1 Monday, 29 July 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 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 Before the witness comes, I must say that this week we have five
10 witnesses, and the recess is coming. So whenever we finish those five
11 witnesses, we'll break.
12 Tomorrow morning, we'll be in Courtroom III, 2.15 in the
13 afternoon. On Wednesday, we'll come back to Courtroom I at 12.00 sharp.
14 We will finish earlier, at 4.45.
15 [The witness entered court]
16 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon. Yes, I can.
18 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
19 accordance with the paper the usher is showing you.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth
22 WITNESS: WITNESS MJ
23 [Witness answered through interpreter]
24 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
25 Yes, Mr. Seric.
1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Good afternoon,
2 Your Honours.
3 Examined by Mr. Seric:
4 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, you will now be shown a piece of paper
5 with your name on it. Look at it. Don't read it aloud. Just tell us if
6 that is indeed your name on it and just say, "Yes."
7 A. Yes, it is.
8 Q. I will ask you some questions, and we must go slow but not too
9 slow, enough, however, to enable the interpreters to keep up with both you
10 and me. We have to mind that there is a break between your -- my question
11 and your answer, and the best way to go about it will be if you follow
12 this red light on my microphone. When I switch it off, it will mean that
13 I have finished my question and then you can begin answering. That is
14 also important for your protection, because the Chamber has granted you
15 the protective measures that you asked for.
16 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'd like now to go into
17 some particulars. Could we go into private session, please?
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
19 [Private session]
13 Page 14361 – redacted – private session
22 [Open session]
23 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Witness, will you please wait for me to finish my question.
25 Relax. Take it easy. There is no need for any rush.
1 During the attack of the aggressor of the Serbian and the Yugoslav
2 People's Army on Mostar, where were you and what was happening to you?
3 A. During the attack of the Serb aggressor I joined the 2nd Battalion
4 of the HVO.
5 Q. Were you called up or did you volunteer?
6 A. I volunteered.
7 Q. Did you hold any duty, any rank?
8 A. Just a foot soldier.
9 Q. Wait a little, please. And until when did you stay with the HVO?
10 A. With the HVO, I was until mid-June, because I had some trouble
11 with my back.
12 Q. What year was it?
13 A. 1993. Or 1992. I don't know. I can't remember.
14 Q. Does the date of the 9th of May, 1993 ring any bell? What do you
15 know about that date? What happened that day? That is, what did you see
16 with your own eyes and hear with your own ears?
17 A. That day I heard gunfire. Some troops had entered the building
18 but I didn't know any one of them. And they asked for my identity card.
19 They saw my identity card. They realised I was with the HVO. They did
20 nothing, but they searched the whole building. They went to all the flats
21 but they take anybody. They just looked around. That was what happened
22 that day.
23 JUDGE LIU: We have a problem with the channels. It seems to me
24 the sound of the witness is louder than the translators. So the two
25 voices mingle together. We could not hear clearly.
1 Yes. You may try it again.
2 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 Q. So you described to us what you personally saw and hear happened
4 on the 9th of May, 1993. Can you repeat it for the Chamber?
5 A. That day, I heard gunfire, and after awhile some troops came into
6 the building, four or five of them. And since I lived on the ground
7 floor, they came to my door first. They asked to see my identity papers.
8 They saw my HVO card. They did nothing. And then they did a round of all
9 the apartments. They were there two or three minutes, perhaps five. They
10 said nothing and nothing.
11 Q. I am now asking. You said that you couldn't remember which
12 mid-June did you stay with the HVO? So in this May 1993, what did you
14 A. In May. I was in the HVO.
15 Q. Did you work as a driver at the time?
16 A. Yes. The ambulance driver. No. No. No, no. No. I began to
17 drive the ambulance car in June.
18 Q. Which year?
19 A. 1993.
20 Q. And what happened to you during that period of time until July?
21 A. Until July, well, I had this problem with my back so that I wasn't
22 in the HVO. I was on a sick leave. And after ten days or 15, I was taken
23 up to drive the ambulance car for the war hospital of the HVO in Mostar.
24 Q. And you did that until when?
25 A. Until the 1st of July.
1 Q. And what happened that 1st of July, 1993?
2 A. I was duty driver at the surgery in Mostar, and they called and
3 asked me to come to Bijeli Brijeg to get the instruments because that
4 nurse had that bag. And when we got there to Partizansko, that's where
5 the monument was. There was a checkpoint. And they asked for my papers.
6 They asked what my ethnicity was. I gave them my driving licence. They
7 got me out of the ambulance car and put me onto a bus.
8 Q. And do you know who those soldiers were?
9 A. I'm 99 per cent sure they all came from Livno.
10 Q. And after that, what happened to you? What did they do to you?
11 A. They put me in the ambulance car, and one of those soldiers took
12 away the ambulance car and the nurse to Bijeli Brijeg. And when my boss
13 heard that I'd been captured, he got some men from up there to set me
14 free. And this soldier said that my bus had left, and I dared not call
16 Q. It is not quite clear where you were and what are you talking
17 about. What do you mean your bus left?
18 A. Well, that bus that I boarded when, my bus came from Bijeli Brijeg
19 to ask where I was, he said that bus had left, allegedly, that I was in,
20 that that bus had left, that it wasn't there.
21 Q. And where were you taken in that bus?
22 A. I was taken towards Rondo where he stopped. And those soldiers
23 were going into buildings and bringing Muslims out.
24 Q. Was the bus full?
25 A. They took me off the ambulance car around 10.00, and that bus was
1 full around 6.00.
2 Q. And after that what happened to you and those other people in the
4 A. We were all taken to the camp at Dretelj.
5 Q. And where were you put in Dretelj?
6 A. I was put in, vacated in empty hangars.
7 Q. What were the conditions there?
8 A. They were bad.
9 Q. Could you tell us what was bad? What was it that was bad there?
10 A. Food, water, drink, communication. You had no communication, the
11 door closed. Four or 500 of us inside and it was hot.
12 Q. And what kind of hangars were those?
13 A. Well, I suppose of the former army. Oils. One could see it was
14 greasy so it must have been for oils, for vehicles.
15 Q. Did anyone mistreat you, beat you?
16 A. No. No. Personally, no.
17 Q. And how long did you stay in Dretelj?
18 A. I stayed 19 days in Dretelj.
19 Q. And then what happened?
20 A. Then the order came that all the prisoners from the municipality
21 of Mostar should be transferred to the Heliodrom.
22 Q. And where were you put up in the Heliodrom?
23 A. We were put in the gym at the Heliodrom.
24 Q. And what were the conditions there?
25 A. Excellent compared with Dretelj.
1 Q. And what was food like? Could you have any visits? Could you
2 receive any parcels?
3 A. I received parcels every day.
4 Q. Were you taken to work, to some unit, from the Heliodrom?
5 A. When I arrived from Dretelj, I spent there three or four days and
6 we couldn't go out anywhere. They wouldn't let us go work anywhere until
7 Vinko Martinovic heard that I was there. And in about four days' time or
8 thereabouts, he got and sent a driver to bring me to him.
9 Q. Can you explain what you mean sent a driver to fetch you? What
11 A. Well, I guess he heard that I was down there, so he sent a man to
12 bring me. And the man came in a car, showed his card that he would take
13 me there and bring me back, and we went.
14 Q. Did you used to know Vinko Martinovic before?
15 A. Well, we weren't all that great friends, but we knew each other
17 Q. And when you were brought to the unit, the first time, what
18 happened? Describe the first day to us?
19 A. The first day we arrived there we settled, drank coffee and then
20 he said, "Well, you've got any of your pals there and they're loyal to
21 you, bring them over there because they'll be safer here than if they go
22 somewhere, God knows where."
23 Q. Mind that you do not say your name. And did you go there again?
24 A. The next day I got together some 15, 16 people who -- that I was
25 sure that who -- that would work, that they would not be into any
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 mischief. Then Vinko, Stela's driver came and took us to his base.
2 Q. Do you remember the driver?
3 A. Well, I can't really. I guess I'd recognise him, but --
4 Q. You don't know his first name, his last name, his nickname?
5 A. I don't, by Joe I don't.
6 Q. How was it possible that after the first day you came again and
7 then again? How is it possible? Did you report again what happened?
8 A. This whole team which volunteered, they went there all the time.
9 They all volunteered, and they went regularly there, as long as I was at
10 the Heliodrom, for a whole month.
11 Q. Did you know and any of those other prisoners, did you -- would
12 you ever spend the night there during that time, you or one of those
14 A. No. While I was there, nobody stayed overnight there.
15 Q. How long did you -- for how long a period of time did you go to
16 Vinko Martinovic's base?
17 A. I went there until the end, that is, on the 19th of July, I was
18 moved from Dretelj to Heliodrom. And on the 23rd or 24th of July until
19 the end of August, I was at Vinko Martinovic, Stela's.
20 Q. Did you go there every day, I mean every single day?
21 A. Every day except for weekends.
22 Q. Will you describe so that everybody in the courtroom can hear, and
23 especially the Chamber, an average day did you spend at Vinko Martinovic's
25 A. Well, we -- we worked there. We maintained vehicles. If you
1 needed to do something about the car, some small repair to be tempered
2 with those cars, we did something. We did all sorts of odd jobs.
3 Q. Were you paid in any way? Did you get any kind of remuneration?
4 A. Every day I'd get cigarettes and food. And moreover, my wife came
5 with children, and she took home bagfuls of food when there was nothing to
6 be found in town.
7 Q. Were you taken across the Bulevar to the front line?
8 A. I drove a car, but I never got near the front line.
9 Q. And during that period of time during which you went to the unit,
10 do you know if any other prisoners were taken to the Bulevar next to the
11 health centre?
12 A. While I was there, I can guarantee that nobody was taken there.
13 Q. Did you personally see or hear, whilst you went to that unit and
14 to the base of that unit, that -- any prisoner being wounded or killed?
15 A. Nobody was either wounded or killed.
16 Q. Did you ever see anyone mistreat the prisoners?
17 A. Once we were sitting on the wall next to Stela's base, and the
18 military police came up, and the guy, I don't remember him but I think he
19 came from Stolac, the military police mistreated him and abused him
20 verbally, "Balija" this, "Balija" that. And they left. And after 20
21 minutes Stela came and we talked about that, and he immediately switched
22 on his car and went after him round the town for two or three hours.
23 Q. And what happened? Did he find him?
24 A. No, he didn't. He didn't. But he looked for them.
25 Q. And why? Why did he look for them? What did he want?
1 A. Well, he didn't want -- he didn't want anyone in that group to be
2 abused or teased or anything. You get it? We were totally protected.
3 Q. Could you describe the conditions in the course of the day while
4 you were in the unit at Vinko Martinovic's? Could you tell us what the
5 food was like?
6 A. We ate the same food that the soldiers did.
7 Q. Where did you spend the day?
8 A. We were all on the grounds, about 20 or 30 metres away. That's
9 where everything took place.
10 Q. Were you under guard? Were there any armed guards? Were the
11 guards who were watching over you and would point their weapons at you?
12 A. No, never.
13 Q. You mentioned your wife and your children. What did this
14 involve? Did they go to visit you?
15 A. Every day. My wife and children visited me every day. I would go
16 home, because that was my work. You would sort of maintain a car. And I
17 would go home twice a week to have a bath. But a driver drove me there
18 since it wasn't safe for me to go there on foot. Vinko never allowed me
19 to go on foot because somebody could have killed me. Somebody could have
20 inflicted harm on me.
21 Q. You didn't say how someone could have selected you, picked you
23 A. Well, there were soldiers there. Who knows where they were from?
24 They all ended up in Mostar. The Muslims and Croats, they all ended up in
25 Mostar. From Duvno, from Livno, they all went there. Who knows what the
1 army was there. It was easy for me.
2 Q. So it means that you weren't safe if you were not escorted. Your
3 papers could have been checked.
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. Why did you have to go and have a bath at home? Couldn't you have
6 done that at the base?
7 A. Well, as I could go home, it was ten, 15 minutes away, my house
8 wasn't far away, I would go home. Then a driver would wait for me. I'd
9 have a shower and then I'd return. My wife came to visit me every day.
10 Q. Did you personally feel safe in the base?
11 A. Yes, I was a hundred per cent safe.
12 Q. A minute ago, my colleague said -- it hasn't entered the
13 transcript -- but a minute ago you mentioned the fact that you were afraid
14 of someone meeting you and check your papers in the street and capturing
15 you, and also that Muslims were being prosecuted by some people from
16 Bosnia. You mentioned some people from Bosnia. Could you say what you
17 meant when you said that someone was prosecuting someone, that someone
18 was -- you mentioned someone from Bosnia. That someone --
19 A. Well, these Croats who had been expelled from Bosnia, it was
20 difficult to walk around at the time, you know.
21 Q. Thank you very much. What was Vinko Martinovic's relationship
22 towards you?
23 A. It was excellent, excellent. Maybe it diverged from the other
24 people who were there, but it was all within certain limits.
25 Q. What was the position of the other detainees? How did Vinko
1 Martinovic treat them and how did other soldiers treat them?
2 A. The same way as they treated me, because these people went with
3 me, and they were guaranteed that everything would be fine.
4 Q. How is it that you were released from there, from the Heliodrom?
5 A. That day a jeep turned up. There was some party, an MDS. Paraga,
6 I don't know who led them. It wasn't Paraga, I can't remember the name.
7 He said nothing will be done to him. He will be protected. And so I
8 signed a paper on that day and I left.
9 Q. What happened after? What happened to you after that?
10 A. I was at home for a few days. Then I had to go work in the
11 garage, take out motors, wash cars. I had to live from something, so I
12 had to work.
13 Q. After that did you have any problems, problems of any kind?
14 A. Two or three times the troops came to my door. I said, "I'm with
15 Stela." They returned.
16 Q. While you were in the unit, or later on when you were released
17 from the Heliodrom, did you personally see or hear Vinko Martinovic or his
18 soldiers expelling, driving Muslims out of their flats?
19 A. As I personally knew Vinko, and I know his entire team, 90 per
20 cent of them, I never saw them in flats. I never saw them driving anyone
22 Q. Did you personally see Vinko Martinovic assist Muslims? Did they
23 turn to him for help?
24 A. While I was on the base, five to ten, or sometimes 20 men would
25 come and they had contact with him. But I wasn't present. I saw that
1 they were there and they were asking him for something.
2 Q. Thank you very much. This concludes my examination-in-chief.
3 JUDGE LIU: Cross-examination. Mr. Bos.
4 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honour. I'll be using one exhibit for
5 this cross-examination, which is Exhibit P567.1, and I think the Defence
6 was informed about this, and I hope that the Judges will have -- this is
7 the Heliodrom lock-up, so I hope that the Judges will have it in front of
9 Cross-examined by Mr. Bos:
10 Q. Good afternoon, Witness.
11 A. Good afternoon.
12 Q. Witness, my name is Roeland Bos, from the Office of the
13 Prosecution, and I will ask you some questions in cross-examination.
14 To start off with, you said that your relationship with Mr. Vinko
15 Martinovic was excellent. Could you tell the Court: Did you have any
16 personal relationship with Mr. Vinko Martinovic before the war started?
17 A. No kind of relationship before the war. When we met, we would
18 greet each other and that's all.
19 Q. When you say you would greet each other, is that because you knew
20 each other or you knew -- your families were acquainted or was it just
21 that you knew each other by face?
22 A. Our families didn't know each other, but I personally did know
24 Q. And how did you know him?
25 A. Well, Mostar isn't a big city. Everyone knew everyone else in the
2 Q. Well, let me then ask you: When was the first time that you met
3 Mr. Vinko Martinovic? What was the occasion?
4 A. I don't know what you mean "The first time." During the war you
5 mean or --
6 Q. No, the very first time you met Mr. Vinko Martinovic.
7 A. That was a long time ago. I can't remember that. It's impossible
8 to remember.
9 Q. Well, were you friends in school or did you -- are we talking
10 about the age that you were 15 or 25? Could you give us a bit more
11 information on that?
12 A. Well, when we were young men.
13 Q. Did you both attend the same school?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Would you see each other very often in the neighbourhood?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Witness, why do you think that Mr. Vinko Martinovic, when you were
18 at the Heliodrom, asked specifically for you? Could you -- you think
19 there is any reason for that?
20 A. There's no reason, that's for sure. Quite simply we were -- we
21 were friends and that's it.
22 Q. Now, Witness, is it correct that you were -- is it correct you
23 were taken to the Heliodrom around the 20th of July? Correct?
24 A. On the 19th of July, we were transferred from Dretelj to the
1 Q. Now, you testified when you arrived at the Heliodrom the witness
2 were much better, and then you said that you received parcels every day.
3 What did you mean by that? What did you receive and from whom did you
4 receive it?
5 A. Well, the people who had been trained in the HVO, when they heard
6 that I was there, they brought cigarettes. They'd bring clothes, food.
7 That's what I was referring to.
8 Q. So you received these cigarettes and food from HVO soldiers;
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. And were these HVO soldiers guarding the Heliodrom camp or were
12 these soldiers coming from outside to enter the Heliodrom camp and then
13 talk to prisoners?
14 A. They were soldiers from outside, and they came when they heard
15 that we were there, and they spoke to us and asked us what they need --
16 what we needed and said that they would bring us provisions.
17 Q. Did these HVO soldiers simply enter the camp out any difficulties?
18 A. No one could enter without an identity card. I wasn't at the
19 gate. What do I know.
20 Q. Now, Witness, you've testified that around the 24th or the 25th of
21 July was the first time that you actually were taken to the headquarters
22 of Mr. Vinko Martinovic; is that correct?
23 A. That's correct.
24 Q. And from that moment on, all the way up until the end of August,
25 you worked. Every day you worked for Stela's unit, except for the
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 weekends; correct?
2 A. That's right.
3 Q. Now, what happened in the weekends? Is it your testimony that
4 during the weekends no prisoners were taken out of the Heliodrom?
5 A. Not this group of ours. I don't know about the others.
6 Q. Let me ask it this way: While you were at the Heliodrom on the
7 weekends, did you ever see other detainees being taken, being taken out
8 for labour?
9 A. I didn't see them at the gate exactly, so I couldn't see whether
10 they were taking them anywhere. There were people walking around on the
11 grounds, but how am I to know where somebody was taking somebody? But
12 usually on the weekends no one was taken anywhere.
13 Q. Witness, while you were at the Heliodrom, did you ever hear of a
14 group of prisoners from the Stolac area which were wearing blue pilot
15 uniforms and were referred to as the Blue Orchestra?
16 A. I can't remember that.
17 Q. Witness, you didn't say you could remember the name of the driver
18 who took you to Stela's headquarters. Does the name Dinko Knezevic, does
19 that recall anything?
20 A. The name is familiar to me, but I'm not certain.
21 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P567.1.
22 Q. Witness, yes, there is an exhibit I'm going to refer to which is
23 right in front of you there, and let me first ask you a question before we
24 open the document. Is it correct that the group of prisoners that were
25 taken to Stela's headquarters in this period that you were also taken
1 there would vary between 15 and 25 prisoners per day, the number of
2 detainees that were taken to --
3 A. Yes, something like that.
4 Q. Very well. Now, if you could look at this Exhibit P567.1, and in
5 particular I'd like you to look at the page of which the last digits
6 are -- let me just have a look -- 5055.
7 Witness, this logbook is a logbook which was kept at the Heliodrom
8 where the names of the prisoners were written down, the names of the
9 prisoners that were taken out for labour were written down. And we're in
10 open session, so I don't want you to refer to your name, but if you could
11 look at this page ending with 5055. Is it correct that in the right-hand
12 column your name appeared under number 1?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. You've testified that -- that all the prisoners who were taken to
15 Mr. Martinovic's base volunteered. Is it your testimony that these 21
16 prisoners all volunteered?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Now, if you've been there for more than a month, working every day
19 during the week, I presume you got acquainted with several other prisoners
20 who were working there. Could you please go through this list and see how
21 many detainees you recognise the name of? And maybe just mention the
22 number if you recognise the person.
23 Sir, just to be sure, I only want you -- please go ahead.
24 A. Yes. Well, these names here don't mean anything to me. I can't
25 remember. These names mean nothing to me.
1 Q. Well, Witness, just to be sure that you've been looking at the
2 right -- at the right column, what I actually asked you to do, and maybe I
3 should have been a bit more clear, is to look only at the 21 names which
4 are written under the ATG Vinko Skrobo where you appear as number 1. That
5 particular list of names, would you look at those names and see if you
6 recognise any of those names?
7 A. I can't remember a single name. This is all -- they all went.
8 They all left.
9 Q. Well, Witness, if you don't seem to recall any of the names on
10 this list, could you then tell us which names you do recall of prisoners
11 who were also taken to Stela's headquarters in that period that you were
12 taken there?
13 A. I've got four sons at home, and they need jobs, but this took
14 place ten years ago, and I can't remember it.
15 Q. My apologies, but I didn't really understand your answer. You
16 said you've got four sons. Are you afraid to mention names? Because we
17 can go into private session if that's the case.
18 A. No. I said I had a house and four sons. And on the same day, I
19 forget how to call one of my sons, let alone if we mention some of these
20 people. How am supposed to remember the name. That's what I wanted to
22 Q. Very well. Now, you've testified that during that period that you
23 were there you worked in the garage. Where was this garage located in
24 relation to the headquarters of Mr. Vinko Martinovic?
25 A. Well, right next to the base. It wasn't a big workshop. It was a
1 temporary installation. There was a cover for the rain. It wasn't a big
2 place. It was possible to work there and that's it.
3 Q. And with how many persons at the same time would you work in this
5 A. I worked on my own. I'd repair the cars. Others would get the
6 body work prepared. Others would deal with the colour. And I would
7 polish the cars myself, on my own.
8 Q. Were you good at what you were doing, when you said you repaired
9 the cars, you polished the cars? Were you considered an expert?
10 A. Well, in wartime conditions, yes. I was a good worker.
11 Q. Now, Witness, if you say that you -- that you would basically do
12 the work alone, I would wonder if we just saw a list of 20 names and you
13 agreed that the number would vary between the 15 and the 25 detainees that
14 would be taken to Stela's headquarters, what were all these other people
15 doing that were taken to Mr. Vinko Martinovic's headquarters?
16 A. Well, everyone had something to do. Some people would sit down
17 and have coffee. Another person would wash a cash. Another person would
18 sweep the yard. Everyone had something to do.
19 Q. Would prisoners sometimes also be taken out on assignment with
20 people from the Vinko Skrobo units? Somewhere outside of where the
21 headquarters was.
22 A. I don't personally remember that taking place.
23 Q. Did you ever talk with the prisoners at the end of the day when
24 you went back to the Heliodrom about the work you'd done that day, what
25 you had experienced that day?
1 A. I never spoke about that.
2 Q. Witness, if -- while you were working at -- on what kind of cars
3 or vehicles did you work in the garage? Was this military vehicles or
4 private vehicles?
5 A. They were soldiers' vehicles. If it had been damaged, then it
6 would be necessary to repair something. But usually these were all
7 private vehicles.
8 Q. If they were private vehicles, did these vehicles belong to the
9 soldiers who were in the unit of Vinko Martinovic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did Mr. Vinko Martinovic have a car as well?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. How many cars did he have?
14 A. Drove one.
15 Q. Sorry. I --
16 A. He drove one. You can't drive five cars. He drove one. I saw
17 him driving one car. I saw him in one car.
18 Q. So -- but you don't know whether he owned more than one car?
19 A. I don't know.
20 Q. You've testified that your wife would come and visit you every day
21 whilst you were working at the headquarters of Vinko Skrobo. I think
22 you've also said that she was given food every day. Where was this -- all
23 this food coming from?
24 A. Well, Stela, in the headquarters, had something from humanitarian
25 aid, I think. But there were tins. There was sweet stuff. There was
1 cigarettes. There was all sorts of things.
2 Q. I think you said that he had food from the humanitarian aid.
3 Would that mean that every day or every week boxes of food would arrive at
4 the headquarters coming from an humanitarian aid organisation? Is that
5 how I understand it?
6 A. That's what I assume. I'm not claiming that that's right, but
7 there was food there. How do I know? But there was food.
8 Q. Witness, you said that you served for the Vinko Skrobo until the
9 end of August. What happened after that?
10 A. I said a party turned up. MDS, that was its name. And it said,
11 "Whoever wants to join this party, the Muslims will be protected." I
12 registered, and that was it.
13 Q. Where did these representatives of the MDS show up, at the
15 A. At the Heliodrom.
16 Q. Do you recall the name of this person or were there more persons
17 than just one?
18 A. There were a number of them, two or three, but I can't remember
19 the names. I don't know what they were called. Well, now if I saw them,
20 now I'd recognise them.
21 Q. But it is your testimony that this was the end of September or
22 early October that these people from the MDS showed up?
23 A. That's how I went. I don't know when exactly they turned up, but
24 they turned up at the Heliodrom sometime late August or --
25 Q. Besides you, other prisoners also joined this MDS?
1 A. Well, that day, about seven or eight of us, I think, signed up.
2 Q. Do you recall any prisoners who refused to sign up for this Muslim
3 democratic party?
4 A. I don't remember.
5 Q. Witness, did you ever work for any other unit except for the Vinko
6 Skrobo unit?
7 A. I worked up there in a garage, but it was nobody's unit. In a
8 garage, later on. I went from the Heliodrom. I joined that garage, but I
9 don't think it was anybody's unit. We worked there earning some money.
10 Q. Was this while you were still detained at the Heliodrom or was
11 this after you were released from the Heliodrom?
12 A. After I came out.
13 Q. And when was the date that you actually were released from the
14 Heliodrom? Do you recall that day?
15 A. No, not exactly.
16 Q. Do you recall approximately how many days it was after the last
17 time you served for the Vinko Skrobo unit? Are we talking about several
18 months or a few weeks or a few days?
19 A. A few days. And as soon as I left, I started looking for a job.
20 Q. Witness, I'd like to you look again at this logbook.
21 MR. BOS: Maybe the usher can assist.
22 Q. I'd ask you to look at page 01535122. First let's look at 5117.
23 Witness, looking at page 5117 of Exhibit 567.1, is it correct that
24 there is the name ATG Vinko Skrobo and your name here is listed as number
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, this is the be try of 30 August, 1993. Now, Witness, under
3 number 1 it says the name "Vlado Fink." Do you recall that name?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Was he one of the detainees who, just like you, would be taken
6 to -- who volunteered to work for Vinko Skrobo and would be taken to that
7 unit every day?
8 A. I can't remember exactly. Perhaps once.
9 Q. What do you mean by saying "perhaps once"?
10 A. I think that he was taken once. I can't remember. It was ten
11 years ago. Who can remember?
12 Q. Did you know him from working in the garage?
13 A. I knew Vlado from before.
14 Q. Witness, looking at that same list, could you look at the person
15 under number 4. His name is Zlatko Cerkic. Do you recall that name?
16 A. It rings a bell, but I can't remember.
17 Q. Witness, I'd like you to turn a few pages now and move -- perhaps
18 the usher can assist you again, and move to the page ending with 5122.
19 And I'd like you to look in the right-hand corner of that page where it
20 says "ATG Benko Penavic."
21 A. What right-hand corner?
22 A. Right-hand corner it says at one point "ATG Benko Penavic," and
23 again there's a list of names. Do you see that?
24 A. I do, I do, yes.
25 Q. Is it correct that your name is under 5?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And is it also correct that the two other names which I just
3 mentioned to you are listed under number 1 and number 4?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, Witness, and we wouldn't go through it, but on this day, you
6 were listed as working for the ATG Benko Penavic. Does that name mean
7 anything to you?
8 A. Well, I know the unit. Later on I worked, but I didn't know it
9 was called that. I didn't know it was called that.
10 Q. And is it correct that you -- that you worked for several days for
11 this unit, as of the 31st of August?
12 A. Well, when I went, I did work. I had to work. I had to earn my
13 living, and they paid us there.
14 Q. Witness, do you know the reason why you were moving from the
15 ATG -- working for the ATG Vinko Skrobo on the 3rd of August and for the
16 ATG Benko Penavic on the 31st of August and also with you Mr. Cerkic and
17 Mr. Vlado Fink? Why did the three of you move from Vinko Skrobo to the
18 ATG Benko Penavic? Do you recall that?
19 A. I wasn't transferred. I was released from Vinko Skrobo. And
20 later, I had to work in order to make some money, and I moved to that
21 unit. But I wasn't transferred.
22 Q. Witness, just before you testified that you were making money
23 after you were released from the Heliodrom, but this is a logbook taking
24 out prisoners from the Heliodrom. So in this period, the beginning of
25 September you were still a prisoner at the Heliodrom; is that correct?
1 A. I remember that in late August I was released to go home. What
2 day it was, who can remember? It was ten years ago. I can't remember
3 what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone.
4 Q. Witness, do you recall what kind of work you would do for this
5 Benko Penavic unit?
6 A. Well, again mechanic things with this, something. Taking out
7 engines. Whatever broke down, we tried to fix it.
8 Q. Where was this garage located of the Benko Penavic?
9 A. The place is called Balinovac, towards Siroki, up there as you
10 come out of Mostar.
11 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I've let these
12 questions to be asked about a completely different unit, which have
13 nothing to do with my client, that unit, and I see -- I done see what
14 direction the counsel is leading to. What does that have to do with my
15 direct examination and challenging the credibility of this witness? So my
16 objection is, why ask questions of the Benko Penavic unit?
17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Bos, perhaps you could shed some light on this
18 issue for us.
19 MR. BOS: Well, Your Honours, it wasn't clear from his testimony
20 whether he worked for another unit, and that's what I wanted to clarify
21 and for the second thing, I think it is important for the Prosecution.
22 The Benko Penavic unit is an important unit. And that's why I asked some
23 questions about it. I have some more questions. Not too many, but --
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes. You may some a few more questions but we
25 are approaching the time for the break. Would you prefer to ask your
1 questions or until you finish your cross-examination we can break.
2 MR. BOS: I think if I can finish this cross-examination. It
3 wasn't take too much longer.
4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you can proceed.
5 MR. BOS:
6 Q. Witness, do you know who the head of this Benko Penavic unit was?
7 A. They called him "Baja."
8 Q. Did you ever meet this man named Baja?
9 A. No, not personally, by saw him two or three times.
10 Q. Did you see this Baja very often with Mr. Vinko Martinovic or did
11 you ever see him with Mr. Vinko Martinovic?
12 A. No, never saw him with Vinko Martinovic.
13 Q. Does the name Convicts Battalion say anything to you?
14 A. I didn't even know it was called that.
15 Q. No. I'm just asking. Does the name Convicts Battalion mean
16 anything to you? Did you ever hear that name?
17 A. I heard it later when I came out, from Vinko Martinovic, and later
18 on. Some said ATG, some said Convicts. I didn't know who it belonged to
19 nor how was it.
20 Q. So it's your testimony that up heard from others that the ATGs had
21 something to do with the Convicts Battalion? Is that your testimony?
22 MR. MEEK: I object to the form of the question, Your Honour.
23 That's not what the witness testified. I object to the form of the
24 question and assumes facts not in evidence.
25 MR. BOS: Well, Your Honour, I'm just trying to simply clarify
1 what his answer was because his answer wasn't very clear.
2 JUDGE LIU: The witness said that he did not know the Convicts
3 Battalion at all, the ATG.
4 MR. BOS: Then he continues to say, "I heard it later when I came
5 out, from Vinko Martinovic. Some said ATG, some said Convicts," and I'm
6 just trying to clarify what he meant by that.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, you may pursue it along this.
8 MR. BOS:
9 Q. Witness, again my question. Did you hear from others that there
10 was some association between the ATGs and the Convicts Battalion?
11 A. I really don't remember.
12 Q. Witness, did you know any of the members of the Vinko Skrobo unit
13 while you were working -- while you were working there? Did you get to
14 know some of these people?
15 A. No, I didn't really meet anyone, but I knew everyone like that. I
16 didn't really socialise among them. I had no time to talk. I was doing
17 my job and they was on the front lines and I was here in the compound. So
18 I didn't, ever.
19 Q. Did you ever hear of the name of a man named Ernest Takac?
20 A. Yes. I heard it. I saw him. He was in the unit too.
21 Q. Do you know whether Mr. Takac had some sort of command position
22 within the unit? Was he a group leader or something or was he just a
23 soldier of that unit?
24 A. I haven't the foggiest, really. I don't know.
25 MR. BOS: One moment, Your Honours.
1 [Prosecution counsel confer]
2 MR. BOS: I have no further questions.
3 JUDGE LIU: We will break now, and we will resume at 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.30 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.02 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination, Mr. Seric?
7 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] No thank you, Mr. President.
8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, thank you very much for coming to The
9 Hague to give your evidence. When the usher pulls down the blinds, he
10 will show you out of the courtroom. We all wish you a pleasant journey
11 back home.
12 [The witness withdrew]
13 JUDGE LIU: Any documents to tender, Mr. Seric?
14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. Only the plan of
15 the town. It is D2/34.
16 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
17 Any objections Mr. Bos?
18 MR. BOS: No, Your Honour. And the exhibit I used was already
19 admitted, so we don't have anything to tender.
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Thank you. So D2/34 is admitted into evidence
21 under seal.
22 Yes, Mr. Par. Are you ready for your next witness?
23 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President, I am.
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will have the next witness.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
3 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
5 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
7 WITNESS: WITNESS MK
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Par. You may proceed.
10 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.
11 Could we have the ELMO down, please, so that I can see the
13 Examined by Mr. Par:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, good afternoon.
15 A. Good afternoon to you.
16 Q. Before we proceed to work, I wish to inform you that the Chamber
17 has granted you protective measures. In other words, nobody will know
18 your name, your face will not appear in public, and your voice will --
19 nobody will recognise your voice.
20 Before I start with my questions, you will be shown a paper with
21 your name on it. If it is your name, then just confirm it without saying
22 your name aloud.
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. Thank you. And one warning. For the interpreters' sake, we need
25 to speak slowly. We need to make breaks between question and answer, and
1 the best way to do it will be if you look at this red light. When it is
2 off, then you can start answering. I will switch it on and off, and I
3 will give you a sign if you need to slow down.
4 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we now go into
5 private session for a moment?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go into private session.
7 [Private session]
13 Page 14394 – redacted – private session
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
12 [Open session]
13 MR. PAR: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Witness, now, mind that you don't mention your name or your
15 profession, because otherwise your identity might be disclosed.
16 But to begin with, tell us, at the time of the Serb aggression
17 against Mostar, what happened to you or did anything important happen to
18 you at that time?
19 A. Well, important. What important happened? During the Serb
20 aggression, I was captured by Serb troops.
21 Q. Will you tell us when was that and how did it come about?
22 A. Well, my mother lived in Rodoc, and I went there to bring her to
23 my place, and I was caught by the Serb army at Cekrk. They seized my car,
24 and I don't know, something else. And I remained there surrounded. They
25 wouldn't let me come back.
1 Q. Could you tell us when was that, what month? And how long did you
2 remain surrounded?
3 A. I was there on the -- from the 11th of May until the 11th of June,
5 Q. And tell us, how did you get out of that, those surroundings? How
6 did you manage to free yourself?
7 A. On the 11th of June, the HVO troops arrived. They got through
8 Cekrk and that's how I got free. That's how I was made free on the
10 Q. So the Serbs withdrew and --
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. After that, were you engaged in the military in some way? During
13 the Serb aggression were you militarily engaged somewhere?
14 A. About the 15th of June, I registered with the HVO.
15 Q. Could you tell us which unit that was and what duties you had
16 within that unit?
17 A. That was a PZO, anti-aircraft defence unit, and my duty, I manned
18 a Bofors 40 millimetre gun. My duties involved observation, monitoring
20 Q. Tell us, how long did you remain within HVO units?
21 A. I was in the HVO units right up until the 9th of May, 1993.
22 Q. Could you tell us how you left the HVO? How is it that you ceased
23 to be an HVO soldier?
24 A. I left the HVO quite simply. I quite simply didn't want to remain
25 in the army any more.
1 Q. Do you mean to say that after the 9th of May, 1993, you stopped
2 going to the unit?
3 A. Yes. I stopped going there. I didn't want to go there any more.
4 Q. What happened on that day, on the 9th of May, 1993? Could you
5 describe that day? What was your experience on that day?
6 A. Well, in the morning at about 5.15, shooting started. There was
7 shooting from all directions. I looked out of the window in the direction
8 of my combat post, and I saw that they were shooting from above. My
9 combat post at Hum. And after perhaps, I don't know, maybe half an hour,
10 some soldiers knocked on my door. I opened the door.
11 Q. I apologise. I'll stop you there and then we'll carry on. You
12 say some soldiers were at your doors. Could you tell me, what soldiers
13 were there? What sort of uniform did they have? What sort of insignia
14 did they have? Did you recognise them?
15 A. They were wearing camouflage uniforms. They had HVO insignia on
16 them, and they had red ribbons around their arms, red, white, and blue. I
17 couldn't recognise anyone because their dialect wasn't the Mostar dialect
19 Q. Could you tell us what happened then? They turned up at the
20 door. What do they want? What did they do? What did they ask you?
21 A. They wanted me to show them my identity card. I did that. I
22 showed them my HVO identity card. They had a looked around the flat. It
23 was not very serious. They saw my weapon there. They saw my rifle
24 there. They returned my identity card and they quite simply left. They
25 visited other parts of the building.
1 Q. Tell me, the rifle that they saw, did they confiscate it or did
2 they leave it there? Was that a rifle that you had from the HVO unit?
3 A. Yes. That was my rifle. I had been issued with that rifle.
4 Q. Did they take it with them or did they leave it there?
5 A. They left it there.
6 Q. And then what did the soldiers do in that building?
7 A. They visited the entire building. They visited all the flats in
8 the building. They took the Muslims out of the building.
9 Q. How many people did they take out and who did they take out? How
10 many people did they take from all the families and how many families were
12 A. There were four families there.
13 Q. And who did they take from those families?
14 A. First of all, they took everyone away, all of them. No one
15 remained in the flats.
16 Q. Who were these people? Were they women, men, children? What age
17 were they?
18 A. There weren't any children, but there were husbands and wives with
19 two grown-up sons, let's say. They were all older people. There were no
21 Q. And where did they take them and what happened to them on that
22 day, if you know?
23 A. They took them to the stadium. I couldn't see that, because I
24 didn't leave my flat at the time, but I know that they went to the
25 stadium. The women returned, and the men went to the Heliodrom.
1 Q. Did the women return on the same day, and did they return to their
3 A. Yes. They returned to their flats on the same day.
4 Q. And in the meantime were their flats burgled or damaged in some
6 A. No.
7 Q. You said that the other men from those four families were taken to
8 the Heliodrom, as far as you know. Did they return to that building from
9 the Heliodrom, and if they did, when?
10 A. Well, they returned very quickly. I don't know. Maybe one month
11 later, something like that. They returned to the building and --
12 Q. Did they all return?
13 A. Yes, all of them.
14 Q. And what then happened to them? Did they remain there? Did they
15 go somewhere else? What happened to those neighbours of yours then?
16 A. Well, I heard that they went to Croatia, to some camp, and that
17 they then left that camp and went to Norway.
18 Q. And tell me, did they -- did each person go individually or did
19 they go there in some organised way? Do you know anything about this?
20 A. I think that it was organised.
21 Q. You mean when they left Mostar?
22 A. It was organised. I was told that there were buses there near the
23 stadium, and at the Heliodrom they said who would remain there and who
24 would be leaving Mostar.
25 Q. And these neighbours of yours, did they ever return to their flats
1 from Norway? Did you ever see them again after that?
2 A. Yes. They returned and they are in Mostar now.
3 Q. Do all those who lived in that building in May 1993, did they all
4 return to the flats in that building?
5 A. Yes, they did.
6 Q. Tell me, on the 9th of May, 1993, apart from the HVO soldiers you
7 saw, were any -- did any other soldiers go to your flat on that day?
8 A. At about 9.00, they knocked on my door again. I opened the door.
9 I saw men wearing camouflage uniforms again. They had insignia on their
10 arms. They had the BH Army lily sign.
11 Q. Due mean 9.00 in the morning or 9.00 in the evening?
12 A. This was at 9.00 in the morning.
13 Q. How many soldiers were there, and how do you know that they were
14 members of the BH Army? Did they introduce themselves as such or did you
15 recognise them by their insignia? What did they want?
16 A. They didn't introduce themselves. They asked me to show them my
17 identity card, which I did. They took me outside, out of the flat. They
18 asked me if there were any men in the building, and I said that there
19 weren't any men there. They told me to stand in a corner, in case someone
20 fired at them from the building. They said that if that happened, they
21 would kill me first of all. I told them that there was no there to fire
22 at them. All the men who remained in the building were old people.
23 Q. When they asked you to show them your identity card, you didn't so
24 them your HVO identity card?
25 A. I didn't show them my HVO identity card. I couldn't show them
1 that one.
2 Q. Which one did you show them?
3 A. I showed them my old identity card.
4 Q. Your personal identity card. Very well. And tell me, that rifle
5 that remained there, what happened to it? Did they carry out a search?
6 What happened to the rifle?
7 A. No, they didn't search the flat. And I put -- I'd hidden the
8 rifle because I thought anyone might turn up at that time. I'd hidden the
9 rifle behind a cupboard.
10 Q. And how long did those BH army soldiers remain there?
11 A. They spent maybe about ten minutes there, until shooting broke out
12 from a garden across the road from my building. And then the windows in
13 the building started -- were shattered, and they left the building and I
14 remained there.
15 Q. Let's just finish with the subject of the rifle. Did you have
16 that rifle throughout the wartime period or --
17 A. No. As soon as the shooting had subsided a bit, maybe on the
18 third or fourth day, as soon as the situation had calmed down, my unit was
19 at the university, and at that point everything that I had been issued
20 with, I returned all these thing to the university.
21 Q. So you returned your weapon then. You returned the equipment that
22 you had, the equipment and weapon you'd been given in your unit.
23 A. Yes, that's correct.
24 Q. Tell me, apart from those two incidents on the 9th of May, were
25 any other attempts made? Did anyone else turn up at your door, some
1 groups of men, and were you bothered, disturbed in some way?
2 A. No. On the 9th of May, no.
3 Q. And after that, in the following days, did anything happen?
4 A. Later on, yes. Perhaps there were individual incidents. Someone
5 would turn up. But I wasn't really disturbed by anyone. But they would
6 just count the people in the flats.
7 Q. Do you know who those soldiers were? Were they soldiers?
8 A. Yes, they were soldiers, but I didn't know who they were.
9 Q. Very well. Tell me, at that time did you know Vinko Martinovic,
10 Stela? And if you did, how well did you know him and where did you meet
12 A. Well, up until the war, I knew Vinko Martinovic, Stela, only by
14 Q. Did you know his family at the time? Did you know a member of his
16 A. I knew his father, Ivan, and his brother Jadranko, because I
17 had -- I worked with his brother.
18 Q. Very well. On the map you showed us, that that base was not far
19 from your building, the base Vinko Martinovic, Stela, was. During that
20 time, did you go to Vinko Martinovic's base? Did you ever meet him there
22 A. Yes, I did go to the base.
23 Q. For how long -- how often did you go to that base during that
24 period up until the end of the war?
25 A. Well, I went to the base -- I'd go there if I felt that something
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 in the building -- if I felt that something would happen, if I felt that
2 someone might disturb us or drive us out. I would then go there and turn
3 to Stela for help.
4 Q. So tell us, how would you turn to him for help? How would you be
5 welcomed? What would you say? What would he say? And what would you ask
6 him for?
7 A. He always gave me a warm welcome. And I would tell him, for
8 example, that some people had turned up. Someone would come during the
9 day to look through the building, and then would try and drive you out
10 during the evening. And I would tell Stela that somebody turned up and he
11 would say it was no problem because his unit was not far away. He said
12 that there were would be no problems and no one would bother us.
13 Q. Did he give you the possibility of calling him or informing him?
14 Did he promise he would show up, something to at that effect?
15 A. Yes, he did. He said, "If you need anything, tell us and we'll --
16 we'll go there immediately."
17 Q. You said you went to see Stela for those reasons. Did you go to
18 that base for any other reasons?
19 A. I went there because my mother was in Rodoc and at that time it
20 was only possible to go there through Varda, because you couldn't use the
21 main road to go to Rodoc. So I would have to go down there to visit my
22 mother in Rodoc, and I would go in Stela's van, the van from the base,
23 which went there.
24 Q. Could you tell us why that van from the base went, when, and why
25 was it convenient for you to go with that van? Could we try to explain
1 this to the Trial Chamber?
2 A. Well, the van went in the morning at about 7.00. And it was
3 convenient for me to go in that van because my mother was near the
5 Q. And where did the van go, to the Heliodrom?
6 A. Yes, to the Heliodrom.
7 Q. And tell me, Rodoc, where your mother lived, how far was that from
8 the Heliodrom?
9 A. The Heliodrom is in Rodoc itself.
10 Q. Very well. And you said that you would go in that van. Did Stela
11 know about that? Did you ask him for that? Did he give you permission
12 for this? And how did this take place? You would leave at 7.00 in the
13 morning. When would you return?
14 A. Yes. Stela allowed me to go with that van, and I would leave in
15 the morning at 7.00, and then I would spend the following day in Rodoc,
16 and the next day in the morning when the van went to pick up the
17 detainees, I would get in and return to Mostar again.
18 Q. And how often did you use this service? How much did you go there
19 in this van?
20 A. Well, at least once a week, because I thought it was necessary. I
21 had to take some things there for my mother.
22 Q. Very well. And how often did you go to Stela's unit? How often
23 did you go to that unit? How many times a month or a week?
24 A. Well, maybe twice a week because I was bored, since at the time
25 there was nothing to do.
1 Q. And when you went to Stela's unit, what would you do there? What
2 were your reasons for go there? How did you spend your time is there?
3 A. Well, I never did anything over there. We'd sit, have coffee.
4 Q. Who did you sit with? Was it with Stela? Did you sit with anyone
6 A. Well, mostly with Stela.
7 Q. Tell me, when you went to the base, did you see any prisoners of
8 war there?
9 A. Yes, I did.
10 Q. Do you know where these prisoners of war were from? Where did
11 they come from?
12 A. From the Heliodrom, because this van that I used would bring them
14 Q. Did you know any of them personally? Did you know those
16 A. Yes, I did.
17 Q. Could you tell us, did you talk to them? Did they tell you what
18 it was like at Stela's? Did they complain? Did they say what it was like
19 in that unit?
20 A. Yes, I did speak with them. On the whole, they didn't complain.
21 Q. Very well. And did you personally see the conditions in which
22 they were living? Did you see what sort of work they had to do?
23 A. As far as work is concerned, well, maybe it had to do with
24 construction, cleaning up, putting the base into order, repairs, things
25 like that.
1 Q. Were these people under guard? Were they supervised? What sort
2 of control was there over them?
3 A. There was no guard. No type of -- no kind of supervision either.
4 It wasn't necessary.
5 Q. How many soldiers were there in the base around those prisoners?
6 How many soldiers would usually deal with those prisoners?
7 A. I didn't understand your question.
8 Q. You'd go to that base. You'd see the prisoners. And how many
9 soldiers in the base itself were controlling those prisoners?
10 A. There were never very many prisoners there during the day because
11 the soldiers were mostly at the front. There were very few soldiers.
12 Q. Very well. So you said these prisoners would work in the base. Were
13 they working in dangerous conditions? Was there any shooting? What was
14 the security situation like? Was that an area that was dangerous or not?
15 A. It was the safe area because it was very far from the front line.
16 So there weren't any problems. There was no danger.
17 Q. Did you see whether those prisoners were able to receive visits?
18 Did anyone go to visit them in were you ever able to see this happening?
19 A. Yes. Family members came to visit them. They'd bring them
20 clothes, food, and similar things that they needed.
21 Q. Did you see any of them going home? Was anyone allowed to go
23 A. Yes, I did. Some people went home for an hour or two hours, have
24 a bath, a change of clothes, and would then return. No one escorted
1 Q. Did you see anyone maltreating prisoners or beating prisoners?
2 Did you notice any bruises on these prisoners?
3 A. No. I never saw anything like that on the base.
4 Q. Do you know whether any of the detainees was killed there or
5 wounded while you were there?
6 A. No. I don't know about anyone being killed or wounded.
7 Q. Did you ever see any detainees going to work in the vicinity of
8 the medical centre?
9 A. No. I never saw that.
10 Q. And tell me, did you ever go down to the medical centre yourself,
11 where the demarcation line was?
12 A. No. I never went down to the line. I wasn't a soldier, so no, I
13 couldn't approach the line.
14 Q. Tell me, did you ever see Stela and his soldiers going to drive
15 Muslims out of the their flats or something like that?
16 A. No. I never saw something like that.
17 Q. Did you ever hear people speaking about that? Did you ever hear
18 anyone saying that Stela and his soldiers expelled people?
19 A. After the war there were rumours in the town, but I personally
20 never saw something like that.
21 Q. Did you ever check up on any of those stories? Did you ever try
22 to verify whether it was true or not?
23 A. I knew some people -- sometimes I asked some people, some people I
24 was sure of, some people for whom I know that they didn't know Stela.
25 Let's say they say, "Stela drove me out," and then I would ask them to
1 provide me with a description. I said, "Describe Stela to me." And they
2 would give me a totally false description. It had nothing to do with him.
3 Q. How would he be described?
4 A. Well, the last time a woman described him to me, she said he was
5 big, wore an earring, had a ponytail, was tall. He never was like that.
6 Q. Did you see how Stela treated the Muslims at the time? Did they
7 go to his unit to ask him for something or were they afraid of going
8 there? What was his attitude towards Muslims, as far as you know?
9 A. Well, his attitude, I don't know. Quite a few Muslims went to the
10 base to ask Stela to make it possible for them to leave the town, to go to
11 Croatia, to other countries, for example.
12 Q. And tell me, was Stela able to do anything for them? Was it
13 possible for him to help these people?
14 A. I don't think that Stela could have done it, because I think that
15 he could have told them whom to contact.
16 Q. When these people went to the base were you afraid of him? Were
17 they afraid of his action?
18 A. No, they weren't afraid.
19 Q. Tell me. You said you knew other members of Stela's family. You
20 said you knew his father, brother, et cetera. Do you know how they
21 treated the Muslims in the neighbourhood at the time, what their
22 relationship to the Muslims was? For example, his father, his family.
23 A. I know that there were up to seven or eight Muslims in his house.
24 For example, if something happened, he didn't try to conceal who was in
25 his house. Stela knew about that.
1 Q. Witness, I don't have any further questions.
2 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have concluded my
3 examination-in-chief. Thank you.
4 JUDGE LIU: Cross-examination, Mr. Prosecutor.
5 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Cross-examined by Mr. Poriouvaev:
7 Q. Witness, is it your testimony that actually you did not know Stela
8 before the war?
9 A. I didn't, no. Not personally. I knew him just like that, by
11 Q. And why did you go to him for help if you did not know him well?
12 A. I did it because I was on good terms with his brother. And Stela
13 knew that Jadranko and I were fine, so it was not difficult for me to go
14 to him, to turn to him, because he knew that with his brother, I was like
15 a brother.
16 Q. And what kind of help could he render to you?
17 A. The kind of help? Well, the most important kind of help for me
18 was that I be left alone to have -- to keep my house. That was the most
19 important kind of help.
20 Q. And who was disturbing you in your house?
21 A. Who? Who disturbed me? I think -- well, it's difficult to say
22 now. All sorts of troops went by so that --
23 Q. Did any soldiers apart from those soldiers from some Muslim unit,
24 did any other soldiers visit you at home?
25 A. I don't understand the question.
1 Q. It was your testimony that on one occasion some Muslim soldiers
2 visited you at home, and my question was: Did any other soldiers visit
3 you after that, after the 9th of May?
4 A. Well, yes. Individuals did come to the building severally. I
5 don't know. For instance, I don't know when the darkness fell perhaps
6 those would come back to harass us or something.
7 Q. Do you mean individuals in military uniform?
8 A. In military uniforms, yes.
9 Q. To which units did they belong?
10 A. Which units? It's impossible to guess. I mean, in Mostar there
11 were units from all over, from Central Bosnia to -- I don't know, to what.
12 Q. Where they Croats?
13 A. Well, mostly those who came usually had HVO patches.
14 Q. What were their requests to the people living in your building?
15 A. Well, nothing special. They didn't have any particular requests.
16 What we were afraid most of at that time was, say, looters, plunderers,
17 because those were the times. Anybody could come by night and rob you.
18 From nothing special. There was nothing special for them to look for.
19 Q. Did they loot your house, your apartment?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Did you know what position did Stela occupy at the time?
22 A. Yes, I did.
23 Q. What position did they occupy?
24 A. You mean like commander of the unit or front lines?
25 Q. First of all, I ask you was he a military person or not?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 A. Stela was a soldier.
2 Q. Was he wearing any military uniform with patches, badges?
3 A. He wore a camouflage uniform, but I never saw any patches.
4 Q. Do you know what military rank did he have?
5 A. I am not aware of any rank of his.
6 Q. Was he commander of any military formation?
7 A. Why, he was the commander. There was a base there on Kalemova
8 Street, and he was a commander. He had some 30, 40 men, something like
10 Q. What kind of unit was it?
11 A. The kind of unit on Bulevar down there. They had a section of the
12 front line they manned. But some speciality of theirs, well, I wouldn't
13 know. What was there? Nothing.
14 Q. And what kind of functions did his unit perform?
15 A. What kind of function? As far as I know, their chief task was to
16 guard that line, there on the Bulevar. Something else, some task at that
17 time, I really don't know.
18 Q. Do you know who was Stela's immediate superior?
19 A. Direct, immediate? I don't think they had anyone above.
20 Q. Was it a regular unit or any unit without any command?
21 A. Well, let me tell you, all those units were not under anyone. I
22 mean, under any command. I don't know that any -- that anyone had some
23 superior command, any command above them, any of those units.
24 Q. Witness, is it your testimony that you visited Stela's unit,
25 Stela's base, on very, very rare occasions, somewhere around two weeks or
1 two times a week? Right?
2 A. Yes, I went there.
3 Q. I asked you was it on very rare occasions that you visited Stela's
5 A. Seldom. I don't know what you mean, rare visits. I said I would
6 visit about twice a week. Now, what do you mean by "rare occasion?"
7 Q. So you did not go there every day.
8 A. No. No. There was no need for me to go there every day.
9 Q. So you -- you did not know what was happening on the base every
10 day, on a regular basis?
11 A. Well, of course I didn't know what happened there on a daily basis
12 because I wasn't there every day.
13 Q. Did you know any of the prisoners who were taken to Stela's base
14 from Heliodrom?
15 A. I did.
16 Q. Perhaps, Your Honour, we should move into a private session.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
18 [Private session]
7 [Open session]
8 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
9 Q. My question was: Did you see them on very many occasions, many
11 A. Well, I saw them there several times.
12 Q. What kind of job did they perform?
13 A. Well, jobs. Mostly cleaning around, sweeping the base, some
14 construction work, repairing cars.
15 Q. Did you have --
16 A. Things of that kind.
17 Q. Sorry. Did you enter Stela's base? I mean the building itself.
18 A. I didn't enter the building. I was in the yard, in the yard of
19 the building. I didn't go into the building because there was no need.
20 Q. Is it correct that some prisoners were staying there overnight?
21 A. I am not aware of anyone staying there overnight. Nobody stayed
22 overnight, I'm quite sure. Not in the base. Or at least as far as I
23 know. I'm quite sure that nobody did.
24 Q. Did you know any of Stela's soldiers?
25 A. Why, yes, I did know some, because they were Mostarans. They were
1 mostly from the town, so I -- but they were all younger than I. They were
2 all younger. At least 20 years.
3 Q. Did you know Ernest Takac?
4 A. I knew Ernest by sight only.
5 Q. What was his position within the unit?
6 A. Well, let me see. He was just a foot soldier. I think just a
7 foot soldier. I don't know that he had anything special.
8 Q. Did you have -- did you happen to work with other prisoners at
9 Stela's base?
10 A. Who me? No, never.
11 Q. And how many prisoners, just approximately, they would bring to
12 his -- to his base? To Stela's base, I mean.
13 A. Well, about -- it would be a smaller van with about ten seats or
14 so, but there would be more people in it. So it would be about 15, 20
16 Q. And do you know if any of them were in other places than the base
18 A. I don't know that they worked at other places.
19 Q. Do you know how Vinko Martinovic introduced himself to prisoners?
20 A. Introduced himself. No, I don't know. Everybody called him
21 Stela. What else? I don't know how else he would introduce himself.
22 Q. And prisoners called him?
23 A. Stela.
24 Q. Witness, is it your testimony that you knew Jadranko Martinovic
25 well; right?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And you also stated that at some point you worked with him. When
3 and where?
4 A. With Jadranko. I worked with him. Jadranko worked for Slavonija
5 Di before the war. He's an architect and all the jobs that he did, he
6 invited me to do the tiling, and we used to do it for years before the
8 Q. For how much years did you work together?
9 A. We worked together. For not less than six or seven years before
10 the war. Perhaps more than that.
11 Q. And did you maintain a relationship with him during the war?
12 A. We continued to be on good terms, of course, but Jadranko, during
13 the war, was not in Mostar during the war. He worked else where for
15 Q. Is it your testimony that some people from Heliodrom were at some
16 point taken to Croatia?
17 A. They were not -- I mean, not taken. I think that at the Heliodrom
18 they had to state where they wanted to go. So some stayed in Mostar, and
19 some said they wanted to go to third countries. So some stayed in Mostar,
20 and some left for third countries. Those were the times. I mean, people
21 said where they wanted to go.
22 Q. You just stated that some people from your neighbourhood were
23 taken to Heliodrom and some went to some Scandinavian country; right?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And some -- for some time they were kept in some refugee camp,
1 right, in Croatia?
2 A. Yes, for a while they were in some refugee camps. I don't know
3 which camp in Croatia, exactly, but they were there until, I suppose,
4 those other countries said they would admit them, until they had it all
6 Q. How many years did your neighbours or people whom you knew stayed
8 A. Well, I think until 1997, 1998, and then everybody came back.
9 Q. Witness, is it your testimony that after the war you heard some
10 rumours about some unlawful actions committed by Stela's soldiers?
11 A. After the war, after the war, yes, there was talk, but these
12 stories, you can never stop them. I don't know how to tell you.
13 Q. Did the people tell you about some particular incident?
14 A. Very rarely. Very seldom somebody would say something specific,
15 but, for instance, I heard these cases when somebody talked. But those
16 were people who talked immediately after the war when you just crossed
17 from one side to the other, say, and then somebody says -- there were, for
18 instance, such cases how they said they had been driven away by Stela but
19 he never knew Stela. But there were, you know, such -- there were several
20 of those armies, you know. For instance, people would write on the wall
21 where somebody has been chased away, and it says, for instance, "Stela,"
22 yet inside you have somebody completely different. So there were such
23 cases when Stela had absolutely nothing to do, couldn't have anything to
24 do with some cases.
25 Q. How do you know that, that he had nothing to do with it?
1 A. Well, say, how can I not know. He had nothing to do with it. If
2 on the doors, for instance, you have "Stela" written on the door and
3 inside you find somebody from Konjic.
4 Q. Did you hear also rumours about Stela's soldiers committing any
5 unlawful acts?
6 A. How shall I put it? Those were all rumours. It was all the
7 grapevine. They were those tales which were spun of all sorts. I mean, I
8 don't trust all these tales, because at that time people did all sorts of
9 things in the town.
10 Q. Why did you try to ask people to describe Stela? What was your
11 problem with that?
12 A. Well, I didn't really care all that much, but when I did that, I
13 didn't have a clue that I'd be coming here as a witness. It was a long
14 time ago. What was important? It was important because I knew him. And
15 I realised that somebody didn't know Stela, that he didn't have an idea
16 who was Stela, that he was saying no matter what. I never thought that
17 I'd be coming here. I mean, at the time when I was after it.
18 Q. Do you know to whom the base, I mean the building where Stela's
19 base was located, belonged to before the war?
20 A. No, I don't know.
21 Q. Did it belong to Stela?
22 A. Before the war, no. I don't know. I don't know if it belonged to
23 Stela before the war.
24 Q. Witness, were any of your next of kin, let's say close relatives
25 and maybe people whom you knew well, arrested in 1993?
1 A. In 1993. Only, say, my brother-in-law. He was arrested. But I
2 mean no. I don't have any other relatives, I mean any other close
4 Q. By whom was he arrested?
5 A. I haven't the slightest. He was taken away from his flat to the
6 Heliodrom at around 2.00 in the morning. But he used to live in a
7 completely different part of the town where -- where I don't think Stela
8 had any influence, because, for instance, I'm in one part of the town, and
9 he's in a completely different part.
10 Q. Do you know which part of the city was Stela in command?
11 A. I don't know which part of the town he had under his command but
12 I assume, I guess, because his base was near the Rondo, then, say, that it
13 was probably there, because there were several of those bases in Mostar,
14 more than one.
15 Q. How long did your relative stay in Heliodrom?
16 A. Well, six months, I think.
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, that's all. My cross-examination is
19 JUDGE LIU: I think we'll break here. We will resume at quarter
20 to six.
21 --- Recess taken at 5.10 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 5.49 p.m.
23 JUDGE LIU: Any re-examination, Mr. Par?
24 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] No, I have no other questions, Your
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 JUDGE LIU: Now, Witness, thank you very much for coming here to
2 give your evidence. When the usher pulls down the blinds, he will show
3 you out of the room. We all wish you a pleasant journey back home.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
5 [The witness withdrew]
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Seric.
7 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] While the witness is leaving, Your
8 Honour, thank you for letting me take the floor. I would like to say that
9 we will be requiring the same protective measures for the next witness
10 aside from voice distortion. So this special microphone won't be
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So at this stage, do you have
13 any documents to tender?
14 Yes, Mr. Par.
15 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. This is the map,
16 D2/36 --/35. I apologise. D2/35.
17 JUDGE LIU: No objections?
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: No objections, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE LIU: So this document D2/35 is admitted under seal.
20 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I was
22 waiting for my turn. I didn't want to make any comments up until now.
23 Just for the sake of the transcript, I wanted to say with regard to the
24 Prosecutor's allegation that the document that they used, 601.1, which is
25 allegedly a book - I don't know what he called it - from the Heliodrom, we
1 don't have evidence of any kind to this effect. We have no evidence
2 showing that it's a list of any kind from the Heliodrom. It could be from
3 anywhere. And for the record, I would like to say that the Defence
4 objects to such allegations on the part of the Prosecution. The
5 Prosecution can't say where this document comes from and what it
6 represents. This is only something that they can assume. This is not a
7 claim that they can make. This is not an entire document, and apart from
8 a few names and a few dates, it doesn't state anything else, and the names
9 of individual units. What it actually represents, we don't know.
10 And I just wanted to say this for the sake of the record. And my
11 colleague has told me that the document is 567.1. The classification
12 number I mentioned was the wrong one.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe this document has been admitted into
14 evidence. Is that true?
15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes.
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes.
17 JUDGE LIU: How about the next document, 601.1? Well, the next
18 document is 601.1 has not been used at this moment.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] It hasn't been used today but last
20 time we made a written objection, Your Honours, and I think you have
21 already received our objection regarding this document. But today this
22 document was not used.
23 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, we checked. It was admitted on the
24 18th of July. I mean the last one.
25 JUDGE LIU: You mean the document 601.1?
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour.
2 MR. KRSNIK: No. No.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, since this document has not been used, at this
4 time we will not discuss about it. We'll check whether it has been
5 admitted or not.
6 Could we have the next witness.
7 [The witness entered court]
8 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness. Can you hear me?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 JUDGE LIU: Can you please make the solemn declaration, please.
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
12 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
14 WITNESS: WITNESS ML
15 [Witness answered through interpreter]
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.
17 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
18 Examined by Mr. Seric:
19 Q. [Interpretation] Sir, you will be shown a piece of paper bearing
20 your first and last names. Don't read it out aloud. If it is correct, if
21 the name is yours, just say yes. Just say yes if it's correct.
22 A. I can't hear you.
23 Q. Can you hear me now?
24 A. Yes, I can hear you now.
25 Q. If the first and last names are correct, just say yes. Don't read
1 it out. Is it correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Thank you very much. Your pseudonym will be ML, but I will just
4 address you as "Witness." That will makes things easier.
5 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we go into
6 private session.
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
8 [Private session]
13 Page 14427 – redacted – private session
13 Page 14428 – redacted – private session
2 [Open session]
3 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Witness, as far as you can remember, when the Serbian aggressor of
5 the JNA attacked Mostar, what happened to you? Were you engaged in the
7 A. During the war against the Serbs, I wasn't in the army. I was
8 commander of the Civil Defence in our local commune, in our neighbourhood,
9 that is to say. And at the same time, I helped my wife a bit with the
10 food, because the army would go and eat in our restaurant too at the
12 I'd just like to clarify this post in the Civil Defence. We were
13 ordered to deliver food, the humanitarian aid that at the time got
14 delivered to Mostar. We had to clean up public shelters because the
15 companies for cleaning up weren't functioning at the time. We cleaned up
16 the surrounding buildings and did other small jobs of that kind.
17 Q. When we mention -- when we talk about your restaurant, don't name
18 it, so as to prevent your identity from being revealed. Did your
19 restaurant continue to work?
20 A. Yes, it did. The restaurant worked throughout the period, but it
21 was used for the needs of the HVO.
22 Q. Can you remember the 9th of May, 1993, when the conflict broke out
23 between the BH Army and the HVO in Mostar? What happened to you at the
24 time? Where were you and what did you personally see and hear?
25 A. Since the shooting had already stopped for a period of time, on
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 the 9th of May, in the early morning hours, loud explosions could be
2 heard, shooting. And since my house is within rifle range, rifles from
3 the Bulevar, I heard shooting. Only my wife and myself were in the
4 house. The children were with their grandparents in a village. I got up
5 to see what was happening. I saw young men in uniforms in the street.
6 They were running from the direction of Balinovac. That became a base
7 only later. They were running towards the secondary school building, that
8 is to say, towards the Bulevar.
9 At that point in time, nobody had the time to ask anyone else what
10 was happening when they were running. Only three or four hours later,
11 when someone returned from down there because new people would turn up,
12 some people were going and some people were returning from there, it was
13 then that I learned that the line of demarcation, from the Savici Street
14 [phoen] location, that I learned that an attack had been launched from
15 that direction.
16 Q. On that day or in that morning, that morning, did you see Vinko
18 A. Yes, I did. I saw Vinko Martinovic and about another ten young
19 men from the neighbourhood, from Balinovac. They ran down there.
20 Q. On that day did you notice that something was happening in your
21 neighbourhood? Did you see anything happening to your Muslim neighbours?
22 A. At that moment, there was no one in the street. What happened to
23 these people in their homes, I don't know. I have three houses in the
24 neighbourhood in which Muslims live, and at the time, they didn't go out.
25 Q. But otherwise did you have -- were you aware of the fact that they
1 were being taken away somewhere?
2 A. There were rumours but I personally didn't go because civilians
3 were not allowed to move very freely around the town. I was told that
4 they were being taken away to the Heliodrom.
5 Q. Did you see or hear them returning to their flats later on?
6 A. For a certain period of time, as far as I can remember, Mr. Armin
7 Pohar established the Muslim democratic league. I think that's what
8 it's called. The Muslim Democratic Party. And they would visit people in
9 the Heliodrom, and anyone who wanted to join the party could do so and
10 return home. They could go to the left bank - let's call it like that -
11 or they could go to other countries through some humanitarian
13 Q. How do you know all of this?
14 A. Well, I know this because the army assembled there and there were
15 rumours. People would talk, and we have a radio there, television. It's
16 not such a backwoods after all.
17 Q. After the 9th of May, 1993, what did you do? Did your restaurant
18 continue to work?
19 A. Yes it did. We continued to work. My wife continued to work
20 there, and the stocks that remained were left for our friends, who later
21 on when they gathered in the unit, because most of their wives and their
22 children went there, so my wife would do washing for them until all that
23 had been organised and until we started receiving regular provisions from
24 the warehouse.
25 Q. When did you see Vinko Martinovic and his soldiers entering the
1 building that you have pointed out on the map in Kalemova? When was the
2 unit formed? When did this happen?
3 A. The unit was formed maybe seven or ten days after the 9th of May.
4 And maybe after my recommendation, too, because in my neighbourhood I saw
5 that empty house. It belonged to an officer, a former JNA officer, Panto
6 Skoro. He was a Colonel. That was his rank. And before the conflict
7 with the Serbs broke out, he left the house. Half of it was his, and the
8 other half belonged to the Kajtas family. He was retired. He received
9 a pension from Slovenia because he was a commercial salesman. He left
10 that house with his children and he went to Slovenia.
11 Q. When did that family leave the house?
12 A. In the course of the war with the Serbs, maybe two or three months
13 later. Then somebody had a nervous breakdown. She had a nervous
14 breakdown, so they left the house and it was abandoned.
15 Q. How long did that house remain empty?
16 A. For five months for sure. From the time when war broke out with
17 the Serb. I can't remember when that was exactly. They were there for
18 two or three months, and then they moved out, and it remained empty. So
19 five or six months.
20 Q. Was the building destroyed, damaged in some way?
21 A. The building was hit. The roof was hit. A projectile hit the
22 roof, and one projectile hit a place between the garage and the house. So
23 the house didn't have a roof, and the garage was half destroyed. There
24 were no windows. The windowpanes had been broken. There was no
25 electricity because the electricity installations had been destroyed.
1 Q. Do you personally know whether it was necessary to repair the
2 house to make it possible for people to live in it?
3 A. Yes, of course. It's impossible to sleep in a house if there are
4 no windows. Quite a few repairs had to be carried out.
5 Q. You said that your restaurant continued working for the needs of
6 the army. Could you describe how this functioned, what it looked like,
7 how provision were is obtained, how you would provide meals.
8 A. We would get beans, rice, et cetera, macaroni delivered by lorry,
9 certain tins with half prepared food. There was some raw meat, chicken,
10 sausages. We would prepare this. My wife prepared that because she was
11 also a member of the unit.
12 Every day we kept records of the amount of meals that were made to
13 make sure that we weren't short of food.
14 Q. Did you also keep records of the amount of meals that you prepared
15 and gave out?
16 A. Yes. We counted it according to the number of soldiers. So
17 today, for example, I would consult Mr. Martinovic. On one day I'd
18 consult him to see how many people there would be on the following day so
19 we could work out how many meals would need to be prepared, more or less.
20 So records were kept of this so we knew what we had received and what had
21 been handed out.
22 Q. Do you know on this basis how many soldiers there were in the
24 A. At the beginning, well, there were about 30 or 40 soldiers. And
25 there were up to 70 soldiers. That was the maximum.
1 Q. Did you know the soldiers from the unit?
2 A. I knew quite a few soldiers, almost all of them, because after
3 all, these were boys from our neighbourhood. Some from part of the avenue
4 and some of them from the Rondo.
5 Q. How long have you known Vinko Martinovic?
6 A. Well, I knew him when he was a taxi driver. So that was about ten
7 years before the war. We didn't have much contact, but we knew each other
9 Q. Did you provide Vinko Martinovic's units with food? Could you
10 describe this for us?
11 A. Well, if raw food arrived from the warehouse, my wife would
12 prepare it. They'd take a pot out and some plates. The soldiers would
13 serve themselves. I'd collect the dishes after them once they had left
14 because they all went there. They didn't -- food wasn't taken to them
16 Q. Do you know what position that unit of Vinko Martinovic's had at
17 the Bulevar?
18 A. Yes. They held the position next to the medical centre and the
19 emergency department. They're next to each other.
20 Q. Do you know if there were prisoners of a kind, who were in that
21 base, who came and then stayed in that base on Kalemova Street?
22 A. Yes, I know about it. Prisoners, but I wouldn't call them
23 prisoners. They were the ones who repaired the house and the garage, who
24 built the roof, who again provided electricity. Well, there was
25 prisoners, but they were together with them. They had a room where they
1 slept. Some of them went to the Heliodrom to return the next morning. I
2 wouldn't really call them prisoners. I would call them free prisoners.
3 Q. Do you know how many of them would there be there?
4 A. I do, because I provided meals for them. Between five and 12.
5 Q. Did you meet them? Did you know them?
6 A. Most of those prisoners, as I said, free prisoners, I knew from
7 before the war because my -- I had -- they repaired my car. They repaired
8 my electricity. One of them still maintains all my power lines. That is
9 how I knew them.
10 Q. You mentioned that you prepared food for them. So what did it
11 look like? What kind of meals? Where did they have their meals? How?
12 Tell us about it.
13 A. Because there was very little food, rather, we had only one kind
14 of food that we all partook of, my wife and I and soldiers and they, and
15 Mr. Martinovic's orders, except that they did not eat in that part of my
16 restaurant where the troops ate, because the entrance to the civilian --
17 the civilians were not admitted there. So that I took this food to my
18 house, which is right next to the garden, and there is only some flowers
19 in between, and I put up a table for them there and that is where they had
20 their meals.
21 Q. But what else did they do when they were in the base with the
23 A. Only those who had some crafts came to work in the unit, that is,
24 people who knew to work about cars, whether it be metalworkers or
25 carpenters or plumbers, car painters, and those who had a craft of some
1 kind. They were there.
2 Q. What you personally saw, when you knew of your own knowledge since
3 you saw them often, can you tell us something about the conditions that
4 they worked there under? How were they treated? Were they mistreated?
5 Were they under constant watch? Were they -- did they have any weapons
6 aimed at them?
7 A. Nobody brought them to our restaurant. They came on their own.
8 At times they would come all together. At times they would come in two
9 or three shifts if they were doing something. I never saw them escorted
10 by guards.
11 Q. Did you see any one of them with bruises or wounded?
12 A. No. Such a person never came there.
13 Q. Did you hear of anyone being killed, any one of those men?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Do you know if they stayed overnight in that building?
16 A. Some of them, yes, those who had some work to do. When they were
17 not necessary there, then they left.
18 Q. Do you know if they received any visits or if they went home?
19 A. Well, since they were -- since most of them lived near the base,
20 that is Panjevina, in that area there, they allowed to go and visit, I
21 mean those who had their homes there and their families, their wives and
22 children, they were allowed to go there and take them some food, some
23 tinned food or something else, because we had plenty of tins. If their
24 wife was there they could go home and spend the night there and come back
25 the next day.
1 Q. What did you see? How did Vinko Martinovic treat them?
2 A. Well, in my view, he treated them correctly. He wasn't too soft
3 on them, but there was no beating or anything, and everybody did what he
4 was supposed to do.
5 Q. What did you see? How -- what was the treatment and other of
6 his -- how his soldiers treated them?
7 A. There was an explicit order, the order from Mr. Martinovic, that
8 without him, nobody could even order a prisoner to go and do something
9 personally. Whatever orders they received, they received them from the
10 commander. Or if a soldier needed something, say his car to be repaired,
11 he had to go to Mr. Martinovic and seek his authorisation to have this
13 Q. Do you know if any of them, that is those prisoners, were in the
14 base, were taken to the front line? You said it was next to the health
16 A. Only in those cases when the vehicle, and the vehicles were very
17 old and broke down very frequently, or if something had to be taken at
18 night-time, dry pack was taken there or a vehicle was stuck there, then a
19 mechanic would take his tools and escorted by a soldier, he's go there to
20 repair it.
21 Q. Do you remember if during that time that we are talking about,
22 after May, after the 9th of May, 1993, was there any shelling of the town
23 of that area where your restaurant was and where Vinko Martinovic's base
25 A. Yes. I think the base was hit twice. And there were wounded
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 among the soldiers, and that whole area, there were quite a number of dead
2 in those buildings nearby. I think it was on the 8th, the 9th. On the
3 same day there was shelling.
4 Q. Do you perhaps remember the date?
5 A. No. No, I don't.
6 Q. Did you -- were you ever at that section of the front line near
7 the health centre on the Bulevar during the conflict between the Army of
8 BH and the HVO?
9 A. No, never. I -- I'm not a particularly brave person, so I never
10 went there.
11 Q. Were you ever in the building housing Vinko Martinovic's unit?
12 A. Yes, I was there. I went there often. I told you I went there so
13 that we could see how many meals we had to prepare the next day so that no
14 food would be thrown away, because there were shortages. And that was the
15 only -- the only reason why I went there, to discuss it, how many meals,
16 whether there were any problems about this and things like that.
17 Q. Do you know if Vinko Martinovic and his unit -- and his soldiers
18 ever drove Muslims out of their homes and looted those flats?
19 A. I've heard all kinds of stories, but I cannot personally say. I
20 did not see that, and I think, nevertheless, that it was done by some
21 other units, which were more numerous and which had more men, more
22 vehicles, more trucks, because if 20 soldiers go to the front line and 20
23 are waiting for it, who is then left to drive people out?
24 Q. Do you have any personal experience? Did you hear anyone complain
25 that Stela had plundered his property, robbed somebody?
1 A. With all those stories that I heard, with all this grapevine, with
2 all these rumours, yes, I've had this experience, and I think it happened
3 in -- I think it was wintertime. So it must have been the winter of 1993,
4 somewhere around the new year. Perhaps after or perhaps before the new
5 year, but at any rate, it was winter time. So everything was happening
6 inside, not in the garden. And a woman in tears came. She could have
7 been 60-ish, 70-ish, and she saw soldiers sitting there. And she cried
8 and asked if anyone could help her because Stela, under the threat of
9 weapons, a pistol, had taken the last hundred marks that she had. And I
10 said to that woman, "Madam, Stela is sitting here. He's been sitting here
11 for the past hour with the town commanders. So he couldn't have done
12 it." "Yes," he said. "Money or I'll kill you." So I went to the next
13 table and I asked him to stand up. "Madam, this is Stela." "No, this is
14 not him. He wears a ponytail and is dark haired." And then Stela took
15 out an identity card with his photograph, and then she started to say,
16 "Who could have been that. Who could have done that?" She was completely
17 aghast. And Mr. Martinovic took out a hundred marks and said, "If
18 somebody took a hundred marks in my name, here, madam, you have a hundred
19 marks, and now you know who Stela is."
20 According to what you saw and heard, how -- what was Vinko
21 Martinovic's attitude toward Muslims? Did he help any of them?
22 A. As to the attitude outside, [redacted]
1 [redacted] And anyway, there were four families
2 that lived next to the base. From the very first moment they were told
3 not to move around. They were at home and that was that.
4 And also in my restaurant before the war and to this day I have a
5 waiter. I've had a waiter, a Muslim. He worked there during the war, and
6 nobody ever mistreated him or anything.
7 Q. Do you know if Muslims or, rather, members of their families ever
8 came to the base to ask Vinko Martinovic to help them?
9 A. I wouldn't be able to tell you that. Not in my presence.
10 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, could we go into
11 private session, please, for several questions?
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go into private session, please.
13 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Witness, do you know an individual
25 called Halil Ajanic, nicknamed Lopata?
1 A. I think that every man of common sense understands by the nickname
2 what can be that man. That man is in Mostar known as a bum who has
3 fathered about ten children, but I think he doesn't know how many children
4 he's got. He lives today here, tomorrow somewhere else. He borrows the
5 money from everybody, then he escaped to the other side because he's
6 borrowing this money, and now he hates everything that begins with a "C".
7 About a month ago, he went to a lawyer in front of the municipal
8 court, a lawyer who is a Muslim, Himzo Gakovic. He went to him and broke
9 his windscreens with a stone, only because that lawyer lives on the right
11 Q. Thank you very much.
12 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have completed my
13 direct examination.
14 JUDGE LIU: Cross-examination. Well, before you start, Mr. Scott,
15 I think right after this afternoon's sitting, one of the Judges has an
16 important meeting to attend, so we'll finish this afternoon's sitting
17 about ten minutes before 7.00.
18 MR. SCOTT: That's -- thank you, Your Honour. I think -- I don't
19 think I'll finish in that time but I'll certainly watch the clock and try
20 to stop promptly at ten to six.
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
22 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:
23 Q. Good evening, sir. You were not -- is it correct, sir, from what
24 you've said, I would understand that you were not a member of the HVO
25 military during the war; is that correct?
1 A. Yes, it is. The Civil Defence wasn't under the HVO. The Civil
2 Defence was under the police.
3 Q. And was there any particular reason, sir, that you were not in the
4 HVO military during 1992, 1993?
5 A. No. No particular reason. I just said I am not a particularly
6 brave man, so I didn't put on the uniform. And we are two brothers. One
7 of my brothers was in the area of responsibility, so we didn't want both
8 brothers to be there.
9 Q. So I take there's no effort as to what people refer to as a
10 draft. There was no pressure on you or any sort of draft that would
11 require you to join the army during this time; is that correct?
12 A. Listen, had I -- had I not -- had it not been for me, it would
13 have been somebody else who would have to do it.
14 Q. All right. Well, I'm not sure I understand that answer, but let
15 me repeat my question.
16 Is it correct, sir, then, that you were free, as you've told us,
17 to stay out of the army, and there was no -- there was no such a thing as
18 a draft or pressure on you to join the HVO military?
19 A. Nobody forced me to do anything, and I did report at the time of
20 the call-up. I did report, but -- and it fell to my lot to do what I
22 Q. And can you tell the Judges approximately --
23 MR. SCOTT: Out of an abundance of caution, Mr. President, since
24 it may tend to identify the witness, could we go to private session for a
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please
2 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. Sir, I believe you said you saw Stela sometime on the morning of
19 the 9th of May with approximately ten other men. Can you tell us
20 approximately what time of the day on the 9th of May you saw Stela?
21 A. Well, early morning hours. I don't know. It was summer, so it
22 could have been 5.00, perhaps half past, perhaps 6.00. I can't really
24 Q. And where was it that you saw him?
25 A. I saw them as they ran by my restaurant.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
14 English transcripts
1 Q. Is that -- sorry.
2 A. And my shop, because my shop is right down the street, and they
3 ran past.
4 Q. All right. And is that the only time that you saw Stela on the
5 9th of May, just as he was running by?
6 A. No, not the only time, because when they returned, when they were
7 replaced by the next shift, then they came to my terrace, some seven or
8 eight of them out of ten or 11. I told you, I didn't know how many of
9 them. So some eight -- seven or eight of them dropped by and had a drink
10 or something, I suppose. And that is when I knew and how I knew
11 everything that was going on and -- that happened.
12 Q. And so when you say at the end of the shift or before the next
13 shift, approximately how long was it, please, that -- between the time
14 that you saw Stela and his men running by and when they then, some of
15 them, came back to your business later?
16 A. Since at that time one couldn't have any organised shifts, as it
17 was all spontaneous and people were running from all sides, I can't really
18 tell you. But it could have been around 4.00, maybe 5.00, because at that
19 time there were no organised shifts or anything.
20 Q. All right. Can I understand or more importantly can the Judges
21 understand that between the time you saw Stela running by your restaurant
22 and approximately 4.00 or 5.00 that afternoon you did not see or have any
23 interaction with Stela on the 9th of May?
24 A. That's right. That's right. I didn't because I didn't go to the
25 front line because it's really very near. From the building of the
1 secondary school or from the park one could get hit. And besides, the
2 civilians were not allowed to move around.
3 Q. Sir, just for clarification's sake, it may have been just
4 interpretation or just a different use of a word, at one point I heard you
5 say that your wife was a member of "the unit." Did you mean to say that
6 she was a member of an HVO unit or did you mean to say she was a member of
7 the restaurant staff?
8 A. She was a member of the HVO.
9 Q. And which unit was she a member of?
10 A. Which unit? The HVO.
11 Q. Yes, but which unit within the HVO? Was she a member of Stela's
13 A. I don't know. What she had here was the HVO. Now, what unit or
14 what it was called, I don't know.
15 Q. Sir, was she a member of Stela's unit?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And what were --
18 A. Quartermaster.
19 Q. Quartermaster. And what kind of duties -- perhaps some of us can
20 have some idea, but not to speculate, but what her duties as quartermaster
21 of Vinko Martinovic's unit?
22 A. She took over the produce that was brought from the warehouse,
23 prepared the food and then washed the dishes.
24 Q. As other HVO soldiers or members of these units, did she receive
25 any sort of compensation or salary as a soldier?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. What were the arrangements, please, by which she would be paid?
3 How did that -- just physically, mechanically, how was payment made to
5 A. Well, how do I know how? But there will be the list. She'll go
6 there, get the money, sign, just as I did, because in the Civil Defence I
7 also received certain remuneration. Remuneration, you get the money, you
8 sign that you received it.
9 Q. All right. Let me stay with you just for a moment so we can
10 understand it. Is it your understanding, for example, that she would go
11 to Stela's headquarters, from time to time, and receive money for which
12 she would then sign some sort of a record indicating that she had been
14 A. I think so. I didn't sign in her name. I didn't go. I didn't
15 accompany her, you know. I don't keep her under my control, so --
16 Q. Approximately how many occasions, if you can remember, sir, would
17 she be made? Was she paid once a month, twice a month, or just tell us
18 what you can, please.
19 A. I don't really remember. I know it wasn't regular.
20 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, could we go back to private session for
21 a moment, please?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go back to the private session, please.
23 [Private session]
13 Page 14452 – redacted – private session
11 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned
12 at 6.50 p.m., to be reconvened on Tuesday,
13 the 30th day of July, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.