1 Monday, 3 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik. Are you ready for your next
10 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, Your Honour.
11 JUDGE LIU: Are there any protective measures?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] As I have announced, face distortion
13 and pseudonym.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think the registry is making proper
15 arrangements. We just have to wait for a while.
16 [The witness entered court].
17 JUDGE LIU: The ear phone for the witness.
18 Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I can
20 hear you.
21 JUDGE LIU: Good. Would you please make the solemn declaration in
22 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you?
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: Thank you very much.
1 WITNESS: WITNESS NJ
2 [Witness answered through interpreter].
3 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik.
4 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
5 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
6 A. Good afternoon.
7 Q. First let me give you a few instructions. You can look towards
8 me. Let me just given you a few instructions before you start giving your
9 testimony. Your pseudonym in this courtroom will be NJ, and that's how we
10 are going to call you. I shall just call you Witness. We want to hide
11 your identity and you must make sure not to disclose your identity while
12 giving answers. If there is a risk of you giving away your identity, then
13 I will ask the Chamber to go into the private session. Now the usher is
14 going to show you a piece of paper. And if you see your name on that
15 paper, you just need to say, "Yes."
16 A. I understand.
17 Q. And now look at the screen in front of you. Please start giving
18 your answers when the black cursor stops. It's very important that we
19 are -- our words do not overlap because in that case our interpreters
20 have a very hard time interpreting and the interpretation is both into
21 English and French so try and speak not slowly, but at a medium speed.
22 Now the usher is going to show you the piece of paper.
23 A. Yes, that is my name.
24 Q. Witness, I'm now going to ask you without giving us, uttering your
25 name, your first name or your family name or our address, just briefly
1 introduce yourself to the Trial Chamber, where you were born, which
2 schools you finished?
3 A. I finished elementary school in Potoci. I finished secondary
4 school in Mostar. Until the army until 1994 I worked in the ATP company
5 and after I completed army service in 1996 I --
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, it seems to me the witness is giving
7 a detailed description and could we go to the private session, please?
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, please.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
10 [Private session]
12 Page 12125 – redacted – private session
4 [Open session]
5 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Witness, we are now in the open session, make sure you do not
8 reveal your identity. So what do you personally know about the
9 beginnings, about the first conflicts with the BH Army?
10 A. The first skirmishes started in early spring of 1993, in
11 Dreznica. The problem was the HVO flag and the Muslim flag. My superiors
12 went there and agreed that both flags should be put up on the elementary
13 school in Dreznica. Later on, there was a period of peace but something
14 was in the air, there was something wrong. Military delegations met, held
15 talks, in order to avoid a conflict.
16 Q. Okay. So how did the Tihomir Misic barracks, the so-called
17 Northern Camp, became the property of HVO? First of all, where was the BH
18 Army in Mostar at the time, if you know?
19 A. I already said that the leaders of the HVO and the BH Army met,
20 and that they agreed that the so-called, the Southern Camp, or the
21 southern barracks would be given to the BH Army and the Northern Camp or
22 the northern barracks would be given to the HVO.
23 Q. Let us just show Their Honours -- can you just tell them where
24 these barracks were? I'm just going to show you a map of Mostar. That's
25 Exhibit P11. The usher is going to show you this exhibit. And if you
1 can, can you mark the Northern Camp by number 1 and Southern Camp by
2 number 2?
3 A. How do you wish me to mark that?
4 Q. Make a circle?
5 A. This is the Northern Camp.
6 Q. Put number 1 there?
7 A. And this is Southern Camp.
8 Q. Put number 2 there. Did you put number 2 on Southern Camp?
9 A. I did.
10 Q. So this is on the eastern bank of the Neretva River? In this
11 courtroom we refer to these banks as eastern and western banks of the
12 Neretva River?
13 A. Yes. This is the eastern part or the left bank. Both barracks
14 are on the eastern part of the city, or the left bank of the Neretva
16 Q. And you were there in that -- in the barracks all the time?
17 A. Can I answer? I was in the barracks all the time. I slept
18 there. I was there all the time, because I did not have my family house.
19 I was expelled from my family house. This is where I had a bedroom.
20 Where I had my office. And from there, I discharged command duties.
21 Q. Tell me, in the Northern Camp or the Tihomir Misic Barracks, were
22 there members of the BH Army, i.e. were there Muslims there?
23 A. Gentlemen, members of the HVO were also Muslims. Muslims
24 accounted for some 35 to 40 per cent of our troops.
25 Q. Until when were you together?
1 A. Until 30 June, 1993. And then what happened happened.
2 Q. Can you describe the events until the 30th of June, 1993? Do you
3 know of anything that happened in the barracks?
4 A. Yes, counsel. Something should have happened already on the 16th
5 of April, 1993. Arif Pasalic wanted to launch an attack on Mostar on the
6 16th of April, 1993, but he didn't. This I learned from my
7 friend, Hujka, who told me that Hujka would not allow his army --
8 Q. You may continue now.
9 A. He did not allow his army to participate in that attack, and that
10 is why this attack was deferred.
11 Q. Can you tell us who Hujka is and how do you know him?
12 A. Hujka was the commander -- Hujka was the commander of Muslim
13 troops in Mostar. I know him personally because we worked for 20 years in
14 the same company and we were good friends. Even during the war, we
15 cooperated. I would lend him vehicles for the transport of passengers and
16 goods, and he would return the favours to me so we did not have any
17 secrets between the two of us.
18 Q. Would you please be so kind and tell us his full name, his first
19 and last name?
20 A. I know that his family name is Hujdur but nobody used his full
21 name. He is known all over the city under his nickname, Hujka.
22 Q. Does -- do any barracks in Mostar carry his name, either today or
23 did they before?
24 A. Yes. The barracks also known as the Northern Camp today carry
25 his -- his name.
1 Q. Do you personally know anything about the events on 9 May, 1993?
2 Where were you at the time?
3 A. On 9 May, 1993, I was a duty officer in the barracks. At dawn,
4 around half past 5.00, I was woken by sporadic machine-gun shooting. I
5 put my clothes on. I went out, and I was standing there to hear where the
6 shooting was coming from. Later on, several shells fell from the eastern
7 to the western side of the eastern part -- southern part of Mostar. I
8 repeat, there were several shells from the eastern to the western part of
9 Mostar. Later on, several minutes later, I could hear several shells from
10 the western side, which meant that fire was returned. This stopped half
11 an hour later, and the -- there was no attack after that. Later on, I
12 found out that on that morning, there should have been a frontal attack by
13 the BH Army on the western part of Mostar. The commander, General Arif
14 Pasalic, had ordered the attack.
15 Q. What you're saying now, this is all you heard?
16 A. Yes. This is all that I heard from my friends and Hujka, the
18 Q. Where were you personally on the 9th of May?
19 A. I already said that on the 9th of May, I was a duty officer and
20 that the sporadic fire started at dawn of that day, and Hujka, with his
21 troops, decided to join Arif -- if Hujka had decided to join Arif Pasalic
22 on that day, the western part of Mostar would have fallen because all the
23 army was on the defence line facing the Serbs on that day. From Buna to
24 Dreznica. And then there was an urgent intervention, Arif realised that
25 he couldn't do it himself and he decided to continue negotiations.
1 Q. I just wanted to establish where you were. So you were in the
2 barracks on the eastern side, and you did not leave the barracks. What
3 you have just told us now is what you heard from Hujka and his friends or
4 your friends?
5 A. I did not leave the barracks at all, because I did not have an
6 apartment, I did not have a house, and my command duty was always such
7 that I had to be present in the barracks.
8 Q. Witness, tell us, please, whether there were any conflicts inside
9 the barracks on that day, since you told us that 35 to 40 per cent of the
10 troops were Bosniaks or Muslims.
11 A. Counsel, sir, amongst the drivers who belonged to my unit, there
12 were six Muslims. They asked me what was going on. I told them I didn't
13 know but that I would tell them as soon as I find out, which is what I
14 did. People found it a bit strange. They were even upset a little
15 because they were members of the HVO and whatever I knew, they knew too,
16 so after the 9th of May, we continued working normally.
17 Q. Until when?
18 A. Until the 30th of September, 1993.
19 Q. Did I understand you correctly -- actually I would like to ask you
20 several questions because I'm not supposed to lead you or anything?
21 MR. STRINGER: I apologise to counsel for the interruption, the
22 last answer given by the witness indicates that they all worked together
23 normally until the 30th of September, 1993, and I wanted to make sure that
24 is the correct date, which the witness wanted to give.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, you may make some clarification for
1 us, asking some questions to this witness.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, counsel. I was not paying
3 attention to the record, which says that you were together in the Northern
4 Camp with the Muslims until the 30th of September, 1993.
5 A. No, we were together until the 30th of June, 1993. On the 30th of
6 September, I was already hospitalised in Zagreb.
7 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge as to who were members of the
8 BH Army in Mostar? Were they locals, people from Mostar? Or from other
9 areas as well? And what was their relationship? Did they share the same
10 opinions, the Mostar residents and the outsiders, if you know?
11 A. Had only local residents been there, there would have never been a
12 conflict between the BH Army and the HVO. However, with the arrival of
13 both soldiers and commanders from the eastern part of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina, such as Gacko and Nevesinje and a number of other areas which
15 had been cleansed by Serbs, there was a huge influx of Muslims into the
16 Western Herzegovina. So there were quite a few newcomers involving
17 commanders, of whom I know very little because I rarely had opportunity to
18 meet with them.
19 Q. Let us deal with the 30th of June now.
20 It is sometimes said that the BH Army liberated the Northern Camp,
21 that is the expression that is sometimes used?
22 A. I don't know who they could have liberated the Northern Camp from
23 because until that day, we had been a joint army.
24 Q. Just to clarify, were there any conflicts from the 10th of May
25 until the 30th of June in Mostar?
1 A. Sir, there is a village called Zalik located in the immediate
2 vicinity of the barracks. There were daily provocations with sniper fire
3 coming from that village. Every time when this happened, we would lodge a
4 protest, an objection, with our command, in order so that an agreement
5 with the BH Army could be reached so that we could avoid further
6 casualties and further damage. Two to three of our troops were killed in
7 such provocations. However, the response was always that this had been
8 done by some irresponsible individuals who did not care much about our two
9 armies being together. So fire was frequently opened from the area right
10 across -- right across from the barracks, from the area of Zalik.
11 Q. What about the period before that, the beginning of May, before
12 the 9th of May? Was there any meeting with the HVO commanders in the
13 Northern Camp?
14 A. There was no such meeting at all. Nobody came before the 9th of
15 May. Nobody visited the barracks or the Northern Camp before that date.
16 Had there been such visits, I would have been in the know.
17 Q. Were there any women members of the troops in the Northern Camp,
18 members of the HVO, the BH Army or simply working there in the camp?
19 A. Yes, there were two women with the command. Their names were
20 Ljubica and Vesna. They were there to make tea or coffee for the
21 commanders. We had female clerks as well. However, the majority of them
22 worked in the kitchen, the HVO kitchen.
23 Q. In the Northern Camp, I presume?
24 A. Yes, in the kitchen of the Northern Camp.
25 Q. I should like to ask Your Honours to go into private session for a
1 moment, please?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
3 [Private session]
12 Page 12134 – redacted – private session
18 [Open session]
19 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. I apologise for this interruption, Witness. Please continue.
22 A. So I got this call from the operation officers who told me that
23 the commander that ordered that all of the vehicles that are on the
24 parking lot or inside the hangars should be removed because the BH Army
25 was going to have a military exercise there. I didn't have many vehicles
1 in the barracks at all, because the only communication with the barracks
2 was via wire bridge. All other communications were down. So at 12.00, we
3 were informed that the wire bridge was also down, which was used for
4 supplies. It was the main supply route, both for goods and for
5 personnel. Two of our guards, Your Honours, were slain on that occasion.
6 Q. I know, Witness, that this must be hard for you going back to
7 those harsh times. If you need a break, please let us know.
8 A. Those were harsh times indeed. But if the Court needs to know the
9 truth, I need to speak.
10 Q. Please continue. I'm not going to interrupt you.
11 A. So after this barge was no longer -- could no longer be used, we
12 remained cut off on the left bank of the Neretva River. We had no
13 connection, no contact, with the right bank of the Neretva. So -- and
14 also telephone lines were down. So there was no communication whatsoever
15 between us and this area. So all of a sudden, shouting started from the
16 left part of the Northern Camp. We heard someone yelling, "Ustashas,
17 Ustashas, you better surrender, else you will all be slain." And they
18 kept shouting, "Jihad, Jihad."
19 Q. Will you please slow down, witness?
20 A. I was curious. I wanted to see what kind of military exercise
21 this was since the shooting was quite severe. I went to the door, to the
22 exit, and started to observe the area. I did not see the attack coming
23 from the northern part because my view was blocked by one of the buildings
24 inside the barracks. But the shooting was so loud on that morning, and it
25 was shooting coming from infantry weapons, I wanted to check further what
1 was going on, so I went to a nearby park to see what our policemen on duty
2 were doing, those who were manning the gate. The shooting was awful. One
3 could smell powder, gunpowder in the air. After I had had a better view
4 of the situation, I realised that Mr. Hujka was standing at the gate, and
5 having a very heated argument with a soldier wearing a camouflage uniform
6 and a white band on his head. This white band was partly covered with a
7 green ribbon, and I thought that they would come to blows. Soon after
8 that, I saw Hujka falling down on his stomach, and after that, Arif
9 Pasalic appeared with his body guards. I had to withdraw to the building
10 of the barracks because at that moment, I realised what was going on.
11 This lasted for a while. There was a lot of confusion, lot of commotion,
12 shooting was coming from all sides, and we could hear them shout and sing,
13 "Jihad, Jihad, this whole country will be Turkish." I went to the
14 building and found there the duty operations officer, the two signals and
15 two ladies, Vesna and Ljubica. There was also an electrician on duty
16 there. We were getting evermore encircled.
17 Q. I'm sorry to interrupt you but what happened with these Muslims,
18 BH Army members who were with you at the barracks?
19 A. Your Honours, gentlemen, they immediately turned their weapons and
20 pointed them to their colleagues from the Croatian Defence Council, and
21 they joined those who had attacked the barracks.
22 Q. Just briefly tell us what happened to you after that, you and
23 other members of the HVO?
24 A. I don't know what was going on further away from the building
25 where I was but I remember that they started shooting with hand-held
1 rocket launchers in order to create panic inside the building. One such
2 shell exploded not far from a wall in the building, and I was wounded
3 slightly in my chest. There was a lot of smoke in the corridor and
4 shortly after that, two hand grenades were thrown in, which exploded just
5 in front of me, near my feet. I fell down. I fell on my face. And then
6 BH soldiers rushed in. They had kicked the door open. They were holding
7 their machine-guns, pointing at us. They came up to me. They took off my
8 new sneakers, they took off my belt, my pistol, and ordered those two
9 signals to throw down their rifles, which they did. They were looking for
10 rifles which had -- which still had warm barrels, because they thought
11 that some of us had been shooting. Luckily, my pistol, although it was
12 charged, it was cold, and no bullets were missing. I also had a rifle
13 which actually belonged to the command but which I used when I went into
14 the field. That rifle also had a cold barrel, because it had not been
15 fired from. And they ordered all of them to leave the communications
16 centre with their hands -- with their arms up in the air, and they ordered
17 two of their soldiers to drag me outside the building, because I was
18 unable to walk, and bleeding.
19 They threw us outside the building in the park, and we were left
20 there to wait. However, throughout that period of time, the machine-gun
21 was pointing at me, although I was laying down on the ground.
22 Q. How many casualties did you have, tell us briefly? What was the
23 fate of the personnel?
24 A. Counsel, sir, I know that on that morning, our chief
25 communications officer was killed, that I was wounded and that there were
1 a number of people wounded near the kitchen. They were trying to pull out
2 towards the Neretva, and they were forced to swim across the river. I
3 think that there were even more wounded personnel amongst the HVO members
4 but they were carried by their colleagues and they all tried to cross the
5 river. As to what happened with my people, those who were inside the
6 barracks, that night, I don't know. I was loaded on to a van and taken to
7 a makeshift military hospital which had been a health centre prior to the
8 war in Mostar. I was mistreated there. They hit me and kicked me. They
9 spat on me. They verbally abused me, asking me why I had not joined the
10 BH Army to fight and so on and so forth. One of them kicked me in my eyes
11 and I could not see for days. My head was terribly swollen. After that,
12 they put me on a stretcher and took me to the hygiene department at the
13 had health centre. They realised that I had been severely wounded, that
14 my knee was in a very bad shape. It was all lacerated. And they said,
15 "Just take this Ustasha away. Let him die." I apologise for this.
16 As I said, they put me on a stretcher and took me again into a
17 van. They drove me around the town for a while. I couldn't tell you
18 exactly where they took me. I was looking up in the sky. They unloaded
19 me from this van outside a building and put me up in a basement. The
20 building used to belong to an elementary school. They had their treasury
21 there with an iron door. The room behind was two metres by two metres
22 wide, and they left me there for four days. I was in a terrible
23 condition. I was covered in blood. I had to urinate on myself. And
24 then on the third day, they brought a military blanket to this room. They
25 sprayed it with something which they said was a military disinfectant.
1 They took me to another room where I stayed for 72 days. Gentlemen, Your
2 Honours, my leg started festering on the 9th day.
3 I cried. I moaned, I called for the guards. But all they said
4 was that the chief of the military hospital, Dr. Milovic, had said, "Let
5 the Ustasha die. Let him kick the bucket." The pain was terrible. I
6 could feel the worms crawling up towards my head and it was only the 10th
7 day that I was taken to the military hospital where they cleaned my
8 wound. It was a surgeon from Sarajevo who treated my wound. And he
9 placed a metal splint on my leg, and bandaged it. I was still in a lot of
11 Q. Were there any other detainees with you? What was your fate
12 afterwards? Were you ever exchanged?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
14 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. President, I think
15 the witness seems to be having some difficulty describing these events.
16 It's the Prosecution position that there is no dispute that the BH Army
17 attacked the Northern Barracks on the 30th of June and captured it.
18 That's not in dispute. Nor am I in possession of any information which
19 gives me a basis with which to dispute or challenge the assertions now
20 being made by the witness about his treatment after he had been captured.
21 It seems to us that this is becoming in the nature exclusively of tu
22 quoque evidence. I'm not certain of what other purpose that is being
23 offered to but it's not in dispute, the Prosecutor doesn't intend to
24 dispute that aspect of the witness's testimony. And I suggest that it may
25 be possible to move on.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, we sympathise with what the witness
2 suffered during that war but as a matter of fact, this is not a subject
3 matter of this trial. Would you please move on?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this witness is talking
5 about very important circumstances that the Prosecution witnesses were
6 referring to, and this witness is also referring to the events related by
7 some Prosecution witnesses who came before this trial and I just wanted
8 the witness to tell this Trial Chamber in very brief outlines what was his
9 destiny, because this is also the truth about Mostar, which I believe the
10 Trial Chamber should hear. This is not tu quoque. This is something that
11 you should hear. I have here very specific witnesses, and I think that
12 these things are very important. You have heard the instructions by the
13 Honours, let me explain what tu quoque is. We have to be fair. Tu quoque
14 means one crime cannot be defended by another crime. This has never been
15 my intention as Defence Council. Let me just ask you whether you know how
16 many -- where were you when were you exchanged, how many detainees were
17 exchanged, what was their lot, on the eastern side, very briefly, one
18 sentence maybe.
19 A. In the 4th elementary school, there were 140 detainees, and I
20 believe that it is very important what I'm going to say to the Honourable
21 Court. I was the only wounded detainee out of 140. I was the only
22 wounded who came to that prison. During my stay in the 4th elementary
23 school, 42 severely injured soldiers were brought in and over 30 had been
24 killed on the front line, and I was the only one there who was wounded. I
25 was exchanged --
1 Q. I'm sorry, I apologise, those who were killed and who were
2 injured, is that when they were forced to do some labour as detainees?
3 A. Yes.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stringer?
5 MR. STRINGER: Again, Mr. President it's obviously the Trial
6 Chamber's ruling which we will respect but we object again on the grounds
7 of tu quoque.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I agree with you. Mr. Stringer -- Mr. Krsnik,
9 would you please wind up your direct examination as soon as possible?
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. Your Honours, I
11 will address Your Honours after I finish with this witness, because I
12 think when we talk about this area, that we have been talking about for 11
13 months, I believe that the Trial Chamber should know everything that
14 happened there. I'm not talking about tu quoque defence but that the
15 truth has to be heard from all sides. But we shall -- I shall go back to
16 that after this witness, and I will put some objections in principle about
17 everything that has been happening before this Trial Chamber.
18 Q. Can you please tell us when you were exchanged and where were you
20 A. I was exchanged on the 9th of September, 1993, at 11.30. The ten
21 of us who were most severely injured were exchanged. The Red Cross came
22 on a -- UNPROFOR carrier, personnel carrier, they took us via Citluk
23 towards Mostar towards the central hospital there.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like now to
25 show the videotape that is also -- that has already been prepared. It's a
1 very brief video footage, and then we will finish with this witness. For
2 the record, this is D1/433. -- Sorry, 343.
3 [Videotape played]
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, there is no text, just
5 the picture, just -- let's just watch this video footage and we will hear
6 a short commentary from the witness.
7 [Videotape played]
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can we just speed up a little, to
9 avoid wasting too much time?
10 [Videotape played]
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can we speed up still a little more?
12 [Videotape played]
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can we slow down a little? And go on
14 at a normal speed?
15 [Videotape played]
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can we now speed up a little?
17 [Videotape played]
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Now slow down, actually go at a
19 normal speed.
20 [Videotape played]
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] And now speed up a little, please.
22 [Videotape played]
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Now slow down. Normal speed,
25 [Videotape played]
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
13 Q. For how long were you treated after this, and where were you
15 A. I was taken to Zagreb, to a hospital. I arrived there on the 10th
16 of September, 1993. I arrived at the Dubrava Hospital which is the former
17 military hospital.
18 Q. Are you still under treatment?
19 A. I still have psychiatric treatment because I have been
20 experiencing phantom symptoms. I have had eight surgeries in the nine
21 months of that hospital and I never knew, I still don't know to this day,
22 whether I'm going to be able to keep my leg. And besides the leg, my
23 right elbow, my spine, my head, are full of shrapnel. I also suffer from
24 diabetes. I have high blood pressure. And I have problems urinating.
25 And I to this very day, visit a neuropsychiatrist, and I've been taking a
1 number of different medicines. Counsel, sir, I would kindly ask you -- I
2 would like to tell the Honourable Court that I have been trying to forget
3 and forgive everything. I'm not here to try anybody or to hate anybody.
4 For the good of my -- for my own good, for the good of my family, although
5 I have been tortured, I've suffered, I don't know -- I've been through an
6 ordeal, in who had -- if when some individuals in Mostar, who now know
7 that I am here and who have called me on the telephone and threatened me.
8 I have tried to forget and forgive. I'm here to tell you the truth and
9 nothing but the truth. And whoever commits crimes like these shown in
10 this footage, they have to come before the face of justice. They have to
11 be tried, and they have to be convicted. This is the way I think. I know
12 what the prison is. I know what it means to be detained. I know how much
13 suffering can one go through in a prison.
14 Q. For the last question, can we please go to the private session?
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
16 [Private session]
12 Page 12146 – redacted – private session
2 [Open session]
3 --- Recess taken at 3.38 p.m.
4 --- On resuming at 4.11 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, any direct examination, Mr. Par?
6 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I have no questions for the witness,
7 Your Honours, thank you.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Cross-examination,
9 Mr. Stringer? Mr. Stringer, you ever to know that this witness suffered a
10 lot during the war and we want to -- we only want to hear those relevant
11 to this case. So I hope your cross-examination will concentrate on those
13 MR. STRINGER: I will indeed concentrate on that, Mr. President.
14 As I said during one of my objections are, we do not disputes and do not
15 in any way intend to challenge the testimony of the witness in respect of
16 the treatment, the conditions that he received after he was captured.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. You may proceed.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Stringer:
19 Q. Witness, good afternoon, my name is Douglas Stringer. I'll be
20 asking you some questions today on behalf of the Prosecution. Now, first
21 of all, with the assistance of the usher, I'd like to show you a document,
22 sir, it's been marked Exhibit P188.2. I think for this, we need to
23 briefly go into private session, Mr. President?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
25 [Private session]
12 Page 12148 – redacted – private session
12 Page 12149 – redacted – private session
25 [Open session]
1 MR. STRINGER: I'll start my question again, sir. Your position
2 within the HVO 2nd Brigade, did it involve logistics and the care or the
3 management of HVO vehicles?
4 A. Mr. Stringer, I was strictly in charge of the care of motor
5 vehicles carrying passengers and goods. I also dealt with all the
6 technical requirements, such as fuel and parts, spare parts, and I had to
7 issue a vehicle with a driver upon appropriate request, and that was
8 usually the end of my assignment.
9 Q. Did you assignment involve vehicles which carried military assets,
10 such as artillery pieces, anti-aircraft machine-guns, weapons such as
12 A. If there were such things within the brigade at the time I was
13 there, I don't remember any requests being made to that effect. There
14 were mechanics who were in charge of such equipment, but I don't remember
15 any such vehicle coming to my department for maintenance or repair.
16 Q. Was artillery generally something that was within the authority of
17 the operative zone level as opposed to the brigade level on which you were
19 A. I know that we have a special artillery unit, but I was never
20 involved, nor did I have any insight into their weapons or equipment. I
21 also believe that they only had mortars, 60 or 80 millimetre calibre
22 mortars before the 30th of June. I never heard or saw any such -- any
23 larger calibre guns at all.
24 Q. Are you saying, sir, that artillery, as well as mortars, all fell
25 within the responsibility of this artillery unit and did not fall within
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 and English transcripts. Pages 12152 to 12159.
1 your area of responsibility?
2 A. The artillery which belonged to the 2nd Brigade was not deployed
3 on the defence line in our area of responsibility. We only had infantry
4 trenches and infantry weapons and it was only those weapons that I could
5 see in the HVO. As to the location of any other pieces, no, I did not
6 have any knowledge of that.
7 Q. Witness, do you recall whether, on the 16th of April, 1993, the
8 commander of the HVO 2nd Brigade, Mr. Vrljic, issued an order to attack BH
9 Army positions in the region of Dreznica, Jasenjani?
10 A. Never heard of that.
11 MR. STRINGER: I'd ask the usher to show the witness what's been
12 marked P101.3. It is the third exhibit in the binder, not the second one.
13 Q. Witness, this document is about three or four pages long. If you
14 like, you can take a moment to look it over. Just to familiarise yourself
15 with it. And then I'll ask you some questions.
16 A. I understand. Yes.
17 Q. Sir, I might suggest that you go to the end of the document, you
18 can see the signature and the markings at the bottom of the document which
19 might assist you in familiarising yourself with this. Does this appear
20 to be an order over the signature of Ilija Vrljic, commander of the HVO
21 2nd Brigade?
22 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this is the first time that I have this document
23 in front of me. I see it for the first time, and I do not wish to comment
24 on its contents, because I have never had access to this document. This
25 type of orders never reached my level, but I think that I would have known
1 about it at least from my colleagues, that something of this kind would
2 happen. They would probably request a number of vehicles for the
3 transport of personnel and weapons but again, I really do not wish to
4 comment on this order because I see it for the first time and I really do
5 not know whether it is accurate or not. It seems to me that an order of
6 this kind should have been issued by an even more senior officer.
7 Q. I'll ask the witness be shown Exhibit P301.3 -- I'm sorry,
8 P299.3. That's the second document in the -- witness, as you look that
9 over, I will just tell you that this is or purports to be an order which,
10 from the original language version, appears to have been issued on the
11 15th of April, 1993. It's an order issued by Mr. Miljenko Lasic, who is
12 the commander of the Southeast Herzegovina operative zone of the HVO, for
13 an operation called "Drezanac" whose purpose is to disarm all military
14 persons in the Dreznica local community?
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise for interrupting my
17 learned friend. I must react. This command was not signed by Miljenko
18 Lasic. This is very visible from the Croatian original that I have
19 that the Honourable Court has. So I would kindly ask the Prosecutor to
20 show the things as they are.
21 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President --
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we made a ruling on this matter,
23 whether a document is signed or not, whether it's authentic or not. We
24 have already ruled that on the previous occasions. Yes?
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, but in a
1 cross-examination, you cannot misinterpret the facts. I have the Croatian
2 original in front of me, and I can see clearly who signed it. You cannot
3 say that it was signed by Brigadier Miljenko Lasic and confuse the witness
4 when it is clearly not so. There is a signature which can be read and the
5 Prosecutor -- all it takes for the Prosecutor to say who actually signed
6 it rather than misinterpret the fact.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, at least from the transcript, I did not see that
8 Mr. Stringer said this document was signed by Mr. Lasic.
9 MR. STRINGER: That's correct, Mr. President.
10 JUDGE LIU: But you may ask whether the witness is familiar with
11 this document or not.
12 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. I don't know what word
13 Mr. Krsnik was given in the Croatian language but I said issued. Is this
14 a document or an order issued by Mr. Lasic. And again, I suggest that
15 it's improper for counsel to testify as to whether a signature appearing
16 on the bottom of a document is or is not the signature of the person whose
17 name appears with it.
18 Q. Witness, you've, as we've been discussing this you've had a moment
19 to look over the document now. I brought this document to your attention
20 because you indicated you thought that such an order to attack Dreznica
21 would have to have originated from a higher level. Sir, may I suggest to
22 you that this document that you're looking at now, Exhibit P299.3, is such
23 an order. That is an order originating from the operative zone level to
24 prepare an operation to disarm military and civilian persons in Dreznica.
25 Now, after having reviewed these two documents, and I'm not suggesting
1 that you have seen them before, are you able to tell us whether this
2 refreshes your recollection whether, in fact, there was an HVO operation
3 involving the HVO 2nd Brigade in the area of Dreznica, Jasenjani, on the
4 16th of April, 1993?
5 A. As far as this document that I have in front of me, I can tell
6 that the order was issued by Miljenko Lasic but signed by somebody else.
7 That's one thing. Another thing, I already said that no such order would
8 have ever come my way, because I had at my disposal machinery, machines,
9 not troops, and thirdly, if something had indeed happened, I would have
10 heard it from my friends, from the troops, and that's why I do not recall
11 anything like this ever happening.
12 Q. Sir, did you ever hear of HVO military operations occurring in
13 Central Bosnia on the 16th -- beginning on the 16th of April, 1993? In
14 the areas around Vitez municipality, Kiseljak municipality?
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, this is beyond the
17 examination-in-chief. Beyond the scope of my examination-in-chief.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, as I said before, the
19 cross-examination is allowed to go beyond the scope of direct examination,
20 but the re-examination is not allowed to go beyond the scope of the
21 cross-examination. This is the rules we set at the very beginning of this
22 trial. You may proceed, Mr. Stringer.
23 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President, and just for the record I
24 think this is within the scope of the direct because the witness was
25 asked on direct about his knowledge of any conflicts that occurred
1 between the two sides prior to May 9th, 1993, and so I -- my submission,
2 it is within the scope of the direct.
3 Q. Witness, coming back to the question, did you hear of HVO military
4 operations occurring in the region of Vitez, Kiseljak, Busovaca
5 municipalities, beginning, or around the 16th of April, 1993?
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, the Central Bosnia region is very specific, as
7 regards the people residing there and I am here giving you just my
8 personal opinion, which has nothing to do with the military aspect or
9 strategy. I know that those people, when the Yugoslav Army attacked that
10 region, they were exposed, they organised themselves, they put up as much
11 resistance as they could. And the -- it was the BH Army who attacked the
12 HVO in Central Bosnia and not the other way around. And you can learn
13 that from a number of refugees who fled Central Bosnia and who arrived at
14 the coast, Mostar, Croatia, and continued to travel and ended up
15 overseas. To this very day, one-third of Croats have not returned to
16 central Bosnia, and this is all I can tell new reply to your question,
17 Mr. Prosecutor, and I repeat, from my own knowledge and from -- for as
18 much as I understand politics, the army wanted to compensate for the
19 territories that it had lost to Serbs, they wanted to compensates by
20 taking away territories from the Croats. That's how I see things. It was
21 not the HVO who attacked the BH Army but the other way around, the BH Army
22 attacked the HVO.
23 Q. There was military conflict between the HVO and the Armija in
24 Central Bosnia in mid-April, 1993. Can we agree on that?
25 A. I apologise. Can you repeat your question?
1 Q. There was military conflict between the HVO and the Armija in
2 Central Bosnia beginning in mid-April, 1993; is that correct?
3 A. I do not -- I can't give you any dates. I do not have any
4 chronological records. I had my own duty. I had my own job that I had to
5 see that it's done properly.
6 Q. Now, sir, I think you've indicated that documents or orders such
7 as these would not have come to you, or you would not have seen them at
8 the time they were issued; is that correct? I'm referring now to these
9 two orders that we have been looking at.
10 A. There was no reason for any such document coming my way. Any
11 document involving the troops and their movements, strategy, military
12 analysis, I was not involved in that. All I did was looking after
13 vehicles, oil, lubricants, fuel oil, tires, the people who drove those
14 vehicles, and that was that.
15 Q. And as a result, sir, it is quite possible that this operation
16 could have, in fact, taken place without your knowledge?
17 A. You're trying to make me say that it was so, still, if that
18 action, operation, had taken place I would have learned it from my
19 colleagues. I would have known about it. I do not remember that this
20 operation took place, although the order obviously never reached me,
21 because all of us live for successes and failures.
22 Q. Now, in your direct testimony, you said that you had heard, I
23 believe, that on the 9th of May, 1993, there was to have been a frontal
24 attack by the Armija, the BH Army, against the HVO in West Mostar, but
25 that this frontal attack was called off by Mr. Pasalic. Do you recall
1 that testimony?
2 A. I did not say any such thing, what you have just said is not
3 similar, even remotely similar, to what I actually said. What I said was
4 that on 9 May, in the morning, in the dawn, there was sporadic
5 machine-gun shooting in the southern part of Mostar, on the eastern side.
6 This was followed by mortar shelling, again from the eastern side of
7 Mostar towards the western side of Mostar. Some 20 minutes later, the
8 fire was returned. I never mentioned anything about a frontal attack. I
9 only said that the late Hujka Hujdur helped and because of his help, there
10 was no frontal attack, and if they had launched a frontal attack, given
11 the fact that the western part of Mostar was not a protected, they would
12 have taken it. And that is, Mr. Prosecutor, what I said in my testimony.
13 Q. My note, sir, indicate you said also that Mr. Pasalic, on that
14 day, had made some decision to negotiate rather than to press forward with
15 a frontal attack. Did I misunderstand you?
16 A. I don't know what he decided, but fire stopped on both sides, and
17 it is only logical to assume that they started negotiations with this
18 regard because we were located in the very northern part of the city.
19 Q. So -- and you, sir, at all times, the 9th of May, and thereafter,
20 remained at your post in the Northern Barracks?
21 A. That is correct, all the time I was in the Northern Barracks, and
22 that is where I slept. From very rarely I would go downtown to the city,
23 in order to sign the supply orders for fuels and oils, with our
24 suppliers. So I had to take care of the logistics. I slept in the
25 barracks. I dined in the barracks. That's where I stayed all the time.
1 Q. And apart from what others told you, you have no personal
2 knowledge of what occurred in Mostar in the 9th of May, except for the
3 shelling which you witnessed early in the morning; is that correct?
4 A. Except for the shooting in the eastern part of Mostar. I assume,
5 and this is not documentary, I assume there were street shootings in
6 Mostar because in the western part of Mostar, there were, at the time,
7 about eight to 9.000 Muslims.
8 Q. And again, sir, this is an assumption because you have no personal
9 knowledge because you were not present in Mostar on the 9th of May?
10 A. This is correct. I do not assert this. These are my assumptions
11 because the shooting stopped very quickly.
12 Q. Witness, after you were captured on the 30th of June, 1993, I
13 understand you then spent time in the custody of the BH Army, and then you
14 were exchanged on the 9th of September, 1993, and eventually made your way
15 to Zagreb for treatment.
16 A. This is correct. I spent nine and a half months in treatment, all
17 in one go.
18 Q. Prior to the time you were captured, I take it that you never went
19 to the Heliodrom, which was a military complex of the HVO located on the
20 south side of Mostar?
21 A. I claim in full responsibility that during my -- the time that I
22 spent in the barracks, before I was injured and captured, I was never at
23 the Heliodrom. This is the zone of the responsibility of the 3rd Brigade
24 and I did not have a place there.
25 Q. So that if any units of the Croatian Army, that is the HV, were
1 staying or deployed in the Heliodrom, you would not have known about
2 that? Is that correct?
3 A. If there is a written trace, it could have happened. I would not
4 have known but I would have heard from my friends that the Croatian Army
5 came to our assistance, but I never heard that and I cannot comment upon
6 that. The only thing I know is that volunteers from Herzegovina, who went
7 to Croatia during the attack of the Yugoslav army on our areas, that they
8 came back to help us, and it was ordered to them to remove the HV insignia
9 and replace them by the HVO insignia to make us all uniform. That's as
10 much as I know about the Croatian Army.
11 Q. And then again, sir, after you were captured, then, in the weeks
12 and months that followed the 30th of June, 1993, you would not have been
13 in a position to know whether HVO units were deployed anywhere in
14 Herzegovina, because you were captured, then you were in hospital, and
15 then you had been evacuated out to Zagreb; is that correct? I'm sorry, I
16 meant to refer to HV, not HVO units there.
17 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this is a very complex question. Can you please
18 break it down to a number of questions to which I will reply one by one?
19 Q. After you were captured, after the 30th of June, 1993, you were
20 not in a position to know whether any HV units were deployed in
21 Herzegovina; is that correct?
22 A. When I was captured, and when I was detained, I fought for my
23 life. I was barely surviving. And no military data, no strategic data,
24 were accessible to me. The only thing I would hear, I could hear the
25 soldiers who came to the detention, to the cell, they would say, "We will
1 be in Split in two days. We have conquered the entire Herzegovina." And
2 I never heard anything about the HV units. If any HV units had come to
3 our rescue, to our assistance, I'm sure they would have beaten us even
4 more heavily if that was true, because every failure on their part, we
5 would feel on our skin. They would -- they would take it out on us. They
6 never came, either to Siroki Brijeg or to Goranci, Vrde. The HVO
7 defended its own territory on its own and it never attacked anybody.
8 Q. Witness in your direct examination, you were asked about
9 Mr. Naletilic. You said, "Tell me a man who does not know Naletilic in
10 Siroki Brijeg or in Mostar. Of course I know him but I've never met with
11 him formally or informally. We never talked." I understand you to be
12 saying, sir, that Mr. Naletilic was a very well known person in Mostar and
13 Siroki Brijeg. Is that a correct interpretation of your words?
14 A. Yes, it is correct. I said that I know Mr. Mladen Naletilic,
15 Tuta, although we have never been introduced, either formally or
16 informally and I would like to know a soldier in Mostar or in Siroki
17 Brijeg who hasn't heard of Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, who deserves a lot
18 of credit for the liberation of Mostar, because his zone of responsibility
19 was on an entirely different part. It was far from the zone of the
20 responsibility of the 2nd Brigade, and this is what I have to say here in
21 front of this Court.
22 Q. Did the soldiers in Mostar and Siroki Brijeg hold Mr. Naletilic in
23 very high regard?
24 A. I can tell you this: Mr. Naletilic came from the diaspora. He
25 came back from the exile in 1991, 1992, I don't know exactly, and he
1 brought a lot of his own money, in order to rally the people around the
2 defence of their own homeland, and this is what he deserves credit for.
3 People believed him, people held him in high regard. He helped the poor,
4 and he helped especially those who did not have the money to even feed
5 their own children. That is why people held Mr. Naletilic in such a high
7 Q. In your direct examination, you said of him, "We never shared any
8 command responsibilities or duties. Nor did we share the same area of
10 A. Yes, I did say that.
11 Q. I wonder if you would agree with me, sir, that his area of defence
12 was connected with a unit called the Convicts Battalion?
13 A. As far as I know, the first unit that was established in Siroki
14 Brijeg was an intervention group, and I don't know when it was named
15 Convicts Battalion. These were chosen soldiers, and this group was made
16 up of those people whose fathers were killed in the period between 41 and
17 45. Or those who had been persecuted, had to flee their area, and then
18 came back to defend their homes and these were his soldiers -- these were
19 the soldiers who were members of this unit. And Mr. Naletilic, Tuta,
20 deserves credit for that.
21 Q. After the liberation in Mostar, which I believe occurred in June
22 of 1993 -- 1992, did that unit remain active as a military unit in 1993,
23 to your knowledge?
24 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you are asking me to give you some very
25 confidential strategic information. I know that in Siroki Brijeg, the
1 so-called "Siroki Brijeg Brigade" was established, and that there was also
2 a battalion which served to assist in the most difficult circumstances.
3 It did not have a defence line, and its commander was not Mr. Naletilic,
4 Tuta, but a man called Cikota.
5 Q. This is a unit that was based in Siroki Brijeg?
6 A. When people came home to change their clothes, they were in Siroki
7 Brijeg, and they were sent wherever there was a need for them to be. You
8 are asking me questions beyond my knowledge, beyond the scope within which
9 I can give you the answers with any certainty. What I'm saying now is
10 just my impressions about the overall composition of the HVO, about its
11 task, and I don't have to have any specific knowledge about all that.
12 Q. Do you have any knowledge about command responsibilities or duties
13 of Mr. Naletilic during 1993?
14 A. No. I don't have any knowledge or any data about the command
15 responsibility of Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta. I only know that after
16 Cikota was killed, this intervention unit was led by Mr. Andabak, who was
17 its commander. This is all I can tell you and nothing else.
18 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, sir. Mr. President, I have no further
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Any re-examination? Mr. Krsnik?
21 MR. KRSNIK: No, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Any questions from Judges? It seems to me there are
24 Thank you, Witness, for coming here to give your evidence. We
25 sympathise with you that you suffered a lot during the war. All of us
1 will wish you a good future. When the usher pulls down the blinds, he
2 will show you out of the room.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
4 [The witness withdrew]
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek? Is there any document you are going to
7 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honours, please, if we could have admitted we
8 would move to tender the photograph P11 as marked will be D1/99, 199, I
9 apologise, the video clip is D1/343. That would be it, Your Honours,
10 thank you.
11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, any objections, Mr. Stringer?
12 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I believe the first exhibit is the
13 witness's markings on the Mostar map. We have no objection to that.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. STRINGER: We object to the videotape on relevancy grounds and
16 also that it's proffered primarily as tu quoque evidence and for those
17 reasons, we object.
18 [Trial Chamber confers]
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, as for that map of Mostar marked by the witness,
20 it is admitted into the evidence. As for the videotape, D1/343, it's not
21 admitted because this Trial Chamber believes that videotape is not
22 relevant to this case.
23 Mr. Stringer, on your part, do you have any documents to tender at
24 this stage?
25 MR. STRINGER: May I have one brief moment, Mr. President, to
1 consult with Mr. Scott?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we are going to tender only P188.2,
4 P299.3, and P301.3. The next three documents which appear on the list are
5 not being tendered.
6 JUDGE LIU: Any objections, Mr. Meek?
7 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, this witness testified actually on 188.2,
8 that that was his appointment, that was an appointment that included his
9 name. We would not have an objection to that one. 299.3, actually let me
10 go in order. 301.3, Your Honours, this witnessing had never seen this
11 order before. These orders never reached his level. He had never even
12 heard of this on the ground. There is no foundation for this order. The
13 same with 299.3. The witness testified these orders would never reach his
14 level. He had none -- does not recall seeing anything like this happening
15 notice area or on the ground. They are all three new documents, Your
16 Honour, so 299.3 and 301.3 the defence does not believe there has been any
17 adequate foundation laid for admission of those two documents and again
18 the source of the documents, the BiH embassy for 303.3, its a new source
19 for us we usually get BiH government or some such thing, but 188.2 we
20 don't have an objection to. The other two we do have objections to on
21 those grounds, Your Honour, I don't think there is foundation that has
22 been laid. The other disturbing thing, Your Honour, whiling I'm on my
23 feet, this is becoming more and more a pattern. The very last document
24 821, is some witness statement from 1997 taken from some alleged person in
25 1997 about an event which supposedly occurred in 1995, two years after the
1 allegations which are contained in our indictment against Mr. Naletilic.
2 I also note that not only is Mr. Naletilic named in this report, 821, so
3 is his co-accused, and I don't know what Mr. Par has to say about it but
4 I'm telling you I'm very disturbed the Prosecutor couldn't have gotten it
5 admitted into his case in chief. Your Honours would never have let this
6 happen. It's irrelevant it's outside the scope of the indictment it's
7 trying to prove the facts of this indictment by proof of other wrongs or
8 other crimes that happened previously or subsequently. Now, we deny it
9 happened at all, but I think it's highly improper and inappropriate for
10 the Prosecution, it happens with almost every witness we have, there is
11 one or two document that is say bad things about my client, happened
12 outside the indictment, they never asked the witness about it, they have
13 they are doing it so that you'll read it and they are poisoning this whole
14 trial by doing it and I object to it. I strongly object to it. Thank
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Meek, I believe that the document P821 has
18 been admitted into the evidence as is indicated in that list. We are not
19 going to discuss it. And your objections is registered in this
20 transcript. And we'll tell the Prosecutor that if those documents they
21 are not going to use they are better not to show it to us in the future.
22 As for the document P188.2, since there is no objections from the
23 Defence Counsel, it is admitted into the evidence.
24 As for the documents P299.3 and document P301.3, they are not
25 admitted into the evidence because the lack of the source, as well as the
1 reliability of those two documents.
2 Yes, Mr. Stringer?
3 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President I'd just like to briefly be heard
4 in response to the comments that have just been made by counsel. I'll
5 take them in reverse order. Counsel are disturbed by the fact that
6 documents go to the Trial Chamber which ultimately are not used during the
7 cross-examination. The practice that's been required by the Trial Chamber
8 is that the documents, if they can be used at all during the
9 cross-examination have to be distributed before the cross-examination
10 begins. Now, in order to have the possibility of using any potentially
11 useful or relevant document, it has to be included. We have no choice. I
12 don't know what the witness is going to it stay until after he's
13 testified. And at the moment the direct examination concludes, we don't
14 have the time to then decide what documents we want to use or don't need
15 any more to use during the cross-examination. So to be careful and to be
16 prudent, we have to include everything that we think might come up.
17 That's point one. And I don't know how we can protect our ability to
18 cross-examine based on what we think is relevant any other way. We have
19 to include everything that might come up. There is nothing strategic or
20 tactical about it. We are not trying to get documents before the Trial
21 Chamber that are somehow going to taint the case or to certainly taint the
22 deliberations. We recognise that the Trial Chamber are professional
23 judges and experienced legal people who are ultimately going to decide
24 what they want to accept or not accept. That's first of all.
25 The second point which was the first one raised by counsel, in
1 respect of P821, the document has been admitted into evidence. I could be
2 wrong but I have pretty specific recollection that this is among the
3 documents tendered at the beginning of the trial through the testimony of
4 Mr. Van Hecke and it's been admitted and I certainly don't see anything
5 improper about providing the Trial Chamber with a document that's been
6 admitted that might be -- become relevant during the cross-examination.
7 So with respect to learned counsel, we cannot accept the suggestions that
8 are being made about anything improper on the part of the Prosecution.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stringer, maybe this Trial Chamber could
11 give a suggestion as a way out of this issue. You might divide any future
12 evidence that most likely to be used into one bundle so that you could
13 furnish us before the cross-examination. And for those documents which
14 might -- which are less likely to be used at your hands, whenever you use
15 it, you could furnish us with this document. It's just a tentative
16 suggestion to solve this issue. We have to find a middle way between the
17 two opposite positions.
18 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, it's just very difficult for me to
19 envision how we could do that. And again, I think cross-examination is
20 something that can't be scripted, and we simply don't know until very
21 late, until really the end of the testimony, which is even more or less
22 likely, based on the direct evidence of the witness, but we will look for
23 ways to accommodate both the Trial Chamber and the Defence on this issue.
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation. Yes,
25 Mr. Krsnik?
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] With the Court's indulgence I should
2 like to raise two issues which I already mentioned earlier this afternoon.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, maybe Mr. Par is on this document
4 issue. Could we hear him first? Then we'll change the subject.
5 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I shall be very brief, Your Honours.
6 Concerning the procedure of presenting documents, I have a question but I
7 also have a suggestion. I don't know whether the Chamber has to receive
8 all of these documents at the same time as the Defence. In light of that,
9 I suggest that in view of this rule, the Prosecutor give us all of the
10 documents that have been prepared, as has been the practice so far, and
11 that the Chamber be given only those documents which the Prosecutor
12 intends to use at trial.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, if there is no objections from the both parties,
14 we will try that for the next witness. Yes. We will try that.
15 Mr. Krsnik?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I do not wish to waste
17 your precious time but I have to express my concerns. The Defence is
18 indeed concerned because of the following. The document that has already
19 been admitted, document P821, is something that we -- concerns something
20 that we have been mentioning ever since the beginning of the trial. Of
21 course, I will -- I have trust in your wisdom, but what do the documents
22 dating from 1996, 1997 or 2000 have to do with this case and this
23 indictment? What can they prove? What if Mladen Naletilic was a general
24 or a commander with the HVO in 1995? What does that prove? Commanders
25 are often being replaced and shifted in 1996, 1997, I do not see any link
1 with your case. Where are the documents relating to 1993? Where are the
2 witnesses concerning every particular month in the year of 1993? That is
3 the period of time that should have been the main focus of the Prosecution
5 Have we heard any witness, Prosecution witness, who testified to
6 the fact that Mladen Naletilic was in charge of the overall attack in
7 Sovici? Have we have the opportunity of hearing such testimony here
8 before the Chamber? No. And now are we going to fight in respect of
9 any -- every single piece of paper when we know that Ziga -- when we know
10 that the opposing party could have forged a seal on such documents, and we
11 all know that in the month of July, 1993, the BH Army overcame the command
12 of the HVO. Sarajevo and Bosnia and Herzegovina are teeming with such
13 people and such information, after three officials of the AID have been
15 JUDGE CLARK: [Previous translation continues] ... warned you
16 about this. If you're making submissions make submissions not allegations
17 of facts. This is about the fifth time you've been warned about this.
18 You must not attempt to give evidence. Deal with the law or the facts
19 that you're complaining about.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Judge Clark, for your
21 intervention, but Your Honours, I have to say that if justice is to be
22 served, then we should be concerned with the individualisation of each and
23 every count. We cannot go on hearing such general, blanket allegations in
24 this case. Madam Judge, it has been very difficult for me to place my
25 witnesses and organise my witnesses in this case because we did not have
1 an adequate case to respond to. We did not have specific witnesses or
2 rather specific times and places of incidents that happened at the
3 Heliodrom, for instance. The whole indictment still is, and the whole
4 case still is, quite foggy. What do we need, documents that is fall
5 outside the scope of the indictment? I don't see any logic here,
6 notwithstanding the nature of the legal system that we come from. But let
7 the Prosecutor bring us specific documents and prove the specific
9 As for the tu quoque principle, this witness has clearly not been
10 one of them. We respond to the specific time and place namely the
11 incident which took place on the 30th of June. And the witness MM, who
12 testified before this Chamber, and I called this particular witness to
13 counter her testimony. The witness told us what he has been through. But
14 what are we going to do with the crimes in some of the cases we have
15 allegation that is Croats were attacked by Muslims and then that the
16 Muslim were attacked by Croats. I mean this is not a hide and seek game.
17 Things should be alleged clearly. Let the Prosecutor state specifically
18 what happened in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Once again, this is not a hide and
19 seek game. In this incident, for instance, the Muslims are victims and
20 then in another one, we will have Croats and we will go on mixing dates
21 and years and so on and so forth. We have to have a very clear case of
22 the Prosecution before this trial. Just take the example of the Blaskic
23 case. In that case, allegedly, it was the HVO who attacked
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina, and then in another case, before this Tribunal, an
25 allegation has been made by the Prosecutor that it was the HVO that came
1 under an attack of the BH Army forces. For me, this is a clear example of
2 hide and seek game. And that should be rectified. This is all the I have
3 to say, Your Honour.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
5 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President, I'll be brief but if I
6 don't raise my voice with the Trial Chamber, it doesn't mean that I feel
7 any less seriously about what's been said. First of all, the document,
8 Exhibit P821, I've been informed was admitted into evidence by the Trial
9 Chamber. It's from the Zagreb archive, about which this Trial Chamber has
10 heard extensive evidence from Marko Prelac, as well as having other
11 evidence, transcript evidence, before it from the people in the Zagreb
12 archive. I take that back. That's another category of documents. Marko
13 Prelec appeared at least twice before the Trial Chamber. The document was
14 tendered at that time. It's been admitted into evidence. Now, it is
15 dated outside the time frame of the indictment, Mr. President, but it's
16 still may be relevant and we certainly intend to use this document as well
17 as a lot of others to make submissions to this Trial Chamber about the
18 scope and nature of Mr. Naletilic's military authorities and competences
19 throughout the period of time that is alleged in the indictment. And
20 things that happened before that period of time, things that happened
21 after that period of time, can be relevant to the period of time that's
22 covered in the indictment. Now, it comes from the Zagreb archive. It's
23 been admitted into evidence. If counsel -- and these constant revisions
24 of what's been said and done in this case have got to stop. The
25 Prosecution case is over. The indictment has been something that was the
1 subject of preliminary motions made by these accused, many, many months
2 ago. Counsel never, in his preliminary motions, challenged the
3 specificity, he never raised the issues which he now claims to be
4 raising. But in any event, the sufficiency or insufficiency of the
5 indictment is something that counsel has had an opportunity to avail
6 himself of many months ago, and if he failed to ask for enough
7 specificity, it's his own problem.
8 Those are my comments, Mr. President.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, let us not spend much time debating
10 on this issue. Yes, I will give you one minute.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. This
12 document, P821, we have doubts as to its origin being the Croatian
13 archives. It is part of a case which was conducted before a court in
14 Zagreb, and there has been not a final judgement in that case, so under
15 the presumption of innocence, this is something that we cannot discuss.
16 That trial was never completed. This witness was an injured party in
17 these proceedings. As to the relevance of his testimony in 1996 or -- I
18 don't know which year in Zagreb, his testimony is not relevant in this
19 case. These sources are very interesting. They keep changing. We have
20 the heading here, BH embassy, for example, but we are preparing a motion
21 concerning this issue, which you will receive very soon. The motion
22 concerns the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the government of Bosnia
23 and Herzegovina, and this concludes my intervention. Thank you.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, as this Trial Chamber ruled last week, that
25 there is only two criteria for the admission of the documents. That is
1 the relevance of the documents and another matter is the probative value
2 of the documents. And the Judges would make decisions concerning the
3 admission of those documents out of its own discretion. We believe that
4 document P821 has already been admitted. And we also stress here the mere
5 admission of a document does not necessarily mean that this document gives
6 the accurate portrayal of the facts. The decision to authorise the
7 admission of a document is without prejudice to the value or weight which
8 will be accorded to that document at the final stage of the trial. The
9 objections from the Defence counsel have been registered in this
10 transcript, and at a later stage, we will evaluate the weight of this
11 document, taking into consideration the objections raised by the Defence
13 Another matter, I believe, touches upon the jurisdiction of this
14 Tribunal. It is not the jurisdiction -- within the jurisdiction of this
15 Tribunal to understand who started the fighting and who shot the first
16 shot in the war. We are only going to address the personal
17 responsibilities in violation of the International Humanitarian Law. This
18 is the very issue we are going to deal with in this Tribunal. In other
19 words, it's very difficult to know what truth is. It is impossible to
20 know what the truth is. We could only act according to the documents we
21 admitted and received from the proceedings.
22 And we also believe that tu quoque principle should be upheld. We
23 understand that during the wars, both sides committed terrible crimes to
24 each other, but in this particular case, the mandate of this Trial Chamber
25 is to address what is alleged in the indictment submitted by the
1 Prosecution. I hope the Defence counsel could understand that.
2 Is there any other matters that the parties want to raise? Yes,
3 Mr. Scott?
4 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President, thank you and I'll be brief. Your
5 Honours, as we mentioned last week we find ourselves going into recess
6 today and not being in session again until Monday, the Prosecution
7 having no idea of who the witnesses will be next week. The Chamber did
8 indicate on Friday in its ruling that the Defence would give us a list of
9 witnesses by this coming Thursday. We have to express our concern about
10 that, Your Honour. If we get them on Thursday, that gives us one business
11 day before court will be in session on Monday. Frankly, as of last week,
12 there was a point last week, and I can find it in the transcript if
13 necessary, that the Defence were prepared to give us those names the next
14 group of names on Thursday or Friday last week. Simply escapes us as to
15 why they cannot give us a set of names even today or certainly tomorrow.
16 Clearly, Your Honour, the purpose of Rule 65 ter is to allow all sides and
17 Your Honours, the Court, to be prepared to carry on these proceedings.
18 Getting names of witnesses willy-nilly as the case continues and the order
19 continually changing does not assist either the Chamber or the fairness of
20 these proceedings. So, Your Honour, we would ask that the Defence provide
21 us the names of the witnesses for next week. We would like to receive
22 them tomorrow, at least not later than Wednesday. Thank you.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I believe that sometime last week,
24 you promised to furnish the list of the witnesses by last Friday. This
25 Trial Chamber made a decision last Friday, asking you to submit a list of
1 witnesses by Thursday. That is because this Trial Chamber was taking into
2 consideration the three days rule of those protected witnesses in the
3 decision we made concerning the disclosure of the names of those
4 witnesses. Are you ready to furnish the other names of the witnesses by
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, according to your
7 instructions, we have furnished you with a list of witnesses. This has
8 not changed. The Prosecutor has the list of our witnesses. All except
9 for the protected ones. We did -- we have had some changes due to the
10 illness of some witnesses but these have been the only changes. I have
11 come across a problem. We stopped last week and now my -- the sequence of
12 the arrival of my witnesses has changed and that's -- we have been caused
13 a lot of problems by OLAD or we would have been cause add lot of problems
14 by OLAD and now we have just double-checked and it is no problem. Why are
15 we always being warned with regard to that? Our list has always been
16 furnished on time. We are going to furnish you with a list tomorrow.
17 Because every time we communicate with our witnesses we have to tell them,
18 "Either be ready or do not be ready or be ready, do not be ready." It is
19 very difficult to work with witnesses, people have their own jobs, come
20 from all over the world. But as you have seen, in the past, we have not
21 failed and we hope that we will not in the future, and we are going to
22 give you the list of our first five witnesses tomorrow or by Wednesday,
23 and the rest, the balance, will be given to you after Wednesday, the
24 balance to make up for the first ten witnesses. If we can move to private
25 session, I can give you the names of the first two witnesses which have --
1 who have been confirmed for Monday and Tuesday. I would just -- I'm
2 trying to be as fair as possible. Let's move to the private session. I
3 don't know the status of these witnesses and whether that status is going
4 to change.
5 JUDGE LIU: Now we are now in private session.
6 [Private session]
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
2 5.35 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
3 the 10th day of June, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.