Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 3711

1 Monday, 1 March 2004

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.20 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are beginning our session

6 with some delay. We've had technical problems.

7 Mr. Registrar, can you please call the case.

8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, case number IT-01-47-T, the

9 Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. Registrar.

11 I'm turning towards the Prosecution for the appearances.

12 MR. WITHOPF: Good afternoon, Your Honours. Good afternoon,

13 Counsel. For the Prosecution, Chester Stamp and Ekkehard Withopf, and I

14 would like to use this opportunity to introduce our new case manager,

15 Mrs. Ruth Karper.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

17 Defence teams, please, appearances.

18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.

19 Representing General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic, counsel; Stephane

20 Bourgon, co-counsel; and Alexis Demirdjian, legal assistant. Thank you.

21 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Your Honours.

22 Representing Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and

23 Mr. Mulalic, our legal assistant.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The Chamber would

25 like to greet everybody after the weekend, the representatives of the

Page 3712

1 Prosecution. We also greet the arrival of Mrs. Ruth Karper, who's going

2 to reinforce the Prosecution team and who is going to replace

3 Mrs. Fleming, and who is going to contribute to the smooth proceedings.

4 So Chamber would like to greet this new person on board.

5 The Chamber would also like to greet the Defence teams, as well

6 as the accused and everybody in the courtroom, not to forget the

7 interpreters, who are doing a very important job for everybody.

8 I believe that we have to go into private session because of the

9 application for protective measures. Mr. Withopf, you have the floor.

10 MR. WITHOPF: Yes, that's correct, Mr. President. The

11 Prosecution will apply for protective measures, and for that reason I

12 would suggest to go into private session.

13 [Private session]

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7 [Open session]

8 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are in open session.

9 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

10 Q. The positions we have mentioned were positions that you held when

11 the war broke out; that is to say, when JNA and Serbian forces attacked

12 Bosnia and Herzegovina. Is that correct?

13 A. Yes, it is.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I did not receive the

15 interpretation of that.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] My microphone is switched on.

17 I'll repeat my question.

18 Q. Would it be correct to say that the war broke out, the Yugoslav

19 National Army and the Serbian forces attacked Bosnia and Herzegovina,

20 while you were occupying the positions that we already referred to.

21 A. Yes, that's correct.

22 Q. On the 6th of April, Bosnia and Herzegovina was recognised by the

23 European Community, by the Republic of Croatia, and the USA; is that

24 correct?

25 A. Yes.

Page 3769

1 Q. At the time in Bosnia and Herzegovina legally elected organs at

2 elections in 1990 were in power; is that correct?

3 A. Yes, it is.

4 Q. As we are in open session, I have to turn off my microphone

5 whenever you answer my questions in order to make sure that your voice

6 isn't heard.

7 After this attack, Bosnia and Herzegovina declared a state of war

8 and introduced a general mobilisation; are you aware of that?

9 A. Yes.

10 Q. At the beginning of the war, in Bugojno municipality there was a

11 Territorial Defence staff, and at the beginning Zdravko Stanisic was its

12 commander. Were you aware of that?

13 A. Yes, I was.

14 Q. Are you aware of the fact that, as the commander of the Bugojno

15 Territorial Defence staff, Zdravko Stanisic didn't accept the invitation

16 from the Ministry of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the order from the staff

17 according to which he should subordinate the Municipal Staff to the staff

18 of the Territorial Defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina? Are you aware of

19 this?

20 A. No, I'm not.

21 Q. Mr. ZH, would it be correct to say that after the beginning of

22 the war most of the Serbian population from Bugojno municipality withdrew

23 with the Serbian army from the town itself?

24 A. Well, look, the Serbian army wasn't present in the town.

25 Q. But most of the Serbian inhabitants left Bugojno.

Page 3770

1 A. Most of the Serbian inhabitants left Bugojno, and they weren't

2 escorted by the Serbian army because the Serbian army wasn't present in

3 Bugojno.

4 Q. Thank you for this clarification.

5 Would it be correct to say that in May in Bugojno an HVO brigade

6 was formed, the Eugen Kvaternik Brigade, and the majority of the Croatian

7 population of Bugojno joined the HVO?

8 A. Yes.

9 Q. However, although there were two separate military structures,

10 the Territorial Defence and the Bugojno HVO, as they were faced with the

11 same enemy, attempted in May 1992 to reach an agreement about forming a

12 joint command for the defence of the town. Are you aware of that?

13 (redacted)

14 Q. At the time, the HVO was better organised and the Territorial

15 Defence was being established a little belatedly; is that correct?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. However, in spite of those attempts, nothing came of this joint

18 command. But in the course of 1992, the Territorial Defence and the HVO

19 carried out combat activities at the lines in the town facing the Serbian

20 forces. Is that correct?

21 A. Yes.

22 Q. All those --

23 MR. WITHOPF: Excuse me.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, this is a --

Page 3771

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'll turn to Defence. I would

2 like to inform Defence counsel that they should turn off their microphone

3 once the question has been put to the witness. Otherwise, we have a

4 problem.

5 Yes, Mr. Withopf.

6 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, this is a pure technical issue.

7 However, since we are in open session and the witness was saying that he

8 was personally present at a certain meeting which has been identified

9 earlier on by my learned colleague, I think this portion should be

10 redacted.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, could you

12 prepare an order to redact the witness's answer that concerns his

13 attendance at this meeting. His answer might make it possible to

14 identify the witness.

15 Please carry on.

16 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I'm bearing this

17 in mind, but I assume that a number of persons attended the meeting so

18 that the connection with the witness wasn't direct. But my colleague is

19 quite right to point out that even slight -- minor details might reveal

20 the witness's identity.

21 Q. Would it be correct to say that in July the HVO as a civilian

22 organ of power was formed in Bugojno?

23 A. Well, yes, that was a period during which de facto and de jure

24 there were two administrative organs in Bugojno, one within the HVO and

25 the other in the BH army. So two directors were appointed to schools and

Page 3772

1 two directors were appointed to companies, and in all the organs of power

2 we had two directors, two persons who were in charge.

3 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Could we now go into private

4 session.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [No interpretation]

6 [Private session]

7 (redacted)

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Page 3773

1 (redacted)

2 [Open session]

3 THE REGISTRAR: Sorry, Your Honours, we are back in open session.

4 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

5 Q. Is it true, Witness ZH, that despite the fact that there were

6 parallel bodies of power many individuals and bodies in Bugojno tried to

7 resolve all the problems that might have arose, together, jointly?

8 A. No, it's not correct.

9 Q. Is it true, Mr. ZH, that during 1992 and especially after Donji

10 Vakuf was taken by the Serb forces and after Kupres fell a lot of

11 refugees expelled from that area came into Bugojno? Is that correct?

12 A. Yes, it is.

13 Q. The increased number of refugees arrived towards the end of 1992

14 and the beginning of 1993 after the fall of Jajce; is that correct?

15 A. Yes, it is.

16 Q. Most of these refugees came without any personal belongings; is

17 that correct?

18 A. Yes, it is.

19 Q. When they arrived in such huge numbers, the situation in the town

20 was further compounded and there were problems with their accommodation

21 and provisions for them; is that correct?

22 A. Yes, it is.

23 Q. Due to the vicinity of the front line and due to the war, many

24 citizens of Bugojno left the town to go either to the areas which were

25 still not affected by the war or to the third countries; is that correct?

Page 3774

1 A. Yes, that is correct.

2 Q. One might say that up to the summer of 1993 a lot of local

3 Croatian population left Bugojno so that in the summer of that year there

4 were only 7.000 local Croats left.

5 A. I don't know how many Croats were there in the summer of that

6 year, but it is true that a lot of women, children, and elderly people

7 had left. That's true.

8 Q. Among the refugees who remained in the town, most of them were

9 Bosniak Muslims, so that the demographic picture of the town in mid-1993

10 was significantly changed; is that correct?

11 A. Yes, it is.

12 Q. After the beginning of war, up to the summer 1993, you were in

13 Bugojno all this time and you didn't go anywhere; is that correct?

14 A. Yes, it is.

15 Q. However, you are aware of the fact that in order to leave town

16 one had to seek approval by the HVO because the HVO controlled the main

17 roads around Bugojno; is that correct?

18 A. Yes. I personally helped some Muslims to obtain those permits,

19 those who wanted to visit their families accommodated in the town of

20 Makarska and in its vicinity.

21 Q. Thank you. In 1993, the relationship between the two peoples and

22 the relationship between the HVO and the BiH army was largely affected by

23 the conflicts between the BiH army and the HVO in the territory of Gornji

24 Vakuf and in the Lasva Valley; is that correct?

25 A. Yes.

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Page 3776

1 Q. However, according to your knowledge, both the BiH army command

2 and the HVO command made efforts during the months of May, June, and July

3 to peacefully resolve the situation and to avoid an open conflict. Are

4 you aware of that?

5 A. Yes, I am.

6 Q. However, on the 17th of July, in the village of Vrbanja, which is

7 some 3 kilometres away from Bugojno towards Gornji Vakuf, there was an

8 incident. Members of the BiH army killed Miroslav Talenta. Milijan

9 Vucak was also killed, and this raised tensions in the town.

10 A. Yes. And this day may be taken as the beginning of the

11 large-scale Muslim aggression against Croats in Bugojno.

12 Q. Is it true that as soon as this fact became known a joint

13 commission was set up, made of four members of the MUP Bosniaks and four

14 members of the MUP who were Croats? They were sent to the spot of the

15 tragedy in order to investigate what had happened.

16 A. I'm not aware of that.

17 Q. Are you aware of the fact that at the moment this joint

18 commission arrived there the HVO attacked Muslim members of the

19 Bosnian-Herzegovinian MUP and killed three out of four of them? Are you

20 aware of that fact?

21 A. No, I'm not.

22 Q. However, you are aware of the fact that these incidents in

23 Vrbanja spread and became a general conflict in the town of Bugojno.

24 A. Yes, I'm aware of that.

25 Q. Are you aware of the fact that during the attack on Vrbanja 54

Page 3777

1 civilians were killed. They were Bosniak Muslims. 45 of them were

2 arrested and detained in the Aquarium Motel.

3 A. I only learnt that once I was released from the camp. A book was

4 published two years ago depicting those events. While I was detained, I

5 didn't know anything about this incident.

6 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go back into

7 private session, because my next questions might reveal the identity of

8 the witness.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, let's please go

10 into private session.

11 [Private session]

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15 [Open session]

16 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

18 Q. Is it true, Mr. ZH, that at that time in 1993 the BiH army and

19 the HVO as well as the reserve units of the police wore camouflage

20 uniforms in town?

21 A. It is true, but I don't remember. There was no need for me to

22 remember who they were. There were a lot of camouflage uniforms, and the

23 members of these units recognised each other by the insignia on the

24 uniforms.

25 Q. At the moment when you were being transferred to the Iskra

Page 3780

1 Stadium, you could see even children wearing camouflage uniforms or parts

2 of camouflage uniforms; is that correct?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. So you will agree with me that there were even some civilians who

5 had camouflage uniforms and wore them.

6 A. No, I wouldn't agree with you.

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 Q. Among the persons who were in the school, you recognised Nijaz

11 Bevrnja; is that correct?

12 A. Yes.

13 Q. You could also see that he was the one issuing orders to other

14 soldiers, and based on that you concluded that he had a command

15 responsibility or that he played a important role.

16 A. Yes, that's correct.

17 Q. You know that Nijaz Bevrnja at that time was the commander of a

18 civilian platoon in Bugojno.

19 A. I don't know what he was. I know that he was together with Besim

20 Hodzic and that the two of them are responsible for whatever happened in

21 the basement of the Gimnazija building.

22 Q. You have testified about spending a month on provisional release.

23 During July, you were not in the prison.

24 A. No, this was not in July. This was in August.

25 Q. I apologise. I stand corrected. At first you only spent seven

Page 3781

1 or eight days in the prison, and then for a month you were on provisional

2 release; is that correct?

3 A. Yes, that's correct.

4 Q. You stayed in the Gimnazija up to the 8th of October, and then

5 all of those who were still in the Gimnazija building were transferred to

6 the Iskra Stadium; is that correct?

7 A. Yes.

8 Q. Are you aware of the fact that throughout all this time the

9 Gimnazija was under the control of the Bugojno MUP, the public security

10 station in Bugojno?

11 A. No, I don't believe that it was under the control of the MUP

12 Bugojno. It was under the control of the BiH army.

13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can the witness please be shown a

14 document.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can, please, the Defence

16 indicate the origin and the relevance of this document.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] This is a document that we found

18 in the archives of the public security station in Bugojno during our

19 investigation, and this document is directly linked with the building

20 where this witness was detained.

21 Q. Mr. ZH, is it correct that the building of the Gimnazija was

22 within the purview of the municipal bodies of the civilian authorities in

23 Bugojno before the war?

24 A. I don't understand your question. What do you mean within the

25 purview? All the schools before the territory of a municipality are

Page 3782

1 within the purview of their founder, and that is the municipality.

2 Q. In war conditions, the War Presidency of the municipality was

3 authorised to allocate such buildings to certain military bodies; is that

4 correct?

5 A. Yes.

6 Q. In that way, as early as May 1992 the War Presidency of Bugojno

7 made a decision that some parts of the Gimnazija would be given to the

8 public-security station in Bugojno.

9 A. I'm not aware of that.

10 Q. Can you please look at the document that you have in front of

11 you. Are you aware of the fact that in 1993 the chief of the

12 public-security station in Bugojno -- or the civilian police, in other

13 words -- was Mr. Senad Dautovic?

14 A. Yes, I am aware of that fact.

15 Q. Looking at this document, can you see that this document bears

16 the heading of the security services centre, public-security station

17 Bugojno? Are you familiar with that heading?

18 A. I see this for the first time, and I wouldn't be able to say

19 anything about this document because at that time I was already at the

20 stadium. However, it would be logical to say that if the building of the

21 Gimnazija according to this document is given to the MUP, it is only

22 logical that between the 8th and the 14th it was enough time to remove

23 every trace of the crime in order for the Gimnazija to be restored to its

24 original purpose.

25 Q. So you will agree with me that this document was issued only four

Page 3783

1 days after the last detainee left the Gimnazija.

2 A. Not four. Six days later. If this is dated the 14th of October

3 and I left the Gimnazija on the 8th of October, so we are not talking

4 about four days but six days.

5 Q. In my copy, the date is 12.

6 A. In my copy, the date is 14.

7 Q. In the heading, the date is 12 October, and the deadline for the

8 building to be handed over is the 14th.

9 A. Yes, you are right there. However, I wouldn't be able to say

10 anything about the document. I don't want to comment on this document,

11 because I see it for the first time. I allow that things happened in the

12 way described in this document.

13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, since this

14 document was issued in order to restore the building that is mentioned in

15 the indictment to its original function - this is also the building where

16 the witness was detained - it speaks about direct responsibility of this

17 object in the given period. Therefore, I'm asking for this document to

18 be tendered into evidence as a Defence exhibit.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Withopf, you have the

20 floor.

21 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution

22 objects against tendering this document into evidence. The witness has

23 repeatedly -- he has repeatedly said that he has seen this document

24 never, ever before and he can't comment on the document. He can only

25 basically rephrase what is written in this document but nothing else.

Page 3784

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are going to mark this

2 document for identification, and we will render our decision tomorrow

3 when we resume the hearing.

4 Mr. Registrar, can we please have a temporary number for this

5 document in B/C/S and for its translation in English.

6 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, the B/C/S document will get the

7 exhibit number DH53, marked for identification; and the English

8 translation gets the exhibit number DH53/E, marked for identification.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

10 You may proceed, Counsel.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

12 Q. Mr. ZH, tell us, please, is it true that you personally do not

13 know who was it who decided on the places that would be temporary prisons

14 for members of the HVO and other Croats from Bugojno?

15 A. It is true. I don't know who made that decision.

16 Q. Is it true that you also don't know who is it who made the

17 decision on turning the Iskra Stadium into a temporary prison for the

18 detainees?

19 A. Let me tell you. I believe that at that time the master of life

20 and death in Bugojno was Mr. Dzevad Mlaco, the president of the War

21 Presidency of Bugojno, with his associates. Mesud Duvnjak; Kemal Djafic;

22 Enes Handzic; Selmo Cikotic, who was the commander of the military force;

23 Tahir Granic and others. Now, who was it who made such a decision and

24 who was in command of the camps for the Croats from Bugojno, my

25 assumption would be that it was Mr. Dzevad Mlaco and Enes Handzic.

Page 3785

1 Q. You also don't know personally who was the person who -- or the

2 body who appointed prison wardens.

3 A. It is true that I don't know that.

4 Q. You spent three days in Duratbegovic Dolac digging the trenches

5 there. Is it correct that Duratbegovic Dolac is in Gornji Vakuf

6 municipality?

7 A. I don't know what municipality is that. I only know that it is

8 some 10 to 12 kilometres from Bugojno. At that time, this was where the

9 separation line between the BiH army and the HVO was. I don't know the

10 exact distance from Bugojno and that place. I didn't find it important

11 at the time.

12 Q. Is it true, Mr. ZH, that you don't know which unit the soldier

13 who received you in Duratbegovic Dolac belonged to?

14 A. He belonged to a BiH army unit. I don't know which unit it was.

15 I don't know. I didn't ask. I didn't dare ask anything. I wasn't

16 allowed to ask any questions.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Can we please go into private

18 session.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well, then. Let's go into

20 private session.

21 [Private session]

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21 [Open session]

22 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24 Mr. Withopf, could you inform us of our schedule for tomorrow.

25 MR. WITHOPF: Mr. President, Your Honours, the Prosecution will

Page 3789

1 call the witness which is named on the amended confidential witness

2 schedule which was filed last Friday.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We'll go back into

4 private session.

5 [Private session]

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Page 3790

1 [Open session]

2 THE REGISTRAR: Your Honours, we are back in open session.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As we are now in open session,

4 I would like to adjourn the hearing, and I will see everyone tomorrow at

5 9.00 in the morning, as we will be having these hearings in the morning

6 this week.

7 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.44 p.m.,

8 to be reconvened on Tuesday, the 2nd day of

9 March, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.

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