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.
1 Q. Was it true that you were mobilised -- when
2 the war in Sarajevo started, was there a general
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
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
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
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
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)
13 page 7426 redacted – private session
13 page 7427 redacted – private session
13 page 7428 redacted – private session
13 page 7429 redacted – private session
13 page 7430 redacted – private session
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?
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.
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
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)
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
17 A. Yes, it is true in regards to (redacted) and
18 when he was around.
19 Q. (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)
25 MR. NOBILO: You also mentioned (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)
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
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)
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley --
14 MR. CAYLEY: Unfortunately, your Honour,
15 Mr. Hayman is being economical with the truth. (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
22 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. In that case,
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)
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
1 Croats who came after the conflict, (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)
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)
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
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
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)
24 A. No.
25 JUDGE JORDA: My colleague is asking me
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,
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
15 MR. CAYLEY: I did not hear it, I am sorry.
16 MR. HAYMAN: The answer was "no".
17 MR. CAYLEY: (redacted)
19 A. No.
20 Q. (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
1 (redacted) -- it is obvious
2 that all the able-bodied persons were on that list,
3 but, (redacted),
5 Q. You mentioned, both in your
6 examination-in-chief and your cross-examination, (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)
16 Q. (redacted), how were you
18 A. We were treated much worse than when he was
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
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
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)
24 Q. And this was common knowledge throughout
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Did you ever hear if there was a time when
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)
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
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
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
14 JUDGE RIAD: (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?
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)
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
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)
14 A. I always had friends (redacted), and
15 I have them to date. (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
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.
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.
18 (Hearing adjourned)