1 Wednesday, 6th December 2000
2 [Ruling] 3 [Open session] 4 [The accused entered court] 5 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m. 6 JUDGE MAY: The Trial Chamber will give its ruling on the 7 evidentiary issues, those relating to Witness AO and the audiotape. We'll 8 deal with the length of speeches. The rulings as to the admissibility of 9 the exhibit we will make later this week. 10 I begin then with Witness AO. The Trial Chamber ordered this 11 witness to return for cross-examination on material which was disclosed 12 after his giving evidence and which material demonstrated inconsistencies 13 with his evidence and would therefore serve to test his credibility. A 14 subpoena was issued for the witness to appear on the 17th of November. He 15 did not do so for reasons which have yet to be ascertained and into which 16 we do not have to go. 17 The Defence now submit that his evidence should be struck from the 18 record, that is, disregard it or exclude it. The Prosecution, on the 19 other hand, submit that it would be wrong to exclude all his evidence, and 20 the Trial Chamber should exercise its own judgement as to which parts of 21 the evidence to accept and which to reject. However, the fact remains 22 that there was substantial enough material to warrant the witness' return 23 for cross-examination. 24 The Trial Chamber can only guess what effect on his credibility 25 that cross-examination would have had, making it a very difficult exercise Page 27953 1 to decide which parts of his evidence to accept and which to reject. It 2 seems to the Trial Chamber that the fairest course is to reject all his 3 evidence, which we do under Rule 89(D), on the ground that any probative 4 value which his evidence might have had is substantially outweighed by the 5 need to ensure a fair trial since his failure to return for 6 cross-examination has meant that his credibility could not be properly 7 challenged. 8 I would also add that some of the evidence he gave was -- much of 9 the evidence, in fact, he gave was the subject of controversy and dispute 10 and, therefore, to rely on it in the circumstances would not be just. 11 I turn next to a ruling on the admissibility of the audiotape, 12 Exhibit Z2801.4. I set out the history of the matter as the Trial Chamber 13 finds it. This tape was produced in evidence by Mr. Edin Husic, now a 14 military attache to the Bosnian Embassy in Washington. The tape was 15 recorded in January 1993 in Zenica. The witness kept one of two identical 16 recordings according to his evidence. It was handed to an investigator of 17 the ICTY in December 1999. 18 This tape came to be known as Exhibit 2808.1. However, before 19 handing over the tape, the witness made a copy which he retained. When he 20 came to give evidence in this case in February of this year, he brought 21 the copy with him and it was duly produced and played in court as Exhibit 22 2801.4. 23 After the witness had given evidence, the tape, which was not 24 played, 2808.1, was retained by the Prosecutor while that which has been 25 played was retained by the Registry, that is, 2801.4. Copies of that were Page 27954 1 given to the Prosecution and Defence. This was a Maxell make of tape, the 2 type which Mr. Husic confirmed that he had produced in court. He so 3 confirmed when he gave evidence earlier or rather just last month. The 4 Trial Chamber accepts the evidence of Mr. Husic on this point. 5 The history then was that both sides obtained expert reports and 6 the Tribunal heard evidence from Mr. Koenig for the Defence and 7 Mr. Broeders for the Prosecution, but the upshot was, as Mr. Sayers now 8 rightly concedes, that it was impossible to determine whether a copy of an 9 audiotape had been tampered with. Therefore, there is no evidence that 10 this tape has been tampered with, and to challenge its authenticity on 11 that ground is not open to the Defence. 12 However, Mr. Sayers submits that there has been a violation of 13 Rule 81(C), which requires the Registry to retain exhibits, and therefore 14 the evidence should be excluded under Rule 95 since its admission would 15 seriously damage the integrity of the proceedings. 16 The history of the matter as set out and as the Trial Chamber 17 finds shows that there has been no violation of Rule 81(C). The Trial 18 Chamber finds that the Registry, in this case, retained the exhibit and 19 therefore the Defence submission fails. We would add this: Even if there 20 had been a violation of the Rule, it is not at all necessary that the 21 evidence would have been excluded. Such a violation or any violation of 22 the Rules can only lead to the exclusion of evidence if the admission 23 would seriously damage the integrity of the proceedings. 24 The tape, Exhibit 2801.4, will therefore be admitted. Of course, 25 issues relating to the weight and significance to be given to the evidence
3 [Open session]
4 [The accused entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.36 a.m.
6 JUDGE MAY: The Trial Chamber will give its ruling on the
7 evidentiary issues, those relating to Witness AO and the audiotape. We'll
8 deal with the length of speeches. The rulings as to the admissibility of
9 the exhibit we will make later this week.
10 I begin then with Witness AO. The Trial Chamber ordered this
11 witness to return for cross-examination on material which was disclosed
12 after his giving evidence and which material demonstrated inconsistencies
13 with his evidence and would therefore serve to test his credibility. A
14 subpoena was issued for the witness to appear on the 17th of November. He
15 did not do so for reasons which have yet to be ascertained and into which
16 we do not have to go.
17 The Defence now submit that his evidence should be struck from the
18 record, that is, disregard it or exclude it. The Prosecution, on the
19 other hand, submit that it would be wrong to exclude all his evidence, and
20 the Trial Chamber should exercise its own judgement as to which parts of
21 the evidence to accept and which to reject. However, the fact remains
22 that there was substantial enough material to warrant the witness' return
23 for cross-examination.
24 The Trial Chamber can only guess what effect on his credibility
25 that cross-examination would have had, making it a very difficult exercise
1 to decide which parts of his evidence to accept and which to reject. It
2 seems to the Trial Chamber that the fairest course is to reject all his
3 evidence, which we do under Rule 89(D), on the ground that any probative
4 value which his evidence might have had is substantially outweighed by the
5 need to ensure a fair trial since his failure to return for
6 cross-examination has meant that his credibility could not be properly
8 I would also add that some of the evidence he gave was -- much of
9 the evidence, in fact, he gave was the subject of controversy and dispute
10 and, therefore, to rely on it in the circumstances would not be just.
11 I turn next to a ruling on the admissibility of the audiotape,
12 Exhibit Z2801.4. I set out the history of the matter as the Trial Chamber
13 finds it. This tape was produced in evidence by Mr. Edin Husic, now a
14 military attache to the Bosnian Embassy in Washington. The tape was
15 recorded in January 1993 in Zenica. The witness kept one of two identical
16 recordings according to his evidence. It was handed to an investigator of
17 the ICTY in December 1999.
18 This tape came to be known as Exhibit 2808.1. However, before
19 handing over the tape, the witness made a copy which he retained. When he
20 came to give evidence in this case in February of this year, he brought
21 the copy with him and it was duly produced and played in court as Exhibit
23 After the witness had given evidence, the tape, which was not
24 played, 2808.1, was retained by the Prosecutor while that which has been
25 played was retained by the Registry, that is, 2801.4. Copies of that were
1 given to the Prosecution and Defence. This was a Maxell make of tape, the
2 type which Mr. Husic confirmed that he had produced in court. He so
3 confirmed when he gave evidence earlier or rather just last month. The
4 Trial Chamber accepts the evidence of Mr. Husic on this point.
5 The history then was that both sides obtained expert reports and
6 the Tribunal heard evidence from Mr. Koenig for the Defence and
7 Mr. Broeders for the Prosecution, but the upshot was, as Mr. Sayers now
8 rightly concedes, that it was impossible to determine whether a copy of an
9 audiotape had been tampered with. Therefore, there is no evidence that
10 this tape has been tampered with, and to challenge its authenticity on
11 that ground is not open to the Defence.
12 However, Mr. Sayers submits that there has been a violation of
13 Rule 81(C), which requires the Registry to retain exhibits, and therefore
14 the evidence should be excluded under Rule 95 since its admission would
15 seriously damage the integrity of the proceedings.
16 The history of the matter as set out and as the Trial Chamber
17 finds shows that there has been no violation of Rule 81(C). The Trial
18 Chamber finds that the Registry, in this case, retained the exhibit and
19 therefore the Defence submission fails. We would add this: Even if there
20 had been a violation of the Rule, it is not at all necessary that the
21 evidence would have been excluded. Such a violation or any violation of
22 the Rules can only lead to the exclusion of evidence if the admission
23 would seriously damage the integrity of the proceedings.
24 The tape, Exhibit 2801.4, will therefore be admitted. Of course,
25 issues relating to the weight and significance to be given to the evidence
1 on the tape will be determined by the Trial Chamber.
2 I turn finally to the question of speeches, about which there were
3 submissions yesterday, and their length. Given the time available and
4 doing the best that we can to divide it equitably, we have decided that
5 the Prosecution will have four hours and each Defence counsel will have
6 three hours. We will announce the timetable in due course.
7 Mr. Sayers, I think it's for you to call the evidence.
8 MR. SAYERS: The next witness we would call, our first rejoinder
9 witness, Mr. President, is Zoran Maric.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The witness is subject to the declaration which
12 he took earlier on when he gave his evidence. Yes, there's no need for
13 him to take it again.
14 MR. SAYERS: I'm obliged, Mr. President.
15 WITNESS: ZORAN MARIC
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 Examined by Mr. Sayers:
18 Q. Good morning, Mr. Maric. Just a few very brief matters of
20 I believe that you're currently the President of the Parliament in
21 the Central Bosnia province of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
22 A. That is correct.
23 Q. You are also a member of the House of Representatives both of the
24 Federation and of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
25 A. I am, yes.
1 Q. Do you have a criminal record at all, Mr. Maric?
2 A. Never.
3 Q. Mr. Maric, were you in Vitez at any time on April the 15th, 1993,
4 the day before the fighting broke out in Vitez municipality?
5 A. Your Honours, I was never in Vitez on the 15th.
6 Q. Mr. Maric, we heard from a witness last week who claims that he
7 saw you in the headquarters of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone during
8 the afternoon of April the 15th at a meeting supposedly held between
9 civilian political leaders and the military commanders in the Central
10 Bosnia Operative Zone, including Colonel Blaskic. Is there any truth in
11 that? Were you there?
12 A. Your Honours, I was never, on the 15th of April, in Vitez, nor was
13 I with those gentlemen.
14 Q. Have you ever heard anything, sir, about such a meeting being held
15 in the last seven and a half years?
16 A. No, I have never heard that there was a meeting there that day.
17 Q. Did you ever participate in some sort of a vote between political
18 and military leaders of the HVO to initiate a war or to initiate combat
19 activities in Vitez municipality on April the 15th or at any time?
20 A. I have said that I never participated in such a meeting as for the
21 15th, and I was never present where anything at all was decided about
23 Q. All right. Just one final question.
24 MR. SAYERS: We've previously distributed exhibits. There are
25 three short exhibits, Your Honour. These are all on our rejoinder list.
1 I'd just like to --
2 MR. NICE: I fail to see how any of these fit within the
3 apparently narrow scope of rejoinder. They don't accord with the summary
4 served of anticipated rejoinder evidence of this witness, and therefore I
5 am perplexed.
6 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I have no questions to ask about these
7 other than: Is Mr. Maric's original signature on these documents? They
8 speak for themselves, and they are all in our rejoinder list. And we
9 announced yesterday that we were going to have Mr. Maric authenticate
10 three documents and here they are.
11 JUDGE MAY: They are outside the scope of rejoinder.
12 MR. SAYERS: Mr. President, I have no questions about these. If
13 there's any contest as to authenticity, I'd like to know about it. If
14 there's no contest about authenticity, then we can move on to the next
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MAY: That goes beyond the scope of rejoinder, strictly he
18 can identify his signature on the documents.
19 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Q. Mr. Maric, we've put together a little package of three exhibits.
21 Could you just confirm for all of us that your signature or an accurate
22 copy of your signature appears on each of these three documents.
23 A. Yes, on the first one. Likewise on this report. Likewise on this
24 last document. These are my signatures.
25 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, sir.
1 Mr. President, no further questions. If we could just have
2 exhibit numbers assigned.
3 MR. NICE: Your Honour, can I simply make this point?
4 The Court has said that he may identify his signature on the
5 documents. The admission of these documents is not -- or the question of
6 the admissibility of these documents isn't changed by his identifying the
7 signature. They would surely fall for consideration just as the other
8 rejoinder documents.
9 JUDGE MAY: But really, Mr. Nice, what's the objection to these?
10 MR. NICE: Burdening the Court.
11 JUDGE MAY: Well, that's true. But apart from that.
12 [Trial Chamber confers]
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. We'll admit these three. May we have numbers,
15 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit D355/1.
16 MR. MIKULICIC: I have no questions, Your Honour.
17 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
18 Q. Mr. Maric, when you gave evidence on the last occasion, you didn't
19 cover the night of the 15th/16th of April, did you?
20 A. On the 15th, that is, I said about the 15th that it was then that
21 the attack was launched on the territory of Busovaca from the direction of
22 Zenica via Kuber. That was the testimony I gave.
23 Q. Have you read your testimony in full preparation for coming to
24 give evidence today, Mr. Maric?
25 A. I remember my testimony. I was a live witness to all the events
1 in my municipality, and they are all imprinted on my memory.
2 Q. Mr. Maric, the question again: Did you reread your testimony
3 before coming to give evidence today, please?
4 A. I did not see the transcript, the last one.
5 Q. Let's now go to this evening, the 15th of April. What were you
7 A. On the 15th of April, Your Honours, on the 15th of April, I was at
8 home in Busovaca or, rather, I was a refugee.
9 Q. Whereabouts were you? Which house were you in, please?
10 A. I was in Ravno where I had taken refuge.
11 Q. Alone or with anyone else?
12 A. With my family.
13 Q. And you were, at the time, president of the local government.
14 A. It is true that I was the representative of the HVO. But on the
15 15th, I was at home with my wife and my children.
16 Q. I want to ask you some questions about your relationships with
17 presidents of the other municipalities.
18 MR. SAYERS: Objection, Your Honour. Beyond the scope of our
19 direct examination.
20 MR. NICE: This is all going to go to background, in one sense.
21 It's also the subject of a document about which I would wish to
22 cross-examine this witness as I forecast yesterday, and it goes to his
24 [Trial Chamber confers]
25 JUDGE MAY: Well, we will allow you to cross-examine but,
1 Mr. Nice, there will be a strict limitation on it. It's not to be a
2 general licence, of course. In particular, we shall restrict you to the
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I indicated that I would wish to
5 cross-examine the witness on the document which, of course, you are
6 aware. I would like to put that document to him and seek his comments on
8 JUDGE MAY: Let us have the document.
9 MR. NICE: It's the four presidents' documents which you may be
10 familiar with.
11 JUDGE MAY: We may be familiar with it, but I don't have it at the
13 MR. NICE: Just for the moment, just for the Judges, I think Their
14 Honours would like to be reminded of it.
15 MR. SAYERS: If I may, Mr. President, this document has already
16 been ruled on and it's already been excluded.
17 JUDGE MAY: Yes. But there is another application, in the
18 circumstances, to admit it.
19 MR. NICE: Your Honour, the point is, of course, that this
20 document was ruled upon before there was even any intimation that this
21 witness was going to be called, and indeed one might have expected in the
22 circumstances of openness that one might have hoped for that in objecting
23 to the production of this document, given the history of the suggestion
24 that the Chamber might, itself, call this witness, one might have expected
25 it would be the subject of notice at the time of argument that he was to
1 be called. It's page 7.
2 JUDGE MAY: The relevant part is going to be page 7.
3 MR. NICE: Page 7 and then the general conclusions at pages 10,
4 11, and 12.
5 JUDGE MAY: Are you asking for the whole document to go in?
6 MR. NICE: No. No. Principally page 7 and his comments on that,
7 please. Dependent on his comments, we might look at some or all of 10 and
9 JUDGE MAY: Where is the reference to the 15th of April, please?
10 MR. NICE: This is not a reference to the 15th of April. It's a
11 reference to the whole history. What's more important, it's a record of
12 the antagonism between this witness and Kordic, and I'm going to say that
13 that is extremely important in the setting of the issue about the meeting
14 on the night of the 15th.
15 The whole setting of this evidence on both sides about this
16 meeting, which cannot be examined in complete isolation is, in our
17 submission, affected by and reflected from the antipathy between the
18 presidents and Kordic.
19 JUDGE MAY: Is there a reference in the document to the meeting on
20 the 15th of April?
21 MR. NICE: Yes, but not in this particular witness' account.
22 JUDGE MAY: No. But where is the reference in the document?
23 MR. NICE: Page 4, Your Honour, and one can see that halfway
24 down. It goes on, if you look down, to make reference to the absence from
25 a particular meeting of the presidents and then makes further reference to
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 the role of certain authorities later that night.
2 JUDGE MAY: What it says is that there was a session of the
3 Central Bosnia Operative Zone.
4 MR. NICE: Correct.
5 JUDGE MAY: Attended by commanders of several HVO units.
6 MR. NICE: Correct.
7 JUDGE MAY: A decision was made to start the attack. A meeting
8 was not attended by the presidents of the municipal HVOs.
9 MR. NICE: That particular meeting was not.
10 JUDGE MAY: Or the head of the defence department.
11 MR. NICE: But then it goes on to say --
12 JUDGE MAY: Leading people learned about this meeting and then
13 went to Kordic's house.
14 MR. NICE: Yes. But if I may say so, it's all without prejudice
15 to the earlier meeting that I'm going to be raising with this particular
16 witness. So it's part of the series of witnesses. It's part of the
17 series of meetings, but not this particular one.
18 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Well, we have the evidence in mind about the
20 MR. NICE: Yes.
21 JUDGE MAY: This account is of a rather different nature because
22 it only refers to one meeting, and then another meeting later on in
23 Busovaca which wasn't the evidence which we've heard.
24 MR. NICE: Correct. But, Your Honour, that is all that underlies
25 my principal concern which is to put pages 7 and 8 which, of course, go
1 very substantially to the background issue that I referred to and also, of
2 course, to the credit of the witness in light of evidence he's given
3 already on this occasion and on the last.
4 JUDGE MAY: Is there anything to attack his credibility on that --
5 on this particular meeting which he's given evidence about?
6 MR. NICE: Not specifically from this document but, Your Honour,
7 it would be quite unrealistic in my respectful submission to think one
8 would be able to find necessarily on any particular piece of evidence
9 something that isolates issues of credibility as to that particular piece
10 of evidence. Credibility has to be wider than that and always is.
11 Because otherwise, it simply becomes a issue of "You did. I didn't."
12 MR. SAYERS: With great respect, Mr. President --
13 JUDGE MAY: Just a moment, please. The background to pages 7 and
14 8, this is an information on the situation in Vitez military district
15 obtained from discussions with the presidents of the HVO governments of
16 four municipalities and this is said to be the report on Busovaca; is that
18 MR. NICE: Correct.
19 JUDGE MAY: Obtained from this witness, as alleged.
20 MR. NICE: Correct.
21 JUDGE MAY: But it's a general report about Busovaca.
22 MR. NICE: Correct, and about the attitude of this witness to
23 Kordic and vice versa, and indeed about --
24 JUDGE MAY: At the moment we are on a narrow issue of evidence,
25 which is the meeting on the 15th of April. Of course we have to make a
1 decision about the credibility of the witness, I understand that, but how
2 are these particular passages on 7 and 8, which are setting out this
3 history of differences there may have been between the witness and Kordic,
4 going to help us about the meeting on the 15th of April?
5 MR. NICE: Because they are entirely contrary to the rest of the
6 evidence that this man gave on the last occasion, and therefore they go
7 fundamentally to his credibility. Now, I have other material for his --
8 since the occasion when he gave evidence on the last occasion about his
9 credibility, of course I do, but I didn't have this document at that
10 time. This is a fundamental -- a fundamentally helpful document for the
11 Chamber to consider.
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The objection may be made that it is opening up
13 a much wider area of consideration of evidence than should be opened up at
14 this stage of the rejoinder, and effectively getting in new evidence.
15 MR. NICE: Your Honour, we have been transparent throughout about
16 the desire to put this matter to this witness. It's why we took the
17 particular steps we did to immunise him or to isolate him from knowledge
18 of our possession of the documents so that the Chamber might recall him,
19 and we raised that both before service of the document and inter partes at
20 a later stage.
21 I should also draw to Your Honours' attention, as I would wish to
22 draw to the witness' attention, that if one looks at page 8 - I think it's
23 page 8 - yes, you'll see an account of the checkpoint incident. The
24 Chamber will probably not recall from the massive evidence its heard, but
25 this witness did, in fact, go some way towards acknowledging some of that,
1 because this was a witness who -- it may have been in Your Honour's
2 particular absence, but this was a witness who acknowledged that
3 everything that happened on the 20th was triggered by and consequential
4 upon the incident involving Kostroman and/or Kordic at the checkpoint. It
5 was a reaction to that and therefore, to some degree, as I would seek to
6 establish, this document does reflect his evidence, although it reflects
7 it in a far stronger and, no doubt I would be suggesting, a more accurate
8 way than he told us.
9 JUDGE MAY: And it's supposed to represent a report of what he had
11 MR. NICE: Indeed.
12 JUDGE MAY: It appears to be his report.
13 MR. NICE: Yes.
14 JUDGE MAY: Well, the issue, really, is whether at this stage
15 you're entitled to cross-examine on this document.
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Nice, could you give the
18 original of the document to the witness, to Mr. Maric, to see if he has
19 already heard about this document or not.
20 MR. NICE: Certainly. Will Your Honour just give me one moment.
21 Your Honour, by oversight, the B/C/S has not been brought in, my
22 mistake, but in fact I can deal with the question in another way, I'm
23 quite sure.
24 Q. Mr. Maric, when were you first asked to come and give evidence
25 here for a second occasion? How long ago were you notified?
1 A. A week ago.
2 Q. At that stage, you were notified that you might be required to
3 deal with a document that purported to be a report of four presidents of
4 four municipalities; correct?
5 A. No.
6 Q. When were you seen by lawyers in relation to coming to give
7 evidence on this second occasion?
8 A. Well, I said that a week ago I was called up again. I was told
9 that I was supposed to come and testify once again.
10 Q. But before that, you'd been approached by lawyers in relation to
11 this particular document, hadn't you, the document of the four presidents,
12 as we are calling it for shorthand purposes?
13 A. Your Honours, I said that a week ago I received notification that
14 I was supposed to come here and testify again. Nobody mentioned any
15 document to me, nor do I know about one.
16 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I believe that I received a letter to the
17 effect that he was going to deal with both topics. That was before the
18 ruling was made. I'll try and find that letter.
19 But here's the original. The B/C/S was attached to the version
20 that Your Honours had, and I'd like perhaps confirmation, if my memory is
21 correct, that the original intimation was that this witness was going to
22 come and be able to deal with this document.
23 Meanwhile, may the original document go on the ELMO for him,
24 please. Thank you.
25 Q. Will you look, please, at that document in the original, or you
1 can handle it if you wish. Have you been shown that document?
2 A. I have never seen this document, ever. This is the first time I
3 see it.
4 Q. Are you saying you've never had this discussed with you by the
5 lawyers representing Kordic?
6 A. Your Honours, I've said that a week ago I received notification
7 that I would have to come here and testify again. But I have not been
8 familiarised with any documents.
9 MR. NICE: Your Honour, that's probably as far as I can take it at
10 the moment, unless I find the other letter.
11 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Mr. Maric, did you take part in
12 writing a report or did you write a report about the political and
13 military situation in Central Bosnia alongside other municipal presidents,
14 that is, municipal presidents of Travnik, Novi Travnik, and Vitez, in
15 1993? Could you tell us if you participated in the compilation of a
16 report with other municipal presidents in Central Bosnia in February 1993;
17 yes or no?
18 A. In February, I never wrote something, nor do I know about anything
19 like this.
20 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] Did you participate -- forget the
21 date. Did you participate in the compilation of a report about Central
22 Bosnia with other municipal presidents in Central Bosnia?
23 A. No.
24 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] You never participated in writing
25 a report?
1 A. I did not.
2 JUDGE BENNOUNA: [Interpretation] And you never heard that anyone
3 else wrote a report, four municipal presidents, about the situation in
4 Central Bosnia?
5 A. I did not because I did not participate in that. I don't know if
6 anybody else wrote about us or about anyone else.
7 MR. NICE: May I ask one supplementary question to this effect if
8 the Chamber looks at page 12 of the English version and the initials
10 Q. It's right, isn't it, Mr. Maric, that you had dealings with
11 representatives of one of the secret services represented by three men,
12 Boris Adzic, Bruno Saric, and Dragan Voloder and you spoke to them about
13 events in your municipality?
14 A. Your Honours, I never talk to them. I don't know these people at
16 [Trial Chamber confers]
17 JUDGE MAY: Normally, the rules provide for cross-examination upon
18 issues of credibility and it would have been open earlier in the trial
19 when the witness first gave evidence for him to be cross-examined upon
20 this document. However, given the stage of the trial which we are at, and
21 given the very narrow compass of his evidence, we could not think it right
22 to allow a more wide-ranging cross-examination which may relate to
24 He has given evidence about events on the 15th of April. This
25 document relates to or is a report dated the 8th of February and relates
1 to events in January. It would open up new issues and we don't think it
2 right to allow it at this stage. We will return the document.
3 MR. NICE: As Your Honour pleases.
4 Q. Mr. Maric, just help me further, please. Your address in Ravno is
5 how far from Busovaca?
6 A. From Busovaca, four and a half kilometres.
7 Q. And at the time in April, how did you communicate with other
8 people in the government; did you have a telephone?
9 A. Well, at that time, all telephones were disconnected.
10 Q. Then how did you communicate with other members of the government,
11 please? You were the president.
12 A. Well, I was president. In the morning I went to work, and then I
13 would return.
14 Q. If you were required after hours by any member of your government,
15 what happened? Was there a messenger to came to collect you?
16 A. He would come to see me personally at home, and then we would
18 Q. Who would come?
19 A. A member of government. Then I had these members of my
20 government, Mr. Grubesic, Mr. Pezo.
21 Q. On the 15th, did anybody come and see you in the evening?
22 A. I said that I was at home with my wife and family -- with my wife
23 and children, on the evening of the 15th.
24 Q. Yes. Now, can you answer the question? Did anybody else from the
25 government, anybody come and see you?
1 A. No. No one came to see me at my house that evening.
2 Q. So help me, please. Was the 15th an entirely ordinary evening at
3 the end of which you went to bed and to sleep in an ordinary way?
4 A. Well, that evening, I said that there was an attack on Busovaca
5 from the Muslim side, from Kuber. I was at home at the time because
6 shells were falling.
7 Q. What time in the evening, please, Mr. Maric, are you going to tell
8 us about? What time?
9 A. Well, I'm telling you the attack started around 3.30, about 3.30
10 p.m. and, at that time, I was at home. I was in the house all the time.
11 Q. Busovaca is being attacked at about 3.30 in the afternoon on the
12 15th; is that your recollection?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Can you help us with where that's recorded in any way? Are there
15 any documents about that anywhere?
16 A. Sir, last time in my report, I said how the attacks on Busovaca
17 took place, and I said that very precisely in my statement and I remain
18 true to my statement.
19 Q. So although you were at home, Busovaca was under attack; is that
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you have any contact with the military people who were dealing
23 with things in your municipality, please?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Why not? If there was an attack, as the president of the
1 government, wouldn't it have been an appropriate thing to do to make
2 contact with the military leaders?
3 A. I was involved in civilian affairs for the municipality of
5 Q. I see. Let's just hear about the -- yes, but that doesn't mean to
6 say you don't speak to the military people. If an attack is taking place,
7 half past 3.00 in the afternoon is your account, you're still at your
8 government office, shells falling. Tell us, please, what did you do?
9 A. At 3.00 I went home, because our working hours were until 3.00,
10 1500 hours.
11 Q. So this little small town is under shelling, you're the president,
12 but at 5.00, off you went home; is that the position?
13 JUDGE MAY: 3.00.
14 MR. NICE: 3.00. I'm so sorry.
15 A. I said when I went home, I went home at 1500 and the shelling
16 began later at half past 3.00.
17 Q. Very well. And what, you just stayed at home while the town was
18 being shelled and you didn't communicate with anyone at all; is that
20 A. Correct. I was at home throughout. I communicated with no one.
21 Q. Well, that's the 15th. Did you manage to get some sleep that
23 A. I slept. Of course I slept, but not as a normal man would sleep
24 because there was war.
25 Q. And what happened the following morning; anything wake you up
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
2 A. Shells were falling. There was fighting throughout the night.
3 Q. At 12.00, 1.00, 2.00, and 3.00, there was fighting going on, was
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And was this artillery shells being fired from one community to
7 the next?
8 A. I heard detonations, yes.
9 Q. So that you heard them. Where were they coming from: Vitez,
10 Ahmici, whereabouts?
11 A. Your Honours, I said that Muslim forces had attacked the area
12 north-west, north-east in the municipality of Busovaca, and that is the
13 territory of Kuber.
14 Q. That's sort of over in the general direction of Ahmici as well,
15 isn't it?
16 A. Ahmici are on the border, on the boundary of the municipality of
17 Busovaca. That is correct.
18 Q. You stayed at home, didn't see anything of any press conference
19 that afternoon, did you?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Weren't aware of any press conference that afternoon involving any
22 of the political or military leaders of your community, were you?
23 A. Your Honours, I said that at 1500, I left the building of the
24 municipal government and went home.
25 Q. Were you aware of any mobilisation orders that afternoon?
1 A. The mobilisation was for a long time on. It was in force since
2 the 25th of January, and it was never called off.
3 Q. Were you aware of any curfew orders on the 15th by anyone?
4 A. Curfew had been introduced a long time before that.
5 Q. Well, now, what contact did you have on a regular basis with the
6 military leaders of your community, please? You were the president. What
7 contact did you have with the military leaders, please?
8 A. With the military leaders, I had contact when support was needed,
9 meaning help to the civilian population or, rather, supplies for the
10 military because we were completely surrounded.
11 Q. Was that on a daily basis or a weekly basis, every hour; what was
13 A. No. When the need arose.
14 Q. Who was the military leader at the time, please, Mr. Maric, in
15 your community?
16 A. The brigade commander was Mr. Dusko Grubesic.
17 Q. Thank you. Well, now, can you help me with this: You say you
18 didn't go to Vitez at all on the day of the 15th, don't you?
19 A. I have said, Your Honours, that I never went to Vitez on the 15th,
20 that I was in my office, went home at 3.00, and spent all that time at
21 home with my wife and children.
22 Q. Are you telling us that you've never heard of any such meeting
23 happening in Vitez at any time?
24 A. This is the first time that I hear about this from you, sir.
25 Q. Well, you know and accept, don't you, that there was a terrible
1 event in Ahmici committed by the HVO on this very night, don't you?
2 A. Your Honours, I testified about Ahmici. Last time, I testified
3 before the Court, and any crime that is committed by anyone --
4 JUDGE MAY: There's no need to go on. You were simply asked a
5 question. The answer is yes or no.
6 MR. NICE:
7 Q. There was a terrible event in Ahmici committed by the HVO on that
8 very night, wasn't there?
9 A. A crime did happen.
10 Q. Thank you. As one of the local leaders, did you not inquire into
11 the circumstances by which this crime came to be committed, please?
12 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I must interject at this point. We went
13 over all of this at great length with Mr. Maric when he was here the first
14 time, and this is considerably beyond the scope of the April the 15th
15 meeting which we brought him here to testimony about, Your Honour.
16 JUDGE MAY: Yes, I agree.
17 Yes, anything else about the 15th?
18 MR. NICE: Yes, I want to focus on the 15th.
19 Q. You see, I must suggest to you this: that there was, and still is,
20 in Vitez, plenty of discussion about the meeting or meetings on the 15th,
21 Mr. Maric, and you know it.
22 A. Your Honours, I said that that day I was in my municipality
23 because I was the mayor of my municipality.
24 Q. Thank you. Mr. Maric, my question was broader than that and it
25 came from what you said in your evidence to Mr. Sayers. I'm suggesting to
1 you that at the time, since, and even to this day, there is regular
2 reference to, knowledge of, the meetings that occurred on the 15th. Those
3 meetings are talked about, Mr. Maric; yes or no?
4 A. No.
5 Q. And that the meetings were first in Vitez, and later they were in
6 your town at Kordic's -- outside your town at Kordic's house, and you know
7 about these.
8 A. I don't know it, Your Honours, because I wasn't present, I wasn't
9 informed. This is the first time I hear about it from Mr. Nice.
10 Q. Very well. I shall ask you one more question, I think, and then
11 that is all I'm going to trouble you with.
12 From your knowledge of events at the time, can you explain how
13 orders, in the middle of the night, got from Vitez to the military
14 authorities in Busovaca?
15 A. Your Honours, I am not a military man. I fought -- I was a
16 civilian. I was the president of the civilian government and I fought to
17 provide the security for the civilian population and to satisfy the needs
18 as they were at that moment. And about the military, I'm not competent
19 about that, nor did I have any part in it.
20 Q. Mr. Maric, let me make it quite clear to you. My suggestion is
21 that you and various others met in Vitez with Kordic and at that stage you
22 and those others knew perfectly well that there was going to be an attack
23 later that night.
24 A. Your Honours, I repeat over and over again: That day I was not in
25 Vitez. I did not hear anything being said about any plans. By my honour,
1 I came here to testify honourably and to speak about what happened, what I
2 know happened.
3 Q. Mr. Maric, you recognise that by your presence at that meeting -
4 this I must suggest to you - that your presence at that meeting revealed
5 in various ways of which you must be aware, you realise that you find
6 yourself in an acutely difficult position because you went along with what
7 was going to happen.
8 A. Your Honours, I was not present and I did not participate in
10 Q. And in the prevailing atmosphere in Vitez, Busovaca, and
11 thereabouts to this day, those on the Croat side, like you, I am
12 suggesting, have to turn up and say that which they know to be quite
13 untrue in support of Mr. Kordic, and that's what you're doing here today.
14 A. Your Honours, I said that I was not at that meeting. I have no
15 idea about all these events.
16 MR. NICE: If Your Honour will just give me one minute. I have
17 nothing else to ask this witness.
18 MR. SAYERS: No questions, Your Honour.
19 JUDGE MAY: Yes. The witness is released. You're free to go,
20 Mr. Maric.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
22 [The witness withdrew]
23 JUDGE MAY: Yes, the next witness.
24 MR. SAYERS: Jozo Sekic, Mr. President.
25 JUDGE MAY: While the witness is being fetched, it may be that I
1 can give the timetable for closing submissions next week.
2 Thursday, the 14th of December, we'll begin at 9.00, provided
3 that's all right with the Registry. From 9.00 to 10.30, we'll hear the
4 Prosecution. We'll take the usual break. From 11.00 to 12.30, the
5 Prosecution. We'll take the lunch break from 12.30 to 2.00. From 2.00 to
6 3.00, we'll hear the Prosecution. That gives them four hours in all.
7 We'll take a break between 3.00 and 3.15. And then 3.15 to 3.45, we'll
8 hear the Kordic Defence for the beginning of their submissions.
9 I'll break off now because the witness is here.
10 [The witness entered court]
11 JUDGE MAY: This is a new witness, isn't it?
12 MR. SAYERS: Yes, Mr. President.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes. Let the witness take the declaration.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
15 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
16 WITNESS: JOZO SEKIC
17 [Witness answered through interpreter]
18 JUDGE MAY: If you'd like to take a seat.
19 Yes, Mr. Sayers.
20 MR. SAYERS: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Examined by Mr. Sayers:
22 Q. Good morning, sir. Would you please tell your full name to the
24 A. Good morning. My name is Jozo, and my last name is Sekic.
25 Q. Mr. Sekic, do I understand it correctly that you were the
1 President of the HVO government of Novi Travnik municipality from July of
2 1992 until August of 1993?
3 A. It is very correct.
4 Q. Do you still work for the Chamber of Economy of Herceg-Bosna, a
5 nongovernmental organisation?
6 A. At the moment, I work for the Chamber of Commerce of the
7 Federation or, rather, the cantonal Chamber of Commerce, the district
8 Chamber of Commerce in Central Bosnia.
9 Q. Thank you. Please don't take offence at this question, sir, but
10 do you have any criminal record?
11 A. No, never.
12 Q. Just one point I want to cover with you today, Mr. Sekic, and only
13 one. A claim has been made in this case last week by a witness who says
14 that he saw you or may have seen you at a meeting of political leaders and
15 military leaders held at the headquarters of the Central Bosnia Operative
16 Zone, the Hotel Vitez, on April the 15th, 1993.
17 Now, did you attend any meeting on April the 15th with Colonel
18 Blaskic or other military leaders in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone
19 headquarters, sir?
20 A. Your Honours, no memory associates me with any meeting on the
21 above-mentioned date; that is, I was not present at any meeting on the
22 above-mentioned date. Moreover, I have never heard about such a meeting
23 ever taking place.
24 Q. To your knowledge, Mr. Sekic, was anybody else from the HVO
25 government in Novi Travnik present in the Hotel Vitez on that day, April
1 the 15th, 1993?
2 A. To my knowledge, I am sure and I am convinced that nobody was at a
3 possible, potential meeting.
4 Q. Thank you.
5 MR. SAYERS: No further questions.
6 MR. MIKULICIC: No questions, Your Honour.
7 Cross-examined by Mr. Nice:
8 Q. Mr. Sekic, help me with this, please: At the material time, your
9 role in Novi Travnik was President of the municipality, or what was it?
10 A. At that time I was the President of the HVO, that is, the civilian
11 wing of the government.
12 Q. Yes. Now, nasty things happened, very nasty things happened in
13 your area in the course of 1993. What happened in April, was that, in
14 some way, worse than what happened on other days, or was it all much of a
15 muchness to you? You see, I want to know why it is that you're able to
16 remember this particular day, first.
17 A. Well, this specific date, that is, I learnt about a possible
18 meeting -- I learnt on my way here to The Hague about the date of the
19 alleged meeting that took place.
20 Q. It was my mistake for not making it clear. You're able to tell us
21 where you were and where you weren't on the 15th of April. But was the
22 15th of April just like any other day? The 15th/16th of April, was it
23 just like any other day in the year 1993, or was there something special
24 about it for you? Perhaps because it was a specially awful day or because
25 something unusual happened. Tell us.
1 A. Well, to me, it was like most days in 1993, nothing special. And,
2 really, nothing -- I do not -- nothing brings memory back of that day.
3 Nothing associates me with it. Nothing special was there to be imprinted
4 on my mind.
5 Q. And what about the 16th of April, because sometimes you can
6 remember events not because of a particular day itself but because of the
7 day before or the following day. Anything on the 16th of April that is
8 particularly memorable, however awful?
9 A. Well, about the 16th of April, I remember -- I remember that the
10 information arrived, but to be quite honest, I learned it in the afternoon
11 hours that in the municipality of Vitez, there had been fighting.
12 Q. It's the start, really, isn't it? The 16th of April is the start
13 of the conflict proper between the HVO and the Muslims. Would that be
15 A. Your Honours, even before -- during the earlier period, there were
16 some incidents and -- that is it is very hard to say the beginning.
17 Q. But were you aware that Ahmici, the massacre at Ahmici occurred in
18 the early hours of the morning of the 16th?
19 A. Sir, it seems to me as far as I can remember, I learned about it
20 in the afternoon because I think that it was only on the 18th that I
21 learned about the dimensions of that incident, of that conflict about what
23 Q. And so the 16th of April has always been an important day in the
24 life of Central Bosnia, hasn't it, the 16th of April of 1993?
25 A. Well, Your Honours, that is, of course, an ugly day in Central
1 Bosnia, an ugly day in Central Bosnia.
2 Q. And when you first became involved with lawyers for Kordic in this
3 case, you knew that this Trial Chamber was inquiring, amongst other
4 things, into the events at Ahmici, didn't you?
5 A. Among other things, I learned, and it was known not only from
6 lawyers but also the media, the mass media also reported about that.
7 Q. Now, when you first got in dealing with lawyers for the defendant
8 Kordic, you provided an affidavit, didn't you?
9 A. I did.
10 Q. You went with your statement or affidavit to a local judge and it
11 was all explained to you how important it was to get things right, and you
12 testified or swore to the truth of your statement, didn't you?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Were you subsequently informed that the Prosecution had wanted you
15 to attend to give evidence live? Were you ever told that?
16 A. Your Honours, I was told that the affidavit was enough, that
17 within the framework of the international legal assistance extended by the
18 judiciary, that is, that it had been agreed upon and that it sufficed.
19 Q. That's not exactly an answer to my question. I will just ask you
20 once more: Were you told that the Prosecution wanted you to attend?
21 A. Your Honours, I was not told that, but a month ago, I was told
22 that I should appear.
23 Q. Now, as between you and the man Zlatan Civcija, the chief of
24 police, you, as the president of municipality, would of course have a
25 wider more detailed knowledge of events in your municipality; correct?
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 A. Well, if you mean, have more extensive knowledge about it, no, I
2 didn't. May I explain that?
3 Q. Of course.
4 A. Your Honours, just at what period of time do you have in mind?
5 Q. Well, the time when you were president of your community which, of
6 course, included this dark day, the 16th of April.
7 A. So at that time, I was the president of the civilian HVO
8 government and Mr. Civcija was the commander, the chief of the civilian
9 police. That is so. That is, he was the chief of police and he was doing
10 his job in agreement with the job of the police administration.
11 Q. I'll come back to it. As president, you would know what was going
12 on in your community. You have been brought here not only to say that you
13 didn't go to a meeting on the 15th but nobody else did. Not a very large
14 town, Novi Travnik, substantial, but not huge. You would know what was
15 going on in Novi Travnik generally, wouldn't you?
16 A. Your Honours, in such a confused and complex time, it was
17 difficult to know everything that was going on in the territory. There
18 was no system in existence, a functioning system. Those were times when
19 many things got intertwined and when, I mean, with respect to order and
20 peace, the military police played a bigger role and at times, in Travnik,
21 perhaps exclusively.
22 Q. I only have a couple more questions on this topic and then a few
23 more and then I shall be done. And if the Chamber is in a position to sit
24 beyond the normal break time, if the interpreters are, I can probably
25 accommodate all I have to say within five or ten minutes.
1 You were replaced as president by a man called Vidak, weren't
3 A. Yes, Your Honours.
4 Q. But not until August of 1993.
5 A. Correct.
6 Q. So for all the important period of April, the dark days of April,
7 you were the president.
8 A. Correct.
9 Q. Now, why, again, please, when you went to your local judge and
10 swore your affidavit, did you choose to say that you were only president
11 until March of 1993?
12 A. Your Honours, I think that it was just a technical error in
13 typing, in typing, I assume. Because it is quite clear to me that then, I
14 mean, if I was until March, then I wouldn't be against myself. I wouldn't
15 be going into that nonsense.
16 Q. This is paragraph 3 of his statement and it sets out in the
17 English version in July of 1992, I became president of the Croat Defence
18 Council and I remained in that position until March of 1993 and, according
19 to the record of your examination by the judge, you were warned of your
20 obligations to tell the truth, you were told the consequences of not
21 telling the truth, and you confirmed everything in your affidavit as
22 true. Now how can you have made such a fundamental error about your own
23 employment, please?
24 A. Your Honours, once again, I mean I would like to mention a purely
25 technical oversight, 100 per cent sure, probably when it was being typed
1 out. Since -- I mean when I read it, when I read everything that was
2 typed out, we had to change some things because there had been some typos
3 so probably later when these things were changed, this was carried out. I
4 mean a typographical error was carried out. So I read this, once again,
5 quickly, and I did not take note of this date or, rather, this month.
6 Q. Now, the man Vidak, was it he who drew to your attention that your
7 term of office ended in August and not in March?
8 A. Your Honours, no way. No. No. Vidak? No, I did not even
9 communicate with him from the time I gave my statement.
10 Q. Have you spoken to him in the last few months?
11 A. Yes. Yes. I did not talk to him at all, so he could not have
12 drawn my attention to anything.
13 Q. You see from a statement that we took from him, we discovered, a
14 statement served on the Defence, that you became --
15 MR. SAYERS: If I may, Your Honour, this is covering the same
16 territory that we did yesterday, confronting a witness with a statement of
17 another person, especially when it's being excluded.
18 JUDGE MAY: A matter can be put without reference to the
20 MR. NICE:
21 Q. Did you discover, as a result of communications between Vidak and
22 the Prosecutor here, a Prosecutor was going to know that what you had said
23 about ending your term of office in March was untrue?
24 A. Your Honours, I did not quite understand this thing about Vidak.
25 I'll try to answer, perhaps I'm not going to be very accurate, but as for
1 Vidak, I don't even know about his statement, nor do I know about the
2 contents of his statement.
3 Q. Yes.
4 MR. NICE: Your Honour, I'm not, with this witness, going to seek
5 to cover the matters that I raised with the last witness or that same
6 document. I'm not going to seek with this witness to explore the many
7 matters we would have explored had he come instead of his affidavit. I'm
8 going to confine myself to the 15th, to the matters that relate to that
9 and I have just a couple more questions but they do relate to that.
10 Q. Two things about you, please. You were given your job, really, by
11 Kordic, weren't you? He appointed people in Novi Travnik in the spring of
12 1992 and that's exactly how you got your job.
13 A. Your Honours, I have a different view with regard to that. I was
14 a legally and legitimately elected president of the municipal assembly in
15 1990. That is to say that when the parliament ceased to function in the
16 Federation, that reflected itself at municipal levels too. Well,
17 municipal staffs were established of the HVO, actually at the level of
18 Herceg-Bosna or, rather, the BH. There were two armies that were
19 constituted in a way, and in this way, local self-government was blocked.
20 Maybe I'm --
21 Q. We've had evidence that Kordic appointed people to the posts in
22 Novi Travnik in the spring of 1992. Question one: Do you accept that he
23 did, indeed, appoint some people to their posts at that time?
24 A. Your Honours, Mr. Dario Kordic was vice-president of the Croat
25 Community of Herceg-Bosna. That is a political post. There is no doubt
1 that through this political post, he influenced personnel matters. So
2 there is no dilemma about that. He had an appropriate influence on
3 personnel matters, and this peaked in terms of Mr. Mate Boban.
4 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Nice, it is getting on. It may be better if we
5 adjourn now and have the break.
6 MR. NICE: I shan't be long.
7 JUDGE MAY: We're going to break now until the usual time.
8 Mr. Sekic, don't speak to anybody about your evidence until it's
9 over and don't speak to anybody during the break.
10 --- Recess taken at 11.07 a.m.
11 --- On resuming at 11.43 a.m.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. I've dealt with the fact that you got your job from Mr. Kordic, as
14 I suggest to you, and the second reason you're here is this: Throughout
15 the war, you were involved with a man called Marelja; correct?
16 MR. SAYERS: Objection, Your Honour. This is way beyond the scope
17 of the narrow issue that this witness was brought to testify about. I see
18 no relevance whatsoever to that question of background matters.
19 JUDGE MAY: Let's see what the purpose of the question is.
20 MR. NICE: Can I explain it through the questions, if I may?
21 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
22 MR. NICE:
23 Q. It's right, isn't it, that you were involved with a man called
25 A. Your Honours, first I shall answer this first question, I mean
1 about my getting a job from Dario. It's not -- it's not --
2 JUDGE MAY: We've been over this, I think. You can answer but
3 very briefly, please.
4 A. It's not that I got a job from Mr. Dario. That's it. There was a
5 sort of continuity as far as my political functioning is concerned, and
6 that's what I wanted to say about that.
7 Now I'm going to answer this other question of yours. It relates
8 to contact -- contact with Mr. Marelja. I have to tell you the
9 following: It was not only contact. Mr. Marelja was in the civilian
10 authorities of the HVO, that is to say, in the municipality, and he was
11 deputy president.
12 MR. NICE:
13 Q. I'm concerned with this: Marelja was trading explosives in and
14 out of your town, selling the products to Croats and Muslims; you were
15 involved in it, as was Kordic, or at least Kordic strongly approved of
16 it. That's my suggestion.
17 JUDGE MAY: Credibility.
18 Yes, now, two suggestions were made. First of all, that you were
19 involved in the selling of explosives. Were you?
20 A. Your Honour, absolutely incorrect. I never took part in actions
21 that would even be similar to something like that, so this is absolutely
23 MR. NICE:
24 Q. I'm going to leave it with this question or with these two
25 questions: You were the man who dealt with the transport, weren't you?
1 A. I beg your pardon? I didn't understand. Transport in what
2 sense? What kind of transport are you asking me about?
3 Q. The transport of explosives to the Republic of Croatia was your
4 part in all this.
5 A. Your Honours, I never saw, let me put it that way, a single gram
6 of any kind of explosive.
7 Q. I see. Let me move to the third reason why you're here, in my
8 suggestion to you, to lie on behalf of Mr. Kordic so that there's no doubt
9 about what I'm suggesting to you, and that is that, although I'm not going
10 to go into it in detail, you were in full support of Kordic's policies in
11 your town of Novi Travnik and you know that as a result of those policies
12 a large number of people died.
13 A. Your Honours, I was in agreement with the policy, with the policy
14 that had as its objective -- I mean, in moments of fear of a greater Serb,
15 Milosevic aggression, I agreed to have the Croat people protected. And
16 now to say whose policy this is, I mean, to address it to one person or
17 another, I think that's wrong. I supported the policy of the Croat
18 Democratic Union.
19 Just one more thing. It is a fact -- it is a fact that later,
20 unfortunately, there were war conflicts, although I am a profound
21 pacifist. However, how did this take place? It reminds me of the
22 question of what is older.
23 JUDGE MAY: Now, we have only a limited amount of time, Mr. Sekic,
24 and I think you've answered the question.
25 MR. NICE:
1 Q. I want to turn now, please, to the meeting itself but with this
2 opening question: Presidents of the municipalities did regularly meet;
4 A. Presidents of municipalities, let me put it this way, met from
5 time to time, but I have to tell you that these were not institutionalised
6 meetings. Practice was to have a cup of coffee, things like that.
7 Q. I'm going to suggest that they may well have become rather more
8 institutionalised, and I'm going to refer to one meeting before I come to
9 the meeting on the 15th between you and other municipality presidents. It
10 bears on the 15th, and it bears on one of my previous questions to you.
11 On the 8th of March of 1993, you, along with the president of the
12 municipality, Zoran Maric, and president of the municipality, Pero
13 Skopljak, and others visited Tudjman in Zagreb; correct?
14 A. I remember that that was at the beginning of March, the beginning
15 of March. And what you said, I mean Pero Skopljak, president of the
16 municipality, he was not president of the municipality at that time. At
17 that time, the president of the municipality --
18 JUDGE MAY: It doesn't matter.
19 MR. NICE:
20 Q. Bearing on what was to happen on the 15th of April, just help me
21 with this: Were you and all of you at that time forecasting warfare to
22 come and ask Tudjman for his help?
23 A. Your Honours, I remember -- I mean memories are coming back all
24 the time now. It seemed very likely that the Vance-Owen Plan would be
25 signed. To be quite frank with you, throughout my political activity, I
1 always thought that it would only last another month or two and then it
2 would all be over. So after this Vance-Owen Plan was signed, I mean the
3 Muslim side signed it; however, putting forth the condition of a
4 particular annex. We thought that the Serbs would also sign it and we
5 thought that this would lead to a resolution of a crisis.
6 Q. I'm going to cut you short. And I'm going to suggest these all go
7 on matters of credit. Two things from that meeting before I move on. One
8 is that there was a specific request at that meeting with Tudjman for
9 Praljak to be returned to Central Bosnia, and the second is you, and this
10 goes to your credit, made it clear that in Novi Travnik, you were -- you,
11 the HDZ were prepared to use force and resoluteness towards the Muslims.
12 True or false, both of those points, please?
13 A. Your Honours, I remember that there were talks concerning the
14 subject of the complexity of the situation and jeopardy. As for this
15 other thing, I think that it was only mentioned -- it was only mentioned
16 that in Novi Travnik the situation was under control, to quite an extent,
17 that it was quite all right, and that there was no jeopardy. Of course
18 these were our assessments.
19 Q. Well, I'm suggesting to you that the terms were exactly as I've
20 put them, and I'm now going to move to the night of the 15th. Are you
21 saying there was no meeting of -- sorry.
22 A. I don't remember.
23 Q. Are you saying there was no meeting on the evening of the 15th?
24 A. Your Honours, as I said at the beginning, I really do not know
25 about any meeting, nor do I remember that one was held.
1 Q. Of course for a municipality to issue a curfew order, there would
2 have to be involvement of, I suppose, the president of the municipality,
3 wouldn't there?
4 A. Well, I guess so.
5 Q. Thank you. Would you like, please, to look at a Defence exhibit
6 in this case, D307/1, tab 224. Understand please, Mr. Sekic, that this
7 document has been put in -- can we just see the top of it so we can have
8 the date and indeed the time.
9 This is a document that's been put forward by the Defence as being
10 a genuine document. It comes on the 15th of April at five minutes to 7.00
11 in the evening, and it goes to the commanders of Brigades 1 to 12. So
12 that incorporates and includes commanders in Novi Travnik; correct?
13 A. That's the way it should be.
14 Q. Thank you. The order reads, or the document reads, "We hereby
15 inform you that the civil authorities in the Central Bosnia Operative Zone
16 have issued the following orders," and it then refers to a curfew.
17 Can you tell us, please, how, in your municipality, there was a
18 representative of the government in a position to authorise this curfew?
19 A. You mean a representative of the government -- I mean, I didn't
20 understand this. Was there a representative of the government where?
21 Q. Government of Novi Travnik. Let's look at the bottom of the
22 document. I'll help you. This document comes from Blaskic. He says in
23 terms, the civil authorities have issued the following orders. He's
24 speaking of Central Bosnia, and the document goes to all brigades
25 including those in your town. Who, from Novi Travnik, agreed that this
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 order should be issued, please, you?
2 A. Your Honours, I really do not remember this.
3 Q. Thank you. I suggest you remember it perfectly well because you
4 were at that meeting, although you haven't been identified with precision,
5 but either you or possibly somebody on your behalf was at that meeting in
6 Vitez on the evening of the 15th. This curfew was amongst the things that
7 were discussed. Is that possible?
8 A. Your Honour, indeed it is 1.000 per cent sure that I did not
9 attend this meeting. I do not even know about anyone else having been
10 there. I really don't know anything about this. So 1.000 per cent sure I
11 was not at that meeting or did I know about this curfew.
12 Q. All right, then. Last opportunity. How did somebody from Novi
13 Travnik come to authorise a curfew, please, at or by five to 7.00 in the
15 A. And to this question, Your Honours, it is also very difficult for
16 me to answer. The communication between the headquarters of Central
17 Bosnia, well, in principle, it must have gone to the commander of the Novi
18 Travnik Brigade and at that time -- well, the military, in a manner of
19 speaking, dominated, in a way, in that walk of life.
20 Q. I see. Are you telling us that whatever it says, whatever the
21 document says about civil authorities, the truth is that it was a sort of
22 military state in Novi Travnik; is that what you're telling us, military
24 A. Well, one could more or less, yes. One could, more or less.
25 Q. Could Kordic issue an order like this on his own? Did he have
1 that sort of power?
2 MR. SAYERS: Once again, Your Honour, objection as to beyond the
3 scope of the direct examination.
4 JUDGE MAY: Credibility. Yes. Let's finish this off.
5 MR. NICE: Yes.
6 Q. Could Kordic issue such an order on his own?
7 A. Your Honours, it is very difficult for me to answer that
8 question. My views as to how this should function is that he couldn't do
9 it on his own.
10 Q. Then the last question on that, and then one or two questions to
11 follow. Did you have regular contact with Kordic at meetings during your
12 term of office as president of Novi Travnik? I suggest --
13 A. Well, meet, we did meet. We did. And that was through that
14 coordinating body which was led by Mr. Valenta, and then Kordic would come
15 there. Those were also noninstitutional meetings.
16 Q. You see, in your affidavit that said you stopped working as
17 president in March, you're also recorded as having said, and it's the last
18 sentence of this affidavit, "Dario never called me during the war years
19 and never issued any orders to me in my capacity as president of Novi
20 Travnik." "Never called me during the war years," is that strictly
21 accurate or is that another slip of somebody's typewriter or pen?
22 A. It is quite true that he never issued any orders to me; that is
23 quite true. Now, as for calling or telephoning, such contacts could have
24 been. But issuing orders, no.
25 Q. I see. So, again, your affidavit in error. Can you think of any
1 way that this affidavit made this second significant error about Kordic,
2 saying "he never called me" when that simply was not true?
3 MR. SAYERS: Your Honour, I absolutely object to the form of that
4 question. That mischaracterises what Mr. Sekic said and the Prosecution
5 knows it.
6 JUDGE MAY: Don't personalise, Mr. Sayers. That is objectionable
7 in itself. This trial has been going on long enough for the manners of
8 counsel to have improved.
9 Mr. Nice, I don't think we're going to get further with this
11 MR. NICE: I'm going to leave it there. My case is as is put to
12 this witness.
13 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
14 MR. SAYERS: No further questions, Your Honour.
15 JUDGE MAY: Very well.
16 Mr. Sekic, that concludes your evidence. You are free to go now.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, may I express my
18 gratitude to you. And may I also greet Dario and Mario?
19 JUDGE MAY: You can leave now.
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 JUDGE MAY: There's a matter I want to raise in closed session,
23 [Private session]
13 Page 27999 redacted – in Private session.
10 [Open session]
11 MR. NICE: There's a document that I'd like the Court to take into
12 account as an exhibit or otherwise. The Court already has it, but for
13 ease of reference, I've had copies made for the Court of the relevant
14 pages. If that could be handed in, please, to the learned Judges and to
15 Defence. It relates not to this witness but to the previous witness, and
16 once Your Honour sees it, the point will become obvious.
17 The Court will remember that I was struggling with my memory to
18 find the document that set out what Maric was likely to say about the four
19 presidents' document. I'm not seeking to revisit that as an exhibit, but
20 these go substantially -- these issues go substantially to his credit.
21 I'm afraid I didn't have the document at my fingertips; my shortcoming.
22 The Court will remember the answers that the witness gave both to
23 His Honour Judge Bennouna and to me, emphatically denying any knowledge of
24 the four presidents document. We see on this part of the filing, it's an
25 extract from the filing of the 26th of November, that under Maric's name,
1 it says:
2 "He will controvert the factually false allegations contained in
3 certain unstamped and anonymously authored documents that have been
4 allowed into evidence to the effect that there were significant disputes
5 or differences of opinion between Mr. Kordic and the leaders of the
6 municipalities of Novi Travnik, Busovaca, Vitez, and Travnik.
7 Specifically, he will address the contentions made in the anonymous
8 document produced by the Prosecution which supposedly recounts a
9 round-table discussion between the presidents of these municipalities.
10 The anonymous document has political motivations and was produced by an
11 organisation with known criminal ties specifically in the area of
12 narcotics trafficking and arms smuggling."
13 That was what was originally expected from this witness, and if
14 I'd had the document at my fingertips, I'd have put it to him. I'd invite
15 the Chamber to say it is clearly apt for further consideration on the
16 issue of his credibility.
17 MR. SAYERS: We didn't show him the document, Your Honour. We
18 recited to him the scurrilous allegations that are contained in it, and he
19 told us that they were absolutely false. There's no need for him to be
20 shown the document whatsoever. We just covered with him the allegations
21 that were contained in it, and if there's any dispute on that, my
22 suggestion is let's bring him back and ask him about it, if the
23 Prosecution wants another go at him.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, we'll consider the matter. Thank you.
25 While the witness is being brought, let me deal with Friday, the
1 15th of December, and the rest of the closing submissions.
2 On the 15th of December, 9.30 to 1.00, the remainder of the Kordic
3 Defence submissions. The break at the usual time. From 11.30 to 1.00,
4 Cerkez Defence submissions, first half. Lunch at the usual times. From
5 2.30 to 4.00, Cerkez second half of Defence submissions.
6 [The witness entered court]
7 JUDGE MAY: Yes, let the witness take the declaration.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
10 WITNESS: DUSKO GRUBESIC
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 JUDGE MAY: Yes, if you'd take a seat.
13 Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
15 Examined by Mr. Naumovski:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Grubesic.
17 A. Good afternoon, Mr. Naumovski.
18 Q. May I just remind you of that instruction which I already gave you
19 to pause a little before answering so as not to make the work of the
20 interpreters more difficult than it has to be.
21 Now, will you please be so kind and give the Chamber your full
23 A. Your Honours, my name is Dusko Grubesic. I was born on the 29th
24 of July, 1960, in Busovaca.
25 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please come closer to the
2 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Grubesic, you're asked to come closer to the
3 microphone so that the interpreters can hear everything you say. Thank
5 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Thank you. If there is no objection, I believe that we could go
7 relatively quickly through this first part of your statement which has to
8 do with your particulars.
9 Mr. Grubesic, you are a brigadier. You have the rank of a
10 brigadier in the army of the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and you are
11 the active commander of the 3rd Zdrug, of the 3rd Detachment of the army
12 of the Federation; is that correct?
13 A. It is.
14 Q. And you are married and you live in the town of Busovaca, don't
16 A. I do.
17 Q. Before the war began in Central Bosnia, you, like the majority of
18 younger people in the former Yugoslavia, served your military service with
19 the former army and you also attended a school for reserve infantry
20 officers of the former JNA in the town of Bileca in Bosnia-Herzegovina; is
21 that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And after you went through this basic training, you went also for
24 further training for about six months in the town of Bjelovar in the
25 Republic of Croatia; is that correct?
1 A. It is.
2 Q. And after you quit the army, you had the reserve rank, didn't you,
3 of the reserve corporal; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Brigadier, in the early days of the war in the territory of the
6 former Yugoslavia or, rather, in Croatia in September 1991, you were
7 called up to serve with the reserve police forces of the Ministry of the
8 Interior of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina and you were there, you
9 served with them until sometime in April of 1992; is that correct?
10 A. It is.
11 Q. And then in April 1992, you were appointed to the municipal staff
12 of the HVO in Busovaca as the deputy commander; is that correct?
13 A. It is.
14 Q. Will you tell the Court who was the commander at the time, that
15 is, who is your superior?
16 A. At that time, my superior was Mr. Ivo Brnada.
17 Q. Mr. Brnada was there for about two months and if I understood it
18 well, in June of 1992 you succeeded Ivo Brnada as the commander of the
19 municipal HVO staff in Busovaca; is that correct?
20 A. It is.
21 Q. Brigadier, you held that post, the post of the commander of the
22 municipal HVO staff between June until the end of October 1992; is that
24 A. It is.
25 Q. And I suppose it is also fair to say that meanwhile, about a month
1 or so in August until the -- and between the end of September, you
2 contracted pneumonia, and for that, you were hospitalised in the hospital
3 in Travnik and for that reason you could not really carry out the duties
4 of the commander of the HVO municipal staff in Busovaca; is that correct?
5 A. It is. Between the 11th of August and the 25th of September, I
6 was hospitalised in the Travnik hospital. During that time, Ivica Cosic
7 took over and acted as the commander.
8 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, our outline goes
9 chronologically, but to go through the background and finish with that, I
10 would move on to paragraph 10 and 11, and would then move on to items 53
11 onward so as to cover in full Witness Grubesic's career. So item 10.
12 Q. Let me ask you like this: When was the Brigade Nikola
13 Subic-Zrinjski founded in Busovaca? Which is the true date of its
14 foundation? When do you mark the brigade day?
15 A. The Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade was properly founded on the 19th
16 of December, 1992.
17 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, perhaps now is the
18 time to hand over to the Court some documents which we wish to tender in
19 evidence with the Witness Grubesic. With your leave, I should rather not
20 go through them document by document, because that would take too much
21 time. We would like to cover two sets of documents and we may only refer
22 to others. And if Your Honours or perhaps my learned friends have some
23 questions on them, then we can come back to them.
24 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, just briefly, we reserve our position
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 that the vast amount of these documents are not appropriate rejoinder. I
2 think the Chamber will see, if it will review some of these documents,
3 that we've gone far beyond the scope of rejoinder and getting into the
4 area of concern that the Prosecution raised yesterday. We just reserve
5 that position.
6 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I would like to ask, if I may, it
8 is quite true that some of the documents are rejoinder documents.
9 JUDGE MAY: No need at the moment. We'll have the argument in due
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Thank you.
12 Q. Tell us, Brigadier, who appointed -- who designated brigade
13 commanders in Central Bosnia including the commander of Nikola
14 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca?
15 A. The appointments were all done by the commander of the Central
16 Bosnia Operative Zone, that is Colonel Tihomir Blaskic.
17 Q. And tell us, please, whom did Colonel Blaskic appoint as the first
18 commander of Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca?
19 A. Mr. Niko Jozinovic was appointed the first commander of the Nikola
20 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] May I just remind the Court that
22 that is chapter 2 of the document that we have tendered.
23 Q. Witness Grubesic, you were appointed the deputy commander, that
24 is, Mr. Jozinovic's deputy; is that correct?
25 A. It is.
1 Q. However, Mr. Niko Jozinovic was shortly relieved of that duty and
2 transferred to Zepce to be the brigade commander there; is that correct?
3 A. Yes. Two or three months later, sometime in February 1993,
4 Mr. Niko Jozinovic was relieved of that duty and I was appointed to that
6 Q. You were appointed, and it is document 19 in this sequence of
7 documents, as Tihomir Blaskic said, the acting commander as it was phrased
8 then, and that actually means that you acted as the commander.
9 A. Yes. I was acting as the commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
11 Q. Right. And since we are talking about appointments, you were, at
12 a later stage, appointed as the permanent commander. We have it in --
13 under item 35. You were formally appointed the commander of the brigade
14 in May 1993; is that correct?
15 A. Yes. In the former half of May 1993.
16 Q. Thank you. And now, as I have told Your Honours, let us move to
17 item 53.
18 You kept that duty, that is, you held that post from February
19 until which date in 1993?
20 A. I held that post from the 8th of February until the end of October
22 Q. And what happened then?
23 A. And then I was relieved. I was relieved of the duty of the
24 commander of Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade, and Jure Cavara was appointed
25 to command the brigade.
1 Q. This was in chapter 44. Now, if I understood you well, in October
2 you were relieved of the duty of the commander; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And what did you do between October 1993 and January 1994?
5 A. During that period of time, I visited defence lines and, in a
6 manner of speaking, represented moral support. And then in the latter
7 half of December, because of some health problems, I was transferred to
8 Herzegovina, and there I went through medical examinations and I did those
9 in the hospital in Split.
10 Q. If I understood you well, that was a very short absence. You were
11 not absent from Central Bosnia for a long time, were you?
12 A. For about ten days.
13 Q. Very well. And during that time, you volunteered as a soldier, if
14 I may call it that, that is, you were on the front line.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Very well. And tell us what happened to your career then in
17 January 1994?
18 A. On the 16th of January, I was summoned to the command of the
19 Central Bosnia Operative Zone command together with Colonel Ilija Nakic
20 and Mr. Dragan Vinac. At that meeting, we were told that a 3rd Guards
21 Brigade was about to be set up, and that its commander -- and that the
22 commander of the Central Bosnia Operative Zone, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic,
23 having consulted Mr. Filip Filipovic and chief of staff, Mr. Franjo Nakic,
24 proposed that the 3rd Guards become -- that is the commander of the 3rd
25 Guards becomes Colonel Ilija Nakic, and deputy commander, Mr. Dragan
1 Vinac, and nominated me for the post of the chief of staff.
2 Q. So Colonel Blaskic proposed to appoint you to the post of the
3 chief of staff of the 3rd Guards Brigade, and you took up that duty
4 between the 16th of January until August 1994; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, until the end of August 1996.
6 Q. And then you underwent supplementary military training in Zagreb.
7 JUDGE MAY: We're getting well away from the rejoinder evidence.
8 Now, can we go back to that, please?
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if I may just to
10 round off the background with two questions more.
11 JUDGE MAY: What is the relevance of it?
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I just wanted you to
13 have full insight into Brigadier Grubesic's personal background and also
14 his military career.
15 JUDGE MAY: We have full insight now. We can read what it says in
16 the summary. There's no need to go over it again. Now, let us go back to
17 the beginning. Time is limited. It seems to me paragraph 9 is not in the
18 least bit rejoinder. Paragraph -- I thought we might start at paragraph
19 13 insofar as that's relevant. Probably paragraph 15 we can start on what
20 is actually rejoinder evidence.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I agree with you, Your Honour. Of
22 course we're going to go through this very quickly.
23 Q. Brigadier, just a few questions about the chain of command. Tell
24 us, please, you held military duties. You were a soldier in the Croat
25 Defence Council. First of all, this Croat Community, who was supreme
1 commander of the HVO military forces until the signing of the Washington
3 A. The Supreme Commander of the armed forces of the Croat Defence
4 Council was Mr. Mate Boban.
5 Q. At a lower level, while you held posts within the municipal staff
6 in Busovaca, or later in the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in Busovaca,
7 who did you receive your orders from, military orders?
8 A. During my command, I personally took orders from the Commander of
9 the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, Mr. Tihomir Blaskic.
10 Q. Brigadier, tell us, please, did you ever receive orders from
11 politicians, from persons who held political and administrative posts?
12 For example, Mr. Maric, President of the HVO in Busovaca, or Florijan
13 Glavocevic, or Mr. Kordic, or anybody else.
14 A. No, Your Honours, I did not receive orders from civilian
16 Q. We would like to go through the events in Busovaca very quickly
17 and the night of the 20th of January or, rather, from the 20th of January
18 onwards. This is paragraph 16, by the way.
19 Brigadier, you were not in Busovaca in January. You were at a
20 different place in terms of your military assignments.
21 A. No, on the 20th of January, I was not in Busovaca. I was at the
22 defence line, the town of Travnik, the Vlasic plateau, with the forces
23 that were sent from the municipal staff or, rather, from the Nikola
24 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade.
25 Q. You used an expression, "the plateau of Vlasic." Is this a
1 relatively narrow area or is this a wider area? Speaking in geographical
2 terms, are we speaking in terms of kilometres or metres?
3 A. The mountain of Vlasic is an enormous plateau; I believe it
4 includes tens of kilometres.
5 Q. Thank you. Tell me, please, when you returned to Busovaca, I
6 mean, when did this exactly happen in January 1993?
7 A. I returned to Busovaca in the afternoon hours of the 23rd of
8 January, 1993.
9 Q. Very well. Then, when you came, did you hear at brigade
10 headquarters about what had been going on in town, and in the municipality
11 of Busovaca in general, during those past few days?
12 A. Yes. Upon arrival at brigade headquarters, I received information
13 that, in the evening hours of the 20th of January, a group of criminals -
14 I think we should call them that - threw explosive devices at Muslim
15 establishments, and a few Croat shops were damaged in the process.
16 Q. Did you hear about any armed incidents, about any casualties?
17 A. Yes. After that, housing facilities were searched in order to
18 find the perpetrators. When the Delija family home was searched, an
19 incident occurred between the members of the military police and
20 Mr. Mirsad Delija. There was shooting and Mr. Mirsad Delija was wounded.
21 Q. Very well.
22 A. Subsequently, I received information that he passed away while he
23 was being transported to the clinic.
24 Q. Tell me, please, do you perhaps remember how many weapons were
25 seized at various places in town that night, in Busovaca, if you remember?
1 A. I could not say exactly how many guns were involved. According to
2 the information I received, it was between 30 and 40 guns. However,
3 obviously, there were individuals who took these guns for themselves.
4 Q. All right. So to conclude on this point regarding the
5 circumstances of Mirsad Delija's death, you said that you had heard about
6 an incident. What kind of an incident was this? Why was there shooting?
7 Was there any official information about this?
8 A. Allegedly, the military policemen wanted to search Mr. Mirsad
9 Delija's family home; he opposed that. One version says that he came out
10 with two hand grenades; another version has it that he came out with a
11 hand grenade and a pistol; that is to say, there was a conflict between
12 the military police and Mirsad Delija.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you. Tell me, please - this is paragraph 20,
14 Your Honours - did you hear about any other incidents, about an incident
15 in Kacuni on that day, on the 20th of January?
16 A. Yes, yes. Basically, in the evening hours, at the checkpoint in
17 Kacuni, Mr. Ignac Kostroman was stopped. His weapons were taken away and,
18 after brief discussions, he was released.
19 Q. Tell me, please, through all this information that you heard about
20 at brigade headquarters concerning the 20th of January, did you hear of
21 Mr. Kordic having anything to do whatsoever with any of these incidents,
22 either this incident in town or the other one in Kacuni?
23 A. As far as I know, Mr. Kordic did not have anything to do with any
24 of that. He condemned all these incidents, both in Kacuni and in the town
25 of Busovaca.
1 Q. Thank you. Let us move on to this other incident of the 24th.
2 You had just arrived in town. Do you know about what happened on the 24th
3 of January, 1993 in Kacuni? Were there any casualties, things like that?
4 A. Yes. Your Honours, upon my return from the front lines in
5 Travnik, as I was approaching Kaonik, a junction near Busovaca, I saw some
6 persons of Muslim ethnicity who were moving towards Zenica, and along the
7 road to Busovaca I encountered 15 or 20 civilians with shopping bags and
9 Q. Tell me, please, when you're referring to civilians, who are you
10 actually referring to?
11 A. All of them were women and children. After arriving at
12 headquarters, I asked what was going on. Then I was informed that for a
13 few days already, the Muslim population had been leaving their homes and
14 going to Zenica.
15 Q. Very well. And what about the men?
16 A. The men, they stayed at home.
17 Q. All right. Later on we will refer to that. Let us just complete
18 what happened in Kacuni, to the best of your knowledge, on the 24th of
19 January, 1993.
20 A. According to intelligence sources, it was noticed that, in terms
21 of the area of Kacuni, certain parts of the units belonging to the 7th
22 Muslim Brigade had arrived and a certain number of members of the 17th
23 Krajiska Ljuta, and that from then onwards there were some problems in
24 communication. People were stopped and mistreated quite often.
25 Then, on the 24th of January, in the afternoon hours, according to
1 information received from the civilian population, a checkpoint was set up
2 by the BH army. They stopped Mr. Srecko Kristo, who was going with a
3 young boy from Kresevo - I can't remember his last name now - and also a
4 member of the military police, Mr. Ivica Petrovic.
5 Q. Did you hear about what had happened, whether there were any
6 casualties? Let us try to keep this as short as possible, not to go into
7 all sorts of details.
8 A. Yes, yes. There were two casualties involved: Mr. Ivica
9 Petrovic, a member of the military police, and Mr. Igor, who was going
10 with Srecko Kristo.
11 Q. Very well. Tell us, please, apart from the killing of these two
12 Croats that you mentioned, were there any other actions taken against
13 other HVO soldiers, to put it that way? Were there any arrests?
14 A. Yes. In terms of the agreement reached with Mr. Huso Hadzimejlic,
15 at the plateau of Mount Busovaca, we had joint units located there in case
16 there were some airborne raids of the Yugoslav Armada and the Bosnian
18 Q. What happened to these soldiers?
19 A. After their replacements arrived, they were taken prisoner in the
20 area of Pridolci and taken to the Silos prison in Kacuni.
21 Q. Very well. Let us try to shorten things even more and let me ask
22 you what then happened on the 25th of January, 1993. Was there a
23 conflict? Was there a conflict and who attacked who?
24 A. On the 25th of January in the morning hours, there was shooting in
25 the centre of town coming from Kadica Strana. In this way, the conflicts
1 officially started in Busovaca and they later spread from all the lines
2 from the direction of Kacuni, Mount Kuber, et cetera.
3 Q. Very well. Tell me, who attacked who on this 25th of January,
4 1993 in the territory of the municipality of Busovaca or rather the area
5 where you were carrying out your military duties?
6 A. I already pointed out that we were attacked in the morning hours
7 from Kadica Strana. We were attacked by the Muslim side. And I pointed
8 out that in the period around the 20th, units from the 7th Muslim Brigade
9 and the 17th Krajiska Ljuta came to the area there of Kacuni and located
10 themselves there.
11 Q. I do apologise. Since you mentioned the 17th Krajiska, I
12 mentioned that you heard why these soldiers had come. Were they promised
14 A. Yes. Yes. The intelligence information said that they were
15 promised apartments and houses in the territory of the municipality of
16 Busovaca and that they could keep whatever they took.
17 Q. Thank you. Let us just go back to these events in Busovaca with
18 one more question. You said that there was fighting in the town of
19 Busovaca itself. How did this fighting end, in town, I mean?
20 A. In the morning hours, the members of the military police sealed
21 off a part of town. Then, 15 to 20 members of the civilian police came to
22 help them out, and then they asked the commander of the Operative Zone of
23 Central Bosnia for reinforcements because we did not have sufficient
24 forces, nor were we prepared for any kind of conflict.
25 Q. I'm sorry for interrupting. I didn't mean to be rude, but we will
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 deal with this in greater detail a bit later. I just wanted you to tell
2 me in one sentence: How did this fighting end, and what happened to the
3 members of the BH army or, rather, the TO, the Territorial Defence?
4 A. The members of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina were defeated in the
5 afternoon and taken to Kaonik prison.
6 Q. Do you know perhaps how long they were kept there and whether they
7 were exchanged after that?
8 A. A few weeks until the exchange took place. I think it was two
9 weeks at a maximum.
10 Q. All right. Tell me, please, after the conflict broke out in
11 Busovaca, you say the attack of the BH army against the HVO in January
12 1993, did Busovaca remain cut off from Kiseljak or could the road between
13 Busovaca and Kiseljak be used?
14 A. Yes. Yes. The Busovaca-Kiseljak road was cut already in the
15 morning, and the Muslim forces were deployed along the Kozica River and
16 they used other dominant places to direct their attack against Busovaca
17 from there.
18 Q. The Honorable Court already knows that this road was cut off until
19 the end of the war so we don't have to deal with this much longer. We can
20 move on to paragraph 26 now.
21 Tell me, please, when this attack took place in January 1993,
22 where was the command, the headquarters of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
23 Brigade in Busovaca?
24 A. The headquarters were stationed at the Draga barracks, for the
25 most part, and a certain part was in the building of Sumarija.
1 Q. The building of Sumarija is also in the town of Busovaca, isn't
3 A. Yes. With your permission, I would like to continue. After that,
4 the command post was transferred to the post office building because this
5 premises were protected from earlier on from April 1992 when we were
6 shelled by the Yugoslav Peoples' Army and the Bosnian Serbs.
7 Q. All right. So if I understood you correctly, it is reasons of
8 safety and security that led to this temporary transfer to the post office
9 building in the town of Busovaca.
10 A. Yes. Yes. There were shellings so it was safest to be there.
11 Q. Tell me, please, at this temporary command post, did you have your
12 office there, you, personally?
13 A. First of all, I have to point out, Your Honours, that at that
14 time, Mr. Niko Jozinovic had an office of his own. As his deputy, I
15 coordinated between the command post in the post office building and the
16 command post in Sumarija where the command of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
17 Brigade was. Mr. Jozinovic had an office there. He had a room with maps
18 in it, operative maps, rather. But basically, I used those premises
19 together with him from time to time.
20 Q. Tell me, please, in addition to Niko Jozinovic and your then
21 commander and yourself, did anybody else use this area as their office,
22 for example, Mr. Kordic?
23 JUDGE MAY: How does this arrive out of the rejoinder evidence?
24 It was given, all this evidence was given in chief about the PTT
25 building. The British officers described Kordic's office in the PTT
1 building. There was no evidence in rejoinder about it. We can't have
2 evidence which isn't related to the rejoinder evidence. You can't produce
3 a witness at the very end and try and shore up what was the evidence
4 during the trial.
5 If you wanted to call this witness to deal with the PTT building,
6 the time to have done it was during the trial.
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] In principle, I absolutely agree
8 with what you say, Your Honour. However, so many new documents were
9 tendered that in this mass of documents, it is hard to tell what is old
10 and what is new in terms of details, but if you wish, I will move on to
11 another subject straight away.
12 JUDGE MAY: There wasn't a mass of documents. We made a
13 particular point of restricting the documents which were allowed for that
14 very reason.
15 You could deal, if you want, with the artillery, because that is
16 something which was introduced. The documents suggested there's a
17 connection between Mr. Kordic and the use of artillery. Now, that is an
18 issue which was dealt with in those new documents, it would cover that.
19 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honour, quite gladly.
20 This question related to the post office building was all meant as an
21 introduction for a discussion of document Z421.4, but I shall try to cut
22 this as short as possible.
23 Q. Tell me, Brigadier, the state of readiness of the Nikola
24 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade in January 1993, was it good or was it not good and
25 if not so, why not?
1 A. Your Honours, the command of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade was
2 not prepared for conflicts with the BH army. We happened to be in a very
3 difficult situation. Confusion prevailed. Indeed, it was difficult in
4 those moments to bring together the units of the brigade. I have already
5 pointed out that we already had one company deployed in the plateau of
7 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
8 Your Honours, if this is a good moment, perhaps we could break off
9 now, but could I just get a number for the document, please?
10 JUDGE MAY: Which document?
11 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] This one, the one we've produced.
12 THE REGISTRAR: The document will be numbered Defence Exhibit
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 JUDGE MAY: We'll adjourn now until half past 2.00.
16 Brigadier Grubesic, don't speak to anybody about your evidence
17 until it's over, and that does include members of the Defence team. Could
18 you be back, please, at half past 2.00.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
20 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.00 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.33 p.m.
2 JUDGE MAY: Yes, Mr. Naumovski.
3 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
4 Q. Brigadier, let us move on to the topic which is the most relevant
5 for the Court and for us and that is the role and activities of Mr. Dario
7 First question: Tell us, please, did Mr. Dario Kordic, while you
8 held your military -- while you held your military duties in Busovaca, was
9 Mr. Kordic ever a military commander of any kind?
10 A. Your Honours, during my service as the commander, Mr. Kordic was
11 no commander. He was a politician, one of two vice-presidents of the
12 Croat Republic of Herceg-Bosna, that is, Croat Community, and the
13 Vice-President of the Croat Democratic Union of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
14 Q. Tell us, please, did Mr. Kordic, while holding those offices which
15 you say he held, participate in the resolution of daily problems which
16 arose in the municipality of Busovaca and in the broader area, that is,
17 the Lasva Valley?
18 A. Absolutely. Mr. Kordic, that is, apart from his obligations, had
19 a lot of pressure to bear from the civilian population, and especially
20 after the fall of the town of Jajce in late October 1992 and onward.
21 Q. Tell us, please, if this public pressure, the pressure of the
22 inhabitants of Busovaca, also existed during the January attack on
23 Busovaca, or not.
24 A. Yes. I already stressed, as of October 1992, throughout January
25 to April 1993, and after that.
1 Q. Tell us, please, to your knowledge, through possibly your personal
2 contacts with Mr. Kordic or his surroundings, are you aware if -- do you
3 know if he helped, if he did what he could to meet the requests of people
4 addressed to him?
5 A. Well, insofar as I know, Your Honours, Mr. Kordic wanted to help
6 every man, and that also goes for the time of the fiercest conflicts.
7 Wishing, in a way, to be in the arena, to be in the heart of events, he
8 extended support to everybody.
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we have, more or
10 less, reached item 31. As a matter of fact, I have prepared a set of
11 several documents which are all based on the same facts and concern the
12 same fact. They are all part of the file which we turned over to you, but
13 we prepared it only as an aid to Your Honours and to the witness to follow
14 better what we are talking about. These are the documents Z421.4 and
15 documents which are in this big binder and marked 16, 15, 14, and 13.
16 They all bear on the same issue and have to do with document Z421.4.
17 JUDGE MAY: Are these documents which have been admitted or not?
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Yes. That is all with the first
19 one. This is merely an aid.
20 JUDGE MAY: Very well. Yes.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Before I move to that, it is my
22 duty to draw your attention to a document which is in tab 15. That is the
23 only document of all those that we tendered today, or rather that we would
24 like to adduce in this case, which are not on the list we submitted a few
25 days ago.
1 Why? Because the search for this document, if I might call it --
2 this document was found only after Mr. Grubesic told us about it when he
3 arrived in The Hague. I hope that Your Honours will understand from the
4 context that it is closely linked with those other documents and that it
5 is nothing beyond that.
6 JUDGE MAY: Mr. Naumovski, let me understand the position. I have
7 now got this in front of me. I can see Exhibit Z421.4 and it appears on
8 the top of that document. I now come to a document --
9 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Exactly.
10 JUDGE MAY: -- tab 16. There is no mark of any exhibit on it.
11 Where does it come from, if you say it's already been admitted? What is
12 its number?
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] It is the document 356/1, D356/1
14 that was the document that was adduced and admitted today, and tab 16.
15 Your Honours, it looks like --
16 JUDGE MAY: I simply don't understand what do you mean. When was
17 it adduced today, 356/1?
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] This whole binder, Your Honours,
19 was tendered today at the beginning of Brigadier Grubesic's testimony. I
20 hope I did not misquote the number. We were given the number at the end
21 of this morning's session.
22 JUDGE MAY: Yes. You see, what I understood you to have said was
23 that it had been admitted. It had simply been put in by you as a general
24 document, but in any event, I turn to tab 15 in it in the large bundle. I
25 see. Yes. Yes, go on.
1 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, I have
2 also prepared a set of these documents in Croatian and in English if they
3 should be put on the ELMO to facilitate matters.
4 Q. Brigadier, will you please look at this document Z421.4. It is an
5 order of the 30th of January, 1993. Are you familiar with this document
6 and are you aware of the circumstances under which this document came into
8 A. Yes, I am familiar with that document, and with your leave, I will
9 give an explanation regarding this document, that is, this order.
10 JUDGE MAY: Yes, briefly.
11 A. Following the all-out aggression of the BH army against the lands
12 of Busovaca, a total disarray, the units of the Croat Defence Council were
13 in total disarray as a result of that. And the then commander, Mr. Niko
14 Jozinovic repeatedly requested support from the superior command.
15 Unfortunately, we got none. He asked me to intercede with Mr. Kordic to
16 see if we could get some support from soldiers in other municipalities in
17 one way or another.
18 Since the Busovaca-Kiseljak communication was cut off, the
19 commander of the Operative Zone was in the territory of Kiseljak. All the
20 PTT communications were cut off. After that, I called Mr. Kordic, that
21 is, his office at Tisovac and asked him to use his authority, his prestige
22 to try to help resolve the problem. He said that he'd see, and that he
23 would let me know in five or ten minutes' time.
24 After that, Mr. Kordic called and said that he had obtained the
25 consent of the Minister of Defence or, rather, the chief of the defence
1 administration of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna, and that within
2 that concept, we should prepare the order for the brigade, for the
3 Tomasevic Brigade in Novi Travnik. The commander tasked the operations
4 staff to prepare the order. After that, it was sent to Tisovac to be
5 signed by Mr. Kordic even though, I must say, that he tried to establish
6 contact with Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, he, unfortunately, failed to do
8 After the man returned with the order signed, the secretary put a
9 stamp on it because this document was to be sent on to the military
11 JUDGE MAY: I must ask you, Mr. Grubesic, to be brief and to the
12 point. You have been going on. I asked you to answer briefly and you
13 have been going on for three minutes, and I am simply not following what
14 you are saying.
15 Are you saying that you drew up this order; is that what you're
16 saying, and you got it signed by Mr. Kordic?
17 A. Your Honours, this document was prepared by the operations staff
18 of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade and Mr. Kordic signed it. We stamped
19 the document with the brigade seal, and used the packet in order to send
20 it to the Operative Zone Central Bosnia. When the commander went through
21 the document, he then added by hand to notify Operative Zone Central
23 JUDGE MAY: Right. That is the point. Thank you. We have it.
24 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Just to follow up on this. The tab 16, this is the same document
1 which was to be sent by packet to the Operative Zone, isn't it,
2 Mr. Grubesic?
3 A. Yes, Your Honours. That is, after the document was sealed,
4 stamped, I pointed out that the document had to be addressed to the
5 Operative Zone Central Bosnia, that is, chief of staff, since the
6 commander was cut off and because the artillery had to act in the area of
7 Roski Stijene.
8 Q. And this addition, Mr. Grubesic, in this packet message, that is
9 in this document, tab 16, who is the author of this addition below
10 Mr. Kordic's signature, below Mr. Kordic's name?
11 A. I added this because of the confidentiality of information. We
12 were well aware that we were being surveyed, that we were being tapped and
13 I used the packet system to send to the chief of artillery this
14 information. However, as I was writing it, we learnt from the ground that
15 there was no need, that new forces had arrived, and then I wrote this
16 addition in a minute.
17 Q. Very well. Can we then move on to the document in tab 15. That
18 is the next document.
19 We don't need to remind Their Honours that these two orders, the
20 order that you mentioned was dated the 30th of January, 1993. This is a
21 document which you also identified, or, rather, you remembered it when we
22 talked about it. So will you now please be so kind and tell the Court,
23 what is this document?
24 A. After the packet or, rather, the order was sent, the operations
25 officer on duty notified us that there was no need because they had
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 already carried out the order. I informed about this Commander Niko
2 Jozinovic, who then returned this order and signed it to indicate that
3 another order had been carried out.
4 Q. It was done on both. On document Z421.2 and in this document in
5 tab 16, that is, the packet message, the handwriting is identical.
6 A. Your Honours, yes, because it is common knowledge that the system
7 of command and control can go only through the commander of the Operative
8 Zone of Central Bosnia, and that basically nobody else can issue any
9 other -- any military orders or any deployment of forces.
10 Q. Tell us, Brigadier, please, this document in tab 15, which is the
11 letter that you received from the duty officer in the Operative Zone of
12 Central Bosnia, contains in the first sentence something else too.
13 Because you are being sent orders which were issued the day before, but
14 they are sent to you only after you transmitted your packet message,
15 aren't they?
16 A. Yes. Your Honours, the duty officer notified us that, on the
17 basis of an oral request, they wrote out the orders and that we should be
18 expecting them.
19 Q. To try to cut it short, we can say that these are the orders, in
20 the end, under tabs 14 and 15. Those two tabs contain those orders. They
21 are, if you agree with me, the orders which you received after you had
22 sent your order to the Operative Zone by packet.
23 A. Yes, Your Honours. Only, as far as I know, this second order for
24 the special purposes unit, if my memory serves me well, it was basically
25 not fully carried out because reportedly the unit refused to come.
1 Q. Very well. So to round off this topic, Brigadier, after you told
2 Their Honours -- after you were informed by the Operative Zone that they
3 had already acted upon your previous request, which was practically the
4 fate of this order which you or, rather, your officers put together and
5 which Mr. Kordic signed.
6 A. This order was sent back. It was vacated and put back in the
8 Q. Very well. Thank you. A while ago you told us that Mr. Kordic
9 helped as best he knew in various events, that is, that he wanted to be of
10 assistance, if I understood you properly.
11 A. Yes, basically, because of the pressures brought on him and, I
12 have already pointed out, because of the major influx of refugees. He
13 wanted to help everybody.
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I don't want to waste too much
15 time with documents, but perhaps we could just show the document in
16 tab 22, Your Honours. There is the English version for the ELMO and the
17 Croatian version for the witness.
18 Q. Brigadier, this is an order that you know. In two words, because
19 the document speaks for itself, you signed this order, you are its author,
20 aren't you?
21 A. Yes, Your Honours. This is not an order; this is an
22 authorisation, basically.
23 Q. Yes, yes, that is what I meant. That was a slip of the tongue on
24 my part, I apologise. But you were its author, weren't you?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And tell us, on the left-hand side, we see that the consent of the
2 Vice-President of the Croat Community of Herceg-Bosna is Mr. Kordic, isn't
4 A. Yes, Your Honours.
5 Q. Tell us, please, what were the circumstances under which
6 Mr. Kordic signed this, and why?
7 A. Namely, in the brigade command, Mr. Enver Prolaz dropped by the
8 command and sought permission for Mr. Husein Hadzimejlic to replace him in
9 his absence, that is, that Mr. Hadzimejlic should perform the regular
10 rituals at the indicated intervals. In view of the authority, of the
11 prestige Mr. Kordic enjoyed, I requested and insisted, for absolute
12 safety, that Mr. Kordic, as the Vice-President of the Croat Community of
13 Herceg-Bosna, co-sign this document.
14 Q. I see. But what was the reason for it? You wanted the public to
15 know that Mr. Kordic stood by this, that is, that he also agreed with your
17 A. The reason for this was to also inform those civilian
18 structures -- the civilian authorities were also informed about this
19 because, as I have pointed out, because of the major influx of refugees,
20 one could anticipate some surprises, that is, some events that would be
21 out of the ordinary, that somebody might die or something; so as not to
22 provoke any incidents, that is.
23 Q. Very well. Thank you. We can move on to paragraph 32.
24 Tell us, Brigadier, one of these days, perhaps it was yesterday,
25 you had a look at some documents that were shown to you from which one
1 might infer that Mr. Kordic, perhaps, had tried to issue some military
2 documents. One of these documents was document Z447.1, in which Mirko
3 Batinic, who at that time commanded the artillery, if I may call it that,
4 in the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, in this document, Mr. Batinic
5 voiced some views about Mr. Kordic.
6 At that time, when you held various military duties, did you ever
7 hear about such instances, specifically about this instance which is
8 related to Mr. Batinic?
9 A. Yes, Your Honours, I familiarised myself with this document and I
10 know that from time to time Mr. Kordic wanted, in a way, to be in the
11 arena even though he was not conversant with various military matters, or
12 even if he did know something, that was very little. But in most such
13 instances, these matters, that is, requests, were denied because the
14 command and control system was well established, and it was known that
15 only the commander of the Operative Zone could authorise the use of
16 artillery with requests of brigade commanders -- upon requests of brigade
18 Q. Tell us, please, specifically this instance, that is,
19 Mr. Batinic's, did you hear, what was Mr. Batinic's reaction to this?
20 A. As far as I know, Your Honours, there was a lot of indignation
21 about such requests, because he was well aware that there were orders
22 which regulated the use and manner of use of means of artillery which,
23 unfortunately, were in short supply.
24 Q. Very well. In spite of everything we've been discussing so far
25 and on the basis of all these documents, I have to ask you once again:
1 Did Mr. Kordic really have any military powers whatsoever?
2 A. Your Honours, as far as I know, and I know quite a bit, relatively
3 speaking, Mr. Kordic had no military powers except for what I mentioned
4 during my previous address. I referred to political authority, and he was
5 considered the leader of the Lasva River Valley.
6 Q. Just a question in passing, Brigadier. I'm referring to the
7 Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. In January or February 1993, did you
8 attack -- did you use VBRs, multiple rocket launchers, to attack Kacuni or
9 Lugovi. Let us just clarify for the Court --
10 JUDGE MAY: We'll get on quicker if the questions are shorter,
11 Mr. Naumovski.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I agree.
13 JUDGE MAY: It was a straightforward question.
14 MR. SCOTT: While we are interrupted for a moment, I would like to
15 make an objection to leading. These are sensitive issues, and at this
16 point, I'd like to hear the witness' testimony.
17 JUDGE MAY: The question was: Did you use multiple rocket
18 launchers to attack Kacuni or Lugovi? That's not a leading question.
19 MR. SCOTT: This particular one was not so bad, but there have
20 been a series of them that have been going on for some time.
21 JUDGE MAY: If there had been, I would have stopped them. Yes.
22 Yes, let's hear the answer, please, Brigadier Grubesic.
23 A. Your Honour, the use of a multiple rocket launcher or, rather,
24 multiple rocket launchers and cannons were not used against Kacuni, only
25 82-millimetre and 120-millimetre mortars were used because that's the only
1 thing the brigade had. And I have to point out that this was not used
2 against the populated area but only against the outskirts where the BH
3 army front line was.
4 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
5 Q. In paragraph 33, let's be as brief as possible, the Honorable
6 Judges know that on the 30th of January, 1993, a ceasefire agreement was
7 signed through the mediation of UNPROFOR. I would like to ask you whether
8 the ceasefire was violated once or several times, and did you protest
9 about this? Did you send your protest to anyone specific?
10 A. Your Honours, this ceasefire agreement was signed, but in spite of
11 that, almost every day there were violations of this agreement. I
12 informed international factors of this regularly as well as the commander
13 of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia in accordance with my
15 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, let me just remind
16 you that this is 20, 25, 26, and 30 if we look at the documents.
17 Q. Brigadier, let's move on to another subject. Do you have any
18 knowledge concerning an event from February 1993 when a flag was raised
19 within the compound of the SPS factory in Vitez?
20 A. Your Honours, I only have information which I obtained after the
21 event itself. In my opinion, it was not that important for me, because it
22 was not within my zone of responsibility, namely a flag of the BH army was
23 raised on the chimney of the Vitezit factory.
24 Q. What happened to that flag, do you know?
25 A. At one of the briefings in the command of the Operative Zone, I
1 talked to the chief of staff, Mr. Franjo Nakic, and in that conversation
2 we touched upon this particular incident with the flag. He told me that
3 this was not really a problem, and that it was removed that night by the
4 security people, that is to say, with the approval of Colonel Tihomir
6 Q. Thank you. Let's move on to the next subject, paragraph 36.
7 Brigadier Grubesic, tell us, do you know about this or did you hear from
8 any particular source that on the 15th of April, 1993, or at any time
9 during that day, one meeting or several meetings were held, if any,
10 between the military and civilian structures in the headquarters of the
11 Operative Zone of Central Bosnia in Vitez, that is to say, at Colonel
13 A. Your Honour, I am not familiar with this allegation, that on the
14 15th of April there was any meeting in the Operative Zone of Central
15 Bosnia. I think that had there been one, I certainly would have been
16 asked to come in as acting commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
18 Q. Since we are discussing that particular day, the 15th of April,
19 1993, an event occurred on that day, and that is something that the
20 Honourable Judges have already heard about, and that was the abduction of
21 Zivko Totic and his escorts. On that day, a press conference was held in
22 Busovaca. Do you remember that? Do you know about that?
23 A. Yes. Yes. Your Honours, I remember that on that day, there was
24 not only one incident but several incidents in the period from 12.00
25 onwards for about an hour and a half, a press conference was held
1 addressing the public, I mean. I remember that Mr. Kordic was present,
2 among other people, and also the commander of the Operative Zone of
3 Central Bosnia, Colonel Tihomir Blaskic.
4 Q. In which city -- in which town was this press conference held?
5 A. The press conference was held in Busovaca in the premises of the
7 Q. All right. As far as you can remember that day, do you know or do
8 you remember, rather, when Colonel Blaskic left Busovaca or, rather,
9 whether you saw Mr. Kordic later that day?
10 A. I did not see Mr. Kordic or Colonel Blaskic, but I do have some
11 information to the effect that there was a joint luncheon at Mr. Kordic's
12 office in Tisovac. After that, usually we would receive information to
13 the effect that Colonel Blaskic had left, that is to say, that he went
14 towards Vitez and Mr. Kordic probably went home.
15 Q. Viewed from Tisovac, in which part of town did Mr. Kordic live?
16 A. I'm sorry, what do you mean? In which direction?
17 Q. Is that the road toward Tisovac where Mr. Kordic had a house or
18 was it some other part of town?
19 A. Mr. Kordic has a house south-west of the town of Busovaca, that is
20 to say, 400 to 500 metres in the direction of Tisovac.
21 Q. Tell me, please, have you ever heard either then or later that
22 Mr. Kordic left Busovaca on the 15th of April, 1993?
23 A. Your Honours, I have no such information that Mr. Kordic left the
24 area of the municipality of Busovaca.
25 Q. We can move on to the next subject. Tell me, Brigadier, you had
1 contacts with the other commanders in the territory where you were active,
2 especially those from neighbouring municipalities. I imagine that you had
3 quite a few contacts with the 4th Battalion of the military police too?
4 A. Well, at any rate, Your Honours, all commanders of units knew each
5 other well. So I knew the commander of the 4th Battalion of the military
6 police too, which is quite logical, and his subordinate commanding
7 officers; not only his, but also of other units in the Operative Zone of
8 Central Bosnia.
9 Q. In paragraph 40, you gave an organisational layout of the 4th
10 Battalion, didn't you?
11 JUDGE MAY: There is no dispute about this so let's move on.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. That's
13 precisely what I wanted to say, that we should move on to the next
15 Q. What is your knowledge concerning the anti-terrorist platoon that
16 was established in late January or early February 1993.
17 A. Yes. The information that I had was that it was established --
18 that it consisted of elite troops and that it was located in Vitez for a
19 given amount of time, and then along the communication between Vitez and
20 Busovaca in a place Rasko Polje.
21 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry. Your Honours, I don't
22 want to go into some parts of our proceedings that were closed to the
23 public so perhaps it would be a good thing if we moved into private
24 session for just a few moments, please.
25 JUDGE MAY: Yes.
1 [Private session]
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
13 [Open session]
14 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation]
15 Q. We are in public session again, so we can proceed.
16 Mr. Grubesic, where were you on the 15th of April, 1993 in the
17 afternoon? What were you involved in? What were you doing?
18 A. Your Honours, all day, I had my regular duties and activities in
19 the -- at the headquarters of the brigade.
20 In the afternoon hours, around ten or fifteen minutes past three
21 in the afternoon, the commander of the 4th Battalion reported that, at
22 Mount Kuber, an attack was launched against the forces of the Nikola
23 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade. We had men wounded; some seriously wounded too.
24 After that, I was at the brigade headquarters all the time and I
25 informed my Superior Command about the events of that day and also
1 international officials who had mediated in the implementation of the
2 agreement on the ceasefire between the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the
4 Q. Let's just clarify one point. You said that the commander of the
5 4th Battalion had reported to you. You are referring to your own 4th
6 Battalion and its commander, that is to say, belonging to the Nikola
7 Subic-Zrinjski Brigade; is that right?
8 A. Yes, Your Honour, from my own commander within the brigade, that
9 is to say, that unit which held the front line at Mount Kuber. As far as
10 I can remember, in that attack, Mr. Dragan Andrijasevic was wounded. I
11 have seen this in the documents too.
12 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, that is the document
13 under tab 29, the certificate concerning the wounding of Dragan
14 Andrijasevic at Kuber, on the 15th of April.
15 Q. So if I understood you correctly, you were involved in your own
16 military job, weren't you?
17 A. Absolutely.
18 Q. When Colonel Blaskic, and that is an order under tab 31, issued
19 combat orders on the 16th, in the morning, and one of them was addressed
20 to you as well for the preparation of defence, where were you at that
21 point in time?
22 A. I was at the command, because I had asked for a bed to be prepared
23 there for purposes of rest.
24 Q. All right. So you were at the brigade headquarters, weren't you?
25 A. Yes, yes.
1 Q. Tell me, by the way, as commander of the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski
2 Brigade, did you personally have full authority to carry out all necessary
3 military operations in the area of responsibility of your brigade, that is
4 to say, on the territory of your brigade, that is to say, within the
5 territory of the municipality of Busovaca?
6 A. Yes, Your Honours, I had authority. As commander of the brigade,
7 I had authority to take activities to defend the area in case there was an
8 attack, and to protect the civilian population.
9 Q. Thank you. I have to put a question to you that also pertains to
10 Ahmici. We have to hear what you know about this. Have you ever heard
11 that Colonel Blaskic issued an order concerning Ahmici, on the 16th of
12 April, 1993, that all military-aged men, able-bodied, aged from 16 to 60,
13 should be killed on that day? Have you ever heard of anything like that?
14 A. Your Honours, I hear these words for the first time. Knowing
15 Colonel Tihomir Blaskic, I cannot believe this, nor can I confirm any such
17 JUDGE MAY: But you yourself weren't there at the time.
18 A. No.
19 JUDGE MAY: Thank you.
20 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Your Honours, this is
21 paragraph 49, or 50, rather. Actually, let me rephrase this question.
22 Q. Can you tell the Honourable Trial Chamber, from which time, from
23 which period -- or, rather, who held the village of Kovacevac, in the
24 territory of the municipality of Busovaca?
25 A. Your Honours, during the initial conflicts in January, the units
1 of the Croat Defence Council prevailed in the Kovacevac location, although
2 there was a squad of members of the military police that was helping out;
3 that is to say, we held the locality of Kovacevac under our control
4 throughout this time.
5 Q. When you say "throughout this time," what period are you referring
7 A. From the very fall of the village of Kovacevac, that is to say,
8 from the month of January onwards, until the ceasefire was signed.
9 Q. So Kovacevac is in your zone of responsibility; is that right?
10 A. Yes, that's right.
11 Q. In April or, rather, on the 16th of April, 1993, was there any
12 fighting in Kovacevac? And, I'm sorry, was it necessary to engage any
13 additional forces to take Kovacevac?
14 A. Your Honours, in the locality of Kovacevac, no.
15 Q. Tell me, please, when we're talking about your job, and we're
16 talking about your job all the time, did Mr. Kordic have any encounters
17 with your soldiers?
18 A. Absolutely, Your Honours. Mr. Kordic communicated. He frequently
19 toured the front line in order to boost morale. It was exceptionally
20 difficult under those circumstances to endure all of that, to endure all
21 those strains, both physical and mental.
22 Q. Tell us, please, your soldiers, the majority of the soldiers that
23 you had in the brigade, were they the inhabitants of Busovaca or did they
24 come from the outside? I'm referring to the municipality of Busovaca.
25 A. Your Honours, the soldiers in the Nikola Subic-Zrinjski Brigade
1 were from the territory of the municipality of Busovaca. However, in the
2 4th Battalion facing Kuber, we also had members who had fled from the area
3 of Kotor Vares, Jajce, and Dobratici.
4 Q. Actually, I wanted to ask you something else but I don't want to
5 lead you. So quite a few of your soldiers are inhabitants of Busovaca,
6 and that's where their families live; is that right?
7 A. Absolutely.
8 Q. Let us move on to another subject. Tell us, please - that is
9 paragraph 51, Your Honours - do you remember any problem or incident
10 related to some convoy on the 28th of April, 1993 or in April 1993?
11 A. Your Honours, I cannot remember that in April there was any
12 problem with a convoy, but there certainly were such problems before April
13 and also in June and July.
14 Q. Perhaps it would assist you if I told you that this was allegedly
15 a very big convoy consisting of some 40 vehicles.
16 A. As far as I know, I do not have such information, nor do I
17 remember any such thing. I cannot believe that there was such a big
18 convoy, because usually there were two to six, seven vehicles, eight at a
19 maximum. In the area of Busovaca, I don't remember that.
20 Q. All right. If you don't remember that, then we won't pursue the
21 matter further.
22 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I won't be much
23 longer, but I should, nevertheless, like to ask a few questions which have
24 to do with the document Z610.1. Just a few, and I'll try not to spend too
25 much time on that.
1 Q. Brigadier, you had an opportunity to go through this logbook of
2 the duty officer in the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia. You had a look
3 at it after you arrived in The Hague, didn't you?
4 A. Yes, Your Honours. After I arrived in Den Haag, I was shown the
5 logbook of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia.
6 Q. As a brigade commander, I suppose you also had a kind of -- kept a
7 kind of record, a kind of logbook, where various observations were written
8 down, didn't you? Do I have that right? Or perhaps I'm wrong.
9 A. Quite, Your Honours. The brigade command itself and all the
10 subordinated units in a brigade had to keep their logs where they recorded
11 their observations in the course of their daily activities; events,
12 incidents, telephone calls, and the like.
13 Q. Very well. And did this logbook have to be kept chronologically,
14 that is, from one day to the other, every hour?
15 A. Yes, absolutely, Your Honours, this logbook had to be kept in a
16 chronological order, and every unit had instructions on how to keep this
17 operations logbook.
18 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Your Honours, could we show on the
19 ELMO two pages of the English text of that logbook. They are pages 41 and
20 42. I also have them in Croatian for the witness.
21 Q. When you went through this, there were no markings on it, were
22 there? There were not these yellow marks that I have put in there; isn't
23 this correct?
24 A. It is.
25 Q. Did you personally discover some inconsistency in the dates on
1 these two pages?
2 A. Yes, Your Honours. It is quite -- it is self-evident. There is
3 nothing for me to explain here because it is quite obvious that after the
4 28th of February, we have the 3rd of March, and then on the next page,
5 there we have the 1st of March and then the 2nd of March.
6 Q. To simplify matters, the dates are upside down, aren't they?
7 A. Yes, Your Honours.
8 Q. Thank you. We don't have to go into it any further. Perhaps,
9 Brigadier, my last question which we have already asked both our Defence
10 witnesses today: Do you have a criminal record, Brigadier?
11 A. Your Honours, I do not have any criminal record, nor was I ever
12 summoned to testify or anything until this moment.
13 MR. NAUMOVSKI: [Interpretation] Brigadier, thank you for your
14 answers. Thank you, Your Honours, I have no further questions.
15 MR. MIKULICIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
16 Cross-examined by Mr. Mikulicic:
17 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Brigadier. In this case, I
18 defend Mr. Cerkez and I will ask you only a few questions and I should
19 like to invite you to cooperate to the best of your recollection.
20 Brigadier, as the commander of the brigade in the first half of
21 1993, did you have -- did the structure of your brigade envisage a
22 separate police unit?
23 A. Your Honours, in the brigade, we did not have envisaged a military
24 police platoon until mid-June or, rather, the latter half of June when it
25 was regulated by an order. I exceptionally well remember that, that an
1 order should be issued to subordinate to the brigade, the military police
3 Q. But at the brigade, if I may use that expression, there were,
4 nevertheless, some military policemen, weren't there?
5 A. Your Honours, yes. And to provide security for the command posts,
6 to escort, to provide escort when moving, when attending meetings, that
7 is, for some more important places and travels.
8 Q. Brigadier Grubesic, are you aware -- where were the personnel
9 files of those military policemen kept, that is, those who were attached
10 to the brigade for these -- with these particular assignments, where were
11 they issued with their weapons and which payrolls were they on?
12 A. Their records were at the military police with its seat in Vitez.
13 Q. And is it true that these military policemen, who were attached to
14 the brigade, were called, in the vernacular, the Brigade Military Police?
15 A. Yes. That's how we referred to them.
16 Q. Thank you. You mentioned in your testimony that your brigade had
17 mortars, 82 and 120 millimetres; is that correct?
18 A. Yes. Six 82-millimetres and four 120-millimetre mortars.
19 Q. According to your military experience and your expert opinion, the
20 use of 120 mortars, can it be used at some nearby targets or are they used
21 to aim -- to target some targets at a certain distance or as of a certain
23 A. The 120-millimetre mortars are used for distances up to 4500
24 metres and are used to prevent breakthroughs and to prevent the opposite
1 Q. Tell us, Brigadier, on the basis of your experience and your
2 expert knowledge, which is the least distance, the least range at which
3 these -- such weapons can be used?
4 A. Your Honours, in this conflict, the rules were doubtlessly
5 violated because the minimum distance is 300 metres, and we were forced to
6 use them at shorter distances.
7 Q. And just one more question on this matter. Did the use of
8 mortars, it's possible, in your experience and knowledge, it's possible in
9 parallel with an infantry attack on a particular position?
10 A. It is very difficult to fit in to synchronise.
11 Q. Why?
12 A. Because one might place in jeopardy one's own, one might place
13 imperil one's own troops.
14 MR. MIKULICIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
15 Mr. Grubesic. I have no further questions.
16 MR. SCOTT: May it please the Court. Mr. Usher, if you could help
17 by providing the witness with a packet of exhibits that Mr. Naumovski was
18 using, Z421.4.
19 Cross-examined by Mr. Scott:
20 Q. If we could start by looking at tab -- well, 421.4 itself. I just
21 want to make sure that we understand your testimony, sir. If you have the
22 English -- on the second page, for purposes of this question, the first
23 page of the original itself, the Bosnian language version.
24 There's no question, sir, you're not raising, as I take it, if I
25 understand you correctly, any question that that is Dario Kordic's
1 signature, that a military order was prepared and provided to him for
2 signature. You don't dispute that, do you?
3 A. Correct.
4 Q. And in terms of orders, military orders given by Mr. Kordic, sir,
5 do you have any personal knowledge of a military order given by Mr. Kordic
6 that was not carried out?
7 A. Your Honours, Mr. Kordic did not issue military orders and he
8 signed this order as the vice-president of the Croat Community of
9 Herceg-Bosna. The consent with the Minister of Defence, as we call him,
10 Mr. Bruno Stojic.
11 Q. We don't have time in these proceedings, sir, to go through all of
12 the exhibits that might be put in front of you. If I can represent to
13 you, for the moment, and pose my question this way: We could put a number
14 of orders, I represent to you, in front of you that appear to be signed by
15 Mr. Kordic like the one I've shown you. My question is: Can you tell the
16 Chamber any instance in which your personal knowledge, in which such an
17 order given by Mr. Kordic was not, in fact, executed?
18 A. Your Honours, I believe I was crystal clear and said that
19 Mr. Kordic did not have military powers, did not have powers, that is, to
20 issue orders and believe me, that on various occasions, this was met with
21 laughter, and I also indicated that in my answers to Mr. Naumovski's
23 Q. Well -- excuse me. You said something just now about laughter.
24 My question specifically was, let me rephrase it, did you ever have anyone
25 tell you words to the effect: I received an order from Dario Kordic, a
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.
1 military order from Dario Kordic, but I didn't execute it because, of
2 course, we all know Mr. Kordic doesn't have any military authority. Did
3 you ever have anyone tell you that?
4 A. No, nobody told me that except with Mr. Batinic when we commented
5 with the chief artillery in Operative Zone Central Bosnia that he asked
6 that an action be conducted against some targets. But I know Mr. Kordic,
7 and I know that he does not have much military knowledge or military
8 experience. There is a well-known order that the use of artillery weapons
9 can be ordered only by the commander of the Operative Zone Central Bosnia
10 at the request of the commanders of the units, that is, brigades.
11 Q. Sir, I'm only going to ask one more question on this and then I'll
12 move on. My question to you is about the artillery officer you just
13 named. Did he tell you, and my question to you is not whether there was
14 laughter or not, did he tell you he received orders from Colonel Kordic
15 and he did not execute those orders?
16 A. Your Honours, I did not -- I mean hear it from him. All I heard
17 was that he had said, "Dario asked to fire at certain features." And then
18 laughter ensued for a while.
19 JUDGE ROBINSON: Mr. Scott, can the witness elaborate on that
20 particular aspect, the laughter?
21 MR. SCOTT: Certainly.
22 Q. What do you mean when you say there was laughter in connection
23 with this conversation about Mr. Kordic's artillery order?
24 A. Your Honours, by -- this laughter was what accompanied his
25 insistence and his request, because we knew who could use the artillery
1 and at whose request. Because it was common knowledge in the army
2 hierarchy how and who uses heavy weaponry.
3 MR. SCOTT: Let's -- if I can, Judge Robinson, move on.
4 JUDGE ROBINSON: Yes.
5 MR. SCOTT:
6 Q. The problems sir, if you look at tab -- you've indicated in your
7 direct examination that some of Kordic's actions in this regard were
8 considered something like interference. The problem is if you look at a
9 document such as tab 15, again, we're on Z421.4, if we go to tab 15. You
10 have documents such as this one from Slavko Marin, and I will represent to
11 you more of a similar nature, asking for the agreement, looking to the
12 second paragraph, "Please inform us whether you agree with the same."
13 Now, do you see something on the face of this document, sir, that
14 Mr. Marin, this was a joke for Mr. Marin or that he was not sincerely
15 asking for Colonel Kordic's agreement to military action?
16 A. Your Honours, from what I see here, is a duty officer, Mr. Slavko
17 Marin, to my mind, Mr. Blaskic should communicate with Mr. Kordic and deny
18 such actions.
19 Q. Well, sir, that's your opinion. Can you tell me -- well, the
20 document speaks for itself.
21 In terms of tab 13, this was an order signed -- purporting to be
22 signed by Blaskic. You know, sir, don't you, that Colonel Blaskic at that
23 time was in Kiseljak. He could not have signed an order in Vitez because
24 he was in Kiseljak at the end of January 1993, wasn't he?
25 A. Yes. But, Your Honours, it is really -- it was the chief of staff
1 who signed.
2 Q. Well, did he do that with the agreement of Mr. Blaskic or Colonel
3 Blaskic or do you know?
4 A. I am confident that he had to have. He could not have the
5 authority of the commander for such orders.
6 Q. I'm sorry that he did not have?
7 A. Your Honours, when you have this kind of order, the chief of staff
8 could not but have the consent, the authority of the commander of the
9 Operative Zone Central Bosnia.
10 Q. So you'd agree then, sir, that in this particular instance, the
11 fact that there -- someone like Colonel Blaskic, in this instance, was not
12 physically present, doesn't mean that he or any other authority could not
13 issue orders or authorisations by telephone or other communications; isn't
14 that true?
15 A. He could only give consent to carry out such and such order by
16 telephone, that is, if the commander is absent, then the first man ranking
17 below him had to do it because it had to get the green light if it was to
18 be signed. And in this case, it is Colonel Blaskic.
19 Q. Returning for a moment to tab 15, my final question on these
20 documents before moving forward. Sir, do you have any personal knowledge
21 that Mr. Kordic did not, in fact, give Mr. Marin the agreement that he had
22 asked for? Do you have any reason to tell us, on personal knowledge, that
23 in fact, Colonel Kordic didn't do exactly as Slavko Marin asked him to do
24 and indicate his agreement with this order?
25 A. Mr. Marin, in this case, merely communicated with Colonel Blaskic,
1 with the commander of the Operative Zone Central Bosnia. And basically,
2 he did not -- he was not authorised to act by passing over orders except
3 those which are enclosed. I don't think that he would be the head of the
4 operations for a long time.
5 Q. Sir, when were you first contacted by anyone working for the
6 Defence of Mr. Kordic in connection with being a witness in this case?
7 A. Your Honours, the communication -- the first communication with
8 Dario Kordic's lawyer was in 1998; that is, we simply met. And a month
9 and a half ago we were together in the area of Busovaca and talked about
10 whether I would come to testify if such a need arose, and I gave my
12 Q. Between 1998 and approximately a month and a half ago, did you
13 have any other contact with anyone on behalf of Mr. Kordic concerning his
15 A. I do not recall such contact, and the first contact was in the
16 case of Mr. Nobilo's.
17 Q. Can you tell us, sir, what steps did you take, if any, to prepare
18 to testify today? Did you review any documents? Do you have a personal
19 journal? Did you do anything to prepare yourself for coming to testify to
20 this Chamber?
21 A. Your Honours, when I came here, that was the first time that I
22 took the documents and papers to inspect them, to see them, and to gain
23 additional knowledge to what I already was aware of. Before that, I did
24 not have -- nor did I have any source which I could use to prepare myself,
25 nor did I know the thesis about which the case could be conducted, at
1 least not in great detail.
2 Q. Sir, touching briefly on paragraph 4 of your statement, you
3 mention receiving training in Croatia for six months. Approximately when
4 was that?
5 A. Your Honours, the training -- I attended this commanding school,
6 the officers' school, in 1996, between August 1996 until the end of July
7 1997. I went there from the post of the head of the chief of staff of the
8 brigade and I went back to become the deputy commander of the 3rd Guards
10 Q. Moving on, I have a few minutes to touch on a few things before
11 the end of the day. The flag-raising incident in February that you've
12 been asked about, sir, in paragraph 34, you say you dimly recall this, and
13 in paragraph 35, your testimony essentially is that you never heard
14 information that Mr. Kordic had a role.
15 Sir, I put it to you that you really have no knowledge, no
16 personal information about this matter at all, do you?
17 A. No, Your Honours. During the briefing that we had in the command
18 of the Operative Zone of Central Bosnia, that is, when I communicated with
19 the chief of staff, I was told that during the night it had been taken off
20 by the members of the security of Vitez with the approval of Colonel
21 Blaskic. But I know that Mr. Kordic definitely had nothing to do with it,
22 unless --
23 Q. Well, sir, that's not what you said in your statement. And before
24 we get to that, you say you dimly recall, and then ultimately, in the
25 latter part of paragraph 34, you say, "cannot remember anything clear."
1 Now, did you write this? Is this your testimony? Was this your statement
2 that you prepared or did somebody else put those words -- suggest those
3 words to you?
4 A. Your Honours, I'm aware of what I said. I am aware, and I made my
5 statement, that is, I prepared my statement with some support, that is,
6 guidelines by the lawyers.
7 Q. And what --
8 A. But --
9 Q. I'm sorry. What kind of guidelines did you receive from the
10 lawyers about your testimony?
11 A. I was shown a large part of documents to go through and the thesis
12 which might be in this case.
13 Q. Well, what thesis? Were you suggested -- were you given a thesis
14 that your testimony should follow?
15 A. Well, it wasn't really suggested to me. The theses were roughly
16 outlined to me.
17 Q. Well, such as? Sir, if I can put it -- let me rephrase my
18 question. Was it put to you that you should come here and the thesis was
19 to say whatever was necessary; to essentially say that Mr. Kordic had no
20 role in these matters, that he had no military power, and that's basically
21 what you should come here and say. Is that what was put to you in so many
23 A. Your Honours, that was not put to me in those words. What I was
24 told was that it would be necessary for me to come and testify, which I
25 had already accepted a month and a half ago. And when I arrived here, I
1 was given the thesis, such as January 1993, my CV, details from the date
2 of my birth to my place of residence, education, military schools, duties,
3 and that is how I wrote it all down; such as April 1993, convoys.
4 Basically, that is it. Had to do with the general, but that was largely
5 six, seven, or even eight years, and I used as many documents as were
6 available to me.
7 Q. Now, if I could --
8 JUDGE MAY: It's about time. It may be that there's a problem
9 with -- not a problem but a difficulty arising from the translation.
10 "Thesis" has a particular meaning in English but it sounds as though the
11 witness is talking about subjects.
12 MR. SCOTT: I absolutely allow for that, Your Honour. I had a
13 couple of follow-up questions. That's a distinct possibility. But we can
14 finish on that topic in the morning, unless the Chamber wants to finish it
16 MR. SAYERS: If I might clarify, Your Honour - sorry for jumping
17 in - apparently the word in Croatian, according to my Croatian-speaking
18 colleague here, is "theme" not "thesis."
19 JUDGE MAY: Well, that may explain it.
20 Mr. Scott, how long do you think you will be tomorrow?
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MR. SCOTT: Sorry. The witness was forecast with
23 cross-examination being a full day and we've just started, so I think it
24 will take the morning, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE MAY: Perhaps you could have a look at it overnight with a
1 view to restricting that.
2 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour.
3 JUDGE MAY: And then we can -- there are some housekeeping matters
4 we've got to deal with. There's outstanding the Kordic documents.
5 Mr. Sayers, if you would get that into order for us tomorrow,
6 please, we can look at that.
7 MR. SAYERS: Yes, indeed. And may I just say, Mr. President, just
8 on a tangent, I apologise for zeal surpassing courtesy earlier today and
9 I've communicated my apologies to the Prosecution.
10 JUDGE MAY: No need for apologies.
11 The next matter is there's a motion which we've received from the
12 Prosecution about adjudicated facts. I don't know if the Defence have had
13 it yet. No need for a written response; we can deal with it orally.
14 MR. SAYERS: Might I suggest, Mr. President, if it's acceptable to
15 the Trial Chamber, we could just deal with that in our final submissions.
16 JUDGE MAY: I'm not sure that we need to go that far, but we'll
17 talk about that tomorrow.
18 I don't know if there are any other outstanding matters. We've
19 got to rule on the two bundles of exhibits which we haven't ruled on, but
20 we will do that during the remainder of the week.
21 MR. NICE: Nothing else outstanding. All I know is that in order
22 for -- we want our documents that we serve on Wednesday to be as complete
23 as they can be, and therefore, from an entirely selfish point of view, the
24 sooner we can know about the documents, obviously, the better, because
25 otherwise it's going to be very difficult to have those new documents
1 integrated. But I understand entirely the pressure that's on the
3 JUDGE MAY: And, Mr. Mikulicic, you've got three witnesses,
4 haven't you, as I recollect.
5 MR. MIKULICIC: In fact, Your Honour, we have only two.
6 JUDGE MAY: Two. When do you think they'll be here?
7 MR. MIKULICIC: I think we can manage them throughout tomorrow
9 JUDGE MAY: Very well. We'll see how we get on. If we can, so
10 much the better. We'll adjourn now.
11 Brigadier Grubesic, could you be back, please, at half past nine
12 tomorrow morning to conclude your evidence.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
14 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 4.05 p.m.,
15 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 7th day of
16 December, 2000, at 9.30 a.m.
13 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the English
14 and French transcripts.