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  1. 1 Thursday, 26th November, 1998

    2 (Open session)

    3 --- Upon commencing at 10.11 a.m.

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please be seated. Have the

    5 accused brought in, please.

    6 (The accused entered court)

    7 JUDGE JORDA: I can see everybody is in his

    8 seat. Good morning to the interpreters. Good morning

    9 to the Prosecution and to the Defence, to the accused.

    10 We can resume.

    11 I think today is an important day for the

    12 representatives of the American community. There is a

    13 holiday today, and I understand why Mr. Hayman didn't

    14 want to work this afternoon - now I understand - for

    15 Thanksgiving.

    16 MR. HAYMAN: No, Mr. President. No,

    17 Mr. President. Please. We will be working this

    18 afternoon, simply not here in the courtroom, I can

    19 assure you.

    20 JUDGE JORDA: I'm sure of that. No, just

    21 joking. Just joking. Of course, I know we're going to

    22 be working this morning only because of the fact that a

    23 witness has not arrived, there were airport problems,

    24 and there were airport problems all through Europe.

    25 All right. We can resume our work with the

  2. 1 continuation of the redirect by Mr. Nobilo and the

    2 Defence witness, Mr. Katava.

    3 (The witness entered court)

    4 JUDGE JORDA: And here he is coming into the

    5 courtroom now.

    6 MR. NOBILO: Good morning, Your Honours. I'm

    7 going to be very brief because it is a continuation of

    8 yesterday's questioning.


    10 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    11 Q. Mr. Katava, may we have Defence Exhibit 450?

    12 Would you turn to section B, please? In section B, as

    13 you know, some cases are mentioned where the victims

    14 were Croats, and I would like to draw your attention to

    15 document number 19 in particular. From this document,

    16 we can see that "Unknown perpetrators" -- and I'm

    17 reading the second section -- on the 2nd of August,

    18 1993, around 2.30, came in front of the house of Ivcan

    19 Bilic and shot from firearms at the glass cafe entitled

    20 Janje.

    21 May we have the ELMO on, please? Thank you.

    22 This will help our interpreters.

    23 So unknown perpetrators arrived at the house

    24 of Ivcan Bilic and the Janje cafe and the Janje butcher

    25 shop owned by Jozo Marjanovic and Ivcan Bilic

  3. 1 respectively and they opened fire at the glass surfaces

    2 of these two premises.

    3 Tell me, please, the owners of these cafes

    4 and shops, were they Croats?

    5 A. Yes, Your Honours, they were Croats from

    6 Busovaca.

    7 Q. Did you find the perpetrators?

    8 A. No, because this document refers to unknown

    9 perpetrators.

    10 Q. Let us now move on to document number 20.

    11 Document 20, on the 4th of June, '93, you went to the

    12 house of Ivica Susanj because unknown perpetrators or a

    13 group of perpetrators arrived at the store and fired a

    14 burst, damaging all in the glass surfaces in the store,

    15 the facade, et cetera, 30 casings, cartridges, were

    16 found, and there was general shooting at the premises.

    17 Tell me, Frano Susanj from Busovaca, is he a

    18 Croat?

    19 A. Yes, Frano Susanj is a Croat from Busovaca.

    20 I know him.

    21 Q. Did you find the perpetrators?

    22 A. No. Once again, this was an official note

    23 relating to unknown perpetrators.

    24 Q. The next document is document number 21, and

    25 there, in a shop owned by Dragan Lastro, consumer goods

  4. 1 shop, a hand bomb was thrown into the shop and it

    2 exploded and caused a great deal of damage.

    3 The same question: Is Dragan Lastro a Croat?

    4 A. Yes, he is a Croat from the village of Ravan

    5 of the Busovaca municipality.

    6 Q. Did you find the perpetrators?

    7 A. No, they were unknown perpetrators.

    8 Q. Let's now move on to document number 22.

    9 Document number 22, we have, once again, an official

    10 note, first of all your own, where you state that on

    11 the 4th of June, 1993, an explosive device was planted

    12 in a kiosk owned by Ivica Kristo, nicknamed Taraba, and

    13 that one and a half kilos of explosive, Vitezit, was

    14 planted, and that four neighbouring kiosks were

    15 destroyed in this explosion, which means five kiosks in

    16 total from this explosion were destroyed.

    17 Tell me, is Taraba a Croat, and were the

    18 owners of the neighbouring kiosks, shops, also Croats?

    19 A. Yes, Taraba is a Croat from Busovaca, and the

    20 neighbouring premises also belonged to Croats. Some of

    21 them were socially owned and some were Muslim owned.

    22 Q. Tell me, Vitezit, is that an explosive? It

    23 is called Vitezit. Is it an explosive manufactured in

    24 Vitez?

    25 A. Yes, it is a type of explosive, and it's

  5. 1 called Vitezit, and it is produced in Vitez, yes.

    2 Q. Was that explosive accessible to many people

    3 in view of the fact that it was produced in the region?

    4 A. No, it was not.

    5 Q. I don't want to go through all the documents

    6 where the properties of Croats were damaged, but can

    7 you tell us, tell the Trial Chamber, in your assessment

    8 and judging by logics, who suffered more from crimes,

    9 the Croats or Muslims in Busovaca?

    10 A. Well, the Croats were more numerous victims.

    11 Q. Why?

    12 A. Because there were more Croats living there

    13 and more Croat-owned property.

    14 Q. And another question that was mentioned

    15 yesterday: Do you still maintain that crime had its

    16 criminal logics and not a nationalistic logic?

    17 A. Yes, I maintain that criminality and the

    18 crime rate followed its own logics and had nothing to

    19 do with nationality or ethnicity.

    20 Q. Now a final document and a final set of

    21 questions.

    22 THE REGISTRAR: Document D451, D451A for the

    23 English version.

    24 MR. NOBILO:

    25 Q. Would you take a look at the original

  6. 1 document, please, and the file number, part of the

    2 document has been typewritten on a typewriter, and

    3 there is a line and the year, and after that, by hand,

    4 the file number has been entered by hand. Can you tell

    5 us the situations when this was done?

    6 A. Well, this was done when we did not know the

    7 file number to come, when the administrative secretary

    8 was unavailable, so we just left a space for it to be

    9 introduced later on.

    10 Q. And then you would write it in

    11 in handwriting, by hand?

    12 A. Yes, that's right.

    13 Q. I would now like to draw your attention to

    14 this particular document. You told the Trial Chamber

    15 that you questioned people entering Busovaca, as well

    16 Croats, that you questioned them in the same way that

    17 you questioned Muslims wishing to depart from Busovaca,

    18 and I would now like to read parts of the document and

    19 then ask you questions. It is a document from the

    20 police station of Busovaca where Ivanka Zrnic and

    21 Zeljko Zrnic make their statements. Tell us, please,

    22 are they Croats?

    23 A. Yes, they are Croats from Zenica.

    24 Q. So I'm going to read some sections from this

    25 text.

  7. 1 "On 18 April 1993, I (Ivanka Zrnic) was in

    2 the house with my family. I was awakened by loud

    3 shooting, and we all took shelter on the ground floor

    4 of the house at my mother-in-law's. There were my

    5 husband, two children, mother-in-law, uncle, aunt,

    6 cousin, his wife and three little girls."

    7 And I'm going to skip a few lines and

    8 continue.

    9 Apart from us in the neighbourhood, there

    10 were two elderly men who were killed later on, Ivan

    11 Vidovic, born in 1904, and Anto Vidovic, born in 1906.

    12 "Ivan was taken out and shot, and then they set fire

    13 to his house. Anto was killed in the house. We were

    14 lying on the floor when a Muslim soldier from the 7th

    15 Muslim Brigade approached the window and, without a

    16 word, fired a whole clip from an automatic rifle at

    17 us. On this occasion, my daughter Magdalena,

    18 three-and-a-half years old, was hit and she died almost

    19 immediately. She was hit in the right cheek and the

    20 bullet went out through the back on her head. I was

    21 also wounded in the head then. The person who did this

    22 was a man nicknamed Hodja from the village of Puhovac,

    23 Zenica municipality, but I don't know his full name."

    24 She describes him and says he looked like a Muslim from

    25 the 7th Muslim Brigade.

  8. 1 For her husband, she said that three men made

    2 him lie down on the ground. "My husband had come out

    3 with our dead girl in his arms and he lay down with

    4 her. He asked if he can put the child to the side, but

    5 the Hodja just kicked him in the head with his boot and

    6 said: 'Lie down, you Ustasha mother fucker.'"

    7 And then it goes on to describe the tortures

    8 suffered in the Muslim gaol, and it goes on to say:

    9 When they arrived there, "a man started

    10 questioning us," quite obviously your colleague, a

    11 policeman. He asked me what had happened, "but when I

    12 started telling him, he interrupted me and did not

    13 allow me to talk."

    14 I'm going to ask you whether you recognise

    15 this document and do you know Josip Grubesic and do you

    16 recognise the signature, that is, the man taking the

    17 statement?

    18 A. Josip Grubesic is my colleague from the

    19 police station at Busovaca.

    20 Q. Do you recall this particular event when you

    21 took this statement?

    22 A. Yes, Your Honours, I recall this event.

    23 There were great casualties, and I remember Ivanka

    24 Zrnic well.

    25 Q. Did incidents of this kind compel people to

  9. 1 flee from Zenica towards Busovaca, I mean Croats?

    2 A. Yes. For reasons of this kind, the Croats

    3 from Zenica fled to Busovaca and further afield as

    4 well.

    5 Q. Did it frequently happen that these same

    6 Croats who were the victims in one area, on one

    7 territory, very often came as displaced persons and

    8 committed crimes where they came?

    9 A. Yes, we had refugees who were desperate and

    10 who wanted to get their own on others and we had a lot

    11 of problems with people of this kind because of the

    12 situation they found themselves in because they had

    13 been left without anything and had suffered great

    14 torture and hardships.

    15 Q. Was this the reason that it was so difficult

    16 to control the situation and to find the perpetrators?

    17 A. Yes, that is, among others, one of the

    18 reasons for this.

    19 MR. NOBILO: Thank you, Mr. President. We

    20 have completed this document, and we tender this

    21 document along with the others we brought up yesterday

    22 in evidence. I'm going to give you the exact numbers

    23 in just a moment. They are D413, A and B, D443, D444,

    24 D445, D446, D447, and D448 as well as D449, D450, and

    25 D451. We tender these into evidence.

  10. 1 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Mr. Nobilo. No

    2 objections from the Prosecution? Mr. Cayley?

    3 MR. CAYLEY: No objections, Mr. President,

    4 apart from the reservation of our position on tab H in

    5 Exhibit 450 which we've discussed already.

    6 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Riad, do you have any

    7 questions to ask the witness?

    8 JUDGE RIAD: No.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen, do you have

    10 any questions?

    11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Yes. You were talking

    12 about your passport. Could you tell us: When was the

    13 passport issued?

    14 A. My passport was issued in 1995, in the

    15 consulate in Mostar, Your Honour.

    16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did you have a passport

    17 before?

    18 A. No, never. I never had a former passport or

    19 a currently valid passport.

    20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: How were you described

    21 in this passport? Were you described as a Croatian

    22 citizen or as a citizen of Bosnia-Herzegovina?

    23 A. I'm a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina but

    24 also a citizen of Croatia.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: How were you described

  11. 1 in the passport?

    2 A. Your Honour, in the passport, it says Slavko

    3 Katava, born on the 21st of September, 1956, in Donje

    4 Polje, the municipality of Busovaca,

    5 Bosnia-Herzegovina. I got this passport in the

    6 consulate in Mostar, the consulate of the Republic of

    7 Croatia, that is.

    8 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: The passport contains no

    9 reference to your citizenship, does it?

    10 A. In order to have this passport, I have to

    11 have Croatian citizenship, and I do have dual

    12 citizenship.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now let us turn to these

    14 declarations or statements in this big red file. When

    15 somebody came to you at the station and made a

    16 statement and the statement was recorded by you or one

    17 of your colleagues, how many copies of the statement

    18 were made?

    19 A. Your Honours, we usually took these

    20 statements and made three or four copies.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, what would you do

    22 with them, the three or four copies?

    23 A. We would open a file. We would open a file,

    24 Your Honour, and we would leave it for further usage.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you send any of

  12. 1 the copies to any other authority, the Prosecutor's

    2 Office, say?

    3 A. Yes, yes.

    4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, you have seen these

    5 copies in the file. Could you tell the Trial Chamber

    6 where these copies were made, what document they were

    7 made from? Were they made from a copy in the

    8 possession of your police station?

    9 A. Your Honour, these documents were copies of

    10 the original documents that we made in the police

    11 station, but where these copies were made, that, I do

    12 not know.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, we have a

    14 declaration made by a gentleman by the name of Fikret

    15 Zulum. You saw that declaration?

    16 A. Yes, Your Honour.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, would I be right in

    18 saying that there was no great urgency about the

    19 contents of that declaration?

    20 A. Your Honour, I don't really understand this.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Very well. I shall pass

    22 the question.

    23 Could that document have waited until the

    24 morning when the administrative secretary returned to

    25 the office so that you might get from her a protocol

  13. 1 number and insert it in the blank space?

    2 A. One couldn't really wait there. I know

    3 Mr. Fikret Zulum personally. He's a former policeman,

    4 and he reported of his own free will because he didn't

    5 want to have any problems. He came to the station and

    6 sought appropriate protection. He said, "I'm here. My

    7 wife and my children have left. I don't want to have

    8 any problems." He spoke in that sense, and then a

    9 colleague of his, a policeman, took a statement.

    10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, some of the

    11 statements which you took were taken by you after the

    12 administrative secretary left for the day. Could some

    13 of those statements have waited until she returned in

    14 the morning?

    15 A. Some could, some that were not urgent, or if

    16 the party concerned could come later.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, you served for a

    18 number of years in this police station.

    19 A. Yes, Your Honour.

    20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Did your police station

    21 adopt a procedure for identifying the appropriate

    22 protocol number for a document when the administrative

    23 secretary was not there?

    24 A. No, never.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Suppose she was ill for

  14. 1 a day or two or three, what would happen?

    2 A. Then the head of the police station would

    3 appoint a replacement.

    4 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Suppose there

    5 was no replacement for a day, what would happen?

    6 A. Well, nothing. We'd write documents without

    7 a protocol number, and these documents would wait for a

    8 protocol number.

    9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, look at Mr. Zulum's

    10 statement again. It is document 36. I am looking at

    11 the English version. Would you, sir, say that

    12 Mr. Zulum is not there reporting the commission of any

    13 specific crime?

    14 A. No.

    15 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And that he is also not

    16 seeking any permit from the police station whether to

    17 stay in Busovaca or to leave Busovaca?

    18 A. Yes.

    19 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: What he is doing, in

    20 effect, is this: That he was blaming the Muslim side

    21 for the outbreak of any conflict?

    22 A. Yes, he panicked, Your Honour. He is a

    23 neighbour of the police station and a former policeman,

    24 and he knew all of us, and he came to tell us that he

    25 was frightened.

  15. 1 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Are there any other

    2 statements in this file from Muslims which also blame

    3 the Muslim side for the outbreak of the conflict?

    4 A. No, not that I know of.

    5 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, do you agree that

    6 all the statements in or under tab F in the file are

    7 statements made by Muslims?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do you also agree that

    10 those statements have blank spaces in the serial number

    11 section?

    12 A. Yes.

    13 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, look at section G

    14 in the file. Is my impression correct that the

    15 statements in that section are statements made by

    16 Croats?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is my impression also

    19 correct that all of those statements have completed

    20 serial numbers?

    21 A. Yes, Your Honour, but these statements were

    22 taken by my colleague, Josip Grubesic, who worked with

    23 the secretary. He would only do the first shift, so he

    24 always had the protocol handy.

    25 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, while you have that

  16. 1 big file before you, would you look at document 96?

    2 Now, this document is signed by the head of the

    3 municipality, Niko Grubesic. Was that something like

    4 the mayor or so? What is the closest I.D. which

    5 corresponds to that, the mayor?

    6 A. Yes, Your Honour. Yes, Your Honour, mayor.

    7 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you look at the

    8 subject heading at the top "Re: Proposal for the First

    9 Stage of the Return of Refugees and Persons Expelled

    10 from the Territory of Busovaca Municipality with

    11 Indications of the Future Stages of Return."

    12 Would you say that the impression given out

    13 is that the head of the municipality was talking of all

    14 displaced persons and of proposals for resettling all

    15 of them?

    16 A. Yes.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, look just before

    18 the columned area. You see a capital A, "Displaced

    19 Persons and Refugees of Croatian Nationality." Do you

    20 see that?

    21 A. Yes.

    22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Is there, Mr. Katava, a

    23 B section? We have an A section here. Is there a B

    24 section somewhere?

    25 A. Your Honour, section B, "Muslim and Other

  17. 1 Refugees," was provided by the deputy president of the

    2 municipality, a Muslim. He made this same kind of

    3 document, and these documents were sent to humanitarian

    4 organisations and other organisations dealing with the

    5 resettlement of refugees.

    6 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Perhaps I wasn't clear.

    7 The reader reading this document sees on page 1 a

    8 heading beginning with capital A. I am asking you

    9 whether, later on in this document, there is a heading

    10 beginning capital B.

    11 A. No.

    12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: No. Now, look at page

    13 1. You have a number 2 which says that "In 1991,

    14 Bosniaks living in Busovaca numbered 8.484 or 44.9 per

    15 cent." Do you see that line?

    16 A. Yes, yes, Your Honour.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, is my recollection

    18 correct that you told us that 90 per cent of the Muslim

    19 population in Busovaca left Busovaca? Is my impression

    20 correct?

    21 A. Yes, you heard it right, but only from the

    22 town of Busovaca, not from the territory of the entire

    23 municipality.

    24 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well, what would 90 per

    25 cent of 8.484 be? Would it be something like 7.200 or

  18. 1 how many persons would you say left the municipality of

    2 Busovaca?

    3 A. I did not say that they left from the entire

    4 territory of Busovaca but only from the town of

    5 Busovaca. So 90 per cent relates to the urban

    6 population of Busovaca, not people from the rural

    7 areas, they didn't leave. So I wasn't talking about

    8 these 8.484, but I was talking about the people from

    9 town.

    10 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: That is why I inserted

    11 an alternative in my question and asked you, how many

    12 do you say left? You were a senior police officer, and

    13 you were concerned with the goings and comings of

    14 people. People going had to get a permit from you.

    15 A. Over a thousand people left from town.

    16 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Do you agree that no

    17 where in this document is reference made to the fact

    18 that over 1.000 Muslims left the city of Busovaca?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, I gathered from you

    21 that your understanding of the situation was that the

    22 Muslim sector of the population of Busovaca accepted

    23 the takeover of power by the HVO. Is my understanding

    24 of your evidence correct?

    25 A. Some did not accept this fact, and that is

  19. 1 why they left, while others remained.

    2 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Let's talk about

    3 the Muslim police chief who moved to Kacuni and who

    4 took his men with him there. By doing so, he

    5 effectively gave up territory which he controlled as a

    6 police officer; is that correct?

    7 A. Yes. He left from the police station and

    8 went to Kacuni, which is a territory with a Muslim

    9 majority population, but all of this is within the

    10 territory of the municipality of Busovaca.

    11 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And he left just after

    12 the takeover of power by the HVO; isn't that correct?

    13 A. Yes, at that time, I think.

    14 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Would you relate the

    15 takeover of power by the HVO to the fact that he left

    16 for Kacuni?

    17 A. That is possible too.

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I thank you, Witness.

    19 JUDGE JORDA: I have only one question. It

    20 has to do with the idea of protection for Muslims.

    21 You said to us several times, in answer to

    22 questions that were asked, that this system for giving

    23 authorisations for leaving and coming into Busovaca was

    24 to protect the Muslims, to ensure law and order, and to

    25 protect them. But to protect them from what, from

  20. 1 attacks by the Croats; is that what you meant?

    2 A. From attacks by criminals, individuals,

    3 criminal groups, persons who wanted to take revenge too

    4 who could have mistreated them and persecuted them. We

    5 asked them to tell us whether somebody was mistreating

    6 them so that we could resolve the problem in that case

    7 and that we could help them stay in their homes in this

    8 way.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, you would ask them that,

    10 but would they always answer that they were being

    11 threatened? Did they say that they were being

    12 threatened?

    13 A. In cases where they were threatened, we

    14 intervened, and we helped these people.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Well, that's not quite what I

    16 asked. First of all, they said to you that they were

    17 threatened. Did they specify what type of threat they

    18 were under because there's no trace of that in the

    19 statements or at least very rarely?

    20 A. In certain cases, it was so. People came and

    21 said that they were threatened by individuals who said

    22 that they did not belong there and that they would kill

    23 them.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: Then, as you, yourself, said,

    25 they were only isolated cases.

  21. 1 A. Yes.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Let me ask you my

    3 two questions. There were the isolated cases when

    4 someone would say, "I'm coming to the police station, I

    5 am Muslim, because my Croatian neighbours or others

    6 want my house." There were not very many of those

    7 cases; is that right? Is that what you're saying?

    8 They were isolated cases. That's what you said.

    9 A. I meant that this was done by individuals,

    10 but there were quite a few such cases, especially

    11 refugees coming from other areas. They sought

    12 accommodation, and we intervened in such cases, but, at

    13 any rate, we didn't allow anyone to be kicked out of

    14 his own house or his own apartment. We would not allow

    15 this kind of thing to happen.

    16 JUDGE JORDA: But that has to do with the

    17 isolated cases. There were individual cases where the

    18 threats were individual threats, but most of them were

    19 not individualised threats, and that is why that system

    20 for authorising entrance and exit to the city was put

    21 into place. Now, was that system something that the

    22 population experienced in a rather positive way, that

    23 is, the Muslim population?

    24 A. Well, yes, it was in the interest of all to

    25 know who was going where and who was doing what. For

  22. 1 safety reasons, it was in the interest of their

    2 security.

    3 JUDGE JORDA: How many people did you have

    4 working in your police station?

    5 A. Some of us worked at the station, and some

    6 were at the frontline. They were involved in defence.

    7 So there were about 20 of us at the station and 30,

    8 approximately, at the frontline.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: As regards that system, about

    10 how many people would come every day to register, to be

    11 allowed to either come in or to go out of the

    12 territory? Each day, about how many people would come

    13 in?

    14 A. Well, it depends. Two or three persons,

    15 perhaps one person would go and two or three would

    16 come, something like that.

    17 JUDGE JORDA: So you would intervene when the

    18 threat was specific. Did you have any problems with

    19 the Croatian people that you would intervene on behalf

    20 of?

    21 A. Yes, we had major problems.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Therefore, the Croatian part of

    23 the population didn't always like what you were doing;

    24 is that correct?

    25 A. Yes, it was very difficult with them. They

  23. 1 were saying, "You are our own policemen. Why are you

    2 persecuting us?"

    3 JUDGE JORDA: So that, in the end, this

    4 authorising system must have been very constraining for

    5 the Muslims, not very effective, because you didn't

    6 have a lot of men working for you at your police

    7 station, and the Croatian population didn't have a very

    8 high opinion of you.

    9 Would you agree with me if I were to say that

    10 the system was somewhat absurd?

    11 A. I don't know if it was absurd or not, but

    12 that is the way it functioned.

    13 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Mr. Katava, the

    14 Tribunal thanks you for having come to The Hague to

    15 testify in this trial. The usher will now escort you

    16 out of the courtroom, and we will continue our work.

    17 THE WITNESS: Thank you too, sir.

    18 (The witness withdrew)

    19 JUDGE JORDA: I think that the next witness

    20 is covered by protective measures, and in order to set

    21 up the courtroom, we are going to take a 15-minute or

    22 20-minute break.

    23 --- Recess taken at 11.00 a.m.

    24 --- On resuming at 11.26 a.m.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Resume the hearing now. Have

  24. 1 the accused brought in, please.

    2 (The accused entered court)

    3 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, will you be doing

    4 the direct examination?

    5 MR. NOBILO: Yes, Mr. President. It is a

    6 protected witness that we have next. He would also

    7 like to be given a pseudonym and face distortion. We

    8 would like to have a private session at one point

    9 because some of the facts might help to identify him,

    10 so we would like to move into a private session at some

    11 point.

    12 JUDGE JORDA: I thought this was a closed

    13 session. Is it not a closed session? This is a public

    14 session? Oh, it's simply putting in protective

    15 measures. If it is a witness whose name we're not

    16 going to say, therefore his pseudonym is what?

    17 THE REGISTRAR: It will be Witness DM, "M"

    18 like "Mary."

    19 JUDGE JORDA: All right. Let's have the

    20 witness brought in, Witness DM.

    21 (The witness entered court)

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Do you hear me, Witness DM?

    23 THE WITNESS: I can hear you.

    24 JUDGE JORDA: First we're going to ask you to

    25 verify your name on this piece of paper but without

  25. 1 your saying it. Be sure that this is, in fact, you.

    2 Is that correct? Don't say your name.

    3 THE WITNESS: (Nods in the affirmative)

    4 JUDGE JORDA: Please remain standing for a

    5 few moments, as long as it takes to take your solemn

    6 declaration.

    7 THE WITNESS: I solemnly declare that I will

    8 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the

    9 truth.

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. You may be seated

    11 now. You are covered by protective measures. You will

    12 be called Witness DM and your face cannot be seen. In

    13 respect of everything else, this is a public hearing,

    14 but at any point, the attorneys, especially the Defence

    15 attorneys who called you, can ask for a completely

    16 closed session if there is no objection by the opposing

    17 party, and we do that for your benefit. Do not be

    18 afraid of anything. You are before Judges. You can

    19 speak without fear, and you will see that everything

    20 will go along smoothly.

    21 Mr. Nobilo, don't hesitate to ask for a

    22 closed session whenever you like. Proceed, please.


    24 Examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    25 Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Witness DM, you

  26. 1 are retired; is that correct?

    2 A. Yes, I am.

    3 Q. Before we go on with the

    4 examination-in-chief, we are going to hand round a map

    5 to explain to the Trial Chamber where you lived up

    6 until the conflict broke out between the Muslims and

    7 the Croats in the Vitez municipality.

    8 MR. NOBILO: This is the original map and a

    9 legend.

    10 THE REGISTRAR: Document D452 and D452A for

    11 the legend. I don't know whether the document is

    12 confidential or not. If you would let me know,

    13 please?

    14 MR. NOBILO: It isn't.

    15 Q. Witness DM, could you take up the pointer --

    16 I think you will find it on the table in front of

    17 you -- and show us on the map that is located on your

    18 left-hand side the village where you lived up until the

    19 conflict. You can use your glasses, if necessary. But

    20 don't move it, please, because we won't be able to see

    21 it. Don't move the map. Leave the map as it stands,

    22 please.

    23 Can you indicate the village of Poculica?

    24 A. This is it here (indicating).

    25 Q. So that is the village you lived in prior to

  27. 1 the conflicts?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Would you explain to the Trial Chamber,

    4 please, the local community, the municipality, the

    5 local community and the self-governing community, which

    6 villages did it incorporate at that time? It did not

    7 incorporate Poculica alone.

    8 A. Your Honours, the village -- the local

    9 community of Poculica encompassed Poculica with a

    10 gravitation towards the road running from Vitez to

    11 Zenica. On the right-hand side lies the village of

    12 Prnjavor, and further on, one and a half to two

    13 kilometres, you have the village of Vrhovine.

    14 Q. Does that mean that this local community, as

    15 you call it, is composed of the villages of Poculica,

    16 Prnjavor, and Vrhovine?

    17 A. Yes.

    18 Q. Tell the Trial Chamber, please, if you can,

    19 the composition of the inhabitants? How many Muslims

    20 and how many Croats lived in the village of Poculica

    21 and how many in the local community that you described?

    22 A. Your Honours, the local community of

    23 Poculica, the Croats lived along the road. Up until

    24 half the village, from the direction of Vitez, these

    25 are Croat houses. Towards Vjetrenice is the mixed

  28. 1 population. To the right of the village of Poculica

    2 lies the village of Prnjavor which is a purely Muslim

    3 village. Further to the right of Prnjavor, one and a

    4 half to two kilometres, we have the village of

    5 Vrhovine, which is once again a purely Muslim village.

    6 They are fairly large villages. I don't know the exact

    7 number of inhabitants, but there are about 70 Croat

    8 houses, approximately, and Muslims in those three

    9 villages, I would say there were about 250.

    10 Q. Muslim houses, you mean?

    11 A. Yes, Muslim houses.

    12 Q. Tell the Court, please, in the municipality

    13 of Vitez, how many family members are there to one

    14 house or household? What is the average?

    15 A. Well, some people had five or six, some

    16 households numbered two or three, some numbered seven

    17 or eight.

    18 Q. Thank you. The conflict between the Muslims

    19 and Croats in the Vitez municipality began on the 16th

    20 of April, 1993.

    21 A. Yes.

    22 Q. Can you tell the Court, before the actual

    23 conflict on the 16th of April took place, did you

    24 notice anything that would indicate that a conflict was

    25 imminent? Did you notice anything, any strange

  29. 1 goings-on, or was everything as it was usually?

    2 A. Before the Croat and Muslim conflict, the

    3 Muslims had patrols above the village at Vjetrenice and

    4 they were called Gajevi. On the lower part of the

    5 village from the Vitez direction at Stipica, they had

    6 some bunkers, trenches.

    7 Q. And the situation, what was that like?

    8 A. Well, it was tolerable. There were no major

    9 problems.

    10 Q. Did you ever hear of people, foreign Muslims,

    11 some Mujahedins, coming to your local community, people

    12 who had never lived there, that is to say, prior to the

    13 conflict?

    14 A. This was rumoured, yes, it was rumoured that

    15 they existed, but when, on the 16th of April, I sat in

    16 my house with my wife, at about 9.00, in my yard, there

    17 was shooting from an automatic rifle. When the

    18 shooting stopped, my wife went out to see what was

    19 going on, and they said, "Who's in the house?" They

    20 asked her, "Who's in the house?" And she said, "My

    21 husband." And I went out, and they sent us to the

    22 village of Prnjavor, they expelled us to the village of

    23 Prnjavor, to a youth centre, all the men, and everybody

    24 that did not escape was rounded up and taken to the

    25 prison at the youth centre in Prnjavor. The men went

  30. 1 to the youth centre and the women were taken to the

    2 basements of two or three Muslim houses.

    3 Q. Who rounded up the men and the women and what

    4 nationality were those individuals who were taken to

    5 the prisons, both men and women, and which ethnic group

    6 did the people who rounded them up belong to?

    7 A. Those of us who were taken to prison were all

    8 Croats, both men, women, and children, and we were

    9 taken by soldiers of the army -- the BH army.

    10 Q. Tell us, please, the men and women that were

    11 rounded up, were there HVO soldiers amongst you, that

    12 is to say, men wearing uniform and carrying weapons?

    13 A. No, none of us had weapons. Some of us, two

    14 or three, did have uniforms on. It was a reserve

    15 formation. And some of us went up towards Travnik to

    16 Slatke Vode, which was where the frontlines were

    17 together with the Muslims, so the Muslims and Croats

    18 were there on the frontlines towards the Serbs, towards

    19 Travnik and Lasva.

    20 Q. All the rest, all the other men and women and

    21 children, were they all civilians, Croat civilians?

    22 A. Yes, they were all Croat civilians.

    23 Q. How many men had been rounded up and how many

    24 women and children? How many were imprisoned?

    25 A. I think there were about 30 of us in the

  31. 1 youth centre and we were made to lie down on the

    2 concrete. There was no protection on the floor. It

    3 was just a concrete flooring.

    4 Q. When you say "us," you mean the men, do you?

    5 A. Yes, I do. Men.

    6 Q. What about the women and children?

    7 A. The women were in the basements. I did not

    8 see them.

    9 Q. What kind of conditions prevailed? You said

    10 that there were no beds, that you had to lie down on

    11 the concrete floor. Did you have any bathrooms and

    12 showers?

    13 A. No, nothing.

    14 Q. Did you have a toilet?

    15 A. Well, we could go outside during the day and

    16 we had a bucket during the night and we were locked in

    17 overnight.

    18 Q. Tell us, you were rounded up and locked up on

    19 the 16th of April, 1993, were you not? What time did

    20 they take you to Prnjavor?

    21 A. It was about 9.00 or 9.30, thereabouts.

    22 Q. Would you use your pointer and tell us

    23 whether number 2 is the location where you were when

    24 they arrested you and took you to the centre in

    25 Prnjavor?

  32. 1 A. Poculica is here and these two places are

    2 linked.

    3 Q. Thank you. Would you explain to the Court,

    4 between the night of the 18th and 19th of April, 1993,

    5 the commander of the Military Police came to the

    6 prison. What did he want?

    7 A. At around the 18th of April, 1993, the chief

    8 of the military Muslim police came to the prison and

    9 took 20 individuals with him. He gave us guards and

    10 they took us down towards the station which was called

    11 the Han company in Sivrino Selo.

    12 Q. Can you show us Sivrino Selo on the map? Is

    13 it located by number 3? Take your pointer, please.

    14 Look at number 3, and is that Sivrino Selo?

    15 A. Yes. Here it is (indicating).

    16 Q. So that's where you were taken. Now, what

    17 happened there?

    18 A. Two of the soldiers were killed, and they

    19 told us that we would be a human shield while they

    20 buried their dead, and we stood around them as a human

    21 shield to prevent anybody shooting at them from the

    22 frontlines down below.

    23 Q. When you say "they," do you mean the BH army?

    24 A. Yes, the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    25 Q. And their soldiers were burying their own

  33. 1 dead; is that correct?

    2 A. Yes, it is.

    3 Q. And you Croat civilians who had been taken

    4 prisoner had to stand around them?

    5 A. Yes. We were a human shield.

    6 Q. Did they say to stop your own people from

    7 shooting?

    8 A. Yes.

    9 Q. Were you standing around in a semicircle?

    10 A. Yes. Not a full circle but two-thirds of a

    11 circle, looking from the bottom up.

    12 Q. In that way, did you protect the people doing

    13 the digging from the HVO positions with your bodies?

    14 A. Yes, with our bodies we protected them.

    15 Q. Did you have to stand the whole time or were

    16 you allowed to sit down?

    17 A. While they were digging the graves, we had to

    18 stand. Then we went up to the village which was

    19 further up ahead, and we waited until dusk and then

    20 they brought them and buried them and then we were

    21 returned at night to the prison.

    22 Q. Just one moment, please. While the digging

    23 was going on, while the graves were being dug, you

    24 civilians had to remain standing; is that correct?

    25 A. Yes.

  34. 1 Q. In order to protect them?

    2 A. Yes.

    3 Q. Thank you. Let us now move on to the

    4 following day when the chief of the Military Police

    5 came to the prison once again.

    6 A. Yes, the same chief of Military Police came

    7 once again, and he selected 18 men and took them down

    8 below where they remained the entire time until the

    9 exchange took place. I remained in prison.

    10 Q. Where did they take them?

    11 A. To Sivrino Selo.

    12 Q. So they had to work for the frontline. So it

    13 was at the frontline?

    14 A. Yes, at the BH army frontline.

    15 Q. Were these stronger, youngish men?

    16 A. Well, he left me as an elderly one and a few

    17 others, but they took some younger ones.

    18 Q. You remained in prison, and sometime around

    19 the 23rd of April, 1993, a tragic event occurred in

    20 prison. Could you explain to the Court what happened

    21 then?

    22 A. We were locked up during the night. There

    23 was a lock on the door, and the guard was outdoors, and

    24 we were relieving ourselves inside. At daybreak, we

    25 heard a male voice shouting, the guard, saying, "Open

  35. 1 up." And the guard said, "I can't. I don't have the

    2 key." And the other one was screaming out loud and

    3 saying, "Open up." And he said, "I can't. The key is

    4 at the command." So then he shot through the door.

    5 People started screaming inside, there were ten of us,

    6 there were ten men there, and they also brought in five

    7 women to wait for exchange in Preocica, and I think he

    8 shot an entire clip.

    9 Q. How many bullets is that?

    10 A. A clip? I don't know. Thirty-six, I think,

    11 36 are in a clip. And when he stopped shooting, the

    12 door opened and the room was full of smoke. The

    13 balance was nine wounded, three killed, and three were

    14 intact but in a state of great shock. I haven't

    15 finished yet.

    16 Q. Oh, yes. Please go on.

    17 A. A few minutes later, nurses came -- or,

    18 rather, orderlies came and carried the wounded to

    19 Zenica.

    20 Q. You remained intact; right?

    21 A. The three of us remained alive and three were

    22 killed. Two officers came and they wrote down the

    23 names of the dead and they took photographs of them,

    24 and when they finished that, one of them said, "Why did

    25 he do this? Why didn't he throw two grenades? All the

  36. 1 pigs would have been dead." And he asked us, "Why are

    2 you trembling? Why are you pretending?" And that day,

    3 all of us were transferred to a bigger Croat house,

    4 both the men and the women, and then they took better

    5 care of us, a bit.

    6 Q. The next event that I would like you to tell

    7 the Court about was the one from the 28th of April when

    8 they came to get you and another friend of yours.

    9 A. Yes.

    10 MR. NOBILO: Mr. President, could we please

    11 move into private session for a minute only because

    12 this could lead to identification?

    13 JUDGE JORDA: No objections, Mr. Harmon?

    14 MR. HARMON: No, no objections.

    15 JUDGE JORDA: Yes. Go ahead.

    16 THE WITNESS: Thank you. Thank you.

    17 MR. NOBILO: Just a minute. We don't want

    18 the public to hear this at all.

    19 (Private session)

    20 (redacted)

    21 (redacted)

    22 (redacted)

    23 (redacted)

    24 (redacted)

    25 (redacted)

  37. 1












    13 Page 15601 redacted – in private session













  38. 1












    13 Page 15602 redacted – in private session













  39. 1 (redacted)

    2 (redacted)

    3 (redacted)

    4 (redacted)

    5 (redacted)

    6 (redacted)

    7 (redacted)

    8 (redacted)

    9 (Open session)

    10 JUDGE JORDA: Go ahead. All right. We are

    11 in public session again.

    12 THE WITNESS: On the 1st of May, 1993,

    13 through the International Red Cross, we were exchanged,

    14 and I went to the town of Vitez.

    15 MR. NOBILO:

    16 Q. We are going to stop at this point now and we

    17 are going to move to the present time. The Croatian

    18 houses in the lower part of the village, closer to

    19 Vitez, this is a purely Croatian part of the village.

    20 In what shape are the houses now?

    21 A. These houses are completely burned down,

    22 destroyed -- well, not totally, not to the ground, but

    23 sort of half. I don't know how to put it, but some

    24 have been burned down more than a half.

    25 Q. So they were razed to the ground?

  40. 1 A. Yes, they were. I mean, that is the part

    2 where only Croats live. That is a bit less than half

    3 of the houses.

    4 Q. So we're talking about the total number of

    5 Croat houses. But tell me, in this mixed area that you

    6 live in, have the Croats come back or does somebody

    7 live in their houses?

    8 A. In our houses, those that remained intact,

    9 they were looted. Everything was taken away from

    10 them. But there are some people living in them. Our

    11 houses were looted, our trees were cut down and

    12 orchards too. I was in Vitez. It was terrible. We

    13 were surrounded totally. And a lot of our civilians

    14 and soldiers were killed, and my son was killed. For

    15 one month, he lay dead, and we could not bury him, and

    16 it was not only him, there were others. They did not

    17 allow us to get them out and bury them.

    18 Q. Thank you, Witness DM.

    19 MR. NOBILO: We have thus concluded the

    20 direct examination. Mr. President, we have

    21 completed --

    22 A. Please, I would like to add something.

    23 Q. But the rules are that once we have finished,

    24 it's finished.

    25 A. I know, but I have something very important

  41. 1 to say.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Well, if you have something you

    3 would like to add, go ahead.

    4 A. I do.

    5 JUDGE JORDA: Yes, yes, I know that you have

    6 many things to say, and you will say them, but for the

    7 moment --

    8 A. I won't take too much of your time.

    9 JUDGE JORDA: All right, go ahead. Go

    10 ahead.

    11 A. In 1995, when the fighting ended between the

    12 Croats and the Muslims, we went on an official visit to

    13 our dead and to the cemeteries. When we came, it was a

    14 sight to behold. The fence was taken away, all of it.

    15 The chapel was burned down. All the tombstones were

    16 broken. After that, some donors gave us assistance,

    17 and we put a fence around our dead once again.

    18 When we went there again after some time,

    19 again, the fence was missing. Again, they took it

    20 away. And the relationships are not really very good.

    21 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Witness DM. You

    22 will now be asked some questions by the representatives

    23 of the Office of the Prosecutor, and then the Judges

    24 may ask you a few questions as well.

    25 Mr. Harmon, if you want to ask a few

  42. 1 questions, ask Witness DM a few questions.

    2 MR. HARMON: Yes, thank you very much,

    3 Mr. President, Your Honours, Counsel.

    4 Cross-examined by Mr. Harmon:

    5 Q. Good morning, Witness DM.

    6 A. Good morning.

    7 Q. I'm Mark Harmon, and I'm from the

    8 Prosecutor's Office, and my colleagues, to the right is

    9 Mr. Andrew Cayley, and to his right is Mr. Gregory

    10 Kehoe. I don't have many questions to ask you this

    11 morning, but I want to ask you initially some questions

    12 about the village where you lived.

    13 I have had an opportunity to take a look at

    14 Prosecutor's Exhibit 46, which is a copy of the 1991

    15 census. In the census figures for the village of

    16 Poculica, it indicates that there were, in 1991, 739

    17 residents, 408 of whom were of Croatian descent and 321

    18 of whom were of Muslim descent. Is that consistent

    19 with what you recall the village population to be?

    20 A. Yes. In the village of Poculica proper,

    21 which gravitates towards the road, there were more

    22 Croats than Muslims, more Croat houses than Muslim

    23 houses. Perhaps I could say, not very precisely, but I

    24 think that there were about 70 Croat houses and about

    25 40 Muslim houses.

  43. 1 Q. Now, in the community itself, you said there

    2 was a village called Prnjavor. Does the village of

    3 Prnjavor appear separately from the village of Poculica

    4 on this particular map or is Prnjavor contained within

    5 the area that says "Poculica"?

    6 A. Officially speaking, these three villages are

    7 called or referred to as Poculica, but each village has

    8 its individual name. Poculica is Poculica; Prnjavor is

    9 Prnjavor; Vrhovine is Vrhovine. But as one entity, the

    10 local community was the local community of Poculica,

    11 using the name of that village.

    12 Q. And from testimony that we have heard

    13 previously and from, as I understand it, your

    14 testimony, the village of Poculica was a village where

    15 there was a part of the village that was predominantly

    16 Croat, inhabited by the Croats, a part of the village

    17 that was predominantly inhabited by Muslims, and a part

    18 of the village that was more integrated, was more

    19 mixed; is that correct?

    20 A. Down below the mosque up to the school

    21 building and 100 metres below the school, the village

    22 was purely Croat. The village is all one, but Croats

    23 lived there. Whereas from the school upwards, this was

    24 a mixed community.

    25 Q. Witness DM, in that part of the village that

  44. 1 was purely Croat, approximately how many houses were

    2 there in that part of the village?

    3 A. Well, to give you an exact number, perhaps up

    4 to 30 houses, perhaps.

    5 Q. Now, Witness DM, you lived in the mixed part

    6 of the village, did you not?

    7 A. Yes, yes, I did.

    8 Q. And your neighbours, you had Muslims as

    9 neighbours, did you not?

    10 A. Yes, I did. They were Muslims. My

    11 neighbours were Muslims.

    12 Q. Now, before the Muslim/Croat war started, you

    13 got along well with your Muslim neighbours, didn't you?

    14 A. Well, we lived normally, not too much love

    15 lost between us, but we lived normally. Well, more or

    16 less, that was it.

    17 Q. On the morning of the 16th of April, you said

    18 that what first attracted your attention was the sounds

    19 of an automatic rifle being fired at approximately 9.00

    20 in the morning; is that correct?

    21 A. Between 9.00 and 9.30, thereabouts. That was

    22 the time.

    23 Q. And you then went outside and were confronted

    24 by a Muslim soldier; is that correct?

    25 A. There were three soldiers.

  45. 1 Q. Okay.

    2 A. One, I did not know, and two were covered.

    3 Q. Now, when the Muslim soldiers wanted to take

    4 you to the community centre, didn't your Muslim

    5 neighbour, a woman, attempt to intervene and say to

    6 those soldiers, "It's okay. He can come and stay at my

    7 house." Do you remember that?

    8 A. I remember it well. (redacted)

    9 (redacted) said we could stay, we should stay, but the

    10 soldiers didn't let us.

    11 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo?

    12 MR. HARMON: I've taken care of the matter,

    13 Mr. President.

    14 Q. Now, thereafter, you were taken initially,

    15 were you not, to the community centre, but the

    16 community centre was locked, wasn't it, and you then

    17 were taken to a house belonging to Nasid Bertas; is

    18 that correct?

    19 A. Yes, that's correct, and that man was very

    20 nice towards us.

    21 Q. So when you and the other Bosnian Croats from

    22 the village of Poculica were taken down to Mr. Bertas's

    23 house, in fact, you were offered coffee, and the

    24 treatment that was given to you was quite proper,

    25 wasn't it?

  46. 1 A. Yes, yes, that's right.

    2 Q. And Mr. Bertas was a Muslim, wasn't he?

    3 A. Yes, he was.

    4 Q. Now, were you later in the day put into this

    5 particular community centre, you and other men?

    6 A. That day, I was taken first.

    7 Q. Now, approximately what time did you arrive

    8 at Mr. Bertas's house, at about 9.30 in the morning?

    9 A. Between 9.30 and 10.00, thereabouts. The

    10 community centre was locked, and one man banged on it

    11 with his foot. They took us back to the house, and

    12 when they managed to open the door, they took us back.

    13 Q. Do you remember what time that was, when you

    14 were taken into the community centre?

    15 A. I didn't have a watch on me, so I can't tell

    16 you exactly.

    17 Q. Okay. And then you remained in the community

    18 centre, I take it, as a detainee, unless and until you

    19 wanted to go outside to relieve yourself, but for all

    20 intents and purposes, you remained in the community

    21 centre until the events that you've described in your

    22 testimony, when you were taken to be used as a human

    23 shield, when you were taken to Barin Gaj to retrieve a

    24 body; is that fair to say?

    25 A. Yes, that's all true.

  47. 1 Q. Now, while you were at the community centre,

    2 did your Muslim neighbours bring food to you and to the

    3 other people who were being detained?

    4 A. Yes, Muhamed Dzidic brought us food and

    5 coffee, and he was very good to us.

    6 Q. Now, what about Nasid Bektas? He's a Muslim

    7 as well. How did he treat you?

    8 A. With Nasid Bektas, the women were located in

    9 his basement and in two or three other basements, and

    10 Nasid Bektas was correct in his behaviour towards

    11 them. He wouldn't allow any mistreatment of them --

    12 Q. Now, when you --

    13 A. -- by the army.

    14 Q. Thank you, sir. When you stayed in the

    15 community centre, did you have blankets?

    16 A. We had one blanket. Atif Taunic brought us a

    17 blanket.

    18 Q. And Atif Taunic, is he a Muslim?

    19 A. Yes.

    20 Q. Now, when was the first time you heard

    21 shelling from artillery?

    22 A. When we were locked up. In a couple of days'

    23 time, shooting could be heard. I don't know where it

    24 was coming from. We were inside, you see, probably

    25 somewhere around the frontline down below, but there

  48. 1 was a frontline in several positions. There was an

    2 encirclement, and battles were being waged.

    3 Q. Am I correct in saying, Witness DM, that the

    4 first artillery impacts that you heard in the village

    5 of Poculica occurred after you were detained in the

    6 community centre?

    7 A. It could be heard. Whether there was mortar

    8 fire or whether it was the artillery, I don't know.

    9 I'm not a military expert to be able to assess what

    10 type of shooting actually took place.

    11 Q. And it was the first time you heard that kind

    12 of fire, be it mortar or artillery, after you were

    13 detained in the community centre?

    14 A. Yes, yes, there was shooting then, and when I

    15 was in Vitez, there was shooting all the time. There

    16 were attacks all the time by that army because there

    17 were two corps stationed there, the 3rd and 7th Corps,

    18 and they had made an encirclement around Vitez, like a

    19 belt on a pair of trousers. And even at my age, I had

    20 to go up to the frontline and work for the needs of the

    21 frontline and the army because there were very few of

    22 us, and there was great pressure being exerted.

    23 Q. Now, let me ask you, Witness DM, were you

    24 aware that, on the 16th of April, 1993, HVO artillery

    25 positions from Vitez, from the area of Gradina, were

  49. 1 shelling the village of Poculica?

    2 A. I don't know that.

    3 Q. Okay. Let me ask you another question. You

    4 mentioned that there were some but, I take it, very few

    5 people who were of Croatian descent, who lived in

    6 Poculica, who were in the HVO, and who went to the

    7 frontlines to fight against the Serbs; is that correct?

    8 A. That's correct, yes.

    9 Q. Approximately how many people fell into that

    10 category?

    11 A. I couldn't say.

    12 Q. Okay.

    13 A. There weren't many of them but they did go.

    14 Q. Now, before the events that you've described

    15 on the 16th of April took place, were there any Bosnian

    16 army units, headquarters, or locations where they

    17 conducted their business located in the village of

    18 Poculica?

    19 A. In the village of Prnjavor where Prnjavor

    20 starts, about 100 metres in depth, there was a big

    21 house there, and that was a fighting unit of some kind,

    22 and they said that there was some foreigners there as

    23 well, and we could hear them training there. They

    24 would say "Allah-u-ekber" and cries of that kind. That

    25 could be heard.

  50. 1 Q. So that appeared to be a Muslim fighting unit

    2 of some kind located in the village of Poculica or the

    3 community of Poculica, I should say.

    4 A. Well, that unit was there, yes, but after the

    5 Muslims went, they didn't go up to Slatke Vode. They

    6 were just there for the needs of that particular

    7 village.

    8 Q. Now, how far away was Poculica from the

    9 frontline? I'm talking about the frontline between the

    10 Muslims and the Croats.

    11 A. There was no frontline at Poculica. The

    12 frontline was down below Sivrino Selo, towards Han

    13 Kompanja, and at Krizancevo Selo, the side towards

    14 Zenica and lower there, Gavrina Kuce. And then on the

    15 other side, there is Kruscica, and that was where the

    16 other frontline was and up by Bukve, and that went

    17 right the way around, an encirclement.

    18 Q. My question to you, Witness DM, is

    19 approximately how far away from Poculica was the

    20 closest frontline between the Muslim forces and the

    21 HVO?

    22 A. From Poculica, well, below Poculica, five

    23 kilometres.

    24 Q. Now, you were rounded up from your home about

    25 9.00 to 9.30 in the morning on the 16th of April.

  51. 1 Witness DM, were you aware that at 5.30 in the morning

    2 on the 16th of April the HVO attacked the village of

    3 Ahmici, the village of Vitez, the village of Donja

    4 Veceriska, the village of Santici, and the village of

    5 Nadioci? Were you aware of that?

    6 A. I'm not aware of that, no. I'm a pensioner,

    7 and I was at home, and I slept a little late, and I

    8 can't tell you anything about that.

    9 Q. Did you ever hear about the events that

    10 occurred at Ahmici?

    11 A. Well, it was rumoured that there were

    12 casualties down there, but I don't know who or what.

    13 Q. Did you ever visit the village of Ahmici?

    14 A. No, I did not.

    15 Q. Now, you said in your testimony, Witness DM,

    16 that you came back to your village, and I believe it

    17 was in -- when was that exactly? I don't have a note

    18 on that. Was that in 1995?

    19 A. When we went to visit the cemetery, I think

    20 that was in 1995, in the spring of 1995, at the

    21 beginning of spring, because the fighting lasted until

    22 the winter of 1994, so we didn't go that year, but we

    23 went in 1995. I think that was when it was, and this

    24 was an official visit, a group visit, and we were

    25 escorted by the police.

  52. 1 Q. And you testified that the homes in the

    2 purely Croat areas were burned to the ground or

    3 destroyed; is that correct?

    4 A. Well, they can't be used for living in. Some

    5 were more destroyed; others were less destroyed, less

    6 damaged. They weren't all burnt to the ground, but

    7 they were destroyed, so they would have to be repaired.

    8 Q. Now, Witness DM, did you see any of those

    9 houses actually being destroyed?

    10 A. That's a superfluous question. I said that

    11 there were no roofs, there were no upper stories, upper

    12 floors, and so the houses are uninhabitable. They have

    13 been destroyed. Of course, not totally, not all of

    14 them.

    15 Q. I think, Witness DM, you misunderstood my

    16 question. I clearly understand the state of those

    17 houses and their condition when you saw them in 1995.

    18 My question to you was: Did you see them actually

    19 being destroyed by somebody?

    20 A. Oh, no, no, I didn't see that, no.

    21 Q. Now, while you were in Vitez, while you lived

    22 in Vitez, were you aware that the HVO continued to

    23 shell Poculica?

    24 A. I don't know that. I did some work for some

    25 time and was in the work platoon, but who was shooting,

  53. 1 I don't know that. A mortar fell three metres from

    2 where I was, but I was not killed myself. And one day,

    3 a grenade fell from Bukve or I don't know from where,

    4 and it killed eight children on the spot, eight

    5 children who were playing in the yard. Eight children

    6 were dead on the spot.

    7 Q. Witness DM, when you went back to the village

    8 of Poculica, did you tour the area of the village that

    9 was mostly Muslim?

    10 A. When we went to the cemetery, we passed by

    11 the road, but I did not go into the houses and move

    12 around the houses. I didn't move around that area, no.

    13 Q. Could you determine whether any of those

    14 houses had been damaged or destroyed?

    15 A. Which houses?

    16 Q. The houses that were in the predominantly

    17 Muslim section of the village of Poculica?

    18 A. The Muslim part of the village of Poculica,

    19 no, the houses were not destroyed there. One house was

    20 destroyed up there by the school, one house, and

    21 several sheds near the mosque.

    22 Q. What about in the area that was the part of

    23 the village where you lived, the mixed area, where

    24 there were Croats living amongst Muslims? What was the

    25 condition of that part of the village?

  54. 1 A. Well, in that part of the village, there are

    2 about ten houses. One shed was burnt down, along with

    3 a cow in it, and another across the road, another barn

    4 was burnt down there, and I don't remember anything

    5 else being burnt in that area.

    6 Q. Now, was the part of the village that was

    7 exclusively Croat, where the 30 houses had been

    8 destroyed, was that the part of the village of Poculica

    9 that was closest to Vitez, closest to the frontline?

    10 A. Yes, where the village begins, it is by the

    11 village of Dubravica. There's Dubravica, and then you

    12 have Poculica. It's the lower half, and that's where

    13 the Croats were, and that's what was burnt down.

    14 Q. Witness DM, you were exchanged on the 1st of

    15 May, 1993. To your knowledge, did any Croats from the

    16 village of Poculica remain in the village after you

    17 were exchanged, and did they remain in the village

    18 throughout the war?

    19 A. Yes, two or three families remained one day,

    20 and then the next day they had to leave immediately,

    21 under pressure, that's what they said, and nobody

    22 remained after that.

    23 Q. Now, I'd like to turn your attention very

    24 briefly to the unfortunate and sad events that you

    25 described when a soldier came to the community centre

  55. 1 and fired into the building itself. I'd like to focus

    2 your attention on that. Approximately what time of the

    3 day did that occur? Was that in the morning or the

    4 afternoon or the evening?

    5 A. The morning before 9.00, probably.

    6 Q. From what you describe, the soldier -- could

    7 you see the soldier who did the shooting?

    8 A. You cannot see through a door.

    9 Q. Okay. So you could only hear him; is that

    10 right?

    11 A. I heard a voice shouting "Open up," but I

    12 don't know the voice. I don't know who it was.

    13 Q. Did there appear to be an argument between

    14 the guard who was guarding you and the other people who

    15 were in the community centre and the soldier who did

    16 the firing?

    17 A. Yes, yes, he was shouting, "I don't have a

    18 key," and the attacker said, "Open up," and the other

    19 one said, "The key is at the command," and the command

    20 was 10 or 15 metres away from us at the most, and he

    21 did not wait for the key. He shot through the door.

    22 The door was in the middle of the room, and it was a

    23 metal door.

    24 Q. Witness DM, in listening to this argument

    25 between the person who shot and the guard, did he say

  56. 1 anything else that gave you any indication of why he

    2 shot into the room where you and your friends were

    3 being detained? As you look back on it now, is there

    4 anything that he said that suggests to you a reason or

    5 a motive why he did that?

    6 A. They say that a relative of his was killed at

    7 that line and that he wanted to take revenge for him by

    8 killing us. That was the assumption, and that was the

    9 rumour, and I cannot confirm it 100 per cent.

    10 Q. Now, let me turn very briefly to another

    11 area, and that deals with the occasion when you

    12 described --

    13 MR. HARMON: I'm trying to decide whether or

    14 not this, Mr. President, was in private session, if you

    15 would just give me a minute.

    16 Q. Let me come back to the time very quickly,

    17 Mr. DM, after the events when your companions were shot

    18 and wounded. You said that medical help arrived. Did

    19 it arrive fairly quickly after the event itself, and

    20 were your companions taken to the hospital in Zenica?

    21 A. A medical team arrived after 10 or 15 minutes

    22 approximately, and they were taken to the hospital in

    23 Zenica.

    24 Q. Now, the occasion when you were used as a

    25 human shield to allow the Muslim soldiers to bury their

  57. 1 dead, that was clearly wrong, wasn't it? That conduct

    2 was wrong, wasn't it? Civilians shouldn't have been

    3 used as human shields; isn't that your opinion?

    4 A. Well, that's the way it was. It shouldn't

    5 have been that way. Because they wanted to be safe and

    6 they didn't want to be shot at, they used us as a

    7 shield to protect themselves.

    8 Q. Now, did you ever hear of the HVO ever doing

    9 similar types of things to civilians, to Muslim

    10 civilians?

    11 A. That, I do not know. I didn't walk around

    12 with them so that I could say so. It's the soldiers

    13 who were in the army who know that.

    14 MR. HARMON: Witness DM, I have finished my

    15 examination. Thank you very much.

    16 Mr. President, I have concluded my

    17 cross-examination.

    18 JUDGE JORDA: Mr. Nobilo, do you want to add

    19 anything?

    20 MR. NOBILO: Very, very briefly. Thank you,

    21 Mr. President.

    22 Re-examined by Mr. Nobilo:

    23 Q. Just two or three more questions. We don't

    24 want to keep you much longer. When were you born?

    25 Could you please remind us?

  58. 1 A. On the 1st of January, 1926.

    2 Q. When the Prosecutor was questioning you, when

    3 you were on the Croatian side, you said that although

    4 you were born in 1926, that you were digging trenches?

    5 A. Yes, yes. That's what I said. I was digging

    6 trenches for the HVO.

    7 Q. Tell me, did you belong to a work platoon?

    8 A. I shouldn't have been. I wasn't supposed to

    9 be. But due to the circumstances, I tried to help the

    10 defence.

    11 Q. Did all the men in Vitez belong to the army

    12 or did they help the army by digging trenches,

    13 et cetera?

    14 A. Well, older people who were over 60, they

    15 were not soldiers. They were there as manpower.

    16 Q. When you were digging, was this at the

    17 frontline, at the frontline?

    18 A. Well, of course it was. Of course. At the

    19 fighting line. That's where you dig trenches. Because

    20 many times, the line would fall, and then you'd have to

    21 dig another one, and then the soldiers wouldn't have

    22 enough time to do so and then the civilians would have

    23 to help them due to circumstances.

    24 Q. Thank you. And now another area. You said

    25 that before the conflict, in Prnjavor, there was a unit

  59. 1 of the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina and that there

    2 were foreigners among them. What did people say? What

    3 did these foreigners look like?

    4 A. I didn't see them, but people say that there

    5 were some foreigners there, and the one who came into

    6 my yard, he was a stranger to me and he had a different

    7 way of talking.

    8 Q. You said that you could hear these units

    9 shouting "Allah-u-ekber"?

    10 A. Yes, yes, yes. They were exercising, they

    11 were doing something.

    12 Q. And you said that they did not go to Slatke

    13 Vode, so this unit was not engaged in warfare?

    14 A. No, no, no. They went together, the Muslims

    15 and the Croats, and my late son also went there when it

    16 was his turn to go.

    17 Q. And this fighting unit consisting of

    18 strangers who were outside the area of your village and

    19 who were shouting "Allah-u-ekber" and who did not go to

    20 fight against the Serbs -- what about the Croats? Were

    21 you afraid of them?

    22 A. There were not only strangers there, not only

    23 foreigners, there were locals and foreigners,

    24 strangers, so, oh, it wasn't that easy.

    25 Q. Let us move further on. You mentioned to the

  60. 1 Prosecutor that in the mixed part of the village that a

    2 cow and a barn had burned down and yet another shed,

    3 and who were the owners of these sheds and barns and

    4 cows that had burned down?

    5 A. One was owned by Ante Jurcevic and the other

    6 one, it was owned by Bozo Kristo.

    7 Q. What are they by ethnicity?

    8 A. Croats.

    9 Q. Did you see any Muslim houses or barns or

    10 sheds on fire in that mixed part of the village?

    11 A. There wasn't anyone to torch it.

    12 Q. The Croatian part of the village was

    13 destroyed, and it is five kilometres away from the

    14 frontline, as you said. Tell the Court, what do you

    15 think? Do you believe that the Croats from Vitez would

    16 only shoot at the Croatian part of the village and not

    17 at the Muslim part of the village?

    18 A. Well, what was their interest in destroying

    19 themselves?

    20 MR. NOBILO: Thank you. No further

    21 questions.

    22 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you. Let me turn to my

    23 colleagues to ask whether they have any questions that

    24 they want to ask. Judge Riad?

    25 JUDGE RIAD: Good morning, Witness DM. Can

  61. 1 you hear me?

    2 A. I can.

    3 JUDGE RIAD: When they came to you to take

    4 you to the youth detention centre of Prnjavor, did they

    5 choose some people or were they taking everybody, every

    6 Croat, to the centre? Was there a choice of certain

    7 people?

    8 A. All Croats who had not left on time, all of

    9 them were taken. I mean, all who did not escape from

    10 these events on time.

    11 JUDGE RIAD: So all the Croats were taken

    12 from the village, from Poculica?

    13 A. All who had not fled earlier on.

    14 JUDGE RIAD: Regardless of the age? Did they

    15 take people, for instance, who are within a certain age

    16 or even old men? You are not an old man, but did they

    17 also take older men?

    18 A. Everybody. The old, the sickly. Everybody.

    19 JUDGE RIAD: Did they say why? Did they say

    20 why you were being taken?

    21 A. Well, they didn't say why. That was a war.

    22 That's the way it is in a war. And people then never

    23 explain to their victims why they are taking them away.

    24 JUDGE RIAD: You mentioned that -- or at

    25 least I take the interpretation, you said there was no

  62. 1 love lost between the Croats and the Muslims. And at

    2 the same time, you mentioned that Muslim neighbours

    3 brought you food when you were in, I suppose, in

    4 detention, and that this man, Nasid Bektas, sheltered

    5 the women and so on. Does this confirm what you say

    6 about -- that there was no love lost between Muslims

    7 and Croats, at least from the side of the Muslims?

    8 A. I said that relations were normal. We lived

    9 together, but we didn't exactly like each other very

    10 much. But there was nothing else they could do. I

    11 mean, I thanked this Dzidic Muhamed and Nasid and I

    12 continue to thank them for their thoughtfulness towards

    13 us, their kindness, and Nasid once came to see me and

    14 he had something to do in Vitez, and I took him where

    15 he was supposed to go because he didn't dare go on his

    16 own.

    17 JUDGE RIAD: I quoted you as saying relations

    18 now are not good. That was the translation in

    19 English. So do you think you can still live together

    20 now?

    21 A. Life together in the future is difficult.

    22 When the dead cannot lie in peace at cemeteries, what

    23 will happen to the living? That I do not understand.

    24 Because they even disturbed the peace of the dead.

    25 They won't let them lie in peace.

  63. 1 JUDGE RIAD: Thank you, Witness DM.

    2 JUDGE JORDA: Judge Shahabuddeen?

    3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Witness DM, I want to

    4 talk to you briefly about the man who shot open the

    5 door of the building in which you were and who, in

    6 doing so, killed some of your companions and wounded

    7 others. What happened with that man? Do you know?

    8 A. We don't know who shot and we don't know -- I

    9 mean, somebody had to know. And what happened, well,

    10 that is only something that the people who were in

    11 charge know. We have no way of knowing.

    12 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Now, let us talk about

    13 Poculica and Ahmici. How far is Ahmici from Poculica?

    14 A. If you take the road, it's about eight

    15 kilometres, but as the crow flies, it is less, up to

    16 five kilometres; if you were to take shortcuts too.

    17 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: If there were explosions

    18 at Ahmici, would you hear the sound of the explosions

    19 from where you were at Poculica?

    20 A. Well, you can hear it at a five-kilometre

    21 distance.

    22 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: But you said the first

    23 sounds which you heard coming from an automatic rifle

    24 were heard by you at 9.00.

    25 A. That's what I heard in my own yard, when this

  64. 1 guy came to pick me up and then he shot a few bullets

    2 so that he would see how everybody would react.

    3 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Before that, did you

    4 hear any sounds coming from explosions at Ahmici?

    5 A. Well, around that time, I could hear perhaps

    6 small arms but, you know, there are several villages

    7 out there, so I could not notice exactly where this was

    8 happening.

    9 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Well then, do I take it

    10 that your testimony is that before 9.00, you heard the

    11 sounds coming from Ahmici or the surrounding villages

    12 and deriving from shells or guns? How would you react

    13 to that?

    14 A. I didn't hear shells. Guns, rifles, you

    15 could hear them from afar, but I could not tell where

    16 from. It was from the yard that I heard this. As they

    17 were taking me out, that's when I heard it.

    18 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: Are there any Muslims

    19 now in Poculica?

    20 A. There are Muslims.

    21 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: And no Croats now?

    22 A. No. No Croats.

    23 JUDGE SHAHABUDDEEN: I see. Thank you very

    24 much.

    25 JUDGE JORDA: Thank you, Witness DM. Your

  65. 1 evidence is over. You have been very courageous. The

    2 Tribunal thanks you for having come and wishes you

    3 Godspeed back to your village in the hope that

    4 everything will become peaceful and, once again, the

    5 Trial Chamber thanks you.

    6 We are going to escort you out of the

    7 courtroom, but I would like everyone to remain for a

    8 short Status Conference in closed session.

    9 The registrar will ask for closed session

    10 and, at the same time, we can take the witness out of

    11 the courtroom.

    12 (The witness withdrew)

    13 --- Whereupon proceedings adjourned at

    14 12.44 p.m., to be reconvened on Friday,

    15 the 27th day of November, 1998, at

    16 9.45 a.m.










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