1 Tuesday, 27 February 2007
2 [Open session]
3 [The accused entered court]
4 [The witness enters court]
5 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Registrar, please call the case.
7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President. Case
8 IT-04-74-T, the Prosecutor versus Prlic et al.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are on Tuesday,
10 27 February 2007.
11 Welcome, Witness. We are going to continue our work and without
12 wasting any more time, I'll give the floor to Mr. Registrar if there are
13 any IC numbers. There are none.
14 Mr. Scott.
15 WITNESS: JOSIP PRALJAK [Resumed]
16 [Witness answered through interpreter]
17 MR. SCOTT: Good morning, Mr. President, Your Honours, and to
18 everyone in the courtroom.
19 Examination by Mr. Scott: [Continued]
20 Q. Good morning, Mr. Praljak. Sir, if I could just go back and pick
21 up on a couple of points from yesterday, please, before moving forward.
22 Returning to the 9th of May for one question or two, of 1993, the people
23 who were -- that came to the Heliodrom prison that day and the days
24 thereafter, can you tell the Judges whether any of the people who came --
25 who came or were brought to the prison during that time, were any of them
1 Serbs or Croats, to your knowledge?
2 A. There were only Muslims in that group -- in those groups.
3 Q. We also discussed yesterday about the classification or separation
4 of the prisoners that were brought to the Heliodrom from the 30th of June
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And if I recall correctly, or can you tell us -- let me just ask
8 it this way: Can you tell us when you recall -- first, you or Mr. Bozic
9 first having any list that separated the various persons who were being
10 held at the Heliodrom prison after the 30th of June 1993, when you first
11 had any list that separated these people into different categories as
12 either military detainees in a way we were using the term yesterday or as
13 prisoners of war or as civilians? When did you first have any such list
14 that you felt was reliable or something that you could actually use to
15 administer the prison?
16 A. I think in the middle of September when there were massive
17 releases and when everybody was released except those against whom
18 criminal reports had been filed, that was the first time when we had those
19 people as prisoners of war.
20 Q. Sir, when we talked about the -- these large releases, the massive
21 release is the term you just used, are you talking about that in
22 association with the time when various of the HVO prison camps were closed
23 at the end of 1993?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. All right. You keep mentioning the word -- the month September.
1 Sir, can I ask you just again thinking -- think on that further. Did that
2 happen in September or in December?
3 A. Larger releases began towards the end. I can't tell you the exact
4 month, but I know it was towards the end of the year. I think it was in
5 October, November. That's when the largest numbers were released.
6 Q. All right. Well, perhaps we'll come back to that with some
7 specific documents as we continue on with your testimony.
8 Now, I have a similar question for you. Apart from the list, the
9 preparation of the list that were done as to categories or classification
10 of prisoners, my next question is related not to the listing but to the
11 actual treatment of the prisoners in terms of whether they were maintained
12 separately, held separately at various parts of the complex after the 30th
13 of June, 1993, and just as a refresher from yesterday, we're talking about
14 the prison building, the school, and the sports hall. So keeping those
15 three buildings in mind, can you tell us at what point, if at any time,
16 during 1993 the different categories of prisoners, military detainees,
17 prisoners of war, civilians, were held and administered separately?
18 A. Throughout the time. First of all, I'd like to focus on the
19 prison building. There was a separate area that was physically separated,
20 housing military detainees and prisoners. In that other part of the
21 building there were prisoners of war.
22 Q. And how about --
23 A. And at the top of the building there were several women who were
24 again physically separated.
25 Q. All right. And how about at the school?
1 A. The school was a building that was not created as a prison, so
2 that the premises were used to accommodate them. And there was also an
3 infirmary there where two Muslim doctors worked. Plus, the building was
4 fitted with bathrooms and toilets and running water.
5 The third building or, rather, gyms and halls were right next to
6 the school building. Again, those premises were not created as a prison.
7 They were just used to put up the people that had been brought in. In the
8 gym, again, there was running water, a toilet, a bathroom throughout.
9 Q. All right. Let me -- let me stop you there, sir. As to each of
10 the two other buildings, the -- let's start first again with the school.
11 My specific question was: Was only one category of prisoners, the types
12 of persons we were discussing earlier this morning, was only one type of
13 prisoner held at the school or were there various types of prisoners held
14 at the school?
15 A. At the school only one category of people were kept, those who
16 were brought in after the 30th of June.
17 Q. And among those people -- was there a classification of the people
18 brought in after the 30th of June as detainees, prisoners of war, or
20 A. We at the prison were not aware of who was a prisoner of war and
21 who was a civilian.
22 Q. And can I ask the similar question, then, about the sports hall.
23 Were those people all of one -- were those prisoners, the people being
24 held -- let me use a general term. The people that were being held there,
25 were they of one category or was there any separation or classification of
1 the people held in the sports hall?
2 A. No. It was the same as in the school building.
3 Q. And these are the people -- is it correct from what you told us
4 yesterday, the people in particular in the school building and in the
5 sports hall were those that were separately received and processed by
6 Mr. Vidovic and his group around the 30th of June; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. And just before we move on, since you touched on it,
9 you said there were two Muslim physicians or medical people at the school.
10 Is it correct, sir, that these Muslims were themselves detainees or
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. Now, sir, if we can go forward, and if I could direct
14 your attention to Exhibit P 03411. We were talking -- we ended the day
15 yesterday talking about the interrogation of prisoners. Do you have that,
17 A. Could you give me the number, please?
18 Q. Yes, of course. 3411. If you have that, sir, can you just look
19 at that for a moment and tell the Judges what this document is, please.
20 Do you recall, sir, that around the 12th of July, 1993, some new
21 procedures were put in place concerning people held at the Heliodrom?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And this document, Exhibit P 03411, does that set out as you best
24 recall it what those procedures were at that time, or the rules, if you
1 A. After Zvonko Vidovic was appointed from the crime prevention
2 service, and after he wrote his instructions, I think this was complied
3 with except in exceptional situations.
4 Q. Around this time, did you also have any knowledge of or
5 involvement with a man named Zara Pavlovic?
6 A. I did not know Zara Pavlovic, but I heard from Mr. Stanko Bozic
7 about Zarko Pavlovic, concerning the releases he made and his powers, that
8 he was in charge of the area of Capljina, and that he was authorised for
9 those prisoners as far as their releases were concerned and as far as
10 future work was concerned.
11 Q. And so the record is clear, when I hear you say he was responsible
12 for those prisoners, are you saying he was responsible for the prisoners
13 coming from the Capljina area?
14 A. He was not in charge inside the prison, but he was in charge of
15 further procedure and of all decisions concerning them.
16 Q. And did you know from what organisation or authority Mr. Pavlovic
17 came from?
18 A. I think it was an official of the SIS or perhaps the crime
19 prevention service, one of these two.
20 Q. Now, moving forward, did you also -- can you tell the Judges
21 whether you also heard at this time, as these procedures were being put in
22 place, what the continuing role of Mr. Pusic, Berislav Pusic, would be in
23 connection with the release of prisoners, things we were talking about
24 yesterday afternoon?
25 A. Mr. Berislav Pusic was an official of the military police
1 administration until I think July when he was appointed head of the office
2 for exchanges.
3 Q. And what role after that point, after his -- after he became the
4 head of the office for exchange, what was his role in the release of
5 prisoners from the Heliodrom?
6 A. As the chief or, rather, the head of the office for exchanges, he
7 had powers over the detained prisoners of war.
8 Q. Can I ask you, please, to turn to Exhibit 3351. And if you can
9 find the section in that document, that is the section numbered 2.4. Do
10 you have that? In the B/C/S version, sir, there's a page that -- the top
11 of the page starts with heading 2.4. Do you have it?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. All right. If you can look at this for a moment, please. Sir,
14 this document appears to be a report of the HVO military police
15 administration for the first six months of 1993, January to June 1993.
16 Can I ask you, if you're looking at 2.4, just directing your attention to
17 couple of -- a couple of the sentences there. The first sentence:
18 "Over 6.000 prisoners of war have been held in prisons in
19 Herceg-Bosna over the past period. Currently there are over 4.000
20 prisoners in prison. Of this number, several hundred are members of the
21 Serbian army, and the overwhelming number are members of the army of BH.
22 "Prisoners are taken out for work in large numbers, this making it
23 possible for them to escape.
24 "There have been a number of such cases but there exists no
25 possibilities for increasing the number of military police."
1 Based on your experience and your involvement at the Heliodrom
2 prison at the time this report was written, is that information consistent
3 with what you knew or understood to be the case at the time?
4 A. I wouldn't have much to say about this except perhaps one thing.
5 There was a large number of people, how large I don't know, but it's
6 probable that somebody qualified, competent, made this report.
7 As for the number of military policemen who worked as guards, it
8 was a very small number, and they never sent us the reinforcements that we
9 had requested. As I said, officers of the SIS and the crime prevention
10 service did their jobs and worked every day with the detainees and
12 Q. In the last sentence of that section it says:
13 "Instances" - excuse me - "Instances have been reported of
14 forcible entry into prisons and forcibly conducted investigations on the
15 part of some commanders. Such practices should be definitely forbidden
16 and prevented."
17 A. I can't recall a single such case where I was present during such
18 a forced entry, but if it's written in the report, then probably there
19 were reports to that effect and maybe it did happen, but I didn't know
20 about it.
21 Q. You said a moment ago that there were not sufficient number of
22 military policemen. The reinforcements that we had requested were not
23 provided. Is that an issue that you, Mr. Praljak, raised on a number of
24 occasions, that there were insufficient military policemen at the
25 Heliodrom prison?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Do you recall a particular --
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I must have a question of
4 understanding. I don't really understand this: Forcible entry. If it
5 means that people were sent to prison against their will, that is a rather
6 normal practice. What is forcible to be understood as meaning in this
7 context here? I don't know whether the witness or the Prosecution will
9 MR. SCOTT: I will defer in the first instance, of course, Your
10 Honour, to the witness if he can assist us.
11 Q. Do you understand the Judge's question, Mr. Praljak?
12 A. Yes, I did. I can only clarify what's written here. As far as I
13 understand it, forced entry or forcible entry was made by other units, and
14 people were taken out by force to be investigated.
15 Q. And the language, just to pick up and to follow up on Judge
16 Trechsel's question, the language of the report, at least as its
17 translated in English, is the reports of forcible entry into prisons. I
18 don't think bringing people forcibly to the prisons, but forcible entry
19 into the prisons and forcible --
20 A. No. Here in the translation it says that certain commanders
21 forcibly entered and conducted investigations --
22 Q. Let me --
23 A. -- of prisoners of war or other people who were inside.
24 Q. All right. Before we continue on to another aspect related to
25 this, Mr. President, we're move off or forward from some of the evidence
1 that we expect to obtain from this witness concerning the matter of
2 releases and the documentation of that. A larger amount of those
3 materials is part of the various bundles that have been prepared in
4 connection with the witness, this witness. Bundles 1, 2, 5, 6 and 12 are
5 all bundles of collections of documents all related to the release of
6 prisoners during this time, and if time allows at the end of his
7 testimony, we will have -- we'll ask the witness to further confirm these
8 bundles of exhibits, but I'm just informing the Chamber now that that is
9 the way we're prepared to proceed.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, Mr. Scott. We are
11 dealing with documents 33, 51, and I have to ask certain questions.
12 At 2.4, it is said that there were hundreds of soldiers who were
13 members of the Serb army. It's the first time I see this reference.
14 To the best of your knowledge, when you were deputy warden of the
15 prison, were there Serb soldiers detained and, if so, were they mixed in
16 with the Muslims? Where were those Serb soldiers?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Since the report relates to 1993 and
18 the month that is indicated, we did not know among those 6.000 people
19 mentioned here who was of Serb ethnicity, who was a Muslim, or any other
20 ethnicity. Only Mr. Vidovic and his group knew that.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You surprise me. In a -- so far
22 as you explained that the prisoners of war were separated from the
23 soldiers and others.
24 Now, I assume, but this is a hypothesis, that those Serb prisoners
25 were prisoners of war. Were they not? And if they were prisoners of war,
1 how come you weren't kept abreast of that and didn't know about it?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] How would I know about it from the
3 30th of June when they were brought in if we had no insight into the
4 names, the first or last names of any of the people who were brought in?
5 The number is known, the number before the 30th of June, and then there
6 are reports about how many military detainees there were and others.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. There's no point in
8 going further.
9 Now, my last question -- yes, Mr. Coric.
10 THE ACCUSED CORIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I would like to
11 be of assistant here. I think that something has been omitted. The
12 Prosecutor should have said that this is an excerpt from a six-month
13 report from the 1st of January, 1993, until the 1st of July, 1993. So
14 these are facts and figures for six months, the first six months of 1993.
15 And in that first stage in 1993, most of the prisoners in the prison were
16 Serb, Serb prisoners, and then the situation changed. I want to help the
17 witness out here for him to be able to give the proper answer as it was.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. That will allow us
19 to have a better understanding of the sentence.
20 And now my last question for this witness just now. In the
21 Naletilic trial that was tried here, and we admitted certain facts, it
22 emerged that Mr. Mladen Naletilic came to the prison in order to assist in
23 the interrogations. Now, to the best of your knowledge, Mladen Naletilic,
24 did he -- was he part of those who entered and who shouldn't have entered
25 the prison?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mladen Naletilic, nickname Tuta,
2 never came to the prison as himself during working hours while I was there
3 from 8.00 to 4.00, nor did I have any knowledge or neither did I read
4 about that in any of the reports.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. We'll take note of
6 what you said.
7 A question from the Bench.
8 JUDGE MINDUA: [Interpretation] A short question, Witness. A
9 moment ago you said that Mr. Berislav Pusic was a member of the military
10 police until July when he became head of the exchange office. Now, what
11 do you mean when you say member of the military police? Was he a soldier
12 in a uniform with a rank or not?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] While Berislav Pusic was a member of
14 the military police he wore a uniform just like I did. Now, as far as
15 rank is concerned, I don't think there were any ranks. I don't think
16 anybody had ranks at that time.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said that he wore the same
18 uniform as you, and what was your uniform like?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It was a camouflage uniform of the
20 military police just like the other soldiers.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And did you have a white belt?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes. I didn't, actually. I had a
23 green belt.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Why did you have a green belt?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, I found it more suitable and
1 in some -- on some occasions I wore a white belt.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And Mr. Pusic, what kind of belt
3 did he have?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't say what kind of belt
5 he had. I didn't notice whether he had one, what it was like. It was a
6 long time ago for me to be able to say, but all I can say is that he wore
7 a uniform.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Mr. Scott.
9 MR. SCOTT:
10 Q. If I can ask you next, please, to look at Exhibit 3209. And if I
11 can start, sir, by asking if you look at the signature portion of the
12 document, it -- the typing on the document appears that it was prepared
13 for the signature of Mr. Bozic, but can you confirm to us that that is
14 your signature on the document?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And can you tell us -- looking at this document, can you just say
17 a bit more to the Judges about this particular incident, shooting
18 incident, at the prison?
19 A. When we came to work in the morning, we found out that during the
20 night there had been some shooting at the windows of the hall and the
21 school where the detainees were located. The deputy commander of the
22 brigade was immediately informed about that; that was Mr. Mile Pusic. And
23 they intervened to stop the shooting. Those were all the words of
24 Mr. Slavko Kozul.
25 Q. This is one of the men that you identified, I believe, yesterday
1 as one of the shift commanders; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, Slavko Kozul.
3 Q. In terms of the document itself, the distribution is to Mr. Bruno
4 Stojic, Mr. Valentin Coric, Mr. Zvonko Vidovic, and Mr. Berislav Pusic.
5 Now, you signed the letter. Do you recall whether you actually also
6 prepared the letter? Maybe you originally prepared it for Mr. Bozic's
7 signature, but in any event, do you know -- did you prepare this letter
8 yourself and then ultimately sign it?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. And why did you send a copy of this report to Mr. Stojic?
11 A. The importance of the situation which occurred, luckily there
12 weren't any casualties but there could have been. For this to be
13 prevented, I thought that it would come to the representative of Mr. Bruno
14 Stojic; Valentin Coric, the head; as well as Zvonko Vidovic, the head of
15 the crime prevention department; and Mr. Berislav Pusic, from the military
16 police administration. For them to understand the seriousness of the
17 situation and the situation at Heliodrom, because I stress that there are
18 few military policemen, not enough, and that it was not possible to
19 provide security with the number of military men available. And at that
20 time there were 16 of them.
21 Q. Sir, can you tell the Judges, to the best of your knowledge, that
22 is as far as you know, was anyone ever punished, disciplined or held
23 accountable for that shooting incident around the 5th of July, 1993?
24 A. I don't know.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, this document testifies
1 to the fact that between 1.00 and 3.00 a.m. on the 5th of July, 1993,
2 unidentified soldiers shot at the windows of the school building. You
3 yourself or Mr. Bozic, independently of the report -- well, you can't say
4 anything about the report. It's done as it should be. But did you --
5 these soldiers must have belonged to a unit, and you must have given their
6 descriptions to their superiors. So did the prison authorities take any
7 steps with respect and contact the responsible military persons in the
8 Heliodrom to try and understand and unravel what had actually happened,
9 because they could have been drunken soldiers, one soldier or more
10 soldiers who were drunk and shot. It could have been an organised
11 incident. So it gives rise to a whole number of questions.
12 Now, at the level of the prison authorities, did you contact the
13 responsible military authorities of the Heliodrom compound to find out
14 exactly what had happened?
15 A. According to the report that was written at that time, it was
16 emphasised that the deputy commander of the 3rd Brigade, Mr. Mile Puzic
17 had been informed as well as the brigade police and the military police
18 that was in town at the mechanical engineering faculty in Mostar, and they
19 indicated -- they reported the incident and asked them to solve it, that
20 is to say, the brigade police and our own police to investigate the
21 incident. However, according to what Mr. Slavko Kozul said, that was not
22 done. So the shooting stopped of its own accord.
23 Everything was sent out by the book as it should have been so that
24 the deputy commander, Mr. Mile Pusic, with his brigade police force,
25 should find the perpetrators and punish them. Whether he actually did
1 find them and punish them, I don't know.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Scott, if I'm asking a question
3 which you would have asked.
4 You complain here that you have not enough police force to guard
5 the camp. Were there any consequences? Was the police force reinforced?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In the report you say there were
9 16 policemen to provide security. Now, these 16 in realtime or 16 in
10 total? Or in a word, this number 16, is it the number of the total number
11 of the policemen or is it a number which changed?
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the time we had 16 military
13 policemen, and in the report, I said that we needed -- that we would need
14 another 16 military policemen in order to be able to provide security for
15 the prison.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm referring to this figure of
17 17. Now, I assume that among the 16 there are some who -- who are off at
18 night, asleep at night. Others might be off on furlough. Others might be
19 sick. So there are not 16 of them at all times.
20 Now, during the night, in order to guard all these prisoners, how
21 many military policemen were there on duty? Through the night, for
22 example, awake, alert, in order to ensure proper security for at least
23 three buildings, the school, the sports hall, and the other building, the
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to this report, the
1 security for these four buildings, there were only 16 military policemen.
2 That's what I'm reading here. Now, I can't say whether it was 16, 17, or
3 18, actually, because it was a long time ago.
4 MR. SCOTT: If I might --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You're looking at the report,
6 but I would like to tap into our memory. You say there were 16 to guard
7 four buildings. Does that mean four per building or does it mean that
8 there were a total of 16 to provide security for the whole penitentiary
9 compound? That's what I want to know. Were there 16 at night or 16 in
10 total for everything?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] There were 16 policemen employed.
12 MR. SCOTT: If I might assist, Your Honour.
13 Q. Sir, you told us yesterday that there were shifts at the prison
14 and sometimes you said there were 12-hour visits and sometimes there were
15 8-hour shifts. Now, to follow up on the President's question, when you
16 say there were military policemen, are you saying that these 16 military
17 policemen would then be spread out over the various shifts? So some would
18 be on the nightshift, some would be on the dayshift, what have you? How
19 many of these 16 policemen were actually guarding the facility at any one
21 A. There were a small number. I know that they couldn't cover it
22 all, so that in the building because the -- in the school building,
23 because the school building and the sports hall were together, there were
24 two men working, sometimes three, in one shift. Two or three on duty in
25 one shift.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: If I may --
2 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: -- go on. At that moment, between 1.00 and 3.00
4 in the night, some policemen were out on duty; correct?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
6 JUDGE TRECHSEL: It seems, furthermore, that they did absolutely
7 nothing, that they did not react in any way to this shooting. Is that
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] According to the report here, all I
10 can see is that they reported the incident to the brigade police which was
11 put up at Heliodrom and the military police at the mechanical engineering
12 factory, which means that they could not have stood up to this because an
13 even bigger conflict would have flared up. That's my opinion.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Anyway, you say that the shooting stopped without
15 police intervention. That means that the guards did not intervene. Isn't
16 that so?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That's what can be deduced from the
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Is this the way that the service of guards was
20 conceived at Heliodrom, that they should not intervene when anyone shot
21 at -- at prison premises? Was that their order? Did they have that order
22 not to react in such a case?
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the order is concerned
24 itself, the work of the military policemen was to protect, to provide
25 protection for the prisoners and not to allow forcible entry or forced
1 entry, and not to allow disturbances of any kind, war prisoners to be
3 JUDGE TRECHSEL: That's what one assumes. Now it appears that
4 this duty was not fulfilled. Was any disciplinary action taken against
5 those who were on guard at that time and did not react during two hours?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, unless the warden
7 might have done something.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
10 MR. SCOTT:
11 Q. Sir, moving on then to -- from this incident to another topic.
12 Can you tell the Judges generally, please, whether the prisoners who were
13 detained and brought in during this June, July 1993 time period, were they
14 then taken out at various times from the Heliodrom to perform -- well, on
15 various labour details?
16 A. Can you explain what you mean about -- of these -- what do you
17 mean by details, duties?
18 Q. Forgive me.
19 A. What duties and details?
20 Q. Were prisoners taken from the Heliodrom, outside of the Heliodrom
21 to perform labour?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And when do you recall first learning that in the course of being
24 taken out to perform labour prisoners were being killed, wounded, injured,
25 or disappearing in some way?
1 A. As far as wounding was concerned and injury and what happened,
2 where they were taken, in the places where they were taken to do labour, I
3 didn't know about that, nor did I see a single wounded or killed person.
4 Q. Well, let me ask you, please, to go to P 03171.
5 A. Can you repeat the number, please?
6 Q. Yes, 3171. And, sir, this appears to be a report dated the 4th of
7 July, 1993, so quite early in this period. Again, although there is the
8 typed named Stanko Bozic, is it in fact your signature on this report?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell the Judges, please, how the information came to you
11 for the purpose of preparing this report that two prisoners, Mr. Ramic and
12 Mr. Cilic, had been wounded while being taken out on a labour assignment?
13 A. When they were taken, pursuant to the order, the prisoners of war,
14 they were -- when they were being taken out, they were all registered,
15 their names and surnames, made a list of by the shift commander who let
16 them go. And the person who took them off signed for them. And after
17 labour was completed, and that was usually after 4.00 p.m. when we'd
18 already gone home, those prisoners of war would come back from having
19 performed the labour.
20 Q. But how did you find out or how would you find out on any given
21 occasion, in particular, this occasion, how did you find out that two of
22 the prisoners had been wounded?
23 A. In the morning Mr. Ante Smiljanic brought in a report to Mr. Bozic
24 about all the things that happened during the night or, rather, everything
25 that happened from 4.00 p.m. until the next morning. Then Mr. Smiljanic
1 would inform Mr. Stanko Bozic, and then the secretary, Snjezana
2 Cvitanovic, would compile the report like this one, this report, which I,
3 on that morning, as you can see, signed for Mr. Bozic.
4 Q. Is it correct, sir, that most of the prisoners who were taken out
5 for labour, they would be returned to the facility after 4.00?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. In the first letter of the report that you signed it says: "On 3
8 July 1992, pursuant to written request number 01-41/93 by the 7th
9 Battalion of the 3rd Brigade, detainees were provided for work with the
10 approval of Mr. Berislav Pusic."
11 Now, can you explain to the Judges, please, what role Mr. Pusic
12 played in the approval of sending prisoner for forced labour?
13 A. Mr. Berislav, as a worker of the military police, could allow
14 labour and allow people to go out to perform labour, and probably at that
15 time, it was Mr. Berislav Pusic who had to be asked, because otherwise he
16 wouldn't have -- his name wouldn't have been mentioned in this report had
17 that not been necessary.
18 Q. Why did you send your report to Mr. Coric?
19 A. It was constant practice wherein we, the prison, had to report
20 everything to the chief of the military police, the chief of the crime
21 prevention service, Mr. Zvonko Vidovic, and Mr. Berislav Pusic, as the
22 officer in charge of control of the military police administration.
23 Q. Could you explain to the Judges, you touched on this a moment ago,
24 but could you explain to the Judges your understanding of the procedure,
25 if you will, from start to finish, in terms of an HVO unit requesting
1 prisoners to be taken out of the Heliodrom for labour? How would such a
2 request be made? How would it be processed to the point of the prisoners
3 then actually leaving the facility to go out and work?
4 A. There were various periods as far as the release of prisoners for
5 labour was concerned. We, as the military prison, were not entitled to
6 let anyone go out to do labour without an order. At the beginning,
7 brigade commanders or battalion commanders could take them out. Military
8 police could take prisoners out all the time because we were under the
9 military police. But later, specific people were appointed who could
10 issue approvals for the prisoners to go out to do labour. One of them was
11 the commander of the town defence or, rather, the commander of the AT
12 unit, light infantry unit, Mr. Miro [as interpreted] Jelic. So that the
13 greatest number of exits for labour was approved by him.
14 Q. All right. I'll stop you for a moment please just to correct the
15 transcript. On line 19, sir, it's been recorded -- the name you've given
16 has been recorded as Miro, M-i-r-o, Jelic. Is that correct or could you
17 spell it?
18 A. Mijo, M-i-j-o.
19 Q. And you've indicated that Mr. Jelic was a commander of a, what was
20 called here in the record, of a light infantry unit. And can you tell the
21 Judges, was that a military unit organisation of the military police?
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. Could I ask you please to turn in your bundle to Exhibit 2638. If
24 you have that, sir, can you tell us, is this the type of document or order
25 that you and people at the Heliodrom prison became familiar with as an
1 order concerning the use of prisoners from the Heliodrom for labour? In
2 this particular instance, dated, in fact, the 5th of June, 1993.
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And when we look at the name on the bottom of this document in
5 terms of who -- or for whose signature it was prepared, is this the Mijo
6 Jelic that you were testifying about just a moment ago?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. All right. Looking at the first part of that under the
9 words "Order" -- under the word "Order," it says, "As of the 5th of June,
10 1993, the unit --" It says "1st light attack BVP is allowed to take five
11 male prisoners from the SVIZ Heliodrom Mostar. Mr. Meho Gosto is
12 personally responsible for taking over the prisoners for their security
13 and welfare while they would be carrying out the public works. The
14 prisoners are to be treated in accordance with the international
15 humanitarian law and Geneva Conventions."
16 Now, going back to the question I asked you a moment ago, how
17 would the 1st light attack BVP on the 5th of June, 1993, if you know, how
18 would that unit communicate, "Please send us five prisoners to work for us
19 today"? How would that work?
20 A. A driver from this light assault brigade or the person who was
21 supposed to bring the prisoners out would bring this order, enter the
22 prison, and go to see the shift commander. And this person would show the
23 list to the shift commander, who would then select five persons. And when
24 the person bringing out the prisoners of war would sign the paper, the
25 number of their military badge would be taken down. If it was a military
1 policeman, then -- or a number of his ID, military ID if it was a soldier,
2 and then that person would take the people out.
3 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, if I can just pause here to inform the
4 Chamber and, again, if we have time at the end of Mr. Praljak's testimony,
5 we may come back to this, but in the bundle of materials, the binders and
6 bundles of materials that have been provided to the Chamber, bundle number
7 3 is a set of a large number of orders for the use of detainees for
8 labour. I don't know how many exhibits are in that bundle exactly
9 offhand, although it goes on for -- the list itself goes on for --
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have a question.
11 Have you finished, Mr. Scott?
12 MR. SCOTT: No. If I could just finish assisting the Chamber, I
13 hope. That's bundle 3. Bundle 4 is a set of documents, requests for
14 prisoners for labour primarily signed by a person named Puljic. Bundle
15 number 7 is a set of documents listed in a 33-page index of approvals to
16 take detainees for labour. Bundle 8 is a set of materials listed in 17
17 pages of reports concerning detainees who had been beaten, wounded, or
18 killed who are performing forced labour. Exhibit bundle number 10 is a
19 two-page list of various logbooks related to the taking of prisoners for
20 forced labour. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, I have looked at this
22 document, just as those in the bundles 3, 4, and others. I note that
23 there is a great number of orders saying at the end that the prisoners
24 would be treated in keeping with the international humanitarian law,
25 Geneva Conventions, et cetera.
1 Now, in your mind, what did this phrase mean? What was it that
2 prisoners were able or could do outside, and what couldn't they do in
3 keeping with international treaties? Could you share with us your views
4 on that issue?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This very phrase "treat them in
6 keeping with international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions"
7 expresses a certain attitude toward the prisoner of war, meaning that he
8 should not be mistreated, insulted, beaten, and most importantly, that he
9 should not be taken to places where his life would be in danger. In other
10 words, he should be removed from the front line.
11 As we see in every order that has been to given us, the labour is
12 strictly specified: Cleaning streets, cleaning parks, cleaning premises.
13 And that in itself specifies that these people would not be at risk. That
14 is my personal opinion.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have given us your
16 explanation. Now, following from that, when you make a report saying that
17 two detainees were injured, did you ask yourself -- as they were wounded
18 by BH fire, doesn't that mean that they were at risk after all? When you
19 analyse the situation, a situation where two detainees were wounded by BH
20 fire, at the same time as telling us in line 13 that prisoners should not
21 be exposed to risk, how does that tally?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This order doesn't say that I am in
23 a position to see them when they are taken out. The shift commander gets
24 an order that neither I nor Stanko Bozic have access to. The shift
25 commander is the only one who sees the order and who approves that labour.
1 In the morning when a report is made for the previous day to
2 Mr. Stanko Bozic, it is only then that we find out somebody was injured or
3 wounded. I can say with full responsibility that all those things that
4 happened, and we can see all that in the reports, were the responsibility
5 of Mr. Stanko Bozic. He took care of that, together with two doctors from
6 the infirmary who have generally extended assistance in such cases, and
7 Mr. Stanko Bozic did his utmost. That's my opinion.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since you have on the screen
9 this text, we see in the B/C/S version that the order was written on a
10 form where you only have to fill in the names and the dates, which means
11 that it was a current practice to require prisoners for labour.
12 To the best of your knowledge, how many prisoners went out each
13 day to work in different areas, in different locations?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I couldn't tell you, but many of
15 them went out. I couldn't give you the exact number. You can see that in
16 the reports and in the records. There is a record of how many people went
17 out to work each day. I wouldn't like to speculate on the number.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Scott. If I may just continue in
20 this direction.
21 Mr. Praljak, was there any system to control whether the prisoners
22 were actually employed for these innocent tasks that were indicated in the
23 requests and whether they were really treated in accordance with
24 international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions and, if so, how
25 was this control operated?
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As far as the prison is concerned,
2 the prison was not able to know where prisoners were going. They were
3 taken from Heliodrom to various locations, but we didn't know where.
4 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, this is quite a surprising answer.
5 The prisoners were in your hands, under your administration, and in your
6 responsibility. I would suppose that a minimum would be that there is a
7 regular control by talking to these prisoners and asking them where they
8 were, what they had been asked to do, particularly when they had been
9 wounded. Are you telling me that nothing of this kind was done?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I said a moment ago that Mr. Bozic
11 talked to prisoners. If any of those prisoners were wounded, I never had
12 occasion to speak to them. Mr. Bozic did that and wrote the reports.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm not -- I'm not claiming that you personally
14 are responsible. When I say you or the prison, I mean the prison
15 management there.
16 Are you aware -- can you tell us that Mr. Bozic actually
17 investigated and found out how the prisoners were used?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I wouldn't know that. I wouldn't
19 know about Bozic, and I can't speak in his name.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I don't ask you to speak in his name, but did you
21 not talk about these matters? Was it something without any interest to
22 you that prisoners under your responsibility came not back at all or came
23 back and were wounded?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] All that I knew I reported to
25 Mr. Bozic; I shared with him. But as for things I didn't know, I didn't
1 hear much from other people because I didn't speak to prisoners about such
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott. Please
5 MR. SCOTT: If I could have the usher's assistance, please. In
6 the --
7 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. In the various bundles that have been prepared, some of them I
10 just referred to -- or all of them I just referred to, there is Exhibit
11 2921, and in the interest of time, I'll just ask if the usher can put that
12 on the ELMO, please, and the -- well, first, if you could give it to the
13 witness. Actually, I think he has it. No, he wouldn't have it in that
14 bundle. I'm sorry, usher. No. If you could give the witness the B/C/S
15 version and put the English version on the ELMO, please. I'm sorry.
17 Now, sir, this is a request to Mr. Bozic, as I understand it,
18 dated the 24th of June, 1993, to take 20 detainees to perform engineer
19 works on the Croatian Defence Council or HVO positions in Ricinoj street.
20 Do you see that?
21 A. I do.
22 Q. And what is your understanding when it talks about engineering
23 works? What does that mean to you? Or to engineer works. What kind of
25 A. Engineering works. Probably digging. What kind of digging, I
1 don't know. Engineering, machines.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic.
3 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] I think, Mr. President, the
4 accused can see only English on the screens.
5 MR. SCOTT: If you look on the --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] There it is. We can see it all
7 now, Mr. Ibrisimovic. I'm sorry.
8 MR. SCOTT:
9 Q. Sir, can you tell us, is it correct that Ricinoj street was
10 located on the confrontation line in Mostar?
11 A. Ricinoj street was the place where the prison building was, where
12 I worked.
13 Q. And where was that location in relation to the confrontation line?
14 A. In the town of Mostar itself.
15 Q. And where was that in location to the confrontation line between
16 the -- excuse me, sir. Let me finish my question to you. In relation to
17 the confrontation line between the Muslims and the Croats as of this time
18 period in June 1993?
19 A. Ricinoj Street is the separation line in the conflict.
20 MR. SCOTT: And if I can just have the usher's assistance. Just
21 one other document on this example, please. Exhibit 3194. And again with
22 the English on the ELMO, please.
23 Q. Sir, is it correct this is a request dated the 5th of July, 1993,
24 for five prisoners to be taken to "build bunkers between the new bank and
25 the grammar school"?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. And do you have any other information you can give us on the use
3 of the word "bunkers" other than what we might think of as common usage?
4 A. Well, bunker means a shelter, shelter from enemy shells and
6 Q. Could I direct your attention, please, to the lower part of the
7 document, and can you tell us, does that indicate again some approval by
8 Mr. Pusic? And whose handwriting is that?
9 A. This is my handwriting. This was approved by Berko Pusic and
10 taken over by Miro Bevanda against his signature.
11 Q. And, sir, how do you recall putting this handwritten information
12 on the document? How did you receive the information that Mr. Pusic had
13 approved the taking of these prisoners to build bunkers?
14 A. This request, we see "Subject: Request ..." was something that I
15 called Berko Pusic about. I with read to him the request, and he would
16 approve this part where it says what is requested, and then Mr. Miro
17 Bevanda would take it over.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The request that we see, I see
19 it's addressed to the military prison of Heliodrom, and you are asked to
20 give a group of five prisoners, but those could also be military
21 prisoners, detainees of the HVO who were serving a sentence. To the best
22 of your knowledge, when you received such requests, did it ever happen
23 that either you or somebody else provided the HVO with their own members
24 who were serving a sentence in your prison?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The request itself did not specify
1 which prisoners we wanted, and I can't remember whether it was our own
2 men, Croats, who went out or Muslims. All I know is that the request had
3 to be approved by the military police administration, that is Berko Pusic,
4 and he approved it.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But if those were Croats, how
6 would that concern Mr. Berislav Pusic?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] If I understand your question
8 correctly, it is not exactly that it was of concern, but it's that the
9 prison was not able to let these people go out without the approval of the
10 military police administration, in other words, Mr. Berko Pusic, and he
11 was the one we called most often whenever we needed something.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak, you have some time ago said that
13 there was a certain separation of categories of prisoners; is that
15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As for the date that we see here,
16 the 5th of July, I think you didn't understand me quite, Your Honour.
17 People were separated into categories only in September, in the end of
18 September, and there was one category only that was separated earlier,
19 military detainees as opposed to prisoners of war.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Would you then say that there were in the same
21 premises Croat and Muslim prisoners held together undistinct?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] They were in the same building, the
23 building of the prison, but they were physically separated so that they
24 could not be in contact, these two groups.
25 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So you should be able to tell and you must have
1 noticed whether the orders to take out prisoners were handed to the
2 department chief of the Croat section or a Muslim section.
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Could you please repeat that
4 question and make it more simple?
5 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. You have told us that the order to
6 take out prisoners or to hand out prisoners were brought by a driver and
7 were then handed to a shift commander; correct?
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] You didn't understand me. When the
9 order to release the prisoners of war came, the commander of the shift,
10 shift commander, would select the people being asked for. He makes a list
11 of their names into a book. He writes their names and surnames into the
12 book saying which prisoners of war were leaving, and then at the end of
13 that list, he signs his name. And the person who comes to collect the
14 people signs.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I did understand it that way, Mr. Praljak. I did
16 understand that all right. My question is: Was the same shift commander
17 in charge of Croat and of non-Croat prisoners?
18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, yes. The shift commander was
19 superior to everyone.
20 JUDGE TRECHSEL: And have you ever witnessed -- can you tell us
21 that a shift commander ever selected a Croat prisoner to go out to do
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm not a witness to have seen that.
24 However, I know that it was mostly the units within the Heliodrom compound
25 who for the tasks they performed or labour would also take out Croatian
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: How do you know this?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] From the words. And I saw people
4 taken out and working in the compound, in the barracks, the building next
5 to us, the Bojna Busic regiment, and then they would pass right underneath
6 my window where my office was and go into the next-door building.
7 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Was that the kind of assignment we have been
8 talking about now where Mr. Pusic would give an agreement?
9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] That permission wasn't issued by
10 Mr. Pusic. It was issued by the commander of the brigade at the time, and
11 that was Mr. Bozo Pavlovic.
12 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. Thank you. I'm sorry for interrupting
13 you, Mr. Scott.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, it's time for the
15 break. We're going to take a 20-minute break, and the registrar tells me
16 that you have used almost three hours and 20 minutes.
17 --- Recess taken at 10.34 a.m.
18 --- On resuming at 10.55 a.m.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott.
20 MR. SCOTT:
21 Q. Mr. Praljak, before we move forward, if we can still have -- if we
22 can still have 2921 in front of you and the English version on the ELMO.
23 Looking at the original language version, again below the
24 signature line for Mr. Puljic there is some handwritten information. Can
25 you tell us if you recognise the handwriting on the -- on that portion of
1 the document?
2 A. I don't know whose handwriting it is, but it was written pursuant
3 to a telephone conversation with Berko Pusic and Goran Vidovic. Twenty
4 detainees to be given out, and they were taken over by Mr. Dragan Kozul
5 with his signature.
6 Q. If you can recall and assist us. Would the communication take
7 place with Mr. Pusic to approve it? Is that something that the local
8 commander did or something that someone at the Heliodrom did? Can you
9 assist us further on that.
10 A. I can explain what's in front of me, that subject.
11 Q. All right. I think -- go ahead, please.
12 A. It was sent to Mr. Bozic personally, and the request came from --
13 or, rather, it came to the prison. The shift commander took in this
14 request and then called Mr. Berko Pusic on the phone, and he talked to
15 him -- or, rather, as it says here, Vidovic talked to him. Goran Vidovic
16 talked to him.
17 So on the basis of the conversation with Berko Pusic, these
18 prisoners of war were given over to this unit.
19 Q. And I take it from what you told us yesterday, the only -- excuse
20 me. Sorry.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Now,
23 I'm not clear in the transcript. Did the witness talk to Mr. Pusic or is
24 he -- I understood it that the witness didn't speak to Mr. Pusic about
25 this subject, but I'm not quite clear.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Scott. Would you clear
2 that up? I had the impression that it was the head -- or, rather, the
3 shift commander that telephoned Pusic.
4 MR. SCOTT: That's correct, Your Honour. I never suggested
5 otherwise. I asked if the witness could explain to us the process by
6 which this was done on a daily -- virtually a daily basis. Let me follow
7 up with this question which may assist -- yes.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry. I do not see this so clearly and I
9 agree with Mr. Ibrisimovic that it is unclear because it says telephone
10 call by Berko Pusic to Goran Vidovic. So at this point we have an
11 initiative that comes from the accused, Pusic, and then it goes to
12 Vidovic, and from Vidovic probably it goes to prison. Now, the shift
13 commander, we do not know what he did. Did he call Pusic, or did he call
14 Vidovic? Who in turn called Pusic?
15 Do you have any idea, Witness, of how this went?
16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On duty at the time was Mr. Goran
17 Vidovic, who talked to Mr. Berko Pusic, and with his own hand, probably
18 when he was on duty, wrote what it says here.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: So Goran Vidovic was a shift commander?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Whether he was a shift commander or
21 whether he worked in the shift or on the shift, I can't say for sure, but
22 he was doing shift duty at the time.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
24 MR. SCOTT:
25 Q. And following up on yesterday, sir, can you confirm to us that the
1 only telephone that would -- at the prison that would be available for
2 these communications was the telephone belonging to the secretary in the
3 administration building where you and Mr. Bozic were located?
4 A. At that time, the prison building, because it was working 24
5 hours, round the clock, had communication with the outside exit through
6 the switchboard of the 3rd Brigade of the Heliodrom.
7 MR. SCOTT: All right. Could I ask you, please -- for the Witness
8 to next be shown, please, Exhibit P 05457. And this is a separate bundle,
9 Your Honour, because it's a large document. It is called on the binder --
10 it is binder number 15 in the overall set, and then further, bundle 13,
11 part 3. And it's all one exhibit, the English translation and original of
12 one exhibit, which is -- Exhibit number is P 05457.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. Witness, before
14 you look at this next document, I was thinking about what you just said
15 regarding that telephone conversation. When I was young, I worked on a
16 switchboard, military switchboard, so I know how these things work.
17 Now, I seem to have the impression that you were saying that from
18 this office one would have to go through the switchboard of the 3rd
19 Brigade in order to get an outside connection. Does that mean that the
20 telephone did not have direct access outside, that you would have to go
21 through the switchboard of the 3rd Brigade?
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Right. Now, let's imagine that
24 somebody was calling you from outside and wanted to speak to you. They
25 would have to go through the switchboard of the 3rd Brigade, and then they
1 would put the call through to you; is that right?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No. We had a direct line in the
3 administration, a separate number that didn't have to go through the
4 brigade switchboard. There was a direct line to the secretary in her
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And why was it that
7 when Mr. Pusic was calling, or the other way round, you had to go through
8 the switchboard? Why couldn't you do this through the direct connection
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This was used -- this line was used
11 by myself, Bozic, and the secretary, this direct line, whereas during the
12 night, we used the brigade switchboard because we weren't working at the
13 time. So the prison building was connected with that switchboard.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. That's very precise,
15 and it's provided me with the information I needed.
16 Mr. Scott.
17 MR. SCOTT:
18 Q. If you could look now, if you have in front of you, please, if you
19 can go to the original language version of the document which should
20 probably be about halfway through the binder that you have in front of
22 And if the Judges have the binder, for this initial purpose, you
23 may also wish to look momentarily at least at the B/C/S version.
24 Do you have that, sir? When you look at that binder, first of
25 all, can you tell us what this document is, this rather lengthy document
1 we're looking at? And if you actually go back from the first -- not the
2 first text pages but the actual something that looks like the outside
3 cover, which I'm told is at page 5 -- in e-court, page 5 of B/C/S and page
4 3 in English.
5 On the very front -- very, very first page of the document I see
6 something which appears to have the writing Zatvor on it. Do you see
8 A. Yes. The prison building.
9 Q. And there also appears to be under that, and it's not terribly
10 legible, but one can make out what appears to be a range of dates which
11 might be the dates that this particular journal or ledger covers; is that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. All right. Now, let me go back to my original question. Can you
15 tell the Judges what this document is?
16 A. This document is a book, a ledger, which was kept by the
17 commanders, the shift commanders, a logbook, when orders came in for
18 taking out prisoners for labour. When that came about, they would write
19 the name and surname of each and every person who was to leave the
20 premises to perform labour.
21 Q. If I can then ask you -- at some points, Mr. Praljak, I may push
22 you on a bit further because our time becomes limited. If you turn to the
23 third or fourth page of the original language document, I believe it would
24 be -- by counting the first pages, it would be the fifth page, you come to
25 a page that has the word, and excuse me if I don't pronounce it correctly,
1 but "Naputak" on the front, on the top of it. Do you have that?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. And first of all, is that your signature on the bottom right
5 A. Yes, it is my signature. It's not my handwriting in the set of
6 instructions above but it is my signature.
7 Q. All right. Now, with that in mind, then, can you tell us then
8 what is written above that over your signature? What is this material or
9 this language about?
10 Now we can go -- for those working in English, we can go back to
11 the translation. Of course you can see the text.
12 A. This is a set of instructions which quite -- was visibly put up so
13 that every military policeman and shift commander could see it and could
14 abide by the instructions set out when they handed over prisoners for
15 labour. It sets out very precisely, point by point, what the instructions
16 are and how the process should be conducted. At the end, it says that the
17 shift commander is responsible for keeping due records and the way in
18 which the logbook was to be handed over from one shift to another. That
19 had to be done in the presence of the shift commander.
20 Q. Now, if we can move forward to the first set of actual entries in
21 the journal and, again in the translation, I think the first one -- the
22 first date of this particular journal is the 21st of August, 1993.
23 Could I ask you, please, looking down to a place where it says
24 "7th Battalion." Do you see that?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Can you just take us through this entry and tell us what this --
2 the information that's indicated here? For instance, under 7th Battalion
3 it says "At 0600 hours." So what is the reference to 0600? What does
4 that indicate to you as a record of the prison?
5 A. The people listed below went out early in the morning, at 6.00
6 a.m., pursuant to the order.
7 Q. And you can tell by looking at this that there were 20 individuals
8 who went out?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Can you tell the name of the person who actually received, took
11 custody, if you will, of these people when they were taken out of the
13 A. After these 20 people, it says that Miro Lovric took them out.
14 Since he didn't have a military ID card, his personal ID number was
15 recorded along with his signature, and underneath the signature it says
16 that they returned from having performed labour at 2040 hours.
17 Q. And just to pick up on various --
18 A. 2045 hours.
19 Q. Excuse me. Just to pick up on various questions that have been
20 asked in the course of the last two days about time. Is it fair to say,
21 then, this would be an example of prisoners who left at 6.00 in the
22 morning before you and Mr. Bozic and the administrative building were
23 operating, and they were brought back at 8.45 in the evening after --
24 again, after you and Mr. Bozic would have left the premises? Is that
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. All right. Now, everyone can see that this goes on for some
3 number of pages, and we're not going to -- unless the Chamber has
4 additional questions, we're not going to go through, of course, the many
5 entries because of the time.
6 Sir, is it correct that this particular journal is for -- when it
7 says Zatvor on the front, this is the journal or logbook for the prison
8 building itself? Is that correct?
9 A. Well, that was the book that they kept and made entries in.
10 Q. Well, can I ask you, please, to next be shown a similar bundle
11 exhibit which is 4360 -- P 04367?
12 MR. SCOTT: Which, Your Honours, and for the courtroom, is in
13 binder 14 of the total set of binders, and also marked for further as
14 bundle 13, part 2.
15 Q. And if you can turn quickly, sir, to again the -- approximately
16 the middle of that stack of material until you find the original language
17 version, and the very front page, the exterior front page, if you will.
18 Does that say on the front of it "Skola" and "Hale"?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And if I might be allowed in the interests of time, is this
21 essentially an identical journal, in fact, including the same page of
22 instructions signed by you, but this was the journal that was maintained
23 for those prisoners who were taken out of either the school or the sports
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And the format of the entries would be the same as those that we
2 were just looking at; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. And just before we leave this, then, to follow up on earlier
5 questions from the Chamber and in particular Judge Trechsel, is it correct
6 again to recall that in the school and in the sports hall only prisoners
7 of war were kept? Is that correct?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And could I next ask you, please, to look at -- in the --
10 returning to the principal working bundle of exhibits, Exhibit 4871.
11 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Scott, may I -- may I remain with this
12 document for another question?
13 MR. SCOTT: Of course.
14 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Please.
15 MR. SCOTT: Yes, please.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Witness, if you look at the page numbers up to
17 the right, and if you look at page 01535046, which is an example. There
18 are move. You have a number of names with a circle around them. Can you
19 explain what this circle means?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't answer that. I don't
22 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm astonished, Mr. Praljak. You gave out
23 directions as to how this logbook was to be kept. Now, there is a sign
24 which is really clearly visible, and you say you do not know what it
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] At the end of this -- it's just now
2 that I've read it. It says that Mate Kozul, and the number of the badge
3 that he returned, that 10 detainees remained out doing labour who were
4 circled, which means that these 10 individuals with the circles round
5 their names were not returned, and that was in the morning. The shift
6 commander, in his report, is reporting to Stanko Bozic, and on the basis
7 of this, the report was compiled about these people who were not returned.
8 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Where would that report be, Mr. Praljak? In --
9 somewhere else. The report has no traces in this document; is that
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know, but the person who
12 writes this says they remain outside when they were taken to perform
13 labour. Ten individuals, that 10 individuals were not returned and that
14 Mr. Bozic knew about this, and most probably he wrote a letter about what
15 happened to those people.
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak. Mr. Praljak, did you or did anybody
17 else regularly check on this logbook, control whether it was correct and
18 what the entries were?
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It had to be correct, because for
20 taking over the people and the exactness of the information here, you have
21 the signature of the person who took the people out and therefore who was
22 responsible for those people.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: This was not my question, Mr. Praljak. I asked
24 you whether you or someone else regularly looked up this logbook and
25 checked what was happening, what the entries were.
1 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As to the reports that were written,
2 Mr. Bozic would receive a report from Ante Smiljanic every morning which
3 ought to be correct, should have been correct. And then Mr. Bozic knew
4 about its correctness, because in -- if the people were not there, then
5 the people that Mr. Bozic had a list of who had not returned would ask
6 that all these people be returned. He would do this through the SIS
7 employees. That is to say, that certain people who had not been returned
8 be returned, because then he didn't know where they were.
9 JUDGE TRECHSEL: You have still not answered my question, Mr.
10 Praljak. It is a very simple question. Did you or to your knowledge
11 someone else regularly look at this logbook and check what the entries
12 were, or were they left with the shift commanders and the management of
13 the prison just didn't bother?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] The shift commander was responsible
15 to the warden for security. Now, Ante Smiljanic who had an insight --
16 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Mr. Praljak. Mr. Praljak.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour, please.
19 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I am asking you whether you or, to your
20 knowledge, someone else regularly controlled this logbook. The answer is
21 yes or no.
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
23 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Okay. Who did? Did you?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In most cases it was Mr. Ante
25 Smiljanic, Stanko Bozic, and from time to time I did.
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you.
2 MR. KARNAVAS: Just a point of clarification, Your Honours, based
3 on the questions that you've just asked, Judge Trechsel. The instructions
4 were signed by the gentleman as the warden, the instructions that you were
5 referring to, and it would seem to me that based on that, this gentleman
6 was acting as the warden at least with respect to the instructions, and
7 therefore the shift commanders would have been directly his subordinates.
8 Might -- in line of your questioning, might you wish to inquire of that,
9 because it might be important later on.
10 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you for the suggestion.
11 You have heard, Mr. Praljak, what Mr. Karnavas, counsel for
12 Mr. Prlic, has just said. You signed the instructions as warden. Were
13 the shift commanders responsible to you or to Mr. Bozic or to both?
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As you can see, throughout 1993, I
15 signed in different ways. I signed this at a moment in time when
16 Mr. Cvitkovic from the military police administration department, Franjo
17 Cvitkovic was his name, told me that greater security, tighter security
18 should be implemented. On that same day he told me that I should compile
19 this form, and when this tighter security was implemented -- I think it
20 was in place for a short time, because I was issued a subsequent order
21 from Mr. Bruno Stojic as the fifth member for introducing more law and
22 order into the prison. So during that short space of time, Ante Smiljanic
23 once again, in the post that he was, and he remained security commander,
24 and Stanko Bozic was never replaced as the warden and commander of the
1 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Thank you. I wonder whether this is entirely
2 clear, but I would leave it for cross-examination, because I do not want
3 to abuse too much of Mr. Scott's kind patience. Please.
4 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. In -- in partial response to
5 your question, Judge Trechsel, and to the Chamber in general, again, I
6 would just highlight for the purposes of the record and to advise the
7 Chamber, there is also a set of materials called bundle number 8 which
8 have a separate table. All the bundles have a separate schedule or table
9 in front. Bundle number 8 lists 120 separate exhibits which are all
10 reports about detainees being beaten, wounded, or killed. And there's 120
11 exhibits starting with the first Exhibit number being 03171 and
12 continuing on to Exhibit 8147. And in those 120 separate exhibits, all of
13 those contain information about prisoners taken for forced labour who were
14 either beaten, wounded, or killed.
15 And as one example of that, if I can ask again for the assistance
16 of the usher. If you can put the English version on the ELMO and show the
17 witness the -- and this is Exhibit P 03435, which again is part of bundle
19 Q. And first of all, sir, if we can look -- if you look at the
20 original language version once again. Even though it has the typed name
21 of Mr. Bozic, is that your signature?
22 A. It's the signature of Mr. Bozic.
23 Q. All right. Thank you, sir. I'm sorry. I don't have it
24 immediately in front of me, and I can't see the B/C/S version at the
25 moment. My apology.
1 Is this a form that you are familiar with again, that you can tell
2 the Chamber that this is the type of report that you saw being prepared
3 around this time, this one being specifically for an event on the 10th of
4 July, 1993?
5 A. Yes. This kind of report. I think Bozic did the contact --
6 contacts and wrote 99 per cent of these reports.
7 Q. This again is a record of in general -- more generally of a -- the
8 taking of 30 detainees based on an order signed by Mijo Jelic, handed over
9 for work with the permission of military police control officer Berislav
10 Pusic, given over to a military policeman by the name of Baresic, badge
11 number 3233, and one of the detainees was wounded in the leg by the BH
12 army and taken to the hospital for treatment. Do you see that?
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm sorry, Mr. Scott.
14 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
15 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I'm lost. I don't know what documents you're
16 using. We have two bundle 8. We have part of it in binder 7, and then we
17 have part in binder 8, I think.
18 MR. SCOTT: Yes, Your Honour. If you'll allow me to -- I'm
19 advised that it's in binder 7. It was in the complete set. It might not
20 be the subset that was provided to each Judge. I think it's -- it's
21 Exhibit P --
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Ibrisimovic.
23 MR. SCOTT: Could I just before that -- could I assist. It is
24 Exhibit P 03435, the English version of which is on the ELMO now, because
25 I understood that finding the binders might be a problem is the reason I
1 put it on the ELMO.
2 JUDGE TRECHSEL: I've got it. Thank you very much.
3 MR. SCOTT: Sorry. And the witness has the B/C/S version in front
4 of him. And I believe it's also in e-court at the moment as far as I can
5 see it. No? I can't tell. Is it on e-court as well?
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. Ibrisimovic.
7 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. My
8 question goes in this direction precisely. Mr. Scott is questioning now
9 on the form of the document. I think it would have been more logical to
10 ask the witness if he knows about the event itself.
11 MR. SCOTT: I'll continue on.
12 Q. Sir -- unless I've misread the document, I think I've accurately
13 read it. Can I just ask you, sir, again why this kind of report then --
14 is it true that this standard type of report then would also be
15 communicated on to Mr. Coric, Mr. Pusic, and Mr. Vidovic?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And I take it -- is it correct, sir, that when we went through the
18 bundle of 120 separate exhibits, they would all basically look pretty much
19 like this, the ones you were able to look at over the weekend?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. So as a result this one particular document, in response to
22 various lines of inquiry from the Chamber, in particular Judge Trechsel,
23 certainly Mr. Bozic, on preparing this report, was aware that this
24 prisoner had been wounded in the leg, and at least according to this
25 record, that information had been sent on to Mr. Coric, Mr. Pusic, and
1 Mr. Vidovic; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. If I could, finally on this topic, ask you then to -- going back
4 to the principal working bundle, Exhibit P 04871. Do you have that, sir?
5 This is to cover again for the Judges to see as many different types of
6 records and forms as possible.
7 Can you tell us what this document is and if this was again
8 another type of form used for the purposes of taking prisoners for labour?
9 A. This is a form developed by the 3rd Brigade located in Heliodrom.
10 Q. The top of that -- I'm sorry.
11 A. And mostly these were signed by commander Bozo Pavlovic.
12 Q. And on the top of that -- top part of that page, is it correct --
13 do I understand correctly, for work location and the number of prisoners,
14 this would indicate that 25 prisoners were needed to work at Hum hill?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. It indicates they were taken away on the 8th of September at 1900
17 hours. Can you tell -- if you can tell us anywhere on the document where
18 it would indicate when they were returned?
19 A. It's not written here.
20 Q. All right.
21 A. It's probably in the logbook that exists in the building from
22 which they were taken, such as the one that we've seen before. It must be
23 written when they were supposed to return.
24 Q. All right.
25 MR. SCOTT: Mr. President, I'm going to move away for the time
1 being from the topic of forced labour, but I want the Chamber to
2 understand that I intend to come back to that topic. We're not leaving
3 the topic permanently, but I will come back to it in a few minutes.
4 Q. Now, sir, moving to a different topic, in the course of 1993, did
5 you come to know of a practice by which prisoners at the Heliodrom prison
6 could be released from the custody of the prison in order to go to a third
7 country or to the Republic of Croatia?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And can you very briefly, please -- can you, please, explain your
10 understanding on how that procedure worked. What did a prisoner have to
11 do to get himself or herself released to go to a third country?
12 A. Somebody would come from the office for exchanges. Mostly it was
13 Jerko Radic or Tomo Sakota. They would bring a certificate, as I
14 described before. And now I can only add briefly that the signature would
15 read Berislav Pusic with the approval of a SIS officer, and Miro Music,
16 and an officer of the crime prevention service, Vidovic. Jerko or Tomo
17 Sakota who would come on that occasion, on such occasions, would have a
18 paper, a letter of guarantee that somebody would receive them in a third
19 country. They would come bringing that kind of paper and take the person
20 concerned, who would then leave the prison.
21 Q. Can you tell the Judges, please, whether this practice, that is
22 the release of prisoners to a third country, is that something that came
23 about after the arrest starting on the 30th of June, 1993?
24 A. The certificate itself and the method of release is the same.
25 It's just that somebody from the family or a friend had to bring the
1 certificate to the prisoner and the prison so that the request be
3 Q. All right. But just -- my question was more specifically when
4 this practice started and whether you can confirm that that was the
5 practice, that is releasing prisoners to third countries based on this
6 procedure, when that practice first came into existence and went forward.
7 A. Well, when we had the greatest number of those prisoners of war,
8 starting with July, that's when most of them were released on the basis of
9 these letters of guarantee.
10 Q. Could I ask you to look at Exhibit P 04686 in the main bundle,
12 A. 40 --
13 Q. 04686. P 04686. Sir, can you confirm that this is the record
14 concerning the release of someone by the first name of Zijo around the
15 31st of August, 1993?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is that the type of paperwork or form that you are familiar
18 with that was used for that purpose?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look next at 06436. And can you tell us
21 what that Exhibit 6436 is?
22 A. This document was made by Mr. Bozic, and it's a list of detainees
23 who were held at the prison and had a letter of guarantee. It was sent to
24 Mr. Berislav Pusic in person, that is, to the office for exchange. Based
25 on this document and those letters of guarantee, a team of people would
1 release these people against the signature of Mr. Berislav Pusic.
2 Q. And a similar document - excuse me - number 6816. Is that a
3 similar record, same format but on -- dated the 22nd of November, 1993?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Now, what was the purpose of sending this information to
6 Mr. Pusic, if you can tell us?
7 A. I could explain. Because all these people who were in prison and
8 who received such letters of guarantee, in order to be released, needed
9 the signature of Mr. Berislav Pusic from the office of exchange. For that
10 reason and according to the records that were kept and the office of
11 exchange or the ICRC or whoever, would send this paper to him so that he
12 could do this part of the work with the crime prevention service or the
13 SIS before he gives his approval to release these people, and after
14 getting that approval, Mr. Berko Pusic would have them released.
15 Q. Thank you.
16 MR. SCOTT: Your Honours, unless you have questions on that, I'm
17 going to move to another topic.
18 Q. Sir, so you've just told us that one of the ways to leave the
19 Heliodrom or to leave Herceg-Bosna for a third country was to have this
20 letter of guarantee to go to a third country. Did you ever learn about a
21 particular political party coming into the Heliodrom for purposes of
22 meeting with the prisoners?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Can you tell us about that, please?
25 A. On the 30th of June, when people started to be brought in in large
1 groups, maybe a day or two passed, not more, before a group of people came
2 to Heliodrom to see Mr. Bozic. Those were a party of Mr. Pohara. I don't
3 know if I will get the name right, but I think it was MDS, and his members
4 from the town of Mostar.
5 Q. Did MDS, to your knowledge, stand for the Muslim Democratic Party?
6 A. I didn't give it much thought, but I would probably translate it
7 as you did.
8 Q. And you said these representatives of this MDS party associated
9 with Mr. Pohara came and met with Mr. Bozic; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, because I was there too.
11 Q. And what was that discussion about? What did this party want to
13 A. The objective of this party was to hold a meeting with a group of
14 Muslim detainees from all the various buildings where they were held. The
15 reason was they wanted to tell them that all those who accept the platform
16 of that party can leave the prison immediately and return to their homes
17 where they, the party, would take care of them. That was the point of the
19 Q. I ask you this next question, Mr. Praljak, not -- I think I know
20 your answer, but because I expect the Judges would ask it if I didn't. Do
21 you know what the politics or platform of this particular party was?
22 A. I really don't know, because I did not belong to that party, and I
23 know nothing about their platform or their objectives. It's the first
24 time I've heard of them then.
25 Q. Can I -- before continuing on with this, when these people came
1 and met with you and Mr. Bozic, presumably in the administrative building,
2 to ask if they could talk to the Muslim prisoners about this, did
3 Mr. Bozic have authority on his own to allow a political party to come
4 into the prison for the purposes of a meeting with prisoners, or to your
5 understanding, would that have required the authorisation of somebody
7 A. Nobody, including a political -- a political party could go into
8 the barracks or the perimeter of the prison without approval. That means
9 that Mr. Bozic must have had approval from somebody that they should be
10 allowed in. I didn't see that approval.
11 Q. And I take it from your answer you can't provide us any more
12 particulars as to who gave the approval above Mr. Bozic's level for the
13 purpose of this political party to come into the prison?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. And did, in fact, as a result of this meeting with Mr. Bozic and
16 yourself, was this party allowed to meet with various Muslim prisoners at
17 the facility?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. And can you tell us whether any Muslim prisoners actually joined
20 the party and, as a result of joining the party, were in fact released
21 from prison?
22 A. I really don't know the number, but not many people signed up.
23 Q. If I can ask you briefly, please, to turn to Exhibit P 03193 in
24 your bundle. 3193.
25 If you have that, sir, can I just direct your attention to the
1 second paragraph of that document, the document itself being dated the 5th
2 of July, 1993. Does that indicate that at the request of the MDS and, as
3 previously agreed, 14 individuals, members of this party, have been
4 released? Do you see that?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. And would that generally be consistent with what you've told us
7 about a few moments ago?
8 A. Yes.
9 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, in the interest of time, I'm not going to
10 go to it, but I'll simply refer in the record there's a further reference
11 to the MDS being at the prison in Exhibit P 03942. Perhaps that can be
12 the subject of a follow-up motion on Exhibits P 03942.
13 JUDGE TRECHSEL: Perhaps, Mr. Scott, it is also of some interest
14 to note that in the same document it is said that 24 HVO members have been
16 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
17 MR. KARNAVAS: If I may, sticking with this document, Your Honour.
18 It doesn't appear, at least on the document itself, that these people that
19 were released were converted to this particular party or joined this
20 particular party. So -- at least at this moment. It could have been that
21 they were already members of that party, I don't know. I'm not suggesting
22 they were one way or the other. But, at least, based on what Mr. Scott
23 said in his question, which seems to be assuming a fact that's not quite
24 in evidence, at least not based on this document itself, so I am objecting
25 to the form of the question and to the conclusion which he's trying to
1 derive from the introduction of this document.
2 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour. I'm let the evidence of the
3 witness combined with the document speak for itself. The witness
4 indicated that he saw a few people took up the offer and were in fact
5 released, and I think the Chamber can take that evidence and this document
6 together and give it the value that the Chamber will decide to give.
7 Q. Sir, can you tell us, please, did you find out sometime in early
8 August 1993 that you had been appointed to a commission concerning HVO
9 prisons, that appointment coming from Bruno Stojic?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Can you tell us briefly what you know about the establishment of
12 that commission, when and how it came about? And let me just say
13 particularly by early -- let me back up. My apology. Let me rephrase it.
14 During late July -- during July and the first part of August of 1993, had
15 you and Mr. Bozic been raising a number of issues and concerns about the
16 HVO prisons, about forced labour and a number of issues, many of which --
17 some of which we will see in a few minutes, but can you just confirm that
18 was the case?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And can you then tell us what your understanding was of the -- how
21 the commission appointed by Mr. Stojic came into existence, as you
22 understand it?
23 A. I, as the fifth member, was handed the order, and at the same
24 time, it was brought to the awareness of Mr. Bozic as the warden. I
25 called as soon as I received it. I saw that Mr. Berislav Pusic was the
1 president of the commission, so I called him straight away and asked him
2 the same day whether he had received it before me, and when I told him
3 about the order, that I was the fifth member and when we would start
4 working, he had nothing to tell me. He just said, "We will do the work,"
5 and that was all the answer that he gave me pursuant to this order that
6 had been received.
7 Q. Before we go further on that, can I, in fact, ask you to look at
8 Exhibit P 03942, which in fact is the very exhibit that I had indicated we
9 would skip over, but in the very same exhibit is other information for
10 this purpose. So if we can, in fact, look at 3942.
11 If you have that, sir, can you confirm that this is a report from
12 Mr. Stanko Bozic to Valentin Coric and Mijo Jelic dated the 4th of August,
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Now, on the first page, since -- since we now have it in front us,
16 on the second paragraph and in the original language version, you can see
17 the paragraph reference if you look at the time and dates numerically
18 dated 13.07.1993. Do you see there that in fact is a reference to that on
19 the 13th of July, 1993, with the permission of Mr. Vidovic, the MDS was
20 able to talk with members at the Heliodrom? The Heliodrom being the
21 facility that Mr. Bozic is reporting about? Do you see that?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Now, can you look at the document, please, more generally and can
24 you just tell the -- again, our time is unfortunately short. In the
25 course of this report, does Mr. Bozic raise with Mr. Coric and Mr. Jelic a
1 number of issues or concerns about matters at the Heliodrom as of early
2 August 1993?
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] This report was written on the
4 30th of June -- or, rather, from the 30th of June to the 4th of August.
5 It relates to that entire period.
6 Q. All right. Does it indicate, for example, a number of health
7 issues including people -- detainees having scabs? Does it talk about
8 security lapses?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Is there anything written in this report by Mr. Bozic that you
11 disagree with or that you don't confirm as being a concern that the two of
12 you had at the time?
13 A. Well, I'd have to read through it but that would take time.
14 Q. There's a paragraph, sir, toward -- toward the latter part of the
15 document. It says: "Every day we encounter security lapses." If you can
16 find that. "Although we warned in reports numbered 506/93 and 516/93 that
17 detainees were being taken home by our soldiers. Nothing has been
18 undertaken to stop this. To date nine detainees have been wounded by the
19 BH army while working." Do you see that passage?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Do you have any information whether either you or Mr. Bozic
22 received any response from Mr. Coric or Mr. Jelic to this report?
23 A. I did not. I don't know if Mr. Bozic did.
24 Q. This report is dated the 4th of August, 1993, and then in
25 reference to what we were talking about a few moments ago, if I can please
1 ask you now to return to P 03995. And, sir, is that the order by Bruno
2 Stojic dated four days later, on the 8th of August, 1993, establishing the
3 commission of which you were a member?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And are you listed as the fifth person appointed to this
6 commission, the first person listed being Mr. Berislav Pusic?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Who did you understand or come to know to be the president of this
9 commission established by Mr. Stojic?
10 A. Berislav Pusic, as it says in the order itself, next to his name,
11 is the president of the office for exchanges and president of the
12 commission. The last word says "President."
13 Q. It's -- your previous testimony has left the screen that most of
14 us have in front us now, Mr. Praljak, but I believe you said some minutes
15 ago now that when you learned of your appointment you had a short
16 conversation with Mr. Pusic? Is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. What did you say to him and what did he say to you in response?
19 A. As soon as I received it and saw his name there - Mr. Bozic was
20 with me - I rang up straight away. The conversation was not long. All I
21 told him was that I received the order and that I was a member, and I
22 asked him when are we going to work. He never said when. He just
23 said, "We'll do the work." Perhaps he hadn't actually received this order
24 at the time that I rang him up. I can't know that.
25 Q. After that conversation with Mr. Pusic, could you tell the Judges,
1 did you ever hear from Mr. Pusic again about the work of this commission?
2 A. Never.
3 Q. Did you ever attend a meeting of this commission?
4 A. Never.
5 Q. All right. Before that I should have asked, were you ever invited
6 or given notice of any meetings of this commission?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did you at any time report to the person who established this
9 commission, Mr. Stojic? Did you ever communicate to Mr. Stojic, to your
10 knowledge, the commission had never in fact been made operational? To
11 your knowledge?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Can you recall approximately when that was that you communicated
14 that to Mr. Stojic?
15 A. There's a document, but I wrote it to be handed personally to
16 Mr. Bruno Stojic and to Mr. Mladen Naletilic, aka Tuta. And after that I
17 wrote again. I wrote another letter which was addressed to General Roso,
18 Mr. Perica Jukic, and others who were named in the report.
19 Q. Just on those points, sir, at the time that those -- that second
20 letter was written, the one you just referred to, by approximately
21 November of 1993, had Mr. Slobodan Praljak been replaced as top commander
22 or head commander of the HVO by Mr. Roso, and had Mr. Stojic been replaced
23 as minister of defence by Mr. Perica Jukic?
24 A. At that point in time I didn't know that, so that's how I wrote
25 the report. All I did know was that General Roso had arrived and that he
1 was occupying that position. As for Mr. Bruno Stojic, I didn't know that
2 he had been replaced because I addressed the letter to him. And then I
3 was told that he had been replaced by Perica Jukic.
4 Q. Can I next ask you to look at Exhibit P 04002. And if you have
5 that, sir -- if you can just look at that for a moment. There's actual
6 two documents that are almost the same, or perhaps they are the same, but
7 in the interest of time, could you also then look at P 04141.
8 Both of those documents, sir, appear to be a record or purport to
9 be a record of action by the commission established by Mr. Stojic for
10 action taken on the 12th of August. Excuse me. And the second of the two
11 documents, if we could just look at that one, 4141, on the 12th of August,
13 And could you just start by telling us, you're listed at the end
14 of this document, I believe you're -- give me a moment, please. In the
15 earlier handwritten version which is the 4002, 4002, you are listed --
16 someone has listed your name in handwriting, Josip Praljak. Can you
17 simply tell us, did you in fact ever attend a meeting of this commission
18 on the 12th of August, 1993?
19 A. Never.
20 Q. And until -- until you saw this document in the last several days,
21 were you ever aware that the commission had issued such a document or
22 taken such an action around that time?
23 A. I did not know.
24 Q. In paragraph number 1 of what's called a decision, and I'm now
25 going to be referring to 4141, again it talks about the issue of
1 classification. And can you tell the Judges, Mr. Praljak, as of the 12th
2 of August, 1993, as to the prisoners who were kept at the Heliodrom, what
3 was their status of classification or not?
4 A. As far as the prisoners of war are concerned, up until the 12th of
5 August they were not separated. The prisoners of war were not separated
6 from the civilians.
7 Q. Did -- did you know, did the prison management know, or if you
8 know, did anyone in the HVO, of the people that were being held at the
9 Heliodrom, did anyone know which ones were prisoners of war and which ones
10 were civilians?
11 A. Only the service who worked, led by Zvonko Vidovic, knew that, and
12 the SIS, those who had their particulars and documents.
13 Q. Let me direct your attention next to Exhibit P 4352.
14 A. Can you repeat the number, please?
15 Q. Yes. P 04352. Sir, this is a report to Mr. Bruno Stojic dated
16 the 20th of August, 1993, which I believe the Chamber has seen previously.
17 Is it correct that in this letter Mr. Bozic raises three numbered concerns
18 here, one, sending detainees to work; two, the quality and quantity of
19 food; three, bad conditions in solitary cells? And did Mr. Bozic
20 communicate to Mr. Stojic at this time that he was concerned about
21 violations of the Geneva Conventions and possibly being brought before an
22 international Tribunal?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And do you recall whether either you, Mr. Praljak or Mr. Bozic,
25 received any response from Mr. Stojic to the report dated the 20 August
2 A. I don't know about him.
3 Q. Well, let me just for the record, so the record is clear, what was
4 just put in the transcript, sir, is, "I don't know about him." I asked
5 you whether you or Mr. Bozic received any response to Mr. Bozic's report
6 to Mr. Stojic. Are you aware of any response that either you or Mr. Bozic
8 A. I did not. Whether Mr. Bozic did receive any, I don't know.
9 Q. Can I ask you please to look at Exhibit 4512. This is a report
10 dated the 25th of August, 1993, apparently prepared, it appears to be, for
11 Mr. Bozic's signature, but is that in fact your signature?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Sir, can you tell the Judges, without looking at every single such
14 document, were you continuing to report about the wounding of prisoners
15 taken for forced labour during this time?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. And is that particular document, 4512, would you consider that to
18 be representative of the type of reports that you and Mr. Bozic were
19 making during this time period?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Could I ask you next to please look at Exhibit 4500. 4500. Is
22 that a report, sir, dated the 25th of August, 1993, that you sent to the
23 office for the exchange of captives, attention Mr. Berko Pusic?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Is it correct that this concerned a list of detainees who had come
1 from Doljani and Sovici and at least three of whom, number 15, 16, and 17,
2 were receiving medical treatment?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Why did you send this particular report or others like it to
5 Mr. Pusic?
6 A. As the representative of the office for exchange, he had to have
7 all the information about every detainee who was in prison, and here we
8 have a list of detainees from Doljani and Sovici who were at that time
9 doing labour or were in hospital for treatment on that particular day.
10 Q. Can you tell us around this time, August of 1993, because I'm not
11 sure the Chamber will know the name or not -- if you do, Your Honours, I
12 apologise for taking your time.
13 But, sir, can you tell us who Zarko Tole was and what position he
14 held in August of 1993?
15 A. All I know is that he was a general. Now, what post he held and
16 what task he performed, I don't know. All I know is that he was at the
17 headquarters in Citluk.
18 Q. When you say headquarters, headquarters of what?
19 A. The HVO staff.
20 Q. Did you know that Mr. Tole to be the Chief of Staff, head of
21 administration, if you will, chief of administration to either
22 Mr. Slobodan Praljak or Mr. Petkovic or both?
23 A. I did not know what his duties were. All I did know was that he
24 was in Citluk and that that's where his headquarters were, but what
25 function he exercised, I don't know. He was a general. A general's a
2 Q. Now, sir, I'd ask you to look at Exhibit 4233. 4233. Sir,
3 according to this document, which is dated the 16th of August, 1993, it
4 appears to bear your signature, if you can confirm that. You wrote a
5 letter or made a report to Mr. Zarko Tole. Do you see that?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Now, let me go back, sir. Surely in writing a letter to someone
8 you've indicated as a senior officer, you must have had some information
9 as to why you would take the time to bother to write a letter to Mr. Tole
10 around the middle of August 1993, as to who he was and why it might be
11 important for him to receive such a letter.
12 A. As a lot of time had passed and on the report here, which is
13 correct as it was, as it was written, it said the Main Staff -- it was
14 addressed to the Main Staff, and Mr. Zarko Tole was probably the head of
15 the Main Staff of the HVO. But I didn't know that level of command
16 because it was a higher level that I wasn't acquainted with.
17 Q. Was Mr. Tole -- and I realise, Your Honour, we're coming up on a
18 break, if I can have just one or two more questions about this document.
19 Was Mr. Tole in your immediate chain of command, sir? If you can
20 tell us that.
21 A. Well, in my opinion, no, he wasn't. But I did address him because
22 I addressed all the others, too, who were above superior, that something
23 should be done. I addressed them as a member of the commission, and I
24 addressed him too so that he should be informed of the situation as well.
25 Q. By the middle of August and even by the end of August, sir, can
1 you tell the Judges whether you had received any satisfaction from either
2 Mr. Stojic, Mr. Coric, Mr. Pusic, or anyone else to whom you were making
3 your various complaints?
4 A. No.
5 MR. SCOTT: Your Honour, it might be time for the break.
6 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, we did not see
7 that Mr. Praljak sent any complaints to Mr. Pusic as the president of the
8 commission, so I object to that question from the Prosecution.
9 MR. SCOTT: I'll come back to it if Your Honours want me to after
10 the break.
11 MR. KARNAVAS: He should -- he should describe under what --
12 exactly what his position is under the signature or above the signature.
13 It says that.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. I'll do that. I'll ask.
15 We'll save time.
16 Mr. Praljak, when you signed, you were assistant commander of the
17 5th Battalion of the military police, were you? And underneath it
18 says "Deputy warden." Do you confirm that you were indeed attached to the
19 5th Battalion of the military police?
20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, the whole of the prison was
21 part of the 5th Battalion of the military police from June 1993 onwards.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. And within the 5th
23 Battalion, did you have a rank or position of assistant commander?
24 Assistant battalion commander?
25 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So why then does it say that
2 under your name or above your name?
3 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I don't know that, but I was the
4 deputy warden.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So does that mean that you
6 signed anything and everything?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, not anything and everything.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But you said, I don't know.
9 Your answer was, I don't know. Now, you're given a title here and you're
10 signing under that title. So are you challenging the fact that you were
11 assistant commander of the 5th Battalion assistant to or just assistant
12 commander, whatever?
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No, I never was any of that. I was
14 never the assistant commander of the 5th Battalion.
15 MR. KARNAVAS: Mr. President, the gentleman indicated on page 66,
16 line 2 that he signed it as a member of the commission, thereby giving the
17 implication that it was he, as a member of the commission, signing it.
18 That question needs to be posed. We could do that after the break, but
19 certainly from the document, there is no indication that he's sending it
20 on behalf of him being a member of the commission, but rather as a deputy
21 warden. And I think that was the point of the objection because the
22 gentleman obviously is being economical with the truth.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. The observation made by
24 Mr. Karnavas is highly relevant.
25 When you signed this document, did you say you were signing it
1 like -- you said you were signing it as a member of the commission, but on
2 this document, at no point does it say that you are a member of the
3 commission, and you're not sending a copy to the other members of the
4 commission. So do you have an explanation for that?
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] As the fifth member of the
6 commission, I wrote --
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] No. Don't say "as." The
8 document doesn't mention at any point that you were a member of the
9 commission. Perhaps in your mind you were, but this -- in this document,
10 there's nothing which allows us to say and conclude that you were a member
11 of the commission, and you didn't even send a copy to Mr. Pusic, did you?
12 Well, you can think about it during the break.
13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can answer straight away.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Think about it. It's 12.30, and
15 we'll reconvene in 20 minutes' time and hear your answer.
16 --- Recess taken at 12.31 p.m.
17 --- On resuming at 12.51 p.m.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, we have just a short
19 hour ahead of us, so let's start.
20 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
21 Q. Sir, just to follow up on some questions from the Judges before
22 the break. When you learned that you had been appointed to this
23 commission as a result of the order by Mr. Stojic in August, did you take
24 that seriously?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And did you -- did you take that to add to the responsibility that
2 you already felt about dealing with these -- the issues that you've been
3 telling us about yesterday and today?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. So whether you said it on this document -- on a particular
6 document or not, you felt that you were acting -- during this time period
7 after the 11th of August, you felt that in addition to acting in your
8 capacity as deputy warden that you also had this additional further
9 responsibility of being a member of the Stojic commission? Is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at Exhibit 5437. And in the
13 interest of time, sir, the point really in showing this document to you
14 and to the Judges is, did you continue on throughout this period,
15 continuing until even here, the 28th of September and thereafter, to make
16 various reports and state the concerns that you had about the treatment of
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Is that your signature on that report?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Did you find around this time that not only were prisoners being
22 taken out for labour but in many instances they were being kept out --
23 kept away from the Heliodrom for extended periods of time?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Let me ask you to, please, go to Exhibit 5881. Do you have that,
1 sir? This appears to be an order issued by Milivoj Petkovic dated the
2 14th of October, 1993, from Citluk HVO headquarters indicating:
3 "1. "I hereby prohibit the use of prisoners to carry out any type
4 of work in the brigade zones of responsibilities.
5 "2. If, however, this sort of activity is allowed, the permit
6 shall be issued by the HVO Main Staff.
7 "3. Anyone caught breaching this order shall be held
9 Can you tell us if you recall when you first learned of this order
10 by Mr. Petkovic?
11 A. I heard about it for the first time upon my return from sick leave
12 somewhere towards the end of October.
13 Q. Do you know whether -- can you tell the Judges, did the use of
14 forced labour continue after Mr. Petkovic issued the order reflected in
15 this exhibit, 5881?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Can you tell us about a particular instance where forced labour
18 was -- prisoners were taken out for labour by someone named Sopta.
19 A. As far as the word goes, Sopta, that was the commander of the 2nd
20 brigade, Guards Brigade, which was established towards the end of 1993,
21 and Baja Sopta didn't take them away, but it was with his signature that
22 people left to do labour. Not only along with his signature but also that
23 of Mile Pusic.
24 Q. Did you raise the fact that these prisoners were being sent out?
25 Did you raise that with Mr. Bozic, Stanko Bozic?
1 A. Yes, and I wrote a report, too, or reports to Mr. Bruno Stojic,
2 since I didn't know that at the time he had left to take up another
3 function elsewhere; and to General Roso; to Rado Lavric, who was acting
4 chief of the military police administration; and Mr. Perica Jukic, who was
5 there at the time.
6 Q. Now, just to follow up on that. You've just mentioned the name of
7 a man named Rado Lavric who we've -- we've seen the name on several
8 documents. Did you learn around this time that he had become, that is
9 late October into November 1993, in that time period, that he had become
10 the acting chief of the HVO military police taking Mr. Coric's place?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. So did you come to know again, sir, that by early November 1993
13 Mr. Slobodan Praljak was no longer head of the HVO, Mr. Bruno Stojic was
14 no longer minister of defence, and Mr. Coric was no longer chief of
15 military police?
16 A. I did not know.
17 Q. When did you first begin to learn that information?
18 A. When I sent out a report which related to -- or, rather, which was
19 addressed to Mr. Bruno Stojic, and that's when I learnt that Mr. Bruno
20 Stojic no longer occupied that post but that it was Perica Jukic. That's
21 what they were -- that's what they told me in the building where Mr. Bruno
22 Stojic was.
23 Q. Do you know where the decisions were made removing those three
24 people from those existing posts?
25 A. That is something that is unknown to me.
1 Q. Can I ask you, please, to look at P 07004. I asked you a few
2 moments ago if the practice of forced labour continued after the order
3 issued by Mr. Petkovic. And if you could look, please, at Exhibit 7004.
4 Can you just quickly confirm to us, please, is this again a form of
5 document similar to those we've seen before indicating on the 1st of
6 December, 1993, Mr. Jelic approved the sending out of 30 detainees from
7 the Heliodrom for the purposes of work?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And if I can ask you to go to the next document, 7107. And is
10 this a similar approval or order for labour dated the 10th of December,
11 1993, again approved by Mr. Jelic, this time sending out two prisoners
12 from the Heliodrom prison?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. In the order issued by Mr. Petkovic, it's paragraph -- the last
15 paragraph number 3, said something to the effect that anyone violating his
16 order would be held accountable. To your knowledge, sir - of course, we
17 can only ask for what you know - did you ever know anyone to be punished,
18 disciplined, prosecuted, dismissed for the use of forced labour after
19 Mr. Petkovic's order or at any time?
20 A. I couldn't know that at all.
21 Q. Did you know of anyone -- were any of are officers, were any of
22 your military police officers disciplined or removed because they had been
23 involved in forced labour?
24 JUDGE PRANDLER: Mr. Scott.
25 MR. SCOTT: Yes.
1 JUDGE PRANDLER: I would like only to ask the witness that to your
2 question Mr. Scott he answered in English on the transcript that, "I could
3 not know that at all." My question is, if you could not know about it
4 because you were in a way prevented to do so or to be able to know about
5 it, or you did not know about it, meaning that if you did not know if
6 anybody was in a way taken to the courts or to any other level of criminal
7 punishment. So my question is, if you did not know or if you could not
8 know -- if you could not know about those measures, disciplinary measures,
9 et cetera, then why you could not or should not know about them?
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My work post was related just to
11 Heliodrom, nothing else. So there's no way I could have known what was
12 going on elsewhere.
13 JUDGE PRANDLER: Thank you.
14 MR. SCOTT:
15 Q. Let me follow up on that, sir. But you've shown us today and
16 we've looked at a number of documents where you were raising, if I can say
17 you were waving the flag on this as well as other issues, the use of
18 forced labour, the wounding of prisoners. Weren't you interested or
19 curious to know if anyone in the HVO was being punished or disciplined in
20 connection with that behaviour?
21 A. We cannot know in the prison why somebody was condemned and
22 convicted to serve a sentence. All we know is that they came. Now, why
23 they came, why they were there, what they had done and so on, we didn't
25 Q. In relation to a document that I'm going to show you in a moment,
1 can you confirm that, in connection with the arrest that started on the
2 30th of June, 1993, were some Muslim women arrested and held at the
4 A. There were few women who were placed in the prison building.
5 Q. When you say a few, can you give us your best estimate of a
6 number, please?
7 A. Well, I can't be exact, but four or five women perhaps. I can't
8 remember. I know there was some.
9 Q. And can you tell us where in the Heliodrom facility were these
10 women held or confined?
11 A. They were physically separated from the others, the prisoners of
12 war and the military prisoners, and they were confined on the second floor
13 where -- and the key to that area, only the security commander had the key
14 to that area.
15 Q. And when you say "security commander" now, are you referring to
16 Mr. Smiljanic?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Did you come to know in the fall of 1993 that these five women
19 apparently had been released?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. I'm sorry, but before I come to that, did you ever understand any
22 reason or basis for why these women were being held?
23 A. As I've already said, we don't know what the reason for their
24 incarceration was.
25 MR. SCOTT: Well, perhaps to be very, very safe, Your Honour, we
1 should go into private session for one second.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
3 [Private session]
11 Pages 14796-14797 redacted. Private session
2 [Open session]
3 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're in open session,
4 Mr. President.
5 MR. SCOTT: Thank you, Your Honour.
6 Q. Sir, you've made several references today to a report or a
7 communication that you sent to Mr. Stojic and to Mr. Naletilic, Tuta. As
8 we will see and I will ask the courtroom to turn to P 06170. Did you
9 include in your -- in that letter your concern about the fact that these
10 people had been released and how that had happened?
11 A. Yes. When I arrived back from sick leave, in talking to Snjezana
12 Cvitanovic and having an insight into the documents, I happened to notice
13 that a group of female detainees, including (redacted) had been
14 released, but on that list all it said was -- all it had was the signature
15 of Mr. Berko Pusic. Now, since release from prison is something that I
16 could consider nobody could permit without having previously been granted
17 permission and with agreement of Zvonko Vidovic --
18 Q. I apologise to the witness for interruption, but even though we've
19 done it in any event out of an abundance of caution, could we ask for a
20 redaction, please, of Ms. (redacted) name. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, issue an
22 order to have that name redacted. Line 16, page 78.
23 MR. SCOTT:
24 Q. Sir, you were telling us about the letter that -- the
25 communication you were discussing with your secretary Ms. Cvitanovic.
1 Could you just continue on, please, but you need not mention probably the
2 names of any particular prisoners.
3 A. Snjezana -- Snjezana Cvitanovic showed me some documents where I
4 saw this document too. However, the signatory of this document on the
5 release was the signature of Berislav Pusic.
6 Now, since there was no previous document, a previous document was
7 lacking about release from prison, we weren't able to see any agreement.
8 We weren't able to see the agreement given by SIS and the crime prevention
9 service of the military police. That is why I considered that this was
10 irregular release and I wrote the document.
11 Q. Could I just ask you to very briefly look back at -- I believe it
12 would be the immediately preceding document in the bundle, P 05952. And
13 again, perhaps it might be best again if we didn't broadcast the document
14 outside the courtroom, and I'll just ask you, Witness, not to mention any
15 of the names on the document, but can you just simply confirm to us that
16 this is an approval signed by -- well, apparently over the name of
17 Mr. Pusic, dated the 19th of October, 1993, and is this part of what you
18 were complaining about in your letter to Mr. Stojic and Mr. Tuta?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. All right. Let's go back to your actual letter to Mr. Stojic and
21 Mr. Tuta -- or Mr. Naletilic I suppose I should say, 6170. Once you
22 prepare the letter, which we have in front us, could you tell us -- tell
23 the Judges, please, how did you go back delivering that to Mr. Stojic and
24 Mr. Naletilic?
25 A. The letter that I wrote I personally took and handed over to the
1 secretary of Mr. Bruno Stojic.
2 Q. And do you recall where that office was located at the time when
3 you delivered the letter there?
4 A. I don't know how to explain it. It was in town, and perhaps the
5 briefest way to tell you is along the Partisan cemetery -- or by the
6 Partisan cemetery in the centre of town.
7 Q. When you say "town" you're referring to Mostar?
8 A. Yes, that's right, in Mostar.
9 Q. What made you, by the way, decide to not only provide this report
10 to Mr. Stojic but to also provide the same report to Mr. Naletilic?
11 A. At the time, I considered that Mr. Bruno Stojic was the president
12 of the office, and that Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta, was an advisor to
13 Mr. Bruno Stojic for security matters.
14 Q. All right. Let me stop you for a moment, please. When you say
15 that you considered that Mr. Stojic was president of the office, can you
16 tell us a bit more about what you mean by that? Or maybe it's
17 translation, I'm not sure, but what position are you ascribing to
18 Mr. Stojic when you say that?
19 A. He was the head, the head of the HVO.
20 Q. All right. And you said that Mr. Naletilic was an advisor to
21 Mr. Stojic for security matters?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. And did you know where Mr. Tuta's -- sorry, Mr. Naletilic's office
24 was in that capacity in relationship to Mr. Stojic's office?
25 A. When you enter the building, on that first floor, on the
1 right-hand side was Mr. Bruno Stojic's office, and straight from the
2 stairs on there was the office of Mr. Mladen Naletilic, Tuta. They were
3 next to each other.
4 Q. And did you personally hand your report, which is reflected in
5 Exhibit 6170, to the secretary for Mr. Stojic?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And can you tell us -- again, I'll ask, do you recall ever
8 receiving a response from either Mr. Stojic or Mr. Naletilic to your
10 A. No.
11 Q. And just before we leave this document, unless the Judges have
12 additional questions, your report or letter itself, you refer at the very
13 beginning to the order of the 10th of August establishing the commission
14 and appointing you to it. Do you see that?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Can I ask you then to go to Exhibit 6848. And can you tell us
17 what this document is, please?
18 A. This document was drafted right afterwards, shortly afterwards, at
19 the same time were I addressed all the things that were happening at
20 Heliodrom and asking for assistance to improve the conditions there and to
21 improve our work. Some important things were emphasised, namely, that the
22 shortage of security personnel needs to be addressed, that security needs
23 to be enforced to make the prison safer.
24 In this document I also draw their attention to the fact that
25 Major General Milivoj Petkovic prohibited the handing over of prisoners
1 for labour, and Mr. Stanko Bozic obeyed this order and demanded that all
2 the detainees, who had left to do some labour and had not been returned,
3 be brought back. At the time of this letter, the time of this report,
4 there were still some detainees who had not been brought back, and this
5 was also filed in the archives of the prison.
6 I also stress that Mr. Stanko Bozic, in concurrence with the then
7 brigade commander, allowed those people to go out to work in logistical
8 bases, workshops, the kitchen, to clean the town, to clean streets, the
9 barracks, et cetera. However, from individual sources, I cannot know
10 which, news had reached me that those prisoners were allegedly taken
11 outside the perimeter of Heliodrom, and outside Heliodrom there were cases
12 of escape, injuries, and deaths. I learned that from people who simply
13 told me about it. I also mention here that one prisoner escaped from a
14 place called Vrde, from a group that was taken away by the brigade led by
15 Stanko or Ranko Boban. I demanded that steps be taken immediately to
16 improve the work of the prison and to improve -- to improve security and
17 safety and to finally clear up who was authorised to approve releases of
18 prisoners to work who had authority over the central prison of Mostar.
19 And I addressed that to Mr. Roso, Mr. Lavric, and Perica Jukic.
20 Q. On that last point, sir, we see that in the original Croatian
21 language version, we can see that the name Bruno Stojic has been stricken
22 through and above it has been handwritten "Perica Jukic." Is that a
23 change that you made to the document or, to your knowledge, is that
24 something that somebody else did after it left your hands?
25 A. Snjezana typed this report, and when we were about to send it off
1 somebody said that Mr. Bruno Stojic was no longer in that position, and
2 then I wrote in my own hand the name that I was told, although I had never
3 seen that gentleman.
4 Q. Let me ask you before turning to a couple of final topics whether
5 during 1993 -- let me back up, please.
6 You testified yesterday, I believe, that Mr. Coric came to the
7 Heliodrom prison when Mr. Stanko Bozic was installed as warden in about
8 December 1992; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. After that time, and it's between that time and the end of -- or
11 late 1993 or at the date of your report to Mr. Roso and others dated the
12 24th of November, 1993, to your knowledge, had you ever seen Mr. Coric at
13 the Heliodrom prison ever again between December 1992 and the end of
14 November 1993?
15 A. Never. Never. He never came.
16 Q. And can I ask a similar question about Mr. Stojic. Just during
17 1993, can you tell the Judges any occasion that you recall meeting or
18 seeing Mr. Stojic at the Heliodrom prison?
19 A. Mr. Bruno Stojic never came to Heliodrom.
20 Q. Did you understand when you were appointed to this commission in
21 August that the commission extended not only as to Heliodrom but also
22 related to other HVO prisons such as, for example, Ljubuski?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And can you tell the Judges -- excuse me.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
1 THE INTERPRETER: Mr. Ibrisimovic, microphone, please.
2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, the witness
3 already answered, but I do object to this line of questioning. The
4 question is -- the witness is being led.
5 MR. SCOTT: Well, let me just ask this.
6 Q. Can you tell us, sir -- can you tell the Judges about any
7 transfers of prisoners between Ljubuski and Heliodrom that you may recall?
8 A. I recall a number of people with regard to which Stanko Bozic
9 entrusted me with admitting those people who were supposed to arrive from
10 Ljubuski. It was rather a large group, perhaps 200 people.
11 Q. Did you know any particular prisoner who was ever transferred --
12 an individual prisoner who was transferred from the Heliodrom to Ljubuski
13 during 1993? I mean a personal acquaintance. Not just someone you knew
14 the name, but someone that you knew personally.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Who was that?
17 A. Hamdija Jahic.
18 Q. How did you know Mr. Jahic?
19 A. He used to work before the war at the municipality in Mostar, and
20 we had known each other for many years.
21 Q. And can you tell the Judges, has he held any position in Mostar
22 either currently or in the last few years in a senior government position?
23 A. He was the head of a legal department in the municipal government.
24 That's all I knew. But I think it had something to do with town planning
25 in Mostar.
1 Q. Forgive me, my question probably wasn't very clear. More
2 recently, either today or in the last year or so, has Mr. Jahic been the
3 mayor of Mostar?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And I take it -- is it correct that Mr. Jahic is a Muslim?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And can you tell the Judges anything more you can recall about the
8 time that he was transferred from the Heliodrom to Ljubuski?
9 A. All I know is that he didn't go on his own. There was an order
10 that I hadn't seen to move a group of detainees to the Ljubuski prison.
11 Q. Did you hear these -- this particular group described in any
12 particular way or anything that marked or identified this particular group
13 of people that were transferred along with Mr. Jahic?
14 A. They were not described in any particular way, but I saw them. I
15 didn't know their names. I just recognised him. I think that this group
16 was a group of more educated people.
17 Q. And going to the HVO -- excuse me, facility at Dretelj, were you
18 still working at the Heliodrom in late 1993 when any prisoners were
19 brought there from Dretelj and, if so, can you tell us what you saw at
20 that time?
21 A. Yes. Since it was a very hot season -- it was very, very hot when
22 those prisoners were moved to Heliodrom by trucks. They got off near the
23 school building. There they were admitted and listed and put up in the
24 school building or inside gyms and halls.
25 Q. What was the appearance or condition of these prisoners when you
1 saw them come off the trucks at the Heliodrom?
2 A. In view of that heat and how they got there travelling in covered
3 trucks, of course they were sweaty, unshaven, dishevelled, and unkempt.
4 When I came close I felt an unpleasant smell.
5 Q. Sir, I asked you yesterday that -- how you felt on the 9th of May,
6 1993, when you saw these women and children coming into the Heliodrom.
7 Let me ask you a similar question now. When you saw these men arrive from
8 Dretelj, how did you feel about that? How did it make you feel?
9 A. It made me feel bad because I ran into a neighbour of mine, a man
10 who lived in the same apartment building.
11 Q. He was one of the prisoners?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. What was his condition like, and did he say anything to you at the
14 time or afterwards?
15 A. Well, since I knew the man, his name was Zijo Maksumic, and we
16 were close, and we were good neighbours, always courteous to each other.
17 I asked him, "How are you faring Zijo?" And he was silent for a while
18 before he said, and I quote, "Just spend one day in Dretelj and you'll
19 find out." That was our entire conversation.
20 Q. Sir, did you find that -- or can you tell us that in approximately
21 December 1993 a number of the HVO prisons or detention facilities were
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. And can you tell us anything about the decisions or actions that
25 led up to the camps being closed, or is that something you cannot help us
2 A. I know nothing about other prisons, only Heliodrom.
3 Q. Did you learn at some time, then, that as to the Heliodrom prison,
4 a number of prisoners, a large number of prisoners would be released?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Just tell us what happened at that time. Again, did this have
7 anything to do with the classification or categories of prisoners, and
8 what happened in connection with these people actually leaving the
10 A. Larger groups that left the prison were subject to a procedure
11 involving officials of the office for exchanges and the International Red
12 Cross. The ICRC was present at all those large releases. Everybody was
13 released in that period except for those prisoners against whom criminal
14 reports were filed, and they remained and were moved to the prison
16 Q. Can you give to the Judges any information, please, as to when you
17 say everybody was released in that period except for those prisoners
18 against whom criminal reports were filed, approximately, of the total
19 number of men or people who were still held at the Heliodrom as of
20 December 1993, what percentage or what number were actually kept or
21 actually kept behind, if you will, as persons against whom criminal
22 reports were pending?
23 A. I can't remember the number, and I don't want to venture a figure,
24 but I can say that all of them could fit into the prison building, the one
25 that was meant to be a prison.
1 Q. So the number was sufficiently small that you didn't have to use
2 the school or the sports hall any more to hold these prisoners against
3 whom military -- excuse me, criminal reports were pending; is that
5 A. Yes.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Scott, it's time. There is
7 a hearing in this courtroom after us. I think you have about 30 minutes
8 to conclude tomorrow. That would allow the Defence to use up all their
9 time, and they have to be careful about that. Tomorrow, Mr. Scott,
10 therefore, you have 30 minutes to conclude.
11 Witness, you will return tomorrow at 9.00 a.m., and until that
12 time, as I said yesterday, you are not going to meet with or talk with
14 Is there anything to add, Mr. Scott?
15 MR. SCOTT: No, Your Honour, except to say that I hope to actually
16 not need the 30 minutes, but I do think there will be a few remaining
17 items. Thank you.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I thank you in
19 advance for that.
20 So until tomorrow at 9.00 a.m. Thank you.
21 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.46 p.m.,
22 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 28th day
23 of February, 2007, at 9.00 a.m.