1 Wednesday, 17 December 2003
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 9.01 a.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Registrar, could you call
6 the case, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Case number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus
8 Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we have the
10 appearances for the Prosecution. The Prosecution is represented by just
11 one person.
12 MR. WITHOPF: Good morning, Your Honours. Good morning, Counsel.
13 For the Prosecution, Ekkehard Withopf and Kimberly Fleming as the case
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And could we have the
16 appearances for the Defence, who are all present.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. I am
18 Edina Residovic, and I'm assisted by my co-counsel, Stephane Bourgon for
19 General Hadzihasanovic.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Your Honours. My
21 name is Fahrudin Ibrisimovic. I'm assisted by Mr. Dixon and Mr. Mulalic.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Good day to
23 everyone, to the accused, the Prosecution, the Defence, the
24 administrative personnel and the interpreters.
25 We are going to continue and we will hear a witness. If there
1 are no comments to make at the moment, we'll bring this witness into the
2 courtroom. Could the usher please bring the witness into the courtroom.
3 [The witness entered court]
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Good day, Witness.
5 Can you hear me? Can you hear the interpreters?
6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution is going to
8 continue with its examination-in-chief. The Prosecution may take the
10 WITNESS: DRAGAN RADOS [Resumed]
11 [Witness answered through interpreter]
12 Examined by Mr. Withopf: [Continued]
13 Q. Good morning, Mr. Rados. Mr. Rados, yesterday, prior to the
14 break, I was about to finish my examination. There are only a few
15 questions left.
16 Prior to the break, you were telling the Trial Chamber about your
17 treatment in the Zenica Music School. And to summarise your last
18 sentences, you were telling the Trial Chamber that you were kicked, that
19 you were hit in the rib area with a wooden object which looked like a
20 baseball bat, and that they started hitting you with that bat in the rib
21 area and they stopped when they heard a loud noise.
22 Mr. Rados, can you tell the Trial Chamber what this loud noise
23 was about.
24 A. You could hear something, as if something had broken. After
25 that, they stopped. Someone just kicked me once more. That was someone
1 who was wearing trainers, and he stopped after that.
2 Q. You could hear something was broken. What was broken?
3 A. I heard a sharp -- I felt a sharp pain in the ribs. When they
4 left, it was difficult for me to walk. The pain was excruciating. It
5 was difficult for me to breathe. I had to breathe in slowly. A few days
6 later - I don't know how long we were there for; two, three, or four
7 days - we were transferred to the Zenica KPD, correctional facility.
8 Q. May I just interrupt you here, Mr. Rados. You were telling the
9 Trial Chamber that you have been beaten by two individuals. Do you know
10 or did you get to know who has beaten you in the Zenica Music School?
11 A. At the time, I'd never seen those two men. I wasn't even able to
12 see the face of one of them. But I heard that the one who was shorter, I
13 heard that his name was Geler. This is what I heard later on. I don't
14 know when; perhaps after we had left the Zenica KPD.
15 Q. For how long, Mr. Rados, have you been detained in the Zenica
16 Music School?
17 A. I don't know how many days we were detained there exactly, but
18 three or four days. Between two and five days, something like that.
19 Q. And where were you brought to once you left the Zenica Music
21 A. We were taken from the Zenica Music School to the Zenica KPD in a
22 van. They first took us to -- into some of the offices in the KPD. I
23 can't remember who was there exactly now, but they were different from --
24 they were quite different from the people in the first building. They
25 were more friendly, and someone told us who had been killed in the Lasva
1 local commune, in the area where conflict had broken out.
2 Afterwards, they transferred us with the others who had been
3 brought in from Lasva, and we remained together until the end. In the
4 Zenica KPD, we were treated very differently than in the other building.
5 Q. May I interrupted you.
6 A. Our treatment was far better.
7 Q. Going back to the Zenica Music School, what language was spoken
8 by the guards in the Zenica Music School?
9 A. The language spoken in the music school in Zenica was the
10 language that was spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina at the time, the same
11 language that I speak. But the last time I was interviewed -- the last
12 time I was questioned up there, there was someone who spoke our original
13 language, but he would sing after the questioning. He would start
14 singing. He would sing various songs, and I noticed that these were sung
15 in the Arab language. He did that perfectly. And later, as far as I
16 know, someone asked him -- it seemed that he was a quite literate man, an
17 educated man, in view of the way that he spoke. I remember his
18 educational background, and I remember him saying that he had graduated
19 from some sort of special school. And we didn't speak about that matter
20 any more.
21 Q. All right. Thank you very much, Mr. Rados.
22 MR. WITHOPF: Your Honours, this concludes the
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the Defence takes the
25 floor, there is a matter of clarification. I would like to ask you
1 something about -- that concerns your examination-in-chief yesterday.
2 Questioned by the Court:
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With regard to the -- to Zvonko
4 Radic's attempt to flee and what happened after that. Could you tell me,
5 to the extent that you remember this, when he fled, according to what you
6 said, I think someone shot at him; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you then noticed that he
9 had been wounded as a result of this shot.
10 A. Yes.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] After he had been wounded, what
12 did you see? What did you see or what did you hear? Did the wounded
13 person say anything or not, and what did you see afterwards? What did
14 you personally see?
15 A. He was groaning. It was probably because of the pain. I
16 couldn't see him because of the position I was in and because of his
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When did you realise that he
19 was dead?
20 A. He was first of all wounded, and then some of our soldiers
21 carried him. We took him back to Kruska. We carried him. That was near
22 my old house. We put him down there to have a rest. And from the
23 opposite direction there were several BH army members who came to him.
24 They ran up to him. As soon as they arrived, they started kicking him.
25 I don't know how long this lasted. It wasn't very long. One of the BH
1 army soldiers had a short-barrelled automatic weapon, and he fired a shot
2 in the upper area of the chest. It was near the neck, somewhere in this
3 area. And after that, he stopped groaning. You couldn't hear him any
4 more. He was probably dead.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you said that when you put
6 him down near the pear tree he was still alive. When he was put down
7 there, he was still alive.
8 A. Yes, he was. I don't think I put him down at the time. We
9 would change. All I know is that he was put down on the ground.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for this
12 The Defence may now take the floor and commence its
13 cross-examination. The Trial Chamber would prefer to ask questions, to
14 enable the Defence to see if there is any -- if there are any
15 ambiguities. I think it is better than if the Trial Chamber intervenes
16 and asks questions after the examination and the cross-examination have
17 been completed.
18 You may take the floor now.
19 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
20 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Rados.
21 A. Good day.
22 Q. I am Edina Residovic and I represent General Hadzihasanovic. I
23 would like to ask you a few questions. Before your testimony here, you
24 gave a statement to the OTP; is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. In that statement you also spoke about the general situation; is
2 that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Before I ask you a number of questions, since you are familiar
5 with the situation in the place where you were located, I will also ask
6 you some general questions. So I would be grateful if you could tell me
7 what you know.
8 You lived in the hamlet of Brdo, which belongs to the Lasva
9 municipality, and Lasva was part of the municipality of Zenica; is that
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. From Lasva - that is to say, from the railway station in Lasva -
13 up to the Brdo hamlet, which is where you lived, the distance is about 1
14 and a half kilometres, and up to Dusina the distance is about 2 and a
15 half kilometres; is that correct?
16 A. Yes, you could say so. It depends on the part of the village of
17 Dusina that you were thinking of.
18 Q. Very well. But the hamlet could be -- the hamlets could be at a
19 distance of 500 metres perhaps, something like that.
20 A. Yes, I think so.
21 Q. Because of the lie of the land - and I think the Trial Chamber
22 has heard something about this already - from the position where your
23 house was located, you weren't able to see the hamlet of Kegelj which was
24 in the valley, and you weren't able to hear what was happening there
25 either; is that correct?
1 A. No.
2 Q. For the same reason, from the position of your house in the
3 village of Brdo, you weren't able to see or hear what was happening in
4 the village of Lasva, in the vicinity -- in the area around the railway
6 A. No, I don't think I could hear anything.
7 Q. Thank you. In response to a question from my learned colleague,
8 you yesterday said that in 1991 you were a member of the HVO and you were
9 also the leader of a squad in Dusina; is that correct?
10 A. Yes. Not from the very beginning.
11 Q. From sometime in 1992.
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. The HVO commander for Lasva and the president of the HDZ in that
14 area was Zvonko Rajic; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Although you belonged to the Zenica municipality, your superior
17 command wasn't the Jure Francetic Brigade, with its headquarters in
18 Zenica. You belonged to the command in Busovaca; is that correct?
19 A. We had our unit, the HVO Lasva Unit, and we were the HVO in
20 Central Bosnia. I still don't understand how these commands work, but I
21 know that Zvonko Rajic had some connection with Busovaca.
22 Q. Your unit in Lasva also received some weapons from Busovaca; is
23 that correct?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. You had mostly light automatic weapons. Only Zeljko Cvijanovic
1 had an Austria sniper, an Austrian Winchester; is that correct?
2 A. We had light infantry weapons, but I don't know who -- I'm not
3 certain who had the sniper. Perhaps he did; perhaps someone else had the
4 sniper rifle.
5 Q. In your previous statement - and I am now asking you about this
6 so that we can hear your answer before the Trial Chamber - you said that
7 in the middle of January the situation in Busovaca became more complex
8 and an open conflict between the HVO and the army broke out; is that
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And refugees started arriving in the area of Lasva, Muslim women
12 and children, and they would say what was happening. They would have
13 stories about what was happening there; is that correct ?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That made the situation in your local commune more complicated;
16 is that correct?
17 A. Yes. But that's not all.
18 Q. The HVO held a checkpoint in Lasva. They had a checkpoint there.
19 And they would control the road from the junction to the village. Is
20 that correct?
21 A. They had a checkpoint in Lasva. As for the control of the road
22 -- well, I couldn't say that they controlled the road. The checkpoint
23 was there to guard the bridge, the railway, the shop, the post office,
24 the railway tracks and the medical institute. That was the purpose of
25 the checkpoint.
1 Q. The day before these events that you have testified about, there
2 was an attack carried out against the village of Merdani and you could
3 hear artillery shelling in Lasva; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. You were aware of the danger, and on several occasions there was
6 a meeting with representatives of the army. And a day or two before the
7 conflict, on the premises of the local commune, a meeting was held which
8 you attended too; is that correct?
9 A. Yes. I don't know how much in advance, but yes.
10 Q. As far as you can remember, Zvonko Rajic, Ivica Filipovic, and
11 Ante Kristo, Zeljko Cvijanovic as HVO representatives, in addition to
12 yourself also attended; is that correct?
13 A. I can't remember who was there exactly, but Zvonko Rajic was.
14 Q. From representatives of the BH army and because the HVO units
15 were in an open conflict with the army, several suggestions were made:
16 Either that your unit should join the HVO brigade in Zenica or the entire
17 village should be disarmed or you should be subordinated to the army or
18 you should move to the Busovaca area. Were these suggestions discussed?
19 A. As far as I can remember, in the area of the confluence of the
20 Lasva and Bosna River, the BH army troops started massing there.
21 Two or three days or perhaps a week earlier, a week before the
22 conflict broke out in the Busovaca area -- well, this meeting was held in
23 the local commune. I can't remember whether it was two, three, or four
24 days before, because the conflict hadn't broken out in Busovaca when the
25 meeting was held. And members of the BH army attended the meeting, and
1 one could say that some HVO Lasva members attended it too.
2 And at that meeting the HVO discussed the subject of the local
3 commune of Lasva and the people in the local commune. They said they
4 should stand -- they should stand outside the conflict, they should not
5 be in the conflict, and that the problems between the BH army in Lasva
6 and the HVO in Lasva should be solved. It was said that we shouldn't
7 join Busovaca or Zenica or any other conflict. It was said that the
8 problems should be solved in Lasva. And the people who came to the
9 confluence of the Lasva and Bosna River, in that area, it was said that
10 they weren't from the area that we lived in and that they were a
11 potential danger for the Croats in Lasva and that they shouldn't be there
12 and that the BH army could solve this problem.
13 Q. You know that in the afternoon on the 25th of January the HVO
14 arrested, disarmed, and brought in two members of the BH army from Dusina
15 -- in Dusina; is that correct?
16 A. They arrested them, brought them in -- well, I couldn't say so.
17 After that meeting - I can't remember everything very well - but I know
18 that the HVO tried to do everything to avoid getting involved in the
19 events unfolding in Busovaca and to avoid going to Busovaca and to ensure
20 that the BH army didn't go to that part.
21 Two BH army members from that local commune, as far as I know,
22 came from the direction of Busovaca. They were detained between 15 and
23 20 minutes, and Zvonko Rajic was informed that he should phone Hazim
24 Barucija and that the president of the BH army -- the representative of
25 the BH army and to have a meeting in order to solve that problem, to
1 avoid a conflict in the place where we lived.
2 Q. On your insistence, after a certain period of time, these people
3 were released; is that correct?
4 A. Yes. I released them. I apologised to them. I didn't --
5 release them, but we couldn't find Hazim Barucija to tell him that they
6 went there.
7 Q. Thank you.
8 A. We apologised, gave them their weapons, and told them that for
9 security reasons they shouldn't go to Lasva. We allowed them to go home.
10 Q. But on that same day, in the afternoon, your family left Brdo and
11 went to Dusina and found accommodation in the Kegelj settlement; is that
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. That afternoon, the families of Zvonko Rajic and some other HVO
15 members from Lasva and Donja Visnjica also went there and found
16 accommodation; is that correct?
17 A. I knew that my family was there, but I only found out that all
18 the others were there a lot later. The reason for which my wife and son
19 went there is there was an event a week earlier, perhaps even more than
20 that. I don't know exactly.
21 Q. Let's not go into what happened before.
22 A. I think I should explain this.
23 Q. If you think so, please go ahead, but I'd appreciate it if you
24 could answer the questions that I ask you.
25 A. A week or ten days earlier I wasn't at home. Someone came to the
1 door of my house, knocked on the door. Only my wife and son were inside.
2 My wife asked, "Who is it? Who is it," and no one answered. But the
3 knocking continued. It was dark. She took the rifle that I had and said
4 to the person that the person should stop or she would shoot. I don't
5 know how long the knocking continued, but afterwards she fired a few
6 shots at the door and I think that after that she stayed there every
7 night, because she couldn't remain in the house. I don't know exactly,
8 but I know that she was stressed.
9 Q. However, Mr. Rados, in your earlier statement, you said that
10 these families -- I'm paraphrasing your statement. Can you please follow
11 me closely -- that these families were placed in Kegelj because this was
12 closest to Busovaca, because everybody was withdrawing to Busovaca; is
13 that correct?
14 A. The plan for the withdrawal of the Croatian people in Lasva was
15 drafted I believe while the Serbs were still down there, and this is the
16 only plan that was drafted in case we were attacked.
17 Q. Thank you very much. Let's move to 26 January. In the early
18 morning hours, you heard gunfire, and you said that it came from all
20 A. Yes, that's correct.
21 Q. As you came out of the house, the troops were in front of the
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. As soon as you left the house, you surrendered your weapons.
25 A. No, not as soon as I left the house. When I came to my old
1 house, I found a bigger group of soldiers there, and that's where I
2 surrendered my weapons.
3 Q. At that moment, you saw this dead soldier, Nedin Cavcic [phoen],
4 a member of the army.
5 A. I don't know what his name was, and at that moment I wasn't aware
6 of the fact that he was dead.
7 Q. After -- above your house on Brdo there was an HVO group which
8 participated in the combat activities; is that correct?
9 A. The HVO group was across from the BH army on a -- on the opposite
10 hilltop, between Brdo and Donja Visnjica, and the place is called
12 Q. Not for a single moment did you join this group and participate
13 in combat activities against the members of the army; is that correct?
14 A. Yes, that is correct. After I surrendered my weapons, I joined
15 the negotiations. I went there with my wife, and then I spoke to Edin
16 Hakanovic. I don't know on how many occasions. Two or three occasions,
18 Q. So your only mission was to be mediator, together with your wife,
19 between the BH army and representatives of the HVO who were on their
20 positions; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Up there you saw Zvonko Rajic as well; is that correct?
23 A. Yes, it is.
24 Q. Up there you didn't see Zeljko Cvijanovic; is that correct?
25 A. I saw Zvonko Rajic. I know that because I spoke to him. And the
1 only person I can remember now is him. I don't think that I saw the
2 other person.
3 Q. Do you remember that in Busovaca, immediately after you were
4 released from the KPD in February 1993, you gave a statement?
5 A. I can't remember exactly.
6 Q. If there was such a statement, it wouldn't be yours then; is that
7 what you are saying?
8 A. I can't remember.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm going to show
10 this statement to the witness. I would like him to tell us whether this
11 is his signature. I would like to ask him a few questions. Although I'm
12 not tendering this statement into evidence.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If there are no objections from
14 the OTP, Madam Usher -- Or maybe we do have an objection on the part of
15 the OTP.
16 MR. WITHOPF: There's no objection. However, the Prosecution
17 would like to get a copy prior to questioning the witness.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Madam Usher, take the document
19 and show it to the Prosecution, please.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The statement is in Croatian.
21 And I just wanted to show it to the witness in order for him to recognise
22 his signature. The source is the HV archives in Zagreb. Since we are
23 not tendering the document, we didn't think it was necessary for it to be
25 MR. WITHOPF: Your Honour, the Prosecution objects. We only got
1 a copy of a statement in the B/C/S language, and we are not in a position
2 to read it.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The objection is that the
4 document is in B/C/S, but the only thing that you want confirmed is the
5 signature. In that case, you can present the document to the witness
6 just to see whether this is his signature, if that is your only
8 Madam Usher, you can show the witness the document, and we can
9 then ask him whether this indeed is his signature. So he is not going to
10 read the contents of the document; he is just going to see whether the
11 signature on the document is his.
12 Witness, now you have the document in front of you. Can you
13 please confirm for us that this is your signature.
14 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Probably yes.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You may now
16 return the document to the Defence.
17 You may pursue your line of questioning. If you want to tender
18 this document, then you have to have it translated and -- otherwise, we
19 would not be able to know the contents of it. I know that you've had
20 difficulties with translation. And as I've already indicated, if you
21 want to tender a document, you have to address the Registry, and this
22 document will then be translated for you for the procedure.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we have already sent
24 some of the documents for translation, all the documents that concern
25 Dusina. However, we have not been able to receive any translations. I'm
1 using very few documents because I have not had them translated. Thank
2 you very much. In any case, we are going to follow your previous
4 Q. Having looked at the statement that was given to the security
5 service of the HVO in Busovaca, did this refresh your memory? Are you
6 now aware of the fact that you did give a statement to the service and
7 signed it yourself?
8 A. I remember as we left the KPD all the soldiers who were HVO
9 members, who came from the first building in the KPD, they were under a
10 lot of stress, and I really don't remember whether I gave a statement or
11 not. I cannot remember that this happened.
12 Q. Very well then. In any case, if it says somewhere in this
13 document or elsewhere that you were in the basement of your house in Brdo
14 village, together with five other fighters, that you returned fire, and
15 that the combat lasted for about five hours, that you were very well
16 sheltered. That wouldn't be correct; is that the case?
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, the Prosecution.
18 MR. WITHOPF: Your Honour, I object to this question. My learned
19 colleague is referring to in document in saying "then in any case if it
20 says somewhere in this document or elsewhere." I object to the use of
21 this document.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Can you
23 please rephrase your question, maybe not directly -- or maybe the Chamber
24 can ask the question on your behalf.
25 To do it on your behalf: What we are saying, when you were
1 liberated, as you said, did you give a statement to a service, to the
2 HVO? Did they ask you for some clarifications about the things that you
3 had done before?
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I really can't remember. I really
5 don't know. I can't remember exactly.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. In any case, you are denying that in the basement of your house
8 there were five HVO members who opened fire on members of the army of
9 Bosnia and Herzegovina?
10 A. My house does not have a basement. And I could not have been in
11 the basement of my house with five HVO soldiers. This house simply does
12 not have a basement.
13 Q. In your house there were negotiations between Hakanovic,
14 yourself, and a member of the army, Zvonko Rajic, and another member of
15 the HVO, and that's all that took place in your house; is that correct?
16 A. In my house, yes, there were negotiations between one BH army
17 soldier, Edin Hakanovic, Zvonko Rajic, myself, and I can't remember
18 whether there was anybody else or not. In any case, Zvonko Rajic and the
19 ABiH soldier were the ones who talked, who were negotiating.
20 Q. Mr. Rajic, you testified yesterday that you were disarmed after
21 having received the news that there was an HVO ambush in Donja Visnjica;
22 is that correct?
23 A. I'm not Mr. Rajic.
24 Q. I apologise, Mr. Rados. I really do apologise.
25 Did you say that yesterday? Is that correct?
1 A. I'm sorry, I wasn't concentrating on your question.
2 Q. I'll repeat. Yesterday you said that you went with the army for
3 a certain part of the road, and after that information reached us that
4 there was an ambush, and only after that you were disarmed. Is all that
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. You also said that after Zvonko Rajic had attempted to escape and
8 after his death, it was only then that you were tied. Is that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's correct.
10 Q. Earlier this morning to the Prosecutor's question you answered
11 that you had been transferred to the Zenica KPD and that you were treated
12 differently there, that the treatment was much better. Is that true?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. The security there was provided by the military police of the 3rd
16 A. I don't know exactly who provided security, but in any case it
17 was the BH army.
18 Q. Thank you very much. Mr. Rados, I -- once again, I apologise for
19 having addressed you with a different name. And I would like to thank
20 you for having answered my questions. Thank you.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would also like to thank you.
22 And I'm now going to give the floor to the Defence of Mr. Kubura.
23 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. There are no questions on
24 behalf of Mr. Kubura for this witness, as his testimony concerns events
25 before the 1st of April, from the time when Mr. Kubura is not charged
1 with any offences. Thank you, Your Honour.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Any re-examination on the part
3 of the Prosecution?
4 MR. WITHOPF: Your Honours, there's only one issue I wish to
6 Re-examined by Mr. Withopf:
7 Q. At the beginning of the cross-examination by my learned
8 colleague, there is a word missing in the transcript, and I wish the
9 witness to clarify it. It says "Because of the lie of the land, and I
10 think the Trial Chamber has heard something about this already, from the
11 position you were --
12 THE INTERPRETER: Unfortunately, the interpreters cannot hear the
14 MR. WITHOPF: I apologise.
15 Q. It says in the transcript at the beginning of the
16 cross-examination - and it's a question by my learned colleague -
17 "Because of the lie of the land - and I think the Trial Chamber has heard
18 something about this already - from the position where your house was
19 located, you weren't able to see the hamlet of -- which was in the
20 valley," and "the hamlet of" is unfortunately not detailed in the
21 transcript. What hamlet is the witness referring to, or what hamlet is
22 Defence counsel referring to?
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence mentioned the hamlet
24 of Kegelj, and I believe that I received the answer to that question.
25 MR. WITHOPF:
1 Q. Mr. Rados, is it correct that you couldn't see the hamlet of
3 A. From the house where I was? Is that your question? From the
4 house where I was, my house, whether I could see that hamlet?
5 Q. From the position you have been at the time, at your house.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Okay. Thank you very much.
8 MR. WITHOPF: There are no further questions.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
10 Both the examination-in-chief and the cross-examination are over.
11 We have had some re-examination, so we may now state that this witness's
12 testimony is over.
13 We would like to thank you for having come from so far. We wish
14 you a happy journey back home.
15 I would kindly ask the usher to take you out of the courtroom.
16 Thank you once again.
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.
18 May I be allowed to say something before I leave the courtroom,
20 Generations and generations of people have created good
21 relationships in the local commune of Lasva, and the relationship was
22 perfect. The relationship between people before the war were perfect,
23 and that is the picture that I carry with me of the place where I was
24 born. I'm trying to remember, whatever happened afterwards, I believe
25 that the people should continue living like they lived before the war.
1 Conditions of life of Muslims, Croats, and Serbs there were perfect, and
2 I wish this to continue.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We have recorded what you have
4 just said. Once again, we would like to thank you. And the usher is
5 going to escort you out of the courtroom. Thank you.
6 [The witness withdrew]
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall continue with our
8 session. It is ten to 10.00 now. We are going to have our break at half
9 past 10.00. The Prosecution is now going to bring in their new witness.
10 Therefore, we are going to see a new witness.
11 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution calls Franjo
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. Mundis.
14 [The witness entered court]
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good morning, Witness. Can you
16 hear the interpretation?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called as a
19 witness for the Prosecution. You are going to give me your name and your
20 last name.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Franjo Krizanac.
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When were you born and where
23 were you born?
24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was born on 13 November 1935 in
25 Dubravica, Vitez municipality.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your profession?
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a Franciscan priest.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And where do you currently
5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In Nova Bila. I am the head
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You are going
8 to take the solemn oath by reading the sentence from the piece of paper
9 that the usher is showing you.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
11 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
12 WITNESS: FRANJO KRIZANAC
13 [Witness answered through interpreter]
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Thank you.
15 You may be seated.
16 As you have already been told, you are going to first answer some
17 questions put to you by the Prosecution. After that, the Defence counsel
18 are going to ask you some questions. The Chamber also has the right to
19 ask you questions at any moment.
20 We have 35 minutes before the break. I'm giving the floor to the
22 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
23 Examined by Mr. Mundis:
24 Q. Witness, can you briefly tell the Trial Chamber the assignments
25 that you have had with the church since the time of your ordination.
1 A. After I graduated in Sarajevo and Ljubljana, I was a chaplain in
2 Surkovac near Ljubina, near western Bosnia. Then I was a chaplain in
3 BH, in western Bosnia. After that, I was a priest in Dolac, Srebrena
4 Bosna. After that, I was a member of the seniority of the Bosna Srebrena
5 in Sarajevo for a long time. I remained in Sarajevo until 1985. I
6 discharged various functions. I am the guardian of the monastery in
7 Bistrik. In 1985, I became guardian -- Franciscan monastery in Guca Gora
8 near Travnik. I served there two terms of offices until 1991. In 1991,
9 I was transferred to a new duty of the parish priest in Brajkovici, where
10 I remained until 1994. Then I was again appointed the guardian, and I
11 took over the monastery in Guca Gora. This was in 1994 up until the year
13 In the year 2000, I was transferred to a new duty, as a chaplain
14 in Nova Bila, and this is where I am working today.
15 Q. Can you please tell the Trial Chamber, witness, the approximately
16 geographic area that is covered by the Brajkovici parish at the time you
17 were there, from 1991 through 1994.
18 A. I was appointed parish priest to work in a parish with 5.500
19 people. It is located in the area with the diameter of some 20
20 kilometres, if not more. It is, for its most part, in the territory of
21 Travnik municipality; 20 per cent of its territory is in the territory of
22 Zenica municipality. I worked as a priest there. I had an assistant, a
23 chaplain, Pero Karajica. There were two nuns who worked in the parish.
24 And at that time, I worked as a priest in that area.
25 Q. Which or what were the largest -- what were the largest Croat
1 villages that fell under the Brajkovici parish?
2 A. Well, the village of Brajkovici itself, which is where the centre
3 of the parish is; then Grahovcici is the largest village; then Cukle,
4 Gornja and Donja, Donja Cukle; then Podovi; Rudnik; Bila; and Vrbice; the
5 village of Miletici, which is furthest from the centre of the parish. In
6 a north-easterly direction, it's about 10 kilometres away. That's in the
7 municipality of Travnik. But in the Zenica municipality, there's Ovnak -
8 that's the border of the Zenica municipality - and beyond that border
9 there's the village of Susanj and the village of Konjevici. They belong
10 to the Brajkovici parish, as they were Croatian Catholic villages.
11 Q. Witness, within the area covered by the Brajkovici parish, what
12 other ethnic groups lived in that area?
13 A. In the area of the Brajkovici parish, there were Catholics and
14 Muslims, and to a minor extent in the territory of the parish there was a
15 village where there were Serbs too.
16 Q. Can you please describe for the Trial Chamber the relations
17 between the various ethnic groups living in the Brajkovici parish in
19 A. When I arrived in Brajkovici, I didn't notice any tension among
20 the ethnic groups, apart from the fact that we had already heard about
21 the war in Croatia and people were concerned on this account.
22 In the course of 1992, some sort of shelling had started in
23 Bosnia. Serbian units and the army had started shelling in that area.
24 So Vitez and Busovaca were shelled. And in the territory of my parish,
25 there were no incidents in the course of 1992. They were in fact
1 concerned -- in fact, the Croats and the Muslims were concerned about
2 their personal security, and they tried to cooperate, form some sort of
3 defence for that area. So I know that in 1992, the Croats and the
4 Muslims, acting together, a group of them, went to the Vlasic mountain,
5 where they tried to take the television transmitter for the needs of the
6 population, but the Serbian army was already there and they used their
7 weapons to prevent them from taking that tower. And a parishioner of
8 mine, Ivica Tomic, died there. He was a Croat. And someone from my
9 village - I think it was -- Siljak was his last name. He was seriously
10 wounded. I don't remember his first name. Unfortunately, he later
11 succumbed to his wounds.
12 So at that time in 1992 - at least in the first half of 1992 -
13 there were no conflicts between the Muslims and Croats, as far as I am
14 aware. But barricades had already been erected around the area.
15 Everyone wanted to protect themselves. They didn't want to be attacked.
16 They wanted to avoid anything misfortunate happening to them.
17 In 1992, in the first half of that year, the people from those
18 areas went to safer areas. So I know that some buses would take children
19 towards Croatia, towards Dalmatia. And then in the second half of that
20 year, those barricades that had been erected for the sake of security
21 were often the cause of incidents. People would be stopped. Everyone
22 would be stopped in front of their villages, both Croats and Bosniaks.
23 And in the second half of 1992, foreigners also started
24 appearing. They would speak foreign languages. They looked different.
25 And they didn't relate to the inhabitants in the same way as the locals
1 did, since the locals -- well, they knew each other. They were
2 neighbours. They'd been neighbours for many years. And in Bosnia, there
3 was a tradition of tolerance.
4 When these foreigners appeared, various incidents started
6 Q. Witness, if I could stop you there. You've -- you've mentioned
7 foreigners. Do you have any idea where these foreigners came from or
8 which foreign languages they spoke?
9 A. There were many foreigners, and many foreign languages were
10 spoken. But in this area, when I said "foreigners," I was referring
11 specifically to people who had come from Arab countries. We all called
12 them Mujahedins. I know there were people from Jordan, from Iran, from
13 some of those countries. But I would always recognise them, because
14 their appearance, the clothes they wore, the fact that they had long
15 beards, and the fact that they spoke the Arab language.
16 Q. Can you tell the Trial Chamber the approximate month when you
17 first -- month and year when you first saw these people in the area of
18 your parish.
19 A. I certainly saw them in the course of 1992, and I'm sure that I
20 saw them in spring or summer.
21 Q. Witness, do you recall the specific area or areas within the
22 Brajkovici parish where you saw these people?
23 A. I remember I saw them in Han Bila, in Mehorce [phoen] in
24 particular. Sometimes they would drive by. They would use the roads.
25 Q. Witness, you've told us that in the first part of 1992 relations
1 between the Croats and Muslims were relatively cooperative. Did there
2 come a time when that situation changed?
3 A. Well, at the end of 1992, that situation changed because people
4 from both sides were stopped at the barricades and certain incidents
5 started occurring. A vehicle would be confiscated or someone would be
6 prevented from passing through. Such things started happening.
7 And I remember that in 1992, when I was returning from Zenica,
8 from the parish of St. Ilija in Zenica - that was on the 20th of July - I
9 remember that that was the first time I came across a large column of
10 soldiers in camouflage uniforms. They were marching in single file, from
11 Zenica towards the west. I was supposed to visit my brother in Vitez on
12 that occasion, so I went behind that column for a certain time. And at
13 the periphery of Zenica, towards the north-west, they headed off towards
14 the village of Brajkovici; and I turned to the left, in the direction of
15 Vitez, in order to visit my brother. But I was concerned. It was
16 something that surprised me a lot. I briefly visited my brother and
17 hurried on towards Brajkovici. I went to see whether there was any news.
18 When I got there, people told me that that column of soldiers in
19 camouflage uniforms had reached the limit of the municipality of Zenica.
20 They had reached Ovnak, the barricades that had been erected by the
21 inhabitants of Ovnak and the surrounding villages. They got there, and
22 there were discussions -- or there weren't any discussions, but they then
23 returned to Zenica.
24 So the people took this to be some sort of a threat, a challenge,
25 a reason for concern. So that was in July 1992.
1 Q. Witness, do you know which army these soldiers were members of?
2 A. Well, it was the Muslim army. They were wearing green berets and
3 camouflage uniforms, and this is the sort of uniform that that army later
5 Q. Witness, approximately how far from Brajkovici is Ovnak?
6 A. It's about a kilometre and a half or 2 kilometres from the church
7 in Brajkovici.
8 Q. Witness, did there come a time in early 1993 where the situation
9 between the Muslim and Croat inhabitants of the Brajkovici parish area
10 deteriorated even further?
11 A. Well, it was in 1993 when you could hear shooting, especially at
12 night, and this wartime psychosis was beginning to spread. People were
13 becoming increasingly afraid. And in 1993, at the beginning of that
14 year, there were rumours of various crimes that had been committed here
15 and there. In my parish, I was not in a position to communicate with
16 areas beyond its territory in 1993.
17 There was something that was particularly difficult for me. That
18 was on the 18th of April, the first half of 1993. A real war had broken
19 out in Zenica. You could hear shots being fired from light and heavy
20 weapons. And afterwards there was an exodus of a lot of Croats, a lot of
21 Catholics in this area of my parish. There were perhaps about 2.000
22 people who came to the village of Grahovcici. And that's when real
23 trouble started with those people, as far as food and everything else is
24 concerned. The area had been sealed off already, blocked. It wasn't
25 possible to establish communications. And shortly afterwards we heard
1 that people had been killed in the village of Miletici, which I said is
2 to the north-west of the church in Brajkovici.
3 We waited. We listened to people on a daily basis to find out
4 news. And finally we really found out that people had been killed, and
5 perhaps a week later UNPROFOR brought those people to the church in
6 Brajkovici so that we could bury them. Those were the worst incidents,
7 and it was a real wartime situation at that time.
8 I tried to get food. That was at the time of Easter. I wasn't
9 able to, so I tried to find at opportunity. I thought that these were
10 unfortunate events, that it wasn't a real war yet, so I wanted to get
11 food, because people didn't have sufficient supplies.
12 Q. Witness, you mentioned hearing that people had been killed in the
13 village of Miletici. Do you recall who told you that and the approximate
14 date when you heard that?
15 A. Immediately after the date I mentioned. I think I heard this
16 over the phone from the monastery in Guca Gora, which is not far from the
17 church in Brajkovici. And I heard from my parishioners. They told me
18 about these events.
19 Q. You told us, Witness, that UNPROFOR brought these people to the
20 church for purposes of burial. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber
21 how that came about.
22 A. I don't know who informed us exactly. Their relatives tried to
23 obtain this, more than we did. We were told that on a certain day these
24 dead people would be brought to Brajkovici for the purposes of burial.
25 This is what happened. It was either a week or eight days or ten days
1 later - I don't know exactly - UNPROFOR transported the bodies of these
2 people in their vehicles and they brought them to the church.
3 Q. Witness, did you have the opportunity to observe the bodies that
4 UNPROFOR brought to the church for burial?
5 A. Yes. As a priest, it was up to me to perform the burial rites.
6 At the time, it was only possible for them to be buried in Grahovcici,
7 for security reasons, and that's where most people were located, and
8 their family members also wanted them to be buried in that cemetery;
9 although, that cemetery did not belong to the village of Miletici.
10 When we got to the cemetery -- when we reached the cemetery in
11 Grahovcici in those UNPROFOR vehicles, the family members wanted the
12 coffins to be opened so that they could see and identify the bodies. And
13 when this was done, when the coffins were opened, I was able to see the
14 people who had been killed. I was able to see the condition they were
15 in, although I didn't want this episode to last very long and I wanted to
16 perform the rites. There were a lot of people from Zenica and from other
17 villages who had come to Grahovcici, so a lot of people were present.
18 I was able to see those people. On the whole, they only revealed
19 their heads. I could see that they had been covered in blood, they had
20 been wounded, that they had knife wounds to the neck, they had haematomas
21 on their heads, et cetera.
22 Q. Witness, do you recall how many bodies you saw or how many bodies
23 you buried from Miletici on that day?
24 A. I saw them bury five bodies on that day.
25 Q. Did you know or recognise any of the bodies that you buried that
2 A. Perhaps ten days before that incident I visited the village of
3 Miletici, in order to prepare the parishioners, because there were about
4 15 houses far from the parish and they were surrounded by Muslim
5 villages. I had to go there to prepare them for Easter. I had a mass
6 there. I sat down with those people, spoke to them, et cetera. I was
7 acquainted with them; I didn't have that much contact with any of them,
8 because of the distance. But I did see all those people and I did know
9 some of them.
10 Q. Do you know -- you told us earlier that the family members wanted
11 the coffins opened. Do you know who these family members were?
12 A. Well, the surnames were Pavlovic, Petrovic. Those were the names
13 on the whole of the dead people, Petrovic, Pavlovic.
14 Q. Witness, do you know where these family members were from?
15 A. There were people from Miletici who had come there via the
16 village, had come to the Grahovcici area, and there were relatives of
17 theirs from other villages who were related to them, either through
18 marriage or in some other way. But on the whole, it was from the area of
19 the Brajkovici parish.
20 Q. Witness, you told us that they were buried in Grahovcici. How
21 far is Grahovcici from Brajkovici and the church in Brajkovici?
22 A. It's between a kilometre and a half to 2 kilometres. That's how
23 the village spreads.
24 Q. Can you explain to the Trial Chamber why these five people were
25 buried in Grahovcici.
1 A. Well, the area had in fact been blocked off, so people from the
2 parish were not able to go to the village of Miletici or to Bila or to
3 Vitez, to the south or to the north. The area had been blocked off and
4 it wasn't safe to go anywhere; that's why we couldn't go to visit those
5 relatives in Miletici, because all these people had already fled from
6 Miletici. No one else could take charge of those bodies. UNPROFOR had
7 to do it. And because of the insecurity and the situation at that time,
8 they brought the bodies in.
9 Q. Witness, while you were living in Brajkovici, did that village
10 ever come under direct military attack?
11 A. As I've already said, at the beginning of 1993 and afterwards,
12 you would hear shooting at night and during the day. But on the 8th of
13 June, 1993, that's when the real war broke out in that village area, when
14 the village was attacked and light and heavy weapons were used. It was
15 attacked from the east, the north, the west. It was completely
16 surrounded. And not just the village of Brajkovici, but Grahovcici,
17 Cukle, the core area of the parish.
18 That was the tragic day for the parish of Brajkovici. It started
19 in the early morning hours, and by 11.00 the situation had come to a
20 head. People were gathering in a forest near Rudnik. There was a mass
21 of them. I didn't know where they intended to go.
22 Later, the people who were fleeing said that they were going
23 there, that they were going to gather there, and that they were going to
24 attempt to break through to Nova Bila.
25 Q. Witness, you've told us that the attack began early on the day of
1 8 June 1993. Do you have a recollection of the approximate time on that
3 A. We spent that morning awake more than asleep, because of the
4 explosions. All I know is that before dawn broke, we went to the
5 windows. We looked around. And in the early morning hours, we noticed
6 that there were fires -- that there were houses on fire towards the
7 village of Guca Gora; that's the Radonjici village, which you can see
8 from the church in Brajkovici. And a little later, at about 9.00
9 perhaps, I could see column of people who from the monastery in Guca
10 Gora, which is to the west of Brajkovici, had set off in the direction
11 of Nova Bila, by Kosovo. That's the route they'd taken. It was some
12 sort of a village road. And this was a sign that the situation was bad,
13 and our parish was affected by it also.
14 Q. Witness, where were you when you came to the realisation that
15 Brajkovici and the surrounding area was under attack?
16 A. I was in the parish office, in the parish house in Brajkovici
17 throughout that period, not just on that occasion, because it wasn't
18 really possible to go out and because of fear. I told Pero Karajica, the
19 priest, and the nuns, that if they were afraid, if they couldn't face up
20 to the situation, I told them they were free, that they didn't have any
21 obligations. And then they asked me, "What will you do?" I said, "I'll
22 stay on here. I'll be here." But I was convinced that the situation was
23 a temporary one after all and that the situation would improve. But when
24 they saw that I had decided to remain there, after they'd been called by
25 the people who were fleeing, et cetera, after all these events, they
1 decided to remain with me in the parish house.
2 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, I believe we're at the time for the
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We have come
5 to the break time. We shall resume at five minutes to 11.00.
6 --- Recess taken at 10.30 a.m.
7 --- On resuming at 10.56 a.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I give the floor to the
9 Prosecution to continue their examination-in-chief.
10 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President.
11 Q. Witness, just as we broke for the recess, you told us that you
12 had decided to stay in the parish church in Brajkovici. Can you tell us
13 why you were prepared to stay.
14 A. That was my main task. There was no way for me to know what
15 would happen next. I just wanted to stay put. I didn't want to go into
16 any other uncertainty. I didn't feel that there was any danger for me,
17 and I just wanted to perform my duty. I wanted to stay in the place that
18 I was in charge of.
19 Q. Can you briefly describe for the Trial Chamber the events that
20 unfolded on the 8th of June, 1993 as Brajkovici came under attack.
21 A. I've already said that we could hear explosions before dawn, and
22 then this increased. There was more shooting from small and big weapons.
23 There were explosions, bursts of fire, and sometime around 10.00 or 11.00
24 in the morning in that area I saw people moving, fleeing their homes.
25 And then later on - I don't know when exactly, but it was probably around
1 noon - a shell fell on the church tower, and later on another shell fell
2 in the churchyard, in the L-shaped churchyard. This is where a shell
3 fell. Some windowpanes were broken as a result of that. And then we
4 residents of the parish church - myself, the chaplain, and two nuns and a
5 anybody of ours who found shelter in the parish house - then decided to
6 move to the staircase leading down to the basement. The walls were much
7 thicker there. We decided to do that to protect ourselves from shelling.
8 This situation didn't last too long. Then we heard banging on
9 the entrance door. I was in my priest's uniform. I went to open the
10 door. As I reached the end of the corridor, where is there is a little
11 entrance hall and where the entrance to the parish house is - we're
12 talking about a very small area of some 4 or 5 square metres - there was
13 a burst of gunfire through the door. I was standing at -- some metres
14 from the door, and the bullets ended up on the wall on my left side.
15 Again, I could hear doors being kicked and some unknown men burst through
16 the broken door into the building. They said, "How many of you are
17 there? Give us the exact number. If you give us one more, we will kill
18 you -- if you give us one less, we will kill you." I counted heads. I
19 told them how many we were. They asked us to come out of the house.
20 They lined us up against the wall. We were standing there for a while,
21 and then a tall young man with dark hair and a dark band around the
22 forehead asked another young man, who was sitting on the staircase, he
23 was feeling -- he was embarrassed. He was covering his face. So this
24 first guy asked the other guy and said, "What are these people like?" So
25 this other young man said, "Well, they are good." And then we were
1 escorted at the gunpoint to the house. I was taken by one person to the
2 side of the house and the chaplain was taken to another side of the
3 house. The house was searched. Nothing was found. There was nothing
4 special in the house, just our affairs, our furniture, our things.
5 We returned downstairs, and then we were ordered to abandon the
6 parish office. I told them that we wished to stay. I asked them who the
7 commander was. I wanted to talk to the commander. Then they sent a
8 message to somebody -- and well, I repeated for three or four times that
9 I wanted to speak to the commander, because we wanted to stay. And
10 finally, while all this was happening, a man came riding a horse, and he
11 was carrying a green flag with some Arabic inscriptions on it. He rode
12 into our churchyard, and these men started saying, "Well, this is our
13 sultan." I was not paying too much attention to that. I didn't feel
14 concern. I was just insisting on us wanting to stay. However, an order
15 was received that we should go. Our vehicles were taken away, and
16 another vehicle was provided for us. Nobody told us where we were going.
17 And then I asked the person who portrayed himself as being their boss, I
18 asked him, "Can we go to the church, please?"
19 We went to the church, and I told him, "This is a religious
20 facility. This is church furniture. There are some paintings. Please
21 don't let this become war booty. You should secure the place. I don't
22 know you personally, but I think you should make sure that nothing is
23 taken away from the church."
24 He called a soldier and told him that nothing should be touched
25 in the church. They gave us half an hour. We collected some personal
1 belongings. And since there was no other vehicle to be provided for us,
2 they decided to take our two cars, and in these two cars we went to
3 Ovnak, in the direction of Zenica. This is about 500 or a kilometre to
4 Ovnak, which is on the border between Zenica and Travnik. In our cars,
5 there were soldiers who were escorting us.
6 As we were driving, we were stopped several times. We were asked
7 to get out of the cars, but our soldiers wouldn't allow that. We arrived
8 in Ovnak. A car should have been waiting for us there; however, there
9 was no car. There were a lot of troops there. There were vehicles, but
10 all of them taken, so we could not change our transportation.
11 And then a man appeared, a short man, who was recognised by Pero,
12 and Pero told him, "Osman, where have you been?" Osman approached us;
13 however, we had to leave the area quite soon. We didn't know what had
14 happened. And this Osman, I'd seen him before. He is a very -- a poor
15 man. He would come to Vlado Markovic, to Susanj. He would do some jobs
16 for him, and he would be paid by Vlado Markovic.
17 Later on we sat in our cars. Again, we were escorted, and we
18 continued driving towards Zenica. We stopped in Pojske. We were
19 accommodated in the old school there. We found some parishioners from
20 Brajkovici there, some 30 or 40 men. There were children and women.
21 There were elderly people. There was one disabled person. We were
22 accommodated there, and we didn't know what would happen next. My --
23 Q. Witness, excuse me for interrupting, Witness, but I do have some
24 questions about what you've just been telling us. You initially told us
25 that when you were in the church, there was a neighbour that was with
1 you. Do you recall her name?
2 A. Ana Matosevic.
3 Q. Do you know the names or identities of any of the soldiers who
4 entered the Brajkovici parish church?
5 A. I don't know. They all spoke Croatian or Bosniak. I could
6 understand them. But I did not know any of them personally.
7 Q. Do you recall what they were wearing?
8 A. Some of them wore camouflage uniforms. Some of them wore a
9 combination of camouflage uniform and civilian clothes. So they wore all
10 sorts of things. They told us that they were Mujahedins. That's what
11 they told us. That's how they referred to themselves.
12 Q. How long, Witness, did you remain in Pojske on that day?
13 A. On that day, we stayed there for two to two and a half hours. I
14 don't know exactly. But in any case, not longer than three hours. We
15 stayed in that school.
16 Q. Approximately what time did you arrive at that school in Pojske?
17 A. It was sometime in the evening, between 6.00 and 7.00 in the
19 Q. Where did you go when you departed Pojske?
20 A. From Pojske, we were escorted in our own vehicles, because they
21 couldn't find any other vehicle. A short man with a beard told us to get
22 into our own cars and follow him. The car that we followed was a
23 greenish-yellowish Mercedes.
24 So we started following him towards Zenica.
25 Q. Witness, who was in the car that you were travelling in on that
2 A. In our cars, a Golf and a Hyundai, there was myself, the two
3 nuns; and in the other car -- actually, one nun was with me and the other
4 nun was with the chaplain. And there was also this woman. And in each
5 car there was a soldier who was escorting us. So we took our parish
6 vehicles, a Golf and a Hyundai.
7 From the church, we took religious objects, the most sacred
8 things we took with us. We didn't want to leave them behind. One of the
9 nuns was carrying that as she was sitting in the car. And as we left
10 Pojske, there was this car in front of us and we were sitting in the same
11 order in our two cars, so there were no soldiers in the cars when we left
12 Pojske. We followed the car that was in front of us, and that took us to
14 Q. When you were at the school in Pojske, did you see any soldiers
15 that you knew or recognised?
16 A. No, I didn't recognise anybody. At one moment, two or three men
17 came. One of them was short, sporting a beard. He was escorted by one
18 or two other men. And we talked. He said to us, "You are not in a
19 prison. You are free. You should be able to go to your home." Then I
20 said, "Okay, if that is the case, there are children here, there are
21 elderly people here. Then I think we should go to Zenica, find a bus
22 there, a bus that would bring them back home." And then one of the
23 escorts told me, "How can you, as a priest, abandon your community?" And
24 then I told him, "Well, I'm here. I'm with them, at their disposal. But
25 if what you're telling us is the truth, then I think that people should
1 be returned."
2 And then this short man with a beard hushed him and told him,
3 "You shut up. It's not your place to say anything." And then he told
4 us, "Okay, get into your cars and follow me." And then we followed him
5 to the suburbs of Zenica, to the junction of roads towards Cajdras and
6 Vitez. And there he told us, "Now you can proceed on your own. This is
7 no longer a war area." And then I told him, "Okay, what if we are
8 stopped? We have some of our own things, belongings. What should we
9 tell them?" And then he said that his name was Nesib Talis. You just
10 mention that name and you can go. And I said, "Where are we to go?" And
11 he said, "Go to your parish office." And that's what we did. We
12 returned to our parish house around 11.00 in the night.
13 Q. Witness, do you know who Nesib Talis is or was?
14 A. Later on he gave me permission to visit Brajkovici and Guca Gora.
15 He introduced himself as the chief of security services of the MOS.
16 Q. Witness, do you know what the MOS stands for?
17 A. Give me a minute. I think that, like in Croats -- the Croats
18 have HOS. I believe that MOS means a similar thing. That's at least my
20 Q. Witness, you told us that you returned to the parish house around
21 11.00 in the night. Is that the parish house in Zenica or the parish
22 house in Brajkovici?
23 A. That's the parish house in Zenica, by the St. Ilija Church in
25 Q. How long did you remain at the parish house in Zenica?
1 A. I stayed there for a bit over a year, between June 1993 and 11th
2 July 1994. I was to take over the monastery in Guca Gora from General
3 Alagic. And then on the 11th, together with Stjepan Radic and with a
4 Theology Professor, Velimir Valjan, I went to negotiations Guca Gora
5 together with the late General Alagic. And in those talks we reached an
6 agreement on the takeover of the monastery. The monastery was in a very
7 bad condition. Everything had been taken away. A lot of things were
9 Q. Witness, again excuse me for interrupting, but I'll ask you
10 questions about Guca Gora in just a moment.
11 During the period from 8 June 1993 until 11 June 1994, were you
12 living at the parish house in Zenica throughout that period?
13 A. Yes, I was there all the time, nowhere else.
14 Q. At any point during that period did you leave the city of Zenica?
15 A. I would go to visit the parish in Brajkovici. That happened on
16 several occasions -- quite often, actually. Not only the parish, but on
17 those occasions I would also visit two houses where the remaining
18 parishioners of the Brajkovici parish lived. One of the houses belonged
19 to Lovro Simic. There were people there, some 30 or 40 of them under
20 guard. And also, the other house was in Susanj, belonging to Zoran
21 Markovic. There were some other detainees in that house, in a very
22 confined space, also under guard. There may have been up to 65 of them
23 there. That's where I would go, and later on, when we were aware of
24 their existence, we would bring them humanitarian aid.
25 I would also go to Guca Gora, and up there in Krpeljici village,
1 I found 12 or 13 persons, elderly persons mostly. And then in Guca Gora
2 there was a bedridden woman; her nickname was Puza. And she died in the
3 meantime. That's the people that I found there. And on one or two
4 occasions I was granted permit to go to Vitez, and I took the opportunity
5 to do that. I can also say that I also went to Visoko, and later on,
6 after Vares, after the war in Vares, I went to Vares, to the parish
7 office there, for just one day. And I returned on that same day.
8 Q. Witness, during the period from June 1993 through July 1994, did
9 you have the opportunity to minister any of the parishioners in the
10 Brajkovici parish?
11 A. The only people that lived there lived in those two houses. When
12 we went to Brajkovici parish, we would bring them humanitarian aid. We
13 did not minister any parishioners.
14 There was Konjevici village in the territory of Zenica. Some of
15 the parishioners were there. On Sundays we would go and deliver the holy
16 mass there.
17 Q. During this, again, period June 1993 through July 1994, as you
18 were travelling outside Zenica, did you see or observe anything unusual?
19 A. On the third day after my arrival in Zenica, on the third or on
20 the fourth day, I was asked to go and bury some dead bodies. I believe
21 that a person called Mirsad, a member of the civilian protection from
22 Zenica, organised it up there. I went to Ovnak, and there I buried 18
23 bodies in Ovnak. There should have been 19 or even more people, but in
24 any case the number of persons I buried was 18.
25 And later on I went through the villages. It was always under
1 the police escort. Sometimes there were some other people with me. We
2 inspected the condition of the village. We wanted to see whether there
3 was anybody left behind. At the beginning, I started counting the houses
4 that were torched. All the houses were plundered, damaged badly. And
5 then we started counting the houses that were torched.
6 Later on, we just abandoned that attempt because it was just
7 pointless, because the number of the houses that were torched grew by the
9 Q. Witness, you told us at the beginning of your testimony that you
10 had been the guardian of the Guca Gora monastery during the 1980s or part
11 thereof. Can you please describe in general terms the Guca Gora
12 monastery for the benefit of the Trial Chamber.
13 A. The monastery in Guca Gora was founded in 1856 and 1857. It was
14 erected in the place where the medieval monastery existed in the Lasva
15 Valley. It covered the entire area up to the fall of Bosnia in 1463.
16 This old medieval monastery allegedly had a key or a stamp up to the
17 beginning of the Second World War, when parties torched the monastery in
18 Guca Gora. Throughout the period of its existence, the monastery of Guca
19 Gora had a lot of cultural heritage; however, a lot of it was torched in
20 1945. It was also the seat of the classical Franciscan grammar school
21 between 1886 and 1900. Then it was moved to Visoko, where it still
22 exists today.
23 During a short period of time, between 1983 and 1990, there was
24 the graduate studies of theology. It possessed a lot of cultural
25 heritage. There were professors there who spoke several languages.
1 There were Franciscans who in Bosnia were known as doctors, who authored
2 a lot of medical books. The first schools that were established in the
3 area were established by the monastery. The monastery enjoyed quite a
4 reputation in the whole region, regardless of the religious or ethnic
5 divisions. It enjoyed a lot of trust with Bosniaks, Muslims. While I
6 was in Guca Gora, a soldier asked me, "Why do people say what happened
7 could happen elsewhere, not in Guca Gora?" I tried to emphasise the role
8 of Guca Gora throughout history, and in a certain way it was open to all
9 people, so the older generations still remember that and pass it on to
10 younger generations, this role of Guca Gora as a place being open to
12 Q. Witness, you told us that a lot of it was torched in 1945. Can
13 you describe the physical condition of the Guca Gora monastery
14 immediately prior to the war in Bosnia in the early 1990s.
15 A. Well, immediately after the war, in 1945 the church was
16 renovated. It was in a good condition. The left wing of the monastery
17 was renovated from 1956 to 1958. I don't know how many square metres
18 that was, but maybe 5 or 6 hundred, something like that, perhaps even
20 The monastery was suitable for living. It had amassed a lot of
21 treasures, and it continued to do so up until the war in 1993. So we
22 were the first to have a painters' colony there, just before the war, and
23 that was the first painters' colony which was held in a religious
24 institution in the former Yugoslavia, as far as I know. Quite a few
25 paintings have remained there. There were old paintings too. There was
1 archival material as well. There was a library consisting of 8 or 9
2 thousand books. Just before the war, there was also an organ. I
3 obtained it from Germany, a second-hand classical organ, which we
4 renovated. It had an electromagnetic transmission. So these items were
5 also obtained. So the standard was quite high for our area.
6 Q. Witness, the monastery at Guca Gora, did it consist of one
7 building or more than one building?
8 A. After 1945, well, the left wing was renovated and the eastern
9 wing, the old monastery, it remained devastated - that's true - but it
10 was intact as a building, so there were two buildings. The monastery
11 consisted of two buildings, which were connected. There was the part
12 that hadn't been renovated, where you have a heating room and secondary
13 facilities. And there is a residential part of the monastery. And now
14 the old part of the monastery is being renovated, which is the wing
15 facing east. That's about 25 times 15 metres -- 25 by 15 metres, and
16 it's on three floors. So that's what the situation was.
17 Q. During the period from June 1992 -- 1993, rather, from June 1993
18 until July 1994, did you visit the monastery in Guca Gora prior to the
19 time that you took it over from General Alagic?
20 A. Yes. I went there on several occasions. I was escorted by the
21 police. Sometimes I was able to inspect it in greater detail. The
22 second time I wasn't able to inspect it in such detail. On one occasion
23 I had to go to some village to get a permit there, but I went there on
24 several occasions.
25 Q. Can you describe the condition of the monastery during those
1 times when you visited it.
2 A. Well, to my first visits I was able to see that the monastery had
3 been completely devastated. Its possessions, its furniture was missing.
4 I noticed that the library was still there, in a sort of reception room,
5 in the guardian's reception room, which is where I spent a lot of time.
6 I noticed that there were troops there. There were blankets on the
7 floor. In one part they would dry barley, and I noticed a biblical
8 dictionary in one part, and I said I would like to take it, and they
9 allowed me to do so. I took it with me to Zenica. But as far as I could
10 tell, I didn't see any furniture on the premises, any other things that
11 were formally in the monastery. It had been devastated.
12 Q. Can you elaborate for us what you mean by "devastated," and give
13 us concrete, specific examples of what you mean by "devastated."
14 A. Well, there were -- the troops were there. There was writing on
15 the walls. There were picture that had been put up on the walls on the
16 guardian's premises, not very decent pictures. The command was there, as
17 I had said. Our furniture wasn't there, our equipment wasn't there.
18 Everything was missing. Everything that was formerly in the monastery
19 was missing. The television wasn't there. None of the equipment, none
20 of the furniture was there. There was nothing.
21 Q. Do you recall, Witness, what any of the writing on the walls
22 said? Or can you describe the writing on the walls?
23 A. Well, I saw new things on each occasion. I saw inscriptions in
24 Arabic on one of the doors. There were inscriptions in several
25 languages: In Italian, French, and in Arabic, I think. And on each
1 occasion, I discovered new things. And when I took over the church, I
2 discovered that there were writings in the church. It said
3 "Allah-U-Ekber," one had signed on a column later on. When I took charge
4 of the monastery, the first and last name of this person had been written
5 down there. Later I found out that a fresco by Zlatko Keser from Zagreb
6 had been seriously damaged. It had been painted in the 1980s. It was
7 about 30 or 40 square metres large. It had been splattered with some
8 sort of colour. And another cultural object, artistic object had been
9 damaged. That was even Dulcic's fresco, a painter from Dubrovnik.
10 Benches had been broken.
11 The church was a mess. There were inscriptions on the altar.
12 Paint had been poured over that area. It was in a mess.
13 Q. Witness, you mentioned that there were some pictures, as you put
14 it, not very decent pictures. What kind of pictures did you see had been
15 put up?
16 A. Well, the sort of thing that young people usually put up, fairly
17 liberal pictures from magazines that had been put up on the walls. That
18 was in a part where the troops were. I saw that in the guardian's office
19 part of the monastery, and I also saw messages that had been written.
20 Q. On any of these occasions when you visited the monastery prior to
21 taking possession from General Alagic, did you have an opportunity to
22 observe the organ in the monastery?
23 A. During my first visits, I wasn't able to see the organ. During
24 one of those visits, I noticed that the organ was missing and that there
25 were many magazines at the site where the organ used to be. A lot of
1 magazines had been piled up from the library.
2 Q. Witness, did you ever on any other occasion see the organ that
3 you had purchased in Germany for the monastery?
4 A. From the time I visited the monastery until the time I took it
5 over, no, I never saw the organ.
6 Q. Can you describe for the Trial Chamber anything that might have
7 happened to the library that was in the monastery.
8 A. When I took charge of the monastery, when I took it over from
9 General Alagic, that was the 11th -- on the 11th of December, 1994, we
10 inspected the premises in greater detail and organised a commission that
11 was supposed to make a list of the things that were in the monastery and
12 the things that were missing. But the commission didn't want to make a
13 list of everything we said. They wouldn't put -- they wouldn't note down
14 that certain items of furniture had been there. They said they didn't
15 know that. So I said, "Okay, well, state that there was no furniture in
16 the monastery." But the library was there. I noticed that some people
17 had taken some books away, given some books to others. But on the whole,
18 the library was still intact just before I took charge of the place.
19 On the day we took charge of the place, the library had
20 disappeared. I then told General Alagic that the books should be
21 returned. He said that in three or four days I'd be able to see the
22 library and it would be returned. Unfortunately, that was never done
23 while I was there. I later searched for the library. Some individuals
24 would bring in some books. Some people wanted favours in return and
25 wanted me to pay for books, but I discovered that a significant part of
1 library had been taken to a village above Turbe, to Karaula, to the
2 school. I found out that that's where the library had been taken.
3 And the director of the school - and by that time I had already taken
4 charge of the monastery - when I exerted a little more pressure on the
5 director, Mr. Halilovic brought some of those books to Guca Gora in a
6 TAM, a vehicle. But that was later on, in 1998.
7 Q. Witness, what was the date that you took control of the monastery
8 from General Alagic?
9 A. I said on the 11th we went to negotiate, and on the following day
10 we formed a commission to take over all of that and to make a list of the
11 situation. On the 13th, I brought in workers from Zenica to carry out
12 repair work, to work on the water supply, the electricity, because we
13 didn't have any lights. I wanted this to be done in order to be able to
14 take charge of the monastery. So after these repairs had been done
15 about -- on about the 12th of September I was able to move into the
16 monastery, which is what I did. Up until that time, the troops guarded
17 that monastery. And once I had moved in, they also protected the people
18 in the monastery.
19 Q. So you moved into the monastery on the 12th of September of what
21 A. 1994.
22 Q. And the date that you entered into discussions with General
23 Alagic was what date?
24 A. It was on the 11th of July, 1994.
25 Q. Witness, during the times prior to meeting with General Alagic on
1 the occasions when you were at the monastery, did you notice any damage
2 to the external parts of the monastery or any objects on the grounds of
3 the monastery?
4 A. Well, some of the windows had been broken, some of the doors had
5 been broken. The walls were intact. The contents of the monastery had
6 either been destroyed or taken out, such as the benches in the church.
7 People put fires in various places when heating was necessary, and then
8 they would make -- improvise chimneys. They would arrange the premises
9 according to their needs. So this is the damage that had been done. But
10 it wasn't destroyed. Later the roof of the entire church had to be
11 repaired, replaced, and part of the monastery had to be repaired.
12 Q. Thank you, Witness.
13 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, the Prosecution has no further
14 questions for the witness at this time.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the Defence takes the
16 floor, I would like to ask you some questions that concern your answers
17 to the Prosecution's questions.
18 Questioned by the Court:
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With your permission, I'd like
20 to go back to 1992, which is when you said that you noticed foreign
21 elements arriving in the region, in the area.
22 The Prosecution asked you to be more specific and to say who
23 these foreign elements were, and you said that as far as you knew, they
24 called them the Mujahedin and that some of them came from other
25 countries. The Trial Chamber would like to know, in light of your
1 testimony, when the Mujahedin arrived, did they arrive as civilians or as
2 troops, as military men? Were these people civilians or tourists or
3 people who came to act as soldiers? What was their status?
4 A. Well, they were dressed in a particular way. In our area, they
5 were wearing a special sort of clothing, some sort of cloaks or scarves
6 around their heads and necks. They had long beards. Sometimes they had
7 parts of camouflage uniforms on them, a jacket of some kind, things like
8 that. I met them later, too, in Guca Gora. When I took over there,
9 there were many of them in Guca Gora. And Abu Hamza, the notorious Abu
10 Hamza was there too - it's a function rather than his real name - and he
11 founded a mosque in Guca Gora and gathered some people in Guca Gora. So
12 I met some people there. I had some unpleasant experiences too. Once
13 when I was travelling from Zenica with a Muslim worker and a nun behind
14 the Maljine village, that's north from Guca Gora, about two kilometres
15 from there, I met him on the road because there was a van full of
16 Mujahedin going in the same direction towards Guca Gora as I was. And
17 they obstructed the road. One approached us with a weapon. He was about
18 30 metres from the car and pointed his weapon at the car, and we were
19 wondering what to do. There was nothing for us to do. That's what the
20 situation was.
21 I heard people speaking in the van. I heard a language that I
22 didn't understand. He then returned to the van, and they continued for
23 about 100, 150 metres, and a man came out of the vehicle and later he
24 entered a house in the village, in Maljine. That's the part that is
25 mostly inhabited by Muslims, by Bosniaks. I know that house even today.
1 It seems it was a man from that house. I didn't know him personally, but
2 I saw him. He was dressed differently then.
3 So when they advanced, I decided that we would go to Guca Gora.
4 We continued on, and I went there with a worker to fix the water supply.
5 So I met them on many occasions, and on that second occasion they
6 obstructed our passage in Guca Gora and started blackmailing us. So
7 throughout that period of time, from 1994, when I took charge of the
8 monastery, I think that the first inhabitants returned towards 1998 to
9 Guca Gora, about 10 or 11 families perhaps. And in 1999, I think that's
10 when they started withdrawing, that's when they started leaving. So
11 throughout that period of time, I had both pleasant and unpleasant
12 meetings with them. There were interventions in the monastery. On one
13 occasion, they came to visit the church. I think it was in 1994 or 1995.
14 I'm not quite sure now. And the people who were protecting the church,
15 the BH army members, they asked me what we should do. Are we going to
16 let them in? It would be embarrassing not to let them in. I told them
17 to let them in, and we went into the church so that they could visit it.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You haven't answered my
19 question precisely. When they arrived in 1992, what the Trial Chamber
20 wants to know is what their status was. Were they soldiers or were they
21 civilians? According to what you were told and what you saw, when they
22 arrived in camouflage or military uniforms, were they civilians or
23 soldiers? Were they under someone's command?
24 A. When I first met them, they weren't wearing the civilian clothes
25 that people from that area usually wore, and they weren't wearing those
1 uniforms that ended up being the camouflage uniforms of the army either.
2 They were wearing Arabic clothing of their own, and later on they would
3 take elements of military uniforms. But they did have weapons; that is
4 for sure. I would always see them carrying weapons.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. But on their
6 civilian clothes or military clothes, were there any insignia? Were
7 there any distinctive signs or nothing at all? Did you notice insignia
8 of any kind? Because you said that you had seen some of them occupying
9 the monastery. Did they have insignia of any kind?
10 A. Apart from the particular clothes that they were wearing, I
11 didn't notice any other insignia.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Another question
13 concerning the monastery: According to what you have told us, certain
14 items went missing - for example, books - some damage was caused. But
15 this damage, was it serious or minor? What would you say? How would you
16 describe it? When, thanks to General Alagic, you were able to take over
17 the monastery, was it in a terrible condition? Was it in a decent
18 condition, an average condition? Was it -- had it been badly affected?
19 How would you describe the premises when you took charge of them?
20 A. Well, I would say that the building as such had not been
21 destroyed. There was no significant structural damage. But on the
22 premises inside, there was damage. The doors, the windows had been
23 damaged. The building as such had sustained minor damage, but inside the
24 devastation was complete. It was a mess, a terrible mess.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. You also said that
1 before 1992 there were Catholics, Muslims, and apparently at the time the
2 citizens were worried, given the events unfolding in Croatia. And a
3 while ago you said that after the monastery had been taken over, someone
4 constructed a mosque. So the question is: The Muslims who were there,
5 did they have a mosque in 1992 and before 1992? Because you said that
6 they had a mosque built. Does that mean that there wasn't a mosque
8 A. In the village of Krpeljici, which is connected to the Guca Gora
9 village, the Muslims had a mosque before the war. They regularly
10 performed various rites there. And the Arabs, halfway between the
11 monastery and the mosque in Krpeljici they didn't build a mosque, but
12 some sort of a building. There was a rich person who built this. It was
13 supposed to be a stable, and they arranged -- they adapted those premises
14 and opened a mosque. That's what the Arabs did.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when you say "the Arabs,"
16 are you referring to the foreign Arabs or the local Muslims?
17 A. No, these were the foreign Arabs, who also forced the local
18 Muslims to go to that mosque.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] My last question now, because
20 the Defence has some questions to ask you: You mentioned someone called
21 Abu Hamza and you said that this was -- this referred to a position,
22 rather than to someone in particular. Can you be more precise and say
23 what you meant when you said that.
24 A. He was the main commander, not only in Guca Gora but in a more
25 extensive area, I think. There are many negative things that are tied to
1 this name that happened later on. He was the main threat at the time,
2 not just to the Muslims. I know that there were certain incidents,
3 scenes. When young people gathered, he intervened, because that wasn't
4 in accordance with the Sharia law, the Islamic rules. Young people were
5 supposed to entertain themselves in a certain way and wear certain
6 clothes. So he was a sort of negative phenomenon in that area and
7 everyone feared him. He also committed acts of violence.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
9 I will now give the floor to the Defence for their
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
12 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
13 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Krizanac. My name is Edina
14 Residovic and I am representing General Hadzihasanovic. I would like you
15 to ask you to answer some of the questions -- I am going to put to you
16 about things that you are personally aware of.
17 I have heard your answers. This is not a question. It's a
18 comment. I don't know whether it's appropriate or not. But we are now
19 faced with an overall attitude towards Mujahedin, a general attitude
20 towards Mujahedin. But I want you to tell us about the events in Central
21 Bosnia that you are familiar with, and I think that you, just like
22 myself, are not affected -- we are not affected by the fact that this
23 term is used in a certain different way. You've already answered some of
24 the questions put to you by my learned colleague from the Prosecution.
25 At the beginning of the war in 1992, you were working as a priest in the
1 Brajkovici parish; is that correct, Mr. Krizanac?
2 A. In 1992, yes, that's correct.
3 Q. You also said that your parish was in the area between Travnik
4 and Zenica and that it included parts of both of those municipalities and
5 about ten villages in which the population was mainly Croat; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. If we locate the village of Brajkovici more precisely, which is
9 where your parish house was located, we could say it's about 20 or 23
10 kilometres to the east of Travnik and that it's about 14 kilometres west
11 of Zenica and about 14 kilometres north of Vitez. Would that be the
12 location more or less?
13 A. Yes, more or less.
14 Q. Thank you. In 1992, after the JNA attack and the attack of
15 Serbian forces against Bosnia and Herzegovina, your testimony was that
16 the Muslim and Croatian population was expelled from Prijedor, Banja
17 Luka, Kozarac, Kotor Varos areas that were under Serbian occupation; is
18 that correct?
19 A. Well, that isn't what I testified, but that is what happened.
20 Q. I apologise. Perhaps I was thinking of the statement that you
21 had previously given. It's correct to say that you didn't say that
22 today, but you can confirm that this is correct; is that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. These refugees arrived in Travnik and Zenica and the villages
25 that were between these two Central Bosnia villages; is that correct?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. The refugees came to this area without any property. They had
3 fled from that territory in order to save their lives. Is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. There were serious problems of accommodation, so they were either
6 provided with accommodation in refugee centres or with family members or
7 in abandoned houses, houses abandoned by people who had left the area
8 because of the war or because they were working abroad; is that correct?
9 A. Well, apart from one exception. There weren't really any
10 abandoned houses. Perhaps someone had removed the houses. But the
11 houses were occupied on the whole, and people would provide accommodation
12 for these refugees. So it's true to say that this is how they were
13 accommodated, but there weren't any abandoned houses at that time,
14 because most of the people occupied their houses at the time, both the
15 Muslims and the Croats. So the people who were already living there, they
16 would take in refugees from Jajce, Prijedor, Banja Luka, and from the
17 other places that they came from.
18 Q. That is my next question: Towards the end of 1992, there was a
19 new surge of refugees after the fall of Jajce, Kotor Varos, so a lot of
20 them came from there; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. In addition to those refugees, there were thousands upon
23 thousands of people who arrived in Zenica from Eastern Bosnia, from Foca,
24 Gorazde, Rogatica. And all these were areas that had been occupied by
25 the Serbs; is that correct?
1 A. Probably. I'm not that familiar with that region. At least, not
2 at that time. Later on I saw that that was the case.
3 Q. However, it was published - and you may have heard; and if you
4 did, please answer my question - that towards the end of 1992 and the
5 beginning of 1993 about -- several thousand of people would arrive in
6 Zenica on a daily basis; is that correct?
7 A. It may be correct, but I wouldn't be able to tell you exactly how
8 many people arrived and in what period. I heard that the refugees were
9 coming, but I cannot confirm for a fact that what you are saying is true.
10 Q. You are probably familiar with the fact that some of the refugees
11 from amongst the Croatian people tried to continue their refugee exodus
12 and go towards other states, towards Croatia, Dalmatia; whereas, Bosniaks
13 mostly remained in Travnik, Zenica, and in that area. Is that true?
14 A. I don't know when I said that or where I said that; however, that
15 may have been the situation. Bosniak Muslim population mostly remained
16 in the area of Central Bosnia, and most of the Croatian population from
17 Jajce and Kotor Varos tried to go towards Croatia and further on.
18 Q. During that period of time, the population of Zenica and Travnik
19 doubled; would that be correct?
20 A. Yes. There was an enormous increase in the number of people in
21 those two towns.
22 Q. During the examination-in-chief, you said that that period,
23 coinciding with the end of 1992 and the beginning of 1993, was a time
24 when the relationship between the HVO and the BH army deteriorated.
25 A. No. That was between the Muslim, Bosniak people and the Croat
1 people. As for these two institutions, they became prominent later on.
2 But that's how people saw it on the ground, that there was a
3 deterioration in the relation between Muslims and Croats. That's how
4 people saw it in the area where I lived.
5 Q. North of your parish, on the slopes of Mount Vlasic, the highest
6 mountain in that area, there were separation lines with the Serb forces,
7 and this line stretched from Travnik to Zenica in the length of some 50
8 kilometres or so; is that correct?
9 A. Yes, more or less.
10 Q. At the beginning, these lines were manned jointly, by the HVO and
11 the BH army; is that correct?
12 A. Yes. However, they were separated. Ones held some parts and the
13 others held other parts. Their lines did not actually touch.
14 Q. You are probably familiar with the fact that due to the
15 deterioration of the relationship in March 1993 in your area the
16 Frankopan Brigade was established with the headquarters in Guca Gora.
17 A. Believe me, at that time I was not aware of the existence of that
18 brigade. My information says that it happened much later, after 1993.
19 During that period of time, when tensions increased and when war started,
20 I was completely encircled. I did not have telephone lines. So
21 wouldn't be able to give you any details. I believe that what you're
22 saying is true; some units were established.
23 Q. In your village, Brajkovici, Mr. Zarko Jandric was the commander
24 of a company of that brigade. Are you aware of that fact?
25 A. Mr. Zarko Jandric? No, I'm not aware of that fact. I know Ivo
1 Bajo. He was some sort of a commander at that time in that area.
2 Q. During that time, you did have an opportunity to visit Guca Gora?
3 A. In 1992 or 1993, I don't know whether I went there. In 1992, in
4 autumn, I think we had a meeting up there, all the priests, and we talked
5 about the cultural heritage. We talked about the protection of this
6 cultural heritage.
7 Q. You said - and all of us in Bosnia-Herzegovina are aware of that
8 - you said that the monastery in Guca Gora, in addition to being a
9 religious object, also played a cultural role, a significant cultural
10 role because the facility dates from mid-nineteenth century; is that
12 A. Yes. It is a facility that is on the list of cultural heritage
13 of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
14 Q. You are aware of the fact that within the monastery there was the
15 communication and operations centre of the Frankopan Brigade?
16 A. I'm not aware of that fact.
17 Q. You probably know that the HVO and the army clashed in the
18 general area of Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, and Busovaca. Is it true that
19 these clashes had a negative impact on the relationships in your parish?
20 A. Yes, most probably.
21 Q. You're also aware of the fact that between the 16 and 20 April
22 1993 the HVO carried out a series of attacks on Muslim villages, Ahmici,
23 Donja Veceriska. Those villages are some 15 kilometres from Brajkovici;
24 is that correct?
25 A. I have the English text in front of me. Can you repeat the names
1 of these villages. I don't have them in front of me.
2 Q. While you were in the Brajkovici parish, were you aware of the
3 fact that between the 16th and the 20th of April, 1993 the HVO carried
4 out attacks on--
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment. We have an
6 objection by the Prosecution.
7 MR. MUNDIS: Objection on relevance grounds, Mr. President,
8 concerning HVO attacks. Again, potentially laying the groundwork for an
9 improper tu quoque defence.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence, you have noted the
11 objection by the Prosecution regarding the HVO attacks. You can answer
12 -- ask the question and ask the witness whether he has any knowledge of
13 these attacks, whether he had information according to which the HVO
14 carried out military operations.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, first of all, I
16 would like to be clear on the fact that the Defence of
17 General Hadzihasanovic is not trying to engage in a tu quoque defence.
18 My questions are relative to some information that the witness may have.
19 But before I pursue this line of questioning, I would ask you something
21 Q. Mr. Krizanac, this is not your first appearance before this
22 Honourable Tribunal; is that correct?
23 A. It is.
24 Q. As a Defence witness, you testified in the Kordic case; is that a
1 A. Yes, that's true.
2 Q. Then the Prosecution asked you about the events which took place
3 in the Lasva Valley and about the information you may have about the
4 things that happened to Bosniaks in Ahmici, Vecerska and other
5 surrounding villages.
6 A. I don't remember what questions I answered, but I do have
7 information. I do have some knowledge about these events.
8 Q. Thank you very much.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I believe that the witness is in
10 a position to answer my questions.
11 Q. I'm not going to ask you about military operations, because you
12 probably do not know what happened, but I'm asking you this: Are you
13 aware of the fact that the population of Ahmici, the Muslim population of
14 Ahmici, had been attacked and that over 130 people were killed during
15 that attack, among them 30 women and 11 children? Did you have that
16 knowledge at the time?
17 MR. MUNDIS: Objection, Your Honour.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
19 MR. MUNDIS: Again, Mr. President. Attack on Ahmici has, in the
20 Prosecution's submission, no relevance to the charges facing these
21 accused in this trial. The Ahmici case has been litigated before this
22 Tribunal, and the Prosecution position is that it's of no assistance to
23 this Trial Chamber in determining the charges against these two accused.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are asking the witness
25 questions about the events that he was aware of or not aware of and the
1 testimony that he gave in the Kordic case. And can you ask the questions
2 that you intended to ask, but in keeping with the Rules of Procedure and
3 Evidence these questions can only go against the credibility of the
4 witness or they have to be linked with the facts contained in the
6 Having said that, you may pursue your line of questioning. The
7 witness may be asked questions only according to the Rules of Procedure
8 and Evidence. If you want to ask a question that does not arise from the
9 examination-in-chief, then you have to ask for special permission from
10 the Trial Chamber and you have to explain your motives for asking such a
11 question. We may allow you to put a question, but we have to know what
12 your goal is, because I don't know what your goal is.
13 You have the floor again.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] As I've already said with regard
15 to the first Prosecutor's objection, I would like to repeat that the
16 behaviour of my client, General Enver Hadzihasanovic, commander of the
17 3rd Corps, which was on the sixth level of command ladder, depended on
18 the overall situation in the entire area. Therefore, I believe that you
19 have already allowed me that I can clarify some general issues in the
20 interest of the defence, because defence does not only go against certain
21 events, because my client was never present at any of these places. In
22 order for us to understand why the army is in a certain place and what
23 measures are taken by their commander, we have to be aware of the
24 military and other situation in the area. I believe that in that sense
25 you have already granted me leave to ask a few general questions, and
1 that's why I did not raise the issue again and I didn't ask your
2 permission again.
3 Your Honour, I'm not going to dwell upon this issue long --
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber understands.
5 The Prosecution, you have the floor.
6 MR. MUNDIS: Mr. President, certainly the Prosecution would point
7 the Chamber to Rule 90(H)(ii), in which the Defence is required to put
8 the nature of their case to those witnesses appearing for the
9 Prosecution. That's not at issue.
10 The point here is that the Prosecution would submit that
11 notwithstanding that Rule, the line of questioning which the Defence is
12 seeking to put must be proper, in the sense that it cannot go beyond the
13 issues that are at stake in this trial, nor can it raise a type of
14 defence which the jurisprudence of this Tribunal has held is improper.
15 While my learned colleague has indicated that she would like to
16 ask questions about military and other situations in the area, that would
17 certainly seem to be proper; however, if the scope of her question goes
18 to massacres committed by HVO forces in other areas and which have been
19 the subject of other litigation before this Tribunal, then that, in the
20 Prosecution's submission, is a step too far, and that is the source of
21 our objection. She certainly is entitled and, in fact, is required to
22 put her case to the witness, but if her case, again, goes beyond the
23 issues involved in this trial or raises an improper defence, then the
24 Prosecution submits that that line of questioning should not be
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is 12.20. The Chamber is
2 going to deliberate on this issue, and we're going to benefit from the
3 upcoming break, and this will allow us to deliberate. We will return at
4 twenty to 1.00, and then we will tell you whether you can continue with
5 this line of questioning.
6 Do you want to intervene on what has been said by the
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, since you are going
9 to deliberate on this, I'm repeating that the -- when discussing issues
10 like this, the Defence sticks to Rule 90(H), in which it says I is
11 cross-examination is what it is and that the witness may present evidence
12 relevant for the cross-examination. In English it says "to the subject
13 matter of that case." Military operations are the subject matter of this
14 case, and I believe that the Trial Chamber fully appreciates that
15 military operations that took place in that area may be the subject of
16 the cross-examination, because they are an integral part of General
17 Hadzihasanovic's defence. Thank you very much.
18 MR. DIXON: Your Honour, could I raise one small matter on behalf
19 of Mr. Kubura, and that is that the charge in this case, one of the
20 charges, is that there was wanton destruction not justified by military
21 necessity. And in order to consider the potential defence of military
22 necessity, it may be necessary to look at what attacks were conducted by
23 various armed forces in the area to be able to consider the entire
24 situation and determine whether military necessity is a defence in the
25 circumstances. And for those reasons, there may be questions along these
1 lines in the future by Mr. Kubura as well. That's why I raise it, even
2 though we are not cross-examining at the moment.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. You will have
4 our decision at quarter to 1.00. We stand adjourned.
5 --- Recess taken at 12.21 p.m.
6 --- On resuming at 12.57 p.m.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will resume.
8 The Trial Chamber has deliberated, with regard to the matter
9 raised by the Defence concerning the possibility, in accordance with the
10 Rule 90, the possibility of asking the witness questions that have to do
11 with matters with regard to which the Prosecution did not ask this
12 witness questions. So the Trial Chamber is of the opinion that when the
13 questions concern historical matters or political and military matters,
14 in order to establish certain facts, certain events that took place,
15 either before or after the facts that were the subject of the examination
16 or concomitantly, the Defence, when presenting its case can summon any
17 witness who could confirm or provide evidence that there were such facts.
18 The witness can only testify about facts that he personally
19 witnessed and cannot answer questions concerning facts that are things he
20 knows by hearsay. To examine the witness about events -- alleged events
21 in some other place, given that the witness was not present, would be
22 tantamount to -- would not fall within the scope of Article 90(H)(i) --
23 90(H)(i), (ii), (iii).
24 So the objection raised by the Prosecution has been granted. So
25 I'm only going to allow the Defence to cross-examine the witness about
1 issues raised in the course of the examination-in-chief. Their objection
2 has therefore been sustained. And as we have seen, we shouldn't try to
3 get the witness or to have the witness confirm facts that he was not
4 personally aware of -- or rather, if he only has hearsay knowledge about
5 these facts and as a result are not admissible in this case.
6 So I would like to inform the Defence that the question put to
7 the witness is not an admissible question. You can carry on with your
8 cross-examination, but you must focus on issues that were raised in the
9 course of the Prosecution's examination-in-chief.
10 You may take the floor.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, with all due
12 respect for the Trial Chamber, I would just like to tell you that this is
13 a matter of exceptional importance for the first case of pure command
14 responsibility. And if we are not in a position to ask such questions,
15 we're being prevented from answering the question as to whether the
16 commander acted in accordance with what was possible. We can't answer
17 the question as to whether the commander was reasonable and other
18 questions that concern the position of a commander, according to Article
19 7(3). So we will provide a written submission and ask for the Trial
20 Chamber to reconsider its decision. And if it does not do so, we would
21 like to lodge an appeal, be granted the right to lodge an appeal.
22 Thank you very much. I will continue with my cross-examination.
23 Q. Mr. Krizanac, I didn't ask questions about the crimes committed
24 in Ahmici. It's not that I wanted to ask you about facts that you are
25 not familiar with, as you weren't there. All I'm interested in is
1 whether these events also had a an effect, an additional effect, on the
2 fear that the population had for the possibility of retaliation.
3 A. I'm not aware of that.
4 Q. Let's now return to an issue raised by the President of the Trial
5 Chamber. When you were talking about the foreigners that you saw in that
6 area, you said that there were also conflicts within the local Bosniak
7 population. Could you please tell me, are you aware of these foreigners
8 caused problems for the local Muslim population? Are you aware of any
9 arrests of members of the army by these foreigners? And were there any
10 disputes about religion?
11 A. As far as I know, they intervened when the young people gathered.
12 And I know that Muslims were faced with the question, because their
13 interpretation of the Muslim faith was different from that of the local
14 population. So this was an issue, and I'm aware of this fact.
15 Q. Very well. I would now like to go back to another matter. And
16 you testified about this matter in the course of the
17 examination-in-chief. At the Ovnak bend, Ovnak road, there was an HVO
18 checkpoint; is that correct?
19 A. Whether that was a HVO checkpoint or not, I don't know. They
20 were civilians at that checkpoint.
21 Q. Armed civilians, armed Croatian civilians; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. I'm not sure whether I've asked you this, but I'll repeat the
24 question. To the north of your parish, there were the lines facing the
25 Serbian forces, and it was about 50 kilometres away. These lines were
1 about 50 kilometres away. I think we mentioned this before the break.
2 A. Yes, on the Vlasic mountain.
3 Q. The army units that had to leave Zenica and go to their positions
4 on Vlasic had to pass by the Ovnak bend; is that correct?
5 A. Well, there are other possibilities too. This is not the sole
7 Q. But one of the roads used to go up there is the Ovnak bend; is
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, that's also a possibility.
10 Q. You know that the matter of roads was of exceptional importance
11 for the population of Central and Northern Bosnia, because without these
12 roads supplies of food or supplies for the army could not be provided if
13 the roads were blocked. So it was a matter of life and death. Is that
15 You said that at sometime in April 1993 you heard that there was
16 a war in Zenica and then part of the brigade of -- part of the Jure
17 Francetic Brigade, with its headquarters in Zenica, together with part of
18 the population arrived in the area of your parish; is that correct?
19 After the conflict, towards the end of May, some of the HVO
20 soldiers from the Jure Francetic Brigade in Zenica and some of the
21 population -- the Croatian population of Zenica arrived in the territory
22 of your parish; is that correct?
23 A. Well, all those people who arrived in the territory of my parish
24 were in civilian clothes, were wearing civilian clothes. None of them
25 had military equipment, army equipment. But as to who they were and who
1 they belonged to, I really don't know.
2 Q. So you're not aware of the fact that about 200 HVO members
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to interrupt you
5 there. I would like to point out to the Defence that at line 13, 13 07,
6 13 you told the witness, "You said in April 1993 --" the Francetic
7 Brigade arrived, whose headquarters were in Zenica. That's not what the
8 witness said. You're making him say something he never said. And
9 furthermore, in his answer he says no. He says that the people who
10 arrived were wearing civilian clothes. So you mustn't make the witness
11 say something that he never said when posing a question. I just wanted
12 to point this out.
13 Please carry on.
14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I was referring to
15 what the witness said when the witness said that he heard that there was
16 fighting in Zenica. The witness said that he heard shooting from the
17 direction of Zenica. As part of the cross-examination, naturally I
18 suggest certain questions to the -- I put certain questions to the
19 witness so that he can confirm what I say. As he wasn't aware of this,
20 he didn't confirm what I said in my question. I will proceed and bear
21 your objection in mind.
22 Q. Witness, you weren't a direct witness of the events in the
23 village of Miletici.
24 A. No, I wasn't there when those events happened.
25 Q. With regard to that event, according to your testimony today, you
1 heard about this event from other people and you buried the bodies of the
2 men who had been killed; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. The burial took place a week after the event; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, more or less.
6 Q. In the course of the examination-in-chief you described in a lot
7 of detail what had happened from the early morning hours on the 8th of
8 June, 1993. And you said that you saw that something was burning in the
9 direction of Guca Gora and Grahovcici; is that correct?
10 A. I said Guca Gora.
11 Q. Guca Gora. You also saw some people arriving from Brajkovici and
12 Grahovcici, and they said that there was a bad situation.
13 A. Yes. These were the local inhabitants.
14 Q. When you left the shelter that you were in in the parish house,
15 you saw some soldiers. Would it be true to say that the soldiers told
16 you that you had nothing to fear because they didn't kill civilians and
18 A. They didn't tell me that. They killed a dog that was in the
19 vicinity, immediately.
20 Q. When you left the parish office, you took some religious items
21 and books with you and certain personal items as well; is that correct?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. On your way to Zenica, you could still hear sporadic fire from a
24 distance; is that correct?
25 A. Less and less.
1 Q. You also said that on your way you came across a lot of troops
2 and they stopped you quite frequently.
3 A. [No audible response]
4 Q. The soldiers who were escorting you prevented those troops from
5 doing anything to you.
6 A. From taking us out of the car.
7 Q. You also said that in the school in Pojske someone with a period
8 spoke to you. My question is: At that time, were you in a position to
9 notice that some of the army soldiers, the BH army soldiers, had beards?
10 A. I saw quite a lot of people who had beards, but I don't know who
11 they belonged to. I didn't know who they belonged to at the time.
12 Q. When you reached Cajdras, you said the person who introduced
13 himself as Nesib Talis said that you could now go freely, because it was
14 no longer a combat zone. Is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. When you arrived in Zenica, the respected Father Radic was
17 surprised because he thought that you and the nuns had been killed.
18 A. Yes, he was surprised. He was worried about us, because he heard
19 there was fighting in our parish, which he had visited earlier on because
20 of his own parishioners from Zenica who had taken refuge in Brajkovici
21 and they had taken some food there from the international
22 representatives. So he was surprised and worried and he didn't know what
23 was happening to us.
24 Q. At the moment when he visited his parishioners from Zenica, in of
25 them wanted to return; however, the buses were already ready to take them
1 further towards Vitez and other visits; isn't that true?
2 A. That is completely untrue. The buses were not ready to take his
3 parishioners to some other areas, because buses could not get there. We
4 had already been encircled completely. I said that in Pojske, where we
5 were -- when we were in the school, that it was my proposal to this
6 gentleman that we mentioned by the name of Nesib Talis
7 that if people were free to return to Brajkovici that we should go to
8 Zenica to find a bus there, to return them to Brajkovici.
9 Q. We may have been talking at cross-purposes. Since you mentioned
10 that Stjepan Rajic in Brajkovici, my question was about that time, the
11 beginning of May, when he came together with the UNPROFOR representatives
12 in that area, and not the period we are talking about now, in June. Very
13 well then, anyway.
14 When you arrived in Zenica, you knew that on that day the HVO
15 issued information according to which two priests - Franjo Rajic and Pero
16 Karajica had been killed and that the nuns, Tihoslava and Isabela Puljic
17 went missing. Are you aware this information was published?
18 A. No, I didn't know this was published. I didn't have the
19 opportunity to hear that. I only heard that on the following day from
20 people, people wanted to talk to me, representatives of the media from
21 Zenica wanted to talk to me. I was not aware of the stories according to
22 which we had been killed or not killed. Later on, subsequently, I did
23 hear that there was news circulating around Zenica that we had been
25 Q. Well, you -- fortunately you are alive today, so this was -- the
1 news that was published was not true.
2 You are also familiar with the fact that the -- it was published
3 that the church in Brajkovici had been torched and that the monastery in
4 Guca Gora had also been torched.
5 A. At the time, I wasn't aware of that. I only learnt that
7 Q. My question to you, Mr. Krizanac is the following: Is it true
8 that the false and misleading propaganda was one of the factors that
9 compounded the situation and instilled fear in the population?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. You were not killed. The church in Brajkovici was not torched.
12 The monastery in Guca Gora was not torched.
13 A. That's correct. Neither the Brajkovici church nor the Guca Gora
14 monastery were torched.
15 Q. You have already said that you issued a statement about that on
17 A. Yes, that's correct.
18 Q. After your arrival in Zenica, you returned on several occasions
19 to Brajkovici and to that general area. The first time you went there
20 was a couple of days after the combat operations, after the burial of the
21 18 bodies in Susanj; is that correct?
22 A. Yes. I went to Ovnak.
23 Q. You went up there together with the civilian protection from
24 Zenica; is that correct?
25 A. Yes, the police and the civilian protection from Zenica.
1 Q. You are aware of the fact that the civilian protection was the
2 organ which after the combat operations took charge of the area, to
3 asanacija and carry out facilities.
4 A. Yes, that's what I learnt from them.
5 Q. When you arrived in Brajkovici, you saw that the village had been
6 abandoned; is that correct?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. And you saw a house which was seriously damaged and some other
9 houses for which you assumed that they had been plundered.
10 A. I have to add something to that. When I arrived at that burial
11 in Ovnak - this is on the border between the municipalities of Travnik
12 and Zenica - my task was to perform the rites. And then I asked to be
13 allowed to go to the parish office to take some of my personal belongings
14 from the house. I did not have the opportunity, since I was in the car,
15 I didn't have the opportunity to inspect the situation. I only had the
16 opportunity to inspect the interior of the parish house. I saw that
17 things were scattered around, things in disarray. I found some of my
18 belongings, took them, got into the car, and then returned to Zenica. I
19 didn't go anywhere else from there, from the parish house.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment. I would like to
21 look up something in my papers.
22 Q. In the statement that you gave to the OTP, on page 4 of the B/C/S
23 version, it says "one house was badly damaged." Does that mean that you
24 were misunderstood by the investigator?
25 A. What statement are you referring to? I don't remember having
1 said that, not in those exact words. Can you -- and I don't find it that
2 important a question.
3 Q. Very well, then. Earlier this morning you said that you returned
4 some ten days later and that every time when you went there, that you saw
5 that the number of plundered and damaged houses on the rise, that their
6 number is increasing by the day. You never saw people actually
7 plundering these houses; you just saw the situation when you went there.
8 A. On the contrary. I saw a number of persons who plundered those
9 houses. I would come across them from Zenica to Brajkovici. I would see
10 them pushing wheelbarrows loaded with stuff that they had plundered. I
11 saw a number of persons. I saw them.
12 Actually, in Guca Gora, when I visited this area that had been
13 inhabited by Croats, during my first visit I came across an elderly
14 person wearing a folk costume. On my second visit, this person was no
15 longer from, and later on I learned that he had been killed.
16 I saw some people escorted by the Zenica police who had come from
17 some distant areas and I saw them plundering those houses, and I was even
18 threatened that I should move away. I wore my priest's uniform. They
19 recognised me. They knew exactly who I was, and they asked me to leave.
20 Q. Is it true that in Zenica you were guaranteed full safety and
21 freedom of movement?
22 A. Nobody gave me this guarantee explicitly. I don't know whether
23 there was anybody in the position to give us that guarantee. We lived in
24 fear in Zenica. On one occasion they took our car from our parish
25 office. It was a jeep that was in a bad state of repair. There were
1 three police officers, and there were Mujahedins and they took the car
2 away. So nobody could give you such a hundred per cent guarantee. We
3 were never ill-treated; I must say that. But nobody could give us a
4 complete, a hundred per cent safety.
5 Q. A couple of days after the arrival in Zenica with Fra Stjepan,
6 you were received by the municipal authorities; is that true?
7 A. Yes, I was received there. But I don't know after how many days
8 upon my arrival in Zenica.
9 Q. The municipal authorities were actually the ones who established
10 the commission with Zeljko Tadis, Franjo Krizanac, Pero Karajica, lawyer
11 Bozo Markovic, representatives of the civilian protection and
12 representatives of the MUP as its members. This commission on several
13 occasions inspected the area and drafted several reports on the 12th of
14 June, 20th of June about the condition that they encountered on the
16 A. This is more or less correct.
17 Q. In September you visited Guca Gora. You were escorted by the
18 civilian police. Is that correct?
19 A. What date was that?
20 Q. In September 1993.
21 A. Yes, thereabouts.
22 Q. When you were describing the monastery and its significance, you
23 said that it played a significant role in the preservation of the
24 cultural heritage, that there were a lot of valuables in the monastery.
25 Is it true that already in December 1992 it was decided that the most
1 important things of extreme value should be moved to Zagreb and that it
2 was done at that time?
3 A. Yes. We had a meeting, because there had already been shelling
4 from Mount Vlasic. We were afraid that the monastery would be torched.
5 We had some very negative experiences from the Second World War. So we
6 decided that this -- the treasures should be moved to a safer place.
7 Later on I did not have any opportunity to visit the place, but I know
8 that the treasures -- some of the treasures, that is, some of the
9 paintings, some of the things from the archives were moved from Guca
10 Gora. The library remained in Guca Gora, however.
11 Q. Can you please tell us who was it who moved those treasures. Was
12 that organised by the church or was it with the assistance of the
13 Croatian Defence Council or municipal authorities of the then-Croatian
14 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
15 A. I really don't know. I don't know to this very day who did it.
16 Later on all these treasures were returned to the monastery. But at that
17 time I did not have any communication with the monastery, so I wouldn't
18 be able to tell you who was in charge of moving the treasures from the
20 Q. So the most valuable things that you later on returned from
21 Zagreb were not in the monastery during the June events, in the June
22 military operations.
23 A. I did not return those things from Zagreb. These things were in
24 Vrgorac near Imotski, the parish office there. Some of the paintings,
25 some of the archives were there throughout the war.
1 Q. You said that the library -- although some of the books were
2 scattered, the library was still in the monastery when you visited it for
3 the first time.
4 A. It was in the monastery until I took charge of the monastery on
5 the 11th of July, 1994. I don't remember whether I had the opportunity
6 to see the library when I visited the monastery first. However, it was
7 there all the time, until the very moment that I took charge of the
8 monastery in 1994.
9 Q. So up to July 1994 the library was in the monastery, and when you
10 arrived, after the monastery had been repaired, then you realised that
11 the library was missing.
12 A. After the monastery had been repaired - and it lasted from July
13 to September - when I came to move into the monastery, the library had
14 been removed, and my question to General Alagic was to tell me where the
15 library was. I told him the library was here and it's now missing. And
16 then he told me that three days later I would be able to see the library.
17 Q. You testified here that later on, from the archives of Central
18 Bosnia, that part of the library was placed in the archives of Central
19 Bosnia after the war; is that correct?
20 A. The archives?
21 Q. No, not the archives but part of the library.
22 A. No, no, nothing was placed in the archives. I heard that some of
23 the books were to be found in the school in a village above Turbe, whose
24 name I can't remember at this very moment. I have already mentioned that
25 name, but I can't remember it at this moment. That's where the library
1 was to be found. I called the principal of the school, and then he asked
2 me how come I knew that, and I told him, "It doesn't really matter. I
3 learnt it from some people from Travnik." And later on, after a certain
4 period of time, one part of the library was returned by the head of the
5 Travnik municipality, Alija Jovic.
6 Q. Let me just consult my papers. I believe that --
7 A. The name in the transcript is wrong. I don't -- it is not Jovic.
8 It is Halilovic. I don't know whether his name is Alija, but in any case
9 his last name is Halilovic, not Jovic.
10 Q. I would like to go back to some questions that we have already
11 discussed. You were a member of the commission that was established in
12 Zenica municipality. You've confirmed that to us. As a priest and as a
13 member of this commission, you provided information about the condition
14 in this parish to various international organisations, civilian organs,
15 and others; is that true?
16 A. Yes. We would draft reports, and we would take them to the
17 Red Cross, as far as I can remember. I don't know. I wouldn't say that
18 we had some major contacts with the civilian authorities.
19 Q. In Zenica, you were engaged in humanitarian work, and you tried
20 to help many of the wretched people who turned to you for help.
21 A. Yes, that would be correct.
22 Q. However, as a priest and a church official, not for a single time
23 did you put forward your position or turn to the organs of Herceg-Bosna
24 about the crimes that involved crimes against the Bosniak population.
25 A. Nobody ever asked me to issue a statement to that effect. I did
1 not feel the need to issue any statements. When the representatives of
2 international organisations came to Zenica and when they tried to talk to
3 all the religious officials from the general area of Travnik and Zenica,
4 I was always in favour of meeting them and I was always in favour of
5 putting forward proposals on our part. However, this never came true
6 because Muftija Alibegovic [phoen], the Travnik Mufti, he was of the
7 opinion that he did not have to talk to anybody. His objection was that
8 if a bishop was going to be there, he wouldn't be there. I told him that
9 a bishop represents a region and that it should not be a reason for us
10 not to meet.
11 In any case, we never met. So that would be more or less an
12 answer to your question.
13 Q. As a religious official, you know that quite a lot of religious
14 objects were damaged during the war.
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. You are certainly aware of the fact that some of them -- most of
17 them that were destroyed were the ones belonging to the Muslim -- Bosnian
18 corpus of the population. This -- I'm quoting UNESCO data, but I also
19 believe that you are aware of the fact.
20 A. Yes. I know that quite a lot of those religious facilities were
21 destroyed. A lot of Muslim, Catholic, and Orthodox religious objects
22 were destroyed. I don't know -- I don't know whether that -- whose was
23 the majority.
24 Q. Since you paid a visit to a number of monasteries in Visoko,
25 Fojnica, Kraljeva Sutjeska, and Guca Gora, you're certainly aware of the
1 fact that BH army invested a maximum effort to preserve and protect those
2 objects so that they were not destroyed, because they considered them
3 monuments of considerable value for entire Bosnia and Herzegovina.
4 A. What I know is that those monasteries were not destroyed, the
5 monastery in Fojnica was not destroyed. Now, who was protecting those
6 monuments and how, I don't know. I suppose that there was protection.
7 In Fojnica, two priests were killed in the very monastery by the army
9 Q. But they were tried and convicted.
10 A. Yes, they were tried and convicted; however, they were pardoned
11 very quickly and released, and that was something that is hard to
13 Q. And my last question, Mr. Krizanac: You are -- during the
14 conflict between the HVO and the army, you lost a brother and two cousins
15 who were members of the HVO; is that true?
16 A. My brother was not a member of the HVO. He was already retired.
17 Q. I said cousins.
18 A. My cousins were.
19 Q. I would like to express my condolences.
20 A. A lot of people were killed. I don't want to talk about my
21 family, not because I have things to hide or -- or that a clarification
22 is needed, but this is something that I find really very hard to talk
24 Q. I have no further questions. I would just like to express my
25 condolences at your loss and I would like to thank you for having
1 answered my questions. Thank you very much.
2 A. Thank you.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, thank you very much.
4 Mr. Dixon, do you have any cross-examination?
5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, thank you.
6 Mr. President, after the examination-in-chief, you put several questions
7 to this witness in order to clarify some facts that were important for
8 our defence, and for that reason Mr. Kubura's Defence does not have any
9 questions of this witness.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
11 The OTP, do you have any re-examination?
12 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no further questions for the
13 witness, Mr. President.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Then I would like
15 to thank you, Witness. The Trial Chamber would like to thank you for
16 having come to The Hague to give your testimony at the request of the OTP
17 and tell us about the facts that you witnessed. We wish you a safe
18 journey back home.
19 I am going to ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
20 THE WITNESS: [Microphone not activated]
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm now turning towards the OTP
22 to ask them whether they have a new witness at this stage.
23 MR. WITHOPF: Your Honours, we don't have a new witness at this
24 stage; however, the witness will be available tomorrow morning at 9.00.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. At 13.40 we
1 do not have any witnesses to examine. I would like to remind the Defence
2 that until -- by tomorrow at 9.00 they have to send their observations to
3 the Registry regarding the objections of the OTP. And we would like to
4 hear from the Defence what their observations are by tomorrow at 9.00.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, we are going to be
6 able to do that today by 5.00. We are going to send our response to the
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then.
9 I thank you. Before taking our decision, we have to know what
10 the position of the Defence is regarding the points that were raised by
11 the OTP.
12 Before adjourning for the day, I would like to tell both the
13 parties that the Trial Chamber is trying to give both parties the
14 opportunity to ask their questions and that these questions have to serve
15 to prove -- to establish the truth, and we try to avoid questions which
16 are not relevant. And I would like to signal to the parties that the
17 Trial Chamber would -- knows the fact and that the -- especially if the
18 witness has already testified. I would like to observe that we are going
19 to inspect those facts that both the Defence and the OTP are in
20 possession of these materials and that we will listen with attention to
21 the testimonies, both the questions of the OTP and the questions of the
23 Having said that, I would like to say that we will adjourn until
24 tomorrow at 9.00. But Madam Registrar reminds me that it is not going to
25 be in this courtroom but in Courtroom III, so it's not going to be here,
1 not the same place, but Courtroom III.
2 I once again thank you. And I will see you all tomorrow at 9.00.
3 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 1.44 p.m.,
4 to be reconvened on Thursday, the 18th day of
5 December, 2003, at 9.00 a.m.