1 Wednesday, 28 August 2002
2 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you very much.
25 Q. Witness, do you see the order?
1 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 Q. Is it correct that that order was dated on the 6th of December,
4 A. I apologise, Mr. Prosecutor. Can you repeat that? I didn't hear
6 Q. Is it correct that that order was dated the 7th of December,
7 1992 -- 6th of December, sorry.
8 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
9 Q. And I would like to draw your attention to paragraph 4 of this
10 order. It deals with artillery support.
11 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
12 Q. Is it correct that the Bregava Brigade could request artillery
13 support from the 3rd HVO Brigade and the 1st Knez Domagoj Brigade?
14 A. That is correct, Mr. Prosecutor.
15 Q. All right. Let's pass on to another topic a little bit.
16 Witness, is it fair to say that after the international conference
17 on Vance-Owen Plan, which did not solve territorial or military aspect and
18 didn't become a valid international instrument, the HVO unleashed a
19 widespread anti-Muslim campaign?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, [redacted], not the chief of staff
21 or the commander of a military district. I didn't occupy any high
22 position. I can give you my personal positions, but personally, I would
23 not agree with that.
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
2 Q. Do you have it, Witness?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
4 Q. Witness, I would like to direct your attention to item 4 of the
6 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
7 Q. Thank you. And I've got two questions stemming from this item.
8 First of all, which orders of HVO headquarters and south-east operative
9 zone did you mean in that order?
10 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I cannot remember, so I can't answer your
11 question. But here, what I meant was that I expected some danger, so I
12 elevated the degree of combat readiness. And the numbers of the orders
13 that I had received are given under item 1, and the expected danger - I
14 apologise - I'm trying to thwart the expected danger by this.
15 Q. But it was your order, wasn't it?
16 A. I believe that this was my order. I would be able to tell you
17 something more if I saw the original, but I believe that this could be my
18 signature, so I do believe that this is my order.
19 Q. Do you agree that this order was issued after the correspondent
20 order issued by Bruno Stojic after Vance-Owen talks?
21 A. I could not confirm this, Mr. Prosecutor. This order involves
22 operative, military things. It doesn't involve any politics. So without
23 any -- with reference to some tragic events in the Central Bosnia, similar
24 things were moving towards my unit. I was warned by the headquarters, by
25 the Main Staff, who warned me about these incidents, and this order was
1 issued to prevent any possible incidents.
2 Q. And my second question --
3 A. And if such incidents should occur, then the order has to be
4 followed in the way it is written.
5 Q. Do you mean that some persons, units, should be disarmed and
6 isolated? Right?
7 A. Mr. Prosecutor, those who jeopardise my unit.
8 Q. Whom did you mean? Muslims? The Serbs?
9 A. I didn't mean Muslims. Who I had in mind were the armed members
10 of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army. That is where I expected problems to
11 come from.
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: And I would like to -- the witness to be shown
13 Exhibit 216.6.
14 Q. Witness, do you see this order?
15 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
16 Q. I would like you to pay attention to items 4 and 5, particularly
17 in item 5 --
18 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
19 Q. You ordered that --
20 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
21 Q. Particularly in item 5, you ordered that all army moves must be
22 reported urgently; is it correct?
23 A. That is correct, Mr. Prosecutor.
24 Q. Is it also correct that Bregava unit moved its headquarters to
25 their previous position?
1 A. What do you mean by the "previous position," Mr. Prosecutor?
2 Q. I mean its headquarters as determined in the order dated the 6th
3 of December, 1992.
4 A. I cannot confirm this, Mr. Prosecutor. If they acted upon orders
5 issued by the operative zone southeast Herzegovina, they would not imply
6 or mean any danger. Or if they respected the order that they were given,
7 then they would have meant a problem for me.
8 Q. Is it correct, Witness, that somewhere in the middle of April, you
9 started issuing orders aimed at removing Muslim forces, Muslim soldiers,
10 from your area of responsibility?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, could you please be more correct in expressing
12 yourself? What do you mean by "removing"?
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay. I would like the witness to be shown
14 Exhibit 297.1. 297.1.
15 Q. Do you see this request?
16 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
17 Q. Was that request signed by you?
18 A. I believe so.
19 Q. I would like you to explain this order. Just take into
20 consideration my previous question when we didn't understand each other.
21 A. At the beginning of my testimony, Your Honours -- I am not clear
22 on item 1. What does that item imply? I am not sure that this item was
23 in the original document.
24 Mr. Prosecutor, Your Honours, item 2, to prevent entrance and
25 passage of motorised vehicles into the zone of responsibility of the 1st
1 Brigade, to confiscate and issue the necessary documentation, what is
2 disputable in that? An army which presents a danger to another army
3 cannot, without the consent of the former army, enter its area. In the
4 army, this is called a silent occupation, an occupation without fighting,
5 which was attempted. So this order was issued with that intent.
6 Item 4, to immediately disarm members of BH, so not Muslims, not
7 civilians, but armed members of the army, to be disarmed, not killed, and
8 weapons to be stored in a warehouse, because that was my -- these were my
9 weapons. The Republika Srpska army tried to do the same thing, to occupy
10 the area from Muslims and from Croats, and now the same method was being
11 applied by the BH Army, according to our estimates.
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Now I would like witness to be shown Exhibit
13 301.4 and 301.5.
14 Q. They are identical in nature, and what I'm interested in, just to
15 hear an explanation from you, why did you order to arrest soldiers in BiH
16 uniform and detain them for 15 days? Was it a sort of preventive
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I believe that I remember something similar.
19 Thank you. The document is now in front of me. Two documents are now in
20 front of me, both dated the 16th of April.
21 Q. It's correct, but one is called a sort of request with demand, and
22 the second one is an order.
23 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
24 Q. So I expect your response to my question about preventive
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm sorry that I interrupted the
4 witness. It never says in this order "preventive isolation," and this is
5 what the witness is expected to say in his answer. So I just wanted to
6 warn my learned friend that he is speculating in his question, i.e., that
7 his question is speculation and that he cannot expect an answer to this
9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Rephrase your question, Mr. Prosecutor. I think
10 you asked that question before, or you would like to hear the explanation
11 from the witness why did he order to arrest soldiers in BH uniform and
12 detain them for 15 days.
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes. I expect a response from him. And why I am
14 uttering these words, "preventive isolation," this is our Prosecution
15 case, that people were arrested without any reason, justifiable reason.
16 So I'm putting forward my case.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I understand. But lead this witness step by
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay.
20 Q. So, Witness, was it absolutely necessary to arrest soldiers in BH
22 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 Q. Is this your response?
24 A. I can, and I wish to clarify, but my answer to your question is:
25 We did not arrest them because they wore BH Army uniforms. But, Your
1 Honours, Mr. Prosecutor, you have in front of you two documents. One is a
2 request, the other is an order. The request is addressed to the military
3 police. And the order, because it is a unit that I didn't command it, I
4 requested from them, and I issued the order to my unit. In the left
5 corner, bottom, you can see who the documents were sent to, and also at
6 the bottom you can see that it was also sent to the Bregava Brigade.
7 So in the order I say that no entry should be allowed to the armed
8 BH Army members into our area of responsibility without my written
9 clearance. This is under item 1, Mr. Prosecutor. All members of the BH
10 Army should be arrested and all their weapons and equipment should be
11 confiscated. What does that mean, Mr. Prosecutor? This means that this
12 implies only to the movements of armed units which want to enter my area
13 of responsibility unbeknown to me, without my consent.
14 You can also come by the documents in which I, at the same time,
15 allowed the same unit to pass through my area of responsibility by issuing
16 similar orders. So what is disputable? If I don't know that an army unit
17 wants to enter my area of responsibility, I can imply that they are
18 endangering my area of responsibility. If I know about their movements,
19 then their movement is not disputable.
20 Q. But do you agree with me that your order provided for arrest and
21 detention of BH soldiers?
22 A. Of armed men, Mr. Prosecutor, and those who were attempting to
23 carry out things that were not allowed, forbidden acts.
24 Q. And what do you mean by "a newly arising situation"? I mean in
25 the part, let's say, prologued your order?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, this newly arisen situation is a new situation.
2 That means that any new moment would bring and ask for new solutions.
3 What we expected were problems. From various sources we received
4 information in relation to the plans of our neighbours. We saw the very
5 same type of problems in Central Bosnia, and we undertook preventive
6 measures. That means we wouldn't do anything or attack anyone or imprison
7 anyone, Mr. Prosecutor, that is, those who come with clear and clean
8 intentions. But those with ill intentions, they would be imprisoned.
9 Q. Sir, is it correct that in that period of time, the situation in
10 Stolac area and in your area of responsibility on the whole was relatively
12 A. Relatively, yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
15 Q. This is a report from your commander, Mr. Lasic, on the situation
16 in his zone of responsibility, including Mostar, Stolac, Capljina. Do you
17 agree with this evaluation of the situation by Mr. Lasic?
18 A. Mr. Prosecutor, the situation was changing from day to day. How
19 could I now remember one single day among so many others in some year,
20 what happened exactly and what the situation was?
21 Q. But is it correct that on the same day, you also issued an order
22 which provided for mopping up BH forces with all available resources?
23 A. I cannot recall that, Mr. Prosecutor, unless I am shown a
24 document, unless I see a document.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours?
1 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise. I just want to make
3 sure that we are talking about P302.1. Are we speaking about this
5 MR. PORIOUVAEV: No. We are passing on to another document.
6 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we are between this document and the
7 next document.
8 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes. You are right, Your Honour.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] That is because what Mr. Prosecutor
10 just said is not written in this document. I cannot find it. I don't
11 know which document you mean, that what you said is not written anywhere,
12 absolutely anywhere. I don't know where you got that from. Where did you
13 get that statement from? That's why I'm asking you.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, this trial has been going on for 14 months. I
15 think as earlier, as the normal practice, the Prosecutor will put his case
16 to the witness first, and demanding an answer from this witness, and after
17 that, the Prosecutor might show a document to the witness concerning this
18 question. I believe Mr. Prosecutor will come to that document.
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: You're right, Your Honour. Thank you very much.
20 I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit 302.2.
21 Q. Witness, do you see this document?
22 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 Q. What I would like you to explain to me, what did you mean, while
24 issuing that order, by "mopping up"?
25 A. Mr. Prosecutor, in the previous order that we did not comment, at
1 the very end of the order by Mr. Lasic, whether I agreed with his opinion
2 in item 4, there was talk of a lot of problems and shooting in Mostar,
3 about the borders, and this went all the way up to the centre of town.
4 This is one thing.
5 Second thing is that the conflict, and the clashes from central
6 Bosnia were coming nearer to the south, were approaching.
7 And the third thing, the order that you're speaking about came
8 about, and I believe that this is correct, it came about in specific
9 circumstances, and it is a result of a specific situation.
10 I said, Your Honours, to start with, yesterday, about a more
11 general situation, when I mentioned that the Bregava Brigade attempted to
12 enter the area of Dubravska Visoravan, of Dubrava, in a peaceful way, and
13 we found out that this would be attempted in several locations, and I said
14 what we attempted and what we did in this way. They were not going to be
15 thwarted in their intent, and this is one of the orders in a series of
16 orders which was written as in a form of a warning, of a threat, that we
17 would attack them if they continued, if they persisted in doing what they
18 were doing, unless they were respecting the orders that, at the time, they
19 had agreed with. And under item 1, you can see that their command post
20 was not positioned in accordance with an agreement and that it was a
21 threat for me, that they were still trying to go towards the south, and
22 that what that meant is that they continued doing that, for the tenth time
23 that I would answer, that I would respond with all means available. Thank
25 Q. Did you resort to military actions in respect of Bregava Brigade?
1 A. That is, I cannot recall the date exactly, but yes, we did
2 something similar, bearing in mind that, again, after this order, I did
3 not use force immediately. I tried to frighten them again, to warn them,
4 to move them away from that area with peaceful means, and after that gave
5 no results, and I used two companies, unless I am mistaken. I arrested a
6 member of this brigade who was in a position where he was not supposed to
7 be in, and who had plans about attacking us. And these are the documents
8 that I'm talking about, and this was Pizovic that had plans about
9 attacking us, that is that we attack them only a couple of days before
10 they had carried out a planned attack on us. Thank you very much.
11 Q. I would like to you take an at Exhibit 431.2. This is --
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the Deputy Registrar to provide the
13 witness with this document.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. If I may ask,
15 whose document is this? What is this about? And what is the date of the
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
18 Q. Yes. This is an ECMM report, and I would like to direct your
19 attention to items 7, 8. We have it in both English and B/C/S
20 translation. The B/C/S translation just in front of the original
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] But I don't have the Croatian
25 version. At least I don't. In the binder, I do not have the Croatian or
1 the B/C/S version of the document 431.2. I am talking about the ECMM
3 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Maybe you have it on the front page.
4 MR. KRSNIK: No. I checked very carefully.
5 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Prosecutor, in my bundle I only have the second
6 page of the B/C/S version.
7 MR. PORIOUVAEV: The B/C/S version is on one page.
8 JUDGE LIU: But it started from item 7, 8, not --
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, 7, 8, both are translated.
10 JUDGE LIU: Where is the first page? I mean, the English
11 translation, we have the title, we have the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 items there.
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, but we have only translated the relevant
13 parts of the document, not the whole document, not the whole ECMM report.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, you could use this document, but
15 later on, you have to furnish the first page to the Defence counsel.
16 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Even that our witness speaks English? I thought
17 that we would not have any problems with it.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, he's entitled to have that document in his own
19 language, but you may proceed.
20 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay. Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Witness, do you have this document?
22 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. I have it in both Croatian and in English,
23 but I cannot establish the date when this document was written.
24 Q. 3rd of June, 1993. You will find it in the original English
25 version of the document, in the upper left corner.
1 A. Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 Q. I've got two questions to you. Is the situation with Bregava
3 Brigade you just described to us, is consistent with your story, described
4 here in the document?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I would like to comment on the whole of the
6 document and then include this question as well. I think that this
7 document was not written with good intentions or that it is correct for a
8 large part. First of all, my command was never located in the village of
9 Dabrica. The village of Dabrica is located on the Serb side. That is, it
10 is on Bosnian Serb Army positions. And the second insinuation which
11 reminds me of some contestable questions with the gentleman from the army,
12 when we were negotiating by the end of the war, and throughout the war,
13 continuous insinuations that we had links to the Army of Republika Srpska
14 and that we were hoping to attack the army together, the BH Army,
16 Now, the second insinuation in relation to the location of my
17 command post, it is true that we were faced with both armies, and it is
18 also true that the current line was stable.
19 Now, the question of opening the passage at that time, I believe,
20 Mr. Prosecutor, that is not at all correct. What was correct is that the
21 Serbs had called on us through a small portable radio. They called my
22 soldiers, not me, on the first line, and they offered help. They said
23 that they would use artillery against BH Army if we asked for that. Your
24 Honours, believe me, this had never occurred to us. This is an
25 insinuation. And this is one of the documents which was also delivered to
1 the BH Army, and this is one of the documents -- that was a reason, one of
2 the reasons for increasing the tensions and the conflict.
3 So this means that the penultimate item -- it is true that it is
4 in this way that we resolved the problem with the Bregava Brigade in this
5 way. The member who was not arrested, he again reformed the unit and he
6 again attacked us and caused us a lot of casualties by the rest of the
7 war, and he used civilians and army members particularly on the Dubrava
9 Q. And my next question, just pertaining to this document, is: Is
10 your position, as quoted here in the document: [redacted]
12 [redacted] is it reflected correctly
13 in this document?
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, we have to warn you that we are
15 in the open session and that this witness is under the protective
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Awfully sorry. It should be removed from the
18 transcript, of course.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes, of course.
20 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I know that my learned colleague did
22 not do this on purpose, but this has occurred so many times on the side of
23 the Prosecutor. I believe, my rough estimate, this has happened about
24 five or six times. This is a serious submission, and I would like to ask
25 Their Honours how they would react if this had happened to me.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the Prosecutor made an apology already,
2 and he has already said that he will be very careful in the future
3 proceedings that he will not disclose the identity of the witness. We'll
4 have that redacted.
5 You may proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
6 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
7 Q. So, Witness, I'm waiting for your response to my second question
8 about your position as a partisan of military methods of solving problems,
9 as reflected in this document.
10 A. Mr. Prosecutor and Your Honours, I do not agree with this
11 statement, with this -- what is written in this item. Any military
12 commander has been taught that if he assesses and if he sees that he has
13 available information, which is reliable, that he would be attacked, that
14 his forces would be attacked, that he is the one who should attack first.
15 Why is that? Now, am I to wait for the opponent to kill all my men and
16 then to react? And then, Your Honours, you would then charge my opponent
17 and try my opponent because he has killed my men. That means that any
18 normal soldier would react first. And, Mr. Prosecutor, if this was not
19 true, I can tell you that I'm one of the first people to join the joint
20 army in Sarajevo before peace was declared, so that Bosniaks and Croats
21 would make together an army so that we would have an Army of Federation.
22 So we wanted to be on this together.
23 Q. Thank you very much, Witness. Let's pass on to another topic.
24 Witness, is it your testimony that Muslim soldiers were with you,
25 I mean with your brigade, until the 13th of July, 1993?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, a number of them remained after that date as well.
2 Q. Will it be fair, Witness, to say that you started expulsion of
3 Muslim soldiers from your unit long before the 13th of July, 1993?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor, as a result of the assessment that they
5 represented threat, danger, after the events involving Bregava Brigade and
6 all that happened in Central Bosnia and all the bloody conflict in Mostar,
7 Central Bosnia. So according to the assessment, we thought that that
8 could happen in the same way, and in the brigade that we're talking about.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 493.01
10 Q. Witness, have you read this order?
11 A. Not yet, Mr. Prosecutor.
12 Q. You may take your time.
13 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
14 Q. So was it your order that a minimum number of Muslims should stay
15 in every unit? Right?
16 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor, but the order goes on. But it says those who
17 were from the start with us, who had shown and proved to be good, and who,
18 according to the -- who are known by their commanders and for whom they
19 can be guaranteed that they wouldn't turn against us. Thank you.
20 Q. Is it correct, Witness, that on the following day -- not --
21 sorry. Some days later, you issued another order providing for expulsion
22 of all the Muslims from your unit?
23 A. It is possible, Mr. Prosecutor, but if I see the order, then I
24 would be able to tell you more.
25 Q. Yes.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the court deputy to show the witness
2 Exhibit 498.2.
3 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
4 Q. So on the 6th of July, you already issued an order to remove all
5 Muslims from the unit, right, irrespective of their background and
6 participation in joint battles against the Serbs; right?
7 A. The authenticity of this order, Mr. Prosecutor, is in question.
8 There are some strange things on here. On this document I can see four
9 seals, and I'm not quite sure what this is about. You can see at the end
10 a sentence which really isn't clear to me either, that people who had
11 participated in the action are to be disarmed and sent home. Is this in
12 relation to the Muslims who had been with us and who had participated in
13 actions? Are they to be disarmed and sent home? And this is in
14 contradiction with item 1 of the order. So I cannot do this so quickly
15 and really assess what this is all about.
16 Q. But do you see a signature at the bottom of the page?
17 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
18 Q. Is it your signature?
19 A. Possible, Mr. Prosecutor. But, as I've said, there are two items
20 here which go one against the other, which are mutually exclusive: item 1
21 and the remark on page 2.
22 Q. What do you say is mutually exclusive?
23 A. To remove and disarm all members of the army who are Muslims.
24 That's under item 1. And under 2, that people - that's in the
25 remark - people who participated in the action to be disarmed and sent
1 home. Only that. Does that maybe refer to those Muslims who, together
2 with us, participated in all the previous actions? I believe that this
3 may refer to this category of soldiers.
4 However, Mr. Prosecutor, I would like to say one more thing. When
5 we received information that the BH Army, i.e., the Party of Democratic
6 Action commands over the BH Army and that they were preparing themselves
7 to launch an attack on us, in the previous order you could read one item,
8 and that was that Muslims should be kept but should not be assigned any
9 important duties in the command, in the security. And at the end it
10 proved to be correct and it proved to be wise, because we came by
11 documents, at the moment when we captured some members of the brigade,
12 showing that they had been preparing an attack on us. And that's,
13 Mr. Prosecutor, when we found among those documents the lists of soldiers
14 showing the names of those members of my unit who were receiving my
15 salary. So at the same time they were on two lists: on the list of the
16 Bregava Brigade and on the list of the brigade that I don't want to
17 mention, but the brigade that I am talking about all the time. So they
18 were on the lists of both brigades. On the 13th of July, when they
19 finally attacked us, all of this that I'm talking about got its
20 confirmation, was confirmed. Thank you very much.
21 Q. Witness, is it correct that by this order, I mean issued on the
22 6th of July, you abolished the first item of your previous order issued on
23 the 3rd of July, and there is no contradiction between these two orders
25 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor. That was never implemented to the end because
1 in all units, until the end, there was a relatively high number of Muslim
3 Q. Witness, is it correct that further along, you also issued an
4 order relevant to Muslim conscripts to be arrested and detained?
5 A. That is possible, Mr. Prosecutor. I don't know which order and
6 which conscripts and which period you are referring to.
7 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
10 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
11 Q. Do you see this order? Was such kind of order issued by your unit
13 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you can see that this order was not signed by me.
14 It is possible that at that time I was absent. However, such an order may
15 have existed. I believe that it was not -- never followed through, but I
16 can explain all the elements contained in this order.
17 Mr. Prosecutor, with regard to the previous document, I said that,
18 at the moment, there was a large number of Muslim Bosniaks, Bosniak
19 members of our brigade. All that time, if some individuals and some
20 groups were following the platform of the SDA, they joined the ranks of
21 the BH Army, and as they did that, they also committed different crimes in
22 order to justify their membership in the HVO once they joined the BH
23 Army. They did that in order to be able to tell their new fellows-at-arms
24 how many Croats they had killed. To my judgement, I believe that we kept
25 all those Muslims for whom we believe that they would not turn their arms
1 against us. Before this document was issued, a sabotage group turned
2 their barrels against their former colleagues and friends. They massacred
3 them. They opened fire on dead bodies of those they had killed. They
4 mutilated them. You have minutes compiled by SFOR who carried out an
5 on-site inspection, in the period. After that, they infiltrated deep into
6 our ranks, committed murders. I can't give you the names of all the
7 places and people so tragically killed all over the area. And as a result
8 of all those activities, we had to put up ambushes.
9 Q. Thank you very much, but I would ask you to be concise in your
10 responses because of the constraints of time.
11 My next question is: Is it correct, Witness, that your
12 anti-Muslim actions were not limited to former soldiers of HVO of Muslim
13 nationality, military-aged persons, but the whole Muslim population in the
14 adjacent area?
15 A. I don't know what activities you are implying. If you are
16 referring to arrests, the army did not participate in that, and whether
17 some military investigative organs thought that an individual had to be
18 arrested, whether somebody else detained people, I really can't confirm.
19 I can't tell you that.
20 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
21 number 559.2.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
24 Q. Is it correct that this person whose signature is under the order
25 was a commander of the 3rd Battalion, part of your brigade?
1 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I can only confirm that the person with this name
2 exists and that this person was the commander of one of the battalions.
3 As to whether this is his signature and -- I find it incredible, as well
4 as the rest of the document.
5 Q. Why do you find it incredible?
6 A. Mr. Prosecutor, a document like this cannot be without a seal, and
7 that is the first thing that strikes me as unusual.
8 The next thing that is unusual is the fact that no normal person
9 would write item number 2 and sign it, to say, "When rounding them up, do
10 not pay attention to their age." That is something that nobody normal
11 could even think, let alone write or carry out.
12 And the third thing, Mr. Prosecutor, under item 3, two detention
13 centres are mentioned, although there were never any detention centres
14 anywhere. The person who was in the area - and this person was in the
15 area - to make a mistake when writing the name of a place is something
16 that is unacceptable from a soldier, from a commander.
17 Further on, if this commander, if any commander, issues a verbal
18 order, it doesn't make sense that his first subordinate issues a written
19 order. For somebody like that to issue a written order, he had to address
20 his superior. If a subordinate acts upon the order of his superior, he
21 has the right to ask for a written confirmation of a verbal order.
22 Sometimes a verbal order can be issued but only exceptionally, when there
23 is not enough time to issue a written order.
24 So all of the items in -- contained in this order are really not
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
3 Q. This is an order issued on the 5th of August by this same
4 commander, again with reference to a verbal order, of the identical
5 contents but which provides for a wider area of responsibility, and wider
6 area of actions, where Muslims were supposed to be rounded up and
8 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I think the same of this document as of the
9 previous one. The army never participated in the arrests of any
10 civilians. I agree that it may have occurred that during the capturing of
11 some groups of soldiers, some civilians may have been arrested, and later
12 on we tried to put that right urgently. And believe me, I see this for
13 the first time, and I can't tell you anything about this. I cannot
14 confirm this order, and I cannot believe in the credibility of this
15 document, in the authenticity of this document.
16 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Prosecutor, could I interrupt here while we are
17 on the point?
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes.
19 JUDGE CLARK: My understanding is that the witness said to you
20 that he rejected the authenticity of the first of the two documents that
21 you're referring to, for a number of reasons, one of them being -- as I
22 understood the transcript to say, one of them being that there were no
23 detention centres at that time. Could you follow that up with more
24 cross-examination, please? Because that doesn't appear to correspond with
25 the documents that I have.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, if you allow me, I will do that but
2 at a later stage.
3 JUDGE CLARK: At a later stage, thank you.
4 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I thank you for -- I
6 thank Judge Clark for asking the right question at the right time. I
7 didn't want to intervene and I don't have the transcript in front of me.
8 We heard in our headphones, according to the first order, 559.2, the
9 witness said clear and loud that the collection centres that are mentioned
10 in this order did not exist. So that these two mentioned in this order,
11 the collection centres mentioned in this order, did not exist. And that
12 is one of the reasons why he found this order incredible and surprising,
13 because he knows very well that these two particular collection centres
14 mentioned in this particular order never existed. That was what he
16 JUDGE LIU: We will come to that issue at a later stage.
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
18 Q. Now, one more question to the witness in respect of Exhibit
19 559.7. Again, this item 3, maybe it will shed some light on the issue.
20 Gather detained person in collection centres to be determined by the
21 commanders of the 2nd and 3rd Companies.
22 A. Your Honours, item 3 means that the commanders who have
23 approximately 70 to 80 men under them, should determine where collection
24 centres will be. I am really not clear on this. There was never such a
25 possibility. It was not a realistic possibility. There is no military
1 logic to item 3, none whatsoever.
2 Q. But anyway, you see this item in the order?
3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have to react. The
5 witness said that he has never seen these two documents, that he contests
6 their authenticity, but the questions continue on these documents,
7 although the witness told us very clear why he did not find these two
8 documents credible. Why does the Prosecutor insist on continuing
9 examining the witness on these two documents? After very correct
10 cross-examination, now I can say that I must say that the witness cannot
11 be asked questions about something that he doesn't know anything about,
12 that he has never seen, and disputes the credibility of.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the witness is going to tell us
14 something about this document.
15 Witness, you may continue to answer your question.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I have nothing further
17 to say about any of these two orders. The Defence counsel really repeated
18 what I said at the beginning, and that is that these two orders are not
19 authentic. I cannot confirm their authenticity. There are so many things
20 in them that go against the military logic, that I really don't know what
21 to say but that I have never seen them, I don't know anything about them,
22 and I really believe this not to be possible, these two orders not to be
23 real and possible orders.
24 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
25 Q. Witness, is it correct that in July and further, you had some
1 contacts with the representatives of international organisations,
2 including ECMM, and you had some conversations with them relevant to the
3 issue, I mean to the Muslims being arrested, detained, pushed from their
4 area? Right?
5 A. Mr. Prosecutor, it is possible that we had such talks, but the
6 issues discussed, we can talk about.
7 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 493.3.
8 There is a B/C/S translation in front of the first page of the document.
9 I'm interested in item number 6. The document dated on the 4th of July.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
12 Q. Did you read it?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it correct that by the 4th of July, 1993, all the Muslims from
15 your unit - units, I would say - had been removed, as you said to the
16 representatives of the international organisations?
17 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor.
18 Q. Is it correct that you claimed that all males from the age of 18
19 to 60 had been arrested?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I cannot confirm the authenticity of this
21 document, and I cannot recall the gentleman who allegedly compiled this
22 document. But it does say clearly in the document that the army did not
23 participate in this but that it was somebody else, not subordinated to
24 me. And this statement, although allegedly issued by me - and I don't
25 recall ever having said that - it is still something that I heard from
1 somebody else. So it is a secondhand statement.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, what we want to hear is what the
3 witness is going to tell us.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honours, but can I
5 please find out who the author of this report is? We don't know the
6 source of this document, who is its author. So I would humbly ask you to
7 assist me with that, and please can we have some insight from the
8 Prosecutor as to the author of this document. We cannot have in this
9 courtroom any document just for the fact that it comes from the
10 Prosecutor. And again, I don't have the translation of the entire
12 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that document explained the source for
13 itself, and it's very clear on that. We'll turn to this question at a
14 later stage, when the Prosecutor is going to tender this document into
16 You may proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I would like to complete one topic
18 before the break, and then I will not take too long after the break.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
20 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I hope.
21 Q. Witness, do you agree with me that as a result of anti-Muslim
22 measures undertaken by the HVO and you, your brigade, as part and parcel
23 of the HVO, the Muslim population of Stolac area had significantly reduced
24 by August/September 1993 came?
25 A. I don't agree with that, Mr. Prosecutor. This is a distortion.
1 When you attack somebody and when you get, if you will excuse me, your
2 butt kicked, then it is your own fault; it is not the fault of the one
3 that you have attacked. But this was not carried out by the brigade,
4 Mr. Prosecutor. A number of Muslims, Bosniaks, at the beginning of the
5 war, fled the area. A number of them fled the area during combat
6 activities and a number of them fled even during the peacetime.
7 The fact is, Mr. Prosecutor, that the army attacked us, and we
8 have documents to prove that. We were attacked and we suffered huge
9 losses. If there were any ugly things among the Croatians, I am ashamed
10 of them, but I didn't participate in them. I am the commander of a
11 certain unit of the army. I was not the commander of the area. I was not
12 responsible for the civilian police. I was not responsible for the crimes
13 committed by other people. There were other institutions which I believe
14 had a bearing on the things that you implied in your question.
15 Q. Witness, but you should agree with me that it was your orders,
16 your orders, just to arrest and detain Muslims, no matter who executed
17 those orders. Do you agree with me?
18 A. I agree with just one part of that, Mr. Prosecutor: to arrest
19 those who pose a safety threat. Your Honours, Mr. Prosecutor, they were
20 all armed. I agree that not all of them posed a security threat.
21 However, Your Honours, an army does not have the right, does not have the
22 means to carry out investigations. It is somebody else who has the right
23 and the means to do that. Those organs who had the right to do that were
24 not under my authority. Thank you very much.
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
1 534.2, page 6. Page 6, item 3. It's only in English, but it's a very
2 brief, short passage. The document dated 24th of July, 1993.
3 THE WITNESS: Can you please repeat the page and the item that
4 you're referring to?
5 MR. PORIOUVAEV: With pleasure. Page 6, item 3.
6 Q. Have you found it?
7 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
8 Q. Can you read it in English? You may need the assistance of an
10 A. I don't need the assistance of an interpreter. I understand it in
12 Mr. Prosecutor, a little while ago I said, clearly, that the army
13 did capture those for whom they thought that they presented a safety
14 threat. At the same time, one part of the brigade was on the line facing
15 the army of Republika Srpska, which really was a respectable opponent. I
16 also said that I was not the commander of the area and I did not have any
17 authority over the civilian, military police, or anything.
18 Similarly, it never occurred to me to participate in the
19 destruction of religious objects, let alone did I do it. I am ashamed
20 that the religious objects were destroyed, and all of them were destroyed,
21 Muslims, Croats, and Serbs alike. If that is positive, in Capljina, where
22 I live, in my neighbourhood, the church still stands and is in good
23 repair. Thank you.
24 Q. Witness, but will you agree with me that this passage from the
25 document deals with the ethnic cleansing in the area carried out by the
2 A. But, Mr. Prosecutor, if you read this well, you will see that this
3 again is the classical distortion of a thesis. It says here that the HVO
4 lost over 30 men while cleansing the area from Muslims. And I repeat, for
5 I don't know which time, that we did lose some 30 men, but that was during
6 the attack carried out by our former friends, our neighbours, our former
7 colleagues, together with those who had arrived and joined them. They
8 carried out attacks on the HVO in several dozens of places, and that is
9 when these soldiers lost their lives. After that, there was no major
10 killing of Croats. I'm talking about the attack of Bosniaks on the HVO on
11 the 13th of July. After that, several dozens were killed, but in the
12 groups of one to three, and at different time intervals, ranging from one
13 to three to seven days. So this, Mr. Prosecutor, is not a correct
15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
16 670. This is the last question before the break.
17 And, Your Honour, I think that we should go into private session,
18 because this document was provided to us under Rule 70 restrictions.
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll go to the private session, please.
20 [Private session]
23 [Open session]
24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
25 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I humbly ask how
1 long the cross-examination will last? This is already lasting two and a
2 half times longer than my direct examination. I think perhaps we should
3 keep to what Mr. Scott said, quoting the Rules, and I was glad that he
4 did, and it says that, according to the Rules in this Tribunal, that the
5 cross-examination should last as long as the direct examination. But now
6 this cross-examination is lasting two and a half times longer. I believe
7 that we have a right to know how long the Prosecutor intends to continue
8 his cross-examination.
9 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor has promised us that he will
10 finish his cross-examination as soon as possible after the break. And
11 would you please be kind enough to inform us how long you are going to
12 last in your cross-examination?
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: If you give me 45 minutes, I will be happy, to
14 cope with my task in this period of time.
15 JUDGE LIU: Well, during the break, try to reorganise all those
16 documents and try to finish it as soon as possible.
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: So we'll break now. We'll resume at a quarter to
19 12.00, I believe.
20 --- Recess taken at 11.12. a.m.
21 --- On resuming at 11.45 a.m.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. Please continue.
23 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
24 Q. Witness, do you hear me?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Sorry.
2 Q. Witness, do you hear me?
3 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
4 Q. Witness, is it correct that in the beginning of July, you issued
5 an order to release all Serb prisoners from the detention facilities in
7 A. Mr. Prosecutor --
8 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter did not hear the witness.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Sorry.
10 Q. You did hear my question, did you?
11 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I did hear your question but I really cannot
12 recall that I had ordered such a thing.
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 493.2.
14 Q. Witness, have you read the exhibit?
15 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
16 Q. Do you see your signature at the bottom of the document?
17 A. Yes, I do.
18 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...
19 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
20 Q. So it's your order. Can I conclude that this order was issued
21 just to free space for Muslim prisoners?
22 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I did declare solemnly that I would tell the
23 truth, even if it is detrimental for me, but I really cannot tell you what
24 this is all about. If I could see the original, perhaps I would be able
25 to tell you a little more, but as far as I can recall very quickly, I
1 really cannot remember whether there were any Serb prisoners, and if there
2 were any Serb prisoners, in my opinion at that time, this may have been
3 just a couple of people so I really don't know what this is about.
4 Q. Is it also correct that in May, 1993, Kostana Bone Hospital in
5 Stolac was also liberated from patients who were staying there for a long
6 period of time?
7 A. I don't know anything about this subject, Mr. Prosecutor.
8 Q. Okay. If you don't know, you don't know. I will not pursue this
9 question any longer. Is it correct that in the beginning of July, you
10 took the Dretelj prison and barracks under the control of your brigade?
11 A. I apologise, Mr. Prosecutor, could you repeat your question?
12 There was an interruption in the link.
13 Q. Witness, is it correct that on the 2nd of July, 1993, you issued
14 an order according to which you took control of Dretelj prison and Dretelj
16 A. I don't think this is correct, Mr. Prosecutor, but if I see the
17 order, then I'll explain.
18 Q. This is Exhibit 492.1.
19 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
20 Q. And is it also correct that one of the addressees of this order
21 was commander of the active police?
22 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 Q. Does it mean that your orders were mandatory to him?
24 A. The question, Mr. President, is not at all in relation to what our
25 relationship was, the relationship between the commander of the brigade
1 and the active military police. What I mean is -- if Your Honours will
2 allow me, I can explain this order.
3 This is about when a unit or an institution comes to a new area,
4 if some basic questions have not been resolved, it is normally relying on
5 the institution which is the closest. That is me. That is my brigade. I
6 was the closest. If I remember well, I got an order from my superiors to
7 take out 40 of my Home Guards and that I would second them to the
8 commander of the military police, and this order was addressed to my
9 people, and it was for the information of the commander of the military
10 police. That means that I was ordering my people, 40 of my men, to be
11 resubordinated to the commander of the military police in Dretelj, that
12 is, that they would work in accordance with their orders, that they would
13 be answering to him - I'm sorry - and that if they had anything else -- if
14 they needed anything else, logistically speaking, that is, quartermasters,
15 logistics, anything like that, additional weapons, then my deputies for
16 logistics, that is, the commander of the Home Guards, that they would then
17 resolve this.
18 Q. Witness, is it correct that you issued an order prohibiting to
19 release any prisoners without your written permission?
20 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor, I remember this very well, and if you'll
21 allow me, I will explain. I heard, I learnt, from my associates and from
22 some Muslims, some Bosniaks who I knew very well, who came to me and who
23 told me what was going on there. So they told me then that some
24 lower-ranking commanders, commanding officers, even some soldiers, what
25 they did was that they were releasing prisoners for money, which means
1 that they were making money out of those people who some of them I had
2 captured, I had arrested. So I reacted emotively. This upset me a great
3 deal, and I tried in this way to put some order, put this right.
4 The meaning of this order is that some commanding officer cannot
5 just decide like that about who will be released, or rather, who is guilty
6 and who is not guilty. This is the job of the military investigating
7 organs. What I gave myself the right to was to get involved and to try
8 and put this injustice right. But, Mr. Prosecutor, very soon after that I
9 received direct orders from my superiors that I had no business
10 interfering, that I had no connection whatsoever, and that they would
11 perhaps take into account my suggestions in relation to the matter whether
12 some of those people I had captured were guilty or not guilty.
13 Now, if we look at the lists, they said that if they compared the
14 lists, that if they saw that there was a mistake, there was an error, that
15 then they perhaps would put this right. Thank you.
16 Q. Witness, is it also correct that at some point, as the commander
17 of Sector South, you also tried to assume responsibility for releasing
18 prisoners from other prisons? I mean not only Gabela, Dretelj, but also
19 Ljubuski and Heliodrom.
20 A. It's correct, Mr. Prosecutor, but I believe that you can see from
21 this that this was an emotive, an emotional reaction on my part, and how
22 clear it is that I had no authority or no competence over this. I tried
23 to take responsibility for this, to set things right, and also to speed up
24 the investigation procedures, but, as I said, I received the order that
25 this was not my job. This was not something that I was to do.
1 In these camps, I got the impression that the investigation
2 procedures were not speedy enough, that certain things were not being
3 checked, and I had really ordered something for which I didn't have the
4 right, which was never implemented, and the response I received was
6 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
10 Q. This is the order we were talking about, right?
11 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor.
12 Q. I mean the order --
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Okay, okay. You may explain.
15 A. This is a different order with the -- an identical objective,
16 Mr. Prosecutor. I received information that certain things were happening
17 in these camps, apart from prisoners being released, that there were other
18 ugly things that were happening, like taking the money, that is the
19 robbing of those detainees.
20 Q. [Previous translation continues] ... sorry, I don't think that we
21 should discuss some of these issues. I agree with your previous statement
22 that that was a reason why you issued such kind of order. At least that's
23 the explanation you give to us.
24 Is it correct that you issued this order as a commander of Sector
25 South in July, 1993?
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French
13 English transcripts. Pages 14820 to 14827.
1 A. I think this is correct, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 MR. PORIOUVAEV: And also I would like the witness to be shown
3 Exhibit 498.1.
4 Q. Have you seen this order? There is a reference to your name in
5 item 5.
6 A. That's correct, Mr. Prosecutor.
7 Q. Is it also correct that you did not allow to visit Dretelj to
8 representatives of media and international humanitarian organisations?
9 A. That's not right, Mr. Prosecutor. This order was written in order
10 to prevent all kind of irregularities, setting things right, and all other
11 things I would allow personally. So I did not want to allow visits
12 without my knowledge, so that there would be no incidents whereby somebody
13 could be taken away and that he -- this person could then be killed or
14 that he would then be sold off for money or some other stupid goings-on.
15 And again, telling you, Mr. Prosecutor, these few orders, I issued when I
16 was very upset, when I was very emotional, but I underscore this,
17 immediately I received from my superiors the order that this was not my
18 job and that I had no right to issue such orders. Thank you.
19 Q. Sir, when you are talking about your superior, whom do you mean?
20 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I really cannot recall from whom I received such
21 orders that the camps were not within my area of competence and that the
22 military police was not within my authority, that this was the job of the
23 military investigation bodies and that I should move away from this.
24 Thank you. Whether this was Ministry of Defence, or what would be normal,
25 Mr. Lasic, or perhaps the police, I'm afraid at this time I really cannot
1 tell you who signed this order.
2 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 498.3.
3 Q. Witness, do you see this order, this document?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
5 Q. Is it correct that this order came from Mr. Coric, Minister of
6 Interior? Yes, military police, sorry, chief of military police.
7 A. I really cannot confirm this. I cannot confirm the authenticity
8 of the signature of Mr. Coric, Mr. Prosecutor. If I recall correctly, I
9 received at least a couple of similar orders, that is announcements,
10 pieces of information, but whether this was such an announcement, I cannot
11 tell you from memory. But this was the form that I received some orders
12 in, that this was not within my area of competence and that this was not
13 my job, thank you.
14 Q. I would like to direct your attention to item 3 of this order. Is
15 it correct --
16 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
17 Q. Is it correct that all the prisoners who were in military remand
18 prisons, and who were captured by your units, could be released only with
19 your written consent? Sorry, with your consent?
20 A. That's not correct, Mr. Prosecutor. It says here very clearly
21 that perhaps they would be released, perhaps be released with my consent.
22 Q. That's what I'm asking you. Witness, did you ever visit Dretelj
23 and Gabela detention facilities?
24 A. As far as I remember, Mr. Prosecutor, no.
25 Q. Did you know that conditions of life for prisoners were appalling
2 A. No, Mr. Prosecutor, not appalling. I do not agree with this
3 claim. First of all, they were not within my area of competence.
4 Secondly, in some elements, they were relying on me, and when the
5 administration, that is the military police, asked for doctors to be sent
6 or to help in terms of medical help, I would do that. I would send a
7 doctor. So they were relying on me, in terms of medical support. And
8 they were also relying for some part, at some point, in terms of food.
9 Now, Mr. Prosecutor, the food that was going to the camp of Gabela was the
10 very same food that my soldiers were eating.
11 Now, as to -- as for Dretelj, I know that - I heard it, I did not
12 see it; I did not see either one or the other - in Dretelj, there was a
13 kitchen, and I know that people who were cooking this food and prepared,
14 they were making as much food as was needed, and it was my logistics that
15 was sending the food and the necessary things. Now, there were problems
16 with food and water in both places. I remember that there was an
17 intervention. I remember that there was an intervention in relation to
18 some problems in Gabela, but I really cannot recall at this moment what
19 that was specifically, and I do remember that I intervened for it to be
20 resolved. Thank you.
21 Q. Witness, is it correct that on one occasion Gabela prison was
22 visited by some representatives of HV, Croatian Army, on Mr. Bobetko's
24 A. Your Honours and Mr. Prosecutor, I remember this very vaguely. I
25 remember Mr. Dzanko, that he was asking questions about this, but I really
1 cannot remember, ten years later, exactly what happened, because there
2 were hundreds of things that happened during one day. But I'm asking you
3 to help me remember.
4 Q. Yes, yes.
5 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you'll allow me, I
9 would like to say that this is a new document, and perhaps I could comment
10 on this, that we don't have any idea about this. There's no signature.
11 There is not any kind of sign to tell us who had written this.
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would object, Your Honour.
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] You can object, Mr. Prosecutor, but
14 this is a basic thing. We have to know what this is. Otherwise you can
15 put in any kind of paper and then we can work from that, even a paper that
16 I would write. There's no signature. There's no seal. We have no idea
17 where this comes from. What's this?
18 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, do we have to every time remind you what
19 the Rules are? Have you forgotten in three or four weeks? Not in front
20 of the witness.
21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I believe that all the documents
22 used in the proceedings are new documents. There's no doubt about that.
23 From the B/C/S version, on the right-up corner, we saw a seal which
24 indicates the Zagreb archive. So we have no doubt about this document.
25 You may proceed, Mr. Prosecutor.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
2 Q. Witness, have you read the document?
3 A. Yes, Your Honours.
4 Q. I'm sorry. Is this the visit by Mr. Dzanko you meant in your
5 testimony today?
6 A. Yes, Your Honours.
7 Q. And according to this document, you visited Gabela together with
8 Mr. Dzanko; right?
9 A. No, Your Honours. I'm sorry, I really do not remember, but I am
10 sure that what it says in here I did not see with my own two eyes.
11 Q. But you see that it is reported in this document that you
12 personally entered the camp, saw the facilities --
13 JUDGE CLARK: It doesn't say that, Mr. Prosecutor. It says
14 specifically --
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours --
16 MR. PORIOUVAEV: [Previous translation continues]... together.
17 JUDGE CLARK: But he stayed outside, at his own request.
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes.
19 Q. Were you told by Mr. Dzanko about what he had seen inside?
20 A. Your Honours, I said five minutes ago, very clearly, that if my
21 memory serves me well, Mr. Dzanko asked for an intervention in Gabela, for
22 some help, and that I said before I even saw this document. I don't know
23 what the specific problem was at the time, but he did intervene, and I had
24 to act upon his intervention. I remember that I did administer some sort
25 of help. I did have to put something right, but I don't remember exactly
1 what that was.
2 Q. Witness, is it correct that apart from prisoners of war, male,
3 Muslim males, there were females in Gabela?
4 A. Your Honours, I never heard of that, believe me. At the beginning
5 of the conflict, I told my assistants to check whether there were any sick
6 people, whether there were any females, whether there were any young
7 people or elderly people, and if there were, that they should be released
8 immediately. I couldn't order that, but I could exert my influence for
9 this to be done. I remember I ordered that to my assistant for security,
10 but that was at the very beginning, but not at this time in question. At
11 this time I had already received my orders to stay clear from that,
12 because that was not my job. I never heard any such thing. Thank you.
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
15 Q. Witness, have you read it?
16 A. Yes, Your Honours.
17 Q. Do you see the information that all the detainees slept on a
18 concrete floor and that there were older persons, women, and children?
19 A. Yes, I can see that, Your Honours, but I repeat that this is just
20 one in a series of very unusual unsigned documents. But I would like to
21 comment upon it. I have already said that I heard about some bad things
22 happening there. Of some I did hear, of some I didn't. I tried to
23 resolve those things that I had heard of. It says in here that they
24 received two blankets, Mr. Prosecutor, if that is correct. To my mind,
25 this proves that nothing was planned in advance. If it had been planned,
1 we would have had beds there. But I sincerely doubt the truthfulness of
2 such information, and I doubt the competencies of the people who wrote
4 When you try to organise an army, you have to equip the army, and
5 it takes 10 to 15 years, and the same goes for security services. If you
6 recruit primitive, illiterate people into your security services, then you
7 cannot expect them to issue competent reports, and it is only that kind of
8 people that were recruited into the security services at the time.
9 Q. Witness, did you have any other powers in respect of prisoners?
10 A. I don't remember, Mr. Prosecutor. Can you please help me to
11 remember? I don't know what you are referring to.
12 Q. Is it correct, Witness, that prisoners from Gabela and Dretelj
13 detention facilities were involved in some job on the confrontation line
14 and they needed permission from you to allow prisoners to be taken to such
15 kind of job?
16 A. Mr. Prosecutor, you have asked me several questions. I'll try to
17 take them one at a time. It is correct that they were taken to work.
18 Some commanders, a few of them, asked for my consent to take some
19 prisoners who would help them carry out some work, because they didn't
20 have enough people. It happened on several occasions.
21 The next thing I would like to clarify is the fact that none of
22 these people were harmed. We ever found ourselves in a farcical
23 situation. None of the groups who worked on the line, not on the front
24 line but in that area, were never put into -- under any danger. They were
25 never humiliated. One of these groups even managed to escape. That's the
1 extent of the humiliation they had to suffer and that's the extent of
2 control that was exerted over them while they worked.
3 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
4 524.3 and 564.3.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours.
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can I ask one thing? Can I ask for a
8 clarification? We have been listening during this cross-examination and I
9 would like to know what is the relevance of this cross-examination with
10 regard to the indictment against my client.
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
12 MR. PORIOUVAEV: My response will be quite plain, credibility of
13 the witness.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, if you are aiming in this
15 direction, my suggestion is that you could cut your -- cut short your
16 cross-examination because, you know, we almost reached the time you
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, but I would like just the witness to give a
20 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Try to finish your cross-examination as soon as
22 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour, I will try to.
23 Q. So, Witness, do you see that, for example, from Exhibit 524.3,
24 that detainees were involved, engaged for fortification and clearing of
25 the forest?
1 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
2 Q. And if you take a look at another document, again, cutting wood in
3 the wooded zones before the front area?
4 A. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
5 Q. Do you agree that such kind of jobs is not [inaudible] Geneva
7 A. Incorrect, Mr. Prosecutor. Mr. Prosecutor, I agree that the first
8 order may not be clear enough but the document, the second document that
9 we are talking about, is perfectly clear. I don't know what this is. It
10 looks as if some of my reports --
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm sorry.
12 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Krsnik, the witness is answering the question. I
13 think the witness will help us to clarify these things. Do you have
14 something to add?
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm just saying that we
16 have frequent interruptions. The witness starts answering, then one or
17 two words are lost, and then we get the third word. So we don't get the
18 complete translation. I would like to ask the witness to repeat
19 everything from the beginning, because some words have been lost, and I
20 think it is in the interest of all of us.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if you will allow me?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, I think that's a reasonable request.
23 Witness, you may answer that question.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour. The first order
25 that we are talking about may not be clear enough in one of its parts, but
1 the second document that we are talking about is -- although it's not very
2 clear to me, I'll try to explain. If this is an authentic document, it
3 clearly says that the detainees will be engaged only for the cutting of
4 the wood, and that -- and full stop. So this is not dangerous and this is
5 not humiliating. Thank you.
6 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
7 Q. But witness, take a look at item 5 of this same document.
8 A. Yes. I can see that, Your Honours. Item 5, in the military
9 terminology, does not have to mean that the detainees will be taken to the
10 front line. The front line does not have to be the first line. The front
11 line consists of several lines. The fact is, Your Honours, that none of
12 the detainees were harmed, in no way. None of them were either injured or
13 wounded. One group even managed to escape. That's how well they were
15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Now I would like witness to be shown Exhibit
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
19 Q. Do you see that on this occasion, prisoners were sent to work on
20 the defence line?
21 A. Yes, Your Honours, on the defence line, but in the military
22 terminology, it is a very elastic term. Look at the last sentence in
23 which it says that the commander of the 3rd Battalion is going to take
24 these men over and provide security for them.
25 Q. Witness, do you agree with me that it is not allowed by the Geneva
1 Convention to use prisoners of war on any war-related jobs?
2 A. I didn't know that, Your Honours. I knew that they should not be
3 humiliated and that they should not be put under any risk, and that was
4 provided, but I didn't know of that particular element that you have just
5 mentioned, Mr. Prosecutor.
6 Q. Witness, is it correct that you were authorised to release
7 prisoners who had letter of guarantee from the third country and transit
8 visa through Croatia, and to allow them to leave the prison and to be
9 taken to Croatia?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I raise the same
12 objection as ten minutes ago.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I guess the Prosecutor is at the last set of
15 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour. Yes, Your Honour. You're
17 JUDGE LIU: Do you have to repeat your question?
18 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
19 Q. Witness, is it correct that you were the only person authorised to
20 decide the question on releasing prisoners from Dretelj and Gabela and to
21 allow them to go through Croatia, via Croatia, to some third country,
22 provided they had a guarantee letter from any third country and transit
23 visa through Croatia?
24 A. Absolutely incorrect, Your Honours, but allow me to clarify. For
25 a very short period of time, when I tried to assume responsibility and to
1 regulate the situation in these camps, I asked for the investigative
2 procedures to be accelerated and I asked for the people who had papers
3 proving that they have somewhere to go and that they could be sent
4 somewhere, I wanted to use my influence and help them leave the prison.
5 And one of those groups was the group of those who wanted to go to a third
6 country and already had a visa to go there.
7 Q. Did you do it on a regular basis?
8 A. I would -- I was doing that for a very short period of time before
9 the order arrived that I was not to be involved in the work of the
10 military investigative organisations and that I was not involved in the
11 work of Dretelj and Gabela. But I do believe that on several occasions, I
12 tried to use my influence and help those for whom the investigative organs
13 had established that they were not guilty of any crimes.
14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
15 565.3, 566.11.
16 THE REGISTRAR: Can you please repeat the numbers?
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: The second document, 566.11.
18 THE REGISTRAR: The first one?
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: The first one, 565.3.
20 Q. Witness, do you see these two documents?
21 A. Your Honours, I only have one document in front of me, so can you
22 please give me some more time. Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
23 Q. Witness, do you see that these documents were issued in August
25 A. Yes, sir.
1 Q. Do you see your signature underneath of the documents?
2 A. Yes, sir.
3 Q. Is it the situation, when prisoners were released, with a
4 guarantee letter and transit visa?
5 A. It seems so, Mr. Prosecutor. However, before that there should
6 have been a security check to establish that they had not participated in
7 combat, in the killings. And here you can see the signature of the chief
8 of the security services, who issued this document, which I approved,
9 using my influence to release these people. You remember that document,
10 signed by the chief of police, in which it says that he maybe would accept
11 my suggestion about the release of the prisoners. I was not the person in
12 charge of the release of these detainees. I was the person who had some
13 influence and used it with the security services when it was discussed
14 whether some of these people would be released. Whether there was
15 somebody else involved in that, from the ministry, from the Main Staff,
16 from any of the other brigades, who could request that, I don't know. I
17 believe that I did this, and I would do it again in order to protect these
19 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, we also have Exhibits 571.1, 573.2,
20 583.2, 596.1, just identical content and with the same signatures, and in
21 total, in total, 149 prisoners were released in this way.
22 THE REGISTRAR: Can you repeat the numbers?
23 MR. PORIOUVAEV: 571.1, 573.2, 583.2, 596.1.
24 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Prosecutor and Mr. Witness, with the consent of
25 the President, I'd like to ask a question at this stage, before the point
1 is lost, to ask a question of the witness.
2 My understanding of what the witness has said in response to your
3 numerous questions is that these were people who had been arrested and
4 detained and who had been subject to investigation, and that the
5 investigation had established that they were not guilty of any crimes.
6 What I want you to answer, Witness, is if it had been established that
7 these people were innocent of any crimes, why did they have to have
8 documents to leave the country? Why were they not immediately released to
9 their own homes?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I used my influence to
11 get them released. That's what I know. These people, as far as I
12 know - this is what I heard - obtained visas and documents. They wanted
13 to leave the country. In other words, there was a group of people in the
14 prison for whom I exerted my influence on their behalf so that they could
15 be released as soon as possible if it had been established that they were
16 not guilty of any crimes. That was my influence, the influence that I
17 could exert. I didn't ask them to ask for any visas. I did not exert any
18 pressure on them. They were released upon my intervention. I don't know
19 whether they were all released even. This is just my opinion, my consent
20 that these people should be released. Whether they were released, where
21 they went from there, I don't know. I don't have any record on that.
22 JUDGE CLARK: You see, Witness, I want to know from you, if you
23 can answer: Why, if it had been established that these people were guilty
24 of no criminal offences, did they need consent to be released?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, Your Honours. I think
1 that we are talking at cross-purposes here. They did not need any
2 consent. We have to start from the beginning. It should not have been
3 proven first that they didn't do anything. But I asked my assistant for
4 security -- when I heard that there was a large number of people there,
5 that there was some crime going on there, I wanted to speed up some
6 things. I wanted to alleviate the pain of some people. I asked for the
7 procedure to be accelerated. And I was then approached by the chief of
8 security services, with a list of people for whom they had established,
9 allegedly, that they were not guilty. Then I would turn to the prison
10 ward and ask them to speed up the release of these people.
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
12 Q. Witness, did you ever see any documents issued by the Croatian
13 authorities just allowing for the prisoners to cross the territory of
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm doing this because
16 of my conscience, because of my understanding of justice, my 25-year
17 practice in being a lawyer, and because of my sense of justice. This
18 cross-examination has been going on for four hours. Now, how are we going
19 to finish eight witnesses in five days if we're going to tolerate this?
20 But the truth is, Your Honours, that these questions are not at all
21 relevant in relation to my client, at all. They have no relevance
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. At this moment, we don't see any relevance of
24 this question to this very case, Mr. Prosecutor.
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay.
1 JUDGE LIU: We have already advised you to cut short your
3 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, this will be my final question now,
4 final question, and my cross-examination will be accomplished. The last
6 Q. Witness, do you remember any of the statements made by you when
7 you claimed that: "We have no friends in the world except our fatherland
8 Croatia, whose part we want to become"?
9 A. Mr. Prosecutor, again we lost a link for a moment. Could you
10 please repeat your question?
11 Q. Witness, do you remember a statement made by you that: "The
12 destiny of the Croatian people is in our hands. We have no friends in the
13 world except our fatherland Croatia, whose part we want to become"?
14 A. This, very simply, Mr. Prosecutor and Your Honours, is not
15 correct. I have never stated anything like this. Thank you.
16 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay. I would like the witness to be shown
17 Exhibit 611.12. This is information by information propaganda service of
18 the 1st Knez Domagoj Brigade.
19 Q. Were you present at this meeting which was held on the 25th of
20 September, 1993?
21 A. It is clear, Your Honours, that I cannot remember such a meeting.
22 I cannot remember this particular meeting which was supposedly held on the
23 25th of September. I can allow for the possibility that this meeting did
24 take place, because sometimes, although rarely, such meetings did take
25 place. Now, in order not to exaggerate, I believe that this meeting may
1 have taken place once or twice a year. But to take this as some kind of
2 evidence, I don't think that is correct. Nobody has signed this document,
3 let alone myself, and not even from the information propaganda service.
4 It is a question whether anyone had ever received this document. I
5 believe that this is just an opinion of an individual from some kind of
6 service, a propaganda service.
7 He probably tried to do something like this and play with these
8 kind of statements.
9 And thirdly, if I had been doing this, would I then, Your Honours,
10 already in 1994, and particularly in 1995, would I be in Sarajevo with
11 these very same Muslims and Bosniaks trying to create one unified army?
12 Thank you.
13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you very much for your patience. My
14 cross-examination is over.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Any re-examination, Mr. Krsnik?
16 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours. I don't have any
17 additional questions. I have some objections regarding some documents but
18 we can do that after they are being tendered. Thank you.
19 JUDGE LIU: Any questions? Yes, Judge Clark.
20 Questioned by the Court:
21 JUDGE CLARK: I have one or two questions, sir, arising out of
22 your evidence. In the early part of -- I think it was your direct
23 examination with Mr. Krsnik, on a number of occasions, you have referred
24 to documents or information which you received which proved to you that
25 the -- either the Muslim faction of the HVO or the Army of Bosnia and
1 Herzegovina was about to launch an attack against the HVO. Now, you
2 referred to that on a number of occasions. Where did you actually get
3 this information and when? It's obviously important, but it hasn't been
4 elaborated on. Can you help us on that?
5 A. Your Honours, I agree that this is one of the most important
6 matters. In my opinion, certainly it is. In my command, there was a
7 person, a man who was responsible for gathering this kind of information,
8 this man who attempted to try and build up some kind of intelligence
9 service. He had his own network of people who were gathering pieces of
10 information on all sides. And there was a department for electronic
11 reconnaissance, and this department gathered, monitored the opponents'
12 communications and messages, analysed them and drew conclusions from
13 that. On the basis of their evaluations, their assessment, the
14 information and announcements directly from Muslim soldiers, from Bosniaks
15 and from their ranks, on the basis of the orders that came from their
16 superior commands, of their analysis. And all of these documents should
17 be in the Zagreb archive, that the press is going on about a great deal.
18 Personally, when we captured half of the brigade, of the Bregava Brigade -
19 and again, according to my judgement, I thought that they would attack us
20 and that they were representing a threat - when we attacked them and
21 captured them, we found the archive. We found all of their documents that
22 they had written.
23 We also found in their archive, not only -- not only through our
24 service but we then managed to get hold of various kind of different
25 interesting data. First of all, we found something, the order of
1 Mr. Bajro Pizovic as -- attack, that there will be an order for the attack
2 on us. We -- it will be easy to find such an order in the same archive in
4 Second, there was the order of Mr. Arif Pasalic, and unless I'm
5 very much mistaken, you have taken this with some reservations. This was
6 the order for the attack of the operation Neretva in order to get -- to
7 reach the sea.
8 Further on, we found some lists of the Bregava Brigade members,
9 and at the same time, checking those lists, we established that these
10 people were members of my own brigade, which means that they were members
11 of my brigade, and some other army also has them as members of their
12 units. Now, is that strengthening any kind of confidence?
13 That means, again, that these documents can be found in our
14 intelligence services, in our departments, although these should be
15 analysed carefully, and also from the Muslim Bosniak side, in their
17 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. As I understand what you've said, there
18 are two sources for these documents: First of all, there would be
19 electronic recordings of conversations that were overheard and then
20 analysed; and secondly, there were seized documents. Is that what you're
22 A. Your Honours, I don't think that we understood each other fully.
23 What I meant was -- is that one command would make a decision on doing
24 something, on launching an operation, for instance, on the basis of some
25 arguments, some facts, certainly some assessments. Now, these assessments
1 of the commander or to the commander is normally given by the military
2 intelligence service, and his superiors can give this to the commander.
3 Then the command has a meeting and, on the basis of all these arguments,
4 makes an evaluation and decides upon an operation. This is exactly what
5 we did. We then launched the operation, and when we captured part of this
6 unit, we managed to find exactly this kind of evidence that we had
7 discussed in this stage before the operation was launched. For instance,
8 the order of Mr. Bajro Pizovic, the order to attack us. And this order
9 was written before we launched our operation towards this brigade, which
10 means, Your Honours, that this brigade was preparing to launch an
11 operation, an attack on us. We knew about it and we therefore attacked
12 them. In their archive we find the evidence that they were going to
13 attack us. I propose that evidence should be looked for in the HVO
14 archive and in the BH Army archive.
15 And what the honourable judge mentioned is just one of the
16 questions within this matter, how intelligence service gets hold of
17 information, and intelligence service gets hold of information different
18 ways. First of all, in the field, through people. A second one would be
19 through electronic monitoring, and so on.
20 JUDGE CLARK: I just have to say, Witness, that I'm not cutting
21 across you but it's coming up to 1.00 and the Court is obliged to take a
22 break. Now, my questions won't take a great deal longer but they may
23 elicit further questioning from your Defence counsel or from the
24 Prosecution. So in deference to everybody, I think it would be
25 appropriate if we were to take a break now. Is that all right?
1 A. Yes, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will have the lunch break and we'll resume at
3 2.30 this afternoon.
4 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
6 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.
8 JUDGE LIU: Are you ready to begin?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Judge Clark.
11 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Witness, I really didn't mean to ask you how
12 intelligence was gathered, but really what I wanted to know was that, if I
13 understand your evidence correctly, what you are saying is that there were
14 two sources for your belief that an attack by the Muslim forces was
15 imminent, and one was intelligence, and two was the subsequent retrieval
16 of documents from captured soldiers. Am I correct about that?
17 A. Yes, Your Honour, and also the information from the superiors.
18 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter didn't hear the entire answer
19 given by the witness.
20 JUDGE CLARK: Did you hear that, sir, that the interpreters
21 apparently didn't catch everything that you said? I think what has been
22 typed out here is that you said that you received the information, you
23 agreed with me, and also you received information from your superiors.
24 Was there anything we missed?
25 A. No, Your Honour.
1 JUDGE CLARK: Can I take it, then, that on the basis of army
2 intelligence and evidence and instructions from your superiors, you formed
3 the decision to disarm the Muslim members of the HVO and to capture any
4 ABiH soldiers in your area of responsibility?
5 A. Your Honours, I could agree with what you said. So we agreed --
6 JUDGE CLARK: You see, the point I'm getting at is that when the
7 decision was made to act as you did, you already, in your view, had
8 sufficient information of the intent of the Muslim component of Bosnia and
9 Herzegovina to justify your actions. You really didn't need any of the
10 seized documents. Am I right about that? The subsequently seized
12 A. Yes, you're absolutely right, Your Honour. That means that these
13 documents that we captured, they just supported the previous hypothesis
14 that they were preparing to attack us.
15 JUDGE CLARK: I'm clear on what you're saying. Now, this may be
16 more difficult. Could you give the Court a time frame for this activity?
17 When did you first form the view that it was a military expedient to
18 disarm the Muslim forces that you came in contact with?
19 A. I can try, Your Honour, to answer your question in trying to
20 recollect, although I don't think that I will be able to remember all the
21 elements. So that is that the tension between the HVO and the newly
22 established army of BH grew on a daily basis. We witnessed also, and
23 followed, what their political officials said, alongside everything I have
24 already spoken about. The actual arming, in secret of the Muslim
25 people - so that is very important - and this arming of the Muslim people
1 you can now read about this in the books that are now being written by
2 certain members of the then Muslim authorities. They also support the
3 thesis that I've already mentioned. So they were arming only Muslims, and
4 in this way they provoked tensions and lack of confidence.
5 Furthermore, they infiltrated their people. The BH Army
6 infiltrated people into my area. They communicated through radio link and
7 they were given certain tasks. All of this we were able to decode.
8 Moreover, Your Honour, I also had the opportunity to listen to the
9 information and to get hold of minutes from meetings of civilian
10 authorities subsequently. And these civilian authorities, what I mean is
11 only Muslims, Bosniaks, who were members of the SDA party. And at those
12 meetings, they tasked their operatives in the field to implement their
13 decisions or to pass them on and to form their own army, independent, only
14 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and also to infiltrate HVO ranks, to equip
15 themselves and to be ready to take us on, through force, and to enter into
16 conflict with us.
17 They also received instructions, Your Honour - and believe me, I
18 do have evidence of that, and I can clarify this - they received
19 instructions to take -- to loot ammunition from the HVO, to steal weapons
20 and ammunition and to transfer these to the BH Army. Excuse me, this was
21 just the beginning. And after that, what --
22 JUDGE CLARK: I'm very grateful for all the details that you're
23 giving me of the intelligence which you gathered, but what I'm really
24 trying to find out is the time frame at which you had enough information
25 to make the decision to act as you did. When was the first -- the first
1 direct act of disarming Muslim members of the HVO and arresting ABiH
2 members? That's what I really want to know. I need a time frame for that
3 because if I follow your evidence correctly - and I believe I do - at that
4 stage, you had sufficient evidence to act as you -- as you did. You
5 didn't rely on any documents which were subsequently obtained. So what I
6 really want to know is what time are we talking about? Are we talking
7 about late 1992, early 1993, or mid-1993? Can you recall? As best you
8 can. If you can't, we'll move on.
9 A. I really cannot tell you absolutely, with absolute precision, but
10 I believe that this time was in the early -- early 1993, end of 1992, when
11 we already had enough evidence in order to take the steps that we did.
12 JUDGE CLARK: Thank you. My next question is in relation to the
13 documents. Did you actually see those documents or did you subsequently
14 go to the Zagreb archive to retrieve them?
15 A. I never visited the Zagreb archive. I only know about the Zagreb
16 archive from the press. And the documents that I'm talking about, some of
17 them I saw them immediately after the archive of the Bregava Brigade was
18 captured, was seized, and later on I saw some others subsequently.
19 JUDGE CLARK: Now, again, these are difficult questions for a
20 military man. Can you put a time, approximate time, when you saw the
21 documents which were seized from the Bregava Brigade?
22 A. Your Honours, the documents seized from the Bregava Brigade I saw
23 on the following day, the day after some members of that brigade were
24 captured. Thank you.
25 JUDGE CLARK: And when was that? What month approximately?
1 A. I apologise if I'm mistaken, but I believe that it was in April,
2 1992. I apologise. It was in 1993.
3 JUDGE CLARK: April, 1993. Now, just to put things into context,
4 I'm sure that you have heard a great deal about the events in Ahmici,
5 which we know took place in the early part of April, 1993. If you can,
6 could you say whether the seizure of the documents from the Bregava
7 Brigade preceded or followed the tragic events in Ahmici?
8 A. Your Honour, I really, really cannot remember that. I was never
9 in that area. And all I can tell you is what I read or heard. I don't
10 want to spread any rumours or speculations.
11 JUDGE CLARK: Perhaps you misunderstand me. I don't want to you
12 comment on Ahmici, but because it was an unusual event, shall we say that,
13 that you might be able to place it in your calendar of events as being
14 something that came after the capture of members of the Bregava Brigade or
15 before it. But if you can't, you know, I can well understand that.
16 A. Your Honours, I can really not remember.
17 JUDGE CLARK: Well, you can't do any better than that.
18 Can I ask a question in private session, please?
19 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will go to the private session, please.
20 [Private session]
12 Page 14853 – redacted – private session
5 [Open session]
6 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of the Judges' questions? Yes.
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. Thank you.
8 Further examination by Mr. Krsnik:
9 Q. [Interpretation] First, Her Honour Diarra's question. You said,
10 Mr. Witness, that you saw Mr. Naletilic in Medjugorje and then in Zagreb.
11 What year was that when you first saw him in Medjugorje and then in
13 A. Your Honours, I can't say that for a fact. I think it was the end
14 of the war.
15 Q. What year was that? 1994, 1995, 1996? What year was the end of
16 the war?
17 A. I think it was the end of 1994, or maybe 1995 or 1996. I really
18 can't remember.
19 Q. Thank you very much for that. And now I would ask you something
20 that stems from Judge Clark's question, a very direct question. Do you
21 maybe in your personal files have the order issued by Mr. Pizovic? I
22 would be very grateful to you if you have it on you in Zagreb. If you
23 have that order, maybe you could show it to us, or maybe you could give it
24 to Madam Registrar in case you have it on you in Zagreb at this moment.
25 A. Your Honours, I do have some documents on me. I don't know what
1 documents I have, what documents are among my papers. I will check at the
2 end of the day and see what I have, and I don't see a problem. If that
3 order is indeed with me in Zagreb, I will leave it with your official, but
4 I'm not sure that I have that order in Zagreb with me.
5 Q. We have to follow a procedure. I don't know how much time it will
6 take you to find it. Some documents have to be authenticated. I would be
7 very grateful to you if this could be during this day, during your
8 testimony, because if you leave it with Madam Registrar and if you do it
9 tomorrow, then my learned friends from the Prosecution will object to
10 that. So if you can do that now.
11 A. Your Honours, the only thing left for me is if you could give me a
12 break, during which I could check what documents I have on me, and then
13 come back to you on that.
14 Q. Witness, I would kindly ask you to check subsequently. We can't
15 waste time on that. So if you do manage to find this order that was at
16 length discussed today, please give it to our Madam Registrar, who will
17 then bring it here to The Hague, and then we will see whether my learned
18 colleagues will object to that.
19 A. Okay. I will do that.
20 Q. And my final question. I'm sorry. This was not a question
21 stemming from Judge Clark's questions, so this is not a question. I'm
22 going to raise an objection when documents are tendered for admission.
23 Thank you very much. I have no further questions.
24 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Prosecutor?
25 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour, I have only one question to the
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
3 Further cross-examination by Mr. Poriouvaev:
4 Q. Witness, while preparing for your testimony, did you inform the
5 counsel, counsel for the Defence, that you were in possession of some
6 orders issued by ABiH?
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, this question stems from
8 which question of one of the Honourable Judges?
9 JUDGE LIU: Probably from your question.
10 MR. KRSNIK: It's mine. That's mine. [Interpretation] Yes, from
11 mine, certainly, because that is something I have raised. I know that
12 Judge Clark asked questions about the archives, but this question
13 certainly does not stem from any of the questions raised by any of the
14 Honourable Judges. I'm sure I'm not mistaken in that.
15 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, I was going to ask you that question,
16 but I've been pre-empted.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, you may answer that question, since
18 this document, or this order, might be submitted to this courtroom at a
19 later stage.
20 A. Your Honours, I don't recall ever having discussed that issue with
21 the counsel, and I don't remember ever telling him what documents I had.
22 I am now prepared to deliver some of the documents that I find
23 interesting, only their copies, because their originals have been
24 officially archived. I have what I have, and I will leave it with you for
25 your disposal and perusal.
1 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I have no further questions.
2 JUDGE LIU: Witness, thank you very much for your coming to help
3 us. We all wish you good luck in your future. The usher will show you
4 out of the room.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there any documents to tender
8 through this witness? Yes, Mr. Prosecutor.
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, since I've got a number of documents
10 that I intend to tender, I would like your -- to ask to give me permission
11 just to file a submission with all the documents that I will tender into
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I understand that through this witness you used
14 about 30 documents, so you're entitled to have some time to reorganise
15 these documents and submit to this Trial Chamber whatever documents you
16 are intending to tender.
17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you very much, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE LIU: So this is the last witness through the videolink.
19 And are there any other matters that both parties would like to address to
20 this Trial Chamber?
21 Yes, Mr. Stringer.
22 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
23 Honours. Just two brief matters to raise, the first of which is a
24 follow-up to an issue that was raised in the proceedings that occurred on
1 The Trial Chamber may recall that at the conclusion of the
2 testimony of Witness NU, Mr. Bos, on behalf of the Prosecution, tendered a
3 number of documents into evidence. The Defence raised questions as to
4 four of the documents, particularly the source of the documents, whether
5 they were Croatian government, the archive, or what have you, and I
6 attempted at the time to supply some clarification. But we followed up on
7 this. I'm talking about Exhibits 698.1, 699.1, 700.2, and 702.2. I can
8 confirm for the Trial Chamber, and also for our learned friends on the
9 Defence bench, that these four exhibits are documents that were provided
10 to the ICTY field office in Zagreb in November of 2001, directly from the
11 Croatian government's office for cooperation with the Tribunal.
12 Particularly, a gentleman named Orsat Miljenic, who was in charge of that
13 office, provided those documents to our field office in Zagreb. This
14 would have been in response to a request for assistance issued by this
15 office to the Croatian government.
16 And the only other matter, Mr. President, was to inquire for a
17 little clarification about the -- how the Trial Chamber intends to proceed
18 during the first two days of next week. We have a videolink witness
19 scheduled for Monday morning. The Trial Chamber's existing scheduling
20 order allots two hours of time for that. And then we have a witness for
21 Mr. Naletilic who is scheduled to appear before the Trial Chamber on
22 Tuesday. And our question was whether the Trial Chamber then intends to
23 move directly into hearing witnesses who are -- have come to testify as
24 part of the case in chief for Mr. Martinovic, whether the Trial Chamber
25 envisions proceeding with those witnesses on Tuesday or whether there will
1 be a suspension of the hearing both on Monday and Tuesday afternoon and
2 then starting with Mr. Martinovic's witnesses on Wednesday morning.
3 JUDGE LIU: Well, as you all understand, that on Monday and
4 Tuesday, this Trial Chamber only has half days, which means we could only
5 sit until 1.45 in the afternoon. So we will do our best to finish that
6 videolink conference witness on Monday. After that, on Tuesday, we will
7 hear the remaining witness for Mr. Naletilic, live. And right after
8 hearing of this witness, we will hear other witnesses in Mr. Martinovic's
9 case. I hope we could finish that witness on Tuesday. Let's keep our
11 MR. STRINGER: Thank you, Mr. President.
12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. I just
14 wanted to take a few minutes to inform the Honourable Judges about some
15 concerns that the Defence has at the moment.
16 Firstly, let me respond to honourable Judge Clark. Honourable
17 Judge Clark, if I had this document that is so important for the Defence,
18 don't you think I would tender it through this witness? But Judge Clark,
19 these documents are held by the Prosecution. They are exculpatory for my
20 client. I claim before you that they have those documents, not only those
21 but the complete documentation by the BH Army. The Muslim component has
22 refused to give them to me. The Deputy Minister of Defence has forbidden
23 the minister to give me the BH Army documentation. I'm still preparing a
24 large, huge file on the Bosnian and Herzegovinian government. I am
25 preparing a huge submission for the honourable Trial Chamber and I will
1 include this matter into that file that I'm preparing.
2 JUDGE CLARK: Just a moment, Mr. Krsnik. That's a different
3 issue. You see, your witness said that these documents are very readily
4 available and that anybody could get them. And that's why I wondered why,
5 when -- I don't know if you've been in Zagreb, but why you didn't ask
6 somebody to get them if they are so readily available. We'd like to see
7 them. We are not talking about documents that are held in Bosnia. I'm
8 talking about documents which this witness gave sworn evidence on, their
9 easy availability in Zagreb. They are the documents I'm asking about.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm very glad that you
11 have raised this issue. I hope you will not hold it against me when I say
12 that you may not be well-informed. The Zagreb archive holds thousands
13 upon thousands of documents. I've been here in this courtroom for 14
14 months. I don't have so many people available to me as the Prosecution
15 has. They have 20 people who can go there and look for a document. If
16 you want to find a document, you have to go there and find it yourself, if
17 such a document indeed exists in the Zagreb archive. I'm sure that that
18 document does exist in Sarajevo but I don't have access to it, but I would
19 not trouble you with that. I'm just talking about the equality of
20 treatment that has been extended to both sides. I can't go to Zagreb
21 archive and tell them, "Give me that document," because I don't know
22 whether it exists. The documentation hasn't been properly classified. So
23 it is very difficult for me to do that.
24 But what I wanted to say is I have sent a submission to the
25 honourable Court. I don't know whether you have received it. This
1 submission concerns the request that we have for the Prosecution to
2 deliver to us the BH Army documentation. We know that they have them.
3 They have given them to other Defence counsel in other cases. And I
4 believe that we also have the right to have an insight into that
6 And thirdly, to my greatest concern, we've received documents that
7 are part of the disclosure, and there are also some documents there of
8 exculpatory nature. If I had had them during my cross-examination, then
9 my cross-examination would have looked completely different. The
10 documents that I received two days ago are very interesting and talk about
11 the 9th of May and about the Muslim attack. I received those from the
12 Prosecution. This has been to the huge detriment of the Defence. It is
13 their duty to provide them to me at the beginning of this trial.
14 The same goes to Sovici file which I got only upon your order. If
15 I had had it earlier, my cross-examination would have looked differently.
16 The Defence has been damaged by that, and some witnesses, I announce it
17 now, some witnesses will be recalled for cross-examination for -- because
18 we did not have all the documents available to us in time. That is all I
19 wanted to say. And I wouldn't trouble you with that any longer. Thank
20 you very much.
21 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Stringer, we -- it seems to me that we know next
22 to nothing about that further disclosure of the documents. Would you
23 please shed some light on this very issue?
24 MR. STRINGER: Yes, Mr. President. Consistent with the
25 Prosecution's continuing obligation to disclose documents and evidence to
1 the Defence under the rules, a disclosure was made, I believe, last week
2 or two weeks ago, and beyond that, I can't really add anything. We don't
3 characterise them one way or another, whether they fall under Rule 68 or
4 not. They are simply documents that were potentially falling within that
5 category and they were disclosed. I think it is something that is a
6 continuing obligation that we always have and will always observe.
7 I think -- not having the documents in front of me, I've reviewed
8 them, but I think it's really pointless at this point to go into any
9 further discussion about the -- where to go from here or whether in fact
10 it goes nowhere.
11 On the Sovici file, this is a reference to the Mostar High Court
12 file which was disclosed several months ago. The Trial Chamber will
13 recall the pleadings in respect of that disclosure. We've never heard any
14 response from the Defence whatsoever. Certainly, there has never been any
15 suggestion on the part of the Defence of any prejudice that was suffered
16 in respect of the Sovici or the Mostar High Court file. So we are really
17 not in a position to respond to counsel's assertions about that.
18 Just to briefly respond to some of the other points made, at the
19 beginning of his remarks, counsel asserted that the Prosecution has these
20 documents seized from the Bregava Brigade. Counsel has no basis for
21 making such an assertion. He doesn't know. He's making an assertion
22 that's based completely on speculation.
23 The archive in Zagreb is open to everyone. Mr. Krsnik can have
24 his investigators go there. And the one thing we agree on is the fact
25 that at the Zagreb archive, they don't go fetch your documents for you.
1 They treat the Prosecution people the same way that they treat the Defence
2 people. Everyone has to go do it the hard way, which is to look through
3 binders and to request copies of documents of relevance. We are treated
4 the same way in Zagreb that the Defence are. There is complete equality
5 in that respect. Moreover, there is equality in respect of the resources
6 available to both parties to send people, to dispatch people, to Zagreb to
7 review those archives. The number that has continually been asserted, 20
8 people in the archive, is simply wrong. We don't have 20 people in the
9 archive. We don't have anyone in the archive these days. We simply don't
10 have the means to do it.
11 Third, the assertion that the documents are somehow in the custody
12 of the archive of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it's not clear to me how
13 documents of the ABiH that were seized by a unit of the HVO could have
14 landed now in Sarajevo in the archive of the Armija. So it's not clear to
15 me what point there is in even raising the issue of counsel's alleged
16 difficulties with the Armija's archive in Sarajevo.
17 Those are my comments, Mr. President.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we are not debating here. I give
19 you one minute.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I won't take any longer. Of course
21 it is in the Armija's archive because every order is issued in several
22 copies and sent to various addresses. So I'm sure that all the orders are
23 in the Armija's archives because no single order is issued in one copy.
24 The Sovici file, as you know, we don't have investigators in the
25 pre-trial stage, and our investigators are paid by us, by the Defence, and
1 we do not have a team of investigators available to us.
2 In my efforts travelling to Mostar to do my own investigations --
3 can we please move to private session? Because everything we say here in
4 the courtroom is immediately conveyed. As soon as the Muslim side learns
5 what we are up to, they try to hide things. I've come across such things
6 on the ground so many times before.
7 JUDGE LIU: We will go to the private session.
8 MR. STRINGER: Mr. President, I apologise. May I just say for the
9 record that the Prosecution submits that's not a sufficient ground for
10 moving out of public session.
11 JUDGE LIU: Anyway, we will go to private session so Mr. Krsnik
12 can explain to us the very reason for that.
13 [Private session]
15 [Open session]
16 JUDGE LIU: Well, although the Rules of Procedure and Evidence
17 upholds the principle of equality of arms, I'm quite sympathetic with the
18 position of the Defence counsel, because in practice, the Defence counsel
19 will meet more difficulties in obtaining the evidence and documents.
20 Since you have already submitted some motions on filings to this Trial
21 Chamber, we'll act after we read your filings and to see whether there's
22 any material damage to the interests of the Defence counsel.
23 Are there anything else? Yes, Mr. Stringer.
24 MR. STRINGER: Well, just on that last point, Mr. President, it's
25 my recollection, at least, that the initial filings of the Defence in
1 respect of the Mostar High Court file were filed on an ex parte basis and
2 were then subsequently disclosed to the Prosecution, and we were then in a
3 position to respond. Because, as I understand it, the assertion is going
4 to be that there has been some prejudice to the Defence in their ability
5 to cross-examine Prosecution witnesses, for example, I would request the
6 Trial Chamber to order that any submissions along these lines be provided
7 to the Prosecution as well as to the Trial Chamber, and not be filed on an
8 ex parte basis.
9 JUDGE LIU: We'll take note of your request.
10 Mr. Seric.
11 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I will be
12 very brief. What is not clear, the question that has remained unclear, in
13 relation to the documentation that has recently been handed over by the
14 Croatian government - that is what Mr. Stringer said - the office for
15 cooperation with The Hague Tribunal. So I think this is slightly unclear
16 in relation to the request that we have asked, to have all the
17 documentation. Did the Prosecutor's office receive a large number of
18 documents, or did they select it, or did they already receive selected
19 documents from the office for cooperation? The reason why I'm asking this
20 is because the Defence for Vinko Martinovic asked precisely the
21 documentation from the office for cooperation with The Hague Tribunal, and
22 we haven't received anything. So now perhaps we could hear from our
23 learned colleagues from the Prosecution about our request, whether did
24 they receive a large file of documents and they selected, or was this
25 already selected when they received it, so that we know where we stand.
1 Thank you.
2 JUDGE LIU: Well, we were informed that only four or five
3 documents were the requested documents among the documents used by the
4 Witness NU. Is there any more information?
5 MR. STRINGER: Well, Mr. President, I frankly don't know whether
6 these documents, these four documents, came across with additional
7 documents. I don't know. I wasn't involved in that particular request
8 for assistance. I don't know if I misunderstood counsel. He indicated
9 that they've requested documents, and I just think it's -- to be clear,
10 there's never been a request to the Prosecution for disclosure of anything
11 in this case from the Defence. This goes back to the very beginning. The
12 strategic decision was made years ago not to request disclosure from the
13 Prosecution of documents material to the preparation of the case. The
14 only disclosure obligations on the Prosecution in this case are those that
15 arise under Rule 68.
16 Now, if the Defence has made a request of these documents from the
17 Croatian government - maybe that's what he's saying - I certainly wouldn't
18 have any involvement or knowledge of that, and I'm not in a position to
19 speak on behalf of the Croatian government in respect of any Defence
21 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. So that's all for today. We'll
22 resume next Monday, 9.00 in the morning.
23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 3.23 p.m.,
24 to be reconvened on Monday, the 2nd day of
25 September, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.