1 Tuesday, 20 November 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.31 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours, this is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
9 WITNESS: WITNESS OO [Resumed]
10 [Witness answered through interpreter]
11 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination, Mr. Prosecutor?
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you very much, Your Honour. I have no
13 further questions for this witness.
14 JUDGE LIU: Any questions from the judges? Judge Clark?
15 JUDGE CLARK: Yes, I have a number of questions.
16 Questioned by the Court:
17 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Witness, you were telling us over the last few
18 days that you had spent a considerable time in the camp in - its name has
19 escaped me for a moment, the one just outside Mostar - the Heliodrom, and
20 that during that period, that you went 20 or 30 times to Mr. Stela's base
21 or to other bases in the town to carry out forced labour. On each
22 occasion, when you left the Heliodrom, were you transported in the same
24 A. Yes. We were always transported in the same way, that is, there
25 was this blue truck, a Dais truck, and the driver was Dinko, whose surname
1 I don't know. The driver, Dinko, would only drive us when we had to
2 perform work for Stela. Whenever we were taken to some other units, it
3 would be a different driver.
4 JUDGE CLARK: That's the very question I wanted to ask you. Do
5 you know if this man Dinko was attached to Stela's unit?
6 A. I believe that he was a member of Stela's unit.
7 JUDGE CLARK: Do you think, at this remove in time from when you
8 were in the Heliodrom, that you might be able to describe this man,
10 A. I think I might. He was rather dark, of medium height, maybe 178,
11 180, with cropped hair, and slightly receding hair. He also drove another
12 vehicle, a privately owned vehicle, a smaller vehicle, an Ascona, I
13 believe, which used to belong to a Muslim woman. And that's what I know
14 about this man.
15 JUDGE CLARK: What was his build and his age, as far as you could
16 ascertain? Was he slightly built, heavily built, broadly built?
17 A. I would say that he was slightly built, of medium height, and he
18 was between 37 and 40 years of age.
19 JUDGE CLARK: Arising out of that, is Dinko quite a common
21 A. That's what we -- that's what we called him. That's what
22 everybody called him.
23 JUDGE CLARK: Have you heard other people with the nickname
25 A. No.
1 JUDGE CLARK: Now, I'd like you to describe a man whose name came
2 up a great deal yesterday - you mentioned him very frequently in your
3 evidence - and that was an Ernest Takac. Could you describe him for me,
4 please, if you can?
5 A. Yes. Again, he was a very dark man, dark-skinned man, and he had
6 a beard, straight hair. He was also somewhere between 37 and 40 years of
7 age, of medium height, perhaps 1 metre 76, 1 metre 80, thereabouts.
8 JUDGE CLARK: And what about his build?
9 A. He was of medium build. He wasn't a -- he was not a very heavy
10 person. He weighed perhaps 80 or 85 kilos.
11 JUDGE CLARK: Did anybody that you would meet on a regular basis
12 wear an earring with a cross, have you any recollection, in your dealings
13 with soldiers when you were a prisoner?
14 A. I can't remember, but the majority of them used to wear earrings
15 in those days.
16 JUDGE CLARK: So it doesn't stand out.
17 A. No.
18 JUDGE CLARK: If I change the subject completely now, do you
19 remember that yesterday you were talking about wooden rifles that were
20 given to you? And I believe that you said that the wooden rifles were
21 made by a man who was a prisoner who had been a carpenter. How did you
22 know that?
23 A. We knew that for some time already. When we were placed in the
24 sports hall at the Heliodrom, whilst we were there, somebody talked about
25 some rifles being made. But we laughed at it because we didn't know what
1 they would be used for.
2 JUDGE CLARK: You said that on the day on which you were given
3 these rifles, you had seen him painting the stock of one of them. Is that
4 the extent of your knowledge of his connection with the manufacture of
5 these rifles, or fake rifles?
6 A. On that day, I saw one rifle being finished by him. He was
7 working on the rifle butt. He was painting it black.
8 JUDGE CLARK: And I believe that your evidence was that this is
9 the only occasion that you have personal knowledge of the use of fake
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE CLARK: When you were in Mostar, East Mostar, after your
13 escape in September, did you meet -- did you become aware of the presence
14 of a BBC journalist and a camera team in East Mostar at exactly the same
16 A. No.
17 JUDGE CLARK: Did you -- I think you told us that you told your
18 story about your escape, your incarceration, your work as a prisoner, and
19 then your escape to the person that you think may have been from the MUP,
20 or whatever, that evening. Do you think that story about the rifles
21 became widely disseminated in Mostar?
22 A. I don't know this for sure. I spent only two days in Mostar after
23 I had crossed over. And after those two days, I left Mostar, that is, to
24 be more precise, I left Mostar sometime around the 21st, in the evening
25 hours on foot over the hills.
1 JUDGE CLARK: You had a colleague who was, like you, slightly
2 injured and who made it over to the east side. Can we take it that he,
3 too, was interviewed as you were and made a statement?
4 A. I don't know. I'm sure that my colleagues, if they are called
5 here, will tell you that. I know what happened with me. I don't know
6 what exactly happened with them.
7 JUDGE CLARK: Now, in relation to this fake rifle, did it have a
8 strap or any attachment?
9 A. Yes. There was a strap, a green strap, an original rifle strap.
10 And on top of those rifles, there was a nail which was supposed to imitate
11 the sights.
12 JUDGE CLARK: Did you use the strap, and would that explain how
13 you managed to hold onto the rifle in such extraordinary circumstances?
14 A. Yes. We were ordered to sling those rifles around our necks, and
15 I was holding the rifle in the position ready to fire.
16 JUDGE CLARK: Now, one thing that you were cross-examined about
17 yesterday by Mr. Par, who had some difficulty with it - and I have to
18 confess that I do, too - I thought you said that when you got over to the
19 other side - and I'm not sure whether this meant over the confrontation
20 line or over the Neretva River - I think you said that someone asked you
21 to hand over your rifle, and I wanted to know what you meant by that.
22 A. When I got over to the other side -- when I said that I got over
23 to the other side, I was referring to the separation line and the
24 building. Once we got to the building, we were afraid that they would
25 kill us, and because of that fear, I took off my jacket, which means that
1 I also had to take off the rifle. I gave the jacket to one of the
2 soldiers there, I think the one that I jumped at when I -- when I got
3 there, and I took the rifle and handed it over. Yesterday, I told you
4 that, if necessary, I would put it in writing as to who has the rifle now
5 and where it can be found.
6 JUDGE CLARK: I'm not asking you -- I wouldn't ask you where the
7 rifle is exactly. I know what you said about it. But when you said you
8 handed over the rifle, did you actually hand over that imitation rifle?
9 A. Yes.
10 JUDGE CLARK: And then did you get it back?
11 A. They never gave it back to me.
12 JUDGE CLARK: Well, how do you know, then, what happened to it? I
13 think there is a lot of confusion about this, and you're the only one who
14 can sort this out at the moment. If you handed the rifle over to the
15 soldier, the Armija soldier, at the confrontation line, with your jacket,
16 how did you get the rifle back again in order to give it to somebody who
17 put it in a museum? I'm not asking you for names.
18 A. I said that I had handed over the jacket, and I had taken the
19 rifle back and handed it over to another man. And I tried to locate the
20 rifle. I searched for it. I wanted to have it back. Believe me, I would
21 like to have it back, and I hope that I would be able to get hold of it
22 one day, because it is a kind of memento, a precious memento for me.
23 JUDGE CLARK: I'm not sure you've quite cleared that up, but
24 possibly the Prosecution can do it for me. Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of judge's questions?
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Only one question.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, please.
3 Further examination by Mr. Poriouvaev:
4 Q. Did you see that wooden rifle in the museum?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Are you sure that it was your rifle?
7 A. If I were not so sure, I wouldn't try to get it back.
8 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you very much.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Par?
10 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] No questions, Your Honour. Thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, I do have a question, Your
14 Further cross-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
15 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Witness, you told us that you learned about
16 the wooden rifles at the Heliodrom and that the issue was discussed at the
17 sports hall.
18 A. That is correct.
19 Q. How many were you in the sports hall at the time you discussed it
20 and laughed about it?
21 A. I don't know exactly how many we were. We were one next to each
22 other. There were quite a few of us, but I don't know exactly.
23 Q. In that sports hall, was the issue discussed?
24 A. Not -- not much at that time. Maybe later.
25 Q. I'm asking you about the time when you laughed, when you heard
1 about the fact that someone was manufacturing those rifles.
2 A. It was a very small group of people, four or five people perhaps,
3 but I don't remember exactly.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I have no further questions. Thank
5 you, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
7 Thank you, Witness, for helping us by giving your evidence. We
8 might invite you back to the Hague when we have that rifle and your
9 statement if necessity requires. We are looking forward to your
10 cooperation in the future.
11 When the usher pulls down the blinds, he will show you out of the
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I would also like to thank the
14 Court. As I have already told you, I have been eagerly awaiting for this
15 moment. I am here for justice and nothing else. As to what it means, it
16 means a lot for my people and my country. Thank you.
17 [Witness withdrew]
18 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there any documents to tender?
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour, I would like to tender P14.5.
20 It was marked by myself -- by the witness. So that's the only document
21 that I want to tender today.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. I don't think there's any objections.
23 MR. KRSNIK: No objections, Your Honour.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It has been admitted into
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The Defence also has some exhibits to
2 tender, the statement, so I should like to tender D1/36 and D1/37, the two
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
5 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Vinko Martinovic's Defence team would
6 like to tender D2/20, the map that was marked yesterday.
7 While we are waiting for our next witness, with the Court's
8 indulgence, I should just like to say a few sentences about yesterday's
9 debate. I don't know whether we have finished the debate or not, the
10 issue having to do with cumulative charging.
11 JUDGE LIU: Wait.
12 Are there any objections?
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour. I have one objection to the
14 witness statements. Now we have a decision by the Trial Chamber dated the
15 14th of November in respect of witness statements, prior witness
16 statements by the witness. They cannot be accepted as such, and I object
17 to that.
18 JUDGE LIU: You do not object to the admission of that map?
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: No, no, no. As for the map, I have no
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. This map has been admitted into
22 the evidence. Madam Registrar will give each a proper number, please.
23 THE REGISTRAR: The Prosecution's Exhibit P14.5 is now PP14.5/9.
24 The Defence exhibit D2/20 is admitted as DD2/20.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
1 Mr. Krsnik.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I need some Court's
3 assistance, having heard what the Prosecutor has just stated, and we are,
4 of course, following your decisions very closely. But we really are not
5 quite clear as to the relevance of the 14th November decision for the
6 purposes of the present exhibits. The Prosecutor has referred to this
7 decision, but I'm not really sure as to what the Chamber's decision is
8 relevant for the purposes of the present statements.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, this Trial Chamber made a decision concerning
10 the admission of the previous statements by the witness on the 14th of
11 November which said that in the principle, all those previous statements
12 are not admitted into the evidence. This is the principle. And you
13 tendered that statement which is D1/36 and D1/37, which we'll give each an
14 ID number.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, that is correct, Your Honour.
16 But you also stated that you will take into account the contents of the
17 statements, and that is why I didn't fully understand the objection,
18 because if that is, indeed, the purpose of the objection, I have to say
19 that these are the statements on the basis of which the indictment was
20 issued. And if the Defence is unable to check the veracity of the
21 testimony by using those statements, then I really do not know what the
22 Defence can use as a basis for their cross-examination. Those statements
23 were given to the Office of the Prosecutor. I really do not understand
24 how we will be able to establish the truth if the Prosecutor himself is
25 objecting to the use of his own statements. If that was the purpose of
1 the objection of the Prosecutor, then I -- then I'm really at a loss. I
2 mean, I just wanted to clarify the matter.
3 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, the approach to statements does cause a
4 problem when we are coming from two different legal systems. The system
5 which appears to have been adopted by the Tribunal is an adversarial
6 system, which means that the evidence which the Court receives is the
7 evidence that we hear from the witnesses. We don't get the statements, we
8 don't read the statements, because frequently, a witness will make a
9 statement that's much stronger than his evidence in court, and that's just
10 the way it goes. It's what the witness says in court that matters. So
11 therefore, you are given the statement, the Prosecution is given the
12 statement, and the Prosecution has to use that statement as a guideline
13 for the witness without actually leading him at very material points, and
14 the Prosecution are not permitted generally to raise evidence that doesn't
15 appear in the statements. In other words, you can't be taken by surprise,
16 because you're not prepared for something that isn't in the statement.
17 So you use the statement to cross-examine the witness, to put to
18 him, if it happens, as has happened many times here, "How are you giving
19 evidence in relation to A, B, and C, when you made two previous statements
20 when you didn't mention it at all and it's only when you say you were
21 interviewed by members of the OTP that you remembered to say something
22 which we can consider very crucial?" And you have very properly, all your
23 team, cross-examined witnesses on this basis, and that is right and
24 correct. But that doesn't mean that you then hand the statement in to us
25 as evidence. Do you see the difference? What we have to do is to rely on
1 your cross-examination and the direct examination.
2 Now, there will obviously be very limited circumstances - Mr. Meek
3 will know about this - there will be very limited circumstances in which
4 the statement will become an issue. And I think in relation to one of the
5 German mercenaries, indeed, we even asked to see the original statements,
6 because there was a direct denial of the contents of the original
7 statement, and therefore, it was important for us to see what this person
8 had said previously? Can he be believed? Is he believable? Do we
9 compare his evidence with someone else? In those very limited
10 circumstances, obviously, the statement should become an exhibit.
11 But because you come from an investigative system where the Judge
12 investigates and statements are extremely important and they become the
13 basis of the evidence, you want us to see the statements. But in the
14 system that we operate, we shouldn't see the statements. So it's very
15 important to have a good cross-examination. And obviously, you used the
16 statements as the basis for your cross-examination, in addition to what
17 the person said in court.
18 So for that reason, the Trial Chamber has been trying -- and it is
19 difficult. I come from a common law system; it's very easy for me to
20 accept that. Judge Diarra and Judge Liu come from a system that's
21 identical to yours. And obviously we are all on a learning curve. There
22 is no one system that dominates over the other. But I understand, we all
23 understand, this problem about statements, and that's why the Court made a
24 very clear ruling that the principle is that we do not see the witness
25 statements and they don't become exhibits. And there will be exceptions.
1 I hope I've clarified that for you. It's not intended to prevent
2 you from cross-examining.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honour, but
4 then I believe I have properly understood the issue, because when I tender
5 a statement, it is because I would like the Court to read the statement
6 and to realise how contradictory it is to the testimony, and it is only
7 then that I tender that statement. I do not do it very often, and that is
8 why I thought that in this case, it should be taken into account and that
9 the statement should be given to Your Honours for their perusal because
10 you haven't had an opportunity to read it. You will only have an
11 opportunity to read it once it has been tendered. That was the purpose of
12 my tendering the statement. But I do understand the issue, and thank you
13 once again for your guidelines.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, as I told you just now, we will give
15 those previous statements an ID number, which means that we will read it
16 if we found it has probative value. If we found in some very limited
17 circumstances, if we found that there is a preponderance of evidence in
18 this case, this Trial Chamber will make proprio motu decisions to admit
19 those previous statements into evidence. But anyway, they will not
20 automatically come into the evidence in this system. I hope you could
21 understand. Before this Trial Chamber, the live testimony before the
22 judges comes first, since [Realtime transcript read in error "we do know"]
23 we do not know under what circumstances all those previous statements was
24 made, since we don't have a live witness to tell us about all those
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I think
2 after this discussion, we all understand what this is all about, and my
3 intention was precisely to -- for this to be taken into account after the
4 Trial Chamber has realised how different the statement is from the
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Par, I understand you are going to continue
7 with the conversation yesterday, and I don't believe that it is the right
8 time for this kind of discussion at this moment. And we also believe that
9 the Prosecutor has already answered your question.
10 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, with your leave, I would
11 like to follow up on yesterday's response by the Prosecutor and say a few
12 words. Perhaps, this is not the right time to follow up on yesterday's
13 discussion, but I personally believe it would be a very bad idea to leave
14 certain business here unfinished and to deal with different versions,
15 different understandings of one issue in the future. That's why I want to
16 have certain things cleared up from the viewpoint of the Defence, because
17 I cannot allow the Prosecution to introduce certain things without
18 properly objecting to them.
19 I want to clarify certain points specifically with regard to
20 yesterday's testimony involving wooden rifles. Yesterday, we have heard
21 two positions. But let's take the official position taken by Mr. Scott,
22 namely, that there were several incidents involving wooden rifles. The
23 reason for this discussion in the first place was the testimony of Witness
24 Knudsen, and the question was whether this was the same incident or not.
25 We have heard the explanation that it may be a different event altogether;
1 however, I reviewed the transcript of Knudsen's testimony yesterday and
2 the remarks of the Prosecutor in announcement of that testimony, and the
3 Trial Chamber's instruction that everybody should make a summary of the
4 relevant charges in the indictment which would be covered by that
6 In the Prosecutor's announcement of Witness Knudsen, the
7 Prosecutor said that he would be covering charges 2 to 8 from paragraph 41
8 of the indictment regarding four prisoners moving ahead of a tank and
9 carrying wooden rifles. That is why I cannot accept that Witness
10 Knudsen's testimony, since it is not identical to the testimony of this
11 eyewitness or another eyewitness, that it should be qualified as a
12 different event altogether.
13 I believe that the Prosecutor has told us clearly what this
14 testimony is about and that we have understood him properly. If he says,
15 as he said yesterday, that the Defence has not understood the indictment,
16 I should only respond that the indictment should be formulated in such a
17 way as to be understood by the Defence. Therefore, if the Prosecutor says
18 that a witness would be talking about different events to those mentioned
19 in the indictment, then he should also give us the basic parameters of
20 these events. What is the date of that incident, that other incident
21 involving wooden rifles? Who are those other prisoners who carried wooden
22 rifles? So that we can prepare our Defence adequately.
23 So, if the Prosecutor continues to stand by his claim that there
24 were several incidents involving wooden rifles, we insist that appropriate
25 witnesses would be called to support that. If the Prosecutor does not
1 wish to do so, then the Defence should be enabled to call such witnesses
2 themselves and to question them about this.
3 To conclude, I would like to say that for me, it is not just the
4 issue of the incident with the wooden rifles. There are analogous
5 incidents such as that involving Professors one, two, or three, and the
6 issue of whether Takac and others mistreated prisoners in only one place
7 or several places, et cetera. I would very much appreciate the Trial
8 Chamber's assistance in clarifying all these dilemmas.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I completely agree with the Defence
11 team of Mr. Vinko Martinovic, and I would like to add that this witness
12 today was not the only one with whom we have such a problem. We have
13 already had a witness who was a direct participant in the events and from
14 whom we have a deposition. And the issue arose of whether Romeo Blazevic
15 was involved in one incident or several incidents. Our position is that
16 there was only one. And unless the Prosecutor specifies the charges in
17 the indictment, we are prepared to proceed on that basis.
18 Similarly, when I asked about the film, the video film, and I
19 asked to be told what is the direct link between my clients and that
20 video. I would really like the Trial Chamber to make these issues clear
21 and definitive so that we can proceed.
22 MR. MEEK: On a different issue --
23 JUDGE LIU: No, no, Mr. Meek. Let us concentrate --
24 MR. MEEK: One thing at a time. Thank you.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott. We are not going into a debate. We
1 just want to have a kind of balanced transcript at this stage.
2 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, obviously it is a debate. Defence
3 counsel have now gone on for some minutes on a number of issues. So it is
4 obviously an issue, and the Prosecution has to be given an opportunity to
6 First off, Your Honour, there has been extensive discussion this
7 morning about the statements. And before we leave that issue entirely -
8 because the Prosecution have not yet responded to those issues - let me
9 say this about the statements, because I think that there's a
10 misunderstanding of the statements in a number of respects.
11 In that regard, it has now gone past on the stage, but there was a
12 significant error in the transcript. It should be corrected. Because,
13 Mr. President, you said a few minutes that the Chamber does not know the
14 circumstances of which statements are made. The "not" on page 13, line 18
15 was not picked up. It says the Chamber does know the circumstances the
16 statements were made. I understand, Mr. President, you said, "Does not
17 understand." That should be corrected, page 13, line 18.
18 Mr. President, I think the time has come to put the statements in
19 proper perspective. Many, many, if not most of the criticisms, if you
20 will, of the use of the prior interview statements can properly be
21 characterised mostly as criticisms of the investigators or the statements
22 and not fair criticism or fair impeachment in many respects of the
23 witness. These are not verbatim statements. They are not like a court
24 transcript we take down word for word. We have an investigator in the
25 field who is taking a statement. He may write some things down; he may
1 not write other things down. He may write something down incorrectly.
2 There may be typographical errors. He may state the wrong date. He may
3 ask about certain things; he may not ask about other things.
4 We may a have investigator, Mr. President, going into the field
5 who has been -- who has just joined the OTP several weeks ago and knows
6 very little about the case. He doesn't know -- and I'm not criticising
7 either the Chamber, obviously, or the Defence, but we have to put these
8 statement into proper perspective. He may not know to ask certain
9 questions. He comes back, he brings a statement -- he or she brings a
10 statement back to the OTP. Those are the statements we have to use. It's
11 unfair to suggest or infer in all instances that the witness has been
12 inconsistent or the witness didn't say something before that he is saying
13 now. He very well may have said it, very well may have said it, and it
14 wasn't written down. We can't know that because, as you just said, Your
15 Honour, the Chamber don't know the circumstances under which the
16 statements were made. And that's exactly why, as Judge Clark will know,
17 in the common law system the statements are not evidence. We bring the
18 witnesses in here, and the witnesses testify.
19 But I think the time has come, with all respect, that the use and
20 perspective on these statements has to be clarified. So to repeatedly put
21 to a witness, "You didn't say that in your statement three years ago,"
22 they might -- they weren't asked. Maybe the investigator should be
23 criticised. Maybe I should take the investigator aside and say, "Why
24 didn't you ask these questions?" But it's not a fair criticism,
25 necessarily - we don't know - of the witness, and I think that has to be
2 Secondly, turning completely to the issue of the indictment,
3 Mr. President, I can only suggest -- and perhaps it's been sometime since
4 counsel have read the indictment. If counsel and the Chamber would turn
5 their attention to paragraphs 35 through 42 of the indictment, I think the
6 answer is clear on the face of the amended indictment. And I do invite
7 the Chamber, in all seriousness, to turn to those parts of the indictment,
8 if not now, Mr. President. If you don't want to take the time now, I
9 suggest the Chamber do so in the near future.
10 Those paragraphs relate specifically, just as Defence counsel said
11 a moment ago - I'll try to slow down a bit - relate specifically to counts
12 2 through 8. It says that right on the top of page 11. It then goes on
13 to say, in paragraph 35: "Between about April 1993 and at least through
14 January 1994, Naletilic, Martinovic, and their subordinates forced Bosnian
15 Muslim detainees from various detention centres under the authority of the
16 HVO to perform labour in military operations and to be used as human
17 shields, on the Bulevar and Santiceva Streets," et cetera, et cetera.
18 Paragraphs 36 and 37 go on to -- they talk about prisoners being
19 killed on the confrontation line, prisoners being used for forced labour,
20 prisoners being used for human shields.
21 It then goes on to say specifically, in paragraph number 40:
22 "Throughout" - I'm quoting - "Throughout this period, Vinko Martinovic as
23 the commander of the sub-unit Mrmak or Vinko Skrobo, regularly" -
24 regularly - "used detainees for forced labour in military operations and
25 as human shields along the confrontation lines in the city of Mostar."
1 Then paragraph 41 very specifically talks about one particular
2 wooden rifle incident with four men walking in front of the tank. That is
3 one very specific incident. But it has never been the Prosecution case,
4 and it is not said in the indictment, that was the only incident. It says
5 clearly in the indictment this was a continuing pattern and practice, and
6 it's evidence.
7 It then goes on to say in paragraph 42: "On the same day, and
8 about the same time, approximately 15 prisoners and detainees were
9 deployed as a human shields in another part of the Bulevar also under
10 Martinovic's command."
11 Now, Mr. President, Your Honours, the indictment is clear on
12 this. I stated our position yesterday. I state our position again
13 today. I do not change it. It is the same. The Defence has been on fair
14 notice, both from the indictment and in the 65 ter witness summaries,
15 which have raised these issues over a year ago, so this is simply not
16 fair. There is no effort - as I've said before, and as I will say again -
17 there is no effort to add new or additional charges. They are charged
18 with what they are charged with, counts 2 through 8.
19 Paragraph 41 specifically talks about one particular incident.
20 Other parts of paragraphs 35 through 42 talk about -- clearly provide for
21 other similar incidents. There is no confusion. There is no good-faith
22 confusion about this issue. And that is the Prosecution's position, Your
23 Honour. Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
25 Mr. Krsnik, we have already said that we are not going into a
1 debate. We have a witness waiting outside, and we have a very tight
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I beg you, for just one
4 minute. Precisely as my colleague Mr. Par said, the Prosecution is always
5 introducing something through the back door and saying something which is
6 absolutely not the truth. It is not true, Your Honour, that statements
7 were taken on the ground by investigators who don't know the first thing.
8 We have statements which were given first to the AID, the secret Muslim
10 Investigators have been on the ground since 1995, and we monitored
11 the names of investigators who appear in our case. All of them are
12 experienced men who have worked since 1995 up to this day, with the
13 support of the secret Muslim police called AID, and I, of course, mean
14 investigators of the OTP.
15 And also, the Prosecution, Mr. Stringer, Mr. Poriouvaev, have
16 talked to many witnesses personally. And the greatest misgiving of this
17 Defence -- and the Defence has been treading on this ground very carefully
18 and trying to point out to this Chamber that these witnesses have been
19 guided by the magic hand of some secret police, and we have been trying to
20 point this out very decently and treat them with kid gloves.
21 So the claim of the Prosecution that these details are not
22 important is absolutely not true. All these statements are very
23 important. All of the witnesses have read their previous statements and
24 said that they were complete and truthful. Mind you, truthful. We are
25 now in front of the International War Crimes Tribunal, after all.
1 Secondly, we have read this indictment, and we know it by heart.
2 That is precisely why we are reacting this way, because we want a fair
3 trial. Yes, the Prosecutor did say that the counts covered such and such,
4 but it is still a crucial point whether Romeo Blazevic was in Siroki
5 Brijeg once or several times. We have to clarify this before the Court
6 and with the Prosecutor, because if he was there only once, then it is a
7 totally different charge. It makes a lot of difference whether he was in
8 Ljubuski once or 20 times.
9 The same thing with this latest incident, because we know it was
10 only one incident, and the Prosecution is trying to spread it across a
11 period of time.
12 I am sorry to have taken your time, but I had to say this.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, as for the previous statement, we believe that
14 this Trial Chamber has made a ruling on the 14th of November, and we also
15 made an oral explanation concerning the meaning of that ruling. So I hope
16 in the future there is no debate on this issue.
17 As for the second issue, we all believe that the Defence counsel
18 have the full right to challenge every detail of the live testimony of any
19 witness before this courtroom. It is also our desire to make sure whether
20 certain person has been to a certain place once or twice or 20 times. We
21 believe that is essential to the case and to the right of the accused. We
22 also believe that the answer from the Prosecution has satisfied the
23 questions put forward by Mr. Par on this issue. We have the views
24 correctly recorded in the transcript. In the future time, when we
25 evaluate all this evidence, we will take into full consideration of the
1 views expressed today by both sides.
2 Let us go on with the next witness.
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, Mr. Bos will be handling the next
5 JUDGE LIU: Are there any protective measures you are going to
6 request for the next witness, Mr. Bos?
7 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honour. And we may need to make some
8 technical adjustments because the next witness has asked for face/voice
9 distortion and a pseudonym. So I think that the technical people need
10 10 minutes to do this.
11 JUDGE LIU: He is from that area?
12 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honour, he is. And he is afraid for the
13 security of his family if he would testify without protective measures.
14 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
15 I guess there's no objections. Your request is granted.
16 We'll break for about 10 minutes. We'll resume at 10.35 a.m.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.25 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.39 a.m.
19 [The witness entered court]
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my client is not
22 feeling well. He would like to leave the courtroom, but we can, of
23 course, continue with our usual schedule. And I don't think he will be
24 able to attend the hearing tomorrow. He has the flu, and I don't know how
25 he's going to feel tomorrow. But of course, we can continue in his
1 absence, both today and tomorrow if he should not feel well.
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
3 We are also worried about the health of your client. I hope he could have
4 a good rest and speedy recovery.
5 Mr. Naletilic, you may leave now.
6 [The Accused Naletilic withdrew]
7 WITNESS: WITNESS PP
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Would you please make the
10 solemn declaration in accordance with the paper the usher is showing to
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
13 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
14 JUDGE LIU: You may sit down, please.
15 Yes, Mr. Bos.
16 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honours. Maybe before we start, I'll
17 mention the relevance to the indictment for this witness. It's relevant
18 to background, paragraphs 7, 10, 11; superior authority, paragraphs 14 and
19 17; general allegations, paragraphs 20 and 21; count 1, paragraphs 26 to
20 28, paragraph 30, 34(a), 34(b), and 34(d); counts 2 to 8, paragraphs 35 to
21 38, paragraphs 40 to 42, and paragraph 44; count 21, paragraph 57.
22 Examined by Mr. Bos:
23 Q. Good morning, Witness. Witness, the Trial Chamber has granted the
24 protective measures you requested for. That means, first of all, the
25 image of your face will be distorted and the voice will also be distorted
1 and you will get a pseudonym. Now, in order to refer to your pseudonym,
2 you're now going to be shown a sheet of paper which has your name on it
3 and the name of your pseudonym. I would like you to confirm that this is
4 indeed your name which is on that sheet of paper.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Thank you. Witness, where were you living before the war
8 A. I was living in Gacko.
9 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, Mr. Bos, what's this gentleman's pseudonym?
10 MR. BOS: I'm sorry. The pseudonym is Witness PP.
11 Q. In order to clarify this, so Witness, if I'm going to refer to
12 you, I'll be referring to you as Witness PP, which is your pseudonym. Do
13 you understand that?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Now, Witness, is it correct that when the war with the Serbs
16 started, that you and your family were expelled from Gacko and that you
17 went to Sarajevo?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And is it also correct that on the 16th of March, 1993, when you
20 were living in Sarajevo, that you got wounded as a result of the war?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were you a soldier at that time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And how -- what kind of injuries did you get on that day?
25 A. I was injured in my arms and in my eye. At that time, I was
1 living in Hrasnica and there was no eye doctor there at that time, so I
2 was transported to Konjic and from Konjic to Mostar, where I was
3 hospitalised in Safet Mujic Hospital. I underwent treatment there until
4 the 1st of July.
5 Q. I know you're not from Mostar, but do you know whether this
6 hospital is located in West or in East Mostar?
7 A. The hospital was in the area which was under the HVO control. I'm
8 not -- I can't tell you exactly which side it was, but I think it was the
9 right side of -- it was on the right bank of the river.
10 Q. Now, you've testified that you -- so you got wounded on the 16th
11 of March and that you remained in that hospital until the 1st of July; is
12 that correct? We are talking about the year 1993.
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Now, while you were hospitalised in that period, did you notice
15 that there were -- that the tensions arose between the Croats and the
17 A. No, nothing in particular. I mean, I didn't have much contact
18 with other people, because I was in hospital on the 9th of May when these
19 activities started at around 5.00 or 6.00 in the morning.
20 Q. But how did you know, then, that activities started on the 9th of
21 May? How did you find that out?
22 A. The hospital was located at a critical location near Santiceva
23 Street where most of the activity was taking place. We could hear
24 detonations and there were talks about HVO units coming to the area.
25 Actually, they did come to us. They checked on us. They were telling us
1 that they had been attacked by the army and so on and so forth. So this
2 is how we realised that the whole thing had started.
3 Q. So are you saying that HVO soldiers did come into the hospital,
4 and what would they do if they would enter the hospital?
5 A. They came to the hospital on a regular basis. They were members
6 of the Convicts Battalion. The reason for their regular visits to the
7 hospital because -- was because they were members of this very special
8 unit. They came to the hospital to mistreat us. They beat the patients.
9 They treated us as extremists. And, for example, although those were
10 seriously wounded patients, four of my colleagues had also had eye
11 injuries, and with such injuries they were eventually taken to the camps.
12 They called us terrorists and things like that, but we had nothing to do
13 with that. We were merely patients at the hospital.
14 Q. Now, you say that these members were -- that these HVO soldiers
15 were members of the Convicts Battalion. How did you know that?
16 A. The Convicts Battalion -- we knew that they were members of the
17 Convicts Battalion because they boasted about being members of that
18 battalion and having Stela as their chief. They had special kinds of
19 insignia which depicted a head of a dog, and they were named after Stela's
20 dog, I think. Mrmak, something like that; that was the name of the dog.
21 And they were members of this Convicts Battalion, Martinovic's battalion.
22 I cannot recall his full name, but at any rate they were members of this
23 Convicts Battalion.
24 Q. Now, you've testified how the soldiers treated the patients. How
25 did they treat the doctors at the hospital?
1 A. Badly, because the doctors who were there were rather fair and
2 correct towards us, regardless of the ethnic background, and they
3 protected us as best as they could. So that was the reason why they
4 didn't treat them nicely. They verbally abused them as well, accusing
5 them of keeping us there.
6 Q. Do you recall an incident with a doctor by the name of Amira
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you tell us about that?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par?
11 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we do understand the need
12 for leading questions in the introductory part of the testimony, but this
13 is no longer an introductory part of the testimony, so the question how
14 did they treat the doctors at the hospital was, I think, enough for the
15 witness to provide his answer. However, if we should -- if the Prosecutor
16 should go beyond that, I think that he would be leading the witness, which
17 is inappropriate at this point in his testimony.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Bos, proceed another way.
19 MR. BOS:
20 Q. Witness, do you recall that there was a female eye doctor in the
22 A. Yes. Her name was Amira Camdzic. The incident took place on the
23 1st of July when I was taken to the camp. She tried to protect five of us
24 patients, but a member of the Convicts Battalion - I'm trying to remember
25 his name, Dzemo Skobalj - he intervened. He actually assaulted this lady
1 doctor. He pushed her away against the wall. He did so merely because
2 she was trying to help her patients. That was the only reason why he
3 pushed her away, why he attacked her so rudely, simply because she was
4 trying to help her patients.
5 Q. Did you find out what happened to her on that day?
6 A. I was then taken to the camp, but I managed to escape from the
7 camp. And once when I got over to the area which was under the BH army
8 control, I inquired about this lady doctor, and I was told that she had
9 been expelled but was killed by a shell that exploded somewhere.
10 Q. Now, you've said that -- what happened to you on the 1st of July?
11 Could you tell us again.
12 A. On the 1st of July, between 12.00 and 1.00 p.m., five of us were
13 sitting in front of the hospital at the entrance to the hospital, and a
14 group consisting of seven soldiers arrived. And one of those seven told
15 us to move away. There were talks about the northern camp or -- in
16 Bijelo Polje, some of their relatives may have been killed. Dzemo Skobalj
17 was also amongst them. And he told us something like, "You stupid balija
18 motherfuckers" -- I do apologise to the Court for using this language, but
19 he verbally abused us and was accusing us. He started mistreating us,
20 telling us that we were spies, snipers, how he had heard about us. And
21 then they lined us up against a wall and tied our hands.
22 I was trying to reason with Dzemo Skobalj because I knew him, but
23 he wouldn't let me speak. And then, as I told you, this lady doctor,
24 Amira Camdzic, tried to protect us, but he attacked her. And eventually
25 we were taken away from there. I don't know the town of Mostar, but I
1 think that we were taken to the students' campus there where there already
2 quite a few women and children. That same evening, we were put on the
3 buses and driven away. I don't know exactly what way we took, what route
4 we took, but eventually we ended up at the Dretelj camp.
5 Q. You've given us a long story, and I just wanted to clarify a few
6 things. First of all, you told us that you knew Dzemo Skobalj -- that you
7 knew him from before. How did you know him?
8 A. Dzemo and I come from the same town. We went to school together.
9 We knew each other from school. And when the war started, I found myself
10 at the Igman Mount together with Dzemo. He had come to Igman together
11 with the HOS. There was a HOS unit deployed there, and that is where I
12 found him and made contact with him. But later on, he was transferred or
13 he went to Mostar and became a member of the Convicts Battalion there.
14 Q. What is his ethnic background?
15 A. He's a Bosniak.
16 Q. Why do you think he became a member of the Convicts Battalion, if
17 he was a Bosniak?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
19 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, that calls for pure
20 speculation. I object.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, can you skip this question.
22 MR. BOS: Yes, I'll skip this question, Your Honour.
23 Q. Witness, so you were taken to a collection centre in Mostar, and
24 then that you were taken then to Dretelj. How many of you were taken to
1 A. As far as my bus is concerned, there may have been about a hundred
2 people there. I cannot be more specific. Hundred approximately, where I
3 was. Though, there were other people coming from elsewhere. I was put in
4 one of the tin hangars, in a metal hangar at the Dretelj camp. But we
5 didn't quite understand at the time what was happening, and so we were
6 not -- I wasn't paying much attention to who else was coming.
7 Q. This group of a hundred people, were these women and children as
8 well or just men, and were these people civilians or soldiers?
9 A. There were only men on those buses. Whether they were soldiers or
10 not, I don't know, but I know that they had been rounded up from their
11 homes. I think they were civilians, but I don't know.
12 Q. Could you briefly tell us what the conditions in the Dretelj camp
14 A. The conditions in the Dretelj camp were horrible, and I'm telling
15 you this from my personal experience. I was put up in one of the tin
16 hangars where there were some five or six hundred people there. The
17 conditions were terrible. We had to relieve ourselves inside the hangar.
18 There were very -- there were many elderly and sick people there, people
19 who were dying because we hadn't received any water for about three or
20 four days. The month of July, can you imagine what it means? The area of
21 Capljina is very hot in that period of the year.
22 People were being taken out of the hangar, beaten up, killed
23 outside. They would open fire inside the hangar. People got wounded.
24 Their wounds festered because no one could dress their wounds. It was
25 terrible. But I didn't stay much longer at the Dretelj. I was then
1 transferred to the Heliodrom, which was somewhat better.
2 Q. Just one question on what you just said. You said that people
3 were taken out and killed outside. Did you ever witness a killing
4 yourself when you were at the Dretelj camp?
5 A. A man was taken out of the hangar on one occasion. He was
6 stripped of his clothes, and they made him lie down on the concrete floor,
7 on the concrete asphalt actually, which burnt his skin. Because it was
8 very hot and he was made to lie down on the asphalt. And he was beaten up
9 there. All kinds of things happened.
10 MR. BOS: I think we can break now, Your Honours.
11 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at 11.30.
12 --- Recess taken at 11.01 a.m.
13 --- On resuming at 11.31 a.m.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos.
15 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. Witness, how long did you stay in Dretelj?
17 A. About 19 days.
18 Q. And when -- where were you taken next?
19 A. To the Heliodrom in Mostar.
20 Q. When you were taken from Dretelj to the Heliodrom? With how many
21 prisoners were you taken there?
22 A. Many, because they had come to the hangar where I was. They said
23 that Mostar people should be separated and taken out. So I was included
24 into that group of Mostar men. And the same happened in other hangars. I
25 saw a file of vehicles, cars, trucks. I don't know exactly how many, but
1 about seven buses, I think, and I was in one of them. There were more
2 trucks in that column. I can't say precisely how many came to Dretelj --
3 sorry, to Heliodrom from Dretelj.
4 Q. When you arrived at the Heliodrom, where did they take you?
5 A. I arrived at the Heliodrom together with that group, which was
6 together with me on the bus, and we were put in a gym. The gym was
7 packed. There were five or six hundred people inside. That's where I
9 Q. Was this gym -- was this one big space, or were there separate
11 A. There were two big halls under one roof, but it was two separate
12 halls. I was in one of them. The other hall was the same, but it was
13 also packed, so there were about five or six hundred people, maybe even
14 more. It's just my estimate.
15 Q. Whilst you were at the Heliodrom, were you ever taken out to
16 perform labour?
17 A. I was taken out to work on a regular basis. We went to Buna and
18 Santiceva Street, to Sovici, Doljani, Risovac, and Rastani. Although I'm
19 not familiar with the town of Mostar and I'm not able to place the
20 location exactly, but I know it was in the town of Mostar.
21 Q. Now, you've mentioned several places. Could you tell the Court
22 what kind of work did you have to do, the various type of tasks you had to
24 A. Specifically, I'll tell you what kind of jobs I did. I picked
25 cherries at Buna. I think it's called the cherry field, Visnja, a
1 plantation where I spent several days. For two days, I dug trenches in
2 Mostar. I worked carrying stuff out of private apartments and houses and
3 loading them onto trucks. In Rastani, I dug trenches again, built
4 bunkers. In Sovici, Doljani, Risovac, the same thing all over again,
5 before I arrived at Santiceva Street near the health centre. That was my
6 last day, the last day I did labour before I escaped.
7 Q. Now, I'd like to go into detail on some of the tasks that you had
8 to perform, but before I do, could you please describe what the regular
9 procedure was when you were taken out for labour? How did that work?
10 Would people come and pick you up? Could you tell us about this?
11 A. They came to pick us up every morning. I'll tell you specifically
12 about places around Mostar where we went. Dinko or Vinko Martinovic came
13 to collect us. I don't know. Sometimes it was Dinko, sometimes it was
14 Vinko. There were two men. He came with two soldiers or two policemen
15 from the Convicts Battalion every morning, and they took us away every
16 morning. They made up groups of people which were sent to various places,
17 which did different jobs. Sometimes we carried stuff out of houses and
18 apartments. Sometimes we filled sacks with sand. Sometimes we took
19 bunkers apart. Sometimes it all happened in the line of fire and people
20 got killed. People were asked to destroy trenches.
21 Q. Can I just interrupt you there? You've said in the morning there
22 was this person who you referred to as either Dinko or Vinko Martinovic.
23 He would come and collect prisoners. Were you always collected by this
25 A. Martinovic came as a driver to pick us up every day. As regards
1 Stela, he came every day. But the people who accompanied us were not the
2 same every day. They changed.
3 Q. Did you always work with the same prisoners? If a group would be
4 collected, would it always be the same prisoners, or would that vary?
5 A. No, it was not always the same men. They changed. Sometimes
6 people were wounded and couldn't go out any longer. Sometimes they were
7 killed. Sometimes people were sick and were not able to go out to work.
8 Anyway, it was not always the same group, so to speak. They changed.
9 Q. Would a person just come and say, "Today I'm going to pick this,
10 this, and this person," or would they have a list, or how did that work?
11 A. Somebody would come with a list; and if somebody on the list was
12 missing or unavailable, then he would just point his finger at anyone in
13 the hall.
14 Q. Now, so you've stated that you would usually be picked up by this
15 person which you either refer to as Vinko or Dinko Martinovic. Is that
16 what you said? Is that correct?
17 A. Sometimes it was Dinko; sometimes it was Vinko. It was the same
18 person, but he introduced himself on some occasions as Vinko and on other
19 occasions as Dinko. But it's the same person. Martinovic, sorry.
20 Q. In what kind of vehicle would he come and collect you?
21 A. On a Dais truck.
22 Q. Do you remember the colour of that vehicle?
23 A. A blue truck.
24 Q. Could you give us a description of this man which is called either
25 Dinko or Vinko.
1 A. He was about 180, 185 centimetres tall, well-built, brownish hair
2 with a parting in his hair. He was about 80 kilos, in my estimate.
3 Q. And do you know for whom this Dinko or Vinko worked? Who was his
5 A. Stela.
6 Q. How do you know that?
7 A. I know because he would say, whenever he came, "The boss ordered,"
8 or "Stela ordered," things like that.
9 Q. Did you ever see Stela yourself?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And did you ever see this Dinko or Vinko together with Stela?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. When was it that you saw this Dinko or Vinko together with Stela?
14 Do you remember the date?
15 A. I remember that they were together on the day when I escaped. He
16 said that he had left a group behind somewhere at the entrance to Mostar,
17 about 10 men. He was telling him where he had left whom.
18 Q. Sorry, if you say "He was telling him where he had left whom," who
19 do you refer to as "he" and who is "him"?
20 A. Vinko was reporting to Stela where he had left each group of men.
21 That's what I meant.
22 Q. You've said that you were taken out in groups. How many prisoners
23 would be in a group on average?
24 A. When they were taking them out?
25 Q. Yes, when they were taken out of the gym. You said you were taken
1 out in groups. How big was a group?
2 A. Well, a bus full, about 30 people or so.
3 Q. Do you know how many groups on a normal day would be taken out of
4 the gym?
5 A. I can't say precisely. Sometimes I know that the gym would be
6 only half full; sometimes it would be empty because everyone had gone
8 Q. Now, earlier in your statement, you said that you sometimes were
9 taken to private houses to take out goods from private houses. How many
10 times did you do this?
11 A. Yes. On a couple of occasions, I did that kind of work. We took
12 goods out of houses and loaded them onto trucks. They were then
13 transported to Siroki Brijeg. Those were chest drawers, refrigerators,
14 household appliances, things like that. We did that two or three times.
15 Q. These houses where you took out these goods, were these houses
16 inhabited by people?
17 A. Of course they were inhabited, but those people who lived in them
18 had been expelled, driven out.
19 Q. And on those occasions that you were taken out to perform these
20 tasks, who drove you? Was it always Dinko who -- on those occasions who
21 took you from the gym, or don't you -- well, who took you from the gym?
22 I'm sorry.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par?
24 MR. BOS: I'll rephrase it.
25 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have a problem here
1 with the name of this person who took out men from the Heliodrom. Mr. Bos
2 is perfectly aware of this. We also know that this problem had appeared
3 in the earlier statement of this witness. We are all eagerly expecting to
4 hear what this witness is going to say, which name he's going to mention,
5 and Mr. Bos is now using both names in his questioning in order to end up
6 using only one name. Since this is a controversial issue, I would like
7 him to refrain from doing that. I don't think he's doing it on purpose,
8 but I do wish to point it out as something unacceptable.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, first, I believe that Mr. Bos will clear it up
10 for us. And if not, secondly, you have the full opportunity to do your
11 cross-examination concerning with those names, if you're not satisfied
12 with the question put forward by Mr. Bos.
13 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] My objection is to the leading question,
14 leading the witness to only one name.
15 MR. BOS: I'll rephrase the question.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Rephrase the question and try to make things
17 clearer for us.
18 MR. BOS:
19 Q. On those occasions that you were taken to take out goods from
20 private houses, who drove you from the Heliodrom to those places?
21 A. The driver was this Dinko. I'll try to clarify it for the ladies
22 and gentlemen. On some days, it was Vinko. On other days, it was Dinko,
23 to us, because sometimes we would call out to him, "Hey, Vinko." He would
24 curse our mothers and say, "I'm not Vinko. I'm Dinko." That's the
25 problem, and you know it very well, gentlemen.
1 Q. And what was his last name?
2 A. Martinovic.
3 Q. You've mentioned a couple of places where you also performed
4 labour, and one of them was Sovici Doljani. Do you recall when you were
5 taken there?
6 A. It was in mid-August, if I remember correctly.
7 Q. Who took you there?
8 A. I don't know who took us there. All I know is we went there on a
9 truck. We were picked up from the gym in the middle of the night, and we
10 arrived at Sovici early in the morning. We had travelled all night before
11 arriving there.
12 Q. What kind of work did you have to do there?
13 A. Cleaning houses in Sovici. We dug trenches, chopped wood. We
14 buried dead cattle because combat operations had taken place there a
15 couple of days previously. There was a lot of dead cattle, and we buried
17 Q. Do you know which HVO units were involved in the combat --
18 whether -- what kind of units were involved in the combat operations in
19 Sovici Doljani? Do you know that?
20 A. I can't tell you that very precisely. I wasn't there at the time
21 of the combat operations.
22 Q. Now, whilst you were working at confrontation line, did you ever
23 see prisoners getting mistreated?
24 A. Yes. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Can you give me some examples of what you've seen?
1 A. Well, one specific case happened on Santiceva Street. We were
2 digging trenches shielded by sandbags, and one member of the Convicts
3 Battalion walked up. He was drunk, and he threw a hand grenade, killing
4 one man. Muharem Gudic was his name. There were other cases, but I'm
5 describing one which I witnessed personally. And they called us names and
6 verbally abused us. They were saying things like, "Balijas are kicking
7 our asses and throwing hand grenades."
8 Q. Were you ever mistreated, physically mistreated, yourself?
9 A. Yes. I got one beating at Dretelj. There were provocation,
10 frequent provocations. Sometimes they would just hit you, slap you,
11 verbally abuse you, and then beat you. That was the kind of thing that
13 Q. Were you ever taken out to bury bodies?
14 A. In Risovac, when I worked there, a cemetery was dug there, graves,
15 that is. That's what we call them. It's a Muslim term. I dug a total of
16 nine graves.
17 Q. Could you please repeat the name where this was, because it didn't
18 appear in the transcript.
19 A. Risovac, near Sovici.
20 Q. When you actually dug these graves, did you also see the bodies
21 that were put in the grave?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Do you know at the time you were working there how many graves in
24 total were dug?
25 A. I know about nine.
1 Q. This cemetery, what kind of cemetery was this?
2 A. It was not a cemetery. It was a field at Risovac, not a cemetery
3 at all.
4 Q. When was the last day of your detention at the Heliodrom?
5 A. My last day of detention was the 19th September, 1993, when I made
6 a run for it while acting as a human shield.
7 Q. Witness PP, let's go into detail on that day. First of all, what
8 time in the morning were you picked up from the Heliodrom and who picked
9 you up?
10 A. It was 6.00 a.m. Vinko Martinovic came, or Dinko, to avoid
11 confusion. He came to pick us up with two guards, escorts, as you wish,
12 on a truck. They loaded 31 of us on a truck. Some 10 people did not go
13 with us all the way. They were left just before the bridge to work on a
14 house just before the entrance to Mostar. About 10 or 15 of us arrived at
15 the Health Centre.
16 Q. Okay. What happened when you arrived at the Health Centre?
17 A. We were unloaded from the truck, and we were standing in that yard
18 outside the Health Centre. They divided us into groups, and my group was
19 given the job of cleaning rifles.
20 Q. How many members were in your group?
21 A. Three or four of us in the group where I was, those of us who were
22 cleaning the rifles, three or four men. There were several groups of
24 Q. Please continue. What happened after that?
25 A. [No translation]
1 JUDGE LIU: We have --
2 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, interpreter's microphone was not on.
3 MR. BOS:
4 Q. Witness, maybe you can start again because the interpreters didn't
5 catch the beginning of your question. Can you start again from the
7 A. From the time we arrived at the Health Centre?
8 Q. No, from the time that you were cleaning the rifles.
9 A. So I was part of that group that was cleaning the weapons. Four
10 men were taken to a cellar which was next to the building. I don't know
11 what was going on inside, but at one point, I saw one of them being taken
12 out. He appeared to have passed out --
13 JUDGE CLARK: Could you ask the witness to slow down, please, if
14 he can.
15 MR. BOS:
16 Q. Witness PP, I think you heard the request of the Judge. If you
17 could slow down in your story so that everyone can understand what you're
19 A. So I saw them taking one of the young men out of the cellar. He
20 appeared to have lost consciousness. I saw them trying to help him come
22 Then a man by the name of Dado, whom they refer to as Dado,
23 arrived. I remember that he was a very tall man, 190, 195. He had dark
24 complexion and a beard, and he told me to follow him into the cellar. And
25 I went to the cellar, and I saw Mr. Stela sitting at a desk which had a
1 map on it. And he told me to sit down, and he said "If you behave
2 properly, you will have everything. You will have all kinds of
3 privileges. You will be able to go to third countries. No one will harm
4 you in any way. However, you should behave yourself and do as we say.
5 You have to be a good boy."
6 Q. Again, the interpreters have difficulties in keeping up with you
7 because you talk very fast. So again, I would ask you to talk a bit more
8 slowly. While -- let me ask you a few questions on this. So you said you
9 were taken to the basement and that you -- that you saw Stela behind --
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. First of all, how did you know that this man was Stela?
12 A. Because I had seen him before.
13 Q. And when had you seen him before?
14 A. I had seen him when coming to work, when he came to verbally abuse
15 us, calling us names, balijas, cattle, things like that, when he came to
16 visit us as we were digging or doing some other kind of work. Mostly in
17 the morning when we were brought to work, he would show up. So I knew his
18 face. I knew that this was Stela.
19 Q. How many occasions had you seen Stela before that time you saw him
20 behind the desk?
21 A. One or two -- two occasions. I remember two occasions.
22 Q. And do you recall on those two occasions where you were actually
24 A. In that same area. Again, I'm really not familiar with the town
25 of Mostar. He was usually in the area around Bulevar, and that was the
1 location where I most frequently worked.
2 Q. Well, so you came into the basement, you saw Stela behind the
3 desk. Were there any other people in the basement at that time?
4 A. There was no one else in the cellar except for this very short man
5 by the name of Dolma. When I entered the cellar, he was standing at the
6 door. So I sat down, and, again, as I told you, he told me that if I --
7 if I behaved properly, if I'm a good boy, I would -- he would -- that I
8 would be able to leave. And I said what I was supposed to do, and he said
9 that I would go across the street; if there were any wounded persons
10 there, that I should recover them, pull them out. And he said, "If
11 everything is fine, if the work is done successfully, you will -- you will
12 be okay."
13 So they brought me a uniform, I put a uniform on and got out of
14 the cellar. This person by the name of Dado gave me a backpack full of
15 stones. He put it on my back. And Stela brought a bottle and -- an empty
16 bottle and put it in my pocket, telling me that it was supposed to be my
17 Motorola. Once again, Stela appeared with a cardboard box. He put it on
18 a wall, and he said, "Give this cattle here two bandages each," so each of
19 us was given two bandages.
20 Q. Can I just interrupt you again? When you were given this uniform,
21 were you the only one given this uniform, or were there other prisoners
22 who were also given this uniform?
23 A. The three other men had already been given uniforms. They were in
24 the cellar as I was cleaning the rifle. When this young man fainted - I
25 don't know exactly what happened to him - they came out of the cellar and
1 I got in. So they were dressed in the same uniforms.
2 Q. Now, and after you were taken out of the cellar, were you taken to
3 that other group of prisoners who already had a uniform on?
4 A. It all happened in the same area, outside the building, the same
6 Q. Well, you testified that you were also given a rucksack and that
7 Stela had put something in your jacket. What did he put in your jacket?
8 A. A plastic bottle. He put it in my pocket, and he said, "The
9 balijas will think it's a Motorola."
10 Q. And what happened after that?
11 A. A young man showed up. I don't know who he was. And he brought
12 four wooden rifles. I was to be given one of them. Dado brought us to a
13 passage between those two buildings, and he said, "You should cross over
14 the street and you should cross that lane as well," because it was a
15 two-lane street. "Wait for us at that building, at the corner of that
16 building there."
17 I remember two news-stands on the sidewalk near the street. I
18 passed those news-stands, and I reached the other street. And Dado spoke
19 again, and he said, "Not that building. The one on the left," and he
20 again cursed me. I don't know what was happening exactly at that moment
21 because the tank opened fire. I was getting lost. But I had managed to
22 reach the building.
23 Q. Witness, I know this must be difficult for you, but I think we
24 will have to go a bit more slower through this evidence. First of all,
25 what did they ask you to do? What was your assignment when you -- after
1 you were given the rifle? What did they want you to do? I think you
2 said --
3 A. Combat activities were supposed to start at any moment. The area
4 of Cernica Mala - that was the name of the neighbourhood - was where we
5 were supposed to cross over to the other side of the street so the members
6 of the Convicts Battalion could also cross over. And in case of death or
7 wounding, we were supposed to recover either the bodies of the wounded
8 people from that spot. So we were supposed to reach that building. We
9 took to the left of the street, and --
10 Q. Sorry, I'm going to stop you there. When you gave your statement
11 to the investigators, is it correct that there was a sketch drawn of the
12 area and the places where you were and where you were actually going? Do
13 you recall that?
14 A. Yes, I do. I recall it quite well, although I was afraid. But I
15 do remember the details.
16 Q. Okay. Well, in order to assist the story you're going to tell us
17 now, I'm going to show you the sketch. And maybe with reference to the
18 sketch, you can explain us exactly what happened.
19 MR. BOS: Your Honours, the sketch I would like to mark is
20 Exhibit P888. The Defence has already received a copy. I have copies for
21 the Judges. And it has to be submitted under seal because the name of the
22 witness is on the sketch, and I have put a redaction on one of them so we
23 can put it on the ELMO. I have covered the name of the witness on the
24 sketch so that we can ...
25 Q. Now, Witness, before you, you see this sketch. Do you recognise
1 this sketch?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Now, I would like you to explain - and try to do it as slowly as
4 possible - what happened to you from the moment that you were given the
5 wooden rifles and you were ordered to go out. And maybe you can use the
6 pointer and the sketch to indicate where you actually went and what
7 happened. And if you can refer with the pointer, you have to refer to the
8 sketch which is under the overhead projector. You can't point to the
9 scene, because otherwise we won't be able to see it.
10 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Bos, I'm sorry to interrupt you. But this
11 witness gave very crucial evidence in a very, very fast manner. And
12 perhaps to help the Trial Chamber, you could go back and take it line by
14 For instance, it's not clear when he was in the basement whether
15 he was alone for a short period, whether he ever joined anybody else,
16 whether they got joint instructions, single instructions. It's just a
17 little bit rushed. And it's not your fault, and it's not the witness's
18 fault, because obviously it's stressful, but if you could just stop every
19 now and again and go over it.
20 And I'm sorry, Witness, that I'm asking you to repeat what must be
21 very stressful for you. But it's important evidence, and I'm afraid that
22 we might not get the full picture if we don't hear it more slowly. I'm
23 sorry to ask you to go over some of it a little more slowly.
24 MR. BOS:
25 Q. Witness, you've heard what the Judge said. So let's go back a
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts – Pages 6091 to 6104.
1 little in time and let me try to clarify some of the --
2 JUDGE CLARK: Specifically, Mr. Bos, the instructions in the
3 basement, and then the appearance of somebody with a box in which there
4 were wooden rifles. We just have nothing about the distribution of the
6 MR. BOS:
7 Q. Witness, when you were in the basement and Stela was giving you
8 instructions, were the other detainees with you?
9 A. In the basement --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
11 MR. MEEK: Mr. President and Your Honours, I understand the
12 questions that Judge Clark just had, but I believe I object to that
13 question. It assumes facts not in evidence. The witness already
14 testified it wasn't the individual named Stela who gave instructions in
15 the basement; it was a different individual. So I object to the form of
16 the question, and I also object that it's leading. I understand that any
17 objections to asked and answered would be improper. But the leanings
18 of the question - it assumes facts not in evidence - I object to those.
19 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Bos, would you please make it clear for us and
20 rephrase your question.
21 MR. BOS: I'll rephrase my question.
22 JUDGE LIU: By the way, what's the specific date of that
23 incident? You may also ask the witness to clear it up for us.
24 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honour. I can ask again.
25 Q. Witness, do you recall what the date was when all this happened?
1 A. I think it was on the 19th of September, 1993.
2 Q. Are you a hundred percent sure about this date?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
4 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, once again, we are faced
5 with a problem of leading the witness. We had the similar problem with
6 the name of this individual. We have a problem involving a date with this
7 witness. And now, for the second time, the witness has given his answer.
8 And I'm sure that the issue was a matter of preparations. I don't know.
9 I don't see the reason for this question "Are you a hundred percent sure
10 about this date?" I am objecting to the leading nature of this question
11 to an issue in respect of which the witness has already given his answer
13 MR. BOS: The witness said "I think." That's why I'm asking, "Are
14 you a hundred percent sure?" Otherwise, he would have said, "It was
15 on..." And then I would not have asked this question.
16 JUDGE LIU: I think the witness has answered the question, and you
17 may skip that question.
18 MR. BOS: Very well.
19 Q. Witness, let's go back again. When you were in the basement and
20 you were in front of the desk with Stela behind the desk, were the other
21 prisoners in the basement as well?
22 A. No, not in this particular area. This was a basement for some
23 sort of office. No one else was there. Just Stela. Stela was inside,
24 and Dolma was standing at the door. I remember that individual. People
25 called him "Dolma." He gave me instructions as to what I should do. I
1 was first given a uniform. I put on the uniform and went out. Dado gave
2 me a backpack full of stones to put it on my back, and he tied it like
3 this on my chest, and then Mr. Stela approached --
4 Q. Witness, again, I'm going to stop you because, again, we have to
5 do it step by step. So you were given the uniform. Were you then still
6 in the basement when you were given the uniform?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And after you were given the uniform, you were given a backpack.
9 Were you still in the basement when you were given this backpack?
10 A. I was only given this uniform in the basement and put it on in the
11 basement, and the backpack was given to me in front of the basement, in
12 the yard.
13 Q. So when you were at the yard, who was there with you?
14 A. These guys who were with me, I mean the prisoners, and another 30
15 or so members of the Convicts Battalion who were milling around. And Dado
16 gave me this backpack full of stones on my back. He tied it like this.
17 And then Stela came to me and put a plastic flask in my pocket, and he
18 said, "Let the balijas think it's a Motorola." Then they called a young
19 man by his name. I don't remember who he was. But he eventually brought
20 us those wooden rifles.
21 Q. When you say then "they" called this man, who called this man?
22 A. I cannot tell you their names -- I mean the name. I don't
23 remember the name.
24 Q. Okay. So then this man, he comes with the wooden rifles, and who
25 gave you the wooden rifles?
1 A. I don't recall the name of the individual who gave me the rifle.
2 I don't remember it.
3 Q. But this again happened in the yard?
4 A. Yes. It was all happening in the yard.
5 Q. So you're there in the yard with your uniform, your rucksack, and
6 your rifle. And then what happened after that? Did they -- what did they
7 ask you to do?
8 A. First of all, Dado took us to a passageway between the Health
9 Centre and this other building. I don't know which one was which. I know
10 this was the location of the Health Centre. There was a two-way street
11 there and then another road. He said that we should cross over the street
12 to reach this building on the other side of the street and wait for the
13 soldiers to cross over, so if anyone should get killed or wounded, so that
14 we could pull them out.
15 Q. Okay. Now, Witness, now I'm going to refer to the sketch which
16 was put on the overhead projector, and I'm going to ask you, first of all,
17 to clarify the various locations which are on the sketch. Could you
18 please look at the sketch and -- first of all, what represents number 2?
19 A. The building number 2 is the Health Centre.
20 Q. What represents number 3?
21 A. The yard.
22 Q. Now, you have testified that you were in the yard and that -- so
23 from -- if you could indicate on the sketch from where of the yard were
24 you taken?
25 A. To this area here. There are two news-stands on the sidewalk
1 here. First we crossed this street.
2 Q. All right. Let me first ask you, before you continue, what
3 represents number 5?
4 A. Number 5 depicts the two news-stands which were on the pavement
5 near the street where we came out. So we passed those two news-stands as
6 we were crossing the street, and then we reached this road. And then
7 somebody spoke behind us. And judging by the way he spoke, I think it was
8 Dado. And he told us to go to the left, to the building on the left side,
9 which is what we did. We reached a building. I don't recall exactly what
10 the situation was because I was really overwhelmed, but I realised that I
11 had crossed the street and ended up in a building. There was rubble
12 falling down --
13 Q. Witness, again, sorry, I'm going to interrupt you. So you go down
14 the street and somebody behind you - you think it's Dado - gave you
15 instructions to go to a building on the left. Is that building which he
16 instructed you to go, is that also depicted on this sketch?
17 A. It's not marked exactly. It's just the area where it could have
18 been. This is really an approximation, my diagram. I just marked the
19 location where I think the building was.
20 Q. Now, Witness, you've also indicated something which is marked as
21 number 1. What does number 1 -- what is that on the sketch?
22 A. There is a junction behind the Health Centre and a location from
23 which the tank opened fire.
24 Q. Right. So number 1 is the tank? Is that --
25 A. Yes, that's what I said, a tank.
1 Q. Okay. Now, while you were working -- walking on this road, was
2 the tank shooting, firing?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And in which direction was the tank firing?
5 A. The tank was stationed here, and it was firing in this direction
6 here where these buildings are. It was probably firing at these
7 buildings, because at the moment I reached this building, I fell down
8 because of a detonation, and this is the location where I was wounded,
9 probably from a shell -- from the shell which had impacted the building.
10 Q. You said you were wounded. Where were you wounded?
11 A. In my leg. I can show you.
12 Q. Now, you don't have to show us, Witness. No, that's all right.
13 A. On three locations.
14 Q. All right.
15 JUDGE CLARK: He wants to show it.
16 MR. BOS: You can show it, but I'm just worried about the fact
17 that he's a protected witness and that he cannot move around. You can
18 show the wound, but I hope that we can do that without --
19 JUDGE CLARK: Perhaps if you explain your reasons for the
20 hesitation, it would put the witness at his ease.
21 MR. BOS: Witness, yes, my hesitation of you showing the wound was
22 that you are being protected by facial distortion, and if you're now going
23 to move from your desk, the public may see you.
24 So maybe we can go into closed session and then the witness can
25 show the wound.
1 JUDGE LIU: We will go to the closed session, please.
2 JUDGE CLARK: It will make this witness feel happier.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par?
4 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] We do not have any problem with this. I
5 mean, we do not contest this in any way. So as far as the Defence is
6 concerned, we believe the witness.
7 [Trial Chamber confers]
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, anyway, we are going to see the wounds from this
9 witness. We'll go to the closed session, please.
10 MR. BOS: Witness, if you could just wait until we close down the
11 blinds, and then you can stand up and show the wounds. If you just wait a
13 [Closed session]
13 Page 6112 – redacted – closed session.
7 [Open session]
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we are now in the open session.
9 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour.
10 Q. So Witness PP, so you got injured. Do you know what injured you?
11 A. I don't know. I suppose it was a shell, but I'm not sure.
12 Because I don't know what it was. When I came round, when I regained
13 consciousness, I was covered with rocks, rubble, plaster. I only remember
14 that I was pulled inside the building. I was frozen.
15 Q. So you actually lost conscious when you got injured?
16 A. I don't remember if it was unconsciousness, but I was
17 disoriented. My mind was not working properly. It was blocked. I
18 remember I was inside the building, and I thought I had escaped alone,
19 whereas there were actually three other people with me, three other men.
20 Q. And who were these three other men, without giving their names?
21 A. The men who escaped with me. They were prisoners as well.
22 Q. You said that you remember that you were pulled in. Who pulled
23 you in the building?
24 A. No, I don't remember being pulled inside. I was told that later.
25 I don't remember that happening. I thought at the moment that I had
1 entered the building myself, on my own.
2 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Bos, I hate to interrupt you. But as for the
3 sketches made by this witness himself, we would like to see a real picture
4 or real photo or map to let this sketch correspond to the real map.
5 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honour, I can understand that. And I will
6 try. But I hope that the witness will be able to recognise the
8 If the witness then could be shown Exhibit 14.5.
9 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Bos, does this witness have any problem with his
10 eyesight, seeing that he was taken out of hospital following operations to
11 his eyes?
12 MR. BOS:
13 Q. Witness, you heard the question of the Judge. You were operated
14 on your eyesight. How is your eyesight at the moment?
15 A. I have a problem with my left eye sometimes.
16 Q. There is now a photograph in front of -- are you able to see
17 what's on the photograph? Witness, do you recognise what's on the
19 A. This is a totally different picture to what I remember from the
20 day when I made my escape. For instance, what is missing on this picture
21 are the two kiosks, the two news-stands. I'm not quite sure that this is
22 it, because this picture looks totally different to me from what I saw
23 when I escaped. And I wouldn't like to say anything final based on this
25 Q. Witness, considering that this photograph was taken a long time
1 after the incident, would you still be able to recognise some of the
2 buildings on this photograph?
3 A. I can't say. I'm not sure.
4 Q. Witness --
5 A. Because this looks totally different to me.
6 Q. Well, let me give it one more try. Witness, you said that there
7 were two kiosks, and you don't see these kiosks on the photograph?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Would you know where these kiosks used to be? Could you indicate
10 that on the photograph?
11 A. Roughly here. That's where they should be, as far as I can say.
12 But the picture is totally different to me from what I saw on that day. I
13 don't know Mostar very well, and what I saw doesn't look like what's here
14 in the picture.
15 Q. So if I would ask you which building you actually ended up on that
16 day, would you be able to tell that from the photograph?
17 A. I wouldn't want to do that.
18 Q. Witness, if you look at the photograph, would you know where the
19 tank was situated on this photograph?
20 A. Here, approximately, because it was at the intersection.
21 Q. And, Witness, could you indicate the yard from where you actually
22 left with the other prisoners?
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
24 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, point of order. While this witness is
25 doing these things, could he at least mark on these -- instead of just
1 point? I know it's not my witness or anything, but for the record it
2 might be nice to have markings, 1, 2, 3, A, B, C, whatever.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, the question is whether the witness recognised
4 this photo or not.
5 Well, Mr. Bos, you may try that.
6 MR. BOS: Yes. Well, Your Honours, I'm a bit reluctant to do this
7 because the witness is clearly not very comfortable, and I really don't
8 want him to start marking things on the photographs of which he's not 100
9 per cent certain of.
10 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Bos, the photograph is, after all, an aerial
11 view, and you can remember the conditions under which this witness was
12 operating that day, so he clearly is uncomfortable with pointing out
13 anything on the building -- on the photograph.
14 MR. BOS: Yes.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Are there any photographs that are not actually
16 aerial views?
17 MR. BOS: I can give it a try with a photograph which is not an
18 aerial view, Your Honour.
19 Your Honours, may I suggest that we break a little early for lunch
20 and we try to find some other photographs which may help this witness to
21 recognise certain things?
22 [Trial Chamber confers]
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I have to warn you that during the
24 break, you are still under the oath, so you should not talk to anybody
25 about your testimony and do not let anybody talk to you concerning your
1 testimony. We will continue in the afternoon with your testimony. Do you
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'd like to have one minute of the
5 Chamber's time after the witness is excused, if I may.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes. The usher may show you out of the room
8 [The witness stands down]
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
10 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, thank you very much. I think I can
11 handle this most efficiently and most quickly if we could just go into
12 private session for one moment, please.
13 JUDGE LIU: We will go to the private session.
14 [Private session]
13 Page 6118 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 6119 – redacted – private session.
12 Page 6120 – redacted – private session.
1 --- On resuming at 2.32 p.m.
2 [Open session]
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos.
4 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honours. I went through the exhibit
5 binder, and I will ask if the witness could look at -- well, let's first
6 let the witness look at Exhibit 14.12 first. And maybe he can also be
7 given 14.11, just the two of them.
8 Q. Now, Witness, I would first like you to look at Exhibit 14.12. Do
9 you recognise what's on the photograph? My specific question on this
10 photograph is: Would you be able to indicate on this photograph the route
11 you took when you were actually leaving the courtyard?
12 A. No, because the entrance, or rather, the exit where we were was
13 covered with sandbags, and I have a completely different idea of it. The
14 picture seems to be different now.
15 Q. All right. Can you, then, have a look at photograph 14.11,
16 Exhibit 14.11? Now, this is a series of photographs which we pasted
17 together, and for this photograph, can I -- can you indicate on this
18 photograph where the tank was situated?
19 A. Approximately only here, at the junction.
20 Q. And maybe we can put the photograph on the overhead projector and
21 then you can -- so that's -- now, I'm afraid we will not be able to get
22 the whole photograph on the overhead but maybe just the spot which is
23 relevant for this particular question.
24 A. This should be the area in question here, at the junction.
25 Q. Now, Witness, could you get a marker and mark with a "1" where you
1 just indicated that the tank was situated.
2 A. Here, more or less. It should have been here.
3 Q. And looking at this photograph again, could you tell us where were
4 you and your fellow prisoners were in relation to the tank when you were
5 crossing this road?
6 A. I'm not completely sure. I already told you that I don't know
7 Mostar very well. This is not the image that I had in mind at the time I
8 fled, but anyway, this should be more or less the area, the route that I
9 took as I was trying to escape, more or less, at least the way I remember
10 the situation, but this photograph is entirely new to me.
11 Q. If you say this -- could you indicate it on the map, the route you
12 took? If you do, just take the marker and try to mark the route.
13 A. Yes. But again it will only be an approximation because I'm not
14 sure that this is the area in question anyway. The exit that I took to
15 get out was completely covered with sandbags and some rubble, and the
16 situation was totally different than the one depicted on this photograph.
17 But it was from here, more or less, that I crossed over there, and then
18 from here I was told to go to the left to the building, more or less. But
19 again I'm not sure, because the way I remember it, it was -- it was
20 completely different at the time I was there.
21 Q. All right. Well, if --
22 MR. BOS: Again, Your Honours, I'm a bit hesitant to let this
23 witness mark if he's not absolutely sure, so I would prefer he's not
24 marking this route if he's not 100 per cent sure.
25 Q. So, Witness, we will leave it with this.
1 Witness, could you now look at Exhibit 14.9. Sorry, 14.8. 14.8.
2 I'm sorry, it's 14.9 and 14.10. I'm sorry about this.
3 MR. BOS: If the witness could first be shown Exhibit 14.10.
4 Q. Witness, do you recognise what's depicted on this photograph?
5 A. I'm sorry, I just don't want to venture either way, because I'm
6 not sure.
7 MR. BOS: I think I'm going to leave it with this, Your Honours.
8 Q. Thank you, Witness.
9 Witness, just one -- a few questions to end this examination.
10 When you actually -- when you actually entered the building after you had
11 had -- after you had crossed the road, did you still have your wooden
12 rifle on you? Do you recall that?
13 A. I took the rifle inside the building, and it remained there,
14 together with the backpack with the stones I was taking to one of the
15 buildings. But I was wounded, so I had left all of my equipment there.
16 It remained there. I no longer had an opportunity to see it because I
17 eventually left the area.
18 Q. So did you ever get it back? Did you get the rucksack and the
19 wooden rifle back?
20 A. No, I didn't.
21 Q. Do you know with whom you left it?
22 A. Things remained inside the building with several soldiers who were
23 there with rifles, but I don't know what eventually happened to all those
25 MR. BOS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE LIU: Cross-examination, Mr. Par, please.
2 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
3 Cross-examined by Mr. Par:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, my name is Zelimir Par. I am an
5 attorney at law representing Vinko Martinovic in this case, and I should
6 like to ask you several questions concerning your testimony today. At the
7 beginning, I should like to move into private session for the purposes of
8 mentioning a few names of individuals.
9 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session, please. And Mr. Par,
10 I have to warn you, you have to turn off your mike after your question.
11 [Private session]
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE LIU: Witness, your request for the protective measures is
14 granted by this Trial Chamber. Maybe you are not very much familiar with
15 the equipment in this courtroom. You see the mike of Defence counsel,
16 there is a light. When the light is on, do not answer the question. You
17 understand that?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes, I do.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
20 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Witness, let us follow up on the incident involving wooden rifles
22 which you discussed with the Prosecutor. So you do not know where your
23 wooden rifle ended. Am I correct in understanding your testimony?
24 A. At the moment I got inside the building and went into the cellar
25 of that building, I left my backpack and my rifle there, and I was
1 transferred to the other building where the infirmary was where I was
2 given help and where I stayed that night. On the following day, I went
3 over to the other side, and that's all I know. I cannot tell you about
4 the things that I'm not sure about.
5 Q. Of course. The reason I'm asking you this question is because one
6 of the witnesses in this case, Witness OO, and who is one of the men who
7 was with you during this particular event, told us that he knows that all
8 of those four rifles were taken by a member of the army. Have you heard
9 any such thing? Are you familiar with that?
10 A. I will tell you how it was and what happened, as far as I'm
11 concerned. I don't know what others told you. I got in. I sat down on
12 one of the steps. I took off my backpack, and the rifle remained on the
13 steps, and I was transferred to another basement at that point. That's
14 all I can be sure about. I cannot claim anything that I'm not certain
15 about, because others at that point in time were no longer with me.
16 Q. Very well. Thank you.
17 Have you heard of a museum in which one of those rifles would have
18 been exhibited as a kind of memento or as a souvenir from those days?
19 A. No, I haven't seen that, and I don't want to state anything about
20 it. I haven't heard about it either.
21 Q. On the day that you escaped, that is, after that day, did you ever
22 see any of these detainees who were with you in that group? Did you see
23 them on that day and the day that followed?
24 A. As I told you, that night I was transferred to the other
25 basement. I'm not sure. (redacted)
2 Q. Let us focus on that particular day. Not the next day, but that
3 day. Did you see any one of them on that very day?
4 A. No, I did not because --
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos.
6 MR. BOS: I think we need a redaction in the transcript, and maybe
7 the witness should be warned not to mention any names.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, the names will be redacted.
9 Witness, you have to know that you should be very careful about
10 the mentioning of the names because some of those names are under the
11 protective measures. If you want to mention some names, just ask for the
12 permission. Do you understand that?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do, but you should have
14 warned me earlier on. It's not my fault. I'm sorry.
15 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Mr. Par, we have a difference
16 between the English translation and the -- the English interpretation and
17 the French interpretation. And also, we need to have pauses between
18 questions and answers so that the interpreters can catch up.
19 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour. I will bear
20 that in mind.
21 Q. Mr. Witness --
22 JUDGE CLARK: Before you start, can we just say to the witness,
23 who looks a little confused about the names.
24 Witness PP, the names of the protected witnesses are the names of
25 the people who were with you when you escaped to the other side. You can
1 talk about anybody else, but those people have asked -- the survivors have
2 asked for protective measures, and therefore we don't mention their
3 names. But if either we or any of the lawyers ask you for their names,
4 they will ask to go into private session. Now, these are words you don't
5 normally hear of, but they are the only names we are concerned about.
6 But what we are really concerned about is that you speak very
7 fast. Mr. Par is every bit as fast as you are, and the translators are
8 already having problems when you talk across each other. So just -- what
9 the president usually explains much better than I do, so I let him, about
10 the little dot, he's better at explaining that to witnesses.
11 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Witness, let me go back to my last question. My last question was
13 whether on that day - not the following day but on that day - you saw any
14 of the prisoners who had been with you in that group. And to be even more
15 specific, did you see any of those prisoners carry that wooden rifle
16 during that day or later that day? Did you see that or not?
17 A. I told you I didn't see because I was immediately transferred to
18 another basement, to the infirmary, where I was given medical help, and
19 that is the reason why I didn't see any one of them.
20 Q. Thank you. Let us focus on the rifles. Did they have any straps?
21 A. Yes, they did.
22 Q. Did all of them have straps, and could you describe that strap?
23 Was it an improvised strap?
24 A. It was an original strap from an automatic rifle. It was light
25 green in colour, in braided form, but it was, at any rate, an original
1 strap from an automatic rifle.
2 Q. What was the colour of the rifles and what was the shape of those
4 A. It was as a regular Kalashnikov rifle, painted -- painted black,
5 with this strap from an automatic rifle.
6 Q. Do you know who manufactured those rifles?
7 A. No, I don't.
8 Q. Do you have any knowledge whether anyone else from your group had
9 participated in the making of those rifles?
10 A. You're referring to those three men who were with me? No, I don't
11 think that they had taken part in that. They were there. I don't think
12 they had time to -- they were with me the whole time. They didn't have
13 time to make those rifles.
14 Q. A witness in this case, Allan Knudsen, who was a foreign
15 mercenary, testified before this Court that he had seen the same prisoners
16 making those rifles, the same prisoners who carried them the following
17 day. After his testimony, a dilemma arose before all of us here because
18 we no longer knew whether we were talking about one single incident or
19 several such incidents. So my question to you is: Do you know this
20 person by the name of Knudsen?
21 A. No. This is the first time I hear this name.
22 Q. I have asked you about Mostar in general. Now I am asking you
23 about Stela's unit specifically. Did you ever hear or see these wooden
24 rifles being used in any other occasion except for this one in which you
25 personally participated?
1 A. No, I did not.
2 Q. One of the prisoners who was with you in this group, and who
3 testified as Witness OO, told us that after he had escaped, he gave a
4 statement on that day or on that night to a military man concerning the
5 events that had happened to him. Did the same thing happen to you? Did
6 you give a statement with him or on your own?
7 A. As I told you, I was transferred to the infirmary, I was given
8 medical help, and I could not go over across the old bridge on that same
9 night. So they took me to the SDK building late at night, and a doctor
10 came to the SDK building. He examined my wound, cleaned it, and treated
11 it. So I did talk to someone. I don't know exactly who that person was.
12 Whether he was a policeman or a soldier, I don't know. But he was wearing
13 a uniform. I told him about the circumstances of my capture, my arrest,
14 where I was arrested, where I was detained, and so on and so forth, but I
15 cannot tell you anything about the identity of this individual.
16 Q. As far as this interview is concerned, the interview with this
17 official, whether he was a member of the military or the police, that is
18 not important, but was the purpose of that interview to check on the
19 circumstances of your being there, of your arrival to the other side, or
20 was the purpose of that statement, of that interview, a different one?
21 Was it an interrogation?
22 A. I don't understand your question.
23 Q. The individual who conducted the interview, was it suspicious of
24 something? Was it because he suspected you of having escaped from the
25 other side? Was it necessary for him to check the circumstances of your
1 escape, or was the purpose of this interrogation different?
2 A. Well, he asked me how I ended up in the camp. I didn't notice any
3 suspicion of any sort. I was simply asked to provide them with a brief
4 description of my capture and how I ended up on the other side. But we
5 didn't discuss the details. I didn't spend much time there.
6 Q. At some later stage, after this interview, were you at any point
7 in time called back to give a statement for the purposes of clarifying
8 that situation? And I'm not referring to the interview with the OTP here
9 from this Tribunal. I'm referring to the relevant authorities and the
10 initial statement that you gave to them.
11 A. I remember that an individual came on one occasion to ask me
12 whether I was prepared to talk about what had happened to me in Mostar
13 with the investigators of the Tribunal. That was the only such contact.
14 And after that, I contacted the investigators of the Tribunal and gave
15 them my statement. But other than that, no, nothing.
16 Q. Do you know, Witness, what AID is?
17 A. From the media. I heard from the media that it's some sort of
18 police. I don't know. I have no clue, because -- but there is a lot of
19 talk about it lately, and I heard in the media that it's some sort of
20 secret police. That's all I know.
21 Q. Were you contacted perhaps by this secret police, AID, regarding
22 these events, regarding your testimony? Did you have any contacts with
24 A. No.
25 Q. And this other man who had talked to you previously, whether you
1 were prepared to testify before this Tribunal, did he introduce himself
2 which police he was representing, whether he was from AID or not?
3 A. He didn't say he was from the AID. He just appeared as an
4 official inviting me to the police station to confirm that my statement
5 was correct. No AID was mentioned. All I have told you is based on what
6 I heard from the media.
7 Q. I would very much like to ask one question. But for the sake of
8 caution, we should better go into private session perhaps.
9 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session, please.
10 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Witness, can you tell us, on that day when all this was going on
2 with those wooden rifles as you have described today, how many other
3 prisoners were able to see that event while this was going on, your
4 escape, your movement with those wooden rifles? How many other prisoners
5 were around who could see it?
6 A. I can't tell you precisely, but perhaps there were ten men
7 around. Not many of us were standing in the yard of the Health Centre,
8 perhaps about ten. I can't give you a precise figure. I'm not sure.
9 Q. Can you tell me, in your community, in your environment, was this
10 event later discussed? Did the story make the rounds? Was it described
11 and redescribed as part of the stories about that and similar incidents?
12 Is it your experience that this story was making the rounds?
13 A. How shall I answer this question, I wonder? Were there stories
14 circulating? Of course, they were. All this, the persecution, the
15 humiliation, all this is still talked about.
16 Q. I didn't mean that; I meant this particular event involving wooden
17 rifles. Was it discussed in the community in which you live?
18 A. Lots of stories made the rounds in the place where it happened,
19 but I left that area very soon after the event, and I went back to live in
21 Q. I didn't want you to mention any places. But anyway, the notion
22 is too broad to threaten anyone's identity.
23 Anyway, let us focus now on this unit. Let us call it "Stela's
24 unit," conditionally speaking. Do you know the name of that unit today,
25 or did you know it then, this Stela's unit?
1 A. I knew it by the name of "Convicts Battalion" or "Stelici."
2 That's what they call themselves, the "Convicts Battalion" and "Stelici,"
3 and that's what it was in my mind. From their own words, that's all I
4 know. If I weren't sure of that, I wouldn't be saying it.
5 Q. I'm not sure I understood you correctly when you testified. How
6 many times were you in that unit or with that unit?
7 A. I can't say that precisely either. You never know where you are.
8 You're always brought somewhere. People around tell you, "We're Stelici,"
9 or we're something else. A soldier passing by says, "We are Stelici."
10 Those are the things I remember. I can't say precisely how many times.
11 Q. I understand that you don't have a clear recollection precisely
12 because of the fact that you never knew where you were exactly, and that's
13 what creates the confusion.
14 A. Yes, that's why I can't say precisely. I wasn't sure where I
15 was. But I remember occasions where we were brought by this Vinko, Dinko
16 Martinovic, this driver, to Stela's unit. I remember the works, the
17 filling of bags with sand, the cladding of walls with these bags, the
18 things we did.
19 Q. Let us go back to this Dinko or Vinko Martinovic, which through
20 your testimony you seem to have considered as Stela's soldier. Is that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. During your testimony today, you seem to have said that there were
24 occasions when Vinko was driving you on a truck and would leave two or
25 three people behind in certain places and drive the rest of you on. Were
1 there such occasions?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. So this driver, whatever his name, left some of the people with
4 different units; he didn't drive all of you together to this unit called
5 Stela's unit for practical purposes. Is that the case?
6 A. You see, there were certain people like masons, like carpenters,
7 people who had specific trades. That's how they were grouped, and that's
8 the reason why they were left in certain places on certain work sites,
9 because masons were needed or carpenters were needed. They were left in
10 certain locations to work in their trade.
11 Q. We are now dealing with the issue of where this zone of
12 responsibility was which was Stela's. And which was his zone of
13 responsibility? Can you say that?
14 A. I cannot tell you precisely where his zone of responsibility was.
15 I know that the Convicts Battalion was an intervention unit, and they were
16 always located in the place where the separation line was shifting.
17 Q. Do you think that Stela is the commander of the Convicts
18 Battalion? Do you think that was the name of his unit? Whenever you hear
19 "Convicts Battalion," do you always associate it with Stela? Can we
20 distinguish between these two things?
21 A. I know there was one Convicts Battalion. There -- maybe there
22 were more than one, but I know only about one Convicts Battalion, and I'm
23 telling you only about things that I know about.
24 Q. Sir, you mentioned during your testimony that there existed a unit
25 named after a dog, Mrmak or something. Is that the name, another name,
1 for the Convicts Battalion, or was it the name of another unit?
2 A. That's the name of the Convicts Battalion. It was the name of
3 Stela's dog. All of this is something I know from hearsay, from stories
4 of others. I heard that his dog was named Mrmak, and that was the reason
5 why a dog was depicted on their emblem, and that they were the Convicts
7 Q. Sir, I understand all that. The point of my question is not
8 whether his dog's name was Mrmak or not, but you know, you witnessed this
9 war. There were -- there are larger and smaller units. One of these
10 units was called Mrmak. Do you believe that Stela was the commander of
11 this Convicts Battalion, that this was a unit of that size? When you say
12 "Convicts Battalion" and "Stela's unit," are these synonyms in your mind?
13 A. I didn't understand you. You speak too fast.
14 Q. While testifying today, you used the term Convicts Battalion.
15 When you said that, did you mean that members of the Convicts Battalion
16 were soldiers under Stela's command?
17 A. I think so, because they said so, that Stela was their boss, their
18 commander. It is from this that I conclude that he was what he was.
19 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I will now show this witness one
20 document in order to pursue this subject.
21 Q. Witness, I have here a document I would like to show you. It is
22 Prosecutor's Exhibit P626, from the twelfth binder. I will not bother you
23 too much with this document. I would just like you to look at one
24 sentence so we can discuss it. I will tell you what this document is. It
25 is a brief or information drafted by SIS, which is this Croatian police,
1 dated 7th October, 1993, and when you see this document, will you kindly
2 look at it, see what it is about, and then concentrate on the first
3 paragraph? Please take your time to look through the document, and if you
4 like, you may read it in its entirety.
5 We are only interested in the first paragraph, so you don't have
6 to waste too much time on the rest of the document. If you have looked at
7 it, then I can ask my question, and then, if you like, you may come back
8 to the text before you answer.
9 What I -- my intention was to concentrate on the first sentence,
10 which I will read slowly. It says: "The source" -- or perhaps I will
11 read the whole excerpt: "The source came to know that in the night of the
12 2nd October, 1993, the looting and expulsion of Muslim citizens from the
13 right to the left bank continued. It has come to the source's knowledge
14 that this is being done by groups which use the names of various units.
15 This is confirmed by statements of the neighbours; namely, the members of
16 these units call out to each other, conspicuously, names like Tutici,
17 Stelici, and other names, in order to shift the blame to the wrong
19 This is the substance of the text. What I would like to know is
20 the following: We have just been discussing something in order to
21 establish who was who and who belonged to which unit, and you told me on
22 what basis you believe some people to have been members of Stela's unit.
23 Now, having read this, do you allow for the possibility that even in the
24 events in which you were involved, certain people misrepresented
1 A. I wouldn't like to say anything about it.
2 Q. Okay. We can set this document aside, but we cannot give up
3 trying to establish who belonged to which unit.
4 You say that you identify the Convicts Battalion with Stela and
5 his unit. That's the way it seemed to you at the time. Now, the area
6 which was his -- that zone of responsibility, do you also identify it with
7 Stela, that is, Vinko Martinovic? When you hear "Convicts Battalion," do
8 you immediately think "That's where Stela was"?
9 A. I don't.
10 Q. I have a specific question now. One incident which happened on
11 Santiceva Street was mentioned during your testimony. One of the soldiers
12 killed someone with a hand grenade. In your mind, is this in any way
13 related to Stela and his unit? Do you think it was their zone of
15 A. A fellow came, drunken, to the place when we were digging a trench
16 at the entrance to the building --
17 Q. Sir, please, we are clear about the event. We are reluctant to
18 raise it again in the first place. But I'm just asking you, who was this
19 soldier? Do you believe that this place where the incident happened was
20 under the control of Vinko Martinovic, Stela, and his unit?
21 A. I will quote the words of one of the soldiers who was there --
22 sorry, one of the prisoners. He said, "If Stelici continuing dropping in
23 on us like this every day, there will be no more balijas left to carry out
24 the works."
25 Q. I will show you another document, and we'll continue this
2 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I have a document here that we've seen
3 before. It's Exhibit P496 from Binder 10. It's a report from the
4 administration of military police related to the 5th July.
5 Q. Please look at this report, and I would like to ask you a couple
6 of questions about it. I would like to draw your attention to what is
7 written on the first page, "the Health Centre," and then on the second
8 page, "Aleksica Kuca, or Aleksica houses near the underpass."
9 If I may lead you, and I should like you to confirm what I say.
10 "Report of the police, 4th, 5th July, 1993." First line: "The bank, the
11 old grammar school." And underneath: "Nine military policemen, reserve
12 positions held by" -- "nine military policemen holding the position with
13 44 additional policemen on alert. The reserve position is held by MUP
14 with 12 men, and 24 on alert."
15 Second paragraph, line: "The old grammar school, Health Centre.
16 The 9th battalion, 3rd Brigade of the HVO. The line is manned by 25
17 soldiers, 13 at the elementary school, 12 at the Sipad company."
18 Third paragraph: The Health Centre again. "The position is
19 manned by the ATG Mrmak. Due to frequent provocations ..." and so on and
20 so forth. "The number of people manning this position is not stated in
21 this case."
22 Let us turn the page and see the following paragraph, the line:
23 "At the Aleksica houses. The position is manned by the ATG Benko
24 Penavic." The paragraph underneath, the line: "At Aleksica houses and
25 underpass. The position is manned by the 4th Battalion of the 3rd
2 I don't need to go any further. But we can see that this is one
3 of the daily reports which were regularly submitted and shows - at least
4 as far as I'm concerned - that there were several units along the same
5 axis. Would you agree with that? Would you agree with the fact that at
6 the time you were there, there were several various units at those
7 positions in addition to the ATG Mrmak?
8 A. You're referring to the dates in question?
9 Q. I'm referring to the confrontation line at the time you were
10 there. I'm not trying to link it to any particular date.
11 A. No, I really don't know. I'm reluctant to give any such comment
12 because, for example, as far as this date is concerned, the 4th or the 5th
13 of July, I was in Dretelj. But at any rate, I am really not sure about
14 the situation on those positions and the units involved.
15 Q. So, Witness, I'm not saying that you were there on this particular
16 date, but my case is that the situation remained unchanged. When you were
17 at the location, when you went to work at Stela's unit, did you happen to
18 see there were various units there, or was it your understanding that all
19 of the troops were members of Stelici, or the Stela's unit?
20 A. At least that's what they called themselves. I did not have any
21 access to them. I did not have an opportunity to talk to any of them.
22 But those were their own words.
23 Q. Well, we already had an opportunity to see that they sometimes
24 misrepresented the situation, but I do not intend to pursue the matter any
25 further. If I'm correct, you were sent to work at various locations,
1 Rodoc, Bijelo Polje, and others?
2 A. I went to the area of Bijelo Polje, Rastani, Sovici, Doljani, and
3 at other locations in the area of Mostar, and around the town of Mostar,
4 but I cannot be more specific because I am not familiar with the town of
6 Q. I wanted to ask you what the distance was from Rodoc to Bijelo
7 Polje in kilometres. How far were those locations? How long did it take
8 you to get there by truck?
9 A. I did not mention Bijelo Polje.
10 Q. I apologise, let me try this way. What was the distance between
11 those locations? How long was the stretch to the locations where you were
12 taken to, to perform work? I'm -- you don't have to be precise. Is it
13 several kilometres?
14 A. Yes, several kilometres. Sovici is just several kilometres away.
15 Rastani is not very far from the Heliodrom. Buna is also not very far
16 from the Heliodrom. The longest distance was Sovici Doljani, for example.
17 Q. I'm sorry. It was my fault, Witness.
18 JUDGE LIU: You have to pause. The interpreters really have some
19 difficult time with you.
20 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
21 Q. Very well, I don't wish to complicate the matter any further. I
22 just wanted to ask you whether the -- whether members of the Stela's unit
23 were at all those locations. But if you're not sure, you don't have to
24 answer my question.
25 Let us now go back to the issue which Mr. Bos tried to clarify by
1 using a map. Witness PP, you couldn't find your way around on this map
2 and the photograph. You said that the situation has changed in the
3 meantime. I should like to know when was the last time that you visited
4 the spot where you escaped?
5 A. The last time I was there was sometime in 1998 or 1999, when I
6 went there with a friend of mine, and I showed him the area. I wanted to
7 retrace my steps, and I remembered that there were 95 steps between two
8 points. The distance was 95 steps.
9 Q. If I understand you correctly, so you did visit the spot some two
10 or three years ago. Am I correct?
11 A. Yes, I visited that spot. I think he told me that I must have got
12 out from the Health Centre, at the time I was trying to escape, and he was
13 trying to explain to me what happened and where I was, but I wasn't sure
14 because, once again, I had a completely different picture in my mind,
15 because I don't think I will be able to see it in the same way that it
16 appeared to me at that moment. You can show me any picture, any
17 photograph, you want. Again, I don't think I'll be able to tell you with
18 certainty that that indeed was the location.
19 Q. Sir, I fully understand you. The situation has changed indeed.
20 But we had an opportunity to see a contemporary photograph today, and I
21 just wanted to ask you whether the location at the time you visited it
22 looked the same way as it looked on the photograph. Were the buildings
23 the same?
24 A. No, no, they were not.
25 Q. So are you saying that at the time you visited the location, it
1 was different from the photograph that you had -- that you saw today?
2 A. Yes. This is all completely new to me.
3 Q. And who was that friend of yours? You don't need to mention his
4 name. Was he an official of some sort? How was it that he knew about
5 those events? Was he an eyewitness?
6 A. No, he was not an eyewitness, but he happened to be -- at the
7 moment of my escape, he was in one of those buildings. Of course, he was
8 there. He's a friend of mine. I know him. I've known him since
9 childhood. But he was not an official of any sort.
10 Q. So you were not able to identify the Health Centre on that
11 occasion either? I simply wanted to establish whether it was possible for
12 us to see the photograph once again and ask several questions regarding
13 the Health Centre once again, in view of that visit of yours of the
14 location. But just tell me: Do you think there is any point in seeing
15 the photograph once again?
16 A. No, I don't think there is. I really cannot be sure. I cannot
17 tell you about things that I'm not sure about.
18 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let us try to clear up the issue of date,
19 if we can. Now, we are talking about the relevant event on the day when
20 you escaped. Could you tell us what date it was?
21 A. I think -- at least the date that I have in my mind is the 19th of
22 September. That's the mind -- that's the date that I have in my mind.
23 Q. We will go back to that. Let us try to establish that we are
24 talking about the same event. At what time did the attack start, in your
1 A. At noon, thereabouts. I cannot be more specific.
2 Q. How long did the attack last approximately?
3 A. Once again, I'm not sure. I cannot be precise. I was beside
4 myself at that moment. I don't know how long it lasted.
5 Q. Mr. Witness, we fully understand your situation. I am not asking
6 you to tell us how many minutes or how many hours it lasted. However,
7 could you give us at least a rough estimation, a rough estimate, as to how
8 long it was? Did it last the whole day, for example? Throughout the
9 afternoon? Or --
10 A. No, not the whole day. I mean, maybe 15 or 20 minutes, from the
11 time I got out of the building up until the moment I escaped. What
12 happened afterwards, I don't know, because I was in this other building,
13 in the infirmary, so I don't know how it ended or how long it actually
15 Q. So on that day, on the day of your escape, there was a tank there
16 which opened fire at one point. Did you hear at some later stage that the
17 tank was there on another day, or is it the only day and the only incident
18 that you remember?
19 A. I remember that particular day, and I remember that it was
21 Q. I'm not trying to dispute that; I'm trying to establish the
22 specific date because there may have been other similar events before that
23 day or perhaps later.
24 A. I can only speak about that particular day and about what happened
25 to me. I cannot tell you anything specific about other days.
1 Q. Very well. Thank you.
2 Let us dwell on the event itself for a while. Is it the same
3 event involving the three individuals whose name we cannot mention? You
4 were in that situation only on that particular day with those three
5 individuals at the time, on the day when you escaped? And is it the
6 incident involving the wooden rifles?
7 A. I have already stated my position, and I abide by it.
8 Q. The reason for all these questions is because I believe that there
9 are certain problems regarding the date. Why? Because other individuals,
10 the men who were with you, had a different date in mind. They
11 specifically spoke about the 17th of September, 1993. We have a document
12 here which also mentions the same date, that is, the 17th of September,
13 1993, and the same event. Do you remember where you were on the 17th of
14 September, 1993? Do you remember that particular day -- or rather, that
15 particular date? Do you know where you were on the 17th?
16 A. No, I can't remember that.
17 Q. So why is it that you say that the event took place on the 19th?
18 A. That is the date that has remained imprinted in my mind, although
19 I have already told you that I'm not hundred percent sure of the date.
20 However, I remember the event as having taken place on the 19th of
22 Q. And this brings me finally to the following question: Do you
23 allow for the possibility of a mistake? Is it possible that you have made
24 a mistake regarding the date? Do you think it is possible that the event
25 took place on the 17th of September?
1 A. I never offered my guarantees that the event happened on the
2 19th. I told you that I was not hundred percent sure. I said that I
3 remember it as the 19th, thereabouts. But once again, I'm not certain.
4 Q. Thank you, Witness. I understand your position. And I accept
5 your answer. But you have to understand also our position. We are trying
6 to clarify the matter not only because of you but because of the case in
7 general and because we want to make certain comparisons and clarify the
8 dilemma that exists concerning this particular event. So we are now clear
9 that we are talking about one and single event involving you and three
10 other individuals. It may have happened on some other date, but that was
11 the -- that is the event that we are talking about.
12 We had a witness in this case who spoke about the time when the
13 event started. He mentioned the event as involving some wooden rifles,
14 but he said that the attack had started at 5.00 a.m.
15 A. That is not correct. I left the Heliodrom at around 6.00. But I
16 am sure that the event took place around noon. It may have been at 1.00
17 p.m., but I'm sure that it was at that time, that part of the day.
18 Q. We are now discussing the event itself. And your group, the group
19 of people who escaped. How was it that you made that decision? Is it
20 something that you had previously discussed? Was it a spontaneous thing?
21 A. There was no decision whatsoever. We trusted our instincts. I
22 didn't give the whole idea very much thought. There were no preparations
23 whatsoever for the escape. I simply did it. I would be lying to you if I
24 told you a different story. That's how it was.
25 Q. Did you see or hear about any cases of some prisoners
1 volunteered -- who volunteered to recover the bodies of killed soldiers or
2 the bodies of the wounded so as to be released in return and given an
3 opportunity to go to third countries? Have you heard of such a case?
4 A. No, no, I haven't.
5 Q. At the moment you were running across the separation line trying
6 to escape, was there any shooting from infantry weapons, or just from this
7 artillery piece that was there? Can you remember that?
8 A. The fire was coming from all sides. All kinds of weapons were
10 Q. Witness, did you happen to see Stela then and there at the
11 separation line?
12 A. I did not see him at the line, but I have seen him in the
13 basement. I have already told you that I did not see him at the line.
14 Q. Very well, thank you.
15 Do you know a soldier by the name of Takac?
16 A. Not personally, but I've heard about him. But I do not wish to
17 give any comments on that because I'm really not sure. I don't want to
18 recount other people's stories.
19 Q. Did you see Takac at the separation line that day?
20 A. I told you, I cannot comment anything about Takac. I've heard
21 stories about him, but I don't know who the man is, so I cannot speak
22 about him.
23 Q. Good. Let us focus our attention to the hospital, that is, to the
24 time of your transfer to Mostar and the time that you spent hospitalised
25 in that hospital. You testified that members of the Convicts Battalion
1 used to come to the hospital, they introduced themselves the way they did,
2 and you also told us that you had seen some insignia on them. I'm
3 interested now in the emblem, in the insignia of that unit. Correct me if
4 I'm wrong, but I believe that you said that you had seen the insignia with
5 the dog's head on those soldiers with the name of the dog written
6 underneath the picture, the image, and also the words "Convicts
7 Battalion." Am I correct in interpreting your testimony?
8 A. Something else was written as well, "Martinovic," but I can't
9 remember. I don't wish to state anything in that respect.
10 Q. We have to clarify the issue because my client, Mr. Martinovic,
11 claims that there had never been an insignia like that, that they only had
12 an insignia with the words "Vinko Skrobo" written on it and that that
13 insignia was in use sometime between end August and September 1993. Did
14 you happen to see such an insignia? Did you ever hear about an insignia
15 like that?
16 A. I remember seeing it. I cannot describe it to you in precise
17 terms because I don't fully remember the details, but I remember a dog's
18 head. I don't know what units were there in the month of August. I
19 really don't know.
20 Q. Witness, I understand that you're not familiar with those facts,
21 and this is probably not something that you consider to be very important;
22 however, I'm in a position to prove what soldiers they were, so therefore
23 we have to establish whether the soldiers in question were members of that
24 particular unit or not. You mentioned a name of a soldier as a member of
25 that group, Stela's unit, and you told us that his name was Dzemo Skobalj;
1 is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. Did you personally know that man from before? Did you know him
4 well, or only by sight, or is it the first time that you saw him?
5 A. I had known him from before.
6 Q. Did you at some point in time learn that Dzemo Skobalj was a
7 member of the unit which was commanded by Vinko Martinovic, Stela?
8 A. No.
9 Q. I will now take the liberty of showing you another document.
10 Please have a look at it, and we'll discuss it briefly. It is
11 Prosecutor's Exhibit P704 from binder 4. It's a document which we have
12 seen more than once in this courtroom.
13 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] With the usher's assistance, I would
14 like to show it to the witness so I can ask a couple of questions.
15 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters' note: If it may be put on the
16 ELMO as well? We don't have it.
17 JUDGE CLARK: Have you got another copy for us to put on the ELMO,
18 for us to look at?
19 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I'll give my own copy to be put on the
21 Q. Witness, the usher will now give you this red file with an excerpt
22 marked, and please read the title. Could you please read the title aloud?
23 A. "Department of Defence, Convicts Battalion, ATG -- ATJ."
24 Q. What the usher has just given you is the full list, and would you
25 kindly look through it to ascertain its contents? And we'll come to the
1 part where it says: "ATG Vinko Skrobo." So please look through it.
2 JUDGE CLARK: How is that relevant? It's six months or five
3 months later. It's November 1993, and we are talking about July, August,
5 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I think we will be able to show that
6 there were no significant changes in this unit. And in any event, there
7 are no earlier lists. And precisely at that time, the unit - and I have
8 to state the Defence's case now - the unit was established in this
9 particular period. What I mean to say is that this is the only
10 information we have about the unit. We are showing that it is these
11 people who made up the unit and that before that time, the unit did not
12 exist, so no one could have heard about it. I thought it might be
13 inappropriate only insofar as this is a very long period we are talking
14 about, but I can withdraw it.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Par, if I understand, you've just said that you
16 would be in a position to prove that this unit did not exist until
17 November 1993. Is that correct?
18 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] No, no. That unit had two names. One
19 name was Mrmak, the other was Vinko Skrobo. We are not making an issue
20 out of it. It was one unit. We are saying at the time when the conflict
21 began in Mostar between Muslims and Croats on the 9th of May, the unit had
22 not been established. It was a different activity at the time, and the
23 unit was formed later. We're just talking about the date of its
24 establishment, nothing else. And that's our position.
25 JUDGE CLARK: But it's important to know what you're actually
1 saying to this witness. Are you saying that there was no unit at the
2 medical centre whose commander was your client, Mr. Stela, Vinko
3 Martinovic? Or are you saying that in May and June of that year, that it
4 was called "Stelici" or something else? What are you actually saying,
5 that its name was different, or that it didn't exist?
6 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I'm telling this witness the person that
7 he mentioned as Dzemo Skobalj, whom he knew personally and whom he
8 considered to be a member of Stela's unit at the time, I am telling this
9 witness in no unclear terms that my client says that this person Dzemo
10 Skobalj was not in Stela's unit, and that's why I am offering this list,
11 to see which soldiers were in the unit. So I'm only saying that this
12 soldier was not one of Stela's men, and he cannot conclude on the basis of
13 seeing that man that the men who were around the hospital that day were
14 part of Stela's unit.
15 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par, I think Judge Clark asked you a very relevant
16 question; that is, the incident in the hospital was supposed to happen on
17 the 9th of May, and this list, I think the date is December 2nd, 1993.
18 There is about -- at least half a year. And some people maybe deserted,
19 some people died. How could you prove a certain person which is not on
20 the list was not present in May of that year?
21 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I cannot prove that, and I'm not
22 offering evidence to that effect. But if the question -- I really don't
23 know the exact date of the event at the hospital. But if it is the 9th of
24 May, 1993, in that case - I am also responding to the Honourable Judge
25 Clark's question - then on the 9th of May, the unit which also included
1 Vinko Martinovic had not yet been established under either name, Vinko
2 Skrobo or Mrmak. It was established immediately after that. But on that
3 particular date, the unit had not yet been established; it had not had a
4 commander. It will come into being a little while later.
5 So I appreciate your remarks. I cannot prove anything with this
6 document at all, and I'm withdrawing it, offering at the same time my
7 apologies for wasting your time.
8 It is 4.00 now, and I still have a number of questions that I
9 propose to deal with yesterday [as interpreted], if you have no other
11 JUDGE LIU: We'll resume at 9.30 tomorrow morning.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.00 p.m.,
13 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 21st day
14 of November, 2001, at 9.30 a.m.