1 Tuesday, 28 May 2002
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 --- Upon commencing at 2.24 p.m.
5 JUDGE LIU: Call the case, please, Madam Registrar.
6 THE REGISTRAR: Good afternoon, Your Honours. This is case number
7 IT-98-34-T, the Prosecutor versus Naletilic and Martinovic.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Mr. Naletilic, how are you feeling today?
9 We are quite worried about your health.
10 THE ACCUSED NALETILIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, my therapy
11 has been increased and I believe that I will be able to cope. It would be
12 really good if I had a break to recuperate after the surgery. If that
13 would be possible, maybe next week.
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, if you have any requests, would you please
15 inform your counsel and ask your counsel to inform us about any requests
16 for your recovery?
17 THE ACCUSED NALETILIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your
19 JUDGE LIU: You may sit down, please.
20 Yes, Mr. Krsnik.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours. I
22 would just like to inform you that we have already filed a request, I
23 don't know whether it has reached you already, and I believe that we have
24 already received the reply from our colleagues. We believe that as far as
25 the request is concerned, it would be much more logical to give us a break
1 so that my client could rest from a very tiresome sitting in the
2 courtroom day in, day out, so it would be better that we had this break
3 now or instead of God forbid something even worse happened and then this
4 break could be even longer.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we have received two motions filed
6 by you today. One is about the recess for about two weeks. Another is
7 about another matter. And as for the decisions, I believe that any
8 decisions made by this Trial Chamber will be based on the medical reports
9 from the doctors. Now we are waiting for the report filed by the
10 doctors. If we have that report, I believe that this Trial Chamber will
11 be in a position to make the decisions.
12 Shall we go to the private session, please?
13 [Private session]
16 [Open session]
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. As for your next witness, I think this Trial
18 Chamber is seized with a motion asking for longer time for direct
19 examination, and the -- I hope you could understand that we are already
20 behind schedule and we have heard about 11 background witnesses already.
21 So in this case, this Trial Chamber will give you one hour and 30 minutes
22 for your direct examination for the next witness, so that we could finish
23 with this witness today. It is so decided.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Certainly, Your Honours. I believe
25 that we will finish today, but I would like to inform you why such
1 situations occur, because, Your Honours, I did not have the time to -- I
2 didn't have five years to prepare myself but sometimes witnesses will tell
3 me things that they haven't told me before or they bring me documents
4 that I then deem very important and I deem that I should inform Your
5 Honours about it. Now I have a lot of experience in direct examination
6 and I now can tell that I usually spend as long as ten minutes just to ask
7 about the general background information. So I did not have any
8 experience before and I didn't know how much direct examination can take
9 and I thank you for your understanding and for understanding our
11 JUDGE LIU: Yes. Are there any protective measures for the next
13 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. We want -- we
14 would like to have distortion of the face and a nickname, because this
15 gentleman, this witness, lives in one location and he intends to return to
16 the town where he used to live, and his knowledge about these events and
17 about these places and the fact that he has witnessed thereof could create
18 a lot of problems for him, but maybe he would be able to explain that much
19 better than I can.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, I guess there is no objections on that issue.
22 MR. PORIOUVAEV: No, thank you, Your Honour. We don't have any
23 objections but actually it's the first time we hear that this witness
24 needs protective measures. So during the break, we will make some
25 arrangements to make changes in our list of witnesses -- exhibits to be
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 used during the cross to remove the name of the witness.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, that's quite understandable.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. The
4 Prosecutor is right. It was our agreement that on the day of the trial,
5 we actually have to inform everybody about the minor measures of
6 protection. Only when we want a closed session that this should be asked
7 in advance in writing.
8 JUDGE LIU: Thank you. Thank you for your understanding. So your
9 request for the protective measures is granted.
10 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Just briefly, to show respect to my
11 colleague in the Prosecution, we -- this week, we are going to ask for all
12 our witnesses, the same type of protective measures so that distortion of
13 their faces and pseudonyms, and that is all. Nothing else.
14 JUDGE LIU: Yes, could we have the witness, please?
15 [The witness entered court].
16 JUDGE LIU: Good afternoon, Witness.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Good afternoon.
18 JUDGE LIU: Would you please make the solemn declaration in
19 accordance with the paper the usher is showing to you?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak
21 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
22 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much, you may sit down, please.
23 WITNESS: WITNESS NE
24 [Witness answered through interpreter].
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, your time begins to run.
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
2 Examined by Mr. Krsnik:
3 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness.
4 A. Good afternoon.
5 Q. Let me just give you some general instructions that I give to all
6 my witnesses. First of all, I kindly ask you for your cooperation, since
7 we are speaking the same language, to -- in order to enable our
8 interpreters to do their job as best as they can, I'm kindly asking you to
9 look at the screen in front of you and you will see the cursor that is
10 moving, the black point that is moving. When it stops, only then you
11 start giving your answer and try to find a middle speed when you are
12 giving your answers so that we can go through your testimony as fast as we
14 Now, the usher is going to show you on the piece of paper, there
15 is your name, but don't say the name, just say yes if that indeed is your
16 name on the piece of paper.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. We are going to call you Witness NE here in the courtroom.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Can I ask Your Honours to go to the
20 private session so that the witness can give us information about
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
23 [Private session]
12 Page 11758 – redacted – private session
13 [Open session]
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Witness, just let me explain when we ask for the private session,
16 that means that what you're saying can only be heard in this courtroom,
17 whereas during an open session it can be heard also in the gallery, so
18 make sure that you do not reveal your identity in your replies. So do
19 not -- do not -- make sure you don't spontaneously reveal your identity if
20 you do want to do so we will go back to the private session.
21 You can start answering my question.
22 A. So you asked me to tell you something about Jablanica. Jablanica
23 is in the northern part of Herzegovina, some 45 kilometres north of
24 Mostar. It is a small community, small municipality, 289 square
25 kilometres in size, according to the 1991 census, Jablanica had about
1 12.500 inhabitants, of whom 2.990 were Croats, who accounted for 18 per
2 cent. 7.000 Muslims who accounted for -- excuse me, 9.000 Muslims who
3 accounted for 70 per cent. About 500 Serbs, who accounted for 4.5 per
4 cent. Yugoslavs accounted for 4.5 per cent also. And there were about
5 200 people of other -- who did not opt for any specific national
7 Q. Did this population structure change in 1992 or 1993? Or perhaps
8 we should move towards the beginning of the war in Bosnia in 1992.
9 A. My state is called Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the ethnic
10 structure in Jablanica changed when the war started, when the aggression
11 started, against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Since, in the Jablanica
12 municipality, there were no armed operations of the Yugoslav People's
13 Army, that is there were no conflicts, which did break out in other parts
14 of Bosnia-Herzegovina, notably East Bosnia, and since that was the case, a
15 large number of refugees from East Bosnia found shelter in Jablanica. In
16 late 1992, the number of refugees from East Bosnia and East Herzegovina
17 too, totalled about 10.000, and in early 1993, that number rose to some
18 15.000. So the number of refugees exceeded the number of the domiciled
19 population. And the answer therefore is that the ethnic structure in the
20 municipality of Jablanica in 1992 and 1993 significantly changed.
21 Q. If you know, how many Croats and Serbs are there now? What was
22 their influx?
23 A. Well, in Jablanica now, one does not have 80 per cent of Croats
24 and 5 per cent of Serbs. Now Croats account for less than 8 per cent and
25 Serbs less than 1 per cent. As -- of the total population which is the
1 municipality of Jablanica.
2 Q. Tell us, if you know, you say that there were no -- there were
3 no -- there was no fighting in Jablanica with the JNA or rather the Army
4 of Republika Srpska. So where were the first front lines facing the JNA,
5 that is the Serbs?
6 A. Yes, you're quite right, in the municipality of Jablanica, there
7 were -- there was no open fighting, but if I may be more precise, there
8 were a couple of cases when the aircraft of the Yugoslav air force flew
9 over the area and threw bombs. Fortunately, there were no human
10 casualties or any material damage in the Jablanica municipality. And as
11 for the front lines facing the Serb forces, in the territory of the
12 municipality of Jablanica, there were none. These front lines were in the
13 neighbourhood municipality, the municipality of Konjic.
14 Q. And the citizens of the municipality of Jablanica or the Army of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina, did they man those front lines in Konjic? Do you know
16 something about how the military structure was organised in Jablanica?
17 A. Well, although I wasn't a soldier, because of my poor health, I
18 was more or less familiar with the military organisation of those forces,
19 and I know that in the territory of Jablanica, there was the 44th Mountain
20 Brigade of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and there were two
21 more or two autonomous battalions too, in Sovici and Glogosnica. These
22 are the largest in the Jablanica municipality. As regards the Croat
23 Defence Council, it had one battalion, some 60 to 80 men strong and a
24 military police platoon.
25 Q. In 1992, did they go to the front line facing the Serb forces
1 together? And where is it that they went?
2 A. Yes. I know that in 1992, members of the Army of
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina and members of the Croat Defence Council from
4 Jablanica, on a number of instances, went into the territory of the Konjic
5 municipality to man those defence lines against the Serb forces, and that
6 was in the municipality of Konjic, in the area towards Boracko Jezero
8 Q. If you know something about that, we heard some testimony that the
9 front lines facing the Serbs were manned in the area of Sovici or rather
10 in the hills above Sovici, so-called Pasije Stijene toward Blidinje,
11 towards Rama Valley. Are you aware of that? You said that the front
12 lines toward the Serbs were there. Are you aware of the front lines
13 there, that is in Sovici, the hills above Sovici?
14 A. I know that in the hills above Sovici, that is in the area of
15 Pasije Stijene and Borovnik and those areas, members of the Army of
16 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Sovici Battalion, that they manned positions there
17 but those positions were not facing Serb forces because I've already told
18 you that in the Jablanica municipality, there were absolutely no Serb
19 forces or Serb front lines.
20 Q. Right. So this is 1992. We'll move to 1993 later on. Will you
21 now be so kind as to tell us whether schools worked and how were -- how
22 was the government organised? How was the administration organised in
24 A. First question, schools did not work, neither the elementary nor
25 the secondary, not even the nursery, because these facilities were used to
1 accommodate Muslim refugees from East Bosnia, and as for the local
2 government in Jablanica, no sooner was the state of war proclaimed than
3 the wartime presidency came into being and started to function as the
4 executive branch of power under wartime circumstances.
5 Q. I want to go through this very quickly. This is merely for the
6 Honourable Court. So can you tell me very briefly who won the elections
7 in Jablanica and what was the composition of the executive body of the
9 A. On the basis of the election results in the end -- towards the end
10 of 1991, in the -- no, excuse me, 1990, in the very early days of 1991, a
11 body of representatives was constituted and the executive and the
12 government in Jablanica were constituted. The victorious parties were --
13 Q. Witness, why don't you put your head set like I am doing?
14 Otherwise, you'll keep losing it.
15 A. Right. So the parties which won the elections were the Party of
16 Democratic Action, the Croat Democratic Union, SDP, Social Democratic
17 Party, liberals, reformists, and I don't know, perhaps there were one or
18 two small parties. On the basis of those results, the body of
19 representatives, that is the municipal hall, the municipal council, had
20 nine Croat councilmen, of whom two came from SDP and seven from the HDZ.
21 I know that two councilmen were of Serb origin and the others came from
22 amongst the Muslims.
23 Q. And now the executive power?
24 A. The executive power, that was made up exclusively of Muslims and
25 Croats and the ratio was as follows. The government had seven members, of
1 whom five came from amongst the ranks of the Muslim people and two from
2 amongst the ranks of the Croat people.
3 Q. [redacted]?
4 A. [redacted].
5 Q. Tell me, what were the reactions, of course, if you know of them,
6 when the HZ HB, that is Croat Community Herceg-Bosna was established, the
7 reactions in Jablanica?
8 A. The reaction to the establishment of the HZ HB in the municipality
9 of Jablanica was favourable.
10 Q. Was the HZ HB accepted? Were there allies? Did they take part in
11 the HZ HB?
12 A. There were allies but they did not take a direct part in the
14 Q. Tell us, what language was spoken in Jablanica?
15 A. Excuse me, I don't really understand your question.
16 Q. I'm sorry, my mistake. You're quite right. Perhaps I'm not being
17 clear enough. What was the official language in school, in the municipal
18 authorities? What language was spoken?
19 A. I said that in 1992, schools were closed, and the municipal
20 authorities, we, the Croats, spoke Croatian, and the representatives of
21 the Muslim people spoke their language. And the Serbs spoke, once again,
22 their language.
23 Q. And tell us, what about work? What about jobs? Did a company go
24 on working? Who lost jobs, if anyone, that is lost jobs? What do you
25 know about that?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. Because movement of both people and goods was restricted, many
2 companies in Jablanica reduced their business activities and some closed
3 down altogether. Therefore, many people were placed on so-called "waiting
4 lists," sent home, and my wife was also laid off or rather put on a
5 waiting list, even though she used to work for a company which continued
6 working at its former capacity. She worked for the hydro power plant
7 which of course continued working but she was sent home, and I refused to
8 believe at the time that she had been laid off for political reasons. I
9 thought there were some objective reasons for that.
10 Q. Witness, I asked you all this because, according to the
11 indictment, it is said that the Croats in the municipality of Jablanica
12 engaged in ethnic discrimination, persecution of Muslims, that they
13 imposed a Croatian language. That is why I asked you all this. What can
14 you tell me about that?
15 A. Distinguished sir, if you listened carefully to the demographic
16 facts that I presented to you and the ethnic composition, then it is quite
17 impossible, quite impossible, for the Croats to do what you say they did.
18 That is, they could not engage in ethnic persecution. They could not
19 impose anything. They simply could not.
20 Q. Tell me, now we've come to the War Presidency, what about the
21 regular authorities? Did they continue to work? We are moving towards
22 1993 gradually now. What about the legal -- the lawful authorities? Did
23 they continue in operation?
24 A. I have already said the loyal authorities continued to work in so
25 far as the objective circumstances and condition in Jablanica permitted
2 Q. And what about the War Presidency? When was it instituted and
3 when did it start its work?
4 A. The War Presidency came into life sometime in April, 1992, and as
5 we -- as the end of 1992 drew closer, the conditions for the work of the
6 War Presidency grew ever more complicated and its work became harder by
7 the day.
8 Q. Did you ever personally meet with the Muslim leaders, either
9 military or civilian, Mr. Delalic, for instance? Did you know him, did
10 you ever meet him at that time, late 1992?
11 A. I was a member of the War Presidency in the municipality of
12 Jablanica, from April, 1992, until October that same year. And during
13 that time, I had opportunity on a number of occasions to see Mr. Delalic,
14 and I personally had the opportunity on the 31st of August, 1992, to
15 attend an official meeting chaired by him.
16 Q. And what is Mr. Delalic? Will you tell the Court why we mention
17 his name?
18 A. Mr. Zejnil Delalic, in Jablanica and Konjic, was known as a
19 businessman. However, in 1992, when he turned up as the commander of the
20 Technical Group 1, in the territory between the Igman Mount to -- and
21 Konjic and Jablanica, with very broad powers, he caused some perplexity
22 and that goes for both the Army of BH and the local military authorities.
23 I mean, even they could not understand who gave him his powers and how did
24 he come to hold that post. But as the time went by, they grasped the
25 situation and stopped being surprised by his powers.
1 Q. And why did he cause this perplexity even amongst the ranks of the
2 Army of BH? I mean what was his mission? What was he doing?
3 A. Well, it was because, in the first place, concerning the
4 appointment or designation of the commander, rather the local commander,
5 of the BH Army, because he was the one who appointed him, at the time,
6 when the procedure was completely different.
7 Q. Right. But did he cause some incidents? Did the relations,
8 between the BH Army and this very small HVO, change after his arrival?
9 A. Yes. But let us go back to that meeting of the 31st of August,
10 1992. The meeting was convened at the initiative of both parties, that is
11 the BH Army and the HVO, in the municipalities of Konjic, Jablanica and
12 Prozor, in order to discuss and reach an agreement on the future joint
13 struggle against the Serb forces, that is the JNA, and the Serb armed
14 forces. And as the meeting took place in Jablanica, we were expecting
15 that the meeting would be chaired by the president of the War Presidency
16 of the municipality of Jablanica, that is a kind of a custom with us, that
17 is the host, Mr. Nijaz Ivkovic, that he would be the host, that is the
18 chairman of the meeting. However, when Mr. Delalic entered the room where
19 the meeting was to take place, he, in a rather arrogant manner, took the
20 chair and started to conduct the meeting, which took everybody present by
21 surprise, and as for the contents, those present were further perplexed
22 and confused, and when I say that I mean the members of the HVO and the BH
23 Army when Mr. Delalic insisted most emphatically that the HVO in the
24 territory of Konjic, Prozor and Jablanica be unconditionally
25 subordinated -- I mean command to be subordinated to the command of the BH
1 Army, and he said roughly like this, that the HVO had to do it or else it
2 would be no more in those areas, in that territory. That meeting largely
3 brought about the loss of confidence between the BH Army and the HVO.
4 Q. And did he also settle physically the scores with Muslims who
5 refused to obey him?
6 A. Yes. And I'll quote a bad -- a bad example. A month after the
7 meeting that I've just mentioned, Mr. Delalic ordered, commanded, the
8 local commander of the military police to bring in, to put in custody,
9 Mr. Ivkovic, the president of the War Presidency in Jablanica, to put him
10 under custody in the museum in Jablanica, and it was done. And when,
11 after he was taken in, Mr. Delalic, slapped him in the face twice.
12 Mr. Ivkovic informed us about this at the meeting, at the session of the
13 War Presidency, the next day. And apart from this, there were a number of
14 other incidents and truth to tell, people tried -- shunned Mr. Delalic
15 because he earned a reputation as an arrogant man.
16 Q. Who did the civilian authority rely on? Where was the
17 administrative seat of Jablanica municipality? Was it Mostar?
18 A. I already spoke about the organisation of the local government;
19 in -- during the war. However, some sectors, some segments, of this local
20 government, local authorities, were tied to their respective regions. For
21 example, in Mostar, the local police, that was the public security
22 station, was linked or tied with the intermunicipal or regional MUP, the
23 Ministry of the Interior in Mostar, and they had the obligation to receive
24 their instructions from them.
25 Q. My question: Did that relationship change?
1 A. This relationship did change. Already in the second half of 1992,
2 the local MUP, that's the local police, stopped communicating with Mostar,
3 although they were under the obligation to do so, but they were instructed
4 to communicate with Zenica. This is an entirely different region, because
5 we -- there are -- there is Sarajevo between the two of us, so it is a
6 totally illogical situation.
7 Q. My time is very limit so I want to move quickly to a certain
8 event. I just wanted to provide Their Honours with the general
9 information. Let's go to 1991. What is the relationship between the
10 Muslims and Croats and what happened in 1993? So we are moving on to that
11 conflict in 1993.
12 A. In 1993, I was no longer a member of the local War Presidency. I
13 was also sent home to wait, so to say, so I stopped working in the
14 municipality. I was put on a waiting list. And the relationship between
15 the local Muslim and the local Croatian population were no longer as they
16 used to be in 1992 for the reasons that I have already spoken about, and
17 also for the fact that in the town itself and in the entire municipality,
18 there was a large number of Muslim refugees. So this resulted in minor
19 incidents. This resulted in a small-scale looting of Croatian property.
20 So the number of car thefts increased, a large number of shops were broken
21 into and so on.
22 Q. I am a bit panicky, I have another 40 minutes left and I have two
23 major subjects to cover. We have lost quite a lot of time in the
24 introduction. Can you say to the Honourable Court when did things change
25 radically in Jablanica and Prozor municipalities, to your knowledge?
1 A. Yes. My wish is to say exactly that to the Honourable Court
2 here. The relationship changed radically for the worst, that is the
3 relationship between the Croatian and Muslim population in Jablanica, by
4 the arrival of Mr. Safet Cibo and his appointment as the president of the
5 War Presidencies of Jablanica, Konjic and Prozor municipalities. His
6 arrival was actually a major precedent, both in legal and political
7 terms. Actually, he was a person from Sarajevo. He did not take part in
8 the election in 1991. And he could not be the president of these
9 municipalities. This was another cause for confusion. He arrived
10 pursuant to an act, a document, which was signed by the then president of
11 the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Immediately upon his arrival,
12 and that was the beginning of March, 1993, the local television aired his
13 reasons for his arrival. He spoke on the local television about that, and
14 he outlined briefly the programme for his activities. He established a
15 national, nationally-based War Presidency, ethnically based War
16 Presidency, which -- in which there were no longer Croats. So it was a
17 monoethnic Presidency and at the same time, on parallel with his arrival
18 in the area of Jablanica municipality, also saw an arrival of a large
19 number of armed, unknown soldiers. Later on we found out that those were
20 the following units of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Those were the
21 special detachment for special purposes, at the Main Staff of the Army of
22 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Then the Black Swans. Then the so-called
23 "Walter's Unit," and the commander of that was a person known as "Silver
24 Fox." Then the Wolves from Igman. Cedo's, Celo's, the Handzar
25 Division. Since these people were armed, they started causing more
1 serious incidents. They actually expelled the HVO and the military police
2 of the HVO from Jablanica. And they also took a number of repressive
3 measures. Actually, we realised that their primary -- the primary goal of
4 Mr. Safet Cibo was to make the lives of us Croats in Jablanica as
5 difficult as possible. The measures that he introduced ranged from the
6 mild ones, like, for example, our phone lines were cut off so all of us
7 lost telephone connections. People, all of us, were laid off in the
8 companies where they had worked. People were sent to become members of
9 the so-called "task forces" or work units. They were forced to do manual
10 labour regardless of their age, regardless of their level of education,
11 regardless of their health conditions. So all the Croats had to engage in
12 forced labour.
13 Q. Which month are you referring to in 1993?
14 A. I'm talking about the end of March and the beginning of April.
15 Q. Did armed conflicts also start in the area of Jablanica, Konjic,
16 Prozor, between the HVO and the Army of BH? Who was attacking whom? What
17 about the civilian population of these three municipalities, to your
19 A. According to a previously prepared scenario -- actually according
20 to a document which was signed by the commanders of several brigades of
21 the Bosnia and Herzegovina Army, and chiefs of police stations in
22 Jablanica, Konjic, Hadzici, so according, pursuant to this document, the
23 contents of which are terrible --
24 Q. I'm going to show this document. I'm just waiting for you to
1 A. Shall I give you a brief answer? So the incidents started on 25th
2 of March. There was the -- there were the first killings without any
3 reason whatsoever of several aged civilians in Orliste, that is a village
4 in the general area of Konjic.
5 Q. What was the nationality of these people?
6 A. They were Croats. They were elderly Croatian civilians. And
7 later on, this repeated in several other villages in Konjic municipality.
8 Q. Can I ask Madam Registrar to put the Exhibit 1336 -- D1336? Since
9 the Court has given me an hour and a half for the examination, I wanted to
10 show all the documents that you brought with you at the end of the
11 examination together with your short comments. I would like to show the
12 Honourable Court all these documents, because I deem that the Honourable
13 Court will find these documents very important. So we would like to
14 listen to your live testimony on all of these topics that we have
16 When you were talking about the document, did you mean the
17 document that you now have in front of you? Is that the document?
18 A. Yes. This is precisely the document that I referred to. If you
19 look at this document closely --
20 Q. Can you give us the date of this document?
21 A. The date is 20 March, 1993. On page 2 of this document, you can
22 see that the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the police of the
23 aforementioned municipalities, wanted in a forcible way, I'm referring to
24 item 2, in a forcible way, they wanted to take over the control of the
25 checkpoints and passages. They wanted to do that unilaterally. And some
1 of them are mentioned here in. Out of these three are in the area of
2 Jablanica municipality.
3 Q. On page 2 of this document, it says that the HVO was to blame for
4 all this. Can you look at the top of the page?
5 A. Yes, I can see the beginning of this page very well. However this
6 is just a deception. Don't trust this. This is a deception, this is just
7 an excuse, a very cunning excuse, for the military and armed operations
8 that the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina was planning to undertake. Please, on
9 page 3 of the same document, under item 7, they are using the following
10 terminology: The HVO all of a sudden is the aggressor. And the BH Army
11 concentrates its troops on the -- in the direction of Jablanica, Pute,
12 Here, Scipe. There were never any Serb forces here. There were none here
13 at the time. So I -- we wonder. This makes us wonder what was the goal of
14 the BH Army, and the goal was to eliminate the HVO from this area.
15 Q. Item 9, army forces are to be prepared for taking Slater facility
16 as soon as possible. What is the Zlatar facility or feature? What is
18 A. Zlatar is a point, a feature, in Konjic municipality, which was
19 held by HVO members in Konjic, but actually, this was a front line facing
20 the Serb forces. The BH Army wanted to expel the HVO, and they managed in
21 doing that, from this feature.
22 Q. Witness, according to your knowledge, very briefly, the fate of
23 Croats, or the intensity of conflicts, can you tell us about the fate of
24 Konjic, the area of Konjic, until 15 of April? Not after the 15th of
25 April. So what happened in Konjic before the 15th of April, and the
1 valley, the Neretva Valley, towards Jablanica?
2 A. Pursuant to this plan, this scenario, contained in this document,
3 already five days after the date on the document, the first Croatian
4 civilian victims fell in Orliste that is a village in the general area
5 of Konjic.
6 Q. Let's move to Konjic, the town of Konjic, and then we shall move
7 down the valley?
8 A. In the town of Konjic, the situation was similar as in Jablanica.
9 The HVO was pushed out forcibly from the town --
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Poriouvaev?
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Maybe the witness will specify the source of his
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
14 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
15 Q. Now that you were talking about Konjic, what is the source of your
17 A. I personally saw some people, my acquaintances, from Konjic, who
18 were expelled. And I have broader knowledge of this from documents, from
19 a number of documents, in the Commission for War Crimes after I left the
20 camp in Jablanica.
21 Q. Witness, it is very important when you talk about some knowledge,
22 can you please tell us whether the knowledge is personal or whether you
23 learned about that from somebody else. Then give us the names. In the
24 indictment, it says that on 16 April, the HVO forces attacked undefended
25 Muslim civilians and this is how the persecution of Muslims started in
1 Bosnia-Herzegovina. That's why I asked you what happened before the 15th
2 of April in the territory of your municipality. So can you please give
3 the Honourable Court the fate of the civilians and the army in the -- in
4 your municipality before the 15th of April? If you don't have any
5 personal knowledge, tell us, "I was told by my brother, by my friend, by
6 my acquaintance." Just give us their names and the Honourable Court will
7 accept that as your testimony.
8 A. The town of Konjic, as for the town of Konjic, I have personal
9 knowledge about the period -- relative period. This personal knowledge is
10 based on my contacts with my acquaintances from Konjic. Those are
11 Professor Mirko Loncar, and Mr. Marijan Mendes, whom I know even better.
12 Q. And what happened, just a brief outline?
13 A. The HVO was expelled from Konjic. The first armed provocations
14 started in the town. I've already mentioned the incidents in some
15 villages. In the town, the HVO members who were taken prisoner in Zlatar
16 and in other places, the camp "Musala" was organised in the facility
17 sports hall in the town. Later on, this facility would house
18 approximately 900 detained HVO members. And those Croats who were not
19 detained in the camp, they were engaged in forced labour.
20 Q. What about the religious officials?
21 A. The religious officials?
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Poriouvaev?
23 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Quite gradually we are going down to tu quoque
24 defence. And that's my objection.
25 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. --
1 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours.
2 JUDGE LIU: We are not interested in this matter, whether the HVO
3 members were detained or mistreated. It's not a subject of this case.
4 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I did not bring this
5 witness to tu quoque defence. I am here attacking the indictment, which
6 alleges that the HVO was the force that started a widespread attack on
7 civilians, civilian Muslim population, and started an ethnic persecution.
8 Your Honours, have to hear the witness -- the testimony from the witnesses
9 who were there, and you have to hear what really happened, because this
10 allegation in the indictment is just not true, and as the Defence counsel,
11 I have the right to communicate the truth to this Honourable Court. I'm
12 not defending my case tu quoque. So this -- if Your Honours just hear the
13 date when the HVO members were detained, and what was the destiny of the
14 civilians, we are talking about a region which is about several hundred
15 kilometres large so I wanted to -- this witness to tell you what happened
16 before the 15th of April, 1993. What was the destiny of the civilians?
17 What was the personal destiny of this witness? You are going to hear from
18 him what happened to him.
19 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, we understand that during the war,
20 terrible things were committed both parties. There is no doubt about
21 that. But that is not a subject matter of this case.
22 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, can please the
23 Persecution withdraw their allegation from the indictment alleging that
24 the HVO started the persecution of Muslims. And then I will withdraw my
25 witnesses who will -- and I will stop trying to prove that this is not
1 true. The Army of BH started this persecution, and the attack on HVO in
2 the late 1992, and this lasted throughout 1993, continuously. So it does
3 make the difference who attacked whom first and why. And the crimes in
4 this area, that's another issue.
5 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, it seems to me that we are talking
6 about different things. You could claim that the HVO did not commit any
7 crimes against the Muslims and there is no doubt at all that the Muslims
8 also committed some terrible crimes against HVO. There is no problem
9 about that. But the issue is -- but the issue is here, it's about whether
10 there is widespread persecution committed by the HVO.
11 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm not alleging that
12 the HVO or members of the HVO did not commit any crimes or the BH Army.
13 What I am alleging -- what I am saying, and I'll prove that through my
14 witnesses, that the BH Army was the one that attacked both the civilian
15 Croatian population and the HVO and in order for me to prove this, you
16 have to hear my witness, because I'm referring to the dates prior to the
17 15th of April, and that's why I always said that on the 9th of May -- May,
18 Mostar did not fall out of the blue sky, that this is based on a long
19 history and in order for to us prove that, we have to hear this
20 testimony. I'm not -- I'm not trying to defend a crime by another crime.
21 That would not be a serious defence. But the allegation contained in the
22 indictment asked for this kind of defence, and asked for a proper,
23 truthful reply. Because it is just not true.
24 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, I think the jurisprudence of this
25 Tribunal is not to find the truth of the whole situation. Here, we are
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 only going to address those issues mentioned in the indictment.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] But Your Honours, in the indictment,
3 it says that in Jablanica, the HVO persecuted -- persecuted Muslims and
4 engaged in ethnic cleansing. This is what it says in the indictment. It
5 says in the indictment that my client participated in the widespread
6 attack that started on 16th of April, and that he himself personally was
7 engaged in this persecution. This is a close link. And please, would the
8 Prosecution give up all the allegations in the indictment which refer to
9 the widespread conflict? And would we kindly -- I'm kindly asking you to
10 just concentrate on individual crimes. Let's just concentrate on
11 individual crimes. How come -- why is the indictment construed in this
12 way? I have to attack all of its parts. Can please the Prosecution give
13 up on this general part? Let's just focus on what Mr. Naletilic did. And
14 let's just focus on the things that the lawyers do. I'm challenging the
15 Prosecution to give us the evidence for the general allegations in the
17 In this general context, they have pinpointed my client. That is
18 why I have to attack every item, every count, in the indictment, and I
19 have to attack that.
20 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, it seems to me that we are talking
21 along different lines. The issue here is whether the HVO committed some
23 MR. KRSNIK: I don't want to speak about them.
24 JUDGE LIU: If you claim that that they did not commit any crimes,
25 you can show some evidence on that. The issue is not what committed by
1 the other side.
2 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, Your Honours, far be it from me
3 to say that some HVO members or the HVO did not commit crimes. All I want
4 to say here is that they were the ones -- they were not the ones who
5 started the attack, who attacked first the Muslim population, as the
6 indictment says, and that is why I brought witnesses so that you could
7 hear about. This is a very large area where hundreds of thousands of
8 people lived and I bring them here for -- so that you can hear what
9 happened before the 15th of April. This is quite clear. I'm only
10 referring to what the indictment says. And if the indictment says that
11 Jablanica was ethnically cleansed by Croats, then why don't you hear from
12 a man who lived there for 35 years to tell us whether that is true or
14 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, since we are under the very strict
15 time pressure, could we have our break here?
16 MR. KRSNIK: Yes, please.
17 JUDGE LIU: And I hope during the break, you could discuss this
18 matter with your co-counsel and your team on that very issue.
19 Yes. We will resume at 20 minutes past 4.00.
20 --- Recess taken at 3.49 p.m.
21 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.
22 JUDGE LIU: Yes, could we have the witness, please?
23 Mr. Krsnik, you have about 20 minutes to go.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if the -- my learned
25 friends do not object, I really won't be able to do it in 20 minutes
1 because we have to go through these documents. Of course we won't be
2 reading them because they speak for themselves and I have another subject
3 to cover, which is what this witness knows about Sovici and Doljani.
4 JUDGE LIU: Well, try your best, and on the other hand, I believe
5 that those documents speak for themselves.
6 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, of course, Your Honours, but
7 there are quite a number of them. I've got ten documents. Of course, we
8 will not be reading them because they are self-evident, but I need their
9 provenance confirmed.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may sit down, Witness.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours.
13 Q. Witness, I will ask you one question and I will ask for a brief
14 answer, please. And then we shall go through documents very quickly
15 because all I need is the source of these documents, that is how I came by
16 them. And then we shall round off with your information about Jablanica,
17 or rather about Sovici and Doljani and what you know of your own direct
18 knowledge about them. And please do not take too much time in answering,
19 because we don't have much time. So very briefly, please, will you tell
20 this Honourable Court the fate of civilians in Konjic in the Nerevtica
21 Valley, I mean Croat civilians.
22 A. Well, on the basis of this scenario which is in the document that
23 I have in front of me, the fate of civilians in the municipality of
24 Konjic, in the area of Nerevtica is as a matter of fact dramatic, because
25 dramatic things happened there with very tragic consequences for the
1 civilians. Very serious murders start, incarceration, persecution,
2 destruction of property, arson. And this cannot be justified by any
3 military necessity. In several places, in about 17 places in -- in about
4 17 places, Croats are detained. There is large-scale persecution of
5 civilians. Over 90 per cent of them --
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
7 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I must object again because the Defence counsel
8 is going on with the same line of questioning that just was discussed
9 before the break.
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik, we have discussed this matter
11 already. I hope you could change the subject.
12 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I really do not know
13 where this leads to. It seems to me that I'm doing a futile job. The
14 Prosecution, and they have the same kind of ethics as we do, they may not
15 conceal matters, even though the indictment speaks to the contrary. All
16 these are events which happened before the 15th of April, and if you could
17 only hear what happened after the 15th of April? But I'll change the
19 Q. One cannot escape the truth. There is always time for the truth.
20 Tell me, Jablanica, you were in Jablanica. What goes on in Jablanica?
21 A. When?
22 Q. 1993.
23 A. 1993?
24 Q. 15th of April onward, that is 16, 17th, doesn't matter. So up to
25 April and from April on.
1 A. Right. So in Jablanica, in the territory of the municipality of
2 Jablanica, in the area of Doljani, members of the BH Army launch attacks
3 on the HVO, and it is precisely on the 15th of April that a large number
4 or almost all Muslim civilians from the village -- in the village of
5 Doljani move from Doljani to Jablanica. That day, in the town of
6 Jablanica, the museum camp is formed. That same day, the first group of
7 six Croats was taken to that camp. And members of the civilian police
8 search --
9 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Your Honour?
10 JUDGE LIU: Yes.
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Excuse me, but maybe the witness will specify the
12 source of his knowledge.
13 JUDGE LIU: Well, I think the witness said he was there. Am I
14 right, Witness?
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I was there, and
16 I saw, and I'm speaking about what I saw.
17 JUDGE LIU: Yes. You may continue.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] So I saw how Muslim civilians from
19 the village of Doljani came. I know that that day, the 15th of April, the
20 first group of six Croats was taken to the museum. I saw how my parents
21 house was searched. I was there. And I was warned not to go away because
22 I should go to my flat, so that my flat could be searched and I did that.
23 I also know that that and the next day, all Croat flats in Jablanica were
24 searched. I also know that almost all vehicles, cars, belonging to Croats
25 were seized, were taken. The same thing befell our priest there, Alojzije
1 Bosnjak, and I'm telling you only about what I saw.
2 Q. And tell me, when did the incarceration of Croats began in the
3 camp in Jablanica? And where was this camp?
4 A. The camp in Jablanica was housed in the former museum of the
5 revolution, which is in the centre of the town. The first group, the six
6 of them, were put there on the 15th, and their number grew so that towards
7 the end of 1993, there were about 450 Croats in that camp. Those are
8 people from Jablanica, those are civilians from Doljani, whom the members
9 of the BH Army captured when they attacked Doljani on the 28th of July,
10 1993. They are civilian survivors from Grabovica, which is a municipality
11 adjacent to Mostar - 90 of them. Who after the horrific murder of 33
12 civilians in that village, that is the survivors were brought there. And
13 there also accidental passers-by who were Croats. Croats from the
14 municipality of Konjic, people who were evicted from their flats in
15 Jablanica and neighbouring municipalities. So that is the museum camp in
16 Jablanica. Another camp was in Ostrozac, again in the municipality of
17 Jablanica. And they were civilians from the Croat -- from Croat civilians
18 from the village of Radosine. Some 85 of them. And then the third camp
19 is Zukina Baza in Donja -- lower Jablanica. And it was established
20 somewhat later. And I was in that camp.
21 JUDGE LIU: I don't think there is any dispute about those camps.
22 During the war, both sides, I must say, established certain camps and
23 terrible things happened in those camps.
24 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
25 Q. Tell me, were there any women and children in those camps
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
3 MR. PORIOUVAEV: We are on the same track, it seems to me, tu
4 quoque defence. We cannot get rid of it today. Now we are talking about
5 camps created in July, 1993. It could be explicable when we talk about
6 April 1993 but not July, 1993.
7 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Krsnik, it seems to me that we will get
8 nowhere if we are going along this line.
9 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Yes, Your Honours. I agree, and I'm
10 really afraid that we shall get nowhere. But if I'm not allowed to
11 challenge and refute the allegations in the indictment, then I certainly
12 will not get anywhere. Secondly, my defence is not tu quoque and this is
13 not the tu quoque defence. It is the refutation of the count in the
14 indictment that the Croats persecuted people in the town of Jablanica and
15 on the 16th of April, 1993, they started widespread persecution and ethnic
16 cleansing. I called witnesses to refute those counts in the indictment.
17 I do not go into specific crimes, nor am I trying to justify crime by
18 another crime. This witness here is telling us that up to 15th of April,
19 civilians were detained in camps, that is Croat civilians, that they were
20 persecuted and ethnically cleansed from those areas. This is an
21 eyewitness to these events.
22 JUDGE LIU: We have no doubt about that. We have no doubt at all
23 about that. And you have the right, full right, to attack the
24 indictment. But in another way. As I said before, during the wars,
25 terrible things were committed by both sides. We have no doubts about
1 that but the problem is that to put a very valid defence on your case. If
2 you said that the HVO did not commit any atrocities, you may say that.
3 But it is not right to blame the other parties that they had already
4 committed certain crimes.
5 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] No, no, no, no, no, Your Honours.
6 Then obviously we are talking at cross-purposes. Perhaps it is my fault
7 and perhaps I haven't explained it properly. No, that is not it. I'm not
8 trying to put the blame on somebody else and there seek the justification
9 for some other forms of conduct, no, no. I am merely establishing the
10 fact that what the indictment says, two counts in the indictment that I'm
11 attacking, with witnesses who are here, I wish to refute those two counts,
12 and those are Jablanica and widespread persecution, that is cleansing,
13 started by the HVO. That is why I called this witness. And I'm simply
14 asking him what happened in Jablanica. Did the HVO really do that? And
15 the witness is answering and as soon as he starts to answer he's not
16 allowed to continue because tu quoque then is brought up. It has nothing
17 to do with tu quoque.
18 JUDGE LIU: Well, it is not important for the issue that who
19 started the ethnic cleansing. The problem is that, whether HVO committed
20 the ethnic cleansing in that area. That's the issue.
21 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation]
22 Q. You heard the question. Tell us, let's do it that way. Let's put
23 it that way.
24 A. That is nonsense. The HVO did not commit ethnic cleansing. Your
25 Honours, don't forget, don't disregard the fact about the demographic and
1 ethnic facts in the territory of the municipality of Jablanica that I told
2 you about in 1992 and 1993. That is in the territory of the municipality
3 of Jablanica, at that critical point in time, there were about 30.000
4 Muslims, of whom a large number are able-bodied men. The HVO is a
5 negligible military force when compared with the BH Army forces. That is
6 all that I can say.
7 Q. Namely, can you explain what really happened in Jablanica, in the
8 municipality of Jablanica?
9 A. Since the ratio of those armed forces, as I have already said, in
10 the territory of Jablanica, or more exactly in the village of Doljani,
11 were members of the BH Army start an attack on the HVO in the area of
12 Doljani. And then later on, it spreads also to the area of Sovici.
13 Q. Well, let me ask a specific question and then we'll move on to
14 specific documents to round off this subject. It is also alleged that the
15 HVO attacked Sovici and Doljani so as to engage in persecution. What do
16 you personally know about those events? I mean the 15th, 16th, 17th of
18 A. I know that the members of the BH Army attacked the HVO on the
19 15th of April in the area of Doljani, and on the 17th of April, since
20 before that the HVO, because of the relief and because of the positions,
21 it was always encircled by the BH Army, so the BH Army attacked the HVO in
22 the area of Sovici on the 17th of April.
23 Q. Do you have any personal knowledge how many members of the HVO
24 there were in Doljani and Jablanica on the 17th of April? And where do
25 you have that knowledge from?
1 A. I was not a soldier, because I was not able-bodied, but my brother
2 was, for a while, the commander of an HVO battalion. It is through him --
3 Q. Where was he the commander of that battalion?
4 A. He was in -- a commander in Doljani in 1992. And this date that
5 you're asking me about, at that time, not a single member of the HVO was
6 in the town of Jablanica, and even long before that date that you are
7 asking me about, there were no HVO members in Jablanica.
8 Q. How many soldiers were there in Jablanica and did they provide
9 shifts for Sovici and Doljani and how far are those two places, Sovici and
10 Doljani, how far are those places from Jablanica?
11 A. You are not clear whose soldiers.
12 Q. Soldiers from the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
13 A. In the territory of Sovici Doljani, that is Sovici, there was the
14 Independent Battalion, over 250 strong, members of the 44 Mountain Brigade
15 from Jablanica provided shifts for them or rather they provided them with
16 the overall logistics, that is they went from Jablanica to the areas of
17 Doljani and Sovici.
18 Q. What do you personally know about the civilian population in
19 Sovici, of Muslim origin? Do you know their lot? Do you know anything
20 about them?
21 A. Yes. After the conflict in Sovici, Muslim civilians were
22 evacuated from the area.
23 Q. And where did they go? Was there some exchange with Croat
24 civilians? Where did you go? Do you know anything about that? Tell us.
25 A. Yes. They came to Jablanica in early June, 1993, after an
1 exchange for Croat civilians from the village of Radosine. That village
2 was attacked by the BH Army members and members of the HVO went to the
3 camp at Celibici and the civilians from Radosine were at Ostrozac and then
4 they were exchanged for the civilians from Sovici.
5 Q. Do you know where did the Croats go and where did the Muslim
6 civilians from Sovici go?
7 A. Croats went to Celibici, which is a village in the Konjic
8 municipality. And then through the northern area towards Nevesinje and
9 eventually to Mostar. And Muslim civilians come to Jablanica and force
10 their way into Croat flats and apartments and houses in the town.
11 Q. And the Croats from those houses and flats?
12 A. Croat civilians from the town, from those houses and flats, well,
13 some of them find accommodation with their friends and some end up in the
14 museum camp in Jablanica.
15 Q. And my final question on that subject, and then we shall move on
16 to documents, how long did you spend in a camp, where and why?
17 A. I spent six months in a camp. First at the Zukina Baza in Donja
19 Q. Who is"Zuka"?
20 A. Zulfikar Halispago,"Zuka", commander of the special purposes units
21 attached to the staff of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina so a special unit
22 in Jablanica and that is where we were brought. After two months, we were
23 taken to the parish church in Dreznica which is the municipality of
24 Mostar, and after 29 days we were --
25 Q. Wait. The camp was in a church?
1 A. In the church, in the church. 29 days later we went back to the
2 base of Zuka's troops, and finally on the 4th of November, that is on the
3 4th of November, 1993, we were taken to the museum camp in Jablanica and I
4 was there until the truce on the 31st of March -- no, sorry, 1st of March,
6 Q. Were you aware at the time that the HVO also ran some camps?
7 A. Yes, I was. In mid-September, 1993, in the -- in the Zuka's base,
8 in the camp there, some Muslim detainees came who had been to Dretelj in
9 Capljina. They came there to guard us. They were our guards. And they
10 also ill-treated us, harassed us by the way.
11 Q. I do not want to ask you about anything you went through in those
12 camps. I want to spare you and I want to save some time. So let us move
13 on to documents. And my first question is: Did you, and when, actively
14 cooperate with the investigators of the Tribunal?
15 A. Yes, I did. I cooperated with The Hague investigators between
16 April, 1995 and intensively until the end of 1996. And then, now and
17 then, for a part of 1997.
18 Q. How many documents or videotapes did you hand over to The Hague
19 investigators in 1995? You personally, I mean. And who was it that you
20 gave them to?
21 A. It was like this. In April 1995, we handed over a small number of
22 documents, about 250.
23 JUDGE LIU: Yes?
24 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I think that the Defence counsel should explain
25 what is the relevance, of a different case to this case, and participation
1 of this witness in some different investigation.
2 JUDGE LIU: Yes, lay some foundations for us, Mr. Krsnik.
3 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] To begin with, I don't know what
4 investigation the Prosecutor is referring to, because had we allowed the
5 witness to tell us to the end, it wasn't only one specific investigation,
6 and it is precisely what I said the other day, Your Honours, but I will
7 not testify. The witness will testify. He turned over several thousand
8 documents which The Hague Tribunal has. You will hear the name of the man
9 that the witness gave these documents to. Documents and videotapes. And
10 which are exculpatory for this part of the indictment we are talking
11 about, my client. Why don't you hear a little bit about how the
12 investigation was conducted between 1995 and 2002. The gentleman was with
13 them on the ground actively every day. And you can hear many interesting
15 JUDGE CLARK: Mr. Krsnik, you're being too general. Can you ask
16 specific questions? Did he cooperate with The Hague left in the air? [as
17 interpreted] Did you give any documents left in the air? You have to
18 direct the questions. Ask specific questions.
19 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour. This was my
20 intention but the Prosecutor interrupted my first question.
21 Q. Who was it who you cooperated with among the investigators of the
22 Hague Tribunal?
23 A. In April, 1995, Mr. Tom Kampanos [phoen], a representative of the
24 office of the Hague Tribunal in Zagreb, arrived in Mostar and announced
25 the arrival of a team of investigators from The Hague Tribunal, whose
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 objective was to investigate war crimes against civilians and prisoners of
2 war in the Operation Neretva, 1993. That was the operation conducted by
3 the Army of BH in the territory of the municipalities of Prozor, Konjic
4 and Mostar. At that time, he was handed over about 250 documents which
5 indicate that a crime was committed against civilians in Konjic
6 municipality, in Orliste village. In that same year, on the 31st of
7 August, I personally, in the offers of the Hague Tribunal in Zagreb,
8 handed over over 3.700 written documents and some videotapes about the
9 crimes committed in the area that I have just mentioned. The
10 investigation during 1995 and 1996, that is to say the team of
11 investigators, was led by Mr. Jis Avivad [phoen]. At the end of the
12 investigation, he thanked me for good cooperation, and he announced that
13 charges would be raised against 13 persons, Muslims, members of the BH
14 Army. Those were persons ranking from very low positions, such as a guard
15 in a detention camp, to the highest posts of generals, commanders, high --
16 top officers of the BH Army. The -- he announced that charges would be
17 raised in 1977, as soon as the elections were over and the elections that
18 I'm referring to were the ones scheduled --
19 Q. 1997?
20 A. 1997 was the year, so immediately after the elections in Bosnia
21 and Herzegovina. However, at the beginning of 1997, a new investigation
22 team of the Hague Tribunal came, led by Mr. Nikolai Mihajov [phoen] and
23 they tried to -- they tried to put in a different light everything that
24 the previous team had done before, put in a very relative light. And we
25 were suggested that the people in this new team were not well-meaning,
1 that their goal was to see this investigation come to nothing, as a matter
2 of fact. Unfortunately, it seems to me personally that this was really
3 true, because after seven years, that lapsed from the end of this
4 investigation, I have not heard of any indictment, although in this area
5 that was the subject of this investigation, several hundred civilians were
6 killed, 25.000 civilians were expelled, 25 camps were organised, where
7 several -- that several dozens of Croatian inmates were either killed or
8 perished, and they were all victims of the inhumane and cruel treatment in
9 these camps. Thank you.
10 Q. Has anybody asked you to testify personally before this Tribunal,
11 before me?
12 A. No.
13 Q. I still have five minutes left for the documents. So I would
14 kindly ask Madam Registrar to help me. I would like to put all the
15 documents in front of the witness that is D1333, D1334, D1335, D1336, 337,
16 338, 339, 340, 341.
17 My first question, starting with the document 333, the first
18 question is: Have you given me all these documents?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Have you given the same documents in 1995 to the Prosecutor of the
21 Hague Tribunal?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. The first document, 333, just one sentence: What is this
24 document? What does it represent? It speaks very much for itself. We
25 don't have to read it.
1 JUDGE CLARK: What we really want to know is where it came from.
2 MR. KRSNIK: Sorry.
3 Q. [Interpretation] You heard the question. Can we have the answer?
4 A. Your Honour, this document comes from the Commission for the
5 Establishment of War Crimes, and some documents I -- about the war events,
9 Q. So can you give -- can you tell the Honourable Judge Clark the
10 provenance of these documents? How you came by them and where from?
11 A. Since I was an active actor of this commission, of this centre, I
12 had the opportunity to see all these documents.
13 Q. And who gave them to you?
14 A. The documents came from the following sources. From the military
15 prosecutor, from the military court, from certain witnesses who --
16 potential witnesses, who came for interviews with the investigators of the
17 Hague Tribunal.
18 Q. In one sentence, what is this Exhibit 333?
19 A. This document, as a matter of fact, is the document which paves
20 the way politically, for the implementation of the Operation Neretva 1993.
21 Q. Let's move on to document 334.
22 A. 334 is a certificate of the International Red Cross.
23 Q. Don't say anything mentioning your name.
24 A. This is my personal certificate certifying to the fact that I was
25 registered in the museum camp in Jablanica between these dates.
1 Q. Let's move on to 335.
2 A. These are two documents under one number. The first document on
3 the top of the page confirms that I was called to take part in forced
4 labour, although I was at the time of ill health, and I have the decision
5 to that effect from the medical board. I still had to --
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor?
7 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like the Defence counsel to explain the
8 relevance of these documents, of this particular document, to our case at
9 hand now.
10 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor, if you object to the admission
11 of those documents, you may file your motions in seven days after the
12 Defence counsel tenders those documents into evidence. Then the Court
13 will make the proper decisions.
14 Yes. You may go on, Mr. Krsnik.
15 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
16 Q. A few sentences about this document.
17 A. So this document illustrates the fate of the Croats who found
18 themselves in Jablanica in 1993. Although I was not an able-bodied
19 person, I still had to work hard, but I was not an exception. Others had
20 to do that as well.
21 Q. 336, we have already discussed. Let's move on to the -- no, let's
22 skip D1334 because we have already discussed that document with some
23 previous witnesses. We have now arrived at document 337.
24 A. 337 confirms that Mr. Cibo, besides being an illegal president of
25 the War Presidency, also, by way of this document, incorporated himself
1 politically in Mostar, because it says here that he -- there will be more
2 use for him in Mostar.
3 Q. Who signed this document?
4 A. That's Mr. Omer Behmen, one of the top figures of the SDA.
5 Q. We move on to 338.
6 A. Document 338 indicates that there were preparations for the
7 military implementation of the Operation Neretva 1993, so the deployment
8 of troops, military technique and so on.
9 Q. But the date is?
10 A. 28th of January, 1993.
11 Q. Did the preparations start as early as that?
12 A. Yes, they did.
13 Q. Document 339.
14 A. The same person, Mr. Cibo, who incorporated himself politically,
15 now he is being deployed as a military person in the zone of
16 responsibility of the 4th Corps in the Konjic-Mostar area, in order to be
17 able to carry out the expected tasks.
18 Q. So Konjic, Prozor, Jablanica, this is the zone of responsibility
19 of the 4th Corps?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. The seat of the 4th Corps, where was it?
22 A. The seat of the 4th Corps was in Mostar.
23 Q. Who was the commander?
24 A. The commander was Arif Pasalic, General Arif Pasalic.
25 Q. Move on to 340.
1 A. Document 340 confirms that in the municipality -- in Zlatar in
2 Konjic municipality, a segment of the overall plan Neretva 1993 is being
3 realised. So the HVO positions are attacked.
4 Q. So this is the same Zlatar from the previous document?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. The last document, 341?
7 A. Document 341 confirms the attempt on the part of the
8 legally appointed president of the War Presidency in Konjic municipality
9 to dispute the illegal appointment of Dr. Cibo was the president of the
10 War Presidency so this was raised before the constitutional court of
11 Bosnia-Herzegovina to dispute this act. However, this court never took
12 this act into consideration because the then leadership, headed by
13 Izetbegovic, did not show any will to discuss this matter.
14 Q. Who filed the motion for the evaluation of constitutionality of
15 this document on the replacement of the previous president and the
16 appointment of the new president? Who is the one who filed that motion?
17 A. This was filed by Dr. Rusmir Hadzihuseinovic, the legally elected
18 president of the War Presidency of Konjic municipality, on behalf of the
20 Q. This document speaks for itself so I won't go any further,
21 witness. With the kindness of this Court, I have been able to go on even
22 longer than I had intended to. Thank you very much for coming to testify
23 here. Thank you for helping this Court. And with this, I would finish my
24 direct examination, Your Honours?
25 JUDGE LIU: Any direct examination, Mr. Seric?
1 MR. SERIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. I don't have
2 any questions for this witness.
3 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Cross-examination?
4 MR. PORIOUVAEV: I would like first of all to distribute the
6 JUDGE LIU: I have to remind you, Mr. Prosecutor, you also have 90
7 minutes to conducts the cross-examination.
8 MR. PORIOUVAEV: How much time do I have before the break? I'm
9 sorry, I'm a little bit confused now.
10 JUDGE LIU: Let's break at 5.30, okay?
11 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Okay. Your Honour, first of all I would ask you
12 to go into private session for some minutes.
13 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
14 [Private session]
12 Page 11801 – redacted – private session
12 Page 11802 – redacted – private session
12 Page 11803 – redacted – private session
12 Page 11804 – redacted – private session
25 [Open session]
1 JUDGE LIU: Witness, you may answer that question.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't put it that way.
3 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
4 Q. Then maybe you will explain what were the functions of the War
6 A. As the executive -- executive body of the local government under
7 wartime conditions, its primary task was to ensure, to organise life, to
8 provide for the organisation of life so as to meet the citizens' needs in
9 those conditions.
10 Q. Did you hear reports from the chief of military police, of
11 civilian police, on a daily basis?
12 A. When?
13 Q. I mean 1992 and 1992 when you were in that position. I mean April
14 and November, according to your testimony.
15 A. No, I wasn't there until November. I didn't say I was there until
17 Q. Okay. You told us that October.
18 A. That's right.
19 Q. Now I wait for a response to my question. Did you receive daily
20 reports from military police commander and civilian police commander?
21 A. Yes, from the civilian police. No, from the military police.
22 Q. Did you receive any reports from HVO command and, let's say, MOS
23 command? Or Territorial Defence, as you called it before?
24 A. We heard -- we received reports from the HVO command, but I know
25 of, no, TO.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. Okay. I will call it in a different way. MOS, Muslim armed
3 A. In that case, yes.
4 MR. PORIOUVAEV: But now I see that it's time for the break.
5 JUDGE LIU: Yes. We'll resume at 6.00 sharp.
6 --- Recess taken at 5.31 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.01 p.m.
8 JUDGE LIU: Yes, could we have the witness, please?
9 Yes, Mr. Par?
10 MR. PAR: [Interpretation] Your Honours, before the witness comes
11 back, I'd like to state the position of Mr. Martinovic's Defence in
12 relation to documents and sources of documents, that is the point that was
13 raised by Mr. Krsnik. Mr. Vinko Martinovic's Defence joins -- Mr. Vinko
14 Martinovic's Defence joins the objections regarding the authenticity of
15 these documents. We believe that one cannot say that these documents come
16 from the BH government, because that means that the Prosecutor is
17 authenticating those documents. In other words, it is not that we have a
18 witness here who would be telling us now that these documents are in the
19 hands of the BH government and so on and so forth. The very concept, the
20 source, is the BH government, it simply does not mean anything to us. If
21 we could hear this is in the government's archive, it is perhaps in some
22 other national archives, that would be another matter. When the
23 Prosecutor, during the presentation of his case, when he produced
24 documents, he brought -- he called witnesses, fact witnesses, and it was
25 never said the sources the government of Croatia, the government of the
1 Republic of Croatia. The Prosecutor brought their investigators and then
2 they said, "Well, I spoke to the government of the Republic of Croatia. I
3 went to the archive and obtained -- and found there this and that. So this
4 is the gist of our objection. We think that the documents which were
5 produced here today and which are -- which allegedly come from the BH
6 government, that these have not been authenticated and we think that in
7 the future the Prosecutor should do it in some other manner. That is our
8 position. Thank you.
9 JUDGE LIU: Thank you very much. Your position will be noted by
10 this Trial Chamber. I believe that the Prosecution, later on, will lay
11 more sophisticated foundations for those documents.
12 Yes. Could we have the witness, please?
13 Yes, Mr. Prosecutor. You may proceed.
14 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Thank you.
15 Q. Witness, could you tell me if the municipal assembly functioned
16 after the War Presidency had been set up? What I mean, if it had its
17 regular sessions, made decisions?
18 A. It did not hold its sessions regularly but it did meet from time
19 to time, and took certain decisions.
20 Q. What kind of decisions, as far as you remember, did the municipal
21 assembly adopt in that period of time?
22 A. These are normally the decisions which the War Presidency had
23 taken meanwhile, but by definition, they fall within the competence of the
24 assembly, and therefore the War Presidencies offered them to the assembly
25 for verification and confirmation. That is things which are normally
1 within the terms of reference of the assembly under normal circumstances,
2 so that the War Presidency would take its decision and then submit it to
3 the assembly to have it confirmed.
4 Q. Is it correct that in April 1992, Zijad Salihamidzic was appointed
5 as a commander of Muslim armed forces in Jablanica?
6 JUDGE LIU: Yes, Mr. Krsnik?
7 MR. KRSNIK: [Interpretation] Could I -- could the name be
8 repeated? Because the interpreters did not get it and could not repeat
9 it and we did not understand it either.
10 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes. Zijad Salihamidzic better I spell it.
11 Salihamidzic, with diacritics.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat the
13 question? I didn't quite get it.
14 MR. PORIOUVAEV:
15 Q. Is it correct that somewhere in April, 1992, this person, whom I
16 just named, Zijad Salihamidzic was appointed as overall commander of
17 Muslim armed forces in Jablanica?
18 A. That is not correct, and his name is Zijad Salihamidzic. He was
19 not appointed to the position you referred to.
20 Q. What position did he occupy?
21 A. As far as I know, in Jablanica, he did not discharge any office at
22 that time.
23 Q. Do you know another person whose name is Safet Idrizovic?
24 A. I do.
25 Q. What position did he occupy?
1 A. When?
2 Q. I'm only asking you about the period when you were in power at
3 this point.
4 A. I know him but I do not know what he did at the time.
5 Q. Okay. You don't know, you don't know. Did you know a person
6 whose name is Aloje Rados?
7 A. I do.
8 Q. Was he a very important person within HVO?
9 A. I do not think he was an important person.
10 Q. What was his position within HVO?
11 A. I wasn't in the HVO. I know that he was. But what position he
12 held, that I do not know.
13 Q. Is it correct that he fulfilled some administrative functions?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Witness, you claimed that there was no discrimination of the
16 Muslim population by the HVO within Jablanica municipality, is it
18 A. It is.
1 JUDGE LIU: Well, Mr. Prosecutor?
2 MR. PORIOUVAEV: Yes?
5 MR. PORIOUVAEV: We should be in the private session, I would
7 JUDGE LIU: Yes, we will go to the private session, please.
8 [Private session]
12 Pages – 11813-11828 – redacted – private session
1 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.57 p.m.,
2 to be reconvened on Wednesday,
3 the 29th day of May, 2002 at 2.15 p.m.