1 Tuesday, 15 January 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.08 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, good morning, everybody. I'm sorry for the
6 delay. I guess that's because of changing of the courtroom. And later on
7 we have to get used to it.
8 [Trial Chamber and usher confer]
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, I have been informed that the witness lost his
10 way in this building, so Mr. Usher is trying to locate him.
11 Well, during this period, I would like to know whether there's
12 anything procedural that both parties would like to bring to the attention
13 of this Trial Chamber.
14 Yes, Mr. Scott.
15 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President. I can inform the Chamber that for
16 some time now we have listed generically on our witness list a witness
17 from the British battalion to authenticate some British battalion
18 documents that had come up in the trial before. And based on contacts
19 with the British Ministry of Defence, I am prepared to say at this time
20 that the witness that will be provided for that purpose is named Alistair
21 Rule, R-U-L-E. We expect Mr. Rule to testify on Thursday. I wouldn't
22 expect it to be terribly long testimony. I can advise at this time I
23 believe he testified as a Prosecution witness in the Kordic case but on
24 matters -- well, I say obviously -- presumably substantially different
25 than this case since that case related to central Bosnia. As soon as we
1 have any additional information to provide to counsel or the Court, we
2 will do so, but that is the name of the individual whose -- the name I've
3 received to be that witness.
4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your information.
5 [Trial Chamber and usher confer]
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, since we still did not find the witness, we'll
7 break for ten minutes.
8 --- Break taken at 9.15 a.m.
9 --- On resuming at 9.33 a.m.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, we are extremely sorry about the delay, since we
11 announced the changing of the courtroom and the time yesterday. I guess
12 nobody could trust, so-called automatic pilot in this building. But
13 anyway, we have to make up the time we have lost in some later stage,
14 because we have to be fair to the parties for the time allocated to them.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you. Good morning.
18 WITNESS: Witness AC [Resumed]
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. Please continue.
21 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes.
22 Examined by Mr. Poriouvaev: [Continued]
23 Q. Witness AC, yesterday we came to the point that one operation was
24 carried out in Mostar, and apart from your unit, Stela's unit and the
25 4th Battalion were involved in that operation. Now, I would like you to
1 direct to an Exhibit P774. It was already on your desk yesterday.
2 But before we proceed with this document, I've got one more
3 question to ask. And this question will be: You explained to the Trial
4 Chamber that you fulfilled several kinds of jobs on the confrontation
5 line, and one of the functions was just to guard the confrontation line.
6 Could you expand a little bit more. What do they mean by ordering you to
7 guard the confrontation line? From whom?
8 A. The order for the -- for the guards during the conflict came from
9 Baja, from Mario Milicevic, Baja, and that was one of the easiest jobs,
10 that is, to stand guard and keep alert throughout the duty. That was the
11 task of the guards.
12 Q. Who was not allowed to appear in the area of the confrontation
14 A. Civilians were not allowed to be there.
15 Q. Were you allowed to shoot at people who appear on the
16 confrontation line without permission?
17 A. Yes. One was authorised to fire at anything moving.
18 Q. Without warning?
19 A. Without any warning, because the defence line itself was a
21 Q. Did your unit have sniper positions on the confrontation line?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Do you remember in which buildings were they deployed?
24 A. Yes, I do remember it.
25 Q. Which buildings?
1 A. These buildings are practically on the defence front line but a
2 little bit withdrawn, so that there wasn't much danger and yet I had a
3 good view of the other side.
4 Q. Did you ever perform your functions as a sniper?
5 A. No.
6 Q. All right. Now, let's proceed with a document -- with Exhibit
7 774. And you have it in both English and B/C/S versions. Which one would
8 you prefer? I think that you have a B/C/S version only. But it doesn't
10 I would like you to take a look at the letterhead of the document.
11 First off, the front page. What is this document about? Is it possible
12 to read?
13 A. Well, I can make out some of it, but not all. I can read the
14 first sentence.
15 Q. Okay. At least, what you understood. What did you understand
16 from the document? What's the subject matter?
17 A. This should be the report of ill-treated and killed persons,
18 prisoners, as far as I can see.
19 Q. Okay. Now, let's turn to the first page. Take a look at the left
20 upper corner. Do you see any letterhead there?
21 A. I do.
22 Q. What do you see there?
23 A. I see a stamp of the Croat Republic Herceg-Bosna, Ministry of
24 Defence, military police administration, military post code 1711.
25 Q. Do you see a seal to the right of the stamp?
1 A. I do.
2 Q. Okay. Thank you.
3 Now, I would like the witness to go to number 45 in the document.
4 I would like you to take a look at the last column of the document. Do
5 you see any names that are familiar to you there? 45, and the last
6 column, to the right. The last to the right.
7 A. Yes. I can recognise when it says here, "80 group, Benko
9 Q. Do you see another name in this same column?
10 A. I don't.
11 Q. 45. Are you reading number 45?
12 A. Let me look at 45 once again. Oh, yes. Yes, I do see. I see the
13 name Mario Zubac.
14 Q. Yesterday in your testimony, you claimed that it was not only
15 yourself but some other soldiers who were authorised to take -- to pick up
16 prisoners from Heliodrom. Among them you mentioned Zubac. Do you see
17 here the same Zubac?
18 A. Yes, I do.
19 Q. And if I direct you now to the second column from the left side,
20 45. Do you see the list of three persons who are alleged to have been
22 A. I don't understand the question.
23 Q. I will repeat my question. Do you see the list of some persons
24 under number 45 which are claimed to be killed -- who are claimed to be
1 A. Yes, I do, but none of them sounds familiar to me.
2 Q. And do you see the list of four wounded persons?
3 A. I do.
4 Q. Are those names familiar to you?
5 A. No, unfortunately.
6 Q. And do you see the date in column 3, under the same number, 45?
7 A. I do, yes.
8 Q. Read the date.
9 A. 27th of September, 1993.
10 Q. Let's go down to number 46. Do you see the list of 29 persons,
11 prisoners who are alleged to have been killed? I would ask you to look
12 through the list and tell me if you can recall any of the names familiar
13 to you. If you don't remember, don't remember.
14 Do you see any names that are familiar to you?
15 A. I don't.
16 Q. And do you see the date when the persons -- prisoners were taken
17 from Heliodrom?
18 A. I do, yes.
19 Q. Which is the date?
20 A. The 27th September 1993.
21 Q. Which unit was in charge of them, according to the last column?
22 A. I can't see that.
23 Q. Okay. Let's turn to number 54. Do you see the list of seven
24 people, prisoners, who are alleged to have been killed? Do you see any
25 names that are familiar to you?
1 A. No, I don't.
2 Q. Do you see the date when the prisoners were taken from Heliodrom?
3 A. I'm sorry. Excuse me. Yes, it says the 22nd September 1993.
4 Q. And now we will go to column 5. That's about the unit and the
5 person who was in charge of prisoners.
6 A. Sorry. Could you repeat that question.
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Which column?
9 Q. The last column. That's about the unit that was in charge of
10 prisoners and the person who took them.
11 A. Yes. It says the ATG Benko Penavic; and the person responsible,
12 Mario Zubac.
13 Q. Now let's go to number 57. Have you found it?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Do you see among the list of people who are alleged as having been
16 wounded any names that are familiar to you?
17 A. No, I don't.
18 Q. And take a look at the date.
19 A. It is September 18th, 1993.
20 Q. What about the unit, according to the last column?
21 A. It's ATG Benko Penavic; and the person responsible for prisoners,
22 Andrija Novak.
23 Q. Do you remember his name?
24 A. Yes, now that I see it written down. Perhaps it wouldn't have
25 come to me otherwise.
1 Q. Now turn to number 74. Do you see any name of person who is
2 alleged to have been wounded?
3 A. Yes, I see it.
4 Q. The date?
5 A. September 1st, 1993.
6 Q. The unit in charge?
7 A. The ATG group Benko Penavic; and the person responsible,
8 Miroslav Zadro.
9 Q. Do you remember Miroslav Zadro?
10 A. I don't.
11 Q. And finally, let's go to number 80. Do you see the name of
12 Mirsad Kurtovic who is alleged to have been wounded?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. When did it happen, according to this document?
15 A. It happened on the 31st of August, 1993.
16 Q. Which unit was in charge of prisoners?
17 A. ATG Benko Penavic.
18 Q. Are you familiar -- were you familiar with Mirsad Kurtovic?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Thank you, Witness. You may put aside this document.
21 Somewhere in the beginning of your testimony you have claimed that
22 you knew a person whose nickname was Tuta. Did you ever personally see
24 A. Yes, I did.
25 Q. Did it happen during the war, before the war, or after the war?
1 A. It was during the war. I saw him when we were on our way to
2 Prozor for the first time, at the headquarters of Siroki Brijeg, the old
3 tobacco station.
4 Q. And how do you know that that location, Duhanska Stanica was the
5 headquarters of Stela's unit -- I'm sorry, Tuta's unit. I'm sorry.
6 A. I was a soldier, so I suppose I was expected to know where the
7 headquarters was.
8 Q. And could you just recount here in the courtroom the situation in
9 which you saw Mr. Tuta. What happened on that day in Siroki Brijeg?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
11 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, at this point I would
12 object to this line of questioning. We've had somewhat of a minor
13 preview, and that is Prozor, Prozor. This situation, Your Honour -- and I
14 know that the Trial Chamber has not been allowed and not had the
15 opportunity to review the witness statement, but the Defence has, and we
16 lodge a strenuous objection to any testimony concerning Prozor. It's
17 outside the scope of the indictment. It has no relevance, therefore, to
18 this case, and this is a situation where we strongly and firmly believe
19 that the allowance of this type of evidence into this Trial Chamber and
20 into this trial is for the sole purpose of insinuating that if a person
21 such as an accused were to do something on a prior occasion, therefore he
22 did something on a latter occasion or subsequent occasion. But the
23 evidence which they wish to elicit through this witness at this time goes
24 to Prozor. It's not alleged in the indictment. It's not an issue in this
25 case, and we believe that it's highly prejudicial. The probative value is
1 outweighed by the prejudicial value to the accused in his right to a fair
2 trial should you let this evidence come in. And I object on those
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, we don't have the summary of this witness at our
5 hands. We would like to hear the response from the Prosecutor about this.
6 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour. I will do it with pleasure. I
7 suggest that my learned colleague is too fast. First of all, for that
8 moment, we are still in Siroki Brijeg. I have not asked him -- I mean,
9 the witness any question about Prozor yet.
10 Anyway, anyway, if you look at paragraph -- from 14 through 17 of
11 the indictment, that's about Mr. Naletilic's superior authority, and you
12 -- if you look in the Background part of your indictment where the areas
13 are enumerated, are indicated, Prozor is also indicated. I'm not that
14 interested in the operation carried out in Prozor, at least at this point,
15 and I will not ask any questions about the operations itself. But
16 anything which is relevant to Mr. Naletilic's higher position should be
17 considered as relevant to our case, and not going beyond the scope of our
18 examination-in-chief beyond the indictment itself. That is the
19 Prosecution's position.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek. Do you have anything to add?
21 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honour. Mr. President, I believe that my
22 learned colleague is slightly and absolutely mistaken. Under paragraphs
23 14 through 17, Superior Authority would only go to the superior authority
24 of my client within the context of the framework of the indictment, not in
25 some other area of Bosnia or Herzegovina or Kosovo, or any other location,
1 but only within the framework of the indictment.
2 And as far as background goes, Your Honour, this is not, I submit
3 -- we submit, the Defence, that this is not background information due to
4 the time frame of the situation.
5 So on both occasions, either Superior Authority or Background,
6 it's highly inadmissible, irrelevant, not contained within the context of
7 the scope of this indictment, introduced merely for the purpose to
8 prejudice our client; the probative value is outweighed strongly by the
9 prejudicial effect this testimony will have on this Trial Chamber, and we
10 strenuously and strongly object, Your Honours.
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV: May I respond, Your Honour?
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, you have to be very concise.
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Very concise.
15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: First of all, Prozor area was mentioned in
16 paragraph 8 of the indictment, the area where the conflict started in
17 October 1992. And it was at that time ongoing conflict. And the events I
18 would like to direct my witness, happened before he left his unit, and he
19 left his unit in November 1993. So all my questions will go to the period
20 within the scope of the indictment.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, we believe that the paragraph 8 of the
22 indictment mentioned Prozor. That's true. But as for the time frame,
23 it's out of the time frame of this indictment. And Mr. Prosecutor, you
24 may continue your question concerning the event happened in Siroki Brijeg
25 at this moment, while bearing in mind the objections from Defence counsel.
1 You may proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 MR. PORIOUVAEV: All right. All right.
3 Now I would like Witness AC to be shown Exhibit 26.9.
4 Q. Witness, could you identify this location?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Please inform the Trial Chamber which location was identified by
8 A. This is the old tobacco station at Siroki Brijeg where Tuta's
9 headquarters was.
10 Q. And did you see Tuta inside of the building or outside of the
12 A. It was outside of that building.
13 Q. Perhaps you could indicate it on this -- in this picture, the
14 precise place where you saw him.
15 A. Yes, I am.
16 Q. Could you take a pointer.
17 A. It was approximately here, near this building.
18 Q. Could you take a marker and just encircle the area and put number
19 "1" there.
20 A. [Marks]
21 Q. Thank you.
22 MR. PORIOUVAEV: You may take away the exhibit from the ELMO.
23 Q. And what was the task set for your unit in Siroki Brijeg?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
25 MR. MEEK: Thank you, Your Honours. Mr. President, I object to
1 the form of that question. It assumes facts not in evidence. The
2 question says, What was your task? and there's been no evidence that this
3 witness nor anybody with him on that date had been given any tasks. So I
4 object to the form of the question. It assumes facts not in evidence and
5 in fact becomes leading and suggestive also when taken in that context.
6 Thank you, Your Honours.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, you are too fast in this
8 question. You may pose it another way.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: All right. I'll just abide by your ruling, just
10 not to go into details of Prozor operation. That's why I tried to limit
11 myself to some certain questions relevant to Siroki Brijeg.
12 Q. All right. Witness AC, did you see any other commanders in Siroki
13 Brijeg along with Mr. Naletilic on that day?
14 A. Yes. My commander was there, Milicevic, Baja.
15 Q. Did they have any meeting there?
16 A. Tuta gave a small speech.
17 Q. Were you present at this speech?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you remember what was that speech about?
20 A. Yes. We were talking about going in the field, in the same Prozor
21 that we have mentioned before.
22 Q. Was your unit the only one that was presented at that meeting?
23 A. No, it wasn't. I think, if I remember well, Tuta's unit, which
24 was in Siroki Brijeg, was also there. Perhaps not the full complement,
25 but I think that they were also there.
1 Q. Okay. Since the Trial Chamber does not allow me to put any
2 questions relevant to Prozor, I will skip this part of my prepared direct
4 Witness, we were talking about the confrontation line and the
5 division of the confrontation line in Mostar, and now I would like to
6 return to this subject, just to clarify some issues. Did you ever go to
7 Stela's unit headquarters?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Did you see his headquarters?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Where was the building located?
12 A. It was located near our base, about 200 metres -- two to three
13 hundred metres in the direction of Balinovac.
14 Q. Was it far away from your own headquarters?
15 A. No.
16 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the usher to show the witness
17 Exhibit number P15.2.
18 Q. Witness, could you tell me if this photo rings a bell to you.
19 A. Yes, it does ring a bell. It is -- it reminds me of Stela's
20 headquarters, even though the building is more recent. But I can
21 recognise it by the street and the wall that I would like to show.
22 Q. Could you indicate that street and the wall in the picture?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. With the pointer, and do that.
25 A. That would be the wall. It was a characteristic wall. It
1 extended along the whole length of the street. And I also am familiar
2 with that street there.
3 Q. Could you show, please. I don't see the street.
4 A. [Indicates]
5 Q. Okay. I would like you to put number "1" on the wall you have
6 indicated and number "2" to the exit, to the street.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Thank you.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you. You may take away this exhibit.
10 Q. Witness AC, from your witness statement I learned that on some
11 occasion you were wounded. When did it happen?
12 A. It happened on the 15th of July, 1993.
13 Q. Was it a very serious wound?
14 A. No.
15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: And now I would like the witness to be shown
16 Exhibit number P621.1.
17 Q. Please, Witness, I would like you to take a look at the original
18 version of the document. But don't show it on the ELMO because otherwise
19 the people will see your name. All right?
20 A. Okay.
21 Q. Yes.
22 MR. PORIOUVAEV: And I would like to just -- to call the attention
23 of the Trial Chamber that in the draft translation of the document, in the
24 left corner side, there is a slip -- a mistake -- a misprint, I would say.
25 The unit called "Branko Penavic," but in the original document you have
1 "Benko Penavic."
2 Q. Witness AC, who signed this document?
3 A. My commander at the time, Mario Milicevic, Baja.
4 Q. Was the document signed in your presence?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Did you have such kind of document before October 1993, when,
7 according to the document, it was given to you?
8 A. I don't remember.
9 Q. Okay. Is it true that, according to this document, you were a
10 member of the HVO from the 4th of April, 1992, and as from 9th of May,
11 1993, you were a member of the Benko Penavic unit?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And maybe -- perhaps, Witness, you will be able to explain to me
14 one term that I have come across in this document. Your unit is called an
15 elite unit. Did this document give you any powers, specific powers?
16 A. I don't understand the question.
17 Q. Okay. I will return to this question afterwards. But now perhaps
18 you will explain, what did you understand by "elite unit"? Why were you
19 called an "elite unit"?
20 A. We were called the elite unit because we were a little bit
21 different from everyone else. The difference consisted in that we had
22 uniforms that were slightly different than the others. They were
23 camouflage and green. They were quite different from all the other
24 uniforms in various brigades and various battalions, and we were also
25 involved in special tasks for which we were paid.
1 Q. And what was the difference between your uniform and other units'
3 A. Well, I was in the Benko Penavic uniform, the green uniforms that
4 we had -- we were the only unit that we had. And the other camouflage
5 uniforms that the other units had were different, both in colour and in
7 Q. Did you have anything on your uniform that indicated that you
8 belonged to Benko Penavic unit?
9 A. No.
10 Q. Did you have any specific patches, badges, other signs of
12 A. No.
13 Q. Did you have military ranks within the unit?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Did your commander, I mean your big commander, Milicevic, have any
16 military rank?
17 A. Yes. He had the rank of Major.
18 Q. And what about your salary in comparison with other units? Was it
19 at the same level?
20 A. No, it was not the same level of salary. ATG salaries were a
21 little bit higher than the others had.
22 Q. And you have just mentioned that your unit was involved in some
23 special operations. Perhaps you could explain to the Trial Chamber what
24 your mean by "special operations."
25 A. Special operations were the ethnic cleansing of Muslim civilians
1 in the city of Mostar, then going to -- going in the field wherever there
2 was danger of having the lines breached, and anything else that the HVO
3 might need.
4 Q. All right. Now I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
5 number P556.
6 You also have a B/C/S version. Witness, have you read the
8 A. Not yet.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, that's a problem. May we break?
10 Because my learned colleagues from the bench or counsels just are making
11 some signs to me. Since I am here just to -- to clarify when exactly
12 we'll have our first break, official break.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think that's a question we have to solve,
14 because we are 30 minutes late. And how long are you going to take after
15 the break for this witness?
16 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I think, Your Honour, it will not take me more
17 than 20 minutes. It's a maximum.
18 JUDGE LIU: I see. I'm afraid we have to break here.
19 So Mr. Usher, would you please show the witness out of the room
20 after pulling down the blinds.
21 So we might have 65 or 70 minutes sitting after the break because
22 we have to finish the morning session by 1.45. This courtroom will be
23 used for another case this afternoon at 2.15. We were told that there
24 have to be 30 minutes break between the two cases. So we will resume at
25 11.00 sharp.
1 --- Recess taken at 10.32 a.m.
2 --- On resuming at 11.02 a.m.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. While
5 we're waiting for the witness, I merely wanted to make an objection. That
6 is, alongside the witness's statement, some documents were to be enclosed,
7 that is, quite a number of documents, nine altogether, nine different
8 types of documents, and the Defence considers these documents very
9 important. I talked with my learned friend. I was promised those
10 documents. However, since I evidently will not get them before the end of
11 the cross-examination, and even if I do, I would need in any event -- I
12 would need to study these documents, and perhaps I would also need to talk
13 with investigators. And since your decision is that this witness cannot
14 be brought here for direct examination before the 15th of January - and
15 that will be today, or rather, we started him yesterday - because this
16 witness made his first statement - and of course in my cross-examination,
17 I will raise it - because he made his first statement a month and a half
18 ago, I should like to ask this Honourable Court to give the Defence
19 tomorrow afternoon, once we get these documents, to be able to study them,
20 to talk with investigators, and conduct our cross-examination tomorrow
21 afternoon. Thank you very much.
22 JUDGE LIU: I have to hear the response from the Prosecutor. Yes,
23 Mr. Prosecutor.
24 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, we have prepared a pile of documents
25 my learned colleague is talking about. Unfortunately, these documents are
1 attachments to our witness's prior statement. For some reason, they were
2 not disclosed to the Defence. Actually, we used only one document from
3 this pile of documents as our exhibit, and it has been disclosed to the
4 Defence. Precisely, it was disclosed yesterday. Just -- I mean, the
5 certificate of membership we have already discussed here in the courtroom.
6 As for the rest of the documents, they are ready for disclosure and the
7 Defence can have them in their domain. There are not -- there are not any
8 long documents which require a lot of time for the preparation, just some
9 minor documents. At least, they seem to be minor for the Prosecution
10 while we were deciding whether to use them as exhibits or not.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, but it will be fair for the Defence to have all
12 those documents long beforehand, so that they could prepare their
13 cross-examination in due time.
14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, I understand the situation, Your Honour.
15 But you know, this is one of our more recent witnesses, and there is some
16 time needed for the translation and so on.
17 JUDGE LIU: Are there any witnesses waiting after this one?
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: No.
19 JUDGE LIU: No?
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I am sorry -- my apology to Mr.
21 Poriouvaev. I think this is -- raises a more general matter. No, we had
22 fully anticipated this witness would take the day. And I think if
23 cross-examination proceeded at this time, it would in fact take the day.
24 So we have not planned on having -- calling another witness until
1 As Mr. Poriouvaev has indicated, this witness statement was
2 provided to the Defence counsel a long time ago. It clearly states on its
3 face, makes reference to attachments. Now we admit it was our oversight.
4 Usually when witnesses statements are turned over, any attachments go
5 simultaneously. For whatever reason, by oversight they were not.
6 However, I think it's fair to point out that counsel have had the
7 statement for a long time, it makes clear and abundant reference to the
8 fact there are attachments. There was never any issue raised until just a
9 few moments ago that they had not received those. They could have asked
10 at any time in the past six weeks to be provided with those documents,
11 which as counsel, my colleague, indicates are not voluminous. We are
12 talking about a very small number, several pages of documents.
13 Now, again it is our oversight, for which we have apologised and,
14 which we have remedied within minutes of it being brought to our
15 attention. It could have been bought to our attention in December. It
16 wasn't. And that's where we are, Your Honour. But no, because of the
17 planning purposes, we do not have a witness other than this witness to
18 finish the day and we fully anticipated that this witness would complete
19 the day.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, I believe it is your obligation to
21 disclose all the documents, as well as attachments, to Defence counsel.
22 MR. SCOTT: I agree, Your Honour.
23 JUDGE LIU: Only by doing so is it fair to the Defence counsel.
24 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I've explained our position. I agree
25 with you. I've explained what happened. I can't give you another answer
1 than that one.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik. Do you have anything to add?
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, for the sake of the
4 truth, we received the statements in the middle of this trial, sometime in
5 November last year. So it is lesser than a month and a half ago. And we
6 did not even know that this witness would be on the witness list.
7 However, he turned up, and you decided that this witness could be called
8 only recently, that is, only as late as December. And that is the truth,
9 and both my learned friend and you know that, Your Honours. And until we
10 knew that for certain, we could not get prepared, because all this time it
11 was a very short. And once we started getting ready, we found that out.
12 That was only a few days ago. When we realised that the witness would be
13 testifying on Monday, we asked where are the documents. I mean, this was
14 only an explanation for you, Your Honours.
15 [Trial Chamber confers]
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, after consultations with other Judges, we
17 decided that the Defence counsel has the right to review all those
18 documents and attachments to the statement of this witness. So the
19 request from Defence counsel is granted.
20 You will conduct your cross-examination of this witness tomorrow
21 afternoon. If we finish with this witness today, if there is no other
22 witnesses waiting for today, we just break until tomorrow.
23 Yes, Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I certainly am not standing to argue
25 with the Chamber, but I do think it's fair, in light of the questions that
1 have been raised. I'd like to tender to the Chamber the attachments just
2 so you know exactly what it is. Because these are very, very limited
3 documents. These are one-page documents with only a few sentences on each
4 page or copies of an identification card. I'm not arguing counsel is not
5 entitled to them but I think the Chamber should appreciate the fact when
6 counsel says they need a day to prepare for these, I think the Chamber
7 should see the nature of the documents. I'd give them -- tender them to
8 the usher.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, it's a matter of principle rather
10 than how long the document is.
11 MR. SCOTT: I understand that, Your Honour. But I still think
12 it's only fair for the Chamber to see the documents that are being
13 discussed. I think when counsel stands up and says they've been
14 prejudiced by not having these documents, I think the Chamber should see
15 what the documents are.
16 JUDGE LIU: I did not say the Defence counsel has been prejudiced
17 at this moment, we just want to give enough time for the Defence counsel
18 to prepare their case.
19 You may submit all those documents to the Chamber, but we have
20 already made a decision. We'll abide by that decision.
21 MR. SCOTT: As I said Your Honour, I did not stand to re-argue
22 your ruling. It's absolutely ruled, we're absolutely going to abide by
23 it, of course. But I just simply think, for clarification sake, that the
24 Chamber should have these documents.
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
1 MR. SCOTT: If the usher could assist me, please.
2 JUDGE CLARK: Can I address some remarks on behalf of the Bench
3 to, once again, counsel in this case. It has been brought to our
4 attention that, on occasion, witnesses, and in particular the witness who
5 is giving his evidence at the moment, have been upset or disturbed by loud
6 comments that are emanating from counsel's bench. If we hear of any other
7 occasion where Defence counsel make remarks that are derogatory or
8 otherwise while the witness is giving testimony, we will consider holding
9 those counsel in contempt. Is that understood? We spoke about this only
10 last week. Comments in relation to witnesses are to stop. We take this
11 very, very seriously.
12 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Usher, would you please bring in the witness,
14 Yes, Mr. Prosecutor, you may proceed.
15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. So Witness, I asked you just to read the document. Have you read
18 A. Well, I haven't finished it. There was just a small part that I
19 still need to read.
20 Yes, I have finished.
21 Q. Witness, I ask you about this document for two reasons. The first
22 reason: Did you see the name of your unit in this document?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. Yes, because in the English translation, again, we have a mistake,
25 a misprint; "Branko Penavic." And my question will be: Was Stela's unit
1 also considered as an elite unit, like yours?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did you ever cooperate together in carrying out some military
4 action -- military or other actions, apart from those already mentioned by
5 you when you were fighting together just at the bottom of the hum?
6 A. No. No, as far as I can remember.
7 Q. And do you remember any situation that there was some conflict
8 between your commander and Vinko Martinovic?
9 A. Yes, I remember that. Yes, I do.
10 Q. Could you briefly inform the Trial Chamber what happened and who
11 solved that problem.
12 A. Well, what happened, I'd rather not talk about it. According to
13 what I heard from Baja, there was to be a meeting with -- at Tuta's, and
14 the -- and the situation which had arisen between those two units was to
15 be resolved in a correct manner, in a nice manner.
16 Q. Do you know, was the situation solved?
17 A. Yes, it was solved, because there were no incidents after that.
18 Q. All right. Now I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
19 number P702.
20 Witness, I just would like you to read the first page of the
21 document, just two first paragraphs.
22 A. Yes, I've done that.
23 Q. Is it correct, according to this document, that those two units,
24 Vinko Skrobo and Benko Penavic, were set up in April 1993, according to
25 your understanding?
1 A. I wouldn't be able to answer that question.
2 Q. All right. Did you know any members -- or do you remember any
3 members of your unit now?
4 A. Well, some of them I do remember. I remember some names, and
5 others I might only recognise if I saw their photographs.
6 Q. For example, could you give us some names to the extent you
7 remember them.
8 A. I can mention Benito, Sadzak, Seno Mahmutovic, Fadil Duric, Zubac,
9 Cape or Capa, Jakov.
10 A. Jakov, do you remember his nickname? I mean Jakov.
11 A. I don't.
12 Q. Do you know the person whose name is Robert Medic?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you remember a person whose name is Miroslav Kolubara?
15 A. Unfortunately.
16 Q. You don't remember. All right. If you don't remember, you don't
18 And now I would like you to -- the witness should be shown Exhibit
19 number 588.
20 I would like you to take a look at the second page of the B/C/S
21 version, just the first paragraph.
22 A. I've read it.
23 Q. Just one question based on this document: According to this
24 document, there were some problems with a unit called Mrmak and Benko
25 Penavic, who, due to the frequent transfer of civilians toward that part
1 of the Bulevar, made arrangements for exchanges of prisoners on private
2 business. Do you know if such kind of private exchanges of prisoners take
3 place in your area of responsibility, I mean your unit?
4 A. Yes, it did happen.
5 Q. Could you briefly inform the Trial Chamber how did this system
6 work, of private exchanges.
7 A. Well, I'm not really familiar with the system. I know that behind
8 the system was Baja. He was sending prisoners to the other side, and
9 certain things he also sent to the other side, and in exchange requested
10 something from the east side. I cannot remember anything specific, but I
11 remember very well how prisoners crossed from the west to the east side.
12 Q. All right. My last question will be -- it's about Exhibit number
13 620.1. I would like the witness to be shown this exhibit.
14 Witness, what I will ask you: In the previous part of your
15 testimony, you explained to the Trial Chamber the manner in which
16 cleansing operations were being carried out in your area of
17 responsibility. Now I would like you to read the document and maybe you
18 can compare. Were your operations organised in the same way, I mean
19 within your unit?
20 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President.
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
22 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I am lodging an objection to this
23 question. It is perhaps a little late. But when you look at the document
24 a little bit closer, I believe this question is tantamount to an attempt
25 to -- it's a document which is incriminating against my client is -- if I
1 understand the question, the Prosecutor is trying to -- somehow trying to
2 show how these operations were allegedly taking place. This document in
3 itself, which does not only contain the description -- I think that he --
4 the question is being asked to elaborate on how it was done, even though
5 we have a description. Why are we now being offered another document,
6 which has nothing to do with his unit, in order to go back to this
7 question? And this is just an attempt to have this reintroduced, and I
8 therefore object.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, I'm not quite sure about what
10 your question is.
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV: My question --
12 JUDGE LIU: Would you please rephrase your question and put it in
13 a more clear way.
14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, I will try to.
15 Q. Just while talking about the cleansing operation, you, Witness AC,
16 explained to the Trial Chamber the manner in which your operations were
17 carried out -- prepared and then carried out. If you read this document,
18 is it the same manner that in your area of responsibility the operations
19 were prepared and carried out in the same way?
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.
21 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the same objection. We
22 believe that this question is not appropriate.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, you have to ask specific
24 questions to this witness to describe in what way his unit was doing at
25 that time.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
2 Q. All right, Witness AC, this document refers to October --
3 September/October. Did your unit carry out the operation -- cleansing
4 operations at that time?
5 A. I would not be able to say whether it was in July, August,
6 January, February, March, April, but these operations were conducted
7 throughout the period when I was with the ATG Benko Penavic.
8 Q. And when did you leave ATG Benko Penavic?
9 A. In late 1993.
10 Q. And did they allow - I mean your commanders - to leave the unit?
11 A. Yes.
12 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Poriouvaev.
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes.
14 JUDGE CLARK: I'm loath to ask you how to do something or say to
15 you how you should do it, but perhaps it might be of assistance to the
16 Trial Chamber if you were to ask this witness to describe a typical
17 cleansing operation that he personally engaged in, and then maybe we could
18 draw our own conclusions from the document, whether it differed or
19 otherwise from what is alleged in the document.
20 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. All right, Witness, now the Trial Chamber would like us to ask you
22 of a description of some typical cleansing operation in which you were
23 personally involved. Just you maybe take some seconds and try to recall
24 the most prominent one or notorious one.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek.
1 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Defence of Mr. Mladen
2 Naletilic would object to the question based on the fact that we feel it's
3 very improper to give the witness a document which describes a certain
4 activity and then ask later on, after he's allowed to read that document,
5 to describe how he may have conducted such operations or some unit that he
6 allegedly was involved in may have conducted it, after he's already been
7 allowed to read a document which purports to show how some other unit
8 allegedly carried out the operations. So we object on those grounds, Your
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, we also read that document, and we
11 believe that document is very general, is not a detailed one. And Judge
12 Clark has already mentioned to Mr. Prosecutor about some specific details
13 of that cleansing operation conducted by the unit the witness was
14 belonging to.
15 You may proceed, Witness, to answer the question.
16 A. It would happen like this: The persons who were supposed to be
17 conducting these types of operations of cleansing of ethnic population
18 knew each other. I was one of these persons. What we did was we would
19 come to certain neighbourhoods which were predesignated by Baja to be
20 ethnically cleansed. We would come with both trucks and private cars.
21 When we would come to the neighbourhood which was to be cleansed,
22 personnel would be assigned to all cardinal points so that we would
23 protect this so-called cleansing operation. I was one of those who was
24 guarding and protecting this quadrant or the neighbourhood. The others
25 would enter the apartments on which on the front doors they would find
1 Muslim names. If they weren't sure whether the person in question was of
2 Muslim background, they were to knock on the door and ask for the
3 necessary documents. Keys would then be taken away from these people and
4 handed over to Baja. The persons who were detained or expelled from the
5 apartments would then be loaded onto the trucks.
6 At first, the men would be taken to the Heliodrom and women and
7 children over to the other bank. And in cases -- and if there were
8 altogether, like the case was in the Pentagon -- the Pentagon was another
9 neighbourhood -- it was the name of a neighbourhood -- then that could
10 have been done as well. People were then pushed. Sometimes they would be
11 hit with the pistol or rifle butts, their jewellery would be stripped from
12 them, and they would be mistreated in various ways too.
13 After the operation was concluded, the detainees would be taken to
14 these predesignated locations and Baja issued a strict order to the effect
15 that, on that day and until Baja says otherwise, people were not to
16 revisit the locations where the ethnic cleansing had been carried out.
17 Then after that, Baja would go in with his people and empty the
18 neighbourhood -- that is, the apartments which had been vacated. After
19 that, he would give permission to other members of ATG to freely go into
20 the neighbourhood and find the apartment of their liking and appropriate
22 I think this, in brief, would sort of sum up how these actions
23 were carried out. I want to point out that -- that we did not work along
24 with the military police, but rather, we carried these -- carried out
25 these operations on our own.
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 7958 to 7963.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
2 Q. Okay. And my final question: Did you ever see HV units while you
3 were a member of the Benko Penavic unit?
4 A. Yes. Yes, I would have gone back to Prozor.
5 Q. You should not -- I've got your response and am satisfied with it.
6 MR. PORIOUVAEV: That's the end of my examination-in-chief, Your
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
9 Mr. Par, are you going to do your cross-examination today or you
10 defer it to tomorrow?
11 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I'm not prepared to do it today, and I
12 -- I don't know about tomorrow, but I would like to leave the decision
13 for tomorrow. What I'm trying to say: If I had any questions tomorrow,
14 it would be one or two questions.
15 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
16 Witness, I'm afraid we have to keep you here for another day. As
17 I warned you before, during your stay here, you are still under the oath,
18 so do not talk to anybody about your testimony and do not let anybody
19 approach you about your testimony here. When the usher pulls down the
20 blinds, you may leave the room.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I thank you.
22 I have a question.
23 JUDGE LIU: To whom is your question going to address? To the
24 Chamber? To the Prosecutor? Or to the Defence counsel?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whoever is competent for that. It
1 has to do with -- it has to do with one of the forms here. And I would
2 like to go back to it and comment on it, if I may.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, you may ask some questions in
4 this aspect.
5 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
6 Q. Which form do you mean?
7 JUDGE LIU: Microphone, please.
8 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Sorry.
9 Q. Which form do you mean? Do you mean some certain document?
10 A. Yes, this is a document P556.
11 Q. P556.
12 A. Yes, I would like to go back to that document tomorrow or perhaps
13 even at the very end of the examination, I would like to ask a question.
14 Q. Do you want to inform the Trial Chamber on some issue stemming
15 from this document?
16 A. I would prefer if I could have this document kept aside, and then
17 if I can go back to it and ask a question about it.
18 Q. Witness, you are not authorised to ask questions in the courtroom.
19 You are supposed to answer questions. If you don't understand something
20 in the question which is directed to you by the Prosecutor, by the Judge,
21 or by the counsel, then you may ask a question. If you want to give some
22 explanations relevant to this document, you may do that, because sometime
23 ago I asked some questions relevant to this document.
24 A. Then I apologise, and let us simply forget my question.
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you.
1 JUDGE LIU: You may leave now, Witness.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 [The witness stands down]
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.
5 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, Your Honours, because
6 we have a little bit of time, I would like to make a submission very
7 briefly. Not -- thank you. Not only is it absolutely acceptable what
8 Judge Clark said, but this is what -- how things should be in any
9 courtroom anywhere in the world. I would like to say something that is
10 well known to all of us, and I would, after that, like to get some
11 directions from you.
12 The hearings are a live process. We don't know what to expect.
13 It's unpredictable. The Defence cannot know what is going to happen. If
14 we were to know what was going to happen, this trial would not be
15 necessary, just as any other trial would not be necessary. This is why we
16 need to consult among the Defence counsel at various stages of the trial,
17 and especially during the cross-examination. I will say that we never
18 commented to witnesses nor did we ever directly address them. Perhaps we
19 could have been louder or more eloquent among ourselves, and because we
20 speak the same language as the witnesses do, it is possible - I say it is
21 possible - that some witnesses may have heard something, some of our
22 exchanges, which may or may not have benefitted the cross-examination.
23 And I was a judge for a number of -- for many years, and I know
24 that it is unpleasant to give testimony. And I myself have been in a
25 situation to do that, and I felt very uncomfortable. So I say it is
1 possible that some of the witnesses may have overheard some of our
2 exchanges which were simply and exclusively meant to do the -- to provide
3 the best defence that we can. If this has happened, I do apologise
4 sincerely to Judge Clark. This was not done intentionally.
5 So perhaps, Mr. President, Your Honours, we can get some
6 directions from you how to conduct this communication. If we were to
7 write notes to each other back and forth, that will take a lot of time.
8 We, the Croats, are one of the Mediterranean people, and I think
9 that our temperament is probably a little bit different. And again, I
10 apologise one more time. Of course what Judge Clark said is not only to
11 be respected but it is something that would be normal in any courtroom.
12 So -- but perhaps, yes, we could be a little bit quieter too.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, we take note of what you said just
14 now, and we also believe that in all the jurisdictions, the communication
15 between the counsel and his client should be confidential. The written
16 communication between the counsel and his client is greatly encouraged in
17 this courtroom, and sometimes you may approach to your client to consult
18 with him on certain points. But you should not make the conversation
19 louder or more eloquent among yourselves. It is not proper for us, as
20 well as for the witness, to hear your conversation, which might be
21 mistakenly regarded as some threat from the Defence bench. I'm not
22 blaming you on that issue, I just remind you on this very point.
23 Yes, Mr. Seric.
24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I think that we
25 have fully understood the point.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, according to your witness schedule,
2 are we going to -- are we going to hear the next witness tomorrow morning,
3 or we'll continue with the cross-examination with this witness? We read
4 all the documents you kindly furnished to the Chamber. We realised they
5 are not extensive one, they are very simple one. We believe the Defence
6 counsel have the whole afternoon to go through all those documents and to
7 prepare their cross-examination.
8 And also taking into consideration of the time schedule of this
9 trial, tomorrow morning we are still in the morning session, which means
10 we'll start at 9.00 and finish by 1.45. There's no afternoon session at
12 Yes, Mr. Scott.
13 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, thank you very much for raising that.
14 I think that it makes more sense, although ultimately, I suppose
15 obviously, we're in the Chamber's hands, but given what comments that, Mr.
16 President, you just made, it seems to make the most sense to complete this
17 witness tomorrow without yet again interrupting another witness, which
18 sometimes we've had to do, but there seems not a reason to do so in this
19 occasion. We can complete this witness and then proceed to the next
20 witness, following the cross-examination.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So tomorrow morning, we'll start
22 with the cross-examination of the present witness. And at the same time,
23 we would like to entrust the registrar to inform all the sections of this
24 Tribunal to abide by the trial's scheduling, because we don't have much
25 time to lose, since the case of the Prosecution is approaching to its end.
1 We will adjourn until 9.00 in courtroom 1 tomorrow morning.
2 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
3 at 11.57 a.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
4 the 16th day of January, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.