1 Wednesday, 5 December 2001
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.32 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
8 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
9 JUDGE LIU: I'm sorry about the delay because we have to share the
10 courtroom with other cases. So there are some rumours floating on the
11 floor, but anyway, let's begin.
12 Mr. Krsnik.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, and thank you, Your
15 WITNESS: WITNESS VV [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Krsnik: [Continued]
18 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
19 A. Good afternoon.
20 Q. Have you had a good rest. Can we pick up with where we left off
21 tomorrow [as interpreted]? I'd like to have back on the ELMO that
22 drawing. Yes. Can we go back to it? Do you remember the one?
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Usher, will you please help me?
24 [In English] Put it on the ELMO, please.
25 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, please will you take the pointer. My
1 first question to you, Witness, is: Starting from the -- from this
2 flyover over to the centre of Mostar, how far is that, approximately? I
3 mean the west side, of course.
4 A. Well, I wouldn't be able to tell you that. I really do not know,
5 sir. I don't know even approximately.
6 Q. And how far are the first houses from west side of Mostar?
7 Approximately. It doesn't really matter. Approximately.
8 A. You mean the first houses in Rastani?
9 Q. From this flyover where you started drawing this line, and then
10 looking to the left, how far are the first buildings from Mostar, from the
11 west part?
12 A. Well, sir, houses stretch from Bakina Luka onward.
13 Q. So you could say that Rastani is a part of Mostar, couldn't we?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And now, if we moved from this flyover to the hydro powerplant,
16 approximately, of course, just roughly, how many kilometres would that be,
17 that section of the front that you manned in Rastani up to the hydro
18 powerplant, approximately?
19 A. We held the line on the hill above the last houses, so I cannot
20 really say how many kilometres. Because the front line did not follow
21 either the railway tracks or the road, so that I cannot say exactly. I
22 know where the front line passed, but ...
23 Q. And following, then, this red line, that is where you
24 fortified -- I mean, you made some fortification, fortified positions?
25 A. Sir, as far as I know, we were in the last houses, and perhaps a
1 bunker here and there. Because I was not there. I wasn't on that front
3 Q. And now tell me: From which directions did the HVO advance on the
4 23rd, I mean its infantry? Were they advancing along the whole front line
5 or ...
6 A. As far as I know, sir, from the curve up on the Raska Gora towards
7 Dumpor's houses, so they were coming down from there. I don't know about
8 any other directions.
9 Q. Very well. Thank you. Now tell me: Why did the army of Bosnia
10 and Herzegovina attack Rastani on the 24th of August, wasn't it, the first
12 A. As far as I know, sir, the BH army did not attack on the 24th of
13 August. Well, excuse me. Yes. I may have mixed up the dates, because
14 you used the term "liberated" Rastani.
15 Q. My question is: Why did you in fact attack Rastani, or rather,
16 who did you liberate it from?
17 A. Well, sir, that is clear. That is what HVO says. When they take
18 an area, they say they have liberated it. So the same term was used in
19 the BH army.
20 Q. Very well. But who did you liberate Rastani from?
21 A. From the HVO, sir.
22 Q. And had you managed to keep Rastani, would you then be at the back
23 of the defence of the west side of Mostar? Would that mean --
24 A. Well, I do not know what were the plans of the BH army. I wasn't
25 really in the know.
1 Q. Very well. You said that the BH army and the HVO were together in
2 Bijelo Polje right up to the 30th of June. Is that correct?
3 A. It is.
4 Q. Which means, sir, that the unity was preserved there, and for a
5 month those men were together. Now, my question is: Why -- whom did you
6 attack and who did you liberate Bijelo Polje from?
7 A. Sir, I told this Honourable Court yesterday that there was a
8 shortage of food in the town by that time already, and for that reason,
9 the BH army tried to link up with Sarajevo so as to have some
10 communication and so that food supplies could get in. That is as far as I
11 know, sir.
12 Q. Yes. I fully understand what you are saying, but that is not what
13 I asked you. In Bijelo Polje, there were no problems whatsoever because
14 the HVO and the BH army were together, weren't they?
15 A. Well, sir, we who were in the old part of the town or, rather, in
16 East Mostar, we could not get through. And I'm telling you that we were
17 really very short of food. Food was really running out, and that is why
18 the BH army ordered to provide this linkup.
19 Q. Witness VV, why link up if you are all together?
20 A. I'm repeating, sir, that we had no food.
21 Q. Yes. I understand. You're repeating this for the third time.
22 But I'm asking you about Bijelo Polje, Witness VV, where the forces were
24 A. But, sir, we could not get through to Bijelo Polje from East
1 Q. Tell me, do you know that one night members of the BH army turned
2 their -- targeted their former allies and massacred 25 members of the HVO
3 and imprisoned others in the camp at Bijelo Polje? Are you aware of that
4 on that particular day, the 30th of June?
5 A. I am not aware, sir, that there were any massacred people. I do
6 not know about that. I repeat it. I know there were captured members of
7 the HVO. About any massacres, I do not know. And, sir, I do not know who
8 turned their barrels on whom, because on the 9th of May, sir, the HVO was
9 the first one to start shooting.
10 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Prosecutor.
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I would like to know where our
12 learned colleague is leading to us. What is the relevance of some HVO
13 members being arrested or executed?
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Krsnik. Would you please answer this
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, and I shall be
17 gratified to do so. In his examination-in-chief, the Prosecutor asked a
18 number of questions, and Bijelo Polje was even circled, and that is why I
19 think that this witness should be subjected to verification during the
21 Secondly, when answering the questions of the Prosecution, the
22 witness said that the BH army attacked and liberated Bijelo Polje. So my
23 question was only, "And what happened then?"
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, as a rule before this Court, we only
25 want to hear those things which are directly related to the subject matter
1 of this case. I hope you could focus your cross-examination on the part
2 which is related to your client. You may proceed.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. Excuse me.
4 Q. Tell me -- and was then the road opened, the way opened to
6 A. Yes, sir, over Ravna Gora, over the mountain.
7 Q. And by road?
8 A. No. Sir, the road, yes, was free, but the HVO was on the other
9 side and in the vicinity so that we went across the mountain.
10 Q. Was the HVO beyond, behind the hydro powerplant too?
11 A. On the right bank of the Neretva, sir.
12 Q. Tell me, please, Witness VV, why did you attack Kalik on the 9th
13 of May, that is, the west part of Mostar?
14 A. I don't understand. What place?
15 Q. Excuse me. I may have misnamed the place. That part in West
16 Mostar. What did you say? Kalik, Kalionik -- Oh, no, no, no, no.
17 Zalik. Sorry. Sorry. Apologies. My fault. Zalik.
18 A. Well, sir, I really did not answer that question, because I was
19 just a plain soldier, and all I did was execute the orders of my command.
20 Q. I'm asking you that because I was surprised to hear how many
21 things you know being a plain soldier. So my question to you is: How is
22 it you know about the front agreements and withdrawals on the positioning
23 of front lines, being a foot soldier? How do you know all that?
24 A. Well, sir, believe me, but almost everybody knew that in Mostar.
25 I think it was also on Radio Mostar, counsel, sir.
1 Q. Well, then I'm asking you why didn't you relocate your command to
2 your front lines? Why did you leave it in the centre of Mostar?
3 A. That I wouldn't know, sir.
4 Q. Do you know how many men participated with the BH army in this
5 attack on Zalik and other parts of Mostar in the night between the 9th and
6 10th of May?
7 A. No. I wouldn't know that.
8 Q. Did you know how many men did the BH army have deployed around
9 flats in the west side of Mostar?
10 A. No, I don't know that, sir.
11 Q. Do you know why did the BH army attack the northern camp?
12 A. As far as I can remember, sir, it was that same operation when
13 Bijelo Polje was taken. And I suppose the reason was the same. I'm not
14 really -- I don't know very much about it. It is my guess that that was
16 Q. And those captured during this operation, were they put up in the
17 elementary school in Mostar? I mean captured HVO soldiers.
18 A. Yes. As far as I know, they were put there.
19 Q. Was that the only camp? Were there other camps on the east side
20 of Mostar?
21 A. On the east side of Mostar, sir, I am not aware of any camp
22 except --
23 Q. You mean except the 4th Elementary School?
24 A. Yes, except for 4th Elementary School.
25 Q. Were there also Croat civilians in that camp?
1 A. I wouldn't know, sir, because I never once visited that school.
2 Q. Thank you very much. Witness VV, I do not want to keep you long
3 today, but last night and this morning when I tried to recapitulate it
4 all, I tried to make concise my cross-examination. But I'd like to go
5 back to Siroki Brijeg, if you don't mind. I do have a few questions about
7 A. Well, I'll answer to the best of my knowledge.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Previous translation continues] ... Exhibit 26.8.
10 Q. [Interpretation] Witness VV, my first question is: Do you
11 recognise this area? Do you know what it is, where it is, and so on?
12 A. No. I do not know this cell, sir, because in the civilian prison
13 when we were taken there, it was dark and there were no lights. All I can
14 remember is that there were some sponge mattresses on the floor.
15 Q. I didn't ask you where it is. I'm asking you if you can recognise
17 A. I cannot recognise this cell because I was in those two places, at
18 Siroki, but I spent in complete darkness here during 24 hours so that I
19 could not see anything and therefore I cannot recognise anything.
20 Q. Very well. And tell me, this company, this firm, this factory
21 that they took you to, do you remember what the building looked like? Was
22 it large, small, medium size? If you remember, of course.
23 A. Well, sir, I cannot remember the building, but Siroki Brijeg is a
24 small place. So I'd say that it was slightly larger than the buildings
25 around it. Because we arrived by night, so that --
1 Q. Yes. Yes. Tell us, were there any stairs taking you to the
3 A. Yes. Yes, there were.
4 Q. And the room that you were in in the cellar, those rooms, there
5 were walls between you and your colleague?
6 A. No. I said it already. It was metal. That is, it was a tin
7 plate. So between me and my colleague was a tin plate, not a proper
9 Q. I see. And again you had a sponge mattress on the floor, or what?
10 A. What we had were army cots, sir.
11 Q. And this photograph here, this area here, it could be that you
12 were there?
13 A. You mean the one that I'm looking at now?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. Well, I cannot really say yes or no with any certainty. I cannot
16 say that positively. But I do not see any cots here. But I mean, the
17 size of the room, it could be it. And again, I do not see this tin plate
18 which partitioned this area.
19 Q. So it's only because of this cot and this tin sheet, but this tin
20 could have been painted over in the meantime.
21 A. But, sir, I spent 24 hours in the darkness.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
23 MR. PORIOUVAEV: It seems to me that the witness has already
24 answered this question. He did not see anything in the darkness. What
25 did you see? These questions again. The witness recognises this cell.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 The response has already been given.
2 JUDGE LIU: I think that's a reasonable response from the
3 Prosecutor. You may skip this question, Mr. Krsnik.
4 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, can I ask you a question? Where is that
5 cell located? Which building is that cell?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This cell, Your Honour, is in the
7 tobacco station. It is the old photograph. We saw it a number of times.
8 And my question to the witness was whether we could recognise him.
9 JUDGE CLARK: [Previous translation continues] ... that you are
10 showing him a cell in the tobacco station, so the witness knows that.
11 This cell that you're being shown is from the tobacco station.
12 Just so that we're not tricking him.
13 MR. KRSNIK: No, no, no.
14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour. I must object. This is a
15 photo of the cell of the MUP station. It is not fair to our witness to
16 mislead him.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please, just a second.
18 I do not want to have the repetition of the situation the other day, that
19 I fear that we misunderstand each other and that some conjectures are made
20 in advance, and that was not my intention. My question was fair and
21 honest: Could he recognise this area? The witness answered as he did.
22 My next question was whether he spent all his time in this cell.
23 May I assume simply if the witness was in the cell? If the witness does
24 not recall it, then nothing more than that. And the witness answered as
25 he did answer, and that was a correct answer too.
1 And this photograph, I think that the Honourable Court has seen
2 this photograph at least ten times so far.
3 JUDGE CLARK: [Previous translation continues] ... seen this
4 photograph before, and I wanted to get it clear: Is this a photograph of
5 a cell in the MUP station, or is it a cell from the tobacco station?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is a cell from the MUP station,
7 from the police station at Siroki Brijeg. I asked him if he was there, if
8 he could remember this cell, and he answered no. Because if you remember,
9 other prisoners who we heard, some ten of them recognised the cell
11 JUDGE CLARK: Yes, but this prisoner said he was held in darkness,
12 he doesn't know what the cell looked like, and there was a tin partition
13 between them and he slept in a cot. None of those features are present
14 here. But I just wanted to make sure that when you show a photograph to
15 him, that he knows where that photograph is from. So even though he
16 doesn't recognise it, we can now let him know that it represents a cell in
17 the MUP station.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. Tell me, please, Witness VV: At the time when you talked with
20 Mr. Naletilic, when you had your coffee and tea, do you remember what the
21 person who brought this coffee and tea looked like?
22 A. All I know, sir, is that it was a young woman. She brought this
23 tea and coffee and left the room immediately, so that I cannot describe
25 Q. Now, tell me, do you remember any details from that room: a
1 cabinet, a desk, a chair, how Mr. Naletilic was dressed?
2 A. Sir, I remember that there was a desk there, that I sat on one
3 side of the desk and he sat on the other side. What he was on, I don't
4 know. I had been beaten, and my eyes were already shut from all the
5 beatings. I could barely sit, let alone make keen observations about
6 objects in the room.
7 Q. I understand. You cannot recall, for instance, even the hair
8 colour of this young woman?
9 A. As far as I recall, she was dark-haired, but I don't recall. I
10 think she had dark hair, but that would be about all, as far as the woman
11 is concerned.
12 [Defence counsel confer]
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, you said that a soldier had brought you there to the room
15 where Tuta was.
16 A. Yes, sir.
17 Q. Was he also in the room, or did he leave it?
18 A. He left, sir. He just brought me in and then left.
19 Q. Now, tell me, please: When you were transferred to Ljubuski, the
20 day that you came out in front of the building, that is, where you were
21 being held, do you recall any details: the surroundings, the buildings?
22 Was it a brick facade? Was it a painted facade?
23 A. When we came out of that building that morning, they moved us to
24 another building, and then we were waiting in a hallway until the vehicles
25 arrived, and then 15 soldiers came.
1 Q. Sorry. Let me interrupt you here. We know that.
2 I wanted to ask you: You went from one building to the next.
3 Were you looking around? Did you notice anything?
4 A. No, sir. I was not on vacation in Siroki Brijeg. I was
5 exhausted. I was barely walking. And in my statements to the Tribunal, I
6 said that we were not even given water.
7 Q. I understand that, and I do sympathise with you, and this is not a
8 formal statement. I really sympathise with you on that. But still, you
9 know, a person does not know where he is. So did you look around?
10 A. Well, that would have been the case under normal circumstances.
11 Q. Fine. So you wouldn't be able to either recognise nor describe
12 the other building either?
13 A. No, except that I know that it was close by.
14 Q. So in fact you do not know where you were?
15 A. It was very clear, sir, that I was in Siroki Brijeg, but where
16 exactly -- because given the circumstances in which I was, it is hard to
18 Q. But what we know with certainty is that you were in Siroki Brijeg;
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Now, how do you know that you were in Siroki Brijeg?
22 A. Sir, I said yesterday in my statement to the Trial Chamber that
23 Kolobara said that we had to be brought alive to Siroki Brijeg.
24 Q. And that is the only basis on which you know that you were in
25 Siroki Brijeg?
1 A. I also recognised the central prison of Herceg-Bosna, sir, and I
2 showed that to you yesterday. And as far as I recall, sir, in my evidence
3 yesterday, I said that we had crossed a bridge and turned right. And I
4 had been in Siroki Brijeg only once before that time.
5 Q. Witness, with your permission: It is solely on the basis of what
6 Kolobara said; that, in fact, is the only reason why you're saying that
7 you were in Siroki Brijeg.
8 A. Sir, I recognised the building where I spent the night, the
9 central prison. But if you were to take me to Siroki Brijeg now, I would
10 be able to recognise it.
11 Q. Now, from that building where you spent the first night, you were
12 taken in a car, in a van, to another location?
13 A. No. From that building, they took us to the civilian prison, and
14 from the civilian prison, the next morning, brought us back to that
15 building. We did not go anywhere else in these however many days we were
17 Q. And now, this car or this vehicle that you were in, was that a
18 windowless vehicle?
19 A. Sir, we were lying on the floor and we had about ten soldiers
20 around us who beat us and provoked us.
21 Q. How did you see the bridge, then?
22 A. Sir, these soldiers were saying, "There we are. We are crossing
23 the bridge now. We're coming to the building now." This is how we knew.
24 Q. Right, Witness. So listening to them, you came to these
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. That would be all, Witness.
3 [Defence counsel confer]
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Witness, this is going to be my last question. We can note -- we
6 can freely say that you saw -- you did not see anything on that road with
7 your own eyes or in Siroki Brijeg, but you heard about it?
8 A. Sir, I said we were lying on the floor in the van, both of us, and
9 we were mistreated and beaten. And I recognised the civilian prison of
10 Herceg-Bosna, which to me clearly meant that we were in Siroki Brijeg.
11 Q. Witness, I'm going to show you the picture 26.4 one more time.
12 MR. KRSNIK: 26.4. 26.
13 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, you see the picture? Tell me now, did
14 they also mistreat you in front of this building?
15 A. No, sir.
16 Q. What is so characteristic about this building that it stayed in
17 your mind?
18 A. Nothing, sir, but inside the building quite a few things stayed in
19 my mind.
20 Q. I see. Inside the building. Now that you recall the building,
21 where did you sleep in the building?
22 A. In a cell, sir.
23 Q. And where was it?
24 A. When you enter -- I don't know exactly where it is. I know that
25 we entered through this door, and I was taken into a cell, and the person
1 who was with me was taken somewhere to the right. It was dark and there
2 was foam mattresses on the floor, and that's where we were sleeping.
3 Q. And you don't know where those cells are inside the building?
4 A. No, sir.
5 Q. And the two police vehicles in front of the building, were there
6 also such police vehicles in front of the building that you can see in
7 this picture?
8 A. I can't recall, and it was late at night, sir. And as I said
9 previously, we were in such a shape.
10 Q. I understand. And had you not seen these police vehicles on this
11 picture, you would still have the same mental picture of that entrance?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Thank you, sir.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I have no further questions.
15 JUDGE LIU: Any cross-examination, Mr. Seric?
16 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of Vinko
17 Martinovic has no good reason to cross-examine this witness.
18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Any re-examination?
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you very much, Your Honour. I have no
20 questions for the witness.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any questions from the Judges?
22 Judge Clark.
23 Questioned by the Court:
24 JUDGE CLARK: Witness VV, I have a few questions to ask you that I
25 would like some clarification on. Yesterday when you gave evidence, when
1 you and your colleague were looking for the unit to whom to give them
2 their supplies of ammunition, you said that you saw a group of civilians
3 and some soldiers who appeared to be fanned out and the civilians were in
4 front of them. Did you ever find out who the civilians were?
5 A. Yes, Your Honour. Man in jeans and T-shirt whom I saw at that
6 time I saw later on on the west side after I was exchanged on the 19th of
7 March, and I did not know the rest of them.
8 JUDGE CLARK: Did you know what their role was there that day?
9 A. On that day, Your Honours, no. But later when I was exchanged,
10 this young man approached me and asked me whether I was taken prisoner at
11 that time. I told him yes, and then he told me that he was a human shield
12 at that time. In other words, he remembered my face at that time. And at
13 that time, I did not remember his face; I only remembered the jeans and
14 the T-shirt on him.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Did you ever find out that one of these men that was
16 there that day was able to contact the Red Cross and tell them of your
17 whereabouts? Did you ever find that out, or do you know that?
18 A. Your Honour, I heard that when I was transferred to the prison in
19 Ljubuski when the Red Cross arrived on the 26th of November, 1993. The
20 lady of the Red Cross, when I gave her my name, she said, "Oh, we finally
21 found you."
22 JUDGE CLARK: Did she appear to know of your whereabouts when you
23 spoke to her? She knew about you?
24 A. Your Honour, from what I understood from what she said, she did
25 not know where I was.
1 JUDGE CLARK: But she knew of you?
2 A. Your Honour, as far as I know, she -- all I know is that she
3 arrived on the 26th of November with another member and asked whether we
4 had been registered by the Red Cross, and I said that we had not been.
5 And she asked us for our names, and both my colleague and I gave her our
6 names. And when she checked the names, she told us, "Oh, we finally found
8 JUDGE CLARK: Very good. Returning to Rastani, as you were coming
9 up the hill and going towards Dumpor's houses were there any buildings or
10 houses that were actually burning or smoking?
11 A. Your Honour, from Dumpor's houses up towards Pinjuh's houses, you
12 could see smoke, a heavy, thick smoke. And where we were and the place we
13 were taken prisoner, those houses around there had already been burnt
14 down. So they were not burning at that time.
15 JUDGE CLARK: You see, Witness, the reason I'm asking you these
16 questions is that we've heard evidence that a number of the houses in the
17 area were the residences of Serbs which had been damaged or destroyed in
18 an earlier part of the conflict. I was just -- I wanted to know from you,
19 could you distinguish between those houses which had been burnt the
20 previous year and other houses in the area? In other words, were they
21 houses that had been burnt in the last 24, 36 hours?
22 A. Your Honour, the Serbian homes had been burned during 1992, and
23 these -- the houses that were on fire, you could see the smoke. They had
24 not burnt down yet. They had been torched maybe an hour, couple of hours
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. And I don't know if you can answer this
2 question. And of course if you don't know, I want you to indicate that to
3 me. Do you know if the houses which were burning and which you describe
4 as recently torched belong to any particular ethnic group?
5 A. I cannot confirm that, Your Honour. I did -- I did not know
6 Rastani well, and I did not know who owned which house.
7 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you for your honesty. Now if I can bring you
8 to Siroki Brijeg. You described to the Court and in cross-examination
9 recently how you were taken to an office by a soldier. Were you told by
10 that soldier where you were being taken or why you were being taken?
11 A. Your Honour, the gentleman who came to get me in the basement just
12 said, "Get up. You're coming with me," and took me up the staircase to
13 the office where Mr. Naletilic was sitting.
14 JUDGE CLARK: Now, when you described the place as an office, I
15 appreciate that you were not in good shape. I appreciate that you weren't
16 in a position to make acute observations. But can you go this far - and
17 if you can't, it doesn't matter - can you go this far: Can you describe
18 this room as an interrogation room or an office, an office, being where
19 somebody has accumulated books and personal effects?
20 A. Your Honour, as far as I could see under the circumstances, this
21 was an office.
22 JUDGE CLARK: Did the person who was sitting behind the desk and
23 who ordered tea and coffee introduce himself to you?
24 A. Your Honour, as far as I remember, he did introduce himself to me,
25 Mr. Naletilic did, as commander.
1 JUDGE CLARK: Did he tell you his name, Mladen Naletilic, or did
2 he say, "I'm commander Tuta"? Can you remember?
3 A. Your Honour, I cannot say that, but I believe he said "Commander
5 JUDGE CLARK: And when he ordered tea and coffee or ordered the
6 girl to bring tea and coffee, can we infer from that that he actually
7 offered you refreshment and gave you a choice?
8 A. Your Honour, yes.
9 JUDGE CLARK: And when he was questioning you, was it -- you
10 mentioned some of the things he asked, but was it in the nature of a
11 military interrogation, that you were a soldier and he wanted information
12 about army movements from you?
13 A. Your Honour, the gentleman only asked me about our commanders,
14 their whereabouts, whether they were in Eastern Mostar or somewhere else.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. Now, the next question I want to ask you
16 about is the unpleasant incident where you were -- you were tortured. Do
17 you have any idea whether your torturers were simply behaving cruelly and
18 sadistically or whether they were seeking information from you? Were they
19 asking you questions?
20 A. Your Honour, they were asking questions of me. In other words,
21 they would switch on the electricity for a couple of minutes, and then
22 they would switch it up, and then they would ask me questions, and then
23 after that they would again start all over, and they were laughing.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Were the questions related to military activity?
25 A. Your Honour, these questions were - how shall I put it? - without
1 any purpose. There were some military ones. There were some personal
2 insults. They also were demanding that I should pray in their manner, and
3 then they would laugh at that.
4 JUDGE CLARK: I don't want to cause you pain. I understand what
5 you're saying.
6 You described on another occasion when an HVO officer with whom
7 you had had contact when you were in the army and you were both fighting a
8 common cause, you described how he came to speak to you, and he in
9 particular sought information in relation to two HVO soldiers who had been
10 engaged in a form of sabotage. Do you recall that?
11 A. Yes, Your Honour.
12 JUDGE CLARK: How was his questioning to you as one military man
13 to the other? How did he conduct that investigation or interrogation?
14 A. Your Honour, that soldier spoke with me in a very regular way, as
15 if we were in some coffee bar or restaurant in town, in other words,
16 without trying to provoke me or to insult me.
17 JUDGE CLARK: Witness VV, thank you very much for your
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Judge Clark.
20 Any questions out of the Judge's questions?
21 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
22 Further cross-examination by Mr. Krsnik:
23 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, you heard the question of Her Honour
24 Judge Clark about the man who was wearing jeans and a T-shirt, you know,
25 of the prisoner at Dumpor's houses. Do you remember what Judge Clark
1 asked you?
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Just in case, Your Honours, can we
3 move to the private station for this question?
4 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session, please.
5 [Private session]
19 [Open session]
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Please, the place where you were taken prisoner, those Dumpor's
22 houses, how many are they? Five, six, seven? If you can, sir. What is
23 referred to as Dumpor's houses?
24 A. Sir, I think there's about 14 houses in Rastani.
25 Q. No. I'm only referring to the Dumpor's houses.
1 A. Sir, these are all Dumpor's houses. There may be 13 or 14
2 families there. They're all called Dumpor.
3 Q. Now, the houses where you were first in the cellar and then you
4 were taken prisoner there, did anybody torch those?
5 A. No. I said that before.
6 Q. Fine. And now, just a final question: The person who asked you
7 about these divers, was that Maka Radic?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did Maka Radic, when he was questioning you about this, did he
10 come to visit you in that cellar, in that basement where you were in
11 Siroki Brijeg?
12 A. Yes, sir.
13 Q. The answer is yes?
14 A. Yes.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Witness, for giving your evidence. We all
18 wish you good luck in your future. When the usher pulls down the blinds,
19 he will show you out of the room.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too, Your Honours.
21 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there any documents to tender?
22 Mr. Prosecutor.
23 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour. I would like to tender the
24 following documents, exhibits: P11.18, as marked as the witness; P26.4;
25 P34.2, as marked by the witness; P34.10; P538.1; and P745.1. As for the
1 documents P614, 677, P704, they have been already tendered before.
2 JUDGE LIU: Any objections?
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, no, we don't have
4 objections to maps, and down to 538.1. We have no objections to all the
5 above. All the others - 745.1, 614, 677, and 704 - we object to these
6 documents, and we shall submit it in writing within seven days. We have
7 already made our objections earlier, but we shall continue with our
8 standard practice; that is, within seven days I shall reason these
9 objections. Thank you.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Those documents which are not
11 objected to are admitted into the evidence.
12 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The Defence should also like to
14 tender D1/42. This is the map as marked by the witness, when the witness
15 drew this line through Rastani, and that was on Prosecutor's Exhibit
16 34.2. Thank you.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. I guess there are no objections.
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: No objections, Your Honour. Thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. It is admitted into the
21 It seems that we could have our early break. We'll resume at
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry. It might just be most efficient. The next
1 witness has asked for voice distortion, and perhaps we could at least get
2 that started before, and then we won't have to break again. So if we
3 could just ask for that to be done.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. That could be fixed during the break.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 --- Recess taken at 3.34 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.00 p.m.
9 [The witness entered court]
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT: Good afternoon, Mr. President, Your Honours.
12 Judge Clark, Judge Diarra. The next witness has requested protective
13 measures in the nature of facial image distortion, voice distortion, and a
14 pseudonym for security reasons. Thank you.
15 JUDGE LIU: I guess there are no objections from Defence counsel
16 at this time. Thank you very much for your cooperation.
17 Your request is granted, Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE LIU: Witness, good afternoon. Can you hear me?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Good afternoon.
21 Yes, I can. Yes.
22 JUDGE LIU: Will you make the solemn declaration, please?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
24 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
25 JUDGE LIU: Sit down, please.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 WITNESS: WITNESS WW
3 [Witness answered through interpreter]
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Scott. You may proceed.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I might inform the Chamber,
6 while the adjustments are being made, that the evidence of this witness is
7 particularly relevant to the following parts of the indictment:
8 Background, paragraphs 10 and 11; superior authority, paragraph 17;
9 general allegations, paragraphs 20 and 21; count 1, paragraphs 26, 27, 32,
10 and 34; counts 9 through 12, paragraphs 45 and 49; count 18, paragraph 54;
11 and count 21, paragraph 57.
12 Examined by Mr. Scott:
13 Q. Now, Witness, you have heard the Chamber perhaps say that the
14 protective measures that you've requested have in fact been granted. That
15 means that your name will not be used in these proceedings in order to
16 protect your identity, your face will not be shown, and your voice will be
17 altered in such a way that hopefully it will not be recognised by anyone
18 who might hear your testimony. So I will caution you for those reasons
19 not to use your name or perhaps any -- the names of close family members
20 when you testify, because if you do so, of course, that will tend to
21 identify you.
22 So with that in mind, the usher's now going to show you a piece of
23 paper that in fact has your name on it, I believe, and without saying your
24 name, can you just confirm for the Judges so then they know you are this
25 person, that that is your name? Yes or no?
1 A. Yes, it is.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'll try to ask the questions that
4 might require private session for the most part right at the beginning,
5 and so if I might please ask that we go to private session for a couple of
7 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session, please.
8 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session. You may proceed.
25 MR. SCOTT: Thank you.
1 Q. Witness, we're going to go very quickly to the core part of your
2 testimony, if you will, but I have two questions or so that I wanted to
3 ask you before that. During your time in Mostar, during 1992 and 1993,
4 were you familiar with a man named Milivoj Gagro?
5 A. Yes, I was. [redacted].
6 Q. Did Mr. Gagro at that time have a position in the Mostar city
8 A. Yes. He was the elected head of the municipality.
9 Q. And Mr. Gagro himself was a person of Croat ethnicity; is that
11 A. Yes, it is. Yes.
12 Q. Did there come a time in 1992 when Mr. Gagro was replaced as mayor
13 by a man name Jadranko Topic?
14 A. I think it was in -- yes, quite right. 1992. Mr. Jadranko
15 removed Mr. Gagro and took his post. Both were members of the HDZ, but I
16 guess they did not see eye to eye, because Mr. Gagro is quite a moderate
17 person and I think they did not like him. I do not know the true reason
18 why he was dismissed, but I know that he was and that Mr. Jadranko Topic
19 became the head of the municipality.
20 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please, was that replacement, what
21 you've just described, was that as a result of free elections, or how was
22 it that Mr. Gagro was replaced by Mr. Topic?
23 A. I have already said that Mr. Gagro was the elected -- he was
24 elected in the elections, because the HDZ, SDA, and SDS had won the
25 elections. They distributed offices amongst them, and Mr. Gagro was
1 elected the head of the municipality. And another, the second in rank,
2 was -- I don't know who it was, but it was a Muslim. And then why they
3 dismissed him, those in the HDZ, I wouldn't know exactly, but Jadranko
4 Topic took his place.
5 Q. Let me ask my question this way: Did the Bosniak population of
6 Mostar have any say? Did they have a chance to vote or select Mr. Topic
7 as Mr. Gagro's replacement?
8 A. No. No. No.
9 Q. And you've already said that you don't -- you can't speculate as
10 to all the reasons, perhaps, that Mr. Topic replaced Mr. Gagro, so I'm not
11 asking you that. But can you tell the Chamber: Did you observe any
12 differences in the policies, in the conduct of the government in the city
13 of Mostar after Mr. Topic took over, in comparison to when Mr. Gagro was
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, all these questions put
17 to the witness call for speculation, because this witness was not in any
18 body, political or party or electoral, so that any question asked of her
19 in this vein calls for speculation.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe the first one, the previous one, is
21 sort of speculation, but not the previous one -- this one. The question
22 is that: "Did you observe any differences in policies in the conduct of
23 the government in the city of Mostar after Mr. Topic took over, in
24 comparison to when Mr. Gagro was mayor?" That's the personal experience
25 from this witness, so this question is allowed. But before that question,
1 that one is sort of speculation. But anyway, the witness has answered
2 this question. I'll let it go.
3 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
5 Q. Witness, if you still recall the question, would you -- can you go
6 ahead, please, and answer the question: If you saw differences in the
7 Mostar government after Mr. Topic took control as mayor.
8 A. To be quite frank, the situation was rather strange. I wouldn't
9 be able to explain it properly, but it was somehow strange. It was odd.
10 I mean, things that were happening in the town were quite odd.
11 Q. Witness, I don't want to spend a great deal of time on this, but I
12 think I must ask you: When you say there were things that were strange or
13 odd, can you assist us a bit more than that? What was strange or odd, and
14 why would you call it strange or odd?
15 A. Well, I don't know. The relations between people changed
16 completely. People around town started saying ugly things, and the whole
17 situation in the town. Mr. Topic, I think, was a harder line in the HDZ.
18 Well, I'm just an ordinary citizen, but I presume that Mr. Topic was
19 carrying out all the decisions and orders of the HDZ. So that HDZ wanted
20 to take over complete control over the town, and I think so that the whole
21 situation was very difficult.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with your leave, this
24 confirms that the question invited speculation, because this answer is
25 pure speculation.
1 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'd like to respond.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I think it's a fair response by this
4 question. I don't want to go into private session, but she is a person in
5 a position to be able to make her observations and what was happening in
6 this location at this time. These are not technical, political
7 speculations; they are observations of persons in that community. I think
8 that's perfectly responsive.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We also believe that. You may proceed,
10 Mr. Scott.
11 MR. SCOTT:
12 Q. Now, around this time, the same time, Witness WW - and just one or
13 two more questions before getting to the 9th of May, 1993 - were you also
14 familiar with -- and I'm not suggesting you knew this person in a personal
15 way, but did you know of a man named Hadziosmanovic, who was also a
16 political figure or leader in Mostar at that time?
17 A. Yes. I think that gentleman represented the SDA, and he was more
18 prone to defend the HDZ than the Muslim interests in the town, so that he
19 allowed the signing of a document in which he turned over the town to the
21 Q. As a member of this community, did most of the Bosniaks consider
22 that this Mr. Hadziosmanovic represent their views, or was it the view
23 that he was out of step with the majority view?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honours. I really
1 do not want to tax your patience. I do not know how is it possible to
2 answer these questions except by speculation, because in view of the
3 circle in which this lady was moving, I mean, she cannot speak on behalf
4 of the broad Muslim community. If this does not invite speculation, then
5 I really do not know.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, the question is that as a member of
7 this community. I believe that everybody who lives in that community will
8 have an opinion concerning the leadership of that time. Let us hear what
9 is the response from this witness.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Witness, my question to you was: In your community and among the
12 Bosniak people that you were familiar with, was there a view that
13 Mr. Hadziosmanovic spoke for the majority of the Bosniak community, or
14 what was your observation in that regard?
15 A. No, did he not. Mr. Hadziosmanovic did not protect the interests
16 of the Bosniaks, of the majority of Bosniaks.
17 Q. All right. Now, moving to April 1993, just a few additional
18 background questions. Do you recall, Witness WW, that the HVO, around the
19 15th of April, 1993, attacked the -- an ABiH unit that was then located at
20 Hotel Mostar?
21 A. Yes. At the Hotel Mostar a clash took place between the BH army
22 and the HVO because, I guess, the HVO wanted to take that part, because
23 afterwards, when the separation line was established, because the Mostar
24 Hotel is right on the separation line between the Croat and the Bosniak
25 part of the town. And the conflict occurred not between the civilians but
1 between the troops. And after that, certain meetings were held and some
2 order was made to separate them, that is, that one should go to one side
3 and others to the other side. And the army did as ordered, but the HVO,
4 by night, entered the hotel and went into that hotel and stayed there.
5 Q. Witness, I'm just picking up from the speed of the translation
6 that you might be speaking just a bit fast. If you could possibly speak a
7 bit more slowly so that the translation can be accomplished.
8 A. Am I fast? Yes, possibly. Possibly I am.
9 Q. All right. If you could think about speaking a bit more slowly,
10 I'm sure it would assist. Thank you very much.
11 Now, were you in your home in Mostar on the 9th of May, 1993?
12 A. Yes, I was.
13 Q. Will you briefly just tell the Chamber, in your own words, what
14 happened that morning.
15 A. On the 9th of May, 1993, around 5.00 in the morning, the shelling
16 of the town started, and when all my family woke up - because we had
17 already been through one war crisis, and we thought that it was over - we
18 were caught by surprise as to what was happening now.
19 Q. Did you hear any broadcast on the television or radio that morning
20 that you can tell the Chamber about?
21 A. No. I got up, switched on the radio. There was only Radio
22 Mostar. That was the only communication medium in the town.
23 Q. Can you tell the Chamber at that point in time, by May of 1993,
24 what group or faction controlled the radio station in Mostar?
25 A. The HDZ.
1 Q. And during that morning of May of -- excuse me, the 9th of May,
2 did you hear any broadcast about the attack on Mostar Radio?
3 A. Yes. Mrs. Zlata Brbor, a journalist and presenter, announced that
4 the HVO was taking over -- was undertaking, was launching an armed attack
5 against the BH army, that it would be over soon, that the population
6 should not worry. But shortly after her, the radio station -- I heard
7 over the radio Mr. Topic's voice, and he repeated that same thing, and
8 also asked the citizens who were Muslims to put out white rags or cloth or
9 flags or something like that and that then nothing would happen to them.
10 Q. It may or may not be obvious, Witness, but what did you understand
11 the significance of putting out the white flags or rags, or did Mr. Topic
12 say anything more about that?
13 A. Well, I suppose that we should surrender.
14 Q. Were you able to look out from your apartment that morning and see
15 anything that was happening outside?
16 A. There was a lot of gunfire outside, and it was all targeting the
17 left bank in the town of Mostar. And shortly after these news -- after
18 this news programme, columns and columns of people started passing by,
19 some half dressed, some simply if their underwear, and they were heading
20 towards the left bank, towards the old city.
21 Q. Witness WW, I want to tell you that if reliving these things
22 causes you any suffering, I apologise for that. Of course, it's necessary
23 and helpful for the Judges to hear your testimony, but I regret if it
24 causes you any pain. If you do come to a moment when you would like to
25 take a break or collect yourself, I'm sure the President would allow some
1 moment to do that.
2 Moving ahead that morning, did anyone come to your apartment, and
3 can you tell us what happened?
4 A. Well, sometime after 6.00 or 7.00, around that time, somebody
5 knocked on our door. My husband -- my husband opened the door, and in
6 front of the door there were up to seven men, armed.
7 Q. Did you recognise any of the seven men that were then standing
8 outside of your flat?
9 A. When the first soldier asked my husband what was his name, my
10 husband told him his name, and he answered, "Balija," and ordered us to
11 come out. And that was Mr. Ernest Takac.
12 Q. All right. Now, we're going to go forward with your story in a
13 moment, but let me ask you: Among the soldiers that were outside or came
14 to your flat at that moment, apart from Mr. Takac, did you recognise any
15 of the others?
16 A. Because I'm -- because I was the first - that is, my flat is the
17 first flat in that building - I then saw Mr. Martinovic, Mr. - I've
18 already said so - Ernest Takac and a short gentleman whom they called
20 Q. When you said just now -- when you said one of them was
21 Mr. Martinovic, do you recall a first name and any nickname associated
22 with that man?
23 A. Later, after I was kicked out of the apartment and all that, when
24 I was en route to the Heliodrom, when I was on the bus, I learned that his
25 full name was Vinko Martinovic and that his nickname was Stela.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And the one named -- or nicknamed Dolma, did you know at the time
2 or have you learned any other name associated with that man?
3 A. Later on I learned that Mr. Dolma was named Pehar, P-e-h-a-r, last
4 name, and I don't know his first name.
5 Q. Now, you've given some explanation already, but I want to ask you
6 again: How is it that you recognised that day Ernest Takac; Martinovic,
7 Stela; and this man Dolma?
8 A. Because they were already well known in the city. People were
9 saying all kinds of things about them. I had never met them before until
10 that day. And Mr. Vinko Martinovic, Stela, was the chief man in the HOS,
11 so that more or less everybody in town knew him.
12 Q. A clarification on that, please. When you say he was the chief
13 man in something called HOS, do you mean at that time, or that he had been
14 in that position sometime previously?
15 A. I don't know. Believe me, the HOS did exist in the period of war
16 when the JNA was there and attacked Mostar.
17 Q. All right. Let's continue on with: After these men came to the
18 door and asked your name, what happened after that?
19 A. When Mr. Takac heard what my husband's name was, he took the
20 plaque off the door with his rifle and he ordered us all to come out.
21 Q. You're saying now -- when you say "the plaque off the door," was
22 this a plaque that had your family name on it?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Tell the Chamber, please: How was it that Mr. Takac removed that
25 from the door?
1 A. With a rifle. With a rifle butt.
2 Q. How many apartments were in your building, or flats, if you
3 recall, please, approximately?
4 A. In my building? In the building where I lived, there were 16
5 apartments. Right, there were 16 apartments.
6 Q. And can you tell the Judges, please: Of those 16 flats,
7 approximately how many were occupied by Bosniak families?
11 Q. Witness, I omitted to ask this earlier. My apology.
12 MR. SCOTT: I don't think it's sufficiently identifiable that it
13 warrants private session, Mr. President.
14 Q. Witness, you and your family are persons of Muslim origin or
15 ethnicity; is that correct?
16 A. Yes.
19 A. The same thing that happened to me. We were all kicked out.
20 Q. And could you see -- or can you tell the Chamber whether anything
21 happened that morning to the Croat families in the same building?
22 A. No.
23 Q. My apologies, Witness. It's a problem with my question and not
24 your answer. When I said, "can you tell," let me rephrase it. Was
25 anything done or happening to the Croat families in the building that
2 A. No.
3 Q. What happened next? Where did they take you?
4 A. When I came out in front of the building with my family, I saw
5 other people who were in front of our building standing there, and they
6 were all Bosniaks.
7 Q. Did you see again, as you gathered in front of the building, the
8 group of you, any of these same men who you told us about a few minutes
9 ago: Mr. Takac, Dolma, or Mr. Martinovic?
10 A. Mr. Takac was standing there, also Mr. Martinovic was, while other
11 soldiers were collecting people from other buildings and bringing them
12 over to my building, because that is where our building was, out on the
14 Q. Witness, based on what you saw, based on your observation, could
15 you tell if these HVO soldiers -- did any of them act as if or was treated
16 by the others as if he was in charge?
17 A. Yes. Mr. Stela. Mr. Martinovic was in charge. And all the
18 soldiers, as they were collecting people, after they were done with that,
19 they were all going over to him and saying that everything was all right.
24 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, please, what you saw happened to him
25 that morning about this time?
6 MR. SCOTT: I'm sorry, Witness.
7 Mr. President, it may be out of an abundance of caution. If I
8 could ask that that name be redacted. I wasn't really sure if it was
9 necessary, but probably it's safer if it is redacted.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, you have to be very cautious about
11 certain questions which might reveal the identity of this witness.
12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I didn't think it would tend to
13 identify so much this witness, but out of concern, potential concern for
14 that other person. And again, out of abundance of caution, I think it's
15 best that it be redacted, please.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll do that.
17 MR. SCOTT: My apology, and certainly my fault, not the witness's
19 Q. This man -- and I don't want you to use the name again, because,
20 as you've just heard, we're not going to mention his name at this point.
21 But what did you see then happen to him next?
22 A. A black Mercedes was parked in front of the building. And
23 Mr. Stela asked him whose Mercedes it was, and the gentleman answered that
24 it was his.
25 Q. Then what happened?
1 A. Mr. Stela asked for the keys to the car, and because this
2 gentleman didn't have them, he said that somehow he could start the car by
3 connecting wires.
4 Q. And then what happened?
5 A. One of his soldiers entered the car and started it and then drove
6 the car away someplace.
7 Q. Now, can you tell the Chamber, before we move on with the events
8 on the 9th of May, can you tell the Judges, please, did you see this same
9 black Mercedes at a later time?
10 A. Yes. After I came back from the Heliodrom, I started working
11 again. And coming back from work, across from the coffee bar that
12 belonged to Mr. Stela, I saw a black Mercedes on fire, and I recognised it
13 by the licence plates. [redacted]
14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
15 MR. SCOTT: My apology for the microphone. If we can redact the
16 name. I'm sorry, Mr. President.
17 Q. Witness, perhaps you can assist us. You've made reference to
18 seeing this same black Mercedes in front of Stela's coffee bar, as you
19 describe it. In connection with your being released from the Heliodrom,
20 can you give the Chamber some idea in terms of -- with reference to the
21 9th of May, approximately how much later was it? How much time passed
22 before you saw this Mercedes in front of Stela's coffee bar?
23 A. I came out of the Heliodrom on the 15th or 16th of May, and I
24 started working right around the beginning of June. It wasn't long after
25 the 1st of June. I don't know the date.
1 Q. Very well. That's fine, Witness. Thank you.
2 After you were taken outside and after the Mercedes was driven
3 away, the group of you were collected and some of you were taken off in
4 the direction of the Velez stadium; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, the whole group.
6 Q. And tell us a bit more about how that was done. Did you all go as
7 a group, and did there come a point in time when the women and children
8 were separated from the men?
9 A. When they led us out in front of the building --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honour. The last two or
12 three questions are very leading and very suggestive. I would just like
13 the Prosecutor to rephrase his questions.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, we don't believe that it is a leading question,
15 because this is the natural course of the event that happened along this
16 line. Yes.
17 You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I was trying to be a bit more
19 efficient, but I'm happy to proceed otherwise, more conservatively, if
20 that causes counsel some difficulty.
21 Q. Tell us what happened next, Witness. In your own words, what
22 happened as you were taken off that morning, and what did you see, and
23 what happened to you?
24 A. When they lined us up in front of the building in a column, they
25 started leading us down the Petar Drapsin Street, and then we crossed the
1 Mustovic Street; and from Mustovic Street, we came to Bakamluk; and from
2 Bakamluk, we continued down Kalemova Street. But they did not lead us
3 down the public street, but rather, in between buildings, because this was
4 a new development. So they led us in between buildings. And they brought
5 us to the building of Parkovi i Nasadi, and from there they led us to the
6 Velez stadium.
7 Q. Were you during that time, as far as you've taken us up until now,
8 were you together with your husband and son?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And was that always the case that day, throughout that day?
11 A. No. When they -- because before the Velez stadium, before we
12 reached that, there are the university complex, and they made us stop
13 there. There was an HVO soldier there, and he immediately separated men
14 from women and children. The small children remained with their mothers,
15 and the older ones went with their fathers, and then they were taken to
16 the stadium, which is very close to the university. And we were all taken
17 to the amphitheatre. We were there for perhaps an hour. And from there,
18 that is, a soldier came and told us to get out.
19 Q. Now, just so the record is clear - Mr. President, you may -- you
20 and Your Honours may recognise this - when you say they kept you at the
21 amphitheatre, which group were you now talking about? Is this after the
22 men had been separated?
23 A. Yes. Only women and children.
24 Q. And you say, then, this HVO - excuse me - this HVO told you --
25 asked you to leave or told you to get out. What happened then?
1 A. When we left the amphitheatre, we came out onto the street, and a
2 great number of buses was parked there, and we were ordered to board them,
3 so that the men stayed back in the stadium and we went onward to the
4 Rondo. And from the Rondo, we turned towards Balinovac, and from
5 Balinovac to Masline, which is a Catholic cemetery. And then we went
6 through a part of the city which I did not know that well any more.
7 Q. Witness, allow me to ask you a question before you get too far
8 ahead. When you were around the area of the cemetery, did you observe
9 anyone taking photographs or a recording, filming what was happening?
10 A. Yes. In a wooded area, as I was sitting next to the window, I
11 noticed a white UNPROFOR vehicle, and from that, next to the vehicle, was
12 a soldier. He wasn't that far away. He was standing and recording, I
13 guess, the people as they were being taken.
14 Q. And then as you proceeded through this part of the city that you
15 said you were not familiar with, or the area -- and you don't need to tell
16 us all the details there, I don't think. Just take us on. Did you take
17 us on through that? Did you come to an area some distance from the
18 Heliodrom? And then tell us what happened then.
19 A. Because I did not know at all where we were going, I heard people
20 murmuring in the bus, people who were there with me, "If you don't stop us
21 at Miljkovici, then we are going to Ljubuski. If they stop us at
22 Miljkovici, then we will certainly be taken to the Heliodrom."
23 And indeed, when we arrived in Miljkovici buses were stopped
24 there. We were let out of the buses. We walked awhile, and then we were
25 brought to a road which was just new, recently made, and I was told that
1 it was called the Varda road.
2 Q. Were you, the group of you, then told at some point then to walk,
3 to finish, in fact to walk to the Heliodrom? And did you do so?
4 A. Right. From Miljkovici, we went on foot to the Heliodrom, right.
5 Q. And is it correct that you then were held at the Heliodrom until
6 approximately the 15th or 16th of May, 1993?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Just a few questions about the time that you were held there. Can
9 you tell the Judges, please, approximately how many people, prisoners,
10 people that were being held did you see at the Heliodrom at that time?
11 And I'm not asking for a precise number, but can you give the Judges
12 whether it was a small group of people or a large group of people or your
13 estimate, please?
14 A. Very large, because you know, later on they brought the men from
15 the stadium, and it was full. I think that we were over 20.000 Muslims
16 who were detained there. We were a very large number, men, women, and
18 Q. Do you recall the names of any of the soldiers or others who
19 guarded you during the time that you were held at the Heliodrom?
20 A. At the Heliodrom, I saw Mr. Ante Buhovac, and I know that there
21 was another gentleman named Stanko, a younger man, a soldier.
22 Q. And do you recall while you were held there seeing any other
23 persons, HVO officers or officials, who you recognised or came to know?
24 A. Of the HVO? Later on Mr. Misic came, on the 15th and 16th, I
25 believe. So Mr. Misic came to the room once, and he identified himself as
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Major Misic, that he had come to visit us and see how we were doing. At
2 that time, all the women -- because my room was full of women where I was,
3 so all the women asked him why they were not going home, what they were
4 doing there, what they were supposed to do there. And Mr. Misic told
5 them -- actually, told us - because we were all there - that the war was
6 raging in Mostar and that they had moved us from Mostar in order to
7 protect us.
8 Q. Did any of the women follow that answer up with any further
9 questions or comments to Mr. Misic?
10 A. They did. A lady asked him why we, why the Muslims, if they were
11 trying to protect people, why did they not bring Croat women along too,
12 because that would have made sense. However, he again repeated that there
13 was a war going on in Mostar.
14 Q. All right. Before moving on with the time that you were released
15 then, let me just ask again if you remember -- do you remember seeing any
16 other HVO officers at the Heliodrom during this time?
17 A. I don't understand. What do you mean, "officers"?
18 Q. Well, let's go to when you were released. You've said you were
19 released sometime around the 15th or 16th of May, 1993. Around that day,
20 did a group of people come to the prison? And tell the Chamber how it
21 was, what happened during the time that you were released.
22 A. After Mr. Misic arrived and after our conversation with him,
23 perhaps an hour later two soldiers came - his bodyguards probably, because
24 they had come with him the first time around - and they told us that who
25 had no one who was a member of the ABiH, that those can go home, so that
1 we had to cross over into another building to give some kind of
2 statements. This was the first time.
3 When I entered that building, it was a large room like this, and
4 the tables were arranged in a semi-circle, and a lot of people were
5 sitting there. In the corner, I recognised Mr. [redacted]. He was just
6 sitting there, saying nothing. And Mr. Misic was also there. And I
8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I don't know if those would tend to
9 identify, but again, out of an abundance of caution, if they could be
10 redacted, please.
11 JUDGE LIU: We'll do that.
12 MR. SCOTT:
13 Q. Witness, the Judges, at this point in the trial, have heard the
14 name Praljak associated with a number of individuals, at least -- I won't
15 comment further. But do you know -- do you have a first name, or can you
16 provide the Chamber with a bit more information on the [redacted] who you
17 said you saw in this room on that day?
18 A. No. I mean, I really can't remember the name, [redacted]
19 [redacted]. We lived in the same building. He
20 worked for the state security.
21 Q. Witness --
22 A. Otherwise, he was a soldier in the Croatian army, because he had
23 those Croatian insignia at the time.
24 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, obviously we're going to require some
25 redactions on that.
1 Q. Witness, I know it's getting late in the day and this is stressful
2 for you, and again I apologise, but please don't use any names or say
3 where you live or who your neighbours are, because again, this would tend
4 to identify who you are. So we're going to ask the record to be corrected
5 so that will not be broadcast. But if you could be mindful of that,
6 please. Thank you.
7 All right. One final question about this Mr. Praljak, and then
8 we'll go forward. You said a moment ago that he was in the Croatian
9 army. Now, are you using that term specifically to mean the army of the
10 Republic of Croatia or just a member of some --
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me help my learned
13 friend. [redacted] So for the Prosecutor, the
14 previous question, [redacted] if you look at the last
15 two sentences. Because the names sound very similar, [redacted],
16 and the witness is speaking about Praljak all the time.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, no. I said Ramljak.
18 JUDGE LIU: Should we go to private session for a moment?
19 MR. SCOTT: It may be easier, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session. Mr. Scott, you
21 may ask this question again.
22 [Private session]
17 [Open session]
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. When you were released from the Heliodrom around this time, were
20 you able to go back to your apartment? And again, I'm going to caution
21 you: Please don't identify, by address or location, your apartment. But
22 were you able to go back to your apartment after being released?
23 A. From the Heliodrom, yes.
24 Q. And can you tell the Chamber, please: What did you find there?
25 What was the condition of your apartment, your flat, when you returned to
2 A. Well, you know, I opened the door, and straight away I saw that
3 all my electric appliances were gone. There was only furniture, I mean
4 heavy pieces of furniture: wardrobes, a couch, a sofa, things like that.
5 But the electrical appliances, they were not there.
6 Q. All right. Just a bit of clarification. When you say "electrical
7 appliances," what kinds of things are you talking about?
8 A. The TV set, video, music appliances, washing machine, cooking
9 stove, refrigerator; all the household appliances.
10 Q. And can you tell the Chamber, please: When you returned, did you
11 have occasion to talk to your neighbours, and did you find out whether the
12 same thing had happened in their flats?
13 A. Well, you know, as we were still very much afraid, we used to
14 meet, to go to one another, and I could see that from other flats more or
15 less the same things were missing. Only two flats had been devastated
16 because shots were fired at the walls and lots of furniture was
17 destroyed. Other flats had not been damaged as such, but all of those
18 electric appliances were missing from them.
19 Q. From the time that you were arrested on the 9th of May, and then
20 when you returned to your apartment sometime around the 15th or 16th of
21 May, around that time, were you able to determine or observe whether any
22 of the mosques in Mostar, the condition of those mosques, had changed
23 between the 9th of May and the 15th or 16th of May?
24 A. When I returned from the Heliodrom, across the area [redacted]
25 [redacted] and the
1 mosque in Balinovac too. And even later on, and when I went out, I could
2 see that the mosque across the street from the church had also been
4 Q. All right. And Witness, is it your testimony to the Chamber,
5 then, that so far as you know and to the best that you can recall, all
6 three of those mosques had still been intact as of the 9th of May?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. Witness, very briefly here, I'm not going to cover
9 these next items in any detail at all, and if counsel will allow, I will
10 just simply ask you this: Some days thereafter, a few days after you were
11 released, is it correct that your husband was also then released for a
12 time and also your son, and the three of you were then living for a time
13 in the apartment again?
14 A. That's right. My husband was released seven days after me. And
15 my son came with me because he was underage. Not only my husband; all men
16 who had been imprisoned at the Heliodrom were released, because at that
17 time, the Heliodrom was visited by Mr. Morillion and the Red Cross. And
18 it was when he -- at his intervention, they were all released, so that as
19 of the 21st, we were all together again.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, if I can inquire, please. I know we
21 took the last break a bit early. I'm about to change topics. I wondered
22 what the Chamber's plans were in terms of scheduling.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, we could have a break right now, and we will
24 resume at twenty to 6:00. Is that all right?
25 MR. SCOTT: That would be fine, Your Honour. And I can tell the
1 Chamber that after the break then, I would expect to complete the direct
2 examination in fairly short order. I would say another 15, 20 minutes.
3 JUDGE LIU: Could the usher pull down the blinds and take the
4 witness out first.
5 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Excuse me. We didn't quite
7 understand. Shall we have a break until twenty to 8:00 -- excuse me,
8 twenty to 6:00? Is that it?
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will resume at twenty to 6:00.
10 MR. KRSNIK: Thank you, Your Honour.
11 --- Recess taken at 5.10 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 5.40 p.m.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott, please continue.
14 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I'd like to comment at the
15 beginning that I'm sorry to cause some exasperation for your staff.
16 Obviously sometimes we're caught between trying as much of the trial to be
17 public as possible and the administration of the security measures. And I
18 apologise for any inconvenience that was caused to the Registry about
19 that. We tried not to go into private session any more than is
20 necessary. So I'm sorry for that.
21 Q. Witness, I want to direct your attention now to the 13th of June,
22 1993. Can you tell us what happened to you and your family that day?
23 A. That day, on the 13th of June, at 4.00 in the afternoon, I had
24 come out on the balcony to put out the laundry, and then I realised that
25 there was no cars down there. However, when I got the third batch of my
1 laundry which I wanted to hang up, I looked down to the parking lot again,
2 and it was full of cars. And at some point, I spotted Dolma - because
3 after the first meeting, somehow his face had remained imprinted on my
4 memory - and I saw him taking a rifle out of the car, and I panicked
5 immediately because I did not think that anything good was in store for
7 And when Dolma entered the building next to mine, a gentleman with
8 two children whom he was holding by the hands came out of that building,
9 and he was trying to tell me something, but I couldn't make out what he
10 was telling me. And at some moment, I looked at him more carefully, and I
11 realised that he was telling me they are driving us away.
12 So I left my laundry on the balcony and entered the room, and from
13 there into the living-room. And I wanted to rouse my husband, but they
14 were already knocking on the door. And then I saw HVO soldiers there.
15 Q. All right. When this -- I'm going to ask you to continue on with
16 your story. I'm going to caution you again - and I apologise - but not to
17 use any names at this point. I may come back to you in a few minutes, and
18 we go into private session, ask you for some names, but if you could
19 continue, please, in your story without telling us the names of any family
20 members or neighbours, I would ask that you do that, please.
21 A. An HVO soldier entered my apartment and asked for our identity
22 cards, so I gave them to him. And he read them, and then he said,
23 "Sorry. I am sorry, but I have to put you out. And if I don't do that,
24 then they will kill me." And my husband then said to him not to worry,
25 that we would leave, and so we did.
1 Q. When you went out of your apartment, did you again see a group of
2 Bosniak people who had been gathered outside?
3 A. Yes. They were all my neighbours from neighbouring buildings, or
4 rather, from the first part of the building, which they had presumably
5 already cleansed.
6 Q. Did you recognise any other HVO members or soldiers at that time?
7 A. I did. I once again recognised Mr. Takac, Mr. Stela. I've
8 already mentioned Mr. Dolma, and there were more of them. But fearful as
9 I was, I stopped paying attention and trying to see who those people were.
10 Q. Now, Witness, I'm going to ask you a question now similar to the
11 one I asked you earlier this afternoon. Based on your observation of what
12 was happening at that time, can you make any -- can you provide the
13 Chamber any assistance with whether one of these HVO soldiers appeared to
14 be in charge of what was happening?
15 A. Yes. Mr. Stela.
16 Q. And perhaps you can tell the Chamber a bit more about that. What
17 did you see and hear or observe that causes you to come to that
19 A. The gentleman was standing in the passage between the buildings,
20 and we had to communicate with him, to give him our IDs, which were then
21 thrown in a place and then burnt. And then I saw when a gentleman came
22 out, he pointed something to him, and Mr. Stela got angry and started
23 beating him. I mean, not -- that is, pushing him, shaking him, not
24 hitting him. I don't know really how to put it, but he was really not
25 behaving nicely, because that gentleman was an elderly man and a sick
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 man. But all the soldiers, all the HVO soldiers, spoke to him, so that
2 one could easily see that this gentleman was leading that operation.
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, at this time I would ask to go into
4 private session for a few minutes, please.
5 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the private session, please.
6 [Private session]
13 Page 7039 – redacted – private session
1 [Open session]
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Witness WW, we're now back in open session, and so I'm not going
4 to ask you to say anything more about your location at this moment.
5 You've now moved some distance away from where you were previously
6 located. Once you got to the church, however, tell us again what happened
7 then next.
8 A. I've told you: They lined us up, and when they saw that that area
9 was clear -- and before that, as we were passing by a high-rise, a lady
10 happened to look through the window, and one of the soldiers let out such
11 a burst of fire that I still do not know whether this lady is still
12 alive. And that really upset us. And then when we reached the church,
13 they lined us up against the church wall. When they saw that the area was
14 clear, they forced us to run for what we are worth to the area of Semovac,
15 that is, the area held by the BH army.
16 Q. Once you were in the area controlled by the ABiH -- by the ABiH -
17 excuse me - were you then kept and provided for for a time in a school in
18 that part of Mostar?
19 A. I forgot to say when they made us run. The HVO soldier who had
20 escorted us fired after us, and at the same time the fire started from the
21 hill of Hum, so the BH army, not knowing what was going on, opened fire
22 too, so that we were caught in all this fire and crossfire. And when we
23 got out from the area, we were still in view of the BH army. Then they
24 stopped firing because they realised that we were civilians.
25 And at Semovac, there are some new white buildings, and that is
1 where they took us in in the beginning. After that, they took us to
2 Mahala, to the local school there where there was some centre or some
3 infirmary or something. I don't know what to call it. And they kept us
4 there for a while until they took our names down and as they were trying
5 to find some normal - I mean "normal," in quotation marks -
7 And people in Mahala shortly opened all their homes and all the
8 space available to them and offered it to the evicted people, so that very
9 few people remained behind in the school.
10 Q. Witness, can you tell the Chamber: Was there a problem with
11 keeping people at the school because more and more people would arrive day
12 by day?
13 A. Yes. Not only during the day, because this cleansing, the second
14 one, started at 4.00 on the 13th of June. So from 4.00 onward until late
15 into the night, people were arriving in large, large numbers. That is,
16 they must have been cleansing borough after borough, that is, one
17 settlement after another.
18 Q. Witness, I'm going to take you into private session in a moment
19 for a few final details, but before I do that, as you were gathered
20 outside and before you went off to the church and the confrontation line,
21 can you tell the Judges, please, who was it that ordered that you be taken
22 to cross the confrontation line?
23 A. To go and stand in front of the building, that was Mr. Stela who
24 ordered this. And who ordered them? Well, I don't know. Somebody must
25 have ordered them. To start from the building to the church, I think it
1 was Mr. Stela. Now, I don't think, I'm [Realtime transcript read in error
2 "not"] quite sure, because he was number one. Everybody listened to what
3 he had to say.
4 Q. And is it correct, Witness, then, that you then stayed in this
5 area of Mostar during the duration of the war between the Croats and
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'd like to have the witness shown a --
9 one of the street diagrams. However, I'm told by your staff that it may
10 be difficult to do that without it being broadcast, so it may be that we
11 have to go into closed session for this particular part. I'm happy to do
12 it either -- any way that will protect the witness, if there's some way of
13 doing it without going into completely closed session.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, but there's a question which I'm not quite
15 clear. On the line 58, line 2, the witness said, "Now, I don't think, I'm
16 not sure," but I heard just the opposite.
17 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, thank you very much. I -- I --
18 JUDGE LIU: I think the witness said, "I'm quite sure." You may
19 ask her this question again before we go to the closed session.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I heard the same
21 thing, and that's why it didn't even occur to me, frankly, to look down at
22 the transcript. And I appreciate Your Honour's assistance.
23 Q. Witness WW, there may be just a recording matter here. You said a
24 moment ago -- I asked you the question about who had ordered these things
25 to happen. Initially you said you thought -- but what did -- what is your
1 answer? Maybe -- perhaps you can just say in your own words again. Do
2 you know who it was who ordered that you be taken, the group of you be
3 taken to the church and to cross the confrontation line?
4 A. Stela. Mr. Stela ordered us to move on, and the soldiers who were
5 escorting us, they ordered us to cross the line. Now -- and their names,
6 I don't know, believe me, but I'm quite sure Mr. Stela was the one who
7 ordered in front of the building to take us towards the church so that we
8 would then cross to the other side.
9 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. And then if I could have
10 the assistance, please, to put Exhibit P11.18, 11.18 in front of the
11 witness but in such a way that it would not be displayed outside the
13 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the closed session.
14 [Closed session]
13 Page 7044 – redacted – closed session
6 [Open session]
7 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I only thought it was
8 appropriate. That ends my questions, but I thought it was appropriate
9 that I thank the witness for her testimony publicly.
10 Witness WW, thank you very much for coming to The Hague. I'm
11 sorry if anything that I've asked you has caused you any suffering, but we
12 appreciate your testimony. Thank you very much.
13 JUDGE LIU: Any cross-examination? Mr. Seric.
14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
15 Cross-examined by Mr. Seric:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Madam, I'm Branko Seric, and I am the Defence
17 counsel for Mr. Vinko Martinovic.
18 In your evidence, you said that you had heard the last name
19 Martinovic in connection to the HOS units in Mostar. Do you know that in
20 this HOS unit, there were 80 per cent of Muslims and 20 per cent of
22 A. Yes, unfortunately.
23 THE INTERPRETER: Can the witness come closer to the microphone,
25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Would you agree with me that the HOS played a positive role in the
2 struggle against the JNA and for the liberation of Mostar?
3 A. Well, probably.
4 Q. Is it because of this, or was that the reason that this name,
5 Vinko Martinovic, became not only well known but perhaps even popular in
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. You said that on 9 May 1993 you were in your apartment and that
9 you heard the shelling. Can you tell us, at least approximately - I know
10 that more than eight years have gone by - what time it was when you heard
11 it and what did it look like?
12 A. What time it was? It was around 5.00 in the morning, five minutes
13 plus or minus, and the shelling was terrible. And the left bank was
14 targeted. Not the part of town where I lived, but the shelling was
15 targeting exclusively the left bank.
16 Q. How do you know that? Did you see that? How do you know about
18 A. Because no shell fell into my neighbourhood, so that made me
19 believe -- so that was clear to me that they were not shelling the part of
20 town where more or less -- that was Croatia, and on the left bank there
21 was the ABiH.
22 Q. You said that around 6.00 in the morning seven soldiers knocked on
23 your door and that you recognised some among them. Regardless what you
24 saw on television or in the media or what you know today, can you go back
25 to that day now in your mind and describe to us the physical appearance of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the person whom you referred to as Vinko Martinovic?
2 A. This person was kind of bald -- actually, not balding, but had his
3 hair cropped. He had an earring, and he had black gloves with the fingers
4 cut off, and he was carrying a weapon.
5 Q. How old could he have been at that time?
6 A. Really, I don't know. I assume 35 to 40. I don't know. I think
7 approximately that age.
8 Q. Does that mean that today he would be between 45 and 50?
9 A. If you add ten years, that would be about that figure.
10 Q. Could you describe, if you remember this detail, in which ear he
11 had his earring?
12 A. No. I don't know.
13 Q. And will you please wait, ma'am, because if you cut in before I
14 finish my question, your voice will be picked up by my microphone and then
15 all the protective measures will have been for naught.
16 Can you describe, can you recall what Ernest Takac looked like?
17 A. He had long hair and a beard. The hair was not washed, so he was
19 Q. How tall was he?
20 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you. I don't know.
21 Q. Can you just sort of estimate it according to me? Taller or
22 shorter than I am?
23 A. He was taller than I am, but I don't know in relation to you. I
25 Q. How long was his beard, if you remember?
1 A. I don't know. Not like yours. It wasn't like yours.
2 Q. Are you trying to say that it was longer?
3 A. Yes, it was a bit longer.
4 Q. When did you learn that it was this person who was named Takac?
5 A. When Mr. Stela called him. Because when Mr. Takac attacked the
6 journalist, he told him, "Takac, don't touch him."
7 Q. What would you tell me if I were to tell you that Vinko Martinovic
8 never wore an earring and that he doesn't have any pierced ears?
9 A. Nothing, sir, and you don't have to have a pierced ear to be
10 wearing an earring. You can have a clip on your ear.
11 Q. You will agree with me that a soldier who is moving about all day,
12 that he would be wearing such type of an earring that could fall off his
13 ear at any point.
14 You also mentioned the name Benito Sesar. How did this person
16 A. Benito was dark, middle-aged. And, you know, they were all
17 wearing uniforms, so I wouldn't be able to give you a detailed
18 description. We were all in fear, and his name was also mentioned,
19 Benito's. And the people in the neighbourhood sort of knew each other.
20 They knew how people looked.
21 Q. Did you know at that time, or perhaps today, is it known to you
22 today, to which unit did these soldiers, and including Mr. Martinovic,
24 A. To be honest with you, I did not know that at the time when I was
25 kicked out of the house, but at the Heliodrom, obviously we started
1 talking about things, so that the people who knew him, who had known him
2 from before, said that he belonged to the ATG, the anti-terrorist group.
3 I think that that's what it was called. But I believe that that's what
4 people said.
5 Q. Ma'am, do you remember that on the 26th September, 1998, you gave
6 a statement to the investigators of this Tribunal?
7 A. Yes, I do.
8 Q. In this statement, you said that later on at the Heliodrom,
9 learned, as you said now, that they had belonged to the 4th Battalion, in
10 a conversation with the other women, because that same group had come to
11 their houses [as interpreted]?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Excuse me, just so that you do not misunderstand my motions with
14 the hand, I'm not threatening you in any way. I'm just signalling you to
15 wait for me to finish.
16 Ma'am, did you see some kind of characteristic patches, insignia
17 on their shoulders, chests, or sleeves?
18 A. Yes. The HVO soldiers, on their left sleeve, they had a patch.
19 Now, I know that it was the HVO on it, there was a checkerboard there and
20 something crossed. I don't know if theirs were rifles or swords. And
21 then there was laurel branches underneath. I mean, this is what I
22 recall. But as I said, I was in terrible fear at the time. But I
23 think -- in fact, I don't think I saw that. I remember the
24 checkerboard. It was there.
25 Q. During your examination-in-chief by my learned friend Mr. Scott,
1 you -- when you talked about their first appearance at your apartment, the
2 first contact with your husband with -- with the taking off of the plaque
3 and being called balijas, and all that time you mentioned Takac in
4 relation to all these actions. Now, I'm a bit surprised. On the basis of
5 what did you infer, because you said that in your evidence, that
6 Martinovic was the chief one or in charge of all this?
7 A. Your -- sir, we -- my building had four floors. Mr. Stela was at
8 the entrance door, and Mr. Takac was standing in front of my door while
9 the other soldiers went upstairs. But all the orders, believe me, were
10 issued by Mr. Stela, because all the soldiers who were coming downstairs
11 after we had come out, they were all coming to him and they were telling
12 him that everything was all right, that there were no Muslims left, that
13 all apartments have been cleared of Muslims. So it was -- it was clear
14 from all that that Mr. Stela was commanding or leading that action.
15 Q. How were you able to hear all these orders, all these alleged
16 orders by Mr. Martinovic?
17 A. I heard when they entered. They all entered the building
18 together, and I was the first one there. My apartment was the first. And
19 then the gentleman told them to go upstairs. He -- Mr. Takac stayed at my
20 apartment, and the rest of them went upstairs. But when -- as they all
21 came back downstairs, they all addressed him.
22 Q. Are you trying to say now that Martinovic did not enter your
24 A. No.
25 Q. I did not understand your answer.
1 A. No, Mr. Stela did not enter my apartment.
2 Q. Now it is clear. Go ahead.
3 A. On the 9th of May, he did not enter my apartment. He stayed in
4 front of the building.
5 Q. Very well. Let me take you back to my original question. You
6 said that you had heard his orders. How were you in a position to hear
7 them if you spent part of the time in your apartment and only then you
8 came out?
9 A. No, sir. I was at the door to my apartment when I came out,
10 because as soon as he kicked out my husband -- as soon as he called him by
11 his name -- said his name, Takac kicked him out. And I walked out behind
12 him. You see, I was the first one. Everybody else lives above me. And
13 the other soldiers were there, and he said, "Go up and look if there are
14 others there." And Mr. Takac stayed back to see that we were leaving the
15 apartment. So he was standing by my door, and Mr. Stela was standing by
16 the entrance to the building while the other soldiers were cleansing the
17 rest of the building.
18 Q. I know that it is terrible for you to go through this, to relive
19 this experience again.
20 A. It's awful.
21 Q. And it is very hard for me to conduct this cross-examination,
22 because I am not disputing your experience at all. I am just trying to
23 clear up everybody's role in this.
24 You mention now the entrance to the building. Now, in
25 relationship to this entrance, where did you observe Mr. Martinovic?
1 A. At the -- at the door, the entrance door.
2 Q. You mean at the very entrance door?
3 A. Yes, at the entrance door.
4 Q. Does this mean that your observation of this man Martinovic and
5 his description is the -- is your observation that he was standing at the
6 door as you walked past him?
7 A. Yes. And the encounter with Mr. [redacted], because they were both
8 very close.
9 Q. Can you tell me, do you know or did you see -- I would like to
10 know your personal experience. This person of whom you say that it was
11 Mr. Martinovic and the description that you gave --
12 MR. SCOTT: I apologise for interrupting, Your Honour. I thought
13 perhaps Mr. Seric was going to correct this himself and that is the reason
14 I hesitated. I was looking across the room. But the name -- the one name
15 was mentioned again, and I'm sorry, we'll have to have that redacted,
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll do that.
18 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, my learned friend. I had
19 just received warning myself. So you overtook me. But let me move on.
20 Q. Did you see that this Martinovic enter any of the apartments in
21 that building?
22 A. You mean in my building? No, he did not.
23 Q. Do you know that there is another person with the same name, Vinko
24 Martinovic, in Mostar?
25 A. I do not.
1 Q. Yes, indeed there was another Vinko Martinovic who was a soldier.
2 A. Yes, but I do know this Vinko Martinovic here.
3 Q. A little while ago, you mentioned a person, a neighbour. Don't
4 mention his name, and I won't. And then you said in your
5 examination-in-chief that the appearance of this neighbour provoked
6 Mr. Martinovic to take some action, and then there was that incident with
7 this Mercedes car. You mentioned that. Do you know what was talked
9 A. The keys.
10 Q. Where were the keys?
11 A. He did not have the keys on him. And when Mr. Stela asked for the
12 keys, he said he didn't have them on him. But the Mercedes could also be
13 switched on with a wire or something. I don't know exactly. I mean, I
14 know nothing about these things, so I don't really know.
15 Q. And did you see who got into that car and put together those
17 A. A soldier. I don't know which one.
18 Q. And did this soldier also drive that car away?
19 A. Yes, he did.
20 Q. You said that you saw that same vehicle. Now I forget the exact
21 date, but it doesn't matter. You said that you saw that vehicle again as
22 you were coming back from work, that you saw it on fire. Could you please
23 explain what it was all about. Did you mean to say that it had been set
24 on fire, that you saw flames?
25 A. As I came up, coming back from work, the car was on fire. How and
1 what, I don't really know, but the car was on fire. I don't know what it
3 Q. Could you describe the exact position of that vehicle?
4 A. Across the street from a coffee-shop on the old playground, old
5 playground -- or as a matter of fact, new buildings had been built there,
6 and there were coffee-shops on both sides. So it was on the opposite
7 side, on the pavement, on the sidewalk. That car was on the opposite
9 Q. And what coffee-shop are you talking about?
10 A. Oh, I don't know. I don't know what its name is because it's on
11 the opposite -- on the opposite side from the one that I used. Because I
12 was walking along the pavement, and I think that Mr. Stela had taken over
13 the coffee-shop that belonged earlier to somebody, I believe, called
14 Mr. Kovacevic, and I saw him a couple of times in that coffee-shop.
15 Q. How do you know all this about this coffee-shop? This coffee-shop
16 was under communist regime, the socially owned property, and it belonged
17 to Mr. Vinko Martinovic's father.
18 A. Which coffee-shop are you talking about?
19 Q. The one that you are talking about.
20 A. But I'm talking about Mr. Kovacevic's coffee-shop. I suppose
21 Mr. Martinovic knows that.
22 Q. And where is this coffee-shop?
23 A. Well, it is there on Strelcevina. It's the old Velez pitch.
24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher please help me to show
25 the witness this map once again, 11.18. Oh, I see, yes. Could we go into
1 closed session, please?
2 JUDGE LIU: We'll go to the closed session, please. Closed session
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
19 [Open session]
20 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Madam, let us try to clear up certain matters relating to the
22 incident of the 13th of June, 1993. You mentioned names of people, and
23 what I'd like to know is: How could it be that on both occasions it was
24 the same people, on the 9th of May and the 13th of June? How is it that
25 it was those same men who came to your door? How could that happen?
1 A. Believe me, that baffles me too.
2 Q. Today you said, and you answered me too -- and in your statement
3 that you gave on the 26th of September, 1998, you also said about this
4 incident of the 13th of June, that those soldiers were members of the 4th
5 Battalion; is that correct?
6 A. I think so. I think it is, yes.
7 Q. Is it correct that the commander of the 4th Battalion was Mladen
9 A. Well, I know he was, because at the time when I worked, Mr. Misic
10 had his battalion at Rondo, and he was the commander of the 4th Battalion,
11 because I passed that way every day, and I saw him there.
12 Q. Does that mean that Mladen Misic's soldiers were under what
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Could you be more precise? You said that Martinovic was standing
16 in a passage between buildings and that he began to behave wrongly, and
17 then you proceeded to describe how roughly he treated that gentleman. I
18 won't mention his name. So I'll say he was a manager - I won't mention of
19 what - so that we don't have to go into private session. But can you tell
20 me, how far were you from them at that moment?
21 A. Mr. Stela - since my locality is in residential blocks, and one
22 residential block has four buildings, and then you have a passage or a
23 street, and then another block of four buildings, and I lived in that
24 second block - and Mr. Stela came and stood right between those two
25 blocks, in that passage between those two buildings. And my front door is
1 somewhere there. So when I crossed the lawn, I fetched up in the street,
2 so that practically it was not far. It was there.
3 Q. Could you tell us how many metres? Ten, twelve, two?
4 A. I don't know. I don't know.
5 Q. Were there people? Were there any obstacles, anything that
6 obstructed your view?
7 A. No. We were all in this one line in front of those buildings, and
8 the gentleman stood right between those buildings, so that we could
9 see -- so that we could all see very well what he was doing.
10 Q. Well, now, you say "all." And so could you see well what he was
11 doing? Could you then tell us, if you remember, what exactly was going
12 on? What did this manager point at? What kind of personal document?
13 What was it?
14 A. I don't really know. Believe me, I don't really know. I merely
15 saw Mr. Stela shove him, push him, then hit him. I mean, he really
16 treated him very roughly. How to put it? He beat him.
17 Q. And was that the reason for Mr. Vinko Martinovic's reaction?
18 A. I don't know. I saw that he was trying to show him something that
19 he held in his hand, and I just assumed that that was the reason, but I
20 don't know.
21 Q. And do you know what happened to this gentleman later?
22 A. Well, he wasn't beaten that badly so that that would disable him.
23 He could move, and he came to me, because his wife was standing next to
24 me, and we were taken towards the church all together, all together.
25 Q. You said he wasn't beaten all that badly, in the first
1 description. As a matter of fact, you said that he pushed him, he shoved
2 him, that there were no direct blows, but that he was pushing him, shoving
3 him, and kicking him, and you said that you were near enough that nothing
4 obstructed your view. Tell me, please: I know that it was many years
5 ago, but it is very important for us for you to tell us. Did this man
6 sustain any injuries?
7 A. Well, not too bad, not any that would prevent him from moving. He
8 could walk, even though he had been beaten. He was beaten. I cannot say
9 that he battered him so that he fell to the ground, but he beat him.
10 Q. Did you see any bruises on him?
11 A. Oh, listen. I was on one side, and he went to the other side, and
12 at that moment, sir, I could not see anything.
13 Q. But was there any blood?
14 A. No, there was no blood.
15 Q. You said -- we heard from you about the incident on the 9th of May
16 and the 13th of June, and you mentioned those four names that you
17 mentioned, that is, Martinovic, Takac, Sesar, and the nickname Dolma.
18 Since you know those four names, do you know the name of at least one
19 other soldier whom you knew or whom you recognised?
20 A. No, I can't.
21 Q. Were there any soldiers with white belts?
22 A. On the 13th of June or on the 9th of May?
23 Q. Either.
24 A. I didn't see them. I don't know.
25 Q. Did you see anyone in a black uniform?
1 A. I did.
2 Q. Can you tell us who that was or how many of them?
3 A. On the 9th of May, Mr. Takac was in a black uniform, and on the
4 13th of June, I really don't know if there were any. I just don't know,
5 on the 13th of June. On the 9th of May, four of them were in these
6 uniforms and others were in many-coloured uniforms.
7 Q. Did you notice if those other soldiers, whether they came from
8 your area, from your neighbourhood?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Could you tell them? Could you really somehow identify them by
11 their dialect or something? Because we all speak our dialects. I come
12 from Split, and I have my dialect. You speak your Mostar dialect. Could
13 you see if any of them were not from Mostar? If you heard them speak,
14 could you recognise the dialects?
15 A. No.
16 Q. I apologise. We are dealing with two different dates, but somehow
17 the events are similar. So I don't want to confuse you and jump from the
18 9th of May to the 13th of June, so let me talk about the 9th of May.
19 Tell me, could you say if it was one unit or several different
21 A. I don't know. I just don't.
22 Q. And would the same answer apply to the 13th of June?
23 A. Yes, because, you know, I only saw Stela. I didn't see other
24 people, because they had dispersed all over the building, so I cannot say
25 whether those were those same units. I really don't know. But they were
1 soldiers. They were army men.
2 Q. Those four surnames that you gave us, did you learn all these four
3 names later on, after you arrived at the Heliodrom?
4 A. Well, yes. You know, I was completely addled by this whole
5 situation, but at the Heliodrom, we had lots of time. And people who were
6 at the Heliodrom already, they already knew everybody, and they talked,
7 and they invariably mentioned Mr. Stela, and Mr. Takac, and Dolma, and so
8 on. They mentioned other people too, but I just can't remember it,
9 because after all, it was a long time. But Mr. Stela's name I really do
11 Q. Can you tell us about what you heard at the Heliodrom? Did you
12 hear it from persons who had shared your lot, that is, who is been evicted
13 from your building?
14 A. Well, those who were evicted from all the flats, because the
15 Heliodrom were not only people from my building, there were people from
16 Panjevina, from Balinovac, and from other areas. They were not only --
17 because they were not taking people out of my neighbourhood only. They
18 were taking people from all the neighbourhoods, from all the localities.
19 Q. During the examination-in-chief, you said that -- and you were
20 speaking about the 13th of June, and you said that Stela led the
21 operation. Do you remember -- do you remember how many soldiers were
22 there altogether to cover all those buildings and all this whole event?
23 A. Well, as I told you, when I looked out and saw cars parked, there
24 were very many, very many cars parked, because they were not closing only
25 my building. They had started from the first residential block and then
1 moved on, so that I cannot really tell you how many soldiers there were,
2 but them I saw. Them I saw.
3 Q. Now, from your story, should one conclude that Vinko Martinovic
4 commanded all those men who were there at that time?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you know, the separation in Mostar that was established, that
7 was already there on the 13th of June?
8 A. Yes, Bulevar.
9 Q. Do you know which part of the -- which sector of that line was
10 held by the unit commanded by Vinko Martinovic?
11 A. Oh, no. No, I don't.
12 Q. Do you know -- are you aware that that part -- that this part of
13 the town in which you lived was not under the jurisdiction, if I may put
14 it that way, of the -- Vinko Martinovic's unit?
15 A. No, I'm not.
16 Q. Are you aware that on that day, the 13th of June, a part of the
17 unit, one-third of the unit, was manning a sector of this line on the
18 Bulevar facing the BH army?
19 A. No, I'm not.
20 Q. Do you know the number of -- how strong was Vinko Martinovic's
22 A. No, I don't.
23 Q. And for your safety, madam, don't speak before I switch off.
24 What I'm trying to say -- that is what I'm trying to ask you. You
25 yourself said that it was a large number of soldiers on that occasion and
1 that they were all commanded by Vinko Martinovic. Now, if it is a fact
2 that at that time there was a separation line, that a part of that line
3 was manned by a third or maybe even more men from Vinko Martinovic's unit,
4 then I'm telling you that it was physically impossible for such a large
5 part of the unit to come to your neighbourhood under the command of Vinko
6 Martinovic. And what will you tell me to that?
7 A. Sir, I don't know how many soldiers there were, 10, 15. I do not
8 know how many there were. I do not know. What I do know is that
9 Mr. Stela led that operation both on the first occasion and on the second
10 occasion, and that is all that I know.
11 Q. In your statement of the 26th of September, 1998, you say at some
12 point that -- now, let me give you the whole sentence. "When they stopped
13 beating them ..." and I'm referring to neighbours. We shall not mention
14 their names --
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I didn't say anything the first time
16 because I wasn't sure. I was going to give some latitude, but I think
17 it's only fair to this witness that the statement be put in front of her
18 and she be able to see the statement if she's going to be questioned about
19 it, please. If counsel doesn't, I have an extra B/C/S version that I can
21 JUDGE LIU: Now, that's not the first time that we've come across
22 this issue.
23 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the first time I'm
24 doing this, and I do have the statement.
25 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Yes, but you are sharing the same
1 desk, bench.
2 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, yes, both of the same
3 feather. Yes, we say that too. My apologies.
4 I don't know if I have enough copies, Your Honours. Would you
5 like to have copies in English?
6 Q. So let me finish this part, the statement, and then we'll continue
7 tomorrow. So page 7, sixth line from the bottom. The sentence begins:
8 "When they stopped beating them, they ordered us to turn, faces to the
10 Now, my question is: How long did it last? How long did you
11 stand facing the building, or rather, the first part of my question is how
12 far were you from the building, from the building wall, and how long did
13 you stay lined up in this manner?
14 A. From the wall, from the building, because this is a very small
15 area, it's a very narrow street, so we could have been about half a metre
16 away from the building because we were very many in this line. And we
17 stood there for about five minutes, until we were all lined up, and then
18 they told us to turn towards the church.
19 Q. And how long did this -- all this last when you came out of the
20 building and they lined you up? You said five minutes, but how long did
21 this whole procedure last?
22 A. Well, if they arrived at around 4.00 in the afternoon, around
23 1600, it could have lasted until about half past 4.00. I'm not sure. But
24 there were very many people. They had evicted very many people. So I
25 don't know exactly how long it took, but -- how long it took, but it could
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 have been about half an hour, perhaps 45 minutes.
2 Q. And all that time, you could watch all that was going on, even at
3 the time whilst you had to face the wall and all that allowed you to
4 conclude that Vinko Martinovic commanded all that action?
5 A. No, sir. We all watched Mr. Stela do that. And when that was all
6 over, it was then that we were ordered to turn and face the wall, so that
7 by the time we are up and aligned and by the time we were all turned, not
8 to the other side but then we had to turn towards the church.
9 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President. I
10 do not know. Shall we call it a day and resume tomorrow?
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I'm afraid that we have to keep you for
12 another day here. We will continue tomorrow afternoon. During your stay
13 here, please do not talk to anybody about your testimony, and do not let
14 anybody talk to you, as I remind other witnesses.
15 Usher, will you please take the witness out of the courtroom
17 [The witness stands down]
18 JUDGE LIU:
19 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm sorry to take more
21 of your time because your working day is over, but there is something that
22 troubles me. Excuse me.
23 My first question is: Have you received our motion?
24 JUDGE LIU: Which motion?
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] We filed a motion today. We have
1 received the receipt, so we thought that you had already received it.
2 That is, we were making a submission because tomorrow a witness was
3 announced, Mr. Prelec. I don't think he's protected. Our learned friends
4 have announced him as a witness, and we wanted to ask you and explain in
5 this submission the reasons for which we should like him to testify not
6 tomorrow but after the holidays, because if we understood well our learned
7 friends, he should testify to -- he should be testifying about a major
8 area which we have not managed to study properly now because it is a very
9 bulky material.
10 It is the transcripts concerning the material from the office of
11 the president of the republic. Yes, we received it a month ago. I hope
12 my learned friend won't say anything. Yes, I confirm we received it a
13 month ago and so on and so forth, but we simply -- all this material - and
14 my learned friend can help me - there must be a thousand pages to it, and
15 for the past month, we have not found time to go through it, and I'm not
16 ready to conduct any cross-examination of Mr. Prelec, so we wanted to ask
17 you now that the holidays are coming up - and of course it will be working
18 holidays for us - to spend the holidays studying this material so that we
19 could both follow the examination-in-chief and, of course, conduct the
21 Now, if you have not received our submission yet, then could we
22 please have the answer tomorrow? But then again, we'd need your answer
23 today, your ruling today if -- or perhaps the Prosecution can conduct the
24 direct examination, but then could we at least cross-examine this witness
25 after the holidays?
1 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] Frankly speaking, we
2 haven't received that motion yet. Let us hear the response from the
3 Prosecutor on this very issue.
4 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I think -- I hope the Chamber knows by
5 now that we have tried to conduct this trial in an effective and efficient
6 way as possible and met our disclosure obligations, I think, very
7 faithfully, if I can say so.
8 I do appreciate that counsel does acknowledge receiving those
9 materials a month ago, at least a month ago. It may be closer to six
10 weeks ago. In addition to that, I specifically provided a letter to
11 counsel some weeks ago anticipating that we would in fact reach this
12 witness on approximately the week of the 12th of November. Again, we
13 didn't do that. But, Mr. President and Your Honours, this witness has
14 been on notice and this evidence has been on hold, if you will, or been
15 proposed for a long time. There's been a full opportunity for counsel to
16 be prepared to meet this witness. In fact, again that was exactly -- my
17 forecast, my prediction, I'm afraid, has come true, because the very
18 reason that I made -- took pains to give this other notice - and I have
19 the letter, and if necessary I'll provide it to the Chamber - is that
20 there would be completely fair notice some weeks before this evidence was
22 Now, I think there's been absolutely fair and abundant notice to
23 allow counsel to prepare. Of course we're all busy. The Prosecution is
24 very busy too and is trying to bring this -- its case to a close as soon
25 as possible.
1 Now, secondly, Mr. Prelec is being proposed as a document
2 foundation witness, and this brings us back to what has happened with
3 Mr. Prelec and also happened with Mr. Aguirre. These men are not proposed
4 as expert witnesses. They are proposed and have been tendered to the
5 Chamber simply to introduce the documents and to show how the documents
6 were obtained, what the documents purport to be. I expect that my direct
7 examination tomorrow will probably be not more than a -- much more than an
8 hour. It is simply to say, "Here are the bundle of documents. Can you
9 explain to the Chamber, please, how these documents came into the hands of
10 the OTP, what the documents purport to be, give the Chamber some overall
11 orientation to the documents," but it is not again, once again, the
12 purpose of this witness to go into any lengthy analysis of the material.
13 And as we saw before, I will object very much to questions by counsel
14 going into -- trying to cross-examine this witness on the merits, if you
15 will, the substance of this material.
16 So -- which brings me to say that counsel, for these purposes,
17 doesn't need to be prepared to go through every page, if that's what he
18 says he has to do. But again I come back to my prior point: This
19 material has been available for something in excess of a month, and we are
20 prepared to go forward, Your Honour. We must conclude our case. There's
21 been due notice, and the witness has properly understood, has properly
22 understood the scope of his testimony, can easily be dealt with by counsel
23 tomorrow. Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Could I ask another question? Do you have any other
25 witnesses besides the next witness?
1 MR. SCOTT: There is -- sorry. There's one more witness here this
2 week, and depending on how things go, we would be prepared to have a
3 witness on Monday.
4 JUDGE LIU: I see. Could we have that witness tomorrow?
5 MR. SCOTT: I believe we probably could, Your Honour.
6 JUDGE LIU: Because we need some time, you know, to consider the
7 request from the Defence counsel, and as well as your objections on this
9 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, let me address the Chamber further on
10 this, then. If we do not take this evidence before Christmas -- and
11 frankly, I'm a bit disappointed if that happens, because I had intended to
12 lead that evidence a long time ago, and because of scheduling, it hasn't
13 been. So I'll have to tell the Chamber, I would be disappointed if we
14 didn't do it before Christmas.
15 The problem that poses in particular is, as the Chamber knows, I
16 expect this will be one of those instances in which the Defence will then
17 ask for 30 days to respond to these exhibits. If we don't do this until
18 January, that will then put us well into the month of February. And
19 again, as I've said before, with all respect, every respect to the
20 Chamber, Mr. President, Your Honours, we're not going to be in a position
21 to rest our case until we know that the exhibits have been properly
22 received or that we've been able to take any steps necessary to make sure,
23 as much as possible, that our evidence will be accepted.
24 So if we do not accept this evidence now -- and I submit it's very
25 important evidence. These are transcripts from the offices of the
1 President of the Republic of Croatia, former President Tudjman, of
2 conversations in his office that show very clearly the existence of an
3 international armed conflict that was controlled, in large measure, from
4 Zagreb. It's very important that the Chamber receive this evidence, and
5 I'm concerned about postponing it until January. Thank you,
6 Mr. President.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that you still have the chance to come
8 back to certain documents which were not admitted by this Chamber during
9 the rebuttal procedures, after the Defence case.
10 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I would -- the practice in the Tribunal
11 that I'm familiar with has been that Chambers have shown to be quite
12 conservative in their treatment of rebuttal cases, and I would frankly be
13 a bit concerned. Obviously, I'm in the Chamber's hands. If you give me
14 some assurances that in fact that would be the case, then I certainly will
15 accept the Chamber's guidance on that. But I would be -- my general
16 reaction would be one of some concern.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, my apologies once
19 again, but this is a very important matter, and I believe it is my duty to
20 tell you what this is about. It is my duty to tell you that these
21 documents are of major importance for us, and I was happy to hear my
22 learned friend confirm that, because if they're important for our learned
23 friends, that is, for the Prosecution, they are just as -- even more
24 important for us.
25 Your Honours, there was an attempt to introduce these documents
1 during the Kordic/Cerkez case, and were not admitted then because the
2 Chamber refused to do that, because the Chamber was not quite clear about
3 all the circumstances, and they were not admitted into evidence by that
4 Chamber. Now we -- first an attempt is made to introduce here the
5 transcripts of testimonies, and we have already reasoned the motion
6 objection to the admittance of these transcripts. In this manner, we want
7 the witnesses to be brought in.
8 So this is a subject which is very broad, which is very important
9 for us, and something that we have to study. Yes, I admit that I received
10 it six weeks ago. Yes, I admit that. But believe me, I have no time to
11 sleep since July. I have no time to sleep. For the past several weeks, I
12 have not had time to read anything but the pages for the next witness and
13 the witness coming up the next day. And I'm sorry. Perhaps I -- I said I
14 don't sleep. Perhaps I'm exaggerating, but I'm not trying to be
15 pathetic. I really sleep very little. I really sleep very little. I
16 don't have time for much sleep, and that is the truth. And you understand
17 that these holidays will not be holidays. Everybody else will be enjoying
18 Christmas, their Christmas, and we shall be working in order to somehow
19 manage this pace which has been imposed on us.
20 I simply have not had time to read a single sheet of these
21 documents, and I do not know why the Prosecutor, who is my learned friend,
22 who is my colleague, why -- he should not be indifferent to whether I
23 shall be able to ask my questions and parry his questions or not, and I
24 really do not know whether I shall be up to that, because I have not yet
25 managed to read that. I'm sorry. Perhaps I exaggerated slightly when I
1 speak about the time that we have available, but that is indeed so. Thank
2 you very much.
3 And please, once again, receive my apologies. But on the other
4 hand, if the Prosecutor insists on the direct examination, then all
5 right. Of course, let him conduct his direct examination. But please
6 relieve us of the duty to conduct our cross-examination before the
7 holidays. Thank you very much, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott. You know we are --
9 MR. SCOTT: I know we're late, Your Honours, but very briefly -- I
10 promise to be very brief. I don't want to leave one misimpression
11 standing and unaddressed overnight. One thing, and then a second item.
12 Counsel is correct. These transcripts were not accepted in the
13 Kordic case but under very specific circumstances. Because we have been
14 trying to get this material - and I'm happy to document this at
15 length - over a long period of time. The material did not become
16 available to the Prosecution until very late in the case; indeed, after we
17 had rested our case in chief, which brings me back to my prior concern.
18 And in that situation - I'm happy for the Chamber to review the record in
19 that case - the Chamber did not receive it because it considered it out of
20 time. There was no substantive ruling. It was not considered unreliable;
21 it was not rejected. It was simply a scheduling matter. And I'm happy
22 for the Chamber to review that. So I don't want there to be any wrong
23 impression created.
24 THE INTERPRETER: Please slow down, Mr. Scott, please.
25 MR. SCOTT: My apology to translation.
1 Secondly, Your Honour, as I've said before, what I'm going to ask
2 Mr. Prelec is: How did the OTP obtain this material? Now, counsel can
3 cross-examine him on that without reviewing 4.000 pages of transcripts.
4 And finally - and I said I'd be short - again, Your Honours, I
5 will not be put in the position of the bad guy here. Counsel was given
6 this disclosure a long time ago, and I took specific pains to give notice
7 at least six weeks ago. So I think I have been reasonably sympathetic to
8 the needs of counsel to prepare. I think that's more than enough time to
9 prepare. Thank you.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, it is really late today, and since we haven't
11 received the submissions from Defence counsel, and we are in no position
12 to make a decision right now, we'll come back to this tomorrow.
13 We will adjourn until 2.30 tomorrow afternoon in Courtroom II.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.17 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 6th day of
16 December 2001, at 2.30 p.m.