Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14083

1 Monday, 22 July 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.19 p.m.

5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number

7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.

8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Could we have the witness, please.

9 Yes, Mr. Par.

10 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] No. I was just about to say that we do

11 have our witness here. We can begin.

12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

13 [The witness entered court]

14 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me?

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can, yes.

16 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, in

17 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you.

18 WITNESS: WITNESS ME

19 [Witness answered through interpreter]

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.

25 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.

Page 14084

1 Examined by Mr. Par:

2 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. Before we begin our

3 conversation, I wish to inform you that the Chamber has granted you

4 protective measures so that your identity will remain private. Your name,

5 your face, and your voice will be distorted, in case we discuss matters

6 that would disclose your identity we'll go into private session and nobody

7 else outside the courtroom will hear anything. Before we begin, you have

8 a sheet of paper before you with your name on it. If your name is

9 correctly written, please just say yes.

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Thank you. Now I would like to ask that we go into private

12 session for a while, and the technical booth, could we please lower the

13 ELMO?

14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go into the private session.

15 [Private session]

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11 [Open session]

12 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]

13 Q. So, Witness, you are in Pocitelj now. Will you tell us briefly

14 something about the situation. Did anyone expect any conflict with

15 Croats was there any tension there?

16 A. In the beginning, when I arrived, I mean, there was no particular

17 attention, but then gradually we began to hear news that some conflicts

18 had started in Ravno and Prozor, and after that, the 9th of May in Mostar

19 came, and then we began to feel the tension mounting in Pocitelj itself.

20 Q. Yes. We shall come back to that 9th of May. But before that 9th

21 of May, tell me: At that time in Pocitelj, under whose command was

22 Pocitelj? What unit was in Pocitelj at that time? Was it the HVO? Was

23 it the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Who was it?

24 A. In Pocitelj itself, there were no troops, but the inhabitants, and

25 they were Muslims in the majority, were in the HVO at the time.

Page 14091

1 Q. So you say tension began to mount at the time. So tell me: Were

2 there any attempts for the Muslims to leave the HVO? Was something going

3 on there? How did the Muslims behave in the HVO? How did they feel

4 there?

5 A. After the conflict in Mostar, some people came to discuss that

6 the -- recruit the Muslims in the HVO should join the Army of

7 Bosnia-Herzegovina with all their gear and try to take some features above

8 Pocitelj, for instance, such as Gubavica and some other places.

9 Q. Right. So you say some people came to recruit some Muslims, if I

10 may put it that way. Who were those people? Were they from the army or

11 what?

12 A. They were members with the army with whom I had been before,

13 before July, when I was in Mostar. Those were people that I had fought

14 together, my acquaintances.

15 Q. Right. So now we've reached that date when that conflict between

16 Croats and Muslims in Mostar began. Did anything happen then in

17 Pocitelj? And how did you learn about that conflict between Croats and

18 Muslims on the 9th of May?

19 A. We listened to the news, and even in Pocitelj we could hear the

20 detonations from Mostar, the sound travelling down the Neretva. So then

21 we realised that there was a conflict in Mostar.

22 Q. Were there any Muslims fighting in Pocitelj at that time? Or

23 rather, what came to pass in Pocitelj that day and the following days?

24 A. There was no fighting, but one could feel the tension. And about

25 the 30th, or perhaps the 1st of July, from the command in Capljina, people

Page 14092

1 came and requested that all the able-bodied Muslims would not take part

2 in the fighting to hand down their weapons because they were taken to

3 certain localities and provided with protection and everything else,

4 simply so as not to participate in the fighting.

5 Q. And who announced that in Pocitelj? Were you invited to a meeting

6 or what?

7 A. We were summoned to a meeting in a hostelry facility, a rather

8 large place, and there the commander personnel talked there with those

9 members of the HVO still because officially they were still in the HVO and

10 explained the situation to them, saying that in Mostar and beyond, to the

11 north of Mostar, the fighting was going on, that many Muslims had crossed

12 over to the army from the HVO. They did not want that to happen in

13 Pocitelj and they wanted to put them at certain places without the

14 weapons, where they would stay until the -- pending the end of the

15 conflict between the Muslims and the Croats.

16 Q. And was that done? Were there any incidents? Was there any

17 fighting, resistance, or did it all develop smoothly? How did the meeting

18 end?

19 A. The meeting ended normally. 90 per cent of those members handed

20 over their weapons. Some didn't. Some tried to break through to Mostar.

21 And we, we who turned over our weapons, were put in buses, trucks,

22 lorries, and were taken to Gabela and Dretelj.

23 Q. Did it involve only able-bodied men or was there somebody else

24 there?

25 A. Yes, only able-bodied men, who were all members of the HVO.

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Page 14094

1 Q. And where were you taken?

2 A. I was taken to Dretelj.

3 Q. Can you tell us something about the conditions in Dretelj? Did

4 anything happen to you in Dretelj? How were you accommodated? Did

5 anybody mistreat you? What was food like?

6 A. Well, as soon as we were brought to Dretelj, we realised that we

7 had been deceived because our belongings were taken from us, our money,

8 our cigarettes, and we were put in hangars, about 400 metres square large,

9 with some 600 people in them. Food, I couldn't even eat it because it was

10 bad, and there was mistreatment of some people.

11 Q. Did anybody mistreat you, beat you, strike you?

12 A. After a few days they received information there was a member of

13 the army. There were about 30 of us. We were called out and, and as of

14 that day, mistreatment began.

15 Q. Did they mistreat and abuse only 30 of you? That is, those they

16 had established had been with the army or others too?

17 A. Only those who had been with the army. They called us "golden

18 lilies."

19 Q. Can you explain what does that mean, golden lilies? Why did they

20 call you golden lilies?

21 A. Golden lily is the high highest decoration of valor in the Army of

22 Bosnia and Herzegovina.

23 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par, please keep your red light shining a little

24 bit longer, because it's very fast for the interpreter to follow you, and

25 you are in control of the pace.

Page 14095

1 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I will bear

2 this in mind.

3 Q. We're in Dretelj still. How long did you stay there?

4 A. 47 days.

5 Q. And how is it that you left Dretelj after those 47 days? What was

6 the reason for your transfer from Dretelj, and where were you transferred

7 to?

8 A. From Dretelj, I was transferred -- that is, some 22 of us, I'd

9 say, the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina had established that we were there and

10 they sought our exchange, so we were transferred to the Heliodrom in

11 Mostar.

12 Q. When you arrived at the Heliodrom with this exchange group, did

13 the exchange take place?

14 A. That first evening we were told that we would be exchanged the

15 next morning, that we should have a bath or refresh ourselves, that we

16 would be exchange the next morning around 9.00. However, the exchange did

17 not take place because it has not been -- it had not been agreed upon.

18 Q. So for some reason, the exchange was thwarted and you remained at

19 the Heliodrom; is that correct?

20 A. It is.

21 Q. Tell me, please: What were the conditions at the Heliodrom, as

22 against Dretelj? And otherwise, accommodation and food, was there any

23 mistreatment there?

24 A. At the Heliodrom, the conditions were much better as against

25 Dretelj. It looked as if you had come to a mountain spa. There was no

Page 14096

1 mistreatment. The food was good, I mean relatively good, considering.

2 All told, it was better than in Dretelj.

3 Q. Tell me: Did you go from Heliodrom to work in some units?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Would you tell us, please, what the procedure was for you, as an

6 inmate, to be taken to a unit to work.

7 A. In the morning they would take us out of the rooms, the classrooms

8 in the school, they would line us up, and then they came from various

9 units and selected the men they wanted, according to our physical build.

10 Q. Did you ever go to work in Vinko Martinovic's unit, the unit of

11 Stela?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Did you know Vinko Martinovic, Stela, from before?

14 A. I remembered him from my childhood, because I went to school near

15 his house. That was the primary school.

16 Q. Did he know you? Did he remember you? And what was his attitude

17 toward you?

18 A. Well, he knew me by sight.

19 Q. Can you tell the Court what the first day looked like when you

20 arrived at Stela's, from the moment you were taken from Heliodrom, who

21 took you away, who met you in the unit, what happened, what they told

22 you? So describe the first day in Stela's unit and tell us when this

23 might have been, what the time frame was.

24 A. The first time I went there it was late August or perhaps early

25 September. That was the first time I went to work in Stela's unit. I

Page 14097

1 think Dinko Knezovic came to collect us, with a truck, and they took us to

2 their headquarters. Stela was absent at the moment. We all waited for

3 him in front of the headquarters. About an hour or an hour and a half

4 later, Stela arrived.

5 Q. How large was this group? How many of you arrived? And where was

6 the headquarters where you were brought and where you waited?

7 A. There were some 20 of us who were brought in front of the

8 headquarters, and this was near the Rondo.

9 Q. And then Stela arrived. Can you tell us in brief how he treated

10 you, whether anything was said, whether he issued orders, whether he gave

11 you assignments?

12 A. We were all standing there waiting for him. He looked at us to

13 see who we were and then he came up to me and said, "What are you doing

14 here?" I shrugged my shoulders, and he told me to sit to one side. He

15 asked me if I had any cigarettes. And then he took some cigarettes from a

16 soldier and gave me a cigarette and also a cup of coffee. Then he asked

17 his men if they needed someone, someone to take --

18 Q. Very well. That's how he addressed you. Did he talk to any of

19 the other men in that group?

20 A. Oh, it was a normal conversation. He asked them what was going

21 on. But there was nothing special.

22 Q. So he offered you coffee and a cigarette. Did he say anything

23 else? Did he give you an assignment? What did you do the first day?

24 A. The first day I did nothing. He didn't give me an assignment at

25 all. He sat with me and we talked, and I explained how I had ended up in

Page 14098

1 camp. We spent the whole day talking, sitting there in front of the

2 headquarters. Some lads were fixing a car, others were washing it, and so

3 on.

4 Q. And on that first day, did you go back to the Heliodrom? Did you

5 see anyone else you knew in that unit?

6 A. At about 3.00 a school friend of mine passed by. He was not a

7 member of Stela's unit, and he was in fact a neighbour of mine. He lived

8 in the same building as my parents. I asked him to tell my parents where

9 I was, because they had no information about me. They didn't know what

10 had happened.

11 Q. Do you know whether that soldier informed your parents of this and

12 whether they received the information that you were with Stela?

13 A. Yes, because at about 6.00, my parents came to the headquarters,

14 just as we were being put on a truck to be taken back to the Heliodrom.

15 Q. So you were to go back to the Heliodrom. You were on a truck.

16 And then your parents arrived. Did you manage to talk to them? Can you

17 describe that event for us?

18 A. Yes. I asked for the truck to stop and I got off and approached

19 my parents. We talked for about ten minutes and then Stela came out and

20 said I should get back on the truck, and he promised my parents that the

21 next day I would come home.

22 Q. So he said that you would be able to talk to them tomorrow in the

23 house, and is that how things happened? Did Stela keep his word? Did he

24 make it possible for you to see your parents?

25 A. On the following morning, it was mostly the same men who came, and

Page 14099

1 they took us there, and he told the driver, Dinko, to take me to my flat

2 in a jeep. And he said he would pick me up at a quarter to 6.00 p.m. In

3 the same place to take me back to the Heliodrom.

4 Q. And did you spend that whole day, up to 6.00 p.m., with your

5 parents in their home had, and did you go back to the Heliodrom that same

6 evening?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can you tell us: In the period of time that followed, did you go

9 to Stela's unit every day, and were you sent to his unit as a prisoner

10 every day?

11 A. Yes, except for twice, when they came to the Heliodrom at night.

12 On one occasion it was to go to work in Bijelo Polje, and on the other

13 occasion in Santiceva Street.

14 Q. And the rest of the time you went to Stela's unit. How long did

15 that go on, from the first time you went to work in Stela's unit until

16 your release, how much time elapsed? How much time were you in Stela's

17 unit every day?

18 A. It was from late September, approximately, until the 4th of

19 December, when I was released and when I went to Croatia.

20 Q. So for about three months you went to Stela's unit regularly. Can

21 you explain to us now how it came about that you were constantly sent to

22 Stela's unit? What was the system? How did it happen that you were

23 always taken to Stela's unit?

24 A. Mostly Stela took the same men, because his soldiers had people

25 they knew among the prisoners, and each of them wanted to protect

Page 14100

1 someone. They all had someone they wanted to protect. So they didn't

2 have to go to other units to work. At first it was Dinko Knezovic who

3 came to pick up the prisoners. Later it was someone else. But they

4 always asked for the same men.

5 Q. And what was the explanation? For example, Dinko would arrive and

6 perhaps they asked him, "Why are you always asking for the same men?" How

7 could he explain that he always asked for the same men to go to Stela's

8 unit?

9 A. Well, Stela said we were doing special jobs and that we were

10 already used to them, that we knew how to do them, so it was better to

11 have the same men coming all the time.

12 Q. You say it was the same group of prisoners. Did they want to go

13 to Stela's or was it something that they didn't want but had to do?

14 A. The prisoners wanted to go. I had a conflict with Dinko, and for

15 a few days he didn't take me there, and then I asked another prisoner to

16 tell Stela that Dinko wouldn't take me there, and then the following day I

17 was sent there to work again.

18 Q. That was the situation with you, but how about the others? Do you

19 know that they volunteered to go to Stela's unit, and if so, why?

20 A. Yes, they all went there voluntarily, because that's where they

21 felt the safest. Each of them had someone they knew that who would

22 protect them.

23 Q. Tell me: Did you sometimes spend the night there without going

24 back to the Heliodrom at all? Did you sometimes sleep in that unit?

25 A. To begin with, it was for one or two nights, and then we would go

Page 14101

1 back for a day, and so on. In late September I stopped going back to

2 Heliodrom at all.

3 Q. The person, Dinko, or whoever it was, who collected the prisoners,

4 how would he deal with that if you spent days and days in the same unit?

5 What did he say to the people in the Heliodrom?

6 A. Well, Dinko would say that we were working at night on the front

7 line. He would say that we had special jobs to do on the front line, at

8 night, and he didn't take us all back. He would leave a few of us and let

9 us sleep in the headquarters.

10 Q. And what did you actually do at night in that unit, you if you

11 were on your own, and whoever else was with you, what did you do in the

12 unit throughout the night, if anything?

13 A. Mostly we sat there in front of the headquarters, played cards,

14 read the newspapers, and just sat there doing nothing.

15 Q. Where did you sleep in the unit? What were the conditions there

16 when you slept there?

17 A. On the first floor of the headquarters there were three rooms with

18 sofas and settees and couches. We had furniture there and we had blankets

19 to cover ourselves with.

20 Q. How about hygiene? Was there water? Was there a toilet?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Were you guard? When you spent the nights there, were you locked

23 in? Were there guards watching over you to prevent you escaping or

24 perhaps committing some act of sabotage?

25 A. There was always someone on duty in the headquarters, and we would

Page 14102

1 sit there chatting with him until we went to bed, but it wasn't someone

2 who was specially there to guard us.

3 Q. When you say "us," how many of you would spend time there, sleep

4 there, and who were there as prisoners but in fact did not go back to the

5 Heliodrom?

6 A. Well, between five and ten. There were some who would ask to go

7 to Heliodrom in the evening in order to take some food to their friends or

8 relatives there, or some clothes.

9 Q. Speaking of food, how come there was enough food there for

10 prisoners to take food to other prisoners? Where did you eat?

11 A. We who stayed there, we ate in the same place as Stela's unit, but

12 the food we took back, those were mainly tins which we asked for and they

13 gave us.

14 Q. You say you ate in a place called Hladovina. Was that a

15 restaurant or a canteen, and where was it?

16 A. Hladovina is a restaurant between the headquarters and the

17 Rondo.

18 Q. Was food cooked for soldiers and prisoners there, and did you eat

19 the same food?

20 A. Food was cooked there for soldiers for Stela's unit, and we had

21 the same food they did. We even ate at the same time as them.

22 Q. Did you have cigarettes? Did you have coffee? Did you have

23 everything that the soldiers had? What did the soldiers have that you did

24 not have, as for food or other necessities?

25 A. We had the same food. And as for drink, there was a young man in

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Page 14104

1 the headquarters who made coffee. He was also a prisoner. Whenever we

2 wanted, he made coffee or tea. There was milk. And the cigarettes came

3 from other units. There were several good mechanics in this unit who

4 could repair cars. And Stela always made them pay -- made people whose

5 cars were repaired pay for the services we performed, and then we used

6 that money to buy cigarettes.

7 Q. You want to say that if you performed a favour for someone or did

8 a job for them, you would be paid in some way, with money or cigarettes,

9 and that this was at Stela's order?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Let's talk a little more about the conditions in the unit. You

12 told us that you were taken to see your parents by Dinko. Were there

13 other occasions when you could go to your house, to your parents', and how

14 did this happen?

15 A. Whenever I wanted to, I asked Stela to drive me, or he would tell

16 one of his soldiers to give me a lift. Three for four times it was he who

17 give me a lift. Once we went to his parents' house for lunch and then he

18 took me to my parents and I stayed there three or four hours. And I was

19 always told to wait there for him, because I wasn't allowed to move

20 around.

21 Q. Are you saying that on one occasion Stela took you to lunch at his

22 parents' home? Did I understand you well?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Well, this is what happened to you. What about the other

25 prisoners who were there? Were they able to go to their homes, visit

Page 14105

1 their families, change, have a bath, or were you specially privileged in

2 this regard?

3 A. The others who had relatives could go. Somebody would always take

4 them. Vlado Fink was there, also a high ranking officer of the Bosnian

5 Army, and he went to see his wife and family every day.

6 Q. So the only condition was that someone should take them there and

7 then bring them back?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. During those few months that you spent in that unit, did you ever

10 go to work at the front line, at the demarcation line on the Bulevar?

11 Were you ever taken there?

12 A. Only once. I wasn't taken there. There was a man who was at the

13 line, and I wanted to talk to him. And there was a soldier taking food

14 there, and I asked if I could go with him so I could see my friend.

15 Q. What about the other prisoners? Did they go to the demarcation

16 line or to the health centre? Do you know that? Did you see that?

17 A. Only those who had someone they knew in the shift, someone they

18 knew, because the idea was that they would go to work if they had soldiers

19 who knew them to protect them there. So they went to the health centre in

20 that way.

21 Q. Let's clarify this: Everyone had someone they knew. For example,

22 a certain soldier would ask for a certain prisoner. Did he ask for his

23 prisoner because he wanted to have someone to work for him or because it

24 was a friend he wanted to look after and make sure that nobody did

25 anything bad to him?

Page 14106

1 A. It was mostly friends. They always asked for their friends.

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.

3 MR. PORIOUVAEV: It's too leading and instructive, to get a ready

4 response from the witness.

5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Mr. Par, rephrase your question, please.

6 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]

7 Q. Witness, can you explain to us what you meant when you said

8 everyone had someone they knew, and that's why they took them to the

9 demarcation line? What did you mean by that?

10 A. If a soldier knew the prisoners who were brought to work, he would

11 always take the prisoner he knew to work for him so that he would protect

12 him, not because he wanted him to work for him, because there wasn't much

13 to do anyway.

14 Q. And how would he protect him if he was taking him to the

15 demarcation line? So, for example, I'm a soldier, I've brought my friend

16 to the demarcation line. How would I protect him? Can you explain that

17 to us? What did they do there?

18 A. They mostly sat in cellars, protected by sandbags. Because the

19 demarcation line had been established long before and there was no longer

20 any need to fortify it. So they would just sit there together and chat.

21 And it was only those who wanted to that went to the demarcation line.

22 Q. During the time you spent in the unit, did you see anyone wounded

23 or killed during your stay there?

24 A. I remember only one occasion. I don't know what the date was -

25 when the headquarters was shelled. One of Stela's soldiers and one of the

Page 14107

1 prisoners were wounded. Stela put them in his jeep. He told us to go to

2 the basement and he drove them to hospital in his jeep. One was wounded

3 in the stomach and the other in the kidneys. I think his soldier was

4 wounded in the kidneys and the prisoner was wounded in the stomach.

5 Q. Do you know the name of that prisoner? And if you do, I will ask

6 for us to go into private session while you say the name. Do you know the

7 name?

8 A. No. I know his nickname, but I don't know his name exactly.

9 Q. And where did this happen? Was it near the headquarters? Was it

10 at the demarcation line?

11 A. It was in the yard of the headquarters.

12 Q. Was it shrapnel that they were wounded with?

13 A. Well, the headquarters was often shelled. A shell landed some ten

14 metres away from the headquarters, and they were wounded by shrapnel.

15 Q. When shelling or shooting started, did you take shelter

16 somewhere? Were you able to take shelter? What would happen if there was

17 suddenly shooting while you were there in front of the headquarters? How

18 was this organised?

19 A. We always took shelter in the basement of the headquarters. There

20 was a big basement down the entire length and width of the building, and

21 that's where we all took shelter.

22 Q. Was the shelter the same for you and for the soldiers or were any

23 priorities set up?

24 A. There were no priorities. We always ran into the basement all

25 together.

Page 14108

1 Q. Very well. According to what you have told us, you had good

2 conditions, freedom of movement, you could visit your parents. Why didn't

3 you try to escape? Did you have an opportunity to escape? You were a

4 prisoner of war. Why didn't you try to escape, if you didn't?

5 A. Well, I couldn't escape because, first of all, I had no documents,

6 and I felt safest with Stela because no one could mistreat me there.

7 Q. Did you wish to leave this situation, to rejoin your wife and

8 children? Did you have plans of that kind?

9 A. Yes. I even talked to Stela, and he said to me -- he told me I

10 shouldn't worry, that he guaranteed that I would be released, that he did

11 not have the power to take me out of Mostar then, but as soon as an

12 opportunity presented itself, he would take me out of Mostar.

13 Q. So you had an agreement about this, and did anything ever come of

14 that, on the basis of his promise that he would help you, did you

15 undertake any activities? Tell me first of all: Did you manage to

16 leave? And then tell us, in brief, how this came about.

17 A. On the 4th of December, I did manage to leave, but before that,

18 Stela took me to a house belonging to a soldier of his, which is right

19 next to the house of Stela's parents. And I spent some 15 or 20 days

20 there. Stela organised for my parents to visit me. He or his parents --

21 he or one of his soldiers would bring them to me. He brought me video

22 cassettes so I wouldn't be bored. And in the end, word got around that I

23 was hiding there, and there were people from Central Bosnia there, from

24 other units. And then he gave me an automatic weapon in case anyone

25 should try to break in after dark. He said, "If they try to break in,

Page 14109

1 just shoot and then one of my soldiers will come to the rescue."

2 Q. So he takes you out of the unit, puts you up in a house and even

3 gives you a weapon to defend yourself. So you're there, and whilst you

4 are there in that house, is there any plan being made to have somebody to

5 fetch you? Are some documents being prepared? What is being done in that

6 regard? Do you have any idea where you will go once you are allowed to

7 go? Can you explain it to us?

8 A. The first solution we talked about was to leave in a cistern, in a

9 tanker going to fetch fuel, with one of the soldiers who was in Stela's

10 unit, but then I requested to establish contact with my brother, who was

11 in Sweden, so that he could perhaps try to organise for me departure from

12 Mostar. So we went and called, and my brother called a high-ranking

13 officer in the Croatian army whom had he knew personally, asked to do us

14 this service, this favour, and he promised he would come as soon as he

15 found time to do that. However, meanwhile, Stela --

16 Q. When you say an officer in the Croatian army, does that mean

17 Croatian Amy Croatia? And where did this man live at the time? Where

18 did your brother locate him?

19 A. This man is a high-ranking officer in the Croatian Army and he

20 worked in the barracks in Pula. Because after I reached Croatia, I spent

21 a night in Pula, precisely in this barracks where the Croatian army were

22 put up.

23 Q. I interrupted you. You said that your brother called that

24 officer, that he said to him -- that he said that he would help. So did

25 he? And when did you leave? How? When?

Page 14110

1 A. Stela organised some papers to be made for me, that I was not an

2 HVO soldier, that there was no need for me to be in the HVO, and that I

3 was not a military conscript, and then requested SIS to issue me with a

4 paper that I was being released. And the SIS issued that certificate

5 even though they said they were not supposed to do that, because they had

6 information that I was a member of the army. And he said, "Right. But

7 this certificate doesn't matter. It doesn't really carry much weight but

8 it will help me in those early moments so that I can get out."

9 Q. So this was a kind of a paper which regulated your status.

10 A. That's right.

11 Q. And did this man from Croatia come to fetch you and did he take

12 you out of Mostar?

13 A. Yes, he did. He came in the morning. It was pretty sudden. He

14 called my parents and then my father went to Stela and together they came

15 to where I was because that man didn't have much time. We merely greeted

16 one another in front of the base. We said goodbye to Stela and the other

17 soldiers that I knew and took a car and set off to Croatia.

18 Q. And then through Croatia to third countries, where you were

19 regulating all those papers for a third country where did you go, if it's

20 not a secret?

21 A. I spent the first night with my parents -- with the parents of

22 this gentleman who had come to me, that was in Zivogosce, the second night

23 I spent in Pula and then in Zagreb, without any papers. But then this man

24 told me, "Well, if necessary, I can always communicate with him," but then

25 I reported to the Bosnian consulate in Zagreb and I was issued with a

Page 14111

1 passport.

2 Q. And you managed to go to a third country and that country is --?

3 A. Yes. After that I left. I think it was January sometime or late

4 December perhaps. I went to Germany.

5 Q. Did you -- ever reunite with your family. Where and when?

6 A. I was reunited with my family in late 1994, early 1995, in

7 Germany.

8 Q. Very well. So now we've seen the road you covered as a prisoner.

9 But I'd like to approach it from a different angle. So let me go back to

10 the unit when you were there for this couple of months at Stela's. Did

11 you see Stela or his men persecute Muslims at the time? Did you see them

12 engage in some other activities apart from manning the front line?

13 A. As for the persecution, I did not see any. All I know is that

14 some individuals came and asked Stela if he could transfer somebody across

15 his section of the front line -- of his line of responsibility on the

16 Bulevar, and I know of a case when a man came. I think that before,

17 before the war he was with the JNA, an officer in the JNA. And then there

18 was somebody to see it on his behalf, that Stela lets him across, that his

19 section of the front line. . And he asked, "What can I take with

20 me?" And Stela told me -- told him to take four bags, four bags of

21 anything that he can carry. And then they called by Motorola the other

22 side to prevent any shooting, because their man was crossing over.

23 Q. Did that man pay something to Stela? What kind of a deal was it?

24 Was it just a request, the man who wanted to cross over?

25 A. No. It was just a request, and somebody interceded on behalf of

Page 14112

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Page 14113

1 that man from some other unit.

2 Q. So then how does Stela organise it right? This man has come. Can

3 I get across? Does he know that man across. What does he tell him?

4 How did do they talk, was it a personal contact? What is it?

5 A. Well, usually, as a rule, one of Stela's men would take the man to

6 the separation line, then they would call by Motorola people across the

7 line. Because across the line were again people who lived all together

8 and they knew everybody and the lines were so close together they could

9 even shout to each other, not even needing a Motorola. So somebody would

10 announce, "Your man is coming over. Don't fire." And this was usually

11 done in daytime, because at night there was more fire, so it wasn't all

12 that convenient.

13 Q. Very well. And I suppose you saw how others treated Muslims. Did

14 any other people come there to complain to Stela, to ask him for help,

15 people from his neighbourhood, from his locality? Those were Muslims.

16 Did you ever see anything like that? And how were they treated?

17 A. I know that in Stela's area of responsibility, the largest part

18 remained in Mostar. Yes, they used to come and ask mostly for food. And

19 later on I had a story that Stela's men spent most the food of all the HVO

20 units. To my family, after I departed to Germany, my family received a

21 parcel of food every week.

22 Q. And do you know if he also helped with food, other Muslim families

23 at the time of shortages?

24 A. Yes, certainly.

25 Q. We are coming to the end of our conversation. So tell us: When

Page 14114

1 and how did you find out about the charges being brought against Vinko

2 Martinovic? And can you tell the Court: What was your reaction to that?

3 A. I returned in late 1997, or in early 1998, to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

4 I think it was 1998 sometime that I learned that The Hague Tribunal had

5 issued an arrest warrant for Stela, but I believe he had already

6 surrendered by that time. Then I called our friend, a former soldier, a

7 lad who was my school fellow, Dragan Vlaho, and he said he had placed

8 himself at -- that I should make myself available, that if I was ready to

9 help any with my statement, that I should make myself available.

10 Q. What did you mean by that? What did it mean? How? Make yourself

11 available for what? How?

12 A. Well, that I would be ready to testify and tell my story, to say

13 what happened to me at the time.

14 Q. So that is the reason why you are here. And if I haven't offered

15 you the opportunity to tell your story, you are -- feel free to add

16 something, but I've finished. I have no further questions.

17 A. I wish to thank you very much, and what I want to add is that

18 Stela personally saved my life, because a member of the BH army, I guess I

19 would have fared much worse had it not been for Stela.

20 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Witness.

21 Thank you, Your Honours. I have finished.

22 JUDGE LIU: Four minutes before recess. So we'll make our break

23 here, and after the break, the Prosecution will conduct

24 cross-examination. We'll resume at 4.00.

25 --- Recess taken at 3.26 p.m.

Page 14115

1 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.

2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Cross-examination, Mr. Prosecutor.

3 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour. Your Honour, I would ask

4 to go into private session for some time.

5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.

6 [Private session]

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18 [Open session]

19 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

20 Q. And were any of your next-of-kin arrested in Mostar at that time?

21 A. No.

22 Q. So you were taken to Dretelj camp; right?

23 A. Right.

24 Q. And who was in charge of Dretelj camp?

25 A. The Dretelj camp belonged to the HVO. I know that its

Page 14119

1 administrator was someone whose nickname was Boko. That's what people

2 called him.

3 Q. Was it military police or regular HVO unit?

4 A. The military police guarded the camp, and in the camp itself there

5 were members of the HVO, including those of Muslim origin who had stayed

6 on with the HVO. For instance, the warehouse that we were in, it was run

7 by a man of Muslim ethnicity.

8 Q. And what about prisoners? Were all of them of Muslim nationality?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Witness, is it your testimony that somewhere around 30 of you were

11 former ABiH soldiers? Right?

12 A. In the warehouse, where I was detained, there were about 15 of

13 us. However, there were two or three other warehouses, and then they

14 collected us all in one place in the warehouse where I was, and there were

15 30 of us there.

16 Q. Do you mean that the rest of the prisoners were civilians?

17 A. No. Before their arrest, they had also been members of the HVO.

18 Q. And who was it who mistreated you? Military police or regular HVO

19 soldiers?

20 A. They were regular soldiers, and I know that in the beginning it

21 was the units from Ljubuski - I don't know the name of the unit - who

22 mostly mistreated us. Later on there were people from Bugojno, units from

23 Bugojno, who had been driven out by the army.

24 Q. Witness, did you ever see representatives of the Red Cross, or

25 rather, international humanitarian organisations in Dretelj Camp?

Page 14120

1 A. While I was in the Dretelj camp, no.

2 Q. So let's move now to Mostar. Is it correct, Witness, that most of

3 prisoners at Heliodrom, male prisoners, were taken to perform some sort of

4 labour outside of Heliodrom?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Do you know to what locations they were taken to perform job?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Please, could you just inform the Trial Chamber what you know

9 about the locations.

10 A. These were Carina, Santiceva, Bijelo Polje; Buna; Bulevar; the

11 old high school, Plover [phoen]; then just below the Catholic church where

12 the 4th Battalion was; then Rodoc.

13 Q. Do you know what kind of job they performed?

14 A. For the most part, it was fortifying the lines.

15 Q. Did they volunteer to do this job, to the best of your knowledge?

16 A. First of all, they did not volunteer, but quite a few of them,

17 even people who -- mostly people who were from Mostar went voluntarily

18 because they hoped to come across someone they knew to bring them food or

19 cigarettes to bring back to the camp.

20 Q. So you were taken from Heliodrom to perform some job, to Vinko

21 Martinovic unit. Do you know what kind of unit was it?

22 A. It was called ATG Mrmak. That was a unit composed mostly of

23 Stela's friends, people who knew him from before the war and who had been

24 in the HOS with him.

25 Q. Do you know who was Vinko Martinovic commander?

Page 14121

1 A. I think it was -- well, the town had its own HVO Supreme Command

2 which issued orders.

3 Q. How do you know that?

4 A. Mostly it was the military police who arrived. When there were

5 some talks in the headquarters, it was a van from the military police that

6 would arrive, and then some high-ranking HVO officers would go there, whom

7 I knew by sight, and I assume they issued orders or something like that.

8 Q. For example, which high-ranking officers were there?

9 A. I wouldn't know their names, but I knew them by sight. I knew

10 they came from Mostar.

11 Q. Do you have any idea what position they occupied at the time?

12 A. Probably high-ranking positions, because they had their own

13 drivers and escort.

14 Q. And what kind of actions did the unit perform after those visits?

15 Could you tell the Trial Chamber?

16 A. Well, there weren't any particular operations conducted by Stela's

17 men except perhaps at the front line, but I never went there. So I never

18 knew what they discussed in the headquarters. The situation was always

19 normal. We sat there. And there were complaints made to Stela that he

20 was treating us too softly, that he was soft on us.

21 Q. Who complained about that?

22 A. It was mostly those men. On one occasion word got round that

23 Stela was letting his prisoners go home, so at the Heliodrom they banned

24 him from taking prisoners away for a time.

25 Q. When was it?

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Page 14123

1 A. It was in the period when I used to go there. It would be August

2 or September. For a few days they wouldn't let him take prisoners, but

3 then they let him do it again.

4 Q. What kind of uniform did Stela's soldiers wear?

5 A. Camouflage uniforms with HVO insignia. Some had green uniforms,

6 but most of them had camouflage uniforms, and they even had insignia

7 saying "Mrmak."

8 Q. Did you see Mr. Vinko Martinovic wear a uniform, military uniform?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Did he have any specific patches testifying to the fact that he

11 has a military rank?

12 A. He had no rank on his uniform. His insignia was the same as those

13 of other soldiers, HVO had, and sometimes he even wore civilian clothes.

14 Q. Did you know any of Stela's soldiers?

15 A. Yes, most of them.

16 Q. Did you know Ernest Takac?

17 A. I met him when I went for work in Stela's unit. I didn't know him

18 before that.

19 Q. But was he in position -- I mean, August/September, when you were

20 performing job in Stela's unit?

21 A. I didn't understand your question.

22 Q. Okay. I will try to clarify. So you just told the Trial Chamber

23 that you saw Takac when you were performing job in Stela's unit; right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And what was Takac at that time? What his position was.

Page 14124

1 A. He was a soldier, a member of the ATG Mrmak.

2 Q. Was he a sort of boss for the rest of the soldiers?

3 A. I don't believe so, because with Stela you never knew who was a

4 boss and who was a soldier.

5 Q. And who were bosses in his unit, apart from Stela himself?

6 A. Only Stela.

7 Q. Did you know Solaja?

8 A. No.

9 Q. Samir Bosnjic?

10 A. Yes. I knew him while he was still in the HOS. He was wounded in

11 the HOS. He had a severe head wound.

12 Q. Dubravko Pehar?

13 A. Yes. I knew him from childhood.

14 Q. Mladen Colak?

15 A. Yes. I met him only when I came to Stela's unit.

16 Q. Is it correct that he was in charge of the confrontation line?

17 A. Are you referring to Mladen Colak?

18 Q. Yes, exactly.

19 A. I don't know who was in charge of the confrontation line, but I do

20 know that he did go to the line, he and Dubravko.

21 Q. Dubravko Pehar?

22 A. Yes. Yes.

23 Q. Witness, am I fair to say that many of Stela's soldiers were

24 criminal offenders, already wanted by the police before the outbreak of

25 hostilities?

Page 14125

1 A. I wouldn't know about that, because I was living in Sarajevo, so I

2 didn't know who was a criminal in Mostar.

3 Q. Is it correct that normally they took you to Stela's unit in a

4 group of from 15 to 30 prisoners?

5 A. I don't know that there were ever 30. Mostly it was between 15

6 and 20. Sometimes the person who came to collect us would take more men

7 without Stela's knowledge to begin with.

8 Q. Is it correct that it was mostly Dinko Knezovic who took you from

9 Heliodrom to Vinko Skrobo unit?

10 A. In the beginning, yes, until Stela punished him.

11 Q. And who was in charge of distribution of job among prisoners?

12 A. Well, there wasn't much to do. The group I was in, at least, we

13 mostly stayed at the headquarters, and as I said, we fixed cars and did

14 things of that kind. It was always the prisoners that a soldier asked for

15 who went to the line, and those were people whom the soldiers knew. But

16 there was never any strict distribution of jobs. They never said, "You go

17 there" and, "You do this and that."

18 Q. Witness, is it correct to say that from those 20, 15, or 30

19 prisoners taken from Heliodrom, not all were left at headquarters; some

20 were taken to the confrontation line or some other types of job? Right?

21 A. No. They weren't all left at the headquarters. That's correct.

22 Some went home right away. Others were on lists of people taken from the

23 Heliodrom who never even arrived in Stela's headquarters.

24 Q. I repeat my question: Were any of prisoners taken to the

25 confrontation line from your group of prisoners?

Page 14126

1 A. Yes, but only those whose friends were doing their shift at the

2 confrontation line as soldiers. Had Stela been at the confrontation line

3 at the time, I would probably have been taken there too.

4 Q. Was it a lighter job and less dangerous on the confrontation

5 line?

6 A. It was always safest in Stela's headquarters, and that was the

7 safest place to go to work. In the period of time I was there, the

8 civilian protection had already set up the confrontation line, so there

9 was not much to do, either on the lines or in the headquarters.

10 Q. Witness, how do you know that if you never go to the confrontation

11 line, according to your testimony?

12 A. I said that once I spent ten minutes at the confrontation line,

13 when we went to take some food there, and I wanted to ask Dubi, that's

14 Dubravko Pehar, about some things.

15 Q. And what kind of information did you get for those ten minutes

16 that you were on the confrontation line?

17 A. The information I got was that I could stay in Dubravko Pehar's

18 house until I managed to leave Mostar.

19 Q. Is it correct, Witness, that prisoners would call Stela "colonel"

20 or "boss" or something like that?

21 A. We called him that jokingly. We also called him other names as a

22 joke, but he didn't have any official rank, as far as I knew. He was the

23 leader of his crew, of his people, who respected him. When the Serbian

24 aggression started, he was one of the first to organise defence, and

25 that's why people respected him.

Page 14127

1 Q. Witness, how did Mr. Martinovic introduce himself to prisoners?

2 A. He behaved normally, as the commander of his unit, but he always

3 treated everyone correctly. And there were always jokes bandied around.

4 The atmosphere was always relaxed. Because when you've been in a camp

5 like Dretelj and after that you come to Stela, that was really wonderful.

6 It was so relaxed.

7 Q. Witness, is it correct that on many occasions Vinko Martinovic

8 referred to prisoners as fundamentalists, extremists, balijas, and so on?

9 A. No. It could only happen if he meant it as a joke, but he didn't

10 really mean it.

11 Q. How do you know what he meant?

12 A. I know because I had enough courage to call him an extremist, and

13 he would call me a fundamentalist, but we were both joking. Because he

14 wanted us to relax, at least a little.

15 Q. Witness, is it correct that you were not only taken to Stela's

16 unit, but on some occasions you were taken to some other jobs?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Is it correct that on one occasion you were taken to the 1st Light

19 Assault Platoon?

20 A. I don't know the exact name of that platoon, but if you tell me

21 the location, I can tell you if I was there or not.

22 Q. But what kind of job did you perform? And was it Dinko Knezovic

23 who took you there?

24 A. Dinko Knezovic took me only to Stela's headquarters.

25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit

Page 14128

1 567.1.

2 Q. I would like you to open the page with the last four digits 5080

3 and 5081. Okay. Page with the digits 5081.

4 Witness, do you see your name in the list of prisoners?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. Do you also see Dinko Knezovic's name at the bottom of the page?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Do you see the name of the unit at the top of the page?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. And what is the name of the unit?

11 A. The 1st Light Brigade -- assault.

12 Q. You were taken there by Knezovic; right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. And what kind of job did you perform in that unit?

15 A. These were all men who came to Stela's headquarters.

16 Q. But what were you doing in the 1st Battalion?

17 A. Probably they called Stela's brigade the 1st Light Assault, but

18 that's a mistake, because we went to the Mrmak anti-terrorist group.

19 Vladimir Fink was a high-ranking officer of the army of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Zlatko was a tradesman. He repaired things. These

21 were people who came to the anti-terrorist group every day, and we

22 certainly didn't go any further than the headquarters.

23 Q. Witness, you've just explained to the Trial Chamber that on

24 certain occasions prisoners were kept in Stela's headquarters for some

25 time after they were brought there from Heliodrom; is it correct?

Page 14129

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Is it correct that apart from the top floor, there was a basement

3 in his headquarters?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Is it also correct that that basement was also used for keeping

6 prisoners?

7 A. No. Only in case of shelling. I'm sure that prisoners were never

8 kept there unless there was shelling.

9 Q. Were there any occasions when prisoners were kept at Stela's

10 headquarters for a long period of time, for example, for ten days?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Would you expand a little bit on that? When did it happen, and

13 why?

14 A. Mostly it was the men whom Stela knew most, who knew best, or whom

15 he liked best who remained in the headquarters, and we were practically

16 free there. We would stay the night or we would go to the Hladovina

17 restaurant in the evening. We would sit and play cards with the soldier

18 who was on duty. That's how it was.

19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Now I would like the witness to be shown

20 Exhibit -- one moment. Sorry -- yes. 601.1. This is pages with the last

21 four digits 5272, 5273.

22 Q. Please, Witness, take a look at the list of persons you have on

23 this document. Witness, have you read it?

24 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, maybe we should now go into private

25 session.

Page 14130

1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.

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14 [Open session]

15 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

16 Q. Witness, let's return to the events of the 17th of September,

17 1993, when some military operation took place. You were not taken on the

18 17th of September to Stela's unit; right?

19 A. I think that by that time I could have already been in the flat,

20 because the only date that means something to me is December 4th, 1993.

21 Otherwise ...

22 Q. Witness, let's return to your testimony. You explained to the

23 Trial Chamber that you were released from Heliodrom on the 3rd of December

24 or 4th of December, but 15 or 20 days before, you were taken to some

25 apartment; right? So it could not be September.

Page 14136

1 A. Fifteen to twenty days before that I spent in the flat, that is

2 correct, and on the 4th of December I left Mostar. But in the meantime, I

3 didn't spend all this time in the flat on the 4th of December. I even

4 could report -- could go to the base and report to Stela in order to get

5 that paper.

6 Q. Witness, in September you were kept in Heliodrom; right?

7 A. Yes. Yes, it is.

8 Q. And the 17th of September you were not taken to Stela's

9 headquarters; right?

10 A. I don't remember the dates when I was taken and when I wasn't.

11 Q. Some minutes ago we looked through this document and you were not

12 in the list of prisoners taken to Stela's headquarters. Take a look at it

13 again.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. What do you mean by "yes"?

16 A. I am not on the list. I am not on the list of people taken away.

17 Q. Don't you think that it's not a coincidence?

18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Par.

19 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I object to this question. I think it

20 invites speculation. "Was it by coincidence or not?" That is really not a

21 question that I think is permissible.

22 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, you may put your question

23 another way.

24 MR. PORIOUVAEV: All right.

25 Q. Witness, did you consider yourself to have been a privileged

Page 14137

1 prisoner?

2 A. By the very fact that I went to Stela's, yes, but I can explain

3 the next question. At some moment it -- that Stela was taken his

4 prisoners home. Dinko Knezovic sometimes took out more men than Stela had

5 asked for, and then he struck private deals to take away those people.

6 Before he would take them to the base, he would take them to their homes

7 and then seek payment for that. And then he would bring to the base the

8 number of men, the exact number that Stela had asked. And these stories

9 started to circulate around the Heliodrom, and then we also learned that

10 Stela could not take out the same men that he had taken before that. And

11 there was an intermission of a few days when neither I nor Vlado Fink

12 could go to Stela's. After that, Vlado Fink never went to Stela's base to

13 work.

14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, we should go into private session

15 for some moment.

16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we'll go to the private session, please.

17 [Private session]

18 [redacted]

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11 [Open session]

12 A. While I was at Stela's, when Stela took me to his home, I didn't

13 know where we were going, but then we went to his parents' for lunch, and

14 in the car I asked him, "Was there -- what were my chances of getting

15 released," because I wanted to go abroad and I wanted to get together with

16 my family. And Stela said, "Don't be afraid. Nothing can happen to

17 you. I do not have the authority to release you and take you out of

18 Mostar, but I guarantee that nothing will happen to you, and we shall try

19 to find some solution for you, some way to have you out."

20 After that, I moved into the house at Dubravko Pehar's, which is

21 right next to Stela's parents', and that is where I was.

22 Q. Sorry. Just to clarify the situation and not to return to it:

23 How did you leave Heliodrom on that day? Who allowed you to go from

24 Heliodrom? Who took you from Heliodrom?

25 A. I came out normally, like as when I went to work, with a group of

Page 14140

1 prisoners. I spent a couple of nights in the base and then I moved over

2 to that flat. I do not know how Stela explained why I wasn't coming back

3 to work any more, why I was not at the Heliodrom.

4 Q. Witness, but you explained to the Trial Chamber that after

5 September you were never taken to any labour outside Heliodrom.

6 A. I don't understand the question.

7 Q. I just want to remind you of your testimony. Today in the

8 courtroom, you just told that it was September that was the last month

9 when you were involved in some sort of labour outside of Heliodrom.

10 A. As regards that, perhaps I was returned several times. I do not

11 remember the exact date when Stela took me to a shelter. But I know that

12 the last time I came, I was taken out from the Heliodrom and I did not go

13 back.

14 Q. So it happened somewhere in November; right?

15 A. Yes, I suppose so. But before that, before I moved over to the

16 flat, I slept in Stela's base for several days.

17 Q. Were you also taken to his father's place?

18 A. I went for lunch only once, to his father's house. I've already

19 said that.

20 Q. Did they take other prisoners to have lunch in his premises, I

21 mean Stela's father?

22 A. I don't know that.

23 Q. Witness, were you ever returned to Heliodrom in September --

24 sorry - in December, before you were officially released from Heliodrom?

25 A. Officially, I was not released from the Heliodrom.

Page 14141

1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit

2 4931.

3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.

4 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] No, I'm not objecting. Nothing to do

5 with the document. What I wish to say is that the time used for direct

6 examination has already been spent, so could we please stand by our

7 agreement that we should have a balanced ratio.

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes. How long are you going to take, Mr. Prosecutor?

9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I've got two or three questions,

10 that's all. And I didn't object, so I didn't take your time, and you

11 objected, you took some of my time. Sorry.

12 JUDGE LIU: No. Don't calculate it in these details, Mr.

13 Prosecutor. I'll allow you to finish that three or four questions. Then

14 we'll break for recess.

15 MR. PORIOUVAEV:

16 Q. So -- I'm sorry. Yes. The page with the last digits 7205. This

17 is number 323. By "number," I mean the number of entry in the document.

18 Witness, do you see your name?

19 A. I do.

20 Q. When were you released, according to this entry?

21 A. I was released - and I'm sure of it - when I last came to Stela's

22 base. I don't know the exact date. On the 4th of December, I was in

23 Croatia. And as for this document, Stela sent Dubravko Pehar to the SIS

24 and said that whichever paper I bring -- I haven't brought it now, but I

25 still have this piece of paper. It says that, the witness says his name,

Page 14142

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Page 14143

1 is relieved of his term of his imprisonment and that is not the date, but

2 another. And the man said that he knew I was a he member of the BH army

3 and therefore he was not allowed to issue me that paper. However, I know

4 that Pehar told me, "You know who I am and what can be done. So produce

5 this paper, because I guarantee with my life for this man." And this

6 paper I can send later on to the lawyers. And this date has nothing to do

7 with it, the 3rd of December. This must have been mid-November sometime.

8 And I have this paper. I've kept it as a personal document, as a memento

9 Q. And my next question: This is about that person who used to serve

10 in the former Yugoslavia army and who was taken across the confrontation

11 line with Stela's assistance. You claimed that he did not pay anything to

12 Stela. How do you know that?

13 A. Because I was there throughout, and when the release was being

14 discussed, Stela wasn't even in the base, because I was in the office when

15 the man came with that former JNA officer and said that his wife and his

16 child -- that the military police had taken his wife and child to the left

17 bank and he was asking to be reunited with the family, so could he also

18 be taken across. And we were together and Stela approved it. And when he

19 said, "What can I take along?" Stela said, "Whatever you can put in four

20 bags or sacks or something. Whatever you can carry, do it. We won't

21 check it except weapons. You may not take any weapons." And that man

22 waited in front of the base and Stela had already left by that time.

23 Q. My question was very brief: How do you know that he did not pay?

24 That's all. No need to explain and repeat the story again.

25 A. He didn't pay anything in front of me, because I was present

Page 14144

1 during the conversation between the two of them.

2 Q. Do you know that it so happened sometimes that Vinko Martinovic

3 did get money from Muslims for taking them across the confrontation line

4 or taking them to some other location away from Mostar?

5 A. No.

6 Q. You did not know about it?

7 A. No, I didn't.

8 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit

9 664.1 and distribute this document among others. I'm sorry. This issue

10 was not in the summary of witness testimony, and that's why I have to --

11 had to prepare this copy just during the break.

12 Q. Witness, have you read the document?

13 A. I have.

14 Q. Could you give any comments to it?

15 A. Well, I can. It says here that this information has not been

16 verified.

17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, that was my last question.

18 JUDGE LIU: Well, we'll break here and we'll resume at 5 minutes

19 to 6.00.

20 --- Recess taken at 5.23 p.m.

21 --- On resuming at 5.57 p.m.

22 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Par, re-examination, please.

23 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Very briefly, Mr. President.

24 Re-examined by Mr. Par:

25 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, you don't have the documents in front of

Page 14145

1 you any more, so I wish to ask the usher to put before the witness the

2 documents 601.1, which the witness has already been shown by the

3 Prosecutor.

4 And Mr. President, just in case I ask that we go into private

5 session for a moment, in order to avoid revealing identities.

6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go into the private session, please.

7 [Private session]

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19 [Open session]

20 JUDGE LIU: Any questions from the Judges? Judge Clark?

21 JUDGE CLARK: Yes, Mr. ME. I have a few questions on

22 clarification.

23 Questioned by the Court:

24 JUDGE CLARK: That latest question that was posed to you by

25 Mr. Par, I think needs some clarification as to why a document which is

Page 14148

1 dated the 28th of September should have a note at the bottom that's dated

2 the 2nd of December, but I think that that's something that's not for you

3 to answer.

4 I want to go back to some other matters. You were asked a

5 question, Mr. ME, a while ago, by the Prosecutor, when he asked you if you

6 were a privileged prisoner. My recollection is that you responded that

7 there was another prisoner who was more privileged, but I didn't catch his

8 name. Now, it may be that we'll have to go into private session for that.

9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.

10 [Private session]

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24 [Open session]

25 Any questions out of Judges' questions?

Page 14155

1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour.

2 Further cross-examination by Mr. Poriouvaev:

3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.

4 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Just one question.

5 Q. Witness, answering to Judge Clark's question about the 17th of

6 September, you stated that you were not taken to Vinko Skrobo unit; you

7 were taken to some other unit. To which unit were you taken?

8 A. I said, because I don't remember dates, that perhaps I was taken.

9 I know that in the period while I was there, I was taken to Santiceva

10 Street. That was the 2nd Battalion. And I was also taken to Malo Polje,

11 to Buna, I think.

12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: No more questions.

13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par.

14 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I have just one question, but I would

15 like us to go into private session, please. If we are still in private

16 session, then it's all right.

17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go back into the private session.

18 [Private session]

19 [redacted]

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12 [Open session]

13 [The witness withdrew]

14 JUDGE LIU: During the proceedings, two maps are used. One is by

15 the Defence counsel. That is D2/31. Another is used by the Prosecutor.

16 That is P11.18/16. They are the maps marked by the witness during the

17 proceedings. They are admitted into evidence. Am I right, Mr. Par?

18 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Thank you.

19 JUDGE LIU: And as for the document P493.1, which is a new

20 document, are you going to tender it into evidence?

21 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour. I would like to tender it into

22 evidence. I would also like to tender into evidence 664.1.

23 JUDGE LIU: Any objections, Mr. Par?

24 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Right now I'm slightly lost with these

25 numbers, so could you please leave me some time and I will let you know.

Page 14161

1 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes. Yes, of course. But I think that document

2 P493.1 is just a list of the released prisoners of war.

3 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] I have no objections to that.

4 JUDGE LIU: So this document is admitted into the evidence. As

5 for the document P664.1, I'll give you some time to consider it.

6 So we'll have another witness. Yes. Mr. Usher, would you please

7 bring in the next witness, please.

8 Before I forget, I have to remind everybody: Tomorrow morning

9 we'll move to courtroom 2 at 9.00 in the morning. Yes.

10 [The witness entered court]

11 JUDGE LIU: Good evening, Witness. Can you hear me?

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can.

13 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration, please.

14 WITNESS: WITNESS MF

15 [Witness answered through interpreter]

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

17 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.

19 Yes, Mr. Seric. Direct examination, please.

20 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you very much,

21 Mr. President. I will be an optimist and say that I hope I'll finish my

22 direct examination by 7.00.

23 Examined by Mr. Seric:

24 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, you will now be shown a piece of paper

25 with your name on it and the pseudonym that has been given you. So tell

Page 14162

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Page 14163

1 us, please, if that is indeed your name, but don't read it out.

2 A. It is.

3 Q. If you follow my question and wait with your answer, believe me,

4 we shall make headway than if you rush too much, because the interpreters

5 need to interpret it all. The best thing to do is look at the light on my

6 microphone. And can the technical booth please bring the microphone down

7 so I can see the witness.

8 Witness, I will first ask you certain things about yourself and

9 will invite you to give us some particulars about yourself.

10 MR. SCOTT: So, Mr. President, can we go into private session,

11 please?

12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.

13 [Private session]

14 [redacted]

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25 [Open session]

Page 14165

1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Were you called up?

3 A. No, I wasn't. I never did any military service. I wasn't fit for

4 the army.

5 Q. Do you remember the time when the conflict started between the BH

6 army and the HVO? It was on the 9th of May, 1993. What is it that you

7 heard at that day? What did you experience that day?

8 A. I heard a lot of noise and some unknown people expelled me to the

9 left bank, me, my wife, and one of my daughters.

10 Q. Do you know who were the soldiers? Whose unit was it?

11 A. I have no idea. I didn't --

12 Q. And where were you accommodated on this bank of Mostar?

13 A. In Mahala, in lower, Donja Mahala.

14 Q. And when did you return to your apartment?

15 A. I was there 22 days and then they returned us back to the

16 apartment.

17 Q. And did you run into problems again after you returned to your

18 apartment?

19 A. Yes. On the 2nd of July, 1993, when they came again and took me

20 to the Heliodrom, again people I didn't know.

21 Q. Do you know which unit those soldiers belonged to?

22 A. I have no idea.

23 Q. How were you taken away? In what way?

24 A. They simply came, they left the elderly, and my wife, and my

25 daughter, and took me away, those unknown men.

Page 14166

1 Q. And where were you put in the Heliodrom?

2 A. In the school.

3 Q. And what were the conditions there?

4 A. Well, we had a meal a day, and -- there.

5 Q. How many of you were in one room?

6 A. In one room, ten of us to a room. Ten to a room.

7 Q. Were you mistreated, I mean you personally?

8 A. No, I was not.

9 Q. And what about others who were with you in that group?

10 A. I don't know. I have no idea. We dared not anything.

11 Q. Did you see any bruises on them, any scars?

12 A. No. I -- nothing. We did not ... We did not dare.

13 Q. Were you taken for labour?

14 A. I was taken only once, on the 28th of August, 1993.

15 Q. And where? What happened then?

16 A. I was taken next to Carinski Most Bridge, and we carried sacks,

17 and a shell hit there and I was wounded there.

18 Q. Where were you wounded? What part of your body?

19 A. Part of my arm and my right leg.

20 Q. And after you were wounded, what happened then? Were you taken

21 somewhere?

22 A. Yes. To the surgical ward in the hospital in Mostar.

23 Q. And how long did you -- were you in the hospital?

24 A. Until the 5th of September, 1993.

25 Q. And after that day, where did you go then?

Page 14167

1 A. My wife came to fetch me and we returned to our flat, where we had

2 been before.

3 Q. And after that, were you still afraid for your safety?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Did you turn to anyone for help?

6 A. I did. Mr. Vinko Martinovic, Stela, and his father, Ivan.

7 Q. Why Vinko Martinovic of all people?

8 A. Because Vinko Martinovic was not afraid of anyone, and I turned to

9 him, my wife and I, because my wife was very ill. She had had an

10 operation. And had it not been for him and his parents, I don't know what

11 would have happened.

12 Q. And on what terms were you on general with Ivan and Vinko's

13 brother, and Vinko?

14 A. Good, always.

15 Q. Do you know anything about what his attitude to Muslims was, those

16 that you knew and in your neighbourhood?

17 A. Nobody complained. He helped everybody, old people and children,

18 and I shall never forget it.

19 Q. Do you know what duty did he have in the army?

20 A. I don't know.

21 Q. What was his unit like? Where was it quartered?

22 A. It was on Kalemova Street.

23 Q. Witness, do you want a short break? Would you like some water? I

24 see that you are upset. All right. We shall break for a moment, and I

25 have two more questions and I'll be finished. Don't be afraid. Nobody

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Page 14169

1 will bite you here, nobody will beat you.

2 A. My first time. I'm sorry.

3 Q. Well, perhaps I was too fast. Perhaps it sounded like

4 cross-examination rather than direct. But it will be over in no time.

5 So did Vinko's father, Ivan, also help you and your family?

6 A. He helped me a lot, he and his family, the whole family.

7 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have no further

8 questions in my direct examination.

9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, I understand that it's difficult for

10 someone who came from far away to give his testimony in this courtroom.

11 If you are not feeling good, we could stop here and we'll continue

12 tomorrow. I see Mr. Seric is nodding. Witness, I have to remind you that

13 during your stay in The Hague, you are still under the oath, so do not

14 talk to anybody and do not let anybody talk to you about your testimony.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I won't.

16 JUDGE LIU: And we'll resume our sitting tomorrow morning at 9.00

17 in the courtroom 2.

18 Mr. Usher, would you please show the witness out of the room,

19 please.

20 Mr. Seric, are there any health problems with this witness, or he

21 just, you know, unfamiliar with the situation in this courtroom?

22 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, he was informed about

23 the situation in the courtroom. No, he does not have any health

24 problems. But he's terribly afraid and he is very -- I told him about the

25 technical problems and all the -- all this, but he's never been to a

Page 14170

1 court, in whatever capacity, and he looks like an elderly person but he's

2 not that old at all. It's just that kind of man. He's been through what

3 he's been through, and his family too, but he wanted to testify here. The

4 man is simply afraid. He has stage fever. He's a bit withdrawn, not

5 difficult to get to, and that is why I tried to cut it short, not to

6 bother him too much, and I hope my learned friend will not keep him too

7 long. Thank you very much for inquiring.

8 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] But tomorrow morning you will have

9 to ask him to speak into the microphone, his head is just too low and he

10 speaks at the table. He must be reassured somehow that people here are

11 not mean, that they won't harm him.

12 JUDGE LIU: I hope Mr. Bos will bear that in mind.

13 MR. BOS: I'll try to keep the witness's head up, Your Honour.

14 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll rise now.

15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

16 at 6.52 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,

17 the 23rd day of July 2002, at 9.00 a.m.

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