Tribunal Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia

Page 12833

1 Friday, 3 December 2004

2 [Open session]

3 --- Upon commencing at 2.18 p.m.

4 [The accused entered court]

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

6 case, please.

7 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] Case IT-01-47-T, the Prosecutor

8 versus Hadzihasanovic and Amir Kubura.

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

10 we have the appearances for the Prosecution, please.

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

12 Your Honours, counsel, and everyone else in and around the courtroom. For

13 the Prosecution, Stefan Waespi, Daryl Mundis, and our case manager

14 Mr. Andres Vatter.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Can we have the

16 appearances for the Defence, please.

17 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Good afternoon Mr. President.

18 Good afternoon, Your Honours. On behalf of General Enver Hadzihasanovic,

19 Edina Residovic, lead counsel and Muriel Cauvin legal assistant.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. And the other

21 Defence team.

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

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

24 Mulalic legal assistant.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] On Friday I bid good afternoon

Page 12834

1 all those present, the representatives of the Prosecution, the Defence,

2 the accused and all those in and around the courtroom. We are starting

3 with a few minutes' delay due to technical problems which have fortunately

4 been resolved. On the programme today we have a witness who should be

5 brought in and without further ado, I would like to ask the usher to bring

6 in the witness, please.

7 [The witness entered court]

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Good afternoon, sir. Let me

9 check that you are hearing the interpretation of my words in your own

10 language. If that is the case, please say so.

11 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I can hear you and understand you.

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

13 witness of the Defence. Before taking the solemn declaration, I need to

14 know your identity to know who is going to testify, and that is why I ask

15 you to tell me your first and last name, date and place of birth.

16 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I'm Mirsad Mesic, born

17 on the 30th of March, 1971 [as interpreted].

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. Are you currently

19 engaged in an occupation? If so, which?

20 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] I am a teacher by profession, but

21 I'm currently employed in my own privately owned company.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In 1992, 1993, did you have a

23 position or an occupation? If so, which?

24 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, in 1992, I was employed

25 at Zenica municipality as commander of the Municipal Staff of the civilian

Page 12835

1 protection.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Have you, sir, already testified

3 about the events that took place in your country in 1992 and 1993 either

4 in an international or a domestic court, or is this the first time for you

5 to testify in court?

6 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Your Honour, I did have occasion to

7 speak to your investigators about 1995 or 1996, and that is all.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Will you now read

9 the solemn declaration which the usher will give you.

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

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

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You may be seated.


14 [Witness answered through interpreter]

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Before giving the floor to the

16 Defence counsel, as I do in the case of all witnesses, I provide some

17 explanation to them as to the way in which the proceedings will evolve so

18 that you can understand what is going to happen and also to ensure the

19 smooth running of this hearing.

20 Regarding what is going to happen, you will have to answer

21 questions which will be put to you first by the attorneys representing the

22 accused, whom you have already met, and they are seated to your left.

23 Usually we plan an hour or an hour and a half for questions coming from

24 the Defence. And also, the attorneys for the second accused may have

25 questions for you.

Page 12836

1 At the end of this stage, which in our procedure is known as the

2 examination-in-chief of the Defence witness, the Prosecution will also

3 have questions for you within the framework of what is known as the

4 cross-examination. The Prosecution is seated to your right. There are

5 two gentlemen, but only one of them will be asking you questions. And

6 normally the Prosecution has the same amount of time for questions as the

7 Defence.

8 Upon the termination of that stage, the Defence counsel may have

9 additional questions for you, which will be linked to the answers which

10 you provided to the questions during the cross-examination.

11 The three Judges seated in front of you may at any point in time

12 ask you questions, but they prefer, in the interest of the good management

13 of the proceedings, for the parties to complete their questions, and when

14 all those questions have been answered satisfactorily, the Judges need not

15 necessarily ask you any questions. However, if they need to clarify

16 certain answers given to either party or if they feel that your answers

17 have a certain number of shortcomings, which in the interest of justice

18 and truth and need further clarification, therefore the Judges will have

19 questions for you.

20 You will note that the questions of each party may differ. Do

21 your best to answer those questions clearly, because, sir, you must know

22 that as far as you are concerned and your testimony, we have nothing in

23 writing. We don't know who you are, what exactly you're going to testify

24 about. It is only the oral answers to the questions which will allow us,

25 the Judges to have the best possible understanding of what you yourself

Page 12837

1 saw or can testify about.

2 During the questions, the parties, and possibly the Judges, may

3 show you documents, and you will be able to see those documents in your

4 own languages, and we will hear your comments about them.

5 I also need to inform you of two other points which are important

6 and which it is my duty to refer to for the benefit of all witnesses.

7 Witnesses have duties and rights. The principal duty that you have is to

8 tell the truth as you have solemnly pledged to tell the whole truth. As

9 you know, false testimony is an offence which is sanctioned in all

10 countries, including this Tribunal. Therefore, false testimony in this

11 Tribunal could lead to sanctions.

12 The second point which is linked to our procedure in this Tribunal

13 is that there is a possibility that an answer to a particular question

14 might at some point in time be used against you. In that case, you may

15 refuse to answer. But should that happen, and this is very rare, the

16 Chamber may instruct you to answer the question nevertheless, and we

17 guarantee you immunity from prosecution, which means that what you say in

18 this Tribunal cannot be used against you one day. This is a provision of

19 our Rules of Procedure so as to enable the establishment of the truth.

20 These are all the points that it is my duty to remind you of.

21 Should a question appear to you to be too complicated or too long, ask the

22 person putting it to you to rephrase it. Should there be any

23 difficulties, do not hesitate to let us know.

24 It is now half past two. We will have a break in an hour and

25 one-quarter, because for technical reasons we have to have breaks every

Page 12838












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Page 12839

1 one and a half hours, which will give you the opportunity to take a rest

2 for about 20 minutes, because as you will see, answering questions

3 non-stop can be quite tiring. That is why a break will give you a chance

4 to take a breather and to face the second part of the sitting after the

5 break. Normally we continue until 7.00 p.m., so there will be two breaks

6 for you to rest. So in total, you will have one hour of rest.

7 I now give the floor to the Defence.

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

9 Examined by Ms. Residovic:

10 Q. [Interpretation] Good afternoon, Mr. Mesic.

11 A. Good afternoon.

12 Q. In addition to the important instructions that you have just

13 received from the president of the Trial Chamber, I should like to ask you

14 something else. Both of us speak the same language, and as soon as I put

15 my question to you, you could answer it promptly. However, both my

16 question and your answers need to be interpreted so that the Trial Chamber

17 and our colleagues in the courtroom are able to follow. That is why when

18 I put my question to you, wait a moment before you answer it.

19 A. Yes, fully.

20 Q. Thank you. In answer to a question from the president of the

21 Trial Chamber, you said you were now living in Zenica. Mr. Mesic, where

22 were you residing in April 1992 when the JNA and Serb forces attacked

23 Bosnia-Herzegovina?

24 A. I was living and working at the time in Zenica.

25 Q. You also said that you were a teacher. Could you tell us a little

Page 12840

1 more about your education and where you acquired it?

2 A. I completed elementary and secondary school in Zenica, and I

3 graduated from the Faculty of Political Sciences in Sarajevo.

4 Q. Mr. Mesic, before the war did you do your military service, in

5 which army, and if you did serve, did you aware a rank?

6 A. I served in the Yugoslav People's Army. I completed the reserve

7 officer school, and in 1992 I had the rank of reserve captain first class

8 of the engineers. So I was an officer in reserve.

9 Q. Can you tell me, Mr. Mesic, what was your occupation before the

10 war and what jobs you held and for how long.

11 A. From -- since 1976, I have been employed in the municipal

12 Secretariat for National Defence in Zenica, and I started from an

13 apprentice right up the scale. In 1992, I was acting secretary for

14 national defence, and when the war started, I was the commander of the

15 municipal civilian protection staff.

16 Q. Thank you. In view of your professional duties, do you know which

17 document regulated the citizens' duties in defence of the country?

18 A. Yes, of course. Those obligations were regulated in the former

19 Yugoslavia and Bosnia-Herzegovina and the law on defence of

20 Bosnia-Herzegovina.

21 Q. After the beginning of the war, did you know that

22 Bosnia-Herzegovina passed its own law on defence?

23 A. At the very beginning of the war, Bosnia and Herzegovina, on the

24 day of its recognition, took over a series of laws from the Socialist

25 Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and this applied to the law on defence as

Page 12841

1 well, which was taken over from the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and

2 Herzegovina.

3 Q. In view of the fact that the situation was quite different from

4 the one envisaged by the former SFRY, are you aware that in May 1992,

5 Bosnia and Herzegovina passed its own law on defence and the armed forces?

6 A. Yes, I am aware of that, and I worked on the basis of those laws.

7 Q. Thank you. Since you were the commander of the civilian

8 protection in Zenica, what section of defence did civilian protection

9 belong to? Was it part of the military or the civilian body of defence?

10 A. In my country and in all countries in the world, the civilian

11 protection is a civilian body and deals with a set of measures and

12 procedures to protect the civilian population and property from war

13 devastation. So all these are civilian activities.

14 Q. Can you tell us, in 1992 and 1993, which was the superior body to

15 the Municipal Staff of civilian protection in Zenica?

16 A. As soon as a state of war was declared, civilian protection came

17 under the Crisis Staff, later the Presidency of the municipality, and

18 these were the bodies who issued direct orders at the level of the

19 municipality. And at the level of the republic, it was the republican

20 staff of civilian protection.

21 Q. Tell us briefly, Mr. Mesic, what were the main duties of civilian

22 protection.

23 A. In simplified terms, it is a set of measures and activities to

24 protect and save human lives and property from war devastation and, of

25 course, natural disasters.

Page 12842

1 Q. To be able to fulfil those tasks, did the civilian protection have

2 certain measures and instruments to perform the tasks entrusted to it?

3 A. Of course. The civilian protection consisted of units and

4 measures, staffs and commissioners. Units are quite clear, staffs are

5 clear, and the measures were -- the activities were as follows: First

6 aid, protection of animals, protection against unexploded mines, rescue

7 from the rubble, and other activities. There are many.

8 Q. Can you tell us, until when were you commander of the civilian

9 staff in the civilian protection staff in the town of Zenica?

10 A. My involvement in the Zenica staff was until the end of March

11 1995.

12 Q. Did the civilian protection come under the control of the army of

13 Bosnia and Herzegovina at any point in time or, rather, was the army at

14 any point in time the superior body in relation to the civilian

15 protection?

16 A. No. From contacts with colleagues in other parts of Bosnia and

17 Herzegovina, I never heard of any such case.

18 Q. Can you tell me, Mr. Mesic, what was your relationship with units

19 of the BH army? On what grounds were those relations built?

20 A. One might say that those relations were relations of mutual

21 respect and cooperation.

22 Q. A moment ago, you said that you were given assignments first by

23 the Crisis Staff and then the Presidency of Zenica municipality. Tell me

24 whether pursuant to the law on defence you were a member of any civilian

25 body as commander of the civilian protection staff for Zenica.

Page 12843

1 A. According to the laws that you have referred to, the law on

2 defence of Yugoslavia and later Bosnia and Herzegovina, I was ex officio

3 member of the Crisis Staff and then member of the Presidency of Zenica

4 municipality. These were bodies that performed the functions of the

5 Municipal Assembly, and documents adopted at -- were to be verified at

6 some future Assembly meeting.

7 Q. Mr. Mesic, in view of the tasks and measures that you listed a

8 moment ago, tell me, what was the role in the civilian protection staff of

9 professionals, qualified personnel?

10 A. All measures that need to be implemented implied having

11 professionals. So we had professionals for fire protection, veterinary

12 surgeons, engineers for explosives, agricultural engineers, and so on.

13 Q. In the field, in local communes, in villages and hamlets, who

14 performed civilian protection, and did these people -- did these people

15 form a part of the system of civilian protection?

16 A. With the war, the activities were dispersed toward local

17 communities, and they had bodies. They had executive bodies, they had

18 staffs and a unit. In addition to them, there were commissioners whose

19 task was to monitor the situation in the territory of the local commune to

20 inform their staff about it and then of course, me too, that is the

21 Municipal Staff, regarding any problems that may occur in the local

22 communes.

23 Q. Mr. Mesic, let us clarify what you have just said. You said that

24 the civilian authorities in local communes were formed and then also the

25 staffs. As the word "staff" is very frequently mentioned when talking

Page 12844












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Page 12845

1 about military bodies, when you said "staff," what did you mean, the

2 staffs found in local communes?

3 A. The terminology that we were using when -- was started -- came

4 from the former system of All People's Defence. And according to that

5 system, management of civilian defence bodies were entrusted to staffs and

6 then there were units. But these have nothing to do with military

7 organisations. But these names, these terms were actually taken over from

8 the army. These were civilian bodies, nevertheless, and their duty was to

9 ensure the functioning of civilian life, that is for civilians to be able

10 to live normally.

11 Q. So in local communities, you had civilian protection staffs; is

12 that right?

13 A. Yes.

14 Q. Within the frameworks of the numerous tasks and measures that you

15 had to implement, tell me, please, was civilian -- did civilian protection

16 carry out the sanitisation of the terrain?

17 A. One of the foremost roles of civilian protection was what we call

18 asanacija, or sanitation, or clearing up the terrain, which means clearing

19 up the area where a war was fought. It means picking up the bodies,

20 burying the bodies, seeing to the corpses and the remainder of any

21 livestock that might have been killed and any other consequences of the

22 war such as putting out fires if any were started, and things like that,

23 seeing to the destroyed houses, dealing with the rubble. Things of that

24 kind.

25 Q. Tell me, please, who performed this sanitisation of the terrain

Page 12846

1 through an area where -- in an area where fighting had occurred?

2 A. The sanitisation of the terrain was a measure that the civilian

3 protection organs dealt with in the area, and so in Zenica, it was the

4 staff of the municipal of the civilian protection that was in charge of

5 dealing with affairs of that kind.

6 Q. Tell me, please, the civilian protection staff, should the need

7 arise, did they ask for assistance from other civilian organs to assist it

8 as a reinforcement to help it carry out the tasks it was there to do?

9 A. Civilian protection had the task of seeing to the first -- the

10 consequences of the initial impact of combat, and of course all the other

11 organisations would help it out once conditions were right for that.

12 So for example, in the case of refugees, the first wave of

13 refugees was seen to by the Municipal Staff of civilian protection. They

14 sorted their accommodation, prompt accommodation and food and all the rest

15 of it, and then the municipal organs would step in to help out.

16 Q. Mr. Mesic, in view of the fact that we mentioned sanitisation of

17 the terrain a moment ago, can we go to that, and can you remember whether

18 towards the end of January, in an area of Zenica municipality, had there

19 been any fighting, and did the staff of the civilian protection see to the

20 sanitisation of that area?

21 A. Yes. I remember in January 1993, for example, the Municipal Staff

22 of civilian protection did conduct sanitisation in the area of the village

23 of Dusina, and after the fighting and combat that had taken place in that

24 area.

25 Q. Do you still happen to remember whether the Municipal Staff of

Page 12847

1 civilian protection sent a team and who the members of the team were for

2 it to conduct the sanitisation of the terrain after the fighting had been

3 completed?

4 A. Yes. The Municipal Staff did send an expert team led by my

5 assistant, and they saw to the sanitisation of the terrain after combat.

6 And what else did you ask me? I've forgotten.

7 Q. I asked whether anybody assisted you in tasks of that kind. You

8 said it was your assistant. So who went with the team for the work to be

9 done? Was there anybody else, any other organs or institutions or was any

10 other equipment used? How did you transport the people or the corpses of

11 people and animals and anything else that you needed to transport?

12 A. Well, in this case it was my assistant who went to deal with

13 sanitisation with some helpers, and they were assisted by the local

14 commune's organs of civilian protection. We always coordinated this work

15 with the organs of internal affairs and the investigating organs of the

16 SUP.

17 Q. Can you remember in that specific case, and generally speaking

18 when you would undertake the sanitisation of a terrain, which organs

19 supplied you with the first information that you were needed to go out

20 into the field and conduct sanitisation? How did that information come to

21 you? How were you informed about that?

22 A. The municipality of Zenica in my opinion was a very well organised

23 municipality, and it was capable of dealing with far more complex tasks

24 than the present ones, and it was a system of monitoring the situation in

25 the entire municipality, and this was called the service for observation

Page 12848

1 and information, and it was tied in with the army and the police or rather

2 cooperated with the army and police, and that was my operative organ

3 supplying me with the first initial information as to what was to be done

4 and where it was to be done.

5 In this concrete case I received information from my commissioners

6 via the centre for monitoring and information.

7 Q. After sanitisation of the terrain had been conducted, do you know

8 where the bodies of those who were killed were transferred, transported?

9 A. In my own town, anybody who was killed was taken to the hospital

10 and a department there for storing corpses, that is to say the mortuary.

11 Q. Now, in this specific case was everybody transported to the

12 hospital or were they all taken to the Zenica morgue or not?

13 A. Well, this particular event, and I don't want you to misunderstand

14 me, but it was the standard type of work we had to deal with when people

15 were killed. Zenica of -- there were many people in Zenica who were

16 killed during the combats, whether through shelling or through fighting or

17 anything of that kind, and we would always bury the dead according to the

18 same principle. That is to say the bodies of those killed were taken to

19 the city morgue. We organised the burials. We contacted family members

20 and conducted the burial in the way that the families desired. And this

21 would depend on whether they wanted -- which area of town they wanted

22 their relatives to be buried in and what religious rites were to be

23 observed.

24 Q. Mr. Mesic, you said your assistant went and that he was in turn

25 assisted by your commissioners in the field, on the spot. Once

Page 12849

1 sanitisation had been taken care of, did any member of that team your

2 assistant or anybody else, indicate to you or tell you that in that

3 specific case in the field they had seen or come across or in other way

4 informed of the fact that death had occurred in different ways, that is to

5 say not in the usual way that death occurs during combat?

6 A. According to the report from my assistant, all these casualties

7 were the consequences of the fighting, of combat of the war. The bodies

8 were found in different places, in different spots. They were collected

9 together and taken to the city morgue.

10 Q. A moment ago you said that you, as was your custom, would, once

11 the analyses and investigation had been conducted, you would see to the

12 burial of the people killed. Tell me, please, in the case of Dusina

13 itself, did burials take place, and did any family members, that is to say

14 the members of the families of the people killed, indicated that death

15 might have been caused in some other way other than was reported to you by

16 your team?

17 A. No. None of the people who contacted us discussed the cause of

18 death or expressed any doubts with respect to the cause of death. And

19 according to our standard practice, we buried the dead in the spots

20 designated by them. For those who were not present, because after the

21 combat, after the fighting a part of the population had withdrawn to the

22 neighbouring municipality, which is just several hundred metres away from

23 the place of action, we organised their burials in cooperation with the

24 Catholic priest.

25 Q. With respect to the village of Dusina and the whole Lasva

Page 12850












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Page 12851

1 municipality, tell me, please, later on did your staff in that particular

2 local commune or, rather, the commissioners, did they contact you and ask

3 you questions about the protection of the property of persons who had left

4 their houses?

5 A. Well, the protection of property is a separate question, and

6 people always find it difficult to understand all the ramifications. If

7 you -- if we remember New York in 1990 when there was no electricity, the

8 consequences of that catastrophe were great. Some people were even

9 killed. So people who thought they could solve their problems were in

10 fact wrong, and the commissioners came to us to see how we were going to

11 protect the property of those people, and a plan was adopted according to

12 which all the property was to be recorded and placed in one space so that

13 the people, when they came back, could reclaim their property, the

14 property that they had left behind.

15 Q. Mr. Mesic, may we now move on to a different period? Do you know

16 whether in April 1993 there was any combat between the HVO and the BH army

17 in Zenica? That is to say whether during that period of time there was a

18 withdrawal of part of the HVO units and the Croats of Zenica from the town

19 of Zenica itself?

20 A. Well, I have to give you a broader answer to that question in view

21 of the fact that I was a member of the Presidency at that point in time,

22 and we had a enormous problem to deal with, that is to say the

23 relationship between the HVO and the entire country's diverse [as

24 interpreted] and the HVO, and life in Zenica in general.

25 The HVO throughout its activities tried to obstruct the defence

Page 12852

1 and to prepare for some kind of conflict which would ensure their

2 supremacy in Zenica. The military units of the HVO did not go and fight

3 the common enemy, the joint enemy, but they turned their positions

4 focusing on Zenica, and the situation escalated, and they made it

5 impossible to have any movement going on, and without very serious

6 procedure you weren't able to travel 30 kilometres to the south or north

7 of Zenica. So all the communes held by them had, in fact, been blocked,

8 and any communication with the rest of the world was made impossible.

9 We tried to discuss the situation with the representatives of the

10 HVO on many occasions, because the HVO was a military and civilian

11 authority as well. They were the same people. So you had to negotiate

12 with those people. And we would talk to them often in the hope that we

13 would come by a way of cooperating. But unfortunately, that -- we were

14 not successful and the conflict broke out in April. It lasted for just

15 one day, and it took place in several parts, and it was most intense in

16 the northwestern regions of Zenica. In some other areas, the conflicts

17 were not as great. Those people simply laid down their arms, so it didn't

18 come to a fight at all, but that's what the conflict took place in those

19 months of April -- those days of April.

20 Q. Before I ask you some more questions about that event I should

21 like to ask you this: Something about the structure of the population in

22 Zenica and the way in which the people of different ethnicities lived in

23 the area before the war and at the beginning of the war too.

24 A. Well, the Zenica municipality on the basis of the 1991 population

25 census, and I'm going to give you rough values, had -- 50 per cent of the

Page 12853

1 population were Muslims, and that was what it was in Yugoslavia and

2 Bosnia-Herzegovina. Fifteen per cent were Croats, 15 per cent were Serbs,

3 and about 20 per cent were others or the rest. They were people who

4 referred to themselves and considered themselves to be Yugoslavs or some

5 other ethnic group such as Albanians, Romany, and others.

6 It was the life of an industrial town, and nobody jeopardised

7 anybody on ethnic grounds or anything like that. People worked a lot.

8 They earned a lot. The average salary was 1.000 German marks. They had

9 free flats to live in, education for their children, and all the rest of

10 it. There was a guaranteed religious freedom and all religious

11 institutions which existed before the war continued to function during the

12 war and after the war. Never at any point, and this is particularly true

13 of Zenica, were there any, absolutely no national or ethnic tensions, nor

14 was there any reason for them.

15 Q. Mr. Mesic, tell me this, please. In view of the situation as it

16 was before the war, in Zenica during the war did the organs of power and

17 authority remain multi-ethnic in composition, and what about your

18 Municipal Staff of civilian protection? What was the make-up of its

19 members?

20 A. Yes, I'll be happy to. We entered the war with full respect for

21 the national and ethnic make-up of -- on the basis of the 1991 population

22 census, the set-up of the country at the time, and this was reflected in

23 the Municipal Assembly and all the local organs of power and authority.

24 They worked upon that principle and were founded upon that principle.

25 The members of the Serbian Democratic Party stepped down from the

Page 12854

1 positions of authority. At the time the army left our town, and they no

2 longer participated in the local authorities and were replaced by some

3 Serbs who lived in Zenica but were not members of the SDS party.

4 Specifically speaking in my own staff, my deputy was a Serb from

5 start to finish, until he tricked me and went over to the opposite side.

6 But of course it was quite normal for all ethnic groups to be represented

7 in the staff. So we had all the ethnic groups living in Zenica

8 represented.

9 Q. Their Honours know that the national parties won at the elections,

10 and in view of the questions I'm now going to ask you and my desire to see

11 how best to tackle this area, I'd like to ask you this: Did you ever

12 begin to -- did you ever belong to any nationalist party?

13 A. I never belonged to a nationalist party, nor will I, for the

14 simple reason that I do not think it's the right solution for my country.

15 Q. And to bear that out, I see you have a badge which belongs to a

16 multinational party in Bosnia.

17 A. Well, I didn't notice that, but yes.

18 Q. Thank you. Would you now please tell me whether after the

19 conflict, that is to say the conflict between the HVO and BH army in

20 Zenica, did you as a help of the War Presidency and commander of the staff

21 of civilian protection, were you given a specific assignment linked to the

22 return of people who had left their homes during that period of time in

23 Zenica?

24 A. The work of the Croatian Democratic Community of the HVO in Zenica

25 were geared towards, first and foremost, having Croats leave Zenica. This

Page 12855

1 was also done by the Serbian Democratic Party. And the basic goal was

2 ethnic cleansing of those two parties.

3 As a consequence of the war and the fighting in Zenica, we saw an

4 organised population movement under threat of force, and the inhabitants

5 were moved out of their houses and moved away from their thresholds. And

6 this resulted in complete chaos in which people without any desire to

7 leave their homes did nonetheless leave their houses and apartments and

8 took refuge in the forests in neighbouring municipalities and quite simply

9 left their homes behind.

10 Q. Before you continue, you said "on threat of force." Now, was that

11 force exerted on them by the farm or the civilian police in Zenica? Which

12 organisation?

13 A. There was organised pressure by the Croatian Defence Council via

14 its activists in the local commune who had the uniform task of moving out

15 the population in panic and fear.

16 Q. Yes, please continue. I'm sorry for having interrupted you.

17 A. As I was saying, the president of the municipality met every day

18 to monitor and follow the security situation in the municipality and

19 monitored all areas of life and work in the municipality, and they would

20 take concrete measures aimed at ensuring safe and secure life, and in the

21 extent possible a normal life in Zenica municipality, as much as that was

22 possible. And in this specific case, too, the dual activities that took

23 place, that is to say the population were encouraged to return. And the

24 Presidency, on that same day, I think, if I'm correct, I'm not quite sure

25 of the dates, of course, made a decision and passed an order to my staff

Page 12856

1 which was given the task of having the Croatian population return to their

2 homes. But what was not recorded in that particular document was the fact

3 that we personally were in charge of that. That is to say I myself and

4 Mr. Stjepan Radic, head of the church in -- the Catholic church in Zenica,

5 the priest there. So we undertook this in a relatively short space of

6 time, and we managed to have the population that had left returned to

7 their homes.

8 Now, the safety and security of those people was something that

9 the regular police force saw to.

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: I with like the usher's help now, please, to show

11 some documents to the witness. It is a set of documents, in fact. Or,

12 rather, just two documents. One is Prosecution Exhibit P371, and

13 the second document is DH206. And I'd first of all like to ask the

14 witness to take a look at P371, and number 1 in particular.

15 One document is entitled "Conclusions," and the second is entitled

16 "Order" or "Decree".

17 Q. Mr. Mesic, let's take a look at this first document dated the 18th

18 of April. Is that the document you said was enacted the first day that

19 the events took place in Zenica?

20 A. Yes, that's the document I meant. And my staff was bound to act

21 in accordance with what these conclusions set out here.

22 Q. Now take a look at the second document, the decree of the 26th of

23 April, 1993. Is that, too, a document which refers to the tasks you

24 described to us a moment ago?

25 A. Yes, that is the document. It is an authentic document. And if I

Page 12857

1 might be allowed to add something?

2 Q. Yes. Please go ahead.

3 A. When I read through these documents I really do feel proud of what

4 we were able to do during the war. I don't know that in the history of

5 that unfortunate war in Bosnia-Herzegovina a single other municipality

6 compiled a similar document. I'm talking about the municipalities on the

7 Croatian and Serbian sides, of course.

8 Q. Yes. Thank you. You said that most of the population returned to

9 their homes. Now, the return of these people to their homes, did that in

10 fact help you in your efforts, in your overall efforts to protect their

11 property and to prevent any untoward activities that always accompany wars

12 and conflicts?

13 A. Could you explain that, please? Could you ask me more simple

14 terms?

15 Q. Yes. You said that many people returned to their homes. What I

16 would like to know now is this: To the best of your knowledge, the people

17 who returned, were they sufficiently well-protected, and was their

18 property protected from possible looting and destruction, the fact that

19 they had returned?

20 A. Well, the basic meaning of the functioning of the Municipal Staff

21 was to create normal or more normal conditions than conditions that

22 prevailed during the war. The Croats and Serbs and Bosniaks lived in the

23 same safety and security situations. They all faced the same problems,

24 and nothing special or nothing separate happened to the Croats and Serbs

25 than did to the Bosniaks. So the return of people provided security to

Page 12858

1 the people who stayed on and was a good contribution to preventing the

2 uncontrolled exodus of the population from Zenica. And in fact, not all

3 the Croats or all the Serbs left Zenica, and I consider that to be a

4 direct consequence of the activities undertaken by the municipal

5 leadership and the staff which -- at whose head I was.

6 Q. Mr. Mesic, tell me, please. You made significant efforts to have

7 people return, people who left under different pressure and under

8 different circumstances and who had left their homes temporarily. Now,

9 tell me, were you an eyewitness of the arrival of people? Did you witness

10 the arrival of people from other parts, coming into Zenica, and if so, how

11 many people came in and what sort of problems did the civilian authorities

12 have to face, including the civilian protection authorities?

13 A. Before I answer that question, allow me to say, and I refer to the

14 conflict in April 1993, that we had a lot of problems in bringing them

15 back. In fact, the village of Grahovcici that is mentioned in this order,

16 there was an attempt to prevent people returning in an organised manner by

17 the HVO. Fortunately they did not succeed. And where people returned

18 there was no problem with protection of the property. Protection of

19 property was difficult in abandoned homes, because there's no way under

20 conditions of total destitution that you can prevent looting in such

21 cases.

22 As for people coming to Zenica, I would like to suggest to you

23 that I could refer to the aims behind this movement of the population.

24 Q. Tell me, first, was there a movement of the population, and did a

25 certain number of displaced and expelled people come to Zenica in 1992,

Page 12859

1 1993?

2 A. The municipality of Zenica had 160.000 inhabitants before the war.

3 The municipality of Zenica covers some 480 square kilometres, two-thirds

4 of which is mountainous terrain.

5 On such a small area, which was totally blocked by Serb and later

6 Croat forces as well, a 100.000 new inhabitants arrived, people who had

7 suffered the trauma that any normal man feels, thrown out of his house,

8 witnessing execution and killings of his loved ones, a person who had

9 lived normally, and suddenly he arrives in our town with absolutely

10 nothing to his name. A man without any hope or any chances came to a town

11 that had nothing to offer except goodwill to assist him.

12 The environment was disastrously bad in terms of material

13 facilities, but the people of Zenica did everything they could to make the

14 stay of these people who had witnessed the worst possible atrocities. Can

15 you imagine a person at a home watching television and suddenly being

16 chased out of their homes without being allowed to take anything, first

17 being looted, some members killed, and then they have to leave. So it was

18 in those conditions that a hundred thousand new people arrive.

19 Q. So please now look at document number 2. It is a special report

20 of the head of the European monitoring commission, Ambassador Jean Pierre

21 Tabeau. Tell me first whether Ambassador Tabeau in 1993 visited Zenica.

22 A. Yes, I know.

23 Q. This document is in English, and though my English is not too

24 good, I would like to ask the interpreters to assist me so that the

25 witness can tell me whether the description of these events in paragraph 2

Page 12860

1 of this document corresponds to what he personally experienced in 1993.

2 "[In English] The situation is obviously extremely serious.

3 Their number is rapidly increasing in April. Probably -- probably over

4 350.000 end of May, perhaps 400.000 with the ongoing effects of the

5 Bosnian Serbs attacks in Brcko area and continuous expulsions from Banja

6 Luka."

7 [Interpretation] And now in the second paragraph it says: "[In

8 English] 95 per cent of it was still covered in March, this has

9 dramatically decreased in April to 15 per cent Tuzla still having 23 per

10 cent, but Zenica receiving only 5 per cent (33 tons instead of 650)

11 despite 33.000 refugees, 13 opstina representing 85.000 registered

12 beneficiaries receiving nothing at all."

13 [Interpretation] I apologise once again. I didn't have a Bosnian

14 version of this text.

15 What Ambassador Tabeau says here, that is that Zenica actually was

16 receiving only 5 per cent of what it needed, does that reflect the

17 situation as you saw it, as somebody living in Zenica at the time? Can

18 you confirm this and describe it to Their Honours?

19 A. Even the figures given by Ambassador Tabeau reflect the disastrous

20 situation in Zenica municipality and a shortage of everything. We didn't

21 have food. We didn't have medical supplies. We didn't have power, fuel.

22 We had people sick and dying as a result of expulsion.

23 So I accept this fully, but I think that there were far more

24 refugees than the Ambassador mentions here.

25 Q. Tell me, Mr. Mesic, in view of this dramatic situation in the

Page 12861

1 municipality, did the Presidency of the municipality fully understand that

2 the question of hunger, of not only the refugees but also the local

3 population, could be of key significance for the safety of the people?

4 A. Let me say that I think that the question of hunger was one of the

5 aims of the Serbian and Croat forces. It was a well-programmed and

6 systematically implemented goal, and that was to bring a large number of

7 refugees to Zenica to prevent life by blocking all communications and

8 simply for that part of the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina to fall,

9 to be destroyed, or to bring the war to an end in one way or another.

10 To come back to your question, surely everyone in the world must

11 understand that the possibility to feed the population, for the population

12 to survive is a key aspect of security. If you don't have food for your

13 child, you will do everything you can to get food, even resorting to

14 crime.

15 Q. However, Mr. Mesic, as you spent the whole of 1992 in Zenica, in

16 spite of such a dramatic situation as you have just described and the

17 necessity which might even lead to crime, did both the military and the

18 civilian police in those days invest efforts to find the perpetrators of

19 offences, and are you aware whether they were prosecuted and punished?

20 A. I have to tell you first that in this kind of situation that we --

21 that I have described, there were no inter-ethnic problems. People

22 continued to live as they used to. Of course, the refugees had status of

23 refugees. All the authorities, be they civilian or military, did

24 prosecute those who resorted to crime as a means of resolving problems. I

25 am aware of many trials that ended with very severe punishment.

Page 12862

1 Q. Tell me, please, in view of everything that you have described

2 regarding the situation of the population and the large number of arriving

3 refugees, did those authorities for law enforcement, that is the military

4 and civilian police, did they have difficulties in identifying the persons

5 who may have committed certain crimes? Were you aware of those

6 difficulties?

7 A. Yes. I do know that very often investigating bodies were unable

8 to find witnesses for the simple reason that there were none.

9 Q. In answer to my previous questions, you said that there were

10 various pressures brought to bear on the population. Tell me, to what

11 extent was propaganda a factor, and especially HVO propaganda with respect

12 to developments in Zenica? Were you aware of problems resulting from such

13 propaganda, and how did you deal with them?

14 A. Yes. Propaganda was horrific. The goal of both parties was to

15 move out the Croat and Serb populations from Zenica and to create

16 conditions for a final division of Bosnia and Herzegovina. They sought to

17 achieve this in all possible ways, either using -- by using the media or

18 by military activities in Zenica to cause fear among their people and

19 prompt them to flee.

20 Thus, for instance, in April 1993 a projectile was fired from

21 Croatian positions which I think killed some 15 people, inhabitants of

22 Zenica, who were in front of the city department stores. However, among

23 the dead were both Serbs, Croats, and Bosniaks, almost in the same

24 proportion as the population. And this attack, in fact, was meant to give

25 the message to the Croat people to leave Zenica and to join their ethnic

Page 12863

1 group.

2 This disastrous propaganda saying that all kinds of things were

3 happening in Zenica designed to destroy one or another ethnicity was

4 designed to move the population. So ethnic cleansing was the goal of both

5 parties.

6 Q. Can you tell us which parties you're referring to?

7 A. I'm referring to the Serbian and Croatian sides.

8 Q. A moment ago, Mr. Mesic, we were talking about Dusina, and now

9 we're talking about propaganda. Let me quote just an excerpt from

10 Prosecution Exhibit P649, where it says: "In the mixed village of Dusina,

11 all Croat houses have been burnt, and there is massacre and terror against

12 women, children, and the elderly. We don't have exact data on casualties,

13 but we do know that 33 soldiers of the HVO were killed. How cruel the

14 ABiH forces are is proven by the fact that all seven HVO members who took

15 part in negotiations were killed."

16 Did such an event ever occur in the village of Dusina, to the best

17 your knowledge?

18 A. Propaganda is a monstrous thing, and monstrous aims and

19 conclusions are made dependent to -- designed to promote their goals.

20 Such events never happened in Zenica, and civilians were never killed for

21 any reason.

22 How sick that propaganda is, I will tell you by saying that during

23 a religious holiday in Zenica, it was said that a Catholic priest was

24 hanged and Croats executed. This was published in June, July, but the

25 real truth was that there was a very normal celebration there.

Page 12864

1 Q. Thank you. Since we are talking about the events in April when

2 you had the honourable task of bringing back a part of the population who

3 had left their homes, can you tell me whether at that time there were

4 hundreds of killed and slaughtered civilians and whether the Croats who

5 were not killed were taken to the mine to work there, for labour purposes?

6 A. I have to tell you first that the conflict in Zenica broke out

7 just after the events in Ahmici. I also have to tell you that the

8 inhabitants of Ahmici fled to Zenica, and they brought with them horrific

9 news. Such a massacre was never recorded in the history, and it was

10 carried out through a very effective military operation in a very short

11 time. So it was after this that the conflict in Zenica break out. But

12 after those conflicts, not a civilian was -- not a single civilian was

13 arrested or executed, nor did his -- tortured in any way that you have

14 referred to. So civilians in Zenica were never systematically mistreated.

15 However, I must say this under reservation of individual crimes.

16 Q. So, Mr. Mesic, if what I have just said was contained in a

17 document, you would say that it was monstrous propaganda; is that right?

18 A. [No audible response]

19 Q. Thank you. Mr. President, I may have another 15 minutes of

20 questions. No, I thought it was the time for the break. But we have a

21 few more minutes, I think. Thank you.

22 Tell me, Mr. Mesic, what was the attitude towards religious

23 buildings and religious officials in Zenica?

24 A. The relationship among people of different faiths is rather a

25 complicated thing. In The Hague waiting for this trial, I read an

Page 12865

1 interview with a Dutch artist who speaks about the monstrous death of the

2 director van Gogh, and a direct consequence of this event was burning of a

3 school and damage to many mosques.

4 I have said who the people from Zenica are. Many had been exiled

5 from their homes, totally uprooted in religious and cultural terms. In

6 the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina, more than a thousand mosques have

7 been destroyed, many people killed. And with that backdrop, in Zenica,

8 religious life of all three main confessions functioned normally. All

9 three churches actually were operating throughout the war. But I must add

10 the following: Around mid-1992, the Orthodox church was damaged as a

11 result of Croat forces' activities, and within a few days, again following

12 orders from the Presidency, units of the civilian defence, with the help

13 of a unit of the BH army, repaired the damage, and it was never damaged

14 again. The Catholic churches were never damaged and functioned throughout

15 the war. The Islamic religious community also operated throughout the

16 war. It had one mosque damaged by a projectile from Serb positions, but

17 that damage was repaired too.

18 Q. Sir, could you please tell me whether you knew what happened with

19 the priests from the church in Brajkovici.

20 A. Of course I know. All that happened to them happened in my

21 presence. Those priests, after combat operations, were in their homes,

22 and they were allowed to choose whether they wished to live, Brajkovici,

23 Zenica, or somewhere else. As they expressed the wish to be in Zenica in

24 the church of St. Ilija, which had very good living conditions, the

25 priests of that church asked me to go and fetch those priests. So

Page 12866

1 together with my assistants, I went to that church. We spoke to Franjo

2 Krizanac, and we agreed on the way that we would transport them to Zenica.

3 And we asked them what they wanted to take with then, and they told them

4 what they thought was important for them. Those were paintings, books,

5 and other relics that they needed for their services.

6 After that, they were given a truck, and with my personal escort,

7 they were taken to Zenica as completely free citizens, and they continued

8 religious activities in Zenica. Occasionally they would visit their

9 parish, and when the conditions were normalised, as far as I know, they

10 returned to that parish. I don't know exactly when. They had complete

11 freedom of movement as opposed to other Muslim religious officials who

12 couldn't move. They were able to move freely. And I think they stayed in

13 Zenica for about a year or a little less, but they were completely free.

14 Q. Mr. Mesic, when you reached Brajkovici at the request of the

15 priests of the St. Elias Church with your assistants from the staff, were

16 you wearing a military uniform?

17 A. According to the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, the

18 civilian protection has its own uniforms and insignia which are common to

19 the whole world, and members of the civilian protection never wore

20 military uniforms.

21 Q. Mr. Mesic, did you have weapons on you at that time? Were you

22 armed?

23 A. If I said that we were working in accordance with the Geneva

24 Conventions, then the question is superfluous. We never had weapons.

25 Q. You said that these priests from the church of Brajkovici went

Page 12867

1 with you to Zenica. Tell me, were they accompanied or escorted or taken

2 in by the military or members of the BH army?

3 A. The event I am describing, I was the only escort, and my

4 associates.

5 Q. Can you tell me, please, Mr. Mesic, whether on the road from

6 Brajkovici to Zenica there was a situation in which those priests were

7 held or, rather, were incarcerated in a school building?

8 A. Well, I don't know. If I incarcerated them, then they were

9 incarcerated, but we had a cup of coffee in the local commune building and

10 talked to some people, and carried on our way to Zenica. So there was no

11 stopover, and I didn't arrest anybody, nor did anybody have that

12 intention.

13 Q. After their arrival in Zenica, what was your relationship with the

14 priests from the church in Brajkovici and with the parish priest of

15 St. Elias Church, Fra Stjepan Radic, Father Stjepan Radic?

16 A. Well, we had serious friendly relations, if I can put it that way.

17 Let me put it this way: Those priests helped us provide the Croatian

18 population with a sense of security for their continued life in Zenica.

19 So by their very presence, they demonstrated that life in Zenica was

20 possible. So it was very good. Excellent cooperation which enabled a

21 situation to take place that wasn't recorded in the history of warfare

22 anywhere. And this is what happened: During a celebration of the

23 St. Elias parish, and this took place at the end of July or beginning of

24 August, we on behalf of the St. Elias parish church helped to organise the

25 opening of a large monument or sculpture of the Virgin Mary, and this was

Page 12868

1 cast in bronze, several tonnes of bronze, in actual fact, and it was a

2 costly operation. And the head of the parish came from Sarajevo to attend

3 this ceremony. And it was also attended by representatives of the army

4 and the police force and the municipal authorities, and it was a truly

5 memorable event attended by several thousand people and their

6 representatives. It was a wonderful event to be -- to behold during the

7 war.

8 And at the ceremony there were no problems. No incidents broke.

9 And the statue of the Virgin Mary itself was never damaged in any way

10 never broke. So, in a nutshell, my relationships with those priests were

11 excellent and their position was excellent. Let me just say that Father

12 Stjepan Radic, the parish priest, was a member of the official municipal

13 delegation which visited a sister city in Germany, for example, and the

14 name of that city is Bergen Kidilsch [phoen]. So Father Stjepan Radic was

15 a member of the official delegation to travel to Germany and of course he

16 testified about the people's needs in Zenica for food, medicaments, seeds

17 for sowing for farming and so forth. So the relations was excellent.

18 Q. For me to be able to ask the next question, I would have to go

19 into closed session, Mr. President.

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Mr. Registrar, may we go into

21 closed session or private session.

22 [Private session]

23 (redacted)

24 (redacted)

25 (redacted)

Page 12869

1 (redacted)

2 (redacted)

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 (redacted)

8 (redacted)

9 (redacted)

10 (redacted)

11 (redacted)

12 (redacted)

13 (redacted)

14 (redacted)

15 (redacted)

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 [Open session]

21 THE REGISTRAR: [Interpretation] We're back in open session,

22 Mr. President.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Please continue, Counsel.

24 THE INTERPRETER: Microphone, please, Counsel.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation]

Page 12870

1 Q. Mr. Mesic, do you know Franjo Krizanac?

2 A. Yes.

3 (redacted)

4 (redacted)

5 (redacted)

6 (redacted)

7 Q. Was he brought there in the identical manner or, rather, as you

8 have described this in your testimony?

9 A. Yes. He was in my car with me, and there were two priests and two

10 nuns.

11 Q. Thank you. You spoke about the fact that Father Stjepan Radic was

12 a very respected man and that just like you he, too, was a member of the

13 official delegation of the Zenica municipality. Now, tell me this,

14 please: All the Catholic citizens during the war, were they able to

15 express and manifest their religion freely, and all the religious

16 buildings in Zenica municipality, did they enjoy the protection of both

17 the military and civilian authorities?

18 A. Well me first of call say that Father Stjepan Radic was not only a

19 highly respected priest but he also had some military recognition because

20 the commander of a military brigade gave him this military recognition.

21 Now, religious life in Zenica was more intensive than elsewhere,

22 and in -- in wartime, people turned to God because it made their suffering

23 easier to bear if they had the faith and believed in God.

24 So religious life was completely public. It was not prohibited in

25 any way, nor was it restricted in any way. And religious rites could be

Page 12871

1 administered. All religious holidays such as Bajram, the Orthodox and

2 Catholic Christmases and Easters were observed and celebrated with

3 wide-scale festivities with the presence of other -- members of other

4 ethnic or religious groups. So religious life evolved normally.

5 Q. Now, my question to you, Mr. Mesic, is this: The prisoners held

6 in KP Dom Zenica, did they also have the possibility of free access to

7 priests or priests have free access to them so that they could voice their

8 religious sentiments?

9 A. The prisoners of war, if I can say so, after the conflicts with

10 the Croats, a whole unit surrendered and according to the Geneva

11 Conventions, they were incarcerated but in institutions set for that, and

12 it was the corrections centre where professionals worked according to

13 procedure provided for the laws governing such institutions. So all these

14 people, apart from the lack of food and adequate accommodation lived a

15 fairly comfortable, if I could put it that way. They had the right to

16 have priests visit them. How often, I don't know, but I do know that I

17 myself went to visit some of my men with Father Stjepan Radic. Some of

18 them were my friends. They were incarcerated, too, and nobody ever said

19 that there was a problem of any kind.

20 So given the prevailing circumstances, the maximum was done to

21 ensure the right standards for these detention facilities.

22 Q. Tell me, please, today in Zenica are people coming back, Serbs and

23 Croats coming back, people who left their homes during the war? And if

24 they are coming back, what are your relationships? So this is a two-part

25 question. Answer the first part, please. And second, when you did back

Page 12872

1 to 1993 in your mind, can you tell whether you feel that you did

2 everything in your power to reduce the war suffering to a minimum and to

3 help people feel as safe as was possible under the given circumstances?

4 A. Well, that's a complex question. People are coming back to

5 Zenica, and I meet -- keep meeting friends who are coming back. They're

6 coming back to their property, and to the best of my information, but let

7 me say that I'm not working in the organs of administration -- haven't

8 been working there since 1998, but I do know the situation. People are

9 coming back, and they don't seem to be having too many problems to face in

10 returning.

11 But the dominant problem is unemployment, and Serbs and Croats are

12 just as employed or as unemployed as the Bosniaks are. So this is a

13 problem that we have to solve together in my municipality and my town.

14 And another problem is the ironworks of Zenica to be operational again.

15 And once that is done, then life will return to normal.

16 But anyway, the powers that be, the local authorities are

17 functioning on the basis of the population census in 1991. The parity

18 ratio is being respected between the ethnicities. So if you would have an

19 assistant of one ethnicity, his chief would be another one, and

20 vice-versa. And the same is done in the cantonal administration where

21 Serbs and Croats are being employed according to that parity key.

22 Now, I myself have many Serbs and Croats who are friends of mine,

23 and none of them, and they would tell me if they did feel some

24 discrimination, but none of them seem to have any feelings of

25 discrimination towards them. They are citizens of Zenica, one and all,

Page 12873

1 and of course they face all the problems that the Bosniaks face as well.

2 But I omitted to answer one of your questions, whether we were all

3 able to travel. Only the Catholic priests could travel, and Orthodox

4 priests, too, whereas Muslim priests were not able to travel anywhere.

5 Q. And the second part of my question. Is wasn't linked to the first

6 part, but I wanted to make up for lost time. But what I wanted to ask you

7 was this: When you think back to those events in 1993, do you consider

8 that under the prevailing conditions at that time, you did your utmost?

9 You took all the measures possible to facilitate the life of these people

10 given the wartime conditions?

11 A. My family origins don't give me the right to have bad thoughts any

12 individual regardless of the ethnic group they belong to or the confession

13 they belong to. That is something that my parents taught me at home, and

14 that was the dominant principle that prevailed in Bosnia and Zenica. So

15 we didn't have any ethnic problems there.

16 I don't think I did anything special. I did what any other person

17 would have done faced with the same circumstances. And when I see what is

18 happening in the world today, I am happy to see, happy to remember what my

19 town undertook in those war days.

20 Q. Thank you, Witness.

21 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you, Mr. President. That

22 concludes my questions.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Well, it's ten to four. We'll

24 be back at approximately quarter past four or 4.20. The meeting is

25 adjourned.

Page 12874

1 --- Recess taken at 3.50 p.m.

2 --- On resuming at 4.20 p.m.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to ask the counsel for

4 the second accused whether they have any questions to ask.

5 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, no questions from

6 us for this witness. Thank you.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. As soon as I hear

8 "gospodina" said I know there are no questions.

9 I turn towards the Prosecution for the start of the

10 cross-examination.

11 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much, Mr. President.

12 Cross-examined by Mr. Waespi:

13 Q. Good afternoon, Mr. Mesic. I have a few questions for you, and it

14 shouldn't take too long.

15 Let me ask you first, although you look very young to me, you

16 haven't been born in 1971, on the 30 March 1971?

17 A. 1951 is correct.

18 Q. 1951. Because that was what was recorded in the early remember

19 transcript.

20 Let me go to the events in Dusina. And you told us a little bit

21 about, you know, that you were informed or somebody was informed by these

22 local commissioners, and then I believe your assistant was dispatched with

23 a team to Dusina. Let me just ask you a couple of questions about that.

24 First of all, who is your assistant? What's his name?

25 A. His name is the assistant for the sanitisation of the terrain,

Page 12875

1 doctor -- I can't remember his name. But I'll remember in due course and

2 tell you when I do.

3 Q. Okay. And who went with you?

4 A. Dr. Ilija Tatarevic. He lives in Zenica.

5 Q. Now, who or when was it the first time you personally got

6 information about this Dusina case?

7 A. Are you asking me about the exact date and time.

8 Q. Yes.

9 A. The information about the cessation of the conflict I got at the

10 end of the conflict. If you're asking me about the time, I can't tell

11 you, but fairly soon after the conflict ended. And at the same time, my

12 assistant received orders to go and see to the sanitisation of the

13 terrain.

14 Q. So if I understand you correctly, on the day this -- your

15 assistant went to Dusina, you did not hear yourself about what happened in

16 Dusina. Somebody else informed him, and then he took off; is that

17 correct?

18 A. No, no, that's not correct. All information in my staff went via

19 me, through me, and I received the information from the Centre for

20 informing. And if you with like more details, then the commissioner from

21 the local commune informed the Centre for Information and Monitoring, the

22 centre informed me in turn and then I took over my duties once I had

23 received that information.

24 Q. So my question again is: When did you personally receive

25 information from this centre that something had occurred in Dusina so you

Page 12876

1 could take appropriate steps? When did you receive information?

2 A. I received it immediately after I -- the centre had received the

3 information, because we had radio communications once the conflict had

4 ended. Now, what time of day it was, I really can't say, but it was as

5 soon as the conflict ended, straight away, immediately.

6 Q. And that would be the same day these events in Dusina, and I'm

7 talking about the killings or the fact that these people deceased, it

8 would be the same day that you received the information from the centre?

9 A. Yes. Yes.

10 Q. So if these events occurred on the 26th of January, you would have

11 received this information on the 26th of January; is that correct?

12 A. Well, I have to say that I'm not quite sure whether it was the

13 same day or whether it was the following day, but we acted once we had

14 received the information after the conflict. I can't be sure whether it

15 was the 26th or 27th. I can't remember. But of course that piece of

16 information is something I have in my notes and documents.

17 Q. And where would these notes and documents be?

18 A. In the Municipal Staff for Civilian Protection in Zenica and in

19 the Centre for Monitoring and Information in Zenica.

20 Q. And they would still exist today?

21 A. I assume so, yes.

22 Q. Now, do you know who your local commissioner was in Dusina who, I

23 take it received or gathered that information and then passed it on to the

24 centre in Zenica?

25 A. I can't tell you the exact name now. I know the man, but I just

Page 12877

1 can't remember his name just now.

2 Q. Do you know where he was stationed? Was it in Lasva? Was it

3 Dusina? Was it in some other village?

4 A. He's a resident of the Lasva local commune to which the village of

5 Dusina belongs, so somewhere around those parts. But he wasn't in the

6 combat zone, that's for sure.

7 Q. And I believe you said that he radioed or communicated by radio to

8 Zenica, and then you received it from the centre; is that correct?

9 Because you just mentioned that you had radio communication, but if you

10 can clarify whether that's correct.

11 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness said that he had radio

12 communication with the centre for information. So I think that you should

13 remind the witness of his question and not things that he didn't actually

14 say.

15 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Shall I continue?


17 Q. Yes. Please clarify whether that's --

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is on page 40, line 25, this

19 matter of the radio. I took scrupulous note of it. He said there were

20 radio communications one the conflict had ended, and I took note of that

21 precisely.

22 Please continue.

23 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much.

24 Q. So can you tell us with what kind of communication means the

25 communication between the local commissioner in the Lasva area and the

Page 12878

1 centre in Zenica the message was passed on?

2 A. Yes. Every local commune had a radio station, and that radio

3 station was used to inform the municipal organs and Municipal Staff of

4 civilian protection about the needs and requirements of the local

5 communities and a station like that existed in Lasva. The commissioner

6 was duty-bound to report to the organ of the local commune, so they

7 informed me. So I had a direct link and connection with the Centre for

8 Monitoring and Information which in turn was connected and linked to the

9 local communes.

10 Q. So what was the information you received about the Dusina events?

11 A. The customary information was the need for sanitising the terrain

12 and no explanations are needed. A unit for sanitisation is requested, and

13 the job is undertaken. So that's all that information would contain.

14 Q. And it was you who told your assistant Mr. -- I think

15 Dr. Tatarevic to go to Dusina.

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. And can you tell us the team - I understand he wasn't alone - the

18 team who went with him?

19 A. The team was a simple one. There was Dr. Tatarevic with three

20 assistants and a driver.

21 Q. Can you name us the assistants? If you recall.

22 A. No, I can't, I'm afraid.

23 Q. Were women among them?

24 A. No.

25 Q. And can you tell us more about these people? Were they young or

Page 12879

1 older, experienced? Perhaps you recall, perhaps not.

2 A. Well, since you're asking me, I remembered another name. Omer

3 Subasic. He was a driver. Then there was Dr. Tatarevic. And I can't

4 remember the name of the fourth member of the team. So it wasn't a team

5 to carry out the actual sanitisation. It was -- they were in charge of

6 the sanitisation whereas the local people actually did the work.

7 Q. Now, I understand from what you said just before the break that

8 obviously these people aren't armed, but let me ask you, was that a

9 dangerous assignment or was it a routine assignment to whom you dispatched

10 this team?

11 A. If you were in a war, then you must know that there are no routine

12 assignments, because you can't foresee a situation. There's nothing you

13 can do to guarantee security. It's always a life or death situation.

14 Q. Now, how long did it take for the team to return?

15 A. Well, the entire operation lasted several hours. I can't tell you

16 exactly how long, but thereabouts.

17 Q. But they returned the same day?

18 A. Yes, they returned the same day.

19 Q. And I believe you said they brought the body to the hospital,

20 although you sort of phrased it in a general way that usually the bodies

21 would be brought to the hospital. So let me ask you, did they bring

22 bodies with them?

23 A. Well, I don't know. You say that one body was transported. All

24 the bodies were taken to the hospital morgue. If I wasn't explicit

25 enough, all the bodies were taken to the morgue at the Zenica hospital.

Page 12880

1 Q. Do you remember how many bodies?

2 A. About ten. As many as were killed.

3 Q. Have you personally seen the bodies?

4 A. Unfortunately, yes. Otherwise, I don't like situations like that.

5 Q. Where did you see the bodies?

6 A. In the morgue.

7 Q. Is it customary for you to go and see the bodies when a team comes

8 back from the field and brings bodies to the hospital?

9 A. In fact, I saw the bodies first on the spot they were killed in,

10 and in the morgue it was the professionals, whether the medical team or

11 the investigating organs that examined them. Once we take the corpses to

12 the body -- corpses to the morgue our job ended, and then we had work to

13 do with the organisation of the funerals, burials, et cetera.

14 Q. Now, if I understand you correctly, and I may not, did you say you

15 have seen the bodies on the spot they were killed in?

16 A. No. You didn't understand me. Other instances, other cases I saw

17 on the spot, but in this specific case I saw them at the morgue.

18 Q. So let me ask you again. Why did you go to the morgue in this

19 instance? What triggered you to go to the morgue?

20 A. I went to the morgue with the priest to discuss the details of the

21 funerals and burials, the way that was to be done, because in Zenica

22 during that period of time, there weren't enough coffins. So that's why I

23 went to the morgue.

24 Q. Can you describe to us the bodies you saw? Do you still remember

25 the way they looked like?

Page 12881

1 A. Well, I don't. Without wishing to sound insensitive, they looked

2 like people who were dead. I can't go into the specific details, and I'm

3 not the type of person that takes any pleasure in looking at things like

4 that [as interpreted].

5 Q. For how long did you remain in the presence of those bodies?

6 A. Well, because of the reasons I've already given you, it was very

7 brief.

8 Q. Do you remember other people who were present when you saw the

9 bodies?

10 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, I think there's a

11 problem in the interpretation. In line 23, page 45, it says they looked

12 like dead people, but the witness added another phrase and said they had

13 wounds, which wasn't interpreted.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You can ask the question again,

15 because it's quite true that in the English translation it says they

16 "looked like people who were dead, I can't go into the specific details."

17 So if he said he saw wounds, then there is a contradiction. So ask him to

18 specify and ask the question again, please.


20 Q. Yes. These wounds, could you tell us more about what you saw?

21 A. I saw dead --

22 THE INTERPRETER: Could the witness repeat what he said?


24 Q. Could you please repeat your answer.

25 A. I saw dead people who quite obviously had been killed -- had died

Page 12882

1 from the results of firearms.

2 Q. And can you tell us whether you saw other officials or civilians

3 being present in the morgue concerned with those, I believe, ten bodies?

4 A. When I was there, the priest was with me, Markovic, Bozo Markovic,

5 His holiness and my assistant Subasic, and one of my associates, Omer

6 Subasic. And I assume that a family member was there, too, but I can't

7 remember.

8 Q. And was there an investigative judge or a policeman or somebody

9 else there whom you recognised?

10 A. Not at that point. There was no investigative organ in that

11 location, but it was customary that they complete their job by the time

12 the bodies are brought to the morgue.

13 Q. Now, the people you just mentioned, for instance the priest, how

14 come he was with you? Did you inform him or did he come on his own?

15 A. Previously I said that I had excellent relations with the

16 religious officials, including the Catholic priests, and I think he came

17 at my initiative and that we prepared for the funerals of those people

18 together. That's why we were there together in the first place.

19 Q. And I believe that you said that you assumed there was a family

20 member there as well, but I can't remember. Assuming there was a family

21 member, would you also have called this family member, if you remember?

22 A. At that moment, I didn't call any family members. I came together

23 with the priest to discuss procedures over funerals, and after that we

24 contacted the families and organised the funerals. So this act went

25 before all the other things we did later on.

Page 12883

1 Q. Now, in relation to these events that we're talking about, Dusina,

2 did you have contacts with the police and/or the army?

3 A. Well, it was like this: The way we work is this: We don't have

4 any joint activities. Each of us has a separate part of the job to do.

5 The police conducts the investigation. The army had completed combat,

6 access was made possible, and a secure environment so that the army does

7 its job, the civilian protection sanitises the terrain, and the

8 investigative organs, the police and the others do their part of the job.

9 So that was the situation in Zenica. But there the army didn't deal with

10 sanitisation problems, although this wasn't -- because it wasn't regulated

11 in that way. So each organ saw to their own field of endeavour. The

12 police provided security and so on. So that would be the order of events,

13 how things were done.

14 Q. Let me ask you on this topic a related issue. You said before the

15 break, and you were talking about these local commissioners, that there

16 was cooperation with the army and the police. So let me ask you this: Do

17 you know on what information the local commissioner acted? Who told him

18 that there was something to sanitise in his area?

19 A. He received information as an immediate witness to the event. He

20 lives there. So he was a witness of that military activity and the need

21 to sanitise. And I assume that he was informed of the need to sanitise by

22 the commanding officer of that operation.

23 Q. Which would be an army officer?

24 A. It should be an officer of the BH army, yes.

25 Q. Now returning to the morgue. At that time, did you know the

Page 12884

1 identity of any of those ten bodies?

2 A. I did not personally know their identity, but I was informed by my

3 associates of some of the names, which I can't remember now.

4 Q. On that day when you visited the morgue, you were told by your

5 associates some of these -- the names of some of these bodies?

6 A. Yes, that's right.

7 Q. Now, you also told us that you received a report from your

8 assistant, and we know now that's Dr. Tatarevic. Now, this report was an

9 oral report or was it a written report?

10 A. The report was written. It was sent to me after sanitisation had

11 been completed; yes, a written report.

12 Q. So the information contained in that report, and I remember two

13 aspects that this was -- happened in the course of a fight of war and that

14 the bodies were found in different places. That would be contained in

15 this report?

16 A. Correct.

17 Q. This report, does it go to some institution, some authorities, or

18 is it just stored and kept for eternity?

19 A. Well, the report -- it is my job to inform the Presidency and the

20 republican staff of civilian protection about the events taking place in

21 Zenica. Otherwise the organisation was such that the Information Services

22 Centre would inform the republican civilian protection organ as well.

23 Q. Now, did anybody, any authority, police or military or security,

24 approach you and ask about information you had in relation to these ten

25 bodies? For instance, whether you or your collaborators knew about the

Page 12885

1 circumstances of their death. Were you ever approached by somebody?

2 A. It was customary for the investigative judge to work in the manner

3 and procedure that he usually follows. He did not inform us about what he

4 was doing, but after him we would complete our part of the job. In this

5 specific case, we had no requests for additional information from the rest

6 of the investigating organs belonging to the community or municipality or

7 whatever. So we did not provide any information about the event to any of

8 the investigative organs.

9 Q. So I may have misunderstood you. The report Dr. Tatarevic

10 compiled, did it go to the investigative judge or not?

11 A. There was no need. We don't work according to the same

12 principles. Dr. Tatarevic informs me about the activities undertaken by

13 him and it is my duty to go up the vertical ladder and inform the

14 Presidency or the republican staff. Only in exceptional circumstances if

15 the investigative judge does not have sufficient information does he ask

16 for our testimony, but that was on very rare occasions because the

17 investigative judge worked according to his own procedure without having

18 to resort to us.

19 Q. Now I understand and now -- thanks a lot. And in this case he did

20 not ask you for additional information?

21 A. No, he didn't.

22 Q. Do you know on what basis your assistant, Dr. Tatarevic, made his

23 two points, that this occurred in the course of fighting of war? Do you

24 know whether he talked to people he encountered at the scene?

25 A. Dr. Tatarevic nor any of my assistants, they are not investigating

Page 12886

1 judges. They sanitised the land, they complete their activities, and

2 inform me about the measures taken.

3 Q. So you don't know what the basis for his conclusion that this

4 occurred in the course of fighting was? You don't know what his

5 information was?

6 A. I'm afraid I haven't understood you quite. Dr. Tatarevic started

7 his activities after the completion of the combat activities. He received

8 information from the soldiers, so I don't know exactly what your question

9 was.

10 Q. Yes. You just answered it. It was soldiers who told him what

11 happened. That was the basis for his information?

12 A. No.

13 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] The witness did not mention

14 soldiers.

15 MR. WAESPI: Well, it says in the transcript, but I can clarify

16 again with your leave, Mr. President, what the witness said.

17 Q. If you can just tell again what the source of information for

18 Dr. Tatarevic was to say that this event happened in the course of

19 fighting of war. Do you know, perhaps you don't, what the source of

20 information for Dr. Tatarevic was?

21 A. Dr. Tatarevic need not know that there were combat operations.

22 All of us in Zenica knew that there were combat operations because

23 everything is close by. You can hear and see it. He didn't need to have

24 a special explanation that there was combat. It is not his duty to make

25 any assessments. I am the person making assessments and making decisions.

Page 12887

1 Dr. Tatarevic is the person executing those decisions.

2 Q. Very well. Thank you very much for these clarifications. You

3 told us earlier that, and I quote you, "Civilians in Zenica were never

4 systematically mistreated." Is that correct?

5 A. Quite correct.

6 Q. Now, we have heard evidence in this trial about a music school in

7 Zenica. Do you know about the music school?

8 A. I know that there is a music school in Zenica.

9 Q. Did you hear about people being kept there and mistreated?

10 A. I heard of that event from a friend of mine several years ago,

11 that apparently there was some sort of a prison there, but up until then I

12 didn't know. That friend of mine was arrested and held in that prison

13 allegedly.

14 Q. The other point I wanted to clarify is you told us about all your

15 efforts to bring the Croats back to their homes, and I commend you for all

16 these activities. Now, there have been instances that Croat houses had

17 been burned down; isn't that correct?

18 A. Thank you for your acknowledgement, but I said there was no

19 systematic activity, but individual cases did occur. Crime is an

20 unavoidable accompaniment to war. There was burning of Croat houses and

21 Serb houses, but these were due to criminal activities by individuals.

22 Q. And you told us that you are aware of many trials which had

23 resulted in severe punishments. Were any of these people who burned Croat

24 houses investigated and eventually tried?

25 A. It is customary in police structures to conduct investigations

Page 12888

1 against an unknown perpetrator. Such investigations were done. I don't

2 know what the outcome was. I don't know whether any individuals were held

3 accountable for burning houses.

4 MR. WAESPI: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I have no

5 further questions.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. I turn to the

7 Defence for additional questions if they have any.

8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Just one question.

9 Re-Examined by Ms. Residovic:

10 Q. [Interpretation] You said that you heard about the music school

11 from a friend of yours a few years ago. I will ask you, nevertheless, in

12 1993, did you have any knowledge of people being taken to the music

13 school?

14 A. I did not know that any people were being taken to the music

15 school. Had I known, I would have done everything I could to deal with

16 the problem if it existed. I didn't know about it, and my feeling is that

17 very few people knew what was going on there.

18 Q. Earlier on, you said that you were a friend with Stjepan Radic and

19 other clergy and that you still have many Croat friends in Zenica. Did

20 anyone ever, before this event a couple of years ago, tell you that he was

21 aware of that problem or did he address you for your assistance?

22 A. No one ever told me about it, but my friends knew that I was the

23 person you could address. And not just my friends but many other people

24 in Zenica knew about this.

25 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you. I have no further

Page 12889

1 questions.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. Yes, the other

3 Defence team?

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

5 two questions for today's witness.

6 Cross-examined by Mr. Ibrisimovic:

7 Q. [Interpretation] One of your friends that you mentioned who told

8 you there was some sort of detention in the music school was called Franjo

9 Togmacija; is that right?

10 A. No, he's Franjo Tokmacija.

11 Q. Did Mr. Tokmacija tell you that he was not mistreated in the music

12 school?

13 A. He confirmed that he had been detained there for a few days.

14 After some activities in his town, and he comes from Kakanj, and that he

15 was released a couple of days later and that he was not mistreated in

16 anyway.

17 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much. No further

18 questions, Mr. President.

19 Questioned by the Court:

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I have a series of questions for

21 you, but we'll start from the simplest to questions that will require more

22 from your memory.

23 A moment ago, answering a question from the Defence, you spoke of

24 the insignia that you wore on your jacket, a badge that you are wearing.

25 I understood that this was the badge of a particular political party. So

Page 12890

1 could you tell us the name of that party?

2 A. Yes. It is the badge of the Social Democratic Party of

3 Bosnia-Herzegovina, if you're asking me about this badge in my lapel.

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. The persons working

5 in the Municipal Staff of Defence, those persons who were working there,

6 did they have to be affiliated with a political majority in the

7 municipality or could they have also -- had a different political

8 affiliation? In other words, the recruitment to the Municipal Staff at

9 the time, was it political or was it based exclusively on professional

10 ability? You should be able to answer that question, because I understood

11 that you studied political science.

12 A. Your Honour, my case knows that people were not selected according

13 to the party they belonged to but rather according to their expertise, and

14 in all modesty I would say that I was a professional, too. I was the one

15 selecting my associates and not political parties. To be quite frank, I

16 was the only official in the municipality who was not a member of the

17 ruling parties.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you. You were chief of

19 the staff of civilian protection for Zenica municipality; is that right?

20 A. I have to correct you. I was the -- I repeat, I have to correct

21 you. I was the commander of the Municipal Staff of civilian protection of

22 Zenica. The chief of staff is subordinate to my position.

23 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you say you were commander,

24 is that a reference to a rank or a position?

25 A. I mean the position. In civilian protection there are no ranks

Page 12891

1 but only duties which start with the commander, the chief of staff,

2 assistant commander, and the other personnel.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Your civilian protection

4 service, did it belong to the municipal defence of Zenica? Your civilian

5 protection service, was it integrated within what is known as the

6 municipal defence staff?

7 A. According to the law on defence of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the

8 defence of the country consisted of the civilian defence and the armed

9 forces. The civilian Defence covers all activities to ensure normal life

10 and civilian protection. I think I've already said enough about civilian

11 protection. So it was an independent municipal body that was accountable

12 to the Presidency of the municipality, and it was not part of the Ministry

13 of Defence.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So your municipality, did it

15 have within it forces which could, if necessary, lend a hand to the army?

16 A. One of the obligations of the municipality is to ensure the

17 functioning of the armed forces with resources at its disposal, and that

18 applies to food, medical supplies, et cetera. Zenica municipality was not

19 in a position to extend significant aid to the armed forces for the simple

20 reason that it had to care for such a large number of refugees. So it was

21 not able to provide resources to the armed forces.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I'm going to show you a

23 document, and you're going to tell me whether that document relates to the

24 entity that you were subordinated to.

25 Mr. Registrar, could you find Exhibit P210 in B/C/S. Will you

Page 12892

1 place the document on the ELMO, please.

2 You see that it is a document of a military nature. It's a

3 document coming from the 3rd Corps addressed to the municipal defence

4 staff of Zenica. Is this document addressed to the entity that you

5 depended on? You're saying yes?

6 A. No, no. I want to explain, Your Honour.

7 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, please explain. I'm asking

8 you the question because I wish to clarify the point. So go ahead.

9 A. Your Honour, the 3rd Corps Command in this document is addressing

10 the Municipal Staff. Actually, I'm not quite clear who it is addressing

11 itself to. Can I read the whole document before I answer?

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes.

13 A. Can I answer now, Your Honour?

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, go ahead.

15 A. So I think that this is a document whereby the 3rd Corps Command

16 is informing the Municipal Staff of Territorial Defence, which operated in

17 all municipalities. Taken over from the previous political system of the

18 former SFRY, the armed forces consisted of the Yugoslav People's Army and

19 the municipal staffs. Those municipal staffs were operating for a while

20 in the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and these were actually

21 military bodies, military entities that were resubordinated to the

22 republican staff of Territorial Defence. They had a staff of a regional

23 character and republican staffs. They did not receive any commands from

24 the municipality, nor were they accountable to the municipality for their

25 activity. And I think that this document, in fact, was addressed to those

Page 12893

1 staffs. It was not a part of the Municipal Staff forces, nor about the

2 president of the municipal staff have control over these units.

3 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You have seen the date of the

4 document, the 23rd of January.

5 A. Yes, I do see that date.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. If try to understand

7 what you're saying, this document was sent to the Municipal Staff of

8 Zenica, which apparently something else and something different from the

9 staff that you belonged to. What is the name of the person in charge of

10 the OPSO in Zenica referred to at the top? To whom is this document

11 addressed? Who is the person responsible for the OPSO of Zenica?

12 A. Your Honour, you have noted quite well these are two separate

13 bodies. One is the civilian protection entity that -- and another is the

14 Municipal Staff of Territorial Defence which was a military entity. It

15 had its units. It engaged in military matters. And the highest official

16 was the commander of that staff, who had a chief of staff, assistants, and

17 other staff members. So this was a typically military organisation of a

18 staff which was then called the Municipal Staff of Territorial Defence,

19 but they had nothing to do with the municipality, nor could the Presidency

20 of the municipality issue orders to it.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the Municipal Staff of

22 defence, as you call it, a military entity, what is the name of the person

23 in charge of that staff.

24 A. Of course I can tell you. His name was Jasmin Saric.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So we'll now move on to civilian

Page 12894

1 protection of which you were the commander. Above you, what is the name

2 of the person who was responsible at the highest level?

3 A. Your Honour, allow me to correct my previous assertion. I think

4 at that time, it wasn't Jasmin Saric but, rather, Jozo Jerkic. One of

5 those two persons was the commander of this staff you're referring to, the

6 military staff.

7 In Zenica municipality I did not have a superior. The commander

8 of the republican staff was my superior in the chain of command, and I

9 received instructions from the Presidency of the municipality.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So it's the same one. So it's

11 the same person. That is exactly what I thought I understood. So it's

12 the same person. The person receiving this document is the same person as

13 the one you depended on. Very well. We can take back the document.

14 Let me pass on now to another question.

15 Yes, the Prosecution?

16 MR. WAESPI: I'm not sure whether I can be of assistance, but

17 perhaps if the witness could clarify again -- at least I'm not entirely

18 sure whether it's the same person. So if the witness could clarify it

19 again. He talked about his chain of command. He was at the municipal

20 level, and his superior was at the regional level, and he also had -- was

21 given instructions from the municipality. I understand it's war Crisis

22 Staff or the Presidency, but the document you showed, that was the Defence

23 staff, which is a different body. That's my understanding. I just wanted

24 to be of assistance.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Let us try and repeat. The

Page 12895

1 document you have in front of you, I asked you who was at the highest

2 level of the municipal defence staff of Zenica, and the name of that

3 person. You first gave one name, Jasmin Saric, and then you said Jozo

4 Jerkic. Was it the first or the second person, the former or the latter?

5 A. Your Honours, allow me to explain, as noted by the Prosecutor.

6 I'm afraid we have not understood one another at all. So if you wish let

7 me repeat what I have said.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Go ahead.

9 A. We are talking about two completely different staffs. The staff

10 in this document was a military body. It had its own hierarchy according

11 to the law of the Armed Services. Its hierarchy was such that it had a

12 regional staff and a republican staff. And that was the military

13 hierarchy.

14 In the municipal civilian protection staff, the hierarchy was is

15 follows: I was at the horizontal level. I would be accountable to the

16 Presidency of the municipality, and from them I with receive concrete

17 orders, and also I could issue orders on my own if I felt it necessary to

18 deal with problems for which I was responsible. Vertically my superior

19 was the republican staff of civilian protection. And thirdly, the person

20 who was in command of the staff on the 23rd of January, 1993, to the best

21 of my recollection, was Jozo Jerkic. If I'm wrong, then it was Jasmin

22 Saric. I can't remember exactly. One of those two persons was, but I

23 think it was Jozo Jerkic, Jerkic.

24 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Above him was there anyone else

25 or was that the highest level?

Page 12896

1 A. I tried to explain to you. In the municipality --

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] In a command structure, there's

3 always someone who has the highest authority. What I wish to know is the

4 name of the person who was highest up in the hierarchy of the municipal

5 defence staff of Zenica. That is my question. Who was at the top of the

6 hierarchy? I'm not talking of the chief of staff but the name of the

7 person who was number one in the municipal defence staff of Zenica

8 referred to in the document in front of you. You have given us a name.

9 Is that the name?

10 A. Yes. He was the commander of the Municipal Staff, Jozo Jerkic, or

11 possibly the other name I gave.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now when we move on to the such

13 protection of which you were a member. I'm trying to learn who was above

14 you. You said that you referred to the Presidency of the municipality,

15 and who was the president of the municipality? What was his name?

16 A. Your Honour, I have to correct you. I reported to the Presidency,

17 and heading that Presidency was the president of the municipality, and his

18 name is Mr. Besim Spahic.

19 Q. So the president of the municipality was Mr. Besim Spahic. And

20 the municipality, did it have at its disposal any effectives [as

21 interpreted], civilian effectives which could assist the army?

22 A. The only forces that the municipality had at its disposal was the

23 Civilian Protection Forces. There were bodies responsible for the

24 mobilisation. They were part of the defence ministry.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. I'll move on to

Page 12897

1 another subject now, which is quite different from this one. You told us

2 that you were at Grahovcici and that you brought back priests. You

3 stopped in a cafe, and then you escorted them. Do you remember roughly

4 when you went to see those priests that you brought back by car? Do you

5 remember the date?

6 A. Well, this was -- I think it was the end of May, the day after the

7 conflict at Ovnak. So to be precise, it was after the conflicts at Ovnak.

8 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you were there, it was in

9 what capacity? Was it part of your work? What made you go there? What

10 prompted you to go there?

11 A. I went there for professional reasons, and one of the reasons that

12 could be outside that was the request of Father Stjepan Radic to assist in

13 transporting his colleagues to Zenica.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see much so you're telling us

15 that Father Stjepan Radic asked you to go and assist in bringing back to

16 Zenica his colleagues from the Grahovcici parish.

17 A. That's right.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. At the time, did you

19 have a beard or did you look the same as you do now?

20 A. I looked much better than I do now, and I didn't have a beard.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. The persons you

22 brought with you described the facts differently, and the Defence referred

23 to that. They did not mention your name. We have the testimony about

24 what actually happened, and it does not correspond to what you said. Are

25 you quite sure of what you told us under the solemn oath, that is that you

Page 12898

1 brought those people back in the car, that there were no military men,

2 that you stopped to take a cup of coffee. Are you quite sure of that?

3 A. [No audible response].

4 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] What time did you go to bring

5 these priests?

6 A. Your Honour, I can't tell you what time it was. It was during the

7 day, and we returned during the same day. The whole thing didn't last

8 more than a couple of hours. I didn't say that there were no military men

9 there. There were no military men during their transport to Zenica.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see. So on the spot, on the

11 scene, you did see soldiers.

12 A. Yes, there were soldiers nearby, and in the church itself.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] You see, we're making some

14 progress. So they were in the church. What unit did those soldiers

15 belong to to the best of your recollection?

16 A. I don't know.

17 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] They were wearing camouflage

18 uniforms or traditional uniforms? You don't remember?

19 A. They were wearing the normal army uniforms, nothing special, of

20 the 3rd Corps. Of the 3rd Corps. They wore the customary military

21 uniforms.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what makes you say that they

23 belonged to the 3rd Corps?

24 A. On the basis of the checkpoint that existed at the separation line

25 or on the front line. We passed through and were given approval by

Page 12899

1 security organs of the 3rd Corps to evacuate the priests and the things

2 they wanted to take with them. When we went there, the priests had a

3 choice to go to Vitez, to stay in Grahovcici, to go to Zenica or somewhere

4 else. What I asked them, and the security organ of the 3rd Corps or the

5 unit that was there did not prevent it, was that if they didn't wish to

6 stay in the church, did they wish to take something with them, and then

7 they said they wanted to take all the relics they need for their work,

8 paintings, crucifixes, books, and other relics that they need for the

9 mass.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you were there. You were

11 present. You were present when all this took place.

12 A. I was there all the time, and together with Father Krizanac, I

13 assisted in getting his things ready and going to Zenica.

14 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So when you got into the car,

15 there was you, yourself, and how many priests?

16 (redacted)

17 (redacted)

18 (redacted)

19 (redacted)

20 (redacted)

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So there were no soldiers at

22 all, no military personnel in the vehicle; is that right?

23 A. No, there was not a single soldier in the vehicle, nor did a

24 single soldier stop us anywhere along the way.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And you stopped, and what was

Page 12900

1 the name you stopped to take a break and have a cup of coffee?

2 A. We stopped in the local commune of Pojske, and that's where we had

3 coffee, and it was a school, which was where the local commune was put up.

4 And if you noticed the local commune is part of the local government.

5 There was a clerk to see to the administrative matters and someone from

6 the civilian protection staff, and in that building, on that premises,

7 there were some other people who were there to deal with some problems

8 they had, because that's where all the local problems were solved. When

9 anybody had a problem, that's where they went.

10 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And then you went to Zenica; is

11 that right? What happened?

12 A. Well, it was a relatively short drive. We chatted. I took them

13 to St. Elias Church, and that's where they spent the whole time they were

14 in Zenica.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So how come the other -- some

16 other witnesses said they were in the car and didn't mention your presence

17 there at all? How do you explain that, this mission or the fact that

18 they'd forgotten that particular fact?

19 A. Well, Your Honour, you'd have to ask them that. But I feel hurt

20 by that attitude of theirs, because afterwards, on several occasions after

21 the war, I happened to see father Anto who was doing some work in Kotor

22 Varos, and I went to see him during the summer and we talked. This summer

23 actually. That was this summer and we discussed those events in a nice

24 and proper manner and a good atmosphere and he expressed gratitude for

25 what I had done. Of course I wasn't the only one and I wasn't alone in

Page 12901

1 doing that, the staff did it. So -- also, on several occasions I visited

2 Father Krizanac as well while he was conducting his religious services in

3 the church at Guca Gora. And I'm very sorry to hear that, because I

4 thought we were friends, and I'm sorry that they uttered the lies that

5 they have done.

6 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So these religious people, the

7 priests, took the solemn oath. Now, at line 6, page 1103, they stated the

8 following: "In your cars, we were accompanied by soldiers." Shall I

9 continue? Yes, I'm going to continue. "On the way, en route, we were

10 stopped several times, and they asked us to get out of the car, but the

11 soldiers did not authorise that." That's what they said under the solemn

12 declaration, under oath just like you. So what do you have to say to

13 that?

14 A. I say that is a complete lie for reasons unbeknownst to me.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And en route, did you pass

16 through Ovnak?

17 A. Yes.

18 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] And what happened at Ovnak?

19 A. There was an armed conflict between the HVO and the BH army at

20 Ovnak.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes, but in the cars, without

22 the soldiers, you arrive at Ovnak. Do you remember anything that happened

23 in particular? Can you remember anything?

24 A. I'm not sure I understood your question.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] When you arrived at Ovnak, I

Page 12902

1 asked you whether you were in Ovnak. You said yes. So when you arrived

2 there, do you remember what happened at Ovnak when you arrived? Nothing

3 special?

4 A. I said that I remembered the event, but I have to tell you that

5 the Civilian Protection Unit sanitised the terrain there, and what I

6 remember is there were dead bodies there who Krizanac and I, that is to

7 say father Krizanac and I myself at a later date buried in individual

8 graves at Ovnak.

9 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Now, the two priests say they

10 were stopped -- that they stop at Ovnak and one of the priests recognised

11 someone whom he knew, and he also said to him, "Osman, where were you?"

12 You don't remember that if you were there? You don't remember this

13 exchange?

14 A. Well, perhaps we're talking about two different events. One was

15 their transport to Zenica and the other is the burial of the people. What

16 you're talking about now happened during the burial of the people, but you

17 asked me about their transport to Zenica. So there are two different

18 events that we're talking about.

19 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. So you don't

20 understand why they said there were soldiers whereas according to you

21 there were none. We're going to take note of what you've just said under

22 oath, under the solemn declaration.

23 A. Your Honour, I don't know what your question is, what are you

24 asking me? There were soldiers during that transport to Zenica, but

25 nobody stopped us. That's what I claim. And all the rest is not true.

Page 12903

1 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I see you're evolving now

2 because now you say that during the transport to Zenica there were

3 soldiers now. Is that what you're saying? And where were these soldiers,

4 in the car, in another car?

5 A. I'm going to repeat what I said. I don't know how it was

6 interpreted, of course. I can't follow that. I said during their

7 transport, that is to say from the time that I left, there was a conflict

8 there, war going on, and soldiers were there, but soldiers didn't stop us

9 on the way to Zenica at all. We just stopped in the local commune of

10 Pojske that's what I said.

11 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] So the only question was to know

12 en route when you went in the car the priests were surrounded by soldiers

13 or not, or were there no soldiers? You said there weren't any soldiers.

14 A. I say there weren't any soldiers as their escort.

15 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] All right. There we have it.

16 That's what I was saying, line 6. They said on page 1103, they say

17 otherwise, the contrary. That's it.

18 It's twenty-five minutes to six. We're going to have a break and

19 resume at 6.00. The Defence has the floor.

20 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, in view of the fact

21 that a surname was mentioned of a protected witness on several occasions,

22 I'd like to draw your attention to the fact that half an hour will go by

23 during the break so can we have the name of the protected witness

24 redacted.

25 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Yes. Mr. Registrar, would you

Page 12904

1 see to that and have the name struck from the record. We have 30 minutes

2 for you to do that. We resume at 6.00.

3 --- Recess taken at 5.35 p.m.

4 --- On resuming at 6.07 p.m.

5 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well. When we take up the

6 proceedings I would just like to ask you one question and then I'll

7 leave -- give the floor to the other Judges for their questions. I'm

8 going to try through my questions to clarify matters regarding the

9 transport of the two priests from point A to point B. You have already

10 told us that you were present and there were no soldiers.

11 The second priest who testified under oath, under the solemn

12 declaration, just like you, said on page 1.004 lines 15. So it was I

13 myself who asked him the question. I wanted to clarify the transport and

14 I asked him a whole series of questions in that regard. And what I would

15 like to do now is clarify the question of the transport once again. "Were

16 you escorted," I asked the witness? And that is what the witness answered

17 and I'm reading you exactly as the witness said it on line 15. His answer

18 to my question was this when I asked him: "Were you escorted by

19 soldiers?"

20 He said: "Yes."

21 And then he went to specify. "In the car behind each one of us

22 there was a soldier with a weapon."

23 Then I asked him: "Were you driving the car?"

24 He said: "Yes. I drove one of the cars and my colleague drove

25 the other car."

Page 12905

1 And then he went on further to specify and that -- what he said

2 was this: "And there were two nuns in the car and a neighbour -- one of

3 my neighbours, a civilian."

4 But he didn't give the man's name. So that might have been you,

5 but that's it. So we had two witnesses stating under oath that that is

6 what happened. And you have no recollection of presence of a soldier

7 bearing a weapon?

8 A. Your Honour, the whole time from the -- there were -- on the area

9 around the church there were soldiers, but when he started the transport

10 there was not a single soldier and there was no car behind us with an army

11 escort. I say under oath and I say with full responsibility that what I

12 have stated is true.

13 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Very well.

14 Now, the second man when they arrived in Pojske, the locality of

15 Pojske, contrary to what you said went on to describe and explain the

16 following. He said he went to the school, not the cafe, where they came

17 across parish civilians, people they knew. And once they had arrived

18 there there was somebody who separated them. And at that point I asked

19 the following question. I wanted to know who separated them, because if

20 they were with soldiers who were bearing arms they didn't have freedom of

21 movement. So he gave a name. He gave a name. And that is not along the

22 lines of what you said. So you have re-asserted your testimony and we

23 shall take note of that.

24 I give the floor to His Honour, the Judge on my left who is going

25 to ask you a question now.

Page 12906

1 JUDGE SWART: Good afternoon, Witness, I have a few, two or three,

2 questions on what you said about the burial of the dead and the contacts

3 you had with the families of the dead persons.

4 I understood that together with the father Bozo Markovic you had

5 contacts with the families and you also said this afternoon that none of

6 the family members who contacted us discussed the cause of death of their

7 family members. Is that a correct summary of your statement?

8 A. Yes. You've understood that very correctly.

9 JUDGE SWART: So the two of you, Father Bozo Markovic and you,

10 were in contact with these families. And my first question would be: Who

11 of you was in contact with them? Who was speaking with them? Were you

12 both speaking them? Was it you or was it only Father Markovic?

13 A. Your Honour, Bozo isn't a father of the Catholic -- he belongs to

14 a different order, he talked to them.

15 JUDGE SWART: But he is some kind of priest I understood. Am I

16 wrong? He is a civilian like all of us.

17 So Bozo Markovic and you, you had contacts with the family. Let

18 me ask you again: Who had -- who contacted the conversations with them?

19 Was it you? Was it him? Or were you both engaged in doing that?

20 A. Your Honour, I said in my previous answer that he went -- came

21 into contact, not me -- contacted them, not myself.

22 JUDGE SWART: So you yourself had no conversations with the family

23 members. It was only Bozo Markovic who spoke with them and he gave the

24 information to you?

25 A. Yes. That is in fact true because some of the families were not

Page 12907

1 in the region of the Zenica municipality but in the Busovaca region. And

2 His Holiness Bozo had contacts with the families and after that we

3 organised ...

4 JUDGE SWART: So if you said, as you did this afternoon, none of

5 the people who contacted us discussed the case -- cause of death, then

6 this was some conclusion you draw from what Bozo Markovic told you. Is

7 that correct?

8 A. I'm not sure I understood your question properly. We didn't talk

9 about the cause of death and I made the statement as I made it. I saw

10 that the people had been killed from firearms, by firearms.

11 JUDGE SWART: All right. I was just interested to know how this

12 information or lack of information or absence of information on the cause

13 of death came to you, but I understand that you deducted that from the

14 silence of Bozo Markovic on the point. Okay.

15 Were you two, were you on good -- did you know each other well?

16 A. I knew the late Bozo Markovic.

17 JUDGE SWART: Could you say that if he had heard something unusual

18 about the death of these persons in Dusina in January of 1993 that he

19 would have told you?

20 A. I assume he would have because he wrote letters very frequently

21 about some problems that he had in his parish and things like that.

22 JUDGE SWART: A different question is whether there was any

23 discussion in Zenica on the events of the 26th with regard to the death of

24 some ten persons. Do you recall any public discussion in newspapers or

25 perhaps if there was on television? Or was it just not an issue?

Page 12908

1 A. Absolutely that was the top topic discussed in Zenica during those

2 days. The stories ranged from the fantastic to the absolutely impossible

3 and nobody had the real and proper information. But of course rumours and

4 stories were going around, as you can imagine. The Presidency of the

5 municipality set aside some resources, bought the coffins, which could not

6 be had in the Zenica municipality at that time. So they were buried

7 according to all the Catholic rites.

8 JUDGE SWART: Do you remember when they were buried? Was that a

9 week later or some days later or immediate? Could you give me an

10 indication, if you remember, of the date.

11 A. I don't remember the exact date, but I have to say that the

12 conditions in the morgue were not such that you could keep corpses for a

13 long period of time. So they were transported and it was the

14 Reverend Bozo who saw to that and they were buried and the funerals held.

15 I can't remember the exact date but they weren't there for long.

16 JUDGE SWART: So a few days perhaps. Do you remember where they

17 were buried?

18 A. As far as I remember with Reverend Bozo in his parish.

19 JUDGE SWART: And what town or village was that?

20 A. The Zenica municipality, the village is call Jedrenice.

21 JUDGE SWART: Were you present there?

22 A. I wasn't present at that funeral because I had other matters to

23 attend to.

24 JUDGE SWART: A few days ago we had another witness who was

25 telling about the events in Dusina and he said the burial would be a

Page 12909

1 matter of some concern for public order and security. Apparently he

2 expected that there would be difficulties or protests or I don't know

3 what. Have you ever heard of that, that is this burial was something

4 special, that there were public order problems?

5 A. At the time the conflict took place in Dusina the Croatian Defence

6 counsel of the HVO, as it's called, was a member of the Presidency of the

7 municipality. Their president and member of the Presidency was Mr. Sakic,

8 Mr. Dominik Sakic. And as to the affairs in Dusina and after Dusina he

9 initiated a discussion that was held at the Presidency where it was

10 decided that this event would not jeopardise public law and order and that

11 the police and army were asked to put a stop to that kind of activity and

12 to ensure that law and order was respected, as we like to say. So it was

13 a high-risk security situation which the police forces monitored with all

14 the necessary measures. So there were no problems and no unrest. Of

15 course there were people who were dissatisfied, there were reactions of

16 that kind of dissatisfactory at the meeting and Presidency level that were

17 held, but law and order prevailed.

18 JUDGE SWART: Well, this is what I wanted to know. Thank you very

19 much.

20 A. Thank you.

21 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] I would just like one

22 clarification. You said that Reverend Bozo Markovic, a priest, died.

23 When did he die, that he is the late Bozo?

24 A. Bozo Markovic died a few years ago, I'm not quite sure when, but

25 let's say three or four years ago. Something like that. He died in

Page 12910

1 Zagreb.

2 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Thank you.

3 Would the Prosecution like to re-examine?

4 MR. WAESPI: Just one clarification and I may have missed a point.

5 Further cross-examined by Mr. Waespi:

6 Q. What religion did Father Bozo represent because I believe you

7 called him His Holiness.

8 A. Well, you're better experts in Catholicism than I am. There are

9 friars, or fathers, and we refer to them with "friar." Father Stjepan.

10 And then there are the "Petrovcjijas," [phoen] we call them, a different

11 order, and you refer to them as "reverend," actually not holiness.

12 THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's correction, reverend.


14 Q. So, who is Dominicans?

15 A. They're the Dominicans in Zenica, the Dominican order, so they are

16 addressed in a different manner. THE INTERPRETER: Interpreter's

17 correction, it wasn't "holiness," it was "reverend."


19 Q. So he was a Catholic, if I understand you correctly?

20 A. That's correct.

21 Q. Thank you.

22 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] The Defence.

23 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you.

24 Further examined by Ms. Residovic:

25 Q. Mr. Mesic, just a few clarifications. The President of the Trial

Page 12911

1 Chamber asked you a number of questions linked to the structure of

2 civilian protection and their relationship towards the military

3 structures. I think that we have clarified most of the matters concerning

4 this, but you said down the vertical chain your superior was the

5 republican staff of civilian protection. Is that right?

6 A. Yes, that's right.

7 Q. Now, that organ, was it a civilian organ like your municipal

8 staff?

9 A. Yes, it was a completely civilian organ, but I have to say that

10 communication with that organ was reduced to technical exhibitions because

11 Sarajevo was blocked. So they were brought down to basics through

12 electronic communication.

13 Q. And in addition to these exhibitions I'm sure that you know that

14 in 1992 the commander of the republican staff of civilian protection was

15 Vinko Drinovac and in 1993 it was Kravic from Tuzla?

16 A. Yes, that's right.

17 Q. Now, do you know who at that time was the commander, the supreme

18 commander, if I can put it that way, who the President of the Trial

19 Chamber wanted to ask you that question along the chain of command of the

20 armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina. So I'm asking you about the

21 commander, the main staff of the armed forces of Bosnia and Herzegovina

22 who was superior both to the corps and to the municipal staff of the

23 territorial defence. Do you know who the commander of the army was?

24 A. Yes, I do know who the commander for the army was. In 1992, or

25 rather in 1993, it was Sefer Halilovic, General Sefer Halilovic, and later

Page 12912

1 on General Delic. But the supreme commanders you asked me was the

2 Presidency, in actual fact.

3 Q. Therefore, the main staff of the armed forces or the staff of the

4 supreme command was a military organ quite different to the republican

5 staff of civilian protection which is a civilian organ. Is that right?

6 A. Yes, that is completely right.

7 Q. And Sefer Halilovic as commander of the armed forces was somebody

8 quite different than was your commander Kravic from Tuzla; is that right?

9 A. Yes, that's right.

10 Q. I should just like to ask you one more thing. The witness [as

11 interpreted] put parts of testimonies to you by witnesses in this court

12 and read that in a car -- one car there was a civilian and that the car

13 was driven by the priest. You at that point in time, were you the person

14 driving the car or were you sitting in the back seat? Were you sitting

15 behind the driver? I was driving Father Krizanac whereas Father Anto was

16 driving the two nuns. There were no other people with us. Of course, my

17 men were driving the truck carrying the goods we mentioned here. I, of

18 course, do not know the reason for which these two men testified in the

19 way they did. Because I say that Father Anto, Friar Anto, when we met

20 this summer in Zup in the parish he is serving at the moment which is

21 Kotor Varos, that's his parish, repeated his recollections and we revived

22 our memories of those days.

23 Q. I would just like to clarify one point and with that I will

24 terminate. The President showed you statements of two witnesses, or

25 rather referred to statements of two witnesses, noting that they testified

Page 12913

1 about what actually happened. Tell me, as you have been testifying before

2 this Court under oath, did you describe the event of the transport of the

3 priest from the Brajkovici church to the St. Elias church precisely the

4 way it happened on that day?

5 A. Referring to my oath I declare with full responsibility that

6 events evolved in the way I described them.

7 Q. Thank you very much, Witness.

8 MS. RESIDOVIC: [Interpretation] Thank you very much, Your Honours.

9 I have no more questions.

10 MR. IBRISIMOVIC: [Interpretation] Mr. President, we have no

11 additional questions.

12 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] Sir, your testimony has just

13 been completed. You have answered the questions of the Defence, of the

14 Prosecution, and of the Judges. I thank you for coming to testify in The

15 Hague at the request of the Defence. We wish you a safe journey home and

16 I shall ask the usher to be kind enough to accompany you out of the

17 courtroom.

18 THE WITNESS: [Interpretation] Thank you.

19 [The witness withdrew]

20 JUDGE ANTONETTI: [Interpretation] It is 6.30, we still have a

21 little time left. Are there any observations to be made? Any points?

22 Any -- anything in connection with the planning for next week that we have

23 already reviewed? I don't see anything. And the Prosecution, have you

24 got anything to raise? No. The Defence has nothing. In that case, we

25 will meet again after the weekend. The hearing will be resumed on Monday

Page 12914

1 at 2.15 p.m. So we will be sitting on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.

2 On Wednesday there will be no hearings. Thank you. And we meet again an

3 Monday.

4 --- Whereupon the hearing adjourned at 6.31 p.m.,

5 to be reconvened on Monday, the 6th day of

6 December, 2004, at 2.15 p.m.