1 Monday, 9 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case number, 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.
10 Could we have the appearances for the Prosecution.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Mr. President. Good afternoon,
12 Your Honours. Good afternoon, Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl
13 Mundis, Ekkehard Withopf, and the case manager, Kimberly Fleming.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
15 And could we have the appearances for the Defence.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good morning, Mr. President.
17 Good morning, Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina
18 Residovic, counsel; Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel; and Muriel Cauvin, our
19 legal assistant.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
21 And the other Defence team.
22 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
23 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and our legal
24 assistant, Mr. Nermin Mulalic.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Trial Chamber
1 would like to greet everyone present.
2 We have a witness scheduled for today. We can call the witness
3 into the courtroom now. Madam Registrar.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, Witness. Could you
6 stand up, please. And tell me whether you can hear what I'm saying
7 interpreted into your own language.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a
10 witness for the Prosecution. First of all, you should tell me your first
11 and last name.
12 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Ivo Mrso. I'm the son
13 of Mirko and Jela. I was born in 1938 in Bugojno. I live in Bugojno now
14 and work in Travnik.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You were born in 1938. Do you
16 know the exact date or only the year?
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 20th of March.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The 20th of March. Thank you.
19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] On the 20th of March.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] [No interpretation]
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I graduated as an agricultural
22 engineer. I now work in the forestry and water department as an
23 assistant to the minister.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You have been
25 called here to testify with regard to certain facts. But before you do
1 so, you must make a solemn declaration. The usher, who is by your side,
2 will show you a text. Could you read it out in your own language,
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will
5 speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You can sit down
8 WITNESS: IVO MRSO
9 [Witness answered through interpreter]
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before the Prosecution takes
11 the floor and asks you some questions, I have to inform you about the
12 testimony you will be giving here. As you have made a solemn
13 declaration, it is your duty to tell the truth. If you give false
14 testimony, you could be prosecuted for having given false testimony and
15 there could be a sentence, a term of imprisonment as punishment. In the
16 course of the questions put to you, if anything you say when answering
17 questions could at a subsequent time be used against you in any
18 prosecution, you ought to know that according to the Rules of the
19 Tribunal, in such a case, given that you have testified at the request of
20 the Prosecution, whatever you say can't be used to prosecute you.
21 In addition, when questions are put to you, try to answer the
22 questions as fully as possible. Try to provide precise answers. And if
23 you don't understand a question, ask the person putting the question to
24 you to ask you to question again -- ask you the question again in order
25 to ensure that your answer is clear. If you don't know the answer to a
1 question, tell us. Or if you have forgotten, tell us that you can no
2 longer remember.
3 Representatives of the Prosecution, who are to your right, will
4 be asking you questions in a minute. After they have concluded their
5 examination-in-chief, the Defence, who are to your left, will also ask
6 you a series of questions. They will proceed with their
7 cross-examination. The three Judges, who are before you, can also ask
8 you questions at any time if they feel that it is necessary, in order to
9 clarify responses to either of the parties.
10 If there are any difficulties that you feel you face in the
11 course of your testimony, please inform us of this fact.
12 Having provided you with this information, the Prosecution may
13 now proceed with its examination-in-chief.
14 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
15 Examined by Mr. Withopf:
16 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mrso. Mr. Mrso, can you please inform --
17 A. Good day.
18 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber whether today it's the
19 first time that you are testifying before this Tribunal.
20 A. No.
21 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber as to when earlier on you
22 have testified before this Tribunal.
23 A. I think it was on the 10th of July, 2000, in the Dario Kordic
24 case. I was a witness for the Defence.
25 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber what were the main areas,
1 the main issues you covered in the course of this testimony in the Kordic
3 A. Well, there were situations in Central Bosnia that were
4 concerned, and the issue of Bugojno and the connections that Mr. Kordic
5 had with Bugojno, in the military and political sense.
6 Q. Mr. Mrso, are you or have you been married?
7 A. Yes. I was married. I'm divorced now.
8 Q. Can you please tell us about the ethnicity of your divorced,
10 A. She was a Muslim.
11 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber as to when you were
13 A. In 1978.
14 Q. Mr. Mrso, you already informed the Trial Chamber that you were
15 born in Bugojno. Can you please also tell us where you grew up.
16 A. In Bugojno.
17 Q. And where did you live from 1990 onwards?
18 A. In Bugojno.
19 Q. Have you ever joined the JNA, Mr. Mrso?
20 A. Yes. I did my military service, from 1965 to 1966. It lasted
21 for one year, in Capljina.
22 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Mrso, whilst you were living in
23 Bugojno that you joined the HDZ?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you please inform us as to when you joined the HDZ.
1 A. Well, I started talking to them in 1990. I established contact
2 with them in 1990. But I think I joined officially in 1991.
3 Q. And can you please tell us for what the acronym HDZ stands for.
4 A. It's the Croatian Democratic Union.
5 Q. After you joined the HDZ in 1991, officially in 1991, did there
6 come a time that you were elected to the municipal committee in Bugojno?
7 A. No, not that year. In 1992, I was in a local branch, Vrbas II,
8 and as such I later became a member of the town committee of the HDZ.
9 Q. And can you please tell us for how long you have been a member of
10 the town committee of the HDZ.
11 A. Until the 18th of July, 1993.
12 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Mrso, when you were elected president
13 of the municipal council in Bugojno?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And can you please inform us as to when and for how long, if so.
16 A. Those were the first elections after the war, from 1996 to the
17 year 2000.
18 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the ethnicities
19 living in Bugojno in 1990.
20 A. There were Serbs, Croats, and Muslims, and others. About 35 per
21 cent were Croats; 42 per cent were Muslims; and 18 per cent were Serbs;
22 and then there were the others.
23 Q. What do these percentages mean in numbers of inhabitants, please?
24 A. There were about 16.100 Croats, about 2.000 more Muslims, and
25 about 8.000 Serbs, and the others, I think -- if I remember this
1 correctly, I think there were about 5.000 of them.
2 Q. Just for clarification, about "2.000 more Muslims" means that
3 there were about 18.000 Muslims living in Bugojno at the time?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Can you please tell us whether there has been a change in the
6 number of Croats living in Bugojno after 1990.
7 A. Not after 1990, immediately after 1990. In 1993, when the attack
8 was carried out, then about 3.000 Croats remained. Because of various
9 forms of maltreatment, by the end of 1993 there were only about 900 of us
10 who had remained, because people were fleeing, leaving the town.
11 Q. Again, for clarification, Mr. Mrso, there were about 16.100
12 Croats living in Bugojno prior to the war, and this number diminished
13 within the year 1993 to about 900?
14 A. At the end of 1993.
15 Q. Mr. Mrso, how would you describe the relationship between the
16 Muslims and the Croats in Bugojno in late 1992 and in early 1993?
17 A. Well, in my assessment, as an inhabitant, they were on good
19 Q. And did there come a time when this good relationship changed?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And as to when was it?
22 A. Well, in the second half of 1992. It had already started
23 deteriorating then.
24 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the reasons why
25 the relationships deteriorated.
1 A. Well, at the beginning, as far as I know, I think that the idea
2 of defence and policies -- well, the Croats thought that they had to
3 defend themselves from the Serbs, because the Serbs had already attacked
4 Donji Vakuf and they were moving out the Muslims. I think that that
5 idea, the idea of defence, at least in Bugojno, caused differences of
6 opinion as to who would have control.
7 And then there were statements given by Muslim leaders. There
8 were Alija's statements about the attack on the Ravno and the fact that
9 that wasn't their war, although there were Croats there, et cetera, et
11 Q. Alija's statement, whom are you referring to when you say
13 A. Alija Izetbegovic.
14 Q. Did there come a time when this deteriorating relationship
15 between the Croats and the Muslims caused an open outbreak of
17 A. Yes. In my opinion, there were negotiations in order to
18 establish a joint Territorial Defence. And then according to the
19 statements that were given -- I wasn't part of the military and political
20 structure, I was a party member -- But there were obstructions, there
21 were fights as to who would be in charge, what sort of leadership there
22 would be. And I don't think that this really ever came to life in
23 Bugojno. I don't think it ever assumed real shape.
24 Q. And when did it come to an open outbreak of hostilities between
25 the Croats and the Muslims in Bugojno?
1 A. Well, as I said, towards the end of 1992 there were provocations.
2 And then in 1993, the same thing happened. And as there was no
3 power structure established in Bugojno on the basis of the electoral
4 results, the Muslims weren't in agreement, although the HDZ party had won
5 the elections at the time. At the end of 1992, the party members from
6 the SDA were going their own ways. There were no longer agreements for
7 common defence. So around October and November I suggested to Mr. Matko
8 Lucic, as the HDZ president, and the deputy president, Mirko Antunovic.
9 I said we should go and see Dzevad Mlaco, who was the SDA president. At
10 the time, they had already moved to the municipality building in Bugojno,
11 to the lower floors of that building. So we went to see him. I saw that
12 there were some bags of sand that had been set in front for protection.
13 And I insisted on saying openly that there were provocations between the
14 Muslims and Croats and that this was not all right. I said that the
15 people should be openly told that this had no sense.
16 We had -- we spoke about this over coffee, us people of Bugojno.
17 And the gentleman listened to this in a very casual way. He had a smile
18 on his face. And I could see that he wasn't taking this very seriously.
19 Q. Mr. Mrso, you already mentioned Mr. Dzevad Mlaco, as the former
20 head of the SDA in Bugojno. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber
21 about the key players on the Muslim side in both on the civilian side and
22 on the military side.
23 A. Well, Dzevad Mlaco was part of the civilian structures. He was
24 the SDA president. And later, after they had established a Crisis
25 Staff -- or rather, a War Presidency -- he was the president of the War
1 Presidency. I later found out that in that War Presidency there were
2 nine to 11 members. Among them was Mr. Abdulah Jelec and then Kemal
3 Dzafic - I remember that name. Ismet Hadzibegovic, also known as Dursum,
4 Zejir Mlivo, as the deputy president of the War Presidency, and there
5 were some others too. Redzep Dolovac. I later found out he was in
6 charge of logistics.
7 Q. Who was in charge, Mr. Mrso, of the Muslim forces in Bugojno in
9 A. I can't tell you about that for the entire year 1993. But after
10 the attack, after I had left the camp, they told me who the person in
11 charge was. It was Enes Handzic.
12 Q. Do you know a person named Selmo Cikotic, and if so, do you know
13 his position in 1993 in Bugojno?
14 A. Yes. Selmo Cikotic was the military commander of the unit for
15 Bugojno. He was the main one.
16 Q. And, Mr. Mrso, do you know a name called Dautovic?
17 A. Senad Dautovic, yes. He was also the president of the War
18 Presidency. He was the chief of police. And I don't know whether he
19 performed any other military duties.
20 Q. The police you are referring, to was it the civilian or the
21 military police?
22 A. They were mostly military police.
23 Q. And was Mr. Dautovic commander of the military police?
24 A. Yes. When I spoke to Dzevad Mlaco, who sent me to Dautovic, he
25 told me he was in charge of the camp on behalf of the police.
1 Q. And which camp, Mr. Mrso, are you referring to?
2 A. I don't understand. When you say "camp," what do you mean?
3 Q. You said, at least according to the transcript, that you have
4 been told that Mr. Dautovic was in charge of the camp on behalf of the
6 And my question is: Which camp are you talking about?
7 A. I'm referring to the Iskra Stadium camp. I apologise. The first
8 translation I got was the literal translation "camp," and that was not
9 the word that I understood.
10 Q. Very well, Mr. Mrso.
11 Mr. Mrso, did there come a time prior to the outbreak of the
12 conflicts in Bugojno, did there come a time when you noticed foreigners
13 arriving in the area of Bugojno?
14 A. Yes. As early as 1992, you could notice them. There were fewer
15 of them at the beginning, but their number increased in 1993.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] To one of the questions by my
17 learned friend, the witness replied that Senad Dautovic - that's line 14,
18 page 10 - I don't know what he said, but it says here in the transcript
19 that he was also the president of the War Presidency. And the witness
20 didn't say that. The witness said that the president of the War
21 Presidency told him that Senad Dautovic was in charge of the military
22 police. That's how I understood his words. So can we please have it
23 clarified with the witness. Line 14: "Yes, Senad Dautovic. Yes. He
24 was also the president of the War Presidency." The witness never said
25 that Senad Dautovic was the president of the War Presidency.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would like to thank the
2 Defence for this observation. This observation understood the witness in
3 the language that the witness speaks. It seems that we have a problem
4 with the interpretation. Let's resolve this issue. Can the Prosecution
5 please rephrase that question in order to clarify the reply. The
6 question concerns Mr. Senad Dautovic and his position.
7 MR. WITHOPF:
8 Q. Mr. Mrso -- thank you very much, Mr. President.
9 Mr. Mrso, you understood the discussion in respect to Mr. Senad
10 Dautovic. Was he also the president of the War Presidency in Bugojno?
11 A. No. He was just one of the members. Dzevad Mlaco was its
12 president throughout all this time.
13 Q. Very well. Thank you, Mr. Mrso, for this clarification.
14 We were about to talk about foreigners arriving in Bugojno prior
15 to the open outbreak of the conflict. Can you please inform the Trial
16 Chamber as to when you for the first time noticed these foreigners
17 arriving in Bugojno.
18 A. As early as 1992, we could notice them, especially when there
19 were rallies on market days, on Fridays, when the market was -- open
20 market was held in Bugojno. They stood out by their different clothes.
21 I didn't pay too much attention to them to them.
22 Q. Even if you didn't pay too much attention to them, can you inform
23 the Trial Chamber from which countries they came from, as far as you can
25 A. I can't say anything about that. I never spoke to any of these
1 people. I didn't ask them anything. I just noticed them as I was
2 passing by.
3 Q. And how can you tell, Mr. Mrso, that these individuals were
4 foreigners? What was the difference in comparison to the Bugojno locals?
5 A. Their clothes were different. Their skin colour was different.
6 Most of them had beards. Some of them had turbans. Some of them wore
7 headpieces on their heads.
8 Q. What sort of turbans are you referring to?
9 A. That's a headpiece for the head, and it's in the shape of a
10 turban. I can't give you any other word for that. Some had bandannas.
11 Some had turbans. Some had nothing on their heads.
12 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Mrso, when you were arrested in
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And can you please tell us when.
16 A. 24 July, around 10.00. Between 10.00 and 11.00.
17 Q. And can you please provide the Trial Chamber with some details
18 about this arrest.
19 A. On the 18th of July, when the attack was carried out, I was in
20 the town. And I found it strange that the town was empty. I was looking
21 to buy some newspapers. Then I returned home. I had obtained a
22 newspaper from a friend. I was home alone. I was reading the newspaper.
23 And then between 5.00 and 6.00 I noticed there were people moving in a
24 haste in the streets. From my window, I could notice people in military
25 uniforms running to and fro. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't
1 go out. I didn't leave my house. I remained sitting in my house reading
2 the newspaper.
3 Sometime between 11.00 and 12.00, I went to bed. And then around
4 4.00 I woke up. Somebody was banging at my door and shouting, "Open up."
5 I was afraid. I asked, "Who is it? Who should I open the door for?"
6 After a silence, somebody opened fire from the outside and all the glass
7 on the windows and the doors shattered. I threw myself on the floor, and
8 I waited to see what would happen. After that, there was a period of
9 silence. Nobody said anything. I got dressed very slowly, and that's
10 how I was, until the dawn.
11 Q. And what happened afterwards, Mr. Mrso?
12 A. In the morning, when it was already daylight, I saw what had
13 happened. I didn't know what to do. I just collected the pieces of
14 glass. I opened my door, unlocked my door. I also collected the glass
15 from the ground in front of the door, and I went to the garbage bin.
16 As I was coming home, there were three shots at me. One bullet
17 hit the door. I ran into my house. I closed the door behind me. And
18 from then onwards, I didn't dare step out of the house.
19 Q. And after all these events you were just detailing, Mr. Mrso,
20 have you actually been arrested and brought to somewhere?
21 A. No, not on that day. Around 11.00, again somebody knocked on my
22 door and introduced himself as Reuf. Reuf is an acquaintance of mine, a
23 friend of mine. I opened the door, and there we were standing at my
24 doorstep. He asked me whether I was alive. Again, somebody opened fire
25 at us. I drew him into my house. We were both scared. And then he
1 said, "What now?" And I said, "Nothing. You'd better go, because if you
2 had been killed just a little while ago, I would have been blamed for
3 that." He didn't want to leave, but I insisted. And then he went. He
4 used to live next door, and that's where he went to.
5 Q. And after Reuf, Mr. Reuf went to his house next door, what did
6 happen to you afterwards?
7 A. I was in the house. I didn't know what to do. Sometime around
8 4.00 he came again. He hid. I opened a window for him this time, and he
9 entered through the window. We talked, and then he told me that the
10 Muslims had launched an attack, that all the Croat houses had been
11 ransacked, that some Croats had been arrested, that some were being taken
12 away, that the collections centre had been set up in the neighbourhood.
13 And he told me, "You should either flee or come to my place." I didn't
14 know what to do. I was puzzled. And then I said, "If they're ransacking
15 all the houses, they'll find me at your place and you will be in
16 trouble." He insisted we jump through the window, and we crawled all the
17 way to his house, where I hid in the basement.
18 Q. And did there come a time, Mr. Mrso, when you were found hiding
19 in the basement of Mr. Reuf's house?
20 A. No. On the following day, on Tuesday around 10.00, we heard some
21 noise in my courtyard. We heard shots. We had an explosion, one or two
22 explosions. There were some noise, some shouting. I didn't dare come
23 out. He did, however. They shouted, "Open the door, Ustasha. We are
24 going to kill you." And finally, when there was no answer from the door,
25 they broke into the house.
1 Q. And after they broke into the house, what happened then?
2 A. We stayed in his basement. And on the following day, he went on
3 a reconnoitring mission and then he noticed that another neighbour,
4 another Muslim neighbour, had taken my key, and I was angry. I
5 intervened with another person and told him to deliver them a message to
6 this Fuko to return my key. Otherwise I won't be too happy. And then
7 half an hour later my key was returned.
8 Then I went to my house. Everything had been ransacked. A lot
9 of things had been taken away. Almost everything had been taken away.
10 The only things that remained were bigger pieces of furniture. I tidied
11 up a little together with him and decided to stay on in the house no
12 matter what.
13 Q. These were the days from the 18th of the 22nd of July, Mr. Mrso.
14 What happened to you on the 24th of July, 1993?
15 A. When I decided to go back home and stay there, a little while
16 later two people came. One of them was a neighbour of mine, and another
17 one was a teacher, another Muslim, and a third person was with them.
18 They told me that they would ransack my house again. I said, "Why should
19 you do that? You've already done it. You've taken whatever there was to
20 be taken away." And I asked them, "What are you looking for?" They
21 said, "Arms." I said, "Well, okay. Be my guest." They didn't find
22 anything. They told me to stay put, to be at home.
23 And no sooner did they leave, some other people came. One of
24 them I knew. He was the son of an acquaintance of mine. I said, "What
25 now?" And they said, "Somebody was shooting from this house." I said,
1 "How could anybody shoot? I wasn't home. There's nobody home. And
2 where were the shots directed?" "They were directed towards the
3 stadium." I said, "Well, this is impossible, because my house is lower."
4 And I said, "How come you think that somebody was shooting from the
5 house? The house had been ransacked. There was nobody in the house.
6 There's nothing in the house, no arms. Nobody was shooting from the
8 Q. Mr. Mrso, may I please stop you there. The 24th of July, 1993.
9 Have you been arrested on the 24th of July, 1993?
10 A. If you'll allow me, I have to say that the two men who had
11 ransacked my house came again. They told me that I should leave the
12 house and leave the door unlocked. I asked them where they were taking
13 me. They said they were taking me to a Croat house nearby where all the
14 other Croats had already been gathered. I said, "I don't want to do
15 that. I want to stay in my house." They insisted. They almost forced
16 me to go. I had to leave my house open and I had to go to that other
17 Croat house.
18 The owner of that house was Adolf Tomas, a neighbour of mine. I
19 found the other Croats from my street there, and there were also three or
20 four guards whom I also knew. They were also my neighbours.
21 Q. And whilst you were staying in your neighbour Tomas's house, did
22 there come a time when you have been arrested on the 24th of July, 1993?
23 A. I spent the night there. And I was planning on escaping from
24 there. When I told them that I wanted to escape, they were afraid and
25 they told me, "What if they catch you? Something bad might happen to
1 us." So I changed my mind. I stayed on. We were looking through the
2 window, and we could see our houses being looted, some of our houses
3 already being moved in by Muslim families that had been expelled from
4 Donji Vakuf.
5 On the following morning, around 10.00 I hear a voice shouting,
6 "Is Ivo Mrso here?" And the owner says, "Yes, he is." And I went out.
7 There were some people there. I asked them, "Where are you taking me?"
8 And they said, "What do you care? You don't need to know." There were
9 three soldiers with armbands on their arms.
10 Q. And, Mr. Mrso, was there anything written on their armbands?
11 A. Those were armbands of different colours, red, green, and so on.
12 And on some of them the inscription was "MOS."
13 Q. Mr. Mrso, what does "MOS" stand for?
14 A. I didn't know at the time. I asked some of my acquaintances, and
15 they told me that the "MOS" stands for Muslim Liberation Force.
16 Q. After you were arrested by members of the MOS, where have you
17 been brought to?
18 A. They took me and two other Croats - Josip Rupnik and I can't
19 remember the name of the second person - to a street that we call Kraj
20 Donji [as interpreted]. As we arrived there, there were some soldiers
21 sitting on the fence of one house, and they were shouting towards us,
22 "Why are you taking these Ustashas with you? Why don't you kill them?"
23 They put us in a garage. Somebody kicked me from behind, so I
24 actually fell into the garage. In the garage, I already found some
25 people. The garage was full of people. People were scared. And later
1 on I recognised some of them.
2 Q. How many people, Mr. Mrso, did you find in the garage?
3 A. Later on, when I calmed down a little, I realised there were
4 about 30 people or so, if not more.
5 Q. And what was the ethnic background of these 30 people or so, if
6 not more?
7 A. They were all Croats.
8 Q. And the Croats in this garage, were they soldiers or were they
10 A. They were both, civilians and soldiers. They didn't allow us to
11 talk. They told us to bow our heads, to put our heads between our knees,
12 and that we should not talk to each other.
13 Q. And who are the people that didn't allow you to talk? Were they
14 soldiers or civilians?
15 A. Soldiers.
16 Q. And soldiers of what military organisation?
17 A. I don't know. I assume that they were members of this MOS.
18 Q. Mr. Mrso, you informed the Trial Chamber that you were subjected
19 to mistreatments once you arrived at the garage. Were there other
20 detainees who were mistreated in the garage?
21 A. When I was put in that garage, when that person kicked me and
22 pushed me into the garage, one soldier with a bandanna around his
23 forehead was waving a sabre, and he was cursing us. He was calling us
24 names. He was shouting that we should all be killed, and so on and so
25 forth. And as I was sitting closest to him, when he turned around I
1 recognised him. I knew him from before. And then he said, "What are you
2 doing here?" I said, "I don't know. I did not come of my own will."
3 And then he said, "Let this man go through the far end of the garage and
4 don't you touch him, any of you."
5 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Mrso, any other prisoners being subjected to
6 mistreatment in the garage?
7 A. As I sat down, or -- I don't know how else to put it -- in that
8 garage I had to bow my head but I could still peek and I could still see
9 that there was a man lying on the floor half naked. His hands were tied
10 behind his back. And another person was sitting on a chair, and his legs
11 were in a water bucket. And the guards kept on shouting at him to press
12 his legs further. They were hitting him and beating him. I asked a
13 neighbour of mine, "Zoran, why are they doing that?" And Zoran told me,
14 "This is some kind of torture. It is terrible, because it causes cramps
15 in one's legs." And you could actually tell by looking at the person's
16 face that he was suffering terribly.
17 Q. And the guards who were hitting and beating this prisoner, were
18 they soldiers?
19 A. Yes. They were all in military uniforms, and they were all
21 Q. And were they Muslim soldiers?
22 A. I suppose so.
23 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Mrso, when you were transferred from
24 the garage to somewhere else?
25 A. We spent one night in that garage. It was a night of terror. We
1 were not given any food. We didn't have any water. It was cramped. It
2 was dirty. They took people from the garage. They would beat them in
3 front of the garage. Their shouts were terrible. And it all lasted up
4 to 5.00 in the morning. Then they ordered us to get into a truck. We
5 had to get into the truck single-file with our hands behind our heads.
6 And one person that I also knew was shouting, "Ustasha, you should not be
7 getting onto this truck. You should all be killed on the spot."
8 Q. And where did the truck bring you to?
9 A. We didn't know as we were being driven. When the truck pulled
10 over, I realised that we had been brought in front of the nunnery, which
11 they called Marxist Centre.
12 Q. Is this building, the Marxist Centre, also known as the old
13 convent in Bugojno?
14 A. Yes, that's what Croats used to call it and still call it that
16 Q. And once you arrived at the old convent in Bugojno, what did
17 happen to you?
18 A. They put us in one of the larger rooms on the first floor. We
19 found some people there whom I also knew. They were all inhabitants of
20 the neighbourhood of Gaj. They told us that they had been arrested,
21 taken to Karadza [phoen] in a shed, and then that they were brought to
22 the convent.
23 Q. The time you've been detained at the old convent in Bugojno, did
24 you spend the whole time on the first floor of this building?
25 A. No. For one period of time, no one came to see us or tell us
1 anything. We stayed in that room. And two hours later they came and
2 said, "Let's go." And then we went in single file. We took the flight
3 of stairs to the basement. There was a little table there. One man was
4 sitting down. There were two who were standing. I know Mr. Safet
5 Krslak. We were told to take our belts off and our laces out of our
6 shoes and everything out of our pockets and put it on the table and we
7 were told to go to the basement then. And I refused to do that. I
8 didn't want to take my belt off. I said my trousers would fall down. I
9 didn't want to take the laces out of my shoes, and so on. And as I knew
10 this person called Krslak, I even said, "What's wrong with you? What do
11 you want?" And then I went down into the basement like that.
12 Q. In the basement of the old convent building in Bugojno, were
13 there also other detainees?
14 A. No, it was empty. I was one of the first to enter the basement.
15 Q. Did there come a time when other people were forced to join you
16 in the basement of the old convent?
17 A. Yes. When night had fallen, there was a piece of paper that I
18 found. I had a piece -- I had a pencil on me, and I wrote down the names
19 of the people who were there. I wrote down the names of 73 persons;
20 naturally excluding the ones who had remained upstairs, who were from
21 Gaj. They didn't go down into the basement.
22 Q. And these 73 persons in the basement of the old convent, what was
23 their ethnic background?
24 A. They were all Croats.
25 Q. And these 73 Croats, were they civilians and/or soldiers?
1 A. They were both civilians and soldiers.
2 Q. And were younger detainees imprisoned in the basement of the old
3 convent in Bugojno?
4 A. Yes. There were minors there too.
5 Q. And how old were they?
6 A. One of them was 15 years old; another one 16; and I think there
7 was someone who was 14 years old.
8 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the sanitary
9 conditions in the basement of the old convent building in Bugojno whilst
10 you were detained there.
11 A. If I've understood you correctly, well, they were non-existent.
12 The basement was fairly dirty. Later on they gave us some sort of bucket
13 and shut the door and we had nothing else apart from that.
14 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber for how many days you had
15 to stay in the basement of the old convent building.
16 A. Sunday, Monday. I think on Tuesday I was moved back to the
17 floor; maybe it was Wednesday. I don't know exactly.
18 Q. Mr. Mrso, I'm now going to show you a photograph, and the
19 photograph will appear on the screen in front of you.
20 MR. WITHOPF: For the benefit of the Chamber and Defence counsel,
21 we have the nine hard copies available for distribution.
22 A. This is the convent.
23 Q. Please wait a second, Mr. Mrso. I will ask you some questions in
24 relation to this photograph.
25 MR. WITHOPF: In the meantime, for the information of the Chamber
1 and Defence counsel, this photograph has been taken in 2002 in the course
2 of the investigation against the accused Hadzihasanovic and Kubura.
3 Can one of the hard copies please be given to the witness.
4 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please tell the Trial Chamber what you can see
5 on the photograph in front of you.
6 A. I can see a building.
7 Q. And can you please tell us which building you are seeing.
8 A. Well, the usual term that we use is a convent. It's a nunnery.
9 I went to primary school there.
10 Q. And is this the convent building you were detained?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please date and sign this photograph.
13 A. It's the 9th today, isn't it?
14 Q. Completely correct. Today is the 9th of February.
15 A. [Witness complies]
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution
17 intends to tender this photograph into evidence.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have an
19 exhibit number.
20 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number will be P56.
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
22 MR. WITHOPF:
23 Q. Mr. Mrso, I'm now going to show you another photograph. Again,
24 it will appear on the screen in front of you, and you will be provided
25 with a hard copy, please.
1 MR. WITHOPF: For the information of the Trial Chamber and
2 Defence counsel, this photograph has been taken also in 2002, in the
3 course of the investigation against the accused Hadzihasanovic and
5 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please tell us what you can see on this
6 photograph in front of you.
7 A. Well, this appears to be the basement in the convent. I can
8 recognise it because of the bricks which form the floor of the basement.
9 Q. Is this the basement of the old convent building you were
10 detained together with 33 detainees in July 1993?
11 A. Not 33; 73. But yes, that's the basement in question.
12 Q. All right. Thank you very much, Mr. Mrso. Can you please again
13 date and sign this photograph.
14 A. [Witness complies]
15 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution
16 intends to tender this photograph into evidence.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have a
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P57.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Thank you.
21 MR. WITHOPF:
22 Q. Mr. Mrso, whilst you were detained together with the other 73
23 prisoners in the basement of the old convent building you just
24 identified, did you become aware of any beatings?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber about these beatings.
2 A. Well, they took Mario Glisic out, for example. That very evening
3 on a Sunday three men turned up and they said, "Come on, Mario Glisic."
4 They took him out and they hadn't even shut the door. They started
5 beating him. And you could hear his groaning.
6 Q. Are you aware of any other detainee who was beaten?
7 A. No, I'm not.
8 Q. Do you know a person called Vlatko Kapetanovic?
9 A. Yes. That's the person I found in the garage. He was half naked
10 and lying down. Later I saw him in that basement. I asked him whether
11 he was cold and whether he wanted my windproof jacket. He's the son of a
12 school friend of mine. I went to primary school with his father. He
13 said that it wasn't necessary, that he had received some sort of a shirt.
14 He said that if necessary, if he felt cold, he would ask me for this
16 Q. Are you aware, Mr. Mrso, whether this Vlatko Kapetanovic was also
17 beaten whilst you were in the old convent building?
18 A. While I was in the basement, he wasn't, because the following day
19 in the morning they took him away immediately.
20 Q. Who was guarding the prisoners in the old convent building in
22 A. Well, there were soldiers who could be seen there all the time.
23 If they came down, they would open the door. You could see them.
24 They were soldiers. As to what happened outside the building, I don't
25 know. As to what happened in the building further up and outside, I
1 don't know.
2 Q. And the soldiers who guarded the old convent building and guarded
3 the prisoners, were these the people who took Mario Glisic out for a
5 A. Yes, they were.
6 Q. And what military formation did these soldiers form part of?
7 A. I really don't know. I didn't dare ask.
8 Q. Have you seen these soldiers wearing any insignia?
9 A. Well, at the time they still wore those headbands of various
10 colours, and some of them had the inscription "MOS" on them; some didn't.
11 Q. Whilst you were detained in the old convent building in Bugojno,
12 have you been visited by somebody?
13 A. That evening - I think it was already dark - Enes Handzic came.
14 They opened a door for him. And from the door he said that we shouldn't
15 be afraid, that everything would be all right. He had brought some
16 tobacco with him -- not cigarettes, but tobacco. And he was there for
17 two or three minutes and then left. The door was closed, and that was
19 Q. Did Mr. Enes Handzic, did he actually visit the basement of the
20 old convent building in Bugojno?
21 A. Yes. But what he said was from the door, which was open, the
22 door to the basement.
23 Q. Once Mr. Handzic visited the basement of the old convent building
24 in Bugojno, was he able to see the prisoners?
25 A. We were all at the door and waiting to see what he would say.
1 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the position of
2 Enes Handzic at the time.
3 A. At the time, I didn't know what position he held.
4 Q. Did you get to know afterwards what position he held at the time?
5 A. Yes, I did. When I got out of the camp, I found out.
6 Q. And what did you find out, Mr. Mrso?
7 A. Well, when I got out, I immediately started establishing contacts
8 with gentlemen in positions of power, with Dzevad Mlaco, as president of
9 the War Presidency. I went to see him because people told me that
10 various things were happening in the camp, et cetera. So we agreed to
11 establish contact and when I told him about what was going on in the
12 camp, he said this was the responsibility of Mr. Enes Handzic.
13 Q. And have you been informed whilst talking to these people about
14 the position of Enes Handzic? What was his role at the time, if any?
15 A. I remember -- according to what I remember, he was the chief of
16 security. What kind of security, what sort of formation, I don't know.
17 What is important for me is to know the first and last name of this
19 Q. Do you know whether he was in charge of the civilian or the
20 military security?
21 A. I think he was in charge of military security.
22 Q. Have you been visited -- have you and the other detainees,
23 Mr. Mrso, being visited by somebody else whilst you were detained at the
24 old convent building in Bugojno?
25 A. Yes. When I moved out of the basement, I asked someone who was
1 in the building, who worked there as a receptionist or something like
2 that -- perhaps he was a guard too. He was from Donji Vakuf. I knew
3 him. And when we asked to go to the toilet or to have water to drink or
4 to wash ourselves with, I said, "Please tell them to move me up. It's
5 terrible down here. Tell them about this." I said that there were
6 people who were wounded down there, people who were sick. And if
7 possible, I asked him to have us moved up. I don't know whether he
8 intervened. I don't know what the reason was, but they really did move
9 me and two or three other men. I remember Ivan Keskic, who really was
10 wounded in the arm. I remember Dr. Dzapic. And I don't know whether
11 there was someone else. And they moved us into a room which was on one
12 of the floors above.
13 And then some sort of mission visited us. There were three
14 persons dressed in white, and they were accompanied by Stjepan Vukadin,
15 Dr. Zlatko Strujic, Dr. Hrvoje Lucic, Sister Pavka, and Bruno Batinic, a
16 priest. They brought us some sandwiches and they asked us whether anyone
17 was ill, if anyone needed medicine. These two doctors were there and
18 asked us about this.
19 Is there anything else you would like me to tell you about?
20 These soldiers followed them immediately and they started --
21 Q. May I please stop you here for a while. This delegation you were
22 just talking about, did they ask you questions? And if so, were you
23 allowed to answer their questions?
24 A. Well, that's what I was going to say. When these gentlemen
25 arrived, they were followed by the soldiers and some sort of chiefs, and
1 they almost prevented them from speaking to us. They would just say, "As
2 you can see, everything is fine. There's nothing for you to do here.
3 You can see the people. Everything's fine." We weren't able to say
4 anything. We didn't have any time. They didn't let us speak. Assessed
5 the situation. I was sitting at the back. I pulled the sleeve of this
6 priest. He half turned. I put a piece of paper in his hand -- that was
7 the list of people that I had on me -- and I pulled him by the sleeve,
8 and again I pointed to the basement. I said, "Most of the people are
9 down there." And then they more or less pushed them out of the room.
10 The door was still open, and this priest said, "Well, are you going to
11 show us the basement and the people who are in the basement?" And at
12 that point they started shouting that there was no one else in the
13 building, and so on. And someone from the International Community - I
14 don't know who they were - someone said, "Take us down to the basement."
15 The door then closed. And later on I found out that they insisted on
16 being taken to the basement. They refused to leave before they took
17 them to the basement.
18 Q. Mr. Mrso, you were just saying that when these gentlemen arrived,
19 when you were making reference to the delegation you were talking about,
20 they were followed by the "soldiers and some sort of chiefs and they
21 almost prevented them from speaking to us." Can you please explain to us
22 what you mean by saying "some sort of chiefs."
23 A. Well, the person who received us from the basement, well, in my
24 opinion he was some sort of a chief because he was issuing orders to
25 others and said, "Take them away. Take out the items you have in your
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 pockets," and so on.
2 Later when I asked, they told me he wasn't a man from Bugojno or
3 from Donji Vakuf, because most of the soldiers there were soldiers from
4 Donji Vakuf.
5 Q. Do you recall, Mr. Mrso, whether you have been visited by a
6 representative of the Muslim military other than Enes Handzic?
7 A. No. When we went down to the basement, someone from Enes's
8 service, Sabic, whom I know, about 15 of us entered the basement. He
9 came into the basement and started hurling abuse at us. He almost
10 started beating us and so on. He said, "What do you want, Ustashas?
11 We're going to kill all of you." He cursed us, et cetera. I said,
12 "What's wrong with you? Are you a man or an animal? Are you normal?"
13 Q. Someone from Enes's service, are you making reference to Enes
15 A. Enes Handzic. Later I found out that he was some sort of a
16 commander. That's where Enes Handzic was a chief.
17 Q. And, Mr. Mrso, did you know or did you get to know what the
18 position of this Mr. Sabic has been at the time?
19 A. I found out once I'd got out. I asked about this, since I know
20 him. I know his father. I know everything.
21 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, we are very close to the break. If
22 you would allow me some additional three minutes, I could conclude this
23 particular portion of the examination-in-chief.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Go on.
25 MR. WITHOPF:
1 Q. Mr. Mrso, do you recall a prisoner with the name Mario Zrno -
2 Z-r-n-o - Mario Zrno being detained with you at the old convent building?
3 A. I do remember.
4 Q. And do you recall whether this Mario Zrno was taken out for work
6 A. Three soldiers appeared and said, "We need five or six volunteers
7 to do some sort of work." One, two, or three persons volunteered; the
8 others didn't. They then designated them and took them away.
9 Q. And do you recall, Mr. Mrso, how Mario Zrno looked like when he
10 came back from the work detail?
11 A. Well, how should I put this? He seemed scared, beaten, covered
12 in blood, yellow, weak. He was barely able to stand. And naturally, we
13 asked him what had happened. And then the others who were with him told
14 us about what had happened.
15 Q. And what had happened?
16 A. Well, they said that they'd been taken to the village of Vrpec or
17 Crnice and that they had to bury some dead people. And the local people
18 and soldiers who were there who were there attacked them. They were
19 beaten with spades. They threw stones at them.
20 Q. Do you have any knowledge, Mr. Mrso, whether the people who were
21 taken out for work details were accompanied by Muslim soldiers?
22 A. The soldiers took them out, and they said that they were the ones
23 who took them there. Whether they were the same soldiers or some other
24 soldiers, I wouldn't know.
25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, I would suggest to now have the
1 break, please.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: Thank you. It's the time for the technical
3 break. [Interpretation] We shall resume at ten past 4.00.
4 --- Recess taken at 3.46 p.m.
5 --- On resuming at 4.14 p.m.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I give the floor to
7 the Prosecution to continue with their examination-in-chief.
8 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much, Mr. President.
9 Q. Mr. Mrso, for how long have you been detained in the convent
11 A. Five days, I believe.
12 Q. After these five days, were you released or were you transferred
13 to somewhere else?
14 A. I was transferred to the basement of the secondary school there.
15 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the details of
16 the actual transfer, how did it happen.
17 A. I believe that it was on Friday, around 10.00 or between 10.00
18 and 11.00. A soldier came, asked me, Ivan Keskic and a third person to
19 come out from the room on the first floor. They brought seven more
20 people. They lined all of us up in the corridor. That's where we stood
21 for some time. There were some soldiers there. An acquaintance of mine,
22 that is, a neighbour of mine had a camera. He took our photos. And
23 after a little while, three soldiers took us away. One was walking in
24 front of us; two were walking behind us, or one was walking in the
25 middle. They took us through the town.
1 This was for the first time that I went through the town so I was
2 looking around. As we were passing through the town, there were some
3 people standing on the sidewalks who were shouting at us. I thought that
4 we were being taken for execution, to be honest with you. And when we
5 stopped walking, we were in the secondary school in the basement, in one
6 of the cells in the basement of the secondary school.
7 Q. Mr. Mrso, you were telling us that all this happened on the
8 Friday around 10.00. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the
9 date, which day and which month was this Friday.
10 A. It was July. I can't give you the exact date, I'm afraid.
11 Q. Was it more in the beginning of July, the middle of July, or more
12 towards the end of July?
13 A. It was towards the end of July.
14 Q. Whilst you were walked from the convent building accompanied by
15 soldiers, you were telling us that people were shouting at you. Did
16 these people do anything else, other than shouting?
17 A. They also threw stones at us, and we had to protect our heads
18 with our hands.
19 Q. And the soldiers accompanying you, did they do anything in order
20 to stop it?
21 A. No, they didn't.
22 Q. And the soldiers accompanying you, were they the same soldiers
23 that guarded you in the old convent building?
24 A. I suppose so. However, I didn't know them.
25 Q. Were they Muslim soldiers?
1 A. Yes.
2 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber where you were brought
4 A. We were brought to the basement of the grammar school.
5 Q. Is this grammar school also known as the Mahmut Busatlija
6 building or Mahmut Busatlija school?
7 A. Yes, that was its name, Mahmut Busatlija.
8 Q. What happened to you and the other detainees which were with you
9 once you arrived at this school building?
10 A. They put us in the basement. There were other people in that
11 cell. The cell was full. I didn't know how many of us were there at the
12 time. Finally, when the cell was completely full, there were 42 of us
13 there. They brought in some other people after I was brought in.
14 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the size of the
15 cell in which 42 people were detained.
16 A. I believe that it was 8 metres long, some 4 metres wide. It had
17 a wire -- a wire door -- an iron door. I went to school there, so I knew
18 this area from before. However, I had never measured it.
19 Q. The 42 prisoners detained in the cell measured 4 metres by 8
20 metres, as you were saying, were they all soldiers or were civilians
21 amongst them?
22 A. As far as I can remember, we were all civilians there. There
23 were two women amongst us.
24 Q. Can you please tell us about the sanitary conditions in this cell
25 with the 42 prisoners.
1 A. Sir, I don't know what you're referring to. There were no
2 sanitary conditions. We didn't have a toilet. We did not have water.
3 This was a very dirty room. The window was blocked with boards. It was
4 lacking air. And we were lined up like sardines in a can. It was very
5 hard to breathe in that room. So I really don't know what you're
6 referring to as sanitary conditions.
7 Q. It was the end of July, Mr. Mrso. Was it hot in the cell?
8 A. It was very hot. It was unbearable.
9 Q. Mr. Mrso, I'm now going to show you another photograph. It will
10 appear on the screen in front of you.
11 MR. WITHOPF: And the necessary photocopies are available for
13 A. Yes. This is grammar school building.
14 MR. WITHOPF: For the information of both the Trial Chamber and
15 Defence, again, this photograph has been taken in the course of the
16 investigation against the accused Hadzihasanovic and Kubura in 2002.
17 Q. Is this the school building you were detained?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please again sign and date the copy in front of
21 A. [Witness complies]
22 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution
23 intends to tender this photograph into evidence.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you please
25 give us a number.
1 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honour, the exhibit number will be P58.
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MR. WITHOPF:
4 Q. Mr. Mrso, I'm now going to show you a further photograph. Again,
5 it will appear on the screen in front of you and you will be provided
6 with a hard copy. The necessary copies are available for distribution.
7 MR. WITHOPF: For the information of Defence and the Trial
8 Chamber, again, this photograph has been taken in the course of the
9 investigation against the two accused in 2002.
10 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you can
11 see on this photograph.
12 A. This is one part of this basement of this cell, as we called it.
13 I recognise the niche in the wall and I recognise the basement
14 window. The window at that time was blocked with wooden boards.
15 However, this furniture wasn't there when I was there. The whole space
16 was empty, bare of any furniture.
17 Q. Is this the room you were detained together with 42 other
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please again sign and date this photograph.
21 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution
22 intends to tender this photograph into evidence, please.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you please
24 give us a number.
25 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P59.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the
3 guards in the school building. Were they civilians or were they
5 A. They were soldiers. They wore military uniforms, and they were
7 Q. And on the military uniforms of the soldiers who guarded you,
8 were there any insignia?
9 A. Believe me, I did not pay any attention to that, but I assume
10 that they had the same insignia as the previous ones that I described.
11 Q. Were they Muslim soldiers?
12 A. Yes. I even knew some of them.
13 Q. Were there any other cells in the basement of this school
14 building you may be aware of?
15 A. Yes. There were two other cells. We could hear parts of
16 conversations and shouts coming from elsewhere. And when I asked the
17 people who were in my cell who was in those cells, they said they didn't
18 know. They only said that they assumed that they were Croatian police
19 officers. They were just assumptions. When we were let to go to the
20 toilet and have a bite to eat, I learned who these people were. It was
21 only then that I actually found out that the other cells were full of
22 people as well.
23 Q. The other two cells, were they of a similar size as the cell you
24 were imprisoned with 42 other prisoners?
25 A. One was the same as ours. I don't know about the third one. I
1 only assume that it was of the same size, but I'm not sure.
2 Q. For how long did you have to stay in this cell in the school
4 A. From Friday, that evening we didn't go out to the toilet, they
5 didn't give us any food. On the following day, they did allow us to go
6 to the toilet and they gave us some food. They gave us a soup; I don't
7 know what kind of soup it was. And then I found out who the other people
8 in the other cells were, because they brought all of us together to the
9 place where they gave us food.
10 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Mrso, when you were transferred to
11 somewhere else?
12 A. Yes. On the 1st of August - it was Sunday, in the evening - they
13 took us out. They lined us up, asked us what their names were and where
14 we were from. And it was actually late in the night, around 11.00,
15 around midnight. They put us in a lorry, took us away. We found
16 ourselves in front of the school Vojin Paleksic [Realtime transcript read
17 in error "in Aleksic"]. They put us in the sports hall of that school.
18 Q. And whom are you referring to, Mr. Mrso, when you are saying
19 "they put us in the sports hall of that school"?
20 A. The soldiers. They were soldiers.
21 Q. Were they Muslim soldiers?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. In the transcript, Mr. Mrso, is written "we found ourselves in
24 front of the school in Aleksic." Can you please identify the school.
25 What was the name of the school?
1 A. Vojin Paleksic. It was an elementary school.
2 Q. And where is or was this Vojin Paleksic Elementary School
3 located? In which town?
4 A. It was in Bugojno, in Ivo Andric Street. Across the road from
5 the school there is my brother's house.
6 Q. Were all of the prisoners from the Mahmut Busatlija school
7 brought to the Vojin Paleksic Elementary School?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Once you arrived at the Vojin Paleksic Elementary School in
10 Bugojno, where were you brought to?
11 A. To the sports hall of that school.
12 Q. And who brought you to the sports hall of that school?
13 A. Some soldiers. They wore military uniforms and they were armed.
14 Q. And were they Muslim soldiers?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. Once you arrived in the sports hall of the Vojin Paleksic
17 Elementary School, what happened to you and the other prisoners?
18 A. As we entered the sports hall, we started chatting. The room was
19 very big and there was a lot of air, and all of a sudden somebody
20 shouted, "Shut up. I'm going to kill you." Then we heard a burst of
21 fire. We all fell on the ground. And from then on we just stayed put.
22 We didn't dare move or stand up.
23 Q. Whilst you were detained in the Vojin Paleksic Elementary School
24 in Bugojno, how many other detainees were imprisoned in the same sports
1 A. When I heard that burst of fire, I threw myself on the floor. I
2 believe that the fresh air knocked me out and I fell asleep. When I came
3 to, I could see more people being brought in. So on that day, on Monday,
4 at the end of the day I counted heads. And there were 373, 374, or 375
5 people altogether. I made a note of the number in my diary.
6 Q. You actually counted the number of detainees.
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. You were just informing us, Mr. Mrso, that other prisoners would
9 be brought in. Did you get to know where the other prisoners came from?
10 A. Yes. From the camps that were set up at the very beginning;
11 that's the cultural and sports hall, the furniture shop, the grammar
12 school, the convent. Some even came from some private prisons in various
13 villages. That's what I heard from people that I spoke to.
14 At the end of the day, on Monday there were altogether 375 or 374
15 people together. I can't remember exactly how many. I even started
16 taking their names, but I ran out of paper.
17 Q. Mr. Mrso, the furniture shop you were just mentioning, can you
18 please inform the Trial Chamber where this furniture shop is located.
19 A. In the centre. How shall I put it? I can't remember the name of
20 the street. There was also the headquarters of the Institute for
21 Urbanism. My brother worked at that institute as its general director.
22 And below the institute was this furniture shop.
23 Q. This furniture shop, was it located in Bugojno?
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. And the cultural hall you were mentioning, was this detention
1 facility also located in Bugojno?
2 A. Yes, very close by. Yes, very close to that furniture store.
3 Q. And did you also get to know, Mr. Mrso, who actually brought the
4 other detainees from the different detention facilities you just listed,
5 who brought them to the Vojin Paleksic Elementary School?
6 A. Well, they said that it was the army.
7 Q. The Muslim army?
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber, Mr. Mrso, about the
10 sanitary conditions in the sports hall of the Vojin Paleksic Elementary
11 School whilst you were detained with 370 detainees.
12 A. The hall was big and airy. There was no water inside. There was
13 no toilet. Every time we had to relieve ourselves, we had to ask to be
14 let out to use the school's toilet facilities.
15 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber about the food
17 A. On the first two days, we did not have anything to eat. On the
18 second day, in the evening three soldiers came in. Two of them were
19 carrying a big pot and some five or six loaves of bread. And it turned
20 out that these loaves of bread were stale.
21 Q. Was this amount of food sufficient for 370 detainees?
22 A. No, no, not at all. It was not enough. I believe that the
23 capacity of that pot was some 10 litres and there were five or six loaves
24 of stale bread, so no way.
25 Q. Mr. Mrso, I'm now going to show you a further photograph. Again,
1 the photograph will appear on the screen in front of you and you will be
2 provided with a hard copy, please. And the copies are available for
4 Mr. Mrso, can you please tell us what you can see on the
5 photograph in front of you.
6 A. This is the school. However, it has been refurbished and
7 renovated. At the time, it was damaged. Its name is now the First
8 Elementary School. It used to be the Vojin Paleksic School at the time.
9 MR. WITHOPF: For the information of the Trial Chamber and
10 Defence counsel, this photograph has also been taken in 2002 in the
11 course of the investigation against the accused Hadzihasanovic and
13 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please sign and date this photograph.
14 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution wishes
15 to tender this photograph into evidence, please.
16 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, can you give us
18 an exhibit number.
19 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P60.
20 MR. WITHOPF:
21 Q. Mr. Mrso, I'm now going to show you another photograph. Again,
22 it will appear on the screen in front of you and you will, again, be
23 provided with a hard copy.
24 MR. WITHOPF: And the copies are available for distribution.
25 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you can
1 see on this photograph.
2 A. Well, that's the hall that I and the others were in. It's been
3 cleaned up a bit now though, and there are markings on the floor.
4 Q. Is this - just for clarification, Mr. Mrso - is this the sports
5 hall of the Vojin Paleksic Elementary School you were detained with 370
6 other detainees?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Can you please again, Mr. Mrso, can you please sign and date it.
9 A. [Witness complies]
10 MR. WITHOPF: For the information of the Trial Chamber and
11 Defence, also this photograph has been taken in the course of the
12 investigation against the accused Hadzihasanovic and Kubura in 2002.
13 And the Prosecution wishes to tender this photograph into
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have an
16 exhibit number.
17 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P61.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
19 MR. WITHOPF:
20 Q. Mr. Mrso, whilst you and the other detainees were detained in
21 this sports hall, did you become aware of any beatings?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you have seen and/or
24 heard in respect to beatings.
25 A. Well, for example, they would appear and call out -- all I can
1 remember, Niko Dzaja. They called him out and took him away. And then
2 later on we all listened to him screaming. We heard them beating him.
3 We heard terrible shots, bursts of fire. So we were afraid and waiting
4 to see who the next person would be, waiting to see who they would call
5 out again. Then there was someone called Anto Bakula. They beat him so
6 severely, and then he was half alive when they returned him. We took
7 charge of him. He was unable to speak. We thought he was dying. We
8 were angry. I was the first one to bang on the door. I told them to
9 open the door. I said that the person was dying, that they should
10 provide him with medical treatment. They then raised a racket and closed
11 the door. Then we banged on the door again and pleaded with them, and
12 then they took him away, after which they returned him. I don't know
13 where they took him.
14 But as far as I know, this person is still alive today.
15 Q. Mr. Mrso --
16 A. And there were some others too.
17 Q. And who were the others? So far you mentioned two individuals
18 which were beaten.
19 A. I remember a waiter from Poric. I think his name was Milicevic.
20 And I can't remember the names of the others. But they started beating
21 one person in the hall and then they took him out.
22 Q. And the ones who took the detainees out for the beatings you were
23 just describing, were they soldiers or were they civilians?
24 A. Soldiers. And they would always carry rifles when they entered.
25 Two or three of them would enter, while the others would wait at the
2 Q. And were they Muslim soldiers?
3 A. Yes, they were.
4 Q. The 370 detainees in the sports hall of the Vojin Paleksic
5 Elementary School, were they in the majority civilians or soldiers?
6 A. Well, I would say that it was about fifty/fifty; or perhaps there
7 were more civilians, about 60 per cent were perhaps civilians. But this
8 is a rough guess.
9 Q. And what was the ethnic background of the detainees in the sports
10 hall of the Vojin Paleksic Elementary School?
11 A. They were all Croats.
12 Q. Amongst the detainees, were there also women or were they all
14 A. In the sports hall, there were only the two women who had been
15 with me in the basement and in the grammar school, Andjelka Marijanovic
16 and her daughter, Ivana.
17 Q. Have you ever been told by anybody why you were detained?
18 A. At no time.
19 Q. Have you ever been interviewed during your detention in the Vojin
20 Paleksic Elementary School?
21 A. Yes. They started interviewing people on the second or third
22 day. Some soldiers entered and asked us to hand our papers over and our
23 valuables, if anyone had any. They asked us to hand over everything we
24 had. I ignored this. I didn't pay much attention to it. And then
25 people would go, and they said, "You go too. Don't cause problems," and
1 so on. So one afternoon, when there was no longer such a huge crowd, I
2 went too.
3 Q. What were the issues, if you do recall, Mr. Mrso, which have been
4 addressed in the course of such interviews?
5 A. I don't understand the question. What are you referring to
6 exactly? When and where?
7 Q. You were just informing the Trial Chamber, Mr. Mrso, that they
8 started interviewing people on the second or third day and that soldiers
9 had entered prior to the interviews.
10 And the question is, Mr. Mrso: What sort of questions were you
11 asked during the interview, if any?
12 A. Yes. When it was my turn, that wasn't in the hall; it was in one
13 of the rooms in the school on one of the floors. I met a person I knew
14 there, someone from Duvnjak -- Ismet Duvnjak and a neighbour of mine.
15 And when I saw them there, the gentleman asked me, "What are you doing
16 here?" And I was brazen and I said, "Well, I didn't come of my own
17 accord," and so on, and so on. But he said, "Well, yes, but how did it
18 happen?" And so then I said, "Well, don't pretend you're crazy. Your
19 men must have brought me and you must know why I'm here." So we had this
20 official exchange. I assume they asked me for my personal details and my
21 address, and so on and so forth. I don't even know whether I signed
22 anything, whether I signed for the details I'd provided them with.
23 Q. For how long, Mr. Mrso, have you been detained in the sports hall
24 of the Vojin Paleksic Elementary School?
25 A. Until the 5th of August.
1 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber what happened on the 5th
2 of August. I assume it's the 5th of August, 1993.
3 A. After the interview, on the following day - that was in the
4 afternoon - they called 10 or 11 of us and they said, "You'll be released
5 but you have to report to the police every day at 12.00. You know where
6 the police station is." And we said, "Yes, of course," since we were all
7 local people and then at about 5.00 they released us.
8 Q. And the ones who released you, were they soldiers?
9 A. They were all soldiers.
10 Q. Once released on the 5th of August, 1993, what did you do
12 A. I went home.
13 Q. Did there come a time, Mr. Mrso, when you informed any Muslim
14 officials in Bugojno about the experiences you had made in the convent
15 building, in the Gimnazija building, and in the Vojin Paleksic Elementary
17 A. Well, if you mean at that time, when I was released, it wasn't
18 until the next day that I went into town, although they had warned me not
19 to go. They said it was dangerous. But I decided to go regardless of
20 what might happen. I simply wanted to see the town and to see what the
21 situation was.
22 Q. Did you go, Mr. Mrso, go to somewhere or to someone to complain
23 about the experience -- experiences you and the other Croats had to go
25 A. On the following day, when I went out, I went to the Bugojno
1 parish church. I met a lot of people there. It was chaos. People were
2 crying. No one knew anything about anyone. Families had been separated.
3 There were old people, sick people who had remained. People were being
4 collected from the surroundings of Bugojno. Some people had started
5 fleeing and were unable to do so. It was terrible. Soldiers from
6 UNPROFOR were present at the time. People begged them to drive them
7 away, take them out of Bugojno. It was all-out chaos.
8 Q. In August 1993, Mr. Mrso, did you have contact to Mr. Dzevad
10 A. Yes. As I knew what the law was, I then decided -- as I'm a
11 party member, I can engage in party-related activities. So three or four
12 days later, I went to the municipality in Luka, and said that I wanted to
13 see Mlaco. So that's the sort of action I took at the time.
14 Q. And what did you talk to Mr. Dzevad Mlaco when you met him in
15 August 1993?
16 A. I suggested that I should make some sort of programme for action,
17 a plan of action. We said I should come in two or three days' time. In
18 the meantime, I found out who else was in Bugojno, and I assembled three
19 or four other persons. And then as a team we said that we would come to
20 see Mlaco with that plan, and that's how we established this contact. I
21 told him where I had been immediately.
22 Q. Did you inform him about the detention facilities you were
23 detained prior to you talking him?
24 A. Not prior to talking to him, but I told him personally about
25 this. We knew each other, so I told him that this is what I wanted. I
1 even asked for the HDZ office -- I looked for the HDZ office, which was
2 also in the municipality. He agreed with me at the time.
3 Q. You were informing the Trial Chamber, Mr. Mrso, that you were
4 released on the 5th of August, 1993. Were all of the 370 prisoners
5 detained in the sports hall of the Vojin Paleksic School released the
6 same day?
7 A. No. Only the ten of us were released, or perhaps eleven.
8 Q. And do you know what happened to the remaining 360 detainees?
9 A. Yes, I do. After the stadium was designated as a campsite, the
10 stadium that belonged to the Iskra Football Club and they were all moved
11 there later on and some were captured, civilians and other soldiers who
12 were found. So towards the end of August there were 547 people in the
13 Iskra Stadium.
14 Q. When were the detainees from the Vojin Paleksic School
15 transferred to the Iskra Stadium, if you know?
16 A. I think it was immediately after my release, mid-August, if I
17 remember this correctly. I have made a note of the date, but I would
18 need to remind myself of it. I would need to consult my notes.
19 Q. You were just mentioning, Mr. Mrso, that in the Iskra Stadium
20 there were by end of August or towards the end of August there were 547
21 people detained. How did you get to know that there were 547 people
22 detained in the Iskra Stadium by the end of August 1993?
23 A. Through contact with Mr. Mlaco. But when I'd contact him, two
24 Croats would always accompany me, two Croats from a group that we had
25 formed. And as I knew what was happening, on the basis of reports from
1 the camps and on the basis of some Muslim guards and soldiers, I asked
2 for something to be done to improve the conditions. There should be a
3 law, because there were minors there, an MP there, and according to the
4 law he had to act and have them released. People should be allowed to
5 receive food, because they had complained and said they had nothing to
6 eat. I said that they shouldn't beat the soldiers. The soldiers should
7 be able to receive mail, because the families were concerned about them
8 and so on, et cetera.
9 So in agreement with him, I went to see the camp commander and
10 told him about what had to be done. He said, "I haven't been ordered to
11 do anything." People would take food there of their own accord. Some
12 people would be -- handed over this food. Others weren't allowed to
13 receive it.
14 So whenever I had contact with Dzevad Mlaco -- first it had to do
15 with the conditions of the detainees in the camp and then about allowing
16 a doctor or priest to have access to the camp. So these are the sort of
17 agreements we tried to reach in the group of which I was a part.
18 Q. These more than 500 detainees in this stadium, to your knowledge,
19 were they civilians or soldiers?
20 A. Well, there were soldiers and civilian, but there were more
22 Q. You just mentioned there were minors amongst them.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. For how long, to your knowledge, Mr. Mrso, have these 400 -- or
25 more than 500 people, mostly civilians, been detained in the FC Iskra
1 Stadium in Bugojno?
2 A. Well, through my contact with Mr. Mlaco, I also established
3 contact with representatives of the International Community,
4 representatives of the European Mission, and representatives of UNPROFOR.
5 I would also submit reports to them and inform them of what was
6 happening. And occasionally they released some people. The end of the
7 camp was on the 19th of March, 1994. And at that time, there were 292
8 detainees in the camp, at the time the camp was closed.
9 Q. Mr. Mrso, I'm now going to show you a further photograph. It
10 will again appear on the screen in front of you and you will be provided
11 with a hard copy. And the copies are available for distribution, please.
12 MR. WITHOPF: For the information of the Chamber and Defence
13 counsel, this photograph has also been taken in the year 2002 in the
14 course of the investigation against the accused Hadzihasanovic and
16 Q. Mr. Mrso, can you please inform the Trial Chamber what you can
17 see on the photograph in front of you.
18 A. On the side of the street, I can see the stadium, the stalls --
19 the stand.
20 Q. Is this building which you can see on this photograph, is it the
21 FC Iskra Stadium you are referring to?
22 A. Yes, it is. But here, the fence you can see here, the barbed
23 wire is missing. It used to surround the entire stadium.
24 Q. And can you please inform the Trial Chamber where to your
25 knowledge in this building the about 540 prisoners were detained.
1 A. In these areas beneath the stand.
2 Q. Again, Mr. Mrso, can you please date and sign the hard copy of
3 the photograph, please.
4 A. [Witness complies]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could we have an exhibit
6 number, Mr. Registrar.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be P62.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
9 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you very much.
10 Q. Mr. Mrso, the Iskra Stadium, was it guarded?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And were the guards soldiers or were they civilians?
13 A. Soldiers.
14 Q. Were they armed?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And were they Muslim soldiers?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. During the time, Mr. Mrso, you took care of the detainees in the
19 FC Iskra Stadium, did you ever talk to somebody, to a representative from
20 the Muslim army?
21 A. Yes. First with Dzevad Mlaco as the president of the War
22 Presidency. He then told me that it wasn't his responsibility. He said
23 it was Enes Handzic's responsibility. He referred me to Enes Handzic, so
24 I went to see him.
25 Q. And do you recall, Mr. Mrso, roughly as to when you talked to
1 Mr. Enes Handzic?
2 A. Well, the first time I attempted to speak to him, I can't
3 remember the exact date but I think it was towards the end of August or,
4 rather, at the beginning of September or perhaps in mid-September, when I
5 was told that some Croatian soldiers who were in Prusac, in the direction
6 of the Serbian lines, they were there as a human shield and they had to
7 dig trenches there. I was told that they'd been moved to the Iskra
8 Stadium. I went to look for Handzic, and he told me I should come the
9 next day in the morning about 11.00. When I went there, the guard told
10 me that he wasn't there. Niko Dzaja was then transferred, as well as
11 Strujic and others. And I was told that these people were in the
12 basement, in the cultural sports centre, which is where Enes Handzic had
13 his office at the time.
14 Q. And this Mr. Enes Handzic you talked to at the beginning of
15 September or perhaps in mid-September 1993, was it the very same Enes
16 Handzic who had visited you in the old convent building in Bugojno?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And what exactly did you inform Mr. Enes Handzic about?
19 A. I didn't find him at the time. I went to see Mlaco again. I
20 told him I didn't find him, that he was avoiding me. That's what his
21 guard told me, the same person who used to work in the company that I was
22 the general manager of. He told me that discreetly. He didn't want it
23 to be known that he had told me that.
24 Q. Did there come a time when you found Mr. Handzic and had the
25 opportunity to talk to him?
1 A. Yes, when a detainee's wife came to see me. This person had been
2 transferred from the stadium to the BH bank. When his family went to see
3 him, they were not allowed to see him. They told them to wait until the
4 moment his whereabouts were no longer known. His wife and daughter came
5 to see me and told me, "Everybody who is transferred from the stadium is
6 lost to their families." Then I went to see Mlaco, and I went to see
7 Handzic. His office was transferred in the meantime. I told him that
8 people had been detained and tortured in the camp below the bank. I told
9 Handzic, "Sir, you're responsible. Why are these people disappearing?"
10 I was too open when I put my questions to him. He told me, "I'm not
11 responsible." I said, "Who is responsible?" And he says, "Tahir
12 Granic." Very well, then. I know him. I know all of them. They're all
13 natives of Bugojno. So he referred me to Tahir Granic, who was at that
14 time the commander of the 307th Brigade.
15 Q. And did you actually get an opportunity to talk to Tahir Granic,
16 the commander of this 307th Brigade?
17 A. Yes, I did. He received me, although his aide-de-camp wouldn't
18 allow me to talk to him. But I knew Tahir. I insisted on seeing him. I
19 told him what was going on in the camp. I said I first talked to Mlaco,
20 he referred me to Hadzic. Hadzic denied responsibility. "He told me,
21 Tahir, that you are responsible. I want to know what's going on. I'm
22 going to report you to international organisations." He says, "Don't do
23 that. I don't know why they sent you to me. He is in charge. Go back
24 and see him. I don't know why you've come to see me. I'm not in
1 Q. The 307th Brigade, Mr. Tahir Granic was the commander of, did it
2 form part of the Muslim army?
3 A. I suppose so. I suppose so.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour -- Your Honour --
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm looking at the English
6 transcript, but you have the floor.
7 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I don't know
8 whether this is a good time. However, the Prosecution knows very well
9 the names of all the armies that were in Bosnia-Herzegovina at the time.
10 And throughout the examination-in-chief of this witness, they're
11 referring to the Muslim army. There is the Army of Bosnia and
12 Herzegovina with its proper name, so I would kindly ask the Prosecution
13 to use the official names of the armies that they are questioning the
14 witness about.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
16 I give the floor to the Prosecution again. Please take into
17 consideration the observation put forth by the Defence about the proper
18 names of the military formations.
19 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, I certainly take note
20 of the observations of the Defence; however it's the witness himself who
21 uses the description "Muslim army," and the Prosecution doesn't want to
22 put any words in the mouth of the witness.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are right; the witness has
24 indeed spoken about the Muslim army. However, when you are putting
25 questions to the witness, maybe you can ask him whether he is aware of
1 the proper name of this Muslim army.
2 MR. WITHOPF:
3 Q. Mr. Mrso, you heard the comments made by both Defence counsel and
4 the Presiding Judge. Are you aware of the proper name of the Muslim army
5 you are referring to?
6 A. In our local conditions, this is the name that we used. We knew
7 that those were Muslims and we referred to it as the Muslim army. At
8 that time, I didn't know the proper name of that army. When Muslims
9 attacked Croats in Bugojno, some month or a month and a half after I left
10 the camp they said, "When we attacked you, when we occupied you," and all
11 of a sudden they started talking about a conflict. At first it was an
12 attack, and then it was a conflict. These were our discussions at the
13 local level.
14 I really don't know when the BH army received this name, when it
15 was named the BH army. And that's why I'm referring to the army as the
16 Muslim army.
17 Q. Mr. Mrso, we were about -- you were about to inform the Trial
18 Chamber about your meeting with Mr. Tahir Granic, the commander of the
19 307th Brigade of the army you are referring to as the Muslim army. When
20 did this meeting with Mr. Tahir Granic take place?
21 A. I believe that it was in December. I can't recall the exact
22 date. I believe that it was towards the end of December 1993.
23 Q. And do you recall, Mr. Mrso, where this meeting with Mr. Granic
24 took place?
25 A. In the building of the Koprivnica forestry company. This is
1 where their headquarters was.
2 Q. And can you please provide -- can you please inform the Trial
3 Chamber about the details of this conversation with Mr. Tahir Granic.
4 A. I asked him what was going on in the camp. I mentioned the
5 terrible conditions there. I mentioned that people kept on going missing
6 from the camp, and I also told him that my fellow Croats kept on
7 insisting about finding out the whereabouts of these people who went
8 missing from the camp.
9 Q. Which camp, Mr. Mrso, are you referring to?
10 A. The Iskra Stadium camp.
11 Q. And what was Mr. Granic's response to your complaint?
12 A. Mr. Granic told me, literally: "Mrso, I have nothing whatsoever
13 to do with this. Handzic is in charge of that. He is the only person
14 who can provide you with answers."
15 I told him that "people are being sent to Uskoplje and Gornji
16 Vakuf, to the positions where they are in peril of being injured and this
17 has to come to an end." He replied, "I understand all that. However, I
18 am not responsible. It is Enes Handzic who is in charge and who is
19 responsible for all that."
20 Q. You were mentioning earlier on, Mr. Mrso, that you informed
21 representatives of the International Community, of organisations of the
22 International Community which were active during this time period in the
23 area of Bugojno about the events you were describing today.
24 A. Yes.
25 Q. Can you please inform the Trial Chamber which international
1 organisations these people were members of.
2 A. It was the International Red Cross; then UNPROFOR; the European
3 Mission. And I believe that these were the people who were in Bugojno at
4 the time that I reported to about what was going on. I informed them
5 about the treatment of Croats. I implored with them to have the
6 conditions in the camp improved. However, they were not allowed to enter
7 the camp, so we complained to each other. The people who were in charge
8 of the camp were constantly in discord with representatives of the
9 international organisations.
10 Q. And do you recall, Mr. Mrso, even if it's roughly only, as to
11 when for the first time or as to when you started to inform members of
12 UNPROFOR, the Red Cross, and the European Monitoring Mission about the
13 situation in the camp?
14 A. As soon as the camp was established as the central camp. I went
15 there immediately after that. On one occasion, I even spoke with some of
16 the detainees over the fence. I often went to see Sadikovic, who was in
17 charge of the camp. I asked him to allow families to bring food to the
18 detainees. I often spoke with UNPROFOR representatives, representatives
19 of the European Mission who also came to me. It was my duty to inform
20 them and to ask their assistance, and I would really very often talk to
22 Q. At the time you informed the members of the international
23 organisations you were just referring to, was the camp - and I understand
24 you are referring to the FC Iskra Stadium - was it still used as a
25 detention facility?
1 A. If you're expecting my answer, sir, I really don't understand
2 what the question was. Can you please repeat it.
3 Q. Was it already 1993, Mr. Mrso, when you informed the
4 representatives of ECMM and/or UNPROFOR and/or the Red Cross about the
5 fact that the FC Iskra Stadium was used as a detention camp?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And do you recall the month when you for the first time informed
8 them about the FC Iskra Stadium?
9 A. In late August, then in early September. And from then on,
10 throughout the existence of the camp I constantly informed them about the
11 conditions in the camp.
12 Q. Late August, early September means late August of 1993 and early
13 September of 1993?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Mr. Mrso, do you still recall any names of the representatives of
16 the international organisations you were talking to in 1993 about the
17 conditions in the FC Iskra Stadium in Bugojno?
18 A. These were not conversations. These were my complaints and my
19 implorations for help. I remember a Dutch man, Rudi. There was a
20 Spanish guy, Garcia Jesus. There was a person from Greece. There were
21 some French men. However, I cannot recall any of their names. I would
22 have to consult my notes; then I'd be able to tell you. There was
23 Mr. Banks from UNPROFOR. There was an Englishman. I apologise. I
24 don't have my diary, so I don't want to speculate on people's names.
25 Q. The Dutch person called Rudi -- was it Rudi Gerritsen?
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 A. I cannot recall this gentleman's family name, not without my
2 notes, not without my diary.
3 Q. These individuals you were just detailed, were they members of
4 ECMM and/or UNPROFOR or both?
5 A. I believe that they were from the European Community. This
6 Mr. Rudi, Jesus Garcia, this person from Greece whose name I can't
7 recall, they were all representatives of the European Community. And
8 also the French men whose names I can't remember, they were also
9 representatives of the European Community.
10 Q. And what was the reaction, if any, by the representatives of the
11 International Community you talked to about the situation in the FC Iskra
13 A. To be honest, this all boiled down to their promises that they
14 would talk with the representatives of the other side, that this was not
15 part of their mandate. I didn't know that at the time. I was not very
16 satisfied with their answers, but I simply had to take what I was given.
17 Q. Mr. Mrso, at the beginning of your today's testimony, you were
18 informing the Trial Chamber that by end of 1993 only 900 Croats out of
19 the about 16.100 Croats living in Bugojno prior to the war were still in
20 Bugojno. Do you think or do you know whether the events you were
21 testifying today about were the reason that the Croats, that about 15.000
22 Croats left Bugojno in the course of 1993?
23 A. Yes, those were the reasons. People were attacked, robbed.
24 Money was asked from them. People were ill-treated. They didn't feel
25 safe, and they just fled. They paid Muslims to take them out. Dautovic
1 himself organised help for them to leave. They collected money from
2 people who then came and complained to me. They were never taken out.
3 So they even organised a public protest in front of the police
4 administration building asking for money back.
5 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Mrso.
6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, this concludes the
7 Prosecution's examination-in-chief.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
9 It is 25 to 6.00. We are going to make a break, a technical
10 break. And we shall resume at 6.00 and we will end today's session at
12 --- Recess taken at 5.38 p.m.
13 --- On resuming at 6.04 p.m.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before Defence counsel starts
15 its cross-examination, there's just one matter I would like to clarify
16 with the witness.
17 Questioned by the Court:
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said at the very beginning
19 of your testimony that when you saw the Muslims arriving from abroad you
20 saw some of them with headbands and others had sort of armbands. And you
21 said that in your opinion they were MOS members. On their armbands
22 were -- was the inscription "MOS" contained on it?
23 A. Your Honour, that's not what I said for those foreigners. That's
24 what I said about the Muslim soldiers. I said that the foreigners wore
25 strange clothes. They had turbans or some sort of head scarfs. They had
1 short trousers. I could recognise them on the basis of their colour.
2 But I didn't say that they had these bands, nor that I saw it.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So you said that
4 the MOS -- what you said about the MOS concerned the local soldiers.
5 A. That's correct. Because there was graffiti on the wall, and you
6 can see this graffiti to this very day.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] "MOS," what does that mean in
8 your language?
9 A. At the time I didn't know. I asked Muslims whom I knew, and they
10 said the "Muslim Liberation Forces." And I didn't ask them anything else
11 and I wasn't interested in it.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So it's an Arab
13 word then.
14 A. It's the abbreviation for "Muslim Liberation Forces." Those are
15 the letters with which these words begin, "MOS."
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you for
17 having clarified this.
18 We have one hour left. Defence counsel may proceed.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
20 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
21 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Mrso. My name is Edina Residovic,
22 and I represent General Hadzihasanovic. I would like to put some
23 questions to you, but first of all, since you were involved in
24 agriculture for a long time and you then got involved in politics, Mr.
25 President, I would first of all like to ask this witness some questions
1 of a general nature, as I think that the witness could answer them. And
2 they would be of interest for the defence of General Hadzihasanovic.
3 Mr. Mrso, you said that you were born in Bugojno and that at the
4 beginning of the war you also lived in Bugojno; is that correct?
5 A. Yes, it is.
6 Q. However, you didn't spend your entire working life in Bugojno.
7 You spent a significant part of your life and you also worked as a
8 prominent agriculturist in Modrica, in Northern Bosnia; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. You also said that in 1968 you got married to a Muslim woman,
11 Mubera Hadzijusufovic is her name; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. You had two daughters with her; is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. You told the Trial Chamber that you got divorced in 1978, but
16 that you got officially divorced in 1990; is that correct?
17 A. No.
18 Q. Very well, then. My information was not correct.
19 A. I apologise, but you can check with the Bugojno court.
20 Q. It's not at all necessary. I just wanted to check your personal
21 details, because you've already been a Defence witness and we just want
22 to check your credibility was a witness.
23 Mr. Mrso, as in the proceedings themselves my colleagues and my
24 colleagues from the Prosecution, and the Trial Chamber too, most
25 likely -- as it will help all of us to understand the overall situation
1 if we inform them of the events in Bugojno and its surroundings, I would
2 first of all like to show you part of a map of Bosnia and Herzegovina so
3 that we could pinpoint the exact geographic location of Bugojno. And you
4 have testified about Bugojno today.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could the usher show this part of
6 the map to the witness in order for us to identify certain places in this
8 Q. Mr. Mrso, if you've had a look at the map, could you put it on
9 the ELMO, which is next to you, and use a pencil to mark the places that
10 I will mention, places which I believe you know. This is in order to be
11 able to ask you some questions about these places.
12 First of all, could you mark the place called Bugojno with number
14 A. [Marks]
15 Q. Mark it with number "1."
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. You can encircle the number to make it more visible.
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. Is it correct to say - and this is for the sake of the transcript
20 - that we have now marked Bugojno with number "1"? This is where you
21 lived during the war.
22 Could you now mark Zenica with number "2."
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. For the sake of the transcript: The witness has marked Zenica
25 with number "2."
1 Mr. Mrso, would it be correct to say that up until the war
2 Bugojno was part of the Zenica district in situations when districts were
3 referred to? For example, when people spoke about the district court or
4 the high court, it belonged to that regional community. Isn't that
6 A. Yes, in administrative terms, that is how people referred to
7 this. They would say "the district court" and so on.
8 Q. Thank you. Could you now mark Travnik with number "3."
9 A. [Marks]
10 Q. For the sake of the transcript, Novi Travnik has now been marked
11 with number "3."
12 A. No, you said Travnik.
13 Q. Yes, I said Travnik, but you have marked Novi Travnik, which is a
14 little to the north. I think Travnik is a little further to the north.
15 Could you mark Travnik with number "4." It's just below Vlasic. That's
16 where it is. Can you see? Mark it with number "4."
17 A. [Marks]
18 Q. For the sake of the transcript, Novi Travnik has been marked with
19 number "3" and Travnik has been marked with number "4."
20 Could you please mark Donji Vakuf with number "5." And you have
21 testified about Donji Vakuf today.
22 A. With number "5"?
23 Q. Yes.
24 A. [Marks]
25 Q. For the sake of the transcript, the witness has marked Donji
1 Vakuf with number "5."
2 Could you mark Gornji Vakuf with number "6".
3 A. [Marks]
4 Q. For the sake of the transcript, Gornji Vakuf has been marked with
5 number "6".
6 And could you now mark Prozor with number "7".
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. For the sake of the transcript, Prozor has been marked with
9 number "7".
10 Mr. Mrso, please keep the map in front of you, as some questions
11 will concern the geographical position of Bugojno. Mr. Mrso, is it
12 correct to say that Bugojno is in the upper part of the Vrbas estuary in
13 Central Bosnia in the so-called Skopaljska Valley? That is correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. That valley is between the mountain Vranjica and Radusa. It's
16 about 30 kilometres long and 6 to 8 kilometres wide, depending on the
17 position; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it is.
19 Q. When you go upstream the River Vrbas, there is the town of Gornji
20 Vakuf, which you have been marked with number 6 on this map; is that
22 A. Yes, it is. But I think it's 18 kilometres from Bugojno.
23 Q. You know that better than I do. I don't know the geography of
24 the place, so I do accept that it might be 18 kilometres upstream, 18
25 kilometres away.
1 Downstream at --
2 A. 12 kilometres.
3 Q. -- 12 kilometres is the place called Donji Vakuf, which you have
4 marked with number 5; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Mr. Mrso, is it correct to say that Bugojno is connected to
7 Travnik by an asphalt road which passes through Donji Vakuf and the Komar
8 mountain pass and then it continues through the Lasva Valley, which
9 connects it with Zenica and Sarajevo? Is that correct?
10 A. Yes. And there is another route for Travnik which goes through
11 Ravno Rostovo.
12 Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. At the beginning of war in
13 Bosnia and Herzegovina the Serbian forces occupied Donji Vakuf and the
14 Komar mountain pass, the combat lines were very near the town. They were
15 only a few kilometres from the town. So the route about which I asked
16 you a minute ago, through Komar, could not be used to go to Travnik or
17 Zenica; is that correct?
18 A. Well, I couldn't say that for certain, because I didn't use that
19 route. On one occasion, I set off, when there was an incident. At the
20 time, I was in Sarajevo and couldn't get out of Travnik. That was on the
21 28th of February, 1992 or 1991.
22 Q. This is what I wanted to ask you about now. Since there could
23 have been problems there - you're not sure about that - the inhabitants
24 of Bugojno used this alternative route, which was partially a dirt road
25 and partially an asphalt road, and it went through the Rostovo plateau
1 towards Novi Travnik and Travnik; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. However, Bugojno is also connected to the southern part of Bosnia
4 and Herzegovina, and especially to Herzegovina, by a road which goes
5 through Gornji Vakuf and Prozor towards Jablanica and Mostar; is that
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. There was a road which led to Jablanica?
9 A. It went through the Neretva Valley in the direction of Mostar.
10 Q. But because of the wartime operations and because bridges had
11 been destroyed, that road was no longer practicable. A country road, a
12 road through the mountain in the direction of Mostar was used. Is that
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. These routes through Gornji Vakuf and Prozor were under HVO
16 control in 1992 and 1993; is that correct?
17 A. I don't know about that.
18 Q. Since I have asked you all the questions that relate to this map,
19 I suggest this map be admitted into evidence. And could the witness
20 write the date on the map and sign it.
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can I sign this?
22 Since I have said that I don't know who controlled those roads.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. You've just marked geographical positions on the map.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, your answer has been
1 recorded but -- has been noted, but as we need to have a record of the
2 questions that are put, with regard to the roads I would like to ask you
3 to write your name down on this document, sign the document, and make a
4 note of today's date. Today it's the 9th of February, 2004.
5 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We'll show this document to the
7 Prosecution and to the Defence, to the accused. And Mr. Registrar will
8 give us an exhibit number. This is a document for Mr. Hadzihasanovic's
9 defence. Very well.
10 THE REGISTRAR: The exhibit number will be DH25.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] DH25.
12 Please go on.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
14 Q. Mr. Mrso, you said that towards the end of 1990 -- or, rather,
15 at the beginning of 1991 you joined the HDZ, the Croatian Democratic
16 Union; is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. In fact, it was a year and a half before the war broke out in
19 Bosnia and Herzegovina; is that right?
20 A. If that is what you think. At the moment, I don't know exactly
21 when the war broke out.
22 Q. Your party, the HDZ, got the greatest amount of votes in the
23 elections in 1990 in the municipality of Bugojno, but it didn't have an
24 absolute majority and was thus not able to assume power; is that correct?
25 A. I know that it had the most votes, it won the most votes, but I'm
1 not certain about that.
2 Q. However, by cooperating with other parties, Vladimir Soljic, the
3 HDZ president, was elected as the major of Bugojno; is that correct?
4 A. Yes.
5 Q. Soon after the elections, you noticed that the SDS - the Serbian
6 political party, the Serbian Democratic Party - started arming the
7 Serbian population of the municipality; isn't that correct?
8 A. I don't know about that, madam.
9 Q. At the time, because of the events in Croatia - we're talking
10 about 1991 - and because of the war in Croatia, the HDZ started arming
11 the Croatian population; is that correct?
12 A. Believe me, I don't know about that, because I didn't participate
13 in such things -- if the HDZ was engaged in those activities.
14 Q. Although Bosnia and Herzegovina had legally elected
15 representatives in the elections, HDZ representatives on the 18th of
16 November 1991 took the decision to form the Croatian Community of
17 Herceg-Bosna; is that correct?
18 A. I don't know about that. When you said that I was involved in
19 agriculture and politics, I wouldn't agree with that because I was never
20 a politician. These -- such were the situations in Bugojno, and because
21 of the situation I got involved in these matters.
22 Q. I could agree with you, but the situations can turn a man into a
23 politician. And you were practically a politician from --
24 A. From 1993.
25 Q. From 1993 up until today.
1 A. Up until today? No, that's not correct. I apologise for this
2 clarification. I I'm not involved in any party activities, you know, and
3 because of the laws and so on, conflicts of interest. I work in the
4 parish. I work in the county.
5 Q. Did you have the opportunity of reading the Official Gazette of
6 the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
7 A. No.
8 Q. However, you were aware of the fact that the Croatian Community
9 of Herceg-Bosna had been established.
10 A. Yes, through the radio, and if I had the opportunity of reading
11 the newspapers, given the situation, because we were cut off. I have to
12 inform you of the fact that we were unable to communicate with anyone
13 from Bugojno.
14 Q. However, through the radio and the newspapers and as a member of
15 your party, you were probably aware of the fact that within -- that there
16 were 30 municipalities in the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna and
17 Bugojno was one of them. Is that correct?
18 A. Believe me, to this very day I know nothing about this, because
19 that aspect was not something I was interested in. I didn't participate
20 directly in those matters. I lived in Bugojno and I wasn't present at
21 meetings or agreements with anyone.
22 Q. However, you know not only that the Croatian Community of
23 Herceg-Bosna was established but also the Croatian Defence Council, which
24 was the military organ of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna. Do you
25 know about this?
1 A. Yes, through the media. But as for the details, the dates, I
2 know nothing about this.
3 Q. You are also aware of the fact that the Croatian Defence Council
4 as a political and military leadership structure was formed in the area
5 of Bugojno too.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. The president of the HVO was the president of the HDZ,
8 Mr. Vladimir Soljic; is that correct?
9 A. Believe me, I don't know anything about that. I don't want to
10 burden the Trial Chamber with this, because there were disagreements
11 among us, the party and later on the Crisis Staff that was then
13 Q. Although you were a member of the town committee of the party,
14 you're telling us that you don't know who the president of the highest
15 organ of the Croatian people in Bugojno was; is that what you are telling
17 A. For the sake of the truth, you should be aware of the fact that
18 those military structures had forbidden party activity in Bugojno -- HDZ
19 activity, that is to say. But I don't know about this.
20 Q. Are you aware of the fact that in May 1992 the HVO headquarters
21 issued an order establishing that throughout the territory of the
22 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna the only legitimate military units
23 were HVO units and all orders and all the military units of the
24 Territorial Defence were proclaimed to be illegal? Are you aware of this
1 A. No. And, Mr. President, I would be grateful if such questions
2 weren't put to me, because I did not participate in such policies, either
3 as a party member or a citizen of Bugojno. This was not part of my life.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Witness, Defence counsel
5 has to represent the accused. That is their duty. And in the course of
6 their cross-examination, which is taking place at the moment, they may
7 ask you questions to see whether you are a credible witness, to establish
8 what the reality that you have described was. And they may also place
9 you within a political context, as you said at the beginning when
10 answering the Prosecution's questions. You said you were an HDZ member.
11 As a result, the Defence is asking you to provide them with certain
13 Now, if you don't know the answers, just tell us. If you don't
14 know the people in question, inform us of this fact. The Defence has the
15 right to ask you questions, and you should just say, "I know the answer,"
16 or, "I don't know the answer"; "I don't know these people." It's up to
17 you to say what you want to say, but you should answer the questions
19 Be aware of the fact that this isn't a burden for the Trial
20 Chamber, because the Trial Chamber is here to obtain a general idea of
21 what happened and in particular in terms of the policies pursued.
22 Mrs. Residovic, please continue with your questions. But if the
23 witness says that he doesn't know an answer, then he doesn't know the
25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, although this
1 witness has not confirmed that he is aware of the documents that I've
2 referred to, I'm still going to present these documents to the witness.
3 And I would kindly ask the Chamber to take them into account because the
4 Defence is going to tender these documents into evidence at a later
5 stage. I'm talking about the Official Gazette and the decision on the
6 establishment of Herceg-Bosna and the order pursuant to which the
7 legitimate Armed Forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina are proclaimed illegal.
8 I would like these two documents to be shown to the witness and to be
9 given to my learned friends and all those present in the court. I would
10 like these documents to be identified as documents that the Defence has
11 presented to the witness at this stage.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before I give the floor to the
13 Prosecution, before I give the floor to the Prosecution, you're talking
14 about documents in B/C/S and translations into English.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, let me just explain.
16 These are a few documents that the Defence has come across in the
17 course of the investigation of other cases; in this particular case,
18 these are documents that were obtained by the Prosecution in the
19 Martinovic/Naletilic case.
20 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution will
21 object to any attempt to tender documents into evidence to which the
22 witness is not able to comment on. Only documents in regard of which the
23 witness is in a position to make a statement, only such documents can be
24 tendered into evidence. Otherwise, there is no relation between the
25 witness's evidence and the documents Defence wishes to tender into
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We have noted
3 what you have just said. We are going to retire for a couple of minutes
4 to deliberate on this issue. Please stay in the courtroom. We will be
5 back shortly.
6 --- Break taken at 6.35 p.m.
7 --- On resuming at 6.37 p.m.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Before we
9 render our decision on these documents, we're going to show the documents
10 to the witness and we shall wait for his answer. So I'm going to ask the
11 usher to give these two documents to the witness. We also need to avail
12 ourselves of the documents in order to examine their contents.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, can I please
14 address the Honourable Chamber? Mr. President.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] According to my information, it
17 is the practice of this Tribunal that some documents which are relevant
18 are accepted. Some are just identified, with the obligation on the part
19 of the Defence to tender these documents into evidence at a later stage.
20 If this is not done, then documents do not become exhibits. We have
21 opted for the stricter option, because we believe that these documents
22 are relevant and also because of the fact that this Trial Chamber has
23 already adopted such practice.
24 A document which was shown to the Witness XP [as interpreted],
25 and the witness did not recognise it, did not have anything to say about
1 the document, the Prosecution did tender this document into evidence and
2 the Chamber has admitted it just as being identified. So we believe that
3 we followed a practice that has already been adopted by this Trial
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we continue, the two
6 documents - as far as I understand, you have two documents - have been
7 provided to you by the Prosecution; is that correct?
8 I am turning towards the Defence. These two documents, you have
9 been provided with these documents from the Prosecution or are they
10 something that you have come across during your own investigation? What
11 is the origin of these two documents?
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The Defence asked to gain access
13 to other documents which were conducted before this Tribunal; Naletilic,
14 Kordic, Kupreskic cases. The documents that I am showing to you today
15 have been taken from the Naletilic/Martinovic case as tendered by the
16 Prosecution and admitted into evidence by the Trial Chamber in that case.
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that the
18 documents that you are showing to us are documents that you have obtained
19 and that they were tendered by the Prosecution in other cases. So this
20 is the origin of the documents.
21 Before we decide on the admittance of these documents, I would
22 like to give the floor to Mr. Withopf for some additional explanation.
23 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution is
24 questioning the relevance of the contents of these documents for the
25 current proceedings. Defence counsel may please, if they wish to do so,
1 explain the relevance of the fact, if so, that the only legal military
2 unit in the territory of the HZ HB are the units of the HVO in respect to
3 the current proceedings. The Prosecution can't see any relevance of both
4 of the documents.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. The only
6 problem that we have to solve is that the Prosecution asks from the
7 Defence to tell the truth what is the relevance of these documents with
8 respect to the case that we are dealing with here. What can you tell us
9 about the relevance of these documents?
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honours, in keeping with
11 Rule 89(C), the Trial Chamber may admit into evidence any document that
12 has some probative value. We have not tendered these documents;
13 although, we believe that they have quite a substantial probative value
14 for the defence of our corps commander because they speak about the
15 establishment of a para-state community in the area where the 3rd Corps
16 was operating. The town of Bugojno is in that community. In the entire
17 area, the only armed force which could exist in keeping with the 1992
18 constitution was the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So
19 these are the reasons which, at a later stage, ended up in a conflict in
20 Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the Defence is going to show at a later stage.
21 So from the point of view of everything that happened in the
22 territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, these documents are indeed relevant.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We have noted
24 your position regarding the relevance of these documents. Let's move on
25 and show these documents to the witness who is going to tell us whether
1 he is familiar with them or not. And then we shall render our decision.
2 Madam Usher, can you please show these two documents to the
4 The witness already has these two documents. Defence, you can
5 ask your questions which arise from these two documents.
6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
7 Q. Mr. Mrso, again I'm asking you whether you saw this decision on
8 the establishment of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna which was
9 published in the Official Gazette of the Croatian Community of
11 A. Again, under oath: This is the first time I see this.
12 Q. Mr. Mrso, did you know that the Croatian Community of
13 Herceg-Bosna was established?
14 A. No, not at the time.
15 Q. Did you learn at a later stage that the Croatian Community of
16 Herceg-Bosna was established and were you the person who communicated
17 with the most responsible persons of the Croatian Community of
18 Herceg-Bosna during 1993?
19 A. No, I couldn't do that, because I could not leave Bugojno and I
20 didn't know who these persons were.
21 Q. In the course of October 1993, together with the European monitor
22 who was a Greek national, did you travel to the centre of Herceg-Bosna
23 and did you meet with the president of Herceg-Bosna and the Croatian
24 Defence Council, Mr. Mate Boban?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. At that moment, you were aware of the position of Mr. Mate Boban.
2 A. No. I went to him as the president of my party. At that moment,
3 I didn't know what other positions and duties were -- did he have.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, regardless of this
5 answer, because of the relevance of these documents, we propose that
6 these documents be identified and we shall tender these documents into
7 evidence at the moment when we have witnesses who will be able to tell us
8 something about these documents from their personal knowledge.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, you have the
11 Very briefly, please.
12 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution
13 opposes against such a procedure. Number one, the witness has answered
14 all questions in relation to this document with "no"; and, number two,
15 the document is not of any relevance for the proceedings.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. We are going
17 to retire for a brief deliberation. We shall be coming back shortly.
18 --- Break taken at 6.48 p.m.
19 --- On resuming at 6.51 p.m.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please be seated.
21 We're going to communicate our oral decision on the motion of the
22 Defence to admit the documents that the Defence obtained from another
23 case. Both cases are Prosecution exhibits.
24 After having deliberated on this issue, we would like to
25 establish that these documents -- as regards their relevance, as far as
1 the witness is concerned, the witness is not aware of these documents so
2 these documents cannot be tendered through this witness. This witness
3 has just told us that, A, he was not aware of the existence of this
4 document; and, B, as far as the author of this document is concerned -
5 and that is Mr. Mate Boban - he said that he had met Mr. Mate Boban, but
6 he doesn't know what his official position was at the time.
7 At this moment, the documents cannot be admitted into evidence.
8 You will have an opportunity to ask for their admittance at a
9 later stage at the moment when you have a witness who's aware of their
10 existence or if the Defence tenders a series of documents into admission,
11 please do that. But as far as this witness is concerned, this witness is
12 not aware of these documents and we cannot admit them. We believe that
13 the moment is not right for these documents to be admitted.
14 In any case, keep them and move for their admittance at a more
15 convenient moment for the Defence.
16 You may proceed with the cross-examination of this witness. We
17 have another ten minutes or so, but we will of course continue tomorrow.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Q. Mr. Mrso, you said that Mr. Vladimir Soljic was the president of
20 the HVO and the HDZ in Bugojno; is that correct?
21 A. The HVO?
22 Q. The HVO.
23 A. The HVO? I'm not aware of that. The HDZ. It was Matko Lucic at
24 the time when I was there.
25 Q. And Vladimir Soljic was the mayor of Bugojno.
1 A. Yes, that's correct.
2 Q. Do you personally know Mr. Soljic?
3 A. Yes, I do.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I will kindly ask the witness to
5 be shown a photo and I will ask the witness to recognise Vladimir Soljic
6 on that photo, if he can.
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. There is a
8 Vladimir Soljic from Bugojno and there is also a Vladimir Soljic from
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Can you please show this person from Bugojno.
12 A. I apologise. I can't see him in this photo. I can't see a
13 Vladimir Soljic from Bugojno.
14 Q. Do you know other persons who are depicted in this photo?
15 A. I'm sorry, this photo is so unclear that it is very hard for me
16 to recognise anybody.
17 Q. Thank you very much.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we then ask the witness to
19 return the photo. The Defence is not going to tender this photo into
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the Defence does not insist.
22 Maybe, Mr. Withopf, your intervention is not necessary. The
23 witness has not recognised anybody, and the Defence is not tendering this
24 into evidence.
25 What were you going to say, Mr. Withopf?
1 MR. WITHOPF: Very briefly, just for future cases. The
2 Prosecution draws the attention of the Trial Chamber that on this
3 photograph there actually are names mentioned. If the Defence asks a
4 witness to identify a person on a photograph, the names shouldn't be
5 detailed on the very same document.
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. This is just a technical
8 So you are not insisting on this photo being tendered into
10 Witness, can you please return the photo to Madam Usher, who is
11 going to return all the photos to the Defence. And we're also returning
12 all the other documents that haven't been tendered into evidence at this
14 You may proceed.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
16 Q. Mr. Mrso, are you aware of the fact that the establishment of the
17 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna was before the Constitutional Court of
18 Bosnia and Herzegovina and that the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and
19 Herzegovina proclaimed this decision anti-constitutional?
20 A. To be honest, I did not follow this. This is not within my scope
21 of activities in the party or in my professional life. I never paid
22 attention to any such thing. I never registered any such thing.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Your Honour, do we continue until
24 7.00 or quarter past 7.00? Just one last question for today.
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Normally it is 7.00. You have
1 one last question.
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
3 Q. As a member of the municipal committee of the HDZ of Bugojno, in
4 spring 1993 you participated at a meeting in Travnik at which the
5 political and military situation in the territory of Central Bosnia was
7 A. Yes. That was on the 8th of April.
8 Q. Just for the record, it was on the 8th of April, 1993, that you
9 attended the meeting of all the representatives of the HDZ and HVO in
10 Travnik, during which you discussed a political and military situation.
11 A. Yes.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] That will be all for today, Your
13 Honour. Thank you.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Witness, as you know, the
15 Defence has not finished its job. They still have questions to ask you.
16 Unfortunately, you will have to return tomorrow afternoon, when
17 we resume. So I am going to ask you to come back to the same place. In
18 the meantime, you are not going to meet with anybody. You're not going
19 to meet either with the representatives of the Prosecution or the
20 representatives of the Defence. You are here to testify to the truth,
21 and the only persons you're supposed to talk to are the members of the
22 Chamber. So we kindly ask you to come back tomorrow, and hopefully we'll
23 be able to finish your cross-examination tomorrow.
24 Thank you very much for coming. Madam Usher is going to take you
25 out of the courtroom, and we kindly ask you to come back tomorrow at
1 quarter past 2.00.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you very much.
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You are free to go, sir.
4 [The witness stands down]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Prosecution.
6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, can we go -- please go
7 for just one minute into private session. I have to make an announcement
8 in respect to the witness schedule for this week.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We shall move into private
10 session for this.
11 [Private session]
7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 7.04 p.m.,
8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 10th day of
9 February, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.