Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 17973

1 Friday, 5 May 2000

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

5 --- Upon commencing at 9.35 a.m.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

8 Your Honours.


10 [Witness answers through interpreter]

11 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:

12 Q. Mr. Prskalo, to round off your testimony

13 before the Court, yesterday when I saw the subjects

14 raised by the Prosecutor, I thought I would have quite

15 a number of questions. However, now that I went

16 through that, I think it won't take much time, not more

17 than ten minutes or so.

18 Yesterday, the Prosecutor asked you about

19 criteria laid down by Bozo Rajic concerning the work of

20 the IPD service. The Croatian word "promotion" does

21 not really mean "propaganda", does it? Do you know the

22 difference between these two words?

23 A. Yes. The word "promotion" practically means

24 promoting traditional Croat values. The other term,

25 and that is what the Prosecutor had in mind, concerns

Page 17974

1 propaganda. That is not that.

2 Q. So that is what I thought you would tell us,

3 you promote virtues, and that is the gist of the

4 meaning of the word "promotion", unlike the word

5 "propaganda".

6 Yesterday, you were asked also why and whose

7 decision was it that prohibited the military in the HVO

8 to engage in politics. I suppose that at any given

9 moment during your military service, you had an

10 opportunity of reading the decree on the armed forces

11 of the HVO. Article 85 [sic] of the decree says that

12 all political activity in the military force within the

13 HVO is prohibited. Do you remember that?

14 A. Yes, I do remember that. However, when I

15 spoke yesterday, I meant -- and I think that was the

16 thrust of the Prosecutor's question, that there was a

17 document which regulated this matter specifically, and

18 I said that there was no such document. But what you

19 are saying is true.

20 Q. Thank you. Merely for the transcript, what I

21 meant was Article 25 of the decree, and the transcript

22 says "85". I suppose it was a slip. Now we can move

23 on.

24 Mr. Prskalo, a great deal was said -- Your

25 Honours, this decree on the armed forces, it was

Page 17975

1 already adduced as Document D182/1.

2 I was saying yesterday a great deal was said

3 and the Prosecutor asked you a great deal about the

4 relationship between the late Mate Boban and

5 Mr. Kordic, and I suppose we should perhaps clarify

6 this topic from a different angle.

7 Mr. Prskalo, you were a member of the

8 military wing of the HVO, that is, the Croat Defence

9 Council, the armed forces; is that so?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. We can also agree, I suppose, that there was

12 also a civilian wing of the HVO, that is, at the level

13 of the Croat Community, that is, the Croat Republic of

14 Herceg-Bosna, the HVO government headed by Jadranko

15 Prlic; is that so?

16 A. Yes, it is.

17 Q. And at the same time at the municipal level,

18 there were municipal HVO governments, weren't there?

19 A. Yes, that is also correct.

20 Q. In Central Bosnia, and that is the area of

21 the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, at the same time

22 there was one vice-president of the HVO government,

23 that is, vice-president to Mr. Jadranko Prlic, Mr. Anto

24 Valenta, wasn't it?

25 A. Yes. He was the deputy prime minister.

Page 17976

1 Q. On the other hand, in the military

2 organisation there was the main staff of the Croat

3 Defence Council; is that so?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And then operative zones, and so on and so

6 forth?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You have already told us -- we don't have to

9 repeat that -- that Mr. Boban was the president and at

10 the same time the supreme commander?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Yesterday, you were shown a document, Z223,

13 referring to a session -- to a meeting of the leaders

14 of the HVO, Central Bosnia, held on the 29th of

15 February, 1992. You couldn't find your way around this

16 document, but when I -- as I read it, I know I saw that

17 Bugojno was represented at the meeting by the deputy

18 president of the HVO, Anto Krajinovic.

19 A. Yes, I remember. He was present at the

20 meeting, and I know that man.

21 Q. A lot was said about this document and

22 decisions of this document in relation to Travnik. It

23 was put to you that the move of some of the offices of

24 the Croat authorities to Travnik would have a bad

25 effect on Muslims. Would you agree with me that the

Page 17977

1 ratio between the Croat and Muslim population, that was

2 about 50/50?

3 A. Yes, that is correct. Not in Travnik only,

4 but also in a number of other municipalities in Central

5 Bosnia, the population ratio, statistically speaking,

6 between the Muslims and the Croats was similar.

7 Q. You're aware, Mr. Prskalo, that in Travnik

8 the police administration for Travnik had its seat

9 there?

10 A. Yes, the police was there, and after the army

11 of Bosnia-Herzegovina took Travnik, that seat moved to

12 Vitez and also some other offices. To all intents and

13 purposes, the crowd police was driven away from

14 Travnik.

15 Q. And Anto Valenta, whom we mentioned a moment

16 ago, who was the HVO vice-president, also had his

17 office in Travnik?

18 A. Yes. As far as I remember, he used to

19 commute to Travnik.

20 Q. And now, which is the capital of the Central

21 Bosnian Zupanija?

22 A. Well, if we look at where the first man of

23 the government was in that area, it is quite clear that

24 it was Travnik.

25 Q. Both according to Vance-Owen Plan, and after

Page 17978

1 Dayton, Travnik was envisaged, planned, to be become

2 the capital of that whole region, didn't it?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Yesterday also there was mention of the

5 language, why would it be bad for Croats if the name of

6 the language was changed. And I didn't really want to

7 go into that, because it is very clear what it means to

8 a people if the name of its language is changed. But

9 would you know that the Bosnian Language Department at

10 the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo was founded only

11 after the war, that is, only after 1994?

12 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, during

13 re-examination, the rule is that counsel cannot lead

14 the witness. It is the same as examination-in-chief.

15 It's your own witness and you're not allowed to lead

16 him. Now, I haven't stopped you before, but I must

17 point that rule out to you.

18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

19 Your Honour. I shall abide by it.

20 Q. I'll rephrase it. Do you know when the

21 Bosnian Language Department was set up at the Faculty

22 of Philosophy?

23 A. I received the information that that

24 department was founded, yes, practically after the war.

25 Q. Did the Bosnian language exist before?

Page 17979

1 A. The Bosnian language in Bosnia-Herzegovina

2 did not exist before, and I can affirm with certainty

3 that such a name did not exist ever; namely, in our

4 history, at the time of Kalay during Austria Hungary

5 yes, Kalay did make some effort to introduce the

6 Bosnian language, but it was never translated into

7 life. And I must tell you that such a language doesn't

8 exist. These are merely attempts.

9 JUDGE MAY: We are not assisted by this sort

10 of detail.

11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes.

12 Q. Let us move on, Mr. Prskalo. Document Z233,

13 and that is the one that was somewhat questionable

14 yesterday, because; that is, the excerpt of the meeting

15 of HVO leaders held on the 6th of October, 1993. I

16 looked at the list of present, more or less -- not more

17 or less. They were all either presidents or

18 secretaries. Except you, more or less, all the rest of

19 them were presidents of the HVO from Jajce, Fojnica,

20 and then across the region.

21 It was put to you yesterday -- I do not know

22 whether the Prosecutor did not understand it, but it

23 was alleged that you had been promoted by the fact that

24 you became a member of the chair. But the chair, it is

25 a one-time duty. What does the chair, that is, the

Page 17980

1 working presidency, mean? What does it mean to be in

2 the chair of the meeting?

3 A. In the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so

4 how our language puts it, the chair, that is, the

5 working presidency, or the chair, is a body which

6 moderates a meeting. However, if I remember well, I

7 responded yesterday and said that I was no member of

8 the chair, because that body had not been elected by

9 anyone to moderate the meeting. It was merely a

10 conversation, a discussion, about some problems.

11 Q. Very well. Another question. If somebody is

12 a member of the chair, if somebody is in the chair of a

13 meeting, when does his duty stop?

14 A. The duty of the chair ends the moment the

15 meeting ends.

16 Q. Yes, of course. This is a civilian document

17 in full, and it is signed. If you have the document

18 before you, please look at the last page in the

19 Croatian language. Will you look who are the

20 signatories of the document. Can you find the last

21 page in Croatian?

22 A. Yes, I have the last page. It says that it

23 is the vice-president of the government of HZ HB, Anto

24 Valenta, and on the left-hand side the secretary. I

25 can't really see --

Page 17981

1 Q. Just the name, if you can recognise the

2 name.

3 A. The name below is Ignac Kostroman.

4 Q. Very well. Thank you. Yesterday a great

5 deal was said. I don't really want to go into it, but

6 military matters were raised as a subject, in a broad

7 sense of the word, in relation to a quotation from some

8 speech, or rather of Mr. Kordic's. In your view, do

9 military matters have a narrow meaning, or can they be

10 placed in a broader context?

11 A. Military matters may be viewed in a broader

12 context.

13 Q. So there are other questions apart from this

14 stricter issue of orders for a particular military

15 combat which could then be placed in a wider context of

16 military matters?

17 A. I didn't quite understand what you meant.

18 Q. Apart from professional things when orders

19 are issued --

20 JUDGE MAY: I didn't understand the question

21 either, and it sounds to me like argument, which you

22 can address to us in due course. Now, unless there's

23 some specific matter for the witness, I suggest we move

24 on.

25 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your

Page 17982

1 Honours -- no, all right. We can change the topic. I

2 thought that perhaps we might hear it from Mr. Prskalo,

3 but it doesn't matter.

4 Q. Yesterday a tape was shown and we could see

5 some business outlets demolished, something to that

6 effect. And you said that there were incidents on both

7 sides, and you were an eyewitness to those incidents,

8 weren't you?

9 A. Yes, there were incidents, on both sides.

10 And often this was done by members of one people to

11 members of others. Or sometimes a people did it to

12 members of its own -- members of the same people.

13 Q. For various reasons, isn't it?

14 A. Yes. I said yesterday that motives behind

15 that varied.

16 Q. Tell us, please, to your knowledge, insofar

17 as the damage inflicted on business outlets owned by

18 Muslims or Serbs, was it organised on the Croat side or

19 were there acts committed by individuals?

20 A. I do not have any information that there were

21 any organised actions of that nature in our lands, and

22 in my view, these were acts committed by individuals.

23 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Prskalo, you were asked who

24 was your provisional commander, if I may put it that

25 way, while Colonel Blaskic was in Kiseljak, and you

Page 17983

1 said the head of the staff of the Operative Zone

2 Central Bosnia. You didn't give us the name, so let us

3 try to clear this up.

4 A. The head of the staff of the Operative Zone

5 of Central Bosnia was Mr. Franjo Nakic, who also was

6 with me, part of the monitoring mission in Busovaca. I

7 believe we noted that yesterday.

8 Q. Very well. We can move on. Yesterday you

9 were given a transcript of an alleged conversation

10 between Dario Kordic, Mr. Dario Kordic, and Colonel

11 Blaskic. And in contrast to what the Prosecutor is

12 claiming, we believe that it is in dispute whether the

13 two of them talked.

14 JUDGE MAY: Yes, go on.

15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

16 Q. You were in Kacuni right after --

17 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. It's not in

18 dispute that the voices on the tape were those of

19 Mr. Kordic and Colonel Blaskic. That has never been

20 disputed. Are you trying to say now it's in dispute?

21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] But I do not

22 think that we ever said that that conversation took

23 place. That was the thrust of my question. We are

24 referring to the conversation. We are not questioning

25 the voice of Mr. Kordic. As for Mr. Blaskic, I'm not

Page 17984

1 quite sure because, I don't know his voice. It is the

2 conversation that is at issue.

3 JUDGE MAY: What is the question?

4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation].

5 Q. The question is as follows, Mr. Prskalo: So

6 you were in Kacuni after the ceasefire was concluded

7 following January conflicts. Had these multiple rocket

8 launchers attacked Kacuni, as it was suggested to you

9 yesterday, would you see the results of that in

10 Kacuni? Wouldn't you see that devastation?

11 A. I must say that I was in Kacuni several

12 times. If we're talking about this, I think that we

13 also need to say something about Kacuni, that is, the

14 part of the village which -- of the Muslim population,

15 and I couldn't really see all those projectiles falling

16 on it. I simply don't understand, had it really

17 happened that way, I don't understand how could I miss

18 that. I mean, there were also members of the

19 monitoring mission. They went there. We went

20 together. And then Muslims representatives and members

21 of the monitoring mission of the ECMM.

22 Q. So you did not see any destruction?

23 A. No, I did not see any destruction of such a

24 scale that would indicate such heavy weaponry.

25 Q. Very well. Thank you.

Page 17985

1 Let us move on to a different document,

2 Z419.3, and that is a letter in your handwriting to the

3 command of the brigade, do you remember, 30th of

4 January, 1993? Do you remember it?

5 A. Yes, I remember it. I saw that document

6 yesterday.

7 Q. One can see from this text that it is

8 self-evident that you are requesting that somebody be

9 nominated to this Joint Commission, but my question is

10 who is this addressed to?

11 A. This is addressed to the command in Kiseljak,

12 because we were asked to urgently designate a member to

13 work in the Joint Commission, because we decided that

14 there was no men available from that area and it was a

15 general conclusion, the conclusion of everybody, that

16 it would be good and that it would be purposeful if

17 Kiseljak were included too.

18 Q. So the letter was addressed to military

19 structures, wasn't it, not to civilians?

20 A. Yes, yes, quite so.

21 Q. Yesterday, a short video was shown, Z652, and

22 it was shot around the 13th of April or something like

23 that, it is said. We're not quite sure. But the Croat

24 National Council is mentioned in it. I suppose you

25 remember who are the members of this council. The

Page 17986

1 Prosecutor mentioned Dr. Komisic, Kljujic, and so on

2 and so forth. Do you recall the efforts, the attempts,

3 to set up this Croat National Council in Sarajevo?

4 A. Well, I do remember some attempts to set up

5 this National Council, but I couldn't really tell you

6 exactly who were its members.

7 Q. Let me then ask you this way: Could you tell

8 the Court which political party of the Croats was the

9 counterpart or, rather, the signatory or, rather, led

10 the negotiations with the International Community and

11 that eventually led to the Dayton Agreement, which

12 party of the Croats was it?

13 A. Well, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to my knowledge,

14 in the creation of that agreement participated the

15 Croat Peasants' Party. I don't mean the Croat National

16 Council that Kimisic was a member of, I mean the

17 Washington and Dayton Accords.

18 Q. Who signed it; do you know? The

19 representatives of which party signed that?

20 A. Why, the HDZ. If you mean which is the main

21 party, then that is it. I didn't really understand

22 what you were getting at, but it was the Croat

23 Democratic Union.

24 Q. Yesterday, Mr. Kljujic was mentioned, his

25 replacement, and so on and so forth. Did you have any

Page 17987

1 direct knowledge, what was the meeting that removed him

2 from office? Was it as before or did the practice

3 change, that is, when Kljujic succeeded Perinovic, an

4 earlier president of the party? Do you know about

5 that?

6 A. From what I know, he simply -- the majority

7 simply -- there was not a vote of confidence in his

8 favour. As far as I know, the majority simply did not

9 place their confidence in him, and that was a

10 democratic choice.

11 Q. Very well, thank you. Z652A is another

12 document. That is, if you remember, a fragment from a

13 rather long letter which Mr. Kordic read between Mate

14 Boban and Jadranko Prlic, that is, the views of the

15 government of the HDZ on the implementation of the

16 Vance-Owen Plan. Do you remember that?

17 A. Yes, I remember some parts of that fragment.

18 Q. And after that, Mr. Kordic voiced some

19 thoughts which I believe are self-evident, but I

20 presume that you also took note of some of those

21 observations and thoughts. It arises from the

22 transcript that nothing will happen by force?

23 A. I remember that, but from what I remember, no

24 expressions nor terms were used to indicate any

25 violence, any squaring of accounts. Quite the

Page 17988

1 reverse.

2 Q. There was an obvious intention of resolving

3 problems by political methods in order to avoid a

4 conflict, isn't it?

5 A. Yes, quite so.

6 Q. There is another document. I don't know if

7 you had enough time to go through that. Mr. Kordic was

8 finishing, and the journalist said, "Thank you,

9 Mr. Vice-President." Do you remember that detail from

10 the record?

11 A. I do not remember. If you mean the video, it

12 wasn't shown to the end, and I didn't really read the

13 record to the end. I only scanned a few sentences,

14 because I really had very little time at my disposal to

15 read all that.

16 Q. Very well, thank you. Let us go to this next

17 document, Z671.1.

18 The Prosecutor told you that in spite of this

19 document, that you did not complain because of the

20 attack to the other side, I mean, to

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, one of the explicit

22 requests in the document is the request to terminate

23 military operations. What does that mean?

24 A. Well, that is what I wanted to say. That is

25 what bothered me as of yesterday, because the

Page 17989

1 Prosecutor did not yesterday permit me to answer that

2 question. I'm really very happy that you are asking me

3 that today, that you really took note of that.

4 Namely, in these conversations, I said,

5 without mixing words, that it was the army of B and H

6 which had launched the attack against us, and I can't

7 understand how -- responsible people who were sitting

8 there with me must have taken note of that. I really

9 don't understand how can it be that they did not note

10 it down or did not report it higher up. It is simply

11 beyond me.

12 Q. And to round this off, Mr. Prskalo, you had

13 the opportunity to see hundreds of orders issued by

14 Mr. Blaskic or, I suppose, quite a number of other

15 officers within their fields of jurisdiction?

16 A. Well, I saw quite a number of orders, but I

17 couldn't, of course, see all the orders because I

18 mostly had to deal with those orders which concerned

19 myself.

20 Q. Yes, of course. But of all the orders that

21 you saw, did you ever see any military order issued by

22 Mr. Dario Kordic?

23 A. Not only I did not see such an order ever, I

24 have never even heard that such an order had been

25 issued or, rather, I simply do not know that Mr. Kordic

Page 17990

1 ever issued any such order.

2 Q. Mr. Prskalo, as I told you yesterday, you're

3 of course in the best position to tell us. Did you

4 ever, as Colonel Blaskic's deputy commander of the

5 Operative Zone or, rather, assistant for IPD, did you

6 ever issue any military orders or take part in the

7 formulation of these orders in any capacity?

8 A. Allow me to correct what you have just said.

9 In my work, I was only authorised to write

10 information. I simply had no authority to issue any

11 orders. And I should correct what you said. I was not

12 Colonel Blaskic's deputy. I was his assistant for IPD,

13 and that is not one and the same thing.

14 Q. Yes, I fully agree. My mistake. Assistant

15 for IPD.

16 JUDGE MAY: You said you would be ten

17 minutes, Mr. Naumovski. You've been half an hour.

18 Now, is there anything else?

19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

20 you have just stopped me in time. I have finished.

21 Thank you.

22 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

23 Thank you, Mr. Prskalo, for coming. Your

24 evidence is now over. You are free to go.

25 [The witness withdrew]

Page 17991

1 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers. Was there a

2 matter you wanted to raise while the next witness is

3 being brought?

4 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

5 I understand that the Court actually wanted

6 to raise with us the status of the application that

7 we've made for the Court to issue a request for

8 assistance to the authorities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.


10 MR. SAYERS: If I might just update the Court

11 on that.

12 We would like to withdraw that request. We

13 have encountered no difficulty at all in gaining the

14 assistance of the authorities of the Federation of

15 Bosnia-Herzegovina to have a judge appointed for the

16 purpose of authenticating affidavits, and in that

17 regard we submitted our first affidavit yesterday of

18 Brigadier Zviko Totic. That affidavit will be

19 submitted, Your Honours, in corroboration of the

20 testimony of one of the witnesses to testify next week,

21 Brigadier Luka Sikerija. We had hoped that we would be

22 able to call Brigadier Sikerija this week, and that's

23 why we filed the affidavit yesterday. But apparently

24 that's not to be.

25 That leads me to one subject that I would

Page 17992

1 like -- there are two issues.

2 JUDGE MAY: Let me deal, first of all, with

3 the affidavit question.

4 It may be sensible to collect your

5 affidavits, as it were, and we'll consider them as a

6 group at a convenient moment. The advantage of that is

7 that the Prosecution will then be able to decide

8 whether they want to make any objections or not.

9 Obviously, it's got to be done at a convenient time and

10 at a convenient time for you too. But rather than

11 doing them one by one, there may be an argument for

12 putting a group in together.

13 MR. SAYERS: If that is to be the case, Your

14 Honour, might I suggest that we have the argument

15 earlier rather than later, because as we understand 94

16 ter, it is done on an affidavit-by-affidavit or

17 case-by-case basis or, to be more accurate, a

18 live-witness-by-live-witness basis, and an objection

19 must be filed within seven days after a live witness

20 testifies as to the affidavit.

21 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, I suspect you're

22 right. We better do it that way.

23 MR. SAYERS: Very well.

24 Let me just articulate a concern that we have

25 at this point, if I may. Our estimate of completing

Page 17993

1 our case by the August recess was based upon the

2 assumption that the Prosecution would be accorded

3 pretty much the same treatment as the Defence received

4 for 11 months of its cross-examination of the

5 Prosecution's witnesses, which was that, as a general

6 rule, the time of the direct examination would govern

7 the time available for cross-examination. We're

8 obviously aware, Mr. President and Your Honours, that

9 there were some exceptions to that. I can remember

10 right now the witness Colonel Stutt who testified, I

11 believe, for about one and a half hours on direct, and

12 I think we took about two and a quarter hours on

13 cross-examination. But the Court will recall that

14 there were a lot of documents to be introduced through

15 that witness and it was a rather laborious exercise.

16 But I must observe that generally here, in fact in

17 almost every case, the cross-examination of Defence

18 witness is taking at least twice as long as the direct

19 examination. I think that's true for every single

20 witness.

21 Now, we actually, in our estimate,

22 Mr. President, we built in some time to assume that

23 there would be, with respect to the first witnesses, a

24 fairly extensive cross-examination, and I think

25 notwithstanding the amount of time that's been taken to

Page 17994

1 date, we're still pretty much on target for our

2 estimate. But I might point out that a lot of the

3 cross-examination just consists of argument with the

4 witness, and I appreciate --

5 JUDGE MAY: No, that is not so. If it were

6 argument with the witness, it would be stopped. But I

7 think you can take it that the Trial Chamber is with

8 you on the various points you're making.

9 MR. SAYERS: Then I'll move on to the last

10 point, Your Honour. It concerns the witness for whom

11 we had made an application for a videolink, Srecko

12 Kristo. Let me just explain.

13 I think it's fairly clear to the Trial

14 Chamber that we are trying to put on our witnesses in a

15 thematic way. The last two witnesses that we have on

16 the chain of command issues will be today's witness,

17 Brigadier Totic, and the first witness after him,

18 Brigadier Sekerija. After that, we propose to move on

19 to the Kacuni checkpoint issues that have been raised

20 by the Prosecution.

21 Mr. Kristo, strictly speaking, does not

22 relate to the January the 20th to 21st checkpoint

23 incident. So he's not, strictly speaking, a part of

24 that cadre, if you like, but he does offer evidence

25 relating to an incident that occurred at the Kacuni

Page 17995

1 checkpoint on the 24th.

2 Now, I understood our application was denied,

3 but let me just represent to the Trial Chamber that as

4 of this point, we are not aware of any other witnesses

5 that we intend to call who will give evidence by

6 videolink. So it may be that at some point we would

7 ask the Court again to consider such an application,

8 hoping, I trust, that that doesn't fall afoul of the

9 rule that generally motions for reconsideration will

10 not be --

11 JUDGE MAY: No, I should have made that

12 plain, that the reason that it was denied was merely

13 the timing and the need to make logistical

14 arrangements. And, of course, the matter will be

15 reconsidered.

16 What we invited you to do was to group your

17 witnesses. If you've only got one in Sarajevo, so be

18 it. But if you've got others elsewhere, it may be

19 convenient to try and deal with them all at the same

20 time. What I suggest you do is to start making your

21 list and then to approach the Registry, because it's a

22 major logistical exercise to arrange this.

23 MR. SAYERS: The ramifications were explained

24 to us yesterday, Your Honour. We had suspected that it

25 was a major logistical exercise, but I have to confess

Page 17996

1 that I did not realise quite how extensive it was. And

2 we're mindful of the need for economies, both in terms

3 of time and cost.

4 But as I say, at this point, unless we can

5 convince this gentleman to travel to The Hague, which

6 may be very difficult, it may be that the only way that

7 we can get his testimony before the Court would be by

8 videolink. But he is, as I say, the only one of whom

9 we are currently aware that we would anticipate

10 testifying by videolink from Sarajevo. There may be

11 one other witness who needs to testify through that

12 medium in Zagreb, but we hope not.

13 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you can investigate

14 the matter and then identify a suitable time with the

15 Registry and make your application.

16 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes, thank you.

18 Yes, I'm sorry.

19 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, if I may just take

20 one minute. By the order of the Trial Chamber of April

21 28th, I'm ordered to justify to the Trial Chamber the

22 extensive number of the witnesses to be called.

23 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

24 MR. KOVACIC: I was hoping that I will be

25 able to do that verbally and not be forced to write

Page 17997

1 down --


3 MR. KOVACIC: Or is it too late now?

4 JUDGE MAY: We will identify a convenient

5 moment to discuss it.

6 MR. KOVACIC: Right. I just want to be sure

7 that you will call me, that it not is I who will not

8 respect the term.

9 JUDGE MAY: No, no.

10 Mr. Nice, can we return to this question of

11 cross-examination. You said in your submissions last

12 week, or earlier this week, rather, that

13 cross-examination was designed to assist the Trial

14 Chamber, and of course it is. I think we have to

15 balance the need for thoroughness, of course covering

16 relevant matters, with a need for expedition in this

17 case, and also, to some extent, the equality between

18 the parties. I make no comment on the quality of

19 cross-examination between the parties. As to why,

20 speaking for myself, I may have been led to stop

21 cross-examination during the Prosecution case because

22 of doubts about its relevance. But that aside, clearly

23 we should try and aim to run both sides in the same

24 way. That is one factor which I would ask you to have

25 in mind.

Page 17998

1 The other factor is to invite you to

2 reconsider the position about exhibits. To date, the

3 total number of Prosecution exhibits, I understand, is

4 2.392. That, by any standards, is an extensive

5 number. In fact, we could well consider that we're

6 swimming in these documents. It's not of assistance,

7 really, to have too many. So I'm not going to invite

8 you to address us on the topic at the moment, but I

9 would at this stage invite you to reconsider the

10 question of exhibits, whether it's necessary to put

11 more exhibits in, the Prosecution case having closed,

12 unless they are particularly relevant, going to

13 credibility or going to the witness's evidence, and

14 also to consider tailoring the cross-examination. I

15 say I'm inviting you to do it, which is all I am doing

16 at the moment, but I have to say that in due course we

17 will have to consider making orders. I hope that won't

18 be necessary.

19 The position is this: As I said the other

20 day, we have three other cases, all of them lengthy,

21 involving in some cases persons in custody, and we have

22 not only this case but those other cases to consider.

23 You, if I may put it this way, have had a year in which

24 to bring the Prosecution case, and we have to consider

25 cross-examination in that light and ask you to deal

Page 17999

1 with the matter expeditiously.

2 We do intend to complete Mr. Kordic's case by

3 the recess, and in that we shall require your

4 cooperation.

5 MR. NICE: And Your Honour will have it. And

6 I have to say, without in any way resigning from the

7 points I've made earlier, it's my intention, and I'm

8 sure that of all my colleagues, to be as brief as we

9 properly can.

10 The Chamber will have in mind -- and I'm not

11 going to argue the point extensively at all -- but the

12 Chamber will have in mind that the witnesses so far are

13 the witnesses who cover the whole of the case. I think

14 Filipovic, for example, basically covered the whole of

15 the Blaskic and Kordic case, and I cross-examined him

16 in a day. So these early witnesses are likely to be

17 longer. I'm anxious myself to avoid adducing exhibits,

18 and we'll be further cautious about producing exhibits,

19 and I really don't forecast, I hope, too much need to

20 do so.

21 Can I turn from that to one other timesaving

22 issue which I was going to raise myself in any event,

23 and it relates to the evidence, particularly, for

24 example, of the next witness, about Muslim atrocities

25 and other bad acts.

Page 18000


2 MR. NICE: Now, the relevance of that is

3 something that we've always doubted but we've never

4 challenged, because it would seem to us to give the

5 appearance of unfairness, perhaps, if we challenge the

6 matter too vigorously, or at all. We leave it to the

7 Chamber to confine evidence on those topics that is not

8 thought to be helpful. However, where details are

9 given, as they are, for example, in this summary, we

10 will attempt to make an institutional or

11 semi-institutional response at some stage to detailed

12 allegations, and we've also had a list of stipulations

13 on the same topic.

14 The Chamber will realise I can't admit

15 something in the sense that I'm not a party. I'm not

16 here standing for any group of people; I'm only here

17 for the OTP. So I can't admit something. I'm not the

18 Muslims concerned. But I should be able, with a

19 reasonable amount of time to discuss matters, I should

20 be able to agree that certain matters can be taken as

21 facts for the purposes of this trial only, and to that

22 extent I hope that we can then abbreviate issues. What

23 I can't do is simply turn it around over night, because

24 there are considerations of an institutional nature

25 that have to be taken in mind.

Page 18001

1 But I'm certainly intending to do that, and

2 I'm setting in train the procedures that will have to

3 be followed if and when detailed allegations of the

4 type that are raised in this sort of proof are capable

5 of agreement.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That will be helpful.

7 Thank you.

8 MR. NICE: And then finally, on another

9 matter, just -- totally different matter, the position

10 on the audiotape, as the Chamber I think recollects, is

11 that the voices were quite specifically admitted in a

12 carefully thought-out process of offering the document

13 for listening to and agreeing to the voices. And

14 indeed, the Chamber will find somewhere, I think in an

15 exchange with Mr. Stein, that it was made clear by me

16 that the admission was not just a general admission but

17 was an admission as to the two voices and the way they

18 are associated with voices 6 and 7 on the tape.

19 JUDGE MAY: As I understand the Defence case,

20 it is this: that the voices are admitted, but that in

21 some way the authenticity of the tape is challenged,

22 and that it's said that this conversation didn't take

23 place in the way that it's alleged.

24 MR. NICE: I said initially there may be some

25 difficulties. There was then a suggestion to odd words

Page 18002

1 being added, and that's I think as far as we've got in

2 detail. But I've always approached the two witnesses

3 to whom I've put the tape on the basis that there may

4 be some challenge to its authenticity, but the voices

5 are accepted.

6 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you.

7 MR. SAYERS: If I may, Your Honour, I think

8 that the position relating to the videotape is as

9 stated by the Court.

10 JUDGE MAY: The audiotape.

11 MR. SAYERS: Yes, indeed. I'm sorry. Yes,

12 the audiotape.

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

14 MR. SAYERS: Secondly, with respect to the

15 matter addressed by the Prosecutor, the Muslim

16 atrocities, this is the last witness through whom we

17 would offer evidence of the atrocities at Dusina. And

18 I do recall an earlier exchange on this between the

19 Court and Defence counsel where it was suggested that

20 we prepare a short stipulation with no frills, just the

21 bare bones, and we did that. And I have actually

22 transmitted that. It consists of six paragraphs on

23 about half a page. I transmitted that to the Office of

24 the Prosecution, and I believe that's still being

25 considered.

Page 18003

1 JUDGE MAY: It may be helpful if you send a

2 draft to us.

3 MR. SAYERS: I have one now.

4 JUDGE MAY: Send one to the Trial Chamber.

5 Send it in due course to the Trial Chamber --

6 MR. SAYERS: Will do, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE MAY: -- so we'll know what's being

8 considered. Yes. On that topic, I had noted that out

9 of the six witnesses, three already have mentioned

10 Dusina, and I was going to invite you to think that

11 that was sufficient on that.

12 And also the other matter, which was the

13 deaths of the children at Vitez. You've called three

14 witnesses on that. Now, there comes to be a limit on

15 these matters, as we've said.

16 MR. SAYERS: Yes, indeed, Your Honour, and

17 we're mindful of that. There's only one other piece of

18 evidence with respect to the children, and that's an

19 actual videotape of the aftermath of that event, and we

20 would propose to introduce that at this time. But as

21 far as I know right now, we do not have any -- we

22 actually have one other witness on that, the mother of

23 one of the children.

24 JUDGE MAY: Is that not a sort of witness who

25 could make an affidavit, rather than bringing her

Page 18004

1 here?

2 MR. SAYERS: It may be, and I would not want

3 to put her through that, especially if it required

4 showing the videotape, which is not appropriate.

5 JUDGE MAY: Indeed.

6 MR. SAYERS: Other than that, though, Your

7 Honour, I think the relevance of the evidence is as

8 we've previously stated. It's really not the sort of

9 tit for tat argument, the Tu Quoque argument. It's

10 really evidence as to who was persecuting whom, what

11 was going on in the area, and it's really relevant to

12 the allegations made in count 1.

13 And in respect of one of the judge's

14 questions yesterday, I just mentioned paragraph 36, but

15 with respect to the theory of a campaign or a policy or

16 some sort of official party line, so to speak, those

17 allegations are made actually in the earlier paragraphs

18 of the amended indictment too, and the evidence is

19 relevant to that.

20 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down,

21 Mr. Sayers, please.

22 MR. SAYERS: As I said, I think the point has

23 been made, and we don't need to make the point really

24 anymore, other than with this witness's testimony.

25 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Let's call the

Page 18005

1 witness.

2 [The witness entered court]

3 [Trial Chamber confers]

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the

5 declaration.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

7 declare that I will speak the truth, the whole truth,

8 and nothing but the truth.


10 [Witness answered through interpreter]

11 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we will sit till a

12 quarter past 1.00 today. We'll only take a 20-minute

13 break. So it may be convenient if you go on for --

14 until quarter past 11.00, something of that sort.

15 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour. I would

16 anticipate that the testimony of this witness would

17 last perhaps an hour and a half.

18 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

19 Examined by Mr. Sayers:

20 Q. Good morning, sir. Would you please state

21 your full name for the Court?

22 A. My name is Zivko Totic. I was born on 25

23 January 1958, in the village of Dolac, in the

24 municipality of Zenica, in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

25 Q. All right. I'm going to take you very

Page 18006

1 quickly through some of the points in the outline that

2 you've signed in Croatian, and the English version of

3 which you've signed and initialled every page, sir.

4 Is it true that you are a Bosnian Croat, that

5 you're married and have one son, who will graduate from

6 electrical engineering school this year?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. You currently work at the Ministry of Defence

9 of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina in Sarajevo as

10 an advisor for the development of defence policy; is

11 that correct, sir?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. And is it also right that you have held the

14 rank of Brigadier in the Army of the Federation since

15 December 31st, 1997?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. You currently own an apartment in Sarajevo,

18 sir, but you're not able to live in it, either yourself

19 or your family, because it is currently occupied by a

20 Muslim refugee family; is that right?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And where do you live during the week when

23 you work, sir?

24 A. During the week I live in Hotel Dalmatia in

25 Kiseljak, and otherwise I live in the town of Jajce

Page 18007

1 with my family.

2 Q. And you see them on weekends generally, or

3 more regularly?

4 A. Mostly over the weekend.

5 Q. Have you ever been a member of the Croatian

6 Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the HDZ BiH?

7 A. No.

8 Q. Let me just ask you a couple of other

9 questions in the hope of saving some time on

10 cross-examination. Have you ever signed any statements

11 to any institution or at the request of any attorney,

12 other than the statements that you've signed in

13 connection with this case, sir?

14 A. No.

15 Q. I believe, sir, that the first time that you

16 and I actually met face to face was earlier this week;

17 is that correct?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And the first time that you met my colleague,

20 Mr. Naumovski, in person was this week, having had with

21 him an earlier telephone conversation; is that correct?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. But you have previously been interviewed by

24 the investigators for the Office of the Prosecutor,

25 have you not, a gentleman by the name of Stefan Obers?

Page 18008

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. You asked to sign a witness statement by the

3 investigator when he interviewed you, sir?

4 A. Not yet.

5 Q. All right. Well, let's move on to paragraph

6 6 of your outline, sir.

7 MR. SAYERS: And with the Trial Chamber's

8 permission, I propose to lead a large part of this

9 evidence, except on controversial matters, and I'm sure

10 I'll be told when we reach those.

11 Q. Is it true, sir, that you received your

12 elementary schooling in the village of Stranjani, near

13 the city of Zenica?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And after completing one year of vocational

16 school for business in Zenica, you were accepted at the

17 secondary military school in Sarajevo, which you

18 successfully finished, or you graduated from that?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And then you attended your last year of

21 schooling at the military school, studying with the

22 Engineering Corps training facility in the town of

23 Karlovac; is that right?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And I believe, sir, that you served for ten

Page 18009

1 years in the Yugoslav People's Army as a

2 noncommissioned officer initially?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And first you commanded a squad, and then

5 your duties increased in importance; you commanded a

6 platoon in Serbia. Correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. I believe that you were transferred to

9 Sarajevo in July of 1988, and then in 1990 and 1991 you

10 attended the higher military school for engineers in

11 Karlovac and Sabac?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. You completed your military training at the

14 higher military school on December 4th of 1991, having

15 also studied by that time statistics and computer

16 science at the Department of Statistics in Belgrade; is

17 that right, sir?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Brigadier, I believe that on December 4th,

20 1991 you were promoted to the rank of second lieutenant

21 and became the commander of a company of JNA engineers

22 in Bihac, in the west of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. And when the war broke out in your country,

25 or when your country was attacked, when the civil war

Page 18010

1 broke out, if I might be so bold, on April 26th of 1992

2 you resigned from the JNA and then moved back to your

3 hometown in Zenica; is that right?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. All right. I wonder, sir, if we could just

6 have you testify in your own words as to what occurred

7 after you had been -- after you had made the decision

8 to resign from the JNA and returned to Zenica. What

9 happened then?

10 A. Shortly after my return to Zenica, and I

11 believe it was on the 2nd of May, 1992, I was invited

12 by the commander of the Crisis Staff of the Croat

13 Democratic Union in the village of Stranjani, I was

14 asked to attend a meeting of the Crisis Staff of the

15 HDZ BiH in Stranjani, and we discussed their prompt and

16 efficient establishment of the HVO.

17 Q. All right. Now, in Zenica at this time, were

18 there any organised units of Croats, any organised

19 military units of the Croat people in the city of

20 Zenica?

21 A. In May 1992, in the territory of the Zenica

22 municipality, there was something between five to ten

23 platoons of the HVO organised. In contrast, in the

24 town of Zenica and the municipality of Zenica, there

25 were a number of Muslim formations.

Page 18011

1 In early January 1992, the so-called 1st

2 Brigade of the Territorial Defence was formed, headed

3 by its commander Dzemal Najetovic. Shortly after that,

4 a battalion of the Patriotic League, headed by Ibrahim

5 Puric was also stationed in the town of Zenica. And

6 the Patriotic League then came out into the public. I

7 believe it began to come into existence sometime in

8 mid-1991.

9 Q. Now, the Territorial Defence in Zenica was,

10 in fact, a predominantly Muslim military organisation,

11 consisting of about 97 per cent Muslim members; is that

12 accurate?

13 A. More than 97 per cent.

14 Q. Could you give the Trial Chamber your

15 assessment, sir, your professional military assessment,

16 of the quality of organisation of the Muslim military

17 forces in Zenica at this time?

18 A. The Muslim armed forces in Zenica in 1992

19 were -- well, I must say they were well organised, and

20 personnel who had come from the former JNA mostly

21 commanded their ranks.

22 Q. [Previous translation continues] ...

23 referring to consisted of professional officers and

24 noncommissioned officers previously serving in the

25 former JNA; is that right?

Page 18012

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. All right. And after you took over your

3 military duties in Zenica, sir, could you explain to

4 the Court what you did or what position you assumed in

5 June of 1992, and what you did in that position?

6 A. After I joined the Zenica HVO, I was first

7 appointed the commander of the company in -- which was

8 about to be formed, but it was never formed. After

9 that, I was asked to form a battalion in the village of

10 Stranjani, and I became its commander. I was

11 successful in setting up this battalion sometime in the

12 end of June 1992.

13 Q. And then I believe that on July 29th of 1992

14 Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, the commander of the Central

15 Bosnia Operative Zone, appointed you to be the

16 commander of the HVO staff in the city of Zenica. Is

17 that accurate to say?

18 A. Yes. But shortly afterwards I was issued the

19 same order from the supreme commander of the Croat

20 Community of Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban.

21 Q. All right. You were not appointed to your

22 position by any civilian authority, I take it, sir?

23 A. I was not appointed by any civilian authority

24 to the post of the commander of the Municipal Staff.

25 As it was said, I was first appointed by the commander

Page 18013

1 of the Operative Zone in Central Bosnia, Colonel

2 Blaskic, and after that by the supreme commander of the

3 armed forces of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna,

4 Mr. Mate Boban, who was at the same time the supreme

5 commander.

6 Q. All right. And as the commander of the HVO

7 staff in Zenica, you proceeded to reorganise HVO forces

8 that were under your command in that city; is that

9 right?

10 A. Yes. I began to reorganise them as soon as I

11 took the office, sometime until mid-October. The

12 municipal HVO staff was made up of three battalions,

13 total strength about 1.450 men.

14 My other task, apart from this and the

15 training, was the formation of a combat group, some 60

16 to 200 men strong, which every 7 to 10 days took shifts

17 at the front in Jajce. I need to mention that the HVO

18 units at that time were fighting very fierce and bloody

19 battles for the liberation of the town of Jajce. And

20 in spite of the tremendous efforts invested by the

21 Operative Zone for Central Bosnia to defend the town of

22 Jajce, the Muslim units, in contrast, that is, the

23 Territorial Defence in the first place, I think they

24 did not send any significant, any noteworthy

25 reinforcements to the town of Jajce.

Page 18014

1 Q. All right. On the subject of Jajce, just a

2 few very brief questions. Is it correct that you were

3 responsible for maintaining a sector of the front lines

4 and that your specific responsibility in that

5 connection was to rotate a group of soldiers back and

6 forth to man the front lines against the BSA during

7 that time, sir?

8 A. In November 1992, after the fall of Jajce,

9 the army of Bosnian Serbs came dangerously near the

10 town of Travnik, and the Operative Zone of Central

11 Bosnia decided to set up three sectors. I was

12 appointed --

13 Q. If I might interrupt you, the question was

14 whether you were rotating groups of soldiers back and

15 forth on the front lines before the fall of Jajce. Is

16 that what you did? We can get into what happened

17 afterwards.

18 A. Yes, yes.

19 Q. Now, with respect to the fall of the town of

20 Jajce on October the 30th, 1992, the position has been

21 taken by the Prosecution in this case that two things

22 happened; first, that the HVO basically abandoned the

23 front lines and, second, that that abandonment was due

24 to an agreement that was reached with the Bosnian Serb

25 artillery to surrender the city. The town of Jajce,

Page 18015

1 rather. Could you give the Trial Chamber, please, your

2 personal experience with respect to either of those two

3 arguments, sir?

4 A. About the agreements which existed or did not

5 exist, I know nothing. But it is not true that the HVO

6 units did not defend the town of Jajce. From the

7 Municipal Staff of Zenica, troops, some 120 men

8 commanded by Dobrica Jonjic, retreated on the 13th of

9 October; that is, crossed the bridge over the Vrbas

10 River. In contrast, the units of the 1st TO Brigade in

11 the village of Kruscica and Busic, set up control

12 points, and further on down to Turbe, while they were

13 plundering and disarming other people or soldiers who

14 were being pulled out.

15 Q. Did the town of Jajce fall as a result of

16 voluntary withdrawal or military defeat, sir?

17 A. Jajce fell because of the defeat.

18 Q. Now, after the fall of Jajce on October the

19 30th, 1992, sir, could you just tell the Trial Chamber

20 what your responsibilities became? And for the Trial

21 Chamber's reference, it's paragraph 15 of the summary

22 that you signed.

23 A. After the fall of the town of Jajce, I think

24 it was November 1992 the Operative Zone, Central

25 Bosnia, decided, in order to put up a good defence of

Page 18016

1 the town of Travnik, to form three defence sectors. I

2 was appointed the commander of Sector 2. Its area of

3 responsibility was from the Lasva River inclusive,

4 across Turbe, Mosunj, Glavicica, Slikovica and

5 Mravinjac to Kamenjas. My deputy was Mario Cerkez.

6 Q. Very well. And it's correct, I believe, to

7 say that on December the 4th of 1992, the HVO in Zenica

8 was reorganised completely pursuant to a decision

9 issued by the supreme commander of the HVO armed

10 forces, Mr. Mate Boban; is that right?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And as a result of that reorganisation, could

13 you tell the Trial Chamber, please, what was

14 implemented?

15 A. As a result of this reorganisation, based on

16 the order of the supreme commander, Mr. Mate Boban, I

17 was appointed the commander of the Jure Francetic

18 Brigade, and his decision of the 18th of December, '92,

19 upon my proposal along the chain of command in the

20 Operative Zone, Central Bosnia, they appointed the

21 command of the brigade of Jure Francetic by the

22 commander of the staff of the HZ HB, Mr. Stojic.

23 Q. Are you saying that the Jure Francetic

24 Brigade was established as part of the early December,

25 December the 4th, reorganisation decision issued by

Page 18017

1 Mr. Mate Boban and that you were appointed as commander

2 of that brigade pursuant to a separate decision that he

3 issued later in the month on December the 18th?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. All right. Turning to subheading D of our

6 outline, we have told you, sir, I believe, that the

7 Prosecution in this case theorises that there was a

8 widespread and systematic campaign of persecution

9 directed against Bosnian Muslims in the municipality of

10 Zenica first and also throughout each of the

11 municipalities that comprised the Croatian Community of

12 Herceg-Bosna. What can you tell the Trial Chamber

13 about the existence or nonexistence of such a policy on

14 behalf of Bosnian Croats in the area where you lived,

15 sir?

16 A. The persecution policy of Bosnian Muslims by

17 Bosnian Croats, I learned about this policy only after

18 I arrived in The Hague. The Croats did not persecute

19 anyone. Quite the reverse. The Croats were the

20 persecuted ones in Zenica and throughout the territory

21 of the municipality of Zenica.

22 Q. Let me try to take you through this quickly,

23 Brigadier. Did you ever, throughout your entire

24 association with the HVO, ever receive an order from

25 any superior officer or any kind of pressure, directly

Page 18018

1 or indirectly, to harass or persecute any persons who

2 belonged to any ethnic group other than Croats or to

3 give those non-Croats any kind of a hard time?

4 A. I never ever received that, nor did I ever

5 hear about that. And had I ever received that, I can

6 claim under full responsibility that I would not have

7 complied with it.

8 Q. All right. Is it true, sir, that Bosnian

9 Croats in the municipality of Zenica were in a distinct

10 minority?

11 A. It is true that the Bosnian Croats in the

12 town and the territory of the municipality of Zenica

13 constituted a clear minority. In the territory and

14 municipality of Zenica, Bosnian Muslims accounted for

15 about 55 per cent, Bosnian Croats for about 15.5

16 per cent, and Bosnian Serbs accounted for about 15.4

17 per cent. The rest were Yugoslavs or members of other

18 ethnic groups, and I believe they totalled something

19 around 20.000.

20 Q. So just for the record, is it accurate that

21 according to the 1991 census, as far as you can recall,

22 the total population of the municipality of Zenica was

23 in the region of 145.500, that about 80.300 or so were

24 Bosnian Muslims, 22.500 or so Bosnian Croats,

25 approximately 22.400 Bosnian Serbs, and about nineteen

Page 18019

1 or twenty thousand Yugoslavs or others; is that

2 accurate to say in a broad outline?

3 A. Yes, that is correct, and I just tried to cut

4 it short and gave you percentages a while ago.

5 Q. Yes, sir, I appreciate that. After the civil

6 war broke out, could you tell the Court approximately

7 how many Bosnian Muslim refugees came into the

8 municipality of Zenica?

9 A. After the civil war broke out in

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and after the fall of Eastern

11 Bosnia, Bosnia and Krajina, a river of refugees

12 streamed towards Central Bosnia and principally towards

13 the town of Zenica. I believe that in '92 and until

14 '93, something between thirty-five to fifty thousand

15 refugees arrived in that area, mostly consisting of

16 Bosnian Muslims. "Mostly", I said.

17 Q. Yes, sir. And we can all do the simple

18 arithmetic. From a pre-war ratio of about four to one,

19 the ratio of Bosnian Muslims to Bosnian Croats in

20 Zenica had risen to about six to one by 1993; is that

21 fair to say?

22 A. Yes, due to the influx. And I believe that

23 it was planned, that it was a planned transfer of

24 Muslim population to Zenica and the expulsion of

25 Bosnian Serbs by Bosnian Muslims, so that their number

Page 18020

1 went down to a mere 3.000. In the municipality of

2 Zenica, the ratio between Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian

3 Croats changed drastically. I think it was something

4 about 120.000 to 20.000 Croats.

5 Q. You say in paragraph 20 of your summary that

6 to try to persecute people who were six times more

7 numerous than the persecutors would have been stupid.

8 Can you just elaborate on that point to the Trial

9 Chamber, give them your views on that subject, sir?

10 A. Your Honours, to persecute an ethnic group

11 which is six times larger than we were would be a

12 theoretical and practical nonsense, and it simply could

13 not be done.

14 Q. All right. You make some comments in

15 paragraph 21 of your outline, Brigadier, regarding who

16 it was that was -- well, you say that Bosnian Muslims

17 were harassing and persecuting Bosnian Croats, and you

18 give an example specifically relating to the first such

19 expulsion of Bosnian Croats from their homes. The

20 Trial Chamber has heard evidence about this already

21 from Major Gelic, but could you just give, in a very

22 encapsulated way, your recollection of that particular

23 event, sir?

24 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Yes, excuse

25 me, Mr. Sayers. Before the witness answers your

Page 18021

1 question, I'd like to come back to the previous

2 question about persecution.

3 The witness said that it seemed to him that

4 to persecute people that are six times more numerous

5 than the persecutors would have been nonsense. I would

6 like to ask Brigadier Totic whether throughout history

7 you don't have examples of persecutions by minorities

8 against majorities. Is it always the case that

9 majorities persecute minorities?

10 A. I know that there are such examples in

11 history, but I also know what was going on in the

12 territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, I am absolutely clear

13 about what was going on in the municipality of Zenica,

14 and I affirm that Bosnian Croats never persecuted

15 anybody.

16 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 MR. SAYERS: Thank you indeed,

18 Judge Bennouna.

19 Q. I was just asking you some questions about

20 the first example of a Bosnian Croat family being

21 evicted from their home. I understand that you

22 yourself sent your subordinate, Darko Gelic, to

23 investigate that particular incident. Could you just

24 explain, in a very short way, sir, the recollection

25 that you have of that incident?

Page 18022

1 A. I believe it was in August '92 a family came

2 to me. They were a family of expelled Bosnian Croats

3 from the place called Bistrica near Zenica, and they

4 complained they had been evicted from their house by

5 the Mujahedin. I believe they were called Kovacevic or

6 Kovacic; I'm not sure. As soon as I heard that, I sent

7 an officer from the staff command, Mr. Darko Gelic, to

8 go out into the field and check the veracity of the

9 complaint.

10 After that, Mr. Gelic reported to me, saying

11 that it was quite true that a family of Bosnian Croats

12 had been evicted and that their house was right next to

13 the training centre of the Territorial Defence. He

14 also reported to me then that the majority of people in

15 that centre were Mujahedin.

16 Q. Is it correct that you observed and heard

17 that TO troops regularly marched in full gear through

18 Croat villages in the municipality of Zenica in a show

19 of force?

20 A. Yes. It began as soon as the first TO

21 brigade was formed up, that is, as of May '92, and

22 those were -- that was one of their regular

23 activities. All they wanted to achieve with that was

24 to intimidate the Croat population in the territory of

25 the municipality of Zenica.

Page 18023

1 Q. And is it also true that Croats were

2 frequently evicted from their apartments in Zenica --

3 we've already heard from Major Gelic on that subject --

4 and that the Muslim-dominated wartime government

5 discriminated against its Croat members in a number of

6 ways?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Could you give the Trial Chamber some

9 examples of that, just to allow the Trial Chamber to

10 have some concrete detail rather than broad

11 generalisations?

12 A. Your Honours, there were a number of

13 instances where Croats were evicted from their flats.

14 They did not care for the office that somebody held.

15 For instance, specifically in my command, in the

16 brigade command, the family of Mr. Darko Gelic's, who

17 was the officer responsible for intelligence affairs,

18 the family was evicted from their flat.

19 Q. All right. Is it also accurate to say that

20 as of April the 15th, 1993, both the TO and the HVO

21 were legally-recognised military formations of the

22 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, as far as you can

23 recall?

24 A. Yes, indeed, it is true that the HVO and the

25 TO were equal military formations which made up the

Page 18024

1 armed forces of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

2 In addition to these two formations, there

3 were also a number of paramilitary formations in the

4 territory of Zenica municipality; in the first place,

5 the battalion of the Patriotic League, which was the

6 military wing of the SDA, then the Green Legion, headed

7 by brothers Anabel and Ervin Barisic, and also HOS

8 formations which at the time and later were comprised

9 of more than 70 per cent of Bosnian Muslims. I

10 perceived all these formations as paramilitary

11 formations.

12 Q. And did --

13 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sayers, is the witness

14 aware of any instances of evictions of Muslim families

15 by Croats in Zenica?


17 Q. Brigadier, you've heard the Judge's

18 question. Could you answer it, please?

19 A. I'm not aware of this, and I should like to

20 hear one example. Could I be given one example, at

21 least? And I'm quite convinced that there are none.

22 Q. I'm unable to provide one, sir. But let's

23 continue on the outline here.

24 Paragraph 24. You give an example of an

25 attack against other non-Muslim ethnic groups, Serbs

Page 18025

1 this time, by the Muslim armed forces, an attack in May

2 of 1992 in the village of Drivusa. Could you just tell

3 the Trial Chamber what you know about that particular

4 attack, sir, and what you did after it?

5 A. Sometime in early '92, that is, in early May,

6 the Territorial Defence units from Zenica attacked an

7 undefended village mostly populated with Bosnian

8 Serbs. In that attack, in her house, which was at the

9 entrance into the village of Drivusa, Ana Mitrovic, a

10 Bosnian Croat, was killed. At that time, she was the

11 mother of three minor children.

12 Immediately after I became the commander of

13 the Municipal Staff, and I believe that was on the 1st

14 of August, '92, I publicly, over the media and in the

15 media, condemned the attack on the undefended Serb

16 village of Drivusa and the crime committed by the

17 Territorial Defence units. I said, literally, that I

18 would be ashamed if the HVO units had taken part in

19 it. And the military and political leadership of

20 Bosnian Muslims in the town of Zenica were quite

21 indignant when they heard that statement of mine.

22 Q. What happened to the Bosnian Serb population

23 of that village of Drivusa, sir?

24 A. The Bosnian Serb population from the village

25 of Drivusa has been almost completely expelled, not

Page 18026

1 only from Drivusa but from the territory of the

2 municipality of Zenica. From 15.4 per cent, I think

3 that the exact number of Serbs in Zenica were 22.433,

4 only about 3.000 remained afterwards.

5 Q. All right. You're talking now about the

6 entire city of Zenica, an exodus of about 19.000

7 Bosnian Serbs. But my question was actually related

8 more narrowly to the village of Drivusa. What happened

9 to the Bosnian Serb population of that particular

10 village, sir?

11 A. The village of Drivusa was expelled, as I've

12 mentioned. However, some villages in the municipality

13 of Zenica where Bosnian Serbs remained to live and who

14 did not intend to move out, the representatives of

15 those Serbs came to me to look for protection.

16 Your Honours, at the cost of being called a

17 Chetnik, I designated a platoon of 40 HVO soldiers to

18 guard the village of Kozarci -- it was the hamlet of

19 Lazic and the village Osojnica -- at night, and the

20 population of those two villages was almost exclusively

21 Serb. At the beginning, the HVO soldiers were very

22 skeptical, but soon -- and the time showed this, that I

23 was right.

24 Q. All right. Let me just skip over, in the

25 interests of time, paragraph 26, and go straight to

Page 18027

1 paragraph 27. I'm not going to ask you specifically,

2 Brigadier, about the murder of 12 Croats in Zenica,

3 other than to ask you whether you prepared a

4 contemporaneous document that recorded those events. I

5 believe that --

6 MR. SAYERS: Let me just show you a document

7 that we have marked as one of the very few exhibits

8 that we have for you, and I'd like to have this

9 distributed, if I may, and request a Defence exhibit

10 number for it, please.

11 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be marked

12 D209/1.

13 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

14 Q. Brigadier, very briefly, is this a document

15 that you prepared? Or at least you'll see at the end

16 of it there's the Croatian original, and that appears

17 to be your signature. I would like you to confirm for

18 the Trial Chamber that it is.

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. All right. There's no need to put that on

21 the ELMO. The document says what it says, and we can

22 all read it for ourselves.

23 Following the events at Dusina, Brigadier,

24 could you just tell the Trial Chamber whether there

25 were any visits by bipartisan delegations, if you like,

Page 18028

1 to that village, and if so, were you there, what did

2 you hear, what did you see?

3 A. Your Honours, as far as the crime of

4 Dusina -- in Dusina is concerned, I was in Donje Panje

5 [phoen] near Travnik at the command post when I heard

6 about it. I immediately set out for Zenica and

7 contacted the TO headquarters in Zenica, Mr. Jasmin

8 Saric. Also, the president of the Zenica HVO and HDZ,

9 through his lines of communication, contacted

10 Mr. Djidic and Mr. Besim Spahic, who was the Zenica

11 municipal assembly president.

12 The negotiations were very sluggish, but

13 after a while it was decided that the Lasva and Dusina

14 villages would be visited by the joint delegation of

15 Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Serbs. I was appointed to

16 it as commander of the HVO, Jasmin Saric as the TO

17 commander, Josip Pojavnik as the HDZ president, and

18 Mr. Fuad Djidic as the SDA president in Zenica -- I

19 believe he's now a consul in Australia -- president of

20 the HVO, Dominik Sakic, and the head of the Zenica

21 municipality, Mr. Besim Spahic, who I believe now is an

22 Bosnian ambassador of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the

23 Republic of Turkey.

24 With his request and with my approval, a

25 journalist joined us, Mr. Andrija Tunjic, who worked

Page 18029

1 for the newspaper Vjesnik from Zagreb.

2 When we arrived in Lasva and upon entering

3 the room where the meeting was being held, I saw a man

4 carrying in some things. He opened the door, I

5 approached him, and it was clear that the Croatian

6 houses were being looted. I asked him what was going

7 on, and he said that he had been ordered to collect

8 things from Croatian houses and that these things would

9 later be returned. I'm not aware that any of these

10 things were later returned.

11 In the meeting, I publicly asked Mr. Besim

12 Spahic, the head of the municipality of Zenica, about

13 this. He said nothing, and he just gave me a cynical

14 smile which I will never forget.

15 Q. Did you actually, yourself, visit the village

16 of Dusina?

17 A. After this meeting and based on an agreement,

18 the delegation was supposed to go to the village of

19 Dusina. But the Muslim part of the delegation, led by

20 Besim Spahic, refused to go to the village of Dusina,

21 citing as an excuse that their car was not able to

22 negotiate the steep incline. So Mr. Andrija Tunjic,

23 Mr. Sakic -- there was a driver and his name was Tunjic

24 [sic] -- and I went up there.

25 When we came to the area of the hamlet of

Page 18030

1 Dusina, which was a Croat hamlet, we were stopped by a

2 member of the TO. I believe it was a local soldier

3 from the village of Lasva. He immediately warned

4 Andrija Tunjic that he was not allowed to take any

5 pictures. He knew that we had been announced. I

6 started a conversation with him, and I asked him what

7 had happened. He made excuses that it was not them who

8 did this, meaning the local Muslim population, but that

9 this was done by elements of the 7th Muslim Brigade,

10 17th Krajina Brigade, and the 305th Brigade.

11 After we entered the village of Dusina, I saw

12 that there were seven Croat houses with 35 members and

13 one Serbian house with eight people living there, and

14 everything was burned. And Tunjic published this, his

15 account of this, in a book a year later.

16 Q. I don't think we need any more detail, and

17 I'm sure the Trial Chamber will be grateful to know

18 that that's the last evidence we have on Dusina, with

19 the exception of properly authenticated death

20 certificates, which we'll offer in due course and we

21 need not take up time on that today.

22 Let me just address, you to two other --

23 JUDGE MAY: If you're moving on to a new

24 topic, that might be a convenient moment.

25 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

Page 18031

1 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now for 20

2 minutes.

3 --- Recess taken at 11.14 a.m.

4 --- On resuming at 11.42 a.m.

5 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

6 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.

7 Three very short matters. First, we have

8 presented the death certificates, and at this point I'd

9 like a request to have a Defence Exhibit number,

10 please.

11 THE REGISTRAR: The Exhibit is going to be

12 numbered D210/1.

13 MR. SAYERS: And the second and third are

14 transcript errors. Unfortunately, our LiveNote is not

15 working, so I can't ascertain what the precise page and

16 line numbers are, but perhaps we can clear it up this

17 way.

18 Q. Brigadier, you earlier testified that the

19 bipartisan delegation that visited the village of Lasva

20 consisted of Bosnian Croats, and you said -- at least

21 the transcript says "Bosnian Serbs". Did you mean

22 Bosnian Muslims or Bosnian Serbs?

23 A. That was evidently a mistake in the

24 transcript. It was a joint delegation of Bosnian

25 Croats and Bosnian Muslims, and I also gave the names.

Page 18032

1 Q. Thank you. And a final clarification. You

2 referred to the 305th Brigade as one of the three

3 military formations identified by the Muslim soldier

4 that you met in Dusina. Is that the proper name for

5 that brigade? Is it known as the 305th Jajce Brigade

6 or Jajacka Brigade?

7 A. The number is 305, and it was also known as

8 the Jajce Brigade, with its command near the village of

9 Lasva. Immediately after the fall of Jajce, its

10 headquarters were at a place called Biljesevo.

11 Q. We had arrived at paragraph 28 of your

12 summary, Brigadier. I wonder if you could just tell us

13 what happened at the Cajdras checkpoint on March 28th,

14 1993.

15 A. On the 28th of March, 1993, at the Cajdras

16 checkpoint, two military policemen of the HVO were

17 killed. Their names were Bernard Kovacevic and Ivo

18 Laus. On the same occasion, a Mujahedin was also

19 killed.

20 The incident, or rather the gunfire, started

21 when a motor vehicle, a truck, with plates of the

22 defence centre, refused to stop, and when those who

23 were in the vehicle opened fire on the military

24 policemen.

25 Immediately after that, I sent the brigade

Page 18033

1 officer, Darko Gelic, to the scene of the incident, and

2 he told me that Mr. Jasmin Saric was there also

3 representing TO headquarters in Zenica. And at a

4 higher level, the scene of this event, two or three

5 hours later, was also visited by Mr. Dobrica Jonjic. I

6 believe at the time he was deputy commander of the 4th

7 Battalion of the military police. And Mr. Dzemal

8 Merdan, who at that time was the commander of the

9 regional headquarters of Zenica TO.

10 After that, Mr. Dobrica Jonjic, in a

11 conversation with me, said that General Merdan had told

12 him that an incident had taken place, had happened,

13 because the HVO soldiers were refusing to allow the TO

14 to take their weapons and equipment through the

15 checkpoints and that they could not allegedly defend

16 themselves because we were preventing them from getting

17 weapons.

18 Dobrica Jonjic then asked, "Well, is this

19 also an HVO soldier showing the Mujahedin?" And Dzemal

20 Merdan immediately retreated and said, but he is not

21 one of ours."

22 Q. All right. And we'll hear more about Colonel

23 Merdan later on. But let me just move on in the

24 outline to the next day, March 29th, 1993. I believe

25 there was an incident on that day, and I wonder if you

Page 18034

1 can tell the Trial Chamber about it, sir.

2 A. On the 29th of March, 1993, an HVO soldier

3 was killed from the 1st Infantry Battalion from

4 Cajdras. His name was Slavko Pudja. He was killed in

5 a facility where a squad of soldiers were spending the

6 night. According to the investigation which was

7 conducted the next day -- that is, that night and the

8 next day -- as there was snow outside, one could see

9 that the footsteps led to the villages of Preocica and

10 Lupac, which are in the territory of the municipality

11 of Vitez. The village of Vjetrenica is on the brow of

12 the hill, on the boundary between the municipalities of

13 Zenica and Vitez.

14 Q. Was any request made for an investigation

15 into the circumstances of this killing?

16 A. I asked the commander of the TO staff to

17 investigate the circumstances of the murder, but

18 nothing was done whatsoever.

19 Q. Let me move to the next item on the outline.

20 There's been a contention made by the Prosecution in

21 this case that certain transit charges, or per-head

22 transit charges, were charged by the HVO or by Bosnian

23 Croats to permit expelled Bosnian Serbs from the Zenica

24 municipality to transit through Croat-held territory to

25 I believe the Ilijas municipality, just north-west of

Page 18035

1 Sarajevo. Is that true or not?

2 A. No. This is the first time I hear of it.

3 No.

4 Q. Have you ever met a gentleman by the name of

5 Dragutin Cicak?

6 A. Yes. Mr. Dragutin Zvonimir Cicak was a man I

7 met in the autumn of 1992. On that occasion a

8 delegation of the 314th Brigade of the Army of BH,

9 which was -- which came from the 3rd Corps had

10 announced that they would come to see me in my command,

11 and he arrived then with the commander of the 314th

12 Brigade. I believe his name was Mr. Smajlbegovic, Suad

13 Smajlbegovic. He introduced himself to me. He said he

14 was a member of the command, and I believe he was in

15 the department in the section responsible for the

16 morale.

17 Q. Just to clear up the record a little,

18 Brigadier, when you say, "He introduced himself to me,"

19 are you referring to Mr. Smajlbegovic or to Mr. Cicak?

20 A. No. Mr. Cicak, because that was the first

21 time that I met him.

22 Q. Now, was Mr. Cicak in civilian clothes or in

23 uniform, if you can remember?

24 A. Mr. Cicak, I remember well, was wearing a

25 uniform with the insignia of the Army of BH.

Page 18036

1 Q. And could you just relate the conversation

2 that you had with this gentleman to Their Honours,

3 please, as best you can recall?

4 A. In a nutshell, this was a short

5 conversation. At first glance, I thought it was a

6 rather unstable person, because without no cause

7 whatsoever, he immediately began to talk to me about

8 Mr. Dario Kordic. However, nothing was founded in all

9 his story. He voiced a number of accusations and

10 pejorative remarks about Mr. Dario Kordic. Until that

11 day, I did not know Mr. Cicak, nor did I know why was

12 he attacking and expressing himself so deprecatingly

13 about Mr. Dario Kordic.

14 Q. We can move fairly quickly through paragraph

15 32, Brigadier. You've already said that you dispute

16 the story that a transit charge per head was imposed

17 upon Bosnian Serbs who were trying to pass through

18 Bosnian-Croat-held territory. Could you just tell the

19 Trial Chamber why that is the case, why you dispute

20 this?

21 A. I dispute this because I claim, under full

22 responsibility, that at no time was there a plan to

23 dislocate or, rather, remove the Serb population from

24 the Zenica municipality. Quite the contrary; I

25 believed, and I believe this still, that the only way

Page 18037

1 was to keep the Serb population in the territory of the

2 Zenica municipality. After the Serb population moved

3 from the territory of the Zenica municipality, the

4 forms of pressure against the Croat population to move

5 out became ever more intensive. I claim under full

6 responsibility that the Zenica HVO and, as far as I

7 know, the HVO of Central Bosnia, never had any plans,

8 nor did they do that.

9 Q. All right. Now, we'll -- a witness in this

10 case, Mr. Cicak, has claimed that the articifer of this

11 plan to impose transit charges was Mr. Dario Kordic.

12 We'll speak about him a little bit later in your

13 testimony, sir, but is such a plan consistent with

14 Mr. Kordic's personality, or what you knew of

15 Mr. Kordic from your knowledge of him?

16 A. As far as I know, Mr. Dario Kordic, he could

17 not have conceived of such a plan, as a man, or even

18 think of it. Quite the contrary; Mr. Dario Kordic --

19 and everybody in Central Bosnia knows that -- advocated

20 coexistence of all the inhabitants of the area.

21 Q. All right, sir. Let me move forward in time

22 a little bit to April of 1993. You were, in fact, the

23 commander of the Jure Francetic Brigade in Zenica in

24 April of 1993, immediately before your abduction; is

25 that correct?

Page 18038

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Now, could you tell the Trial Chamber whether

3 the HVO had any plan for offensive action against the

4 ABiH or Muslim armed forces at any time in April of

5 1993, as far as you're aware?

6 A. Insofar as I'm aware, Your Honours, at that

7 moment the HVO had no plan of any kind, nor was it

8 planning any combat operations against the army of

9 Bosnian Muslims. At that time, on the 14th, or rather

10 15th of April, 1993, the HVO, not only the one in

11 Zenica but also for Central Bosnia, was not prepared

12 for any combat operations; least of all was it prepared

13 logistically. Let me remind you that at that time in

14 the HVO of Zenica, as the commander of the brigade, I

15 had armament for only about 30 per cent of the troops,

16 that is, about 370 barrels. And of those weapons, no

17 weapon was complete, no set, no combat kit was

18 complete, so it would have been insane to think of

19 something like that.

20 Q. The Trial Chamber, Brigadier, has already

21 heard considerable evidence about the incidents that

22 immediately preceded the outbreak of fighting on April

23 15th or 16th, 1993. You were aware, I take it, that a

24 number of senior officers within the Stjepan Tomasevic

25 Brigade were kidnapped on April 13th, 1993 by members

Page 18039

1 of the 7th Muslim Brigade outside of Novi Travnik?

2 A. Yes, I am aware that on the 13th of April,

3 1993, three officers of the HVO Stjepan Tomasevic Novi

4 Travnik Brigade were abducted. I know all those three

5 officers. Kambic, Sliskovic and Kovac are their last

6 names. Subsequently --

7 Q. We don't need any further testimony on that,

8 because we're going to hear from Mr. Kambic, who was

9 one of those abducted officers, Brigadier.

10 But let me just address a broader subject.

11 Was there any kind of policy, as far as you could see,

12 aimed at deliberately kidnapping senior officers in HVO

13 armed units, or not?

14 A. Your Honours, I believe, and I think, that

15 there was a policy of abduction of HVO officers

16 conceived by Muslim military representatives, and it

17 came true at a later stage. It is my opinion that they

18 consciously were trying to leave HVO brigades without

19 their commanders so as to gain control over the

20 territory more easily.

21 Q. In addition to the three staff officers that

22 you've identified, sir, is it also the case that a

23 fourth HVO soldier, who was the driver of those staff

24 officers at the time of their abduction, was himself

25 kidnapped along with the three officers?

Page 18040

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. All right. Now, I want to turn our attention

3 to the incident in which you were kidnapped and in

4 which your guards were executed.

5 MR. SAYERS: We have a brief videotape, Your

6 Honours. We've already provided it to the technical

7 booth. I would anticipate that it would only last a

8 minute and a half or so.

9 Q. But before we show that videotape, Brigadier,

10 could you just describe to the Trial Chamber what

11 happened to you on the 15th of April, 1993?

12 A. On the 15th of April, 1993, as I went to

13 work, as usual, in the area of the village of

14 Podbrijzje, the vehicle in which I was riding -- I

15 believe it was Audi 100 -- a motor vehicle came

16 straight at it. I believe it was about 5 or 10 minutes

17 to 8.00 in the morning. And the driver said to me that

18 a fool was coming at us. I raised my head -- I think I

19 was just putting an audio cassette in -- and I saw the

20 vehicle heading straight for us. And I said, "Well,

21 let's try and go around it." The driver slowed down.

22 I think we were driving at about 30, 40 kilometers per

23 hour. There was a mild slope, and he wanted to go

24 around the vehicle. But at that moment, from the

25 vehicle, which was heading straight for us, very fierce

Page 18041

1 fire was opened.

2 Q. Would you explain to the Court what happened

3 to the person that was actually driving the car?

4 A. I think that in that fire, one of the first

5 bullets hit the driver directly in the head. His name

6 was Ivica Vidovic, and he fell against my left side.

7 That same moment, the escort -- his name was Tihomir

8 Ljubic -- said to a soldier whose name was Anto, "Anto,

9 look after the commander," and the soldier protected me

10 with his body. He simply lied over me. And the other

11 escort, Marko Ljubic, he told him to jump out.

12 Q. It's true that the person that was protecting

13 you or shielding you with his own body was actually

14 your brother-in-law, your wife's brother; is that

15 right, sir?

16 A. Yes, Your Honours, that is true.

17 Q. I understand, sir, that you were yourself hit

18 by a gunshot to the head and that you still bear the

19 scar of that wound today. Is that right?

20 A. Yes. In this attack on the vehicle,

21 everybody was wounded. I believe that in that moment

22 only Ivica Vidovic, the driver of the vehicle, was

23 fatally wounded. All the rest were showing signs of

24 life.

25 I was also hit in the head, and as I was

Page 18042

1 bleeding and I was dazed, soldiers who wore masks

2 dragged me into the other vehicle. After I was placed

3 in the other vehicle, I was -- my hands were tied

4 behind my back with a type of handcuffs which are

5 called Indians. You put -- if you put them in the

6 water and if it gets wet, it will tighten in time and

7 it will render your hands completely numb. Then they

8 covered me with blankets -- with a blanket, and on each

9 side of me a soldier sat down, and this is how they

10 drove me in the direction of Zenica.

11 Then there I was taken out of the car. I

12 could only -- I saw a bridge there, and I was

13 transferred to another vehicle.

14 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]... that,

15 but were you present when the people that were

16 attacking your entourage and you fired bullets into the

17 car from which you had been taken or snatched?

18 A. I was sitting in a vehicle. The driver was

19 driving. All my soldiers were behind. After the

20 killing of the driver, I said that the escort called

21 Tihomir Ljubic, who was in charge of my security, and I

22 quote him, "Anto, cover the commander. Anto, jump

23 out." And I believe that by then the bursts of fire

24 were coming from all sides. I don't know from which

25 side they didn't shoot. I saw that one of the escorts

Page 18043

1 called Marko was hit as he was stepping out of the car,

2 and he was on the left-hand side. But at that moment,

3 he was only wounded.

4 After I was moved -- after I was taken to the

5 other vehicle, I heard a terrible fire, and I believe

6 that the three wounded soldiers were then killed in a

7 most brutal way.

8 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was this while they were in

9 the car?

10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for

11 Judge Robinson.

12 JUDGE ROBINSON: Was this while they were in

13 the car? While they were wounded, they were shot in

14 the car; is that so?

15 A. Yes. One soldier, I remember his name was

16 Marko Ljubic, he had stepped out. He was sitting on

17 the left-hand side, and he had just stepped out and he

18 was hit as he was stepping out. He was just about to

19 get out or he was getting out. The rest of us were all

20 in the vehicle.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: With the benefit of

22 hindsight, you would say that the purpose of this

23 attack was to abduct you, rather than to kill all the

24 persons who were in the car?

25 A. Now and even at the time of my abduction, it

Page 18044

1 was clear to me that the goal was my abduction and the

2 execution or the -- of all the witnesses.

3 On this occasion, in addition to four HVO

4 soldiers, a Bosnian Muslim was also killed, the father

5 of six, who accidentally was there on his way to work

6 in Zenica.

7 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you.

8 MR. SAYERS: Your Honours, if I might ask the

9 technical booth to show the videotape, I'll just ask

10 the Brigadier to confirm that this is an accurate

11 depiction of the scene of events that he's just

12 described.

13 [Videotape played]

14 MR. SAYERS: Your Honours, that should be

15 enough, I think, to get the picture. Thank you.

16 That's enough, thank you.

17 Could we get an exhibit number for the

18 videotape, first of all, please?

19 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 211/1.


21 Q. Could you confirm, Brigadier Totic, that that

22 is a videotape of what occurred to you and your escorts

23 on the 15th of April, 1993?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. All right. Could you just explain to the

Page 18045

1 Trial Chamber what happened after your guards had been

2 executed, and the passerby shot dead, and after you had

3 been kidnapped by the people that had attacked you?

4 A. After I was abducted, they took me outside of

5 the town of Zenica. We drove for about 30 to 40

6 minutes.

7 I was held prisoner for 33 days in a family

8 home throughout this time in a room where I was

9 placed. There were guards. I believe that they were

10 3rd Corps soldiers. In the same room, there was a

11 piece of furniture which was moved away from the wall,

12 and I was handcuffed, and this is how I spent 33 days.

13 They took off my handcuffs for the first time after 30

14 days.

15 Q. Could you actually identify your abductors in

16 any fashion, sir?

17 A. Your Honours, I cannot identify my abductors

18 accurately. Throughout my stay in this family home

19 where I had been taken and kept imprisoned, I saw the

20 face of only one man, and it was an Arabic man; I could

21 recognise that. But before and after that, no soldier

22 who came to me ever showed their face. They were

23 wearing masks, and also they wore gloves. I realised

24 that it was not only Mujahedin but it was a wider plan

25 conceived, I believe, at the top and at least in the

Page 18046

1 3rd Corps of ABiH.

2 As proof of this, after my release I was told

3 that at the intersection of the village of Podbrijezje

4 there was a 20-millimetre gun mounted on the vehicle,

5 and at that time, from what I know, the Mujahedin were

6 not an independent and a separate unit of the ABiH and

7 they did not have this weapon. This weapon was the

8 weapon belonging to the 3rd Corps.

9 Q. All right, Brigadier. This is, for the

10 Court's information, paragraph 37 of the summary. Were

11 any members of the International Community, members of

12 the Red Cross or any other humanitarian organisation,

13 permitted to see you at any point during your

14 incarceration?

15 A. No, nobody visited me during my

16 incarceration, no representatives of an international

17 organisation or the International Red Cross. And I

18 know, as --

19 JUDGE MAY: Could you just restrict your

20 answers to the question, please, Brigadier.


22 Q. Just on a broader base, Brigadier Totic, were

23 you aware that any members of the Red Cross or of the

24 International Community were permitted to register or

25 visit other detainees in facilities such as the music

Page 18047

1 school in Zenica, detention facilities run, I believe,

2 by the 7th Muslim Brigade?

3 A. I don't know that they ever visited those

4 camps.

5 MR. SAYERS: All right. I will not dwell on

6 this, Your Honour, because we actually have one of our

7 witnesses, someone who was a detainee in the music

8 school, and he can explain to you for himself what

9 happened there.

10 Q. In terms of what happened to you, Brigadier,

11 during your detention, could you just explain to the

12 Trial Chamber the interrogations that you were

13 subjected to and the circumstances under which those

14 interrogations occurred?

15 A. In those 33 days of my imprisonment, I was

16 interrogated two or three times. Before each of these

17 interrogations, I would be ordered to kneel down.

18 Around my neck they would wrap about a metre of fuse,

19 which was taped to 200 grams of a powerful explosive,

20 Trotil. And on the other side, they had an electrical

21 detonator, and one of the army soldiers, my abductor,

22 held the conductors and the battery which would have

23 lit this fuse.

24 As I was trained in explosives, I knew that

25 these were real explosives and I knew they were

Page 18048

1 activated, that I would be beheaded. But I also knew

2 that they would not dare do it, because this was a room

3 which measured three by four, and if they had activated

4 it, they also would suffer serious consequences.

5 During my interrogations, they were mostly

6 interested in military and also political matters.

7 They thought and they forced me to admit that Dario

8 Kordic was the commander. I knew that he was not, so I

9 couldn't say that, even if they killed me.

10 Q. We'll get into that in just a second, sir,

11 but is it true that you were released finally from

12 detention on May the 17th, 1993, as part of an overall

13 agreement between the HVO and the 3rd Corps of the

14 ABiH?

15 A. I don't know whether there was a general

16 agreement on exchange, but I know that the HVO and the

17 ABiH 3rd Corps agreed, with the assistance of

18 Ambassador Thebault and also the German representative

19 Salznik [phoen], and I believe that this is why we

20 remained alive.

21 Q. I don't believe there is any more need to go

22 into that. For the Court's information, the

23 circumstances of this prisoner release have already

24 been identified in D79/1.

25 The next subject which I would like to

Page 18049

1 address with you --

2 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Sayers, before you move

3 on --

4 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour.

5 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes. Before you move on to

6 the next subject, I would just like to clarify what you

7 identified to the President this morning as the broad

8 purpose of your adducing evidence of Muslim attacks on

9 Croats. You said it was not in the form of a Tu Quoque

10 direct response to the Prosecution case but rather, if

11 I understood you correctly, by adducing this evidence

12 of Muslim attacks you are seeking to cast doubt on the

13 Prosecution's case of attacks by Croats on Muslims.

14 You're seeking --

15 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

16 JUDGE ROBINSON: Your aim is to make less

17 credible the Prosecution story of attacks by Croats on

18 Muslims; is that it?

19 MR. SAYERS: The position is this, Your

20 Honour, if I may, if I understand your question:

21 Through this witness, obviously in the municipality of

22 Zenica, I confess I do not particularly understand what

23 the Prosecution's case is, because if the position that

24 the Prosecution is advocating is that there was an

25 attack by Bosnian Croats against Bosnian Muslims in

Page 18050

1 that municipality, then frankly I think that that's

2 misconceived and factually wrong, and I think that the

3 evidence that has been produced in the last week has

4 absolutely exploded that theory.

5 But insofar as the broader case is concerned,

6 the theory that's being advocated is that there was a

7 systematic and widespread policy of persecution, or a

8 campaign of persecution as I think it's referred to in

9 the amended indictment, solely by Bosnian Croats waged

10 against Bosnian Muslims, and we believe that that

11 simply is not the case. We're not defending and we

12 don't seek to defend the excesses committed by troops

13 of the HVO during this very bitter and extended civil

14 war, but we simply are trying to put before the Trial

15 Chamber the full picture that there were evil actions

16 going on both sides and that that was really,

17 unfortunately, the times. It wasn't the result of a

18 particular policy that was, if you like, imposed upon

19 or squeezed into the hearts of Bosnian Croats by their

20 leaders -- this was a civil war, unfortunately -- and

21 not the result of any kind of top-down theory of the

22 type that has been speculated by the expert witnesses

23 that have testified before Your Honours; Dr. Donia

24 being one example, Dr. Allcock being another. And at

25 various times, I think, through the testimony of

Page 18051

1 various witnesses, an explanation is sought to be --

2 well, I won't use the word "concocted", but an

3 explanation is sought to be developed to try to impose

4 some rationale upon an essentially irrational series of

5 events.

6 JUDGE ROBINSON: Thank you. I think I

7 understand what you're saying. It's a fine point.

8 MR. SAYERS: Yes, but thank you for asking,

9 Your Honour.

10 Q. Let me just go on, Brigadier. The next

11 subject is Mr. or now Brigadier General Merdan, I

12 believe. When did you first meet this soldier?

13 A. I met General Merdan in mid-1992 in Zenica

14 while he was the commander of the District Staff of the

15 Zenica TO. After that and after the Washington Accords

16 were signed, that is, two or three months after that,

17 we were part of the HVO delegation. I was the

18 president of the military executive committee of the

19 HVO, and he was the -- he had the same post with the

20 ABiH, and we worked in Uskoplje on the implementation

21 of the Washington Accords. After that, I had an

22 opportunity to get to know him better after '97, when

23 we worked in the army of the Federation of

24 Bosnia-Herzegovina together until the April of this

25 year, when he took retirement.

Page 18052

1 Q. Very well, Brigadier. I don't want to take

2 too much time on this subject, so let's try to move

3 through it with speed so that we can fulfil our time

4 estimate for the Court here.

5 It's true that Colonel Merdan was never the

6 official commander of the 3rd Corps of the ABiH, but

7 could you give the Court your understanding of what his

8 functions within the 3rd Corps actually were, sir?

9 A. Your Honours, General Merdan was never the

10 commander of the 3rd Corps. Commanders of the 3rd

11 Corps changed. At first it was Hadzihasanovic, then it

12 was Alagic, then it was Mahmuljin. But throughout this

13 time, Dzemal Merdan was the deputy commander and acted

14 as a shadow commander. I had a number of opportunities

15 to satisfy myself that he was respected by commanders

16 not only in Zenica but from Travnik to Uskoplje, and in

17 my opinion he was the link between the political

18 leadership of Bosnian Muslims and the 3rd Corps of the

19 army.

20 I also know that Dzemal Merdan was one of the

21 founders of the Patriotic League, which is the military

22 wing of the SDA, the Bosnian Muslim political party in

23 Bosnia, and it is also clear to me that throughout the

24 time of his stay in the 3rd Corps, he was an essential

25 link between the 3rd Corps and the 7th Muslim Brigade.

Page 18053

1 Q. What was the connection between then Colonel

2 Merdan and the 7th Muslim Brigade, as far as you

3 understood it, sir?

4 A. In my opinion, and it is generally known,

5 that Dzemal Merdan was one of the key organisers of the

6 7th Muslim Brigade. The 7th Muslim Brigade was founded

7 and composed of soldiers from the then liberated

8 territory, the territory that at the time had not been

9 occupied by the Bosnian Serb forces. It was not a

10 local unit, it was a unit established for quick and

11 offensive tasks. And throughout the war, we had ample

12 opportunities to confirm this.

13 Q. All right. Let me just turn your attention

14 specifically to June of 1993, during the offensives

15 that were launched by the ABiH in the Lasva Valley and

16 in the Kakanj area. Is it the case that the 7th Muslim

17 Brigade would be found deployed on the front lines of

18 those offensives in villages such as Maljine, Cukle,

19 Brajkovici, Susanj and Guca Gora?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And is the same true of the offensives later

22 launched by the ABiH where the 7th Muslim Brigade was

23 in the forefront of the attacks on Bugojno and Fojnica

24 in July of 1993 and in Vares in November of 1993?

25 A. Not only those towns but Kresevo, where one

Page 18054

1 of the commanders was seriously wounded. That was

2 Serif Patkovic.

3 Q. Now, did you ever have a conversation with

4 General Merdan in connection with your detention by

5 Mujahedin and a ransom note I believe he may have

6 delivered to a witness who has already testified in

7 this case, Colonel Vukovic?

8 A. Your Honours, on several occasions I talked

9 to Dzemal Merdan regarding my abduction. I was aware

10 that he was not going to divulge anything significant

11 in these conversations. But on one occasion while he

12 was upset during negotiations in the BritBat in

13 Uskoplje, he said, "Why didn't we kill you while you

14 were in our hands?"

15 Q. Okay. Let me move on to paragraph 45. I

16 believe you had several conversations with Dzemal

17 Merdan about Busovaca and its people while you were

18 travelling from Sarajevo to Budapest in March of 1999.

19 Could you just describe in very brief details those

20 conversations to the Trial Chamber?

21 A. I travelled both to Budapest and Vienna with

22 Dzemal Merdan, to conferences and seminars, in a car,

23 and on those occasions we had a chance to discuss and

24 debate things very widely.

25 In addition to his recollections of things

Page 18055

1 from his youth, occasionally he would attack, in a

2 rather insensitive way, anything that was Croatian in

3 Busovaca. I concluded that this was a man who simply

4 did not like Busovaca or its citizens, and that he was

5 especially hostile to Dario Kordic. He was telling me

6 how he had allegedly been detained for a day or two and

7 beaten up by some HVO soldiers. He also told me that

8 he knew everything and that he even knew which soldier

9 hit him in the head. And all the blame he put squarely

10 to Dario Kordic. And I said, "Well, why is Dario

11 Kordic to be blamed, if you know exactly the names of

12 the soldiers who beat you?" He remained silent.

13 Q. Was he ever able to come up with any specific

14 facts at all to support his allegations about

15 Mr. Kordic?

16 A. He never had any concrete facts.

17 Q. Let me turn to the subject of Mr. Kordic,

18 paragraph H of your outline on page 12. Could you just

19 give your assessment of Mr. Kordic's position in

20 Central Bosnia to the Trial Chamber, and please do it,

21 sir, in a fairly abbreviated fashion, because the Court

22 has already heard a lot of evidence from military

23 witnesses along the same lines.

24 A. After the communist single-minded thinking

25 and the introduction of a multiparty system, Bosnia and

Page 18056

1 Herzegovina, like many other states, became the scene

2 of the democratic processes, and it was at that time

3 that Dario Kordic began to be politically active.

4 For me, in particular, and for the Croat

5 population in Zenica, Dario Kordic was a hope, because

6 after so many years he had restored the self-confidence

7 in the Croat population in Central Bosnia.

8 Q. All right. You were aware that he held

9 certain political posts within the HDZ BiH and within

10 the presidency of the Croatian Community of

11 Herceg-Bosna, were you?

12 A. Yes. I know that Dario Kordic held offices

13 in the Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

14 that he was one of the vice-presidents of the Croat

15 Community of Herceg-Bosna. I also know, Your Honours,

16 that at no moment was Dario Kordic part of the military

17 structure.

18 Q. Well, one of the problems with that, sir, is

19 that occasionally Mr. Kordic was referred to as a

20 colonel. Could you tell the Trial Chamber, from your

21 own personal experience with the HVO, whether this

22 Colonel Kordic, or Mr. Kordic, had any military powers

23 or authority that you could ever see or that you ever

24 witnessed?

25 A. Your Honours, I claim, under full

Page 18057

1 responsibility, that I do not know and that I have

2 never seen Dario Kordic enjoy any military powers or

3 command units. And as for ranks, how they were

4 conferred upon various people, I can give you my

5 example. On the 26th of April, 1993, I was indicated,

6 I was named in an order as a colonel. However, I

7 received the decree of my promotion to colonel only a

8 year and two days later.

9 Q. That was while you were still being detained

10 by the people that you've previously testified about;

11 correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Now, have you ever heard of a group called

14 the Mixed Military Working Group that met at Sarajevo

15 airport at the end of 1992, sir?

16 A. I have heard that that Mixed Military Group

17 was engaged in negotiations and that Mr. Dario Kordic

18 was in it. According to the general idea, the

19 negotiations at the time, and that was also requested

20 by the International Community, the negotiations were

21 to be conducted by military persons. But we did not

22 have an army. In order to be able to negotiate, ranks

23 were conferred upon people overnight. At the same

24 time, no office in the army was held by them.

25 Q. All right. And is that your explanation for

Page 18058

1 the development of Mr. Kordic into an instant colonel,

2 for purposes of being able to participate in these

3 negotiations?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. All right. Sir, you've already testified

6 about what the abductors who interrogated you tried to

7 make you admit, and there's no point in going over that

8 again. But I would like to ask you whether you ever

9 saw or heard of Mr. Kordic having any authority,

10 ability, or power to give military orders at any time.

11 A. No. Never, ever did I hear anything like

12 that, nor was I ever issued any order by Dario Kordic.

13 I did not get such an order, and as far as I know,

14 nobody else did either.

15 Q. A question has previously been posed to a

16 military witness that if Mr. Kordic had tried to give

17 an order, what would the witness have done? What would

18 you have done, Brigadier Totic, if Mr. Kordic had tried

19 to give you a military order?

20 A. I would have returned that order to the

21 structure of the Operative Zone Central Bosnia. All

22 the orders that I ever received, I received from the

23 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. There was the chain

24 of command, and the principle of subordination there is

25 also quite clear. And the policy about the issue of

Page 18059

1 orders or instructions is also quite easy to discern,

2 because there is the Ministry of Defence, and such

3 policy always goes through the Ministry of Defence.

4 Q. Did you ever see a single written order of a

5 military type issued by Mr. Kordic to any unit of the

6 HVO, including the military police or any special

7 purpose units, or did you ever hear of such a

8 development?

9 A. Neither heard nor saw.

10 Q. Now, did you --

11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,

12 Mr. Sayers.

13 Brigadier, during your work, did you get any

14 document concerning the strategy that was to be pursued

15 in Central Bosnia?

16 A. No.

17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] You never

18 received such a document. And according to you, who

19 was it that laid down the strategy that was to be

20 pursued in the area of Central Bosnia?

21 A. Your Honours, to my mind, as a soldier, the

22 strategy is clear. The strategy is created and carried

23 out from the top. The Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna

24 at that time, and as of mid-1992, had the rules

25 governing the conduct of the armed forces of the Croat

Page 18060

1 Community of Herceg-Bosna. We had our supreme

2 commander, and at that time it was the president of the

3 presidential council, Mr. Mate Boban. At that time we

4 had a defence department, with the headquarters in

5 Mostar, and it was headed by Mr. Bruno Stojic. The

6 strategy, I believe, was designed there.

7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Therefore,

8 to your mind, what were the relations between

9 Mr. Kordic and Mr. Mate Boban? Where was Mr. Kordic's

10 place in relation to Mr. Mate Boban, who, as you are

11 telling us, was the supreme commander, and he was the

12 one, therefore, who defined the strategy?

13 A. Your Honours, all I know is that Mr. Dario

14 Kordic was one of the vice-presidents of the HZ HB, and

15 I also know that throughout the time he was in

16 Busovaca. And what was the relationship between the

17 president, Mr. Mate Boban, and Mr. Dario Kordic, I

18 simply do not know anything about it. Personally, I

19 have never had an opportunity of even meeting Mr. Mate

20 Boban.

21 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Thank you.


23 Q. Did you occasionally see Mr. Kordic giving

24 speeches over the television, or hear him giving

25 speeches over the radio, or see him giving speeches in

Page 18061

1 person, sir?

2 A. Yes. On rare occasions when I watched TV and

3 listened to the radio, because I spent most of my time

4 in the battlefield, I did listen to Mr. Kordic's

5 speeches. I was also present on several occasions,

6 mostly on the occasion of some anniversaries. When

7 Dario Kordic delivered speeches, I did not see anything

8 bad in his speeches. Quite the contrary; to my mind,

9 these speeches were positive and I believed them to be

10 in the service -- they were serving to create a front

11 against the aggression of the army of Bosnian Serbs.

12 Q. Did he ever give any speeches which made

13 derogatory comments about members of other ethnic

14 groups, as far as you can recall, Brigadier?

15 A. Insofar as I'm aware, he did not do that.

16 Q. All right. And just turning to the last

17 subject on your outline on the last page. Once again,

18 Brigadier, the Court has already heard quite a bit of

19 evidence regarding how the HVO was formed in April of

20 1992 and how the military arm of it and the civilian

21 arm gradually grew into separate organisations with

22 their own separate chains of command. Could you just

23 give, in a thumbnail sketch, in two or three minutes,

24 please, your views on that development to the Trial

25 Chamber.

Page 18062

1 A. The establishment of the HVO took place in

2 April 1992. At the outset, the political and military

3 functions in the HVO were rather closely interrelated.

4 But as I said, the Peoples Gazette of the HZ HB, I

5 believe, of July 1992 were given the rules of conduct

6 of the armed forces, of the HZ HB, signed by the

7 then-president of the HZ HB, Mr. Mate Boban, and the

8 rules defined clearly and separated, distinguished,

9 between military and political functions in the HVO.

10 Those documents, and those adopted

11 subsequently -- the discipline, or rather to improve

12 the discipline in the HVO, district military courts

13 were set up with district military Prosecutors. For

14 Central Bosnia, the district military court had its

15 seat in Travnik, and the district public Prosecutor was

16 likewise, or rather the office of the district military

17 Prosecutor, was also in Travnik.

18 Q. Just the last subject and the last exhibit.

19 As a brigade commander, it's right, isn't it, that you

20 were able to impose disciplinary punishments of up to

21 30 days of custody upon soldiers who had committed

22 military infractions?

23 A. Yes. In the area of responsibility where I

24 was the commander, I had this authority and I used it.

25 The commander of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia

Page 18063

1 had the authority to pronounce a higher disciplinary

2 section, up to 60 days of imprisonment. I, as a

3 brigade commander, I could pronounce the punishment,

4 including 30 days of detention. Before that you have

5 the reprimand, the warning, and so on and so forth.

6 Q. Two final questions, sir. Could you explain

7 in your own words what role, if any, in the

8 administration of military discipline and military

9 justice, civilians and politicians had?

10 A. The military disciplinary system was

11 exclusively within the jurisdiction of the army. No

12 political figure, or at least I do not know, had any

13 authority or was responsible for military discipline,

14 that is, pronounced punishment or something like that.

15 Quite simply, they had no right, they had no powers to

16 do so.

17 MR. SAYERS: All right. Just one final

18 question, if I might introduce this as the last

19 exhibit, Your Honours, just by way of an example.

20 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked

21 D212.1.

22 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

23 Q. Brigadier, I'm sure there are many other

24 examples of this, but we've just produced this as one

25 example. You, as the brigade commander of the Jure

Page 18064

1 Francetic Brigade, actually had the authority, and you

2 had the authority before the brigade was actually

3 formed, to order arrests of soldiers on suspicion of

4 having committed murder; is that correct?

5 A. Your Honours, that is correct. I see this

6 order after many years. And even though it lacks the

7 seal, but I can see my signature on it. I remember

8 well those two soldiers. At that time, one must

9 realize that there were quite a number of criminals

10 around, and village thugs. And I believe this happened

11 after a murder of which they were suspected of

12 committing. Goran Medjugorac introduced himself as a

13 member of HOS, Special Purpose Unit in Vitezovi,

14 and Dragan Bilic, called Bambok [phoen] --

15 Q. If I might interrupt you, that matter of

16 detail is not important. I'm obliged to you.

17 MR. SAYERS: And I apologize to the Trial

18 Chamber for tiptoeing over my time estimate.

19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Can I ask you what kind of

20 murder were these two persons arrested for?

21 A. Your Honours, from what I remember, I believe

22 it was a murder which took place sometime around the

23 20th of October, murder of a TO soldier. I wouldn't

24 know his last name. I think he was TO. After we

25 talked to the commander of the TO headquarters in

Page 18065

1 Zenica, I talked to them and I realised that they

2 believed that it had been done by a group of soldiers

3 who were trying to square some accounts I believe some

4 debt was mentioned about.

5 MR. SAYERS: Thank you very much.

6 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

7 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.

8 Cross-examined by Mr. Kovacic:

9 Q. Mr. Totic, good afternoon. I'm Bozidar

10 Kovacic, and with my colleague, lawyer Goran Mikulicic,

11 I represent Mr. Mario Cerkez. I shall ask you several

12 questions. I shall endeavour to be as brief as

13 possible, but I need to refer to some important things

14 where I believe you can be of some help.

15 Mr. Totic, you mentioned in your evidence --

16 and I should also like to tender a document to this

17 effect -- you were the commander of a sector as of the

18 26th of November, 1992, at the front line between

19 Turbe, that is, Gradina, to Strikanci, to hill feature

20 625, where Cerkez was your deputy?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And you were designated to that sector on the

23 orders from Blaskic; is that so?

24 A. Yes.

25 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Will the usher

Page 18066

1 please help me distribute this document, and I should

2 also like to ask for a number.

3 THE REGISTRAR: The document is marked D68/2.

4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. When you look at that document, could you

6 please confirm that this was the document designating

7 you the commander of the mentioned sector?

8 A. Yes, that is the document.

9 Q. On this part of the front, which was under

10 your responsibility, we also had some parts which were

11 replenished from Vitez and Novi Travnik?

12 A. Yes. About 200, 250 members of the Jure

13 Francetic Brigade, the Vitez Brigade, which numbered

14 some 60, 80, to 120, and the Stjepan Tomasevic Brigade,

15 Novi Travnik, was some 150 to 200 men strong.

16 Q. When you say "Vitez Brigade", you are using

17 this term conditionally, because at that time it did

18 not exist.

19 A. The Vitez Brigade existed until the 4th of

20 December. And after the reorganisation in the HVO, it

21 was all one brigade, commanded by Borivoje Malbasic,

22 and what came to be known as the Stjepan Tomasevic

23 Brigade.

24 Q. Very well. Earlier, and today also you

25 mentioned that you met Mr. Cerkez. Could you tell us,

Page 18067

1 please, when was that and what were the circumstances?

2 A. Your Honours, Colonel Mario Cerkez I did meet

3 sometime in August or maybe September 1992, after my

4 assistants had informed me that Serb representatives of

5 the village of Trnovlje, on the boundary between the

6 municipalities of Vitez and Zenica, came to request HVO

7 protection, and that in return they were ready to lay

8 down their weapons.

9 As the village was in the territory of the

10 Vitez municipality, then I announced my visit to the

11 command of the municipal headquarters there. And when

12 I arrived there, I was met by the commander -- I

13 believe it was Mr. Marijan Skopljak at the time -- and

14 his deputy, Mr. Mario Cerkez, and that was the first

15 time that I laid my eyes on Mr. Mario Cerkez.

16 When I arrived, a representative of the local

17 Serbs was already there. I believe his last name was

18 Dzuric or Dzukic. And after that, in the war in 1993,

19 1994, I used to see him around Vitez. And I saw then

20 that Mario Cerkez was talking about the protection of

21 the local Serb population with that representative.

22 And my information served only as an ancillary

23 document. I saw that he was only taking care of that

24 and that there was no need for me to do it.

25 Q. Very well. Let us move on. The problem of

Page 18068

1 those Serbs with the HVO assistants in Vitez was

2 resolved in a satisfactory manner, was it?

3 A. I think it served -- that Vitez served as an

4 example of the relations between local Serbs and local

5 Croats. Throughout the war, local Serbs served in HVO

6 units. I could ascertain it myself.

7 Q. Mr. Totic, you mentioned this village of

8 Trnovlje specifically, which is on the boundary itself?

9 A. But a little lower, Tolovici.

10 Q. Yes, Tolovici. And what you said also

11 concerns Tolovici and other villages where there were

12 Serbs in the municipality?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. In August/September in 1992, in Vitez, at the

15 time when you talked about it, the HVO was being

16 organised by the municipal headquarters of the HVO

17 Municipal Staff of the HVO in Vitez; is that correct?

18 A. Well, yes, but the HVO and the Municipal

19 Staff existed then.

20 Q. Yes, but at that time a brigade in Vitez did

21 not exist yet, did it?

22 A. No.

23 Q. Thank you. Those front lines were

24 replenished with shifts of soldiers coming in from

25 surrounding towns, depending on the sector for which

Page 18069

1 people were responsible. Could we -- those shifts on

2 the front, can we call them shift soldiers?

3 A. Your Honours, not only were they shift

4 soldiers; even brigades were only conditionally

5 brigades. All those soldiers, after spending some

6 eight to ten days on the front line, would go back

7 home, would go back to their regular jobs, either in

8 companies or in the field. We had no barracks, not a

9 single one, in Central Bosnia, with the exception of

10 Busovaca. But that was not the barracks; that was a

11 depot. It could not accommodate people. So those

12 soldiers from the front lines, with their rifles, went

13 back home and then worked.

14 Q. And that status of troops, if one can call

15 them troops, if one can call them soldiers, did it

16 require a certain definition of the rules of conduct?

17 The rules or regulations, when was somebody a soldier,

18 when he was not a soldier? Let us take a soldier who

19 served his shift above Turbe, at Kamenjas. He's in

20 there for eight days, goes back to his village -- never

21 mind whether it's Vitez, Novi Travnik, Travnik, or

22 what -- and at that day that he's back in the village,

23 what is he then?

24 A. When he's come back to his village, he goes

25 back to his regular activities, regular job. So at

Page 18070

1 that moment, he ceases to be a soldier; he's a

2 civilian. We did not have an army. It was an armed

3 people.

4 Q. And from your experience and knowledge of

5 this situation, would you know if that soldier that we

6 just used as an example -- could he then also become

7 part of village guards, which were also a frequent

8 occurrence in villages?

9 A. Well, village guards existed in villages, but

10 they were often not set up by any commanders, because

11 they had their rifles with them and they themselves did

12 it.

13 Q. But at that moment, insofar as the HVO is

14 concerned, the military wing of the HVO is concerned,

15 they at that time were civilians?

16 A. At that period of time, they were civilians.

17 That is, one becomes a soldier when he's with a

18 military unit and is issued -- and is given a task.

19 Q. Very well, thank you.

20 You mentioned a little while ago that on that

21 occasion when you met Cerkez, you also met -- or rather

22 you saw that he was talking to somebody called Djuric

23 who was representing those villages. Let me ask you,

24 in the course of that unfortunate war and after the

25 Washington Accords, did you -- once again, did you ever

Page 18071

1 have the opportunity, by a quirk of fate, to meet with

2 Cerkez on a common task?

3 A. Your Honours, after the Washington Accords

4 were signed and after four or five months of

5 preparation, the HVO and the army of BH invested joint

6 efforts to undertake liberation operations in

7 North-Western Bosnia. And as of that date, I believe

8 that was as of the liberation of Kupres in November of

9 '94, I began to meet Mr. Cerkez more often because we

10 were involved in joint tasks in liberation operations.

11 I was often in command of a battery of two shifts and

12 so on.

13 Q. Could you remember if, in those operations

14 or, rather, in the early days of those operations, the

15 commander of engineers in Cerkez' unit was somebody,

16 Gavro Mucibabic?

17 A. Yes, it was a Bosnian Serb from Vitez born in

18 1941. He was there all the time.

19 Q. You mean he was a Serb from Vitez?

20 A. I think that, yes.

21 Q. And he was a high-ranking officer in Cerkez'

22 unit?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Just one more short question having to do

25 with the area of responsibility that you had on a

Page 18072

1 sector above Turbe. Will you agree with me that Cerkez

2 organised the replenishment of shifts arriving from

3 Vitez in a very -- very well?

4 A. Your Honours, I can confirm that.

5 Personally, while I was the commander and him my

6 deputy, he performed his tasks very well indeed. After

7 the incidents in Dusina, in Lasva, the HVO units in

8 Zenica were not allowed to move towards Travnik, and as

9 of that moment, Mr. Mario Cerkez took over the role of

10 the commander, and I think he was that until the end.

11 Q. We're referring to the sector?

12 A. Sector 2, defence from Turbe, Lasva, through

13 Ostriglava [phoen], Rilja [phoen], Strikanci, Bacenja

14 [phoen], including Kamenjas.

15 Q. Against the army of Bosnian Serbs?

16 A. Against the army of Bosnian Serbs. In front

17 of the front line, there were also two Muslim

18 villages. The villages of Polac and Bijelo Bucje were

19 in that area.

20 During that period of time, I crossed the

21 defence line. We daily removed clusters of mines on

22 the road in order to let through parts of the BH army

23 which were going over to take over shifts. And during

24 all the time and later when Mario Cerkez commanded

25 there, I do not know of any problems happening there.

Page 18073

1 Q. Do I understand you well that even though

2 there were tense relations and in Novi Travnik we had

3 an open conflict, the HVO and ABiH still cooperate and

4 still hold jointly the line against the Bosnian Serb

5 army?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. At that time, did you notice that in these

8 shifts which arrived from Vitez, there were a number of

9 Serbs and Romanija in the HVO units?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Would it be right to say that in certain

12 shifts, the number went to like 20 per cent?

13 A. Up to 30 per cent.

14 Q. Mr. Totic, you mentioned today the 17th

15 Krajina Brigade. You, of course, know that in the

16 period during 1993, the commander of this powerful

17 Muslim unit was Fikret Cuskic?

18 A. Yes. Your Honours, I know when the 17th

19 Krajina Brigade was first established, it's first

20 commander was General Alagic, and Fikret Cuskic was its

21 deputy. It was established in Borongaj in Croatian.

22 It was armed by Croats, and it was sent to Bosnia to

23 fight against the aggression of the Bosnian Serbs.

24 Mr. Cuskic later became its commander.

25 Q. And so do I understand you correctly that it

Page 18074

1 was established in Zagreb, in Croatia?

2 A. Yes, in the Borongaj barracks, and it was

3 bussed to Travnik in some 20 buses.

4 Q. And about what time was it sent to Travnik

5 from Croatia?

6 A. I think it was in the middle of 1992.

7 Q. Do you perhaps know what was the position or

8 the rank or even status Mr. Cuskic had in Zagreb before

9 coming to Travnik?

10 A. From what I heard, both Alagic and Fikret

11 Cuskic had been members of the HV.

12 Q. You mean together?

13 A. Yes, not only the two of them, but General

14 Jasmin Jaganjac, Armin Pohara, and others. General

15 Jaganjac was the military advisor to Alija Izetbegovic,

16 the president of Bosnia.

17 Q. All these men you have mentioned are Bosnian

18 Muslims?

19 A. Yes.

20 Q. And they were all in HV -- in the Croatian

21 army before they joined the ABiH?

22 A. Yes, according to what I know.

23 Q. Is it correct or should -- I should say do

24 you know whether Fikret Cuskic was also a specialist

25 for psychological warfare? This is what people --

Page 18075

1 A. We in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone

2 respected him as a very professional, very capable, and

3 a very clever sort, and he was first in the 17th

4 Krajina Brigade and then in the 7th Corps when it was

5 eventually established.

6 Q. Given your general education and your

7 military education, in particular, could you just

8 confirm something for me. From some evidence which we

9 have heard, the fall of Jajce on the 30th of October,

10 1992, caused both the Muslim and the Croat population,

11 which means the soldiers coming from both of these

12 ethnic groups, to flee to the south, and they arrived

13 in Central Bosnia; is that correct?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Would you agree with the assessment that the

16 sudden influx of the defeated soldiers of both these

17 sides, as well as the fleeing civilians, upset not only

18 the statistical balance of the population at the time

19 but also disrupted the supplies of livestock?

20 A. Yes, Your Honours, I can confirm that.

21 Q. Could anybody see this in the Lasva Valley?

22 A. Yes. Anybody, not only a specialist, could

23 see that throughout the Lasva Valley.

24 Q. Thank you. Today you mentioned that further

25 to the HZ HB decision of 4 December, the HVO was

Page 18076

1 reorganised. Do you recollect whether, in this

2 reorganisation, the municipal HVO staffs were abolished

3 and defence departments were established in

4 municipalities as military agencies?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. So until the 4th of December, we had

7 municipal staffs, and after 4th December, there were

8 defence departments?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. They were territorially based?

11 A. Yes.

12 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I'm being

13 warned that I'm not waiting for the interpretation.

14 Q. In both cases, that is, the Municipal Staff

15 and the Department of Defence were part of the civilian

16 area, that is, political government?

17 A. Yes. Your Honours, the defence department or

18 our office is part of the municipal government, and the

19 Department of Defence was regional and they were

20 directly linked to the Ministry of Defence.

21 Q. During your evidence, you also mentioned an

22 incident at the checkpoint near Cajdras where two HVO

23 soldiers were killed and where the truck with

24 Mujahedins was. Was this truck going to Vitez,

25 carrying new equipment?

Page 18077

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. So it was carrying military equipment to

3 Vitez?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. And the road where this incident took place,

6 it passes through Poculica?

7 A. Yes, Cajdras, Poculica, and at Vjetrenice it

8 turns off towards two large villages, and later it

9 turns out to strongholds of the ABiH, Lupac and

10 Preocica.

11 Q. You mentioned your conversations with

12 Mr. Merdan during your trips and so on. Did he ever

13 mention Cerkez as an enemy?

14 A. No. Dzemal Merdan never mentioned him.

15 Q. Thank you. Mr. Totic, is it true that you

16 and Cerkez went back to Jajce together in 1995?

17 A. Yes. In the operations for liberation, I

18 said that we were often involved in the same

19 operations. And in '95, after the liberation of the

20 town of Jajce, I turned over the control of the

21 tactical group to Mario Cerkez, and I became commander

22 of the town of Jajce.

23 Q. In closing, Mr. Totic, just one more thing.

24 About 15 days ago, we saw on television that

25 a memorial was erected to the fallen HVO soldiers, the

Page 18078

1 soldiers who were killed on the 15th of April, and I

2 think that I saw you there on television. You unveiled

3 this monument; is that correct?

4 A. Yes. Your Honours, not only this, but I come

5 from a country in which somebody is elected a president

6 for the tearing down of a monument to the only

7 noble laureate, and what am I to expect.

8 Q. It was unveiled on the 15th of this last

9 month?

10 A. Yes, and then it was destroyed in six to

11 seven hours.

12 Q. Was that act also registered by television?

13 A. Yes.

14 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] I have no

15 further questions, Your Honours.

16 JUDGE MAY: This will be a convenient moment

17 to adjourn.

18 Brigadier Totic, would you be back, please,

19 on Monday morning at half past 9.00 to continue your

20 evidence. Could you remember, during the adjournment,

21 not to speak to anybody, please, about your evidence

22 until it's over, and that includes speaking to members

23 of the Defence teams.

24 Half past 9.00, then, on Monday, when I think

25 we should be in Courtroom I.

Page 18079

1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at

2 1.16 p.m., to be reconvened on

3 Monday, the 8th day of May, 2000,

4 at 9.30 a.m.