1 --- Upon commencing at 10.08 a.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Registrar, please have the
3 accused brought in.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Can everyone hear me? Good
6 morning everyone. The interpreters can hear me, the
7 Defence, the Prosecution, the accused, so we will
8 resume where we left off. Mr. Cayley, we are hearing
9 the testimony of Captain Eric Liebert.
10 MR. CAYLEY: We are, Mr. President, yes.
11 (The witness entered court)
12 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me, Captain?
13 THE WITNESS: Yes, sir.
14 JUDGE JORDA: Good morning. So we're
15 resuming the examination-in-chief. Mr. Cayley, the
16 witness is yours.
17 MR. CAYLEY: I'm obliged, Mr. President.
18 Captain Liebert, good morning, we left off with your
19 testimony yesterday, after a meeting that you attended
20 in the municipality of Zenica with a number of NGO's,
21 and I would like you to now move forward in time to a
22 visit you made to the villages of Rotilj and Visnjica
23 on the 22th of May, 1993, and if you can narrate to the
24 court, what you discovered in the village during that
1 A. Yes. I visited the village of Rotilj and
2 Visnjica again on the 22nd of May. The notes I have
3 from that visit are basically related to some
4 conversations I had with the civilians, the Bosnian
5 Muslim civilians on the ground. The first note here is
6 with respect to their medical needs. The medical
7 situation was not particularly good at that time. They
8 requested a doctor or a nurse to attend to
9 approximately six -- correction, ten sick people. One
10 of those people was a male suffering from an eye
11 problem that could not be dealt with through standard
12 first aid. I also noted comments with respect to
13 patrolling, which I imagine relates to the HVO activity
14 in that area, and some concerns over religious freedom,
15 particularly a concern whether or not the priest that
16 presented their Bajram, and I take that to be their
17 term for Ramadan ceremonies, that priest was apparently
18 from Visnjica, and there was some concern whether he
19 was going to be given access to the Rotilj area. My
20 understanding was that, although the Mosque itself was
21 destroyed, they had set up some kind of makeshift
22 facility to allow them to carry on their religious
23 practices, and they were concerned that they would not
24 be able to fully celebrate their religious ceremonies.
25 That's the limit of my notes on that visit. I would
1 characterise, based on my recollection, the state of
2 mind of the people on the ground there, as basically
3 one of helpless resignation. They had basically come
4 to accept that their lives were going to carry on
5 regardless, and they had come to basically accept the
6 controls that were being placed on them by the HVO
7 authorities, in particular.
8 Q. How were these people constituted in the
9 sense of were they mainly males or mainly women and
10 children or young or old?
11 A. My recollection of the population in the
12 Rotilj/Visnjica area is basically a population of the
13 elderly. Females, women and children. There were
14 males of military age present, but they were very much
15 in the minority. My understanding is that most of the
16 people meeting that profile, had left during the
17 earlier fighting.
18 Q. Did these people constitute a security threat
19 to anybody, in your view?
20 A. I never saw any of these people carrying
21 arms. They, to me, did not constitute a significant
22 security threat.
23 Q. Would you state that the population was
24 heavily controlled in these two villages?
25 A. Yes, I would. There were two checkpoints in
1 that immediate area, one that I indicated yesterday,
2 the other one I cannot recall exactly where it was
3 positioned, but basically control into and out of that
4 area or, of movement into and out of that area, was
5 very positive. It was controlled by the HVO. The
6 population itself was contained in the sense that the
7 areas around these villages were populated by Bosnian
8 Croats and that this, in fact, from my perspective, was
9 a hostile civilian population. It would have been very
10 difficult for a person, a Bosnia Muslim civilian living
11 in that vicinity, to move around freely without
12 encountering either HVO soldiers, armed HVO soldiers or
13 a hostile public.
14 Q. Let us move forward to the 30th of May of
15 1993 when, I think, you received information about
16 activities in the municipality of Kresevo, and I wonder
17 if you could narrate to the court, the information you
18 received in that respect?
19 A. My notes are very brief, but on the 30th of
20 May, I received a report of ethnic cleansing in
21 Kresevo. I don't like that term myself. Basically,
22 what I understood this to mean was that people had been
23 instructed to leave that area, and by people, I mean
24 Bosnian Muslim civilians. I'm not exactly sure who
25 gave me that information. It's not noted here, but
1 that information, based on the way it's presented here,
2 either came to me from one of my liaison officers or
3 was reported by either the HVO or the ABiH military
5 Q. Are you aware by whom these Bosnian Muslims
6 were being instructed to leave Kresevo?
7 A. I have no specific notes with respect to
9 Q. Thank you. If we could move forward now to
10 the 1st of June, '93, another of your regular visits to
11 the village of Rotilj. This, I believe, was an
12 unescorted visited in the sense of, unescorted by the
13 HVO. Can you narrate, to the court, what you
14 discovered on this occasion and what you were told by
15 the local villagers?
16 A. My notes with respect to the 1st of June
17 visit indicate the following. I received reports from
18 the locals, the Bosnian Muslims in that area about
19 bunkers in the hills around Rotilj. I was never able
20 to confirm these reports. There was no system of
21 fortification surrounding those villages. I also had
22 discussions with the people there about what happened
23 during the initial days and how the situation in Rotilj
24 began, and what I was told at that time was that seven
25 people had been killed during the initial attack on the
1 village, and that six people, six members of that
2 village, were still in prison. I took that to be, in
3 prison, somewhere in the Kiseljak area.
4 My other notes, with respect to that visit,
5 are with respect to the condition of the housing and
6 the general state of the villagers. They requested
7 plastic to repair broken windows and help weatherproof
8 some of the damaged houses. They basically stated that
9 aid in any form would be welcome and they indicated
10 that they had last received a ration of basically four
11 kilograms of flour per person approximately 20 days
12 ago. That would indicate to me that they were
13 beginning to have a food problem and that food was not
14 as abundant as it was earlier in my tour.
15 Q. Now, people spoke more freely to you on this
16 particular visit. Why was that?
17 A. There was a noticeable difference when I
18 visited this village without an escort. People were
19 much more comfortable talking to me. Generally, more
20 people were interested in talking to me, and their
21 comments were much more to the point. When I was
22 escorted, they were very careful about what they said,
23 and while I can't say there was an evident outright
24 fear, they were obviously very concerned about how
25 their comments would be construed by the people
1 escorting me.
2 Q. And the people escorting you were generally
3 the HVO?
4 A. I was always escorted by the HVO, when I was
5 escorted in this area.
6 Q. Did you try and investigate the allegations
7 that members of the village were being kept in custody
8 by the HVO?
9 A. We did try to investigate those allegations.
10 With respect to this particular village, I was not able
11 to identify civilian people in custody in the HVO
12 barracks. We did not have access to all of the areas
13 within the Kiseljak pocket, so we were unable to verify
14 this. I did get verification on other things later,
15 but I think we'll discuss that separately.
16 Q. So you didn't have free access within the
17 Kiseljak barracks, to inspect all the areas?
18 A. That's very correct.
19 Q. Let's move forward to the 15th of June of
20 1993, to the fall of Kakanj to Bosnian government
21 forces, and I wonder if you can explain to the court
22 your recollection of those events?
23 A. Okay. I believe on the 14th of June or so,
24 the situation in central Bosnia began to change quite
25 radically. By this, I mean there were a series of
1 events which precipitated a significant change in the
2 military situation in my area. On or about the 14th of
3 June, there was an assassination in the area of Kakanj,
4 I believe an Iranian diplomat was assassinated. This
5 action precipitated a conflict between the ABiH and the
6 HVO forces in that area. That conflict basically led
7 to the defeat of HVO forces in that area and a
8 significant population movement to the area of Vares
9 directly to the east, which was under HVO control.
10 The population movement was very large, at
11 least in my experience, roughly 10 to 15,000 people
12 were forced to move to Vares. This was the first, that
13 I'm aware of, major setback for the HVO forces in that
15 Q. Now, you sate that there was this large
16 population movement from Kakanj to Vares. Did one of
17 your liaison officers investigate why this move of
18 population took place?
19 A. Yes. This movement of population, this
20 change had very dramatic affects on the ground. As a
21 result of that, there was some concern as to how this
22 came about. One of my liaison officers, a Captain
23 Christian Levesque, conducted a series of interviews
24 with Bosnian Croat displaced people, in the Vares area,
25 after these events had taken place, in an effort to
1 find out exactly what happened and to address some of
2 the allegations that we had received.
3 One of the things that came to his attention
4 in a couple interviews was that there were Bosnian
5 Croat civilians who had indicated that they were forced
6 to leave their houses by the HVO military forces, as
7 they withdrew. Now, I don't believe this to be the
8 case in the overall number, but I do believe that this
9 was a contributing factor to the size of the population
11 Q. How did this large population increase, in
12 Vares, affect conditions in the town?
13 A. The conditions in Vares deteriorated
14 dramatically and very quickly. I visited the area over
15 the next couple days repeatedly in an effort to
16 coordinate emergency assistance to the people
17 involved. Basically, the overall population of Vares,
18 if I recall correctly, was approximately 21,000 people,
19 and to add 10,000 or 15,000 people to this, placed
20 enormous strains on the infrastructure. What
21 immediately happened was a rapid deterioration of basic
22 things like sanitation and health and, indeed, our
23 major concern at this stage was the outbreak of
24 disease. It also placed a tremendous burden on the
25 civil authorities, in terms of controlling that number
1 of upset people, and it placed tremendous strains on
2 the system. We were not set up to feed that many
3 people, in that location. This resulted in a number of
4 things, one of which was the dramatic increase in
5 tension specifically as it released to Bosnian Muslims
6 still residing in that area, and we quickly received
7 several reports of Bosnian Muslims being attacked,
8 either by displaced civilians or displaced soldiers and
9 being force to leave their homes, to make space for
10 displaced families from the Kakanj area.
11 Q. By whom were these Bosnian Muslims being
12 attacked and removed from their homes?
13 A. We received several reports. I believe that
14 the attacks were both from civilians and there was a
15 significant number of actually displaced HVO soldiers.
16 I was given the number 860 soldiers. These soldiers, I
17 believe, were originally from the Travnik area. They
18 had been involved in the fighting in Kakanj and had
19 withdrawn as the situation changed in that area.
20 Q. I believe on the 18th of June of 1993, there
21 was another large movement of the population, but this
22 time from Vares itself. If the witness can be shown
23 Exhibit 365? If you could just identify for me -- this
24 is a map that you, in fact, drew for me; is it not?
25 A. That's correct.
1 Q. What does the red line indicate -- sorry, the
2 orange line indicate on this map?
3 A. This orange line basically is a very rough
4 indication of the line of confrontation or the line
5 separating Bosnian Croat controlled areas from Bosnian
6 Serb controlled areas.
7 Q. And if you could just point to the town of
9 A. That is the town of Vares right there.
11 Q. And then if you could narrate to the Court
12 your recollection of this movement of the population on
13 the 18th of June?
14 A. Shortly after the events unfolded in the
15 Vares/Kakanj area, it became apparent that there was
16 another population movement in progress. Initially, I
17 received reports from the ABiH authorities in Bisoko
18 that Bosnian Croats were moving through the BSA or
19 Bosnia Serb lines. These reports were later verified
20 both in terms of large numbers of people arriving in
21 Kiseljak and also by the HVO authorities themselves. I
22 believe that authorities in Kiseljak and, as well as,
23 authorities in Vares, and specifically ^ Zvonko
24 Duzunovic, confirmed that this was, in fact, the case.
25 My understanding of what happened was that
1 there was an arrangement made with the Bosnian Serbs,
2 and it was a detailed arrangement negotiated between
3 the Bosnian Croats and the Bosnian Serbs, to permit the
4 movement of people through their area. My
5 understanding is that they facilitated this movement,
6 the Bosnian Serbs facilitated this movement, by
7 providing transport.
8 As I understand it, the movement was through
9 a town in this location called Brgulji and down
10 basically along the area that I've indicated or have
11 had indicated by these blue arrows. Off the map to the
12 south, basically they would connect two major road
13 networks that lead into the Kiseljak area and re-enter
14 Bosnian Croat controlled areas from that direction.
15 Q. Do you have any idea of the numbers involved,
16 the movement from Vares to Kiseljak?
17 A. There were thousands of people involved. The
18 bulk of the 860-some-odd HVO soldiers from the Travnik
19 area moved through this route, as well as thousands of
20 civilians. My understanding is that basically, if we
21 take a look at the number 12,000 to 15,000, if that was
22 the original displaced population from Kakanj,
23 approximately 10 per cent of that population ended up
24 returning to their homes.
25 The remainder, upwards of 10,000 people, were
1 basically redistributed through Vares and Kiseljak.
2 This represented an increase of several thousand people
3 in the Kiseljak area, and this had an affect on the
4 housing demands in that area. Basically, the Bosnian
5 Croat people that had been displaced from Kakanj and
6 who had arrived in Kiseljak demanded a certain level of
7 housing and a certain level of comfort, and obviously,
8 this had a direct effect on the amount of tension
9 between the civilian population, the Bosnian Croat
10 civilians and the Bosnian Muslims, in that area.
11 Housing was very much in demand, and Bosnian Muslims
12 were the easiest source of housing.
13 Q. Are you aware as to whether or not any of the
14 Bosnian Croats who had left Kakanj to go to Vares
15 actually returned to Kakanj?
16 JUDGE RIAD: Can I just ask a question? What
17 do you mean by the "Muslims were the easiest source of
19 A. What I meant was that there were a lot of
20 things going on in central Bosnia at this time. As
21 I've stated, the military situation was changing quite
22 quickly. It wasn't a good time to start building
23 houses. There were other demands on those resources.
24 So if you're looking for housing, you're going to have
25 to find something from what already exists; and from a
1 Bosnian Croat perspective, given the climate at this
2 time, the most obvious source for new housing is
3 dislocating a Bosnian Muslim that lives in your area.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Dislocating them to go where?
5 A. Basically kicking them out of their house.
6 "Who cares where they go, as long as I've got a
8 JUDGE RIAD: Did they still remain in the
9 place or were they kicked out of town?
10 A. We'll probably get into that in more detail
11 later, sir, but basically forcing them out of their
12 house, and they either have to find somewhere else in
13 the immediate area to live with a relative or in an
14 emergency centre, or they have to leave the area to an
15 area controlled by other forces.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
17 MR. CAYLEY:
18 Q. Just returning briefly to the question that I
19 asked you. Are you aware of any Bosnian Croats
20 returning from Vares to Kakanj?
21 A. Yes. My understanding is approximately 10
22 per cent of the overall number did return to Kakanj.
23 Q. And this was a Bosnian government controlled
24 region by this stage?
25 A. Yes, it was.
1 Q. If we could move on now to a period beginning
2 with the 20th of June, 1993, when I think you were
3 involved in a body exchange between the HVO and the
4 ABiH, and I wonder if you could narrate that particular
5 event to the court?
6 A. On the 20th of June, I became aware that the
7 ABiH or Bosnian Muslim forces in the Visoko area had
8 coordinated a body exchange with the HVO forces in the
9 Kiseljak area. At this stage of the conflict and at
10 this stage of my tour, we were avoiding exchanges both
11 in terms of bodies and prisoner exchanges.
12 The reason for that, at least with respect to
13 body exchanges, is that on an earlier exchange or an
14 attempt to recover bodies, some of my officers had been
15 shot at, and it was just considered at this time an
16 unnecessary risk by us, and it was something best left
17 to the combatants to sort out amongst themselves.
18 Now, in this particular case, it was brought
19 to my attention because the Bosnian Muslim forces, the
20 ABiH, made an allegation that the bodies they had
21 recovered from Kiseljak were, indeed, the bodies of
22 people that had been killed in captivity. Now, my
23 understanding was the bodies were recovered the day
24 before, on the 19th of June, and I did not see those
25 bodies until the 20th of June.
1 My understanding from what I was told was
2 that the bodies had been recovered from two separate
3 graves in the Kiseljak civilian cemetery, that
4 basically the bodies had been interned there
5 temporarily until they could be transferred. As soon
6 as I was informed that there was a concern, I
7 immediately made arrangements to deal with this concern
8 and to start documenting events.
9 I returned to the camp in Visoko where I
10 retrieved my own camera and I got another officer or
11 information officer, Lieutenant Ron Vieulleau, to
12 accompany me to the local -- what best could be
13 described as a funeral home. We immediately moved to
14 that location, and that is where I witnessed the seven
15 bodies that had been received by the ABiH forces.
16 Now, these bodies had been buried for maybe
17 up to two weeks in some cases, so there was some
18 decomposition, but for most cases, they were intact and
19 in fairly good shape.
20 What was immediately apparent and what
21 happened, I basically went through body by body as the
22 -- I wouldn't call them a coroner, but as the Bosnian
23 Muslim funeral director described the injuries, and
24 this was basically passed to me through my interpreter,
25 and I basically visually inspected each of the bodies
1 as their wounds were described to me. And at the time,
2 I tried to take notes and take photographs to document
3 this. Lieutenant Vieulleau was with me the whole time
4 as a second set of eyes, basically.
5 The one thing that was immediately apparent
6 and of concern to me was the fact that most of these
7 individuals had massive head injuries, visibly crushed
8 skulls in some cases. Several of them also had other
9 wounds, but the head injuries themselves were a
11 Q. If I can interrupt you, Captain Liebert?
12 Mr. President, there are a series of 12
13 extremely unpleasant photographs, which I don't intend
14 to show, but there are two photographs which the
15 witness has identified to me demonstrate what he is
16 talking about. So if those two photographs could be
17 placed on the ELMO, that's 366 and 367, I think that
18 will assist in his testimony, and we can move forward
19 through this quite quickly.
20 JUDGE JORDA: Please go on, Mr. Cayley. We
21 have here -- the other photographs, I assume, will also
22 be tendered, Mr. Cayley?
23 MR. CAYLEY: I didn't intend to tender them,
24 Mr. President. They don't demonstrate anything more
25 than these photographs, but I'll allow my learned
1 friend to inspect them, if he wishes.
2 Q. Captain Liebert, if you could continue?
3 A. I don't intend to dwell on this for too
4 long. These photographs are representative of the ones
5 taken. Things that concerned me at the time were the
6 fact that many of these people had noticeable, sizeable
7 head wounds, that I would characterise in some cases as
8 crushing injuries or blunt force injuries. There was
9 also indications, like this man here, of what appeared
10 to me -- and I'm not a doctor -- as signs of beating,
11 and in the case here, this corpse had been burnt.
12 Now, I didn't deal with large numbers of
13 bodies and that's basically all I have to show for
14 that, so if we can turn the ELMO off?
15 Q. Those photographs can be removed now from the
17 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Was there a medical
19 A. No, sir. I never dealt with a situation of
20 this nature before and, as such, I didn't call upon
21 doctors immediately to get involved. I did show the
22 photographs, the developed photographs, to a surgeon, a
23 Canadian Forces surgeon, and explained my concerns to
24 him, and he indicated that, in his view -- and he
25 couldn't give a final conclusion because he was not
1 there -- but in his view, the photographs did lead him
2 to have cause that something was not right here. My
3 concern, as I expressed to him, that there had been a
4 crime committed and that it is possible that these
5 people did not die on the battlefield but they died in
6 captivity and that they had possibly died as the result
7 of torture.
8 The surgeon, a Major Raza Mahran (phoen),
9 took a look at my photographs and said, yes, he would
10 share those concerns based on what he saw.
11 MR. CAYLEY:
12 Q. Now, these were Bosnian prisoners of war; was
13 that your understanding?
14 A. My understanding is that they were Bosnian
15 Muslims, and the reason why I expressed these concerns
16 is that the head injuries, in particular, were not
17 representative of injuries that one would sustain on a
18 Bosnian battlefield. It didn't matter which opposing
19 force you were dealing with. In the context of this
20 civil war, hand-to-hand combat was uncommon, and to see
21 so many casualties all suffering from head wounds was
22 extremely unusual and was of great cause of concern to
23 me. It led me to believe that something was not right.
24 Q. When you approached the HVO about your
25 concerns, what did they say to you?
1 A. I spent the next week or so basically
2 travelling back and forth between the two sides trying
3 to prepare a report and trying to document this
4 incident. The HVO, in particular, I think, Vinko
5 Lucic, was the man I talked to the most on this
6 subject, provided me two different stories.
7 Initially, when I expressed the concern that
8 these people had not died in combat, they said, "Oh,
9 yes, they had died indeed on the battlefield." Later,
10 when I pushed them on this subject, they said, Well,
11 perhaps the injuries that I had noted had been caused
12 when the bodies were disinterred, dug up. I had
13 difficulty believing either of those stories.
14 Q. And this exchange took place in the HVO
15 headquarters in Kiseljak?
16 A. Yes. That is, in fact, correct. Just for
17 the record, there was a similar allegation made,
18 reference the single body that had been recovered by
19 the Bosnian Croats. I never did get a chance to see
20 that body because they had reburied the individual
21 before I could take a look at him.
22 Q. Let's move ahead in time now to the 22nd,
23 23rd of June, 1993, when I think you had reason to
24 visit a number of Bosnian Muslim civilians that were
25 being held at the council building in Kiseljak. I
1 wonder if you can explain to the Court what happened on
2 that occasion?
3 A. Okay. As I've stated before, at this
4 particular period of my tour, I was travelling back and
5 forth between Visoko and Kiseljak almost daily,
6 basically dealing with different allegations and
7 different concerns.
8 On approximately the 22nd of June, the
9 commanding officer of the ABiH forces in Visoko made a
10 report to me about people who had arrived in Visoko
11 from Kiseljak, and their concern, in particular, was
12 with respect to the villages of Radanovici and ^ Pelska
13 Kuprija, both villages in the Kiseljak area, and how
14 women and children in those villages had been -- men,
15 women and children in those villages, had been rounded
16 up and removed, and that some of them were being held
17 in the council building.
18 There were also allegations that the men were
19 being forced to dig trenches and that civilians were
20 being held in a building near the football stadium in
21 Kresevo. Obviously, these were fairly serious
22 accusations in our mind, and I speak from the CANBAT 2
23 perspective, so this was immediately addressed with the
24 HVO authorities in Kiseljak.
25 On the 23rd of June, at 11.05 hours, I had a
1 meeting with Vinko Lucic in the HVO barracks in
2 Kiseljak, and his response with respect to the two
3 villages I've named was that inquiries did happen, that
4 basically meaning that the men had been collected, that
5 the families probably came along to ensure the safety
6 of their men, and that women, children and some men
7 were released. Other men have since been released
8 because these inquiries took some time. Then they made
9 the general statement that all men in Kiseljak have
10 been mobilised, that Bosnian Muslims do not bear arms
11 so they are used for other jobs, and at this time, he
12 used the example that they could be used for baking
14 Now, there were people in the council
15 building, and I don't have notes about exactly when I
16 visited them, but at the time I visited the council
17 building, there were approximately 60 to 70 people
18 living there. I would characterise that facility as
19 being used as some kind of transit centre, basically
20 being used to house people that had been removed from
21 their houses for whatever reason and shelter them while
22 alternate arrangements were made.
23 In the case of people in the council
24 building, I later met people that were held there
25 living with relatives elsewhere in Kiseljak.
1 And that's all I've got to say on that.
2 Q. Now, the people that were held in the council
3 building, they were Bosnian Muslims?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. And all of these facilities were under the
6 control of the HVO?
7 A. The HVO and the local civilian authorities,
8 so the mayor of Kiseljak.
9 Q. Now, when Mr. Lucic told you that Bosnian
10 Muslims were being used to bake bread, what did you
11 think about that explanation of what was taking place?
12 A. That I would take as sort of a good example
13 of the flippant remarks that I experienced when I was
14 dealing with these people. I did not take that to mean
15 that they were employed as bakers in the literal
16 sense. I construed that as some kind of joke in
17 relation to my questions with respect to whether they
18 had been used for digging trenches or fortifications.
19 Q. If we can now move ahead in time to the 25th
20 of June, 1993 when I think you interviewed a woman in
22 A. Okay. There were a number of developments in
23 the Kiseljak area at this time. I've already indicated
24 that there was significant population movement. There
25 was also some activity in the eastern edge of what we
1 would call the Kiseljak pocket, and there had been
2 reports of gunfire in the area of Han Ploca, in
4 I received a report of mistreatment and, in
5 fact, I was told that a Bosnian Muslim girl had been
6 raped by HVO soldiers. Taking my lessons from the body
7 exchange incident, I immediately tried to find this
8 individual, and when I did locate her, I made sure that
9 I had a medical officer present with me when I
10 conducted the interview.
11 When I conducted this interview, and I
12 believe it was conducted in the village of Duhri, there
13 was a Major Cote, one of our medical officers,
15 Basically, the notes that I made from my
16 individual, I believe the individual I interviewed was
17 named Fatima. I can't remember what her last name
18 was. Her account basically was as follows: On the
19 15th of June, 1993, she was living in her village, a
20 village called Grahovici -- it's near Han Ploca -- when
21 there was a combined HVO-Bosnian Serb attack on that
22 area. She, with about 15 other people, escaped and
23 spent three days in the woods before they got hungry
24 and had to return for food, and the town was still
25 quite active at that time.
1 She was accompanied by an old man from
2 Tulica. I believe that's the name of it. It was a
3 village burnt the day before. Together, they were told
4 to surrender and led, basically, home.
5 Fatima and an old woman stayed behind to take
6 care of the cattle, and basically she called out for
7 her mother but nothing happened.
8 There were approximately 30 BSA and HVO
9 soldiers who were in the area. They stopped by her
10 house and started to question her and the people with
11 her, such as, "Where is your father?" "Who is the
12 commanding officer of the ABiH forces?" Did they know
13 where these people were?
14 Fatima was then told to shoot at some of her
15 relatives, and the troops forced a weapon into her
16 hands and fired a couple of shots into the ground.
17 A man she identified by his nickname, Firka
18 (phoen), an HVO soldier, told her to open her mouth and
19 placed his gun in her mouth. He wanted to take her to
20 the stable and claimed he was going to rape her. Two
21 of the soldiers with him, identified as Croats, told
22 him to let her go and used force to remove her from his
24 She was then taken to the same building as
25 the rest, she says. That was a stable. A neighbour of
1 hers was killed, and she was told to relax. She was
2 told that Firka was also killed. There were more shots
3 fired. Eventually, what happened is these individuals
4 were taken over the mountains and, through force, by
5 foot to a village called Drazevici where they were
6 placed on an HVO truck and brought to the Kiseljak
7 barracks where they were given food, water and proper
9 On the 17th of June, they were brought to a
10 former elementary school where she was placed with many
11 of the people from her own village. There were more
12 displaced people arriving. They were brought to the
13 council building, where the living conditions weren't
14 particularly good, to the school, back to the council
15 buildings. In total, they ended up spending a fair
16 amount of time there.
17 That's basically how that -- those notes
18 taper off.
19 Q. Now, after this time, did you have occasion
20 to see the villages of Han Ploca and Grahovici from the
21 main road?
22 A. Yes, I drove by those villages each time I
23 went down to Sarajevo, and the villages were obviously
24 damaged, the bulk of that damage, obviously due to
1 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me for a second. Did you
2 finish the story of the rape of Fatima? Because up
3 until now, she's not raped.
4 A. Yes. She was not, in fact, raped. She had
5 been, from what I could determine, assaulted, but she
6 had not sexually assaulted. She had been manhandled,
7 but there was nothing there to constitute what I would
8 call a rape. Her treatment certainly was unacceptable,
9 but my initial concerns about the rape were not founded
10 and there was no need for a medical examination.
11 MR. CAYLEY:
12 Q. Now, if we can move back to Rotilj for a
13 final time, and I would like you to describe to the
14 Court how conditions were in that village by
15 September-October of 1993?
16 JUDGE JORDA: Haven't we covered that
17 already, Mr. Cayley? Please try to be a bit more
18 concise. We've treated Rotilj, haven't we, the area of
19 concentration of Muslims?
20 MR. CAYLEY: Mr. President, the significant
21 part of this witness's testimony is that he visited the
22 village over a number of months, and he saw conditions
23 change, deteriorate, get considerably worse. Now he
24 will finally address the Court on how he saw Rotilj
25 towards the end of the tour. It is an important part
1 of the proof for us.
2 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. It's absolutely
3 your right. What I would like to ask the witness is to
4 try and synthesise a little; often you go into detail.
5 We didn't know whether the woman was raped or not
6 raped. Because we have already heard a summary of your
7 testimony. You are not a witness like others. You're
8 an intelligent witness; not like others who were
9 victims who are facing a tribunal for the first time.
10 You're a senior officer. So I would like to ask you to
11 concentrate on the questions that are being asked and
12 to answer them; otherwise, we will be repeating the
13 same things, because we already know a lot since the
14 beginning of this trial last June.
15 It is the right of Mr. Cayley to ask you
16 questions, but it is the right of the judges to have
17 synthesised and focused answers.
18 Mr. Cayley, please put your questions well,
19 without excessive digression.
20 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. President.
21 Q. Captain Liebert, if you can narrate to the
22 Court how you saw the final conditions in the village
23 of Rotilj at the end of your tour?
24 A. Okay. I have notes here from two more visits
25 to that area. The ones I'm referring to right now are
1 from the 28th of September. At that time, I visited
2 the area of Rotilj-Visnjica. There were, in addition
3 to the people that lived there when I visited earlier
4 in my tour, approximately 600 displaced people from all
5 over the Kiseljak area. Specifically, the people I was
6 talking to were from Visnjica, Doci, Han Ploca, Duhri,
7 Grahovici. I would characterise Rotilj and the
8 surrounding area as a concentration point at that time
9 in that the population, the Bosnian Muslim population
10 from the surrounding areas, had been concentrated in
11 that area.
12 Basically, they were still living in the same
13 15 to 20 houses that the original inhabitants were
14 residing in when I first started visiting. By this
15 stage of the game, there were electricity problems
16 throughout central Bosnia, and indeed this area had no
17 electricity. Conditions were not at all good. There
18 was mounting concern on our part that these people
19 would not be able to survive the winter without extreme
20 suffering and, perhaps, death. There were food
21 shortages being experienced throughout central Bosnia,
22 but, in particular, this area was of extreme concern
23 because of the way these people were living. Many of
24 them were exposed to the elements. The area they were
25 living in was very overcrowded, and we also had some
1 health concerns because of this overcrowding.
2 Q. So it would be right to say that conditions
3 were considerably worse than when you had first visited
4 the village?
5 A. That is correct.
6 Q. If we can now move forward? Specifically,
7 the HVO chain of command from Kiseljak to Vares. How
8 would you regard the quality of that chain of command,
9 and if you can give specific examples to the Court to
10 support any claim you might make?
11 A. I would regard the chain of command between
12 Kiseljak and Vares to be extremely effective. The
13 passage of information was good. There was no problems
14 there. They were able to move freely between those two
15 locations by way of the Bosnian Serb lines. The
16 information that I would receive in either location
17 basically lined up. There was very good evidence that
18 the passage of information was efficient, and they were
19 able to coordinate their activities.
20 The best example I can think of was the
21 capture of the commanding officer of the ABiH forces in
22 Visoko, a man by the name of Mimisevic, who was
23 captured in Vares and eventually detained down in the
24 Kiseljak area. He was captured en route to visit his
25 family in Tuzla. He was intercepted in the Vares area,
1 and subsequently passed, I assume, by way of the
2 Bosnian Serb lines to the forces in Kiseljak, and that
3 is where I next saw him in the custody of the HVO.
4 Q. Now, when you saw Mr. Rajic give orders to
5 his subordinates, did those subordinates always obey
6 him, from what you could see in the headquarters?
7 A. To the best of my knowledge, yes. He seemed
8 to be exercising effective control over his
9 subordinates, and when he issued direction, it was
10 complied with.
11 Q. If the witness could be shown the next
12 exhibit, please?
13 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned that this Bosnian
14 commander was subsequently passed through the Bosnian
15 Serb lines to the forces of Kiseljak.
16 A. Yes, that is correct.
17 JUDGE RIAD: So what is cooperation?
18 Cooperation between the Bosnian Croats and the Serbs?
19 A. We had ample evidence of very close
20 coordination and cooperation between the HVO forces,
21 the Bosnian Croat forces, and the Bosnian Serb forces
22 in our area. I was led to believe they were also
23 receiving some support in the form of supplies as
25 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
1 MR. CAYLEY:
2 Q. If the witness could be shown the next
3 exhibit, please?
4 Now, Captain Liebert, I believe the orange
5 and blue lines represent a route that you took on a
6 number of occasions between Visoko and Fojnica, the
7 orange route being the first route that you took and
8 then upper portion of road controlled by the Bosnian
9 government forces, and then down the blue road to
11 Are you aware that that section of road where
12 you've marked in two Bosnian checkpoints was controlled
13 by Bosnian government forces?
14 A. Yes. The area, basically between these two
15 green marks, was controlled by the ABiH or Bosnian
16 government forces.
17 Q. And the areas either side of those
18 checkpoints was controlled by the HVO; is that correct?
19 A. Yes. There was a bit of a no man's land and
20 then you would find HVO forces.
21 Q. And, in fact, as it were, the checkpoint to
22 the right, that moves down towards Kiseljak, and the
23 checkpoint on the left is up towards Busovaca; is that
25 A. That is, indeed, correct.
1 Q. Now, do you believe, or if you could explain
2 to the Court, whether or not the ground between these
3 two checkpoints was, in fact, permeable either by an
4 individual or a small force so as to enable somebody to
5 travel between Busovaca and Kiseljak?
6 A. When I first arrived in this area in May, the
7 area of Fojnica, which is down here to the left, was
8 basically a neutral area. In fact, the headquarters in
9 Kiseljak, the UN headquarters in Kiseljak, called it
10 the peace zone or zone of special interest. So there
11 was no fighting in here, and basically, although there
12 was tension, Bosnian Croat and Bosnian Muslim people
13 were living together. Eventually that came to an end
14 when there was fighting in the area, and Kiseljak was
15 physically separated from Busovaca.
16 Now, I travelled down this road marked in
17 blue, the Kacuni-Fojnica road, several times, generally
18 when my access to Fojnica was cut off by the HVO, and I
19 got a chance to see firsthand what that country is
20 like. Basically, what you're talking about is a fairly
21 rough terrain, not what I would call mountainous, but
22 very hilly, treed and sparsely populated.
23 And what this means is that if I had to move
24 between Kiseljak and Busovaca, it would be fairly easy
25 to do so, given the force that was on the ground. It's
1 very difficult to see very far because of all the trees
2 and the rough terrain. It's very difficult to maintain
3 supervision on that area.
4 So I would say that from a military
5 perspective, in my professional opinion, this area is
6 porous, i.e., if I wanted to move a small force, let's
7 say up to a platoon size, through this area, I would be
8 fairly confident that I could do so without being
9 prevented or stopped along the way.
10 Q. Now, where were the bulk of the Bosnian
11 government forces patrolling this area?
12 A. From my experience, and this is just
13 travelling along here, basically you've got men at the
14 checkpoint, you've got men in the Kacuni area, you've
15 got men in the Bilalovac area -- that's probably where
16 the bulk of the forces in this area are -- and men at
17 this checkpoint. The forces themselves are basically
18 concentrated on the road and in major population areas,
19 the villages.
20 Q. What was the largest number of soldiers that
21 you ever saw, Bosnian Muslim solders?
22 A. I don't recall seeing a force any larger than
23 a platoon moving along the road in that area.
24 Q. How many soldiers is that?
25 A. Maybe 30.
1 Q. Now, did you see any evidence during your
2 time in Kiseljak of military coordination between the
3 headquarters in Vitez and the HVO headquarters in
5 A. Yes, I did. I don't have any direct
6 evidence, I did not see people on a radio or at the
7 other end of a fax machine, but what I did see was the
8 -- what I would say was symptomatic of an effective
9 chain of command and communication system.
10 In the fall of 1993, there were a number of
11 evacuations of a medical facility in Nova Bila, which
12 is off in the British area of responsibility near
13 Vitez. This was basically an HVO field hospital, it
14 was very much a makeshift affair, and as the casualties
15 mounted, they needed some place to evacuate these
16 people to because they were rudimentary medical
17 facilities. The nearest decent hospital that was
18 capable of dealing with excess casualties was in
19 Kiseljak, in our area of control. So there were a
20 number of evacuations under the name "Op.," "Operation
21 Finlay," that basically resulted in the transfer of
22 casualties over land, under UN military escort, from
23 the British area of responsibility through to Kiseljak
24 in our area of responsibility.
25 The only coordination problems we really
1 experienced with those transfers were problems between
2 UNPROFOR and the HVO. The HVO activities were very
3 well-coordinated, and, in fact, I seem to recall the
4 fact that casualties were actually evacuated from the
5 Kiseljak area to other facilities by helicopter. That
6 kind of activity had to be coordinated and generally
7 requires a fairly good communication system to effect
9 Q. Was there an HVO helicopter landing zone in
11 A. Yes. They used the sports field in Kiseljak
12 for that purpose.
13 Q. Now, finally, Captain Liebert, if you could
14 just sum up succinctly the policy of the HVO that you
15 observed taking place in Kiseljak and Vares during your
16 tour in Bosnia?
17 A. I have no direct evidence that the HVO
18 carried out a deliberate programme against the Bosnian
19 Muslim civilian population in those areas; however, I
20 would describe their approach, at very best, as being
21 an almost criminal indifference. And I don't choose
22 those words lightly. I believe that the chain of
23 command was negligent in exercising their
24 responsibilities of command; that Mr. Rajic, in
25 particular, set a very poor example for his
1 subordinates to follow; that the negative opinions held
2 by Mr. Rajic were shared by many of his staff, and that
3 they openly expressed those views in the form of jokes
4 and comments basically which indicated to me a lack of
5 concern for the Muslim population in their areas.
6 I believe that this had a direct effect on
7 the situation on the ground, and if it did not
8 contribute to the harsh treatment of people in that
9 area, it definitely didn't improve the situation at
10 all. I believe that a responsible military commander
11 with the force available to intervene should have
12 exercised his responsibilities to provide some level of
13 protection for those people. What was happening to
14 them was obvious, it was obvious to me, and I feel that
15 the fact that the HVO did not intervene in any way and
16 may have contributed to the situation was a failure of
18 MR. CAYLEY: The previous map that the
19 witness referred to in respect of the Kacuni-Bilalovac
20 road is Exhibit 368, I believe.
21 I have no further questions for the witness.
22 If I could apply for admission of all of the exhibits,
23 which, I think, number from 362 through to 368?
24 JUDGE JORDA: I see that there are no
25 objections by the counsel.
1 We shall now take a 20-minute break and then
2 we shall begin our cross-examination. Thank you.
3 --- Recess taken at 11.17 a.m.
4 --- On resuming at 11.40 p.m.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Please have the accused brought
7 (The accused entered court)
8 JUDGE JORDA: I assume it's Mr. Hayman?
9 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Mr. President. Thank you
10 and good morning, Your Honour.
11 Q. The HVO officers with whom you had contact, I
12 take it, were Ivica Rajic and the subordinate chain of
13 command below him; is that correct?
14 A. That is correct.
15 Q. Had you ever met or seen Colonel Blaskic
16 prior to entering the courtroom yesterday?
17 A. No, I had not.
18 Q. So when you say that, in your opinion, the
19 chain of command in the HVO was negligent in exercising
20 the responsibilities of command, are you referring to
21 those officers with whom you had contact, Ivica Rajic
22 and below?
23 A. Specifically, I'm referring to those
24 individuals; however, in the Canadian understanding of
25 how military operations work, we have a saying that you
1 can delegate authority, but you cannot delegate your
3 What that means is, I can delegate the
4 authority for a specific operation, but I am still
5 responsible for exercising that supervisory role
6 inherent in command.
7 Q. When you speak of responsibility in that
8 context, you were talking about military
9 responsibility, not criminal responsibility; is that
11 A. I'm talking about military responsibility.
12 Q. So when you say certain persons in your view
13 conducted themselves with criminal indifference towards
14 the plight of Muslims, for instance, in the Kiseljak
15 municipality, you are not including Colonel Blaskic,
16 the then Colonel Blaskic in the opinion you're
17 rendering; correct?
18 A. That opinion is expressed specifically for
19 the individuals that I dealt with.
20 Now, it's my understanding that Mr. Blaskic
21 filled a senior position and, therefore, had the
22 responsibilities inherent in that senior position, but
23 I did not specifically deal with him.
24 Q. Again, when you speak of responsibilities,
25 you're speaking of military responsibilities, not
1 specific responsibilities that may exist under
2 international humanitarian or international criminal
3 law; correct?
4 A. I'm speaking military responsibilities,
5 specifically the responsibility for the actions of the
6 subordinates underneath you.
7 Q. Which, in strict military parlance, that's a
8 strict liability. You can delegate something, but you
9 can't delegate responsibility in the military sense;
11 A. That is correct.
12 Q. And you're not able to give any further
13 opinions as to my client, General Blaskic, because, for
14 example, would you agree, you have never seen any
15 reports that he may have received from the Kiseljak
16 municipality, from the HVO in Kiseljak; correct?
17 You've never seen any such reports?
18 A. I have no direct observations of that
20 Q. And you've never seen any orders that General
21 Blaskic may have given or attempted to give to the HVO
22 in the Kiseljak municipality; correct?
23 A. That is correct.
24 Q. Thank you. Could you clarify your
25 relationship with Captain Lanthier, with whom I take it
1 there was a common period of service?
2 A. Yes. When I first arrived in
3 Bosnia-Herzegovina in early May of 1993, Captain
4 Lanthier was the military affairs liaison officer, his
5 specific responsibilities being contact with the
6 opposing factions.
7 He returned to the Bosnia-Herzegovina theatre
8 of operations in November, 1993 where he was employed
9 as the senior liaison officer and became, in fact, my
11 Q. So I take it he left when you arrived; is
12 that your testimony?
13 A. That is correct.
14 Q. And when he returned, were you colleagues
15 working on the same -- in the same activities, or what
16 was your relationship with him after he returned to the
18 A. He spent approximately about two weeks in
19 theatre with me at the end of my tour where we did a
20 detailed handover, where I handed over my duties and
21 responsibilities, made sure he was well-briefed on the
22 situation as it pertained to operations at that time.
23 Q. In any of your discussions with him, did he
24 tell you what position he understood Vinko Lucic to
1 A. I don't recall a specific discussion with
2 Jean Mark Lanthier. My understanding of Mr. Lucic's
3 position is based, in most part, with my dealings with
4 the man.
5 Q. You talked yesterday in your testimony about
6 the ways in which CANBAT, the Canadian battalion,
7 communicated and carried out its functions in Visoko
8 and Srebrenica, two locations separated by some
10 You discussed the use of a radio to maintain
11 communications between those units. Can you tell us
12 what kind of radios your battalion had available to it?
13 A. Initially, the radio we used was an AN 515
14 high frequency radio. That's the radio we use for
15 long-distance communications because it was most
16 suitable for the terrain we found in
18 We also later on, and the radio I personally
19 used was of civilian pattern CODAN HF radio which was
20 smaller and more modern. The radio technology the
21 Canadian Armed Forces was using dated back to the
22 1960's. The CODAN radio was a commercially available
23 radio which was much more modern and much more
25 Q. I take it the AN 515 high frequency radio was
1 not particularly reliable in that theatre?
2 A. It was reliable, but like any older piece of
3 technology it had seen better days. It didn't have the
4 benefits of computerisation, et cetera.
5 Q. No digital tuning and that kind of thing?
6 A. Exactly.
7 Q. Do you know what types of radios were
8 available in the supplies of the former Yugoslav
9 National Army?
10 A. I have very little firsthand knowledge of the
11 Yugoslav communication systems and do not have any
12 specific recollection of communications equipment being
13 held by any of the opposing factions. I did not
14 witness anybody handling any communication equipment.
15 Q. The communications equipment that CANBAT had,
16 and I don't want you to disclose anything that may be
17 sensitive to your government, but were they or did they
18 include secure forms of communication, as in encrypted
20 A. Yes, we did have that capability. We did
21 not, as a rule, use that capability because the UN, by
22 and by, frowns on the use of coded communications. We
23 try to be as open as possible.
24 Q. Would you agree with the proposition that for
25 warring parties, the security of their communications
1 is of critical importance?
2 A. As a general military rule, that is the
3 case. You don't need technology to achieve that,
5 Q. Now, you spoke of command being exercised
6 from Visoko by CANBAT over CANBAT in Srebrenica and you
7 also spoke of your experiences in Cyprus. First let me
8 ask you about Cyprus and then I have some general
9 questions. When you were in Cyprus you were there as
10 a peacekeeper; is that correct?
11 A. That is in fact correct.
12 Q. And that's also true of your tour of
14 A. Our role in Bosnia-Herzegovina was somewhat
15 different. The mandate was completely different. We
16 weren't actually peacekeeping because there was no
17 peace at that time.
18 Q. Was there peace or a cease-fire in effect in
19 Cyprus while you were there?
20 A. Yes, there was.
21 Q. If I pause after your answers, it's to allow
22 the interpreters to complete their interpretation.
23 Is it true then that in both Cyprus and in
24 Bosnia-Herzegovina the presence of CANBAT was pursuant
25 to an international mandate?
1 A. That is correct.
2 Q. Would you agree that by contrast, the
3 situation in which General Blaskic found himself was
4 that he was a member of a warring party actively
5 engaged in combat on the terrain; correct?
6 A. I would say that's an accurate description of
7 the situation.
8 Q. And, indeed, if he had been apprehended or,
9 shall we say, ambushed by the BiH army, the best
10 scenario is he would be captured and imprisoned; the
11 worst scenario is, of course, that he would have been
12 killed on the spot, correct?
13 A. That sounds reasonable.
14 Q. Did the Canadian battalion have armoured,
15 armoured personnel carriers or some kind of armoured
17 A. Yes. We had two forms of armoured vehicle.
18 We had the M-113, armoured personnel carrier, it's an
19 American vehicle, tracked. We also had what we call a
20 Cougar, fire-support vehicle. It is a wheeled vehicle
21 with a turret and a 76-millimetre gun.
22 Q. Were these used on these trips from Visoko to
24 A. Generally, the trips from Visoko to
25 Srebrenica did include those vehicles, but they were
1 mixed convoys, and the convoy included things like
2 unprotected ambulances, fuel bowser, et cetera.
3 Q. The armoured carriers I take it would go
4 along for protection, among other things?
5 A. The armoured carriers were an inherent part
6 of our rifle companies. They are used as a -- or
7 potentially could be used as a weapon system in
9 Q. One last question in this area. You said in
10 Cyprus travel at night was difficult because of
11 checkpoints. Was travel by day when you were in Cyprus
12 possible for UN personnel?
13 A. Yes, it was. It was a lot easier because you
14 could approach checkpoints with an expectation that the
15 people manning those checkpoints would be awake. There
16 was no real danger during the day that you would
17 accidentally be engaged by security at those
19 Q. You have been able to give a lot of detailed
20 testimony due to your notes. Let me ask you about your
21 first visit to the Kiseljak barracks, which you
22 described yesterday in your testimony.
23 You weren't able or you did not give a date
24 for that visit. Are you able to give us a date?
25 A. I've reviewed my notes. I can't -- my notes
1 weren't purpose written, and so I don't have a specific
2 recollection of who was present or the actual timing of
3 that visit. These notes were originally created to
4 refresh my memory on key points.
5 Q. I mentioned Vinko Lucic a moment ago. Do you
6 remember who introduced him to you and how he was
8 A. I would have been introduced to Mr. Lucic as
9 part of my handover. I don't recall who was present at
10 that particular introduction, but very early in my tour
11 I would have met both Mr. Lucic and Mr. Rajic in the
12 Kiseljak HVO barracks.
13 Q. Did you learn that Mr. Lucic had later acted
14 on behalf of the HVO in certain meetings in Sarajevo
15 conducted in August of 1993?
16 A. Yes, that's correct. I remember Mr. Lucic
17 representing the HVO as part of a delegation to a
18 series of meetings that we called the mixed military
19 working group. These meetings were held in Sarajevo,
20 and the meetings that I attended happened on the 14th
21 and the 18th of August, if I recall correctly.
22 I believe there were also other senior
23 members of the HVO forces present. If I remember
24 correctly, Mr. Pekovic was present at at least one of
25 those meetings.
1 Q. Can you estimate how many times you visited
2 the Kiseljak barracks during your tour of duty?
3 A. I cannot provide a firm number. I would
4 guess in excess of 20-some-odd visits probably, during
5 the course of my tour, maybe more, maybe less.
6 My responsibilities did not focus on military
7 affairs. I had a liaison officer designated to do
8 that, so these visits were basically conducted either
9 while that officer was on leave to address more serious
10 matters or to coordinate my movements throughout the
11 area, because there were restrictions placed on our
12 movement, although theoretically, that was not to be.
13 Q. You have already said you never saw Colonel
14 Blaskic in the theatre. Were you ever told during any
15 of your 20 or more visits to the Kiseljak barracks that
16 Colonel Blaskic was in the barracks there in Kiseljak?
17 A. I don't recall that being the case. I don't
18 remember seeing Mr. Blaskic. My understanding of his
19 position is based, in most part, with my -- or on my
20 relationship with the British battalion and my work
21 with them.
22 Q. You said that Ivica Rajic and others you
23 named exhibited, through their comments, an apparent
24 indifference or even disregard for the welfare of
25 Muslims in the Kiseljak municipality?
1 A. That's correct.
2 Q. During your tour of duty, did anyone in
3 BRITBAT or otherwise, tell you of a personal
4 conversation that they had or had had with Colonel
5 Blaskic in which he exhibited any such disregard for
6 the welfare of persons of Muslim background?
7 A. I don't recall a specific report that would
8 have related specifically to Mr. Blaskic and his
9 attitude towards Muslim civilians.
10 Q. You have talked about the CANBAT experience
11 in central Bosnia. Let me pursue one additional line
12 of inquiry here.
13 Do you know how many officers with formal
14 military education, that is, military academy training
15 there were within the command structure of CANBAT in
16 your tour. Just an estimate is what I'm looking for?
17 A. That figure would be probably, you're talking
18 military college background?
19 Q. Military academy, formal military training?
20 A. All of our officers had formal military
21 training. We're a professional force and that is part
22 of the career development of our officers.
23 Q. And how many officers would there have been
24 within CANBAT with that professional military training?
25 A. All of them.
1 Q. Yes, but was that 100, 200, and what was the
2 size of the overall force, if you're permitted to tell
4 A. Our battle group was approximately, and these
5 are rough figures, approximately 1,200 personnel, all
6 told, that's non-commissioned officers and soldiers.
7 The number of officers commanding that battle
8 group probably numbered about 40 or so. We also had
9 specialists with us in the form of surgeons, nurses, et
10 cetera, so those numbers may have increased to maybe
12 Q. Do you know is that consistent with NATO
13 norms if it is a norm you can speak of with respect to
14 NATO generally?
15 A. It really isn't a NATO norm, it's normal for
16 Canadian forces and was similar to the organisation of
17 the British battalion on our flank.
18 Q. You said yesterday in your testimony that it
19 can be usual for a force to become separated from a
20 main headquarters in military operations?
21 A. Yes. My understanding of military history
22 indicates that's the case.
23 Q. Would you agree that it is not normal, but
24 rather it is extraordinary for a commander in wartime
25 to have command over a large number of separated
1 enclaves, as many as five, six or more, which remain
2 separated over an extended period of time, close to a
3 year's time.
4 Would you agree that that's not normal, that
5 presents a rather extraordinary situation?
6 A. A difficult situation, yes; extraordinary,
7 no. The Germans and Japanese faced similar problems in
8 the second world war.
9 Q. Do any Canadian commanders who have ever
10 commanded forces in six or more enclaves over a year's
11 time in combat; do any examples come to mind?
12 A. I have no immediate examples I can think of.
13 Q. So if it occurred within the Canadian
14 military, the situation I've described would be the
15 first, to your knowledge, that it had ever occurred?
16 A. In modern history, yes.
17 Q. You yourself, have you had any combat
18 experience, other than as a peacekeeper in Cyprus, and
19 as a member of the United Nations protection force in
21 A. Negative.
22 Q. You mentioned briefly the commander of the
23 HVO brigade in Fojnica, and I believe you said, to your
24 knowledge, it was Branko Stanic?
25 A. Yes, if my memory serves me correct.
1 Q. Did that position change over your tour; that
2 is, did the brigade commander -- if indeed Mr. Stanic
3 was the commander, and I'm not suggesting to you that
4 he was although that is your testimony -- did that
5 position change over at any time during your tour, to
6 your knowledge?
7 A. I'm recollecting events that are
8 approximately five years old. I cannot recall a change
9 in command. The situation did change on the ground, so
10 that may have happened.
11 Q. If Exhibit 363 could be placed back on the
12 ELMO, that's the chart of certain commanders. And if
13 the ELMO can be activated, please. Perhaps the picture
14 could be enlarged slightly.
15 Drawing your attention to Emil Harik who is
16 indicated on Exhibit 363 as, I believe, a commander or
17 officer in Vares for the HVO.
18 You described him as a moderate. Can you
19 give us an example of moderation in his views?
20 A. I'm just trying to recollect specific
21 examples here. I find it difficult to recollect a
22 specific case; however, based on my discussions with
23 Mr. Harik, and I may have met him maybe three or four
24 occasions total, based on the way he presented himself,
25 how he discussed the opposing forces in the areas
1 adjoining his, based on his responses to concerns that
2 were expressed by myself and others, that's where I
3 formulated the opinion that I have formulated.
4 Q. Did you draw the conclusion from your
5 meetings with him that he attempted to maintain a
6 positive relationship with the BiH army forces?
7 A. That is my understanding. It's basically my
8 understanding that this was not particularly unusual,
9 considering that the area to his north was an area
10 where HVO and ABiH forces were openly cooperating in
11 preparing a defence against the Serbs.
12 So he was, from what I could determine,
13 basically occupying a moderate situation, based on the
14 military threat to his area and based on, I guess, his
15 personal relationships with commanders in the areas
16 around his.
17 Q. To your knowledge, did Commander Harik remain
18 in his position as the HVO brigade commander in Vares
19 until sometime after the massacre in Stupni Do in
20 October, 1993?
21 A. As far as I know, yes.
22 Q. Now, on Exhibit 363 on the far right of the
23 exhibit, there's the name of another man, Mr. Duznovic,
24 and the indication on the chart is chain of command
1 Could you describe -- first of all, strike
2 that. Mr. Duznovic, did you see him in the company of
3 his own force or unit?
4 A. Yes, he had his own, what I would describe,
5 as a retinue. He had a security detachment, a fairly
6 small one, that were dressed differently, visibly
7 differently than the HVO forces in the area. Their
8 uniform differed in that they tended to wear more black
9 and they carried sidearms and weapons that were not
10 typical of those carried by the HVO forces in that
12 Q. Were they better equipped in terms of having
13 superior weapons?
14 A. I would not describe them as necessarily
15 better equipped, but the weaponry was different. The
16 prevalent arm in this area was the Yugoslav version of
17 an AK-47 which is an assault rifle.
18 These individuals were armed with sidearms,
19 and although I do not recall specifically the type of
20 sidearm they were carrying, their weapons and the
21 webbing or equipment that they wore was notably
22 different from those carried by the local HVO forces.
23 Q. Did that suggest to you that their logistics
24 supply line was something different than the rank and
25 file in Vares?
1 A. What it suggested to me was that I was
2 dealing with a separate organisation and, as my diagram
3 here indicates, I was not clear as to what their
4 relationship was to the chain of command. My
5 understanding of Zvonko Duznovic's, as a very minimum
6 he was an equal to Emil Harik, in terms of the
7 authority that he exercised, and that he answered to
8 probably somebody in a more senior position.
9 Q. Did you say "an equal" as in "an" equal or
10 unequal, "un"?
11 A. An equal.
12 Q. He was an equal to Mr. Harik?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. If true, that would give you a situation in
15 Vares where you have two persons within the Bosnian
16 Croat camp of equal and power of influence with chains
17 of command leading not to the same person or persons;
18 is that right?
19 A. I don't know where this particular chain of
20 command led to. They had different areas of
21 responsibility, and Emil Harik's concerns were
22 basically focused on the defence of the Vares area and
23 that's how he comported himself, that's how he
24 controlled his soldiers to the best of my
1 Zvonko's position was somewhat different.
2 His focus was on the control of the civilian people
3 within that area and his specific interest, at least as
4 it affected my operations, was the control of our
5 access into and out of the areas inhabited by Muslim
6 civilians within Vares.
7 Q. Wouldn't that distinction commonly be
8 referred to as external security versus internal
9 security; namely, Mr. Harik was responsible for
10 external security of the enclave, whereas Mr. Duznovic
11 appeared to you to be responsible for internal
13 A. That seems to be an accurate description of
14 the situation.
15 Q. That is an accurate description?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Did you ever learn whether Mr. Duznovic was
18 affiliated with the military police or an intelligence
19 organisation or some other organisation?
20 A. I believe, if I recall correctly, he did have
21 a working relationship with Mr. Rajic. I don't recall
22 any specific examples of that. That's just a general
23 recollection. I don't recall any other special
24 relationships within the HVO chain of command.
25 This was a unique situation with respect to
1 the Canadian area of responsibility and basically was
2 dealt with as such by us.
3 Q. I take it then you're not suggesting, in any
4 way to the Judges that Mr. Duznovic was the
5 representative of Colonel Blaskic in Vares?
6 A. I have no evidence to that effect.
7 Q. You have no basis for any such claim; is that
9 A. No, I don't.
10 Q. One last question on this issue. Did you
11 ever learn any information that would tend to inform
12 you whether Mr. Duznovic, his line of command, led to
13 Kiseljak, to Mostar, or to somewhere else, or are you
14 unable to tell us?
15 A. I'm unable to tell you. That's why it's
16 indicated as such, chain of command unclear.
17 Q. Thank you for your patience. I'm through
18 with that line of inquiry.
19 You've described the Kiseljak headquarters as
20 well-organised and as a normal set-up. In support of
21 that, you described the escorts that took you in and
22 the fact there was a staff.
23 Are there any other facts or factors that you
24 can draw upon to tell the court why you have the
25 opinion that the Kiseljak headquarters was "normal" and
1 well organised?
2 A. My observations were basically based on my
3 visits to that facility. That facility had included a
4 rifle range, a firing range in the back, from what I
5 heard, was being used while I was there. Therefore, I
6 would conclude that military training was ongoing, at
7 least that's the most positive conclusion I could make,
8 and basically, it was organised much like a barracks --
9 I would expect a barracks to be organised, under the
11 Q. And, indeed, your understanding was that it
12 had been the JNA barracks in Kiseljak?
13 A. That's correct.
14 Q. Do you know where Ivica Rajic got his orders?
15 A. Do I have firsthand information to that
17 Q. Do you personally know where his orders came
19 A. No, I did not witness Mr. Rajic receiving
20 orders and have no evidence in that area.
21 Q. Returning for a moment to Mr. Duznovic in
22 Vares, can you think of any parallel or comparable
23 situation in the Canadian army where you might have two
24 persons of equal authority of different lineage or
25 different lines of commands above them?
1 A. There are all kinds of examples of that.
2 Different brigade commanders occupy the same level of
3 authority, obviously, for different groups of soldiers.
4 Q. But would you agree, where you have different
5 lines of command over commanders in the same area, it's
6 very important that the duties between those two
7 commanders be clearly differentiated and separated;
9 A. Yes, that is, indeed, the case.
10 Q. Because if they are not, would you agree you
11 likely will have confusion?
12 A. It's not just my opinion, it's my
13 understanding. I've seen that happen firsthand. For
14 example, during our emergency operations during the ice
15 storm in Quebec.
16 Q. You can have confusions if you have multiple
17 lines of authority, over the same duties in the same
18 area; correct?
19 A. That's correct.
20 Q. You can also have inconsistency, inconsistent
21 conduct; correct?
22 A. I don't understand what you're implying.
23 Q. You can have people doing different things,
24 indeed things that may conflict, because there are
25 multiple and different lines of commands?
1 A. Yes, that is a possibility.
2 Q. And you can have a lack of accountability,
3 can you not, where you have multiple and overlapping
4 chains of command?
5 A. If you have soldiers, different groups of
6 soldiers, answering to different people, yes, that
7 would be the case.
8 Q. Now, let's turn to your visits to Rotilj. I
9 may skip forward in your testimony here, in an attempt
10 to cover all of your comments regarding Rotilj, at the
11 same time.
12 In early May, can you be any more specific
13 with respect to the date of your visit? First week or
14 if you have a date, can you take a moment and give that
15 to us? Perhaps while the Captain is looking, if the
16 registrar is able to retrieve the photograph of the
17 Kiseljak Mosque identified during Mr. Leach's
18 testimony, I believe, I hope to use that photograph in
19 a few minutes and I apologise for not having the number
21 A. I've reviewed my notes. I don't have a
22 specific date for that first visit. I would place it
23 in the early part of May 1993.
24 Q. You made a comment in describing that first
25 visit, that there was a lack of battle damage.
1 Generally, if one force was defending a location using
2 civilian dwellings and another force was attacking,
3 what kind of battle damage would you expect to find?
4 A. I would expect to find extensive bullet
5 holes. If heavier calibre weapons were used, for
6 example, anti-armour weapons, I would expect to see
7 large holes in the building, and large scale
8 destruction, and generally, I would characterise the
9 damage in areas, that have been affected by heavy
10 fighting, as having caused a large quantity of
11 structural damage. I would not expect to see,
12 necessarily, buildings with all four walls intact, for
14 Q. Were the most common types of residential
15 structures in central Bosnia during your tour
16 cinder block or some type of mortar-based block
18 Q. Would a relatively small calibre mortar, for
19 starters, bring down the wall of a building, or
20 probably not?
21 A. No, no.
22 Q. What about a larger calibre mortar, would
23 that still not bring down the wall of a building?
24 A. Generally, no.
25 Q. But that could create marks, pock marks or
1 shrapnel marks on the wall?
2 A. That would be indicative of that.
3 Q. How would an attacking force, under the
4 circumstances I've described, use RPG's, rocket
5 propelled grenades, in trying to clear out the
6 resisting force from a building; do you know?
7 A. If they used them in the way we employ
8 anti armour weapons, we wouldn't necessarily use them to
9 clear the building. We would use them to engage people
10 hiding behind defences, and we would use them to breach
11 a building, i.e., create a hole so we could enter the
12 building from an unexpected direction.
13 Q. RPG's, though, would not bring the wall of
14 the building down; correct?
15 A. No, but they would leave a notable hole in
16 the wall.
17 Q. And grenades, as well, if grenades were
18 thrown in windows and doors to clear a building, that
19 would not bring down the wall of a building, would it?
20 A. No, it would not.
21 MR. CAYLEY: Thank you, Mr. Registrar. If
22 these exhibits, which collectively constitute
23 Exhibit 63, could be provided to the witness? I think
24 it best if we put them on the ELMO so that all can see
25 them. Thank you.
1 Captain, you spoke of seeing the Kiseljak
2 mosque in a damaged condition in May of 1993.
3 Exhibit 63 consists of a series of photographs, and I
4 would like to put the first photograph or two, the
5 first two is fine, and ask you if you recognise them.
6 If the ELMO could be activated, please.
7 Do you recognise these first two photographs
8 which, for the record, are marked as 368 and 369 within
9 Exhibit 63?
10 A. I don't have a specific recollection of this
11 particular building, and certainly not the inside of
12 the building.
13 Q. If a couple more photographs could be put on
14 the ELMO from this exhibit in the hope of a further
15 reaction from the witness? For the record, the
16 photograph marked 650 in Exhibit 63 is now on the ELMO,
17 depicting the inside, damaged interior of a structure.
18 Do you recognise that, Captain?
19 A. No, like I said, I did not spend a lot of
20 time poking around inside damaged buildings. We had a
21 concern over booby traps and, as much as possible, I
22 tried to avoid doing so.
23 Q. Can you just describe again, and I apologise
24 if you're repeating your direct testimony, how did the
25 mosque appear to you from the exterior, I take it, in
1 May of 1993 in Kiseljak?
2 A. If I remember correctly, and this is looking
3 back a far ways, the Kiseljak mosque was damaged when I
4 arrived. It would have been one of the things pointed
5 out to me as we toured through doing a handover.
6 Q. Is that the extent of your recollection, that
7 there was some damage to the mosque?
8 A. That's as far as I can recollect at that
9 specific time. I did not approach the mosque at that
10 time. It would have been something I saw as we were
11 travelling through. I don't recall a specific date
12 when I would have made that observation.
13 Q. Thank you. I have concluded with those
14 exhibits and I'm afraid I also strayed from Rotilj
15 where I was hoping to complete that subject matter, so
16 let us return to it. In Rotilj, on your visit in early
17 May, did you talk to some of the residents there?
18 A. Yes, I did.
19 Q. Did they tell you that prior to the conflict
20 in that village, there had been a sizeable group of
21 armed men with, in excess, of 50 rifles.
22 A. Nobody told me anything of the sort.
23 Q. Did they tell you there had been negotiations
24 between those men and the HVO over the possible
25 surrender of those weapons or was that not mentioned?
1 A. That was not discussed either.
2 Q. Would you agree that the Muslim residents of
3 Rotilj were, in fact, surrounded by what could be
4 described as a hostile civilian Croat population?
5 A. That is how I would characterise the
6 situation during my tour.
7 Q. Do you also agree that there was a very real
8 risk that, had the HVO not had a checkpoint on the road
9 to Rotilj, some of those angry civilian Croats you've
10 described, such as those displaced from Kakanj and
11 Vares, might well have preyed on the Muslim residents
12 of Rotilj?
13 A. Are you saying this happened prior to my --
14 Q. I'm saying, would you agree that it would
15 have been likely to have happened had the HVO not had a
16 guard post, a checkpoint on the road to Rotilj to
17 prevent such persons from entering the village?
18 A. The checkpoints operated by the HVO, while
19 making access slightly more difficult, would not have
20 prevented them from doing so.
21 Q. You say that in the sense of, an angry group
22 of drunken soldiers could have penetrated a checkpoint
23 manned by one or two HVO soldiers?
24 A. No, what I'm saying is there was, for
25 example, a number of Bosnia Croat dwellings on the
1 ridge immediately to the east, I believe, of Rotilj.
2 There was a road connecting Rotilj to that ridge line.
3 That road was not controlled. So if a Bosnian Croat
4 wished to do harm to one of his neighbours, it would
5 have been fairly easy for him to walk down the road and
6 do so.
7 Q. Do you think the security of the residents
8 was improved or not improved by this checkpoint or
9 roadblock or do you not have an opinion?
10 A. I really don't have an opinion on that.
11 Q. Very well. You went back to Rotilj in May of
12 1993, and you described that visit. Did the population
13 tell you that they, in fact, could leave the village
14 and go, for example, to Kiseljak if they wished?
15 A. I was told that the women and children were
16 free to travel down to Kiseljak to get food, et
17 cetera. I was told that the male population was being
18 controlled, that they did not have free movement.
19 Q. Then you returned to Rotilj in September and,
20 perhaps, October 1993 as well, and you have described
21 the conditions you found then. Let me ask you: At
22 that point in time, was regular aid, food aid, being
23 made available to the residents, to your knowledge?
24 A. At that time, the food situation throughout
25 central Bosnia was sporadic. We were trying our best
1 to make sure there was an arrangement in place to feed
2 these people regularly.
3 Q. Are you saying there was general famine, in
4 central Bosnia, in the fall of October 1993?
5 A. I'm saying that was our concern and that our
6 food shipments were being interrupted on a regular
8 Q. And there was a general famine, in the
9 region, in the fall of 1993?
10 A. That would be a fairly accurate statement.
11 Q. And were the food supplies in Rotilj, at the
12 time you visited, in September and October, were they,
13 in fact, better than the general level of available
14 food stuffs?
15 A. I don't know if that is accurate. I do know
16 that they were receiving increased attention by the
17 international aid organisations, due to the conditions
18 on the ground.
19 Q. And they were receiving aid from Merhamet;
21 A. I don't recall exactly who they were getting
22 the aid from, but Caritas and Merhamet would be two
23 likely sources.
24 Q. You mention a lack of electricity in Rotilj.
25 Was it true, generally in central Bosnia, that unless
1 you had a private generator or a small generator, there
2 was no general electricity; correct?
3 A. Basically, there was a central Bosnia wide
4 power outage caused by military activities for the most
5 part. This was something we tried to address during my
6 tour, and I guess we addressed to some success;
7 however, this power outage was affecting both Rotilj
8 and, indeed, the area of Kiseljak itself.
9 Q. To your knowledge, during your visits in the
10 September/October 1993 time frame, were the residents
11 of Rotilj receiving regular visits from medical
13 A. I don't have a specific recollection of
14 that. I do know that they were getting increased
15 attention from non-governmental organisations and would
16 assume that that would include visits from medical
18 Q. During the time of your September visit to
19 Rotilj, did you learn that there were negotiations
20 ongoing to exchange eight or 900 Bosnian Croats from
21 Kakanj with the Muslims in Rotilj?
22 A. Yes, I was aware of that. I don't recall
23 exactly when I became aware of those negotiations, but
24 certainly by my October visit, I believe that was
25 October 26th, that had become very apparent. There
1 were, at that time, 360-some-odd people in Kakanj and
2 roughly 600-some-odd people in Rotilj that they were
3 talking about exchanging.
4 Q. Was it 360 people in Kakanj or 8 or 900
5 Bosnia Croats from Kakanj?
6 A. Initially, the figures were that high. Those
7 numbers dropped from the fall of Kakanj through to the
8 October period. My notes of the 26th of October, 1993
9 state that there were 368 displaced people remaining in
10 the camp in Kakanj and 625 displaced people total in
11 the Rotilj area. These notes also include a reference
12 to the exchange commission manned by Mrs. Amira Bolic,
13 and the HVO offered to facilitate this move by
14 providing lift, in the form of transport.
15 Q. Did you ever visit the camp for Bosnian
16 Croats in Kakanj?
17 A. I didn't visit it, per se. I did travel to
18 Kakanj and I did see the camp but I didn't tour it.
19 Q. We'll go back to your testimony now, having
20 concluded with my questions regarding Rotilj.
21 You spoke of talking to two elderly men in
22 Visnjica, I believe, also in May 1993 who said that
23 they had participated in burning down their neighbour's
24 village or villages?
25 A. That is correct.
1 Q. Did they indicate or can you recall, from the
2 location of where you spoke to these men, what villages
3 they said they had participated in burning their
4 neighbour's homes?
5 A. I don't recollect a specific dwelling or
6 dwellings that they were taking credit for. I would
7 assume by proximity that they were talking about
8 dwellings in the Visnjica area.
9 Q. You spoke of Radio Kiseljak?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Do you know, was it under civilian or
12 military control?
13 A. I am led to believe that it was under
14 civilian control but that the military authorities had
15 access to it. My knowledge of the operations of Radio
16 Kiseljak are very limited, and so I don't have any
17 specific knowledge with respect to how that facility
18 was operated. I know that we were given access as
19 UNPROFOR to limited air time throughout my tour. I am
20 led to believe, based on conversations I had with
21 people during my tour, that the radio station itself
22 was used for propaganda purposes, but obviously I have
23 no specific information or observations to that effect.
24 Q. Is it your opinion that Radio Kiseljak played
25 a major role in inciting violence by Bosnian Croats in
1 the Kiseljak municipality?
2 A. That is the understanding I was led to
3 believe based on my discussions during my tour.
4 Q. Now, I'd like to turn to your testimony
5 relating to the 15th of June, 1993, and the defeat of
6 the HVO in Kakanj by the BiH army. You stated, I
7 believe, that one of your colleagues conducted an
8 investigation and made certain interviews.
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Do you know how many people, roughly, were
12 A. I would be guessing, but I would imagine he
13 probably talked to 20 or 30 people, at least.
14 Q. Did your colleague tell you how many of those
15 persons he talked with, Bosnian Croats, said that they
16 had been forced by the HVO to flee Kakanj?
17 A. I don't have a specific number. It was not a
18 great number, but it would have had to have been more
19 than a single report for him to have reported it to
20 him. It would have had to have been collaborated
22 Q. I take it it was a minority of the persons he
23 talked to, to your knowledge, who said they were forced
24 to flee Kakanj.
25 A. To my knowledge, that is the case.
1 Q. Did your colleague tell you what the others,
2 the other Bosnian Croats, who did not say they were
3 forced to flee Kakanj, did they say why they had fled
4 when Kakanj fell to the BiH army?
5 A. My guess is that they would have removed
6 themselves from that area due to the fighting that was
7 happening in that location.
8 Q. They fled a combat zone; is that fair?
9 A. That would be a fair assessment of the
11 Q. You mentioned some 860 HVO soldiers in Kakanj
12 who had previously been displaced from Travnik. Do you
13 mean by that, by mentioning them and in your testimony
14 regarding them, that these soldiers had left Travnik
15 when Travnik fell to the BiH army to go to Kakanj, and
16 then again left Kakanj when Kakanj fell to the BiH
18 A. I'm not sure exactly how that movement
19 transpired, but I think that would be a logical
21 Q. And then these same forces, I believe you
22 described, left Vares when the HVO evacuated from Vares
23 and the BiH army took control of Vares; correct?
24 A. I believe that they moved even prior to that
25 by way of the Bosnian Serb lines and, in fact, were in
1 Kiseljak prior to that action taking place.
2 Q. Did you ever receive or hear of reports of
3 misconduct by these, if you will, thrice displaced HVO
4 soldiers from Travnik who ended up in Kiseljak?
5 A. Yes, I received reports on several occasions,
6 reports very early after the dislocation of the Kakanj
7 population, that these people had been involved in
8 activities in Vares, basically intimidating Bosnian
9 civilians and acting in an unprofessional manner.
10 Later on, there was some concern expressed,
11 and I don't recall who told me this, that they were
12 being less than disciplined in the Kiseljak area.
13 Q. With respect to the movement of civilians
14 from Vares to Kiseljak through Bosnian Serb territory,
15 do you know who brokered or made that agreement with
16 the Bosnian Serbs to allow those individuals to travel
17 through Serb territory?
18 A. I don't know at what level that deal was
19 arrived at. I do know that it was coordinated on a
20 local level and that, at least in the north, in Vares,
21 I do have or did receive a very reliable report that
22 Zvonko Duzunovic had direct liaison with the Serbs in
23 his area. That was reported to me by a United Kingdom
24 liaison officer who had interviewed Zvonko and who had
25 travelled to the Serb lines with him.
1 Q. Would you agree in general terms -- again,
2 I'm not trying to tie you to a specific figure -- but
3 generally that there were roughly 26,000 Croats in
4 Kakanj, most of whom left; another 10,000 Croats in
5 Vares, all of whom left; making a grand total of
6 somewhere in the neighbourhood of 30,000 or more
7 Bosnian Croats who ended up being displaced from those
8 two locations, Kakanj and Vares?
9 A. I'm not sure of the exact figures in terms of
10 who was displaced from where. I know that the people I
11 dealt with in Vares, the figure basically lay between
12 10,000 and 15,000, approximately, based on my
13 observations. I did not go around counting heads.
14 Those observations were, at least in my mind, confirmed
15 both by the local Red Cross and by the NGO working in
16 that area; specifically, I believe, it was Solidarity
17 in the Vares area.
18 As far as the movement of civilians from
19 Vares down to Kiseljak, I don't recall a massive influx
20 of people after the fall of Vares, so I would be
21 hesitant to give you a figure there. The movement that
22 I'm aware of happened immediately after the fall of
23 Kakanj, within the 10 or so days following that.
24 Q. Do you know the, initially, 800 or 900
25 Bosnian Croats and then, later, 360 Bosnian Croats that
1 ended up in a camp in Kakanj, does that represent the
2 10 per cent that you said returned to Kakanj from
4 A. No, that is in addition to the 10 per cent.
5 My understanding of that situation, those 900 some-odd
6 people were initially given protection by the French
7 engineer battalion that was located in Kakanj. They
8 were housed in a temporary facility that was adjacent
9 to the French camp, and basically from the middle of
10 June through to the end of October, their numbers
11 reduced, through to what I have reported here, due to
12 people voluntarily leaving that camp facility.
13 Q. You spoke of a body exchange on the 20th of
14 June, 1993. Besides what you've already told us, did
15 you learn anything more concerning the place of death
16 of the victims you've discussed?
17 A. There was a lot of discussion over where
18 these people were captured. I don't recall the
19 specific locations. It would have been basically in
20 the area near Svinjarevo because that was the active
21 front-line for most of my tour, in that location. So
22 somewhere in that vicinity is where these people would
23 have been captured or, indeed, killed, depending on
24 which side you wanted to listen to.
25 I have no specific evidence with respect to
1 where these people met their demise. It is my concern
2 that the state of the bodies, to me at least, indicated
3 that this requires further investigation.
4 Q. Did you write a report of your findings?
5 A. Yes, I did.
6 Q. Have you shared it with the Office of the
8 A. That report, the only copy that I had, at
9 least hard copy, was given to, I believe, Major M.K.
10 Stinson. She was the G-5 staff officer at the UNBH
11 command headquarters in Kiseljak. The report I gave
12 her was incomplete. I was unable to complete that
13 investigation because of changing circumstances and my
14 requirement to attend to other duties.
15 Q. You spoke of a council building in Kiseljak
16 and certain civilians residing in the council
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. When you visited the council building on the
20 24th of June, 1993, were you told that the individuals
21 were free to leave, but when you spoke to the
22 individuals, they said, "That is true, but we have no
23 where to go"?
24 A. To the best of my recollection, that's
1 MR. HAYMAN: If Exhibit 368 could be placed
2 on the ELMO, please, and if the ELMO could be activated
4 Q. Captain, this is the map, Exhibit 368, of
5 certain areas roughly between Kacuni and Bilalovac and
6 the areas to the south-east.
7 First of all, with respect to the travel that
8 you have related, would you agree that when you
9 travelled on the orange and blue lines and ended up in
10 Fojnica, that at those times, Fojnica was held by the
11 BiH army?
12 A. Yes, that is indeed correct.
13 Q. Let me ask you, on the blue line that you've
14 related, approximately how many -- and I'm just looking
15 for an estimate -- how many villages are there in that
17 A. I would have to take a look at the map and
18 actually count them up. As far as driving along that
19 road is concerned, without looking really at the map, I
20 would characterise that road as much like a logging
21 road that you would find in British Columbia in my
22 country. There were several small settlements or
23 villages in the area. These were quite small and were
24 relatively spread out. The area is not what I would
25 characterise as being heavily inhabited.
1 Q. Would you agree that the villages along the
2 blue line on Exhibit 368, those are Muslim-inhabited
4 A. I didn't visit those villages, but the area
5 itself was technically under Bosnian government control
6 during this time.
7 Q. And that is true of the entire length of the
8 blue line on Exhibit 368; correct?
9 A. That is correct.
10 Q. Do you know whether any of those villages
11 have Territorial Defence units in them?
12 A. I would expect the villages to have some kind
13 of self-defence mechanism. I was not aware of any
14 large units operating in the area, but it wouldn't
15 surprise me if there was some kind of local defence
17 Q. Now, when you travelled during your tour
18 along the road between the two green checkpoints on
19 Exhibit 368, you did so with the consent and approval
20 of the BiH army; correct?
21 A. Yes. When travelling down that road, I would
22 have to have the consent of both the HVO and the BiH,
23 if I was travelling between those two points. I would
24 have to pass through two HVO checkpoints and two ABiH
1 Q. And within the two green checkpoints on the
2 road indicated on Exhibit 368, you had to have BiH army
3 consent to pass; correct?
4 A. That is correct.
5 Q. Did you ever pass on that road during your
6 tour in a clandestine or undetected manner?
7 A. In terms of --
8 Q. At any time. Did you ever transit this
9 stretch of road undetected by the BiH army?
10 A. No, there was no need for me to do so.
11 Q. And hence you never tried; is that right?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Now, you've described the terrain along the
14 blue line on Exhibit 368 as, among other things,
15 mountainous and covered by trees; is that correct?
16 A. I would say for the most part. "Mountainous"
17 is probably not 100 per cent accurate, but definitely
18 hilly, it's fairly rough terrain, and for the most part
19 it is treed.
20 Q. Is the road indicated in blue, is that a
21 paved or sealed road, or is it a dirt road?
22 A. That's basically a dirt road.
23 Q. Tell me, Captain, in one of your first
24 briefings when you came to Bosnia-Herzegovina, were you
25 told: Don't leave the asphalt because of mines?
1 A. As a general rule, that was, in fact, the
2 case; however, the deteriorating circumstances on the
3 ground and the number of demands being -- or number of
4 limitations based on our freedom of movement
5 necessitated us using alternate routes. This route,
6 the one marked in blue, was an example of that. It was
7 our secondary route into the Fojnica area. At this
8 particular stage in time, we were responsible for two
9 mental hospitals in the Fojnica area and needed to
10 rotate personnel and bring in supplies to maintain our
11 presence in that area.
12 Q. Would you agree that because of the wooded
13 nature of the terrain along and to the left or the west
14 of the blue line on Exhibit 368, that it is perfect
15 terrain for a surprise ambush?
16 A. It's excellent terrain for infantry
17 operations, either offensive or defensive. It's an
18 area well-suited to fight in, from my perspective as a
19 professional infantry officer.
20 Q. Did you, yourself, when you were travelling
21 along the blue line, which is Exhibit 368, did you ever
22 leave the road?
23 A. No, I did not, for exactly the concern that
24 you had. There was no need for me to leave the road.
25 To me, that would be an unnecessary risk. I had no
1 evidence that that area specifically was mined, but it
2 was not beyond the impossible.
3 Q. Well, it was pretty darn likely, wasn't it?
4 A. I wouldn't say that, but it was definitely
6 Q. Something you would have been concerned
7 about, regarding your own personal safety, if somebody
8 had suggested to you that you leave the road on 368 and
9 start out on a hike to Vitez?
10 A. It would be a concern.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Will you put your question
12 directly, Mr. Hayman? It is not the Captain who will
13 get lost, it is the Judges who will get lost in the
14 mountains. So please be more direct with your
16 MR. HAYMAN: Yes, Mr. President. I've
17 concluded that small area, in fact, and I'm near
18 concluding my examination as a whole.
19 Q. Do you have any examples, Captain, of any HVO
20 individual party or any other group transiting from any
21 area along or near the blue line on Exhibit 368 over
22 land to the Vitez-Busovaca pocket?
23 A. No, I have no -- I did not receive any
24 reports, nor did I see myself any evidence of the HVO
25 moving through that area at that stage in my tour.
1 Q. You spoke of helicopter evacuations of
2 wounded from the Novi Bila hospital first, I think, to
3 the Kiseljak hospital; correct?
4 A. They were moved over land from Nova Bila
5 through to Kiseljak under our escort; both the British
6 and Canadian battalions facilitated that. The actual
7 helicopter evacuations occurred from Kiseljak.
8 Q. Thank you for clarifying and correcting me.
9 Let's break it down, and I'll first ask you about the
10 over land evacuations.
11 Were those evacuations coordinated by
12 international organisations such as the International
13 Red Cross?
14 A. They assisted us. Basically, the operation
15 itself, from my perspective, was an UNPROFOR
16 operation. We provided the escort, and basically we
17 commanded the convoy through our military presence.
18 Q. These were pre-negotiated evacuations, that
19 is, negotiated between the parties in advance; correct?
20 A. They were negotiated, that is correct, but
21 there was a requirement for a lot of coordination on
22 the ground to ensure that there were no problems
23 passing through the various checkpoints. In order to
24 conduct this evacuation or these evacuations, because
25 there was more than one, you had to coordinate the
1 activities of a large number of people on the ground
2 and, in this case, two different warring factions were
3 involved. That was the only way to ensure that you
4 could pass through all the checkpoints to get to your
5 destination with a minimum of fuss and with a minimum
6 of threat to the security of the patients.
7 Q. Is it correct that these evacuations were the
8 result of negotiations over days and days that would
9 precede the actual event; correct?
10 A. That's my understanding, yes.
11 Q. And those negotiations included the warring
12 parties and international organisations such as
13 UNPROFOR and, perhaps, the Red Cross?
14 A. That would be my understanding of the
16 Q. And is it correct that the United Nations
17 Protection Force, their communications, abilities,
18 their transport and security abilities were used to
19 effectuate these evacuations as well as the plans and
20 planning for the evacuations; correct?
21 A. We definitely participated in it, but, to me,
22 there was still a level of coordination necessary on
23 the ground in order for them to support these
25 Q. Now let's turn to the helicopter
1 evacuations. Were those evacuations undertaken through
2 the use of a medivac helicopter, a helicopter
3 specifically intended and used for medical purposes?
4 A. My participation in these operations was very
5 limited. My understanding of the situation was that
6 the evacuations were done using an MI-8 Hep (phoen)
7 helicopter, and in this particular instance, they were
8 used in a medical lift role. I don't know if they were
9 specifically configured for that role.
10 Q. Were those medivac helicopter evacuations
11 also planned and cleared through UNPROFOR?
12 A. The helicopter evacuation would have had to
13 have been coordinated with us. At the time that this
14 was conducted, the American Air Force, in particular,
15 and other NATO countries were imposing control of the
16 airspace over Bosnia-Herzegovina in an operation I
17 believe that was called DENYFLIGHT; and, basically, any
18 uncoordinated airlift was subject to being shot down,
19 so I'm sure that this was a coordinated activity.
20 Q. Central Bosnia was part of the no-fly zone;
22 A. Correct.
23 Q. So if you flew without UN approval and
24 clearance, you might get shot down; correct?
25 A. If you flew without our clearance, you might
1 get shot down by the NATO aircraft. Generally, that
2 was a potential threat. I know of no instance where
3 NATO Air Forces actually engaged a helicopter.
4 Q. And did the UN Protection Force keep records
5 of any violations of this no-fly zone, that is, any
6 records, records that would indicate whether there were
7 any unauthorised helicopter flights in a certain area?
8 Were such records kept?
9 A. I would be speculating on that. I know that
10 we were paying attention to this and that in instances
11 where unauthorised flights were noted in my area, for
12 example, they were reported, and I do have notes of an
13 observation that I made in the Vares area that I would
14 have logged on my return to CANBAT 2.
15 Q. It's the type of information you would have
16 documented in a report and reported; correct?
17 A. I myself would and did.
18 Q. The medical evacuation helicopter or
19 helicopters you've described, did those come from
20 outside of the central Bosnia zone, pick up wounded
21 persons, and evacuate them outside of the zone?
22 A. My understanding was that those people were
23 being moved to the south. To what facility, I don't
24 recall, but they were being moved out of the immediate
25 central Bosnia area.
1 Q. Did you see any helicopters stationary or
2 based in central Bosnia during your tour that were HVO
4 A. I know of no specific instance of a
5 helicopter actually being based on the ground.
6 Q. Do you agree with the statement that a
7 commander cannot continually impose his command from a
8 distance; do you agree with that statement?
9 A. No, I would disagree with that statement.
10 MR. HAYMAN: Thank you, Captain.
11 Mr. President, I have concluded my
13 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Cayley, I'm trying to
14 organise our work. I really do hope that we finish
15 with this testimony. We started yesterday about 5.00
16 p.m. I think it is the third witness of the Canadian
18 This has nothing to do with you, Captain
19 Liebert, but I am really asking you, I think that we're
20 turning over many points. This is a trial that started
21 on the 23rd of June last year, and I really do hope
22 that we can finish with this witness now.
23 But, Mr. Cayley, do you have any
25 MR. CAYLEY: I do have a number of questions,
1 Mr. President, to ask the witness in re-examination.
2 It's certainly going to take longer than one minute to
3 do that, I suspect it will take no longer than 15
4 minutes, but there are a number of matters that I wish
5 to clarify with the witness.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. In that case, we
7 are going to adjourn, but I must say that I am not very
8 pleased. I think it is very difficult to achieve
9 justice here, and I think that this is something each
10 party must think about for the next status conference.
11 We will resume at a quarter to three.
12 --- Luncheon recess taken at 1.02 p.m.
1 --- On resuming at 2.48 p.m.
2 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed.
3 Mr. Registrar, please have the accused brought in.
4 (The accused entered court)
5 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Let us continue,
6 Mr. Cayley. I think you wanted to exercise your right
7 to re-examine.
8 MR. CAYLEY: Yes, Mr. President. I
9 anticipate that it will take less than ten minutes.
10 Q. Captain Liebert, you were asked a number of
11 questions about CANBAT's freedom of movement on the
12 ground, in Bosnia, and it was put to you that an
13 international agreement was in place, to give you that
14 right. Am I right in saying that in practise your
15 movement was controlled on the ground by the three
16 belligerent parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina?
17 A. That is correct. Our movement to and from
18 Srebrenica was controlled from the very beginning by
19 the Bosnian Serb army. We did not have freedom of
20 movement to and from that enclave and we could not
21 access either it by land or by air unless we made
22 arrangements with the Bosnian Serbs to do so.
23 Our access to other areas of responsibility
24 was quite good at the beginning of my tour in Bosnia.
25 By the time I left there, both the HVO and the ABiH
1 were placing heavy restrictions on our movement and I
2 was unable to visit many areas, in our area of control,
3 without an escort.
4 Q. Thank you. Now, it was suggested to you by
5 my learned friend in cross-examination that it is
6 extraordinary for a military commander's area of
7 command to be divided into a number of separated
8 areas. And you responded that it could be a difficult
9 situation but not one that was extraordinary. The
10 question I have is this: Am I right in saying that
11 military history has numerous examples of military
12 commanders being separated from areas of command during
13 combat operations?
14 A. My general understanding, of general military
15 history, would indicate that that is, in fact, correct,
16 and depending on what area you chose to look at, you
17 could probably find an example quite quickly.
18 Q. Now, the subject of Zvonko Duznovic was
19 raised by my learned friend and you stated both in
20 examination-in-chief and cross-examination that his
21 chain of command which he answered to was unclear. To
22 the best of your knowledge, with whom did Mr. Duznovic
23 have the closest working relationship within HVO?
24 A. This is basically second-hand. My
25 understanding was that he worked quite closely with
1 Mr. Rajic. I never did see the two together, but I was
2 given the general impression, working with the two
3 individuals, that they did, in fact, have some kind of
4 working relationship.
5 Q. And was Mr. Rajic, indeed, in the main HVO
6 chain of command structure?
7 A. Yes. As I've already indicated, he was a
8 regular part of the HVO military chain of command.
9 Q. Now, moving briefly back to Rotilj, in your
10 cross-examination, you were extensively questioned on
11 the purposes of the checkpoints in that area. To your
12 mind, what was the primary purpose of the HVO
13 checkpoint in Rotilj village?
14 A. The checkpoints at the entrance to the
15 village of Rotilj served no protective purpose, that I
16 could see. Their purpose was to control the population
17 and access into and out of that area. That's my
18 impression of the situation as I saw it on the ground.
19 Q. Now, you stated in your cross-examination
20 that Bosnian Muslims held in the council building in
21 Kiseljak were free to go. Who told you that?
22 A. I believe that that observation was made
23 during a visit I made to the council building. That
24 would have been an escorted visit, and I cannot recall
25 who told me, but the HVO definitely would have
1 expressed that view.
2 Q. Now, you were asked a number of questions
3 about the hypothetical presence of mines in the Bosnian
4 government controlled area which bisected the Busovaca
5 Vitez pocket and the Kiseljak pocket. Am I right in
6 saying that; is a normal part of infantry operations to
7 encounter and cross mine fields?
8 A. Yes. From the Canadian perspective, we've
9 been dealing with mine warfare since world war 1. It's
10 a regular part of our training and, in fact, I'll be
11 leaving this testimony to return to Canada to
12 participate in an exercise where, in fact, we'll be
13 practising breaching mine fields at the company and
14 battle group level.
15 Q. Now, you were asked a question about radio
16 equipment and you stated that it is not necessary, I
17 can't remember your exact words, but it is not
18 necessary to have technology, in order to encrypt radio
19 transmissions. Can you explain that statement?
20 A. Yes. At the present time, and not to get
21 into too much detail, the Canadian armed forces does
22 not rely solely on encrypted communication systems. So
23 as a result, we use low-level codes in order to protect
24 sensitive information during transmission. I've used a
25 number of these codes myself. They are not
1 particularly complicated, and they are quite easy to
2 use. In fact, we allow our soldiers to use them to
3 protect information over the radio.
4 Q. Am I right in saying it's a fairly common
5 practise, in most armies of the world, to have these
6 simple code forms?
7 A. Yes, I've had exposure to these codes in the
8 Canadian armed forces. I'm also aware of a similar
9 British system called BATCO, which is employed for
10 similar reasons by their armed forces.
11 Q. Finally, Captain Liebert, my learned friend,
12 Mr. Hayman, put to you a quotation at the end of your
13 testimony -- cross-examination that a commander cannot
14 continually impose his command from a distance and you
15 disagreed with that statement. Why do you disagree
16 with that statement?
17 A. I disagreed with that statement because I
18 don't believe it to be correct. My understanding of
19 command is that a commander can exert his will on his
20 subordinates even if they are separated. There's a
21 number of ways of doing so, whether that be asking
22 additional questions to clarify the situation, by
23 putting somebody to represent you or clarify your views
24 on the ground, as a liaison officer or selecting
25 somebody who is already in place, in whom you have
1 confidence, to improve your information collection
2 ability on the ground. Ultimately, if your confidence
3 was that lacking in your subordinates, visiting the
4 situation yourself or putting yourself on the ground
5 would be the best way to go.
6 MR. CAYLEY: I have no further questions,
7 Mr. President, unless my colleagues have anything they
8 would like to ask. No further questions,
9 Mr. President.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Cayley. I turn
11 to Judge Riad.
12 JUDGE RIAD:
13 Q. Captain Eric Liebert, good afternoon?
14 A. Sir.
15 Q. You gave us a clear testimony. I would like
16 to ask you a few questions, to help me reach a
17 synthesis of the detained issues you so clearly
18 related. Without going into details, of course. The
19 first question, in principal and in light of your
20 experience as an officer in the area, firsthand
21 experience, you felt to whom were the HVO ranks in the
22 area ultimately responsible, in this central part of
24 A. In central Bosnia, my understanding, and I do
25 not have firsthand information to this effect, was that
1 Mr. Blaskic was the senior commander in the central
2 Bosnia area. That included the forces that I dealt
3 with in Kiseljak and Vares.
4 Q. Now, was his authority questioned and
5 disregarded by any of the lower ranks, openly
7 A. I was not aware of a situation to that
8 effect. I did not deal with Mr. Blaskic on a
9 day-to-day case. In fact, I didn't deal with him
10 throughout my tour. I dealt with Mr. Rajic, and he did
11 not openly appear to question the direction he was
12 getting from above.
13 Q. Did Rajic behave in a way to show that he is
14 an independent, undisciplined, subordinate of General
16 A. Generally, I would say no. I remember one
17 case involving a crater. I have not testified
18 regarding this situation. We wanted this crater filled
19 because the road was important to us. Mr. Rajic wanted
20 to use it as leverage for other matters. A
21 disagreement ensued, and eventually we appealed to
22 higher authorities, basically through the UN
23 headquarters, to try to have the matter resolved. At
24 one point, the Canadian battalion basically lost our
25 patience. We were directed to fill the crater. It got
1 into a very tense situation. That situation was
2 moderated by the direction provided from outside our
3 immediate area. I don't recall who issued that
4 direction, but Mr. Rajic was responsive to the wishes
5 of the people outside of our immediate area.
6 Q. Do you think when you mentioned, to quote
7 your words, that the departure of Muslims would improve
8 the situation in the end; would he be speaking of a
9 policy or expressing his own views?
10 A. I cannot honestly say one way or the other,
11 sir. I believe from my perspective and my opinion to
12 have been his point of view. Now, whether or not that
13 was part of an overall programme is unclear to me. I
14 did not have information to that effect, firsthand,
16 Q. But could it be his own programme, being a
18 A. Theoretically, I guess that is possible,
19 sir. I was not led to believe that that was in fact
20 the case.
21 Q. On other hand, people like Harah who were
22 moderate. What happened to them? Were they promoted
23 or blamed? Did they become Generals?
24 A. If I remember correctly, sir, just prior to
25 the fall of the Vares pocket at the very end of my
1 tour, Mr. Harah was imprisoned just prior to that
2 event. That was between the events of Stupni Do and
3 the actual fall of the pocket.
4 Q. You mentioned in a question of the Defence
5 counsel, and I think this has been already taken care
6 of, you spoke of the difficulty of controlling several
7 enclaves in a disciplined army. And you said that it's
8 not difficult to control, but how disciplined was the
10 A. Obviously, from my perspective, the level of
11 discipline in the HVO was less than you would find in
12 my army or, perhaps, the British armed forces, but what
13 I saw on the ground was a uniformed force, recognisable
14 uniformed force, that appeared to be able to coordinate
15 its activities. Therefore, it was a coherent military
16 force in a military sense.
17 Q. Coherent?
18 A. Coherent.
19 Q. Coherent? And you spoke of the system of
20 communication, you said it was good?
21 A. Firsthand knowledge, the forces within my
22 area communicated quite well and quite effectively.
23 Communications with other forces outside my area, I
24 have no direct observations on those, but based on
25 things like the evacuations of the Nova Bila hospital,
1 I would conclude that there was an effective
2 communication system.
3 Q. Did you notice any difficulty in
4 communication between subordinates and the commander?
5 A. Not to my knowledge. Another example of the
6 communication, I believe, that existed would be
7 Mr. Lucic's representation of the overall HVO point of
8 view. Mr. Lucic acted as their spokesman on a couple
9 of occasions, and in order to do so, I would assume
10 that there was some kind of communication open.
11 Q. The same question applies to -- the same
12 answer really applies to a statement you mentioned when
13 you said in the Canadian army, you can delegate
14 authority, but you cannot delegate responsibility.
15 A. Yes, sir.
16 Q. You think that would apply also to the HVO?
17 A. That is something that I learned through my
18 training, sir, and from my understanding of command and
19 the responsibilities that are involved in command, I
20 believe that to be an accurate statement. A commander
21 gets certain privileges by the nature of his duties.
22 Those privileges are balanced by his responsibility for
23 the people underneath him, and he is responsible, in my
24 eyes, and in my opinion, for the actions of the people
25 underneath him. If he does not like those actions,
1 it's his job to change that, and if he is not in a
2 position to do so, if somebody is interfering with
3 that, then I, as a commander, would be forced to resign
4 my position. I would say, you're not letting me do my
5 job. Pick somebody else.
6 Q. You spoke of criminal indifference of the
7 HVO, to use your words?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. And you said that the chain of command was
10 negligent in exercising their responsibility of
11 command. Now, this is committing a crime by omission?
12 A. That's how I would characterise it, sir.
13 Q. Now, why wouldn't they interfere to prevent?
14 Why didn't the soldiers interfere to prevent obvious
15 destruction and obvious, as you said, killing?
16 A. That is a good question, sir. Based on my
17 observations, the chain of command and, specifically,
18 Mr. Rajic and his staff, his immediate staff, had an
19 indifferent attitude. They did not, based on the
20 concerns that I expressed, take the threat to Muslim
21 civilians in their area very seriously, and based on
22 what I saw, that attitude was very much in the open.
23 It was transparent and, therefore, if I was a
24 subordinate of Mr. Rajic and following his example, I
25 would not be inclined to do so myself. He was setting
1 a negative example for his subordinates to follow.
2 Q. Negative by abstaining from interfering?
3 A. Negative by portraying a negative attitude
4 and negative in the fact that he did not, to the best
5 of my knowledge, intercede to stop what was happening.
6 Q. Were some of these crimes done by the
7 soldiers themselves or was it done by hoodlums with
9 A. Sir, for the most part, I did not witness the
10 fighting myself. I did, in some cases, in the area of
11 Svinjarevo, for example, but for the most part in
12 Rotilj and other areas, I did not witness it myself, so
13 I don't know who did what to who. But the reports I
14 received indicated that, in fact, HVO soldiers had been
15 involved and, in fact, the interview that I quoted from
16 my notes earlier about the girl in Grahovici.
17 Q. About?
18 A. The girl in Grahovici, the one that I was
19 initially told was raped.
20 Q. Yes.
21 A. The interview conducted with her, for
22 example, specifically identified HVO soldiers as being
23 involved in these activities.
24 Q. Among other things, you spoke of something
25 you used even medical words. You said that there was a
1 surgical nature of the damage, when you saw the houses,
2 it was as if it was a surgical operation, one house
3 destroyed or several and one intact.
4 Would that be the act of undisciplined people
5 or would it be a premeditated plan?
6 A. Okay, sir, the best way I could describe this
7 to you is to cite an example where I saw HVO forces
8 fighting. I saw HVO forces engage government forces in
9 the area of Svinjarevo. I watched one afternoon while
10 there was some fairly heavy fighting happening and
11 basically, with heavy weapons fire, they lit up or
12 ignited a bunch of houses on the hillside that I was
13 facing. The fire was over a broad area. It wasn't
14 specific house to house. What I saw, as I entered the
15 Rotilj area, was nothing like that. The damage was
16 very much focused on specific houses, and those houses
17 were isolated in some cases with intact houses around
18 them or behind them. That, to me, is not indicative of
19 the fighting that I was observing elsewhere in that
21 Q. It was indicative of what?
22 A. That would be more indicative of a house to
23 house campaign, possibly the wilful destruction of
25 Q. Done by soldiers?
1 A. It could have been soldiers, as I was led to
2 believe, or it could have been civilians.
3 Q. Civilians could have cannons and artillery?
4 A. No, I'm not talking about that, sir. The
5 damage I saw could have been done by somebody with some
7 Q. You said shooting and some artillery aiming
8 at houses?
9 A. The houses that I watched during the
10 fighting, the damage to those houses was basically done
11 for the most part by heavy machine guns. The fires
12 were started, for the most part, by the incendiary
13 ammunition or tracer ammunition fired by those machine
14 guns. If you fire at a house for long enough, the
15 incendiary ammunition will set that house alight.
16 Q. The heavy machine guns were in the hands of
18 A. The HVO forces.
19 Q. Only?
20 A. Yes, sir.
21 Q. And that was aimed directly and specifically
22 at certain houses?
23 A. Sir, what I'm describing there is one day.
24 It sticks in my mind because that happened fairly early
25 in the tour. We had a camp in Kiseljak at the time.
1 Our camp went to state red, which was our highest state
2 of emergency, because there was some threat that we
3 were going to take some incoming fire. That threat was
4 based on the fact that we had HVO gun positions around
5 our camp in very close proximity, and we thought that
6 return fire may, indeed, hit our camp.
7 I watched this from a ridge line very close
8 to the village of Rotilj, actually, and because I was
9 given orders by my commanding officer not to move, I
10 basically sat there for about two hours and watched the
11 fighting go on. This fighting was not directed solely
12 at the area where the threat was, where the Bosnian
13 government forces were. The force was applied over a
14 much broader area. Whether that was intentional,
15 whether they intended to burn down other houses or
16 whether that was a lack of discipline on the part of
17 the soldiers that were firing, I don't know, but I do
18 know that the area affected was quite large and if I
19 apply that observation to my first visit to Rotilj and
20 the damage I saw there, it wouldn't describe what I
21 saw, that normal military operation was not -- did not
22 produce the same results as what I saw when I first
23 entered the Rotilj village.
24 Q. So you maintain this idea of the surgical
1 A. I think it was very discriminating, sir, and I
2 believe the damage for the most part was relegated to
3 Bosnian Muslim houses. I find that very difficult to
4 explain in a normal military context.
5 Q. Was it not the result of haphazard exchange
6 of fire?
7 A. That was the impression I was given, sir.
8 Q. Now, perhaps my last question, you said that
9 there was ample evidence of cooperation between Bosnian
10 Serbs and Bosnian Croats in central Bosnia, and you
11 gave the example of the arrest of this Bosniak leader
12 or commander, I don't have the name, I don't remember
13 the name, and he was transported through the Serb
14 part; is that right?
15 A. That is correct, sir.
16 Q. And then there was also passage of ammunition
17 coming from the Serb part?
18 A. I do not have any direct evidence of that,
19 but I was led to believe that the Bosnian Croat forces,
20 the HVO forces in the Kiseljak area were receiving
21 support from the Bosnian Serbs.
22 Q. Would this be some kind of arrangement
23 between the lower ranks, like, passing cigarettes to
24 one another, or would it be some kind of plan on a
25 higher knowledge?
1 A. Although I have no direct knowledge of what
2 the arrangement was, sir, I would expect that that was
3 a fairly high level arrangement.
4 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
5 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, judge. I personally
6 have no questions. The debate was extensive. Captain
7 Liebert, the Tribunal wishes to thank you for your
8 testimony. You have spoken with conviction about your
9 experiences during your military duties there. The
10 usher will now accompany you, and before the next
11 witness comes in, I should like to address the two
12 parties, but first the witness has to leave. Thank
13 you, Captain, once again.
14 (The witness withdrew)
15 JUDGE JORDA: Now that the witness has left,
16 I would like to draw attention to the passage of time
17 in this trial.
18 I should first like to ask the Registrar
19 regarding Friday, that both parties should be informed
20 in detail how much time is left. On the basis of that
21 assessment, could you tell us through Olivier for me,
22 when the accusation will complete its case.
23 I wish to make a more general remark. During
24 these proceedings, which we are following and which we
25 respect very much, it is the case of both parties and
1 less so of the Judges, I'm addressing both the Defence
2 and Prosecution. You cannot expect them to do more
3 than they can and not more than you are doing.
4 I'm facing the Prosecution because they have
5 the initiative for the moment, but the same applies to
6 the Defence.
7 Mr. Harmon, you have the initiative, and I
8 think you can select a large number of witnesses. You
9 can choose the time you need for the
10 examination-in-chief, which will condition the
11 cross-examination. You can choose both, which you have
12 done, 300 witnesses and a very long duration of trial.
13 That is your choice. I'm not criticising you until we
14 change the rules of procedure.
15 But when I asked for your summaries, which I
16 must say you are doing very well, and that allows me to
17 intervene more directly in the proceedings. We have
18 been asked to hear 300 witnesses and to take a lot of
19 time, which will also condition a lengthy
20 cross-examination, and we are listening to the third or
21 fourth officer of the Canadian battalion for whom we
22 devoted three or four hours.
23 You know, when you mentioned 300 witnesses, I
24 envisaged that the trial would end in the year 2003,
25 and we have witnesses and the accused waiting. We are
1 multiplying motions, multiplying requests, so I appeal
2 to your common sense. If you elaborate too much for
3 the third or fourth Canadian officer, and if you
4 summarise his entire tour of duty in Bosnia, this will,
5 of course, be long. It can only be long. From the
6 breakfast he had on the morning he arrived and the
7 bringing down of the flag on the last day of his tour
8 of duty, he's bound to have a lot to say, which means
9 that the debate will be long at the level of the
10 examination-in-chief, long in the cross-examination,
11 and long with the questions of the Judges.
12 And what is even more serious, I don't think
13 that we gain in clarity. When you put too much in your
14 suitcase, it is difficult to find what you want when
15 you're looking for it.
16 But I repeat, this is your case and I'm
17 saying that the accused finds it long, and each one of
18 us has his responsibility. One can delegate authority,
19 but not delegate responsibility. This is a rule that
20 is valid in all the armies of the world and also
21 applies in a court of justice.
22 So, Mr. Registrar, I would like to have a
23 very clear assessment for Friday. I think I asked you
24 last Friday and you said there were another 28 days for
25 the Prosecution.
1 MR. DUBUISSON: No, actually 23 days.
2 JUDGE JORDA: 23 full days. So please think
3 over these figures.
4 And now we can bring in the second witness
5 for this afternoon.
6 MR. HARMON: Before we bring in the witness,
7 Mr. President, and Judge Riad, this is a witness whose
8 identity was not discussed in the motion for deposition
9 that I filed with the court two days ago, so for
10 absolute clarity of the record, we would make a request
11 that we proceed in deposition form with the next
13 I will file a request, a formal written
14 request at the conclusion of this week to summarise all
15 of those requests that I have made previously.
16 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Prosecutor.
17 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, Your Honour,
19 JUDGE JORDA: You know that I attach the
20 greatest importance to the agreement between the two
22 Do you join the Prosecution in its request?
23 MR. HAYMAN: We join, Mr. President.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Now I'm asking the accused.
25 General Blaskic, will you please rise and tell us
1 whether you agree with what has been said by your
3 THE ACCUSED: Mr. President, I fully agree
4 and support what has been said by my Defence counsel.
5 JUDGE JORDA: In that case, I thank you for
6 this agreement and this will certainly facilitate
8 Mr. Harmon, you can now bring in the next
9 witness. Is he a protected witness, Mr. Harmon?
10 MR. HARMON: He is not, Mr. President, but
11 let me commence with my summary.
12 The next witness is a gentleman by the name
13 of Sejed Dozic and Mr. Dozic was born in Srebrenica.
14 He studied theology in Sarajevo and he completed those
15 studies in 1984. He became an Imam at the completion
16 of those studies.
17 From 1985 to 1989, he studied at the Islamic
18 Theological Faculty in Sarajevo and he is a professor
19 of theological science. He was the Imam in Duhri,
20 Potkraj, and Polje in the Kiseljak municipality from
21 November of 1990 until the 9th of September.
22 JUDGE JORDA: Please slow down a little bit
23 because you know that I have the habit of taking notes,
24 so please slow down a little bit, please.
25 MR. HARMON: I apologise, Mr. President.
1 I'll slow down.
2 Mr. Dozic was the Imam in the villages of
3 Duhri, Potkraj, and Topola in the Kiseljak municipality
4 from November of 1990 until the 9th of September, 1993
5 when he was expelled from Duhri by the HVO.
6 Now, in the course of the testimony, I will
7 be using a term Dzemat, and for clarity, Dzemat is a
8 term which refers to the Imams area of responsibility,
9 specifically the villages that I have previously
11 Mr. Dozic's testimony will first concern the
12 events in his Dzemat that occurred before the August,
13 1992 attack on Duhri, Potkraj and Topola. Those
14 attacks were previously testified about by Witness MM.
15 He will tell Your Honours that these villages
16 were occupied by civilians, that there were no military
17 targets in those villages and that the villagers
18 possessed minimal number of weapons, mostly consisting
19 of hunting rifles.
20 He will testify further that he was not
21 present in the village during the attack, but in
22 November of 1993 he returned to his Dzemat, and he will
23 describe for you the damage that he observed on the
24 Muslim homes and properties and he will describe the
25 lack of damage on Croat homes and residences.
1 Mr. President, I misspoke. My colleague has
2 pointed out that I said he returned to the village in
3 November of 1993. It should be 1992. Thank you.
4 He will also inform Your Honours about the
5 casualties in that attack, specifically what he was
6 informed about the three casualties, the two Muslim
7 casualties and the one Croat casualty, and he will tell
8 you of the circumstances under which they were killed.
9 He will then turn his attention to the time
10 frame from November of 1992 until mid-April of 1993,
11 during which time the HVO increased the pressure on the
12 villages that were contained in his Dzemat.
13 He will next turn his attention to the time
14 frame starting on the 18th of April, that is when the
15 attack on Rotilj, Svinjarevo, and the other villages in
16 the Kiseljak municipality commenced, and he will
17 describe events that took place up until June 12, 1993
18 when the attack on Tulica commenced.
19 Now, in that period of time, he will testify,
20 first of all, about what he heard about the destruction
21 and damage to various Muslim religious sites. He will
22 testify that following those attacks, all of the Imams
23 in the Kiseljak municipality, save he and one other
24 Imam, remained.
25 He will describe for Your Honours the
1 constant theft of Muslim property, particularly cars
2 and tractors in his Dzemat by HVO soldiers, and he will
3 describe how Muslims were systematically expelled by
4 HVO soldiers from their homes, with a consequence that
5 the population in his Dzemat was reduced by half.
6 He will then turn his attention to the time
7 frame following the attack on Tulica, Grahovica, and
8 Han Ploca, that is, starting on June the 12th, 1993,
9 and he will tell you that following those attacks, in
10 his Dzemat, the people were seized with fear and panic
11 and that the HVO came into those villages and demanded
12 that the people surrender their weapons and, in fact,
13 the few remaining weapons, the hunting rifles and the
14 like that were in the possession of the residents were,
15 in fact, surrendered.
16 Then he will testify what occurred one or two
17 days later, specifically, that the HVO came into his
18 village and the other villages, they rounded up all of
19 the Muslim males in those villages, including the Imam,
20 and they took them initially to the Kiseljak barracks
21 and then ultimately transported them to the Kiseljak
22 municipal building where the Imam remained a prisoner
23 for nine days.
24 Now, he will testify that approximately 100
25 other Muslim civilians were imprisoned in the Kiseljak
1 municipal building with him, and he will describe for
2 Your Honours the conditions relating to that
4 He will describe for you how the HVO forced
5 the civilians who were in the Kiseljak municipal
6 building to go dig trenches, and he will identify by
7 name those who were killed and those who were wounded
8 as a result of being forced to dig trenches on
9 front-line positions.
10 The next period of time that he will testify
11 about is the time from his release from custody until
12 the 9th of September, 1993 when he, his family and all
13 the remaining residents of Duhri were evicted from that
14 village by the HVO.
15 In that time frame, Mr. President, he will
16 describe what amounts to a constant reign of terror
17 inflicted on the Muslim residents by the HVO. He will
18 describe for Your Honours the continual thefts of
19 Muslim property by HVO soldiers, rapes by HVO soldiers,
20 expulsions of Muslims from their homes by HVO soldiers,
21 and he will even describe how Bosnian Serbs crossed the
22 lines, came into his Dzemat, and victimised the Muslims
23 in that community quite freely.
24 He will say that by the beginning of
25 September, 1993, only approximately 100 to 120 Muslims
1 remained in the Dzemat and that on the 9th of September
2 all the Muslims who remained in that community were
3 expelled from the villages and sent to the village of
5 His testimony relates to paragraph 1, 4 and
6 5.2 of the indictment. It relates to count 1
7 persecution, specifically paragraphs 6.1, attacks on
8 cities, towns and villages, 6.3, destruction and
9 plunder of property, 6.4 and 6.5, inhumane treatment of
10 civilians, 6.6, 6.7 and 7, forcible transfer of
12 His testimony also relates to counts 2
13 through 4, unlawful attacks on civilians and civilian
14 objects, counts 11 through 13, destruction and plunder
15 of property, count 14, destruction of institutions
16 dedicated to religion, and finally, counts 15 and 16,
17 inhumane or cruel treatment of detainees.
18 That includes my summary, Mr. President.
19 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. So it is a long
20 testimony a priori, why not the Judges are not against
21 long testimonies, but they are against testimonies that
22 are all long.
23 I have a preliminary remark. Mr. Sejed
24 Dozic, does he appear on your list? I can't find him.
25 Maybe it's an error in the spelling.
1 MR. HARMON: I don't have the list in front
2 of me, Mr. President.
3 JUDGE JORDA: I see, with a "D", fine. He's
4 the one for whom you envisage two hours; is that so?
5 MR. HARMON: That's correct, Mr. President.
6 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. The witness can be
7 brought in.
8 (The witness entered court)
9 JUDGE JORDA: Can you hear me, sir? Will you
10 tell the Judges your first and second name and your
11 religious status, after which you can read your solemn
13 Will you give us your name first, please?
14 THE WITNESS: My name is Sejad Dozic.
15 JUDGE JORDA: I hope we will have the exact
16 spelling in the transcript. No, I think that should be
17 a 'D'. We'll see about that. You are an Imam?
18 THE WITNESS: Yes.
19 JUDGE JORDA: So I can call you Mr. Imam. So
20 please stay standing while reading your solemn
22 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will
23 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the
25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Imam. You can
1 sit down. You accepted to come and testify before the
2 Prosecution in the case against General Blaskic who was
3 a General at the time and you will hear some questions
4 by the Prosecution saying you will tell us of your
5 experience focusing on the central points which the
6 Prosecution has summarised, and then you will be asked
7 questions by the Defence counsel and the Judges.
8 Thank you.
9 MR. HARMON: Good afternoon, Mr. Dozic?
10 A. Good afternoon.
11 Q. I will begin with some preliminary
12 questions. First of all, how old are you?
13 A. I'm 34 years old.
14 Q. Are you a Bosnian citizen?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Where were you born?
17 A. I was born in Srebrenica on January 14, 1965.
18 Q. Now, you've already told us about your
19 profession. Can you tell us about your educational
20 background, please?
21 A. I went to elementary school in Srebrenica in
22 1970 and my religious school in Sarajevo in 1984, and
23 then I spent a year in the former Yugoslav People's
25 From '85 to '89, I studied theology at the
1 Sarajevo Islamic Theology University, and I hold the
2 position of an Imam and a professor of Islamic
4 Q. Did you assume the duties of the Imam in the
5 villages of Topola and Potkraj and Duhri in the
6 Kiseljak municipality between November, 1990 until the
7 HVO expelled you and members of your family in
8 September of 1993?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. If I can ask the assistance of the usher,
11 please, in placing the next exhibit on the ELMO.
12 And, Mr. Dubuisson, if I can have the number
13 of that as well.
14 MR. DUBUISSON: It is Exhibit 369.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Mr. Dozic, I'm going to be referring to the
17 term Dzemat and you'll be referring to that term in
18 your testimony. Can you tell the Judges the definition
19 of Dzemat before you return to the map?
20 A. Dzemat is a word of Arabic origin, and it
21 means a group of people of Muslim religion who are
22 associated to one mosque in their area, and this was
23 the mosque in Topola and Potkraj and Duhri were
24 attached to this mosque as well.
25 Q. Did you assist me in making the exhibit that
1 was on the ELMO, Exhibit 369, and does that exhibit
2 show your Dzemat encircled in the colour orange?
3 A. Yes. This is the area of my Dzemat.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Just to clarify, it is like a
5 parish? It is, in fact, your parish?
6 A. Well, if you take into account that towards a
7 church the religious gravitate in Christianity, then we
8 can make the same analogy in the church in Brnjaci. If
9 Brnjaci is a parish, I don't know the exact hierarchy.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, I understood, thank you.
11 MR. HARMON:
12 Q. Mr. Dozic, before we get into the substance
13 of your testimony, can you describe the ethnic
14 population in your Dzemat and the population of those
16 A. You mean Potkraj? Was it a mixed
18 First we had the hamlet in which Muslims
19 lived, and in part of the hamlet there were Croats,
20 where as Topola and Duhri were basically inhabited by
22 Brnjaci was a Croat village which is on the
23 boundary with Topola, so this is on the borderline
24 between the two hamlets, the population was mixed.
25 Q. Approximately how many Bosnian Muslims were
1 found in your Dzemat?
2 A. About 600, if you include in this figure the
3 adults, women, children and so on, everyone.
4 Q. So is it fair to say that these were very
5 small villages in your Dzemat?
6 A. Yes, about 50 to 100 homes all in all.
7 Q. Was there any industry located in your
9 A. No, there was no industry.
10 Q. Were there any military facilities located
11 within your Dzemat?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Now, very briefly and succinctly, could you
14 tell the Judges what your duties and responsibilities
15 were within the Dzemat?
16 A. Well, as a religious person, I was in charge
17 of the religious life of the people in my Dzemat. I
18 was able, during the day, to communicate with people
19 five times by prayer, and I also was able to
20 communicate with peoples from my Dzemat on Fridays
21 during the Bajram, and we had special communication, we
22 had in the mosque which was built in 1991.
23 Q. So you became quite familiar with the members
24 of your Dzemat. You knew them well, you socialised
25 with them; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Now, I would like to direct your attention to
3 the time frame before the HVO attacked your Dzemat in
4 August of 1992.
5 Can you tell the Judges in your own words
6 whether there are any military targets in the Dzemat
7 and can you describe for the Judges what, if any,
8 weapons were possessed by the Muslim people who lived
9 within the Dzemat?
10 A. No, there were no military targets in my
11 Dzemat. As far as weapons are concerned, there were
12 basically light infantry weapons, small arms, automatic
13 machine guns, semi-automatics and I left this when I
14 went to get my family.
15 Q. Now, when you say that there were weapons,
16 basically light infantry weapons, small arms, automatic
17 and semi-automatic weapons, were those weapons that
18 were in the village or are those weapons that are
19 formerly in the village but were at the front-line
21 A. Well, some of the weapons were on the
22 front-line, but the weapons I mentioned were arms used
23 by the police.
24 Q. And how many police were there in your
25 village, in your Dzemat?
1 A. I don't know the exact number, not very many.
2 Q. Were there any units of the Bosnian army
3 located in your Dzemat?
4 A. No, there were no units. The units of the
5 army were in Koscani.
6 Q. Now, you weren't present during the attack on
7 your village that occurred in August of 1992; isn't
8 that correct?
9 A. No, I wasn't.
10 Q. When you returned, did you have an
11 opportunity to see the damage that had been inflicted
12 as a result of that attack?
13 A. Yes, I saw what had happened. Some houses
14 were burnt down, some stables. I saw a man with
15 crutches, Salem Mujic, who was injured during the
16 attack. I also learned that in that conflict, Mutap
17 Hasan was killed while he was trying to put out the
18 fire on his house and stable.
19 And Zahid Hadzic was also killed when he saw
20 that his stable was on fire. He wished to release the
21 cattle, and then he was shot to death and also a Croat
22 was killed from Potkraj, his name was Luka. That Croat
23 was slightly mentally retarded. He used to come to
24 visit us often. He was a friend with Zahid Hadzic and
25 probably when he saw him shot down, he tried to
1 approach him, but then he was killed on that occasion.
2 And that is what I learned what had happened
3 during that attack.
4 Q. Can you tell the Judges whether the damage
5 that you saw in your Dzemat was exclusively limited to
6 Muslim houses and buildings, or was there also damage
7 done to Croat buildings?
8 A. Well, passing through Potkraj, you must, if
9 you go from the main road you have to first pass
10 through the Croatian dwelling, then a Muslim dwelling.
11 I did not notice any damage to the Croat buildings, but
12 many of the facades were destroyed on the Muslim houses
13 by the shrapnel.
14 My home was also damaged, destroyed, some
15 glass was broken and so forth.
16 Q. Was the mosque in Topola or the Mektab in
17 Topola damaged as a result of that attack?
18 A. No, the Minaret was damaged in several
19 points, the facade from several bullets and also there
20 were bullet holes on the Mektab as well.
21 Q. Now, at the time you returned to Duhri in
22 November, 1992 until the attacks on the villages of
23 Rotilj and Svinjarevo on the 18th of April, 1993, can
24 you describe to the Judges what life was like for the
25 Muslims in your Dzemat?
1 A. From November, 1992 until the events of
2 April, '93, generally speaking, life was more or less
3 normalised, people could move around fairly freely but
4 there was also the danger that someone might be robbed
5 or looted at the checkpoints which were located at the
6 entrance to Kiseljak.
7 Q. Let me turn your attention to April 18th,
8 1993, that is, when the attacks on Rotilj and the other
9 villages occurred.
10 First of all, could you see those attacks
11 taking place or some of those attacks taking place from
12 your village?
13 A. No, we could not see the attacks directly.
14 We could hear the shooting and we could see the smoke
15 from the burnt buildings.
16 Q. Were you subsequently informed about the
17 resulting damage to Muslim religious sites as a result
18 of that fighting?
19 A. Yes, I heard that the mosque was damaged in
20 Kiseljak, in Gromiljak and also many Muslim houses had
21 been damaged, that some Muslims had been able to move,
22 escape to the territories under the army of the BiH
24 Some Muslims hid with their relatives. Some
25 were killed. Some were captured. And this is what I
1 had heard that had happened in that location.
2 Q. And before the attacks of the 18th of April,
3 how many Imams were there in the Kiseljak municipality?
4 A. As far as I know, seven.
5 Q. After those attacks, Mr. Dozic, how many
6 Imams remained?
7 A. A few days after the attack, there was only
8 myself left and Omer Efendija from Han Ploca who was
9 killed in an attack which occurred on June 12th in Han
11 Q. Following those particular attacks and up to
12 the point in time when the village of Tulica, Han Ploca
13 and Grahovica were attacked, that is around the 12th of
14 June, 1993, can you tell the Judges what happened to
15 the people in your Dzemat?
16 A. After the events which took place in Rotilj,
17 Gromiljak, Visnjica, panic broke out amongst the
18 members of my Dzemat, and people from the experience of
19 August, '92, tried to remove their women and children
20 to the Bosnian territory. Some were successful.
21 There was assistance by friends, Croat
22 friends, some managed to escape by paying Croats at the
23 checkpoints, and what is also important in that period
24 was that the Muslim property was looted and cars,
1 And when the refugees, the Croat refugees
2 from Fojnica came, Muslims had to move from their homes
3 and some Muslims had been moved to the territory by the
4 checkpoint of the HVO and then moved to the territory
5 controlled by the Bosnian army, and some Muslims had to
6 either move to their summer cottages or moved in with
7 their relatives, whose houses had not yet been damaged.
8 Q. Mr. Dozic, let me ask you some points to
9 clarify what you just testified about. When you say
10 there were thefts of vehicles, who was stealing the
11 vehicles and who were the victims of the theft?
12 A. Well, the victims of the thefts were, of
13 course, the Muslims, people from Duhri and the culprits
14 were the soldiers of the HVO because they knew who
15 owned cars.
16 They would come to the homes and ask for the
17 keys from the owners and take over the cars and the
18 tractors without a word of explanation.
19 Q. Were the owners of those cars and the owners
20 of the tractors ever given any receipts by the soldiers
21 who took their cars?
22 A. As far as I know, no.
23 Q. Were any of the victims of those thefts ever
24 given any compensation by the HVO soldiers who took
25 their cars?
1 A. To my knowledge, as far as I know, no one had
2 been compensated.
3 Q. Did the HVO ever return any of the cars that
4 they had taken from the Muslims in your community?
5 A. No.
6 Q. Now, you testified about evictions in your
7 community. Can you tell the Judges who was being
8 evicted and who was doing the evicting?
9 A. The Muslims were being evicted and this was
10 done by the soldiers of the HVO to come to their
11 property, to their homes.
12 Q. What would happen to the Muslims who were
13 being evicted?
14 A. Well, they were taken to the checkpoints and
15 then they had to go to their relatives or to whatever
16 place they could get to, but they were left to their
17 own devices, as it were, once they passed the
19 Q. Were the people who were being evicted
20 notified well in advance so they could gather their
21 personal effects and collect their personal effects
22 before they left their homes, or were the circumstances
23 different than I've just described?
24 A. It depends. Sometimes they did have enough
25 time, sometimes they didn't.
1 Q. Can you tell the Judges the effect of those
2 expulsions on the Muslim population in your Dzemat by
3 June of 1993?
4 A. Well, they felt insecure, the insecurity was
5 greater daily because no one could guarantee them any
6 safety. Their life was very cheap. They could be
7 killed by anyone and the killers would not be held
8 accountable. So fear was very much present.
9 Q. Numerically, what affect did it have on your
10 Dzemat. You said initially in your testimony that the
11 population within your Dzemat was 600. By June of 1993
12 as a result of the expulsions, can you tell the Judges
13 what the population of Muslims within your Dzemat was?
14 A. It was halved, about 300 were left in my
16 Q. Now, Mr. Dozic, you and I have talked about
17 your giving an answer in a narrative form, and what I
18 would like you to do is, in your own words, and in a
19 narrative form, tell the Judges, please, what happened
20 in your Dzemat after the events of June the 12th, after
21 the date of the attacks on Tulica.
22 Can you tell the Judges in your own words,
24 A. The events which occurred in these villages
25 on June 12th and the events in Visnjica and Rotilj,
1 Gomionica, while we could see the fire, we could see
2 the smoke, we heard the firing, the shells and so on.
3 The information we received the following day
4 was horrible. There were women raped, killed,
5 persecuted. In the evening we were in a field, we were
6 cutting the grass, and we saw the soldiers of the HVO
7 with the arrested Muslims, captured Muslims.
8 After those events of the Muslims from my
9 Dzemat, the HVO ordered that the arms should be
10 surrendered and they followed that order and gave up
11 their weapons, basically hunting guns, pistols, and
12 some bombs.
13 A few days later one morning, between 5.30
14 and 6.00, I was woken up by the bell ringing on my
15 door. I went out and I saw two HVO soldiers who told
16 me I had five minutes to get ready and to go in front
17 of the mosque. I did as they told me.
18 I got ready, and on the way to the mosque, I
19 saw that most of the men from my Dzemat were moving
20 towards the appointed place.
21 There were about a hundred of us gathered
22 there from my Dzemat, all men from 18 to 65 years of
23 age had been rounded up in front of the mosque.
24 After that, we were ordered to get onto
25 trucks which were there, which had been brought there,
1 and we were driven to the Kiseljak barracks. We were
2 put up in three or four rooms in the first building as
3 you pass the gate. We stayed there for two and a half
4 to three hours. No one told us why we had been
6 The room that I was in with a group of
7 people, I came across two of my followers from my
8 Dzemat, an elderly man of about 50 had been badly
9 beaten, and with him was a young boy of about 15. He,
10 too, had been beaten up, but not so severely.
11 We asked them how it had happened, and they
12 explained that that night they had wanted to cross into
13 free territory, and the BiH army control, that they had
14 been captured and brought that night there and beaten
16 After two and a half to three hours, we were
17 ordered to go out and to get on the trucks again, which
18 we did, and we were then driven in front of the
19 municipality building in Kiseljak. That building used
20 to be used as the town hall before this event. We were
21 ordered to get off the truck and to go into the
22 building. The building was empty. It had two floors
23 so that when we got in, we were put in the dormitories
24 where we stayed from then on in groups.
25 There were no beds, no blankets, so that we
1 would usually put some paper on the floor and there was
2 plenty of it in the municipality building, and we would
3 take documents and use them as a pillow under our
5 What made things worse was that in the
6 building there was no regular running water, and the
7 toilets were mostly blocked up. During my stay of nine
8 days in this building, never for a moment did any
9 representative of the authorities inform us why we were
10 there. On the second day, towards the evening, two HVO
11 soldiers came in and asked that a group of people step
12 out, a group of 30 to 35 men. The people were a bit
13 confused. Then they started shouting, cursing. Some
14 people were hit, kicked, some with rifle butts, so that
15 after that, a group of 35 men was formed and they were
16 boarded on a truck.
17 When they came back the next day in the
18 morning, talking to them, we had learned that they had
19 actually been taken to dig trenches along the defence
20 lines of the HVO facing the BiH army.
21 After that, having realised why we were
22 there, we decided that the existing 100 men should be
23 divided into two groups so that one group would be
24 working at night and the other group during the day.
25 These men mostly went to dig trenches at all
1 the places where the HVO had a confrontation line with
2 the BiH army, above Kazagici, Vares, Duhri, Lepenica,
3 towards the Fojnica municipality and so on.
4 During my nine-day detention, I was not taken
5 to dig trenches because the members of the Dzemat said,
6 you are our Imam and you will not go, so that we
7 learned about what happened to them there from what
8 they told us.
9 On the first day, we were given nothing to
10 eat, and on the second our women were allowed to bring
11 food from home. Then they brought us blankets and a
12 change of clothing.
13 During my nine-day stay there, we were
14 visited by Mr. Borjo and Mr. Takan who was the
15 president of the Red Cross in Kiseljak.
16 On that occasion, we asked to be registered
17 as prisoners by the International Red Cross. I think
18 that, indeed, happened, though I was not there then.
19 Nine days later, I was released from this
20 detention, so I spent the rest of the time at home. A
21 policeman who brought me home told me --
22 Q. Let me interrupt you there because I have
23 some questions to clarify your narrative before we get
24 into the next testimony, Mr. Dozic.
25 You said that approximately 100 Muslim
1 civilians were kept in the municipal building and the
2 question I would like to ask you is: During the
3 approximately nine days that you were there, were all
4 of those Muslim civilians, with the exception of you
5 and, perhaps, a few others, forced to dig trenches
6 every day, every night?
7 A. Yes, each one in his shift.
8 Q. Now, let me ask you, were you and the others
9 who were imprisoned at the Kiseljak municipal building
10 free to leave that building at any time during the nine
11 days that you were a hostage there?
12 A. No. We couldn't leave because there was a
13 guard in front of the main gate of the building, and
14 only people who had to see a doctor could, under police
15 escort, go to the medical centre and be treated there,
16 after which they would be returned to the municipal
17 building. That was the situation while I was there.
18 Q. And in the nine days that you were there, did
19 anybody ever give you an explanation, any HVO authority
20 figure ever give you an explanation of why you and the
21 others were being detained in the Kiseljak municipal
23 A. Never did anyone explain to us why we had
24 been detained.
25 Q. Did you learn that some of the people who had
1 been detained in the Kiseljak municipal building and
2 who had been taken to dig trenches were killed or
4 A. Killings and injuries occurred after I was
5 released. Two men were killed, one of them is Rasim
6 Bulut whom I buried, and I know two men who were
7 injured and both of them were after transferred to the
8 territory under the BiH army control for treatment.
9 The other man who succumbed to his injuries,
10 his name was Emso Redo, I was not the one to bury him,
11 though I was in Rotilj at the time, and I found this
12 hard to bear because the man was buried without any
13 proper burial rights and we don't know where he is.
14 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me. Were they killed
15 while digging trenches or was it an actual death?
16 A. No, no, they were killed while digging
17 trenches. Rasim Bulut was killed by a stray bullet
18 which came from the BiH army's side. That is what I
19 was told.
20 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you.
21 A. And the other man was also wounded. On the
22 same occasion, two HVO soldiers were wounded because of
23 the accidental activation of a mine.
24 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
25 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Harmon, it is ten past
1 four. I have noticed that we still have to go through
2 all that happened after his release.
3 You have finished your questions regarding
4 the period up to the 12th of June, haven't you?
5 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have one or two
6 more questions, but I can postpone those until after
7 the break.
8 JUDGE JORDA: I would prefer you to put them
9 so that after the break we have just the last point, so
10 as to try and release the Imam this evening.
11 So please put the questions that you need to
12 up to the period of the 12th of June briefly, please.
13 MR. HARMON: Yes.
14 Q. Mr. Dozic, you were released from the
15 municipal building after nine days. How long were the
16 other people who were incarcerated in the municipal
17 building kept in that building before they were
18 released, if you know?
19 A. It depended. Some people stayed until
20 October, but in mid-September, as far as I'm aware, the
21 men who were still in the municipality building were
22 transferred to Rotilj, and then they formed a labour
23 squad that existed in Rotilj, and that was taken out
24 daily to perform labour required by the HVO.
25 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I've concluded
1 this part of my examination. What I intend to do after
2 we come back is have the Imam testify about what events
3 occurred after his return to Duhri.
4 JUDGE JORDA: After his release. We agree
5 with your plan and your summary. We will have recess
6 and resume work a little after half past four.
7 --- Recess taken at 4.13 p.m.
8 --- On resuming at 4.41 p.m.
9 JUDGE JORDA: The hearing is resumed. Have
10 the accused brought in, please?
11 (The accused entered court)
12 JUDGE JORDA: Let us continue.
13 MR. HARMON:
14 Q. Mr. Dozic, focusing your attention on the
15 time period between the time of your release from the
16 Kiseljak municipal building until the time you and your
17 family and others were expelled from the village of
18 Duhri by the HVO on the 9th of September, could you, in
19 your own words, tell the judges what happened to you
20 and other members of your Dzemat?
21 A. After spending nine days in the municipality
22 building, I was taken back home and I stayed there
23 until the 9th of September, 1993 when, with my family
24 and another 100 members of my Dzemat, I was transferred
25 to the camp at Rotilj. Several incidents occurred in
1 the meantime. The appropriation of Muslim property
2 continued by HVO soldiers. As there were no more cars
3 or tractors left, it was like the return of the
4 livestock, so they would simply enter a stable, select
5 the cow they liked, and take it away without paying any
6 compensation to the owners.
7 Then they would also take fodder from the
8 fields which the Muslims had left there in June, having
9 cut it and prepared it for their own cattle. Then also
10 they took my car. It was the only car that still
11 remained in the village, and it was taken by the HVO
12 police. I was given a certificate, but they said that
13 they were taking it temporarily. To this day, I have
14 not received any compensation or damages for this car,
15 nor was it ever returned to me.
16 An event that caused a great deal of panic in
17 my village was the rape of a 19-year-old girl which
18 occurred at the beginning of August 1992. In the
19 evening, three HVO soldiers came and they took --
20 Q. Excuse me. May I make a correction, before
21 you start with that part of the narration? The record
22 says "August of 1992"?
23 A. 1993, the rape occurred at the beginning of
24 August 1993.
25 Q. I'm sorry to have interrupted you, but I
1 needed to make that correction. Could you please
2 continue, Mr. Dozic?
3 A. Three HVO soldiers came to the family home of
4 this girl, and they treated the mother roughly who
5 tried to resist them taking the girl and her younger
6 sister, who was 14 years old. They hit the mother and
7 locked her up in her family home from the outside. The
8 two mentioned girls were taken to another Muslim house,
9 which is about 300 metres away from their family home.
10 Three hours later, the girls were returned. The older
11 girl had been raped, the younger one had not. She had
12 been raped by two HVO soldiers. The third soldier did
13 not take part in the rape.
14 The mother, the next day, complained to the
15 police, and the police allegedly said that the
16 perpetrator had been arrested and that he had been
17 punished. We don't know whether that, in fact,
19 This event particularly provoked fear among
20 young women and girls, so that after that, not a single
21 young woman or girl dared sleep in their own homes, but
22 would usually go into the maize fields, the maize being
23 very tall in that period, or they would sleep in the
24 stables or in the woods. This situation continued
25 until the exchange of the Muslim population with the
1 Croats in the area of Lepenica that occurred later. On
2 that occasion, we managed to transfer, more or less,
3 all the girls and some of the elderly people to free
4 territory and the BiH army control in this exchange,
5 which was legally arranged.
6 The pressure continued and the eviction of
7 Muslims from their homes, and the Muslims had to gather
8 together in a very small area. Living conditions
9 became intolerable.
10 Another event that occurred at the beginning
11 of September shocked the Muslim people; namely, one
12 night, about 11.00, I heard screaming and noise in a
13 house 150 metres away from the house I was living in.
14 As it was night-time, we didn't dare move around. We
15 were afraid, and I learned the next day that a young
16 woman had been raped in the presence of her
17 father-in-law, who had been beaten up, and on whose
18 forehead a cross had been tattooed. This young woman
19 was raped in the presence of her five-year-old son by
20 three HVO soldiers, natives of Travnik.
21 The poor woman protested the next day against
22 everything that had happened that night to UNPROFOR
23 forces. UNPROFOR, again, in its turn, protested with
24 the HVO authorities, and towards the evening, one of
25 the police officers showed me the protest note
1 addressed by UNPROFOR to the HVO authorities and asked
2 me whether this was true. I said it was because I knew
3 it had happened, and they promised on that occasion
4 that a police checkpoint would be formed at the
5 entrance to the village and that the HVO police would
6 protect the Muslim people in my village.
7 Let me just add that this police checkpoint
8 had previously been formed after the first rape. It
9 existed for a couple of days and then it was removed.
10 We wanted to see that checkpoint at the entrance to our
11 village the next day, but the HVO police appeared with
12 a bus and a mini-bus, and they ordered us to pack the
13 essentials within 15 minutes and to come to the buses.
14 We did as we were ordered, and on that occasion, about
15 100 remaining inhabitants of Muslim religion living in
16 that village were transported.
17 While leaving our houses, the houses which
18 had still not been expropriated, HVO soldiers moved in
19 immediately with their families. I remember very well
20 that my house was moved into by a man called Branko
21 Lovic (phonetic) who came from Fojnica, and he moved in
22 with his family.
23 Q. Let me ask you some questions then to further
24 clarify the events that took place during the time
25 period we're talking about. When you came back from
1 the municipal building, from your imprisonment there,
2 were you informed by your wife and by others, other
3 women in the village, that jewellery had been stolen from
4 them by HVO soldiers? Can you tell the judges what you
5 were told?
6 A. Yes. My wife told me that while we were
7 detained in the municipal building, they were in a
8 garage of my neighbour's across the road, and two HVO
9 soldiers came while they were there and threatened
10 them, insisting that they surrender all the jewellery
11 they had on them. On that occasion, my wife's
12 necklace, bracelet and a golden ring was taken away.
13 The jewellery of the other women was also seized. This
14 happened frequently. Money would be taken, jewellery,
15 especially from people that they knew had means.
16 JUDGE RIAD: Excuse me just a second. You
17 said jewellery was seized. Was it --
18 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Your
20 JUDGE RIAD: I'm sorry. I'll repeat it
21 again. You said that the jewellery was seized. So it
22 was not stolen, it was done almost officially.
23 Somebody came and took them openly or was it stolen at
24 night or without the owner knowing?
25 A. No, no. During the day, a soldier or two
1 under arms would come and tell you, "Hand over whatever
2 jewellery you have or money."
3 JUDGE RIAD: So it was done in almost an
4 official way?
5 A. I don't know what you mean when you say
7 JUDGE RIAD: By somebody coming to steal,
8 somebody coming in the name of the law.
9 A. Yes, but if somebody comes in the name of the
10 law, he has to give you a certificate. He must have a
11 document, but no one ever received any document or any
12 material compensation for what was taken away from
14 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
15 MR. HARMON:
16 Q. Now, to clarify your testimony about the
17 rapes that occurred of these young women who were in
18 your Dzemat, were both of these young women Muslims?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Did there come an occasion when two Serb
21 soldiers came to your village, and can you describe to
22 the judges the circumstances of that?
23 A. Yes. One day, in the morning, I went outside
24 and I was surprised to see two Serb soldiers with fire
25 hats and cockades on those hats, which are the insignia
1 of the Chetniks, members of the Serb army. They
2 asked me whether there was a woman in the village with
3 sheep, that they wanted to buy sheep from that woman.
4 And then my neighbour, Mustafa, joined in this
5 conversation, and he happened to know one of these, and
6 we were surprised to see members of the Serb army in
7 our Dzemat. Of course, we told them where they could
8 find the woman they were looking for, and, apparently,
9 they took these six sheep from this woman and paid a
10 minimum price for them.
11 Q. Now, you also described a series of
12 expulsions during that period of time, that is,
13 expulsions of Muslims. Can you tell the judges who was
14 doing the expelling of the Muslims from their homes?
15 A. (No translation).
16 MR. HARMON: Excuse me. I'm not getting a
17 translation at all, Mr. President, in English, at
18 least, and the court reporter is not getting it.
19 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreter
20 apologises. She forgot to switch on her microphone.
21 Could the witness please repeat?
22 MR. HARMON:
23 Q. Mr. Dozic, could you start your answer from
24 the beginning, please, because there was no recording
25 of your answer on the screen?
1 A. Expulsions of Muslims from their homes went
2 on continuously from April until September 1993. Most
3 frequently, HVO soldiers would come and tell the owners
4 that they had so much time to collect their essential
5 belongings and to leave their homes, which these wanted
6 to move into. These expulsions were sometimes done in
7 a rough manner and sometimes not. Sometimes people
8 were given a little more time to be able to take more
9 things with them.
10 Q. Would you relate to the judges the events
11 that you experienced when you were performing religious
12 burial rites on some of the deceased Muslims in your
14 A. While we were burying Rasim Bulut, whom I
15 mentioned was killed while digging trenches, because
16 the cemetery where we bury our dead was next to the
17 Sarajevo to Kiseljak road, the soldiers who would pass
18 by in their private cars would hurl insults at us,
19 "Balija, another Turk less," and similar such
20 insults. In a house that was close by to the cemetery,
21 folk music would be played very loudly, as loudly as
22 possible, and we found this very painful. This was a
23 house where Filga (phonetic) and his group lived, the
24 house of Kasim Emso (phonetic).
25 Q. Now, following the events on the 9th of
1 September when the buses came to your village and took
2 you, your family and other Muslims out of the village,
3 did any Muslims remain in the village after the 9th of
5 A. After that date, there was not a single
6 Muslim left in my village, and the next day, there was
7 not a single Muslim left within the Kiseljak
8 municipality, except for the Muslims in the Rotilj
9 camp, which means all the Muslims in the municipality
10 of Kiseljak were gathered in one place.
11 Q. How long did you remain in Rotilj?
12 A. I stayed in Rotilj for about one and a half
14 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have no
15 additional questions. I've concluded my examination.
16 Mr. Dozic, thank you very much.
17 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Harmon, for your
18 efforts in presenting the summary and your questions,
19 and I hope you were able to put all the questions you
20 needed for your examination-in-chief.
21 Now, Imam, as you know, you will be asked
22 questions by Mr. Nobilo, who is one of the Defence
23 counsel of the accused.
24 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President.
25 Cross-examination by Mr. Nobilo
1 Q. Mr. Dozic, good afternoon. As you have
2 heard, my name is Anto Nobilo, and together with
3 Russell Hayman, I represent General Blaskic, and we
4 would like to elucidate some points regarding your
6 You indicated the area of your Dzemat on this
7 map. For the benefit of the transcript, can we say
8 that it is true to say that your Dzemat is around the
9 main road going through Kiseljak?
10 A. Yes. It is the main road from Kiseljak to
12 Q. In April in '92?
13 A. In July 1992.
14 Q. Until July 1992, how do you assess relations
15 between the Muslims and Croats in your municipality or,
16 rather, in terms of the Territorial Defence of the
17 municipality; were they correct?
18 A. As far as I know, yes, until my departure in
20 Q. Let us now proceed to the period after you
21 left. In your Dzemat, an armed conflict occurred. You
22 were not present, but you heard from your villages
23 about it, so you testified about it. Could you tell us
24 whether your villages told you what was the main cause
25 for this armed conflict or incident to occur in your
2 A. Allegedly, a barricade was the cause.
3 Q. And who put up the barricade?
4 A. The Muslims, but I learned that this
5 roadblock was removed, that there was a talk between
6 representatives of the Muslims and the HVO, and it was
7 agreed to remove the barricade and, in fact, it was.
8 That is what I was told, and that the attack occurred
9 after the barricade was removed. That is what I was
10 told, but I cannot testify about that as I wasn't
12 Q. You said the Muslims put up the roadblock.
13 Were they members of the TO?
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. Do you know that this roadblock that
16 intercepted the main highway was guarded by armed
18 A. I was told that it was removed.
19 Q. But before it was removed, was it manned by
20 armed personnel?
21 A. It was, but it was removed before the
22 conflict. That is what I was told.
23 Q. Were you told before it was removed how many
24 armed men were concentrated at that roadblock and,
25 generally, in the area of your Dzemat?
1 A. I didn't inquire about that.
2 Q. Do you know that at the time of the conflict,
3 Sead Sinanbasic, the main commander of the Kiseljak
4 Territorial Defence, had in Topola, in the area of your
5 Dzemat in the youth centre, his command post?
6 A. I told you I wasn't interested in these
7 things and I cannot tell you about them.
8 Q. During your examination-in-chief, you spoke
9 about damage to houses by bullets, shells and
10 shrapnel. Tell me, do you know whether anyone told you
11 whether anybody personally, by hand, torched houses or
12 was all the damage due to the shelling and the fire?
13 A. According to what I was told, it was due to
14 shelling and fire and that a lot of the incendiary
15 ammunition was used, and the stables suffered, in
16 particular, and an antiaircraft gun hit my house, for
18 Q. You said that some of the hamlets were
20 A. Yes. As far as I could see passing by these
21 were Croat.
22 Q. But the Muslim ones were damaged. We must
23 slow down because of the interpreters. Were you told
24 who was in those Croatian villages at the time of the
25 conflict? Was the HVO in these Croatian hamlets?
1 A. I don't know.
2 Q. Do you know where the line of fire was?
3 A. I don't know.
4 Q. So you don't know the details. You said that
5 there was only a reserve police force. Do you know
6 that in Duhri there were 41 soldiers?
7 A. The soldiers who were in Duhri were on the
8 front-line at Koscani, and they would come home only
9 when they were relieved, but they were not in Duhri.
10 They held the line at Koscani.
11 JUDGE JORDA: Witness, when you answer
12 questions, please look at the judges.
13 THE WITNESS: I apologise. I forgot.
14 MR. NOBILO:
15 Q. Regardless of where they were, do you agree
16 with me that there were 41 soldiers of the BiH army
17 that came from Duhri?
18 A. I don't know the figure.
19 Q. During that first conflict in August 1992,
20 did anyone evict Muslims from their houses, or did the
21 Muslims remain after the conflict to live in your
23 A. I was informed that the majority of Muslims
24 abandoned their homes for a few days, but after that,
25 they returned to continue living there.
1 Q. In the examination-in-chief, you said that
2 from November 1992 until April 1993, life was more or
3 less normal, with the exception of the events of the
4 checkpoints; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do I remember well?
7 A. As far as I am aware, yes.
8 Q. Can you tell me, is this statement true which
9 I found in your first statement, that the looting at
10 the checkpoints was mostly done by extremist groups of
11 the HVO known as Maturice consisting of criminals?
12 A. Not at checkpoints but in the village where I
13 was staying.
14 Q. So it is correct that the looting was done by
15 criminals from Maturice?
16 MR. HARMON: Excuse me, can I have the page
17 reference on that?
18 MR. NOBILO: Page 3 of the statement,
19 somewhere in the middle.
20 JUDGE JORDA: As far as possible, limit
21 yourself to the examination-in-chief, Mr. Nobilo. I
22 will be very strict about this. I do not remember this
23 being referred to in the examination-in-chief,
24 Mr. Harmon. Was it? I don't think so.
25 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, the witness did
1 speak about robberies in his village. I just asked who
2 was behind them. It was mentioned, but the unit was
3 not mentioned; but the witness did speak about it. In
4 the examination-in-chief, the witness spoke about
5 robberies in his village. My question was simply
6 whether it was correct that this was done by members of
7 the Maturice.
8 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Thank you.
9 MR. NOBILO:
10 Q. At the time, from November, I'm talking about
11 November, before April '93 when the attack against the
12 village occurred, in that period, from November '92 to
13 April '93, did a single military unit of the HVO attack
14 any village, as far as you know, in Kiseljak
16 A. I do not know.
17 Q. You also said that when Rotilj and the other
18 villages were attacked on the 18th of April, '93, you
19 heard the shooting, the shelling, et cetera. Your
20 villagers panicked and started moving out. How many
21 men left then, before these forcible evictions by the
22 soldiers that you referred to afterwards? I'm talking
23 about those who left of their own free will, driven by
25 A. We can talk about panic that occurred
1 immediately after the event, but after the refugees,
2 the Croats from Fojnica municipality came, and when the
3 expulsions started, they were no longer voluntary, so
4 we must include voluntary and forced expulsions. And
5 until the events in July, about 300 Muslims left. This
6 is including those who went of their own free will and
7 those who were forced to go.
8 Q. I understand. But could you please tell us
9 how many went voluntarily and how many were thrown out
10 by the people from Fojnica?
11 A. I cannot tell you.
12 Q. Now, we're talking about the eviction of the
13 people of Fojnica. Were they just from Fojnica or from
14 Kakanj and Vares as well?
15 A. At first there were people from Fojnica, then
16 from Kakanj, then soldiers, we called them Travnikanis,
17 that is HVO soldiers who crossed through Chetnik
18 territories to the area of Kiseljak. We saw buses
19 bringing them in, and a Croat told us that they were
20 coming, and they told us along which route they had
21 come, and then they too started looking for houses for
22 accommodation. So these three men from Travnik who
23 raped the second-mentioned young woman were living
24 about 30 metres away from her in a new house.
25 Q. Could we say that all the people who came to
1 your village to expel the local inhabitants were either
2 from Fojnica, Kakanj, or Travnik, but they certainly
3 were not local Croats, your neighbours?
4 A. Why would our neighbours evict us when they
5 had their own houses to live in?
6 Q. So is my conclusion correct, that you were
7 not evicted by your neighbours but people coming from
8 other municipalities?
9 A. What is important for us is that it was done
10 by HVO soldiers, and it was the authorities who had to
11 provide accommodation for them and not the Muslims
12 because they had not expelled them from their houses.
13 Q. I understand what is important for you, but
14 allow me something that is important for me. Please
15 answer my question. All the people who settled in your
16 village, were they outsiders?
17 A. As far as I know, yes.
18 Q. Is it true that when such a soldier evicted a
19 Muslim family, a Croat family was already waiting to
20 move in as soon as possible?
21 A. There were various cases. There were houses
22 that only soldiers moved into, and there were other
23 houses in which the soldiers moved in with their
25 Q. We're talking about vehicles, when you talked
1 about thefts and seizure of your vehicles, in addition
2 to your car, did the HVO soldiers take those vehicles
3 for official needs of their units or did the HVO
4 soldiers take those vehicles for their own private
6 A. I don't know. I just know that they did not
7 issue any certificate for those vehicles. I don't know
8 what they used them for.
9 Q. You were released after nine days. Is it
10 true that the Croatian friar, Brother ^ Borjo,
11 intervened to have you released?
12 A. I know that he visited us and he promised to
13 intervene. I don't know who it was that intervened for
14 my release.
15 Q. How long after his visit were you released?
16 A. I do not remember exactly, but I know it was
17 very soon afterwards.
18 Q. Are you talking about Friar ^ Borja Pervin
19 from Kiseljak?
20 A. I don't know his surname, but as far as I
21 know, he was working for the Caritas Humanitarian
22 Organisation. He was in charge of it.
23 Q. Is it true that when you were released, a
24 Croatian policeman told you not to move about too much
25 because you may be attacked by Croatian extremists?
1 A. I was advised like that.
2 Q. The second rape; you said that you were told
3 they were arrested. Do you know about the -- for the
4 first. What about the second rape? Do you know
5 whether any criminal proceedings were undertaken?
6 A. I do not know because that family moved
7 immediately to ^ Pales, and the next day, it was
8 transferred to territory under BiH army control, I
9 don't know by whom, but I know for sure that these
10 three Croat soldiers afterwards committed rapes in
11 Rotilj of an older woman who was never married, who was
12 about 30 or 35 years old, and they were looking for
13 her, in fact, when they raped this other young woman.
14 She was hidden. They couldn't find her, and then they
15 went to this young woman and they raped her.
16 Q. You said that after the second rape, you said
17 in the examination-in-chief, that the policeman
18 promised to set up a checkpoint. Is it true that you
19 and the other villagers asked the Croatian police to
20 set up this checkpoint?
21 A. Of course we did, in order to be safe,
22 because after the first rape, such a checkpoint was put
23 up and there were no such incidents in our village.
24 But it didn't last for long. And very soon afterwards,
25 this second incident occurred, and they promised that a
1 checkpoint would be put up the next day again.
2 Q. Can we conclude that for you, at that time,
3 the existence of an HVO police checkpoint meant greater
5 A. Certainly, it did.
6 Q. And had such a checkpoint existed in your
7 village, would you say that your village had been
8 turned into a concentration camp?
9 A. We were anyway in a concentration camp
10 because you couldn't leave your village. Even in your
11 own village, you were exposed to danger. Ever since
12 April '93, you were not allowed to leave the territory
13 of Kiseljak by regular means. In fact, as of April
14 '93, the Muslims were in captivity in the municipality
15 of Kiseljak because they were not able to leave the
16 municipality, only with special permits through
17 personal connections or risking going across front-lines
18 or through no man's land, but the Muslims could not
19 regularly pass through checkpoints.
20 Q. So from what you have said, we can conclude
21 that the authorities of the HVO did not allow Muslims
22 to leave the community of Kiseljak?
23 A. Only with special permits.
24 Q. These soldiers which you heard about who were
25 captured, did you hear that they were drunk on that
2 A. I don't know at all. I don't know if they
3 had been captured or what had taken place.
4 Q. On page 4, in the second section from above,
5 in the last row or before the last row, it says that
6 you had been informed that they were drunk.
7 A. Possibly.
8 Q. When you came to Rotilj, what was the food
9 situation in Rotilj? Was there enough food?
10 A. Yes, basically, yes. It was autumn and
11 people had enough wheat, had enough potatoes, because
12 we know what is enough under war conditions.
13 Q. Is it true that Fra Bozo brought food on
14 behalf of Caritas, brought food to the village. What
15 about medical aid, was that provided for?
16 A. For medical assistance you had to apply to
17 the checkpoint, at the entrance to Rotilj, if you
18 wished to see a doctor and people would notify a day in
19 advance and then they would be issued special permits.
20 Unfortunately, on one occasion, an older Muslim woman
21 who was dressed in the Muslim costume had been beaten
22 at the checkpoint.
23 Q. What I asked you was whether Fra Bozo brought
24 food to the population on behalf of Caritas?
25 A. Well, once he brought two truckloads of food
1 which he divided up to the inhabitants during my stay.
2 Q. And how long were you in Rotilj?
3 A. A month and a half.
4 Q. When you were to go for medical care, did you
5 have a military escort?
6 A. No, they went on their own.
7 Q. Could they go to Kiseljak to buy food to go
8 and buy things in shops?
9 A. Yes, they did, but it was at their own risk.
10 Q. Can I conclude from that that outside of
11 Rotilj, there was a less safe situation than in Rotilj
13 A. Well, the notion of safety is a relative one,
14 but if we compare, we can say that with some
16 Q. What can we say?
17 MR. HARMON: I would ask that Mr. Nobilo
18 permit the witness to finish his answer before the next
19 question is asked.
20 MR. NOBILO: Well, I shall repeat because the
21 transcript is going slowly and I have to make certain
23 Q. Can we say, regardless of the fact that you
24 said that safety was a relative notion, was safety
25 outside of Rotilj greater than in Rotilj itself?
1 A. Yes.
2 MR. NOBILO: Well, the reply -- there seems
3 to be some mistake, so there's an exchange of notion, I
4 would like to ask the question once again.
5 Could you tell me whether safety outside
6 Rotilj was lesser than the safety in Rotilj itself?
7 A. Yes.
8 MR. NOBILO: That is all, Mr. President.
9 Thank you.
10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You would like to
11 add something, Mr. Harmon?
12 MR. HARMON: Yes, please.
13 Q. Mr. Dozic, you were just asked the question
14 by Mr. Nobilo whether safety outside of Rotilj was less
15 than inside of Rotilj. Can you explain to the judges
16 the reaction of the Muslim people who were detained in
17 Rotilj, what they're reaction was when the HVO uniform
18 soldiers came into the village of Rotilj?
19 A. Well, I said that the notion of security is a
20 relative notion, in Kiseljak, where we used to live
21 with the Muslims, because there was fear amongst the
22 Muslims. It was enough to see the car in which the HVO
23 soldiers were and the Muslims would run off to their
24 homes or to woods because fear prevailed. You never
25 knew what would happen.
1 Q. And you're talking about Muslims inside the
2 village of Rotilj?
3 A. Yes.
4 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, I have no
5 additional questions. I would ask that Prosecutor's
6 Exhibit 369, the map of the Dzemat, be admitted into
8 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. The Defence agrees.
9 Judge Riad?
10 JUDGE RIAD: Good afternoon, Imam Dozic.
11 THE WITNESS: Good afternoon.
12 JUDGE RIAD:
13 Q. I would like to clarify a question which I
14 asked you during the examination-in-chief. When you
15 mentioned that jewellery was seized by the HVO soldier, I
16 told you was that in the name of the law, and you told
17 me no, we had no receipt, or nothing, I didn't mean was
18 it legal. I meant was it done by the authority, in the
19 name of authority, not by people coming from the back
20 door and hiding to steal. The same thing would apply
21 to the cars. Were the cars taken in the name of the
22 law by the authority or were they stolen by people who
23 were hiding from the authority? Was it clear?
24 A. I'll try and answer your question. The
25 taking of property occurred during the daytime by
1 soldiers wearing HVO uniforms. One or two men under
2 arms would come knowing people with a car or a
3 tractor. They would demand the keys and drive off. If
4 this was the confiscation of material resources for
5 them to issue receipts, but as we received no receipts,
6 what conclusion can we make? Because we would often
7 see those men, those soldiers, driving those cars as
8 their own for private purposes.
9 Q. So it was privately done but in broad
10 daylight and with no punishment of the authorities? Is
11 that what you mean?
12 A. We are not aware that anyone was punished.
13 Q. The same thing with the cars and jewels, but
14 you said for the rape, there was some kind of answer
15 that people were punished?
16 A. That's what we were told but we don't know
17 what was actually done.
18 Q. And it continued whether there was passage
19 through checkpoints or with no passage through the
21 A. This checkpoint was removed. It existed for
22 only a couple of days, and during the second rape,
23 there was no checkpoint there.
24 Q. So it was done by HVO soldiers?
25 A. Yes, HVO soldiers.
1 Q. Now, you mentioned that when you returned to
2 the village, you found out that Muslim buildings and
3 the facades were damaged, but not the Croatian
4 buildings, and you also knew that some people were shot
5 dead like Zijad, and so on. As far as the buildings
6 are concerned, were the Muslim and Croat buildings side
7 by side or were they in different parts, areas of the
9 A. In Potkraj, they were side by side, and in
10 the other two, Topola and Duhri, there were only Muslim
11 houses. And I said that the Croatian village of
12 Brnjaci is on the road towards Sarajevo next to the
13 village of Topole.
14 Q. Do you have an idea who it was done by?
15 A. I was told that it was done by HVO soldiers.
16 I wasn't there so I can tell you only what I was told.
17 I cannot give you firsthand testimony about that
18 event. I would prefer somebody else to testify about
19 it, who was on the spot.
20 Q. Now, you have been arrested and you spent
21 some time in detention with other people. Were you
22 chosen for your quality, you are an Imam and other
23 people are, amongst the prominent people of society, or
24 was it just collecting people? Did they aim at certain
25 people who symbolise or were the symbol of authority?
1 A. If you listen to my testimony, I stressed
2 that all military-aged men, regardless of their
3 occupations, from 18 to 65 years of age were detained.
4 Q. And sent also to detention. And some of them
5 were beaten up. Why were some of them beaten up? Were
6 they resisting? Were they fighting back or was this
7 just some kind of customary attitude?
8 A. Regarding the beating that I described, that
9 applied to the two men who are also from our village
10 and who were already there when we came. From our
11 group, a couple of men tried to hide when they called
12 them out and, as a result, they were hit.
13 Q. And you mentioned, this is my last question,
14 you mentioned that two Serb soldiers came in and went
15 to buy sheep and paid little money for it and so on.
16 Was it possible for Serbs to come in? Were they
17 allowed by the HVO to come in?
18 A. Well, from what I said, they were.
19 Q. You don't know how they came in? They came
20 in as soldiers or they came in in hiding?
21 A. As soldiers wearing camouflage uniforms.
22 Q. Soldiers in uniform?
23 A. Yes, and with a typical insignia of the
24 Chetniks, a special group of the Serb army.
25 Q. And they walked around and were not arrested
1 by the HVO in broad daylight?
2 A. Yes, yes.
3 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you very much.
4 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Judge. Thank you,
5 Imam Dozic. I have no additional questions for you.
6 You have been very helpful. I hope that regarding your
7 spiritual community and all the damage you suffered,
8 this must have been a very cruel period for you. You
9 will be accompanied out and the Tribunal wishes to
10 convey its wholehearted gratitude to you.
11 A. May I take advantage of this opportunity, to
12 thank you too for hearing me out, and I wish you every
13 success in your future work.
14 (The witness withdrew)
15 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Prosecutor, where do we
16 stand now, if we wish to finish at the end of Friday
17 morning, as the closed session with the Defence,
18 tomorrow afternoon, will not, perhaps, last all
19 afternoon, so I would like to know where we stand?
20 MR. HARMON: Mr. President, we have two
21 witnesses remaining, and I believe we'll be able to
22 conclude with those witnesses by either tomorrow or
23 Friday morning.
24 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. Everybody must be
25 tired by now, so perhaps we're going to have ten
1 minutes grace period and we will resume work tomorrow
2 at 10.00. Do you think we can finish with one of the
3 witnesses tomorrow morning and with the other on Friday
4 morning? I don't know how many hours you have
5 envisaged for each.
6 MR. HARMON: Yes, Mr. President. We may even
7 be able to finish with two tomorrow, but we will
8 certainly be able to finish with one tomorrow.
9 JUDGE JORDA: Fine. Mr. Registrar, we
10 started with the Imam at 3.30, so roughly how much is
11 this for the Prosecutor? Everybody, I think, has tried
12 to be concise. I thank you, Mr. Nobilo, I thank you,
13 Mr. Harmon. I hope that this has not upset anyone.
14 The Defence was able to express themselves, so was the
15 Prosecutor, so were the judges, so this was a witness
16 who took about one hour and forty five. That is
17 roughly the average, we should try to observe so that
18 both the Prosecution and the Defence are able to do
19 their work. Without wishing to limit your time, that
20 is not at all our intention, I hope you understand my
22 Are your future witnesses protected
24 MR. HARMON: At least one of them is,
25 Mr. President. I don't know about the second.
1 JUDGE JORDA: Very well. My last practical
2 question, Mr. Registrar. Are we working in the same
3 courtroom tomorrow morning?
4 MR. DUBUISSON: In this hall.
5 JUDGE JORDA: And we meet tomorrow at 10.00
6 in this same courtroom.
7 --- Whereupon hearing adjourned at 5.37 p.m.
8 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 14th day of
9 May, 1998 at 10.00 a.m.