1 Tuesday, 3 September 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 9.02 a.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus
7 Mladen Naletilic and Vinko Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Mr. Krsnik, are you ready for
9 your witness?
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. Yes, of
11 course, as always.
12 JUDGE LIU: Any protective measures for the next witness?
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, as before, face
14 distortion and a pseudonym.
15 JUDGE LIU: Any objections? Mr. Bos?
16 MR. BOS: No, Your Honour, no objections.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, the protective measures for this witness are
18 granted. Could we call the witness, Mr. Usher?
19 Mr. Krsnik, before the witness comes in, could I ask you whether
20 we still have that expert witness, the historian, on your list?
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, of course.
22 JUDGE LIU: [Previous translation continues] ...
23 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] This is our joint witness, a witness
24 for both Defences and I'll talk about it to my colleagues. I suppose he
25 will be the last witness, the last witness when Mr. Seric and Mr. Par
2 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for the information.
3 MR. KRSNIK: Thank you, Your Honour.
4 [The witness entered court].
5 JUDGE LIU: Good morning, Witness. Can you hear me?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
8 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
10 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
11 WITNESS: WITNESS NW
12 [Witness answered through interpreter].
13 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. You may sit down, please.
14 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
15 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
16 Q. [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness.
17 A. Good morning.
18 Q. Let me just give you some instructions, and please go by them.
19 First, I wish to tell you that you have been granted protective measures
20 so that we shall be addressing you here as NW, and we must be careful not
21 to reveal your identity, and you'll have to do that too. When you speak
22 about yourself or tell us anything that might reveal your identity, please
23 draw your attention to it and say, "I'd like to go into private session."
24 And then we shall go into private session which means that only we in the
25 courtroom can hear you. And my second instruction is, since we both speak
1 the same language, will you please wait for me to finish my question and
2 then start answering? Don't be too slow and don't be too fast so that our
3 interpreters in the booths could follow.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Now Your Honours could we go into
5 private session, please?
6 JUDGE LIU: We will go to private session, please.
7 [Private session]
13 Page 14948 – redacted – private session
13 Page 14949 – redacted – private session
16 [Open session]
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] An explosive device was once again
18 thrown at a religious church.
19 THE INTERPRETER: As said.
20 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
21 Q. Excuse me, you have to tell us what church and who did that, who
22 threw an explosive device at it. You have to be precise because Their
23 Honours do not know that.
24 A. Members of Bosniak people threw one device at a religious object
25 of the -- and another, that is the same kind of device, at a Croat
1 church. The tensions started and mounted when Zuka's men arrived, when
2 Black Swans arrived and the show of force continued with a tank, which
3 they used to go through the town of Jablanica, a tank with soldiers, with
4 Arabic insignia which we could not read. They also had identical flags
5 with them and it all culminated in the arrival of Safet Cibo, who was
6 appointed the war president of the presidency of three municipalities,
7 Konjic, Jablanica and Prozor.
8 The self-same removed legally elected individuals and appointed
9 men who suited him.
10 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you. Could you tell the honourable
11 Court when was that? What time are you talking about now? When did Safet
12 Cibo arrive? Of course I realise it is difficult to recall all the dates,
13 but roughly?
14 A. That was -- I'm talking about March. That is late March or more
15 exactly, around the 20th.
16 Q. And the year?
17 A. 1993.
18 Q. Can you tell the honourable Court, if you know that is, how many
19 Croats were there in Jablanica? Do you know the share in the population
20 and whether that figure changed?
21 A. Before Croats accounted for 10 per cent, there were only about 3
22 per cent of Serbs and the rest were Bosniaks. When the refugees, or the
23 expelled, began to arrive from east Bosnia, these ratios drastically
24 changed so that Croats accounted for 3 or 4 per cent.
25 Q. And can you tell us, in view of your position, and I won't say
1 which because we are in an open session, will you tell us how many members
2 of the BH Army there were? And do you remember which units were they?
3 Which and how many of them were there in Jablanica?
4 A. From what I know, there were close to 5.000 members of the Army of
5 BH. Some of them having come from outside, some of those expelled who had
6 stayed there, and then joined the local units.
7 Q. Could you perhaps list them, if you know, which were the units
8 that were there?
9 A. There was Zuka's unit, there were Black Swans. Those were the one
10 that I knew. There were also -- there was also a part of the Suad Alic
11 Brigade and I wasn't familiar with the rest of them.
12 Q. And what was the local unit called, the one that was in Jablanica?
13 A. The local unit was the Neretva Brigade, except that there were --
14 well, let's call them private armies, such as Green Berets, a private army
15 whose name I don't know but I know Zejnil Delalic was its commander and I
16 do not know about the rest.
17 Q. I see. Now, tell me, we've come to the end of March, and before
18 you left, can you tell us what else came to pass in Jablanica and around
19 it? Did you go to your command? Where was it? And what went on at that
20 particular time? If of course you have personal knowledge of it in that
21 particular area, Jablanica, Konjic, Prozor. As a matter of fact that is
22 one and the same community, municipality, isn't it?
23 A. Towards the end of March, around the 25th, 1993, one could hear
24 detonations from the fringe parts of the municipality, from the direction
25 of Konjic, where the military police of the BH Army and the MUP, the
1 regular police, prohibited the passage to Konjic, and from Konjic to
2 Jablanica, at Aleksin Han.
3 Q. Will you please repeat the name of that particular locality before
4 you go on? You said?
5 A. Aleksin Han, which is south of Jablanica. Aleksin Han.
6 Q. I see, Aleksin Han.
7 A. The area of the village -- the area of Slatina was also blocked
8 off by those same units, the area of Jovcici was also blocked so that one
9 could not either enter or leave Jablanica, and we continued to hear
11 Q. And how were the Croat civilians who had stayed on in Jablanica
12 treated and what happened with their jobs, with their property? What do
13 you know about that personally?
14 A. The Croat property was appropriated without any explanation except
15 that it was for the BH Army and the same holds true of motor vehicles.
16 Food was taken.
17 Q. What about flats, Witness?
18 A. The Bosniak refugees forced their way into Croat apartments so
19 that in one flat you could find both Croats and Bosniak refugees. They
20 also seized commercial outlets and we were completely helpless in all
22 Q. Tell us, tell us, how were you treated? Were there any HVO
23 members in Jablanica still? So I won't mention your unit. We know which
24 one that is.
25 A. Our unit was -- our unit was at its base, its movement was limited
1 because, whether civilians or HVO members in civilian clothes came there,
2 they didn't know what was going on, they were afraid, they felt
3 harassment, and they came to seek shelter with us. But we were also
5 Q. Did the BH Army take any operations against you at that time?
7 A. At that time, no, but from our later information, received from
8 the officers of the BH Army, that night, we were to be captured and
9 disarmed, all of us. Two officers of the BH Army opposed it and so it did
10 not happen.
11 Q. When you say that night, can you tell us which night?
12 A. The 25th to the 26th of March.
13 Q. And tell us, were there any provocations? Were there arrests of
14 your members? I mean the HVO and your unit. Or what?
15 A. In Jablanica, there were uniformed individuals in Jablanica, under
16 automatic weapons, drunk, they teased, they insulted, but they did not
17 physically harass us. And it all went on as long as the conflict in the
18 area of Klis, because we knew when it stopped as we could not hear any
19 longer the detonations from the fringe areas of the Jablanica
21 Q. Could you tell the Court what happened in Klis and in the Neretva
22 valley generally, if you know it?
23 A. When the activities stopped, I went to Konjic, to my superior, to
24 my superior, who told me that for three -- that they were imprisoned in
25 the military police base for three days, that HDZ representatives, that is
1 the leading members of the HDZ in the town of Konjic had likewise been
2 incarcerated. That in the area of Klis, that is, the municipality of
3 Konjic, they had been infantry clashes, that there were dead, and that in
4 the village of Orliste, there had been a massacre.
5 Q. Which village, Orliste, who it belongs to and who committed
6 the massacre and who incarcerated all those people and carried out all
7 these operations? Who was that?
8 A. The BH Army attacked the territory of Klis from several
9 directions, committed the massacre in the village of Orliste, killed from
10 what I know, five members of the HVO, and the military -- the Konjic
11 military police, that is its 3rd platoon, they kept under arrest, again by
12 the BH Army members, and the same holds true of the HDZ representatives in
13 the municipality of Konjic.
14 Q. And the village of Orliste was the Croat village or the Bosniak
16 A. The village of Orliste was a Croat village.
17 Q. Very well. And then what? We've reached the beginning of April.
18 What happened then? Where did you go? What did you do?
19 A. I received a summons orally from the commander of the Herceg
20 Stjepan Kosaca Brigade, Mr. Zdravko Sagulja, called "Piske", requesting
21 that I report to him at his base in Kostajnica. [redacted]
24 [redacted] that all that could
25 happen to us would be to be either slain or captured, and that we should
1 therefore move to the area of Doljani where the population ratio was
2 50-50, until refugees or the expelled arrived, when the ratio changed and
3 became 40 to 60 in favour of the Bosniaks.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours can we please go to a
5 private session just for a while?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
7 [Private session]
13 Page 14957 – redacted – private session
13 Page 14958 – redacted – private session
13 Page 14959– redacted – private session
13 Page 14960– redacted – private session
9 [Open session]
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Do you personally know when HVO units entered Sovici and if you
12 know which units were those, which entered and stayed in Sovici? Now we
13 are talking about the 17th of April, if I'm not mistaken.
14 A. Yes. Can I start my answer? The HVO units entered Sovici in the
15 afternoon hours. That was around 1700 to 1800.
16 Q. Let's just clarify. You said that the surrender took place in the
17 evening. Was that before the HVO units entered Sovici or after? Can you
18 please clarify that for the honourable Court? You said that HVO entered
19 between 5.00 and 6.00 in the afternoon. Can you tell us something about
20 the surrender? When did that take place and when did HVO units enter the
22 A. Since the days were shorter, so it was just getting dark when the
23 Army of BH started surrendering but they procrastinated so they came in
24 twos or threes so it took time. HVO units entered some 20 minutes after
1 Q. I apologise. Let's try and be very precise here. So the BH Army
2 commander surrendered in Sovici to the local commanders there?
3 A. Yes. After that, HVO units arrived and among them I personally
4 saw the HOS, the Citlucki Grdani, a part of the battalion in Posusje, a
5 part of the battalion from Siroki.
6 Q. Tell us, if you know, where the Convicts Battalion was at the
7 time? Did it ever enter Sovici? Where was it?
8 A. When the aforementioned units arrived, in a conversation with
9 them, we received information that the rifle fire that could be heard in
10 the nearby villages -- hills, came from the area where the Convicts
11 Battalion was, together with the -- part of the Baja Kraljevic from
12 Mostar. These units never descended into Sovici.
13 Q. Where was the HOS from, the HOS, from?
14 A. According to what I know, it was from Tomislavgrad. That's where
15 their command was, and the members were from all over the place.
16 Q. Were they an integral part of the HVO?
17 A. No. They wore black uniforms, which we members of the HVO were
18 not allowed to do.
19 Q. Let me make the most from your presence here and ask you why were
20 you forbidden to wear black uniforms? Did you, in the duty that you
21 discharged, have to undertake any measures against that?
22 A. Every HVO member who was found wearing a black uniform would be
23 warned to take it off and replace it by another uniform. If he failed to
24 obey that, he would be taken in.
25 Q. Why?
1 A. According to the order of the main staff, this was forbidden
2 because, to my mind, the HOS did not have any military discipline, they
3 were not an organised army. We considered them a paramilitary.
4 Q. So you're referring to the year 1993?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Can you please tell the honourable Court what happened next? What
7 do you know about the 17th, the 18th, the 19th of April? What happened?
8 A. There was a collection centre near the elementary school in
9 Sovici. When we descended from our positions, we found there some 80
10 members of the BH Army who had laid their weapons.
11 Q. Please tell the Chamber, were there any harassments of the BH Army
12 members? Were you present there at the time?
13 A. When I arrived there, a member -- I saw that members of the BH
14 Army were not harassed. Nobody touched them. Very quickly some buses
15 arrived. I don't know upon which -- whose order. I received an order
16 from the battalion commander to provide for the transport of the captured
17 BH Army members in an unknown direction. When I returned, I was told that
18 they were taken to Ljubuski, to a remand centre where they were to be
19 investigated by the military organs. I was told that during their
20 transport, and I have to emphasise that in every bus there were two
21 members of the military police, so I was told that during the transport,
22 everything went well, that nobody harassed them or beaten them.
23 Q. Was there anybody else on those buses but the military policemen?
24 A. As far as I know, nobody.
25 Q. Tell me, please, was anybody else harassed? What happened with
1 the civilians? Can you assist the Chamber with that?
2 A. The civilians remained in their houses. Nobody touched them
3 there. Croatian women made them coffee, food and took that to them.
4 Since a large -- Sovici is a large village with seven hamlets altogether,
5 each of them with several houses, there was a spontaneous gathering of
6 people in one of these hamlets. So a few days later, they gathered in two
7 hamlets. One is Junuzovici and the other is Krkaca.
8 Q. I apologise for the interruption. I am -- I have mentioned your
9 unit in one place. I ask my colleague to keep track of the places that
10 need to be redacted later on. Did they have medical care, these people?
11 What were they -- were they harassed at all?
12 A. The civilians were treated humanely. They received food on a
13 regular basis. They had medical care. They had guards who were providing
14 security so as to prevent any of the aforementioned soldiers from doing
15 anything to them.
16 Q. Witness, we have heard all sorts of testimonies here. For
17 example, that these people were harassed, especially by a person called
18 Veljo Dojcinovic.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can we please go to private session
20 just for a moment, Your Honours?
21 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
22 [Private session]
13 Page 14965 – redacted – private session
13 Page 14966 – redacted – private session
13 Page 14967 – redacted – private session
12 [Open session]
13 JUDGE LIU: My suggestion is that we have a break right now. We
14 will resume at 20 minutes to 11.00.
15 --- Recess taken at 10.10 a.m.
16 --- On resuming at 10.42 a.m.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Bos. Cross-examination, please.
18 MR. BOS: Thank you, Your Honours. We have distributed some of
19 the exhibits which I will use in cross-examination.
20 JUDGE LIU: I hope that will be not so much.
21 MR. BOS: It's five exhibits, Your Honour.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.
23 Cross-examined by Mr. Bos:
24 Q. Good morning, Witness NW. My name is Mr. Roland Bos. I'm
25 representing the Prosecutor. And I will ask you some questions in
12 Blank pages inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts. Pages 14969 to 14977.
1 cross-examination. Witness, I'd like to take you straight to the 16th of
2 April and I'd like -- you testified that on that particular day, you were
3 ordered from the headquarters of Doljani to go to Sovici; is that correct?
4 A. It is.
5 Q. So on the 16th, you moved to Sovici and in the five, let's say the
6 five following days, did you remain in Sovici?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And then we can go -- from 16th to let's say the 24th of April,
9 you were at all times in Sovici?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. I'm asking you, Witness, because we were provided with a witness
12 summary from the Defence in which it says that on the 19th of April, you
13 were actually in Doljani, and that you saw Mr. Mladen Naletilic in
14 Doljani. So that is incorrect, if that's what the summary of the
15 statement says?
16 A. On the 19th, I wasn't in Doljani, and I did not see Mr. Naletilic.
17 Q. I'll refer to the --
18 MR. BOS: One moment, Your Honours.
19 Q. Well, let me be a bit more specific. Were you on the 19th of
20 April, maybe at the HVO headquarters? The fish farm, also called?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Very well.
23 MR. BOS: Your Honours, I will mention the filing in which this
24 witness summary was given. It's a filing of 16 April. The revised Rule
25 65 ter filings and it's Registry page number D4143 to D4117. And it's, in
1 fact, page D4127.
2 Q. Witness, when you moved to Sovici, you said that Sovici had seven
3 hamlets; is that correct?
4 A. From what I know, it is.
5 Q. And the hamlet that you were stationed was the hamlet called
6 Central Mahala; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And in relation to the other hamlets, is it correct that the
9 hamlet Central Mahala is right in the centre of Sovici?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Now, is it a fair statement to say, if you say that there were
12 several, in this case, seven hamlets, that the hamlets distinguished
13 themselves from the population so that you would have a hamlet which was
14 populated by Croats or a hamlet by Muslims? Am I fair in making that
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. So of the 7 hamlets, how many of the hamlets were Muslim-populated
18 and how many were Croat-populated?
19 A. Croats were mostly in Srednja Mahala, and Donja Mahala, that is,
20 the Central and Lower Mahala and the Bosniaks lived in five hamlets.
21 Q. You stated that in early April, the HVO was relocated from a -- a
22 part of the HVO was relocated from Jablanica to Doljani and you also moved
23 to Doljani, correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And you were talking about a place that the headquarters in
1 Doljani was called Dolac? I didn't really get the name. How did you
2 refer to as the HVO headquarters in Doljani?
3 A. No.
4 Q. What was the name of the HVO headquarters in Doljani?
5 A. Orlovac.
6 Q. Orlovac. Witness, do you know a place in Doljani which is also
7 referred to as the fish farm?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Now, is it correct that HVO was also -- had also quartered in the
10 fish farm?
11 A. That was the chief HVO command, the place called Orlovac or the
12 fish farm.
13 Q. So Orlovac and the fish farm are the same thing?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Very well. And is -- if you say this was the chief of command who
16 was sitting there, is it correct that the combat operations in the area of
17 Sovici-Doljani were sort of coordinated from Orlovac?
18 A. Which units do you have in mind?
19 Q. Well, I presume that there was a central command. I presume that
20 not all the various units which were involved in the combat operation
21 operated all by themselves. There must have been some sort of central
22 command, correct?
23 A. According to what I know, it was the command of the Mijat Tomic
24 Battalion which was also our superior command.
25 Q. But am I fair in saying that when you operated in Sovici, that
1 orders would come from Doljani on what you were supposed to do?
2 A. The local commander in Sovici would, via radio communication,
3 receive the order from Doljani.
4 Q. Witness, you've spoken about the various positions where the ABiH
5 army was kept, where they had their positions in the hills around Sovici.
6 Now, could you tell us also where the HVO, this is the various units
7 you've mentioned various units of the HVO, where they were keeping their
8 positions in the area? For example, was there a HVO position in Risovac?
9 A. I do not have that information because I was in Sovici, and I had
10 no information about positions on Risovac.
11 Q. Well, what do you know, then, about HVO positions in the area,
12 then, around Sovici? Where were the HVO soldiers positioned?
13 A. HVO soldiers were positioned in Srednja or Central Mahala, right
14 next to the houses.
15 Q. So is it your position that there weren't any positions in the
16 hills surrounding Sovici, the only position was in the centre of the
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. How come that you know so well where all the ABiH positions were?
20 A. From the local commander, who explained the situation to me, and
21 who deployed those meagre HVO forces, locals, around the civilian houses
22 that belonged to the Croat population.
23 Q. So is it your testimony that he only gave information on where the
24 ABiH soldiers were positioned and that you had no clue where other HVO
25 units would be stationed in the area?
1 A. Which HVO soldiers do you have in mind?
2 Q. Well, Witness, you spoke about four or five units. I'll see if I
3 can get my notes back. You mentioned a HOS unit, you mentioned a unit
4 from Citluk, you mentioned a unit from Posusje and you mentioned a unit
5 from Siroki.
6 A. I mentioned those units after the surrender of the ABiH army
7 soldiers, and I knew nothing about their positions.
8 Q. But you did know, for example, that the Convicts Battalion and the
9 Baja Kraljevic battalion were in the hills around Doljani. How did you
10 get that information?
11 A. As I have mentioned, from soldiers who -- the soldiers who had
12 arrived told me that in the area of Risovac, fire was opened on them from
13 Sovicka Stijene, that is Pasije Stijene, and to which they responded, and
14 engaged in an open -- in open combat with the BH Army at Pasije Stijene.
15 Q. Witness, did you hear whether there were any HVO positions in
16 Kosna Luka?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And in Obric, is it correct that the HVO had a tank in Obric?
19 A. I am not familiar with that place.
20 Q. Witness, you've said that -- you've spoken about Mr. Ovnovic,
21 Dzemo Ovnovic, the leader of the Bosnian army who surrendered himself on
22 the 17th of April, correct?
23 A. Ovnovic, yes.
24 Q. When he surrendered himself, where was he taken?
25 A. As I have already said, with other members of the BH Army, and
1 that is what I learned subsequently. He was taken under custody to the
2 prison in Ljubuski.
3 Q. So is it your testimony that Mr. Ovnovic, together with other all
4 the other Muslim soldiers who were arrested or surrendered that day, that
5 he and all the others were taken to the school in Sovici?
6 A. I didn't understand the question.
7 Q. Isn't it true, sir that the Muslim soldiers who surrendered
8 themselves were all taken to the school in Sovici?
9 A. They did not all surrender, and those who did were in front of the
10 school and in the school.
11 Q. Did this group of soldiers stay overnight in the school?
12 A. No.
13 Q. So it's your testimony that on the day that they were either
14 captured or surrendered themselves, they were put on a bus and taken to
16 A. Yes, that same night.
17 Q. Witness, did you see Mr. Ovnovic yourself that day?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Was Mr. Ovnovic interrogated?
20 A. From what I know, no.
21 Q. Wouldn't that be a bit strange, if the commander of the ABiH unit
22 is surrendering himself, that nobody wanted to interrogate him or talk to
24 A. Mr. Ovnovic, as I have said, worked -- was engaged in informing
25 his members to get to the school and turn down their weapons. It did not
1 take five minutes. It took more than that. So that I have no information
2 about his interrogation.
3 Q. At the time that these soldiers were gathering in front of the
4 school and in the school, were you at the school yourself?
5 A. I arrived in the night hours, before the very departure of the
6 captured members of the BH Army, and as I already said, I subsequently
7 learned that they were taken to Ljubuski.
8 Q. So and it's at that time that you also saw Mr. Ovnovic, at the
9 time that they were actually boarding the bus, if I understand your
10 testimony correctly?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Now, Witness, we heard testimony of some of the civilians from
13 Sovici who testified here and they testified that a few days after the
14 Muslim men were taken to Ljubuski, had been transferred to Ljubuski, that
15 the women and children were rounded up and also taken to the school and
16 they were kept there for several days and afterwards, after a couple of
17 days, they were transferred to the Junuzovici hamlet and I believe you
18 also spoke about another hamlet, the Krkaca hamlet. Are you aware of
19 this, that this actually took place?
20 A. Not correct. I was there and as I've already said, spontaneously
21 and for the reasons of their own safety, they gathered around the school
22 from where they went of their own will to Junuzovici and Krkaca areas and
23 I repeat again it was for the reason of their own safety.
24 Q. So it's your testimony that they spontaneously gathered in front
25 of the school. Why would they go to the school to gather?
1 A. Exact -- this was precisely because of the hamlets that I have
2 just mentioned, they felt safer when they were together, which was
3 confirmed by all of them.
4 Q. So, but who organised that they would be able to go to the
5 Junuzovici houses and the Krkaca houses? Was it the Muslim civilians
6 themselves who said "we don't feel safe so we all go now together to one
7 hamlet"? Is that what you're saying?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Very well. Witness, you testified a bit about the destruction of
10 houses in Sovici, that houses were burned after the attack. Were houses
11 also burned in Doljani, as far as you know?
12 A. I didn't know anything about Doljani because I was in Sovici and
13 the distance between the two villages is six kilometres.
14 Q. But you never heard about this either? Maybe you haven't seen it
15 with your own eyes but maybe people talk about it? For example, was the
16 mosque in Doljani, did the mosque in Doljani, was the mosque there blown
17 up as well or not?
18 A. The case of the mosque in Doljani was handled by the assistant
19 commander for security. What he learned, I don't know.
20 Q. When you say the case of the mosque in Doljani, does that mean
21 that the mosque was blown up? Or at least destroyed? Maybe you don't
22 know how, but was it destroyed?
23 A. Yes.
24 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P333?
25 Q. Witness, before you look at this document, do you know a man by
1 the name of Marko Rozic?
2 A. Rozic?
3 Q. Yes.
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Well, if you could have a look at this document, I think the next
6 page will be in your language, and if you could read this document,
7 please? Now, Witness, this is a report by Mr. Marko Rozic who is the
8 heads of the Defence office in the Jablanica municipality and the report
9 is dated 23 April, 1993. And my question to you is the report as it's
10 stated here, does that reflect how the situation was on the 23rd of April?
11 A. No.
12 Q. What is incorrect about this report?
13 A. The number of women and children. This is exaggerated and Marko
14 Rozic's signature, as far as I can remember, this is not his signature.
15 Q. Witness, what about his description of the destruction of Muslims'
16 houses? He says, "After the conflict in these areas ended, all Muslim
17 houses were burned and two mosques destroyed at the order of high-ranking
18 commanders." Is that correct?
19 A. No. Not all houses were burned. They were not burned in Krkaca
20 area. So this allegation is wrong. And as for the destruction of the
21 mosques, I can speak only about the destruction of the mosque in Sovici.
22 I don't have any information about the mosque in Doljani.
23 Q. Witness, do you know a man by the name of Mario Cikota?
24 A. Do I know him?
25 Q. Yes.
1 A. No.
2 Q. So you've never heard of a man -- well, his full name was Mario
3 Hrkac and his nickname was Cikota. You never heard of this man?
4 A. I did.
5 Q. You did. What do you know about this man in relation to the --
6 what happened in Sovici-Doljani?
7 A. I heard that he was killed on elevation 902. That is the first
8 time I ever heard of him. I never met him in person.
9 Q. How did you get to know this news?
10 A. When the body of the late Mario was pulled out, and when his body
11 was escorted towards Siroki, Mr. Matan Zaric, the President of the HVO was
12 among people who escorted his body and from him I learned about the event.
13 Q. Witness, have you ever heard of a man named Ivan Andabak?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Witness, have you heard of a man with a nickname "Robo"?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Witness, do you know a man by the name of Alojz Rados?
18 A. No.
19 Q. Let me help you. If I say that this man, Alojz Rados, was a
20 member of the 3rd Mijat Tomic Battalion, would that ring a bell? He was
21 somebody whenever HVO had meetings, often took minutes of the meetings?
22 A. The only Radoses I know are the three Bosniak men but this
23 particular Rados, I don't know.
24 Q. Maybe the witness can be shown Exhibit P928/4, if I say that
25 correctly. Yes. Witness, Mr. Rados, who as I said, he was a member of
1 the 3rd Mijat Tomic battalion and he kept a diary at the time that he was
2 in Sovici-Doljani and what I'm going to show you now is some segments of
3 this diary and he actually in his diary also refers to you. So that's why
4 I was asking whether you would know the man.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have objected to all
7 such allegations. The Prosecutor has no foundation for this allegation.
8 With regard to Mr. Alojz Rados and the diary, this is something that the
9 Prosecutor does not have any foundation for.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, I believe that the Prosecutor will lay the
11 foundation for this document. Let's see what the document says first.
12 MR. BOS:
13 Q. Witness, I'd like you to look at this document and I'd like you to
14 take you to two segments, and the first segment is on -- for the English,
15 on page 63, and in the -- in your language, if you have the first page, if
16 you could look at the top paragraph of that page, where it says, "2 April,
17 1993," and from there onwards, this segment is a -- again a minute of a
18 meeting, and then the members of the -- the persons present are listed,
19 and then it says underneath some of the names it says, and maybe - I won't
20 mention your name since we are - since you are a protected witness, but is
21 it correct that it says there, on behalf of this unit, your name?
22 A. This is not correct, because I remember well that in the morning
23 hours, as I've already said, I was at a meeting in Konjic. I don't know
24 how my name found itself here.
25 Q. So you know that on the 2nd of April, in the morning, you were at
1 a meeting in Konjic?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Very well. If you can then move to the next page, and for the
4 English it's on page 68, my apologies, it's on page -- let me just try to
5 find it now.
6 MR. BOS: I'm sorry, Your Honours, I just have to --
7 JUDGE LIU: Is that on page 67?
8 MR. BOS: Page 67.
9 JUDGE LIU: Somewhere in the middle?
10 MR. BOS:
11 Q. Well, witness, could you look at the B/C/S version on the second
12 page and then on the above entry, the third paragraph, there are several
13 names mentioned. And then maybe we should go into private session so that
14 I can read it out. It's a bit easier.
15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
16 [Private session]
13 Page 14990 – redacted – private session
4 [Open session]
5 MR. BOS:
6 Q. Witness, take your time to read this report and I'm particularly
7 interested in the fourth and fifth paragraph, but please take your time to
8 read this report. Did you read it? Let me first ask you is it correct
9 that Mr. Blaz Azinovic was the deputy commander of the SIS as it's stated
10 here in this report?
11 A. I do not understand this report. I do not understand the date.
12 Here I see May, and underneath, I can see April typed out on the report.
13 I'm also not clear on his signature.
14 Q. Well, Witness, first of all, would you recognise the signature of
15 Mr. Blaz Azinovic? Is that your testimony?
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
17 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have tackled the
18 date. I would kindly ask the Prosecutor to be specific on the date. We
19 have noticed that but I kept quiet until the witness answered. So is it
20 May, is it April? Can the Prosecutor shed some light on the date and can
21 he also shed some light on the origin of this document?
22 JUDGE LIU: Well, yes, of course, but the first thing first. I
23 think the Prosecutor is asking a question about the signature. After that
24 question, Mr. Bos, you may shed some light on the date.
25 MR. BOS: I will withdraw my question on the signature, Your
1 Honour, this document has been admitted into evidence. I don't think we
2 need to go discuss the authenticity of this document.
3 Q. Now, Witness, I'm looking at the original version?
4 JUDGE CLARK: Sorry, Mr. Bos, it's an interesting question you
5 asked. I think it merits an answer from our point of view.
6 MR. BOS: My apologies, Your Honour.
7 Q. Witness, you've stated that you say that this cannot be the
8 signature of Mr. Azinovic. Why are you saying that?
9 A. As the assistant commander for security, he issued to me, or
10 better to say I went to him to receive the Motorolas and other all the
11 other equipment I needed for my work and he would sign documents and I
12 remember his signature well. He signed by his name.
13 Q. Now, Witness, you had a question about whether the date should be
14 April or May, and if you look at the original version, it appears that the
15 date was initially set for April, and then it was later corrected with a
16 five for May. And if you look at the fourth paragraph, it talks about an
17 event which happened on the 5th of May. So isn't it fair to say that this
18 report is probably dated the 7th of May?
19 A. I do not understand the following allegation, "during all
20 operations our army behaved correctly, so that we did not have... The
21 whole operation was under the command of Mr. Tuta in this area." I don't
22 know. I don't understand how could Mr. Tuta be the commander.
23 Q. Let me ask you the questions, and you can answer my question.
24 Let's go to this fourth paragraph which I just referred to. It talks
25 about the transport of civilians on the 5th of May. Would this be the
1 same transport of civilians that were you discussing about of the
2 civilians who were taken to Gornji Vakuf on that day?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Isn't it true, sir, that this report doesn't mention anywhere that
5 this referred to an exchange, that this was intended for an exchange of
6 prisoners or civilians?
7 A. Mr. Prosecutor, I received an oral order from the battalion
8 commander concerning the treatment of the civilians, and I was told
9 literally that an agreement had been reached between General Milivoj
10 Petkovic and General Sefer Halilovic, on the exchange of those concerned.
11 Q. Witness, in the paragraph following that paragraph, it says,
12 "Mr. Tuta commanded the overall operation in this area." And then
13 between brackets, Risovac, Sovici and Doljani. Isn't it true that indeed
14 Mr. Tuta was the overall commander of the combat operations in the area in
15 April and May?
16 A. I don't know on the basis of what did Mr. Tuta command the
17 operation when the area of Sovici and Doljani was between, let's call it
18 that operative -- Mostar operative zone and Tomislavgrad operative zone.
19 And I know who were the commanders of operative zones so that I simply
20 cannot believe it that Mr. Tuta could lead that action.
21 Q. Very well.
22 MR. BOS: Could the witness be shown Exhibit P424.1?
23 Q. Witness, these are minutes of a meeting of the 3rd Battalion, and
24 dated the 30th of May, 1993. And isn't it true that your name is also
25 mentioned as one of the persons present at this meeting? Witness, do you
1 recall being at this meeting?
2 A. I attended the meetings of the battalion command very rarely
3 because whenever it was necessary, I would be summoned by the battalion
4 commander with whom I would talk personally. So that I cannot remember
5 that I attended many meetings.
6 Q. Well, you may not have attended many meetings but this particular
7 meeting, do you recall being present at this meeting?
8 A. It is illegible, and I cannot remember if I was there.
9 Q. So if you could just look at the document and the second
10 paragraph, it says, "The reason for the meeting was the visit and
11 directives from the zone and commander, Naletilic, Tuta." And it
12 continues under one, "The task given by Tuta is that Cvrsnica" - sorry for
13 the pronunciation - "and all across roads from Jablanica leading to the
14 area of Cvrsnica are to be held under special control."
15 Witness, do you recall that any such directives were made?
16 A. No.
17 Q. Sir, isn't it true, reading from this document that Mr. Tuta was
18 still in command position on the 30th of May in this area, Sovici-Doljani?
19 A. I said that it was illegible and I don't know why would Mr. Tuta
20 command, order, issue orders, to the battalion commander. I simply don't
21 understand it. A battalion commander received his orders from the brigade
22 commander or the commander of the operative zone. That's why I simply
23 don't understand this at all.
24 Q. Is it correct that the battalion commander was Mr. Stipo Pole?
25 A. Yes.
1 MR. BOS: Finally, could the witness be shown Exhibit P418?
2 Q. So this is an order dated the 29th of May, an order directly
3 addressed to the commander, Stipo Pole and the order is signed by
4 Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta. Is it still your position, Witness, that
5 Mr. Tuta had no command position at all in Sovici-Doljani, in April and
6 May, 1993?
7 A. I still stand by what I said, that Mr. Tuta could not issue orders
8 to the battalion commander about what to do and what not to do.
9 MR. BOS: I have no further questions, Your Honour.
10 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Any re-examination, Mr. Krsnik?
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, but very briefly, just a moment,
12 excuse me, just to consult my colleagues.
13 Re-examined by Mr. Krsnik:
14 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, only two, yes, that is two, maybe three
15 questions, to clear things up. The document that was shown you first, I
16 believe by the Prosecutor, signed by Mr. Marko Rozic, I don't want to take
17 this out, do you remember it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And it says there but the Prosecutor did not ask you that, if you
20 remember that sentence that the houses were set on fire on the orders,
21 acting on orders of some superior commanders. Is that true, did you ever
22 get such an order?
23 A. No.
24 Q. And then Juka is mentioned. We have several Jukas so perhaps you
25 know what this Juka who was in Sovici was called, do you know?
1 A. The local commander Juka.
2 Q. But it says that you are directed to call somebody called Juka in
4 JUDGE LIU: Please pause for the interpreters to follow you,
5 Mr. Krsnik.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies. My apologies to
8 Q. What I want to ask you, Witness, is what you were shown by the
9 Prosecutor, one of those writings, that you reported in Sovici on the
10 16th, that you reported to somebody called Juka. Do you perhaps know his
11 last name? Because we've had this nickname Juka raised a number of times
12 here in the proceedings. To avoid any confusion.
13 A. The platoon commander of the Mijat Tomic battalion, Jure Groznica,
14 called Juka.
15 Q. For the transcript, what did you say the name was?
16 A. Jure Groznica.
17 Q. Yes, Groznica is in, yes. Okay. Please, let's try, and this is
18 my final question, let us try to clear this up, that is, will you please
19 clear it up for the honourable Court? Evidently, there is some
20 manipulation under way. Tell us, which unit was responsible for Sovici
21 and Doljani and a little bit, if you know, what was the chain of command,
22 the battalion, the brigade, how did it go? Who was responsible there?
23 Who would issue orders?
24 A. To the battalion?
25 Q. Sovici, Doljani, there, who was responsible for Sovici and
1 Doljani, who was there and who could give them orders? I have to do it
2 like this. This is a leading question. So which unit was it there and
3 who could issue orders to it?
4 A. All these units could be issued orders only by the commander of
5 the operative zone of either Mostar or Tomislavgrad.
6 Q. But please, who can command a battalion in Sovici, in Doljani?
7 Just easy.
8 A. It can be the brigade commander or the operative zone commander.
9 Q. And you were within which brigade?
10 A. The Mijat Tomic Battalion was a part of the Herceg Stjepan Kosaca
12 Q. And just let me have a look, and that will be it. Please, if you
13 would be so kind to give the witness again the document because my
14 colleague has found a very interesting part which the Prosecutor seems to
15 have deliberately skipped over. This is the document number -- number
16 928/4. 13th page of the text in the Croatian version. In the Croatian
17 and in the English, I'll try to find it. 65 in English. So look at the
18 13th page of the Croatian text, up there where you are. Have you found
19 page 13? Now, look under what has been blackened out, the fourth
20 sentence, it says, "Everything is mobile up there, active and merry." Can
21 you see that so under the shaded area it says, "It's all mobile up there
22 active and merry, they are ready to finish the job in two days time so we
23 can have coffee in Jablanica." Now this sentence interests me. "There
24 are many high-ranking officials up there, headed by Miljenko Lasic, who
25 commands the operations." Now, the first question is do you know who Mico
1 Lasic is?
2 A. Mr. Miljenko Lasic was the commander of the Mostar operative zone.
3 Q. Now, in continuation, and I'll be finished in no time, "legendary
4 Tuta Micika is also up there". Have you heard of this Tuta Micika?
5 A. No.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No more questions. Thank you very..
7 I have no further questions.
8 JUDGE LIU: Questions from the judges? Judge Clark?
9 Questioned by the Court:
10 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Witness, can you tell me where your unit was
11 stationed before you were ordered to go to [redacted]
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] My apologies, Your Honours, I really
14 am not happy about this. Perhaps we should go into private session after
15 all. I'm sorry.
16 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session. Yes.
17 [Private session]
13 Page 14999 – redacted – private session
13 Page 15000 – redacted – private session
13 Page 15001 – redacted – private session
1 [Open session]
2 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there any documents to tender?
3 Yes, Mr. Bos?
4 MR. BOS: Your Honours, the Prosecution has one exhibit to tender
5 which is Exhibit P424.1, which were the minutes of the 3rd Battalion
6 meeting on the 30th of May, 1993.
7 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Krsnik?
8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] We strongly object to the admission
9 of this document because we don't know its origin, we don't know its
10 author, we know nothing about the document, nor did the Prosecutor provide
11 us with any relevant information. The witness also had nothing to say
12 about this document.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Bos, would you please brief us about the
14 origin of this document? Because we just see nothing reflected in that
15 document indicating the origin of those documents.
16 MR. BOS: If I can have one minute to consult, Your Honour?
17 [Prosecution counsel confer]
18 MR. BOS: Your Honours, this was a document and I think we had a
19 few other of those documents which were documents that were actually
20 captured from the HVO headquarters in Doljani in July, 1993, when the BH
21 Army took over the village of Doljani, and these documents were found in
22 the headquarters, which I presume is the fish farm.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I know this document is different from others
24 because it's a handwritten document. I believe that this Trial Chamber
25 will reserve its right to make a decision on whether to admit this
1 document into evidence at a later stage.
2 Mr. Seric, are you going to inform us about something?
3 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. I don't have any
4 witnesses today. We shall start tomorrow, as we announced yesterday.
5 However, I am still optimistic and I believe that we will make up for the
6 time lost today so with a bit of optimism and with a bit of good fortune
7 we hope to finish four or five witnesses by the end of the week. And today
8 we will use the time to prepare for that.
9 I have a question, Mr. President, with regard to your order on the
10 schedule in which you ordered both parties to submit their closing brief
11 by the 23rd of September. So far, it was the practice of this Court that
12 both parties did not have to submit their closing briefs at the same time.
13 The Prosecution was first, and then the Defence would have a few days to
14 read the closing brief submitted by the Prosecution and then in turn
15 submit their own closing brief. So this is what I wanted to ask you. I
16 don't insist on your answer now but this is the points that I wanted to
18 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Stringer?
19 MR. STRINGER: Good morning, Mr. President and Your Honours. I'm
20 not familiar with that practice, the practice that I'm aware of is the one
21 by which both parties or all parties submit briefs simultaneously. I
22 would assume that then holding the closing arguments five days later,
23 which is what the Trial Chamber has indicated it wishes to do, would give
24 any of the parties time to address particular parts of briefs filed by
25 other parties, and moreover I would assume that the order of the closing
1 arguments would be more along the lines of what counsel has suggested,
2 Prosecution would go first and then that would be followed by closing
3 argument from the accused, but it's our position that the briefs should be
4 filed simultaneously, Mr. President.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, -- yes, Mr. Meek?
6 MR. MEEK: Mr. President, I intended to file, and I've already
7 drafted, a motion which sets out our argument concerning the filing of the
8 briefs. However, I have some problems with the printer and also the
9 printer in Defence counsel room this morning so we are intending to put
10 these issues into writing and hopefully they will be filed before 4.00
12 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for the information.
13 MR. MEEK: I can tell you very briefly Your Honours that our
14 position would be the same as Mr. Seric's position. We believe that in
15 any criminal proceeding, the Prosecution has the burden of proof, and they
16 should always go first. It's always that way.
17 JUDGE LIU: Well, let us deal with the first matter first. We
18 will not hear any more witnesses today, so Mr. Seric, you have partially
19 satisfy the request from the Prosecutor that we have a short break for
20 this afternoon and that tomorrow morning we will hear your first witness.
21 And as I stressed before, that we have to finish the hearing of all the
22 witnesses in both cases before the 27th of September. This is the
23 deadline. So if we could not finish hearing all those witnesses, we may
24 skip it out, which means that we will not hear them any more, but if we
25 finish all those witnesses before that date, we might have a break before
1 the final argument and the rebuttal and the rejoinder procedures, if there
2 is any.
3 As for the submission of the final briefs, we made it very clear
4 in our decision made a few days before that the both parties should submit
5 their final brief on the 23rd of October. The final brief is just a
6 summary of the cases. The main points will be heard through the closing
7 argument. So we don't believe that this decision will jeopardise the
8 position of the Defence counsel at this moment. But we are ready to read
9 the motions filed by Defence counsel and to see the reason they argued on
10 this very point.
11 Having said that, we will adjourn until tomorrow morning at 9.00.
12 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at
13 12.11 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,
14 the 4th day of September, 2002, at 9.00 a.m.