Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 19851

1 Wednesday, 31 May 2000

2 [Closed session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 [The witness entered court]

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







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19 [Open session]

20 MR. SAYERS: With respect to the audiotape,

21 Mr. President, we would appreciate the opportunity to

22 make a written response to the written submission made

23 by the Prosecution. We'll have that available within a

24 day or two.

25 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You can have seven days

Page 19885

1 normally to deal with that.

2 MR. SAYERS: Thank you.

3 [The witness entered court]

4 JUDGE MAY: Let the witness take the

5 declaration.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

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

8 and nothing but the truth.


10 [Witness answered through interpreter]

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

12 Examined by Mr. Sayers:

13 Q. Good morning, sir. Would you please tell the

14 Court your name.

15 A. My name is Milenko Arapovic. I was born in

16 Busovaca on the 16th of November, 1969.

17 Q. Mr. Arapovic, you signed, on May the 8th,

18 2000, a one-and-a-half-page affidavit. Do you remember

19 that?

20 A. I do, yes.

21 Q. This was signed in front of a judge in Vitez,

22 Judge Maric; correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Did you check the statements made in the

25 affidavit carefully to ensure that they were accurate

Page 19886

1 before you signed it?

2 A. Yes. What I signed is the truth, and nothing

3 else.

4 Q. You stand by the statements made in that

5 affidavit today, sir.

6 A. I do.

7 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Your Honours. No

8 further questions.

9 MR. NICE: So far as this witness is

10 concerned, there are matters that I want to ask him

11 that mostly are effectively matters of credit, but also

12 arguably extend beyond that and beyond the content of

13 his affidavit and relate to matters that have been

14 touched on directly in evidence, not least by

15 Witness T.

16 MR. SAYERS: I think the point has come, Your

17 Honour, when it's time to make objections to extensive

18 cross-examination that goes way beyond the scope of

19 direct examination or the factual statements made in

20 the affidavit.

21 JUDGE MAY: We'll hear the argument.

22 What is the relevance of this? I don't

23 remember Witness T.

24 MR. NICE: Of course not.

25 JUDGE MAY: So perhaps you could remind us

Page 19887

1 what the point is.

2 MR. NICE: Witness T dealt with an incident

3 at Tisovac in the spring of 1992, and since I don't

4 understand the evidence given by Witness T to have been

5 accepted or admitted on behalf of the defendants, it

6 would be quite absurd for the Chamber not to take the

7 opportunity of checking with this witness whether what

8 has been said about him is accurate or not.

9 I'm going to say after the adjournment

10 something more about the use that's being made of

11 affidavits and the effect it's having on the trial, but

12 it is, in our respectful submission, unrealistically

13 confining when you have a witness who is actually

14 spoken of in a trial directly and where it's suggested

15 that the Prosecution can't ask questions relating to

16 direct and material evidence.

17 JUDGE ROBINSON: The question, Mr. Nice, is

18 whether when an affidavit is tendered and the Chamber

19 rules that the affiant be brought for

20 cross-examination, does he become a witness at large,

21 or is he still not a witness in respect of the evidence

22 in the affidavit?

23 MR. NICE: I would respectfully suggest that

24 the last proposition would be absurdly limiting and

25 entirely artificial.

Page 19888

1 The Chamber makes the decision as to which

2 witnesses it wishes to hear. Indeed, I thought when

3 the Chamber was referring to this witness that the

4 Chamber had already become aware of the fact that his

5 name had been mentioned earlier. It may be the Chamber

6 wasn't having in mind Witness T's evidence, it had in

7 mind some other part of the evidence about the

8 checkpoint incident. So I may have misunderstood the

9 Chamber there.

10 But in answer to Your Honour's point, once

11 the witness is here, it would be artificial, in the

12 extreme, to say that he's not a witness at large, in my

13 respectful submission.

14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, if you continue to the

15 adjournment, I shall remind myself of what Witness T

16 said during the adjournment and we'll consider the

17 matter afterwards.

18 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:

19 Q. Now, Mr. Arapovic, tell us a little bit about

20 the preparation of your evidence. Had you been seen at

21 an earlier stage by lawyers or anybody else acting for

22 the defendant Kordic?

23 A. The contact was established, I think, about

24 two years ago.

25 Q. Was that with lawyers for Kordic or with

Page 19889

1 lawyers for anyone else?

2 A. Mr. Kordic.

3 Q. Where did you see them?

4 A. I think in Busovaca.

5 Q. At that time did you have any documents to

6 show them; did they have any documents to show you?

7 A. Well, I mean, as a citizen of the

8 municipality of Busovaca at that time, I naturally

9 watched media so I knew that Mr. Mitko was Mr. Kordic's

10 lawyer, and there was no need for me to try to learn

11 anything else.

12 Q. You misunderstand me. I don't mean documents

13 for Mr. Mitko to show who he was, I mean documents

14 about the incident in respect of which you were going

15 to give evidence. Did you have any documents to show

16 them, the lawyers; did the lawyers have any documents

17 to show you?

18 A. I'm sorry. What incident do you mean?

19 Q. When you gave your affidavit, what was the

20 evidence you were giving all about? Tell us.

21 A. Well, it was the locality called Kacuni where

22 the BH army stopped at the checkpoint, without

23 announcing it previously, Mr. Kostroman, and all the

24 rest. If need be, I shall repeat it all as it was.

25 So we were coming back, I think, from Travnik

Page 19890

1 or Stari Travnik, from a session --

2 Q. Pause for a minute. I'm going to ask you

3 about that later.

4 When the lawyers first saw you a couple of

5 years ago, did they see you about that incident or did

6 they see you about something else?

7 A. Only about that incident.

8 Q. They didn't ask you, for example, about

9 anything that may have happened at a place called

10 Tisovac; just yes or no to that.

11 A. No.

12 Q. Did they show you any documents, any

13 contemporaneous documents or otherwise, when they spoke

14 to you about the checkpoint incident a couple of years

15 ago?

16 A. We only talked about it, and I naturally

17 stated what happened that day and how it happened.

18 Q. I see. When you then saw them more recently

19 for the preparation of your affidavit, when was that?

20 When did you see them in relation to the preparation of

21 your affidavit?

22 A. Well, you see, the judge in Vitez merely

23 summoned me to read my statement. I read it and I saw

24 that it was all true, as I said it before, and I signed

25 that statement in Vitez.

Page 19891

1 Q. The statement that you say was presented to

2 you before the judge, when was that statement actually

3 drafted?

4 A. That statement was drafted when I saw

5 Mr. Mitko for the first time, which was two years ago.

6 Q. Did you sign the statement at that stage?

7 A. No.

8 Q. When you arrived at the judge's for your

9 affidavit, the statement was already in final form, was

10 it, just waiting for you to sign it?

11 A. I read the statement once again, studied it

12 and saw that nothing had been changed from what I said

13 two years ago, that it was all as correct as it was

14 then, and then I naturally signed it.

15 Q. Without any alterations.

16 A. Needless to say, without any alterations.

17 Q. Tell us, then, please, how you remember this

18 incident. Do you have your own diary?

19 A. I don't have any diary about that. But if

20 you have 50 rifles pointing at you, then you don't

21 forget that day.

22 Q. Just before we move forward, had you had any

23 contact with the lawyers in that intervening two-year

24 period?

25 A. No.

Page 19892

1 Q. So what was the date of the incident, please?

2 A. Well, don't ask me about the date. I

3 remember the month. We were coming from Novi Travnik

4 or Travnik, from a meeting, and I was in Mr. Kordic's

5 car --

6 Q. I'm going to stop you there. Don't ask you

7 about the date; you can't remember the date.

8 A. You know, there were so many dates, Your

9 Honours, I really can't remember every one of these

10 dates. Every day has a date. I know it was the month

11 of January.

12 Q. Well, you see, if it be the case that your

13 affidavit has a date in it, that can't have come from

14 your memory presumably because you don't remember the

15 date.

16 A. Your Honours, there were two instances when

17 we went through Kacuni. January was when we were

18 attacked by the BH army, and it was then when I stayed

19 in the area. I cannot remember the exact date, that

20 is, when the checkpoint was put up. I simply know that

21 we were coming back from Novi Travnik or Travnik,

22 passing through Busovaca, where we left Mr. Kordic at

23 home after we heard over the Motorola that the BH army

24 had set up a checkpoint at Kacuni. Mr. Kostroman, who

25 parted company with us in Kacuni, he wanted to --

Page 19893

1 JUDGE MAY: We've read all that. We don't

2 need to go through it.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

4 JUDGE MAY: Is that a convenient moment?

5 We'll adjourn now.

6 Mr. Arapovic, could you remember during the

7 adjournment not to speak to anybody about your evidence

8 until it's over, and not to let anybody speak to you

9 about it. That does include members of the Defence

10 team.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Very well, Your

12 Honours.

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

14 --- On resuming at 11.35 a.m.

15 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, we've had the

16 opportunity of looking at the evidence of T, which was

17 about a specific matter in relation to this witness.

18 That we consider you can put. It's clearly relevant,

19 if for no other reason than it goes to credibility.

20 More generally, as far as the

21 cross-examination of these witnesses is concerned, we

22 think it should be limited to matters in the affidavit

23 or to matters going to credibility, unless there is

24 some specific point, as this one is, which would allow

25 wider cross-examination.

Page 19894

1 What we do not think is that it should be the

2 opportunity for a roving commission, because to do so

3 would, to some extent, defeat the whole purpose of

4 having affidavits, which is to try and achieve an

5 expeditious trial.

6 MR. NICE: Thank you.

7 Q. Mr. Arapovic, have you in the break taken the

8 opportunity to read your affidavit again?

9 A. On that day in Vitez?

10 Q. No. Today.

11 A. So that was now, in May?

12 Q. Today, in the last half an hour, have you

13 taken an opportunity to read --

14 A. No, I did not.

15 Q. Very well. I want to go back to what you've

16 been saying about seeing the lawyers two years ago and

17 making a statement two years ago. That statement -- or

18 let's get to what you mean by two years ago. Can you

19 be a little more precise? We're now in the year 2000,

20 so two years ago takes us back to, at the very latest,

21 some part of 1998. Yes, 1998. Can you tell us when it

22 was that you saw the lawyers, please?

23 A. That must have been the summer or fall. I

24 could not recall. Somewhere around the middle part of

25 the year, Your Honours.

Page 19895

1 Q. Well, you made a statement to them. At the

2 time that you made the statement, what detail of the

3 allegation or of the evidence did they have? What did

4 they tell you was the evidence that had to be dealt

5 with?

6 A. You see, it referred to that day, the date

7 when we went from Novi Travnik and Travnik to Busovaca,

8 and Mr. Kostroman, in the direction of Kresevo, that

9 is, the road that takes you on to Sarajevo.

10 Q. Were you informed that the Prosecution were

11 going to lead evidence about what the Prosecution said

12 happened on that day?

13 A. You see, I just had to explain what happened

14 that day. We never discussed the Prosecution. I don't

15 know why we should have discussed the Prosecution.

16 Q. Well, you see, your statement that's been

17 prepared, or your affidavit that was prepared in that

18 two-year period -- I don't mean -- at some point in

19 that two-year period, deals with one incident and one

20 incident alone. It deals with Mr. Kostroman, the car,

21 and his release at the checkpoint, doesn't it?

22 A. I don't know how you did this. You reduced

23 it. My statement is much more detailed. I can repeat

24 all the details. From Novi Travnik and Travnik, and

25 then what was -- what we heard in Busovaca, and then

Page 19896

1 what happened at the checkpoint, Your Honours.

2 Q. Yes. What your affidavit does is deal with

3 that. It deals with coming from Travnik to Busovaca

4 through Vitez, it deals with what happened then and

5 what happened to Mr. Kostroman, but it deals with this

6 single incident. And what I want to know from you,

7 please, is: When you were asked about this at some

8 time in 1998, did the lawyers have with them some

9 summary or did they present to you some summary of the

10 evidence that the Prosecution was going to lead on this

11 topic?

12 A. Your Honours, I do not recall all the

13 details, but what I put down in my statement is how it

14 happened.

15 Q. And that statement that you made two years

16 ago, have you had a chance to look at it since then and

17 to compare it with the affidavit that you made at the

18 Court?

19 A. No. No, Your Honours, I did not.

20 Q. But you would be happy for -- would you be

21 happy for other people to see that earlier statement,

22 if it exists, in this Court?

23 A. I don't know. I said what I said at that

24 time and then I signed it. I don't know what other

25 statement you're referring to. It's the same statement

Page 19897

1 as it was then, Your Honours.

2 Q. You see, I'm going to suggest to you that

3 what you tell us can't be accurate, because the detail

4 of what passed, according to the Prosecution witnesses,

5 at the checkpoint was simply not served on Defence

6 lawyers in 1998, and therefore there can have been no

7 way, unless I'm mistaken -- if I'm mistaken, I'm only

8 too happy to be corrected -- there can be no way they

9 can have got you to deal with these matters in detail.

10 JUDGE MAY: Can you answer that or not? It

11 seems to me more of a comment, really.

12 Mr. Nice, perhaps you'd move on.

13 MR. NICE: I've made my position clear, and I

14 want to know this:

15 Q. You say in your affidavit, reflecting your

16 earlier statement, something about how Mr. Kostroman

17 was released. How was he released?

18 A. I think that had we not made it to Kacuni,

19 where Mr. Kostroman had been stopped with his escort,

20 that it would have been an end for him, because when

21 you have 50 to 100 barrels pointed at you, you put

22 yourself in that position and decide for yourself. Had

23 we not arrived and parked right next to him -- he was

24 already being pointed toward the silo, which was near

25 the main road. So we talked to them, we negotiated

Page 19898

1 with them.

2 Mr. Bogdan knew one of the Muslims from

3 Busovaca, and he said, "You can pass, but Mr. Kostroman

4 stays." And then we said, "If he stays, we are

5 staying. It's either/or."

6 You should have been in my place or in

7 Mr. Kostroman's place in order to know what was going

8 on. And the UNPROFOR who arrived -- actually, UNHCR,

9 for us they were -- to us they were all the same. This

10 was all in the beginning. We didn't distinguish

11 between them. Had they not arrived, I think that we

12 all would have ended like Mr. Petrovic and other men

13 who died at that checkpoint.

14 So, Your Honours, that's all I have to say.

15 Q. What I want to know is: In your first

16 statement two years ago, did you mention UNPROFOR or

17 UNHCR as being instrumental in some way in releasing

18 Mr. Kostroman?

19 A. Your Honours, I think the UNPROFOR or UNHCR,

20 I think arrived by pure accident. Had they not

21 arrived, we would have been buried under ground now,

22 like the ones before us.

23 Q. Did you mention UNPROFOR and UNHCR when you

24 spoke to the lawyers sometime in 1998? That's all I

25 want to know. If you did, it will be in your

Page 19899

1 statement. And if it's there and I'm shown it, I shall

2 be happy to accept it. Did you mention UNPROFOR or

3 UNHCR when you saw your lawyers -- not your lawyers;

4 Mr. Kordic's lawyers -- in 1998? I don't want to take

5 any bad points in this case, you see.

6 A. Your Honours, I have already stated. What I

7 said in the statement, that was so. If I had not

8 mentioned UNHCR, that means that nobody had prepared me

9 for this, because one cannot recall everything. But

10 now I am sure that the International Community

11 representatives arrived, and they in a way couldn't

12 pass through, because these obstacles were erected at

13 the checkpoint by the ABiH, the ones that are called

14 hedgehogs, or apex obstacles.

15 Q. And just finally, before I move on, this must

16 be right, musn't it: There must have been a reference

17 to UNHCR or UNPROFOR in your original statement,

18 because when your affidavit was presented for you for

19 signing at the Court on the 8th of May of this year, it

20 didn't require any amendment, alteration or additions;

21 you just signed it?

22 A. I first read it through, and I came to the

23 conclusion that it was the way it had been written

24 down.

25 Q. Thank you. You, I think, were a member of

Page 19900

1 Mr. Kordic's special bodyguards; correct?

2 A. I was his personal security. I don't know

3 where the word "special" comes from, Your Honours.

4 Q. Is it right that you were regularly in that

5 work in company with Damir Cosic and Bogdan Santic?

6 Are these regular bodyguards?

7 A. That is correct, Your Honours.

8 Q. As bodyguards, you had special training;

9 would that be correct?

10 A. You see, who could have had any special

11 training at that time? I was what I was. Apparently I

12 was good enough, so I remained in that position.

13 Q. How were you selected?

14 A. On the 26th of April of 1992, when the JNA

15 bombed the town, I happened to be there by accident,

16 and when the bombs started falling we started running.

17 You may appreciate how it looks when you're being

18 bombed and you're there with a pistol in your holster.

19 I happened to be by Mr. Kordic, and as the buildings

20 were burning and several people were also killed, I was

21 with Mr. Kordic that night, by sheer accident, and then

22 it just continued from there, because somebody had to

23 be with that -- with this man.

24 Q. It's right, is it not, that at some stage you

25 had been to both Grude and to Zagreb in the course of

Page 19901

1 the war. Was that for training purposes?

2 A. During the war I never left Busovaca.

3 Q. Tell us about this: The Tisovac -- one other

4 question. The group to which you were a member, were

5 they called the Scorpions?

6 A. Your Honours, I never heard of the unit

7 called Scorpions.

8 Q. Can you give any explanation for how that

9 name might be associated with you? Was there any name

10 of a group that might be similar to "Scorpio" or

11 "Scorpions"?

12 A. I already said, I don't know of a Scorpio

13 unit or anything like it.

14 Q. At the time that you say you were recruited

15 you had a pistol. In what capacity was it that you had

16 a pistol at your belt?

17 A. Excuse me. What kind of recruitment are you

18 talking about?

19 Q. Well, you told us how you had a pistol, how

20 Kordic was there, houses were burning, and you

21 continued because somebody had to look after him.

22 That's what I'm referring to. How come you had a

23 pistol with you at that time?

24 A. You see, big things were going on in

25 Croatia. The Croatian people were suffering and being

Page 19902

1 killed there, and we supported them back home by taking

2 over some barracks; that was one way of helping out our

3 suffering brethren in Croatia. Obviously, in those

4 barracks there were all kinds of weapons,

5 long-barrelled and short-barrelled, and many other

6 things.

7 Q. In the spring of 1992, you were already

8 guarding Mr. Kordic up in Tisovac. Do you remember an

9 incident when a couple of men, probably going fishing,

10 were stopped by you and arrested and taken to the

11 Tisovac area?

12 A. Your Honours, that day the gentlemen that the

13 Prosecutor is referring to were invited to stop at the

14 checkpoint in Tisovac but they didn't stop. The home

15 guards which were manning the checkpoint were unable to

16 do anything.

17 Then they called us on the field telephone,

18 that those gentlemen did not obey their orders. I

19 don't know how quickly they were able to fish but they

20 were already past us up there, and so I quickly went

21 with some guys. We saw them walking by the river; they

22 were even skulking about. We called them and we said,

23 "Weren't you told to come back?" This was downstream

24 from the Ivancica River. We told them, and I quote,

25 "Gentlemen, you have to go back to Busovaca. This is

Page 19903

1 not a place for fishing. We have our offices here."

2 They then obeyed, they complied, and they

3 walked away. I think that we even secured a vehicle

4 for them to go back to the town. That was all that

5 happened on that day, Your Honours.

6 Q. Before they were allowed to return to the

7 town, you took them and forced them to strip, didn't

8 you? Why was that?

9 A. Your Honours, I didn't do that, nor any of my

10 fellow soldiers who were there with me.

11 Q. It was only when Grubesic took over that they

12 were released; correct?

13 A. Your Honours, I hear this for the first time

14 now, and I say that it is not true. Before I sat down

15 in this box, I read my statement and I was told that I

16 would be asked only questions from this statement.

17 Q. You've presumably been told that something

18 may be asked of you about your being named as a war

19 criminal, have you?

20 A. From which side? By whom?

21 Q. Have you been named as a war criminal?

22 A. I hear this for the first time, Your

23 Honours.

24 Q. By the court in Zenica?

25 A. Excuse me. But when Zenica could do it, it

Page 19904

1 would condemn all the Croats of Central Bosnia, right

2 off.

3 Q. Do you accept, then, that you may have been

4 named as a war criminal in Zenica?

5 MR. SAYERS: I object to that question on the

6 grounds that it calls for speculation. The man's been

7 asked the question does he know and he says he

8 doesn't.

9 MR. NICE: I could show him the documents but

10 I don't want to take time.

11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Go on to the next one.

12 MR. NICE: Yes.

13 Q. I'm going to suggest that you are and

14 probably know that you've been named as a war criminal

15 in Zenica for ethnic cleansing and other offences;

16 isn't that the truth?

17 A. Those allegations are not true, Your

18 Honours.

19 Q. Just a couple of more questions, then. The

20 meeting you were coming from, what was it all about?

21 That is, on the day of the Kostroman event, what was

22 the meeting you were coming from all about?

23 A. I think that the negotiations were conducted

24 between the Croatian and Muslim side, but I wouldn't

25 know what was discussed because I wasn't present there

Page 19905

1 at all.

2 Q. Or is the reality that you were actually at a

3 meeting in Fojnica, travelling in the reverse direction

4 from that which you have described?

5 A. That is absolutely not correct. We were

6 going from Travnik or Novi Travnik. I said that I have

7 given an oath or a declaration here, and based on that

8 I say that we went from Travnik or Novi Travnik. I

9 don't know where this idea came from that we were

10 coming from Fojnica.

11 Q. You, as Kordic's bodyguard, know perfectly

12 well that he was present and that, indeed, he made a

13 threat in the course of the disarming of a man at that

14 checkpoint on that day. That's the truth of the

15 matter, isn't it?

16 A. I already stated that those allegations are

17 not true. Mr. Kordic stayed at home, and after what we

18 heard via the Motorola about the checkpoint which had

19 been erected between Silo and Kacuni, we went there in

20 our vehicles. I already said what would have happened

21 had we not arrived and had the UNPROFOR not -- that is,

22 the UNHCR not arrived.

23 Q. Well, the UNHCR or the UNPROFOR were in a

24 position to log, to record, this incident if they'd

25 wanted to, weren't they?

Page 19906

1 A. I don't know what the gentlemen's duties were

2 at the time. I don't know whether they were supposed

3 to assist both ethnic groups to protect us, and I don't

4 know what they were supposed to log.

5 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm sorry, I should

6 have said, I am obviously -- but would be grateful for

7 sight of the witness' earlier statement, if that is

8 made available, in particular in relation to the point

9 that I'm making about UNPROFOR and UNHCR.

10 Re-examined by Mr. Sayers:

11 Q. Mr. Arapovic, two years ago when you were

12 speaking with Mr. Naumovski, he didn't have you to sign

13 a statement, did he?

14 JUDGE MAY: That's a leading question. The

15 damage has been done.

16 Did you sign the statement that Mr. Naumovski

17 showed you?

18 A. You mean in 1998? I can't remember, I really

19 don't know if I signed it or not, but I know that we

20 discussed it and that I stand by what I said at that

21 time.

22 MR. SAYERS: That's the only question that I

23 had, Your Honour, but if the Court wants to hear from

24 Mr. Naumovski, as far as we are aware, there is no such

25 signed statement. The witness was never asked to sign

Page 19907

1 one and did not.

2 [Trial Chamber confers]

3 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Arapovic, that concludes your

4 evidence. Thank you for coming to the International

5 Tribunal. You are free to go.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your

7 Honours.

8 [The witness withdrew]

9 JUDGE MAY: We'll turn next to the question

10 of the affidavits. Before we do that, it may be

11 convenient to deal with one other matter.

12 Mr. Nice, you asked us yesterday to delay

13 consideration of the motion on adjudicated facts. Are

14 we to take that as, in effect, a withdrawal of the

15 motion which you proposed to resubmit at a later

16 stage?

17 MR. NICE: Not so much withdrawal as amend

18 down, yes, indeed.

19 JUDGE MAY: That's a very equivocal answer.

20 MR. NICE: It has to be the same motion

21 because it's the same application, but what I would

22 forecast is that in due course the Prosecution would

23 seek to rely on limited, probably far more limited

24 findings than those necessarily listed on a broad basis

25 at the time of the making of the original application;

Page 19908

1 and that the degree to which we can reduce the original

2 application will be best known at the end of the

3 evidence by which time the progress of the other

4 appeals will be better known as well.

5 Now, obviously the ideal position, in one

6 sense, for tidiness would be for us to amend down to

7 nothing, for us to say that we don't seek to rely on

8 anything. I think it's unlikely that we will go that

9 far, but I think it highly likely that we will amend

10 substantially so that only a limited number of matters

11 will sought to be relied upon.

12 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] I think that

13 your answer remains ambiguous because you present us

14 with a motion and you say that the contents of which

15 will be examined at a later stage, which means it

16 remains open. So you have to decide when you present

17 such a motion to the Trial Chamber, you do it for the

18 Trial Chamber to give an answer. If you think that it

19 is not on the agenda any more, you should withdraw it

20 and then present another motion, an amended one, and

21 then you should tell us so at a point which you deem to

22 be appropriate. But you can't leave open a motion in

23 front of the Chamber without determining the actual

24 status of this motion. We would have preferred had you

25 given us more clarification.

Page 19909

1 MR. NICE: Well, I'm sorry that it seems or

2 is unclear. The technical reason for my proceeding in

3 this way was to forecast before the end of our case and

4 remains -- the technical basis for proceeding this way,

5 and let me try to explain it again. If one looks at

6 all --

7 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me.

8 Don't really try to prolong this debate. I have

9 understood all too well the reasons. But this is thus

10 a matter of procedure. It is simply a technical

11 point. You speak about a motion. I ask you not to

12 give an answer to this motion and say that it will be

13 presented at an appropriate moment. It would have been

14 better to withdraw it and then present the motion at

15 another time. My point is merely a point of

16 procedure. It's nothing about the contents or the

17 substance about it.

18 MR. NICE: I quite understand that. The

19 point I was trying to emphasise was that there had to

20 be within our Prosecution case and before the end of

21 the Prosecution's evidence an application to rely on

22 judicial facts elsewhere, because assuming, one way or

23 another, this case reaches the Appeals Chamber, there

24 may be technical issues raised about what was the state

25 of the evidence at the end of the Prosecution's case.

Page 19910

1 And it was with that possibility in mind that it seemed

2 appropriate to raise the issue by the general

3 application that we made before the end of the

4 Prosecution's case, and for that reason it seems to me

5 still possibly safer to proceed by way of later

6 amendment. But it, in substance, would be little

7 different from, if different at all from, withdrawing

8 this one and making a further more limited one at a

9 later stage. But I would ...

10 [Trial Chamber confers]

11 JUDGE MAY: Very well, Mr. Nice. We shall

12 treat it as if it's withdrawn.

13 MR. NICE: I'm grateful. Then the arguments

14 on both sides that exist in these pleadings can

15 probably be incorporated for economy at later

16 applications when made.

17 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

18 MR. NICE: Thank you.

19 JUDGE MAY: I turn next to the affidavits.

20 At the conclusion of this discussion, there is a

21 further matter I want to raise and it concerns the

22 progress of the case. We are in the position where we

23 must start listing other cases before this Chamber, and

24 therefore we need the assistance of the parties about

25 the future of this case. So after this matter we will

Page 19911

1 have some discussion on that.

2 The affidavits have come before us, complete

3 with a summary of affidavits 13 to 20. It may be

4 convenient to deal with them. We've also had an

5 application to admit a portion of a transcript. It may

6 be convenient to discuss that too. But we'll begin

7 with the summary of the affidavits.

8 Number 13 is Jozo Sekic. We've ruled on

9 that.

10 The next one is Mr. Branko Golub, affidavit

11 14, from Fojnica. Is there any point the Prosecution

12 want to make about him?

13 MR. NICE: Your Honour, before I deal with --

14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

15 MR. NICE: -- Mr. Golub, can I make some

16 general observations about affidavits, and inform the

17 Chamber that our slight concern about the present

18 circumstance is something we're going to reflect in a

19 written motion in a day or so. In short, we are going

20 to be expressing concern on a number of affidavits that

21 are coming in, and inviting the Chamber to exercise

22 caution before admitting them in this volume.

23 The position at the moment is that some 25

24 affidavits already, I think, have been served, to be

25 contrasted with the position in the Prosecution's case

Page 19912

1 where a total of 12 were intimated. Of those, five

2 were ruled out, simply on the grounds of lateness,

3 despite their having been forecast and subject to the

4 possibility of reviving them in rebuttal, and despite

5 the fact that they covered the same territory in form

6 as the material dealt with in Your Honour's absence on

7 the other side a couple of days ago. So there's those

8 five.

9 The other seven, I think it is, one falls

10 into a special category, because it was Mr. Morsink,

11 and he was provided at the direction of the Chamber.

12 And the others were notified in November, in the

13 overview of witnesses, and in due course dealt with at

14 the end of the case.

15 Now, so numerically there's a very stark

16 contrast.

17 JUDGE MAY: Well, pausing there, one needs to

18 look at the history of the matter. I don't know when

19 it was that there was first an intimation that you

20 might call affidavit evidence, but as I recollect,

21 there was difficulty which you experienced obtaining

22 them. And also this has got to be looked at against

23 the background of a developing practice in a new

24 institution.

25 MR. NICE: All of that I accept, and indeed

Page 19913

1 for Your Honours's assistance, I think the utility of

2 the affidavit rule was mentioned first to me probably

3 informally even before the case began, so its potential

4 interest in Chambers of this institution is

5 well-known -- interest to. I accept that. And Your

6 Honour is quite right; we had very grave difficulties,

7 including opposition by the Defence, as to the legality

8 of what we were doing, in our way. Nevertheless, there

9 was only a limited number that we sought to call, and

10 although, of course, sometimes on contentious issues,

11 not on absolutely central issues. And the Chamber will

12 recall that our general approach to non-direct evidence

13 was that matters that should be admitted should have

14 gone in in some other way, and so on.

15 Now, the present position is that there is a

16 small flood of affidavits, outnumbering, I think -- is

17 it outnumbering it?

18 JUDGE MAY: Not outnumbering the live

19 witnesses.

20 MR. NICE: No.

21 JUDGE MAY: In fact, I think the number is

22 21, and there have been 30 live witnesses.

23 MR. NICE: Yes, but beginning to match it.

24 And these, which of course deprive the Prosecution of

25 any cross-examination, are affidavits on central

Page 19914

1 issues, such as Mr. Kordic's role, presence, and so

2 on. So that there is a stark difference in our two

3 approaches.

4 We have in mind the continuing stance of the

5 Kordic defence in the Appeals Chamber, where they

6 maintain that the simple objection by either party to

7 the adduction of an affidavit is determinative as to

8 whether the affidavit can be called, which is why I

9 have announced and continue to express an objection in

10 principle to all the affidavits, save those which I

11 expressly say are agreed; none so far.

12 [Trial Chamber confers]

13 JUDGE MAY: I think we've got the general

14 drift of these submissions for general submissions, and

15 you're going to make them in writing and then we'll

16 consider them.

17 MR. NICE: Yes. And I'm mentioning it now so

18 as not to be thought that I'm changing my position.

19 What we're inviting you to do is to have the overall

20 landscape in mind. Because, for example, if the

21 Appeals Chamber rules in favour of the interpretation

22 of the Defence, and the Defence now prayed in aid in

23 their latest pleading, in observation of Your Honours

24 last week, to support their position. If they rule in

25 favour of that interpretation, then there will be no

Page 19915

1 affidavits on either side, and that is something that

2 we've got to have in mind, or we would invite you to

3 have in mind, when you consider the balance between

4 affidavit witnesses and others. But yes, indeed, our

5 position in writing will be coming your way in a day or

6 so's time.

7 We've prepared a short schedule of the

8 Defence affidavits that I think are going to have to be

9 dealt with today. Can I hand that in?

10 Meanwhile, can I --

11 JUDGE MAY: Do you accept any of these

12 affidavits?

13 MR. NICE: I maintain my objection to all of

14 them. As Your Honour will remember, the approach I was

15 taking was to identify, having made my in principle

16 objection, I was then to identify special reasons

17 relating to individual ones, or particular reasons, as

18 I spoke of earlier, I think.

19 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

20 MR. NICE: And as to this witness, the first

21 one, Branko Golub, you'll see that we have analysed the

22 points of evidence in the affidavit and the points

23 which it is said it can act as corroboration, and

24 therefore here there's a reasonable match. And I don't

25 think, subject to what I observed at an earlier stage,

Page 19916

1 I think, about paragraph 12's generality, I don't think

2 there's anything particular beyond the general that I

3 refer to on this witness.

4 JUDGE MAY: We can admit it.

5 [Trial Chamber confers]

6 JUDGE MAY: We'll admit this.

7 The next one is Dr. Pavlovic.

8 MR. NICE: We have made a separate filing in

9 respect of that which sets out our position. It seemed

10 particular --

11 JUDGE MAY: Let me find that.

12 [Trial Chamber confers]

13 JUDGE MAY: To remind ourselves, this is the

14 doctor --

15 MR. NICE: -- seeking to produce documents --

16 JUDGE MAY: Yes.

17 MR. NICE: -- which then say something about

18 the mental health of the witness.

19 JUDGE MAY: He was at the Busovaca Medical

20 Centre, known the witness for some time, saying he's

21 reviewed various documents pertaining to Mr. Cicak's

22 disability --

23 MR. NICE: Correct.

24 JUDGE MAY: -- and confirms they are

25 authentic, including a letter of discharge from his

Page 19917

1 work. And your objection --

2 MR. NICE: There are many objections here,

3 apart from the fact that the witness wasn't asked about

4 any of this. And I don't actually have the pleading

5 myself, but don't worry about that. I can remember it;

6 at least, I can remember most of it.

7 The problems include, so far as the utility

8 of Rule 94 is concerned, that the witness in whose

9 support he is said to be, or one of them, if Your

10 Honour recalls, had no knowledge of mental ill health,

11 and eventually reduced his evidence to: He had a

12 feeling about him, or something to that effect, and it

13 got worse, because it was then revealed that the only

14 reason he put anything in his summary about mental ill

15 health was because he had been told by the lawyers that

16 the doctor had found the man to be mentally unwell or

17 mentally ill. Completely circular, and therefore what

18 Dr. Pavlovic would be corroborating was his own

19 material, because his material then found its way into

20 the witness's summary. The witness says that's what

21 the doctors say he is, and they then sought to bring

22 the doctor in to corroborate. So wholly unsatisfactory

23 on technical grounds. But in any event it's expert

24 evidence, and not served as expert evidence. In any

25 event, it's hearsay. And on top of all that, there are

Page 19918

1 serious questions of privacy which are sourced in the

2 motion, but I don't have it before me at the moment,

3 which would make it inequitable and wrong for this

4 evidence to be given. And I refer again to the fact

5 that the witness himself wasn't asked about these

6 matters and hasn't had a chance to deal with them.

7 JUDGE MAY: You refer, so we can have it in

8 mind, in your submission to the jurisprudence of the

9 European human rights organs.

10 MR. NICE: Yes.

11 JUDGE MAY: The European Commission says the

12 collection of medical data and the mentions of medical

13 records falls within the sphere of private life, Chare,

14 nee Jullien, against France. And you refer to a

15 textbook of -- an English textbook on the subject, and

16 also the legislation from various countries, such as

17 Germany, repressing, as it's put, unauthorised access

18 to and disclosure of personal data contained in private

19 or public databases.

20 There is also the broad objection, with which

21 those of us from common law systems will be familiar,

22 about the attacks on the credibility or otherwise of

23 witnesses; the mounting, as it were, of discrete and

24 different issues outside the central issues in the

25 case. Yes.

Page 19919

1 MR. NICE: Well, indeed. I was going to

2 express that in a less well-articulated form by saying

3 that of course there's no evidence connecting whatever

4 his mental state may have been with any unreliability

5 in his evidence.

6 [Trial Chamber confers].

7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

8 MR. SAYERS: Just a number of responses. I'm

9 not going to respond generally to the attack on

10 affidavits unless the Court wants a general

11 exposition. I think the Court knows what the arguments

12 are.

13 We've had a very long trial. We must find a

14 way to expedite it. We think we've found a way to

15 expedite it by introducing affidavits on insignificant,

16 collateral matters that are corroborative of the

17 testimony of a live witness. You're going to hear from

18 a live witness, one witness after this, about the

19 particular issue that this affidavit corroborates. I

20 want to emphasise that this is not a private medical

21 record. This is an administrative proceeding which was

22 conducted in order to evaluate this gentleman's

23 continued ability to work.

24 And insofar as the insinuations made by the

25 Prosecution to the effect that no cross-examination on

Page 19920

1 this subject was concerned, I merely have this to point

2 out, page 1533 and 1534 of the transcript, where I

3 asked the gentleman, "You were retired at the time,

4 were you not?" And he says, "I was never retired." I

5 asked him, "Were you ever treated by Dr. Petar

6 Pavlovic. He says, "I think you've got the name

7 wrong. He's a very good man. Mr. Pero Pavlovic never

8 treated me."

9 And then there was a direct question from

10 Judge Robinson to the witness, "Did you retire or did

11 you not?" I don't have that before me right now.

12 We'll try to get it in the seconds available. But I

13 have a very clear recollection of that question, and

14 this gentleman gave a very good emulation of Rudolf

15 Nureyev for trying to dance around the question and

16 never answering it. But we have the answer. He was

17 retired in 1984, and it was as a result of a proceeding

18 conducted by the Zenica branch of the Socialist

19 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina's Institute for

20 Evaluation of Work Ability. I think that

21 Dr. Pavlovic --

22 THE INTERPRETER: Could you slow down,

23 Mr. Sayers, please.

24 MR. SAYERS: -- Dr. Pavlovic sat on the panel

25 which considered this matter. He simply authenticates

Page 19921

1 the documents from the Zenica institute, saying, "Yes,

2 this is an accurate copy of the finding, assessment,

3 and opinion. Yes, this is an accurate copy of the

4 discharge letter," and the documents basically speak

5 for themselves.

6 If the Court wants us to bring along

7 Dr. Pavlovic to say exactly what is stated in the

8 affidavit, we will do so.

9 JUDGE MAY: The issue is one of

10 admissibility; it's not whether we want the doctor here

11 for cross-examination.

12 MR. SAYERS: Yes.

13 JUDGE MAY: The issue, really, is whether

14 this evidence is admissible or not.

15 MR. SAYERS: That's precisely the case, Your

16 Honour. We had to evaluate what is the value of

17 bringing the doctor here to say what we could get him

18 to say in an affidavit, to authenticate documents that

19 speak for themselves, that are not controvertible.

20 These are not private records. The person whose

21 eligibility for early retirement was considered had an

22 opportunity, as I understand it, under the law of the

23 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, to file an

24 appeal.

25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Excuse me,

Page 19922

1 Mr. Sayers. In order for us to be able to follow what

2 you're saying, the problem which you are speaking of is

3 to know how much does this affidavit follow the

4 framework of Rule 94, which means can it corroborate a

5 statement made in front of this Chamber? At first

6 glance it doesn't seem so; it doesn't seem that it

7 corroborates any other witness' declaration in front of

8 this Chamber.

9 Could you please explain, when you mention

10 the document, the document which says that this person

11 has actually retired, if I managed to follow you well,

12 has this document already been tendered, or are you

13 going to do so? Is there an official document? I

14 think, if I understood you well, there is such an

15 official document. Will this witness come here in

16 order to confirm it? Could you give me more

17 clarification, please.

18 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Your Honour.

19 First of all, in addressing the privacy

20 matter, I want to emphasise that this doctor was not

21 the personal physician of Mr. Cicak. He was simply a

22 member of a fitness-for-work review board, and as such

23 a determination was made that Mr. Cicak was not

24 eligible to work and that's why he took early

25 retirement.

Page 19923

1 As you see from the documents that are

2 attached to Dr. Pavlovic's affidavit, and we say

3 this -- I think he authenticates the finding,

4 assessment, and opinion of April the 14th, 1984,

5 Exhibit A, as being an accurate copy of an official

6 document --

7 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Sayers, will you slow

8 down, please.

9 MR. SAYERS: -- and the same thing with a

10 letter of discharge, dated April the 14th, 1984, which

11 is authenticated as being an accurate copy of that

12 document, paragraphs 11 and 12.

13 [Trial Chamber confers]

14 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we are agreed on one

15 thing: that it's not appropriate to have this witness

16 as an affidavit witness. If he is to be called at all,

17 he must be called live.

18 Speaking for myself, I have doubts about

19 admissibility, as I've indicated, and I could put them

20 to you for your consideration when you're considering

21 whether to call this witness.

22 First of all, the issue of privacy, which is

23 certainly arguable; secondly, the issue of whether he's

24 an expert or not; he's authenticated these documents as

25 a doctor and therefore prima facie sounds like an

Page 19924

1 expert; thirdly, the question of relevance, whether

2 it's really going to take this case any further to hear

3 that one particular witness retired early due to mental

4 illness.

5 Perhaps you might like to consider all those

6 things when you're deciding what to do next. But we'll

7 not admit it as an affidavit.

8 MR. SAYERS: Very well, Your Honour. If we

9 have to bring the doctor along, we'll do that. As I

10 say, I don't think that his direct examination will

11 last very long at all. Who knows how --

12 JUDGE MAY: You better consider whether he's

13 an expert and the way to approach that.

14 MR. SAYERS: We'll consider that too,

15 obviously, and comply with the appropriate provisions

16 of Rule 94 bis, if that's way the Court wants us to

17 proceed.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Also you have to consider

19 the issue of privacy which has been raised, but there's

20 no need to argue that. The affidavit is not admitted.

21 Let's move on to the next one.

22 MR. NICE: The next one is Jure Carava, and

23 this is subject to very specific objections. This

24 affidavit doesn't fall within the provisions at all and

25 in any event should be excluded when one looks at

Page 19925

1 what's sought to be done.

2 It's said to be supportive of Niko Grubesic.

3 The points of evidence are, if we deal with them in

4 each case, summarising what the witness would say and

5 what it would be supporting, if anything: He's a

6 member of the command of the Zrinjski Brigade. The

7 witness only mentions Dusko Grubesic as being commander

8 for most of 1992 and 1993.

9 Over the page, it's suggested that he can

10 give evidence that Kordic never had military authority

11 over that brigade which was under the command of

12 Blaskic. The only evidence given there of that is that

13 the witness doesn't believe he had a headquarters at

14 the PTT building. Although the Zrinjski Brigade had

15 headquarters there, he didn't know whether Kordic was

16 there or not, as he wasn't there. So there's no

17 support or corroboration there.

18 Three, Grubesic never took orders from Kordic

19 in relation to the humanitarian convoy on the 28th of

20 April. In cross-examination the witness said he didn't

21 know who was in political command over Grubesic. His

22 view is that the chain of command went via Blaskic.

23 Basically he's ignorant of this matter and isn't

24 suggesting that the incident didn't happen at all, just

25 that he didn't know about it.

Page 19926

1 Four, Dusko Grubesic never orchestrated the

2 seizure of a 40-truck convoy on the 28th of April, no

3 such convoy was taken, and to that he only says he's

4 never heard of such a convoy, that is, the witness.

5 There was a leading question about it in any event.

6 What is being sought in reality with this

7 affidavit is to get in by a door, maybe a back door or

8 a side door, evidence, really, about the commander of

9 Dusko Grubesic, who maybe isn't going to be called.

10 He's listed. His evidence doesn't corroborate the

11 evidence given by the witness, who himself is not in a

12 position to say many of the things that it's sought to

13 have corroborated.

14 JUDGE MAY: Is Dusko Grubesic on the list?

15 MR. NICE: He's on the list. He's on the

16 list, yes.

17 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, you're going to call

18 Dusko Grubesic?

19 MR. SAYERS: We have not made a final

20 decision with respect to him, we reserve our right to

21 do so, but I don't know whether it's going to be

22 necessary to do so, Your Honour.

23 JUDGE MAY: Maybe it's sensible to consider

24 the application of this affidavit after Dusko is called

25 or not.

Page 19927

1 MR. NICE: I entirely agree.

2 JUDGE MAY: If it's corroborative of him. It

3 also goes to, I must say, looking at it, an important

4 issue in the case.

5 MR. NICE: Certainly, yes. That as well,

6 but ...

7 [Trial Chamber confers]

8 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Sayers, we have in mind

9 waiting on whether Dusko Grubesic is called and then

10 considering this affidavit. These are important

11 issues.

12 MR. SAYERS: Yes. Well, let me just respond,

13 if I may.

14 First of all, I think it's rather unfair to

15 put us in the position of producing something like this

16 in open court, this document that the Prosecution has

17 given us, and ask us to react on our feet. But I will

18 react on our feet.

19 Firstly --

20 JUDGE MAY: If it was unfair, Mr. Sayers, I

21 wouldn't allow it. It's not unfair. You know your

22 case. These are perfectly fair points. Yes.

23 MR. SAYERS: This is not submitted in

24 corroboration of the testimony of Dusko Grubesic, and

25 our summary says exactly that. It's submitted in

Page 19928

1 corroboration of the testimony of Niko Grubesic.

2 Second, Jure Cavara was in the staff

3 headquarters of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade until

4 he took over command of that brigade from Dusko

5 Grubesic in the autumn of 1993. This affidavit is

6 submitted in corroboration of the points that we've

7 summarised on page 4 of the document that we've

8 submitted to the Court, including Mr. Grubesic's

9 testimony that there was no seizure of any UNHCR convoy

10 on April the 28th, 1993.

11 So this affidavit stands or falls by itself.

12 It is submitted in corroboration of the specific

13 testimony of Niko Grubesic, to whom we asked specific

14 questions about these subjects. Once again, if the

15 Court wants to bring him here simply to say what he

16 said in his affidavit, I'm sure we can arrange that.

17 JUDGE MAY: It's not a question of simply

18 saying what he says in his affidavit. The question is

19 whether he should be cross-examined about these

20 matters, whether it's unjust to the Prosecution to

21 allow the affidavit evidence to be given without any

22 cross-examination. That's the issue.

23 But if you want us to make a decision about

24 this witness, we will at this stage, but it may be

25 better to leave it and decide here whether Dusko

Page 19929

1 Grubesic is coming, in which case we can deal with it

2 then.

3 MR. SAYERS: I think we should make the

4 decision at this point, Your Honour, because that may

5 have an input into our overall witness selection for

6 the remainder of our case.

7 [Trial Chamber confers]

8 JUDGE MAY: We shall not allow this

9 affidavit. This is clearly an important issue, a

10 number of important issues in relation to the chain of

11 command, and the witness should be called.

12 Yes.

13 MR. NICE: Ivo Brnada is a name which will be

14 familiar to the Chamber, because his name appears as

15 one of the cosignatories on that arguably important

16 document, Z100, countersigned by Kordic as HVO

17 vice-president, and although that's not the only time

18 that he appears with that title -- indeed we've seen a

19 video clip with him being introduced by that title --

20 it's plainly a title being rejected on his behalf, or

21 said to be of no significance.

22 Thus far no one has been able to explain the

23 signature, and we see -- it's over the page in

24 Brnada -- that all that the witness Niko Grubesic could

25 say about it was that he'd heard about the order which

Page 19930

1 he hadn't seen before and didn't know whether that

2 position existed.

3 It's interesting to note in the summary of

4 the next witness to be called but one, the mayor of the

5 municipality, that he was present at the meeting but

6 claims to have left before the document was drawn up

7 and therefore would himself be in no position to

8 explain how the signatures were appended and why that

9 particular job title was chosen.

10 So -- and I take you to this straight away,

11 although it's not the only point on Brnada's

12 evidence -- if this evidence is allowed in by way of

13 affidavit, it may be we will have no opportunity of

14 discovering from somebody who must know, assuming that

15 Kordic doesn't give evidence himself, we may have no

16 opportunity of discovering from someone who must know

17 why that document was countersigned by the defendant in

18 the way he did. For that reason alone, it's vital to

19 have that witness before you as a witness to be

20 cross-examined.

21 Going to the earlier four points, number 1,

22 it's not material. Number 2, the agreement as to the

23 50/50 share allegedly reneged on by the Muslims, the

24 evidence that witness gave is to the effect,

25 summarised, that he doesn't know about the agreement.

Page 19931

1 He sets out something about Draga going to the Croats,

2 Kacuni to the Muslims, and the Croats to get the Kaonik

3 barracks, with weapons equally divided, but I'm not

4 sure that he went further than that. As to 3, the

5 contingent of Muslims, headed by Merdan, arriving on

6 the 9th of May, it may be that on review of the

7 evidence the witness and counsel calling him were in

8 some state of confusion over Kaonik and Draga barracks;

9 Merdan was not mentioned at all and the Kaonik barracks

10 were taken over by the Zrinjski barracks on the 10th of

11 May, the witness unaware of whether Kordic was

12 involved. We would say finally in relation to number 4

13 that the evidence is unclear.

14 So that as to corroboration, effectively of

15 no value, because it's not clear that it's

16 corroborating matters that are given by the witness.

17 But in any event this signature on Z100 is not a

18 trivial matter; it's an important matter, and it

19 shouldn't be avoided by the witness or not made

20 available to us by the witness not being called.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE ROBINSON: Before we hear from

23 Mr. Sayers, I just want to say that in my view in

24 considering these matters, the centrality of the issue

25 is perhaps more important than the corroborative

Page 19932

1 significance of the effect of the evidence, and I think

2 argument should be more directed to that, to show that

3 the issue that the evidence addresses is so central

4 that the person should be called for

5 cross-examination.

6 Also, in my view, corroboration in that Rule

7 cannot be anything more than purport to corroborate. I

8 think that is all it means. So that eventually it will

9 be for the Chamber to assess the question of the weight

10 of the evidence.

11 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm grateful for that

12 assistance, with the way Your Honour is approaching the

13 problem. And in relation to this witness, as I hope

14 I've made plain, the issues, particularly of the

15 barracks, and in particular Z100, the document that

16 deals with, it may be thought, the takeover, are

17 absolutely central issues and issues upon which the

18 Chamber would require assistance as to how it came

19 about. That Kordic signed, and signed in the capacity

20 he did, is really a central issue.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers.

22 MR. SAYERS: Well, insofar as the document

23 Z100 is concerned, there isn't any dispute from the

24 Defence's part that the signatures are on there.

25 They're in there in the capacities stated.

Page 19933

1 There is, I think, equally no dispute in the

2 evidence thus far that as of this extremely early date

3 in the evolution of the HVO, which is an organisation

4 that was about a month old at that time, there was no

5 office of vice-president. In fact, the office of

6 vice-president was not created, as we know from looking

7 at the paper trail, until the -- until about the 17th

8 of -- 14th of August, when the first vice-president,

9 Mr. Ivanovic, was appointed, and then there were two

10 other vice-presidents appointed in October. The Court

11 has already heard evidence about that. The publication

12 in the Narodni List testified by about Dr. Ribicic

13 established that beyond doubt.

14 So the centrality of the issue, I don't see

15 it being a central issue. The signature is the

16 signature, the described title is the described title,

17 and the Court knows what the circumstances were under

18 which that document was signed. But once again, if the

19 Court wants Mr. Brnada to come to Court and be exposed

20 to cross-examination to test whether what he said is

21 true or not, we're more than happy to bring him along.

22 [Trial Chamber confers]

23 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Sayers,

24 I would like to ask a question. Maybe you could assist

25 the Chamber, in order to try to have a fair and

Page 19934

1 expeditious trial.

2 You say that on the one hand the signature is

3 not important; on the other hand, it is important, we

4 don't dispute anything, and the rest is not as

5 important. Why do you really introduce this

6 affidavit? What is the new thing that it brings --

7 this is the matter, in fact -- if apparently the

8 Prosecutor attaches a certain importance to the

9 question of the signature, the signature which is here,

10 and in the way in which the signature has been

11 interpreted? We can read that Dario Kordic was never

12 an HVO vice-president, although the title appears in

13 document Z100 because the Croats did not have any

14 formal organisation and so on and so forth. And you

15 say: We don't contest anything, we don't dispute

16 anything, we don't dispute the signature. Could you

17 explain to us what is the interest of this particular

18 affidavit?

19 MR. SAYERS: Yes, happily, Your Honour. The

20 affidavit simply corroborates the testimony of

21 Mr. Grubesic, and Mr. Grubesic was completely unaware

22 of Mr. Kordic being a vice-president, or indeed that

23 there was any office of vice-president as of this

24 time. It should be emphasised once again that this is

25 the very earliest embryonic time in the evolution, not

Page 19935

1 only of the HVO on a national level, but certainly on a

2 local level. In fact, I believe it's uncontroverted

3 that there was no HVO prior to the date that document

4 was actually signed, which was on the evening of May

5 9th or May 10th.

6 So that's the -- it's not that the affidavit

7 brings anything new. It doesn't. That's not the

8 purpose of an affidavit. The purpose of an affidavit

9 is to corroborate that which is in evidence, and that's

10 what we think it did.

11 The only importance that we attach to the

12 signatures -- I don't think that it is an important

13 issue, and I've explained why. We do not contest the

14 accuracy of the signatures. They speak for

15 themselves. And furthermore, the putative capacities

16 in which the persons who signed the document sign it

17 are explained on the document.

18 The Court has had plenty of evidence about

19 the circumstances under which this document was

20 signed. It knows what the circumstances are. It can

21 make up its own mind whether, in fact, Mr. Kordic was

22 an HVO vice-president within a month of the formation

23 of the body from the signature of the decree by Mate

24 Boban and there being no prior to documentation to this

25 effect in Busovaca.

Page 19936

1 But once again, as I stress, if the Court

2 feels that it's important, in fairness to the

3 Prosecution, I guess, to have the signatory of this

4 document come and explain those facts and be subjected

5 to cross-examination on that, we're happy to do it.

6 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Could I ask

7 you, then, Mr. Nice this time: Do you dispute that for

8 you the signature was actually made in his capacity as

9 vice-president, I mean the signature of Mr. Kordic? Is

10 this the disputed point? Is this where you would like

11 to cross-examine?

12 MR. NICE: The central issue here is what was

13 going on at the time that Merdan was being arrested and

14 agreements were being withdrawn and so on. Was

15 Mr. Kordic a military man with military authority? Was

16 he the supreme authority in the area?

17 As to his technical position, we're probably

18 unaware of whether he was in any sense technically the

19 vice-president. What is important is that he signed

20 this document in this capacity and that he was the

21 authority signing the document, and the only people who

22 can explain that fully are those present at the moment

23 of signing and the two signatories.

24 But as to the suggestion that it matters not

25 whether he was HVO vice-president or not, the Chamber

Page 19937

1 will recall that when I led a little bit of videotape

2 where he was introduced as the vice-president, the

3 cross-examination was clearly aimed at minimising the

4 significance of that by saying, "Well, he didn't say he

5 was vice-president. He was simply introduced as

6 vice-president and he never acknowledged it."

7 So whatever is now said, there is concern in

8 the Defence camp about this adoption of an apparent

9 high rank. We say the adoption, whether reflecting

10 underlying formalities or not, of that rank, is

11 important and reflects the real authority of the man at

12 the time, as the signatories to the document would be

13 able to reveal.

14 So in answer to Your Honours's question, it's

15 not really technically the title and so on; it's the

16 overall circumstances in which he signed using that

17 title.

18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. He must be called for

19 cross-examination. We'll continue our consideration of

20 these affidavits after the adjournment, and then we'll

21 hear some further evidence when we've also considered

22 some dates. An hour and a half.

23 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.08 p.m.



Page 19938

1 --- On resuming at 2.41 p.m.

2 JUDGE MAY: Bohutinski.

3 MR. NICE: The next three, no special

4 observations to make. The Chamber can see the degree

5 and relation to which the third, Zarko Zec, is not in

6 fact corroborative. But notwithstanding that, bearing

7 in mind the concerns of the Chamber, no special

8 observations.

9 JUDGE MAY: We will admit all three. There's

10 another one come in, Mr. Bilanovic. Have you had that,

11 Mr. Nice?

12 MR. NICE: If we have, I certainly haven't

13 considered it, I don't think. I think there were four

14 others, is it, that have come in recently but I don't

15 think they're due for consideration this week.

16 The ones that we've just dealt with are those

17 that were due for consideration somewhere in the

18 seven-day period ending about now, I think, and

19 although this may offend technically the seven-day

20 rule, it may be thought that the convenient way is to

21 batch whatever is outstanding now until the end of the

22 week and to deal with those at some convenient point

23 next week.

24 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, all of the

25 outstanding affidavits corroborate the testimony of

Page 19939

1 Mr. Maric, which is expected to be over by this Friday,

2 so one week from then would be the appropriate point

3 within which to consider them.

4 JUDGE MAY: Yes. That, then, concludes the

5 matter of the affidavits.

6 I wanted to consider the question of timing.

7 The Trial Chamber has got to list other cases, not just

8 this one.

9 Mr. Sayers, you can help us with this. It

10 appears that we are running on schedule to date. I

11 know you're going to point out that three more

12 witnesses are going to be required as a result of this

13 morning's rulings, but I note that in the 24 days of

14 the Defence case, 30 witnesses have been heard, or will

15 have been heard by tomorrow or the day after. I think

16 you told us that that was about half the case. Is that

17 as I recollect?

18 MR. SAYERS: Yes. That was based upon our

19 then estimates, and I haven't had the opportunity to

20 consider the position in light of the Court's rulings

21 today. But let me just assure the Trial Chamber that

22 we are going to do our level best to keep our word and

23 to try to have this case put in by the August break,

24 and currently, notwithstanding the addition of three

25 witnesses at least, we anticipate that that will be

Page 19940

1 feasible.

2 JUDGE MAY: The position is that there are

3 some 30 to 35 days left before the break, so you have

4 not as yet had half the time. Do you anticipate that

5 it's possible you might finish before the break?

6 MR. SAYERS: Prior to today I would have said

7 yes because I have to admit that our trial strategy was

8 to bring to court those witnesses that we thought were

9 necessary and not to waste the Court's time with those

10 witnesses that we did not think were necessary. I'm

11 sure the Court can appreciate that the rulings today

12 have ramifications beyond the three immediate

13 witnesses. So I'm not as sure as I was this morning

14 that we would be through earlier than the break.

15 That's a possibility but I really cannot say for

16 certain.

17 JUDGE MAY: We will work on the assumption

18 for the moment that your original estimate is the right

19 one, and that is that you'll finish by the recess.

20 MR. SAYERS: We certainly have not been

21 dragging our heels, Your Honour.

22 JUDGE MAY: No. We will work on that basis.

23 Mr. Kovacic, assuming that that is right and

24 that you will start your case on the 4th of September,

25 I think you told us that two months was the time

Page 19941

1 estimate which you had in mind.

2 MR. KOVACIC: Yes, Your Honour, I did. I'm

3 trying also to submit, and I will do that as soon as I

4 find some time, new details. I'm sure that that is the

5 maximum amount of time that I will need.

6 JUDGE MAY: Very well.

7 MR. KOVACIC: Of course, there is no need,

8 probably, to remind you about the variable elements

9 which, unfortunately, does not allow me to give you

10 some more precise estimate. But I'm pretty sure that

11 within that time I can do it, one way or another.

12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Thank you. If necessary,

13 you may be called on to start your case before the

14 recess, although at the moment that is not on the

15 cards. But it's still a possibility.

16 MR. KOVACIC: I'm trying to be prepared, and

17 in the case that the Kordic Defence will be done

18 earlier, I will be prepared to deliver at least 10 to

19 12 days of the case before August.

20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. But at the moment it

21 looks as though September the 4th is the date, and

22 we'll work on the basis that you will be finished by

23 the end of October, which would be something like the

24 27th of October.

25 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, perhaps it's a

Page 19942

1 good time just to mention one thing -- I'm not

2 proposing anything -- but I would just like, indeed, to

3 share a problem which I feel could probably arise

4 during the next couple of weeks.

5 I don't know whether the Court is informed,

6 and I'm sure that my colleagues from the other desk

7 will add something --

8 MR. NICE: This may be something we ought to,

9 in the general interest, deal with in private session,

10 if it's the topic that Mr. Kovacic and I were

11 discussing just before, for reasons that I'll come to

12 in a minute.

13 MR. KOVACIC: If Mr. Nice thinks private, it

14 could be private. I didn't want to go into the

15 details, but ...

16 JUDGE MAY: We'll go into private session,

17 and then we can hear what it is.

18 [Private session]

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 19943

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 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 19944

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 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 19945

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 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 19946

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 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)


Page 19947

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 [Open session]

6 MR. NICE: And perhaps if I can help with

7 what our thoughts are in case they are helpful.

8 Obviously if the Kordic case finishes before the

9 recess, very desirable for the Cerkez case to start

10 immediately, because if you look to the end of the time

11 period, Christmas and next year are looming up. Even

12 if one eliminates, or truncates to a minimum, any gaps

13 between cases, defence and rebuttal, there is likely to

14 be a period of time that has to pass between the close

15 of the evidence and submission of written arguments,

16 although there's no doubt those can be prepared

17 substantially in advance. I assume that it will be

18 mutual exchange of written briefs, followed by the

19 usual comparatively short period of time for oral

20 argument in court. And being realistic, I would hope

21 that we can all work towards those stages being

22 completed before Christmas. But unless we keep our

23 feet on the accelerator, in the way we are all doing,

24 there's a terrible risk, one can see, of the thing

25 extending into another year.

Page 19948

1 JUDGE MAY: What I can tell you we have in

2 mind at the moment is to start another case at the

3 beginning of November, that being the close of the case

4 for Mr. Cerkez, and before rebuttal evidence, to allow

5 a short period for rebuttal and rejoinder evidence.

6 You would then no doubt ask for a short period before

7 having to have the briefs in. But the whole matter to

8 be concluded, as far as evidence and submissions are

9 concerned, by the end of the year.

10 MR. NICE: Well, I'm pretty sure, without

11 having discussed it with my friends opposite, that

12 everyone would share that sentiment. I don't see

13 anybody nodding, but then I don't see anybody shaking

14 their heads either. And we will, of course, do

15 everything we can to ensure that that happens.

16 May I very respectfully invite the Chamber to

17 consider making that a priority concern even over the

18 listing of the other case, because the consequences of

19 this case going after Christmas, where it could go

20 before, are pretty unappealing, I think.

21 JUDGE MAY: This case has the same priority

22 as any other case.

23 MR. NICE: Well, quite.

24 JUDGE MAY: We have to have those cases in

25 mind. At the moment that is what we propose to do, in

Page 19949

1 very general terms.

2 MR. NICE: Thank you.

3 JUDGE MAY: And I would be grateful if

4 everyone would have that sort of timetable in mind, and

5 if anything is likely to affect it, to let the Trial

6 Chamber know as soon as possible.

7 MR. NICE: Your Honour was going to deal with

8 the affidavit of Ljuba Vidovic, and in particular the

9 transcript. This has been, I hope, sufficiently set

10 out in our short application. In our respectful

11 submissions, it would be entirely fair that that

12 passage of her transcript should be admitted into

13 evidence.

14 [Trial Chamber confers]

15 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Sayers, is there any

16 objection?.

17 MR. SAYERS: In conformity with the previous

18 position taken in the case, if a piece of Ms. Vidovic's

19 testimony is to be considered for admission, we would

20 prefer all of her testimony to be considered.

21 [Trial Chamber confers]

22 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We think there's

23 force in the submission that the whole transcript

24 should go in. The whole transcript goes in.

25 JUDGE BENNOUNA: May I add something.

Page 19950

1 I think in general taking one sentence

2 outside the context is not very honest in the sense of

3 the methodology of analysing texts in general. I say

4 it is not compatible with certificate analysis of

5 whatever text it is. Taking the sentence outside of

6 the context doesn't signify anything in general. So if

7 you take the whole text and then you say, "We are

8 relying on this part or this one," then it's different,

9 but just taking a sentence doesn't mean anything.

10 Of course, I am speaking -- this is my

11 personal view, on my own. I am not speaking on behalf

12 of the Trial Chamber in general.

13 MR. NICE: It's helpful to know what Your

14 Honour's views on these matters are. In this

15 particular case we had, of course, put in a couple of

16 pages because they thought that was context enough.

17 But with the whole statement or the whole transcript

18 in, then the overall context will be available. It's

19 the same pages upon which I think we will be relying,

20 but I'm grateful for that.

21 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll have the next

22 witness.

23 Mr. Sayers, we'll go on until ten past four.

24 I take it this will be Mr. Bilic?

25 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Mr. President.

Page 19951

1 [The witness entered court]

2 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the

3 declaration.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly

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

6 and nothing but the truth.


8 [Witness answered through interpreter]

9 Examined by Mr. Sayers:

10 Q. Good afternoon, sir.

11 A. Good afternoon.

12 Q. Would you please state your full name for the

13 Court.

14 A. My name is Zoran Bilic.

15 Q. Mr. Bilic, I'm going to go over very quickly

16 with you some basic details concerning yourself.

17 It's true, I believe, that you were born on

18 January the 4th, 1951, in the village of Granice, which

19 itself is in the municipality of Busovaca.

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. You are a Serb by ethnicity and a practising

22 Orthodox Christian.

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. You're a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and

25 you live in a small village or hamlet near Kaonik that

Page 19952

1 contains five other Serb houses apart from your own.

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. You're married and you have four children,

4 all of whom still live with your wife and you.

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. I believe, sir, that by training you are a

7 locksmith and that you worked in Zenica for 22 years

8 for a metal parts manufacturer called Metalno.

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. You worked there until April of 1993, when

11 the Muslims who controlled the company fired all

12 non-Muslim employees; is that correct?

13 A. Yes, I was fired, and I got it in writing.

14 Q. You currently work for a company called RIS

15 Busovaca, a trucking business owned by your brother.

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. In 1990, sir, I believe that you became a

18 member of the SDS, the Serbian Democratic Party, which

19 is the main Serbian political party in

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. Are you still a member of that party?

23 A. No.

24 Q. I believe that in the first free elections

25 held in the country you stood as a candidate for the

Page 19953

1 SDS and that you were actually elected to be a member

2 of the Busovaca parliament, the municipal parliament.

3 A. Yes.

4 Q. All right, sir. Let me just turn your

5 attention to a period in the first third of May of

6 1992.

7 There was a confrontation in connection with

8 the takeover of the former JNA barracks located in

9 Kaonik. Could you tell the Court, in your own words,

10 what you know about that confrontation, sir.

11 A. What I can state is that I live near that

12 location, this is where I reside, and one day in early

13 May I noticed a number of people gathering near the

14 barracks. I couldn't observe everything but there were

15 a number of people there. Later on I learned that it

16 had to do with the takeover of the JNA barracks, which

17 is located there, and that there was some conflicts and

18 misunderstandings between the two parties regarding

19 this takeover.

20 Q. The gathering of people that you've just

21 described, were they gathered at a nightclub called the

22 Leptir?

23 A. Yes, it is in front of this nightclub called

24 Leptir. Later on I learned that these were TO people

25 from Zenica, that they came from Zenica to take over

Page 19954

1 these barracks.

2 Q. All right. Now, Leptir is owned by a Muslim

3 resident of Busovaca municipality, or was at the time?

4 A. Yes, the owner was a Muslim. He lived in the

5 neighbouring village of Skradno; that's where the owner

6 is from. But the owner was a Muslim, yes.

7 Q. These TO soldiers from Zenica, do you know

8 whether they arrived with or without prior advance

9 notice to the Croats, sir?

10 A. They came unannounced. There was no

11 announcement of their arrival.

12 Q. All right. Do you know anything about any

13 agreement for arms division reached between the Croats

14 and the Muslims in Busovaca municipality or not?

15 A. I didn't know anything about that situation.

16 Q. All right. What happened later in the night,

17 as far as you're aware, Mr. Bilic?

18 A. Later we learned that there were some wounded

19 people, that there was a conflict, that there was a

20 quarrel and that what followed was that the government

21 in Busovaca was replaced.

22 Q. All right. Now, could you tell the Court,

23 sir, what impact that change in the municipal

24 government had upon you.

25 A. As a citizen of that municipality, and

Page 19955

1 because I do not live in the town itself but rather

2 three kilometres outside of town, I noticed no

3 changes. But we knew that the war was raging all

4 around us and we were just looking to prepare food

5 supplies. We didn't notice anything except that there

6 were more soldiers around town.

7 Q. All right. Did you have occasion to go into

8 town at all, into the town of Busovaca?

9 A. Yes, I could but I did not go to the town

10 very often.

11 Q. When you did, though, did you notice that

12 anything had changed in particular, or did it still

13 look the same to you?

14 A. There were no particular changes which one

15 could observe. Everything looked normal, as that was

16 possible in circumstances like those.

17 Q. All right. You said that your objective was

18 to prepare food supplies. Could you just elaborate a

19 little bit upon that for the Court, Mr. Bilic. Tell

20 the Court why that was an important goal, if it was,

21 and what you were doing in that connection.

22 A. It was important because there were food

23 shortages already in town and we needed to have enough,

24 and the refugees of Serbian ethnic background started

25 leaving Central Bosnia and they were crossing through

Page 19956

1 the Busovaca municipality.

2 Q. All right. We'll get to that in just a

3 second, Mr. Bilic, but let me just ask you one question

4 in connection with the HVO police force that replaced

5 the old police force in Busovaca.

6 Did you notice anything in particular in

7 regard to the makeup of police officers?

8 A. We couldn't notice anything because the

9 people who were there before, who were of Serbian

10 ethnic background, in the police, stayed in their

11 posts. They weren't replaced so we couldn't observe

12 anything.

13 Q. All right, sir. Did you or any of your

14 neighbours, as far as you knew, hear anything about the

15 municipal HVO government expelling or firing Muslims

16 from positions of authority that they had held in the

17 government?

18 A. No, I haven't heard anything about that.

19 Q. All right. You just touched upon, Mr. Bilic,

20 the subject of the passage of Serb people from

21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, from the municipality of Zenica,

22 through the municipality of Busovaca. Could you tell

23 the Court when this exodus occurred and, if you know,

24 why it occurred.

25 A. As early as May 1992, the Serbian civilians

Page 19957

1 from Zavidovici, Zepce, Breza, Visoko, Zenica

2 municipalities started arriving in Busovaca. They had

3 been beaten, mistreated, and abused. We had the

4 charity organisation Dobrotvor, and this is where the

5 refugees started coming. They were then transferred to

6 the Serbian territory through Kiseljak. With the help

7 of the HVO, convoys were prepared. They were leaving

8 Busovaca to Kiseljak, and then on to the

9 Serbian-controlled area in Radovac.

10 Q. All right. In your statement, sir, you make

11 reference to people who came from, or who were expelled

12 from, two villages; one called Janjski Vrh and the

13 other one called Drivusa. Did people from these two

14 villages transit through the municipality of Busovaca,

15 and if so, did the Croat population do anything to help

16 them?

17 A. Janjski and Drivusa were in the Zenica

18 municipality. They were expelled from there and they

19 came through Busovaca. We received them, fed them, and

20 then sent them off. But it wasn't just those two

21 villages. There were many other villages. About

22 30.000 ethnic Serbs came through Busovaca

23 municipality. We provided food and shelter for them.

24 And it wasn't that they were just transiting for one

25 day. Some of them stayed as long as 21 days. But the

Page 19958

1 HVO and local government in Busovaca provided

2 assistance.

3 Those people from Janjski Vrh asked

4 assistance from their neighbours, Croat neighbours, and

5 they helped them cross over to the Busovaca

6 municipality, where we received them.

7 Q. All right. Just one matter of historical

8 interest. You've described an incident that occurred

9 in the village?

10 A. The incident which took place was in the

11 Busovaca municipality, and the village was called

12 Grablje. Serbs and Muslims lived together there, but

13 it was majority Muslim. There were 13 Orthodox

14 households. Then they were attacked, their weapons

15 were taken from them. The people then asked for

16 assistance from the Busovaca police. They arrived

17 there to try to calm things down, but then a Muslim

18 pulled out a grenade, which he then dropped, and the

19 grenade killed him and wounded another Muslim.

20 Then we had the meeting of the leadership of

21 the three parties: HDZ, SDS and SDA. Mr. Kordic was

22 also present there, and it was asked that this conflict

23 be resolved in a peaceful way to lower the tensions and

24 to allow people to live there in peace. He --

25 Q. Mr. Bilic, you said it was asked that the

Page 19959

1 conflict be resolved in a peaceful way. Who was it

2 that made that request?

3 A. This request was made by Mr. Kordic when we

4 arrived in the crisis staff, that is, to find a

5 peaceful solution.

6 Q. And were you a participant in those

7 discussions, Mr. Bilic?

8 A. Yes. I was present at this meeting and I

9 took part in a discussion.

10 Q. So you heard Mr. Kordic's words with your own

11 ears, so to speak, rather than filtered through someone

12 else's recollection?

13 A. No. I was present there in person.

14 Q. Now, you've already said, sir, that during

15 1992, about 30.000 people of Serb ethnicity left

16 Central Bosnia, travelling through Busovaca

17 municipality to reach Serb-held territory to the

18 south-east of Kiseljak. A contention has been made by

19 the Prosecution in this case that transit charges or

20 fees were charged by the HVO in Busovaca or by

21 Mr. Kordic to Serbs passing through the territory of

22 Busovaca. Is there any truth to that?

23 A. There is no truth in that statement. There

24 were no fees, there were no charges.

25 Q. Did the HVO and Mr. Kordic try to obstruct

Page 19960

1 the passage of Serb refugees through the territory, or

2 not?

3 A. No, they did not try to obstruct the passage.

4 Q. Was any assistance given by the municipal HVO

5 authorities in Busovaca municipality to the unfortunate

6 people who had been expelled from their homes to the

7 north, in Zenica?

8 A. Yes. They provided shelter, they provided

9 food. They even -- the Busovaca Croats even received

10 ethnic Serbs in their homes to stay with them until

11 they were able to move on.

12 Q. All right. Now, about how many Serbs lived

13 in Busovaca municipality before the war broke out?

14 A. About 800 ethnic Serbs lived in Busovaca

15 municipality, and at the end of the war only about 200

16 remained.

17 Q. How many of those 200 remained in the areas

18 that were controlled by the Muslim forces, the army of

19 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the ABiH?

20 A. The majority of ethnic Serbs lived in the

21 villages which -- near or -- near Muslim villages or

22 were shared with the Muslim population. None of them

23 remained. The only Serbs who have remained in the area

24 are in the areas controlled by the HVO. There was

25 Grablje, Podjele, Kuber, Topala, Katici. Those

Page 19961

1 villages have been completely emptied of Serbs.

2 Q. All right. As a resident of the

3 municipality, sir, do you recall an incident that

4 occurred at a checkpoint that was erected by the TO or

5 the ABiH in the summer of 1992?

6 A. An incident in summer of 1992? I don't know

7 much about it, but I know that we were passing through

8 that area. We had to take that road and we had to pass

9 that checkpoint where the first incident occurred,

10 during which two Croats were killed.

11 Q. And when were those Croats killed?

12 A. Those Croats were killed -- the incident was

13 on the 24th of January, 1993. Was it 1993? Yes, 1993.

14 Q. Do you recall where those Croats were killed,

15 Mr. Bilic?

16 A. That place is called Kacuni. It is also part

17 of the Busovaca municipality, but it is some distance

18 away from the town itself.

19 Q. All right. Could you tell us, please,

20 whether Serbs like you, who lived in predominantly

21 Croat-populated areas of Busovaca municipality, felt

22 any pressure to leave their houses? Were they

23 subjected to any pressure to do that?

24 A. We were under no pressure to leave our

25 homes. In fact, they were telling us not to leave; to

Page 19962

1 stay, to live together with them. We never had any

2 pressure to leave. We were not under pressure to

3 leave.

4 Q. All right. And did the Serbs who actually

5 stayed in the municipality end up in the Croat Muslim

6 civil war taking sides, either Croat or Muslim? Could

7 you tell us a little about that?

8 A. I can. We, through the Serbian Democratic

9 Party, where we were active, we asked to stay neutral,

10 because we were a minority population. We asked not to

11 have to side with either the HVO or the SDA, but we

12 said that we would defend Busovaca if this situation

13 deteriorated. And unfortunately, the situation did

14 deteriorate and we had to join with the HDZ to defend

15 Busovaca from the Muslim attacks.

16 Q. Just one question along the lines of what

17 you've just said, Mr. Bilic. Was there any pressure or

18 compulsion exerted upon you or your fellow Serbs to

19 join the HVO and to link arms with Croats against the

20 Muslims, or not? Tell us about that, please.

21 A. There was no coercion on the part of the

22 local government at the time. It was all based on

23 agreement and what Mr. Kordic said. He would -- he

24 didn't want to have Serbs go to the front lines, where

25 there were front lines against the Serbs. He said that

Page 19963

1 it wasn't right for the ethnic Serbs to fight, the

2 ethnic Serbs.

3 Q. Just one more question concerning the time

4 before the war broke out in Busovaca in January of

5 1993. Can you think of any incidents of mistreatment

6 of Serbs by Muslims in the Lasva Valley? And if you

7 can, could you just tell us a little about that,

8 Mr. Bilic.

9 A. Yes. I can recall that on the 13th of June,

10 1993, the village of Grablje was attacked, those 13

11 homes, populated by Serbs, and they took the weapons

12 away from them. And this is when we asked local

13 Busovaca police to come and protect us, and they came

14 and protected us.

15 Q. Were there any incidents in which a Serbian

16 priest had been mistreated and anything that you were

17 asked to do in that regard, sir?

18 A. Yes. Mr. Florijan Glavocevic asked me to go

19 to Travnik, because a Serb priest had been harassed in

20 Novi Travnik, to get him out and bring him to

21 Busovaca. One of HVO Croats, or rather he was with the

22 police, he worked for the police, and he went with me.

23 We brought that priest to Busovaca and then on to the

24 Serb side.

25 And also, as for the town of Busovaca, in

Page 19964

1 1991, before the war, the flat of the priest who lived

2 in Busovaca was robbed. In 1992 his flat was robbed

3 twice. We found the jacket of the young man who had

4 perpetrated this offence, and he was of Muslim origin.

5 Subsequently we found out that he was selling the

6 priest's property in Livno and other places.

7 Q. Just addressing your attention to the

8 outbreak of the war, sir, who attacked whom?

9 A. As far as I know, the Muslims in that part of

10 our land, the Muslims attacked the Croats.

11 Q. All right. And if I might just take you

12 through this fairly quickly, Mr. Bilic. I believe that

13 you were called upon by the HVO to dig trenches for

14 your mutual defence against the ABiH on January the

15 24th, 1993, in the village of Skradno.

16 A. Well, trenches were not dug before that. On

17 the 24th of January, 1994 [as interpreted], I was asked

18 to go dig trenches in the village of Skradno. That is

19 the day of the incident. That is the day when two

20 Croats were killed in Kacuni. And after that I no

21 longer went to dig trenches, and instead I assumed the

22 duties of the priest in the town of Busovaca, and they

23 did not ask me to go dig trenches or do similar chores

24 again.

25 Q. All right. How about in April of 1993? Were

Page 19965

1 you called upon to report to the HVO for work duty?

2 A. I was not called to report to work duty

3 before. It was the first time, on the 24th of April,

4 1993. 1992 nobody asked me to do that, because I had

5 other duties. For a while I worked in Dobrotvor and

6 was organising the passage of Serb refugees through the

7 town of Busovaca.

8 MR. SAYERS: Your Honours, I don't propose to

9 ask any questions about paragraph 17. The Prosecution

10 can cross-examine on that if they wish.

11 Q. Now, going on to paragraph 18 of your

12 outline, for the Court's information, Mr. Bilic, we've

13 heard a lot of evidence about Croats leaving

14 ABiH-controlled parts of the municipality of Busovaca

15 to the south. Do you know anything about that?

16 A. Most -- half of the Croats in the

17 municipality of Busovaca left. They had trouble there,

18 because Muslims were attacking them since they were a

19 majority population in that area, and those Croats left

20 the town because they had been attacked. And it became

21 particularly difficult when in June 1993 refugees

22 arrived from all sides, from Guca Gora and from the

23 Travnik municipality. And then the demographic

24 structure of the population changed so that the number

25 of incidents grew and there was less order in our

Page 19966

1 life. And then the incidents escalated in November

2 1993, when the Serbs took the town of Jajce, and all of

3 the Croat refugees were then expelled and moved towards

4 Travnik and Busovaca. Many of those refugees came

5 straight to Busovaca. And this resulted in lawlessness

6 and impossibility to control everybody's behaviour.

7 Q. Mr. Bilic, you said that the Serbs took the

8 town of Jajce -- you mean the Bosnian Serb army or

9 BSA -- in November of 1993. Is that right?

10 A. Yes. Yes. The first refugees arrived on the

11 1st of November.

12 Q. Are you sure about the year there, sir? Is

13 it 1993 or should it you be 1992?

14 A. Excuse me. I'm sorry. It was 1992.

15 Q. Now, we've heard a lot of evidence about

16 Muslims moving out of the town of Busovaca with their

17 families. Were there any Muslim families that stayed,

18 as far as you know?

19 A. Yes. Some Muslims stayed in Busovaca. Their

20 families lived as we did. I mean, I don't know if you

21 can call it normal life under wartime conditions. But

22 food was provided for the Serbs and Croats and Muslims,

23 because food was being distributed from one centre. So

24 we were provided. And those who stayed behind suffered

25 no consequences, nor were they harassed. Those who had

Page 19967

1 jobs continued to go to those jobs. They were not

2 fired.

3 Q. All right. We've also heard evidence in this

4 case about the problems caused by snipers and

5 artillery, specifically Muslim snipers and ABiH

6 artillery. Do you have any experience or observations

7 to add with respect to the frequency of sniping

8 incidents or shelling of the town of Busovaca?

9 A. Well, Busovaca was shelled almost every day.

10 Until 1993, I can merely confirm that we could not have

11 any funerals by day, we always had to bury people at

12 night, because even cemeteries, the whole of the town,

13 places around the town, were all shelled by day.

14 Q. Mr. Bilic, you've described the influx of

15 refugees and the problems that that caused, involving

16 the increase in incidents, as you put it; I might

17 suggest to you "the crime rate" might be a way to view

18 that. Could you tell the Court whether any particular

19 group was targeted by this crime wave, or were all

20 three ethnic groups, or principal ethnic groups,

21 victims of this criminal activity?

22 A. All three ethnicities were victimised by such

23 activities. I didn't see any one in particular have

24 initiative or anything like that.

25 Q. All right, sir. Is it the case that

Page 19968

1 throughout the war the civilian community relied for

2 sustenance principally upon the delivery of supplies of

3 humanitarian aid to the municipality?

4 A. Yes.

5 Q. Was there any discrimination in the

6 allocation of humanitarian aid supplies to one

7 particular or a number of particular ethnic groups as

8 opposed to another?

9 A. No. Food was equally distributed among all

10 the ethnic groups in Busovaca.

11 Q. Now, you, sir, were one of the heads of

12 Dobrotvor, or you were the head of Dobrotvor, the Serb

13 humanitarian organisation in Busovaca, I believe.

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Did you ever make deliveries of food received

16 by you on behalf of Dobrotvor to Muslims that lived in

17 the municipality?

18 A. Yes. Muslims shared the list with us, and

19 they received food relief at the same time that we

20 did.

21 Q. All right, sir. Now, one of the principal

22 claims being made by the Prosecution in this case is

23 that Bosnian Croat political organisations, including

24 the HDZ-BiH, engaged in a campaign of discrimination or

25 persecution, or adopted a policy of persecution and

Page 19969

1 harassment specifically of Bosnian Muslim civilians

2 throughout the Lasva Valley, but also specifically in

3 Busovaca.

4 Could you give the Court your perception, as

5 a resident of the municipality, sir, throughout those

6 difficult years, whether there's any force or substance

7 in that version of events.

8 A. In my view, and I lived there, there were no

9 pressures at all, nor any attempts made to have some

10 population evicted from that territory, at least that

11 is not something that I ever noticed there.

12 Q. Now, you yourself obviously are not a Croat,

13 but have you ever been involved in any Bosnian Croat

14 political organisations?

15 A. No.

16 Q. As a private citizen, sir, have you ever

17 heard discussions amongst your Croat colleagues --

18 A. No, never.

19 Q. All right.

20 A. No.

21 Q. When did you first meet Mr. Kordic, Dario

22 Kordic?

23 A. In 1992. I met him in the municipal hall.

24 Q. All right. Did Mr. Kordic express any views

25 in regard to whether Serb residents of the municipality

Page 19970

1 should stay or go?

2 A. Mr. Kordic always said that we should not

3 leave, that we should remain, in our hearts, and also

4 told us to prevail upon our other Serbs who wanted to

5 go, and saying that, "If one of you goes, then the

6 whole village will leave." He was one of the first

7 people who were trying to prevail upon us not to leave

8 our hearts in that town.

9 Q. Did he attempt in any way to give help to the

10 Serb community, the Serb residents in the municipality

11 of Busovaca, throughout the war, as far as you could

12 see?

13 A. We were full-fledged citizens there, enjoying

14 equitable treatment. When food was distributed or

15 perhaps fuel for agricultural machinery, or anything

16 else, we shared it all with Croats and with Muslims on

17 an equitable footing. There was no discrimination.

18 Q. The Court's heard considerable evidence about

19 Mr. Kordic's public speaking activities. Have you ever

20 heard Mr. Kordic refer to anyone, any group, any

21 person, in a derogatory manner, or make any attempt to

22 incite violence against any ethnic group, sir?

23 A. From all the times I talked with Mr. Kordic

24 or listened to him talking, I never heard him say

25 anything like that or use derogatory terms against

Page 19971

1 anyone.

2 Q. How would you characterise, from your

3 personal perspective, Mr. Kordic's attitude towards the

4 various ethnic groups that lived in the municipality,

5 sir?

6 A. As I see it, he has a positive attitude

7 towards all the communities which lived in Busovaca.

8 Q. There was one point, I believe, sir, in 1992

9 when you asked the Central Bosnia Operative Zone

10 commander of the HVO, Colonel Blaskic, to help you

11 organise a convoy of Serbs that were leaving from

12 Zenica. Could you just tell the Court what the

13 response to that inquiry was.

14 A. As a paper had to be signed for the passage

15 of the convoy, I had to go and talk to Colonel Blaskic

16 to ask him for permission to pass through Busovaca. He

17 replied, "I have nothing to do with that matter because

18 that is a civilian matter. Talk to Mr. Kordic." And

19 then I went to Mr. Kordic and was issued the pass for

20 the convoy which was to go through Busovaca.

21 Q. Thank you, indeed, Mr. Bilic.

22 MR. SAYERS: No further questions.

23 A. Not at all.

24 MR. KOVACIC: I'm sorry. No, sir. Thank

25 you. I don't have any questions for this witness.

Page 19972

1 Cross-examined by Ms. Somers:

2 Q. Mr. Bilic, how long has your family been in

3 Bosnia?

4 A. My family has lived in that part of Busovaca

5 for over 200 years.

6 Q. Are both your parents Serb?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Is your spouse Serb?

9 A. She is.

10 Q. Do you have adult children, and if so, are

11 any of them married to a --

12 A. I have.

13 Q. -- are any of them married to a non-Serb?

14 A. Yes.

15 Q. Would you name the child, and would you name

16 the non-Serb group to which that child is married?

17 A. There are about 30 per cent mixed marriages

18 in my family. My two brothers are married to Croats.

19 I have a nephew. We have a very mixed family.

20 Q. Your children, are they married to Croats or

21 Serbs or any other ethnic group?

22 A. A daughter of mine is married to a man whose

23 father is a Croat and whose mother is a Muslim.

24 Q. Are these children living in Busovaca? I

25 could not tell from the summary if they are living

Page 19973

1 physically with you or simply in Busovaca.

2 A. No, she does not live in Busovaca any more.

3 She married in 1998.

4 Q. Was her husband at any time a member of the

5 HVO?

6 A. I don't know. He used to live in Brcko.

7 Q. Were any of your relatives ever members of

8 the HVO?

9 A. Yes --

10 Q. Which degree of kinship?

11 A. -- but that was in 1993.

12 Q. Which relatives? How close were they to you,

13 please?

14 A. My two brothers were there.

15 Q. Where were they living? Which municipality?

16 A. The municipality of Busovaca is where they

17 lived, and where they still live.

18 Q. I mean no offence by the term that I'm going

19 to use but I need to ask you your reaction to it. The

20 term "Chetnik," when used about Serbs, do you consider

21 that an offensive term? If someone called you a

22 Chetnik, would you be offended?

23 A. I would.

24 Q. I would just like to ask you if perhaps you

25 may have heard -- and I would ask the Chamber and

Page 19974

1 counsel opposing just to refer to Z173, it was a press

2 conference given by Dario Kordic, on 28 July 1992 -- I

3 just wondered, if I may read this to you briefly, there

4 is just a sentence that I would ask your reaction to.

5 Mr. Kordic is asked a question and his response is:

6 "All right. You asked three questions. I will not

7 take long. The gentleman, primarily Mr. Ignac, will

8 add whatever is necessary. Mr. Tiho will give you his

9 assessment of the situation on the front line and

10 whether anything can change. The information we have

11 is that a large-scale regrouping of Chetniks --"

12 THE INTERPRETER: Would you slow down,

13 please.

14 MS. SOMERS: I beg your pardon.

15 Q. "The information that we have is that a

16 large-scale grouping of Chetnik forces is taking

17 place. From it we deduce that this grouping does not

18 have a picnic or weekend in mind but probably new

19 combat operations." I will stop there.

20 Had you heard, perhaps in listening to the

21 radio or watching television, this particular comment

22 made by Dario Kordic, referring to the Serb troops as

23 Chetnik forces?

24 A. I didn't hear it.

25 Q. Because you were involved in the political

Page 19975

1 work of the SDS party, I'd like to ask a few questions,

2 if I may.

3 In 1990, exactly what was your role in the

4 Busovaca municipal parliament? Did you serve on any

5 particularly important committees or have any

6 particularly important functions?

7 A. I was a councilman.

8 Q. How many members of the SDS party were

9 serving in the Busovaca municipal parliament?

10 A. They were elected on the basis of the

11 population structure. So according to the number of

12 votes that each of the groups received, that determined

13 the number of seats.

14 Q. While you served, how many were serving, how

15 many Serbs?

16 A. There were three of us.

17 Q. Could you be kind enough to name them.

18 A. Yes, I can. Milorad Jovic, Bozidar

19 Hercegovac, and myself, Zoran Bilic.

20 Q. When did you leave the SDS, and for what

21 reason?

22 A. Well, when, what you call it, the war

23 started, when war broke out and Jajce was taken,

24 Busovaca was cut off. We simply could not communicate

25 with other people and we simply were left there. We

Page 19976

1 could not communicate with the rest of the party and

2 that was that. But we decided not to join any other

3 party. I was the only member of the SDS. The other

4 two Serbs, they were not members of the SDS.

5 Q. I must ask you, please, to be specific about

6 the dates when you left the SDS, and when you, in fact,

7 left your life as a political figure in Busovaca.

8 A. It was in early 1992 that I stopped being

9 actively involved in politics.

10 Q. Can you please give me a month in 1992 when

11 you stopped being active in politics.

12 A. Well, I was never really an active

13 politician, I was merely a municipal councilman, which

14 was not politics, as one understands it. It had to do

15 with the life and work and the operation of the

16 municipality, nothing but the municipality.

17 Q. When did you step down from the assembly or

18 the parliament?

19 A. When my term expired. We were regularly

20 elected, and when my term expired, I quit.

21 Q. Which was what month; what year?

22 A. I can't remember the month or the year.

23 Q. Did you follow carefully the developments of

24 your one-time party as they unfolded in Sarajevo and

25 Pale? Specifically, let's say, between 1991 and 1992,

Page 19977

1 did you follow those developments?

2 A. I could not and I did not because the media

3 were disrupted, and there was no other way to come by

4 any information.

5 Q. Which media were disrupted?

6 A. Radio and television. We simply could not

7 watch, that is, listen to any.

8 Q. Are you suggesting that during the years 1991

9 and 1992 you had no access to either radio or

10 television?

11 A. Yes, but I had no access to the channels

12 which were informing -- which were covering other

13 sides.

14 Q. So you were completely in the dark about the

15 nationalism which was overtaking the platform of the

16 SDS in 1991/1992. Did you not follow Karadzic's

17 pushing of the party into a certain direction?

18 A. No, I did not.

19 Q. Were you ever in the military?

20 A. No.

21 Q. Who is Jovan Divjak?

22 A. As far as I know, he was an officer in the

23 Yugoslav People's Army.

24 Q. Afterward did he remain in the Yugoslav

25 People's Army or did he go to another army?

Page 19978

1 A. I don't know that.

2 Q. Do you know who Stjepan Siber was, and what

3 nationality?

4 A. No, I don't.

5 Q. Was Divjak a Serb?

6 A. Again, I don't know.

7 Q. How do you feel about Serbs and Croats who

8 remained -- forget the Croat part. Excuse me. How do

9 you feel about Serbs who remained in the army of

10 Bosnia-Herzegovina and didn't go into, let's say, the

11 HVO or the army of the Serb Republic?

12 A. That was their option, their choice, their

13 view, their option. I have nothing to say about that.

14 Q. Did you personally, prior to the time you

15 call the conflict -- and I'm not exactly clear when you

16 see the conflict starting -- but did you personally

17 ever have a very bad experience with a Muslim?

18 A. Me, no.

19 Q. Why did you take the position that you would

20 go with the HVO as opposed to the ABiH?

21 A. Because in those early days, when parties

22 were being created, then at that time the SDA and HDZ

23 appeared to be in a coalition.

24 Q. And when was that? Can you please give us a

25 month and a year?

Page 19979

1 A. I couldn't give you dates, but that was 1991,

2 right after the elections.

3 Q. But in 1992 -- I just want to make sure I

4 understood your evidence correctly -- you indicated

5 that if Busovaca were attacked, you would fight for

6 it. Why did you fight the ABiH as opposed to the HVO?

7 A. We said that we will fight the one who

8 attacked Busovaca, and would not join any party or any

9 options, either the HDZ or the SDA. And had the HDZ

10 attacked Busovaca, we would have stayed with the

11 Muslims, but because it was Muslims who attacked

12 Busovaca, we stayed there to defend the places where

13 they lived.

14 Q. I would like to ask you if you can give me an

15 actual date and place of the attacks by the Muslim --

16 or by the ABiH in Busovaca. Please be very specific.

17 A. I was not in the army, but I know that on the

18 24th of January, 1993, we -- they told us that we

19 should turn back and go home because two Croats had

20 been killed at Kacuni. That's what I know.

21 Q. Who told you?

22 A. A messenger came, some kind of a messenger.

23 We were digging trenches at the time.

24 Q. A messenger from an army, bearing a uniform?

25 What kind of messenger?

Page 19980

1 A. They sent someone that the Kacuni Croats were

2 killed.

3 Q. I'm sorry, but who sent someone? I need to

4 know who sent this messenger, please.

5 A. I don't know.

6 Q. And did you believe a messenger, whom you did

7 not know, from a source you did not know? Did you act

8 on his words?

9 A. This messenger didn't tell us. He told us

10 the man who had brought us to dig trenches. Then this

11 man told us, "Stop digging. Go home. There was an

12 incident."

13 Q. Were you living in the Busovaca area on the

14 20th of January, 1993?

15 A. I don't live in the town itself; I live in a

16 village about three kilometres out of town.

17 Q. What is the name of that little hamlet that

18 you described?

19 A. Granice, in Busovaca.

20 Q. Were you there on the 20th of January, 1993?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. And how far, in kilometres, can you tell us

23 that town is from the town of Busovaca, please?

24 A. The village of Granice is about three, three

25 and a half kilometres from Busovaca.

Page 19981

1 Q. Did you not hear explosion after explosion

2 after explosion on the night of the 20th of January,

3 1993 from your little hamlet three kilometres from

4 Busovaca town?

5 A. You couldn't hear, because the hamlet is

6 tucked away. I did not hear it.

7 Q. Did you see smoke the next morning from

8 business after business after business having been

9 blown up?

10 A. I did not observe anything.

11 Q. Did you hear any rumours in town that such a

12 thing had occurred?

13 A. Yes, subsequently. I heard about it later,

14 because I didn't go to town very much, but later on I

15 heard about it.

16 Q. How often did you go to town, and why did you

17 go to town?

18 A. I did not go to town very often. I went

19 there when they were distributing food. That's when I

20 went there. And sometimes I would go there to open up

21 the church. The church was in the town.

22 Q. Where was the distribution centre for the

23 food in the town? Location, please.

24 A. Near the Serbian church there was -- that is

25 where Dobrotvor organisation had its headquarters, and

Page 19982

1 the central warehouse was in the central part of town.

2 Q. And is the Serbian church still standing

3 today?

4 A. Yes, it is.

5 Q. During what period of time, from when to

6 when, did you work with Dobrotvor?

7 A. The organisation was established in early

8 1982 [as interpreted] and it worked until 1994. Then

9 it stopped working, because from then on all the food

10 was distributed from one central location.

11 Q. The transcript says "from early 1982."

12 Dobrotvor was working from early 1982? Is that a

13 correct year?

14 A. You said which year?

15 Q. My question to you is: When did you work

16 from -- during what period did you work in Dobrotvor?

17 A. I was mentioning 1992.

18 Q. So you worked from 1992 until 1994, the whole

19 time it was open; is that correct?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Did you restrict your work to the

22 municipality of Busovaca, or did you physically work in

23 Zenica as well?

24 A. Only in the territory of Busovaca

25 municipality.

Page 19983

1 Q. Did you work with UNHCR personnel?

2 A. They came occasionally to ask us how we

3 were. We did not cooperate with them. I don't know

4 what they were called. The European Union something.

5 But they would only come occasionally.

6 Q. You made -- I will want to discuss the --

7 working backward a little bit, deliberately, I want to

8 discuss with you some of the points of the incidents in

9 May of 1992.

10 MR. SOMERS: I would ask the Court -- 10

11 after would be our deadline -- would it be better if I

12 just commenced tomorrow?

13 JUDGE MAY: Yes, probably more convenient.

14 Mr. Bilic, we're going to adjourn now for the

15 day, and if you would be back --

16 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

17 JUDGE MAY: -- to conclude your evidence.

18 Could you remember during the adjournment not to speak

19 to anybody about your evidence until it's over, and

20 that includes members of the Defence team. Could you

21 be back, please, at half past 9.00 tomorrow morning.

22 THE WITNESS: Thank you.

23 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned

24 at 4.09 p.m., to be reconvened on

25 Thursday the 1st day of June 2000,

Page 19984

1 at 9.30 a.m.