Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 15280

1 Tuesday, 10 September 2002

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.21 p.m.

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

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

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

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

9 Mr. Usher?

10 [The witness entered court]

11 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.

12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.

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

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

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


17 [Witness answered through interpreter]

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

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I have problems hearing. I have

20 noise in my headphones, problems with hearing, interruptions. The sound

21 is interrupted.

22 Now it's okay. I did have noise in the ear phones and the sound

23 was interrupted.

24 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric. Your direct examination, please.

25 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I have

Page 15281

1 too many microphones around me, probably due to technical problems.

2 Examined by Mr. Seric:

3 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, I shall be calling you Witness during my

4 examination. The Trial Chamber has granted some protective measures for

5 you. The first is a pseudonym, and the second is face distortion. That

6 is why I'm going to ask the usher to give you a piece of paper with your

7 first and last name on it. Don't read it aloud, just say "yes" if it is

8 indeed your name. Try to make a pause before you start giving your

9 answer. Sometimes I will even show you with my hand whether you can start

10 giving your answer. This will help our interpreters, because we speak the

11 same language and they will be able to interpret more accurately.

12 Just say "yes" or "no" now.

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Thank you.

15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, for the sake of the record, the pseudonym of this

16 witness is MT, am I right?

17 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you for your assistance,

18 Mr. President. Can we now move into private session, during which the

19 witness is going to give us information about himself?

20 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.

21 [Private session]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 15282













13 Page 15282 redacted private session













Page 15283

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [Open session]

13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Witness, during the Serbian aggressor's attack on Mostar, were you

15 militarily engaged?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. In which HVO unit?

18 A. In the 4th HVO Battalion.

19 Q. Until when were you in that unit?

20 A. Until spring, 1992.

21 Q. After that, where were you engaged?

22 A. I was in the main logistics of the city HVO.

23 Q. Where were you when the conflict between the HVO and the BH Army

24 broke out in Mostar? That was in May, 1993.

25 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters missed the answer.

Page 15284

1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. When did you return to Mostar?

3 A. Two or three days after the beginning of this conflict.

4 Q. Did you join a unit?

5 A. I came as a volunteer and joined Vinko because they were my

6 friends and my neighbours, and I offered my services to them.

7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, we lost something in the transcript.

8 When you asked, "Where were you when the conflict between the HVO and the

9 BH army broke out in Mostar, that was in May, 1993," we lose the answer

10 from this witness.

11 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Now I can see it in the transcript. I

12 do not manage to follow the transcript, so I will repeat my question.

13 Q. Where were you when the conflict broke out that was on the 9th of

14 May, 1993?

15 A. I was in my native place, Grude [as interpreted].

16 Q. The transcript shows it wrongly so it is not the native place but

17 the place of work. If you can slow down, the interpreters will find it

18 easier to follow. So was it your native place or the place where you

19 worked?

20 A. It was the place where I worked. [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 JUDGE LIU: We'll do something about the transcript, and I just

23 hope you make a pause between the answer and the questions.

24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I must say that now I have some

25 interruptions in my ear phones, Mr. President, so the sound is not very

Page 15285

1 good. Something is wrong with this point. My colleague Par had some

2 problems yesterday as well. This thing on the desk is not functioning.

3 I've moved it but now I have interruptions in my headphones.

4 Can I please try to use these headphones to see how we go with

5 them? We shall see.

6 Q. You said that you joined Vinko. Can you explain when you say,

7 "Vinko," who is it and when was it more precisely?

8 A. My wife was from Grude. I lived in Mostar. I would go to work to

9 Grude. Sometimes I would sleep in Mostar, sometimes in Grude, and two or

10 three days later, I arrived in Mostar, there were my friends and

11 neighbours there, Vinko himself was there. They gathered to defend that

12 part of the city. I arrived some five or six days later, joined the unit,

13 and stayed there.

14 Q. Who was the commander?

15 A. We -- I don't know who it was officially but Vinko was the centre

16 point.

17 Q. Did he later on become the commander formally?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. What was the name of your unit at the beginning, at the beginning?

20 A. Mrmak.

21 Q. What was your task, your duty, in the unit?

22 A. I was in charge of the logistics.

23 Q. Can you please assist the Chamber and tell us how strong was the

24 unit?

25 A. There were about 35 to 40 men in the unit.

Page 15286












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Page 15287

1 Q. What was the task of your unit?

2 A. The task was to man the line on the Bulevar. And to defend it.

3 Q. I'm going to show you a photo, 14.5. Can you please show us and

4 mark the segment of the line, i.e., the part of the Bulevar that you

5 manned?

6 A. [Marks]

7 Q. Can you please tell us who was with you on the line, which units?

8 Who was on the left, for example?

9 A. It was the 3rd --

10 Q. Left on the photograph.

11 A. The Benko Penavic unit.

12 Q. And on the right?

13 A. The home guards, the military police, the 3rd Ilic Brigade and

14 they worked in shifts. Every ten days, they would change place.

15 Q. Now, with regard to the part that you marked, did all these

16 buildings exist in 1993, especially I have in mind the time of the

17 conflict between the BH Army and the HVO.

18 A. Yes, but one was in the meantime extended, the pink one.

19 Q. Did they look the same as they do in this photo?

20 A. These here did look the same but that one over there was

21 different.

22 Q. Have they been reconstructed?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Can you please tell us how did your unit man the line? Were there

25 shifts?

Page 15288

1 A. Yes. There were shifts, 8 to 12 hours a day was one shift.

2 Q. How many soldiers were there in one shift?

3 A. 10 to 15. Sometimes all of them if there was something.

4 Q. Did you know at the time, and do you know now, who was in charge

5 of these shifts?

6 A. There were some formal group leaders who changed their places, who

7 swapped.

8 Q. Can you give us a name or a nickname of any of them?

9 A. Dubi, Dolma, Brada, Campo, Nedjo, and that is all I can remember.

10 Q. Do you know their full first and last names? We will move into

11 private session if you wish.

12 A. I can try.

13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. Can we move

14 into private session just for precaution?

15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.

16 [Private session]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [Open session]

Page 15289

1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

2 Q. Do you know where the unit was formally established?

3 A. It was in mid-May or the second half of May.

4 Q. Was your unit in charge of the area deep in the background, in the

5 back of this line that you marked?

6 A. No.

7 THE INTERPRETER: Can you please wait until the counsel finishes

8 the question and then start giving your answer?

9 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. Can you tell us, since when have you known Vinko Martinovic?

11 A. Since my childhood, since we were children.

12 Q. Do you know who was Vinko Martinovic's deputy in the unit?

13 A. He was always there. There was no need.

14 Q. Finish your sentence?

15 A. He was always there so there was no need for anyone to stand in

16 for him.

17 Q. Can you tell us what would soldiers do once they finished their

18 shift and leave the front line?

19 A. Like this. For instance a shift would be eight hours, so eight

20 hours they would be here on standby, in this building, and eight hours

21 they would be free. So practically they were free only eight hours, and

22 of course they went home, took a rest, slept.

23 Q. Did you have barracks?

24 A. We did not.

25 Q. Can you describe to us your uniforms?

Page 15290

1 A. I brought my own, of course. Everybody brought whatever he had.

2 Later on, we were given some green trousers, blouses, and T-shirts.

3 Q. How were the soldiers issued their uniforms?

4 A. Well, it was against a receipt. For instance, every soldier had

5 to sign whatever he had been issued with, and then had to return it. That

6 is how it was done.

7 Q. Part of our answer when you said you returned it to a place, tell

8 us where?

9 A. That undersigned paper, this paper that had been signed by a

10 soldier, I took it back to Grude.

11 Q. Can you tell us what was there in Grude, especially since you told

12 us that that is where you worked? What was it?

13 A. It was the main logistics of the HVO for the whole BH, the

14 armament, equipment, money. Specifically I brought I would take a lorry

15 from Zagreb and then drive around because I worked there. Assistance

16 arrived there, food.

17 Q. Very well. Thank you. Let's go back to the uniforms. Were the

18 soldiers issued camouflage caps?

19 A. Why, it was summer.

20 Q. Did the soldiers receive salaries?

21 A. Not in the beginning. Later on we began to receive some salary.

22 Q. And how was it paid out? Can you describe it to us?

23 A. Like this. Since we, that is those other groups are around us,

24 they would be there for seven days and they would have seven days off or

25 ten days and I would go up there because I knew those who worked up

Page 15291

1 there. I asked -- I asked how could we resolve this, and he told me to

2 bring a list of the soldiers at the end of every month, and that is how it

3 would be done. So we would get money on the first and I would take it

4 down there and then it was distributed.

5 Q. Did the soldiers have to sign that they had received the money?

6 A. As a rule, yes. Sometimes somebody would take on somebody's

7 behalf and then he would sign it. Somebody didn't want to because they

8 had to take the paper back. I couldn't, of course.

9 Q. Can you describe to us your routine workday of a logistics man in

10 the unit?

11 A. I slept at home, naturally I came in the morning, I saw what kind

12 of food was needed, and then I took it from the rest and then I would go

13 to the restaurant where we all had -- ate and then I would supply it with

14 whatever was needed, and I see what else the troops needed, the gear and

15 things like that.

16 Q. You used an acronym, MTS what does it mean?

17 A. Well, MTS is a Yugoslav word, which means materiel and it covers

18 everything that concerns a soldier -- all soldiers' needs.

19 Q. Let's go back to the photograph which you have before you. When

20 you joined the unit, were there any obstacles, any barriers around the

21 health centre and on Liska Street?

22 A. Yes, there were.

23 Q. Will you point at them and mark them, too, and tell us what they

24 were?

25 A. All that I saw?

Page 15292

1 Q. All that you saw.

2 A. There were some sandbags, that is where we enter. That is the

3 path that we took. Then there were what do you call them, hedgehogs,

4 isn't it? Somewhere here. I don't know exactly.

5 Q. Well, as far as you can remember.

6 A. And in the early days, when I came there, there was a bunker that

7 we had, and next to it there were some boards and some bags. It was quite

8 a sound barrier.

9 Q. Thank you very much. Were there any trenches around the health

10 centre and by this I mean next to this red line that you drew.

11 A. No. This is all concrete. I don't know how you could -- no,

12 there weren't.

13 Q. Well, some witnesses said they had to dig trenches right there,

14 and under gunfire too.

15 A. I am not aware of that.

16 Q. Was fighting a daily occurrence on the front line?

17 A. Well, at times more, at times less. Attacks.

18 THE INTERPRETER: Will the witness please speak into the

19 microphone?

20 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Were you ever on the line personally?

22 A. I didn't go there often. Once, twice, sometimes I didn't go into

23 this building.

24 Q. And in your daily contact with soldiers in your unit, did you see

25 them being afraid? And what were they afraid of most?

Page 15293












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Page 15294

1 A. They were afraid of the snipers the most, from these buildings

2 here, because some jihad music was aired there and the mujahedin were

3 threatening and throwing some Bosnian pots that blow up, and they even

4 sent once a car with a remote, which exploded, or sent explosives through

5 the sewage. There was something every day.

6 Q. Do you know whether any prisoners were brought to the unit?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Where were they brought?

9 A. Heliodrom.

10 Q. Do you know who brought them there, how?

11 A. To our unit. Dinko Kenezovic was responsible for that.

12 Q. Which means of transportation was used to bring them?

13 A. They had a truck and a van.

14 Q. Do you remember how many would be brought from Heliodrom?

15 A. Well, depended on the order, 10, 20, 30, how many they had.

16 Q. Do you know what they did and who assigned them to jobs?

17 A. They worked with cars, cleaned, tidied up, armoured our cars for

18 the front line, made coffee, made barbecue and things on the front line

19 down there.

20 Q. As a logistics man, did you have anything to do with them?

21 A. Nothing special. For instance, if I brought food from Grude, then

22 I'd -- they would help me to unload it or unload it.

23 Q. Did they sleep at the base?

24 A. Yes, a couple of them.

25 Q. Can you tell us how was it organised, this sleeping?

Page 15295

1 A. They slept on the floor above us. It is a normal, three-room flat

2 with a kitchen and there were beds, those who wanted to stay.

3 Q. Can you tell us if you remember something about how -- what was

4 the food like?

5 A. From the town defence, they got their rations but they ate in the

6 restaurant because those guys who were not on the front line of course

7 sometimes they could go there, sometimes they couldn't, so they made a

8 barbecue down there, but there would always be food left over and they

9 would take that. I know for instance a friend from Stolac, whom I knew

10 from before, he was always there and he was there, and he ate the same

11 thing as we did.

12 Q. Can you slow down? Because they cannot follow you?

13 A. Well, that's how I always...

14 Q. What did you tell us about this friend from Stolac?

15 A. I said that we had food in a restaurant which existed before the

16 war and which is still now, and where the woman prepares home-made food,

17 so he was with us and he ate and he even put on weight.

18 Q. Was any of them -- did any of them get killed?

19 A. I am not sure -- nobody -- some were wounded but somebody was

20 killed, I don't remember.

21 Q. Do you remember any wounding cases?

22 A. Yes there was a man who was wounded behind me as I was entering

23 the base, he and two soldiers, by a shell.

24 Q. Do you remember who it was?

25 A. Oh, come on.

Page 15296

1 Q. His nickname, his name, his last name?

2 A. I simply can't remember it.

3 Q. Will you describe to us what happened after that wounding?

4 A. Well, he was hit by a shell on the road at the entrance to the

5 base, he was behind us and we took him to the hospital and later on, there

6 were two of our soldiers across the street, and there were also put by

7 some others in the car and we drove them away. He was hit in the thigh.

8 Q. Did he survive? Did he recover?

9 A. Yes, he did. It was just a shrapnel.

10 Q. When we talk about these prisoners from the Heliodrom, do you have

11 any recollection whether they had any visitors or whether they went home?

12 A. Well, those here who were there, the local ones, ours, from

13 Mostar, of course, I mean who would come to those who were outsiders.

14 Q. According to you, did anyone mistreat them?

15 A. I don't know, no. I'm not aware of it.

16 Q. Did they get any remuneration for the work that you told us they

17 did?

18 A. Specifically, we gave them cigarettes, which we didn't smoke

19 because we got them, it was -- I don't know what it was called, Partner

20 [phoen], and every one of us whose car he repaired give him some -- give

21 him some clothes or something. We didn't have much. We were not

22 particularly well off either.

23 Q. But what you could see, how did Vinko Martinovic treat them?

24 A. Quite normally.

25 Q. Were they taken to work by the health centre?

Page 15297

1 A. They were taken down there as I have said to make coffee and

2 barbecue and clean up the standby base and things.

3 Q. Could you show us where that went on?

4 A. This building, which burnt later on, but we were here in the

5 cellar.

6 Q. Were they exposed to any kind of gunfire?

7 A. No. It was 150, 200 metres away, and they were also bags so

8 that...

9 Q. You know, the indictment alleges that they had to perform heavy

10 manual labour on the front line and under gunfire. What would be your

11 comment to that? Are you aware of anything like that?

12 A. No, I'm not.

13 Q. Have you heard of the name and last name, Nenad Harmandic?

14 A. Yes, I have.

15 Q. What do you know about him?

16 A. May I say something?

17 Q. Sure.

18 A. It says here that I didn't hear.

19 Q. No, it's quite all right. Look at line 19. It says, "Yes, I

20 have." It means yes?

21 A. Well, it was a little late.

22 Q. What do you know about him?

23 A. Like this: Exactly when he was with us, brought from Heliodrom, I

24 had returned from my trip to Germany with a truck, and I called those

25 prisoners who slept there to distribute some parcels with food and some

Page 15298

1 clothes and I saw a new man, I didn't know him before, I saw that he was

2 all covered in bruises and I asked who he is and they said such and such,

3 brought from Heliodrom, and I asked who beat him, and I asked who beat

4 him, and they laughed. I offered him something but he wouldn't anything.

5 When I left with my truck and came back and when I returned they asked

6 where is he and they said he's not here they took him back. Where? They

7 took him to the Heliodrom.

8 Q. Did you hear the first and last name, Halil Ajanic nicknamed

9 Lopata?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Do you know anything about when he came as a prisoner to the base

12 of the unit?

13 THE INTERPRETER: We could not hear the witness's answer because

14 he speaks over the counsel.

15 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, we missed the answer from this

16 witness. I believe that both of you have to slow down so that the

17 interpreters could catch up with you.

18 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

19 Q. Will you please repeat your answer? I will repeat my question.

20 What do you know about a -- when Halil Ajanic, Lopata, came as a prisoner

21 to the unit?

22 A. He didn't come there as a prisoner. He came later when his son

23 was killed.

24 Q. What do you know about that occurrence which you mentioned, his

25 son's death?

Page 15299

1 A. He was, I don't know how, but he was pals with two of our

2 soldiers, and they were together in that flat, and the kid was toying with

3 weapons and something went off, I don't know what, a bomb or whatever, and

4 he was killed.

5 Q. Do you know what soldiers were involved?

6 A. They were those two Germans, Otto, Rudo, Udo, I don't know.

7 Q. Do you know what happened to those foreigners, what happened to

8 them, after that event?

9 A. When it happened, this one's father came and Stela said, what?

10 Because we didn't know what had happened and naturally he didn't have

11 money because I guess he had been in prison. They let him go and then he

12 gave him to buy and then he called the police, I don't know whether the

13 military or the other one, to see over there and to solve and he said that

14 they couldn't stay with us because they were not careful. But we do not

15 know what exactly what happened. We didn't know.

16 Q. But with all the speed, don't be angry and I have to warn you.

17 You swallow up your words and your syllables and the interpreters cannot

18 interpret all that you say.

19 THE INTERPRETER: Could not hear the witness's comment.

20 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

21 Q. Tell us, what happened when Halil Ajanic came to see Vinko

22 Martinovic? What is it that he gave him?

23 A. He gave him 150, 200 marks, 300, doesn't matter, to buy the

24 coffin. And to perform that ritual that they have, that funeral.

25 Q. And what happened to those soldiers, to those foreigners?

Page 15300












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Page 15301

1 A. We called the police because nobody knew who was the kid or what

2 had happened, whether it was sabotage or something, and later on, that is

3 how it happened that the boy had touched something but they were not with

4 our unit any more, they were told that they were not needed and that we

5 didn't need such people with us.

6 Q. Who said it to them?

7 A. Vinko Martinovic.

8 Q. But otherwise, what was their status in the unit?

9 A. Those two Germans?

10 Q. I don't mean Germans only, I mean the foreigners who were with the

11 unit. Did they enjoy any privileges or what was their status there?

12 A. Normal, like any other soldiers. They went to the front line,

13 they were on standby, they would have time off.

14 Q. Do you remember how they communicated?

15 A. Poorly. Well, I drove so I knew a little, but I didn't know.

16 Well, Germans mostly hands -- they were brought to the front line arrow,

17 point at a particular area -- kuke [phoen], that is what we called it.

18 Q. Did you have in your unit somebody who served as their

19 interpreter?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Do you remember how they communicated with Vinko Martinovic?

22 A. No how, poorly.

23 Q. Did they go to the front line next to the health centre?

24 A. Like all the other soldiers, they would go 8 hours, 8 or 10 or 12

25 hours standby and the same, the front line, and they slept or walked

Page 15302

1 around.

2 Q. Do you remember what shifts they were on, who was their commander,

3 if you remember?

4 A. Well, it changed all the time because the order come those danger

5 then everybody is it at the front line and then they are not and then they

6 change, one didn't know exactly.

7 Q. Do you remember -- I mean those foreigners in the unit, how long

8 were they, with the unit?

9 A. Two or three days, fifteen, a month. These two were a month or

10 two, not longer, if he didn't stay there a month, he didn't get pay.

11 Q. Let's go back to the prisoners. Do you know whether there was an

12 order to bring them there?

13 A. Yes.

14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Now I will ask Madam Registrar and

15 Mr. Usher to show you P551.1, Prosecution's Exhibit. It is a binder 2,

16 January this year. Page 01537684.

17 Q. Will you find the page in the right, upper-hand corner, it says,

18 vertically 01537684. Have you found it?

19 A. Here.

20 Q. Very well. Will you tell us what it is about and what date the

21 order bears?

22 A. 9 September, is that it?

23 Q. Yes, 9 September.

24 A. These are orders. These are the orders to go and fetch prisoners.

25 This is the order of the Mostar Defence.

Page 15303

1 Q. Well, keep it. Keep this order and I'll ask Madam Registrar and

2 Mr. Usher to show you P601. Page 01535189. So you have the number in the

3 upper right corner, 01535189. Or 88 perhaps is before it, the last two

4 digits. Have you found it? 01535188, or 189.

5 A. But the first last number is 222.

6 Q. 601. It's the book containing the names of detainees at the

7 Heliodrom, so this is P601. Not one of those 17 first binders but [In

8 English] January of this year. [Interpretation] Two binders from January

9 last. 601.1. [In English] My mistake, my apologies. 01535188 or 89.

10 Shall I give the witness my copy, Mr. President?

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, if Madam Registrar could not find it at this

12 moment, you may use your copy. But Mr. Seric, you have to inform Madam

13 Registrar what kind of documents you are going to use during your direct

14 examination before the start of the trial so that she could be well

15 prepared for that document. Otherwise, we just lost a lot of time in

16 finding those documents.

17 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I did so, but these are

18 two books that we are talking about, so maybe my instructions were not

19 really precise, when I was announcing the documents that I was going to

20 need. It is not the right one.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Which number did you mention?

22 Q. 01535189.

23 A. Here it is.

24 Q. Did you find the list of soldiers for the Vinko Skrobo ATG dated

25 9th September, 1993?

Page 15304

1 A. Here it is.

2 Q. Look at number -- the number of detainees and compare it with the

3 order that you saw a little while ago, bearing the same date, 9th of

4 September, 1993.

5 A. There are 37 soldiers here.

6 Q. How many on the order?

7 A. 35.

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.

9 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Mr. President, I'm not sure if anyone else in the

10 courtroom is in my situation, but I don't know which document that we are

11 now comparing these numbers to.

12 JUDGE LIU: We have no idea either, maybe you could go to private

13 session and put that document on the ELMO so everybody could know which

14 document you're using, Mr. Seric.

15 Well, I was informed the document is P567.1, rather than P601.1.

16 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] I'm sure that I have made a mistake,

17 Your Honours. We can put the both documents on the ELMO. The previous

18 order with date of 9th of September, and this list of detainees. And we

19 can move into private session to do that. The first document is a

20 sequence of orders under number 551.1, and the order that we saw a little

21 while ago, that the witness has, is page number 01537684. Because several

22 orders share the same number.

23 JUDGE LIU: Well, we will go to the private session and Mr. Usher

24 will put that document on the ELMO, so that we could see which document

25 we are using right now.

Page 15305

1 [Private session]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [redacted]

15 [redacted]

16 [redacted]

17 [redacted]

18 [redacted]

19 [redacted]

20 [redacted]

21 [redacted]

22 [redacted]

23 [redacted]

24 [redacted]

25 [redacted]

Page 15306

1 [redacted]

2 [redacted]

3 [redacted]

4 [redacted]

5 [redacted]

6 [redacted]

7 [redacted]

8 [redacted]

9 [redacted]

10 [redacted]

11 [redacted]

12 [redacted]

13 [redacted]

14 [Open session]

15 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

16 Q. Witness, do you remember 17th September, 1993? And any attempts

17 of any action on that day?

18 A. I do.

19 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Can we please have D2/17 or P608,

20 Prosecution number? Can we have the document shown to the witness?

21 Q. Is that information A?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. What date does the information refer to? What does it say in the

24 first sentence?

25 A. The action of the HVO on the 17 September, 1993.

Page 15307












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13 English transcripts.













Page 15308

1 Q. Can you please slow down?

2 A. It is the information of the assistant commander of the OZJIH for

3 SIS.

4 Q. On that day, did you personally go to the front line?

5 A. Yes, I did.

6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott?

7 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I want to note for the record our

8 objection to this testimony. The summary of this witness has never said

9 anything about this witness testifying about the 17th of September. There

10 is simply no information, no notice given to the Prosecution at all, and I

11 think the Chamber will note from the past several weeks this seems to be a

12 recurring problem and the Prosecution made known its views months ago

13 about the inadequacies of these summaries. So we are now in a topic of

14 examination on which the Prosecution has been provided no notice, or prior

15 statement whatsoever.

16 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, I also read the statement of the

17 summary of this witness. It is indeed that this incident was not

18 mentioned in your summaries. But at this stage, I will let you ask some

19 questions concerning the incidents that happened that day and we will see

20 if the Prosecution is in a position to do the cross-examination later on.

21 If not, I'm afraid we have to give him some time for the preparation of

22 the effective cross-examination on what happened on that day. You may

23 continue, Mr. Seric.

24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.

25 However, I cannot not say this: If our summary says that it is a soldier

Page 15309

1 who was in the unit throughout the conflict between the HVO and BH Army,

2 it is impossible to conclude that he did not participate in all the

3 actions. If this is going to be objections on the part of the

4 Prosecution, then I have to raise the issue of objectivity on the part of

5 the Prosecution, and before I continue, Mr. President, my proposal would

6 be that we have a break now and that I continue after the break.

7 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President.

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Scott.

9 MR. SCOTT: Sorry to interrupt and get on my feat but

10 Mr. President, I want to respond to that. That is clearly not the purpose

11 for which these summaries are contemplated under Rule 65 ter. If that was

12 the case all that any party would have to do is simply say in this case

13 was this witness was a member of the Vinko Skrobo unit, period. And we

14 would soon be put on notice of anything that might have happened during

15 1993 in that unit. That is not the kind of summary that the Rules of this

16 Tribunal calls for. I also point on the same page of the summary of this

17 witness and I won't mention his name but item -- Witness number 22, this

18 is -- in that summary, there is specific evidence -- excuse me, notice

19 given that that witness would testify on the last line, "And the events of

20 17 September, 1993." So it's clear that with all respect to my learned

21 friends, it's clear that notice -- they are capable of giving notice and

22 the kind of generic notice that we have objected to in the past as

23 insufficient and I must say it's surprising to finds ourselves in

24 approximately the last two weeks of the Defence evidence in this trial

25 which started by the way, I might add, one year ago yesterday, and be

Page 15310

1 having this discussion now. We object.

2 JUDGE LIU: Well, we have taken notice of your submissions and the

3 statements on this issue, and we have the summaries at our hands at this

4 moment. But we have already made a decision. We will ask Mr. Seric to

5 continue with the questions on the incidents and later on we will see

6 whether the Prosecution is in a position to do the cross-examination or

7 not.

8 I think it's time for a break, so we'll have our break and we'll

9 resume at 4.00.

10 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.

11 --- On resuming at 4.01 p.m.

12 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric. Please continue.

13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

14 Q. We mentioned the events on the 17th of September, 1993. Do you

15 remember, do you personally know, whether on that day, they were detainees

16 from the Heliodrom in the bases?

17 THE INTERPRETER: I'm sorry, the interpreter missed the answer.

18 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

19 Q. Do you know what happened with them?

20 A. I think they were in the base.

21 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, we did not catch the answer of the

22 witness for your first question. Will you please repeat it?

23 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

24 Q. My first question was whether there were any detainees in the

25 base.

Page 15311

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Do you remember what happened with them?

3 A. An action was planned so they didn't do anything.

4 Q. Witness, during the break I was warned by the interpreters and

5 asked to tell you that you should slow down and that we should make a

6 break between my question, your answer, and my next question. I am going

7 to give you a sign by hand when I want you to start answering. So please

8 do not rush into your answers. Thank you very much.

9 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness now please be shown

10 Exhibit 612.1? That is the Prosecutor's Exhibit P612.1, which is

11 connected with that particular day and some events on that day.

12 Q. Witness, can you please read this report?

13 A. Aloud?

14 Q. Yes, aloud. Slowly so that the interpreters can follow.

15 A. "Pursuant to the letter sent to the main staff of the HVO on the

16 24th of September, 1993, hereby I submit the following information. In

17 keeping with the order number 03/18/93, dated 17 September, 1993, which

18 was issued by the commander of the defence of the town of Mostar,

19 Mr. Zlatan Mioyelic, the Vinko Skrobo ATG has taken over 30 detainees for

20 work. The security for these detainees is provided by Mr. Dinko

21 Kenezovic. ID number AA40802. 20 September, 1993, at 2000 hours, 18

22 detainees were returned from work. Their security from Varda to the

23 Heliodrom was provided by the military police whose commander was Nikola

24 Vidacko. On the 27th September, 1993, the remaining 12 prisoners were

25 returned. They had been kept at work for ten days."

Page 15312

1 Q. Who has signed this document?

2 A. Josip Praljak, as far as I can see.

3 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Can I ask Madam Registrar to show the

4 witness Exhibit P601.1, page 01535272?

5 Q. Witness, what date does this list of prisoners refer to?

6 A. 17 September, 1993.

7 Q. In the right-hand column, can you look at the detainees who left,

8 who were taken over by the Vinko Skrobo unit? How many of them were

9 there?

10 A. 30.

11 Q. What does it say at the end of the signature?

12 A. It says, "Taken by Dinko Kenezovic, ID number, AA40802, signed by,

13 returned on the 27th September, at 1940 hours."

14 Q. Is this signature consistent with the report that you have just

15 read, that you read a little while ago?

16 A. I never paid any attention to this. You should ask him. There

17 were never any objections to any orders, there were no special orders.

18 I've never seen this before.

19 Q. All right. My next question: The Prosecution alleges that some

20 of the detainees on that particular day were wearing camouflage uniforms,

21 that they were armed by wooden rifles, that they were used as human

22 shields and that they crossed over to the other side. What do you have to

23 say to that?

24 A. I heard that only subsequently, when the indictment was issued,

25 and this is really ridiculous, to use human shields against a tank.

Page 15313

1 Q. Are these allegations in keeping with the report that you have

2 just read?

3 A. What allegations?

4 Q. What they crossed over, and in that report it says that they were

5 returned to the Heliodrom?

6 A. Yes, it says so on the list. That means that this is not true.

7 Q. Okay. We can remove this -- these two exhibits.

8 The next topic of my examination is the following. Did the Vinko

9 Skrobo ATG belong to the Convicts Battalion?

10 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter missed the answer.

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, Witness, we did not get your answer. Would you

12 please repeat it?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, we didn't.

14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. Do you know who issued orders to Vinko Martinovic?

16 A. The commander of the town defence.

17 Q. Did you personally see any of these orders or did you hear them if

18 they were given verbally?

19 A. If they were verbal, they arrived several times when they expected

20 some attacks on any of the sides, from any of the directions, and when

21 some reinforced security measures were ordered, then it would arrive in

22 written form. There would always be somebody arriving from them to issue

23 verbal orders.

24 Q. Who was it whom you saw most frequently to come to the base?

25 A. The commander of the town defence. I think it was Zlatan, most

Page 15314












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13 English transcripts.













Page 15315

1 often. But, in any case, I knew him best.

2 Q. You didn't give us his full name.

3 A. Zlatan Mijo Jelic so-called.

4 Q. Can you please tell us - although you have already mentioned

5 something like that in one of your previous answers - where did you

6 physically get the money for your salaries?

7 A. It arrived from the headquarters in Grude which was the

8 headquarters for the entire HVO.

9 Q. Witness, now we are going to show you Prosecution Exhibit P704.

10 Towards its very end almost, can you please find page number 00795386?

11 THE INTERPRETER: It would help the interpreters if this was put

12 on the ELMO.

13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

14 Q. Have you found it? Are you familiar with this document?

15 A. No.

16 Q. In the upper, left corner, it says, "The Convicts Battalion." How

17 do you account for that?

18 A. I don't know. Maybe for administrative purposes we were put

19 there. Maybe for the purpose of salaries. We were the Vinko Skrobo ATG.

20 That is what my salary list read. I've never seen anything like this

21 before. This is on the 2nd of December. Dinko Kenezovic, who was killed

22 in November. And here I can see him on the list.

23 Q. What is the number under which you find Dinko Kenezovic?

24 A. 28.

25 Q. Can you look at the last page under 81?

Page 15316

1 A. Yes. Again Dinko Kenezovic.

2 Q. Are you familiar with all the names in the list?

3 A. No, not with all of them.

4 Q. Can you explain the names that are unknown to you?

5 A. No, I can't.

6 Q. Okay. We won't need this document any longer.

7 Witness, did you hear, during the war or perhaps later, that some

8 people impersonated members of your unit?

9 A. I heard it two or three times.

10 Q. Will you please finish? What was it two or three times?

11 A. That somebody impersonated somebody falsely said he was a member

12 of Vinko Martinovic's and so on.

13 Q. Do you know whether Vinko Martinovic helped Muslims? If you do

14 know about that, do you know of any example?

15 A. I do. He let at the request of the town commander, a young man

16 who was under age, who was at the Heliodrom, and we were guarding him, and

17 he let him go, and our neighbours, like I do, we lived there together.

18 They lived the whole life. What can they do?

19 Q. Did you personally help anyone? I mean Muslims?

20 A. Yes, I did. Same way. None of us was financially so powerful

21 too. How can you help him but what food we had, we shared cigarettes.

22 Our neighbours, we don't know what to do.

23 Q. Do you know or do you remember whether there were cases of

24 disobedience in the unit? I mean soldiers.

25 A. No.

Page 15317

1 Q. And if something happened like that incident with Halil Ajanic's

2 son?

3 A. Then you had leave the unit because whether somebody was late for

4 the shift, it would be taken out of his salary and it would be distributed

5 amongst others, those who were in his group.

6 Q. Witness, until when were you with the unit?

7 A. Well, until Washington or what's it called? February, March,

8 1994, when the cease-fire was signed.

9 Q. Do you remember whether there were any military checkpoints in the

10 town?

11 A. Not in the town itself. There was only the police and so, but

12 they were outside the town.

13 Q. Can you tell us which checkpoints were there outside the town and

14 where?

15 A. Shall I give you these localities or the directions where the road

16 stretched?

17 Q. You can do both.

18 A. There was towards Medjugorje, Miljkovici, towards Siroki Brijeg at

19 Zovnica.

20 Q. Just slower so that these names can be put in the transcript.

21 Start again, please.

22 A. So towards Medjugorje, there were the village of Miljkovici,

23 towards Siroki Brijeg, Zovnica. There were toward Goranci, up at the

24 curve above Cim, towards Varda on Rudnik and down there from Rodoc --

25 towards Rodoc towards Dubrovnic, I don't know exactly where.

Page 15318

1 Q. Do you remember if there were any arrests in the town and who

2 engaged in those arrests?

3 A. The police, military or the civilian, doesn't matter.

4 Q. Do you remember what kind of vehicles did you have?

5 A. We had from trucks, that is a blue Deutz, and we also had a van.

6 Q. Witness, now we shall show you --

7 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, please.

8 Q. -- D2/23. Can you tell us what this is about?

9 A. I guess this is the Vinko Martinovic's ID.

10 Q. Is there any indication of rank?

11 A. Yes, on the second page.

12 Q. And what does it say?

13 A. It says, "Soldier."

14 Q. Did Vinko Martinovic have any rank during the war?

15 A. It was always a soldier. What do I know? Foot.

16 Q. Do you have any explanation? After all, he commanded the unit of

17 sorts. How is it that --

18 A. He didn't want a title. He was just a plain soldier.

19 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. Mr. President, I

20 have no further questions. This is the end of my direct examination.

21 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Cross-examination, Mr. Scott?

22 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:

23 Q. Sir, if I heard you correctly you said that before you were a

24 member of the Mrmak or Vinko Skrobo unit, you were previously a member of

25 the HVO 4th Battalion; is that correct?

Page 15319

1 A. It is.

2 THE INTERPRETER: Will the witness please come closer to the

3 microphone?


5 Q. And where were you positioned during the time that were you a

6 member of the 4th Battalion?

7 A. Well, I was in the 4th Battalion. I guarded the front line. It

8 was the war against the Serbs.

9 Q. And where were you on the front line?

10 A. [redacted]

11 Q. So in the Mostar region; is that correct?

12 A. Yes, yes, yes. It's a hill above Mostar where there were Serbs, I

13 guarded so that they wouldn't break into our houses and so.

14 Q. And who was your commander in that unit, sir?

15 A. Tihomir Misic.

16 Q. Now, other than holding a position on the -- what was then

17 considered the front line, did you actually ever engage in combat, that is

18 actual exchange of fire with the other side?

19 A. With Serbs, no. I only guarded the front line.

20 Q. And with the Muslims?

21 A. I personally, no.

22 Q. Would it be fair to say, sir, that in your position as you've told

23 [redacted]

24 correct?

25 A. Correct.

Page 15320

1 Q. And then you told us that you joined Mr. Martinovic's unit a few

2 days, and I think your answers ranged from anywhere from two to five days,

3 after the fighting started in Mostar on about the 9th or 10th of May,

4 1993; is that correct?

5 A. Correct.

6 Q. You were in Grude, working, at the time the fighting broke out in

7 Mostar; is that correct?

8 A. Correct. I left the 4th Battalion to work for the headquarters in

9 Grude as a driver.

10 Q. So how, during what period of time had you been in Grude before

11 you then returned to Mostar and joined Mr. Martinovic's unit?

12 A. I left in spring, 1992. Well, then, until mid-May, 1993.

13 Q. So is it correct, sir, then you continuously away from Mostar and

14 did not return to Mostar, until two to five days after the fighting

15 started in May, 1993?

16 A. I lived in Mostar, against Serbs the shells hit my flat, and my

17 wife was at her father's in Grude so I would come to Mostar to sleep over

18 but I drove all the time. I had no time to come to Mostar.

19 Q. Sir, listen to my question, please. Prior to the fighting

20 starting on the 9th of May, 1993, where were you?

21 A. In Grude.

22 Q. And how long had you been in Grude at that time? Had you been

23 there a couple of days? Had you been there a week? Had you been there

24 two months?

25 A. A year and two or three months.

Page 15321












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13 English transcripts.













Page 15322

1 Q. And you did not return, then, to Mostar, as I indicated a moment

2 ago, and join Mr. Martinovic's unit, until some days after the fighting

3 broke out in Mostar on the 9th and 10th of May, 1993, correct?

4 A. Well, my house is in Mostar, that is my father and my mother and

5 my brother but I couldn't be in Mostar because one room so I spent -- I

6 sleep over and --

7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?

8 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, when I personally

9 conducted the cross-examination during the Prosecution's case, you

10 objected, both you and the Prosecutor, not to repeat questions from the

11 direct. And now, if we talk about the -- I refer to the equality of arms

12 and I objected to the Prosecution doing the same thing.

13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I didn't see any harm by asking the question to

14 the witness in this way.

15 You may continue, Mr. Scott.


17 Q. The point, sir, is, up until the time that you returned to Mostar,

18 some days after the 9th and 10th of May, 1993, you have absolutely no

19 personal knowledge of what happened on the 8th of May or the 9th of May or

20 the 10th of May, 1993, do you?

21 A. I didn't see anything, but I heard from those friends and

22 neighbours, they were preparing for the attack, that they crossed over

23 here and threatened but I wasn't there personally. I can't say.

24 Q. So the answer to my question is yes, you have no personal

25 knowledge of what happened in Mostar at that time, correct?

Page 15323

1 A. I haven't.

2 Q. Then how long did you stay in Mr. Martinovic's unit? When did you

3 leave the unit?

4 A. When the Washington Agreement was signed. I think it was

5 February, 1994.

6 Q. And from approximately mid-May, 1993, sir, to February, 1994, were

7 you a member of any other HVO unit or formation, other than

8 Mr. Martinovic's unit?

9 A. No.

10 Q. Did you perform any functions in Mr. Martinovic's unit other than

11 the logistics role that you've described to us this afternoon?

12 A. No.

13 Q. And if I understand your answer a few moments ago, sir, at no time

14 during that time did you engage in combat with the Muslim forces,

15 correct?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. Now, when you weren't moving around in the truck or vehicle that

18 you used, which I'll come back to in a few minutes, where did you spend

19 your time as a member of the Vinko Skrobo unit?

20 A. When I wasn't working, at home or at my wife's in Grude.

21 Q. Well, did you have an office or a desk that you used, for

22 instance, at the Vinko Skrobo headquarters in Kalemova Street?

23 A. I only had a warehouse where I kept those -- this canned food and

24 such like.

25 Q. Where was this warehouse located?

Page 15324

1 A. On Kalemova Street in that building.

2 Q. Okay. I'm going to repeat my earlier question, sir. Did you have

3 a desk or an office that you used inside the headquarters of

4 Mr. Martinovic's unit?

5 A. Personally, I did not.

6 Q. Can you tell the Judges, please, approximately how many times

7 during the full year 1993, well we know you weren't there until at least

8 mid-May, so from middle of May of 1993, until December of 1993,

9 approximately how many times would you say you were inside the

10 headquarters of the Vinko Skrobo unit?

11 A. During working hours, for instance from 8.00 to 2 or 3, at times

12 until dusk, at times never. I'd sleep at homes and over weekends I'd go

13 to my wife. At times I went to Germany with my truck, two or three times.

14 Q. Sir, I'm not asking you how many times where you -- when you were

15 on duty. I asked you specifically how many times were you in the

16 headquarters, inside the building where Mr. Martinovic had his

17 headquarters, from the middle of May, 1993 until December, 1993.

18 A. How many times?

19 Q. Yes.

20 A. Every day during working days. Mostly I told you except when I

21 was away, and when I was at home.

22 Q. And did you receive orders from Mr. Martinovic? Or directions

23 from him to do things?

24 A. Why, no, I didn't, no.

25 Q. Who gave you your orders?

Page 15325

1 A. I didn't receive any orders. I knew how to procure food. I would

2 go on my own.

3 Q. So your testimony to the Chamber, to these Judges, sir, is that

4 between May of 1993 and February of 1994, you never received an order from

5 anyone in the Vinko Skrobo or Mrmak unit?

6 A. Yes. He sends me to do something but not an order to do, nothing

7 specific. I don't know.

8 Q. In terms of salaries provided to the unit, you said you went to

9 get the money somewhere but where did you get the money?

10 A. From the main staff, from the HVO, like the whole HVO.

11 Q. Where did you physically go to pick up the money?

12 A. To Grude.

13 Q. How often would you do that? Once a week, once a month? How

14 often?

15 A. Once a month.

16 Q. And would this be -- the money was received in cash, what we

17 might call cash, it was currency?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And then you said would you take the money, if I heard your

20 testimony correctly, then you said you took the money, "Down there." What

21 did you mean, "Down there"?

22 A. Because Grude is higher. That's what we -- how we say.

23 Q. Well, where did you take the money? Where did you physically

24 then -- you picked up the money in Grude. Where did you take it?

25 A. I take it to the base and distribute it among the soldiers who

Page 15326

1 were there. Those who were there. Those who weren't had to wait for it.

2 Q. And did you personally hand the currency to the soldiers? I mean

3 from your hand to theirs?

4 A. Some I did. When I wasn't there, deputies, sometimes Vinko, I

5 leave, and like that, but mostly I.

6 Q. Did the Vinko Skrobo unit have any communications equipment,

7 radios or Motorolas, what some of us might call walkie-talkies?

8 A. There were two Motorolas, radios, yes.

9 Q. Where did communication equipment for the unit come from?

10 A. Well, the town defence got them. One was on the front line, the

11 other one at the base, to notify, in case of an attack or something.

12 Q. And the vehicles that you used, in connection with the Vinko

13 Skrobo unit, including the vehicles that you drove around, where did those

14 vehicles come from?

15 A. We only had a blue Deutz, a neighbour from Balinovac gave it to

16 us. We bought the van and we all had our own cars. And later on, we also

17 got, I don't know, sometime around December, a Lada Niva from Grude, a new

18 one.

19 Q. When you say from Grude, you're saying you got from the HVO main

20 logistics base in Grude?

21 A. Yes, yes, yes. I went there to get it but it was for the town

22 defence. It said it was from Grude. I went to Grude to get it.

23 Q. And when the unit needed ammunition, whatever the standard

24 infantry round was, perhaps 7.62 millimetre, but when the unit needed

25 ammunition, where did you go for that?

Page 15327

1 A. We got it from the town defence of Mostar, and some from Grude but

2 those were small quantities.

3 Q. Well, sir, when you say you got it from the town defence, where

4 did you physically go in Mostar to obtain these items?

5 A. The faculty.

6 Q. Where was that?

7 A. Well, have you got a picture so I can show you.

8 Q. Well, perhaps can you give us a street name?

9 A. Next to the town stadium, next to the town stadium.

10 Q. When you say the faculty, sir, which faculty?

11 A. Well, all the faculties are there, the university.

12 Q. Is this where the military police was located?

13 A. Yeah, yeah, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, right there.

14 Q. This is at the mechanical engineering faculty, correct?

15 A. Well, I read law. I know where law is. I think so.

16 Q. Sir, do you recall telling a man named Alojz Salkic that in fact

17 all of Stela's support came from Tuta?

18 A. What Salkic? Who is he?

19 Q. You don't recall telling a man that, in fact, all the support for

20 Mr. Martinovic's unit came from Tuta?

21 A. No. Alojz Salkic, Alojz is a Croat name and Salkic is a Muslim

22 surname.

23 Q. You said sir, that in May, 1993, there were 35 to 40 men in the

24 Vinko Skrobo unit; is that correct?

25 A. About that, yes.

Page 15328












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Page 15329

1 Q. And did that remain the same throughout 1993?

2 A. No.

3 Q. Well, how did it change?

4 A. Because men came and joined, those who were in other units.

5 Q. Well, let me direct your attention to approximately August,

6 September, 1993. How many -- excuse me, how many soldiers would you say

7 were in the Vinko Skrobo unit at that time?

8 A. 65, 70, maximum.

9 Q. At any time, sir, during 1993, was the Vinko Skrobo unit more --

10 did it have more members than 65 to 70 maximum?

11 A. I don't think so. I can't remember.

12 Q. Well, sir, there is approximately 24 persons in this courtroom.

13 So you're saying that the Vinko Skrobo unit was about from two to three

14 times as many people in this courtroom?

15 A. About that, yes.

16 Q. Was there anybody in the Vinko Skrobo unit that you didn't know?

17 A. Perhaps for a day or two or three if I wasn't there and he came.

18 No.

19 Q. Generally speaking, sir, this was a small unit and with a possible

20 few exceptions, isn't it correct that you knew every one -- you knew every

21 member of the unit, correct?

22 A. Well, I didn't know him really. I knew him like this. When I'd

23 see him. But I didn't know who he was or what he was. How could I? But

24 generally, I knew them all.

25 Q. Sir, it was a small unit. You got the ammunition for the unit.

Page 15330

1 You handed them their pay. You handed currency to them for pay. You more

2 or less knew every member of the unit, didn't you?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Now, you mentioned that you drove a truck one time around Zagreb.

5 What were you doing in Zagreb?

6 A. It's when I worked in Grude. I drove from Zagreb all the time,

7 food and clothing, humanitarian aid. But when I was with

8 Vinko Martinovic, I went to Germany three times in my own truck. Normally

9 I asked Vinko to let me go, and he did.

10 Q. Let's stay on Zagreb for a moment or two. How many times when you

11 were working at the main base, this is the main logistics base of the HVO

12 in Grude, how many times were you going back and forth to Zagreb?

13 A. Every week.

14 Q. What were you driving?

15 A. I went in my own truck, the army gave me their numbers and of

16 course recruited me and they paid fuel so that I would go so relief comes

17 from the Netherlands for this church for this parish, people who

18 collected food and all that and it would reach Zagreb by train and I would

19 reload it and then take it down to, I don't know, places in west

20 Herzegovina, Mostar, church, I did it every day, food, clothing. And I

21 was a member of this logistics.

22 Q. Are you suggesting to the Chamber, sir, that you never transported

23 arms or ammunition or military materiel from Zagreb to Grude?

24 A. Yes. During the war with the Serbs, but then we unloaded that in

25 Capljina and then this load went onwards to Capljina. But this did not

Page 15331

1 belong to us. It belonged to some other organisation. I don't know

2 which organisation that was. And then it went on to Sarajevo.

3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours?

4 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?

5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Again, part of the answer was

6 missed. The witness said that from Capljina, the load went to Sarajevo.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I said that. And that was

8 during the war against Serbs but the question was about the ammunition,

9 wasn't it?


11 Q. Well, where did the shipments with the ammunition go?

12 A. We unloaded it did in Capljina, then somebody came, I don't know

13 who, that was in 1992, during the war with the Serbs, at the beginning of

14 the war, I don't know who they were, who, why. Muslims. To them, it was

15 not to me. It was to them.

16 Q. Well, during the fighting with the Muslims, sir in 1993, the war

17 between the Croats and the Muslims, how many times did you go to Zagreb?

18 A. Not once. I was -- later on, when I left Markovic, then I took my

19 truck and then I drove normally.

20 Q. You drove normally. What does that mean?

21 A. I was a hauler. I transported goods all over Europe. I

22 transported goods for companies, for private individuals. I was not an

23 army member. I --

24 Q. In 1993, sir, you were not an army member? From May, 1993, until

25 the end of 1993?

Page 15332

1 A. No.

2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, Your Honours, I have to

3 intervene. I don't know, are we sitting in two different courtrooms? My

4 learned friend and me? Or maybe the interpretation is so terrible or

5 maybe the witness is just doing a bad job speaking. Now the Prosecution

6 asked something that the witness has already repeated a hundred -- 480

7 times where he was in May, 1993.

8 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, this witness is not your witness.

9 You have to keep silent, I'm afraid. It doesn't -- the testimony of this

10 witness has nothing to do with your client at this moment. I don't see

11 any problems.

12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I am trying to assist

13 you with the testimony of this witness. I'm trying to help you understand

14 this witness, and I believe that it is all for the benefit of justice. If

15 something is missing -- misinterpreted or lost in the transcript then I

16 believe it is my place to assist this Chamber to understand this witness

17 correctly. Thank you very much.

18 JUDGE LIU: Well, I only see a problem there. The witness

19 answered, "I'm a hauler. I transported goods all over Europe. I

20 transported goods for companies, for private individuals. I was not an

21 army member." Then the witness wanted to say something and Mr. Scott cut

22 in. "In 1993, sir, you were not an army member from May 1993, until the

23 end of 1993." Are there any misunderstandings?

24 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, you have framed the issue and that's

25 exactly why I asked the question because I asked what he was doing and

Page 15333

1 where he was driving about in 1993.


3 MR. SCOTT: And the next thing he was telling us was that in 1993

4 he wasn't in the army, that he was hauling for private companies, that he

5 was acting as a private person.

6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, so maybe there is a misunderstanding. Mr. Scott,

7 would you please re-ask your question so we could get a definite answer.

8 MR. SCOTT: Of course exactly the question I was going to put

9 before Mr. Krsnik --

10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I never said this.


12 Q. Sir, forget what was said in the last few minutes. Let me put a

13 new question to you. You've told us this afternoon that you were driving

14 a truck a vehicle, at various times, you've mentioned going to Grude,

15 frequently, going to Zagreb, going to Germany. How much of your time

16 during 1993 were you actually in Mostar?

17 A. From mid-May until December, on three occasions, I went to Germany

18 on private business, and I spent several weekends with my wife in Grude.

19 I've already repeated this five times. After the end of 1993, in

20 February, 1994, I stopped being an army member and then I continued doing

21 my job proper.

22 Q. Sir, when you delivered the currency, the salary, to the soldiers

23 of the Vinko Skrobo unit, you delivered that at the headquarters on

24 Kalemova Street; is that correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 15334

1 Q. And when you delivered ammunition, where did you deliver the

2 ammunition?

3 A. Let me tell you. Every day there was a certain number of bullets

4 for a certain number of soldiers. Two or three grenades. And some

5 bullets. Every second day or every third day a certain number of the

6 pieces of ammunition would be given to soldiers, and the rest would go to

7 the warehouse.

8 Q. Where was the ammunition physically delivered to the Vinko Skrobo

9 unit? It was at the headquarters, wasn't it?

10 A. Yes, the headquarters in Kalemova.

11 Q. Sir, I put it to you that you were primarily a truck driver,

12 moving various shipments around, delivering shipments to the Kalemova

13 Street headquarters and it's a fact, isn't it, sir, that you know

14 extremely little, if anything, about what happened at the confrontation

15 line, correct?

16 A. That is correct, yes.

17 Q. The child who was killed by the hand grenade, did you ever hear

18 that the soldier who had that hand grenade had pulled the pin on that hand

19 grenade and was rolling it across the floor to the child as if it was some

20 sort of toy?

21 A. No. I didn't hear that. They lived together in the same house.

22 That was in the same room, they slept there, they took their rest there.

23 Q. And you're telling this Chamber, sir, that Mr. Martinovic after

24 this event where the child was killed, that Mr. Martinovic threw these

25 soldiers out of the Vinko Skrobo unit; is that correct?

Page 15335












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13 English transcripts.













Page 15336

1 A. Yes. He called the police to investigate, to check what had

2 happened and told them not to come back. They stayed for another couple

3 of days, until they received their salaries, and then they left.

4 Q. Sir, apart from whatever the military police did or the police

5 did, Mr. Martinovic threw them out or discharged them from his unit,

6 didn't he?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. And do you know, sir, when these soldiers were doing whatever it

9 was they were doing with the hand grenade that resulted in the child being

10 killed, were these soldiers on duty at the time? Or were they off duty?

11 A. That was where they slept in the house, the house that now houses

12 the Croatian embassy. They were not on the line. That was during their

13 leisure time.

14 Q. And yet, sir, for this off-duty conduct, Mr. Martinovic threw them

15 out of the unit, correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Have you ever seen Mr. Martinovic throw any soldiers out of his

18 units for expelling Muslims from their homes?

19 A. We only manned the line. I don't know whether anything like that

20 happened. I'm not aware of that.

21 Q. Were you ever aware of Mr. Martinovic throwing any soldiers out of

22 his unit for engaging in looting?

23 A. I don't know of any such -- I don't know of looting.

24 Q. Were you aware of Mr. Martinovic throwing any soldiers out of his

25 unit because they had abused prisoners?

Page 15337

1 A. They never objected, the prisoners. I don't know why.

2 Q. In fact, sir, you don't really know what the prisoners at the

3 confrontation line objected to or not because you weren't at the

4 confrontation line, were you?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. You were involved in transporting prisoners from the Heliodrom for

7 Stela's unit, weren't you?

8 A. I think so. I think I went once or twice. I can't remember.

9 Dinko did that, and if Dinko couldn't, then anybody else who was free at

10 the time.

11 Q. Sir, you were the general truck driver, so wouldn't it be quite

12 logical that if someone needed to drive a truck to the Heliodrom, you

13 would be one of the men to do so?

14 A. It was not just me who could drive a truck. Not -- it was not my

15 truck. I drove my truck. I didn't drive the army truck.

16 Q. Did you drive prisoners from the Heliodrom to the confrontation

17 line in Mostar for any other HVO units?

18 A. No. My truck is a big --

19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters couldn't interpret because the

20 witness was speaking English.

21 MR. SCOTT: We didn't get a full answer, Mr. President, I don't

22 know if that's --

23 JUDGE LIU: Yes, witness, would you please repeat your answer?

24 Because we did not get it. You said no, my truck is a big -- then it

25 stopped. We couldn't hear.

Page 15338

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My truck is a big truck, and it

2 couldn't get all the way to the Heliodrom because it was a very winding,

3 dirt road. So it just couldn't be.


5 Q. Sir in terms of taking prisoners from the Heliodrom, you testified

6 earlier this afternoon, in response to questions from counsel, that you

7 had personal knowledge or familiarity with the forms or orders that were

8 used for taking prisoners from the Heliodrom; is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Approximately how many times prior to coming to The Hague to

11 testify, how many times had you been involved with those forms, had you

12 filled out a form or signed a form or done any paper work for the taking

13 of prisoners from the Heliodrom to any HVO unit?

14 A. The orders were issued by the military police. The town defence.

15 Nobody else could do it, to go to Heliodrom.

16 Q. Sir, I didn't ask who could do it. I said how many times -- how

17 many times were you personally engaged in completing such paper work?

18 A. Never.

19 Q. So is it correct, sir, that in fact when you were shown those

20 documents today, you have no personal knowledge to provide this Chamber

21 with at all, do you?

22 A. I never saw a paper from the Heliodrom, the one from the

23 Heliodrom.

24 Q. Sir, I put it to you other than reading the forms that the papers

25 that were put before you today, other than reading those papers out loud,

Page 15339

1 you have no personal knowledge of those papers or about those papers, do

2 you?

3 A. No.

4 Q. Were you -- you said a few moments ago that it was Mr. Zlatan Mijo

5 Jelic who was a commander that came most often, I think you said, to

6 Mr. Martinovic's headquarters; is that correct?

7 A. I said that I knew him best. Others also came but I didn't know

8 them, so I don't remember them. There were some others from Livno and I

9 don't know.

10 Q. Well, was there some particular relationship between the Mrmak or

11 Vinko Skrobo unit and the unit that was commanded by Mr. Jelic, the

12 military police light assault Battalion?

13 A. Again, I said that there were Motorolas, the town defence

14 department gave them to everybody, and when an order would be issued,

15 everybody was interconnected.

16 Q. Did you observe any personal relationship, others than commander,

17 superior-subordinate, between Mr. -- if you contend that's what it

18 was, between Mr. Jelic and Mr. Martinovic? Were they friends?

19 A. Not that I would notice.

20 Q. Was it frequently the case, if you know, that the Stela's unit

21 operated jointly with the Light Assault Battalion?

22 A. Never.

23 Q. When you say never, sir, you mean not to your knowledge, correct?

24 A. Yes, correct.

25 Q. Directing your attention to the 17th of September, 1993, you've

Page 15340

1 told the Chamber that you have some personal knowledge of what happened

2 that day; is that correct?

3 A. I didn't say anything.

4 Q. Do you know anything that happened on the 17th of September,

5 1993? In connection obviously with the confrontation line in Mostar?

6 A. I know that there was an attempt to launch an operation, but that

7 this failed through, and that's all I know.

8 Q. At any time, sir, on the 17th of September, 1993, were you at the

9 health centre or at the confrontation line?

10 A. Yes. I came once to replace my batteries for the -- for my

11 Motorola. Actually I brought a spare set.

12 Q. And what time of day was it when you went there to replace your

13 battery?

14 A. I believe it was sometime in the afternoon.

15 Q. Was there any fighting going on at the time you went there to

16 change the battery?

17 A. No.

18 Q. And during the time that you went there to change your battery,

19 how long were you at the health centre?

20 A. Five minutes.

21 Q. So can we properly understand, sir, that any personal knowledge

22 you have of anything that happened at the confrontation line on the 17th

23 of September, 1993, is limited to five minutes when you were there in the

24 afternoon?

25 A. That is correct.

Page 15341

1 Q. Sir, do you recall an incident in about the 24th of November,

2 1993, where Mr. Martinovic's unit and the Baja Kraljevic ATG and

3 Mr. Naletilic, Tuta, and others attacked a military police station in

4 Mostar?

5 A. On. It's the first time I hear this.

6 MR. SCOTT: Could I have the usher's assistance to show the

7 witness Exhibit P705.1?

8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?

9 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, just for the record,

10 and as a matter of principle, I object to the way the Prosecution works.

11 They always deliver their exhibit at the last moment to us.

12 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, we've complied with the Court's orders

13 on all occasions with one or two exceptions when there was an error on the

14 distribution of the documents. I think the Chamber knows that.

15 Q. Sir, I'd like you to look at the Croatian version of Exhibit

16 705.1. Directing your attention to paragraph numbered 1. To avoid any

17 confusion that we had earlier today, sir, I'm going to read this

18 particular portion to you, you can follow along in the first part of

19 paragraph numbered 1 on the first page.

20 "At about 2030 hours on 24 November, 1993, mechanical engineering

21 faculty, in other words the premises occupied by the 1st military police

22 Battalion and the 5th military police Battalion, was invaded by soldiers

23 of the Convicts Battalion, the Vinko Skrobo ATG, the Baja Kraljevic ATG,

24 and former soldiers of Juka under the command of Bozo Sain. They were led

25 by Mladen Naletilic, aka Tuta, who ordered all the members of the military

Page 15342












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13 English transcripts.













Page 15343

1 police to lay down their weapons and put them down on the floor."

2 Do you remember this incident, sir?

3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric?

4 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have patiently waited

5 for my colleague to read this part of the document, and I object for the

6 simple reason. The witness has already testified that he doesn't know

7 anything about this. So the Prosecution has just used this opportunity to

8 read this document, and that was the sole purpose of the Prosecutor's

9 reading it.

10 JUDGE LIU: Well, so far as I know, that this document has already

11 been admitted. I believe that the Prosecution asked a question to this

12 witness, and this witness answered no. Then the Prosecutor is entitled to

13 show him a document, to help the witness to refresh his memory. I don't

14 see anything wrong and at the same time, the witness has the full right to

15 answer this question according to his knowledge.

16 Witness --

17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know anything about this.

18 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, let me probe a moment longer. I think

19 I can finish before the recess.

20 Q. Sir, is it your testimony to the Chamber that you either -- you

21 did not participate in this event as a member of the Vinko Skrobo unit,

22 and that you never heard of this incident? Is that your testimony?

23 A. I have heard something, but never like this, like it says here.

24 This looks like somebody's private interest. I don't know who all these

25 units were. So many soldiers. I don't know who they were.

Page 15344

1 Q. Sir, that's not my question. I didn't ask you if you knew all the

2 members of each unit described. My question to you is very simple. Did

3 you participate in this event on the 24th of November, 1993? That's my

4 first question.

5 A. No.

6 Q. But you knew of it, didn't you, sir? And you know about it now.

7 A. I didn't know. I heard something later on, that something had

8 happened, but not so much. There was not so much being said about this.

9 And in the town of Mostar, whenever something happens, you immediately

10 hear about it.

11 Q. Well, what did you hear about it?

12 A. That there was something private, not like this. I don't know who

13 this was. And what happened.

14 Q. Well, sir, you certainly heard more than that, didn't you? You

15 just told this Chamber you heard something like this. Now you heard more

16 than it was something private. What did you hear?

17 A. Yes. I have not a clue, a private showdown, I don't know between

18 who, but none of us ever went anywhere.

19 MR. SCOTT: My final question, Mr. President.

20 Q. Sir, you were the logistics officer of this unit, a small unit,

21 which probably never numbered more than about three times the number of

22 persons in this courtroom. You knew most of the members of the unit

23 personally. And you're telling me that you did not hear, there was no one

24 talking about, the soldiers didn't talk about, attacking the military

25 police unit on the 24th of November, 1993?

Page 15345

1 A. That is correct.

2 MR. SCOTT: No further questions, Mr. President.

3 JUDGE LIU: We will break and we'll resume at quarter to 6.00.

4 --- Recess taken at 5.15 p.m.

5 --- On resuming at 5.45 p.m.

6 JUDGE LIU: Before we start, I notice that Mr. Naletilic is

7 absent. Mr. Krsnik, do you have anything to say?

8 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes. My client felt sick and he

9 didn't have his nitroglycerine with him so he asked to be taken back to

10 the detention unit, just in case, but we can resume, of course.

11 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much for your cooperation. We only

12 hope that your client will have a speedy recovery.

13 Yes, Mr. Seric, any re-examination?

14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Just one question, Mr. President.

15 I'd like to ask that the witness be shown once again the order of

16 the 9th of September, 1993. That is Exhibit 551.1, just one page,

17 01537684. Perhaps we can use my copy. [In English] Yes, okay. Thank

18 you. Thank you.

19 Re-examined by Mr. Seric:

20 Q. [Interpretation] Witness, we are going back to this order. In the

21 light of the cross-examination. Did you see, as a logistics man, did you

22 see this order or any order like this there? Will you please speak up?

23 A. Yes, I did.

24 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no

25 further questions.

Page 15346

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

2 Questioned by the Court:

3 JUDGE CLARK: Can I just ask you, Mr. Witness, were you the

4 logistics officer or one of the persons with the Vinko Skrobo involved in

5 delivery of necessary supplies?

6 A. Well, I was one of the main ones. I had some deputies but I was

7 number 1.

8 JUDGE CLARK: So did that position as logistics officer involve

9 quite a lot of paperwork?

10 A. No.

11 JUDGE CLARK: I see. Thank you.

12 JUDGE LIU: Judge Diarra?

13 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

14 Witness, I'd like to ask you a question because I didn't quite

15 understand your answer concerning the state that Nenad Harmandic was in.

16 When you saw him you said that his body was bruised. Did you ask who beat

17 him? I didn't quite get the answer that you gave. That is who it was who

18 beat him and where he came from, and especially when you saw him, was he

19 sitting down or was he working?

20 A. I didn't ask him. I asked his colleagues who were with him and

21 they said that he had been brought in that state from the Heliodrom, that

22 that was where he was beaten, and when I saw him he was doing something

23 over the car. He only had on his head some bruises or something. Nothing

24 -- I mean a couple of bruises, a black eye, but he walked normally and

25 all that.

Page 15347

1 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] So you saw him working?

2 A. Yes. He was repairing a car or something.

3 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

4 JUDGE LIU: Any questions out of the Judges' questions? Yes, Mr.

5 Seric?

6 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Mr. President.

7 Only a brief clarification.

8 Further examination by Mr. Seric:

9 Q. When asked by Her Honour Judge Clark whether you were the

10 logistics officer in that unit and you answered in the affirmative, so I

11 wanted it to be clear and for the record, were you an officer or a foot

12 soldier?

13 A. Well, she asked me whether I was an officer but I said I was just

14 a man, a logistics man a foot soldier.

15 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. I have no

16 further questions.

17 JUDGE LIU: Mr. Scott?

18 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, thank you.

19 JUDGE LIU: Thank you.

20 Well, thank you, witness, for coming here to give your evidence.

21 When the usher pulls down the blinds, he will show you out of the room.

22 We all wish you a good journey back home.

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, too. Thank you.

24 Good-bye.

25 [The witness withdrew]

Page 15348

1 JUDGE LIU: At this stage, are there any documents to tender,

2 Mr. Seric?

3 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I wish to tender the

4 photograph marked by the witness, that is where he marked the

5 confrontation line and the barriers. That would be D2/54. Then the order

6 that we covered with the witness, D2/55. And that is the order of the 9th

7 of September, 1993. And it was shown once again. And I also wish to

8 tender the report of the 28th of -- that was the Prosecution's Exhibit

9 551.1 and our -- it will be our exhibit D2/56.

10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Seric, I did not catch you. Would you

11 please repeat the number of the document you are going to tender? I know

12 that the photo originally is numbered as P14.5. The document, that

13 P551.1, and how about another document? Would you please tell me the

14 Prosecution's number, please?

15 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Prosecutor's number for the last

16 exhibit that we are tendering is P612.1. That is the report of the 28th

17 of September, 1993.

18 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. I would like to ask Madam

19 Registrar whether this document has been admitted or not.

20 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, P612.1 was tendered under

21 Sir Martin Garrod and it was not admitted, and I will check the next

22 exhibit.

23 JUDGE LIU: Any objections, Mr. Scott?

24 MR. SCOTT: No objections, Your Honour.

25 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. These three documents are

Page 15349












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13 English transcripts.













Page 15350

1 admitted into evidence.

2 Do you have any documents to tender, Mr. Scott?

3 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, no new exhibits to tender.

4 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much.

5 So are we going to have the next witness or we break now? What's

6 your suggestion, Mr. Seric, since Mr. Naletilic is not here?

7 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Well, I'd go on. I'd go on. I don't

8 know if anybody else has some other suggestion. Because I believe that

9 there is plenty of time for me even to complete the direct examination of

10 the witness. I mean, he was here yesterday and then he was turned back

11 because of that unfortunate misunderstanding.

12 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Could we have the next witness, Mr. Usher? I

13 saw today is the anniversary for the start of the case so we may have an

14 early recess. Any way, we will hear the witness. We still have an hour

15 for us to go.

16 [The witness entered court]

17 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Shalom. My

19 greetings to the honourable Court.

20 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in

21 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you?

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

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


25 [Witness answered through interpreter]

Page 15351

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

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.

3 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Seric.

4 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

5 Examined by Mr. Seric:

6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. Will you please

7 introduce yourself, to start with, tell us your name?

8 A. My name is Zoran Mandelbaum from Mostar, son of Morris and Sarah

9 Finci, they were two inmates in World War II, then they married, they lost

10 their whole families. I have a brother who is two years younger. I am

11 married to a beautiful woman from Dalmacija, her name is Katica. We have

12 four children. I graduated in mechanical engineering and I'm a mechanical

13 engineer. Before the war, I worked for Sokol, and I was the head of the

14 unit assembling installations. I've lived all my life in Mostar. I'm the

15 President of the Jewish community in Mostar. I work now in the department

16 of the ministry for energy and industry in Mostar as the head of the

17 department for industrial entrepreneurship.

18 Q. Thank you. Will you tell this Court where you lived, where you

19 live now, what happened to you in view of your place of residence, today

20 and especially during those unfortunate wartime events in Mostar?

21 A. On the 4th of April, 1992, after a cistern exploded in front of a

22 high rise building, I lost my flat because my building was demolished. In

23 that 65 other tenants were in that building. There were 65 flats there.

24 And the municipality of Mostar offered us, as a provisional accommodation,

25 in the pensioner's home where I was allotted two rooms, since I have four

Page 15352

1 children. And I lived in that pensioner's home almost for the duration of

2 the war.

3 Q. Can you tell us, during that time, where were the premises of the

4 Jewish community in Mostar?

5 A. The premises of the Jewish community were in my room. That is, in

6 the Ero hotel, whilst I lived there, and later on, where I moved, to the

7 flat of a colleague of mine, who was -- I mean relocated in 1993. I moved

8 over to his flat, which was on Stjepan Radic, 76 D, and that is where the

9 office of the Jewish community in Mostar was too.

10 Q. Can you tell us, and I'm now referring to the beginning of the

11 war, the first war, the first conflict of the Serb aggressor and the

12 Yugoslav People's Army and the HVO in Mostar, what happened to you, to you

13 personally? What happened to the members of your Jewish community?

14 A. Before the war in Mostar, there were 129 members of the Jewish

15 community of Mostar. Today, there are 45 members of the Jewish community.

16 Before the war, the Jews lived on both banks of the Neretva. That is in

17 what is called today east side and west side of Mostar. Today, -- so

18 we lived on both sides, and during this -- sorry, could you repeat the

19 question, please?

20 Q. Yes. You are on the right track but let's try to focus on the

21 conflict between the Serb aggressor and the HVO?

22 A. Uh-huh, yes. During the conflict with the Serb aggressor, the

23 office was in the pensioner's home, and that is where I conducted my

24 activities. The first thing that happened is that my brother, somebody

25 came from the military police of the HVO and he was taken away and locked

Page 15353

1 up in Mostar. That was the time when they were around, the people,

2 that is they were rounding up Serbs to exchange them for Croats, I presume

3 who had been captured at that time and so he was looked up in -- in Mostar

4 and I didn't know why he had been detained but I had some friends from

5 before the war who were judges in the district court and I asked them but

6 they couldn't give me an answer. On one occasion when I saw my brother,

7 unloading sandbags, when I saw him unload sandbags I asked him why had he

8 been detained? And he said they were -- accused me of cooperating with

9 the Yugoslav People's Army. Otherwise, he was the head for petrol

10 installations at the Yugo petrol. After that, since I knew that he didn't

11 cooperate I went first to the military police and I believe Stipe Maric,

12 Zeljko Dzidic and I tried to find out, and then I allowed myself to

13 Mr. Jadranko Topic who was the mayor of Mostar. He received me

14 immediately and then he -- and then I saw that as the President of the

15 Jewish community I could do something in the town. So he received me so

16 that my brother was released 10 later.

17 Q. Will you please slow down?

18 A. Yes, I will.

19 JUDGE LIU: Well, witness, whatever you say in this courtroom will

20 be translated into the other two languages. We rely on the

21 interpretation.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I will, I will speak slowly.

23 JUDGE LIU: Please make a pause between each sentence so that the

24 interpreter could catch up with you. There is no hurry.

25 Yes, Mr. Seric.

Page 15354

1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well, thank you.

2 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Let me lead you a little bit and you will tell us, and wait for me

4 to finish my question and then start answering. Now, you also tell us

5 what was the outcome regarding your brother?

6 A. Mr. Topic released him from prison one evening and my brother was

7 in the pensioner's home because his house had also been demolished,

8 together with me, he lived there. On one occasion, when I was in front of

9 the pensioner's home, one of HOS soldiers in a black uniform approached me

10 and asked for my ID, and he read out that my name was Zoran Mandelbaum so

11 he asked me who I was and I said that I was an engineer with Sokol and

12 that I was engaged in the reconstruction of wheat silos in Mostar and he

13 started to take me away and I told him that I worked, that I was not a

14 Serb, and at that moment, on the -- my wife happened on the balcony of the

15 room that we lived in, and she said, "I'm a Croat. I have a domognisa.

16 This is my husband, we live together. Let him go." And he let me go. So

17 I returned -- I went back inside and then I thought what should I do now?

18 Because she told me, well, don't walk around because somebody might get

19 you again, and I knew that if they took me away it will be a question

20 whether I would survive because I was a Jew.

21 Q. Did you turn to somebody? Did you ask somebody for help in view

22 of the situation that you were in? That you were in and that members of

23 your Jewish community in Mostar were in?

24 A. Yes. After that, as I said, I thought about it for several days,

25 and I told myself, well, I went through it all once, God knows whether

Page 15355

1 I'll get away another time. There was 60 Jews in -- there were 80 Jews

2 about whom I took care, getting aid from Caritas, Merhamet, the Red Cross,

3 the Jewish community in Split.

4 However, on that occasion, one day, I decided to go to Stela. His

5 residence was in the immediate vicinity of the pensioner's home, and

6 especially as that day, at the gate, there was Meho Mehisa [phoen], one of

7 my welders. He was a guard. And I asked him if I could see Stela. I

8 told him that I was the President of the Jewish community and that I'd

9 like to talk to him. And he went and then came back and told me that he

10 would receive me. So escorted by this, and I believe his name was

11 Semir Bosnjic, who had come there, I went upstairs and there was at a

12 desk, Stela, barefoot. He had his feet on the table. And asked me what I

13 wanted. And I looked him in the eyes, because I felt that if I -- I

14 somehow felt much safer when I looked somebody in the eye and I asked him

15 whether he could tell me what was I to do, that we have had an

16 understanding with Mr. Mate Boban, that is that the state of Israel had

17 established contact with Mr. Mate Boban in London, and on that occasion,

18 Mate Boban had promised to the Jews in the territory of Herceg-Bosna would

19 not suffer any harm, and said that he would order his units to enable the

20 Jews to move unobstructed around Herceg-Bosna and to emigrate to the state

21 of Croatia, that is to Israel or some other third country, and also the

22 passage of Jewish convoys to help Jews who had remained living in

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina, to bring them food in. So I told him that, and he

24 then put his feet -- took his feet off the table and there three men

25 standing behind him and there were also three men standing behind me and

Page 15356












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13 English transcripts.













Page 15357

1 he told me to sit down so I did and he asked me what I'd like to drink and

2 I said I didn't care, and then one of these men of his brought me a drink,

3 a whiskey, and offered me whiskey and I picked up this glass, and I

4 thought with a knock our glasses but he hit his glass on the table and I

5 did the same thing. I knocked my glass against the table. And on that

6 occasion, he said, "In the Second World War, Jews paid for everybody else.

7 In this war, there is no need for the -- for anything to happen to the

8 Jews." And I was surprised by this answer because I heard that he'd been

9 a taxi driver before the war, that that was how his way of thinking, and

10 he said that if I had any difficulty, any problem, that if I ran into any

11 difficulty that I should come to him. And I transmitted it all to other

12 members of the Jewish community, since in Mostar, after the holocaust that

13 they survived in 1941 and 1945, all the Jews have been living in mixed

14 marriages so that we have wives and husbands who are Croats and Serbs

15 and Muslims and for that reason, I went to see him, and he instilled a

16 certain security in me, certain confidence, that I could go and turn to

17 him because at that time the official HVO unit was one thing and their

18 unit, the unit in which a number of people turned up, people who could

19 not-- who would have been taken as -- well, not normal but people who

20 acted on their own, and that is why I was afraid of them. However, he

21 instilled certain confidence in me and throughout the war that I spent in

22 Mostar.

23 Q. Tell us, now, let us move on to the period after the -- following

24 the 9th of May, which is the key period of time in this case. Following

25 the 9th of May, 1993, that is after the conflict broke out between the BH

Page 15358

1 Army and the Croat Defence Council, tell us what did you do, as the

2 president of the Jewish community? Were you -- did you concentrate only

3 on extending help to members of your community or was it broader? I'm

4 referring to the Croat-Muslim conflict.

5 A. I'd nevertheless like to go back a little. I told you that I had

6 established contact with Mr. Topic and that as the President of the

7 Jewish community, I gained some confidence that I could approach them and

8 therefore ask for help for some people. So even prior to the 9th of May,

9 1993, I was engaged in helping -- in helping my Serb acquaintances who had

10 either been detained in Celovina, in Mostar, or needed some documents to

11 get out in somehow. And for some reason I met with sympathy on the part

12 of the official authorities in Mostar, so the first conflict, that is when

13 Muslims began to be expelled from Mostar, was on the 20th of April, 1993.

14 On that occasion, first the Muslims who were not the domicile population

15 were expelled first. That is those who had arrived from Eastern

16 Herzegovina and then there was a lull for about ten days. And then on the

17 9th of May, 1993, massive expulsion started and we were all witnesses to

18 it. During that period of time, since I knew who was who in the town, and

19 that the Jewish community was an institution, during that period, I

20 maintained contact only with people who were the highest authorities

21 during that period of time, and I engaged in humanitarian activities. So

22 I communicated with Mr. Slobodan Bozic, through whom I managed to get out

23 some of my friends from the Heliodrom, that is to get the permits for them

24 to leave, through him I also obtained some passes for some other people,

25 that is passes -- I'm referring to Muslims, to get out of Mostar. Also

Page 15359

1 during that period of time I issued some certificates to some people, as

2 if they were members of the Jewish community even though they had Muslim

3 names and with those documents they could enter Croatia, and that saved

4 them. Later on, depending on who came to me and about what, or rather

5 every day, whenever I would get up, I would tell myself I need to do a

6 good deed today. Now, depending who came to me and who turned to me for

7 help. I did -- I would go to the official authorities. I believe I am

8 the only citizen of Mostar, a civilian, who saw the war from both sides of

9 the front line, from the west, from West Mostar, because I was there, and

10 from East Mostar, because I also went to the east side.

11 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think we have to slow down because we have

12 difficulties to follow the translations and the transcript.

13 Mr. Seric, would you please keep the pace?

14 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

15 Q. I know that, sir, you should address the Trial Chamber and that is

16 what you do out of respect, but from time to time, you should look towards

17 me. I will warn you. I'll give you a sign when I think you need to slow

18 down.

19 I know that you respect this Trial Chamber and that you want to

20 tell your story to the Trial Chamber but please pay attention to me.

21 A. I wanted to say something else.

22 Q. Slow down. Let me guide you a little.

23 Can you tell us, how was it possible that you cross the line

24 between the East and West Mostar?

25 A. I wanted to help people. Those people who were persecuted just

Page 15360

1 because much their religion or because of their ethnic background. This

2 was always on my mind. I always recalled how the Jews suffered during the

3 Second World War. Since I saw that ordinary people were against the war,

4 the citizens of Mostar were against the war, they asked after each other.

5 The war was due to the politics and I found a way as to how to cross from

6 one side to another.

7 I established contacts with the highest leading people in

8 Herceg-Bosna, like Mr. Vlado Soljic the Defence Minister, then Perica

9 Jukic, Ante Roso, the two of them were together. And they granted me

10 their approval for me to go to the eastern part of Mostar. With their

11 approval, with their pass, I went to Medjugorje, where the Spanish

12 Battalion was stationed and there I met Mr. Alber Benabou [phoen] who was

13 the head of the office for information and he informed the United Nations

14 on what was going on.

15 In Medjugorje --

16 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour we should stop here because we have a

17 lot of names now and they are not in the transcript. Maybe my learned

18 colleague will ask the question again about the names of the people.

19 JUDGE LIU: Yes.

20 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Our witness was dealing with at that period of

21 time because they are not in the transcript here.

22 JUDGE LIU: Yes. I think during the testimony the -- it should be

23 in the form of question and answer, rather than the narration by this

24 witness himself. And we missed the names in the transcript.

25 Mr. Seric, would you please ask some questions as for those names

Page 15361

1 so that we could have it correctly registered in the transcript?

2 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

3 Q. Mr. Mandelbaum, you heard this warning and the objection by my

4 learned friend. Please look my way. Let me help you, because this

5 Tribunal is not like tribunals in Bosnia-Herzegovina or in Croatia.

6 Everything needs to be translated and recorded, and if it is recorded in

7 the way you said it, then we will achieve some result. Then your

8 testimony will make sense. However, if your words are not recorded as

9 they should be, then your arrival here is not in vain but it will not be

10 as effective as it would be if your words are recorded properly.

11 Please curb yourself a little, slow down a little, and as

12 Mr. President has just warned you, I have now been rather fast but let me

13 ask you to repeat the names, look at the transcript, and see that the

14 names are recorded just the way you say them.

15 You mentioned Vlado Soljic and others. I don't want to lead you.

16 A. Mr. Vlado Soljic was Defence Minister in Herceg-Bosna. I worked

17 with him for a short while but for a much longer time, it was Mr. Perica

18 Jukic. He was the defence Minister of Herceg-Bosna, who had his

19 headquarters in Posusje. I went to him to ask him to give me a pass for

20 East Mostar and he gave me the pass. Before that, I gave approvals by

21 Mr. Pero Pusic, who was the head of the office for the exchange of

22 prisoners of war in Mostar. I used this pass to go to the Spanish

23 Battalion and he -- they submitted my request to the East Mostar. In the

24 East Mostar, Mr. Safet Orucevic, and I don't know what his position was at

25 the time, Sisic Rusmir and Smail Klaric, who was the mayor of Mostar, some

Page 15362

1 of them submitted the request.

2 I can't see the names in the transcript.

3 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Page 72, row 6.

4 JUDGE LIU: Who is the mayor of Mostar?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the East Mostar, during the war,

6 in 1993, the mayor was Smail Klaric, and his deputy was Rusmir Cisic. And

7 in the West Mostar, at the time, I believe that the mayor was -- he is

8 currently the principal of the school of education.

9 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter absolutely didn't catch the

10 name.

11 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Mr. Mandelbaum, did you make rounds of the detention centres in

13 the West Mostar and in the East Mostar?

14 A. I made rounds of the detention centres, first in the East Mostar,

15 I visited my comrades who used to work with me, Mr. Slachko Sesar,

16 Dr. Vlaho, I paid a visit to them, to see how they were. I had a chat

17 with them, and after that, I visited in the West Mostar, I visited the

18 Heliodrom several times. I was in Dretelj once. I was in Ljubuski once.

19 I couldn't really go to Ljubuski. Ljubuski was very inaccessible because

20 it was under the control of the political instances directly reporting to

21 Mate Boban but in East Mostar I must have entered the prison more than ten

22 times. In the East Mostar, I visited the detainees on the wish of their

23 parents who contacted me. I brought them packages. I brought them

24 dressing materials, medicines. There was a lad there whose last name was

25 Ratkovic, and I can't remember his first name, who had been wounded and

Page 15363












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13 English transcripts.













Page 15364

1 who was dressed by Dr. Vlaho all the time.

2 JUDGE LIU: We have to wait a little bit.

3 Yes. You may continue.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I also visited the hospital in the

5 East Mostar, as well as the hospital in the West Mostar, and on one

6 occasion, I was appointed as the President of the council of the hospital,

7 that's when Dr. Lang came to Mostar, to East Mostar, and to Nova Bila to

8 West Mostar. And the West Mostar at the time the health minister of

9 Herceg-Bosna was Dr. Ivan Sarac. The head of the medical services was Dr.

10 Ivan Bagaric.

11 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Can you please slow down for the record? You may continue.

13 A. I described the situation in the East Mostar to them. I told them

14 that there were thousands of shells falling there and that over 60 of

15 their shells fell on the hospital, that the children are very thin there,

16 undernourished, that there were no medicines and the two of them, together

17 with Dr. Sandrk who was there at the time, expressed their humanity and

18 they told me that all the drugs that I -- that they needed they would give

19 to me to take to them. The doctors who were in the East Mostar at the

20 time, it was Zlatko Sisic, Dr. Milavic, whatever they asked for I would

21 bring to the hospital to them.

22 In addition to that, I tried to -- I will stop if you want me to

23 stop.

24 Q. No, just slow down.

25 A. In addition to that, I tried to help some patients by bringing

Page 15365

1 them a token present such as a chocolate bar, a facial cream for a blond

2 girl who had lost her leg. After the end of the war, as a token of my

3 gratitude, I took Dr. Ivan Sarac to Israel to visit my wife, who lives

4 there, and we visited Israel together. I saw that people wanted to live

5 together and that could clearly be seen after the end of the war in 1994,

6 when we organised the humanitarian aid.

7 JUDGE DIARRA: [Interpretation] We have problems. What the witness

8 is saying and what is written is two different things. He said that

9 Dr. visited his country, Israel and that his wife lives there. Can he

10 clarify that?

11 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation]

12 Q. Witness, you have painted a picture for us in the courtroom,

13 especially for the Trial Chamber, and the whole -- this whole story that

14 you have told us, can you tell us what Vinko Martinovic represented to

15 you? What was he to you?

16 A. I told you that the Jewish community in Mostar is an institution

17 and for that reason, we worked only with those who were on the top of the

18 government. Stela, who was at the time a soldier, he was the leader of a

19 unit, he didn't represent anything to us, especially not a reliable

20 partner so we did not see the need to turn to him for a simple reason. I

21 didn't expect any help coming from him. It is possible that if any of the

22 Jews had been incarcerated in any of the detention centres outside, such

23 as the Heliodrom or the Dretelj, I would have turned to him, but

24 fortunately, nobody was there and we didn't have any problems, and for

25 that reason --

Page 15366

1 Q. What places are you talking about? If somebody had been

2 incarcerated then you would have turned to him for help. Can you please

3 wait for me to finish my question, sir? I don't understand what you're

4 talking about.

5 A. This is what I wanted to say. If any of the Jews had been, for

6 example, imprisoned at the Heliodrom, I would have turned to Slobodan

7 Bozic. If any of the Jews had been found -- had been missing and had not

8 been at the Heliodrom, I would have paid a visit to all the ATG units to

9 see if that person was there. So if anything had happened, I would have

10 turned to him. So if -- I'm not saying that he was running any of the

11 camps but I would turned to him. That's what I'm saying. And thank God

12 this did not happen.

13 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I have no further

14 questions. I have brought my direct examination to an end. Thank you

15 very much.

16 JUDGE LIU: Any cross-examination?

17 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes, Your Honour.

18 Cross-examined by Mr. Poriouvaev:

19 Q. Mr. Mandelbaum, I am a trial attorney and I will ask you some

20 questions which are stemming from the examination-in-chief by your

21 counsel. So you keep -- now you still keep the position of the president

22 of the Jewish society of Mostar, right?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Mr. Mandelbaum, did you happen to have any contacts with a

25 representative of international organisations, such as ECMM, Red Cross?

Page 15367

1 A. I've had contacts.

2 Q. Did you make any official statements to them?

3 A. Throughout the entire war, shall I start?

4 Q. Yes, yes, but very briefly, please. My question was very brief.

5 A. During the war, I had contacts with all the organisations starting

6 with Mr. Mazowiecki, who came to Mostar in 1995 and 1996 with the Red

7 Cross with the High Representative --

8 Q. I'm sorry, I'm not of your nationality or Croat nationality so I

9 don't understand the language you're speaking so I need sometime for the

10 translation?

11 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Mandelbaum I notice you have to wear glasses to

12 read and I think you take them off when you're looking around. If you

13 look, if you put your glasses on and you look at the monitor, there is a

14 little black dot there and that indicates that the translation has

15 completed. Now, unfortunately, you'll have to keep your glasses on but if

16 you just follow the progress of that dot, we won't have to keep

17 interrupting you, because believe me what you say is extremely valuable

18 to this Tribunal because you're one of the very few people who is a native

19 of Mostar but who wasn't involved in the conflict. So would you bear that

20 in mind? We really want to hear what you have to say. It's important for

21 Mr. Martinovic and it's important for the Tribunal.

22 JUDGE LIU: And I think most of the questions require a simple

23 answer, that is yes or no. If the Prosecution would like to pursue it on

24 that direction, he will ask you more questions about it. If you have

25 something to explain to us, just do it in a very concise way.

Page 15368

1 Mr. Prosecutor, would you please repeat your question?


3 Q. Did you make any official statements which were relevant to your

4 activities as a president of the Jewish society and the situation in

5 Mostar and the whole Bosnia and Herzegovina with the Jewish population?

6 A. I did not issue any statements but on several occasions, I spoke

7 to all the representatives, the High Representative, the Red Cross and

8 others.

9 Q. My next question will be: Is it correct that there were 2200 Jews

10 in the whole Bosnia-Herzegovina and 1.000 of them left? During the war, I

11 mean.

12 A. This could be correct, because today in Bosnia and Herzegovina,

13 there are 995 Jews living.

14 Q. And what was the reason why the Jewish population had to leave

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

16 A. Economic reasons. People were afraid of war. They didn't know

17 what to expect. The year 1941 was still fresh in the memory of a lot of

18 people. In addition to that, a number of people left Bosnia and

19 Herzegovina at the time because they thought, and they expected, that the

20 war would last only three or four months, like in Croatia. I said Jews

21 were not expelled from Bosnia-Herzegovina. Very few of them were

22 imprisoned. And they lived just like all the other citizens of Bosnia and

23 Herzegovina and they lived in the areas inhabited by the majority

24 population.

25 Q. Thank you. Is it correct, Witness, that your Jewish community,

Page 15369

1 and you as the President of the Jewish community, tried to -- just to have

2 a neutral position in this armed conflict?

3 A. Not that we tried, but we managed to do that. The only convoys

4 carrying food and medicines coming to Mostar were Jewish convoys. Except

5 for those sent by Europe via the UNHCR.

6 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like, Mr. Usher, to show the witness

7 Exhibit 796.3. It's an ECMM report. It's in English but if you allow me,

8 I can read it and with the assistance of the interpreter, maybe

9 Mr. Mandelbaum can explain some things which may derive from this

10 statement. Just one moment.

11 Q. This will be page 2 of this document, and item 222.

12 A. Can you please translate this? I can't read English.

13 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, with your leave, may I read a part

14 of this document to the witness?

15 JUDGE LIU: Yes, yes, you may.


17 Q. "We met Zoran Mandelbaum, head of the Jewish community in Mostar

18 yesterday, he said, "Jews were the first to provide aid to Mostar in 1992

19 through the Jewish non-governmental organisation"?

20 JUDGE CLARK: It says "East Mostar."


22 Q. "Non-governmental organisation "La Beno Valencia." They still

23 provide help to all three sides. Jews are neutral in this conflict, with

24 a wish and programme to live in a unified Mostar. Jews of Mostar are

25 completely assimilated, often mix-married. There were 2200 Jews in

Page 15370

1 Bosnia-Herzegovina before the war. 1.000 have left. Most of them are old

2 and retired people."

3 Witness, is it correct?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Is it your statement?

6 A. Yes. I don't know who it was given to but I must have spoken to

7 somebody because I had a lot of excerpts from papers, American papers,

8 Dutch papers, and I have a tape here, taped by Annette Basalel [phoen].

9 She is the director of the Dutch television. So I would be happy if you

10 watched this because it features the citizens of Mostar. It -- maybe it

11 would give you the impression of the situation as it was in Mostar at the

12 time.

13 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mandelbaum. Maybe the Trial Chamber will make such

14 kind of decision.

15 A. Thank you.

16 Q. So Mr. Mandelbaum, there were already problems during the Serb

17 aggression in Mostar, right?

18 A. Absolutely. When the Serb aggression on Mostar started, or rather

19 the JNA, we did not know what would befall the Jews, whether we would also

20 be the object of the aggression or whether it would only be the Croats and

21 the Muslims who were together at the time, they fought side by side, and

22 embraced similar idea, just as it happened in World War II.

23 Q. Witness, is it correct that you first saw Mr. Vinko Martinovic,

24 Stela, in the period when there was a Serb aggression in Mostar?

25 A. Absolutely. I did not know him before the war. I had never seen

Page 15371

1 him. And when I went to see him, it was absolutely the first time that I

2 had laid my eyes on him. I've already explained the reason.

3 Q. Thank you very much. No need to repeat just your statement, your

4 testimony. Did you have an impression that Mr. Vinko Martinovic was a

5 sort of commander? Because you were directed to him.

6 A. Absolutely. Vinko Martinovic enjoyed the authority, and he was a

7 commander because behind him there were three men standing, and behind me

8 there were also three men standing. Even though he was casually dressed

9 and barefoot, as I have already said.

10 Q. Was he a HOS commander at that time or commander of some other

11 unit when you saw him first?

12 A. Yes. He was a HOS commander. I mean it was common knowledge in

13 Mostar. I never asked him to see any papers, but everybody said that

14 Stela was the HOS commander and that he was number 1 there. It was a

15 semi-private unit.

16 Q. And what about 1993? During the military conflict between the

17 ABIL and HVO, do you know what position did Mr. Vinko Martinovic occupy?

18 A. No, I don't think I could tell you that. I know that at that time

19 I used to see his men. I never came across him during the conflict in 1993

20 and 1994. It was only when the conflict was over that I went to see him,

21 and that is when I saw him, with a professor of the Rome, University of

22 Rome who wanted to write a book who had come to write a book about Mostar.

23 However --

24 Q. Witness, let's stop at that. So you just told the Trial Chamber

25 that you saw Mr. Martinovic people. What do you mean by that? And where

Page 15372

1 did you see his people in Mostar?

2 A. I used to see his men in the streets of Mostar, on Avenija, I saw

3 them walk up and down. Because you see, Mostar is a small town. In

4 Mostar, you know who slaps whom and when. Let alone such things. And I

5 could see those people because they behaved very arrogantly and their

6 insignia were somewhat different than those of the HVO.

7 Q. And why did you know that they were Stela's people or Vinko

8 Martinovic's people?

9 A. Well, I knew it because I used to see them, in 1992, at the

10 headquarters and standing watch in front of the military hospital where

11 his headquarters was.

12 Q. You just told the Trial Chamber that they behaved somehow

13 arrogantly. Do you know what kind of reputation did they have in Mostar

14 in 1993?

15 A. In 1993, as before that, those men were, how shall I call it,

16 local mobsters, local gangsters, you never knew what they might spring on

17 you or what they might do at any point in time. They -- they had some

18 daily schedules, they sat around, I never sat down with them, but I used

19 to see them in the restaurant there in those coffee bars there along the

20 Avenija, where they would --

21 Q. And they continued to behave in this same way in 1993, right?

22 A. Listen, I didn't see them harm anyone. Let me tell you that,

23 right from the beginning. I did not see that but one could see how

24 boisterous, how arrogant they were and from that one could conclude that

25 they felt as the real authority there, but when we would be bringing in

Page 15373

1 the humanitarian aid, never once did they try to prevent the passage of

2 the humanitarian aid on where we loaded the trucks, when people which --

3 the parcels, that is, which people in West Mostar were sending to their

4 friends on the east side. They never stopped it and even once a van came

5 driven by one of his combatants and they had prepared some ten parcels or

6 so for their people. I must say I feared that perhaps there were

7 explosives in them but thank God it all went fine. I never dared of

8 course asked them what they were sending and to whom they were sending

9 them. Had they wanted to or rather had Stela wanted to, he could have

10 prevented the complete humanitarian action of the Jewish community in

11 Mostar.

12 On one occasion, though, we did have a problem but it did not

13 originate with Stela. It was with another commander, the commander of the

14 civilian police at a checkpoint, where the separation line was. And then

15 I had to -- to ask the late President Tudjman for help and after that it

16 was all right.

17 Q. Thank you. You said that those soldiers, I mean Vinko

18 Martinovic's soldiers, had a lot of power. What did you mean by that?

19 Power over the population of West Mostar?

20 A. I believe they had powers, not from the official -- not granted to

21 them, not conferred upon them by the official authorities but because they

22 had taken the power in their own hands. I think that the police could

23 have very little say because everybody was armed. There was a curfew so

24 that one never knew who could do what.

25 Q. Witness, you just testified today that the expulsion of Muslims in

Page 15374

1 Mostar started on the 20th of April. Who started the expulsion of Muslims

2 on the 20th of April in Mostar?

3 A. The HVO. Listen, the Muslims and Croats, in all units, and the

4 same goes for Stela's unit, were the majority. I'm referring to the foot

5 soldiers. The commanders were Croats. When the expulsions started on the

6 20th of April, it was done under the pretext that they had come from east

7 Herzegovina, from Nevesinje, from Gacko, they had taken Serb flats, so

8 that Croats from -- who had come from Bosnia had no where to live. And

9 for that reason --

10 Q. Thank you very much. I'm satisfied with your response to my

11 question now. And my second question will be now: You also testified

12 that the mass expulsion of Muslims started after the 9th of May, and who

13 performed that mass expulsion of Muslims from Mostar -- West Mostar?

14 A. The HVO. As a matter of fact, on the -- after the 9th of May,

15 soldiers came to my house. They came and they were masked and I guess

16 that those two who had come from it my place they were not from Mostar I'm

17 sure about that. Where they had come from I have no idea but they had HVO

18 uniforms with some red arm bands and they had their faces painted and they

19 were for instance those who expelled people. I was staying with my

20 mother. She was 92 years old and she was afraid. From the house where

21 she lived, all Muslims of a younger age were expelled, only those who

22 could not move on their own were left behind.

23 Q. Thank you.

24 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour, I have finished my

25 cross-examination.

Page 15375

1 JUDGE LIU: Well, we still have five minutes to go but since there

2 will be re-examination and Judges' questions, we decided to stop here.

3 Witness, I'm afraid that you have to come back tomorrow because we

4 have not finished your testimony yet. As I did to other witnesses, I have

5 to warn you that during your stay in The Hague, you are still under the

6 oath. So do not talk to neighbour about your testimony and do not let

7 anybody talk to you about it. Do you understand?

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Oh, yes, fully, yes.

9 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We will resume tomorrow afternoon.

10 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

11 6.56 p.m., to be reconvened on Wednesday,

12 the 11th day of September, 2002, at 2.15 p.m.