1 Friday, 28 June 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.05 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: Thank you. Could we have the witness, please? So
9 that witness will have the same protective measures as before?
10 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, Your Honour.
11 [The witness entered court]
12 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good morning.
14 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
15 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
18 WITNESS: WITNESS NQ
19 [Witness answered through interpreter]
20 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
24 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
25 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
1 A. Good morning.
2 Q. I'm now going to ask the usher to give you a piece of paper on
3 which it says your name. Don't say your name but if it is indeed your
4 name, just say yes.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Witness, a few instructions, like every other witness, I would
7 kindly ask you because of the interpretation into two languages, can you
8 please follow the dot on the monitor in front of you? When the dot stops,
9 then it would be the best time to start giving your answer because the
10 most important thing is that my question and your answer do not overlap.
11 Try to find a medium speed. I know that you don't find yourself in such
12 situations very often but this is really very important. Please bear that
13 in mind and bear in mind another thing. You have protective measures. Do
14 not say anything that would reveal your identity. If there is something
15 like that you wish to say, we will ask to go into private session so that
16 only we in the courtroom can hear what you're say. Let's get down to
17 business. Kindly please introduce yourself to the Court, just briefly,
18 where you were born, what schools you finished and so on and so forth.
20 Q. Did you organise the defence of Siroki Brijeg? If the answer is
21 yes, how did you do that?
22 A. Yes, we were the ones who organised the defence of Siroki Brijeg.
23 First we organised this staff and later on, we started organising units,
24 gradually, because whether we saw that the war was inevitable is it
25 already started in some places in Bosnia-Herzegovina then we started
1 organising units. After the shelling of Siroki Brijeg, I think it was on
2 6 April, the work intensified so we organised, we established three
3 battalions. The first one was the Poskok Battalion, the second one was the
4 Blatska [phoen] and the third one was the Celinska Bojna Battalion. The
5 staff then decided after the war broke out in Siroki Brijeg, our soldiers
6 who had gone to Croatia to fight in Croatia, they returned to defend their
7 homes and placed themselves at the disposal of the municipal staff. And
8 then the municipal staff made a decision to use these men who had been in
9 the war in Croatia, and to make a special unit composed of those men and
10 this task was given to Mr. Naletilic and Mr. Andabak and they were the
11 ones who established another unit that the municipal staff called Convicts
12 Battalion, because some of its members were those who had been persecuted
13 in the former Yugoslavia, emigrants, and that's how the name was given to
14 this unit.
15 Q. All these units participated in the liberation of Mostar?
16 A. No. First they participated in the liberation of Siroki Brijeg
17 and then in the liberation of Mostar.
18 Q. And now just briefly, tell me in 1992, did your military
19 engagement stop?
20 A. Actually the engagement of these units --.
21 Q. And if the answer is yes, how did that happen?
22 A. Yes, the engagement was terminated in the late 1992. We had a
23 lot of soldiers, that cost a lot of money, and that's why we demobilised
24 some of the troops except for one unit. That was agreed with the
25 municipal staff in Mostar. They were kept to man the line because the
1 enemy was far enough and could no longer threaten Siroki Brijeg. That's
2 why we carried out demobilisation. We remained, we retained just one
3 unit, the Convicts Battalion was also partly demobilised but by then, they
4 were also decimated.
5 Q. Tell me, the demobilised men, did the municipality have any
6 commitment towards them, towards those who were demobilised or those who
7 went and joined wars in some other countries of Europe?
8 A. We already had a number of conscripts outside working abroad, so
9 some of them returned and the municipality decided that they could remain
10 abroad but that they had the obligation to pay 300 German marks a month
11 towards the defence of their native town. I would also like to say that
12 we already had about 2.000 conscripts abroad even before the war. They
13 were emigrants working abroad before the war.
14 Q. Tell me, please, did you pay salaries to the soldiers of the HVO
15 in Siroki Brijeg? If the answer is yes, how were they paid?
16 A. The yes is answer. We didn't call those salaries. The municipal
17 staff made a decision that the money that we received, people didn't work,
18 the war went on for a long time, there was no money, so we decided that
19 money that we received would be given as assistance or aid to the
20 soldiers. We did not call those salaries. And that was carried out
21 through the defence office.
22 Q. Sir, I believe that you are the most -- the best person to resolve
23 a dilemma here for the Honourable Court and for myself. First of all, let
24 me ask you who was in charge of the list or the register of conscripts or
25 soldiers who were entitled to salaries? And the second question is going
1 to refer to ranks but first, things first, who was in charge of compiling
2 the list of soldiers who were entitled to salaries?
3 A. In 1993.
4 THE INTERPRETER: Sorry, the interpreter missed that. I think it
5 was the defence department or defence office.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
7 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President, on the English version, I
8 just heard the interpreter say that she had missed something.
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
10 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps we could --
11 JUDGE LIU: I believe it's too fast, that the interpreters could
12 not follow you, Mr. Krsnik. Would you please repeat your question slowly
13 and one by one? Then ask the witness to answer it one by one.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise.
15 Q. Sir, we have a problem but this is my mistake. I'm more
16 experienced than you. But sometimes I will speed up as well. Let's go
17 back to my first question: Who was in charge of compiling the list, the
18 register of soldiers who were entitled to salaries?
19 A. The lists were compiled by the Defence office. My office. My
20 service. And as for the Convicts Battalion, the commander would bring the
21 list to the office, they were volunteers, and they would bring the lists
22 to the office, and we would check those lists. We would take the lists to
23 the municipality and then the commander would come, take over the money,
24 and would distribute the money amongst his soldiers.
25 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, it's just two of the Judges have problems
1 with the computer but we will have to manage along until the break. It's
2 just difficult to read.
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Please continue, Mr. Krsnik.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
5 Q. Now can you tell this Honourable Court whether there were -- what
6 I'm getting at is whether there were any abuses or misuses of these
7 payment lists? Did you come across such things in your office? Were
8 there any attempts to put people on the lists although they did not belong
9 to any of these units?
10 A. Yes. There were such things. People were greedy at times, and
11 that's why these lists were double checked by the office.
12 Q. Tell me, what was the number of soldiers in 1993 in the Convicts
14 A. It was a small unit. They had about 50 to 60 soldiers at the
16 Q. Did that number go over 60 at any time?
17 A. No, at no time did it go over 60.
18 Q. My second question that we are all interested in, during this
19 hearing, we heard that there were ranks in 1992 or 1993, a colonel, a
20 major, can you please explain to the Honourable Court about ranks in
21 1993? Were there any ranks, if they did, whether were they introduced and
22 were you personally involved in that process?
23 A. In 1993, there were no ranks. There were just command duties or
24 posts but there were no ranks. The ranks were introduced only later, in
25 1994. I know that for a fact because every rank assignment has -- had to
1 be notified to the Defence office. They are assigned by the decree of the
2 president. Then this is sent to the unit, and I claim here before you
3 that we never received any such decree on the assignment of any ranks.
4 Q. In what year?
5 A. In 1993.
6 Q. Must every rank be published in the Official Gazette?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. So this is newspaper which carries laws and bills?
9 A. Yes. It has to be published in the Official Gazette.
10 Q. Do these official gazettes exist?
11 A. Yes, they do.
12 Q. Please, do you know Mr. Mladen Naletilic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Since when have you -- do you know him?
15 A. From the beginning of the war, when he returned from emigration.
16 Q. Tell me, did Mr. Naletilic play a political or military role
17 during the war in Herzegovina in 1993?
18 A. No, no. He didn't belong to any party, as far as I know.
19 Q. Did he discharge any duties? Did he have any function in 1993, to
20 your knowledge?
21 A. Yes. The municipal assembly, towards the end of 1992, at one of
22 its sessions, removed the entire municipal leadership. The new municipal
23 leadership was appointed, and the -- Mr. Ivan Culjak was appointed mayor.
24 Mr. Naletilic was the deputy mayor but it was a voluntary post and then
25 there was Miro Kraljevic, Zdenko Cosic, Mr. Banozic [phoen] and Marijan
1 Hrkac and myself. I also joined the municipal leadership.
2 Q. Please, can you tell this Honourable Court where was the command
3 of the Convicts Battalion and did soldiers, including the soldiers,
4 members of the Convicts Battalion, where were they stationed, where
5 were -- where were they stationed, the army in Siroki Brijeg, including
6 the Convicts Battalion?
7 A. The command was in Siroki Brijeg and it was one -- it was
8 stationed in one place. All the brigades, all the commands were at one
9 place, and so it was a unique command for everybody and we did not have
10 any barracks. The soldiers mainly stayed at home, and whenever they were
11 needed they would be called and they would be sent out to the ground.
12 Q. Please, do you know whether there were any re-establishments or
13 reorganisations throughout 1993? If yes, when did that happen?
14 A. The answer is yes, yes there were reorganisations, when -- after
15 the demobilisation of some of the troops, the department -- defence office
16 received an order to establish a brigade, and we acted on that order. The
17 brigade was established and then later on it got the name Marijan Hrkac,
18 Cikota, so that's when we established the Siroki Brijeg brigade.
19 Q. What year are you referring to?
20 A. I'm referring to the beginning of 1993.
21 JUDGE LIU: It is too fast. It is impossible for the interpreters
22 to follow you.
23 And witness, I understand that you are eager to give your evidence
24 but you have to understand that whatever you said has to be translated
25 into the other two languages used in this courtroom. So please make a
1 pause after you hear the question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do apologise.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
5 Q. And tell me, after that, were there any re-establishments,
6 realignments, what you told us about, did this happen later in 1993, and
7 if so, when?
8 A. As for these units, they were realigned. In 1993, towards the end
9 of 1993, perhaps the beginning of 1994, we had a re-establishment again.
10 We re-established into a regiment. And then these professional guards
11 brigades were set up.
12 Q. Did this re-establishment affect the Convicts Battalion? If so,
14 A. The Convicts Battalion was also re-established. I think it was in
15 mid-1993. It was re-established, because part of the soldiers went to an
16 unit called Kraljevic. It was a special unit that went to Mostar. I
17 don't know.
18 Q. I'm asking you about the end of 1993. Was there any
19 re-establishment and did this re-establishment affect what you started
20 telling us about now, that is to say the Convicts Battalion?
21 A. Towards the end of 1993, all these smaller units were disbanded
22 and they all came to be part of the guards brigade and the remainder of
23 the guards brigade was manned by volunteers from all over. That is to say
24 that the Convicts Battalion and all other such groups were extinguished to
25 so to speak.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note, could the witness please
2 speak into the microphone? We have trouble hearing him.
3 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, both of you are going so fast in the
4 last ten minutes that I haven't been able to follow. I really, I can
5 hardly take a note. I'm looking at the computer and trying to listen to
6 what you're saying. Could you go back again on -- if you don't mind.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] By all means, Your Honour. Thank you
8 for having cautioned us.
9 JUDGE CLARK: From all the command units were in one place and
10 then the Siroki Brijeg Brigade got the name Marijan Hrkac, Cikota.
11 After that it's really way too fast. And it's important evidence for your
12 client and obviously for us.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] By all means, Your Honour. Thank you
14 for having cautioned us.
15 Q. Witness, let us move on slowly now. Could you please tell the
16 Honourable Trial Chamber, from 1992, to 1993, the end of 1993, how many
17 re-establishments were there, I'm referring to the units belonging to
18 Siroki Brijeg. Please proceed slowly.
19 A. At the beginning of 1993, we had a re-establishment in Siroki
20 Brijeg set up a brigade which consisted of four companies, battalions, and
21 the same thing happened to the Convicts Battalion, and towards the end of
22 1993, we had yet another re-establishment. These small units were
23 disbanded, especially the special ones, and all of them became part of the
24 2nd Guards Brigade a professional unit, and as for the rest of the home
25 guards, according to the order, various regiments were formed in different
2 Q. So that Siroki Brijeg Brigade now was re-established towards the
3 end of 1993 and it was transferred to the home guards regiment?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And what happened then?
6 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter could not catch the witness's
7 answer it overlapped the question, I'm sorry.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
9 Q. Witness, please, wait at least for a few seconds after I finish my
10 question, and then start answering. We really are having a problem now.
11 You mentioned that the brigade changed its name into Marijan Hrkac,
12 Cikota. When did that happen, in which year, do you recall the month as
13 well? And what was the name of the brigade before that?
14 A. Before that, before that, it was called the Siroki Brijeg
15 Brigade. After one of the great veterans of Siroki Brijeg got killed,
16 Marijan Hrkac, Cikota, the unit was named -- we named it after this hero
17 of ours, this brigade was named the Marijan Hrkac Cikota Brigade. And I
18 think this was in mid-1993.
19 Q. Please, could you be so kind as to tell the Honourable Trial
20 Chamber from the beginning until the end of 1993, do you personally know
21 who the commander of the Convicts Battalion was?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Slow down, please. Just wait a second. Now proceed.
24 A. From the beginning of 1993, after the Convicts Battalion was
25 re-established, then Marijan Hrkac Cikota and Ivan Andabak took over the
2 Q. What about later?
3 A. Later, that was -- you mean after, after Cikota was killed? Then
4 this was taken over by Zeljko Vukoja, I think his name was. Yes, it was
5 Zeljko Vukoja.
6 Q. For the transcript, could you please be so kind as to repeat the
7 last name?
8 A. Vukoja.
9 Q. Fine. Were these the only commanders of the Convicts Battalion or
10 were there others?
11 A. Those were the only commanders.
12 Q. Tell me, did the Convicts Battalion had some divisions of its own
13 in other towns?
14 A. No, it didn't.
15 Q. Please let us move on to our last topic. Do you know whether
16 there were any detainees in Siroki Brijeg?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. It is being claimed here that they were taken out for forced
19 labour. So please tell the Trial Chamber everything you know about this.
20 A. They were not taken out for forced labour. That's the way I
21 should put it, because when the military police came -- actually, I'll
22 start from the beginning. A military policeman came to my office and said
23 that there were some detainees at the military police and he asked me
24 whether he could put them up somewhere around there because they would
25 carry out some kind of an interrogation. I said that I didn't know.
1 There are some rooms across the street from my -- across the hall from my
2 office. The left wing was empty because that was where the command of the
3 Siroki Brijeg Battalion was before, so these rooms were empty. There were
4 a few offices there, there was a toilet, there were some beds, and that's
5 the only thing that I said, but then I said that they had to ask the
6 mayor. He asked me, because they were in a hurry, that I call. I
7 telephoned the mayor then, and I said to him, "Mr. Mayor, some people came
8 here from the military police and asked me about detainees. Could we put
9 them up?" And he said, "If it doesn't bother you," I said that this is a
10 separate wing that this couldn't bother me. And then they put them up
11 there. And that's where they were. That's where they stayed. That's
12 also where the mess was. So that is where they got their food every day,
13 and then I carried out mobilisation of four men, four soldiers, they were
14 supposed to guard them. I did that personally at my own initiative,
15 because I also had a cousin who was a prisoner. So I took four men who
16 were serious people, teachers, professors, they were supposed to guard
17 them so that neither the civilians nor the military could come in and
18 mistreat them in any way. Mikulic was there, professor Mikulic. Then
19 Kutle, Lasic, teacher, and I can't remember now the fourth person. He
20 worked at the hotel. At any rate, they were serious men, they live
21 nearby. My messenger went to call them so I mobilised them so that they
22 would guard these prisoners. As for going out to work, I remember when
23 that happened, when the mayor called me. He called me.
24 Q. Please slow down?
25 A. I remember when the --
1 Q. Please slow down. We don't have to caution you all the time.
2 Please, Witness.
3 JUDGE CLARK: The problem, Mr. Krsnik, is this small courtroom.
4 The witness is looking at you rather than at the monitor. So if we look
5 at -- if you look at the monitor, Witness, and try not to look at
6 Mr. Krsnik, you might slow down. It's just this courtroom is so much
7 smaller than any of the others.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] May I proceed?
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
10 Q. Go ahead.
11 A. The mayor called me. The mayor called me, and I went up to see
12 him at the municipality. The director of Novogradnja was there and it's
13 the first time I met him. This is a construction company, Novogradnja.
14 And it was supposed to dig a canal for providing power for radio and TV
15 transmitters. The mayor asked me to mobilise some workers for him because
16 he could not carry it out as he did not have any workers available. I
17 said that I could not carry out this mobilisation at my own initiative
18 because military obligations supersedes work obligation. Then the mayor
19 said, "Well what about those prisoners? Can they?" And I said that they
20 were not under my authority, that they were under the authority of the
21 military police. The mayor then said that he would look into this, that
22 very often these international people came to see him for a cup of coffee,
23 whatever, this institution, and then he would ask whether they could be
24 engaged and the municipality would even pay something because the mayor
25 did not want to smear the name of Siroki Brijeg in any way. After a
1 while, I left and I saw that they did go.
2 Q. Do you know whether that -- they were paid for that work?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
4 MR. STRINGER: Excuse me, Mr. President, I just want to note that
5 the whole issue of use of prisoners for labour or not is not remotely
6 referenced in the witness summary that we've been provided. It's not
7 something I've prepared for in any way in terms of my cross-examination.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think at this stage, we have to hear what
9 happened to those prisoners, and I hope that during the breaks, you could
10 prepare your cross-examination. And at the same time, we are very sorry
11 to say, Mr. Krsnik, that if you want to directly examine this witness on
12 certain subjects, you have to inform the other party about the main
13 subjects of your direct examination.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, Mr. Stringer was
15 sitting in this courtroom when a witness testified, I don't dare say who,
16 and he exactly described which posts they held, et cetera. And then I
17 heard that testimony and then when the witness came here, then he told me
18 this story and then I said that he could repeat it here. Now, I cannot
19 know everything in advance what each witness knows and what each witness
20 can testify about.
21 Your Honours, please, if this trial is being followed, a witness
22 described everything about this witness and the post of this witness, and
23 the position he held. Mr. Stringer indeed knew everything about this
24 witness. So he can not say things like this to me.
25 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I could not agree with you that you
1 couldn't know everything about the testimony of this witness because this
2 is a direct examination, not cross-examination. In the cross-examination,
3 that kind of situation might happen but not in direct examination.
4 Yes, Mr. Stringer?
5 MR. STRINGER: Just a brief response, Mr. President. There is no
6 question that witnesses come and you learn things later rather than
7 earlier. I don't doubt that for a second. There is nothing to prevent
8 Mr. Krsnik from simply sending across to us a piece of paper or informing
9 us the day before that in fact it turns out this witness knows about
10 prisoners and labour and we want to ask him about that. And there is
11 nothing to prevent them from just giving us some sort of a notice before
12 time so that we can make some sort of a preparation but it's not anything
13 that we got in this respect.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think that request is legitimate. And
15 Mr. Krsnik, you have to take into consideration when we have next witness
16 with the same situation.
17 You may proceed, Mr. Krsnik.
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] By all means, Your Honour. And also,
19 what my distinguished colleague, Mr. Stringer said, I agree with that,
20 too. Well, any way, we do apologise.
21 Q. We left off at the question whether you personally had any
22 knowledge of this work being paid for to them.
23 A. The director came, he brought money, he wanted to give it to me
24 and I said that I was not authorised for this, and I told him to take this
25 to the military police and I told him where the military police was and I
1 honestly don't know anything more about that.
2 Q. I'm going to ask the usher to help us, please. This is the last
3 photograph I have left. This is 26.2. It's an aerial image. Could we
4 please have it placed on the ELMO? Could you please be so kind as to mark
5 where this office of yours was and where these detainees were? And since
6 you'll be doing that any way, could I please ask you to tell me where the
7 command of all these units of Siroki Brijeg was and what happened to the
8 other buildings at the tobacco station?
9 A. This is my office, on the left-hand side was this wing, and on the
10 left-hand office was the Defence office, the Defence department and on the
11 other side were those four or five rooms.
12 Q. Could you please take a magic marker and put a circle around
13 this? And could you please put U.O., meaning "odvjetnik," defence office?
14 A. [marks]
15 Q. Now put a circle around that building.
16 A. [marks]
17 Q. All right. And now, please put a circle -- now please put another
18 circle around the building where the command of all these units at Siroki
19 Brijeg was.
20 A. [marks]
21 Q. Tell me, what about these other buildings at this so-called
22 tobacco station?
23 A. The others up here, the former hangars, they didn't have any
24 windows or anything. It was also abandoned. There was nothing there.
25 Q. Now, please, could you mark the borders of this tobacco station so
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 that we would make things easier perhaps for the Trial Chamber?
2 A. [marks]
3 Q. This is perhaps a bit of a trouble, bit of trouble for you, but
4 could you put "A" where your office was and could you put the letter "B"
5 where these offices of the command were, so A and B above those two
7 A. [marks]
8 Q. Thank you very much, Witness. Are you familiar with the tobacco
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Was there any kind of detention centre, prison, or anything like
12 that at the tobacco station?
13 A. Could you please put this away? I can't follow this, and I don't
14 know when I should give my answer.
15 Q. Just press button number 4?
16 A. No, no, there was no such thing.
17 Q. Where was the building of the military police, do you know that?
18 A. Yes, yes. That was in the building of the former committee,
19 that's what we called it, at Siroki Brijeg.
20 Q. Excuse me, which committee?
21 A. Of the Communist Party of the former Yugoslavia. That was across
22 the street from the cinema, and of the police station.
23 Q. Very well. Thank you.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further
25 questions. I think that I've dealt with all the subjects. I forgot
1 something. My colleague reminded me. I would like to put an exhibit
2 before you. P704, please.
3 Q. Could you please take a look at this, leaf through it? Allegedly,
4 that's what it said here, this is a list for the payment of personal
5 income for November, 1993. And it was written on the 2nd of December,
6 1993. List for the payment of personal incomes for November, 1993,
7 allegedly all these persons are members of the Convicts Battalion. I
8 would like to lead you because I don't want this to go on too long. Were
9 there any combat groups?
10 A. I can't really call this a document. This is nothing. This has
11 nothing to do with the Convicts Battalion.
12 Q. First and foremost, I need to ask you something. It says here
13 Zeljko Radic, Zarko Vedicovic [phoen] and Josip Bosnjak and Jakob Travila
14 [phoen]. That is the command of the Convicts Battalion?
15 A. No.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, Mr. Stringer?
17 MR. STRINGER: What page are we on?
18 MR. KRSNIK: I don't know. In Croatian language, I don't have
19 your number. Third page in Croatian version. [Interpretation] And the
20 number is 00795355.
21 Q. So did you have a look at it? Was that the command of the
22 Convicts Battalion?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Please go to page on which it says SPSN, the Convicts Battalion,
25 5362 are the last four digits on the page. Tell me, did the Convicts
1 Battalion have the -- have artillery, logistics, mortars?
2 A. No. How could a unit consisting of 60 men have all that? We
3 never had any artillery in Siroki Brijeg.
4 Q. And now, SPSN, the Convicts Battalion, have you come to that
5 page? Do you see it?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Let me ask you: Do you know Mr. Ivan Hrkac, who is here under
8 number 7?
9 A. Ivan Hrkac, I guess I -- I -- if that is the brother of the late
10 Marijan Hrkac, then yes, I do know him.
11 Q. Do you know where he was in 1993?
12 A. He was in Croatia, in the Croatian police, I believe, and I think
13 he was in -- on the island of Korcula.
14 Q. And do you know Mrs. Miranda Lovric, Zana Lovric and Mirjana
15 Barbaric? Were they really members of the Convicts Battalion? They are
16 under numbers 9, 10 and 11.
17 A. No. Mirjana Barbaric, I think she was the mother of the late Boka
18 Barbaric, who was killed earlier on. I don't know what she would be doing
19 in the Convicts Battalion.
20 Q. And now under number 21, Danko Bilinovac. Do you know who that
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you tell the Chamber?
24 A. He is the chief of police in Siroki Brijeg.
25 Q. Was he a member of the Convicts Battalion in November, 1993?
1 A. No. He was the chief of police at the time.
2 Q. And then can you go to the next page and look at number 57, 58,
3 59, 60 and 61? Marijan Hrkac, Mihovil Zdunic, Boro Barbaric, Darko
4 Radman, and Stanislav Kraljevic, do you know these people?
5 A. Yes, of course I know them. I went to their funerals. They were
6 killed much earlier.
7 Q. Can you go to the third page, please? Number 67, Cedo Brkic, 68
8 Zlatko Spajic, 70, Miljenko Basic, 71, Dragan Ivankovic, 72, Dragan
9 Andric, 73, Mate Markic, 74, Zeljko Velc, 75, Damir Bazina, did
10 you read these names? Did you know these people?
11 A. Not all of them but most of them, yes, I do, and they were also
12 killed, and they were members of the Convicts Battalion.
13 Q. And can you find the names of any other people who were killed?
14 Do you have any other comments? Look at the back where it says, "Mortars,
15 artillery, signals, logistics." Can you see it where it says 16 people in
16 the logistics? Do you have any comment on that?
17 A. Can I comment?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. If this is a list for salaries, then this is really ridiculous.
20 It's a forgery, nothing else. The Convicts Battalion first of all had
21 only 60 soldiers and according to this list, this looks like a brigade,
22 like a much larger unit, and especially ridiculous and funny, it is where
23 it says that the Convicts Battalion Cico, Cicko, and there was just one
24 Convicts Battalion, the Convicts Battalion of Siroki Brijeg, with 60 men.
25 I really don't know what else to say about this list.
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no
2 further questions. I apologise, I'm sorry. All the time I have been
3 thinking of that and I even have a reminder, a huge reminder so that I
4 don't forget.
5 Q. Can you tell the Chamber, did you ever come across documents where
6 it is typed out that the commander is Mladen Naletilic and the signature
7 is by somebody else, especially by Mr. Ivan Andabak?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
9 MR. STRINGER: I suggest there is a better way to address this
10 issue rather than by this leading question.
11 JUDGE LIU: I think so. It's very leading, Mr. Krsnik. You have
12 to pose it another way.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I really don't know how to ask that
14 question. I don't know how to ask my witness whether he has ever come
15 across a document where one name is typed out and the other name is
16 signed. I really don't know how to ask that. And that is exactly what
17 I'm interested in. I really don't know how to go about asking such a
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, this question --
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can you please help me? Whatever you
21 tell me to do, I will do, if you can assist me with this.
22 JUDGE LIU: I think you question you asked is much better than the
23 previous one.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
25 Q. So you've heard my questions. Have you ever come across a
1 document where one name is typed out and the signature, handwritten
2 signature is by somebody else? Have you ever come across such documents?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And now for example, can I now ask, without risking your caution,
5 can you give me an example? Maybe that's the way I should put this
7 A. I'm supposed to give you an example?
8 Q. Yes. Have you ever come across such documents where one name is
9 typed out and the signature is by somebody else? Can you give me an
10 example of such a document?
11 A. Yes. There were such documents, and especially this was the case
12 with Mr. Andabak. Mr. Andabak would always use that, and I remember there
13 were other people who used that, but to a lesser extent because the
14 command was at the tobacco station where my office was, I even went one
15 time to see him, and I meant to ask him to make sure that the documents
16 that he sent to the defence department be correct, and I meant to ask him
17 to type out his name, and he got a little angry, and he said, "Tuta is our
18 legend, he's the pride of the Convicts Battalion. And for as long as I am
19 its commander, every piece of paper is going to bear his name." And then
20 I left. I did not take the matter any further.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] That would be all, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Stringer, are you -- would you prefer to
23 cross-examine this witness for another ten minutes or we break and we come
25 MR. STRINGER: Perhaps in the long run, it would be more efficient
1 to break now so that I can organise myself.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll break until 10.30. We will have a
3 25-minute break.
4 --- Recess taken at 10.05 a.m.
5 --- On resuming at 10.34 a.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer? Cross-examination, please.
7 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Is it possible I could
8 ask the technical booth to lower the ELMO? My view of the witness is
9 obstructed. That's fine. We are going to use the ELMO in couple of
10 minutes. That's the problem. If there is a way around it. That's
12 Cross-examined by Mr. Stringer:
13 Q. Good morning, sir. My name is Douglas Stringer, I'm going to ask
14 you some questions on behalf of the Prosecution. Sir, first let me ask
15 the usher if he could bring four documents that I want to ask you about,
16 236.01 will be the first. Sir, these documents -- this document, sir,
17 just a quick question. You can take a moment to look at it. I just
18 wanted to ask you whether this appears to be the document which is the
19 document in which you were appointed to the position that you held in
20 Siroki Brijeg, which you testified about?
21 A. I've looked at it.
22 Q. Sir, and perhaps we should go into private session, briefly,
23 Mr. President?
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
25 [Private session]
13 Page 13207 – redacted – private session
23 [Open session]
24 MR. STRINGER:
25 Q. Sir, in your capacity in executing the functions of the office
1 that you held in Siroki Brijeg, I believe you testified in your direct
2 that you were involved in the preparation of certificates, membership
3 certificates, the mobilisation, demobilisation, of HVO membership; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Records along those lines, membership certificates, call-up or
7 mobilisation notices, were those records kept in your office in Siroki
9 A. The records were sent to the Defence administration after a
10 certain time.
11 Q. At the time that the records were being made and -- made by you or
12 by your office, were copies of the records kept at the Defence department
13 in Siroki Brijeg?
14 A. Not all the copies but some of them, yes.
15 MR. STRINGER: I'd ask the witness be shown Exhibit 26.9, which is
16 the photograph. We might want to put it on the ELMO in a few moments.
17 Q. Witness, are you able to identify this place?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What is this?
20 A. This is the perimeter of the tobacco station.
21 Q. In that photograph, are you able to see the place where your
22 office was located?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Could I ask you to take a maker, the blue marker, and to put a
25 circle around the location of your office?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. [marks]
2 Q. On the ELMO, please, just so that we can see where -- what he
3 marked. Okay.
4 Now, Witness, do you know whether -- and I believe you may have
5 marked this already on the other photograph, did the Convicts Battalion
6 have any sort of an office or headquarters in this place we are calling
7 the tobacco station?
8 A. I've already answered that, the Convicts Battalion and the command
9 of the entire Siroki Brijeg army had its headquarters there, in the
10 tobacco station. Andabak also had an office there within this perimeter,
11 in one of these buildings. I can now see it better. I couldn't see it as
12 well on the previous photo.
13 Q. Would you be able to put a circle around the place that was this
14 headquarters for the Convicts Battalion and the other units that you've
15 referred to?
16 A. [marks]
17 Q. I should have asked to you put a number 2 just next to that so
18 that we know which place we are referring to in the record.
19 A. [marks]
20 Q. Witness, you may or may not know, in September of 1998, there was
21 a search and seizure operation which took place in Siroki Brijeg, and
22 investigators of this Tribunal came to Siroki Brijeg and obtained
23 documentation. Do you know about that?
24 A. Yes. They were in my office as well.
25 Q. They were in your office that you've circled on the photograph?
1 A. Yes, in my office. Nothing is marked, where nothing is marked.
2 There is no mark on that.
3 Q. They were in the premises of the tobacco station?
4 A. Yes, that's what we called the place.
5 Q. Do you know if they were also present in the place you've marked
6 as number 2, which was the military headquarters?
7 A. I don't know.
8 Q. Do you know if the Convicts Battalion accepted foreigners into its
10 A. I don't know that, because I only kept records of the conscripts
11 from Siroki Brijeg.
12 Q. Did any members of the Convicts Battalion stay in the Park Hotel
13 during 1993?
14 A. The hotel was open, they may have, but I don't know.
15 Q. The next exhibit, sir, is 542.3. It's in the binder. Witness,
16 while he's getting the document, let me ask you this: In terms of
17 mobilising young Croat men to join the HVO, do you recall whether
18 Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, ever personally intervened in your efforts to
19 mobilise members of the HVO? Whether he personally intervened on behalf
20 of any of these young men?
21 A. Not with me.
22 Q. Take a look at this exhibit, sir. This is a photocopy of a
23 document. What you're looking at are the front and back sides of the
24 document, copies of the front and back sides. My question, sir, just
25 looking at the front side or the typed -- the typed side, is this a
1 document that was issued by you or under your direction in respect of the
2 mobilisation of this person named Jozo Cavar?
3 A. This first piece of paper, this is a draft notice, but the
4 signature is not mine.
5 Q. The signature appears over your name, next to a stamp. Are you
6 able to tell us whether in fact this appears to be a mobilisation order
7 that would have been issued by you or on your behalf by someone acting
8 under your authority?
9 A. Yes. This could have been done by one of my clerks.
10 Q. And would a copy of this type of document have been kept in the
11 premises of the Defence office in Siroki Brijeg?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Why not?
14 A. When these are filled out, they are always ready, even in peace
15 time and they are sent either by mail, and we get the receipt, we get a
16 slip, saying that the person has received the mobilisation order, and this
17 is a mobilisation for a soldier, the second part is missing, and the
18 second part -- this is for the soldier. This part is for the soldier and
19 the second part is missing.
20 Q. What was -- what would have been contained in the second part
21 that's missing?
22 A. The same name of the person who has been called, and that that
23 person has received the mobilisation call, on a certain date, at a certain
24 time, and the person's signature, and if this was sent by a messenger,
25 then the messenger would get that, and if it was sent by mail, then the
1 post man would get that slip.
2 Q. Normally, then, the bottom half, bearing the signature of the
3 recipient, would that have been kept by your offices as a record that the
4 person in fact had received the call-up order?
5 A. When the person reports to the office, then we file the name of
6 that person, we open his chart, and then we don't need to keep that part
7 of the call-up paper any longer. So the part testifying that the
8 recipient has received it.
9 Q. Okay. I'm a little bit confused. Let's say that someone doesn't
10 want to come join the HVO. Let's say that this gentleman, Mr. Cavar, did
11 not come to the tobacco station as he had been directed to do. If you
12 don't keep, how do you have a record that he had in fact been called and
13 was supposed to have come on a certain day? You don't keep any of the
14 records yourself, how do you have a record that in fact he should present
15 himself to you?
16 A. I already told you, every conscript has its chart and book where
17 his name is recorded, and this is where we record these personal data.
18 Q. Now, turning to the next page, which is actually the back side of
19 the document, there is handwritten note over the name Tuta, saying,
20 "Please exempt this person who is already engaged in the Convicts
21 Battalion." Do you recognise this as being a note from Mladen Naletilic,
23 A. No. I am not familiar with Mr. Mladen Naletilic's signature, and
24 secondly, this is not the way how you communicate with a Defence office.
25 Q. The next exhibit is 605.2.
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, just for the record, I
3 would like to say that the Croatian version differs very much from the
4 English version. In the first sentence it says, "I am kindly asking
5 Mr. Colonel Cavar to except," and so on and so forth, and in the English
6 version it says only, "Colonel Cavar." And this makes a difference,
7 changes the meaning, because Colonel Cavar is no where in the body of the
8 text. It says just, "I'm kindly -- I'm asking Colonel Cavar," and so on
9 and so forth.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I think the interpreters will
11 check this. You may proceed, Mr. Stringer.
12 MR. STRINGER: 605.2.
13 Q. Witness, this is another one of these call-up notices issued on
14 the 18th of September, 1993. First question, sir, looking at the form,
15 disregarding the handwriting on it, just the form itself, again, is this
16 the type of call-up notice that would have been issued by your office in
17 the execution of its function?
18 A. Yes. It's the same call-up notice like the previous one.
19 Q. Is this one signed by you or is it signed by someone else?
20 A. This isn't my signature either.
21 Q. Was it -- did it happen from time to time that others would sign
22 over your -- over your name?
23 A. If I would be absent, a deputy would be appointed, but this isn't
24 his signature either. I don't know.
25 Q. The document itself, though, appears to be -- appears to you to be
1 like many of the others issued by your -- are you able to hear me?
2 A. I can barely hear you.
3 Q. Is that a little better now?
4 A. I can hear the gentleman very nicely but I can't hear the lady who
5 is interpreting. I mean, I can hear her but it's not loud enough.
6 Q. It's more important for you to hear her than for you to hear me.
7 A. That's the problem. I hear you and I don't hear her.
8 Q. Is it improving at all? He's turning up the volume.
9 A. A bit better now.
10 Q. Again just getting back to this form, this appears to be the kind
11 of form issued by your office on a regular basis, calling up individuals
12 to join the HVO?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Do you know this person, Ivan Naletilic, whose name is referenced
16 A. No.
17 Q. Now, again directing your attention to the handwriting on the
18 upper right-hand corner, this is written note over the name Tuta,
19 indicating that he's not fit. Do you recall any intervention on the part
20 of Tuta on behalf of this person?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Now, I believe, sir, that another function carried out by your
23 office in Siroki Brijeg related to the preparation of reports of the
24 manpower levels, the strength of the various units located in Siroki
25 Brijeg; is that correct?
1 A. No, no. This is probably done by commanders of units. What do I
2 have to do with it? I can only report on the number of persons I had just
4 Q. Then let me show you the next document, 558.3. Do you know if the
5 Defence office in Siroki Brijeg made reports like this?
6 A. No.
7 Q. Have you ever seen this report or any reports like this before?
8 A. I've never seen this report before. You can see up here in the
9 letterhead it hasn't even been filled out. I mean the number is not
10 there. So this document is wrong. I've never seen any such thing.
11 Anybody could have filled this out. The office has its serial number and
12 another number, and all that, and there is none of that here on this
14 Q. I'll take that answer. Witness, another of the functions that I
15 believe that was executed by your office in Siroki Brijeg later, after the
16 conflict was over, was the granting of disability benefits to HVO members
17 who had been wounded during the course of the conflict; is that correct?
18 A. No. We only made relevant decisions, but we only did that
19 technical aspect of the work involved. We did not set the amounts.
20 Q. Yes. Okay. Let me show you the next group of documents. I think
21 we are talking about the same thing. Starting with 803. Sir, if you just
22 take a moment to look at Exhibit 803, I just simply wanted to ask, is this
23 the sort of decision that you just made reference to in regard to
24 disability of former members of the HVO?
25 A. Yes, yes. That's right. This is a decision. This is one that
1 was done by the office.
2 Q. And just to speed things up, I'm going to ask you to quickly look
3 at the next four exhibits, 804, -- we can just leave them all out. I'm
4 going to -- witness, I'm going to ask you just to look at the next four,
5 and then I'll ask you some questions about them. Is this document, sir,
6 804, also one of the disability decisions issued by your office?
7 A. I don't know how I could know that this is 104. There are
8 different numbers up here, so it confuses me a bit. Are we looking at the
9 same documents?
10 Q. Yes. I apologise. The number in the upper right-hand corner ends
11 with the numbers 8365.
12 A. Yes. That's all right.
13 Q. Okay. And then --
14 A. These are decisions, or rather this is a decision that was drafted
15 by the Defence department. I cannot say whether this was definite,
16 because if it was refused by the commission at the first level or the
17 second level, then I really can't say whether they were legally binding,
18 but what I can say is true, that actually this was drafted by the Defence
20 Q. Okay. And that's simply what I want to ask you about the next
21 three, 805.1, 807, and 809.
22 A. These two documents, we can reject straight away. We can only
23 keep one of them. You can see for yourself that they haven't been signed
24 or stamped or anything. So I don't see what I can say about them by way
25 of a comment. This one that bears the name of Davor Leto, that one is
2 Q. For the record --
3 A. The other ones could have been typed out by anybody. I cannot say
4 a word about this because my signature is not there and there isn't a
6 Q. Okay. For the record, Mr. President, the Davor Leto decision is
7 Exhibit 805.1. And that's -- the Davor Leto decision is one that you
8 accept, sir?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And also do you accept the decision regarding Fabijan Bosnjak?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And do you accept the decision regarding Tomislav Mandic?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay.
15 MR. STRINGER: For the record that's Exhibit P804.
16 Q. And sir, just -- you do not accept the decisions regarding Ivica
17 Aleksic and Gordan Kraljevic because they don't bear a stamp?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Okay. Sir, even though they don't bear a stamp, do these appear
20 to be decisions that were perhaps in an earlier stage of drafting, a
21 document that was made at the defence office but was not -- but is not a
22 final version?
23 A. No. This can be a first version but I don't know. I mean, I
24 can't accept it this way, there had to be a reason. I mean if they all
25 came from the office, there would be no reason why some would be stamped
1 and others would not be stamped inside. I don't even know these people
3 Q. All right. And sir, in drafting these decisions, then, these
4 decisions were based on information about the unit that the person was a
5 member of, and the circumstances under which he became wounded or
7 A. Not fully, because -- because when the office drafts, these
8 certificates, that is to say when a person was mobilised, that person is a
9 soldier until demobilised. So there were some units that were not manned
10 by Siroki Brijeg, so there were a lot of transfers, and during the first
11 call-up, we write that down, that a person was mobilised into such and
12 such a unit, but then, when we are released from that unit and transferred
13 to another unit under orders by the Main Staff or whatever, this has to do
14 with these special purposes units, they are not manned by Siroki Brijeg,
15 and of course, military conscripts from Siroki Brijeg can be assigned to
16 these units, then there can be mistakes because I remember when decisions
17 were drafted of this kind we did not have exact insight into the exact
18 units that the person had been to because it wasn't the same, like during
19 the first mobilisation, so sometimes we could have mistakes and I know
20 that I would tell my boss often that we had this problem but he said it
21 was less important. So any way, when we have this written down, which
22 unit this person belonged to, it was less important to us, it was most
23 important that this person was mobilised and that the military medical
24 commission had supplied a document to the military office saying that such
25 and such a person is a disabled person. Then on the basis of the records
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 of the Defence office, this person would be mobilised and then we would
2 compile these certificates. So we actually took care only of the
3 technical aspect of the exercise.
4 Q. Okay. Let's look at just one of these briefly and then we are
5 going to move on. Can I ask you to look at the decision regarding Fabijan
6 Bosnjak? Do you have that one?
7 A. Yes, yes. I'm reading it.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. I hadn't read it in full previously so let me take a look,
11 Q. I'm going to ask you about the part that is called "statement of
12 reasons." Because this gives some insight into how these decisions were
13 made. It looks as though there are a number of findings or reasons that
14 are cited as justification for the recommendation on disability. For
15 example, proof that he was born, proof of his date of birth. You see
16 that's the first item. Proof that there are no criminal proceedings
17 against him. Proof that he's not already receiving financial compensation
18 for disability. And all these findings are backed up by certificates or
19 documents. And then again proof that in fact he was the member of the
20 unit, in this case Convicts Battalion, and proof that he was wounded, as
21 indicated here, on the 1st of July, 1993, in Mostar. So in making these
22 decisions, my question was whether your office considered the evidence or
23 the proofs that were supplied then in making a decision whether this
24 person was justified in getting disability.
25 A. These are forms that are used throughout the territory of
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. They are obtained from the ministry. And this was
2 done by the lawyer in my office. I'm an economist by training. So I
3 could not really draft all the details. I mean I would not really be
4 competent. It's the lawyer who drafted the document, and I would sign it,
5 and I had full confidence in him. So this is really a form. It's a form
6 that is filled out. And as you can see, each and every one of them was
7 filled out appropriately. So this is the way the office did it.
8 Q. Okay. Witness, I'll ask now we can put all of those away. We are
9 finished with those. I'm going to ask the witness to look again at
10 Exhibit P704, which is the big document. Witness, let me first ask you
11 generally, your testimony was that members of the HVO received what you
12 called assistance or aid. It wasn't called salary. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes. That is correct, until towards the end of 1993. Then it was
14 only the municipality of Siroki Brijeg that distributed this aid. Other
15 municipalities didn't even do that.
16 Q. So at the end of 1993, the Defence department was actually
17 involved in providing aid or some financial compensation to HVO members?
18 A. We are not a department. We are an office.
19 Q. Sorry. And in determining who should receive this financial
20 assistance, did the office keep lists of persons who were members of the
21 various units?
22 A. No. We had files. Every unit had these files, and then they
23 would all be put into a box, and that would constitute the list actually.
24 Q. Were the lists kept at the tobacco station?
25 A. The unit would provide the list, and then we would take out the
1 files, we would look through them, we would circle the names, on the basis
2 of the files, on the basis of what we had in the files. And then that
3 would be taken back and then payments would be issued on that basis.
4 People would sign for them. And that's it.
5 Q. But you mentioned a box with all the files in it. Was that box
6 kept in the tobacco station? Either in the military headquarters that was
7 located in one part or in the Defence office that was located in a
8 different part?
9 A. Well, I didn't mention any binders. I said files. I wish I had
10 one of those files here with me so I could show it to you.
11 Q. Okay. Okay. May I have just a moment, Mr. President?
12 [Prosecution counsel confer]
13 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we might have a document in the
14 courtroom that is what is being described by the witness. We -- Mr. Scott
15 has got it as part of his preparation for another witness. So we've only
16 got one copy but with the Court's permission I would like to show it to
17 the witness. We could put it on the ELMO, and simply see what he has to
18 say about it, if it's agreeable to the Trial Chamber.
19 JUDGE LIU: I see there is no difficulties for doing that.
20 MR. STRINGER: Thank you.
21 Q. This has already been marked as Exhibit P938. Perhaps the usher
22 can let the Defence take a quick look at it first and then we will show it
23 to the witness.
24 If it's agreeable I could go ahead on to another subject and we
25 could come back to this if the Defence wants a little more time. Okay.
1 If the usher would show this to the witness?
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the Defence has no
4 objections, especially if the witness can actually explain.
5 MR. STRINGER: If you could give the witness the Croatian language
6 version and put the English version on the ELMO or the first page of the
7 English version so that the Trial Chamber can see it.
8 Q. Witness, I simply don't know whether this is the kind of document
9 that you were just describing, whether you can give us any information
10 about what you have in front of you.
11 A. No, no. This file is actually a single card, name and surname of
12 the soldier, year of birth, did his military service where, when,
13 mobilised into such and such a unit, took part in the war from such a date
14 to such a date. It's a completely different type of document.
15 Q. Okay. Just on this document now, 938, is this a different kind of
16 document that was kept in the tobacco station, to your knowledge, either
17 at the military headquarters or in the defence office?
18 A. We never had such documents.
19 Q. Okay. We'll withdraw the exhibit, Mr. President. I don't think
20 the witness knows anything about it. The next exhibit is 506. This is
21 not on the list previously distributed. It's something that we pulled
22 during the break. We can put the English version on the ELMO.
23 Q. Witness, you were asked --?
24 MR. STRINGER: We have copies to distribute.
25 Q. Witness, while that's being distributed, I can just ask you a few
1 questions about it. You were asked in a way about the signing of names by
2 one person over the name of another person. You talked about
3 Mr. Andabak. Would you agree with me, sir, that Mr. Andabak signed
4 literally hundreds of document, perhaps in the same format that appears on
5 this particular document? That is signing his name over the typed name of
6 Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, who is indicated as the commander of the Convicts
8 A. I cannot agree with that. I cannot guarantee that this is
9 Mr. Ivan Andabak's signature. I don't know how I can accept this claim.
10 I never paid too much attention to the way he signed his name on
12 Q. Are you aware, sir, that throughout 1993 and 1994, and even later,
13 many, many documents were written, drafted, which identify the commander
14 of the Convicts Battalion, independent special purposes unit, as Mladen
15 Naletilic, Tuta? Are you aware of that?
16 A. I only know that Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, was the commander of the
17 Convicts Battalion up to 1992. That is what it says in my records, in the
18 defence office, that's how his name is filed in our records. And after
19 that, a new commanders replaced him.
20 Q. Well, let's talk about Mr. Naletilic for a few moments. He was
21 widely regarded as having been a key figure in the liberation first of
22 Siroki Brijeg and then of Mostar in 1992; is that correct?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. He was widely respected throughout Western Herzegovina as a key
25 military figure in respect of the conflict with the Serbs?
1 A. No. He was not a key military figure. He was the commander of
2 the Convicts Battalion, the unit from Siroki Brijeg, which participated in
3 the liberation of Siroki Brijeg and Mostar. He didn't have a key
4 military, overall military role.
5 Q. Well, in your -- based on your knowledge, sir, what was his role
6 in respect of the Convicts Battalion, if it was not a military one?
7 A. Which period do you have in mind?
8 Q. 1992.
9 A. 1992. When I said that he did not have a key role overall role
10 for the liberation of Mostar because there were a number of units which
11 participated in that effort. He was the commander of the Convicts
12 Battalion. But the liberation of Mostar involved other units, units from
13 Mostar, Citluk and other places.
14 Q. And your testimony that he was not the commander of the Convicts
15 Battalion in 1993, is that based on the fact, as you say, that you didn't
16 have a written document confirming that he was the commander?
17 A. No, because we were together in the municipal leadership. I told
18 you that. He did not wear a uniform in 1993.
19 Q. He did not wear a uniform in 1993?
20 A. He would not come to the municipality building wearing a uniform.
21 He may have been wearing it at times but I know for a fact that he was not
22 the commander.
23 Q. Do you know, sir, that he was in Mostar at the HVO Defence
24 Ministry on the 10th of May, 1993? At the time the conflict with the an
25 Armija was taking place? Did you know that?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Did you know that he was in Doljani in the Jablanica municipality
3 on the 19th of April, 1993, when Boka Barbaric was killed?
4 A. I don't know. I was not out on the ground. I was the chief of
5 Defence office. So I -- there is no way for me to know that.
6 Q. You testified, sir, about -- you told a story about some detainees
7 who had come to Siroki Brijeg, and there had been some discussion about
8 whether to pay them. Just a few questions about that. What is the time
9 frame? Can you tell us what month and year you were talking about when
10 this happened?
11 A. I think -- it was in 1993, I think it was mid-1993, in June, I
12 should think.
13 Q. As a point of reference, there was a conflict between the HVO and
14 the Armija in Mostar on the 9th of May, and then there was another
15 important conflict that occurred on the 30th of June, 1993, when the
16 Armija attacked the HVO Northern Camp. Are you able to tell us this
17 incident involving the prisoners in Siroki Brijeg, was it before the 9th
18 of May, after the 9th of May, before the 30th of June, are you able to
19 give us an idea?
20 A. I can't. They were brought by the military police. I really
21 don't know where they were taken prisoner. I can't -- I don't know.
22 Q. Were they civilians?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Because I thought you testified that one was a professor or that
25 they held some sort of position that sounded civilian to me. Was I
2 A. Yes, you have misunderstood me. I told you that these people,
3 these professors and teachers, were guarding these prisoners. I wasn't
4 referring to the prisoners when I said that.
5 Q. Where did they work, those prisoners?
6 A. Nearby.
7 Q. Do you know -- can you give us any greater detail about the
9 A. The machinery, as far as I could see, the machines were digging
10 where they could, where the machinery couldn't go, they would go. Through
11 Siroki Brijeg, up towards a little hill above Siroki Brijeg.
12 Q. Is that called Gypsy Hill?
13 A. No. It's not the Gypsy Hill, not Cigansko Brdo. This is towards
14 the left. And where they were digging is more towards the right,
16 Q. Were Muslim prisoners held at the MUP station in Siroki Brijeg?
17 Did you know about that?
18 A. I don't know. I don't believe it. The MUP is a civilian
20 Q. Do you know if the mufti of Mostar, Kasim Mezit, was held in the
21 MUP station, on approximately the 8th, 9th, 10th of May, 1993?
22 A. I never heard of such a person.
23 MR. STRINGER: Exhibit P171. I'll be able to finish before the
24 break. I assume we are breaking at quarter to, Mr. President? Or is
25 that -- 171.
1 Q. Before we talk about that, let me ask you, Witness, in the town of
2 Siroki Brijeg, perhaps the municipality --
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, I'm sorry, my learned
5 friend, can we also have this exhibit? I apologise.
6 JUDGE LIU: Do you have an extra copy? Any way, we'll put it on
7 the ELMO.
8 MR. STRINGER: It's the Narodni List. It's something we pulled at
9 the break, Mr. President. We can put it on the ELMO. We can show these
10 passages to counsel. It's the gazette.
11 Q. Witness, I'm going to direct you on the bottom of the page ending
12 6645. So the usher can find that for you. And while he's doing that,
13 I'll ask you a different question. Throughout the town of Siroki Brijeg,
14 for a long time after the conflict, maybe even today, have you seen
15 posters around Siroki Brijeg of Mr. Naletilic wearing a camouflage
17 A. There were posters. I've seen them. But that was some three
18 years ago. But I can't remember whether he was actually wearing a
19 camouflage uniform on these posters.
20 Q. Sir, I'm going to direct you now to this page 6645. You testified
21 about ranks or the lack of ranks in the HVO, you said that they had to be
22 published in the Official Gazette. Now, you've been shown a part of the
23 Narodni List, Official Gazette publication, and I'm asking you to first
24 look at this decision on salaries and remuneration for members of the
25 armed forces. I'll go very slowly because I know the interpreters don't
1 have this. Going --
2 MR. MEEK: Excuse me, since we don't have a copy, could we have a
3 date on that?
4 MR. STRINGER: Yes, this is the September, 1992 issue of the
5 Narodni List.
6 Q. And witness, I'm going to direct you particularly to Article
7 number 6, which is on the next page of the English version. The bottom of
8 the first page. It appears to me, sir, that in this decision, there is a
9 reference to different grades or ranks within the HVO that would then
10 determine the amount of compensation, soldier, squad commander, platoon
11 commander, company commander, do you see all those? Moving on to the next
12 page of the English, battalion commander, brigade commander, operative
13 group commander.
14 A. Yes, I can see that but these are not ranks. These are command
16 Q. Okay. To the extent that there were these designations, sir, it
17 there were certainly a hierarchy, if you will, will you agree with me on
18 that point?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Now, I want to move ahead, then, to your page 6647, 7581 of the
21 English version. This is a decision again September, 1992, edition of the
22 official gazette, decision on -- if we can put the English on the ELMO,
23 English page 7581, just a few pages after the first one. I've got it
24 here. I can hand it to you.
25 A. I have it.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Sir, this is a decision on ranks, the awarding of ranks, promotion
2 to higher rank, again laying out a number of ranks for different levels,
3 non-commissioned officers, soldiers, officers. Now, sir, doesn't this
4 contradict your testimony earlier that there were no ranks and that ranks
5 had not been published in the Official Gazette?
6 A. It does not contradict my earlier testimony because I said that
7 ranks were not assigned to soldiers, they were not assigned. This is just
8 the law on ranks which provides for the future organisation and
9 establishing and what ranks to be eventually assigned in the HVO but this
10 came into force on -- in 1994, not earlier, because if the President
11 appoints somebody as general, the official gazette will publish the name
12 of that person and it will say, [redacted], by the
13 decision of the president, is appointed and given the rank of a general.
14 That's what it would have to say. This is just the provisions of the law,
15 because previously, the Serbian language was used and this law, and then
16 it has been changed and as such, published with new titles, new terms.
17 Q. So again, we do have a publication from 1992 which does give
18 authority and allows for the assignment of ranks to all levels within the
19 HVO, correct?
20 A. Let me tell you, I have never read these official gazettes, that
21 was not my obligation, but in practice, there were no ranks, and as for
22 the Official Gazette, that may have been the case. Somebody may have been
23 appointed, but in Siroki Brijeg, nobody was officially commissioned
24 because the Defence office has never received such a decision.
25 Q. Isn't it true, sir, though, that the assigning of ranks was a
1 matter that would have fallen within the competence of the military side
2 of the HVO? Outside the competence, for example, of the Defence office of
3 the HVO in Siroki Brijeg?
4 A. Military component could not assign ranks. One unit can propose
5 or issue a request to the ministry for a higher rank for a promotion.
6 That was in 1994, when ranks were assigned as per previous merits. So it
7 could not have been a military unit either. It could just send a request
8 to the ministry and if it was a lower rank, then the ministry could deal
9 with that itself. If it was a higher level ranking officer, then it would
10 have to be the President. And the lower ranks are not published in the
11 official gazette, just the highest ranks have to be publicised.
12 MR. STRINGER: No further questions, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll break. We'll resume at 20 minutes past
15 --- Recess taken at 11.50 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 12.25 p.m.
17 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination, Mr. Krsnik?
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Just briefly, Your Honours.
19 Re-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
20 Q. [Interpretation] After you cautioned me strongly that I should
21 wait for the witness to leave before I object, now I don't know what to
22 do, but just for the record, P6 -- 016.1, in the description it says in
23 handwriting it says Tuta's Brigade. I inspected the document. It doesn't
24 say that anywhere. If you look at the document 606.21, can you please
25 look at the Croatian text and tell us what it says in the Croatian?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
2 MR. STRINGER: I can speed this up, the document wasn't referred
3 to in the cross-examination and it's not being tendered by the
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, did you hear the statement by the
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honour. I just
8 wanted to object for the record, in principle, because this is not a small
9 matter. In the same way I objected to, in principle, to the previous
10 translation, because it says here clear and loud, and our interpreters can
11 check that, it says in handwriting, "With the brigade and Tuta." And in
12 the translation, it says, "Tuta's brigade." A major difference, I would
13 say, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE CLARK: The document isn't in evidence but if you direct us
15 to it, it says "drives question mark trailer truck to brigade, and Tuta."
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] It says clearly here that somebody is
17 driving a trailer to the brigade and to Tuta. So it is not Tuta but to
18 Tuta. But let's not waste any more time. I just wanted to say that for
19 the record. It says -- it can be checked by the interpreters in any
21 Q. Witness, what I would like to ask you --
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, if you have some objections to a
23 certain document, you ever the full right to do that, but you do that
24 when the witness has left the courtroom and when we have those documents
25 tendered into evidence. You may raise your objections to any documents.
1 Yes, you may proceed, Mr. Krsnik.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. You're
3 right. Sometimes I really should count to five before I start doing
5 Q. Witness, what I would like to ask you now is the following: For
6 example, document 558.3, and the first question: Would a document that
7 has your name printed out -- would it have to be signed either you or a
8 person authorised by you? Would it have to bear a stamp in order to be
9 considered a valid document?
10 MR. STRINGER: Object to the leading question, Mr. President.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, it is a leading question, and this
12 issue has been mentioned in your direct examination, and as well as in the
13 cross-examination. You may put your question another way.
14 JUDGE CLARK: I'll help you, Mr. Krsnik, ask the witness how is a
15 document validated in your office?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
17 Q. You've heard the question. Can you please answer?
18 A. Yes. In order to be validated, the document has to be signed by
19 me, has to be validated by me.
20 Q. And how do you validate it?
21 A. I stamp it.
22 Q. Does this document bear your signature and stamp?
23 A. The answer is no.
24 Q. Let's move on. Please can you tell the Chamber whether you know
25 somebody who refers to himself or who is referred to as Colonel Cavar?
1 A. Yes, I do.
2 Q. Who is that person, can you tell the Chamber?
3 A. Colonel Cavar was the commander of the Siroki Brijeg Brigade.
4 Q. Thank you. Let me ask you: Have you ever seen an identity card
5 of the Siroki Brijeg Brigade by any of the soldiers?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And when it says the designation of the unit?
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
9 MR. STRINGER: It's beyond the scope of the cross-examination.
10 JUDGE LIU: I believe so, Mr. Krsnik, unless your question will
11 lead to something that is mentioned in the cross-examination.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] The Siroki Brijeg Brigade has been
13 mentioned. We have talked about it, Your Honours. I just want to ask the
14 witness whether, on the identity card held by the soldiers, what did it
15 say on the ID card? What was the name of the brigade on that card.
16 MR. STRINGER: I object on the grounds it's beyond the scope of
17 the cross-examination.
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may ask what this brigade is called.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can I put the question in this way?
20 Q. How was the brigade referred to in the soldiers' booklet or ID
21 card in 1992?
22 A. It was denoted as the Siroki Brijeg Brigade. It did not have any
23 other name. That was its name, the Siroki Brijeg Brigade.
24 Q. What were the initials? Can you tell us what was its abbreviated
1 A. We did not have any initials. They were not used in official
2 documents. What it had to say was the Siroki Brijeg Brigade in full
3 letters, full name.
4 Q. Okay. Let's move on. Please tell me, this is my last question,
5 the decisions on disability that the Prosecutor was examining you about,
6 did you check the place of wounding and the affiliation to various units?
7 Were there any abuses of these documents, all these documents refer to
8 1995, 1996?
9 A. There were a lot of abuses I'm embarrassed to admit that.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer.
11 MR. STRINGER: I believe it's a suggestive or leading question,
12 Mr. President.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I believe it's very suggestive. We just --
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE LIU: But the witness has answered that question, I
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I have no further questions, Your
18 Honour. Thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any questions from Judges? Yes, Judge
21 Questioned by the Court:
22 JUDGE CLARK: Witness, I think you're NQ. Is that the pseudonym
23 that you have, NQ? Nobody gave a pseudonym. It is? Okay. Witness NQ,
24 in relation to the last question that Mr. Krsnik asked you about the
25 identity cards of soldiers, my understanding of what you said is that all
1 conscripts in Siroki Brijeg were described as belonging to the Siroki
2 Brijeg Brigade. Is that correct?
3 A. No. There were conscripts from Siroki Brijeg in other units which
4 did not belong to the area of Siroki Brijeg.
5 JUDGE CLARK: I'm talking about people that were with in your
6 jurisdiction, conscripts within your jurisdiction. Were they -- are you
7 saying that the only unit which existed, that you took care of, was the
8 Siroki Brijeg Brigade?
9 A. There was the Siroki Brijeg Brigade, and the Convicts Battalion
10 within the Siroki Brijeg Brigade.
11 JUDGE CLARK: And did you have a home guard brigade unit and a
12 military police unit?
13 A. Later on, after the re-establishment, yes, there was a home guard
14 brigade -- unit. The military police did not exist. It was -- there was
15 a unit whose command was in Ljubuski but it was one unit for the entire
16 area of Herzegovina.
17 JUDGE CLARK: We've heard evidence from witnesses about the
18 presence of military police in Siroki Brijeg. In fact I think they had a
19 headquarters or an office there, and we've also heard about home guard
20 looking after prisoners. Are you saying that this evidence is incorrect,
21 that there were no military police and no home guard in Siroki Brijeg in
23 A. This is not what I said. There were military policemen from
24 Siroki Brijeg but it was just a squad but the command of the military
25 police was in Ljubuski, later on in Mostar, and they sent, this military
1 police unit to Siroki Brijeg. They were not from Siroki Brijeg but our
2 conscripts, who replenished the military police units, they were sent to
3 Grude and those from Grude, for example they would be sent to Siroki
4 Brijeg. It was easier for them to work if they didn't know the people
5 there. And the home guards were the elderly people who were not sent to
6 the ground, who remained in Siroki Brijeg. This is the people who we
7 call -- refer to as home guard. They were engaged in doing some works
9 JUDGE CLARK: So you agree with me they certainly existed and
10 there must have been some sort of administrative machinery to call those
11 people up for duties as home guards?
12 A. Yes.
13 JUDGE CLARK: Did you have a counterpart in the town of Siroki
14 Brijeg who was actually the HVO military defence department attache, if I
15 can call him that, your military counterpart, in the HVO?
16 A. I'm not too clear on your question. There was just one Defence
17 office, and that was a civilian institution. And as for the military
18 part, the command had its offices which served the purposes of the
19 brigade, which were used to serve the brigade.
20 JUDGE CLARK: Well, who was the person who would have been the
21 military counterpart in the HVO of your position?
22 A. I really wouldn't know the name. These people changed very often,
23 and I wouldn't be able to give you any names. There was the person in the
24 brigade who was in charge of the written documents for that brigade, and I
25 really don't know what the name of that person was.
1 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you.
2 A. Thank you.
3 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of Judges questions? Yes,
4 Mr. Krsnik.
5 Further examination by Mr. Krsnik:
6 Q. [Interpretation] Of course I do wish to continue along the lines
7 of the Honourable Judge Clark's questions. I think that the question was
8 misunderstood by the witness. You correct me, Your Honour, if I'm wrong,
9 but who is the supreme military commander in Siroki Brijeg?
10 A. The top military commander was the commander of the brigade.
11 Q. What was his name?
12 A. Pero Cavar.
13 Q. Tell me, when you say brigade, in the military chain of command,
14 who was a brigade responsible to?
15 A. To the sector, I think. I'm not very familiar with the military
16 hierarchy, I am with the civilian hierarchy.
17 Q. If were you in charge of the civilian parts of the HVO, as regards
18 military matters, is the commander of the Siroki Brijeg your counterpart?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Who is, then?
21 A. My counterpart is the head of the administration.
22 Q. Mr. Pero Cavar, was he in a military sense your counterpart in
23 Siroki Brijeg?
24 A. Oh, that, yes, yes, he is.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
3 MR. STRINGER: If this is viewed as being a little bit beyond the
4 scope of Judge Clark's question then I'll sit down. It's a bit related to
5 Judge Clark's question and then the question from Mr. Krsnik.
6 Further cross-examination by Mr. Stringer:
7 Q. The Convicts Battalion, the KB, if it was an independent unit for
8 special purposes, did it exist in a different hierarchy or chain of
9 command, different from that for the Siroki Brijeg Battalion itself?
10 A. No. It was within the Siroki Brijeg Brigade. It was also
11 commanded by Pero Cavar.
12 Q. Do you know what an independent units for special purposes is,
13 within the HVO?
14 A. Well, precisely -- well, not really. I can't really tell you
16 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
17 JUDGE LIU: Thank you, Witness, for coming to The Hague to give
18 your evidence. The usher will show you out of the room. We all wish you
19 a pleasant journey back home.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
21 [The witness withdrew]
22 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Meek?
23 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, the photograph P26.2 as marked by the
24 witness on direct examination, we'd ask that that be admitted. And I
25 think the number might -- maybe Ms. Thompson can help us D1/401, as
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 marked? That would be the only document that we would ask to be tendered
2 through this witness, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Are there any objections?
4 MR. STRINGER: No objection, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE LIU: So this document, D1/401 is admitted into evidence.
6 And on your side, Mr. Stringer?
7 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, we had also the witness marking on a
8 different photograph which was 26.9. So we would offer that. In
9 addition, there are I think about seven documents which I can identify at
10 this time. I'm not offering all of the documents that were on the list.
11 JUDGE LIU: Well, you'll submit us in written form, at a later
12 stage. Are there any objections to that document P26.9?
13 MR. MEEK: No, Your Honour, not the photograph as marked. We have
14 no objection to that. And we will look at the written submission on the
15 other documents, thank you.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, so this document is admitted into the evidence.
17 Yes, Mr. Krsnik, are there any protective measures for the next
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, please, as until now.
20 JUDGE LIU: I see. So we'll have the next witness. Mr. Usher,
21 would you please bring in the next witness, please?
22 Yes, Mr. Scott?
23 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President while we are bringing the next witness
24 in, could we go to -- I didn't realise it would be so quick. If we could
25 go to private session just for a moment?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
2 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, sir, I know that you have an eye problem
19 but --
20 A. Yes, yes.
21 Q. Thank you. You're going to get a piece of paper now from the
22 usher and your name and surname are on that piece of paper, and if it is
23 indeed so, just say yes. Can I tell you one more thing? Can you follow
24 this transcript in front of you, this text on the monitor? When you see
25 this black dot that is moving, don't give an answer. When it stops, when
1 the typing stops, then start giving your answer. We had problems with
2 your previous witnesses?
3 A. Thank you.
4 Q. The most important is for you to wait for a few seconds after I
5 finish my question so that our interpreters could interpret everything.
6 So is this your name?
7 A. Yes, this is my name.
8 Q. Thank you. So let us proceed now.
9 A. Very well.
10 JUDGE LIU: For the sake of the record, what's -- what's his
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] NR.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Please without stating your name, please introduce yourself
16 briefly to the Honourable Trial Chamber, where do you live, where you
17 completed school, et cetera?
18 A. Your Honours.
19 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please slow down?
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. [no interpretation]
22 A. I was born on the 1st of January, 1967, in Siroki Brijeg. I
23 completed elementary school and high school in Siroki Brijeg. That is
24 where I live and work today as well.
25 Q. Witness, I will be dealing with 1993 only, because the Trial
1 Chamber has heard a lot of evidence about 1992. So very briefly, in 1992,
2 did you join the defence in any way, I mean the defence of Siroki Brijeg.
3 If so, tell us which units, when but just give us a very brief answer to
4 my questions, please?
5 A. In 1992, I joined the Crisis Staff of Siroki Brijeg. As for the
6 shelling of Siroki Brijeg, in the beginning of April, I joined the
7 Convicts Battalion and we were liberating Siroki Brijeg, both on the left
8 and right bank of the Neretva River.
9 Q. Also very briefly, were you a volunteer in 1991 at the theatres of
10 war in Croatia?
11 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the answer it was
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
14 Q. So when were you returned?
15 A. 1992.
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, the interpreters did not catch up
17 with you. Would you please ask your question once again?
18 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
19 Q. You see, we really have to pay attention. I have to pay more
20 attention than you because I'm a professional as opposed to you. So how
21 long were you in Croatia, in -- at the front line in Croatia and then when
22 did you return to Siroki Brijeg?
23 A. On the 1st of July, 1991, I joined the defence of the Republic of
24 Croatia, and I was there until February, 1992, when I returned to
1 Q. Very well. Let us go on. Please tell me in 1992, were you in the
2 Convicts Battalion all the time?
3 A. I was in --
4 Q. Please slow down.
5 A. I stayed in the Convicts Battalion until the end of June. Then I
6 got orders to establish the anti-terrorist group Baja Kraljevic, [redacted]
8 Q. Who issued this order to you?
9 A. The Main Staff.
10 Q. Witness, in this courtroom, we heard that Baja Kraljevic was an
11 integral part of the Convicts Battalion.
12 A. Baja Kraljevic was never part of the Convicts Battalion, ever
13 since it was established.
14 Q. Can you tell the Honourable Trial Chamber what kind after military
15 unit this is?
16 A. This was a professional unit, under the direct command of the Main
17 Staff. Apart from the Main Staff, nobody else had the right to issue any
18 orders to it or to give it any assignments.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, please, I was not
20 careful. Well, there is no excuse. I mean if I just say I'm tired. The
21 transcript does include now which position the witness held. So could we
22 please have that redacted? And I'm asking you, Witness, not to say
23 anything that would identify you because we are going to ask for private
24 session when you refer to matters like that.
25 Q. Can you say who your immediate commander was, your immediate
1 superior in terms of Baja Kraljevic, rather?
2 A. My immediate commander was exclusively the Main Staff.
3 Q. In 1993, did you get orders from anyone except for the Main
5 A. From no one else, no one but the Main Staff.
6 Q. Can you tell the Honourable Trial Chamber until when your unit
7 existed and if you know, for how long did the Convicts Battalion exist?
8 For how long did you exist as such units?
9 A. The ATG Baja Kraljevic existed until the end of November or rather
10 December, 1992 and the Convicts Battalion, and then they joined the
11 professional brigade, the 2nd Guards Brigade.
12 Q. We have a mistake in the transcript. It says 1992 and I asked you
13 explicitly about which year?
14 A. It is the end of 1993.
15 Q. Very well. Therefore, can you clarify to this Trial Chamber when
16 the ATG Baja Kraljevic formally ceased to exist or, if you know, when the
17 Convicts Battalion ceased to exist?
18 A. They ceased to exist on the 1st of January, 1994, when they were
19 transferred to the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Guards Brigade.
20 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, could you break that question up into
21 two? When did the Baja Kraljevic cease to exist and when did the Convicts
22 Battalion? Because they are being rolled up and then who became part of
23 the 2nd Guards Brigade?
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. By all
1 Q. You heard the question, please, so could you give a detailed
3 A. Both units, the Convicts Battalion and the ATG, became part of the
4 1st Battalion of the 2nd Guards Brigade.
5 Q. Did they cease to exist at the same time or did one cease to exist
6 earlier and the other one later?
7 A. Towards the end of 1993, the re-establishment was carried out and
8 most of the units were transferred to guards brigades.
9 Q. All right. Please where did you live in 1993?
10 A. In 1993, I lived in Siroki Brijeg and I worked in Mostar.
11 Q. Can you tell me whether you know about the chain of command or who
12 the commander of the Convicts Battalion was in 1993?
13 A. After my friend Cikota was killed, General Andabak was commander,
14 and also there was the commander on the ground, Zeljko Vukoja.
15 Q. You mentioned Mr. Andabak, and you said general. When did he get
16 the rank of general?
17 A. At that time, there weren't any ranks but that's what we called
18 each other, generals.
19 Q. We heard evidence in this courtroom that he was an alcoholic. Do
20 you know anything about that?
21 A. As far as I know, Mr. Andabak was not an alcoholic. He had severe
23 Q. Please can you tell the Trial Chamber whether it is correct to say
24 that the aim of the Convicts Battalion was to expel Muslims from the areas
25 where there was fighting during 1993?
1 A. No. That was not the aim, to expel the Muslims. The aim was to
2 defend oneself from aggression.
3 Q. Very well. Please, let us move on to a specific topic, and I'm
4 going to ask you specifically, did you take part in April, 1993, in an
5 action or whatever I should call it, at the Sovici-Doljani -- in the
6 Sovici-Doljani area?
7 A. Yes. I did take part in the Sovici-Doljani action in April, 1993,
8 with my unit.
9 Q. Before you say everything you know about this to the Trial
10 Chamber, could you please tell us who the overall commander was of this
12 A. The overall commander of this action was supposed to be the
13 commander of the sector where this action was taking place. I think it
14 was Mr. Siljeg who was then commander.
15 Q. Could you please now describe for the Trial Chamber what happened
16 during that month of April in 1993, if you remember the actual dates
17 please state them.
18 A. Since a lot of time has gone by, I shall try to remember what I
19 know. Our unit was stationed at the Heliodrom location in Mostar. In the
20 early morning hours, our unit was told to be combat ready, about 2.00
21 a.m. Around 5.00 or 6.00, we received orders to go to the Sovicka Vrata
22 region. When arriving in the Sovicka Vrata region, we encountered many
23 units, some of which had already arrived there. Others were coming in
24 then. There were members of the Posuska battalion, Posusje battalion,
25 members of the Convicts Battalion, members of the Siroki Brijeg Brigade,
1 and also there were some members of the HOS from Tomislavgrad.
2 Q. And what happened when you arrived at that site and approximately
3 what time did you arrive there?
4 A. We arrived somewhere around 8.00 in the morning. I established
5 contact with the commander of the Posusje Battalion. They were already
6 there. They wanted to establish contact with --
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?
8 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Mr. President, I apologise to the witness
9 for interrupting him but we don't have a date yet. As far as we have
10 gotten so far is the month of April, 1993. If we could get a bit more
11 specific on the date, please?
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, you told us that you will try your best
13 to remember the specific date. Do you have any idea on what date this
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was on the 17th of April.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would have come to
18 that on my own, too. But I let the witness speak spontaneously. I let
19 him tell his story. Of course this is a crucial question. If the witness
20 remembers it, then I would have asked him but perhaps one should have some
21 patience because after all, this is my examination.
22 Q. Witness, you arrived at Sovicka Vrata and then what happened?
23 A. I said that I established contact with the commander of the
24 Posusje Battalion. He sent a platoon to establish contact with the
25 checkpoint of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina that was a bit below Sovicka
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Vrata. While the members of the Posusje Battalion were moving towards
2 this checkpoint, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina started firing at them,
3 using mortar fire and small arms fire.
4 Q. What did you do then?
5 A. They were operating against the locality where we were, around the
6 school in Sovici. We determined the direction of the attack and then we,
7 my unit, that is to say, and the Convicts Battalion, went in the direction
8 of Pasije Stijene which is the most dominant feature in that area.
9 Q. And what happened then?
10 A. In the late afternoon hours, we took Pasije Stijene, that
11 dominated above Sovici, and we continued this operation towards Bacina
12 Planina, in the direction of Okajnica, Pisvir, feature 944, and we
13 took that on the 19th in the afternoon.
14 Q. And?
15 A. During these operations, we had two casualties. When we arrived
16 at Kosna Luka we went down to the Doljani-Jablanica road.
17 Q. You can speak a bit faster, Mr. Witness. You don't have it wait
18 that long.
19 A. Then we established contact with the Convicts Battalion and they
20 also had sustained one casualty, Mr. Boka Barbaric, that is. We helped
21 them to get the dead body of Mr. Barbaric out. When we got the body, we
22 actually completed the action. And we were supposed to go in the
23 direction of Mostar where we were supposed to bury our dead.
24 Q. Did all of you leave, the entire ATG Baja Kraljevic and the
25 Convicts Battalion?
1 A. Yes, yes. Both we and the Convicts Battalion left, in the
2 afternoon, around 5.00 or 6.00, I can't remember exactly now, we left the
3 area of Doljani and went in the direction of Mostar.
4 Q. Did you drive the dead bodies there?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Tell me, to the best of your knowledge, did Mr. Naletilic have any
7 role in these events?
8 A. Mr. Naletilic had no role in these events. I met Mr. Naletilic on
9 the 19th, in the afternoon, on the road in Doljani.
10 Q. Did he leave the locality of Doljani together with you?
11 A. That's where we met, and we talked, and Mr. Naletilic heard that
12 his neighbour, Mr. Barbaric, was killed, and then, together with us, he
13 went -- actually, he went right in front of my jeep. He went in the
14 direction of Sovicka Vrata, in the direction of Siroki Brijeg. So he left
15 Doljani. Upon arriving at Risovac, Mr. Naletilic, since he was going in
16 front of me, stopped his jeep. We stopped there. We talked, and he went
17 to pick up his children from Mr. Zelenika's at Risovac. That's where they
18 had been. And I proceeded in the direction of Mostar. I was supposed to
19 get my unit back to Heliodrom and to inform the families about the deaths
20 of my two soldiers.
21 Q. Yes. Tell me, please, can you say where you were or where your
22 unit was, on the 8th or 5th or 10th of May, 1993?
23 A. On the 8th and on the 5th, or rather on the 8th of May, 1993, I
24 was on the territory of Boksevica where I was wounded on the 11th of May.
25 Q. Tell me, how many times were you wounded altogether?
1 A. I was wounded four times.
2 Q. What is the most severe wound that you have, could you tell the
3 Honourable Trial Chamber?
4 A. On the 12th of February, 1994, I was wounded the most seriously.
5 That is when a shell exploded and wounded me.
6 Q. Tell me, do you know Ralf Rudiger
7 A. Yes, I know Mr. Ralf Rudiger while I was a member of the
9 Q. Was he a member of the Baja Kraljevic?
10 A. No, Mr. Rudiger could not have been a member of Kraljevic
11 because he did not meet the requirements to be a member of Baja Kraljevic.
12 Q. Can you tell me, please, if you personally know about this, did
13 Mr. Mladen Naletilic have any role or position in Mostar, Citluk, Posusje
14 or Grude?
15 A. Mr. Naletilic did not hold any position. I do not know of
16 Mr. Naletilic being the deputy mayor of Siroki Brijeg --
17 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, I do know.
18 A. I don't know what kind of a position he would have in Posusje or
20 Q. Sir, I'm going to ask you to look at a document, P206.1. Please
21 read it. It has two -- rather three pages, and please tell me whether it
22 corresponds to the truth.
23 JUDGE LIU: Could the English version be put on the ELMO?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is correct.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
1 Q. Thank you very much, Witness. Can you please look at the last
2 page, the last page, please? Under item 4, the number of men, the
3 strength, does this reflect the truth?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I'm going to ask you whether there were any discussions about
6 the Convicts Battalion being stationed at the Heliodrom. Was it ever
7 there in 1992?
8 A. In 1992, the Convicts Battalion was supposed to be at one point,
9 to be stationed at the Heliodrom, but it never was because it was not the
10 nature of that unit to live in any barracks.
11 MR. KRSNIK: No further questions, Your Honour, thank you.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, cross-examination, please?
13 MR. SCOTT: Excuse me, Your Honour, we will just take a moment to
14 get these exhibits distributed.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
16 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, can you come closer to
17 the microphone when you speak? Thank you.
18 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:
19 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
20 A. Good afternoon.
21 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, just if there is any suspense, let me
22 just tell the Chamber now, no intention or chance of completing by 1.45.
23 I'm sure you understand.
24 JUDGE LIU: But we have to stop at 1.45.
25 MR. SCOTT: Yes. I understand that, Your Honour, but I will not
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 complete my cross-examination today.
2 JUDGE LIU: I understand.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. Sir, you testified a few moments ago that in approximately June,
5 1992, you were ordered to form the ATG Baja Kraljevic; is that correct?
6 A. Towards the end of June, beginning of July, the Baja Kraljevic was
7 formed and that is correct.
8 Q. When you say it was formed, when did it actually become
9 operational? I would assume that something like that doesn't necessarily
10 happen overnight.
11 A. Let's say at the end of July or the beginning of August.
12 Q. And you said that the order to do this came from the HVO Main
13 Staff. Can you be a bit more specific, if you can, do you recall the
14 superior officer who ordered that this be done?
15 A. I don't know who it was at the time. It may have been either
16 Mr. Petkovic or Mr. Praljak but I can't say that for a fact.
17 Q. And at that time, did you understand any other -- excuse me, let
18 me start again. Did you understand that there were any other professional
19 units, so-called professional units, in the HVO at that time?
20 A. At the time, there were no professional units. We were one of the
21 first ones that were formed.
22 Q. There were a number of groups throughout the period 1992 to at
23 least the end of 1993, were there not, which used the, as part of their
24 name, used the words ATG, or the letters ATG, or the words anti-terrorist
1 A. I don't know of any -- I know of the professional units that
2 existed at the time. Those were the Baja Kraljevic ATG, that was -- and
3 then the Bruno Busic professional unit, the Ludvig Pavlovic unit, and in
4 1993, I don't know whether the Convicts Battalion was a professional unit.
5 Q. Well, sir, my question is this: Isn't it true that there were a
6 number of units in the HVO which used the term ATG? And I'll just -- if
7 it assists you let me give you several names, if it will prompt your
8 memory. The Benko Penavic ATG, the Vinko Skrobo ATG, the Zeljko Bosnjak
9 ATG? Weren't there a number of units, sir, from sometime in 1992 and
10 throughout 1993, that called themselves anti-terrorist groups?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, can you please break down your question? This
12 question was too long for me. I cannot answer it in this form.
13 Q. Were there other groups in the MVO military organisation which
14 were called ATGs?
15 A. I don't know. Not within the professional strength. Whether any
16 other groups may have called themselves that, possibly, but these ATGs
17 were under the home guard regiments, as far as I know, and they were
18 attached to them.
19 Q. Let me assist you, sir. It was never intended to be part of my
20 question to limit you to professional units. I'm talking about anywhere
21 within the HVO military structure, whether it was a home guard unit,
22 whether it was a professional unit, whether it was a boy scout unit.
23 Weren't there other organisations, units, within the HVO during this time
24 that used the term ATG?
25 A. Yes, there were, of course there were.
1 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter kindly asks the witness to come
2 closer to the microphone. Otherwise, we won't be able to hear him.
3 MR. SCOTT:
4 Q. I gave you a couple of names a few moments ago, sir, can you
5 please just assist the Chamber so that we can make sure again that we are
6 speaking the same language so to speak, given the difficulty we've had in
7 the last few minutes, can you name some of the other ATGs?
8 A. I've heard of some ATGs, Vinko Skrobo, the Krusko ATG, and there
9 were some other names.
10 Q. Who was commander of the Vinko Skrobo ATG?
11 A. I think the commander of the Vinko Skrobo ATG was Mr. Martinovic.
12 Q. Also known as Stela?
13 A. Yes, maybe.
14 Q. Sir, do you really not know? Did you not operate with the Vinko
15 Skrobo ATG at times and are you saying you have some doubt as to who the
16 commanding officer was?
17 A. Yes. I am not positive who the commander was, and we did not
18 cooperate with that ATG.
19 Q. All right. Well, we'll come back to that probably on Monday. And
20 who, sir, was the commanding officer of the Krusko ATG?
21 A. I think that it was somebody they called Juka.
22 Q. And did you ever engage in any operations jointly with the Krusko
23 unit under the command of Juka?
24 A. No, never. I was never under Juka's command and I never
25 participated in any operations with them.
1 Q. All right. Well, sir, again, I didn't ask you if you were under
2 his command. I asked you did the -- your unit and his unit ever operate
3 together or in the same operation?
4 A. Don't remember.
5 Q. You've told the Judges that you received exclusively, I believe
6 the word was, that you exclusively received your orders from the HVO Main
7 Staff. Can you please tell the Judges who specifically -- I don't want to
8 hide behind the term staff. Can you tell us the names of these officers
9 who issued these orders directly to you or your unit?
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes?
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I think that this question is not
13 correct. What does it mean, hide behind the term "staff" and what is
14 the foundation for such an allegation, "to hide behind the staff"? What
15 doe that imply?
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the question is important. As for other
17 terminology, I don't think it's important. Maybe you could withdraw this
18 kind of description.
19 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
20 JUDGE LIU: About hiding behind the term staff.
21 MR. SCOTT:
22 Q. Sir, you said you received your orders from the HVO Main Staff.
23 Can you please tell the Judges the individual officer from whom you
24 received orders?
25 A. I can't tell you exactly. Whoever was the duty operations officer
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 could move my unit. I can't give you any individual names. I can't
2 remember all the individual names. I can't tell you their names off my
4 Q. Well, sir, a few moments ago, you recalled in some detail events,
5 for example, at Sovici-Doljani, even dates and times and who was driving
6 in front of the other person. You're telling -- do you want this Chamber
7 to understand that throughout the time of 1993, you do not know who was
8 issuing orders to you?
9 A. Issues were -- orders were issued to us exclusively by the Main
10 Staff but I can't remember the names of all the duty operations officers
11 who worked in the Main Staff.
12 Q. Well, can you help us in this? Perhaps putting aside for the
13 moment a duty officer, who were the very senior members of the HVO Main
14 Staff who issued orders to you? Perhaps the issues -- excuse me, perhaps
15 the orders were issued in their name. I understand that some duty officer
16 might have been involved but who did you understand you were receiving
17 orders from?
18 A. I think it was General Petkovic.
19 Q. So should the Chamber understand from that, that in terms of what
20 might be called command responsibility or superior responsibility, your
21 position is that General Petkovic was responsible for you and your unit?
22 Is that what you're telling the Chamber?
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
5 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
25 MR. SCOTT:
1 Q. You've indicated in your testimony that this man Vukoja, was
2 something like the commander on the ground, I think was counsel's term,
3 for the Convicts Battalion during 1993. Is that your testimony?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Vukoja --
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik?
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the counsel did not say
8 anything about Mr. Vukoja. I did not talk about Mr. Vukoja. Can my
9 learned friend Mr. Scott ask correct questions? I know his
10 cross-examination only too well, and this is what I'm asking him to do, to
11 be correct in his cross-examination.
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Scott, maybe Mr. Krsnik is offended by your
13 phrase. I think it was "counsel's term."
14 MR. SCOTT: I'll have Mr. Stringer check the transcript.
15 Q. In any event, sir, is it your testimony that this Vukoja was the
16 ground commander of the Convicts Battalion in 1993?
17 A. After the death of Mr. Marijan Hrkac, Cikota, Mr. Vukoja was the
18 operations officer on the ground, the ground commander.
19 Q. And you operated on a number of occasions -- when I say, "You,"
20 I'm not going to ask your name but the Baja Kraljevic unit acted on a
21 number of occasions jointly with the Convicts Battalion, correct?
22 A. No. That is not correct. We -- the last time we acted together
23 was in Sovici and later on we may have come across each other in an area
24 of responsibility, but we did not participate jointly in any operations
25 after that.
1 Q. Well, to your knowledge, did you know if Mr. Vukoja ever issued
2 written orders to the Convicts Battalion?
3 A. He probably did, to his subordinate soldiers, but I don't know why
4 he would do it in a written form.
5 Q. Well, just, if you can remember, let me just ask you, this is
6 probably my last question for today, do you remember in your -- the
7 periods of your service in the HVO, do you remember ever seeing a written
8 order from Mr. Vukoja to any soldier or member of the Convicts Battalion?
9 A. When Mr. Vukoja was the commander of the Convicts Battalion, I was
10 not its member, so I don't know what documents did Mr. Vukoja issue to the
11 members of the Convicts Battalion.
12 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President. I'll stop there for today.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, yes? Well, Witness, I'm sorry that we
14 have to keep you here in The Hague over the weekend. So I have to remind
15 you, as I did to the other witnesses, that while you are still in The
16 Hague, you are still under the oath, so do not talk to anybody or do not
17 let anybody talk to you about your testimony. We will continue on Monday
18 morning. Do you understand?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I do.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll resume 9.00 on Monday morning in courtroom
22 MR. MEEK: I'm sorry, is it afternoon session?
23 JUDGE LIU: No, 9.00 in Courtroom I.
24 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
25 1.45 p.m., to be reconvened on Monday,
1 the 1st day of July, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.