1 Wednesday, 20 September 2006
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness entered court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
7 the case number, please.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Thank you, Mr. President. Case number IT-04-74-
9 T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic and others.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar. I'd
11 like to greet the Prosecution, the witness, the Defence teams, the accused.
12 I note that Mr. Pusic is still not amongst us. The registrar should find
13 out exactly what is wrong with him by contacting the relevant authorities.
14 Is he seriously ill?
15 Mr. Ibrisimovic, do you have any information about the state
16 your client is?
17 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, yesterday I was
18 told he had a temperature and a bad cold. I don't know what the situation
19 is today, though.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I hope he will recover very
21 rapidly so that he can attend the hearings. I believe Mr. Kovacic wanted
22 to take the floor with regard to an exhibit.
23 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, if this is an
24 appropriate time I'd like to deal with this. It's Exhibit 3D 00278, on the
25 29th of August, the Defence tendered this. It was the conclusion from the
1 Ministry of Defence of Croatia, 15th of June 1993 and they said that active
2 military service for Mr. Slobodan Praljak should be terminated. That was
3 with regard to Witness BJ. The Chamber then asked the Defence to provide
4 other rules referred to in the introduction to that conclusion, that
5 decision, from the ministry dated the 15th of June. 5712 is the page in
6 the transcript, 18 to 25, lines 18 to 25. As you have requested, we
7 carried out this additional work and 3D 00278 was marked for
8 identification. We then took those rules referred to in the introduction
9 to the decision, we had them translated, and they are now in the e-court
10 system under number 3D 00372. That's one of the laws. And 3D 00373.
11 That's another law. They are now in the e-court system and we therefore
12 suggest that these two new documents, 372 and 373 now be admitted into
13 evidence in relation to the first exhibit, 00278, and we can now have 3D
14 00278 definitively admitted into evidence. Thank you very much.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll examine
16 these three documents and we will hand down a decision.
17 We'll now continue with the hearing, protective measures must be
18 in place since we have the screen there. Mr. Mundis, you have the floor.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon, Your
20 Honours, counsel and to everyone in and around the courtroom. Mr.
21 President, while proofing this witness yesterday morning, he indicated a
22 preference for or the need for protective measures in the form of facial
23 distortion only, as will be clear in a few moments, this witness was the
24 victim of among other things sexual assault, the Prosecution alleges, and
25 the witness has indicated although he has no objection to his statement
1 being made public, nor to his identity being made public, so as to avoid
2 being recognised on the street in his community, he would prefer that
3 facial distortion be afforded as a protective measure.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We have understood
5 the reasons for this request. I'll confer with my colleagues. The Chamber
6 grants the request. Mr. Registrar, take the steps necessary for visual
7 distortion, please.
8 Sir, could you please stand up? Could you tell me your name,
9 and profession and your date of birth?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Ragib Mulahusic.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And your date of birth?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 2nd of January 1955.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Place of birth?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In the municipality of Zavidovici.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, have you already
16 testified before national or International Tribunal with regard to the
17 events that took place in your country? Or is this the first time?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. This is the first time.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read out the
20 text that the usher will show you?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you. I solemnly declare
22 that I will speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
23 WITNESS: RAGIB MULAHUSIC
24 [Witness answered through interpreter]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, please sit down.
1 Sir, I'd like to provide you with some information. This is a
2 new procedure we will be following. The Prosecution will be asking you
3 whether you gave a statement to the OTP. Then the Prosecution will show
4 you some documents to you and ask whether you can recognise them. Once
5 this has been done, the Defence who are to your left and who represent the
6 accused, will conduct the cross-examination and put questions to you that
7 concern your written statements. Three judges before you usually there are
8 four of us but one of the Judges is absent pursuant to 15 bis of the Rules
9 of Procedure, but the Judges sitting before you may put questions to you at
10 any point in time. When the Judges do so, it's because pursuant to 90(F)
11 of the rules, the Judges try to put useful questions to witnesses for the
12 sake of truth.
13 Sometimes the objection might have objections when Defence
14 questions you, the Chamber will see whether the questions can then be
15 authorised. As a rule, the Judges are in favour of an adversarial
16 principle followed when questions are put and it is only exceptionally that
17 we recognise certain objections. Our purpose is to determine what actually
18 happened so naturally we are in favour of everything that a witness can
19 tell us. That's what I wanted to inform you of.
20 And now without wasting any more time I will give the floor to
21 the Prosecution so that they can follow this new procedure.
22 Examination by Mr. Mundis:
23 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. For the benefit of the
24 public, the Prosecution is prepared to provide a brief oral summary of the
25 written testimony of this witness, if that would be helpful. This is
1 taken, Mr. President, and Your Honours, directly from the Rule 65 ter
3 On 1 August 1993, the witness, a Muslim male, was arrested in a
4 house in Prozor and taken to the secondary school in Prozor town. From
5 that school, he was taken to work for the Croatian Defence Council, the
6 HVO, as a butcher at one of the butcher shops in Prozor and he was also
7 taken out of the school to perform forced labour.
8 On one occasion, he was brought with 21 other prisoners to the
9 village of Jurici, where he was detained and from where they were taken to
10 dig trenches. After being detained in Jurici for a few days, HVO soldiers
11 told the witness and others to take off their clothing and the detainees
12 were forced to perform oral sex on each other.
13 After approximately 25 days in Jurici, the prisoners were taken
14 back to the secondary school in Prozor during which time, during the course
15 of the detention there, the witness and others were beaten by HVO Soldiers.
16 The witness was subsequently transferred to the Heliodrom and was released
17 from the Heliodrom on 18 April 1994.
18 Q. Good afternoon, sir.A. Good afternoon.Q. Sir, did you ever
19 provide a written statement to investigators of theOffice of the Prosecutor
20 of the ICTY?A. Yes.Q. Do you recall, sir, approximately when you gave
21 this statement?A. It says when in the statement, the 10th of January,
22 2001. The 10th was the date.Q. Sir, I suggest to you that it was
23 actually the 10th of April 2001.Would that be correct?
24 A. Yes, yes.
25 Q. And sir, at the time you provided this written statement, did you
1 answer the questions of the investigator truthfully?
2 A. I said I spoke the truth.
3 Q. And, sir, did you answer the questions freely, that is without
4 any coercion?
5 A. Freely.
6 Q. And at the conclusion of that interview, sir, was your statement
7 read back to you in the Bosnian language?
8 A. Well, yes, in the Bosnian language.
9 Q. And sir, did you then sign that statement in the English
11 A. Yes -- no.
12 Q. Let me ask you, sir, which version of your statement do you
13 remember signing, the English version or the Bosnian version?
14 A. Well, I think it was the Bosnian version.
15 MR. MUNDIS: Okay. With the assistance of the usher, Mr.
16 President, I have English and Bosnian language copies of the statement and
17 I would ask that these be provided to the witness. Perhaps they can be
18 placed on the ELMO.
19 Q. Mr. Mulahusic, you have before you now both the English and
20 Bosnian versions of your statement. Can you tell us which version or
21 versions of that statement you actually signed in 2001?
22 A. Well, my signature is here. My signatures are here.
23 Q. And your signature, sir, is on the English version; is that
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And when you travelled, Mr. Mulahusic, here to The Hague a few
2 days ago, you met with an investigator and myself yesterday. You recall
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And at that point in time, were you given the opportunity to
6 review your statement in the Bosnian language?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. MURPHY: I'm sorry, Your Honour, could we just check if the
9 ELMO is working? We don't seem to be able to see the statement. Thank
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We need to see the signature.
12 There, we have it.
13 MR. MUNDIS: I'm also informed, Mr. President, for the benefit
14 of everyone that these two statements are in e-court as P 09699, in both
15 English and Bosnian.
16 Q. Mr. Mulahusic, yesterday, upon reviewing your statement in the
17 Bosnian language, did you have any -- did you have any corrections to make
18 to that statement?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Did you have any additions to that statement, having had the
21 opportunity to review it in the Bosnian language?
22 A. No.
23 Q. Having had the opportunity to review the statement in the Bosnian
24 language, was there anything that you wanted to delete from your April 2001
25 written statement?
1 A. No, there was nothing.
2 Q. Mr. Mulahusic, if I were to ask you questions about the subject
3 matters contained in your written statement, would the answers reflect
4 what's written in that statement of April 2001?
5 A. Yes, yes.
6 Q. And there is nothing that you would like to add to that
8 A. No.
9 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, sir.
10 Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution would tender P
11 09699, the written statement of Mr. Mulahusic dated 10 April 2001, into
12 evidence. We have no further questions.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you, Mr.
15 I believe initially you had planned to use up one hour. The
16 Defence has an hour. It's for you to use the time as you see fit. If you
17 haven't agreed on how to divide the time you'll have ten minutes each. If
18 you have reached an agreement, well, it's as you wish to proceed. I'll
19 give the floor to the first Defence team.
20 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours,
21 Mr. Coric's Defence has no questions for this witness, thank you.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And the next
23 Defence team?
24 MR. MULALIC: [Interpretation] We have no questions, Your Honour.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 MS. TOMANOVIC: Mr. Prlic's Defence has no questions for this
2 witness. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
4 MR. MURPHY: Our Defence has no questions, thank you, Your
6 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, Mr. Praljak's Defence has a few
7 questions for this witness.
8 Cross-examination by Mr. Kovacic
10 Q. Good day, I represent General Praljak here. Naturally we have
11 read through your statement. It was summarised here today and I'll just
12 put a few questions to you so that we can clarify a few issues. And since
13 we speak the same language, and what we say is being interpreted, I'd be
14 grateful if you could pause briefly after I put my question to you and then
15 answer the question.
16 First of all, in your statement, you said how you had been
17 arrested and when and you said you were arrested on the 1st of August 1993
18 in your house in Prozor and you were taken to the school. Is that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us who arrested you?
21 A. Well, it was the HVO but I didn't know them. The insignia they
22 had was HVO insignia. They were soldiers.
23 Q. So they were wearing uniforms, camouflage uniforms?
24 A. Well, yes, uniforms, camouflage uniforms, HVO.
25 Q. So they had HVO insignia?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you see the insignia?
3 A. Of course.
4 Q. Did you see any additional kinds of insignia that indicated which
5 HVO units they were part of?
6 A. No. I only saw that it said HVO.
7 Q. Thank you. And then you were taken to the school?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is it true that there were two guards in front of the entrance to
10 the school at all times?
11 A. Yes. Two or three. I was up on the floor. I didn't have the
12 opportunity of counting them.
13 Q. Very well. And these guards, were they also wearing camouflage
15 A. Yes, it was the HVO, the police.
16 Q. Did they have HVO insignia? Did the police have HVO insignia?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Let's now go back to the year 1992, early 1992. And from the
19 beginning of 1992, did you go to the front lines to defend Bosnia-
20 Herzegovina against the Serbian aggression and the JNA aggression?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Does that mean that you weren't mobilised as part of the defence?
23 A. I was mobilised as a worker. I worked as a butcher.
24 Q. Sir, you weren't mobilised -- just a minute, because of the
25 interpretation. I'll assist. Given what you have said, you can confirm
1 whether that's correct or not. You were mobilised but you were mobilised
2 into civilian units, not into combat units?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Did you perform those civilian duties for which you had been
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You did?
8 A. Yes.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I introduce a very small question? When
10 you were mobilised and worked as a butcher did you also wear some kind of a
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Ordinary clothes.
13 MR. KOVACIC:
14 Q. [Interpretation] And to follow up, other individuals who were
15 mobilised into civilian service were wearing ordinary clothes? [No
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Can you tell us how this was organised? Did you sometimes --
19 were you sometimes asked to go to a certain place, certain time, carry out
20 certain work?
21 A. A person came to get me, a person came to get me.
22 Q. And other individuals too?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. And you would work during the day and go home at
25 night is that how it worked?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. So you performed civilian duties, it was called a work obligation
3 at the time; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Thank you. After they had arrested you, you said that you were
6 taken to the school, you were there with other people who were in the same
7 situation that you were in and a few brief questions: We can see from your
8 statement and other statements that you slept in the class rooms; is that
10 A. Yes, in the school.
11 Q. They gave you some kind of mattresses and blankets there; is that
13 A. Depended. Not everyone. Everyone had a mattress. Only some
14 people had blankets.
15 Q. Could one say that most people had mattresses and blankets?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did the situation improve with time, as far as the mattresses and
18 blankets are concerned? Did everyone get them or not?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Were you provided with food?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Did you notice whether you received the same kind of food as the
23 soldiers who were there?
24 A. No.
25 Q. You don't know or you didn't notice then?
1 A. I didn't notice.
2 Q. Was it allowed for families to take food to you?
3 A. In the school, yes. Most of them were allowed.
4 Q. So if a family wanted to take food to you, you could receive that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Very well. Were you provided with medical care? Could you ask
8 for a doctor's assistance, for a checkup?
9 A. Well, sometimes, yes. Not everyone could, though.
10 Q. Did doctors go to see you when you were there?
11 A. Once a week.
12 Q. Do you agree that it was at least ones a week and when necessary,
13 if someone requested a doctor's assistance, it happened more frequently?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And then you worked in Prozor at a butcher's. Was that also
16 treated as a work obligation?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. You were told that you were continuing with your work obligation?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can you tell us which butcher you worked for, given us his name?
21 A. Pao, now, whether his surname was Maric, I don't know, but he
22 worked for the cooperative.
23 Q. Fine. And that butcher's shop supplied the army and civilians
24 with meat, with food?
25 A. The army, the HVO, but the HVO, but the Armija was there as well
2 Q. Whether you say the Armija, you mean the BH army?
3 A. Yes, the BH army was there for a time and later on, just the
5 Q. But that butcher's shop supplied all those soldiers?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Who was the chief? Who was your boss, your immediate boss in the
8 butcher shop?
9 A. That man Pao [phoen].
10 Q. Was his conduct proper towards you?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Could you go home if you needed to do something, have a wash or
13 something like that?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Is it true, as far as I can understand, that you have no
16 complaints of your treatment while you worked in the butcher shop?
17 A. Yes, his conduct was proper towards me.
18 Q. Thank you. After sometime passed, you were included in this
19 group with some of our other colleagues and you were taken off to Jurici?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And you spent about 25 days in all in Jurici; is that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'm not going to go into detail now but you described the
24 incidents when you were abused and your other friends were abused, your
25 fellow citizens. Is it true that those incidents which you spoke about and
1 there were several, there were a number of them, is it true and correct
2 that they took place mostly at night?
3 A. Yes, mostly at night.
4 Q. Can you describe when you say mostly at night, all five
5 incidents, did only one of these take place during the night or four or --
6 A. Do you mean soldiers?
7 Q. No, I mean these incidents?
8 A. Well, it lasted 10 or 11 hours and then until 2.00 or 3.00 a.m.,
9 2 or 3 in the morning.
10 Q. It was always at night?
11 A. Well for five or six days.
12 Q. You mean five or six times?
13 A. Five or six nights.
14 Q. All right. Now, did you perhaps know or had occasion to see when
15 you were in Jurici who was the commander of that sector there where you
16 were with the other soldiers?
17 A. I wasn't interested in that at the time.
18 Q. I don't mean his name but did you notice that there was a person
19 in uniform who acted as a commander, who was the commander there?
20 A. Well, everybody did what they wanted. I can't say. I can't say
21 this one or that one.
23 Q. So does that mean that it didn't really resemble an army if they
24 didn't have a commander?
25 A. Well, I don't know who the commander was.
1 Q. Nobody imposed themselves and through their conduct and behaviour
2 and issued orders go here, go there, that you came to the conclusion that
3 that person was in command of those soldiers?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Right, you weren't. Now, this abuse that took place --
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. -- apart from the abuse at night, during the night, can you tell
8 us whether it happened during the day on just one occasion or perhaps two
9 occasions or never?
10 A. Several times.
11 Q. All right. Fine. Now, when this --
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I put this clear? You have first said it
13 was or you have answered positively to the question did this happen during
14 the night. But then you have also said that it usually lasted 10 to 12
15 hours, I think, and it ended at 2.00 in the morning. So one must assume
16 that it started during the afternoon, that is before night. Have I
17 understood you correctly or have I misunderstood you?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. From 10 or 11.00 in the
19 evening, 10 or 11 p.m., 10 or 11 p.m. is what I meant.
20 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, you could see that in
21 the Croatian but perhaps not in the interpretation, but thank you for
22 clearing that up.
23 Q. On those occasions when you said there was abuse that took place
24 during the day as well, on those occasions, you mentioned certain
25 individuals and also you mentioned some names related to those incidents at
1 night, and I'll mention some of their names. You mentioned a person called
2 Goran, then there was Jozo, then Pesa?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And you described some of them. You said that Goran was about 25
5 years old, that Jozo was about 30, that Pesa was about 40?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. All this abuse that took place, was it always done by the people
8 you mentioned or were more people involved in the abuse?
9 A. Well mostly them but others too.
10 Q. So there were others too?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can we say that these three or four men were the leaders, if I
13 can put it that way, the ring leaders?
14 A. Well, I don't know if they were the ring leaders but they would
15 come in first and then --
17 Q. Did you notice any additional insignia on those people except the
18 HVO which denoted that they belonged to some other formation?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Among those people, did you recognise some locals from Rama
21 perhaps or were they people who had come in from elsewhere?
22 A. Well, Prozor is a large place. I don't know. I wasn't actually
23 there for me to be able to recognise people much.
24 Q. There were 25 of you there?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. I'm sure you talked amongst yourselves?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Did somebody else say he knew those people from Rama or did you
4 think that they had come in from elsewhere?
5 A. I just knew those three men and their names. I knew how they
6 were called, what they were called.
7 Q. Fine. But you learnt their names up there, you didn't know their
8 names from before?
9 A. No, I didn't.
10 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Mulahusic, for those
11 answers. I have no further questions.
12 THE WITNESS: Thank you, too.
13 MR. KOVACIC: Thank you, Your Honours.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just as a follow-up question
15 from the Bench, you said that there were three and you gave us their names.
16 You said Goran, Pesa and Jozo. Now, in your written statement, with
17 respect to the man named Goran, you said that he was a member of the
18 Croatian army. What does that mean exactly, to your mind? Was he a member
19 of the HVO or was he a member of the Croatian army coming from Zagreb?
20 What was your understanding? What did you mean to say when you used those
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the HVO. Now, whether it
23 was the HVO army or -- I can't really say.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Thank you. So you said
25 the HVO. Now, when you were in Jurici, in your written statement, you said
1 that you were doing work digging trenches. Am I right in understanding
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] "Da" you say; right?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you dug trenches the
7 whole day, did you?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, the whole day. Whether it
9 was raining or sunshine.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Now, when you were
11 digging trenches for the HVO, who was opposite the HVO on the opposite
12 side? Were they the Serbs or was it the BH army, the army of Bosnia-
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The BH army.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when you were digging the
16 trenches from time to time, was there any shooting, any gunshots, across
17 the BH army line or were you able to dig in peace, with no shooting.
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, they shot rarely.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when you were digging, did
20 you have the feeling of being exposed to gunshots coming from the BH army
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, on rare occasions.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And amongst your comrades, was
24 anybody wounded to your knowledge, injured?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I just noted on one occasion
1 that Osman Pilav was wounded.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The lines of the BH army, were
3 at what distance from the trenches, 100 metres, 200 metres, 300 metres, one
4 kilometre? How far away were they?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't say exactly but it
6 was far away.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you returned to Prozor,
8 to the school there, you said that you were beaten. Did that happen
9 frequently that you were beaten?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, five or six nights.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And who beat you?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the people I mentioned.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it was the same men who
14 forced you to have oral sex also came at the secondary school -- to the
15 secondary school and continued to beat you?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, they didn't beat us in the
17 school. They beat us in Jurici.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in your opinion, why were
19 you beaten? Was there a reason of any kind? What was it due to? Why were
20 you beaten, the blows that you received? Why did you receive them?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I can't know why they beat
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And now my last question.
24 It's a little anecdotic, perhaps, but it just came to my mind. We -- I
25 would like to know the following: For a time, you were a butcher in
1 Prozor, and then you went to that secondary school. Tell us why you didn't
2 use the occasion to escape.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I didn't dare because of my
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
6 Mr. Kovacic.
7 MR. KOVACIC: Your Honour, I apologise but you reminded me of
8 something that I omitted to ask, just one question with the Court's
10 Q. Sir, when you were freed or even before, when you were taken to
11 the Heliodrom, or when you were liberated in April 1994, did you tell --
12 report these atrocities to any of the authorities, the atrocities that
13 happened to you?
14 A. No.
15 Q. You didn't go to any authority and write out a report or --
16 A. No. I just gave this statement here in The Hague.
17 Q. You mean to the OTP?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. But they called you and asked you about it and asked you to make
20 a statement?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. But you didn't go to -- when you were in the Heliodrom, did you
23 ask for somebody to write down your statement about these abuses and
24 atrocities in Jurici?
25 A. At the Heliodrom, you mean?
1 Q. Yes.
2 A. No.
3 Q. When you were released from Heliodrom?
4 A. I went to Bugojno.
5 Q. Did you report it to the Bosnian authorities when you arrived
7 A. Well, here.
8 Q. When you were called by the OTP?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. But you didn't go of your own accord and report what had
12 A. No.
13 Q. The statement that you saw today?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You gave the statement when they called you up from the OTP and
16 probably they were helped by the local police, they called you and asked
17 you to make a statement about the events; is that right?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Now, my question is the following: Did you ever before go to any
20 authority of your own free will and made a statement, gave a statement?
21 A. No.
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Going on from this, can you give us an
23 explanation why you did not spontaneously make a complaint to authorities
24 in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, how should I know? I can't
1 really say, give you anything definite.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Well, only you can know why you did or did not
3 do something. I will try to assist you and put the question more directly.
4 Was this something that you would regard as a shame? Could it be that you
5 were ashamed of telling authorities about what had happened?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I would then like to go to two
8 other points that are raised in your statement. One is you say that an HVO
9 soldier took a tooth out of Sejad Islamovic. Do you remember?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This is surprising. Have you -- was there any
12 reason given for this?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, how should I know? I just
14 saw it happen five or six metres away from where I was standing. I saw him
15 take the tooth out.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Had Mr. Islamovic complained of tooth ache?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the tooth, was it a golden
19 tooth that he pulled out? Gold tooth?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The other incident I would like to return to is
22 you say that Pesa shot above your head. Now, did he threaten you that he
23 would kill you before you -- before he shot above your head?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He just stood me up against the
25 wall and shot above my head. Then I heard five or six bullets, I fell down
1 and didn't know what was happening, what happened after that.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Did you expect him to kill you?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, how should I know what other
4 people have in their heads?
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Actually I was asking what you had in your
6 head, your own head, at that time.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I thought the worst.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel Alaburic?
10 MS. ALABURIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, the Defence of
11 General Petkovic has no questions for this witness. Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Coric?
13 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, may I be
14 allowed to ask two or three questions of this witness?
15 Cross-examination by the Accused Coric:
16 Q. Witness, I am the accused Valentin Coric.
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In your statement, you said that for a time, you were in the
19 central military prison Heliodrom; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you remember that you were guarded there by military personnel
22 wearing a white belt with the HVO insignia on one shoulder and a military
23 police insignia on the other shoulder and a big metal badge saying,
24 military police, HVO? Do you remember those people, at least those white
25 belts that they wore, that they were people who guarded you and provided
1 security at the central prison in Heliodrom?
2 A. I was --
3 THE INTERPRETER: Could the speakers kindly not overlap?
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: We don't have the answer yet.
5 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters did not hear the answer.
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was inside. I know that it was
7 the police. Now, whether the HVO was there, I couldn't know -- I didn't
8 know much about that but I worked in the kitchen for a time, towards the
9 last period.
10 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Thank you. That's precisely why I'm asking you this. What was
12 these people's behaviour towards you regardless of how they were dressed in
13 the Heliodrom? You weren't abused?
14 A. I can't say that I was when I wasn't.
15 Q. Thank you. Now I'm asking you all this because you said that
16 when you were in the secondary school centre in Rama, that you were guarded
17 by the police. Do you remember --
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you remember what insignia the police had?
20 A. They had belts.
21 Q. They had white belts?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'm asking you this because another witness who was here said
24 that there were some other people there. Was it always the police or did
25 they change?
1 A. Well, I can't tell you in detail because I went to Jurici from
2 time to time. I would leave from time to time.
3 Q. And in Jurici were you guarded by the police?
4 A. No.
5 Q. Thank you. Tell me, when were you in the secondary school
6 centre, these policemen, did they abuse you?
7 A. This depended on the people. Some yes, some know. to escape.
8 A. Well, I didn't dare because of my family.
10 Q. What about you personally?
11 A. No.
12 Q. Did you see any -- anybody else being mistreated before your very
14 A. They would be taken down to the ground floor.
15 Q. Yes. But did you see them abuse anybody?
16 A. Well, I didn't see them do anything, but --
17 Q. You didn't see the police mistreat someone directly?
18 A. No.
19 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 Your Honour, thank you, those were my questions.
21 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, you were somehow interrupted. You
22 said, "I did not see them but -" and we could not hear "but what." Could
23 you complete that sentence? Do you remember? That was three minutes ago
24 or two.
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were on the ground floor, and
1 we were upstairs so what was going on, I don't know.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you did not hear anything? You did not
3 hear screaming or shouting or anything of that kind?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't see or hear well. I
5 only saw and heard them taking people away.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And you did not hear accounts of what happened
7 by such people when they came back?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They weren't allowed to say much.
9 They didn't dare to say much.
10 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just another question. You
13 were arrested on the 1st of August, 1993 and you were taken to the
14 secondary school in Prozor. Do you know why you were arrested, what was
15 the reason?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't say why. They just
17 rounded us up as civilians and took us off to that school. There were
18 children and women there and elderly people.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were transferred from
20 Prozor to the Heliodrom and when you arrived at the Heliodrom, were you
21 asked to sign a piece of paper or were you taken to a cell without being
22 registered? You remember being registered or not when you arrived in the
23 Heliodrom? I'm not talking about the secondary school.
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't remember.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So, sir, I think that this
1 concludes your testimony. On behalf of the Judges I would like to thank
2 you for testifying here, for assisting us in determining the truth. I wish
3 you all the best and a safe return to your country and I will now ask the
4 ushers to escort you out of the courtroom.
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Everything is fine
9 Mr. Mundis, we'll continue and follow this marvelous
10 procedure, at least as far as time is concerned. Mr. Mundis, the following
12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. My colleague, Mr.
13 Poryvaev will be taking the next witness who is ready to be brought into
14 the courtroom. I turn over to my colleague.
15 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, good afternoon, the next witness,
16 while talking about the situation in the courtroom, sought some protection
17 -- protective measures and that is pseudonym and face image distortion.
18 The foundation: (redacted)
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll ask him to
24 provide us with his reasons.
25 [The witness entered court]
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will move into private
2 session now. Mr. Registrar.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 6987-6992 redacted. Private session.
9 [Open session]
10 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are back in open session, Mr.
12 Examination by Mr. Poryvaev:
13 Q. Witness BM, good afternoon.
14 A. Good afternoon.
15 Q. My name is Vassily Poryvaev. I am counsel for the Prosecution
16 and I will ask you some questions, first of all, relevant to the documents
17 we have at our disposal and I intend to use as exhibits, and also I will
18 clarify some positions in your witness statement.
19 My first question: Do you remember being interviewed by someone
20 from the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia from the Office
21 of the Prosecutor? I mean the investigator.
22 A. I didn't understand your question. The former what? Could you
23 repeat the question, please?
24 Q. My question is: Were you ever interrogated, interviewed, by any
25 investigator of the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Tribunal
1 for the former Yugoslavia? That was my question.
2 A. It's like this: I think it was in the year 2000 that I was
3 contacted first by someone from the OTP, from The Hague, in Bugojno that
4 was, and in Bugojno, during two days and then one day in Mostar, I gave
5 statements, certain statements, which I wrote and signed.
6 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I would like the usher to place the
7 statement of Witness BM on the ELMO so that he could see the body of his
8 statement. Our exhibit number of this statement: 09702.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Be careful because the name is
10 on the first page.
11 MR. PORYVAEV: I suggest that this exhibit should be under seal
12 for this very reason.
13 Q. Witness, do you see this document in front of you?
14 A. Yes, I do.
15 Q. Can you read it?
16 A. Well, this portion hasn't been translated.
17 Q. Which portion?
18 A. Well, yes, I can see. I apologise. I was looking at the wrong
19 place. When I gave this statement, yes, that's fine, I performed the
20 functions that it says there.
21 Q. Witness, did you provide the investigator with a number of
22 documents that were used as an attachment to your statement?
23 A. Yes, I did.
24 Q. I would like to leaf through this exhibit so that the witness
25 could take a look at the signatures and initials at the bottom of the body
1 of the statement.
2 A. This is my signature.
3 Q. Witness, is it correct that instead of initials, you just did
4 some extra work and just put your full signature?
5 A. Well, I placed my full signature and how I sign my name, and as
6 it says -- in the second row, that's how I sign my name on my ID card and
7 my passport, where it just has the name for short.
8 Q. Witness, did you give your statement voluntarily?
9 A. Completely voluntarily.
10 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] The witness
11 said his name so that should be redacted.
12 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note they did not say the
14 MR. PORYVAEV: I do not see his name in the transcript.
15 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters omitted the name.
16 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] He did say his name. He
17 said I always sign my name that way and then he said his name. We all
18 heard it. So I'm just telling the Court to take care because nothing will
19 remain confidential if the name comes out.
20 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters note that they heard the name
21 but out of an abundance of caution did not say the name in English.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The name did not appear
23 in the transcript whereas the witness recognises his name.
24 Witness, the document in English that you signed has your name,
25 bears your name, does it not?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Fine. Move on.
3 MR. PORYVAEV:
4 Q. Witness, did you tell the truth to investigator?
5 A. I spoke the truth and it was my aim to say what I knew, and
6 nothing but the truth, nothing but what I knew. Nobody influenced me in
7 any way in giving any different kind of statement.
8 Q. I would like to move the statement to the last page. I mean, its
9 English version. Witness, do you see it?
10 A. Yes. I see the 17th of February 2002. I see the signature.
11 Q. Is it your signature?
12 A. Yes, it is, the lower one, the bottom one. And up at the top.
13 Q. Thank you very much.
14 A. But my signature is at the bottom as well.
15 Q. Have you read your statement in your native language, after the
17 A. Yes, I did. I did. And unless I'm very much mistaken, the lady
18 who wrote the statement down, I think, came from Tuzla. She was the
19 interpreter, translator.
20 Q. Thank you very much. Witness, now, do you recall your statement?
21 A. Well, I cannot remember all the details but everything that is
22 written there and that I signed and initialed on each page of this
23 statement I stand by.
24 Q. Thank you very much. As far as I understand --
25 A. Because it was given over a period of three days.
1 Q. Witness, I would ask you to answer my questions and don't make
2 too many comments because we are very limited in time. Were you given an
3 opportunity of rereading your statement when you came here to the Tribunal
4 for the meeting with the prosecutor?
5 A. I had a copy with me before. I received a copy when I signed it.
6 I was given a copy.
7 Q. Do you need to make some alterations or corrections in your
8 witness statements now?
9 A. Well, it's like this: There are several places where there are
10 possibly some mistakes, perhaps I said it wrong or somebody wrote it down
11 wrongly, with some names and so on. So I remember seeing, for example, at
12 one place, it says, "Simunovic Jozo" and it should be Simunovic Stipe" and
13 maybe some other points. I didn't make a mistake with the surnames but
14 there might have been two or three mistakes with the first names of the
15 people concerned. Because there are quite a lot of names so I might have
16 got them wrong, the first names, that is, but I knew -- know that with
17 Simunovic Stipe, there is Jozo and there is Stipe so that's what led me to
18 make that slip.
19 Q. Witness, we understand you. And perhaps this correction will be
20 made in your witness statement in due time and in due course. The most
21 important, that it is reflected now in the transcript.
22 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, I would like to tender this witness
23 statement into evidence.
24 JUDGE TRECHSEL: While we are talking about this and correcting
25 mistakes, on page 7 of the English version, two times in the second
1 paragraph, and then again at the end of the fourth, the term "redrew" is
2 used and I wonder whether it should not read "withdrew" or "withdrawing".
3 Page 7, second paragraph, second line, "Zgela was redrewing a little."
4 Shouldn't it be "withdrawing"?
5 MR. PORYVAEV:
6 Q. Witness, would you take a look at the B/C/S version? What is the
7 right word?
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis, while the witness
9 is reading through the text, in future, it would be advisable that when you
10 or your colleagues show the witness the statement during this procedure,
11 you could say that we met yesterday and in my presence you read the
12 testimony in your own language. Do you have any remarks to make today on
13 that testimony or statement? Would you like to withdraw, correct something
14 or not?" And he can say yes or no. And we can gain time that way because
15 if we now go on to discuss words, individual words, whether it was
16 redrawing or withdrawing or whatever, we are going to spend hours
17 discussing it.
18 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, at the session, proofing session, we
19 had no such kind of statements from the witness.
20 Q. So, witness, what is the right word used by him?
21 A. You mean paragraph 4? Towards the end of April 19 -- is that you
22 mean, approximately at the end of April 1992? Could you repeat what you
23 said, please?
24 Q. Yes, at approximately the end of April 1992, the position of
25 Zgela was taken?
1 A. Zgela it should say, Josip Zgela. At the beginning he was the
2 commander. Zgela, yes, Josip was his first name. It says "Zgelino"
3 [phoen] here. No. Zgela is the right worked.
4 Q. "I was told that for the moment, he was redrawing a little
5 because apparently," and so on and so forth. What was your term used in
6 the witness statement?
7 A. It says here he took over here, at the end of April, the position
8 of Zgela was taken over by a Bosnian Croat named Andjelic from April to
9 June of 1992 and very often there were replacements in HVO leadership in
11 Q. Witness, please listen to me.
12 A. Zgela did not temporarily withdraw. Yes, I can hear you.
13 Q. Go on. "I was told" -- from this phrase. What was the word used
14 by you, "redrawing" or "withdrawing"?
15 A. I apologise but in the -- is that the fourth paragraph that
16 you're referring to on page 7? It says, "Approximately at the end of April
17 1992, the position of Zgela was taken over by a Bosnian Croat named, this
18 is his surname, Andjelic, Andjelic is his surname, from the village of
19 Podbor. He was born there but he didn't live there. So Zgela left and
20 Andjelic came, Zgela was replaced.
21 Q. Please, next sentence.
22 A. "I was told that," this is what it says. It's like this. "He
23 was replaced but I received information, that is to say, the gentleman was
24 replaced by his -- by authorities so he left. He wasn't there any more."
25 Q. Witness, just one word. Zgela was redrawing or withdrawing?
1 A. I was told that Zgela had withdrawn temporarily because the
2 Bosnian Croats from Herzegovina did not like it when somebody from Croatia
3 was in command.
4 MR. PORYVAEV: It's quite clear now. Let's go on.
5 So, Your Honour, I would like to tender this Exhibit 9702.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Murphy?
7 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I object to the admission of this
8 exhibit, and I think we are still in private session, but -- no? We are in
9 open session? All right. I don't think there is any need to go into
10 private session.
11 Your Honours, as I understand it this statement is being
12 tendered under Rule 89(F). That rule does not give the Prosecution an
13 absolute right to present any kind of evidence in written form, but only
14 where the interests of justice allow. If we look at the content of this
15 statement, if I could direct Your Honours to a number of passages in the
16 English version, the -- at the beginning of page 4, the witness makes a
17 statement dealing with an allegation about the crisis committee working
18 directly under the orders of Zagreb and what he describes as its field
19 office Grude. At the bottom of that same page, there are -- there is a
20 mention of the media in the municipality being under the control of the
21 HVO. On the next page, Your Honour, page 5 of the English version, in the
22 fourth paragraph, the witness --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I understand your
24 objections, Mr. Murphy, but when you come to the cross-examination, you'll
25 be able to put that to the Court and then you can make your conclusions and
1 say that you are against having the document admitted, but you can do that
2 during the cross-examination because you are intervening now at the moment
3 when the Prosecutor is asking the witness whether he recognises what he
4 already stated in written form. We are just starting out. So as to the
5 substance of the document, you can challenge any points you like during the
6 cross-examination, and then say that you challenge the admittance of the
8 MR. MURPHY: Your Honour, I understand Your Honour's point. I
9 would like, however, to put this submission on the record because it seems
10 to me that this is not an appropriate use of Rule 89(F) when a witness
11 makes such far-reaching statements which go to the very heart of the joint
12 criminal enterprise allegations in this case, it's appropriate for the
13 Trial Chamber to hear an examination-in-chief so that the Judges can begin
14 to observe the demeanour of the witness and to assess his credibility.
15 Moreover, Your Honour, later in the statement, and I won't go
16 into detail, to take up time, but Your Honours will have observed that
17 there is a very, very long, well, a long passage dealing with the acts and
18 conduct of one of the accused, which clearly would not have been admissible
19 under 92 bis.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, fine. You're quite
22 MR. MURPHY: [Previous translation continues] ... 92 bis.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're quite right but you
24 know that several days ago, the Judges adopted a new article, 92 ter,
25 providing for this procedure, with the possibility of having written
1 statements relating to the conduct of the accused and their acts. So under
2 89(F), the old rule, that might have existed but now we are in a situation
3 where we have 89(F) and 92 ter. But the objective is to try and proceed as
4 quickly as possible and to give you as much time as possible.
5 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness has
6 just told us that he stated several names incorrectly in his statement, and
7 the Prosecutor tells us that we will have a correction in due course. I
8 think these corrections would be very welcome immediately because those
9 names are vital, as far as we are concerned.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, quite. Thank you.
11 Witness, you said that there were three surnames that you gave
12 but you might have been wrong about the first names and you gave us one
13 example. Do you have any other examples to give us that you would like to
14 correct straight away? If that doesn't come to mind immediately, what you
15 could do later on, during the break, because we are going to take another
16 break, so when we take our break, you can read through your text, your
17 statement, and then tell us which first and last names need to be
18 corrected. That way, we'll save time. But move on to the documents,
20 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, first I would like to call attention
21 of the witness to pages 12 -- 11, 12 of the statement in English and page
22 12 in B/C/S, which commence with the words, "On the 14th of November."
23 This is the last passage in the English version at the bottom. In the
24 B/C/S version, it's the sixth passage from the top.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Perhaps in order to save time,
1 read out the beginning of that passage to him, that will help him find his
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I found it. It says, "On the 14th
4 of November, 1992, an information report was written to inform President
5 Alija Izetbegovic and the staff of the supreme headquarters in Sarajevo
6 about the happenings in Prozor on the 23rd and 24th of October, 1992."
7 MR. PORYVAEV:
8 Q. Witness, by whom was that report drafted and signed? I mean
9 first of all, the organisation or body and then maybe some personalities.
10 A. In the penultimate passage, it says that the drafters of this
11 passage, prominent members of Prozor, were -- well, you have the names
12 there and I'm included.
13 Q. Okay. But is it correct as reflected in your witness statement?
14 A. These are the correct names. These are the people who drafted
15 this report.
16 Q. Now I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit 744. You may
17 take away the witness statement now for the moment and put it aside.
18 MR. KOVACIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, if I may intervene
19 before we have an answer, I'd like to follow up on my colleague Murphy's
20 objection. You reminded us of the amendment to the rules. You mentioned
21 Rule 92. However, may I draw your attention to the fact that these rules
22 enter into force seven days after the date on which the official document
23 is issued and that was the 22nd of September, 2006.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But that's why we
25 are dealing with 89(F) but there is the spirit of the matter and the rules,
1 the letter.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Perhaps there might be a
3 better time to more fully address these types of legal issues but at this
4 point, the Prosecution position is that the Defence teams will have
5 adequate opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses pursuant to the Trial
6 Chamber's guidance and time limits or time allowed by the Trial Chamber.
7 The whole purpose of this exercise, as Your Honour has rightly indicated,
8 is a time-saving device. The fact that the witness is present in court,
9 that his credibility can be tested, that his demeanour can be observed, all
10 of these things still exist under this procedure that we are using here
11 today and so the fact of the matter is that Rule 89(F) is simply a means of
12 expediting testimony. Rule 89(F), of course, this entire procedure is
13 silent as to acts and conduct of the accused or any of a number of other
14 issues. The fact of the platter is the witness is here, he's available for
15 cross-examination, he's available to answer any questions that Your Honours
16 may have, Your Honours may observe his demeanour and his credibility may be
17 tested by anyone in this courtroom who so desires to do so.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Mundis. The
19 Prosecution may continue, and could the interpreters please interpret?
20 Because I can't hear them right now.
21 MR. PORYVAEV:
22 Q. So, Witness, do you see a document on the screen?
23 A. I see the first page.
24 Q. I would like to scroll to the second page, scroll down. Witness,
25 is this the document you meant in your witness statement when talking about
1 the report dated on the 14th of November?
2 A. I can see part of the document here. I'm familiar with the
3 contents of this report, and at the time that this report was drafted, I
4 believe it reflected the situation such as it was at the time. It reflects
5 the facts. This entire report reflects the facts.
6 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you very much. I would like to take a look
7 at page 1 in the English version, and page 1, passages 3, 4, in B/C/S. The
8 next page in English.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The objective of this
10 procedure is to advance rapidly. If you now start putting questions to him
11 about the contents of the document, I don't see how we'll be saving time.
12 If he can recognise the document, and says that that's the document in
13 question, that's sufficient. It's not necessary to tell him, have a look
14 at page 3 and tell me what is written down there corresponds to the
15 situation you are familiar with, because this document, he obviously knows
16 about it.
17 MR. PORYVAEV: Okay, Your Honour. I withdraw my question. I'm
18 quite happy with the response given by the witness before. Now I would
19 like the witness to be shown Exhibit 09694. [Microphone not activated].
20 Q. Do you see the name of the body on behalf of which the document
21 was drafted?
22 A. It says the Party of Democratic Action, Prozor.
23 Q. Did you participate in the drafting of this document?
24 A. Yes, partially, but I am familiar with the document, and I accept
25 it as my own, as if I had fully participated in its drafting, and I'm in
1 total agreement with the contents of this document.
2 Q. Thank you very much.
3 I would like now to turn to Exhibit 01656.
4 Witness, do you remember giving this document to the
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you recognise this document?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did you have an opportunity of reading this document now, while
10 being here in The Hague?
11 A. I have the document on me. I've always had it on me.
12 Q. Witness, do you confirm the contents of the document now?
13 A. I do.
14 Q. Now I would like to turn to Exhibit 01542. It's not on the
15 screen yet, I suggest.
16 A. Yes, I have it, the first page.
17 Q. Yes. Witness, do you remember this document?
18 A. I do and I stand by what the document states.
19 Q. Thank you very much.
20 Now I would like to turn to Exhibit 00657.
21 Witness, do you see this document?
22 A. Yes, although it's not really legible but I am familiar with its
23 contents and I stand by this document.
24 Q. Thank you very much.
25 Now, Witness, just one question, just relevant to your
1 statement: At some point you participated in some investigation of the
2 events in Prozor municipality on the 23rd of October; is it correct?
3 A. Yes, that's correct.
4 Q. How did you obtain your information which was then added in the
5 documents which were submitted to the higher authorities of the Republic of
7 A. We had statements from eye-witnesses of the events, and we had
8 information from people who were damaged, so we had interviews from
9 witnesses, with witnesses, eye witnesses, and statements.
10 Q. Witness, did you receive any information from other sources, I
11 mean your subordinates?
12 A. After the events in Prozor, after the 23rd of October, for a few
13 days, the situation was chaotic. There was information, there was
15 Q. I'm sorry, just my question was quite precise. Did you get
16 information from your subordinates for drafting these documents?
17 A. I did.
18 Q. I would like witness to be shown Exhibit 09376.
19 Have you ever seen this document?
20 A. I have, and I have it with me, not here but I do possess that
22 Q. Do you confirm that the information in the document is accurate?
23 A. I can confirm that. It wasn't difficult to check this at a
24 certain point in time. Don't --
1 Q. Thank you very much.
2 Next, Exhibit 09429.
3 Witness, do you see this document?
4 A. Yes. And the contents of this document are correct.
5 Q. I would like to turn to Exhibit 09482.
6 Yes. Witness, do you see this document?
7 A. Yes, but this is just part of what subsequently happened in this
8 village, because not a single house remained undamaged.
9 Q. [Microphone not activated]?
10 A. Yes, I do, and I have this document. At the time the contents of
11 the document were correct and later the situation changed.
12 MR. PORYVAEV: Witness, thank you very much. I would like to
13 turn to Exhibit 09482.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There must be an error in the
15 transcript. It's not 09402 because this document has already been dealt
16 with. It must be 09487, I assume.
17 MR. PORYVAEV: I'm sorry, Your Honour, because of this rostrum,
18 I don't see properly the screen. But you're right.
19 Q. I would like to turn to Exhibit 09487. Witness, do you see this
21 A. Yes, and I stand by the document.
22 Q. Next document [Microphone not activated]?
23 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
24 MR. PORYVAEV:
25 Q. Next document 00640. Witness, do you see this document?
1 A. Yes, the list isn't complete, there are 110 vehicles in total in
2 this list and at the time that this document was drafted, it correctly
3 reflected the situation.
4 MR. PORYVAEV: Next exhibit, 02180.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There must be a minor error
6 because the document refers to 169 vehicles and the witness said 110
7 because he apparently didn't turn the page. As I don't miss anything --
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. That's possible. I didn't
9 turn the page over. You can't see it here. But there is one document that
10 refers to 110 vehicles.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let's move on.
12 MR. PORYVAEV: Now I would like the witness to be shown Exhibit
14 Q. Witness, do you see this document?
16 Q. Do you stand by it now?
17 A. I do.
18 MR. PORYVAEV: Next exhibit --
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: May I? I would like to ask a small question
20 with regard to this document. You speak on the third line in the English
21 translation, of course, of "mercenary hordes." Could you specify what you
22 had in mind with this term?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When entering Prozor, the HV and
24 HVO forces in October 1992, there was looting of the -- of Bosniak property
25 in Prozor, all-out looting of their property. Over 90 per cent of the
1 inhabitants of Prozor left Prozor in two days, they fled for Jablanica,
2 Konjic and to the eastern part of the municipality of Prozor.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: What I'm referring to in the B/C/S, I will try
4 to pronounce it correctly, is, "B/C/S spoken" on the third line. What do
5 you refer to? Who is that? "B/C/S spoken."
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time when the document was
7 drafted, according to the statements of expelled Bosniaks from Prozor,
8 there were individuals who advanced and scared the population. They said
9 those who are coming behind us, all they do is slaughter and kill and beat
10 the people fleeing. They were just trying to save their lives. Everything
11 that was of any value in Prozor was looted. Everything that belonged to
12 the Bosniaks. And acts committed are referred to here in this document.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I leave it at that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This question could have been
15 put in the course of the cross-examination or when the Judges put
16 questions, but you didn't answer my colleague's question. My colleague has
17 pointed out that it says that after the aggression in Gornji Vakuf, there
18 were HVO units that participated with special units from the Republic of
19 Croatia and with mercenary hordes. So we, the Judges, are interested in
20 this naturally. What did you mean when we read this sentence, it seems
21 that there are HVO units, there are specialist units, from Croatia, and
22 there are mercenary hordes. There are three groups concerned. That's what
23 it says in English. What can you tell us about this? Because you spoke
24 about consequences. What we are interested in are the authors, the
25 perpetrators, not the consequences.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In my opinion, at the time when I
2 drafted this, and on the basis of the information I had on what had
3 happened in Prozor, the only proper way of describing the looting of that
4 property was to say that someone came after the army, they took what they
5 could take.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. In the course of
7 the cross-examination, we'll be able to come back to this subject. Let's
8 move on. Yes.
9 MS. TOMASEGOVIC TOMIC: [Interpretation] Could we please go into
10 private session before I say what I have to say, just very briefly, please?
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
12 [Private session]
20 [Open session]
21 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session, Mr.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Go ahead.
24 MR. PORYVAEV:
25 Q. Witness, do you recognise the document? It's not on the screen
1 yet, I'm sorry. 01425. I repeat the number of exhibit. Do you see it,
3 A. Yes, I see it.
4 Q. Do you recognise the document?
5 A. I do.
6 Q. Do you stand by it now?
7 A. I stand by what is written. I accept that what is written here
8 is in good order.
9 Q. What do you mean by "good order"?
10 A. I accept that the content of the document at that time was a
11 reflection of the situation on the ground.
12 MR. PORYVAEV: Thank you very much. That was my final question.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, for the sake of the
14 transcript I'd like to point out that line 18 of this document, in line 18
15 reference is made to a previous document, and it concerns mercenary hordes.
16 In line 18 it says that HVO forces include a mercenary group and soldiers
17 from Croatia. During the course of the cross-examination, we can come back
18 to this. The Prosecution has now finished with the presentation of their
20 MR. PORYVAEV: Yes, Your Honour, thank you very much.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. In future, Mr.
22 Mundis, we could perhaps improve the procedure if we provided the witness
23 with the bundle of documents and then the witness could go through the
24 pages and, as you are speaking, he'll say yes, I recognise document 413, I
25 recognise document 460, et cetera, because as you can see, now we have to
1 wait for the document to appear on the screen so that the witness can have
2 a look at it. As the Judges and Defence have the documents, we could save
3 time in this way. So you could show these documents to the witness in this
4 way and it would be faster. It's a suggestion I'm making but I think it's
5 a good suggestion.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you for that guidance, Mr. President, just so
7 as to avoid any confusion, my understanding of what you've just suggested
8 is that we simply provide the witness with a bundle, a hard copy bundle of
9 the exhibits and then we expeditiously take the witness through them. Is
10 that -- we will certainly endeavour to do that, Mr. President. Thank you
11 very much.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. It's in the interests of
13 everyone. It would make it possible to have a very efficient cross-
14 examination then and to save time. If I remember things correctly, we said
15 that the Prosecution would have two and a half hours, if I'm not mistaken,
16 or, rather, the Defence will have two and a half hours because Mr. Mundis
17 you had initially planned for two and a half hours of examination; is that
19 MR. MUNDIS: Yes, it is, Mr. President, that was again before we
20 had -- we were a bit squeezed for time to finish all the witnesses and
21 before we decided to proceed with the 89(F) procedure with respect to this
22 witness so --
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So Defence, you have two and a
24 half hours. Use it as you see fit. I don't know who will be starting.
25 Perhaps you don't have any questions, in which case the Judges will put
1 their questions.
2 Mr. Ibrisimovic
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, thank you, Your
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Next Defence team, please?
6 MS. TOMANOVIC: [Interpretation] I have agreed with General
7 Praljak's Defence to take the floor last. Thank you to them.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honours. That
9 means it's my turn now but I do wish to say before I start that we have not
10 yet agreed on the distribution of time among ourselves, but I will be free
11 to put my questions until the break and then after the break we will inform
12 Your Honours as to whether I can continue or whether the next team will
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Two and a half
15 hours, that's 150 minutes and that means 25 minutes for each Defence team.
16 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honours, excuse me, colleague
17 Nozica, you said that General Praljak's Defence had a right to 50 minutes.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, that's quite right. We
19 believed that General Praljak's Defence had the right to 50 minutes so that
20 was the exception, so Ms. Nozica, you should have 25 minutes unless Mr.
21 Pusic has given you his 25 minutes.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you. I will proceed until
23 the break and then I will agree with my colleagues. I am in a little bit
24 of a dilemma that I wish to clarify. I think I heard the Prosecutor say
25 that he asked that this witness's statement be under seal. This would
1 greatly complicate my cross-examination because the aim of my cross-
2 examination is to point out parts of the statement and to have it in e-
3 court, which is the only way to deal with certain issues.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, if any passages
5 might reveal the witness's identity, in that case, you should ask for us to
6 go into private session.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, I have the statement in
8 Croatian and there are no signatures on the pages so I think that is how it
9 will appear in e-court. I don't believe there will be any problems.
10 Cross-examination by Ms. Nozica:
11 Q. Good day, sir, my name is Senka Nozica, and I will be examining
12 you on behalf of Mr. Stojic's Defence. Just a little while ago you were
13 shown a document so I would like to start there, it's a P 001188. We don't
14 have to have it in e-court. It's about the mercenary hordes you mentioned
15 in that document. It's a document you signed.
16 Could you tell me, please, where you were on the 23rd of October
17 1992? Were you in Prozor?
18 A. No, I wasn't.
19 Q. Just a moment, please. We will come to that. So what you write
20 about in this letter, you heard from somebody else and then you described
22 A. I heard it from citizens of Prozor who had fled to Jablanica.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Prosecution?
24 MR. PORYVAEV: I am assuming that we came back to the same
25 mistake again, revealing the witness's identity.
1 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I do apologise but each one of my
2 questions could reveal the identity of the witness. If the Prosecutor
3 believes that I'm revealing the witness's identity by quoting from these
4 documents, then this is bound to happen. It's very difficult for me to
5 deal with this and I appeal to the Chamber to issue a decision. How else
6 can I cross-examine if I am not to draw attention to parts of the statement
7 where the witness explains where and when he was? I didn't mention any
8 names, just event. May I proceed?
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Do proceed.
10 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
11 Q. You said that you heard about these events second-hand, on the
12 23rd of October, 1992, you say you were not in Prozor?
13 A. It was a Friday.
14 Q. Now, I wish to point to a part of your statement, it's on page 3
15 in Croatian. Could we please have it on e-court?
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Which page in the English
18 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] It's the same page, number 3 in
20 Q. Please, I will tell you slowly, you say that in mid-1991, the
21 Bosnian Croats from Prozor started arming themselves. You also say that in
22 mid-1991, a Muslim Crisis Staff was established. You say that both events
23 took place in mid-1991.
24 A. Both events, first the Crisis Staff of the Croatian people was
25 established, and a month or two later, in response, the Crisis Staff of the
1 Bosniak people was also established. I think this was in September, after
2 the arrival of Serbian and Montenegrin forces in Mostar.
3 Q. So in your statement, on page 3, you said erroneously that in
4 mid-1991, the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people was established. Now you
5 say it was in November?
6 A. I didn't say November. I said September, around September. Let
7 me tell you, in the beginning, when this Crisis Staff was established, I
8 was not a member of it.
9 Q. Can you then tell us when this was? Because September is not
10 mid-1991. Can you tell us whether you have this information or not? You
11 can say you don't know.
12 A. I don't know the precise date for certain. I know it was
13 established in 1991 and that the Crisis Staff of the Croatian people was
14 established before that.
15 Q. When was it established?
16 A. Because I was working in a school at that time, I was a teacher,
17 I wasn't very interested until September in what was happening in Prozor,
18 until the forces arrived and Prozor was under threat, because Serbian and
19 Montenegrin forces arrived in Mostar. I think it was around the 18th of
20 September but it may have been a few days before or after.
21 Q. Does that mean that you don't actually know when it was
23 A. I don't know precisely. It was in 1991. It was by the end of
24 the third part of 1991.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Previous translation continues] ... have to
1 intervene here. Is the question you're asking really important, is it
2 really important on what exact date the Crisis Staff, Croatian Crisis
3 Staff, was formed and then the Bosnian one or are you asking the question
4 in order to see whether what he wrote and what he says is precise? Because
5 the sentence says, "Mid-1991". So mid-1991 that could be July, August,
6 September, give or take a month here or there. So it is it really
7 important for your case or do you want to know whether the witness is
8 saying things precisely? That's what I'd like to know.
9 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness spoke
10 about many things, in the view of the Defence, approximatively, especially
11 as regards dates and times. I believe that we have to establish logically
12 what is correct because in his statement the witness provides precise
13 dates. Some dates which are important.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Now, Witness, do
15 you know exactly when the Croatian Crisis Staff was established or are you
16 speaking in approximate terms? Can you give us a month?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know precisely, but I do
18 know it was in the first semester of 1991, by the end of the first
19 semester. That means that the Croatian Crisis Staff was established
20 before. I heard that from what people said. It was a small town.
21 Everybody knew what was going on in the town.
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
23 Q. I will only ask you not to start your answer before I finish
24 because I have to switch my microphone on and off when I start and when I
25 finish. This cannot be done if you start replying before I finish putting
1 my question.
2 On page 5 of your statement, it's also page 5 in English, in
3 paragraph 2, you speak about an agreement between Milosevic and Tudjman.
4 At the time, when these events were taking place, in 1991 and 1992, what
5 did you know about this agreement?
6 A. I learned about it from the media, like all other citizens of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina. It was widely reported in the newspapers and on
8 television. I know it was frequently a topic in the media at the time.
9 They said there had been secret talks. I didn't take part in them. I
10 wasn't there. But it said that the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina had
11 been discussed, and people said -- in Karadjordjevo.
12 Q. Could you please answer more briefly? I don't want to interrupt
13 you but please make your responses brief. On the same page, just a
14 paragraph above that, you spoke about so-called observation units and you
15 said that the Croats took their positions against the Serbs and that the
16 Bosniaks did not participate in this. And now you say it was also evident
17 that the Bosniaks of Bosnia-Herzegovina did not want war but a peaceful
18 solution. Later on, we assisted the HVO in manning the observation points.
19 Does that mean that in Prozor, the Bosniaks did not want war with the Serbs
20 who had taken up positions overlooking Prozor? Is that what you meant to
22 A. I meant to say that on the basis of information and instructions
23 coming from the then state leadership and Mr. Alija Izetbegovic, he kept
24 saying, "We are not in favour of war. We want a peaceful solution. We
25 have to do everything possible to find a peaceful solution." But as we
1 know, this was not possible.
2 Q. When we link this up with the agreement between Milosevic and
3 Tudjman, you're a politician, I hear you held important positions in your
4 party, was it logical for Milosevic and Tudjman to agree on a division of
5 Bosnia? Why then would the Croats be manning a line facing the Serbs? Why
6 would they have to do that if they had agreed?
7 A. According to what I know and I'm not saying I'm right, I'm just
8 telling you what I know, the practical implementation did not coincide with
9 the interests of the parties because according to what the people were
10 saying and what the media were saying, the division of Bosnia should have
11 roughly been down the river Bosna and Neretva, western Croatia and eastern
12 Serbia. However, Milosevic claimed something quite different. He wanted
13 to claim everything where the Serbs lived, from Macedonia to Karlovag
15 Q. So they did not reach an agreement and an agreement -- you can
16 only talk about an agreement if both sides agree?
17 A. Well, Madam, I think you know this better than I do, but they
18 might have agreed but they didn't put that agreement into practice. They
19 didn't implement it so it all fell through.
20 Q. Can you tell us what option in March and April 1992 the Bosnian
21 Croats favoured, March/April, 1992 is the year?
22 A. All I can do is speak about the Prozor municipality.
23 Q. Tell me, then. But previously, please.
24 A. Yes, briefly. At the referendum, at the beginning of the first -
25 - I think it was the 1st of March, 1993, a referendum was held. The Croats
1 went to the elections together with the Bosniaks supported Bosnia-
2 Herzegovina. They voted for it.
3 Q. So the Croats were in favour of Bosnia-Herzegovina?
4 A. Yes. They went to the elections and they voted for Bosnia-
5 Herzegovina, in favour of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which means that on the
6 territory of the state, about two-thirds of the overall population of
7 Bosnia-Herzegovina voted in favour of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
8 Q. All right. That's what you say in your statement, and it is to
9 be found on page 5. You say in March, April, of 1992 the Bosnian Croats
10 and the Bosnian Muslims wanted an independent Bosnia-Herzegovina. The
11 Bosnian Serbs did not want that. Is that right?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. I want to ask you something now about something that we started
14 out from, our starting point, and that was the establishment of the HVO.
15 And my first questions to you, the Crisis Staffs and the TO, and I'm
16 referring to page 6 of your statement, page 6 of your statement, I think it
17 coincides in the English version, it's also on page 6. You say sometime in
18 March 1992 or the end of March 1992, the Bosnian Croats in Prozor
19 municipality established the HVO. HVO was divided into two parts, the
20 civilian and military part. Can you remember whether that was in March and
21 how do you happen to remember that? Did you hear that about -- from
22 someone? Where did you get this date March 1992 or were there rumours
23 going around or what?
24 A. Well, already in March 1992, some units were formed of the
25 Croatian Defence Council in Prozor, and that is why I said that and think
1 that. But then I read some documents later on, and so I might be wrong on
2 the exact day because I happened to read somewhere that Herceg-Bosna or
3 rather the Croatian Defence Council was established in the -- on the 8th of
4 April, 1992, around the 8th of April, I believe, and that there is a
5 document which I looked through -- well, I'll tell you where I saw the
6 document, a copy of the document, in fact. It was in a book written by Mr.
7 Mesud Hero, and he has a copy of the decision on the establishment of the
8 HVO included in the book, so maybe the decision was taken earlier but it
9 was official then.
10 Q. [Microphone not activated].
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please.
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
13 Q. Yes, that's right. You give us the wrong fact in your statement.
14 You gave us the wrong fact in your statement. But you didn't have to read
15 those books because you have the exact facts in your information of the
16 12th of March 1993 and it is Exhibit presented here from the information
17 you signed on the 12th of March, 1993, and in that report or information
18 note on page 2 of the Croatian version -- on page 3, I apologise, it's on
19 page 3 in the Croatian version, you state the following: You say that the
20 HVO was established on the --
21 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, perhaps the counsel gives the number
22 of the exhibit.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. That's what I was going
24 to ask counsel. What is the exhibit number?
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I'll give the exhibit number right
1 away. But I don't want to open the document because it will take too much
2 time. I think it is P 016 -- P 01656. It is page 2 in the Croatian
3 version and page 4 in the English. And the date mentioned there is the
4 10th of April. Now, the witness has said the 8th of April, 1992, whereas
5 the date mentioned in the document is the 10th of April.
6 Q. So if we say that it was in April and correct your statement on
7 that score, do you say that at the end of March 1992, the Presidency of
8 Bosnia-Herzegovina ordered that every municipality had to establish a
9 Territorial Defence, TO? Was that so?
10 A. Correct.
11 Q. Very well. Now, can you tell me whether Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 at the time was recognised by the international community, had been
13 recognised as a state by the international community because we are still
14 in the end of March 199 -- at the end of March 1992, when we mentioned the
15 Socialist Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
16 A. I'm talking about Bosnia-Herzegovina. I don't know the exact
17 date whether it was recognised by the United Nations but as the population
18 went out to vote in a referendum, that was enough, as far as I was
19 concerned, and it is true that the then Presidency ordered that TO Defence
20 Staffs were established in all the municipalities where they had been
21 abolished and the deadline was from the 1st to the 15th of April.
22 Q. You're not a lawyer, so those dates are not important for you but
23 I think that dates are important for the Court. You said you didn't know.
24 Now, this Territorial Defence, was it the Territorial Defence which was in
25 favour of the -- or rather, it took away all the weapons from you in
2 A. I said that the Presidency made the decision to establish
3 Territorial Defence staffs where they had not existed -- where they weren't
4 in existence and in Prozor it had been disbanded, the former Territorial
5 Defence Staff had been disbanded, abolished.
6 Q. Why had it been abolished or disbanded?
7 A. Well, I don't know why, but I do know that it was in 1991, but
8 don't hold me to that. Perhaps I might be wrong on the date. Any way,
9 that the former -- a former member of the Presidency of Yugoslavia, Mr.
10 Raif Dizdarvic, I think it was Raif Dizdarvic, I it was one of them but I
11 think it was Raif Dizdarevic in actual fact, that he ordered that all
12 weapons be come confiscated from the Territorial Defence and that they
13 should withdraw to the military barracks so as to avoid conflicts and that
14 was the wrong move to make.
15 Q. Yes. It was the wrong move to make. You're quite right on that
16 score. Now, tell me, please, when was the TO in Prozor established?
17 A. On the 1st of April, 1992(redacted)
22 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours, but
23 could the usher hand round these documents? So may I have the usher's
24 help, please? I think this is the time to distribute these copies of the
25 document. We have three for Their Honours and one for the Prosecution.
1 Thank you.
2 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, perhaps in -- on page 68, line 9, we
3 should redact. Now we are dealing with the position to which the witness
4 was appointed.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Very well. Mr.
6 Registrar, redact that, please.
7 Counsel Nozica, continue.
8 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
9 Q. You said the 1st of April. Might that not have been the 28th of
11 A. No, because on the 1st of April I was appointed and the Crisis
12 Staff of the Bosniak people sent in a request to the district staff of
13 Zenica to do that and I was officially appointed on the 1st of April but
14 the Crisis Staff at its meeting held several days prior to that, two or
15 three days before, sent in that request, but my letter of appointment says
16 the 1st of April, 1992, which is when the official Territorial Defence
17 Staff was established in Prozor and it was incomplete to begin with.
18 Didn't come up to strength.
19 Q. Perhaps it was the other way around.
20 A. No, because the previous Territorial Defence had been disbanded
21 in 1991. I don't know the exact date.
22 Q. Can we take a look at the document then? I think this would be
23 important. It is document P 01656. I don't want to go into too great a
24 detail but I think it says something different because you're being very
25 categorical. It is on page 3 in Croatian and page 4 in the English. Page
1 4 in the English. I'll read it out. Or perhaps you can read it for
2 yourself. I just want to make sure where it is in English. It is in the
3 last paragraph, the middle of the last paragraph on the right-hand side.
4 You can see the date, the 28th of March.
5 From the unexplainable positions of some of the members in
6 Prozor, at meetings with the HDZ of Prozor, and on those occasions, labels
7 were hurled at one another. The TO was formed on the 28th of March 1992,
8 with the participation of the representative of the SDA and the Crisis
9 Staff of the Muslim people, and this Crisis Staff of the Muslim people was
10 allegedly established at the beginning of February 1992.
11 So that brings us to the date when you claimed was the formation
12 of the Muslim Crisis Staff. You said September 1992. Whereas here it says
13 February 1992. And the TO was formed on the 28th of March, 1992, and not
14 the 1st of April, as you claim. So this is an information that you signed.
15 Am I right?
16 A. Madam, I don't think you understood me. What I said was this:
17 The Crisis Staff made a decision to establish a Territorial Defence Staff,
18 but for it to take effect, the ultimate decision must be taken by the
19 district staff of Zenica. (redacted)
21 Q. Yes. I understood you now and I understood you a moment ago the
22 first time when you said that the Crisis Staff of the Muslim people was
23 established in September whereas here you say February, which means before
24 the Croatian people set up their Crisis Staff. And you said that the TO
25 staff was established in April, and you're signing it on the 28th of March.
1 This is your report.
2 A. This was written on the 17th of February, 2002.
3 Q. Then tell us that you didn't say the right thing in your
4 statement but what you wrote in the information was correct.
7 MR. PORYVAEV: Again we should make a redaction because the
8 position was revealed.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
10 Yes, Mr. Registrar, would you issue an order to that effect?
11 Counsel, Nozica we are spending a great deal of time between the
12 28th of March and the 1st of April, only three days before. I don't see
13 where this is leading. Why you're investing such a lot of energy in to
14 defining this three days.
15 MS. NOZICA: [Microphone not activated].
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
17 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Your Honour, it is seven months
18 difference from the time that the witness said he -- the Crisis Staff,
19 Muslim Crisis Staff, was established and what it says in the information
20 and I'll say why I'm raising that question.
21 Q. From these facts and figures, sir, we can conclude that the
22 Crisis Staff of the Bosniak people was established before the Croatian
23 Crisis Staff, can we?
24 A. I can't confirm that but what I know is this --
1 Q. May we continue? Can I move on? Can you confirm that the TO of
2 Prozor municipality composed of the Bosniak people was formed before the
4 A. Units were formed in the municipality, but organised units of the
5 HVO existed in Prozor before the municipal staff in Prozor. They were
6 formed. Now, who took the decision about their formation prior to --
7 previously, I don't know. It wasn't an important point and I didn't check
8 it out. I didn't check out when it was. But units on the ground did exist
9 before that.
10 Q. Now, you worked in this field for a long time. I don't want to
11 have to redact the transcript but you worked for a long time in all these
12 structures. Now, those units, could they have existed before they were
13 officially formed? So were there some non-official, illegal units?
14 Because could the TO have existed before it was established?
15 A. No. The TO could not have existed before it was officially
17 Q. But you're saying that the HVO could.
18 A. No. I said that there were organised forces of the HVO on the
19 territory of the municipality before the establishment of the Territorial
20 Defence forces in Prozor and that's the truth 100 per cent, yes, they did
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Counsel, we are spending a
23 great deal of time on this. I have to channel the cross-examination in
24 order to avoid wasting time. The witness has on several occasions asserted
25 that the HVO in Prozor was constituted before the Territorial Defence of
1 the Bosniak people. If you have any proof to the contrary, put it to the
2 witness. Show him. And then we'll have things clear. Because you keep
3 asking your question and he keeps answering the same thing. Now, if you
4 have something to put to the witness, which refutes what he has said,
5 pursuant to Rule 90 of the Rules of Procedure and Evidence, show him that
6 he's wrong. Perhaps you have some orders, documents, which prove that the
7 Bosniak Territorial Defence existed before the HVO. If you have anything
8 like that, put them to the witness, show him the documents. Otherwise,
9 move on, because he is constant in maintaining his position. HVO units, he
10 says, were established before the Territorial Defence of the Bosniak
12 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] It seems that I'm doing my job very
13 badly, Your Honour, because if it is not evident from what I have put to
14 the witness, then I don't know. I put it to the witness and the witness
15 said that the HVO was formed first and then the Territorial Defence. The
16 witness also said that the HVO was officially established on the 8th of
17 April 1992. And that he learned that later on(redacted)
22 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour, again, we should make a correction,
23 redaction. I mean, on page 73, 14. Line 14.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, let's have a
25 redaction. We have to have a break now because we've been working for more
1 than an hour and a half, for technical reasons, I've been informed by the
2 registrar that we need to have a half an hour break. So we'll be resuming
3 at 6.10.
4 --- Recess taken at 5.41 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 6.12 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will resume now.
7 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour.
8 Q. Sir, in your statement, on page 9, of the Croatian version, at
9 the very bottom of the page, and it's page 9, paragraph 4 in the English
10 version, you refer to an incident that took place on the 23rd of October
11 1992 at a meeting, and you said that on that occasion, after a short
12 dispute, Ilija Petrovic returned and said while they are sitting over there
13 and drinking coffee the Territorial Defence was killing members of the HVO
14 in the east, and this concerned the incident on which occasion the
15 Territorial Defence from Gornji Vakuf killed a HVO member. His name was --
16 the name of that member was Zadro from the village of Dobrosa; do you
17 remember that?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Could we have 2D 00054 on the screen? It's from the registry of
20 the dead for Zadro and since it states that he is from Dobrosa, from Prozor
21 Rama, you can have a look at it, his name is Franjo. The date of his death
22 is the 23rd of October, 1992, 1300 hours. Is that the person you had in
23 mind in your statement?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Very well. Thank you. And you continue to say in your
1 statement, this was now used by the HVO in Prozor as an excuse to leave the
2 meeting. But first of all I'd like to ask you whether you know whether, in
3 some of your statements there was a dilemma as to whether anyone had been
4 killed in fact, and did you state in some statement that certain things
5 were checked and that no members of the Croatian army were killed on that
7 A. Madam, when I was in Idovac with part of the army and when I
8 withdrew from there, when I arrived at Makljen, when I passed through with
9 30 soldiers, the body of that soldier was still there, and members of the
10 Gornji Vakuf Brigade told me that he had been killed on the 22nd. I'm not
11 claiming that he was killed on that date but they told me he was killed on
12 the 22nd and he was still there on the ground, his dead body was still
13 there. I saw him there on the 24th. He was dead at the time.
14 Q. [Microphone not activated].
15 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
16 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
17 Q. Could we see P 01656? It's a report dated the 12th of March,
18 1993. Could we have a look at page 9 in the Croatian version, the first
19 paragraph, and page 10, the first paragraph, in the English version? This
20 is a report, you know what it's about?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. It's a report from the year 1993, and you signed it too?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And in the report, you say the following: On that occasion all
25 the army members, all the members of the Croatian delegation, left the
1 premises where negotiations were taking place. There was a radio link from
2 the staff of the army, BH Prozor, and they confirmed that there was no
3 killing at that time in that area. At 1525, there was an intensive
4 artillery attack and you said that you saw that body in October.
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Just a minute. We mustn't overlap. On the 10th of March 1993,
7 in the -- in report, you say that the information was checked and no one
8 had been killed. How can you explain this difference?
9 A. Well, the member referred to wasn't killed in territory of the
10 municipality of Prozor. He was killed in part of Makljen, in the northern
11 part of Makljen. It's called Crni Vrh. That's where he was killed. He
12 was killed by members of the ABiH from Gornji Vakuf, so he wasn't killed in
13 our area. That's for sure. That's true.
14 Q. How do you know? Was an investigation launched into his killing?
15 Did they determine who killed him and where?
16 A. No, as far as I know, no one on our side conducted an
17 investigation but I saw the body, the body was on the ground, and they
18 didn't touch him for a few days. I don't know when they took him away. I
19 saw him lying on the ground, a member of the Territorial Defence from
20 Gornji Vakuf shot him, one of them told me who was there in the unit that
21 they had killed a HVO member from Prozor.
22 Q. You say that no one conducted an investigation after that?
23 A. I'm not claiming that but I don't know. On our side, no one
24 conducted an investigation because this incident didn't take place in the
25 area under the control of the ABiH in the municipality of Prozor.
1 Q. I'll leave Mr. Praljak's Defence the possibility of determining
2 which area you were located in at the time but let's continue with this
3 statement of yours. You say that the negotiations were interrupted, the
4 HVO left the meeting and 15 minutes later, there was an attack on Prozor,
5 so that was on the 23rd of October, 1992 at 1530. Does the name Asim
6 Hadzovic mean anything to you, a member of the 4th Corps of the ABiH?
7 A. At that time, the 4th Corps didn't even exist.
8 Q. We are talking about the 7th of December, 1992.
9 A. Well, 7th of December, that's fine, but I don't know that man.
10 Q. Who was the commander of the ABiH 4th Corps at the time?
11 A. The commander of the ABiH 4th Corps was Mr. Arif Pasalic.
12 Q. Does the name Mirsad Catic mean anything for you?
13 A. Mirsad Catic, I've heard that name somewhere but I don't know in
14 what context. Perhaps his nickname is Cuperak.
15 Q. At the time, was Mirsad Catic the commander of the municipal
17 A. Yes.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction: Where? In Prozor?
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. What date?
22 Q. On the 7th of December, 1992?
23 A. No, he wasn't.
24 Q. Could we have a look at the following document?
25 A. Let me just add something. Towards the end of October, 1992,
1 after the fall of Prozor, someone was temporarily appointed as commander of
2 the staff from Prozor or Konjic. His name was Mirsad Cukle but he only had
3 that position a few days. He's still alive today.
4 Q. Could we have a look at Defence document 2D 00148, the first page
5 in the Croatian version and it's also the first page in the English
6 version. Could we just have the Croatian version? I don't know whether
7 the witness can read this.
8 A. It's not very legible. Could you read it out for me perhaps
9 because it's difficult for me. Now it's better.
10 Q. Yes. We can see the name Asim Hadzovic, a member of the ABiH 4th
11 Corps, 7th of December. He is submitting a written report on disciplinary
12 investigations conducted. There is a decision dated the 3rd of December,
13 1992. A commission was formed. Have you ever heard about this commission
14 that consisted of Asim Hadzovic, Kemal Jusufovic and Mustafa Begovic. It
15 had to do with disciplinary proceedings.
16 A. I've never seen this document. I can't confirm its authenticity.
17 Q. I'm not asking you to do that. But do you know these people I've
19 A. No.
20 Q. Do you know Mr. Zejnil Delalic whom you mentioned?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Do you know that disciplinary proceedings were instituted against
23 Mr. Zejnil Delalic?
24 A. Zejnil Delalic was based in Konjic and I was based in Stipe. In
25 the territory of Prozor municipality, I only had a radio post. I didn't
1 have any other means of communication and it wasn't necessary for me to
2 communicate with Mr. Zejnil Delalic.
3 Q. Could we have a look at the -- at page 2 in the Croatian version?
4 It's the last paragraph that's been translated. The entire document hasn't
5 been translated. It will be. But only what is stated in the last
6 translated paragraph is of importance to this witness. I'll tell you what
7 it's about now, and let's see if you can remember this. This commission
8 was formed -- I'm going back to the first page so that I can read it out to
9 you, and Delalic Amir was also a member. Let's have a look at the previous
10 page in the Croatian version. It says that the commission from Mostar set
11 off at about 11.00 and arrived in Parsovic about 1300 hours. We were
12 received by the commander of the municipal staff there, Mr. Mirsad Catic,
13 together with his associates and the commander of the Neretvica Brigade,
14 Mr. -- full stop. Mr. Catic Mirsad, commander of the municipal staff
15 briefly informed the commission of the situation and informed us of certain
16 other elements and then certain other elements are mentioned. Certain
17 other information that he had obtained in the investigation against Zejnil
18 Delalic and the prison warden in Celebici, Zdravko. And on the second
19 page, in the first, second and third paragraph it says, "Zejnil Delalic is
20 guilty for everything that took place in the territory of the zone of his
21 zone of responsibility."
22 What was Mr. Zejnil Delalic's zone of responsibility in 1992
23 up until the month of December?
24 A. Zejnil Delalic, as far as I know, I haven't seen these documents
25 but as far as I heard, at the beginning of August, I don't know the exact
1 date, at the beginning of August 1992 he was appointed as the commander of
2 the Igman operative group. At the command place Igman. And he didn't have
3 command over the territory of Prozor municipality. It was only in August
4 that he became commander of this group. Up until August he was a
5 coordinator between the Territorial Defence Staff in Konjic and the
6 municipal bodies of power. He was a coordinator.
7 Q. Could we have a look at document P 00413? And then we'll come
8 back to Zejnil Delalic, given your answer. P 00413. We can see the date,
9 the 8th of August, 1992. It's addressed to -- I apologise, the 28th of
10 August, 1992. It's addressed to the municipal staff of the BH armed
11 forces, order -- I haven't got much time but it's an order signed by Zejnil
12 Delalic. Can you see that?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. So in August, could he have any contact or any relation with
15 Prozor and the municipal staff in Prozor?
16 A. No. In 1998, at this Tribunal, I was asked about this. I can
17 claim with full responsibility that Zejnil Delalic couldn't have signed
18 this. At that time, I told the Chamber that they should get a
19 graphologist, a writing expert, to see whether Zejnil Delalic had signed
20 this but even if he had signed this, this order wouldn't have been valid
21 because Prozor municipality was not under his command.
22 Q. I'm not asking you about that. You've seen this document.
23 You've seen that he has signed this.
24 A. I don't know anything about that.
25 Q. Very well. But you've seen that order and the Prosecution
1 provided this order to us.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. You've said
3 something important. This document provided by the Prosecution, P 413 is
4 the number, the date is the 28th of August and it's signed by Delalic,
5 commander of the Territorial Defence in Prozor. It's an order which, in
6 view of an incident that took place on the 27th of August, not the 23rd, a
7 request is made to withdraw the armed forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 under control -- under the control of the municipal staff, et cetera. And
9 you say that this is a false order because at the time Delalic wasn't
10 commander of the Prozor Territorial Defence. That's what you said a minute
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. At this time, the commander
13 on that day, the commander of the Territorial Defence of Prozor
14 municipality was Muharem Sabic, Muharem Sabic, Muharem Sabic. And the day
15 before the decision was issued I was at Idovac at the positions there when
16 the incident at Prozor occurred. This was on Thursday, the 7th of August.
17 You can check this. I know the precise date.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as you're concerned,
19 the document that you're being shown is one that you challenge; is that
20 right? You're challenging the document?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] He was not the commander of the
22 municipal staff of the Territorial Defence at the time. I'm 100 per cent
23 sure of that.
24 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] I do apologise, Your Honours.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: The Bench is always curious today. There is
1 something that must be set straight. We are talking about an order dated
2 28th of August. You have told us, Witness, that the day before, you had --
3 you were at somewhere else, at the positions. This was, I read.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At Idovac, not in Prozor.
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You say this was Thursday the 7th of August.
6 That would not be the day before. That would be three weeks before the
7 28th of August.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The 27th of August, there was an
9 incident when a group of HVO extremists arrived in Prozor and riddled some
10 buildings with bullets. They caused great damage to buildings owned by
11 Bosniaks and it was only due to the presence of mind of the then commander
12 of the municipal staff that a tragedy was avoided and nobody was killed.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have now corrected the date and said 27th
14 of August, while before you had said or it is in the record 7th of August
15 and that means that this is settled.
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was the 27th, the 27th. It was
17 a Thursday. I even know the day. You can check and you'll find that the
18 day was a Thursday.
19 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
20 Q. I only wish to make a correction. The witness knows this very
21 well. Mr. Zejnil Delalic at that time was not the commander of the TO
22 staff. He was the commander of tactical group 1 and that is what it says
23 here in this document. TG 1. Not TO. TG.
24 A. TG, tactical group.
25 Q. After this, I wish to ask you did you know Zejnil Delalic's
2 A. His brother lived in Prozor. His name was Zahid. He was known
3 as Zajka. He has died in the meantime. He lived and worked in Prozor.
4 Q. As you were very quick to describe these people as extremists,
5 who attacked on the 27th as you say, could we take a look at document 2D
6 00055? 2D 00055. It's a report on the work of the Prozor municipal staff
7 and it was signed by Mr. Muharem Sabic on the 16th of September 1992. Take
8 a look at page 1, please. And then let's go back to page 2, in the English
9 language, or, rather in the Croatian language, and page 2D 0600021 in
10 English. I think that's also page 2. Let's see what Muharem Sabic says
11 about these people you call extremists and everything you said. It's the
12 first it -- fifth paragraph in Croatian. Relations with the HVO are not at
13 a satisfactory level which was best seen in the night of August the 27th to
14 28th, 1992, when there was even a conflict in the town of Prozor in which
15 there were wounded on both sides. Those who were in Prozor at the time say
16 it was a conflict, but you, who were not in Prozor, say it was an attack by
17 Croatian extremists. Who was closer to these events and who was in a
18 better position to know what actually happened? You or Mr. Sabic? Mr.
19 Sabic could know more details because he was a commander. [Microphone not
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone for counsel, please.
22 A. But let me tell you there was a document to show I'm right. A
23 meeting was held after this and the Croats, the chief of the municipality,
24 agreed to make good the damages done to the Bosniaks.
25 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation]
1 Q. This does not prove there was an attack. It could have been a
2 conflict between two sides as explained by Mr. Sabic. Can we go back to 2D
3 00148, page 2 in Croatian and I will conclude with this. This is the
4 document we have just seen, a document of the 4th Corps, 2D 00148. I read
5 out page 2 to you a while ago and the last paragraph which is translated
6 into English, it's dated in December. The commander of the corps is
7 reporting on disciplinary proceedings against Zejnil Delalic and it says
8 the following: "With respect to Zejnil Delalic, it is mentioned that he's
9 guilty of everything that took place in his area of responsibility. With
10 respect to Colonel Jovan Divjak, he suspects that he was involved with
11 Zejnil regarding the actions at Prozor and provoking a conflict between
12 Muslims and Croats and that there was supposed to be a war on a wider
13 territory so that the Muslims would be drawn into a war against the Croats.
14 Also it was mentioned that Colonel Divjak was aware of Zejnil's order and
15 that he did not take the necessary measures although he was present in the
17 Can we show page 5 to the witness? Not to confirm authenticity
18 but just so that the witness can see who the document was signed by. Thank
19 you. There is a commission here, Asim Hadzovic, Kemal Jusufovic, Mustafa
20 Begovic and Amir Belalovic [phoen]. Are you aware, sir, that the army of
21 Bosnia-Herzegovina, the 4th Corps conducted an investigation because there
22 were grounds to suspect that the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina had
23 provoked a conflict with the Croats in the area of Prozor?
24 A. I know that the 4th Corps conducted an investigation but I don't
25 know who these people are. I know that as a consequence of that
1 investigation, Mr. Jovan Divjak was detained in the primary school in
2 Pasovici. I saw him there personally because at that time, I had known
3 Jovo Divjak for 20 years. I know that at that time, when Mr. Divjak was
4 detained, Mr. Zejnil Delalic fled from Konjic.
5 MS. NOZICA: [Interpretation] Thank you, sir. That's all I
6 wanted to know. Thank you.
7 Thank you, Your Honours. I have completed my cross-
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We have exactly 25
10 minutes left for another Defence team -- 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. Who
11 is going to start off?
12 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Your Honours, excuse me, it's 20
13 minutes today but we have more in total.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, of course.
15 Cross-examination by Ms. Pinter:
16 Q. Good day, sir, let me introduce myself. My name is Nika Pinter.
17 I'm an attorney-at-law from Zagreb. I'm Defence counsel for General
18 Praljak. Please let me finish my question and switch off my microphone and
19 then begin speaking. Otherwise we will not get anything done. For the
20 sake of one question can we go into private session, please?
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, private session, please.
22 [Private session]
21 [Open session]
22 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
23 Q. When asked by my colleague, you spoke about Zejnil Delalic and
24 the Konjic tactical group and you are familiar with that unit, are you not?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. TG Konjic?
2 A. I think they were officially called TG 1. I think it was a
3 little different but it was called the tactical group 1, and it was the
4 successor of another tactical group.
5 Q. Very well. What matters is that you know what unit this was. In
6 your statement, you say that on the 2nd of November, 1992, there was a
7 meeting in Konjic which you were supposed to attend but your car broke down
8 and you were late and then you waited in Konjic for Vehbija Karic and
9 Zejnil Delalic to come back from Prozor; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You met them and they told you what had transpired at the meeting
12 in Prozor and what decisions or agreement had been achieved there; is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Could the witness please be shown document 3D 00418? When the
16 document shows up, would you please pay attention to the part of the text
17 under point 5? I'll ask you whether -- well, we can't read the document
18 yet. Can we please zoom in on point 5? It says here that at 1500 hours, a
19 meeting was held in Prozor. Do you see the text here?
20 A. It's not very legible.
21 Q. Yes, true. I don't have a better version either. If we can zoom
22 in a little bit. I will read and please try to follow. Well, now we can
23 see it. You can see that at 1500 hours a meeting was held and the
24 attendees are listed. You know Vehbija Karic, you also mentioned Arif
1 A. He was the corps commander.
2 Q. With his escort, then Safet Rucovic [phoen], Camil Skokovic,
3 Zijad Demirovic and Zejnil Delalic; is that correct?
4 A. I was invited to the meeting. I was supposed to attend but I
5 wasn't there as I said in my statement.
6 Q. This document says that these people were in Prozor and that they
7 talked to General Praljak; is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Does it say in this document that as they were walking around
10 Prozor, a renegade team of the HVO and HOS were roasting a lamb, they were
11 dragging a flag with lilies through the mud and so on and so forth, but not
12 even Praljak had the authority to make them listen to him. They were
13 talking about Balijas, saying it was better for them not to come back, and
14 they were making fun of and threatening us with BH army insignia. In this
15 situation, no one could guarantee the safe return of the families who had
16 fled or the soldiers of the army. There are still seven members detained
17 and so on. Promising that on the next day they would be conditionally --
18 provisionally released. General Praljak was evidently embarrassed because
19 of the situation and he issued several oral orders and was intending to
20 issue a written order on the following day. Was that the situation Vehbija
21 Karic and Delalic described on their return to Konjic?
22 A. Well, they didn't describe all the details but they said they had
23 seen a very unpleasant situation. There wasn't enough time for them to
24 tell me all the details but I was surprised by something that was allegedly
25 and I stress allegedly Mr. Arif Pasalic, when he entered Prozor, at the
1 fire station, it said the Ustasha centre or the Ustasha club. He said that
2 on television. He said when he entered Prozor, he saw this written there
3 and then someone present, possibly General Praljak, ordered that this be
4 taken down. So there was certainly that inscription there.
5 Q. Thank you. In connection with this document, I wish to ask you
6 the following: In the document it says that General Praljak issued oral
7 orders and promised to make them in writing. Is that correct? Is that
8 what I have just read out?
9 A. Yes. You have read this out.
10 Q. It states so here?
11 A. Yes, but as I was not there, I cannot confirm it. I believe that
12 if they wrote this down, then Mr. Praljak did it. I believe that. Whether
13 it was implemented, I don't know. Well, that's open, an open issue.
14 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] Please show the witness 3D 00290.
15 [Microphone not activated].
16 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, counsel.
17 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
18 Q. This meeting and the report, when it was, on the 4th of November,
19 1992; is that right? That's what it says. Now after the 4th of November,
20 you have a document before you and the date on that next document is the
21 6th of November, 1992. It is an order. Now, if we were to go to the
22 bottom of the order, the end of it, on page 2, you will see that the order
23 was issued by General Major Slobodan Praljak, and there are two stamps.
24 The department of Defence of Herceg-Bosna and the Territorial Defence, with
25 the Territorial Defence insignia there. Can you see that? The left -- the
1 stamp on the left. There are two stamps. You can see that there are two.
2 One with the lilies. Can you see that? [Microphone not activated]?
3 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please.
5 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Now, linked to this order --
7 A. I can't see a lily there. No lilies.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Praljak is on his feet.
9 THE ACCUSED PRALJAK: [Interpretation] On the left is the joint
10 command of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO. On the left-hand
11 side. You have half the coat of arms, which is the Bosnian, and half is
12 the Croatian coat of arms.
13 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
14 Q. I think you can see that clearly.
15 A. Well, yes.
16 Q. Do you know about this order? Were you aware of it?
17 A. I do but it was never implemented.
18 Q. There were never any mixed controls?
19 A. No.
20 Q. And where were you?
25 Q. Don't keep saying what you were.
1 A. Well, I was -- I came to take up the post at the beginning of
2 November with headquarters in Scipe.
3 Q. So you weren't in the area where this order referred -- which
4 this order refers to?
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Stop for a moment. Mr.
6 Registrar, please have that redacted for the transcript. You didn't
7 indicate it was 3D 000419. Was that the number of the document? You
8 didn't say it, counsel.
9 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] 3D 00419. It's the same as 3D
10 00290. But 3D 00419 has the archive stamp so there is no doubt about its
11 provenance. I should now like to have the witness answer the following
13 Q. According to your statement you were arrested at the end of
14 November 1992. Is that correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. All right. Fine. Also pursuant to an order from General Praljak
17 you were released the next day; is that right?
18 A. Well, I have to say a few sentences to explain.
19 Q. [Microphone not activated].
20 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please, microphone.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, because Mr. Praljak came from
22 a meeting in Konjic with Mr. Begic.
23 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
24 Q. We'll come to that. What I'm asking you now is whether you were
25 released the very next day?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Fine. Were you interviewed or interrogated while you
3 were incarcerated?
4 A. Yes, interrogated and beaten.
5 Q. I'd like to show the witness another document now, it is P 889.
6 Or perhaps it is 0889 because it is a Prosecution document, P 0889, 00889
7 is the document number. It is a criminal report filed against you. Did
8 you know about that?
9 A. No. Who filed it?
10 Q. [Microphone not activated].
11 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, microphone.
12 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
13 Q. The Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, the Croatian Defence
14 Council the date is the 10th of December, 1992, in that criminal report
15 among other things it is stated that it is filed against you. However,
16 that -- a conversation with you was conducted and pursuant to Slobodan
17 Praljak, General Major, you were released, that you went to the Konjic
18 municipality where you most probably reside at present.
19 May we take care that the witness's name does not appear?
20 Because it's on the document. On the screen. But that corresponds to the
21 time you were interrogated. That is to say the 29th of November 1992.
23 A. It is correct that I was arrested and interrogated then, yes.
24 Q. [Microphone not activated]?
25 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please.
1 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
2 Q. And you were released pursuant to an order from General Praljak?
3 A. Yes, because Mr. Praljak came from Konjic, from a meeting where I
4 was supposed to attend too at Zlatar. I wasn't there. They informed Mr.
5 Praljak. They told him to go there. Mr. Praljak arrived together with
6 Zlatko Velic and they released me and we decided on certain activities ad I
7 was let go.
8 Q. Thank you. Now apart from you, some other individuals were
9 released when you were released?
10 A. Together with me, when I was arrested, there were 15 other
11 soldiers from the BH army.
12 Q. May the witness now be shown the next document, it is 3D 00291.
13 It is a report which is dated the 18th of December 1992, and it says that
14 General Praljak arrived in Prozor and upon his arrival, immediately upon
15 his arrival, he issued orders for the group of detainees to be released and
16 amongst that group were you yourself. So that bears out what you said;
18 A. Yes, the 30th.
19 Q. Now, General Praljak will discuss what the meeting was about,
20 which subjects were discussed. All I'm going to ask you now is something
21 linked to the Territorial Defence. When you said that there was a decision
22 to form units of the Territorial Defence -- or rather when did you say that
24 A. I received an order for my appointment, the decision was prepared
25 to -- by the Crisis Staff. But it was the district staff of Zenica that
1 had the final say. In the order of the district staff of Zenica, it said
2 that I was appointed to that duty, that I was appointed to, on the 1st of
4 Q. I didn't ask you when you were appointed. I asked you when the
5 units of the Territorial Defence were established.
6 A. Well, this is how it was. The first official unit that the staff
7 set up, the first official unit established, was established on the 3rd of
8 April. (redacted)
9 (redacted). I worked there before that.
10 MR. PORYVAEV: Your Honour --
11 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
12 Q. In answer to a question from Counsel Nozica, you referred to a
13 decision by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina by which
14 units of the Territorial Defence are established, shall be established.
15 A. Madam, the order was to form Territorial Defence Staffs. Now the
16 formation of -- it was the staffs that form units, that establish units.
17 Q. May the witness be shown the next document, 3D 000420? 3D
18 000420. Have we got that up on the screen? It is a decision, as you can
19 see, by the Presidency of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, which says
20 that on the 27th of May, 1992, units of the Territorial Defence be formed.
21 Is that what it says? On the formation of Territorial Defence units?
22 A. Yes, that's what it says. That's right.
23 Q. Now, would you read out point 1? Which was the first territorial
24 unit to be established?
25 A. The following unit of the Territorial Defence is being formed,
1 under number 1 it says the Bosnian Herzegovinian Brigade the Kraj Tomislav
2 and as brigade commander, General Mate Sarlija is appointed. The TO Zenica
3 Brigade, that was someone else. Et cetera.
4 Q. All right. Fine. So if you look at the names there, play we
5 scroll down, please, to see the bottom of the document? Yes. If you look
6 at those names, who were the commanders of the brigades or, rather,
7 Territorial Defence detachments?
8 A. Where?
9 Q. [Microphone not activated].
10 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, counsel, please. Microphone.
11 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
12 Q. Ethnically speaking?
13 A. Mr. Mate Sarlija was a Bosniak but he took the name of Mate
14 Sarlija but he's not a Croat at all although he took that name. He's not a
15 Croat. I can't remember but I will remember in due course his name was
16 really Batlak.
17 Q. Nijaz Batlak?
18 A. I don't know about Nijaz but I know that he was Batlak. I'm
19 quite certain of that and I met him on one occasion so he wasn't a Croat at
20 all, he was a Muslim, a Bosniak, if you like.
21 Q. Yes, we agree, sir.
22 A. Well, that's how it was. You needn't agree but that's how things
24 Q. And the other names are Bosniaks, Muslims, right?
25 A. Well, I just happened to know number 5 on the list.
1 Q. [Microphone not activated]?
2 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
3 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Look at the names.
5 A. I know Mr. Sehovic, I knew him. And as for the rest.
6 Q. That will do. Thank you.
7 A. I don't know any of the others.
8 MS. PINTER: [Interpretation] I have no further questions. I'll
9 leave sometime for the general. He has questions of his own which he can
10 put tomorrow, I assume.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, because it's already five
12 minutes past 7.00. Theoretically speaking, General Praljak has, well, just
13 do the maths, how much time, to see how much time he has. I think he
14 should have around 30 minutes, unless I'm very much mistaken but the
15 registrar will correct me if I'm wrong. As I said, it is five minutes past
16 7.00, I invite you all back tomorrow whether the proceedings reconvene at
17 2.15. Thank you.
18 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
19 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 21st day of
20 September, 2006, at 2.15 p.m.