Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 6218

1 Tuesday, 27th January 1998

2 (12.00 pm)

3 JUDGE JORDA: Could the Registrar please have

4 the accused brought in.

5 (Accused brought in)

6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Prosecutor?

7 MR HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr President and

8 your Honours and counsel. Mr President, our next

9 witness, we would ask that the session be closed.

10 I have discussed this with counsel, counsel is in

11 agreement.

12 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, I was not able to

13 hear you. You want a closed session? You already

14 discussed it with your colleagues from the Defence, no

15 objections? In that case, we will go into a closed

16 session. Could the Registrar please ensure that we go

17 into closed session.

18 (In closed session)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 6219













13 Pages 6219 to 6246 redacted - in closed session



16 (Adjourned until 2.45 pm)










Page 6247

1 (2.45 pm)

2 JUDGE JORDA: We are resuming now. Please

3 bring in the accused.

4 (Accused brought in)

5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Kehoe.

6 MR KEHOE: Good afternoon, Mr President and

7 your Honours. We have another protected witness,

8 I believe this is Witness X, if I am not mistaken.

9 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Registrar?

10 THE REGISTRAR: Yes, that is correct.

11 MR KEHOE: This is in all likelihood,

12 Mr President, our last witness with regard to the

13 Busovaca area. With regard to the specific events he

14 will talk about, he will briefly talk about the build

15 up of pressure and the growing number of HVO soldiers

16 in the Busovaca area subsequent to May 1992, how the

17 Croats put pressure on other Croats to join the HVO.

18 He will also talk about what exactly happened

19 in January when the conflict broke out, and the

20 individuals in his village were forced, rounded up and

21 taken to Kaonik camp. He was not taken simply because

22 he was watching from the woods, he was lucky enough not

23 to be home at the time.

24 He will then talk about the conflict to some

25 degree, he will talk about the burning of houses in and

Page 6248

1 around that timeframe in his little village. He will

2 then move ahead to talk about what happened after these

3 Muslims in his village -- the houses were vacated, how

4 members of the HVO who were from the town of Busovaca

5 moved into many of these houses and then thereafter

6 some houses were taken over by some refugees or Croats

7 from other areas such as Kacuni.

8 He then will move ahead and will talk about

9 the events that took place in April -- we will not

10 repeat, of course, your Honour what your Honours have

11 heard already, but he will talk about the specific

12 killings that took place in his area where his

13 neighbours were killed, how his house was burnt, how

14 his neighbour's house was burnt, individuals were

15 injured, how he, and this is directed, Judge Riad, to

16 something you asked this morning, how he specifically

17 informed the HVO whether or not this individual Zoran

18 had been arrested. They informed him that he had been

19 arrested when, of course, when he was in hiding he saw

20 Zoran driving around the street and Zoran had never

21 been arrested and has never been prosecuted, albeit a

22 member of the HVO and the information had been brought

23 to the HVO authorities.

24 Given that situation, he decided to vacate

25 and leave Busovaca in the first week of May 1993.

Page 6249

1 Similar to much of what has been set out by my

2 colleague Mr Harmon this morning, the evidence you will

3 hear, your Honours, will be directed in large part

4 towards, of course, the persecution count, it will be

5 directed towards count 5 and 10, the unlawful killings,

6 and that will be the focal point of those particular

7 charges at this time.

8 He will have some information, of course,

9 about the inhumane treatment of people, but he was not

10 taken away to dig trenches. However, he will discuss

11 the digging of trenches not only in January but also in

12 April. As I said at the outset, Mr President and

13 your Honours, he was in the woods when he saw his

14 neighbours being led away and he was not led away.

15 However, he will tell us that in April, the

16 HVO ordered a Muslim to take a list of Muslims, to go

17 throughout the area of Busovaca and round up Muslims on

18 a daily or nightly basis to take them out to dig

19 trenches, and this was as late as April 1993.

20 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr Prosecutor.

21 I have been very interested in the fact that you

22 pointed out that you took care that the witness does

23 not repeat what has already been said and it is very

24 important that each witness brings us something new.

25 After these general considerations, could

Page 6250

1 you, Registrar, please ask the usher to bring in the

2 Witness X, and we should first of all put the blinds

3 down. This will be a public session.

4 (Witness entered court)

5 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me?

6 THE WITNESS: Yes, I can hear you.

7 JUDGE JORDA: We are going to call you here

8 "Witness X". You have got protective measures such as

9 you have asked for. First of all, we are going to

10 present you with a piece of paper on which you have got

11 your name written down on it, but you will not please

12 say it, but will simply state whether that is correct.

13 Now you are going to read the solemn declaration, which

14 is going to be presented to you in your language. That

15 is your oath.

16 THE WITNESS: Aloud?

17 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, aloud.

18 WITNESS X (sworn)

19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, you have accepted to

20 come here as a witness in the case against General

21 Blaskic, and you have been asked by the Office of the

22 Prosecutor. We expect from you now a statement about

23 what you saw in Busovaca and what happened after May

24 1992 and also after April 1993. Please be concise and

25 speak about the events of which the Prosecution tries

Page 6251

1 to bring our attention to.

2 Please, Prosecutor, you can ask some

3 preliminary questions and after that, leave the witness

4 to give their statement. Please proceed.

5 Examined by MR KEHOE

6 Q. Thank you, Mr President.

7 Good afternoon, Witness X.

8 A. Good afternoon.

9 Q. Witness X, how old are you, sir?

10 A. I am 51 years old.

11 Q. Witness X, are you a Bosnian Muslim?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. Until May 1993, did you live around the town

14 of Busovaca, or in a suburb of Busovaca?

15 A. Yes, I did.

16 Q. Witness X, if you could, could you tell us a

17 little bit about your particular mahala, your

18 particular suburb, and then tell us what happened from

19 May 1992 through the events in May to January to April

20 1993, until your departure in May 1993. Could you do

21 that for us, sir?

22 A. Yes. First of all I would like to say

23 something about the communal life between the Croats

24 and Muslims in Busovaca before the war. Those

25 relations were real, we respected each other, there

Page 6252

1 were never any problems. However, in 1990 and 1991,

2 I noticed that the Croats and the Muslims started

3 pulling apart and the Muslims -- we the Muslims did not

4 know what was going on, that is we were not aware that

5 there could be anything between these two communities.

6 In 1991 the elections were held and

7 everything was all right. However, after the elections

8 we noticed that the Croats started pulling away from

9 the Muslims, they were not socialising the way they

10 used to before the war, so one could notice that

11 something was not right.

12 Personally, I could not decipher what it

13 was. I had no idea of any conflict being possible, so

14 I went about my regular life. However, in early 1992,

15 when the JNA attacked Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Croats

16 and Muslims started separating even more. The Croats

17 started wearing the HVO uniforms with the HVO insignia,

18 while the Muslims did not have such uniforms. Nobody

19 was wearing such uniforms, and I thought I would ask

20 some of the Croats that I knew better what this meant,

21 and they said that we had to fight the JNA, the Serbs,

22 because Bosnia had been attacked. So that is how

23 I understood it and accepted it, until we noticed that

24 something else was going on.

25 I was about 1.5 kilometres from the centre of

Page 6253

1 Busovaca, where more Muslims than Croats lived, but

2 there was -- nobody abused anyone because one group was

3 larger than the other, that is until 1992. In early

4 May, there was a conflict at the Kaonik barracks

5 concerning some weapons, because this used to be a JNA

6 barracks, so there was a conflict there. However, an

7 agreement was reached, even though later the HVO took

8 over the control of the local government in the local

9 police station, so that we, the Muslims, could see that

10 this was no longer defence against the JNA but that it

11 was becoming critical for the Muslims to stay in the

12 area.

13 As days and months went by, more and more we

14 noticed that the Croats had more uniforms, more

15 weapons, the HVO insignia, and the pressure and

16 intimidation became more frequent. Personally

17 I noticed that something was amiss, that those of us --

18 we could be the victims here. I did not understand

19 that I would need to leave my house, the house that

20 I had built with my own money.

21 In early 1993, in January, starting in

22 January, one could see that some Muslims were starting

23 to leave, which I did not understand because I could

24 not believe that I would have to leave Busovaca. We

25 always lived there together, both Croats and Muslims,

Page 6254

1 so that I stayed at my home.

2 On one occasion, I asked a Serb why he was

3 leaving, why they were leaving, because in 1992, Serbs

4 were leaving Busovaca and they had a collection centre

5 in a village called Podjele, from Novi Travnik, from

6 Zenica, from Travnik and they were going towards

7 Kobiljaca, which is where the border was where the

8 Serb Army was positioned. The price was 1,000 to 2,000

9 German marks, depending on what they were taking with

10 them, a car or a tractor. If they were taking more

11 belongings along, they would be obliged to pay more

12 money. I asked the Serb why they were leaving and he

13 said, "that is because they are chasing us away right

14 now, but your turn will come too". So I understood

15 that as a joke, I thought they were going of their own

16 free will, that nobody was expelling them, but on

17 23rd January 1993 -- 24th January 1993, I came back

18 from Zenica to Busovaca, I had been in Zenica and

19 I asked a friend of mine, I encountered him in town and

20 I asked him what was going on and he made a gesture

21 with his hands as if I needed to leave, that there

22 would be some kind of trouble.

23 So I came home, it was already late to leave

24 there at that time, even though some Muslims had left

25 on the previous Friday, which was the 22nd, the 21st,

Page 6255

1 two or three days before the conflict itself. (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 Before the conflict, some Muslim refugees

5 from Jajce came. There were a lot of Muslim weekend

6 houses and they would move into these homes with the

7 agreement of the owners of these homes, so there were

8 these refugees from Jajce there. However, the conflict

9 broke out on the 25th, that is over there in Kacuni.

10 It started because an HVO vehicle, which was a

11 makeshift armoured vehicle, they launched an attack.

12 When you go down the road towards Busovaca, the

13 Kiseljak-Busovaca road was always open, nobody was open

14 and when they were going towards this barracks, our

15 people stopped them.

16 There was a silo there where wheat was kept,

17 a very large silo, 10,000 tonne, and I guessed they

18 were trying to take control of that, and maybe the

19 barracks too. So some fire was exchanged. Two HVO

20 soldiers died, and then the conflict broke out.

21 I could hear that down in Busovaca, there was shooting

22 in the hills, I could hear detonations from explosions

23 and then I realised that the conflict had started and

24 that it was too late to go anywhere.

25 On the 26th in the morning, the HVO started a

Page 6256

1 massive house search in town, in Busovaca and around in

2 the surrounding areas where they knew that the Muslims

3 lived. They were searching for weapons, for radios,

4 transmitters, anything that could be used in the war.

5 However, I doubt very much that they found any radio

6 transmitters because none of us could have bought one,

7 nor did we need them. And then on the right-hand side

8 from the road near Busovaca, there were about 20

9 Muslims who had hunting rifles of two kinds, and you

10 could observe from there what was going on in Busovaca,

11 because that was about 100 to 200 metres from Busovaca

12 in a straight line, so you could observe very well what

13 was going on down in Busovaca. So they offered

14 resistance, both those who did find some weapons and

15 those who did not, and those who were going in the

16 direction of Kaonik, this collection centre. I was not

17 there so I cannot tell you exactly what was down there

18 in Kaonik. So this exchange of fire went on for a

19 couple of hours and then the Muslims surrendered and

20 surrendered the weapons that they had and then they

21 were taken to Kaonik, all of them. I was about 1,500

22 metres from Busovaca in the opposite direction, so

23 I could not see all this in detail, because I was not

24 present at the scene.

25 The next week, some time mid-week, so on

Page 6257

1 27th, 28th or 29th January, there were more house

2 searches because we were maybe up to ten permanent

3 residents who had stayed in the mahala, in this

4 neighbourhood, and there were the refugees from Jajce.

5 However, the refugees from Jajce were driven out of

6 their homes, out of the property of the people who were

7 from other areas, from Sarajevo and Zenica, and they

8 were moving Croats in. I knew a few of them, so some

9 of them were moving in, or maybe they would move in for

10 two or three days, then they would take some belongings

11 from there that they wanted and needed and then they

12 would move into another house. I saw some of these

13 things myself.

14 After a few days, the military police arrived

15 in my neighbourhood and they started arresting the

16 Muslims who had remained, those ten who had stayed

17 there and the refugees from Jajce. Those who were of

18 military age they were taking to Kaonik and women

19 whereby then later driven away through the auspices of

20 Red Cross in whatever way they could. There was a

21 Croat who helped some of them with his car, so the

22 refugees from Jajce left shortly thereafter, so only

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 So after they had been arrested -- again,

Page 6258

1 I should stress that I was not at home at that time,

2 I was in one of the weekend homes at that time, but

3 I could observe from there because it was not a great

4 distance. When I saw they were being arrested, I left

5 this weekend house. I came to the edge of the wood.

6 There was a refugee from Jajce there, so I sort of

7 hugged the edge of the wood so they would not see me.

8 Nobody said that I was there where I was, so that I had

9 stayed in my neighbourhood. (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted) It was only myself, but I was not taken

15 there.

16 Later there were more house searches by

17 people who came. The police, they looked for radio

18 transmitter and weapons and I told them that all my

19 neighbours, Croats, know that I never engaged in such

20 things and that I was not even a hunter, I did not even

21 have a hunting rifle. I have no weapons, let alone a

22 radio transmitter. I did not expect any conflict with

23 my neighbours.

24 On one occasion, there was a refugee, a Croat

25 from Kacuni who lived in a house of a neighbour of mine

Page 6259

1 who had fled earlier, so there was a house search and

2 we went to the basement. He asked me, "why are you

3 following me?"; I said, "if there is nobody around,

4 sometimes some people would throw in a rifle or some

5 piece of weapon and claim that there is weapons there

6 that were not reported, so that is what I was afraid

7 of". I told him that I would follow him as he was

8 searching so that I would be sure that no weapons would

9 be discovered. He was a bit angry and then gave up the

10 search.

11 So on 23rd January, they came again to the

12 (redacted) house and they came over to my house. Then

13 again they searched the houses and they told us that we

14 were not to leave the premises and our backyards, due

15 to the safety concerns. I had no reason to go

16 anywhere, to go down to the town because I had food

17 supplies, so I did not have any need to go, to buy

18 anything like that.

19 On 26th January --

20 Q. Excuse me, Witness X. You just said

21 23rd January and 26th January.

22 A. Yes, I got a bit confused. On 23rd January,

23 that is what I said, but what I meant was 23rd April.

24 It was three days before those two men came. I am

25 sorry, because I made a mistake here, because I wanted

Page 6260

1 to link that up to the fact that on 23rd April those

2 people came, those people who did to us what they did.

3 It was not them who came, but some other people who

4 told us not to go out and to remain there for our own

5 safety. I am sorry, I just was confused.

6 On the 26th, in fact on the 14th April, the

7 second conflict broke out between the HVO and the

8 Territorial Defence, so there was shooting going on

9 everywhere, and nobody knew where to go and what to do

10 and where we were, but we stayed on in our houses,

11 nobody went out and nobody came and nobody mistreated

12 us or put pressure on us or threatened us. We were

13 relatively safe up until 26th April at 10.00 pm. I was

14 at home with my family and so around 2200 hours,

15 somebody knocked at the door. I said to my wife,

16 "shall I answer?", and she said, "no, do not answer.

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 asked, "who is it?", and they said, "open the door, it

22 is the police. Where is (redacted)?".

23 Then very quickly, because the door was

24 locked, I agreed with my wife that I should jump out of

25 the house through the window, because it was on the

Page 6261

1 ground floor and that they should stay at home, because

2 I understood as they were asking of me that something

3 was wrong. I went out, I jumped out of the window on

4 the side of the house which is opposite to the house

5 entrance and so from that side, I went around the house

6 further away and went to a neighbour's house, a Croat,

7 which is to the right-hand side of my house when you go

8 towards the road, there was an elderly Croat who lived

9 there, aged 60 or 61, he was on his own at home. In

10 fact it was his son's house and he came there just for

11 a weekend, but stayed on because of the conflict. His

12 son worked somewhere abroad, so that person used to

13 come on several occasions, even before the war in that

14 particular house.

15 I asked him for help and I said, "some kind

16 of a police came, they are probably Croats. Could you

17 please help me and could you explain to them", and so

18 on, and he answered, "I cannot help you I must not

19 dare", something like that. I was rather frightened.

20 So I went towards my house and arrived to the window of

21 my kitchen. In the kitchen, the lights were on and in

22 the dining room we could only hear the television.

23 I could see at the dining table a person whom I could

24 see very clearly and a bit further away there was

25 somebody else who I could not see. Maybe the easiest

Page 6262

1 thing would be to show it on a piece of paper actually.

2 So the kitchen window was open because my son

3 also wanted to jump out of the window, but he did not

4 manage to do so because they came in before he did

5 that, so the window was just slightly open and there

6 was the curtain, so I could hear them well, I could

7 hear what they were saying. They asked when they came

8 in about me and my wife said that I went out in the

9 neighbourhood that evening and that I still had not

10 come back.

11 What I would like to stress: when I came back

12 from seeing that Croat whom I asked for help, I could

13 see on my way back that part of the house was already

14 on fire and in one of the rooms, one of the blankets

15 was caught up in the fire and the flames were going out

16 of the window. Then I suppose that they set the house

17 on fire and they insisted very forcefully on where

18 I was. My wife, as I said, had told them that I had

19 gone out somewhere in the neighbourhood, they were

20 insisting and insisting and they were shooting in

21 the -- they fired in the ceiling and I saw the arms of

22 the person whom I could not otherwise see, he took a

23 knife and put it under my wife's throat, so that she

24 would tell him where I was.

25 JUDGE JORDA: Would you maybe like to have a

Page 6263

1 little rest?

2 A. No, I would prefer to end my story first and

3 then maybe after that.

4 JUDGE JORDA: All right, please continue.

5 A. As my family did not say where I was, because

6 in fact they did not know where I was, they knew I was

7 outside but not even them, they did not know that I was

8 just standing by the window, so they insisted for some

9 15 minutes maybe, those people, and then they were told

10 not to go out of the house, that they were going to

11 kill them. They went to seek me.

12 But when I saw them going out, they said they

13 would be coming back. I went slightly more further

14 away, which you can see it in the picture, there is

15 another building there, so they went out in the

16 direction of the road. (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted), I went into the house, I took my family and

19 directed them towards the woods that were at the end of

20 our neighbourhood. It was just near a Croat house and

21 I was sure that they were not going to look for them

22 there, because it was also during the night.

23 I stayed in front of the house, I took a hose

24 and tried to quench the fire, but that was too late and

25 then I went to the other side of the house, which was

Page 6264

1 not on fire, and took some belongings out and then

2 I realised there was no point in taking anything out

3 because the smoke was very dense. I started to

4 suffocate and the fire caught in the other room as

5 well.

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 I understood from that that she was also told that

11 nobody should go anywhere and that she simply said,

12 "yes, that is okay".

13 Then I decided that depending on where they

14 would go, I would either go towards the road and in

15 case they went to the other side, that I would remain

16 where I was. So they went to the other side and

17 I remained where I was, but when they arrived to the

18 entrance gate of my house, and this house is some 25

19 metres away from the road, they went up the stairs and

20 I went down near the other building, and I stayed

21 there.

22 They came somewhere halfway towards the

23 house, they were on the steps, and they were shooting

24 incendiary bullets and then they came back and swore

25 and one said to the other that they were not quite

Page 6265

1 satisfied, the job was not done properly, and they let

2 some people go. Then they went out of my house towards

3 the left where the house of Zoran Marinic was and of

4 Mirko. I thought that would be the end, that there

5 would not be any kind of torture any more. My house

6 was on fire but nobody was hurt and I was resigned to

7 that, so I went to try and find my family, I realised

8 I could not put the fire down in my house. I went out

9 on the street and towards where I said my family to go

10 and find shelter.

11 When I was going across the street and in the

12 meadow, some 20 or 30 metres, when I was on the road,

13 I could see Zoran's car going on the house, and

14 I thought at first that it was the police, that

15 somebody has called the police, but I simply jumped on

16 the floor, so that they could not see me with the

17 lights, and I could see a car, a blue car owned by

18 Zoran Marinic. He had moved in a weekend house and

19 I could see him every day. That weekend house used to

20 belong to the person from Zenica, if need be I can even

21 say that owner's name.

22 (redacted)

23 and I went to look for my family. It took me some 15

24 to 20 minutes to find my family, it was all during the

25 night, I called for them, they did not dare call back,

Page 6266

1 they were afraid, but we managed to communicate and we

2 went, all of us, on the meadow near the house of that

3 Croat. (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted). In the meantime the

6 police had arrived. The Croat who told me he could not

7 help, he went to the police station and the fire men

8 came and the police -- the fire men tried to put down

9 the fire of my house. (redacted)

10 As the house was on fire, everything was lit up

11 and one could see for some 50 or 80 metres what was

12 going on. I could see they were taking something out

13 of the house but I could not see what.

14 I woke up a Croatian neighbour who was also

15 in the police and I had confidence in him. I asked him

16 to go down there and see what was going on. He went

17 down there, he was away for some 10 or 15 minutes and

18 when he came back, he told me that everybody was

19 killed (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 the (redacted) was still conscious and he told the police

23 straight away who committed all that. I did not know

24 where to go, it was all during the night and what to

25 do, but my neighbour's mother went out of the house and

Page 6267

1 she said that we could stay in their house, that

2 probably nobody was going to look for us at that

3 moment, so that was what we did, we stayed there until

4 the morning.

5 I asked my wife to go to fetch help from

6 UNPROFOR, so that they would take us out of the area.

7 She went there very early in the morning and I went in

8 front of my house, (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted). I went towards the

11 neighbour's house, that Croat in whose house I spent

12 the night, and the police came and wanted to have a

13 statement from us, knowing who did that -- and wanted

14 to know who did it. I told him, "you probably know

15 much better than I do who did it". They told me, "you

16 have to come with us to the police station and we are

17 going to take a statement from you".

18 I went down to the police station, gave the

19 statement and just as I told you here, I told them what

20 had happened regarding the killings and the burning

21 down of houses. In the meantime, my wife arrived from

22 UNPROFOR, and I asked her whether we could go and she

23 said that the police had to give a permit to UNPROFOR

24 because otherwise UNPROFOR would not want to take us

25 out of the area. I said that we wanted to leave at any

Page 6268

1 cost, because we were afraid, and they told us, "you

2 are not going to go anywhere; anyway, go out of here

3 and then we will see".

4 My wife and I went out of that office for

5 some ten minutes and after that time, they called me

6 and told me that we could not go anyway from Busovaca,

7 and they asked me whether there was a weekend house

8 that was vacant in my neighbourhood in Busovaca where

9 we could live. I said, "I do not want to stay here any

10 more because if you came to try and kill me in my

11 house, I am not going to stay in somebody else's

12 house". They asked me whether I had any relatives

13 there, and I said, "no, I have no relatives there",

14 because I wanted to go out of the area.

15 Then they said, "there is somebody called

16 Redzo Delijic at Busenji, there are more Croats in that

17 village". In that village there were only two Muslim

18 houses and out of two Muslim houses, one Muslim family

19 stayed and the other one left.

20 The road that we took, there was a relative

21 of mine who lived there. He also had left during the

22 conflict. He drove away a wounded woman. They were

23 also shooting into his house, they were five or six

24 people in his house at that time and as there was

25 shooting. One woman was injured, so he drove her away

Page 6269

1 to Zenica. His wife remained on her own there. So

2 I said to them that that was the house where I had to

3 go because they did not know that person, so they

4 thought that it was the house and I went out. I saw my

5 relative's wife in front of the house and they went

6 back.

7 I thought to myself they were probably going

8 to look for me again, and within an hour, we went back

9 to town. We came to a street where there were more

10 Muslims that had remained, there were mostly Muslims

11 there. I was hiding in a house of a woman. That house

12 was very near the street and I could see who was going

13 there in the street. I spent seven days there. I saw

14 Zoran and somebody else with him. They were looking

15 for me. I was informed that they were looking for me.

16 On many occasions, I would see him go down the street,

17 two or three times per day.

18 But there is something I would like to

19 stress. I arrived there after that tragedy, around

20 3rd or 4th May. There was a Muslim who came to the

21 house of the woman where I was hiding and he showed a

22 list of us Muslims that had remained. I asked him what

23 that was. He answered that that was the list of the

24 Muslims who remained because of their work, and they

25 had to go and dig trenches on the front-line. I asked

Page 6270

1 him whether they were calling everybody to do that and

2 he said, "no, according to the needs. Sometimes they

3 need 10 or 15 people. Some people would work for 24

4 hours, others for 10, 15 hours", so those people would

5 go regularly to dig trenches on the frontline.

6 I was not there, but I suppose that they were

7 digging trenches. I asked him why he had to do that.

8 He said, "I had to do that because I was the one who

9 knows -- I am the one who knows very well who stayed

10 and so on and they give me how many people I have to

11 bring and where". So he would bring those people to

12 the HVO and then the HVO would do with those people

13 what they wanted to, and that was like that every day.

14 I told him, because my name was not on the

15 list, "please do not mention my name because in case

16 I go to the front-line, they will know that I am here

17 and that will be my end". He said, "no, no, I will not

18 ask for you -- in case they do not ask for you".

19 I said, "neighbour, they do not know that I am here and

20 where I am". He told me not to fear anything.

21 On 4th May 1993, my cousin's wife arrived and

22 she told me that Zoran with two others were looking for

23 me in the Busenji village where I was supposed to be.

24 They told her they were going to kill everybody and put

25 everything on fire in order to find me, they were

Page 6271

1 asking where I was. She came to tell us that. I told

2 my wife, she was less known, she did not meet those

3 people as I did. I asked her to go to the police

4 station and try and in one way or the other get the

5 permit for us to leave. She went to the police and

6 asked for that permit and they told her, "it will be

7 done within two or three days. There will be an

8 exchange made then and so everybody who wants can go",

9 but that she could not get the permit at that moment.

10 What I did not say in the statement, they

11 asked her where we were hiding for a week, and she

12 answered, "there where you sent us to go, but we are

13 not in the house, we are in the woods", because there

14 were some woods there about 150 metres from there and

15 she said we were simply there day and night. The

16 commander told her, "go where you came from, we are

17 going to send a police patrol to you right away". My

18 wife came to me and told me that, and I told her, "we

19 have to leave in any case", because I knew, in case

20 they found us in that house where there was somebody

21 else there, a husband and wife who had been expelled

22 from their house three days earlier and there was also

23 the family of that woman there. I told my wife, "it

24 really would not be right that somebody else gets

25 killed because of me", so we should go, we should go

Page 6272

1 through the town.

2 There used to be a railroad there to Zenica,

3 and there only remained a path now, and there was some

4 fields there, so I suggested we should go two by two,

5 so that nobody would notice that we were refugees, in

6 case we were in a group. There was another woman there

7 who came from Gavrine Kuce, that is a village towards

8 Zenica, and during the conflict she happened to be at

9 her sister's house. She has a son who is ten years old

10 or so and they came with us. I sent her and her son in

11 front of us and we remained some 100 or 150 metres

12 behind them. I was going with my younger daughter and

13 my older daughter and my wife and that woman were going

14 behind us, so we went out of the house with a distance

15 of some 150 metres.

16 So we went out of the town, we took that rail

17 track and we came to a company and a brick

18 manufacturing factory and then we went to Kaonik where

19 there is a junction, Travnik-Zenica-Busovaca, and then

20 we also continued to go separately and then we went to

21 our control point, towards Gavrine Kuce and then we

22 went to Zenica.

23 I would like to stress that the Muslims who

24 remained in Busovaca after we left in 1993, they were

25 exchanged, because quite a few soldiers came from

Page 6273

1 Zenica to Busovaca. There was an exchange. For

2 example, if I wanted to leave Busovaca, I had to ensure

3 that a family from an HVO soldier from Zenica would

4 come to Busovaca, so I would be allowed to leave

5 Busovaca to go to Zenica. That is how things were in

6 1993, I was in Kacuni and I was an eyewitness when one

7 of our soldiers had his wife and daughter that remain,

8 and also there was at another place at Kacuni there was

9 an HVO soldier whose mother had remained there so they

10 decided to make an exchange between Kacuni and

11 Busovaca. That exchange went well.

12 I think that maybe there were some three

13 Muslims that stayed on. One of them was severely

14 disabled and there were two that did not want to leave,

15 they were father and son, and there were also some 20

16 elderly women all in all who remained there during the

17 whole period of war.

18 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you very much,

19 Witness X. In your statement, you have covered all the

20 events that the Prosecutor wanted you to talk about.

21 Mr Kehoe, would you like to point out

22 anything else, some additional questions, or would you

23 prefer to make a short break? Do you have many

24 questions to ask, Mr Kehoe?

25 MR KEHOE: I have a few matters to cover just

Page 6274

1 to clarify a few things and two exhibits,

2 Mr President. Whether or not there is a break, I leave

3 that up to your Honours and the witness.

4 JUDGE JORDA: How do you feel?

5 A. I am fine.

6 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, we will make the

7 break after the Prosecution has finished. Mr Kehoe,

8 please proceed.

9 MR KEHOE: Thank you, Mr President.

10 Witness X, I am going to ask you now a few

11 questions based on the narrative that you just gave the

12 court.

13 At the outset, I would like to show you a

14 series of photographs, if we could, Mr Dubuisson, the

15 photograph album.

16 THE REGISTRAR: Exhibit 241.

17 MR KEHOE: We do not need to put this on the

18 ELMO. I am not going to go through these photographs

19 in series, but Witness X, the series of photographs

20 that I have before you is a series of photographs of

21 your house and the surrounding areas prior to the

22 conflict, is that right?

23 A. Yes, they are.

24 Q. These are photographs that were taken in

25 better times in Busovaca?

Page 6275

1 A. These photographs were taken in 1991.

2 MR KEHOE: The next exhibit, Mr President, is

3 a map which is an enlargement of Exhibit 180.

4 Mr Dubuisson, would that be Exhibit 242?


6 MR KEHOE: A 50 per cent chance of being

7 right. Again, Mr President, if we could ask this not

8 be put on the ELMO, simply because it identifies the

9 location of Witness X's residence.

10 Witness X, taking a look at the map before

11 you and you see your house marked number 1, is that

12 right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. That whole area that is inside the circle or

15 inside this rectangle, that is your mahala, that is

16 your neighbourhood, is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. What was the approximate ethnic split in that

19 neighbourhood?

20 A. I think about 90 per cent Muslim, 90 or

21 95 per cent. I could probably put a list together,

22 because there were about seven Croatian homes which

23 were fully occupied.

24 Q. So seven Croatian homes and the balance of

25 them belonged to Muslims, is that right?

Page 6276

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. We will get back to that exhibit in one

3 moment. I wanted to ask you a few questions about the

4 activities that took place after May 1992 and you said

5 that there were more and more HVO soldiers in the

6 Busovaca area after May 1992, is that correct?

7 A. Yes, that is right.

8 Q. Did you ever speak to any of your Croat

9 neighbours regarding the pressure that was put on the

10 Croats to join the HVO?

11 A. Yes, I had a friend with whom I worked at the

12 Vatrostalna factory. For many years we worked

13 together, some time in 1992, and I cannot recall all of

14 this, but it was five or six years ago, let us say in

15 September or October this friend came to me and said

16 whether I could help him with some food supplies, the

17 companies were no longer working, he had no money, he

18 did not want to put on the HVO uniform, he did not want

19 to -- that he spent his savings, that he had no food

20 supplies and that he needed some in order to stay

21 there. I told him that I had some because I knew him

22 from before, and there was never any quarrel between

23 us. I gave him some food supplies which is what he was

24 asking for.

25 Later I heard, not officially, that he was

Page 6277

1 later forced to put on the HVO uniform and that he was

2 killed in 1994; I believe it was 1994, maybe 1993, but

3 in any event he was killed. It may have been from a

4 shell from the mortar that they were using, so it could

5 have been an accident.

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 On another occasion I asked a different

14 friend, I had known him a long time, why he went to

15 church now, whereas before he never went and we had

16 talked about it before because (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 There were other things, this is just

21 sketching things out, so that I would present a picture

22 that there were some pressures in Busovaca, this was

23 five or six years ago. I may have not said everything

24 as it happened chronologically and I may not have

25 remembered everything in this moment, so if asked

Page 6278

1 additional questions I may remember more.

2 Q. Witness X, did your first neighbour who came

3 to you for help and you gave him food, did he tell you

4 what would happen if he did not join the HVO?

5 A. You mean what could have happened to him if

6 he did not join? I did not speak about that in any

7 detail with him, nor did I ask him any detailed

8 questions, but whoever wanted or did not want, you know

9 that all these companies collapsed and all the media

10 were under the HVO control, and those who did not want

11 to join the HVO, who did not have additional means --

12 people were running out of means, because those in the

13 HVO were supplied regularly, they would get all the

14 food and everything else that was needed, because this

15 was kind of a pressure, I do not know how else to call

16 it, so the people in a way had to go and join.

17 Q. Witness X, was this taking place at the same

18 time that the Serbs were leaving the area?

19 A. Yes. At first that is not how it went.

20 There was not as much pressure, people mostly left

21 voluntarily. I could not explain this. Those who felt

22 that -- those who were able-bodied and those who were

23 ardently Croatian, and then as days and months go by,

24 you could notice more weapons, more uniforms, weapons

25 were being carried all over, home and elsewhere.

Page 6279

1 No one would part with their weapons, so that was a

2 form of pressure for the Muslims to move out.

3 I remember on 22nd or 23rd about 100 or 200

4 metres away from our neighbourhood, in another street,

5 they provoked a young man whose name was Mirsad

6 Delija. They called him out from his house and they

7 shot him dead there. I thought that that was a clear

8 sign of intimidation, they wanted the Muslims to leave

9 at any price. I heard people say this would be

10 Herceg-Bosna, so whoever likes that, fine. I even

11 heard from these Croats who thought that they were not

12 saying much, but actually they were, that whoever takes

13 control of something that he -- that whatever territory

14 the Croats take, it will stay Croatian, that whatever

15 the Serbs do it will be Serbian and we were the victims

16 from whom this was to be taken. Both sides thought

17 like that, even though we lived there for centuries,

18 together with the others. That is how I understood it,

19 because there was no one else to take it away from

20 except Muslims, because later on, they had a truck that

21 they paraded around the neighbourhood on which an

22 anti-aircraft gun was mounted, so they would come to

23 the neighbourhood four or five times during a week.

24 All these were forms of intimidation.

25 On one occasion, I think this person was even

Page 6280

1 under age, 15 or 16 years old, the road that goes

2 through my neighbourhood, this soldier had a uniform

3 on, I saw that he was a child, he was 15 or 16, he

4 started shooting from his rifle and two men came to me

5 and they told me, "why are you shooting?". I said,

6 "I was not shooting, I have no weapons to shoot

7 from", and he said, "it was not me, it was you, you

8 have a rifle". I said, "I saw very well who shot", but

9 I could not prove it. It was impossible.

10 Q. Witness X, let me talk to you about the Serbs

11 leaving the area and one of the Serbs told you that

12 your turn would come. Did any of the Serbs tell you

13 how much money they were paying to be taken from the

14 area and who they were paying the money to?

15 A. Yes, I believe I said something about the

16 Serb insist my statement, maybe not enough. In the

17 Vatrostalna company, there were Serbs and Croats and

18 Muslims who were all employees there. I think that

19 there were equal numbers of Muslims and Croats, but

20 there were fewer Serbs, maybe there were only a total

21 of 2 per cent in the area. I had good relations both

22 with Croats and Serbs, the ethnic group and religion

23 was not a matter for me, as long as I could talk to

24 people. So I had friends who were Serbs and Croats.

25 So I asked one, whose name was Vojo Mujkic,

Page 6281

1 he was from Podjele, he was a Serb from the Busovaca

2 area, I asked him, "why are you leaving?"; he said that

3 they were not leaving because they wanted to leave,

4 they had to leave and after they left, it would be our

5 turn, the turn of the Muslims. Then I saw them selling

6 some of their belongings in the marketplace, they could

7 not take them along or something, it was too much for

8 them. I told them, "why are you selling it?". He said,

9 "we cannot transport all this". I said, "where are

10 you going? There is HVO in Kiseljak? You want to go

11 to Zenica? You cannot go there. Where are you going

12 to go?" Then he said, "they organised it, Kordic

13 organised a collection centre in Podjele for Serbs from

14 Travnik, Vitez, Zenica, wherever else. The price is

15 about 1,000 German marks if you go on your own, that is

16 without any belongings, but if you have a car then the

17 price is higher, 2,000, maybe 3,000, depending on what

18 you are transporting with you", so those who had a car

19 would pay for that, those who did not own a car would

20 go in buses, and they would go to Kobiljaca where the

21 frontlines between the army and the Serbs were and that

22 is where they were turned over and I do not know where

23 they went from there.

24 Q. Witness X, was there a time when you were

25 walking past Dario Kordic's house in Busovaca where you

Page 6282

1 saw some HVO soldiers that you knew outside the house

2 and did you ask them what they were doing?

3 A. Yes, I did. I forgot to mention it. Some

4 time starting in May 1992, there were barricades around

5 Busovaca which were getting bigger and bigger. There

6 was one outside of Busovaca, I do not know if I can see

7 it here on the map, then there was another one near

8 Kordic's house which I passed by there regularly on the

9 way to the town, where there were people standing

10 sitting around, five or six men, soldiers I mean,

11 guarding the house and I knew them. I asked one of

12 them who had worked with me in the company, "what are

13 you doing here? What are you guarding here? Are you

14 guarding Kordic?". He said, "no, we are not guarding

15 Kordic, we are guarding Herceg-Bosna". I said, "oh,

16 Herceg-Bosna", and he said, "yes, it is Herceg-Bosna we

17 are guarding". I moved on towards my house.

18 So the main Tisovacka street is there and

19 then there was a crossroad and there was a checkpoint

20 there and from thereon, my neighbourhood begins. There

21 were two HVO soldiers there and one stopped him.

22 I knew him and he knew me, because I would pass his

23 house all the time and he asked me where I was going

24 and I said I was going home. He said, "what home?" ,

25 and I said, "my own home". He said, "do you have ID?"

Page 6283

1 I said, "please do not pretend you do not know me, you

2 are my neighbour". He said, "I do not know anyone,

3 just give me the papers". I gave him the IDs, he did

4 not need them because he knew me. Then he said, "okay,

5 this time it is fine, you may go".

6 Then there was this other checkpoint maybe

7 300 or 400 metres further up the road, past our

8 neighbourhood towards Tisovac and so on --

9 Q. Going back to these individuals in front of

10 Kordic's house, did you ask them at that time what it

11 meant to be protecting Herceg-Bosna and if so, what did

12 they say in response?

13 A. I did not ask -- I do not remember.

14 Q. Okay. Let us move on to the conflict

15 itself. You said that the conflict in Busovaca started

16 on 25th January 1993, is that right?

17 A. Yes.

18 Q. After that, did you see an HVO anti-aircraft

19 weapon near your mahala that was shooting on to Muslim

20 houses?

21 A. Yes, above our mahala, our neighbourhood,

22 there is high ground and there is wood behind it and

23 then there is some open fields, mostly Croats live

24 there, so there was a wood over there, not very big,

25 and there were some anti-aircraft machine-guns and guns

Page 6284

1 and maybe a few mortars.

2 Q. Just turning back to this exhibit, is that

3 point 4 on the photograph?

4 A. Yes, it was not just one, there were several

5 over here, but at point number 4, there was an

6 anti-aircraft machine-gun placed.

7 Q. Let me move ahead to when the soldiers came

8 and took the men out of your mahala, out of your

9 village. Did you see these soldiers, and were they HVO

10 soldiers?

11 A. Yes, I saw soldiers, obviously they were all

12 HVO soldiers. For the most part they had masks on,

13 that is some kind of a stocking with openings for eyes,

14 so I could not recognise them. There was an older man

15 there, maybe around 60 and another one, men whom I met

16 over a period of time, the young man, but the other

17 ones I could not recognise because they wore masks.

18 Q. So you did recognise two of the soldiers that

19 came?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. Were they from Busovaca?

22 A. Yes, from Busovaca.

23 Q. After that, were the rest of the Muslim

24 residents and the Muslim refugees driven out of the

25 rest of their homes in your mahala?

Page 6285

1 A. When the arrests took place, all the Muslim

2 men who had stayed were arrested and everybody from the

3 refugees except for women, children and elderly men,

4 they left them, but the rest of them were taken away.

5 After that, all this abuse, mistreatment started

6 regarding the refugees from Jajce, so some left under

7 the auspices of the Red Cross, some found a way out

8 that way and there was also a Croat who was helping

9 people move out so that the whole thing happened very

10 quickly, so these refugees from Jajce all left.

11 JUDGE JORDA: Have you got many questions,

12 Mr Kehoe, because please try and get down to the

13 essentials. I wanted to -- can you end with your

14 questions before the break, please? Is it possible or

15 not? Because the witness made a very long statement,

16 with very many details and I think that the judges

17 could very clearly see what the witness had been

18 through. Maybe you have two or three things to make

19 more precise and point out? I am simply going back to

20 your summary now. Could you ask a couple of very

21 precise questions, because if not we will have to make

22 the break now and then end with your

23 examination-in-chief before the cross-examination, so

24 have you many things you want to point out now?

25 MR KEHOE: I do not have many things,

Page 6286

1 Mr President. I do not think I can do it in two or

2 three questions, candidly. I leave it to you,

3 Mr President, whether you take the break now or --

4 JUDGE JORDA: I am thinking here of the

5 interpreters. Everybody has started to feel tired and

6 also the witness himself is probably tired because of

7 his long statement. I asked you before that because

8 I thought you had only a couple of points you wanted to

9 raise. If you wanted to do another direct examination

10 from the start, that was another matter, so I think we

11 are all tired, the judges including. We are going to

12 make a break now and we will resume in 15 minutes.

13 (4.15 pm)

14 (A short break)

15 (4.40 pm)

16 JUDGE JORDA: Please have the accused brought

17 in. We will resume now.

18 (Accused brought in)

19 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Kehoe, according to your

20 summary, what are the points that you would like to

21 point out with Witness X?

22 MR KEHOE: At this juncture, Mr President,

23 the point we would bring out is that with regard to his

24 particular neighbourhood, that first HVO moved into

25 houses that belonged to the Muslims, one of which was

Page 6287

1 Zoran Marinic, another was Mirko Milic. Those two

2 houses are reflected in numbers 2 and 3 in the chart.

3 Thereafter, Croats moved into the area from other areas

4 with the authority or with licences or permits by the

5 HVO authorities. It comes up, of course, because a

6 question was raised even just this morning about

7 whether or not the people that went in there were all

8 refugees. The fact of the matter is HVO soldiers from

9 Busovaca like Zoran Marinic took over a Muslim

10 residence.

11 The other feature --

12 JUDGE JORDA: The witness said that there

13 were people that moved in those houses, so the witness

14 does not need to repeat that, because I even jotted

15 that down. The witness has simply to speak about those

16 facts which he did not mention during his statement.

17 If not, we will at some stage have to put an end to it

18 and have the cross-examination start, because I have

19 the responsibility for it. Please ask the questions

20 which will very precisely give complementary moments to

21 complete the statement, but the statement has been very

22 complete and I would like to commend the witness for

23 that, so please do it very quickly and after that, we

24 will go on to cross-examination.

25 MR KEHOE: Yes, Mr President, I just will

Page 6288

1 focus on those particular points.

2 Witness X, after the Muslims either left or

3 were driven out of your mahala, did members of the HVO

4 come in and take over some of the houses in your

5 mahala?

6 A. Yes, the people, mostly people from Busovaca,

7 also from village Ravne, moved into those

8 privately-owned weekend houses and also into the houses

9 of the Muslims who used to live there permanently.

10 I said that in some houses they would stay for two or

11 three days --

12 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, that was already said.

13 Please proceed to another question, Mr Kehoe now.

14 MR KEHOE: Witness X, were two of the houses

15 that they moved into on this particular map that is

16 before you, Exhibit 240, did Zoran Marinic move into

17 the house marked with number 2 and Mirko Milic, did he

18 move into house marked with number 3?

19 A. Yes, this was the house, the weekend house of

20 a man from Zenica and number 3 is the house of the

21 brother of (redacted) who used to live in Germany at

22 that time.

23 Q. You knew, because you saw Zoran Marinic, that

24 he was a member of the HVO military police, is that

25 correct?

Page 6289

1 A. Yes, I would see him every day, because the

2 distance was some 50 to 100 metres from the house where

3 he used to live, he moved into somebody else's house,

4 from that house to my house. It can be seen on the

5 map.

6 Q. Did you see him wear a military police patch

7 on his uniform?

8 A. Yes, I would see him, he mostly wore the

9 patch of military police.

10 Q. You said that there were searches at your

11 house on 23rd April 1993. Those searches were not

12 done -- were done by other members of the HVO and not

13 Zoran Marinic and Mirko Milic, is that right?

14 A. Yes, those were other people, not Zoran nor

15 Mirko Milic.

16 Q. Let me move ahead to the actual burning of

17 your house and the killing of your neighbours. One of

18 your Croat neighbours called the police that night, is

19 that right?

20 A. Yes.

21 Q. And the next morning, you went to the police

22 station to give a statement, correct?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Was that the civilian police or the military

25 police that you went to?

Page 6290

1 A. That was the civilian police. There were two

2 policemen that came by car, I know their names, Slavko

3 Katava and Ivica Vidovic. They came and said that

4 I had to give a statement, but the best thing would be

5 for me to go to the police station. I went into the

6 car and drove down there and I met some people I knew

7 there, as I used to live in the neighbourhood, so

8 I went into the office and I asked them to take me out

9 of the area and as I said --

10 Q. Witness X, let me ask you a question. Did

11 you tell the civilian police that Zoran Marinic had

12 been responsible for the killing and burning in your

13 mahala the night before?

14 A. Yes, they asked me who did it and I said,

15 "you know much better who did it than I, probably",

16 because he was probably asked to do so, otherwise I do

17 not think somebody would come on his own just in there

18 to kill somebody. I did not really know Zoran too much

19 when he used to go to school, I would sometimes give

20 him a cigarette if he asked it from me. We went out

21 from the police and they asked me and my wife to go

22 into that house where we spent the night and I asked

23 whether Zoran Marinic had been arrested because he

24 committed a crime and he said, "yes, he was arrested"

25 and my wife said that she could see him when she was

Page 6291

1 going back from Kacuni where she went to reach for

2 UNPROFOR and she went and UNPROFOR was in Hotel

3 Kiseljak, but she cross him when she was going in one

4 direction and he in the other direction around Kacuni,

5 but I simply gave her a sign to remain silent, because

6 regardless of the fact whether he was arrested or not,

7 there is law and if somebody commits a crime, that

8 person has to be arrested, but no, he was not

9 arrested. Even last year he was seen going around

10 Busovaca as a free man.

11 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, Witness X, here we

12 are not at the case against Zoran Marinic. I think

13 that is very important. What the Prosecutor would like

14 to know is whether he belonged to the HVO and this is

15 linked to the chain of command, but this is the trial

16 of General Blaskic and not of Zoran Marinic.

17 Please proceed, Mr Kehoe.

18 MR KEHOE: To conclude on this point,

19 Witness X, Zoran Marinic was a member of the military

20 police and to your knowledge he was never prosecuted or

21 arrested for the crimes that took place in your mahala

22 on the evening of 26th April 1993, is that correct?

23 A. That is correct, never a single person who

24 committed a crime was arrested there, that is correct.

25 MR KEHOE: Mr President, at this time we

Page 6292

1 would offer into evidence under seal Exhibits 240,

2 which is the map that is before us, and also the series

3 of photographs which also have some family members

4 belonging to Witness X. If I might have one moment to

5 consult with my colleagues, Mr President, I believe

6 that I have completed. Thank you, Mr President, I have

7 no further questions. Thank you, Witness X.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr Prosecutor.

9 Mr Nobilo is going to ask questions. This is

10 a very usual thing, this is a trial of General Blaskic

11 and now the Defence is going to ask questions.

12 Mr Nobilo, please proceed.

13 Cross-examined by MR NOBILO

14 Q. Thank you, your Honour.

15 Good evening, Mr X.

16 A. Good evening.

17 Q. Did the police when you arrived at the police

18 station to give the statement linked to those killings,

19 did the police tell you that they needed to know your

20 address?

21 A. They did not tell me, they asked me whether

22 there was a weekend house in my neighbourhood where

23 I could live.

24 Q. Did the police, once you went out of the

25 police station, did they know where you were?

Page 6293

1 A. Yes, I mentioned in my statement here,

2 I decided I did not want to go into any of the weekend

3 houses up there, because they already came to kill me

4 in my house, it would be even worse in a weekend

5 house. They asked me whether I had a --

6 Q. Excuse me, could you please shortly answer --

7 MR KEHOE: Excuse me, if there could be some

8 break between the question and the answer.

9 MR NOBILO: I interrupted the witness on

10 purpose. We heard your story. Could you please answer

11 whether in the police station after you left it they

12 knew where you were going to stay for the following

13 days?

14 A. Well, they took me to a certain place which

15 they chose, to a person who I did not know and that

16 person did not know me. After that, I went back to the

17 centre of the town, thinking they would be looking for

18 me again and that is what happened. I was in the

19 centre in a street where there were lots of Muslims and

20 nobody knew where I was, nobody could know exactly

21 where I was, they were looking for me for seven days,

22 I have got proof of that, people told me about it.

23 Q. Out of what you have just said, can

24 I conclude that in the police station, once you left

25 the police station, that they did not know any more

Page 6294

1 where you lived?

2 A. They did not know, but I was not at the place

3 where they brought me to.

4 Q. After you were hiding at those places you

5 left Busovaca. You did not have contact with the

6 police, is that correct?

7 A. That is correct. I said that only my wife on

8 24th May went to the police station to ask for a permit

9 to leave Busovaca.

10 Q. Were you a member of the BH-Army?

11 A. Not at that time.

12 Q. You gave a statement to the investigators of

13 the Office of the Prosecutor, this is the only

14 statement which is not dated, and in the first

15 paragraph, you say that you are a member of the army of

16 BiH --

17 MR KEHOE: I should correct you, there are

18 two statements.

19 MR NOBILO: One statement is a summary and

20 one is a proper statement.

21 JUDGE JORDA: Is that one or two statements?

22 MR KEHOE: I have two, Mr President, I am

23 just correcting counsel. Two were sent to counsel.

24 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Hayman? This is something

25 that we would be able to clarify, I think.

Page 6295

1 MR HAYMAN: We have a Serbo-Croatian

2 statement with a half page English summary and we have

3 an English language statement, that is what our records

4 reflect we have. Only one English language statement

5 which is the witness's actual statement.

6 JUDGE JORDA: Okay, so this is an incident.

7 There was a problem of terminology. You are both

8 right. There are two documents but maybe not two

9 statements in these proceedings, so please, Mr Nobilo,

10 use both documents.

11 I think this incident is now behind us, and

12 Mr Kehoe, I gave you 50 per cent credit for it. There

13 are two documents that you gave to the Defence.

14 Mr Nobilo, please proceed.

15 MR NOBILO: Thank you, your Honour.

16 We are going to clarify things very quickly.

17 At the beginning of this statement you gave you said at

18 the moment that you gave the statement you are a member

19 of the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina and that you have

20 been its member since 16th April 1992, I believe.

21 A. Let me clarify this. It says that I was a

22 member of the army since 16th April, but I never was in

23 that army, not before the conflict but yes, after the

24 conflict, in 1993 when I went out, when I managed to

25 get out, I joined the army. I think that you can

Page 6296

1 understand me. I have suffered so much, so it was

2 logical for me to join them. Now I am not a member of

3 the army. On 20th December 1994 I was demobilised.

4 Q. According to a military document, did you

5 join the Army of Bosnia-Herzegovina on 16th April 1992?

6 A. I joined the Bosnian army on 31st May when

7 I joined it at Kacuni. You cannot be a member of the

8 army if you are not in it actually between 1992 and

9 1993.

10 Q. What is in your military papers?

11 A. It says that I am a member of the army as of

12 31st May 1992, and actually when I joined it.

13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Kehoe, do you have an

14 objection you wanted to raise?

15 MR KEHOE: No, your Honour.

16 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Nobilo?

17 MR NOBILO: So is that statement correct?

18 A. The statement that I belonged to the army

19 between 31st May 1993 and 20th December 1995, that is

20 correct, then I was demobilised.

21 Q. So to the investigators of the Office of the

22 Prosecutor, you did not tell the truth when you said --

23 MR KEHOE: At this point I object. The man

24 said he was a member of the army from 31st May 1993

25 until 20th December 1995.

Page 6297

1 MR NOBILO: Your Honour, if you please,

2 I would like to find out whether this was a mistake,

3 wrongly written down, or the witness gave the wrong

4 statement to the investigators of the Office of the

5 Prosecutor.

6 JUDGE JORDA: All right, now I am turning

7 myself to the witness. This is an important question

8 for the Defence. Witness X, please be calm, Defence

9 counsel is asking a legitimate question of you and they

10 would like to know whether you were a member of the

11 army or not and in your statement, you said that you

12 were the member of the army. You said that for you,

13 there is a difference between enrolling and

14 participating in the operations. I am not quite

15 agreeable with you, you are either a member of

16 something or not. There is no trap in that question,

17 especially not coming from a judge, that is the parties

18 neither ask questions that would be a trap, so please

19 could you say that when you gave the statement you said

20 you were the member of the Bosnian army. Could you

21 please say whether at that time you were officially a

22 member of it, yes please.

23 A. In the HVO police that I said that I belonged

24 to the HVO? That is something I deny. They were

25 themselves witnesses that I was not a member.

Page 6298

1 JUDGE JORDA: Excuse me, the fact to

2 participate in the operation is not really the

3 question. We want to know whether you were, even only

4 in theory, a member of the Bosnian army.

5 Mr Nobilo, please proceed.

6 A. I said that on 31st May 1993 up until

7 20th December 1995 I was a member of the Bosnian army.

8 I think that was clear enough.

9 MR NOBILO: Did you say to the investigators

10 of the Office of the Prosecutor that you were a member

11 of the army since 16th April 1992; did you tell it to

12 them?

13 A. I cannot recall, I gave statements twice at

14 Zenica. Maybe the interpreter did not interpret that

15 correctly, there must have been a mistake.

16 Q. Thank you very much, let us proceed. During

17 direct examination you said that just before the

18 conflict in January, around 21st January 1993, two or

19 three days before that, a large number of Muslim

20 civilians had left Busovaca. Do I remember that well?

21 A. Yes, on 21st January.

22 Q. What I ask you now is why did those civilians

23 leave before the conflict broke out? How did they know

24 there would be a conflict?

25 (redacted)

Page 6299

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted). This friend said it to another friend and so

7 rumours spread. You know when people start to have

8 fear then you believe many things.

9 Q. Thank you. During direct examination, you

10 said that the conflict or the war in April 1993 started

11 on April 14th. How do you know that? How did you

12 remember that it was 14th April? What happened on that

13 date so that you concluded that the war broke out?

14 A. As you can see on this map, here is where

15 I lived, in this part, in this area (indicates), and

16 after our neighbourhood, where you can see the woods

17 and meadows, so there are the woods and they were the

18 HVO frontlines and the army frontlines and I was down

19 hill and so you could hear large detonations and

20 shootings and I could see some Croats. I had a feeling

21 they were some 500 metres away from Busovaca and that

22 there were shootings and they were also the Croatian

23 refugees who had moved in, they were also preparing to

24 go out, because they thought the army would go into

25 Busovaca.

Page 6300

1 Q. So according to you, the war started on

2 14th April 1993, because you saw it yourself?

3 A. It started on 25th May, when the conflict

4 broke out.

5 Q. But yes, the actual war in April started on

6 the 14th?

7 A. I was not actually at that place, but I could

8 hear the detonations and I concluded there was conflict

9 going on and I know because when they took us from the

10 police to that house where we spent the night, the

11 night before the tragedy, my wife told a policeman,

12 "kill us here now and do not take us anywhere else".

13 He swore at her and gave her her rifle and said, "you

14 can shoot at me and kill me because I had been injured

15 from the people from the army". I said, "it is not my

16 fault, I did not tell anybody to go there and fight".

17 Q. You said that the Croats were forced in

18 various ways to join the HVO, so I ask you now, can we

19 say that most Croats that were capable to take arms did

20 wear a uniform?

21 A. Yes, mostly those people who were of military

22 age did wear military, even some elderly people, some

23 pensioners.

24 Q. How old were the youngest and the oldest

25 people in uniform?

Page 6301

1 A. There was a 15 or 16 year old boy whom I saw

2 shoot in my neighbourhood and I could see he was

3 underage, but all the others were of age.

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 A. I could not see whether that was civilian or

7 military police, because it was 10.00 or 11.00 in the

8 night when they arrived, but they investigated the case

9 probably that night, they did not allow UNPROFOR to

10 come, but they did not allow them and they said that

11 they would settle everything and there was no need for

12 UNPROFOR to come.

13 Q. When you were at the police station, were you

14 expressly forbidden -- not given permission to leave?

15 A. Yes, twice.

16 Q. Did you ask to be put in Kaonik rather than

17 leave because you would be safer there?

18 A. No, I did not tell them to put me in Kaonik,

19 because I knew what was going on there. I just wanted

20 to be in prison here because it was safer there in the

21 town.

22 Q. You described the exchanges that took place

23 and you said that everybody needed to find a family in

24 Zenica and then organise the exchange in that way. Let

25 me ask you this: was this a voluntary exchange of

Page 6302

1 families and people?

2 A. This was voluntary, but the Muslims who had

3 remained in -- stayed in Busovaca wanted to leave at

4 any cost and the members of the HVO in Zenica, they

5 also insisted to have their families move over.

6 I think that there was talk about ethnic cleansing both

7 ways, so that all the Croats would be moved from Zenica

8 over here and then all the Croats from Zenica, and all

9 the Muslims from Busovaca.

10 Q. So that was the kind of exchange?

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 A. In a Croatian house.

15 MR KEHOE: I object to the line of

16 questioning on this score, it is a protected witness.


18 MR NOBILO: Mr President, many Muslims live

19 in Croatian houses and vice versa. It is something

20 that this witness can identify.

21 MR KEHOE: I do not object to the specific

22 question, I do object with a protected witness when a

23 counsel comments on where a protected witness is

24 living.

25 MR NOBILO: Mr President, with your

Page 6303

1 permission, I only ask about the type of house, not who

2 the owner is.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Is it really essential for you,

4 Mr Nobilo? Is it really very important?

5 MR NOBILO: It was already stated.

6 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Hayman? This is not a very

7 good answer, Mr Hayman, it is not because the answer

8 was given that the objection has not got its weight,

9 but maybe in the transcript, we could put some kind of

10 an embargo to this answer?

11 THE REGISTRAR: Doubtless we can do that, a

12 redaction.

13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Hayman, we are going to

14 redact. So in the transcript, this answer will not

15 appear.

16 MR HAYMAN: As to the geographic place,

17 Mr President? I would hope, "in a Croatian house", can

18 remain in the transcript.

19 JUDGE JORDA: I will ask, it was a question

20 about the owner I think, as far as the village or the

21 town, it is maybe less important. Mr Prosecutor?

22 MR KEHOE: My issue, Mr President, was

23 counsel highlighting the specific town where a

24 protected witness is living. That was my objection.

25 JUDGE JORDA: I suggest that we delete in the

Page 6304

1 transcript the name of the village. The Trial Chamber

2 has got its responsibility towards the protection of

3 witnesses.

4 MR NOBILO: One more question: have you ever

5 seen our client Tihomir Blaskic in Busovaca at any

6 time?

7 A. I never saw him in person, I saw him on

8 television.

9 MR NOBILO: Mr President, thank you very

10 much, this concludes our cross-examination.

11 JUDGE JORDA: Would you like to reply now,

12 Mr Kehoe?

13 Re-examined by MR KEHOE

14 Q. Just briefly.

15 You were asked some questions on

16 cross-examination about if you told the police on the

17 morning after your house was put on fire, if you told

18 the police where you were going to be residing. During

19 that conversation, did the police tell you that Zoran

20 Marinic had been arrested?

21 A. Yes, I did not tell them where I would live,

22 I did not know where I would live, but they took me in

23 a car to a place, to a house where they told me to stay

24 with my family, and regarding the arrest of Zoran

25 Marinic, yes they confirmed that he was arrested, but

Page 6305

1 since my wife interjected and denied it, they looked at

2 one another and then I nudged her and told her to be

3 silent, because this was murder, and you can imagine

4 the tragedy that I went through, that I had my house

5 burned down and my family was there with me. I may

6 have omitted something, you lose your concentration

7 when you recall the images of things that happen.

8 JUDGE JORDA: Any other questions, Mr Kehoe?

9 MR KEHOE: No, Mr President, thank you very

10 much. I have no further questions.

11 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Judge Riad?

12 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Witness X.

13 I will just ask you a few questions, I do not need a

14 long answer, but some precision. In your very lengthy

15 testimony, you mentioned that anti-aircraft was

16 shooting on Muslim houses; do you remember that, that

17 anti-aircraft was shooting at Muslim houses? Could

18 this anti-aircraft belong to somebody else than the

19 HVO?

20 A. There was no possibility for it to belong to

21 anyone else, because we did not possess any weapons.

22 Everything was under the HVO control, all the

23 communications lines were under the HVO control, so we

24 could not move anything there. I actually even saw the

25 emplacement where it was, and I knew the soldiers who

Page 6306

1 were there. At that time, there was no reason for it

2 not to be seen, they had placed it there very early on.

3 Q. It was an army operation, it was an HVO army

4 operation?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. The houses which were being shot at, did they

7 have any military importance, or were they just

8 civilians' houses?

9 A. I said that on 26th January when the Muslims

10 saw what was going on, when they were being put

11 together then taken to Kaonik, they offered some

12 resistance, there were about ten rifles there, about 20

13 people, there were some hunting rifles, some Karabins,

14 maybe a few pistols and maybe some hand grenades that

15 were purchased from Croatian friends or something, so

16 when this conflict broke out, that was about a couple

17 of hours really, the HVO had superior power. That is

18 from this position number 4, there was some shooting.

19 It was 500 to 1,000 metres. From that position you

20 could see clearly every single house. These houses

21 were all civilian houses, there was nothing military

22 about them.

23 Q. No depot of ammunitions or fighters hiding in

24 those houses or that sort of thing?

25 A. No, just locals, no depots.

Page 6307

1 Q. You said the shooting came from 1,000 metres

2 away, it was not so far? Where did the shooting come

3 from, exactly? Do you have an idea?

4 A. This shooting came from point number 4, there

5 was a wood there, maybe it was 5 to 6 to 10 metres high

6 emplacement and there was positions there. It is about

7 100 metres away from my house and they were shooting

8 across over to the other side, maybe up to 1,000 metres

9 away.

10 Q. You mentioned that people were taken to dig

11 trenches in the frontlines. What happened to these

12 people, do you know anything which happened to them?

13 A. I am not sure, they were taken there, I can

14 confirm that, I know a man, a Muslim, he was organising

15 these men and he is still alive to date. I talked to

16 him a little bit and then after the war, I talked more,

17 some people protected them, some people beat them.

18 I heard that two or three of them were killed from our

19 own army, because when you shoot you do not know who is

20 who.

21 Q. You also mentioned that among other things

22 the Muslims who remained and who did not leave were

23 arrested by the military police. Was there any special

24 reason for arresting them? Were they caught fighting?

25 Why were they arrested, since they wanted to stay?

Page 6308

1 A. They were not captured during the fighting,

2 they did not have weapons, those were my neighbours who

3 lived there. There were no weapons there, there were

4 no uniforms there. They were simply able-bodied. That

5 is how it happened. There was this collection centre

6 or camp in Kaonik where they were taken.

7 Q. So they were arrested because nobody wanted

8 them to stay, is that the reason?

9 A. Probably that is -- I believe that was the

10 reason. This was a Muslim settlement, further on there

11 was a Croatian settlement called Ravan. I remember one

12 occasion in 1992 when I worked, I was building an

13 auxiliary building, property, and a Croat came by and

14 he asked me why was I building this. I said, "well

15 I needed a garage here for my car" and he said, "are

16 you not leaving here?", and I said, "no, where should

17 I go, leave my own house?", and then he said, "very

18 well". I think my view was that Busovaca was to be

19 cleansed because Croats considered it to be Croatian.

20 On one occasion I heard there was a celebration of the

21 anniversary of the independence of Croatia, and a

22 politician, a Croatian politician said that this would

23 be Croatia and that in the future, Busovaca would be

24 called Croatian Busovaca.

25 Q. In short, the Muslims were expelled as part

Page 6309

1 of the cleansing of Busovaca; is that what you mean?

2 A. Yes, 100 per cent I am.

3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

4 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen, please?

5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Witness, I have the

6 impression that you told Defence counsel, Mr Nobilo,

7 that you yourself never saw Colonel Blaskic in person,

8 you only saw him on television, is that correct?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. Do you see Colonel Blaskic in court today?

11 A. Yes, I do.

12 Q. Can you point to him, please?

13 A. (Indicates).

14 Q. Is that the same gentleman whom you saw on

15 television?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. How often did you see him on television,

18 roughly?

19 A. Listen, this was local Busovaca television,

20 and they were taping things and then broadcast it

21 later. I did not pay too much attention to either

22 watch or listen to him, because I had not known him

23 from before and I did not have particular interest in

24 following his statements. I did know Kordic

25 personally, we had worked together.

Page 6310

1 Q. Did you see Kordic on TV?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Did you ever see Colonel Blaskic in company

4 with Mr Kordic on TV?

5 A. I said that this was local television and so

6 they were showing just the persons who were speaking

7 and so they were not showing group shots.

8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Then I thank you.

9 JUDGE JORDA: I will be very brief.

10 Witness X, you said when speaking about Croats who were

11 members of the HVO that there were people who were

12 enlisted by force. Please answer briefly to my very

13 simple question. In the HVO, were there some kind of

14 mercenaries, the HVOs, people who were paid for it; for

15 example, some people that told you, "yes, I have to go

16 to church now because now I wear an HVO uniform", or

17 were these people deeply devoted to the cause or were

18 they a mixture of both? Were simply part of them just

19 mercenaries who enlisted because they thought they

20 could have some profit from it, or were there people

21 who were extremely devoted to it with deep

22 convictions? Could you tell us, because you lived

23 through it all.

24 A. You could talk about two kinds of soldiers

25 here. I did not say that some rough force was used,

Page 6311

1 the force was more material, because he did not have

2 means of survival, he had no food and things like that,

3 so those who did not join were not getting these

4 things. As far as the mercenaries are concerned, as

5 far as I know, all HVO members received salaries,

6 whereas we did not.

7 I have a friend who is a Croat who currently

8 lives in Zenica. He used to live in Busovaca, and

9 I learned from him they had a supplement of 50 marks

10 assistance of sorts. Also the locals and the refugees

11 here in Busovaca received this. Then he told me that

12 he would either have to give up -- he was faced with a

13 choice that he would have to give up either this

14 supplement of 50 marks or the Bosnian pension to which

15 he was entitled. He had to make that choice and he

16 did, he opted for the pension.

17 Q. In your opinion, these financial aids that

18 helped people, that they were better paid than the

19 Bosnian soldiers; where did that money come from? Was

20 the HVO wealthy? Did it come from Croatia or from some

21 kind of political tax that had been levied? I would

22 like to simply know your opinion.

23 A. My personal opinion is that the HVO itself

24 did not have such financial resources which would --

25 these would be very large sums of money. What I read

Page 6312

1 in the papers was that Tudjman, that is Croatia,

2 financed this army in Herceg-Bosna, I do not know how

3 else to describe it, so that they would be paid,

4 because we in the army had no salaries towards the end

5 of the war, we would get about 40 marks a month so that

6 we could buy cigarettes, whereas they were receiving

7 400 to 500 marks.

8 Q. I am going to ask you a question that might

9 seem paradoxic to you, and I am sorry in advance in

10 case I shock you, but in troubled times, there are many

11 variations in mentality and here is my question: you

12 told us that there were Croats that maybe did not take

13 you in their house, but did help you, help you in one

14 way or the other, you used to have good relations with

15 them before the war, and good understanding. My

16 question is: are there amongst Muslims people for

17 various reasons, because they wanted profit or because

18 of mixed marriages or convictions, that joined the

19 HVO? I do not ask you in general whether there were

20 people in Busovaca, because you know that region?

21 A. Not in Busovaca. After the conflict at

22 Kaonik regarding the JNA barracks, a representative of

23 the HVO, I do not know his name, but I knew him from --

24 in fact two of them came to our neighbourhood, we

25 gathered there, the Muslims, so that they could give us

Page 6313

1 this information, so he said, "we came here to invite

2 you to join the HVO voluntarily, because this is your

3 Busovaca". Then we kind of looked at each other and

4 kept silent, then we said, "why should we all go to the

5 HVO, why do we not all join the army if we are fighting

6 the JNA and the Serb Army under the same flag, then we

7 will be all together there". Then he said that

8 flag did not mean anything to them, that had nothing to

9 do with them. Then I said, "how come it means

10 nothing? Stjepan Kljujic is in the government, he was

11 legally elected". He said, "we broke all relations

12 with him, we have no contact with him, we do not want

13 to". I said I was not going to go to the HVO, because

14 I am not even a member of the army, but I would like us

15 all to go under the same flag, whether it be the HVO or

16 the flag of Bosnia. If we were going to fight against

17 the JNA, we should all do it together. I could not

18 think of a conflict between Croats and Muslims, because

19 traditionally we lived together and we would for

20 instance work together if somebody was building a

21 house, things like that. I could not even imagine to

22 any fight with the Serbs, our neighbours, here in

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I never thought there were Croats

24 in Bosnia, I thought they were Catholics. If he was

25 born here, he would be a Bosnian and not a Croat, same

Page 6314

1 with the others, if he were born in Croatia, he would

2 be a Croat, but I was wrong.

3 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Witness X. The end

4 of the statement. I think that you had the opportunity

5 to say everything that you want the. This Trial

6 Chamber would like to thank you for your coming here.

7 Please remain seated because you are a protected

8 witness and we have to ensure your protection.

9 We are now at the end of a long day and the

10 interpreters had to translate many difficult things, so

11 I suggest that we adjourn for today and we will start

12 again tomorrow morning.

13 (5.30 pm)

14 (Hearing adjourned until 10.00 am the following day)