1 Monday, 24 June, 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.03 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good morning, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Thank
10 you for giving me the floor. I shall be very brief, and I -- I understand
11 that you -- I sought to address you with regard to the latest decision we
12 received on Friday. We wish to expression our concern with the Chamber
13 and say that this is a major blow to the Defence. We also wish to say
14 that the witnesses are not ready to come to The Hague with all that haste,
15 either for the depositions or for the main hearings as viva voce
16 witnesses. Why, Your Honours? One-third of the witnesses have no
17 passports or visas, and it takes time to obtain those. One-third of the
18 witnesses are sick or for health reasons cannot come. And one-third needs
19 to be organised to come, because at no time did we tell them that they had
20 to come to The Hague. From the very beginning, they were on our
21 deposition lists -- depositions list, as you know, and now all that needs
22 to be organised, and it is quite impossible within these seven days.
23 Moreover, Your Honours, the question arises as to the purpose of
24 coming to The Hague for depositions. The Defence is now no longer
25 interested in that. If they have to come to The Hague, then why don't
1 they come to the courtroom and testify in vivo? Because the Defence does
2 not want to lose any witnesses. We believe that that would seriously
3 prejudice our case.
4 There is yet another possibility, Your Honours, for those
5 witnesses who are either ill or have no passports, to organise a videolink
6 for them. But in any event, Your Honours, the Defence needs time to go
7 down there, in that case, and prepare the witnesses, proof the witnesses,
8 and instruct them about all the technical and other details, just as Mr.
9 Stringer had to travel to the United States when they were -- their
10 witnesses were testifying by videolink.
11 Your Honours, my concern is even greater because we think that
12 this institution is a very serious one and perhaps for safety reasons we
13 should go into private session. It is up to you to decide. We do not
14 believe that these reasons changed for five days. We held all the
15 meetings with the head of the security for the Tribunal with all the
16 relevant and honourable officials of this Court, and nobody ever said
17 anything. Quite the contrary, all the checks were done. You know that
18 people went to Mostar, checked it all, Your Honours. In Mostar, there
19 must be -- well, I'm talking perhaps off the top of my head but there must
20 be 100 or 200 of officials of the -- the UNHCR and representatives of this
21 Tribunal. What has happened now at this particular moment, when the
22 witnesses are to give depositions? Is it because Mr. Paddy Ashdown became
23 the High Representative and he was -- he testified in this Tribunal in two
24 cases? Perhaps that has something to do with the change.
25 But in any event, Your Honours, could we at least receive some
1 indication, some instruction? Because within these seven days, or rather
2 until we still have these witnesses who are already here and unless we are
3 done with them, I simply cannot organise anything. I know that this is
4 not your fault. I know that from the very beginning of this case -- and I
5 am grateful to you for your effort to be fair and just, I think that you
6 will show such an effort now, that you will help us somehow. We do hope
7 that we shall find a way to hear those witnesses, and this notification,
8 which says that some safety reasons, security reasons, have arisen now,
9 could we please have this notification or this information? Your Honours,
10 I simply do not believe that news. It must be something else. Something
11 else must be the matter. It has nothing to do with security reasons, and
12 I say that in public for all the world to hear.
13 So could we please see this information or this notification, if
14 possible? Thank you very much, Your Honours.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?
16 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I shall
17 be very brief. I will not repeat what my colleague has said before me,
18 but I fully agree with everything he said. However, I wanted to add one
19 comment in relation to the -- to our future schedule, because the
20 Defence's work was closely related to, connected with, the visit to
21 Mostar, because Mr. Martinovic's Defence wanted to use that time, because
22 these are all witnesses for Mr. Krsnik, and it will be enough for only one
23 of us to be present there, and the other two members of our team and our
24 investigators would seize this precious time to carry out final
25 preparations for our witnesses so that they could -- so that we could take
1 over only a couple of days after the end of the depositions, and that was
2 why we asked for the break. However, in view of this new situation, this
3 situation where we are not going to Mostar, this Defence will - and I have
4 to say it straight away - this Defence will make a new application, that
5 is that when Mr. Krsnik finishes, and of course it now depends whether the
6 witnesses will be coming here to testify or whether he will give up from
7 calling those witnesses who were envisioned for the depositions to after,
8 we shall apply for a short break after that, because that time which we
9 thought we would spend in Mostar to carry out the final preparations for
10 our case and for the organisation of witnesses, now we shall have to ask
11 for a break, a short one, the shortest possible, and I also believe that
12 the practice of this Tribunal has been -- has been so far that a short
13 break for the second accused has always been approved after the Defence of
14 the first accused has completed its case. Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, I have to say that this Chamber was greatly
16 shocked by the news that we have to give up the deposition in Mostar at
17 that late hour. So we very much sympathise with the Defence team,
18 with their situation they are now in. As you understand, this Trial
19 Chamber has invested great efforts in this aspect. We instructed the
20 Registrar and a representative from this Chamber to make a field
21 inspection, and we acted in accordance with the report they filed to this
22 Chamber. In other words, this Trial Chamber has made superhuman efforts
23 to accommodate the request from the Defence team. So that's why we said
24 that we are greatly shocked by this news and we have to change everything
25 we have done in the past. So in this aspect, first, I will promise
1 Mr. Krsnik that we will furnish the memos filed by the security section or
2 Registrar on the security situation in this aspect. Secondly, this Trial
3 Chamber will do everything possible to help the Defence case -- to help
4 the Defence team to facilitate its representation of their case in this
5 aspect. So if there are any requests from the Defence team, we would like
6 to consider them after the filing. I believe this is all I could say at
7 this stage. So could we have the -- yes, Mr. Seric?
8 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I understand, Your Honour. Now I will
9 not bother you any more. I merely wish to thank you, Mr. President, and
10 Their Honours.
11 JUDGE LIU: Could we have the witness, please?
12 [The witness entered court]
13 WITNESS: WITNESS NM [Resumed]
14 [Witness answered through interpreter].
15 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning, yes, I can.
17 JUDGE LIU: Did you have a good weekend in The Hague?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to start today? We won't keep you
21 Yes, Mr. Meek?
22 MR. MEEK: Speaking of not keeping this witness long, Your Honour,
23 I believe the Prosecution has already used more time than the Defence did
24 on direct, Madam Registrar is going to check that. We were wondering how
25 much time will be allowed.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, we believe that the Prosecution is doing its
2 utmost and trying to facilitate the proceedings in this case.
3 Mr. Scott. Could I ask you how long you are going to take for
4 your further cross-examination this morning?
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I would hope with responsive answers to
6 the witness could complete my cross-examination in about 45 minutes.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may proceed, Mr. Scott.
8 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
9 Q. Good morning.
10 A. Good morning.
11 Q. Just to pick up from Friday before we move forward, I think we all
12 understand that at some point in approximately early October of 1993, you
13 came, took a senior position in the 3rd Brigade and then later in early
14 1994 you took a senior position in the 2nd Guards Brigade.
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I don't know if these questions might
16 tend to identify so perhaps out of caution we should go to private session
17 for a moment.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
19 [Private session]
12 Page 12825 – redacted – private session
11 [Open session]
12 JUDGE LIU: Now we are in the open session.
13 MR. SCOTT:
14 Q. Sir, if I understand your testimony from Friday, you were no
15 longer involved or a member of either the HVO components of the Federation
16 of Bosnia-Herzegovina army or of the Republic of Croatia army; is that
18 A. I didn't quite understand, what time are you talking about?
19 Q. Can you -- the current time?
20 A. No, I am neither a member of the Croat Defence Council or the
21 Croatian Army.
22 Q. Can you tell us, sir, how are you engaged in business or how you
23 support yourself?
24 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott, do we have to go to the private session?
25 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I suppose out of caution we could.
1 I didn't know depending on the nature that it was just a general business
2 matter it might not be so identifying but out of an abundance of caution,
3 we could.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, two things, at first, I
6 was shocked that so much time is granted I really do not know when I will
7 finish my witnesses because I thought that Mr. Scott would out of sheer
8 decency say 25 minutes not 45 minutes, and the second thing that shocks me
9 that under the guise of questioning credibility, these questions are
10 asked. I don't see the relevance of questions, what is this witness's
11 livelihood, how does he make his livelihood. I would be the happiest if I
12 could answer this question. What does it have to do with this case and
13 what is the relevance of that particular question? How does this witness
14 now make a livelihood to this case? Could the Prosecutor please analyse a
15 little bit his rights, the rights that he has in cross-examination?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, as first issue, I believe that the Prosecution
17 has promised us to finish his cross-examination in 45 minutes if he will
18 get the proper answer from this witness. We believe that is bona fide
19 gesture so his request is granted. At the second issue, this Chamber are
20 also interested in hearing the answer of this question. So we'll go to
21 the private session, please. Yes, Mr. Meek?
22 MR. MEEK: Just for the record, Your Honours and the purposes of
23 the record we would like to object to the procedure whereby the
24 Prosecution gets much more time on cross than direct and we want a
25 continuing objection for the record, a contemporaneous objection so that
1 at some point in the future it will not be said that we did not
2 contemporaneously object to this procedure. Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Your objection is registered in
4 the transcript. We will take into consideration of our objections when we
5 are allocating time to the Prosecution for the cross-examination in the
6 future time. Yes, Mr. Scott.
7 [Private session]
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
12 Page 12830 – redacted – private session
12 Page 12831 – redacted – private session
14 [Open session]
15 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Sir, do you know a man named Milan Kovac?
18 A. Yes. I know Mr. Kovac.
19 Q. How do you know him?
20 A. If you mean Mr. Kovac, a representative in the parliament of the
21 Republic of Croatia, is that the person you mean?
22 Q. Yes. How do you know him, please?
23 A. He is from Herzegovina, from Posusje, which is a neighbouring
24 municipality and I am, as you know, from Siroki Brijeg.
25 Q. Is he considered one of the persons, one of the Herzegovinians who
1 continues to be in favour of a separate Croat entity in
3 A. I don't know whom you mean, when you say that somebody advocated
4 Herzegovina as a separate part of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Not even the
5 Croatian community never denied the attributes of statehood of Bosnia and
6 Herzegovina and the Croatian people at the referendum in 1992 opted for an
7 integral Bosnia and Herzegovina. So Mr. Prosecutor, your allegation is
8 not correct.
9 Q. Sir, not going back to the 1992 referendum, isn't it correct, sir,
10 that at least a faction of the HDZ political party in Bosnia-Herzegovina
11 led by Ante Jelavic, involving you as well, isn't it true that at least a
12 faction of the HDZ party has continued to work for and promote and seek
13 the establishment of a separate Croat entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the
14 last several years?
15 A. This is not correct.
16 Q. All right. Well, we'll come back to that. Sir, have you been
17 involved in any efforts, groups or meetings, in connections with defending
18 Mr. Naletilic against the charges here?
19 A. I don't know what you mean. What meetings do you have in mind?
20 Q. Well, are you aware of any organisations or groups that have been
21 formed or that have evolved for the purpose of assisting Mr. Naletilic's
23 A. There are no groups.
24 Q. Apart from coming here to testify, sir, have you ever been
25 involved in any efforts discussions or meetings for the purposes of
1 promoting and assisting the Defence of Mr. Naletilic against the charges
3 A. I can say to this Honourable Court that there are no organised
4 groups, there are people who sit down, who reminisce on those war days and
5 they just engage in friendly conversations. There are no organised groups
6 as such, in the way you imply, Mr. Prosecutor.
7 Q. Can you tell the Chamber when you were first contacted by anyone
8 in connection with Mr. Naletilic's Defence team about testifying here in
9 The Hague?
10 A. The first time somebody contacted me -- do you mean my testimony
11 here before this Court?
12 Q. Yes. Any time that you were initially contacted about giving
13 testimony on behalf of the Defence in this case. When did that take place
14 and who contacted you?
15 A. Mr. Krsnik asked me whether I knew anything about 1992, what
16 happened at the time, and whether I would be willing to testify, and I
17 said I would. And that I would be willing to say everything I know, and
18 that could assist this Honourable Court to arrive at objective information
19 and at the truth, and as such, I have placed myself at their disposal.
20 Q. All right. And just the other part of my question, can you give
21 your best estimate approximately of when that first contact was made?
22 A. I believe that it was a year ago roughly.
13 Q. All right, sir I'm trying to be very careful not to ask you to
14 identify your position. But you did make a -- you were at this gathering
15 and during a speech that you made at that gathering, sir, didn't you refer
16 to Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, as "the famous commander of the legendary
17 Convicts Battalion"?
18 A. I don't remember that particular speech of mine. I don't remember
19 what I said at the 3rd anniversary of the guard's brigade but I did say
20 to this Honourable Court that the Convicts Battalion was one of the units
21 that served as a foundation for the development of the 2nd Brigade of the
23 Q. And did you not refer to Mr. Naletilic as the "famous commander"
24 of that unit?
25 A. I can't say that for a fact. I can't remember.
1 Q. All right. Could the witness be shown the second bundle of
2 documents that were distributed on Friday? And Exhibit -- I direct the
3 witness's attention, please, to Exhibit 936.
4 THE REGISTRAR: Excuse me, Mr. Prosecutor, I don't see Exhibit
6 MR. SCOTT: All right. Let me see if we can assist you. My
7 apologies, Your Honour, apparently Madam Registrar, it was apparently
8 placed at the end of the first bundle so in this instance, Exhibit 936
9 should be at the end of the first bundle of documents that was used on
11 Mr. President, for obvious reasons perhaps I'll ask that it not be
12 placed on the ELMO so as not to identify the witness.
13 Q. Sir, if you could look at Exhibit 936, and you have the full
14 Croatian language version in front of you, first of all, and again without
15 identifying yourself, and this document will have to be under seal but
16 does not the first page of that -- of this document include a photograph
17 of you?
18 A. Yes. This is my photo.
19 Q. And directing your attention to the very last paragraph of the
20 document, in addition to talking about Slobodan Praljak and others, is it
21 not there where you are reported to have said, described quote, "The
22 famous commander of the legendary Convicts Battalion, Mladen Naletilic,
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I cannot allow such
25 things in the Croatian text, can we please take a look at what it says?
1 This -- these are journalists words, this is the journalist who concludes,
2 and says this, in the last paragraph of the Croatian text. Will you allow
3 me? At the end, let's say that the representatives of the brigade, so the
4 representatives of the brigade, handed over, seized rifles as a
5 souvenir and a war trophy, as a souvenir, for the days spent together in
6 memory of the days spent during -- on front lines and to the Colonel
7 Slobodan Praljak, to the general major Miljenko Lasic and the famous
8 commander of the legendary Convicts Battalion, Mladen Naletilic, Tuta.
9 Where does it say here that the witness mentioned this commander
10 in his speech? Again, what is Mr. Prosecutor engaging in when he asks his
11 question? It would have been fair of him to have said, "Did you hand over
12 the guns to Mr. Naletilic?" But these are the words of the journalist.
13 These are not the words of my witness. And this is as clear as a bell.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think the Prosecution was asking a
15 question to this witness. This witness has the full right to deny any
16 allegations, no matter put by the Prosecution or by journalists in this
17 article. Let the witness answer the question.
18 MR. SCOTT:
19 Q. Let me ask a couple of follow-up questions to clarify, Witness, in
20 light of the comments made. Were you present -- are you suggesting or did
21 you understand that some sort of special firearms or awards or gifts were
22 given to Mr. Praljak, Mr. Lasic and Mr. Tuta at this event? Is that what
23 we should understand?
24 A. These were no special awards or decorations. These were rifles
25 which were given to them in memory of the days spent together on the
1 front -- during the war, and they were handed over to the aforementioned
3 Q. All right. And at the time that these firearms or weapons were
4 awarded to Mr. Praljak, Mr. Lasic and Mr. Naletilic, when it was presented
5 to Mr. Naletilic, was he indeed described when being handed and presented
6 these weapons, was he indeed described as the famous commander of the
7 legendary Convicts Battalion?
8 A. Here, these are the journalist's words, and as far as I know, when
9 these were handed over, no descriptions were given. The names were called
10 and the gifts were given to them, and that was the way the procedure
11 went. There were no big words said about the people. And as to what the
12 journalist wrote in here, that was his view of the things, and that was
13 the way he expressed himself on the paper.
14 Q. All right, sir, we have to move on to try to finish as quickly as
16 MR. SCOTT: Can I ask the witness please be shown or assisted with
17 Exhibit P926?
18 Q. Now, sir, as you look at the Croatian version of this document,
19 you said a few moments ago, sir, that you deny the existence of any
20 movement or effort to create a separate Croat entity in Bosnia-Herzegovina
21 but sir, is it not true that in fact there have been a number of efforts
22 and steps take to do that, including a declaration of something called the
23 Croat national congress, in this particular instance dated the 28th of
24 October, 2000? You're familiar with that, aren't you?
25 A. I am familiar with the session of the Croatian National Parliament
1 or Sabor.
2 Q. And who was the President on the 28th of that organisation or
3 group on the 28th of October, 2000?
4 A. What organisation do you have in mind?
5 Q. The Croat National Congress?
13 Q. And sir, isn't it correct that Mr. Jelavic was removed as the
14 Bosnian Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina by the
15 Office of the High Representative for his anti-Dayton activities in
16 continuing to promote the creation of a separate Croat entity in
18 A. Ante -- Mr. Ante Jelavic was elected at the democratic elections,
19 and he was legitimately elected by the Croatian people. He enjoyed almost
20 95 per cent support of the Croatian people, and the Croatian people was
21 embittered by the decision of the High Representative, and the part of the
22 international administration in Bosnia and Herzegovina about abolishing
23 institutional rights of the Croatian people in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
24 Q. All right, sir --
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] [no interpretation].
2 JUDGE LIU: We don't get any interpretation. Could you please
3 repeat it once again?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really don't know
5 where we are headed with this cross-examination. What is the relevance?
6 This is what happened in 2001. But what I said already a long time ago,
7 I'm very interested in the position of my learned friend. Who does he
8 advocate here? Who does he Prosecutor here? We are talking here about
9 the political struggle about a democratic struggle that many is taking
10 place in two entities, one is the federation, the other is the Republika
11 Srpska. I'm very shocked. I see these decisions by the High
12 Representative for the first time and I believe Your Honours will also be
13 interested in how decisions are made in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Somebody is
14 referring to the constitutional order of the federation. The federation
15 does not have a constitutional order. The only entity that has a
16 constitutional order is Bosnia and Herzegovina and the federation is just
17 one unit of the whole state and the other entity is Republika Srpska. I
18 don't see the purpose of my learned friend's examination. Does he
19 begrudge the Croat people their struggle, their fight for democracy? I
20 said a long time ago that here he acts as an advocate, as a -- rather than
21 a Prosecutor.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think the Prosecution is entitled
23 to ask any question which is relevant to this case, and I believe that the
24 question asked by the Prosecution in this question, in this particular
25 circumstances, is related to the credibility of this witness. Let us hear
1 what the witness is going to tell us.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if you will allow me, I
3 apologise. Your Honours, what is the relevance when this witness says
4 that in the federation, which is 70-30 ratio in favour of Muslims when he
5 says that the Croats are deprived of their rights? But what does that
6 have to do with this case? What is the relevance? What is the relevance
7 of the year 2001 and the -- where as the indictment refers to the year
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, you have to understand that we have
10 the witness here. I could not explain in detail how we see this question
11 is relevant to this case. Your objection is correctly registered in the
12 transcript and we will allow the Prosecution to move on and at a later
13 stage, when we evaluate the evidence, the testimony given by this witness,
14 we will take your objections into consideration.
15 Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. You may proceed.
16 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, because of the time, I'm simply going
17 to have -- so the witness knows I'm referring to and the Chamber, simply
18 going to have to ask the witness please be shown Exhibit P876.06. Which
19 is -- which includes or is included in that exhibit a copy of the official
20 decision of the Office of the High Representative referring -- removing
21 Mr. Jelavic and others, and because of time, Mr. President, I don't have
22 time to go through that document with specific questions but I think the
23 document for these purposes will largely, I hope, speak for itself.
24 Perhaps the Chamber will have questions, Judges questions, about the
1 Q. Sir, whether you agree with it or not, isn't it true that on March
2 the 7th, 2001, the Office of the High Representative removed Mr. Jelavic
3 from his position as the Croat member of the Presidency of Bosnia and
4 Herzegovina? I realise you may not agree with that but it's true, isn't
6 A. Ante Jelavic was removed by the High Representative, but I
7 apologise, was I maybe supposed to have a Croatian version of this
9 Q. That particular document -- excuse me, witness, there is no
10 translation at this time, for which I apologise?
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] And I haven't got it from the
13 Prosecution. I don't have it at all. This Exhibit 876.06, I haven't got
14 it in my bundle. It may be an accident but I do not have it.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, it's in the second bundle of documents furnished
16 by the Prosecution on Friday.
17 MR. KRSNIK: I don't have it.
18 JUDGE LIU: But we all have it. I think there must be some
20 MR. SCOTT: We believe that it's there, Mr. President, if some
21 reason one was left out of one of the bundles we will certainly correct
22 that. Apparently everybody else in the courtroom has it.
23 MR. KRSNIK: Sorry, I don't have it. I checked a hundred times.
24 MR. SCOTT: I'll provide it, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you have to provide.
1 MR. SCOTT: Of course, and every other bundle seems to have it but
2 we'll provide it again to Mr. Krsnik, surely.
3 Q. Sir, on the -- again I'm going to ask you a similar question
4 hopefully I ask you not to identify yourself but were you also involved
5 in a gathering or proceeding involving the anniversary and an oath taking
6 ceremony of the 2nd Guards Brigade on approximately the 5th of June,
10 Q. My apology.
11 MR. SCOTT: If the witness can please be shown Exhibits P775.2?
12 It should be, I hope, the first document in the second bundle, P775.2.
13 A. Your Honours, this document has not been translated.
14 MR. SCOTT: The witness is right, Your Honour, I'll have to ask
15 the assistance of the interpreters before a translation can be provided
16 for the record. But what I would like the translator's assistance on,
17 please, the assistance of the interpretation booth, just simply going to
18 read it to you for the purposes of framing the question, sir.
19 Directing the translation booth's attention to the part, the
20 bottom part of the first page where it says "the only different tune."
21 MR. MEEK: Your Honours, I have a procedural matter here. Your
22 Honours ruled last October that the Prosecution could not introduce or
23 attempt to introduce any documents against our clients, the accused,
24 unless they had been previously translated into a language which they
25 understood. After I think was it November 10th or 11th, and now the
1 Prosecution is doing exactly that, they are violating this Trial Chamber's
2 order. Our clients have not been able to read these documents because
3 they do not speak English, they do not read English and I object strongly
4 and I will keep objecting strongly to this procedure. The accused has
5 different rights than the Prosecution does. We all know that, and this
6 Trial Chamber entered the ruling last October, no documents could be
7 attempted to be introduced against the accused unless they had been
8 previously translated into a language that they understand. And these
9 documents have not, Your Honour. I object.
10 JUDGE LIU: You're absolutely right, Mr. Meek, on this point.
11 First of all, we believe that all the documents tendered have to be
12 translated into the language that the accused understand. As for the
13 specific contents of this document, first, I'm not quite sure this
14 document is directly -- criminalise your clients in certain points.
15 Secondly, this is cross-examination. I think the Prosecution is going to
16 ask a very simple question concerning with the certain paragraph or
17 certain sentence of this document, which the interpreters in the booths
18 will help us, I hope. Thirdly, if the Prosecution wants to tender this
19 document into evidence, the translation shall be furnished as soon as
21 Mr. Scott, are you going to extensively use this document or just
22 put one question concerning with one paragraph of this document to the
24 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I hope to put one, as far as possible,
25 I hope, to put one question to the witness based on the document.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may proceed but if you want to tender this
2 document, you ever to furnish us with the translation.
3 MR. SCOTT: Of course, Mr. President. I understand that.
4 Q. If I can actually if I can have the assistance to put the
5 document, the statement in full context lest there be some concern raised
6 about that. If I can ask assistance of the interpreter in the paragraph
7 starting "although inspiring." If I can read it perhaps we can get the
8 translation. "Although inspiring a normal degree of proudness of Croat
9 Herzegovina according to the instant translation by our interpreter, all
10 speeches were very moderate and not directed against Muslims or the recent
11 political decisions. The soldiers were asked to understand that the
12 politicians were doing the best possible job, although people and soldiers
13 did not always like the decisions at first. The army was there to defend
14 those decisions and executes orders. This was stated by both politicians
15 and military leaders." Obviously in the next section I will not refer to
16 the name.
17 "The only different tune was heard at the last speech made by, and
18 I leave that, the record, what is stated in the exhibit, who made a much
19 more violent speech delivered in the Nazi style of the 30s mainly directed
20 against the Chetniks, even spoke of the necessity to cross the Drina.
21 The monitor observed that after the parade he was publicly greeted by
22 another officer with a Nazi salute."
23 Now, based on that, sir, do you remember giving such a speech and
24 receiving such a salute?
25 A. Your Honours, I regret that such information is presented here in
1 this Court. I never greeted anyone, nor did anyone greet me, with a Nazi
2 salute. Quite the contrary. I condemn any Naziism and this allegation of
3 the Prosecutor is not true.
4 Q. Sir, you were removed from your position in the HVO component of
5 the Army of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the stabilisation
6 force, otherwise known as SFOR; is that correct?
7 A. I was suspended, I'm sorry, I was suspended by SFOR and removed by
8 the Croat member of the Presidency at the time, and the reason was I
9 helped to put out the fire.
10 Q. Sir, isn't it correct --
11 A. When the standard procedure of the commander of the SFOR directed
12 at the parties in the area was fully observed.
13 Q. Sir, weren't the reasons given by SFOR that you were involved in
14 the unauthorized movement of HVO soldiers to Croatia and because of your
15 involvement in partisan HDZ politics which was inconsistent with a
16 professional military position?
17 A. It is not true that at the time I was politically active or
18 involved in party politics. That is simply not true. However, at that
19 time, at this time, throughout that time that we are talking about, it is
20 true that there were those branches of the old system of the former
21 communist intelligence community which existed in all three sides, in the
22 Muslim and Croat and Serb side, the so-called counterintelligence service,
23 that is KOS, or UDB, and it is quite obvious that these services tried to
24 prejudice, tried to discredit, tried to undermine and so that a number of
25 such information was out of place, but that is how they removed everybody
1 who was in their way, who they thought should be discredited and needless
2 to say, the international community in Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time
3 absorbed a large part of that information and practically, unfortunately,
4 took decisions and made moves in the area of Bosnia-Herzegovina based on
5 such information. On the other hand, I also need to point out before this
6 Honourable Court that I have cooperated fantastically well with SFOR
7 officers, with SFOR commanders, with generals who conducted MPRI
8 programme, Crosby Senton and General Carl Vaughan, that I was commended on
9 several occasions by generals who were in the territory of
11 Q. Sir, you're telling this Chamber --
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we go into
15 private session? Why is it so difficult? The Prosecutor is asking
16 questions and will Mr. Prosecutor please take note of this? Because he
17 knows he will get an answer which will disclose the identity and secondly
18 we need these names in the transcript the Prosecutor needs to repeat the
19 question so that the names of the generals with whom the witness
20 cooperated can be put in because we do not have a single name of the -- of
21 any SFOR general or any other international organisations in the
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, the commanders of the SFOR is a
24 fact. I believe that the interpreters will check with all those names at
25 a later stage. It's a fact. Everybody knows about the names of the SFOR
2 Yes, Mr. Scott, you may proceed.
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, again, perhaps out of an abundance of
4 caution we should go to private session for a moment.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to private session, please.
6 [Private session]
12 Pages 12850 to 12856 – redacted – private session.
2 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
3 --- On resuming at 11.01 a.m.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go back to the open session, please.
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, any re-examination?
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, just a few brief
8 questions. Unfortunately, those questions are to my mind not relevant at
9 all but I have to because of the last questions put by the Prosecution to
10 discredit the witness.
11 Re-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
12 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, the last few questions with regard to
13 the removals, the actions by the High Representative, I had a feeling that
14 you did not have the opportunity to explain all the circumstances of these
15 events, and as you may have noticed, Mr. Prosecutor wanted to discredit
16 you by advocating one political option, that is Bosniak option, against
17 the Croatian political option in the year 2001, i.e. 2002. Therefore, I
18 would kindly ask you to explain to the Honourable Court -- can we please
19 go to private session? Because I'm sure that the witness will -- actually
20 he has to reveal his identity, if he wants to reply to my question?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go back to the private session, please.
22 [Private session]
12 Page 12858 – redacted – private session
12 Page 12859 – redacted – private session
4 [Open session]
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very briefly, the elections were
6 general parliamentary elections and they took place on the 11th of
7 November, 2001. The election law, the so-called Berry Elections Law
8 which was detrimental for the Croatian people because it left room for the
9 Croatian members to be elected by that -- somebody else could decide about
10 the election of the Croatian representative at the highest level. If we
11 know that such an election model, and with regard to the fact that the
12 parliament consisted of two chambers at the level of the Federation of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina and that it has 140 seats, Croats would receive some 30
14 seats, would be entitled to some 30 seats in the parliament. So that at
15 any moment, the majority of votes is against them. The second Chamber,
16 the Chamber of Peoples, which served as a correction to the other Chamber,
17 for checks and balances, and the composition of that other Chamber was 30
18 Croats, 30 Muslims, 30 Serbs, according to this election model, and with
19 regard to the fact that the federation consists of ten cantons, and
20 according to this allocation that the cantons were given for the election
21 into the Chamber of Peoples, I know for a fact that some members of the
22 international community at the time were asked in the Gorazde canton to
23 declare themselves as Croats of Muslim religion so that they could -- so
24 as to exert influence on the composition of the Croatian part of the
25 parliament so that the 30 seats that -- meant that they could not have 15
1 plus 1 seats, which would have entitled them to the right of a veto on the
2 decisions passed by the lower Chamber. These precedents resulted in the
3 situation that the Croatian people in Bosnia and Herzegovina found
4 themselves in a very complex position, and as such, we voted in the
5 elections on the 11th of November, and the Croatian people and all of its
6 institutions felt threatened as a political people in Bosnia and
7 Herzegovina, and they felt that their -- they are being led into a
8 position of a minority, of a national minority, and the Washington
9 Agreement, the Dayton Accords, and all the agreements signed in
10 Bosnia-Herzegovina clearly say that Croats are one of the three
11 state-forming peoples in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In such circumstances,
12 in the elections, the Croatian people opted and gave its full support to
13 the Croatian Democratic Union.
14 Q. Can you give us the percentage?
15 A. 95 per cent of the votes at the level of Bosnia and Herzegovina,
16 at the level of the federation it was 85 per cent. And at the cantonal
17 level, at the level of counties, 75 to 80 per cent. After that, some
18 people were removed from the election lists, which meant that some people
19 were deprived of their basic human rights, the right to elect and to be
20 elected, the right to work, according to us, according to me personally,
21 according to some intellectuals that I had spoken with, our precedents in
22 the democratic world or at least when it comes to the principles of
23 democracy advocated by the international community for Bosnia and
25 Q. Please tell us what happened, who made the decision, what kind of
1 a decision that resulted in that removal? The elections are now over.
2 What happened next, just briefly?
3 A. The High Representative, Mr. Wolfgang Petritsch made a decision
4 on the suspension of the Croatian member of the Presidency of
5 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that is Mr. Ante Jelavic. Mr. Ivo Andric-Luzanski was
6 also removed, Mr. Marko Tokic as well.
7 Q. Let's not mention any names.
8 A. They were vice-presidents of the Croatian Democratic Union.
9 Q. Witness, I apologise for interrupting again, I don't -- I would
10 like to ask you to say -- to explain to the Honourable Court how many
11 people were removed and were the elections over and were these same people
12 elected at the democratic elections? They were elected they were just
13 about to start discharging their duties but the High Representative
14 removed them despite the fact that they had been elected at the democratic
15 elections; is that correct?
16 A. That is correct. It arises from this that the basic human rights
17 were taken away from some people and that the Croatian people are now
18 being reduced to a national minority, and when we add to that the fact,
19 recently I have read a statement by General Sylvester, the commander
20 of SFOR, who says that the mission of SFOR and the international community
21 in Bosnia-Herzegovina is to form a Bosnian nation.
22 Q. What does that mean, a Bosnian nation?
23 A. That means that everything is unified, centralised, that one
24 language is replaces all the other languages.
25 Q. Are you saying that all the citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina should
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 be called Bosniaks? Bosnians?
2 A. That is correct.
3 Q. Is that contrary to all the international agreements starting with
4 the Washington Agreement, the Dayton Accords?
5 A. That is correct, because all the -- in all the agreements, Bosnia
6 and Herzegovina consists of the three state-forming peoples and other
7 peoples who live in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
8 Q. All right. I believe that we have provided the Chamber with an
9 explanation. Just two more brief questions. Can you tell us how often
10 have you been in Mostar in the last year or so? Was that every day or ...
11 A. Recently, I have been to Mostar a bit less frequently and
12 previously I was there very often.
13 Q. How many international representatives live in Mostar? Where do
14 they live? And has there been any incident in the past year or so in the
15 city of Mostar, any incident whatsoever? I'm asking you this question
16 which is beyond the context but I believe that the President will be
17 interested in the situation in Mostar. He said so himself. We have just
18 recently been furnished with a decision saying that Mostar is not a safe
19 place. Has anything happened in the Mostar making it not a safe place?
20 A. Nothing has happened that would involve the international
21 community, the situation in Mostar, in the safety respect, is okay. It is
23 Q. As far as you know, have you ever spoken to anybody from the
24 circles? How many representatives of the international community live in
1 A. I don't know exactly but there is the command of the
2 multi-national division southeast. Its headquarters are in Ortijes
3 and there are other institutions, High Representative, RC, all the other
4 institutions which are in Mostar. I believe that there are no safety
5 problems there. And there is -- there are no, not in any way jeopardised.
6 Q. And my final question. Can we please move to private session?
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
8 [Private session]
24 [Open session]
25 JUDGE LIU: Any questions from Judges? Judge Clark?
1 Questioned by the Court:
2 JUDGE CLARK: I wonder if I could ask you a few questions about
3 the Convicts Battalion? Do I understand your evidence correctly, when you
4 say or I understand you to say, that the Convicts Battalion comprised of
5 only one unit and one unit only?
6 A. Yes. The Convicts Battalion was one unit and its military post
7 code was 1717.
8 JUDGE CLARK: I'm not asking you about the post code. I'm saying
9 are you saying that the Convicts Battalion consisted of a unit which was
10 stationed in Siroki Brijeg and it had no other associated units?
11 A. Correct.
12 JUDGE CLARK: You say that the connection between the unit, I'm
13 being careful now, that you subsequently joined and which was formed, the
14 connection between that unit and the Convicts Battalion was merely that a
15 number of soldiers who had served with the Convicts Battalion transferred
16 to the new unit, the Baja Kraljevic.
17 A. Correct. Baja Kraljevic had some ten soldiers amongst which --
18 amongst whom me, who formed this new unit Baja Kraljevic.
19 JUDGE CLARK: And was the leader of that unit known as "Lija"?
20 Was that his nickname?
21 A. Yes. Mr. Predrag Mandic, "Lija," of the Baja Kraljevic unit, who
22 is commander he was.
23 JUDGE CLARK: Could you tell me who actually appointed him
25 A. I believe that he was appointed by, according to the mobilisation
1 development, it was either the ministry o the Main Staff or it was the
2 presidency, as the signatory of that appointment.
3 JUDGE CLARK: What exactly do you mean by presidency?
4 A. At the time, the Croatian Community Herceg-Bosna, the Main Staff
5 probably issued proposals, sent them to the Ministry of Defence, and then
6 the level which was the signatory of the establishment of the unit, I
7 can't exactly remember, but that is the chain, the chain, and that shows
8 how decisions were made.
9 JUDGE CLARK: You described a few days ago when you were first
10 giving your testimony that the Convicts Battalion was founded by a number
11 of people, and you named the people, and included in that group of five or
12 six people was Mr. Naletilic. The question --
13 A. Correct.
14 JUDGE CLARK: The question I want to ask you is why is the
15 Convicts Battalion so associated with Mr. Naletilic in the minds of so
16 many people? Because we've heard evidence that media reports following
17 the recapture, if -- or the liberation of Mostar, in newspaper, radio,
18 television, eulogised Mr. Naletilic and clearly identified him as
19 the hero of the Convicts Battalion. If he was one of many founders, why
20 is the Convicts Battalion, do you know, so associated with Mr. Naletilic
21 to the exclusion of others?
22 A. A number of founders, but it is within the context of a team of
23 people who were jointly motivated to defend right from wrong, good from
24 evil, that was at the time imposed on Croats, I mean the evil, so the
25 inevitable answer was to set up a volunteer unit, to provide the necessary
1 answer to this evil which was very near Siroki Brijeg, and if that team
2 worked, then I suppose Mr. Naletilic was seen as a man who had absorbed
3 this libertarian spirit of the west and who therefore showed more courage,
4 more boldness at particular moments, to make the brave step right at the
5 time, and to liberate the bordering areas of the municipality of Siroki
6 Brijeg, and as such, the Convicts Battalion joined in the bloody war and
7 participated with all the other units in the liberation of Mostar, and
8 repulsed that evil which was manifested in the then-reservists Serb, and
9 Montenegrin, the then so-called Yugoslav Army, to repulse them to the
10 areas further away from Mostar and when key facilities from taken, which
11 occupied, dominating positions around the city of Mostar, and from these
12 victories at that time arose in the people's perception and the public
13 opinion the image of Mr. Naletilic as a man who had played a very
14 important role in the liberation of Mostar and that part of Herzegovina.
15 JUDGE CLARK: I don't think anybody denies that that has been the
16 evidence of nearly everybody, that Mr. Naletilic played a huge role, but
17 the question I'm asking you is: Do you know why the Convicts Battalion is
18 forever associated with Mr. Naletilic to the exclusion of all others?
19 A. I have already said, and that he is one of those men, that he was
20 probably a more ingenious person, a more creative person than other people
21 who were his interlocutors on this team, and he probably set the tone. I
22 mean the -- he provided the initiative, the creative spirit, because each
23 one of those men, as far as I know them, those men lack this particular
24 trait, the initiative, the entrepreneurial spirit. Perhaps they are very
25 good interlocutors for instance, in things when you say, "Yes, let's do
1 that, for instance." But then somebody else has to say, has to decide,
2 right, we'll do this and that on that particular date and in that
3 particular way.
4 JUDGE CLARK: So would you accept, then, sir, that Mr. Naletilic
5 was the dominant force in the Convicts Battalion?
6 A. I think he was perceived as a man of initiative, because based on
7 my experience, my war experience, I know that people who showed
8 initiative, who were brave and courageous, they were all recognisable as
9 such, and they were perceived as such and they were trusted by the troops.
10 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you for answering my questions.
11 JUDGE LIU: Judge Diarra?
12 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. President. Witness,
13 it seems to me that you said that Mladen Naletilic left his post of the
14 commander of the Convicts Battalion in October 1992. I'd like to know
15 why. And in order to take up what other position?
16 A. Sorry, I think that Mr. Naletilic quit the position of the
17 commander of the Convicts Battalion in either September or October, 1992,
18 and all of us who were there and worked together and acted together knew
19 even before that Mr. Naletilic had a serious pulmonary lung
20 complaint, and that at that time he used to say that a certain number of
21 leaders had already taken shape in all those combat and liberation
22 operations around the city of Mostar, and that a team had already stood
23 out with the traits of courage, valiance, sufficient integrity and
24 ingeniousness, sufficing to begin to lead the Convicts Battalion. And he
25 withdrew. Whether he went to the municipal staff to some post there, or
1 to the municipal hall in Siroki Brijeg, I believe that he was the deputy
2 mayor of Siroki Brijeg for a while, and in that capacity, he always showed
3 concern for the dead, for the wounded.
4 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] And who replaced him after he
6 A. Mario Hrkac. That was our impression. We thought that he was a
7 natural soldier. One of the soldiers who proved himself during the
8 operations, a supreme fighter, Supreme Commander, and whom people --
9 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you very much for the
10 description of Mr. Mario but who appointed him? Who appointed him as
11 Naletilic's successor?
12 A. At that time, I think it was the municipal staff, and then
13 following up the hierarchical ladder that I've already mentioned, the Main
14 Staff, the ministry, following up that ladder. And that is how he came to
15 hold that position. But naturally there was also Mr. Andabak there too.
16 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Witness, I'm sorry, you talk about
17 the municipal staff. Who appoints a commander of a battalion? And you
18 also speak about the ministry. You should give me -- you should tell me
19 not a thing but you should give me a positive answer. If you do not know,
20 then you do not know but don't tell me that you think that it was the
21 municipal staff or the ministry who appointed Mr. Naletilic's successor as
22 the commander of the Convicts Battalion.
23 A. Well, you know, what I'm saying, Your Honours, I'm saying this
24 because when I cast my mind back to 1992, at that time, those municipal
25 staffs played a dominant role. And as for official appointments, I think
1 that by and large, there were none, but somehow, what was done at that
2 time, when I cast my mind back and when I think about that, and then from
3 that perspective, it is possible that the municipal staff did its bit, but
4 the -- that was the hierarchical ladder, the Main Staff, the ministry,
5 they were the ones who proposed names and who appointed.
6 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you. I do not have any
7 further questions.
8 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judges' questions? Yes,
9 Mr. Krsnik?
10 Further examination by Mr. Krsnik:
11 Q. I believe I only have one question arising from Judge Clark's
12 questions. Was Mr. Ludvig Pavlovic one of the founders of the Convicts
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Tell us how did he end up, and does he also -- has he also become
16 a legendary figure? Is he a charismatic person?
17 A. Yes, he is a charismatic person in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
18 Q. And my final question, and I'm very happy that Their Honours asked
19 those questions because I did not want to do that, on purpose, tell us, if
20 basically from the time when the Convicts Battalion was founded, until its
21 end, who was in truth its genuine commander and who were the operative
22 commanders, that is commanders on the ground, in the field, I mean between
23 October 1992 until November 1993?
24 A. The operative commander was Mario Hrkac.
25 Q. And after him?
1 A. After him, it was Zeljko Vukoja.
2 Q. Were there operative men, those who go to the ground?
3 A. Yes, of course.
4 Q. And who was the commander basically?
5 A. Mr. Andabak.
6 Q. That is from the foundation until the end of 1993?
7 A. Yes. He was there from day one until the end.
8 Q. And my final question, are you aware that Mr. Andabak was on
9 insulin at that time, regularly, every day, at that time. I'm not asking
10 about a later time as a grave diabetic?
11 A. Yes, I know that he was very gravely suffering from diabetes and
12 that he had to be administered insulin every day.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, that is all.
14 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott?
15 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I want to be completely transparent
16 about this I would have a couple of questions related on Mr. Krsnik's
17 re-direct and only I would ask those questions only if allowed to cover
18 that. Not arising from Judge's questions.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, I think we give you the opportunity
20 to ask questions only out of Judges's questions. If there is some
21 questions you are going to ask which is related to just Judges's
22 questions, that is allowed.
23 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, as I said I wanted to be fully
24 transparent about that and if that's the case, I have no questions. Thank
1 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Yes, Judge Clark?
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE CLARK: Arising out of that it's a question I've been
4 anxious to know the answer to for a long time and you appear to be the
5 appropriate person. Maybe you know. Is in Ivan Andabak still alive? And
6 if so, where is he? Do you know?
7 A. Mr. Andabak is alive and I believe he is in Slavonia, in the
8 Republic of Croatia.
9 JUDGE CLARK: I think we've all been curious about him for a
10 while. He's alive and well, I take it?
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, there is no questions out of this question. I
12 have to put an end. Thank you, Witness, for coming here to give your
13 evidence. We appreciate it very much. When the usher pulls down the
14 blinds, she will show you out of the room. We all wish you a pleasant
15 journey back home.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] While the witness is being out, may I
18 say that I'm happy you asked that question. I know that you joined us
19 later, that you did not attend Status Conferences and perhaps I should
20 tell you to read parts of the transcripts of the Status Conferences while
21 Her Honour Judge Wald was there. I do not want to waste time. There were
22 very interesting dialogues between me and the Prosecution because the
23 Prosecution conducted that interview with Mr. Andabak in a very incorrect
24 way, but they removed him from all the witness lists, that is he was
25 arrested and brought for an interview with the Prosecutor, but I merely
1 drawing your attention to those transcripts and I'm very happy that you
2 asked that question. Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, it's not proper, first, without my
4 permission, you make that statement. Secondly, we still have the witness
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Your Honours.
7 It will not happen again.
8 [The witness withdrew]
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Meek?
10 MR. MEEK: I have some exhibits to give to Madam Registrar. Your
11 Honour, Mr. President, I've just learned today that the -- that Defence
12 counsel -- excuse me. Just learned at the break, Your Honours, that
13 tomorrow at 1.30, Defence counsel have a meeting with the Registrar, with
14 security, Mr. Rhode and other members which will address some concerns
15 Defence counsel has and have had for sometime and I would just ask if it
16 would be possible if you would consider allowing us to break at 1.25
17 tomorrow so that this Defence counsel team and Mr. Seric and Mr. Par, I
18 believe we are all very interested in attending that meeting. Perhaps we
19 could take one 15 minute break instead after half hour break. We would
20 very much like to attend that meeting tomorrow. That's all I'm bringing
21 to your attention, Your Honours.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for informing us about that but
23 this Trial Chamber has not been informed there is a meeting. If there is
24 any, we'll break early to allow you to attend that meeting.
25 MR. MEEK: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 JUDGE LIU: Any documents to tender at this stage? And what about
2 the Prosecution?
3 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, it would assist the Prosecution if you
4 would allow us again given past practice to sort through the documents
5 actually used and deal with it on paper, please.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, but you have to do it as soon as possible.
7 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
9 MR. MEEK: Yes, Your Honour, I think we only have one new
10 document, and I believe it's D1/390 and perhaps D1/107. I think that's
11 already been submitted. I believe the other exhibits we use were merely
12 photographs and a Prosecution exhibit P704. I believe that's all we would
13 ask to tender into evidence, Your Honour.
14 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. We believe that we have to make
15 a decision concerning the admission of those documents at a later stage.
16 Mr. Krsnik, are you ready for your next witness? At this moment,
17 I have to tell you that we haven't been furnished with the list of
18 witnesses. So we don't know who will be the next witness yet.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I apologise but then I
20 must tick off my co-counsel because this should have been done a long time
21 ago. We supplied this list last week both for my learned friends and for
22 you and I do believe that we filed the definitive list. My apologise,
23 Your Honours. Could we go into private session, please so that I can give
24 you the name of the witness and the pseudonym we are proposing.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to private session.
1 [Private Session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
19 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
20 accordance with the paper that the usher is showing to you?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
22 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: WITNESS NN
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, you may sit down, please.
1 Mr. Krsnik, we will make a break at 15 minutes past 12.00.
2 MR. KRSNIK: Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: You may proceed.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. You are
5 very kind.
6 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
7 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, first see if that is your name on this
8 sheet of paper. Don't read it aloud, just say yes or no?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. Thank you very much. We shall all be addressing you as Witness
11 NN. It is for your protection. Please mind that in your answers, try not
12 to disclose your identity. If you see that in answering a question that
13 might disclose your identity please request a private session because that
14 is what we can do, and then next time, please find the exact speed at
15 which you should answer, not too slow and not too fast. I know that is
16 not easy because you are not often in this position, but you see we have
17 to take care, the interpretation here is of vital importance and we have
18 interpretation into two languages so will you please be cooperative?
19 A. Very well.
20 Q. Thank you. And let us start off immediately. I will tackle only
21 one year, 1993. Perhaps by way of introduction, just a little bit, we may
22 do something earlier than that, if need be, but basically we shall be
23 talking only about 1993 and we shall be referring to just one event. Will
24 you please make your answers as concise, as concrete as possible so that
25 we can move on? So will you please tell something about your court --
1 about your self to the Court without giving us your name?
2 A. I was born on the 23rd of August, 1956 in Doljani, municipality of
3 Jablanica. I completed my elementary education in Polog, municipality of
4 Mostar, the secondary school I completed in Mostar. I studied electrical
5 engineering and read it in Split. I graduated in 1980 and at that time, I
6 began to work for Unis in Sarajevo. After that --
7 Q. You can follow this dot. You see on the screen. If you can
8 follow that dot, and if you see when it stops. When it stops, then
15 Q. Please do not tell us these things because we are in open
16 session. This is the first time, you see, don't give you the offices that
17 you held unless we go into private session, first. This will be
18 redacted. Yes, I'll take care.
19 A. After that --
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Perhaps Your Honours, perhaps because
21 these are particulars so perhaps we should go into private session just in
22 case, thank very much.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go into private session, please.
24 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The situation was extremely grave
25 for us, the Croats, because we were a minority due to a very large influx
1 of refugees and certain political decisions which were at that time taken
2 in the municipality of Jablanica itself and that was the appointment of
3 Dr. Safet Cibo of the Presidency of the war Presidency of those three
4 municipalities, that is Jablanica, Konjic and Prozor.
5 Q. Are you aware who appointed him, it was a lawful decision, a
6 lawful way and whether the relations between the Croats and Bosniaks
7 changed and how? Again just in so many words so the first question is who
8 appointed Dr. Cibo?
9 A. Dr. Cibo was appointed by Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, and when he came,
10 he wasn't alone. A large number of units came to the municipality of
11 Jablanica. I mean Zuka's units as far as I know. Then some "swans," BH
12 Army units came and they took areas in the municipality of Jablanica
14 Q. Witness, will you please slow down? I'm sorry that I am
15 interrupting you but I will have to do it otherwise Judge Diarra has to
16 wait for the interpretation into French from English, so it slows down
17 matters. Will you please slow down?
18 A. When he came, those units take the territories and the situation
19 drastically changed at our expense.
20 Q. Will you please just repeat which are the units which came with --
21 at the same time as Dr. Cibo because they are not in the transcript?
22 A. I know that Zuka came, then some kind of "swans," Suad Alic's
23 Brigade from Konjic with their tanks came and they moved around the town
24 and at the same time, some procurative measures were applied against
25 Croats which did not exist before, that is goods were confiscated from
1 Croat shops, areas were taken from Croats, at checkpoints the control was
2 stepped up and the plates were being removed and practically the freedom
3 of movement was restricted.
4 Q. Can you tell us what month was that when Dr. Cibo arrived and
5 whether that was a lawful decision or whether that was a decision that was
7 A. It was not a lawful appointment for a very simple reason. I know
8 there was a huge resistance by the then Muslim authorities in Jablanica to
9 his arrival and his appointment. Nijaz Ivkovic, the then-president of the
10 municipality of Jablanica personally warned me and told me that the HVO
11 would no longer be able to exist in Jablanica as soon as Mr. Safet Cibo
12 arrived. And his arrival was sometime at the beginning of March, 1993.
13 Q. Let's talk about some specific events because we've heard a lot
14 about these things already. Where was your place of work? Did you go
15 there every day? Did something change in that respect, if it did, when?
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, I did not expect that the witness's testimony is
4 going into details. So if you need, Mr. Krsnik, we could go into the
5 private session.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
7 Q. See, Witness, even I forget. We have to protect your identity, I
8 know that you're focused on the answers rather than on not revealing your
9 identity, however, whenever you speak either about yourself or your
10 family, ask for private session.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private
12 session, indeed, because this gentleman is easily identifiable in the
13 small -- in the small midst where he lives.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
15 [Private session]
12 Page 12884 – redacted – private session
23 [Open session]
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Witness, please now you have to be careful, make sure you do not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 reveal your identity, if you want to go to private session, we will do
2 that. Did anybody else have their headquarters in that house besides the
3 Mijat Tomic Battalion?
4 A. No, nobody else but the civilian components of the HVO, which
5 subsequently was organised there.
6 Q. What went on? What happened next?
7 A. Because of the general panic that was felt in the village, we
8 started asking around. We wanted to -- we asked the headquarters what we
9 should do, and the command of that battalion, they informed their
10 superiors and that is the command of the Herceg Stjepan Brigade in Konjic
11 and they asked them whether there was anything that could be done for the
12 blockade to be lifted off the village.
13 Q. When you said the blockade or the circle, was that a bit lower
14 beyond the Sovicka Vrata, you said there was a block on the road, that
15 there was?
16 A. Yes, that was the place some 1.5 to 2 kilometres below Sovicka
18 Q. The Chamber knows already a lot about this place. I believe that
19 they now recognise these names. Did you have any contacts with Bosniaks,
20 Muslims or BH Army in Sovici and Doljani? Did you ask them what it was
21 all about, what was going on?
22 A. A gentleman from the battalion command contacted the commander of
23 the army battalion in Sovici, Mr. Dzemal Orovic. I think that these two
24 gentlemen were Stipe Pole and Juka Groznica. At the same time
25 representatives of the BH Army from Jablanica came to us, Salih Jusic and
1 Zajko Sihirlic, and they told us that there were no problems, that they
2 did what they were supposed to do, and that we should not fear anything,
3 that the blockade will be lifted. This was simply not true.
4 Q. Okay. So this is 15. Did something special happen on the 16th of
6 A. On the 16th of April, the panic increased in the village. The
7 people started getting ready to leave. At the same time, the number of
8 armed provocations increased in the area of Kosna Luka, that is a village
9 halfway between Doljani and Jablanica. The shooting increased in the
10 mountains, there were an increased number of provocations by the members
11 of the BH Army.
12 Q. Did you inform the superior command of that?
13 A. Yes. We were in constant contact with the Herceg Stjepan Brigade.
14 We asked them to do something because every moment was crucial because
15 the -- we were under a constant blockade.
16 Q. Tell me, what did your neighbours, Muslims in Doljani, do? Did
17 they help you? Did they assist you in any way? What was your
18 relationship with them?
19 A. Throughout 1992 and throughout 1993, we -- the life in the village
20 was absolutely normal and those relations were good, and nothing indicated
21 that something like that could happen, but what surprised us was the fact
22 that all the Muslim left Doljani in the night of the 16th and they all
23 left towards Jablanica. On the following morning, we just saw the cattle
24 roaming around, that all the villages in Doljani, all the houses in
25 Doljani were empty, and that the -- our neighbours left towards
1 Jablanica. This had a compounded our situation because we then realised
2 that something was being prepared for us.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Now is the time for a break. I have
4 to interrupt you. I believe, Your Honours, that it is the time for the
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will resume at quarter to 1.00.
7 --- Recess taken at 12.15 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 12.49 p.m.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, please continue.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
11 Q. We left off with the 16th of April. Witness, did you want to say
12 something else about that day, the 16th of April?
13 A. Nothing special.
14 Q. Tell me, please, you were in touch with the Herceg Stjepan Brigade
15 in Konjic and Mijat Tomic was one part of that brigade; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. We had regular information as to what was going on in the
17 territory of Konjic municipality, i.e. what was going on in Trusinea and
18 other villages. We had that information and that increased the panic in
19 the village.
20 Q. Can you tell us when that happened n which villages, and whose
21 villages were those?
22 A. Those were villages in the area of Klisa municipality, inhabited
23 by Croats. A terrible massacre had taken place in those villages.
24 Q. Before the 16th?
25 A. Yes, before the 16th.
1 Q. Let's move on to the 17th. We said something about the 15th, the
2 16th. And on the 17th of April, 1993, I'm not going to interrupt you,
3 just tell the Honourable Court what you know about that date, what
5 A. First of all, I said that we found out that in the course of the
6 previous night, the Muslims had left Doljani village. This resulted in a
7 huge panic in the morning hours of the 17th. On several occasions, we
8 asked for the blockade to be lifted off. We saw, given the things that
9 had happened in Konjic, given the provocations from Kosna Luka, we were
10 afraid that we would have the same destiny as the villages in Konjic
11 municipality, i.e. what happened to us on the 27th -- the 20th of July.
12 Q. I'm not with you.
13 A. What I'm saying is that what Cibo wanted to do with his policy.
14 Q. You mean the 17th and the 18th?
15 A. Yes. When things that happened in Konjic were supposed to happen
16 in Doljani as well. However, the timely intervention of our Main Staff
17 prevented that.
18 Q. And you mentioned 20th --
19 A. 28th. It did not happen then but it did happen on the 28th of
20 July. What happened was that the Muslim forces from Jablanica stormed
21 into Doljani, carried out the massacre of 36 civilians, took away about
22 250 civilians, women, children including, to the camp in Jablanica.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] --
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Can we go to private session because
25 I need to something say.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos?
2 MR. BOS: Could we have the year he's talking about the 28th of
3 July but we'd like to have the year as well.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Witness?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was in July, 1993.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] And can we go to private session,
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session.
9 [Private session]
6 [Open session]
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm saying this because the Army of
8 BH army intended to carry this out already in the month of April. With
9 the arrival on the morning of the 17th, probably on the order of the Main
10 Staff, the blockade started being lifted off Doljani and Sovici, shooting
11 started in the surrounding -- in the neighbouring mountains and hills. We
12 were in Doljani all that time, with the civilians and with our battalion,
13 and all this stopped in the afternoon hours.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Were there any -- was there any fighting in Kosna Luka, that is
16 from Jablanica towards Doljani?
17 A. All that time, there was -- Doljani was being shelled from
18 mortars, there was shooting from the direction of Kosna Luka. However, in
19 the village of Doljani, there were certain groups, although they thought
20 that everybody had left Doljani, these groups were shooting and provoking
21 throughout the day of the 17th.
22 Q. Do you know who was the commander of the units which participated
23 in the conflict in Sovici on the side of the HVO?
24 A. Since the command of -- in Konjic was informed, and they in turn
25 informed the Main Staff, and given the units that were there at the time,
1 I believe that it could have been only Mr. Petkovic or the commander of
2 the zone in charge of that area, and that is Mr. Mica Lasic.
3 Q. You said that the fighting stopped in the afternoon. Do you know
4 when the fighting stopped in the afternoon? Did somebody surrender? How
5 did this all end? In Sovici, I mean.
6 A. The commander, Mr. Stipe Pole, the commander of Sovici, told me
7 that the battalion commander, Dzemal Ovnovic had surrendered to him and
8 then this commander was asked to order all the others, other members of
9 the army, to surrender, because there was no further need for any
10 fighting, because that is what the situation was and the situation was in
11 favour of the HVO.
12 Q. Tell me about the ratio of forces in Sovici and Doljani, the ratio
13 of HVO forces vis-a-vis the BH Army forces that is before the conflict,
14 until the 17th?
15 A. Until the 17th, looking at the structure of the population, the
16 ratio was 50-50. Looking at the entire local commune. In Sovici, there
17 were about 70 per cent Muslims and 30 per cent Croats. This ratio was
18 impaired for a very simple reason. Quite a number of Muslims from other
19 municipalities came and settled in this village. I know some people
20 from Jajce. Then members of the army came here from Prozor across the
21 Baca hill. So in Sovici the ratio was 70-30.
22 Q. And the ratio of soldiers, how many men did you have in your
24 A. We had about 150 to 170 men, because a large part of our soldiers
25 had remained in Jablanica together with the civilians there. And
1 according to my knowledge, the Sovici Battalion counted about 250 men,
2 that is the BH Army.
3 Q. But how many HVO soldiers were there on the 17th to the 18th? How
4 many of the HVO troops were there?
5 A. About 150.
6 Q. And you said the BH Army?
7 A. About 250.
8 Q. I see. Do you know what happened to members of the BH Army on the
9 17th, those who surrendered in Sovici?
10 A. According to what I know, a military police platoon took those
11 soldiers to the military prison in Ljubuski.
12 Q. And this military police platoon was in Doljani all the time?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. And on the 17th of April, were all the members of the BH Army
16 A. No, because on the surrounding hills the fire still went on, and
17 in the days that followed, some of the members of that BH Army surrendered
18 to the military police. However, they stayed together with the civilians.
19 Q. And tell me, please, do you have any knowledge upon whose orders?
20 Military police took them to Ljubuski and when were they taken there,
21 according to what you know?
22 A. According to what I know they were taken there around noon on the
23 17th and I presume they had been taken because they had been ordered by
24 the commander of the military police.
25 Q. Do you know who physically drove them there? Was it military
1 police again or --
2 A. Yes, it was the military police.
3 Q. Let us move on now to another topic. What happened to civilians?
4 And please be quite open and quite straightforward. We have heard here
5 all kinds of testimony so let us hear it from you. What happened to
6 civilians in Sovici and Doljani?
7 A. As for the civilians in Doljani, they left during the night. That
8 part which stayed behind, because a certain part of them had stayed
9 behind, they all gathered in the hamlet of Basici. Civilians from
10 Sovici, by and large, gathered, they were looking where to put up, they
11 wanted to be in one place, and they picked out the hamlet of Junuzovici
12 because in a way it was outside the combat area and most of the
13 civilians put up there and some of the civilians also went to the hamlet
14 of Krkaca.
15 Q. And what about the school in Sovici, were there any civilians?
16 A. No, not in the Sovici school except later on the soldiers who
17 surrendered and were also civilians in parts. They were in the school in
19 Q. Can you tell us go whether anybody cared for them, did anybody
20 guard them and who?
21 A. I personally know, being the civilian HVO commander, I know that I
22 did my utmost to provide those people with basic medical care, and I mean
23 Dr. Vlado Luban, who regularly visited them, examined them. He is a
24 physician who before the war was the director of the health centre, and
25 all those civilians know him very well. He regularly -- they were
1 regularly visited by Mr. Miroslav Juric, who is the President of the
2 Catholic Charities Society, in case they were short of food or anything
3 else. He attended to that, as far as I know, the civilians lived
4 normally. It was the area of combat operations so they lived in fear but
5 there was no harassment or anything else.
6 Q. And how did you organise food for them?
7 A. They could go home without any problem whatsoever but since there
8 were many troops in the village and all sorts of things, they preferred to
9 be to keep together. They cooked their own food, as I said Mr. Juric
10 visited them so that in case there were short of anything they would be
11 supplied with it.
12 Q. Tell me, please, your personal knowledge, did those civilians stay
13 with you all the time or not? If not, when did they leave? Will you
14 please tell the Court about that?
15 A. After these conflicts, when the press service of the BH Army --
16 used it in the media and kept inciting the public saying that everything
17 that moved in Sovici had been killed or burnt down, European monitors,
18 UNPROFOR, I don't know, various other organisations they could come and
19 see for themselves how the civilians were living. I know concretely of a
20 visit of Mr. Petkovic and Sefer Halilovic, accompanied by Mr. Berislav
21 Pusic, chairman of the exchange commission, representing Herceg-Bosna, and
22 Hasan Rizvic, their representative of the army command from Jablanica.
23 Q. And Hasan Rizvic was, what was his office?
24 A. He was the commander of the army in Doljani and then when they
25 moved to Jablanica he was made responsible for the exchange on behalf of
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 the BH Army.
2 Q. Can you remember the date when that was?
3 A. No, I couldn't really.
4 Q. What about the month?
5 A. All I know that during that contact we were told that those
6 civilians had asked in view of all that was happening to be transferred to
7 the territory held by the BH Army that is to Jablanica and that that be --
8 Q. Yes, you may. Just slow down.
9 A. And that it be done, that is that they simply be transferred. And
10 we asked or rather Minister Pusic that is what he told us later on he said
11 that there would be no problem but he also requested that Croat civilians
12 be released from Jablanica because they also wanted to get out, and there
13 were about 600 of them. Further on, the Croats from Konjic and especially
14 from the village of Radasina, where another massacre had taken place, they
15 were also asking to be released. It was said that both requests would be
16 met. And on the basis of that understanding, between Petkovic and
17 Halilovic, and I believe it was in sometime in the beginning of May, that
18 is on the 4th or the 5th of May, I can't say exactly those civilians were
19 transferred or rather they were driven away to the territory controlled
20 by, that is to Jablanica, that is to the territory controlled by the BH
21 Army. However, the Croats from Jablanica were not allowed to do the same.
22 And half of them ended up in prison later on and another half were sent to
23 some labour platoons, subjected to particular torture for the duration of
24 that, that is until the 1st of March, 1993.
25 Q. Now, please, I do not know if I understood you well. I'd like to
1 clear this up for the Honourable Court. So you said that Petkovic and
2 Halilovic agreed the exchange Berislav Pusic on behalf of the HZ HB,
3 Hasan Rizic on behalf half of the BH Army and they agreed on the release
4 of civilians. And the civilians in Sovici leave and the Croats never
6 A. Never.
7 Q. And who was the operative officer responsible for the exchange?
8 Was it Minister Pusic or somebody else?
9 A. I don't know, I don't know, I guess it was he.
10 Q. Tell me, please, let us move on to another subject and let us be
11 very open about it. We have heard here about houses being put fire to,
12 about mosques being damaged. So let us move into that area. Tell us, did
13 the mosque in -- what happened to this mosque in Sovici? What do you know
14 about that?
15 A. The mosque in Sovici and in Doljani was mined.
16 Q. Mined? What do you mean mined?
17 A. Well, it means that it was demolished, that explosives were
19 Q. You mean dynamite?
20 A. Yes, I mean dynamite. At night. We requested the military
21 police and others to investigate and establish who had done it because
22 that was a crime. And we are ashamed of that to this day. We still feel
23 the shame. The military police conducted an investigation but I
24 personally never learned who had done that.
25 Q. Do you remember the date perhaps?
1 A. That was on the 18th or maybe 19th or the 17th I'm not quite sure.
2 Q. So you are telling us 18th, 17th or perhaps 18th to 19th?
3 A. Yes, yes, yes.
4 Q. I see. And what happened to houses? Were they indeed torched?
5 What happened to them?
6 A. The houses were by and large set on fire. After all these
7 happenings, towards the end of 1993, Muslim houses were also set on fire
8 but not all of them and Croat houses too, in a large part of these hamlets
9 one could say that most of the villages were burnt down. The houses
10 were torched during the operations themselves, that is in the course of
11 the operations, the houses were destroyed and burnt, and a large number of
12 houses were also torched later on during those operations. Who did that,
13 I cannot know of any personal knowledge but I know that it was out of any
14 control and we were really decisively against it resolutely against that,
15 but naturally the troops came from all over it was impossible for us, like
16 civilian commander under the command of a small battalion, we could not
17 prevent it, we could not put an end to that, but I can tell you that it
18 was beyond any control, but nevertheless there are some Muslim houses in
19 Doljani which were never torched but I must also say that a number of them
20 were torched after the 27th, 28th.
21 Q. You year you mean?
22 A. 1993. And after this massacre in Doljani, a certain knowledge
23 that we gained and that we received --
24 Q. And then a large number of houses were burnt?
25 A. They were burnt.
1 Q. What happened to the civilians after the 27th, that is in Sovici
2 and Doljani, did they stay there or did they leave?
3 A. The civilians in Doljani, I have already said they were all taken
4 to the museum in Jablanica and from Sovici they simply moved out towards
5 West Herzegovina or Croatia or wherever they could be accommodated, so
6 that the village practically remained empty with nobody but troops in it.
7 Q. And now I'd like to ask you to move towards conclusion. Are you
8 aware that members of -- if the members of the Convicts Battalion were in
9 Sovici and Doljani between the 17th, 18th, 19th?
10 A. I know that in the operations, soldiers from Tomislavgrad
11 participated, also from Posusje, Siroki, that there were ATG groups which
12 practically -- were not in Sovici itself. They went along the edges of
13 the village to positions held by the army, to neutralise those positions,
14 because fire was coming from there, and that is the area above Sovici,
15 Pasije Stijene for instance, Bacina, Pisvir, all the way to Kosna Luka
16 because our principal objective was to establish a defence line facing
17 Jablanica because that is where the village was -- where the thrust of the
18 attack against the village came from. So that from what I know, and from
19 the command, these ATGs did not come down to the village of Sovici itself.
20 Q. But did you see them in Kosna Luka? Will you tell the Honourable
21 Court how did they get to Kosna Luka which way did they take?
22 A. Well, as I have said they followed on the edge, Pasije Stijene,
23 Bacina, Pomen, Pisvir, 904 feature, that is also Tovarnica.
24 Q. Perhaps it would be easier for you I have a photographer here this
25 is Exhibit 8.2 and we could perhaps show it and perhaps you could point at
1 those mountains and which route did they take to come down to Kosna Luka?
2 And perhaps it could be put on the ELMO and you will show us then. You
3 keep on talking until we get the signal.
4 A. They climbed down between features 902 and 904, between Tovarnica
5 and they took that road between these two hills to come down to Kosna
7 Q. Now we have got it on, take this pointer show us which road that
8 they took to come down to Kosna Luka
9 Q. It's still on not. We're waiting and we'll come back to this.
10 Tell me, did you see Mr. Naletilic in Doljani and Sovici or Sovici, if
11 yes, when and where?
12 A. I saw Mr. Naletilic in the afternoon, in the evening on the 19th,
13 in front of the command in Doljani. When he came with two or three of his
14 men, since I was the commander of the civilian part of the HVO and Stipe
15 Pole, as the military commander, and that was the first time that I met
16 Mr. Mladen Naletilic. However, that day, some very regrettable things
17 happened that day, that is that day practically three soldiers, members of
18 that ATG group were killed, and Mr. Naletilic, from what I know, was there
19 only briefly and he said that he had to go back in order to prepare for
20 the funeral of those three members of that ATG group.
21 Q. Did you talk with him?
22 A. Yes, but it -- very briefly because he was with his men and he
23 said that he was very sorry, as far as I can remember, that one soldier
24 was Boka, and he was his neighbour and he said he simply had to go to his
25 family in Siroki and he left that command in no time.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And what about the ATGs? Did they leave?
2 A. Yes, they left, those who had been with him but as far as I can
3 remember, Mr. Cikota stayed on at the feature, at that Tovarnica, because
4 he was to reinforce the positions facing Jablanica together with our home
6 Q. And did those ATGs ever come back to Sovici or Doljani after the
8 A. I did not see them.
9 Q. Very well. And my last question.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could we go into private session,
11 please? And we shall wait for the ELMO to work, but then will you use the
12 marker and draw the route which the ATGs took and my last question but can
13 we go into private session? And then I will turn you over to my learned
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
16 [Private session]
18 [Open session]
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] ATG groups took this edge of the
20 village on the other side is the Pomeli municipality and the Muslims had
21 taken this whole part of the hill. Pasije Stijene, and Bacina Mount for
22 a simple reason and I absolutely must tell it, in order to control the
23 village of Doljani, and Ravno hydro power plant as the principal power
24 generating facility. It was their strategic goal. It wasn't only that
25 they wanted to take the village, so they had deployed their forces on the
1 Bacina Mountain, Pomen, Oklanice, Pisvir is behind there and all this way
2 here, so the ATG group moved in that direction, this is where 904 feature
3 is, here is 902, and between them in Tovarnica where they climbed down.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
5 Q. Now, wait now in Tovarnica just draw an arrow, an arrow down
6 pointing at Doljani, just do that and telling us which date was it when
7 they climbed down.
8 A. It was on the 20th of April, and before that, before they
9 descended -- before that descent the leader of that ATG group, Cikota, was
10 killed and he had our home guards with him.
11 Q. And where did these ATGs come down from the mountain to Kosna
13 A. To Kosna Luke? On the 19th, except that on the 19th they came
14 down on the 19th, and when they came down it was then that Boka was killed
15 and Cikota stayed behind, that is up in the hills, with the home guards,
16 in order to reinforce the line and he was killed on the 20th.
17 Q. Now, you have this marker. Take the black marker and just draw an
18 arrow from Tovarnica to Kosna Luka.
19 A. [marks]
20 Q. Thank you very much and just the documents.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could our honourable Madam Registrar
22 give the documents to the witness at the same time. D1/392, 393, 394,
23 395, 396, and 397?
24 Q. Witness, everybody warns me and I was really in the wrong too.
25 Will you please slow down? Everybody warns me. You do not have to read
1 these documents, will you just cast a look at those documents? Don't read
2 through them because these documents are self explanatory and if you are
3 reading any of them, then tell us now I'm reading document such and such
4 because you have a number down there?
5 A. I'm talking about documents D1/392 tell us are you familiar with
6 that document or not?
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. Go on.
9 A. D1/393. I'm familiar with it. Document D1/394.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos?
11 MR. BOS: Could I just ask, what does it mean if the witness says,
12 "I'm familiar with the document"? Could he give some more explanation
13 other than saying he's familiar with it.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Just say what is it that you're familiar with, the incident
17 described, the document itself?
18 A. No, no, no. I mean I know about the incidents that described
20 Q. So that is what you mean?
21 A. Yes, when I say that I'm familiar with.
22 Q. Witness, will you please give us the document, the number of the
23 document and the date? I think that every document must bear a signature
25 A. So the document D1/394 [RealTime transcript read in error
1 "D1/354"], the 15th of April, 1993.
2 Q. I don't know. The document, the transcript is wrong because it
3 says 354, it should be 394.
4 A. Yes, 394.
5 Q. Let's move on.
6 A. Yes. Document D1/395 of the 23rd of March, 1993. No.
7 Q. You don't know this document?
8 A. No, I don't. Document D1/396, 11th of January, 1993, yes, I'm
9 aware of the problem that the document refers to. And document D1/397, of
10 the 19th of January, 1993, no, I'm not aware of it, but now that I read
11 this, I see that it reflected the reality on the ground. And what
12 happened at the time, and how they were getting ready.
13 Q. Right. And now let's go to documents of the Prosecution, 362 and
14 360. These are orders issued by Mr. Milivoj Petkovic. Will you please
15 have a look at them?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm very glad to say that this
17 document has been translated into French, Your Honour, Judge Diarra.
18 A. Document 4 of May, 1993, yes, I'm familiar with it. And document
19 362, dating 5 of May, 1993, yes.
20 Q. Thank you, sir, for coming here and I hope that you have assisted
21 this Chamber in getting a complete picture of the events. I have
22 finished, Your Honours, I have no further questions.
23 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, we still have 15 minutes to go. At the
24 beginning of the direct examination, Mr. Krsnik asked for a short break
25 before the cross-examination.
1 MR. KRSNIK: Tomorrow. The meeting is tomorrow, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, I'm just asking you, Witness, whether you are
3 ready to continue for another 15 minutes for cross-examination by the
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, yes.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos. We have to stop at quarter to 2.00
8 MR. BOS: Yes, Your Honour.
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Bos.
10 Q. Good afternoon, Witness NN, I will call you Witness NN as you are
11 a protective witness.
12 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P2 and Exhibit P906
13 which are two maps? I'll also provide the exhibits which I intends to use
14 for the cross-examination of this witness. If I could ask the usher to
15 put Exhibit P2 the map, if it's there on the overhead projector, please?
16 P2. If I can assist the registry, we have a copy here of Exhibit P2. The
17 other exhibit which I will need shortly is Exhibit P906. If this map
18 could be pleased placed on the ELMO, please?
19 Q. Now, witness, in front of you you have some of the municipalities
20 in Herzegovina, and I'd like to focus on the municipality of Jablanica
21 which is the topic of discussion here today, so I don't know if we can
22 focus out a bit. That's fine. Please stop.
23 Now, Witness, is it correct that the municipality of Jablanica is
24 strategically a very important municipality?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. And one of the reasons why it's such an important strategic
2 important municipality is that the two main roads which go up north to
3 Bosnia and to Sarajevo run through this municipality? Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Isn't it also true that the major power stations of
6 Bosnia-Herzegovina are actually found in this municipality?
7 A. In addition to elsewhere, there are also some in Jablanica.
8 Q. Isn't it true that the major power stations are in Jablanica?
9 A. No.
10 Q. But there are power stations in Jablanica?
11 A. There is one.
12 Q. And where is that power station? Could you indicate it on the map
14 A. It is in Jablanica itself. In the town.
15 Q. Could we now place Exhibit 906 on the overhead projector? Now,
16 witness, this is a map of Bosnia-Herzegovina which indicates all the
17 municipalities, and the municipalities indicated in the red colour or
18 orange colour are the municipalities which consist -- which consisted the
19 territory of Herceg-Bosna as it was founded on the 18th of November,
20 1991. Would you agree with me on that?
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really don't know
22 whether this is the Prosecutor's tactic to prevent me from finishing with
23 my witnesses. I believe that I've followed your guidelines. I have
24 followed your instructions closely. I was very specific. I did not go
25 outside 1993, whereas my learned friend starts with the map of HZ HB and
1 the 11th of November, 1991. This is my objection, and please decide, and
2 I always trust your wisdom.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we believe this question is related
4 to this case, and we'll see where Mr. Bos will lead us, and if he is going
5 to -- somewhere far away, we'll stop him.
6 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honours.
7 Q. So, Witness, my question was, does the area indicated in orange
8 reflect the territory of Herceg-Bosna as it was founded in 1991?
9 A. I can say for Jablanica, yes.
10 Q. And isn't it true, Witness NN, that Jablanica also fell in one of
11 the cantons as it was assigned to the Vance-Owen Peace Plan, one of the
12 canton that is was assigned to the Bosnian Croats?
13 A. I believe so.
14 Q. Well, Witness, wouldn't you agree with me that although the
15 majority of the population in Jablanica was Muslim, that this municipality
16 was very important for the Bosnian Croats to gain control because of its
17 strategic position and because of its resources?
18 A. It was very important for anybody, because of its position.
19 Q. Okay. That's for now for the maps. Now, Witness, at the end of
20 your examination-in-chief you were shown a few documents by the Defence
21 and I would just like to have you to have another look at Exhibit D1/397.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My witness has looked at me when the
24 Prosecutor said Bosnian Croats. I kindly ask my learned friend not to say
25 Bosnian Croat. They are Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina. There is no such
1 thing a thing as a Bosnian Croat, so can my learned friend address the
2 witness in that way and use that term? Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, it seems that we have already arrived at
4 agreement on using of the terms.
5 MR. BOS: I will do so, Your Honour.
6 Q. Witness, you have Exhibit D1/397 in front of you? I think you
7 do. Let me just -- upon asking to comment on this document, you said that
8 this document reflected the reality on the ground. Is that correct? Is
9 that what you testified?
10 A. I testified and said that the BH Army, all the time prepared
11 itself in order to cleanse Jablanica of Croats and to destroy the HVO and
12 I testified that this document corroborates the fact that this was done
13 systematically and in a coordinated manner.
14 Q. Well, Witness NN, if you testified that -- if you talk about
15 cleansing it seems to me that you're talking about offensive actions and
16 if you just look at paragraph 2 of this document, which reads as follows:
17 "The BH Army units in the area of Jablanica and Konjic, SO, should be in
18 full combat readiness and prepared for persistent defence in case of
19 attack." So this paragraph talks about defensive actions rather than
20 offensive actions, doesn't it?
21 A. Mr. Prosecutor, in Jablanica, we were a very small ethnic group
22 and not for a single moment did we build our defence in order to attack.
23 This is just ridiculous, farcical, that we could do anything in Jablanica
24 municipality where we were less than 10 per cent. There were about 2.000
25 of us and about 20.000 Muslims and for us to be preparing for an attack
1 was practically impossible.
2 Q. All right. Isn't it true that HVO troops outside the municipality
3 could actually move into the municipality and assist the HVO? And if you
4 look at paragraph 5 of this same document, it says, "Prevents movements,
5 regrouping or advance by HVO units from other municipalities in your zone
6 of responsibility." Isn't that exactly what happened, Witness NN?
7 A. In the area of Jablanica municipality, there were no other HVO
8 forces, just the Mijat Tomic Battalion until the moment we asked for the
9 area to be deblocked.
10 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I'm going to move to a different topic so
11 maybe this is a good time to end.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Witness, I'm afraid that we have to keep you for
13 another day. We will continue tomorrow morning. You have to understand
14 that you're still under the oath so during your stay in The Hague, do not
15 talk to anybody about your testimony and do not let anybody talk to you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand.
17 JUDGE LIU: So we will rise until tomorrow morning at 9.00 in the
18 same courtroom.
19 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
20 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
21 the 25th day of June, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.