Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 18722

1 Tuesday, 16

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

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

5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I asked for the

6 witness to be kept out briefly to raise a couple of

7 matters, and perhaps I may do so.

8 First of all, I asked yesterday for the

9 position about documents to be left open so that I

10 could review the history in the institution a little

11 more, and I've done that. And I've also re-acquainted

12 myself with the storage facilities which I hadn't seen

13 for a couple of years. The position, I think,

14 institutionally is quite significant, and I've got

15 Ms. Greenwood here, who heads the relevant unit.

16 The Chamber will probably remember -- in any

17 event, I can remind it -- that under Rule 41 the

18 Prosecutor is responsible for the retention, storage

19 and security of information and physical evidence

20 obtained in the course of the Prosecutor's

21 investigations, and, of course, with that in mind, the

22 Evidence Unit was established. Now, I think in the

23 early case --

24 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, I don't want to

25 interrupt you, and of course with Ms. Greenwood here, I

Page 18723

1 understand you want to deal with the matter. But we've

2 got a witness outside, and this is going to be a fairly

3 lengthy matter, I suspect.

4 MR. NICE: Well, if I may return to it later

5 today --


7 MR. NICE: -- or whenever there is the next

8 opportunity, I would be grateful.

9 JUDGE MAY: Let us try and fix a time,

10 because clearly it's a matter which has got to be

11 resolved, and I shall also be making enquiries of the

12 Registry to ensure that they are capable of taking the

13 exhibits, which they should be under the Rules. But,

14 anyway, we can return to all this.

15 Our apologies to Ms. Greenwood. Perhaps you

16 could come back, and we'll try and fix a suitable time

17 for you.

18 MR. NICE: Then two other matters, very

19 briefly, before this witness is called but relating to

20 witnesses, or perhaps three matters.

21 First, the next witness to be called, in case

22 I'm not here, is one for whom protective measures is

23 sought. I don't object to those protective measures at

24 all. If the witness is called, I may ask a question or

25 so of the witness, but I have to say it's, of course, a

Page 18724

1 matter for the Chamber, but the relevance of the

2 evidence is, frankly, extremely doubtful, in our

3 respectful submission. And, further, if the evidence

4 is, in the judgement of the Tribunal, relevant and

5 therefore admissible, it's exactly the sort of evidence

6 that could have been presented to me in advance in

7 writing, for I probably would simply have allowed it to

8 be read.

9 JUDGE MAY: We'll look at this, of course.

10 But speaking for myself, I have no criticism of the way

11 in which this Defence is being conducted.

12 MR. NICE: I'm not criticising, I'm simply

13 saying this one could have been read.

14 The next point is a matter of concern, and

15 it's about affidavits.

16 Affidavits are coming at the same time as the

17 witness in whose support they are lodged is called to

18 the witness box. It's very difficult for us to have

19 any prepared cross-examination focused on the affidavit

20 witnesses if we don't know that they are coming, and

21 it's very difficult for us to deal with them. The

22 upshot is that, by and large, we haven't done so, in

23 order not to waste time, by seeking adjournments and so

24 on to go into them. So that's a problem.

25 Indeed, the third and final problem is this:

Page 18725

1 So far we haven't resisted any affidavit witnesses, and

2 in respect of some of them, the five-day period has

3 passed. I recall that at an earlier stage, Your Honour

4 said, "Maybe we should review them all collectively,"

5 and Mr. Sayers said, "Well, they all ought to be done

6 on a case-by-case basis," and Your Honour said maybe

7 that was right. I'm anxious not to apply at all or

8 certainly in any excessive number of cases for

9 affidavit witnesses to come to give evidence, but I

10 think there are one or two issues that ought to be

11 considered in relation to the affidavit witnesses so

12 far. Again, might we timetable a time this week to

13 consider them, perhaps on the basis that the five-day

14 periods may be notionally extended until that day,

15 whenever it is, rather than my having to go and try and

16 lodge formal objections in order simply to preserve my

17 position?

18 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, that seems a sensible

19 suggestion as a practical way of dealing with matters.

20 Is there any objection?

21 MR. SAYERS: In terms of dealing with the

22 affidavits notionally, as the Prosecution puts it,

23 absolutely not. But I think that we should adhere to

24 the terms of Rule 94, as we've been trying to do.

25 The Rule requires that the affidavits be

Page 18726

1 filed prior to the live witness giving testimony whose

2 affidavit testimony corroborates -- well, let me

3 rephrase that. The affidavit is supposed to

4 corroborate the testimony of the live witness, and the

5 affidavit has to be filed prior to the live witness

6 testifying. And I believe that the Rule actually says

7 that the Prosecution gets seven days, after the live

8 witness testifies, to file an objection.

9 I have no objection to considering the

10 objections to the affidavits so far filed. Let me just

11 say in relation to those, though, if I might just take

12 a minute, it's only recently that we've been able to

13 get this process operating in an efficient way. We

14 hope that the efficiencies will allow us to provide

15 copies of these affidavits earlier than we've been able

16 to file them so far to the Prosecution so that they can

17 consider their position. It's just been impossible to

18 file them before we have been doing, since we've

19 literally been getting them just before we have filed

20 them. But we will try to do a little better on that,

21 and give a little bit more advance notice to the

22 Prosecution, and I think we will be able to achieve

23 that.

24 It may be that we can carve aside half an

25 hour or so on Friday to argue these matters right at

Page 18727

1 the end of the evidence.


3 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] I should

4 only like to say regarding this matter, the affidavits,

5 that as far as responsible, one should really go by the

6 rules.

7 The rules are quite clear, and I believe that

8 the rights of both parties are equally established and

9 also prerogatives of the Chamber. And I believe if we

10 go by the rules, we shall be able to avoid all the

11 controversies and the loss of time. I'm referring to

12 the rules as they exist today.

13 JUDGE MAY: Very well, we shall order that

14 the affidavits be considered at a suitable time on

15 Friday. The reference to the seven days will be taken

16 to run up until that Friday when we will consider,

17 first of all, the affidavits which have been tendered

18 and, if necessary, the procedure to be followed in

19 future.

20 MR. NICE: Thank you, very much.

21 JUDGE MAY: Can we have the witness, please.

22 [The witness entered court]


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

25 and nothing but the truth.

Page 18728

1 [Witness answered through interpreter]

2 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

3 Your Honours. Before we start, I would just like to

4 advise the Trial Chamber that before this witness

5 arrived, we submitted a statement by Neven Maric which

6 supports the testimony of this witness.

7 Examined by Mr. Naumovski:

8 Q. Witness, will you please introduce yourself

9 by stating your full name?

10 A. My name is Pavo Sljivic.

11 Q. Mr. Sljivic, you are a Bosnian Croat. You

12 were born on 11th November, 1960 in Kakanj

13 municipality?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. You are married and you and your wife have

16 three children?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. Mr. Sljivic, I would just like to tell you to

19 wait between the answer and the -- the question and the

20 answer so it may be interpreted. Thank you.

21 Mr. Sljivic, you studied machinery studies in

22 Banja Luka and then you worked in the mine in Kakanj?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. After the first elections in

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1990, you were elected into the

Page 18729

1 municipal assembly of Kakanj?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. The Trial Chamber knows that on 6th of April,

4 1992, the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina declared

5 that the immediate threat of war in

6 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Can you please tell us when the municipal

9 staff of Kakanj established the HVO of Kakanj, when was

10 this?

11 A. Your Honours, on the 18th April, 1992, as was

12 already mentioned, further to a decision of the War

13 Presidency, the municipality of Kakanj followed this

14 decision and established a War Presidency which, on the

15 18th of -- and on 18th of April, 1992, it confirmed the

16 establishment of the HVO Kakanj.

17 Q. Mr. Sljivic, the War Presidency was the

18 highest organ of legal and executive government in the

19 case of war, but could you tell me whose

20 representatives were included in the War Presidency?

21 A. In the conditions of the immediate threat of

22 war, or war, the War Presidency replaced the assembly

23 which was appointed after the first multi-party

24 elections and it was composed of representatives of all

25 parties that had won the elections and had the

Page 18730

1 representatives in the government.

2 Q. Mr. Sljivic, you were also a member of this

3 War Presidency, and in this War Presidency you

4 represented one of the parties, that is the HDZ BiH,

5 that is, its branch in Kakanj?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. In the HVO, there were two branches, the

8 civilian and the military. You had the duties in the

9 civilian branch of the Kakanj HVO?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber specifically

12 what the duties you had in April 1992 until 1993?

13 A. The assemblymen were appointed by the parties

14 and the municipal assembly -- and the municipal

15 assembly of Kakanj worked as War Presidency.

16 It was felt needed that a member of the HVO

17 should be represented in the War Presidency so that he

18 would be able to transmit all the interests of the

19 Croatian population as a whole, because no member of

20 the War Presidency was an independent member and did

21 not represent his own interests only. He, rather,

22 represented interests of the entire population or

23 group.

24 Q. Very well. Your duties as a president were

25 discharged until about April 1993?

Page 18731

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Speaking of the War Presidency, one of the

3 decisions of the War Presidency from April 1992

4 referred to all units which had been established in the

5 Kakanj municipality?

6 A. I need to mention that the -- that further to

7 the decision of the War Presidency, all units in the

8 area of Kakanj were organised and placed under a

9 unified command and they were known as "The defence of

10 Kakanj municipality."

11 Within the War Presidency, we adopted a

12 decision relating to the defence of the Kakanj

13 municipality, and what the violation of the boundaries

14 of the municipality of Kakanj meant.

15 That meant that if members -- if any group or

16 any unit tries to cross the boundary line of the Kakanj

17 municipality without the knowledge of the proper

18 authorities there, that that would be considered an

19 attack against the municipality of Kakanj.

20 Q. In this joint defence of the municipality or

21 the joint command which was competent for matters in

22 the municipality, you say that this command was joint.

23 Could you tell us who was the commander and who was the

24 deputy commander?

25 A. The commander of all units was Elvedin

Page 18732

1 Sehagic and a deputy of the ABiH, and his deputy was

2 Neven Maric, who was a member of the HVO.

3 Q. So the commander was a representative of the

4 Muslim group, and his deputy was an ethnic Croat?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. How long did this joint command last?

7 A. It lasted until the command adopted a

8 decision to replace the deputy commander and appoint

9 another ethnic Muslim as the deputy so that the HVO,

10 that is, the Croatian ethnic group had no

11 representatives in this -- in the joint command.

12 Q. Very well. We're moving to paragraph 8

13 through 11.

14 Mr. Sljivic, you served in the former JNA, in

15 which year?

16 A. 1983.

17 Q. Very well. In April 1993, when there were

18 reappointments in the civilian institutions of Kakanj

19 HVO, who was appointed president, the president of the

20 HVO Kakanj?

21 A. It was Mr. Blasko Pavlovic.

22 Q. And what duty did you get?

23 A. At that time, I no longer worked for the

24 civilian institutions, so I was available as a member

25 of the HVO, and the headquarters appointed me an

Page 18733

1 advisor for political affairs in the headquarters.

2 Q. The Kotromanic Brigade, which was the HVO

3 brigade in Kakanj, when it was defeated during the June

4 offensive of the ABiH, what happened to you and your

5 family?

6 A. Together with about 90 per cent of the

7 population, I fled to the municipality of Vares,

8 because that was the only municipality where we can go

9 to.

10 Q. Can you tell me how many Croats were forced

11 to leave the Kakanj municipality?

12 A. I have information from the 13th of June,

13 1993, and immediately after my arrival -- after our

14 arrival in Vares, we registered all refugees, and the

15 number was about 10.000. But later on, every day

16 additional refugees arrived who, at first, were not

17 able to break the encirclements of the Muslim forces,

18 so that in June and July this figure rose to a number

19 between 13 and 15 thousand refugees.

20 Q. When you came to Vares, obviously members of

21 the Kotromanic Brigade also went there. You were then

22 attached to the Bobovac Brigade in Vares, but not as a

23 brigade but rather as a separate battalion?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And in this battalion, which was composed of

Page 18734

1 the Kakanj residents, you were assistant commander for

2 IPD?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Their Honours have heard this, but between

5 June and November 1993, what was the position of the

6 Vares enclave? Geographically speaking, was it

7 encircled, or can you give us any detail?

8 A. The Vares enclave can be taken together with

9 the Kakanj municipality. They were completely

10 surrounded or encircled by the ABiH forces, and the

11 difference was that the municipality in Vares also had

12 a front line with the BSA forces, and for the most part

13 they were surrounded by the ABiH forces.

14 Q. Thank you. We can move on to the next area,

15 that is, the ABiH offensive in June of 1993.

16 Mr. Sljivic, you're aware that in this case

17 the Prosecution is trying to prove that the Croats in

18 Bosnia-Herzegovina engaged in a widespread and

19 systematic campaign of persecution of the Muslim

20 population who also lived in your municipality in

21 Kakanj and other municipalities of the Croatian

22 Community Herceg-Bosna and, subsequently, Croat

23 Republic Herceg-Bosna. Now, as for the town of Kakanj

24 and what you know, is that true?

25 A. In the light of the fact that, according to

Page 18735

1 this census of '91, the population of -- the Croat

2 population of Kakanj is 16.700, adding to this number

3 that number who were actually Croats but were

4 registered under "Others" and around Kakanj, the

5 municipalities of Zenica, Visoko, Breza, and the

6 adjacent municipality of Vares, which are again

7 surrounded by the Tuzla basin --

8 JUDGE MAY: We don't need to go through all

9 this. Could you get the witness to concentrate,

10 please, on the question, which was the population, I

11 think, of Kakanj.

12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

13 Your Honours.

14 Q. Yes, Mr. Sljivic. Shall we try to cut it

15 shorter? You began with the number of Croats in the

16 municipality of Kakanj. Will you please give us the

17 size of other populations, that is, how many Muslims

18 were there, and is the claim that you are aware of

19 correct?

20 A. Your Honours, I merely tried to compare the

21 number of Croats in this whole area and the number of

22 Muslims in the municipality of Kakanj.

23 JUDGE MAY: Look, you must understand that it

24 is not for witnesses to organise the proceedings, it is

25 for the Court.

Page 18736

1 Mr. Naumovski, can we concentrate, please, on

2 the issues in this case? I thought the question was

3 about the population of Kakanj.

4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Quite so,

5 Your Honours.

6 A. So the ratio of Croats and Muslims in Kakanj,

7 in the municipality of Kakanj, there were altogether

8 55.000 inhabitants. Of them, 16.700 were Croats, that

9 is, about 30 per cent, 54 per cent were Muslims, eight

10 per cent were Serbs, and the rest were registered as

11 "Others".

12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

13 Q. So you, the Croats in the municipality of

14 Kakanj, did you engage in this policy that we mentioned

15 a while ago, the persecution of Muslims from your

16 lands, from the municipality of Kakanj?

17 A. I think it is a ridiculous assumption that a

18 minority people tries to turn the majority people into

19 a minority, so that both in my own name and on behalf

20 of the party that I belonged to and the organisation

21 that I belonged to, I fully deny -- I fully refute such

22 a thesis, and I think that thinking along such lines is

23 suicidal for the Croat people and we cannot agree with

24 that.

25 Q. [French interpretation]

Page 18737

1 JUDGE MAY: [French interpretation] The

2 French are on our channel. Can we can another go in

3 English?

4 THE INTERPRETER: Yes. One, two, three. Can

5 you hear me now? You do.

6 JUDGE MAY: Let's try again. Can you start

7 again?

8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you,

9 Your Honours.

10 Q. So, Mr. Sljivic, you understood my question

11 before we had this technical problem? Was there any

12 persecution against the Croats in the municipality of

13 Kakanj?

14 A. Yes. In a nutshell, there were grave

15 provocations in Kakanj as of March 1993, and they

16 lasted until the all-out attack of the ABiH army on the

17 municipality of Kakanj.

18 On the 13th of May, 1993, members of the 7th

19 Muslim Brigade, a part of which was quartered in Kakanj

20 at the Sretno Motel, brought in seven civilians of

21 Croat ethnicity, beat them, harassed them, and then let

22 them go. We did not overreact to that. But on the

23 17th or the 18th of June, in the attempt to remove the

24 Croatian flag or, rather, in trying to prevent this

25 attempt, a military policeman, a member of the Croat

Page 18738

1 Defence Council, Marinko Benic, was killed.

2 Q. Tell us, please, in this incident when

3 Marinko Benic was killed, did this happen before the

4 all-out attack?

5 A. Correct. It happened in the month of May.

6 Q. Because I believe you said the 18th of June.

7 That's why I wanted to check. Very well, thank you.

8 And did the persecution and assassinations of

9 the Croats continue even after this all-out attack

10 until November 1993; do you have any knowledge of that?

11 A. Yes. When the majority people had already

12 arrived in Vares, then some protagonists of the idea

13 turned up, saying that Croats could go back to Kakanj

14 freely. But after some individuals tried to do so,

15 another 30 or so civilians were killed. They were

16 mostly people of age who simply wanted to go back home,

17 but it ended as it did.

18 Q. When you told us a while ago about the murder

19 of Marinko Benic, that military policeman, and you said

20 that it was at a time when members of the 7th Muslim

21 Brigade were trying to provoke Croats by removing the

22 flags, the flags of the Croat people, how do you know

23 about that? Where did you gain your knowledge that

24 they were provoking them?

25 A. The policeman of the Croat Defence Council

Page 18739

1 who was killed, Marinko Benic, was not alone there, and

2 members of the 7th Muslim Brigade, as they could not

3 withdraw at that moment, just pulled back to the nearby

4 coffee house. And then the military police of the HVO

5 came, and the army of BH also came, and we brought in a

6 member of the 7th Muslim Brigade who participated in

7 this action and he made a statement -- full statement

8 in writing as to who had ordered him, what he had been

9 ordered to do, how to behave, and all that.

10 Q. Very well, thank you. We have reached

11 paragraph 14, Your Honours.

12 Mr. Sljivic, will you tell us, the army of

13 Bosnia-Herzegovina launched a major attack on 8th June

14 1993 against Kakanj?

15 A. Yes.

16 Q. And what was the outcome of that major

17 offensive?

18 A. The outcome of that offensive was that the

19 Croat Defence Council managed to protect a major part

20 of the population. And after five days of fighting and

21 after all the lines were broken through along the

22 defence lines, after all our defence lines were broken

23 through, we naturally had to retreat, needless to say

24 suffering major losses.

25 Q. Very well. If I understood you well, the

Page 18740

1 Kotromanic Brigade suffered a defeat.

2 A. Yes, routed.

3 Q. Since you were subsequently a councilman in

4 the municipal hall in Kakanj, could you tell us how

5 many Croats were killed during that exodus, that is,

6 from the beginning of the launching of this attack on

7 the 8th of June, 1993, onward?

8 A. One hundred twenty.

9 Q. A moment ago, you told us that some

10 inhabitants pulled out towards Vares and others moved

11 towards Kiseljak. Is that correct?

12 A. The other part retreated towards the UNPROFOR

13 base, the Engineers' Battalion. I believe they were

14 French units, and they were quartering in the Kakanj

15 thermal power plant, and they protected a considerable

16 number of people. Those people spent there all the

17 time until their departure to Kiseljak.

18 Q. The Kakanj offensive, according to the

19 knowledge that you had, what happened in Kakanj only

20 made an integral part of a much broader offensive

21 undertaken throughout Central Bosnia?

22 A. In Kakanj, we did not have any defence lines,

23 nor did the Muslims have any front lines facing us, and

24 we did not have any front lines facing Muslims. Kakanj

25 was attacked from neighbouring municipalities, from all

Page 18741

1 directions, and that is why at the moment I mentioned

2 our surroundings, Breza, Visoko, Zenica.

3 Q. Tell us, did you have any knowledge about the

4 offensive of the ABiH in other areas, in other

5 municipalities, in Travnik, Fojnica, Bugojno?

6 A. Yes, the information department of the Croat

7 Defence Council and the information service of the BH

8 army monitored the developments in neighbouring

9 municipalities daily, and that decision that I

10 mentioned in the beginning was the product also of that

11 information gathering service.

12 However, a week before the all-out attack on

13 Kakanj, the municipality of Travnik had been attacked,

14 and we met those people in Vares because they were

15 still in the territory of that only free enclave.

16 Q. As regards Travnik, you also know how many

17 Travniks were forced to leave the municipality of

18 Travnik, how many were expelled the from there--

19 because they are people that you subsequently met?

20 A. Yes, there were about 20.000.

21 Q. I suppose you also know about the number of

22 expelled, Croats expelled, from the municipalities of

23 Bugojno and Fojnica because they are all people whom

24 you met in other parts of Bosnia-Herzegovina when --

25 refugees?

Page 18742

1 A. Yes, indeed, it was a deliberate, organised

2 and well-trained action in which the units of the ABiH

3 attacked town by town at about weekly intervals and in

4 lightning operations. They were taking those areas and

5 undertaking the expulsion of the population so that in

6 1993, about 8.000 Croats were expelled from Fojnica,

7 about 10.000 from expelled from Bugojno and from

8 Kresevo, and at that point in time, about some 4.000

9 Croats were expelled.

10 And the only enclave which, at that time,

11 still survived as free living space for the Croats was

12 a part of Kiseljak, part of the municipality of

13 Busovaca, part of the municipality of Vitez, and part

14 of the municipality of Novi Travnik. And during that

15 period of time, the Croat Defence Council could not

16 control any municipality in its entirety.

17 Q. Thank you. Mr. Sljivic, will you tell us,

18 you were present when a delegation headed by Mr. Dario

19 Kordic in 1995 to celebrate the patron saints of the

20 municipality of Kakanj, St. Peter and St. Paul visited

21 the municipality of Kakanj?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. This delegation was received by the leaders

24 of the town of Kakanj, the representatives of both

25 ethnicities, Muslims and Croats?

Page 18743

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Could you tell us, please, do you know what

3 was said on that occasion. What did Mr. Kemal Celebic

4 who, at the time, was the mayor of the municipality of

5 Kakanj, what did he say to Mr. Kordic and the

6 delegation about the cohabitation in the municipality

7 of Kakanj in the early period of time?

8 A. Yes. Well, at some point in the

9 conversation, Mr. Kordic asked about the state of

10 affairs in Kakanj. Mr. Celebic said well, at present,

11 the state of affairs is not good, but that the

12 municipality of Kakanj before the conflict was

13 organised in an exemplary manner in an manner that

14 could serve as an example to all the other

15 municipalities in the Federation. And that joint life

16 and cohabitation were possible until connections with

17 Sarajevo were established. That is, until the attack

18 was carried out against the Croats in the municipality

19 of Kakanj.

20 Q. What was meant by this was that this action

21 and what happened in the municipality of Kakanj wasn't

22 only the product of the operation of the local forces

23 of the Bosnia-Herzegovina army; is that so?

24 A. It is. Even though the extremist parts of

25 Kakanj units also took part in the attacks. But I am

Page 18744

1 confident that the action was neither conceived nor

2 organised in Kakanj, that it all came from outside.

3 Q. You are mentioning the units of the army of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina which were billeted in Kakanj.

5 Could you tell us which were the units which were there

6 before this big offensive in June of 1993?

7 A. Yes, 309th Mountain Brigade which was in --

8 which was accommodated in the centre of the town in the

9 elementary school, 305th Brigade which was defeated in

10 Jajce. Part of it came to Kakanj, I don't know where

11 the other part of it went. And then the Lasva

12 Detachment and it was a special unit of the 7th Muslim

13 brigade from Zenica. Black Swans, and that was a

14 special purpose unit of the 1st Corps of the BH army

15 covering the region of Sarajevo.

16 Units of the ministry of the tira rodez

17 centre [phoen], public security centre units in the

18 municipality of Kakanj, and the Territorial Defence

19 staff which had its local units in villages and also

20 organised forces in the town itself.

21 Q. Tell us, please, do you remember if there

22 were also some parts of the Krajina brigade there, that

23 is the 305th Brigade?

24 A. People used to call it the Krajina Brigade,

25 but I think at the time it was in Jajce that was not

Page 18745

1 its name, but when they arrived in the municipality of

2 Kakanj, I saw in some documents that it was the 305th

3 or the Krajina Brigade.

4 Q. Thank you. And to bring your testimony to a

5 close, in October, 1993 or to be more specific on the

6 17th of October, you left Vares and went to a refugee

7 camp towards Kiseljak?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. I didn't mean you only but I also meant your

10 family and thousands of other Kakanj inhabitants?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And as -- and then in 1994, you moved from

13 Capljina, which is a town in Bosnia-Herzegovina, to

14 Bjelovar in the Republic of Croatia, and there you

15 worked as a mechanical engineer for a period of time?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. However you went back to Bosnia-Herzegovina

18 and as of 199 -- and between 1995 and 1998, you were a

19 councilman in the municipal hall of the Kakanj

20 municipality, weren't you?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And likewise in 1995, you were elected also

23 the deputy in Zupania, Zenica and Doboj?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Mr. Sljivic you are again a member of the

Page 18746

1 federal parliament of Bosnia-Herzegovina, aren't you?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. As of mid-1995, you been living as a refugee

4 in Pocitelj, the municipality of in Capljina, that is a

5 town in the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina; is that

6 so?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. In the civil war, you were also wounded, you

9 are a war veteran and you are receiving a disability

10 benefit, disability allowance?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. And my last question, Mr. Sljivic, as of

13 September, 1992, that is between September 1992 until

14 the end of 1993, did you ever see Mr. Kordic in Kakanj?

15 A. In this statement that I signed, I stated

16 exactly when and under what were the circumstances

17 under which I saw Dario Kordic. In other words, I saw

18 Dario in May, 1995. 1995. I was not seeing him

19 during -- in that period of time.

20 Q. Very well. Thank you Mr. Sljivic. Your

21 Honours, this ends my examination-in-chief.

22 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Mr. Cerkez's

23 Defence has no questions, Your Honours.

24 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:

25 Q. I think partly because of the transcript and

Page 18747

1 because of the rapidity with which you speak, it is not

2 clear to me, Mr. Sljivic, where are you currently

3 residing and whom do you represent in the BiH assembly

4 today?

5 A. I live in Pocetelj now which is a place in

6 the municipality of Capljina because I was expelled

7 from the municipality of Kakanj, and I represent the

8 Croat Democratic Union in the federal parliament of

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

10 Q. And which particular constituency are you

11 representing, are you representing the constituency

12 from Pocetelj or from Kakanj, or whom do you represent,

13 who elected you?

14 A. The Croat Democratic Union is a political

15 party organised throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina and I was

16 nominated by the municipality of Kakanj. I was put on

17 the roster in the past elections for the parliament of

18 the federation and I won enough votes to win a seat in

19 the parliament.

20 Q. But where are the Croats of Kakanj, are they

21 in Kakanj?

22 A. Croats live from Kakanj to Australia. In

23 Kakanj, at the moment, there are about 4500 Croats,

24 4.500 Croats. In the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina,

25 there are about 9.000 and the rest are -- some in

Page 18748

1 Europe, some in overseas countries.

2 Q. Well, are you representing yourself to be a

3 representative of the -- an exiled group of people, is

4 that how you have described yourself?

5 A. No. I'm a refugee because I was expelled,

6 not because I wanted it to be. I am not at home, only

7 because I have no home because everything's been burned

8 down, destroyed, expelled, dispersed. I am a lawful

9 national of Bosnia-Herzegovina and as such, I represent

10 all the citizens of the municipality of Kakanj. Not

11 the refugees, not the expellees, but those who have

12 lived there.

13 Q. But are there still Croats in Kakanj and, if

14 so, how many, and whom are you representing among

15 them?

16 A. I already told you. In Kakanj, there are

17 about 4.500 Croats. And, in part, they remained during

18 the conflict and the majority has been returning over

19 these past years through the negotiation of the

20 International Community.

21 Q. Could you possibly explain, I will not bother

22 introducing it, but there was an ECMM document provided

23 from the 15th of February 1996 and I shall simply read

24 it, and perhaps you can explain the notion of a

25 municipality in exile. The author of this document

Page 18749

1 said that "Today, an important meeting took place for

2 the future of Doboj."

3 MR. SAYERS: Could we have the exhibit number

4 please?

5 MS. SOMERS: I'm not going to submit it as an

6 exhibit. If you'd like, I would be more than happy to

7 put it on the ELMO.

8 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps put it on the ELMO. It

9 would simplify the matter.

10 MS. SOMERS: Perhaps that would be easier.

11 Q. Do you read English, Mr. Sljivic?

12 A. No.

13 Q. Then the parts that I'm -- I'd like some

14 explanation on, if you can provide it please, or -- it

15 says that the operative here was surprised that,

16 "Mr. Pavo Sljivic, president of the municipality of

17 Kakanj in exile and Mr. Lozancic," but the question I'm

18 asking really is what is it to be a president of a

19 community in exile? On what are you basing your power

20 source? How are you representing this community?

21 JUDGE MAY: Well, I think the first question

22 for the witness has to be this: According to this

23 document, you are described as president of the

24 municipality of Kakanj in exile.

25 Now, Mr. Sljivic, did you ever describe

Page 18750

1 yourself in that way?

2 A. Your Honours, if you have this document in

3 Croatian, I would need it because I really have to see

4 the context. I do not understand it. I cannot read it

5 in English, so that I do not know the context in which

6 this is mentioned.

7 JUDGE MAY: The context doesn't matter at

8 all. It's merely this: Did you ever describe yourself

9 as president of the municipality of Kakanj in exile?

10 A. Yes.

11 JUDGE MAY: Well, perhaps you'd like to

12 explain what you meant by that.

13 A. I mean that I was the mayor of the

14 municipality in exile.

15 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] You tell us,

16 you are telling us that you were the mayor, the

17 municipal mayor of Kakanj in exile. Does that mean

18 that you consider yourself the legitimate mayor of

19 Kakanj at the moment, and the mayor, whoever he is at

20 the moment, is not the legitimate mayor?

21 A. I did not say that I say the town mayor. I

22 was the president of the municipality.

23 [Trial Chamber confers]?

24 A. If I say, the organisation of the civilian

25 authorities after Dayton was organised through the

Page 18751

1 president of the council, and that is not the executive

2 power, that is the legislative power, and I was still

3 lawfully elected president, that is, the municipal

4 mayor, both of those who still reside there and those

5 who are in exile.

6 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, may I continue or

7 is there some --



10 Q. Perhaps -- and again I find this a little

11 perplexing and I think you could maybe help me

12 understand it, but you indicated some 4.500 Croats are

13 still in Kakanj. I have not --

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. -- seen any news of massive onslaughts of

16 atrocities today. Why are you not living in Kakanj if

17 you are representing the Kakanj population as an

18 assembly person?

19 A. Perhaps you're not following the news. You

20 may have not followed them recently.

21 I can tell you that from 13th of June, 1993,

22 when the majority of the Kakanj population was driven

23 out to the territory of Vares municipality, 30

24 civilians were killed, mostly women and elderly men,

25 age 50 to 80, who on their own tried to return to the

Page 18752

1 Kakanj municipality and move back into their

2 properties. At that time, about 30 chapels and 30

3 cemeteries were destroyed. About 2.500 homes were

4 destroyed, and --

5 Q. Excuse me. I need a direct answer to the

6 question. If Kakanj is safe enough in the year 2000

7 for 4.500 Croats who you say live there, why are you

8 not there if you're representing the Croats there, or

9 are these people traitors? What is the issue?

10 A. I never said that it was fully safe. I no

11 longer have a house in the Kakanj municipality, I have

12 no money, and the house where I lived has been

13 completely destroyed. I have no intention of living

14 under a tent, because I have a wife and three children

15 who are of school age. And I believe that the times as

16 they are now, which we consider to be civilised and we

17 should all live in a civilised way, I think we should

18 not go -- touch on people's feelings. I have been a

19 refugee for almost ten years now.

20 Q. I'm sorry. When you went to Pocetelj, did

21 you have a house there? Did you not have to start all

22 over again there?

23 A. No, I do not live in my own house. I live in

24 the house of -- people who were displaced from

25 Pocetelj, they are in -- they live in Sarajevo, and

Page 18753

1 unfortunately he too -- or they are refugees.

2 Q. But as a member of the assembly of BiH, are

3 you suggesting that the provisions of Dayton, which you

4 are sworn to uphold, which encourage return, you are

5 not availing yourself of?

6 A. Your Honours, with your permission, I have to

7 make a correction here. I am not a member of the BiH

8 parliament. I am a representative of the Federal

9 parliament. Bosnia-Herzegovina is composed of two

10 entities, the Federation and the Republika Srpska. I

11 am a representative of the House of Representatives of

12 the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

13 And could you please repeat the question for

14 me now?

15 Q. Yes. And I'm correcting it, indicating that

16 you were a member of the -- a representative of the

17 House of Representatives of the Federation. My

18 question is: Why are you not fulfilling the conditions

19 of Dayton, which you are mandated to do, and return to

20 your own location?

21 A. I am fulfilling all the conditions from

22 Dayton. I did not forcibly enter anybody's house but

23 rather in agreement with the displaced person who did

24 not wish to go back to Pocetelj, and we shall resolve

25 our relations to the best of our interests. And

Page 18754

1 nowhere in the Dayton Accord does it say that as a

2 representative of a party and of an ethnic group, I

3 have to live in a particular area, because I currently

4 reside in Sarajevo, as I am the --

5 Q. I would like to ask you, are you still a

6 representative in the Federation government?

7 A. I'm not -- can we please focus? I am a

8 representative in the Federation parliament. Please do

9 not place me in institutions to which I do not belong.

10 Q. Excuse me. It's my fault for using a term

11 that's a bit Anglicised. But are you still a member of

12 the Federation parliament?

13 A. Yes, I am.

14 Q. And what was the result of -- maybe you can

15 explain the arrests that occurred.

16 I would like to ask the usher to distribute

17 2499.1, Z2499.1.

18 What has been distributed, Mr. Sljivic, is a

19 document from the BBC summary of world broadcasts,

20 dated 20 November 1998, referring to a low date of 19

21 November 1998, and the very last paragraph mentions:

22 "The House of Representatives also bound the

23 Federation to prepare an integral report for the next

24 session of the recent arrests --"

25 THE INTERPRETER: Could you either slow down,

Page 18755

1 please, or have it put on the ELMO?

2 MS. SOMERS: I beg your pardon. Perhaps it

3 would help to have it on the ELMO. I'll wait until

4 it's on.

5 Q. "The House of Representatives also bound the

6 Federation government to prepare an integral report for

7 the next session on the recent arrests of a member of

8 parliament of the Croatian Democratic Union of

9 Bosnia-Herzegovina HDZ-BiH, Pavo Sljivic, and of the

10 main Muslim Party of Democratic Action, SDA, Omar

11 Cevro." I'm not sure of the pronunciation.

12 Can you explain what this is about, and did

13 it have any impact on your remaining in parliament?

14 A. Your Honours, before I answer this question,

15 this document is meaningless to me because I cannot

16 read English. I don't know the full context of it,

17 but --

18 JUDGE MAY: Don't worry about these

19 documents. It doesn't matter about the document. Were

20 you, in November 1998, arrested?

21 A. Yes.

22 JUDGE MAY: Now, Ms. Somers, is this going to

23 help us, after all, in our case, to know what this was

24 all about in 1998?

25 MS. SOMERS: Your Honour, I think it would

Page 18756

1 help us to know as to credibility and as to -- yes, I

2 think it would. I would like to ask the witness to

3 discuss the nature of the arrest, please.

4 JUDGE MAY: Well, briefly. What were you

5 arrested for?

6 A. I would have preferred for this document to

7 be in the Croatian language so that I could read it.

8 As the representative of the parliament, I have

9 immunity.

10 JUDGE MAY: Listen just for a moment. I've

11 told you that it doesn't matter what the document

12 says. It doesn't say anything except that you were

13 arrested, so you needn't trouble about that.

14 Now, then you were saying you've got

15 immunity. Do you want to tell us about the arrest or

16 do you wish not to?

17 A. I would just say the following: As a

18 representative of the House of Representatives, I asked

19 why I was arrested at the border crossing at Izacic

20 when I was trying to cross over into Croatia, and the

21 parliament sent this request on to the government in

22 order for the government to investigate why this was

23 done and report back to the parliament who and why

24 arrested me. So I myself initiated the inquiry into

25 why this arrest was carried out unlawfully.

Page 18757


2 Q. Mr. Sljivic, you did not initiate the arrest,

3 I take it. Are you at liberty, under the terms of your

4 immunity, to discuss the allegation?

5 A. I -- there was no allegations. They just

6 held me there for one night, and then I was released.

7 I don't know why I was arrested. Precisely because I

8 did not know why I was arrested, I proposed that the

9 parliament demand of the government to conduct an

10 investigation and find what the reasons were.

11 Q. [Previous interpretation continues]... with

12 Mr. Cevro at that time?

13 A. No, Mr. Cevro was arrested in Capljina, and I

14 was arrested in Izacic.

15 JUDGE MAY: Let us move on. I don't think

16 we're going to get anywhere with this.


18 Q. On the issue generally of difficulties with

19 various governments, there was a matter that arose in

20 April of 1993 that I did not see elaborated upon in

21 your history in the Kakanj municipal government, and it

22 is first covered in a milinfosum which would be Z904.2,

23 with the annex, I believe, 904.3. I would ask for

24 distribution, please.

25 The entire document, I'm informed, is 904.2,

Page 18758

1 and I'm looking only at the annex, annex A at the back,

2 please. Perhaps we could put it on the ELMO, if it's

3 not too difficult. Just the annex part I think would

4 be sufficient, which would be essentially the last page

5 of the document.

6 This is a milinfosum, as you know, compiled

7 by members of the International Community, and there is

8 a reference under number 2 to "Blasko Pavlovic". Do

9 you know Blasko Pavlovic?

10 A. Yes.

11 Q. Next to the name is an entry which says:

12 "HDZ leader (and president of the HVO)

13 replaced Pavo Sljivic at the end of April 1993, with

14 the latter reputedly dismissed for corruption and black

15 marketeering."

16 Now, there is an additional document that

17 seems to capture some of this, and it is from the

18 12th -- excuse me. It may not be something that I need

19 to attempt to submit, although it is in English. It

20 would be from the 12th of -- I'm sorry, the 24th of

21 March, 1993. I don't know if that document has been

22 provided. And if not, I'm happy -- it is in Serbo

23 Croatian. I would be happy to have a copy put on the

24 ELMO, and my copy is free to go to the Court. Or if

25 the Court has no objection, I can just read the

Page 18759

1 relevant passages.

2 I apologise. This should have been marked,

3 and we will attempt to remedy this during the break.

4 Looking at this document, which is dated 24

5 March 1993, I'm interested -- it is signed by Tihomir

6 Blaskic, and it is directed to the attention of Pavo,

7 and it appears from the original that it's you,

8 Sljivic, representative of the Kakanj HVO, and the

9 caption is: "Notice on the measures taken against

10 members of the military police for their conduct and

11 abuse of authority in relation to representatives of

12 the Kakanj HVO." And essentially the second paragraph

13 is of concern, where it says that according to report

14 number such and such of 23 March 1993, received from

15 the commander of the 4th Military Police Battalion, it

16 is clear that the Crime Investigation Group of the 4th

17 Military Police Battalion --"

18 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down,

19 please?

20 MS. SOMERS: I apologise.

21 "... is conducting an investigation into

22 criminal activities of the Kakanj HVO. In order to

23 complete the investigation, an order was issued to

24 restrict the freedom of movement, i.e., to grant it

25 only subject to special approval, to all members of the

Page 18760

1 Kakanj HVO."

2 Essential, it is a recision of that order by

3 Blaskic almost with an apology, given its nature of

4 immunity.

5 There is another document that seems to,

6 close in time, address this issue, which perhaps would

7 make it easier for you to explain what's going on, and

8 that would be a document from 13 --

9 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, if I may, we would

10 like to object to just reading out passages of

11 documents without actually putting them to the --

12 JUDGE MAY: I agree. We can't follow and the

13 witness can't follow. Let us go back to the original

14 allegation, which is in the milinfosum.

15 MS. SOMERS: Okay.

16 JUDGE MAY: Now, Mr. Sljivic, remove --

17 perhaps the usher would be kind enough to remove the

18 other document. We haven't got it in English and we

19 don't want it.

20 The allegation is in this document, it says

21 "reputedly", "I repute". It says you were dismissed

22 as president of the HVO in May 1993 or, rather, the end

23 of April 1993 for corruption and black marketeering.

24 That is the suggestion.

25 First of all, were you, in April 1993,

Page 18761

1 president of the HVO?

2 A. Your Honours, in my signed statement which I

3 believe was provided for -- to the Prosecution, I wrote

4 that in -- that when reappointments were made in the

5 civilian institutions of the HVO Kakanj in April 1993

6 was, Mr. Blasko Pavlovic was selected for president, I

7 became an advisor for the political affairs in

8 Kotromanic Brigade. That was in my statement.

9 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter what's in yours

10 statement. What we want to know is what the truth is.

11 Were you dismissed for corruption and black

12 marketeering?

13 A. No.

14 JUDGE MAY: Were any such allegations made

15 against you, whether they were true or not?

16 A. No.

17 JUDGE MAY: Did you ever hear of such stories

18 being suggested?

19 A. Stories circulate about everybody, not just

20 me.

21 JUDGE MAY: Well, again --

22 MS. SOMERS: May I proceed with another

23 question which may perhaps help us little bit. Again,

24 it is Exhibit Z578.1 which is in both English and

25 Croatian for distribution.

Page 18762

1 A. Your Honours, can I address you in just a

2 couple of words?

3 JUDGE MAY: Just one moment. Let's see what

4 this is.


6 Q. Mr. Sljivic, perhaps if the usher would be

7 kind enough to put the document on the ELMO in

8 Croatian, it would be helpful.

9 This document dated 30th March signed by

10 you -- you divest yourself, you remove yourself from

11 running the treasury of the Kakanj HVO and you

12 essentially turn over these duties to Mr. Franjo Maric,

13 why? What is the reason that you are doing this?

14 A. Because I was no longer in charge of the

15 treasury.

16 Q. And how did that come to be?

17 A. It came -- it followed from my cessation of

18 duty, of the duty at the Kakanj HVO, so anything that

19 the HVO had in its possession, I turned over to the new

20 official.

21 JUDGE ROBINSON: And why did you cease to be

22 president of the HVO?

23 A. Your Honours, perhaps that is the same as why

24 I may no longer be the representative in the parliament

25 in the next election, because I may not get

Page 18763

1 re-elected. So I ceased to be because the

2 representatives who were legally elected decided that

3 they no longer wanted me to lead them, but rather the

4 man by the name of Blasko Pavlovic.


6 Q. Are you saying that Pavlovic was elected and

7 not appointed to cover your position? I'd just like

8 that to be clear because the milinfosum suggests

9 otherwise.

10 A. We have different ways of elections. There

11 are elections at legal, municipal and higher levels and

12 there are elections within the parties and certain

13 bodies, so within a body, members of the body may

14 appoint an official.

15 Q. Then did you stay active in the HVO

16 activities after Mr. Pavlovic became president?

17 A. Yes, I just transferred into the military

18 component of the HVO as the commander's assistant or

19 advisor for political affairs.

20 Q. Was it easy to do that?

21 A. Sorry --

22 Q. I'll rephrase that. Was it difficult to do

23 that?

24 A. Not difficult at all.

25 Q. So going from the civilian side to the

Page 18764

1 military side was not a problem.

2 A. No.

3 Q. If you could possibly just tell me, and we

4 can do it either through -- I'll just ask, you were

5 still active and working with Mr. Pavlovic on HVO

6 matters, is that correct? After you left the position,

7 were you still doing some civilian matters as well?

8 A. No.

9 JUDGE ROBINSON: Let me just ask you

10 something, at the time when you ceased to be President

11 of the HVO, were there allegations at that time that

12 you were involved in corruption and black

13 marketeering. You told us earlier that you heard of

14 such allegations being made.

15 I'm asking whether at the time when you

16 ceased to be president, when you were replaced by

17 Mr. Franjo Maric, were those allegations being made

18 against you?

19 A. Your Honour, such stories, and I'm not

20 talking about the specific allegations, such stories

21 are still in circulation today. The investigation and

22 the order of Mr. Blaskic was also mentioned.

23 JUDGE ROBINSON: [inaudible]

24 A. Of course, yes.


Page 18765

1 Q. If I can ask for one further point for

2 clarification before the break.

3 Mr. Sljivic exactly, and I mean a date,

4 exactly when did you stop being the president of the

5 HVO Kakanj?

6 A. 17 April, 1993.

7 MS. SOMERS: Your Honours, if this is a

8 convenient moment to stop.

9 JUDGE MAY: Ms. Somers, as far as I am

10 concerned, you can take it fairly shortly after the

11 break.

12 MS. SOMERS: Thank you, Your Honour. There

13 are a couple of points I'd like to make about the

14 relationships.

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll adjourn now.

16 Mr. Sljivic, during the adjournment, which

17 will be for half an hour, don't speak to anyone,

18 please, about your evidence and don't let anybody speak

19 to you until it's over about it, and that does include

20 members of the Defence team. Yes, we'll be back,

21 please, half past 11.00?

22 A. Yes, I understand.

23 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.

24 --- On resuming at 11.38 a.m.


Page 18766

1 Q. Mr. Sljivic, the initial summary which the

2 Defence provided to the Prosecution indicated that

3 heavy emphasis would be placed on your attesting to the

4 absence of influence of Dario Kordic in the

5 municipality of Kakanj. However, your testimony seems

6 to be quite the opposite, and I wanted to ask, please,

7 if you can describe your relationship, in a word, with

8 Dario Kordic. Would you describe it as one of mentor,

9 or were you a political admirer? Please help us.

10 A. When it comes to my relationship with

11 Mr. Kordic and his influence on the overall

12 developments in the territory of the municipality of

13 Kakanj, this is best attested to not by my statement

14 but by the statement of Mr. Celebic, who was the mayor

15 of the municipality of Kakanj, and at that time --

16 Q. Excuse me, but I'm asking you about your

17 relationship with Dario Kordic; not anybody else's,

18 yours.

19 A. In 1992, at the very beginning when all the

20 roads for normal assault communication were blocked,

21 then the population of the municipality of Kakanj had

22 to face up to the problem as to how to survive the

23 winter. During that period of time, for the citizens

24 of the municipality of Kakanj, I managed to ensure,

25 through the extraordinary help of Mr. Kordic and partly

Page 18767

1 myself, where I could manage, to provide seed for

2 the sowing season, fuel, whatever else was needed to

3 feed the population, because at that time humanitarian

4 organisations were not yet adequately represented in

5 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, so that every

6 municipality had to fend for itself.

7 Q. Are you suggesting that Kordic assisted your

8 municipality in getting humanitarian aid?

9 A. Yes. Yes, in part humanitarian aid, through

10 finished products and, in part, through seed stock for

11 potatoes and other crops.

12 Q. When you said, "In 1992, at the very

13 beginning," can you please pinpoint a month?

14 A. Roughly, it could have been April or May

15 1992.

16 MS. SOMERS: Would the usher please

17 distribute -- well, we can put it back up on the ELMO.

18 It was previously admitted, Z87. I'm sorry, it was

19 not. I thought it was. Z87. It is both in Croatian

20 and in English. I apologise for no French translation

21 at this time. May I ask for it also to be on the ELMO

22 to assist -- possibly assist the interpreters.

23 Q. Mr. Sljivic, you're looking at a decision

24 issued under the hand of Dario Kordic on 3rd of May,

25 1992. This is the decision which appoints you as the

Page 18768

1 head of the HVO in Kakanj. It's also to be noted it

2 indicates that the Main Staff of the Croatian Community

3 Herceg-Bosna has backed this appointment. Why you?

4 A. I was the lawfully-elected councilman in the

5 municipal hall of Kakanj. Therefore, my legitimacy,

6 the lawfulness of this, were confirmed by the lawful

7 multi-party elections. And I presume that when people

8 nominated me for this post, in addition to all other

9 qualities that an individual might have, I suppose this

10 was yet another quality, that I was both a legitimate

11 and lawful representative of people in the area.

12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,

13 Mrs. Somers. I'd like to put this question to the

14 witness: Here we have in front of us a decision from

15 the Croatian Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and

16 apparently this decision appoints Mr. Pavo Sljivic to

17 the position of president. I'd like to know whether he

18 was appointed to the position of president of the HVO

19 in Kakanj, so I'd like to ask the witness how he reads

20 item 2 in this decision; Roman II, possibly. In other

21 words, did Mr. Kordic have the authority, the necessary

22 authority, to appoint him to the position of HVO

23 president in Kakanj?

24 A. Your Honours, I apologise. I can't really

25 see it well on the monitor, so could I look at the --

Page 18769

1 could I have the original to see what it says? Oh, I

2 have it. I see, I see, it's here.

3 Under item 2 of the decision, it says the

4 president of the HVO of the municipality of Kakanj was

5 designated by the president of the HVO, the Croatian

6 Community Herceg-Bosna. At that time, the president of

7 the Croatian Community Herceg-Bosna was Mr. Mate Boban,

8 and the vice-president, as far as I can remember, was

9 Mr. Kordic, so that I see nothing questionable in this

10 decision.

11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Is it normal

12 for this decision to be signed by Mr. Kordic?

13 A. No, it is not common. I mean 99 per cent of

14 all the cases, it must have been signed by Mr. Boban,

15 and now I really cannot remember the circumstances and

16 why this is so. If you asked me, "Who signed this

17 decision," I would have answered you, "Mr. Boban."

18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Well, my

19 question is as follows: Does this mean that Mr. Kordic

20 signed this decision in his capacity as HVO authority?

21 A. I cannot really affirm with certainty which

22 office Mr. Kordic held at the time, but I am positive

23 that whenever I asked for help to provide the people in

24 the municipality of Kakanj with basic necessities,

25 people usually instructed me -- in the absence of

Page 18770

1 Mr. Boban and his associates, people sometimes told me

2 to go to Mr. Kordic.


4 Q. So given the rather special relationship that

5 appears between you and Mr. Kordic, if he were to come

6 to Kakanj, would you consider this an event of

7 significance?

8 A. Mr. Kordic came to Kakanj only for religious

9 holidays, that is, for the patron saints of

10 municipalities, for anniversaries. And on such

11 occasions, I already mentioned in my statement that one

12 of the occasions was the marking the celebration of St.

13 Peter and St. Paul, the patron saints of the Kakanj

14 province.

15 Q. Well, what patron saint had a special day on

16 the 30th of September 1992? Let me ask you first, set

17 the stage a little bit so I don't take you by

18 surprise. There was a meeting, actually it was in

19 Bobovac Kraljeva Sutjeska on the 30th of September 1992

20 involving essentially all of the Presidency of the

21 Kakanj HVO. Do you recall that?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. Were you there?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. The exhibit number for this, which I would

Page 18771

1 ask the Court to consider. It has been already

2 admitted. It is Z229, but it is a very important

3 document.

4 This meeting, oddly, does not have your name

5 in the roster of those present but if you say you were

6 there, it would be logical.

7 A. I have to see the document. It could be

8 something else.

9 Q. Do you recall the meeting that is the subject

10 of this document? At the end it is "Dopredsjednik HVO

11 Pero Ruzic" who signed, but do you recall the meeting?

12 A. I chaired this meeting, but Dario Kordic did

13 not attend this meeting, and Zvonko Duznovic did not

14 attend it. Mr. Anto Pejcinovic was there.

15 And the event that I said I attended was the

16 mass celebrated at Stari Grad Bobovac where Bosnian

17 kings had their seed, and that was in the May, I think,

18 1992.

19 And I claim full responsibility that I

20 chaired this meeting as the HVO president, and that

21 neither Mr. Kordic nor Mr. Duznovic was present at that

22 meeting.

23 Q. Well, I must confess then that it is

24 surprise; that there is extensive dialogues between

25 Dario Kordic or his alter ego and a number of members

Page 18772

1 of the Kakanj municipality.

2 Now, if you are saying that Mr. Kordic was

3 not there, I'm afraid I'd probably have to challenge

4 that or ask you to explain why this meeting is the

5 subject -- represents so much angst on the various

6 members of the municipality of Kakanj who are

7 apparently unable to get direction to know whether to

8 go with their Muslim cohabitants or to take a different

9 path.

10 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness answer the

11 question.

12 MS. SOMERS: Certainly.

13 JUDGE MAY: Just read the document. Can you

14 refer him to some references.

15 MS. SOMERS: Yes, of course. On your page in

16 Croatian on page two, where it says, it says at the

17 bottom, it has a Kordic quote. It will probably be in

18 the English also page two. Yes, it would be, "I would

19 like to greet you all but it would not be wise for me

20 to give a speech at the start. I would like everybody

21 to participate with at least two or three sentences and

22 then I will make suggestions at the end."

23 JUDGE MAY: Now, just read that passage and

24 then the following passage in which Mr. Kordic is

25 quoted as saying, "This meeting was agreed only

Page 18773

1 yesterday in Vares." Just read through that.

2 Now Mr. Sljivic, having read that, do you

3 think, in fact, it may be possible that Mr. Kordic was

4 at the meeting?

5 A. I can affirm that such minutes, that the HVO

6 in Kakanj never wrote such a long record of a meeting,

7 such a long one, in so many pages, and with all these


9 I claim to you, and I am under oath, that

10 such a meeting with -- that one of such a meetings with

11 these participants was chaired by me, and at the

12 invitation only Mr. Anto Pejcinovic accepted the

13 invitation, the HVO president in Vares.

14 This is the first time I've seen this. You

15 can ask me anything you like about this, but I cannot

16 comment on it nor -- and I cannot say anything about

17 the contents of this as this is the first time I see

18 this.

19 JUDGE MAY: Why do you think, then, that this

20 document could be in the form that it is if Mr. Kordic

21 was in fact not at the meeting at all?

22 A. I am sorry, I didn't quite understand the

23 question.

24 JUDGE MAY: Why do you think that it is in

25 the form which it is, that is, with extensive quotation

Page 18774

1 from Mr. Kordic if he was not present, as you say, at

2 the meeting?

3 A. I do not know. I cannot answer that. I know

4 that when I -- I was the president of the Croat Defence

5 Council and without my knowledge, nobody could arrange

6 such a meeting. And I see here that everybody's name

7 is mentioned here but my own.


9 Q. Is it possible, then, that you were not --

10 that you were not at the meeting? There is a passage

11 on page three in English and let me see if it's on --

12 where it would be -- which says essentially, "I, from

13 Branko Pendic..."

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. "I have just received information that the

16 president is in Zagreb and could not go to Germany."

17 And then Mr. Kordic makes a response.

18 Now, it's unclear which president is referred

19 to. Is it possible, in your opinion, that you were not

20 at this meeting, that you may have confused it with

21 another meeting and Mr. Ruzic, your vice president, the

22 deputy president, covered for you?

23 A. At that time , I could not even get through

24 to Zagreb because it was very difficult to do that.

25 One had to take a helicopter and used all sorts of

Page 18775

1 channels to get through, and I wasn't even thinking of

2 going to Germany at the time, nor could I go and to get

3 stuck in Zagreb.

4 Q. Perhaps I may suggest to you that perhaps

5 your memory is failing you but -- or else everyone

6 else's words were concocted. But on the assumption

7 that this meeting did take place, and with the

8 Chamber's permission, because I think it is important

9 to raise these points, it is an admitted document.

10 I would just like to ask if any of the

11 content and just a few points, was discussed with you

12 later or if you agree with some of the points that were

13 raised at this meeting of a number of persons from

14 Kakanj and Vares and which meeting suggests a great

15 concern for the future of the municipality.

16 Do you recall anyone ever telling you if you

17 didn't hear it yourself that Kordic said, on page three

18 of the document, "There is no more waiting for the

19 Croatian people. We should withdraw our

20 representatives from the legal municipal government and

21 form our own."

22 Do you recall that?

23 A. Regarding the concern of the Croatian

24 population in Kakanj municipality, it existed at that

25 time as it continues to exist to date.

Page 18776

1 What I say is that I led one of these

2 meetings and we discussed a very difficult situation of

3 the Croatian population in Kakanj because of the large

4 number of refugees from eastern Bosnia which we had in

5 Kakanj and because of the encirclement that we were

6 in.

7 It wasn't only the Kakanj HVO that was

8 concerned with that, but also the representatives of

9 the Muslim population were concerned about this

10 disruption of balance of the population so the concern

11 was there.

12 Q. Thank you. But if you read the list of

13 attendees, I see no Muslim names or representatives

14 here, and the issue was not encirclement, the issue in

15 this document is what is Kakanj supposed to do about

16 it's future in the HZ HB, and that is the issue. How

17 to survive, whether to revert to previous relationships

18 with Muslims or to go forward.

19 And I turn your attention, please look in

20 English, it would be on page four. The gentleman's

21 name Franjo Maric to whom you turned over the treasury

22 duties in 1993, Mr. Maric is quoted in English on page

23 four about -- he's making a reference to parity and the

24 notion of parity is dealt with by Mr. Kordic right

25 below. Let me quote, "The SDA," by Maric, "The SDA is

Page 18777

1 prepared to divide the commercial property on the basis

2 of parity, but there will be problems with the physical

3 division."

4 And Kordic says, "Parity will make us a part

5 of the Muslim community. There is no more parity

6 because they will take over in one or two years because

7 in that way, you recognise the Muslim ethnic

8 community. That is a political decision. They depend

9 on us. They don't have to go through Vitez and

10 Kiseljak to Croatia, but they shall not go through if

11 they do not permit a Croatian municipality. That means

12 they have to beg us, because they can't reach Ploce.

13 They beg us, not the other way around, because you do

14 not go to Europe through Pale."

15 Excuse me, I'm being pointed out, it should

16 read, "They have to go through Vitez," not, "they don't

17 have to go through Vitez."

18 Further down, Mr. Kordic also says, "It is a

19 question of time," this is point number four under the

20 Dario Kordic quote. "It is a question of time whether

21 we will take or give up what is ours. It has been

22 written down that Vares and Kakanj are in the HZ

23 Herceg-Bosna. The Muslims are losing morale and then

24 it will end with"give us what you will." All refugees

25 want to go to Central Bosnia. Let them settle in the

Page 18778

1 Muslim municipality."

2 The last point on that page, Mr. Kordic says,

3 "We have to destroy them economically." A comment.

4 Are you familiar with any of the dialogue that is

5 recorded on these pages? Was it brought to your

6 attention if, in fact, you were not there? Was it

7 brought to your attention as president of the HVO?

8 A. I remembered the part that talks about the

9 parity, that is, the establishment of power in the

10 Kakanj municipality. That was a maximum, perhaps even

11 more, in terms of the conditions of the Croatian

12 population in their negotiations with the Muslim side.

13 As it is written here, this would mean a

14 suicide for the Croatian people if anyone was to

15 advocate this passage that was quoted. In this case,

16 we did not need the HVO. It would be just signing off

17 on a disaster for the Croatian population, and the

18 Croatian government did not work against its own

19 people.

20 We were driven out not because we were trying

21 to occupy 200.000 Muslims, the 16.000 of us in Kakanj,

22 but the 200.000 Muslims wiped out all Croatian villages

23 in the territory of Kakanj municipality.

24 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you, but not at

25 the time of this meeting. What you are telling us was

Page 18779

1 not the prevailing set of circumstances at the time of

2 this meeting, was it, was it?

3 A. You are trying to make me answer questions

4 about events which did not exist, and I was not present

5 there, so if I say that I don't know something, and if

6 I wasn't there, and if I said I was at a similar

7 meeting, you should respect that.

8 Q. Do you agree with Mr. Kordic's assertion,

9 which is found in English on page 2 of this document,

10 where he says -- it says:

11 "The situation in Kakanj is specific.

12 Relationships are strained by the activities of the HVO

13 OS, which developed from the idea of the Croatian

14 people in Kakanj."

15 THE INTERPRETER: Can you slow down, please?


17 Q. "There were also problems in the way the

18 Croatian people were organised, and all this

19 contributed to problems and weakness in the civil

20 authorities because," and this is the part I would like

21 to emphasise, "working in Kakanj is not like working in

22 Busovaca. That is why the legal authorities functioned

23 and they were Muslim. All this complicated relations.

24 The people from Kakanj came and asked, 'What should we

25 do?'" Do you agree with that?

Page 18780

1 A. I couldn't find in time the page. It's

2 page 4, as far as I could follow your quote. Was this

3 page 2 or page 4, please?

4 Q. In English, it was page 4. It is most likely

5 page 3, but I'd like to move on.

6 JUDGE MAY: I don't think we're being helped

7 by this. You can make your points in due course in

8 comment --

9 MS. SOMERS: I certainly will.

10 JUDGE MAY: -- but the answers are not

11 necessarily assisting us.

12 MS. SOMERS: Thank you very much. I shall

13 move on to another point.

14 We will leave this document, and the points

15 in it, of course, are points that it is the position of

16 the Prosecution, of course, that this is a legitimate

17 [transcript read in error "illegitimate"] meeting, Your

18 Honour, and we'll proceed accordingly.

19 Q. You mentioned that -- you called yourself a

20 refugee from Kakanj. Can I ask you this, before I ask

21 you a little bit more about your definition of

22 "refugee": Which constitutive or constituent nation

23 did you view as the enemy, as it were, requiring

24 defence in 1992 and up until mid-1993?

25 I'm sorry. Pardon me for interrupting you,

Page 18781

1 Mr. Sljivic, but the transcript reads "this is an

2 illegitimate meeting". It should read "legitimate

3 meeting". I beg your pardon.

4 Did you follow my question? If not, I shall

5 repeat it.

6 A. I followed the question. Your Honour, just a

7 correction, Your Honours.

8 There are two categories, Your Honours.

9 There is a displaced person and there is a refugee. I

10 am a displaced person because I stayed within Bosnia

11 and Herzegovina. Refugees are those who have left the

12 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

13 And as far as the constituent population

14 against whom we needed to defend ourselves in early

15 1992, it was clear that the Croatian Defence Council

16 and ABiH both defended themselves against the so-called

17 Yugoslav People's Army, which in my judgement carried

18 out an aggression against the integral State of

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

20 Q. Are you suggesting it is the Serb segment of

21 the JNA? In other words, if I had to ask you for

22 whether it was Serb, Croat, or Muslim, you would select

23 the term "Serb" as the enemy?

24 A. "Serbs" mean a people. They were a people.

25 In this conflict, we cannot condemn any people.

Page 18782

1 Q. Fair enough. Was the Bosnian Serb --

2 A. They were members of the Serbian people.

3 Q. Thank you. And it was the Bosnian Serb army

4 that was the embodiment of this particular enemy?

5 Would you say that's a fair classification?

6 A. Yes.

7 Q. When you left Kakanj, what was your route?

8 A. I went through the woods. I did not use

9 roads. There were no roads in many areas.

10 Q. How did you get to your next place of -- your

11 next destination, which was what? Where were you

12 actually headed? What was your goal to get to at the

13 time?

14 A. If you want to know about the populated

15 areas, that was Poljanice, which was predominantly

16 inhabited by Croats, the village of Lucici--

17 Q. I'm sorry. That wasn't the question. Where

18 were you headed for? You were leaving Kakanj for

19 where? What was your destination?

20 A. Vares.

21 Q. Who is Anto Pejcinovic? Do you know him?

22 A. Yes.

23 MS. SOMERS: I would like to ask the usher,

24 please, to distribute Exhibit Z1110. It is in both

25 English and Croatian. I'm informed it was part of the

Page 18783

1 outstanding exhibits. Therefore, it should be

2 contained in the binder. But I would appreciate it

3 being exhibited on the ELMO as well.

4 Q. What you have in front of you is a document

5 signed by Anto Pejcinovic, and again can you please

6 indicate how you know Pejcinovic?

7 A. Pejcinovic was the president of the municipal

8 assembly, that is, the Vares HVO. That was the only

9 neighbouring municipality with which we had open

10 communication lines, so I know him from those contacts.

11 Q. This document, dated 25th of July, 1993, and

12 signed by Anto Pejcinovic, reads: "For the attention of

13 the army of the Republika Srpska." Now, is that the

14 Bosnian Serb army we've just discussed?

15 A. Correct, yes.

16 Q. Excuse me for interrupting you. He

17 requests -- the request is to enable passage for

18 refugees. It doesn't say "displaced persons", it says

19 "refugees", and it says: "We are writing to you to

20 request that you allow five of our buses carrying 335

21 refugees to leave the territory of Kakanj municipality

22 and travel on the --" let's see. Is it --


24 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.

25 Q. " ... Kobiljaca road to Kiseljak in order to

Page 18784

1 find accommodation. Please find enclosed a list of

2 people who will be travelling on the buses.

3 "We thank you in advance, hoping that you

4 will meet our requirements and provide the required

5 escort."

6 And it is signed by Anto Pejcinovic as

7 president of the HVO, Vares municipality, indeed a

8 similar to the one you once held in Kakanj.

9 Looking behind the document to the

10 attachments in English on page -- well, it would end in

11 "0388", but it is item number 112, and it should be

12 listed as 112 in the Croatian as well. You are listed,

13 you and your family are listed; is that correct? Do

14 you recall -- I'm sorry, is that a "yes"?

15 A. I don't recall exactly this list, but I know

16 that all displaced persons from Vares crossed into

17 Kiseljak through the territory controlled by the BSA en

18 route to Herzegovina; Stolac, Capljina and other

19 points.

20 But if this refers to the same date, because

21 I see that the attachment has been signed as a separate

22 document, not as an enclosure to this document, I left

23 Vares on 17 October 1993, again through the territory

24 controlled by the BSA to the territory of Kiseljak, and

25 I went there as a soldier.

Page 18785

1 Q. Whether you initially were scheduled to go on

2 this particular trip or another I think is probably not

3 central to the point. The point is you not only

4 crossed through Serb territory, Pejcinovic asked that

5 you be escorted, escorted through Serb territory,

6 territory which is, as you explained, enemy territory.

7 Can you possibly explain how this came to be?

8 A. The escort was asked and received. The buses

9 passed through. We reached our destination. Now, how

10 this was done, if I'm not interrupted, I could clarify

11 in some detail.

12 In Kakanj, there were about 8.000 Serbs.

13 Croatian people and the HVO were never hostile towards

14 this ethnic group because they felt that they were not

15 a threat to the Croatian population of Kakanj. So by

16 leaving them alone, the members of the Kakanj HVO still

17 went to help out at the front line in Jajce, Teslic,

18 and other areas where the territory of the current

19 Federation was under an attack by the Bosnian Serb

20 forces. Those members of the Serbian population who

21 were armed, they were our enemy, and the others were

22 regular, honest citizens, just like everyone else.

23 Q. Is that your explanation? Is that your

24 explanation?

25 A. So given that at one point the HVO protected

Page 18786

1 this population which lived in seven or eight villages

2 in the Kakanj municipality, probably as a

3 counter-favour the leadership of the Republika Srpska

4 allowed the Croatian population to pass through their

5 territory, fleeing from the Bosnian Muslim forces.

6 It may look as a paradox, but when a part of

7 our troops arrived in the Stolac territory, they again

8 joined in the battle against the forces of Bosnian

9 Serbs. It may seem a little bit illogical, but this is

10 how it was.

11 Q. Mr. Sljivic, it does seem a paradox, I have

12 to say. Again, the document is addressed not to those

13 good Serbs who were living peacefully in your fair

14 municipality but rather to the army of the Republika

15 Srpska.

16 Now, may I ask you, did you pay money to go

17 across? Did you have to pay any kind of fee to get out

18 of Kakanj, to get to your ultimate destination?

19 A. When I left Kakanj, I was wearing a uniform,

20 I carried a rifle, and nothing else.

21 Q. Then you deserted, you didn't flee?

22 JUDGE MAY: No. You were asked -- we will

23 get on more quickly if you will just answer the

24 question shortly. You were asked if you paid a fee,

25 any money, to get out. Now, the answer to that is

Page 18787

1 either "yes" or "no". Could you please tell us?

2 A. "No".


4 Q. In order to allow us to wind down your --

5 actually to complete your testimony on cross, you were

6 in uniform and you were also, as I see from this list,

7 whether they all left at this particular time or at a

8 later time if you say you left in October, Blasko

9 Pavlovic, your successor as president of the HVO,

10 Franjo Maric, the deputy, I mean everybody left. Are

11 you suggesting that the entire structure of a

12 nascent -- of a beginning group of municipal formation

13 of the HZ HB in Kakanj up and left just like that?

14 A. Did not leave. I said that I left on the

15 17th of October. Here I see another date.

16 Q. To your knowledge, did Mr. Maric and did

17 Mr. Pavlovic also leave at some point?

18 A. They left, and I believe that Mr. Pavlovic

19 and Mr. Maric both went to Stolac, I think even one day

20 earlier, so that would be on the 16th October 1993.

21 Q. So the entire power structure of HZ HB, as

22 represented by the HVO in Kakanj, left. It simply

23 abandoned Kakanj; is that correct?

24 A. Correct.

25 Q. The angst that was described earlier, which I

Page 18788

1 think is evident in the document of 30 September 1992,

2 suggests clearly, does it not, in your opinion, that it

3 was not easy to remain exclusively Croat in such a

4 geographic location? Do you agree with that? For

5 Kakanj to remain exclusively Croat, it was difficult;

6 is that true?

7 A. That was impossible under any circumstances.

8 That was a concept that I think is being forced on me

9 now. That was not a reasonable or a logical or

10 supported by any elements of our struggle for

11 survival.

12 Your Honours, let me say one more thing. You

13 insisted I answer with a "yes" or "no". It is put to

14 me that I left. I didn't leave. I had to flee, and I

15 couldn't fly.

16 JUDGE MAY: You know, we are spending a great

17 deal of time on complete irrelevancies.

18 MS. SOMERS: I'm sorry. The point that I --

19 JUDGE MAY: I'm not criticising you.

20 MS. SOMERS: I wanted to make sure that the

21 Court had in evidence the issue of an entire structure

22 leaving, which I think will be very significant for

23 final arguments.

24 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Can we wind this up, as you

25 put it?

Page 18789

1 MS. SOMERS: Yes, absolutely.

2 Q. You know Dario Kordic, you know the thinkers,

3 the politicians, the planners of Herceg-Bosna. Did it

4 appear to you at any point that anything that

5 Mr. Kordic did or didn't do could turn Kakanj into a

6 purely Croat municipality that would satisfy the needs

7 of membership in Herceg-Bosna? Did it ever seem a

8 reality? Could he really remedy it, in your opinion?

9 Please help us.

10 A. I answered that question a couple of minutes

11 ago. Anyone in that area, in that ethnic composition,

12 if they advocated such an idea would not be able to

13 implement it. If they would just -- by that they would

14 sacrifice the entire Croatian population to a policy

15 that had no foundation or a chance at being

16 implemented, and I believe that for -- you are trying

17 to impute that 16.000 Croats tried to drive out 200.000

18 Bosnian Muslims, and I think that it just makes no

19 sense.

20 Q. My last question to you is: Was this the

21 same situation that predominated in Vares? Could you

22 make Vares an any more purely Croat area than you could

23 make Kakanj, in your opinion, knowing the area and

24 knowing your common fate?

25 A. The time line went as it did, seven days

Page 18790

1 before we -- before us, that Travnik fell or as Muslims

2 prefer to call it, it was liberated. It was Kakanj's

3 turn and Vares remained. And the Doboj county and

4 Tuzla county which used to have 150.000 Croats now is

5 reduced to 19.000 Croats.

6 Q. But my specific question was Vares faced the

7 same predicament as Kakanj, is that correct? Just a

8 yes or no, and that's the end of it.

9 A. Correct.

10 MS. SOMERS: Thank you.

11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you

12 Your Honours. I shall try to be very brief, only a few

13 questions and it will be the end.

14 Re-examined by Mr. Naumovski:

15 Q. Towards the end of cross-examination, you

16 were asked a number of questions, why did all the HVO

17 leaders leave Kakanj, and you said, you said about your

18 yourself, "I did not leave, I was expelled."

19 Now, what was it that you said that forced

20 all the Croats headed by their leadership to leave

21 Kakanj?

22 A. They were forced by hundreds of rifles

23 pointed at the Croat people, and the Croat Defence

24 Council. They were forced by the army of

25 Bosnia-Herzegovina with all the fate-forcing units

Page 18791

1 which were attacking the area.

2 Q. Very well, thank you. The document Z1110,

3 and the list, it was said, incidentally, that the

4 document does not use the word expellee but refugee.

5 In the Croatian version, it said, "People expelled from

6 the area of Kakanj." Under 112, it says, "Pavo Sljivic

7 and his family."

8 Would you please repeat it because it

9 conspires from this document that from Kakanj you went

10 to Kiseljak in June 1993?

11 A. No, I have already said it two or three times

12 that from Kakanj, I left on foot to Vares through the

13 woods, and from there, on the 17th of October, 1993, I

14 headed from Vares to Kiseljak.

15 Q. Thank you. And those are thousands of

16 expellees which had to go from Kakanj to Vares in June

17 1993. Did they have to go through Serb territories

18 held by the army of Bosnian Serbs?

19 A. No.

20 Q. As for that meeting in Kakanj of Z29 [sic]

21 held of the 30th of September. There were very many

22 questions about it; I have only one. Are you sure --

23 it's "229", not "Z29", but "Z229".

24 Just one question, are you sure, Mr. Sljivic,

25 that at that time, only one meeting was held at the

Page 18792

1 time or perhaps were there more meetings? I'm

2 referring to the period around the 30th of September

3 1992?

4 A. I do not know because I simply have not kept

5 all the HVO documentation. I am positive, however,

6 that neither was anybody authorized nor could anyone in

7 my name convene and chair a meeting, not to mention

8 without letting me know about it, and for me to see

9 such a document for the first time here.

10 Q. Very well, thank you. A great deal was said

11 about reasons for your substitution by Mr. Pavlovic.

12 Now, as for those suspicions which somehow

13 were attached to your name, was there any investigation

14 conducted?

15 A. I asked this August Court to allow me to

16 explain when the Prosecutor pounced upon me trying to

17 mar my reputation as a witness.

18 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment. There is no

19 question of your reputation being marred and there's no

20 question of the Prosecutor pouncing upon you.

21 She is entitled to ask questions. She is

22 entitled to put the documents which she put to you.

23 Had that not been the case, we would have stopped her.

24 Let me explain. Your role is that of a

25 witness. Not, if I may say so, to make comments or

Page 18793

1 speeches. Now, you may answer the question that was

2 put to you, but would you restrict yourself to

3 answering it.

4 You were asked whether any investigation was

5 conducted. Now, was there an investigation or not?

6 A. There was.

7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]

8 Q. Were you ever charged of the things that you

9 were suspected of as a result of the investigation?

10 A. No. No.

11 Q. Yes, yes, yes, I understood you. But what I

12 was trying to say was: Even in the wake of the war,

13 you still enjoyed the trust of the citizens of Kakanj.

14 You were elected to the municipal council first, and

15 now you're a member of the parliament of the

16 Federation, aren't you?

17 A. Yes.

18 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,

19 Mr. Naumovski. You mentioned the trust, the citizens

20 had placed in the witness.

21 In order to be a member of the Federation of

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina, do you have to be elected by

23 citizens?

24 A. Correct.

25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] So you have

Page 18794

1 been elected, but which were the people who elected

2 you? Where were you elected as a member of the

3 parliament of the Federation?

4 A. In the elections.

5 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] When was

6 that?

7 A. October 1999.

8 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] And you were

9 elected in what constituency?

10 A. I was elected in the general elections so

11 that general to the Federation, all the citizens in all

12 municipalities voted for names on the lists.

13 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Therefore,

14 you were elected on the basis of a list because your

15 party had put you on a list; is that right?

16 A. Yes.

17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] I thank

18 you.

19 A. If I may, Your Honours, the election of the

20 president, of the mayor, and councilman is not the

21 same. To become a councilman, 80 per cent of the

22 Muslim councilmen would have to vote for me for me to

23 become the mayor, because there were six Croats in the

24 council of the HDZ and two more Croats from opposition

25 parties and all the others were Muslims. And they

Page 18795

1 elected me, the mayor, that is the president of the

2 municipal council unanimously.

3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation].

4 Q. I was about to ask you a question about

5 this. There was this question about elections, who

6 elected you and so on so forth. Perhaps the court does

7 not know it because we simply did not have the

8 opportunity to ask about that, but Bosnia-Herzegovina

9 is -- stands rather unpowered from other places after

10 Dayton because the manner of elections and voting

11 procedures were regulated by the Dayton.

12 As for the local elections, that is, the

13 election of councilmen in the municipality of Kakanj,

14 will you agree with me that all citizens of Kakanj

15 voted for councilmen in Kakanj regardless of whether

16 they were living in Kakanj or outside Kakanj at the

17 time of the elections?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. And even people were Kakanj who were living

20 in the Netherlands as displaced persons could vote for

21 them?

22 A. Yes.

23 Q. This is as far as the local elections are

24 concerned, isn't it. And likewise, all those who had

25 the place of residency in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the

Page 18796

1 time of war, regardless of where they are now still

2 have their right to vote and be elected; isn't that so?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. Thank you. We also heard Z87. This could be

5 my last question, a document, about your appointment to

6 the Croat Defence Council Kakanj, and those items, one

7 which says that you were selected by Mr. Boban.

8 Although this is the first time you see this

9 document, we can agree that this document is from May

10 1992, that that was the time when some authorities

11 amongst the Croat in the HVO, that is HZ HB were not

12 yet founded on quite sound foundations. It was May

13 1992 so the JNA was still in Bosnia-Herzegovina, wasn't

14 it?

15 A. Yes.

16 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours,

17 this would be the end of my redirect. Thank you very

18 much and thank you, Mr. Sljivic.

19 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sljivic, that concludes your

20 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International

21 Tribunal to give it. You are free to go.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your

23 Honours.

24 [The witness withdrew]

25 JUDGE MAY: Now, as I understand it, there's

Page 18797

1 an application in respect of the next witness for

2 various matters. Presumably we should go into private

3 session to deal with that.

4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, I would

5 appreciate it. I would appreciate it, Your Honours.

6 [Private session]

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 18798

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 [Closed session]

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 18799














14 Pages 18799-18821- redacted closed session.












Page 18822

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 [Open session]

20 MR. SAYERS: We have in mind the Trial

21 Chamber's injunction to us that matters such as this

22 should be covered by affidavit and that's why we've

23 done that.

24 This witness was the only witness along the

25 lines of a Croat victim that we presently propose to

Page 18823

1 introduce.

2 We understand that another such witness, the

3 mother of some of the children that were blown up when

4 the shell landed in the playground in Vitez just

5 shortly before the Tuzla convoy has testified in the

6 Blaskic case.

7 I believe the cross-examination of the

8 witness "DQ", I think, the identifier. Some of the

9 cross-examination or all of it took place in closed

10 session.

11 Respectfully, we would like to make an

12 application for the closed session testimony intending

13 to use the transcript of the witness' prior testimony

14 instead of her to come and relive those awful events in

15 the Court.

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we will grant leave.

17 Mr. Sayers, while we're -- yes, the next witness,

18 please.

19 [The witness entered court]

20 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you'd like to take the

21 declaration.

22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

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

24 and nothing but the truth.


Page 18824

1 [Witness answered through interpreter]

2 JUDGE MAY: Please take a seat.

3 Yes, Mr. Sayers.

4 MR. SAYERS: Thank you Mr. President.

5 Q. Good afternoon, Major?

6 A. Good afternoon.

7 Q. Will you please state your full name for the

8 Court?

9 A. I am Franjo Ljubas.

10 Q. Major, I would like to take you briefly

11 through some matters of background. I'll do it very

12 cursorily. I believe you were born on April 5th, 1969

13 in the town of Travnik?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. And you completed elementary school in Novi

16 Bila and then graduated from high school in 1988; is

17 that correct?

18 A. Yes. In 1988.

19 Q. After graduating from school, I believe that

20 you fulfilled your compulsory national service in the

21 Yugoslav People's Army, the JNA for about a year, and

22 then following the completion of that service in 1989

23 returned to your home town of Travnik.

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. You are a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

Page 18825

1 a Croat by ethnicity, and a Roman Catholic by religion;

2 is that correct, Major?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. I believe that in 1990, you became a member

5 of the principal Bosnian Croat political party, the

6 Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Is that

7 right?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. And you know that a referendum was held on

10 the independence of your country, sir, on February the

11 29th and March the 1st of 1992. How did you vote?

12 A. Yes, I know I voted for an independent and

13 integral Bosnia and Herzegovina.

14 Q. And to your knowledge, did your fellow Croats

15 overwhelmingly do the same thing as did you, vote in

16 favour of the independence of their country?

17 A. Yes, and the results of the elections showed

18 that.

19 Q. You are currently enrolled, sir, I believe,

20 at Teachers' Training College in Mostar.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And what is it that you are undertaking

23 training to teach, Major?

24 A. I'm studying Croatian language and

25 literature.

Page 18826

1 Q. All right. And I believe that you were also

2 working in the headquarters of the 3rd Division of the

3 1st Guard Corps of the Army of the Federation of

4 Bosnia-Herzegovina, stationed in Vitez.

5 A. Yes, I'm an officer in the Federation army,

6 and I am a mayor [as interpreted], my rank is mayor [as

7 interpreted].

8 Q. Is that "major"?

9 THE INTERPRETER: It is, excuse me. Sorry.

10 A. Yes.


12 Q. You're married, and you have one child, I

13 believe.

14 A. Yes, I'm married and have one child.

15 Q. I'd like to address your attention, Major, to

16 the summer of 1991, when hostile activities were

17 initiated against the Republic of Croatia and the

18 Republic of Slovenia by the former JNA.

19 Could you tell the Court what your

20 involvement was in activities following those attacks?

21 What did you do?

22 A. Yes. When the JNA aggression against the

23 Republics of Slovenia and Croatia started, we, the

24 Croats in the municipality of Travnik and all the other

25 places, realised that an aggression against the

Page 18827

1 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina would follow. And in

2 the light of that, we tried to organise the defence,

3 and we undertook preparations to set up war staffs

4 because it had transpired that the JNA was pulling out

5 equipment and armament from the municipality of Travnik

6 and other places and replacing them, and also men whom

7 they were concentrating on Mount Vlasic. And it was

8 therefore clear that aggression was looming ahead and

9 we had to do something in order to organise ourselves

10 and put an end to the aggression, if it took place.

11 Q. What exactly did you do, Major, in connection

12 with making these military preparations?

13 A. As for the military preparations, we tried to

14 collect weapons on a voluntary basis first, and then we

15 also trained individuals who would volunteer to protect

16 the Lasva Valley, Travnik, and all the population in

17 the area. And we supported the organisation of

18 municipal war staffs.

19 Q. And did there come a time when you

20 participated in the formation of the Sveti Duh Company

21 in Nova Bila?

22 A. Yes. To prevent the Yugoslav People's Army

23 to pull out the armament from Bratstvo and other

24 military facilities and barracks in the Lasva area, on

25 the 27th of February -- one of such gatherings to

Page 18828

1 prevent the pullout of this weaponry was the 27th, when

2 the JNA tried to pull out some of the armament and

3 material from the Bratstvo compound. At the same time,

4 the JNA was bringing some forces from the area of

5 Vlasic towards Travnik. And if I may add --

6 Q. I don't mean to be discourteous, but the

7 Court has already heard a lot of evidence about what

8 happened in the early days in the Travnik area.

9 I just wanted you to tell the Court about the

10 part that you took in the formation of the Sveti Duh

11 Company and what the significance of that company was

12 for later military organisations in the Travnik area,

13 in a few words.

14 A. Yes. So on the 27th, we met and set up a

15 unit and called it Company Sveti Duh, Holy Spirit, and

16 I was in the command of that unit which was made of

17 volunteers. It lasted until the HVO was founded.

18 Q. All right. And the Court knows that the

19 Croat Defence Council was formed on April the 8th,

20 1992. When it was formed, sir, did you join it, and if

21 so, what was the position to which you were appointed?

22 A. Yes. When the HVO was formed on April the

23 8th, 1992, I was appointed the commander of the 4th

24 Company in Nova Bila, and I kept that post until

25 sometime in July 1992. After that, I became deputy

Page 18829

1 commander of the 2nd Battalion of the Municipal

2 Headquarters, Travnik, until sometime in September of

3 1992. And after that, I was posted the commander of

4 the 3rd Battalion of the Travnik Brigade until the 13th

5 of June, 1996, when I was -- 1993, when I was wounded

6 while exercising that duty.

7 Q. And you referred to appointment to the

8 position of a company commander, commanding the 4th

9 Company of what battalion?

10 A. At that time, it was the 2nd Battalion, that

11 is, the 2nd Battalion. In September, it was renamed,

12 the same unit, and became the 3rd Battalion.

13 Q. Very well, sir. I believe that your

14 battalion, the 3rd Battalion of the Travnicka Brigade,

15 on April the 1st, 1993, was split into two, and that

16 three quarters of the brigade was reformed into the

17 Frankopan Brigade, while the remaining one quarter,

18 including yourself, stayed in the 3rd Battalion of the

19 Travnicka Brigade thence forward. Is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And it's accurate to say that the commander

22 of the Frankopan Brigade, after it was formed on April

23 the 1st, 1993, was a man named Ilija Nakic?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. While your brigade commander, the commander

Page 18830

1 of the Travnicka Brigade, was Jozo Leuter?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And is it accurate, sir, that commanders of

4 both the Frankopan and the Travnicka Brigades took

5 their orders directly from their superior officer?

6 A. Yes. As far as I could fathom the chain of

7 command, they were the ones who received orders through

8 the chain of command.

9 Q. And who was their superior officer?

10 A. Well, I told you. As far as I knew about the

11 chain of command, they were receiving orders from the

12 then Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, and Colonel Blaskic was

13 then receiving orders from the head of the Main Staff

14 in Mostar.

15 Q. All right. You made a brief reference,

16 Major, to the fact that you were wounded in June of

17 1993?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. That was in the village of Dolac, I believe,

20 during the ABiH offensive.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. You were treated in the hospital in Nova

23 Bila, where you stayed until September of 1993?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. Was this hospital facility located in a

Page 18831

1 converted church?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. And was it marked in any fashion, Major, to

4 alert people that in fact it was a hospital facility,

5 providing services for people who had been wounded or

6 sick?

7 A. Yes, yes. I know it was marked, because that

8 hospital was founded at that time when, from the

9 Travnik hospital -- that is, it was one of those

10 incidents which happened when 110 HVO wounded were

11 thrown out of that hospital. So they were put at that

12 particular place, and the red cross was painted on the

13 roof to mark it.

14 Q. [No interpretation]

15 A. At that time when the hospital was

16 established, it was my area of responsibility. So the

17 order came from me, in agreement, because it was the

18 only place in that area. So I agreed about that with

19 the parish priest, the one who was in that church, to

20 put up the wounded there. And they ordered my

21 subordinates to mark it and secure it.

22 Q. Before the red cross was placed on the roof

23 of the church, sir, do you know whether this church had

24 been shelled by ABiH forces at all?

25 A. Well, what is evident is that the church was

Page 18832

1 shelled. It was shelled on the eve of the biggest ABiH

2 offensive, in the course of the biggest offensive, and

3 until the end of the conflict -- rather, the conclusion

4 of the ceasefire.

5 Q. Are you saying that the shelling of this

6 converted church, now hospital facility, continued

7 notwithstanding the painting of the red cross on the

8 roof of the church?

9 A. Yes, and I think that to this day the church

10 was not completed, and I believe I could go back and

11 see traces of mortar shells on the church itself.

12 Q. Just one final question on this subject, sir,

13 since it has received some attention during the

14 evidence.

15 Could you just describe, in your own words,

16 the kinds of conditions in which the wounded people or

17 sick people at this hospital facility were actually

18 kept?

19 A. Well, I can describe the area that was used

20 for their accommodation. There was a large number of

21 wounded, so it was the room where mass was celebrated,

22 and there were benches for the congregation. So those

23 benches were simply put together, and then we used the

24 sponges in order to improvise some mattresses. And it

25 was on those makeshift cots that the worst cases could

Page 18833

1 lie, and others were simply put up in houses nearby. I

2 was accommodated in one of them after I was wounded.

3 That is, I was first hospitalised, and then I was taken

4 to one of the houses near the hospital.

5 Q. All right. Just moving forward in time,

6 sir. After you were released from the hospital in

7 approximately October of 1993, you were assigned to the

8 command or the headquarters of the Travnicka Brigade as

9 an officer; is that right?

10 A. Yes. After my treatment, I was assigned to

11 the command of the Travnik Brigade, which was October

12 1992 -- sorry, 1993, and that is where I was until

13 January 1994, when I was transferred to the

14 newly-formed 3rd Guards Brigade, and that is where I

15 was until June 1999.

16 Q. Now, just going back in time, Major Ljubas,

17 if I may -- and this is at paragraph 12 of the outline,

18 Your Honours -- after the Bosnian Serb army and JNA had

19 attacked your country in March and April of 1992,

20 you've already described that efforts were made to

21 organise yourselves into an armed force in the

22 municipalities. Could you tell the Court, in these

23 extremely early days of the conflict, March, April,

24 May, even June of 1992, were the civilian and military

25 authorities all jumbled together or did the two exist

Page 18834

1 separate and independent of one another? Of the HVO,

2 I'm talking about.

3 A. As for the civilian and the military part,

4 they were two separate things and each had its own

5 field of jurisdiction. The military part had a lot of

6 work to do to establish the front line and stop or

7 forestall the offensive against the area, because the

8 JNA had blocked the principal routes needed for the

9 supply of food, medicines, and other basic

10 necessities.

11 The civilian part of the HVO took care of

12 these latter aspects, that is, provision of food,

13 medicines and the rest for the civilian population.

14 For example, the principal road coming from south, that

15 is, from maritime ports, and then on from Kupres,

16 Gornji Vakuf, Travnik, and so on and so on, this road

17 was blocked, so that the only access road was the

18 Makadam road coming from Novi Travnik towards Uskoplje

19 and then on to Herzegovina. This was the Makadam

20 road. I emphasise this point. And the civilian wing

21 of the HVO at that time already was trying to put it in

22 proper order and use it for the supply of food and

23 medicines.

24 Q. And was the civilian component of the HVO

25 responsible for the procurement of food, logistic

Page 18835

1 supplies, for the civilian population as well as the

2 military, or not?

3 A. Well, the civilian wing had to take care of

4 food and medicines as a whole, because the members

5 themselves were individual civilians from that area,

6 who lived there, whose family members were in that area

7 for which the civilian HVO was providing with food and

8 medicines. Of course, it was for them too.

9 Q. You've just described the Makadam road that

10 leads north from Uskoplje to the Novi Travnik area.

11 This road had been built when, or was it completed?

12 A. That road was not completed. It -- in 1991,

13 the civilian wing tried to get some machinery from the

14 Sebes company in Nova Bila and tried to use that

15 machinery in order to make the route possible and

16 usable for the food and medicines.

17 We tried to arrive at an agreement, at an

18 understanding, with Muslims. At first, they refused to

19 take part in the construction of that road, so we had

20 to invest our utmost effort. That is, the civilian

21 part had -- the civilian wing had to do it in order to

22 make that road usable.

23 Q. All right. Now, in terms of morale, weapons

24 and equipment, could you just give the Court your

25 assessment of how the ABiH was situated, vis-a-vis the

Page 18836

1 HVO, to deal with the Serb offensives, the Bosnian Serb

2 army offensives with which it was confronted in March,

3 April and May of 1992, sir?

4 A. Yes. At that time, the HVO was, in morale

5 terms, well prepared, but had inadequate armament and

6 material. And in spite of that lack of armament and

7 material, the HVO succeeded in bringing to a halt the

8 major part of the JNA offensive, as demonstrated by the

9 fact that the HVO kept about 30 per cent of the

10 territory in the offensive, whereas the Muslims or,

11 rather, the ABiH, as it later became, were not ready,

12 were not prepared to resist the JNA offensive, because

13 at that time the thesis that circulated amongst the

14 Muslims was that it wasn't their war.

15 But the fact is, that in those early days of

16 the offensive in Travnik, where I was, the HVO had

17 established almost two thirds of the front line, that

18 is, where it stopped the JNA, subsequently called the

19 army of Republika Srpska. We managed to stop them

20 there, and the Muslims, and later on members of the

21 ABiH, held less than one third of the whole front line

22 in the municipality of Travnik.

23 Q. Well, Major, the suggestion has been made in

24 this case that by October of 1992, the HVO had actually

25 abandoned the front lines with the BSA at Jajce and the

Page 18837

1 environs of Travnik and Turbe. Is that accurate, or

2 could you give the Court some help on whether that's an

3 accurate assessment or not?

4 A. Could you repeat the question, please?

5 Q. Yes. I'm sorry if my question was

6 elliptical.

7 A suggestion has been made in this case that

8 the HVO abandoned the front lines at Jajce and in the

9 areas around Jajce in October of 1992. Is that

10 accurate or not?

11 A. It is not accurate. In October '92, the HVO

12 still held the front in Travnik. It is true that in

13 October '92, the front in Jajce fell, held by both HVO

14 and the BH army.

15 Q. A suggestion -- there are two other

16 suggestions that have been made, Major. The first is

17 that actually it was the ABiH that was providing the

18 vast majority of the armed forces on the front lines at

19 Jajce. Could you give the Court your assessment of the

20 accuracy of that position, please?

21 A. That is not true. As far as I know and as

22 far as I sent my forces to the front -- to the Jajce

23 front, that is not true. The major part of the front

24 in Jajce was held -- was manned by the HVO.

25 Q. All right. And then the final suggestion

Page 18838

1 along these lines is that the HVO voluntarily withdrew

2 from Jajce, pursuant to an agreement with the Bosnian

3 Serb army, rather than suffering a military defeat that

4 resulted in the capture of that town, as you've just

5 related. Which version is accurate, Major, according

6 to your own personal experience?

7 A. It is not true that the HVO withdrew of its

8 own will. At some point, BH army forces began to

9 retreat from the front line in Jajce, and the army of

10 Bosnian Serbs sensed that, and in a forceful assault,

11 managed to break through the front and expel all the

12 population of the area of Jajce in the direction of

13 Travnik.

14 Q. All right, thank you, Major. The Court has

15 already heard evidence about the large number of

16 Bosnian Muslim refugees that resulted from the BSA and

17 JNA offensives to the north-east and north-west of the

18 country and also the influx of refugees as a result of

19 the fall of Jajce.

20 Could you give the Court a feel for what was

21 done to accommodate these unfortunate displaced people,

22 these people who had been expelled from their homes?

23 A. At that time, the JNA, that is the Bosnian

24 Serbs, expelled to the area of Travnik and it had at

25 least 50.000 inhabitants, mostly Muslims from Kotor

Page 18839

1 Varos and Jajce.

2 There were some Croats there too, and the HVO

3 at that time, in order to assist with the accommodation

4 of all these displaced persons, offered the Travnik

5 barracks which it shared with the ABiH. That was the

6 Travnik barracks which were shared 50/50 between the

7 HVO and the ABiH.

8 And later on, the ABiH abused this and it

9 accommodated the 17th Krajina Brigade there later on.

10 And we also placed both Muslims and Croat refugees in

11 school buildings in, for instance, in the areas like

12 Novi Bila, Dolac, Guca Gora where Croats were in

13 majority.

14 Q. I was talking in general terms still. Could

15 you give the Court an assessment of how the ABiH fared

16 in organisational terms with the HVO as 1992 wound on

17 into 1993?

18 A. Regarding 1992, I have already said that

19 ABiH, until October 1992, ABiH was poorly organised and

20 unprepared for defence. But in October 1992 after the

21 fall of Jajce and part of the Kotor Varos municipality,

22 ABiH started receiving weapons and equipment.

23 The 1st and the 7th Krajina Brigades led by

24 Alagic and Cuskic arrived from Croatia, and they were

25 well-equipped and well-armed.

Page 18840

1 Q. Just to interrupt you if I may, you say that

2 General Alagic and Fikret Cuskic arrived with the 7th

3 Krajiska Brigade and the 1st Krajiska Brigade?

4 A. The 1st and the 7th which was later merged

5 into the 17th Krajina Brigade.

6 Q. Are these units forces which were originally

7 amassed and organised in the neighbouring Republic of

8 Croatia. Correct?

9 A. Yes. And they arrived in the Travnik area

10 and were billeted in the Travnik barracks which

11 originally the HVO had vacated in order to

12 accommodate -- to have the refugees accommodated there.

13 Q. Thank you. Now, you were saying in

14 connection with the relative degrees of organisation,

15 in the ABiH as opposed to the HVO, you had reached

16 October of 1992.

17 Could you give your views about how the

18 organisational competencies of the HVO and ABiH

19 compared after that date, sir?

20 A. After October, 1992, the demographic

21 breakdown of the area changed. There was a large

22 influx of civilian and militarily-fit population so

23 that the Muslim population became much more numerous

24 than the Croatian population in that area.

25 And also at that time, there was an influx of

Page 18841

1 armaments and equipment, and the ABiH had a plan in --

2 of bringing in weapons and organising troops there.

3 Starting in October, 1992, also groups of

4 Mujahedin appeared who were previously not seen in that

5 area. There were --

6 Q. We'll get to that shortly, but let me just

7 ask you a couple of simple questions. By June of 1993,

8 in your military assessment, what was the ratio of ABiH

9 armed forces to HVO armed forces in terms of manpower?

10 A. At the time in June of 1993, there were --

11 the ratio was about eight Muslim soldiers to one HVO

12 soldier. In other words, a far superior force of ABiH

13 in relation to HVO.

14 Q. All right. And in terms of military

15 equipment, how did the ABiH fare vis-a-vis the HVO in

16 your military opinion?

17 A. Regarding the military equipment, they had

18 four to five times more weapons and equipment than what

19 the HVO had at the time.

20 Q. All right. Just one digression, if I may,

21 regarding the accused in this case, Mr. Dario Kordic.

22 What did you know about him while you were an officer

23 in the HVO, Major?

24 A. Mr. Dario Kordic was an active politician.

25 He had nothing to do with the military side of the HVO,

Page 18842

1 specifically.

2 Q. As far as you know, did he have the power,

3 ability, authority, however you want to phrase it, to

4 issue orders to any military units of the HVO?

5 A. As far as I know, and I emphasize that,

6 Mr. Kordic was not part of the military chain of

7 command and he, in particular, never issued any orders

8 to me or to any of my subordinates.

9 Had he done so, I would not have carried it

10 out because I had my own chain of command. Neither I

11 would have, nor any of my subordinates would have.

12 Q. All right, Major, let's just move on.

13 You, before I interrupted you, I hope not

14 rudely, you were just talking about the military

15 build-up in the area of Travnik on the part of the ABiH

16 armed forces, but let's go back to 1992, specifically

17 to October 20th, 1992.

18 There was then, I believe, an instant

19 involving Ivica Stojak. Could you just tell the Court

20 who he was and what happened on that date?

21 A. On the 20th of October 1992, the commander of

22 the Travnik headquarters was killed. The -- it was a

23 result of an attack by the Mujahedin and the Muslim

24 forces near Medresa where a checkpoint was set up and

25 where they wait for a commander of the municipal

Page 18843

1 headquarters and they killed him there.

2 Q. And what can you tell us about Mr. Stojak?

3 Did he ever advocate bad relations with the Muslims or

4 violence against them?

5 A. Ivica Stojak, as a commander of the municipal

6 headquarters, was the highest authority, both among the

7 Croats and Muslims. This was a person who, as

8 commander of the municipal headquarters, did a lot to

9 stop the advance of the Bosnian Serb army and who

10 maintained good relations between the Croats and

11 Muslims in this municipality. A person who tried to

12 involve the Muslims and the ABiH in all operations

13 which were jointly carried out.

14 For instance, the take over of the Slimena

15 barracks and the Travnik barracks were alongside the

16 ABiH. The barracks was taken and the facility was

17 split between the two sides in equal parts. And he --

18 and a commander, and a Croat was appointed commander

19 and his deputy a Muslim.

20 So he was a person who helped both Croats and

21 Muslims who could not find ways to resolve their

22 problems; health problems, social problems, so

23 maintained good relations in the entire municipality

24 and precisely because of the person he was, the Muslims

25 killed him.

Page 18844

1 Q. I believe, sir, that in your area, there were

2 a number of incidents in 1992 and 1993 which caused

3 tensions between the ABiH and HVO to riot. Could you

4 just tell the Court a little bit about those in your

5 own words.

6 A. I have pointed out that the erosion of this

7 good relations started with the arrival of Mehmed

8 Alagic and Fikret Cuskic and that is after the fall of

9 Jajce and the arrival of Mujahedin. And also the

10 murder of the commander of municipal headquarters

11 contributed to that.

12 Other incidents followed and all against the

13 HVO. So these incidents started as early as January

14 and it continued until June when the open offensive

15 took place, and I can cite a number of examples.

16 Q. Let's try to take it step by step, Major. In

17 March of 1993, on March 17th to be specific, was there

18 an incident that occurred fairly close to your command

19 post.

20 A. Yes. Some 500 metres from where I was at an

21 intersection near the intersection of Dolac, a group of

22 Mujahedin and ABiH soldiers shot and killed two HVO

23 members shooting from a van. The soldiers killed were

24 Ivo Juric and Zoran Matosevic. Both members of the

25 HVO.

Page 18845

1 Q. About three or four weeks after that, was

2 there an incident of an arrest of two prominent Croats

3 in your town and, if so, could you tell the Court a

4 little bit about that?

5 A. Yes, this happened around April 9. Prominent

6 Croats were arrested in the town of Travnik itself. I

7 can mention some of their names. One of them was.

8 Q. -- about how many of these were --

9 A. Yes. So prominent Croats who were detained

10 and taken to the fort who later became one of the ABiH

11 camps. This was in the old part of town.

12 Q. About how many such people were there who had

13 been arrested?

14 A. At first, about 70 Croats were arrested.

15 Q. And is it the case that these people were

16 released only to be re-arrested?

17 A. Yes. At first, they were released and later

18 on, they were arrested again and some of them were

19 taken, some stayed behind, but some were taken to

20 Mehurici, to another of their camps, where they were

21 mistreated by the members of ABiH.

22 Q. All right, Major. The Court has already

23 heard about the incidents of around Easter of 1993

24 during which some Croat flags were torn down and burned

25 and there was a brief bit of fighting in the town.

Page 18846

1 If you were asked questions about that, you

2 could answer them, I take it?

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. And could you also describe for the Court

5 whether any injured or wounded HVO soldiers were

6 evicted from the Travnik hospital in mid-April of 1993

7 and, if so, under what circumstances?

8 A. Yes. In mid-April, about 110 wounded HVO

9 members were evicted from the hospital in Travnik.

10 This hospital which was a general hospital used by all

11 the people of Travnik.

12 They were transferred to a church in Novi

13 Bila which was turned into a make-shift hospital. This

14 was another incident provoked by ABiH members, so these

15 incidents ranged from flag burning to murders.

16 And I can say that I was stopped and

17 disarmed, both myself and my driver and my escort. We

18 were all disarmed and I reported to -- I informed the

19 commander at Plave Vode and asked if, that my weapons

20 be returned. He just laughed and refused to return it

21 to me. That was just another incident.

22 So later on my driver and some other officers

23 were again stopped in the town in their vehicle and

24 they were beaten up on that occasion.

25 Q. All right. Now, you know that there was a

Page 18847

1 very serious outbreak of fighting in the Vitez area in

2 April of 1993. During that fighting, where were you

3 stationed?

4 A. At that time, I was with the part of my units

5 on the front line against the BSA forces, so my -- as

6 part of my units were deployed in the area of

7 Kajabasa-Krizi and the area of Mescema near Turbe.

8 In other words, I was on the front line

9 against the army of Bosnian Serbs.

10 Q. All right. You did hear, I believe, about an

11 incident that occurred in late April of 1993 involving

12 50 or so soldiers from the 7th Muslim Brigade who

13 attacked or rounded up the civilians in the village of

14 Miletici moving about 30 or so of them or so to the

15 neighbouring village of Poljanice, and executing five

16 people from the Pavlovic or Petrovic family. Is that

17 so?

18 A. This was the Pavlovic family. I am familiar

19 with these incidents where Mujahedin and members of the

20 7th Muslim Brigade took people from -- to the village

21 of Poljanice near Mehurici. They were civilians and

22 they were released a couple of days later.

23 When the civilians came back to the village

24 they found five civilians, that is, five members of the

25 Pavlovic family killed, murdered.

Page 18848

1 Q. All right. Moving on to just shortly before

2 the ABiH offensive, could you tell the Court about what

3 happened to Croat civilians in the village of Polje in

4 early June of 1993, Major?

5 A. In early June or more specifically on 3rd

6 June, ABiH stepped-up the incidents and sniping from

7 the surrounding areas of Slimena, Vakuf which were

8 around the village of Polje.

9 This is when the first Croats were killed in

10 that area. In the span of time between the 3rd and the

11 6th, a total of 12 Croats were killed in the village of

12 Polje.

13 Q. Thank you, Major. Let me just ask you a

14 general question now for the Court's information, this

15 is paragraph 25 and 26 of the outline, and I'll try to

16 move through this quickly.

17 Did you notice, before the initiation of the

18 June 1993 ABiH offensive, any troop build-ups in the --

19 in your area of operations?

20 A. Yes. In the period between April and June, I

21 observed that the ABiH was bringing in large forces

22 from Zenica area, from Guca Gora, and on the way back,

23 we noticed that the -- the buses were empty which was

24 different.

25 Until then if they came this way full, then

Page 18849

1 they would also return full. But this time around,

2 full buses were going one way and empty buses were

3 returning to Zenica.

4 They were not being deployed on the front

5 line against the Bosnian Serbs, that for us, was a

6 signal that the ABiH was preparing something.

7 Q. By June of 1993, Major, what kind of forces

8 had the ABiH managed to amass in the Travnik area?

9 A. By early June, the 17th Krajina Brigade was

10 there, was deployed, parts of 7th Muslim Brigade. Then

11 the local brigades, the 306th and 312th Brigades and

12 then the 305th Jajce Brigade which had been expelled

13 from Jajce and part of Kotor Varos municipalities.

14 Then the 27th and 37th Brigades which were

15 deployed there, brought there and the Mujahedin were

16 deployed alongside the 7th Muslim Brigade.

17 And looking at these forces in total, the --

18 up to 10.000 troops were brought to that area.

19 Q. All right. Was the 308th Brigade there or

20 not, or units of the 308th Brigade?

21 A. Yes. These were parts of the 308th Brigade

22 up to a force of about one battalion strength.

23 Q. And these significant forces were commanded

24 by whom, sir?

25 A. These forces were commanded by Mehmed Alagic

Page 18850

1 and they were part of the Bosanska Krajina group of

2 which he was the commander.

3 Q. That was the name of the operative group of

4 the ABiH, the Bosanska Krajina Brigade?

5 A. Yes, operative group was called Bosanska

6 Krajina, and General Alagic was its commander and all

7 of the troops of the units that I have mentioned were

8 subordinated to him.

9 Q. Just one small matter of organisational

10 detail that might help the Court. In terms of military

11 organisations, sir, the ABiH, I believe, was organised

12 into these operative groups which would be in -- the

13 functional equivalent for the HVO would be an Operative

14 Zone. Is that fair to say or is it not?

15 A. I didn't understand the question.

16 Q. It's probably a hopeless question. In terms

17 of the organisation of the ABiH, sir, the ABiH was

18 organised into broad areas called operative groups was

19 that the functional equivalent in the HVO's military

20 organisation, the so-called Operative Zone such as the

21 Central Bosnia Operative Zone, for example?

22 A. In that area, there was one Operative Zone.

23 It was the Central Bosnia Operative Zone and

24 subordinated to this zone were brigades.

25 Q. And the organisational structure used by the

Page 18851

1 ABiH was to use an operative group which contained

2 brigades as well. Is that accurate to say or don't you

3 know?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Is it that you know or you don't know, sir?

6 A. I just said so. The area under the control

7 of the HVO was called the Central Bosnia Operative

8 Zone, and it had under it brigades where as the ABiH

9 had an operative group commanded by General Alagic.

10 MR. SAYERS: 15 minutes tomorrow, Your

11 Honour.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, well it would be a

13 convenient moment.

14 It may be convenient if we deal with the

15 affidavit on Friday and we also deal with the issue of

16 the exhibits at the same time.

17 Mr. Sayers, I'm going to ask you something

18 which would be helpful to the Court and that is to

19 produce a schedule or a list of your affidavits. There

20 now must be 12 or 13.

21 MR. SAYERS: 12 to date.

22 JUDGE MAY: If you could list them for us in

23 some convenient way so that we have them in front of

24 us, give them numbers.

25 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

Page 18852

1 JUDGE MAY: So we can use this during -- in

2 case there's any questions of admissibility and also,

3 it would be helpful if we could have a brief summary of

4 topics they deal with.

5 MR. SAYERS: Yes, that should be possible and

6 I'll try to bring it along tomorrow morning, Your

7 Honour.

8 JUDGE MAY: By Friday.

9 MR. SAYERS: All right.

10 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.

11 Major Ljubas, we're adjourning now until

12 tomorrow morning. Will you be back please at half past

13 nine to continue with your evidence.

14 Would you remember during the adjournment not

15 to speak to anybody about your evidence, please, until

16 it's over and of course don't let anybody speak to you

17 about it. That does include members of the Defence

18 team.

19 Half past nine tomorrow, please.

20 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

21 at 4.03 p.m., to be reconvened on

22 Wednesday the 17th day of May 2000, at

23 9.30 a.m.