Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 14475

1 Wednesday, 21 February 2007

2 [Open session]

3 [The accused entered court]

4 --- Upon commencing at 2.13 p.m.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, call the case,

6 please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. President.

8 Case IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I'd

10 like to welcome all the people in the courtroom and without further ado

11 I'm going to give the floor to the registrar for the IC numbers.

12 THE REGISTRAR: Parties have submitted lists of documents to be

13 tendered through Nermin Malovic. The list submitted by the OTP shall be

14 given Exhibit number IC 435; the list submitted by 1D shall be given

15 Exhibit number 436; the list submitted by 2D IC 437 shall be given

16 Exhibit number; and the list submitted by 3D shall be given Exhibit number

17 IC 438.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's have the blinds lowered

19 and the witness introduced into the courtroom.

20 [Closed session]

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19 [Open session]

20 [The witness enters court]

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Witness. Would

22 you please stand up. Could you tell me your name and surname. Do you

23 hear what I'm saying?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear it. It's just that

25 my headphones are not ...

Page 14547

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, tell me your name, surname

2 and date of birth.

3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Mustafa Hadrovic. I was

4 born on the 15th of August, 1945 in Mostar.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current

6 occupation?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I used to be a car mechanic, and

8 lately I've been working in car inspection, technical car inspection, and

9 I'm now retired.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you testified before a

11 national or international court before on events in your country or is it

12 the first time?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a witness in my country about

14 the abused that I suffered.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before which court?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The District Court in Mostar.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Would you please

18 read the solemn declaration.

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

20 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


22 [Witness answered through interpreter].

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You can sit down

24 now.

25 Just a few brief explanations. You will be questioned by the

Page 14548

1 Prosecution first. The Trial Chamber decided to give the Prosecution two

2 hours for the examination-in-chief, not a minute longer. Two hours.

3 After that stage, the Defence will also have two hours to question you in

4 the course of cross-examination. The Judges you see before you can

5 intervene at any time and ask you questions. Your testimony will be over

6 tomorrow at any rate.

7 If you have whatever problem or feel whatever discomfort during

8 this hearing, do not hesitate to let us know. If you do not understand a

9 question, please ask the person who is asking the question to repeat it

10 and make it clearer. Do you understand?

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I am going to now give the floor

13 to the Prosecution for the commencement of their examination-in-chief,

14 which is beginning now at 1750 hours.

15 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you very much, Your Honour. First of all,

16 good afternoon, Your Honours, and everybody present in this courtroom.

17 Examination by Mr. Poryvaev:

18 Q. Good afternoon, yes, Witness, Mr. Hadrovic. I've got some

19 questions to you, and let's start with very short part of my

20 examination-in-chief. That's the event when you were mobilised into the

21 Mostar CSB or security services centre. Is it really that you were

22 mobilised to that centre?

23 A. Yes, that is true. I was mobilised on the 19th of September,

24 1991, at the centre of public security in Mostar.

25 Q. Could you explain the Judges just very briefly what does this

Page 14549

1 centre mean? What kind of agency was it? Was it a military agency or a

2 civilian agency?

3 A. It was a civilian service, a civilian agency, because in the

4 system as it was then I had served in the army, and then I joined the

5 reserve force of the police. I signed up on the 19th of September, 1991.

6 It was the civilian sector.

7 Q. Witness --

8 A. Just as the active-duty policemen who worked at the time.

9 Q. -- was it an overall body for the whole Bosnia and Herzegovina? I

10 mean, newly created Bosnia-Herzegovina at that time. I mean, 1991.

11 A. Yes. It was an overall body for the whole of Bosnia and

12 Herzegovina.

13 Q. Did you have your -- the highest command in Sarajevo?

14 A. Certainly, but all organisations, each in their own town, had

15 their own police stations. Of course Sarajevo was the capital, and it was

16 the top level from which everything went down along the chain of

17 hierarchy.

18 Q. Did you use the coat of arms of Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991?

19 A. Yes. Yes.

20 Q. What kind of uniform were you using, wearing, at that time?

21 A. In those first days we wore the same uniforms as active-duty

22 policemen. It was still the time of Tito's Yugoslavia. But later we got

23 new uniforms of a different colour.

24 Q. Did it have any insignia? I mean the uniform you had.

25 A. The first day when we put on that uniform there was just an

Page 14550

1 inscription, "Policija," "police," and we wore that until the new year.

2 After the new year we started receiving those new uniforms.

3 Q. Was it a BiH uniform, Bosnia and Herzegovina uniform with the

4 relevant insignia?

5 A. Yes. Yes. We had insignia of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and inside

6 it was written "Police," "Policija."

7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for the Prosecutor, please.

8 MR. PORYVAEV: I'm sorry.

9 Q. And who was your highest superior in Mostar?

10 A. Those first days in Mostar when I joined the police force, the

11 chief of police was Viktor Stojkic, and Safet Memic was his deputy.

12 Q. Where did you have your headquarters in Mostar?

13 A. The command was in Mostar where you can see the police station

14 standing to date, close to the Vranica building. I am not sure about the

15 names any more because the street names have changed, and I really can't

16 find my way around them any more, but the building is still standing

17 there.

18 Q. But at that time, what was the name of the street? Do you

19 remember?

20 A. It's close to Stjepana Radica Street. Then you go towards

21 Splitska street. You could access it from both sides.

22 Q. Thank you. No need. Witness, due to the restrictions of -- on

23 time, I will skip the period of war on Yugoslavia, and the only question I

24 will ask you, did you keep to be a mixed body at the end of the war

25 against Yugoslavia in 1992?

Page 14551

1 MR. KARNAVAS: Which Yugoslavia is the gentleman referring to,

2 keeping in mind the time, the period of time of the questioning.

3 MR. PORYVAEV: I'm talking about 1991, 1992. Just two -- 1992,

4 more or less that period of time, because we started in 1991. It's quite

5 clear what period of time I mean.

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I understand this question, and I

7 can give you the following answer: When the war began, we were all

8 together, Bosniaks, Croats, and Serbs. Up to a point when a water tank

9 exploded in Mostar near the North Camp. From that time on, all Serb

10 policemen with some very few individual exceptions withdrew and were no

11 longer in the station with us. According to our assignments, the main

12 police station was near Vranica, and mine was at the intersection towards

13 Semovac bridge. Croats and Muslims were there together, and my commander

14 was Camil Basic.

15 So until that water tank exploded, we were together, and then we

16 split and only Muslims and Croats remained.


18 Q. Witness, after the war, beginning as of summer 1992, what were

19 your daily duties as a police officer in Mostar? Did you have any

20 specific area of responsibility?

21 A. No, no particular duties. But since I knew the town well and I

22 was born there in Donja Mahala --

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Tomic.

24 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] To avoid further confusion

25 in the cross-examination, on the same line raised by Mr. Karnavas, we are

Page 14552

1 talking now about the war that began in 1992, and then it ended. Which

2 war are we talking about? Where it ended? Did it end in the area -- in

3 the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina? I think there will be complete

4 confusion. I think our learned friend meant to say the war against Serbs

5 in Mostar --

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You really have to be more

7 specific. The Judges did understand, but maybe Defence counsel did not.

8 So make it more specific.

9 MR. PORYVAEV: Okay. I'll be very specific. I mean the war

10 activities in the Mostar area.

11 Q. In the Mostar area where you were working, in the adjacent area,

12 just the period of 1992. That was the essence of my question. I'm not

13 going further for reasons already well-known here.

14 A. I understand the question perfectly, and I gave a perfectly good

15 answer. Until that water tank exploded we were all together. And when

16 the water tank exploded, Bosniaks and Croats remained together in the same

17 stations, whereas the Serbs withdrew to the other side of the Neretva

18 River, started setting up their own check-points, and real clashes,

19 skirmishes began causing deaths and injuries. All that went on until they

20 withdrew in June when Muslims and Croats crossed the Neretva River. By

21 that time Serbs had already withdrawn towards Podvelezje and started

22 targeting Mostar from that location.

23 Q. Witness --

24 A. I can explain all that because I personally lived through it.

25 Q. I don't think it's necessary now, but if there are any further

Page 14553

1 questions during the cross-examination or examination by the Judges,

2 perhaps they will ask you.

3 My question was: Did you have any particular assignments? What

4 were your daily duties from the period of time when we are talking now,

5 June 1992, and further?

6 A. We all got some assignments. One of the assignments was to watch

7 over bridges, to take care that they are not destroyed or blown up. Since

8 I knew Donja Mahala well because I was born there, we saw Hasan Brkic

9 bridge, the Lucki bridge, and we guarded all of them, but what happened

10 later was not prevented, and I will explain that later.

11 I had no particular, no special assignments; the same kind of work

12 as all the other policemen. Yes, occasionally I did get some assignments,

13 but I can tell you about that later.

14 Q. And what -- what was happening in your police body shortly after

15 the war, 1992? I mean now July and further, autumn 1993 -- 1992. Did you

16 keep to be a united force again as before the war with the Yugoslavia and

17 shortly after the war?

18 A. After the crossing of the Neretva River in July conflicts already

19 started within the police force. It was over the display of state emblems

20 on the building of the MUP. When those emblems were put up, rallies

21 occurred and an armed conflict was barely avoided that day.

22 The next day the symbol of Bosnia-Herzegovina was removed and

23 replaced by the symbol of the HVO. Individual policemen were then

24 disarmed, including the chief of the shift, who was Camil Basic at the

25 time, and I was there that morning to report before going to Lucki bridge.

Page 14554

1 I saw that something was wrong, and I headed towards Mostar Hotel. There

2 I found my superiors, Safet Memic, Ramo Maslesa, and all the others

3 including Sehic and Mrs. Nadja Kalesic and others.

4 Q. Yes. And just explain to the Judges. You mentioned the location

5 Mostar Hotel. What did you have at the Mostar Hotel at that time?

6 A. Since we had no place there in our location, we moved to the

7 Mostar Hotel which was by that time already damaged by shells. We all sat

8 there together with our superiors, and that's where we received our

9 orders. Those policemen who came with the chief and the others were

10 there, and then I joined them too. It was the police station for Bosniaks

11 at the time.

12 Q. But did you continue wearing your own uniform, I mean with the

13 Bosnia and Herzegovina insignia? What kind of uniform were wearing the

14 Croats? Members of the police, I mean.

15 A. We, too, wore whatever we could lay our hands on, but before the

16 conflict I received -- we received uniforms from the Croatian Defence

17 Council, and we kept our insignia of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was the

18 only legal and recognised state, after all. However, at that time our

19 partners did not wear the same insignia. They wore HVO insignia.

20 Q. And when did this mixed police cease to exist? In your

21 understanding and observations.

22 A. It ceased to operate already in September, October. The relations

23 were not good any more, not at all.

24 Q. Which year do you mean?

25 A. 1992 and 1993, because after the crossing of the Neretva, we

Page 14555

1 already saw some complications and disagreements with Croatia and members

2 of the HVO as policemen. And it was the same thing with the army.

3 Internal conflicts began within the forces, and one side started disarming

4 the other side.

5 Q. My question is: Did you have a separate command at that time

6 already? When did it appear first, this separate command? For one, let's

7 say police faction, and for the other one.

8 A. They all had their own commands by that time. The HVO had their

9 own command, and the BH insignia was worn by our force, and we received

10 our assignments and orders from our superiors.

11 Q. And who became your superior?

12 A. Safet Memic became may superior.

13 Q. And let's -- okay, let's now move to April 1993. How did it come

14 about that you lost Mostar Hotel as one of your headquarters?

15 A. Since the Croatian Defence Council demanded that we move from

16 Mostar Hotel to avoid conflict, because we were very close, we moved to

17 the Partizan Cinema Hall. It's on Santiceva street. And that's where we

18 all moved. And there were members of the army there together with us,

19 members of the police.

20 Q. You also mentioned just some minutes ago that a matter of -- your

21 special concerns or concern were the bridges in Mostar. Were the bridges

22 left untouched by the Serbs when they were leaving the area?

23 A. When the Serbs left, crossed over to the other side, there were

24 exchanges of fire but not a single bridge was destroyed by the Serbs. I

25 can prove that. Because at that time I passed across all the bridges, and

Page 14556

1 I can mention some members of the HVO and who are still friends with me

2 today who told me openly, "Watch out for your bridges." I don't know how,

3 but I know that all the bridges that were guarded by the army and the

4 police remained untouched. And then the moving out from Luka began, and

5 all the bridges were destroyed. I personally watched over Lucki bridge

6 and Hasan Brkic bridge. We had our booths there. I never saw, and other

7 people can confirm this, I never observed anyone from the Serb army

8 approaching those bridges.

9 Q. Witness --

10 A. The 4th Battalion came to help us guard the bridges. However, I

11 cannot understand some things to this day. Whenever somebody came to

12 replace us in guarding the bridge, that bridge was destroyed a couple of

13 days later. At Lucki bridge, one of my colleagues was killed by a sniper

14 from the Serb side who was shooting from Sehovina and the thoroughfare

15 which is still called Marsal Tito Street today.

16 Q. Witness, my question what about the old bridge? Was it also under

17 protection of your forces?

18 A. Yes. It was the only one that wasn't destroyed then. Only the

19 aviators' bridge was destroyed at that time. The Serbs had withdrawn and

20 left some of their men there who got killed. I learned that from

21 commander Arif Pasalic and his associates who are still alive, unlike

22 Arif.

23 Q. Witness, just -- I'm asking you, did you have any particular

24 assignments with respect to the old bridge?

25 A. Yes, Your Honour, I did have an assignment.

Page 14557

1 Q. What kind of assignment?

2 A. When we finished with the Serbs, when Serbs retreated to

3 Nevesinje, I received orders to be at the old bridge to take care that

4 there should be no looting of property and that the businesses not be

5 harassed. And I can say that all the businesses from the tinsmith to the

6 tobacco factory were indeed all right. I can vouch for that.

7 Unfortunately, great looting began later that could not be stopped.

8 Passenger cars and trucks went back and forth taking property out across

9 the bridges as well, but I didn't let any of those vehicles cross over my

10 bridge. And I can guarantee with my word of honour that nobody was

11 allowed to take a needle across the bridge. We checked all the vehicles,

12 and we checked some vehicles, asking drivers where the property came from

13 that they were carrying, and they said, "From my home," and we knew

14 exactly they were not telling the truth.

15 Q. Witness, that's enough. My question is: And where was that

16 stolen property taken to while you were on duty on the old bridge, let's

17 say?

18 A. Let me tell you just one example. The people who were at the

19 North Camp, HVO was stationed there, and the army of Bosnia and

20 Herzegovina was to the south. The northern part had all the compressors

21 emptied overnight. Workshops looked like an atomic bomb hit them.

22 Everything disappeared. The only thing that couldn't be carried away, and

23 that's still there today, are heavy machines. Only they could not be

24 carried away.

25 We caught a lot of them, but it was all useless. Even if you

Page 14558

1 reported them, nobody had the time to pursue it. And I can guarantee

2 that the old bridge was the only one that I and my colleagues did not

3 allow anyone to take anything across. My colleague was Jure Markic,

4 and --

5 Q. [Microphone not activated] ... little bit, little bit. Who were

6 the people who were committing such kind of lootings?

7 A. Let me tell you straight away. Among those people were all the

8 criminals, first and foremost. Criminals do not abide by faith or

9 nationality.

10 I caught them from all groups, but I caught them most from the

11 HVO, and they said, "The Chetniks will move in again and they will take it

12 all away. Anyway, it's better that we take it." However, we members of

13 the army, we had had no where to store it, to keep it. We already had

14 very little room. If we had tried to guard some of the vehicles such as

15 brand new mini-vans and everything, we couldn't. All that went to Siroki

16 Brijeg for the HVO.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a brief question from the

18 Bench.

19 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] Witness, sometimes you say "I,"

20 sometimes you say "we," but who was in charge of securing that bridge?

21 What was the size of that force, police or military, because you said on

22 the other side there were members of the HVO. So what was that force

23 securing the bridge?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the outset we were 15 on the old

25 bridge, and we switched, took turns to secure the movement of troops from

Page 14559

1 one bank to the other. Everything went according to plan. There were

2 only members of one ethnic group at that point. Later, in order to

3 establish peace and harmony, from six to seven members of the HVO arrived,

4 and they were with us for a while but not for long. I don't know what the

5 purpose of that was, why they were there, but we watched over that bridge,

6 we members of the army and the police.


8 Q. And I want to clarify another question. While talking about the

9 bridges, you mentioned the period of time when most of the bridges were

10 blown up. Could you explain what particular period of time or range of

11 time did you mean in your testimony today?

12 A. Before we crossed the Neretva, and the Neretva was crossed in

13 June --

14 Q. Which year? What year? For the record.

15 A. 1992 we crossed the Neretva. At the time, or up until then, not a

16 single bridge had been destroyed while the Serbs were on the left bank.

17 After their withdrawal and while we controlled the bridges, we controlled

18 them together, afterwards the 4th Battalion arrived and the bridges began

19 to snap. And I was at the Lucki bridge when a good friend of mine was

20 killed, Sacir Sacovic, from a sniper.

21 Q. Witness --

22 A. He was shot by a sniper. But the bridges, I can never prove that

23 they destroyed the bridges, but --

24 Q. Witness, let's -- let's stop at the moment. Let's stop at the

25 moment now. You -- you mentioned the 4th Battalion. Which was -- 4th

Page 14560

1 Battalion did you mean? To what military faction did it belong?

2 A. It was the 4th Battalion of the Croatian Defence Council, and

3 after us they came to guard the bridges, and among them was a neighbour of

4 mine. He lives in Italy now. I'm sorry, but he said he would come.

5 Q. Witness --

6 A. We made a lot of mistakes. We made a great mistake in letting

7 anybody else guard the bridges except for the BH army and the police.

8 Q. Witness, let's pass to another set of questions now. Were you at

9 some point arrested in 1993?

10 A. Yes. I was arrested on the 11th of April. I was coming back from

11 the old bridge, because I was still down there. I reached the health

12 centre, and I was stopped there by a patrol. I saw that something was

13 wrong. On the one side there were BH army members, on the other side

14 members of the HVO.

15 I was stopped at that point by Dzidic.

16 Q. And who was Dzidic? Please explain to the Trial Chamber.

17 A. He was the commander of the Croatian Defence Council. We knew

18 each other. And he simply asked me, "Mujo, where are you off to, and what

19 weapons are you carrying?" I didn't have any.

20 THE INTERPRETER: I had an old jacket, I think the witness said.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He looked at me and he said, "Sit

22 down." And I set off home on a motorbike. I reached the Djacki Dom in

23 Stjepan Radic Street and the corner of Splitska Street and an HVO member

24 pushed me down, took away my automatic rifle, took my --

25 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] We have an error in the

Page 14561

1 transcript. On page 86 [Realtime transcript read in error "84"], line 12,

2 it says that Zeljko Dzidic said to the witness, "sit down." He didn't say

3 sit down. He said, "happy journey," according to the witness. Sretno.

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. He said Sretno or, "Happy

5 journey, you can go." He didn't say, "Sit down." And then I went home on

6 a motor.


8 Q. Just one question to clarify. You mentioned that -- a Mr. Dzidic.

9 Do you remember his full name and his particular position that he was

10 holding at that time?

11 A. To tell you quite honestly, Dzidic was in the position of the

12 military police, and I can say that I can't accuse him of anything. I

13 cooperated with him nicely. He didn't mistreat me or abuse me in any way,

14 and I can say that quite frankly. I gave my statement, so I can say that.

15 But on my way home, and that was a different period of time, from the

16 crossroads at Semovac to my road I was on the motorbike. Everybody knows

17 what that place is called, Trafikana, Djacki Dom, I was knocked down at

18 that corner and junction and taken to the faculty. At the faculty --

19 MR. PORYVAEV: Stop --

20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Excuse me. Excuse me, please. I think I must

21 correct the correction. Ms. Tomasegovic Tomic pointed out to a mistake on

22 page 84, line 12. You find that on page 48, line 17, and you were

23 referring, I think, to page 86 and not to page 84. So it's -- there's a

24 misunderstanding, and it gets difficult if this is -- goes on from mistake

25 to mistake. Excuse me.

Page 14562


2 Q. Just -- Witness, I would like to hear from you the date when you

3 were arrested. So far you have not mentioned it. Do you remember the

4 date when you were arrested?

5 A. I was arrested --

6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat when?

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] And I was taken to the faculty.

8 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat the date?

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's difficult for me to say what I

10 experienced and what terrible abuse and mistreatment I suffered.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What date was that, Witness?

12 What date?

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 11th of April.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What date were you arrested,

15 Witness?

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 11th of April. That's when they

17 took me to the faculty building, and I know the building by heart. I know

18 the precise room they took me to and where they tied me to, to the

19 radiator. A young man was sitting there, Alikafic, Mirzo's son. And

20 there was a picture of Ante Pavelic. I asked him for a sip of water and

21 Cipra who was an active-duty policeman, he can bear that out. He lives in

22 Mostar to this day and I met him, and it was very difficult for him when

23 he knew what happened to me. I was taken to Heliodrom from the faculty

24 building. Pero Marjanovic, Ante Buhovac, Tomic waited for me there.


Page 14563

1 Q. We have not clarified all the questions relevant to faculty

2 building. First of all, could you explain the Judges what faculty

3 building did you mean? Its full name.

4 A. The faculty -- the infamous faculty, if I can put it that way. It

5 used to be a JNA barracks. That's where they took me to. They beat me

6 there, beat me and beat me, and I still suffer from that. And then they

7 tied me to the radiator.

8 Q. Witness, could you --

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute, Mr. Poryvaev.

10 In the indictment the mistreatment at the it mechanical engineering

11 faculty started on the 9th of May. This witness is speaking on the 11th

12 of April. That is not in the indictment. So ask your questions focusing

13 on the indictment, exclusively on the indictment.

14 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I suggest that I'm asking questions

15 relevant to the indictment, relevant to paragraph 17 and 39, talking about

16 places where the people were detained and tortured.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but people were tortured at

18 precise dates.


20 Q. Witness, let's go further to Heliodrom. By whom were you taken to

21 Heliodrom? Was it on the same day, on the 11th of April, 1993?

22 A. I was taken by a member of the Croatian Defence Council. He was a

23 big man, and he limped on one leg. But I know that -- I know who took me

24 over there. Marjanovic took me over there. Ante Buhovac did, or Ante

25 Buhovac. The warden of the prison was Bozo. Then there was Daka Tomic

Page 14564

1 and the other policeman, Puce, Ivica Delic nicknamed Krca, and many

2 others.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]

4 [Interpretation] Witness, answer in a precise way. You have an

5 extraordinary memory, so focus. Focus on the questions you're being

6 asked, because you have the tendency to elaborate and drift off into other

7 areas and subjects.

8 Mr. Karnavas.

9 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you, Mr. President. I apologise for

10 interrupting my colleague here, but I believe, Mr. President, you had

11 issued a ruling and that is for the gentleman to stick to the events in

12 the indictment. That's how I took it. The gentleman did make his record,

13 but then he proceeded to back to the same area in which you cautioned him

14 to move. So was that a ruling? If not, I apologise for the interruption.

15 If it was indeed a ruling, then I suggest that my learned colleague

16 proceed and abide by the Court's rulings as we all must do in this

17 courtroom.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

19 MR. PORYVAEV: May I respond?

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You should tackle what is in the

21 indictment, and just that. So you have to rein your witness in, because

22 he has the tendency to speak of other topics. What we're interested in is

23 what happened to him with respect to what is contained in the indictment,

24 the charges in the indictment.

25 MR. PORYVAEV: Again, in our paragraph 17 and 39 of the

Page 14565

1 indictment, we're talking about various places of detention which existed

2 before the 9th of May, 1993. Exactly Heliodrom existed as from September

3 1992. That was the purpose of my question, just to prove that Heliodrom

4 existed and functioned in April 1993. That was the purpose of my

5 question. And the next question was who was running Heliodrom. That was

6 the purpose of my exercise. But if you consider it unnecessary, I might

7 skip it.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ask him the question then. Ask

9 him the question to see who was in charge and running Heliodrom.


11 Q. Did you know any of the people who took you to Heliodrom from the

12 mechanical faculty?

13 A. The young man who took me, I didn't know him. He was a large

14 guy --

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Poryvaev, you're not asking

16 the right questions. We want to know who was running Heliodrom and you

17 asked him who took him to Heliodrom.

18 Now, in April 1993, who, according to you, was in charge and

19 running Heliodrom?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The Croatian Defence Council.

21 Because we had had no access down there at all, because they started

22 incarcerating Bosniaks in Heliodrom already at that time.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, Heliodrom is

24 defined in paragraph 119. It's a problem of context. You say it's the

25 HVO, but who was the person in charge of Heliodrom, the director or

Page 14566

1 whatever you'd like to call him, but the person in charge, if you know?

2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I do know.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Who was it?

4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was Praljak Josip, and then there

5 was Ante Smiljanic. Then there was Bozo -- what's his name? Stanko

6 Bozic. He was the warden, because I had a number of contacts with him and

7 talks with him while I was at Heliodrom.


9 Q. Do you know to what military unit or organisation they belonged?

10 I mean the persons mentioned by -- by yourself just a minute ago.

11 A. They were members of the Croatian Defence Council, because

12 there wasn't a single Bosniak there. No Bosniak policemen at Heliodrom

13 at all.

14 Q. You mentioned Bosnian policemen. Did you see any other policemen

15 in Heliodrom?

16 A. No. Well, there was another army there, other units there, other

17 soldiers from -- well, the Gromovi, for example. Tuta's men, the Convicts

18 Battalion. Many units were at the Heliodrom; that was the sort of base.

19 But apart from these units there were no other units except the Croatian

20 Defence Council and members of the other units, the Convicts Battalion and

21 the other units of the Croatian Defence Council and the Croatian army. If

22 I need to prove that later on, they were all there.

23 Q. Witness, when you are saying about Gromovi unit as deployed at

24 Heliodrom complex, which unit do you mean? Was it a unit familiar to you?

25 A. Let me tell you. Those units -- well, there were many units down

Page 14567

1 there, but I didn't know about that. I didn't know them, and later on --

2 well, until I was in prison myself. But I did know the Convicts Battalion

3 and Tuta's men and many other people who were there then dressed.

4 Q. Gromovi, was it an HVO unit?

5 A. Well, let me tell you, they had the patches, the red insignia, red

6 patches. Whether it was the Croatian army or whether it was -- well,

7 later on I learnt that they were Croatian soldiers, these Gromovi. They

8 were terrible. They destroyed everything in their path. And I know all

9 the Convicts Battalions and the ones that took me and mistreated me and so

10 on.

11 Q. When were you released from Heliodrom?

12 A. On the 17th. I was released on the 17th. That was when I first

13 entered prison. And I reported to the station at the Partizan Cinema

14 Hall. The doctors examined me there. I had terrible scars on me, and I

15 still have them to this day. It was a very difficult thing. When

16 somebody hits you with his fist and I hit the radiator, then of course I

17 had injuries to my head and the doctors gave me certificates, but they

18 stayed in the Vranica building and I wasn't able to access any of that. I

19 did manage to get some documents, but I can prove this. I took them with

20 me.

21 Q. Did you notice any changes in Heliodrom after April 1993, when you

22 came back from Heliodrom?

23 A. Yes, I did. I did notice a lot of changes. There were big

24 changes because big units began to gather there. I couldn't say which

25 units I didn't see. I saw all sorts of units. I saw units of the

Page 14568

1 Croatian army, and I know the men who were there. Later on, if I need to

2 say this, these people were in prison with me later on too. Many units

3 and many heavy weapons and tanks and mortars and many other weapons.

4 Q. While talking about military units, weapons, equipment, artillery,

5 which army do you mean or armies do you mean?

6 A. I mean the armies of the Croatian Defence Council and the Croatian

7 army that took part there, too, and I can prove that. And the other

8 armies, other soldiers, well, there were many units. All the convict

9 whatsits, Tuta's men, the Gromovi, all the patches and insignia. I know

10 some of my friends went to work for the Croatian army and made bunkers. I

11 will tell you about that in due course, when I was arrested for the second

12 time and taken to the camp.

13 Q. Witness, my question was, okay, you saw a lot of weapons,

14 soldiers, units. Did ABiH undertake any measures at this same time to get

15 ready for some possible actions from the opposite side?

16 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I'm sorry to interrupt. I'm totally

17 lost as to the time frame that we're dealing with now, and I wonder if

18 counsel could clarify that perhaps.

19 MR. PORYVAEV: I asked the witness about the period after April

20 1993 when he was released from -- from Heliodrom, and he explained that

21 that period of time when he got freedom he saw.

22 MR. KARNAVAS: Your Honours, with all --

23 MR. PORYVAEV: Such things --

24 MR. KARNAVAS: With all due respect that wasn't quite clear. It

25 appeared, at least from my understanding of the transcript, that when he

Page 14569

1 went back, he was asked, did he see any changes. That means after he was

2 released and he went back. I assumed the gentleman was talking about May

3 when he went back there. But if we could just get a chronological, you

4 know, testimony, it would be nice. It would be easy for both of us.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Poryvaev, to avoid the

6 Defence getting up on their feet and Judges asking questions, because when

7 Judges ask a question it's because you fail to ask them, try and be very

8 specific in your questions. We need chronology so that everybody can find

9 their way. We know that he -- that we're dealing with the 17th of April,

10 so go on from there, because after the 17th of April we come to the 9th of

11 May. So be specific in your questions.


13 Q. Now, just I will ask you about May. Did you participate in any

14 high-level meetings in Mostar at the beginning of May 1993 devoted to the

15 situation in Mostar?

16 A. Your Honours, yes, I did attend. I did participate on the 8th in

17 what was previously the JNA centre, Dom JNA. That was Arif Pasalic was

18 there, Memic, and the others. They were sort of factors at the time.

19 When I left Heliodrom I had lost quite a lot of weight and didn't

20 do any work, but I can say here and now that had the BH army prepared

21 anything or wanted to organise anything --

22 Q. Witness --

23 A. -- they wouldn't have --

24 Q. -- I must stop you now, please.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Mr. Poryvaev.

Page 14570

1 Once the witness said that he participated in the meeting you should have

2 asked him the question of what was the object of the meeting, because if

3 you don't step in the witness goes on rambling and tells us more.

4 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, for the transcript I

5 wanted to intervene with -- in line 9 on page 95, the witness said in

6 enumerating those present that there was Arif Pasalic, Hujdur Memic, and

7 others. "Hujdur" has been left out. We know that. We have documents, so

8 Hujdur and Orucevica. And Orucevica was omitted too.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Poryvaev, ask the witness

10 the question about what the object of the meeting was.


12 Q. Yes, Witness. That was the question I wanted to ask you. What

13 were the items on the agenda, if any, specific questions, well-prepared

14 and well-organised meeting?

15 A. Let me tell you, Your Honours. There was no organisation. Quite

16 simply they asked themselves what was happening in Hum and the other

17 hills, the concentration of certain units there. I asked myself the same

18 question. I asked at that meeting. I said, "Gentlemen, you're probably

19 sleeping in your own homes. I sleep in the Djacki Dom." They said

20 there's no problem. I said, "Are we preparing any actions?" Nobody was

21 preparing anything. I can say that with absolute certainty. Had there

22 been any preparation for anything, then quite certainly I wouldn't have

23 been taken to prison and solitary confinement cells down there.

24 Q. Witness, I would like to clarify. The people who were present at

25 the meeting, because you had just intervention of one of the Defence

Page 14571

1 counsel on that, please could you clear up again who was present at that

2 meeting and was it held in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the

3 evening on the 9th -- 8th of May?

4 MR. KARNAVAS: He never stated the date.

5 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

6 MR. KARNAVAS: Thank you. He never stated the date. Let's get

7 a -- let's get a step-by-step process. When was the meeting? Why was he

8 there? In what capacity was he there? Now you've just given him the

9 date. If we can just get it one step at a time, Your Honours.

10 MR. PORYVAEV: It's in the transcript. The date is 8th of May,

11 and he explained in what capacity he was present.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Alaburic.

13 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, with your permission,

14 just something to do with the transcript. A very important sentence by

15 the witness was not recorded in the transcript, and it should have been in

16 lines 10, 11, 12, on page 96. The witness said that he told his

17 colleagues at the meeting that he sleeps near the Djacki Dom and then asks

18 them the question, "Can they sleep peacefully?" Now, this question, "Can

19 they sleep peacefully?", was not recorded that way, but their answer was

20 recorded that they can because nobody was preparing anything.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Proceed, Mr. Poryvaev.


23 Q. Witness, were you at home on the 9th of May, 1993?

24 A. Yes. Yes, I was at home.

25 Q. What did you observe from your home and where is your -- or was

Page 14572

1 your apartment located in Mostar?

2 A. My apartment is exactly at the crossroads of the avenue, Stjepan

3 Radic number 35. The building is -- it has a yard, and Slavko Njegus had

4 the opposite apartment. He was a Serb. He was taken away, taken off just

5 like I was taken.

6 Q. What did you observe? What was happening in the neighbourhood?

7 A. On the 9th of May, as I was very ill, on the 9th of May they woke

8 me up at 15 to 5.00. Strong explosions woke me up at quarter to 5.00, and

9 in my yard, in the courtyard, there were these infamous mortars, the MGs

10 or whatever, and the other weapons. And when I saw what was happening, I

11 almost died on the spot, and my neighbour came to help me. Srecko did.

12 And he said, "Stand firm. Keep -- don't be afraid.

13 Q. Witness -- Witness, my question. You said that, "They woke me

14 up." What or whom do you mean by "they"?

15 A. The strong explosions. I was woken by the strong explosions and

16 the attacks on Vranica building. They were terrible explosions, strong

17 detonations, and I thought the whole town was toppling, and you could see

18 that on the film, on the footage, on the photographs. You can could see

19 where the Vranica building was, where the BH army members were.

20 Q. From where were those shellings coming?

21 A. The shells were coming from -- well, as I live in Stjepan Radic

22 Street there was the Autoprevoz company, the transport company, or,

23 rather, the bus-stop. Actually, their buses. Their buses belonging to

24 their company parked there. And then there was the Djacki Dom and Velez

25 stadium, and I with my very own eyes looked out of the window, that's how

Page 14573

1 my building is positioned, and with my own eyes I could see the mortars,

2 all types of mortars, the MGs, and the weapons and the soldiers that were

3 there. All sorts of soldiers, all armies.

4 Q. Stop. My question -- one moment. From what side? What factions

5 were the shelling coming?

6 A. Shells were coming from the left side to the right side where

7 Vranica was.

8 Q. I mean military faction.

9 A. It's from Velez, the Velez stadium. The military might of the

10 Croatian Defence Council. They were attacking the Vranica building then.

11 And, Your Honours, I can also say that in those three days until Vranica

12 fell I experienced some very difficult moments because I was very ill and

13 I cannot forget what happened to the present day and I watched it all from

14 my building, from my apartment.

15 Q. Witness -- Witness. I will ask you this question. Don't make

16 comments unless you are asked.

17 You said that you saw various soldiers in the area of the Vranica

18 building. Could you clarify: What soldiers did you see? From what

19 military units or military, let's say, factions?

20 A. Yes, I can tell you that, Your Honours. They were units of the

21 Croatian Defence Council, the military police. Tuta's fighters. Stela's

22 fighters. I can't explain all this to you. Perhaps you won't even

23 understand me when I say, but the whole town knows this. It was a

24 terrible sight to behold. There was not a single unit that wasn't

25 represented there. There were lots of soldiers.

Page 14574

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Poryvaev, move on. We've

2 already seen a video of the Vranica building attack, so we have a lot of

3 the elements that we know about. So try and move ahead.

4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: But perhaps if you allow one question. Did you

5 identify soldiers that came from the Croat army? From the Republic of

6 Croatia.

7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can tell you straight away. There

8 was Splico, nicknamed Splico. He was in prison later with me, this man

9 Splico, and he took part in the attack on Vranica. And his eight friends.

10 And I can prove that, Your Honour, certainly I can.

11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.

12 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Mr. Poryvaev.


14 Q. Why are you talking about this man? Do you know that he belonged

15 to any particular unit?

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, Mr. Poryvaev.

17 It's five to 7.00. We're going to stop there because it has been brought

18 to my attention that the witness needs to take some medicine at 7.00. So

19 by the time he goes back to his hotel that will be that. We'll have to do

20 this tomorrow as well because he has to take medicine at a precise time.

21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to ask

22 you something. Since I have until 8.30 to take my tablets, I can continue

23 because I don't want to leave the building when I'm so hot and have to go

24 into the cooler air. I know my body well, and 14 days ago I had an

25 operation to -- so I can take the tablets by 8.30. That's the outside

Page 14575

1 limit.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you've told us that you

3 had an operation quite recently, it would be better to be prudent. And as

4 it's almost 7.00, we are going to adjourn. You will be back here at 2.15

5 for the sitting then.

6 Mr. Registrar, may we have the time calculations? I would like to

7 tell the Prosecution that there are a lot of documents. Perhaps you

8 should move on to present the documents, if you want to do so, and don't

9 leave it to the last minute.

10 You have used about 50 minutes it appears, so you have exactly one

11 hour and 10 minutes left.

12 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I will try to do my

13 examination-in-chief on time.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You have overnight

15 to arrange your examination, to be as effective as possible, and I invite

16 all of us to come back tomorrow at 2.15.

17 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.58 p.m.,

18 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 22nd day of

19 February, 2007, at 2.15 p.m.