Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12299

1 Thursday, 25 November 2004

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.17 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could you call

6 the case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Case

8 number IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor versus Enver Hadzihasanovic and Amir

9 Kubura.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Could we have the

11 appearance for the Prosecution.

12 MR. MUNDIS: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon,

13 Your Honours, counsel, and in every one in and around the courtroom. For

14 the Prosecution, Mrs. Tecla Henry-Benjamin, Daryl Mundis, and our case

15 manager Andres Vatter.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you Mr. Mundis. And could

17 we have the appearances for Defence counsel.

18 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Mr. President; good day,

19 Your Honours. On behalf of General Hadzihasanovic, Edina Residovic,

20 counsel, Stephane Bourgon, co-counsel, and Alexis Demirdjian, our legal

21 assistant. Thank you.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the other Defence team.

23 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Good day, Your Honours. On

24 behalf of Mr. Kubura, Rodney Dixon, Fahrudin Ibrisimovic, and Nermin

25 Mulalic, our legal assistant.

Page 12300

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Trial Chamber would like to

2 greet the Prosecution, the Defence counsel, the accused and everyone else

3 in the courtroom.

4 We have a witness who will be testifying here in a minute, but

5 before we call the witness in, there are certain documents that weren't

6 tendered into evidence yesterday. These documents were used when Mr.

7 Hadzialic was testifying. You may take the floor.

8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. We

9 didn't have enough time yesterday to tender the documents into evidence.

10 Out of the five documents shown to Professor Hadzialic, we suggested the

11 following be admitted into evidence. Four documents, document 0977, 0995,

12 0996, 0981. These are documents recognised by the witness. He commented

13 on the documents, and they relate to the knowledge the witness had in

14 1993. Thank you.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Mundis.

16 MR. MUNDIS: The Prosecution has no objection to the documents

17 being admitted into evidence, Mr. President.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, could we have

19 four numbers, please.

20 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] The references for these documents

21 will be DH977, English version DH977/E. DH981, English version DH981/E.

22 DH995. The English version will be DH995/E. And finally DH996. The

23 English version will be DH996/E. And that completes the list of

24 documents.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Just a minute. Among the

Page 12301

1 documents presented, I have 977, then 995, 996, and 981. The order that

2 you presented these documents in was different, but that doesn't matter, I

3 suppose.

4 I think that Defence counsel wanted to take the floor to make some

5 submissions, but please do so briefly because the witness is waiting. I

6 think it was Mr. Bourgon who had some submissions to make.

7 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Good day,

8 Madam Judge; good day, Your Honour; good day, Mr. President. I would

9 previously like to address the Chamber with regard to the translation

10 issue.

11 We informed the Chamber about a week ago that there would be a

12 meeting between the Registry and the Defence in order to see what we could

13 do to ensure that the documents included in Defence's list might be

14 translated in good time so that they can be used with the witnesses. The

15 Defence is satisfied with the meeting that we had, but nevertheless, we

16 are currently faced with the possibility that a significant number of

17 documents might not be translated in time. The situation up until court

18 recess isn't a problem. However, after the new year, in 2005, the

19 translation issue might and problem. The documents that are required for

20 the hearing of certain witnesses may not have been translated. We are

21 exploring the possibility so that the Registry -- but we would like to

22 inform the Chamber immediately of the problem that might arise.

23 And secondly, Mr. President, there is an another issue I would

24 like to address, but perhaps I'll do so after the witness has been heard.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As far as the translation issue

Page 12302

1 is concerned, we'll follow this closely. We hope that you will be in a

2 position to ensure that all the documents are translated when the witness

3 is called in January, but there might be a technical possibility. If a

4 document hasn't been entirely translated, you may proceed as you have

5 proceeded to date. You may ask the witness to read out the relevant

6 phrase, the relevant passage in his own language and you can have the

7 document marked for identification and wait for the full translation to be

8 provided at a subsequent date. But in such a case, you should focus on a

9 line, paragraph, or half a page. In such a case, the witness could read

10 out the relevant passage in his own language, and this will be

11 interpreted. This is a technical solution, but there maybe other

12 solutions.

13 Mr. Bourgon.

14 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please.

15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I'll talk about this with my

16 colleague from the Prosecution. It might be prejudicial to the

17 Prosecution, but if we manage to present the documents to them in advance

18 so that there are no misunderstandings, in such a case this is a possible

19 way of proceeding. Thank you, Mr. President.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If the parties can meet in

21 advance and sort out the problem, it would be preferable to do that than

22 to raise issues before the Trial Chamber, because this takes time which is

23 to the detriment to the proceedings. Naturally you should address us if

24 there are problems you can't deal with, but if you, the Prosecution and

25 the Registry, are in a position to solve the problems that arise and find

Page 12303

1 practical solutions, all we can do is support you in this practical

2 procedure.

3 I will now call the witness into the courtroom. Could the usher

4 please call the witness into the courtroom.

5 [The witness entered court]

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good day, sir. I'd first like

7 to make sure that you are receiving the interpretation of what I'm saying

8 into your own language. If so please say yes.

9 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Yes.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have been called here as a

11 witness for the Defence. Before you take the solemn declaration, could

12 you tell me your first and last names, the date and place of birth.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] My name is Brkic Nezir. I was born

14 on the 18th of December, 1942 in Lasva, Zenica.

15 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness please approach the microphone

16 or speak more loudly.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Are you currently employed, and

18 if so, what is your job?

19 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I'm retired.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992 and 1993, were you

21 employed? Did you hold a position of any kind, and if so, what position

22 did you hold?

23 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I was employed -- I worked for the

24 railways in Zenica, and I worked as the president of the local commune in

25 the Zenica local commune.

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1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. So the president of

2 the Lasva local commune. Have you already testified about the events that

3 took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and 1993, either before an

4 international or national court, or is this the first time?

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] This is the first time.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Could you please read out the

7 solemn declaration that you will be shown in your own language.

8 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I solemnly declare that I will speak

9 the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you, you may sit down.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

12 WITNESS: NEZIR BRKIC

13 [Witness answered through interpreter]

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So before I give the floor to

15 Defence counsel, their examination-in-chief, I would like to provide you

16 with some information about the procedure that we will be following today.

17 You will first have to answer the questions put to you by Defence counsel.

18 You know them. You have certainly met them already. They are to your

19 left.

20 Once they have completed their examination-in-chief, which could

21 take up to an hour and a half, the Prosecution, who are to your right,

22 will conduct what we call their cross-examination.

23 As a rule, the Prosecution is granted the same amount of time as

24 the Defence. After this initial stage, if necessary, Defence counsel may

25 put additional questions to you, questions that are related to the

Page 12306

1 Prosecution's questions. Then the three Judges sitting before you may ask

2 you questions either to clarify some of the answers you have provided to

3 the parties or in order to fill in any gaps in your testimony. In such a

4 case, the Judges may show documents and ask you to comment on documents

5 that have already been admitted into evidence. These documents are in the

6 hands of the registrar.

7 If you feel that a question is complicated, ask the person putting

8 it to you to rephrase it. We don't have any written documents that

9 concern your testimony, so we do not know where you've been. We do not

10 know what you'll be testifying about. This is why your answers are so

11 important, and this is why the comments you make about certain documents

12 that will be shown to you are so important.

13 There are two other factors I would like to draw your attention

14 to, two other important factors. Firstly, you have just taken the solemn

15 declaration, which means that you'll speak the truth and nothing but the

16 truth. This should exclude false testimony, because throughout the world,

17 false testimony is an offence that is sanctioned. A witness could be

18 given a prison sentence or a fine for having given false testimony. But

19 I'm telling you this in order to inform you of the fact.

20 And secondly, this shouldn't be relevant to you, but when a

21 witness answers a question, the information that the witness provides

22 might be used against the witness, but the witness can refuse to answer

23 such a question. However, the Trial Chamber can compel the witness to

24 answer the question, but if this occurs, the witness is granted a form of

25 immunity. This is a measure that exists in order to ensure that the truth

Page 12307

1 is established.

2 You should be aware of the fact that the parties are putting

3 questions to you to establish the truth with regard to the events that you

4 witnessed. You won't be questioned in order to make you feel uneasy.

5 So far, everything has proceeded without any problems, with other

6 witnesses. If there any problems, inform us of the fact. We'll try to

7 deal with them. You should also be aware of the fact that we have to have

8 a break after an hour and a half for technical reasons, and this will

9 allow you to have a brief rest before we resume. Usually we'll have about

10 two 30-minute breaks. And this would allow you to have a rest because by

11 the end of the day you might be very tired.

12 Without wasting any more time on that, I'll give the floor to the

13 Defence.

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. Could

15 we briefly go into private session, because I have a request to make?

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, shall we go into

17 private session, please.

18 [Private session]

19 (Redacted)

20 (Redacted)

21 (Redacted)

22 (Redacted)

23 (Redacted)

24 (Redacted)

25 (Redacted)

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Page 12309

1 (Redacted)

2 [Open session]

3 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,

4 Your Honour.

5 Examined by Ms. Residovic:

6 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Brkic. The president of the

7 Trial Chamber has drawn your attention to a number of matters which you

8 should know as a witness before beginning your testimony. I should like

9 to draw your attention to just one further matter.

10 You and I are speaking the same language, and you could easily

11 answer my questions promptly, as soon as you hear them. But please, once

12 you have heard my question, make a pause before beginning your answer so

13 that the interpreters can interpret everything properly so that the Trial

14 Chamber and everybody in the courtroom can follow.

15 Have you understood what I have said?

16 A. Yes.

17 Q. Where are you living now, Mr. Brkic?

18 A. I'm currently living in Lasva, where I was born, which is near

19 Zenica.

20 Q. What is your profession?

21 A. I am retired, but I used to work in the railways as a treasurer, a

22 cashier.

23 Q. Tell me, Mr. Brkic, where is Lasva, in which municipality?

24 A. Lasva is on the border of the Zenica municipality. The local

25 community borders with the municipality of Kakanj and Busovaca. So the

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Page 12311

1 three meet at that point.

2 Q. Could you tell us whether the Lasva consists of several villages,

3 and if so, could you tell us which they are?

4 A. Yes, I can. Lasva, the local commune of Lasva, consists of four

5 main villages, but then each of those villages has another hamlet.

6 There's Dolipolje across the Bosna River valley downstream from Sarajevo

7 to the right, and to the left is Lasva, Donja Visnjica, Gornja Visnjica,

8 Dusina with its hamlets, Brdo, and Sajtovici.

9 Q. Mr. Brkic, could you tell us who inhabited the Lasva local

10 commune? What was the population -- of which ethnicity was your local

11 commune?

12 A. It was inhabited by Muslims, who are now known as Bosniaks,

13 Croats, and Serbs. So all they religions were represented.

14 Q. What was the majority population there?

15 A. 75 to 80 per cent were Muslims. We didn't have precise figures,

16 but the Serbs and the Croats roughly accounted half each of the rest. We

17 don't really have real statistical data about that.

18 Q. Mr. Brkic, you said that the local commune was at an intersection

19 of three municipalities, though you belong to Zenica. Tell me, which

20 villages of your local commune bordered on Busovaca?

21 A. The local commune bordered on Busovaca municipality, and the

22 closest village was Dusina with its hamlets Ducina and Brdo.

23 Q. Tell me, Mr. Brkic, was the Lasva local commune important for some

24 particular reason for the region and for Bosnia-Herzegovina?

25 A. Yes, of course. I have to go back a little. During the Second

Page 12312

1 World War, Lasva was the main railway junction for Sarajevo, Jajce, and

2 even as far as Drvar. The Germans built through bunkers. One bunker is

3 next to the bridge, then another one across the Visnjica stream, and then

4 a third, because the Germans had a strategic interest in this location.

5 Today, in addition to the railway line going from Sarajevo to

6 Zenica and Doboj, the regional road going to Jajce, Bugojno, Kiseljak

7 passes through Lasva as well.

8 Q. What was the main town that the inhabitants of your local commune

9 would go to most often?

10 A. Zenica, because that was where the municipality was. That is

11 where the schools were, secondary schools and university. And the

12 municipality was headquartered there. So all the inhabitants mostly

13 worked in Zenica, either in the ironworks or in the mines, or on the

14 railways. Anyway, mostly Zenica, regardless of ethnicity. Muslim,

15 Croats, and Serbs, all of them worked there.

16 Q. Tell me, Mr. Brkic, with the beginning of the war in 1992, did

17 certain changes occur in your local commune, and did a part of the

18 population move away from your local commune?

19 A. As I said before, the Lasva local commune was inhabited by all

20 three ethnicities, and shall we say it was one of the best local communes

21 in that sense, in the sense of brotherhood and unity. And we received

22 several tributes. And even just before the war we were rewarded

23 financially because we worked so well together.

24 However, when the referendum took place, that is how it started,

25 for the independence of Bosnia-Herzegovina, we and the Croats took part.

Page 12313

1 The Serbs did not want to take part. They organised this plebiscite, and

2 they somehow started withdrawing from certain circles, from cooperation.

3 It was the Serbs who left first because, as far as I know, they were told

4 they had to leave by the new year. They were told to do this.

5 Q. How did you find out that the Serb population was going to leave?

6 Did anyone tell you that, or did you read about it somewhere?

7 A. I had a good friend who was manager of the post office. Kosta

8 Spiric. He's still alive. He's living in Doboj. We weren't quite house

9 friends, but very good friends. And he told me literally, "Nezir," my

10 nickname was Nesko, "we have to move out from those areas, all of us

11 Serbs. And remember, I will be the last to go, and before leaving, I will

12 come to your house and tell you." He came, and he kissed me. Tears went

13 down his cheeks. He said, "I've kept my promise. We are leaving, but

14 worse things will come, because by the new year this area will have to be

15 inhabited by only one ethnic group." And he was the last to leave,

16 sometime towards the end of November.

17 Q. Mr. Brkic, after the war started and a mobilisation was called,

18 did the local population respond and join certain military units, that is,

19 the Territorial Defence units as the legitimate army of the country?

20 A. Unfortunately, I have to admit it was only the Muslims who

21 responded. But the Serbs were exclusive about it. They said, "We don't

22 want to, and we don't -- we mustn't." And then it turned out that the

23 Croats were self-organising as an HVO unit, and unfortunately not attached

24 to Zenica but to the parish of Busovaca, even though they were inhabitants

25 of the Zenica municipality, and it would have been normal for them to

Page 12314

1 join, too.

2 Q. When your population started to organise and form a unit of

3 Territorial Defence, do you know what kind of weapons that village unit

4 had?

5 A. I would first like to say something. I was elected president of

6 the local commune, even though I did not long to any party, because of the

7 results I had achieved in the previous period. I was president of the

8 local commune for many years, even though the leading parties were SDA,

9 HDZ, they elected me. I resisted a little. I said, "Why are you electing

10 me?" And they said, "You're a great man of confidential and prestige."

11 That's what they told me.

12 Would you remind me of your question?

13 Q. My question was: What weapons those village units of Territorial

14 Defence had.

15 A. As there was a military barracks in Zenica, it was common

16 knowledge that the barracks was a threat for the whole municipality and

17 for all of us. And then it was my initiative. I appealed to the people

18 that we organise ourselves and hold guard duty. The Serbs accepted, but

19 they came with sticks. We Muslims had six rifles, but the Croats at that

20 time didn't show any weapons although they had some. Later on it was

21 discovered that they did.

22 Q. That brings me to my next question. How did the Croat population

23 organise themselves in your local commune, and when did you find out that

24 they were arming themselves?

25 A. The Croat population, I appealed to them, and not just them, to

Page 12315

1 Serbs as well. I told them about what the old people said, what happened

2 in the Second World War. If an Ustasha came, then a local man would take

3 care that nobody hurt anyone. And the same applied to the Chetniks. A

4 man would be chosen to escort the Chetniks through the village so as not

5 to hurt anyone. The same applied to the Partizans.

6 And then I appealed to them, "Let's avoid all of this." And the

7 Croats sort of accepted, but when I finally discovered what they wanted on

8 the first day of Bajram - I think it was the 4th of April it was a long

9 time ago - Luka Rajic called me and said, "We have to put on a uniform and

10 arm ourselves today." "Who?" I said. And he said, "Our unit?" "What

11 unit? You kept saying that you didn't have any weapons." I asked, "Who

12 gave you such orders?" And he said, "Mr. Kordic." I said, "can I somehow

13 reach this Mr. Kordic?", because I was -- even though I was risking -- I

14 was taking a risk myself. As I live above the railway station, I said I'd

15 wait for you by the railway track. And Luka had his own car. I thought

16 he was alone, but then I saw another two combatants with him. They were

17 wearing uniforms and automatic rifles. I think they were Kalashnikovs. I

18 said, "What's this, boys?" And they said, "We have to put on uniforms."

19 And we reached the brick yards in Busovaca. Somebody said, "Here

20 he is." And it was Kordic. I suppose they recognised his jeep. And we

21 stopped there. And indeed I saw several men. I don't know how many. I

22 didn't pay attention. I didn't count them, but quite a large group. And

23 a truck from which weapons were being distributed. I didn't really want

24 to watch.

25 And Luka called him up, and he came up and he said, "Hello, boys."

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Page 12317

1 And then they explained to him what it is I wanted. And he said, "Above

2 Busovaca there's a coffee bar. Go and wait for me there."

3 We waited for about an hour, an hour and a half. He came with an

4 escort. Two guys were with him. He congratulated me on Bajram, and he

5 asked me what it was we wanted. And I said, "Mr. Kordic, you know that we

6 Muslims are celebrating Bajram today, and it's not a good idea for your

7 boys to put on a uniform on this particular day and to go on patrol with

8 weapons. This could -- this would be an unpleasant surprise, and who

9 knows where it could lead." But he said, "But they have to." And I said,

10 "What do you mean?" And he said, "They have to protect you from the

11 Chetniks." And I said, "What Chetniks?" And he enumerated all those

12 villages, and I said not to worry about it. And again I appealed to him

13 not to put on uniforms today, that it was in our common interest. And

14 then he agreed.

15 Q. Tell me now, after this period, the Bajram holidays, when an HVO

16 unit was formed in Lasva, which brigade of the HVO did it join?

17 A. I don't know exactly the name of the Busovaca Brigade, but anyway,

18 it was the Busovaca Brigade. And we insisted that they join the Zenica

19 HDZ, or if there's an HVO unit there that they should join the unit over

20 there, because it would be easier for us to work together, but they didn't

21 want to.

22 Q. Mr. Brkic, if I have understood you correctly, you were elected as

23 the president of the local commune by the assembly of the local commune,

24 which was composed of representatives of all ethnic groups.

25 A. Yes.

Page 12318

1 Q. Tell me, in that capacity in the course of 1992, did you feel that

2 HVO and HDZ representatives were behaving differently, and how did the

3 majority Muslim population react to their behaviour?

4 A. Just a minute. Well, it was a grim situation. 70 per cent of

5 those people who first attacked us, let's say the representatives of the

6 local communes. They said, "Why aren't you resisting? Why are you

7 letting them kill us?" But -- that's what they said. But me and my -- I

8 and my associates tried to calm tension, and we tried to contact with the

9 TO staff, the headquarters of Zenica to cool of these problems. But there

10 were provocations, and they started saying, "We'll have a Herceg-Bosna,"

11 and they said, "There will be Serbs up to Bosnia." And they said,

12 "We're not interested in the villages Dolipolje and Mahlici [phoen]." It

13 was very provocative.

14 I don't know whether I should start talking about checkpoints, but

15 they started establishing checkpoints. There was a checkpoint at the

16 railway station, and they controlled the neighbours on a daily basis.

17 That was very sad, but we tried to calm our people down. We tried to

18 avoid a conflict.

19 Q. Mr. Brkic, tell me, in the summer of 1992, why was there more

20 serious conflict between Territorial Defence representatives and HVO units

21 in your local commune? Please go ahead.

22 A. Well, first of all, there was this platoon of ours. They formed a

23 TD, a Territorial Defence platoon consisting of 25 men. They had hunting

24 rifles that they used to mount guard.

25 We received a certain number of rifles. There was one light

Page 12319

1 machine-gun among the guns we received. And the Croats, together with the

2 commander, Zvonko, he was their leader, wanted to take five of those 25

3 weapons we had. We didn't even know how many weapons they had. And then

4 there were certain excesses. So after a few days of negotiations, we came

5 to an agreement.

6 They gave us two members for the Territorial Defence in Lasva. We

7 gave them two rifles, and we had to give them another one. We gave them

8 three rifles.

9 Q. Please tell me: How well was the population in your local commune

10 informed about other events in the country, and was there some kind of a

11 relay in that area?

12 A. I forgot to mention that. Immediately after that event, the one

13 I've just described, we had a relay above the relay -- above the railway

14 station on a hill, and we worked on this with Sarajevo TV. And since

15 we're in a valley, that relay didn't provide us with a good picture. But

16 there was a second device for a second channel which they misappropriated.

17 No one will admit this. And this device was taken to Pobrijezje, the

18 second device was taken to Pobrijezje above Zenica. So as far as

19 information was concerned, we didn't receive any information from Sarajevo

20 TV.

21 The situation was very difficult for the population.

22 Q. In response to another question, you said that they started

23 establishing checkpoints. Who started setting up checkpoints and where?

24 A. Well, there was a checkpoint from the -- at the junction. It was

25 at the junction, but colleagues of mine will probably tell you more about

Page 12320

1 this. Or a colleague of mine who's a member of the military will tell you

2 more about this, but I can tell you what I know.

3 There was three checkpoints, in Raspotoc [phoen] and then in

4 Nijanici [phoen], and as we insisted on this, we tried to persuade the

5 unit commander of this, we asked for the checkpoint to be moved to the

6 Lasva junction for the protection of the junction. Later on, some guards

7 were placed there, about 20 men at the junction to make sure that no

8 bridges was blown up, because if that happened, the area of Central Bosnia

9 would have come to a bad thing.

10 So in front of the railway station they took a container, and

11 that's where they started controlling our neighbours, our people who

12 passed by on a daily basis.

13 Q. Tell me, Mr. Brkic, as far as these misunderstandings among the

14 inhabitants are concerned, did you continue to try and find peaceful

15 solutions to the problems, and did you inform the civilian organs in the

16 Zenica municipality about these matters?

17 A. At the time the Serbs were still living in the area with us, and

18 at some time in May, I think - I can't remember the exact date - we formed

19 a kind of Crisis Staff for the local commune. And there were Serbian and

20 Croat and Muslim representatives there. And every day we held meetings,

21 because there were daily provocations. There was shooting at night from

22 various directions. But we knew who had the greatest number of weapons.

23 Then there were various provocative acts. For example, they would stop

24 some of our neighbours coming back from work. There were always

25 complaints. There were conflicts.

Page 12321

1 Every day we tried to analyse what had happened, and we tried to

2 reach conclusions to prevent this from happening in the future. The

3 Croats all the said that this was fine, but they continued to act as they

4 did. The Serbs, well, they didn't say much, although they had weapons.

5 They just kept silent.

6 And I apologise. Just a minute. Every day we informed the

7 Territorial Defence Municipal Staff and the authorities in Zenica

8 municipality. We informed them of all the new developments in the area.

9 Q. You said that HDZ and HVO representatives accepted the conclusions

10 that you adopted at joint meetings. Tell me, did they implement these

11 conclusions?

12 A. No, not at all.

13 Q. In January 1993, did anything happen in the vicinity of your local

14 commune? Were there any events that had a significant effect on

15 relationships within the local commune?

16 A. Well, I don't know the exact date. I don't know when exactly

17 Herceg-Bosna was proclaimed, but there was an effect on our Croats. They

18 started behaving differently. And whenever there was an incident, a

19 clash, up in Gornji Vakuf or Prozor, this always had an effect on our

20 area. People started organising themselves. People were always excited.

21 They were running to and fro, transporting things in various directions.

22 Whenever something happened in the surroundings this had a get on our

23 area. And especially, this was the time when the events started unfolding

24 in Kiseljak, Busovaca, and Merdani, in Loncari, et cetera.

25 That's about -- well, Merdani was the closest place to Lasva, to

Page 12322

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Page 12323

1 the Lasva junction. It was at a distance of about two or three

2 kilometres.

3 Q. According to your information, what was happening in Merdani.

4 A. It's true I didn't hear much about that because I was at work

5 every day. But the soldiers who were at the junction and their commander

6 told me that Merdan had been shelled two or three days before the conflict

7 in Lasva or perhaps five or six days before. I don't know exactly. They

8 said that Merdan had been attacked and shelled, that a line had been

9 penetrated. I don't know how they survived.

10 Q. Mr. Brkic, when returning from work, did you notice refugees

11 arriving in Lasva, and if so, where were these refugees arriving from?

12 A. Well, since I couldn't monitor the situation every day, at every

13 meeting at the Crisis Staff, after 1700 hours we would try to examine what

14 had happened. That's how we had organised the Crisis Staff. Every day

15 reports were submitted. There was a Serb who was responsible for reports.

16 There was a Bosniak, and there was a Croat responsible for reports.

17 Refugees were fleeing from Merdan, from Busovaca, from Kacuni,

18 from Slokovici, and they would come to Lasva. Many of them would come to

19 Lasva and stay with, friends, relatives. They were trying to save their

20 lives.

21 Q. Are Busovaca and Merdan close to the Lasva local commune, and what

22 sort of a distance are we talking?

23 A. I said that Merdan was 2 or 3 kilometres away and Busovaca is

24 between 5 and 6 kilometres away.

25 Q. At the time in the local commune did you think there was an

Page 12324

1 imminent threat to your local commune, and did you attempt together with

2 HVO representatives to reach some sort of agreement?

3 A. As I said, we discussed all these problems every day, and I

4 pleaded with them, especially Zvonko, who was a deputy commander, deputy

5 president in the local commune in a certain sense. He was the driver. He

6 was involved in various affairs, but he didn't want to accept certain

7 things. I told Zvonko: You'll only cause problems for your people and

8 for my people. I -- I begged him. However, it was all to no avail. And

9 just before the conflict, at about 9.00 in the evening, there was no

10 electricity. We called the duty officer in the local commune. He said

11 the Croats were there and they wanted an urgent meeting. We mentioned the

12 people who were there. I asked whether they had weapons, and I said I

13 wouldn't turn up if they didn't -- if they had weapons on them, because

14 I've never carried a weapon.

15 And someone, Kristo Anto came to see me. He said, "Come on, take

16 your weapons outside." Because I went there alone. I was the only Muslim

17 to go there. And there was another Muslim on duty. There was a refugee

18 from Kotor Varos called Siljo. I don't know his real name. And they had

19 weapons again. And I said, "Anto, why did you say that they didn't have

20 any weapons? I can see weapons here." But what was I to do? That's what

21 happened. I asked what the problem was, and they said the troops had arrived

22 at the estuary. I said, "What troops?" He said 100 or 200 of them, I dont

23 know how many, or what they wanted. Let's drive them away," they said.I said,

24 "Who's going to drive the soldiers away?" "You and I, said Zvonko. I

25 said, "Come on Zvonko, who am I, who are you to do it anyway?

Page 12325

1 They are probably there because they were ordered by someone to turn up. I

2 said, "Zvonko, Im no expert in these things, I assume that junction has to

3 be guarded."

4 So finally he said, "I'll call a thousand troops from Busovaca."

5 I said, "As far as I'm concerned, Zvonko, you can call as many troops as

6 you want but I'm not going to meddle in those matters as a member of the

7 civilian authorities." I suggested that on the following day at 8.00 they

8 should wait for me at the station and I would turn up. Although I was

9 late for work on that day. I had problems at work. But I justified my

10 absence. I waited for them until half past eight. They didn't turn up.

11 I think it was the 24th or the 25th. I don't know exactly. It was in

12 January 1993.

13 Q. I apologise. You said that you proposed conclusion. What was the

14 nature of that conclusion? What did you suggest?

15 A. I suggest we go to the Territorial Defence Municipal Staff in

16 Zenica to reach an agreement down there and for them to say what the task

17 of that army was. And then I said, "Zvonko come back to Zenica." That

18 was also part of the conclusion, that he should return. He accepted that,

19 but he didn't want to go. That's what I assume at least.

20 Q. Thank you. On that day just before those clashes on the 26th of

21 January, at the meeting of the Crisis Staff and upon returning from work,

22 did you find out that certain HVO members had been arrested? I apologise.

23 Did you find out that the HVO had arrested certain BH army members?

24 A. Yes. There were HVO soldiers who intercepted two of our

25 neighbours. They were neighbours of ours. I don't know where they'd

Page 12326

1 been. I don't know if they had weapons or not, but these two soldiers

2 arrested them and they were taken to some kind of a house. Perhaps Marko

3 Rajic's house. I don't know why this was done. I called Zvonko and I

4 said, "Zvonko don't play around. You started causing problems. Release

5 the men. They're neighbours of yours. You will have to look them in the

6 face tomorrow." I don't know whether he listened to me, but these men

7 were released.

8 Q. Mr. Brkic, where were you on the 26th of January, 1993?

9 A. As I said, every day I went to work in Zenica. I returned at 1600

10 hours from work. Because I worked in the company as a cashier. If the

11 director or anybody else needed something, I had to be there.

12 Q. When you returned from -- when did you return from work on that

13 day and what did you find out?

14 A. Well, some people said, "Have you heard what happened in Lasva?"

15 I said, "No." When I returned home my wife told me certain things.

16 Someone from the local commune called me. Someone's on duty all day and

17 all night. And I was called they said, well, there were Muslims, Croats

18 and Serbs who were on duty. There was someone who was always present

19 there, and I was informed that there was a conflict. There were wounded,

20 dead on both sides. Nothing was official because night was falling.

21 There was nothing official that could be said. However, through the

22 window of the local commune building, I noted a group of Croatian

23 neighbours. I think Ivica Kristo, called Taraba, was leading them. And

24 this other person who was in front of the local commune said there was

25 another group crossing a meadow. There was a Faruk Barucija who was

Page 12327

1 leading them. Where to? Apparently to the school building. I didn't

2 want to get involved in that affair because everyone had their own duties.

3 The army had its own duties, and I was part of the civilian authorities.

4 I did intervene with one commander perhaps. I don't know who that man

5 was. I sent him to see someone. I asked him to make sure that these

6 people weren't maltreated. He said nothing would happen. I said those

7 civilians shouldn't remain in the school for too long and it was too cold.

8 I don't know if they stayed there for long, perhaps two or three hours. I

9 don't know exactly. And later on I found out that the military police had

10 taken those troops away, the troops that had surrendered. They'd taken

11 them to the KP Dom. As far as I heard they took them to the Zenica KP Dom

12 and civilians saw them returned home. Some remained with the Muslims in

13 the neighbourhood. Others went to Zenica by train to stay with family, et

14 cetera.

15 Q. Tell me, whether on that day or later on -- I'll rephrase that

16 question. I apologise.

17 Awhile ago you said that you heard that there had been men killed

18 on both sides. At the time or later, did you hear anyone had been killed

19 or did you have information of another kind?

20 A. As far as I know, I heard that there were men who had been killed

21 on both sides. That's the information I was provided with. But the

22 person who gave me the information was killed. It was an all-out fight.

23 Some troops were advancing from the estuary and they wanted to avoid

24 passing through the village where there were Croats. They wanted to avoid

25 passing through the -- avoid passing through their checkpoints. They

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Page 12329

1 wanted to bypass the village and head in the direction of Kacuni. I don't

2 know what sort of a task they had, but the person who told me this is

3 dead.

4 He said that at the first house they reached, the company

5 commander, Camdzic, I think his name was, was killed by a sniper, and the

6 man next to him was killed too. At the time I didn't know who was killing

7 whom.

8 That's what I know. As for a massacre, I never heard anything

9 about that.

10 Q. Mr. Brkic, do you know where the wounded or dead were taken to?

11 A. As I was working in the railways, as president of the local

12 commune, I had to take certain measures on the basis of instructions from

13 the municipal authorities and the TO staff from Zenica. I formed a unit,

14 CZ, for supplies, and I -- a Civil Defence unit. And I had a good leader

15 who worked very well. And I said there's the Civil Defence in Zenica, and

16 you come to an agreement with them as to what should be done. And they

17 worked very well. They went to clear up the area and took the casualties

18 to Zenica.

19 There was also a lot of cattle roaming around. Whatever they

20 could catch, they gave to Muslim neighbours with a receipt, whether it was

21 a cow or a bull or whatever. So they really worked as professionals.

22 And let me also add, certain Croats would come and take the

23 cattle, but then again, with receipts. Everything had to be registered.

24 Whoever took the cattle and then people who took them back. Everybody had

25 to sign a piece of paper.

Page 12330

1 Q. When you mean CZ, you mean Civil Defence, don't you?

2 A. Yes.

3 Q. Tell me, Mr. Brkic, after this -- the -- this fighting on the 26th

4 of January, did the local commune take any measures to assist the local

5 population that was left behind and to, as far as possible, take care and

6 protect property?

7 A. There's a village above Dusina. It's at a junction of two roads.

8 It's a bit isolated from the other villages. And two or three old ladies

9 were left there. And this guy, the Civil Defence commander, and I told

10 him to go and see those ladies. Somebody could kill them. You never

11 know. Or they could rob them. And what should be done with those ladies

12 and their property?

13 He received instructions from the municipal Civil Defence of

14 Zenica that these ladies should be brought lower down to another village

15 where Bosniaks live, and they were put up with this lady Milka. They

16 spent ten or 15 days there. Whatever food they had and furniture,

17 everything was put there.

18 Then they were also told to collect all the things in those houses

19 and to put them in the school building, so when the Croats returned

20 tomorrow, they could particular up their property. But again, lists were

21 made of all the household goods taken from the houses, and everything was

22 registered. The idea was that it should be returned it their owners one

23 day.

24 Q. Who collected and listed these items? Was it done by individuals

25 or by a commission?

Page 12331

1 A. In the Civil Defence staff in Lasva, there were four men, three

2 Muslims and one Croat, Drago Rajic, who remained living there. And we

3 would send him, as well. Not to load things but simply to be present, to

4 make sure that everything was done well. And I gave strict instructions

5 to make sure that nothing should go missing. You never know. I thought

6 even they might steal something. So a record was kept of everything. And

7 Drago Rajic had no complaints at all.

8 Q. Is this road through Lasva towards Dusina and Kacuni nowadays

9 being used by men, the military, civilians? I mean, at the time did it

10 become a means of communication with free territory?

11 A. Yes. That was the only route from Zenica to Sarajevo, the one

12 through Lasva, via Kacuni, and then to Fojnica. I don't know exactly how it

13 went from there to Sarajevo. In any case, that was the only communication

14 because the bridge had been destroyed in Visoko, both the railway and the

15 road bridge. The area up there was held by Serbs-Cekrcici. The road on this

16 side, towards Kalinovik, had already been destroyed by Croats, and a road

17 block had been set up. So the only communication went through Lasva. Then

18 around the Heliodrom, from Mostar where people were detained. Two or three

19 months later, people would pass through Lasva to go to their homes. Once at

20 a bus stop I saw a man going from Zavidovici to see relatives in Mostar.

21 Q. Mr. Brkic, since various people and troops were passing through

22 your village, did you take the initiative for civilian municipal

23 authorities to take certain steps so as to be able to fulfil your duties

24 as the civilian authority and to protect the property?

25 A. Yes, certainly. Around the 16th of February, 1993, I wrote a

Page 12332

1 letter, an official letter, though I made several phone calls. I wanted

2 to make sure for myself. And I addressed a letter to the president of

3 Zenica municipality, to the SDA party and the HDZ party, to the chief of

4 MUP, all the important figures that a meeting should be held. And it was

5 held. Whether it was a week later I'm not sure when. And they went to

6 see this settlement Taraba. The Croats went there. They saw what the

7 situation was like. They visited Rajici and Donja Visnjica, and they went

8 to the school, and I asked the gentleman on both sides, "Will you please

9 tell us whether all the property was taken care of properly." Everything

10 was piled up neatly and a piece of paper saying who the owners were. They

11 were full of admiration and they praised all of us, and they said, "If

12 only we had more such people."

13 And then I insisted some Croats were still living there for

14 another month or two, and I insisted on the protection of those Croats and

15 the return of others, that the police should protect those people. And a

16 conclusion was adopted to that effect, and already a day or two later a

17 kind of unit of the police was organised. I don't know exactly what they

18 were called. The police station in Lasva. And in the settlement

19 Kolonija. And no one could pass without them seeing him. And the police

20 did their jobs. I don't know the details. But anyway, they did -- they

21 did say what could be saved.

22 Q. Mr. Brkic, since in 1993 the conflicts continued between the army

23 and the HVO, the inhabitants in Lasva and the surrounding villages who had

24 left after the 26th of January, did they return or, if not, do you know

25 where they went?

Page 12333

1 A. As far as their return is concerned, I'm not satisfied nor can we

2 be satisfied, but now why? One must be frank. Lasva is an ordinary

3 village. You probably are not familiar with it. And these guys, these

4 Croats who mostly went to Busovaca, Vitez, they went to Croatia, to

5 Canada, to America, they can be found all over. And the village such --

6 such as Donja Visnjica, their homes their houses are there in Rajici as

7 well. Not a single one has been destroyed. We have a couple that has

8 returned, a couple with their son, without any problems. No one is

9 upsetting them. He has planted strawberries there. He is absolutely

10 comfortable.

11 Q. You are now telling me of the situation as it is today, but tell

12 me, did any of your communes -- do any of your communes who are living in

13 Busovaca nearby come to visit their property, their cemeteries, and what

14 are your relationships like? Is there any tension between you or do you

15 exchange normal greetings if they do come to the local commune?

16 A. Just below my house there is a Croat who built a house before the

17 war, Batonjic, Mato. I didn't make any difference between ethnicities. I

18 always wanted to protect everything, and I made sure that that house was

19 not touched, and he's very grateful to me for this. And when he comes we

20 have a cup of coffee. We exchange greetings regularly. And not just with

21 him, but there are others too. But there are others who won't even look

22 at me, but I don't care. I don't know what they consider me to be,

23 although I always had the best intentions. These were all younger men

24 than me. I would always address them and treat them as if they were my

25 children.

Page 12334

1 Q. Now let me go back once again to 1993. You said that you

2 protected the property, that you took care of it in the school, counting

3 on your neighbours' return. As we see now, many of them have not returned

4 to this day.

5 Tell me, what did the Civil Defence do with those belongings, and

6 on whose instructions?

7 A. A large number of refugees, not just from Busovaca and Merdani and

8 even from Srebrenica, there are three or four families from Srebrenica.

9 There are those from Jajce and Kotor Varos. There are refugees in Lasva.

10 Most of them moved into Serb houses that were empty, and then also into

11 Croat houses. And it was always the Civil Defence who organised this.

12 And the school was about to start working, so these things were in two

13 rooms and the whole corridor. So these things had to be moved out. We

14 didn't know where.

15 And then the commander of the Civil Defence asked the Municipal

16 Staff what to do with those things. And then temporarily those belongings

17 were given to those refugees, but again with a receipt to indicate what --

18 who took what.

19 Q. Mr. Brkic, is there still a record to this day on the way in which

20 these goods were distributed temporarily if they were temporarily given to

21 others to use them instead of being returned to the their owners? The

22 question is, is there a record of all this in your local commune?

23 A. Yes.

24 Q. Thank you very much, Mr. Brkic.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] In view of the witness's health, I

Page 12335

1 have tried to be as brief as possible in my examination-in-chief. Thank

2 you.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Thank you. It is

4 half past three.

5 Sir, we're going to have a break, which will give you a chance to

6 rest, and we will resume work at 4.00, and the Prosecution will have

7 questions for you. But of course I will also give the floor to the other

8 Defence team who might also have questions for you, and then the

9 Prosecution will cross-examine you. So have a good rest, and we will

10 resume at 4.00.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

12 --- Recess taken at 3.32 p.m.

13 --- On resuming at 4.04 p.m.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We will now resume. Does the

15 other Defence team have any questions for this witness?

16 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

17 Mr. Brkic's testimony does not relate to the charges against Mr. Kubura,

18 and as a result, we have no questions for this witness.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I'll now give the

20 floor to the Prosecution for their cross-examination.

21 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President. Good afternoon,

22 Mr. President; good afternoon, Your Honours; good afternoon to my

23 colleagues on the other side.

24 Cross-examined by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:

25 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Brkic, my name is Tecla Henry-Benjamin, and

Page 12336

1 I'm one of the Prosecutors representing the Prosecution in this case this

2 in afternoon.

3 As the President of the Trial Chamber indicated earlier this

4 afternoon, I am going to ask you a few questions so as to clarify certain

5 things. However, if you feel at any time that you have not understood the

6 question, feel free to interrupt me. I will surely repeat it or rephrase

7 it as you so request.

8 I note your health, and I would take that into consideration.

9 Thank you.

10 Mr. Brkic, apart from your position as president of the local

11 community of Lasva, did you hold any other positions in any other

12 organisations?

13 A. I don't know whether I was clear enough, but I was the president

14 of the Crisis Staff for a certain period of time. Then Hazim Barucija

15 replaced me, so the two of us took turns. When he joined the army, then I

16 took over again.

17 Q. And were you ever a member of the Lasva Peace Council?

18 A. You mean in the earlier period. Before the war I was the

19 president of the peace council for a long time, but not during this

20 period.

21 Q. Thank you, sir. Now, could you just give us an idea of your --

22 your duties as president of the local community of Lasva. Basically, what

23 does it entail -- or what did it entail?

24 A. Well, the local commune is an institute which improves living

25 conditions in local communes. It takes local actions. It tries to

Page 12337

1 improve living conditions, communications, the water supply system, the

2 electricity system, et cetera.

3 Q. And most of all, would I be correct in saying that it assisted in

4 trying to keep peace in the area?

5 A. Well, before the war that wasn't necessary, but in wartime

6 conditions, the local commune Statute didn't provide for that. But we

7 organised ourselves in a certain way on the basis of how we had lived

8 together before the war. We tried to come to an agreement to ensure that

9 the territory wasn't affected, because we thought we should first mount

10 village guards and then Crisis Staffs to analyse the problems on a daily

11 basis and to ensure that these problems did not occur the following day.

12 Q. Prior to the outbreak of the conflict, was the Lasva school used

13 as the location for negotiations between the Muslims, or the Bosniaks, as

14 referred to, and the Croats so as to maintain peace and stability in the

15 area?

16 A. I couldn't say, because I worked every day. I had certain

17 information. Perhaps my colleague who will be appearing here tomorrow

18 could answer your question. I heard that certain Croatian representatives

19 from Croatia came, and that was at the beginning or in mid-April. I don't

20 know the exact date. It was a long time ago. Something was discussed at

21 the meeting, but as to what was discussed, I don't know as I wasn't

22 present.

23 Q. But as president of the -- of the local community Lasva, weren't

24 you kept informed and abreast as to what transpired?

25 A. Well, I should have been informed, but the situation was such. It

Page 12338

1 was just before the war broke out, and people no longer trusted each other

2 in Bosnia and in -- in the Lasva valley itself. You could see what the

3 Serbs wanted. They didn't want to live with us. I said Croats -- the

4 Croats also started implementing their policies. They started fighting

5 for themselves. They organised themselves in a certain manner. So I

6 found out that there was a meeting, but as to the purpose of the meeting

7 and as to what was discussed at that meeting, I never found out about

8 this, believe me.

9 Q. Thank you, sir. But -- okay. Let's move then to post -- or,

10 rather, during the outbreak, the actual outbreak of the conflict. Do you

11 know if there was ever an attempt made by the two groups, the two mixed

12 groups, the Muslims and the Croats, to try to negotiate with respect to

13 coming to some peace plan in the area? And that is during the outbreak.

14 Are you aware of any such meeting of the two groups?

15 A. I don't know. I should have been present as the president of the

16 local commune and of the Crisis Staff, but I really don't know anything

17 about this meeting. Where was that meeting held? Could you tell me?

18 Q. My -- my information tells me that it was held in the school, the

19 Lasva school.

20 A. During which period?

21 Q. During the conflict. The very day of the conflict. I think it's

22 1600 hours in the evening.

23 A. I don't know anything about that meeting. I know I was in the

24 local commune at 1700 hours with the person on duty, and there were two

25 other member of the Crisis Staff, and we were trying to agree what we

Page 12339

1 should do on the following day. We were trying to organise ourselves.

2 But as for a meeting with two groups, as for a meeting between the army

3 and the HVO, I know nothing about this.

4 Q. Now, could you, for the benefit of the Trial Chamber, tell us if

5 you knew that there was preparation for the attack?

6 A. By whom?

7 Q. If I were to say to you that at least seven to ten days before the

8 attack or the outbreak of the conflict on the 26/1/93 that a large

9 concentration of members of the ABiH was noticeable in the Lasva-Dusina

10 area, would that be correct?

11 A. Well, these troops, as far as I know, because I didn't really

12 meddle in military policies and in their tasks, it wasn't my right, my

13 task was to take care of the civilian population to the extent that was

14 possible at the time. The situation was chaotic, I must say. No one

15 listened to anyone. No one had any respect for anyone, et cetera.

16 I found out that there was some sort of a unit that -- one that

17 consisted of 10, 20, or 50 soldiers, I really wouldn't know, nor do I know

18 what their task was.

19 Q. So then, am I correct in assuming that you personally was never

20 involved in direct preparation for the attack that was to take place on

21 the 26th? You as president of the local commune was not involved in this

22 at all?

23 A. I wasn't involved in that. I wasn't familiar with that event.

24 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, the witness has

25 answered the question, but I'd like to object for the sake of the

Page 12340

1 transcript, because the witness never mentioned an attack, nor did he

2 mention any preparations for an attack, and therefore, there are no

3 grounds upon which my colleague could ask this witness this question.

4 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, if my learned friend would

5 look a couple questions above, I did ask him if there was a presence some

6 seven to ten days before the attack, and he did answer on the 26th of

7 January.

8 Q. Okay, sir, could you tell us whether you were aware of what

9 transpired on the 26th of January, 1993, in Lasva? Could you tell us if

10 you know what happened? If something happened, could you tell us what

11 happened?

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] If I haven't intervened, that

13 means that the Prosecution may go ahead and put this question to the

14 witness. The witness may say what happened on the 26th of January.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I think I have already told you what

16 happened. I was at work. I went to work at 6.00 in the morning and

17 returned home at 4.00 p.m. I was told that there were problems in Lasva,

18 that there were men who had been killed and wounded on both sides. I

19 returned home to have lunch with my family. I was called to come to the

20 local commune. I found out that there had been a clash, but that person

21 hadn't been on the site so he couldn't tell me much about it. This

22 happened two or three kilometres above the local commune in a village

23 called Dusina, if there was such a conflict. But I'm not sure of that,

24 nor do I know anything about the nature of this conflict.

25 Q. Correct me if I'm wrong, if I have misunderstood you, but could

Page 12341

1 you tell us the distance between your village and Dusina, as you just said

2 to us, please?

3 A. From my village to Dusina, well, it's -- the distance between the

4 two villages is about a thousand -- 800 to 2.000 metres.

5 Q. And is it your evidence that something may have transpired on the

6 26th of January, 1993, but you are not aware of what happened?

7 A. Could you please rephrase your question and be perhaps a little

8 more specific?

9 Q. Okay. Earlier on I asked you about the 26th of January, 1993, and

10 a conflict, and you, in response, said to me that the conflict took place

11 in a village a little higher than yours called Dusina. And then you

12 subsequently said that Dusina was about 800 to 2.000 metres away from your

13 village. And my question to you is: Is it your evidence that you were

14 not aware of what may have transpired on the 26th of January in the

15 village of Dusina?

16 A. My village is between 1.000 and 800 metres and 2.000 metres away

17 from the other village. When I arrived, when I returned from work, I

18 found out -- I was told by certain workers that there had been a -- some

19 kind of clashes in -- in Lasva and that there were men who had been killed

20 and wounded on both sides.

21 I'll repeat this. I returned home. I had lunch. We ate what we

22 had to eat, my family and I. I was called by a person from the local

23 commune who said there was something I had to be informed of. I went to

24 the local commune and asked this person to tell me what the problem was.

25 He said that there had been a clash in Dusina, but he couldn't tell me

Page 12342

1 anything about the number of men who had been killed or the number of men

2 wounded. We tried to see what we could do as civilian authorities.

3 Q. And as the civilian authorities, could you tell us what you did,

4 if you did anything?

5 A. Well, first of all, I sent a man to see the unit commander in the

6 school where these Croats were kept. This 30-year-old man appeared, and I

7 said, "Please make sure that these people are not maltreated." And he

8 said, "Don't worry. They haven't been maltreated, and they won't be

9 maltreated." That's what he said, literally. I said, "See what you can

10 do." I don't know what the army should have done. And I said, "Make sure

11 that this doesn't last for long because it's very cold."

12 After two or three hours, the problem was solved, because the

13 soldiers were taken by the military police to the Zenica KP Dom. And some

14 of the civilians returned home. Some went back there to families in

15 Zenica, and some remained with their Muslim neighbours in Lasva to spend

16 the night there.

17 Q. Would you be able to state for us who was this person that you

18 would have sent to the school? Do you recall?

19 A. Yes. Yes. The man was dead. He died of cancer three years ago.

20 Q. I am not sure if the record has taken -- I'm not sure if we've

21 gotten the record of his name. Could you please give us his name again,

22 please?

23 A. Omer Helvida [phoen].

24 Q. Thank you. Now, you would have sent somebody to the school to

25 investigate, as you stated, and it seems to me, and you could correct me

Page 12343

1 if I'm wrong, that you may have been concerned why you sent somebody to

2 the school. Am I right?

3 A. Well, let me tell you, I am a person who lived with those people

4 very well, and right up until then we were good neighbours, and without

5 any concern, as a person, I asked this man to make sure that there

6 shouldn't be any problems, any trouble there. And I know that what

7 happened to people who were detained in various schools, in various

8 places, and I wanted it make sure that our people did not cause any

9 similar trouble to what the Serbs had done.

10 Q. What was the prevailing atmosphere on the 26th of January, 1993,

11 in the Lasva Valley?

12 A. As I said, I came at 4.00 in the afternoon. This is wintertime.

13 It gets dark by half past four in Bosnia already. And it was dusk. I

14 couldn't see much. But just -- I saw the Croats being brought there as

15 they were going along the road. I saw them through the window. And on

16 the other hand, the man on the duty, Barucija Faruk saying that another

17 part of the population was coming across the fields to the school. That's

18 all I saw because it was already dark by then.

19 Q. On that day, in your opinion, what was this conflict all about?

20 Was it a conflict between two armies? Was it?

21 A. As far as I know, the army of Bosnia and Herzegovina went on

22 assignment. I don't know what the assignment was, but they went as some

23 sort of a patrol from the crossroads. And again, this is on the basis of

24 what this associate of mine told me. He worked in the railways too. And

25 then there was all-out fighting, he said. People didn't know who fired at

Page 12344

1 whom. He fled home, in fact.

2 I don't know how to put it otherwise. I'm no specialist. Whether

3 it was an attack or defence or a conflict, anyway, it happened. This

4 company commander was killed from a sniper for no reason, as far as I

5 learnt. He was passing by a house. I know that, too, that they didn't

6 want to go through the villages, not to upset the Croats, not to frighten

7 the Croats.

8 Another man following him who tried to pull him out was also hit,

9 and that is when the all-out shooting started.

10 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, with the Trial Chamber's

11 position, could the witness be shown Prosecution Exhibit P649, please.

12 Q. Sir, I don't really want to keep you too long, so I'll guide you

13 to the area that I'm looking at, and it's -- it's page 2, really of --

14 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, my learned friend

15 should first lay the foundation for asking this question. We have to know

16 whether the witness is aware at all of this document, whether he ever saw

17 it, and to ask certain questions, and if there are any contradictions and

18 if it's for credibility's sake, then she might ask him questions. But

19 simply to give him a document and ask him to read it, I don't think it is

20 appropriate.

21 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President --

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Henry-Benjamin.

23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I think we went through this

24 on a couple of occasions with my learned friend, and I think I had

25 explained to the Trial Chamber in great detail that, firstly, this is

Page 12345

1 cross-examination, and the length and the breadth of cross-examination is

2 completely different to examination-in-chief.

3 Secondly, once there is some nexus or there is some link with

4 respect to the document, the witness can be asked questions on the

5 document, whether it is to clarify or it's for credibility reasons.

6 This witness is a witness who the Defence brought with respect to

7 the Lasva Valley and what happened in the Lasva Valley. This document

8 speaks entirely to what happened in the Lasva Valley. There's no need

9 under cross-examination for the Prosecution to lay any foundation. Once

10 there's a link, the witness can be asked questions on the document.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Let me summarise for

12 the Prosecution. This document establishes a link between the -- there is

13 a link between the witness and the document. Indeed, I see that there is

14 mention of the death of HVO members and also of the village of Dusina. So

15 there is a link.

16 As for the document itself, the Defence rightly asks whether the

17 witness is aware of the document. If he knows it, what he says can have

18 some importance. If he's not aware of the document, then clearly his

19 words or his comments about it will have very little value.

20 So Ms. Benjamin, would you ask the witness whether he's familiar

21 with this document, and then ask him about the contents and the link, and

22 then you can ask him about the link between him and the document.

23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.

24 Q. Mr. Brkic, if you look at the document, would you be able to say

25 if you're familiar with what's in the document?

Page 12346

1 A. To tell you the truth, I see this document for the first time in

2 my life. I don't know what I could say about it. I -- to be able to

3 comment on it I need to read it. But what you said before, that I was

4 familiar with the Lasva Valley events, Lasva Valley is a considerable

5 area, from the spring of the river to Travnik. So it's a big area. I

6 wish to avoid all confusion about that.

7 Q. I think the comment referred to the evidence that was led, the

8 area of the Lasva Valley that you were in and Dusina, and it was in that

9 respect that the document was shown to you, or the document is shown to

10 you.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Wait a moment, please. Allow me

12 to intervene. The document, P649, that I have in my hands, my impression

13 is that there are two documents. There is the document signed by Dr.

14 Prlic, but there is also another document dated the 26th of January, again

15 by Dr. Prlic. Which document, actually, are you asking him about? Maybe

16 the cause of the misunderstanding. Because the reference to Dusina is in

17 the second document and not in the first.

18 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, it's the document that's dated

19 25th of January, 1993. And you're quite right. I think both documents

20 are marked P649, but it is the one that is dated 25th of January, 1993.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Regarding the document of the

22 25th of January, go directly to your question, please.

23 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:

24 Q. And, sir, I would just ask you to look at the second paragraph,

25 and it is a description of -- of what actually took place. And my

Page 12347

1 question to you --

2 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, if we're talking of

3 the document dated the 25th of January, according to the indictment, the

4 events in Dusina occurred on the 26th, and I don't know the purpose of

5 these questions by my learned friend about a document and an event that

6 took place prior to that date and are not covered by the indictment.

7 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I think my friend, even in her

8 examination-in-chief, alluded to the fact that Lasva -- the incidents in

9 Lasva took place on the 25th. The incidents in Dusina took place on the

10 26th.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] I never said anything like that.

12 The witness spoke about the 25th in the village of Merdani, which is not

13 part of the local commune of Lasva.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Ms. Benjamin, the Defence is

15 telling us that regarding the 25th of January, the witness was speaking of

16 the village of Merdani.

17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, the witness, with all due

18 respect, may have been talking about Merdani, but the witness was in the

19 Lasva area, or his area that he speaks of, on the 25th of January, and I'm

20 sure he is quite competent to guide us through as to what happened.

21 If it is that the Prosecution -- the Defence believes that

22 foundation has to be laid, then I would ask the Trial Chamber to please

23 give us some guidance as to how this would be done in future. And in

24 light of that, I will withdraw the document until we can get further

25 guidance.

Page 12348

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can continue with your

2 questions, but in order to save time, go directly to the line with the

3 reference to Dusina and his position as president of the local commune and

4 put the question to him regarding that particular aspect, because let us

5 not forget that he spoke about the Crisis Staff that he set up, and the

6 Crisis Staff was established, apparently, before the 26th. And anyway, I

7 will be asking him about that.

8 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President. That's precisely

9 why the document was shown to him.

10 Q. But, sir, I'm going to take you, as I said earlier before the

11 interruption, to the second paragraph. I am not sure what page it would

12 be in your language, but I'll take you down to line nine.

13 A. Second paragraph?

14 Q. Yes. Yes, please. And line --

15 A. About people killed?

16 Q. Can I read it for you in the interests of time? "All Croatian

17 houses in the ethnically mixed village of Dusina have been set alight and

18 the women and children and elderly are subject to downright slaughter and

19 terror."

20 And my question that I wanted to ask to you with respect to that

21 was if you could comment on that for us, if you could shed some light on

22 that report for us.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you understood the

24 question? There is a document that you're not aware of coming from a

25 Croat entity, and in that document there is the sentence that has been

Page 12349

1 read to you. So the Prosecution is asking what you think about it, what

2 your comment would be regarding that passage. You may have nothing to

3 say. You may say it's false, but what counts is what you're going to tell

4 us.

5 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honours, I'm just looking at

6 the number of dead, 33. It was nothing like that. I never heard of such

7 a figure. I never heard of any slaughter or lighting of houses as far as

8 I know. But I must say I wasn't on the spot. Maybe I went there a month

9 later to see for myself what had happened to the houses.

10 The houses were quite intact until the next day, when HVO units

11 from Busovaca shelled a house in Kegelji, and the roof tell in. And

12 shells were not dropped only on Dusina but in other villages inhabited by

13 Serbs across the Bosna River.

14 So whoever wrote this, he, in my view, did not have the proper

15 information, although I don't know much about it either. But that so many

16 were killed and that such suffering was caused is out of the question.

17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN:

18 Q. Thank you, sir. Would you be able to assist us, if you can, that

19 is, as to which units of the ABiH were present in the area at the time?

20 A. I'm really sorry. I'm unable to discuss those details because I

21 was not involved in the army, nor did I have any right to interfere. They

22 didn't interfere with my civilian activities. So I really can't answer

23 that question.

24 Q. But awhile ago you had indicated to us that you had sent one Omer

25 Helvida to the school to see the unit commander in the school where the

Page 12350

1 Croats were kept. Am I correct?

2 A. I was quite clear. I came home at 4.00 p.m. I went there at 5

3 p.m., a call to come by the late Omer who explained to me that there had

4 been problems, that the Croats were being held down there, and I said that

5 I saw some Croats going towards the school. And I appealed to him as a

6 man, as a humanist, and having learnt from the TV and from the press what

7 the Serbs were doing elsewhere to make sure that we didn't act in the same

8 way, that we must save those people and make sure that there's no

9 mistreatment, even though there was no danger to then.

10 He wasn't a commander. He was just some sort of squad leader or

11 something, who was together with five or six men watching that school.

12 And the man told -- told me there hasn't been any mistreatment nor will

13 there be.

14 Q. So am I correct in I'm saying that you cannot assist this Trial

15 Chamber as to, one, which unit or what unit was in the Lasva school on the

16 26th of January? You cannot assist us here today?

17 A. I can't. I really can't.

18 Q. And I believe, as well, that you will not be able to assist us as

19 to the commander of that unit either?

20 A. Yes, I can't.

21 Q. Thank you. Now, I'm just going to ask you just --

22 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreters note the witness said, "Yes, I

23 can't assist you."

24 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you. We just got it corrected. Thank

25 you.

Page 12351

1 Q. I'm just going to ask you this because you see you were the

2 president of the local community of Lasva, and so I get the impression

3 that you were involved with what was going on and everything that was

4 happening in the community. Am I correct?

5 A. You mean what happened or what should have happened?

6 Q. What actually happened in and around the community?

7 A. I've already said that I took all possible steps as far as the

8 civilian authorities are concerned. What happened, happened. One must

9 admit that, that it was my duty as a man, as president of the local

10 commune, to save what could be saved.

11 Q. Well, I ask you that question because, you see, there's evidence

12 before this Court that certain things transpired, and so I wanted to lay

13 the foundation first. As president of the local community of Lasva, I

14 wanted you -- or, rather, I would like you, for the benefit of the Trial

15 Chamber, tell us exactly what your role was and exactly how you were

16 involved to see if you can assist us here.

17 A. Perhaps I've already said this, but I had my tasks to perform as a

18 member of the civilian authorities. At that time, no one could have much

19 control, because people didn't trust each other. There were even Muslims

20 who didn't trust me, because I said, "Listen, let's try to avoid a chaotic

21 situation. Let's try to save what can be saved." And my task was to have

22 meetings of the Crisis Staff, to analyse what had happened, analyse why

23 shooting had broken out. And some Croat, for example, the late Zvonko

24 Rajic, was made responsible to deal with the problems. If there was any

25 shooting among the Muslims, but we didn't have ammunition or anything,

Page 12352

1 because we were guarding every bullet that we had. On the whole we had

2 hunting rifles, but there was a Muslim who had certain responsibilities,

3 and the Serbs didn't shoot. They were preparing to leave, and they left.

4 We analysed what had happened every day. We tried to solve the

5 problems and to ensure that that there were no incidents. That was my

6 main and most important task. I don't know if I have been sufficiently

7 clear.

8 Q. I think you have tried your best. And let's take, for example,

9 Zvonko Rajic. Would you be aware of what eventually happened to him? Do

10 you know?

11 A. No. I heard that he was killed. I heard about that. I had to

12 hear about that. I heard that he was killed, and on that day when I

13 returned at 5.00 p.m., I heard that he had been killed, but as to who else

14 had been killed, I don't know. He was a leader. And the first news we

15 obtained concerned Zvonko Rajic. As to how he was killed and who killed

16 him, I don't know. I was working in Zenica. I was 20 kilometres away

17 from that site. The telephones weren't working because there was no

18 electricity. If there's no electricity, the phones lines don't work.

19 Q. But did you come home in the evenings after work? Did you come

20 into the Lasva area where you lived in the evenings after work? Did you

21 come home?

22 A. On that day?

23 Q. On that day and prior to that day and after that day. Did you

24 normally come home?

25 A. Every day. I went to work and returned, apart from the weekend.

Page 12353

1 Q. So if I were to assess what you have just said and I were to

2 arrive at the conclusion that even though you lived in the Lasva Valley,

3 even though you were president of the local community of the Lasva area,

4 you were not aware of anything that went on? Anything that you knew is

5 what you heard or what somebody told you, am I right?

6 A. You're right.

7 Q. You had no personal knowledge of any of these things?

8 A. What are you referring to specifically?

9 Q. What transpired during the conflict on the 25th and on the 26th.

10 Do you know what was the outcome, what was the consequences of the

11 conflict? Do you know?

12 A. All I knew was what I was told by associates, assistants.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, if you feel -- if you don't

14 feel well, tell us. I can see that you don't feel quite comfortable. We

15 can stop if necessary.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] It's no problem. We can continue.

17 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I think we just have -- we

18 just have one more question and then I think I'm going to release him.

19 Q. My question to you is: Hasim, Hasim Barucija -- do you know

20 somebody by the name of Hasim Barucija? I'm not sure if I'm correct --

21 pronouncing it correctly.

22 A. His name is Hasim Barucija, you're right.

23 Q. Do you know that person?

24 A. I do.

25 Q. Would he be one of the persons who informed you as to what

Page 12354

1 happened in your absence while the conflict was going on? You referred to

2 people telling you. Would he be one?

3 A. No. He had his tasks in the army. We wouldn't see each other, or

4 perhaps only once a week to have coffee together, but that was all.

5 Q. No. (Redacted)

6 (Redacted)

7 (Redacted)

8 reason why I asked the question as to who, you know, might have been

9 informing you as to what transpired.

10 A. No, no.

11 Q. Thank you very much, sir.

12 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, this concludes the

13 cross-examination.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence counsel.

15 Re-examined by Ms. Residovic:

16 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Brkic, my learned colleague asked you whether

17 any meetings were held, as we can see on page 30. I apologise. Let me

18 just have look. On page 35, lines 16 and 17. My colleague asked you

19 whether any meetings were held before the attack or in the course of the

20 attack.

21 My question is -- Mr. Barucija [as interpreted] I apologise. I

22 apologise. There was a translation mistake, but I will ask you this

23 question: As president of the local commune of Lasva, when the troops

24 came to the junction, did you have this meeting that took place before the

25 26th?

Page 12355

1 A. Yes. This person, Anto Kristo, came to see me and he said, "Do

2 come." I said, "Anto, I don't want to see any weapons."

3 Q. We've heard about that. But did you then go to Zenica to see the

4 civilian and military organs and to ask why these troops had appeared at

5 the Lasva junction?

6 A. Well, that was our conclusion. Then I stayed on after work. I

7 left at 9.00. I even had problems at work because -- and my superior

8 said, "You can't behave like this. If -- you should go home and deal with

9 this."

10 Q. Who didn't come?

11 A. Erudzin [phoen] Zvonko.

12 Q. My colleague also asked you whether you knew anything about the

13 events that transpired, and you said what you said. You said you had no

14 personal knowledge of the event itself. But tell me, did you see the

15 results of these events? Did you see the people who had been taken to the

16 school? Did you see them being taken to the school? Did you notice the

17 results of what had taken place that day?

18 A. I've told you what I saw through the window of the local commune.

19 Ivica Kristo was taking some of the Croatian population away, and Faruk

20 Barucija was leading other people away across a meadow. He was taking

21 these people via another route. The police weren't there. The army

22 wasn't there. They weren't being forced. And there were even old women

23 who had been transported in a car. There were three or four women in a

24 car.

25 Q. My learned colleague showed you P649, the document P649, which I

Page 12356

1 think you still have you -- have before you. It consisted of two

2 documents. One is dated the 25th of January, and the other the 26th of

3 January.

4 Tell me, on the 25th of January in the local commune of Lasva, or

5 in any other village in Lasva, in Dusina, in Kegelj, in Visnjica, was

6 there an armed conflict of any kind or were there any incidents that

7 resulted in death?

8 A. Well, I don't know about the dates, whether it was on the 24th or

9 25th, with you these two members of the Territorial Defence were arrested.

10 They didn't have weapons. I don't know where they were going. But when I

11 phoned Zvonko and I told him that there was a problem, I said, "Release

12 the people." It looked terrible. That was on the 24th or the 25th. I

13 don't know the exact date.

14 Q. Had an armed conflict occurred, regardless of whether it was an

15 incident an attack or an action in defence, would you have known or learnt

16 about that event after you returned from Zenica? I'm talking about the

17 25th of January.

18 A. Yes, of course.

19 Q. Mr. Brkic, now whether it was the 25th or on some other day, tell

20 me whether all the Croat houses in the village of Dusina were ever set on

21 fire.

22 A. Absolutely not. I -- those houses were left intact until the

23 next -- two days later when Croat forces from Busovaca or Kiseljak, I

24 don't know where they were shelling from. Unfortunately they hit the roof

25 of Jozo Kegelj's house, and it burnt down. Those shells were flying

Page 12357

1 towards Lasva, across the Bosna river, because of the hill probably. They

2 were shooting at random, in all directions.

3 Q. Mr. Brkic, did you ever hear that on that day or the days that

4 followed a slaughter had been committed over women, children, and old men?

5 A. That is out of the question. You have information about what

6 happened, how these things happened. I really don't know because I didn't

7 witness it and don't want to talk about it.

8 Q. I have just one more question for you. Do you know Hrvoje

9 Sarinic, Mr. Brkic?

10 A. No, I don't.

11 Q. And do you know Jadranko Prlic? Was he from the area?

12 A. No. I know him from television as prime minister and a minister.

13 I think he's from Herzegovina, from Mostar, somewhere like that.

14 Q. And finally, you spoke several times about the late Omer, who told

15 you about the event that took place that day. Can you tell me, if you

16 still remember, what he said to you on that occasion how that conflict

17 started? Let us call it a conflict as well, because you yourself can't

18 define it otherwise. How the conflict started that morning according to

19 what Mr. Omer told you when you came to the local commune building.

20 A. He told me literally. He comes from the village of Dusina, but he

21 was in the Crisis Staff, and he was an honourable man. He had time to

22 tour those places. That day he happened to be in the village of Brdo.

23 What he was doing there, I didn't ask him, nor did I ever learn that.

24 He said, "I noticed that there were troops coming towards Brdo

25 from the junction. They reached the first house." That is what he told

Page 12358

1 me. "Somebody from the Croat houses, there are two or three such houses

2 on a small hill, and somebody shouted, "Halt, I'll shoot." And the boys

3 took shelter behind the house. How many were there he couldn't tell me.

4 And the man going went in front, this Rajic, he said, "What do you want?"

5 And he was hit by a sniper. I suppose those snipers know what they're

6 doing. Then the second guy who was behind him, who wanted to pull him

7 out, he was hit, too, and then the shooting started on all sides. That is

8 what he told me.

9 Q. Thank you. Just one more question. As you were president of the

10 local commune, and all the ethnicities living there, I assume, elected

11 you, which means they had confidence in you, you said that some Croats had

12 stayed behind. They remained to live there for a certain period in your

13 local commune. Did anyone among your Croat neighbours ever give you a

14 different version of the events from the version given to you by Mr. Omer?

15 A. As regards Zvonko Rajic and his late father, about seven days

16 later he came to see me at home. He didn't have shoes. He asked me

17 whether I had some shoes to give him. I don't know how come he was left

18 without shoes. And I found some shoes. Even the size was not right, but

19 he said, "That's fine, neighbour." And I said, "Now, what happened?" And

20 he said, "Well, what happened, happened. It's over now."

21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have

22 no further questions, but I would like to appeal to the Trial Chamber that

23 I did not wish to interrupt during the cross-examination as some of the

24 questions related to destruction and looting, which is not part of the

25 indictment, these charges have been withdrawn, and I feel that witnesses

Page 12359

1 should not be questioned about those events now.

2 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions, Mr. President.

3 Thank you.

4 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, may I? I think I need to

5 respond to my friend, because nowhere in the cross-examination was looting

6 and burning raised. And I think, if I'm not mistaken, the

7 examination-in-chief might have asked questions about houses, and that's

8 how we came to the document and the part that spoke about the Croatian

9 houses. We were talking about the killings. So I just wanted to clarify

10 that for the Trial Chamber.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

12 Questioned by the Court:

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, I have a few questions,

14 because your answers are rather perplexing for me. I shall try to

15 understand what exactly was your function as president of the local

16 community. I would like to know -- the Defence has already asked you

17 about this, but it is important for the Judges to be fully informed.

18 When you were elected, were you elected by the inhabitants of

19 Dusina?

20 A. According to the statute of the Lasva local commune, which was in

21 force before the war, it was as follows: There was about 1.300

22 inhabitants, and the Assembly should have consisted of 13 delegates.

23 According to certain percentages that were agreed, there should have been

24 nine Muslims, two Croats, and two Serbs. And all this was abided by

25 fully.

Page 12360

1 The Serbs were those who proposed me as president, the Serbs. I

2 said, don't keep proposing me. I was president for so long before the

3 war. And I was quite tired and exhausted. I was active for 25 years. My

4 purpose was to promote living conditions of my neighbours.

5 Then both Muslims and Croats responded and said, "Zvonko, you have

6 to be president." But I said straight away, "If you're going to be guided

7 by party politics, I won't be the president." And they all agreed, and

8 they said that they would respect me. Then we elected the working bodies,

9 president of the council, of the priest council, various commissions,

10 Civil Defence staffs, and we formed all those bodies at the constituent

11 Assembly.

12 Everything was fine until the referendum was schedule, the

13 referendum on the independence of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Serbs were

14 explicit and said, "Don't take it against us, but we're not going to take

15 part, and we have orders not to take part." I -- we and the Croats

16 responded in very large numbers. I was surprised, I must say, that so

17 many people should come to vote which were not interested in the past so

18 much in voting.

19 And everything was fine until the barracks, the military barracks

20 in Zenica, was evacuated. We kept guard duty, village guard duty,

21 together, as I have already said. We had hunting rifles. The Croats had

22 two or three -- I don't know what they really were. Like some special

23 kind of rifle. Drum rifles. And this went on until May. I think it was

24 in May or June that the barracks was evacuated from Zenica, and then the

25 situation deteriorated from one day to the next.

Page 12361

1 That is when we formed the Crisis Staff. Again, four Muslims, two

2 Serbs, two Croats in the Crisis Staff. And I led the Crisis Staff for a

3 month or two, and then I said to myself that it was too tiring because I

4 had to work every day. I have two children and a wife. I had to take

5 care of my family as well. You know, there was a crisis of food. We were

6 hungry. I have to tell you. I'm sorry, but that's how it was. We had to

7 sow and plough in order to survive.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. We understand that

9 you were president of this community for a long time, for at least 25

10 years.

11 A. Yes. I wasn't always the president. I was sometimes president of

12 the socialist alliance, president of this commission or that, but

13 president of the community for about ten years or so.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were elected by the 13

15 delegates, did everyone vote in favour? Were you elected unanimously?

16 A. Yes, a hundred per cent, a hundred per cent.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Can we deduce from that that you

18 knew virtually all the inhabitants of the village of Dusina, Lasva, Brdo?

19 You must have known everybody.

20 A. I didn't know each and every one, but most of the population.

21 Didn't know the children, of course. Yes, I enjoyed a great deal of

22 confidence among those people, and I trusted them too.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You told us that the electoral

24 body -- or, rather, that the electorate had -- or the number of

25 inhabitants was 1.300. Was there a civilian police there for policing

Page 12362

1 work? Who was doing the policing for these 1.300 people? If there's a

2 theft or a traffic accident, who did the policework?

3 A. There was a police station in Lasva. The inhabitants, there were

4 1.300, but the police station was in Drivusa, nine kilometres away from

5 Lasva, halfway between Lasva and Zenica. Up until -- was it 1991? That

6 is just before the elections in December. There was four or five men who

7 were patrolling every day, but not at night.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] As part of your elected

9 function, when an inhabitant of the commune died as a result of suicide or

10 due to various accidents, would the president of the commune go to see the

11 person, the conditions of his death? Did this occur in the past 25 years

12 of your activities and mandate?

13 A. I am glad to say that we didn't have any such instances. You

14 probably mean murder. That never happened in Lasva, because it was a

15 peaceful oasis. The co-existence was extremely good. I wish to repeat

16 once again. And if somebody should die in a family or should get killed

17 in a car accident or hit by a train or something --

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But during the 25 years of

19 your active life, surely somebody had an accident. His car turned over or

20 was hurt by an animal. Did that never happen, any such accident?

21 A. I hadn't finished my answer. Yes, there were such cases, but then

22 there would be a funeral, and all three faiths would attend, always.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] But when an accident occurs,

24 would the president of the local commune go to see, on the spot, what had

25 happened? Wouldn't he do that to comfort the villagers and to take all

Page 12363

1 the administrative measures required? Did such occasions occur?

2 A. No, Mr. President. Exceptionally. I shall tell you about a case

3 among the Kegelj. A young woman died overnight. It was never established

4 what she was suffering from. And as the local community, we organised

5 going to the funeral together. And then representing Serbs, Croats, and

6 Muslims, we collected money and took a gift to the family.

7 And this was not an isolated occasion. We would do that

8 regardless of the faith of the person involved.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You said a moment ago in

10 answering some questions that within the Crisis Staff you met

11 Mr. Zvonko Rajic. When you learnt of his death, didn't you go to see on

12 the spot the conditions under which he died, even though he was somebody

13 you knew personally? Didn't you feel the need to go and see him, at least

14 to comfort his family and take all the appropriate civil steps? Didn't

15 this -- wasn't this part of your duties as president of the local

16 community?

17 A. As far as going on the spot, I don't know whether you understood

18 me. I was working until 4.00 p.m. that day. I came home, had lunch. I

19 was called to go to the local commune at 5.00 p.m. it was or dark. Now, I

20 if Zvonko Rajic was left on the spot where he died, I assume he was,

21 because the next day all the dead people were collected, both Muslims and

22 Croats, by Civil Defence and taken to the mortuary following the

23 instructions from the Civil Defence of Zenica.

24 The next day, again I went to work. And I said a moment ago that

25 his father came to see me to ask for shoes. I saw him the next day

Page 12364

1 expressed my condolences. His name was Ivo, and I said, "You know, this

2 should never have happened." And he said, "Let that be, neighbour. Let's

3 not take about that now."

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I must appeal to your memory

5 now. Let's try and go back to the 26th of January. You said that you

6 went to work. Could you tell us exactly at what time you left and how far

7 was your workplace from your home? So when did you leave, and how far was

8 your workplace from your home?

9 A. The local train left Kakanj for Zenica at 6.15. This is the

10 workers' train, because the workers in the mines and all the companies --

11 all workers in Zenica would take this train.

12 I was working in the part -- a department of the railways as an

13 accountant, and I worked until 3.00 p.m., and I took the train at 3.30,

14 and the distance is 18 kilometres by train, the distance between Lasva and

15 Zenica.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, according to what you are

17 telling us, you got on the train at 6.15, and I heard you mention the

18 Kakanj station. How far is it --

19 A. In Lasva.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's the Lasva station. How far

21 is the Lasva railway station from your home? You must have gone to the

22 station on foot. How far is your house from the station?

23 A. Two hundred metres.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It's 200 metres away. So if I

25 told you that witnesses have stated that they heard shots, they heard the

Page 12365

1 sound of weapons, they heard the sound of explosions, before 6.00 in the

2 morning -- so given the position you were at at 6.15, didn't you hear

3 anything when you took the train? You heard absolutely nothing? What

4 would you say?

5 A. Let me tell you where I usually live. I live by the railway

6 sayings, but above me, above my settlement, there's a -- a big hill that

7 protects the village. If there was artillery firing, you wouldn't hear

8 it. And on the hill there's the relay which enabled us to receive TV

9 programmes.

10 So if artillery guns had been firing, I would have probably heard

11 that. But if infantry weapons were used, I couldn't have heard that. The

12 configuration of the land is such that it's difficult to hear these

13 things.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you're saying that when you

15 got on the train at 6.15, everything was peaceful. Nothing happened.

16 There was nothing happening at the time. The village was calm and

17 peaceful. You got on the train to go to Zenica.

18 A. Yes.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you say that you worked

20 until 1530. While you were at work, no one called you to tell you that

21 something was happening and that it was necessary for you to return as

22 president of the local commune. No one said anything about this.

23 A. No one.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you went back to your

25 village, and you say that it was only at 1700 hours that you found out

Page 12366

1 that something had happened. At what time exactly did you find out that

2 something had happened?

3 A. I've already said I returned home to have lunch with my family.

4 The phone rang. The late Omer Halvida said "Please, come quickly,"

5 because --

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The translation says you

7 returned to have lunch, but at what time do you ever lunch, 1700 hours?

8 What time do you have lunch.

9 A. I returned at 1600 hours, so by the time the food was ready, it

10 was 16.15, 16.30 at the latest. The phone rang. Omer had phoned and

11 said, "Come quickly, I have to tell you something." I said, "Let me just

12 have a bite and I'll turn up." And I went to the local commune and that's

13 where I found out about the events.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you went to the offices of

15 the local commune. On your way there, on foot, did you see members of the

16 military in the village, any foreigners? Did you see anyone in the

17 village or, as usual, did you only see the villagers or was there no one

18 in the streets, or did you see anything else apart from inhabitants of the

19 village?

20 A. Well, on my way there -- well, the school's above a railway

21 building, but down below I met a neighbour who told me that there was

22 chaos down there and that I should hurry up. But he didn't notice the

23 population moving around a lot. It didn't seem as if there was an

24 emergency until I saw this group of Croats being taken way in a certain

25 direction. But I didn't see any troops until Omer told me that there was

Page 12367

1 some kind of a platoon or detachment, I don't know what, that was

2 providing security for the school.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Kristo, also called Taraba, who

4 is this person? Who is Kristo? Because you say there is a group led by

5 Kristo. Who is Kristo?

6 A. He was a young man, 22 or 23 years old, a big friend of Faruk

7 Barucija. Barucija had a cafe, and Tarabic, Ivica, that's how we called

8 him, as far as I know didn't meddle with the HVO army, but he would see

9 Faruk in that cafe, et cetera. On that day he wasn't in uniform. That's

10 what I found out. Taraba wasn't in uniform. As to who gave them orders

11 and what they were ordered to do. I don't know if they just collected the

12 Croatian inhabitants and took them away, but I know nothing about what

13 actually happened.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you saw Taraba, he wasn't

15 in uniform and this is a person who would go to Faruk Barucija's cafe.

16 The Kristo -- this person called Kristo, did he have a weapons? Did you

17 see him carrying a weapon?

18 A. You're referring to the day when the civilians were being taken

19 away.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

21 A. No.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And he was taking the Croatian

23 civilians away. These were inhabitants of the village whom you knew?

24 A. Yes. Yes.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So why didn't you go to see them

Page 12368

1 and ask them what was happening? Why didn't you ask them why there was a

2 group being led by a young man towards a certain location? Didn't you

3 have such intellectual curiosity? Didn't you approach this group that

4 consisted of inhabitants of your village who had elected you?

5 A. Well, I knew what happened to them. Omer told me about them. I

6 felt uneasy about this. It was very unpleasant for me. So I don't know

7 why I didn't approach them.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So you drew the conclusion that

9 this group of Croatian inhabitants, Croatian villagers who were in certain

10 sense detained, they weren't free, they couldn't move around freely, what

11 was the conclusion that you drew when you saw these people, when you saw

12 these inhabitants of the village, these Croats who were being led it a

13 certain location by Kristo? In your opinion, were they free to come and

14 go, or what conclusion did you draw at the time?

15 A. Well, first of all I was surprised by what was happening. And

16 later, after a certain amount of time had passed, I didn't know. It was a

17 chaotic situation. And during that month, I lost ten kilos because of

18 those problems.

19 I came to the conclusion that in order to avoid incidents and in

20 order to save the population, to shelter them at the time, I concluded

21 that, well, we should wait for it all to be -- we should wait for it all

22 to calm down. But as to who issued this order, I don't know.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] According to the translation,

24 you said in order to save these people. If you say they should be saved,

25 does that mean that you believed that they were in danger?

Page 12369

1 A. Well, no. Look, it's a village. I don't know how I would answer

2 that question, to be quite frank, but I think they should have been

3 sheltered at that time. The population should have been sheltered until

4 the situation had been dealt with, until the situation had calmed down, if

5 you can understand what I'm saying.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. It is now half past

7 5.00. We will have our break, and we will resume at about 6.00 p.m.

8 --- Recess taken at 5.30 p.m.

9 --- On resuming at 6.03 p.m.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I have just a few

11 more questions for you.

12 You said that at 6.15 you got on a train at the Lasva railway

13 station. Is there just one Lasva railway station or a number of railway

14 stations?

15 A. Just one railway station.

16 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And is this a fairly modern

17 railway station or has it been there for a while?

18 A. Well, it's an old railway station. It was built at the time of

19 Austro-Hungary.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it's a very old railway

21 station.

22 A. Yes. Yes.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you took the train, did you

24 notice any HVO soldiers at the station? So when you got into the train at

25 6.15, did you notice any HVO soldiers?

Page 12370

1 A. To tell you the truth, I wasn't paying much attention, so I

2 couldn't have seen them.

3 Let me tell you about the train. These were freight wagons, apart

4 for perhaps two wagons which were the usual kind.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Since -- if there had been

6 members of the military at 6.15 at the railway station, especially if

7 there had been 50 of them, you would have noticed them.

8 A. Yes, certainly. Naturally I would have seen them.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'm going to show

10 you a document now. The document is document number P200.

11 This document relates to the Lasva railway station.

12 Could you show me the document. I'd like to check that it's the

13 right one.

14 Have a look at the first page of this document have a look at the

15 last paragraph. It says Zenica there, and in the middle of the paragraph,

16 what can you see in the middle of the paragraph? What can you read in the

17 middle of the paragraph?

18 A. On which page, on the first page?

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. In the middle of the

20 paragraph that concerns Zenica. What can you see there?

21 A. Yes, I've found the passage.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can read it out. You can

23 read the paragraph out loud.

24 A. "Zenica," is that what you're referring to?

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. But not at the beginning

Page 12371

1 of the paragraph, in the middle of the paragraph.

2 A. "There's sporadic shooting from the aggressors." Is that what

3 you're referring to?

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Is there a paragraph that starts

5 "A group of 50 HVO members"? Is there a paragraph that starts with these

6 words? Can you find them?

7 A. "A group of 50 HVO members which is located in Lasva, the old

8 railway station, the school. The railway station is down by the rails,

9 and the school is up above. And there was someone called Zoran Rajic." I

10 suppose they mean Zvonko. "They opened fire on civilians and BH army

11 members at the Lasva checkpoint. In the morning, the inhabitants of

12 Dusina were attacked by HVO members. They were shelled. They arrested

13 civilians in Dusina and took them away in an unknown direction. In

14 addition to" --

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please speak up.

16 A. "In the morning hours the inhabitants of Dusina were attacked by

17 HVO members and shelled, and on that occasion HVO members arrested

18 civilians from Dusina and took them away in an unknown direction. Apart

19 from the shelling, HVO members opened sniper fire."

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. What do you think

21 about what this military document refers to? It's a document from the 3rd

22 Corps. As far as you know, were any civilian arrested by the HVO and

23 taken outside the Dusina village, taken away from the Dusina village?

24 What is stated here -- in your opinion, does what is stated here

25 correspond is to what actually took place, because you returned around

Page 12372

1 1700 hours. You returned to Lasva. So what you have just read out, would

2 you say that what you read out corresponds to the knowledge you had of the

3 events that had transpired? What would you say?

4 A. I really couldn't say anything about this document, because I

5 didn't have any such information.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If inhabitants of

7 the village of Dusina had been arrested by the HVO, you would have found

8 out about this in one way or another.

9 A. Well, I assume I would have found out about this.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll now address the

11 Prosecution, unless my colleagues have questions for the witness.

12 Does the Prosecution have any other questions for the witness?

13 And could we have the document, please.

14 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Mr. President, I just have one question that

15 arises out of the questions from the Bench.

16 Further cross-examination by Ms. Henry-Benjamin:

17 Q. Mr. Brkic, in response to the President of the Trial Chamber, you

18 indicated that when you got home at about 14.30 you received a phone call

19 from Mr. Omer asking you to come right away. My question to you would

20 be: What about your wife, your family. Nobody indicated to you as to

21 what transpired that day, as to how these events unfolded that day? Your

22 family didn't discuss anything about this?

23 A. My wife works in Janjici, an outpatient's clinic about six or

24 seven kilometres from Lasva. She also arrived about half past 2.00 by bus

25 because transportation wasn't regular. There were no buses. She should

Page 12373

1 have come at 12.00, but she arrived at half past two. Then she prepared

2 lunch. The children were still small. She also said something in the

3 case, something's not right, something's wrong.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm sorry, we're not getting the

5 translation. Could you ask your question again, and I hope the

6 interpretation will come, because I didn't hear anything.

7 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.

8 Q. My question to you, then, was you had indicated to the Trial

9 Chamber that you had gotten home at about 4.30, and then you received a

10 phone call from one Omer who informed -- who asked you to come. A

11 question from the Defence that unfolded. And my question to you is: What

12 happened to your family? You know, nobody indicated to you, you know,

13 what transpired on the day, how the events unfolded? And I think you

14 started to answer. So could you please answer for the benefit of the

15 record, then.

16 A. Can I? As my wife was working and is still working in an

17 outpatient's clinic in Janjici, it is five to seven kilometres from Lasva,

18 she should have arrived about 12.00 or half past twelve, but as the buses

19 were not regular, she arrive at about half past two, and once she got

20 home, she had to prepare lunch for the children and for me.

21 Also, we had a cow in the shed, and she had to take care of all of

22 that. So she didn't have much time to question any developments. She

23 just did say that something appears to be wrong.

24 Q. What about your neighbours? Nobody was aware of what went on that

25 day?

Page 12374

1 A. I was telling you that when I went to the local commune, I met a

2 neighbour, only one, and he said that there are problems, and you better

3 go there, that's all.

4 MS. HENRY-BENJAMIN: Thank you, Mr. President.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And the Defence.

6 Further examination by Ms. Residovic:

7 Q. [Interpretation] Mr. Brkic, I only have two questions for you.

8 One is that you said that you saw through the window of the local commune

9 building a group of people being led by Mr. Kristo Ivica. Tell me, what

10 is the ethnicity of Ivica Kristo, and what was the ethnicity of the people

11 you saw going towards Lasva?

12 A. That's quite clear. Ivica Kristo is a Croat, and these others

13 were all Croats. Yes, that is to make things quite clear.

14 Q. Tell me, Mr. Brkic, you have answered the question of my learned

15 friend regarding the competencies of the local commune. His Honour asked

16 you to explain your competences in the event of any accidents, deaths,

17 killings, et cetera.

18 Tell me, please, did the local commune before of the war, during

19 the war, and even today ever have the competence to investigate?

20 A. No. That's out of the question. The local commune is just a

21 basic cell meant to improve living conditions of the locals, things to do

22 with roads, water supply, electricity supply. And should there be any

23 disputes over boundaries, property, then it might intervene. There was

24 other -- there were other bodies that were responsible for such things,

25 like the police, et cetera.

Page 12375

1 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. I have

2 no further questions.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The other Defence

4 team?

5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] No questions. Thank you,

6 Mr. President.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In that case, sir, your

8 testimony is over. I thank you for coming to The Hague. I know you had

9 to overcome certain problems. We thank you for answering all the

10 questions put to you. We wish you a safe return home, and best wishes for

11 your health.

12 I'm going to ask the usher to be kind enough to escort you out.

13 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you too.

14 [The witness withdrew]

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I know that the Defence wanted

16 to take the floor, and as we have some time left, I give them the floor.

17 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] We are in open session.

19 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] I would like to ask that we go into

20 private session, please.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Mr. Registrar, let

22 us go into private session.

23 [Private session]

24 (Redacted)

25 (Redacted)

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16 [Open session]

17 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We are in open session,

18 Mr. President.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence has given me a list

20 for next week. There's one witness for Monday. I'm not going to say the

21 name. Tuesday to be confirmed, Wednesday there's a witness, Thursday

22 there's a witness, and Friday there's a witness. So I'm a little worried

23 about Tuesday. What is the problem? Where do we stand? What are the

24 chances of having someone for Tuesday? So I'm asking the Defence.

25 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. The

Page 12381

1 witness for Tuesday is a witness who doesn't appear on our witness list.

2 This is a witness that we haven't met yet, but we have been given a chance

3 to meet this witness on Saturday. To avoid costs for the Tribunal, if the

4 witness can provide information that will be of assistance for the

5 Chamber, then we will call him for Tuesday to avoid him coming -- making

6 two trips to The Hague.

7 I spoke to my colleague about this a moment ago. If we see that

8 this information -- that this witness doesn't have the information that we

9 think he has, then we'll have to make some changes and plan another

10 witness for Tuesday.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. For the moment,

12 everything has not yet been resolved. Would you then call the witness for

13 Wednesday for Tuesday and find someone else for Friday? Otherwise, we'll

14 be losing -- wasting a day.

15 MR. BOURGON: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. President, we will fill

16 the week in one way or another. If the witness can't come for Tuesday, we

17 will certainly fill in the time for the whole week.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Chamber is glad to hear

19 that. We will not be wasting any time, then.

20 As I have already told you, Wednesday, the 7th of December, there

21 won't be any hearing because this courtroom will be used by the Judges for

22 a Plenary. So we won't have a hearing on the 7th of December. Or is it

23 the 8th? No, it's the 8th, Wednesday the 8th. But as the courtroom needs

24 to be prepared for this, the hearing planned for Tuesday will be held, I'm

25 told, in the afternoon, though it should have been in the morning. So at

Page 12382

1 the last moment, Tuesday the 7th, we will have a hearing on -- at 2.15 and

2 not in the morning.

3 I'm sorry. No, I'm sorry. It's the day after, that is the

4 Thursday the 9th when the hearing will be in the afternoon, because they

5 won't -- otherwise, they won't have time to prepare the courtroom. I

6 don't know why, whether they're moving walls or what, but anyway, it will

7 not be possible to sit in the morning on Thursday, but we will be sitting

8 in the afternoon.

9 I wanted to inform you of this. The simplest would be to

10 eliminate the Plenary, but that is impossible. So we won't be having a

11 hearing on Wednesday, the 8th of December.

12 If there are no other matters to deal with, I thank you, and we

13 will meet again for the hearing, which will, as usual, on Friday be in the

14 morning. So tomorrow at 9.00 a.m. Thank you.

15 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.34 p.m.,

16 to be reconvened on Friday, the 26th day

17 of November, 2004, at 9.00 a.m.

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