1 Thursday, 12 October 2006
2 [Closed session]
11 Pages 8280-8322 redacted. Closed session.
23 [Open session]
24 THE REGISTRAR: We are in open session, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please proceed, Mr. Scott.
1 MR. SCOTT: If I can -- I'll just pause, Your Honour, because of
2 the noise.
3 Q. Witness BU, in order to move as efficiently this morning as
4 possible, I want to direct your attention, please, straight away to the
5 bundle of documents that have been put before you. And if you can find in
6 that bundle of documents what is marked as 09713. It should be the first
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. If you turn to the document itself, I see you're looking at a
10 cover page at the moment, but if you look at the actual document behind
11 that tab -- you're not on the correct document, sir. If you can find
12 9713, it should be the --
13 A. It's in English.
14 Q. So, that's not the right --
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, you forgot to give us
16 a brief summary of the statement.
17 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, just one moment. Let me sort out
18 one thing at a time here. For some reason - my apology, Your Honour -
19 there is not a tab. It is the first document in the bundle, but for some
20 reason there is not a tab.
21 Your Honour, this witness will testify to events in Prozor
22 municipality. His full statement covers a period from 1992 into the
23 latter -- to the middle part, or so, of 1993, starting with events in that
24 municipality, with particular focus on events in the village of Toscanica.
25 I don't want to say any more than that based upon the protective
1 measures in terms of the particular village. He will concentrate in
2 particular on events around that area, in particular during the period
3 April 1993, concerning an attack on that village and the expulsion of
4 Muslims from that village.
5 Q. Sir, you should have before you -- my apology, there was no --
6 there was no tab to that particular item. But if you have now before you
7 P 09713, you will see there that if you see -- if you look at the
8 document, you will see first that there is an English version and then
9 behind that there is a Bosnian version. Do you see that?
10 A. Yes, I found it.
11 Q. Sir, you gave an interview to an investigator from the ICTY on the
12 2nd of October, 1991. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes, I think so, but I can't remember. I know I gave an interview
14 in Mostar. I remember that, but I can't remember the date.
15 Q. All right.
16 A. It's possible. I won't say that's not the case.
17 Q. At that time, sir, a written statement was prepared in the English
18 language and interpreted to you in your own language. Is that correct?
19 A. No, it wasn't read out to me. It wasn't necessary, since the
20 interpreter interpreted and it was typed out immediately. It wasn't
21 necessary for me to read it out. I had faith in the person who had
22 transcribed what was said. There were certain changes, perhaps, or
23 certain things were perhaps taken out of context or it wasn't written
24 correctly. For example, it says, "up until the liberation of Jablanica,"
25 it should have said "up until the liberation of Toscanica" --
1 Q. One step at a time. Listen to my question, please. One step at a
2 time. I'll ask you if there are any corrections that you've wanted to
3 make, or that you want to make today.
4 Directing your attention -- in the English version, if you look to
5 the last page of the English version of the document -- it might not be on
6 the last page. But you'll see there -- on the bottom of the first page,
7 did you put your signature?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. All right. And on each of the pages, if you leaf through the
10 English version, did you put your initials on each page?
11 A. Yes. Yes, that's correct. That's my signature.
12 Q. Now, since coming to The Hague a day or two ago, were you provided
13 a Bosnian language version of your statement?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And did you read and review that statement? And again, I'm
16 specifically referring now to the Bosnian version of your statement, since
17 coming to The Hague.
18 A. Yes, yes, I ahead it.
19 Q. And I'm not asking you now what the corrections are. My question
20 is simply: Are there any corrections that you would like to make to your
22 A. Yes. Yes, there are corrections.
23 Q. All right. Let me ask you now --
24 MR. SCOTT: For the assistance of everyone in the courtroom, Your
25 Honour, since this statement was not prepared with paragraph numbers, I've
1 circulated a version of the material which is identical in content, except
2 that paragraph numbers have been assigned for ease of reference.
3 Q. Witness, you will see there in front of you, it should be in your
4 bundle, a copy of your statement both in English and B/C/S that has
5 numbers written on the side of the paragraphs. Do you have that? All
7 Let me direct your attention, please, first of all, to paragraph
8 number 4, if you can find that. In that paragraph, sir, is the correction
9 you wish to make that you actually completed school -- your school in the
10 village or hamlet called Hudutsko?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. If I can direct your attention, please, to paragraph number 17.
13 In that paragraph there was use of the word, and reference in the first
14 sentence there was reference to the word or phrase, "heavy artillery."
15 And you wish to change that to "mortars."
16 A. Yes, there were two mortars. There was no heavy artillery. Heavy
17 artillery is a very broad concept.
18 Q. All right. Let me next direct your attention, please, to
19 paragraph 35. Do you wish to correct, sir, that it was not Nijaz Gagula
20 who went into the village with you on that day?
21 A. Yes, he stayed there. You can see -- well, he was with me but he
22 remained with another group because we had split up. He set off in one
23 direction and we headed off in the direction of Toscanica.
24 Q. Other than Mr. Gagula, did two other men actually accompany you
25 into the village itself?
1 A. Yes. Mirsad Vila and Dzevad Piralic.
2 Q. Thank you. If I can next ask you to look at paragraph 40. I
3 believe this is the one -- the correction you were about to say a few
4 minutes ago. Actually, this was an error in the -- not in the English
5 statement but in the translation that was then provided. Was there a
6 misuse of the reference to the liberation of Jablanica?
7 A. Yes, I think there's a similar error. I was in Toscanica last
8 time, but the mistake was when it says Jablanica was liberated instead of
9 Toscanica. But we'll get to that mistake, too.
10 Q. Yes, but the correct reference in terms of the liberation, the
11 location was Toscanica and not Jablanica.
12 A. Yes. The last time I was in Toscanica, not in Jablanica.
13 Q. Thank you. And then finally can I ask you, please, to look at
14 paragraph 41. And at the end of the next-to-last sentence of that
15 paragraph are the words -- it ends with the words "all of them were
16 executed by a gun-fire." Do you wish to correct that by saying "all were
17 killed in Toscanica"?
18 A. Yes. They were all killed in Toscanica. When an exhumation was
19 performed, they asked me how many dead there were in Toscanica and I said
20 five. I didn't mention any names. But later there was some confusion and
21 it seemed that everyone had been killed by gun-fire. One of them hadn't
22 even been killed when these people were killed. That's the woman whom
23 we'll deal with later.
24 Q. All right. Thank you very much. And, sir, taking those
25 corrections, then, in mind - and there will be some other items that you
1 will expand upon in the further parts of your testimony today when we get
2 to those particular parts - but with those corrections in mind, sir, with
3 this statement, then, if I were to take you today through all the matters
4 in your statement, does this statement, which has been marked as Exhibit P
5 09713, would this be your testimony?
6 A. Yes, the same questions and 3.000 others.
7 Q. Very well. Now, sir, I'm going to go very quickly through the
8 first part of your statement, and, as I've explained to you before, the
9 Judges have your entire statement. It's not that other parts of your
10 statement are not important, but because of time and because the Judges
11 have your entire statement, I will focus -- I want to direct your
12 attention to particular items so we can hopefully finish your testimony
14 I do want to direct your attention, please, to paragraph number
15 9 --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, I'm not sure I agree
17 with that kind of procedure. You confirmed the entirety of his written
18 declaration through the witness, so there's no need to draw our attention
19 to the different parts of it. We'll read it, and I think that the best
20 thing would be for you to go on to the documents. There are a lot of
21 documents, so why not ask him about the documents rather than have him
22 re-state what he's already said in the statement.
23 MR. SCOTT: There are certain points of clarification. The way
24 we've handled the 92 ter witnesses so far, many of them, there are certain
25 points of clarification or further explanation that the witness can give
1 or corrections that -- additions that he's made. And that's -- I'm going
2 to ask him about those specific items without, in fact, going through the
3 entire statement.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Counsel Ibrisimovic.
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I
6 don't agree with what Mr. Scott has said. Corrections are one thing;
7 additions are another. And that is quite contrary to your guidelines. If
8 we look at the transcript of the 25th of September, page 7159 we can't add
9 things to the statement. That is why I object to having new elements
10 added in the course of this procedure.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, this results from the
12 proofing sessions, and he made five corrections during that time. Now I
13 think you should go into discussing the documents. So I disagree with the
14 method of asking direct questions again. So either you're going to give
15 up that line and we're going to the viva voce testimony, but we can't have
16 the advantages of one without the inconveniences of the other.
17 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, because of the shortness of time, I
18 don't want to take the time to argue that with the Chamber, with all
19 respect. I must respectfully disagree. Whatever can be done by viva voce
20 can be done by 92 ter. Part can be taken in written statement; part can
21 be taken in viva voce. The rule itself says "in whole or part." We can
22 expedite these proceedings --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no, I don't agree at all.
24 Absolutely not. So I am telling you to look at the documents, to go to
25 the documents that you wish to present through the witness, because
1 otherwise this will be a way of getting in by the backdoor new elements
2 with respect to the written statement. So either you're going to adopt
3 this procedure, which has the advantage of gaining time, or you're going
4 to decide to do viva voce, in which case you will ask the witness
5 questions again on the basis of his written statement.
6 MR. SCOTT: Well, Your Honour, I won't -- because of the time
7 factor I won't belabour it today. I think that that's changed already
8 from the practice that we've adopted in the past few weeks, and I think
9 it's contrary to the jurisprudence of the Tribunal and to the rule. With
10 the greatest respect, there is nothing inconsistent about taking part of
11 the witness --
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Jurisprudence does not apply to
13 Rule 92 ter. It's a new rule and regulation, so there has been no
14 jurisprudence on that up until the present.
15 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am here to control the
17 examination and I am telling you now to ask questions based on the
19 MR. SCOTT: I will do that, Your Honour, and obviously we will
20 have to re-assess our approach to witnesses and maybe not use 92 ter
21 procedure at all, which unfortunately will slow the procedure down
22 considerably. So I regret this development, but I don't want to take any
23 more time today to deal with it. We will re-assess whether we call any
24 witnesses on 92 ter, then. They may all have to be viva voce.
25 Q. If I can then ask, Witness, in light of the Judge's instructions,
1 if you can please turn to Exhibit 1839 in your bundle.
2 MR. SCOTT: One moment, please.
3 Q. If I can direct your attention, sir, to the -- I believe it would
4 be the third page of the Bosnian version or it may be the second page. In
5 the Bosnian version, it is the second page. You can find the words, the
6 paragraph starting "Towards Jablanica there is the village of Lizoperci."
7 If you can find that, please, and tell me when you've found that. You
8 have it, sir?
9 A. Yes. "Towards Jablanica is the village of Lizoperci." I've found
11 Q. Looking at those two paragraphs, then, the paragraph
12 starting "Towards Jablanica ..." and the next paragraph which starts with
13 the words "Hudutsko" -- excuse me, "Hudutsko is a purely Croatian
14 village ..."
15 A. "... with 20 conscript-eligible men, conscripts armed with infantry
16 weapons and 60-millimetre mortars. The village of Krevici, towards Konjic
17 municipality, has around 30 conscripts armed with infantry weapons, and it
18 is assumed that they have a gun," et cetera.
19 Q. Sir, you skipped the line that says: "Toscanica has 80 Muslim
20 houses with about 30 conscription-eligible men armed with infantry weapons
21 and 60-millimetre mortars." My specific question to you, sir, if you can
22 the Judges, is that statement true, or was it true in April 1993?
23 A. No, absolutely not. It's not correct at all. There were no
24 mortars, there were no recoilless guns, nothing. The only thing that is
25 true is that there were that number of men, of conscription-eligible men.
1 That's true.
2 Q. Was there, as of April 1993, on the Muslim side any military
3 activity in the village of Toscanica, other than the fact, as you say,
4 there were conscription-eligible men located there or who lived there?
5 A. No military activities, none at all in the village of Toscanica.
6 In April there were civilians. We organised ourselves as civilians
7 because there was tension everywhere and they'd started taking people
8 off. So you couldn't get the right information. People were afraid, and
9 there were -- was a certain amount of organisation, that, if they should
10 attack, the elderly and infirm would be taken out of the village.
11 Q. Let me direct your attention next, please, to Exhibit P 01955.
12 MR. KARNAVAS: And before we get to that, just a small
13 clarification, Your Honour, and I don't mean to disrupt the proceedings,
14 but in that one passage that the Prosecutor pointed to the gentleman,
15 there was a compound, you know, factual basis to that statement. One
16 dealt with -- for instance, it says, "armed with light weapons," and then
17 the other one was to the 82-millimetre mortars. So there are two -- we're
18 talking about two types of weapons. He answered with respect to the
19 mortars, but his -- but if you look at his answer, it would appear that
20 he's also saying no to the light weapons. And the question is: Is that
21 so, that there are no armed men with light weapons? Because later on it
22 would appear that if they're organising themselves, that there might be
23 some light -- so we need some clarification, just step by step. That's
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, fine.
1 Could you make that precision, Mr. Scott.
2 MR. SCOTT:
3 Q. Sir, in reference -- going back -- I had directed you on to
4 another document, but if you can find your way back to the previous
5 document, if you still have that.
6 In reference to -- you said just a moment ago that as of April
7 1993 on the Muslim side, there was no military activity in the village of
8 Toscanica. Can you tell us what the status was in terms of any weapons or
9 fire-arms in the village at that time?
10 A. Well, I don't know exactly. I need precision. What day,
11 roughly? Because towards the end, around the 15th of April, there was
12 several of us who had armed ourselves privately and went to Jablanica, to
13 the BH army, which was TO.
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. And I was among them.
16 Q. Prior to that time, prior to approximately the middle of April,
17 what was the status, if you will, of military weapons in the village of
18 Toscanica, prior to the middle of April?
19 A. As far as I remember, there were four rifles. One was a
20 single-barrel hunting rifle, one barrel; the other had two barrels; and
21 the third was a carbine. And they were -- those two rifles were
22 confiscated later. And the same man had a carbine and another rifle.
23 When he bought the carbine, he'd already had this hunting rifle because he
24 was a hunter. So they're the standard type of rifles that I know. Now,
25 perhaps somebody had some weapons that I didn't know about in the village.
1 Q. All right. If we can go on, then, please, to the next exhibit
2 where we started before, P 01955.
3 A. 501955; is that right?
4 Q. Yes, please. Sir, if you can direct your attention to the first
5 page of that document, and in the Bosnian version it may, in fact, only be
6 one page. I'm directing your attention to the first few sentences. It
8 "We continue according to plan. We have entered Slatina. ABiH,
9 Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, forces are retreating into Donja Slatina --"
10 A. I can't find that. Can you wait a minute, please. May I take a
11 moment. I apologise, but I can't find it.
12 Q. I'm sorry, I thought you had it. Do you have it now?
13 A. Yes, I found it.
14 Q. Again, saying:
15 "We continue according to plan. We have entered Slatina. ABiH,
16 Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, forces are retreating into Donja Slatina.
17 Grevici are being surrounded. Lizoperci asked to surrender when they
18 retreated into our Hudutsko. When those from Toscanica heard about this,
19 they asked if the same applied to them. We have blocked Gornji and Donja
20 Duznari [phoen] to prevent defections from Slovici and in order to conduct
21 searches. We targeted artillery support at Slatina."
22 Now, sir, this is a report dated the 18th of April, 1993. Can you
23 assist the Judges by indicating, is that an accurate statement of what was
24 happening in the area of Toscanica on about the 18th of April, 1993?
25 A. Yes, there is truth here but not everything is true and correct
1 here. Somebody wrote this arbitrarily. There are elements of the truth
2 there, yes. "Three days ago the forces were on Grevici, Toscanica," and
3 so on, that's true. But this thing with Slatina, I was at Slatina myself
4 when Slatina was attacked. Gornja Slatina was attacked, in fact. It was
5 attacked in the morning without -- it was a surprise attack, and one of
6 our fighters was wounded. His name is Husrep Mujo. He works in the post
7 office but was left without a leg, and he was the only person in the BH
8 army who fell casualty.
9 But Gornja Slatina was free for two days, or rather a day and a
10 night, because our flag, the lily flag, was at the point -- at a point up
11 by Gornja Slatina, because our reconnaissance men told us that Gornja
12 Slatina was empty. And my brother was among them. And at that point,
13 Djulaga Bajramovic, from Lizoperci, swam across the other side of lake
14 Jablanica to Slatina, and he informed the army first that Gornja Slatina
15 was empty, that there were no HVO soldiers in it.
16 Q. Let me ask you to pause there, please. Will you assist me, assist
17 the Judges, in looking at -- in the English translation, and I think if
18 you look, if everyone in the courtroom looks at the B/C/S original you'll
19 see it. The reference is to Toscanica and not to a place called Tosani.
20 Is that correct? The correct name of the village is Toscanica. Is that
21 correct, sir?
22 A. Yes, you're right, sir.
23 Q. Now, it makes reference to -- it says that the village of
24 Lizoperci asked to surrender. Was that true? And what did you know about
1 A. No, Lizoperci did not surrender, were not supposed to surrender.
2 They held the position at the dam throughout. And when the attack
3 started, the locals left Pudutsko before the locals of Lizoperci because
4 they were promised that nothing would happen, that it was just Toscanica
5 that might be taken and that they would liquidate them.
6 Q. Well, who promised them?
7 A. That nothing would happen to the locals. The command in Prozor
8 promised them that. I don't know who the main commander was. I know that
9 he was commander of the military police. I think he was Jozo Nestrovic.
10 From 1992, from when the HVO was established, I know that. Now, who the
11 main person was, I don't know.
12 Q. All right. So that it's clear --
13 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, if I may be permitted. I assume we have
14 now moved back into viva voce mode. This does not seem to be examination
15 about documents.
16 MR. SCOTT: It's an examination of what happened in Lizoperci
17 which I just asked him which is in the document.
18 MR. MURPHY: Well, Your Honour, that's just -- that's just a
19 device. The witness has never seen this document before. He can't
20 authenticate it. What's happening is that Mr. Scott is defying the Trial
21 Chamber's instruction, using the document as a pretext to conduct an
22 examination-in-chief. If he wishes to switch to viva voce mode, that's
23 one thing. But I think that, as Mr. Ibrisimovic said, I think the Defence
24 is entitled to know what form of evidence we're receiving.
25 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, we're referring to the documents the same
1 way that we've been using documents with all the witnesses. We direct
2 them to parts that relate to their evidence or to their testimony and ask
3 them if they can give further explanation or confirm the content of the
4 document. This is exactly what we've been doing. And we seem today, for
5 some reason, be making up the rules all over again.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No, no. You have the right to
7 ask the question on the basis of what happened in the village, and he said
8 spontaneously that some things in the document were correct and others
9 were not. So you can ask him what was not correct and what was exact in
10 the document.
11 MR. SCOTT: All right.
12 Q. Well, if you can explain, sir, when you say the command -- you
13 made reference in your answer a moment ago to the command in Prozor.
14 Which command were you talking about, the command of which armed force or
15 military organisation? What command in Prozor, sir?
16 A. Well, at that time when that was going on, I didn't know what
17 command it was. Everybody commanded. One would have to go into details.
18 Our people, together with the Croats, moved towards Kupres, to the line
19 there, because the JNA army was there. Large forces amassed there who
20 were expected -- which were expected to attack Prozor at any time. And
21 the Croats asked us to go together with them to set up a defence. And
22 when we were successful in that, in putting up a defence, an order came
23 one day - now, who the order came from, that should be investigated - one
24 day prior to the attack on Prozor. And it was to the effect that all the
25 Muslims up at the line should be captured. But some of our men down
1 there, from our village in actual fact, noticed. His name was Ilaz Letic,
2 in fact, and Vila Nezir. They noticed this and informed the others. And
3 two platoons managed to pull out through Varvara, Kovacevo Polje, Gornji
4 Toscani, and arrived in the village of Sovici. And from Sovici, they came
5 to Jablanica to inform the others about the situation when Prozor was
7 Q. All right. Let's go back, please, then to -- with all that in
8 mind, to the exhibit you have in front of you now, 1955. Is there
9 anything else that you either -- you say, in that version, a report that
10 you say is correct that you want to confirm or is there anything else that
11 you say is incorrect?
12 A. Well, it's not absolutely correct. It can be a Croat, if you
13 like. I don't mind. Half of it's the truth; half of this isn't. Look at
14 Slatina, for example. They claim that they took control of Slatina. Now
15 I'm going to tell you the truth about Slatina. We, that is to say, the BH
16 army, withdrew from Gornja Slatina for one sole reason: It withdrew to
17 the hills above the dam closing off the Jablanica lake towards Doljani,
18 and we did that because there was danger from the village of Hudutsko,
19 because a PAM was set up there --
20 Q. Let me stop you, sir --
21 A. And a death cellar, too.
22 Q. Let me stop you, sir. What's a PAM?
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. What I
24 would like to know first, at the time, during that period, were you a
25 member of the Territorial Defence or were you a member of the ABiH?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time I was a member of the TO
2 of Jablanica, because the 44th Mountain Brigade of Jablanica was being
3 established. It hadn't been actually established, but that's where I was.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Fine. So you were a
5 simple soldier -- or rather, were you a soldier or did you have any
6 special assignments within the unit you belonged to?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I was a reconnaissance man of
8 the 44th Mountain Brigade of Jablanica.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. That means somebody
10 who takes -- you were a dispatch person, messenger, were you, taking
11 telegrams or whatever?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, no, I wasn't. I was -- I went
13 out to search the terrains behind enemy lines. I did reconnaissance work
14 to see whether there were any soldiers, how many, what they were going to
15 do, and so on.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you weren't a messenger boy.
17 You were on a reconnaissance -- doing reconnoitring, reconnoitring the
18 enemy positions; right? Yes, you did reconnaissance work, reconnoitring;
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. Now we see things
22 much more clearly.
23 Proceed, Mr. Scott.
24 MR. SCOTT: I would have covered that in my questions, Your
25 Honour, if I had been allowed to ask them.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And go to the -- you should have
2 gone to the heart of the matter straight away.
3 MR. MURPHY: Yes. I'd like to note for the record that none of
4 this has been provided to the Defence in advance, and we're going to have,
5 what, five minutes, ten minutes each to cross-examine? Your Honour, this
6 is absolutely outrageous. If Mr. Scott wishes to do a direct examination
7 of the witness, he should do so and allow us adequate time to
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, I've done exactly what you've asked me to
10 do. I've gone to the statements. I've asked the witness questions about
11 the documents and he's given answers about the documents. And the
12 previous statement talks about --
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Continue on the documents.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Let me draw your attention --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On the basis of the answers
17 given, I see that he was in charge of reconnaissance and reconnoitring,
18 which did not appear in the written statement. But as a professional, I
19 ask him proper questions to enlighten us.
20 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour, I understand. As I say, I would
21 have asked the similar questions myself. It is copied in his statement --
22 it is indicated in his statement, in paragraph 4, that he was trained in
23 reconnaissance, and that's in his statement.
24 Q. If you can go, please, Witness BU, to Exhibit 1966. If you
25 have -- do you have that, sir?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. A report on the 19th of April, 1993. I just want to direct your
3 attention toward the end of the first paragraph. There is this statement,
4 if you can find it, please. You'll see the reference to the
5 word "Toscanica." It says: "In this action our forces encountered very
6 strong resistance, but the Muslim forces were not organised."
7 My question to you, sir: Can you tell the Judges, was there any
8 military resistance in the village of Toscanica on the 19th of April,
9 1993, as far as you know?
10 A. Well, possibly there was, but on that day when Toscanica was
11 attacked, I wasn't in Toscanica myself, I was in Slatina. That's where I
12 was, Slatina, because there was fighting in Slatina and they attacked
13 Slatina two or three days prior to that. So that's where I was. So when
14 Toscanica was attacked, I heard about it because it's just 2 kilometres
15 from Slatina to Toscanica. Actually, you can hear every shot, let alone
16 grenades exploding and things like that. So, yes, I did hear shooting and
17 I knew what it was all about, what was going on.
18 When I came to Jablanica, there were quite a lot of people from
19 Toscanica, and we asked the commander to go to Toscanica urgently to pull
20 out the civilians. He didn't let us do that, but we nevertheless set out.
21 So we didn't follow his orders, and we left for Toscanica nonetheless.
22 When we arrived in the village of Slatina, we weren't able to
23 cross the bridge at the dam, because you had to pass through Hudutsko to
24 get to Toscanica. So we had to go to Papratsko and take the byroad where
25 we used a boat to go across the lake, and then we saw civilians, women,
1 children fleeing. They were already coming in. And we asked them what
2 the situation was like. They couldn't tell us everything that was going
3 on because there was a lot of crying and people were looking for their
4 nearest and dearest. But we had to get into a boat and go across the lake
5 to the village of Zuglici. This was a mixed village. There were Muslims
6 and Croats living there, and some of them tried, out of revenge, to do
7 something. They said: "Where are the Croats?" or something like that.
8 Q. Let me ask you to pause. Counsel is on his feet.
9 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Karnavas, you have the
12 MR. KARNAVAS: Just very brief. I know that Mr. Scott is under
13 pressure with time, and perhaps this is why, you know, he's having some
14 difficulties, but it would be better, I think, or more convenient for all
15 of us and for the record, if he could just take a short narrative so we
16 know exactly where the person was, just in general, during this period.
17 Because, as you see, here he's commenting about a -- he's being asked to
18 comment about an incident when he's not present, that he hears about. I
19 think it's important for background; otherwise, it's going to be
20 impossible for us to cross-examine. And I understand why the Prosecution
21 hasn't done that. But if we could just take some time, just lay the
22 foundation, and I think it might be much better.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
24 Witness, you answer in great detail when asked a question. Try to
25 concentrate on the questions put to you. The Prosecutor has the right to
1 ask you questions about the facts, about the defence in your village,
2 which was not well organised. And when he asked you that, you should have
3 told us why the organisation was either good or bad. You answered: "I
4 don't know because I was in Slatina," and then you went on and on about
5 what you did in Slatina. This is very interesting; however, we are
6 obliged here to talk about the essential elements of the contents of the
7 documents in order to make the most of your time. So try to answer
8 precisely when the Prosecutor asks you questions.
9 Mr. Scott, you have the floor.
10 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Again, I have to say, the explanation for what he was doing, the
12 background, is in the statement. It's on -- so, again, if everyone wants
13 to refer to the statement, they can refer to the statement. If we can ask
14 questions about the statement, then we can ask questions about the
15 statement. But there, again, the Chamber has the statement in front of
16 them and I'm not allowed to ask questions about it.
17 Q. So let's go to the next document, Witness. If I can ask you,
18 please, to go to 1976, if you can find that, please. Do you have it, sir?
19 A. Yes, I've found it. Yes.
20 Q. In the second paragraph on that document it is reported, it says:
21 "Today we carried out operations in Grevici and Toscanica (they
22 were handed over and searched) and Gornja Slatina was captured and
24 Again, my question to you: Based on your involvement and presence
25 in that area in mid-April 1993, are those statements correct? Or is there
1 any further explanation you can give as to what happened in Toscanica at
2 that time?
3 A. First of all, I have to tell you that this is not the way we
4 should proceed because anybody can take things out of the context. I
5 would have to provide a detailed answer to every question to avoid that.
6 For example, I am now on one page now and then you move me on to another
8 And now, as far as Slatina is concerned, we withdrew from Slatina,
9 as I already told you, and we were already in Donja Slatina. Now you're
10 talking about Toscanica. Toscanica did fall; it was taken. But I wanted
11 to tell you how I arrived in Toscanica and with whom.
12 On that day, we did arrive --
13 Q. We're going to come to that in a moment. We're going to come to
14 that. If I can just ask you, specifically here what it said in the report
15 is, "handed over." Now, is that correct, that the village of Toscanica
16 was handed over on the 19th of April, 1993, and searched?
17 A. No, absolutely not. It was not taken. It was destroyed; it was
18 torched. People were killed in it. If you think that this is the notion
19 of surrendering, then I will agree with you. But first I would have to
20 undergo a psychiatric exam before I did that.
21 Q. Well, let me ask you to go toward the latter part of the document,
22 the same document, but if you go toward the latter part of it, you will
23 see this phrase -- this part, the sentence that says: "Tasks were
24 assigned for tomorrow, and Donja Slatina is the focus of operations." Do
25 you see that?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, you've indicated that your assigned position around this
3 time, you've said several times, was, in fact, in Slatina. Is what is
4 stated here consistent with what you know? In fact, around the 19th of
5 April, was the HVO military operation focussed on Slatina? Or did it
6 become focussed in this stage?
7 A. Yes, but on the 20th -- actually, on the 21st I returned from
8 Toscanica and then I went back to the line. I told you that our line had
9 been set up on the dam at the Jablanica lake, along the hill slope,
10 towards elevation 902, also known as Vita. On the other side of that
11 elevation was Tovarnica, from which you had a view towards Doljani.
12 Q. Let me ask you, please, then to go on to Exhibit P 09696, which
13 I'm told is currently under seal.
14 MR. SCOTT: If we could go into private session, then, Your
15 Honour. I'm not sure --
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Private session, please.
17 MR. SCOTT: Do you have that document, 9696 --
18 [Private session]
11 Pages 8347-8348 redacted. Private session.
13 [Open session]
14 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,
15 Mr. President.
16 MR. SCOTT:
17 Q. Sir, if you've been able to find that document, please --
18 A. Yes, I believe so. This is a list of death certificates.
19 Q. And is this particular exhibit, 8289, a death certificate for the
20 Ramo Vila, whose body you found in Toscanica on the 20th of April, 1993?
21 A. Did you put a question to me?
22 Q. Yes, I did.
23 A. I don't know. It is possible, but I don't know. I don't know
24 where this excerpt has been taken from and who took it from wherever it
25 was taken from.
1 Q. Will you look, please, at the -- excuse me. Would you look,
2 please, at the top of the certificate where it has the date. Do you see
3 the 19th of April, 1993?
4 A. Yes, yes. Yes, I can see that.
5 Q. And can I ask you, please, to look, then, at Exhibit 8477.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Is this a death certificate for a man named Ibro Piralic?
8 A. It says so here, but I don't agree with this. This is something
9 that somebody did on their own. And why they did that, I don't know. I'm
10 telling you one thing, and I claim it is correct. And you can show me
11 anything. I suppose that these documents were drafted for some benefits,
12 because they were all buried after their bodies had been exhumed, and it
13 was after the war. I don't know what you're talking about.
14 Q. Yes, that's in your statement, sir. Did you find -- but you
15 confirm that you found the body of Ibro Piralic in the village of
16 Toscanica on the 20th of April, 1993?
17 A. Yes, I can confirm that a hundred per cent. I found him and I can
18 tell you exactly where he was and how his body was standing. His body was
19 covered in a long blue coat which was pierced in at least ten places.
20 There were bullet holes, and that's why I concluded that he had been shot
21 with an automatic weapon.
22 Q. Can I ask you, please, to go to Exhibit 8615. Sir, we're not
23 going to have time to go through every photograph, but --
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. -- you've seen these photographs before. Are these photographs
1 all of the village or surroundings of Toscanica?
2 A. Yes, but I would like to see all the photos because one of those
3 photos depicts my house. I saw that one.
4 Q. I'm going to take you to certain photographs.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can you please point to your
6 house. Can we see the photo of his house?
7 MR. SCOTT: Should I take him through the photos, Your Honour?
8 Should we go through them?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Maybe we should go into private
10 session for that, because if we see the house in open session, somebody
11 might identify the witness based on that.
12 Private session, please.
13 MR. SCOTT: I fully agree, Your Honour.
14 [Private session]
11 Pages 8352-8408 redacted. Private session.
5 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 2.10 p.m.,
6 to be reconvened on Monday, the 16th day of
7 October, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.