Case No IT-95-14
1 Tuesday, 19th August 1997
2 (10.00 am)
3 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated.
4 Mr. Registrar, bring in the accused.
5 (Accused brought in)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Can everyone hear me? On the side of the
7 Prosecution, can you hear me? On the side of the
8 Defence, Mr. Blaskic, can you hear me?
9 MR. BLASKIC: Good morning, your Honour; I hear you well.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Sit down please. My colleagues can hear me.
11 Thank you. Then we are ready to resume our work, where
12 we interrupted our work roughly two weeks ago. We are
13 now in the stage of the Prosecution which is to tell us
14 where we now stand. I think we have to finish the
15 cross-examination of a witness; is that so? Very well.
16 Perhaps we can bring in the witness. Mr. Kehoe?
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, your Honour, Mr. Djidic is in the waiting
19 JUDGE JORDA: Very well.
20 (Witness entered court)
21 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Djidic, good morning. Can you hear me?
22 A. Good morning.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me?
24 A. Yes, good morning.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I should like to remind you you
1 are still under oath and I think we can now continue and
2 I hope complete the cross-examination. Mr. Nobilo or
3 Mr. Hayman? It is Mr. Nobilo.
4 MR. SEFKIJA DJIDIC (continued)
5 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO (continued)
6 Q. Good morning, your Honours, my learned colleagues.
7 Good morning Mr. Djidic. It was two weeks ago
8 where we stopped when we were talking about some front
9 lines around Vitez where we located the positions of the
10 BH-Army. This was about 16th April 1993 that we were
11 talking about. Can you tell us whether those front
12 lines were moved later on, for instance in May 1993?
13 Were there any changes?
14 A. Yes, there were.
15 Q. Can you explain that to us?
16 A. The first days of war consisted of constant attacks and
17 then in May there were offences and counter-offences,
18 and then I think it was in August that the HVO captured
19 Grbavica. I do not exactly recall the date when that
20 happened. The army captured Zabrdje and those were the
21 lines that were maintained until the end of the war with
22 only minor changes.
23 Q. You spoke to us last time about the 325th Brigade and
24 their positions. Could you tell us anything about the
25 306th brigade from Han Bila and its participation in the
1 battles in the municipality of Vitez?
2 A. I do not know exactly who took part in the fighting.
3 I said that I was under encirclement and that I received
4 only information that concerned me regarding
5 Stari Vitez. It is possible that the 306th also
6 participated, but I do not know the exact locations.
7 Q. But were you connected by phone or radio links with the
8 Third Corps while you were surrounded?
9 A. I was in touch with the 325th Brigade.
10 Q. And with no one else?
11 A. No one else directly.
12 Q. Do you know what the Seventh Muslim Brigade was doing on
13 the front around Poculice?
14 A. No.
15 Q. The 17th Krajina Brigade?
16 A. I heard that it was in the territory of Vitez during the
18 Q. So you were not in touch with anyone from the Third
19 Corps but on 16th April 1993, did you have a telephone
20 conversation with Enver Hadzihasanovic, the commander of
21 the Third Corps?
22 A. I do not remember.
23 Q. That was the day of the attack in the morning?
24 A. I do not remember.
25 Q. Let us go back to the part of your statement relating to
1 the capture of the military policemen in Krusica. You
2 spoke to Pasko Lubicic and Blaskic; do you remember
4 A. I do.
5 Q. You said that you personally guaranteed with your own
6 life that there would be investigations and only then
7 did the people from Krusica release the HVO soldiers?
8 A. Yes, that is correct.
9 Q. I would like to know how come you had to guarantee with
10 your life, why could you not simply order the release of
11 these soldiers?
12 A. At the time I could not issue such an order because two
13 members of the army were dead.
14 Q. I do not understand; they were dead, yes, but you were
15 the commander.
16 A. Yes, that is so.
17 Q. What does that mean? Would they refuse to follow your
19 A. They found it very difficult to carry out my orders and
20 until I guaranteed that there would be an investigation
21 and probably this must have been agreed between
22 Mr. Merdan and Mr. Blaskic, and Merdan guaranteed that
23 there would be an investigation the very next morning,
24 and when I explained to these men that there would be an
25 investigation, then they agreed to release the
2 Q. Yes, we realised that, but what I am interested in --
3 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, again before we get too far on this,
4 I do object to the form of the questions as to what he
5 realises and what he does not understand. I just ask
6 Mr. Nobilo to ask questions and I object to the form.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, objection sustained. Mr. Nobilo, you have
8 your own views regarding the way in which the witness is
9 answering questions, but you can use his answers the way
10 you wish, but you cannot make any personal comments,
11 therefore just questions, please.
12 MR. NOBILO: I will continue if I may, but let me just
13 explain: I was not commenting; the witness did not
14 answer my question. He answered with a statement that
15 he had already given, but I will follow your
17 I would like to know whether the organisation of
18 the BH-Army in your region at the time was such that you
19 could issue an order which would be followed without
20 discussion or not?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What does that mean?
23 A. It means that they should have followed my orders.
24 Q. But they did not?
25 A. That is why I was angry.
1 Q. Thank you. Let us go on. You said that you were
2 informed about civilians captured and detained in the
3 veterinary station; do you recall that?
4 A. I do.
5 Q. Do you remember where those civilians were?
6 A. From Rijeka and Sofa.
7 Q. Was there any fighting in that region?
8 A. I think there was no fighting; people were simply
9 arrested in their homes.
10 Q. Where is Rijeka in relation to Stari Vitez?
11 A. It is about one kilometre away from Stari Vitez roughly.
12 Q. Do you know any names of people who were there?
13 A. I think Dr Zeco Fuad, Pasaga Mujanovic, his two sons and
14 so on.
15 Q. After they were arrested, did they attack you from that
17 A. I do not know, you cannot say; the attack comes from the
19 Q. Was anybody wounded or killed in the veterinary station?
20 A. I do not know that.
21 Q. You said that some civilians from Gacice were also
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Where?
25 A. I think they were in incarcerated in one of the schools
1 in Kolonija. I am not quite sure of that.
2 Q. Can you tell me, were there any attacks from the
3 direction of Gacice?
4 A. From that direction, no.
5 Q. You also said from the locality of Novaci, some families
6 were in prison in Dubravica?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. After the HVO captured Novaci, were there any attacks
9 from that direction?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Did you respond to those attacks?
12 A. We were defending ourselves.
13 Q. In your estimate, would those civilians have been safer
14 in Novaci or in the school in Dubravica? Where were
15 they safer in view of the combat operations?
16 A. Those civilians were detained, some of them, in the
17 school in Dubravica and some of them in several cellars
18 in Novaci. I do not know where their safety would have
19 been better, but they were arrested when Novaci had
20 already been captured, when the army moved to
21 Stari Vitez.
22 Q. You said that in three or four months all the civilians,
23 that is Muslims, were expelled from Vitez?
24 A. The majority.
25 Q. Will you tell me: how do you know that they were
1 expelled rather than having gone themselves to places
2 where there was no fighting?
3 A. We received reports to that effect from international
5 Q. What reports?
6 A. It was stated at meetings that a certain group had been
7 expelled, that another group had been transferred and so
9 Q. So you have no direct knowledge about that?
10 A. I could not see it. I only know when the exchange took
11 place, the exchange of those captured in the cinema and
12 in the chess club.
13 Q. You also said that you, Mario Cerkez, a catholic priest,
14 and the Muslim Hadzi had to visit the checkpoints and
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. How come you and Cerkez did not simply issue orders
18 rather than going from one checkpoint to another?
19 A. It was an agreement that we had that we should go there
20 together and that we should jointly persuade people to
21 remove the roadblocks.
22 Q. You said "to persuade people", but that does not sound
23 very military-like to me. Could you not issue a joint
25 A. I agree with you that it was not a military kind of
2 Q. Why did the priest and the Hadzi have to go? They were
3 not part of the military structure.
4 A. They were influential in Vitez.
5 Q. And if you had not gone there together with the priest
6 and the Hadzi, would the orders have been executed?
7 A. I think they would.
8 Q. If those orders would have been carried out, why then
9 did they have to go with you?
10 A. These were attempts of us to establish some kind of
11 community amongst us, to do something together.
12 Q. During the cross-examination, you said in answer to my
13 assertion that Blaskic had his own responsibility within
14 the operative zone of Central Bosnia which he was the
15 commander of, that this was imagined so. What did you
17 A. I do not understand the question.
18 Q. If necessary, I can find the citation from the
19 transcript. When I asked you and mentioned that Blaskic
20 was the commander of the operative zone of Central
21 Bosnia, you answered that his operative zone of Central
22 Bosnia was something imaginary, that it was not real.
23 A. I do not remember that answer at all; it was not
24 imaginary, it was real.
25 Q. Let me cite the place.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, I think we will find a way out with
2 difficulty if you make comments on your own
3 cross-examination. I am not opposed to you asking that
4 question again, but I would like to draw your attention
5 to the rather tricky character. You are asking a
6 question to the witness 58 days later regarding his own
7 answer, not an answer to a question put to the
8 Prosecution, but in answer to a question you yourself
9 made. I think you must deduce from the answer made by
10 the witness at the time if he said "imaginary". I do
11 not think we can dwell too long now on commentaries.
12 You may not have been satisfied with the answer he made,
13 but that was the answer he gave you, so please rephrase
14 it otherwise. You cannot comment on your own
15 cross-examination; it is not done. Do you understand
16 what I am trying to say?
17 MR. NOBILO: Yes, I do, but I did not wish to comment on my
18 own cross-examination; I wished to elaborate on the
19 answer of the witness. He said that it was imaginary,
20 and I am trying to refresh his memory. If he had
21 recalled, I would have elaborated on the answer, but if
22 he cannot remember, I can go on and I will not come back
23 to that question again.
24 JUDGE JORDA: I think that the witness answers questions.
25 Whether those answers satisfy you or not, those are the
1 rules of the game, so please proceed.
2 MR. NOBILO: Very well, I will go on.
3 I would like to know where your ammunition depot
4 was in Stari Vitez?
5 A. It was close to Lasva in Mahala.
6 Q. In which building was it?
7 A. It was underground.
8 Q. It was not a building; it was a dug-out?
9 A. Yes, it was a dug-out.
10 Q. Will you tell me: what was the quantity of ammunition
11 you had at your disposal at the time of the attack?
12 A. I do not know exactly.
13 Q. You said that a certain amount of ammunition was held in
14 private homes.
15 A. That was the soldiers that had certain combat sets. Of
16 course, the ammunition should be with the man operating
17 it, with the soldier.
18 Q. The ammunition that was held in houses or held by the
19 military, did you collect it in the warehouse or did you
20 just have a record of it?
21 A. We had a record of it.
22 Q. When people went into battle, could they take that
23 ammunition from their own homes or did they have to go
24 to a central warehouse each time?
25 A. That depended on the situation.
1 Q. Does that mean that they could go to the central
2 warehouse but they could also take the ammunition from
3 their own homes?
4 A. They only had combat sets that went with the weapon they
6 Q. When the attack occurred on 16th April 1993, did you
7 have any artillery support from the BH-Army?
8 A. At that time, I still did not have any such support.
9 Q. Did you have mortar support?
10 A. No.
11 Q. When did you get artillery support?
12 A. I think it was on the second or third day that I got a
13 little support.
14 Q. You had a mortar, as you said. Did you target Blaskic's
15 headquarters on 16th April?
16 A. I do not remember.
17 Q. Do you know what targets the RPG and the mortar were
18 directed against on 16th April?
19 A. I think that the RPG was not used on the first day.
20 Q. You said that you subsequently mobilised the people who
21 were surrounded in Stari Vitez.
22 A. Yes, that is correct.
23 Q. Can you tell me what was the situation as regards
24 uniforms? Did everyone have uniforms?
25 A. No, they did not.
1 Q. You said that women were mobilised too.
2 A. Yes, that is correct.
3 Q. What kind of assignments did they have?
4 A. Women worked as nurses in infirmaries and they were
6 Q. They did not have any direct military assignments in the
7 narrower sense?
8 A. No.
9 Q. When your headquarters was hit, you moved, of course.
10 Did you mark that building in any way so that one could
11 know that it was the headquarters?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Where the army was housed, were those buildings marked
14 in any special ways?
15 A. No.
16 Q. You said that you are aware that there was an offer to
17 the civilians to leave Stari Vitez temporarily. I want
18 to know how you learned about this offer from the HVO.
19 A. We received an ultimatum.
20 Q. But technically how was it done?
21 A. Through the media, on the loudspeaker system and through
22 UN members, members of the United Nations force.
23 Q. While you were surrounded, was there any kind of
24 civilian political body representing the civilians in
25 Stari Vitez?
1 A. The Civil Defence system existed.
2 Q. I am thinking of a political body of authority.
3 A. No, not at the time.
4 Q. Did civilians have any kind of representative who would
5 represent the civilians as opposed to the military?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Who was that?
8 A. It was the President of the SDA party, the President of
9 the local community. Then there was Merhamet, which
10 provided relief for the civilian population and
11 representatives of the Civil Defence.
12 Q. Can you mention some names who held those positions?
13 A. Munir Kajnovic was the President of the SDA, Zara
14 Halilovic was the President of Merhamet, a lady, Adem
15 Jelaskovic and Edo Arnautovic were representatives of
16 the Civil Defence. This was kind of a Civil Defence
17 staff, I remember now.
18 Q. This body of civilian defence, this headquarters, this
19 staff: did you propose to them they get out; was it
20 discussed at all?
21 A. No.
22 Q. On 16th April 1993, can you tell us what is the farthest
23 point that the HVO soldiers reached in their attack and
24 during the day? Did they go back at all; can you
25 understand this?
1 A. Yes, I understand your question. The HVO soldiers on
2 the first day came from the church to the home of Edo
3 Arnautovic. Across the street from his house is the
4 house of Zvonko Mlakic. From the Mlakics, the HVO
5 soldiers had come into Remiza settlement, the Remiza
6 settlement near the stadium, but during the day they
7 returned from the direction of Kolonija. HVO soldiers,
8 they torched five or six houses near the garages, and
9 after that, they returned. The HVO soldiers, coming
10 from the Pavlovic houses, came to the power supply
11 building and that is where they stayed. Those were
12 approximately the lines that remained until the end of
13 the war.
14 Q. Can we therefore conclude that the HVO was returned from
15 three directions and the front was stabilised at those
16 points that they reached?
17 A. All Vitez was attacked from all sides. One can say,
18 generally speaking, that they were stopped from those
20 Q. During your statement, you said that ten civilians were
21 shot by snipers. Did you personally see a situation
22 when a civilian was killed by sniper fire?
23 A. Directly, no, I did not see one.
24 Q. You said that 15 civilians were killed "by Beba, as we
25 called them". Did you personally see any civilians lose
1 their lives?
2 A. Yes, when the Grizovic house was attacked. I personally
3 took these women out of that house.
4 Q. Did you come to that place after it was hit, or were you
5 there before the explosion occurred?
6 A. I came after it was hit.
7 Q. Where is the Grizovic house?
8 A. The Grizovic house is near the stadium and the garages,
9 about 50 metres away from the garages, towards Kolonija.
10 Q. Your units, where were they, if you look at the Grizovic
12 A. In front of the house.
13 Q. How near?
14 A. 30 or 40 metres; the closest soldier was 30 or 40 metres
16 Q. Is there any kind of building between that house and the
17 closest soldiers that were stationed there?
18 A. This is a settlement that is densely populated.
19 Q. My question is: between the soldiers that were standing
20 there, the soldier who was standing the closest to the
21 Grizovic house, was there another house between the two
22 or was it just empty?
23 A. No, there was another house.
24 Q. How many houses and what house?
25 A. I am not too sure, but I am sure there were three or
1 four houses in between.
2 Q. When you said they were hit by sniper, did you see any
3 livestock, cattle, being hit by sniper?
4 A. Yes, I saw horses, cows, sheep that were hit.
5 Q. How many horses?
6 A. Two horses were hit.
7 Q. Cows?
8 A. Three or four, I think.
9 Q. Sheep?
10 A. Ten-odd sheep.
11 Q. How many times?
12 A. In about ten or fifteen attempts.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, is that very important for the
14 Defence of General Blaskic, to ascertain the number of
15 cows that were hit? If you say no, then please
17 MR. NOBILO: It is important, your Honour.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, continue then.
19 MR. NOBILO: It is important, but we could give more detailed
20 explanations only to your Honours, not in this
22 JUDGE JORDA: You said it is important to ascertain the
23 number of cows, sheep and horses that were killed, so
24 continue, please.
25 MR. NOBILO: Mr. Djidic, did you know Professor Jozic? He
1 taught at the school.
2 A. Are you referring to Boro Jozic?
3 Q. Yes, Emira from Vitez is his wife.
4 A. Yes, I knew him.
5 Q. Did you know him well?
6 A. Quite well.
7 Q. Do you know that he was the Chairman of the Commission
8 for Exchanges in the time of encirclement?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Do you know that he was killed by sniper fire in front
11 of his house?
12 A. No, I did not know that.
13 Q. Do you know that in front of that house, that is the
14 grey building near the bus station in Partisanska
15 Street, a girl called Amela, 20 years old, was killed by
16 sniper fire from old Vitez? Pavlovic, 18 years old? Did
17 you know that 103 persons, most of them civilians, were
18 killed in Vitez by sniper from old Vitez?
19 A. I do not know that.
20 Q. Did you ever issue such orders?
21 A. No.
22 Q. Did you have snipers?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. How many?
25 A. One.
1 Q. Was there any discussions related to snipers when you
2 talked to UNPROFOR?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. What was this about?
5 A. Mainly it was we who insisted, we explained about
6 snipers of the HVO that were hitting and had we been
7 asked whether we had a sniper, we would have showed it.
8 It was an old sniper, and we mostly used it for fighting
9 against snipers.
10 Q. Did UNPROFOR inform you that General Blaskic on
11 20th April 1993 ordered all HVO snipers to be collected,
12 closed up in a warehouse and to sign these orders and he
13 also authorised UNPROFOR to kill whoever fired a sniper
14 and who had a sniper?
15 A. I heard something about this warning that was issued to
16 the HVO, but I do not know about this concretely,
18 Q. So you did not hear about Blaskic's orders to kill any
19 people who were shooting a sniper by the HVO?
20 A. No.
21 Q. Who were firing snipers in your army?
22 A. It was a refugee; I cannot remember who he was.
23 I cannot remember the name.
24 Q. Omanovic Hida, was that the name?
25 A. No, I do not think so.
1 Q. Katarovic?
2 A. No.
3 Q. You said that you had a mortar. Could soldiers use
4 these mortars whichever way they wanted or did you have
5 to issue orders?
6 A. It had to be under my orders because we had very few
8 Q. Did you ever issue orders to operate with a mortar
9 against civilian targets?
10 A. No, never.
11 Q. Did subordinates ever do that without your knowledge?
12 A. I am not too sure, but I do not think they did, because
13 really we had very few grenades.
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, your Honours, I kindly request
15 that we look at a videocassette now. These are
16 atrocities that are videotaped, so if there are any
17 people in the audience who cannot take that, I would
18 request them to leave. We are not happy to show this,
19 but this is a mortar that killed several people in
21 I kindly request the technicians to show the
23 As far as the interpreters are concerned, we gave
24 a text and you will hear the sound from the videotape,
25 so kindly interpret it directly.
1 Perhaps the lights could be turned off.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Before giving you the floor and before
3 switching off the lights, first the Chamber will decide
4 whether we are going to allow the showing of this tape.
5 (Pause). At the request of my colleague Mr. Shahabudden,
6 I am going to ask you: are you going to ask for this
7 tape to be admitted into evidence, Mr. Nobilo?
8 MR. NOBILO: Yes, your Honour. It is evidence, yes.
9 JUDGE JORDA: I will give you the floor in a moment,
10 Mr. Prosecutor. The Trial Chamber does not wish to
11 exclude the public; it was correct of you to issue the
12 warning. It is up to the public gallery to decide
13 whether they will watch or not.
14 Mr. Prosecutor, do you have any objection?
15 MR. KEHOE: Again, I have two issues, your Honour. The first
16 is the source of the film. The second is a presentation
17 from counsel as to the relevance of this film, given the
18 defendant and these charges.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Your objections are sustained. Will you
20 please tell us, Mr. Nobilo, the source of this document,
21 and then --
22 MR. NOBILO: Why?
23 JUDGE JORDA: It is relevant and in the interest of the
24 Defence of your client. The source first.
25 MR. NOBILO: As far as the source of the film is concerned,
1 we would like to stick to the positions we had before.
2 We will indicate the source in the course of the
3 proceeding that will be conducted by the Defence. As
4 for the relevance, this is a mortar shell which is
5 assumed to have come from Stari Vitez and killed eight
6 children on a basketball ground at a time when there was
7 no fighting. As after that date, let us not go into the
8 details. An offensive and attack took place against
9 Stari Vitez of its own initiative, but we will be able
10 to link the two together later.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, are you satisfied with this
12 answer? I did not understand very well the first answer
13 regarding the source, the origin of this tape, this
14 video. I understand that you do not wish to indicate a
15 source, but I did not understand when you intend to tell
16 us. Maybe it is a question of translation. Could you
17 repeat your answer regarding the source?
18 MR. NOBILO: The source is the local television, but we will
19 indicate in specific terms all that is necessary to
20 prove the authenticity of this videotape in the part of
21 the -- in the Defence case, so we ask that the Trial
22 Chamber admit this evidence under the same conditions as
23 it has already admitted other exhibits which the Defence
24 has tendered in the course of the cross-examination;
25 that is on condition that the Defence asserts the
1 grounds later.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. The judges agree with this manner
3 of proceeding.
4 Mr. Prosecutor, are you agreeable?
5 MR. KEHOE: Again, your Honour, Mr. President and
6 your Honours, we still have the issue of relevance. Is
7 it the position of the Defence that Mr. Blaskic is
8 entitled to commit war crimes in retaliation or in
10 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you cannot intervene with the
11 strategy of the Defence. I think that you put a
12 pertinent question; the Defence has answered it. I have
13 also asked regarding the relevance of the shooting of
14 animals, but the Defence said it was relevant; therefore
15 we can understand the link that was referred to,
16 therefore the objection is rejected. In that case, we
17 will see the video. Turn down the lights and we will
18 ask the Technical Department to show us the video.
19 Mr. Registrar, does the Technical Department have
20 the tape? I apologise for interfering. We have still
21 not decided whether we will admit it.
22 THE REGISTRAR: The instructions given at the beginning of
23 the trial, the parties have been asked to submit tapes
24 directly to the technicians.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, thank you. Let us continue with
1 the viewing of this tape.
2 (Videotape played)
3 "On 10th June 1993 about 8.40 pm on Podgradina
4 opstina Vitez mortar shells, calibre 120 millimetres,
5 shot from positions held by the army of the BH. The
6 following children were killed: Boris Mariko Anticevic,
7 son of Marka, killed on 10th June 1993; Drazen Cecura,
8 the son of Stipe, born on 8th July 1978 in Travnik, a
9 Croat, killed on 10th June 1993; Dragan Ramljak, the son
10 of Vlade, born on 26th June 1978 in Travnik, a Croat,
11 killed on 10th June 1993; Milan Garic, the son of Milka,
12 born on 25th October 1981 in Vitez, a Croat, killed on
13 10th June 1993; Velimir Grebenar, son of Pere, born on
14 4th March 1981 in Travnik, a Croat, killed on 10th June
15 1993; Avgustina Grebenar, daughter of Pere, born on
16 1st December 1984 in Travnik, a Croat, died in hospital
17 in Nova Bila as a result of the wounds sustained on
18 10th June 1993; Sanja Krizanovic, daughter of Mirka,
19 born on 14th July 1978 in Travnik, a Croat, died in the
20 hospital in Nova Bila as a result of the wounds
21 sustained on 10th June 1993; Sanja Garic, daughter of
22 Milka, born on 10th October 1975 in Travnik, Croat, died
23 in the hospital in Split on 24th June 1993 as a result
24 of the wounds sustained.
25 In addition to the mentioned children that were
1 killed by the shelling of Vitez on 10th June 1993, the
2 following children were injured: Ivan Garic, born in
3 1978, Blazenka Cecura, born in 1981; Marina Garic born
4 in 1983; Damir Garic born in 1983. The children who
5 died in the hospitals in Nova Bila and in Split were
6 buried subsequently."
7 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, that would be all. Mr. Djidic, did
8 you order this shelling?
9 A. Your Honour, may I object? I did not see the entire
10 video film. I saw most of it though, and if I followed
11 what I heard correctly -- I did not see all of it -- it
12 was said that it was 120-millimetre calibre of the
13 mortar shell, and Podgradina is so close to Stari Vitez
14 that such a calibre cannot be used at such short range.
15 I did not even have that calibre of shell.
16 MR. NOBILO: That would be all, your Honour. Mr. President,
17 we have just concluded our cross-examination.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor? You have some clarifications
19 to ask of your witness, Mr. Prosecutor?
20 MR. KEHOE: Just very quickly, Mr. President. I will get
21 through it.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Are they questions which can be put before the
23 break, if I understand well?
24 MR. KEHOE: It might run just a little over the break, your
25 Honour. If your Honour wants to take a break now I can
1 get through it quickly. It will also give me an
2 opportunity to put some of the Defence exhibits just
3 introduced onto the easels, so it might facilitate
5 JUDGE JORDA: Very well, in that case we will resume work at
7 (11.00 am)
8 (A short break)
9 (11.30 am)
10 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Will you please have
11 the accused brought in?
12 (Accused brought in)
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
14 Re-examined by MR. KEHOE
15 Q. Thank you Mr. President. With the assistance of
16 Mr. Dubuisson, I would like to turn our attention to some
17 of the Defence exhibits that have been discussed during
18 the cross-examination of Mr. Djidic, starting first with
19 D19. Again, there has been no translation of this, so
20 it is just an HVO document coming from the Defence.
21 I think it is easier if it is taken out of the plastic.
22 Mr. Djidic, take a look at this document; this is a
23 document that was discussed during cross-examination
24 concerning an alleged murder that took place on
25 17th January 1993 with the investigation taking place on
1 18th January 1993. Is that correct?
2 A. I think it is.
3 Q. Just take another look at it.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, it is not easily visible, at least
5 on my monitor. Perhaps you see better? Should I press
6 a button somewhere to make it clearer? Go on,
7 Mr. Prosecutor. We will make do.
8 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Djidic, again just
9 to correct myself, this reflects an incident that took
10 place on 17th January 1993 and that was investigated by
11 at least an HVO military judge and Prosecutor on
12 18th January 1993. Does that document not reflect those
14 A. Yes, that is what it says in the document.
15 Q. So this document indicates that as at January of 1993,
16 the HVO had in place a military structure to investigate
17 alleged crimes and to investigate those crimes quickly,
18 did they not?
19 A. Yes, that is so.
20 Q. Moving away from this document, your Honour, there were
21 some questions concerning an article that was reflected
22 in D25. Again your Honours there is no translation, it
23 is in Bosnian Serbo-Croatian, and it is an interview of
24 General Alagic. Do you recall this article, sir?
25 A. Alagic, yes.
1 Q. In the article -- if you could, Claudius -- there is no
2 need to put it on the ELMO; just give it to Mr. Djidic --
3 there is discussion in the article about resupplying
4 Stari Vitez, and Defence counsel asked you whether or
5 not the UN had given any ammunition at all to
6 Stari Vitez during the siege. Did they?
7 A. No, no.
8 Q. Where did you get ammunition from, or resupply?
9 A. This statement made by Mr. Alagic that, through friends
10 in the UN, he had provided some ammunition, is not
11 correct. No one supplied Stari Vitez with any
12 ammunition on the part of the UN members. I did, on one
13 occasion, receive a small quantity of ammunition, but
14 along the Lasva river, it was sent to me. Who sent that
15 ammunition, I do not know.
16 Q. Mr. Djidic, did you ever get any ammunition in any
17 quantities from any humanitarian aid organisations
18 outside the United Nations?
19 A. No.
20 Q. Mr. Djidic, in the discussions, was there any private
21 organisation that provided you with any ammunition?
22 A. I said that it was not provided by any United Nations
24 Q. What I am asking you is: did you on one occasion get
25 some from a private organisation? Without identifying
1 the private organisation, did you get any from a private
3 A. I did get this ammunition that I referred to, that came
4 down the Lasva river, from a private organisation.
5 Q. But it was not the UN. Was it the Red Cross?
6 A. No, it was not the UN or the Red Cross.
7 Q. By Red Cross I am referring to the International Red
9 A. That is right. I understood you.
10 Q. Okay. Let us turn our attention to some Defence
11 exhibits, starting with the exhibit to the left, D27.
12 If I can approach this exhibit, Mr. President? Staying
13 with Defence exhibit 27, and in this map Mr. Nobilo drew
14 lines concerning where the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina
15 was and the lines with the HVO; is that correct?
16 A. This line (indicates) was after 16th April and it
17 changed. I can draw in exactly where the HVO forces
18 were and the army forces.
19 Q. This is a Defence exhibit, so why do you not point to
20 that, sir?
21 A. What I have drawn is that, roughly, that is it, more or
22 less (indicates), but please, if I can ask you for your
23 attention, the HVO was in the village of Zabilje. The
24 HVO was in the village of Krcevine. The HVO was in the
25 village of Jardo. The HVO was in the villages of Ahmici
1 and Pirici. The HVO was in the district of Safredini,
2 and the HVO was in the urban part of the town,
3 throughout the city centre. Similarly, the HVO had a
4 barracks in the mountain lodge called Zabrdje. It is
5 not on the map, it is above Krusica.
6 Q. Let us point to the area where there is a hook in the
7 map and that is the area Grbavica; is that right?
8 A. Yes, that is the Grbavica settlement.
9 Q. In the latter part -- you say August/September 1993, did
10 the HVO take this area?
11 A. Yes, it did. At the end of August or the beginning of
12 September, I am not quite sure, the HVO captured the
13 whole of Grbavica and burnt it down.
14 Q. Okay. Did these lines exist at all prior to the HVO
15 attack on the morning of 16th April 1993?
16 A. No, they did not. A part of the HVO lines were
17 regulated in the village of Krcevine. That
18 line remained until the end of the war.
19 Q. These particular lines though, this particular fighting
20 took place between the HVO and the Armija prior to
21 16th April 1993?
22 A. Could you please repeat the question?
23 Q. Was there fighting taking place between the two armies
24 prior to 16th April 1993?
25 A. In the broader area, in this broader area (indicates),
2 Q. Several maps have been discussed by Defence counsel and
3 I believe the first one is D21, where, I believe this is
4 November 1992, there were some villages circled where
5 Territorial Defence units were located; is that right?
6 A. Yes, that is right.
7 Q. Are there soldiers that are working 24 hours a day in
8 these particular villages, waiting for an attack?
9 A. They were soldiers who were working in factories, and
10 when they completed their work, they would keep duty in
11 their villages, guard duty in their villages.
12 Q. How many Territorial Defence soldiers did you have in
13 the entire Vitez municipality?
14 MR. HAYMAN: Vague as to time, your Honour.
15 MR. KEHOE: Any time. During this timeframe. How many
16 Territorial Defence soldiers were there during November
18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, there is an objection from the
19 Defence. Can you formulate that objection please,
20 Mr. Hayman? I did not understand very well what you
21 said. I understand it is an objection that you have.
22 MR. HAYMAN: The question is vague as to time. We do not
23 know what the time reference is to.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Kehoe, can you answer?
25 MR. KEHOE: I will stay with the Defence exhibit. During
1 November 1992 as exhibited in Defence exhibit 21, how
2 many Territorial Defence soldiers did you have in the
3 entire municipality?
4 A. I cannot recall the exact number. We were in the
5 process of forming a brigade at the time.
6 Q. After the brigade was formed, can you give us an
7 approximate number how many there were in the entire
9 A. Active duty troops that went to the front consisted of
10 about 1,000 to 1,500 men. I am not quite sure about
12 Q. This included men that went to the front and were
13 fighting against the Serbs on the front?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. This other map, I guess, is in 1992/1993, October 1992
16 to 1993, that reflects the 325th -- excuse me?
17 A. As far as I can remember, this was December 1992 and
18 January 1993; that is what it says on the map anyway.
19 Q. I stand corrected; it does say December 1992/January
20 1993. This reflects various villages that supplied the
21 brigades, or the 325th Brigade, with headquarters, at
22 Poculice and Krusica; is that right?
23 A. Yes, these are the localities which supplied the members
24 of the 325th Brigade.
25 Q. Taking these two maps together, Defence counsel
1 indicated that he was attempting to demonstrate that the
2 HVO was surrounded during this period of time, and were
3 these soldiers sitting there just surrounding Vitez,
4 waiting to attack the HVO in Vitez?
5 A. No, certainly not. When you see the distribution of the
6 HVO troops and their barracks, then the picture becomes
7 quite clear.
8 MR. KEHOE: If I may, your Honour --
9 MR. HAYMAN: So the record is clear, your Honour, I believe
10 the last exhibit referred to by counsel and the witness
11 but not in the record is map D23.
12 MR. KEHOE: That is correct, your Honour, this map is D23;
13 the map of the Territorial Defence is D21.
14 Your Honours, this is the top portion of exhibit 29 as
15 received in evidence, the map that is leaning on the
16 wall behind your Honours. This is just a xeroxed top of
18 Mr. Djidic, using this red pen, show us where the
19 HVO was located in and around Vitez. Mark all the
20 villages, all the locations.
21 A. That is the town of Vitez itself; the school in
22 Dubravica; the bungalow in Nadioci; the hunting lodge
23 near Novaci and near the petrol station Kaleb; then in
24 Krusica, the Ribnjak Hotel and the Lovac Hotel; the
25 mountain lodge at Zabrdje; Bistrovo between Krusica and
1 Zabrdje where they had exercise grounds for the training
2 in private weekend homes, from which the owners were
3 thrown out by the HVO. In the town of Vitez itself, in
4 the building of the police station, the regional HVO
5 police was headquartered. And in the old school, that
6 was where the HVO military police was based, about 50
7 metres from there, in the building of the cinema, the
8 HVO brigade command.
9 In the building of the hotel, the command of the
10 region of Central Bosnia of the HVO. Then Mali Mosulj,
11 Veceriska, and next to Veceriska is the factory where
12 the special taskforce was based for protecting the
13 factory. A large unit was based in Nova Bila.
14 Q. Let us go back to the factory. The factory, where is
15 that located? Where is that unit in the factory?
16 A. It is between the village of Veceriska and the village
17 of Gacice.
18 Q. In cross-examination, Defence counsel asked you about an
19 alleged incident where some Muslim apparently attempted
20 to damage an HVO facility in Gacice; do you recall
21 that? Was there an HVO facility in Gacice, or was it
22 Donje Veceriska?
23 A. It was in Donje Veceriska.
24 Q. You were talking about Nova Bila. Were there any
25 other facilities?
1 A. Nova Bila is not in the territory of the Vitez
2 municipality, but it is a factory of the timber
3 industry, where the HVO army was accommodated. I do not
4 know exactly how many men were there.
5 Q. Any other locations where the HVO had a military
6 installation other than these? Just in this general
8 A. There were other locations, but it is interesting to
9 note that all the units formed in the Vitez municipality
10 came from specific villages which had a mixed
11 population, such as, for instance, Dubravica, Ahmici,
12 and Nadioci; Veceriska, Krusica, Rijeka --
13 Q. Let us distinguish these. You had the pink or the red
14 down as military facilities. Now you are mentioning
15 villages similar to Defence exhibits 21 and 23 that
16 supplied the HVO. You mentioned some of those villages
17 and one I think will be Dubravica, another one was
18 Ahmici; what other villages supplied the HVO?
19 A. These barracks that I have indicated, the ones in
20 Zabrdje, Dubravica, the town of Vitez itself, and, of
21 course, they also came from nearby places around these.
22 Q. Krusica? Whereabouts?
23 A. I am talking about the towns of Busovaca, Travnik,
24 Novi Travnik and so on and, of course, Krusica as well,
25 which had three facilities for the accommodation of
2 Q. Would it be fair to say that all of these villages in
3 this map supplied troops to the HVO in the Lasva valley?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Would it be fair to say that -- to encompass this entire
6 area and say they all supply troops to the HVO?
7 A. Yes, the whole area, the entire municipality of Vitez.
8 Q. This map does not include the entire municipality of
9 Vitez, does it?
10 A. This map does cover the entire territory of the
12 Q. This entire map supplies the HVO. However, Senez is not
13 in the Vitez municipality.
14 A. No, it is not in the Vitez municipality.
15 Q. In discussing that map and in discussing Defence
16 exhibits 21 and 23, was it in the interests of the
17 Bosnian Muslims to be preparing to attack and to attack
18 the HVO?
19 A. No, that was never in their interest.
20 Q. Why?
21 A. First of all, at the beginning of my testimony, I said
22 that we in Vitez, before the elections, lived very well
23 with our neighbours.
24 Secondly, an aggression was carried out against
25 Bosnia-Herzegovina by the Serbs, and we joined in the
2 Thirdly, we had orders, under no circumstances
3 were we to clash with the HVO, and we followed those
4 orders to the letter.
5 Q. Do you know why that order was given not to clash with
6 the HVO?
7 A. It was because of all these other things that
8 I mentioned in the interest of good neighbourly
9 relations, and attempts for us to jointly fight against
10 the same enemy until the liberation of
12 Q. Who was that joint enemy?
13 A. They were the Serbs.
14 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, if I could just move to a xeroxed
15 copy of what has already been introduced in evidence as
16 Prosecutor's exhibit 45. Prior to doing that,
17 Mr. Dubuisson, with your permission -- your Honour, what
18 is the Prosecutor's next number?
19 A. Mr. Gregory, I would like to ask your Honours for me to
20 correct the last words I uttered. When I said that it
21 was the Serbs that had attacked, I should like to
22 correct myself, and say the attacks were carried out by
23 the Chetniks, because all Serbs are not Chetniks.
24 MR. KEHOE: Thank you, Mr. Djidic.
25 Your Honour, the exhibit, I believe, is
1 Prosecutor's exhibit 83.
2 JUDGE JORDA: I would like us to hear your whole response,
3 Mr. Kehoe. We are not going to repeat the whole
4 examination. It is a replica, based on the
5 cross-examination of the Defence, so let us be careful.
6 Continue, please.
7 MR. KEHOE: Yes, your Honours, and I will be brief. I was
8 just attempting to clarify some issues that came through
9 in cross-examination.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Then continue.
11 MR. KEHOE: If I may approach the easel, your Honour, with a
12 xerox copy of Prosecutor's exhibit 45, which will be
13 45A. Using Prosecutor's exhibit 45A, you were asked on
14 cross-examination about the location of your
15 headquarters, the two locations of your headquarters and
16 also the location of your ammunition depot. I believe
17 you noted that on the exhibit that is a larger exhibit
18 than this. Do you recall that, sir?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Using a red pen, could you locate on this exhibit the
21 two locations of your headquarters, marking the first
22 one as 1 and the second one as 2.
23 A. That is it (indicating).
24 Q. Using the green, could you please mark the location of
25 your ammunition depot?
1 A. That is it (indicating).
2 Q. Lastly, with the red marker, could you please outline
3 what you can see on here are your trenches, the
4 defensive positions, that you built up over time.
5 A. In the war, right?
6 Q. Yes. The rest of Stari Vitez is cut off from this; is
7 that correct?
8 A. Yes, that is correct. A bit is missing.
9 Q. Looking at this particular exhibit, you were asked some
10 questions on cross-examination concerning the shooting
11 of Marko Prskalo and another person that were at
12 negotiations at BritBat that took place in front of the
13 hotel Vitez marked by exhibit A; do you recall that?
14 A. Yes, I remember that.
15 Q. There is an entrance to the hotel Vitez here; is that
17 A. The Vitez hotel had a few entrances. The main entrance
18 was on this side (indicating).
19 Q. From your frontline, did you have every entrance in and
20 out of the hotel Vitez covered?
21 A. Yes, we had them covered.
22 Q. Did you have the back side covered as well as the front
23 or just the front.
24 MR. HAYMAN: Asked and answered, your Honour.
25 A. We did not cover a single entrance, only --
1 JUDGE JORDA: Objection sustained.
2 MR. KEHOE: What exactly did you have? He is explaining his
4 A. We did not cover a single entrance into the hotel, only
5 part of the street in the vicinity of the entrance to
6 the hotel.
7 Q. You are marking on the exhibit with a red marker next to
8 the marker A.
9 A. Next to the entrance. I think there is about 30 metres
10 there. Here to here, from the street to the entrance to
11 the hotel (indicating).
12 Q. Based on this drawing, could your soldiers here cover
13 the back entrance on the back street?
14 A. I cannot hear the interpreter well. Better now.
15 Q. Based on the drawing that you just made on this street,
16 could your line cover the entrance on the back street
17 coming into the hotel Vitez?
18 A. No, we could not cover that.
19 Q. Okay, sir. Have a seat.
20 You were asked some questions on cross-examination
21 about the offer of the HVO for civilians to leave
22 Stari Vitez. Do you recall those questions?
23 A. Those were ultimatums to surrender and to evacuate
25 Q. Had the shelling of Stari Vitez already started before
1 these ultimatums were given to you?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You were asked in cross-examination about whether or not
4 it would have been better for civilians to be taken from
5 Novaci and secured in the Dubravica school; do you
6 recall those questions?
7 A. Yes, I recall them.
8 Q. Would it have been better for those civilians if their
9 homes had not been burnt in the first place?
10 A. That is right, it would have been better had they not
11 been attacked at all.
12 Q. Would that likewise be true of all the villages in the
13 Lasva valley? Would it not have been better for those
14 civilians if their houses had not been attacked and
15 burned in the first place?
16 A. Absolutely --
17 JUDGE JORDA: Please do not make any comments; just put
18 questions. If you have something to say to the witness,
19 ask him a question.
20 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President.
21 You were asked some questions about ammunition and
22 houses by the Defence counsel; do you remember that?
23 A. Yes, I remember that.
24 Q. You were also asked questions about ammunition in your
25 ammunition depot. Do you recall that?
1 A. Yes, I recall that.
2 Q. You also said that ammunition was taken by soldiers to
3 their individual homes.
4 A. Ammunition is given out together with rifles.
5 Q. Did each soldier have large stores of ammunition in his
7 A. No, that is not correct.
8 Q. What is correct?
9 A. It is correct to say that they had about 100 bullets per
11 Q. Mr. Djidic, Defence counsel asked you some questions
12 concerning orders given by Blaskic concerning sniper
13 attacks; is that right?
14 A. I remember that.
15 Q. Did the sniper attacks continue -- the sniper shooting
16 continue through the 11-month siege?
17 A. There were short periods of time when HVO snipers did
18 not operate really, but most of the time, throughout the
19 war, snipers were in operation; that is to say in 1993.
20 Q. You mentioned some individuals during your direct
21 examination that were shot by sniper attacks. With the
22 assistance of the usher, I would like to show you a
23 photograph. (Handed). Do you recognise those two
24 people, Mr. Djidic?
25 A. Yes, I recognise them.
1 Q. Who are they?
2 A. These are a husband and wife. I think they were killed
3 in June 1993, by sniper shooting. They were around 70
4 years old, they were in their garden, and they were
5 killed within one hour only.
6 Q. Were they soldiers fighting in trenches, Mr. Djidic, or
7 were they civilians?
8 A. They were civilians. I already said they were over 70,
9 I believe. When they were killed they were in their
10 garden. They were doing something, I do not know what.
11 MR. KEHOE: Your Honour, may I have one moment? (Pause).
12 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Prosecutor? The judges would like to
13 see the following -- that is we would like to ask you to
14 remain within the bounds of the cross-examination,
15 please. Your reply, or at least that is the wish of the
16 judges, that your reply sticks strictly to new elements
17 that arose during the cross-examination, which means two
18 things: first, you must not make the witness restate all
19 that he has already said, because we have already been
20 listening to this witness for several days, and only new
21 elements are of interest to the judges, not elements
22 which were already indicated. That is the observation
23 of the judges. Continue, Mr. Prosecutor.
24 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I have completed my redirect
25 examination and just ask the court to move into evidence
1 exhibits 84, 85 and the map, which is 45A, the top sheet
2 which is a xerox copy of an exhibit that is already in
4 JUDGE JORDA: Which are they? I was told that it was 85; is
5 that correct? So the small photographs will be admitted
6 as Prosecution exhibits number?
7 THE REGISTRAR: The small photographs are document 85; the
8 map which is up there on the board is 85A, and the one
9 below is 84.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Which is the origin of exhibit 85,
11 Mr. Prosecutor, that is the photograph of civilians, the
12 husband and wife killed?
13 MR. KEHOE: The origin of that photograph, your Honour, are
14 photographs given to us by the Republic of
15 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I believe there is one correction
16 concerning what Mr. Dubuisson said, I believe the map
17 facing us on the easel is 45A and I believe you said
18 85A. I am not sure if it was in the translation.
19 THE REGISTRAR: No, it is 45A, sorry.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Have you finished, Mr. Prosecutor?
21 MR. KEHOE: Yes, your Honour.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Nobilo?
23 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I am sorry to take the floor once
24 again --
25 JUDGE JORDA: In principle, I do not think you can have the
1 floor again, but I will consult my colleagues.
2 (Pause). Mr. Nobilo, the Trial Chamber will abide by the
3 principle it has established. This is a witness of the
4 Prosecution; the Prosecution examined him, you
5 cross-examined and the Prosecution had a redirect,
6 therefore you do not have the right to speak again.
7 I will ask my colleagues whether they have any questions
8 to put to the witness.
9 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, we respect that. We would simply
10 like to note that the witness has changed his testimony
11 with respect to sources of ammunition and so in effect
12 we were not able to effectively cross-examine him about
13 his earlier testimony, because he now changed his
14 testimony on redirect examination. I simply wish to
15 state --
16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, the Trial Chamber has taken a
17 decision. The Trial Chamber knows how to read the
18 transcript. We have had four and a half days of
19 testimony and now it is up to the Trial Chamber to
20 decide that the witness has been examined in direct,
21 cross-examined and there was a redirect. I think there
22 has to be a certain order and certain rules.
23 If the witness has changed his testimony, the
24 judges will see that and I assume you can refer to that
25 in your closing statement.
1 It is now the turn of my colleagues if they wish
2 to put questions to the witness.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Djidic, in the course of your testimony,
4 I think it was on Tuesday 28th, you referred to an
5 official ceremony when General Blaskic was present, and
6 at which a speech was made by Dario Kordic, a speech
7 that you did not like at all because -- I am almost
8 citing what you said -- "he rejected coexistence between
9 the communities in Bosnia and claimed the right to
10 Bosnia solely for the Croatian nation." That is in the
11 transcript, the English transcript. Can you tell us
12 what was the exact role of General Blaskic at that
13 official ceremony that you described to us?
14 A. Mr. Blaskic was present and he did not speak. Kordic
15 spoke, Santic spoke, Cerkez spoke, and in his speech,
16 Kordic said, as far as Herceg-Bosna is concerned, that
17 which you asked me about in connection with Bosnia, so
18 he said that in connection with Herceg-Bosna.
19 Q. The others who spoke at that ceremony, did they repeat
20 the same propositions as Kordic supported?
21 A. No.
22 JUDGE RIAD: Then, later on, --
23 JUDGE JORDA: Can we have the translation of what the
24 witness said? I think he said no.
25 JUDGE RIAD: During that ceremony, were the same
1 propositions made by other people, by politicians, or
2 military men; were the same statements and claims on
3 Herceg-Bosna exclusively for the Croats and the ending
4 of Muslim presence there -- were the same propositions
5 set forth by others?
6 A. Yes, that is correct, but they did not repeat what
7 Kordic had said. He was the most extremist of all, and
8 all the statements were similar in connection with
10 Q. In other words, it was a policy that was pursued and not
11 an isolated case that was evidenced during that
13 A. Yes, that is correct. The speeches were welcomed by a
14 lot of applause.
15 Q. Did the media support these same claims following this
17 A. Yes, before the ceremony and after the ceremony.
18 Q. Were there any precise measures taken to realise these
19 claims or what has been known as ethnic cleansing?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. What were these measures and procedures?
22 A. These were political procedures by the HDZ concerning
23 that which I spoke of. The establishment of HVO
24 government which belonged to a single nation, a single
25 ethnic group, the elimination of Muslims from
1 government, and the implementation of all those things
2 which related to the political and military
3 establishment of a state within a state, that is to say
4 Herceg-Bosna within Bosnia.
5 Q. In your testimony also on the 28th in the afternoon in
6 the French transcript, page 721, you added that places
7 of worship, Muslim places of worship, were particularly
8 and deliberately destroyed, and not only the houses and
9 the property of the Muslims, and you stated that this
10 was a pre-established and concerted plan that was being
11 implemented. Perhaps you could give us the indicators
12 which led you to make such a conclusion that this was an
13 established plan, not only an armed conflict that
14 results in mutual destruction or reciprocal destruction
15 on both sides.
16 A. Yes, I shall try to explain this to you. The places of
17 worship of the Muslims were desecrated before the war,
18 during the war and after the war, that is to say even
19 after a cease-fire had been signed with the HVO, and the
20 objective was to destroy the history of the Muslims, and
21 proof of the existence of Muslims in this territory.
22 This can be seen even now everywhere.
23 Q. What would you wish to imply when you say "now and
25 A. No, also when you look at Bosnia, specifically Central
1 Bosnia in Vitez, you can see destroyed places of worship
2 because they have not been repaired yet.
3 Q. In connection with the incident of the shell that was
4 shown to us on video today, did this incident, as far as
5 you know, take place before the destruction of those
6 places of worship and civilian homes, or did it take
7 place after that?
8 A. The destruction in Central Bosnia lasted 11 months. The
9 attacks on Stari Vitez were underway for 11 months, not
10 every day though; that is to say that there was
11 destruction before and after the incident that you
13 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEN: Mr. Djidic, you described the siege of
15 Stari Vitez and you told us that it endured for 11
16 months. You also indicated that during that period,
17 there were some Croats in Stari Vitez. Did they remain
18 until the end of the siege?
19 A. Yes, they did, part of them. Part of the Croats had
20 left Stari Vitez before the attack on Stari Vitez. Part
21 of the Croats left when the exchange took place of the
22 civilians detained in the cinema. A smaller part left
24 During the conflict itself in Stari Vitez, about
25 45 Croats remained and three Serbs too. Most of them
1 still live in Stari Vitez.
2 Q. Did the Croats and the three Serbs who remained in
3 Stari Vitez participate in the resistance offered by
4 Stari Vitez to the attacks against Stari Vitez?
5 A. No, they did not.
6 Q. Could you say whether any of the houses belonging to
7 Croats and Serbs in Stari Vitez were damaged?
8 A. Yes, they were damaged.
9 Q. About what proportion of those houses would you say were
10 damaged, half or a quarter, or a third?
11 A. Perhaps a quarter.
12 Q. I ask you to turn to another phase of the evidence,
13 during which you referred to what you described as the
14 expulsion of Muslims from the Vitez area proper, and an
15 issue was raised as to whether they had been expelled or
16 whether they left voluntarily. Do you remember that
17 phase of your evidence?
18 A. I think I do remember that, and it is true that people
19 were expelled. A small number of people left
20 voluntarily; however the majority were expelled.
21 Q. Could you say whether any of those Muslims who you say
22 were expelled returned to Vitez after the siege was
24 A. No, no one has ever returned to Vitez.
25 Q. One last question relating to the video clip which
1 Mr. Nobilo showed us towards the end of his
2 cross-examination. When he was asked by the President,
3 he indicated that those clips had been taken by a local
4 television station, I think. Did any TV station enter
5 Stari Vitez during the 11-month period of the siege?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Where did they come from?
8 A. Most of them were foreigners.
9 Q. Do you have any clips or are you aware of the existence
10 of any clips, video clips, taken by those TV stations of
11 occurrences within Stari Vitez?
12 A. I have some video clips from a joint meeting when
13 Mr. Petkovic came to Stari Vitez, as well as
14 Mr. Halilovic, with their teams, and I have a video clip
15 from the funeral of 105 people who were buried in
16 Stari Vitez. I gave the Prosecutor this videocassette.
17 I do not know if it was admitted as evidence.
18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEN: Thank you.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Riad, you have another question?
20 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Djidic, during your stay in Vitez, you were
21 able to note to what extent it was possible to know what
22 was happening in the surrounding villages, to what
23 extent could one hear the explosions and to be au
24 courant as to what was happening throughout the valley?
25 A. Yes, one could notice when bombings and shellings took
2 Q. Up to what distance?
3 A. To the distance in one part nearest Stari Vitez, one
4 could see the village of Krcevine quite well. Also
5 there is a good view of Grbavica, there is a good view
6 of Donja Veceriska, the village of Gacice, Bradina and
7 Novaci. In other places people could hear shooting and
8 they could hear the direction from which it was coming,
9 and also smoke from grenades and from places that were
10 burning could be seen.
11 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Djidic, the Tribunal wishes to thank you
13 for coming and testifying for four days. We appreciate
14 your testimony and you are now discharged. Will you
15 please accompany Mr. Djidic?
16 (The witness withdrew)
17 JUDGE JORDA: It is 12.45. Mr. Prosecutor, would you prefer
18 that we have the next witness brought in now?
19 MR. KEHOE: I would prefer -- I think it would be easier your
20 Honour if we take a break now and then just start up
21 earlier and we can get right through it quickly.
22 JUDGE JORDA: That is fine. Very well, in that case the
23 hearing is adjourned and we will resume at 2.30.
24 (12.45 pm)
25 (Adjourned until 2.30 pm)
1 (2.40 pm)
2 JUDGE JORDA: Please bring in the accused. The hearing is
4 (Accused brought in)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
6 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, your Honours, before I begin on the
7 next witness, talking to Mr. Djidic at the lunch break,
8 he would like to clarify one point, and the point is
9 that, with regard to the ammunition, he did get
10 ammunition down the river, but he said that on one
11 occasion, he did get ammunition from a private entity,
12 not the United Nations, not the Red Cross, in --
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, that is all very fine.
14 I think, nevertheless, that Mr. Djidic had things to say,
15 he had ample time to do so. Either we bring Mr. Djidic
16 back into the courtroom, if he is still here, but for
17 that I will consult my colleagues, but you cannot bring
18 us suggestions from Mr. Djidic again which we are going
19 to discuss, ask the Defence for their opinion and so on.
20 Mr. Kehoe, we are professionals, agreed? That is
21 the first point. Is Mr. Djidic still here?
22 MR. KEHOE: He is, Mr. President.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. I am going to consult my
24 colleagues then. (Pause). The Trial Chamber has
25 decided to bring in the witness again, but he will only
1 make his statement on the sole question that you have
2 mentioned, and the Defence will have an opportunity to
3 question him on that one point only.
4 Bring in Mr. Djidic, please.
5 (Witness entered court)
6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Djidic, can you hear me?
7 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Mr. Prosecutor has conveyed to us
9 to a clarification that you wish to make, and the Trial
10 Chamber will hear you on that one question that will be
11 put to you by the Prosecutor, and we remind you that you
12 are still under oath.
13 Mr. Prosecutor, will you please put the question
14 that you raised yourself. After that, if the Defence
15 has any cross-examination to make, it will do so.
16 Mr. Prosecutor.
17 MR. SEFKIJA DJIDIC (recalled)
18 Further examined by MR. KEHOE
19 Q. Thank you Mr. President, your Honours. Mr. Djidic,
20 concerning ammunition brought by a private entity, how
21 did that ammunition get to you in Stari Vitez and in
22 what manner was it brought in?
23 A. When talking about ammunition and my statement about it,
24 that I never received through the United Nations any
25 ammunition, I wish to clear up a possible dilemma.
1 Since Mr. Nobilo said that I had changed my testimony,
2 I am not changing my testimony. I uphold what I said,
3 that I never received through members of the
4 United Nations any ammunition, and what General Alagic
5 stated does not apply to the United Nations but it
6 refers to a private organisation.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, do you have any questions, any
8 cross-examination of the witness on this point?
9 Further cross-examined by MR. NOBILO
10 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Which organisation?
11 A. It was a private organisation which does not belong to
12 the United Nations.
13 Q. What is its name?
14 A. I do not know if I have to give you the name.
15 Q. It is important for us so that we can verify your
17 MR. KEHOE: I object at this point, your Honour, because of
18 some danger expressed to members of that organisation.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, the witness does not wish to answer
20 your question. You will draw the conclusion you wish,
21 which you consider to be opportune, emanating from the
22 witness's failure to answer the question. In that case,
23 the debate is closed on the question of ammunition.
24 Mr. Djidic, we wish to thank you once again and ask
25 the usher to take you out.
1 Mr. Nobilo, have you more questions to put on this
2 point? Go ahead.
3 MR. NOBILO: I do.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Just on this point only. Go ahead then,
5 I apologise.
6 MR. NOBILO: How did you get in touch with this private
7 unnamed organisation?
8 A. They came to Stari Vitez on their own business.
9 Q. In whose vehicles did they come?
10 A. In their own vehicles.
11 Q. Civilian or military?
12 A. Civilian.
13 Q. In what way did that ammunition reach you, technically
15 A. I have already said, a small quantity of ammunition
16 which came down the Lasva river, and another small
17 quantity in a vehicle under the seat.
18 Q. Now you have given us a new piece of information. First
19 it was just the river, now a vehicle.
20 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, your Honour, I object to what
21 Mr. Nobilo thinks is a new piece of information and
22 request that Mr. Nobilo ask just questions.
23 JUDGE JORDA: I agree with you that Mr. Nobilo should not
24 make any comments, but I do not agree with you with
25 regard to the right of Mr. Nobilo to clear up this
1 point. If he does not wish to give the name of the
2 organisation, it is quite legitimate for the Defence to
3 put certain questions to clarify the way in which that
4 ammunition reached the witness.
5 MR. NOBILO: Along the Lasva river, what does that mean?
6 What means of transport was used along the river?
7 A. A primitive device. It was a rubber tyre.
8 Q. How much ammunition did you get in that way?
9 A. Several hundred bullets.
10 Q. What about the civilian vehicle? How much ammunition
11 did it bring?
12 A. Several hundred again.
13 Q. In addition to these two deliveries of several hundred,
14 did you receive any further ammunition during the siege?
15 A. No.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Djidic, the Trial Chamber wishes to thank
18 Please take the witness out.
19 (The witness withdrew)
20 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, you have another witness,
21 I assume?
22 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President. The Prosecutor calls Sefik
24 JUDGE JORDA: Before the witness enters, I should like to
25 ask you, also on behalf of my colleagues, how much time
1 have you planned for questioning this witness, and, on
2 the other hand, I should like to remind you of the
3 request made to Mr. Mark Harmon for a list which will be
4 communicated to the judge of the number of witnesses
5 that you wish to hear and the time with relative
6 precision that you wish to devote to the
7 examination-in-chief of those witnesses.
8 MR. KEHOE: Your Honours, with regard to your first question,
9 I would anticipate the direct examination of Mr. Pezer to
10 be approximately two hours, and the list that your
11 Honour requested directly from Mr. Harmon, that is in my
12 hand, in this red file right here (indicating).
13 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Please give us the list through
14 the intermediary of the Registrar.
15 Mr. Hayman, you have a question?
16 MR. HAYMAN: Before the next witness comes in, may I have a
17 moment to confer with Mr. Nobilo and perhaps make a
18 request to the court in light of the witness's refusal
19 to answer a question?
20 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. (Pause). Mr. Hayman?
21 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, your Honour. I have spoken with my
22 co-counsel concerning the issue of Mr. Djidic's refusal
23 to answer the question concerning the source of these
24 arms that reached him to assist the army in Stari Vitez
25 during the siege.
1 The Defence, we do not know of any rules that
2 would permit a witness to refuse to answer questions.
3 I note Rule 77(a), which states that a witness who
4 refuses or fails contumaciously to answer a relevant
5 question may be found in contempt, and then certain
6 penalties are provided.
7 In my system, it is also not uncommon for a
8 witness who refuses to answer questions on
9 cross-examination, for the witness's direct examination
10 to be stricken, because the Defence and the accused has
11 not been allowed to exercise its right of
12 cross-examination where a witness declines to answer.
13 Here I would suggest it is impermissible for the
14 Prosecution to seek to prove that these arms did not
15 come from one source, whether it is the Red Cross or the
16 United Nations, and yet we the Defence were not able to
17 explore the area because the witness simply refuses to
18 say where in fact they did come from.
19 I leave it to the court whether the direct
20 examination should be stricken, or whether contempt
21 proceedings should go forward against the witness or
22 whether he should be given the opportunity to answer the
23 question prior to contempt proceedings being brought,
24 but we think there must be some remedy, or else what is
25 to prevent other witnesses, if it causes embarrassment
1 or discomfort, or perhaps might tend to incriminate a
2 friend or relative -- we may have many witnesses who
3 decline to answer difficult questions on
4 cross-examination because they are difficult, and we do
5 not believe that is adequate grounds for them to decline
6 to answer such questions. If a question needs to be
7 dealt with in closed session or subject to some type of
8 protective order to the Defence, we have no objection to
9 that, but we do object to allowing the witness not to
10 answer the question. (Pause).
11 JUDGE JORDA: The Trial Chamber, Mr. Hayman, knows well
12 Article 77 on contempt of the Tribunal, but it would
13 like to say that this is a discretionary right of the
14 Chamber, and it is a possibility, so that the Rule
15 stipulated under 77(a) is limited by paragraph (b), that
16 the Chamber may relieve the witness of the duty to
17 answer, which it did so by saying that Mr. Nobilo can
18 draw the necessary conclusions.
19 Then there is another exception envisaged in Rule
20 90; the witness told you that he could endanger an
21 organisation by mentioning it.
22 To conclude, contempt of the Tribunal is an
23 extremely difficult measure. I would not say it is
24 rare, but it is relatively rare, and it is up to the
25 discretion of the Chamber which does not find it
1 necessary to raise the issue in this particular case
2 with respect to this particular witness.
3 I think therefore this matter of Mr. Djidic is
5 We can now proceed for about two hours to hear the
6 next witness, which the usher will bring in. Thank
8 (Witness entered court)
9 JUDGE JORDA: First of all, can you hear me, please? Will
10 you stand up if you can hear me?
11 A. Yes, I can hear you.
12 JUDGE JORDA: Will you tell the judges your name, your first
13 and second name? What is your name, please?
14 A. My name is Sefik Pezer.
15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Sefik Pezer, you can now read the solemn
16 declaration which has been handed to you.
17 SEFIK PEZER (sworn)
18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, you may be seated.
19 Mr. Prosecutor?
20 Examined by MR. KEHOE
21 Q. Thank you Mr. President, your Honours.
22 Mr. Pezer, how old are you, sir, and do you have a
24 A. 44; I have a wife and two children.
25 Q. What area of Bosnia do you live in now?
1 A. I now live in a village within the municipality of
3 Q. Where did you grow up? Where were you born, where did
4 you go to school and where did you spend most of your
5 early years?
6 A. I was born on 28th September 1953 in Klobje, the
7 municipality of Zenica. From the age of 6 or 7 I lived
8 in Vitez, Donje Dubravica, Novaci; that is the popular
9 name for it. In 1976, when I got married, I got an
10 apartment from my company, the company I worked for, and
11 that is where I lived until the war broke out.
12 Q. Did you live in that location until 1993?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Mr. Pezer, before the war broke out, what did you do for
16 A. I worked in the factory Slobodan Princip Seljo, from
17 1976 until the war, literally until the war broke out on
18 16th April 1993. That was my main occupation, and my
19 wife was also employed. She worked for a private
20 employer in the town itself, she worked in a catering
21 establishment, Cevapcinica, and before the conflict in
22 1993, I rented a Cevapcinica from a man and that is
23 where my wife started working and I helped her there too
24 after all the work I did at my company.
25 Q. You were working in the SPS factory as well as helping
1 your wife in the Cevapcinica?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Using the exhibit to your left, the photograph on the
4 easel, Mr. Pezer -- for the record, Mr. President,
5 your Honours, we are referring to Prosecutor's exhibit
6 56 on the easel. Can you turn to that picture and with
7 the assistance of the usher, could you use a pointer and
8 show us where your Cevapi shop was.
9 A. Let me just find out where the north is on this map.
10 JUDGE JORDA: It is not very convenient for the witness,
11 Mr. Prosecutor. It is not easy; he has to speak into the
12 microphone, he has to look at the map. Let us try and
13 facilitate his task. Bring the easel closer to him,
15 Mr. Registrar, perhaps you could help our witness a
17 JUDGE JORDA: The public gallery must be able to see and the
18 Defence, of course, must be able to see.
19 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, may I approach the witness and be
20 of assistance?
21 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, of course. You can help him, but you
22 must not answer on his behalf, of course, just assist
23 him physically.
24 A. Just have a look. This should be the place
1 JUDGE JORDA: Now the Defence cannot see.
2 A. I have found it.
3 JUDGE JORDA: Would it not be simpler, Mr. Prosecutor, that
4 the witness simply tells us where the place he is
5 looking for is? That would be simpler for
6 understanding. Could the witness tell us where the
7 establishment in question is?
8 MR. KEHOE: Could you tell us, Mr. Pezer?
9 A. The railway station in Vitez. I have found it. Here it
10 is (indicates). It is difficult to read this map
12 Q. Mr. Pezer, prior to you opening your Cevapi shop in that
13 location, what was at that spot?
14 A. Could you ask that more clearly, please.
15 Q. Was there another shop at your store prior to your
16 opening up the Cevapi shop?
17 A. There was a Cevapi shop there before, and it was run by
18 the man from whom I had rented the place. It worked for
19 about a year and a half before it was blown up. Two
20 bombs were thrown; one exploded, the other one did not,
21 so I found it in a state of disrepair and then I agreed
22 with the landlord that I would take the place over and
23 continue working there because I thought simply that
24 I could work there, because I had expected the Muslim
25 and Croat people to reach neutral agreement and to have
1 things function normally and that is the way it was.
2 I worked in that same establishment for about a month
3 but on 16th April, the war broke out, and everything
4 came to a halt.
5 Q. Mr. Pezer, you said that the man who ran this shop before
6 you and your wife, the store was blown up -- his store
7 was blown up, is that right?
8 A. Yes, a bomb was thrown. I think it was January,
9 February or March 1993. After that I changed the glass,
10 repaired the ceramics, also there were some broken
11 chairs, and then I repaired the place and restored it to
12 its original appearance.
13 Q. Was that man a Muslim who was blown out?
14 A. Yes, his name was Semsudin Subasic and he told me about
15 it. After the incident he went to the police station in
16 town. He complained but he did not receive any response
17 and he simply closed the place down, and I wanted to
18 make wooden shutters immediately, as soon as I took the
19 place over, so that a new bomb could not be thrown
20 again. There were three or four Croat shops in the
21 area, so I thought, perhaps I can make it out there too,
22 perhaps I can work alongside with them.
23 Q. Why did you think that you or your family was not going
24 to be hurt?
25 A. I thought because I was an ordinary citizen, I was not a
1 soldier, I was not interested in politics simply, I was
2 not interested in the war, I was not interested in the
3 army, I was only interested in working, and, to tell you
4 the truth, what I said, time and again, if there would
5 be any fighting in Vitez it would only be the army and
6 the HVO that would be fighting each other, the military
7 units, but that the civilians would remain untouched.
8 That is what I believed until the very last day.
9 However my assessment was not correct. The worst
10 possible thing happened.
11 Q. Mr. Pezer, going back to the photograph, and you pointed
12 to your Cevapi shop near the railway station in
13 Dubravica, is the Dubravica school where the
14 Vitezovi was, was that near to your Cevapi shop?
15 A. The school is about 200 metres away approximately.
16 However, you can see it from the Cevapi shop because the
17 school was on the hill and the Cevapi shop was
18 underneath and there was a small forest in between but
19 it was not very far away, about 200 metres.
20 Q. Did members of the Vitezovi frequent your Cevapi shop?
21 A. Yes, they used to frequent it. They used to eat there,
22 not all of them but quite a few of them. They used to
23 eat there, some of them owed me money. They would not
24 pay for the food they received, but that was not a
25 meaningful amount. I did not pay much attention to it.
1 I just thought, let it be.
2 Q. Let us move ahead, Mr. Pezer, to the day before the
3 attack, 15th April 1993. Can you tell the judges, did
4 you work that day, and if you did work, where did you
5 work and where did you go after work?
6 A. My usual working day was to work in the factory for
7 eight hours and after 3 pm in the afternoon, I would
8 help my wife. On that day, 15th April, I worked in the
9 factory until 3 pm, then I came home, and then I went to
10 the Cevapi shop to help my wife, to ask her whether she
11 needed anything, whether I should go and buy something
12 for her, do some shopping for her et cetera.
13 When I came to the Cevapi shop it was full of
14 people. I was sort of surprised because I was not used
15 to that, I was not used to seeing such a full shop, and
16 I asked my wife, "What is this?" She said the road to
17 Zenica has been blocked and these people who are
18 supposed to go to Zenica, to move further on, cannot go
19 along that road, so they are taking a break, resting,
20 eating, drinking et cetera, so we stayed there until
21 about 5 pm. All the goods we had in the shop -- we had
22 some reserves which could keep us going for about two or
23 three days -- all of it was sold that day, so we had to
24 close early that day because there was no need to wait
25 any longer.
1 As I was waiting for my wife to finish all her
2 work, I spent some time in the shop itself. I spent
3 some time outside because that was the main road to
4 Zenica and Busovaca. I was standing in front of the
5 shop and I saw unusual movements by HVO soldiers who
6 were going by non-stop. They were going to the school;
7 they were moving towards Zenica, towards Ahmici, Novaci,
8 but I could not imagine that something like that could
9 happen on 16th April. The only thing I found suspicious
10 was that the members of the HVO on that very same day,
11 that is to say after 3 pm when I was there, they also
12 drove along taking some fuel in a vehicle, and they also
13 had a three-barrel anti-artillery gun on a FAP vehicle,
14 mounted on the vehicle.
15 I saw them go to Novaci and go back several times
16 and I did not know what the reason was for that, but to
17 tell you now, it was really unusual compared to the
18 previous days, because there were certain incidents
19 before, and I thought that perhaps there would be some
20 kind of incident that day too, but I thought things
21 would pass, that it would not be a major event.
22 About 5.00 we closed the shop. We went to our
23 apartment which was about three kilometres away. As we
24 passed through Kolonija, as we call it, the town,
25 everything seemed rather quiet. There were hardly any
1 people in the streets, and normally we went back to our
2 apartment to get some rest because we were tired. Both
3 my wife and I, we were supposed to have prepared the
4 meat needed for the next day, but we decided we would
5 not do any more work that day but we agreed we would get
6 up very early the next day before I went to the factory
7 and then we would finish that. That is what happened on
8 15th April. If you have any further questions, please
9 feel free to ask them.
10 Q. The checkpoint goes up to the Vitez road. Was that
11 manned with HVO soldiers that day?
12 A. Yes, the checkpoint was about 100 or 150 metres away
13 from my shop and you could see it well from the shop.
14 Members of the HVO were there before, because that is
15 where the main crossroads is for Busovaca, Vjetrenice
16 and also another road to Zenica and they were there
17 before too, but that day the road was closed and there
18 were quite a few vehicles and they would not let them
19 pass. I did not know what was happening there. I found
20 out only later, perhaps after two or three months only
21 what was going on in Zenica then.
22 Q. Mr. Pezer, could you go back to the photograph that you
23 used before to pick out the Cevapi shop near the
24 Dubravica railway and can you point to the checkpoint
25 you saw HVO soldiers at on the 15th?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. You are pointing to the crossroads on the upper
3 left-hand portion of exhibit 56?
4 A. That is the road to Vjetrenice, the crossroad of the
5 road leading to Vjetrenice and the road leading to
7 Q. That evening when you got home, did you watch
9 A. I watched television before quite a lot too, but, to
10 tell you the truth, I did not pay special attention to
11 it that evening, because in Vitez at that time, we were
12 able to watch Bosnian-Herzegovinan television, TV
13 Sarajevo basically, and there was local television, TV
14 Vitez. I do not know, was it run by the HVO or the HVO
15 government, but it was under the control of the Croat
16 authorities anyway, and that evening, I did not watch
17 television, but yes, I did find out, only when I was
18 expelled to Zenica, that there was some kind of TV
19 programme that day, at 5.00 or 6.00, I do not know
21 Mr. Kostroman spoke, Kordic. They said things
22 could not go on that way, that the Muslims should be
23 disarmed but they were appealing to the Croatian people
24 not to do anything until further orders were issued.
25 I am telling you about this because that is what I had
1 heard, that there was such a television programme, and
2 that is probably the reason why I did not see very many
3 people in the street that evening.
4 Q. Had you seen programmes with people like Kordic on
5 previously talking about Muslims? Now I am talking
6 about prior to the 15th. Had you seen those types of
7 television programmes?
8 A. Yes, I did watch them, but, to tell you the truth, I did
9 not like watching them. Quite often I would turn off
10 the TV set because it was precisely the two of them that
11 were saying quite a few things, warmongering stuff,
12 like: "We cannot live with the Muslims any more; Muslims
13 are to be blamed for everything." Sometimes I would be
14 so upset I would turn off the TV set and I would not
15 watch it any more. I watched some of it but on most
16 occasions I would simply turn off the TV set because
17 I could not listen to that.
18 MR. KEHOE: Before we move to the 16th, Mr. President, if
19 Mr. Dubuisson could put Prosecutor's exhibit 45 on the
21 Mr. Pezer, taking a look at the photograph that is
22 now on the easel and referring it -- for the record, it
23 is Prosecutor's exhibit 45. Could you with the
24 assistance of the pointer point out the location of your
25 house, where you lived on 16th April 1993?
1 A. Yes -- perhaps this easel could be turned around a
2 little bit. No, it is okay (indicates).
3 Q. You are pointing to an apartment building that is just
4 on top of or a block or so on top of the race-track; is
5 that right?
6 A. No, I am showing the apartment building where I lived;
7 the stadium is a bit lower.
8 Q. That is fine, sir. If you could just sit down. With
9 the assistance again of the usher and Mr. Dubuisson, if
10 we could turn to exhibit 81, which has been received in
11 evidence, and look at PH337 and PH340. If we could put
12 those on the ELMO, with your assistance, sir? I think
13 it is easier if you take it out of the plastic.
14 If we can take them one at a time, Mr. Usher?
15 Looking at that photograph which is now on the
16 ELMO, PH337 which is part of exhibit 81, is that a
17 photograph of the building where you lived on 16th April
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Using your pointer on the ELMO, could you point to your
21 apartment on that photograph?
22 A. Here it is, the red balcony (indicating). There is
23 something red on the balcony, rather. Here it is.
24 Q. This apartment building is right on the edge of
25 Stari Vitez, is it not?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Could we then look at the next photograph, PH340? That
3 is a photograph in from Stari Vitez back at your
4 apartment building, is it not?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Okay. Thank you very much, Mr. Usher.
7 Mr. Pezer, let us move to 16th April 1993. Do you
8 remember that day? Tell the court about it.
9 A. I already said that on April 15th my wife and I were
10 supposed to prepare meat for the next day. Because we
11 were tired though, we decided to get up somewhat earlier
12 on 16th April, because I was supposed to get to work at
13 the factory, and she was supposed to get to the shop on
14 time, so we decided to get up around 5.00 and perhaps we
15 got up even before 5.00 in the morning. We started
16 preparing the meat straight away so that we could finish
17 that by 6.15 approximately so that I could get to work
18 on time.
19 At about 5.25 or 5.30 or 5.35, within those ten
20 minutes after Ezan, that is a call for prayer, early in
21 the morning at Sabah, I heard strong detonation near my
22 home. I ran to the window immediately to see what was
23 going on, because such situations did occur quite
24 frequently in Vitez over the past few months, and I can
25 say that over 90 per cent of all Muslim shops were blown
1 up, and I think only one or two remained in town, and
2 also this cafe which was near the race-track, the
3 stadium. As I looked through the window, I saw a few
4 soldiers, five or six of them, I cannot remember. They
5 had thrown bombs on this cafe, it was called Trojka and
6 it was owned by Gerina Elvedin. I came back and I told
7 my wife, I said "Gerina's cafe has gone too", and I had
8 no idea that something worse would happen as well.
9 Q. If you could use the photograph and show the court where
10 you were and where Gerina Elvedin's cafe was that was
11 blown up.
12 A. A few minutes ago, I showed you the other photograph
13 where my balcony was, where my windows were, where my
14 apartment was. My entire apartment was facing
15 Stari Vitez. I could only see Stari Vitez, I could not
16 see the town in any conceivable way. The cafe was on
17 the other side; I will show you right now.
18 Q. So the cafe was on the edge of the stadium?
19 A. The cafe was -- there is a concrete wall around the
20 stadium and the cafe itself was within the stadium and
21 so the outer wall made of concrete was on the other
22 side. Then I told my wife, "There goes Gerina's cafe".
23 I had no idea that something worse was about to take
24 place. I would have to show you what happened
25 afterwards on the map too.
1 They passed on the other side where the garages
2 are, and they moved towards the house of Senad Karalic.
3 Q. Was Senad Karalic a Muslim?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Was Gerina a Muslim as well?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Continue using the photograph. You said they moved down
8 that street? What did you see next?
9 A. I will show you now where Senad's cafe was. About five
10 or six of them came to the cafe itself. In front of the
11 cafe there was a terrace all in glass. They threw a few
12 bombs there too, I cannot remember how many. Then they
13 moved along the eastern side of that cafe. There were
14 two windows there, one where the bar is and the other
15 where the kitchen is, and they broke the glass on the
16 windows with rifle butts and they threw in bombs. Later
17 one of them walked in with a jerry-can into the cafe,
18 and after a few minutes, I do not know exactly when, the
19 entire cafe was in flames, and it burned down so
20 quickly, it was amazing. I had never seen anything burn
21 down so quickly. It was pretty old and perhaps that is
22 why it burned so fast.
23 Q. Did you see one of the soldiers taking a jerry-can in to
24 burn that cafe?
25 A. Yes, I saw them but I could not recognise them, but it
1 was a soldier. Then, immediately above that cafe, Senad
2 Karalic had a new house, and from the cafe, they moved
3 to that house and a small TAM van was parked in front of
4 the house. They drove it over to this other compound
5 where the garages are, and then they also brought in the
6 luxury car, I cannot remember which luxury car it was,
7 but it was a luxury car. They burned down Senad
8 Karalic's house too, this new house. My wife started
9 crying immediately; she knew Senad and Senad's mother
10 and Senad's wife and Senad's children. We thought they
11 had all burned to death in that house.
12 When they torched the house of Senad Karalic, the
13 next house was the house of Varupa. I do not know the
14 person, I only know him superficially. They were
15 carrying things out of Senad's house and his house.
16 I watched a bit of it and then I would move away from
17 the window, but they were carrying technical goods,
18 probably radios, videos, smaller things they could take
19 along, and then they torched Varupa's house. I know
20 that he is called Varupa but I do not know his name.
21 The next house they torched was Varupa's house.
22 We called him Vare but his name is Mohammed. They went
23 back to torch it three times. In Zenica after a couple
24 of months I saw this man and he told me he was in the
25 house and he tried to extinguish the fire. They kept
1 coming back trying to burn it down but they could not.
2 Part of the house burned down, but that is what he told
3 me; he was in the house and he tried to extinguish the
4 fire. The next house they torched was Latif Barucija's
5 house. All of these houses are in a single row near the
7 In order to burn Latif's house, or rather after
8 burning Latif's house, Hrustic's house was next. They
9 spent some more time there but they came back very
10 quickly, because I saw quite well that one of the HVO
11 soldiers was wounded in the face. I saw blood on his
12 face and probably somebody had put up a fight there.
13 There was a privately-owned home near the apartment
14 building where I lived and soon after that an UNPROFOR
15 vehicle came and parked between Varupa's house and the
16 garages, but the UNPROFOR vehicle stayed there, but they
17 did not pay any attention to this carrier.
18 They kept going back to these torched houses, then
19 they would come back again. At 8.00 or 9.00, I cannot
20 recall exactly the hour, the members of the HVO came
21 into my building, and from the fourth floor, rather from
22 the roof, they opened fire in the direction of
23 Stari Vitez. Then around 2 pm --
24 Q. Before you go to that, sir, before we go to the events
25 at 2 pm, you mentioned that there were a series of
1 houses that you saw being burned, Muslim houses. Could
2 you again go back to the photograph, exhibit 45, and
3 point on the photograph to the houses that you saw being
4 burnt and whether or not those houses are Muslim?
5 A. All the houses that I saw from my window are all Muslim
6 houses, from the crossroads to the next crossroads;
7 I will show you which now (indicates).
8 Q. Sir, you are pointing down a street. All those houses
9 on that street were burnt?
10 A. All except one. It was new; probably there was nothing
11 there to burn, so that is why they did not torch it.
12 Q. How many of those houses were looted of TV sets, videos
13 or other things?
14 A. I managed to see them taking from Senad's new house and
15 from the old man Varupa's house. From the other Varupa,
16 Mohammed, they took the Lada car and they drove it
17 over. So there were two cars, a truck and some of these
18 electric appliances. I do not know exactly how many.
19 Q. Mr. Pezer, you said at 8.00 in the morning the HVO came
20 into the building and began to shoot into Stari Vitez.
21 Where were they shooting from?
22 A. Could you repeat that question, please?
23 Q. You said that about 8.00 or 9.00 in the morning, some
24 HVO soldiers came into your building and started
25 shooting into Stari Vitez. My question for you is:
1 where were they shooting from? Were they shooting from
2 the roof, from the fourth floor, the third floor, where
3 in the building?
4 A. They were shooting from the fourth floor, and I saw, it
5 was rather difficult to climb to the actual roof of the
6 building, but that morning they were climbing onto the
7 roof. One soldier would stand and another one would
8 climb onto his soldiers and jump up. This building had
9 a flat roof. They were well protected there because
10 I climbed up there myself only a few months before to
11 mount an aerial, so I saw there was a wall behind which
12 they could hide after shooting.
13 Q. Did you recognise these soldiers, Mr. Pezer?
14 A. I did two of them. They were young men from Vitez.
15 I think both of them are Krizanac, Nikola and Jako.
16 These are the two I recognised. I knew all the others
17 by sight, but not by name. I could not tell you exactly
18 their names.
19 Q. The others you saw by sight, were they from the Vitez
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Were they members of the HVO?
23 A. Yes, they were members of the HVO, of course.
24 Q. You said about 2.0 in the afternoon -- you were about to
25 tell us what happened at 2.00 in the afternoon. What
1 happened, sir?
2 A. At 2.00, HVO soldiers entered the staircase of the
3 building, and they fired a burst of fire on the ground
4 floor. They ran up the steps and said, "All the Muslims
5 come out." What else could I do but go out, I and my
7 In front of the building, I found about ten or so
8 HVO members; three or four of them had stockings over
9 their heads. I recognised a young man who was in
10 civilian clothes, but he was carrying a rifle. I do not
11 know his name, but I know he is from Mosunj. Knowing me
12 and my wife, he said, "Do not be afraid, there will be
13 no problems, you are just going to the cinema for an
14 interview there and you will be released. Do not panic,
15 do not be afraid."
16 There were seven or eight Muslims on my entrance.
17 We all headed towards the cinema; my wife was with one
18 of the groups. When we reached the cinema they took us
19 into the cellars of the cinema. There were already 20
20 or 30 people in there, Muslims, of course, who had been
21 arrested, and there were two or three women among them.
22 They begged the HVO members to let them go, they
23 had small children they had left at home. Then I told
24 my wife, since I had a daughter who was 9 in 1993,
25 I told her too, "You go as well. You have a small
1 child; leave me here." They let the women go.
2 Apparently they had been brought in by mistake, but they
3 could now go and I stayed behind with the other
4 Muslims. I already said there were 20 or 30 of us, and
5 they kept bringing in more, and that night, that is
6 16th April, in the evening in the cellar where the
7 boiler room was of the cinema, there were about 70 or
8 maybe even 80 of us. It was too cramped. People could
9 not lie down; we could hardly sit, never mind lie down.
10 All day they kept bringing in people; this was on the
11 16th in the afternoon and in the evening.
12 Then they brought in more people but they could
13 not fit into these premises so they took them to the
14 cinema hall itself upstairs. After three or four days,
15 I do not recall exactly how many, they came and told us
16 that some of us would go upstairs to the cinema hall; we
17 would have more room, they said. I did not dare
18 volunteer. I did not think that they intended to move
19 us. I thought maybe they would take us to dig trenches
20 or to do some other labour or even maybe to execute us.
21 Some people did volunteer, thinking it would be better
22 upstairs, so I joined them. I went to the cinema hall,
23 and I stayed there until 30th April. Conditions were
24 much more favourable there than in the cellar.
25 Q. Mr. Pezer, before we move on, let me show you a few
1 photographs. With the assistance of the usher, if we
2 could move to exhibit 33? If we could take three
3 photographs out of there, Mr. Usher, PH197, PH198 and
4 PH203. Looking at the first photograph on the ELMO,
5 which is PH197, Mr. Pezer, do you recognise that
7 A. Yes, that is the cinema; that is the cinema where I was
8 detained for 15 days, only this is a view from the
10 Q. Let us go to the next photograph, PH198.
11 A. This is also taken from the south. It is the exit from
12 the cinema when the film is over; this is where we went
14 Q. And PH203?
15 A. This is the entrance to the cinema.
16 Q. Thank you, Mr. Usher. With your assistance, if we could
17 put that exhibit back together?
18 Mr. Pezer, if you turn again to the photograph that
19 is on the easel, and you said you were taken from your
20 building to the cinema. Could you trace for the court
21 the path that you took to the cinema?
22 A. (Indicates).
23 Q. Okay, sir, you can have a seat. You said, Mr. Pezer,
24 that the people were being brought in all day. Were
25 these all Muslims that were being brought into the
1 cinema, into the basement?
2 A. Yes, they were all Muslims. I do not know exactly --
3 they were all Muslims, yes, but on the third or
4 fourth day, they brought in from the factory Slobodan
5 Princip Seljo, the SPS factory, a few workers who were
6 working that night, the night between the 15th and the
7 16th, and they were shut up in the factory and later
8 transferred to the cinema and they were all Muslims.
9 Q. You are a Muslim yourself, are you not?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. When you were in the cinema until the 30th, were there
12 HVO soldiers guarding you?
13 A. There was the HVO police, they guarded us, but, to be
14 quite frank, it was possible to escape from that
15 detention, but it was risky, because our families had
16 stayed behind in our homes and apartments, so that
17 no one dared try to escape, because if they were to do
18 that, then their family would not be safe, and there
19 were members of the HVO police there in the cinema.
20 Q. Was this the military police?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. When you were there, were people taken out to dig
24 A. Yes, they were taken out, but by some coincidence
25 I somehow managed to avoid it. We were lying there and
1 somehow I pretended to be asleep, I do not really know
2 how, but anyway I managed to avoid going to dig
3 trenches. There were people who went three or four
4 times. There was one young man, a neighbour of mine
5 where I used to live before -- I do not know how old he
6 was, maybe 18 or 19 -- he got killed while digging
7 trenches and his father was in prison there too.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, we are going to have a break
9 now until 4.20.
10 (4.00 pm)
11 (A short break)
12 (4.20 pm)
13 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Bring in the
15 (Accused brought in)
16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
17 MR. KEHOE: Yes, Mr. President, thank you. Mr. Pezer, we were
18 talking about your time when you were being held in the
19 cinema, and you mentioned trench-digging and you
20 mentioned a young man who was killed while he was
21 trench-digging. How was the selection process made
22 where people were taken out to dig trenches?
23 A. At first, we did not know that we were going to dig
24 trenches. HVO policemen would come, the men who were
25 guarding us in the cinema -- they would come with one or
1 two soldiers, I assume they were soldiers from the
2 front, and then he would say, "I need four or five or
3 ten men", and as many as he wanted he would take. By
4 way of example for instance he would say ten, and then,
5 as there were plenty of us, if anyone would volunteer,
6 then he would stand up; if not then he would point a
7 finger and say, "You, you and you come out", and then
8 this soldier would take those men out.
9 Sometimes it was for digging trenches. Then there
10 were some other minor chores like unloading a truck or
11 something like that, but mostly it was digging
12 trenches. As I said, there were people who went four or
13 five times, mostly the people who were closer to the
14 door, and when they walked into the cinema hall, if
15 there were no volunteers, no one had got there
16 voluntarily in the first place, then they would simply
17 point to those people who were close and there was no
18 questioning the decision.
19 Q. Mr. Pezer, after you were in the cinema for several days,
20 did you have a conversation with any military policemen
21 concerning an explosion or shelling that he said was
22 going to take place, and if that did happen, can you
23 explain it to the judges?
24 A. Are you thinking of the cistern that went off in
25 Stari Vitez?
1 Q. Yes, sir.
2 A. On that day, a soldier, an HVO soldier, came to the
3 basement. I was in the basement at the time, and we
4 used the toilet which was on the ground floor of the
5 building, and as there were a lot of us we would come
6 and go. We would go to the hall where the toilet was,
7 and then this soldier came and said, "No one should go
8 out because we are expecting some heavy shelling", so
9 that nobody would get hit. Only a little while after
10 that we heard a powerful explosion. We knew immediately
11 that it was not any shelling, because the explosion was
12 very powerful. It was nothing like a grenade or any
13 other device of that kind.
14 Then this same soldier, after this explosion, he
15 came up and said that the Muslims from Stari Vitez had
16 sent a truck full of explosives and this truck went off
17 at the bus station, which was about 200 metres from the
18 cinema. To be quite frank, we doubted the truth of
19 this, because we knew that the Muslims did not have any
20 such thing. That is as much as I can say about that.
21 Q. Did you find out later on exactly what the story was,
22 what had happened?
23 A. Yes, I heard the next day, I think it was the next day,
24 when my wife came to visit. Who she heard from I do not
25 know, but she told me that this truck-bomb had gone off
1 near the mosque, which is about 150 metres from my
2 building, and all the window panes were shattered on our
3 building and I think one or two doors were also broken
4 from the explosion. It is from her that I heard that
5 this was a truck bomb. When the war ended, I went there
6 and I saw the spot where the explosion occurred.
7 Q. Mr. Pezer, was it clear to you at the time that the
8 policeman that told you there was going to be shelling
9 knew that this bomb was going to be set off in
10 Stari Vitez?
11 A. Yes, he knew. All of us detainees were suspicious about
12 his statement, because to say that there would be
13 shelling, there were shellings before and they never
14 announced them, so we had our doubts, and immediately;
15 we knew that something was being in the making, and we
16 knew it was not the truth and this was confirmed.
17 Q. Mr. Pezer, you said previously that you were held in the
18 cinema building until 30th April. Can you tell us about
19 your release, exactly what happened on the 30th and
20 where you went after you were released?
21 A. On 30th April in the afternoon, we heard from the HVO --
22 from the policemen that there would be some kind of an
23 exchange, and on that day, Sefer Halilovic the army
24 commander came, Sulejman Kalco, and another one, let me
25 remember -- it does not matter, maybe I will remember
1 later, and on the side of the HVO there was Petkovic,
2 who I did not know, and Mario Cerkez, and apparently
3 they had a meeting -- I just remembered, the third man
4 on behalf of the Armija was Vehbija Karic. They had
5 agreed apparently to carry out an exchange and Sefer
6 Halilovic asked us whether we lived far from the cinema,
7 whether we could reach our homes before nightfall. We
8 said we all lived nearby, however let us see who is
9 going to guarantee our safety when we go home, we said,
10 because there were cases that HVO members would break
11 into apartments and kill people. They find them inside
12 and they simply kill them.
13 Then Mario Cerkez told us that, as far as our
14 safety was concerned, there would be absolutely no
15 problems, the HVO would guarantee our safety. They
16 left, and later two policemen came. One of them,
17 I think he was their commander, Zlatko Nakic, and
18 another military HVO policeman, and they took down our
19 data, where we had worked, whether we belonged to the
20 Armija, when we were born, that sort of thing, and Nakic
21 would write down the date for one set of people and
22 Jurcevic, the policeman, for another set of people.
23 We were suspicious, we were wondering why they
24 were doing these two lists, why one man was not making
25 the records. We learned later, after our release, that
1 the names put down by Jurcevic were released that same
2 day, and those names put down by Nakic, those people
3 stayed behind and I heard from others that they were
4 transferred to the camp in Busovaca.
5 When we were about to be released that evening,
6 they again took us into the office and somebody called
7 Krizanac -- I do not remember his first name; he was
8 working for the Red Cross -- and somebody called Jozic
9 -- I do not remember his first name either, but I know
10 he worked in the SPS factory, and he asked us where we
11 wanted to go, whether we wanted to go home, to Zenica or
12 to Travnik. Where else would I go but home, not just
13 I but all of us, so we all said we were going home so
14 all those whose names were taken down by Jurcevic were
15 released that evening. We went home and the others
16 stayed behind.
17 Q. Was there some difference between those that were
18 released and the people that were kept and transferred
19 to the prison in Busovaca?
20 A. Later we worked out what it was about. All the people
21 who had any connections with the BH-Army and the
22 educated people, people who were members of the SDA
23 party, those people were kept on, whereas the others who
24 had no connections with anybody, they were released.
25 Q. After you were released and you went home -- prior to
1 that, were you given any instructions about whether or
2 not you could leave your apartment? Were you free to
3 travel about?
4 A. We were just given advice. As far as movement is
5 concerned, it was advice that was given to us, not to go
6 anywhere, to stay home. As for my apartment -- not just
7 my apartment, but all the apartments in the building
8 that I lived in, we were ordered on the first day, on
9 16th April, that the apartments must not be locked. The
10 doors must always remain unlocked, so that when they
11 come to search, they could enter freely.
12 I also forgot to mention that I was a hunter;
13 I had a hunting rifle, of course with a licence. I had
14 an 8577 carbine and a pistol 762. My apartment was
15 searched 88 times. It may sound strange in 15 days, but
16 that is the truth. My wife did not wish to give up my
17 rifle and pistol in spite of the proclamation that all
18 the Muslims had to surrender their weapons whether they
19 were legal or illegal. She surrendered the rifle, I do
20 not remember on what day. It was Zlatko Ruzic who was
21 my neighbour in the same building, and after maybe 13 or
22 14 days I called up a military policeman of the HVO and
23 told him to go to my apartment with my wife and to take
24 the pistol and to tell them that he had taken the pistol
25 so that they would leave my wife alone, and so he went
1 there with my wife, took the pistol and after that they
2 did not search any more.
3 Q. Mr. Pezer, after you got back home, did the HVO leave you
4 and your family alone, or did the problems continue?
5 A. I did not have problems, only on the first day, but the
6 second day they came just like that. They walked
7 through the apartment, they probably saw that there was
8 nothing to take away because they had already taken away
9 everything on the first day. There was quite a bit of
10 gold, because my wife had quite a bit of it. I have
11 daughters, so they got gold as presents. My
12 video-recorder was taken away, my hunting binoculars,
13 and some other things like that. Then, I think it was
14 on 3rd May in the afternoon, Ibro Gadjun came to my
15 apartment, who was arrested with me and detained in the
16 cinema. He told me that I had to go there to report,
17 that they were looking for me. I said, "Where?"
18 Q. Let me stop you there. You mentioned "they", the taking
19 of things that were your property and "they" wanted you
20 to report to a location in Vitez. Who are you talking
21 about when you say "they"?
22 A. I am talking about HVO soldiers. I do not know whether
23 I need to say it every time, but whenever I am saying
24 "they", I am referring to members of the HVO, because
25 they were the ones who held everything under control.
1 Then I asked Gadjun why they wanted me and he said he
2 did not know. I begged him to tell me why I should go
3 there so that I should know what clothes to wear,
4 because it was late in the afternoon. He did not want
5 to tell me, but then I went with him. It is a small
6 house in the Kolonija, where the premises of the local
7 community used to be, and there was a van waiting for us
8 there, and I found seven or eight Muslims there who were
9 already waiting. They themselves did not know why we
10 had come there and where we were being taken to.
11 Then a soldier ordered that we get into the van.
12 He did not want to tell us where we were going, but
13 I saw from the van the direction in which we were being
14 driven, and I told them immediately that we were being
15 taken either to Nadioci or Krisancevo Selo, but they
16 took us to Krisancevo Selo to dig trenches there. We
17 got there, it was quite early before dark fell, they put
18 us up in some weekend houses where the HVO troops
19 rested, then we had a little rest and then they told us
20 to go and dig trenches, but not far away, because it was
21 dangerous, so that we would not be hit by the Armija, so
22 we dug a trench, which was quite safe in the sense that
23 we could not be hit by a gun in that position.
24 When it became dark, they told us we would be
25 taken to the front lines, and they divided us up into
1 twos, into pairs for each dug-out, I and my neighbour
2 Rifet Kajmak dug there, I do not exactly know for how
3 long, but there was a storm in the making. It started
4 to rain and a HVO soldier came and told us, "Let us seek
5 shelter until the storm passes and then we will start
6 digging again afterwards." So we went back to those
7 weekend homes. They were in a kind of valley. The rain
8 continued all night, so that we did not go out again and
9 then in the morning about 8.00 a van came to pick us up
10 and took us back home, or rather to the house in the
11 Kolonija, the small house where the premises of the
12 local community were, and from there we all went to our
13 respective homes.
14 Then in the evening about 10.00 or 10.30, I do not
15 remember exactly, HVO members came to my entrance of the
16 building --
17 Q. Mr. Pezer, before we go into that particular incident,
18 can we just clarify some points in the incident where
19 you were taken to dig trenches? Again, using the
20 photograph that is on the easel, Prosecutor's exhibit
21 number 45, could you point to the location on the
22 photograph where you were taken by the HVO out to dig
23 trenches in the van? Could you do that for us, please?
24 A. I cannot on this photograph because I cannot see it
25 there. It is not there. I can show the building that
1 they brought us to, but I cannot show you where we were
2 digging the trenches because it is not shown on this
4 Q. The question I am asking is the building that you were
5 brought to. We will move to the trench location in a
6 moment. What building were you brought to?
7 A. That is okay (indicates).
8 Q. You are pointing to an area near some trees in the
9 centre of Vitez.
10 A. The centre of Vitez, it is pretty dark. There are
11 enormous poplar trees there and probably it was shady
12 when these pictures were taken. This is a very plain
13 house; it is not a big building.
14 Q. If you can stay there for a second, with the assistance
15 of the usher, if we could turn to the map which is
16 Prosecutor's exhibit 29, which is over on the wall
17 there, Claudius.
18 Mr. Pezer, do you recognise the areas in that map
19 and the area that you were taken to dig trenches?
20 A. I will try (indicates).
21 Q. You are pointing to an area on the map. Is that in the
22 area of Tolovici?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. You may have a seat. Thank you. Was that the area that
25 you were taken to dig trenches that evening?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. How many other men were digging trenches with you that
4 A. Eight or ten, roughly that number.
5 Q. You said that, moving ahead, and I cut you off as you
6 were beginning to discuss this, that some HVO soldiers
7 came to your house that evening at about 10.00 or 10.30;
8 is that correct?
9 A. Yes. That evening, I think it was the 4th,
10 approximately 4th May. I think it was 4th May, around
11 10.00 or 10.30. Children were playing in the stairway
12 and among these children was my younger daughter. She
13 ran into our apartment and she told me, "Daddy, here
14 they come." Quite soon after that, they came to my
15 door, and they asked me whether I was Pezer, and I said
16 that I was. They cursed my Balja mother, and they said
17 that I will remember all the things I said and then
18 I asked, "What is it that I have been saying?"
19 One of these soldiers kicked me in the chin, and
20 he asked me how much time I needed to get ready.
21 I understood him to be saying that he was looking for
22 me, and I said, "Me?", and he said, "Not you but you and
23 your family." He said, "I give you fifteen minutes to
24 get ready", and he went further on to the fourth floor
25 and in less than five minutes he came back to the door
1 and he asked whether we were ready. Then I was supposed
2 to take a few things, some clothes that my wife had
3 already prepared, because we were expecting them any day
4 to expel us or simply we were expecting that we would
5 have to flee.
6 I told my wife, "Let us get these suitcases at
7 least to take that along, the clothes of our children."
8 One of these HVO members put out his hand this way
9 (indicates) and he said, "Do not touch anything. Leave
10 everything the way it is and give me the keys to your
12 I said, "Wait a minute, man", and as soon as
13 I said that he took his rifle and put it under my chin
14 and I went silent. I gave him the keys to the apartment
15 and we went out in front of the building. In front of
16 the building I saw a military policeman from the HVO
17 whom I had known well. I thought that we were on
18 friendly terms, and I asked him, "Dragan, what is this?"
19 He just shrugged his shoulders and said, "I do not
21 Q. What was his name?
22 A. Dragan Calic, a military policeman. In front of the
23 building a red van was waiting for us. I know that it
24 was owned by somebody from Mosunj, a Croat from Mosunj,
25 I do not know his name. I, my wife and my younger
1 daughter got into the van and then they went to the
2 other building and they brought a woman called Enesa
3 Patkovic from that other building and another man and a
4 woman -- I think they were an elderly married couple;
5 they were refugees from Olovo -- and we got into the van
6 and it drove us to the crossroads of the Zenica road,
7 the road leading to Zenica, and the Vjetrenice road
8 where the HVO checkpoint was, and literally, he threw us
9 out of the van. Again, he cursed our Balja mother and
10 said that we should go to Zenica.
11 It was raining terribly that evening, and we set
12 out in that rain, moving towards Vjetrenice. We did not
13 know where people were until we came up there to
14 Poculica and it was only then we saw that we were on the
15 side that was under BH-Army control. We spent the night
16 at Vjetrenice and on the next day on 5th May we went
17 down to Zenica and I went to the Red Cross to complain.
18 The people at the Red Cross said that it was not
19 possible, and that it was not true. However, I told
20 them everything that had happened to me, just as I am
21 telling you now, and I went to see my wife's brother.
22 We went to his apartment so that I could call Krizanac
23 in Vitez and the other one. I mentioned him a few
24 minutes ago; I cannot remember his name -- Jozic.
25 I wanted to ask them, what was all of that about, what
1 is it for? They told me that what was done to me was
2 not actually so, that they were arresting and even
3 shooting these people who would harass Muslims and they
4 said I should go back to Vitez straight away. Naturally
5 I did not believe that.
6 The next day when I went to the Red Cross, in
7 front of the Red Cross, I saw quite a few people who
8 were expelled from Vitez, on this next evening, on
9 5th May. I told them about my conversation with Jozic
10 and Krizanac, and they told me that that evening on
11 5th May about 100 families were expelled from Vitez, the
12 entire buildings of Vitezanka, Banjolucanka, all the
13 Muslims from these buildings were expelled and some
14 others too. At any rate about 100 families were
15 expelled. I saw quite a few of these people and I do
16 not know whether it was 100 people altogether or not,
17 but that is what I heard from them, as I told you, so
18 I did not even think about going back. I simply would
19 not dare to.
20 Q. With the assistance of the usher, could we take the map
21 down and move back to the photograph that was underneath
22 it, please?
23 Mr. Pezer, once again I am asking you to turn your
24 attention back to the photograph. You mentioned that
25 100 families were expelled from various houses in Zenica
1 on approximately 5th May. Could you go to that
2 photograph and point to the buildings, the three
3 buildings that you just mentioned?
4 A. It is Vitezanka.
5 Q. That is the top building you are pointing to there?
6 A. The last one?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Banjolucanka.
9 Q. That is the next one right below it?
10 A. This is the Norgorka, these three, these series of
12 Q. For the record, your Honour, again we are pointing to
13 Prosecutor's exhibit 45.
14 Previously in your testimony you said bags were
15 packed because you were expecting to have to flee. Do
16 you recall saying that just several minutes ago?
17 A. It was clear to me that I would have to go, and I gave
18 advice to my wife. I had actually told her beforehand
19 that she should leave with the child and leave me
20 behind, but she did not want to do that. I think that
21 three or four families had already been moved out, and,
22 since these families were moved out, I had suggested to
23 her that she pack these things up, most of them
24 children's clothing, and I told her that if she would
25 have the chance, she should leave, but she did not want
1 to go and I did not think that I would be leaving --
2 I mean, even when I was released, when he asked me where
3 I would go, I said I would be going home to my
4 apartment. However on 4th May in the evening they
5 forced me out and they would not let me take anything
7 Q. Were other individuals in your building forced out, both
8 before and after you were forced out?
9 A. I was the first one who was forced out of that building,
10 and in mid-May, the other Muslims from that building
11 were expelled too, but all the Muslims from my building
12 were expelled. I was the first to be expelled on
13 4th May, and after me the others were forced out too.
14 Q. How do you know that they were expelled? Did you see
15 them in Zenica?
16 A. We would see each other in Zenica and we would talk to
17 each other. It was only natural we asked each other how
18 we were. I spent some time with these people. Some of
19 them were expelled in a way which was similar to the way
20 in which I was expelled, and -- I do not know how to put
21 this -- others were brought to the line by HVO soldiers
22 and they would call out to others and say: do not shoot;
23 and that is how they would cross the line and go to
24 Zenica and Travnik.
25 Q. The personal property you left behind in your apartment,
1 did you ever get any of that property back?
2 A. No, never.
3 Q. Did you own an automobile at the time?
4 A. Yes, I had an automobile. It was in the garage in that
5 compound consisting of a few garages near the stadium.
6 On 4th May, the automobile was still in the garage,
7 because I saw some children around there. I called out
8 to them, asked them to come to see me underneath my
9 window, and I asked them whether my car was there and
10 they said yes, it was, and I threw 2,000 Croatian dinars
11 out of the window to them and I asked them to close the
12 door of the garage. I simply thought it would be a good
13 thing for me to keep the car, but I was expelled that
14 very evening, so everything was left behind, all my
15 personal property. Also the weekend house I had was
16 burned, the store was destroyed, naturally all my things
17 in the apartment and the car.
18 Q. All gone?
19 A. All of it.
20 MR. KEHOE: Excuse me, your Honours. (Pause). Mr. President,
21 your Honours, we have no further questions of this
23 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor. Mr. Hayman or
24 Mr. Nobilo?
25 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, we do not have very many questions;
1 we can proceed in two ways. If both Mr. Nobilo and I can
2 question this witness we can proceed immediately. If we
3 have to confer, to prepare one of us to conduct the
4 entire cross-examination, we have to have some period of
5 time to do that. That probably will be perhaps ten,
6 fifteen minutes, not very long, but we need some time,
7 otherwise there is no way for us to combine our
8 cross-examination into one person, one questioner.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Listen, the Trial Chamber has taken a
10 decision. We cannot go back on a decision that has
11 already been taken. I am looking at my colleagues. In
12 that case, would you like ten minutes to come to an
13 agreement with your co-counsel?
14 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, perhaps fifteen because we did not
15 know who the witness would be and we need a little time
16 to consult.
17 JUDGE JORDA: As from now, you know the majority of the
18 witnesses that have been listed by the Prosecution, so
19 you must know how you are going to conduct your Defence,
20 and it will always be one or the other of you. So we
21 will resume at 5.15 for about 20 minutes. We will now
22 have a short break.
23 (5.05 pm)
24 (A short break)
25 (5.20 pm)
1 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Mr. Nobilo or
2 Mr. Hayman?
3 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO
4 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Nobilo?
5 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
6 Sir, I am interested in the position of your
7 building in view of the frontlines between Stari Vitez
8 and Vitez; or, to put it differently, when you were
9 released from the cinema, and when you came home, where
10 were the positions of the HVO in relation to your
11 building as it faces Stari Vitez?
12 A. First of all, my building, the entire building was
13 there. There were no trenches or anything there; that
14 is where the line was. There was a privately-owned
15 house near the apartment building and the market, so
16 they were there around the building and the market. The
17 building was in HVO hands.
18 Q. Can we conclude that that building was at the frontline?
19 A. I do not know about later.
20 Q. But when you came, when you saw it?
21 A. Well, somewhere around there.
22 Q. Tell me, where was the BH-Army in Stari Vitez in
23 relation to your building. Where were they? Where were
24 their strongholds? What did you see when you came back
25 from the cinema?
1 A. When I came back from the cinema I was in my apartment
2 for three to four days. I never saw anyone in
3 Stari Vitez, in this Muslim part.
4 Q. That day in the morning, when you were watching the
5 soldiers, you said that one of them had blood on his
6 face, that he was hit in the face. Did you hear some
7 shooting from Stari Vitez?
8 A. There was some shooting but whether it was from
9 Stari Vitez or from HVO soldiers, I cannot tell, but
10 I can just say that I did not see anyone from
11 Stari Vitez that morning, I only saw members of the HVO.
12 Q. Tell me: that morning, you recognised two soldiers, did
13 you not?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And you mentioned their names. Which unit did they
16 belong to?
17 A. To the HVO, I guess.
18 Q. But within the HVO, what unit?
19 A. I do not know that. I do not know what the setup was
20 like in the HVO because I was not a soldier, until, let
21 me think, 1st June, and I did not know that at all. All
22 of them were HVO to me because they were subordinated to
23 one command, as far as I know about these matters. They
24 had one command which was in the hotel and then they had
25 different commanders or whatever, I do not know how they
1 subdivided this into other units.
2 Q. How do you know that they had a single command?
3 A. I saw it, I lived there, the command was at the hotel.
4 Q. How do you know that they all obeyed that command?
5 A. That I do not know. You should ask Mr. Blaskic that.
6 Q. When you told us that Vitezovi came to your Cevapi, how
7 did you distinguish between Vitezovi and the other HVO
9 A. I personally could not distinguish between them, for me
10 they were all HVO members, but I heard that from my
11 wife, that those were Vitezovi, the army of Darko
12 Kraljevic and this same Darko Kraljevic was under the
13 control of Blaskic, as far as I knew about these
14 things. And they also had insignia showing Vitezovi; in
15 addition to HVO they had insignia showing Vitezovi.
16 Q. You said that you were not involved in army and in
17 politics. How do you know that Darko Kraljevic was
18 under the command of Blaskic?
19 A. I lived in Vitez, sir.
20 Q. How do you know?
21 A. It is normal that we talk to each other. I heard about
22 that; I lived there with other people in Vitez so we
23 talked a lot about these things and they would say, this
24 is Darko's army or whatever. But they also had insignia
25 of the HVO.
1 Q. I am asking you: who told you that Darko Kraljevic is
2 under the control of Tihomir Blaskic?
3 A. I heard that --
4 JUDGE JORDA: He has given you the answer, Mr. Nobilo. The
5 witness has answered that question. Please continue; go
6 on to the next question.
7 MR. NOBILO: I tried to get a more precise answer.
8 At the beginning, you said that you thought that
9 there would be conflict between the BH-Army and the HVO,
10 but that problems between the Croat and Muslim people
11 would be worked out, so can you tell me: why did you
12 think that there would be a conflict between the army of
13 Bosnia-Herzegovina and the HVO and what were the
14 problems involved?
15 A. Before the war, before 16th April, there were always
16 certain consultations. We would hear this on the
17 radio. Sometimes I would watch the local television but
18 usually I would switch it off because they disseminated
19 these falsehoods and they would say they were meeting
20 here and there and I said I was not interested in the
21 army or whatever. I worked in the factory until the
22 very last day, 15th April.
23 The afternoon of 15th April at 3 pm, I came back
24 from the factory, which is telling proof of the fact
25 that I was not interested in the army and in politics.
1 I am telling you what I heard about. If an incident
2 happened in Zenica and Travnik, this had its reflection
3 in Vitez. After some time the HVO would set up
4 roadblocks. I was an eye-witness. At the bus station
5 they would set up a roadblock and whatever Muslim car
6 came by, they would take them away from them. These
7 were cars owned by civilians. I always thought that
8 civilians would be left alone, and that all these
9 problems that they had between themselves would be
10 worked out between them some day, but this did not
12 Q. In addition to what you said here today, do you know
13 anything else about Vitezovi or the army of Darko
14 Kraljevic, as you said?
15 A. No, I do not know.
16 Q. Did they wear different uniforms from the rest of the
17 HVO at some point?
18 A. There were all sorts of uniforms. There was some kind
19 of HOS, and then there was this HVO. They were
20 camouflage uniforms; they were black uniforms. But the
21 extent to which I saw these people in uniform, over
22 90 per cent of them had HVO insignia.
23 Q. On 15th April, in your Cevapi shop in the early evening,
24 there were quite a few people, you said. Were there
25 only Croats and Muslims, or only one or the other?
1 A. There were unknown people; I did not know who they were.
2 Q. In addition to the checkpoint towards Zenica, near
3 Vjetrenice, were people free to enter Zenica? Did they
4 say anything about that?
5 A. I do not know.
6 Q. You spoke of the television which you would turn off.
7 Did you ever see Tihomir Blaskic on television?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Did he say something?
10 A. Yes, once I watched him; it was a talk show. Mr. Blaskic
11 was there, Mr. Dzemo Merdan.
12 Q. What did Mr. Blaskic say then?
13 A. This was as far back as 1992. There were not any major
14 problems then as far as the army and the HVO is
15 concerned, at least the way I could see things. They
16 had a talk show and viewers were able to put questions,
17 and I for one put a question. I asked Mr. Dzemo Merdan,
18 and he replied. I was wondering what was more
19 important; I did not care about the war and I asked him:
20 what was more important, work assignment or
21 mobilisation; because I was willing to work but I did
22 not want to be mobilised. That was the question
23 I asked, and I saw him on local TV once and that was
24 what I asked. It was a short show, about half a hour.
25 Q. What was your assessment of Tihomir Blaskic's show
1 then? Was it conciliatory; was it warmongering?
2 A. No, then it was conciliatory. This was 1992 and you
3 probably know what the situation was like in 1992.
4 Q. What was your assessment of the situation then in 1992?
5 What is your assessment?
6 A. As far as I am concerned, an ordinary citizen, there
7 were no major problems.
8 Q. Tell me, in addition to that appearance of Blaskic on
9 television with Dzemo Merdan, did you hear him on any
10 other occasion?
11 A. No.
12 Q. You said that it was only later that you heard what
13 happened in Zenica on 15th April 1993. What did you
15 A. That Zenica was blocked, that apparently this commander
16 of the HVO in Zenica was arrested, detained, whatever.
17 I do not know who he was, but I heard about it. My
18 daughter went to school to Zenica and she was supposed
19 to come home during the weekend, but the school was
20 closed that day, and she could not come home because the
21 road was blocked and I do not know what the real reason
23 Q. Was somebody killed?
24 A. I do not know.
25 Q. Your daughter said that Zenica was blocked. What do you
1 mean "blocked"; by who?
2 A. You could not go from Zenica to Vitez; that is what she
3 told me on the phone. I said then: okay, just stay
4 there. You do not have to come over at the weekend and
5 hopefully things will calm down because there were such
6 situations beforehand too.
7 Q. Tell me, what was the date when your daughter said
8 Zenica was blocked and that she could not get out?
9 A. Either the 14th or 15th, one of those two days, probably
10 the 15th in the evening when we came home.
11 Q. Zenica was blocked?
12 A. That is what they say. I do not know whether it was or
13 whether it was not.
14 Q. You said that you do not know whose soldiers those
15 people who were stealing in Varupa's house were in that
17 A. I said I knew who they were.
18 Q. HVO members?
19 A. That is quite sufficient.
20 Q. You said you did not know what unit they belonged to?
21 A. To the HVO, I imagine.
22 Q. Have you made other statements about these things, about
23 these events in Vitez, not today but before; did you
24 make such statements?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. How many times and to whom and when and where?
2 A. How many times? I think twice.
3 Q. When?
4 A. Last year, I think, or the year before last; I do not
6 Q. To whom?
7 A. These people, I imagine, from the Tribunal, for
8 investigating war crimes.
9 Q. Where?
10 A. In Zenica.
11 Q. In what building?
12 A. At the Tzarina.
13 Q. Do you know where the Tzarina is?
14 A. On both occasions, yes.
15 Q. Is it true that on 10th September 1995 you made a
16 statement; is that possible?
17 A. I cannot remember.
18 Q. Is it true that you said then:
19 "I am talking about the people who are torching
20 houses of the two Varupas and who were looting them,
21 that Jako and Niko Krizanac were members of Vitezovi and
22 both of them were dressed in black uniforms."
23 Did you say that on that occasion?
24 A. Perhaps I did, perhaps I did not, but I do not think
25 that is important at all. The important thing is that
1 that morning, they were in action and I know that they
2 are members of the HVO.
3 Q. You do not speak English, do you? Do you recognise your
5 Mr. President, could I show the statement that was
6 made earlier by the witness, where he claimed different
7 things, so that he can see his signature? Thank you.
8 JUDGE JORDA: When you consult with your co-counsel, please
9 switch off your microphone.
10 MR. NOBILO: Sir, did you sign that?
11 A. I would not know before I read this. It does look like
12 my signature.
13 Q. I read it out a few minutes ago and I am asking you to
14 state whether you did say this or not.
15 A. Did I say what?
16 Q. Did you say that both of the Krizanac men belonged to
17 Vitezovi and wore black uniforms? Is that what you said
18 then or not?
19 A. I am telling you again, I am telling you in front of the
20 entire court, for me, all of them are members of the
21 HVO. Who are Vitez and who are somebody else, they had
22 HVO insignia and this same person, Krizanac Jako and
23 Krizanac Niko, they had Vitezovi insignia too, and
24 everybody in Vitez knew they were Kraljevic's army, and
25 Kraljevic again was HVO.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, perhaps you can continue on another
2 subject. The President is going to intervene, because
3 we are departing from the subject. You wish to speak of
4 a statement made previously and that is your right and
5 that is quite legitimate. You have just asked questions
6 which you consider to be useful for the Defence strategy
7 that you have adopted. You had the answer; now we can
8 proceed. Is that agreed?
9 MR. NOBILO: However, we did not receive an answer as to
10 whether he said that which I read out on that occasion
11 or not. We have not got that answer yet. So with your
12 permission, we can put it on the ELMO.
13 JUDGE JORDA: Wait a minute. For the last time, Mr. Pezer,
14 you are going to put the document on the ELMO. Mr. Pezer
15 is going to look at the statement, confirm that it is
16 your signature, confirm that you made the statement, and
17 the Defence will draw the conclusion it wishes to draw
18 from that.
19 Mr. Pezer, will you look at the statement on the
20 ELMO? You are going to confirm that it is your
21 signature. Is that your signature, Mr. Pezer? Does it
22 look like it?
23 A. Yes.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Now you are going to take a little time. It
25 is the President who is talking to you: take your time;
1 look at what has been underlined by the Defence, and you
2 are going to tell us whether you can confirm what you
3 said or not.
4 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, the witness does not speak English,
5 and this is written in English.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. That is a good remark. Therefore the
7 booth needs to translate into the language of the
8 witness what has been underlined by the Defence, then
9 the witness is going to confirm with yes or no whether
10 he said that and then we can proceed. Can we have this
11 translated? Mr. Nobilo, will you read the part of the
12 text that has been underlined?
13 MR. HAYMAN: If I may do so, your Honour. Part of the
14 difficulty here is we have a Serbo-Croatian speaker
15 cross-examining a Serbo-Croatian speaker about a
16 statement that was made in English. That is part of the
17 difficulty of my co-counsel, and I, trying to handle
18 these examinations in the way that we have been ordered
20 Could the image be enlarged so that I can read
21 from the video screen, please? If you could focus in on
22 the second full paragraph; thank you.
23 JUDGE JORDA: Please read it slowly.
24 MR. HAYMAN: "Among these soldiers that I saw that morning,
25 looting, bombing and incinerating Muslim houses in
1 Stari Vitez, I did not recognise anyone except for Jako
2 and Niko Krizanac, who I know were members of Vitezovi.
3 Both Jako and Niko were wearing black uniform."
4 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Pezer, have you understood properly the
5 question that has been put to you? Will you answer it,
7 A. This is my statement; however, what is written here
8 should not be written in this way. Probably the person
9 who translated this -- I am trying to say it was not
10 translated properly. This was read out to me. I saw
11 them in the stairway of my building where I lived, when
12 they came from down there, but I did not say they were
13 carrying these things. Most probably the person who was
14 translating then did not translate it properly, but they
15 were in that action.
16 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Do you wish to tender this as evidence,
18 despite what the witness has said?
19 MR. NOBILO: Yes, certainly.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Yes?
21 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, given that the relevant portion has
22 been read into the record, I do not think it is
23 necessary, unless the court wishes to have the entire
24 statement marked. For our purposes it is not necessary
25 that the entire statement become part of the record.
1 The statement is a hearsay statement.
2 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, I would ask that the entire
3 statement be put in.
4 MR. HAYMAN: May we enquire why, your Honour?
5 MR. KEHOE: In the spirit of totality that the complete
6 statement be put in, not just the paragraph read by the
7 Defence. Let your Honours read the whole statement.
8 MR. HAYMAN: If we do that --
9 JUDGE JORDA: No, please do not all speak at the same time.
10 Mr. Hayman.
11 MR. HAYMAN: If statements are admitted wholesale, we will
12 greatly prolong these proceedings because we, the
13 Defence -- or if it is the Defence putting in an entire
14 out-of-court written statement, then the Prosecution --
15 we will have to cross-examine the witness not only about
16 what they have said in court but about every other
17 statement in the written statement. If that is going to
18 be the practice, we need to know that so that we can
19 cross-examine this witness on these additional out of
20 court statements before the witness leaves the
22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor?
23 MR. KEHOE: Mr. President, in the spirit of totality, if
24 your Honours want to look at a statement -- the Defence
25 for instance put in a whole newspaper article concerning
1 General Alagic when they only read five lines. The
2 proper method is: if we read a particular extract from a
3 statement, put the whole statement in.
4 MR. HAYMAN: Your Honour, the proper method, with all due
5 respect, is to bring the witness to the courtroom,
6 elicit testimony, and subject the witness to
7 cross-examination. If that testimony deviates from a
8 prior statement, each party has the right to seek to
9 impeach that witness. That is the proper procedure.
10 JUDGE JORDA: There is a difference, Mr. Hayman. Please do
11 not lead us into a false logic. What the Prosecutor has
12 said is: when other documents have been submitted, they
13 were submitted in their totality, but it was you who
14 raised the question. You raised the question by
15 extracting this statement and, because it suits you,
16 according to your strategy, to isolate a certain number
17 of sentences, you have asked the questions you wanted;
18 the witness has answered. As from that moment, you are
19 the one who took the initiative to cite this document.
20 Therefore this document will be admitted. The incident
21 is closed and we can now continue with the
23 Mr. Nobilo?
24 MR. NOBILO: I will just put another question. Whose
25 evidence is this?
1 JUDGE JORDA: To whom are you addressing your question, to
2 the witness or the President?
3 MR. NOBILO: The Defence proposed as evidence only a
5 JUDGE JORDA: So to me it seems to be the evidence of the
6 Defence. You cited it; the Trial Chamber has noted that
7 all that interests you is this particular sentence. The
8 Trial Chamber knows that, but it is no less true that it
9 may need, in the course of its deliberations, to
10 possibly discuss the whole document, saying: yes, the
11 witness answered this; he said something very
12 important. He raised a very important problem in this
13 Trial Chamber, and that is the question of the taking of
14 statements from witnesses which are taken in
15 Serbo-Croatian and they end up in English before the
16 Trial Chamber. So he could not quite find his place in
17 that statement, he wanted to explain his statement and
18 it is therefore quite normal that the whole statement,
19 in the spirit of totality, should be admitted.
20 You wanted only three lines to be cited and to be
21 admitted. It is a Defence exhibit; we the judges know
22 that you extracted only three lines from it. We know
23 that. Therefore, let us continue with the
24 cross-examination. We have only ten minutes left. We
25 are going to work until 6.00. Mr. Hayman, the discussion
1 is over; the question has been settled.
2 MR. HAYMAN: We accept that, but we would like to address
3 this at a time convenient for the Chamber. It is very
4 important whether we can use documents to impeach and
5 not have entire documents, hearsay statements then
6 becoming part of the record.
7 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Hayman, I am sorry for being so frank. You
8 have a very Cartesian spirit. It is an honour to the
9 country I belong to, but this is not strictly judiciary
10 logic. Today you invoked a document. It has been
11 entered into the record. Now you say: for the hundreds
12 of witnesses that will be cited, we will do the same.
13 For today, the two judges and the President who is
14 speaking to you find that the witness wanted to explain
15 these three lines. I suppose you wanted to contradict
16 this with another statement he made. He explained it to
17 you; he explained he could not quite identify what he
18 said, and therefore the Trial Chamber has the right to
19 admit this document. On the other hand, the Trial
20 Chamber would make a mistake if it did not take into
21 consideration the objections that you have made. They
22 are in the record. We have nine minutes left.
23 Mr. Nobilo, please continue.
24 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. The building in which
25 you lived, the side that faces Stari Vitez, was it
1 damaged by bullets?
2 A. No.
3 Q. On April 16th, did you hear any shelling during the day?
4 A. There was some shooting. There were all sorts of things
5 but I cannot really single out shelling and shooting, on
6 the other hand, because there was chaos all over on the
7 16th, you know.
8 Q. Was the cinema exposed to bullets and to shelling?
9 A. No.
10 Q. During your stay in the cinema, were you physically
12 A. No.
13 Q. In the cinema, you said that the military police were
14 there. Was it there before the conflict broke out on
15 16th April? Did you see the military police when you
16 would pass by there?
17 A. Yes, there were several policemen there; I do not know
18 the exact number. Probably they were the security
19 people of that building because before the war in that
20 building of the cinema, on the first floor, the
21 political parties had their offices, the HDZ, the SDS
22 et cetera, and I think that Croatian television was
23 there, and these military policemen were probably the
24 security of that building.
25 Q. Where were they before the war?
1 A. Who?
2 Q. The military policemen.
3 A. They were across the street from the petrol station.
4 Q. No, I mean there in the cinema, that building.
5 A. Oh, in the hallway.
6 Q. When you came to this cinema, where were the military
7 policemen then?
8 A. They were in the hallway, the very hallway -- as soon as
9 you would walk into the cinema building, they were
10 there, or it was like a reception desk.
11 Q. The cinema room, the hall, was it locked when you were
13 A. On this side from which we had access to the military
14 policemen, it was not locked.
15 Q. Were there any military policemen with you in the cinema
17 A. No, they were on the other side, as I said, in the
19 Q. Did your wife visit you in the cinema?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. How often?
22 A. Every day.
23 Q. Would she bring you food or something?
24 A. She would bring me food.
25 Q. When you came to Zenica in front of the Red Cross, how
1 many people did you see there from Vitez?
2 A. I cannot remember how many. I do not know. I was very
3 bitter, it was very difficult for me. I think I did not
4 see anyone.
5 Q. Other people who lived in your building, were some of
6 them exchanged for some other civilians from Zenica?
7 A. I do not know that.
8 Q. And the people who lived in the other apartment
9 buildings, those three apartment buildings, the 100
10 families you mentioned, were they perhaps exchanged?
11 A. No.
12 Q. During trench-digging, were you harassed?
13 A. No.
14 Q. What was their attitude towards them?
15 A. Perhaps this should be explained. I lived there in that
16 neighbourhood over 20 years, and I knew most of these
17 people, so probably in view of the fact that we had
18 known each other before, they did not do anything, but
19 no, that time when I was there, nobody was harassed.
20 Q. On 3rd May 1993, when you came to dig trenches in
21 Tolovici, were the trenches already dug to a certain
22 point, or were you the first to start digging?
23 A. No, they were not completed yet, but digging had already
24 begun before we had come.
25 Q. But they were not finished?
1 A. No.
2 Q. You lived in Vitez for a long time. Did you hear about
3 any municipal agencies that had conducted private
4 exchanges of civilians in Vitez?
5 A. I do not understand.
6 Q. Did you hear about private municipal agencies that were
7 involved in exchanges of civilians between Zenica and
9 A. No.
10 MR. NOBILO: Just a minute, please. (Pause).
11 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, Mr. Nobilo. Please continue.
12 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, we do not have a statement, so we
13 kindly request a couple of minutes to have a look at the
14 statement so that we could see whether we can use it to
15 cross-examine, because, unexpectedly, we do not have the
16 only copy we had of the statement.
17 JUDGE JORDA: But you have it, do you not? You produced
18 this statement, Mr. Nobilo. You are talking about the
19 statement of a moment ago? Mr. Nobilo.
20 MR. NOBILO: Yes, the statement remained there, by the ELMO.
21 JUDGE JORDA: That is a technical problem, all right. Maybe
22 the usher can return your statement to you. Do you have
23 much longer for the cross-examination? You have other
24 questions to put to the witness?
25 MR. NOBILO: No, not very many. Perhaps just a little after
1 we look at the statement once again.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Switch off your microphone,
3 please. (Pause).
4 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the Defence has no further
6 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Very well.
7 Judge Riad, do you have any questions to put to
8 the witness?
9 JUDGE RIAD: Mr. Pezer, and I hope I am pronouncing your name
10 properly, you mentioned cases of detention of civilians
11 in the cinema where you were and then searches in
12 private houses. You spoke of that; you experienced
13 that. Sending people to the front lines to dig
14 trenches. You also spoke about expulsions of a hundred
15 families that were expelled, according to you. Are you
16 capable of telling us, in a general manner, whether all
17 these acts were accomplished by members, official
18 members, of the HVO, or by undisciplined groups in the
19 region, the majority of these acts? Were they
20 disciplined, organised, planned in your view, or were
21 they fortuitous acts taken by people who were under no
23 A. In my opinion, all of this was under control, but see
24 how they did things. For example, from one village, the
25 members of the HVO from Bila for example, they would
1 send them to Kolonija, to the town, and from Kolonija
2 they would send them elsewhere, so they would not know
3 other people, you know what I mean. So my neighbour,
4 for example, who lived with me -- of course I could not
5 say anything bad about my neighbour because he was nice
6 to me, but then I hear from other people that he had
7 gone, for example, to Ahmici, and that he had
8 slaughtered people or massacred people there, but my
9 personal opinion is that all of this was under control.
10 All of this was premeditated, planned, and what they
11 wanted to do, they did; that is to say that nothing was
12 done spontaneously, let us say by a gang or somebody;
13 no, the HVO only.
14 Q. Therefore there was a system, applied in several
15 places? You spoke of your neighbours who went to
16 Ahmici, and they were not from Ahmici, so they were
17 people who according to a planned system accomplished
18 these acts in several different places.
19 A. Yes, I took Ahmici as an example only. I took that as
20 an example. I did not say that a specific neighbour of
21 mine had gone to Ahmici, but usually they would go to
22 other places to do something so that some day I could
23 not say, "Indeed, that person did such and such a
24 thing." I could not blame him. Had he done something
25 in my building I could have blamed him for that, because
1 that morning of 16th April -- I think there were eight
2 or nine Croat families in my building -- there was not a
3 single man there in the morning. I do not know where
4 they were, but at any rate, every one of them had an
5 assignment of his own.
6 Q. And you think that this assignment was organised by the
7 HVO, was within the framework of the HVO?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Also you spoke to us about a very powerful explosion
10 that you heard one day at dawn, after the call for
11 prayer, and you learned the next day that it was a --
12 you said it was a bomb which exploded close to the
13 mosque. Did I take down well what you said: an
14 explosion close to the mosque?
15 A. If you are referring to the explosion of the trucks
16 carrying fuel, I do not know. That was about the 20th,
17 I am not sure, the second or third day after the
18 conflict with the HVO. That is when I was detained;
19 that is when that soldier told us not to get out of the
20 cellar because he was expecting heavy shelling and that
21 is when this great explosion took place. It is only
22 later on during the war that I saw how powerful an 82 or
23 160 grenade was. This was the strongest detonation
24 I had heard ever in my life and I was even in the
25 cellar, and that was the explosion that took place near
1 the mosque, this truck bomb that was sent by the HVO to
2 Stari Vitez.
3 Q. Later you could see whether the mosque was damaged or
4 not, and whether there were any people inside in the
5 mosque who were wounded or killed?
6 A. You mentioned the call to prayer. That was on
7 16th April in the morning at 5.20 or 5.30. But this was
8 a small explosion, hand grenades that were thrown onto
9 the cafe. What I told you about now, the truck bomb,
10 that was the third or fourth day of the fighting. I do
11 not think that we understood each other correctly.
12 I probably did not understand you properly.
13 Q. You were speaking about an explosion next to the
14 mosque. Was the mosque empty or were there any people
15 killed inside? That is my question; the date does not
16 interest me.
17 A. I do not know, I was detained then.
18 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEN: Mr. Pezer, I gather that you are not a
20 military man yourself; is that correct?
21 A. No.
22 Q. You have lived in Vitez for a long time?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. For how long?
25 A. In town, from 1976.
1 Q. You had been accustomed to seeing soldiers in uniform
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. You had seen them functioning in a given area before?
5 A. Please clarify your question.
6 Q. Did you see soldiers at work in any given area before
7 16th April 1993?
8 A. With the exception of the barricade along the roads, the
9 roadblocks, the only thing I saw -- just a minute. This
10 was October. The mosque was hit in Stari Vitez by two
11 grenades. I thought that this was shooting from a
12 recoiler's gun, but then later I was told (not
13 interpreted) in October the minaret of the mosque was
14 hit and I heard one shot and the second time I saw it
15 with my own eyes when the mosque was hit. This was
16 October or November, I am not too sure, 1992. Again
17 there was some kind of conflict between the army and HVO
18 and they got this anti-aircraft gun out and hit the
20 Q. Perhaps you misunderstood that my interest was in the
21 explosion in the mosque. You said you saw soldiers
22 wearing different uniforms, but that they all had the
23 insignia of the HVO; is that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Were you aware of the existence in Vitez of a HVO
1 headquarters then?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. Where were the headquarters of the HVO?
4 A. In the Vitez hotel.
5 Q. Who was the most senior officer at the HVO headquarters
6 in the hotel Vitez?
7 A. I do not know then at that point, probably Blaskic.
8 I do not know who else, out of the locals, I mean the
9 people from Vitez, I knew: Skopljak, Marijan, he was
10 also one of the commanders there, Mario Cerkez. I had a
11 weekend house in the mountain and I had to come to see
12 Skopljak so that I could get a permit to go to my
13 weekend house, and that is how I realised that he was
14 some kind of commander, but I do not know what rank he
15 really had.
16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEN: All right, thank you.
17 JUDGE JORDA: I have two small questions to address to you.
18 The first is in addition to the question put by
19 Judge Riad, because I did not quite understand your
20 answer, Mr. Pezer. When you spoke of this transfer of
21 men from one village to another village belonging to the
22 HVO apparently, to carry out these acts, my question is:
23 is it your interpretation or is it based on precise
24 facts? Please think it over closely. I will explain
25 further my question.
1 What you said is very serious, because it conveys
2 the idea of a concerted plan, of a policy to send
3 somebody elsewhere to commit atrocities, not in his home
4 and his building but elsewhere, so my question is: is
5 this your interpretation or is it based on interviews,
6 on statements by the military, or is it just an idea
7 that you have, or do you found that idea on very precise
9 A. That is my idea, but I also want to tell you the
10 following. Kolonija, that is what we call the town
11 where I live too -- all these expulsions were carried
12 out by people who are not from Kolonja. They came from
13 these villages, from the outskirts of Vitez, and that is
14 an obvious example of what was done there as far as
15 Kolonija is concerned. I do not know about other
16 places, that is why I say that I assumed something
17 similar had been done elsewhere too, because as far as
18 Kolonija is concerned and my building, as I said a few
19 minutes ago, that morning on 16th April I did not see
20 any one of my neighbours, the men. On 3rd and 4th May,
21 I would hardly see them, but none of them came to expel
22 me from my apartment. People from Mosunj, members of
23 the HVO, came and expelled by from my apartment.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, you have answered the question. My
25 second question: have you heard anything about
1 Mr. Djidic? Did you work under his orders? What did he
2 do in Vitez and what is your relationship with the
3 Committee for the Protection of Muslims? Did you have
4 any role in that committee?
5 A. I worked in the factory Slobodan Princip Selo. Sefkija
6 Djidic, as far as I know, was one of the bosses up
7 there, and before the conflict where he worked and what
8 he did, that I really did not know, and it says so in my
9 statement that I was not interested in that, that
10 I shied away from such things. I really do not know
11 about this Committee for Protecting Muslims as far as
12 I am concerned, because I worked at such a place --
13 I had such a job that I was related -- I was closely
14 linked to the factory, and I was pleased that I would
15 not have to take a rifle, a gun and to fight, because
16 people were already going to Visoko and other places, to
17 the front.
18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. I think we have concluded. It is
19 rather late, as we can see.
20 Very well, Mr. Pezer, the Trial Chamber wishes to
21 thank you. You are now discharged. We do not need you
22 any more.
23 We will resume the hearing tomorrow at 10.00 am.
24 (The witness withdrew)
25 (6.20 pm)
1 (Court adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)