(Open session)

JUDGE RODRIGUES: We're back in public

hearing, fine. You have the floor, Mr. Mikulicic.

MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your. Honour, the

Defence calls Anto Juric.

(The witness entered court)

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Good morning, sir, you are

Mr. Anto Juric, aren't you?


JUDGE RODRIGUES: Can you hear me? You are

going to read out the solemn declaration which will be

handed to you by the usher.

THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the


JUDGE RODRIGUES: You can sit down. Are you

comfortable Mr. Juric? You are going to answer

questions put to you by Mr. Mikulicic who is on your



Examined by Mr. Mikulicic:

MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honour.

Q. Good morning, Mr. Juric. I am Mikulicic, I'm

the attorney for the defendant, Aleksovski, in this

trial. I have a few questions for you and I kindly ask

you to respond to them to the best of your knowledge

and as far as you can remember. Mr. Juric, tell me

when were you born and where?

A. I was born on the 30th of May 1961 in Zenica.

Q. Where did you attend elementary school?

A. In Busovaca.

Q. Tell us, Mr. Juric, what are you by


A. I'm a Croat.

Q. Are you a religious person?

A. Yes.

Q. What denomination do you belong to?

A. Roman Catholic.

Q. Mr. Juric, you said that you attended

elementary school in Busovaca; after that did you

continue your education?

A. Yes, I completed secondary school in Zenica.

It was a secondary school for machine building.

Q. Did you find a job after that?

A. Yes, I did. In Drivusa near Zenica, metal

works near Zenica.

Q. Mr. Juric, at that time did you do your

service in the former Yugoslav People's Army?

A. Yes, I did in the reserve officer's school

and then in Pula.

Q. Do you remember when this was?

A. In '81,'82.

Q. Mr. Juric, when you did your military service

in the Yugoslav People's Army did you get a rank?

A. Yes, I did. I became a lieutenant when I got

out of the army, and after that I was a reserve


Q. Tell us, Mr. Juric, what are you involved in

now? Where do you have a job?

A. In Vitez, and I am an operational officer in


Q. So, now you are a professional soldier;


A. Yes, I am.

Q. What rank do you hold now?

A. I'm a major.

Q. Mr. Juric, when did you join the military

units from a professional point of view?

A. Professionally I joined the military units as

soon as the HVO was established, but before that I was

a volunteer. I was a guard when the Serb aggression

started against our territories.

Q. You mentioned the Serb aggression against the

territory of central Bosnia; do you remember when this


A. Could you please repeat your question?

Q. Do you recall when you joined the village

defence, the village defence against the Serb


A. This was on the 15th of November, 1991.

Q. At that time you joined the defence of the

village, what village is this?

A. It is the village of Ravan a small village

near Busovaca.

Q. Mr. Juric, who took part of the defence of

the village, were these only Croats or were there

Muslims, how was this organised? Could you tell us?

A. The village of Ravan is a purely Croat

village so only Croats performed certain duties there

in that area.

Q. Oh, I understand. But after these events at

the end of 1991, what kind of activities were you

involved in?

A. After 1991, and until 1992 on the 8th of

April, the HVO was established and that is when I

received my first command. I came to command a platoon

and I spent my time and activities in the HVO.

So we fought against the Serbs, the Serb

army, which this was the Serb army that was moving in

this area, well, we would stop them and in the area

near Gavrine Kuce we had guards throughout the

territory and that's what we were involved in.

Q. Mr. Juric, tell me at that time, you

mentioned that you had checkpoints too where there were

guards. Were these also units of the HVO only or were

there also units that consisted of Muslim persons too?

A. In the mountains, we had a facility called

Luska and during a certain period of time we acted

together with the units of the Muslim army. We had

joint guard duty and joint checkpoints up there.

Q. Do you remember how long this lasted and how

this cooperation stopped?

A. For reasons unknown to me this cooperation

stopped. It is not clear to me why they gave up on

this. I mean on working with us, but they did stay up

there in that area, but we weren't in the same facility

any longer, not in the same facility where we were

before that. Perhaps I could say more about this.

Q. I am trying to make a break between the

questions and the answers so that the interpreters

could give a full translation of what is being said.

Mr. Juric, if I understood you correctly,

this means that the members of the Muslim military

units who, together with members of the Croat military

units held under their control certain checkpoints

against the JNA army and the Serb army. That the

Muslim units left this cooperation of their own


A. Yes, yes, that is correct. I imagine that

this is the case. I don't know why they withdrew.

Q. Do you remember when this was?

A. The second half of 1992. But I don't know

the exact time.

Q. Well, yes, of course. Mr. Juric, what

happened after that, at the end of 1992 and the

beginning of 1993, in the region of the Municipality of


A. At that time, I mean later, when I thought

about these events, strange things were happening. At

the end of 1992, a patrol of ours was stopped in the

region of Crni Vrh near Busovaca. This is a mountain.

They were disarmed. Their armaments were taken away

from them and they were released. They were allowed to

go home.

Q. Who did this?

A. Our disarmed men said that they recognised

these people as being Muslims from Pezici and

Kovacevac, from that area.

Q. Did they say why the members of the Muslim

military units did this?

A. No, they didn't say why, but they assumed who

did this. When they came back they said these were the

people who did it, and the then commander listened to

what they had to say. I was present there and I asked

the commander to allow me to go to that village and to

talk to the Muslim commander of the units there. To

ask them to return these weapons to us on the

assumption that that his soldiers took these weapons

from them. The commander allowed me to do this. I

went to the village. I found the Muslim commander.

His last name was Sibra. I can't remember his first

name. Monib, I think. I told him what it was all

about. And he said, "I think that it is our people who

did it, but we're going to find these weapons and give

them back to you."

Q. And did this actually happen?

A. No, it didn't.

Q. After that, in Predoci near Losic (phoen),

the place I mentioned where our units used to go, the

Muslims deployed a unit of theirs up there which had

never been there beforehand. And then, the commander

again issued orders to me to go up there and to see why

they deployed their units in that area. Why they took

that position. I carried out my orders. And, at that

point, our unit went there to assume their shift of

their Luska, I accompanied them. I got out of the

truck in a certain point and they continued to Luska.

I stopped where these soldiers were. I looked for the

commander of the Muslim unit. I wanted to talk to

him. The commander came. We sat and talked. They

even prepared some coffee for me. And I asked him,

"why are you here?"

And he replied that they were there so that

they could cut off our communications there towards

Luska, our communication lines.

And I said, "but there is no need for that.

Why are you doing that? Because you know what our task

up there is and there is no need for you to do that to


And he said then, "if it were up to me, I

would cut off all your communication lines. You

couldn't move around at all." And I felt very

unpleasant at that point.

And at, one moment, I noticed that something

was going on in their ranks. The commander got up and

went to them and they were casting glances in my

direction and I saw that something was wrong. And I

even thought that I could get up and leave that place

myself, but I didn't do it after all. I had expected

the same people who brought me up there to take me back

to Busovaca. So I sat there for about an hour and a

half. I thought about all of this and then the people

who brought me up there came to pick me up again.

I went back to Busovaca. At the entrance to

Busovaca, one of my soldiers, one of our soldiers,

stopped me and said, tell me, do you know what

happened? And I said, no, I don't know. And he said

Ivica Petrovic was killed in Kacuni and then I realised

that the commotion I witnessed up there was this

unusual thing that I had noticed amongst them.

Q. Mr. Juric, do you remember when this event

took place?

A. Well, I can't tell you the exact date, but it

was one or two days before the 20th of March.

Q. Of what month? And what year?

A. It was the 23rd of January, 1992 or 1993.

No, it was 1993.

Q. Mr. Juric, could you tell us how you

performed your military duties at that time?

A. When that happened, I was the commander of

the brigade, the post was together with the civilian

authorities, it was a sort of coordinator for the

territory at that particular time when the incident

took place.

Q. Yes, I understand. Thank you.

Mr. Juric, when we're speaking about these

events at the beginning of 1993 in the Busovaca area,

can you tell us whether you were there on the territory

for the entire time?

A. Yes, I was.

Q. May we then conclude that you are well

acquainted with the events that took place in the

Municipality of Busovaca in that particular territory?

A. Yes, I do know of the events full well

because I spent some time there.

Q. You mentioned the date when in the village of

Kacuni, Ivica Petrovic was killed. Can you tell us

what happened in the village of Kacuni? Who inhabited

the village of Kacuni? Whose village was it?

A. Well, Kacuni, in my opinion, was a village

with Muslims and Croats living there. But there were

dominant Muslims. But there were Croats there as


And I recall another event that took place in

the region. In the same period when this took place on

the Crni Vrh area. Whether on that particular evening

or the next evening, a Croat came also from Kacuni and

he asked us, he told us, "why don't you tell us to

move? Why don't you tell us to move out of Kacuni?"

I happened to be there quite by chance with

the commander and I said, "Why? Why should I do this?

Tell you this?"

Well, he said "because up there the Muslims

were coming in from Busovaca, women and children, and

something is happening there; whereas you're telling us

nothing." And he said that people were talking about

war up there.

I said that I am with the commander of the

brigade and I said, "what war are you talking about?"

So that was more or less what took place and I recall

this particular event with that man.

Q. Mr. Juric, in talking to the man, did you

come to conclude that he was a Croat living in a Muslim

encirclement and that he was uneasy about the events

which would lead to an attack of some kind? How did

you understand this?

A. Well, to tell you the truth, I did not take

him seriously. I did not take his statements

seriously. I did know that there was a certain amount

of tension boiling. That there was a certain amount of

latent unrest. But a battle or war, to tell you the

truth, I had no idea of this. I did not think about

that at the time.

Q. You mentioned on several occasions that

according to your function, your position, that you

were with the brigade command. Could you tell us

whether, during your stay with the command there, you

heard or saw anything that would tell you that, in the

brigade of the HVO, certain preparations were taking

place for an attack on the Muslim population?

A. No.

Q. Mr. Juric, do you recall the day which

followed the killing of the Ivica Petrovic in Kacuni,

that is to say the 24th of January, 1993, what happened

on that particular day?

A. Well, it's difficult to describe this in

simple terms. On the occasion, the commander, when the

killing of Ivica took place, the commander decided that

I should take over the command. And he said, take over

the command, take up your up post. I did this on that

same evening. And as the killing had taken place, we

were sort of prepared on a state of alert, a kind of --

for any possible events that could ensue.

And, in the morning, the next day, there was

gunfire from all sides. It is difficult to recall what

happened exactly. I was confused on that morning

because I had never experienced anything of the kind.

Although I had been to the battle grounds of Jajce

against the Serbian army there. But, as I say, gunfire

began, there was shooting and I think the command from

the brigade called us from Nezerovici. They called

Croats, the Croats called and said, what are we to do,

we're being fired at?

And we had a radio link with the Point 12.

And they said that they were being attacked as well.

As I had links with both sides, I asked -- I wanted to

draw them out towards Busovaca because Busovaca itself

is predominantly Croatian population there. And I

wanted to bring them away from Kacuni to Busovaca and

from Lasva to Busovaca as well. From Nezerovici, some

people succeeded in fleeing. They went towards


From Dusina, the people remained there. They

did not listen to me, although I do think they could

have withdrawn from that position. They said that

Zvonko, commander at that time, wanted to talk to them

and negotiate. They were taken prisoner and later I

learned that a lot of them were shot as well. So the

battle had already brought. We had units in Lavna, in

Busina, in Kacuvina, Kula (phoen) and all over the

territory. And with all these units we were able to

set up a defence around Busovaca.

Q. Mr. Juric, if I understood you correctly, and

I should like you to be as precise as possible, not to

say "them," and use the terms "us" and "them" and so

on, but to say who you actually mean so that the Trial

Chamber can understand you correctly. So if I

understood you correctly, there was a coordinated

attack from the Muslim positions where the Muslim

villages were located on the Town of Busovaca; is that


A. Yes, it is.

Q. Mr. Juric, I am now going to show you a map

of the area and I am going to ask you, when speaking of

these events, to illustrate this by pointing to the map

so that the Trial Chamber and all of us here in the

Chamber could get a better view of what was actually

happening. Would the usher show the witness the map,

which is evidence P-78. I don't know if we can focus

the camera on the map so that we can see the map


Mr. Juric, would you take a look at the map

more closely and could you tell me whether you can find

your way around? Can you find your way on the map and

find Busovaca on it and the areas that we mentioned a

moment ago?

A. Yes.

THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.


THE WITNESS: I can see Travnik and Zenica.


Q. So you can find your way on the map. Mr.

Juric, the points on the map have been conceived, the

markings, that is, have been conceived in such a way

that the blue separated line are the positions of the

BH-Army, whereas the red dotted line denote the

positions of the Croatian Defence Council. Those are

the markings on the map. Can you tell us by looking at

the map whether in your opinion these positions are in

keeping of the events that you recall and your

experience, globally speaking?

A. Yes, they are.

Q. Mr. Juric, you have been a professional

soldier for some time now, can you explain in the

military tactical sense where the Lasva Valley is

located, what the terrain is like on the left and right

side in comparison to Busovaca and who had taken over

the terrain overlooking Busovaca?

A. Well, the Lasva River Valley is a valley as

it says and Busovaca is along a communication line

between Sarajevo, Kiseljak and Zenica, Kaonik and

towards Travnik. Busovaca is located at some 400

metres altitude and on the left and right it is

surrounded by hills and mountains. On the right hand

side, somewhere above Busovaca, some 400 or 800 metres

and on the left hand side is at an altitude of 1.200

metres. Which means Busovaca as a town is in a


Let me also tell you that in Busovaca, the

Municipality of Busovaca is much broader than is shown

here. So the municipality encompasses a broader area

and there were somewhere around 50 per cent Muslim

population and 50 per cent Croat population. But

Busovaca as a town and the areas immediately around

Busovaca were inhabited by Croats; whereas the external

regions were populated by the Muslim population.

Q. Looking at the area in depth, you said that

there was an area which was predominantly inhabited by

the Muslims with a large town, which is the town of

Zenica in the area?

A. Yes, that's right. This is where Zenica is

located and the population is predominantly Muslim.

All this is Muslim. Down here we have Kakanj and

Visoko. And so on. But mostly this is an area

populated by Muslim population.

Q. Would you agree with me now, Mr. Juric, by

saying that Busovaca was surrounded by a territory

which geographically was at a high altitude and

population-wise it was inhabited by the Muslims?

A. Yes, that's true. And you can see this on

the map, if you look at it. Those are the facts as you

have stated them.

Q. Mr. Juric, you said that through this area,

which is surrounded by a Muslim population, through the

valley, that there is an important communication line?

A. Yes.

Q. Is it true that that communication line in

fact links up two Muslim regions, if we looked from

Sarajevo on the one side and from Zenica on the other?

A. Yes, it is a very important communication,

both towards Zenica and towards Travnik. And

Travnik/Zenica line and from Travnik to Kiseljak.

Q. In the military strategic sense, is this

communication line an important one?

A. Yes, it is. All communication lines are

important. This is a particularly important one.

Q. If I were to ask you, Mr. Juric, in your

opinion of command of the unit on the defence of

Busovaca, the reason for the attack on Busovaca, why it

happened, what would you tell me? What would your

answer be?

A. Well, there could be several reasons for the

attack. From the political reasons, so to speak, to

the military reasons. In my opinion -- let me give you

two or three reasons. One of the reasons, in my

opinion, is that lots of Muslim were expelled from the

Serbian territory. And they did not have enough space

in the area of Zenica and Travnik to which they

gravitated. They needed more space for living.

The other reason was that they did not like

having another army except a Muslim army in the region,

which means that they wanted to have complete authority

over this entire region.

And, from a military aspect, they wanted to

rule over this area to use its communications, to cut

across the territory and to achieve their political

goals, to implement them in the region. That is my

personal opinion, of course.

Q. Mr. Juric, in recalling the events from the

first half of 1993, and the military activities which

your unit performed, can you tell us what kind of

military activities were they? Did you launch attacks

or were you concentrated on a defence?

A. Well, as I said earlier on, when the war

began, it was our aim to save the population and the

region to protect them in the area where we were

located. And that is what we did, where we could do

this, of course. And that is the region. You can see

this on the map. We set up lines along this region,

quite simply, to protect this small region here from

being occupied.

Q. Do you recall, Mr. Juric, at that time, how

many soldiers you had in your unit and the length of

the defence line that you had to hold with your men?

A. Well, I could divide the soldiers up into the

ones defending the area and the men supplying the

population with various needs. But about 550 soldiers

was in this locality on my squad, 550 along this line.

So that is the region, about 36 kilometres. And about

550 soldiers were located in that region.

Q. You, Mr. Juric, had 550 soldiers to defend

the defence line running the length of 36 kilometres?

A. Yes, more or less, approximately.

Q. Do you know how many men the BH-Army had who

attacked this defence line? How many men did they


A. They could have had as many as they wanted,

but I estimate that they attacked these particular

points. I think that there were five soldiers to every

one soldier of ours, that they were five times more


I must stress that all the men capable, able

men were set up here to defend the area, whereas many

more men could have been engaged in this wider region.

So, it is difficult to say the real ratio of forces,

the exact ratio of forces. It is difficult to say at

this moment.

Q. But you said that the ratio of forces was

about five to one to the advantage of the BH army, they

had more men.

You said earlier on, Mr. Juric, that looking

at the territory in depth, that the Muslim army, the BH

army, had a predominantly Muslim population behind it,

so that the army had this population as its background.

On the other hand the HVO army which defended this army

around Busovaca, what was it able to rely on?

A. Only on its own forces. It could not rely,

was not able to rely on anything else but its own


Q. What about supplies and the fact that you

were in an encirclement? Were communications free?

A. No, and several times we had several convoys

going across the mountains, we had to use horses to

bring in our supplies.

Q. But in the second half of 1993, for example,

supplies, the first half of 1993, that is what we're

discussing now. What were the supplies like in the

first half of 1993, were the communication lines open?

A. No, they weren't, not a single line was open.

The only thing we could do was to use

Busovaca-Vitez-Novi Travnik lines.

Q. Can you tell us whether this valley, which we

can say was an enclave within the territory with a

predominantly Muslim population, was it in its entirety

linked up, or were the communications severed within

the valley itself?

A. The communications in Vitez, the entry to

Vitez was also severed because there was action along

these lines, so this communication was not used. We

used the other roads, byroads, which allowed us to move

between Busovaca and Vitez, but they were very bad

roads. But the main communication lines were not open.

Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Juric, you mentioned the

defence activities that your squad performed; what was

one of the basic military strategies of the units

setting up a line of protection? What did they do

vis-à-vis the terrain? Do they build any shelters?

A. Well, I think this is always the same type of

activity, that you have to dig yourself in, trenches,

to have somewhere where you can hide your men. That is

the basic defence activity, the building of trenches

and so on.

Q. So, you would agree with me that the digging

of trenches and fortification for the lines is a basic

activity which an army does in order to protect itself?

A. Yes, and that is what every army must do.

Q. Tell us, please, Mr. Juric, whether your unit

used this tactic in its defence.

A. Yes.

Q. You said you had 550 soldiers defending 36

kilometres of a defence line; were you able, in view of

this manpower, to use soldiers to dig the trenches and

do this type of engineering work? Or did you use other

individuals -- I apologise for interrupting you, I

think the witness could sit down now, we don't need the

map any more, so perhaps the witness could take a seat.

Let me remind you, Mr. Juric, my question was

as follows: In setting up your defence lines and in

digging trenches and building up your fortification

line, did you use your own soldiers or did you use

other individuals, as well?

A. When battles were going on, and when it was a

very serious situation where soldiers were engaged in

defence, we used other people, civilians from the

Busovaca area to dig trenches and set up fortification

lines. Later on when there was a lull in the fighting,

soldiers would do these tasks.

Q. Mr. Juric, what we're interested in, in this

particular matter, is the use of the civilian

population for work of this kind.

Viewing the situation, can you tell us what

people you used? Were they reservists, or you said it

was the population from the Busovaca region?

A. I think they were conscripts, and those who

were not able, either due to age or disability, were

not able to take part in the fighting, were not able to

carry a rifle.

Q. Or perhaps there was not enough weapons to go

around; was that the reason?

A. There were not enough weapons so that was one

of the reasons, as well, but the other reason was also


Q. Mr. Juric, could you tell us, based on your

experience, how did you organise this type of work?

For example, if the need arose to fortify part of the

lines by digging trenches or digging some other

fortification, how did you recruit the civilian

population from the Busovaca municipality, how did you

bring them up to the defence line and organise work of

this line, fortification work?

A. As the military commander, I would ask for

someone to come in to help me with the fortification

Perhaps I should add the following: There were people

who volunteered and went up to the lines straightaway

and said, "let us help and let us do what we can do to

help you." So, I would ask for 10 or 20 persons for

digging, and if they are able to do so, they do it.

Q. Tell me; when you ask for these people to

come in and help you with the digging of the trenches,

where do they come from?

A. What do you mean where do they come from?

Q. Where were they staying before that? Were

they civilians in their homes in Busovaca, or were they

people who came from other quarters?

A. Most of these people were from the territory

of the municipality of Busovaca. They were the ones

who were digging up there, the civilian population. I

think there were also persons from all ethnic groups

from, they were all involved in digging trenches.

Q. Does that mean Croats and Serbs and the

Muslims, all nationalities were digging trenches?

A. Yes, all nationalities.

Q. Tell me, Mr. Juric, do you know perhaps who

went to pick up these people and who called them up?

Was this members of your unit or the military police or

who was this?

A. It wasn't my soldiers who did this, because

they were on the lines. It was the military police

that usually brought them in, and after work would take

them back.

Q. Mr. Juric, do you know the military prison in


A. Yes, I do.

Q. Were you ever there in that prison?

A. Well, yes.

Q. Do you know, Mr. Juric, at the beginning of

1993 in Kaonik, citizens of Muslim ethnicity were

interred there from the territory of Busovaca?

A. Yes, I'm familiar with that fact.

Q. Do you know, Mr. Juric that these citizens

interred in Kaonik and brought in, they would also be

brought in to dig trenches, they were brought by the

military police?

A. Yes.

Q. Were they the only ones brought in, or were

other civilians who stayed at their homes brought in to

dig trenches?

A. Everyone was brought in, because it was

important to act fast. And it wasn't sufficient for

people to come on foot, for as long as we had fuel,

gasoline, that they were brought in trucks.

Q. Mr. Juric, we mentioned Kaonik, and we

mentioned these civilians, these interned Muslims who

were there; do you know why these Muslims, this

population from Busovaca, why they were staying at


A. Well, this is not my job to think about this,

but I think that at that point in time there was no

other adequate place where they could stay. Kaonik is,

after all, one of the safest places for putting up a

number of people.

Q. But I'm asking you, do you know the reason

why these people were staying there?

A. Well, there are several reasons. In my

opinion one of the important reasons is the safety of

these people, because even our own soldiers could take

revenge on them, because Croats were being killed by

members of their ethnic group. That is one of the

reasons, in my opinion.

Another reason, to my mind, is that these are

the members of a people who are attacking us, and

perhaps some of them could do something behind our

backs. So, in my opinion these are the two most

important reasons.

Q. However, if I understood you correctly, you

personally did not participate in the procedure of

detaining these Muslims?

A. No, no, no, because I was involved at the

front line itself.

Q. Tell me, Mr. Juric, you commanded a unit

consisting of 550 soldiers; how many commanders did you

have serving under you?

A. My zone of responsibility was divided into

sectors in order to make work easier, and in this

period there were several sectors. The situation would

change, depending on the needs involved, and also we

formed companies afterwards. But at that time I had

commanders of sectors.

Q. Sectors?

A. Yes, sectors.

Q. Mr. Juric, did the commanders of certain

sectors in urgent cases, when there were strong attacks

against these sectors, did they take independent

action, in terms of asking to have people sent in to

help with the fortifications?

A. Well, yes. There were some arbitrary

requests of this kind that were made, and this was

without my knowledge as commanding officer. Sometimes

the commander of the sector himself would decide on

taking such a step.

Q. I imagine that your mutual communication was

not always ideal. Perhaps I'm mistaken.

A. It couldn't have been ideal, because our

communication was through regular communication lines;

but they were cut very often, and they could not

function properly. And you saw what the roads were

like, they were dangerous, and sometimes they were cut

off, too. And, after all, this is a big area, 36

kilometres, and you couldn't make it to every point.

Q. Mr. Juric, you were commander of the first

battalion which was in a way responsible for the

defence of Busovaca and the area around Busovaca?

A. Yes.

Q. I presume, and you said this yourself, that

you are familiar with the events and operations taking

place in this area. Tell me, did you personally ever

see or hear of the Muslim population being used as a

human shield in these operations?

A. I do not know about this at all.

Q. Did you perhaps hear about this? Did

somebody tell you something of this sort?

A. No.

Q. Mr. Juric, you mentioned, you know, Kaonik,

and you said that you were in Kaonik; could you tell us

about Kaonik? What it was before 1993, before these

events, what was the purpose of this facility?

A. Beforehand this was a facility that belonged

to the former JNA, there were various warehouses there,

storage space, et cetera.

Q. And when did you first get into contact with


A. As commanding officer, on several occasions I

would punish some of my soldiers by detaining them and

then they would be sent to Kaonik, to spend their

detention time there.

So, then I had the habit of going to visit

such soldiers to see how they behaved, whether they

understood why they were there, and whether a

particular soldier of this kind realised why he was

being punished, and whether this had the necessary

effect on him. And then I would bring this soldier

back to the unit if this educational measure was

properly perceived.

Q. If I understood you correctly, as military

commander you had the authority to take disciplinary

action against one of your soldiers who would make

infringements in terms of discipline; is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. How far did your authority go? What was the

maximum detention that you could order?

A. Up to 15 days.

Q. So, these soldiers would stay at the

detention facility at Kaonik; right?

A. Yes.

Q. Mr. Juric, when you would come to the prison

in Kaonik, did you come to know the warden?

A. Yes. Yes, in an official capacity, so to

speak. I would see him, I would say hello to him,

that's it.

Q. Do you know the name of this person, what his

name is?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. Please tell us the name of this person?

A. Zlatko Aleksovski.

Q. Could you recognise this person here in the


A. Yes, I think I would.

Q. Could you please point out this person here?

A. I can't see him right now -- oh, yes


Q. For the purposes of the transcript, may it be

stated that the witness is showing the prisoner who is

behind this bench where I'm standing.

When did you first meet Zlatko Aleksovski,

Mr. Juric?

A. I can't tell exactly. I think it was after

the violent clashes that took place.

Q. So, could we say that this was sometime in

March, April, February, 1993?

A. I think it was later.

Q. I see, later. And then you would come to

Kaonik; right?

A. Yes.

Q. You said that you would come to talk to your

soldiers whom you had punished, against whom you had

taken disciplinary action?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you notice at that point that there were

Muslims from Busovaca who were also detained at Kaonik?

A. No, no, I didn't even try to notice this. I

came with my own objective in mind, and when I would

achieve what I had set out to do, then I would simply

go back.

Q. Mr. Juric, did you have the opportunity of

getting into the rooms where people were detained?

A. Perhaps I did have the opportunity, but I

didn't do it.

Q. You didn't do it?

A. No, no, perhaps I would just walk into the

ante room and that is where I would talk to my


Q. You didn't walk into the cells themselves?

A. No.

Q. Do you remember what the general impression

you had was in terms of the building that you saw

there, that you walked into? Was it dirty? Was there

an unpleasant smell? Could you tell us of your

memories of this building itself?

A. I think that it was a normal building, and it

was quite clean, what I saw, in the building and in

front of the building. And then, you know, it did have

the stench of a prison. I don't know.

Q. Tell us, Mr. Juric, you mentioned your

authority -- of the authority you had to take

disciplinary action and to punish your soldiers and to

release them.

A. Yes.

Q. And Zlatko Aleksovski, as a warden of this

prison, did he have this kind of authority to decide on

how long a person's punishment would go on?

A. No, no, no, I was the one who would decide on

that. If it would be over 15 days, then my commander

would have to decide on that particular punishment.

Q. So that would be a higher officer?

A. Yes, a higher officer, but up to 15 days I


Q. If it was your assessment that a person

against whom you took disciplinary action, in terms of

detaining him for 15 days, could leave earlier, you

would tell the warden, Zlatko Aleksovski, he should

leave earlier?

A. That's right.

Q. Was he duty bound, then, to release that


A. Yes, there was no need for him to keep him

any longer because if the person who sent him to the

prison for detention said he should be released, he was

to be released.

Q. Tell me, Mr. Juric, do you remember when you

came to see Kaonik and when you were in touch with

Zlatko Aleksovski, do you remember the clothes he wore?

A. Well, it depends. Sometimes he wore a

camouflage uniform like soldiers wear, and sometimes he

wore civilian clothes. I didn't go there very often,

so I can't exactly recall.

Q. Do you remember when he wore this camouflage

uniform, did he have any military insignia on the


A. No, he didn't, no, he didn't, for sure,

because I think that he did not belong to our military

unit in Busovaca, and I don't think he belonged to any

military unit at all.

Q. At that time when this war was raging, and

even today, was it customary there in Busovaca for

persons who did not belong to military units to wear

parts of the military uniform the soldiers wore?

A. Yes, even children wore that. Until the

present day people wear camouflage uniforms. Until the

present day you could see a farmer tilling his land and

wearing a camouflage uniform.

Q. You were the commander of the first

battalion, and I imagine that you took part in various

meetings where military affairs were discussed?

A. Yes, of course I did, in terms of the things

that I was in charge of.

Q. Was Zlatko Aleksovski ever present at any one

of these meetings?

A. No.

Q. Do you know whether he was a member of any

military unit?

A. No, I'm not familiar with that.

Q. Tell me, Mr. Juric, at the time of these

events, as commanding officer, did you have the

opportunity of meeting any other soldiers, apart from

HVO soldiers? For example, did you see soldiers who

had insignia with HV, the Croatian army?

A. I state that there were no such soldiers in

this territory, that is to say members of the Croatian

army, there were only us members of the domicile


Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Juric. No further

questions from the Defence.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: We will now take a short

break and then, Mr. Neimann, I'm sure you will have

some questions to put to the witness. We will now take

a break, 20 minutes. Thank you very much

--- Recess taken at 10.26

--- On resuming at 11.25 a.m.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, please


Cross-examined by Mr. Niemann:

Q. Mr. Juric, I think you said that you're a

professional soldier now; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. And do you still hold the rank of major, or

do you have another rank?

A. Yes, I do.

Q. What is the name of the unit that you're

presently with? Is it the same as what it was in '93

or is it is a different one?

A. No, it's now the 3rd Corps, the Vitez 3rd


Q. I see, did that 3rd Corps exist in 1993 or

has it been created since then?

A. Later on, with the signing of the agreements,

it was previously known by another name.

Q. And I am just trying to trace your -- how you

got into this position in the 3rd Corps. The 3rd

Corps, is that a unit of the HVO or the unit of the

Army of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

A. The 3rd Corps is a unit within the

composition of the 1st Croatian guard, of the

federation, army of the federation.

Q. So it's part of the army of the federation?

A. Yes, it is.

Q. Now, when did that come into existence?

A. Do you mean the 3rd Corps, when did the 3rd

Corps come into existence?

Q. Yes, the unit you presently belong to, when

did it first come into existence, do you remember?

A. The name, "The 3rd Corps," was a name that

was applied six months ago. Before that it was a

command region. So it got its name six months ago.

With the new set up of the army of the federation, it

became known as the 3rd Corps.

Q. Now just going back to 1993, or perhaps I

might go back a bit earlier. You mentioned in your

evidence about 1992, you said initially you were a

volunteer, what unit were you a volunteer of? Can you

describe that for us?

A. I was in my place of residence. It was

called -- it was not organised in units at the time in

the military sense, in the army sense. They were, in

fact, units in the villages, in the localities. My

locality was Ravan and it was called the Ravan Company


Q. This wasn't part --

A. Platoon.

Q. This wasn't part of the Territorial Defence,

was it? Was it something separate to that?

A. I don't know how my command functioned with

Territorial Defence. But at the time from 1991 to the

8th of April, 1992, I was just a soldier.

Q. And were you organised into regular units and

wore uniforms and things of that nature? Or, can you

tell us how your unit was made up?

A. At the time -- you mean the uniforms?

Q. Yes, the ones when you --

A. Well, some of us had uniforms, others

didn't. Some of us had rifles, others didn't. But,

generally speaking, the population were being organised

for purposes of defence. To defend themselves from the

Serbian aggression and the JNA and portions of the

JNA. Because, at the time, the war had already started

in the Republic of Croatia.

Q. And then I think you said that the HVO was

established sometime in 1992; is that correct? You may

not have said the time.

A. Yes.

Q. And who established that so far as you are

concerned? Who established the HVO?

A. I don't really know. Probably some

institution of the Croatian community of Herzeg-Bosna.

I can't give you an exact answer as to who actually did

this. I know that it was proclaimed, the HVO was

proclaimed. And in our documents, it was around the

8th of April that the HVO came into being.

Q. Now you spoke of the establishment of the

HVO, I think, in April of 1992, do you know whether it

was established by a political group or a military


A. For that particular period I didn't think

about things like that, who established it. But I do

think that it was a political group or political will.

And it was politics which established the HVO. The HVO

was not only an army, it was the overall -- how shall I

call it? The overall organised movement for the

defence of the population and the territory.

Q. Now when you speak of the population and the

territory, can you tell us what population it was

organised to defend?

A. At the initial moment, the Republic of

Croatia, when they saw that there was a war being waged

and that we could expect a war on our territory, the

JNA was already established in our territory. They had

some movements and so on. And it was to be expected

that an aggression would ensue by the JNA on the people

and the territory living in that part of


Q. I would be right, wouldn't I, if I said that

the HVO's primary focus and intention was to protect

the Bosnia and Croatian population on the territory

that they lived in Bosnia-Herzegovina?

A. Not only the Bosnian Croats, but everybody

living in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.

Q. Well, you would agree with me, wouldn't you,

that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was established and

was operational during the course of 1992?

A. Let me give you an example. When the army

was organised, I know that the TO, Territorial Defence

existed. Parts of the TO functioned, or the army, I

don't know what they were called. But, as I have

already said, on certain locations, they worked

together with us. But I also know that there was a

certain amount of resistance and that they did not wish

to work in certain areas. For example, we set up a

barricade, a point, checkpoint, in the Village of

Grablje where on the left-hand side there is a Muslim

village and on the right-hand side a second Muslim

village. And along that barricade, there was nobody

belonging to the Muslim people to prevent the passing

of the Serbian army and the JNA along that

communication line.

Q. But the -- I would be right, wouldn't I, if I

said that the Government of the Republic of

Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

in the course of 1992, was to protect all parts of the

territory that was being attacked by forces of the JNA

and members of the Bosnian Serb population? That would

be right, wouldn't it? If you could just answer that

yes or no. If you can give me a yes or no answer.

A. I would like you to repeat the question,


Q. It is correct, isn't it, that the Army of

Bosnia-Herzegovina had as its goal the purposes of

protecting the whole of the territory of

Bosnia-Herzegovina from the attack by the JNA and

Bosnian Serb forces?

A. According to my knowledge, no.

Q. Well then, if it's different to that, tell

me, what is your understanding of the situation?

A. The Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, from the

information media and so on, I recall at least on

television the village of Ravan was said to have been

attacked. At the time the army limited itself from

those attacks and I think that the president, Mr.

Izetbegovic, said that it was not their war. And then

the army, that is the Yugoslav army at that time, they

also did not take part. And so I gained the

impression, I had the feeling that the Army of

Bosnia-Herzegovina had its separate goals. And I had

the feeling that at that particular time in 1992, that

it was not ready to fight for the overall territory of

Bosnia-Herzegovina. I had the feeling that it did not

wish to do so.

Q. But this was more a result of it not being

able to rather than not having the will to do so,

surely you would agree with that?

A. I don't wish to discuss its will or lack of

will. I don't know. I was not within the ranks of the

army, therefore, and I can't speak in their name.

Q. Now, who was your commander when you joined

the HVO unit in 1992?

A. In 1992, the commander in my locality in the

Municipality of Busovaca was Ivo Brnada.

Q. And where did he come from?

A. He was a Croat and he was from Busovaca. I

don't know up to what month. But he was a Croat and he

was from Busovaca.

Q. And what was the name of your unit in 1992?

What was its title?

A. When the HVO was established, as far as I

recall, my unit was called the Municipal Command of the

HVO of Busovaca.

Q. And can you tell me who was the overall

commander of the HVO in the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina

at that time?

A. In the whole of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I might

be wrong, but I think, I am not quite sure, I think it

was Milivoj Petkovic, but I am not sure.

Q. Have you heard of a General Bobetko?

A. I heard of him later.

Q. Well, he later became the overall commander

of the HVO, did he not, of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

A. Never. I never heard of him being the

overall commander and I don't think he ever was.

Q. And, well, you don't know who was there?

A. Later on, during the course of my life and

work, I came to learn of this. When the regions of

Serbian/Croatia were liberated, I came to hear it was

General Bobetko who commanded those particular units.

Q. Those particular units were not only

operational in Croatia, but they're operational in

Bosnia-Herzegovina as well, weren't they?

A. In our regions, I never saw a Croatian

soldier, a Croatian army in our territory and I never

left the central part of Bosnia during the war.

Q. Where did you get your uniforms from? Do you

know who supplied those in 1992?

A. Who? Well, the rear that was set up in

Central Bosnia and the logistics there and they were

the ones who supplied us with the uniforms.

Q. I should perhaps ask, the next step is where

did they get their uniforms and equipment from, the

Central Bosnian logistics?

A. I don't know, but I presume outside Central

Bosnia, but we'd have to ask them who supplied them.

Q. What about weapons, do you know where the

weapons came from that you had?

A. In the same way, I believe.

Q. Did they come from Croatia?

A. Did the weapons come from Croatia? Is that

your question?

Q. Yes.

A. I believe that there were weapons from that

direction, but from where the weapons actually came, I

don't know. They had to come from that direction, or

perhaps some other.

Q. Now, 1993, the early part in 1993, your

position changed, I believe, or at least the unit that

you belonged to changed?

A. Yes, that's right.

Q. And can you tell me what command you had?

There appears to be some confusion so far as I can

see. Were you a commander of a battalion or of a


A. When?

Q. In 1993.

A. In 1993 I was the commander of a battalion.

Q. And, in the evidence, and this may be just a

problem with the translation, but in the evidence you

speak of being a commander of a brigade. Were you at

any stage a commander of a brigade or did you just go

straight into being a commander of a battalion in


A. I was never the commander of a brigade. It

was probably an error in the interpretation. I said

that I performed a duty in a brigade which was called

the coordination, territorial coordination. That is to

say I was the liaison for relations with the civilian

population, the civilian part of the HVO and the church

and so on. Everything dealing with the civilian

population, but I only did this for a very brief period

of time.

Q. I see. Well, that's where the confusion

arose. Tell me when was it that you had this duty as

coordination in the brigade? What period of time?

A. Well, it was some time in November 1992 or

December and up to the beginning of the war between the

Muslims and the Croats. Those two or three months.

Q. And the beginning of the war between the

Muslims and the Croats, what's your understanding of

when that started? The date, if you can help us with


A. The date, it's difficult to say, but I would

say that it was the beginning of the 23rd or 24th of

January, 1993. I know that on the 23rd, Ivica was

killed and from that moment on, events evolved as they

were to do later on.

Q. Now, before the war started, before the 23rd

of January, 1993, and when you were performing this

role as coordinator, what were your duties? What were

you doing?

A. Well, my duties were not clear cut. At the

time we tried to set up that brigade, that is, to make

it operational and to have all its parts formed, it was

my duty, more or less, to cooperate with the church,

the municipal authorities and its structures and so on

and so forth. To be a link between that particular

brigade, which was located in the municipality and the

civilian authorities.

Q. And who was in charge of the civilian

authorities, so far as you knew at that time, in the

Busovaca area?

A. I think it was the president of the

municipality, Mr. Zoran Maric, I believe.

Q. And did you have any dealings with him as

such or were you dealing with other people in your

coordination role?

A. I already said that I performed this duty for

a very brief period of time and that there was no great

need for us to meet.

Q. Well, did you have any meetings at all?

A. I don't recall at that particular period.

Q. Okay. We'll move on now to after the

commencement of the war on the 23rd of January on

1993. Is that when you became commander of the


A. Yes, that's right.

Q. And is the title of the battalion the 1st HVO

military battalion, is that the correct title of it?

A. The 1st battalion of the Nikola Subic Zrinski


Q. And was your rank a major at that stage or

did you have a lower rank?

A. I did not have a rank, I just had a duty to


Q. And that is duty as commander?

A. Yes.

Q. And was there a regiment over and above the

battalion or didn't you have a regiment?

A. I don't know what you mean by regiment, what

a regiment means actually.

Q. Well, what was the next military group, if I

can call it that, above the battalion in the HVO army

at that time?

A. There was the brigade.

Q. I see. So you went straight from battalion

to brigade and then after brigade, what happened after

that? Was there another military structure above


A. There was an operative zone, whether it was

called a command or an operative zone, I don't quite


Q. And what was the operative zone, can you tell

us what the larger area was? Just give us the names of

the main towns or cities in the operative zone.

A. Busovaca, Vitez, Novi Travnik and so on.

Q. And what was the headquarters of the

operative zone?

A. It was in Vitez.

Q. And who was commander, if I could call a

person that, of the operative zone?

A. General Blaskic.

Q. And who was the commander of the brigade,

which is the next level down?

A. You mean our brigade?

Q. No, I thought you meant battalion. You were

the commander of a battalion, were you not?

A. Yes, that's right.

Q. Yes, well, I will ask you about your

battalion in a minute. I was just asking about the

brigade. I thought you said a moment ago that the

structure was: battalion, brigade and then operative

zone; is that right?

A. Yes, that's right.

Q. Now coming down to the next level, the

brigade, who was the commander of the brigade?

A. Dusko Grubesic.

Q. And where was the headquarters of the


A. It was in Draga and later on in the Sumarija

building at Busovaca.

Q. Now can you tell me how long in periods of

time that the operative zone was functional? It

started, I think -- am I right in assuming that it

started around about January of 1993, what period of

time did it continue on and last until?

A. I can't give you an answer to that question.

I don't know.

Q. Can you assist us by saying -- well, I'll ask

you this question: How long did the battalion, which

you were commander of, how long did it last for? It

started in about January, did it not? Or did it start

earlier? Perhaps you can assist us.

A. It was set up on the 19th of December 1992

and it went on to exist until the signing of the peace

agreements. That is to say the establishment of the

army of the federation.

Q. And, so far as you know, did the operative

zone continue throughout all that time or did it


A. It changed, but there was always somebody in

command above the battalion.

Q. Well, do you know what the changes were?

What changes took place and when in this command


A. I don't know when the changes took place, but

I can just tell you that the battalion functioned

throughout the entire time in one form or another.

Q. Now, you were asked some questions about the

operational area of your battalion, and you were shown

a map that seems to have been taken down, I think it

was exhibit 78, D-78, it might assist to you look at

that, it's not necessary for you to get up and point to

it, but you may like to have it there with you.

Whatever is most convenient for you.

Mr. Usher, I think it would be better if the

witness is given the map to have in front of him. I

want to elicit certain names, and Your Honours

hopefully will be able to follow it. If not, I will

show Your Honours later by the map.

I just wanted to get, as best I could from

you, the parameters or limits of the battalion of which

you were a commander in 1993. And I know you've said

in evidence that it was approximately 36 kilometres,

but I just wanted to see if you could help me by

telling me the towns.

If I start at the top of the map, not right

at the top, but the top part near the Lasva Valley

area; how far did your area of responsibility go

towards the town of Vitez? Where did it cut off? Are

you able to help me there?

A. I will try to tell you. Start from here, and

here, over here, where it says Polom, you see down


Q. Sorry for butting in, I think we need to go

much more slowly.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Neimann, would it be

possible to put the map on the ELMO? Because if you

are talking about a small area, we might be able to

have it on the ELMO.

Q. What I suggest is we centre it on the ELMO.

Mr. Juric, if you could assist by centring it on the

ELMO to focus on the particular area that was under the

responsibility of your battalion.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Usher, something else,

sorry. Is it possible to have earphones for the usher?

Mr. Usher -- Mark can you help us, can you pass the

headphones to the usher?

Mr. Usher, would you like to change the

microphone to the other side of the witness, please?

Q. Mr. Juric, I would like you to very slowly

take us through the boundaries of the battalion,,

pointing to various towns as you do so. And there is

no necessity to rush this process, because we have to

follow it.

So, very slowly, if you could just start off

perhaps with the southern extremity, and I'll do it on

the points of the compass. Can you show me how far

south the battalion was responsible for, and just name

the nearest town to that?

A. The town is Busovaca.

Q. Now, can you take us to the extent of the

battalion's command in its northerly position, the most

northerly position?

A. I'll try to show you the entire line by using

a ballpoint pen to show you exactly where the area of

responsibility was.

Q. Okay, now, if you do that and you are tracing

it with a pen, pointing to it with a pen, would you

please name the towns as they appear on the map when

you do so? Because otherwise when it comes back to

reading the transcript we won't understand if you don't

do that for us. So would you be kind enough to name

the towns as you trace the boundaries?

A. Not all the villages and towns are here, but

I'm going to show you -- I'm simply going to tell you

what is where, and then perhaps note could be taken of

that. I'm starting from Polom. The next locality, see

how it goes, the area here is called Kapak.

Then the places here, I mean these mountains,

this is very small for you, but they are called

Orlovaca, Marina Vrsica, Sekrk. And over here it goes

up into the mountains towards Suva Voda. So it's Suva

Voda, then over here Busovacke Staje, then Ravna

Stojana and then Rog.

Then it goes down to the village of

Kovacevac, then Rovna. And then further down to near

this river, to Podspilje, Safradin, yeah, you can see

it here, Safradin. So that is one part.

And then it is interrupted here. And then it

continues from up here, from Loncari, then Putis,

Katici, Bobovisce, Vrata. And this should be point

712, but magic marker was used so you can't really see

it on this map.

Q. Thank you. Now, just while you're there, you

say that the area near Vitez, it sort of cuts across

the Lasva Valley. Can you tell me the neighbouring

area, under what battalion or command was that?

I'm concentrating mainly on the Vitez area.

Who was responsible for that area? Or what unit was

located in that area? Can you remember? In 1993,

particularly, I'm asking.

A. Could you please repeat your question? I

didn't quite understand it. Did you ask me what unit

was in Vitez, or which was the unit on the border next

to us?

Q. The HVO unit next to you. And I think you

pointed to the town of Safradine, if I have that, and

-- ?

A. Yes.

Q. I think you then said that you went across to

Santici, around about that area, I understood that to

be the limit of your area?

A. Well, next to Safradine, that is where it is

interrupted, and that is where a zone was through which

we used to go. So, it was kind of a free zone, up to

this next line, the blue one that you can see here.

You see, this area here was without soldiers. How

should I put this?

Q. So, there was a free zone, and where was the

location of the next HVO neighbouring unit from there?

Can you help us with that?

A. Vitez.

Q. And was that a battalion like yours, or was

it a different military structure?

A. Vitez also had a brigade which also consisted

of battalions.

Q. Now, going, then, around the parameter that

you kindly pointed out to us of your battalion area,

can you tell us the places in particular that you can

recall where your troops were dug in? In other words

where trenches were being built or dug?

A. The trenches were being dug approximately

here, where they are depicted; although this is not one

hundred per cent accurate, but this is the area where

trenches were dug, too, the way it is shown here. And

also over here on the other side.

Q. Okay, perhaps I might mention some names.

A. This way.

Q. If I mention some names, can you tell me

whether or not you had trenches dug in at these places

or in the vicinity of these places? I'm going to start

at top at Loncari, do you recall whether you had any

trenches located at Loncari, in that region?

A. We had trenches in Loncari, before we were up

there at Kuber. And then when we moved to Loncari we

stayed there, and naturally that is where we had dug


Q. What about Strane, in the area of Strane, did

that have any trenches? There, did your units have any

trenches there?

A. Yes, we did.

Q. And coming down a little further, what about

Skradno, did you have any trenches at Skradno? I'm

moving down, now.

A. Up here, above Skradno we had trenches. So,

if you look in the direction of Kakanj, see, over here

towards the River Bosna, if you look at that direction,

that is where we had trenches.

Q. And that is more into the mountain type

region; was it, the higher ground?

A. Trenches were -- I mean, the trenches were

not dominant in any particular area, our trenches.

Possibly there were some trenches over here, Kaonik,

here, here. But usually they were lower than that.

Q. Now, dealing with the town of Busovaca

itself, was there trenches around Busovaca?

A. I don't know if there were, but I was told

afterwards that they found some trenches that were dug

by the Muslim forces.

Q. I'm only concentrating on the trenches that

you were involved with, yourself.

Do you know where the place of Kula or

Merdani is; do you know that area?

A. Yes, yes, I do.

Q. Were your forces involved in digging trenches

in that area during the course of 1993?

A. Yes, at Kula they were digging trenches but

not in Merdani, that is where the Muslim forces were,

you know.

Q. I want to go on the other side, on the other

side of the map, over to Bare, do you remember a place

called Bare, or do you know that place?

A. Yes.

Q. Do you recall whether in 1993 your troops had

trenches dug in there, that place?

A. In 1993 as well, when the aggression was

carried out, when the Muslim Croat war broke out, that

is when people started digging trenches wherever this

is possible.

Q. And that is a place you remember trenches

were dug for your forces or by your forces?

A. In 1993 it is only in Kovacevac, in front of

Bare, that we dug trenches. At one point in time in

the fighting we managed to drive the Muslim forces out,

and that is where we remained until the end of the war.

We didn't move anywhere from there, either in front or


Q. I'm sorry to keep you standing, but it

probably assists to refer to the map in the course of

your evidence of the next few questions.

Can you tell me where the main attack by the

army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was made in the very early

part of 1993? And I'm talking January. Where was the

main concentration of their attack?

A. It was concentrated from the direction of

Kacuni, from Lasva Kula, and down here, Gavrine Kuce.

However, the two main directions were these. From

other directions, too, you know, but here Nezerovici or

Gavrine Kuce, that is where we had our unit. And down

here in Lasva, we also had a unit of ours, which then,

as you know, they were taken prisoners and shot,

executed down there in Lasva, and then others were

killed elsewhere, but some people managed to get into

Busovaca between these units.

Q. And do you know who your, do you know the

name of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina unit that, or

units that you were confronting during 1993 in the

early part? You may not know the answer.

A. To tell you the truth, at that time I didn't

think about names at all, as this was taking place, but

later on I realised this was the 333rd, or 305th or

whatever. But at that particular point in time I

didn't know what the names or numbers of these units

were, I found out later.

Q. And the units of the army of

Bosnia-Herzegovina, in January, February of 1993, were

they taking offensive action, or were they taking

defensive action, in the very early part?

A. You mean this area that we are talking


Q. Any of the area where your battalion was

operational. Were they taking offensive action or

defensive action?

A. We weren't taking offensive action anywhere.

We were defending ourselves invariably. So, this was

the defence of these smaller places and of the town of

Busovaca itself. We did not have the ability to carry

out offensive action. We tried to take Kovacevac, and

we managed to take it over, it had a predominantly

Muslim population, and we had other operations where we


So this was simply improving our tactical

position. But you cannot speak of any offensive

action. So this was defence, with the establishment of

more favourable tactical position, where we could not

carry out an offensive anywhere, this is where Zenica

is. This is a large area. We were not in a position

to do so, and did not have any intention of doing so,

either. But, no.

Q. Now, your main operational goal was to

maintain HVO control of your particular area; that's

correct, isn't it?

A. Our main objective was to preserve this area

from those who were attacking us.

Q. But there was no initial attack, was there,

from the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina? It didn't invade

the valley or anything of that nature.

A. I don't understand, what do you mean by "they

did not".

Q. The point I'm making is that, I know later on

there was offensive action taken by the army of

Bosnia-Herzegovina into this whole region, but in the

early part of 1993, the true position is this, isn't

it; that both armies were in fact holding their

particular, relatively, their relative ground.

So, your battalion was holding its territory,

and it had a confrontation line with the army of

Bosnia-Herzegovina. There was no offensives of any

major sort on either side.

A. That is correct, until the mentioned date

there wasn't an armed conflict. At that time it was

agreed where we had our units, Luska and the other

places I mentioned, Kula where they had their units,

and they had their anti-aircraft weapons here; so all

of this was arrived at by mutual consent. But when

they violated the agreement, when they got their unit

up there to Pridolice without us knowing about it, and

then they started circling around this mountain, and I

mentioned that they took away our weapons, I mean from

the members of our units who were coming back from that


At that time, I mean, this attack, which you

say did not happen, was carried out against Nezarovici,

Lasva, near the Bosna River and in the direction of


And at that time we were up here in

Solakovici that is where there was also a Croatian

population, and everyone was expelled from there, too.

And then behind Solakovici and underneath Solakovici,

that is where the line was established.

Q. Now, there were offensive actions taken in

some areas, in some particular towns by the HVO, or its

military groups, such as Ahmici; was there not? That

was an offensive action taken?

A. For Ahmici, I can't say, because that was my

zone over here. So, that as far as Ahmici is

concerned, I cannot tell you anything about that. I

really don't know exactly. I can just tell you what I

heard, hearsay or guess.

Q. Now, you would have known the units other

than the battalion that you were the commander of, you

would have known if they were operational in your area,

I take it, if there were other HVO or HVO related


A. In my area no command was effective.

Q. You may sit down if it is more comfortable.

But isn't it true that there were special

units or special forces operational in the area at the

time? And I'm talking about Vitez, Busovaca area.

A. I don't know what you consider to be special

units or special forces. In the zone I had, under my

command, there was just, the first battalion was on the

defence line. The other formations, that is to say the

special ones, which they were, and if they existed,

these were formations with people from those areas.

So, possibly there were formations of this kind with,

let us say, of the manoeuvring type.

Q. These special forces that you heard of or

knew of, where were they operational?

A. I can't tell you. They were operational, and

the commanders of those particular formations, but in

my particular zone they did not take part in the

defence operations.

Q. Do you know the names of any of the special

forces? Did they have any names that were used at the


A. I heard that in Vitez there was a force

called Vitezovi.

Q. And was that the only one you're aware of?

A. The there was another called Frkovci. But to

be quite frank, I never thought about these forces or

their activities. I don't know.

Q. Well, you spoke of the fact that you had

never heard of people being used as human shields; I

take it you're not excluding the possibility that these

special forces could have been using people as human

shields, but you didn't know about it?

A. I cannot suppose anything. All I know is

that I did not hear of anything of this kind, nor do I

know of it.

Q. But do you rule out that possibility?

A. I can't believe that it existed.

Q. Well, these special forces that you spoke of,

do you know their chain of command? Who was their


A. I don't know.

Q. And do you know who they reported to? Who

were their superiors? Was it the department of defence

of the HVO or police or what was the structure of them?

A. I don't know. I don't know the chain of

command and their organisation. We had, let's say, in

Busovaca in 1992, a sort of company which was made up

of Muslims and Croats. But that was within the

composition of the brigade, and as time went by that

platoon disintegrated when it went from Mt. Luska. It

was taken prisoner by the Muslims, so that's what we

had within the composition of the brigade, but I don't

know about the special forces, how they functioned, who

was the commander, what the chain of command was, I

really can't say.

Q. What was the link, if any, between the

military structure and the political structure of the

HVO? Did the politicians give orders to the military,

and vice versa? Can you tell us that?

A. I was not at that high level of command for

me to take orders from politicians. I was not at that

echelon, I don't know what it was like. I took my

orders from my superior officer, from my commander.

Now, what their relationship was and what the links

there were, I don't know.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Neimann, if I may

interrupt for a second, do you have many questions to

put to the witness still? I remind you that the

hearing should end at about 1.30, if that is the case I

think maybe we should take a break just now for maybe

15 minutes.

--- Recess taken at 12.24

--- Upon commencing at 12.42 p.m.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Niemann, you have the



Q. Mr. Juric, in 1993, when the forces of the

HVO and the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina were

confronting each other, the conflict with the Bosnian

Serb forces were still ongoing, was it not?

A. Yes, it was.

Q. And prior to 1993, those Bosnian Serb forces

were being confronted by a combination of the HVO and

the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

A. If I understood you correctly, you said that

the Serbs attacked the forces of both the army and the

HVO. If that is the case, then my answer is yes.

Q. Now that situation did not continue, I take

it, in 1993 where the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and

the HVO forces were confronting the Serb forces?

A. In Busovaca, there were no Serb forces, nor

lines. I suppose that the forces of the HVO continued

to fight against the Serbs as they did in Zepce, in

Herzegovina and so on. But there were no Serbs in

Busovaca. No Serbian army to be fought against.

Q. You're quite right about that. There was,

however, a Serbian army line, not in Busovaca, but much

further out, am I right in saying that, from Busovaca?

A. For example, tell me where?

Q. Well, perhaps you might be able to tell me

where. You must have known where the Serbian lines

were, surely.

A. I know that they were -- that in Zepce, the

HVO had a line confronting the Serbs in the environs.

I know that in Kiseljak there was a line confronting

the Serbs and I said that where we were, there was a

line of this kind.

Q. Yes, quite so. The point that I am making is

this: It is true, is it not, that prior to 1993, there

were times and at places where the HVO and the Army of

Bosnia-Herzegovina joined forces, as it were, and

cooperated together to confront the Serb forces, that's

right, isn't it? A yes or no answer will suffice for


A. Yes, they joined forces.

Q. Now, that arrangement broke down in 1993?

Yes or no?

A. I couldn't say what happened in Zepce and


Q. Was there any stage when the military units

of the HVO that you were involved with, worked in

cooperation with the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or did

you never work in cooperation with that army?

A. I personally did on two or three occasions

have zones of responsibility near the army lines. For

example, once this was in Jajce in 1992. And then, the

second time, whereas Paklarevo with the Muslim forces

to the left of us were stationed. And in 1992 in

Potkraj somewhere. But directly, direct cooperation,

that to say that I cooperated with them, I did not.

But I do know that to the left of us or to the right of

us, depending on the situation, there were forces of

this kind.

Q. And my point is that that situation didn't

continue into 1993, did it? So far as you're


A. In 1993, I never went further from Busovaca

and the lines that I showed you, so I can't say. How

can there have been cooperation? Because I was there

and there were no Serbs there. And I said that I don't

know happened in Zepce or Kiseljak because I never went

there during that particular period.

Q. You spoke in your evidence of using civilian

labour to perform duties to assist you in your military

duties and obligations, is that right, during 1993? Do

you remember saying that?

A. The civilians dug trenches for us. They

brought us food and so on.

Q. And apart from digging trenches and bringing

food, did the civilians do anything else that you can


A. I don't recall, but they dug for the most

part. Some of them would bring food, cakes, something

the women would make. They would bring that to us.

They were our sisters, our mothers, who would cook for

us and there were our fathers and the other civilian

population, they would bring us things of that kind.

Q. Who organised this civilian labour in

Busovaca? Who is responsible for organising it?

A. I can't say with any certainty. I don't know

and I don't want to think up other things, other people

know that. What I know is that where I was, they

worked, dug and so on. But their organisation, how

that was set up, I really can't say. And I don't want

to think up things that I am not sure of.

Q. No, I don't want you to do that. Tell me, if

you needed civilian labour or you needed food for your

troops or whatever, what would you personally do? Who

would you personally contact in order to secure the

assistance of civilians?

A. It is -- it was -- there was never one single

individual to whom I could go to ask to be sent labour

group. What I would do was I would send out a request

to the commander and he would either grant it or not.

And that is how they would come to me. What they did

in their turn, I don't know.

Q. Well, that's the question I am asking, who

did you send it to? The command? What's the command?

What do you mean by that?

A. To the brigade, the command of the brigade.

Q. And who was that?

A. The command of the brigade is a body. The

commander was Dusko Grubesic.

Q. Did you send it to him, the request for

civilian labour or did you send it to some other

particular individual? And, if so, who?

A. I never sent my request to any individual,

but just the command of the brigade as a body.

Q. And did you ever have occasion to communicate

with the command of the brigade in any other way other

than by some written communication?

A. There were written reports where I would have

to answer for some orders that had been given.

Q. So when you communicated with the brigade in

order to get civilian labour, did you do that? How did

you do that? What form of median did you use? Did you

use a telephone? Did you write a letter? Did you send

a runner or how did you do it?

A. I think there were different forms of

communication and each one you mentioned could have

been used. Now, what exactly was used, when the time

didn't allow, when it was urgent, then a telephone call

would be sufficient. But, if there was enough time,

then a written request would be sent.

Q. Now, in those urgent circumstances, when the

telephone call had to be made, did you make the

telephone call yourself?

A. I don't recall. I could have ordered

somebody else to do so within my unit, to call the

command and to request that they send a certain number

of individuals for trench digging, for example.

Q. Now, I think you said in your evidence that

the persons responsible for bringing the people to the

frontlines where the trenches were being dug, was the

police. Was that your evidence?

A. They brought them, that is they ensured their

labour. They were up there while the people worked and

took them back.

Q. Now, when the police came, that's when the

prisoners from the Kaonik camp, the Muslim prisoners

came; is that right?

A. Yes.

Q. In addition to bringing them to you and

taking them back, they're escorting them, weren't


A. Yes.

Q. And they were armed, these police, that

brought the Muslim prisoners up to the frontline?

A. Yes, they were.

Q. And the Muslim police kept them under guard

during the period of time that they were at the


A. How are we going to -- how are we going to

term their stay up there? I don't know. But they were

up there while the labour was being done. I don't

think that this would need be called an escort or a

guard because it is usually when you are guarding an

installation, for example. But they were there as a

sort of a security measure.

Q. But if the Muslims tried to escape, for

example, these police would try prevent them from doing

so, wouldn't they?

A. I don't know. And I don't know of any cases

where somebody tried to escape. But somebody did


Q. I notice the transcript says "Muslim police."

If I said that, then, Your Honours, I would ask that

the transcript be corrected.

JUDGE NIETO NAVIA: You said that.

MR. NIEMANN: I did say that.

Q. Perhaps I should clarify that by asking the

question again.

The Muslim prisoners that were brought up to

dig trenches in the area over which you had command was

under the guard or control of the HVO police?

A. The police, there was a sort of security

measure for these people, not a classical form of


Q. Well, these Muslim prisoners that were taken

out of Kaonik were not permitted just to wander off

across the frontline and go and join the Army of

Bosnia-Herzegovina, were they?

A. Well, nobody was allowed to do that. Either

the Muslims or the Croats, nobody was allowed to move

around freely between the frontlines because can you

imagine a situation where somebody was allowed to

disclose secrets as to the distribution of our forces

and on and so forth.

Q. Now, realistically and sensibly, the Croatian

population would have very little interest in crossing

the lines and going and joining the Muslims at that

stage, would they?

A. That's right, but there were two cases where

they did cross over, not on the side of the army, but

because of a lack of knowledge and through streets.

And they were taken -- they were arrested by the Muslim

forces and were taken to a detention unit. They were

captured by the Muslim forces, these two Croats who

happened to cross over.

Q. Now, the obligation was on the HVO police to

bring them back to the Kaonik camp, that is the Muslim

detainees, at the end of their time when they were

required for trench digging, wasn't that true?

A. I have already stated that the military

police was with them, both when coming, during the

actual labour and during their return.

Q. Now, when the Croatian, Bosnian/Croatian

civilians came up and started digging trenches, were

they under the guard of the police as well?

A. The police was everywhere, was present

everywhere, not only because of the Muslims, but for

the Croatians as well, the Croatian soldiers. And the

police had its duties to perform in the normal run of

events. Wherever there were people, people would be

prone to do something against the rules governed by the

situation. And so it was the police who was there to

ensure security in the normal run of things. So they

were there to see that law and order was enforced.

That is why the police was there from the frontline

towards the depths of the territory, inwards.

Q. The Croatian trench diggers, if we can call

them that, were volunteers, though, weren't they?

A. I don't know. All the civilian population

and the army and the people, there were clauses whereby

there were responsibilities to do army duty and to do

some labour. So those people who did not wish to

perform the duties of a soldier and to take up arms did

something else. So not everybody was a volunteer.

There were certain responsibilities. There was a law

whereby people were duty-bound to perform their

military service and to perform their duties,

professional duties.

Q. I am sure there were lots of laws of that

nature. The question that I am putting to you is that

the Croatian civilian trench diggers were volunteers.

Now either you know that or you don't know it?

A. There were probably some 100 per cent

volunteers. But then, on the other hand, there were

certainly others who preferred to stay at home and lie

down rather than go out and dig trenches.

Q. Now the Muslims detainees in the Kaonik camp,

they were not volunteers, they were forced to come and

dig trenches, weren't they?

A. That I don't know. They know whether they

were forced or not.

Q. You would agree with me, I think, that common

sense would suggest that if they were being kept in

prison and that the opposing forces was the forces of

the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, it would be an

exception if they did this duty voluntarily, you would

agree with that, wouldn't you? That's a sensible


A. I don't think I understood you correctly.

Q. I'll move on. You said that the Muslim

civilians kept in the Kaonik camp were kept there for

their own protection, do you remember saying that?

A. I did not say that. I did not say that they

went to the Kaonik prison for their own protection. I

said that one of the reasons why they were taken there

was to protect them. I did not say that they went

there for the sake of their own protection. I think

that is the wording I used.

Q. So they were arrested and imprisoned in

Kaonik for their own protection?

A. I said that that was one of the reasons, but

I also said that one of the reasons was that they could

have also carried out subversive activities on our

territory against our forces. I am referring to

individuals, of course.

Q. That's the protection of the HVO. I am more

interested in the protection of the Muslim detainees in

the Kaonik facility. Presumably, if they're arrested

and taken to the Kaonik facility for their own

protection, then somebody had a vested interest in

ensuring that these people, these civilians, were

protected from being in harm's way by the war?

A. I suppose that that is the way it was. But I

was not there, I was at a completely different place.

Q. I take it that you would agree with me that

taking these Muslim civilian citizens to the frontline

is hardly consistent with trying to protect them from

being in harm's way as a consequence of the war; you

would agree with that, wouldn't you?

A. Look, I don't know who can be protected when

there is a war that is going on, but, you know, these

people there, the inhabitants of Busovaca, they were

equal to all the other people, the Serbs, the Croats.

But there was a war that was going on between the

Muslims and the Croats. And then, naturally, this is

an entirely different circumstance all together in view

of this entire population. But, at any rate, one group

and then the other and a third group were duty-bound to

help the army to defend that area through their work,

et cetera. There were also some Muslims who carried

weapons on the side of the HVO.

Q. But the bulk of the Croatian,

Bosnian/Croatian population in the Busovaca area were

not interned in the Kaonik prison for their own

protection, were they?

A. No, because a Croat is not going to do

anything to another Croat if his brother was shot at

the frontline. But it is possible that a Croat who had

a relative killed in Lasva or the frontline or at

Nezerovici, that they could take revenge against this

Muslim population and the territory of Busovaca. At

any rate, in my opinion, they were the safest out


Q. Now are you aware of the fact that, from time

to time, Muslim civilian detainees in the Kaonik prison

were sent home when they become ill?

A. I don't know. I really don't know what the

situation was like at the prison and what was being

done there.

Q. When you captured prisoners of war on the

frontline during 1993, those prisoners of war were

taken to Kaonik, were they?

A. When I would capture them I would send them

to the command in charge and I would imagine that the

command would send them to Kaonik.

Q. When you wished to have someone imprisoned in

Kaonik, such as your soldiers who you were

disciplining, did you need to write out any orders or

communicate any special command to anybody?

A. Yes, yes, I would write that out.

Q. And who would you address that to?

A. To the military police and to my command, so

that they would be aware of the fact that I took

disciplinary action against someone and the military

police were supposed to carry this out. And then one

copy of this order would go to, to the prison, to the

persons in charge in prison. And one would go to the

commander of the brigade. The military police, as I

said, would take this person to the detention facility

and the commander would be made aware of it, so that's


Q. Did you have direct dealings with the warden

of the prison at the time yourself?

A. I didn't have reason to have any special

communication with him. The communication boiled down

to what I told you about. When I would come to the

detention facility, I would ask him to let me see the

prisoner in question. So I would say hello to him. I

would tell him why I came and then he would grant my

request that I see that particular prisoner.

Q. Now, I take it that you know nothing about

Mr. Aleksovski's authority with respect to the civilian

Muslim detainees that were in Kaonik?

A. I do not know at all what his authority was.

Q. During 1993, were you being paid a salary?

A. In 1993? I cannot recall. I don't think

so. I don't know, I don't know, I can't remember.

Q. When you were in the HVO, were you paid in

Croatian currency?

A. In 1992, in the HVO, yes, yes, in Kunas,

yes. I got my salary in Kunas afterwards when they

started giving salaries. Sometimes it was German

Marks, sometimes it was Kunas, it depends.

Q. Can you tell me, what was the Central Bosnia

operational zone as such? Was that a military area?

A. The operational zone, I think, is the name of

this institution. I think it is the name of this

institution, I mean a military institution. The

operational zone, that's what I think it was called.

But I cannot say with certainty anything with regard to

these particular matters.

Q. Now that was a part of the defence

department, wasn't it?

A. No, I really don't know.

Q. Well, did you ever use any seals or stamps

during the course of the period of time that you were

commander of the battalion?

A. As commander I never had a seal or a stamp as

a commander of a battalion.

Q. Did you ever receive any orders or directions

or anything of that sort from the Central Bosnia

operative zone?

A. I did not. I did not ever get anything

directly with a stamp or a seal from the operational

zone. I mean, I never received any document.

Q. Perhaps the witness might be shown Exhibit D

21-B, please. Perhaps you might just have a look at

this document for me and then we'll put it on the ELMO

so that everyone can see what we're referring to. I

just want you to concentrate on the seal that is there,

just look at the seal at the bottom of it.

Q. Do you see that seal?

A. I see.

Q. Perhaps it could be placed on the overhead

projector. Do you recognise that seal? Have you seen

that before?

A. I cannot remember it, because in my unit, in

my command, I did not have any contact with that seal

and stamp. And if some particular document

accidentally strayed into our possession, it was just

by accident; so, this really doesn't mean anything to


Q. So, you've never seen that before?

A. I tell you this doesn't mean anything special

to me, what's this Herzeg-Bosna -- what?

Q. No further questions.

A. I really don't know.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Mikulicic, do you have

any further questions for this witness?

MR. MIKULICIC: Your Honours, perhaps one or

two questions only.

Q. Mr. Juric, my distinguished colleague the

Prosecutor asked you who brought these civilians, these

Muslim civilians from Kaonik when they were supposed to

dig trenches. And you answered that they were brought

in and taken away and secured by the military police;

is that correct?

A. Yes.

Q. In addition to that, you said that, apart

from the Muslims in question, that the Croats living in

Busovaca dug trenches too, like Serbs and others who

belonged to the population of Busovaca itself; is that


A. Yes.

Q. Tell me, Mr. Juric, this other group, not

these Muslims from Kaonik, but these other people, how

were they brought in there?

A. In the same way, I mentioned it, it was the

military police that was in charge of all measures that

were taken from the front line into the territory


Q. According to your memory and your

recollections, was there any difference in the

behaviour of the military police towards the Muslim

detainees from Kaonik and these other people who were

also digging trenches?

A. I believe that no difference was made between

the two; although I, as an individual, as a person, did

not particularly monitor this, because after all, I was

commander of a broader zone. So, I didn't really tire

myself, so to speak, with this problem. But I believe

they were treated equally.

MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you. The Defence has

no further questions.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Mr. Juric, I wish to ask a

couple of questions of you.

You said that Mr. Aleksovski did not belong

to your military unit. I suppose you meant by that,

that Mr. Aleksovski was not part of your military unit.

Would you know to which organisation or unit Mr.

Aleksovski belonged?

A. No. If he belonged to anything, it was some

kind of judiciary, or something, I don't know. But to

the best of my knowledge, he did not belong to our

military units. I don't think I belonged to any

military organisation.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: However, you went to Kaonik

on several occasions; didn't you?

A. I said yes.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: And according to you, was

Mr. Aleksovski military or a civilian man?

A. Mr. Aleksovski was a civilian person, in my

opinion and in my conviction, in judging by what I saw.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: You were -- regarding Mr.

Aleksovski as being the warden of the Kaonik prison; is

that right?

A. I don't know. I mean, what his real duty,

his real post was, I really don't know. I just heard

from various conversations, from different people, I

heard that there was some person called Zlatko

Aleksovski, that he was down there in the prison,

Zenica, that he was knowledgeable in legal affairs and

stuff, but I didn't hear anything more than that.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: So, you heard that there

was a Mr. Aleksovski there, that he was an expert, and

that he was in the prison. So, when you would go to

the Kaonik prison --

A. Yes.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Did you have to introduce

yourself at the gate, or could you go into the prison

quite freely?

A. I would come to the prison and probably, and

there was usually a policeman at the door; and if he

didn't know who I was, I would say who I was and why I

came, and then he would call Zlatko and say, "well,

this person has just come now, and he needs

such-and-such a thing," and I would get permission to

do what I had intended to do, and that is to see the

soldier who was there after the disciplinary action I

took against him.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Therefore, Mr. Aleksovski

was free to turn down your request to go into the

prison; couldn't he?

A. I don't know whether he could do that, but

had he told me that I couldn't go in, I would have gone

back to my command and I would have explained what I

wanted and then I would have sought a possibility of

doing what I had intended to do. He never refused me,

but whether he could refuse me or whether he wanted to

refuse me, that --

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Something else. Was Mr.

Aleksovski free to refuse checking in the prisoners

sent by your commander, or people sent by the military


A. I think that in those moments, I mean, if you

look at the period in question, and if you look at the

situation, then, I mean, there was a war going on. I

told you that some kind of a brigade had been set up on

the 19th of December, that this was very short lived.

And aggression was carried out by the army, and then

other people were involved, another army, too, not only

the people who were in the brigade until then, and

probably there were such commanders, too, at a lower

level, at a lower level than that of a battalion.

So, perhaps it wasn't legal, but in that

situation they could have asked Aleksovski. Let's take

a simple example. They could have asked, give me ten

people to dig trenches, for example, you know, that

kind of thing.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: When you went to Kaonik,

did you see civilians working in Kaonik? Not as

detainees in Kaonik, but working there.

A. I cannot remember. I really -- I don't know.

Later something was done in Kaonik, but in that

period I can't remember. I remember that we had some

kind of timber there or something, but I can't remember

exactly in that period.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Let me give you an example.

Let us assume that there were guards at the entrance.

What was the status of those guards? Did they belong

to the military police, or were they civilians that

were organised so as to organise the letting in of

people? Also people belonging to Domobrani?

A. I imagine that was the military police, but I

certainly do not think they were civilians or anything.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Were there any dealings

between the military police and the HVO?

A. How, and in which way they had communicated

that, I don't know. What the chain of command was

between them, I really don't know. I already said that

I had my own zone of responsibility, I had my own

duties to discharge, but I didn't know other things.

I knew what happened in my battalion, and the

people from companies in my battalion would address me

and I would address the headquarters of the brigade;

but what the situation was like elsewhere, I really

don't know.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Let me put it in another

way: Was the military police part of the HVO? Was it

integrated into the structure, into the organisation,

into the goals of the HVO?

A. The HVO, I mean, everything that belonged to

the Croatian community of Herceg-Bosna, everything was

the HVO, the president, the military police, the

brigades, all of that was HVO.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: As to the civilian, the

civilian organisation, what was it like? Let's speak

of the Department of Justice, was it also under the HVO

from the administrative point of view?

A. I don't know. I don't know the set up of

this civilian service. I really don't know exactly

what the set up was like exactly. But at any rate,

then, as the war was on, I mean, everything was HVO.

Everything was, everything served the purpose of


JUDGE RODRIGUES: That means that Mr.

Aleksovski, being warden, some would say being also the

commander of the Kaonik facilities, was he also part of

the HVO in this war time, as you said?

A. Let me tell you, perhaps the legal people

will explain it to you better what the HVO was. I

don't know legally. I just know as a military man that

the army was only one component of the HVO. So, the

army was only one component of the HVO, but the HVO was

a broader thing than that.

When you say HVO, for example, not all of it

is an armed force, not all of it is an army. The army

is only part of the HVO. And Aleksovski, what was

Aleksovski in all of that, I really don't know. I mean

to tell you quite frankly, I really don't know exactly.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: I believe you testified

that when the military prisoners had served their

penalty at the Kaonik facilities, you would give Mr.

Aleksovski the order to release them. Did I hear you


A. A request would be given to him to release

the person that I had sent to prison. I'm sorry,

again, let me say, it was not addressed to Aleksovski.

Nothing was ever addressed to Aleksovski, but to the

prison, so it was not his name and surname that these

requests were addressed to. It was all addressed to

the prison as an institution.

And now, who would take care of that in the

prison, I really wasn't interested in that.

JUDGE RODRIGUES: Yes, but seeing it from

that angle, the guards, the military police that was

also the prison as such, represented the prison; didn't

you have somebody who was responsible, a warden, or a

commander, commanding officer?

A. I just know who the commander of the first

battalion was, who the commander of the brigade was and

who the commander of the operational zone was; whereas,

the commanders of all other facilities, there were

civilian structures, too, the judiciary, et cetera. I

don't know who these people were, I can only engage in


JUDGE RODRIGUES: Fine. Well, thank you. I

think that we don't have any further questions to ask

of you. Thank you very much for coming to testify.

Have a safe journey home. Thank you very much.

Mr. Usher, can you please help the witness?

(Witness leaves).

JUDGE RODRIGUES: I think that time is up, we

finished on time today. We shall reconvene tomorrow at

the same time as today. See you tomorrow.

--- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

1.30 p.m., to be reconvened on

Tuesday the 25th day of August, at

9.00 a.m.