Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 7423

1 Friday, 20 March 1998

2 (2.44 p.m.)

3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr Registrar, have General

4 Blaskic brought in.

5 (The accused entered court)

6 JUDGE JORDA: We will resume where we

7 stopped off with the last testimony. I think it is

8 time for the cross-examination. We have a very busy

9 schedule. Can the interpreters hear me?

10 THE INTERPRETER: Yes, thank you.

11 JUDGE JORDA: Can the witness hear me?

12 A. Yes.

13 JUDGE JORDA: Are you rested?

14 A. Yes.

15 JUDGE JORDA: Are you feeling well?

16 A. Very well.

17 JUDGE JORDA: You are going to listen to

18 questions put to you by Mr. Nobilo, who is Defence

19 counsel for General Blaskic.

20 WITNESS JJ (continued)

21 Cross-examined by MR. NOBILO

22 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. I will try to be

23 very brief today.

24 Good afternoon, Witness JJ

25 A. Good afternoon.

Page 7424

1 Q. Was it true that you were mobilised -- when

2 the war in Sarajevo started, was there a general

3 mobilisation?

4 A. We were called by the JNA.

5 Q. No, I am referring to the Bosnian army, which

6 was called the Patriotic League and the Territorial

7 Defence?

8 A. I was mobilised into the Patriotic League and

9 later joined the military police, as I stated.

10 Q. When asked by the Prosecution about what you

11 did after you left the Patriotic League, you said that

12 you had village watches -- what kind of a set-up was

13 that?

14 A. I do not know how to explain this. We were

15 with the Croats, with our neighbours.

16 Q. So are you saying that this was a

17 self-organised thing, something like that?

18 A. Yes, self-organisation by both the Croats and

19 us, and this was by individual villagers and only at

20 night.

21 Q. So you were not an army; you were just night

22 watchers and, other than that, you were just simple

23 civilians and citizens?

24 A. Yes.

25 Q. And how long did this go on -- until you were

Page 7425

1 arrested?

2 A. No, these night watches went on until the

3 deterioration of the situation in (redacted) This had

4 to do with the taking of the barracks in (redacted) and

5 the flying of the chequer board flag and then no Muslims

6 were involved any more and that is the time when these

7 joint watches stopped being taken, and we would only

8 meet at the end of the night in the edge of the

9 villages of (redacted)

10 Q. When you parted with Croats, was there a

11 change in your status -- did you then become a part of

12 the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina, or were you just simply

13 a village watch?

14 A. We were only the village watch.

15 Q. And you remained the village watch until the

16 HVO came to your village; is that correct?

17 A. Yes, it is.

18 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, can we please go

19 into the private session for a moment, because I would

20 like to avoid identifying the witness, because I want

21 to ask some question about his personal data.

22 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor -- Mr. Registrar

23 -- are you talking about a private session?

24 (In private session)

25 (redacted)

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Page 7431

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (In public session)

18 MR. NOBILO: Can I please have the exhibit

19 number from the Registrar?

20 THE REGISTRAR: It is D111 -- A for the

21 French version and B for the English version.

22 MR. NOBILO: Thank you.

23 You mentioned two factions in the HVO. One

24 was led by Rajic and the other by Lujo. Can we say

25 these two factions existed as early as spring of 1993?

Page 7432

1 A. I cannot say anything about the date of the

2 month, but I know they existed. I do not know when

3 this Lujo exactly died and his bodyguard Marko, but

4 I am aware they existed.

5 Q. I am going to read to you what you stated to

6 the investigator of the Prosecution and on page 3 of

7 the English text, it states:

8 "... in spring 1993, one day Lujo arrested

9 Ivica Rajic and kept him in prison for three days."

10 Is this correct?

11 A. Yes.

12 Q. Thank you.

13 And Rajic was the chief commander of the HVO?

14 A. (redacted)

15 Q. Very well. Tell me about (redacted) -- is it

16 true that he was trying to protect you from being

17 robbed, or any other problems in your village?

18 A. Yes.

19 Q. Is it correct that the reason why he told you

20 to stay inside your houses was for your own protection?

21 A. I believe it was so.

22 Q. Can you tell me, you said that you heard

23 weapons firing. How long did this go on -- I mean in

24 the surrounding villages, because there was no fighting

25 in your village.

Page 7433

1 A. You see, the first day, we could hear it

2 well, and the next day as well, but not as much as the

3 first morning, and at that time I was not in a position

4 where I could see or hear so well, because we had

5 withdrawn into a forest, and we could not hear it so

6 well.

7 Q. So it could be heard for two days. Can you

8 say from which directions, from the direction of which

9 villages you heard that gun fire?

10 A. The small arms fire started (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted).

13 Q. Very well. Is it also correct what you

14 stated before that (redacted) also secured food to you

15 which was the same food as the one for the HVO

16 soldiers?

17 A. Yes, it is true in regards to (redacted) and

18 when he was around.

19 Q. (redacted)

20 (redacted)?

21 A. While I was there, no, but later on, after

22 I went to the barracks, when I was exchanged, the

23 rumour was (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 MR. NOBILO: You also mentioned (redacted)

Page 7434

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, I must object at

6 this point. The witness did not make any reference to

7 the Maturice. I have the transcript with me now. If

8 Mr. Nobilo wants to look through it he will find there

9 is (redacted)

10 (redacted). It is outside the

11 scope of the examination-in-chief and I would ask him

12 to move on.

13 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, I am going to read

14 a portion of the statement. I said that it was in the

15 statement. On page 12 of the Croat --

16 JUDGE JORDA: But what are we talking about,

17 please? Are we talking about the transcript?

18 MR. NOBILO: No, no, we are talking about the

19 statement which the witness gave to the OTP, (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 (redacted).

22 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, but the Prosecutor did

23 not refer to it in the examination-in-chief and the

24 cross-examination has to refer to the

25 examination-in-chief. The rule is flexible. I know

Page 7435

1 that. Mr. Hayman wants to say something, but I must

2 remind you that a ruling was taken by the Chamber and

3 applied in a flexible manner, but you have the floor,

4 Mr. Hayman.

5 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Mr. President. I have

6 a clear recollection of Mr. Cayley, in his introduction

7 of this witness, (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted),

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted).

13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley --

14 MR. CAYLEY: Unfortunately, your Honour,

15 Mr. Hayman is being economical with the truth. (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted) I referred to an incident, but I certainly

18 did not make any reference to that group. I simply

19 repeat again, the rules under which I am operating are

20 that the cross-examination is limited to my

21 examination-in-chief.

22 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. In that case,

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 7436

1 (redacted).

2 So, Mr. Nobilo, put your question but avoid

3 the word (redacted) -- you can refer to the incident --

4 that is what I would suggest to you. It may be a bit

5 difficult, but try -- just a single question and let us

6 go on.

7 MR. NOBILO: Very well. I will not mention

8 the word (redacted), but this unit -- from whom did it

9 receive orders?

10 A. We know well who was in this unit, and they

11 did most evil. (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted). This unit

19 today does not control things, but certain individuals

20 from this unit still control this area and the roads

21 and communication lines.

22 Q. But tell me, during the war, who did they

23 recognise as their commander -- who did they receive

24 orders from during the war?

25 A. From conversation (redacted), and the

Page 7437

1 Croats who came after the conflict, (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted).

4 Q. How do your neighbours know from whom (redacted)

5 received orders -- were they present on any occasion

6 when --

7 A. If I was a member of the BiH army, (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 Q. But you were not in the HVO.

12 A. No, I was not.

13 Q. Tell me, during your stay in Kiseljak, in all

14 the events that you described, have you ever -- did you

15 ever meet (redacted) -- you personally?

16 A. (redacted).

17 Q. When was this?

18 A. (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)--

21 Q. When was this (redacted) rally?

22 A. I do not know exactly. I cannot say exactly

23 the month, but we know when the (redacted) was established,

24 and when the (redacted) was established.

25 Q. But this must have been before these

Page 7438

1 conflicts?

2 A. Yes, of course.

3 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. That is

4 all the questions we have of this witness.

5 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley?

6 Re-examined by MR. CAYLEY

7 MR. CAYLEY: I have only a few questions,

8 thank you, Mr. President.

9 JUDGE JORDA: This does not mean that you

10 can speak about (redacted) now.

11 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Mr. President.

12 The first request I have is this document

13 that was admitted by the Defence be placed under seal,

14 together with that relevant portion of the evidence.

15 Otherwise the witness will be identified from the

16 transcript.

17 JUDGE JORDA: Of course, in order to protect

18 the witness.

19 MR. CAYLEY: Witness, the unit that is

20 indicated on this card that was presented to you by the

21 Defence, (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 (redacted)

24 A. No.

25 JUDGE JORDA: My colleague is asking me

Page 7439

1 whether we are in a private session or not. We are in

2 a public session -- I wish to remind you of that,

3 Mr. Cayley. Is that going to cause any problems,

4 Mr. Cayley?

5 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, it crossed my

6 mind, but frankly there must have been a large number

7 of people in this unit. I do not think it will

8 necessarily identify the witness.

9 JUDGE JORDA: No objection then. Continue,

10 please.

11 MR. CAYLEY: Could you answer that question

12 that I just put to you?

13 MR. HAYMAN: He answered it. It is in the

14 record.

15 MR. CAYLEY: I did not hear it, I am sorry.

16 MR. HAYMAN: The answer was "no".

17 MR. CAYLEY: (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 A. No.

20 Q. (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 A. I do not know whether this was on paper, but,

24 first of all, (redacted)

25 (redacted) Most probably because this unit involved

Page 7440

1 (redacted) -- it is obvious

2 that all the able-bodied persons were on that list,

3 but, (redacted),

4 (redacted)

5 Q. You mentioned, both in your

6 examination-in-chief and your cross-examination, (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 A. (redacted). He tried

11 to protect us from it, but, because the HVO members

12 came from (redacted) his name was Jeskorje and they

13 wanted us to go over there and dig trenches. (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted).

16 Q. (redacted), how were you

17 treated?

18 A. We were treated much worse than when he was

19 there.

20 Q. By "much worse", what do you mean?

21 A. I mean that we had to work much harder, the

22 food was poorer. As far as conditions are concerned,

23 whether it rained or the sun shown, without regard to

24 the weather conditions, we would have to dig, whereas

25 he would tell us to take shelter, take rest, light a

Page 7441

1 cigarette, things like that.

2 Q. But (redacted) was still the individual who

3 took you every day to dig trenches?

4 A. Yes, (redacted) was in fact not the person who was

5 taking us there. He was the commander of -- I do not

6 know how that unit was called -- the unit which was

7 there at (redacted). He would simply send somebody in a

8 vehicle. At first we went there on foot, because it

9 was not that far from this front-line, and without any

10 escort, because the (redacted) lines were all around us. We

11 were told that the area around the Fojnica river was

12 mined, so this was near my house, so there was no place

13 we could go.

14 Q. You mentioned in your examination-in-chief

15 and your cross-examination that it was common knowledge

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 A. Yes, we knew that he was the commander, and

19 that he received his orders and passed them on later,

20 so that he received them (redacted)

21 (redacted)

22 (redacted)

23 municipality.

24 Q. And this was common knowledge throughout

25 (redacted)

Page 7442

1 A. Yes.

2 Q. Did you ever hear if there was a time when

3 (redacted)

4 A. I do not know that.

5 MR. CAYLEY: I have no further questions,

6 Mr. President.

7 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Judge Riad?

8 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon. I just want to

9 make sure that I noted properly what you said. Among

10 other things, you said that an (redacted) came to cleanse

11 the village under a commander. Was this a disciplined

12 unit -- a disciplined armed unit? (redacted)

13 (redacted); was this a disciplined armed unit, in your

14 opinion, or was it just people coming to attack and to

15 rob and frighten the people?

16 A. The unit turned out to be disciplined. First

17 of all, we surrendered our weapons without firing a

18 bullet -- not even lighted a match, and we were told

19 that, if we did not surrender the arms, the village

20 would be torched, that the women and children, the

21 elderly, would all be killed, and we surrendered

22 everything so that we would prevent this from

23 happening, and, when we surrendered everything, two

24 houses were set on fire, one belonged to a policeman

25 who had already left the village and went to (redacted)

Page 7443

1 so maybe they wanted him, maybe they wanted information

2 from him, so they were not able to arrest him.

3 So they set that house on fire -- even though

4 we had surrendered weapons and offered no resistance

5 and also a house of another man who had fled to

6 (redacted) who found a way through the lines. I do not

7 know if he was assisted by any Croats but he left in

8 the evening and, in the morning, the house was burnt to

9 the ground.

10 JUDGE RIAD: So I gather this unit had all

11 the characteristics of being a disciplined armed unit

12 -- that is right, under a commander?

13 A. Yes.

14 JUDGE RIAD: Under a responsible commander?

15 A. As I said, this is how it was. I do not know

16 how they would have behaved had we not surrendered

17 weapons.

18 JUDGE RIAD: And you spoke also of (redacted)

19 (redacted). What

20 was his rank exactly, do you know? Was he more than a

21 colonel or less than a colonel, or what?

22 A. I could not tell you the rank, but I am clear

23 on one thing. I experienced -- my weapon was taken

24 away from me (redacted). I was a military policeman

25 and the (redacted) took away my weapon and told me to go to

Page 7444

1 (redacted) in the (redacted). I went there,

2 I reported, the police took me over to his office.

3 I waited for about an hour, an hour and a half, to have

4 a conversation and get my weapon back and then he said

5 that he could not decide anything until he had

6 discussed things (redacted) and, later, I was told

7 that I would never get my weapon back and it was a good

8 thing that I managed to get out. (redacted),

9 (redacted) -- I complained to him and asked

10 to be given this weapon back, but he said he was in

11 such a position that he was just a simple soldier and

12 he could not talk to him about such affairs, such

13 matters.

14 JUDGE RIAD: (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 A. Yes.

17 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned you were often

18 visited and mistreated by soldiers; were they also (redacted)

19 soldiers, military or would they be people just being

20 recruited from everywhere?

21 A. They were people from different places. When

22 these people would come, we did not know them, so they

23 would not hide, but if somebody from the neighbouring

24 village came, they would put a stocking on their face.

25 JUDGE RIAD: And they looked like soldiers?

Page 7445

1 A. Not only looked like soldiers, but they had

2 the uniforms, the (redacted) insignia.

3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.

4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I want to talk to you

5 about (redacted) -- I think you said his name was (redacted)

6 (redacted). I take it he was a Croat, was he?

7 A. Yes, he is a Croat, and his name is (redacted)

8 (redacted).

9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, I want to confirm

10 my understanding of your evidence to be this, that

11 (redacted) would take you to dig trenches, but that he was

12 protective of you and others?

13 A. Yes. This man most probably would not have

14 taken us to dig trenches. He proved to be a good

15 neighbour, but I said that other people came from

16 (redacted) These were men called (redacted) They came

17 with a truck to dig. He wanted to protect us from

18 mistreatment when digging elsewhere, so he kept us

19 digging in his area so that we would be more protected

20 under him.

21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do I understand you

22 correctly then to mean that it was your impression at

23 the time that he took you to dig trenches because he

24 felt he had to take you?

25 A. Maybe he did not have to do this, but then we

Page 7446

1 would have had to go somewhere else to dig, and, as the

2 fighting kept spreading, as new front-lines were being

3 taken, and this was done elsewhere -- people would go

4 (redacted) for people to dig trenches, because only

5 the prisoners dug trenches, not their own people, and

6 later on I witnessed that this same (redacted) came to

7 ask for 10 or 15 people to work on something in his own

8 village, so, I do not know, the work had been

9 incomplete, so he needed more for the evacuation of

10 these front-lines.

11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Just before these

12 things happened, did you have friends (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 A. I always had friends (redacted), and

15 I have them to date. (redacted)

16 (redacted),

17 he came to my place and he apologised to me. He said

18 that he did not know what he was doing, that he had to

19 do it, that he had been ordered to personally beat me.

20 So, today, I go to my (redacted) except I do it

21 not -- I use a car with a foreign registration plate,

22 not my own, so I stay with him and I see some other

23 neighbours. We have remained on good terms.

24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: To your knowledge, do

25 (redacted)

Page 7447

1 A. Yes, there are quite a few such cases -- a

2 lot of them, because a lot of (redacted) are not guilty --

3 they are not responsible for this (redacted) and such

4 silly things, so some of them feel remorse now and they

5 cannot understand why they attacked (redacted). For

6 instance, when we meet in a cafe, they themselves

7 cannot imagine how and why this happened.

8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Can you tell the court

9 a little about the kind of relations which now exist

10 between (redacted) communities and (redacted) communities?

11 A. The relations are still not very good. If

12 they were, everybody would be back at their -- in their

13 own homes. We would have a joint army. We did not

14 need to call it the (redacted) army. I said that it is

15 still not safe to pass through certain places --

16 vehicles are still stopped, people put barrels of guns

17 into people's mouths -- it is still unfathomable what

18 is going on in (redacted)

19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: One last question.

20 You told us about (redacted)At the time when these

21 events occurred, were there other (redacted) who were

22 protective of (redacted)

23 A. I could maybe mention another couple of

24 people from my village, but from other places, no -- at

25 least that I know of.

Page 7448

1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Thank you.

2 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Witness JJ. That

3 brings to an end your testimony. The Tribunal wishes

4 to thank you for coming here to evoke memories of this

5 painful period in your life. I have no further

6 questions for you. You are going to return home, and

7 I hope you will be able to find peace of mind there.

8 Do not move for the moment, because you are under

9 protection. The Trial Chamber is going to rise. That

10 is the end for this week, is it not, Mr. Prosecutor?

11 MR. CAYLEY: It is, Mr. President, yes.

12 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. We are going to

13 have a 10-minute break, and then we will have a closed

14 session for an ex parte hearing with the Defence. Of

15 course, that will be in the presence of the accused.

16 We will now have a 10-minute break.

17 (3.33pm)

18 (Hearing adjourned)

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