a very fierce attack by the HVO going on.
11 Q. Thank you. Let's stop at this point. I'm sorry.
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I would like to go into private
13 session for some minutes.
14 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session, please.
15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Witness OO --
16 JUDGE LIU: Wait.
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Sorry, sorry.
18 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
17 Q. First of all, Witness, I would like you to show me your target --
18 let's say the building you were supposed to reach, I mean on the opposite
20 A. Our aim was to reach this building here, that is, to see whether
21 there was anyone inside. Normally, BH army members were implied.
22 Q. Maybe you can take the pointer and mark this building as number 1,
23 as your target.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. Do you remember at what time approximately did the tank appear in
1 the area?
2 A. The tank appeared around 10 to 12.00 or 15 to 12.00. I didn't
3 have a watch. So around 10 to 15 minutes before 12.00, the tank appeared
5 Q. Where were you at that time?
6 A. At the time when the tank appeared, we were in this building
8 Q. Inside the building?
9 A. Inside. More precisely, in this corner here.
10 Q. Put number "2" on this place.
11 A. [Marks]
12 Q. Witness OO, while inside the building of the medical centre, were
13 you together with Stela's soldiers?
14 A. Only one soldier, actually, and that was Ernest Takac, nicknamed
15 Brada, which means "a beard."
16 Q. Would you show the route the tank was moving in the area?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Could you mark it with an arrow?
19 A. The tank was moving along this way.
20 Q. Do you remember at what time did you leave the building? I mean
21 the four of you.
22 A. I think it was about 10 or 15 past 12.00 a.m. -- p.m., sorry.
23 Q. Could you show in this picture the way you were moving? I mean
25 A. We got to the health centre from this side, between -- going
1 between these buildings. And at this point we entered the health centre.
2 Q. And after you were given command to leave the building and to be
3 involved in the attack, to attack, let's say?
4 A. We left the building through this exit, going from this edge of
5 the building, and we got to a point when we were standing just in front of
6 the tank. Behind this little fountain, there was Stela's soldiers.
7 Q. So could you explain to the Trial Chamber how were you moving with
8 your wooden rifles? In what position did you -- were you holding your
9 wooden rifles?
10 A. We held our rifles at the ready, soldier's fashion, so the rifles
11 were slung around our necks and we held them with our hands at the ready.
12 Q. And I would like to know how were you moving in respect of Stela's
13 soldiers. Do you understand my question?
14 A. I don't think I understood your question sufficiently.
15 Q. Yes. You were given a command to attack. What happened after you
16 were given this attack, command to attack, you left the building and you
17 were, let's say, performing your task? What were you doing, and what were
18 the others doing?
19 A. We were pushed at the tank, and the tank started to fire. From
20 the detonation, I was totally disoriented, and so were the others
21 probably. Can you imagine being right next to the tank's barrel, perhaps
22 half a metre away? You probably know what occurs in such a situation.
23 Sorry. I had just come to, when I realised I was in the middle of the
24 road, caught in crossfire. The road had two lanes, and I was somewhere in
25 the middle. And also somewhere in the middle, one of the -- one of the
1 street lights was broken into two. And that's where I was -- found myself
3 Q. Do you remember the moment that some of your prison mates fell
5 A. The other inmates had been sent when we were already standing
6 outside Stela's headquarters. They had already been given the task to
7 remove the sandbags from the road, to let the tank pass. The sandbags
8 were lined in the direction of the health centre on the road, this road.
9 When I crossed over, I saw that there were many people dead, killed, HVO
10 soldiers but also prisoners. I saw that people were panic-stricken and
11 they were hauling the bodies, removing them to a place behind the
12 fountain. And I had already mentioned that behind that fountain, Stela's
13 soldiers were standing, as well as inmates.
14 Q. So I would like you to mark this arrow with number "3" as the
15 route of the tank.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Perhaps you can show - or if you can't, you can't - the place you
18 managed to reach when you crossed Bulevar. If you remember, of course.
19 A. I entered -- that entrance is here somewhere. I entered the
20 building. I believe the building has three entranceways, and the one I
21 used was somewhere here.
22 Q. Okay. Let's put number "4."
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. Witness OO --
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: You may take away the exhibit now, I think.
1 Q. You just informed the Trial Chamber that in the morning, they took
2 31 prisoners on that day. Do you know what happened to the rest of your
3 prison mates on that day? Again, if you remember any names, please, let
4 me know.
5 A. The remaining prisoners were wounded, and there were many people
6 who were killed. Apart from myself, there were four relatives of mine.
7 Out of those four, two were killed, one was wounded, and the fourth was
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I ask for your permission to go into
10 private session because otherwise, our witness's name and his relatives
11 names will be revealed.
12 JUDGE LIU: We will go to the private session.
13 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
1 Q. How did Stela and his soldiers treat prisoners who were working on
2 the Bulevar, apart from this incident, of course, I mean, that happened in
4 A. They treated us this way and that, depending on the day.
5 Sometimes they beat us. Sometimes they didn't. Sometimes they would give
6 us more food than on other days. Cold and hard treatment.
7 Q. Did you observe any actual beating yourself?
8 A. I personally was not beaten except for slapping me a bit or giving
9 me a slight kick in passing. But I watched with my own eyes one incident
10 which happened one day around 8.00 in the morning outside Stela's
11 headquarters, that red building I had mentioned. We called that man
12 "Professor." That's what everyone called him. I don't know either his
13 first or his last name.
14 He had greeted Stela with the words, "Hi, Vinko, how have you
15 been? How's your father?" And he had told us before that he was on good
16 terms with the man's father. Stela gave him a good beating which lasted
17 for about two or three minutes. And after that, some of the soldiers took
18 him behind the building where there was a fence, a small iron fence with
19 garbage container. That's where they dumped him. He was alive at that
20 point, but I don't know what became of him.
21 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, my examination-in-chief is over.
22 Thank you very much.
23 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at 11.30 a.m.
24 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.
25 --- On resuming at 11.32 a.m.
1 JUDGE LIU: Cross-examination, Mr. Par?
2 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
4 Q. Good morning, Witness. My name is Zelimir Par, and I'm an
5 attorney at law representing, together with my colleague, Vinko
6 Martinovic, Stela. I should like to ask you several questions regarding
7 your testimony today.
8 A. Please do.
9 Q. You stated that you had been brought to Stela's unit on several
10 occasions. Could you be more specific? How many times approximately were
11 you brought there?
12 A. During the period of about 20 to 30 days.
13 Q. You mean 20 or 30 occasions, because you would go back every day?
14 A. Yes, that's correct.
15 Q. Could you tell us the name of the unit once again, as you remember
17 A. The name of the unit was ATG Stela. Underneath there was the word
18 "Mrmak" written on the insignia, after his dog.
19 Q. The reason why I'm asking you this is because we have heard for
20 the first time today that the name of the unit was Stela Mrmak. So far,
21 the only testimonies that we heard, including one of the documents that I
22 will mention later on, the name of the unit was only Mrmak. So is it
23 because of the insignia that you remember the name of the unit, insignia
24 which included both words?
25 A. Sir, I could see it with my own eyes. And in addition to that, I
1 was a prisoner who wasn't even allowed to breathe, let alone observe
3 Q. I understand that, Witness. But today you are testifying in your
4 capacity as a witness, and I'm asking you as a witness to answer my
5 questions. So let us stay within the framework of the question.
6 JUDGE LIU: You have to speak very slowly. We have difficulties
7 to follow you.
8 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I will slow
10 Q. Witness, how many soldiers were there in this unit, according to
11 your estimate?
12 A. I don't know that.
13 Q. Did you move around in groups? Can you then tell us how many
14 groups there were, at the times when you were assigned to those groups?
15 A. No. I cannot tell you that, because sometimes the group would
16 consist of four or five people to do the looting, and then another group
17 would be working at the line. So we were basically scattered around, and
18 I really couldn't tell you the approximate number of the soldiers in that
20 Q. Very well. Let me now show you a map, the one that you already
21 had in front of you, so that we can try and establish some other things in
22 relation to this unit, with the help of this map, 14.5, please. I will
23 give you a clean copy.
24 Witness, using this photograph, could you point to us where the
25 Bulevar was.
1 A. I will tell you where I worked. And I worked at the Bulevar, so
2 it would be here. This is the Health Centre and the area around it. This
3 is where I worked. I already said that I'm not familiar with the town of
4 Mostar because I am not a resident of Mostar.
5 Q. Witness, that is precisely why I'm asking you the exact
6 whereabouts of the Bulevar, because during your testimony, you stated that
7 Stela was the commander of the Bulevar. What I'm trying to establish now,
8 and in view of your lack of knowledge of the town of Mostar, what it is
9 you meant by "Bulevar." The area that you just showed on the map, is that
10 the area that you consider to be the Bulevar that you referred to during
11 your testimony?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you then circle the area in question with a marker, please.
14 A. [Witness complies]
15 Q. Witness, so far from the testimony of other witnesses, we thought
16 that the Bulevar was this line that is going across the photograph.
17 A. And that is exactly what I marked.
18 Q. So the area that you have encircled, do you consider it to be the
19 area of responsibility of Vinko Martinovic at the time you were there?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. My colleague has just drawn my attention to a hole in the circle.
22 You haven't circled one part of the area, but we would like to know where
23 the zone in question ends.
24 A. There is an additional area up there, but I don't know exactly how
25 far it stretched.
1 Q. Could you tell us now on either sides of the circle, were there
2 any other units?
3 A. There were quite a few soldiers there, but I don't know what units
4 they belonged to.
5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please. The interpreter didn't get
6 the question.
7 A. I don't know what units were there. But I know there was a large
8 number of troops there. And that is the reason why I say this, because it
9 was in this particular area that we worked, and there were some snipers'
10 nests there, and there were lots of shelters and trenches all along the
11 separation line.
12 MR. PAR:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Let us go slowly. Were there any other units
14 there? You said that there were many soldiers but you didn't know to
15 which units they belonged.
16 A. No, I didn't.
17 Q. Did you work for any other unit during your period in detention?
18 A. I have already said that I worked for the Croatian army, that I
19 also worked at Rodoc for the commander there. I think it was the 9th
20 Battalion. Working together with us at all times was also a man by the
21 name of Darko. I don't know any other units.
22 Q. Let us stick to the photograph that is in front of you. My
23 question concerned this particular photograph and the units that were
24 deployed in the area depicted on the photograph. My question is very
25 simple: Apart from the area that you have encircled, were you in any
1 other unit that was perhaps deployed in an area which is shown on the
2 photograph outside the circle; yes or no?
3 A. Behind the building, which is marked as Sume Herceg-Bosna was the
4 area where I worked for the Croatian army, but I don't know what the name
5 of the neighbourhood is.
6 Q. We are now looking at the photograph. On this photograph, do you
7 recognise any other location where you worked, apart from the area around
8 the health centre that you encircled? Is the building that you have just
9 mentioned depicted on the photograph or not?
10 A. I don't know. I don't think so.
11 Q. Let us turn to the separation line once again. On this
12 photograph, could you point to us where the sides, where the two sides
13 were deployed, that is, the BH army units, for example? Where were they
14 deployed during the time you were there, and where exactly is the
15 separation line with the BH army units?
16 A. The separation line is this road here, and the BH army forces were
17 deployed -- I mean, at the time when I crossed the line, they were
18 deployed in this partly destroyed building, in the cellars of this
20 Q. So where is actually the separation line? Could you point to the
21 separation line? Does the separation line consist only of this particular
22 building, or does it stretch any further?
23 A. I know about this area here. This is what I observed at the
24 time. And this is where the BH army units were. I don't know about any
25 other positions.
1 Q. Let us stick to the area that you have encircled for a while, and
2 let us go back to the health centre. You do recognise the building, don't
4 A. Yes, I do.
5 Q. Could you tell us about the entrances and exits on the building?
6 Where were the doors? Where could you enter and leave the building?
7 A. I entered the building from this side here and left it here at
8 this edge, at the corner of the building, because the prisoners who were
9 there before me had put some sandbags there, so there was some protection
10 in the form of sandbags, and this particular spot was protected.
11 Q. You have mentioned the sandbags. Where exactly did you see them?
12 Where were they?
13 A. You mean at the health centre?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. The sandbags were inside the building, at the windows and
16 alongside the walls.
17 Q. What about the area outside, near the road? Were there any
18 sandbags there, and where exactly were they? Could you mark that for us,
20 A. The sandbags were here approximately. I'm not sure I can be
21 precise, but that is approximately the area where they were.
22 Q. Let us stick to the entrances and exits to the building. You have
23 mentioned two such exits. What about this front side, the front part near
24 the fountain? Was there any door there? Was it possible to enter the
25 building from that side?
1 A. I could not see that because of the sandbags. I don't remember.
2 Q. A witness who testified in open session, Allan Knudsen, stated
3 that there was a door in the middle of the building through which the
4 soldiers had withdrawn during the attack. Do you remember any such
5 event? Do you know anything about that?
6 A. Sir, I was about to be -- meet my death. I just cannot remember
7 that door and things like that.
8 Q. Witness, I fully understand that you are one of the victims of
9 this war. However, today, you are a witness. You are safe and sound.
10 Stela is in detention, and there is a number of things that need to be
11 clarified from a different perspective. My questions are very simple, and
12 I would appreciate if you could give me equally simple answers. So once
13 again, I'm fully aware of the fact that you are one of the victims of the
14 war, but we are now dealing with a different issue now.
15 We are still dealing with this map, and a topic that we started,
16 that is, whether Stela was the commander of the overall Bulevar area.
17 According to your knowledge, can we agree with the fact that he was the
18 commander of the area that you have marked with the circle here; yes or
20 A. The area from where I crossed over to the other side, that is the
21 area where I worked on several occasions for Stela, who was the
23 Q. Let us now turn to the event that you told us about. Do you know
24 whether Stela was in command on that day, whether he was commanding the
25 action that was taking place on that particular day?
1 A. I don't know that.
2 Q. I have a document here which states that the commander of the
3 action in question was Mario Milicevic, Baja. Does the name ring a bell?
4 Did you at any point in time during that day hear about him? Do you want
5 me to show you this document?
6 A. No, I don't know that. I'm not familiar with that fact.
7 Q. On that day, you stated that the action began around noon,
9 A. I said before noon, sometime before 12.00.
10 Q. How did you know that?
11 A. Because I saw the time on Ernest Takac's watch. He had a very
12 good watch. The bracelet was silver.
13 Q. So it was according to that watch that --
14 A. And he told us specifically that the artillery will become
15 operative before our departure. And it is true that we couldn't hear
16 anything because of the noise made by all those artillery pieces. And
17 there was a lot of dust as well.
18 Q. My question was how you knew what time it was, and you answered my
19 question. The reason I asked you was because we had a witness whose
20 pseudonym was NN who stated that the action had began around 5.00 a.m.
21 How do you comment on that? Would that have been possible? Is it an
22 action that perhaps lasted from 5.00 a.m. onwards? How do you respond to
24 A. I know that while we were still in front of Stela's command, there
25 was no shooting. And that at one point in time, we got to the Health
1 Centre and still there was no shooting.
2 Q. Do you know what time it was when you were brought there from the
4 A. We left the Heliodrom between 6.00 and 7.00.
5 Q. And at that time, you didn't hear any shooting, any fire, from
6 artillery pieces or anything of the sort, so you would not agree with that
7 witness, the witness who stated that the action started at 5.00?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Let us now turn to the issue of so-called wooden rifles. Did you
10 personally take part in the making of those rifles?
11 A. No. The rifles were made by one of the prisoners whose name was
12 Huskovic. He was from Mostar. He was a carpenter by occupation.
13 Q. Did you personally see Huskovic making those rifles?
14 A. I saw him paint the last rifle.
15 Q. When and where did you see that?
16 A. I saw it the morning when we were outside Stela's command.
17 Q. Did you know this person Huskovic?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. From before?
20 A. No, I met him in prison.
21 Q. Did you know he was a carpenter?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. Did you ever see him again?
24 A. No, never.
25 Q. So you know that what he was working on was the last rifle, the
1 last piece of rifle. Where were other rifles?
2 A. Out of those four rifles, I saw the last one, that is, the last
3 butt of the rifle as he was brushing it outside Stela's command.
4 Q. My question concerned your personal knowledge, and you said no.
5 My next question is whether any of those who you said carried those rifles
6 had taken part in the making of those rifles.
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. The witness by the name of Knudsen who testified in open session
9 on the 13th and 14th of November stated that he had personally seen that
10 those were the same detainees, that is, that the same detainees had made
11 the rifles and then carried those rifles during the action.
12 A. No, that is not correct.
13 Q. Do you know any man by the name of Knudsen or any other foreign --
14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I would object again to this line of
15 questioning. The witness is responsible for his own facts, for his own
16 story. He can't be responsible for some story told by some other witness.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par. You should rephrase your question.
18 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I can rephrase the question,
19 Mr. President. Of course, I'm not saying that the witness is responsible
20 for somebody else's story. We all have the same objective here, and that
21 is to establish the truth. I don't think that we will be doing anything
22 wrong if we present the witness with some of the facts that have been
23 described in different terms before this Chamber. But I can move on, of
25 [Trial Chamber confers]
1 JUDGE LIU: First of all, we have to make sure whether there is
2 only one incident involving the wooden rifle or if there were several such
3 kinds of incidents.
4 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] So far, my understanding has been that
5 there was only one such incident. But I will bear that in mind, and I
6 will try to clarify the issue with the help of this witness. But I do
7 accept the objection.
8 Q. Witness, on that day, on that particular occasion, during the
9 event involving wooden rifles and yourself personally, did you personally
10 see any foreign mercenary in the vicinity of your group?
11 A. I was not able to observe such a thing, because the four of us
12 were separated immediately, and I told you that we were first put in that
13 garage, which we left, accompanied by Takac.
14 Q. Very well, then. Let us now try to clarify the issue that Their
15 Honours have pointed to. Did you, at any point in time, hear that anyone
16 else, apart from the four of you, was exposed to death while carrying such
17 wooden rifles?
18 A. No, not until that occasion, nor did I hear such a thing after
20 Q. I asked you whether you saw any foreign mercenaries. And I'm
21 coming back to the testimony of that man because according to his
22 testimony, you were sitting with the group of soldiers just before the
23 operation started. And you are telling me that you -- the four of you
24 were isolated and you were only together with Takac; is that correct?
25 A. We were sitting with the rest of the group up until the moment
1 when we put on the camouflage uniforms, and once we had put them on, we
2 were taken out to the garage.
3 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Par, the questioning or the cross-examination of
4 this witness appears to me to suggest that Mr. Knudsen and other witnesses
5 are talking about the same incident as this witness, and I believe that
6 the testimony which we have heard suggests that there were several - maybe
7 on the same day - but groups of people who were exposed to crossfire in
8 similar circumstances. And if you carefully read the notes of the other
9 witnesses' evidence, you'll find that there may have been several groups
10 of such detainees. Otherwise, I don't want to interrupt your
11 cross-examination, but you must be fair to the witness.
12 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I understand what you're saying, Your
13 Honour, and I understood the testimony of other witnesses. But my
14 cross-examination of this witness today regards only the wooden rifles and
15 the group of four prisoners who were carrying those wooden rifles, and I'm
16 trying to establish the position of this witness, who was a protagonist of
17 this event, and to compare it with the testimony of other people who
18 claimed they had carried wooden rifles.
19 JUDGE CLARK: Well, that would be perfectly valid for you to do
20 that, and that is what a competent lawyer must do. The only thing is that
21 the description of the incident as given to us by Mr. Knudsen was that the
22 prisoners were actually in a different building, so they couldn't be the
23 same group. And also, they were with soldiers from Mr. Stela's unit, a
24 number of soldiers, not just Ernest Takac.
25 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Right. I really don't want to dwell on
1 this and bother this Trial Chamber any more, but I'm coming to the part
2 when Knudsen said he saw prisoners with wooden rifles. But let's move
3 on. I think we've clarified this in a way.
4 Q. Witness, let us go back to that room where you were waiting for
5 the start of the operation and where the four of you were singled out, as
6 you said. This is the moment when you already have these wooden rifles on
7 you; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Are there in that room any trunks with ammunition, stretchers,
10 anything like that?
11 A. I don't remember.
12 Q. During that day, in the course of the operation and on a different
13 occasion, did you see any prisoners carrying cases with ammunition, using
14 laths for carrying such trunks? Did you see anything like that?
15 A. You mean while I was in prison?
16 Q. I mean on that day, when you were around that unit, when you were
17 coming or going.
18 A. On that day, I didn't have occasion to see anything like it.
19 Q. But generally speaking, did you see any prisoners carrying
20 ammunition, stretchers to the positions?
21 A. Do you mean that day?
22 Q. Generally speaking. Have you ever seen that?
23 A. I had a job to do that day. I was cleaning RPGs and other
24 rifles. It was a normal occurrence in prison. Even explosives were
25 carried by prisoners, and they were made to set explosives to certain
1 buildings, things like that.
2 Q. Why am I asking this? How were these cases with ammunition
3 carried? Did you see prisoners carrying these cases using some laths that
4 they put underneath the case in order to lift it?
5 A. No.
6 Q. About these rifles, in view of the fact that we have heard
7 different descriptions so far, what colour were the rifles?
8 A. With the Court's permission, the rifles were black. And I still
9 have that rifle today. I'm sorry I didn't bring it here.
10 Q. You mean you have it still today?
11 A. Precisely. It was placed in a museum in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
12 JUDGE LIU: We are very interested to see this rifle. I wonder
13 whether the Prosecution could do something to bring it here as evidence.
14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, we will try.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
16 You may proceed.
17 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Witness, how do you intend to show us that it is, indeed, that
20 A. By bringing it. How could I prove it otherwise?
21 Q. I mean, how can you prove it is that rifle? How can you prove
22 that it wasn't made on a different occasion by AID, for instance?
23 A. I will bring at least 50 witnesses.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I object. The witness isn't supposed to prove
1 anything in this courtroom. He is supposed to give his testimony. Why
2 should he prove that such kind of wood rifle belonged to someone else or
3 it was the same rifle that was used in September?
4 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par, we believe that the witness has already
5 answered your question. No matter whether you like it or not, you have to
6 take it. That was his answer.
7 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] All right. With your leave, I thought I
8 was entitled to question him about the circumstances in which he got hold
9 of that rifle which he kept. I thought I could question the witness about
10 the veracity of his claim, but the Court is now prohibiting me from doing
11 that, if I understood you correctly.
12 JUDGE CLARK: This witness said that not only would he be able to
13 tell you what colour the rifle was but he had the rifle. Now, I would
14 agree that that evidence took everyone by surprise. And generally
15 speaking, we don't approve of surprises. But these things happen in
17 He then said that he could bring the rifle. And you said, "How do
18 we know? How do you know it wasn't made by AID or someone else?" And
19 this witness then said it was the rifle he had. And I suppose that is the
20 end of the matter, because one is bound by the answers that one makes in
21 cross-examination. You can bring another witness to say that that is not
22 the rifle because the rifles that were made on that day were brown or
23 yellow. It isn't open to you to say it was made by AID.
24 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Honourable Judge.
25 Q. Witness, would you then answer this question: Will you bring that
2 A. If the competent authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina approve
3 another trip to The Hague and back and pay for my travel expenses, I can
4 bring that rifle any time.
5 Q. Please, Witness, what are those competent authorities whose
6 approval you need? If you need that, we can go into private session.
7 A. There's no need for that. Those are the competent agencies of the
8 Federation's army, because I am a soldier of the Federation.
9 Q. If they are to approve it, you need to tell them the precise
10 reason for that trip.
11 A. That's true. I have no problem coming here whatsoever because
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina has signed a document in cooperation with the
13 Tribunal in The Hague.
14 Q. What I meant is do you need to familiarise them with the substance
15 of what you are supposed to do here? Do you need to inform them of that,
16 considering that you're a military man?
17 A. I have -- I don't have any difficulty talking to them, and I don't
18 have any difficulty in coming here as a witness.
19 Q. I have to know this, Witness: Do you need to tell your superiors
20 before you come here again, "I need to go to The Hague once again in order
21 to bring the rifle"? That's what I meant by "substance."
22 A. No. I need just a piece of paper from this Tribunal, and this
23 will become possible.
24 Q. Fine. I'm skipping further questions about the rifle because we
25 are probably going to see it anyway.
1 Have you kept even that rucksack which had been filled with rocks?
2 A. No, I don't have the rucksack, and I don't have the empty bottle
3 of engine oil.
4 Q. What happened to them?
5 A. I dumped them in the middle of the road by the broken lamppost,
6 and a part of that lamppost is still standing today.
7 Q. Why didn't you throw away the rifle as well? Do you consider it
8 to be of value?
9 A. I had no time. I was running, and I didn't even bother to carry
10 that -- and the rucksack fell on its own.
11 Q. Didn't you care in that situation whether you had it or not?
12 A. I was dressed up to play a human shield, and I was made to look as
13 if I were attacking, and I was attacking with a wooden rifle. That's how
14 it was.
15 Q. So my question was about why you didn't throw away the rifle. Did
16 you consider it to be dangerous at the moment, or you simply didn't give
17 it any thought at the time, or you kept it on purpose? Can you answer
19 A. I had no time to think, and God knows what went through my head at
20 that time.
21 Q. Being where we are with the rucksack, the rifle, the Bulevar, I
22 want to ask you this: You said that you were playing a sort of human
24 A. It was not a sort of. It was a human shield.
25 Q. Could you then explain, please: You were acting as human shield.
1 Who were you shielding with your body, which is what a human shield is
2 supposed to do? Were you standing in front of a soldier or what?
3 A. We were shielding both the tank and the soldiers.
4 Q. Please, how were you supposed to shield the tank? How did you do
5 that? Explain.
6 A. I've already told you that we approached the tank, two from the
7 right, two from the left, and we were standing half a metre away from the
9 Q. I understood that part. That is a position in which I can imagine
10 the tank shielding you, not other way around.
11 A. Come on, sir, please. That's not how it was. That's not correct.
12 Q. Were you shielding some particular soldiers? Were any soldiers
13 running, walking behind you?
14 A. Behind the fountain, there was Ernest Takac and other soldiers.
15 I've already said this.
16 Q. But we are now dealing with the issue of human shield. When I
17 hear "human shield," I imagine a live body protecting somebody who is
18 standing behind him. Was that the case with you?
19 A. I've described to you the task that we were given. I told you
20 that we were standing in front of a T-55 tank. I told you that Takac and
21 other soldiers were behind the fountain. I don't know what you're
22 thinking. I can only know what I think. I was a human shield, propped up
23 to die, and I'm proud that I survived and that I'm able to tell the truth
24 here for the sake of all those who died.
25 Q. Sir, I thought we had agreed to work by questions and answers.
1 I'll explain to you why I'm asking this. I'm asking because we've heard a
2 number of witnesses testify that they -- the soldiers were moving right
3 behind the prisoners carrying wooden rifles. Was it the case with you?
4 That's the only thing I'm asking.
5 A. I don't understand you. I don't understand the question.
6 Q. I'll try to make it clearer. Let us look at this map. Can we
7 draw, again on this map, where the tank was when -- where you were and
8 where the soldiers were relative to you? Were HVO soldiers shielded by
9 your bodies, or were they elsewhere, on another side of the tank?
10 A. The soldiers were behind the fountain.
11 Q. So draw it.
12 A. I have already drawn it. The soldiers were behind the fountain.
13 I've shown to you where the sandbags were. I've shown where the tank
14 was. I've shown to you where I was standing and where I made the
16 Q. All right.
17 A. That's all.
18 Q. Fine. Let us, then, go back to this assignment you were given.
19 As far as I understood, you said you were given this assignment by Stela,
20 in the basement?
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. When the assignment was given, you were told that if you succeed,
23 you would be released, let go; is that correct?
24 A. Yes, within 48 hours.
25 Q. Do you know of any case during that day when prisoners volunteered
1 to participate in the operation of pulling out the wounded and dead
2 bodies, wherein if they succeed, they would be released, allowed even to
3 go to third countries? Do you know of any such case?
4 A. I had already crossed over. I don't know about that.
10 And if you want to ask some questions about -- in this direction,
11 we could go to the private session.
12 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I'll ask my question without mentioning
13 the name.
14 Q. That person that we just mentioned, did he maybe volunteer to
15 participate in that operation of pulling out HVO soldiers dead or alive?
16 Was that possible?
17 A. Sir, that same person you're talking about pulled out the dead
18 body of our common relative from the area around the fountain. I think
19 it's now perfectly clear why he volunteered, even if he volunteered.
20 Q. Right. Who issued orders to you in that operation? Was it Takac
21 or was it Stela? Did you see Stela at all on that day?
22 A. I saw Stela when he was giving us that assignment in the basement,
23 and Takac was the one who took us to the health centre. I've already told
24 you all of this before.
25 Q. All right. While we are talking about this, did I understand you
1 correctly as saying that you got those wooden rifles and rucksacks after
2 you got out of the basement, when you left Stela, not while you were in
3 his presence?
4 A. Yes. We got them after we got out of the basement.
5 Q. One more thing regarding the operation. You are together with
6 Takac getting out towards the tank. At the moment when you got out, was
7 there any shooting, or did it start later?
8 A. We didn't get out. That's not the right word. Ernest Takac was
9 pushing us, pushing me personally, and there was shooting.
10 Q. So at the moment when you were getting out, you heard shooting?
11 A. We were not getting out. We were being pushed out. Those are two
12 different concepts.
13 Q. I'm saying again, we had another witness testify that there was no
14 shooting at that moment. Can you tell us, what was that shooting from?
15 Was it artillery fire? Was it other shooting that put you in danger?
16 A. At that moment, there was fire from mortars positioned on Bijeli
17 Brijeg. I know very well where Bijeli Brijeg is. The full range of
18 artillery; it was a rainfall. Everything was firing at that moment.
19 Q. I understand that, sir. Was it immediately from the Bulevar,
20 from -- was there any shooting from the side of the BH army which could
21 have threatened your life while you were getting out?
22 A. There was shooting; I don't know from which side.
23 Q. All right. When you crossed over, the fact that you crossed over,
24 was it part of the assignment given you by Stela, or was it already
25 escape? Did you simply decide at one point when you got out to cross over
1 to the other side at the point where you showed us?
2 A. Naturally I was happy to be alive, to have survived. Probably I
3 wouldn't have survived if I had to stay in those dungeons, because those
4 were dungeons honestly.
5 Q. You can believe me if I say I'm glad you survived. I'm saying
6 this in all honesty.
7 My question was, however: Did you decide to make a run for it at
8 one point, or was it part of the assignment that was given you? In other
9 words, was there an understanding among the four of you to take your
10 chances and make a run for it at one point?
11 A. No, there was no planning involved.
12 Q. Witness, in order to come to the end of this tragic day of the
13 17th, can I ask you to mark two or three points on the map again. You
14 were indisposed to do that earlier, but could you please do it. Kindly
15 could you draw the place where the tank was, where you were standing?
16 A. I marked where the tank was.
17 Q. Put number "2" where you were, to mark your position. And please
18 put number "3" where the other soldiers were standing.
19 A. [Marks]
20 Q. And could you draw an interrupted line from the tank to the place
21 where you -- which you eventually reached.
22 A. [Marks]
23 Q. And finally, just another interrupted line from the exit you used
24 to the tank.
25 A. [Marks]
1 Q. All right. We don't need the photograph any longer. We'll move
2 to another topic.
3 And this topic is the Professor. There was a prisoner nicknamed
4 Professor. And in your presence, he was beaten up one day. That was your
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Did you ever find out the name of that man? Did you know it on
8 that day?
9 A. I never learned his name. And I didn't really try to learn.
10 Q. Could there have been two prisoners with the same nickname
12 A. I don't know that.
13 Q. Another witness with the pseudonym II who testified on the 5th and
14 the 7th of November told us about an event when Stela mistreated a
15 prisoner nicknamed Professor. He told us that he pushed this professor
16 into some garage and that this professor got out of the garage soaked up
17 to his knees but without visible injuries. Is this incident familiar to
18 you? Is this the same event that you've told us about?
19 A. No. I don't know what you're saying now.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
21 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I object, Your Honour, because normally we even
22 give our witness his previous witness statements if there is discrepancy.
23 And now my learned colleague is telling some different story told by some
24 different witness. Again, the same reason for objection. Our witness is
25 not responsible for the story told by another witness.
1 JUDGE LIU: No, no, Mr. Prosecutor. We have to know whether this
2 witness has some knowledge about this incident or not, and whether it's
3 the same incident or separate, two incidents.
4 So you may proceed, Mr. Par.
5 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Witness, your answer concerned the event. So once again, are you
7 familiar with that?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Could you assist us perhaps with a brief description of this
10 person nicknamed Professor? How did he look on that particular day?
11 A. He was rather thin, could have been about 178, 180 centimetres
12 tall, but very skinny.
13 Q. Do you remember what he was wearing on that day?
14 A. No, I don't.
15 Q. Did he carry anything in his hands, a bag of some sort?
16 A. I believe that he had a blue bag that -- a blue plastic bag, and
17 he was thrown into the container with that bag.
18 Q. I'm asking you about this bag because according to the testimony
19 of the witness that I mentioned, the bag was one of the reasons for that
20 event. So you do remember the bag?
21 A. I believe there was a bag, but I'm not sure. I don't remember the
22 event exactly.
23 Q. Very well. Let us now move on to the issue of various groups
24 going around a number of houses and taking things out. Did you personally
25 take part in that?
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts – Pages 5981 to 5994.
1 A. Yes, I did.
2 Q. Do you know in which area you were?
3 A. Across the street from the new hospital, in the vicinity of those
4 buildings there. I carried a quartz heater under a rain of bullets.
5 Q. Was there any particular unit around the hospital? Were there any
6 soldiers belonging to any formation there?
7 A. There were soldiers deployed along the entire line. I don't know
8 who they were.
9 Q. But could some other soldiers eventually be deployed in the area
10 which was held by some other unit? Was there any unit in charge of the
11 area around the hospital?
12 A. Well, Stela's soldiers could go everywhere. My impression was
13 that no one could stand up to him at that time, that he was untouchable at
14 that time.
15 Q. Could you tell us any names, any of Stela's soldiers?
16 A. I mentioned two of them. There was a Marinko, Dolma and of course
17 Takac, whom I shall never forget.
18 Q. Do you know anyone else by name and surname, anyone who would have
19 been a member of that unit?
20 A. There were many others, but I don't remember them.
21 Q. Could you give us any names of the people who were with you when
22 you were made to do the looting? Who was there with you? Anyone who
24 A. Of course I could give you several names, but I'd like to do it in
25 closed session.
1 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Could we then move to private session,
3 JUDGE LIU: We will go to private session, please.
4 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
19 Q. We have finished the event involving looting of property. Let us
20 go back to the issue of dead bodies and wounded members. Did you
21 personally see anyone killed or wounded on that day, [redacted]
23 A. No, I didn't see them, nor was I able to see them.
24 Q. So you do not have any personal knowledge about the circumstances
25 of their death?
1 A. Don't worry about that; there will be others who do have personal
2 knowledge about that.
3 Q. How do you know? How do you know what other people will testify
4 about? Are you aware of any plan as to how the evidence will be called to
5 that effect in front of this Tribunal?
6 A. I think that everybody shares my opinion, that is, that everybody
7 is eagerly awaiting for this moment, that they have been waiting for this
8 occasion to publicly say what they have to say for seven or eight years.
9 They want to tell their story about what was going on in Bosnia and
11 Q. Sir, have you been prevented from saying publicly what happened in
12 Bosnia and Herzegovina for the past seven or eight years by anyone?
13 A. Publicly, no.
14 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ...
15 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will withdraw my
16 question, but I would just like to say the reason for my question, because
17 the witness has required protective measures, and he is talking about
18 public knowledge of things, and it was for those reasons that I wanted to
19 clarify what is public and what is not public. But I'm not going to dwell
20 on the issue. What is more important for me is to clarify with the
21 witness about his knowledge as to who is going to testify about these
22 events and how it is that he gained this knowledge.
23 A. I know that because I have seen my colleagues, those who were with
24 me at the time, on several occasions. We always greet each other in a
25 very friendly manner. We always say, "Thank God we have survived." But
1 we have always been eagerly waiting for this moment to have an opportunity
2 to say what happened and how it happened. There were over 10.000 Bosniak
3 Muslims detained at Capljina, Heliodrom, Dretelj. So many of them were
4 killed, so many wounded. What else do you want me to say?
5 Q. I should like you to answer my question. You are now telling us
6 some statistics, and I do not contest that. I would like to know whether
7 at some subsequent stage you did any analysis of those data. Did you
8 participate in any organised attempt to describe your experience from
10 A. No, I didn't participate in anything that would have been
11 organised in any manner or planned. But once this whole business is over,
12 the trial and everything else, I might write a nice book about the whole
14 Q. Do you know who is going to appear as a witness to the events that
15 you have testified about?
16 A. No, I have no idea about that.
17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Prosecutor.
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: The response is given because the witness has
19 never told in this courtroom that he knows who would testify. He only
20 said that there may be people who can testify. That's a difference, great
21 difference, between the two responses.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
23 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness has clearly
24 stated that they are seeing each other, that they are discussing the
25 events, and that they are eagerly awaiting for the occasion to tell their
1 story. So I'm asking the witness if he knows who is going to testify and
2 whether he has discussed the testimony with such individuals. That was my
3 question. I don't know if my learned colleague Mr. Poriouvaev has another
4 objection in relation to this or not.
5 JUDGE LIU: I think the witness has answered your question. He
6 said that, "No, I have no idea about that." It's over.
7 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
8 Q. Let me try a different question. Witness, on that day you crossed
9 over to the side of the BH army, you saved yourself, but still you're
10 wearing an HVO uniform and you are amongst enemy soldiers. How did they
11 receive you? Did you -- did they ask you anything? Did they threaten you
12 in any way?
13 A. No, they did not. When we got there, it was already dark. I
14 don't know what time it was. But I know that a soldier had been killed
15 there, a member of the BH army, the army of the Republic of Bosnia and
16 Herzegovina, whose name was Sejo Slipcevic whose body we carried to the
17 old bridge, together with other soldiers. I don't remember who else was
18 there. It was already very difficult to cross over the old bridge. It
19 had been destroyed to a great extent. But at any rate, we managed to
20 cross over the old bridge, and I left Mostar three days later. And I
21 don't reside in Mostar today.
22 Q. What I wanted to know was whether after so many months that you
23 spent on the other side and after this unusual situation in which you find
24 yourself, and unusual circumstances under which you crossed over to the BH
25 army side, whether there were any problems when you arrived there, or was
1 it a normal thing? Were you contacted by the police or any other
2 authorities for the purposes of telling them your story?
3 A. I made a statement to an individual in an office, and I think that
4 he was a member of the MUP. I wrote that statement with my own hand, and
5 I told the story the way it happened, but I don't think you could exactly
6 call it an interrogation.
7 Q. I would like to know when it happened. Did you give that
8 statement at the time you arrived?
9 A. I gave the statement during the night on the following day or that
10 night. I'm not sure.
11 Q. Did you give your statement alone or together with others?
12 A. I was alone at the time I gave my statement. As for the others,
13 whether they gave a statement, I don't know.
14 Q. Did you stay with the same unit, with the same formation, or did
15 you go different places?
16 A. As I told you, we were all there at one point in time, it was
17 getting dark, and I went to see a friend of mine after that. And three or
18 four days later, I left Mostar. And as I told you, I don't live in Mostar
20 Q. I did understand your answer. Perhaps my question was not very
21 clear. I was referring to the time when you initially made a statement.
22 If I'm mistaken, please correct me. As soon as you crossed over to the BH
23 army side, you were made to perform some jobs, and after that, this
24 interrogation took place; am I correct?
25 A. That same night, or rather, that same day, we remained in the
1 cellar, the same cellar that we had entered. The shooting was still going
2 on from all sides. The attack was still underway, the attack coming from
3 the direction where I had come from. I was filling the rifle clips with
4 ammunition, as I told you. We stayed there until very late that night.
5 Sejo Slipcevic got killed. We carried him all the way to the old bridge.
6 We were told by some soldiers to leave him there, that they would carry
7 him from there elsewhere. It was very difficult for us to cross the old
8 bridge, but we managed to cross it. And that same night - whether it was
9 midnight or 1.00, 2.00 or 3.00 a.m., I don't know - I gave my statement.
10 Q. Just another additional question: Throughout a period of time,
11 where was this wooden rifle? You carried some wounded people during that
12 period of time. Where was the wooden rifle?
13 A. I carried it on my shoulder throughout that period of time, and
14 believe it or not, I laughed at myself. Even today, I sometimes laugh
15 when I remember it.
16 Q. Did you need that wooden rifle for the purposes of your statement,
17 as a manner of explanation of what happened to you, how you ended up
19 A. No. It was a memento of some sort, and I will keep it as long as
20 I live.
21 JUDGE LIU: You have to make a pause.
22 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
23 Q. So that interrogation was over. Did you subsequently give any
24 other statements? Were you again interrogated concerning the
25 circumstances of this event at any point in time?
1 A. I think that it was only sometime in 1998 that I was contacted by
2 some Hague investigators.
3 Q. Before The Hague investigators, did anyone talk to you, anyone
4 from the AID or the secret police?
5 A. Up until 1998, I don't think that there was anything. As for the
6 secret police, this is the first time I hear about this.
7 Q. Witness, the Office of the Prosecutor has provided us and the
8 Chamber with a glossary containing abbreviations and explanations of some
9 notions that we come across in this case, including the abbreviation
10 "AID," which is explained as a secret Muslim police. And you, as a
11 member of the military, are now telling me that you do not understand what
12 I'm talking about?
13 A. Sir, this is the first time that I hear about a secret police in
14 Bosnia and Herzegovina, and believe me --
15 Q. Very well. Thank you. Have you ever heard of a service called
16 Agency for Investigation and Documentation?
17 A. Yes, I have.
18 Q. Is this the service that is commonly referred to with an
19 abbreviation, AID?
20 A. Yes, it is.
21 Q. Are you familiar with the work of that service? Do they deal with
22 public security or something else?
23 A. I think they are in charge of the cooperation with The Hague
24 Tribunal, and that is all I know.
25 Q. That is my idea of that service as well, and that was the reason
1 of my question. I just wanted you to agree with me that it is actually a
2 department of the police service and a secret police service which employs
3 only Muslims. Does that ring a bell, or is it the first time that you
4 hear about these facts?
5 A. That is the -- this is really the first time that I hear about
6 such a thing.
7 Q. Where do you currently reside in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
8 A. I cannot tell you where I live, but I do live in
10 JUDGE LIU: If this question is important, we could simply go into
11 the private session.
12 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I don't need any specific details as to
13 where in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I think that Bosnia and Herzegovina is
14 large enough not to endanger anyone's identity or whereabouts. I just
15 wanted to ask the witness whether he has been living for the past several
16 years in Bosnia or Herzegovina or abroad.
17 A. I have lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and with God's help, I hope to
18 be able to continue living there in the future.
19 Q. You are employed by a service, by an agency, which is a public
20 service, a state service; is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. So is it really correct that you have now heard for the first time
23 that the AID performs the functions of a secret police?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. There is another thing that you heard about the AID, and that it
1 is in charge of the cooperation with The Hague Tribunal.
2 A. Yes, that is what I know. I don't know about anything else.
3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par, we would like to ask what's the relevance for
4 that series of questions we have gone for about 15 minutes.
5 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I shall do my best and try to explain,
6 Your Honours. My objective was to see whether the testimony of this
7 witness corresponds to the testimonies of some witnesses that have already
8 testified, and also those who will only be called to testify. I was
9 prompted to do so by the statement made by the witness to the fact that
10 they sometimes see each other and discuss the events. I was prohibited
11 from pursuing that line of questioning, and that is the reason why I had
12 to go the other way around.
13 However, there is an additional motive for this type of
14 examination. I'm trying to establish whether the story involving wooden
15 rifles, that is, whether the wooden rifle itself was used by this witness
16 to approach the military circles that he ended up in, whether it was some
17 sort of explanation for his conduct. I wanted simply to clear up the
18 matter because we have heard different stories about the same event. Now,
19 we have a fact witness who was directly involved in the relevant events,
20 and I wanted to explore how this story involving wooden rifles has spread
21 amongst such a large number of people. And that is the reason why I
22 wanted to see how the story came about, through the AID, the military. We
23 have a number of hearsay witnesses who have testified about the same event
24 in different terms. However, if I'm not allowed to pursue this line of
25 questioning by this Honourable Chamber, I'll withdraw my question.
1 JUDGE LIU: We believe that the way you are taking is too long.
2 We completely got lost about that question concerning the AID. So when we
3 resume in the afternoon, I hope you put direct questions to this witness.
4 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
5 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at 2.30 this afternoon.
6 --- Luncheon recess taken at 12.58 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.30 p.m.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
3 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 Q. Witness, if you are ready, we can continue.
5 A. I'm ready.
6 Q. I now have a series of questions about this wooden rifle which,
7 according to you, is now in a museum. My first question is: In which
9 A. I can't tell you that.
10 Q. The reason being that you don't know or that you don't wish to
12 A. The reason is that if I tell you where the rifle is, it might
14 Q. Could you explain how a rifle can disappear from the museum?
15 A. It may be stolen or something like that.
16 Q. Stolen by whom? The Defence? By Stela? By whom?
17 A. I have no idea. Anyone.
18 Q. Could you perhaps give this information to the Tribunal in some
19 sort of way as to prevent the sides, the parties, from learning where it
21 A. Yes.
22 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Then I would suggest to the Chamber that
23 we procure information about the rifle in this way.
24 Q. And I will now ask you about the way you turned it over to the
25 museum. Did you do it personally?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Do you know who turned it over?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Could you tell us who?
5 A. That is secret, too.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
7 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would object, Your Honour. As far as I
8 remember, Judge Clark already asked the Prosecutor to take care of the
9 wooden rifle, to clarify the question, and it's up to the Prosecutor to
10 continue the investigation once -- we now have a new situation, which was
11 a judicial surprise.
12 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Please, if I may respond, the wooden
13 rifle came as a surprise to all of us here, as a piece of evidence. If
14 something is a surprise, then we should find a way to present this
15 information, which is suitable to the way this information, which was --
16 this information was presented. This witness told us the reason why he
17 didn't want to answer the question. If he has doubts about the Defence,
18 then I believe that the Prosecution should be on an equal footing with
19 us. It was not my intention to suggest that the rifle be brought before I
20 clarified it with the witness, but it is of course up to the Chamber to
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, what if we ask the witness to give us a
23 statement about all your questions concerning this wooden rifle?
24 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Yes. Well, may I ask this question now,
25 without asking for answers which should be part of that statement? But
1 perhaps I can put my questions, and the witness can answer them in his
2 statement that will be delivered to the Trial Chamber.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may ask the questions you want, but it
4 depends on the witness, whether he would like to answer the question
5 concerning a specific question. But we will make sure that those
6 questions will be answered in a written statement which will be eventually
7 submitted to the Trial Chamber. Thank you.
8 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
9 Q. Witness, you have understood the Judge's explanation. Therefore,
10 I will put to you a number of questions regarding that rifle, and you will
11 answer the questions that you see fit to answer, and anything that you
12 choose not to say now, you will kindly include in the statement that will
13 be presented to the Chamber later. Have you understood this?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. So my first question is: Which museum?
16 A. I will answer in writing.
17 Q. My second question: Did you turn it over personally to the
18 museum; and if not, then who did it?
19 A. I did not do it personally. It was given to the museum by a man
20 who worked for some sort of security service. It might have been the MUP;
21 it might have been the army. I don't know. In any case, the man is still
22 in Mostar.
23 Q. I'm not asking you to tell me the man's name. I'm just asking you
24 whether you know the name of that man so that you can write it later.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Therefore, his name will probably be included in the statement.
2 My next question is: At what time did this occur?
3 A. I think it was in 1994 roughly.
4 Q. Under what circumstances did this occur? How did it come about
5 that you gave him the rifle, or how did it come about that he asked you to
6 give him that rifle?
7 A. We were all asked to surrender our rifles as soon as we had
8 crossed the line. And after a while, I asked the rifle back and was told
9 that it had been turned over up there. I verified this information, and I
10 saw it with my own eyes.
11 Q. Tell me, or don't tell me, as you wish -- but my question is:
12 Were you given any certificate or a receipt or anything of that kind?
13 A. I didn't get anything.
14 Q. Do you know whether this exhibit in that museum is marked as being
15 that rifle, or Stela's rifle?
16 A. All I know is that the exhibit is marked with the words "This is
17 the rifle which Bosniak Muslims were given when acting as human shields."
18 Q. Did you see it in the museum?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So these were the questions that need to be answered in the
22 Another question: Have you ever told an OTP investigator that
23 this rifle is now in a museum?
24 A. I think I have. I didn't tell an investigator from the OTP,
1 Q. Who did you tell it to?
2 A. The officers of the Agency for Investigation and Documentation.
3 Q. Is there any reason why you didn't say this to OTP investigators
4 as well?
5 A. They didn't ask me, and I saw no need to mention it.
6 Q. I didn't ask you about it today either, but you still mentioned
7 it. Is it because it's important?
8 A. You led me to that with your questions.
9 Q. So if I understood you correctly, you are saying that there's no
10 other reason for you to not mention it to OTP investigators; you simply
11 didn't think to?
12 A. That is correct.
13 Q. Another thing that struck me when I was listening to you was that
14 you said, "We all turned over our rifles when we crossed over."
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Does that mean that all of the four of you had rifles while they
17 were there and that they had all turned over their rifles to BH army
19 A. I think all, but I'm not sure.
20 Q. And you received confirmation that this is so from the person from
21 whom you had asked the rifle back. Is it the case that the same happened
22 to the rifles of other prisoners?
23 A. I only asked about mine.
24 Q. On that occasion, was anything said about the existence of other
25 rifles, apart from yours, which had been turned over?
1 A. I don't remember.
2 Q. And in that museum which you visited personally, were there any
3 other rifles apart from that single exhibit?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Did you recognise that exhibit as your own rifle or as one of
6 those rifles?
7 A. I think that is my rifle.
8 Q. Do you have a particular reason to think so, or is it just that
9 you turned yours over or somebody told you that?
10 A. Nobody told me. They just displayed it.
11 Q. Do you have any idea where the other rifles might be?
12 A. I don't.
13 Q. Could you tell us perhaps to whom they were turned over so that we
14 can try to investigate the matter?
15 A. I will put all that down in writing.
16 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] So that is another question to which I
17 would like to get a reply in writing in that statement, where the other
18 rifles are which had been turned over.
19 I understood your explanation about the rifle and the instructions
20 of the Chamber, but there is one thing which remains unclear. Perhaps it
21 will be clarified later. If we get this statement and if we get the
22 rifle, will we have the opportunity to call this witness again so that,
23 based on that evidence, we can question him again? That is something that
24 is not quite clear in my mind.
25 Having said that, I would like to ask for permission to go into
1 private session for a couple of things.
2 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session.
3 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Since, during the testimony of this
24 witness, a dilemma was cast over the issue of whether there is only one
25 incident of this kind or several, I would like to ask if it is possible
1 for the Prosecutor to make his position clear, to say whether he contests
2 that there is only one incident involving wooden rifles, as alleged in the
3 indictment, or he cannot stipulate that. Because otherwise, we would have
4 to clarify this issue over and over again with every new witness we hear.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
6 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, of course, during the investigation
7 which was continuing after the indictment was confirmed in 1998, we found
8 out new incidents of a similar pattern with wooden rifles. However,
9 however, we didn't find enough evidence just to incriminate to the people
10 who are now on the bench here accused. That's why we have at least -- at
11 least two or three wooden rifles incidents, but only one that is on the
12 17th of September is a part of our indictment.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, the issue is that there may be several
14 incidents, several groups of prisoners with that wooden rifles on that
15 very day. Do you regard it as a single incident or as several incidents?
16 MR. PORIOUVAEV: We regard it as a single incident because it is
17 reflected in different ways in the memory of our witnesses. But it's the
18 only one on the 17th of September which, at least, was proved, in our
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
21 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I don't know how well, I understood
22 Mr. Poriouvaev, but on the assumption that I understood him, he speaks
23 about only one incident of the 17th of September, and he is saying this
24 incident is uncontested and that this incident involves wooden rifles.
25 My question is: Does this mean that the witnesses who come here
1 and testify and speak about this incident involving wooden rifles, can
2 they be viewed as witnesses speaking to this particular incident from the
3 indictment, or we first have to clarify about which incident they are
4 talking about? If I understood the Prosecutor correctly, it is
5 unchallenged that all the witnesses here are speaking, and will be
6 speaking, about only one incident on the 17th of September involving
7 wooden rifles, and then, if this is so, no further clarification will be
8 needed with each witness.
9 JUDGE CLARK: I think, Mr. Par, we may be at cross purposes. My
10 understanding from a number of witnesses who have given evidence is that
11 on the 17th of September, more than one group of prisoners was involved
12 with wooden rifles. So in other words, this witness is giving evidence of
13 a distinct group of four people being in the basement with Stela and
14 Takac. There are other witnesses who gave -- especially the recent Danish
15 mercenary, or the former mercenary, and various other witnesses of wooden
16 rifles and other soldiers. So my understanding is there were a number of
17 soldiers in different groups given wooden rifles on the same day. So
18 obviously, if there were only four in this group, and two have died, there
19 could only possibly be two witnesses giving evidence of this particular
20 incident. And we've had more than that.
21 I think I even remember Mr. Jeremy Bowen giving evidence of what
22 he had heard in the month of September in relation to wooden rifles.
23 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you allow me to say how
24 we understood this, we understood the indictment and the witnesses we have
25 heard so far in a completely different way. We are defending here our
1 client's having in mind only one incident of the 17th of September
2 involving allegedly several groups of prisoners made to participate in
3 different operations on the Bulevar.
4 However, in one view, there are only four wooden rifles here
5 involving four prisoners. And that is why I asked this witness today if
6 he had ever heard of any other group like theirs. So he testified about
7 four prisoners using four wooden rifles, and our understanding is that all
8 the other witnesses are describing this group of four. And if there is a
9 dilemma, I want to ask the witnesses: When we talk about the event of the
10 17th of September, was it just this group of four carrying wooden rifles,
11 or were there any other groups in addition to them who had wooden rifles?
12 We need to clarify this in order to decide what position to take, as the
13 Defence team.
14 Another reason for this line of questioning is that we heard a
15 number of witnesses previously whom we understood to be hearsay witnesses,
16 second and third sources. And this incident has spread into a series of
17 stories which are being described and redescribed by a series of
18 witnesses. That is why, in our opinion, we have to clarify now with the
19 Prosecution whether all we are talking about really are four prisoners
20 with four wooden rifles.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
22 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, this involves now -- has evolved into a
23 general matter concerning the Prosecution case beyond this witness, so I
24 will respond further for the Prosecution team.
25 Counsel has apparently misunderstood the evidence. I don't
1 ascribe any bad faith to that. There have been multiple incidents of
2 human shields and wooden rifles. It has never been the Prosecution's case
3 that there was only one single wooden rifle incident concerning these four
4 individuals. There appears to have been a similar incident in July of
5 1993. There is this incident on about the 17th of September, 1993. And
6 on the same day, the 17th September, 1993, there was another incident in
7 which witnesses [sic] on the Bulevar were also killed. That was happened
8 the same day. Whether or not they were carrying wooden rifles at that
9 time or whether they were being used as human shields in another way, I'll
10 leave for the moment to the evidence that's before the Chamber. There has
11 never been any indication, and the Prosecution has never taken the
12 position, that there was only a single incident, as counsel has
14 It is a lot like the beatings, Mr. President and Your Honours.
15 There are many prisoners who were taken to the Bulevar. There were many
16 prisoners who were beaten, and there was a pattern and a course of
17 conduct -- a consistent course of conduct over time. And the Chamber has
18 now heard sufficient evidence to know, we submit, that there was also a
19 consistent pattern of conduct by which witnesses -- excuse me, victims who
20 are now witnesses -- were used as human shields, were used on the
21 confrontation line in such ways that a number of them were wounded and
22 killed. So that is our position, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
24 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, is this a fair trial if
25 the indictment is formulated as follows: On the 17th of September, 1993,
1 several detainees were given imitation wooden rifles and military clothing
2 and were forced to walk alongside a tank moving towards the enemy
3 positions. The purpose of this section ... and so on and so forth. When
4 we are talking about wooden rifles, wouldn't it be only natural for the
5 Defence to assume that it was the incident which took place on the 17th of
6 September, 1993 and that the incident involved a tank?
7 On several occasions we insisted on the explicit pleading of the
8 indictment and what exactly is contained in the indictment. How can we
9 now hear the Prosecutor charging for an event which took place in the
10 month of July involving someone allegedly carrying a wooden rifle? Where
11 is that incident specified in the indictment? What can, therefore, my
12 understanding of the pleading be? Where do we have any other stories
13 involving four wooden rifles? And that was the reason why I asked my
14 questions of this witness.
15 Mr. President, it is our position that we simply cannot work on
16 this basis, if we cannot stick to what is explicitly charged and stated in
17 the indictment. I believe it is one of the crucial issues and cannot be
18 looked over in a facile manner and explained dismissively with a
19 consistent pattern of conduct. Now we hear the Prosecutor say, "But there
20 must have been other incidents involving wooden rifles and other such
21 cases and so on and so forth." I don't think this an appropriate basis on
22 which we can proceed with our work and present our defence. I simply do
23 not understand this kind of attitude towards the indictment, and the only
24 thing I can conclude from this is that the trial itself cannot be fair.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, are you going to do your
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. But with your
3 permission, the Defence team of Mladen Naletilic would also like to state
4 its position regarding these incidents, which the Defence of Mladen
5 Naletilic believe to be quite clear. I'm not referring only to the
6 incident involving wooden rifles, which is pled in this way in the
7 indictment. We also have the Siroki Brijeg situation.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, my advice is that when we come across that issue
9 in the future, you may raise this problem. Now let's concentrate on the
10 incidents that happened during the 17th of September, 1993.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] That is exactly what I intended to
12 focus on, and then make a parallel with this other general issue.
13 First of all, Your Honours, I'm not very happy with having the
14 witness in the courtroom while this kind of discussion is going on. As
15 far as I understand the Statute and the principle of fairness and the
16 Rules of Procedure and Evidence, the witness is here to give evidence and
17 not to take part in our legal arguments, which enable him to see the
18 matter from a different perspective and can, of course, affect his
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, it is not the intention for this
21 Trial Chamber to have this kind of debate at this moment. I think it is
22 the Defence counsel who first raised this question. We prefer we have
23 this kind of discussion without the witness. But since we have come
24 across this matter at this moment, and it is your turn to do your
25 cross-examination to this witness, let's hear your cross-examination
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
4 Q. My first question would be: On the 17th of September, 1993, did
5 this witness actually see or hear that there were other groups carrying
6 wooden rifles as well, other groups that were dispatched elsewhere?
7 A. No. I didn't see or hear of any such cases, any other similar
9 Q. Witness, in response to a question of my learned colleague, you
10 also stated that neither prior nor after the 17th of September, you saw or
11 heard of any such incident.
12 A. That is correct.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I should like the
14 assistance of the usher, please, and Exhibit 14.5.
15 For Defence, the provisional number will be, Madam Registrar, if
16 you could please help me? Could you put this on the ELMO, please?
17 THE REGISTRAR: D1/35.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Before we proceed with this exhibit, I should like to ask the
20 witness whether there was a number of people who had heard about this
21 incident of the 17th of September, in view of the fact that the rifle
22 ended up in the museum. Is it something that was widely talked about
23 amongst yourselves, amongst the military, in town?
24 A. Whether it was talked about and how many people actually heard
25 about it, I don't know.
1 Q. Very well. Let us use the same photograph that you have already
2 seen. This is a clean copy. Take it, please, and you will help me with
3 some answers. First of all, would you draw for us the movement of the
4 tank from the starting point to the end point, to where it eventually
5 stopped moving forward?
6 A. I don't know the starting point. I know where I saw it.
7 Q. Okay. So could you please mark the spot where you saw it with
8 letter "A" and the spot where it eventually came to halt, letter "B,"
9 please -- with letter "B"?
10 A. [Marks]
11 Q. And now, with a dotted line, would you please mark your movement
12 towards the spot where you eventually stopped, the buildings where you
13 stopped? So let's once again have a point A and point B with an arrow
14 marking the direction of your movement, from the departure point to the
15 point where you enter the building.
16 A. Well, I don't know whether this is exactly my movement but this is
17 it, more or less.
18 Q. Where was the first HVO soldier who was walking behind you? And
19 would you mark that spot with an "X," please.
20 A. This is what I could observe, behind the fountain.
21 Q. Very well. I assume that you don't know the movement of others
22 who were with you.
23 A. I'm sure they know their movements.
24 Q. As you were running across this line, the dotted line, there was
25 no one behind you?
1 A. I already told you who was next to me, who was on my left and who
2 was on my right-hand side. There were two people on either side.
3 Q. That is not my question, Witness. I know that we are all a little
4 tired by now. But let us try to finish this as soon as possible. We have
5 the point where the tank eventually stopped.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Here at this point in time, was anyone next to you or behind you?
8 A. No.
9 Q. You are a military man, an officer of the army. An armoured --
10 anti-armour weapons can fire from all positions here?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Regardless of the direction of your movement?
13 A. When I crossed over, I found a soldier in the basement who had
14 nine bullets, nine rounds. So there was not enough.
15 Q. I'm just asking you, Witness, about your assumptions. Are you
16 trying to say that there was only one soldier on the other side? Did you
17 see any other BH army soldiers? How were they armed? Where were they?
18 A. I saw two or three of them in that cellar.
19 Q. The cellar of the building marked with X?
20 A. The building that I entered, where I got inside. I don't know
21 exactly where in relation to X that was. I couldn't see what was
22 happening elsewhere. I wasn't looking.
23 Q. As you enter the cellar, you told us today that a shell impacted
24 the building and that part of the building came down on you.
25 A. A portion of the wall, not the entire building, collapsed and fell
1 on us as we were still outside leaning against the wall of this building.
2 Q. As a result of a shell impact?
3 A. Yes, that is correct.
4 Q. As you entered the cellar, did you throw away the rifle?
5 A. No, I didn't.
6 Q. Did you open fire? Did you shoot from that cellar once you were
7 given weapons? Did you open fire towards HVO positions?
8 A. No, I wasn't shooting. I was replenishing ammunition clips.
9 Q. Witness, you told us about the statement that you gave on the same
10 day or the day after, and you also told us that you wrote it by hand.
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Did anyone type it out?
13 A. I don't know.
14 Q. Did you sign any other statement, except for that one which was
15 handwritten by yourself?
16 A. I believe I did, in 1998.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could I ask the assistance of the
18 usher, please. Could I first show the witness a statement which was
19 written in B/C/S, and then I also have English copies for other
20 participants. This is the copy for the witness.
21 THE REGISTRAR: This exhibit is D1/36.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Witness, if you have the statement in front of you, would you
24 please look at the last page of the statement. First of all, let me ask
25 you if this is your signature.
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. We can also see the date, 18th of September, 1993.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. So you did sign a statement prior to 1998?
5 A. This is the statement that I gave after I had crossed over. Yes,
6 that is exactly what I had in mind. That is what I told you.
7 Q. Witness, I asked you whether you remember if you wrote the
8 statement by hand, and then I asked you whether you signed a typed-out
9 statement. And you said no, you said that you did it only in 1998.
10 A. I thought you referred to the period in the meantime. I told you
11 that I had given a statement, one in '93, and one in '98
12 Q. Very well. Let us start from the beginning of the page, line -- I
13 believe I have provided copies of the statements to everyone.
14 Have you found the sentence which reads -- let us wait for the
15 interpreters to receive the statement, and you can have a look at the
16 statement in the meantime, Witness. Seventh sentence: "He ran in. And
17 I said, `Don't shoot. Don't shoot,' and I threw away the wooden rifle and
18 the jacket."
19 Let me finish, please.
20 "After that, I called others to get in. I explained to Pajo the
21 situation and the intentions. I remained with him in the cellar. I
22 replenished his ammunition clips, and I also did some shooting of the
24 Is that correct?
25 A. I have already told you that I replenished magazines but I didn't
1 have any rifle. But as soon as I got in, I took it off because I was
2 afraid they would kill me. I took off the jacket, and I put aside the
3 rifle. The same jacket, later on, I gave to another soldier, and I took
4 the wooden rifle afterwards.
5 Q. So if I understand you correctly, you first discarded the rifle?
6 A. Yes. I took it off, and I threw it on the ground, on the concrete
8 Q. Was shooting going on from both sides?
9 A. Yes. There may have been a lull for a while, but it was ongoing.
10 Q. And the combat lasted until late at night?
11 A. Yes. Until late at night, we remained in the cellar, until very
12 late that night, because it was from the cellar that we were taken to have
13 our wounds dressed.
14 Q. So you were still on the front line, on the first line, but this
15 time on the other side while combat activities were going on?
16 A. Yes, that's correct.
17 Q. So in view of the fact that you signed this statement - and at the
18 beginning, you state that -- you state what the circumstances of the
19 giving of the statement are, that those were your own words, and that you
20 signed the statement with your own hand - could you finally tell us: Did
21 you shoot or not?
22 A. I did not shoot, because I couldn't shoot. There were five of my
23 cousins, relatives, there on the other side. Two had already been killed.
24 Q. Sir, I'm really sorry to interrupt you, but I have to focus on
25 questions. So my question is very simple, at least from my point of view
1 as Defence counsel, perhaps not from yours. But I should just like to
2 know how it came about that your statement, the one that you gave and
3 signed, also contains the words to the effect that you did some shooting
4 as well. Is it because somebody else added something, or is it the case
5 that you didn't sign the statement?
6 A. Well, I don't know. It was in 1993. I don't exactly remember all
7 of the details.
8 Q. Very well. You also testified that before the operation began,
9 that you could tell that the people in question were from the area of
10 Ljubuski and Siroki Brijeg, judging from their accent?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. It is a very large geographical area, so would you please tell
13 this Honourable Chamber -- it might also be a difficult question for you,
14 but still if you could perhaps tell us the distance between Ljubuski and
15 Siroki Brijeg and then also the distance between Ljubuski and Mostar.
16 A. It is a very large territory. However, because I am from that
17 area by origin, I think I can say that I am familiar with the accent
18 people speak with.
19 Q. Have a look at the previous page of the same statement, please.
20 Let me start from the bottom, twenty-second sentence from the bottom,
21 twenty-second from the bottom, the one which begins: "Around 7.00" -- I
22 don't want to read everything, but anyway, at some point, you state: "I
23 noticed that they were from Posusje and there were from 50 to 60 of them.
24 We cleaned their rifles, and we could realise that something was going
1 You are referring to a very specific group of people from a
2 specific town, from a specific area of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the area of
4 A. For me, this is also part of the Western Herzegovina. I don't
5 know exactly where they were from, what specific town, I don't know, but I
6 told you that they were from Western Herzegovina.
7 Q. Let us move down, the fifth or the sixth sentence from the
8 bottom. But let me begin with another question: As were you running
9 across the line, was the area being shelled or not?
10 A. At that particular moment, I think that had you let an ant
11 crawl -- walk across the road, that it would not have survived.
12 Q. We are still on the same -- we are talking about the same
13 incident, and you gave the statement on that same day, so your memory was
14 fresh at that time?
15 A. Yes, that is correct.
16 Q. You stated that "The artillery would fire from 12.00 to 12.15 and
17 that we should go in when a tank passed by the emergency care clinic and
18 fired three shells."
19 And also you stated that "We were to be followed by 30 of their
20 men, providing the army did not shoot at us."
21 A. I believe I told you the same thing this morning when I was
22 describing the specifics of the task that we had been given. I don't
23 think there is anything unclear, at least as far as I'm concerned.
24 Q. From your statement, this particular statement, Witness, we can
25 conclude that there was no shelling at the time you started your movement
1 across the line.
2 A. I told you the whole story this morning. I'm trying to -- I think
3 that you're only trying to provoke me. That is my opinion.
4 Q. I'm really sorry if you should think that. It is by no means my
5 intention. I'm only referring you to the statement that you gave on the
6 18th of September. Likewise, there is no mention in the statement of any
7 wall falling on any one of you. Apparently, you all got inside the
8 building, you called them in -- the passage is on the same page, but it is
9 a very long passage; however, if you want, I can read it out to you. It
10 is on the last page of your statement.
11 When you talk about this person by the name of Peda, you stated:
12 "My head started aching, so Peda said we should see a nurse who would
13 give us a checkup. After the checkup, I went into a stone building with
14 the case of Gromovi rockets and stayed with our men until the move of the
15 command of the brigade."
16 After you discarded your rifle and your jacket, you called others
17 to get inside; this is, at least, what you stated here.
18 A. There was only one individual who came inside with me, the person
19 who was with me and who was wounded in his leg. I believe he will testify
20 after me. I say so because I happen to run into him in the corridor. I
21 have already told you. As for this particular passage and these words
22 here -- I mean, in view of the fear that I experienced at that time -- I
23 mean, you are now referring to the statement that I gave in 1993. I made
24 a solemn declaration before this Tribunal, and I stick to the solemn
25 declaration. I abide by it. And I really don't see what you mean by all
1 these questions of yours.
2 Q. Let us go back to the first page, to the very beginning of your
3 statement, please. Let me ask you the following: When did you join the
4 BH army?
5 A. I was not a member of the BH army at that time. I was only a
6 member on paper. I was never physically an army member. Only from the
7 4th of April, 1992, up until the 1st of July, 1992, I was a member of the
9 Q. Didn't you join the HVO pursuant to the orders of the BH army and
10 didn't you wait for the moment when the HVO was supposed to start
12 A. There were stories to that effect because a number of Bosniak
13 Muslims were already detained whilst we were still at the line, all
14 wealthy Herzegovinians were already detained. But you should address that
15 question to a politician.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could we move into private session,
17 Your Honours.
18 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session.
19 Mr. Krsnik, sometimes the answer and the questioning are
20 overlapping, you know. Just make a pause before you ask your question.
21 We are still not in the private session.
22 [Private session]
13 Page 6029 – redacted – private session.
13 Pages 6030 – redacted – private session.
25 [Open session]
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
2 Q. Let me help you, if I can. Look at the second page. It says:
3 "Witness statement." It's marked with page number 2. And you said:
4 "Sometimes when I worked in Santiceva Street, the first line was held by
5 the Croatian army, and the name of the unit was the Zagreb Tigers." That
6 is one single sentence referring to Santiceva Street.
7 A. But I still mentioned it, sir.
8 Q. My first question was about Heliodrom, and I now gave you the
9 statement and wanted to clarify this with you. When were you on Santiceva
11 A. I don't know the time. I was there several times, and I couldn't
12 tell you exactly when.
13 Q. Who was the commander? Which unit held the street?
14 A. I don't know. We were just working there, loading sacks, doing
15 other works. I don't know what army units were there.
16 Q. How do you know this? Did you see that -- did you see those
17 Zagreb Tigers with your own eyes or you heard about them?
18 A. We saw them for the first time when they came to Heliodrom. They
19 had brought some food, and they sold us brandy at the gates. They were --
20 they had their faces painted in different colours, and at night --
21 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters missed the answer.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
23 Q. Where were they housed?
24 A. Behind the sports hall.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, the interpreter informed us that she missed the
1 answer. Mr. Krsnik, would you please ask the question again? Because we
2 don't get an answer from this witness.
3 MR. KRSNIK: You mean the last question?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Where were the Tigers housed at Heliodrom?
7 A. On the turf, all over the barracks. I watched them on the turf
8 behind the sports hall. They arrived one night.
9 Q. We are looking for a photograph of Heliodrom. It may be of
10 assistance. As regards your answer concerning Santiceva Street, did you
11 see them personally there, or did you hear about their presence?
12 A. On Santiceva Street, I just talked to that senior officer who had
13 introduced himself to me. That's all I know. But I cannot be certain
14 what army unit was on Santiceva Street.
15 MR. KRSNIK: Exhibit 17 I believe we have some picture.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 17 is a video. Are you talking about
18 MR. KRSNIK: Yes. Thank you, Madam Registrar.
19 Q. [Interpretation] My first question, Witness: Can you see on this
20 picture where you were housed, if that place is in the picture at all?
21 A. I can't see the sports hall here. This is the first time I see a
22 bird's-eye view of this terrain.
23 Q. Can you show us where the Tigers were?
24 A. I can't, because I don't see the sports hall.
25 JUDGE LIU: This morning we used P20.4 of the photos of
1 Heliodrom. Shall we use that one again?
2 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, please. Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, can you show us now where you were
5 A. I think that this is the sports hall, that is, two sports halls.
6 Q. Please mark it with "1." This is -- I don't know whether this is
7 a Prosecutor's exhibit or a clean copy.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, it has already been marked with "1."
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Then could you kindly describe in your own words this building
11 which you pointed out to us as the sports hall?
12 A. I think it is the sports hall, but I'm not sure.
13 Q. Can we somehow point it out or mark it, considering that we cannot
14 draw on this copy?
15 A. I can see it.
16 Q. Yes. But describe it in your own words.
17 A. One part of us slept in what were changing rooms sometime ago.
18 And behind the dressing rooms, there were bars. They were not covered
19 with glass. And we looked through the bars across the yard, and on the
20 other side of the yard, there were the Zagreb Tigers, who came there every
22 Q. And sold you brandy?
23 A. Yes. They would set the bottles down near the gate, and they
24 would say, "We're not moving until we sell all of it."
25 Q. Okay. Let us locate this -- today in response to Mr. Poriouvaev's
1 question, you said that you spent two days in this two-storey building.
2 A. Three or four days.
3 Q. And you marked it?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can we just locate the sports hall as the big building across the
6 yard from that building?
7 A. I think it is the sports building.
8 Q. Now, can we mark it, perhaps using "north," "south," "west,"
9 "east." Where is that building?
10 A. Across the yard from the sports hall towards the gate which we
11 used to go out, that's where the Zagreb Tigers were.
12 Q. That's where they spent the nights?
13 A. I don't know where they spent the nights, but I saw them there
14 every evening. That's where I saw them adding the letter "O" at the gate,
15 all the testimony which I don't want to repeat.
16 Q. And they introduced themselves when they came to the door?
17 A. Not to me.
18 Q. Have you ever seen insignia on any one of them?
19 A. Maybe I did, but I don't remember. Because as overwhelmed with
20 fear as I was, and in all that suffering, I really think you're asking too
22 Q. All we have left now are trucks. Was there anything on the trucks
23 except license plates?
24 A. The license plates were marked "HV," but they added "O"s.
25 Q. Did they glue something onto the plate, or did they draw it in?
1 A. I don't know. I didn't know anything about the politics of it at
2 the time or the participation of the army from another state, but I saw
3 them doing it. I saw it was the army of a different state.
4 Q. Just for the record, it's not the letter "S," but it's the letter
5 "O" which was added?
6 A. Yes, it was "O," to read "HVO."
7 Q. I'm just saying this for the record, because the transcript
8 indicates letter "S."
9 When did you learn about the meaning of this?
10 A. That year, some document was signed with the International
11 Community or under the auspices of the International Community. But at
12 that moment, I didn't know the meaning of that.
13 Q. I apologise, Witness. But for the record, we have to specify that
14 it was four or five years later when you learned about the political
15 background, the political meaning of this. And four or five years later,
16 you found out that this had great political importance because of what?
17 A. The participation of Croatian army in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
18 Even a little child in Bosnia and Herzegovina knows what happened in
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina, what the intent was behind it, what the intent of
20 that state was. Even a little child knows that.
21 Q. You see, Witness, not even in this statement that you gave to the
22 investigators of the ICTY, it doesn't mention that the wall collapsed,
23 injuring anyone. How come you remembered it now?
24 A. I think those who come after me will explain, specifically the
25 people who it fell on. It didn't fall on me.
1 Q. In this statement you gave to OTP investigators, you skipped over
2 an entire part which features in the statement you gave to the
3 investigators of your own service where it says that in June 1992,
4 together with other people from Capljina, you were mobilised into the
5 HVO. And I'm wondering, what is true, the statement you gave to the OTP,
6 or the statement you gave to your own military security service?
7 A. The statement that I gave to the ICTY and what I am saying today
8 are only the most important things and the key moments. I am not telling
9 you all the details. If I did, it would take over a year. I am trying to
10 cover only the most important things because I don't want to take too much
12 Q. But is it true that somebody was arrested just because they were
13 Muslim or because they deserted or because an attack had been carried out
14 or somebody had defected?
15 A. All of Bosnia-Herzegovina -- I'm repeating this. 90 per cent of
16 the people were in the HVO, and all of them were arrested. And you know
17 why perfectly well.
18 Q. Let's proceed with these questions: Do you know that anyone,
19 apart from you -- that -- do you know how many people transferred to the
20 BH army before the 4th of July? And you said that you personally were not
21 intended to lie low in the HVO until operations started.
22 A. It is a very low number. It is neglectable. I would certainly
23 take that road if I had the opportunity, in order to defend my own home
24 and my own people, instead of ending up like this.
25 Q. Can you tell me, on that date, the 30th of June, did fierce
1 attacks occur against Bijelo Polje and the north camp?
2 A. I have never been to the north camp. I don't know. At that time,
3 I wasn't there. How could I possibly know what was going on?
4 Q. And my final question: Do you know -- and I'm asking now about
5 the Knez Domagoj Brigade, which you were a member of. Do you know that
6 the military police searched for deserters, according to a list, and that
7 they were under investigation by a military court?
8 A. This is the first I hear of it now, from you. All of us were
9 easily accessible. My next-door neighbours asked me. I have told you all
10 of this before: Who arrested me, who was platoon commander, who was
11 company commander. I told you everything.
12 Q. Please don't get upset with me and don't get angry.
13 A. I must be angry - I can't help it - because you're trying to
14 provoke me again, and you're now questioning my entire biography, where
15 I've been and what I've done in my life. And I'm here to speak to only
16 one thing, the incident involving wooden rifles.
17 Q. Sir, I'm asking you about things that you already put in your
18 statements. I'm not pulling them out of my sleeve. Will you just
19 explain, please, the first sentence in your statement: Since in August
20 and September, 1992, (redacted)
21 (redacted) - "I constantly wore lilies on my shirt which the Ustashas
22 didn't like, so I had no choice but to leave that department [redacted]
24 A. Can I tell you what they used to call me?
25 Q. We have to go into private session for that.
1 A. But you have already mentioned both my village and my
2 municipality, and I think the Chamber and everyone here missed it. I have
3 requested certain measures under which to testify here, and you have
4 already violated all of it. You mentioned my village and my municipality.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm not sure I did.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we saw it on the transcript. We are
7 sorry about that. And I don't believe those questions are related to the
8 incidents. And all those names will be redacted.
9 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, can I ask you something? I've been
10 listening for the last 20 minutes - and I hate to interrupt you, because
11 it seems that I've done it with Mr. Par as well - but just suppose for a
12 moment that this particular witness - just suppose - he were a member of
13 the Armija, which I don't believe had even been set up at this stage --
14 but just suppose he was a member of the Armija and that he had been sent
15 to join the HVO as a spy, and suppose he got information that was useful
16 to the Armija. How does that affect the issue that you have to defend
17 your client on, which is that when he was a prisoner of war, he was
18 selected as one of four people to go to the front line and to be caught in
19 crossfire with a wooden rifle? Are you saying that either your client or
20 Mr. Martinovic knew this and therefore they were entitled to do what this
21 witness alleges was done on that day? I'm just trying to find the
22 relevance. What difference does it make? Or are you trying to show that
23 this witness has invented everything?
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, very briefly, I would
25 like to respond. At this stage, before our case has begun, it's very
1 difficult to explain sometimes the reason for a particular line of
2 questioning. But Honourable Judge, a lot of dates have been mentioned, a
3 lot of incidents, when the army members turned their rifles at the Croats
4 and killed a lot of them. That is one thing.
5 One point is that those arrests were not accidental. They didn't
6 happen for no reason at all. If the war allegedly began on the 5th of
7 September, we are now talking about the 4th of July. What I meant to say
8 earlier was the 9th of May. We have to find out the reasons for these
9 arrests. It is a key point, whether a person was arrested just because he
10 was a Muslim or for a reason, and I thought that you would be interested
11 in learning about the sequence of these situations, because nothing
12 happened by accident.
13 And as for wooden rifles, Honourable Judge, you know that I have
14 been charged only with command responsibility, and if an element is
15 missing --
16 JUDGE CLARK: Yes, continue. I've just read it. I don't know if
17 the translation is going to come through.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] If we are talking about --
19 JUDGE CLARK: [Microphone not activated]
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I took the liberty to put this
21 question because my client has been charged with command responsibility,
22 and if any other question remains outstanding, I will leave it to my
23 colleagues to conduct their cross. In view of the indictment --
24 JUDGE CLARK: Can I say, it's not --
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] In view of the scope.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Honourable Judge, please turn on the mic.
2 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, I beg your pardon.
3 It's not normally the function of the Judge to tell you how to run
4 your defence, but you've given me an inclination -- and, indeed, you have
5 hinted at it before -- that your client will say that because of the
6 activity of certain Bosniak Muslims, that to defend themselves, that the
7 HVO retaliated. I've gathered that. But when you have a witness here who
8 is giving very specific evidence, you must put to this witness
9 specifically, "My client or my witness will say that X, Y, and Z happens,
10 and what do you say to that?" You haven't done that with any witness so
11 far, but you must tell this witness that our evidence is going to be, if
12 that's the case, that you were a spy, that you joined the HVO to get
13 information, and that this is the reason why you were badly treated. I
14 mean, that may go as a defence if your client is convicted, but it is not
15 a defence to the counts in the indictment. There are certain rules that
16 must be followed, whether somebody is a spy or otherwise, for how they are
17 treated in a prison camp, and that's what this case is about.
18 Now, I hate lecturing you, but if you are making a point and you
19 are getting halfway there, you just can't stop. You've got to go fully
20 with this witness and say, "This is what our case is." Now, are you
21 saying that the incident with the wooden rifles never happened at all?
22 Because if that is so, you should put that to this witness because he is
23 the first person that we have had before the Tribunal who actually says I
24 was one of the men with a wooden rifle.
25 So do you see where I'm coming from? You have to put your case to
1 this witness in relation to why he was arrested in the first place, and
2 then you have to put your case in relation to the wooden rifles.
3 Although, strictly speaking, the wooden rifle doesn't affect your client.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. If I may, I
5 should like to respond briefly to the first question, but I do have only
6 one additional question for the witness. I was guiding myself with the
7 statements which were given by the witness and which I intend to tender
8 into evidence. That was the basis for my question because he was very
9 explicit in explaining to us what he was meant to do within the HVO.
10 I do understand to what extent my question may still sound a
11 little bit strange, but once we move to the Defence case, I believe that
12 my strategy will become clear because if you say that -- if one should
13 claim that the only reason for their arrest was their ethnic background,
14 the Muslim ethnic background, I think it is a bit too much. But I believe
15 that it will become clear through the questions.
16 JUDGE LIU: If you have only a question, we would like you to finish
17 your questioning this afternoon.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Witness, have you ever seen Mladen Naletilic?
20 A. No.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. This concludes
22 my cross-examination of the witness.
23 JUDGE LIU: We'll adjourn until 9.30 tomorrow morning.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.03 p.m.,
25 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 20th day of
1 November, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.