1 Tuesday, 10 February 2004
2 [Open session]
3 --- Upon commencing at 2.16 p.m.
4 [The accused entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call
6 the case number, please.
7 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the
8 Prosecutor versus 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, Your Honours. Good afternoon,
12 Counsel. For the Prosecution, Daryl Mundis, Ekkehard Withopf, and the
13 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 day, Your Honours. On
17 behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane
18 Bourgon, co-counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian, our legal assistant.
19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
20 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On
21 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and
22 Mr. Mulalic.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
24 The Trial Chamber would like to greet everyone, the Prosecution,
25 the Defence teams, the accused, and everyone else present in the
1 courtroom. We are going to continue with the hearing that started
2 yesterday, and the cross-examination will proceed today.
3 Could the usher bring the witness into the courtroom.
4 [The witness entered court]
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Mrso. Can you
6 hear me?
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Defence counsel will continue
9 with its cross-examination. They may now take the floor.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
11 WITNESS: IVO MRSO [Resumed]
12 [Witness answered through interpreter]
13 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic: [Continued]
14 Q. [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. Mrso.
15 A. Good day.
16 Q. Yesterday we discussed a number of issues, and I would now like
17 to discuss again the role you played in Bugojno. Yesterday you in fact
18 said that towards the end of 1992 or at the beginning of 1993 you were
19 elected as a member of the Bugojno HDZ committee. Is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. There were 20 members in that committee; isn't that right?
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You were the deputy president of the committee; isn't that right?
24 A. No. The committee was formed -- well, there were 20 members in
25 the committee, and there was a 7-member presidency in the committee, but
1 I wasn't part of it.
2 Q. Nevertheless, the position that you held enabled you to be
3 informed about the events that unfolded in the territory of the
4 municipality of Bugojno; isn't that right?
5 A. That's correct.
6 Q. When your committee was sitting, the most important issues that
7 you discussed, the ones you were most interested in, were questions that
8 related to defence; isn't that right?
9 A. Well, there were other issues too. Those weren't the only
10 questions. Social welfare for the inhabitants, the situation, et cetera,
11 et cetera. These were other matters of interest.
12 Q. You had information about these issues which you received on a
13 daily basis; isn't that right?
14 A. Sometimes.
15 Q. When testifying in the Kordic case, in response to a question put
16 to you by Mr. Nice you said that the information you received was on a
17 daily basis. In fact, you said -- you described what was happening in
18 Bugojno very precisely; isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. In May 1992, the Serbian forces started shelling the town of
22 A. On the 24th of May was the first time. It was in the afternoon
23 at about 4.00.
24 Q. After Kupres and Donji Vakuf had been taken, the Serbian forces
25 blocked passage for the Muslims and Croats in Bugojno; isn't that
2 A. Yes, that's correct.
3 Q. At the time, Bosnia and Herzegovina had already been recognised
4 as a state and had become a member of the United Nations; isn't that
6 A. I think so.
7 Q. Mobilisation and a state of war was declared in the country;
8 isn't that right?
9 A. Well, if you say so, that's probably right. But I didn't really
10 make a note of the dates and I don't remember them either.
11 Q. As a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina, you were probably aware
12 of the fact that at the time the only legitimate structure after the JNA
13 had attacked the country was the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and
14 Herzegovina. Isn't that correct?
15 A. I think so.
16 Q. However, the majority of the Croatian population responded to the
17 call-up for mobilisation and they mobilised into the HVO, and in 1992 the
18 HVO had, on the whole, the same objectives and the same defence lines as
19 the defence for Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Territorial Defence; isn't
20 that correct?
21 A. I think so.
22 Q. However, the HVO structures didn't recognise the Supreme Command
23 of the -- the Supreme Command of the Territorial Defence, but they
24 recognised the Supreme Command, the headquarters in Grude; isn't that
1 A. With all due respect, I don't know. I wasn't part of those
2 structures. I didn't take any decisions. So to be quite frank, I don't
4 Q. In response to a question put to you by the Prosecution
5 yesterday, you mentioned certain attempts made in May 1992 to establish a
6 joint command of the HVO and the Bugojno Territorial Defence Staff. They
7 attempted to establish a joint command for the defence of the town; isn't
8 that correct?
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. However, although such a decision was taken, it was never
11 implemented and that joint command never functioned; isn't that correct?
12 A. I can't say that it's correct, but I do know, according to the
13 stories that were circulating, that this didn't really function as it
14 should have done.
15 Q. So in May -- at the end of May 1992, they started forming
16 parallel bodies of power in Bugojno itself. In addition to the
17 Territorial Defence units, there were HVO units. And then the HVO formed
18 its own security council or Crisis Staff, which was separate; the HVO MUP
19 or of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna, and so on. Is it correct
20 to say that as of that time they started forming parallel bodies of
22 A. I couldn't say, madam. I wasn't included in those processes, so
23 I really don't know.
24 Q. The 104th HVO Brigade was formed in Bugojno. Its name was Eugen
25 Kvaternik; isn't that correct?
1 A. I think there was another one too.
2 Q. Later, at the beginning of 1993, a Home Guard Battalion was
3 established; isn't that correct?
4 A. I don't know whether its name was the Home Guards Battalion, but
5 yes, there was the 1st Battalion. And I think its name was Tomasevic.
6 Q. The 104th Battalion was called the Eugen Kvaternik Battalion;
7 isn't that correct?
8 A. Believe me, I don't know.
9 Q. The second one that you have just mentioned was formed in
10 February 1993. It was based on the territorial principles and it had
11 about 1.250 members; isn't that correct?
12 A. I really don't know.
13 Q. At that time in Bugojno, you could see with the naked eye that
14 units were far better equipped, they had better uniforms, better weapons,
15 than the BH army units which were only being formed at the time; is that
17 A. I really don't have the exact information.
18 Q. Well, if it's not 100 per cent precise, would this assessment be
20 A. I really couldn't discuss numbers. I wasn't part of that. I
21 didn't have any weapons, I didn't have a uniform, I didn't have anything.
22 I had a work obligation to perform.
23 Q. Let me now ask you about certain other subjects. Perhaps you
24 know something more about them, given the position that you held.
25 Would it be correct to say that at the time, in the course of
1 1992, a large number of refugees arrived in Bugojno, mostly Muslim or
2 Bosniak refugees; they arrived from Jajce, Donji Vakuf, Prozor, Kupres,
4 A. Yes, that's correct.
5 Q. These refugees in fact arrived without any possessions, without
6 anything. They didn't have any property of any kind, so to speak. And
7 since the town was surrounded, there was a demographic explosion which
8 gave rise to significant problems, as far as feeding the refugees and
9 finding accommodation for them was concerned; is that correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. And at the time many refugees moved into abandoned houses, the
12 houses of people who had left Bugojno because of the war; is that
14 A. I don't have the exact information, but I have heard about such
15 cases too.
16 Q. The vicinity of the front lines and everything that happened in
17 the course of the war made the population move from the town to places in
18 the republic that were more secure and made them move abroad, to Croatia
19 and to other parts of Europe; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Many inhabitants of Bugojno, both Croats and Muslims, and
22 especially mothers and their children, left the town of Bugojno.
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Since most of the people who came were Muslims and Bosniaks, the
25 structure of the population in Bugojno, the composition of the population
1 in Bugojno, changed to a significant extent; is that correct?
2 A. Yes, it is.
3 Q. This is one of the elements that had an influence on increasing
4 the tension between the Bosniak and the Croatian population and between
5 the HVO and the BH army; isn't that correct?
6 A. I think so.
7 Q. In the course of your testimony yesterday, you said that when you
8 were arrested and taken through the town people called you an Ustasha,
9 and so on. This is how they insulted you. Perhaps it would be good to
10 clarify who the Ustashas was. That was the army in the course -- that
11 existed when -- in the course of the Second World War, and they fought on
12 the side of Nazi Germany and they didn't recognise Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 as a state and they didn't recognise the Muslims as a people; is that
15 A. Well, I don't know much about that ideology.
16 Q. But at the time, in individual HVO units and in HVO headquarters,
17 you could see various sorts of insignia that reminded one of that period;
18 there were fascist signs, there were portraits of Ante Pavelic, the head
19 of the independent state of Croatia. And the brigade itself had the name
20 Eugen Kvaternik. He was a very close -- one of the close associates of
21 Ante Pavelic; is that correct?
22 A. Well, I would meet people wearing uniforms, but I didn't see
23 these signs when these soldiers appeared in public.
24 Q. The HVO had its own checkpoints around the town. And leaving the
25 country should also make it possible to go through the territory under
1 HVO control. Is it correct to say that those facts made it necessary to
2 get permission from the HVO if one wanted to leave the town?
3 A. Believe me, I don't know anything about that. When I had to go
4 out on business, I didn't ask for such a permit. It was only towards the
5 end of 1993 that I had to leave and ask for a permit. Sorry, not at the
6 end; it was before the attack.
7 Q. Mr. Mrso, is it correct to say that many of your Muslim
8 acquaintances also asked you to intervene on their behalf with the HVO so
9 that they could receive a permit to move around freely?
10 A. That's correct.
11 Q. Witness --
12 A. Not to move around freely. To leave the town.
13 Q. Yes, to leave the town. I apologise.
14 A. That's correct.
15 Q. On occasion, you succeeded in obtaining this, not because you had
16 the authority to do so but you asked HVO representatives in Bugojno to
17 give them such permits; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, it is. And each one of them got such a permit, if they had
19 asked for a permit through me.
20 Q. Is it correct to say that this prohibition of movement for the
21 Bosniaks was also used as a way of exerting pressure in order to achieve
22 certain objectives of the HDZ and HVO?
23 A. No. Allow me to explain this.
24 Q. Please go ahead, briefly.
25 A. Do we have to ask the Presiding Judge for his permission?
1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness would
2 like to give a brief explanation concerning these permits for leaving the
3 town, for the Bosniak population.
4 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] When the Serbs attacked, when
5 Bugojno was surrounded, I publicly said that Bugojno shouldn't be left.
6 As the shelling intensified, the shelling of Bugojno intensified and we
7 were afraid, my position was that permits shouldn't be granted to leave
8 the town, not for anyone. For me, in my opinion, this was Serbian
9 aggression against Bugojno. In spite of all the disagreements, at the
10 time I didn't think that there might be a conflict between the Muslims
11 and the Croats.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
13 Q. So you say that these permits weren't a manner of exerting
14 pressure on the Bosniaks in order to achieve certain objectives and to
15 make it advantageous for the HVO in Bugojno.
16 A. No. Because I couldn't get a permit, even though I had to leave
17 on business.
18 Q. Before the conflict?
19 A. Yes.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I'd now like to show the witness
21 a conclusion from the HVO. The source of the document is the Institute
22 for Investigation for Crimes Against Humanity and the Institute for
23 International Law in Sarajevo.
24 Q. Mr. Mrso, is this a document of the Croatian Defence Council of
1 A. What I can see, that is what it says, if that is an authentic
3 Q. This document prohibits the issuance of travel permits to persons
4 of Muslim nationality.
5 A. Until an agreement is reached in connection with the economy.
6 What that means, I don't know. What has the war and the economy got to
7 do with one another?
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in view of the
9 relevance of this document, which relates to the events linked to
10 Bugojno, I would like to tender this document into evidence as a Defence
12 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution
13 objects to tendering this document into evidence. Again, the very same
14 issue as yesterday; this document is not of any relevance in respect to
15 the charges of the Third Amended Indictment.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm looking at the Defence.
17 You heard the objection on the part of the Prosecution, which submits
18 that this document has no relevance in relation to the charges made
19 against the accused. What is the position of the Defence regarding
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we presented
22 several arguments yesterday. This time we would like to say that this is
23 a document which indicates the systematic attitude adopted in Bugojno and
24 which provides the answer to the question why and when conflicts arose
25 between the army and the HVO in this area. From the standpoint of a
1 commander at a high level of responsibility, then events of this kind are
2 certainly very relevant with respect to any measures that he may take or
3 his knowledge as to what was going on in the area.
4 In view of the fact that my client is not charged with any
5 personal offence, documents of this kind can be relevant from the
6 standpoint of his Defence.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will rule on
8 this document after the break. We will have time to see whether it will
9 be admitted or not, so we will deliberate during the break, unless the
10 Prosecution wishes to speak again. Yes, I'm listening.
11 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, very briefly. This
12 document has been issued the 4th of October, 1992, which is clearly a
13 time frame outside the time frame of the present indictment.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We will deliberate
15 on it in a moment.
16 Please continue your cross-examination.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. As you have testified, in 1993 these tensions led to small and
19 larger conflicts in the town and at checkpoints between the army and the
20 HVO; is that right?
21 A. Yes, as far as I was told and as far as I was able to see.
22 Q. Additionally, the constant armed conflict between the army and
23 the HVO, in the immediate vicinity and further beyond, had a negative
24 repercussions on the events in Bugojno. That is, the permanent conflicts
25 first at the end of 1992 in Prozor; then in January and onwards in Gornji
1 Vakuf, which is only 18 kilometres from Bugojno; then conflicts in Novi
2 Travnik and Travnik were events which additionally contributed to
3 tensions between the army and the HVO in Bugojno. Is that correct?
4 A. I assume it is.
5 Q. I apologise. I must take a drink.
6 Towards the end of your testimony yesterday, you said that on the
7 8th of April, 1993 you attended a meeting between presidents and
8 vice-presidents of municipal HVOs, presidents and secretaries of the
9 municipal boards of the HVO for Bosnia-Herzegovina, and the military
10 commanders of the 3rd Operative Zone of the HVO. That was held in
11 Travnik. Is that right?
12 A. I don't think the titles are quite right. I was a delegate on
13 behalf of the municipal HDZ of Bugojno. I was not the secretary or the
14 president or the vice-president.
15 Q. If in the minutes, dated the 8th of April, 1993, "Strictly
16 Confidential," number 04-03/93," it is indicated that you attended as
17 vice-president of the HDZ for Bugojno, then that is incorrect?
18 A. Yes, it is incorrect. I can provide appropriate documents in
19 support of that.
20 Q. You never asked for those minutes to be corrected, though
21 according to those minutes, you were the vice-president of the HDZ for
23 A. I never saw those minutes, madam.
24 Q. Is it true that at that meeting also present were Colonel Dario
25 Kordic, the vice-president of the HDZ and the vice-president of the
1 Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna?
2 A. It is correct that he was present. I didn't know what his duties
3 were. I hear that now from you.
4 Q. Also present were the presidents and vice-presidents of
5 Herceg-Bosna and representatives from all other areas, and this was an
6 occasion for you to be introduced to various and numerous representatives
7 of the Croatian Community of Herceg-Bosna.
8 A. I cannot say that that is quite correct. You say that there were
9 representatives. I know that Mr. Blaskic was there, Mr. Kordic,
10 Mr. Ignac Kostroman, Ivo Lozancic.
11 Q. Ante Valenta?
12 A. Yes, Ante Valenta; you're quite right. But I personally --
13 believe me -- didn't know what their positions or duties were. I just
14 knew them by first and last names.
15 Q. Is it true that at that meeting matters were reviewed linked to
16 the functioning of the HVO authorities and instructions given for future
18 A. I remember very well that there was a debate on the
19 implementation of the Vance-Owen Plan, and on that basis authorities were
20 to be established. And I think Vlado Soljic was appointed governor or
21 whatever the position was for the canton, anyway a territorial unit. I'm
22 not quite sure what it was called.
23 Q. Is it true that at that time numerous conclusions were adopted
24 regarding the establishment of HVO authority in all areas of the Croatian
25 Community of Herceg-Bosna?
1 A. I claim that I never saw those minutes to this day. I'm not
2 familiar with the conclusions. I personally took the floor to the effect
3 that the situation was not good, that some sort of authority needed to be
4 formed as soon as possible, because we were already noticing tensions in
5 Bugojno. I said then that people should not be allowed to leave because
6 it was quite obvious that under such heavy shelling something was in the
7 offing. And speaking to people from the party and representatives of the
8 army on the Croatian side, I was not satisfied with their solutions. And
9 I objected and criticised them for giving them permission to leave
10 Bugojno when we expected the Serbs to enter Bugojno in a matter of days.
11 That is what I said.
12 Q. Is it true that you said that the HDZ should intensify its
13 activities in all areas?
14 A. Madam, I said that I am not familiar with the conclusions, nor
15 have I ever seen them, and I don't remember them.
16 Q. Is it true that it was concluded that the MUP of Bosnia and
17 Herzegovina should be proclaimed unlawful throughout the territory, as
18 the TO had already been proclaimed unlawful?
19 A. I claim I am not aware of those conclusions.
20 Q. But you attended that meeting to the end.
21 A. Yes, I did.
22 Q. Is it true that shortly or immediately after that meeting, that
23 is, the 8th of April, 1993, the HVO of Bugojno at a session held on the
24 10th of April, 1993, adopted a decision in connection with the Muslim
25 leadership and a decision prohibiting issuing permits to Muslims to leave
1 the town and also a decision to block Muslim accounts in the Republic of
3 A. I was not a deputy at the time. I did not have a part in that,
4 so I don't know.
5 Q. Even though you were present at the meeting held on the 8th of
6 April, you don't know how those conclusions were implemented in Bugojno
7 only two days later?
8 A. No, I don't. And the document you've shown me is one I'm seeing
9 for the first time in my life.
10 Q. I will ask you to look at another document, perhaps again for the
11 first time in your life. And it may refresh your memory.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] So I would like the minutes on
13 the meeting of the Bugojno HVO to be shown to the witness. This document
14 also originates from the archives of the Institute for the Investigation
15 of Crimes Against Humanity and International Law, based in Sarajevo.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please. I am
17 asking the Defence, who is producing this document, that this document,
18 which is the minutes of a meeting that was held on the 10th of April,
19 1993, in the former post office building, chaired by Mr. Soljic had
20 participants, that is, Raguz, Lucic, Krajinovic, Dragun, Klepic,
21 Milosevic [as interpreted], and Pavlovic; and the witness is not listed.
22 You want to ask the witness on a meeting which he did not attend. Is
23 that right?
24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I know that he
25 didn't attend, because I'm familiar with the contents of the minutes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Thank you for drawing my attention to it.
2 I'm asking the witness whether he's familiar with the decisions
3 of that meeting. Because in those days he was politically active in the
4 HDZ. And let me immediately say that it is relevant, because I wish to
5 tender this document into evidence.
6 The Defence finds that it is relevant due to the simple fact that
7 through other questions we wish to show that paragraph 26 of the
8 indictment is incorrect because in it the Prosecutor claims that the Army
9 of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the summer of 1993 carried out large-scale
10 attacks on certain places, among which Bugojno is listed. And all these
11 documents show what was the cause of the conflict and how that conflict
12 broke out. Therefore, the background of the indictment is something that
13 the Defence is challenging as well.
14 THE INTERPRETER: The interpreters would appreciate a copy of the
15 document, if Defence counsel is going to be referring to it.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, first for the very
17 reason you, Mr. President, already drew the attention of Defence counsel
18 of - namely, due to the fact that the witness wasn't present at this
19 particular meeting - the Prosecution objects to use this document and to
20 tender it into evidence and to even ask questions to the witness in
21 respect to this document.
22 And, number two, again, the contents of this document appear to
23 be not relevant in respect to the Third Amended Indictment.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have not answered the other
25 point that was raised by the Defence, and that is they explicitly
1 referred to the indictment with regard to the attacks that took place,
2 the Defence believing that -- contrary to what is indicated in the
3 indictment, by this document the Defence is proving the opposite to what
4 it states. And that is why she wants to ask this witness questions and
5 to tender this document into evidence, which according to the Defence
6 contradicts certain parts of the indictment. What would be your response
7 to that, please?
8 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, in paragraph 26 of the
9 indictment, the Prosecution is referring to the fact that in early summer
10 1993 ABiH units conducted a number of attacks including within the area
11 of the municipality of Bugojno. It doesn't say anything to the extent
12 which army actually caused the hostilities, and that's what I understand
13 is Defence trying to prove via this document.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Defence is
15 going to put a question to the witness regarding the contents of the
16 document and we will see in a moment whether it should be admitted or
17 not. So, Mrs. Residovic, I give you the floor to put your question to
18 the witness about the document you have produced.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
20 Q. Mr. Mrso, my question is: In the capacity that you had at the
21 time in the HDZ in Bugojno, two days after the conclusions were adopted
22 in Travnik were you aware of the conclusions adopted by the Bugojno HVO
23 prohibiting freedom of movement for the Muslim population?
24 A. No, madam. As has been said, I did not take part; I was not
25 present; and I said yesterday that the board as such was not working.
1 Q. Though you were not working, not just you but other members of
2 the party and its leadership were invited and did attend this large
3 meeting in Travnik, didn't you?
4 A. Yes. But I said that the municipal board of Bugojno Municipality
5 was not working at the time.
6 Q. Very well. Let us move on to another topic now.
7 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President. Mr. President, the Prosecution
8 objects against this line of questioning. It is obvious from the
9 document and it is confirmed by the witness that he wasn't at this
10 meeting. Therefore, any additional questions in relation to that meeting
11 can't be put to the witness by the Defence. The witness is not in a
12 position to testify anything about this meeting.
13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness, when
14 answering the Prosecution's question, discussed many subjects that he
15 found out about subsequently. He even talked about matters that he had
16 found out about through the media. So the witness has political
17 function, and this might enable him to be aware of the answers. My
18 question was whether he found out anything about this. The witness said
19 that he hadn't found anything about this.
20 Won't ask any more question, but the fact that he wasn't present
21 at the meeting can't be a reason to prevent me from asking additional
22 questions. Thank you.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Well, ask him
24 whether he was familiar with the contents of the document and with the
25 conclusions that it contains. One of them concerns Bugojno Radio, so
1 there was media coverage at the site. I don't know whether he listened
2 to the radio. If he's telling us that he doesn't know anything about
3 this, we'll draw the relevant conclusions.
4 Mrs. Residovic, please proceed with your questions.
5 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
6 Q. Mr. Mrso, you heard Mr. President's suggestion. Did you find out
7 about any other conclusions that were adopted at that HVO meeting; for
8 example, the one that concerns the television and then the one concerning
10 A. This is the first time I've seen the document. This wasn't
11 published anywhere. It didn't appear in newspapers of any kind. As to
12 whether it was on the radio, I don't know. Very often the electricity
13 was cut off. Some people were able to listen to the radio; others
14 weren't. This is the first time I have heard about this and the first
15 time I've seen this document.
16 Q. Thank you.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I suggest this be admitted into
18 evidence, because it is a relevant document. The Trial Chamber shall
19 then adopt a decision and I will move on to another subject now.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Defence wants
21 to move on to another subject. We said that we would deliberate in a
22 minute. Is there anything else you would like to add?
23 MR. WITHOPF: Very briefly. Irrespective of the relevance or the
24 non-relevance of the document, in any event Defence can't tender this
25 document into evidence, a document about a meeting the witness didn't
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
4 Q. Mr. Mrso, would it be correct to say that the relationships
5 between the army and the HVO in Bugojno became especially tense in May
6 1993, which is when armed conflicts occurred too?
7 A. Yes, that's correct. I couldn't tell you the exact time or date,
8 but that's true.
9 Q. Would it be correct to say that on the 9th of May,1993 - that is
10 to say, after these meetings - the HVO captured 38 members of the BH army
11 at the HVO checkpoint in Humac?
12 A. Believe me, I don't know. I think that that isn't true, though.
13 Q. Is it correct to say that on the 9th of May, the HVO in Pavic
14 Polje captured another nine -- another seven members of the BH army.
15 They released five of them and two of them were tortured, and after
16 having been tortured they were killed and thrown into the Vrbas River; is
17 that correct?
18 A. [No audible response]
19 Q. Would it be correct do say that between the 9th and 10th of May
20 they captured more HVO members and in response the army captured 20 HVO
22 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
24 Q. Would it be correct to say that they captured BH army members and
25 in response they captured HVO members?
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation].
2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. First of all, in
3 transcript, page 21, line 7, the witness's response does not appear. So
4 perhaps it would be good to have that response translated. I asked him
5 about the capturing of these BH army members, and I think that the
6 witness said that he hadn't heard about that. But could the witness
7 please answer the question again.
8 Q. Did you hear that seven BH army members were taken prisoner, five
9 were released, and two were killed?
10 A. I'm sorry, but when? At what time and what was the date?
11 Q. That was on the 9th of May, 1993 in Pavic Polje.
12 A. Well, I don't know. Pavic Polje isn't part of Bugojno
14 Q. The Bugojno HVO captured them.
15 A. Believe me, I don't know.
16 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution again
17 objects against this line of questioning. There is no relevance of these
18 questions in respect to the charges in the Third Amended Indictment
19 against the two accused.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] With regard to this comment,
21 the Trial Chamber notes, when looking at paragraph 26 in the indictment
22 in English, the following is stated: "In 1993, until the 18th of March,
23 1994 --" but I have the French translation. But I'm look at the English
24 version; it says that "The BH army participated in an armed conflict with
25 the HVO." So the period concerned is 1993 until the 18th of March, 1994.
1 And it says in particular "In April 1993."
2 The question you have asked concerns May 1993; isn't that
3 correct? So in fact Defence counsel is asking a question about an event
4 that took place on the 9th of May, 1993; the indictment states that "In
5 1993 until the 18th of March, 1994, there was a conflict between the BH
6 army and the HVO," the Croatian Defence Council. So these are the
7 relevant elements.
8 You may take the floor. The question is whether the Defence, in
9 the course of its cross-examination, can ask a question about an event
10 that took place in May 1993. Isn't that what's at stake?
11 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, there's a difference
12 between paragraph 26 of the indictment and the line of questioning --
13 questions Defence is asking.
14 Number one, the witness just said that Pavic Polje isn't part of
15 Bugojno municipality. So the question related to this area isn't
16 incorporated in the present indictment.
17 And, number two, Defence is not asking questions in relation to
18 military attacks. Defence is asking questions in relation to crimes
19 allegedly committed by HVO troops; that's a very different issue.
20 The scope of the indictment certainly doesn't address any crimes
21 committed or allegedly committed by the HVO in an area outside the
22 municipality of Bugojno, and this is the respective municipality we are
23 referring to at this point in time of the proceedings.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. With regard to this
25 conflict between the Prosecution and the Defence, the Trial Chamber notes
1 that the witness says that he knows nothing about the question you put to
2 him. So it's really not necessary to continue, since he says "I don't
4 But I'll turn to the witness now. Were you familiar with what
5 happened on the 9th of May, 1993? This is something that concerns the
6 person mentioned -- the place mentioned, Pavic Polje. Were you familiar
7 with this event? Witness, could you answer the question.
8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Well, believe me, they've mentioned
9 Pavic Polje. That's a village which belongs to the municipality of Donji
10 Vakuf. I couldn't say that I heard about that incident, because I
11 haven't. I really know nothing about such things.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, allow me to move
14 Q. Are you aware that as a countermeasure against that event, the BH
15 army in the night between the 9th and 10th of May captured a group of 20
16 HVO members?
17 A. No, madam, I'm not aware of that.
18 Q. Do you know that because of the tension that was very high at the
19 beginning of May and caused an armed conflict to break out, the HVO
20 headquarters and the army command made efforts to calm the situation
22 A. Yes, I know about that. And well, if that's the period
23 concerned, they discussed the possibility of establishing a joint TO, a
24 Territorial Defence. But later I heard -- but I only heard about this,
25 because I wasn't a direct participant. They said that they couldn't come
1 to an agreement because of leadership, because of various things. They
2 talked about separating the lines between the Serbs, and they said that
3 they couldn't establish joint lines. I heard about this. We discussed
4 this matter among ourselves.
5 Q. Are you aware of the fact that as a result of those agreements
6 all the people captured were released, both those belonging to the HVO
7 and those belonging to the army?
8 A. Believe me, I don't know. I wasn't involved in this. I didn't
9 have any contact with these people, because there was some sort of a
10 quarrel. They wouldn't recognise our party -- the party. We wouldn't
11 recognise them, and so on and so forth.
12 Q. Very well, Mr. Mrso. Would bit correct to say that at the exit
13 of Bugojno towards Gornji Vakuf, a few kilometres away there is the
14 village of Vrbanja, which at the time had about 600 inhabitants?
15 A. Yes, Vrbanja. But as to how many inhabitants it had, I don't
16 know. I would have to check this.
17 Q. Do you know that on the 17th of July, 1993 at the crossroads
18 towards the village Kandija in the village of Vrbanja the HVO established
19 a checkpoint where they started arresting Bosniaks?
20 A. No, I don't think that's correct. I think the opposite happened.
21 There was some sort of a paramilitary unit there. That's at least what
22 people would say, the locals. Dursum was in charge of it; that was his
23 nickname. I know that person well. And Ismet Hadzibegovic was involved.
24 But I couldn't go to that checkpoint, and I don't have any direct
25 information about that.
1 Q. So you know that as a reaction to the first fact mentioned --
2 that you are not aware of, but you are aware of it -- you said that
3 members of the army and the MUP, who were local inhabitants of Vrbanja,
4 in front of the HVO checkpoint towards Bugojno they established their own
5 checkpoint, about 500 metres before it?
6 A. Well, I said I don't know about either of the checkpoints. I
7 know that they later told me that this Dursum's formation was active, but
8 I don't know about either of the two checkpoints. At the time, I
9 couldn't go there.
10 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution
11 again - again - objects against this line of questioning. The witness
12 answered the last question by my learned colleague with "no." And my
13 learned colleague said, "So you know that as a reaction to the first fact
14 mentioned, that you are not aware of, but you are aware of it."
15 I really don't know what this line of questioning will lead to.
16 The witness said he doesn't know, and it's not up to the Defence to
17 interpret this answer, a clear answer, in the exact opposite direction.
18 The Prosecution strongly opposes such a line of questioning.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I apologise.
20 Perhaps there was a translation error. I didn't say that the witness
21 knew about this. I said that he confirmed that he didn't know that the
22 HVO had established that checkpoint. But I asked him whether he knew
23 that in -- as a reaction the army established a checkpoint 500 metres
24 below in the direction of Bugojno. That was my question.
25 A. And I said I didn't know. I said that I only heard later on that
1 there was some sort of formation. Dursum was at its head and Ismet
2 Durkovic [as interpreted]. I heard that they were active up there but in
3 what sense, I don't know.
4 Q. Are you aware that that army checkpoint on the 17th of July there
5 was a conflict --
6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Before we
7 continue, the question you are asking is to know whether he knows that
8 there was a checkpoint. He said no.
9 Witness, you with respect aware of the fact that 500 metres below
10 the city there was a checkpoint? Were you aware of this fact or not?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I live in the centre
12 of the town. That's about 3 kilometres from the town. I wasn't even
13 able to approach that place, so that's why I'm saying that I wasn't aware
14 of the existence of either of the two checkpoints and I wasn't aware of
15 who had checkpoints up there.
16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The question is --
17 the answer is clear. Please carry on.
18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] [Microphone not activated]
19 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The microphone.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
22 Q. Did you hear that at the checkpoint outside the town, in front of
23 Vrbanja village, there was a conflict between the army and HVO members
24 when members of the army killed an HVO member, Miroslav Telenta [as
25 interpreted] in that conflict? Are you aware of that?
1 A. Well, I heard that in Vrbanja these two or three young men went
2 for a swim. They were returning, and they were attacked in Vrbanja by
3 Dursum's troops and killed them. That's what we heard in the town.
4 Whether it was a checkpoint there or not -- nothing was said about a
5 checkpoint. They said that that formation attacked them and that they
6 had killed one or two of them. I can't remember exactly.
7 Q. Mr. Mrso, is it correct to say that at that time in order to
8 investigate that case the BH Ministry of the Interior and the Croatian
9 Community of Herceg-Bosna MUP formed a joint, mixed patrol consisting of
10 four MUP BH members and four MUP members from the Croatian Community of
11 Herceg-Bosna in order to go to the site to determine what the reasons
12 were for the murder of Mr. Talibir [as interpreted]?
13 A. Well, I don't know about that. -- I apologise, but he's not
14 called Telenta, he's called Talenta.
15 Q. I apologise.
16 A. Believe me, I don't know anything about this.
17 Q. You were present at the funeral of Mr. Talenta?
18 A. No.
19 Q. If you said that at any time, that would have been misunderstood.
20 A. I attended the funeral of someone else from Glavica. It was in
21 the village of Kula. It was in the cemetery of Glavica.
22 Q. It was on Saturday, the 17th of July -- not the 18th, the 17th.
23 A. Yes, on that day.
24 Q. Mr. Mrso, are you aware of the fact that this mixed patrol was
25 attacked by the HVO and that four of the members of BH MUP were killed --
1 three out of the four were killed and one managed to save himself? Are
2 you aware of this fact?
3 A. No.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What is the new
5 objection that the Prosecution wants to raise? Since this question
6 concerns events that took place in the vicinity of Bugojno, whereas the
7 witness did have certain political responsibilities and may have been
8 informed of certain facts; for example, the composition of the mixed
9 patrol. That's the purpose of the question. That's the sense of the
10 question. What does the Prosecution want to say?
11 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the witness answered
12 the first question in that respect very clearly "I don't know about
13 that," meaning the mixed patrol. That excludes any further questions
14 about the context and about what happened in the context of this mixed
15 patrol. The witness doesn't know, and he said it.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my additional
17 question wasn't about the mixed patrols but about the killing of three
18 members of the MUP, a day before the event that the Prosecution claims
19 was provoked by the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina; that is, that the
20 army attacked Bugojno. We are talking about the hours that preceded that
21 event, which I believe are highly relevant from the standpoint of
22 establishment of the truth.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Mr. President, may I address the
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please do. You can remain
1 seated. You don't have to tire yourself by getting up. I'm listening.
2 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Please do not misunderstand me. I
3 wish to assist the lady and you. At the time when the conflict had
4 almost broken out, our movements were limited. There were days when I
5 didn't dare leave my own house, I didn't dare walk along my own street.
6 Because people were afraid of attacks. People were beaten up, taken
7 away. So many things that perhaps I should have known and appears to you
8 that I should have known I didn't know.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The witness has
10 explained that if he didn't know things, it was because of the prevalent
11 situation at the time. Please move on to your next question.
12 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Yes, Mr. President. As the
13 witness answered many questions on the basis of what he learnt
14 subsequently, then if he didn't know about it on the 17th he may have
15 learnt about it later on. And that is why I'm asking these questions
16 which are relevant for the events in Bugojno.
17 Q. Mr. Mrso, is it true that on that same date, that is, between the
18 17th and the 18th, the HVO attacked the village of Vrbanja, that they
19 arrested 45 inhabitants on that occasion, and that during that attack 54
20 Bosniak civilians were killed and the village totally destroyed and burnt
21 to the ground? Did you know about that then, or did you learn about it
23 A. I explained that I couldn't learn about it at the time because I
24 never left my house. I did learn about it later, towards the end of
25 1993. And as a local citizen of Bugojno I wish to declare that the
1 casualties were exaggerated and that it wasn't so.
2 Q. Is it true that through this attack on Vrbanja the casualties of
3 which are the figures I gave, or which you may correct me, were the
4 immediate cause for the escalation of combat to the whole town of
6 A. At the time, I couldn't know about that. It was only later,
7 after the attack of the Muslim army on Bugojno - call them what you
8 will - I learnt about these things, and that is at least how things were
9 explained to me; that is, when the Croats started withdrawing, it was the
10 people from Vrbanja that attacked them heavily. This is all on the basis
11 of stories and rumours. I didn't learn anything about any actual actors
12 of those events to be able to claim one way or another.
13 Q. Very well. Mr. Mrso, we will now move on to the events that
14 occurred when you were arrested and detained. You said that it was your
15 neighbour Reuf who insisted after some bullets had already been fired at
16 your house that you had decided to spend some time with him.
17 A. Yes. When he came for the second time, he persuaded me. "It
18 would be better for you to come because someone may come and take you
19 away or kill you," et cetera, et cetera.
20 Q. At that time, you had in your home your own weapons, an automatic
21 rifle and a pistol.
22 A. That is not true. I never had an automatic rifle or a pistol.
23 Reuf left me his. He said, "Let it be at hand." And I said I didn't
24 even know how to handle it. And he said, "Never mind. Let them see you
25 have one and then they'll get scared."
1 Q. So if you told the investigator of The Hague Tribunal something
2 else, then that was not the truth; is that right?
3 A. I believe I said the same thing to the investigator, because that
4 is the truth.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm addressing the Defence,
6 because I don't have the written statement. Are you challenging what he
7 said to the investigator regarding the weapons? He has just explained
8 what he had; it was his neighbour who gave it to him.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just a moment, please.
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said in line 14 what you
11 told the investigator was not the truth. Is that -- if you're asking him
12 this question, which is in the affirmative, that is, to raise a
13 contradiction in relation to what he told the investigator. I don't have
14 that statement. Perhaps the Chamber should have a copy. Because, of
15 course, we need to evaluate the credibility of the witness.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I will come back
17 to that. My colleague is helping me.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see that Mr. Bourgon is going
19 to find the answer.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Until my colleague finds the
21 proper place, I will move on and I'll come back to this question in a
23 Q. You've already said that you spent the night at your friend
24 Reuf's house; is that right?
25 A. Yes.
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Q. In the morning, you saw some persons in uniform entering your
2 house --
3 A. First we heard the noise, and then we saw them. And the
4 shooting, and two grenades went off in my yard. We heard that, and then
5 we started looking.
6 Q. But on that occasion, you didn't see the insignia worn by those
7 men regarding their military affiliation.
8 A. No. I just saw that they were in uniform.
9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise. They're trying to
10 help me, but obviously I'll have to find the spot myself, because there
11 are quite a number of pages of this statement. And I apologise for not
12 noting down the relevant passage because I didn't expect the witness to
13 deny this fact.
14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What we could do is to have the
15 break now, which would allow you to find the relevant paragraph.
16 It is 3.30. We'll have a 25-minute break, as we are having what
17 we call a technical break. And we will resume at five to 4.00. And then
18 we will also be able to rule regarding those two documents.
19 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President, for
20 assisting me.
21 --- Recess taken at 3.31 p.m.
22 --- On resuming at 4.06 p.m.
23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed with a
24 few minutes' delay, because as you know, we had to deliberate on those
25 two documents. We are rendering our decision orally, as follows:
1 The Chamber, informed of the tendering into evidence exhibits
2 produced within the framework of the cross-examination of Witness Mrso,
3 the Chamber is of the opinion that it would be appropriate to admit those
4 evidence -- those documents and to have them marked for identification.
5 The Chamber considers these documents not to be admissible at present in
6 this case as evidence. The witness, having clearly indicated through his
7 replies to questions put to him that he did not know those documents and
8 that he was not aware of their content, and therefore, he did not -- and
9 furthermore, he did not attend the meeting that was held on the 4th of
10 October, 1992; and that also he had no knowledge of the substance of that
11 meeting through other sources.
12 Nonetheless, within the framework of a political, historical, and
13 military context of a conflict, the Chamber is of the opinion that these
14 documents could subsequently be tendered if other testimony or other
15 evidence should justify such an admission. At present we have therefore
16 decided to have those documents marked for identification only.
17 In more general terms, the Chamber wishes to remind the parties -
18 the parties in the plural - that within the framework of the
19 cross-examination envisaged by Rule 90(H) of the Rules of Evidence and
20 Procedure, the party which is doing the cross-examination can put all
21 questions that contribute to its case and that are related to its case.
22 The Chamber also wishes to underline that several provisions of
23 the Rules of Procedure and Evidence refer to the political, military, and
24 historical context. This applies also to Rule 92 bis.
25 Similarly, all the judgements of this Tribunal relating to
1 charges refer explicitly and in a detailed manner to the political,
2 military, and historical context.
3 Under those conditions, the Chamber authorises this type of
4 question on condition that the party cross-examining previously inform
5 the Chamber on the aim pursued through these questions and that, in that
6 connection, a decision that was recently brought by this same Chamber, a
7 written decision regarding the scope of the cross-examination has
8 regulated this matter definitively. I invite both parties to re-read
9 that ruling, which allows all questions linked to the context in the
10 cross-examination on condition that the Chamber is informed in a prior
11 manner of the aim of those questions.
12 To conclude, the Chamber invites the Defence, when putting this
13 type of question which may have a certain degree of importance, to take
14 the time when putting such a question to put it slowly so that the
15 witness may think it over and take time himself before answering it.
16 Because otherwise, a question put very quickly, which is sometimes
17 extremely complex can make the witness answer quickly yes or no without
18 himself realising the importance of the question and its impact.
19 Therefore, if a question is important, put it slowly, distinctly, and
20 clearly so that the witness may answer it. That's what I did in
21 explaining our oral decision, which we have just rendered regarding those
22 two documents.
23 As those two documents have been marked -- will be admitted and
24 marked for identification, I would like to ask the registrar to give us a
25 provisional number for the identification of those documents.
1 We have the documents in B/C/S with an English translation. So,
2 Mr. Registrar, give us, please, the numbers for these documents.
3 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the B/C/S version of the record
4 will get the exhibit number DH26; and the English translation of the
5 record will get the exhibit number DH26/E.
6 The conclusion in the B/C/S version will get the exhibit number
7 DH27; and the English translation of the conclusion will get the exhibit
8 number DH27/E.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Everyone has taken
10 note of the fact that these documents have been marked for identification
11 with the numbers that have just been indicated.
12 I now give the floor again to the Defence to continue their
13 cross-examination. And I would like to ask them once again, if a
14 question is important to put it slowly. Thank you.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
16 Mr. President. I'd like to go back to the question that I think I am
17 able to ask the witness now. It has to do with the question put to the
18 witness as to whether it was correct to say that he had an automatic
19 rifle and a pistol. And the witness said that he didn't have such
20 weapons, and he said how he obtained those weapons.
21 This is why I would like the usher to show the witness his
22 statement in B/C/S and English that he has signed. And at the same time,
23 I'd like to provide the Trial Chamber with a copy of the decision. I
24 would -- not the decision; I apologise, the statement. And I would also
25 like to say that I won't be tendering this statement into evidence but I
1 will be using it as a basis for my cross-examination.
2 I would also like to inform you that for the purpose of making it
3 easier to translate the relevant sections, we have provided a copy of
4 this document to the interpreters. We did this during the break.
5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Witness, to make
6 sure that you don't lose the process of the cross-examination, the
7 Defence is providing you with a statement that you have signed. It is in
8 your own language and it has been translated into English on the basis of
9 this written statement taken on the 10th of June, 2000, the 11th of June,
10 the 1st of July, 2000, the 14th of September and the 15th of September,
11 2000, by an investigator from the OTP. The name is indicated; you were
12 assisted by an interpreter, in fact, there were two interpreters. And
13 the Defence is going to ask you some questions about your written
14 statement. Please try to answer the questions put to you as fully as
16 The Defence may proceed.
17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
18 Q. Mr. Mrso, would you please have a look at the page. The number
19 is 03004128. That is the Prosecution's number. At the top you have the
20 number 03004128.
21 Would it be correct to say that in the paragraph that starts with
22 the words "at about 4.00 --"
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I apologise, Your Honours. It's
24 page 4 in the English version and it's the last paragraph.
25 Q. Mr. Mrso, would bit correct to say that on this page it says: "At
1 about 4.00 a.m. the next morning I was woken by someone pounding on my
2 front door. I asked who it was and a voice shouted at me to open up. I
3 refused. Then whoever was outside opened fire. He shot through the
4 windows at the front of my house. I threw myself on the floor. Nothing
5 happened. I got my automatic rifle and waited." Is that what it states
7 A. Yes, it does.
8 Q. Please would you now have a look at the paragraph that starts
9 with the words "I decided to go to Reuf's house." In the English
10 version, it is on page 4 [as said] paragraph 4.
11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] It's on page 5, paragraph 4. I
12 apologise. That's the English version.
13 Q. Mr. Mrso, does it say: "I decided to go to Reuf's house. He
14 also agreed to hide both my gun and the uniform I owned in his home. I
15 stayed overnight"? Is that what it states?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Is that what you stated?
18 A. No. I said that when Reuf came to see me on the second occasion,
19 he left his rifle with me. That has to do with the second paragraph.
20 And then I heard someone calling out to me. Reuf then suggested that if
21 I didn't want to go, I should leave the rifle and if someone came, at
22 least that person would be frightened. When we reached his house, I said
23 that he should hide his uniform and the rifle, because if they were
24 searching his house they would claim that it was mine.
25 And with regard to that matter, I pointed out to the Trial
1 Chamber that I always asked the investigator to leave me a copy, a
2 record. They said that the Rules were such that I couldn't be provided
3 with such a copy. And I think that at one point I even intervened and
4 requested that a paragraph be amended.
5 Q. Mr. Mrso, at the end of the English version, it says that you had
6 requested a statement. This was noted on the 15th of September, 2000.
7 So my question to you is whether what you have testified before this
8 Chamber today and what you stated to Tom Parker - and that is obtained in
9 the paragraphs I have read out - are there differences? Are there
11 A. Yes, I'm claiming that I didn't have a rifle. I don't know how
12 to use a rifle. I didn't even believe that it was necessary for me to
13 have one.
14 Q. Thank you. You can keep that statement. Perhaps we'll check
15 some other items. Differing statements were given. The one you gave to
16 the investigator and the statement you have made before the Trial Chamber
17 are not identical.
18 According to your testimony, after these persons whose insignia
19 that you did not notice, after they had left, some people started taking
20 things out of your house; is that correct?
21 A. Yes, it is.
22 Q. Is it correct to say that on the following day, on the 21st of
23 July, you went to the house to see what the situation was like? Is that
25 A. Yes, it is.
1 Q. You saw that certain items were missing, but you didn't report
2 this to any of the authorities; is that correct?
3 A. There was no one I could report this to. I couldn't leave the
5 Q. Nevertheless you told the soldiers who came to say that shots had
6 been fired from your house, you told them that certain things had gone
7 missing and they attempted to get some of your property back; is that
9 A. Yes, it is.
10 Q. On the 22nd of July, soldiers appeared again and they wanted to
11 search the house. Their explanation was that they were looking for
12 weapons. Is that correct?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. However, they didn't find any weapons because the weapon was in
15 Reuf's house.
16 A. That weapon didn't even exist because the people who came to
17 search the house before didn't find any weapons either.
18 Q. After that event, according to your testimony, you were taken to
19 Adolf Tomas's house, which is where some of your fellow Croats were too;
20 is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. You spent the night there, and on the following day during the
23 day you went to visit your house again; isn't that correct?
24 A. I don't remember having said that.
25 Q. On the 24th of July, 1993, you were moved with two other men to
1 that garage; isn't that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. You were released on the 5th of August, 1993. So you spent a
4 total of 11 days in detention; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please speak up when
7 answering questions.
8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
9 Q. When -- during that period, you were in the garage for one night;
10 in the convent, which wasn't a convent for many years before the war. It
11 was a school and a Marxist Centre; isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes. But it was always called a convent by the locals.
13 Q. Very well. You spent five days there, until Friday, the 30th of
14 July; is that correct?
15 A. Yes, I think that's correct.
16 Q. You were then moved to the grammar school. And on Sunday, on the
17 1st of August, you were moved to the primary school, the Vojin Aleksic
18 [as interpreted] Primary School.
19 A. The sports hall in the Vojin Aleksic [as interpreted] Primary
21 Q. And you were released there on the 5th of August.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You weren't in any way maltreated in any of these places,
24 physically maltreated; isn't that correct?
25 A. No, I wasn't.
1 Q. Mr. Mrso, you also said that after four days in the Marxist
2 Centre or, rather, in the convent you were visited by a humanitarian
3 organisation: Vukadin, Dr. Zlatko Strujic, Hrvoje Lucic, and Fra Bruno
4 Batinic and Sister Pavka were in that delegation; is that correct?
5 A. I didn't say it was a humanitarian organisation. I said there
6 were representatives of some international organisation, but I didn't
7 know about it. That's what I think I said.
8 Q. While you were in these detention facilities, you said that other
9 people were brought in who had recently been captured. And you said that
10 HVO members were brought in.
11 A. I don't remember mentioning the HVO. But I said on the following
12 day, on Monday, they put in Niko Dzaja, who had been beaten and people
13 looked at him, wanted to ask him about something. I said, "Leave him
14 alone. Let him come to and then ask him questions."
15 Q. During that period, you found out from some of the detainees that
16 all the HVO strongholds were already in the -- in BH army hands but that
17 the resistance in Titovo villa lasted the longest and came under the
18 control of the army on the 27th of August, 1993; isn't that correct?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. So throughout this period, from the 18th of August up until the
21 27th of August, in the town and its surroundings, there was intense
22 fighting between the army and the HVO and at that time the town was
23 shelled on multiple occasions.
24 A. Well, I was in detention, so I wasn't really a participant in
25 these events.
1 Q. Mr. Mrso, would it be correct to say that before the war Bugojno
2 didn't have a penal facility or a large prison?
3 A. Well, believe me, I don't know. Maybe it was in the police
4 station or in some other building, but I really don't know whether such
5 facilities existed. In fact, I don't know.
6 Q. If I say that there was only the municipal court in Bugojno where
7 they tried misdemeanours, would you agree with me? They only tried minor
8 offences there; isn't that correct?
9 A. I think I'd agree with that.
10 Q. For serious crimes, people would be sent to the high court in
11 Zenica; isn't that the case?
12 A. I think so.
13 Q. In the course of the questions put to you by the Prosecution, you
14 said on several occasions that you were only a member of the HDZ
15 committee and that you didn't know much about the structure of the HVO;
16 is that correct?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. Similarly, you didn't know anything about the structure of the
19 army, and you answered a question of mine and said that you didn't even
20 know when the BH army received this name.
21 A. Yes, that's correct.
22 Q. In fact, in the course of the fighting from the 18th up until the
23 time of your arrest, you had no idea as to the units participating in the
24 fighting in the town.
25 A. Yes. I said that I saw the inscription "MOS," but as to who they
1 belonged to, what sort of formation they were, I knew nothing about that;
2 I knew nothing about those structures.
3 Q. You didn't even know who commanded those units, and you don't
4 know who they were subordinated to at the time.
5 A. No.
6 Q. At the time you didn't even know who took the decision about the
7 detainees and about where they should be accommodated.
8 A. No.
9 Q. You don't even know who was in charge for each individual
10 facility in which you spent the period with regard to which you have
11 testified before this Trial Chamber; isn't that correct?
12 A. Yes, I didn't know anything about this.
13 Q. When you got out, when you were released, according to your
14 testimony it wasn't until December that you first met the commander of
15 the 307th Brigade, Tahir Granic, but not even then - because many refused
16 to accept responsibility for the prisons - not even then were you able to
17 know who was responsible for the prisons; isn't that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. According to your testimony, you most frequently turned to the
20 president of the War Presidency in Bugojno because you knew that he was
21 in a position to solve the problems that you had told him about.
22 A. Yes.
23 Q. You became persuaded of this because on the whole he was able to
24 do many of the things that you asked him to do and he did do these
1 A. Well, when you say he did many things, I don't know what you
2 mean. But I don't think that he did many of the things that I had
4 Q. However, I he was in a position to do some of the things that you
5 had requested.
6 A. Well, as the president of the War Presidency, it's quite clear
7 that he was in a position to do certain things.
8 Q. I would now like to remind you again of your statement which you
9 gave to the investigator from the OTP, and it has to do with the
10 knowledge you had about the units that you saw in the town; that is to
11 say, about the units in charge of these prisons. Please first have a
12 look at page 5, the paragraph that begins with the words "Late in the
13 afternoon on the 18th of July." That's in the B/C/S version. And on the
14 English version --
15 A. Which page is that? Sorry.
16 Q. The number is 03004128. That's the Prosecution number. Can you
17 see it? Have you found it?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. So: "In the late afternoon, on the 18th of July, I was at home
20 in the Terzici neighbourhood of Bugojno when I heard a commotion in the
21 street. I looked outside and could see men running around. I noticed
22 that a lot of them were wearing red and green headbands. They were
23 dressed mostly in camouflage uniforms, although some also wore a mixture
24 of civilian and military clothing."
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. So on this occasion you didn't notice insignia of any kind on
2 them; isn't that correct?
3 A. No.
4 Q. In the paragraph starting with "I decided to go to Reuf's house,"
5 the last sentence you will see it, when you're talking about the people
6 in your yard, you said, "I was not able to see any insignia but most of
7 them had either red or green bands tied somewhere, either as a headband,
8 an armband, or hanging from an epaulette." So again, even though you
9 were asked about this, you couldn't confirm that those persons were
10 wearing any kind of bands; is that right?
11 A. I saw this when I looked into my yard.
12 Q. However, in your statement it says that you didn't see it. So
13 these two statements differ, don't they?
14 A. I don't understand you. I didn't see any insignia, but most of
15 them had these bands. When I said "patches," I meant insignia. I didn't
16 see that, no.
17 Q. You were asked again, and on page 6, 03004129 - that's the ERN
18 number - you said: "The next morning, on the 24th of July, three BH army
19 soldiers came to Tomas's house. All three were wearing green camouflage
20 uniforms and were wearing coloured bands." So again you didn't notice
21 the insignia you testified about here in court.
22 A. At least, that is what I said.
23 Q. On page 10, or ERN number 03004133, in a paragraph saying "Back
24 in our cell," et cetera, et cetera, the one-but-last sentence says: "The
25 guards always wore green camouflage uniforms. I think they were
1 soldiers, but I didn't notice whether they wore the insignia of units or
3 So, Mr. Mrso, is it true that you were asked five times to
4 describe the soldiers on various occasions and that never once did you
5 mention that they wore the insignia of the MOS? Is that what it says in
6 this statement?
7 A. Yes, that is what it says.
8 Q. While you were still in the elementary school, in the gym of the
9 elementary school called Aleksic [as interpreted], family members were
10 allowed to bring food to the detainees because the food you were given
11 was quite insufficient; is that right?
12 A. I don't know whether it was allowed, but we heard outside noise.
13 People were demanding to hand in something. Now, whether somebody let
14 them do that or not, I don't know that, madam.
15 Q. When on the 5th of August you were released, you went home and
16 you saw that it was being looked after by your neighbour Reuf, thanks to
17 whom the house was no longer touched nor had anyone moved into it; is
18 that right?
19 A. Right.
20 Q. After your release, you opened an HDZ office in the parish house,
21 and together with the parson you took care of the Croats who stayed
22 behind in Bugojno; is that right?
23 A. Yes, you could put it that way.
24 Q. Because of the war and the fact that many people of Bugojno were
25 leaving Bugojno, prior to the outbreak of the conflict only 7.000 Croats
1 had stayed in Bugojno; is that right?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. During combat operations, together with a part of the HVO Brigade
4 and the Home Guard Battalion, Bugojno was left by about 3.000
6 A. That is not what I stated.
7 Q. After your release, there were about 2.600 to 3.000 citizens of
8 Bugojno of Croat ethnicity left.
9 A. That is what I said, and that is correct.
10 Q. Up until the end of the war only 900 Croats remained in Bugojno.
11 A. I said by the end of 1993 we listed the people and there were
12 about 900 Croats in the municipality.
13 Q. Throughout that period of time, until the exchange, you visited
14 prisoners of war at the Iskra Stadium.
15 A. I didn't visit them. They allowed me once across the wire fence
16 to speak to some people who were in the camp.
17 Q. At that time, in addition to the shortage of food in Bugojno,
18 there was no water in Bugojno; is that right?
19 A. Yes, that is correct.
20 Q. Actually, sources of water through which the town was supplied
21 were in the hands of the HVO, which for military reasons frequently would
22 not allow water to reach the town; is that right?
23 A. Yes, it is. I beg your pardon. At the time I didn't know who
24 was behind the fact that there was no water.
25 Q. Thanks to your efforts and due to this fact too, the prisoners
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 were allowed to go home under escort and to take care of their hygiene,
2 to wash, to have a bath, et cetera; is that right?
3 A. Yes, that is right. Not just to go home. Many of them no longer
4 had family members left. But they went to see their friends,
5 acquaintances, and so on.
6 Q. Also, throughout that period of time detainees were allowed
7 through Caritas and also through family members and acquaintances to be
8 given food.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Regarding the situation which you followed in Bugojno, while in
11 Grude you informed the president of the HDZ and the Croatian Community of
12 Herceg-Bosna, Mr. Mate Boban, about that situation, didn't you?
13 A. Yes, I did.
14 Q. Thank you, Mr. Mrso. I have no further questions for you.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
16 I turn now to the other Defence counsel.
17 MR. DIXON: Thank you, Your Honours. As Mr. Kubura is not
18 charged with any of the incidents that the witness has testified about,
19 we have no questions on behalf of Mr. Kubura. I'm grateful, Your
21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Dixon.
22 I turn again to the Prosecution to see whether they have any
23 additional questions for this witness.
24 MR. WITHOPF: Thank you, Your Honours. The Prosecution has no
25 questions in re-examination.
1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
2 I'm going to return to the Defence these documents, as you are
3 not asking them to be admitted into evidence. So I'm going to return to
4 you these documents.
5 Just a small point of clarification regarding the documents
6 regarding the Prosecution: The witness told us a moment ago that he
7 wanted a copy of his written statement. And I looked at the English
8 version, and indeed on the 15th of September, 2000, the witness did put a
9 note in handwriting. And we understand that he wanted a copy of this
10 statement. Then what he said in his language should have been
11 translated, and I don't see any translation of that request. However, as
12 the document is not being tendered, there's no problem. But if this
13 document were to be exhibited, then this would be a difficulty.
14 So I am returning these documents now to the Defence.
15 Madam Usher is going to collect the documents.
16 Mr. Mrso, you testified for two days. We wish to thank you for
17 coming to The Hague. You answered questions from the Prosecution,
18 questions from the Defence, as well as questions put to you by the
19 Judges. We thank you for your testimony, and we wish you a safe journey
20 home. And I would like to ask Madam Usher to accompany you out of the
22 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you, Your Honour,
23 Mr. President. I wish to thank you too.
24 [The witness withdrew]
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us continue the hearing.
1 We have another witness.
2 [The witness entered court]
3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. You have
4 been called as a witness by the Prosecution. I just wish to check
5 whether you can hear the translation of my words in your own language
7 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes, I can hear you.
8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. As you are about to
9 testify, you first have to tell me your first and last name.
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Zrinko Alvir.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And when were you born?
12 A. On the 25th of October, 1958.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And where were you born?
14 A. In Bugojno.
15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What is your current
17 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm a driver.
18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And in 1993, more than ten
19 years ago, what was your occupation then? What were you doing, if you
20 can still remember?
21 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] During the war or before the war?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1993.
23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] In 1993, I was a military
25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.
1 As you have been called as a witness, I need to ask you to read
2 the solemn declaration that will be given to you by Madam Usher. Please
3 read the text 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 may be seated.
7 WITNESS: ZRINKO ALVIR
8 [Witness answered through interpreter]
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to the
10 Prosecution, I wish to give you some information regarding the
11 proceedings here. You will first answer questions that will be put to
12 you by a representative of the Prosecution; and she's on your right.
13 After those questions, the attorneys of the accused, who are seated on
14 your left - there are six of them - will also have questions for you.
15 Not all six of them; only two of them. And they will ask you questions
16 in your own language. The three Judges, in front of you, may also if
17 they consider it useful, to ask you any questions they may wish for
18 clarification purposes. The questions that will be put to you by the
19 Prosecution or by the Defence require answers from you that should be
20 complete and precise because through your answers you will be informing
21 the Chamber about the events of which you were an eyewitness.
22 If you don't understand the meaning of a question, ask the person
23 putting it to you to rephrase it. If there's any difficulty, tell us
24 what it is. We are here to resolve that type of difficulty.
25 As you know, you have pledged to tell the whole truth, which
1 means that you mustn't testify falsely, because if you lie in the course
2 of your examination, you are risking prosecution for false testimony, and
3 such prosecution can result in fines or imprisonment or even both.
4 However, as you have solemnly sworn to tell the whole truth, we expect
5 you to answer perfectly the questions that will be put to you.
6 Also, it is my duty to tell you that the words you are going to
7 speak cannot be used against you. If you do not wish to answer a
8 question, explain why not and the Chamber will judge whether it is
9 necessary to ask you to answer nevertheless.
10 Have you already testified in a court of law before?
11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] No.
12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So this is the first time. I
13 see. So I felt it necessary to explain all this for you so as to assist
15 I'm now going to turn to Ms. Benjamin. I think she is the one
16 who's going to carry out the examination-in-chief. And I give you the
17 floor, madam.
18 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.
19 Examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
20 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Alvir. You indicated to the Trial Chamber
21 that you were born in Bugojno. Could you tell the Chamber in which
22 municipality Bugojno is located.
23 A. Bugojno is a municipality.
24 Q. Could you give us an idea of the ethnic breakdown of Bugojno,
1 A. Bugojno was inhabited by Croats, Muslims, and Serbs. I think
2 about -- there were more or less an equal number of Muslims and Croats.
3 Serbs were slightly less numerous, about ten or so thousand of them.
4 Q. Thank you. Mr. Alvir, did you ever do service with the JNA,
5 compulsory national service with the JNA?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. And can you tell the Trial Chamber for how long.
8 A. It was 15 months, but there was a shortening by one month, so a
9 total of 14 months is the period I served.
10 Q. Could you state for us what was your assignment while you were in
11 the JNA.
12 A. I was a driver as well.
13 Q. Did you ever enlist in any other military body?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Were you ever a member of any other army?
16 A. During the war, of the HVO.
17 Q. And where were you based?
18 A. In Bugojno, in the Kalin Hotel.
19 Q. Could you assist the Trial Chamber with who was in command of
20 your battalion in the HVO -- your unit.
21 A. Mr. Stipica Zelic.
22 Q. Where did you live prior to the conflict?
23 A. In Bugojno.
24 Q. Or where did you live at the time of the conflict, during the
1 A. Also in Bugojno.
2 Q. Could you assist the Trial Chamber: In the middle of July 1993,
3 what took place in Bugojno?
4 A. A conflict broke out between Croats and Muslims in Bugojno. And
5 when Bugojno fell -- I don't know how to explain it -- we, the members of
6 the HVO, were imprisoned.
7 Q. When the conflict broke out, are you aware of any arrangement or
8 agreement with -- that was made between your commander and anyone else?
9 A. During the conflict, when everything was already in the hands of
10 the Muslim army, our commander went to talk to their commander at the
11 grammar school because they were accommodated in the grammar school
12 building. He went to negotiate our surrender, members of the HVO from
13 the Kalin Hotel. And then, when Mr. Stipica returned, a surrender had
14 been arranged and then we left the Kalin Hotel without our weapons in
15 front of the city cafe in Bugojno, the central cafe in Bugojno.
16 Q. At the time when you left the hotel, were there civilians in the
18 A. Yes, there were about 150 civilians from Gaj who had withdrawn
19 when Gaj fell. And they went to the Hotel Kalin, where we were.
20 Q. Now, you said to the Trial Chamber that upon the return of your
21 commander you gave up your guns and you were sent to the parking lot.
22 Could you tell us how many -- how many of yourselves, of your group of
23 soldiers, were lined up in the parking lot.
24 A. There were about 100 soldiers.
25 Q. And, Mr. Alvir, could you kindly describe for us what took place,
1 what was the procedure that followed once you got to the parking lot.
2 A. When we got to the parking lot, we were lined up two by two. And
3 then they searched us to see what papers we had on us. They looked
4 through our pockets. We had to hand over our papers and take everything
5 out of our pockets. All the badges that we had had to be turned over.
6 And then they took us to the furniture shop two by two, and that is where
7 they detained us.
8 Q. Well, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, could you describe
9 for us what you mean or who you mean when you say "they."
10 A. Well, the Muslim army, the BH army, whatever you want to call it.
11 Q. Would you be able to describe how they were dressed?
12 A. They were wearing military camouflage uniforms.
13 Q. And would you be able to assist us with where the furniture room
14 was located?
15 A. The furniture shop was in the centre of the town. It was about a
16 kilometre, a kilometre and a half from the Kalin Hotel, and from the
17 police station in Bugojno it was about 100 to 150 metres further away.
18 Q. Could you describe the physical appearance of the room, the
19 furniture room. Could you describe the physical appearance to the Court,
21 A. Well, it was a fairly big room in the furniture shop. The
22 outside walls were made of glass. It also had a basement area.
23 Q. And in what part of this room were you?
24 A. We were kept in the basement.
25 Q. [Microphone not activated]
1 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
2 Q. Sorry. Could you describe for us, then, the conditions in the
3 basement of the furniture room.
4 A. The rooms were dark. There was no light in them. There was
5 about 10 centimetres of water in that room. There were wooden planks of
6 some kind and we would sit on them and sleep on them. And between the
7 planks there was water; it was about 10 centimetres deep.
8 Q. Approximately how many of you were in this room?
9 A. Well, there were about 100 people.
10 Q. Could you give us an approximate measurement of the dimensions of
11 the room.
12 A. I don't know exactly, but the room was perhaps 5 or 6 metres by 6
13 or 7 metres.
14 Q. Thank you. Now, what about the conditions in the room? How were
15 your bathroom facilities?
16 A. There weren't any bathroom facilities in the basement. There
17 were some on the ground floor; there was a toilet up there.
18 Q. How did you eat? How did you get food? Did you eat? How did
19 you eat?
20 A. For the first few days Sister Pavka and Ranko brought us food.
21 Afterwards, we received food once a day from the members of the army,
23 Q. In your initial days at the furniture room or the basement of the
24 furniture room, that is, explain to us how you actually relieved
25 yourselves. Because you said the toilet was on the upper floor. How did
1 you relieve yourselves on the first few days in the basement?
2 A. During the first few days, we couldn't go out. They wouldn't
3 allow us. So on the whole, people relieved themselves in the basement.
4 It was only later that they allowed people to go up to the toilet.
5 Q. Thank you. Mr. Alvir, let us first take the very first day of
6 your detention at the furniture room. Could you tell the Trial Chamber
7 what transpired.
8 A. The first day we were taken to the furniture shop, they searched
9 us again. They searched through our pockets and everything else to see
10 whether we had anything on us. And then they ordered us to go down into
11 the basement. After that, they took us out one by one. They took away
12 our military equipment, our clothes, shirts, trousers, jackets, and they
13 would give us their torn clothes in exchange. Then in the evening, there
14 was a roll-call and they started beating people. They started beating
15 some of my colleagues. I was the last one in that group.
16 Q. Now, I know that the -- the basement was dark, so could you tell
17 us where or could you tell us where your colleagues and yourself were
18 taken to when the roll-call was called. Were you taken away from the
20 A. We were taken up to the ground floor. We went out of the
21 basement, went up to the ground floor. So that was the area.
22 Q. And were you able to recognise any of these names that were
24 A. Of my colleagues?
25 Q. Yes, please.
1 A. Ivica Kajic, Ante Sekelja, Ante Palinic, Stipica Zelic. I was
2 the last one.
3 Q. And for the Trial Chamber, could you tell -- could you state what
4 was the ethnic background of these -- your colleagues that were called.
5 A. They were all Croats.
6 Q. Now, you were the last to be called, so you were in the basement
7 when everybody else was called. Could you tell us if you heard anything
8 from your point at the bottom of the basement.
9 A. Well, you could hear the sound of beating. You could hear the
10 people groaning. The people who were being beaten were groaning.
11 Q. When your name was called, did you go to the ground floor?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Describe for the Trial Chamber what transpired when your name was
14 called and you reported to the ground floor of the furniture room.
15 A. I went up to the ground floor, and as soon as I got up there they
16 told me to lie down and to spread out my arms and legs. I was told to
17 lie down on my stomach and to spread out my arms and legs. Then they
18 started beating me with batons. They started kicking me and trampling
19 me. And they would tread on my -- on my fingers.
20 Q. During this time, were you interrogated in any way?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. And could you assist us with the topic of the interrogation.
23 A. On the whole, it had to do with the positions of the HVO. They
24 wanted to know the location of certain people, the responsibility of
25 certain people. Those were the subjects I was asked about.
1 Q. And you repeat over and over that they wanted to know about the
2 HVO, they tramped on my fingers. Could you tell this Trial Chamber who
3 you refer to when you say "they."
4 A. Well, I'm referring to those soldiers who questioned us and who
5 beat us. That's who I'm referring to. These are the soldiers from the
6 BH army or from the Muslim army, as they called them.
7 Q. Now, this beating that you told us started from the first night
8 that you were there and the procedure of calling roll-call and going
9 upstairs, was this a nightly affair? Did this occur every night?
10 A. On the whole, it happened at night, and it happened every night.
11 Q. Could you indicate to the Trial Chamber what was the significance
12 of the night of August 5th, 1993, as it relates to you personally.
13 A. On that night, we already thought that no one was going to be
14 called out. It was one of the calmest nights, until 3.00 or 4.00 in the
15 morning. Then they called me out first. I went up. I was immediately
16 hit as soon as I appeared on the ground floor. I think I was hit with
17 some sort of a wooden stick. I fell on the floor because of the blow.
18 And then they continued beating me with some sort of iron tubes. They
19 were nickel metal iron tubes. And this would make your skin break as
20 soon as they hit you with these things. This went on for about half an
21 hour or 40 minutes, at least.
22 Q. At this session, were you interrogated in any way?
23 A. Yes. On the whole, they asked about various people, wanted to
24 know what sort of positions they held, what sort of duties they performed
25 in the HVO, where they had been, and so forth.
1 Q. Were you threatened in any way?
2 A. Well, of course I was threatened. They'd point their rifles at
3 your forehead, and they would say, "We'll kill you now." All sorts of
4 things happened.
5 Q. In particular, the 5th of August, 1993, in the wee hours of the
6 morning, 3.00, were you able to recognise your beaters?
7 A. Yes. I recognised two of them immediately, that very night.
8 Q. And would you happen to have known their names or know them
10 A. Yes. I knew them very well. They were men from the town whom I
11 knew and I would see them every day. One was Edin Vrban and Durakovic
12 Sacir. There were some other men, Karadza. I didn't recognise the
13 others. It was only subsequently that I found out their names.
14 Q. And these two soldiers that you recognised, would you be able to
15 assist us with what unit they may have come from?
16 A. I don't know exactly the unit they came from. I know it was the
17 BH army, as they called it, but as for the exact unit, I don't know.
18 They had various numbers, the 107th and so on. So I wouldn't know which
19 number their unit was.
20 Q. Thank you. Now, you completed your rounds of beating, and did
21 you return to the basement?
22 A. Yes. They ordered me to return to the basement.
23 Q. And when you returned to the basement, did you hear if other
24 names were called?
25 A. Before I returned, Dragan Brecic was called out, and then Mladen
1 Havranek after him. This young man died because of the beating he had
2 been given. And afterwards there was Frano Kosak and then Miroslav
4 Q. Okay. Mladen Havranek, he -- did he obey the command to go up to
5 the ground floor? Did he obey?
6 A. Yes. He had to obey.
7 Q. And could you tell the Trial Chamber why he was up at the ground
8 floor what you heard.
9 A. Well, the beating -- it was terrible to listen to the young man
10 being beaten. When they told him to go down into the basement again, he
11 wasn't able to do this on his own. They had to -- he asked Boro Divkovic
12 to help him get back into the basement. He was a friend who slept next
13 us. He called out to Boro Divkovic to help him go down. And Boro
14 Divkovic and Branko Dadic helped him to return to the basement. After he
15 returned, I asked him, "Mladen, did you recognise them?" He said no. I
16 told him about the two men, that I had recognised them, he said he hadn't
17 recognised them.
18 Q. And later that day, were you able to speak to Mladen Havranek
20 A. No. That was the last time we spoke to each other. Afterwards
21 he was sick, and the colleagues called out to the guards to take him
22 outside because he was feeling sick. And 15 or 20 minutes later he
23 probably died, because the colleagues who had taken him out said that he
24 had died as a result of the beating he had been given.
25 Q. Have you seen Mladen Havranek since that day?
1 A. No.
2 Q. Whilst in the basement of the furniture room, did you receive any
3 treatment for your injuries?
4 A. When Mladen died, they came for us. In fact, I think an
5 ambulance came from the hospital, and we were transferred to the hospital
6 then. They transferred me, Frano Kosak, Miroslav Marjanovic, and Dragan
7 Brecic. They placed us in the hospital because they were afraid that our
8 fate might be the same as that of Mladen Havranek.
9 When we arrived in the hospital, they immediately gave us -- put
10 us on a drip. And after I'd received this drip, I sat on the floor and I
11 fell off the floor. I lost consciousness. I don't know how long I was
12 out. A doctor came and splashed some water -- poured some water over me,
13 and that's how I came to again.
14 Q. Excuse me. Mr. Alvir, could you define for the Court the
15 injuries that you received on the 5th of August and prior to that in the
16 basement of the furniture room.
17 A. Well, the injuries I had were from my knees up to my shoulders.
18 And it was on the posterior part of the body. I was black and
19 blue. I had a fracture of the fifth and sixth rib, too.
20 Q. There came a time when you were discharged from the hospital or
21 you were released from the hospital. Could you tell us where you went to
22 after your release.
23 A. When we were discharged from the hospital, they took us to the
24 Iskra Stadium, the football stadium of the Iskra Football Club.
25 Q. And could you describe for us the conditions at the stadium,
2 A. Well, on the whole, the rooms hadn't been completely constructed.
3 There were some wooden planks on the floor, some blankets, and we
4 would lie on these blankets and on these wooden planks. It was very
5 crowded and we were packed in, like sardines in a can.
6 Q. Approximately how many people would you say were housed in that
7 room in the stadium?
8 A. A total of about 300 people in the stadium, I think.
9 Q. Were you given meals?
10 A. Yes. We received one meal during the day.
11 Q. Before the -- before your transfer to the stadium and before the
12 conflict actually began, could you give this Trial Chamber an idea of how
13 much you would have weighed.
14 A. 92 or 93 kilos, something like that; similar to what I weigh now.
15 Q. And by the time you had gotten to the stadium, how much were you
17 A. I don't know exactly. I know that when I managed to escape I
18 lost between 15 and 16 kilos.
19 Q. Thank you. [Microphone not activated] Did you remain at the
20 stadium all the time or were you transferred to --
21 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.
22 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:
23 Q. Did you remain at the stadium all the time, or were you
24 transferred to another area?
25 A. They would take us to carry out work. They would take us to
12 Blank page inserted to ensure pagination corresponds between the French and
13 English transcripts.
1 Pajic Polje, and they would take us to dig trenches from there, to
2 Durovar Dolac [phoen].
3 Q. Would you be able to assist the Trial Chamber as in to who -- as
4 to who guarded you during this time in your -- in your detention at Pajic
5 and while -- during your forced labour, digging of trenches, et cetera.
6 A. They were the units of theirs from Bugojno who were billeted in
7 the school in Pajic Polje. I knew some men who were from Bugojno, so
8 these were troops from Bugojno.
9 Q. Were you able to or could you recognise who was in charge? Would
10 you be able to assist us as to who you thought might have been in charge
11 of the group; who supervised you at the trenches?
12 A. Well, the man who was in command, I don't know his name. I only
13 know about the men who took us from Pajic Polje to dig trenches every
14 day. I know one man, Hanaz Dzelilovic was his name.
15 Q. And do you know if he was a member of any battalion, any specific
16 unit? Do you know?
17 A. I don't know what the name of this Bugojno unit was, but he was a
18 member of that unit.
19 Q. Thank you. Now, there came a time when you left Pajic. Could
20 you tell us by what means you left.
21 A. On the 20th of September, their commander who was there, he
22 wanted six men for digging. That day we needed to cover up a dugout
23 which we had dug before, and he wanted six men to go and do this work. I
24 volunteered and asked, "Could I go," and he said, "Yes." And that day we
25 went up there to do that work. I had decided to escape that day, and I
1 managed to escape from one line to the other, which means from the lines
2 of the BH army to the HVO lines, a place called Osojnica Ploca together
3 with two other colleagues, Miroslav Marjanovic and Zivko Borislav. The
4 three of us managed to escape and the four stayed behind.
5 Q. From the HVO position in Uskoplje, did you go on to any other
7 A. I went to Uskoplje, and then from there to the Republic of
8 Croatia, the town called Trogir.
9 Q. Whilst in Trogir, did you seek medical attention?
10 A. Yes. I went to Livno, because that was where our hospital was.
11 So I went to Livno for treatment. I was x-rayed immediately, and they
12 told me I had a fracture of the fifth and sixth rib, and I continued
13 treatment until after the new year, when I rejoined the units again.
14 Q. Were you ever able to be reunited with your immediate family
15 members, your wife and child?
16 A. Yes, in Trogir.
17 Q. Mr. Alvir, could you tell this Trial Chamber to date how you feel
19 A. I feel quite well, only I have problems when it gets very cold.
20 My back aches, my arms and legs. I have some problems with my back,
21 probably due to the beatings that I received.
22 Q. And could you tell us how this whole experience has affected you
23 mentally, if it has. Could you tell us.
24 A. Any reminder of these things is a strain, a stress. But what can
25 we do? That's how it is.
1 Q. And finally, could you tell the Trial Chamber where you reside
3 A. In Zagreb.
4 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Alvir.
5 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, this concludes
6 the examination-in-chief of this witness.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you very much,
8 Ms. Benjamin. It is now 5.35. We need to have our technical break. We
9 will resume work at 6.00 sharp. And I believe that the cross-examination
10 will begin then. So we'll resume at 6.00.
11 --- Recess taken at 5.34 p.m.
12 --- On resuming at 6.05 p.m.
13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The hearing is resumed.
14 Without further ado, not to take away the time of the Defence, I give
15 them the floor.
16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
17 Cross-examined by Ms. Residovic:
18 Q. [Interpretation] Good evening, Mr. Zrinko. My name is Edina
19 Residovic, and I am Defence counsel for General Hadzihasanovic. I would
20 like to ask you to answer a few questions.
21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Before that, Mr. President, as
22 the witness was a military policeman in the HVO and is a native of
23 Bugojno, I will ask him just a few questions of a general nature
24 regarding the military and general background that preceded these events.
25 Q. So understand I will ask you some general questions first.
1 Mr. Zrinko, you said that you were born and that you lived your
2 whole life in Bugojno; is that right?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. Bugojno is in the upper course of the Vrbas River; is that right?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Going from Bugojno towards Sarajevo and Zenica, one normally
7 passes through Donji Vakuf, Komar, the Lasva Travnik, the Lasva
8 crossroads, and then for Zenica and Sarajevo; is that correct?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. However, under conditions of war, due to the temporarily occupied
11 territory of Donji Vakuf and Komar, a side road was used through Ravno
12 Rostovo and Novi Travnik. The roads towards Herzegovina or the routes
13 went via Gornji Vakuf, Prozor, and Jablanica, and then again because of
14 the occupation of a part of the territory south of Jablanica, mountain
15 roads were used to go to Mostar.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Being an inhabitant of Bugojno and a military policeman, you were
18 aware that in 1992 and 1993 the question of the openness of traffic
19 routes was of vital importance for Central Bosnia, wasn't it?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Many misunderstandings and conflicts were linked to the blocking
22 of roads; isn't that right?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Very well. Since you probably travelled frequently between
25 Bugojno and Gornji Vakuf, a territory which is about 18 kilometres long,
1 I would like to ask you to have a look at a map and to recognise it first
2 and then to point to a few locations which are of interest from the
3 standpoint of this conversation of ours.
4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] So could this map be shown to the
5 witness, please.
6 Q. Zrinko, do you recognise this area and this road?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is this the route leading from Bugojno towards Gornji Vakuf?
9 A. Yes.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in view of the
11 fact that the witness has recognised the map, I would like to tender it
12 into evidence as a Defence exhibit. But before that, I would like to ask
13 the witness to make some markings on this map.
14 Would you please put the map on the overhead projector so that
15 everyone can see it on their screens.
16 Q. And using a pen, will you please write where the town of Bugojno
17 is marked a number "1."
18 A. [Marks]
19 Q. For the transcript, is it correct that number 1 marks the town --
20 the position of the town of Bugojno? Is that correct?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Will you please put a number "2" where Gornji Vakuf is situated.
23 A. [Marks]
24 Q. And a number "3" for the location you mentioned in your
25 testimony, and that is Pajic Polje.
1 A. [Marks]
2 Q. So for the transcript, number 2 is placed next to Gornji Vakuf
3 and number 3, the location of Pajic Polje.
4 Is it true, Mr. Zrinko, that as one leaves Bugojno in the
5 direction of Gornji Vakuf there is a locality called Vrbanja? If you can
6 see that place, would you put a number "4" next to it.
7 A. [Marks]
8 Q. Is it true that number 4 now stands for the location of Vrbanja?
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. Tell me, Mr. Zrinko, is it correct that the HVO headquarters in
11 Bugojno were in Tito's villa, on a hill called Gorica?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Could you find this hill called Gorica and mark it, please.
14 A. With a number "5"?
15 Q. Yes, a number "5," please.
16 A. [Marks]
17 Q. Is it correct that number 5 is the position of Tito's villa in
18 which in 1993 the HVO brigade Eugen Kvaternik headquarters was situated?
19 A. Yes.
20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Since the witness has marked the
21 locations of interest to me, could the witness sign and date this map.
22 And I would ask the Trial Chamber to admit this document into evidence as
23 a Defence exhibit.
24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please put your name on the map
25 and today's date, the 10th of February, 2004.
1 THE WITNESS: [Witness complies]
2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us show the document to the
3 Prosecution, please; to Defence counsel to check; to the accused.
4 Mr. Registrar, will you give us an exhibit number for this
6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the exhibit number will be D28.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So D28. Thank you.
8 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, DH28.
9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] DH28.
10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]
11 Q. Is it true, Mr. Alvir, that the locations that you have marked,
12 Gorica and Vrbanja, belonged to Bugojno municipality?
13 A. Yes.
14 Q. Is it true that Pajic Polje belonged to the municipality of
15 Gornji Vakuf?
16 A. Yes, it is.
17 Q. Now let us move on to some of the questions that you responded to
18 prior to the break. You said that on the 20th of May you joined the HVO
19 military police; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. At that time, there was a state of war in Bosnia and Herzegovina
22 by then because of the attack of the JNA and the Serb army, so the
23 Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaimed a mobilisation.
24 A. I think so, but I am not sure.
25 Q. HVO units that were formed did not place themselves under the
1 control of the TO staff of Bosnia-Herzegovina but their superior command
2 was the Supreme Command in Grude.
3 A. HVO units were formed prior to units of what you call the Armija,
4 at least in Bugojno.
5 Q. That may be correct, but my question is: Was your superior
6 command first in Tomislavgrad and then in Grude?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Is it true that on the 7th of May Mate Boban took a decision to
9 appoint the HVO Bugojno and that shortly after that, on the 20th of May,
10 you joined the HVO of Bugojno?
11 A. I have no idea about the dates. I don't know those things. I
12 didn't keep any records, and this simply didn't interest me.
13 Q. In answer to a question from my learned friend, you said that the
14 military police was based in the Kalin Hotel in the centre of Bugojno; is
15 that right?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. You were actually the brigade police, that is, of the 104th
18 Brigade, called Eugen Kvaternik.
19 A. No, we were not the brigade police.
20 Q. You were independent military police?
21 A. We were an independent military police unit which had its
22 headquarters in Livno. We were known as the 2nd Battalion, and we did
23 not belong to the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade.
24 Q. Thank you. However, the brigade that was formed in 1992, the HVO
25 brigade, was the 104th Eugen Kvaternik Brigade.
1 A. I'm not sure of the number it bore.
2 Q. And do you know the name?
3 A. Yes, Eugen Kvaternik.
4 Q. In February 1993, another battalion was formed, the Home Guards
5 Battalion, which had a territorial deployment; is that right?
6 A. There were three battalions, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalions.
7 Q. And they constituted the Home Guards Regiment.
8 A. Yes, that was the composition of that brigade.
9 Q. And the headquarters of the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade were in
10 Tito's villa, on the Gorica hill, just above the town of Bugojno; is that
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. Is it true, Mr. Alvir, that the HVO and the brigade members, the
14 military police in both 1992 and 1993 were better equipped, had better
15 uniforms than members of the Armija and the brigade in Bugojno that was
16 in the process of being formed?
17 A. Yes, they were better equipped.
18 Q. Members of the army were poorly dressed. They often wore a
19 mixture of civilian and military clothing; is that right?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. Is it true that due to wartime conditions many people who had the
22 possibility of getting hold of a uniform wore such a uniform, regardless
23 of whether they belonged to any unit or not? It was the fashion.
24 A. I don't know that. I don't know what kind of fashion people
25 resorted to. If they were in uniform, they were soldiers. At least,
1 that was what they looked like. What do I know?
2 Q. In those days in Bugojno there were many refugees arriving,
3 especially Bosniaks from Donji Vakuf, Prozor, Kupres, Vitez, and other
4 locations; is that right? Jajce as well?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Already at the beginning of 1993 it can be said that there were
7 more refugees than local inhabitants.
8 A. I don't know whether there were more, but there were a lot of
10 Q. Mr. Alvir, is it true that the events and overt conflicts between
11 the army and the HVO in the area of Gornji Vakuf, then in the areas of
12 Vitez, Travnik had a major impact on tension and the worsening of
13 relationships in Bugojno itself?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. The particularly difficult situation, in spite of the efforts
16 made, begins sometime in May 1993; is that right?
17 A. I think it is.
18 Q. Do you know that what happened first was the capture and killing
19 of three members of the army and then in reprisal the capture of 20
20 members of the HVO, due to which special measures were taken to calm the
21 situation down and to have all the captives released? Were you aware of
22 this as a military policeman?
23 A. You have to explain more specifically where this happened and
24 what events you are referring to. Where were these people captured, et
1 Q. First of all, on the 9th of May in this area towards Pavic Polje,
2 five members of the Army of Bosnia and Herzegovina were captured, and
3 then in the night between the 9th and 10th of May another group of
4 members of the army were captured. And that same night the army captured
5 20 members of the HVO. This was a major excess that occurred due to
6 which --
7 A. Where did the army capture these people?
8 Q. It was an excess, a major incident. Do you remember this?
9 Because there were people taken captive on both sides, and there were
10 efforts to resolve the conflict by peaceful means.
11 A. There were such instances, but I don't know specifically what
12 you're referring to.
13 Q. In order to assist you, on the 9th of May 38 members of the army
14 were captured at the checkpoint in Humac.
15 A. It wasn't on Humac.
16 Q. Very well. A while ago you pointed out to the village of Vrbanja
17 on the map. Is it true to say that about 600 inhabitants lived in that
18 village before the war?
19 A. It's possible. I don't know the number, but the village is not a
20 big one.
21 Q. Do you know anything about the fact that on the 17th of July
22 there were two incidents, first of all at the crossroads to the Kandija
23 village the HVO established a checkpoint, and on that same day 500 metres
24 in the direction of Bugojno the army established its own checkpoint at
25 which Miroslav Talenta was killed in a fight with those manning the army
1 checkpoint? Are you aware of this incident?
2 A. Yes, I'm very well aware of it, but the checkpoint in Vrbanja
3 existed from the very beginning of the war and it was there all the time.
4 So from the very beginning of the conflict with the Serbian forces, that
5 checkpoint was in existence and it was there all the time. And the
6 murder of Miroslav Talenta and the wounding of Drazen Milicevic and I
7 think at the time someone called Vucak was killed - I think his first
8 name was Miroslav - at the time it wasn't a checkpoint but the young men
9 were returning from the swimming pool. They were in their swimming
10 trunks. They were in their car and they fired at their car while they
11 were driving. There wasn't a checkpoint of any kind, but they opened
12 fire on their vehicle. They then went off the road.
13 Q. You heard about that event after it had happened.
14 A. Yes, but on the same day, because Drazen Milicevic was wounded.
15 He escaped from the vehicle. He tried to escape through Vrbas, over the
16 Vrbas. A soldier caught up with him and fired at him in the water and
17 wounded him in the arm. He went to the Hotel Kalin, which is where the
18 military clinic was. He told us about the entire event and he said that
19 Miroslav Talenta had been hit in the car and that he had been killed;
20 whereas they killed Mijo Vucak in front of the house in which they would
21 detain them, in front of the house in which they detained HVO members.
22 They killed him in front of the door to that house.
23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Excuse me, Mr. President, but I believe that
24 even though cross-examination should be as wide and could be as wide, I
25 think that this bears nothing with respect to the examination-in-chief,
1 absolutely nothing.
2 And further, my friend continues to put five and six questions to
3 the witness at one time.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The Defence has
5 taken note of the Prosecution's comment. I would just like to point out
6 that we were told by the witness that he resided in Hotel Kalin. He saw
7 the person who had escaped from the vehicle arrive in the hotel, and this
8 person had been wounded. The name of the person is Drazen Milicevic. So
9 to the extent that he was --
10 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Milicevic.
11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Milicevic. He can say -- he
12 can tell us what he saw in the hotel. He can tell us about what he
14 So please proceed.
15 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Very well. Since the Prosecution
16 has pointed out that we ought to shorten this question, I'm just going to
17 ask the witness whether it's correct to say that what you have just told
18 us about is something that you heard about from that wounded man.
19 A. Yes. And later I saw Mijo Vucak, who was dead, and Talenta was
20 in the military hospital. I saw their dead bodies.
21 Q. Would it be correct to say that because of that incident the
22 Herceg-Bosna MUP and the Bosnia-Herzegovina MUP immediately formed a
23 mixed patrol that consisted of eight members - there were four Bosniaks
24 and four Croats in the patrol - in order to go to the site and carry out
25 an on-site investigation?
1 A. Yes, I think that's correct.
2 Q. Would it be correct to say that at the on-site investigation some
3 HVO members attacked the BH MUP representatives and killed three of them
4 and in fact this is what caused the conflict to break out in the town?
5 That was the last drop in the cup.
6 A. Yes, I think so.
7 Q. I'll now return to a few questions that were put to you by my
8 colleague. You said that in fact on the 24th of July you surrendered to
9 members of the army; isn't that right?
10 A. I think so. In fact, I don't know the exact date, but I do think
11 it was the 24th of July.
12 Q. However, the conflict had not yet ceased. At the time, the
13 fighting continued, because the HVO headquarters in Gorica continued to
14 resist and the conflict only ended a few days after your capture. Is
15 that correct?
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Part of the brigade -- part of the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade,
18 managed to withdraw from the town and several thousand Croats from
19 Bugojno withdrew with the brigade; is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You said that you were detained in the furniture shop until the
22 5th of August, 1993. You also stated that the soldiers who would take
23 you out at night and maltreat you asked you to give them your good
24 uniforms and to put on their old uniforms.
25 A. Yes, that happened on the very first day.
1 Q. Would it be correct to say that some of you HVO members destroyed
2 your uniforms on purpose? You did this deliberately to prevent them from
3 members of the BH army getting them.
4 A. Well, it wasn't to prevent them from getting them, but we didn't
5 want them to take them off us and give us dirty clothes. But it wasn't
6 to prevent them from getting hold of our uniforms.
7 Q. Yes. But you said they were members of the army.
8 A. Yes. But it's not what you think. I didn't want to receive
9 their dirty clothes in exchange for my clean ones.
10 Q. Sir, you are a witness and you should try to provide appropriate
11 answers to my questions and tell us what the reason was for destroying
12 your uniforms.
13 From the very first day that you spent in the furniture shop you
14 were able to receive food from nuns and priests; is that correct?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. After you --
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I just wanted to interrupt the
18 Defence to point out that he answered your question. He said that he
19 didn't want to give his uniform to others because the uniforms that the
20 others had were dirty. So he's answered your question. You are telling
21 him that he hasn't answered your question, but in fact he has. That was
22 just a minor detail. But please carry on.
23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, perhaps there was
24 a slight error in the translation. I can't see that now. But I think
25 that the witness has answered my questions, and I accepted the answers he
1 provided. But thank you for drawing my attention to this fact.
2 Q. After being provided with treatment in the hospital, you said
3 that you were transferred in the second half of August to the stadium
4 that belonged to the Iskra Football Club; is that correct?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. You also said that you received food once a day. I would like to
7 know whether you were given soup, bread, and a tin of food.
8 A. Well, there was some cooked food, a soup or something similar,
9 lentils or something like that. That's what they called them. I don't
10 know what it is. But that's what we were given.
11 Q. In addition, while you were at the stadium, you were able to
12 receive food from civilians, acquaintances, relatives, and from Caritas;
13 is that correct?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. At that time, you were able to go home with an escort or to go to
16 see friends in order to wash yourselves, et cetera; is that correct?
17 A. No.
18 Q. In response to a question from the Prosecution, you said that on
19 the 10th of September you were taken to Pajic Polje, and you escaped from
20 there ten days later. That's correct, isn't it?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. Would it be correct to say - you've already answered this
23 question, in fact; you said that Pajic Polje was in the municipality of
24 Gornji Vakuf.
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. You didn't know who was directly in charge of the work you were
2 involved in; is that correct?
3 A. Yes.
4 Q. In fact, you perhaps know that the territory of the municipality
5 of Gornji Vakuf, as of June, belonged to the 6th Corps.
6 A. I don't know what the name of the corps were, but I know that
7 they were soldiers from Bugojno. In Pajic Polje and in Dolac, which is
8 where I had fled from to the line -- at the line, there were soldiers
9 from Bugojno. So it was a Bugojno unit.
10 Q. Yes. But while you were in Pajic Polje, you don't know who their
11 superior command was. You don't know that.
12 A. No.
13 Q. When you and Miroslav Marjanovic and Borislav Zivko managed to
14 escape, you were immediately interviewed by the security service, the
15 SIS; is that correct?
16 A. Yes. We spoke to some people there.
17 Q. In addition, with regard to your experience while in detention,
18 you gave a statement to the police station in Bugojno in November 1994;
19 is that correct?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. You recognised some of the men who had beaten you on the 5th of
22 August, Vrban Edin. I don't know what the name of the other one was.
23 Durakovic Sacir. Criminal proceedings were instituted, and you were
24 heard as a witness in that case. Is that correct?
25 A. Yes.
1 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Alvir. I have no further questions.
2 A. Thank you.
3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll now give the floor to the
5 other Defence team, if they have any questions to ask the witness.
6 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.
7 Since this testimony did you want concern the counts in the indictment
8 with which Mr. Kubura has been charged, we have no questions for this
10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.
11 I'll turn to Mrs. Benjamin to ask if she has any further
12 questions in the light of the questions put to the witness in the course
13 of the cross-examination.
14 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, the Prosecution just has one
15 question for this witness.
16 Re-examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:
17 Q. In line 15, 16, 17 -- in line 17, my learned friend asked you if
18 criminal proceedings were instituted and if you were a witness in that
19 such case. Could you tell the Trial Chamber when these criminal
20 proceedings were instituted and by whom.
21 A. I first gave a statement at the high court in Vitez, and then I
22 also gave a statement in Travnik in those proceedings.
23 Q. Could you give us an idea of date, time, when.
24 A. I don't know the exact dates.
25 Q. And not -- not particularly a date, but a period of time. What
1 year? Can you assist us?
2 A. It was last year, I think. Three or four months ago. About four
3 months ago. I think that's when I gave my last statement in Travnik, but
4 I don't know the exact date.
5 Q. Thank you, Mr. Alvir.
6 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, Your Honours, this is it.
7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'd like to thank the
9 Witness, we have now concluded your testimony. The Prosecution
10 has asked you all the questions that they thought were relevant, and the
11 Defence has also asked you some questions. The Judges did not feel it
12 was necessary to ask you any questions in order to clarify certain
13 issues. Therefore, we have concluded your testimony. The Trial Chamber
14 wishes you a good trip home, since you have come from quite far. And I
15 will now ask the usher to escort you out of the courtroom.
16 [The witness withdrew]
17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before we adjourn, could the
18 Prosecution inform us of its schedule for tomorrow and tell us about the
19 identity of the witnesses who will be heard.
20 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, for that purpose can
21 we please go into private session?
22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We are going to go
23 into private session, Mr. Registrar.
24 [Private session]
12 Page 2647 redacted, private session
12 Page 2648 redacted, private session
4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.49 p.m.,
5 to be reconvened on Wednesday, the 11th day of
6 February, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.