Internationale Criminal Tribunal for the Former

Case No IT-95-14/1

  1. 1 Wednesday, 7th January 1998

    2 (10.00 am)

    3 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We

    4 are going to resume our hearing, and before beginning,

    5 I should like to remind the Prosecution that we have a

    6 request on the part of the Defence for the provisional

    7 release of the accused. Mr. Prosecutor wanted to respond

    8 in writing; perhaps he needs a certain period of time to

    9 do that. Would you consider eight days as a sufficient

    10 time for your reply?

    11 MR. NIEMANN: Yes, that would be suitable, thank you, your

    12 Honour.

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, we will continue with the

    14 testimony of Mr. Charles McLeod, Defence counsel has the

    15 floor.

    16 MR. MIKULICIC: Good morning, your Honours. Allow us, before

    17 going on to the actual proceedings, to draw attention to

    18 the fact that the Defence continues to believe that the

    19 accused's rights have been infringed upon with respect

    20 to contacts with his Defence counsel.

    21 As an example, I could refer to what happened

    22 today. We yesterday heard the testimony of Mr. McLeod.

    23 Today, the Defence counsel was to prepare its

    24 cross-examination. In order to prepare for that

    25 cross-examination, the accused was able to communicate

  2. 1 with Defence counsel for only 30 minutes before the

    2 beginning of the hearing this morning. Both the accused

    3 and Defence counsel consider this to be too short a

    4 time. The Defence wishes to underline this within the

    5 context of the submission made yesterday and also the

    6 thesis that the accused has been placed in an unequal

    7 position. I should like to appeal to the Trial Chamber

    8 to make a determination as soon as possible in this

    9 connection in order to rectify this situation. Is it

    10 necessary for me to answer any questions in this

    11 regard? (Pause).

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Defence needs -- how much time does

    13 the Defence need to prepare the cross-examination?

    14 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence would be satisfied if today and

    15 every following day, before the beginning of the

    16 hearings, as it is not possible to communicate with the

    17 detainee after the hearings, to have at least two hours

    18 at its disposal for consultations and the preparation of

    19 the cross-examination. That is before the beginning of

    20 hearings.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Trial Chamber is going to adjourn for

    22 half an hour and the Defence will have that period of

    23 time to consult with their client and after that, we

    24 will make a determination regarding the question as a

    25 whole. Are you agreeable?

  3. 1 MR. MIKULICIC: The Defence is grateful.

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, do you have anything to say

    3 in this connection?

    4 MR. NIEMANN: Only your Honours that we sympathise with the

    5 position of the Defence and we support any proposal

    6 whereby counsel should be given access to his client so

    7 that he can prepare for cross-examination. The position

    8 of the Prosecution is that the Defence cannot properly

    9 do its case if they are precluded from seeing their

    10 client, so the Prosecution's position on this is that if

    11 two hours a day can be made available, it should be made

    12 available before court.

    13 JUDGE RODRIGUES: We are going to adjourn for half an hour.

    14 (10.15 am)

    15 (A short break)

    16 (10.55 am)

    17 JUDGE RODRIGUES: The Trial Chamber wishes to make the

    18 following statement. There are rules and regulations

    19 concerning the detention of the accused which apply

    20 equally to the Defence. Those measures were adopted by

    21 the Tribunal with the greatest care. In case of any

    22 difficulties, it is up to the Defence to contact the

    23 commander of the detention unit, or the Registrar, in

    24 order to seek a solution. It is only in the improbable

    25 event that a solution cannot be found that the Trial

  4. 1 Chamber may be seized of the matter.

    2 In this case, the Trial Chamber has received from

    3 the Registrar the following information. Measures have

    4 been taken to enable the accused to be at the Tribunal

    5 as of 9.00 am, in order to allow counsel the possibility

    6 to communicate with the accused. After the hearing, at

    7 the end of the day, counsel will be able to communicate

    8 with the accused at the detention centre if that is

    9 necessary. This measure, however, applies only when the

    10 Trial Chamber is sitting.

    11 In view of this, the Trial Chamber believes that

    12 counsel should always be ready to cross-examine a

    13 witness as soon as the Prosecutor has completed the

    14 direct examination of that witness. Under these

    15 circumstances, the rights of the accused to a fair and

    16 expeditious trial will always be guaranteed. That is

    17 all.

    18 Therefore can we begin with the cross-examination

    19 of the witness by counsel now?

    20 CHARLES McLEOD (continued)

    21 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC

    22 Q. Good morning Mr. McLeod, I am attorney Goran Mikulicic,

    23 representing the accused, Zlatko Aleksovski. Allow me

    24 to ask you a number of questions in connection with your

    25 testimony. Mr. McLeod, you have a degree in the German

  5. 1 language, is that so?

    2 A. That is correct.

    3 Q. Apart from German and your mother tongue English, do you

    4 have a degree in any other world language?

    5 A. No, I do not.

    6 Q. Regardless of your formal education, are you familiar

    7 with any other language?

    8 A. I speak some French and over two years working in the

    9 former Yugoslavia, I have some comprehension of

    10 Serbo-Croat, but not a particularly detailed

    11 comprehension.

    12 Q. Can we take it that you are not so fluent as to be able

    13 to communicate with the local population in the

    14 territory of the former Yugoslavia in the language of

    15 the local community?

    16 A. Beyond being able to say "hello", "good morning", "thank

    17 you", "could I have something", then no, I cannot

    18 communicate with them directly, no.

    19 Q. I understand. Does that mean that whenever you were

    20 performing your duties, you used an interpreter?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. You told us yesterday that at the time of the critical

    23 events, and we are talking about the first half of 1993,

    24 you had the duties of an European monitor?

    25 A. Yes.

  6. 1 Q. You said that in that capacity you visited Central

    2 Bosnia, among others?

    3 A. Yes.

    4 Q. You said that between 7th and 11th May, you had

    5 conversations with local political, military, religious

    6 and humanitarian leaders or responsible officials; is

    7 that correct?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Can you recall with how many people you had any

    10 communication between 7th and 11th May; that is during

    11 that four-day period?

    12 A. Yes, and to be precise if I refer to my notes I can

    13 count them up for you.

    14 Q. Yes, please do.

    15 A. (Pause). Thirteen people.

    16 Q. Could you please explain what was the actual procedure,

    17 the approach to these conversations? When I say that,

    18 I mean in what way did you verify the conversations you

    19 had, or rather did you record them, did you tape-record

    20 them?

    21 A. No, I did not tape-record the conversations, I sat and

    22 I wrote notes in my notebook in pencil at the time as

    23 the conversations were going on.

    24 Q. If I understood you well, and please correct me if I am

    25 wrong, does that mean that the purpose of your tour in

  7. 1 the area of Central Bosnia was exclusively to have these

    2 conversations with certain individuals?

    3 A. I was there to have conversations in order to get an

    4 understanding of what had happened, and the

    5 conversations were with local people and members of the

    6 international community so that I could build up as full

    7 a picture as possible.

    8 Q. I see. Tell me, in the report that you submitted, in

    9 addition to these conversations and the notes that you

    10 made about them, did you submit your own description of

    11 the situation as you saw it? What I mean is a

    12 description of the situation on the ground.

    13 A. Yes, in very brief terms at the front of the report and

    14 during some of the individual reports such as the one

    15 that I read out yesterday, I added a few of my own

    16 comments and marked them clearly that they were my own

    17 comments, as opposed to the notes I had written at the

    18 time.

    19 Q. Please correct me if I am wrong, but does that mean that

    20 your main aim was, as an officer of the European

    21 Monitors, to have conversations on the ground?

    22 A. My aim was to build up an understanding of what had

    23 happened and in my view the best way to do that was to

    24 talk to the people who had actually experienced the

    25 events.

  8. 1 Q. I see, thank you. You said that you made notes as the

    2 conversations were ongoing and that later on you used

    3 those notes in compiling your reports. Have you

    4 understood my question, or do I need to repeat it?

    5 A. Could you repeat, please?

    6 Q. Is it correct that as you said you made notes during the

    7 conversations themselves and that later on you used

    8 those notes to compile your report?

    9 A. Yes, that is correct.

    10 Q. Did you draft your report immediately after those

    11 conversations or did some time go by?

    12 A. I started typing up my report towards the end of my stay

    13 in Zenica, and I completed it within two days of

    14 returning to Zagreb, so the time from the first

    15 conversation to finally completing the report would have

    16 been one week, since the first conversation was on the

    17 7th and the report was submitted on the 15th.

    18 Q. If we refer specifically to your report and its

    19 reference to your conversation with the accused, can we

    20 interpret what you have just said as meaning that you

    21 drew up the report five days after you completed the

    22 conversation?

    23 A. The report was finished within five days of having the

    24 conversation. I cannot remember exactly on which day

    25 I actually typed up that part of the report.

  9. 1 Q. Can you remember with how many people -- how many people

    2 you talked to on that particular day, 10th May?

    3 A. If I may refer back to this just to check?

    4 Q. Yes, please do.

    5 A. (Pause). I had four conversations on that day.

    6 Q. During your conversations, you used the services of an

    7 interpreter; that is what you told us?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Did you use the same interpreter for all those

    10 conversations, or did you use the services of different

    11 interpreters?

    12 A. I would have used the same interpreter for three of the

    13 meetings and a different interpreter for the

    14 fourth meeting, which was the meeting at the prison. As

    15 I explained yesterday, we used Jean-Pierre Thebault's

    16 interpreter for that meeting, because she was more

    17 experienced.

    18 Q. Do you remember the name of the interpreter of

    19 Jean-Pierre Thebault?

    20 A. I am sorry, I do not know and I did not write it down.

    21 Q. Shall we now go on to some other questions of a more

    22 general nature? Could you please tell us, on the basis

    23 of the conversations that you had, what was your

    24 impression regarding the situation in the area in terms

    25 of the elementary living conditions, food, water,

  10. 1 transportation, medical aid?

    2 A. At that time, conditions were fairly basic, they were

    3 not the conditions which I imagine would normally have

    4 prevailed in that part of the world. I think it is fair

    5 to say that in Central Bosnia, communications and the

    6 supply of food and medicines and so on had been quite

    7 difficult for quite some time, and at the time that

    8 I was there in May, there were a number of blockades

    9 which made it difficult to get food and supplies on to

    10 both sides of the internal contact line, so that most

    11 people were short of most basic fundamentals.

    12 Q. Tell me, what was the possibility for communication

    13 within the territory regarding roads, public

    14 transportation, private transportation?

    15 A. I think that there was probably no public transport as

    16 such. There was some private transport perhaps if one

    17 had petrol. There was certainly private transport for

    18 those people who were trying to move supplies. Most

    19 transport was military transport and the ability to

    20 cross from one area controlled by one party into an area

    21 controlled by another party was severely limited, if not

    22 impossible.

    23 Q. You said yesterday, if I am not mistaken, that you

    24 personally moved in an armoured Mercedes car.

    25 A. Yes.

  11. 1 Q. Did you undertake any other measures of personal

    2 protection?

    3 A. We wore flak jackets when we were travelling, yes.

    4 Q. During those travels, did you personally find yourself

    5 in any situation of danger?

    6 A. Not while I was actually in Central Bosnia, no.

    7 Q. Yes, we are talking now only about Central Bosnia. I am

    8 sure that during your travels you had contact with the

    9 local population, at least informal contacts, is that

    10 correct?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. Could you tell us how the local people were clothed, or

    13 to be more precise, did you notice that the local people

    14 were wearing parts of military uniforms like jackets or

    15 trousers?

    16 A. I think it would be fair to say that quite a lot of

    17 people were wearing military uniform and carrying

    18 weapons, and I would assume that they were all part of

    19 the various military organisations which existed there

    20 at the time. But I also saw quite a lot of people who

    21 were wearing just civilian clothes and other people who

    22 clearly were serving soldiers or policemen in uniform.

    23 Q. I see. Let us go on now to your visit to the Kaonik

    24 prison itself. Could you tell us how long your visit

    25 lasted? How much time did you spend in the Kaonik

  12. 1 facility?

    2 A. I think we were probably there for between one and two

    3 hours.

    4 Q. When you say "we", who do you mean?

    5 A. Myself, Jean-Pierre Thebault and our interpreter.

    6 Q. Tell us, please, who conducted the conversation with the

    7 accused during your visit to Kaonik, plainly?

    8 A. As I said yesterday, most of the conversation was led by

    9 Jean-Pierre. Certainly for the first part of the

    10 meeting where we were sitting in his office, I was being

    11 quiet. When we walked around the prison cells, because

    12 I had some experience from my previous military service

    13 of visiting prisoners, I was engaging in conversation

    14 with the prisoners and with Mr. Aleksovski and thereafter

    15 when we were debating the definition of a civilian or a

    16 soldier, again because of my previous experience I was

    17 taking a more engaged role in that conversation.

    18 Q. Reading your report about that visit to the Kaonik

    19 facility, we notice that you make no mention of

    20 Mr. Thebault at all. Could you explain that please?

    21 A. I think that if you were to see the front page of my

    22 report as opposed to simply the annex which was read

    23 yesterday, you will see that in that I say that I was

    24 accompanied on all of my trips by either Eric

    25 Friis-Pedersen or Jean-Pierre Thebault.

  13. 1 Q. Yes, we noticed that on the front page, but I am talking

    2 about the actual content of annex O, dated 15th May. In

    3 that annex, you make no mention of the presence of

    4 Mr. Thebault. Was that a customary form for your

    5 reports?

    6 A. If at this stage it would have been useful then clearly

    7 it was my oversight at the time not to have put it in,

    8 but at the time I thought it sufficient to say that

    9 I had been accompanied on all of my meetings and then

    10 simply to add as annexes to the main report the notes

    11 that I had taken at those meetings.

    12 Q. Thank you, it is clearer now. Mr. McLeod, could you show

    13 us on the map of the Lasva River valley, which was

    14 included in the evidence by the Prosecution yesterday,

    15 it is a map called Zenica 4, could you point out the

    16 localities where the contact lines were between the

    17 enemy forces in relation to the Kaonik facility.

    18 I would like to ask the usher to show the map to

    19 the witness.

    20 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, might I ask if the map could be

    21 put on the overhead projector and if the witness could

    22 deal with it there and then we can all see what is

    23 happening. If the witness could be asked to work on the

    24 machine, it would assist, I think, your Honour.

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, it is a good suggestion, thank you

  14. 1 very much, Mr. Prosecutor.

    2 A. I am not sure if it is very clear.

    3 MR. MIKULICIC: When pointing to individual localities, will

    4 you please name them so that we can follow more easily.

    5 A. Certainly. I am not sure if this is very clear on the

    6 screen. I cannot see it on the screen in front of me at

    7 the moment. My understanding of where the camp was,

    8 although I do not think it is actually marked precisely

    9 on this map, is that it was in this area here

    10 (indicates) on the forward slope of this hill above the

    11 river. You can see the river here, with the road on the

    12 other side of the river and what was known as the

    13 Busovaca T junction here, and to get to the camp, we

    14 drove from Zenica along a road to the T junction, over

    15 the bridge and then back up the side of the hill through

    16 the woods to this area, so although the camp itself,

    17 I do not think it is marked, possibly it is indicated by

    18 that building, I am not sure, but it was certainly in

    19 this area, on the forward slope, overlooking the river,

    20 and it was probably to the east, in other words to the

    21 right of this road coming down (indicates).

    22 Regarding the precise location of the contact

    23 line, I think that this was a fairly fluid position but

    24 certainly if I indicate a number of villages where -- in

    25 very simple terms, the contact line was along the high

  15. 1 ground around Busovaca, with the Croatian forces in the

    2 valley and the Muslim forces on the high ground with

    3 Zenica to the north of that. Then specific villages

    4 which either I visited or I was told had had fighting in

    5 them, moving from west to east one has Ahmici where

    6 obviously some fighting had taken place; Loncari, which

    7 I visited which was at that point the -- occupied by

    8 Croatian forces and clearly fighting had taken place;

    9 Jelinak, which I did not visit but which I understand,

    10 as was mentioned yesterday, had been part of the contact

    11 line.

    12 On the road from Zenica, I think that the

    13 checkpoints were on either side of this bend

    14 (indicates). I cannot remember precisely where they

    15 were, but that would suggest that the contact line had

    16 been somewhere in this area. I did not know in detail

    17 where the contact line was to the east of Busovaca, but

    18 I imagine it was again along the high ground above the

    19 town.

    20 Q. Would you please, when you say "this area" and point at

    21 the map, for the record you read out loud the names of

    22 the villages.

    23 A. I can be specific about to the north of Busovaca, to the

    24 north of Kaonik, villages of Loncari, which is here, and

    25 Jelinak and crossing the road from Zenica to Vitez and

  16. 1 Busovaca, the nearest village would be Dvor, Katici and

    2 then to the east of Busovaca, I am not sure how far up

    3 into the hills, but we are talking about the area

    4 probably close to Bobovisce and Merdani, that being the

    5 high ground to the east of the town of Busovaca.

    6 I think there was a second contact line to the south of

    7 the road from Zenica to Vitez, but I do not know

    8 precisely where that was.

    9 Q. According to the information you had, how far was the

    10 contact line from the Kaonik facility?

    11 A. From Loncari, for example, I think it was less than two

    12 kilometres in a direct line.

    13 Q. That is from Loncari. And from other points on the

    14 contact line?

    15 A. Because I do not know how close the contact line was to

    16 the south of the road from Vitez to Busovaca and Zenica,

    17 I do not know whether the contact line was any closer

    18 than Loncari going south, and because I do not know

    19 precisely where the contact line was to the east of

    20 Busovaca, again I am not sure whether it would have been

    21 any closer than Loncari. That was probably one of the

    22 closest points that I am aware of. I am not sure

    23 whether the contact line got any closer than that.

    24 Q. I see and thank you. I think we do not need the map any

    25 more. Let us go back to the Kaonik facility itself.

  17. 1 You said that you spent about one and a half to two

    2 hours in it.

    3 A. Yes, it was a fairly long time, but I am not sure

    4 precisely, so between one and two hours. Possibly

    5 slightly longer, but certainly between one and two

    6 hours.

    7 Q. Can you remember within this time frame, how long did you

    8 spend talking to the accused, and on the other hand how

    9 much time did you spend visiting the facility?

    10 A. I imagine that we spent at least an hour talking and

    11 then between 15 minutes and half an hour walking around

    12 the prison block and then a further up to about half an

    13 hour, once we had been on the prison block, discussing

    14 the pros and cons of releasing civilians and the steps

    15 we might have to take in order to facilitate that.

    16 Excuse me, could this be moved, please? Thank

    17 you.

    18 Q. So we do not have to peek around it. Could you tell us,

    19 what did the Kaonik facility consist of? How many

    20 structures were there, the ones that you visited, and

    21 did you visit all of them or just some of them?

    22 A. I only saw one building, which was the first building

    23 which we came to as we drove up to the facility. At

    24 that time, I understood that there were more buildings

    25 and that if we had continued on down the road which we

  18. 1 had arrived on, that they were further down the road in

    2 the woods, but at that time I did not know how many more

    3 buildings or what other facilities there were at the

    4 camp.

    5 Q. Were you not interested in this information?

    6 A. Yes, and we were offered the possibility of going

    7 further down the road to see the further facilities. At

    8 that time we took the decision that we would rather

    9 proceed back to Zenica as fast as possible in order to

    10 try and facilitate the release of civilians, rather than

    11 going on to see the rest of the facility. It was a very

    12 hard decision to take, but at the time that was our

    13 judgement and so that is what we did. But it is worth

    14 making the point that we were not prevented at all from

    15 going further down the road.

    16 Q. When you talk about being allowed to and not being

    17 prevented to go to places, can you specify what persons

    18 you have in mind?

    19 A. Mr. Aleksovski was quite open about the fact that there

    20 was a further facility. He did not specify exactly how

    21 many buildings or who was there or how many people were

    22 this, but it was clear that there was more to the

    23 facility than just the building we had seen and that if

    24 we had asked to see more of the facility, that would

    25 have been possible. But because the course of the

  19. 1 conversation had turned, in our view in quite a positive

    2 manner towards the possibility of release of a number of

    3 people, we felt that it was important to try and

    4 facilitate that as fast as possible.

    5 Q. During your visit to this prison, did you have an

    6 opportunity to talk to the prisoners?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Did you talk to the prisoners alone or was somebody from

    9 the prison personnel present?

    10 A. Yes -- sorry, that is the wrong answer to give. While

    11 we were speaking to the prisoners, at all times there

    12 were members of the prison guard force in the cells with

    13 us.

    14 Q. Was this situation convenient for you?

    15 A. No, if we had wanted to have a direct and private

    16 conversation with one of the prisoners, then this was

    17 not the best way of doing it by any stretch of the

    18 imagination. But our aim was not to have an opportunity

    19 to interrogate prisoners in private, our aim was to get

    20 an overview of the situation, knowing that the ICRC were

    21 also visiting the facility and that they would insist on

    22 having the opportunity to speak to prisoners privately.

    23 Q. Does this mean that you did not request to talk to the

    24 prisoners in private?

    25 A. No, we did not request.

  20. 1 Q. Can you describe to us in what conditions you discovered

    2 the prisoners with whom you spoke and thereby I mean

    3 their general physical condition?

    4 A. All the people that we saw were men, they were aged

    5 I imagine between their 20s and their 40s or 50s. Some

    6 of them were certainly quite old. They were all wearing

    7 basically civilian clothes of various sorts, as far as

    8 I remember. I clearly remember as I said yesterday that

    9 there were also a couple of Croatian military prisoners

    10 who were wearing uniform. I can remember the

    11 distinction between them and the other people we saw.

    12 Most of the people that we met appeared to be clean,

    13 they seemed to be reasonably healthy.

    14 Some of them certainly said that they had physical

    15 or medical problems which needed attention. As you saw

    16 yesterday on the list of names which we were given, you

    17 can see my notes to that effect, where a couple of

    18 people had said that they had things that were wrong

    19 with them.

    20 Q. We will come that list a little bit later. Let us focus

    21 now to the prisoners with whom you had contact. Among

    22 the prisoners with whom you spoke, did you notice any

    23 traces of physical injuries on any of them?

    24 A. No.

    25 Q. Did you notice in your contact with the prisoners that

  21. 1 they were undernourished or starved?

    2 A. If I use as a comparison the well known picture of the

    3 man at Omarska which I imagine everybody saw on the

    4 front page of Time magazine, no, none of them appeared

    5 to be in that condition, if that is how one would

    6 classify somebody who is seriously malnourished or

    7 starved.

    8 Q. I asked this question in connection with your comparison

    9 of yesterday, with the prisoners in Manjaca.

    10 A. Interestingly, one of the people we met in the prison

    11 had also been in Manjaca. It was an unfortunate lot to

    12 be captured first by the Serbs and then by the Croats.

    13 We had a joke about the fact that I had probably seen

    14 him before. The people I saw in Manjaca were looking

    15 thin, but by the time that we got to see them they were

    16 being fed by UNHCR. The people that I saw at Kaonik

    17 were in I suppose a similar condition, not looking

    18 particularly healthy because it is not a particularly

    19 healthy environment in which to find oneself, but not

    20 starving.

    21 Q. You said that you toured only one building.

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. Could you have assumed that you would have visited other

    24 buildings had the conditions in the first building made

    25 you want to continue with your tour?

  22. 1 A. I think that the decision to go further was taken on the

    2 basis that we thought that there was the possibility of

    3 facilitating a release of prisoners. I think that if

    4 conditions in the first building that we had seen had

    5 been worse, then our desire to try and facilitate a

    6 release would have been even stronger and so probably we

    7 would have felt that we had seen enough and been even

    8 more motivated to try and get on and facilitate a

    9 release, so the answer is probably no.

    10 Q. I see, thank you. Can you please tell us, did you have

    11 a conversation about the food in the prison?

    12 A. Before we saw the prisoners, Mr. Aleksovski had explained

    13 that as we would understand, there were shortages of

    14 food and therefore the supplies which they had generally

    15 were not very good and therefore that which they could

    16 provide for the prisoners was again not what he would

    17 otherwise consider to be satisfactory, that was the

    18 understanding that I took from what he was explaining to

    19 us. I think that while we were talking to the

    20 prisoners, detainees, whatever we would call them, again

    21 as I said yesterday, they had made the point in each of

    22 the cells into which we went of stating that they felt

    23 they were being treated well and fairly. Nobody

    24 actually told us that they were not being fed, but under

    25 the circumstances, I think it would have been difficult

  23. 1 for somebody to have said that they were being

    2 maltreated.

    3 Q. In these conversations with the prisoners, did you get

    4 any signal from any of them that they would have liked

    5 to talk about this with you alone?

    6 A. I think again in light of my experience in the other

    7 camps, where I was able to use my ability to speak

    8 German to have a few private conversations with

    9 prisoners, I imagine that the people that I met at

    10 Kaonik, had they had the opportunity, would have liked

    11 to have had a private conversation, but that was not

    12 possible and again, as I said earlier, our aim was not

    13 to try and do more than have an overview of what was

    14 going on, because we felt that there were other people

    15 who would be looking into the issue in more detail, but

    16 I am quite sure that had the opportunity been there,

    17 then people would have liked to have told us precisely

    18 what was going on.

    19 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I am sorry, can we take a break of 20

    20 minutes? We will adjourn. The interpreters also need a

    21 rest.

    22 (11.45 am)

    23 (A short break)

    24 (12.10 pm)

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, you can continue.

  24. 1 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honour.

    2 Just before we broke, Mr. McLeod, we were at the

    3 place where you said that you were in a position where

    4 you had an opportunity to have the detainees talk to you

    5 alone, is that correct?

    6 A. I said that in other camps where I had been,

    7 specifically in Manjaca and Trnopolje, I had had

    8 opportunities to speak to prisoners without the

    9 conversations being overheard. This was more difficult

    10 in Manjaca but certainly in Trnopolje, I was able to

    11 have a clear conversation. I did not have that

    12 opportunity at Kaonik.

    13 Q. Why was it that you did not have such an opportunity at

    14 Kaonik?

    15 A. Because what we were doing at Kaonik was touring the

    16 facility, accompanied by Mr. Aleksovski and his other

    17 guards and we were going from one cell to the next,

    18 walking into the cell, saying hello to everybody, then

    19 saying their piece and then going on to the next cell,

    20 so there was no opportunity to have any form of

    21 conversation without having everybody listening. On

    22 occasions when I visited the other two camps, there were

    23 opportunities because we were allowed to just walk

    24 freely about the camps to have conversations with

    25 people, but the whole style of the visits were

  25. 1 completely different.

    2 Q. I understand what you just said, but let me ask you

    3 direct questions. Did you request to talk to the

    4 prisoners alone?

    5 A. No, as I said before, we did not feel the need --

    6 Q. Thank you, yes. Thank you, it is now much clearer.

    7 During your visit to the prison, did you notice or hear

    8 that prisoners had received different treatment and this

    9 is in reference to your statement that you said you

    10 noticed that the citizens of Croatian ethnic group were

    11 also detained there in addition to the Muslim ethnic

    12 group.

    13 A. Yes, the clear difference was the number of people in

    14 each cell. The Muslims that I saw were -- I cannot

    15 remember exact numbers but more than four and probably

    16 less than ten to a cell, whereas there were only two

    17 Croatian military prisoners both sharing a cell. I am

    18 not sure exactly how many people the cells were designed

    19 for, but they certainly did not appear to have been

    20 designed for the number of people we saw in most of

    21 them. I imagine they were designed for one or two

    22 people.

    23 Q. When I ask this question, that is not the sense that

    24 I had in mind. What I wanted to ask is whether you

    25 noticed whether the prisoners of different ethnic groups

  26. 1 were, for instance, receiving different kind of food?

    2 A. Because we did not observe any meals being either given

    3 or prepared, I do not know. The two young Croatian

    4 soldiers that I saw looked fit and healthy and

    5 cheerful. They had a large number of possessions with

    6 them in the room so the room was actually full of what

    7 appeared to be their personal possessions. The other

    8 people that we saw, as I said earlier, did not look as

    9 if they were not being fed at all. They certainly did

    10 not appear to have any personal possessions or

    11 significant personal possessions with them, so one could

    12 see a difference there, if that is what you are looking

    13 for.

    14 Q. When you noticed this, did you have in mind that from

    15 the persons that were there in the prison, how long had

    16 each of them been there?

    17 A. In terms of whether the Muslim prisoners had been there

    18 for longer than the Croatian prisoners, or how long just

    19 individuals had been there? Could you clarify that

    20 please?

    21 Q. Gladly. What I had in mind was the fact -- did you have

    22 access to information or did you receive information on,

    23 that is when you compared the Muslim and Croat

    24 prisoners, how long was one group detained in Kaonik

    25 prison in comparison to the other group?

  27. 1 A. I understand. No, I have no idea how long the Croatian

    2 prisoners had been there, I cannot remember if we were

    3 told, but I certainly do not remember being told.

    4 I know that some of the Muslim prisoners said that they

    5 had been arrested on 16th April and so presumably they

    6 had been at Kaonik for a period less than that, but I do

    7 not know how long all of the prisoners had been there

    8 and so no, I cannot make any comparison on that basis.

    9 Q. During the visit to Kaonik on that occasion, did you

    10 notice the prison guards there?

    11 A. Yes, I saw the people who were accompanying us as we

    12 went around. I cannot recall in any detail the guards

    13 that we met at the checkpoints leading into the prison,

    14 but certainly yes, there were also a couple of

    15 checkpoints that we went through.

    16 Q. What I had in mind was the guards within the buildings

    17 themselves which you toured?

    18 A. Yes, there were a number of people who were accompanying

    19 us as we went around. I understood they were the guards

    20 because of the functions they were carrying out.

    21 Q. Can you specify the number of people there?

    22 A. I think there were probably two or three different

    23 people who were with us. I cannot remember exactly how

    24 many, but it was more than one and probably less than

    25 five; in addition to Mr. Aleksovski, that is.

  28. 1 Q. How did you infer that these were guards?

    2 A. Because they were the people who were opening and

    3 closing the doors and they were wearing uniform, and the

    4 relationship that they had both to Mr. Aleksovski and to

    5 the prisoners was such that it was pretty clear they

    6 were guards as opposed to prisoners.

    7 Q. Did you notice that these people were carrying weapons?

    8 A. No, again as I said yesterday, I cannot specifically

    9 remember whether either they were carrying weapons or

    10 were not carrying weapons, and so I think it is safe to

    11 say that no, I cannot remember.

    12 Q. Can you remember the age of these individuals? In

    13 general, were these younger or older people?

    14 A. These were -- adult men, not young adult men, I cannot

    15 remember them being particularly old. In their 30s or

    16 40s, say, but I do not remember them in particular

    17 detail.

    18 Q. You said you noticed that they were wearing uniforms.

    19 Did you see any insignia on these uniforms, rank or any

    20 kind of emblems?

    21 A. Certainly not that I can remember, no. I imagine that

    22 they were wearing rank and emblems and so on, but

    23 I certainly cannot remember precisely what they were

    24 wearing and would not want to hazard a guess at this

    25 stage.

  29. 1 Q. Can you remember how Mr. Aleksovski was dressed?

    2 A. I think he was wearing a camouflage suit, trousers and

    3 top.

    4 Q. Can you remember whether he had any rank or other

    5 insignia on his uniform?

    6 A. Not with enough clarity to be able to say exactly what

    7 it was, no.

    8 Q. Was the Kaonik facility the only facility of this kind

    9 which you visited during your tour in Central Bosnia?

    10 A. Yes, if you are saying did I visit any other prisons,

    11 then the answer is no, I did not visit any other

    12 prisons.

    13 Q. Can you explain why you did not visit any other

    14 prisons? Was it because they did not exist, or was

    15 there another reason for it?

    16 A. The reason why I did not visit any of the other prisons

    17 was the lack of time. I had expected to visit the

    18 prison in Zenica because I was told that there were two

    19 specific prisoners being held in one of those facilities

    20 who had information about what had happened at Ahmici

    21 and I was very interested to speak to those two people,

    22 but by the time that the possibility was there, it

    23 emerged that they had been released in a prisoner

    24 exchange and so my specific desire to go and visit them

    25 was no longer there and I was more interested at that

  30. 1 point in attempting to facilitate the release of

    2 Croatian prisoners which I successfully did, or it seems

    3 I was successful in doing.

    4 Q. I understand. Yesterday, you said and the Prosecutor

    5 tendered it as evidence, a list of prisoners.

    6 A. Yes.

    7 Q. I would like to request that the usher show to the

    8 witness this document. This exhibit is marked P7, for

    9 the record.

    10 Mr. McLeod, can you identify this list as the list

    11 we discussed yesterday?

    12 A. Yes, I can.

    13 Q. You explained yesterday the circumstances under which

    14 you obtained that list. Could you please repeat who was

    15 it that gave it to you?

    16 A. Certainly. The list was given to us by Mr. Aleksovski.

    17 Q. There is some handwriting right of the list of names and

    18 you identified that handwriting as being yours.

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Could you please clarify your notes. For what purpose

    21 were they made?

    22 A. Certainly. As I said yesterday, Mr. Aleksovski gave us

    23 this list before we toured the prison block. I was

    24 holding the list as we walked around the cells, and

    25 again, as I said yesterday, after a while it occurred to

  31. 1 me that I should be marking on the list those prisoners

    2 that I had actually seen and identified because

    3 I realised that people would be interested later on who

    4 had actually been in the prison, and so as you can see,

    5 and I will indicate an example, I put a tick next to a

    6 name where I had actually seen somebody and I wrote a

    7 comment of the person; in this case it said that he had

    8 been suffering from heart attacks.

    9 Q. I see. If we look at the second page of this list,

    10 please be kind enough to turn over the page, we notice

    11 that at the end of the list, to the right, the position

    12 has been indicated, "manager of the district military

    13 prison" and under that the name "Zlatko Aleksovski",

    14 that is the name of the accused.

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. I am not quite sure whether my copy is legible, but it

    17 seems to me that this list is not signed.

    18 A. No, the list is not signed, but it was given to me

    19 personally by Mr. Aleksovski.

    20 Q. Could you explain to us whether this document that you

    21 received, according to your understanding, is an

    22 official document?

    23 A. I believe that it was the best attempt on the part of

    24 the staff of Mr. Aleksovski to produce a list of the

    25 Muslim prisoners according to the records which they

  32. 1 held on their computer at the prison at that time, and

    2 again, as I said yesterday, a lady was quite agitated in

    3 her attempts to persuade the computer to print the list

    4 and we spent quite a long time waiting for the list to

    5 be produced before we went up to look at the prison

    6 block, so under those circumstances, I think it is about

    7 as official a list as it was possible to get at that

    8 time.

    9 Q. I see. Could you explain to us, if you received that

    10 list as an official document, why was it not signed by

    11 the person who issued it?

    12 A. I think because we had been waiting for the list, the

    13 list was produced and handed across and then we went.

    14 I certainly did not feel that there was any necessity to

    15 get anybody to sign it. I was quite content with the

    16 way in which it had been produced and the significance

    17 of the document.

    18 Q. In your understanding, should an official document be

    19 signed?

    20 A. Not necessarily in this day and age. Computer-generated

    21 documents are not always signed.

    22 Q. But documents that are produced by computers could be

    23 signed subsequently, is that not true?

    24 A. Absolutely. As I said at the beginning, my

    25 understanding of the Croatian language is not good

  33. 1 enough to have been able to translate, as you kindly

    2 did, or as was done for us just now, as I indicate, that

    3 title there (indicates), the words above Mr. Aleksovski's

    4 name, and at the time I was not aware that that was his

    5 signature block in any case. I was quite content this

    6 was a document which had been produced in good faith and

    7 which I accepted as such.

    8 Q. I see. During your tour in this region of Central

    9 Bosnia, you said that you had conversations with various

    10 people and you indicated their position, locality and

    11 the position they held in the community. Could you tell

    12 us who gave you the data about what the individual you

    13 were talking to, what the position of the individual you

    14 were talking to was?

    15 A. That information was provided by a range of people,

    16 mostly the individual that I was talking to introduced

    17 themselves and told me what their function was. I was

    18 then able to cross-reference this by asking the ECMM

    19 monitors who were based in Zenica and who knew the

    20 individuals on a personal basis and who were working

    21 with them on a regular basis what their understanding of

    22 the individual's function was and in some cases other

    23 people that I spoke to also identified individuals by

    24 name and by function.

    25 Q. Regarding the verification that you have mentioned, did

  34. 1 you carry out that verification for each individual

    2 conversation that you had?

    3 A. Yes, in each case I said -- I think I can be fairly

    4 certain that in each case, the people that I was talking

    5 to were introduced and certainly in each case I then

    6 cross-referenced it by saying to the people who knew

    7 them individually, "exactly who was that person and what

    8 is your understanding of their function?".

    9 Q. I see. I should like to draw your attention, you have

    10 your notes before you, to the notes marked annex F.

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. In this particular case, did you also carry out this

    13 verification as you have described it?

    14 A. Yes and so the -- yes.

    15 Q. Let me read the title of the document, "Meeting with

    16 Ivan Santic, town mayor of Vitez and Pero Skopljak,

    17 commander of the police in Vitez".

    18 A. Yes.

    19 Q. According to the notes, this conversation took place on

    20 8th May 1993, is that correct?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Are you aware that Mr. Pero Skopljak, as of 20th June

    23 1992, that is almost a year prior to your conversation

    24 with him, no longer held that position; that is he did

    25 not perform the function of police commander in Vitez.

  35. 1 Are you aware of that fact?

    2 A. Absolutely not. However, the gentleman that I spoke to

    3 was introduced to me as being somebody of that name,

    4 with a function which appeared to be that of chief of

    5 police. When I cross-referenced what I understood to

    6 have taken place with somebody else, Eric

    7 Friis-Pedersen, the other ECMM monitor who accompanied

    8 me for that conversation, he said the person I had

    9 spoken to was somebody of that name whose function was,

    10 if not the commander, then a senior member of the police

    11 in Vitez. If that was incorrect, that is very

    12 unfortunate.

    13 Q. I am afraid it was not correct. Do you know that

    14 Mr. Pero Skopljak was indicted by this Tribunal?

    15 A. No, I was not aware of that.

    16 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, I will object to any questions

    17 which are sought to be based on something that has not

    18 been produced in evidence, so in terms of questions

    19 about the position that this witness held, we have no

    20 evidence before the Chamber on this. There may be -- it

    21 may be that what is being said is correct, but there is

    22 no evidence before the Chamber that is the case and

    23 I would object to the evidence being introduced by way

    24 of counsel saying that that is the position. (Pause).

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, I do not know whether we

  36. 1 have the document that you are referring to.

    2 MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, I am referring to a notorious

    3 fact, which according to the Rules of the Tribunal need

    4 not be proven, and that is that the charges against Pero

    5 Skopljak have been withdrawn by this Tribunal; that is

    6 the charges against Mr. Pero Skopljak in his capacity, in

    7 his function that he is alleged to have held here.

    8 Therefore the Defence considers this fact to be common

    9 knowledge. But I will not insist on any further

    10 questions in that connection.

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: You can continue, thank you very much.

    12 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, your Honours, but the Defence has

    13 completed its cross-examination.

    14 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, I only have one further question

    15 I would like to ask in re-examination, if I may.

    16 Re-examined by MR. NIEMANN

    17 Q. Mr. McLeod, you were shown Exhibit 7 which was the list

    18 given to you by Mr. Aleksovski which you attested to, the

    19 list of names.

    20 A. Yes.

    21 Q. Do you have that list there?

    22 A. Yes.

    23 Q. I think your evidence, and I just wish to clarify this,

    24 your evidence is that not all the people that you met

    25 you ticked against the list, is that correct?

  37. 1 A. That is correct, yes.

    2 Q. So for example if you met the person in number 72,

    3 Kaknjo Fuad, the fact that a tick does not appear there

    4 may not be conclusive of the fact of whether or not you

    5 met him?

    6 A. Absolutely not. As I said, it did not occur to me until

    7 some time after we had started seeing people that

    8 I ought to be making a note.

    9 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you. I have nothing further.

    10 JUDGE VOHRAH: Mr. McLeod, am I right in assuming that Kaonik

    11 detention centre was in fact a prison centre -- a prison

    12 as such?

    13 A. It certainly appeared to be, yes.

    14 Q. Did you visit all the cells in this particular prison?

    15 A. No, I looked at some of the cells in one of the blocks.

    16 Q. Some of the cells?

    17 A. We did not go into every single cell in the one block

    18 which we went into and I believe there were more blocks,

    19 but I did not see any of the other blocks.

    20 Q. Could you tell us how many cells there were in this

    21 particular prison?

    22 A. I would imagine that in the block that I went into,

    23 there would have been eight or ten, but I cannot

    24 remember exactly.

    25 Q. One last question, could you tell us what the condition

  38. 1 of each of the cells was where the Muslim inmates were

    2 put in?

    3 A. Each cell was a room about half of which -- the rear

    4 half of which had a raised platform, I imagine to be

    5 used as a bed, so the people that we saw were either

    6 sitting on this raised platform or some of them standing

    7 to the front of it. With all of us in the cell, it was

    8 quite tightly packed.

    9 Q. I now come to the document which you handed in, P7.

    10 Could you explain the words in handwriting against

    11 number 40?

    12 A. The word is "operations".

    13 Q. What does that indicate? What does that mean?

    14 A. Either the man had had some operations or he needed some

    15 operations, but I cannot remember precisely whether it

    16 was the case that he had had them or that he needed

    17 them.

    18 Q. And then the words against number 74 and 76?

    19 A. The man had explained to me that he had been a member of

    20 the -- I beg your pardon.

    21 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Would you please connect the machine,

    22 switch on the machine? Thank you.

    23 A. So the words that I am indicating here say "forensic in

    24 Vitez police" and then "16/04", so the man explained to

    25 me he had been a member of the forensic staff of the

  39. 1 police in Vitez and that he had been arrested on

    2 16th April.

    3 JUDGE VOHRAH: Thank you very much.

    4 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. McLeod, I have no questions, therefore

    5 I wish to thank you for coming. Thank you.

    6 (The witness withdrew)

    7 JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think that it is not possible to have

    8 another witness before lunch, and therefore perhaps we

    9 can have the lunch break now.

    10 MR. NIEMANN: As your Honours please.

    11 (12.45 pm)

    12 (Adjourned until 2.30 pm)














  40. 1 (2.30 pm)

    2 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Prosecutor, you have the floor.

    3 MR. NIEMANN: As your Honours please. Your Honours, before

    4 I call the next witness, there is just one matter that

    5 I would like to raise if I may. It relates to orders in

    6 relation to protective measures for witnesses, in

    7 circumstances where witnesses may need to proceed to

    8 give their evidence under a pseudonym rather than giving

    9 their names or giving evidence in camera, so that it is

    10 not transmitted into the public domain.

    11 Your Honours, it looks as though this week there

    12 may not be any applications made in that regard,

    13 although these things do change, and so one can never be

    14 sure whether a witness just before he enters the witness

    15 box says, "no, I do want some protective measures". We

    16 have had discussions with the Defence, Mr. Mikulicic

    17 about that, and there is a practice that has been

    18 followed in the Chamber presided over -- in the Blaskic

    19 case -- by Judge Jorda, where the Defence and the

    20 Prosecution have basically reached agreement that they

    21 will discuss issues of protection of witnesses from time

    22 to time as they come up, and then the application is

    23 made orally for those orders immediately prior to the

    24 witness being called, and, subject to there being no

    25 dispute from the Defence, the matter proceeds that way,

  41. 1 without the necessity of having to file formal

    2 documents, which documents then have to be responded to

    3 and then argued. It is a much more efficient and

    4 quicker way of disposing of the matter, and so, if it is

    5 convenient to the court, it is a way which we may be

    6 able to proceed with, subject to your Honours' approval

    7 of that course, in this case.

    8 Obviously if the situation arises where there is

    9 dispute between the Defence and Prosecution, we will

    10 proceed in the traditional way of filing motions and so

    11 forth, and I should indicate that obviously this is not

    12 just a practice for the Prosecution, it would be for

    13 both sides, so likewise if the Defence when they call a

    14 witness, if they want protective measures it will

    15 proceed in the same way and we will reach agreement

    16 beforehand. I thought perhaps I might raise that at

    17 this stage for your Honours' consideration.

    18 I call the witness Fuad Kaknjo.

    19 (Witness entered court)

    20 MR. NIEMANN: Mr. Kaknjo, could you please read out the

    21 declaration there?

    22 FUAD KAKNJO (sworn)

    23 Examined by MR. NIEMANN

    24 Q. Thank you very much. Could you be seated now? Would

    25 you state your full name, please?

  42. 1 A. Fuad Kaknjo.

    2 Q. What is your date of birth?

    3 A. 8th April 1954.

    4 Q. Where were you born?

    5 A. In Zenica.

    6 Q. What is your ethnicity?

    7 A. Bosniak.

    8 Q. What is your religion?

    9 A. Islamic.

    10 Q. Where did you attend your schooling?

    11 A. I completed my elementary and secondary school in

    12 Zenica, and civil engineering in Sarajevo.

    13 Q. Did you study civil engineering at university?

    14 A. Electrical engineering at the university.

    15 Q. When did you graduate from university?

    16 A. Early 1977.

    17 Q. Did you do military service with the JNA?

    18 A. Yes, I was in the Yugoslav People's Army.

    19 Q. When was that?

    20 A. This was in 1978/79.

    21 Q. Where did you work immediately after you left

    22 university?

    23 A. I worked in the steel works in Zenica.

    24 Q. How long did you work there for?

    25 A. Less than four years.

  43. 1 Q. After that, where did you go?

    2 A. I then went to Vitez, to the Slobodan Princip Selo

    3 factory.

    4 Q. What do they make in that factory?

    5 A. It is military industry, it is ammunition and things

    6 like that.

    7 Q. After you moved to Vitez, did you begin to take an

    8 interest in politics?

    9 A. Here and there, yes.

    10 Q. Did you subsequently become a member of the parliament

    11 in Vitez?

    12 A. Yes, I was a member of the parliament or assembly.

    13 Q. Did you become that member because of your involvement

    14 on the executive board of the Workers' Council?

    15 A. No, it was not really connected, those two things.

    16 Q. What was the executive board of the Workers' Council?

    17 Perhaps we could distinguish them.

    18 A. Yes, this was a system, it was the workers'

    19 self-management, but specifically this would be the

    20 executive board of a, say, factory these days.

    21 Q. When did you become a member of the Vitez parliament?

    22 A. I think this was in 1984, I think it was then.

    23 Q. Did you subsequently join the SDA?

    24 A. Yes, that was in 1990.

    25 Q. Perhaps you might tell their Honours what the SDA is.

  44. 1 A. This was a party, it is the Party of Democratic Action,

    2 that is its full name.

    3 Q. What position did you assume after the elections of

    4 1990?

    5 A. I became the president of the Executive Council at the

    6 municipality level in Vitez.

    7 Q. What role did you perform as president?

    8 A. It is the executive power, I was the president of the

    9 government, so it was the Executive Council, it was

    10 myself and another four members, that is another four

    11 members of the local government.

    12 Q. That is the local government of Vitez?

    13 A. Yes, these are the executive bodies of the government of

    14 Vitez; that is of the municipal assembly.

    15 Q. Did people of different ethnic groups take up other

    16 positions in local administration?

    17 A. Yes, they did.

    18 Q. For example, who was the overall president of the

    19 municipality?

    20 A. It was a Croatian person, Ivica Santic.

    21 Q. His deputy, who was that?

    22 A. He was an ethnic Serb.

    23 Q. As a Muslim, you were president of the executive board,

    24 is that right?

    25 A. Yes.

  45. 1 Q. Who determined what ethnic group occupied what position?

    2 A. This was based on the results of the elections, that is

    3 based on the agreement of the parties that represented

    4 them.

    5 Q. So did the parties have an agreement of sorts which

    6 determined what particular positions went to what party?

    7 A. They did.

    8 Q. Who were the political parties that took part in the

    9 1990 elections?

    10 A. There were several parties.

    11 Q. Could you tell us the parties that you can remember, and

    12 those parties that represented a particular ethnic

    13 group, can you tell us what ethnic group they

    14 represented, please?

    15 A. The HDZ or the Croatian Democratic Community represented

    16 Croats; the Party of Democratic Action or SDA

    17 represented Bosniaks; SDS, Serbian Democratic Party,

    18 represented the Serbs; SDP, the Party of Democratic

    19 Changes were all citizens of all groups; then the

    20 Reformists, the Liberals, the Socialist Party.

    21 Q. Do you know what ethnic group was in majority in Vitez?

    22 A. Yes, the Croatian ethnic group.

    23 Q. What about in Zenica? What ethnic group was in majority

    24 there?

    25 A. Bosniak nationality.

  46. 1 Q. And Busovaca?

    2 A. I think it was the Croatian National Group.

    3 Q. In September 1991, was a joint Crisis Council

    4 established in Vitez?

    5 A. Yes, a joint Crisis Council was established then.

    6 Q. What position, if any, did you hold on this council?

    7 A. I was the deputy to the president of the Council.

    8 Q. What was the name of the president of the Council?

    9 A. Ivica Santic.

    10 Q. How many people were on the Crisis Council?

    11 A. I think there were ten.

    12 Q. What was the purpose of the Crisis Council?

    13 A. In view of the events in Croatia and on the initiative

    14 of the HDZ, we established this Council.

    15 Q. In April 1992, were attempts made to take over the

    16 government in Vitez?

    17 A. Yes, there were attempts.

    18 Q. Who attempted to do this and how was it attempted?

    19 A. At the joint meeting of the crisis headquarters, Anto

    20 Valenta attempted to do this.

    21 Q. Who did he represent?

    22 A. I think that it was the Croatian Community of

    23 Herceg-Bosna.

    24 Q. Did this succeed?

    25 A. No, because several Croats rejected that because it was

  47. 1 not on the agenda at the meeting.

    2 Q. As a result of this crisis in April 1992, were any

    3 decisions made about the distribution of weapons in the

    4 Vitez area?

    5 A. If you think about the depot in Sljemena, we tried to

    6 agree about the divisions so it would be done in a

    7 peaceful manner.

    8 Q. Where was the depot in Sljemena?

    9 A. This is near Travnik.

    10 Q. Who were the weapons to be distributed between?

    11 A. In fact this was the distribution of weapons among the

    12 three municipalities.

    13 Q. How among the three -- which groups within the three

    14 municipalities were to receive weapons that were

    15 distributed?

    16 A. Bosniaks and Croats.

    17 Q. When did the first conflict between the Croats and the

    18 Muslims take place in the Vitez area -- sorry, in that

    19 general area?

    20 A. I do not know, perhaps it was in Busovaca.

    21 Q. Did anything happen as early as June 1992?

    22 A. Yes, this was on 20th June, I believe. It was the

    23 turnover of the Vitez municipality building and the

    24 police station in Vitez.

    25 Q. What steps did you take -- I am sorry. Was there then a

  48. 1 later attempt to -- a later conflict that developed in

    2 October between Croats and Muslims?

    3 A. There were minor conflicts, relatively speaking.

    4 Q. In particular, was there a tension or a conflict that

    5 took place in Novi Travnik?

    6 A. Yes, there were conflicts in Novi Travnik.

    7 Q. Were you involved in any attempt to resolve this

    8 conflict that had arisen in Novi Travnik?

    9 A. Yes, there was an attempt to calm down the situation, so

    10 that the conflict would stay localised so that it would

    11 not spread.

    12 Q. What did you suggest yourself? What did you do yourself

    13 in this regard?

    14 A. I suggested -- I proposed that the president of the

    15 municipality and myself go over there as citizens of

    16 Vitez and try to calm down the situation.

    17 Q. This is that you and Ivica Santic go over, is that

    18 right?

    19 A. In fact we did not go, that was just an attempt.

    20 Q. That was your suggestion?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. What did he say to you when you suggested that proposal?

    23 A. That he talked and that it did not happen, so that

    24 I could just try to talk to them myself.

    25 Q. Did he suggest that you should telephone somebody?

  49. 1 A. Yes, he told me that and he gave me the phone number.

    2 Q. Who did he suggest you should speak to?

    3 A. With Kordic.

    4 Q. Is that Dario Kordic?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. What position did Dario Kordic hold at that time?

    7 A. I think it was the president of the HDZ.

    8 Q. Did you subsequently speak to Dario Kordic?

    9 A. Yes, I did talk to him.

    10 Q. What did you say to him?

    11 A. I wanted that Ivica Santic and I mediate so that we

    12 could calm things down.

    13 Q. What did he say to you?

    14 A. If the commander of the Territorial Defence

    15 surrendered -- the army commander in Novi Travnik, and

    16 if he surrendered the arms, then we could talk.

    17 Q. What army was this that he was referring to?

    18 A. The army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, that was its name, the

    19 Territorial Defence at that time.

    20 Q. What was your response to this?

    21 A. I said that I was not authorised, we just wanted to come

    22 as neighbours, as citizens.

    23 Q. In November 1992, were you presented with a paper to

    24 sign relating to the HVO?

    25 A. Yes, the secretary at the municipality of the -- the

  50. 1 Vitez municipality brought this document to me.

    2 Q. What did the document relate to?

    3 A. It was some kind of document by the deputy -- the

    4 vice-president of the municipality of Vitez.

    5 Q. What was the effect of the document, so far as you were

    6 concerned?

    7 A. I returned it.

    8 Q. Yes, but what was the effect of the document, why did

    9 you return it?

    10 A. I was already the president of the executive board of

    11 the municipality who was elected by the regular

    12 elections at the municipality level.

    13 Q. On 16th April 1993, was there an attack by the HVO in

    14 Vitez, near the building where you lived?

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. How did you know that it was the HVO that attacked the

    17 building?

    18 A. I saw through the window soldiers wearing camouflage

    19 uniforms.

    20 Q. Did you recognise their uniforms?

    21 A. You will probably ask about the insignia. I saw them

    22 from the window. It would have been either the army or

    23 the HVO, and it was the HVO.

    24 Q. When you use the word "army", are you referring to the

    25 army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

  51. 1 A. Yes.

    2 Q. Did you then manage to hide for a few days, four days?

    3 A. Yes, I left my apartment that morning and moved to

    4 another apartment at another entrance.

    5 Q. Where did you go, in the same building, was it?

    6 A. It was the same building, but another entrance, the two

    7 entrances were one next to another.

    8 Q. On 20th April 1993, what did you then do?

    9 A. I left the building and when they were taking away

    10 Bosniaks, I joined them and entered the van and went to

    11 the cultural centre, the building where there was a

    12 cinema.

    13 Q. When you say "they", who was it that were taking the

    14 Bosniaks to the cinema, or the cultural centre, sorry?

    15 A. The HVO.

    16 Q. Did you attempt to slip undetected into the group that

    17 were being taken?

    18 A. Yes, not only did I try to slip in undetected, but

    19 I actually succeeded.

    20 Q. Did you fear during this period of time, leading up to

    21 the time when you joined this group going to the

    22 cultural centre, that you might be arrested because of

    23 your position?

    24 A. Yes.

    25 Q. Why did you fear that?

  52. 1 A. Simply because of the atmosphere, the situation, because

    2 of what was happening in the territory of Vitez.

    3 Q. When you went with this group of people, did you

    4 ultimately go to the cultural centre?

    5 A. Yes, I did.

    6 Q. What time did you get there, what time of the day was

    7 it?

    8 A. I think it was about 2.00 pm.

    9 Q. When you arrived at the cinema, where did they take you?

    10 A. We were in the basement of the cinema hall.

    11 Q. When you went into the basement, what did you see when

    12 you went down into the basement?

    13 A. There were two premises there, probably a boiler room

    14 and a place for storing coal.

    15 Q. Were there any people down there?

    16 A. Yes, there were.

    17 Q. Do you know what ethnic group they were?

    18 A. They were of Bosniak ethnic group.

    19 Q. When you say "Bosniak ethnic group", are you referring

    20 mainly to people of the Islamic faith?

    21 A. Yes, mostly I am.

    22 Q. About how many people were there? A rough average,

    23 I know you probably did not count them.

    24 A. 300 to 400, according to my estimate, which may not be

    25 correct.

  53. 1 Q. Could you determine the age range of the people that

    2 were there approximately, by just looking at their

    3 physical appearance?

    4 A. They were young men and older people, from maybe 17 or

    5 18 to 60.

    6 Q. Were they men, women and children or just men?

    7 A. Men.

    8 Q. Did they subsequently find out that you were there?

    9 When I say "they", I mean the authorities; did they

    10 subsequently find out that you, as president of the

    11 executive board, was there?

    12 A. I think that this happened later when we were due to

    13 have a meeting.

    14 Q. Tell us how it came about, will you?

    15 A. You mean the meeting?

    16 Q. Yes, and how it was discovered that you were in this

    17 basement?

    18 A. Dr. Mujezinovic came, looking for people to negotiate

    19 with the HVO, that is what he told you.

    20 Q. Who was Dr. Mujezinovic?

    21 A. At the time he was President of the War Presidency.

    22 Q. What did you say to him when he came? Did he come to

    23 you?

    24 A. I said that I would negotiate, but that UNPROFOR and the

    25 Red Cross had to be present.

  54. 1 Q. What did he then do?

    2 A. He left with some other people upstairs, to the upper

    3 storey.

    4 Q. What happened then?

    5 A. He came back half an hour later and asked me to go as

    6 well.

    7 Q. Did you go this time?

    8 A. Actually he did not come, someone else came from that

    9 service who were in that building and later I went and

    10 there was another man who went with me upstairs, to this

    11 room upstairs on the top floor.

    12 Q. When you went upstairs, who did you meet then?

    13 A. Apart from the people who went upstairs from the

    14 basement, there were two other people, two other Croats.

    15 Q. It was these two other Croats that you were negotiating

    16 with, was it?

    17 A. Yes, actually they were not real negotiations. They

    18 asked us to call the commander of the III Corps to

    19 insist that they stop operations, and that sort of

    20 thing.

    21 Q. Did you know the name of the two Croat people that asked

    22 you to do this?

    23 A. Josip Zvonko Cilic and Boro Jozic.

    24 Q. Do you know what positions they held at the time?

    25 A. I think that Cilic was in the information and propaganda

  55. 1 activities and Boro Jozic was engaged in exchange of

    2 prisoners and that sort of thing.

    3 Q. For what organisation was that?

    4 A. They worked for the HVO.

    5 Q. When you met them, did you ask to speak to some people?

    6 A. I said that if we were to have talks, we should have

    7 them with competent people.

    8 Q. Did you name the competent people that you wanted to

    9 speak to?

    10 A. Yes, they were Ivica Santic and Pero Skopljak.

    11 Q. I think you have told us the position of Ivica Santic.

    12 What position, so far as you knew, did Skopljak hold and

    13 why did you want to speak to him?

    14 A. At the time, he was President of the HDZ.

    15 Q. Why did you want to speak to him?

    16 A. They were the people who were competent and who could

    17 probably come to some sort of an agreement.

    18 Q. I just need to clarify: who was it that was President of

    19 the HDZ?

    20 A. Pero Skopljak.

    21 Q. I think you mentioned a moment ago that you were asked

    22 to speak to the commander of the army of

    23 Bosnia-Herzegovina in the region, is that right?

    24 A. Yes, that is what he wanted.

    25 Q. Who was the commander of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

  56. 1 for that region?

    2 A. Mr. Hadzihasanovic.

    3 Q. What Corps was he the commander of?

    4 A. It was the III Corps.

    5 Q. Where was the III Corps headquartered? Where was its

    6 headquarters?

    7 A. In Zenica.

    8 Q. Was this where Hadzihasanovic was located as well?

    9 A. That was where he was based, yes.

    10 Q. Did you know any other officers in the III Corps?

    11 A. Yes.

    12 Q. Who else did you know?

    13 A. Ramiz Dugalic, who was deputy commander.

    14 Q. For how long had you known Ramiz Dugalic?

    15 A. He comes from Vitez, but I know him maybe since April

    16 1992.

    17 Q. Did you subsequently speak to Dugalic?

    18 A. Yes, I did speak to Dugalic.

    19 Q. What did you say to him?

    20 A. I told him where we were, that Zvonko Cilic and Boro

    21 Jozic were with us, that they were treating us quite

    22 decently, that it would be a good idea to put an end to

    23 this, that there were a lot of us captured, and that

    24 sort of thing.

    25 Q. What did he say?

  57. 1 A. He said that he would see, that he would try to do

    2 something.

    3 Q. Was there then a proposal that either side should sign

    4 off to an agreement to reflect what had been discussed?

    5 A. Yes, this was supposed to be like some kind of an

    6 announcement.

    7 Q. What was the purpose of the announcement?

    8 A. I think that in the first place to put an end to

    9 hostilities, to calm people down and so on.

    10 Q. Who was it intended would be the parties to this

    11 document, this announcement?

    12 A. On the one side those present and on the other, that is

    13 representatives of the Bosniak group and the Croatian

    14 representatives.

    15 Q. What is the -- can you tell us what the HZ-HB is?

    16 A. It is the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.

    17 Q. Do you know what the HVO is?

    18 A. The Croatian Defence Council.

    19 Q. This document that was proposed between you, did you

    20 sign the document?

    21 A. Well we had a talk, there were various proposals but in

    22 the end, we signed it.

    23 Q. Did you initially refuse to sign it?

    24 A. Yes, there was a part that we could not agree with.

    25 Q. What was that part?

  58. 1 A. The subordination of the BiH army in Vitez to the HVO.

    2 Q. Why could you not agree to that?

    3 A. I was not competent to decide about that anyway.

    4 Q. But notwithstanding that, was there any other reason why

    5 you could not agree to it?

    6 A. The atmosphere was not really conducive to any kind of

    7 signing.

    8 Q. I think you said that you subsequently did sign it. Was

    9 this after there had been changes made to the document?

    10 A. Actually, these were all proposals, there was no

    11 definite written document that we had to sign, these

    12 were proposals which we had to formulate. Then we

    13 signed this document; there were three or four articles

    14 or paragraphs to that document.

    15 Q. Can you tell us some of the other proposals that were

    16 suggested? If you can remember.

    17 A. That the international rules of the Red Cross had to be

    18 respected; that hostilities should cease; that we would

    19 respect the agreement between Izetbegovic and Boban and

    20 that sort of thing.

    21 Q. During the time that you were detained in the cinema,

    22 were you ever taken out to dig trenches?

    23 A. Yes, I was once.

    24 Q. Where were you taken?

    25 A. It was to Rijeka, close to Vranjska. Those are the

  59. 1 names of these localities.

    2 Q. They are just on the outskirts of Vitez, are they, close

    3 to Vitez?

    4 A. Actually this belongs to the municipality of Vitez and

    5 it is close to the town itself.

    6 Q. Do you know who it was that took you out to dig these

    7 trenches?

    8 A. You mean by name?

    9 Q. No, do you know where these people came from?

    10 A. They were HVO members.

    11 Q. Was there any military activity going on around you

    12 during the time that you were digging the trenches, that

    13 you can recall?

    14 A. I did not notice any.

    15 Q. Had you heard of anyone being subjected to any danger at

    16 that time when you were digging trenches?

    17 A. I think there were some people killed.

    18 Q. On 26th April, do you recall a meeting being held where

    19 members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina arrived at the

    20 cinema?

    21 A. Yes, that was at the end of April. The commander of the

    22 BiH army, Sefer Halilovic, then Mr. Hasim Delic was there,

    23 Mr. Petkovic and Mario Cerkez, as far as I can recall.

    24 They were in the premises of the cinema, they entered

    25 the cinema hall.

  60. 1 Q. Do you have any knowledge of why they were there, why

    2 they had come to this place?

    3 A. We were told that we would be released, that an

    4 agreement to that effect had been reached.

    5 Q. So as far as you were aware, they had come there for the

    6 purposes of negotiating for the release of the

    7 prisoners, is that correct?

    8 A. I think that when they came to the hall, that agreement

    9 had already been reached, as far as I know.

    10 Q. How did you ascertain, how did you find this out?

    11 A. I think that the army commander wished us --

    12 congratulated us on our freedom, wished us all the best.

    13 Q. I think I said 26th April when I asked you the question,

    14 and I think you answered it was the end of April.

    15 A. Yes.

    16 Q. Do you think that the date I suggested may have been

    17 incorrect?

    18 A. Towards the end of April that was. Whether it was the

    19 29th, the 30th -- a lot of time has gone by and there

    20 were many things happening, so it is difficult to tell,

    21 but it was towards the end of April.

    22 Q. You feel that 26th April is too early, is not the right

    23 date?

    24 A. I think it is too early. I think it is.

    25 Q. I think the statement that you gave to the Office of the

  61. 1 Prosecutor, it has in that statement the date

    2 26th April, but do you now think that that may be the

    3 wrong date?

    4 A. I could have said 29th, maybe an interpreter made an

    5 error or something, but I do not know, I think it was

    6 the end of April, that is all.

    7 Q. Thank you. After you had heard that some of these

    8 prisoners were to be released, did you see people that

    9 were released, did you hear of people being released?

    10 A. That day or the next day, the majority were released.

    11 Q. What happened to you?

    12 A. I think about 20 people stayed behind in the building.

    13 Q. How long did you stay behind for in the cinema building?

    14 A. I think for about three days, possibly.

    15 Q. Were you then taken somewhere else?

    16 A. Yes, to the chess club in Vitez, a building in which the

    17 chess club was located, on the ground floor and the

    18 basement.

    19 Q. What time of the day were you taken there, day or

    20 morning, were you taken there?

    21 A. It was about 3.00 am.

    22 Q. Did you gain the impression that you were being taken

    23 there secretly?

    24 A. It was dark. Possibly. Possibly one could have that

    25 impression.

  62. 1 Q. Approximately what date was it, can you remember? You

    2 may not remember, but approximately what date would it

    3 have been that you were taken to the chess club?

    4 A. I think it was the 3rd, in the morning of the 3rd.

    5 Q. That is 3rd May, is it?

    6 A. Yes, 3rd May.

    7 Q. 1993?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Who took you to the chess club?

    10 A. HVO soldiers.

    11 Q. By what means of transport?

    12 A. It was a minibus.

    13 Q. Who did you go with?

    14 A. They were people from the cinema, I think there were

    15 about eight people from the cinema and another four from

    16 the SDK, the social accounting service. This was

    17 another building where people were detained.

    18 Q. For how long did you stay in the chess club?

    19 A. We spent the night there.

    20 Q. Where did you go the next day?

    21 A. About 2.00 pm, we were taken to Busovaca.

    22 Q. This is the opstina of Busovaca, is it?

    23 A. Yes.

    24 Q. Where in the opstina of Busovaca were you taken?

    25 A. To Kaonik, that is the name of that part of Busovaca

  63. 1 municipality.

    2 Q. Was it a particular place in Kaonik?

    3 A. Yes, it was a building that we were taken to.

    4 Q. Do you know what this building had been used for before

    5 the war?

    6 A. They were military hangars, I think.

    7 Q. When you say military before the war, that would have

    8 been the JNA, is that right?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. Had you ever been to Kaonik before this time?

    11 A. You mean in those buildings?

    12 Q. Well, to the JNA barracks there.

    13 A. No, I was never in those buildings.

    14 Q. When you arrived at Kaonik, where were you placed and

    15 with whom?

    16 A. We were placed into cells in that building, we were

    17 driven to the building and then placed in a cell and

    18 there were a total of 13 of us.

    19 Q. Did you know the 13 people that were with you?

    20 A. Yes, except for one.

    21 Q. Can you describe the room that you were put into, in

    22 terms of its size and description?

    23 A. I think it was a room that was about 4.5 to 5 metres

    24 long by 3 metres wide. Along the longer wall, there was

    25 a bench to be used as a bed. There were no windows

  64. 1 facing outside so there was no daylight, and there was a

    2 window facing the corridor.

    3 Q. When you were kept in this room, were you able to hear

    4 anything happening outside of the room?

    5 A. Yes, you could hear the sounds of people wailing.

    6 Q. Could you hear them saying anything?

    7 A. Yes, you could hear it, it was loud enough.

    8 Q. Could you hear what they were saying?

    9 A. Yes, "I will tell everything", "don't, don't", things

    10 like that.

    11 Q. After four days in Kaonik, what happened then?

    12 A. I think that the Red Cross arrived.

    13 Q. When they arrived, did they come and see you?

    14 A. Yes, and we talked to them in the hallway. We even

    15 managed to write a message.

    16 Q. While you were held in Kaonik, were you ever

    17 interrogated?

    18 A. Yes, I was interrogated the following day.

    19 Q. That is after you had -- the following day after seeing

    20 the Red Cross?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Where were you interrogated?

    23 A. This was in the town of Busovaca, at the premises of the

    24 insurance company there.

    25 Q. Who interrogated you?

  65. 1 A. There were, I assume, the investigators there, there

    2 were several people who interrogated me.

    3 Q. Did you know any of these investigators?

    4 A. Yes, I knew one of them, I even had official business

    5 with him before. His name was Juresic.

    6 Q. Do you know what position he held?

    7 A. I could assume that, I did not know.

    8 Q. What position did he appear to hold, then?

    9 A. I think that they were investigators.

    10 Q. Did you know what he did before the war, what position

    11 he had before the war?

    12 A. Yes, he also worked for the police in Zenica. He was in

    13 charge with protection from fire, from things like that

    14 and so we met on that basis.

    15 Q. What ethnic group was he, did you know?

    16 A. He was a Croat.

    17 Q. During the time, during this period when you were being

    18 interrogated, did anyone else enter the room while you

    19 were there?

    20 A. Yes, other people came in and went out, that went on.

    21 Q. Did you know who those people represented or where they

    22 came from?

    23 A. I personally did not know these people, but they were

    24 all members of the HVO.

    25 Q. Did they say or do anything to you while they were

  66. 1 there?

    2 A. The ones who interrogated me?

    3 Q. No, the HVO that came into the room.

    4 A. Well yes, he said a few words.

    5 Q. What did he say to you?

    6 A. He was giving me a pistol, so that I would kill myself,

    7 things like that. Then I said, "there is no need for

    8 that". Then he would offer me his pistol again and say,

    9 "okay then, you kill me", things like that.

    10 Q. Were you then taken back to Kaonik?

    11 A. Yes, I was then returned to Kaonik.

    12 Q. Were you then later interrogated in Kaonik?

    13 A. Well yes, the next day.

    14 Q. Who interrogated you in Kaonik the next day?

    15 A. In fact they gave me some paper, they posed some

    16 questions and the next day Zarko Petrovic interrogated

    17 me outside that building. It was very short.

    18 Q. Had you spoken to Zarko Petrovic before this? Had you

    19 seen him before this?

    20 A. Yes, in fact he brought me in the car to the insurance

    21 company, then he drove me back from the insurance

    22 company, so he was involved in transportation.

    23 Q. So you saw him on the first occasion when you went to

    24 Busovaca and then you saw him again in Kaonik when he

    25 gave you the paper?

  67. 1 A. Yes, he was also in the insurance company premises, he

    2 was also present there. Not all the time, but he was

    3 also present.

    4 Q. You say a piece of paper and they posed some questions.

    5 What were the questions they posed for you, can you

    6 remember?

    7 A. With whom I had contacts in Sarajevo, in Zenica. Then

    8 there was a question of my family ties with Izetbegovic,

    9 or my wife's ties with that family. The Vitez trade

    10 company, from whom of the Croats did we buy weapons,

    11 things like that.

    12 Q. You spoke of Zarko Petrovic being at Kaonik on the next

    13 day. Was he the person that interrogated you in Kaonik

    14 on that day, or was it somebody else?

    15 A. Yes, he did that, but it was very short, in fact he just

    16 read what I had written down.

    17 Q. What did he say to you when he read the things that you

    18 had written down?

    19 A. He was not satisfied.

    20 Q. What happened then, when he was not satisfied? What

    21 happened then?

    22 A. You mean after my conversation with him?

    23 Q. That is right, yes.

    24 A. I stayed in the building, it was another building, it

    25 was about 100 metres away from the building where I had

  68. 1 originally been brought, and in fact I stayed in a room.

    2 Q. What happened?

    3 A. I was kept there.

    4 Q. Who took you there?

    5 A. It was Zarko Petrovic who brought me to this building

    6 and he left me in this room and there was a man at the

    7 reception desk, at the entrance to that building, and he

    8 left the keys with him and he told him not to let

    9 anybody in, into this room.

    10 Q. Who told them not to let anyone in the room, Petkovic,

    11 was it?

    12 A. Yes, he told this man who was at this reception on duty,

    13 an older man.

    14 Q. What happened then?

    15 A. Then a soldier came and asked him to unlock the room and

    16 he said that he did not have the keys, that he needed to

    17 go and ask the investigator, things like that.

    18 Q. What happened?

    19 A. When the shift changed, that was around 7.00 or 8.00,

    20 that same man came again, and a new person on duty told

    21 him that he needed to ask the investigator in order to

    22 let him in.

    23 Q. Do you know the name of the man that came again?

    24 A. Yes, he later asked me, when he took me out of that

    25 room, whether I knew what his name was, that his

  69. 1 nickname was Svabo and how come I did not know that he

    2 was that person.

    3 Q. He was the person that wanted to come into the room, was

    4 he?

    5 A. Yes.

    6 Q. He did not do that until there was a change of shift?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. After the change of shift and when he came into the

    9 room, what happened then?

    10 A. He took me out of that room and took me to another

    11 room. I think that this was like a dining hall, there

    12 were several tables and chairs there.

    13 Q. When you went into this dining hall, what happened?

    14 A. I sat in a chair and he said just what I said before, he

    15 told me to say everything, everything I knew.

    16 Q. What did you say to him?

    17 A. I started saying some things, he was not satisfied.

    18 I received several blows on my head and legs.

    19 Q. Were you sitting in the chair at the time?

    20 A. Yes, I did.

    21 Q. When he hit you in the head, did you stay in the chair?

    22 A. I fell from the chair a few times.

    23 Q. Apart from hitting you in the head, did he hit you

    24 anywhere else?

    25 A. Yes, in my legs and I received a hit in the kidney area.

  70. 1 Q. With what did he hit you?

    2 A. There were no objects involved. Hands and kicks. He

    3 kicked me in my shins.

    4 Q. Did he have any boots or shoes on his feet when he

    5 kicked you?

    6 A. I think he had boots.

    7 Q. During the course of this interrogation, did he produce

    8 any weapons of any sort?

    9 A. Yes, he had a knife on his belt.

    10 Q. What did he do with the knife, if anything?

    11 A. He took it out and then put it back and that was very

    12 brief.

    13 Q. What happened after the interrogation took place?

    14 A. He took me back to this room, that is the cell in this

    15 building.

    16 Q. What happened then, after he took you back?

    17 A. There was a telephone there at the reception desk and

    18 then I heard him say, "director, everything is fine

    19 here".

    20 Q. Was he having a telephone conversation when he said

    21 that?

    22 A. Yes, that is my assumption.

    23 Q. Did he use the word "director" or did he use some other

    24 word that you can remember?

    25 A. I think that is the word he used.

  71. 1 Q. Did you suffer any injuries as a result of the beating?

    2 A. Yes, there were bruises around my eyes and in the areas

    3 of my kidneys.

    4 Q. What happened the next day?

    5 A. In the morning, Zarko Petrovic came.

    6 Q. Did Zarko Petrovic say anything to you?

    7 A. Yes, he said that he was not able to prevent this, that

    8 it was out of his control.

    9 Q. Did you tell him what had happened?

    10 A. I guess he saw. I assumed he knew, so that is my

    11 assumption.

    12 Q. Do you know what position Zarko Petrovic had?

    13 A. I think he was an investigator, that is how they

    14 addressed him, so I think he was an investigator.

    15 Q. Some days later, were you spoken to by officials from an

    16 international organisation?

    17 A. Yes, they were present.

    18 Q. Do you know what the international organisation was?

    19 A. The European Monitors, they were dressed in white,

    20 I think that they were the European Monitors.

    21 Q. Do you know approximately when it was that you were

    22 spoken to by the European Monitors?

    23 A. Maybe it was a day or two later after I was brought back

    24 from the second room, that was now the third cell. That

    25 was one or two days after.

  72. 1 Q. I take it that you did not have a calendar with you when

    2 you were in prison, so it was difficult for you to keep

    3 track of the actual dates, is that right?

    4 A. I had other problems, so one does not think of that.

    5 Q. Did the European Monitors ask you any questions that you

    6 can remember?

    7 A. I think it was something like, "how were you treated?",

    8 and things like that, how did people treat us.

    9 Q. When you were asked how you were treated, what did you

    10 say?

    11 A. It was better not to say things to the monitors, so we

    12 said it was fine.

    13 Q. Did you mention the fact that you had just been beaten a

    14 few days earlier?

    15 A. I think I did not. I think I did not. It was visible,

    16 they could have seen it.

    17 Q. Did you happen to see who it was, if anyone, that was

    18 accompanying the ECMM monitors as they were going

    19 around?

    20 A. I think that somebody was in front of -- I think there

    21 was somebody there. I do not know who it was, I cannot

    22 remember that.

    23 Q. Did you see any officials from the camp, for example,

    24 going around with the ECMM monitors? That is people

    25 other than in the white uniforms?

  73. 1 A. There were people who were present there, I do not know

    2 what their functions were.

    3 Q. Did you know who the camp commander was at the time when

    4 you were there?

    5 A. I did not know at that time, but I know we signed a

    6 release document and we signed it in the presence of the

    7 camp commander.

    8 Q. Do you know where the camp commander's office was?

    9 A. I do not know where the camp commander's office was, but

    10 we signed this document in the office that was in that

    11 building.

    12 Q. Where was the office that was in that building, relative

    13 to your cell?

    14 A. Looking from the entrance to the building, it was to the

    15 left of the entrance.

    16 Q. It was in the same building as your cell was, is that

    17 correct?

    18 A. Yes, in the same building.

    19 Q. Some days after the European Monitors made their visit

    20 there, did something then happen?

    21 A. Yes, I think it was the 14th and we were transferred to

    22 Vitez again to the cultural centre building and on 16th,

    23 the exchange took place; that is we were exchanged and

    24 then we were actually free.

    25 Q. Where did the exchange take place?

  74. 1 A. I do not know exactly. I know that we were brought to

    2 Poculice. The UNPROFOR representatives were there as

    3 well as the ICRC. This is the part of the Vitez

    4 municipality controlled by the army, and that is where

    5 we were brought and that was the act of release, that

    6 was the final act of being set free.

    7 MR. NIEMANN: Might the witness be shown Exhibit P7, if

    8 your Honours please?

    9 Mr. Kaknjo, would you look for me please at the

    10 document that has now been placed on that machine

    11 there? Make yourself comfortable so you can see it. It

    12 is not something, I know, you are familiar with, but

    13 would you just carefully look through it and if you see

    14 any names of any persons mentioned there that were in

    15 prison at the same time you were there, could you just

    16 indicate them by reference to the number? Any persons

    17 that you knew of that were in prison with you at that

    18 time.

    19 A. Number 15, Beso, I do not know if his name was Mustafa

    20 or not, but Beso was there yes, maybe it was not Beso --

    21 Serif Osadsevic.

    22 Q. Which number is that?

    23 A. 64, 65, 67, 68, 69 but not that last name. Ramo

    24 Karijkic is 69. Number 70, 72, 73 --

    25 Q. I think 72 is a reference to you, is it not?

  75. 1 A. It says "Fuad" here. 73, 74, 76. There was a Sefma

    2 there, I do not know his name, that would be 78.

    3 MR. NIEMANN: Thank you very much. No further questions,

    4 your Honour.

    5 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you very much for the moment. We

    6 are going to have a break and we will resume work at

    7 4.15.

    8 (3.55 pm)

    9 (A short break)

    10 (4.15 pm)

    11 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, the witness is now at your

    12 disposal.

    13 Cross-examined by MR. MIKULICIC

    14 Q. Thank you, your Honours.

    15 Good afternoon, Mr. Kaknjo. I am attorney Mr. Goran

    16 Mikulicic, representing Mr. Zlatko Aleksovski in this

    17 case and it is my turn to ask you a few questions.

    18 A. Good afternoon.

    19 Q. I am going back to the part of your testimony when you

    20 said that Petrovic took you for interrogation and then

    21 brought you back to the Kaonik locality. You said that

    22 on that occasion, you were taken back to the building.

    23 Could you describe to us which building you are

    24 referring to? Did you manage to understand the purpose

    25 of that building?

  76. 1 A. I was returned to cell number 3, that is how it was

    2 marked. Before that, I was in cell 16. I was taken

    3 from cell 16 for interrogation and then taken back to

    4 cell 3.

    5 Q. This person whom you called by his nickname Svabo, did

    6 he interrogate you in the same building to which you

    7 were taken back?

    8 A. No, in another building.

    9 Q. Could you describe to us the building in question?

    10 A. That was the building of the intervention squad, because

    11 I saw people under arms there, who went to carry out

    12 operations, they were mentioning certain villages, so

    13 that I think this was the building where the

    14 intervention squad was accommodated.

    15 Q. Could you please show us on an aerial photo of Kaonik

    16 the building you are referring to?

    17 A. Yes, if the picture is clear, I think I could.

    18 MR. MIKULICIC: I would like to ask the usher to show the

    19 witness an aerial photograph which has been submitted as

    20 an exhibit, so that we can ask the witness to indicate

    21 the building where he was interrogated by a person

    22 nicknamed Svabo.

    23 A. This is the main road towards Busovaca, and this

    24 branches off towards Kaonik, so it would be this

    25 building (indicates).

  77. 1 Q. Thank you.

    2 A. The photograph is not very clear. I think it was that

    3 building.

    4 Q. Could that building be marked, the building pointed to

    5 by the witness, as the building where he was

    6 interrogated by a person nicknamed Svabo.

    7 On this aerial photograph, can you discern the

    8 other building to which you were taken later?

    9 A. I think it was this building (indicates).

    10 Q. Could this second building also be marked as the

    11 building identified by the witness.

    12 Do you know who was the commander of the

    13 intervention squad at the time when you were in that

    14 first building?

    15 A. No, I am not familiar with the name.

    16 Q. Are you familiar -- I apologise.

    17 THE REGISTRAR: If I may be allowed, Mr. President, I think

    18 it would be desirable for the Prosecutor, who has

    19 another copy, to give this copy to the witness so that

    20 he can directly mark, put in the marks requested by the

    21 Defence, by counsel, and then it will be admitted as an

    22 exhibit of the Defence.

    23 MR. MIKULICIC: Counsel would suggest that the first building

    24 be marked A and the second B, or in any other suitable

    25 way.

  78. 1 JUDGE RODRIGUES: May I thank you for your suggestion,

    2 Mr. Mikulicic. Thank you very much.

    3 MR. MIKULICIC: You are welcome.

    4 A. Should I mark the picture?

    5 Q. Yes, please do. So this would be building A, and the

    6 other one would be building B.

    7 A. (Witness marks map).

    8 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. Counsel would tender this aerial

    9 photograph thus marked into evidence as a Defence

    10 exhibit.

    11 THE REGISTRAR: It is Exhibit D1.

    12 MR. MIKULICIC: Mr. Kaknjo, you have described the, to put it

    13 mildly, unpleasantness you experienced in building A.

    14 You said that this building was actually the base of the

    15 intervention squad.

    16 A. That is my understanding.

    17 Q. Can you explain to all of us and the Trial Chamber what

    18 an intervention squad is?

    19 A. These are people who intervene in certain situations.

    20 They engage in operations, they are given tasks to go to

    21 particular areas, something to that effect.

    22 Q. Who is in command of such an intervention platoon?

    23 A. I think it is the HVO.

    24 Q. Is it true that an intervention platoon can be described

    25 as a military unit?

  79. 1 A. Yes, it can.

    2 Q. Are you aware what the function was of Zlatko Aleksovski

    3 at the time you were there?

    4 A. I think he was the commander of the camp in Kaonik.

    5 Q. You stated that you heard this person who beat you,

    6 Svabo, having a telephone conversation.

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. Do you know who he was talking to?

    9 A. I just heard what he said.

    10 Q. Though you said that once, would you be kind enough to

    11 repeat the exact words, as far as you can recollect

    12 them.

    13 A. "Commander, it is okay, I have finished my job", words

    14 to that effect.

    15 Q. Was that all that you heard him say on the phone?

    16 A. Yes, it was.

    17 Q. You said that you had visible injuries on the face from

    18 the blows you received?

    19 A. Yes, there were bruises.

    20 Q. Can you recall how many days after these events, after

    21 you were hurt, did the people whom you described as men

    22 in white, the European Monitors, come?

    23 A. A day or two later, very soon after that, because that

    24 period was full of events, it is rather hard to tell.

    25 Q. According to your recollection, could that visit have

  80. 1 taken place on 10th May 1993?

    2 A. Possibly, the 10th, the 11th, possibly.

    3 Q. Do you know the person who was leading the European

    4 Monitors at the time in the Lasva River valley?

    5 A. No, I did not know him.

    6 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Mr. Kaknjo, we have no further

    7 questions.

    8 MR. NIEMANN: No questions in re-examination, your Honour.

    9 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Kaknjo, I have two questions for you.

    10 In your language, is the commander and director, are

    11 they two different things or can they be used to

    12 indicate the same thing?

    13 A. In everyday terminology in peacetime, one could say

    14 "director" or "warden", but in a crisis situation, in

    15 wartime conditions, then "commander" or "director" could

    16 be used interchangeably.

    17 Q. It is true that in those circumstances the most

    18 appropriate word would be "commander"?

    19 A. Both terms could be used, either term could be used.

    20 Q. My second question is as follows: do you know

    21 Mr. Aleksovski?

    22 A. I met him on that day when we were going back to the

    23 cultural centre in Vitez, where we had been detained

    24 previously.

    25 Q. Did you speak to him?

  81. 1 A. There was no real conversation, we just had to sign the

    2 release paper. We did not personally communicate, no.

    3 Q. Could you tell us whether he is here? Could you point

    4 to him?

    5 A. Yes, I could.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Thank you for your testimony. Thank you.

    7 A. Thank you too.

    8 (The witness withdrew)

    9 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honour, my colleague Mr. Marchesiello will

    10 take the next witness.

    11 (Witness entered court)

    12 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Good afternoon. Could you please read

    13 your declaration.

    14 BAHTIJA SIVRO (sworn)

    15 Examined by MR. MARCHESIELLO

    16 Q. You can sit down please. Do you hear me? Can you hear

    17 me?

    18 A. I do.

    19 Q. Could you please state your full name, age and place of

    20 birth?

    21 A. My name is Bahtija Sivro, I was born on 27th January

    22 1951 in Zenica.

    23 Q. Where are you presently living, Mr. Sivro?

    24 A. (redacted)

    25 Q. (redacted)

  82. 1 A. (redacetd)

    2 Q. (redacted)

    3 A. (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 Q. Please could you tell us what is your nationality,

    6 Mr. Sivro?

    7 A. I am a Bosniak, a Muslim.

    8 Q. So you describe yourself and your family from the point

    9 of view of ethnicity; you describe yourself as a Muslim?

    10 A. Yes.

    11 Q. Can you please briefly outline for the court your

    12 educational background, starting from high school on.

    13 A. I graduated elementary school in Vitez, secondary school

    14 of electrical engineering in Zenica and the electrical

    15 engineering faculty in Sarajevo, so I am a graduate

    16 electrotechnical engineer of the electronics

    17 specialisation.

    18 Q. As a student and until graduation, did you have any

    19 political experience, party youth organisation and so

    20 on?

    21 A. No, I was not politically involved in any political

    22 organisations.

    23 Q. At a certain moment in the subsequent years, did you

    24 take part in such a political organisation? Were you a

    25 member or are you still a member of a political

  83. 1 organisation?

    2 A. At present I am a member of the Party of Democratic

    3 Action.

    4 Q. With which role and tasks, please?

    5 A. I am now just a regular member of the organisation, that

    6 is the Party of Democratic Action.

    7 Q. When did you join the party?

    8 A. At the beginning of 1992.

    9 Q. Can you briefly explain to the court the nature of this

    10 political organisation? What does SDA mean?

    11 A. The Party of Democratic Action in its title indicates

    12 democracy and it rallies mostly Bosniak Muslims, but

    13 there are members of other nationalities and

    14 confessions.

    15 Q. Do you mean that there are Croats who can be members and

    16 actually are members of the party, of that party?

    17 A. Yes, that is what I mean.

    18 Q. Did you have in the recent past or now do you have any

    19 administrative and/or governmental role in your country

    20 and/or in Vitez municipality?

    21 A. For a time, I was head of the Bosniak section of the

    22 Vitez municipality after the signing of the Washington

    23 Agreement; or to be more precise, from October 1995

    24 until the end of 1996, I held the position of head of

    25 the Bosniak section of Vitez municipality.

  84. 1 Q. Can you please explain to the court what you mean by

    2 "Bosniak section" of Vitez?

    3 A. Unfortunately Vitez continues to be divided into two

    4 parts, the Bosniak part and the Croatian part, so that

    5 on both sides there are two heads, the head of the

    6 Croatian section and the head of the Bosniak section.

    7 Q. Are you still occupying this position, are you still

    8 mayor of Vitez, of the Bosnian part of Vitez?

    9 A. I no longer perform that function, I am now working in

    10 the government of the Central Bosnia canton in the

    11 Ministry of Industry and Power. I hold the post of

    12 Electrical Power Inspector and at the same time I am a

    13 delegate in the House of Representatives of the

    14 Parliament of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    15 Q. Will you briefly describe your professional history as a

    16 civilian and state your main professional experiences?

    17 A. Upon graduation from the university, I worked at the

    18 Zenica steel works as a young engineer. Shortly after

    19 that, I moved to Vitez and worked at the Vitezit

    20 enterprise as an engineer designer and after ten years

    21 of employment there, I became manager of engineering and

    22 development of the socially-owned enterprise called

    23 Vitezit.

    24 Q. I understand that Vitezit factory is part of a larger

    25 industrial complex in Vitez. Can you be more precise on

  85. 1 this point?

    2 A. Yes, these are chemical plants. In addition to Vitezit,

    3 there were two other companies that were quite

    4 separate. They operated independently, a company called

    5 Slobodan Princip Selo and another one called Sintevit

    6 and all three companies formed an association which used

    7 to belong to the business association of UNIS in

    8 Sarajevo.

    9 Q. Actually in a physical sense they are a unit, they are

    10 in the same area, the three factories?

    11 A. Yes, they are within the same compound and they form an

    12 entity.

    13 Q. How was on your arrival there and how, if you can say

    14 that, how has remained the situation of Muslim personnel

    15 within the factory?

    16 A. Quite normal while I was working there from 1977 until

    17 the 1990s.

    18 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Sorry, they ask me to ask the court for a

    19 redaction from the transcript, page 87, line 17. Thank

    20 you.

    21 MR. MIKULICIC: Excuse me, counsel is not quite aware what

    22 kind of redaction is in question, as we do not have the

    23 transcript before us. Could we be familiarised with

    24 this request?

    25 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Could you please, Mr. Prosecutor, explain

  86. 1 this a little?

    2 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Actually I cannot, because I have been

    3 asked to do it.

    4 MR. NIEMANN: Your Honours, we are just seeking a redaction

    5 of something which we might write down on a piece of

    6 paper. If there is to be any discussion or debate about

    7 it, we should go into closed session. I will pass this

    8 over to Mr. Mikulicic, but if Mr. Mikulicic has any

    9 further discussion on it, I would be asking to go into

    10 closed session.

    11 MR. MIKULICIC: Okay, I am completely aware.

    12 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Are you agreeable, Mr. Mikulicic?

    13 MR. MIKULICIC: Yes, I am.

    14 MR. MARCHESIELLO: I hope it has been only a technical

    15 accident and I hope it will not happen again.

    16 Can we start again with the last question? How

    17 was the situation with the Muslim personnel within the

    18 factory? I know you have already answered, but the

    19 other matter, the technical matter did not allow me to

    20 follow your answer.

    21 A. Could you please specify what period you are referring

    22 to?

    23 Q. From the very beginning of your experience in the

    24 Vitezit to, let us say, mid 1992?

    25 A. As I have said already, there were no major problems

  87. 1 regarding the position of Muslims working in that

    2 enterprise.

    3 Q. Were there more Muslims in the management of the company

    4 than Croats?

    5 A. More recently, that is in 1991/1992, the top management

    6 of all three firms consisted of Croats, in the majority.

    7 Q. By the way, when did you first arrive in Vitez as a

    8 professional, as an engineer, to work there?

    9 A. I think it was the end of 1976 or the beginning of 1977.

    10 Q. When did you marry, could you please tell us that?

    11 A. I got married in 1978.

    12 Q. Where did you last live in Vitez, in which area of Vitez

    13 did you live?

    14 A. I lived in the downtown area, in a socially-owned

    15 apartment. I had an apartment.

    16 Q. In which part of divided Vitez is this area now? Is it

    17 in the Bosnian or the Croat area?

    18 A. My apartment is in the Croat area.

    19 Q. After the collapse of former Yugoslavia and of the

    20 Communist regime, and until the end of 1991, could you

    21 tell us how were in Vitez the relations between the

    22 Croat and the Muslim communities? I am referring to

    23 your personal experience. Were there problems,

    24 conflicts?

    25 A. In 1991, the Muslims and Croats lived together and they

  88. 1 did not cause any difficulties for each other.

    2 Q. Could you please tell us which was the structure of

    3 local government after the elections?

    4 A. The structure of local government corresponded to the

    5 number of votes gained at the first elections that took

    6 place so that at those elections, more than 50 per cent

    7 was won by the Croats. They had a majority, and this

    8 was the result of the elections that took place in 1991.

    9 Q. At that time was there set up a Joint Council? Was it

    10 established at that time?

    11 A. At that time there was a joint legislative and executive

    12 branch of government. The legislative was the municipal

    13 assembly and the executive was the executive council of

    14 the municipal assembly, which was the local government.

    15 Q. In November 1991, the Croatian Community of

    16 Herceg-Bosna, HZ-HB, was established. Did the situation

    17 you have briefly described to us, concerning the Muslims

    18 and the Croats in Vitez, start to change after that

    19 date, and in which terms, if so?

    20 A. The situation after the formation of the Croatian

    21 Community of Herceg-Bosna, in the first days or months,

    22 did not change much in Vitez, but there was an evident

    23 tendency on the part of the Croatian authorities to

    24 dominate over the Muslim population.

    25 Q. How did this tendency show itself? Can you give us some

  89. 1 examples?

    2 A. The government which was joint after the formation of

    3 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Croats

    4 sought to form the Croatian Defence Council and they

    5 succeeded in doing that at the beginning of 1992. The

    6 Muslims did not participate in that government.

    7 Q. You told about the establishment of the Croatian Defence

    8 Council, HVO. You described the main consequences of

    9 the establishment of the HVO in Vitez. Had there been

    10 at that time an attempt by the Muslims to find a

    11 peaceful way to co-operate with the Croats within these

    12 new structures that were being set up, I mean the HVO?

    13 A. Yes, there was an attempt made in mid 1992, I think it

    14 was in June, if I recollect well. There was a joint

    15 session of representatives of the Croats, that is the

    16 main board of the HDZ of Vitez municipality, and the

    17 municipal board of the SDA of Vitez, together with all

    18 other people of goodwill and people who were prominent

    19 figures locally. Unfortunately, after two hours of

    20 debate and discussions, we did not succeed in reaching

    21 an agreement to form a unified government that would be

    22 called the Croatian Defence Council. The Muslims

    23 insisted that it be called the Croatian-Muslim Defence

    24 Council, and at the beginning, at this meeting, this

    25 seemed to be reasonable and even acceptable. However,

  90. 1 this title was not accepted so that the Muslims did not

    2 wish to participate and did not participate in the

    3 Croatian Defence Council; that is in the local

    4 government by that name.

    5 Q. Where did this meeting take place? Do you remember a

    6 particular place in Vitez?

    7 A. The meeting was held in the amphitheatre of the

    8 elementary school, which was then called the Brotherhood

    9 and Unity Elementary School in Vitez.

    10 Q. Did you take part in the discussion and what in this

    11 case had been at that time your proposals for finding a

    12 reasonable settlement of the situation?

    13 A. I participated in the discussions at the meeting,

    14 expressing the will and desire for life together, and

    15 trying to avoid any disruption of life in Vitez

    16 municipality and, of course, I supported the position

    17 that the government should be called the Croatian-Muslim

    18 Defence Council, which regrettably was not accepted at

    19 that meeting.

    20 Q. How do the Muslim community react to this unhappy result

    21 of the meeting? Did they organise themselves

    22 autonomously?

    23 A. At first they stayed on in the municipal building, but

    24 soon they were chased out of that building if they

    25 refused to sign allegiance to the government of the

  91. 1 HVO. After that, self-organisation was resorted to, and

    2 a body was formed called the Co-ordination Committee for

    3 the Protection of Muslims. This body did not belong to

    4 any governmental institution or political organisation.

    5 Q. Do you remember the names of the members of this Muslim

    6 committee to organise defence? Some of them, at least?

    7 A. I do remember the names, such as Hasan Sadibasic, Nusret

    8 Kalco, Munib Kijmovic and so on.

    9 Q. Do you remember Varupa Midhat as a member of that

    10 committee?

    11 A. Yes, he was a member of that body, yes.

    12 Q. You say that during this period, the Croatians, to put

    13 it in a more precise way, the HVO, had already taken

    14 control of the most important institutions. Could you

    15 explain better in which forms did this happen?

    16 A. They took over the police station, the post office

    17 building, the municipal building, and more or less all

    18 the public institutions that existed at the time, and

    19 this happened by force, they did this by force.

    20 Q. In particular, what happened in your factory, in the

    21 Vitezit factory?

    22 A. I was working at the time as the manager for engineering

    23 and development, and the so-called civilian guards who

    24 were providing security for the plant were withdrawn and

    25 instead the HVO police were introduced, a special

  92. 1 purpose police unit, which protected all the factories

    2 in the compound. This police force consisted

    3 exclusively of Croats.

    4 Q. Did they put any flag or insignia on the factory, at the

    5 entrance of the factory?

    6 A. At the main entrance to the factory, the flag with the

    7 chequer board insignia was hoisted, which was a visible

    8 sign as to whom the factory belonged to.

    9 Q. Do you remember attending a military parade in the fall

    10 of 1992 at the local soccer stadium, and can you

    11 describe what happened on that occasion?

    12 A. Yes, I attended it briefly, where the local HVO unit

    13 gave the oath. I was there briefly, but I saw the

    14 entire ceremony on television immediately after that,

    15 that is the same night.

    16 Q. How did the ceremony develop? Was there a parade, was

    17 there some oath taken by the troops?

    18 A. As I said, the units were on parade at the local

    19 stadium. They gave the oath and what I found

    20 particularly remarkable, the oath was given in words "Za

    21 Dom Spremni", "ready for homeland". In that period,

    22 this was reminiscent of World War II, where that

    23 movement was characterised as fascist.

    24 Q. Who was in command of the brigade on that occasion, the

    25 commander of the unit who was parading?

  93. 1 A. The commander of these units was Mario Cerkez.

    2 Q. Did some major political representative give a speech in

    3 that occasion?

    4 A. It was a public event and all local leaders of the

    5 Croatian Community were present, Dario Kordic, Pero

    6 Skopljak and others were present. I think that Tihomir

    7 Blaskic was there as well.

    8 Q. I imagine they expressed the programme of that actions.

    9 Was there in their words any mention of the role that

    10 the Muslim community, minority, should have played in

    11 their new idea of the country?

    12 A. Among others, Dario Kordic also addressed these units,

    13 that is these soldiers. In my view, he had a very

    14 partial view about the role of the Croatian people, and

    15 the Muslim people were not mentioned in this speech.

    16 According to him, there were no Muslims, virtually, in

    17 Vitez.

    18 Q. Mr. Sivro, do you remember what happened in Vitez and the

    19 surrounding area on 20th October 1992? You were there,

    20 you were in Vitez at that time?

    21 A. Yes, on 20th October, a minor incident happened in

    22 Vitez, and I would like to stress that it was an

    23 incident, not a conflict. There was a conflict in Novi

    24 Travnik, and the local leaders of both armies, which was

    25 then the Territorial Defence and the HVO, agreed not to

  94. 1 get involved in the conflict in Novi Travnik. However,

    2 certain units coming from the direction of Busovaca,

    3 I think they were from Kiseljak and Busovaca, started in

    4 the direction of Novi Travnik. In the village of

    5 Ahmici, a barrier was put up in order to prevent these

    6 forces from coming to Novi Travnik. There was shooting,

    7 and I think that a member of the Territorial Defence was

    8 killed by a sniper on that occasion. The HVO units did

    9 not pass through to Novi Travnik, and the HVO took an

    10 exception to that, and pulled out the command of the

    11 Territorial Defence in Vitez and its logistics centre.

    12 Some of the people from this command were arrested

    13 and physically mistreated and four or five -- after four

    14 or five days, things were kind of settled and there were

    15 no more acts of provocation.

    16 Q. Did this incident -- you said it was not a conflict in a

    17 proper military sense; did this incident produce

    18 consequences as to Vitez, in the sense of was Vitez

    19 divided and the division of Vitez you have mentioned,

    20 was this the first time that the town was divided into

    21 areas, into Croatian and Bosnian Muslim areas, and was

    22 it possible for Muslims to move freely from one area to

    23 the other?

    24 A. At that time, you could not speak about a division of

    25 the town, but the formations of the then Territorial

  95. 1 Defence, and as I said the logistics centre, were forced

    2 to pull back to Stari Vitez, and after these changes,

    3 the Muslims did not feel safe living in Vitez. However,

    4 people still went on and about their business. They

    5 went to work and their life went on.

    6 Q. You mean, if I understand well, that the Territorial

    7 Defence could not operate as a military unit out of

    8 Stari Vitez?

    9 A. Yes.

    10 Q. In general, how did the situation evolve from this

    11 period, October 1992, until April 1993?

    12 A. In this period, the situation was not good at all. The

    13 relations between Croats and Muslims kept

    14 deteriorating. There were constantly small local

    15 incidents. Business premises, shops and cafes, anything

    16 that was Muslim property, was destroyed either by

    17 explosives or by physical force. The Muslims, so to

    18 speak, were not free to conduct their business any

    19 longer in the urban part of Vitez.

    20 Q. Let us go to 15th April 1993. Was that a special day

    21 for the community, for the Muslim community in Vitez?

    22 Was it, and for which reason?

    23 A. I would not call it a special day for the Muslim

    24 community, but it was a special day. On that day, the

    25 Territorial Defence grew into the Army of

  96. 1 Bosnia-Herzegovina, that was its official name, and that

    2 day was celebrated as the day of foundation or the

    3 establishment of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. On

    4 that date, there was a small cocktail party in the fire

    5 fighters' hall in Vitez, and the representatives of the

    6 Croatian people were invited to this small celebration,

    7 both of the civilian and the military administration.

    8 The representatives did show up and took part in

    9 this small celebration. It looked as if we could have a

    10 communal life and that these conflicts and acts of

    11 provocation would not take place. This was very brief

    12 and with this cocktail party, this getting together of

    13 these groups actually came to a stop. I was present

    14 there on that occasion.

    15 Q. Was there on the same day an announcement on TV, on

    16 Croatian TV, from the so-called crisis staff, and what

    17 was the content of this announcement? Was it on the

    18 same line of brotherhood and an expectance of peaceful

    19 co-existence?

    20 A. That evening, the local television of Vitez municipality

    21 broadcast a programme. This television was controlled

    22 by the Croats, the entire TV station. The following

    23 information was broadcast, that all misunderstandings

    24 and all incidents had been brought under control, and

    25 that people should go to bed with ease, that there will

  97. 1 be no conflict between the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina

    2 and the Croatian Defence Council.

    3 Q. Could you please explain to the court briefly what were

    4 the functions and what was the composition of the crisis

    5 staff?

    6 A. I think that this was called "crisis staff" or

    7 "headquarters", and it was a military organisation.

    8 There were three representatives of the BiH army and

    9 three representatives of the HVO present there, and

    10 these were the leaders of the two respective

    11 organisations.

    12 Q. So you went home and on your going home, did you notice

    13 something peculiar and curious or alarming on your way

    14 home that evening, after having heard about these two

    15 positive events?

    16 A. I heard of these positive events, but the town did not

    17 have a look of normalcy at all. There were very few

    18 people outside, there was something hanging in the air.

    19 Everybody feared the worst.

    20 Q. Then you went home, you had your dinner with your family

    21 and you went to bed. What happened the morning after on

    22 April 16th?

    23 A. On 16th April, I was wakened at 5.00 by powerful

    24 explosions that were heard very near the centre of town

    25 and there was sporadic fire from small arms. I woke up

  98. 1 and I looked out of the window in the direction from

    2 where the sounds of explosions were coming, and I saw

    3 the surrounding villages were being attacked by mortar

    4 fire, by anti-aircraft weapons, and, of course, I saw

    5 fire and smoke.

    6 Q. Were these soldiers and other military units -- was it

    7 possible to identify who was the attacker in that

    8 occasion?

    9 A. At that moment, it was not clear to me exactly who was

    10 attacking, but since Vitez was, so to speak, under the

    11 HVO control, one could assume.

    12 Q. Was the shelling -- did you notice the shelling in a

    13 specific direction? I mean, was it in the direction of

    14 Stari Vitez?

    15 A. Yes, I could not see Stari Vitez directly from my

    16 window, but by the sounds of the explosions, one could

    17 sense where these shells were falling.

    18 Q. What happened in the building after the first explosions

    19 were heard? First of all, how many families were there

    20 in your area, in your unit?

    21 A. In my building, that is the entrance where I lived,

    22 there lived 12 families and they were of mixed

    23 background. I think that there were four Muslim

    24 families, seven Croatian families and one Serbian

    25 family.

  99. 1 Q. What happened in the building? Did you and your

    2 neighbours try to organise in order to protect your

    3 families and to have more information about what was

    4 going on?

    5 A. Yes, we organised and we established a building watch in

    6 the front of the building, and the principle was that it

    7 would always be a mixed watch consisting of two

    8 persons. This went on for two or three days.

    9 Q. So during these three or four days, you remained in your

    10 apartment, except the time you were serving in the joint

    11 guards at the entrance of the building; is that not so?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 Q. How could you get some information about what was going

    14 on? Which means did you have, except looking through

    15 the windows?

    16 A. I could receive information by telephone, because my

    17 telephone was still working. The local radio and

    18 television also gave certain information, and I could

    19 also receive the Radio Zenica programmes.

    20 Q. Could you notice something, looking from the window,

    21 something specific, someone being killed or some dead

    22 body being transported?

    23 A. In those days, and in that period, I was receiving

    24 information that a certain number of people, that is

    25 Muslims, were being detained, or were killed; in other

  100. 1 words that they were being detained or killed. Across

    2 the street from my building, the building where I used

    3 to live, I saw when the dead body of Midhat Varupa was

    4 brought out.

    5 Q. Was it the same Midhat Varupa you mentioned as a member

    6 of the Muslim committee to organise Defence?

    7 A. Yes.

    8 Q. How could you recognise that that body was him?

    9 A. We already had information within the building that

    10 Midhat Varupa had been killed. After a while, the

    11 civilian protection people came and picked up his body.

    12 I knew that it was him because I knew exactly where he

    13 lived and I could see his hair when he was being brought

    14 out, because he had characteristic hair, it was blond.

    15 Q. You personally, the inhabitants of the building, were

    16 you allowed to leave the building? Was it possible to

    17 get out and see what was going on during those days?

    18 A. In those days, nobody was allowed to leave the building.

    19 Q. "Was not allowed"; you mean in the sense that the

    20 situation was too dangerous, or that somebody had

    21 ordered you not to leave the building?

    22 A. Over the local radio, an order was given not to leave

    23 the buildings.

    24 Q. Was the building visited by the HVO in those days and

    25 before 19th April?

  101. 1 A. My building, that is my entrance, was not visited by the

    2 HVO.

    3 MR. MARCHESIELLO: I do not know if the court wants me to go

    4 on or if we have to resume the examination tomorrow.

    5 I have still many questions to put to the witness.

    6 JUDGE RODRIGUES: Maybe it would be a good idea to finish

    7 today. I do not know whether you have many questions to

    8 ask this witness. Would it be possible to finish

    9 today? I do not know. We can go on until 5.30. Would

    10 it be possible to finish by then?

    11 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Your Honours, I think that I am at about

    12 half of my examination. I do not know whether this is

    13 an answer.

    14 JUDGE RODRIGUES: In that case, I think that we can take

    15 advantage of this interruption to adjourn, because we

    16 only have three more minutes left, and then we can

    17 resume work tomorrow. Are you agreeable?

    18 MR. MARCHESIELLO: Thank you.

    19 (5.30 pm)

    20 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)